Happily ​Ever After (Cinder & Ella #2) by Kelly Oram

The end of one story is often the beginning of another.

Hollywood heartthrob Brian Oliver and his Cinderella princess Ellamara Rodriguez have finally found love outside the digital world. But leaving their anonymity behind creates a whole new set of obstacles for the nation’s new favorite sweethearts.

With the stress of Brian’s fame and the pressures of a new relationship weighing down on them, the It Couple quickly begins to wonder if they can hold on to their newfound joy, or if maybe happily ever after is only a fairy tale.

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EXCERPT

Scott closed his laptop, which was a sign that he was really serious now. “Like it or not, Brian, she is in this. Up to her eyeballs in it, in fact. She won’t be able to avoid it forever, and when it catches up to her, she’s going to have some real choices to make. If you don’t bring her in with you, then your management team—along with everyone else in town—will bypass you and go straight to her. Do you really want her to meet with people and make decisions without you?”

My jaw clenched. Hollywood people could be nice enough, but they were all sharks in sheep’s clothing. Ella was a strong, smart woman, but she wasn’t used to playing their game. No way did I want her having to navigate this business on her own.

“You’re absolutely right that your team will try to use her as much as possible. That’s why you should be there when they do. At least if you’re together, you can tell her when they’re trying to work her over.”

Damn him again. Why did he always have to be right? Letting out a breath of defeat, I scrubbed my hands over my face and then raked them through my hair. “All right, all right, fine. Let’s schedule a meeting with Ella. But not yet. After the holidays. After New Year’s.”

Scott’s posture eased up a little, and he gave me an apologetic smile. “I don’t think they want to wait that long. You guys are in the headlines now. You’re the biggest story of the year. With the movie releasing in two days, they want to take advantage of all this free publicity.”

I huffed in exasperation. “The Druid Prince is the biggest release of the holiday. The studio has put millions of dollars into advertising. How much more publicity does it need?”

“Not the film, Brian; you.”

“I don’t care about the publicity. I don’t want the attention.”

I shot to my feet with a groan and headed for my coffee again. It wasn’t as hot now, so I chugged it as if it held the answers to all my problems.

“You do want it this time. And so does Ella.”

I was still frowning, but I leaned against the counter again and gave him my full attention. He jumped on the window of opportunity but spoke cautiously, as if he was afraid I might explode if I didn’t like what he said. “How you and Ella deal with this attention will affect your future, and you know it. The world loves you guys right now. You’re a real-life fairy tale. People are dying to see the two of you living out the happily-ever-after you promised them.”

“Forget the world. I want that. But if the freaking media doesn’t leave us alone, no one will get that happily-ever-after, because Ella will dump my famous ass.”

Scott’s snort of disbelief was only mildly reassuring.

“She’s not like everyone else, Scott. She doesn’t care about the money, and my fame is a problem in her eyes, not a fun perk. She’s fragile. If this gets too crazy, she’ll throw in the towel. She’ll have to. And I’ll have to let her.”

“If you would just make a couple of appearances together, do an interview or two and a photo shoot, that would satiate the public, and things would die down.”

“Tell that to Kim and Kanye.”

Again, Scott spoke right over my cynical mutterings. “It would help you both in other ways, too.  Ella is exactly what you need for your career. This relationship will completely erase your last year or so of debauchery.”

I cocked an eyebrow at Scott, trying my hardest not to smile. It wasn’t easy. “Debauchery?”

His cheeks turned a little pink, but he stood his ground. “Do you have a better word for all the partying and womanizing?”

I held his gaze a moment longer but then cracked. “Fine. Debauchery.”

“Right. And after a few appearances with Ella, as in love as you guys are, not even Kyle Hamilton will remember your previous reputation as an arrogant, immature playboy.”

My eyebrow went up again, and this time it was Scott who relented. “Okay, Kyle might. But no one else will; I guarantee it. You’ll be the mature down-to-earth A-list actor who chose to be with a physically-disabled woman when he could have anyone. You’ll be admired by all of Hollywood. And a man like that might just win himself an Oscar, whether he earned it onscreen or not—that’s simple Academy politics. Not that you haven’t earned it, but no one in the Academy would hesitate to vote for you. And no director will hesitate to consider you for a role in the future. Play your cards correctly right now, and you’ll be earning thirty million a picture for the Cinder Chronicles sequels and turning down roles you’d beg for right now.”

A year ago, that would have been a persuasive argument. “It’s not me I’m worried about. I’ll earn my A-list status eventually; I don’t need to use Ella to get there.”

“She might want to use this opportunity, though. You should at least explain to her what is going on and what it means for her. From what you’ve told me, she’s an extremely independent woman and isn’t going to want to live off of her father’s money forever, or yours. This could be a very lucrative time for her. It could help her with her future and even give her something to focus on. It could give her positive reasons for living with the fame and maybe help her make sense of how much her life has just changed.”

I shot Scott a glare, hating that last accusation, and got his Super-Assistant-Stare-Down again. “Like it or not, Brian, the moment you gave that Cinderella interview on The Kenneth Long Show, you changed her life. There’s no going back for her, so help her move forward. Help her make the best of a hard situation. Ease this transition for her by being straight with her. You know no one else will.”

I rubbed my head. All this thinking about the future first thing in the morning was giving me a headache.

“Sorry, boss, I know it’s not what you want to do, but it is what you need to do. I’d let you keep ignoring them and turn off my phone over the holiday if it wasn’t.”

My hands dropped to my sides as all the fight left me, and I met Scott’s gaze again, frowning. “Do you ever get tired of being right?”

The corners of Scott’s mouth twitched. “Not really, no.”

Cinder & Ella – Reading order and purchase links

Cinder & Ella (Cinder & Ella #1) by Kelly Oram  Happily ​Ever After (Cinder & Ella #2) by Kelly Oram

Cinder & Ella ($0.99)

Happily Ever After

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Review- Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1) by Sarina Bowen

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The first two words that come to mind after finishing Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen is sweet, and innocence. Considering it contains explicit male on male sex scenes, not what you immediately might think.

It’s mostly the characters. Josh and Caleb grew up in a cult, where they had to follow some harsh rules. Definitely no falling in love with your best friend.

While both are great guys, even after leaving/kicked out of that place, there is still a certain sweetness about them. Both are discovering this whole new world, and it’s filled with wonder. I loved seeing it through their eyes, the things we might take for granted.

Goodbye Paradise was a sweet romance story. Far less intense than I was expecting. Josh and Caleb are likeable characters, and seeing them finally being able to be themselves feels liberating.

3 stars

Hello Goodbye – Reading order and purchase links

Review- Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1) by Sarina Bowen  Hello Forever sarina bowen

Goodbye Paradise

Hello Forever

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After I Fall (Falling #3) by Jessica Scott

Her entire life has been a lie. Being with Eli is the most honest thing she’s ever done.

Parker Hauser lives the perfect life and knows exactly where she’s been and where she’s going. Parker has to be perfect. Perfect grades, perfect body, perfect life.

Until she meets Eli Winter.

Eli throws her entire life into chaos when he denies her the one thing she wants from him.

One chance encounter stokes her desire for the man who refused to touch her and left her questioning everything.

When Parker tries to help his new business, the spotlight turns on Eli’s military record. And sins from the war he’s tried to forget may come back to destroy them both.

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EXCERPT

I needed to get out of my apartment and away from the creeping sadness that threatened to drown me if I stayed alone one more minute.

Tomorrow, I will find the owner of The Pint. Tomorrow I will figure out how to unfuck my life.

But right now, I’m standing in a closed-in space with a man who looks like a real-life rendition of Jason Momoa, and my panties are currently hosting their own episode of Celebration at the idea of standing just a little bit closer. I should be at the Baywater Country Club drinking top-shelf martinis and celebrating with Kylie and Bethany and Meaghan. But I can’t see them tonight. For more than the obvious reasons.

I was planning on drinking myself stupid and forgetting everything about the last twenty-four hours in the human garbage fire that my life has become. It hurts and goddamn it, I’m tired of it hurting. I’m tired of being there for everyone else while I have to smile and look pretty.

Tonight? I thought I wanted the raw pulsing music and the bodies crushed together. I thought I wanted the contact. The distraction.

Don’t make a fuss, Parker. Don’t say anything to embarrass me, Parker. 

What did you do to deserve it, Parker? Why didn’t you just do what he asked? Why do you always have to argue? 

Anger crawls up my spine and squeezes my throat once more.

For once in my fucking life, I want someone to look at me and see me. Not my father’s car, or my not-allowed-to-be-ex-boyfriend’s tailored suits.

I want someone to see me. All of me.

I don’t know what I wanted when I left the apartment, but I think I may have just found it.

And the man standing next to me with the dark beard and dark eyes and terrifying tattoos seems like just the guy to take care of everything for a night.

Except that he might be a little too perceptive. I didn’t plan on him seeing the bruises on my arm. Guess I need to rethink that career as a makeup artist if my graduate school plans don’t work out.

He’s still watching me, a dark intensity in his eyes. An intensity that feels like a brushstroke over my skin.

I wonder what it would feel like to wake up wrapped in those massive arms, to feel those hands run over my skin while I sleep. What it feels like to be really touched instead of just positioned to receive.

My eyes burn, and I blink rapidly. I will not cry about the dumpster fire of my life and the garbage that surrounds me. I didn’t set out to solve anything tonight. I came out to escape. To try and find some release from the trapped air in my apartment.

Instead I think I’ve found a solution in search of a problem.

The Solution is a big man. Rough, too. The kind of man I would expect my father would call to lead the construction on a new project.

It’s his hands, though, that capture my attention. Big and flat and broad. They’re a working man’s hands. Not polished. Not cupped in anger.

Just matter-of-fact hands. Hands that would be honest.

Hands that would feel like heaven on my skin.

I look up to find him watching me. I’ve never physically felt a look before this moment, this lazy caress of a man’s gaze moving inch by inch over my skin.

I part my lips. Just enough that he notices. His nostrils flare.

“Careful, little girl.” His voice is thick and deep and smooth. Like the gaze still trailing over my body.

“Or what?” I whisper. Kelsey’s voice slides through my brain.

This is foolish. Utterly stupid.

This is power.

And it is exactly what I need tonight. I need to feel needed. Wanted.

Tonight isn’t about rational thought. It’s about the opposite. About going in blind, completely on instinct.

“I’m not sure you want to find out.”

But he has not moved away. He hasn’t turned his back on me, and he hasn’t dismissed me as some childish twat playing grownup.

God, but those words burn in my ears.

“Maybe I do.”

The muscles in his neck bunch beneath the thick beard. “Do you always hit on random men at bars?”

I press my lips together and dare to take a single step closer. “Nope. You’d be my first.”

He lifts one brow. “Oh yeah? What’s the occasion?” He jerks his chin toward me. “It doesn’t have to do with the bruises, does it?”

I lift my glass to my lips. Slowly I part them, letting the ice cube bounce off the tip of my tongue. When I lower it, his eyes are locked on my mouth. “No,” I whisper. “It’s got nothing to do with them.”

Nothing and everything. But he doesn’t need to know that. He only needs to take me some place and touch me.

Parker.

Me. I need him to see me.

He moves in then with a quickness that catches me off guard. In an instant, he is right there, right in my space. I can smell the faint, smoky scent of him. Something woodsy and spicy and smoky.

It’s all I can do to stay still. To not back down from the challenge he presents in that single breath of space.

“What do you want?” His is a murmured question that feels like a demand.

The single word I need is lodged in my throat. It’s thick and heavy, filled with potential and promise.

“You,” I finally say.

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Living your life in a way to make everyone around you happy often means you’re not happy. And Parker’s life has hit that turning point where she has to decide who she is living for; herself or her family.

Partly in an act of defiance she accepts an internship at Eli’s bar. The people there are opposite of what she knows, but exactly what she needs.

There is an instant attraction between her and Eli. Though it might start as a bit of a rebel phase, it very quickly becomes clear it’s more than that.

Eli has the tendency to take care of other people, it’s the commander in him. While others might think Parker doesn’t belong in the bar, Eli sees a girl who is hurting.Though it soon becomes more than helping her out.

After I Fall is a pretty fast read. The connection between Parker and Eli is pretty instant, but there is so much more at play here. This kind of family drama kills me. A good girl being smothered by a life she doesn’t want.

Seeing Parker trying to break free is amazing. Definitely not an easy situation to handle, and I love that she makes mistakes.

I still would have liked to get to know Eli better. Even after finishing this story I feel I don’t have a real handle on him. He’s a good guy, and I love what he does with the bar.

After I Fall was a good story, though it didn’t blow me away, or dragged me in like other stories by Jessica Scott. A good read for the fans.

3 stars

Falling – Reading order and purchase links

*All books can be read as a standalone*

before I fall ebook final2  break my fall  After I Fall (Falling #3) by Jessica Scott

Before I Fall: My reviewAmazon USAmazon UK

Break My Fall: My review – Amazon USAmazon UK

After I Fall: Amazon USAmazon UK

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Delayed Call (Assassins #11) by Toni Aleo

Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins’ star player. He’s brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.

Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she’d like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?

Brie has been the match to Vaughn’s gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part…

Brie’s been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn’s past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I believe Delayed Call by Toni Aleo is the best story in the Assassins series since Blue Lines. I fell hard for Vaughn, Brie, and her little brother Brandon.

I already loved the animosity between Brie and Vaughn in the previous books, and I’m happy I was not wrong to recognise it as foreplay.

The dynamic between them is insanely well written. This battle of wits will make you grin from ear to ear.

It really was only a matter of time before things would explode. While Brie is all in after a rough start, it’s Vaughn who’s hung up on some past issues.

Trust does not come easy for them, though they also do not give up easy.

Special mention for Brandon, Brie’s baby brother who has Down Syndrome. This guy will melt your heart, and make you fall even more in love with Delayed Call.

I love it when a book has a lot of humor, that also translates well in real life and actually makes you laugh out loud. Vaughn, Brie, Jensen, Wren…they just leapt off the pages, and became real people. So caught up I was in the story, and so well written they became tangible.

With Delayed Call, Toni Aleo has once again proved she is the queen of hockey romance.

4.5 stars

Assassins – Reading order and purchase links

*All books can be read as a standalone, but have interconnecting characters*

taking shots  trying to score  empty net  falling for the backup

Taking ShotsAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Trying To ScoreAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Empty NetAmazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Falling For The BackupAmazon US – Amazon UK

4 & counting  blue lines  breaking away   laces

4 & Counting (FREE)

Blue LinesMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK – Book Depository

Breaking AwayMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Laces & LaceMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

  Very-2BMerry-2BHockey-2BHoliday-2Bhigh  wanting to forget  overtime  rushing the goal

A Very Merry Hockey HolidayMy review – Amazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

Wanting To ForgetAmazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

OvertimeMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Rushing The Goal: My review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

pucks-sticks-and-diapers-assassins-8-5-by-toni-aleo  review-excerpt-face-off-at-the-altar-assassins-9-by-toni-aleo  Delayed Call (Assassins #11) by Toni Aleo

Puck, Sticks, and Diapers: Amazon US ($0.99) – Amazon UK (£0.99)

Face-Off At The Altar: My review – Amazon USAmazon UK

Delayed Call: Amazon USAmazon UK

Connect with Toni AleoGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon – Signed Books

Review- Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #2) by Samantha Young

Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.

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REVIEW

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I already loved the dynamic between Vaughn and Bailey in The One Real Thing, so I was very happy they got their own story with Every Little thing. A classic hate to love story, though there never was any real hate. Quite the opposite actually, as Vaughn fell for Bailey the first time they met. Except she was in a relationship with another man, and Vaughn has some issues to let women in.

The constant bickering is a form of foreplay, and oh so entertaining to read. When Bailey becomes a free woman again, the temptation becomes too much. It’s so easy for Vaughn to scare her away, though slowly Bailey sees what he’s hiding. He’s not as evil as he wants her to believe, quite the opposite. Vaughn is charming, and helpful to anyone but Bailey.

When things heat up between them, that’s when it gets really interesting. It’s a lot of push, and pull with some extremely hot scenes, charming men, and spirited women. Every Little Thing is everything I wanted it to be for Vaughn and Bailey. You’ll root for this couple from the first page, and they’ll leave you with a happy heart.

4 stars

Hart’s Boardwalk – Reading order and purchase links

The One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #1) by Samantha Young  Review- Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #2) by Samantha Young

The One Real ThingEvery Little Thing

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What I Need (Alabama Summer #4) by J. Daniels

Riley Tennyson has made a huge mistake.

At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.

Showing up to her brother’s wedding pissed off and newly single, Riley seeks comfort in solitude and an open bar, until the gorgeous and irresistibly charming CJ Tully makes her a better offer―a wild night with the master of smooth-talking where nothing is off limits.

Riley does what any single woman would do, and a connection is made. One neither one of them can ignore. But when she comes home to the boyfriend she no longer thought she had, Riley buries her secret and begs CJ to do the same.

Forget about each other. It was a mistake. That’s all it was… right?

Desires are hidden. Distance is kept. Until one night CJ makes the ultimate sacrifice, and Riley can no longer avoid the man she can’t stop thinking about.

Not with him sleeping down the hall…

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The thing about first love is that you never know any different. Plenty of times there is no problem with that, if you get treated right. Though when you have a boyfriend like Richard, Riley needs a wake up call. After a huge fight, she believes them broken up, so hooking up with C.J. at her brother’s wedding seems like an excellent idea.

To be honest he treats her very well, inside and outside of the bedroom, so consider me already charmed. Back home from the bliss, things turn a lot more complicated. Apparently not broken of with Richard, Riley is a bit in a pickle, so pretending like nothing ever happened always ends so well. (Note the sarcasm.)

Even as a friend C.J. is hard to ignore, and I love how he puts on thick when it comes to Riley. He’s constantly flirting with her, pushing her buttons, so much fun. Meanwhile Riley almost doesn’t know what to with his attention, and seeing her flustered, and flailing all over the place, it’s hilarious.

Due time things definitely heat up more and more, ’till you just know it’s going to explode, in a good way. What I Need by J.Daniels was a fun, and fast read. Riley and C.J.’s interactions go from sweet, and adorable to hilarious and extremely hot. All very entertaining to read, and for fans of the series, the rest of the couples show up at multiple times. Definitely read if you’re in need of a relaxing time.

3.5 stars

Alabama Summers – Reading order and purchase links

*All books can be read as a standalone*

Where I Belong Alabama Summer by J. Daniels All I Want (Alabama Summer #2) by J. Daniels When I Fall (Alabama Summer #3) by J. Daniels

Where I Belong

All I Want

When I Fall

Where We Belong (Alabama Summer #3.5) by J. Daniels What I Need (Alabama Summer #4) by J. Daniels

Where We Belong

What I Need

Connect with J. Daniels: GoodreadsWebsiteTwitterFacebookAmazon

Review- The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby #3) by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

THE CAD
Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he *was* a cad.
No one is quite certain.
Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.
The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED
Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.
The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN
Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.
Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.
But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

The Cad And The Co-Ed was so much fun to read. I even live tweeted while reading, so if you want to see my first reactions #CadAndCoEdLive Which includes beauties like this:

I definitely enjoy my unexpected pregnancy stories, it’s a plot that has been done many times before, so it’s not easy to keep it original. Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway made a serious effort. I loved seeing the change in Bryan from party animal to Friday nights with tea and a book.

I’m not a fan where women keep the daddy’s out of the loop. While in a way I could understand Eilish for the most part. The Bryan she had a one night stand with, was not father material, and her feelings were extremely hurt. At that point in his life he was not going to be the man she needed for their kid.

Though now luckily when Eilish is back in town, she gets to meet the new Bryan. Sober, almost killjoy Bryan is someone she can rely on, and be the father her kid needs, and wants. As for things between them, that’s where Bryan shows he’s not completely turned into an eighty year old man yet. His charm was smoother while being a drunk, but what he lacks in suave he makes up with honesty.

The Cad And The Co-Ed is a great addition to the Rugby series. You’ve got to love a man in tight rugby shorts, who appreciates a quiet night in with tea and a good book. From magical body parts to sweet, deep connections Eilish and Bryan will have you giggle and swoon.

3.5 stars

Rugby – Reading order and purchase links

 *All books can be read as a standalone*

hooker and the hermit  player and the pixie  Review- The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby #3) by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker and the Hermit: Amazon USAmazon UK

The Player and the Pixie: My review – Amazon USAmazon UK

The Cad and the Co-Ed: Amazon USAmazon UK

Connect with Penny ReidGoodreads – Website – Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Connect with L.H. CoswayGoodreads – Website –Twitter – Facebook – Amazon

Review- A Boy Like You by Ginger Scott

They say everyone’s a superhero to someone. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to save, but I know who saved me.

We were kids. His name was Christopher. And up until the day he pulled me from death’s grip, he was nothing more than a boy I felt sorry for. In a blink of an eye, he became the only person who made me feel safe.

And then he disappeared.

Now I’m seventeen. I’m not a kid anymore. I haven’t been for years. While death didn’t take me that day, the things that happened left me with scars—the kind that robbed me of everything I once loved and drove me into darkness. But more than anything else, that day—and every day since—has taken away my desire to dream.

I wasn’t going to have hope. I wouldn’t let myself wish. Those things—they weren’t for girls like me. That’s what I believed…until the new boy.

He’s nothing like the old boy. He’s taller and older. His hair is longer, and his body is lean—strong and ready for anything. I don’t feel sorry for him. And sometimes, I hate him. He challenges me. From the moment I first saw him standing there on the baseball field, he pushed me—his eyes constantly questioning, doubting…daring. Still, something about him—it feels…familiar.

He says his name is Wes. But I can’t help but feel like he’s someone else. Someone from my past. Someone who’s come back to save me.

This time, though, he’s too late. Josselyn Winters, the girl he once knew, is gone. I am the threat; I am my worst enemy. And he can’t save me from myself.

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Holy…pff…I don’t even know where to begin. A Boy Like You is one of those stories where it’s hard to review it without spoiling the plot for new readers. I can tell you that the day Christopher saved Joss’ life, everything changed.

Time has passed and Joss stopped believing in fairytales, dreams, and happiness. There is a harshness to her, and she is just going through the motions. Living her life, without actually enjoying it. It was not easy reading about this girl, and her overall disinterest in life, and people. Her attitude is there to create a distance between her, and people who might care, one that translates well off the pages.

I also admire her attitude in a way, sometimes we should care less about certain things or people in our life. Though cutting it all off is not the answer.

Though that all changes when this boy moves into town. While Joss can’t quite put her finger on it, there is just something about him. He challenges her, pushes her, and he is always there to catch her if she falls. Though Joss pushes back, and the only thing he can’t save her from, is herself.

I have to admit I didn’t know the book was part of a duet going in. So I saw the pages shrinking, and realised there weren’t enough left to tie everything together, therefor while not really a cliffhanger, the unexpected ending took me by surprise.Though in a way I’m also glad we’ll get more of Wes and Joss.

5 stars

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This book is a duet, with A Girl Like Me releasing this summer

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royally-matched-royally-2-by-emma-chase

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I’m usually not a big fan of reality TV-shows, though I do admit a royalty dating show sounds entertaining. Definitely when the prince is Henry. Last year voted most likely to end up drunk on the front page of the tabloids, now heir to the throne of Wessco. Gone are the days of partying it up, and doing whatever he pleases.

Henry is lost in his new responsibilities. He is not trained to become king, and the new direction his life has taken needs some adjustment. I could understand where he was coming from. It was supposed to be his big brother, groomed from birth, to become king. Now Henry has to step up, and he doesn’t know if he can do that.

So he reverts to his old ways, entertaining people. And what better way to do that, than with a dating show. Him, and a bunch of gorgeous blue blood women, stuck in one house for six weeks. This is what dreams are made of, though he soon realises the reality is quite different.

Not to mention he doesn’t have any real interest in the candidates, but rather in Sarah, the sister of one of the candidates. She shuns the spotlights, and her quiet demeanour, and kind soul is refreshing for the prince. While filming he gets to know her better, and slowly realises maybe he does have with it takes to be a good king, and a good husband.

Royally Matched is a fun read, and I honestly expected more drama with the reality TV-show element. Henry is highly entertaining, and incredibly charming, making it impossible not to fall for him. I truly liked Sarah’s quiet strength, and dry humor. She keeps the prince on his toes. Their interactions were sweet, and adorable.

3.5 stars

Royally – Reading order & purchase links

review-royally-screwed-royally-1-by-emma-chase  royally-matched-royally-2-by-emma-chase

Royally Screwed: Amazon USAmazon UK

Royally Matched: Amazon USAmazon UK

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Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey

Lucas Thatcher has always been my enemy.

It’s been a decade since I’ve seen him, but our years on opposite coasts were less of a lasting peace and more of a temporary cease-fire. Now that we’re both back in our small town, I know Lucas expects the same old war, but I’ve changed since high school—and from the looks of it, so has he.

The arrogant boy who was my teenage rival is now a chiseled doctor armed with intimidating good looks. He is Lucas Thatcher 2.0, the new and improved version I’ll be competing with in the workplace instead of the schoolyard.

I’m not worried; I’m a doctor now too, board-certified and sexy in a white coat. It almost feels like winning will be too easy—until Lucas unveils a tactic neither of us has ever used before: sexual warfare.

The day he pushes me up against the wall and presses his lips to mine, I can’t help but wonder if he’s filling me with passion or poison. Every fleeting touch is perfect torture. With every stolen kiss, my walls crumble a little more. After all this time, Lucas knows exactly how to strip me of my defenses, but I’m in no hurry to surrender.

Knowing thy enemy has never felt so good.

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REVIEW

Anything You Can Do was a fun, and fast read. Daisy and Lucas grew up next door to each other, and from the moment they were born they were in competition.

What Lucas could do, Daisy believed she could do better, and visa versa. Over the years it became worse, and worse. Now both are back in their hometown vying for the same job. It’s the ultimate showdown.

While there were certainly parts where I enjoyed the rivalry between them. To me it was clear from page one that there was never any hate from Lucas towards Daisy. While Daisy’s life revolved around bettering Lucas, turning her bitter, and hateful.

I never quit understood why she held on to that anger for so long. It’s exhausting. Though I also feel Lucas could have come forward earlier about his true feelings. They could have made amends years ago.

Therefor now most of the story felt draining. While I love a good hate to love story, here I felt it difficult to be empathic with Daisy’s inner thoughts. Then the shift from rivals to lovers happened quite fast. While the feelings were probably there for a long time, a lot has happened between these two to make that switch so smooth.

As always R.S. Grey’s writing was excellent, I liked most of the characters, and the plot of Anything You Can Do was fun. Maybe Daisy was just too different from me to fully convince me, as I really did like Lucas.

3 stars

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teaser anything you can do

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Review- It Started With a Kiss (Sequoia Lake #1) by Marina Adair

With a kidney transplant behind her, Avery Adams is determined to channel her inner adventurer and explore everything life has to offer. Only problem is, the closest she’s ever come to a real-life adventure was sixth-grade science camp. So to seize the summer in her rustic Sierra Nevada town, she takes a job as a guide at the local adventure lodge. But Avery doesn’t realize her biggest challenge will register at six-plus feet of rugged good looks and alpha-male charm.

As a member of the Sequoia Elite Mountain Rescue team, Tyson Donovan has made a life out of cheating death and rescuing weekend warriors from the treacherous terrain. “The world is my home” is more than just a motto; it’s what scares off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. When his dad’s health lands the family’s adventure lodge in serious danger of going up in flames, he moves home—and quickly remembers why he left. Until he meets Avery, the irresistible new guide who makes him want to stay.

Tyson gives the inexperienced Avery a lesson in romance that her books could never teach her. And with her undeniable spirit for life, Avery shows Tyson the healing power of love. But with one misstep, everything comes crashing down, and they’ll both have to take the biggest leap of all—into the kind of adventure that lasts a lifetime.

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REVIEW

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

It all started with a Big Bang, or in this case It Started with a Kiss, which technically still leads to a big bang. *wink* *wink* Kind of lame, I know, though don’t underestimate the power of a first kiss. I like Avery’s bucket list, she has her own adventures she wants to accomplish, and those of the people who no longer can, like kissing a stranger.

Though when Tyson turns out not to be a stranger, rather the son of her boss, things get a bit more complicated. Back after years of absence due to family drama, he’s there to help his ailing father bring their adventure lodge back to glory. Spirited Avery was not on that agenda, though she’s a force to be reckoned with.

I loved Avery, and her sense for adventure. She has always had to play it safe, though her endless optimism, and the support of a great group of women has kept her going all these years. Now she just has to convince grumpy Tyson that life is a lot more fun if you give people a chance.

Tyson had no idea what hit him when Avery kissed him. He’s convinced he’s not back forever, though when things with his father seems worse than he thought, and hanging out with little Miss Adventure is so much fun, maybe it was time to take a good look at his life. Moving back might be the best thing that ever happened to him.

It Started With A Kiss by Marina Adair was a pleasant read. Avery is a hoot, and Tyson is hot. I loved reading their interactions, and the chemistry was flying of the pages. The secondary characters, and the setting of the story were great as well. I definitely see the potential there for more stories. Read It Started With A Kiss if you like small town romances, quirky heroines, and charming heroes.

3 stars

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good-boy-wags-1-by-sarina-bowen-elle-kennedy

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Oh Blake, how I love thee. If Jesse is too stubborn to see your awesomeness, I’ll gladly take her place. Though the boy is crazy for her, and has the patience to wait her out. Hockey players do not give up, and that’s one of their best qualities.

Jesse considers her the family’s screw up. I could completely find myself in her lack of direction. Not knowing what you want to do with your life, feels scary. Though I also admire her for not settling. So when her new, and final choice brings her to Toronto, avoiding Blake becomes impossible.

Blake sees it as his opportunity to convince Jess to give them a real shot. He might radiate fun, and who doesn’t love a guy that can make you laugh? Though Blake is also caring, loves deeply, and is the type of guy you want on your side.

Good Boy was lovely, and is just what I needed. I laughed, I swooned, and I sighed longingly. Blake has stolen my heart. Him, and Jess are a great match. I loved seeing them together. Good Boy should definitely go to the top of your TBR list.

4 stars

WAGs Reading order and purchase links

good-boy-wags-1-by-sarina-bowen-elle-kennedy  stay-wags-2-by-sarina-bowen-elle-kennedy

Good BoyStay

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Him – Reading order and purchase links

him  businessman working on laptop in black suit

HimMy review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

US: My review – Amazon US – Amazon UK

Review- Lila (Boyle Heights #1) by Elizabeth Reyes

When two unlikely paths cross . . . compatibility seems improbable.

Adrift in a foul-mouthed world of ass kicking to survive life on the tough streets of Boyle Heights, Lila is anything but a refined girlie girl. Fighting tooth and nail for those she loves has left her with a chip on her shoulder as big as the gloves on her fists.

After years of being surrounded by glamorous glitzy women, Sonny didn’t even realize how much he’s yearned for someone of real substance. So, when he meets the unapologetic, sexy-as-hell Lila, her in-your-face candor awakens something in him he’s never felt before.

Despite Lila’s suspicions about Sonny’s intentions, the two begin a seemingly innocent, yet deliciously dangerous, online flirtation as his business keeps him away a lot.

The more their rapidly growing connection intensifies, the more Lila feels Sonny is too perfect to be true. But when she’s blindsided by the truth about who Sonny really is . . .

Compatibility suddenly feels impossible.

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Finally Lila is here, and I’m so happy about it. When Elizabeth Reyes talked about the foul-mouthed, bad-tempered girl, I was curious what she had in store for us. Lila is definitely not afraid to fight, though nine times out of ten it is to protect her sister.

Lila is a great character, I loved seeing a woman who was a bit more edgy, cursed like a sailor, and wasn’t even afraid to get physical. Though when it comes to men, she is like every other female. She tries to keep her cool when she meets Sonny, but she falls for him hard, and fast.

Sonny was charming, and sweet. From the first moment he sees Lila, and she has no clue who he is, that’s it. He is head over heels for her, and I loved how soft he was around her. Totally whipped really, but in an adorable way. Not to mention the chemistry between them was H-O-T!

Lila is a great start of a new series. We already know the second book is going to be about her little sister, Ali, who you’ll also love. I already can’t wait to read her story as well. Elizabeth Reyes is known for writing strong female characters, and Lila is a perfect addition to that.

4 stars

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Except & Review- Broken Pieces (Patchwork #1.5) by Toni Aleo

The rules of The Works have remained unchanged for centuries. There is to be no romantic mixing between any of the five supernatural clans.

But from the moment Oceanus von Stein, second-in-command to the Patchwork family, caught sight of Taegan Conner, daughter of the leader of the Wolves, he knew he would never love anyone else.

Only now, Taegan has been promised in marriage to another, an arrangement to strengthen her family’s alliances—and she gets no say in the matter.

Neither does Oceanus.

While they both know they have their places and responsibilities in their clans, their love is too strong. How can they let go of what they have? Though it is forbidden, Oceanus and Taegan won’t stop until they can have each other. The only problem is that the world is against them, and Oceanus has a threat to his sister’s life to vanquish.

Can they find a way to be together, or will they both always be two Broken Pieces?

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EXCERPT

As I watch my father sit, he doesn’t do so smoothly. His movements are jerky before he folds his old, leathery hands together and his eyes scan the room. The scars are very prominent on his face and hands. All the experiments he did on himself are visible, along with the scar tissue that is ancient and freakish on him. While his eyes are bright, from the new pair he just obtained, he looks like death. And tired. Very tired.
Clearing his throat, he lets his gaze fall on me, and I meet it head on.
“I had a meeting with Kurt Conner.”
Kurt Conner.
The pack leader of the wolves.
My love’s father.
Clearing my throat, I sit up straighter as my forearms lay against the cool top of the old oak table. Before I can comment, though, he is going on. “He needed a loan for the wedding of Taegan.”
What?
My world stops.
I feel all eyes on me. My father is staring at me, waiting for a response, but I don’t have one.
Because what the actual fuck is going on?
Did I hear him wrong?
“A wedding?”
“Yeah, she is marrying some other pack leader’s son—you know how those wolves are. Wanting to unite families with arranged marriage and all that wolfish nonsense, I don’t know. But I didn’t give him the money until—”
“Until?” I gasp, my heart in my throat, my stomach on the ground, and every piece of me feeling as if I am falling into the fiery depths of hell because surely I am hearing my father wrong.
Taegan is to marry me.
“He offered up some information on Frank Kelley—”
“He hasn’t died yet?” Jonas asks, and I know it’s to give me time. To let me think, to let me process, but I can’t. Taegan is to marry someone else? She didn’t even tell me. We were together last night! Had she known? Was she playing me? Damn it, what the hell? How could she allow me to find out this way? I mean, I knew my time was running out, but hell, did she keep this from me? I’ve never experienced heartache or true heartbreak, but I’m pretty sure this feeling of my chest caving in and blowing up is just that.
She’s marrying someone else?
She isn’t waiting for me?
Gasping for breath as I try to push the bile back down my throat, I watch as my father shakes his head. “Not yet. And apparently, they are wanting to attack us in one more attempt to get the formula for him. They think they can kidnap Rebekah and use her as leverage.”
I feel Rebekah move as she squeaks. “Me?”
“You. So we are on high alert. Keep your eyes open, and, Rebekah, I don’t want you working at the bar until this is taken care of. I have a meeting with Frank Kelley on Friday.”
“Father, I’m fine at the bar. It’s owned by our family, most of our family is there, along with JJ. The Kelleys don’t even come that much.”
“Yes, but other families come to the bar, and that makes me uncomfortable.”
“I’m fine, I can take care of myself.”
He leans on his desk, and I don’t care about their melodrama. I can’t. Even though I know I should intervene, calm both sides—because my father is right, we need to keep Rebekah underground while this goes on—I can’t help but think of the fact that my love is marrying another. Someone other than me. How in the world is this fair? Why didn’t she fight them? She told me she was mine, and I was hers. Why didn’t she wait for me?
And then it’s like I’m being slapped back into reality.
She didn’t wait for me because we can’t.
We can’t be selfish and love each other because we have commitments to our families. Yes, we love each other. Yes, she is my world, and I’ll love only her. But just like I have to, she has to protect her family. I’m sure there is something more to this, and while I wish she had told me, I know I can’t be upset. I have to respect the process of our families.
Being the eldest, we have no choice.
We don’t get to be greedy.
Wow, I don’t even believe I’m trying to convince myself.
How could she?

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REVIEW

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Broken Pieces takes place at the same time as Pieces, but it’s told from Oceanus’ point of view. We got to know the tough, sometimes even cold big brother, though the full truth is more complicated. As trapped as his sister, they are all at the mercy, and rules of their father.

He’s crazy in love with Teagan, as she is with him, though marriage is out of the question. Clans are not allowed to mix, and while running away at first might seem a good idea, the always being hunted part kind of interferes with that. Still Oceanus is biding his time ’till he becomes ruler of The Works, and can change the laws.

That time is running out though, when Teagan is set to marry someone else, and Oceanus’ dad is unwillingly to hand over the reigns. While there is definitely a Romeo and Juliet feel to their story, I feel the tyranny of the dad is the real evil here. I’m a believer in love conquers all, so I keep hoping for Teagan, and Oceanus to get their happily ever after.

The love between these two is undeniable, and seeing them being used by their family is heartbreaking. Getting to know Oceanus better, makes me believe he truly is a good guy, and when it comes to his family, especially his sister, his intentions are pure. He’s the protector of the family, the filter between his dad and his siblings, shielding them from the worst.

Though the story is not over yet. Rebekah is still on the run, and the danger is not over for her just yet. There is hope for Oceanus, and Teagan, only of he succeeds in bringing his sister back home. So I’m definitely looking forward to the next book. There are so many surprises, and twists, I’m curious to see what Toni Aleo comes up with next.

3 stars

Patchwork – Reading order and purchase links

pieces toni aleo  Except & Review- Broken Pieces (Patchwork #1.5) by Toni Aleo

Pieces (my review)

Broken Pieces

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misconduct-by-penelope-douglas

Former tennis player Easton Bradbury is trying to be the best teacher she can be, trying to reach her bored students and trying to forget her past. What brought her to this stage in her life isn’t important. She can’t let it be. But now one parent-teacher meeting may be her undoing…

Meeting Tyler Marek for the first time makes it easy for Easton to see why his son is having trouble in school. The man knows how to manage businesses and wealth, not a teenage boy. Or a young teacher, for that matter, though he tries to. And yet…there is something about him that draws Easton in—a hint of vulnerability, a flash of attraction, a spark that might burn.

Wanting him is taboo. Needing him is undeniable. And his long-awaited touch will weaken Easton’s resolve—and reveal what should stay hidden…

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REVIEW

Who knew politics could be this hot?! Freshly graduated teacher Easton falls for one of her student’s dad, who also happens to be in the running to become the next state’s Senator. Let me list all the ways this could go wrong:

  • Dating your student’s dad is frowned upon by pretty much everyone
  • Christian already hates his dad for being absent all his life, doing the nasty with his teacher is not a way to redeem yourself
  • There is a twelve-year age difference that will invite public criticism
  • In the other way around, dating your son’s teacher, while you’re running for Senator is just asking for bad polls

And while those are, I feel, legit concerns, when it comes to matters of the heart, reason, and sanity are rarely involved. I definitely loved the forbidden aspect of their romance. It also invited them to be creative, and Tyler Marek has one dirty mind.

There is that fear of getting caught, but also that fear of wanting more. ‘Cause when feelings start getting involved, it only becomes more complicated. That push, and pull between Tyler and Easton was quite interesting. Neither of them was looking for this, it wasn’t planned out to become more, though now it’s impossible to deny.

Tyler is quite an interesting character. He owns up to the mistakes he’s made with his son, and seeks to move forward from that, which I admire him for. Easton has her own troubled past that she has a hard time letting go off, though slowly but surely she’s getting there.

Misconduct was an amazing story I finished in one breath. The dynamic between the characters was off the charts, inside and outside of the bedroom. The depth of the characters, and the outside drama is what made it more than just a forbidden romance. Good plot development, character complexity, and easy flowing dialogue, I loved it.

4 stars

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someone-like-you-oxford-3-by-lauren-layne

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.

Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

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REVIEW

I’m so happy we finally get Lincoln’s story. It has always been clear there was more than meets the eye when it came to him. Though knowing his secret now, I did not see that coming.

For years he’s been portraying what people wanted to see. The carefree playboy is anything but that.

Daisy was not expecting Lincoln, and the connection they form. What starts as a relaxed friendship slowly turns into more. As long as both of them dare to open up their hearts again.

I’m really happy with Someone Like You. It was well worth the wait. Lincoln is still my favourite character in the series. Discovering this hidden depth inside him, only made me like him more.

4 stars

Oxford – Reading order and purchase links

*All books can be read as a standalone*

Irresistibly Yours  I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford #2) by Lauren Layne  someone-like-you-oxford-3-by-lauren-layne  i-knew-you-were-trouble-oxford-4-by-lauren-layne

Irresistibly Yours – You Were Mine (my review) – Someone Like You I Knew You Were Trouble

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