Friday, October 20, 2017

seriously romantic: nailed it by cindi madsen

ivy clarke has rules against falling in love. 13 of them actually. her best friend savannah might be a dating coach with 12 ways to love, but ivy knows that her rules are better. they are meant to keep her heart safe in nailed it.

if only she hadn't gotten in way over her head in a house-flipping project. if only her only source of salvation weren't jackson gamble. if only her stupid body and heart wouldn't react every time jackson was in the same room with her. she tries to mask all her attraction with antagonism. but it's just an act.

and the more closely they work together it's inevitable that they'll end up in bed together. but jackson wants the real thing—love, commitment, and a happily ever after. and ivy knows that she'll never be able to give jackson what he wants. she's a mess. she has no idea what to do with her career. her mother continues to be an emotional timesuck. she's that girl from the wrong side of the tracks and there is no way that jackson's family would ever be happy with her pairing up with him.

jackson has to be the bigger man here. he has to have the faith for both of them. because ivy is just a little too broken, a little too afraid to admit that her heart is engaged. but will time be enough for ivy to realize that she's got everything backwards? that even if you try to avoid feelings, humans are built to have them?

the chemistry between jackson and ivy is off the charts, and there are some really sweet emotional beats between the two leads as they figure out their way to a happy ending. there's ups and downs, but it's a relationship that is worth sticking out, even when ivy is being super stubborn.

**nailed it will publish on october 23, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (amara) in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

simply a sneak peek of twisted truths

Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Trade paperback: $14.99
eBook: $5.99
ISBN: 978145559431

Series Page
 on Goodreads

"TOP PICK! 4 1/2 stars! Zanetti proves that when it
comes to RS, she is in a class by herself!" ―RT Book Reviews

One year ago, Denver Jones blew up his life and left everything behind. To stay alive, he had no other choice. But now, when video footage of the woman he could never forget goes viral, begging for his help, he has no choice but to go to her. Her niece has been kidnapped and Denver and his blood brothers are the only people she can trust.

But Denver isn't the only one watching that video. The deadly forces from his past see it too—and they'll use anything—and anyone—they can to lure Denver out of hiding to exact their revenge.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book-a-Million | Google Play | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher's Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels.  She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat...and a huge extended family.  She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off...and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads



5 galleys up for grabs

See the promised sneak peek after the break...

something from the archives: say goodbye - part 42

click on the links for parts 123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930,  31323334353637383940, and 41.

read on for part 42...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

slightly silly: riverdale, episode 14: a kiss before dying

season 2 of riverdale picks up immediately where we left off. archie’s dad has been shot and whether or not he survives becomes the main question of the episode. i mean it’s freaking luke perry so no way he dies, but i admit there were moments i was concerned.

the shows heightened reality allows it to play with time and dreamlike visions in a very effective way. we kept seeing scenes where you were meant to question the future for these characters and the mystery and the symbolism all played so well on the screen. 

riverdale is a show i love for the atmosphere, the aesthetics, the juicy stories and the rich characters, even though at times the acting is not on point. but honestly this episode, everyone brought it. kj apa was at his most effective. the scene with veronica where he breaks down and tries to send her away was possibly the best of the episode. 

jughead and betty also have their own drama to contend with, betty’s mom is very much against her daughter dating a south sider serpent or not. and while jughead claims he is not drawn to that world, it may be impossible to keep the serpent world from his life and relationship with betty. 

the thing is, everything about this show works for me. and the last couple of minutes. with the murder and death that pays off a storyline that started last season, really worked for me. i can’t wait to see what happens next. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

seriously romantic: slap shot by kelly jamieson

if you're looking for emotional, angsty sports romances, then kelly jamieson is the author for you. in slap shot the aces hockey series continues with left wing max hall getting his shot at happily ever after. the thing with max is that he already had a love story. but then she got cancer and died. and max doesn't want to fall in love again. he doesn't think he can endure another loss like that.

so he has one goal. to make the hockey team. even though he was a star in his prime, he's been out of the sport for eighteen months, and when younger and faster and stronger athletes are competing for the same spots as veterans nothing is guaranteed.

but at his teammate's wedding he's distracted by one of the bridesmaids. kendra has an openness and joy in her soul that calls out to him. he hasn't been with a woman since his wife died and suddenly he finds himself wanting that. but he only wants sex. not a relationship. not love. just friends, maybe. with benefits.

but max is actually a one-woman kind of guy.

and the more time he spends with kendra, he realizes that it's not so easy to keep those pesky emotions turned off.

realizing that we all have more than one chance at love is going to be max's biggest lesson. but can he do that in time to save his relationship with kendra. can he let her go knowing that being with her, that her special brand of sunlight and joy is everything he needs to find happiness?

i really enjoyed this book. it was so sweetly romantic, and i loved that we see everything from max's perspective. it's nice to have the guy tell the story for once.

**slap shot will publish on october 17, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/random house publishing group (loveswept) in exchange for my honest review.

seriously romantic: duke of desire by elizabeth hoyt

except for one last novella, which will hopefully bring together some old favorite characters, the maiden lane series comes to a close with duke of desire. we've met both raphael and iris before, namely in duke of pleasure, and i was happy to see both characters again.

when raphael saves iris from the lords of chaos she isn't sure she can trust him. and maybe she shouldn't because once he has her in his home, raphael finds he can't let her go. he says this is for her safety, but it runs deeper than that. it's something he's not ready to explain or explore. but he knows all the same that letting iris go is not an option for him.

and once iris gets over her initial distrust, she doesn't want to leave. she sees the things that have hurt and damaged this beautiful, broken man and she doesn't shy away from them or from him. she never sees him as the monster he sees himself as. but until he lets go of this warped view of himself, their future together hangs very much in the balance.

on top of that there is still imminent danger from the lords of chaos. the new dionysius is possibly more evil and depraved than raphael's father was. and he knows that raphael wants the lords destroyed and intends to do everything in his power to get to raphael and iris first.

it's hard to say what is more challenging to raphael and iris's romance, the lords of chaos or raphael's demons. needless to say there is a lot of healing and acceptance that needs to happen in this book for everything to work, and i think it is handled quite beautifully.

i've so enjoyed this series, even as it tackles some heavy topics like child abuse, rape, and poverty, the romances are heartfelt and emotionally satisfying.

**duke of desire will publish on october 17, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/grand central publishing in exchange for my honest review. for additional information on the book, including an excerpt read on...

seriously romantic: ruthless king by meghan march


that cliffhanger.

those last few twists.

ruthless king was even better than i expected and i already thought it was going to be amazing. i loved everything about lachlan mount and keira kilgore’s story so far—and to think there is more!!

the fact that there is so much more about lachlan mount that peeks out from that hard mask of his. he’s not a good guy. but he’s so sexy and burdened with this dark power. “heavy is the head that wears the crown”—it’s clear that mount has demons that give him no peace.

and he wants keira. and he will do anything to get her. and while she isn’t powerless exactly, it’s hard to fight someone like mount. at least hard to fight him on everything. especially when there are things he offers that she wants. even if she hates to admit it.

this relationship is tempestuous and hateful and passionate and there’s this thread—this sliver of want, of need, of being completely wrong and yet completely right for each other—that keeps them craving more.

but can it work? something or someone has to break. but who will break first? because both keira and mount are strong and stubborn and determined to get their way. and their battle of wills is sexy as all get out. and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

defiant queen can’t come soon enough!

**ruthless king will publish on october 17, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of meghan march in exchange for my honest review. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

seriously romantic: most of all you by mia sheridan

shattered childhoods make gabriel and crystal the adults they are today. but while gabriel chooses to be open and wears his heart on his sleeve, crystal guards hers so fiercely you wouldn't even know she still possessed one. it shouldn't be a contest as to who has survived more trauma, though it very nearly is. somehow gabriel has come out of his stronger, and his ability to leave himself open and vulnerable to others makes him an amazing hero to read. 

as most of all you begins he's looking for help with his one remaining problem area. he can't stand the touch of others. but he's reached a point in his life where he craves closeness. he wants to have a family. he wants to be with someone. he was never meant to live his life alone. so he decides to hire someone to get him used to the touch of others. and it doesn't go well.

except she fascinates him. he sees the vulnerability she tries so valiantly to hide. and he recognizes it because he understands her trauma. as a survivor of the unimaginable, he understands more than she would like him to.

it's because he is a survivor that he can help make her whole again. he's a stonecutter, an artisan really, and his ability to call forth beauty from the rough is unrivaled. this is the talent that saved him during his darkest days, and this is the talent that will save her too. and knowing what she needs, having lived through the same recovery lets him understand that he must give her time and space and unlimited amounts of love to make herself whole. he knows that he cannot do it for her. 

this is such a beautiful, heartbreaking story. the beauty in the midst of so much horror and ugliness is what makes it speak to me. it's one of those stories that stays with you long after you've turned the last page because in the end there is so much hope and promise and loveliness in the happy ending. 

**most of all you will publish on october 17, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/grand central publishing (forever) in exchange for my honest review. keep reading for some additional information about the book, including where to buy. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

strictly literary: pride and prejudice and mistletoe by melissa de la cruz

as you might imagine from the title, pride and prejudice and mistletoe is a pride and prejudice retelling. but this reimagining of one of my favorite stories cleverly twists the narrative to be told from the perspective of one darcy fitzwilliam, otherwise known as our intrepid heroine. darcy has returned home to pemberley, ohio to see her mother who recently had a heart attack. she's been estranged from her family for years for not bowing to pressure to stay home and marry her high school sweetheart, one carl donovan.

while home she reconnects with her best friend, bingley charles. and through his sudden romance with jim bennet, her high school nemesis luke bennet. a series of encounters with luke under mistletoe have darcy reeling. as everything in her life seems to go topsy-turvy.

this retelling does a great job of hitting the right beats from the book, but also telling its own story. it's fun to see characters reimagined in different genders but with similar personality traits as in the original. the romance here is more straightforward, but that's okay since the framework of the holiday season constrains the timeline. i've yet to meet a pride and prejudice retelling i don't like, and i think pride and prejudice and mistletoe is a solid entry in the genre.

**pride and prejudice and mistletoe will publish on october 17, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

seriously romantic: chasing xander by lexi lawton

in spite of its title, chasing xander, is not really about a romantic chase, because kylie and xander spend little time running away from their romance.

when kylie quinn drops her underwear and other unmentionables in front of xander collins as she moves into her freshman dorm room she is beyond embarrassed. the last thing she expects is to keep running into him or for him to seek her out.

xander is ridiculously attractive and genuinely kind, and is an upperclassman to boot. so she can't figure out why he wants to spend anytime with her. she's just an incoming freshman with an alcoholic and abusive father and the grandmother who raised her who is in the last stages alzheimer's. but it is actually quite simple, there is something about kylie that keeps xander intrigued. she's the first girl who seems to like him, for just him. not his money, not what he can do for her. and this makes him willing to do anything for her.

xander wants to make sure he treats kylie with the respect and tenderness he feels she deserves, and this means holding back from just giving into the passion that sparks between them. he wants her beyond measure, but he doesn't want her to regret anything that might happen between them. he's already been with someone like that and it was the worst experience of his life.

though it takes a while for them to communicate openly about their feelings, it's pretty evident from the get-go that kylie and xander are headed for something serious. when kylie experiences the worst kind of loss, xander is there for her in a way that shows how highly he regards her. he'd put his academic career, his fraternity standing, his trust fund at risk for kylie. that's some pretty heavy stuff. and i will say that the one thing i wish we had a glimpse of, was how things turn out for xander. i mean considering it's a romance, it should all end happily, but xander had really backed himself into a pretty tight corner so more resolution would have been reassuring.

**chasing xander will publish on october 16, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (embrace) in exchange for my honest review.