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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On My Radar – July Releases (12)

It’s finally 90 in Boston…well for today and tomorrow anyway. And with 90s in June there is only one thing on my mind…July. July is one of my favorite months of the year. It is usually the tome when the weather is great and the books released are pretty fantastic and mostly quiet. There usually aren’t a ton of hype books released in July and that’s part of the reason I love books that come out then. You can find some great gems.

Currently there are 16 books on my TBR that are released in July, but I’m focusing on 6. Two of them I have read and gave 5 stars and the other 4 are ones I’m super excited for:

On My Radar – July Releases (12)Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: July 4th 2017
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Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
Published by Delacorte Press
Published: July 11th 2017
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)Trust by Kylie Scott
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: May 23rd 2017
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Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes
Published by HarperTeen
Published: July 11th 2017
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Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)Who's That Girl by Blair Thornburgh
Published by HarperTeen
Published: July 11th 2017
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This laugh-out-loud debut is filled with hilarious awkward encounters, a supportive LGBTQ organization, and too many cheesy lyrics to count—all with the compulsive readability of Audrey, Wait! and Boy Meets Boy.

Junior Nattie McCullough has always been that under-the-radar straight girl who hangs out in the cafeteria with her gay-straight alliance friends. She’s never been the girl that gets the guy, let alone the girl that gets a hit song named after her. But when last summer’s crush, smoking-hot musician Sebastian Delacroix—who has recently hit the mainstream big-time—returns home to play a local show, that’s just what she gets. He and his band, the Young Lungs, have written a chart-topping single—“Natalie”—which instantly makes Nattie second guess everything she thought about their awkward non-kiss at that June pool party. That it was horrific. That it meant nothing. That Sebastian never gave her another thought.

To help keep her mind off of Sebastian and his maybe-about-her, maybe-not-about-her song, Nattie throws herself into planning the school’s LGBTQIA dance. That proves problematic, too, when Nattie begins to develop feelings for her good friend Zach. With the song getting major airplay and her once-normal life starting to resemble the cover of a gossip magazine, Nattie is determined to figure out once and for all if her brief moment with Sebastian was the stuff love songs are made of—or just a one-hit wonder.

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On My Radar – July Releases (12)The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride
Published by Sky Pony Press
Published: July 4th 2017
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You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.

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If you are looking for other books on my radar you can check out my July shelf on Goodreads HERE.

What’s on your radar in July? Are you excited for any of these?

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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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