Wednesday, August 16, 2017

seriously romantic: so bad it must be good by nicole helm

kayla gallagher has finally freed herself from her overbearing family. that was step one. the problem is that she isn't sure she knows what step two is. when she runs into liam patrick at the farmer's market she had conceived for her family's restaurant she's feeling vulnerable and lost. it had been her idea but her father and grandmother had bulldozed over her dreams to get what they wanted and now she had no part of it.

she's known liam since they were kids, she's crushed on his brother aiden for about that long, and when he shows up and teasingly asks for her number she thinks why not? aiden is flirtatious and funny and easy to be around. spending any amount of time with liam has her feeling wrong. she's antsy and insecure and tongue-tied. and she can't shake the feeling that he's judging her finding her wanting.

but when aiden stands her up and sends liam in his place, she finally sees him in a new light. because the truth is, he doesn't find her wanting. he just doesn't know what to say to the girl he's always been afraid to break. liam has a thing for fixing things. and kayla has never needed his fixing, so he's always been unsure.

in so bad it must be good, kayla and liam realize that those uncomfortable tingles are actually sparks of chemistry and once those sparks are ignited it's like they've finally found safe haven. because before you know it they are in a full-fledged relationship. and while they both have some lifelong patterns of behavior they need to work on, one thing they realize is that they are much better off together than apart. and sure they have to have some epiphanies and whatnot, but at the end of the day, they are perfect for each other. and i loved that.

**so bad it must be good will publish on august 22, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/kensington books (lyrical press) in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

superbly suspenseful: seeing red by sandra brown

i've been reading sandra brown since i was in college and her suspense stories are generally filled with just enough terror and the perfect amount of sexiness. in seeing red, major trapper is a national hero. beloved and admired by one and all. but the bombing he helped save people from still has secrets that haven't been revealed.

kerra bailey, the young girl in his arms in an iconic photograph of the event—and now a news reporter at a dallas-based television station—is one of those secrets. the true perpetrators of the crime are the other secret—a secret major trapper's son, john, suspects will put his father's life in danger.
when the major is shot at his front door the evening his interview with kerra airs, everything goes haywire. kerra was in the house and barely escapes with her life.

from that moment john, who goes by trapper, is on the case. he knows that whatever is happening now has links back to the bombing that put kerra and the major in each other's orbit. and he's not going to rest until the truth has come to light. kerra and trapper have this insane chemistry that brings them closer even as the situation intensifies.

in the end this is a well written, enjoyable romantic suspense novel. pretty much what i expected when i requested it. i have no regrets.

**seeing red will publish august 15, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy netgalley/grand central publishing in exchange for my honest review.   

Monday, August 14, 2017

seriously romantic: don't call me sweetheart by codi gary

there are a lot of things marley stevenson shouldn't be doing in don't call me sweetheart. number one is letting luke jessup call her sweetheart. he shouldn't be calling her anything at all given that he's the groomsman on the wedding she's just been hired to act as maid-of-honor on. there's an non-disclosure agreement that says that she can't tell him the truth about her job and a code of conduct that says no funny business with the groomsmen.

the thing is, she needs this job. the bonus that she'll receive will allow her to move out of sweetheart and onto her dream job at a publishing house in new york. but luke proves himself too tempting. and also too kind. he's there for her every single time she needs him. even when she'd rather he not stick around he comes through for her. and soon it's hard to remember why it's so important she push him away.

she keeps trying though. she pushes him away and then forgets and pulls him back in. and poor luke is all turned inside out. he doesn't understand why she blows so hot and cold with him. but he likes her and keeps giving the possibility of what they might have together a chance. she pushes so hard she makes him doubt his sanity. except he's so sure that what they have together is something worth fighting for.

but he can't do all the fighting on his own. at some point marley needs to do some fighting too. and maybe that fight means she needs to readjust some of her dreams. but sometimes what we think we want isn't what we actually need. and sometimes new dreams are better than anything our old dreams could have ever hoped to be. these are two lessons marley needs to learn before she can be with luke, but once she figures this out, then all she needs to do is win him back.

**don't call me sweetheart will publish on august 15, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/kensington books (lyrical shine) in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

seriously romantic: how to marry a marquess by stacy reid

when richard maitland, the marquess of westfall first met evie chesterfield he knew that she was not for him. she was too young. too innocent. too good. he'd already been burned by what he thought was love once. and he'd already vowed to never marry and never let his heart get involved again.

and sure there were moments where he wondered. where he yearned for more with evie. but those close calls only served to reaffirm his resolve. he wasn't going to give evie a chance for anything real. but what he doesn't count on is the pressure on evie to finally marry. she's a young woman of the ton, her duty is to get married. not only because it is what is expected, but also because it is the only way for her to pay her way. daughters are financial burdens until they marry and become someone else's problem.

in how to marry a marquess, evie decides it's finally time to take matter into her own hands. she's never fully understood richard's hesitation. she knows in her heart of hearts that he feels the same love for her as she does for him. he tries to keep her at arm's length, but he's been denying himself for so long it's only a matter of time before she wears him down.

and even still he doesn't have it in him to believe that evie is strong enough to stand up to society by his side. and part of his doubt stems from his need to protect her from those who would cut her. but part of it is also his inability to trust anyone but himself. and it's this distrust that almost kills evie. realizing how little he thinks of her breaks her heart. and the thing of it is, she could almost understand how deep his damage is, but he knows her. he is the one person she has shared all of herself with, and if that is not enough then nothing will be.

but when the prospect of losing evie forever is forced on richard, he realizes that he's been criminally stupid and unfair. he loves evie. she loves him. they can withstand anything society throws at them. he just has to have enough faith to believe that together they are stronger than they are apart. and while his scars run deep, the deepest cut to his heart would be losing evie for good, and so he must redeem himself. and when he does, it's pretty spectacular.

**how to marry a marquess will publish on august 14, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (scandalous) in exchange for my honest review. 

seriously romantic: the wolf of kisimul castle by heather mccollum

when mairi maclean is kidnapped on her wedding day she's understandably upset. it's not that she was all that excited about marrying greg mcinnes. but it has been her choice. being kidnapped puts her on the no power end of things. and when alec macneil informs her that he intends to make her his bride, she's decidedly noncompliant. but for a kidnapper alec is not all that comfortable with the idea of forcing someone to do something against their will.

marrying mairi would solve a whole host of problems for alec. for one, the mclean clan won't be out for blood. for another, his kids need someone to mother them. and he's also so damnably lonely. he might be the wolf of kisimul castle, but he's also a man. and mairi is beautiful, but more than that, she is kind and she is challenging. and knowing her has changed his entire perspective on things.

in some ways it's as if she releases him from a self-imposed prison. she is the first person to recognize the loneliness in him, maybe because she is guilty of the same stubbornness that he is. it almost derails things, that stubbornness. neither of them is willing to give in, they are both too proud, too steadfast in their beliefs, in what they believe their duty to be. it's not until they are forced to face the strength of those convictions that they are able to see that maybe there is another way.

love will always give you another way if you want it enough. this is the kind of sweeping, epic scottish romance that i love. there is drama and thrills outside of the romance, which i love because enjoy it when the characters recognize their feelings early on and never doubt them. external obstacles can always be overcome and watching true love beat all is why i read romance  novels.

**the wolf of kisimul castle will publish on august 14, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (scandalous) in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

seriously romantic: her sexy challenge by sarah ballance

the first book in the firefighters of station 1 series, her sexy challenge, starts things off hot. caitlyn tyler moves to dry rock, colorado intent on opening her dream used bookstore. the only problem is that the way into town involves a bridge. and even worse it's a bridge over rushing water. she might just have a pathological fear of bridges. and her first attempt to conquer said fear results in the fire department being called out to rescue a possible jumper. when shane hendricks basically teases and flirts her off the ledge she's not quite sure what to make of him.

he's not quite sure why he keeps seeking her out either. she's kind of a mess. and he's supposed to be leaving town in two weeks. and it's been his dream to leave for so long. meeting the girl that makes him pause in this moment isn't fair. how can he be sure that she's the one to make his dreams come true.

so he tells himself that he's just going to make sure she's conquered her fears. mainly to avoid the drain on city resources. but also because he can't help wanting to be with her every chance he gets. the thing is, they did just meet. so giving up his dream of denver for her isn't actually the right thing to do. everyone else in his life is certain that denver is a mistake. but maybe it's a mistake he needs to make in order to know for sure.

this novel also sets up the series, introducing us to the other firefighters who are likely to get their own stories. they are all sexy and delightful, so i'm looking forward to more.

**her sexy challenge will publish on august 14, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (lovestruck) in exchange for my honest review.

seriously romantic: ten days with the highlander by hayson manning

when georgia paxton turns up in the middle of nowhere scotland to convince callum macgregor to partner up with her company in order to take his tiny hotel into the next level she doesn't expect to have to pitch a hard sell. callum finds georgia sexy and charming, but he has no interest in selling her his hotel. he isn't interested in modernizing the place. he wants to restore it.

but he's also not quite ready to send the sexy american on her way. he wants her to fall in love with the place, to understand where he is coming from. so he proposes ten days with the highlander, and she agrees. she thinks the extra time will change his mind.

and here's the thing, both georgia and callum have a point. they just need to figure out how to compromise. but georgia is so intent on avoiding putting down roots and callum is so intent on avoiding anything that smacks of blatant capitalism that they both fail to understand each other. even as they tumble head over heels in love. they both have to face their fears and admit what they really want if they are going to work things out.

**ten days with the highlander will publish on august 14, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (lovestruck) in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 11, 2017

seriously romantic: breakaway by cate cameron

when logan balanchuk shows up in corrigan falls he believes a knee injury has destroyed his chance for a career in the nhl. when he meets dawn, a hockey hating local girl who plans to move out of town first chance she gets, he's drawn to her. and part of the appeal is that she isn't hockey mad. but she's also fun and sexy and real. being with her makes him forget his disappointments.

because dawn wants something more for herself. she's constantly challenging herself to try new things. leaving behind a steady summer job for one that will teach her something new every day. this appeals to logan because he is also figuring himself out. at first the disappointment of losing hockey keeps him away from the sport. but he's volunteering as the golf instructor at a local hockey camp, and it's only a matter of time before he gets sucked back in again.

what he learns is that hockey is a fundamental part of who he is. and dawn isn't sure how she feels about that. she already did the hockey girlfriend thing once, and it felt like all things hockey consumed her then and she wants something more for herself.

but she also wants logan. because he is sweet and funny and the way he loves her feels so right. and logan knows that dawn is who he wants with him as he figures out where hockey will end up in his life. and the connection between dawn and logan is so strong you know that they will work it all out. hockey doesn't have to be the thing that kills their relationship. and how they commit to being together is so perfect. i pretty much loved everything about breakaway.

**breakaway will publish on august 14, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (crush) in exchange for my honest review.

seriously romantic: taming the rebel by dawn klehr

as the titular rebel in taming the rebel, rebel hart's name might be a bit too on the nose. she's always marched to the beat of her own drummer. growing up with two dads outside of atlanta she kind of had to make her own way. and it's always worked for her. so she just doesn't get justice brody. she's pretty sure he's the reason his dad broke up with hers. and blowing her off seems to be his thing. and now that they've ended up at camp together he can pretty much expect all out prank wars.

and it's true that rebel doesn't understand justice's side of the story. he certainly hopes he's not the reason their dads broke up. but now that they have it's less weird to pursue rebel and his feelings for her. and she's never been subjected to the kind of verbal abuse and teasing he's experienced in the football locker room at school. so when he doesn't want to talk about his dad and his relationship with rebel's dad, it's not a rejection of her, it's more about protecting himself. because he wasn't always the hot football player. he was the skinny undersized kid with the big arm who was kind of a dork.

and as they spend time together at camp, rebel comes to see that justice isn't the jerk she imagines him to be. their connection strengthens the more they have a chance to talk. and while rebel needs to learn to be more empathetic and patient, justice needs to learn to be less insecure and a little more brave. not easy things when you are a teenager. but when they take a moment and stop being ruled by their emotions, they realize that what they share is something actually worth fighting for.

**taming the rebel will publish on august 14, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (crush) in exchange for my honest review. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

something from the archives: say goodbye - part 32

it's thursday and time to look back into the fan fiction archives. you can catch up with the story at the links: 123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930 and 31.

read on for part 32.