Bending the Rules (The Devereux Family: Book 3) by Margaret Watson

Bending the Rules (The Devereux Family Book 3) by [Watson, Margaret]

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of Publication: February 19th,2019

Genre: Romance, Suspense

Series: The Devereux Family

A Safe Place—Book 1: Review here

The Woman He Knows—Book 2: Review here

Bending the Rules—Book 3

Where you can find Bending the Rules: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The hardest thing is doing what’s right. Nathan Devereux’s parenting days are over. He raised his siblings, and now he’s ready to start living a life free of responsibility. After the year he’s had, he deserves it. But when the daughter he never knew existed and her way too tempting guardian, Emma Sloan, show up, his plans go out the window.

Nathan can’t ignore his daughter…or Emma. Yet having a relationship with them means giving up what he’s worked for. Worse, his past is sneaking up behind him and could threaten them all. He faces a choice he’s not sure he can make—or even wants to. Turn his back on Emma and his daughter? Or bend the rules to protect them? Either way, their future is at stake.


First Line:

Nathan Devereux scowled as he hung the handicapped placard from his rearview mirror.

Bending the Rules by Margaret Watson

My Review:

I was excited to read Bending the Rules, even if I thought that Nathan was a jerk in The Woman He Knows. I wanted to know how the author was going to change my opinion of him for the better. Oh boy, did she change my opinion of him. But the book still fell flat for me. I will explain why in my review.

The plot of Bending the Rules was an interesting one. Nathan had a hard year and was glad when everything was finally beginning to settle. He had worked hard at raising Frankie, Patrick, and Marco and deserved some time to himself. Then Nathan gets a phone call that shakes him to his core. He finds out that a drunken one night stand he had in college had a surprising result — a 13-year-old daughter whose mother died a few weeks before. Nathan wants to forge a relationship with his daughter. He also wants to form a relationship with his daughter’s guardian, Emma. But the drama from the past year rears its ugly head and Nathan is forced to make a choice. Does he turn his back on Emma and his daughter, or does he tell them what is going on?

As I mentioned above, I wasn’t a huge fan of Nathan in The Woman He Knows. His surly demeanor in that book did impact how I viewed him in this book. The first couple of chapters didn’t help either. But, after those early chapters, my view of him started to change. He dealt with learning that he had a daughter well. Once the DNA test came back positive, he did his best to try and bond with Harley. By the end of the book, I admired him. He faced his past head-on when trying to find answers for Harley. He dealt with Emma’s trust and jealousy issues well.

Emma drove me up a flipping wall. I understand that she was surprised and a little wary of Nathan, but she acted like a jerk for most of the book. Instead of asking him what was going on, at first, Emma assumed that something criminal was going on. She blew hot and cold with him the duration of her relationship. Also, Emma refused to let Harley watch the CD that her mother made for her. I get where she was coming from but still. It was wrong. I will admit that her antics in the book did affect my rating. I couldn’t connect to her at all.

I loved Harley. She was a typical 13-year-old. I did think that she adjusted well to having a father, uncles, and an aunt. Her snarkiness cracked me up. I laughed my butt off at some of the one-liners that she pulled on Marco. Having a 13-year-old myself, I found myself sympathizing with Nathan and Emma on a few occasions.

As much as I didn’t like Emma, I won’t deny that she and Nathan had some serious sexual chemistry. I liked that the author kept them from jumping into bed right away. But, once they did, the sex was explosive.

The end of the book was intense. While I didn’t agree with the choice that Nathan made, I understood why he did it. But at the same time, I didn’t agree with the decision that Emma made either. I loved it when things got ironed out, though. It made a perfect ending for the book. I am wondering if Marco is going to get a book? Please say, yes!!


I would give Bending the Rules an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Bending the Rules I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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Home Field Advantage (Milwaukee Dragons: Book 3) by Liz Lincoln

Home Field Advantage: A Milwaukee Dragons Novel by [Lincoln, Liz]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 16th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Milwaukee Dragons

On the Line—Book 1 (review here)

Swagger—Book 2 (review here)

Home Field Advantage—Book 3

Where you can find Home Field Advantage: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Is the Dragons’ new wide receiver: A) a fallen NFL star looking for a comeback, B) the sexy player your boss wants you to write an exposé on, or C) the former love of your life?

For Milwaukee Dragons beat reporter Natalie Griffith, he’s clearly D) all of the above. Three years ago, Natalie’s bombshell report on her ex-boyfriend’s off-the-field scandals landed her the job she loves, but she still feels guilty about destroying his career. Now Quinn Lowry’s back, and he’s taking over her locker room, flashing his charming smile and reminding her exactly how hot they were together.

After two years out of the league, Quinn is sober and on the field again. He’s worked his ass off and he’s not going to blow his second chance, not even for the woman who broke his heart—twice. Having Natalie around is the last thing Quinn needs while he’s trying to prove he deserves to stay on the team.

Maybe one final night together will give them both some much-needed closure. But with Natalie’s boss pressuring her for another headline-grabbing scoop, can she admit to herself that she’s falling for Quinn all over again?


My Review:

First Line:

Even in a locker room full of professional athletes with bodies sculpted to perfection, only one would accurately describe Quinn Lowry’s shirtless torso: lickable.

Home Field Advantage—Liz Lincoln

I enjoy second chance romances. I also enjoy a character that has issues (be it an addiction or otherwise). So when I read the blurb for Home Field Advantage, I wanted to read it. I am glad that I did because this book was a great read.

When I first started reading Home Field Advantage, I didn’t get a good vibe from it. Natalie was too focused on Quinn for me to get any sense of who she was. Quinn came across as a bitter jerk who was aloof when it came to his teammates. But, as I continued to read the book, a miracle happened. The characters that I thought I had pegged changed. I loved it!!

The author did a fantastic job of showing how hard it was for Quinn to stay sober. Instead of glossing it over and making his recovery easy, the author threw obstacles in his way. I also liked that his recovery was linked with therapy. He could discuss what was happening that week with his therapist and feel better about it.

I wasn’t a fan of Natalie at the beginning of the book. But as I continued to read the book, I started to understand her. I understood why she ghosted Quinn after being together a year. She was terrified of being with someone like her father. It doesn’t excuse the article, though. I thought that was low. I also didn’t understand why she didn’t tell her boss to take a flying leap earlier in the book. It would have saved a whole lot of heartache and misunderstanding.

I liked Quinn. He captured my heart right from the get-go. His pain and anger at Natalie weren’t an over exaggeration. He had every right to be upset with her. He was slow to trust her, which again, I didn’t blame him for. I also didn’t blame him for flipping out when he saw her email. If I had the background that those two did, I would have done the same thing.

The romance angle of the book was right on. Quinn and Natalie’s feelings for each other never went away. That became clear when they started hanging out together. Their feelings went to a whole different level, the more connected they became.

Quinn and Natalie also had insane sexual tension. It radiated off them whenever they were near each other. That tension grew and grew until it exploded into one of the hottest sex scenes I have read to date. What impressed me was that the author was able to keep that sexual tension present throughout the rest of the book.

The end of Home Field Advantage was typical for this genre. Everyone got their HEA. I am wondering who the next book will be about? Matt and Cee? Oh man, I hope so because my heart was broken for both of them in this book!!!


I would give Home Field Advantage an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I reread Home Field Advantage.  I recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Stories You Tell (Roxane Weary: Book 3) by Kristen Lepionka

The Stories You Tell: A Mystery (Roxane Weary Book 3) by [Lepionka, Kristen]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books

Date of publication: July 9th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Roxane Weary

The Last Place You Look—Book 1

What You Want To See—Book 2

The Stories You Tell—Book 3

Where you find The Stories You Tell: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

The Stories You Tell is Shamus Award-winning and Anthony and Macavity Award-nominated author Kristen Lepionka’s heart-pounding third novel that will keep listeners on the edge of their seats with her signature twists and mile-high stakes.

A late-night phone call is never good news, especially when you’re Roxane Weary. This one is from her brother Andrew whose evening was interrupted by a visit from Addison, a hip young DJ he knows from the hotel bar where he works. She was drunk, bloody, and hysterical, but she wouldn’t say what was wrong. After using his phone, she left as quickly as she appeared, and Andrew is worried. That’s when he calls Roxane.

But another late-night call occurs as well: Addison’s father calls the police after getting a panicked voicemail from his daughter. The only thing he could understand is the address she gave in the message—Andrew’s. Before long, the police are asking Andrew all about why there’s blood in his apartment and what he did to Addison. Meanwhile, another cop is found dead on the opposite side of town, leading to a swirl of questions surrounding a dance club whose staff—which includes Addison—has suddenly gone AWOL.


My Review:

If you have been following this blog long enough, y’all know how much I hate reading books out of order if they are in a series. So when I realized that The Stories You Tell was the 3rd book in the Roxane Weary series, I did a facepalm. I prepared myself for being lost while reading this book. Well, I lucked out. The Stories You Tell can be read as a standalone book.

I enjoyed The Stories You Tell storyline. I thought that the storyline was well written. There was a little lag in the middle of the book. That happened right around when Andrew got arrested. But the book got back on track shortly afterward.

I liked Roxane. She committed to finding Addison after Andrew called her that night. She was also committed to finding out the truth when Andrew got arrested. I was iffy about her relationship with Catherine. I don’t know what went down in the first two books, but there was a disconnect between them the beginning. I was also confused about what was going on with Tom. The end of the book didn’t help with my confusion.

The mystery angle of the book was well written. The author did a fantastic job keeping where Addison was and what happened that night at the club under wraps. There were several other storylines (the dead ex-cop, the missing club staff, and the dating app) that were spun off from the main plotline. The author also did a fantastic job of combining all the secondary plotlines into the first one. When she started doing it, it didn’t make sense. But, after the scene with Brock, it began to make sense.

The end of The Stories You Tell was intense. It went lightning fast from the moment Roxane started putting things together. For a brief minute, I did think Jordy was in on what Elise was doing. But my mind was changed shortly after that.


I would give The Stories You Tell an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Stories You Tell I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Raze (Riven: Book 3) by Roan Parrish

Raze (Riven Series Book 3) by [Parrish, Roan]

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 2nd, 2019

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

Series: Riven

Riven—Book 1 (review here)

Rend—Book 2 (review here)

Raze—Book 3

Where you can find Raze: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Sometimes the walls we build to save ourselves have to come tumbling down.

For the last ten years, Huey has built his life around his sobriety. If that means he doesn’t give a damn about finding love or companionship for himself, well, it’s probably better that way. After all, the last thing he wants is to hurt anyone else. Until Felix Rainey walks into his bar, fresh-faced, unbearably sweet—and, for some reason Huey can’t fathom, interested in him.

As the eldest of five kids, Felix Rainey spent his childhood cooking dinner, checking homework, and working after-school jobs. Now in his twenties, he’s still scrambling to make ends meet and wondering what the hell he’s doing with his life. When he meets Huey, he’s intimidated . . . and enamored. Huey’s strong and confident, he owns his own business—hell, he’s friends with rock stars. What could he ever see in Felix?

As Huey and Felix get closer, the spark catches and soon they can’t get enough of each other. But Huey’s worked hard to avoid intimacy, and Felix threatens his carefully constructed defenses. Huey realizes he needs to change if he wants to truly put his past behind him—and build a future with Felix. 

Roan Parrish’s pitch-perfect Riven novels can be read together or separately:
RIVEN * REND * RAZE


My Review:

"In the corner of my bar, a cheerfully drunk man sang loudly and out of tune."

I was excited to see that there was another book in the Riven series. I had enjoyed the previous two books and was hoping that I would like Raze. For the most part, I did like it. But the parts that I didn’t like did affect my rating.

Raze’s plotline was enjoyable to read. It was well written, and the author didn’t let anything lag. She also didn’t drop storylines. The plotline was also a fast moving one. Put it this way; I was able to sit down and read Raze within 2 hours.

I liked Felix, but man, he annoyed me. He was too whiny and too clingy. He didn’t know how to talk to people. He was immature. But, when he wasn’t being any of those traits that I mentioned, he was a good guy. He was a good son and a great sibling. He cared about Huey. But those good traits were buried beneath the stuff that I didn’t like. I wish they were showcased more.

I didn’t know what to make of Huey. Getting his backstory was like pulling teeth. It was leaked a little at a time. It drove me nuts. I didn’t like that I couldn’t pinpoint what his feelings were for Felix. Again, drove me nuts. I liked seeing a different Huey appear by the end of the book. He was grounded and happy. Loved it!!

Like I stated in the paragraph above, I couldn’t get a handle on Huey’s feelings for Felix. Because of that, the romance between them seemed forced.

The sex scenes were hot. What Felix and Huey lacked in the romance department, they made up for with sex. Those scenes were so hot that I was expecting my screen to implode. The only scene that didn’t do it for me was the ass eating scene towards the end of the book. I am open-minded about everything but I just couldn’t with this. As I was reading that scene, I kept thinking, “What if he didn’t wipe good.” Which then led my thoughts too well, you know where I am going with that.

The end of Raze was heartwarming. I was left wondering if there was going to be a book 4 or if this is that last book in the series. There were some characters (Grin, Morgan, Jhoi stand out the most in my mind) that I would love to see get their happily ever after.


I would give Raze an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I would reread Raze.  I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Dark Matter (The Four: Book 3) by Margaret Watson

Dark Matter (The Four Book 3) by [Watson, Margaret]

4 Stars

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: June 26th, 2019

Genre: Paranormal, Romance

Series: The Four

The Third Eye—Book 1 (review here)

An Indigo Wind—Book 2 (review here)

Dark Matter—Book 3

Red Dawn Rising—Book 4 (expected publication date: July 9th, 2019)

Where you can find Dark Matter: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

Flynn Parker, social worker and justice warrior, has lived her life on the edge of shadows, hiding who she is. What she is. She builds a family in those shadows, fostering kids like her. Then Mason Lynch enters her life. 

Mase, former SEAL, undercover DIA agent and lone wolf, needs healing. Flynn is a healer. When she places her hands on him, everything changes for both of them. 

Their mission is to take down an enemy who is amassing terrible powers. To defeat him, they must choose — abandon habits that have kept them safe, or step into the light and risk a future together. 


First Line

Flynn stumbled on the sidewalk, dizzy and disoriented.

Dark Matter by Margaret Watson

My Review:

I couldn’t wait to read Dark Matter. I had enjoyed reading the previous two books, and it was a given that I would like this one, which I did.

Dark Matter’s plot is the same as the previous two books. Mase and Flynn continue Gianna and Cal’s search for Rickart. At the same time, they battle feelings for each other. Rickart becomes obsessed with Flynn and forgets his search for Jack’s blood. He tracks Flynn to Chicago. What happens in Chicago will either make or break Flynn and Mase’s relationship.

Flynn was my favorite character in this entire series. She was a complex character with many layers to her. I also loved how protective she was of her kids. She sheltered them from what was going on. I didn’t see the twist that involved Lacey. I am wondering how that is going to come into play at the end of the book.

I liked Mase, but he did annoy me at times during the book. He ran hot and cold with Flynn. As soon as he started getting close to her or having feelings for her, he pushed her away. I thought he was badass. He was going to do whatever it takes to bring Rickart down.

A bad guy has never affected me the way that Rickart did. He was insane. I wondered if the serum he was taking made him that way or if he already was insane. Anyways, he went from being a bloodthirsty punk to a hellish stalker. I couldn’t believe that he saw through Flynn’s glamour and saw her real self. That freaked me out. I also couldn’t believe that he tried to break into her house after it was warded. It showed what he was willing to do anything to get to her. What he did with Lacey proved my point. Of course, he did get his at the end of the book. But still, he creeped me out!!

The sexual chemistry and attraction between Flynn and Mase were out of this world. The author had two whole books to build it up, and she didn’t fail. Things were so hot between them that I was waiting for something to happen. When they did end up having sex, it was amazing. Then the author did something that very few authors have done. She built that tension back up. Loved it!!

The end of Dark Matter was amazing. The book went amazingly fast after Flynn was told about her adoption and twin sister. I loved how the author brought Rickart’s quest for Jack’s blood to an end. I also liked how she left it open for book four. I know Brody will be the male main character. But who will be the female main? I also want to know, who exactly is Brody, and what is his connection to Niamh? I also can’t wait to see what Niamh is going to do in the next book!!


I would give Dark Matter an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Dark Matter. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Once Upon a Bad Boy (Sometimes in Love: Book 3) by Melonie Johnson

Once Upon a Bad Boy: A Sometimes in Love Novel by [Johnson, Melonie]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: June 25th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Sometimes in Love

Getting Hot with the Scot—Book 1 (review here)

Smitten by the Brit—Book 2 (review here)

Once Upon a Bad Boy—Book 3

Where you can find Once Upon a Bad Boy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

NEVER SAY NEVER
Sadie Gold is ready to take her career to the next level with the role of a lifetime. Finally, she can shake her reputation as a pretty face with more wealth and connections than talent. But Sadie is not prepared for the wild turn her own life is about to take. The man in charge of training Sadie for her most demanding role yet is none other than her first real boyfriend—the one who took her heart and ran away.

WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE
Bo Ibarra is as good-looking and irresistible as ever. Maybe even more so, now that everything once worked against them—Sadie’s pampered and privileged upbringing and Bo’s childhood in a family struggling to make ends meet—is in the past. But the future is still unwritten…and getting there, together, means coming clean about painful secrets and slashing through nasty tabloid rumors while trying to control the attraction that crackles between them. Maybe it’s finally time for them to walk off into the sunset and into a true and lasting love?


My Review:

I was so excited when I saw that Once Upon a Bad Boy was up for review on NetGalley. I had read the first two books and loved them. I was expecting to love Once Upon a Bad Boy. For the most part, I did. But there were parts that I didn’t like. The parts that I didn’t like did figure into how I rated this review.

I liked Bo. He didn’t hide behind walls or keep secrets from anyone. I did feel bad that he was trying to buy his half of the business from Vic and he kept getting put off. I liked how he tried to keep his feelings for Sadie under wraps.

I couldn’t connect with Sadie, and I didn’t think she was relatable. I couldn’t get a feel for her personality. She came across as flat, which sucked for me because I liked her in the previous books. The only time I saw her come to life was when Bo pushed her buttons.

As much as I didn’t connect with Sadie, I did feel that she and Bo had sexual chemistry by the spades. That tension cranked up each meeting until it exploded into an oral sex frenzy. Speaking about sex, the author had Sadie and Bo do everything but have intercourse until the end of the book. It was refreshing.

The romance angle was a bit up and down for me. There were times where I could see Sadie falling back in love with Bo. But then, there were other times that it was almost nonexistent. That drove me nuts.

The end of the book was interesting. I didn’t expect what was revealed. I also didn’t expect Bo’s reaction to it. But, I liked how the author took something that is frowned upon and turned it into something positive.


I would give Once Upon a Bad Boy an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Once Upon a Bad Boy I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

28 Dates (Crazy Love: Book 3) by Stacey Lynn

28 Dates (Crazy Love Book 3) by [Lynn, Stacey]

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: June 11th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Crazy Love

Fake Wife-–Book 1 (review here)

Knocked Up—Book 2 (review here)

28 Dates—Book 3

Where you can find 28 Dates: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

In the age of apps and social media, how many dates does it take to find “the one”? The author of Knocked Up and Fake Wife swipes right on love with a captivating friends-to-lovers tale.

Caitlin Pappas is a lifelong commitment-phobe. The closest thing she’s had to a relationship in the last few years was a friends-with-benefits thing that fizzled out because the guy wanted more. So when she and her best friend design a new app that promises to find “the one” in 28 Dates, Caitlin is the perfect guinea pig. Little does she know that she may have already met her match. . . .

Jonas Reeves has tried his best to move on after Caitlin didn’t want take things to the next level. Now they really are just friends . . . without benefits. Caitlin’s even a regular at his bar, The Dirty Martini. But when he learns that Caitlin plans to beta-test a new dating app on his home turf, Jonas senses a golden opportunity to win her heart. Even if he has to slide into her DMs to do it. . . .

The steamy standalone novels in Stacey Lynn’s Crazy Love series can be read together or separately:
FAKE WIFE • KNOCKED UP • 28 DATES


My Review:

I started 28 Dates being excited about it. I had read the previous two books and liked them. So, my expectations for this book were high. I figured that a book about friends with benefits relationship turning into more would be a good read. Instead, I got a book that had me so disinterested in the characters that I almost skipped over the epilogue.

The plot for 28 Dates was interesting. Caitlin is a commitment-phobe. She refuses to do relationships. Her long term friends with benefits ended because Jonas developed feelings for her, and it scared Caitlin. So, she was surprised when her best friend asked her to beta test a dating app that he developed. All she had to do was go on 28 dates. She reluctantly agrees. The same time that she becomes the beta tester, she discovers that her feelings for Jonas haven’t disappeared over the last six months. How is she going to deal with her feelings and date at the same time? Will Caitlin finally realize that she is worth a relationship?

28 Dates started strong. I was enjoying Caitlin’s forays into Dirty’s. I was enjoying watching her friendship with Jonas deepen. Then she started beta testing that app. That is when the book began to go downhill.

The author did do a great job of showing what kind of nutcases there are when online dating. The foot fetish guy had me in tears laughing. That was genuinely funny.

I thought that Caitlin setting up her dates in Jonas’s bar was weird. I know that she felt safe there but couldn’t she pick up on the jealousy vibes from him? He wasn’t subtle about how he felt.

I did like Caitlin. She was sweet. She didn’t take any crap from any of the people she met from the app. She was a pro at putting Jonas in his place. I also liked her outlook on life.

Jonas skeeved me out. He couldn’t get over Caitlin. He acted like a toddler when she started bringing dates into his bar. Instead of coming clean about his feelings, he did something that made me go “Ewww.” I got stalker like vibes from him the entire book. What he did only reinforced my feelings on that.

The romance angle wasn’t there, even at the end of the book. Because I didn’t feel the romance, the sex scenes didn’t do it for me. Yes, they were hot, but I couldn’t get into them.

The end of the book was alright. I liked that everything was wrapped up, but it didn’t feel right to me. And the epilogue. Usually, I would be beyond happy for news like that. But this time, I was like, “eh.”


I would give 28 Dates an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I an on the fence if I would reread 28 dates I am on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**