Mini ‘Friends-to-Lovers’ Reviews: Guarding Temptation & Pact With A Heartbreaker

Goodreads: Guarding Temptation
Publisher: Nixon House
Published: 22 April 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:


Protective. Obsessive. And rough around the edges.

James Foster knows the rules: you don’t fall for your best friend’s little sister. Nina is too young, too reckless, and too busy saving the world to be tied down by the commitment he craves.
If he was smart, he’d stop wanting her. But she’s the one thing on earth James just can’t quit.

Fierce. Principled. And impossible to resist.

Political campaigner Nina Chapman is sick of one-time things. She wants forever, and she wants it with her brother’s best friend—but James still sees her as a child to be coddled.
So when a controversial article lands Nina in hot water, she finds herself under his protection and under his roof. It’s a shame James doesn’t want her in his bed, too.
…Or does he?

Continue reading “Mini ‘Friends-to-Lovers’ Reviews: Guarding Temptation & Pact With A Heartbreaker”

Book Review: The Roommate Risk by Talia Hibbert

Goodreads: The Roommate Risk
Publisher: Nixon House
Published: 04 May 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

Jasmine Allen believes in bad luck, great wine, and the seductive power of a stiletto heel. What she doesn’t believe in is love. Her life is perfect without all that romance rubbish—until a plumbing disaster screws everything up and leaves Jas homeless. Luckily, she has someone to turn to: her best friend Rahul.

For seven years, Rahul Khan has followed three simple rules.
* Don’t touch Jasmine if you can help it.
* Don’t look at her arse in that skirt.
* And don’t ever—ever—tell her you love her.
He should’ve added another rule: Do not, under any circumstances, let Jas move into your house.

Now Rahul is living with the friend he can’t have, and it’s decimating his control. He knows their shared dinners aren’t dates, their late-night kisses are a mistake, and the tenderness in Jasmine’s gaze is only temporary. One wrong word could send his skittish best friend running.
So why is he tempted to risk it all?

This book was previously published as Wanna Bet?. The Roommate Risk is a steamy, standalone, diverse romance. This book is 75,000 words of fluff, angst, and extreme pleasure, with NO cliffhangers, NO cheating, and a guaranteed HEA. Please be aware: this story contains themes of parental neglect and abandonment, parental death, and alcohol dependence that could trigger certain audiences.

TL;DR: Talia Hibbert can do no wrong. Although this was a tad bit more angsty than I usually enjoy, I couldn’t help but fall head over feet for Jas and especially Rahul. Who gave that man permission to be so perfect? Please! Their chemistry was sizzling, their character development so satisfying and their romance heated things up something fierce! 🥵

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Book Review: Second Chance Charmer by Brighton Walsh

Goodreads: Second Chance Charmer (Havenbrook #1)
Publisher: Bright Publishing, LLC
Published: 15 March 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Finn spent his childhood living so far on the wrong side of the tracks, he couldn’t even see them through his trailer window. When he moves back to his small, southern hometown to open the first bar in a formerly dry county, he’s no longer the boy who left—he’s a man with something to prove. As long as he doesn’t allow himself to get sidetracked by the only girl he’s ever loved.

Willow learned a long time ago to protect her heart at all costs, so her walls are firmly in place when her ex comes strolling back into town, all cockiness and charm. When they’re thrown together on the job, she knows better than to give in to the tug of attraction that still simmers between them. She might be drawn to him, but she certainly doesn’t trust him. It’s time for her to prove she’s not the brokenhearted girl he left behind.

There’s no room for second chances in Havenbrook. And Willow’s daddy—the mayor—will do anything to keep it that way.

TL;DR: Swoon swoon swoon! This small-town romance definitely charmed me (heh) and there was just so much to love about it! Overall, if you’re a fan of second chances, swoony romances, dirty talking heroes and strong heroines with sizzling chemistry, and of course, lots of small-town charm, then you should definitely check this out!

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ARC Review: The Bastard’s Betrayal by Katee Robert

Huge thanks to Katee Robert for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: The Bastard’s Betrayal (Scandalous Scions #1)
Publisher: Trinks and Tales LLC
Published: 25 August 2021
Genre: Mafia Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

She thought it was love.

Rose Romanov is a mafia princess, and everything that entails. Violently over-protective parents. A giant extended family, all ready to kill anyone who looks at her wrong. Learning to run a business that isn’t exactly on the right side of the law. So, naturally, when she meets a nice guy who isn’t in the life, she falls hard… Right up until the she discovers her new boyfriend isn’t a civilian at all.

But he betrayed her.

When Dante Verducci was sent on an undercover mission to evaluate the Romanov family for weakness, he never expected to have an instant connection with their unlikely heir. There’s something fierce and feral about Rose that calls to him. They’re alike, even if they’re both lying to each other during the months they date. Before he could figure out a new plan, Rose finds out who he really is, dumps him, and immediately enters an engagement with the heir of a rival family. Yeah, no, that’s not going to work for Dante.

Now he’ll do anything to reclaim her. Even go to war.

CW/TW: Murder, assault, kidnapping, explicit sex, dubious consent, Parental death (drug overdose, historical, off-page)

TL;DR: The Bastard’s Betrayal was a fun and steamy start to a new mafia series. Rose is a bad ass mafia queen and I loved her take charge, don’t-mess-with-this attitude, but I also loved how her softer side came out around Dante. Dante was a whipped hero and I loved how much he loved Rose! 😂 These two had sizzling hot chemistry and those steamy scenes were fire hot! I can’t wait for the next book in the Scandalous Scions series 😍

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Book Review: Main Street Dealmaker by Brighton Walsh

Goodreads: Main Street Dealmaker (Holidays in Havenbrook #1)
Published: 28 October 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

There’s no doubt these opposites attract, but there’s no way there could be any kind of a future for a wedding planner and a divorce attorney…right?

All Sadie Rollins wants for Christmas is a break. Three years ago, she stumbled into her dream job as a wedding planner, but she’s been so bogged down with the minutiae of inn ownership that she can’t even enjoy it. She and her twin sister might have been bequeathed the Starlight Haven Inn, but the bed and breakfast didn’t come with much more than extra-long hours and piles of debt.

Cole Donovan was looking for a fresh start when he moved to Havenbrook following the worst kind of betrayal. Instead, his reputation as a cutthroat divorce attorney preceded him–and tainted his introduction to the only woman he’s had eyes for since his own divorce. Too bad she can’t stand him.

When Sadie’s cousin offers her an opportunity to have the inn featured in the country’s leading wedding magazine in exchange for a bit of modeling, she jumps at the chance for some exposure. All she has to do is wear a wedding dress and pretend to be smitten with a stranger for a couple hours. The only trouble is the fake groom is no stranger, and as much as she loathes Cole, her body hasn’t gotten the message. Neither, it seems, has his…

TL;DR: This short romance has absolutely convinced me that I need to read more of Brighton Walsh’s books and lucky for me, I have the second in this series already lined up on my Kindle. I really enjoyed this opposites-attract small-town holiday romance and if you’re looking for the perfect holiday read to add to your list, this is the one! Sadie and Cole were such a great couple and they had sizzling chemistry and banter that added to the fire of their sexual attraction!

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Mini Romance Reviews: The Kinky & The Steamy

I’ve still been reading an unsurprising number of romances lately because they’ve been the easiest to get into while I’ve been in this fickle reading mood. Some of these have seen me stepping out of my romance comfort zone but for the most part, I had fun with them! Well, except for one and that was a little disappointing cos it’s a pretty hyped title!

Games We Play (One Night #1)
Publication Date: 27 August 2021
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, Erotica

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

Jaclyn Love is a magnet for trouble – it seems to follow her wherever she goes.

Unfortunately for Kadan Davenport, she also seems to be a magnet for him – even after a disastrous first impression that leaves him – literally – black and blue.

Jaclyn is busy trying to find some sort of balance, and Kadan is just trying not to get swept up in the chaos.

In a small city like Blakewood, it’s hard to avoid each other… especially when each additional encounter makes them wonder if they really want to.

“I Think I Might Love You” is a first-in-series novella.

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ARC Review: Once More Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi

Special thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Once More Upon a Time
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published: 05 October 2021
Genre: Romance Fantasy

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Once upon a dream, there was a prince named Ambrose
and a princess named Imelda who loved each other…
But alas, no more.
“What a witch takes, a witch does not give back!”
their friends and family warn.
They resign themselves to this loveless fate…
A year and a day pass.
And then their story truly begins…

Embark on a perilous journey with Imelda and Ambrose as they brave magical landscapes and enchanted creatures on their quest to reclaim their heart’s desire… But first they must remember what that is..

This was another wonderful (and super fast) buddy read with Julie @ One Book More! 😍 Chokshi is an author I’ve been meaning to check out for a while now and this small taste has convinced me I’ll enjoy her work!


TL;DR: Once More Upon a Time was a great novella that has great fairytale vibes! Despite being so short, it feels like a fully formed story with a fantastical setting, a journey full of magical creatures and adventure, and a good dose of romance. This has a sweet HEA that brings the story around full circle and I loved it! 😍

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ARC Review: Puck Shy by Teagan Hunter

Special thanks to Teagan Hunter and her team for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Puck Shy (Carolina Comets #1)
Publication Date: 28 October 2021
Genre: Sports Romance
Panda Rating:


I’m having the definition of a bad year.
Game Six loss costing my team the Cup? Check.
Getting arrested and ruining my image? Check.
Almost getting run over after my car breaks down? Oh, look—a hat trick.

My contract is up with the Carolina Comets this year, and I need to get it together if I want to stay with the team.
I need relaxation, not a relationship.
But when I’m scrolling on a dating app and stumble across the pretty girl who almost ran me over, I know I can’t let her walk away this time.

Harper is funny, smart, and doesn’t care about hockey.
I’m not supposed to be focusing on anything other than my career, yet I can’t get Harper off my mind.
I know I shouldn’t fall for her…but I think I already have.
PUCK SHY is a standalone hockey romantic comedy. It’s good, low angst fun with some hot hockey players.

I’m a Missouri-raised gal, but currently live in North Carolina with my US Marine husband and 9-year-old dog. I spend my days begging him for a cat, and I survive off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When I’m not writing, you can find me binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. I like cold weather, buy more paperbacks than I’ll ever read, and I never say no to brownies.

Writing is my passion, and this is just the beginning of my journey.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter | Reader Group

TL;DR: This was a great start to a new sports romance series! Harper and Collin were super likeable characters and their romance, albeit a little cheesy at times, was really sweet. Their goofy and flirty banter brought had me constantly smiling as I read, and I loved seeing them get to know each other and slowly fall in love. There are also some great friendships in this story, Harper and Ryan are hilarious besties, and I can’t wait to meet more of the Carolina Comets in future books!

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Book Review: The Darkest Temptation by Danielle Lori

Check out my review for The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)!
Check out my review for The Maddest Obsession (Made #2)!

Goodreads: The Darkest Temptation (Made #3)
Publisher: Self-published
Published: 10 December 2020
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance, Mafia

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

A fortune teller once told Mila she’d find a man who would take her breath away. She refrained from telling her it would be literally while Mila ran for her life.

Having always done what is expected of her, Mila dresses the part, only dates college boys with exemplary backgrounds, and doesn’t ask questions. Not about her papa’s absences or his refusal to let her set foot in her birthplace—Russia. Suffocated by the rules and unanswered questions, Mila does what she’s always wanted to. She boards a plane to Moscow.

She never expected to fall for a man on the way. One with unexplained wealth, tattoos on his hands, and secrets in his eyes. But it doesn’t take long for his caress to become a rough grasp muffling her screams.

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Unfortunately, a Russian winter is the coldest of them all, and Mila soon learns the only way to escape intact is to do the impossible and thaw her captor’s heart.

TL;DR: This third book in the Made series was definitely the darkest of them all. While I did get on board with the romance and loved their connection, there were things that happened which made me pretty uncomfortable and situations do get dicey—it is a mafia romance though so you should expect it! Mila and Ronan were sunshine and killer grump opposites attract enemies-to-lovers and it was intense, and once again, the sexual tension slays!

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Book Review: The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori

Check out my review for The Sweetest Oblivion (Made #1)!

Goodreads: The Maddest Obsession (Made #2)
Publisher: Self-published
Published: 13 April 2019
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance, Mafia

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

She fears the dark.
He rules it.

Her dresses are too tight, her heels too tall. She laughs too loudly, eats without decorum, and mixes up most sayings in the book. Little do most know it’s just a sparkly disguise, there to hide one panic attack at a time. Nobody can crack Gianna’s facade . . . no one anyway, until he comes along.

Most see a paragon of morality; a special agent upholding the law. In the New York underworld, others know him as a hustler, a killer, his nature as cold as the heart of ice in his chest. Christian Allister has always followed the life plan he’d envisioned in his youth, beneath the harsh lights of a frigid, damp cell. With a proclivity for order and the number three, he’s never been tempted to veer off course. But perhaps one should never say never . . .

One winter night and their lives intertwine. She hates him—his stone-cold demeanor, his arrogance and too-perceptive eye—but over the years, even as their games consist of insulting each other’s looks and intelligence, she begins to live to play with him.

Nowhere in Christian’s plans had he ever prepared for Gianna. She’s chaos embodied, not his type, and married, but none of that can stop his eyes from following her wherever she goes. All along, she doesn’t even know that she’s his—his frustration, his fascination.
His maddest obsession.

TL;DR: I’m a big fan of this series and this book was even better than the first but it is also much darker as our H/H have experienced a lot of trauma and abuse in their childhood. Gianna and Christian have scorchingly hot chemistry and a playfully antagonistic relationship full of sexual tension and banter and they’re one of my new favourite couples!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Maddest Obsession by Danielle Lori”