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!

I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne


RomanceBook: I Knew You Were Trouble

Series: Oxford #4

Author: Lauren Layne

Release date: 13 June 2017

Main characters: Taylor Carr, new recruit to Oxford magazine, Nick Ballantine, freelancer and general thorn in Taylor’s side.

Plot: Taylor has found her dream job. She can’t quite believe her luck and the office seems to be packed to the rafters with gorgeous men. She’s keen to make a good impression with her new colleagues – with the exception of Nick Ballantine. He can jump in the nearest lake.

From their first meeting, it becomes clear that Nick finds Taylor’s primness amusing. Finds her ridiculous. Well, the feeling is mutual. His good looks may rival his other colleagues, but he won’t get under her skin. No way…

Nick enjoys the freedom of his job and it’s flexible hours. He hates to feel hemmed in. He also enjoys riling up Taylor, but at times he sees the vulnerability underneath her frosty exterior and knows there’s more to her than meets the eye. When the chance to take her mind of a failed relationship presents itself, Nick knows he’s the man to help her. If only her default coldness doesn’t give him frostbite…

Why you should read it: All fans of the Oxford series will welcome another chance to catch up with the best fictional office out there! I was looking forward to reading about these two characters we glimpsed in the previous book. The chemistry was certainly present between these two and some of their exchanges made me laugh out loud!

What you might not like: This book follows Lincoln’s story – which I loved because I was so invested in his character from the beginning. Taylor and Nick kind of crept up on me and I didn’t always know what to make of such openly hostile, defensive people. I’m kind of tired of the archetypal ‘ice queen’ heroine too. It was a quick read – I may not have enjoyed the journey to HEA as much as I’d have liked – but it was classic romantic fun.

Rating: 3/5 – it was entertaining – not the best story in the series in my opinion, but Lauren Layne is always worth a read. I liked it but didn’t love it.

Promo: Small Change by Roan Parrish

Small Change eCover high resSmall Change (Small Change #1) by Roan Parrish

Release Date: 6/1/2017

Publisher: Self-published

Pages: 429

Blurb:

Ginger Holtzman has fought for everything she’s ever had—the success of her tattoo shop, respect in the industry, her upcoming art show. Tough and independent, she has taking-no-crap down to an art form. Good thing too, since keeping her shop afloat, taking care of her friends, and scrambling to finish her paintings doesn’t leave time for anything else. Which … is for the best, because then she doesn’t notice how lonely she is. She’ll get through it all on her own, just like she always does.

Christopher Lucen opened a coffee and sandwich joint in South Philly because he wanted to be part of a community after years of running from place to place, searching for something he could never quite name. Now, he relishes the familiarity of knowing what his customers want, and giving it to them. But what he really wants now is love.

When they meet, Christopher is smitten, but Ginger… isn’t quite so sure. Christopher’s gorgeous, and kind, and their opposites-attract chemistry is off the charts. But hot sex is one thing—truly falling for someone? Terrifying. When her world starts to crumble around her, Ginger has to face the fact that this fight can only be won by being vulnerable—this fight, she can’t win on her own.

Small Change is the first book in a series that will include M/F and M/M romances.

Buy links:

Author site: https://www.roanparrish.com/

Amazon Goodreads

Author Bio:

bw-author-picRoan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

Connect with Roan: website | newsletter | twitter | facebook | goodreads | instagram | pinterest


My verdict

I loved this book! Ginger is is the perfect balance of beautiful mess and engaging heroine. She has the awareness to actually want to do something about her issues and I loved that about her.

Christopher. Wonderful Christopher. My new book boyfriend (I actually hate that term but it’s fitting here). He was patient, sexy as hell and deals with his own family problems stoically. Everyone should have a Christopher in their life.

The story was well paced, entertaining and the characters were well developed. I enjoyed their world and was reluctant to leave it. It was also great to revisit characters from Roan’s previous Middle of Somewhere series too.

All in all, it’s a 4/5 star read for me. I highly recommend it!

Excerpt:

He was tall, with the thick build of someone naturally powerful, rather than the kind of sculpted muscles of someone who worked out in a gym. His thick red hair was cut close on the sides and long on top, combed back from a square hairline. He had a strong jaw and a smirky mouth, and his stubble was nearly blond. It was his eyes that I couldn’t look away from though. They were almost the same color as his hair – a warm goldish-orange – and shot through with flecks of blue.

My first impression was that his face was arresting, interesting the way sometimes in a gallery there’s one painting that pulls you in and won’t let you walk past. Each line eases into the next, each color shades into the one beside it in just the way your eye desires. Once you start to see the details you can’t look away.

But the more I looked, the more interesting converted to handsome as hell.

“Dramatic start to the day,” he commented, eyes sliding to the spot where I’d been crouched when he came in.

“Not even my first encounter with a floor this morning, unfortunately.” I leaned an elbow on the counter, drawn toward him.

“One of those, huh?” He spoke with the ease of a food service professional accustomed to such exchanges, and the utter empathy of someone who actually meant it.

When he held the bag out to me over the counter it was accompanied by an easy smile that crinkled laugh lines at the corners of those extraordinary eyes and displayed charmingly sharp incisors that overhung his bottom lip a little, like a kid wearing dress-up fangs.

“Just in case the vagaries of your day find you needing another one,” he said.

And then he winked at me. Not the friendly wink of a barista. A filthy, promise-laden wink that shifted his grin from charming to sexy as hell.

Small Change Graphic 1

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…

Excerpt:

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.

Nope.

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?”

“Matt.”

“What if I needed it for research reasons?”

“Matt.”

“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.”

Read Today!

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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.

Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

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http://www.pennyreid.ninja

Way Down Deep by Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna

IMG_3492Book: Way Down Deep

Authors: Cara McKenna, Charlotte Stein

Genre: Erotic romance

Release date: 6 June 2017

Plot: A damaged soul decides one night to reach out to the number of someone he used to know. He certainly doesn’t expect a reply – but when his phones beeps with a reply, he’s astonished.

One text turns into two, then snowballs until the pair become fast friends. The modern-day equivalent of pen pals. They share more and more and they both cling to those daily texts like a lifeline. When the nature of those texts shift from innocent curiosity to sexuallyy charged, they both consider whether their messages and daily insights will be enough to satisfy them going forward…

Why you should read it: This was a great collaboration: I really admire both of these authors for their originality and sexy stories. The stories are smart and so are their characters. They’re also gloriously flawed. This story consists solely of text messages back and forth. Gradually, we get to see more and more of their character flaws, but it was just a glimpse. There was also a lot of humour too – The messages added a lyrical quality to the writing.

“My romantic history is basically that Gotye song on repeat for four hours. Super fraught and beautifully tortured at first, then by the fifteenth time you’re like ENOUGH WITH THE FUCKING XYLOPHONE.”

What you may not like: lovers of well-rounded, more traditional romance may not enjoy the letters between the characters. There are no peripheral characters, (except for a child we hear about) and just as the story hits its climax, it comes to an abrupt halt. It’s not exactly a traditional HEA, you’ll be left imagining the rest and it may not satisfy everyone.

Rating: 3/5 for a thoughtful, poetic and sexy read. It was quite abrupt at the end, but I guess this story is more about the journey, rather than the destination.

Excerpt reveal: The Debt by Molly O’Keefe


I’m really excited to share a new series with you. Molly O’Keefe is one of my favourite authors. She can do it all – lighthearted romps or gritty romances – they’re all brilliant! 

The Debt by Molly O’Keefe is NOW LIVE and FREE!

Grab the prologue to The Debt Duet now & keep reading for an excerpt!


Amazon|Nook|Kobo|iBooks|Google Play

Love and second chances are NEVER free.

For the five kids who live at St. Jude’s Home for Court Placed Juveniles, life is a nightmare.

Carissa, the youngest, has been there the longest. And barely speaks.

Rosa is sixteen and pregnant.

Simon keeps his head down and studies, hoping to get back the life he lost.

Beth and Tommy, in the middle of the darkness, have found each other, and all they want is to be together. But when they get caught making out at school, it puts everyone in danger. Tommy is used to the beatings from their foster father, but when Beth is singled out for punishment, Tommy can’t sit back and let it happen.

AND ALL DEBTS MUST BE PAID.

What happens that night rips apart the lives of the five teenagers forever.

After the blood has been spilled, a bargain is made. A deal with the devil that should have solved things. It should have fixed everything.

But nothing is free – not love, not innocence, and certainly not freedom. And sooner or later, all debts must be paid…

EXCERPT:

“What do you want, Tommy?” she breathed. So close. So beautiful. With her free hand she took off her glasses and tossed them on the ground. Her eyes, lined in black liner raked over me.

And mine raked over her.

“You,” I said, so raw I was practically inside out. “Just once.”

She laughed low in her throat. “You have a few questions you want answered, do you?” she asked.

“Don’t you?”

“God yes.”

She stepped forward until she was nearly touching me. It took my inhale for my chest to brush hers. I exhaled and our bodies retreated. She inhaled and we touched. Exhaled and retreated.

We each did it again. And then again. Breathing each other in, in turns. Finally it wasn’t enough and I stepped toward her, and my cock pressed against her stomach and she pushed against me. Her breasts and belly imprinted on my skin.

“One time,” she said. “One time and we go back to our lives and get on with things. I’m going to forget you, Tommy. And you’re going to forget me.”

I doubted it, but I wasn’t going to argue. Not with my dick pushed up against the tight muscles of her stomach. Not with her breath, sweet from the pop and the candy she’d eaten, making me crazy.

“I’m serious, Tommy,” she said as if she could read my mind. “I don’t want to be hurt anymore, and I really, really don’t want to hurt you anymore. Promise you’ll forget me.”

“I promise,” I said, because when threatened with the idea of hurting her, I’d agree to anything to stop that. “I’ll forget you, right after I fuck you.”

PREORDER THE DEBT DUET NOW!

LOST WITHOUT YOU – June 19th

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WHERE I BELONG – June 26th

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About the Author:

Molly O’Keefe is an award-winning author of over 30 romance novels. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her family and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America. Sign up for her newsletter to get release day news, exclusive excerpts, sale announcements and in-depth author interviews!

Connect with Molly:

Website: http://www.molly-okeefe.com

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Loving Jade by Roya Carmen

RUBYprintCOVERfinal2

Book: Loving Jade

Series: Riverstone Estate #3

Author: Roya Carmen

Release date: 25 May 2017

Main characters: Jade Williams, ‘trophy’ wife who’s running from her abusive husband. Flynn Riverstone, equine therapist and then man who’s determined to be there for Jade.

Plot: Jade Williams is married to the man of her dreams. He treats her like a princess, he’s always been there for her. But…after his casual violence becomes too much for her to explain away, Jade flees and seeks refuge at the Riverstone estate.

Flynn Riverstone is dedicated to his job and helping re-build his patients’ confidence. The moment he sees Jade he knows he can help her. Under the fancy façade, it’s clear Jade is wounded and he is determined to learn her secrets.

Flynn’s feelings for Jade could compromise his professional life, but he’s never felt what he feels for Jade before. If she feels the same, he’ll find a way for them to be together…let the chips fall as they may.

Why you should read it: This is a strong series – my favourite story so far is Loving Ruby. This is a continuation and a great opportunity to find out more about Flynn, the enigmatic older Riverstone sibling.

What you may not like: Ok. Not going to lie. I didn’t love this book. Why? Well, the relationship between Flynn and Jade was too insta-love for my liking. Considering the situation she’s trying to extricate herself from, it seemed a bit weird that she was so ready to launch into another (albeit healthier) relationship with Flynn. Flynn, one minute is judging Jade on appearances, then the next, he’s apparently smitten. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them at all. I read the words, and they were good words, but I didn’t feel it.

Rating: 3/5 for an ok read. I have loved every book by Roya Carmen so far, so maybe my expectations were a little too high for this one. It didn’t captivate me I’m afraid.

Excerpt

She’s all settled in and it’s that time – time to say goodbye. Damn, I’m going to miss her. I know I’ll be back, but I don’t want to be away from her, even for a single day. Her beautiful green eyes are wet when she looks up me, silently begging me not to go. “Can you stay for another fifteen minutes?” she asks sweetly.
“Yes,” I say, curious. What in the heavens can we do with fifteen minutes – the possibilities are endless.
“I want you,” she says quietly and I get hard instantly at the sound of those three little words. I’ve been waiting for her to ask. I didn’t want to push her after all she’s been through recently, but it’s been days since we’ve made love – it’s all I’ve been thinking about.
I pull her face to mine, and my mouth crashes into hers, hungry. My hands are greedy too, starved for her skin. She drives me wild when the sexiest moan escapes her throat as she presses her small body against mine. I grab the underside of her thigh and hike her up over my hips. She wraps her legs around me and I prop her down on the desk, the desk with the notepad, pen and Bible on it. I swipe all of it off and it falls to the floor in a mess.
She pulls at my shirt, desperate to take it off. I peel it over my shoulders and I’m bare for her. “Fuck, Flynn,” she whispers and trails her hands along the edges of the bruises covering my torso. Then, she kisses them softly. I pull her face to mine again – I miss those sweet lips. “You want it slow and soft on the bed, or right here on the desk?”
She licks her lip playfully. “On the desk.”

Somebody Else’s Sky by Jessica Hawkins

Book: Somebody Else’s Sky

Series: Something in the Way #2

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Release date: 22 May 2017

Main characters: Lake Kaplan, Tiffany Kaplan and Manning Sutter.

Blurb:

If I closed my eyes, I could still see them—all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine—even if it would be for somebody else.

 

Why you should read it: This is the follow up book to Something in the Way, and it’s more angsty, more emotional and more dramatic. Everyone wants to be happy, but it’s clear that someone’s about to get very hurt. As ever, Jessica Hawkins’ writing draws you in and engages you – even if you don’t like what the characters are doing! In this book, we get to know Manning in more depth, how he feels and how his back story has affected him.  We get to know Lake more too – and how she’s developed over the last two years.

What you may not like: Ok. A couple of things – and I may be in the minority here. I didn’t like Manning – at all. He’s been through hell but really his relationships with both Lake and Tiffany are CLEARLY going to cause huge divisions. He made his decision – and I agreed with his reasoning but then he kept acting as though he was Lake’s dad time and time again – he needed to back off! Then there’s Lake – I know we all think we’re grown up at 17 and all, but she is so young. So childish and selfish, as only adolescents can be. She annoyed the hell out of me. Her lack of family loyalty was also very surprising. The only character I really ‘liked’ (or disliked the least) was Tiffany. Why? Because she’s the only one who was honest about her intentions. She’s self-serving in some ways but honestly, she was refreshing!

Rating: 3/5 for a turbulent and make-you-scream-at-your-kindle kind of a read. I am looking forward to seeing how this shitstorm can possibly sort itself out in Move The Stars, which is out in October 2017.

All The Lies We Tell by Megan Hart

coverBook: All The Lies we Tell

Series: Quarry Road #1

Author: Megan Hart

Release date: 1 May 2017

Main characters: Alica Harrison, literally the girl next door. Ilya Stern, her ex-husband, Nikolai Stern, Ilya’s brother and Alicia’s frenemy since childhood.

Plot: Even though Alicia’s marriage to Ilya was doomed to failure, the pair have managed to stay on fairly good terms since their divorce. Which is just as well considering they live on the same street, in their same childhood houses and share a business together.

When Ilya’s grandmother becomes seriously ill, the family reunites under the same roof. Both Ilya’s mother and brother return. This dysfunctional family dynamic becomes even more complicated when it we learn that Alicia and Nikolai have unfinished business – she wants to know why he took such joy in hurting her in the past and she may be surprised by his reasons. Nothing in the Stern household is simple – their past, their present and their futures are inextricably linked, but will they be able to handle the fallout?

Why you should read it: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Megan Hart book – the last one was Beg For it. I’m always excited about a new Megan Hart release and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. All of the characters are complex. They know each other so well, and yet not at all. They carry their baggage like armour and remember past conversations unreliably – and for me, that was very real. The good thing is that the characters actually talk to each other and go some way to straightening out some old issues. I thoroughly enjoyed the complicated relationship between the mother and her sons – it’s atypical and went some way to explaining how Ilya and Nikolai became who they are.

What you may not like: The story is a simple one, set in a small town with plenty of secrets. It’s focused on the same street and two families and it feels very claustrophobic at times. I think it’s deliberate and you can see why one character feels trapped there and another had to flee. I enjoyed the overarching love story that ran alongside the family secrets. The dialogue was good and sucked me in.

Rating: 4/5 for an intriguing family story. I will definitely be reading book 2, All The Secrets we Keep. I have my suspicions about what those secrets could be, but I’m looking forward to seeing whether I’m right or wrong! All The Secrets we Keep will be out on 13 June 2017.

On Point by Annabeth Albert

Two muscular men embraceBook: On Point

Series: Out of Uniform #3

Author: Annabeth Albert

Release date: 5 June 2017

Main characters: Maddox Horvat, the best sniper of his unit, with a soft side. Ben Tovey, his roommate, best friend and inconveniently, the object of Maddox’s affection.

Blurb: Never fall for your best friend… Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too. Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on. Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

Why read it? This is a great series – there’s zero stupid, manufactured drama for drama’s sake, yet it’s a little angsty, the characters are a little unsure of themselves and the story was very exciting. I enjoyed getting to know Maddox and Ben – they balanced each other and brought out the best and at times the worst in each other. Their character development was just right in my opinion and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Their chemistry is one of the sexiest things I’ve read in a long time – and it wasn’t in a hurry to get to the finish either.

What might you not enjoy? If you like insta-love and a race to HEA then this book may frustrate you a little. I don’t like my HEAs sewn up too quickly, but some folks do. Other than that, it was an engaging, entertaining and really romantic read.

Rating: 4/5 for a thoroughly enjoyable tale and trusting someone and having the courage to take that leap of faith.