THE HOLIDAY SWAP by Maggie Knox

October 27, 2021

From the publisher:

The International Bestseller—A feel-good, holiday rom com about identical twins who swap lives twelve days before Christmas—perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December
 
All they want for Christmas is a different life.

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell—both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?


I love this time of year with all the Christmas romances, and I was super excited about this one because of this blurb:

The Great British Bake Off AKA The Great British Baking Show here in America was my happy place during the pandemic, and I’m loving the new season as well. I am a long time Gilmore Girls fan – my daughter and I started watching when she was in middle school, and it is one of my comfort TV watches (is that a thing? It is for me!). In fact, I recently started re-watching the series a few weeks ago, for about the tenth time? So Jennifer Robson, shame on you for this blurb. There’s no tent, no contestants helping each other out, no Lorelai & Rory, no Kirk, no Taylor, no Luke! The closest I could get to Stars Hollow was the small town where the twins family bakery is, called Starlight Peak. Not even close. I have serious doubts that Robson even read it.

Enough ranting about a blurb – the book was good despite my dashed expectations.

Charlie and Cass are identical twins and both love to bake, but they took it in different directions. Charlie couldn’t wait to leave the family bakery and the small California town and went to culinary school to perfect her pastry skills. Cass stayed home and is now running the family business while their parents are traveling. Cass has a long time boyfriend who is pushing her to get married, but she realizes that over the years they have grown apart, so she tells him she needs time to think. He takes that as a yes and buys them a house. She is furious, and breaks up with him – or at least tries to, he’s not taking no for an answer.

Charlie has found success on reality TV cooking shows, and is co-hosting a holiday baking show with a super ambitious and totally obnoxious co-host. They are both up to host a new baking show solo, and Charlie is determined to win that job. An accident on set takes her out, but despite her concussion and the cute ER doctor telling her to take time off, she is determined to finish out the show. But then she realizes she has lost her sense of smell and taste, so how will she be able to judge anything?

Enter the oldest trick in the book, the Parent Trap if you will: identical twins changing places. Cass is happy to get out of town and away from her ex and is hoping that Charlie will be able to convince him they are done. Charlie needs this job and hopes Cass can fool everyone enough to ensure she gets the solo hosting gig.

Then Charlie has a small kitchen fire and one of the firemen really catches her eye. It seems the attraction is mutual, except he thinks she is Cass and that is not a great way to start a relationship. Meanwhile, Cass runs into the cute ER doctor and things heat up there, with him thinking she is Charlie. Let’s just say hijinks ensue until the happy ending is reached for both twins.

No real surprises here, just a sweet Christmas romance which worked for me. Enjoy!

NOTE: The author, Maggie Knox, is actually Karma Brown’s and Marissa Stapley’s first joint project writing under that pseudonym.

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE HOLIDAY SWAP by Maggie Knox. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (October 5, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593330739. 352 pages.

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MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY by Lauren Blakely 

October 26, 2021

Ballers and Babes Series, Book 1

From the publisher:

Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns. Don’t let the fact that I’m the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you.

These days, I’m only a player on the field. I’ve kept my pants zipped all season long because nothing’s more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner’s recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who’s dead set on winning more than a date with me.

Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary. She’s my best friend’s sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don’t even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she’s my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he’s negotiating my contract.

Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is–I’ve been riding the bench for years. How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she’s most valuable to his heart?

*MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy’s POV!*


I love sports romances, and this is a good one. Told from the guy’s point of view, Cooper is the quarterback for a fictitious San Francisco NFL team. He was backup quarterback for a few years, but now is leading the team and he takes that very seriously. As his best friend Trent says, he is married to football. It is the most important thing in his life and he, along with a few friends on the team, started off the season losing. But then things started clicking and they are on their way to a wildcard spot in the playoffs. Many athletes have their little superstitions and this crew certainly does. Cooper hasn’t had sex since they started winning, and his friends also have their supersitions – one hasn’t cut his hair all season, another is wearing the same dirty socks every game.

Cooper is also a big believer in helping out any charities that deal with children, so he is happy to be part of the bachelor auction to benefit a local children’s hospital. Except he has one little problem; in previous years when he was “won”, he bedded the winners. This year he is not having sex until they make the playoffs, which could be difficult, especially when the owner’s sister is determined to win him and have her way with him. Panicky, he begs Trent’s sister Violet to help him out. She is a hairdresser and is at the auction to make all the guys look good. But her work is done, and since she and Cooper have been friends since they were little kids, she doesn’t mind helping him out – especially since he’s paying for it. So she outbids everyone else and to her surprise, and his, he kisses her in front of the crowd and tells the local news reporter covering the event that they are an item.

Meanwhile, Cooper’s agent is in negotiations for his contract with the team, due to expire at the end of the season. He tells Cooper he needs to keep dating his hometown childhood sweetheart as it will help with negotiations. Turns out Violet needs to keep dating him as well; her landlord wants to raise her rent, but if her customers think they are dating, business will pick up for sure. So they agree to fake date, and as anyone who has ever read a romance knows, fake dating always leads to a happily ever after.

What is interesting here is seeing it all from his point of view instead of hers. We quickly learn that Cooper is falling for Violet, but he isn’t sure if she feels the same or is just good at acting. It was refreshing to see a man be a bit insecure about a relationship for a change. Violet is as well, and we learn that she has always had a crush on him. As things progress, their relationship certainly feels real to him but things come up that make him doubt that Violet is.

This was a terrific read, fast and sexy and fun, especially if you like football – and I do. There is also some sweetness here, which I really appreciated, along with some laugh out loud moments and some very steamy sex. Lauren Blakely is self published, which I often have issues with, but she is a pro. Her books are reliably well edited, and I highly recommend!

NOTE: This is the first book of a series, and I got it for free through BookBub. If you weren’t sure they were legit, well, they are. I got this book a couple of weeks ago and it was free, but today it is $3.99 so I’m glad I jumped on that when I did! (Unfortunately, my library doesn’t have the rest of the books in this series so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to them. I feel guilty buying books when I literally have hundreds of books still to read on my Kindle!)

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY by Lauren Blakely. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 1, 2017). 978-1545373941. 286 pages.

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THE WEDDING WAGER by Eva Devon

October 25, 2021

From the publisher:

All Lady Victoria Kirby wants is to dig in the dirt, take notations, and record history, thank you very much. Bumbling through ballrooms and getting disdained by the ton for her less than ideal looks, on the other hand, is the last thing she wants. But her reckless father has a different idea for her future when he puts up the ultimate ante—her hand in marriage—and loses. Over her dead body.

The Duke of Chase cannot bear to see a woman misused. After all, he saw that often enough as a child. So when he’s witness to a marquess gambling away his daughter to a lecher of a man, he has no choice but to step in and rescue her. Lady Victoria has a reputation for being as tart as a lemon and as bitter as one, too. So, he may have just found the perfect wife to keep a promise he made to himself long ago–to never have an heir. With her, surely, he’ll never be tempted to take her to bed and break that promise.

But when he meets the wild, witty intelligent young lady he’s bound to marry, he knows trouble is headed his way… And everything he ever swore to uphold may very well come undone, especially his heart.


There is an unusual setup here for a Regency romance; Lady Victoria’s father has put her up as collateral for a bet at his club. He is rolling the dice on her future with an old lech, and the Duke of Chase, a bystander, is not going to let that happen. One of the most sought after single men in London, the Duke comes from a very old, very distinguished family and is one of the richest men in London as well. He has vowed to never marry or have children, but Lady Victoria has a reputation as being a very plain woman, and a very bright woman, with a sharp tongue. She may be the answer to his prayers; if he marries her, he’ll have a Duchess he has no desire for. She is also very independent and works as an assistant to her father, an archeologist. That is where her passions lie.

Victoria cannot believe her beloved father would force her into marriage, but he has. She meets with the Duke, and he outlines his plans; she will have the income and freedom to do whatever she wants, and so will he. Theirs will be a true marriage of convenience, with each of them living their own lives.

Chase has a terrible reputation as a womanizer, and has caused several women in the ton to get divorced. What no one knows is that in truth, he never sleeps with any of them. These are women trapped in bad marriages, like his mother was, and he helps them escape their confines by helping them get divorced and supporting them as needed. No one knows about his good deeds, and he certainly isn’t going to tell his new wife.

Chase has an assignation scheduled for a few days after the wedding. Victoria agreed to allowing him to continue being a rake without complaint, but he feels badly about it. It cannot be helped, so off her goes. When her husband walks in on them, he jumps out the window as his wife is driving by in the Ducal carriage. She stops to let him in, and doesn’t say much at all. He is amazed that she isn’t yelling or crying, and he is impressed even more with her. Chase is drawn to her despite himself, and he especially loves the way she is so thoughtful and smart about everything. She soon figures out that he is not at all what he portrays himself to be.

They end up as lovers, but he is always very careful not to get her pregnant. He may have broken his vow to never marry, but is determined to never produce an heir. Instead, the Dukedom will go to his wastrel of a cousin. But things between Chase and Victoria get more complicated, and she decides it is time to travel the world, excavating wherever she can. But rest assured, these two find their happily ever after.

This was a really fun, fast read. The characters are developed enough that I wanted them to find their happiness, and the story was a good one. This author was new to me, but I would certainly read her again.

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE WEDDING WAGER by Eva Devon. Entangled: Amara (October 25, 2021). ASIN: B0951RX59Z. 277 pages.

 


THE BILLIONAIRE IN BOOTS by Julia London

October 24, 2021

The Princes of Texas, Book 3

From the publisher:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London delivers a sexy new contemporary western, where a lonesome rancher and a no-nonsense cowgirl learn that you don’t choose who you fall for–love lassos you….

As the firstborn son, it’s been drilled into Nick that he is the heir apparent to the Prince family empire. But cattle ranching has never been his true passion. Nick wants to be a pilot.  However, when his father dies, leaving Nick to clean up the mess, he knows he must do his duty before following his heart.

Charlotte Bailey can’t believe that Nick is back to run the ranch. As the office manager, she knows it’s her responsibility to help him. If only he wasn’t so brooding and cranky–and so hot it’s a wonder his chaps don’t melt right off him. But when sparks fly between them, she’s adamant about staying away from a cowboy on his way out the door.

Nick knows the ranch’s pretty, smart, and capable office manager is off-limits, but he needs her. And working in such close proximity to Charlotte every day is making Nick crazy. She smells good, she looks good, she makes him laugh, but most of all she makes him want to stay….


I’ve read Julia London’s historical romances and loved them, so I don’t know how I missed her contemporary ones. This is the third book of the series and my first foray into The Princes of Texas, but I think it stands alone just fine. It never felt like I was missing anything.

Nick is a young, good looking curmudgeon. He’s always grumpy and for some reason, Charlotte enjoys his company. It might have something to do with the wild, slightly drunken night they shared almost a year earlier. She distinctly remembers that night as the best sex she ever had.

Charlotte has been the office manager for the Prince ranch since way before Nick took over. His dad ran the place with Charlotte for many years. Nick has his pilot’s license and dreams of flying big jets for commercial airlines, but his dream is put on hold when his father dies and names him to take over the ranch. Turns out his father had some serious gambling issues, and the coffers are bare. Every day is a struggle to turn the business around. The only highlight is getting to spend time with Charlotte. She is often maddening but he can’t help how he feels about her, try as he might. He is diligent about keeping their relationship professional, but eventually lust wins out.

Charlotte has feelings for Nick, but he constantly pushes her away. She tries online dating as her friends keep pushing her, but without much success. Even Nick gets in on it, helping her pick out a couple of guys to date. Turns out that wasn’t the best idea he ever had, but it doesn’t matter, Charlotte knows where her heart belongs. Except she has a dream too, and it’s to get married, have lots of babies, and make a home in this small town.

Nick doesn’t believe she would want to be with him unless he can give her those things, and after her best friend has a baby he becomes convinced he doesn’t want any children – ever. This is a major hurdle for Charlotte, but this is a romance so you know they reach their happy ending.

I really liked spending time with these characters and this is a charming romance with a tiny bit of heat and a lot of laughs. I will be looking for the earlier books in this series – and the next one!

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE BILLIONAIRE IN BOOTS by Julia London. Berkley (March 3, 2020). ISBN: 978-0451492395. 368 pages.

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ONE NIGHT WITH AN EARL by Tina Gabrielle

October 23, 2021

Daring Ladies series, Book 1

From the publisher:

Ana Gardner is determined to lose her virginity before her thirtieth birthday. She’s no stranger to fake identities, having posed as a chaperone since the scandal that destroyed her titled family. So she dons a mask, changes into a low-cut red gown, and attends the city’s most elite brothel, the Silver Chalice.

Oliver Bedford, the imposing Earl of Drake, is only at the Silver Chalice to appease his debauched friends—until he spots Lady Scarlet. She’s refreshing…and a complete mystery. Certain she’s a lady in disguise, Oliver is determined to learn her identity, but she eludes him at every turn.

The night with Oliver was unforgettable. But when he arrives at her employer’s home, she’s horrified to discover her lover is the Earl of Drake, the son of the man responsible for her father’s death and subsequent family ruin. And that he’s there to court her young charge.

Oliver never had any interest in the debutante, but he is drawn to her chaperone—a woman he soon realizes is his Lady Scarlet. Now that he’s found her, she claims she wants nothing to do with him, even though her kisses say otherwise. Fortunately, Oliver is not one to give up when he finds something he wants…and he wants Ana. In his bed, and in his life. Forever. But first, he must persuade her to trust him—and to believe that one wild, passionate night can turn into forever.


This was my first read from this author, and I am looking forward to more; this is the first book of a new series, so more will follow.

Anahit was born to a Lebanese mother and her father was an English Baron. Her mother died fairly young, and her father never recovered, ignoring his children and drowning his sorrows. The end came for him when he lost his home gambling with an Earl. After his death, Ana sold her mother’s jewels to pay for school for her much younger brother, changed her last name, and found a position as a chaperone to a young woman.

As she nears her thirtieth birthday, Ana is determined to lose her virginity. She approaches the madam of the finest brothel in London, and arranges to spend one night there. The madam allows her to select whoever she wants, and she spots a dark, brooding man that captures her attention. He is entranced with the dark haired, dark eyed beauty, and they spend a very passionate night together. He can’t understand what a virgin is doing in this place, but she is masked and not talking. He is completely intrigued with the woman he dubs Lady Scarlet, for the sexy red dress she wore.

The madam won’t tell him who she is, but he finds out soon enough. Oliver inherited his position after his father, then his older brother, died. He has always been the serious one of the family. His father and brother were all about drinking and whoring and gambling. In fact, he is only at the brothel because he feels an obligation to spend some time with his brother’s friends, even though he shares nothing in common with them.

The Earl’s grandmother sets him up with a young woman new to the marriage mart. He acquiesces and goes to see her, but has no interest in this young girl. Herchaperone, on the other hand, seems familiar. He soon realizes he found his Lady Scarlet. She assures him that one night was it, she can’t afford to lose her position but the pull between them is so strong, neither one of them can fight it for long. Of course that leads to all sorts of trouble.

This is a very sexy Regency romance with interesting characters and a good storyline. There isn’t as much humor or witty dialogue as many Regency romances have, but it was a very enjoyable, engrossing story and I highly recommend it.

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

ONE NIGHT WITH AN EARL by Tina Gabrielle. Entangled: Amara (October 18, 2021). ASIN: B09H5JGNM8. 324 pages.

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THE TAKEOVER by T L Swan

October 22, 2021

The Miles High Club, Book 2

From the publisher:

Wall Street Journal bestseller.

In bestselling author T L Swan’s second hot installment to the Miles High Club series, he’s sexy, rich, and her mortal enemy. Hate never felt so good.

I first met Tristan Miles at a meeting where he was trying to take over my late husband’s company.

He was powerful, arrogant, and infuriatingly gorgeous, and I hated him with every cell in my body. In the shock of the century, he called me three days later and asked me on a date.

I would rather die than date a man like him―though I do have to admit it was good for the ego. Turning him down was the highlight of my year.

Six months later, he was the guest speaker at a conference I attended in France.

Still arrogant and infuriating―but this time, surprisingly charming and witty.

When he looked at me, I got butterflies.

But I can’t go there.

He’s just a player in a hot suit, and I’m just a widow with three unruly sons.

I just need this conference to be over. Because everybody knows that Tristan Miles always gets what he wants…and what he wants is me.


Tristan Miles is in charge of acquisitions for Miles Media, the conglomerate he owns along with his brothers. They are all billionaire playboys, except for Jameson, who recently married. Tristan is determined to take over Anderson Media, which is in serious financial jeopardy. The owner died and his widow, Claire, has been running the company for five years, but things are not going well. When Tristan shows up in her office with an offer to buy her out, she is incensed and throws him out. A few days later, he asks her out. Saying no felt good. Tristan is rich and gorgeous and has never heard “no” before, but he respects her wishes and keeps his distance.

About six months later, Claire’s assistant and best friend, Marley, convinces her to attend a motivational retreat in France. Claire fights it at first, but soon realizes she really needs a break and off she goes. The opening speaker at the conference is none other than Tristan Miles. He singles her out, repeatedly, and eventually she decides to she could use a fling and since their chemistry is off the charts, why not.

Claire is a few years older than Tristan and they are in very different places in their lives. She married young and was widowed, and has three sons who are not always easy to deal with. He is single and a player with his whole life ahead of him. After the conference, he invites her to spend the weekend with him in Paris, and she goes. The sex is amazing, he makes her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world, and is funny and charming. But then she ends things.

Tristan has never been dumped and he isn’t sure what to do about it. He has had a few serious relationships in his life, but with a distinct type; young, blond, beautiful. Claire is older and comes with a lot of baggage, namely her kids. But he can’t stop thinking about her. One day he shows up at her house on Long Island, and meets her three sons in one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever read. Her oldest Fletcher, is just cold to him and asks him to leave. He is very protective of his mother. The youngest, Patrick, isn’t sure what to think. But it’s the middle child, Harry, who goes ballistic on him.

Seeing a billionaire playboy lock horns with teenagers is hilarious, and the relationship he develops with these boys is funny but also heart warming. Meanwhile Claire keeps breaking up with him then taking him back. Repeatedly. She can’t seem to stay away, and he is determined to make a life with her. That leads to some serious issues and another really bad breakup. But these two cannot stay apart, and they all find their happily ever after.

This is my favorite book of the series. The sex is steamy as in all the books in this series, but it’s the humor that really made this special. Single moms will appreciate how protective Claire is of her children, and will swoon at Tristan’s relationship with her boys. These books all stand alone so if you want to try one, I highly recommend this book; it is equal parts super sexy, heartwarming, & hilarious! I loved it.

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE TAKEOVER by T L Swan. Montlake; 8/1 edition (August 27, 2020). ISBN: 978-1542017336. 479 pages.

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NO PLAYER REQUIRED by JoAnn Sky

October 21, 2021

Biggest Little Love Story, Book 3

From the publisher:

Billionaire casino magnate Rafael “Rafa” Salord is forced to exchange caviar for cowboy boots when he’s sent to “grow up” and run his father’s newly acquired casino in the middle of nowhere downtown Reno. When he crosses paths with feisty Destiny Morson, he starts to wonder if that nonsense about love-at-first-sight might actually be true. Maybe it’s time to trade in his playboy status and bet on something more.

Social worker Destiny Morson has always had good reason for keeping romance at arm’s length. After finding out that her business partner ran off with the community-raised funds from their non-profit, she’s ready to swear off people completely. So when the sexy casino executive seems interested in helping her with her woes, she can’t help but mistrust his motives, no matter how he makes her burn…

From a night out throwing axes to supporting Destiny’s charity, Rafa stops at nothing to win over the gunshy woman he can’t get out of his head. He’s determined to break through her tough exterior, and Destiny slowly lets her guard down. But after a night of passion in his penthouse suite, things at the casino go sideways for both of them, forcing them to decide if the past is enough to prevent them from a future together.


Destiny is an interesting character, a young woman who has a lot of responsibility, first as a social worker, then as a partner in a charity that helps people with drug problems. She is also responsible for her aunt, so she moves into an apartment in the same complex so she can keep an eye on her. They live just outside of Reno, and her aunt really likes the slots and manages to lose her social security check at the casino on a regular basis.

Rafa is visiting their company’s latest acquisition at the behest of his father. They have bumped heads quite a bit, especially when his father believed him to have fathered a child. He pays off the woman, but unbeknownst to his father, Rafa keeps in touch with the mother and helps her out financially. When he arrives at the Reno property, he is not impressed with the manager, to say the least. He has been working in the hotel/casino business for years and trusts his instincts. His instincts say something is off with this guy, even if he is a friend of his father.

When Rafa and Destiny meet, there is a strong attraction but she is too busy getting her new charity off the ground for romance. But he is persistent, and they go out a few times and she gets to know his friends. Once they spend the night together, Destiny realizes she is in trouble – she likes Rafa way more than she should, especially since he is only in town temporarily. But this is a romance, so they find their happy ending.

This is a quick read and the character development was surprisingly good for such a short book. There was enough drama and laughs to keep the pages turning, but it felt like it was missing something. That could be due to the fact that this is the third book of a series, and I haven’t read the first two. Despite that, it was an enjoyable read.

NO PLAYER REQUIRED by JoAnn Sky. Entangled: Indulgence (October 18, 2021). ASIN: B09H5JGLS2. 197 pages.

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WILD IN CAPTIVITY by Samanthe Beck

October 20, 2021

The Captivity Alaska Series, Book 1

From the publisher:

Ambitious L.A. lawyer Isabelle Marcano would rather run a mile in her Manolos than fly off to rustic Captivity, Alaska. But close the client’s sale successfully and her firm will find room on the letterhead for one more name. Still, taking a career detour to a place that doesn’t even have a Starbucks sounds like the seventh level of hell.

Then her best friend points out the town has something stronger on tap than caffeine. Testosterone. With two single men to every single woman, this assignment might just be the best thing to happen to her sex life since the invention of the waterproof Rabbit.

Until her sexy client introduces her as his fiancée to hide what she’s doing in town, and all her aspirations of hot Lumberjack Sex fly out the airplane window.

Though…fiancés do have sex, right? Those who don’t want to answer to small-town busybodies better look like they do, epically, even when the mere prospect plays havoc with her professional responsibilities. And her hormones.

Her firm’s getting antsy to finalize the merger. But the more she learns about Trace, about why he’s selling, the more conflicted she becomes about the deal. Failure to close means losing the partnership she’s always wanted, but the bigger failure might just be kissing Trace goodbye…


Trace suffered a terrible loss when his younger brother died in a plane crash, and he still hasn’t recovered. He’s decided to sell the family business, running the airport and the planes in Captivity, Alaska, and his good friend has sent a bright young attorney to help him get everything in order. Captivity is a small town, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he is thinking about selling, but the offer he has in hand may be too good to pass up. His parents are retired and traveling the world, and his younger sister has half ownership in the airline, but she isn’t vested until she turns 30 so he still has some time.

Izzy is thrilled to have this assignment – her boss is dangling a partnership if it all goes through. She has worked her butt off for years to get to this point, and is determined to reach her goal. But when she arrives in Alaska, Trace takes one look at the big city lawyer and realizes he is in trouble. No one will believe she is a tourist here to climb a mountain, not with those heels and those clothes. When they finally arrive in Captivity, a couple of his employees/friends are there to meet them. In a panic, Trace blurts out that Izzy is here because he’s trying to convince her to marry him.

Stunned, she isn’t sure what to say but realizes he is the client and she better go along with it. The whole town gets involved as they want to see Trace happy, and if this is the woman he wants, they are all in. So while they work on getting his business in order to sell, they also have to date – and that presents a tiny problem. Izzy has been so busy working she hasn’t had a relationship or even a date in over a year. She figures the odds are pretty good she can have some casual sex while in Captivity, but not after Trace announces his intentions.

As they work together and spend time together, Trace realizes he has some strong feelings for Izzy, but she is fighting it. It is unethical for her to get involved with a client, but Trace eventually wears her down and the sex is blazing hot. Izzy gets to know his sister and his friends, and everyone is trying their best to convince her to stay, but she has other plans. Except when she finally leaves to go back home, she is miserable.

There is another character in this book that I just loved, a giant Husky/Malamute mixed dog named K’eyush, or Key for short. The dog is brilliant and talks – he somehow says his favorite peoples’ names. Anyone who has spent any time poking around my website knows that I am a cat person, but I also love dogs. My husband has gotten me a tiny bit obsessed with this dog: K’eyush the Stunt Dog and couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the dog in the book and the dog in the video. So I reached out to the author, who confirmed she is also a K’eyush fan and was inspired to use a dog with similar traits in the book. I love when my worlds collide like that!

I love anything set in Alaska so this really worked for me. There were a few surprises along the way before Trace and Izzy reached their happily ever after. There is a lot of humor and heat in this terrific romance and first book of a series. I can’t wait for the next one!

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

WILD IN CAPTIVITY by Samanthe Beck. Entangled: Amara (October 18, 2021). ASIN: B09H5J7S5W. 325 pages.

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THE STOPOVER by T L Swan

October 19, 2021

The Miles High Club, Book 1

From the publisher:

A memorable night of passion refuses to stay just a memory in this sizzling and scandalous romance from bestselling author T L Swan.

I was upgraded to first class on a flight from London to New York.

The food, champagne, and service were impeccable.

The blue-eyed man sitting next to me, even better.

He was suave and intelligent.

We talked and laughed, and something clicked.

Fate took over and the plane was grounded, and we had an unexpected stopover for the night.

With no plans, we made our own.

We danced and laughed our way around Boston and had a night of crazy passion that no woman would ever forget.

That was twelve months ago, and I haven’t heard from him―until today.

I started a new job and met the CEO. You can imagine my surprise to see those naughty blue eyes dance with delight when he saw me across the mahogany desk.

But I’m not that carefree girl anymore. My life has changed, I have responsibilities.

I just got an email.

He wants to see me in his office for a private meeting at 8:00 a.m.

Naughty blue eyes have no place in the workplace.

What kind of private meeting does he have in mind?


I read the third book in this series, The Casanova, first, and immediately went and purchased the first two books in the series. Being that there are four Miles brothers, I’m hoping for one more.

Emily Foster is having a horrible day, topped off by being assaulted at the airport. But that does seem to turn things around for her; the airline upgrades her to first class. Sitting beside her is the sexiest man she’s ever seen. He introduces himself as Jim, and they flirt like crazy for the whole flight from London to New York. Except their flight is rerouted to Boston due to weather, and they end up spending the night together. A steamy, sexy night. But he doesn’t ask her for her phone number, and she shrugs it off. She can’t forget him though.

Emily finally lands her dream job at Miles Media and on her first day is given a tour of the offices. There she meets the CEO, Jameson Miles, who turns out to be none other than her former flying seatmate, Jim. The chemistry between them is palpable, and she cannot believe the man she has been fantasizing about ever since their night together is now her boss.

Billionaire bad boy Jameson has never forgotten Emily, either. Known as the Casanova for the obvious reasons, he has never really felt the need to see a woman once the fling ends. Except for Emily. She doesn’t want to jeopardize her job, but finds it impossible to say no for very long. They end up in a relationship that neither of them planned or thought they wanted, and it is scorching. But more than just heat, there is love and caring and a happily every after.

This is a really fun read with some humor, interesting characters and situations, and a lot of sexy scenes. I was shocked to see this book is over 500 pages, because those pages just flew by. I loved it and The Takeover, book 2 in the series, is up next for me.

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE STOPOVER by T L Swan. Montlake Romance (October 29, 2019). ISBN: 978-1542015875. 523 pages.

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THE LILAC HOUSE by Barbara Josselsohn

October 18, 2021

From the publisher:

Can one summer house bring two broken hearts together?

Summer escapes to Lilac House have always been a source of comfort for Anna Harris. Though things will never be the same since her husband’s death, she knows that it is there, nestled in Lake Summers in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, that she and her children Zac and Evie can begin to build a new life.

The house is just as beautiful as Anna remembers, and caught up in the rhythm of small town life, helping her Aunt Hope run the little shop on Main Street, Anna begins to feel a sense of herself she hasn’t felt in years. Then she meets Aidan. Handsome, strong and quiet, he also knows what it’s like to lose someone. In each other they recognise something they’ve both been missing and they feel a spark.

But Aidan’s past holds a different set of complications. He’s hiding a secret about why he came to Lake Summers. And just as the Lilac House finally starts to feel like home, Anna learns something devastating about Greg’s death that makes her question everything…

The summer might have brought Anna and Aidan together, but can Anna finally let go of the past now she really has the chance for a new beginning?

A beautiful story about moving on and finding yourself, The Lilac House will restore your faith in love and teach you that it’s never too late the find the person who will change your life. For fans of Carolyn Brown, Jenny Hale and Mary Alice Monroe.


Josselsohn (The Lily Garden) starts the Lake Summers series in a small summer resort town in New York’s Adirondack Mountains that holds special memories for recently widowed Anna Harris and her family. The whole family is grieving, but there are so many special memories in the Lilac House, where they summered every year of their marriage.

Anna’s Aunt Hope has opened a ballet school and store in town, so Anna gets to spend some time with her only relative. Her kids start camp, and she starts helping out in the store, which doesn’t seem to be doing all that well. The town has hired a business consultant, Aidan, and he is happy to help; Aidan is a widower, so he also knows grief, but there is more to his story. Aidan and Anna enjoy spending time together, but they are both apprehensive about getting too involved because of their situations; Anna isn’t sure she’s staying, and Aidan has a mysterious, troubling past.

More women’s fiction than romance; this is a sweet, small-town story that deals with some serious issues but is ultimately uplifting. Sure to please fans of Jodi Picoult or Carolyn Brown, and anyone who once enjoyed ballet lessons.

NOTE: This book is being reissued by Grand Central Publishing on Dec. 14, 2021. https://amzn.to/30ChITj

10/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE LILAC HOUSE by Barbara Josselsohn. Bookouture (March 10, 2020). ISBN: 978-1838881580. 280 pages.

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