<i>Risky Behavior</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Risky Behavior: Exclusive Excerpt Cari Z and L.A. Witt "You’re going to need more than a day to get that out of me." <i>Public Relations</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Public Relations: Exclusive Excerpt Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebolini "I could feel my heart pounding, but couldn’t find any words." <i>Shacking Up</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Shacking Up: Exclusive Excerpt Helena Hunting "Oh God. I’d like to experience his not polite all over this condo." <i>The Untamed Vampire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Untamed Vampire: Exclusive Excerpt Kate Baxter "The wild wolf inside him howls for her..."
From The Blog
April 29, 2017
ICYMI: May New Romance Releases, Historical Heroines, and more!
Team H & H
April 28, 2017
9 Romances H&H Reviewers Loved in April 2017
Team H & H
April 27, 2017
Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Scarlett Cole and Sidney Halston
Team H & H
April 26, 2017
A Romance Virgin’s First Cover Shoot
Jennifer Proffitt
April 25, 2017
The Greatest Love Songs Don't Exactly End Happily
Laura Lee Guhrke
Showing posts by: Lime Cello click to see Lime Cello's profile
Feb 24 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Lauren Blakely’s The Hot One (February 28, 2017)

The Hot One by Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely
The Hot One
Lauren Blakely / February 28, 2017 / $10.99 print, $3.99 digital

At first glance, stripping naked at my ex-girlfriend's place of work might not seem like the brightest way to win her back. 

But trust me on this count—she always liked me best without any clothes on. And sometimes you've got to play to your strengths when you're fighting an uphill battle. As a lawyer, I know how to fight, and I'm prepared to fight hard for her. I might have let her slip through my fingers the last time, but no way will that happen twice.
He's the one who got away...
The nerve of Tyler Nichols to reappear like that, stripping at my job, showing off his rock hard body that drove me wild far too many nights. That man with his knowing grin and mischievous eyes is nothing but a cocky, arrogant jerk to saunter back into my life. Except, what if he's not...? 
He's the one I've tried like hell to forget but just can't. Maybe I'm cursed to remember him. My money is on him being the same guy he always was, but what's the harm in giving him a week to prove he's a new man? I won't fall for him again. 

But how do you resist the hot one...

Calling all reunion romance lovers. The Hot One is the book for you. 

​We've met both Tyler and Delaney in previous books. Tyler has been a recurring character in Lauren Blakely's other novels, and we met Delaney in The Only One. ​

I don't often say this but ... the blurb is misleading.

​ Tyler isn't so much a new man as the man he's always been. He's matured and undergone personal growth as humans are wont to do, but he was a good guy, and he still is a good guy. In a way, Delaney​ is the one who has to undergo the most change in The Hot One

​In the case of this romance, they're both hot. Ridiculously perfect, well established New Yorkers, living the dream. Tyler is a hotshot entertainment lawyer, and Delaney owns her own business in the city. They met at Brown, both thinking they'd be lawyers. (I know, I know, if you're at all in law as well, just ... imagine my expression right now. I read a book where it talks about the characters being pre-law. I had to suspend disbelief for some of the “law stuff” but it wasn't a deal breaker here.) Tyler obviously continued down that path, but Delaney became a massage therapist. They both excel in their fields. And speaking of hot, the book is too. Tyler and Delaney meshed sexually in college, and it's even more now.

[Read more...]

Feb 19 2017 3:00pm

Beth Kery’s Make Me Is Part Erotic Romance, Part Psychological Thriller!

Make Me by Beth Kery

Harper McFadden established herself as an investigative journalist by being both compassionate and fearless.

After tragedy strikes her family, she moves to the shores of Lake Tahoe to find some peace. But when mysterious software mogul Jacob Latimer enters her life, her thoughts turn from her own healing to an insatiable desire to get closer to him... No one knows what secrets lurk in the past of Jacob Latimer. He built his corporation from nothing, but rumors abound about his mysterious rise to power. Harper is the last person he should let into his life. She could expose the truth about his origins. But Jacob knows things about Harper’s past that draw him in. He wants nothing more than to make her his—and Jacob is a man who always gets what he wants...

Make Me was published as a serial, and I'm super excited that this is now available in book form. (*whispers* I'm not the biggest fan of serials—too impatient, I like reading stories all in one go.) I loved Beth Kery's Make Me when it first came out, and re-reading it for the “compilation” release just brought that home. The end just made me want to hug something - which is saying a lot. 

[Read more...]

Feb 8 2017 2:00pm

Reading Lisa Kleypas’ Wallflowers: Friendship Can Transform Even the Biggest Villain in Devil in Winter

In a delightful journey that began with Secrets of a Summer Night in 2004, we accompanied the Wallflowers—young society misses Annabelle, Lillian, Evangeline, and Daisy—as they banded together in a hunt for husbands that led to love and matrimony...if not always in that order.

But if we thought we’d seen the last of our beloved friends, we were (happily) wrong: Lisa Kleypas has announced the Wallflowers will return in her next historical romance, Devil in Spring with the story of Evangeline and Sebastian’s son!

In anticipation of Devil in Spring’s release on February 21, we’ve decided to do what any romance reader would: Revisit the books that started it all! And so, every week for the next four weeks, we invite you to join us in reading—whether for the first time or the fiftieth!—and discussing the first four Wallflower romances: Secrets of a Summer Night, It Happened One Autumn, Devil in Winter, and Scandal in Spring.

The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

If you read historical romance, you've probably read Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. Heck, if you read romance you've probably read this iconic love story. People have been waxing poetic about this book for over a decade, and for good reason. It's an unlikely pair that are thrown together, and become the iconic couple. A beautiful, warm, romantic love story.

What I want to focus on though, is the friendship. I wanted to talk about something a little different from what others usually do about this book. Of course, we know the quartet—the seasons stories are about the Wallflowers—four unlikely friends who come together as a support group, only for each women to find her perfect love. (In fact, Jessica discusses the friendship of the Wallflowers here.) For her part, without the love and support of Annabelle, Lilian, and Daisy, I don't think Evie would have ever had the confidence to go seek out Sebastian. Yes, of course, she was desperate, and felt that he was also desperate enough to go along with her madcap plan. I definitely don't want to take away from her impressive inner core. The stubbornness they say she inherited from her father, and likely her mother too. That's a big part too, but I think the firm friendships she'd developed let her feel comfortable, develop self worth, and want more helped spur it.

[A Villain to Hero Tale...]

Jan 9 2017 3:00pm

First Look: Lauren Blakely’s Full Package (January 9, 2017)

Full Package by Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely
Full Package
Lauren Blakely / January 9, 2017 / $10.99 print, $3.99 digital

I've been told I have quite a gift.
Hey, I don't just mean in my pants. I've got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing....
Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard...place.
Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy's smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man's got to do what a man's got to do.
I can resist Josie. I'm disciplined, I'm focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It'll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.
Spoiler—neither one of us sleeps. 
Did I mention she's also one of my best friends? That she's brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.
What's a man stuck in a hard place to do?

​Isn't it cute? That's basically the tone of the book. I've really liked Lauren Blakely's (loosely) connected series told from the hero's POV. Each book can stand alone, but they're all peripherally related. It's great. Each one stands alone, but it adds a little if you know the stories of the secondary characters as well. 

I really really really liked Full Package. It just made me happy. It was so nice to read a romance where the characters are adult, and human. What do I mean? They're incredibly dynamic. They aren't perfect—they're uncertain, awkward at times, emotional, busy, working to balance work and family... and present. They screw up, but talk about it and own up to their mistakes.

[Read more...]

Jan 2 2017 10:30am

First Look: Sarina Bowen’s Hard Hitter (January 3, 2017)

Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen
Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2)
Berkley / January 3, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

He’s a fighter in the rink, but he’s about to learn that playing nice can help you score...
As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O'Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team’s massage therapist.
After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she’s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O'Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O'Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good...

Hard Hitter is such a delightful book. I'm loving the Brooklyn Bruisers series. I like that the characters are dynamic and have flaws, but are such good people. The way Hard Hitter you really feel for Patrick. He's got such depth, but was so closed off. I really enjoyed every minute of reading Hard Hitter

[Read more...]

Dec 14 2016 12:00pm

First Look: HelenKay Dimon’s The Fixer (December 27, 2016)

The Fixer by HelenKay Dimon

HelenKay Dimon
The Fixer (Games People Play #2)
Avon / December 27, 2016 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

He’s known only as Wren. A wealthy, dangerously secretive man, he specializes in making problems disappear. A professional fixer, Wren hides a dark past, but his privacy is shattered when Emery Finn seeks him out—and what she wants from him is very personal.
Some people disappear against their will. Emery’s job is to find them and bring closure. Wren is the only person who can help solve Emery’s own personal mystery: the long-ago disappearance of her cousin. Just tracking down the sexy, brooding Wren is difficult enough. Resisting her body’s response to him will prove completely impossible.
Anonymity is essential to Wren’s success, yet drawn by Emery’s loyalty and sensuality, he’s pulled out of the shadows. But her digging is getting noticed by the wrong people. And as the clues start to point to someone terrifyingly close, Wren will have to put his haunted past aside to protect the woman he loves.

I loved the premise of this book. And Wren. However, I have to admit, I think my favorite character was Garrett. I loved his charm and humor, how he was almost a foil to Wren, but all that is only the surface. Not to say that isn't who he is—just that the man has hidden depths. The same can be said of Wren, only the opposite. Our hero is stern, mysterious, seriously hot, and powerful (in every way)...but he has the people skills of a grizzly bear. It's actually super adorable.

Emery is also the opposite of Wren in some ways, yet they match. Their separate yet shared experiences...the way they fit together... it works. 

[Read more...]

Nov 14 2016 4:00pm

First Look: Kristen Callihan’s Managed (November 14, 2016)

Managed by Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan
Managed (VIP #2)
Plain Jane / November 14, 2016 / $14.00 print, $3.99 digital

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big...ego.
I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.
That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.
I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.
If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.
Let the battle begin…

The VIP books are fast becoming one of my favorite series. Idol was first, and Managed is second. While Managed can definitely be read alone, and I usually am all for picking up and starting ​series ​wherever you like, I think it'd be really good to read Idol beforehand. First of all, it's an excellent book. Secondly, it just makes this book so much more because ... well, Gabriel Scott is one scary badass motherfucker. You do get that in Managed, but it's tempered by the delight that is Sophie Darling. And my god does everything about her fit her name. 

[Read more...]

Nov 1 2016 9:30am

First Look: Beth Kery’s Looking Inside (November 1, 2016)

Looking Inside by Beth Kery

Beth Kery
Looking Inside
Berkley / November 1, 2016 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital

If you like beautifully written, human, emotional stories that are perfectly nuanced, this is the book for you. Looking Inside has it all. Readers of contemporary and erotic romance, this is the book you've been waiting for. 

Trey ... might be the most perfect romance hero ever. I mean. Ever. He's a business mogul—but it's believable because he's in tech. Or, that's how he made his money. The how and why of it also makes sense—he was interested in music and connection, and combined the two. (Is it a bit of a rip off Facebook? Yes, but hey—at least it's believable and everyone is always telling me to suspend disbelief for romance, so there you go. This is me... suspending disbelief.) He's self-deprecating, but self-aware too. He's a good guy—and written very realistically. 

[Read more...]

Oct 20 2016 9:30am

Lauren Blakely’s The Sexy One is Actually Adorable

The Sexy One by Lauren Blakely

Let me count the ways why falling into forbidden love is not my wisest move...

1. She works with me every single day.

Did I mention she's gorgeous, sweet, kind and smart?

2. She works in my home.

Playing with my five-year-old daughter. Teaching my little girl. Cooking for my princess. Which means...

3. She's the nanny.

And that makes her completely off-limits...But it doesn't stop me from wanting her. All of her.


The other nannies in this city don't call him the Sexy One for nothing. My boss, the amazingly wonderful single father to the girl I take care of every day is ridiculously hot, like movie star levels with those arms, and those eyes, and that body. Not to mention, the way he dotes on his little girl melts me all over. But what really makes my knees weak are the times when his gaze lingers on me. In secret. When no one else is around. 

I can't risk my job for a chance at something more...can I? But I don't know how to resist him much longer either...

The Sexy One is a really fun, feel good read. The book can be read as a stand alone, but it exists in the same world as Big RockMister O, and Well Hung. You meet Simon and Abby and they're just kind of ... adorable. What I liked about this book is how very sweet it is. Sure, it's sexy, and there is crazy chemistry—but the focus is the relationship. It's two really good people developing a romantic relationship. They've gotten to know each other because—as it says, Abby is Simon's employee. She's the nanny for his five year old daughter Hayden. While the relationship could be extremely problematic, what helps is that the book starts seven months after the business relationship began. 

[Read more...]

Sep 13 2016 4:30pm

First Look: HelenKay Dimon’s The Talented Mr. Rivers (September 13, 2016)

The Talented Mr. Rivers by HelenKay Dimon

HelenKay Dimon
The Talented Mr. Rivers (Tough Love #2)
LoveSwept / September 13, 2016 / $3.99 digital

I don't read many romantic suspense novels, but I read ones HelenKay Dimon writes because I expect her to do a good job. That holds true with The Talented Mr. Rivers, which I enjoyed very much. In fact, while I was reading it, I thought “this is basically the perfect romantic suspense novel.” I liked that both our heroes are alpha males, and there's some questionable aspects of their characters. There was an extra layer to the characters that skated the edge. You couldn't flat out say they're good, wholesome guys. You have Hunter Cain, who is a chameleon, but in the end, a German secret agent, and then there's Will Rivers, the son of a crime lord (albeit one who was rather removed from his family). ... The former was the bodyguard of the latter. It's basically a mess from the start, and it's fantastic. There's so much conflict going on that has to be resolved, objectively. Then you throw in all the emotional upheaval and the always complicated aspect of trying to form a lasting romantic relationship, and you have a page turner that will be difficult to put down. 

[Read more...]

Sep 6 2016 2:00pm

First Look: Sarina Bowen’s Rookie Move (September 6, 2016)

Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen
Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1)
Berkley / September 6, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

Rookie Move is so heartfelt. Not exactly the first thing that generally comes to mind when you're talking sports romances but ... it's just such a great story. Leo Trevi might be the most constant romance hero there is out there. Both our hero and heroine are 24, and generally I scoff at that sort of thing—even more at high school sweethearts, which is what Leo and Georgia were ... but in this case? It works. It makes sense. They were together for two years, separated for six years ... and then meet again at the beginning of the book. (For those who really hate math, they began dating when they were 16.)

The book echoes their relationship in many ways. Things are very slow and prickly at first... and I think the issue and reason for it is Georgia herself. The storyline follows her progression and growth as a person. At the start she's kickass, has a high powered job she's very good at ... but closed off. You would never say it—never even think it about her ... but she's in stasis. She's a little bit broken. I do want to note that Rookie Move itself starts a smidge slowly, so give it a chance. (Or at least, I felt that way. I might've already had my hackles up though because of the heels thing that opens the book.) However, it makes sense that cautious interaction and pacing is necessary because of the way Georgia and Leo split up (and why). Both are a little bit stuck in their hurt, and have to address their issues before moving on. The culmination of Leo's journey breaks your heart a little. He's just such a good guy.

[Read more...]

Sep 2 2016 12:30pm

We Accept Katee Robert’s Indecent Proposal

An Indecent Proposal by Katee Robert

We've got more O'Malley's! An Indecent Proposal by Katee Robert, features Cillian O'Malley and Olivia Rashidi, who I can't really describe without spoilers, so this is going to be fun and exciting. If you loved book two (The Wedding Pact), I think you'll love book three even more. I do want to note that the blurb/back cover copy is a tad misleading because Olivia is... not exactly what I would call a “mob princess.” At all. 

​You wouldn't think so at first glance, but Cillian and Olivia's story is rather romantic. Of course, couched in the criminal underworld, and all that entails—but with that in mind ... there are a lot of sweet moments. What's nice is the balance, because you know you're going to get dark and gritty from the story, but from the start, Cillian is captivated. Olivia is a prickly bitch, and with good reason. Her defense mechanism doesn't work with Cillian, and the two of them connect. Aside from her messed up family, she has to be a mama bear, and protect her young daughter. (And oh, the scenes where Cillian interacts with Hadley. It's precious.) 

[Read more...]

Aug 23 2016 1:00pm

First Look: Nalini Singh’s Wild Embrace (August 23, 2016)

Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh
Wild Embrace (Psy/Changeling Anothology)
Berkley / August 23, 2016 / $16.00 print, $11.99 digital

The “alpha author of paranormal romance”* presents a stunningly sensual collection of four all-new Psy-Changeling novellas, in which taboos are broken, boundaries are crossed, and instincts prove irresistible...

Echo of Silence

In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life’s work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander...


A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration—until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play...

Partners in Persuasion

Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he’s the most fascinating man she’s ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him…

Flirtation of Fate

Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries...

​We're back into the Psy/Changeling world! I love the vignettes Nalini Singh sends in her newsletters, and actually, the first Psy/Changeling story I ever read was Nate and Tammy's story—also a novella—so I'm especially fond of these. Some authors do better writing longer stories, and something seems like it's missing if they try to write something shorter. Or vice versa. Not so here—Singh is equally gifted at writing stories of all lengths—she writes what fits for the characters.

I want to be clear—all of these stories can be read as a stand alone. You don't have to have read any of the previous Psy/Changeling books or stories. If you have, you'll know more about the cast of [secondary] characters. If you haven't, you'll definitely be able to figure it out, and everything necessary is laid out.​

[Read more...]

Aug 2 2016 11:00am

First Look: Lorelei James’ Just What I Needed (August 2, 2016)

Just What I Needed by Lorelei James

Lorelei James
Just What I Needed (The Need You Series)
Signet / August 2, 2016/ $7.99 print & digital

I am so excited to talk to you all about Just What I Needed  by Lorelei JamesSo excited! It is the second book in the Need You series, and it is by far and away one of the best books I've read this year. I talked about the first book, What You Need, back in January (although technically I read it in December...), but Just What I Needed even topped my love of that one. Ms. James is on a roll with these books, y'all. I think any lover of romance would enjoy (these) books.

First of all, let’s talk about these characters. Not only are Trinity and Walker extremely dynamic—well developed, great personalities, realistically flawed—the secondary characters jump off the page as well. Trinity has a smaller circle, but the Lund family. My goodness. It was great to see that both Trinity and Walker have their issues, and it was a balanced relationship. In fact, at one point, Walker thinks to himself that he knows Trinity doesn't need him—she's a strong independent woman. But, he'd just like it if she needed him a little bit. (Spoiler: she does.)

[Read more...]

Jun 7 2016 3:00pm

First Look: Kristen Callihan’s Idol (June 7, 2016)

Idol by Kristen CallihanKristen Callihan
Idol (VIP series # 1)
Plain Jane / June 7, 2016 / $4.99 digital


I found Killian drunk and sprawled out on my lawn like some lost prince. With the face of a god and the arrogance to match, the pest won't leave. Sexy, charming, and just a little bit dirty, he's slowly wearing me down, making me crave more.

He could be mine if I dare to claim him. Problem is, the world thinks he's theirs. How do you keep an idol when everyone is intent on taking him away?


As lead singer for the biggest rock band in the world, I lived a life of dreams. It all fell apart with one fateful decision. Now everything is in shambles.

Until Liberty. She's grouchy, a recluse —and kind of cute. Scratch that. When I get my hands on her, she is scorching hot and more addictive than all the fans who've screamed my name. 

The world is clamoring for me to get back on stage, but I'm not willing to leave her. I've got to find a way to coax the hermit from her shell and keep her with me. Because, with Libby, everything has changed. Everything.

really liked this book. Kristen Callihan's Idol is a beautifully written romance, and I had the biggest smile on my face after I finished it. Then I immediately went to social media and told everyone they wanted this book. I love me some rockstar romances, but I think Idol belongs with the others at the top of the pack.

[There is one quibble...]

May 5 2016 4:30pm

So Good, So Sweet—So Right with Rebekah Weatherspoon!

So Right by Rebekah Weatherspoon

First comes love. Then comes…the most ill timed proposal in history? 

Kayla Davis never dreamt she’d meet sexy, considerate, and seriously sweet Internet billionaire, Michael Bradbury, but ten months after Michael went from Sugar Daddy to for real boyfriend she can’t imagine spending another day without him. Cohabitation is totally working—throw in a puppy or two and Kayla has her happily ever after wrapped up in a perfect little bow. 

Until she finds out Michael might have bigger plans for their future, like marriage, kids, and ownership of a professional sports team. Kayla is more than ready to join Michael on this amazing ride through the next chapter of their lives, but first she needs to catch her breath and see if Michael is ready to be a part of a team and not just the boss.

I loved the first installment. I even wrote a post about it. I don't think I realized it was a serial, effectively, until now, but what helps is that each part can stand alone, or end where it does. I would definitely recommend reading So Sweet, though, because it gives all the background. This story hits the highlights, so if you didn't care to read from the start, you wouldn't have to, but I think you'd miss a lot. Also, you should just read it if you haven't already because it's a great story that was highly recommended to me. (Which is why I picked it up, because otherwise? Sugar Daddies/Babies...not my thing.)

Back to the stories. I actually want to re-read them back-to-back now. I'm also—now make sure you're sitting down here—hoping for more. I know. Someone go check and see if the sky has fallen. Lime wants more of not just a series, but a serial. Maybe someone go find a priest—I may have been possessed. ;) I've also heard from Ms. Weatherspoon that there will be more. I fully expect to see more of the secondary characters, and a wedding. Imagine the wedding of two incredibly down-to-earth, yet wealthy individuals that have also basically become public figures. Good times.

[You can't help but want their life...]

Apr 26 2016 9:30am

First Look: Katee Robert’s The Wedding Pact (April 26, 2016)

The Wedding Pact by Katee Robert

Katee Robert
The Wedding Pact (O'Malley's #2)
Forever / April 26, 2016 / $5.99 print & digital

Carrigan O'Malley has always known her arranged marriage would be more about power and prestige than passion. But after one taste of the hard-bodied, whiskey-voiced James Halloran, she's ruined for anyone else. Too bad James and his family are enemy number 1. 

Hallorans vs. O'Malleys—that's how it's always been. James should be thinking more about how to expand his family's empire instead of how silky Carrigan's skin is against his and how he can next get her into his bed. Those are dangerous thoughts. But not nearly as dangerous as he'll be if he can't get what he wants: Carrigan by his side for the rest of their lives.

The best and worst thing about this book is that basically it happens in a vacuum. Let me explain—Carrigan and James are enemies not only because of their families ... but also because James had previously kidnapped Carrigan and his father was going to kill her. ... Yeah, normally I'm a big proponent of reading as you wish, and following series orders at will. While Katee Robert's The Wedding Pact technically can be read alone, I'd strongly advise reading The Marriage Contract (which was one of my top reads in 2015). 

[So where do we sign the license...]

Mar 28 2016 5:00pm

First Look: Kimberly Dean’s Courting Suspicion (March 29, 2016)

Courting Suspicion by Kimberly Dean

Kimberly Dean
Courting Suspicion (Courting #4)
Mischief / March 29, 2016 / $3.99 digital

It's difficult to run when you want to get caught. Book Four of the Courting Series.

Washington DC's elite escort service, Luxxor is known for its beautiful companions and its discretion. Nina Lockwood — classy, gorgeous, and whip-smart — has spent years building this risky business, but everything is put in jeopardy when a bull-headed, sexy detective starts poking around.

Josh Morgan is the last man on earth she should be attracted to, but Nina can't help it. A romance with a member of the Metro Police would be reckless, but she fantasizes about taking on her role of a D.C. madam in a more personal and pleasurable way.

Josh has always been suspicious of Luxxor but is more intrigued by the mystery of the woman who runs it. He knows she's hiding secrets and he wants to discover each and every one of them — in uniform or not.

But when a Luxxor escort is found in a compromising situation with a prominent politician, the true cat-n-mouse game begins. Can Josh and Nina lower their guards to trust one another and give in to the attraction they both feel? Or will their suspicion minds keep them from seeing the true conspiracy going on behind the scenes?

Courting Suspicion is the book I've been waiting for in this series. It's one of the best books I've read in 2016, and I loved both Nina and Josh. I want to be Nina, or if I can't, I'd love to be friends with her (or someone just like her). If you have (a) Nina on your side, you're golden. While Courting Suspicion is the fourth book in the Courting Series, I think it can be read as a stand alone. Of course, the other books (Courting TroubleCourting Innocence) help with context, but they aren't necessary. In fact, I think book three (Courting Danger) might hold the most weight, and it's the one of the series I haven't read (yet)—I've even read the novellas one and two (Courting Jealousy). I do recommend reading the other books first though.

[You haven't been courted right yet? ...]

Jan 11 2016 3:00pm

First Look: Elle Kennedy’s The Score (January 11, 2016)

The Score by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy 
The Score (Off Campus Series #3)
Elle Kennedy / January 11, 2016 / $4.99 digital

He knows how to score, on and off the ice 

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands. 

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

I've read both Elle Kennedy's The Deal and The Mistake and I just knew I had to read The Score and see our resident playboy manwhore Dean Di-Laurentis fall head over heels in love. (He's unapologetically a player and loves those titles.) It's basically my favorite thing when such heroes are brought to their knees. However, Dean falls in love pretty easily. He doesn't resist it, and he pursues Allie with an impressive single-mindedness. Allie Hayes is kind of a badass. While it's never thrown out there like Dean's personality and reputation, Allie is going to be a big name in the acting world. She's got the talent and the opportunity.

[Dean is back and he's grown up ...]

Jan 9 2016 3:00pm

What You Need is a Self-Conscious Alpha: Lorelei James’s Brady Lund

Both our male and female protagonists experience significant growth in Lorelei James's What You Need. I liked that Brady seems to be your (dare I say stereotypical?) alpha male tycoon on the surface … but no! He has vulnerabilities and insecurities. In fact, he's rather awkward, conscious of the fact, and self-conscious about it. And for Lennox, that she didn't run from who she was. She has changed, grown as a person, and has decided she wants to be part of corporate America … but she doesn't cut herself off from people in her past. (Well, the ones that shouldn't be excised.) Maybe it was just me, but I didn't get such a “bad girl” vibe from her. 

I liked that that was the focus of the book. The people, and the romance. There weren't a lot of extraneous factors or manufactured drama, just real life. Which I always maintain is interesting and crazy enough. Especially when you're working for a major company, and one of you is the CFO, and you're trying to establish a (romantic) relationship. Especially when mothers are involved. One mother is terrifying but good, the other is terrifying in terms of the mess she might make. And bad. What You Need is a workplace romance. What I found enjoyable is that it's not your typical office romance. Lund Industries doesn't have a no fraternization policy ... but Ms. James still addresses the pitfalls of what is effectively a boss/employee relationship. 

[An alpha male who can be tamed ...]