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
on February 27th 2018
Format: eARC, eBook
Amazon, Goodreads

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 from Netgalley, Purchased 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
on December 5th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

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
on April 3rd 2018
Amazon, Goodreads

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 from Netgalley, Purchased 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
on May 3rd 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon, Goodreads

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
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Amazon, Goodreads

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
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

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 from Netgalley 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
on May 3rd 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon, Goodreads

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
on January 11th 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon, Goodreads

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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Reviews: The Deal & The Mistake – Elle Kennedy

Reviews: The Deal & The Mistake – Elle KennedyThe Deal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off Campus #1
Published by Createspace
on April 9th 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon, Goodreads


She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it’s going to be oh so good.
All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Review

I came across The Deal completely randomly. I was looking at what friends were reading and saw a lot where reading it. Since I love books with sports and romance I bought it. BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE! I loved loved loved The Deal. It was such a me book and I couldn’t get enough of it.

The Deal is about Hannah Wells and Garrett Graham, two people that couldn’t be more different. Hannah is a smart girl that is not well versed in sex and seduction while Garrett is the hockey player hottie that plays the field and has often one night stands as he refuses to settle down. When Garrett needs Hannah’s help to keep his GPA up so he can play hockey he offers Hannah a deal; she tutors him and he will pretend to date her so her crush will take notice and get jealous. Hannah is reluctant but agrees and before she knows it she is falling for Garrett in a way she never expected.

Hannah and Garrett. Garrett and Hannah. THEY WERE AMAZING TOGETHER. (Yes I broke out the CAPS LOCK for this.) There was something so natural about these two with their opposites attract vibe and their banter and their friendship. Everything just worked for me. They had fun together and were silly. They fought constantly. But there was a natural attraction that builds while they bantered and flirted and tried to pretend nothing was happening between them. It was amazing to see their relationship grow and blossom and for the two of them to stop hiding from what was in front of them. But it was even better to see them both facing their demons. They were there for each other when they needed to be and that is what endeared me to them.

I’m not going to go on and on about every aspect that I loved about this book because you can see from my rating that it was ALL OF THE BOOK! All you need to know is that you have to read it. If you are looking for a fun story with great characters, sexy/witty banter and a solid back story, then you want The Deal. Actually you know what? You want The Deal anyway. A must read for sure.

Reviews: The Deal & The Mistake – Elle KennedyThe Mistake by Elle Kennedy
Published by Createspace
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon, Goodreads

He’s a player in more ways than one…
College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…
After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Review

The first book in the Off Campus series, The Deal, was crazy addictive. I was sucked into that book from the first page. So when I saw it was a series and The Mistake was book two I preordered immediately. Was it that same as my feelings on The Deal? No. Did I still love it? Absolutely! I may not have loved The Mistake or been as addicted to The Mistake as I was to The Deal, but it was book crack all the same.

The Mistake essentially takes places right after The Deal ends. (To be honest It was hard for me to tell how much time passed between the two books.) The story is about John Logan and Grace Ivers. Logan is a hot shot hockey star that walk around campus like a sports god. While Grace on the other had in a quiet freshman that is a little naïve and keeps to herself. When a chance meeting happens between the two a friendship and immediate sparks start up. But when Logan does something stupid Grace washes her hands of the hot hockey player. Now a year later Logan wants Grace back in his life but Grace doesn’t know if she should let him. She isn’t the same girl she was anymore. With persistence Logan convinces Grace to give him a chance to woo her. But with Grace now running the show just how far will Logan be willing to go to get her back in his life?

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There were things I loves about this plot and story and things that I didn’t hate but I wasn’t crazy about. I didn’t love the whole “Logan is in love with Wellsy” story. I just didn’t get that he was that kind of guy from his personality and I didn’t like the choices he made because of that. But I did love his though process on this when Grace was in the picture and then not in the picture. I loved seeing Logan woo Grace because she knew she deserved it and he knew she deserved. And I loved her not being easy to woo back after he screwed up like he did. That was the best part of the story for me.

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I love Briar University. I can’t help it. I know it is a made up college but I always like to picture my alma mater when I think about it. It wasn’t even close to the same but the campus feels like it could be similar so my mind goes there. Seriously though there is just something about books that take place on college campuses that makes me wish I was college age again. Then you throw sports into the mix and forget about it.

characters

John Logan. What can I say about John Logan? He is arrogant and knows he can get what he wants but is also charming and adorable and a hot hockey player. What is there not to love? All of that and he is human. He makes mistakes and feels bad about it and has insane crazy emotions that he knows aren’t right. He is real. And Grace was his perfect counterpart. She didn’t really let him get away with anything. She started out naïve but grew and became someone that knew what she was worth. She was strong and just want Logan needed to keep him in his place. Basically I loved them!

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In the end I may not have been as addicted as I was to the first book, but I did really love it. I wanted more when all was said and done. It was well written and had a great group of characters. It was everything I hoped for for a follow-up and it made me really look forward to book 3. So book 3, where are you?

 

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