LESSONS FROM A ONE NIGHT STAND by Piper Rayne

April 29, 2022

The Baileys, Book 1

From the publisher:

If you’re a guy like me, and you find yourself having banged your sexy new boss—the school principal—in the back of your Jeep one drunken night, here’s a few takeaways based on my experience…

Lesson One: Always get her FULL name.

Lesson Two: Consider asking what she does for a living.

Lesson Three: Find out why she’s moved to town. Get details. Details are crucial.

Lesson Four: Don’t alter her bio in front of an auditorium of high school students unless you know she has a sense of humor for that sort of thing.

Lesson Five: If you ignore Lesson Four, apologize instead of flirt when you’re sent to the principal’s office.

Lesson Six: NEVER sleep with her again.

Lesson Seven: Pay attention to this one—it’s the most important of them all.

Don’t fall for your one-night stand.

Class dismissed.

https://amzn.to/35HKncD

I’m still enmeshed in Piper Rayne’s world. I read the second book of this series, Advice From a Jilted Bride, then went back to find the first. Her books are all one night reads for me and my guilty pleasure of late! I love books set in Alaska, and while the setting is fun, it’s the characters that make this series.

The plot is fairly straight forward; Holly is the new principal at the high school, filling in for the principal on maternity leave. Shortly after she arrives in town, she meets Austin Bailey, for all intents and purposes the male head of his household. The Bailey family lost their parents in a snowmobiling accident, and Austin stepped up to take care of everyone. He blows off steam by having one night stands with tourists, and Holly is just his type.

What he didn’t realize was that she isn’t a tourist, but a new resident. All sorts of problems arise, not the least of which is he a coach at the high school and she is his boss. Things go from bad to worse before they get better, and there is a lot of sexy fun along the way.

Looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

4/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

LESSONS FROM A ONE NIGHT STAND by Piper Rayne. Piper Rayne Incorporated (February 6, 2019). ISBN: ‎978-1987925487. 340p.

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ADVICE FROM A JILTED BRIDE by Piper Rayne

April 22, 2022

The Baileys, Book 2

From the publisher:

What’s a girl to do after being ditched at the altar by text message? That’s right. Text. Message. How does she pick up the pieces and move on? I’m no Dear Abby but here’s a little free advice…

Advice #1 – First, purge your apartment of all things him—by tossing his belongings off the balcony.

Advice #2 – Do not, I repeat do not, throw anything out into the hallway because you’ll injure your hot new neighbor.

Advice #3 – When said neighbor brings over Chinese food do not let him stay and keep you company. It’s awkward when you realize he’s your boss.

Advice #4 – Accept his offer to help you with your side business but think twice before using a date to his sister’s wedding as collateral.

Advice #5 – Investigate who your mystery neighbor really is. Don’t trust his word even if he’s the world’s best kisser.

If you listen to nothing else, pay attention to that last one. It’s the most important and will save you a lot of heartache.

Xo,

LOVESICK IN LAKE STARLIGHT

https://amzn.to/35HKncD

After reading two of Piper Rayne’s series, I’m still looking for more. I found this book on Hoopla, and hope to find the rest of the series from my library. I am really enjoying Rayne’s writing style and it doesn’t seem to matter where the books are set. They are just fun, sexy reads, and this is no exception. This book stands alone just fine, but I still want to read the rest of the series.

Brooklyn Bailey is our jilted bride, whose fiancé sent her a text message breaking things off while she was literally at the altar. Luckily, her big family is there to support her and when she goes back to the apartment she shared with her fiancé, he is nowhere to be found. Luckily, he left all his stuff though, and Brooklyn releases some stress by tossing it all off the balcony of the apartment she is now stuck with. At one point she throws a book and it flies through the open door of the apartment, hitting Wyatt, her hot new neighbor, in the face. There is an instant attraction there, but Brooklyn is just coming off a bad breakup, and Wyatt is only in this small Alaskan town temporarily, as the new manager of the hotel where Brooklyn is a housekeeper.

There is some fake dating and other fakery going on here, and there are a lot of laughs before they reach their happy ending. The overly large Bailey family makes for what looks like a good series, so I’m on the hunt for more of the Baileys. A super fun, one night read for me; if you are looking for some light entertainment, look no further.

4/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

ADVICE FROM A JILTED BRIDE by Piper Rayne. Piper Rayne Inc. (March 18, 2019). ISBN: ‎978-1987925517. 380p.

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THE SUMMER GETAWAY by Susan Mallery

April 22, 2022

From the publisher:

One woman takes the vacation of a lifetime in this poignant and heartwarming story about the threads that hold a family together from #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery.

Single mom Robyn Caldwell needs a new plan for her future.  She has always put her family first.  Now, with her kids grown, she yearns for a change. But what can she do when her daughter has become the most demanding bride ever, her son won’t even consider college, her best friend is on the brink of marital disaster and her ex is making a monumentally bad decision that could ruin everything?

Take a vacation, of course. Press reset. When her great-aunt Lillian invites her to Santa Barbara for the summer, Robyn hops on the first plane to sunny California.

But it’s hard to get away when you’re the heart of the family. One by one, everyone she loves follows her across the country. Somehow, their baggage doesn’t feel as heavy in the sun-drenched, mishmash mansion. The more time Robyn spends with free-spirited Lillian, the more possibilities she sees—for dreams, love, family. She can have everything she ever wanted, if only she can muster the courage to take a chance on herself.

“The perfect escape for readers wanting to get away.”—Booklist

https://amzn.to/3xK1BBG

Mallery has the skill to take an almost unbelievable situation and turn it into something that is clearly happening, with characters you can’t help but root for, and she does it really well. In this case, Robyn is fed up with her life. Her cheating ex is too reliant on her, her kids are growing up, and she is coming up on a balloon mortgage of sorts that she has not prepared for.

Robyn’s daughter has turned into bridezilla, and there is little she can do about it other than persevere. Her ex is dating their daughter’s fiance’s twin sister (read that again) and making life uncomfortable for everyone. Her boss and good friend is contemplating an affair and won’t listen to reason. Her doctor boyfriends lets slip that he doesn’t have much respect for her, and at this point, Robyn doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for herself. When her favorite great great aunt invites her to stay with her for as long as she wants, Robyn packs her bags and runs off to the other coast, shocking her family.

Once there, she meets Mason, a long lost relative of her deceased uncle, who is set to inherit the crazy mansion where they are all staying. Robyn learns she is to inherit the furnishings of the home which includes many priceless pieces of art and other ephemera, not to mention antiques galore. Cataloging it all alone could take a year or more. There is something about Mason that draws Robyn in, and he is completely smitten with her.

Meanwhile, her family starts following her across the country and before long, everyone she ran away from is there with her. Lots of craziness ensues, but love always prevails. This is a wonderful, feel good story with a lot of laughs and some tears shed along the way. If you like family fiction with a touch of romance, then you should love this book as much as I do.

4/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE SUMMER GETAWAY by Susan Mallery. HQN; Original edition (March 15, 2022). ISBN:‎ 978-1335479990. 416p.

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UGLY LOVE by Colleen Hoover

April 15, 2022

From the publisher:

Number-one New York Times best-selling author Colleen Hoover returns with a new heart-wrenching love story.

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her:

Never ask about the past.

Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.

Promises get broken.

Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.

https://amzn.to/366Qkjj

I thought I had read all of Hoover’s adult books, but somehow I missed this one. I’m very happy I stumbled across it from my library.

Tate is a nurse pursuing a graduate degree, so she moves in with her brother while she is in school. She meets Miles on move-in day when he is dead drunk and passed out at the front door of the apartment. Miles is a good friend of her brother, and is very good looking, and the chemistry between Tate and Miles is off the chart. They start a sexual relationship as he is not interested in getting involved – his rules: ‘Don’t ask about my past, and never expect a future.’ Tate is all in as she doesn’t have time for anything more than work and school. So win-win. Until things change.

There is another storyline set in the past about Miles and Rachel’s relationship, which is what causes him to avoid relationships at all. It takes some time to get there, and all I’ll say is the “ugly” in the title may refer to the “ugly crying” this book caused! But it is also heartwarming, heartwrenching, and all in all, a terrific read.

Hoover is definitely one of my favorites. Her books are all well written with characters that come to life on the page. If you love emotional romances that really draw the reader in, then this is your book. I loved it.

4/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

UGLY LOVE by Colleen Hoover. Atria (August 5, 2014). ISBN:‎ 978-1476753188. 336p.

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ONE-TIMER by Teagan Hunter

March 25, 2022

Carolina Comets: Book 3

From the publisher:

“I’m pregnant.”

That’s what my teammate’s sister-in-law told me after our one-night stand. I didn’t expect to see Hollis again, let alone end up raising a child with her.

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

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

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

ONE-TIMER is a standalone hockey romance. There is a one-night stand, an accidental pregnancy, wit, steam, and lots of fun!

https://amzn.to/3wEmr4L

I am loving this series! I am not usually a fan of the pregnancy romance, but Hunter does such a good job with it she’s made me a convert.

Hollis recently got divorced after finding out her husband was cheating on her. Her sister is getting married to a hockey player, so Hollis has to be in the wedding even though all she wants to do is go off by herself and cry. Pity party for one, please! But an understandable pity party for sure.

Lowell is her future brother-in-law’s teammate and a man who has been burnt once himself. His girlfriend told him she was pregnant and he was ready to marry her until he found out she was lying. He is determined to avoid relationships and stick to one night stands where his heart won’t get involved.

Hollis and Lowell have a one night stand at the wedding, and a big oops occurs. When she finally gets hold of Lowell to tell him, he feels like history is repeating itself. Except Hollis doesn’t seem like the type to be after his money or his fame. He cautiously agrees to be involved with the baby but insists on them just co-parenting. No relationship allowed!

Best laid plans and all…Hollis and Lowell spend a lot of time together. He falls in love with his baby almost from the get go but is cautious around Hollis, and she is cautious as well. She loves the support he is giving her – the emotional and physical support because she is having a pregnancy that sends her sex drive roaring, and he is happy to help out.

You can guess what happens but this was such a fun, sexy read it didn’t matter. I wanted them to find their happily ever after, and they do. Looking forward to the next book in the series, Sin Bin, publishing in July.

3/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

ONE-TIMER by Teagan Hunter. Independently published (March 24, 2022). ASIN: B09QH91PQN. 263p.

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ALWAYS ON MY MIND by Samantha Chase

March 25, 2022

Magnolia Sound, Book 10

From the publisher:

Returning to Magnolia Sound was never part of the plan. Then again, Parker Bishop rarely had one. Yet after confessing her love to her best friend right before his wedding, she needs time to lick her wounds from the disastrous scene that unfolds. After the unsympathetic welcome she receives from her parents and siblings, Parker finds herself absentmindedly driving through town in search of a place to stay.

That’s when she spots the flier and a familiar name…

Ethan Harlow enjoys the peace and quiet. Unfortunately, finding a moment of it becomes impossible when the flier he posts for a roommate brings Parker crashing into his life. Of course, he remembers her from high school. It’s impossible to forget little miss popular who was always the center of attention. All he wanted was to split the rent and keep to himself. Instead, Parker transforms his home and makes him question the dreams he gave up out of fear of stepping out of his comfort zone.

The attraction they feel to one another makes crossing the line from roommates to lovers seem inevitable. But the more Parker encourages Ethan to pursue his dreams, the less likely it becomes that they can have any kind of future together. Can they find a way to claim their happily ever after or will their individual paths make a future impossible?

https://amzn.to/36ey6vZ

I have read several books by this author and I always like the book and hate the cover. I didn’t hate this one! It is probably the best cover for one of her books that I’ve seen, so feel free to judge this book by its cover.

Having recently moved back to her hometown of Magnolia Sound, Parker is bouncing from one relative to another until she finds Ethan’s flier in the library. Her whole family lives here, and while she vaguely remembers Ethan from high school, her cousin, the librarian, vouches for him. She basically steamrolls Ethan into renting her a room in his house, and he isn’t sure this is going to work at all.

The funny thing was I had no idea this was part of a series when I read it, never mind the tenth book! Looking back I can see it, so kudos to Chase for doing such a good job with that.

Ethan is an introvert, a nerd, and completely intimidated Parker when they were in high school together and he was class valedictorian. Parker has the lowest self esteem of anyone I’ve read about in quite a while, but is so charming and self-deprecating that I couldn’t help but root for her. Ethan and Parker become roommates, then friends, then more while Parker tries to figure out her life.

Small town charm is abundant here, as are a lot of laughs from Parker’s crazy large family. I really enjoyed watching both these characters grow and bring out the best in one another. Not much sex either, if that is a factor for you. All in all, a very enjoyable read and yep, I’m looking for the earlier books in this series.

3/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

ALWAYS ON MY MIND by Samantha Chase. Chasing Romance, Inc. (March 22, 2022). ASIN: B09QD5FV3C. 277p.

 

 

 

 


SADIE ON A PLATE by Amanda Elliot 

March 18, 2022

From the publisher:

A chef’s journey to success leads to discovering the perfect recipe for love in this delicious romantic comedy.

Sadie is a rising star in the trendy Seattle restaurant scene. Her dream is to create unique, modern, and mouthwatering takes on traditional Jewish recipes. But after a public breakup with her boss, a famous chef, she is sure her career is over—until she lands a coveted spot on the next season of her favorite TV show, Chef Supreme

On the plane to New York, Sadie has sizzling chemistry with her seatmate, Luke, but tells him that she won’t be able to contact him for the next six weeks. They prolong their time together with a spontaneous, magical dinner before parting ways. Or so she thinks. When she turns up to set the next day, she makes a shocking discovery about who Luke is….

If Sadie wants to save her career by winning Chef Supreme, she’s going to have to ignore the simmering heat between Luke and her. But how long can she do that before the pot boils over?

https://amzn.to/3MHLZDE

Sadie was working as a sous chef for her boyfriend, who dumps her and fires her. Just when she thinks she’ll never get another job, she gets something even better; a call from Chef Supreme (think Top Chef) and the opportunity to be on national TV and get her reputation back. Sadie knows if she can make it through to the semifinals, everything will be golden – she may even get the opportunity to realize her dream of opening her own restaurant.

On the flight from Seattle to New York City, where the show is filmed (one of the small variations on the Top Chef formula) she is seated next to Luke, a good looking man who has the hands of a chef. Sure enough he is a chef, and they really get to know one another on the long flight. When they land, he goes with her to Queens where she will be staying and takes her to a Korean speakeasy of sorts. They have a magical date, but she is going to be untouchable for the next six weeks. She promises to call when she can, and she heads off.

Turns out Luke’s father is one of the most celebrated chefs in New York, and Luke has been tapped to judge on the TV show when the regular judge has a medical emergency. Sadie is shocked to see him there, and even more shocked when he calls her “Sandy” as if he doesn’t remember her.

Sadie is of Jewish descent, and her goal is to let people know there is more to Jewish food than just bagels and latkes. She puts a gourmet spin on many of the most familiar dishes, and works her way towards her goal. Meanwhile, spending time with Luke is hard on her, and as it turns out, on him as well. But no worries, there is a happy ending in sight for both of them.

I loved this book so much! I am a huge Top Chef fan, and this felt like a peek behind the curtains of that iconic show. Having a Jewish protagonist was also a plus for me, not something I see very often in romcoms but that seems to be changing, very slowly for sure, but I’m always hopeful. While this is the first “Amanda Elliot” book and the author’s debut novel for adults, the author has several Young Adult books under the name Amanda Panitch. This was a terrific, one night read for me and I look forward to seeing what “Elliot” does next.

3/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

SADIE ON A PLATE by Amanda Elliot. Berkley (March 15, 2022). ISBN: 978-0593335710. 352p.

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MR. WRONG NUMBER by Lynn Painter 

March 11, 2022

From the publisher:

Things get textual when a steamy message from a random wrong number turns into an anonymous relationship in this hilarious rom-com by Lynn Painter.

Bad luck has always followed Olivia Marshall…or maybe she’s just the screw-up her family thinks she is. But when a “What are you wearing?” text from a random wrong number turns into the hottest, most entertaining—albeit anonymous—relationship of her life, she thinks things might be on the upswing….

Colin Beck has always considered Olivia his best friend’s annoying little sister, but when she moves in with them after one of her worst runs of luck, he realizes she’s turned into an altogether different and sexier distraction. He’s sure he can keep his distance, until the moment he discovers she’s the irresistible Miss Misdial he’s been sort of sexting for weeks—and now he has to decide whether to turn the heat up or ghost her before things get messy.

https://amzn.to/3I4AFy7

Olivia, her brother, and Colin are sharing an apartment because Olivia’s apartment building burned down. Because of her – an accident, certainly, but nonetheless it was her fault. Believe it or not, being accident prone is part of her charm and she is a delightful, memorable character. She is constantly getting herself into all sorts of trouble, but nothing compares with the relationship she ends up in with Colin.

One night, Olivia gets a text from an unknown number; classic fare of the “what are you wearing” variety. She replies with a smart ass answer, and a text relationship is born. Dubbed Mr. Wrong Number and Miss Misdial, they continue their banter over text, never taking it any further.

Meanwhile, Olivia has been forced to move in with her brother who rents a room from his friend Colin. She sleeps on a crappy air mattress on the floor of the office, and Colin barely tolerates her. As soon as she finds a new job, she’ll move out. That’s the plan and Olivia finds the job of her dreams – writing a parenting column. Except she doesn’t have kids. She knows this isn’t going to end well, but she loves what she’s doing and her boss, and that is rare.

Meanwhile, somehow things are heating up with Colin. Even her brother is on board, but the course of true love never runs smoothly, and when someone like Olivia is involved, there is bound to be one dilemma after another. This is a really funny romcom with a lot of heart and occasional steaminess. I loved Olivia and couldn’t wait for her to get her happy ending. If you want a thoroughly entertaining book, pick up Mr. Wrong Number!

3/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

MR. WRONG NUMBER by Lynn Painter. Berkley (March 1, 2022). ISBN: 978-0593437261. 352p.

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DREAM MAKER by Stacey Lynn

March 11, 2022

Las Vegas Vipers, Book 2

From the publisher:

A Steamy Accidental Marriage Romance 

Hooking up with my best friend’s little sister is one thing, getting drunk and marrying her in Vegas is another…

My team just won the Stanley Cup. I should be out on the town celebrating. Instead, I’m nursing a broken heart, courtesy of my ex-wife.

Next thing I know, I’m waking up with my teammate’s sister in my bed wearing a rock the size of the Grand Canyon on her finger. Neither of us remembers saying, I do… but turns out the marriage is as real as the diamond on her finger.

The press is going crazy. The team is pissed. And her brother… well he just might kill me. So, at the advice of my agent, we do the only thing that makes sense—make a plan to stay married until this madness blows over.

It might have started out fake, but Gabby is the one making my dreams come true and showing me what real love is.

Now I just need convince her to stay my wife forever.

https://amzn.to/3sYTCOc

I don’t quite understand why but I always enjoy the fake marriage romances, and this is a good one. I can suspend my disbelief to this trope without any problems. Plus it’s a hockey/sports romance, one of my favorites, although that doesn’t always guarantee a good read. I like Lynn’s books as a rule, and really enjoyed this one.

Gabby’s brother Garrett, who we met in the first book of this series, Game Changer, is Joey’s best friend and teammate, so when they wake up and realize they are married with no memory of the wedding, they know they are in trouble. They are friendly, but never dated so how they ended up married is a bit of a mystery. But if they break up, it will hurt the team, not to mention Garrett will kill Joey.

Joey is recently divorced, and is barely over it. But as he spends time with Gabby, he realizes that she may be the one for him. It takes her a little longer to get there, and there is some drama along the way, but nothing unsurmountable. Joey and Gabby have a lot of steamy sex before they reach their happily ever after, so if that isn’t your thing, skip this book. But if you like sports romances and fake marriages, or aren’t sure, but you do like hot romances, this is a terrific read. I loved it.

3/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

DREAM MAKER by Stacey Lynn. Independently published (March 8, 2022). ASIN: ‎B09KTCKXHX. 280p.

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SNEAKING AROUND WITH #34 by Piper Rayne

March 11, 2022

Hockey Hotties, Book 4

From the publisher:

I have a reputation for being tight-lipped. You learn quick when you become a professional hockey player to be guarded with the media, so I’ve worked hard to cover up the mistakes of my youth.

But when I’m traded to the Florida Fury, where my ex–best friend is the starting right wing, I’m forced to confront my past. Ford and I have a lot of history, especially when it comes to his little sister, Imogen.

My heart still lurches in my chest when I see her.

My hands want to reach out and touch her.

My mouth wants to keep apologizing.

She’s the only woman who ever made me want more. But she’s also the one who fell victim to my most regrettable decision.

I’m not a believer in fate, but I must be back in her world for a reason. I’ve fought for everything I’ve gotten and I’m not backing down from what I know will be the best thing in my life.

https://amzn.to/35HKncD

I just read two hockey romances back to back, so that inevitably led to comparisons. I thought the Stacey Lynn book, Dream Maker, was a tiny bit better, but honestly I probably would have enjoyed this book even more had I read something else in between – if that makes sense?

This book has a former-lover-to-enemy trope at its center. Warner and Imogen were inseparable in high school, until something happens that causes him to react badly and breaks them up. Imogen’s brother Ford plays professional hockey in Florida, and when his former best friend and Imogen’s ex shows up to join the team, he is pissed, to say the least. Imogen has recently been hired by the team to handle their social media as the team’s “hype girl,” and guess who they want her to hype.

Warner is thrilled and he tries very hard to talk to her, but she’s pushing him away as hard as she can, especially considering she still has feelings for him. Eventually, he wears her down and she finally listens to him, and she forgives him and they start seeing one another again. But Ford doesn’t know and if he finds out, heads will roll. As it is, his attitude towards Warner is hurting the team.

Eventually, Warner and Imogen reach their happily ever after, and Warner and Ford find their way towards friendship again. This is a steamy romance set in the hockey world, and is a fun read for sure. This was my first book by this author, and now I want to go back and read the earlier books in this series. Luckily, I found them on Hoopla!

3/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

SNEAKING AROUND WITH #34 by Piper Rayne. Independently published (March 8, 2022). ASIN: ‎B09D2CKW3D. 249p.

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