Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope Santa Brings/Bookish Wishes

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

She assigns each Tuesday a topic and then posts her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.

She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I had a paperback copy of this book, read two chapters, and lost it….sigh.

2 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.

But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

I have read almost everything by Charlotte Bronte except for Jane Eyre. This book has been on my reading bucket list for a while. Maybe I’ll get to it in 2022.

3. A Lick of Frost by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Commanded by her aunt, the dark Queen Andais, to conceive a child as heir to the throne, Meredith Gentry, a half-mortal, half-faerie princess, returns to Los Angeles, only to find herself and her lovers trapped between the dark and light faerie courts and human law.

I absolutely loved this series but stopped reading at book 5. So, I need to catch up.

4. Game Changer by Stacey Lynn

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Falling for your best friend is one thing, accidentally getting knocked up by him is another…

Hockey hottie Garrett Dubiak has been my best friend since college and the one constant in my life the past seven years. Through distance, career changes, and other relationships, we’ve always found our way back to each other.

Including one wild weekend this winter, when he finally told me he wanted more… wanted everything from me.

Too afraid to admit I felt the same, I told him I needed time.

Twelve weeks later, here I am, pregnant with his baby, alone, and terrified.

He’s my best friend. He deserves to know the truth.

So I swallow my fear, my pride, and I shoot my shot. I just hope he’s still willing to have me—and our baby.

I found this book on a blog that I follow and I knew I needed to read it. I love friends to lovers romances.

5. How to Be the Best Third Wheel by Loridee De Villa

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A clean teen romance comedy about figuring out where you belong when all the constants in your life begin to change.

It’s the last year of highschool, and everything has changed . . .

After spending summer vacation in the Philippines with family, Lara returns to school eager to catch up with her close knit group of girlfriends. But within minutes of reuniting with her friends, she learns that not one, not two, but all three of them are now in relationships that blossomed over the summer. And to make matters worse, Lara’s long time frenemy, James, won’t stop bugging her in class and eventually forces her into tutoring him everyday after school.

Surviving high school was never easy to begin with, but with occupied friends, a hectic Filipino family, and her annoying childhood enemy pestering her more than ever, Lara tries to juggle everything, while trying to figure out her own place in the chaos.

Another book that I found on a blog. I thought it sounded cute!!!

6. A Lullaby for Witches by Hester Fox

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Two women. A history of witchcraft. And a deep-rooted female power that sings across the centuries.

Once there was a young woman from a well-to-do New England family who never quite fit with the drawing rooms and parlors of her kin.

Called instead to the tangled woods and wild cliffs surrounding her family’s estate, Margaret Harlowe grew both stranger and more beautiful as she cultivated her uncanny power. Soon, whispers of “witch” dogged her footsteps, and Margaret’s power began to wind itself with the tendrils of something darker.

One hundred and fifty years later, Augusta Podos takes a dream job at Harlowe House, the historic home of a wealthy New England family that has been turned into a small museum in Tynemouth, Massachusetts. When Augusta stumbles across an oblique reference to a daughter of the Harlowes who has nearly been expunged from the historical record, the mystery is too intriguing to ignore.

But as she digs deeper, something sinister unfurls from its sleep, a dark power that binds one woman to the other across lines of blood and time. If Augusta can’t resist its allure, everything she knows and loves—including her very life—could be lost forever.

I keep seeing this book and I want to read it!!!

7. The Fixer Upper by Lauren Forsythe

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In this funny and sharp romantic comedy, a woman with a knack for turning her boyfriends’ lives around starts a professional service to help wrangle men, only to be unexpectedly matched with an old flame.

Ever since she can remember, Aly has been fixing everything around her: her parents’ marriage, her colleagues’ work problems, and her friends’ love lives. After a chance meeting with an ex who has gone from a living in his parents’ basement to a married project manager in three years, she realizes she’s been fixing her boyfriends, too…

So, Aly decides to put her talents to good use and, alongside two work friends, sets up The Fixer Upper, an exclusive, underground service for women who are tired of unpaid emotional labor. Using little tricks and tips, Aly and her friends get the men to do the work themselves – to get out of the job they hate, sign up for that growth seminar, to do more parenting. Before long, a high-profile Instagram star hires them to fix-up her app developer boyfriend. There’s just one catch – he’s also Aly’s childhood best friend and first love. As Aly tackles her biggest “fixer upper” yet, she’ll have to come to terms with their complicated history and figure out how much to change someone she’d always thought was perfect as he is…

Again, another book that I found on a blog. The blurb caught my interest.

8. Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala

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Things are heating up for Lila Macapagal. Not in her love life, which she insists on keeping nonexistent despite the attention of two very eligible bachelors. Or her professional life, since she can’t bring herself to open her new caf� after the unpleasantness that occurred a few months ago at her aunt’s Filipino restaurant, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen. No, things are heating up quite literally, since summer, her least favorite season, has just started.

To add to her feelings of sticky unease, Lila’s little town of Shady Palms has resurrected the Miss Teen Shady Palms Beauty Pageant, which she won many years ago–a fact that serves as a wedge between Lila and her cousin slash rival, Bernadette. But when the head judge of the pageant is murdered and Bernadette becomes the main suspect, the two must put aside their differences and solve the case–because it looks like one of them might be next.

The cover caught my attention for this book. I have decided that I am going to read more cozy mysteries and this one seems like something I would like.

9. Secret Santa by Andrew Shaffer

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The Office meets Stephen King, dressed up in holiday tinsel, in this fun, festive, and frightening horror-comedy set during the horror publishing boom of the ’80s, by New York Times best-selling satirist Andrew Shaffer.

Out of work for months, Lussi Meyer is desperate to work anywhere in publishing. Prestigious Blackwood-Patterson isn’t the perfect fit, but a bizarre set of circumstances leads to her hire and a firm mandate: Lussi must find the next horror superstar to compete with Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Peter Straub. It’s the ’80s, after all, and horror is the hottest genre.

But as soon as she arrives, Lussi finds herself the target of her co-workers’ mean-spirited pranks. The hazing reaches its peak during the company’s annual Secret Santa gift exchange, when Lussi receives a demonic-looking object that she recognizes but doesn’t understand. Suddenly, her coworkers begin falling victim to a series of horrific accidents akin to a George Romero movie, and Lussi suspects that her gift is involved. With the help of her former author, the flamboyant Fabien Nightingale, Lussi must track down her anonymous Secret Santa and figure out the true meaning of the cursed object in her possession before it destroys the company—and her soul.

This was a book that I saw on another blog and I knew that I wanted to read it. The cover alone drew me in.

10 Sugar and Spice by Eli Wray

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Mason attempts to bake gluten-free cookies for their crush and college classmate, Natalie. When the baking goes very wrong, can Mason still win Natalie’s heart?

This low stakes story includes holiday baking, two people pining, rain-soaked admissions from hopeless romantics, some wholesome smut and a 100% nonbinary trans cast.

Another book that I saw on a blog. But with this one, it was a DNF and I want to know why.

Weekend Fling (Crazy Love: Book 4) by Stacey Lynn

Weekend Fling: A Crazy Love Novel by [Lynn, Stacey]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 26th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Crazy Love

Fake Wife—Book 1 (Review Here)

Knocked Up—Book 2 (Review Here)

28 Dates—Book 3 (Review Here)

Weekend Fling—Book 4

Where you can find Weekend Fling: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Fresh out of a long-term relationship, Willow Parks is working two jobs and caring for her mother, whose husband left her with nothing but a pile of bills. That’s why Willow made a vow: no men until she figures out her own life.

But while she may not need a man, she could use a break. And a weekend away at a California beach to clear her head? That’s appealing. Even if the offer comes from Trey Collins, the irresistible tech-mogul millionaire who visits her coffee shop every morning like clockwork—and needs a date for his best friend’s wedding. With an adorable, occasional stutter, he refuses to take no for an answer.

Once the weekend begins, Trey is intent on proving how good they can be together. Willow’s even feeling tempted to break her vow—until reality rudely interrupts her well-deserved getaway. There’s no way she and Trey have a future, not with the colossal amount of baggage Willow has to offer.

But Trey is used to getting what he wants. He just has his work cut out for him convincing her that they want the same thing.

First Line:

Wiping sleep from my eyes, I trudge down the hall of my childhood home.

Weekend Fling by Stacey Lynn

My Review:

I have had a love-hate relationship with Stacey Lynn’s Crazy Love series. I loved the first book in the series. But, with the next two books, I was “meh.” Those two books didn’t impress me too much. So, when I saw that Weekend Fling was up for review on NetGalley, I decided to give it ago. I figured with two “meh” books in a row that I would like the next book. And I thought right. I enjoyed reading Weekend Fling. It was just the book I needed to read, and it reignited my interest in the series.

The plotline for Weekend Fling had an excellent flow to it. Having a good flow to the plotline makes the book so much easier to read. The pacing of the book was medium, which I enjoyed. I go back and forth on how fast I like my romances to be. Sometimes I like them slow. Other times I want them fast. And still other times, I like the medium-paced. There were no dropped storylines or characters who mysteriously disappear.

I wasn’t a fan of Willow when Weekend Fling started. She rubbed me the wrong way with the way she treated Trey. But, as I got involved in the book, I began to see why Willow treated him the way she did. She was burning the candle at both ends. Willow was resentful that her father could leave and go on with his life. She also was becoming resentful that her mother couldn’t pull herself out of her depression. I was surprised when she agreed to go away with Trey for the weekend. By that point, I started to like her. She had an inner strength that most people don’t have, how she acted in the events after the wedding showcased that perfectly.

I loved Trey. He was everything that Willow needed and then some. I loved that he wasn’t pushy. Trey let Willow set the pace of their relationship. I also loved how he was there for her, and he didn’t let her push him away during the last half of the book. There was a point in the book where I thought Trey needed to be a little more pushy with her. Almost as soon as I felt that, he took charge. Loved it!!

There are some triggers in Weekend Fling. The author touches upon mental illness and suicide during the book. The author’s note at the end of the book broke my heart. I started bawling my eyes out when reading it.

Weekend Fling can be read as a stand-alone book. It is the 4th book in the Crazy Love series. What I enjoyed is that the author was able to bring the previous characters from the previous three books into this book but keep them in the background.

Trey and Willow had insane sexual chemistry. The author chose to let it build and build throughout the book. When they finally did have sex, it was a flipping explosion. I loved it!! The sex scenes after that weren’t as hot, but they were still good.

The end of Weekend Fling was bittersweet. I thought that Willow’s father’s explanation was weak AF, but it still worked. I loved the epilogue!!!

I would give Weekend Fling 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 Weekend Fling. 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:

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**

Knocked Up (Crazy Love: Book 2) by Stacey Lynn

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: June 12th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Crazy Love

Fake Wife – Book 1 (review here)

Knocked Up – Book 2

Where you can find Knocked Up: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in a baby carriage. Just not necessarily in that order. . . .

Braxton: I should probably be dead or in jail right now. Instead, thanks to some tough love, I worked my ass off and now I own a string of tattoo parlors throughout the Pacific Northwest. And yet the one thing I’ve always wanted—a family—still seems out of reach. When my best friend gets married, I’m just hoping to blow off some steam with the super-hot maid of honor. But after Cara Thompson tracks me down to tell me she’s pregnant, she’s more surprised than I am when I tell her I’m all in.

Cara: For the first time in my life, I’m living for myself—not for my parents and their ridiculous expectations. I gave up on my MBA, dropped out of the Ivy League, and moved to Portland to pursue my dream of becoming an artist. And what’s the first thing I do? Get knocked up. For a tatted-up sex god, Braxton Henley seems way too eager to “be there for me.” Is this guy serious? Maybe. He sure is patient. Because he won’t back down until I admit what I know in my heart: that our one-night stand might’ve led me to the one.

The steamy standalone novels in Stacey Lynn’s Crazy Love series can be read together or separately:

And don’t miss her passionate Fireside series:

My review

I was excited when I saw that Knocked Up was out. I had enjoyed Fake Wife, so I figured that I would enjoy this book. Which I did, for the most part. My issues with the book are that there was so much extra going on that I couldn’t enjoy Braxton and Cara’s story. Plus the drama was too much. I also didn’t like the way that Braxton kept jumping to conclusions about Cara. That added more drama to the book. All those reasons are the reason I gave Knocked Up a 3-star rating.

Cara drove me crazy. There is being independent and then there is being over the top independent. Braxton wanted to take care of her and the baby but she refused. My eyes almost rolled out of their sockets, that’s how much I was eye-rolling. There was one point in the book where I wanted to shake her and say “Duuuudddde, let him take care of you. Stop being so stubborn“.

Besides driving me crazy with her über independence, I did like Cara. She was sweet. She loved her friends. She loved her job. She loved her unborn child. I felt awful that her brother died. I felt even more awful at how her parents treated her. I thought, at first, that it was all in her head. Until they showed up at her apartment and said what they said. Then I understood why she was so independent. She was shoving her lifestyle in her parent’s face and telling them to take a flying leap.

I liked that Cara had far from a picture perfect pregnancy. Her having hyperemesis gravidarum made her more normal in my eyes. I didn’t like that she was so sick but I loved that she became more relatable. Most romance novel pregnancies are all sunshine and unicorns. So it was refreshing to see one that I could connect with.

Where do I start with Braxton? I liked that he stepped up when Cara showed up at his tattoo parlor and told him she was pregnant and it was his. I liked that he wanted to date Cara. I liked that he wanted to be in this baby’s life. But, he came with baggage. So. Much. Baggage. I almost couldn’t handle it.

He was a **reformed** man whore. I say reformed because he stopped sleeping around the minute Cara told him she was pregnant. That’s wonderful. But his past didn’t stay in the past. Cara and he had an uncomfortable confrontation with his last one night stand. I don’t know how Cara didn’t freak the heck out on him after what that chick said.

His relationship with Stella made me wonder exactly what was going on with them for a while. She got as salt AF when Cara showed up. She tried to destroy their relationship. She warned Cara off him. She was the one that showed Braxton those pictures of Cara with her friend. I didn’t understand why he still employed her or even was her friend after all that. And her apology was lukewarm. Again, don’t know why he stayed her friend. Anyone tried to mess with my relationship would have had a foot up their butt while going out the door.

The chemistry between Braxton and Cara was insane. The sparks were between them from the moment Cara showed up at his tattoo parlor. It deepened the more the book went on. Which is why it sucked when Stella did what she did. And it was also gratifying when Braxton and Cara talked. Because you could see the feelings there. It wasn’t just sex.

Speaking of sex, it was hot. Scorching hot. Braxton and Clara didn’t hold back because she was pregnant. What impressed me was that he still used condoms even though Cara was pregnant. Because he was a “reformed” man-whore who hadn’t been tested. But once he was, it was bareback all the way. It’s not like he could get her pregnant….lol.

The end of Knocked Up was cute. The book ended the way I thought it would. The epilogue was fantastic. I figured out the baby’s name pretty early on. So it wasn’t a surprise to me.

What I liked about Knocked Up:

A) Cara. She had a backbone and stood up to Braxton. Not a lot of female main characters do that

B) Cara’s relatable pregnancy

C) Braxton taking care of his responsibilities

What I disliked about Knocked Up:

A) Cara being over the top independent

B) Stella’s behavior.

C) All the other drama in the book. Took away from the main plotline.

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

There are no triggers in Knocked Up.

I am on the fence if I would reread Knocked Up. I am also on the fence if I would recommend Knocked Up to family and friends. I would read other books by the author.

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

All opinions stated in this review of Knocked Up are mine.

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

Fake Wife by Stacey Lynn

Fake Wife

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: January 9th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 190

POV: Alternating 1st person

Where you can find Fake Wife: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

This marriage is strictly business… until the temptation gets way too real.

Sterling: I loved my grandma, but I don’t need her money. All I care about is keeping the house—the only place that’s ever felt like home. That, and screwing over my dad, who wants to turn the property into a mall. There’s only one catch: To receive my inheritance, I have to get married within six months. Me, the guy who’s never dated a girl for more than six minutes. Now I need to find a woman I can trust. So when I’m rear-ended by a Prius, I figure it’s a sign that I’m supposed to meet gorgeous, down-to-earth Teagan Monroe.

Teagan: First I lose my job. Then I come home and find out—in the most graphic way possible… yeah, that way—that my boyfriend is a cheating jerk. And then I speed off and nearly kill Portland’s sexiest bachelor. Sterling Lane should be pissed. Instead, he offers me more money than I’ve ever seen in my life to marry him and live together in a mansion for two years. No sex. No feelings. Just cash—enough to make all my dreams come true. Then we go and break all our rules… and I realize I’m falling in love with my fake fiancé.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “Fake Wife by Stacey Lynn”

His to Seduce (Fireside: Book 4) by Stacey Lynn

His to Seduce (Fireside, #4)

Title: His to Seduce

Author: Stacey Lynn

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: March 21st, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 238

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Fireside

His to Love – Book 1

His to Protect – Book 2

His to Cherish – Book 3 (review here)

His to Seduce – Book 4

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

An honorable man who’s lost his way . . . A career woman who hides behind her button-up suits . . . Unexpected romance is the specialty at the Fireside Grill as Stacey Lynn’s captivating series comes full circle.
Becoming an ER doctor had been David McGregor’s mission ever since he could remember. But after tragedy strikes at his hospital in Chicago, David runs away from the guilt—all the way back to Latham Hills, Michigan, where he takes a job tending bar at his childhood friend’s restaurant. That’s how he meets Camden Reed, and the way Camden refuses to give him the time of day should be a turnoff. Instead, he’s drawn to her tough, tightly wound exterior, and soon David realizes that he has a new mission: to see her tightly wound beneath him.
Camden’s fighting tooth and nail to resist the desire she feels for David. Growing up dirt-poor, raised by a single mother, she worked twice as hard to get where she is today, and she doesn’t have any patience for the kind of guy who’d give up a decent paycheck to sling drinks. But when the sexual tension finally combusts between the sheets, Camden discovers that people aren’t always what they seem. As David pushes her past her limits, Camden begins to loosen up—and to trust that, when she falls, there will be someone waiting to catch her.

My review:

What a great ending to a great series. Now granted, I only read two books. But the books that I read blew me off my feet. His to Seduce starts off as your typical screw fest. I mean, Camden and David had no holds bar sex in a closet at their friend’s wedding reception in Jamaica and then spend the rest of the vacation doing the same. But, Cam’s tragic past raises its head and David’s huge secret (which was only a secret to Cam….not everyone else) is revealed in a very shocking way.

I will admit, Camden annoyed me. She came across as a bit snobby (telling Trina that she would never date bartenders) and very insecure. But, the more I read the book and the more she reveals about herself, I started to get why she was the way she was and it broke my heart. No child should ever have to go through what she did and all I have to say is that the drunk neighbor was my hero in that situation. It also explained her over the top reaction to David’s secret.

David was a saint. His only fault was that he didn’t tell Cam that he was a Dr or that he was über rich. I think he dealt with Cam and her insecurities amazingly well and I pegged him being in love with her when she told him her big secret and he gave her space. He also didn’t take her crap, which I liked also. But he wasn’t a saint. To be honest, I felt that he was dealing with a form of PTSD after being an ER Dr in Detroit. Just saying, it sounded like it to me. I also liked that he pushed Cam to face her fears and embrace them. I swear, if he was real, I would be all over him like white on rice….lmao.

The sex was beyond hot. They had closet sex, pool sex, ocean sex, and bed sex. I loved Cam’s reaction to the ocean sex. Honestly, I would have thought the same thing. Saltwater wouldn’t make a good lube….lol.

The end of the book, along with the epilog, was awesome!! I just wish that the other characters from the other book made an appearance so we could have seen what was going on in their lives.

How many stars will I give His to Seduce: 4

Why: A great book with hot sex and some memorable characters. I will admit that Cam annoyed me but that was eclipsed by her and David’s love story

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and language

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

His to Cherish (Fireside: Book 3) by Stacey Lynn

His to Cherish (Fireside, #3)

Title: His to Cherish

Author: Stacey Lynn

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: November 15th, 2016

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 292

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Fireside

His to Love – Book 1

His to Protect – Book 2

His to Cherish – Book 3

His to Seduce – Book 4

Can it be read out-of-order from the series: Yes. The other characters from the other books do make appearances in this book but the focus stays only on the main characters.

Where you can find this book: Amazon|Barnes and Nobles

Goodreads synopsis:

Chelsea Dwyer arrives home from her job at the middle-school library in Latham Hills, Michigan, expecting another quiet evening—until she hears the screams for help through her living room window. As the first witness to a terrible accident involving two local students, Chelsea doesn’t anticipate how her own life will be irrevocably changed by the father of one of the boys. In the wake of tragedy, she’s the only one who seems to understand his grief. Chelsea’s a survivor, too—and she knows that there are brighter days ahead.

As a single father, Aidan Deveraux worked his entire life to provide a stable home for his son, Derrick. Without him, Aidan feels the deepest despair imaginable. The one thing that keeps him going is his connection with the woman who tried to save his son. Hard as he tries, Aidan just can’t stay away. Chelsea’s warm embrace is the comforting solace he desperately craves—and it doesn’t hurt that Aidan had noticed the beautiful librarian and wanted to ask her out for years. Now that she’s in his life, he doesn’t ever want to let go.

My review:

What a sad book.

When I started reading it, I wasn’t expecting how much this book would hit me in the feels. I mean, I was ugly crying for most of the book. Maybe because I have a child that is a few years younger than Derrick was when he died but I was really affected by Aidan’s raw grief in this book. And oh boy, was it raw and it made me cry.

Aidan was a single dad who raised Derrick by himself after Derrick’s mother jetted when he was 2. Everything that Aidan did was for Derrick and when Derrick died, Aidan was lost and almost consumed by his grief. He would sit in his backyard and drink himself into a stupor. He was also trying to avoid woman he called “vultures”. They are Derrick’s friends’ single mothers who would come over and offer to “comfort” him. He didn’t want that. What he wanted was Chelsea but he was too consumed by grief to even begin to make a move.

Chelsea’s story was equally sad. Her husband divorced her because she couldn’t have children. Which is sad enough but she ran into her husband and his new wife, who was pregnant. Talk about a burn. She has, for the most part, has come to term with that she was “half a woman”….as her ex had told her. To say I greatly disliked her ex is an understatement.

Chelsea was also there for Derrick’s skateboarding accident. She stayed with him, cradling his head on her stomach. She stayed in the hospital while he was undergoing surgery and she was there when Aidan, who had just heard about the accident, was told that Derrick had died on the operating table. She was there for Aidan the day of the funeral and for those awful weeks afterward. Forget that she was very attracted to him, he didn’t need that type of attention. What he needed was a friend and that is what she gave him.

The side story of Derrick’s best friend was heart-wrenching. When I thought this book could get any sadder, the author threw in Shane’s side of the story and the guilt he was carrying. Like I said….this book is a waterworks factory.

When the relationship between Aidan and Chelsea turned physical, the sex scenes were hot, hot, hot. But what made it even hotter for me was that they were friends for months before they even had sex and when they did, the sex meant something to them both.

This book was told mainly from Chelsea’s point of view with Aidan’s showing up every so often. Which I liked and it worked for this book.

The end of the book was definitely not what I expected and I loved it. What Aidan said at the very last line made my heart melt and again, waterworks.

How many stars will I give His to Cherish: 5

Why: This is not an easy book to read. Not at all and I am sure it wasn’t easy to write. The author did a great job capturing a parent’s raw grief over losing a child to a preventable accident and she did a great job showing while it might get better, the pain never goes away. The romance between Chelsea and Aidan was also very realistic and I loved how it started off as friends, moved to lovers and then, after Aidan’s screw up, to boyfriend/girlfriend. I liked that the sex was secondary and not at the forefront of this story (and don’t get me wrong, it was very hot when they did end up bumping uglies). The secondary storylines, while hard to read, were wrapped up in such a way that you couldn’t help but wonder what is going to happen to Mandy and Shane.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Explicit sex (of course), language, some mild violence. And also some pretty intense scenes of grief.

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