ARC Review: Everything with You by Chloe Liese

Special thanks to Chloe Liese for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Everything for You (Bergman Brothers #5)
Publication date: 10 May 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)


Gear up for an all-the-feels, steamy slow-burn in this enemies-to-lovers sports romance about fighting for love when life’s taught you it’s a losing game.

Gavin
We’ve been teammates for two years, but it feels like a lifetime that Oliver Bergman’s been on my last nerve. A demanding captain and veteran player, I’m feared and friendless, while he’s the beloved rising star, all sunshine smiles and upbeat team spirit. To make matters worse, he’s obscenely attractive. In short: he’s genetically designed to get under my skin. Avoiding Oliver has been my survival tactic on and off the field. But when Coach drops the bomb that we’re now co-captains, avoiding him becomes impossible, and keeping the truth from him–let alone my distance–is harder than ever.

Oliver
Life was great until soccer legend Gavin Hayes joined the team and proved he’s nothing like the guy I grew up idolizing. Instead, he’s a giant–albeit gorgeous–grump who lives to rain on my parade. I’ve sworn off pranks since entering the public eye, so rather than settle our differences the Bergman way, I’ve had to settle for killing Gavin with kindness. There’s just one problem: killing him with kindness is killing me. To make matters worse, Coach gives us an ultimatum: put an end to our enmity or say goodbye to being captains. I’m prepared to be miserable while we meet her demands and make nice, but the last thing I expect is to discover an explosive attraction we can’t help but act on, and worse yet, to realize the man hiding beneath Gavin’s gruff exterior is all I’ve ever wanted.

‘EVERYTHING FOR YOU’ IS OUT TOMORROW SO…

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ARC Review: Burning Up by Tara Wyatt

Special thanks to the author for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Burning Up (The Prescotts #6)
Publication Date: 26 April 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

We have to burn to rise from the ashes.

Nearly two years after her divorce, Felicity Hawthorne is ready to date again. At least, she thinks she would be, if the idea of dating wasn’t so freaking terrifying. But then she wins a date with sexy, swoony firefighter Noah Prescott at a charity bachelor auction, and everything changes.

FDNY captain Noah isn’t looking for a relationship. Since losing his father as a teenager, he’s spent the past twenty years shouldering heavy responsibilities, and he knows he doesn’t have the time or energy to be anyone’s boyfriend. But one date with sweet, charming Felicity has him wanting things he shouldn’t want.

Which is why Noah suggests Felicity practice her budding dating skills with him. He wants more of her, and practice dates are as close as he can come to having her in his life without hurting her. But then dating practice turns into practice of another kind—the kind that involves moans and sighs and orgasms—and Noah knows he’s going to fall. Hard.


GET A COPY:

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ARC Review: Tanked by Mia Hopkins

Special thanks to Little Stone Press for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Tanked (Eastside Brewery #3)
Publisher: Little Stone Press
Publication Date: 26 April 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

A fighter without a purpose. A crusader with nothing to lose. Can she trust him with her heart, or is he just another lost cause?

Angel
By day, I do all the grunt work at my family’s struggling L.A. brewery. By night, I blow off steam at an underground fight club. I never thought the pandemic would bring Deanna Delgado back into my life—the woman who ghosted me three years ago after one unforgettable night. But the brewery needs a miracle to survive. And that miracle could cost me the only person who’s ever had faith in me.

Deanna
My family calls me an idealistic do-gooder, but I see a better, brighter future for my community. My biggest problem? I’ve just lost the job I love. To ease my pain, I’ve hooked up with Angel Rosas, the filthy-sweet one-night stand who’s somehow dropped back into my life. There’s so much more to Angel than he lets on. Is he the man I can trust with my body and my heart? Or is he just another lost cause?


GRAB A COPY:

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ARC Review: Those Three Little Words by Meghan Quinn

Special thanks to Meghan Quinn and her team for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: Those Three Little Words (The ancouver Agitators #2)
Publication Date: 05 April 2022
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

I knocked up my best friend’s sister.
Figured I would get straight to the point because how it happened is a mere snippet of the story I have to tell. The real meat and potatoes is what happened after.

Let’s start with how she decided to inform me and Pacey the news…together. Imagine that nightmare. I was going into what I thought was a hockey marketing meeting and then BAM! I’m going to be a dad and my best friend/teammate is attempting to imprint my face with his fist.
It wasn’t pretty.

Threats were tossed around, friendships were revoked, and then I was marched up to her apartment, suitcases in hand, and forced to live with her so I could take care of her every need. Given how much I’ve pined for the girl, you would think that wouldn’t be a hardship.
Wrong.

This is my one shot to win my teammate back. Pacey is the only family I’ve got, so hooking up with his sister isn’t a mistake I can make twice…despite the fact that she’s pregnant with my child. But with every mood swing, every pair of pants that doesn’t fit right, and every late night run to find the perfect donut, I’m finding it harder and harder not to fall for my best friend’s little sister.
Especially when she kisses me…

  Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

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ARC Review: One-Timer by Teagan Hunter

🎉 HAPPY RELEASE DAY! 🎉

Special thanks to Valentine PR for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: One-Timer (Carolina Comets #3)
Publication Date: 24 March 2022
Genre: Sports Romance, Romantic Comedy
Panda Rating:

(3.75 pandas)

“I’m pregnant.”

That’s what my teammate’s sister-in-law told me after our one-night stand.

I didn’t expect to see Hollis again, let alone end up raising a child with her.

We set some ground rules–we’ll raise the baby together, but that’s it.
No relationship, no future, and definitely no kissing.

But the more time we spend together, the harder it is to keep track of where the lines were once drawn.

I’m known for my one-timer on and off the ice, but this game with Hollis just got a lot more complicated…

  Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

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Book Review: The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbary

Goodreads: The Worst Guy (Vital Signs #2)
Published: 28 December 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(5 pandas)

Eight weeks of forced proximity is a long time to hate someone you’re trying not to love.

Sebastian Stremmel doesn’t need another headache. He has enough of his own without Sara Shapiro, the noisy new reconstructive surgeon, stomping all around his surgical wing with her chippy, chirpy cheerfulness.
But Sebastian doesn’t usually get what he wants.

No one gets under his skin like Sara – so much so a heated “debate” and an exam room left in shambles later, they land themselves in eight weeks of hospital-mandated conflict resolution counseling. Now they’re forced to fight fair…which quickly leads them to playing dirty when no one’s looking. 

They know it’s a mistake.
They promise themselves it will never happen again.
They swear they got it out of their systems.
They didn’t.

Author’s Note: Grumpy/recovering people-pleaser sunshine. Introverts attract. Enemies-to-lovers in the workplace. Banter, bicker, and button-pushing foreplay. Don’t tell the friend group, get jealous when the friend group tries to fix her up.
Heat: rip her clothes off before you get the front door open.
Angst: big laughs, big feels, no ugly crying. 

TL;DR: Just as I was thinking how I’ve never read a grumpy x grumpy romance, enter Sebastian and Sara, two screeching grumpy guts who are just a little fragile and lonely and honestly couldn’t be more perfect for each other. This was so devastatingly heart-swooningly good that it was just rude? Like, the audacity of this author to write something that gutted me the way this did! Anyway, say hi to my new favourite Canterbary romance (now tied with The Belle and the Beard)! If you love an intense enemies-to-lovers workplace romance between two headstrong and amazing characters, I’d highly recommend checking this out. 👏🏽

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Series Mini-Reviews: Holiday Brothers Series by Willa Nash

I’m not much of a seasonal reader but apparently, this is the year when holiday romances are my jam and I’m having a blast with them! I binged the Holiday Brothers series by Willa Nash in two days and they were delightfully festive holiday novellas that I have no doubt will put many in a merry mood!

Goodreads: The Naughty, The Nice and The Nanny (#1)
Publication Date: 04 November 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

One week with one little girl—an angel, according to my staffing agency. Acting as the short-term nanny for a single dad should have been an easy way to make some extra cash. Until I show up for my first day and face off with a demon disguised as a seven-year-old girl wearing a red tutu and matching glitter slippers.

Oh, and her father? My temporary boss? Maddox Holiday. The same Maddox Holiday I crushed on in high school. The same Maddox Holiday who didn’t even know I existed. And the same Maddox Holiday who hasn’t set foot in Montana for years because he’s been too busy running his billionaire empire.

Enduring seven days is going to feel like scaling the Himalayas in six-inch heels. Toss in the Holiday family’s annual soiree, and Christmas Eve nightmares really do come true. But I can do anything for a week, especially for this paycheck, even if it means wrangling the naughty, impressing the nice, and playing the nanny. 

This little novella was a fun and quirky holiday romance with characters that had great chemistry and a story with a good dose of touching family moments. While ultimately the romance ended up being very insta-love, it didn’t feel like it initially as Natalie and Maddox built up a good foundation of trust and respect through their bond with Violet. This was a novella, so of course, I kind of expected the insta aspect of the romance, but I also thought it was handled well enough that it didn’t bother me overly much.

I really liked Natalie—she has such a good heart and I loved how she understood and came through for Violet when her mother was inattentive and constantly let her down. Nat was so bubbly and passionate about the children she took care of and it shone through. I also really enjoyed her more comedic monologue as she reflected on how high-school Nat would feel about working closely with Maddox and having flirty interactions with him—she was a really fun heroine and so easy to root for! Maddox was your slightly typical hot billionaire single-dad who doted on his little girl. I really liked how much he adored Violet and wanted to change his lifestyle to be better for her. He was a sweet guy and I’m glad that this was told in alternating POVs so we get a good insight into both their mindsets. The chemistry and pull between Mad and Nat was undeniable and was built up really well! It’s mildly steamy but the main sex scenes are fade-to-black, so if on-page sex isn’t your jam in romances, you’ll be okay with this one!

Goodreads: Three Bells, Two Bows and One Brother’s Best Friend (#2)
Publication Date: 04 November 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

I pride myself in being grounded. Sure, I’ve had my share of childhood fantasies. Winning an Oscar. Winning the lottery. Winning an Olympic medal for an athletic talent I have yet to discover. But the only fantasy I ever thought might actually happen was winning my brother’s best friend.

Heath Holiday.
My crush on him has ebbed and flowed over the years, but the day I started working for his construction company was the day I smothered it for good. Sort of. Mostly. It was on my to-do list. Making it a priority would have been easier had he not arrived at his family’s annual Christmas party looking ridiculously handsome in a suit.

Then he kissed me. We stepped into an alternate universe and he kissed me. I assumed the next day I’d just be Guy’s little sister again. The office newbie. Our kiss forgotten. Except he keeps showing up at my house. With gifts.

A gold bracelet carrying three jingling bells. Two dainty jeweled earrings, each shaped as a bow. And finally, he brought himself. One brother’s best friend, asking if I can keep a secret

If you read the first book in the Holiday Brothers series then you’ll probably remember the first cheeky glimpse we get into the blossoming romance between Stella and Heath, and if you were like me, you probably also couldn’t wait to find out how they got to that point! I ended up really enjoying the romance between these two and so far, this is my favourite book in this series. There were definitely some not-so-great moments that had me cringing and also shaking my fist in rage (on Stella’s behalf) but ultimately, these two had a wonderful connection that gave me the warm fuzzies and I was here for their happiness!

Again, because this is a novella, things move pretty quickly on the romantic front; however, I thought their connection as a result of their lifelong friendship and the mutual attraction they felt (and that they kept secret from each other) was established well enough that the fast pace didn’t feel unnatural. I’m not one for pining and angst but this had some great mutual pining that had me giggling because I just wanted them to get together already! I thought they suited each other really well and I loved how both of them were all-in from the beginning; despite the pretty uncool and bumbling secret-keeping fiascos instigated by Heath once they got together! I really liked them individually as well. Stella was a bit of a typical quirky heroine but I can’t lie, I loved the way she twisted aphorisms (and ngl, most of her twists make so much more sense)! 😂 I also loved the way she became an adorably *awkward* mess whenever she’d meet Heath—it’s just so relatable! Despite a few fumbles himself with the secret-keeping, Heath was a pretty good guy. He was a player in his younger days but I never got those vibes from him, even when we met him in book one, and his steady and hard-working presence was only proven in this story. I wished we got a little bit more character depth from both of them but I thought they were decently developed for a novella-length romance!

Goodreads: A Partridge and A Pregnancy (#3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(2.5 pandas)

There are a lot of places I’d rather spend Christmas Eve morning than on a cold, snowy sidewalk outside someone else’s home. I’d kill to be sitting beside a fireplace, drinking cocoa, wearing flannel pajamas and reading a book.

Instead, I’m here, standing in front of my one-night stand’s house, working up the courage to ring the doorbell and tell him I’m pregnant.

I hate that term—one-night stand. It sounds so cheap and sleezy. Tobias Holiday is neither of those things. He’s handsome and caring. Witty and charismatic. And once, a long time ago, he was mine.

Our one-night reunion was only supposed to be a hookup. A fling with an old lover. A parting farewell before I moved to London and put my feelings for him an ocean away. How exactly am I supposed to explain that to Tobias that I’m having a baby? His baby? Maybe I could sing it. He always loved the silly songs I made up in the shower.

Three French hens, two turtle doves.

And a partridge and a pregnancy. 

In the previous two books, we briefly learn about Tobias and the surprise pregnancy with his ex, Eva, but of the three brothers, he’s the one who has been around the least. It was great to finally meet him and get his story, but out of the three Holiday Brothers books, this one was probably my least favourite! I’d seen some mixed reviews and wasn’t even sure that I wanted to read it anymore cos I thought I’d end up annoyed but I’m glad I did and finished the series. It wasn’t that the story or writing was bad, I just didn’t connect with the characters.

From the reviews I’d seen, I had expected to find myself hating the heroine, but I felt more indifferent than anything. I mean, I didn’t particularly like or understand her, but I also empathised with her situation. With a job that has her frequently relocating on little notice, she lives a pretty lonely life and with her next big move already in the works, and now a surprise baby on the way, I think her being thrown for a loop was realistic. I would also probably be freaking out in this situation! But I did think she was a little selfish and I never really understood her desire to not stay when it was clear as day that Montana was home to her—what point was she trying to prove and to whom? (view spoiler)

That said, they also never properly discussed the situation because she either ran away as she doesn’t like confronting problems, or Tobias would get frustrated and say hurtful things, or both of them would get overwhelmed by the sexual tension and instead of talking, they’d have sex (which happened a few times). Tobias definitely could’ve been more communicative too and said what was on his mind—well, actually, they both definitely should’ve used their words and been y’know, adults about the situation (lol), but after being unceremoniously rejected by Eva at the end of their college years, I get why he felt that way and why he believed she didn’t want to stay.

Overall though, while they did have the chemistry of old lovers and their steamy moments were hot, I just never really felt invested in their story because it was just overly dramatic and I didn’t feel like it was for any good reason (or at least not a reason that I understood or that I felt was clearly explained). Obviously, their HEA was nice and I’m glad that they both found their happy place together, I just think their journey would’ve been better had they actually talked. 

Have you read the Holiday Brothers series or is it on your TBR?

Cover Reveal: Blind Pass by Teagan Hunter

FRIENDS! I’m so excited to share the cover reveal for Blind Pass, book two in Teagan Hunter’s sports (hockey) romance Carolina Comets series. The book is coming to #KindleUnlimited on January 27th, 2022.

Check out my review for Puck Shy (Carolina Comets #1)!

Cover reveal for Blind Pass by Teagan Hunter in mobile phone preview and physical book preview. Coming January 27, 2022

💍 Vegas Wedding
😠😃 Grumpy/Sunshine
🥵 Steamy
😂 L-O-L Banter
🏒 Hot Hockey Players

Goodreads: Blind Pass (Carolina Comets #2)
Publication Date: 27 January 2022
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there.

I would know. I’m coming home with a brand-new ring on my finger.

My wife? Ryan Bell.
We’re polar opposites.
She’s sunshine and happiness.
I’m grumpy and scarred—literally.

We could get it annulled and no one would be the wiser.
Only problem? We posted about it online, and it’s already making headlines.

I can’t afford to get that kind of attention and tank my career, and Ryan needs my help too. We make a plan: stay married for one year, play our roles, and divorce amicably at the end. No harm, no foul.
Besides, there’s no way the beauty is going to fall for the beast…

Continue reading “Cover Reveal: Blind Pass by Teagan Hunter”

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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#TopTenTuesday: Books to Read If You Like Small Town Romance…

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books to Read If You Love/Loved X (X can be a genre, specific book, author, movie/TV show, etc.). 

I wasn’t quite feeling this week’s topic because I’m not all that great at recommending anything to others whether it’s books, shows, movies, etc. I wasn’t sure what I would’ve gone with either but as I’m currently reading a romance series set in a small town, I thought why not just share a list of my favourite small-town romances? I know this is a pretty specific sub-genre but I love a good small-town romance especially when the town feels like its own character. There’s so much family and friendship history in these romances, plus, there are meddling townspeople that are usually well-meaning and endearing! With all the history there’s always lots of friends-to-lovers, second chances, enemies-to-lovers, and marriages of convenience—all of which are some of my favourite romance tropes!

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Books to Read If You Like Small Town Romance…”