Tag: plucky heroines

Blog tour: Magic Man by Ashley Hastings

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Book: Magic Man

Series: a standalone, but earlier books feature the same characters.

Author: Ashley Hastings

Release date: 10 September 2018

Main characters: Millie Carter, single mother and horse whisperer. Maxwell – her new boss, and the man determined to make her his.

Blurb:

Trauma. Two broken souls. And a chance at love they didn’t see coming.

Millie is a single mom who doesn’t have the time – or the trust – to date. After experiencing a violent assault as a teen, she’s determined to move on and stay focused on what’s important. But when she meets the mysterious Maxwell, Millie starts to rethink her priorities.

Maxwell is her enigmatic boss who always seems to know exactly what Millie’s thinking. No stranger to trauma himself, he’s spent his entire life alone. Until he meets his new employee, Millie.

With one look, Maxwell knows she and her daughter are his one chance at happiness. Driven and determined, he wants to give Millie everything she ever wanted, along with the love she didn’t know she needed.

Millie will have to choose between the safe world she has created and the chance to build a new life with the man of her dreams. But can she trust Maxwell with her heart or is he running a scam?

Can two individuals overcome their traumatic pasts and find love?

Don’t miss Magic Man by Ashley Hastings. If you like steamy romance with a dash of darkness, then this book will have you staying up late to finish reading Maxwell and Millie’s love story.

Find out what happens when two broken souls discover something they never knew they were looking for…

Why you should read it: This book is super cute. It’s my first Ashley Hastings read and I enjoyed the narrative –  the relationship between mother and daughter was sweet, and touching. Millie is a good mum who is desperate to give her daughter the life she deserves. She’s had a rough start in life, but by sheer force of will, she’s managed to get her life in order, which is quite inspiring. The chemistry between Millie and Maxwell was a slow burner on one hand, insta-love on the other. Maxwell seems to know what he wants, whereas Millie has to try and keep her feet on the ground for her daughter’s sake, if not her own. Overall, the book had very little drama – it was a straightforward, low-angst read. Man meets woman, man gets woman, it looks a bit shaky for a moment when man does something to upset woman, man and woman reconcile.

What you may not like: As I’ve mentioned, it was a truly sweet read. So sweet, that at times I was a little nonplussed by it all. The magical elements in the book didn’t work for me 100% and the grand gesture near the end gave me toothache. It’s not the book, it’s me. I can’t do too much sentiment. I’m a cynical Brit! These reasons notwithstanding, it’s a lighthearted, cute read. If you want a break from your usual, angst-ridden, dark romances, give this short read a try.

Rating: 3/5 – likeable characters, some sexy times that were very hot, and some good ole fashioned romance!

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The Tycoon by M. O’Keefe

The TycoonBook: The Tycoon

Series: King Family #1

Author: M. O’Keefe

Release date: 12 July 2018

Main characters: Clayton Rorick, successful businessman determined to make his mark. Veronica King, daughter of the not-so-great magnate Hank King, and unwitting pawn in his games.

Blurb:

The cruel and beautiful man who ruined my life has everything he wants—everything except me. 

Five years ago, Clayton Rorick loved me. Or so I thought. Turned out he only wanted to get his hands on my daddy’s company. Heartbroken, I ran away with nothing but the clothes on my back. Like a twisted Cinderella. When my father dies, leaving my sisters in a desperate situation, it’s up to me to help them. 

I’ll have to beg the man who broke my heart to save us. 

But Clayton hasn’t forgotten me and what he wants in exchange for his help is…my body, my heart and my soul. 

Why you should read it: Oh My goodness! I freaking loved this book –  I really will read anything by Molly O’Keefe, because she never disappoints. I loved Ronnie so much – the way she keeps what’s left of her family together, how she picked herself up and wasn’t a victim, and how she protects her heart from the man who destroyed it. Her attitude and her moxie were pitch perfect – she knew when to run and when to stay and fight.

Clayton made me go awwwww. He’s a powerful man, but deep down he’s still got a lot of growing up to do. I don’t mean he was immature, I just mean that he needed to fully develop his heart and his capacity for relationships. He started off enigmatic and you’re not quite sure of his motivations, but then we get to know him, and I admit that I fell for him – just a little bit! I loved the gentle humour in the book – for example:

“Listen to me,” she begged. “Please. You’re forgetting what it was like because you’re drunk on sex. But this guy lied to you. Over and over again. I’m telling you as a person who’s had way too much experience with liars—he won’t stop.”

“He had his reasons and they were complicated.” I said. I hadn’t explained Clayton’s relationship with his father except to tell her that Dale made our father look like Mr. Rogers. “He’s kind of like a feral cat. I’m just trying to get him up on the porch.”

“You’re comparing your fiancé to a feral cat in an effort to convince me to approve?” she asked.

“Well, you’re a little feral yourself.”

What you might not like: Not sure – it’s short – it left me wanting more. There are two more books in the series written by S. Doyle and Julie Kriss – just look at those beautiful covers! I think it’s a great concept for each author to take a different story, focusing on a different family member – it will be interesting to see how those stories mesh together.

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Rating: 4/5 for an intriguing, page-turning, sexy read! A great series to get into on your holidays.

 

Blog Tour: Only With You by Lauren Layne

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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.

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