Tag Archives: swoony boys

Seven Ways We Lie, by Riley Redgate

21 Jan

26240663Format: e-ARC, 343 pages

Publisher: Abrams Kids/Amulet Books

Published: 8 March, 2016

ISBN: 9781419719448

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: Seven students. Seven (deadly) sins. One secret.

Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—from Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage, to Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the seven unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.

My review: This took me ages to get around to, but once I started I wondered why I had been putting it off. It seems quite fitting that a high school should be the setting for a book about the seven deadly sins, and although you could assign one sin to each of the seven main characters, in fact they were not so one-dimensional. I have totally known a few envious Claires in my time (and been her), so even though she was the worst-behaved character she rang very true. Matt, allegedly the sloth, was actually lovely, and his scenes with his little brother were the best. Olivia was more misunderstood than the “lust” label would indicate, and I loved the way she owned her sexuality.

The parents in this are generally absent, which annoys me as a parent myself. I expected Juniper’s to put their foot down, but what happened with them surprised me. I must add that a teacher at my high school married a senior after she graduated, not long before I started there, so I can understand how a young teacher must find it difficult when they are not much older than their students. The way the teacher and student met in this story made it not seem creepy, which I appreciated.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and found it hard to put down once I’d started. I’m looking forward to reading Redgate’s subsequent work.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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Eye Candy, by by Tijan, Tara Sivec, J. Daniels, Helena Hunting, and Bella Jewel

14 Jan

35265623Format: e-ARC, 660 pages

Publisher: Swerve

Published: 5 September, 2017

ISBN: 9781250148230

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: A frightfully good time! Dive into these Halloween novellas from bestselling authors Tijan, J. Daniels, Helena Hunting, Bella Jewel and Tara Sivec. Featuring stories set in the worlds of their popular series.

My review: I didn’t much like the Tijan story, which was the first thing I’ve read by her, but the rest of this anthology was solid and very enjoyable. The best story by far was Helena Hunting’s, and I’m keen to read more with these characters. I think I’ll also have to check out the other writers in the collection, too, whom I haven’t read before.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

 

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When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon

29 Jul

32934117Format: e-ARC, 320 pages

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: May 30, 2017

ISBN: 9781473667402

Genre: Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

My review: I read this in a day and thought it was a delight. I loved the fact Dimple was a modern girl and Rishi supported the old traditions – the story wouldn’t have worked if Rishi hadn’t been willing to keep trying to win her over, and that meant it also didn’t fall into the old instalove trap. I think my Indian friends would totally relate. The minor characters didn’t interest me as much, but I liked Rishi’s brother a lot. This book is geeky and swoony and fun. Highly recommended.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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The Ones Who Got Away, by Roni Loren (sneak peek)

12 Apr

Format: e-ARC, sneak peek of first three chapters

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

To Be Published: January 2, 2018

ISBN: 9781492651406

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: A fresh new contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestseller Roni Loren that will rock your world.

Twelve years ago, tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a small number of students survived, a group the media dubbed as The Ones Who Got Away.

Now, web designer Liv Arias, along with the rest of the survivors, have returned to the small Texas town to tell their stories for a documentary. Which means Liv seeing former star-athlete and old flame Finn Dorsey. A lot happened between them that night and Liv is ready to end their decade-long riff and move on. But when her attempt at closure turns into a steamy kiss, moving on proves much more difficult than either of them thought…

Liv’s words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she’d known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package. The smooth face was now dusted with scruff, and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence. A thousand things were in those eyes. A thousand things welled up in Liv.

My review: *** This review is for a sneak peek of the first three chapters, which were provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

Oh, this is sooo good! I haven’t read a Roni Loren book before but I’ve been aware of her work and her writing advice, so when I saw the unique premise in the blurb I knew I had to have it. Even from just the sneak peek I can get a good sense of the characters and what they have been through as survivors of a school shooting. Twelve years later they’ve returned to film a documentary, and the chemistry between Liv and her secret love, Finn, doesn’t appear to have diminished, although she has blamed him for what happened to her that day. He’s a bit of a man of mystery as an adult, and – this goes without saying – super hot. Just this taster was not enough and I cannot wait to read the rest of the story. Is it January yet?

My rating: 5/5

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Frostblood, by Elly Blake

22 Feb

31134210Format: e-ARC, 304 pages

Publisher: Hachette Australia/Hodder & Stoughton

Published: January 10, 2017

ISBN: 9781473635173

Genre: Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: The first in a page-turning young adult fantasy series perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN and Sarah J. Maas’s THRONE OF GLASS series.

In a land governed by the cruel Frostblood ruling class, seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has spent most of her life hiding her ability to manipulate heat and light – until the day the soldiers come to raid her village and kill her mother. Ruby vows revenge on the tyrannous Frost King responsible for the massacre of her people.

But Ruby’s powers are unpredictable…and so are the feelings she has for Arcus, the scarred, mysterious Frostblood warrior who shares her goal to kill the Frost King, albeit for his own reasons. When Ruby is captured by the Frost King’s men, she’s taken right into the heart of the enemy. Now she only has one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who took everything from her – and in doing so, she must unleash the powers she’s spent her whole life withholding.

FROSTBLOOD is set in world where flame and ice are mortal enemies – but together create a power that could change everything.

My review: That beautiful cover was the first thing that made me want to read this book, and coupled with the blurb I knew it would be right up my alley. I wasn’t disappointed, and couldn’t put it down once I started reading. Ruby is a wonderful heroine, the only Fireblood left in a world of ice manipulators. She is imprisoned more than once, but fights on until it almost appears all is lost.

Her initial rescuers, an elderly monk and a mysterious soldier with a covered face, train her to fight and use her powers to destroy the evil Frostblood throne, and although they start out full of animosity for each other, I loved the way Arcus and Ruby came to love each other. His secret was fairly obvious for me early on, but that never detracted from the story or the big reveal at the end. I only wish we had seen Brother Thistle again to make sure he was okay. The second book can’t some soon enough for me.

This is a fantastic debut and I look forward to reading more from Elly Blake.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

14 Jan

Format: e-ARC, 363 pages

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: August 9, 2016

ISBN: 9780349414256

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: NEMESIS (n)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work – except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything – especially when a huge promotion is on offer.
If Lucy wins, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn’t hate him. And just maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game . . .

My review: The Hating Game is one of those books from which you resent real life taking you away. Many times I had to put it down to go and do RL stuff, only to find myself muttering “Joshua Templeman…” I loved the snarky banter, and the swoons were many. Nothing came as a surprise, as I was paying attention and could see where things were going, but I loved it all nonetheless. I think Sally Thorne is about to become my latest auto-buy author. When I started this I was unaware she was someone who had been recommended to me often by friends in an online writing community, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was fantastic. I highly recommend, and will be keeping a keen eye out for Thorne’s next project.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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Rock Wedding (Rock Kiss #4), by Nalini Singh

10 Nov

30832928Format: e-ARC, 248 pages

Publisher: TKA Distribution

Published: July 19, 2016

ISBN: 9781942356370

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love…even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

My review: This book should be called Rock Weddings because there are several in this book, making it a nice way to see out the members of Schoolboy Choir. Abe and his ex-wife, Sarah, are perfect for each other and their story is perhaps one of the better ones of the series. I didn’t think I’d like Abe, given his drug history and the way he is depicted at the start of this book, but he really made an effort to turn his life around. I have to admit I waited a long time for the other shoe to drop, but there was no sudden twist, and that’s probably why I can’t give this another cupcake. However, it was great to see all the other couples and know they all got their HEAs. I believe Nalini Singh plans to write some spinoffs about Gabriel’s brothers, so I look forward to that.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

4cupcakes

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The Sun Is Also A Star, by Nicola Yoon

8 Nov

29863451Format: e-ARC, 348 pages

Publisher: Corgi Children’s

Published: November 3, 2016

ISBN: 9780552574242

Genre: Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

My review: The cover of this book is string art which strikingly and beautifully spells out the title. It is also a great metaphor for the story, in which the protagonists – Natasha, a Jamaican-born American girl about to be deported, and Daniel, a Korean boy on his way to get a haircut for the Yale interview he doesn’t want – are just two of the lives affected by their chance meeting. Interspersed with their POVs are snippets of some of the lives they touch during the course of their day together, from the suicidal security guard, to a grieving motorist, to the cheating lawyer and his mistress. Although Natasha and Daniel don’t know it, they profoundly change all these people just from their brief encounters, showing that like the string art, we are all connected to each other and decisions we make affect other people we may not even know.

Of course, this book is about an instant connection, which may sound like instalove but really isn’t that bad. It’s more like Daniel, a poet, is infatuated with Natasha and he wins over her scientific, sceptical mind during the course of the day as he tries to convince her to love him back. Even though they separate to attend appointments, they still manage to find each other in crowded New York when coincidences draw them back together. It may sound far-fetched, but the story rang so true to me, and would be another book by this author that I could see as a feature film. I liked Daniel a lot more than Natasha, mainly because he’s so sweet and swoony, and she’s a bit prickly and doesn’t even tell her parents when there’s a possibility they may not be deported that night. But my main hatred is saved for Fitzgerald. I could have throttled him.

The prose is beautiful and the feels are many. Nicola Yoon has done it again. Fantastic.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5), by Jennifer Estep

20 Sep

27876414Format: e-ARC, 100 pages

Publisher: Pocket Star

Published: July 18, 2016

ISBN: 9781501142291

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy

Back cover blurb: The New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella–from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, the foster brother of Gin Blanco, and a fan favorite of readers of the series.

The fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.

But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.

Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes…

My review: I’ve always been a big fan of Finnegan Lane, but after Bitter Bite – and yes, you must read that first before tackling this novella – he’s been ostracized by almost everyone except Gin and the gang. His boss at the bank is making him attend all the funerals of his dead coworkers, even though no one wants him there, and it is just before the last of these that he discovers the widow is being shaken down by an Ashland baddie for the life insurance policy.

Now, Finn is not his father’s son for nothing, so he takes it upon himself to help her out, sans Gin, and gets back a little of his self-esteem in the process. I really enjoyed this in the same way I enjoyed Owen’s novella, as a nice way to gain closure on a difficult episode. Loved the ending, and now I can go on to the next book without worrying too much about Finn’s mental health.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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Happy Release Day: Well Hung, by Lauren Blakely (plus excerpt)

12 Sep

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✮✮✮WELL HUNG is now available! ✮✮✮

A hot and hilarious standalone romantic comedy, WELL HUNG is about an easy going, and well hung gentleman who’s been burned by love in the past but finds himself falling fast and hard for the one person he cannot have. It takes everything you love about a Lauren Blakely novel –witty dialogue, smoking hot sex scenes, and heartfelt moments –and puts them into one fantastic book! Told in the guy’s POV, WELL HUNG is the sexy, irreverent tale of what happens when a carpenter who’s good with all his tools accidentally marries his gorgeous and fiery assistant one night in Vegas. The trouble is…what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas in this twist on an office romance.

 

“Well Hung should come with the label ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ because there isn’t one single sentence I didn’t absolutely love of this story! This book has laugh-out-loud humor as well as a romance that’s both heartwarmingly sweet and deliciously dirty.”

-Yvette at Nose Stuck in a Book

 

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“Deliciously naughty and side-splittingly hilarious!”

Kelly at Beneath the Covers

 

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ABOUT WELL HUNG:

✮✮✮ WELL HUNG is here!✮✮✮

From the NYT Bestselling author of MISTER O, comes a hot and hilarious new standalone…

Here’s what you need to know about me — I’m well-off, well-hung and quick with a joke. Women like a guy who makes them laugh–and I don’t mean at the size of his d*ck. No, they want their funny with a side of huge… not to mention loyal. I’ve got all that plus a big bank account, thanks to my booming construction business. Yup. I know how to use all my tools.

Enter Natalie. Hot, sexy, smart, and my new assistant. Which makes her totally off limits…

Hey, I’m a good guy. Really. I do my best to stay far away from the kind of temptation she brings to work. Until one night in Vegas…

Yeah, you’ve heard this one before. Bad news on the business front, drowning our sorrows in a few too many Harvey Wallbangers, and then I’m banging her. In my hotel room. In her hotel room. Behind the Titanic slot machine at the Flamingo (don’t ask). And before I can make her say “Oh God right there YES!” one more time, we’re both saying yes–the big yes–at a roadside chapel in front of a guy in press-on sideburns and a shiny gold leisure suit.

But it turns out what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. And now, my dick doesn’t stay in my pants when she’s around. I try to resist. Honest. But the more we try to keep our hands to ourselves, the more we end up naked again, and the more time I want to spend with her fully clothed, too. The question now is…do I take this woman to be my ex-wife?

Amazon US | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Google Play

 

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“Romantic, hilarious, & ridiculously HOT!”

Musings of the Modern Belle

“You heard it first from us: Lauren Blakely wrote the HOTTEST rollercoaster scene ever!”

-The Rock Stars of Romance

Excerpt:

Let’s back up.

How did we get from not kissing to kissing? What was that turning point? Did she lean into me? Did I move closer to her? Details matter. I’ll gladly share them.

Start with six months of sexual tension. Add in two mojitos for her, two beers for me, and a couple vodka tonics. Stir that with some bad news on the business front, and top it with the cherry of Natalie’s hit-me-over-the-head-with-a-stick comment that left no question as to what she wanted…and here I am.

We don’t lean into each other. There’s no inch-by-slow-sensual-inch pull. It’s not a slow burn.

It’s a fiery crash. We’re two cars speeding on the highway of this night, and we slam into each other, crawl across the hoods, and kiss like crazy.

Nothing is tentative about this. We go from not kissing to kissing in less than sixty nanoseconds. Yeah, I don’t really know what a nanosecond is, either. But it happens in no time.

And now my hand is in her hair, yanking her close as we crush our lips together. We kiss hard and rough, fueled by pent-up desire and more than enough vodka and rum to make this inevitable.

Her teeth scrape me, and I growl, loving her roughness. I suck hard on her bottom lip, and I’m rewarded by nearly the same sound from her. She’s like a tiger, and together we’re animals.

I grip her head tighter, and her hands are all over me—in my hair, then down my chest, then along my arms. We kiss so deeply, it’s like we’re trying to climb each other.

At some point, she breaks off, breathes out hard, then whispers in my ear, “I’ve wanted to do that for so long.”

“Not as long as I have. Now get those lips back on mine,” I tell her, and she complies.

My hands cup her cheeks, but I’m not gentle, and she doesn’t want me that way. She’s not a gentle girl. She’s badass and tough, and she wants what I want. I hold her face tightly in my hands, and she practically crawls into my lap in a rush to get closer, then closer still as she presses her tits against my chest.

I’m seated on a stool at the bar, and we are putting on some kind of show. But I don’t care.

My tongue searches and hunts, wanting to taste every corner of her mouth, savoring the vodka and the tonic and, most of all, the Natalie. She whimpers and moans, and I swallow every sexy sound she makes.

This stool is ours. This bar is ours. The night belongs to this kiss, because it’s not a starter kiss. It contains all the clues necessary to assemble the puzzle of where this night will end.

With unwavering certainty, I know what kind of kiss this is.

As I explore her mouth, and she claims mine with equal urgency, I know that I will be fucking Natalie tonight.

 

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And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!

BIG ROCK
MISTER O

 

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✮✮✮Enter to win three signed copies of WELL HUNG! ✮✮✮

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author-pic-lauren-blakelyAbout Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With ten New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than fifty times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK and MISTER O, which were both instant New York Times Bestsellers. In the fall she’ll release WELL HUNG, another romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter, laurenblakely.com/newsletter!

 

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