Tag: contemporary romance

Blog tour: The Wrong Kind of Love by Lexi Ryan

Book: The Wrong Kind of Love

Series: The Boys of Jackson Harbor #1

Author: Lexi Ryan

Release date: 12 February 2018

Main characters: Nicole Maddox, the wronged would-be bride and incurable romantic, Ethan Jackson, her one-night distraction, who becomes so much more.

Plot: Nicole Maddox has always had a bad track record with love, but she keeps trying. When the most recent disaster involves her twin sister admitting she’s pregnant, and the father is Nicole’s fiancé – enough is enough. It’s time to get out of Dodge.

She grabs her sister’s bag by mistake but decides to hop on the plane her sister was supposed to take to her new life. A new town where nobody knows her could be just the thing.

Her first night in Jackson Harbor has her drowning her sorrows and also trying hard not to stare at the brooding-but-devastatingly-handsome-stranger in the bar. She doesn’t need any more issues with the opposite sex, but maybe he could temporarily distract her from her life that has just imploded…

When Nicole resolves to stick around in Jackson Harbor for a while to lick her wounds – an opportunity presents itself. A job as a nanny to a little girl, that her sister was supposed to be starting. Taking it means having to pretend to be her, a masquerade she’s not altogether comfortable with, but needs must. When her boss turns out to be Dr. Ethan Jackson – aka the brooding god in the bar, Nicole’s love life goes from complicated to impossible. Can she stop herself from falling and keep track of all the lies piling up around her?

Why you should read it: Oh my goodness! This book made me feel everything! Your heart will break for Nicole – she gets treated so badly, when all she ever wanted was a home, a family and love. You’ll laugh at the situations she finds herself in and you’ll swoon with her interactions with Ethan. (When they’re not killing each other.) This book had it all. I’d tear up one chapter, laugh out loud the next and fan myself in others. It also leads nicely into the other books which will feature Ethan’s brothers. (More hot demi-gods – help!) They’re all gorgeous!

What you may not like: It’s not all sunshine and roses. The book does deal with some very serious issues – depression is becoming ever more prevalent in our society and the way the author dealt with the subject matter in this book was smart and reverent. I don’t know what you wouldn’t like about the story – it was water tight in my opinion.

Rating: 5/5 for a gripping, romantic, sad and sexy story. I can’t wait for more in this series!

The Trouble With Love by Lauren Layne

the trouble with loveBook: The Trouble With Love

Series: Sex, Love and Stiletto #4

Author: Lauren Layne

Format: Netgalley ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Emma Sinclair has adjusted to life in the Big Apple. She’s barely recognisable as the North Carolina southern belle she used to be. Determined to shed her former life, she now has the unfortunate reputation for being…well, a little ‘cold’. A mystery even to her closest friends, Emma’s past is something she’s not comfortable discussing, however, when Alex Cassidy steps in as interim editor-in-chief of Stiletto magazine, any hope of avoidance proves futile. Alex isn’t just her boss – he’s her ex-fiancé, and he’s determined to get some answers.

Alex Cassidy is convinced he’s over Emma Sinclair. It’s been seven years since she threw her engagement ring at him and told him she never wanted to see him again. So how is it that she has a slightly different version of events? Alex wants answers, so when he assigns Emma an article about all of her exes, he isn’t quite prepared for the emotional fallout. Will these two ever find the closure they’re looking for, or will they just make the same mistakes again?

Why you should read this: If you’ve followed my reviews of the other three books in the series – you’ll love this one! In my humble opinion, this is perhaps the best one in the series. The sheer build-up and emotional angst, balances so well with the humour and the inclusion of some well-loved secondary characters. I adore this series for the friendships, the positive female characterisations and the smokin’ hot heroes. This book is no exception.

What you might hate: I don’t know how you feel about second-chance romances? Usually they irritate the hell out of me, but this one was spot on. We have a feisty heroine, who you’ll either love and empathise with or hate for being distant. I totally got Emma, so I love her, but depending on where you stand on this will probably affect your enjoyment of the story.

Rating: 4/5 – made me smile, laugh and feel good inside. Lots of great dialogue and banter. A great read.

The Trouble With Love is out on March 3rd.

Made For You by Lauren Layne

Made for YouBook: Made For You

Author: Lauren Layne

Series: The Best Mistake #2

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Brynn Dalton has it all it would seem. She’s attractive, refined and always does the right thing in the right situation. She also thrives on lists. She knows where she should be in life, but when her thirty-first birthday rolls around and her current situation doesn’t fit with her life plan, she’s about to meltdown. According to the list, she should have been married for a year and be about to start a family. With a boyfriend who’s perfect on paper, but can’t stir any emotion within her, Brynn is forced to re-evaluate her carefully planned life.

Will Thatcher left Seattle three years ago, after spending a hot if ill-advised night with Brynn. Unable to get her out of his system, even though she regrets their night together, he’s back for more. He’s determined to make the rigid and boring Brynn realise that he is the only man for her. If only he can get her to live a little and give him a chance…

Why you should read this: If you read book one, Only With You (and enjoyed it) you’ll really enjoy this story. For me, Brynn and Will are a more interesting and angsty couple than perhaps Sophie and Gray. Brynn is obsessed with keeping on track, living by the laws she’s made for herself. She’s uptight and prim, but she also has a heart and when you know why she is the way she is, you do sympathise with her. She’s so blind to the fact that Will is head-over-heels for her, which is pretty comical. Will is hot! Super-hot. He’s a fun character, with more than a little vulnerability under the surface. Great hero.

What you might hate: Ok, Brynn is pretty clueless, which you’ll either love or hate. She doesn’t think much of herself, therefore she can’t quite believe anyone would think much of her either. This may or may not rub you the wrong way, but I think Lauren Layne struck the right balance.

Rating: 4/5 for me. Parts made me actually quite sad, but the antics, the schemes and the drama that ensued really made me fall for this book and the characters in general.

Made For You is out October 28th.

No Weddings by Kat and Stone Bastion

noweddingsBook: No Weddings

Author: Kat & Stone Bastion

Series: (No Weddings #1)

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Cade Michaelson is a hotshot entrepreneur and Business major. Together with his sisters, they want to create an event-planning business called Invitation Only. They’ll provide top-notch parties for the privileged class they grew up with – but with one stipulation: they don’t do weddings. Cade has his own reasons for this – a past hurt that even two years later, he can’t seem to shake. For the business to fully take shape, they need a partner who will provide the desserts for each event.

Hannah Martin has recently opened her bakery and dreams of growing the business. After several careful negotiations with Cade, she’s tempted by more than the opportunity. After spending more and more time together, the pair realise just how much they’re drawn to each other, but are both aware of the implications and the impact it could have on business. Hannah is also nursing scars of her own and doesn’t want to be another notch on Cade’s bedpost. Just friends it is…

Why you should read this: This is book one in what is set to be a fun series. The attraction between Cade and Hannah is palpable and it gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘slow burn’. The dialogue is pithy and the husband and wife writing team made both the male and female main characters realistic.

What you might hate: For me, I’m used to a little bit more action in my books – even if it is the first in a series. We find out the character’s secrets and why they feel unable to move forward, but other than that…there’s not a whole lot that happens. Which is fine, if you want a break from machinating exes and villains but, it fell a bit flat for me.

Rating: I give No Weddings 3/5 – it was fun, sexy and very sweet in parts. Am I curious about the rest of the series? Not sure yet.

No Weddings is out on 8 September.

noweddingseries

No Weddings – Sep 8th
One Funeral – Sep 29th
Two Bar Mitzvahs – Oct 20th
Three Christmases – Nov 17th

Blog Tour: Only With You by Lauren Layne

Only-with-You-Blog-Tour

 

We’re so happy to be one of the stops on Lauren Layne’s blog tour. If you haven’t read Only With You yet, below is our review, a teaser and you could win a copy in our competition. Click here to enter.

COVER-Only with You

Book: Only With You

Author: Lauren Layne

Series: The Best Mistake #1

Format: Kindle ARC

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

 

Basic story: Sophie Dalton is drifting, or in the words of her loser ex-boyfriend, she’s floating aimlessly through life. Despite having two degrees under her belt, neither careers were what she wanted to do, so she’s a waitress until she figures things out. Her family treats her like the disappointment of the family – she’s nothing like her perfect big sister Brynne and her parents take every opportunity to hammer that point home. Things can’t get much worse for Sophie. Or so she thinks.

At a particularly tacky bachelorette party in Vegas, Sophie decides to channel her inner party girl and dress up. The plan backfires when a sexy, tall and brooding man in the elevator mistakes her for a hooker. Her already low opinion of herself plummets further. It’s time to re-evaluate her priorities and get her life back on track.

That horrible night comes back to haunt Sophie when her sister Brynne invites her new boyfriend to dinner. Grayson Wyatt is stunned to see her again, minus her hooker gear. Sophie cannot believe her bad luck. When she is inveigled into working for the jerk, things go from bad, to worse, to interesting.

Why you should read this: I’m a huge fan of Lauren Layne – she always nails the balance between light and fun reads but always brings an element of pathos to her characters. Sophie is a really fun character – she’s a people-pleaser with the ability to diffuse tense situations. She also has a very low opinion of herself. I felt for her at times – Grayson is really hard work and definitely not a people-person. I liked Grayson because he was different. He’s not a perfect character. He’s not an alpha with all the answers. He’s a bit of a disaster area really. No social skills and unsure of how to handle his attraction to Sophie. The tension between the two of them is off the charts. Prepare for a looooong wait before they sort themselves out though!

What you might hate: At times Grayson’s mixed signals gave me whiplash – one minute he wants Sophie, then he hates Sophie and thinks her sister is more his speed. He’s a completely hopeless character, but once he shows his vulnerability, you can’t help but root for him a little bit.

Rating: 3.5/5 for a fun, quick read with plenty of mind-games, banter and it also has some likable peripheral characters who we’ll see more of in Made For You, book two in the series.

Only With You is out on July 29th.

 Excerpt:

They grabbed their wineglasses and headed toward the

sound of Brynn’s smooth alto voice and the sharper squawk

that generally meant Marnie was in full-out “impress” mode.

Sophie hoped her sister’s new man-friend was adept at

flattery and pleasant niceties, because he was going to need

a hefty dose of social skills to maneuver his new girlfriend’s

overprotective father and eager-for-grand-babies mother.

She shuffled after Will into the “drawing room,” mentally

preparing herself for mind-numbing conversation with one

of Brynn’s adoring drones.

 Sophie halted to a stop so suddenly that some of her wine

sloshed over the edge of her glass and onto Marnie’s pristine

white carpet.

 Her mother made an exasperated sound, but a little

spilled Chardonnay was the least of Sophie’s worries.

 It was him.

 The man from the Las Vegas elevator standing in front

of her like some sort of icy-eyed ghost. And he had an arm

around her sister’s waist.

Oh, holy crap.

The aged gouda she’d just swallowed began churning in

the wine tsunami of her stomach.

Will pinched her upper arm none too gently, and Sophie

belatedly realized that her sister had finished introductions.

Everybody was staring at her, including Mr. I’m Not

Looking for an Escort Service. She had so not missed that

deadly sexy gaze. Emphasis on the “deadly” part. Still, it

was reassuring that he too looked a bit shell-shocked. He

didn’t say a word, but based on what she knew of him, she

didn’t really expect him to.

 The ball was clearly in her court.

Buying links: AmazonB&NiTunesBAM!Indiebound

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne writes contemporary romance for Grand Central Publishing (Forever) and Random House (Loveswept).

After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Lauren moved to New York City where she now writes full time.

Lauren graduated from Santa Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. She lives with her husband and plus-sized pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Website I Facebook  I Twitter

Blog Tour: Addicted by Tracy Wolff

Addicted Blog Tour BannerBook: ADDICTED (An Ethan Frost Novel #2)

A Loveswept New Adult Romance

Author: Tracy Wolff

On sale: July 15, 2014

Find ADDICTED on Goodreads

“I’m allowed to be sorry that the woman I love has been through hell, I’m allowed to be fucking furious that my brother is the one who hurt you. And I’m damn sure allowed to want to make things better for you.” – Ethan Frost.

Blurb:

As Chloe Girard discovers, there’s love . . . and then there’s addiction.

Ethan Frost is everything a woman could want in a man. He’s rich, gorgeous, powerful, one of the most eligible bachelors in the world.

But that’s not why I’m with him.

I love Ethan for all the things no one else gets to see: his innate kindness, his reckless spontaneity, his unwavering determination to use his brilliance for good. I love the way he looks at me, the way he touches me. The way he makes me forget the wreckage of my past and the twisted fear that still lives inside me.

But sometimes it terrifies me how much I crave him, how much I need him just to breathe. I always thought it would be my past that ruined us, but there’s a darkness in Ethan I never dreamed existed. Can we survive as his secrets surface—threatening to unravel us both?

Get your copy of ADDICTED

Amazon  |  B&N Nook  |  ibookstore  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  |  Other retailers

Review

I have been waiting to see what happened between Chloe and Ethan for months. If you’ve read Ruined, you’ll know that it ended on one hell of a cliffhanger and making us wait for months was just plain mean! Chloe and Ethan have an awful lot of baggage to work through and even though they love each other so completely, will that be enough to overcome the odds stacked against them?

Why you should read it: Addicted gives the reader the chance to get to know both Ethan and Chloe a lot better. I’ll be honest, I was not a huge fan of Chloe’s in Ruined, but in this conclusion to the story, she’s stronger, more open and she really comes into her own as a heroine. She is no longer in awe of the powerful Ethan Frost – he’s human, he’s vulnerable and he has a habit of keeping secrets from Chloe. The way she faces up to her problems, when before she would have just run away, really shows how she’s grown during their time together. I found I had a lot more patience with her this time around.

Ethan is the ultimate hero – he’s a philanthropist, he’s kind, patient and would do anything for Chloe. All you could want in a hero and buckets more. He’s tested in this book as his family is responsible for a lot of the past traumas Chloe has suffered. He’s determined to make it right, but doesn’t always go about it the right way!

What you might hate: I enjoyed this story more than Ruined, but you may be left exasperated by the back and forth between the couple. This is natural and I like that the characters even made reference to how much they keep breaking up and making up! The sex is off the charts hot in this book – normally I dislike that amount if I feel that it gets in the way of the story. I don’t feel that this was the case here, but some plot lines were left hanging and I felt like the author ran out of time to tie up loose ends. What happened to Brandon? Did Chloe continue with law school? It was a bit rushed in the end, which was a pity.

Rating: 3.5/5 for a satisfyingly hot conclusion and a pair of troubled yet loveable characters. And also kudos to Tracy for ending the series after two books and not feeling that pressure to trilogise! (Is that a word? It is now.)

ADDICTED GIVEAWAY

Loveswept is sponsoring a sexy giveaway for ADDICTED! You could win a $25 giftcard or a copy of Ruined – go to our Facebook page (see the giveaway tab for more details).

 ABOUT TRACY WOLFF

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff lives inTracy_Wolff Texas and teaches writing at her local community college. She is married and the mother of three young sons.

Connect with Tracy Facebook |Twitter

 

Nowhere but Here by Renée Carlino

nowherebuthereBook: Nowhere but Here

Author: Renée Carlino

Publisher: Atria Books

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Kate Corbin is struggling under the weight of grief and finding her place in the world. She’s a reporter at a popular Chicago newspaper but according to her Editor, she’s lost her spark. With no family and few friends to speak of, she’s haunted by the idea that she’s all she has.

When her Editor hands her an assignment to interview the reclusive and enigmatic R.J. Lawson, she’s unconvinced she’ll be the one to draw him out. Fiercely private and media-shy, R.J. Lawson has granted a rare opportunity in allowing her onto the grounds of his winery.

After a disastrous journey to the vineyard, Kate meets Jamie, one of the winery’s staff who seems to do a bit of everything. They hit it off immediately, and when it becomes clear that R. J won’t be answering any of her questions, they spend more and more time together. Will Kate be able to find her spark again? Is she all she has? For the first time in her life, she is made to reevaluate her initial assessment…

Why you should read this: I was drawn to this story – not sure why, but I know that I like Renée’s writing style. I’d enjoyed Sweet Thing (all except for the heroine) so I knew that there’d be a strong story there. I really liked Kate – she’s depressed sure, but the way she phrases things and behaves made me smile. She was fun and the peripheral characters were well-developed too. I felt as though I knew these people. Jamie for me was a sweet, sexy and enigmatic character. I enjoyed the fun that he and Kate had together. For me it was the right balance of sexy and sweet. You’ll have to make up your own mind.

What you might hate: I hate schmaltz and sickly sweet stories. For me, the story was perhaps a little too neatly wrapped up at the end and I can see why some found it super-sweet, but I still loved it! Trust me, I’m not one of those people who cries at book trailers or wells up at the thought of her favourite book boyfriend. I just loved the underlying message in the book: you may feel that it’s safer to be alone, but it’ll suck. Big time!

Rating: I’m giving this a 5/5 which is rare for me I know. Perhaps if I’d been in a bad mood while reading it I would have felt differently? Who knows? It made me happy, made me smile and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Nowhere but Here is out now.

Her Best Laid Plans by Cara McKenna

Her Best Laid PlansBook: Her Best Laid Plans

Author: Cara McKenna

Series: Cosmo Hot Reads (short stories)

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Jamie Webb is newly-dumped and in Ireland on a holiday that was supposed to be taken with her best friend. Alone in the middle of nowhere, Jamie is convinced that the trip will be a bust. The local pub is full of senior citizens and she’d happily drive to the nearest town if she could conquer a stick shift and face driving on the wrong side of the road.

Nursing her pint of Guinness and contemplating her luck, in walks the sexiest bartender she’s ever seen. It doesn’t hurt that he’s the only guy under thirty for miles. Connor Kelleher makes Jamie want to throw caution to the wind and go for it. She deserves a holiday fling. Nine days of flirtation and sex, then back to the real world. Each will be left with a warm memory. Connor is exactly what she is looking for – fun, cocky and he wants exactly the same as she does out of life. A no strings attached fling to turn a good holiday into a great holiday. But the more time the pair spend together, Jamie begins to wonder whether leaving will be that easy…

Why you should read this: If you haven’t read any Cara McKenna before, then you are in for a treat. The woman is super smart and writes male characters really well. She made Connor sizzle – he was the right blend of sexy, shy and cocky – such a great balance. Jamie was a likeable, funny heroine – she gave great banter and was someone we all know. The story is sweet, oh-so very sexy and just so much fun. She writes about Ireland with authority and the dialogue is authentic and spot on. I didn’t want it to end but I finished it with a great sense of satisfaction and a goofy smile on my face. I may have to return to Ireland sooner than I thought, if the male citizens are half this hot!

What you might hate: Absolutely nothing to hate on here – loved it! And yes, I have a huge need to go and buy Ms McKenna’s entire back catalogue!

Rating: Easily 5/5. It made me smile, feel warm and fuzzy when I really needed cheering up. Awesomely hot, hot, hot. Read it!

Her Best Laid Plans is out on April 15th.

Live by Mary Ann Rivers

Live

Book: Live

Author: Mary Ann Rivers

Series: The Burnside Series #1

Review by: Onnica

Basic Story: Destiny Burnside is usually chipper, undaunted by life’s obstacles and always offering support to her family and friends. Each day, she gets up and heads to the town library to begin her job search and do all she can to secure a new role. She’s had to sell her car and laptop in order to make rent and is finding life pretty tough. Her only respite from going through the daily motions is gazing secretly at the handsome carver who is working on a project at the library. Who is he? And what would she do if he ever looked her way?

Hefin Thomas is a long way from home. Having left his Welsh homeland in order to marry his holiday fling, he’s struggling in Lakeland, Ohio. He’s lost his identity and one failed marriage later, his faith in ever finding himself is hanging by a thread. He decides he has to get back on track – leave Ohio, get back home and get his dreams and his life back on track. When he notices Destiny’s meltdown after yet another rejection letter he has two choices: walk away and pretend not to notice, or go to her.

They agree to see each other until he goes back to Wales, knowing that goodbyes will be painful, but neither heed the warnings. Hefin is drawn more and more to Destiny and her world and is no longer sure the act of saying goodbye will be possible at all…

Why you should read this: If you’re a fan of Mary Ann Rivers’ writing, then you should take a look. It’s pure poetry – the way she can describe a simple act like a smile is beautiful. She is so talented at painting a vivid picture of the landscape and the characters’ state of mind. This is an introduction to the Burnside family and Des is a great heroine. She’s neither a martyr, a doormat nor a bitch – she’s great and the way she opens her heart to those she loves is so touching. Hefin – I don’t think I’ve read too many stories with a Welsh sex god as the hero! He’s lovely, a decent human being who just wants to live and find a life for himself and find someone to love. He’s adorable.

What you might hate: It took me a while to get into the rhythm of the book, I’ll be honest. The poetry of each gesture I mentioned earlier sometimes held up the action and the book’s progress for me. This series is going to be a family saga I think, and book one definitely lays the foundations for a heart-wrenching series that will follow. Des’s family is in crisis and for the first half of the book I was wondering how it would end. There are dark times for the Burnside clan and sometimes it was a little depressing. Or maybe I’m just a wuss who’s used to froth, but I don’t think so.

Rating: For the book’s beauty, the loveliness of the main characters and the hopeful second half of the book, I’m giving this book 3/5. The author clearly went to great pains researching all things Welsh and I admire that a great deal. Read when you’re in a good mood, rather than feeling down or the first half could be tough!

Live is out now.

Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young

BJLBook: Before Jamaica Lane

Author: Samantha Young

Series: On Dublin Street #3

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Olivia Holloway is settling down to her new life in Edinburgh with her father. She enjoys the sense of family she’s found in her father and friends Nate, Joss, Braden and Jo. Finally, she has a support system, even though the ongoing grief she feels at having lost her mother remains. She has a new job at the University library which keeps her busy. If only she could get over her crippling shyness with the opposite sex, life would be perfect…

Nate Sawyer is Olivia’s best friend. Since her arrival in Scotland, they’ve been inseparable – they just get each other. Nate has a reputation as a ladykiller, loving the ladies and leaving them. He never makes them promises he has no intention keeping. Olivia is drawn to the handsome Nate, but values his friendship above all else. However, he may be the one person who can break down her fears and shyness. When he accepts her proposal to teach her how to flirt and be confident in herself, well, that’s when things get interesting…

Why you should read this: If you (like me) are a huge Samantha Young fan, then reading this book is a no-brainer. Personally, I think this book could be even better than On Dublin Street – and believe me, that takes some doing. In this book, we learn all about Olivia, who was briefly introduced in Down London Road. But then you get all of the ensemble characters too – the ones you’ve grown to love from On Dublin Street and Until Fountain Bridge – so this book feels like meeting up with long-lost friends. I loved the happy banter and friendship between Olivia and Nate. They’re funny and care about each other so much. I believed their characters and I happily cringed along with Olivia’s embarrassing moments. Nate was off-the-charts sexy and yet likeable at the same time. You discover why he is the way he is and it’s very touching.

What you might hate: Nothing to hate on here for me. You may find Olivia a little belligerent towards the end but she’s just trying to safeguard her heart! Beyond that, it was a perfect read for me – I’ve read four Samantha Young books in the past week and they’ve all been exceptional. I think I may also be a wee bit obsessed…

Rating: Easiest decision ever. 5/5 panty-melting stars. (Ok, that was gross – apologies) The chemistry between Liv and Nate is hot, hot, hot and it never lets up. A touching, gritty read, set in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. Next time I head up to Edinburgh, I’ll be waiting for Nate, not Braden!