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:

And don’t miss her seductive Ethan Frost series:

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**

Hot & Heavy (Lightning: Book 2) by Tracy Wolff

Hot & Heavy (Lightning, #2)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 17th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: Lightning

Down & Dirty – Book 1 (review here)

Hot & Heavy – Book 2

Where you can find Hot & Heavy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When a daredevil football stud tries to get into your yoga pants, you know class is about to get interesting. The New York Times bestselling author of Down & Dirty returns with Hot & Heavy.

Sage: Although I come from a long line of free-spirited yoga teachers, sometimes I wish my life could be just a little more normal. More ordinary. More boring. Easier said than done, especially since it’s on me to keep my family’s studio up and running every time my mother wanders off to find herself. But that’s when my best friend sends me a sexy new student: Shawn Wilson, a slick wide receiver with a death wish and a chip on his broad, muscular, irresistible . . . wait, what were we talking about again?

Shawn: They say I’m an adrenaline junkie. The truth is, I only really feel alive when I’m risking my life: Snowboarding, parachuting, BASE jumping . . . the kind of fun team management considers a breach of contract. When my coach orders me to take yoga to “center myself,” I’m pissed—until I get an eyeful of delectable, flexible Sage Kaufmann. Unfortunately, she’s determined to keep things between us strictly business. But if Sage can get me to enjoy downward dog, maybe I can convince her that scorching hot sex could be the perfect shot of adrenaline.

With their own sweet HEAs, Tracy Wolff’s red-hot Lightning novels can be read together or separately:

My review:

You know when a book starts with the two main characters getting their freak on in a bar outside the bathroom, the main focus will be sex. So I wasn’t surprised by the amount of sex in this book. What I was surprised by was how involved I got with the characters. I thought this book would be heavy on the sex and light on the plot. Instead, I got surprised. The plot was as good as the sex.

I loved Sage. She has to be one of my favorite fictional characters to date. She had a childhood that left her craving for stability. So, what does she do? Becomes an accountant. Nothing more stable than that. She kept people at arm’s length, unwilling to let anyone in. The only person she let in was Emerson. That was until she met Shaun. I felt that meeting Shaun was good for her. He made her go outside her comfort zone. He made her reevaluate what was important in her life. I loved watching her interact with Shaun. She didn’t know how to act with him. He threw her off-center. Loved it!!!

I thought Shaun was an idiot for most of the book. He did high-risk, daredevil antics that put him in danger. He didn’t care. Then he hurt his shoulder and met Sage. But even then, he didn’t slow down. I mean, after Sage did a deep muscle massage and taught him some yoga moves, he flipped mountain climbing and REINJURED his shoulder. I did a facepalm when he did that. He acted like a child. Did what he wanted, when he wanted, and forgot everyone else. It wasn’t until he scared Sage and his friends free diving that he kind of woke up. I say kind of because I didn’t feel he would stop. Tone down, yes. Stop, no.

I wish that there the romance was built up between Shaun and Sage. While I appreciate, like any red-blooded woman, hot sex in a book, I do like romance first at times. Sage and Shaun could have benefited from a romantic build-up instead of banging each other. I felt that any romance that could have happened was overshadowed by the sex. I did yell at my book and say, “Take her out to dinner, Shaun. Not to your bed,” a couple of times…lol.

Speaking of sex, holy moly, was it hot. This author loves having her characters do the dirty in public places. Hunter and Emerson (from Book 1) had a famous BJ while Emerson showed him a house. Shaun and Sage have sex in a bar outside a bathroom. Yes!! Plus, pool sex (which isn’t my thing, personally) was made fantastic and somewhat doable. Shaun and Sage also had insane sexual chemistry. INSANE!!! A look could get either of them going. Or, in Shaun’s case, a touch when doing yoga…haha.

I need to talk about what I didn’t like about both characters (besides the obvious). Sage’s mother was a piece of freaking work. Who, in their right mind, would take money out of a business and use it to pay a guru in India? And what got me was that she didn’t care. When Sage opened up to her about how her upbringing affected her, her mother first said, “I make no apologies for how I lived my life” (or something along that line). I was like, “Seriously, lady, your daughter has ISSUES because of that”. I loved that the author didn’t try to change Sage’s mother and didn’t make excuses for her.

What I didn’t like about Shaun was that he was feeling guilt over his mother and sister’s death. Yes, he was in a rush, but he was also a child. Guess what? Kids make parents rush. I wanted to hug him when he told Sage that. He also revealed why he did extreme sports. Which was also heartbreaking.

The end of the book was what I expected. Total HEA. I read it with a huge grin on my face. I couldn’t wipe it away. Loved it!!

What I liked about Hot & Heavy:

A) Sage. Loved her

B) The plot of the book

C) The sex

What I disliked about Hot & Heavy:

A) Shaun. He acted like a child for most of the book

B) Almost no romance. Wish there was more

C) Sage’s mother. Couldn’t stand her

I would give Hot & Heavy 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.

I would reread Hot & Heavy. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

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

All opinions stated in this review of Hot & Heavy are mine.

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

Royal Treatment (His Royal Hotness: Book 2) by Tracy Wolff

Royal Treatment (His Royal Hotness, #2)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 24th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Trigger Warning:

Series: His Royal Hotness

Royal Pain – Book 1 (review here)

Royal Treatment – Book 2

Where you can find Royal Treatment: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Trigger Warning: PTSD, talk of past torture

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

What’s a crown prince to do with time on his hands? Or better yet, who? It’s Prince Garrett’s turn to find love in this mouth-watering standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Royal Pain.

Once upon a time, I was being groomed to sit on the throne of Wildemar. Now I’m lucky they let me into the palace through the front door. After I was kidnapped and tortured by extremists, my reward upon my release is that nobody trusts me enough to let me be king. And since my twin brother, Kian, has assumed all my responsibilities, I figure why not take over as the black sheep?

But after breaking things off with my betrothed—we never had much chemistry, anyway—and giving the jet-setting playboy lifestyle a try, I’m starting to wonder if I’m cut out for this s***. Then I meet Lola Barnes, a drop-dead gorgeous entrepreneur from the States who’s as refreshing as she is feisty. 

It’s supposed to be a one-night-stand—until the press catches wind of my “new American sweetheart.” Trouble is, Lola’s no sweetheart. But the more I see our names together in the headlines, the more I find myself craving another taste. . . .

My review:

Don’t let the blurb of Royal Treatment fool you. There is more to this book than a jet-setting prince. I went into Royal Treatment thinking that this was going to be a light read. A book with plenty of sex and Instalove. While I got the latter two, I was not expecting the heavy subject that the book explored.

The author did a fantastic job of catching us up from Royal Pain. Garrett is no longer the Prince Regent. His kidnapping deemed him unfit in his father’s eyes and he was let go of his duties. Now, Kian, his twin, is now the Prince Regent. Garrett is hurting. From the kidnapping and torture. From his father’s unrealistic view of what happened to him. Meeting Lola was what he needed. She soothed his broken soul. Can Lola help Garrett face what happened to him? Or will she be another person who turns their back on him when he needs it the most?

I wasn’t the hugest fan of Lola at the beginning of the book. She came across as brash and argumentative. But, the more the story went on, the more I could see how she affected Garrett. She was able to keep his nightmares at bay. More importantly, she soothed him. It was in Paris where I started to like her. I loved her when she stood up to Kian for Garrett. I said “You go girl” and double fist pumped the sky. I also got her hesitation about being a relationship with Garrett. I know I wouldn’t have dealt with paps all over the place. Which is also why I wonder how Megan Markle deals with it? I would have been driven bat poop crazy.

Garrett was such a tortured person. As I was reading the book from his perspective, I realized that he was still recovering from his kidnapping and torture. His nightmares were a huge clue for me. I got his pain from being relieved from his duty as Prince Regent. That was his life. It was all he knew and when he was told “No more“, he didn’t know what to do with himself.

There is Instalove. Dreaded Instalove. I do expect some degree of Instalove in romance novels that I read. But when it is laid on thick, which it was in this case, I do a lot of eye-rolling and sighing out loud.

I couldn’t get over how cruel the King was to Garrett. As a parent, I was appalled by how callous he was to him. If my son had been kidnapped and tortured, I would have been devastated. He was more worried about how the people would view Garrett. I didn’t see an ounce of compassion towards him. At all. After the phone conversation with Garrett, I wanted to drop kick him in the boy bits. What Garrett went through couldn’t be healed like a physical injury. He needed time to heal. He also needed a family to support him. Which he kinda got with Kian. But not from the King.

Of course, the sex was fantastic. Lola and Garrett could heat up the sheets with the best of them. If my Kindle was a book, the pages would have been on fire for sure.

I am not going to get into the ending of Royal Treatment. All I have to say is that it was one of the rawest, most emotional endings that I have read to date.

What I liked about Royal Treatment:

A) Lola. Took me a while to like her but she was awesome towards the end of the book.

B) Garrett. Read above

C) Kian and Savvy making appearances. Loved it!!

What I disliked about Royal Treatment:

A) Instalove. Bleh.

B) The King. Couldn’t stand him

C) What happened towards the end of the book.

I would give Royal Treatment an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is violence. Also, there is a scene of a breakdown that could trigger people. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in Royal Treatment. They are PTSD, talk of past torture, and a scene containing a breakdown.

I would recommend Royal Treatment to family and friends. I would include a note about the triggers. This is a book and a series that I would reread.

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

All opinions stated in this review of Royal Treatment are mine.

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

Royal Pain (His Royal Hotness: Book 1) by Tracy Wolff

Royal Pain (His Royal Hotness, #1)

Title: Royal Pain

Author: Tracy Wolff

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: September 19th, 2017

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Series: His Royal Hotness

Royal Pain – Book 1

Number of pages: 230

POV: Alternating 1st person

Where you can find Royal Pain: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

He’s a womanizer. He’s cocky. He’s not exactly a prince. Only he technically is. Meet your new royal obsession in this addictive novel from New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff.

Being rich opens a lot of doors. When you’re rich and royal, those doors lead to a new bedroom every night. I should know. The tabloids call me His Royal Hotness, Prince Kian of Wildemar. Women across the world see me as a naughty fairy tale, an image I’m happy to indulge. As the spare to the heir, I’m the prince with none of the power . . . and all of the perks.

Then my twin brother is kidnapped, and suddenly I’m the one who could be king. The crown chasers start circling—and yet it’s a luscious waitress who catches my eye. With a smart mouth and the curves to back it up, Savannah Breslin is as brazen as I’d expect an American commoner to be.

But Savvy’s not interested in playing Cinderella. As sexy as she is, she’s no stranger to heartbreak. Besides, a nice guy wouldn’t drag her into all the drama that comes along with royalty. Lucky I’m not a nice guy. And, as it turns out, I might not even be her first prince. 

Trigger Warning: Kidnapping, After effects of torture

Continue reading “Royal Pain (His Royal Hotness: Book 1) by Tracy Wolff”

Down & Dirty by Tracy Wolff

Down & Dirty

Title: Down & Dirty

Author: Tracy Wolff

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: May 23rd, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 203

POV: Alternating 1st person

Where you can find Down & Dirty: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

This hard-bodied football star is used to scoring. But he needs all the right moves to get past a fiery redhead’s defenses in a steamy standalone novel from the bestselling author of Ruined.

Emerson: Talk about bad first impressions. I have too much riding on this job to show up late on my first day looking like the winner of a wet T-shirt contest, all thanks to an arrogant quarterback who drives like he owns the road. Hunter Browning thinks that because he’s famous, he can fix everything with a smile and a wave of his hand. He’s too bronzed, buff, and beautiful for his own good. Or mine. I can’t let on that I’m a fan . . . no matter how much fun we’d have in the sack.

Hunter: Hitting that puddle was my best play since winning the Super Bowl with a touchdown pass. Sure, it’s not my preferred way to get a girl wet, but I’ll make an exception for Emerson Day. She’s got a sharp tongue and a red-hot temper, even with her soaking clothes plastered to her every curve. Now I know exactly what my next play will be: hire Emerson as my personal real-estate agent, save her job—and see if I can take her off the market.

My review:

Don’t let the blurb fool you, Down & Dirty is not one of those books where the main characters have sex as much as possible and there is no plot other than the sex. Nope, there is actually a plot in this book and I was completely surprised by it. So any book that takes me by surprise automatically gets an extra star rating from me…

I felt awful for Emerson at the beginning of the book. I mean, her car breaks down, her Uber driver took forever, she gets soaked to the skin by Hunter when he pulled up in his car and then, the icing on the cake, she gets her boss mad at her by unintentionally taking Hunter’s sale away from her. So I don’t blame her for being kinda of a witch with a b to Hunter when they go out looking at houses. I think I would have said worse to him, to be honest. The ice did break when they went to that house with the erotic statues in the backyard and it broke in a huge way. And when I say broke, I mean she decided to get down on her knees and copy some of the statues….haha.

Hunter came across as a complete and utter jerk at the beginning of the book. But, as the book went on, he actually came across as a very stressed out guy. His sister was dying of cancer and he was scrambling to find a house for him, her, his niece, nephew, and their nanny to live in before she passes away. He made a decision the day he met Emerson to have her show houses. Emerson’s boss, who was a witch with a b, wasn’t showing him the houses that he liked. He thought that Emerson would. What he didn’t expect was to fall hard for her.

I am going to admit that the sex scenes were kind of eh. I am not a huge fan of public sex and Emerson was being unprofessional by giving Hunter a hummer in the backyard of that house. She was on the job and those people could have come home at any minute. But, saying that, the sex they had after the gala was insanely erotic. I didn’t think that watercolors could be used like that. Honestly, I would be afraid to use any type of paints because I would be afraid of them staining my skin.

I did cry during the last half of the book. I could totally understand why Hunter did what he did and I gave mad props to Emerson for texting him every day…even when he told her to stop. This is the part of the book that I didn’t expect and I loved that the author took a step back from the sex and wrote a sweet story for the last half of the book.

I will say that the author did leave the ending open for other stories with the players from Hunter’s football team. If there is, I really can’t wait to read book 2.

How many stars will I give Down & Dirty: 4

Why: I am going to be brutally honest. This would have gotten a 3 from me until I read the last few chapters of the book. Because I got surprised and because of how the author wrote the last chapters of the book (see the review above), I bumped it up to a 4. In my opinion, the last half of the book made the entire book.

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**