This is one of my absolute favorite posts of the month, always. Thanks so much to Steph and Jana for hosting this fabulous link up about one of my absolute favorite past times!! Let's see all the books I've read since the last link up!
Sustained by Emma Chase *****
Garrett by Sawyer Bennett *****
Alex by Sawyer Bennett ****
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley ****
Something Beautiful by Jamie McGuire *****
Friction by Sawyer Bennett ****
Infatuation by River Savage ****
Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry *****
Prima Donna by Laura Drewry *****
Accidentally in Love by Laura Drewry ****
Once Kissed by Cecy Robson ****
Ryker by Sawyer Bennett ****
Melting Into You by Laura Trentham ****
Untamed by SC Stephens ****
The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter ****
Five StarsSustained by Emma Chase ***** This is the follow up to another favorite, Overruled in the Legal Briefs series and I loved this one just as much as the other last one, if not MORE! Knight in shining armor, BIG TIME in this one. If you haven't read anything by Emma Chase I would start with this series and as of Monday Sustained was on sale for $1.99 on Amazon!
Synopsis: When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy and Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that—that, I know how to do.
Garrett by Sawyer Bennett ***** is my absolute favorite in the Cold Fury series. If you're into hockey players, which I never really knew I was until this series, and you want a guy with a major hero heart this is the book for you. He just wouldn't give up and I loved him for that. These can be read as standalones, because I read book 3, first lol.
Synopsis: Carolina Cold Fury star Garrett Samuelson never wants to miss out on a single minute of fun. Whether he’s playing hockey, hanging out with friends, or walking the red carpet with a new date on his arm, he lives every day to the fullest. When he meets Olivia Case, he sees someone who’s exactly his type—confident, sexy, smart . . . his next fling. But the more he pursues her, the more Garrett shares a side of himself that other women don’t normally get to see.
Olivia has been keeping a secret. While Garrett lives for the next thrill, Olivia’s not sure she’ll live to see the next day. She’s undergoing treatment for some serious medical issues, and she doesn’t have time for a relationship with no guarantees—especially one with a hot-as-sin womanizer who won’t take no for an answer. But as she gets to know the real Garrett, Olivia can’t help falling for him . . . hard. To reveal the truth would mean risking everything—but you can’t score without taking the tough shots.
Something Beautiful by Jamie McGuire ***** is a Novella that follows the in between and after of Beautiful Disaster and the spin off Maddox Brother series and it definitely gave more than a typical novella. If you're a fan of Jamie McGuire or the Beautiful Disaster series, make sure you read this. It gives you a little more of everything, and a lot of new stuff between America and Shepley. Plus, I'm from Kansas so I'm a bit obsessed with tornados.
Synopsis: America Mason, a sassy undergrad at Eastern State University, is in love with a Maddox--Shepley Maddox. Unlike his cousins, Shepley is more lover than fighter, but a road trip to her parents' home in Wichita, Kansas could mean the next step, or the end of everything.
Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry ***** is the beginning of the Friends First series and since I read the fourth book to review, I knew what was going to happen with one friend but it was still shocking to see it play out and hear her story through the friends POV. This was a definite BFF to lovers and meant-to-be story so if you like to see a guy struggle with what's right in front of his face this is the story for you.
Synopsis: Worn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the first person she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place.
Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.
Prima Donna by Laura Drewry ***** was my least favorite of the series, probably because there really wasn't a standout moment with the hero, but other characters in the book really brought the emotions I'm always hoping for in a good romance. Don't get me wrong, the hero definitely brings the sex appeal since he's a motorcycle riding pediatrician!
Synopsis: Even when her hair salon goes under and she’s on the brink of breaking, Regan Burke keeps her “I’m just fine” attitude. She’s had a tough life, coping with a difficult family and keeping her act together . . . barely. Right now, she just needs a job, any job, so she can pay her mother’s medical bills. It’s the exact wrong time for Carter Scott to come into her life—and to be so damn sexy, so distracting, and so determined to get close.
Carter isn’t looking for anything serious—his heart belongs to the kids who depend on his pediatric practice—but something about Regan makes him reconsider. Maybe it’s the scars she hides so well, the secrets she can’t share. Carter knows all about that kind of pain, and he wants to help. But offering Regan a job in his office only makes things worse, even if their chemistry is off the charts. Lucky for them both, Carter isn’t about to let go of love without a fight.
Four StarsAlex by Sawyer Bennett **** is the first in the Cold Fury series and while it didn't tug on my heart strings like Garrett did, there is an awful lot of good going on in this book other than just a love story. Alex really gets put in his place and for good reason, he's the all around self-loathing bad boy that is on the brink of disaster when his angel swoops in.
Synopsis: Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn't afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn't so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.
As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people--like Alex, who's been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team's effort to clean up his image. What she doesn't expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn't one to cross professional boundaries--and besides, Alex doesn't do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex's bad-boy facade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers."
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley **** is a slow moving, but very detailed read. It's the first in Mountain Man series and while I'm enjoying them I just think KA draws out the mystery aspect of the stories too long. I'm currently listening to the second in the series and several chapters from the end I'm just ready to find out who did it and move on to the next one. What made me give it four stars despite the length, the non-accent and completely lovable female lead.
Synopsis: Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fiancé who can't even remember how she takes her coffee, Nina wants some distance to rethink her engagement. Flying halfway around the world from England to a mountain town in Colorado should do the trick. But when she finds a gorgeous man at her rental cabin, Nina's cold, lonely adventure suddenly heats up.
The owner of the house, Holden "Max" Maxwell is surprised by the beautiful woman who turns up at his door. But when Nina becomes ill, Max spends days nursing her back to health. A private man with a broken heart, Max finds himself drawn to the strong-willed woman. Soon it becomes impossible for Nina and Max to deny their growing attraction to one another. Yet even as these two wounded lovebirds think about taking a chance on a relationship, a dangerous secret from Max's past emerges-and threatens to end their love for good
Friction by Sawyer Bennett **** has a lot of real world, yet fictional legalese since Bennett is a former lawyer. I loved the forbidden aspect of this and all of the sneaking around these two had to do. What starts as a forbidden friends with benefits really transforms throughout the book and by the end I couldn't help but dread what was to come of their relationship once the closing arguments took place. Read the full review here.
Synopsis: At the powerhouse law firm of Knight & Payne, winning comes first and ethics a distant second. Leary Michaels uses her female charms to daze opponents, and it’s always worked well—until now. On her most personal case yet, she finds herself going up against a defense attorney just as skilled, shameless, and seductive as she is.
Reeve Holloway has never met a woman as sure of her own sexuality, or as ruthless in wielding it, as Leary is. But he won’t be toyed with. What Leary starts, he’ll finish—in the courtroom, the bedroom, or any-damn-place he wants. The sex is uninhibited, electrifying, and absolutely against the rules. Reeve’s job is to ruin Leary’s case…even if it destroys her in the process and costs him the woman he’s come to love.
Infatuation by River Savage **** is the fourth book in the series and the only one that I haven't been absolutely in love with. It still kept me riveted throughout the entire book and I'm hoping this isn't the last for this MC series.
Synopsis: Beau McIntyre is driven by a past smothered in blood and covered in bruises. Though tragic, it's help shape his future and define the man he's become.
Day in and day out, he's reminded of his failures in the faces of the women he saves. But what happens when one girl threatens to blow all of that apart? Will Beau lose his grip on the controlled lifestyle he abides by?
Mackenzie Moore is running from a past she needs to forget. A past that has molded her into a woman living in fear. One fateful night, her carefully constructed world is pulled down around her, forcing her to make a decision she's not sure she can live with.
Turning to the Knights Rebels MC for help is the last thing she wants, but everything she needs.
Can Beau save her once again, or is what she running to far worse than what she’s running from?
Accidentally in Love by Laura Drewry **** was not a five star book, but I loved it anyway. The humor in this book was very comical due to the circumstances between the eventual lovers. They did not like each other AT ALL for most of the book, but came to rely on one another for safety and to keep up appearances.
Synopsis: Ellie Palmer and cops don’t mix, and getting pulled over by Officer Brett Hale—again—doesn’t help. Neither does being forced to take a safe-driving course with him. Brett’s by-the-book attitude leaves Ellie ice-cold, and his rock-hard body won’t change that. Still, the more time she spends with the guy, the more she finds herself warming up to his unexpected charms.
Even though Brett comes off like a boy scout, Ellie has sparked something he wants badly enough to get him to rethink his past mistakes. But when her ex shows up, Brett makes it his mission to keep Ellie safe in the here and now. His gut tells him the guy’s trouble, and Ellie must agree, because she doesn’t complain when Brett pulls her close. To keep her safe, though, he’ll have to choose between breaking her heart . . . and breaking the rules.
Once Kissed by Cecy Robson **** was definitely not what I was expecting to get from Cecy. It was enjoyable, but not as good as her other series. I'm holding out hope that as she continues the series I'll love each book more and more. Tess has a weird life, and it's hard for the powerful but taken aback cop to work through her issues but they eventually figure out their story. I love that you get to see his brother, the DA and maybe even a little glimpse into who the next book is about. Also, just a random side note the cover makes me think of Legolas and I couldn't get the elfin thought out of my head, haha. More review to come.
Synopsis: Once they shared a night of passion. Now a chance encounter forces them back together. In Cecy Robson’s O’Brien Family series debut—perfect for readers of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—two total opposites find that the flames of desire are still smoldering.
Tough-as-steel cop Curran O’Brien is quickly rising through the ranks of the Philadelphia police department. But when his rookie partner is almost killed under his watch, Curran just wants to prove he still has what it takes to walk among Philly’s finest. So he’s pissed to be stuck on a cushy security assignment for the DA’s office . . . until he gets a good look at the sweet, straitlaced intern he’s supposed to protect—but not touch.
Tess Newart recognizes Curran instantly. How could she not? Back in college she tied this former frat boy to the bed with her argyle socks! That sizzling one-night stand was the only indiscretion Tess ever allowed herself. She has survived law school so far, despite being pushed to succeed by her overbearing father. Now that she’s interning on a major case against a ruthless crime boss, she won’t jeopardize her career by giving in to temptation again. She just never expected temptation to look so damn hot in uniform.
Tess knows her father has other plans for her, and they don’t include Curran. But soon she’s falling for him all over again. And when danger emerges, Curran will prove just how good a bad-boy cop can be.
Ryker by Sawyer Bennett **** is another forbidden romance and the fourth in the Cold Fury hockey series. Garrett still beat it out, but I loved the hero in this one. He's raising his two little girls mostly on his own and they're both not spoiled little brats that they were quite enjoyable to read about. I'm hoping this isn't the last of the hockey series, but if it is...Bennett left off on a good note. Also, this has a very strong female lead that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Synopsis: The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.
As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure’s on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.
Melting Into You by Laura Trentham **** Lilliana is a creative soul and boy can she hold a grudge. It's a good thing she's willing to forgive and forget in the scheme of the bigger picture because I really enjoyed how their romance began. This definitely came out in the heart of football season, and fits right in with all of the homecomings and other football related activities being hosted throughout the US this time of year that it really got me excited for a hometown football game. Full review here.
Synopsis: Alec Grayson returns home to Falcon, Alabama, to rebuild his life after a knee injury ended his NFL career. As the Falcon high school quarterback coach, Alec's love for the game is reignited. Meanwhile, he puts his hard-partying past and the betrayal of the people he trusted most behind him, and adopts a hard demeanor. That is, until a spitfire artist with soulful eyes and a body that haunts his dreams gets under his skin and threatens to crack his armor.
Lilliana Hancock is forced to leave her struggling-artist lifestyle in New York and return to Falcon after her father's unexpected death leaves her a decrepit family mansion. Determined to use her skills to turn the home into a successful bed and breakfast, Lilliana is stopped at every turn by the town contractor, who happens to be Alec, the gorgeous and arrogant jock to whom she lost her virginity in college. Except Alec doesn't remember, which infuriates her. Too bad she can't forget the way his body felt against hers or how his heated gaze follows her...
Will they be able to put their pasts behind them for a future together?
Untamed by SC Stephens **** If Kellan was the star of the band, Griffin was the rock God...in his mind. This guy was delusional and OMG I got to about 30% and almost gave up because he just didn't have a clue about real life and how lucky he was to be in a rock band. I'm so glad I stuck it out because even though his relationships get rocky, he really learns a lot about himself and life in general. Full review here.
Synopsis: The spotlight doesn't only shine. Sometimes it burns.
Being the bad-boy bassist for the world's hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife, Anna. The one thing it hasn't brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.
Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he's caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos. One that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he's seen an ache in her eyes--and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers...
The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter **** is the second in the Heartbreakers series and while it is a good story and gets really high rating there is just something about either this authors style or the series itself that grates on me. There's an awful lot of baby and it's not sexy, hot or cute I find it downright nails-on-chalkboard painful. However, I want to see what will happen with the third friend so I'll read the third one.
Synopsis: Beck O'ckley is ruthless in the boardroom...and the bedroom. He's never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his, meaningless sex keeps the demons at bay. His motto: One and done. No harm, no foul.
Harlow Glass is the most hated girl in town. The beautiful artist is penniless, jobless and homeless. When she sneaks into Beck's home—her ancestral estate—for food, she's shocked by his early return...and her immediate, sizzling and intense attraction to him.
For the first time in Beck's life, he can't get a woman out of his mind. All too soon, friendship blooms into obsession and he'll have to break her heart...or surrender his own
What's Next?Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren comes out in February and I received my copy this weekend. I haven't had a chance to sit down and devote to it, so I'm excited for some quiet time!!
Ms. Manwhore by Katy Evans and yes I realize I really hated the last one but this is just a novella and because I loved Katy's first series so much I'm hoping this book can redeem the last!
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley is what's on my audio book radar right now. I've been listening to it quite some time and like the last is long but enjoyable.
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What are you reading and loving lately?