Briefly Romantic (2)

Today for Briefly Romantic I’m reviewing a cowboy romance, a radio jockey romance and a hockey romance. Nothing like a variety of professions to bring on the romance.

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Briefly Romantic (2)Big Bad Cowboy by Carly Bloom
Published by Forever
Published: October 30, 2018
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three-half-stars

In the New York Times tradition of Lori Wilde and Carolyn Brown comes the first book in a new western romance series from Forever debut author Carly Bloom about a no-strings cowboy fling with a fairy tale twist.

Who's afraid of the big, bad cowboy?

After one too many heartbreaks, Travis Blake hung up his cowboy hat and put Big Verde, Texas, behind him. But when he gets the call that his young nephew needs him, he knows he has to return home. His plan is to sell the family ranch and hightail it back to Austin, but there's a small problem: the one person who stands in his way is the one person he can't resist.

Maggie is pretty sure she hates Travis Blake. He's irritating, he's destroying her business, and . . . and he's just so frickin' attractive. But when they're forced to work together, Maggie discovers that the Most Annoying Man in the World is more than he seems. He's sweet with his nephew, he helps out in the community, and he makes her heart flutter. Maggie doesn't want to risk everything on a man who wants to leave, but what if she can convince this wayward cowboy to stay?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Big Bad Cowboy is 100% a mix of fairytale magic and You’ve Got Mail all in one little book package. It was a really fun story but a tad heavier in the serious aspect than some of the other romance books I have read in the past. Travis and Maggie had fantastic chemistry and I loved little Henry. He was a nice addition of comic relief a lot of the time. I also enjoyed the core group of supporting characters. If I had to complain about a thing or two I would have to say the pacing at the end was a little abrupt and I wish that Travis and Maggie fought a little more than they did because I love a good love/hate kind of story. All in all I enjoyed myself reading it and got wrapped up in parts (I almost missed my train stop). I recommend picking this up for a fun, quick read.

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Briefly Romantic (2)Tell Me Something Good by Jamie Wesley
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: August 11, 2014
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three-stars

Two radio show hosts. One show. Who will come out on top? In a moment of restlessness, Tate Grayson sold his multimillion-dollar company and spun his love of sports into a radio talk show. Life, and love, is too short to take seriously-a fact he enjoys rubbing in uptight radio host Noelle Butler's face. After the death of her parents, a tragedy she blamed on herself, Noelle vowed to live a controlled, focused life. Now a psychologist, she channels her need for connection into her radio show. But when the arrogant sportscaster next door tells listeners men shouldn't get married, she's all too happy to yank the silver spoon out of his overprivileged mouth. Their heated on-air arguments are a hit, but when the station director forces them to do a joint show for two weeks, Tate and Noelle object. They can't stand each other, despite the attraction sizzling beneath every interaction. But if they can't pull the struggling radio station back from the brink, they'll lose their jobs. Or worse, their hearts.

Tell Me Something Good was a fun story and a very quick read. It played up the enemy to love troupe very well and the banter and flirting between Noelle and Tate was spot on. I would say I enjoyed myself for about 80% of the book and then every cliché imaginable seemed to creep into the book and it pulled me out of the story a little and made me just want to get to the end. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible and I certainly didn’t hate it, I just thought it had so much more potential. In the end I would say though to get it if you aren’t in the mood for anything too serious and something you can read in a day or even a few hours if you have the time.

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Briefly Romantic (2)The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
Published by Forever
Published: August 7, 2018
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four-stars

Experience the hilarity and heartache of first love and second chances in a sexy new romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series.

Lilah isn't sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she's no longer that same girl and never wants to be again.

Ethan wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that.

Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let Ethan in, though, she finds out their reunion might have nothing to do with love and everything to do with improving his game. But Ethan's already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he'll do anything to keep from losing her again.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Good Luck Charm was a really fun second chance romance story that surrounded around my other romance love, hockey. I swooned a lot reading this one and found Ethan and Lilah to have great chemistry. Honestly I wanted a whole book dedicated to their backstory when I was done. There was a minor part at the end that I wasn’t crazy about, but all in all it was a sexy, light, romance read. If you love sports romances mixed with second chance romance, this book is for you!

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Do you have a current favorite romance? Share in the comments!

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Briefly Romantic (1)

I have been a fan of romance books for a long time, but I never got into the habit of reviewing them unless it was for a blog tour. To be honest I always found it hard to review a romance book. The set up is the same 95% of the time so there really isn’t much to talk about besides characters and the love of the story, which can be quite short. Well that brings me to this. Welcome to my new review feature, Briefly Romantic.

This post is dedicated to the publisher Forever

Briefly Romantic (1)One and Only by Jenny Holiday
Published by Forever
Published: February 27th 2018
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four-stars

In this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday proves that when opposites attract, sparks fly.

Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless
With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One and Only was such a fun book. It had the typical plot, good girl with the reckless guy, but it felt anything but typical. It felt new and fresh. Jane and Cameron were anything but the stereotypes they were place in if you got to know them. And quite honestly they brought out the best in each other, kind of the ying to each others yang. They also had some of the best banter! They played off ea ch other nicely and were able to just be themselves when they were together without having to worry about the preconceived notions others had of them. All in all this was a fantastic start to a new series. I personally can’t wait to see what the next bridesmaid will be up to!

 

Briefly Romantic (1)Slammed by Victoria Denault
Published by Forever
Published: December 5th 2017
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four-stars

Not every goalie plays it safe...
As a publicist for the San Francisco Thunder hockey team, Dixie Braddock is too busy rescuing the players from trouble to get into any of her own. Except, of course, when it comes to the super hot new goalie. Because when a guy's kiss curls your toes and sets your heart on fire, how the hell do you just walk away? But if anyone ever catches them together, she'll lose her job faster than any slapshot.Eli Casco is on the brink of having everything he ever wanted. He's finally been called up from the minor leagues to play on a championship team. And he just had the most mind-blowing night with the woman of his dreams. But now that he's an official Thunder player, Dixie is determined to keep her distance. None of the fame and fortune means anything to him without her to share it. If he truly wants Dixie in his life, it's time to throw down his gloves and put everything on the line.


The San Francisco Thunder series:

Score

It was strongly suggested I read Slammed, so I went against my policy of starting a series from the beginning and picked this one up. I’m so happy that I did. It was a really fun book. Eli and Dixie had the most amazing chemistry from the beginning to the end and I didn’t get that romance reading anxiety from the break-up that almost always comes. Because of how the story was written I wasn’t anxious for the dreaded moment and I really appreciated that. As a fan of hockey romances (I read a lot of them), this was definitely up there as a favorite and I’m grateful I broken my rule. After meeting Eli and Dixie I will happily go back and read book one.

Briefly Romantic (1)The Last King by Katee Robert
Published by Forever
Published: April 3rd 2018
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four-stars

Ultra wealthy and super powerful, the King family is like royalty in Texas. But who will keep the throne? New York Times bestselling author Katee Robert introduces a red-hot new series.

THE MAN SHE HATES TO LOVE

Beckett King just inherited his father's fortune, his company-and all his enemies. If he's going to stay on top, he needs someone he can trust beside him. And though they've been rivals for years, there's no one he trusts more than Samara Mallick.

The rebel. That's how Samara has always thought of Beckett. And he's absolutely living up to his unpredictable ways when he strides into her office and asks for help. She can't help wondering if it's a legit request or just a ploy to get her into bed. Not that she'd mind either one. After all, she likes to live on the edge too.

But soon the threats to the King empire are mounting, and the two find family secrets darker than they ever imagined and dangerous enough to get them both killed.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Last King is proof why you can’t always give up on an author. While I tried to read Katee Roberts before and it ended with a DNF, this one was fantastic! I loved the romance and the thriller involved in it. Beckett and Samara had the greatest push/pull relationship. When they let their guard down with one another the sparks really flew and the chemistry was off the charts. They were smart in understanding what a relationship between them would look like, but they were also unable to stay away from one another. And the thriller aspect was just enough to not feel over the top even with a few of the twists that happened. The end felt a tad off and rushed, but other than that everything about this wooed me. I can’t wait for book 2!

Make sure you have all three of these on your TBR!

What kind of romance books do you love? Share in the comments!

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Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel Cleeton

I started the Wild Aces series on a whim. For some reason I don’t read a ton of military. Honestly I’m not sure why because I love the idea/ concept of them and I have generally loved the ones I have read. Maybe I don’t read a lot of them because they don’t stand out to me? I’m really not sure.  But when I came across the description for Fly With Me and the library happened to have a copy I figured it was meant to be so I started the series and once again I wasn’t disappointed. Did I love all 3 books equally? No. But I really did enjoy all three of them as a whole story putting all the pieces together.

 

Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonFly with Me by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley
Published: May 3rd 2016
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four-stars

From the author of the Capital Confessions Novels comes the first in the steamy Wild Aces Romance series.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.

Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

I am a sucker for a Vegas weekend/one night stand story. I don’t know why, but I love them (especially if there is a drunken marriage, not this book, but in general). So Fly With Me was destined to rate high with me and it did. There was just something about Noah and Jordan’s story and their chemistry. You felt it right away and it never went away. I think about I loved about them the most was how adult they were about everything. They really talked things through and didn’t just fly off the handle. More romance books could use that. But really I loved their story and I loved how it all unfolded in the end.

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Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonInto the Blue by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley
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three-half-stars

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancée.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?

I wasn’t as in love with Into the Blue as I was with Fly With Me. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was fun and a good read, but I wasn’t as in love with Eric and Becca’s story. I loved Eric and his story. I loved how he was affected so much by something that happened in Fly With Me. It was Becca that I struggled with. There was something about her that just didn’t make me love her. I did love them together because I do love a good second chance, rekindled relationship story, but something was just a tad off. Still more than just liked it, but I think I just wanted more.

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Mini Reviews #5 – Wild Aces series by Chanel CleetonOn Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton
Published by Berkley Books
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five-stars

A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory.

But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

On Broken Wings was the book I wanted to read most in the Wild Aces series. As soon as I met Easy in Fly With Me and saw the chemistry he had with Dani I wanted to see their story. I knew it wouldn’t be simple based on circumstances, but I really wanted to see what was there for them. On Broken Wings did exactly that and more. I was pretty much an emotional wreck the whole book and I have never been happier. Just thinking about Dani and Easy and their relationship makes me smile and breaks my heart. It was everything I wanted their story to be and so much more. Truthfully I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give anything away, but this was by far my favorite of the series.

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Review: A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. MaasA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Published: May 3rd 2016
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five-stars

The stunning sequel to Sarah J. Maas' New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

I can tell you right now that this will not be your typical book review. A Court of Mist and Fury had to defy typical book reviewing because a) I refuse to give anything away and b) it is too awesome to be typical (or for me to give anything away). To be honest this book is probably my favorite book by Sarah J. Maas to date and that is saying a lot considering how much I loved both A Court of Thorns and Roses and Crown of Midnight. And the thing is, I was worried. I was worried about the page count (it is a HUGE book); I was worried about the direction of the story; I was worried that I wouldn’t love it as much as I loved ACOTAR. But Sarah did not let me down. She wrote a flawless book that I didn’t want to end, that I didn’t want to let go of, that I didn’t want to finish.

The thing about A Court of Mist and Fury is that it is more than a relationship book or a love story. It is more than a fantasy tale of war and fairies and magic and power. It’s a story about surviving after trauma; of seeing the light after feeling the dark and grabbing on to that light. It’s about facing your demons and coming out in the other side by being more, being better. It’s about loving and living and everything in between. And that is what made this book so powerful and important for me and made me love it. Is there a love story? Sure there is, and it is amazing and important and perfect. But there was so much more to the story. There were friendships and family and learning that sometimes you can just create your own family by meeting the right people.

What I loved about this story was how organic it all seemed to flow. Everything from ACOTAR worked into this book in a way you would never see coming. The tiniest of details in ACOTAR that we never would have had a second thought about all make perfect sense when woven into ACOMAF. Things are never what they seem and sometimes you have to look under the surface for answers and Mist and Fury does that and more. Learning more about these characters and who they are and what the stand for was an honor and a pleasure and I want to know more.

I have no idea what Sarah has in store for the last book of this series. We have never read a final book by her so who knows what it will do to all of us when we do. I do know that I was dead after reading A Court of Mist and Fury. I was crushed by the emotional journey and by everything that went down in the final pages. This book is going to stay with me for a long long time and I have to say…I’m not sorry about this one bit. If you haven’t read this series I implore you to do so and come and take the rest of the journey with me.

acomaf3

And for fun I took this idea from Brittany (The Book Addict’s Guide). Thought I would show you what I went through reading:

acomaf acomaf1

Thanks for letting me borrow your idea B!

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Review: The Score – Elle Kennedy

Review: The Score – Elle KennedyThe Score by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off Campus #3
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: January 11th 2016
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five-stars

He knows how to score, on and off the ice

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

I was a little uncertain how I was going to feel about The Score. I was a crazy big fan of The Deal. So much a fan that I tell everyone to read it that is looking for a good New Adult book. The Mistake, I liked it. I didn’t love it like book one but I really liked it. So really The Score was in a tough place. It could have gone one of two ways…and it went the way of The Deal. Actually it surpassed The Deal and it is all because of one character…Dean Heyward Di-Laurentis.

The Score was far from lacking action. And I’m not just talking about all the sexy times. There was a real story in it. Dean who was scared of commitment in a sense and Allie who was kind of in love with being committed. These two polar opposites learned from each other and learned about themselves. Add in Allie’s acting and Dean’s hockey playing and rich life style there was definitely plenty to build off of.

Back to good ole Briar University. I honestly never thought I would love a fake college as much as I love this one (okay, I love Cora Cormack’s Rusk University on the same level). There is something so quaint and charming about this school. It is like it is a character in the story. Classes are attended but rarely is the reader brought into one and I love that. I love hearing about Allie going here and Dean going there. I love that they have a local bar they go to because colleges usually do have that one local bar. Honestly I felt like I was in college with them.

Seriously I was in love with Garret in The Deal and didn’t think any boy would come close. And then playboy Dean showed up. He was crass and rude and blunt. He had no shame and didn’t care about anyone knowing anything about his life. He had all the qualities I should hate in a guy and get there was something about him that I just had to love. Honestly the best thing about Dean was his truthfulness. He never hid once from who he was and I respected that and so did Allie when all is said and done.

Oh Allie. Allie was so good for Dean. She didn’t take any of his crap and wasn’t not charmed by his usual lines…well mostly. A girl can only be so strong. What she did though was go after what she wanted even when she questioned how she would be perceived by people. She let go enough just to let a player in a tiny bit and it did a world of good for both of them. Dean could be a jerk but Allie called him on it when she had to and he had to deal with the consequences. Basically they were like the best couple once they worked out their junk.

In the end I surprised myself by loving The Score even more than I loved The Deal. I can’t pin point what it was but there was something there and I’m so happy it was. Everything about it worked for me, even the expected break-up that we all know is coming in a romance/NA. I miss Dean and Allie already. Oh and I’m so ready for Tuck’s book (and Hunter’s too). BRING IT!

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