Friday, February 16, 2018

REVIEW/RELEASE: Fix My Fall by Carey Heywood

Series: The Fix #3
Genre: Romantic Comedy

~Blurb~

Abby Thompson’s love life is a disaster. Everyone around her is blissfully falling in love, while she’s busy binge watching anime. The last thing she needs is a walking temptation, in the form of ex-nerd turned dreamy astrophysics professor, Spencer Hill, aka her new client.

It’s her job to find Spencer his dream home, NOT fantasize about a ride on his space rocket. But the sparks between them are impossible to ignore, and soon, Abby is wondering if her losing streak in love could be turning around.

Can she get over her anxiety he’s got her out-brained, and can he let go of the past and the fear that the girl he crushed on in high school is still out of his league?

~Book Review~
3 Stars

Spencer Hill is an astrophysicist working at the university in his old home town in New Hampshire.  Abby Thompson is the peppy younger sister to Noah and Asher from the first two books. Acquaintances back in high school, when Spencer needs a realtor, his mother knows who to call.

Like the heroes in the series books before him, Spencer is an upstanding guy—a real gentleman.
“I’m not going to make her jealous, and I’m not going to force myself on her.”
He avoids some popular romance pitfalls, displaying his maturity and intelligence. While Noah remains my favorite hero from this series, Spencer is a good guy too.

Abby was a cute supporting character in the previous books, seemingly confident and even a bit of a matchmaker so I was disappointed when Abby’s insecurities showed in her own relationship. Eventually she handled it well, but I would have had more respect for her if she’d also confided in/conversed with Spencer about her feelings.

Fitting with the rest of the series, the story is low angst and slow burn. While the steam level has never been high, I don’t know what happened with this one. The sex scenes are fade-to-black or skipped over. It definitely could have benefited from some more details and to be spiced up.

One other item to note, which pulled me out of the story to ponder and felt a bit awkward dialogue wise. There’s what I would deem an inaccurate exchange between Abby and Spencer where Abby claims that all professors are doctors in regards to the titles Spencer and his colleague go by, which Spencer confirms, and then asserts that ‘professor’ is a cooler name than ‘doctor.’   While the later could be construed as simply her opinion, most Ph.D holders I’ve ever known would certainly prefer ‘Dr.’ over ‘professor’ when being addressed since they put in the time and study and earned that degree. In fact, some professors would even take offense to not being called ‘Dr.’ The terms are not entirely interchangeable as most but not all professors (post secondary teachers) hold doctorate degrees. You can teach at a college level with a master’s as well (probably more likely an adjunct position as opposed to tenure track); hence often where the ‘professor’ title is used by the students since they can’t call them “Dr.” While ‘Professor’ is the highest ranking position as opposed to ‘Associate Professor’ and ‘Assistant Professor’ among the faculty hierarchy, typically students don’t pay a lot of attention to that.

Told via Abby and Spencer’s alternating first person POV, this third book in the series can be read as a standalone. The previous couples make appearances. 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Available at other retailers soon

~Also Available~
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


Carey Heywood is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Supporting her all the way are her husband, three sometimes-adorable children, a mischievous black cat, German Shepherd rescue puppy, and their nine-pound attack Yorkie.


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RELEASE BLITZ: The Pilot and the Puck-Up by Pippa Grant

Genre: Sexy Romantic Comedy

~Blurb~

He’s the biggest, baddest, most spider-fearing motherpucker on the ice…

When you’re named after the king of the gods, the world expects certain things of you.

Tough? Damn right.

Smart? Don’t let the hockey uniform fool you.

Large and in charge? Honey, I’m the biggest, baddest, mother pucking-est machine to ever own the ice. I shoot. I score. In and out of the rink. I don’t come early, but I come often, if you know what I mean. And I always leave the ladies wanting more.

Until that chick last night.

I’m no one-thrust wonder, and you’re damn right I’m going to prove to her I can do better. But every time I think I’m finally on my way back into her pants, she one-ups and out-balls me.

I should cut my losses, lick my wounds, and walk away.

But Zeus Berger doesn’t walk away from anything.

Especially when she's the only woman in the world who might be able to handle me.


The Pilot and the Puck-Up is a standalone romantic comedy featuring a hockey player whose ego is the only thing bigger than his shoe size, the most badass woman to ever fly a plane, rubber chockey (don't ask), and no cheating or cliffhangers.

~Book Review~
DNF @39%

The pilot—Joey “Fireball” Diamonte is probably pushing thirty, runs her own business (which has her hobnobbing with celebrities), attended college, and served a six year stint in the military. And yet despite all those life experiences surrounded by men, she’s never gotten down and jiggy with one.
  
This manwhore/virgin trope has grown so stale it just tastes bad at this point. Why aren’t these heroines allowed to have had some fun??? What is the appeal of having a woman hold on to her virginity for a decade past the point where she turned legal only to lose it to some guy who has enough notches on his bedpost to draw a stick figure village?

Even more mind boggling is that the only man who seems to waken her drowsy woman bits is the loud ass, large dude who she likens to a wooly mammoth and happens to be at a golf country club wearing a dress and bra stacked with coconuts.

While I’m sure the tone was aimed at romcom, the romantic part was missing. It seemed more like the Wayans brothers got a hold of a contemporary romance book and turned it into one of their skits. I mean, the hero is described as smelling like man sweat, beer, and fried cheese in one scene and Joey is still considering letting him go down on her. Yeah, definitely more of a parody of a romance than an actual one.  And don’t get me started on Joey’s undergarments.

Meanwhile, we’re told a few too many times that’s she’s “badass,” which pretty much ensures that she’s not! She comes across as cold rather than caring, brash rather than ballsy, and cocky rather than confident. She treats her 26 year old sister like a child, and I was starting to really wonder about her obsessive need to interfere in her sister’s social/love life. It got to the point where her cock-blocking was creepy. 
“One day, when I pick a man good enough for her, she’ll give me nieces and nephews…”
 When I pick???

Okay, let’s add controlling and bossy to her characterization description too.

And then there’s Zeus Berger, 30, pro hockey player. He’s also cocky (not to be confused with confident), obnoxious, and immature. While he proclaims to not care what people think of him, he sure goes out of his way to get their attention. On one hand, they are made for each other; on the other...well I never thought I’d say this in a romance, but for one time—just this once—I was rooting for him to go hook up with someone else.

I know, I know, I usually rail against that in a romance, but the romantic vibe here was just that lacking, and I actually felt bad for the jerk after the way she treated him over the whole pre-ejaculatory incident. Or the fire drill that wasn’t even his fault.

And the more I mentally rooted for him to ditch Fireball and screw anything else that was more pleasant, alongside growing bored over their golf game, I realized it was time to throw in the towel on this one.  

If you’ve ever wondered how Mr. and Mrs. Neanderthal courted, well then this might be one to give a whirl. But if you prefer both your heroine and hero to have social skills more advanced than a toddler, this is one pass the puck on by. 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

~Excerpt~
Zeus Berger (aka the biggest, baddest, most spider-fearing mother pucker to ever play in the NHL)

Coconuts are itchy. I should’ve gone for the watermelons. But it was a bitch and a half getting that last-minute private fitting at Madame Cosette’s anyway, and the woman probably would’ve had to stitch three bras together and then nailed the damn contraption to my shoulders to get it to hold without losing a melon, so coconuts it is. Besides, it’s the heels that are gonna be the bigger problem. Damn good thing I have ankles of fucking steel. And my minidress is stretched to max capacity over the coconuts anyway. It’s also in danger of showing my other coconuts, if you catch my drift. And there’s definitely a drift—or is that a draft?—on my other coconuts.

A wolf whistle echoes through the swanky private clubhouse where I’m strolling in with my twin brother on my left and my brother from another mother on my right. A passing server drops a tray of champagne. Conversation stops. And a bunch of stuffy golf pricks gape at us like we’re a mutant alien circus freak show crashing their million-dollar wedding reception. We’re three dudes who have more money than God, more muscles than all the Kardashians’ bodyguards combined, and more fun than cotton candy and roller coasters.

~Also Available~
FREE for a limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Always free in Kindle Unlimited

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Pippa Grant is a stay-at-home mom and housewife who loves to escape into sexy, funny stories way more than she likes perpetually cleaning toothpaste out of sinks and off toilet handles. When she’s not reading, writing, sleeping, or trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, she’s fantasizing about chocolate chip cookies.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

COVER REVEAL: The Troublemaker by Lili Valente

Genre: Sexy Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 23, 2018

~Blurb~

They say Rafe Hunter is trouble with a capital T.

I say—bring it on.

As long as Trouble comes in a package as delicious as Rafe’s, I’m ready to climb on his Harley and ride all night long—and I’m not just talking about his motorcycle.

I can hide out until the scandal with my evil ex blows over AND have a wild rebound at the same time. Besides, I’ve got no heart left to break. My ex made sure of that.

As long as Rafe and I keep our no-strings fling from our families, what can possibly go wrong?

***

This is so damned wrong.

I don’t do drama, and this thing with Carrie Haverford has Bad News written all over it. After one red-hot kiss, I know I should cut and run.

Instead I take her home, take her in her car, take her to the beach and make her scream louder than the crashing waves. And then I take her so far into my heart I don’t see how I’m ever going to let her go.

The say the bigger and badder they are, the harder they fall. But when I fall for a girl with third degree love burns, how can I convince her that fire is a good thing?

This sexy Standalone romance will make you laugh, melt, and fall madly in love. 
Cover Design: Bootstrap Designs
Photo: Perrywinkle Photography
Pre-order Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

~Also in the Series~


Lili Valente has slept under the stars in Greece, eaten dinner at midnight with French men who couldn’t be trusted to keep their mouths on their food, and walked alone through Munich’s red light district after dark and lived to tell the tale.

These days you can find her writing in a tent beside the sea, drinking coconut water and thinking delightfully dirty thoughts.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

EXCERPT REVEAL: INK by Elizabeth Hunter

 INK, an all new opposites attract, Contemporary Romance by Elizabeth Hunter is coming March 13th!

~Synopsis~

It’s everything but business as usual.
Emmie Elliot hadn’t expected to come back to Metlin, California. She definitely didn’t expect to stay. She returned to her childhood home with a mission: Sell the building that housed her grandmother’s book store and move on with her life.

But life doesn’t always go according to plan.

To reopen her grandmother’s book shop, Emmie will need a hook. She’ll need a strategy. She’ll need an… Ox?

Miles Oxford doesn’t have much interest in quiet bookstore owners. He’s a tattoo artist without a space to work, and the last thing he wants is to get involved with anyone after his last disaster of a relationship. Work and pleasure don’t mix for Ox, but since he doesn’t have any interest in the cute girl with the bold business proposal, he should be safe from any awkward complications, right?

She sells ink. He tattoos it. Unusual? Yes. But a book shop/tattoo studio might be the ticket for both Emmie and Ox to find success on their own terms. As long as they keep their attention focused on business.

Just on business.

~Excerpt~

The sign Ox was painting in the alley would hang over the 7th Avenue door. It simply read INK.

INK. What else could they call it? Books and tattoos. Tattoos and books. Ink.

They were doing this, and Emmie asked herself every morning if she was making a horrible, awful mistake.

“It’s not too late to call it off,” Daisy said. “Then you can find a nice children’s retailer to work with while I convince Ox that the two of you are meant for each other.” Daisy had hopped on the INK train and immediately hopped off when Emmie had told her about Ox’s condition.

“Don’t be ridiculous and keep your voice down,” Emmie said. The shop was finally clean, the shelves were empty with all salvable stock boxed and organized, and Emmie was standing on a ladder, starting the new coat of vanilla cream paint that would set off the dark oak bookshelves and the counters that Ethan and his dad had ordered.

“You and Ox would be great together,” Daisy hissed, glancing toward the back hallway that led to the alley. “I was thinking about setting you up. I was just waiting for him to break up with Ginger.”

“You are full of it. He may be hot, but I am the opposite of his type.” Emmie started the paint and immediately let out a happy sigh. Everything was better with fresh paint.

“He is a twenty-eight year old man,” Daisy said. “Trust me, he doesn’t know what type is good for him.”

“Good for him? What about me?”

“Trust me. That man would be very good for you. Or parts of you, at least.”

Emmie rolled her eyes. “We are starting a business together. Not getting involved was a smart condition, and I agreed immediately because I am a grown up and business is more important than my hormones.”

“And then you died a little inside,” Daisy said sadly. “Because you will linger alone, a poor village girl, slave to her virtue, never having felt the fire of passion in your too-short life.”

Emmie laughed so hard she snorted and almost smudged the woodwork. “Have you been watching telenovelas in the kitchen again?”

“I swear, Eddie works faster when they’re on in the background,” Daisy said. “I think I’m absorbing them subconsciously.”

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ELIZABETH HUNTER is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and paranormal mystery author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening. She’s the author of the Elemental Mysteries, the Irin Chronicles, and the Cambio Springs Mysteries. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

REVIEW/RELEASE BLITZ: The Baby Maker by Lili Valente

Genre: Sexy Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 5, 2018

~Blurb~

Some men are troublemakers or dealmakers. The men in my family? We’re baby makers.

For six generations, the women of wine country have had a saying: don’t bang a Hunter man unless you want a bun in your oven.

Yeah, well. I’ve got a saying too: no thanks. The last thing I need is baby makes three. My business is expanding and the only thing I’m interested in getting knocked up is my bottom line.

But then one night Emma Haverford makes me an offer I can’t refuse—she backs away from the land I have my eye on in exchange for a favor…

A big, fat, baby making favor…

******
When I hear women have gotten pregnant shaking hands with Hunter men, I know I need Dylan Hunter’s…ahem, special skills…way more than I need to expand my vineyard.

I’m ready to give my heart to a child and I’m tired of waiting for my late-to-the-party Prince Charming to make my dreams come true. So I promise Dylan—three months of hot, heavy, baby-making s-e-x and then I’m out of his hair forever.

But what if when it comes time to say good-bye, all I want to do is keep bottling up more memories with this big-hearted man?

This sexy Standalone romance will make you laugh, swoon, and blush baby-makin’ red. Heat level: A risk of getting knocked up during download. Paperback and audio versions are especially dangerous. Handle with care…
~Book Review~
4.5 Stars

Dylan Hunter, 31, has his hands full salvaging his family’s farm, looking after his nephews, and trying to build a life of his own. The last thing he thinks he needs is a baby making job with the determined new neighbor.

Emma Haverford, 34, has left the fast city and career life along with a cheating ex behind in Silicon Valley to purse a less stressful existence in the vineyards. The change is suiting her, but there’s still one thing her heart desires.

First things first because this is one of the biggest things that impressed me about this story and this type of premise—a complicated situation is handled well and while neither party is perfect, they both behave maturely. There are plenty of smutty tales in the romance market that incorporate baby-making or breeding—the misogynist notion of using conception as a means of control where the so-called hero makes a rash decision in the middle of sex to stake a claim. Thankfully this is not one of them. It’s also not a tale of a heroine trying to trap the hero to get the whole baby and baby-daddy package. Both the hero and the heroine are depicted thinking things out, rationalizing their decision, alongside consulting the advice of medical professionals and trusted family members in efforts to make an informed decision about a situation that isn’t ideal or either of their first choices.  I applaud the author for tackling a more modern dilemma in a thought-out and respectful manner rather than to throw out a load of archaic modes of thinking and call it romance.  The difference is a story that actually is romantic and hotter because the main characters are developed and shown falling in love rather than espousing insta-love. 
“‘If I don’t stop soon, I’m going to take you right here….On the ground, in the dirt. It’s been a long time for me, Blondie.’”
 Dylan had a good head on his shoulders, and even though he didn’t think he was ready for fatherhood, it was clear he was a great catch.  I appreciated how he stressed them getting to know each other and how his monologues revealed how he was falling in love. 
“Mental scrapbooking of orgasms is a classic warning sign that love is right around the corner.”
 Emma was a strong and independent female character. I admired how she held firm to her goals.  I didn’t find her desperate; simply that she knew what she wanted and when she saw an opportunity with a man she was strongly attracted to, went after it. I respected the fact that she choose Dylan for the good qualities she saw in him and the hope that her child would have those same genes rather than utilizing a sperm bank, an option that she does keep open. While a little more communication between them would have gone a long way, it wasn’t unrealistic given the short time they’d known each other and their original arrangement. And the story still stayed pleasingly low angst.

Told via Dylan and Emma’s first person POV, the pair had good chemistry. I found them both likable from the start, and the story easy to get into from the opening. By the end, I was swooning over Dylan. All in all, it’s a very sweet, feel-good romance.  The next book, The Troublemaker, features Dylan’s half brother Rafe and Emma’s sister Carrie. The intro to their book that is included has me intrigued. I’m not usually a fan of the manwhore hero, but Carrie looks like a formidable match so as long as it’s safe (fingers crossed), I’ll give it a go. I hope at least one of the twins gets a book at some point too. 

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Narrated by Andi Arndt & Sebastian York

~Character Interview~
Book Boyfriend Data Sheet

Name: Dylan Hunter

Age: 31

Birthday:🎂 May 15th ♉

Birthplace:🌎 Mercyville, California (Sonoma County)

Measurements: 📏
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 180 lbs
Length: More than enough
Girth: Gentlemen don't brag

Turn-ons:
👍 Hard work, good coffee, better beer, kindness, big blue eyes, and sexy librarian glasses (and the fantasies that go with them!)

Turn-offs:👎 Complaining, narrow minds, and cows that bite.

Favorite time of day for “baby making”: We guys wake up ready in the morning for a reason...

Food cravings and aversions: Addicted to coffee and MUST have the good stuff. ☕

First person I call to babysit when we desire couple time:
😗 My nephews. For teen boys, they're great with babies.

Last person I call to babysit when we’re desperate for couple time:
😳 My dad. Who knows what that man is going to do with my kid. Ten months is too young to learn to whittle.

Baby gear item that I couldn’t live without:
Bike seat so baby can hit the trails with mom and dad.

Kids’ toy I wish I had when I was a kid:
Remote control T-Rex. Oh, the ways I could have terrified my younger brother...😱

My favorite childhood memory growing up:
Riding dirt bikes with my brothers.

What to expect when you’re expecting—advice to other fathers-to-be:
👶 Relish every step of the journey. It's all amazing and it all goes way too fast.

A big thanks to Lili Valente for making Dylan available for this feature!


Lili Valente has slept under the stars in Greece, eaten dinner at midnight with French men who couldn’t be trusted to keep their mouths on their food, and walked alone through Munich’s red light district after dark and lived to tell the tale. 
These days you can find her writing in a tent beside the sea, drinking coconut water and thinking delightfully dirty thoughts.
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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

BLOG TOUR: Hostage by Skye Warren & Annika Martin

SBPRBanner-Hostage-BT.jpg
Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense

~Synopsis~

I never knew when he’d come to me. Only that he would.
I’d never even kissed a boy the night I met Stone. The night I saw him kill. The night he spared my life. That was only the beginning.
He turns up in my car again and again, dangerous and full of raw power. “Drive,” he tells me, and I have no choice. He’s a criminal with burning green eyes, invading my life and my dreams.
The police say he’s dangerously obsessed with me, but I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe it’s wrong to let him touch me. Maybe it’s wrong to touch him back. Maybe these twisted dates need to stop. Except he feels like the only real thing in my world of designer labels and mansions.
So I drive us under threat, until it’s hard to remember I don’t want to be there.
Until it’s too late to turn back.
HOSTAGE is a dangerous standalone romance by New York Times bestselling authors Skye Warren and Annika Martin. It’s set in the same world as PRISONER, but can read separately!
Hostage-hires.jpg
~Book Review~
4 Stars

Brooke Carson is celebrating her 16th birthday, but it’s far from a sweet sixteen. When an encounter with a violent criminal puts her face to face with death it’s the beginning of her world being turned upside down.
“A beautiful girl like her, turned on by fear.”
Stone Keaton is on a mission for vengeance. He doesn’t have time for love or relationships. He’s hard and cold on the outside but capable of warming just the same. He’s been his brothers’ protector and their rock as much as he can.
“The ultimate lost boy, leading his band of lost boys out of hell.”
Hostage takes place before Prisoner and after. If you haven’t read Prisoner, this story can easily be read as a standalone, and it might even flow seamlessly at their point of intersection. If you have read Prisoner then you’ll probably notice the jump over that story.  Hostage also provides closure to the overall mystery-action-adventure plot started in Prisoner. On that note, I think the ending to Hostage holds more significance if you’ve read Prisoner first and have the full story.

Admittedly, it’s hard not to compare the two (okay it’s really hard for me as I had picked up Prisoner again for a re-read from the beginning and was about half way when Hostage popped up on my kindle screen). Like Prisoner, the themes and symbolism are woven well; the writing and character development thought-out, and the story a page turner.
“Driving her around as if I’m the one taking her hostage, but really it’s the other way around. She’s the one who keeps me coming back, even knowing I shouldn’t.”
Who’s in control? Who’s taken who hostage on an emotional level?

There are similar internal conflicts that the main couples wrestle with making the temptation to compare Stone and Brooke with Grayson and Abby strong.  In fact, I had a serious bone to pick with Stone over all the grief he gave Grayson in the last book. I was glad when Stone finally acknowledges his hypocrisy and then the guys don’t let him off the hook so easily.
“Maybe it’s a little hypocritical of me to warn him away from this girl when I’ve been taking Brooke hostage like it’s a goddamn hobby.”
I must also confess that I’m still partial to Grayson and Abby. I connected more with their characters and sensed a deeper connection and chemistry. So hands down, my favorite moment in this book was Abby’s appearance. That scene rocked. She just keeps getting more and more bad ass! And I gotta say, I’m not above begging the authors for an outtake of what followed between her and Grayson (“‘You are in so much trouble’”). 😉

In contrast, Brooke is pretty young and thus she projects a mix of naivety, idealism, restlessness, and some teen angst.  Told via her and Stone’s alternating first person POV, the romance is a bit slow burn.  Even though there’s a nice resolution to the series, I still hope to see the other guys get romances, especially Nate. 

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Hostage-AN.jpg
~Excerpt~

It’s him or me. It’s stand here and let a man die, or do something—for once in my life, do something that’s not wearing a dress and smiling and getting it all wrong.

So I run out there. I watch myself do it, like a movie almost. “Stop it,” I yell.

The attacker just keeps on, a dark storm, all fists and fury. My presence means nothing to him. My words don’t touch him. It’s as if I’m yelling at thunder.

My heart beats out of my chest. I’ve risked everything, come out in the open, but it’s not enough. I stamp my foot to get his attention, crushing gravel beneath my mother’s Louboutins.

“The cops are coming,” I say.

The man stills and looks up. It’s a shock when it happens, even though I’ve been trying to get him to see me. His eyes seem to blaze into my chest, hot and bright.

Breathless, I back away.

He stands, leaving the man in a groaning, whimpering heap.

I retreat slowly, showing him my phone, as though that might protect me. “Cops are coming,” I say again. A lie. I couldn’t punch in the code.

He’s coming at me, expression unreadable. He’s a few years older than I am—late twenties, maybe.

My back hits something hard. The van.

He keeps coming. I try to spin and run, but he grabs my arm and slams me back into the van. “Where do you think you’re going, little girl?”

I stare up at him, panting.

His warm breath is a feather on my nose; the heat in his eyes invades me. He grabs my hair and tilts my head back, forcing me to stare into his face, as if he’s trying to read my eyes.

A moment later, he looks up at the night sky. He seems almost wolfish, and I’m conscious, suddenly, of my bare neck so close to his snarling mouth. I wonder if he’s staring at the moon. It’s like he’s going to howl or something.

Then I get it. He’s listening for sirens.

“You’re a little fucking liar.”

~Also in the Series~
*Read Prisoner for FREE! Limited Time Only*
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Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.
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Annika Martin loves fun, dirty stories, hot heroes, and wild, dramatic everything. She enjoys hanging out in Minneapolis coffee shops with her writer husband, and also likes birdwatching at her bird feeder alongside her two stunningly photogenic cats, especially when she should be writing. She’s heavy into running, music, saving the planet, taking long baths, and consuming chocolate suckers. She’s worked a surprisingly large number of waitressing jobs, and has also worked in a plastics factory and the advertising trenches; her garden is total bee-friendly madness and her most unfavorite word is nosh or possibly fob. A NYT bestselling author, she has also written as RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: Babyjacked by Sosie Frost

4 Stars

Cassi Payne hasn’t seen Remington Marshall, 27, in five years when he fled town following the burning of her family farm’s barn.  Self-imposed exile in the Canadian wilderness comes to an end for Rem when his little nieces need him.  Turns out a three year old and a one year old is more work that cutting down trees, and a nanny in the form of his old love is just what he needs.
“I grabbed the biggest zucchini from the display and wiggled it before her. She had enough class to ignore the metaphor.”
This started out really comical. The scenes and descriptions were witty and I chuckled out loud quite a few times at the chaos with the kids. Rem and Cassi also had an entertaining rapport and great banter with plenty of innuendo. It kept the dialogue fun to read.
“‘All good girls like a little nut.’
‘You haven’t seen me crush one yet.’
‘Say the word, and I’ll bust one myself.’”
As the story progresses though, some of the issues get a little heavier, and I noticed the tone shifted from light-hearted romcom to life problems and miscommunication, which was disappointing as the author shows talent at writing humorous scenarios. While it’s not angsty, whiplash was starting to build from Rem’s changing resolutions to win her back or let her go.  And poor Cassi with those 5 grown brothers of hers—oh man she was a saint for putting up with them as much as she did. None of them were endearing and Tidus needed to man up long before he did. Either there wasn’t enough resolution there or he got off easy. And speaking of getting off easy, that social worker needed a complaint filed about her and her racist remark.  

There were certainly places where this story affirmed my distain for judgmental small towns, and my god did the public library not know they make washable children’s paint these days??? Or hello, Crayola’s ColorWonder only shows up on special paper!  As far as I was concerned, the only person who should have been ashamed in that situation was the children’s librarian who ran the program.

I gotta say, the cover is alluring—the abs, the V, the baby—yeah it grabbed my attention. Told via Remington and Cassi’s alternating first person POV, there are a few hot scenes too. That tub and that porch…well it’s used well. 
“No more words, only grunting. No more foreplay, only rutting.” 
I do wish the tale would have been clearer on whether Rem had been celibate or not. I’m going to hope for the best, especially since Cassi at twenty-some years old and a college graduate was a still a virgin. On the plus side, the story is free of OW/OM drama. I also give kudos for depicting an interracial couple, something that’s not embraced enough in contemporary romance market.