ARC Review: Defiant Heart by Brighton Walsh

Special thanks to Wildfire Marketing Solutions and Brighton Walsh for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Defiant Heart (Starlight Cove #1)
Publication Date: 14 June 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

(3.75 pandas)

I’ve slapped my cuffs on Luna Lancaster too many times to count and not a single one was for fun.

As the sheriff of Starlight Cove, I shouldn’t crave her, but I do. She’s chaos, mayhem, and sunshine wrapped up in too-tight yoga pants. The lawbreaker might have the town enamored with her free spirit, but she’s a thorn in my side, even if she is the sexiest woman I’ve ever seen.

I want her out of my town and out of my head.

Trouble is, she’s made it perfectly clear she’s not going anywhere. And her spree of minor infractions—who runs a yoga class without a license?—is hitting dangerously close to home. Her latest protest has her chained to a tree on the boundary of my family’s resort. The last thing we need is bad press ruining the short tourism season when the resort is already one bad month away from bankruptcy.

I’ll do whatever it takes to save Starlight Cove. Even if that means handcuffing Luna to my bed.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Defiant Heart by Brighton Walsh”

Romance Mini-Reviews: Enemies-to-Lovers/Hate-to-Love Edition

Hi, friends! I’m excited to share two mini-reviews for romances I’ve read and loved in the last few weeks. I picked up Moon Shot on a whim because I’ve enjoyed the few Tara Wyatt romances I’ve read so far and this was so much fun! Falling for the Enemy is the second book in Katie Golding’s Malibu Millionaires series and I loved it. It’s a bit more on the erotica side of romance but I liked the balance of steamy + heartfelt.

Goodreads: Moon Shot
Publication Date: 18 August 2020
Genre: Sports Romance
Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Dallas Longhorns manager Javier Flores’ plate isn’t just full—it’s overflowing. Not only is he focused on taking the Longhorns to the World Series this year, but he’s also fighting his ex-wife for shared custody of his two daughters. He doesn’t have room for distractions, even if he is lonely. But when he wakes up beside his nemesis, sports agent Aerin Stone, the morning after a few too many drinks at a wedding reception, he is definitely distracted.

Aerin knows better than most what it’s like to have her heart ripped into a million pieces. She knows what it means to have her entire world crash and burn. And she knows that she’s better off alone, even if she did have the best sex of her life with Javi Flores. It doesn’t matter how good it was, because it can’t ever happen again. After all, she doesn’t even like him. He’s too uptight, too bossy, too sexy. Too dangerous. Too risky for her wounded heart.

But one night isn’t enough to quench the pent-up lust burning between Javi and Aerin, and for once they agree on something: they want more, even if it’s the worst idea either of them has ever had. Because everyone knows what they say about the best laid plans… 

My chaotic self jumped straight into book four of the Dallas Longhorns series without reading the other ones (gotta love standalone romance series) but it’s safe to say that it was a success! There was little that I didn’t enjoy about this—the character development, the chemistry, and the banter were all great! This does involve an ex-partner that kinda became the OW, which I didn’t particularly enjoy, and it did involve Javi’s kids from his first marriage, which was okay and an understandable part of the conflict. The third-act conflict was a little irritating because why on earth did this man make such a stupid decision in the first place? It felt a bit out of character for him which was frustrating considering how much he knew it’d impact Aerin’s feelings. Thankfully, it wasn’t overly angsty and it resolved in a minimally dramatic way.

Aerin and Javier were two jaded twin souls who fit so well together, despite starting off as enemies, and I loved seeing them go from not being able to stand each other to frenemies with benefits and eventually to lovers. Their chemistry was seriously incendiary and holy wow, THE STEAM. If you love your H’s with a bit of a filthy mouth in the bedroom, you’re in for a treat with dirty-talking Javi cos the mouth on this man? 🥵 It is a little sex-heavy at the beginning but it does balance out with more getting-to-know-you moments and sweet romantic gestures in the latter half. Overall, I really enjoyed this and thought it was a fun time. If the other books in this series are anything like this then I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy them all!

Goodreads: Falling for the Enemy
Publication Date: 17 May 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

Sometimes, the perfect guy…
Is the one you hate the most.

Jasper Brooks has everything—with his smooth-talking ways and devilish good looks, he’s signed some of the hottest bands of the moment. If only he could get the wrong-number woman he’s been texting for months to reveal herself.

Blake Harris absolutely hates Jasper with every fiber of her being. Avoiding her professional rival is next to impossible in the Malibu music scene, and when a new band puts them head-to-head, their pent-up frustration explodes in a raw session of hate sex. A mistake they keep repeating.

With feelings spinning out of control, Blake bolts back to the mystery man in her phone, determined to finally meet Mr. Perfect. Not realizing that all along, she’s been secretly falling for the enemy… 

Ever since Katie Golding shared a sneak peek of Blake and Jasper earlier this year I’ve been super excited to read their story. I had a feeling I’d love the rivals to lovers and hate to love you vibes and I was not wrong—this was everything I was hoping it’d be and more! I enjoyed The Forever Night Stand but it was too insta-love and insta-perfect for me, but in this one, I felt the tension and chemistry from the very beginning.

I thought the balance between the softer getting-to-know-you moments and the steamy scenes was great in this book. Yes, there are still lots of wildly steamy AF scenes that set my Kindle on fire (holy wow, these two! 🥵) but those moments with them simply talking and falling into a comfortable and easy routine melted my heart. I’m realising lately that I’m a sucker for those domestic moments with couples just doing their thing together at home (cooking, hanging out, etc.) and this served on that front!

Jasper and Blake had such amazing chemistry! Oof, I loved their antagonistic rival banter at the beginning and the way their emotional connection grew stronger each time they’d get intimate. I also really loved the epistolary moments via text messaging which played into the “You’ve Got Mail” retelling aspect. Save for one aspect that plays into the “conflict” between them, I really appreciated their openness and honesty and how they let themselves be vulnerable with each other. I also liked that although there’s a bit of conflict, there is no third-act breakup. There was still enough tension and angst to keep the stakes high and to keep me invested in how things would play out though. Even with some ‘insta’ moments I didn’t mind because of how invested I was in both Jasper and Blake and I just really loved them individually and together! I’m definitely eager to read more from this series (and I do hope we get more).

Do you like the enemies-to-lovers/hate-to-love trope? What’s your favourite book with this trope? Have you read these books or are they on your TBR?