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

Knocked Up (Crazy Love, #2)

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:
FAKE WIFE | KNOCKED UP

And don’t miss her passionate Fireside series:
HIS TO LOVE | HIS TO PROTECT | HIS TO CHERISH | HIS TO SEDUCE

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 parents 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

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 afterwards. 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 in 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**