Category: 5/5 Stars

BOOK REVIEW: So Close by Serena Bell

Book: So Close

Series: Tierney Bay #1

Author: Serena Bell

Release date: 23rd January 2020

Main characters: Auburn Campbell, guest house owner if she can raise the funds to buy her beloved Beachcrest; Trey Xavier, would-be billionaire, if not for an unwise investment. He has plans for Beachcrest, and they don’t include Auburn…

Blurb:

In his world, money is the one thing you can count on. In hers, it ruins everything. They have one week to find out who’s right—or both lose what matters most.

After being derailed for too many years, Auburn Campbell is back on track. She’s living in the town she loves and running the inn that is her destiny. But it all falls apart when a bossy billionaire shows up with plans to tear down her beloved Beachcrest and build soulless beachfront condos. No way she’s going to be a sucker again for a strong-willed man in an expensive suit, no matter how good he makes it look.

For as long as Trey Xavier can remember, money is the one thing he can count on—especially since the end of his marriage. And the future he’s fought to build for himself and his family is on the line. He just has to figure out what to do about Auburn Campbell, his grandfather’s protege, who is determined to throw every possible obstacle in his way. It would be easier to win the battle if he weren’t constantly distracted by her quick wit, her non-stop curves, and his body’s reaction to being in the same room with her.

Summer in Tierney Bay is irresistible, and town and innkeeper slowly seduce Trey. When the sparks between them flare hotter and brighter than any Fourth of July fireworks, can he surrender more than just money?

Why you should read it: How I loved this book! The feel of it – it was a small, beach resort, whose pace of life is that much slower than the big city. A place where people can find peace and gain a little perspective on life. Who wouldn’t want that?! Auburn was a great heroine. She’s made a few mistakes in life but she’s determined to get back on an even keel with the help of her siblings and the business she loves so much.

Trey was also a revelation. He’s adorable! Once you see what makes him tick, and the baggage he’s carrying around, you can’t help but love him. He’s a total softie at heart and he’s a decent person in a tough situation. This book is a total slow burn – my god these two steamed up my Kindle. Their chemistry was incandescent. The sexy times do NOT disappoint! Maybe don’t read those parts in public if you don’t have a poker face!

What you may not like: Can’t think of anything wrong with this one – this was a really strong opening book to what should be a very exciting series! Next up is Auburn’s sister Chiara’s story in So True. I don’t know much about it but it sounds right up my street!

Rating: easy peasy – 5/5 for a romance that had it all. Fireworks, sexy hikes and descriptions of lots of delicious food! All of the senses will be satisfied…

Buy links:

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Amazon

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Apple

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Kobo coupon code –> 40SOCLOSE

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Nook coupon code –> BNPSOCLOSE40

https://serenabell.com/r/SoClose-Google

Review: Headliners by Lucy Parker

Book: Headliners

Series: London Celebrities #5

Author: Lucy Parker

Release date: 20th January 2020

Main characters: Sabrina Carlton, presenter and sister of stage actor Freddie Carlton; Nick Davenport, her competition, a very popular presenter and javelin-sized thorn in her side.

Blurb:

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves–quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

Why you should read it: I truly ADORE this series! The whole enemies-to-lovers trope often has varying degrees of success in books, but this series is solid and consistently entertaining! It’s so smart and the dialogue and narrative arc kept me reading avidly.

Sabrina and Nick have been circling each other for years and their professional rivalry has kept them in each other’s orbit. Now they have to work together, things are about to get interesting! The chemistry between Sabrina and Nick is very much the slow burn. Once they start thawing out, you really see them develop as people. I loved them together. They really brought out the best in each other, as well as maintaining the verbal sparring that kept it from getting too sweet and overly-romantic.

What you may not like: Not a darn thing! It was pitch perfect. Punctuated by the magic of the season, with a side of professional intrigue, and some much loved characters from earlier in the series – what more could you ask for?

Rating: easy peasy – 5/5 stars for a smart, sexy and real romance. If by any chance you’re new to this series, I urge you to give it as chance! You won’t regret it.

BLOG TOUR: Sexy as Sin by Julie Kriss

Book: Sexy as Sin

Series: Filthy Rich #2

Author: Julie Kriss

Release date: 3 December 2019

Main characters: Ava Winters, fashion stylist and Aidan Winter’s sister; Dane Scotland, Aidan’s best friend and co-founder of Tower VC group.

Blurb:

The assignment should be a fashion stylist’s dream. Dane Scotland—brilliant programmer, millionaire, partner in my brother’s company—is going to a big-money meeting, and he needs to look the part.

The problem? Dane doesn’t want a makeover. He’s grumpy and reclusive, and his wardrobe consists of two pairs of old jeans. He doesn’t want me anywhere near him.

Did I mention that he’s my brother’s best friend? And that no one knows exactly what Dane and I got up to ten years ago?

The nerd I knew is gone—Dane ditched his glasses and bulked up. Now he’s six-foot-plus of hot genius, but I can be professional. I can definitely keep my hands off him. Again.

But when he looks at me like he used to, like no one else ever has, the only thing I want is to lose control.

Dane and I gave each other our first taste of heartbreak. Are we destined for another round?

Why you should read it: my, my, my! This series keeps getting better and better, hotter and hotter! I loved Filthy Rich for its dialogue and characters with depth and Sexy as Sin is no different. Dane and Ava have history – and this makes their story so intriguing and hot. There’s pathos, there’s pain and there’s yearning. I loved this story and I devoured it in hours. Ava is damaged but not broken. She’s determined to sort out her life before pursuing anything with Dane. Dane is a pretty straightforward character. He hides his vulnerability under his surly exterior, but he feels plenty. What can I say? I didn’t want the book to end!

Dane’s arm came around my waist and a growl came from his throat. He’d never made that sound before—possessive, primal, male. I shivered at the sound of it. But his free hand came down over mine, stopping its progress. “You know what I want,” he said roughly, his voice low. “You, in a bed. All mine. No one around and no time limits. So I can do anything to you I want, for as long as I want.” He let go of me, slid back, his heat leaving me. “Nothing else will ever fucking do.” And with that, Dane stood and silently left the room.

What you may not like: It was over too quickly! Nah, it was just right. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about this story. Just bring on more of this stellar series!

Rating: 5/5 for a truly enjoyable read. Next up is Samantha’s sister Emma and bad boy Noah’s story in Dirty Talk

BLOG TOUR: Violent Triumphs by Jessica Hawkins

Book: Violent Triumphs

Series: White Monarch #3

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Release date: 12 November 2019

Main characters: Natalia de la Rosa, beloved daughter of cartel kingpin Costa Cruz and Cristiano’s conflicted wife, Cristiano de la Rosa, her husband and leader of the Calavera cartel.

Blurb:

I’ve become a queen to the forsaken, a leader to thieves, and the wife of a man who instills fear in all who cross his path. He was the husband I didn’t want. Now, I can’t fathom life without my king.

I should’ve been ready for anything. Like the caterpillar that feeds on poison during metamorphosis, I was raised in the dangerous world of cartel crime. But nothing could’ve prepared me for Cristiano de la Rosa, his brother’s poison, or the Calavera cartel.

This is still a story about a love strong enough to topple households, unite enemies, and divide brothers. Resilient enough to bring down those who would try to destroy it . . . and selfless enough to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But I was warned, and so were you. Death’s day always comes. This time, it will find what was once a caterpillar is now a butterfly—and hell hath no fury like the White Monarch.

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! This book! Jessica H made us wait until it was just right and I can see now just how worth the wait was! This book picks up where Violent Ends left off, which is just as well as I was truly going off my head at the ending of book 2! The plot, pace and action in Violent Triumphs was high octane all the way. There were lots and lots of scenes to enjoy featuring Natalia and Cristiano – seeing them treat each other with care and seeing them sort through their feelings for each other was delicious. I loved every minute. Natalia has no choice but to grow up in this book – she becomes strong and calculating and every bit the queen of the underworld. The chemistry between Natalia and Cristiano – ooh lawd! Off the charts and then some. Seeing them give in to their attraction completely – finally – was so satisfying. I wanted to shout AT LAST! Technically, I really enjoyed the mix of Spanish and English in the text – it felt natural and also correct. No Google translate here. The book was also full of beautiful dialogue, both poetic and romantic and I could not get enough.

What you may not like: I really don’t know what you’d dislike in this story if you’ve been following and enjoying the series. It closed the plot lines and provided a delightful conclusion to a very exciting series.

Rating: 5/5 for a seriously sexy, smart and satisfying story about cartels, honour and love. I totally inhaled it and can’t recommend it more.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jessica Hawkins is a USA Today bestselling author known for her “emotionally gripping” and “off-the-charts hot” romance. Dubbed “queen of angst” by both peers and readers for her smart and provocative work, she’s garnered a cult-like following of fans who love to be torn apart…and put back together.

She writes romance both at home in New York City and around the world, a coffee shop traveler who bounces from café to café with just a laptop, headphones, and a coffee cup. She loves to keep in close touch with her readers, mostly via Facebook, Instagram, and her mailing list.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Mailing List: http://www.jessicahawkins.net/mailing-list.html
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nJHDjg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicahawkinsauthor
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jessicahawkins
Website: http://www.jessicahawkins.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jess_hawk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessica_hawkins

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/2oUBhUr

UK: https://amzn.to/32oxxrZ

CA: https://amzn.to/36OM6si

AU: https://amzn.to/2WMfw5G

Apple Books: https://apple.co/33pxg9k

B&N: http://bit.ly/2WND0r0

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2WND5Lk

Google Play: http://bit.ly/34tFcGS

Blog tour: War of Hearts by S. Young

Book: War of Hearts

Series: a wolfy standalone

Author: S. Young

Release date: 1 October 2019

Main characters: Thea Quinn, extraordinarily powerful woman on the run from those who would harm her; Conall MacLennan, alpha leader of Clan MacLennan and supe sent to deliver her to his mysterious client, Jasper Ashforth.

Plot: Thea Quinn has been running for the last six years. She’s never able to remain in one place long enough, never able to put down roots. She’s forgotten how to live, all she knows is survival. She has managed to remain one step ahead of her pursuer all that time, but when Jasper Ashforth steps up his efforts to get her back and enlists the help of Conall MacLennan, the gap between hunter and his prey narrows dramatically.

Conall is no ordinary wolf. Already an alpha, leader of his clan, he also possesses tracking abilities that are second to none. He has his reasons for pursuing and delivering Thea to Ashforth, and nothing will stand in his way. The pair have a mutual distrust for one another from the outset, but a series of incidents force the pair to cooperate with each other if they wish to make it to their destination alive. There are twists and turns along the way and Conall is forced to reevaluate everything he thought he knew…

Why you should read it: My goodness this book was an epic ride! There were so many twists and turns – it was dense and packed full of adventure, intrigue and sexual tension. Conall was a pretty straightforward character who thinks he has the measure of life and people in general. Nothing could prepare him for meeting Thea – there’s no-one like her and she keeps on surprising him throughout the book. Their slow acceptance of each other and the growing dilemma facing Conall (as he realises the implications of the bargain he struck) really kept me reading. I was on the edge of my seat at times, as the action didn’t let up or drag at all. The pace of the book was pitched right, and I felt the intensity of Thea and Conall’s acquaintance. Their chemistry built steadily and I really enjoyed how their relationship developed. The book was romantic too – very sweet and poignant in places, and it didn’t become too saccharine either.

What you may not like: There was a lot of mythology in the book and a magical narrative that did require quite a lot of concentration to stick with. At times, I wanted to get back to the main action – but that’s down to my own impatience, not the subject matter being uninteresting.

Rating: 5/5 for a magical and intricate world that I became fully immersed in. I thoroughly enjoyed the main characters and how they interacted with each other. Can’t recommend enough to those who love paranormal – I forgot how brilliantly S Young can create an otherworldly universe without it becoming too outlandish.

BLOG TOUR: Filthy Rich by Julie Kriss

Book: Filthy Rich

Series: Filthy Rich #1

Author: Julie Kriss

Release date: 13 August 2019

Main characters: Samantha Riley, successful and talented Exec assistant, who’s worked with all the best (and worst) CEOs out there. Aidan Winters, CEO of Tower Venture Capital, her latest boss and the only one who can disrupt her unflappable spirit.

Plot: Samantha Riley on at the top of her career – there’s no challenge she can’t meet, no CEO she can’t deal with. She enjoys her work at Tower Venture Capital. She’s respected, trusted to get on with the job at hand and anticipate her boss’s needs in advance. Her professional instincts make her indispensable and she loves what she does. Her relationship with her boss Aidan has always been polite and professional but it’s never gone beneath the surface. She has no idea what he does outside the office, nor does she particularly care.

Aidan Winters is used to being the king of all he surveys. His work and his private life are always separate and he’s keen to maintain the status quo. The only trouble is, lately, the more time he spends in Samantha’s company, the more he appreciates her capabilities. She’s smart, unflappable and he doesn’t know what he’d do without her. More and more his thoughts about her drift into less professional territory. Their indifferent façade is about to crumble and the pair are about to be left with some very inconvenient and combustible chemistry. Will they embrace the crazy risk, or will common sense prevail?

Why you should read it: Oh my! This book though. This book was everything. It built and it built – the main characters actually invest time getting to know each other before they risked it all. I really enjoyed the character and plot development – both were well conceived and the author really spent a lot of time in building the world, the characters and their story. I truly loved the whole thing! Aidan is not your average romance CEO – he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth, nor is he particularly overbearing. Samantha isn’t your typical perky and sunny heroine – she has depth, she has flaws and she’s incredibly interesting. The situations both Aidan and Samantha enter into are truly hot. The author allows the slow build up and didn’t rush the story to get to the juicy bits.

What you may not like: Absolutely nothing! I loved every page, every word and will most likely be re-reading it again very shortly! This is book 1 of a series – later books will feature Aidan’s childhood friends and business partners. I hope that the bar remains as high as it has started out.

Rating: 5/5 for a refreshing and SERIOUSLY HOT story. It’s a slow burner and it was everything I didn’t know I needed this week!

Blog tour: Bodyguard to the Billionaire by Nana Malone

Book: Bodyguard to the Billionaire

Series: The Billionaire duet #1

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 23 July 2019

Main characters: Zia Barnes, Royal Guard and bodyguard to the rich and powerful. Theo Coleman, philanthropic businessman who’s been inveigled into playing stand-in to  a member of the Royal household.

Blurb:

Derrick Arlington is one of the world’s most eligible billionaires. Voted Sexiest Man Alive—two years running.

And I just so happen to look exactly like him.

It’s never come in handy until I get offered an actual job out of it.

It was supposed to be so simple.

Go to the Winston Isles, stand in as his body double for a few weeks, go back to my life.

But when our carefully constructed plan goes awry and the billionaire goes missing, I have no choice but to take his place and hire a bodyguard. The best in the business: a smart-mouthed, tight-assed, lady bodyguard.

Zia Barnes is the LAST thing I want, even if I need her. She’s determined, smart, and has no idea I’m a total imposter.

Good thing I have no intention on falling for her, or I’d be royally screwed.

Why you should read it: Wow! I knew I was going to adore this story having read the intro at the end of To Love a Prince and I wasn’t disappointed! Zia and Theo were adorable and the whole we-shouldn’t-but-we-really-want-to vibe struck just the right note in my opinion. I enjoyed the suspense and the pace at which the plot unfolded. The dialogue was punchy, funny and kept me fully engaged with the plot.

An example has to be Zia and her best friend Tamsin discussing Zia’s new client:

Tamsin shook her head at me. “Don’t go getting that soft look for him. He’s a grown man now. He doesn’t need you to take care of him.” “I know. I’m just experiencing empathy.” She shook her head. “I already told you that shit is bad for your health. Just as long as this empathy bullshit doesn’t catch you a case of feelings. I say sleep with him, but you need to kick it like Elsa and conceal, don’t feel.”

What you may not like: I truly enjoyed the humour, the conflict and the suspense of the book. But of course, now I have to wait for closure. Damn these duets! I know it will be worth the wait, however.

Rating: 5/5 for a slow burning, exciting and incredibly sexy read. Can’t wait for more!

 

BLOG TOUR: Violent Ends by Jessica Hawkins

Violent Ends Ebook CoverBook: Violent Ends

Series: White Monarch #2

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Release date: 18 June 2019

Main characters: Natalia de la Rosa (née Cruz), unwilling new bride of Cristiano de la Rosa, head of a notorious cartel.

Blurb:

I had a life, love, and future to give.
Until my enemy took a wife.

The devil has a name, and it’s Cristiano de la Rosa. On my wedding day, he was the last man I expected to see standing at the altar. He wants to make me his queen. His brother wants to rescue his princess.

Getting Cristiano to lose control becomes the name of the game, and the stakes are life and death. But as truth and lies blur, loyalty is tested, and our chemistry threatens to reach the melting point, the prize grows less clear. Either freedom no longer means what I think it does, or Cristiano is as devious as everyone says, and he’s mastered the art of playing my mind.

All I know for certain is that nothing is certain. And all you need to know? This is a love story.
But even love stories have to end.

Why you should read it: I really am loving this series for its suspense, the excitement factor and yes, its ‘forced marriage’ trope. (This particular trope, when done well, really does keep my interest and yes, it’s a very guilty pleasure!) Natalia is getting to grips with her new life and determined to find a way out of it. I enjoyed her tenacity and her never-say-die attitude. She has made the best out of a bad situation, has had her heart stomped on, but will not stop fighting. Her chemistry with Cristiano was super hot – like incandescent hot. It blazed off the pages and proved to be THE slowest burn I have perhaps ever read.  It really kept me on the edge of my seat. I do need closure however – the entire book is practically foreplay and I cannot wait for the payoff between these two characters! The pacing of the book was spot on in my opinion – it didn’t drag and it didn’t zip by.

What you may not like: Natalia is 20 – she sometimes thinks like a 20 year old, and her assumptions and tendency to jump to conclusions occasionally grated on me. I did want to shout ‘Just open your eyes and look around!’ The book also has some violence (the clue is in the title) so if you’re not into mafia/gangster-type books, then I’m not sure why you’re contemplating reading book 2! Other than that, it was a very exciting story and I really need the concluding book before November! Come on!

Rating: 5/5 for a truly enjoyable, creative and sexy read. I don’t want to hasten the end of summer, but I am looking forward to book 3’s release in the autumn!

banner

 

Blog tour: One Man by Lisa Renee Jones

unnamedBook: One Man

Series: The Naked Trilogy book 1

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release date: 11 June 2019

Main characters: Emma Knight, daughter to the late business tycoon who founded Knight hotels. Jax North, successful businessman in his own right, determined to get revenge on the Knight clan.

Plot: Emma Knight has recently lost her father – a well-known tycoon and despite the grief, she is battling with the knowledge that he wasn’t the man she thought he was. In fact, he seems to want to control her life even beyond the grave by some peculiar stipulations laid out in his will.

Done with being a pawn in her family’s machinations, Emma is not about to roll with the punches. She’s sick of being pushed around and will not be anymore. When she meets Jax North, she’s struck by their similarities, but is also wary about his motivations – could his agenda see her caught in the crosshairs and  hurt in the process? The pair know that they face some insurmountable obstacles – but they cannot stay away from each other. Will love and lust win out against family loyalty?

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! I haven’t read a family saga like this in a while. It really started the series with a bang! Emma is plucky, smart and eager to live her own life, while trying desperately to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets. Meeting Jax when she does creates further complications she doesn’t need in the already complicated life she lives. She’s unable to trust anyone and I was on the edge of my seat reading this story. Everyone has an agenda, and I feel for Emma’s predicament. Her chemistry with Jax was palpable and the pair burn up the pages! I hope they’ll be able to maintain that intensity across the next two books as it was hot, hot, hot!

What you may not like: You’re going to have to be patient with this trilogy – there will be cliffhangers and there will be gaps between the next instalments. If you don’t like waiting  (guilty!) then this will be difficult – but come on, it’s good to delay gratification, right? Or so I’m told.

Rating: 5/5 for an explosive start to the Naked Trilogy. I truly hope the suspense and twists and turns can be maintained through the series as I’m truly on board and greedy for more!

Explore the series

ONE MAN (book one) – Available Now

Apple → https://apple.co/2FdPi4R

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/OneMan

Nook → http://bit.ly/2XYQwsb

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2CkxRhj


ONE WOMAN (book two) – out September 17th

Apple → https://apple.co/2UIl17P

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/OneWoman

Nook → http://bit.ly/2Zb1uKK

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2wMXmEx


TWO TOGETHER (book three) – November 19th

Apple → https://apple.co/2Xg5ZCY

Amazon Universal → http://mybook.to/TwoTogether

Nook → http://bit.ly/2I43qPv

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2K6pdZe

BLOG TOUR: To Love a Prince by Nana Malone

cover nana malone to love a princeBook: To Love a Prince

Series: Prince duet #2

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 21 May 2019

Main characters: Ariel Scott, security expert trying to figure out who wants her lover, Prince Tristan out of the way. Prince Tristan, close to getting everything he wants, but still with so many secrets…

Plot: Ariel is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding Tristan’s enemies. He won’t open up about the secrets he’s keeping, therefore she’s resolved to take matters into her own hands…with the Queen’s help.

Tristan has Ariel back in his life and he’s keen to keep it that way. The secrets of his past must out, but he wants to hold on to Ariel for as long as he can. Once she knows the truth, he’s sure she won’t want anything to do with him. He just needs a little more time.

Ariel knows that Tristan isn’t being completely honest with her, but she’s willing to let that slide for now. She has a killer to find and needs to identify the members of the Guard who aren’t loyal to the Crown. She’s closing in on the perpetrator(s), but as one mystery is solved, another pops up in its place. Will she manage to decipher them all before another attempt is made on the man she loves? Time is running out…

Why you should read it: My goodness! This book had action, romance, lovers’ spats and intrigue in spades! I loved the multiple POVs and really enjoyed the insights from the other peripheral characters. This instalment had a lot of ground to cover and the secrets and lies kept coming. I loved the mystery and the burgeoning relationship between Ariel and Tristan. The misunderstandings were done with, so the pair were working on building their trust in their future and their relationship. The book was hot, hot, hot. As a couple, there was mutual respect and the female characters ran the show in this book!

What you may not like: Not much to hate on here. It was full of action, the angst was low, it was just good, old-fashioned romantic suspense that kept me turning the pages and desperate to get my fill!

Rating: 5/5 for a truly satisfying end to the duet – and a doozie of a segue into Zia’s adventure. I’m so ready!