Monday, July 31, 2017

Review & Tour: Suddenly Engaged by Julia London

Title: Suddenly Engaged
Author: Julia London
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance/Adult
Series: Lake Haven Series (Book Three)
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Format: ebook via Tasty Tours
Rating: ✺✺✺.5
SynopsisSingle mother Kyra Kokinos spends her days waiting tables, her nights working on her real estate license, and every spare moment with her precocious six-year-old daughter, Ruby—especially when Ruby won’t stop pestering their grumpy next-door neighbor. At first glance, Dax Bishop seems like the kind of gruff, solitary guy who’d be unlikely to offer a cup of sugar, let alone a marriage proposal. But that’s exactly what happens when Ruby needs life-saving surgery.

Dax showed up in East Beach a year ago, fresh from a painful divorce and looking for a place where he could make furniture and avoid people. Suddenly his life is invaded by an inquisitive munchkin in sparkly cowboy boots—and her frazzled, too-tempting mother. So he presents a practical plan: his insurance will help Ruby, and then they can divorce—zero strings attached.
But soon Kyra and Dax find their engagement of convenience is simple in name only. As their attraction deepens, a figure from the past reappears, offering a way out. Can Kyra and Dax let go so easily—or has love become a preexisting condition?

Dax opened the door. He glanced over to Three. The Subaru was gone, and he couldn’t help wonder who was driving that massive red truck. A husband? A dad? Jesus, he hoped the guy wasn’t the chatty type. Hey neighbor, whatcha working on over there?
Yeah, no, Dax was in no mood for more neighbors or barbecue invitations or neighborly favors. But it was becoming clear to him that little Miss Ruby Coconuts was going to make his policy of isolationism really difficult.
Dax got dressed and went out to the shed to work. A few hours later he walked into the kitchen to grab some rags he’d washed in the sink and happened to look out his kitchen window.
The redheaded devil was hanging upside down off the porch railing of her house, her arms reaching for the ground. She was about three inches short, however, and for a minute Dax was certain she would crash headlong into that flowerbed and hurt herself. But she didn’t. She managed to haul herself up and hopped off the railing. And then she looked across the neat little lawn to Dax’s cottage.
“Don’t even think about it,” he muttered.
Ruby hesitated. She slid her foot off the porch and onto the next step down. Then the other foot. She leapt to the ground from there, looking down, admiring the lights in her shoes. Then she looked up at his cottage again.
“Don’t do it, you little monster. Don’t you dare do it.
Ruby was off like a shot, headed for the fence.

Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than forty romance novels. Her historical titles include the popular Desperate Debutantes series, the Cabot Sisters series, and the Highland Grooms series. Her contemporary works include the Lake Haven series, the Pine River series, and the Cedar Springs series. She has won the RT Book Club Award for Best Historical Romance and has been a six-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction. She lives in Austin, Texas.


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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

Two lonely people learn to love again.

Image result for found love where we are gif -rihanna

Dax isn't interested in dating anymore. After his ex-wife left him, he hasn't been in the mood for much of anything these days. He stays holed up in his house, making furniture to sell locally. And he does his best to ignore the new neighbors next door. Both the incredibly attractive mother and the stubborn-headed little girl who won't stay in her own yard.

Kyra just wants to make it through the day without any mishaps. After becoming a single mother seven years ago, she is finally starting to make a little traction in her life. And the handsome grump next door is even looking like something she might want to sample. But when her daughter's health is in jeopardy, hopes of romance are put on hold. Kyra has to decide if she can sacrifice building a steady relationship with Dax for the convenience of marriage.

I'm a little unsure how I feel after finishing this book. On one hand, I thought the first 70% of the book was fantastic. The beginning was entertaining watching a grumpy Dax try not to fall for the bubbly Ruby and her crazily adorable antics. He was so blinded by his dark cloud that it took her bright personality to break through his shell. It was cute to watch.

I even really enjoyed the pairing of Dax and Kyra. The man who never offers a helping hand becomes a white knight without really trying. And the woman used to doing things for herself begins to give up some of the control. They each helped the other to learn to love again. The dialogue was witty and the romance was heated, if not a little on the tame side.

I think my first issue with the story came with the proposal that wasn't really a proposal. From the title, you might expect a couple to become engaged for the wrong reasons but fall in love anyway. It was sort of like that but not really. I kept waiting for the engagement to happen and when it did I was a little unsure of how I felt about it by that point.

Then the story went a little downhill for me. It was one depressing thing after another and I started to wonder if I was reading women's fiction instead of romance. The long breaks toward the end of the story were a problem since it made the pacing slow way down and start to drag. Dax continued to question whether he wanted to stay there or move away. I started to wonder if he should just go, myself.

I think if the story was shortened by about 50 pages or so, taking out some of the unnecessary strife, I would have felt more content with the ending. I mean, when they felt their love was right, why did our couple continue to delay the inevitable? Sometimes love happens fast. Forcing it to slow down is just as harmful as trying to rush it. But that's just my take on it. Some people are more cautious, I guess.

In closing... 
A sweet romance with lots of ups and downs and a lovable Ruby Coconuts! 3.5 suns!

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Excerpt & Tour: Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Title: Eye Candy
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance/Adult
Series: Real Love Series (Book One)
Publisher: Loveswept
SynopsisDon’t trust lust at first sight. One woman chooses reality over fantasy in this friends-to-lovers romance. 

Jacqueline: As an adult woman—and the vice president of a marketing firm—I shouldn’t be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he’s a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can’t bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend–slash–colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he’s borderline obsessive about “getting me laid.” (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it’s clear: The one I’m falling for is Vince.
Vince: Jackie Butler’s got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn’t bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can’t ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything’s going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.


“Truly pathetic, Butler,” I hear behind me. It’s Vince, using my last name, per his usual.

I swirl around and peg him with a look of pure fury. He’s VP too, by the way. Did I mention that? Last year when the vice president quit, two of us were promoted to handle the workload in tandem. I guess that was better than one of us leaving the other behind.

“What does the sign say?” I bark, pointing at my ajar office door.

Vince frowns, looks at it, then reads, “Knock if this is closed.”

“And did you? Knock?” I fold my arms.

“Yes, actually.” He sticks his fingers into the front pockets of his snug, well-fitting pair of jeans. He always wears dark jeans, a black belt, and a pair of leather shoes. Button-down and tie. He gets away with denim because our company president encourages free spirits and creativity . . . in the men who work here. Meanwhile, the women are expected to look the part of the professional, so I’ll be over here in my silk shirt and pencil skirt and stilettos if you need me. Such is life as a human with XX chromosomes.

“You were too busy admiring Golden Boy to hear me.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I crane my chin, because nothing says “I’m not lying through my teeth” like a jutted chin.

Vince walks over to the window and points at a cheek-shaped smudge on the otherwise perfect glass. “What’s this?”

“I . . . fell asleep. Long night.”

He grins and a rare blush steals across my cheeks. Not because he’s attractive—though he is. In a scamplike, puckish way. Since he was always “off limits,” it’s easy to forget he might be someone I’d look at twice if circumstances were different. If he hadn’t been so completely gone for his wife when I met him. A dart of pain shoots through the center of my chest at the thought. Leslie leaving shattered him. Whenever I think about those first six months, and how angry and hurt Vince was, I want to mail her an envelope full of glitter.

No, seriously. It’s a thing. Have you ever tried to get glitter out of carpet? I have. I used to host craft night at my place. You find shiny little specks for months. Months.

“You fell asleep,” Vince repeats flatly, giving me the slowest blink ever. “When are you going to admit you have a schoolgirl crush on that muscle-bound jerk?”

“Mark is not a jerk,” I blurt.

“His name is Mark?” Vince winces. I backtrack.

“No. That’s what Kayla calls him. His name is J.T.”

“Do you know why guys use initials for their names?” He smirks, cocky.

I prop my hands on my hips and wait.

“One of two reasons.” Vince holds up a finger. “One, he’s either too lazy or stupid to spell it, or two, both names are embarrassing. Like”—he pauses, both fingers out like a peace sign as he studies the ceiling before finishing—“Judson Taylor.”

I drop my arms. “You think his name is Judson Taylor?”

“Or”—another dramatic pause, only one finger elevated this time—“Jaundice Toe . . . jam.”

I can’t help it. I burst out laughing, holding my stomach with one arm as I double over. When I recover and push my hair behind my ears, Vince is smiling, pleased with himself. This is why we’re friends. He pulls me out of my why-so-serious, and I make him talk about his feelings.

We’re good for each other.

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

Jessica is a social media junkie who loves to hear from readers. You can learn more at her website.



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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Review & Blitz: Mr. Right Now by Lila Monroe

Title: Mr. Right Now
Author: Lila Monroe
Genre/Age: Romantic Comedy/Adult
Series: None
Publisher: Lila Monroe Books
Format: ebook via Author & Give Me Books
Rating: ✺✺✺
Synopsis"I'm face-down in forty glorious inches of well-endowed cake, seriously reassessing my life choices, when suddenly I hear it. The voice that launched a thousand teenage boy-band dreams. My #1 crush, Drew Delaney himself." 

Ten years ago, Drew was boy-band royalty: the subject of a million teenage fantasies - and the guy next door. He was so far out of my league, I couldn't see him for stars, but now I'm back in town for our high-school reunion, guess who I run into but Mr. Right-Now himself...

Older. Hotter. And still sexy enough to make me forget about the glittery white frosting currently smeared across my chest.

Sparks are flying, and so are my panties, and soon, our trip down memory lane has taken a detour to 'oh my god, don't stop!'. Population: me.

But can I turn Mr. Right-Now into Mr. Forever? Or will crazed fans, vicious yoga moms, and three dozen flesh-toned popsicles (don't ask) doom our romance to the 'Where are they now?' section of MTV's greatest hits?

You'll be begging for a taste of Lila Monroe's new sexy, laugh-out-loud summer romance!

Combining her love of writing, sex and well-fitted suits, Lila Monroe wrote The Billionaire Bargain. Lila enjoys writing, as it gives her a flexible schedule to spend time with her kids and a wonderful excuse to avoid them. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, who strips out of his well-fitted suits nightly.


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**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book.**

This book was so darn good!

Image result for love it gif

Maggie's life isn't going according to the plan. After her dream bakery is put out of business, she's forced to return home to live with her parents. To make matters even worse, her teenage crush is back in town and he happens to find her in a rather embarrassing situation. Maggie may be able to laugh it off but she can't shake how attracted she is to the town's biggest heartthrob.

Drew's career in music has shifted from performer to producer and he couldn't be happier to return home to set up his studio and escape L.A. After years of touring and band drama, he wants to build a new life for himself. And when he spots a certain girl from his past, he's determined to make her a part of it. Her and her delicious cupcakes.

As Maggie and Drew grow closer, sparks fly on just about every flat surface available. And some not-so-flat surfaces that require a bit of creativity on their part. Yet, just when things start to turn serious, both Drew and Maggie have to decide if their relationship is worth sacrificing possible career opportunities for. 

Can they have their cake and eat it too? *snicker*

Image result for i made a funny gif

This story combined two of my favorite things: music and dessert. In my day job, I own a bakery. No kidding. I'm on extended maternity leave right now, just sticking with simple things like cookies and fudge, but I'm usually up to my elbows in cake. So when Maggie is making her sugar magic, I couldn't help but smile. The music lyrics were also a nice addition to the storyline.

I loved Maggie's determination to find her way again and Drew's determination to win her over. It was an adorable pairing with several hilarious moments. I don't want to give anything away but the bachelorette party with the *special guest* dancer made me tear up because I was laughing so hard. There was lots of humor sprinkled throughout the book. Sprinkled. Get it? Ha!

And the romance was really spicy. Like a big gingersnap cookie. Seriously, I could go all day with the dessert references. It's in my blood. And the love scenes definitely got my blood pumping while reading this book. Maggie was bold and Drew was swoonworthy. I think this couple might just be my favorite out of all of Lila Monroe's books so far. And that's saying something considering I've liked them all. 

In closing... 
A fun blend of sugar and spice that really hits the spot! Okay, that's the last one. I swear. Five suns!

Release Blitz: Sapphire by J.A. Low

Title: Sapphire
Author: J.A. Low
Genre/Age: Romantic Suspense/Adult
Series: Bratva Jewels Series (Book One)
Publisher: Hachette Australia
SynopsisAn unconventional love is tested to its limits in this completely immersive dark ménage suspense, for fans of JL Perry and Pepper Winters.

Mateo is used to being in the spotlight, he craves it in everything he does . . . except when it comes to his love life - that is firmly in the closet. 

Tomas shuns the spotlight, the one he was born into, he wants nothing to do with it or his high-flying family who now reject him for his choices in love. 

But Tomas' and Mateo's carefully constructed lives are turned inside out when they discover a beautiful, battered woman on their doorstep. The woman with the sapphire eyes has no memory of who she is or how she got there. Can they help her remember before the men who are after her find her first?

The first standalone book in the BRATVA JEWELS series from the author of the DIRTY TEXAS books, JA Low.

JA Low lives in Canberra, Australia. When she's not writing steamy scenes, she's tending to her husband and two sons, and dreaming up the next epic romance. Jess is the author of the Dirty Texas series and the Bratva Jewels series.


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