Category: romance with comedy thrown in

Blog tour – Melt For You by J.T. Geissinger

64CFC999-F035-4B3B-9109-8B7B23CF7E81Book: Melt For You

Series: Slow Burn #2

Author: J.T. Geissinger

Release date: 15 May 2018

Main characters: Joellen Bixby, office wallflower and suffering from low self esteem. Cameron McGregor, her new sexy, annoying neighbour who pushes all the buttons.


Socially awkward Joellen Bixby has a date every Saturday – with her cat, a pint of ice cream, and fantasies of the way-too-handsome Michael Maddox. She’d give anything to win over the unattainable CEO of her firm, but how can she when she blends in so well with her cubicle? The answer may be closer than she thinks.

Cameron McGregor is a cocky, tattooed Scottish rugby captain who just moved in next door. He’s not Jo’s type – at all – but the notorious playboy is offering to teach the wallflower everything he knows about inspiring desire. Though a lot of women have rumpled Cam’s kilt, Jo is special. Far from the ugly duckling she thinks she is, in Cam’s eyes she’s sharp, funny, and effortlessly sexy. Now, thanks to him, Jo is blooming with confidence and has the man of her dreams within reach.

Unfortunately for Cam, he’s just helped to push the woman of his dreams into the arms of another man – and now he’s in the fight of his life to keep this beauty from getting away.

Why you should read it: I’m a huge fan of J.T. Geissinger – she writes funny, multi-faceted characters with flaws and lots of personality. I loved Burn For You so much that it was a no-brainer to read Melt For You when I had the chance. The story was engaging, touching and had me swooning in places. The chemistry between Joellen and Cam really had me invested from early on. It went deeper than boy meets girl and it gave a nice twist to the trope. It also delved deeper into serious themes, such as self-esteem and self-loathing and how it’s never too late to combat these issues.

What you might not like: In the main, I liked Joellen. I felt for her most of the time, but then at other moments I had to ask myself whether she was really 36 years old?! She behaved like a child for a lot of the book and while it completely exasperated me, I understood that she had her issues and that made me try to understand her behaviour. To live without any positive reinforcement is happily not something I’ve experienced, so I tried to empathise with her on that score.

I did however have a slight issue with some of her internal monologue:

These people should work for the CIA! I turn the shower on full blast, go into the closet, and crouch down beside my dirty-clothes hamper, feeling like a refugee fleeing from a totalitarian regime. Which really isn’t too far off the mark.

Really? Your situation is comparable to those currently fleeing for their lives? Okaaaaaay. Not dramatic at all! So, I may have wanted to slap her at times, but apart from that I liked Joellen. Truly. Heroines can’t always kick butt and be self assured, (but if I’m honest, I prefer them to).

Rating: 3/5 for a funny (mostly provided by Cam), sexy (also provided by Cam) read. Preferred book one but this one is an enjoyable romp if you don’t mind a pessimistic heroine with myriad issues.



I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

E85F0724-59E2-4537-92BE-54FE144C7224Book: I Dare You

Series: The Hook Up #1

Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

Release date: 29 April 2018

Main characters: Delaney Shaw, student and self-confessed nerd girl who’s nursing a broken heart. Maverick Monroe, big man on campus, football star wo has his heart set on Delaney.

Plot: Delaney Shaw is no-nonsense, moxie-filled and a card-carrying nerd. She’s also licking her wounds from finding her ex in bed with her arch-nemesis. Determined to focus on her studies and stay away from all athletes in future, she is puzzled and intrigued to receive a text from someone who seems to know her already, and who would like to know her in the biblical sense too!

Her curiosity is piqued – they banter back and forth easily, talking about anything and everything, but she’s not sure who the mystery texter could be. Meanwhile, in her real life, she’s still resolved to stay away from athletes despite the attentions of a certain footballer called Maverick Monroe. They may have shared a moment a long time ago, but no way is she making herself vulnerable to yet another player.

Mav Monroe has always had a thing for Delaney – he may have blown his first chance, but he’ll be damned if he makes the same mistake twice. Now she’s finally single, he launches a devastating charm offensive. Will she be able to withstand his advances, will she ever get to see the man beneath the swagger? Will Delaney ever be ready to risk her heart again for the chance of something special?

Why you should read it: This was a super sweet and funny story that ended far too quickly! The was banter, slow-burning romance and plenty of drama to boot. I adored the main characters – they were so cute together and their back stories were sad but didn’t dominate their present. There were plenty of sweet moments when both characters showed their vulnerability and became very well-drawn. I adored this book – what can I say? It was exactly what I wanted to read having come off a very intense and heavy book.

What you may not like: Muffin the baddie – we never get to find out what motivates her to be such a cow, but I suppose that’s not important – she just is. She’s a pantomime villain who will make you boo and hiss. Other than her, I didn’t find much to dislike, it’s a great read you can finish in one sitting (I did!) and it will make you feel good all over!

Rating: 4/5 for an entertaining and heartwarming tale. Can’t wait to see how this series will develop. Can I just mention that cover? Oh my Lord. The bar in covers these days is getting HIGH!



The Worst Best Man by Lucy Score

A man wears a custom-made tux - his face isn't visible above the lipsBook: The Worst Best Man

Author: Lucy Score

Series: a standalone

Main characters: Franchesca Baranski, an ambitious graduate, maid of honour, struggling with the reality of having rich friends. Aiden Kilbourn, arrogant, CFO of his family business and obnoxious best man to their mutual friends.


The bride is a doll. The groom is the perfect gentleman. But the rest of the wedding party? They’re the stuff of nightmares. Rich? Check. Vapid? Double Check. Entitled? Not enough checks in the world. And the Best Man? More like the Worst Man.

But Maid of Honor Franchesca takes her duties seriously. Kidnapped groom? She’s got this. Rude attendees? You just watch her handle them. So a best man with a big attitude and an even bigger…checkbook? Yeah, there’s no way she’s going to let that pretentious, judgmental jackhole ruin her best friend’s wedding. No matter how sexy he is. (Well, that’s the plan anyway…)

Aiden Kilbourn doesn’t do long-term relationships. He’s busy ruling the business world, and has yet to find a woman he can tolerate for longer than a month, two at the outside. Conquering the unconquerable is basically his bread and butter. And he hasn’t met a challenge that he can’t win. But Franchesca Baranski? This smart-mouthed girl from Brooklyn may just be his downfall.

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness – it’s been a while since I’ve read a book that entertained me this much! Prepare for my gushing…The dialogue was SUPERB. It was razor sharp, made me guffaw (right, who the hell guffaws these days?) out loud and the sexual chemistry was INSANE. In places, it reminded me of an old-time screwball comedy, and I imagined Aiden at times as a modern Cary Grant. I loved Frankie’s wit, her camaraderie and the fact that she refused to be less than she was. She sticks up for herself and takes crap from no-one. Yet at the same time, she makes mistakes and isn’t perfect and I loved that too. Aiden – what can I say? He gave as good as he got, but also had hidden depths beneath the insouciant demeanour. He’s got it bad for Frankie and is kept on his toes throughout the book. I loved the banter, the romance and the family intrigue on the side.

What you might not like: You like romance? Strong heroines? Cocky heroes, with vulnerability? If the answer to any of these questions is YES, then I think you’ll love it. If you don’t, let me know.

Rating: Easy – 5/5 – I’d give it more if I could. And I don’t write that often enough!

Burn For You by J.T. Geissinger

492F81E3-1FCA-4507-A6C7-B5985DF5379DBook: Burn for You

Series: Slow Burn #1

Author: J.T. Geissinger

Release date: 17 October 2017

Main characters: Bianca Hardwick, restaurant owner, who’s struggling with the pressures of work and home life. Jackson Boudreaux, surly heir to the local bourbon-making empire.

Plot: Bianca Hardwick is busy running her restaurant and creating the perfect menu, but she’s barely breaking even. The menu is a labour of love, inspired by the region’s renowned bourbon – had she known what the consequences of using the Boudreaux bourbon name would be, she maybe would have thought twice.

Jackson Boudreaux is aware of Bianca Hardwick’s labour of love and as it concerns his legacy, he wants to find out whether her cooking passes muster. Unfortunately, his manner leaves a lot to be desired – he’s demanding, rude and takes no prisoners. He immediately puts Bianca on her guard, and pushes all of her buttons. She’s determined to best him any way she can. So begins a battle of wits, where Bianca endeavours to teach the beast some manners. However, far from being predictable, Jackson once again manages to take her by surprise when he proposes a marriage of convenience that will benefit them both immeasurably. Bianca knows that marrying Jackson would be anything but convenient…

Why you should read it: This is my first book by J.T. Geissinger (I know, I must have been under a rock) and I was not disappointed. It was so funny – packed full of fun characters, the New Orleans vibe, a plucky and headstrong heroine and a surly, yet vulnerable hero – I absolutely loved it! The chemistry between Jax and Bianca was off the hook and the slooooow burn was delicious. Just enjoy the ride – it was touching, entertaining and gave me a warm feeling inside. Think of it as a modern retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story – but there’s no Gaston, so it’s all good! It’s not all laughs though – there’s a fair amount of teary moments too – so have your hankies ready.

What you may not like: I was sad when it finished! But that’s the mark of a damn good story. I will definitely re-read – I may even buy the audiobook!

Rating: 5/5 – a great read to kick off the new year.

Nuts by Alice Clayton

img_0135Book: Nuts

Series: Hudson Valley #1

Author: Alice Clayton

Main characters: Roxie Callahan, chef to the rich and famous, Leo Maxwell, local farmer, from one of the oldest families in Bailey Falls.

Plot: When Rosie Callahan is unceremoniously fired from her job as chef to the rich and powerful, she has no choice but to return to her childhood home of Bailey Falls. Her mother runs a diner there and needing her to cover while she’s away, Roxie reluctantly accepts.

Roxie soon finds that not everything about the home she left behind is bad. One of her suppliers, a young farmer named Leo, has her optimistic about her summer stuck in podunk. Perhaps a little dalliance with no strings attached will make the time pass faster…Leo has an easy smile, a relaxed way of being, and a bod that was made for sin. Despite the flannel, I t’s clear he comes from a privileged and monied background. Roxie suspects they both come from very different worlds, but it’s not forever so who cares?

Why you should read it: This is a seriously good read! I’ve only just got around to reading this series – I think I was saving it up, as I love Alice Clayton and her stories in general. Leo and Roxie had a chemistry that was incandescent! It burned and it was quite a slow burn too. I loved that it didn’t rush to sexy times straightaway. It was funny, gave a real sense of the geographical location and made me love the characters.

What you may not like: Nada! It was a strong opener to the Hudson Valley series and having read Cream of the Crop too, it’s every bit as good!

Rating: 5/5 for a hugely entertaining and super sexy read. I love this series!

Sex in the Sticks by Sawyer Bennett

BFD17623-C3EA-40F4-ABF4-E089B8FF4A5BBook: Sex in the Sticks

Series: Love Hurts #1

Author: Sawyer Bennett

Main characters: Valentine French – wealthy blogger/columnist, tired of the New York dating scene. Logan Burke, local chief of police, mayor and one-man peacekeeper for the small Alaskan town of East Merritt.

Blurb: Valentine French may be the sassiest dating columnist in New York City, but the abundance of metrosexuals in her adopted metropolis is seriously cramping her style. Where are the beefy all-American boys? Hoping to find some inspiration, Val heads to Alaska, where the men outnumber the women fifteen to one and wrestle grizzly bears for sport. Or so she can only imagine. Suddenly the most eligible bachelorette in a town full of horny lumberjacks, Val is writing her best columns ever. But if she doesn’t get her nose out of her laptop, she just might miss out on Mr. Right.

Logan Burke is the sheriff of the little podunk town that Val finds so charmingly backward. He’s not that different from the guys she’s using for her little experiment; it’s just that one date would never be enough for Logan. As he listens to Val complain about love over beers in the local tavern, he realizes that she can’t see the forest for the trees. Because if she would ever give up her Prada bags and fourteen-dollar martinis, Logan would give her the only luxury that matters: his heart.

Why you should read it: Sawyer Bennett writes a LOT of books. So many that you’d think she’d be repeating herself by now. Not so – she somehow manages to inject a fresh new setting, or situation to her stories that make each one feel brand new. I truly enjoyed SITS because it reminded me of my favourite tv show in the 90s – Northern Exposure. It was fresh and Valentine was a joyful heroine. I enjoyed the slow build between her and Logan. It felt more natural than insta-love.

What you may not like: It was a gentle read – if you’re into more dramatic and action-packed stories, this may be a little too calm for you. I enjoyed it – it was relaxing and fun to see how the main characters would get their HEA.

Rating: 4/5 for a charming and entertaining story. Loved the characters and the wilds of Alaska.

The Last Guy by Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise

Attractive man lies on a bed. He's looking at the cameraBook: The Last Guy

Author(s): Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise

Release date: 11 June 2017

Main characters: Rebecca Fieldstone, roving reporter at KHOT news station. Cade Hill, sports editor and colleague.


The first rule of office romance is don’t do it – especially if your dream is to hold the anchor spot on the nightly news and your boss is trying to get you fired. 

But one look at Cade Hill, the sexy new sports director, and uptight reporter Rebecca Fieldstone is daydreaming about other things. 
Sex in his office… 

Sex in the on-set kitchen… 

Sex in the supply closet… 

She can’t stop thinking about the former NFL quarterback and how perfect he’d look between her sheets – except he’s an arrogant jerk with a huge… ego. 
He’s the last guy she’d ever have a one-night stand with. 

Cade Hill draws a thick professional line on office romance – until it comes to the hyper-focused Rebecca. He wants her, and he gets his wish when a chance encounter has them having the hottest sex of their lives. 

It’s just a hook-up, she says. 
When can we do it again? He says. 

With Rebecca determined to keep Cade in the friend zone, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cade to convince her he’s the last guy she’ll ever want. 

Why you should read it: This was a super fun and entertaining read. Rebecca was focused while endearing and I sympathised quite a bit with her character. I have to say that my favourite character was Cade though. He got the best lines, the heat he generated with Rebecca was soooo hot. His confidence was the right balance. I hate a hero that’s so cocky he’s an ass. The dual point of view was well rendered and the story evolved nicely.

What you may not like: Hmm perhaps the flamboyant best friend who happens to be a drag queen was a little cliché – I like supporting characters to be three-dimensional, and at times I felt Chas was more pastiche than real person – just my opinion but I would have liked to see more of the person behind the quips and fabulousness. Also, Rebecca was a little unrealistic about her job. She’s a TV reporter but doesn’t think to go shopping for clothes when her old ones don’t fit? What kind of nonsense is that?

Rating: 3.5/5 for a romantic and seriously hot story. Not perfect but a very pleasant read that’ll make you feel good.

Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

COTCBook: Cream of the Crop

Series: Hudson Valley #2

Author: Alice Clayton

Main characters: Natalie Grayson, force of nature and Marketing whizz. Oscar Mendoza, surly cheesemonger and the object of Natalie’s affections.

Plot: Natalie Grayson is at the top of her game. She’s awesome in life and in her career. She’s pretty good in her love life too. Her rule is simple – if she sees someone she wants to hook up with, she goes for it – and they’re more than grateful when she does. Her confidence seems to desert her however, when she interacts with a certain cheesemonger and owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery.

Every Saturday at Natalie’s local farmers’ market he doesn’t seem to register her existence. Determined to have him but unsure of how, when she can’t say more than two words to him, Natalie can’t stop thinking about him.

Oscar is a man of few words. He loves his job, knows his product is the best in town, and therefore doesn’t feel the need to be friendly or outgoing. As much as he likes to keep himself to himself, he would have to be dead not to notice the statuesque woman who frequents the market every week. Perhaps he could make one exception to the rule…

Why you should read it: Oh my – this book! It’s so sensual – the descriptions of food, the area of Bailey Falls, the sheer amount of lust between Natalie and Oscar – it’s all palpable! It was seriously hot and seriously fun. I enjoyed it immensely. I really liked Natalie – she wasn’t the archetypal large gal who has to be a jolly clown – she was real, had great self-esteem and owned her world and her body. I loved her. Oscar was a grouch, like his namesake, but he really developed throughout the book and seeing the world through his eyes was pretty refreshing.

What you may not like: if you’re a fan of Alice Clayton, you’ll enjoy her sense of humour and her ability to be lighthearted one moment and full of pathos at another moment. There really wasn’t much to dislike. For real.

Rating: 4/5 for a truly enjoyable story. At the time of writing, the rest of the series – Nuts and Buns are currently on sale. Needless to say I now have the complete series and can’t wait to read more!

Dating-ish by Penny Reid

Woman wearing a blue dress and holding a heart in her handBook: Dating-ish

Series: Knitting in the City #6

Author: Penny Reid

Release date: 15 May 2017

Main characters: Marie Harris, journalist and completely disillusioned with dating. Matt Simmons, a brilliant yet socially-awkward professor, who doesn’t seem to know what to make of Marie.

Still smiling, his gaze warm with good feelings as it moved over me, he tucked the box in his bag. “Marie, you are the sine to my cosine.” My eyelashes fluttered and so did my heart, but I managed to tease, “Are you saying we’ll never be on the same wavelength?” He moved his head to the side as though considering my words.

“More like, we complement each other. In basic trigonometry terms, cosine is the sine of the complementary or co-angle.”

“I took trigonometry in high school. All I remember is pi r squared.”

Plot: Marie Harris has been single since her long-term relationship ended. She’s tried the online dating services, but her latest date was the worst – the oddest dude on the planet. When she is asked to co-wrote an article about replacing human relationships with paid services, she’s more than motivated to try. It also allows her to enlist the help of AI scientist, Matt Simmons – the guy who showed up on her last date and who owes her big.

Initially put out that he has to show Marie his work, Prof. Matt Simmons is surprised by how easy it is to interact with her. People don’t often seem to know how to handle his directness and he doesn’t make it easy for them either. Marie takes him at face value and is genuinely interested in his work. Could be he’s found a friend at last…

Why you should read it: This book. This book is good. No, it’s great! This series doesn’t disappoint. I loved Marie and Matt. They’re beautiful characters – truly, the holy grail of characters. I loved Matt’s awkwardness – he’s super smart and also super drole when he’s at ease with someone. Marie is great too – her inner monologue was both hilarious and full of pathos. The misunderstandings between the two of them were realistic and not shoe-horned in to engineer drama. The book was a slow burn (which I love) – the sexual chemistry reached boiling point and then blew up!  I finished the book and immediately wanted to re-read it. I actually feel a little bereft right now.

What you may not like: Not a thing, if you’re familiar with Penny Reid and her quirkiness and love it. I literally can’t think of a negative because I loved it so much.

Rating: 5/5 for a smart, (I felt smarter just reading it) sexy as hell story. It’s hopeful, funny and a great chance to check in with the other characters in the series.

Fancy an excerpt? Sure you do…


He was quiet for bit, we both were, and I felt myself relax more and more. His palm took a detour every so often, dutifully skipping my hip and sliding along my side, and then back to my leg. Soon, I was so relaxed I felt drowsy. 

I felt fingers in my hair, moving the mass away from my neck with treasuring strokes just before Matt nuzzled the back of my neck, causing goosebumps to scatter over my skin.

“Mmm.” I smiled. “Hey. Jared said no tickling.” My voice sounded sleepy.

“Does this tickle?” Matt asked softly, nuzzling me again. I felt the brush of his lips—not a kiss, a brush—paired with hot breath against the bare skin of my neck and a zing shot straight down my spine, making my toes curl and a sudden hot ache twist in my lower belly.

Oh no.

I knew that ache. I hadn’t felt it because of another person’s touch in quite a long time. Nevertheless, no one ever forgets that ache.

My back arched instinctively, my bottom pressing back against his crotch, and I stiffened. I felt my nipples harden, strain beneath the cotton of my bra. I was now fully awake. No longer drowsy.


Not even a little.

Matt stiffened, too. His movements abruptly ceasing.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, alarm coating his words, and in the next moment his hand was suspended in the air above me. “Did I touch something I shouldn’t?”

I exhaled a short, nervous laugh, gripped by the urge to sit up.

“No. No. You didn’t.” I moved to the edge of the bed, righting myself, away from Matt, needing distance. “I’m good.” I gathered a silent breath and released it slowly because my pulse was racing.

Crap, Marie. Get a grip. It’s Matt Simmons. Professor Matt. The big kid. Why are you reacting this way?

“Did I . . .” These initial words were hesitant, and a moment of silence stretched before he continued, his tone comically teasing as he finished his thought. “Did I arouse you?”

I snorted, shaking my head, laughing at his silly tone. Turning at the waist to peer at him over my shoulder, Matt was grinning at me, twisting a make-believe mustache between his thumb and forefinger.

But then he stopped.

“I did, didn’t I?” he pushed, his hand dropping. He looked pleased, if not a little amazed.

I sighed, feeling a smidge embarrassed, and nodded. “Actually, yes. That’s a sensitive spot for most women.”

“The back of your neck?” He lifted himself to one elbow, his eyes darting to my neck with keen interest.

“My neck in general, actually.”  

“Huh.” Matt frowned thoughtfully. “Where else?”

I pressed my lips together and gave him an incredulous look. “I’m not telling you that.”

“Why not?”


“What if I needed it for research reasons?”


“What if I told you it was part of our questionnaire?” He tossed his legs over the side of the bed and stood, walking around to my side and offering me his hand. “You should give me a schematic of your body with the erogenous zones circled and rated.”

“Let me guess, you want them rated on a ten-point scale,” I deadpanned as I accepted his hand, stood, and stepped away to gain some distance and straighten my shirt.

He shrugged, crossing his arms, stalking after me. “Or exponential. I was going to say a Likert scale, but a logarithmic scale works, too.”

Chuckling, appreciative of his attempt to diffuse my embarrassment and awkwardness with the joke, I realized Matt Simmons wasn’t a bad guy. He might even be a good guy, just a little . . . peculiar.

And wants to replace romantic relationships with robots. Best not forget that detail.

Yeah, he’d make an interesting friend.

“Thanks.” I gave him a small smile.

“For what?” His eyes moved between mine.

“For the cuddle. Thanks for the cuddle, Matt.”

“Anytime, Marie.” He grinned down at me, his eyes dancing as he leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime.”

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Twitter: @ReidRomance


Ready to Fall by Daisy Prescott

Book: Ready to Fall

Series: Wingmen #1

Author: Daisy Prescott

Release date: May 2016 (republished)

Main characters: John Day, lumberjack hottie (well, he calls himself a logger); Diane Watson, his temporary neighbour, who’s trying to make sense of life post-divorce.


Tall, dark, and handsome is an understatement when it comes to John Day. With rugged good looks, his ever present plaid shirt, and a dog named Babe, John is a modern alpha male lumberjack.

After his favorite neighbor rents out her beach cabin for the winter, John finds himself playing fireman and tour guide to Diane Watson, a beautiful brunette with her own messy past and recent battle scars.

Will he be ready to fall in love? Or will he go back to his old, flirty ways?


Why you should read it: Oh how I love Daisy Prescott. If you read Geoducks are for Lovers, you’ll remember John. He’s tall, rugged and so very handsome. He has a sweet nature and has his sights set on Diane. At first, he doesn’t know what to make of her, but the longer the two hangout together, the more he sees in her. He understands her vulnerabilities and wants to know why she’s withdrawn into herself. I enjoyed the budding friendship that gradually turned into more. The chemistry was believable and I defy you not to be rooting for these two.

Diane has been through a lot and her self-esteem has taken a bit of a battering. Despite this, she isn’t bitter and her determination to get on with her life is inspiring.

What you may not like: Cannot think of anything – this book had it all: the great outdoors and the descriptions of the rural area were so vivid, you’d think you were actually there. It’s a heartwarming story that  I will definitely be re-reading. I loved the scenes between John and Diane – especially the one where she got hurt and he looked after her. Swoon!

Rating: 4/5 for a fun, touching and sexy tale. Looking forward to more books in the series.