INNAPROPRIATE by Vi Keeland

January 14, 2022

From the publisher:

A new, sexy standalone novel from #1 New York Times Bestseller, Vi Keeland.

Terminated for inappropriate behavior.

I couldn’t believe the letter in my hands.

Nine years. Nine damn years I’d worked my butt off for one of the largest companies in America, and I was fired with a form letter when I returned home from a week in Aruba.

All because of a video taken when I was on vacation with my friends—a private video made on my private time. Or so I thought…

Pissed off, I cracked open a bottle of wine and wrote my own letter to the gazillionaire CEO telling him what I thought of his company and its practices.

I didn’t think he’d actually respond. I certainly never thought I’d suddenly become pen pals with the rich jerk. Eventually, he realized I’d been wronged and made sure I got my job back. Only…it wasn’t the only thing Grant Lexington wanted to do for me.

But there was no way I was getting involved with my boss’s boss’s boss. Even if he was ridiculously gorgeous, confident, and charming.

It would be completely wrong, inappropriate even. Sort of like the video that got me into trouble to begin with. Two wrongs don’t make a right. But sometimes it’s twice as fun.

https://amzn.to/3r5liid


Keeland writes super sexy romances with a lot of humor, and this is a good one. Ireland is a morning TV journalist. She’s worked hard to get where she is but doesn’t get along with her boss and at the first opportunity, he fires her. She is enraged and shoots a drunken email to the owner of the company. She quickly realizes that was a mistake and sends another email, fighting for her job.

Meanwhile, she is hanging out in a coffee shop in the building where she used to work, and meets a very good looking man who asks to share her table. There is definite chemistry there, but he turns out to be the very man she has been emailing, Grant Lexington, the CEO of the company that fired her. He is completely smitten though, and determined to get the girl. So lots of conflict from the get go.

Both of these characters have complex and damaged backgrounds. They will need to work through their own past to find a future together, but while they do, they spend time together until they just can’t fight their attraction anymore.

There are a lot of laughs, some real angst, and some fiery sex scenes as Ireland and Grant find their happy ending. This is a good story that moves fast and was a one night read for me. Highly recommend.

1/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

INNAPROPRIATE by Vi Keeland. C. Scott Publishing Corp. (January 20, 2020). ISBN: 978-1951045043. 364 pages.

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WATCHING OVER YOU by Lori Foster

January 14, 2022

The McKenzies of Ridge Trail, Book 3

From the publisher:

Mysterious, unpredictable and most definitely scorching hot

While investigating a criminal network, Detective Crosby Albertson keeps crossing paths with members of the highly trained, suspiciously well-informed McKenzie family. They’re always one step ahead of him—especially their alarmingly attractive intel specialist, Madison. And Crosby needs to find out why.

Madison McKenzie is the tech and surveillance whiz of her family’s operation. A recent case introduced her to Detective Albertson. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to the sexy and mysterious cop. There’s just one problem. He’s a detective and her family’s work is secret. When Crosby starts digging for information about the McKenzies, Madison’s got to get him off the scent…while keeping him at a safe distance.

https://amzn.to/3GhIPmB

The McKenzie family business is vigilantism. There are two brothers, Reyes and Cade, their sister, Madison, and their father, Parrish, a former surgeon who runs the business. Reyes owns a gym in a seedy part of town, and Cade owns a bar on the opposite side of town, giving them access to lowlifes who like to talk. And they like to listen. Madison is their tech guru, and she has some serious skills. She also has a massive crush on a local cop, Crosby Albertson, but she doesn’t think he’s interested. He is, it’s just that he is unsure about her family – they always seem to be one step ahead of him on sex trafficking cases, and he isn’t too fond of their penchant for taking things into their own hands.

Crosby has a daughter, Hallie. and he is extremely protective. In his line of work, that should be a given. His nanny is Silver, a woman that he rescued from an abusive marriage, and while they are very close, she is like a grandmother to his daughter, and Crosby is fiercely protective of them both. But his job as a detective involves very long hours, often seven days a week, for not a lot of money. So when Parrish offers him a job, he decides to take it. The money is great and his hours are better. The only hitch is working with this family who sometimes steps outside the law.

Crosby is invited to the family compound, and Madison quickly realizes that he is more than just an employee to her father. In fact, there seems to be a bit of matchmaking going on. And an interesting side romance develops between Parrish and Silver.

Madison can’t help but throw herself at Crosby but he is slow to respond. His other responsibilities weigh on him. But working together brings them closer, and eventually they find their way together but there is a lot of action before that happens. This is romantic suspense, and Crosby and the McKenzies are after a human trafficker that escaped an earlier raid. He’s back in town and creating havoc, and there can be no happy ending until he is taken care of.

I thought this book was a terrific ending to a trilogy, but Lori told me that she is writing another book featuring one of the secondary characters from the series. I can’t wait! This was one of my favorite series in 2021 so I’m thrilled it will be continuing. I think these books can stand alone, but are best read in order. If you like romantic suspense, steamy love scenes, and hot alpha men, you won’t want to miss this.

1/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

WATCHING OVER YOU by Lori Foster. HQN; Original edition (December 28, 2021). ISBN: 978-1335620989. 352 pages.

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Spotlight Review: WEATHER GIRL by Rachel Lynn Solomon

January 11, 2022

From the publisher:

A TV meteorologist and a sports reporter scheme to reunite their divorced bosses with unforecasted results in this electrifying romance from the author of The Ex Talk.

Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.

In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.

Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?

One of…

Amazon’s Best Romances of January

Apple Books’ Best Books of January

Goodreads’ Hottest Romances of January

Buzzfeed’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022

Popsugar, Parade.com, The Nerd Daily, and Fangirlish’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022

Library Reads top ten books published this month that library staff across the country love

https://amzn.to/3qdRwZo

Rachel Lynn Solomon follows up last year’s terrific The Ex-Talk with an even better story. This is not a sequel, so no worries if you haven’t read her last book. What I loved most about this new book is the added depth to the story – this is so much more than just a frothy romcom. There are plenty of laughs and some steamy love scenes, but it is the way Solomon has imbued her main character, Ari, with a debilitating mental illness, depression, that really resonated with me.

Ari grew up with a mother who suffered terribly from depression, but she refused to admit it or get any kind of help. Even when her father walked out on the family, in Ari’s mind it was because of her mother’s depression, and it partly was. Her mother dated over the years, but the same issues kept coming up, teaching Ari a valuable lesson: don’t ever let anyone know about her depression. Once Ari hit high school, she realizes that she, too, suffers from this disease, but it’s not until college that she finally gets the help she needs. We learn that with medication and therapy, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Ari has her dream job as a TV weather girl in Seattle, working for Torrance Hale, Seattle’s preeminent TV meteorologist and Ari’s idol. Except things at the station haven’t been the bed of roses she’d dreamt of. While she thinks she’s been doing a good job, she hasn’t had a review or any kind of constructive criticism from Torrance in the three years she’s been there. Ari wants to grow and learn, but it isn’t happening.

It turns out the Torrance used to be married to the news director, Seth, but they’ve been divorced for years. Time hasn’t benefitted their relationship though, they are constantly bickering and are at each other’s throats, to the point where it is creating a hostile work environment. Things come to a head at the company Christmas party, when Torrance throws Seth’s Emmy award out the window.

Russell is a sports journalist at the station. He’s the newest member of the team and that makes him the person covering high school sports. He doesn’t mind, he knows he has time to move up in the hierarchy. He and Ari end up being the last ones at the party and are hanging out at the hotel bar, discussing their bosses. They get the idea that maybe if their bosses got back together, things would be calmer and happier at work. And a plot is hatched. If this sounds familiar, think “The Parent Trap,” which is referenced here. There is also a cute Netflix movie, “Set it Up,” that has assistants matchmaking their bosses.

Outmaneuvering Torrance and Seth isn’t too difficult, but the more Ari and Russell spend time together plotting and scheming, the more Ari realizes she likes him. A lot. But that worries her – her dating history isn’t great. In fact, she was engaged but the relationship was doomed to fail because Ari never told her fiancé about her depression or the meds she was on. But with Russell, Ari feels like she can be herself.

Russell has his own baggage. He’s a single dad to a preteen girl, and his life has been wrapped around his daughter since he was a teenager. He hasn’t had a date in years, and as much as he likes Ari, he isn’t sure how to go about dating and being a dad. But this is ultimately a romance, and while there are plenty of hurdles to their relationship, they get their happily ever after.

There is an author’s note explaining how she, too, suffers from depression, which is undoubtedly why that plot line rings true and is handled with such sensitivity. As someone with family members who suffer from depression, I found it comforting to see someone with a similar affliction living her best life. I also loved that these characters are Jewish and living in Seattle, home to so many inspirational and Christmas romances (I’m looking at you, Debbie Macomber!) It’s not always easy being in a minority, and that, too, is handled with grace and dignity.

I loved Weather Girl, and I hope you do, too.

1/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

WEATHER GIRL by Rachel Lynn Solomon. Berkley (January 11, 2022). ISBN: 978-0593200148. 352 pages.

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JUST HAVEN’T MET YOU YET by Sophie Cousens

January 7, 2022

From the publisher:

From the New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year comes a heartwarming and hilarious tale that asks: What if you picked up the wrong suitcase and fell head over heels for its mystery owner?

Hopeless romantic and lifestyle reporter Laura’s business trip to the Channel Islands isn’t off to a great start. After an embarrassing encounter with the most attractive man she’s ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel and realizes she’s grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation is its irresistible contents, each of which intrigues her more and more. The owner of this suitcase is clearly Laura’s dream man. Now, all she has to do is find him.

Besides, what are the odds that she’d find The One on the same island where her parents first met and fell in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents’ footsteps. But as Laura’s mystery man proves difficult to find—and as she uncovers family secrets—she may have to reimagine the life, and love, she always thought she wanted.

https://amzn.to/31xT07t

The imagination is a wonderful thing – except when it leads you away from what is right in front of you. Or rather, who is right in front of you. That is Laura’s dilemma.

After a pretty funny scene with tampons flying everywhere, Laura reaches her destination, a small island in the Channel Islands. But when she opens her suitcase, she quickly realizes it is not hers at all. It’s a man’s suitcase, judging by the clothes. Curious, she digs through and finds a well read book that she also loves, among other things that convince her that is suitcase belongs to the man of her dreams.

The taxi driver who she gives a rather unflattering nickname to – not out loud, at least – is helpful enough to get her back to the airport to see if her suitcase is there. It’s not, so she decides to keep the one she has until she can meet the man who owns it. Her wardrobe is severely limited, leading to a few really funny scenes.

Meanwhile, Ted, the cab driver, is happy to chauffeur Laura all over the island. She is a journalist and her boss has sent her to the island to follow a happily ever after story – her own parents’ story, in fact. As Ted and Laura spend time together, they get to know each other pretty well. In fact, Laura is the first woman Ted has had any interest in for a very long time, and Laura likes him a lot, too. Except she is willing to push him away in hopes of meeting the “dream man” who owns the suitcase.

Never fear, a happy ending is reached but we get to laugh a lot along the way, and even cry a bit. But maybe that’s me. This is a very sweet romance with a lovely locale and characters that leap to life off the page. Don’t miss it.

1/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

JUST HAVEN’T MET YOU YET by Sophie Cousens. G.P. Putnam’s Sons (November 9, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593331521. 400 pages.

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AFTER DARK WITH THE DUKE by Julie Anne Long

January 7, 2022

The Palace of Rogues, Book 4

From the publisher:

Sparks fly when a daring diva clashes with an ice-cold war hero in the newest thrilling romance in USA Today bestselling author Julie Anne Long’s Palace of Rogues series.

She arrives in the dead of night, a mob out for blood at her heels: Mariana Wylde, the “Harlot of Haywood Street,” an opera diva brought low by a duel fought for her favors. But the ladies of the Grand Palace on the Thames think they can make a silk purse from scandal: They’ll restore her reputation and share in her triumph…provided they can keep her apart from that other guest.

Coldly brilliant, fiercely honorable, General James Duncan Blackmore, the Duke of Valkirk, is revered, feared, desired…but nobody truly knows him. Until a clash with a fiery, vulnerable beauty who stands for everything he scorns lays him bare. It’s too clear the only cure for consuming desire is conquest, but their only chance at happiness could lead to their destruction.

The legendary duke never dreamed love would be his last battleground. Valkirk would lay down his life for Mariana, but his choice is stark: risk losing her forever, or do the one thing he vowed he never would…surrender.

https://amzn.to/3zxcK7I

Mariana has a mob after her. Two men fought a duel, purportedly over her, and she is on the run. The opera singer cannot perform while the ton is up in arms about this brouhaha. She has heard about The Grand Palace on the Thames and the women who own it, and decides to see if they will let her hide out there for a while.

Of course they do, and get the idea of having Mariana perform to inaugurate their brand new ballroom. It will take a little time to decorate and arrange everything, and meanwhile, they house her and feed her. One of their other guests is the Duke of Valkirk, and they immediately butt heads. Eventually he really insults her, breaking the rules of decorum the house insists upon. His punishment is to give her Italian lessons. Spending all that time alone together leads them down a different path, as anyone who has ever read an historical romance can guess.

Valkirk is revered throughout England, and is hiding out himself. He had published his memoirs and they were a huge bestseller. Now his publisher wants a sequel, and he is trying to write in solitude at the boarding house at the docks, under the radar of anyone in his social circle. But as he gets to know Mariana, he becomes smitten. Eventually things progress until he offers to set her up as his mistress. That isn’t exactly what she had in mind.

There are some difficulties in reaching the happy ending, much of them Valkirk’s own doing, but they get there eventually. It is a lot of fun taking this journey with them. Long adds another terrific entry into this wonderful series, best read in order:

  1. Lady Derring Takes a Lover
  2. Angel in a Devil’s Arms
  3. I’m Only Wicked with You
  4. After Dark with the Duke

12/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

AFTER DARK WITH THE DUKE by Julie Anne Long. Avon (November 30, 2021). ISBN: 978-0063045095. 384 pages.

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THE LOVE CON by Seressia Glass

January 7, 2022

From the publisher:

He’s cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass.

Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital—how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way.

There’s just one catch: the challenge for the final round is all about iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants’ significant others to participate. Unfortunately, Kenya is as single as can be at the moment. Luckily her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the show.

Roleplaying a couple in love will force them to explore what they’re hiding under the mask of friendship. Can Kenya and Cam fake it until she makes it, or will she be real about her feelings, knowing it could cost her the best friend she’s ever had?

A LIBRARY READS PICK

https://amzn.to/3HyVem6

Is there anything more fun than the fake dating trope? Well, maybe, but it is a lot of fun and this time is no exception. This book is set in the world of cosplay, which I do not participate in. I don’t generally read graphic novels, and I certainly never read anime or superhero anything, I mean I rarely even watch a superhero movie (sorry, Marvel,) so I was coming at this from a place of unknowing and not too much interest. I felt that way about the Well Met series by Jen DeLuca, set in the world of Renaissance Faires, but I ended up loving that series so here I am, delving into the world of cosplay. I am a curious person and I love learning about things outside my scope of knowledge, and this fit that niche perfectly.

Kenya loves cosplay, but her parents don’t. They don’t understand her fascination with it, and they really don’t understand why she isn’t using the engineering degree they paid for. When her best friend and roommate, Cam, hears about this new reality TV show focused on cosplay, he urges Kenya to enter and she secures a spot on the show. Oh, and Kenya is Black, and Cam is not, which adds another layer of depth to this story.

Everything is going well until she reaches the finale, when the stakes are changed. The final two contestants get some help – but from their significant others. Unfortunately, Kenya hasn’t been in a relationship for a while, but on live TV, she blurts out that Cam will be helping her – then prays he says yes and isn’t too pissed.

Of course he is on board. Years earlier, he had tried to take things to more of a relationship than just friends, but Kenya had shut him down quick. He figures this is the perfect opportunity for her to realize that they can be more.

The ending is no surprise, but it is such a fun journey to get there and that’s what makes this such a terrific read. A lot of laughs, a lot of heart, and some hot sex combine to make this read a winner.

1/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE LOVE CON by Seressia Glass. Berkley (December 14, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593199053. 320 pages.

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A ROYAL CHRISTMAS FAIRY TALE by Karen Schaler

December 20, 2021

From the publisher:

From the three-time Emmy Award-winning writer of Netflix sensation A Christmas Prince and Hallmark’s Christmas Camp, comes this heartwarming, feel-good Christmas romance about the power of believing in yourself to find your happily ever after…

A charming Christmas village, a storybook castle, a royal ball, and a gorgeous prince are the last things New York City reporter Kaylie Karlyle expects to find on her holiday freelance assignment to Europe. But when the family she’s interviewing turns out to be the royal family of Tolvania, Kaylie has a meltdown when the quirky queen wants her to write a Christmas fairy tale for the spunky, young princess. Kaylie must battle the princess’s father, who doesn’t trust the media, and her own insecurities about writing anything beyond the news.

To spark inspiration for the fairy tale, the queen recruits the prickly Prince Alexander to show Kaylie the family’s most spectacular royal holiday traditions. And sparks definitely fly when the only thing Kaylie and the prince agree on is that they’re both more “bah humbug” than “ho, ho, ho.”

But somewhere between sleigh rides and snow angels, merrymaking and mistletoe, upside-down Christmas trees, and a legendary Christmas crown, Kaylie and the prince open their hearts to Christmas and start believing in themselves and each other. It’s a real-life fairy tale in the making until Kaylie discovers a secret about a royal Christmas heirloom that jeopardizes everyone’s happily ever after. Can the magic of the season save this holiday happy ending?

A “sweet Christmas charmer…” – Publishers Weekly

https://amzn.to/3J0KYF5

Schaler has created a career out of writing these “royal” Christmas romances since the first one was a Netflix movie, “A Christmas Prince.” I liked the movie (more than anything on the Hallmark Channel) and I’ve enjoyed the books as well. She’s also written some movies for the Hallmark and Lifetime Channels. Scripts have to move a lot faster than books, so those skills really work in creating fast paced romance novels like this one.

Kaylie is an investigative reporter who dreams of going national. When the station where she works cuts her job, her boss is kind enough to recommend her for a rather unique, temporary position. All she knows is that she will be doing something about the royal family of Tolvania, a small European (fictional) country. Since she has nothing else to do, she jumps on it. And does a little more jumping once she gets there.

The “meet-cute” happens when Kaylie gets off the plane and sees a car waiting. It’s snowing and windy and she can’t really see much so she opens the door and jumps in – right onto the lap of a very good looking man who is not happy with her. She gets out and finds her ride, but when she gets to the castle she realizes he is the Prince and she is in trouble.

Prince Alexander is a widower with a precocious young daughter, Princess Anna. But it was his mother, the Queen, who hired Kaylie so he really can’t fire her. They have had a lot of bad press since he lost his wife, and they’ve banned reporters from anything royal so he is shocked his mother hired this tenacious, career driven journalist. But eventually Kaylie convinces him she is not there to report on his family. The Queen has hired her to learn about the Christmas traditions and write the young princess a fairy tale about them. Kaylie is shocked to learn this; she has never written any kind of fiction, much less a fairy tale. But the Queen does not take no for an answer, and Kaylie is embedded with the family.

I don’t want to give anything away so suffice it to say there is a happy ending. There are a whole lot of interesting and unique Christmas traditions, so it was a fun holiday read for sure. I hope the movie captures them all.

12/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

A ROYAL CHRISTMAS FAIRY TALE by Karen Schaler. HawkTale Publishing (October 5, 2021). ISBN: 978-1734766141. 356 pages.

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HIS FOR THE HOLIDAYS by Samantha Chase

December 17, 2021

From the publisher:

What better way to unwind from the stress of a family Thanksgiving, than escaping with an armload of Christmas cookies?

Hannah Christy was eager to head home and devour her treats in solitude, while doing some prep work for the promotion she was vying for. Those plans came to a screeching halt… along with the elevator…. trapping her inside with her sexy neighbor.

After being trapped with his match-making family over Thanksgiving, getting stuck in an elevator was a welcome reprieve for Gage Lawson.

If it was up to him, he would gladly stay stranded well into the new year. Especially since his neighbor has a whole treasure trove of ideas on how to pass the time. The best Christmas cookies he’s ever tasted. Delicious spiced wine. Fun getting-to-know-you games. It’s the most holiday merriment he’s had in a long while.

Somewhere in the midst of it all, Gage comes up with the perfect plan. A fake romance to help make both their family get-togethers more jolly! To his surprise, Hannah agrees to be his for the holidays. Yet with the mistletoe in full bloom, and her on his arm, Gage soon realizes their little Christmas show isn’t enough. He wants her for real… and forever.

Roast the chestnuts and hang the stockings, Gage has a plan! With the help of the 55 and over residents, magical flurries, and a never-ending supply of hot cocoa with extra marshmallows, he’s determined to show Hannah that Christmas is the most wonderful time of year to fall in love.

https://amzn.to/3q8bOSQ

A delicious new holiday romance!

I’ve read a few books by Chase and enjoyed them all, but I have issues with their covers. I really hate them, this one included. It just looks like an old, cheesy romance from the 80’s or something. Reading advance review copies on a Kindle often eliminates the cover image so I don’t see it until I go to post the review. For this author, I have learned to just ignore the cover and enjoy the book – and I did!

These characters had interesting backgrounds, and we get to know them fairly well for such a short book. Chase does a really good job with building her characters, and I especially liked Hannah. She is a strong woman, dedicated to her career, but not without some issues. Her career is in commercial interior design, but the rest of her family are in the medical profession – her parents and both sisters. She often feels like a failure around them.

We don’t know quite as much about Gage, at least not at first. I’m still not clear on what he does for a living, but who cares. He dresses nice, he’s employed, and he’s good to his family. He is the youngest and the only boy, and his sisters and mom are all on the hunt for a wife for him, to the point where he is considering not going home for Christmas. Their matchmaking is stressing him out.

Gage and Hannah are neighbors who don’t really know each other at all. Until they get stuck in the elevator together, for hours. By the time they get out, they are on very friendly terms. Hannah had suggested a way for Gage to avoid the matchmaking this Christmas by getting one of his female friends to fake date him. He isn’t comfortable lying to his family, but he likes Hannah so he asks her to do it.

At first she says no but circumstances change and she heads out to the small town where his mom lives with Gage. And shockingly, has a fantastic time. She loves his mom and his sisters and all his nieces and nephews and she is falling in love with Gage, too. But she knows this relationship has an expiration date. It looks like she is going to be moving out of state for work, so she doesn’t want to get too involved. But the heart wants what the heart wants.

There are hurdles to Hannah and Gage reaching their happily ever after, but it is so much fun getting there. I am definitely stealing the idea of a hot cocoa tasting (like a wine tasting but with cocoa! And I would love the recipe for the hot cocoa cookies!) I also really liked how their relationship was depicted. We know they are having sex, but it is not explicit and is mostly out of sight of the reader so it actually felt more real to me, if that makes sense? This was a charming, sweet romance just perfect for the holidays, and I loved it.

12/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

HIS FOR THE HOLIDAYS by Samantha Chase.  Independently published (December 14, 2021). ISBN: 979-8784305725. 234 pages.

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GAME CHANGER by Stacey Lynn

December 15, 2021

Las Vegas Vipers, Book 1

From the publisher:

Falling for your best friend is one thing, accidentally getting knocked up by him is another…

Hockey hottie Garrett Dubiak has been my best friend since college and the one constant in my life the past seven years. Through distance, career changes, and other relationships, we’ve always found our way back to each other.

Including one wild weekend this winter, when he finally told me he wanted more… wanted everything from me.

Too afraid to admit I felt the same, I told him I needed time.

Twelve weeks later, here I am, pregnant with his baby, alone, and terrified.

He’s my best friend. He deserves to know the truth.

So I swallow my fear, my pride, and I shoot my shot. I just hope he’s still willing to have me—and our baby.

https://amzn.to/3dKUOwr


I love a good sports romance, and ice hockey is one of my favorites, so I was all in on this and was not disappointed. In a sort of role reversal, Garrett knows he is in love with Lizzie and wants to marry her. But when he told her he loved her, she bolted and said she’d be in touch.

Best friends since college and now with added benefits, Lizzie is scared. After spending the weekend with Garrett, she is sick as a dog, and somehow her meds have negated her birth control and hello, baby. She knows she has to tell him because she also knows Garrett wants a family. But she’s scared because she also knows she hurt him when she took off on him like that.

Lizzie finally gets up the courage to book a flight to Las Vegas to tell him in person. But before she can get on the plane, her social media is suddenly full of pictures of Garrett and some gorgeous woman, looking very cozy, to say the least. Devastated and unsure of what to do now, she waits. And waits. Until the Vipers are in Chicago and she decides it’s now or never.

To no one’s surprise but Lizzie’s, Garrett is thrilled about the baby. He is less thrilled about Lizzie, as he is afraid she will hurt him again and maybe keep him out of the baby’s life. But no worries, she’s all in, too, and while they have some hurdles – a scantily clad gorgeous woman in his bed, for instance, they manage to get to their happily ever after. This was a super fun, one night read for me. If you like sexy sports romances, don’t miss this one.

12/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

GAME CHANGER by Stacey Lynn. Bowker (November 29, 2021). ISBN: 978-0996275156. 266 pages.

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SHELTER by Kristen Proby

December 14, 2021

Heroes of Big Sky, Book 2

From the publisher:

Remi Carter has survived her fifteen minutes of fame and is putting LA in her rearview mirror. As a former reality show contestant, she’s trading staged expeditions and faked wilderness tours for real adventures. Only one fluke storm in Glacier National Park has her stranded with a handsome man, and adventure takes on a whole new meaning.

Seth King is as rugged and sexy as he is annoyed to be trapped with Remi. Probably because she ghosted him at the local bar not three days ago. But she’s got her reasons for ditching him, and twenty-four hours in an abandoned Montana cabin with the wildlife biologist isn’t nearly enough time to explain.

As tempting as he is by firelight, she’s been burned too many times.

Except one day together and suddenly her travel van doesn’t hold as much appeal. The open road feels lonely. Remi’s about to learn that shelter is more than a safe place to weather a storm.

Shelter might just be the man himself. If he can give her a reason to stay.

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This was my first read in this series, and now I am going to try and track down the first book. Remi is a reality show TV star, having won a season of Survivor and done several other Survivor-type shows. She has made enough money to retire, and she wants to go on a real adventure, not a scripted one. She ends up in Montana, where she meets Seth at a bar one night. There is some real chemistry there, but Remi wants her adventure, not a romance. Seth is not looking for a relationship either, a one night stand would be fun, though.

But Remi blows him off, and a couple of days later she is out hiking when a snow storm blows in. Luckily for her, Seth knew she wouldn’t take his advice that it does snow in these mountains even in September, and he shows up to rescue her. They end up staying in an empty chalet that is closed for the season, at least until the next day when they can be dug out. They have a wild night, and Seth decides one night may not be enough.

They dance around their attraction to one another but end up staying at Seth’s cabin more often than not, until Remi realizes she has pretty much moved in. And Seth, the man who thought he’d never want a relationship, is in love and wants forever. Remi had a difficult childhood and is not close with her family, to say the least. She is not used to being taken care of, especially by family members, but decides she could definitely get used to it.

When Remi’s agent calls offering a boatload of money for a week’s “survivor” type contest, she decides to go. It’s only a week. But that forces her to face her feelings about Seth.

This book didn’t have a whole lot of drama, in fact, there wasn’t much in the way of obstacles to this romance. This would be a sweet romance except there are some very steamy scenes throughout. It was a very quick and enjoyable read.

12/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

SHELTER by Kristen Proby. Ampersand Publishing (December 14, 2021). ISBN: 978-1633501126. 262 pages.

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