Tag: Random House

Sunday Spotlight: Man Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted January 14, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Jessica Lemmon has cemented herself on my auto-buy list and that list isn’t that long, not anymore, at least and she made her way onto my list by writing such fantastic contemporary romances (my jam) like this very book, Man Candy. I’m really enjoying myself with this series and I think what makes me swoony over these is because they’re real, they’re cute and the steam meter is off the charts. These characters have totally won me over and Dax??? Yum. Just freaking yum and that is why I’m featuring this book today. It deserves to be featured. happy sigh

Man Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #3
Also in this Series: Eye Candy, Arm Candy
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 9th, 2018
Publisher: Random House, Loveswept

Is there room for two in that sleeping bag? When it comes to love, a chiseled loner takes the scenic route in this irresistible standalone from the author of Eye Candy (“Truly the perfect romantic comedy.”—Lauren Layne).

Dax: After spending the summer buried up to my eyeballs in my family’s affairs, I’m ready for a break. The kind of break where I can spend two solid weeks camping and fishing in the company of absolutely no one. Then I find myself directly in the path of a drop-dead gorgeous tornado by the name of Becca Stone. Who can resist a night with a damsel in distress? Especially when she happens to be a leggy blonde? The last thing I expect is for Becca to show up on my cabin doorstep the next night, shivering in the rain and ready for seconds.

Becca: One minute I’m admiring the rock-hard jaw of the Magic Mike lookalike who walks into my bar, and the next I’m getting fired by my own brother. Loudly. In front of everyone. Luckily Dax Vaughn is a gentleman who aims his white-hot smile at me. Oh, it’s on. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Then a torrential storm washes out the main road and causes a massive power outage, giving us two whole weeks to enjoy each other’s company. At which point Dax will go back home, leaving “us” in the rearview mirror. That’s the plan. Or it was . . . until I started falling for him.

Buy the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Book Binge Excerpt
MAN CANDY by Jessica Lemmon – 1/14/17

Becca

Dax sets the sleek silver laptop on the counter where I’m leaning and slides it in my direction. “Are you Mac friendly?”

“Yes. I took graphic design classes before I went to dance school.”

His grin spreads slowly, and the southerly parts of me tingle.

“Of course you did.” He steals another kiss and pats my ass before moving to the living room and retaking his seat on the couch.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He doesn’t answer, so I open the laptop. I’m met with a password box. “It’s locked. Did you want to—”

“Eight-zero-eight-four-seven,” he says.

I type in the number and like that, I’m in. I watch the back of his head for a moment, wrestling with the idea that he rattled off his password to a virtual stranger.

He trusts me with his five-digit code.

I mean, it’s not access to a vault containing millions of dollars, but a password is significant, right? I only recently met Dax, and he’s handed me the keys to his virtual city. Meanwhile my brother doesn’t trust me to execute even the simplest of tasks.

Like my job.

I’m not the fastest keyboardist, but I peck out the recipe, trying to guesstimate the amounts of the ingredients. As I type, my mind reels back through each knife slice, ingredient, and spice I pulled out of the cabinet. I had access to a full kitchen at the main office, so I brought fresh cilantro, lime and avocado, and seasonings like cumin and smoked salt.

I sneaked a few extras onto the order last week when I was craving some really great Mexican food. There’s only so much barbecue a girl can eat before she wants lighter fare.

At one point I stop what I’m doing and measure a teaspoon of cumin. Then a half teaspoon. I never measure, just sort of throw it in. After rifling through the drawers, I determine that there is no quarter teaspoon, and the tablespoon measure is missing too. I’m forced to guesstimate, but I’m pretty sure I have it.

I carry the laptop into the living room, rest it on the coffee table, and sit next to Dax on the sofa.

“Do you have a grill at McGreevy’s?” I scroll through the recipe to the numbered instructions.

“Ideally you would have a grill and get those great char marks on the chicken. You could even use blackening season for a Cajun flair if you wanted to. . . . Oh! Cajun seasoning . . .”

When I notice his smile, my words taper off. He’s so good-looking that it hurts a little to look directly at him.

“What?” I ask.

“In between dancing, graphic design, and rental cabin management, did you also take cooking classes?”

I shake my head.

“Interesting.” He goes back to fiddling with the items in his tackle box.

“Did you ever take a fishing-lure-making class?” I shoot back.

He lets out a soft laugh. “If my dad’s instruction counts. He taught me.”

My heart squeezes. Dax’s face softens whenever he mentions his dad. He misses him.

“That counts,” I reply quietly.

Dax watches me, his eyes bluer in the lamplight. The room is dim, thanks to the constant cloud cover and never-ending rain.

“I’ll test the recipe again if you don’t mind eating more quesadillas. How’s that sound?”

He answers by leaning forward and capturing my lips in a warm, slow, drugging kiss. As my eyes sink shut, I’m hyperaware of him—of the tickle of his fingertips along my cheekbone before he sifts them into my hair. Of the firm heat of his tongue as it slides along mine. I lean forward to claim more of his incredible mouth.

When he breaks away, I whisper, “This feels a lot like wooing.”

“I thought this was you coming to me.” His voice sounds as dazed as mine.

“Agree to disagree?”

Teaser

Real Love Series

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a fan of this series? How about Jessica Lemmon? What books are you excited about this week?

About the Author

Jessica Lemmon

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST
| GOODREADS

Jessica Lemmon is the bestselling author of over twenty novels. Her work has been honored with awards such as RT Top Pick!, iBooks Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Month. She has also been recommended by USA Today and NPR.com. She has achieved the rank of #1 bestseller on Nook as well as earned a seal of excellence nomination from RT Book Reviews.

She tackles tough relationships and emotions in her books, delivering a deep, satisfying experience for readers while still maintaining humor and fun.


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Review: Man Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted January 9, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Man Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Man Candy (Real Love, #3) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #3
Also in this series: Eye Candy, Eye Candy (Real Love, #1), Arm Candy
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: January 9th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 213
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Dax:

After spending the summer buried up to my eyeballs in my family’s affairs, I’m ready for a break. The kind of break where I can spend two solid weeks camping and fishing in the company of absolutely no one. Then I find myself directly in the path of a drop-dead gorgeous tornado by the name of Becca Stone. Who can resist a night with a damsel in distress? Especially when she happens to be a leggy blonde? The last thing I expect is for Becca to show up on my cabin doorstep the next night, shivering in the rain and ready for seconds.

Becca: One minute I’m admiring the rock-hard jaw of the Magic Mike lookalike who walks into my bar, and the next I’m getting fired by my own brother. Loudly. In front of everyone. Luckily Dax Vaughn is a gentleman who aims his white-hot smile at me. Oh, it’s on. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Then a torrential storm washes out the main road and causes a massive power outage, giving us two whole weeks to enjoy each other’s company. At which point Dax will go back home, leaving “us” in the rearview mirror. That’s the plan. Or it was . . . until I started falling for him.

This standalone novel includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Man Candy is the third book in Jessica Lemmon’s Real Love series and it features Grace from book 2’s boss, Dax Vaughn.

Dax Vaughn owns two bars and is grieving the passing of his father and the only thing he wants right now is peace and quiet. After making sure his Mom was okay and leaving his best friend on his couch, Dax takes off for Tennessee for some outdoorsy along time. He had every intention of spending his days hiking and fishing and being one with nature until he meets Becca Stone.

Becca Stone works with her brother at the Grand Larks and Dax is in town, renting one of the cabins there and she likes what she sees when she walks into the bar and sees him enjoying a beer. She’s drawn to him, knows that if she doesn’t approach him, she’ll regret it so with a pep in her step, she walks right up to him and her life is forever changed.

What was supposed to be a one night stand becomes much more than either of them were prepared for and I adored watching the two of them come together.

Dax was a lot more than I was expecting. We didn’t get to see much of him in Arm Candy so I was picturing a, — I don’t know what I was picturing but whatever it was, it wasn’t Dax. Dax was one of those swoonworthy heroes who is good to his Mom and knows what he wants. He was a man’s man who wanted to be in an adult relationship. I loved how he took care of Becca, even when she disappointed him and I really loved how much faith he had in her abilities…even after only two weeks of sleeping together. I enjoyed getting to know him and finding him to be my favorite hero of the series.

Becca was a great heroine too, only there were times when I wanted to smack some sense into her because I felt like she took too long to come around. Dax really opened up to her and so she knew about his hangups with his ex-girlfriend, a story that he shared with nobody but Becca and when things get a little crazy, I wanted her to wise up and take a chance on Dax. I wanted her to not disappoint Dax but to not disappoint me and…she came up a little short. I also wanted to smack the shit out of her brother because he was a shitty brother to her. I didn’t stay disappointed with Becca for long so I’m glad that she got her shit together.

The romance, the scenery and just, the whole story worked for me. I enjoyed Dax, I liked Becca and I really liked seeing them come together in love. This book was cute, funny and had a lot of heart so I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Real Love Series

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

Posted December 24, 2017 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! We hope that you’re all settled in for a day of relaxing, spending time with loved ones and remembering what this season is really all about.

For today’s Sunday Spotlight, I wanted to feature a Christmas romance because it’s the time of the year where all I want to read are comfort reads and all I want to watch are Hallmark movies. Well, this book is the most perfect of Christmas reads because it’s a best friends to lovers trope and it has the feel of a Hallmark movie to set you right up for a great holiday read. You can read my review of this book here.

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne
Series: Love Unexpectedly #5
Also in this Series: Blurred Lines, Good Girl, Walk of Shame
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: November 7th, 2017
Publisher: Random House, Loveswept

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

There really isn’t much more that you’ll need from a holiday romance because I’m pretty confident that this book will hit all of your love buttons (haha, that didn’t sound the way it did in my head but I’m leaving it). Mark and Kelly are best friends and Mark has been carrying a torch for Kelly for years and Kelly is completely oblivious. You guys, read this book!

Buy the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE PLAY || KOBO

Memorable Quotes

Did I mention that this is a best friends to lovers romance? I have every faith that you’ll love seeing Mark and Kelly go from here…

“How do trees have character?

“You know, quirks. Flaws. Bald spots. I never trust anyone that’s too perfect.

“I’m perfect.”

I smile at his matter-of-fact tone. “Yes, honey. Maybe that’s why we’ve never dated, you see?
You’re too smart, too good-looking, too confident.”

He narrows his eyes, as though trying to gauge my level of sarcasm, and the thing is…it’s sort of true.

To here….

“There”, he murmurs, his voice just a tiny bit raspy. “It’s not quite as thick higher up in the trunk.”

Annnnnnnnnd now we’re talking about thickness. And trunks.

My mouth is entirely dry, and my body…not so cold.

Get it together, Byrne.

I shift slightly under the guise of getting a better angle at the tree trunk, and not because I’m aching to arch backward toward his trunk.

No. No. No no no no, you did not just have that thought.

Then here…

Kissing him feels both wonderfully new and fresh, and yet comfortable and timeless, as though we’ve been doing this – or were meant to have been doing this – forever.”

And finally, here…

His hands cup my face, thumbs forcing my chin up so I have to meet his eyes.

“You know me, Kelly. Better than anyone.”

His thumbs brush against my cheeks tenderly, at odds with the fierce look on his face. “You know me, so you know I don’t like to share.”

“I know,” I whisper.

“What’s it going to be, Kelly? he says, his lips drifting softly over my cheek. “Do we see where this thing with us goes? Or are you holding out for your Christmas miracle?”

Talk about swoon This book delivers all of the swoons!


gif credits

It delivers a grumpily sexy hero and a quirky heroine who is such a delight with a Christmas background so if you want, enter our giveaway below for a chance to win your own copy of this delightful book.

Love Unexpectedly Series

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you love Lauren Layne as much as I do? How about Christmas romances? Look no further because today’s spotlight is where it’s at.

About the Author

Lauren Layne

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.


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Review: Taking a Chance by Maggie McGinnis

Posted December 14, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Taking a Chance by Maggie McGinnisReviewer: Rowena
Taking a Chance (Whisper Creek, #6) by Maggie McGinnis
Series: Whisper Creek #2
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 261
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A fun-loving troublemaker gives a workaholic Southern gal a real taste of Montana magic at the one and only Whisper Creek Ranch.

A rising star in the corporate world, Emma Winthrop enjoys the view from her cubicle in sunny Florida. But when she’s dispatched to a nursing home in Whisper Creek for three months of field experience, she discovers a slice of heaven made of mountains and mayhem—mostly in the form of rugged, drop-dead gorgeous Jasper Stone, who grinds his specialty beans at the town’s best coffee shop in between organizing dodge-ball games and wheelchair races in Emma’s hallways.

When Jasper walks in on this beautiful angel in silky purple underwear trying to rinse out her blouse, it’s a breathtaking view—even for a Montana native. Wreaking havoc here at Shady Acres keeps his dad in good spirits, but getting under Emma’s skin is proving to be even more fun. Jasper knows that he’s falling faster than a man with his past has any right to, but his body and his heart have a mind of their own. And Emma appears to be claiming both.

Maggie McGinnis is a new to me author and I hadn’t heard of the Whisper Creek series before picking this one up but I’m thinking that I need to add the entire series to my wish list because Taking a Chance was an enjoyable story. I enjoyed the heck out of Jasper’s nursing home shenanigans and Emma was pretty great, too.

The story starts off with Jasper Stone meeting with the director of the nursing home that his father lives in and the director has her stern face on which means she means business. She’s taking leave to take care of some medical issues and she needs Jasper to take it easy on the temporary director being sent to take over while she’s out. Jasper is well known for his lively activities that rile up the old folks but the new director isn’t from around town so he needs to pipe things down.

Emma Winthrop thought she was on her way to a promotion that she’s been working her tail off for. So when she gets transferred from Florida to Montana to run a nursing home for three months, she’s thrown for a loop. She’s more of a headquarters girl, not a foot on the ground kind of worker so heading to Montana freaks her out just a little bit and when she shows up for her first day and the ambulance is rushing up the driveway, she freaks out a little bit more.

This was an enjoyable story of two people that make sense together, getting together. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows because they both have some past baggage that makes things a little hard but not impossible. I enjoyed getting to know both Jasper and Emma even though at times, I thought they acted immaturely. Jasper more than Emma and I tried to understand where Jasper was coming from, knowing about his baggage with his late wife but more than anything, I wanted him to be better. To handle the whole thing with Emma better.

Overall, this was a solid romance and I enjoyed it so I’ll definitely be adding this series to my reading list but there were times when I wanted to strangle both Jasper and Emma though I will admit that I admired the hell out of Emma when she picks herself right back up and focuses on herself, her goals and trying to move on from Jasper. While I understood why Jasper felt the way that he did, and the guilt that he carried, I wish he didn’t drag Emma through it the way that he did. Alls well that ends well though and I’m glad that he wisened up and was able to fix things. The secondary characters were great fun. I really enjoyed the people at the nursing home, the folks over at Whisper Creek and they, more than anything, made me want to keep coming back for more.

This is the first book by Maggie McGinnis that I’ve read but I don’t think it’ll be my last. Despite some of my issues with the main couple in this book, it was still a sweet romance and I’m glad that both Jasper and Emma were able to get their shit together.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

Posted November 7, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
An Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly) by Lauren Layne
Series: Love Unexpectedly #5
Also in this series: Good Girl, Walk of Shame
Published by Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 218
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

“Lauren Layne writes characters I want to tackle and keep as my best friends, woven into smart, sexy, utterly romantic tales of love.”—Violet Duke

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

Every time that Lauren Layne releases a book, I’m going to read it. She’s been my go-to author for fabulous contemporary romances for the past couple of years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. An Ex for Christmas is the fifth book in the non-series, Love Unexpectedly and it’s another sweet romance that I ate right up.

Kelly believes in fate and in all things psychic so when she’s trying to make her way home for the holidays and a psychic stops her to tell her that she’s already met her one true love, Kelly is shook. She’s so shook that she gets home and ropes her best friend Mark into helping her make a list of her ex-boyfriends because one of them is her one true love and she’s going to find him. So she goes on this mission to track down her exes, put them through a date to see if there are any sparks left and well…you know how that goes.

Mark just got out of a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and he’s making plans for his future when his best friend Kelly comes home with the crazy plan to track down her exes and marry one of them. He’s grumpy about it because what man wants to be caught up in that tangle of junk?

Mark and Kelly were adorable together. I love how comfortable they were with each other and how loyal they were to each other. When Kelly thinks that Mark’s girlfriend is cheating on him, she gets super mad on his behalf and I thought that was fantastic. Mark couldn’t have cared less because he was getting ready to put his plans into action and when he’s sidelined by Kelly’s crazy plans to nab an ex, I loved seeing him battle his emotions with that.

Lauren Layne does a great job of telling this story while only giving us Kelly’s POV. I would have liked to get inside Mark’s head from time to time but I caught onto his deal pretty early on so I didn’t think the book suffered much from not having it. Mark was the perfect kind of grumpy that I adore to pieces so I was all aboard the Mark train.

Kelly took her sweet ass time figuring out who her perfect mate was but I had a good time seeing her fail at every date she went on so I wasn’t annoyed at all. She was great fun to get to know and I liked seeing her come into her own. She had a sweet relationship with her parents and with her friends from high school so all in all, this was a good read.

This was the perfect read to read heading into the holidays…it was fun, flirty and had a smoking hot hero that was grumpily perfect for the sweetheart of a heroine. Lauren Layne continues to shine in my eyes and I’m already thirsty for more. She seriously can’t write fast enough to suit me. I’m so greedy when it comes to her books. She’s just so good. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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