ARC · book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group

Sleepover by Serena Bell

Sleepover

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 13th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Sleepover: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels.

The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . .

Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers?

Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers. . . .


My review:

Elle is fresh from a divorce that she didn’t see coming. Still reeling and hurt, she decides that the best thing for her to do is to go to a bar and forget her problems. And oh boy, did she. She met Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent at the bar. Before she knew it, they were having sex up against the outside of the bar. The best sex she has ever had. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent leaves right afterward. Fast forward a few months. Elle has gotten new neighbors. Elle is surprised to see that her new neighbor is Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent and his 8-year-old son.

Sawyer is still grieving the death of his wife from cancer. Selling the business and the house that they built together, he moves into a rental to start over fresh. He has never forgotten the blonde that he picked up at the bar a few months back. The blonde that had sadness in her eyes. The blonde that gave him the best one-night stand he ever had. Sawyer is surprised to see the blonde from that night is his next door neighbor. Even more surprising is that she has an 8-year-old son that immediately bonds with his son. He is surprised that he wants Elle as much as he did that night in the bar. He soon finds out that Elle wants him as bad. But, they are both hesitant. A chance encounter with Elle’s ex-husband draws Elle and Sawyer together. They make a pact. No sex until the wedding. Can they both hold out for the wedding? And is there hope for a lasting relationship.

I am going to start this review talking about sex. Or the lack of it. Sleepover did something very rare for a contemporary romance novel. The author had the main characters (Sawyer and Elle) from having actual sex until almost the end of the book. Well, besides the hookup which happened several months earlier. Instead, they kissed, sexted or had oral sex. There was so much build up that when they actually had sex, it was amazing. Put it this way, I needed a fan and a cold shower when the book was over.

But, what I liked the most, is that the author had Sawyer and Elle build up a friendship. They might have started off as sex but they became friends. I loved seeing them bond over the boys and their different hurts. Loved it!!

The main plotline was Elle and Sawyer’s relationship. Even though the book was told in 1st person, I couldn’t tell what Sawyer felt for Elle for the longest time. I don’t even think he knew what he felt until Brooks pointed out the obvious. I knew everything that Elle felt for Sawyer. She wasn’t as hidden with her feelings…lol.

I loved the storyline with the boys. What they did for that transgender girl brought tears to my eyes. I also loved their friendship. Right from the get-go, they were inseparable.

The end of Sleepover was what I expected. It was a true HEA. I loved that Elle and Sawyer were able to talk about things and get things straight. What Sawyer wrote in that journal touched my heart. I was crying with Elle. Also, the end of the book made me smile. Loved how it came full circle!!


I gave Sleepover a 4-star rating. This was a cute book with a realistic romance. The plotlines were great. I loved how the author held off on the sex until the end of the book. The only thing I didn’t like was Elle’s ex. I thought he was a jerk (Mr. Yap perfectly described him….lol).

I would give Sleepover an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. There are triggers. They would be divorce and death of a spouse. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Sleepover. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Sleepover.

All opinions stated in this review of Sleepover are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Sleepover?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Algonquin Young Readers · ARC · book review · Dragonfly Press · Loveswept · NetGalley · Non ARC · RABT Book Tours · Random House Publishing Group · Simon & Schuster · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: November 7th, 2018

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

Personal:

So, I am still sick. I ended up losing my voice Friday and Saturday, much to the delight of my kids. While I got my voice back on Sunday, I am still feeling yucky. I swear I am going to start spraying my kids down with Lysol as soon as they walk through the door. Saturday, we went to the Muggle Market in Charlotte. Even though I couldn’t talk, I had a blast. There were so many authors/vendors there I didn’t know where to turn. Besides that, they had food trucks, a medieval weapons tournament (the guy with the bow was a bit of a jerk to my son) and an exotic animal rehabilitator. Miss R and Miss B held a crocodile. Miss R and Mr. Z held a tiny turtle. Miss R held a 90 lb boa constrictor. I swear, that girl has no fear…lol.

Reading:

So I am behind on reading again. While I did write reviews over the weekend, I didn’t feel like reading. I couldn’t think with my head feeling like it was full of cotton. I did read a couple of books on Monday and Tuesday. I am hoping that I can catch a couple of hours over the weekend so I can catch up on my reading. But, I am not seeing that happening. Too much going on. Bleh. I


What I am currently reading:

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

click on the picture for Amazon link

Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant. 

It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire?

I just started this book yesterday. When I mean started, I am on the second or third page. I am hoping that I like it. I liked Heat when I reviewed it. So we’ll see.


What I finished reading:

Spirit of Prophecy: Paranormal and Sci-Fi Crime

Click on the picture for Amazon link

What if your past came back to haunt you and stalked the present until it became your worst nightmare? What would you do if you discovered you’re engaged to a murderous psychopath about to go serial? 

J.J. Hughes explores the lengths to which we will go, to keep the past from overshadowing the present and destroying the future. Spirit of Prophecy is a highly original, cutting edge, metaphysical crime mystery with a breathtaking paranormal twist.

Years ago, a terrible atrocity occurred in Apache Indian territory in New Mexico, and now the players take up their positions to execute a horrific revenge. If you liked A.G. Riddle’s The Atlantis Gene you’ll love this . 

Evil awakens, and Rosetta Barrett, a psychic detective, must settle old scores and heal ancient wounds. She has the highest international security clearance with the Elite Paranormal Intelligence Services [EPIS], but she can’t tell her family or the courts what she really does. Divorce was hell. She lost custody of her children because of her paranormal beliefs, and now she’s fighting to get them back. 

Prominent American event rider, Juliet Jermaine, loses her Olympic horse, Gothic, and his rider, Isabella, also dies in a horrific unprovoked road rage attack. Barrett is investigating Isabella’s murder. She has a suspect but gathering sufficient evidence to nail a conviction is proving elusive. 

If Rosetta fails to convict the criminal and end the horrific cycle of revenge and retribution, the past is set to explode into the present with dire and explosive consequences.

Time is running out…

Read Spirit of Prophecy and get onboard a metaphysical rollercoaster from the future to the past and back!

Visit the author’s website and get to know J.J. Hughes and her work.
www.moneymagnet.global/booksbyjjhughes

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did. The author did a fantastic job with interweaving the metaphysical, paranormal and mystery together. Also, I loved that her characters were flawed. My review is here.


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

An Unlikely Setup (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 1)

Maddie’s teenage crush humiliated her fifteen years ago. Now Quinn runs the Otter Tail pub that Maddie inherited and needs to sell. Too bad Maddie’s high school crush on Quinn is still alive and kicking. 

Quinn wants to buy the pub, but can’t afford Maddie’s price, so he plays dirty. His smile, bright blue eyes, and broad shoulders are just his initial bid. As they get reacquainted, they realize someone else has plans for the pub. Plans that endanger Maddie and Quinn – and the rest of Otter Tail. 

Can Maddie and Quinn save the pub? Can they put their past behind to create a future together?

I have reviewed Margaret Watson’s books before and she is a solid romance author. So, I am pretty excited to read this book!!

Dragon's Shadow

Royal twins ripped apart at birth become reluctant champions of good and evil.

Kylie, a teenage science geek, has no faith in people. Instead, she relies on what she trusts the most, the facts––what she can see, touch, and hear but never feel. With enough pain to deal with in her own world, she is thrust into another––a kingdom at war whose strange inhabitants fear one thing the most––the return of the dragon. All of this is illogical to Kylie, but even more so, when she discovers she belongs there. 

Her brother, Prince Jarlon, journeys to kill the dragon who has laid waste to his kingdom. His only hope for destroying the beast is help from his sister, whom he has never met. Will their paths cross before the beast’s malevolence infects Kylie and turns her into his creature or will Jarlon have to destroy her, too?

The blurb of this book made me accept it when RABT Book Tour’s approached me to review it. I am hoping that its good.

You Are The Everything

Can you want something—or someone—so badly that you change your destiny? Elyse Schmidt never would have believed it, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t. And when the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what is left?

The blurb reeled me in for this book. It seems like it will be a full box of Kleenex book. Another book that I am eagerly waiting to read.

Exposed Fury

Annie Fitch, a former police detective, struggles to make ends meet as a private investigator in the sleepy town of Leesburg, Virginia. On partial disability because of gunshot injuries, she’s relegated to doing surveillance gigs and background checks. But things are looking up, since her on-again, off-again relationship is back on and might stay that way. 

When Annie is hired by Laura Carlton to follow her husband to get evidence of cheating, Annie is certain the case won’t take long. Nick Carlton grew up with money and privilege and has a sex addiction dating back to his high school days. But things go sideways when Annie finds her target dead in an alley just a few blocks from her own home. 

Working with her former partner, Gunnar Jansson, Annie digs deeper into Carlton’s background, slowly excavating his past to reveal the multiple suspects and motives. The list includes his many lunch-hour-tryst partners, a local shop owner, and his business partner, among others. Layer by layer, Annie uncovers a truth that runs much deeper than anyone expected. 

This book was an instant yes when the author approached me to review it. I was drawn in by the blurb. I am hoping that this book is as good as I think it is.

Sleepover

A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels.
 
The girl next door is the one that got away. He just doesn’t know it yet. . . .

Sawyer: After my wife died, I promised myself I’d never go through the pain of losing someone again. Now I keep my flings neat, tidy, and one-time-only. Besides, my son needs me more than ever. He’s miserable in our new town, so I’m pumped when he makes friends with the kid next door—until I recognize his mom from a one-night stand. Perky and upbeat, Elle Dunning is not my type for anything other than tearing up the sheets. So why do I keep letting myself get roped into game nights and get-togethers?

Elle: It so hasn’t been my year. That’s my first thought when I see my new next-door neighbor. I never would have hooked up with Sawyer Paulson if my husband hadn’t left me for his high-school sweetheart, but because our eight-year-old boys have become best friends, I’ve got to make nice with Mr. Tall, Dark, and Silent. Yet the more time we spend together, the more Sawyer opens up. We’ve both been hurt—badly. So it’s one thing to send the kids off to sleepaway camp together. It’s quite another to promise each other a lifetime of sleepovers. . . .

Sleepover is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after.

This book has been on my TBR list for a while. I kept pushing it back due to me overscheduling myself. Now, no more pushing back. I can’t wait to read it. I have read and reviewed books by Serena Bell before. I have generally liked them. So, I have high hopes for this one.

Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast

From the creators of the #1 podcast Limetown, an explosive prequel about a teenager who learns of a mysterious research facility where over three hundred people have disappeared—including her uncle—with clues that become the key to discovering the secrets of this strange town.

On a seemingly ordinary day, seventeen-year-old Lia Haddock hears news that will change her life forever: three hundred men, women, and children living at a research facility in Limetown, Tennessee, have disappeared without a trace. Among the missing is Emile Haddock, Lia’s uncle. 

What happened to the people of Limetown? It’s all anyone can talk about. Except Lia’s parents, who refuse to discuss what might have happened there. They refuse, even, to discuss anything to do with Emile.

As a student journalist, Lia begins an investigation that will take her far from her home, discovering clues about Emile’s past that lead to a shocking secret—one with unimaginable implications not only for the people of Limetown, but for Lia and her family. The only problem is…she’s not the only one looking for answers. 

Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie are first-rate storytellers, in every medium. Critics called their podcast Limetown “creepy and otherworldly” (The New York Times) and “endlessly fun” (Vox), and their novel goes back to where it all began. Working with Cote Smith, a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize Finalist, they’ve crafted an exhilarating mystery that asks big questions about what we owe to our families and what we owe to ourselves, about loss, discovery, and growth. Threaded throughout is Emile’s story—told in these pages for the first time ever. 

I was intrigued by the plot for this book. It has made me look up the podcast and I am toying with listening to it. Just to get some background information for the story. Again, another book I am looking forward to reading.

What About Us (Panic, #4)

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want. 

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Don’t miss Sidney Halston’s Panic series:
PULL ME CLOSE | MAKE ME STAY | KISS ME BACK | WHAT ABOUT US

I have read the first three books in the series and for the most part, enjoyed them. So when I saw that Sidney Halston had written a 4th book, I jumped on it. I can’t wait to read it!!


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

Algonquin Young Readers · ARC · book review · Forever · Independent Book Publisher's Association · Loveswept · Member's Titles · NetGalley · Polis Books · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap Up: October 28th through November 3rd 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Pandemonium

The Wizard's Gift

Black Diamond Fall

The Storyteller's Throne

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

The Wizard’s Gift—review here

The Wizard's Gift by Michael Waller

Black Diamond Fall—review here

Black Diamond Fall

Kiss Me at Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas—review here

A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)

The Corner of Holly and Ivy—review here

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

The Storyteller’s Throne—review here

The Storyteller's Throne

The Rain Watcher—review here

The Rain Watcher

A Nanny for Harry—review here

A Nanny for Harry

Stripped Down—review here

Stripped Down

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Foam On The Crest Of Waves

The Night Before

You Are The Everything

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Deadly Cage—Tom Howard (No Amazon/Email page yet)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

 Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Alban Lake Publishing · ARC · book review · Independent Book Publisher's Association · Loveswept · Member's Titles · Minotaur Books · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group · St. Martin's Griffin · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap Up: October 21st through October 27th 2018

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

A Nanny for Harry

Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides, #10)

Stripped Down

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Kiss Me at Christmas—review coming October 31st, 2018

Kiss Me at Christmas (Playful Brides, #10)

Stripped Down—review coming October 29th, 2018

Stripped Down

First Grave on the Right + Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Reread + Blog Tour)—review coming November 9th, 2018

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #13)

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Our Life in the Forest—review here

Our Life in the Forest

Big Stick—review here

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

Until We Are Free—review here

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Watcher in the Woods (Rockton, #4)

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Stripped Down

Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

ARC · book review · Loveswept · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group

Big Stick (Aces Hockey: Book 7) by Kelly Jamieson

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 23rd, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Aces Hockey

Major Misconduct—Book 1

Off Limits—Book 1.5

Icing—Book 2

Top Shelf—Book 3

Back Check—Book 4

Slap Shot—Book 5–review here

Playing Hurt—Book 6–review here

Big Stick—Book 7

Game On—Book 8–expected publication date January 15th, 2019

Where you can find Big Stick: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem – because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him – around the house, that is. First, he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .


My review:

I want to clue you all in for my first paragraph. Usually, when I say that, it is because the book has made me bawl my eyes out or it sucks. Well, in this case, it is neither. This clue is about the timeline of the book. I am going to assume that most of you have read the earlier books in the Aces Hockey series. Big Stick’s plotline coincides with Playing Hurt’s. Actually, Big Stick starts off with what was mid-book for Playing Hurt. What clued me in? The party where Nick met Jodie was one of Chase and Jordyn’s first dates. Then little hints of their relationship showed up in Big Stick. Like when they broke up and Nick had that talk with Chase. It was mentioned in this book after it happened. So, if you are reading Big Stick and happen to see Chase and Jordyn’s names come up, don’t be “WTF“. The author chose to start Nick and Jodie’s story around the same time. It was also a smart move on the author’s part. That would make me look into buying the other books in the series.

Playing Hurt is Nick and Jodie’s story. Nick is a loner. He is a grouch. He hates little kids (his words, not mine). He wants to be left alone. Nick is still dealing with the death of his brother, 3 years later. A death that he feels responsible for. He figures that he is better off keeping to himself. Then he meets Jodie. Jodie is the complete opposite of Nick. She loves to socialize. She is the complete opposite of a grouch. She likes to surround herself with people. She also has a 2-year-old daughter. After a disastrous run-in at a party hosted by Hallsy and Kendra, Jodie is left with the wrong impression of Nick. When Jodie decides she is outstaying her welcome at Hallsy and Kendra’s apartment, Nick makes her an offer. Live in his coach house for minimal rent until she can get on her feet. What could happen? Well, hot monkey sex and falling in love. But can it last? Can Nick decide that he needs Jodie and her daughter in his life or will he let them go?

The two main characters, Nick and Jodie, were complete polar opposites. Since this is a romance novel, they were going to get together. But man, they were like night and day. Nick was serious and kept to himself. Jodie was not serious and loved to socialize. If this was going to be a real-life couple, I would say that their relationship wouldn’t have lasted for very long. But it did. The author, somehow, made them being opposites work in their favor. He was able to come around to being more social and she tried being a bit more serious.

I will say that I loved Jodie’s daughter. I wanted to reach through the screen and squeeze her. Her reaction to Nick was hilarious. “A big giant” was one of the best lines in the book. I also loved her “face fur” comment. That sounded like something one of my kids would have said about their father. I did feel bad for what happened to her in the book. I would have had the same reaction as Nick.

Jodie and Nick had some serious chemistry going on. Sparks flew when they first met. I had a mental bet going on with myself (so sad, huh) about how long it would take for them to start having sex. I lost the bet. They actually held out longer than I thought they would have. Speaking of sex, it was hot. So very hot. My only complaint is that they went bareback so soon after becoming “friends” (hint). I eye-rolled at that. Other than that, I enjoyed the sex scenes. The butt play scenes were my favorite. Only because few authors go there. It’s like its taboo to do it.

I like how the author chose to discuss Nick’s issues. Suicide and depression are hard to write about and I thought she did a great job at handling it. Aleks story was heartbreaking and Nick’s guilt over not being there for him was even more so. I liked seeing Nick coming to realize that to get on with his life, he needs to get over Aleks death.

The end of the book was great. I had thought that Nick was a jerk to end things the way he did with Jodie. I understood that he was scared to death but still, he could have had more finesse. I loved the talk that Hallsy had with him. Love, love, loved it. It was stuff that Nick needed to hear, no matter how hard it was to listen to. I am not going to talk about the end of the book. Let’s say that I was pretty happy with what happened. What Zyanna asked Nick in the epilogue made my heart melt.


I gave Big Stick a 4-star rating. This was a sexy, fun read with some serious topics discussed. The author handled the topics of depression and suicide tactfully. She handled the aftermath tactfully too. I loved the ending and the epilogue.

I would give Big Stick an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. There are also trigger warnings. They would be suicide and depression. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 or who is triggered by the trigger warnings read this book.

I would reread Big Stick. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would give a heads up about the trigger warning.


 

If you or anyone you love is depressed or thinking of suicide, please don’t. Contact a friend, a doctor or call the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255). You matter your life matters.


I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Big Stick.

All opinions stated in this review of Big Stick are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Until We Are Free?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Alban Lake Publishing · ARC · book review · Del Ray · Forever · Grand Central Publishing · Loveswept · NetGalley · Non ARC · Polis Books · Random House Publishing Group · Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine · Self published · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

WWW Wednesday: October 17th, 2018

 

IMG_1384-0

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What’s going on with me this past week:

A whole bunch.

Personal: I am currently not on speaking terms with my across the street neighbor. Miss B decided that she was not going to turn in ANY of her homework. Which resulted in her failing two classes and be close to failing her other two. So, I had a meeting with her teachers this morning to see what we could do about it. Michael swept through the area, canceling Miss R’s field trip to the apple orchard and causing flash flood warnings. Mr. Z had a field trip to the local science center the day Michael swept through. I need to say this “I hate rain!!!

Reading: I have fallen behind with reviews and reading. Not by much and I hope to catch up over the weekend. I finally read Limits and it is a tear jerker. You definitely need a box of Kleenex when reading this book. It was totally not what I thought it was going to be.


What I am currently reading:

The Corner of Holly and Ivy: A feel-good Christmas romance

click on the picture for Amazon link

Sometimes love is just around the corner . . .

With her dreams of being a wedding dress designer suddenly over, Arianna Bell isn’t expecting a holly jolly Christmas. Instead, her heart feels about three sizes too small. That is until her high school sweetheart Connor Gallagher returns to town and she finds his mere presence still makes her pulse race. But just when she starts dreaming of kissing under the mistletoe, he announces that he will be her opponent in the upcoming mayoral race….

Hot-shot attorney Connor Gallagher has something to prove. He’s tired of playing runner-up to his high-achieving brothers. So when the opportunity to enter the campaign comes up, he takes it. Even if it means running against the only woman he’s ever loved. But with a little help from Harmony Harbor’s local matchmakers and a lot of holiday cheer, Connor and Arianna may just get the happy ever after they both deserve.


What I finished reading:

Limits

Click on the picture for Amazon link

For as long as she can remember Millie has had her limits. Staying within them keeps her isolated, safe; helps her to cope. Why then have they started to feel so stifling? Why is her loneliness starting to rival her fears?

When she watches him she wishes she could be normal; she wishes she could be like the people he interacts with so seamlessly. Pavlos Martakis is her complete and total opposite: physically intimidating, likable, naturally attractive, extremely confident, sexually promiscuous: the most uninhibited, charming, outgoing and free person she has ever encountered in her life. He fascinates Millie; thrills and intimidates her in equal measure.

But, as the culprit behind the invention of her nickname Nuclear Winter, Millie knows that if Pav feels anything for her it is more than likely contempt. Cold, boring, robotic: that is how the rest of the hospital sees her. So she can safely watch him from afar. He would never notice her … would he?

This book is a full-length contemporary romance of approximately 90,000 words with no cliffhanger and its own HEA. 


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

Until We Are Free (Until #1)

Nyl Jayms is tasked with kidnaping the Elder princess, to force her brother, the king, to negotiate with humans. The alternative is a war that could lead to the annihilation of both humans and Elders.

A Rider Council faction, led by Nyl’s father, is opposed to any negotiations. They will do anything, including sabotaging his assignment, to trigger a war.

Nyl and his team have to outsmart the king’s elite Royal Guard, to get to the princess, and somehow stay one step ahead of the faction opposed to negotiations. Everyone will be forced to re-evaluate ideology they were raised with, as an impending war looms ever closer.

Join these elite rebel warriors on a journey of war, betrayal, and political scheming, in Until We Are Free. In this debut novel from TM Blayte, faces of friends, family, allies and enemies will blur. Loyalties will be tested, until the determination to be free becomes the only thing that matters. After all, does one person’s freedom mean another person’s oppression?

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting right now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem – because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him – around the house, that is. First he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .

Sleepover

A brand-new contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author of Head Over Heels.

Elle and Sawyer just look so happy. Which is, of course, exactly how they end up.

But it’s not an easy trip.

It was just supposed to be once.

It was just supposed to be sex.

But now they’re next-door neighbors. And before they can put up their fences—or defenses—their eight-year-old sons have forged an unstoppable friendship.

They’re still reeling—Elle, from a Facebook message she was never supposed to see, Sawyer, from the kind of death it’s hard to live through. A relationship seems like a terrible idea. So they make a deal. One more blazing hot night, at Elle’s ex-husband’s wedding.

You know, because the “just once” thing has worked out so well for them …

Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold, #2)

An action-packed, compelling historical fantasy, from the pen of an award-winning author

The battle-scarred warrior princess Bluebell, heir to her father’s throne, is rumoured to be unkillable. So when she learns of a sword wrought specifically to slay her by the fearsome raven king, Hakon, she sets out on a journey to find it before it finds her. The sword is rumoured to be in the possession of one of her four younger sisters. But which one? Scattered as they are across the kingdoms, she sets out on a journey to find them.

Her four sisters all have their own paths to tread, the gifted magician Ash is on a journey to find a dragon that could determine her destiny. The beautiful, unhappy Rose has left her undermagician Aunt and is speeding to the aid of her daughter, Rowan, who has been lost to her. Ivy, sold into marriage for the sake of an alliance, is now set to become the ruling Duchess of Seacaster with the imminent death of her much older and sick husband, and the power-hungry Willow is raising her infant child as a potential trimartyr king and training to be a warrior for the fanatical religious order Maava.

From wild rocky coastline to granite-topped tors, from bustling harbours to echoing ghost towns, from halls of kings to ancient primal woodlands, this story follows five sisters upon whose actions kingdoms will rise and fall.

Dragonfire (Dark Kings, #14)

Passion burns hot in Dragonfire, the next Dark Kings novel from New York Times bestseller Donna Grant. 

It was a soul-deep longing, one that got into his bones and settled there, sending whispers of desire through him. The need, the hunger, grew tenfold with every breath. . . .

As a Dragon King, Roman is sworn to protect all mortals–even though they no longer believe in dragons. But deep in the Carpathian Mountains, he discovers a beautiful and mysterious gypsy who possesses the power to see into his very soul. To reignite the fire in his heart. And to help him find the long-lost sword that could save the dragons forever…

Sabina remembers the stories her grandmother told her. Legends of dragons and kings, fire and ice. And she’s never forgotten the dark prophecy that filled her ancestors with fear–a fate they tried to prevent by stealing a Dragon King’s sword. Sabina knows that helping Roman is dangerous. He is a dragon betrayed, and more powerful than any man. He could destroy her in a single fiery embrace. But how can she resist the longing in his eyes–or the feelings in her heart–when their destinies are bound by desire?

What About Us (Panic, #4)

Irresistible beats and tantalizing bodies heat up the night at South Beach’s most scandalous new club.

Alex: I hate doing business in clubs. Especially one like Duality. I’m here to seal a deal, not indulge in whatever hedonistic illusion they’re selling. Until, through all the skin and sex on display, I see her. Helen Blackwood. The girl who once filled my youthful fantasies, whose name is now synonymous with pain. Her father’s lies destroyed my family, leaving me with nothing to lose. And yet I can’t deny my electric response to her touch . . . or my urge to protect her when I see the bruise on her face.

Helen: Growing up, life prepared me for society galas and powerful men, not minimum-wage jobs or drunk exes with anger issues. But I’m a survivor. So here I am, practically naked, serving drinks at a Miami nightclub. I don’t mind the stares. Apparently, Alex Archer does. After twelve years, we aren’t exactly friends, but money is something we both understand. Something he knows I need. I’ll be his personal assistant, even if it means working with the man I hate . . . and the man I still want.

No cheating. No cliffhangers. And no dress code.

Black Diamond Fall

From the acclaimed author of CLARA’S HEART and CLOUDLAND comes a rich, literary mystery based and united by two real events that occurred at Middlebury College; the disappearance of a student during winter break; and the vandalism of the Robert Frost Homestead located on one of the outer campuses.

Luc Flanders has just finished playing a game of pond hockey with his college roommates when he realizes he has lost something precious and goes back to the ice to find it. He never returns, and the police department in Middlebury, Vermont are divided in their assessment of what may have happened to him. Some feel that Flanders left on his own accord and is deliberately out of touch. Others, including detectives Nick Jenkins and Helen Kennedy, suspect that harm may have come to him. As the search for Luc Flanders widens and intensifies, suspicions about several different people, including his Middlebury College roommates and ex-girlfriend arise. Unfortunately, Sam Solomon an older man with whom Luc has been having a secret relationship, cannot prove his whereabouts during the hours when the younger man may have disappeared and Solomon, too, comes under suspicion.

BLACK DIAMOND FALL is at once a lush, evocative literary novel, a portrait of love between a younger and older man, and a riveting mystery that could only come from the mind of acclaimed writer Joseph Olshan.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

ARC · Loveswept · NetGalley · Random House Publishing Group

Rough & Ready (Lightning: Book 3) by Tracy Wolff

Rough & Ready (Lightning, #3)

3.5  Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 16th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Lightning

Down & Dirty—Book 1 (review here)

Hot & Heavy—Book 2 (review here)

Rough & Ready—Book 3

Where you can find Rough & Ready: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Sparks fly between a football pro and an ex-WNBA player. But he needs to prove that he’s more than a sports hero if he wants it all in this steamy standalone from the New York Times-bestselling author of Down & Dirty and Hot & Heavy.

Tanner: I may be a baller, but I’ve always tried to do the right thing. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in charge of my four younger sisters for half my life, or because I understand how important it is to be a role model—something I learned from my grandfather, a Southern Baptist preacher who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. Either way, my pro football career makes it easier to give back, so when a local rec center needs help, I do my best to even the playing field. And not just because Elara Vance, the smoking hot ex-WNBA player who runs the place, has me looking to score off the field.

Elara: Before I got sidelined by an injury, my time on the court taught me that pro athletes are all flash and no substance. Sure, Tanner Green talks a good game and wields a big checkbook, but I’m not buying the whole good guy routine. Still, it’s hard to miss all the good he’s doing for my rec center and even harder to ignore the way one look from him makes me tremble in all the best ways. I just wish I knew if he’s for real. Something tells me a little one-on-one might be the only way to find out. . . .

With their own sweet HEAs, Tracy Wolff’s red-hot Lightning novels can be read together or separately:
DOWN & DIRTY | HOT & HEAVY | ROUGH & READY

And don’t miss her seductive Ethan Frost series:
RUINED | ADDICTED | EXPOSED | FLAWED

Or her standalone novel LOVEGAME


My review: 

First impressions are always the best. Every book wants a cover that blows the readers socks off when looking at it. And this cover did knock my socks off, for the most part. Look at the model. He is exactly what I thought Tanner would look like. And he is major eye candy too. But, when I look at the cover, my eyes are drawn to his armpit instead of his eyes. Which is a shame because those eyes are gorgeous. But I can’t keep my eyes off the pit…sigh. I keep thinking “Is he going to turn his head and do a BO check?

Rough & Ready are Tanner and Elara’s story. Elara is a former WNBA player whose career was ended when she suffered a knee injury. The rec center that she runs is her life. When a major backer doesn’t come through with a 15 million dollar donation and gives it to another foundation, Elara sees red. Tanner is a major league football player with a huge heart. Raising his 4 sisters after his parents’ deaths, he has become known as footballs nice guy. His foundation had received a 15 million dollar donation, which he was thrilled about. But when a tall, angry blonde walks into the locker room after a game and tells him off in front of the offensive line, Tanner wants to get to know her better. But Elara has severe trust issues after an abusive past relationship. Can she open her heart to Tanner and let him in? Or will her past not allow her to?

While I love reading about strong, independent women, I though Elara was a witch with a b. I know that 15 million dollars would have gone a long way with her rec center. To use her friend who works with the team to go to a game and then use that pass to bust into the locker room to freak out on him wasn’t cool. Not letting him defend himself wasn’t cool. Everything that she said in that tirade wasn’t cool. She let her temper run her mouth. But, as I got more into the book, the more I began to understand her. Elara was a fiercely independent woman. She was a woman who never fit into any molds that people tried to force her into. Because of that, she has become used to dealing with things herself. So her reaction to Tanner’s supposed “stealing” was normal. Her relationships with her kids at the rec center were sweet and showed a softer side. She also showed a more vulnerable side when she told Tanner about the abuse she experienced. By the end of the book, I was still on the fence about her, though.

Tanner was awesome. Yes, I am “Team Tanner“. He was a stand-up guy. What guy would take on raising 4 girls, all in various stages of being a teenager? His foundation brought sports to those who couldn’t afford it and it was in all 50 states. I thought that he handled Elara’s tirade perfectly. All he wanted was to put pants on and discuss things with her. He did end up discussing things with her but it led to so much more. When he lost his temper, he did it in the spectacular way possible. Also in the most public way possible too…lol.

I didn’t get a romantic vibe from Tanner and Elara’s relationship. There was zero romance. There was no build-up of the relationship. It went from her being mad at him to them being in a relationship. Normally, I would be fine with the lack of build up. But in this case, I was a little disappointed. I wanted to see Tanner woo Elara. I guess he did by donating to her rec center.

Even though the romantic vibe was missing, the chemistry and sexual tension were not. Tanner and Elara had crazy bunny sex everywhere. They were nonstop. What I liked is that the sexual tension didn’t die after their first hook up. Loved it!!

While the main storylines were ended, I did have an issue with the storyline about Elara’s ex being left up in the air. I wish the author had given some sort of ending to it. I did like that Tanner beat some sense into the guy but there was talk about exposing him. Then it was never brought back up. I wanted to know if justice happened.

I did like the end of the book. I liked that Elara and Tanner were able to talk about what happened and continue with their relationship. I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied. Like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the whole storyline with Elara’s ex was left up in the air. I also wanted to see how Tanner’s sisters took to his relationship. I kinda wanted to see more of Tina too. She was sassy.

What I liked about Rough & Ready:

  1. Tanner. He was such a nice guy.
  2. The sex. It was hot
  3. The end of the book

What I disliked about Rough & Ready:

  1. Elara. I thought she was a witch with a b for most of the book.
  2. No romantic vibe
  3. Storylines being left up in the air

I gave Rough & Ready a 3.5-star rating. The book was well written with compelling characters. The sex scenes were hot and I loved the end of the book. But, Elara killed the book for me in the beginning. Even though her character improved, I couldn’t get past the first scene. I also got no romantic vibe. Storylines were left up in the air.

I would give Rough & Ready an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is language. There are a couple of scenes that discuss being raped and assaulted while drugged. Those could cause triggers. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Rough & Ready. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a note about possible triggers.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Rough & Ready.

All opinions stated in this review of Rough & Ready are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**