ABOUT THAT KISS by Jill Shalvis

January 23, 2018

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A Heartbreaker Bay Novel

I’ve enjoyed every book in this series and this is another good one. After receiving some bad health news, I was looking for a light, funny escape and this fit the bill perfectly.

Kylie is a woodworker who learned from the best, her grandfather. But he was killed in a terrible fire that also took much of his work. She has a special gift from him, a hand carved penguin that is such a treasure to her that she carries it with her. One day after work, she picks up her bag and notices it is open and everything spilled out, and the penguin is gone.

She is desolate, and mentions it to her boss who barely responds. Then she gets an envelope pushed through her mail slot that has a picture of the penguin in a precarious position, and she is determined to find it.

Kylie reluctantly approaches Joe Malone. He works for a private investigating company and is a real bad ass. They have a bit of history – one night at a party, she was drunk and kissed him. It was a life changing kiss for her, but he never followed up so she gave up on him. Nonetheless, she needs his help and he hers – he wants her to make a carved mirror for his sister. A deal is struck, but Kylie isn’t content to sit back and wait for Joe to find it, she insists on coming with him every step of the way.

You can see where it goes but who cares, the journey is the fun part. Another excellent entry into the Heartbreaker Bay series.

1/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

ABOUT THAT KISS by Jill Shalvis.  Avon (January 23, 2018). ISBN: 978-0062741769. 272p.

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DARKER by E. L. James

January 11, 2018

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Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian

The second entry in the Fifty Shades trilogy was my favorite. It is the most like a traditional romance, albeit a contemporary, highly erotic version, so when James released the “Christian” version, I was all in.

This is from the publisher:

E L James revisits the world of Fifty Shades with a deeper and darker take on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the globe.

Their scorching, sensual affair ended in heartbreak and recrimination, but Christian Grey cannot get Anastasia Steele out of his mind, or his blood. Determined to win her back, he tries to suppress his darkest desires and his need for complete control, and to love Ana on her own terms.

But the horrors of his childhood still haunt him, and Ana’s scheming boss, Jack Hyde, clearly wants her for himself.  Can Christian’s confidant and therapist, Dr. Flynn, help him face down his demons? Or will the possessiveness of Elena, his seducer, and the deranged devotion of Leila, his former submissive, drag Christian down into the past?

And if Christian does win Ana back, can a man so dark and damaged ever hope to keep her?

If you’re a fan of the books, you’ll enjoy this one. If you’re not, this won’t change your mind. I enjoyed it.

1/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

DARKER by E. L. James.  Vintage (November 28, 2017). ISBN: 978-0385543910. 560p.

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THE ART OF RUNNING IN HEELS by Rachel Gibson

December 27, 2017

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Lexie Kowalsky had the bright idea to get herself on TV. She landed a part on “Gettin’ Hitched,” the fictional country cousin of “The Bachelor.” And being the competitive beauty that she is, she wins which means she gets hitched on live TV. Instead, she leaves her groom at the altar and jumps onto the first plane out of town, piloted by a friend.

When she lands in the plane, she is surprised to see that she is not the only passenger. In fact, the gorgeous man sitting there has paid for passage home to a small town, Sandspit, Canada, and Lexie is going along for the ride.

The gorgeous hunk is the Seattle Chinooks (a fictional hockey team’s) newest star, Sean Knox. In an odd coincidence, Lexie’s father is the coach, but because she’s been busy with reality TV, she hasn’t even seen a game this season and doesn’t recognize Sean.

This is a match made in heaven, but first, they have to get through a lot of bumps along the way. It’s a super fun, sexy read and I’m happy to report this is the first book of a new series. I’m really looking forward to the next!

12/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE ART OF RUNNING IN HEELS by Rachel Gibson.  Avon (December 26, 2017). ISBN: 978-0062247476. 384p.

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COWBOY UP by Harper Sloan

December 19, 2017

I am so excited to be kicking off the blog tour for Cowboy Up, the third book in Harper Sloan’s Coming Home Series! I love this series, and I am delighted to be able to offer a chance to win all three books!

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Win all three books!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve linked to my reviews of the first two, read on for my review of this latest and for all the details on how you can win!

It definitely feels like this is the end of the series and while I’m sad about that, I’m looking forward to whatever Sloan comes up with next.

Cowboy Up tackles the eldest of the Davis brothers, Clayton. He’s the one who inherits the ranch and spends all of his time running it. He hasn’t had a relationship in years, between his work schedule and the last woman, Jess, who really messed with his head.

Clay finally gets a few hours to himself and he heads to the local bar, where a petite little dynamo sits on the next stool. She can’t really see his face between the dark lighting and the smoke in the room, but she sees a big, strong cowboy with an iron jaw.

Caroline Michaels owns a small bookstore in the next town. Her two best friends, twins Lucy and Luke, own the bar and have encouraged her to break out of her shell a bit. Caroline’s been damaged by a horrible home life with her mother and a subsequent years-long abusive relationship. Luke & Lucy helped her escape and she hasn’t had a date in years. But this cowboy looks promising.

The heat between them is unmistakable and a one night stand ensues. They part ways and don’t see each other again for months, until a baby shower throws them together. The sparks fly and they embark on a trial relationship – neither of them wants to commit but they become inseparable pretty quick. There’s not a lot of drama in their relationship until the very end, then wowza!

What I loved most about this book was the epilogue, which is in two parts. The second part, “Fifteen Years Later” neatly tied up the trilogy. Yup, Sloan gives us a peek into the relationships in all three books over those fifteen years. I haven’t seen that before but I’ve always wanted to, and it was very satisfying.

I highly recommend this series to fans of the very specific contemporary cowboy romance subgenre. If you haven’t tried one of these, this is a terrific series to try.

12/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

COWBOY UP by Harper Sloan. Pocket Books (December 19, 2017). ISBN 978-1501155277. 384p.

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To win copies of the first three books in the Coming Home Series– Lost Rider, Kiss My Boots & Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan, please send an email to contest@gmail.com with “COMING HOME” as the subject.

You must include your U.S. street address in your email.

All entries must be received by December 31, 2017. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States only. Your books will be sent by SIMON & SCHUSTER|POCKET BOOKS.

One entry per email address. Subscribers to the monthly newsletter earn an extra entry into every contest. Follow this blog to earn another entry into every contest. Winners may win only one time per year (365 days) for contests with prizes of more than one book. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone.

About the author:

Harper Sloan is the New York Times and >USA Today bestselling author of the Corps Security and Hope Town series. She started writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night. Harper lives in Georgia with her family. Visit her at AuthorHarperSloan.com or Facebook.com/HarperSloanBooks.


ROOMIES by Christina Lauren

December 5, 2017

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Holland Bakker has a crush on a street musician at the subway station she frequents. She’s never actually spoken to him, but is really moved by his guitar. One night a drunk accosts her, and she falls onto the track and the busker saves her – then disappears when the cops show up.

Holland knows music; her uncle is a Broadway composer whose given her a gopher job at the theater and a tiny apartment to live in. Manhattan rents being ridiculously expensive, Holland is most appreciative of these gifts. So when the lead violinist leaves the show, she suggests the guitarist to her uncle as a substitute.

Calvin Mcloughlin gets his audition, but as talented as he is, there is a major hurdle. He is in the US from Ireland illegally, his student visa  long expired. At a staff meeting. Holland’s supervisor jokingly suggests she marry Calvin, thus gaining him residency. She approaches him with this offer, and much to her surprise, he accepts.

Calvin is unaware of her long-harbored crush on him, but he is a genuinely nice guy and his talent makes him a Broadway sensation. They have to pass a marriage test for immigration services and work on learning about each other, and really do fall in love. But no path to happiness is without its bumps, and there are many to get through.

By turns charming, sweet, funny and always emotional, Roomies is a lovely read with warm, interesting characters, and I also loved the inside glimpse into a Broadway production. I highly recommend this fast, fun read, especially to fans like me of Colleen Hoover and Rainbow Rowell.

12/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

ROOMIES by Christina Lauren.  Gallery Books (December 5, 2017). ISBN: 978-1501165832. 368p.

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TANGLED UP IN TINSEL by Candis Terry

November 13, 2017

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Sunshine Creek Vinyard, Book 3

I actually have been reading this series (in order!) so I was delighted to get this third book. This series is about a family who owns a vineyard, and they are best read in order to make sense of who these people are. This book centers around one of the brothers, Parker, who is trying to find his place in the family business. He is a chef with a food truck and decides to convert an old barn on the property into a wedding venue for his older brother, and then a restaurant. The wedding date gives him a firm deadline, and his brother has turned into “groomzilla” after the bride turns over the wedding planning to him.

Parker is starting from the ground up, and building out the restaurant from square one. A gorgeous young woman shows up one day, claiming to be a chef and looking for work. Gabriella is nothing if not determined; when Parker explains that he is no where near ready to hire, she is undeterred. She offers to audition, cook him a meal, and if he likes it he can make her first in line for when he is ready to hire. Not one to turn a pretty lady away, he agrees.

Gabriella has a bit of baggage herself, and she is definitely keeping it on the down low. But she cooks and looks like a dream and Parker offers her one night of pleasure. He is not ready for any kind of relationship and she’s fine with that, too. But she keeps coming around, helping out with the building, the wedding planning, the restaurant planning and Parker finds himself increasingly drawn to her, and loves working with her. Until her past explodes in his face.

This is another good read in a terrific series, a one nighter for me. Loved it.

11/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

TANGLED UP IN TINSEL by Candis Terry. Avon Impulse (October 10, 2017). ASIN B01ARKZN7M. 171p.


THE CHRISTMAS COWBOY HERO by Donna Grant

November 3, 2017

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Heart of Texas #1

Clayton East is an ex-Navy SEAL who doesn’t want to go home. He lost his brother years earlier and doesn’t like living on the family ranch without him. But his father is having some serious health issues, and it looks like their accountant has made off with the family fortune. His family is in trouble and Clayton has to go home and help his parents, he’s all they have left. And it’s Christmas time.

Then a big chunk of their cattle herd goes missing, along with their $100,000 bull. The sheriff manages to catch one of the perpetrators, a teenage boy named Brice Harper. Turns out Brice and his younger brother Caleb have a legal guardian, their sister Abby. After their mother walked out on the family, Abby was determined to do right by her brothers and she’s been more mother than sister to them. When she gets called about Brice, she is just heartsick.

Clayton is at the jail and she offers to pay him back for the missing cattle if he won’t press charges. But Abby has been living paycheck to paycheck, working for a CPA and taking night classes when she can. When she realizes that she’ll owe Clayton over $250,000, she is beside herself.

Clayton thinks she is beautiful, and he realizes that sometimes you have to give people a second chance. He makes Brice an offer; he can come to the ranch every day after school and every weekend and work off his debt. Clayton is hoping that he will earn Brice’s trust and find his missing cattle as well. Meanwhile, he is falling for Abby and she for him.

The Harpers start spending more and more time at the ranch, and Abby not only falls in love with Clayton but also with his parents, and they love her and her brothers. Clayton and Abby have to get past dangerous cattle rustlers, crooked accountants, have a few close calls, and finally find their Christmas miracle.

I loved this book. I felt like I really got to know these characters, was rooting for their relationship to work out, and there was a bit of heat. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

11/17  Stacy Alesi AKA the BookBitch™

THE CHRISTMAS COWBOY HERO by Donna Grant. St. Martin’s Paperbacks (October 31, 2017). ISBN 978-1250165428. 320p.

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NECESSARY ROUGHNESS by Julie Brannagh

October 28, 2017

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As I continue on my exploration of sports romances, I landed on this fun football story. Tanner Cole had a career ending injury, and is need of some serious rehab.

Luckily, the therapist that had been helping him was no longer available so he gets to work with Jordan Mueller. She’s a woman, a really pretty woman, and is super dedicated to her patients. But Tanner isn’t interested in working with her, he’s too busy feeling sorry for himself.

But Tanner has no choice, and quickly realizes that despite Jordan’s sunny disposition, she is really working him hard. Then Jordan is forced to move rather suddenly out of her apartment and with nowhere to turn, Tanner lets her move into the guest suite in his mansion.

Lots of heat and lots of laughs make this a really terrific read.

Note: Kindle version available now, paperback comes out 11/28/17

10/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

NECESSARY ROUGHNESS by Julie Brannagh. Avon Impulse (October 10, 2017). ASIN B01ARKZN7M. 171p.


BAD REPUTATION by Nicole Edwards

October 14, 2017

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A Bad Boys of Sports Novel

This is a standalone contemporary romance with some definite heat. I like how it was written with alternating viewpoints, we hear from Cassie and from Chase, and it’s always fun seeing where they are headed before they do.

Cassie and Chase have been best friends (without benefits!) for many years. She told him up front that she was not going to sleep with him, and the relationship worked for them both. Chase became a hockey star and Cassie became a high tech VP and they’ve been hanging out through good and bad relationships and Chase’s philandering ways.

But Chase is quicker to realize that he has developed feelings for Cassie, which he thinks she does not reciprocate. When she asks him along on a business trip to Vegas, things come to a head one very drunken night. What happens in Vegas follows them home and they have to work through a lot to find their happy ending. And they do, with lots of steamy sex along the way.

This was a one night read for me and a lot of fun – pure escapism. If you’re in the mood, go for it!

10/17  Stacy Alesi AKA the BookBitch™

BAD REPUTATION by Nicole Edwards. Loveswept (October 3, 2017). ASIN: B01N6OVQRJ. 273p.

 


FALLING FOR GRACIE by Susan Mallery

October 12, 2017

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Los Lobos Series, Book 2

I didn’t know about this series and for some reason, my library didn’t get the first book so I’m starting here. (But I might have to buy it, I really liked this one!) Susan Mallery has become one of my favorite contemporary romance writers. Her characters are always interesting, she writes good sex scenes, and I love her sense of humor.

Gracie was just fourteen years old when her father died and she fell madly in love with the 18-year-old hottie next door, Riley. At that age, four years makes a huge difference and Riley was not interested. But Gracie was nothing if not persistent, and the stunts she pulled to get his attention and to keep him from marrying his pregnant girlfriend were legendary. So much so that a series of newspaper articles about her kept the small town of Los Lobos enthralled but completely embarrassed her mother, who sent her off to live with an aunt and uncle.

Gracie never came home until fourteen years later, when her youngest sister was about to get married. The aunt and uncle died, leaving Gracie their home, and she started an uber-successful wedding cake business. Her sister is determined to have biggest, most ostentatious cake, and wedding, for that matter, even though she keeps calling it off every time her fiance does something she doesn’t like.

Alexis is the middle sister and the family drama queen, and she is convinced that her husband is cheating on her. He is managing Riley’s campaign for mayor, and Alexis convinces Gracie to spy on Riley’s house to see if her husband is really there. Of course Gracie gets caught, Alexis takes off and abandons her, and Riley demands an explanation of why his former stalker seems up to her old tricks.

Riley got divorced a few months after his marriage when he realized he was duped and his wife wasn’t pregnant. He left town after that, made his fortune and traveled the world. Unbeknownst to most of the town, his uncle, who owned the bank and left an estate of almost a hundred million dollars, left it to Riley with one proviso; he had to take over at the bank and become mayor of Los Lobos. Election season is underway but the standing mayor doesn’t mind playing dirty politics to keep his seat.

Gracie and Riley end up spending some time together, trying to find out what Gracie’s brother-in-law is up to, and find they enjoy their time together. They fall in love but there are obstacles in the way, not the least of which is someone tries to derail the mayoral campaign and destroy Gracie’s cake business.

There are a lot of laughs, some steamy sex scenes and a happy ending in this terrific contemporary romance. I read it in one night and highly recommend it.

10/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

FALLING FOR GRACIE by Susan Mallery. HQN Books (April 25, 2017). ISBN 978-0373801954. 384p.

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