Category: Opposites attract

Blog tour: One Woman by Lisa Renee Jones

81ACA9F9-8629-453C-94AB-51F15595BA9EBook: One Woman

Series: The Naked Trilogy #2

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release date: 17 September 2019

Main characters: Emma Knight, daughter to the late business tycoon who founded Knight hotels. Jax North, successful businessman in his own right, once hellbent on revenge, now hopelessly in love with Emma Knight – his family’s enemy.

Blurb:

The second book in the dangerously sexy Naked Trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones.
Emma and Jax came together in the midst of secrets and lies, but in a castle in Maine, they seek passion and sanctuary. What they find is a mystery that could stretch beyond all their expectations. And what Emma finds is danger.

One Woman begins where One Man ended, with Emma one step from death and Jax the only man who can save her

“We’re not them,” he says, his thumb stroking my cheek. “They don’t decide who we are or what we are together.”

Why you should read it: Having loved One Man as much as I did, it was a no-brainer that I’d want to devour One Woman. Book one ended on a doozy of a cliffhanger, and book two got straight back into the action. There was also the very useful recap of book one’s plot for those who aren’t reading the trilogy in one go. That was a nice touch, as I’ll admit I totally forgot little bits here and there. The action and the intrigue were dialled up to 11 in this book – it’s full of danger and secrets – and dangerous secrets! The relationship between Emma and Jax evolved and became something quite profound. Amid all the chaos they do their best to remain adults, talk to each other and not let others tear them apart. It’s a sexy read, it’s exciting and I felt that we were only just scratching the surface of the history between the Knights and the Norths.

What you may not like: There wasn’t a whole lot I disliked about this book. In many ways it’s your classic book two in a trilogy. Move the plot on but spend more time getting to know the main characters. So far so true. I would say that unlike some book twos I’ve read, the suspense and the angst increased twofold. Were there lots of conversations about how their relationship was doomed to fail? Yes. Did Emma have the annoying tendency to give up and run when things got rough? Yes. But the beauty of this book was their ability to recognise their behaviour and try to correct it. It’s angsty as hell and that’s no bad thing, as the action didn’t drag at all.

Rating: 4/5 for a nail-biting read – another cliffhanger, perhaps slightly less dramatic than the previous one, but this is one trilogy I want to see through to the end!

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Blog tour: The Billionaire’s Secret by Nana Malone

coverBook: The Billionaire’s Secret

Series: The Billionaire Duet #2

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 17 September 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:

It was supposed to be a simple job. Go to the Winston Isles, stand in for my billionaire double for a few weeks.

But between the kidnapping attempt and accidentally falling in love with my bodyguard, things have been far from simple.

The good news, at least now the woman I love knows who I really am. The bad news is, no one else knows and someone is still trying to kill me.

I came to the Winston Isles to save my mother’s life, now I’ve got so much more than I bargained for. The trick will be to hold on to my brand new life and not get killed in the process.

Why you should read it: Bodyguard to the Billionaire ended on one heck of a cliff-hanger and so if you’ve read it, you’ll be desperate to find out what happens next. Zia and Theo have grown closer and closer despite the secrets between them, but now the situation has come to a head, with the appearance of the real Derrick Arlington. With Zia feeling betrayed, Theo has a lot of work to do in order to win her back. As always, I enjoyed the dialogue and the banter and the inclusion of the peripheral characters. This story wasn’t just a romance, it was also a story about love (all kinds) and family. I found it quite touching in places, and I certainly didn’t see the twist coming. The romance between Zia and Theo didn’t feel rushed and I certainly enjoyed the steady build of heat, the intrigue and the humour of the book.

What you may not like: Not much to dislike, in my view. The ending was perhaps a little abrupt, opening up the way for more books in this setting, but that’s it really. The characters were well rounded, the humour was lively and punchy and the romance was slow-burning. So, like I said, not much to dislike. I will say that Penny the Queen was a bit annoying in this particular book – wanting to be in the thick of the action while 7 months pregnant with the heir to the kingdom. Okaaay.

Rating: 4/5 for a truly enjoyable read that made me smile and kept my interest throughout the story. I never want tales from the Winston Isles to end!

So Steady by Eve Dangerfield

Book: So Steady

Series: Silver Daughters Ink #2

Author: Eve Dangerfield

Release date: 14 August 2019

Main characters: Nicole DaSilva, the more conservative of the DaSilva sisters, struggling with her competing priorities. Noah Newcomb, talented, virtually silent tattooist, who is the polar opposite to Nicole, but attracted to her nonetheless.

Plot: Nicole DaSilva has always been the ‘perfect’ sister. A respectable accountant, she is the only DaSilva daughter to have up sticks and moved to Sydney in pursuit of respectability and success beyond the chaos of her family.

Her plan seems to have stalled, since her engagement and her life in Sydney no longer satisfy. She misses her sisters, and needs to find out why the family business is in trouble.

There’s also the added complication of Noah Newcomb – her twin sister’s colleague and friend. He’s an enigma  wrapped in a mystery and he makes her want things she shouldn’t…

Noah is a loner – not by design, but it’s better that way. His past is complicated and because of it he has no business wanting Nicole the way he does. No good can come from their mutual attraction, but that’s the thing about attraction. It won’t be denied…

Why you should read it: If you read So Wild (Sam’s book) then it makes sense you’d want her twin Nicole’s story, right? Nicole and Sam are like chalk and cheese, but bubbling under Nicole’s exterior is a very complicated and frustrated woman desperate to get out. I liked Nicole – she feels honour bound to take care of her bratty sisters and help the business succeed. That’s why I wanted her to get with Noah – she deserved to let her hair down for once and do what she wanted. She’s seriously repressed at the start of the book, so seeing her evolve and unclench was really interesting.

What you may struggle with: Noah was tricky. He’s not big on words so it was hard to get a read on him. Even though parts of the book were written in his pov, I still felt a disconnect between how he felt and what he said and did. He and Nicole had heat, and I love a bit of dirty talk, but their brand of sexual congress didn’t really do it for me unfortunately. I don’t really want to read about spitting – EVER!

Sam and Tabitha were also quite suffocating in this book. I don’t remember them being so in your face in book 1, but they were soooo frickin annoying. I get it – your sisters with no boundaries, but back up! I know we regress in our family dynamics but they were cloying and claustrophobic.

Rating: 3/5 for an engaging story featuring untypical characters. It was nice to read a book that didn’t follow the standard archetypes. Immature siblings aside, it’s worth a look.

 

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!

 

All Grown Up by Vi Keeland

unnamedBook: All Grown Up

Author: Vi Keeland

Series: a standalone

Release date: 6 July 2019

Main characters: Valentina di Giovanni Davis, divorcee, soon-to-be teacher. Ford Donovan, successful realtor and someone whom Valentina knew years ago.

Plot: When Valentina, newly single and (somewhat) ready to mingle is persuaded to get back in the dating saddle, nothing can prepare her for what she will find. After a little help with her online profile (courtesy of a well-meaning bff) she soon finds herself messaging a certain Donovan620 on a daily basis. They make each other laugh, it’s the most natural and relaxed she’s felt in a long time. So why not meet? Aside from the fact that she hasn’t been on a date since high school, she doesn’t know the rules and isn’t keen to get her heart broken all over again. Despite her misgivings, Valentina decides to be brave. Nothing however, could prepare her for Ford Donovan. Tall, gorgeous and also the boy who used to babysit her son!

Ford is enamoured with Valentina from the beginning and he’s not accustomed to being disappointed. Despite their rocky start, he’s determined to win her heart. Valentina is stubborn but so is he – he’s always kept his eyes on the prize, and this time will be no different…

Why you should read it: I absolutely loved this book! It was heartwarming and super romantic without giving me toothache. For quite a young hero, Ford is mature, self-assured and a ton of fun. Valentina was engaging, funny and personable. She did make quite a big deal of the age gap but her character development was truly fun to read and I loved both characters. The dialogue and the story unfolded well and it kept me reading voraciously. I finished it pretty quickly – think I’ll need to re-read it again soon too! The chemistry was pitch perfect and it really made me fan myself – the main characters complemented each other perfectly and they didn’t play stupid games. The absence of angst was quite a relief.

What you may not like: Depends on how you feel about relationships where the characters are different ages. Full disclosure: the age gap in this book isn’t cavernous, so I don’t think it was such a huge issue, but I guess there is still a double standard for men and women. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it, so can’t think of anything to dislike. If I had to pick something, it would be the hero requesting ‘Lady in Red‘. Do 25 year-olds know such cheesy songs? Maybe…

Rating: 4/5 for a truly heartwarming book. Sometimes Vi Keeland knocks it out the park, other times her books fail to hit the mark – this one was a definite hit!

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!

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Release blitz: Violent Ends by Jessica Hawkins

Title: Violent Ends
Series: White Monarch #2
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 18, 2019

 

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.

 

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44099229-violent-ends

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/2InBV2i
UK: https://amzn.to/31eYLlx
CA: https://amzn.to/2WlaV8K
AU: https://amzn.to/2WPcrUT
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2WsMNFS
B&N: http://bit.ly/31enA0Q
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2HXVDTp
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2HXW5RB

 

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
Website: http://www.jessicahawkins.net
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jess_hawk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jessica_hawkins
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-hawkins
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jhauthor
Snail mail list: http://bit.ly/jessicahawkinsmailbox

 

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

Holding Out by Serena Bell

Book: Holding Out

Series: Returning Home #4

Author: Serena Bell

Release date: 21 May 2019

Main characters: Becca Drake, younger sister to Alia, and drifting along through life. Griffin Ambrose, mutual friend, supposed good time guy who hides his pain down deep.

 

Blurb:

His friend’s little sister has just asked him for a BIG favor. The trouble is, once won’t be enough … for either of them.

The answer has to be no, of course. No way Griff Ambrose is going to help Becca Drake solve her inexperience issues. Not only is she his friend’s sister, but Griff doesn’t do commitment—not since the day he came home from war to find his house empty and his wife gone.

But he can’t get Becca’s request—or pretty much anything else about her—out of his head. What can it hurt, anyway? If it’s awkward afterwards, they can just avoid each other. Right?

Becca Drake has turned her life around, and she’s proud of how much butt she’s kicking. The shy girl with the self-esteem problem has been shown the door, and New Becca’s in the driver’s seat. There’s just one more demon she has to exorcise. Her lack of experience is messing up her romantic life. Guys who might be okay with giving her a test drive act like they’re being auditioned for marriage when they find out exactly what she’s never done.

Griff is the perfect candidate to do the deed: He’s her friend, he’s hot as heck, and neither of them wants anything serious.

Then Becca’s job goes belly up and she takes a temporary position at the veterans’ retreat where Griff works. Now she and Griff can’t stay out of each other’s way—and their entanglement keeps getting messier—and hotter. Worst of all, it’s getting harder and harder for Becca and Griff to lie to themselves about what they really want…

Why you should read it: Oh how I love Ms. Bell! And I have a particular fondness for this series too. All of the books in this series deal with some pretty hefty issues such as PTSD and both physical and mental trauma. At NO point did it feel inauthentic, or as though there was an agenda behind the plot. It’s good storytelling – making you care about these characters for their humanity. I have read some books set in the military world and some have been good, and others have basically read like recruitment campaigns. This series has neither sought to glamourise,  nor demonise the military, it has been a significant part of the story, but the connections between the characters are human ones. I connected to these characters because I responded to their vulnerability and their search for love. I loved Becca and Griff because they have no clue what they ultimately want out of life, or how to get there (Hello! I hear you!). They’ve both been through periods of difficulty, and are keen to move on with their lives, but are unsure how. Their attraction and their relationship grew at a steady pace and I enjoyed the realness of it. Griff is a good guy – he’s not an alpha, and he’s not a jerk, he’s just trying to get his life back on track and avoiding heartbreak if he can. Becca has also been through the mill, but she’s not sitting around having a pity party.  She is trying to go get her life. She also has her head firmly screwed on. I can’t tell you the number of books I read by women authors that seek to slut shame other female characters in the book – this was not a part of this storyline and I was so thankful that Becca actually calls it out at one point in the book! I want to read more characters like this!

What you may not like: I’m not too sure – this book is low on angst and manufactured drama – if you’re used to elaborate scenarios and engineered plotlines to create endless misunderstandings between the characters, then this may not be the read for you. There is some interference from well-meaning but overbearing family members, but that’s the extent of it! I enjoyed this book for its lack of drama for drama’s sake – it was engaging and real and that’s what I needed.

Rating: 5/5 for a sweet, sexy and funny read. I loved it. Hope you do too.

 

Buy links:

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

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

https://serenabell.com/r/HoldingOut-Kobo

https://serenabell.com/r/HoldingOut-Nook

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

https://serenabell.com/r/HoldingOut-Goodreads

https://serenabell.com/r/HoldingOut-Bookbub