Boy Toy (Man Hands, #3)

Boy Toy by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby: Review by Cupcake

Boy Toy (Man Hands, #3)

Blurb:

A brand new romantic comedy from your favorite snort-laughing duo!

Liam

The moment Sadie Matthews walks through the daycare center door, I feel my world tilt in her direction. Again. I fell for her when I was fourteen, and I’m still not over her. Problem: she still thinks of me as a teen she used to babysit. But I’ve learned a few things about pleasing a woman in the last fifteen years. I can’t wait to show her how good it could be. I need to move quickly before I lose her again. This is more than a game to me, but I still plan to win.

Sadie

I’ve just survived the worst year of my life. As a single mom of twin toddlers, I don’t have time for a man. I barely have time to finish a thought. Who knew that Liam McAllister would grow up to be so devastating? He’s everything my husband was not: tall, built, and willing to have a tea party with my girls.

I can’t possibly get involved with him. He’s too young for me. Too handsome. But he’s so persuasive…

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4.5 stars

Boy Toy is rom com at its finest.

I barely even made it to 20% and I had already cackled, chortled and chuckled.

Sadie is final member of this little sisterhood to find her HEA and the one I identified the most with. She’s kind of a hippie chick, loves pillows and works in the mental health field. She’s getting her life back together after her butt lick of a husband left her shortly after she gave birth to their twin daughters. Decker is a butt lick. Trust me.

She’s reluctantly trying to get her groove back when she runs into a blast from the past: Liam.

She was hired to babysit Liam’s younger siblings and left an impression on 14 yr old Liam. I know this because 14 yr old Liam has a tendency to interject thoughts into 29 yr old Liam’s psyche to hilarious effect.

Liam is all grown up now and makes Sadie a wee bit drooly with his six pack abs and penchant for running shirtless. To add to the ovary explodingness, he’s working towards his Ph.D. in childhood development at the girls’ daycare. He’s really great with the girls and they adore him. There were so many moments where my heart gave a squeeze: when Amy calls him Wiam, when he gave Kate the golden Band-Aid. So adorable! True, he used his chocolate chip smiley face pancake magic too woo them but he then proceeded to prove himself worthy of their adoration time and time again. Not only that but any guy who will hold your hair while you praise the porcelain god is deserving of a little adoration, in my opinion.

So, yeah, I liked Liam. More importantly, I loved Liam and Sadie together.

There’s something about this known-each-other-for-years/unrequited to requited trope that always appeals to me and Boy Toy is another to add to the collection. I can see it becoming a comfort read.

Both Sadie and Liam came across as genuine. Both had depth with the addition of a little water under the bridge that fleshed them out. Both do a pretty good job of communicating their needs excepting the very brief hiccup that was needed for Sadie to gain clarity. The level of attraction that exists between them was palpable but maybe more important than anything else, they have fun together. They fit together regardless of the 6 yr age difference between them. They make time for each other and trust one another making their future a foregone conclusion to my mind.

There is a teeny tiny sliver of hurt/comfort as Sadie’s ex did a number on her self-image but in the face of Liam’s overwhelming desire that negative self-image doesn’t stand a chance. If bossy in the bedroom appeals to you, you’ll enjoy the sexy times.

There are a plethora of comedic moments but Kate and Amy stole the show. I was laughing so hard at Kate at the big fancy party that I had to put my kindle down. Because I couldn’t see it! The kid is a firecracker and her antics are side-splitting.

I sure do hope these two authors continue to work together because they have some mojo that creates comedy gold. This and Man Hands are the funniest books I’ve read this year, so I hope the hits keep coming. Maybe a spinoff involving Sadie and Liam’s siblings? Or a follow up to this one?

Recommend this book and this series to fans of the rom-com and anyone who likes a sweet romance that’s a little bit spicy and a whole lot funny.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers #5)

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid: Review by Cupcake

Dr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers, #5)
Blurb:

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

Dr. Strange Beard is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a stand-alone, and is the fifth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Winston Brothers series.

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4.25 Stars

I love this series.

I love Green Valley. I love the Southerness of both the town and the people in it.

And I love the Winstons.

Some more than others. I’m looking at you, Cletus. I always look forward to catching up with everyone whenever a new Beard book comes out. There is a coziness about them and simply put, they make me feel good. For me, there’s no higher compliment than that.

Dr. Strange Beard is Roscoe’s book. Roscoe is the youngest of the Winston clan, the quiet one and a vet. Truthfully, I was hoping for more puppies; there is one scene that will likely leave anyone with ovaries deceased but there can never be too many puppies is all I’m saying. Or dogs. Or any cute animals. I’m not picky.

Roscoe has an eidetic situational memory that sounds like more of curse than a blessing. He remembers people after only meeting them once. He remembers the stories they tell him verbatim. He remembers every conversation he’s ever had complete with all the sense memories which makes him an exceptional storyteller, but also brings with it the inability to “unfeel” painful memories. Roscoe’s memories of his and Simone’s time together as kids pulled at my heartstrings and fleshed out their friends to lovers/unrequited to requited love story.

Roscoe’s been hopelessly in love with Simone Payton since forever. They grew up together as best friends, did everything together, including their first kiss. At 16, when Roscoe finally worked up the courage to tell her that she was it for him, she was drunk and not only didn’t reciprocate his feelings but hurt him. He literally could not forget it, reliving that pain over and over again every time he saw her was unbearable so he ghosted her.

For 10 years.

Simone eventually moved on but she never forgot nor did she ever understand what happened to make Roscoe leave her, because she didn’t remember his declaration. Back in Green Valley for work puts her on a collision course toward Roscoe. Of course events transpire that make Roscoe the easiest conduit to achieve her goal, because of course they do.

The Iron Wraiths plot line has been ongoing throughout the series and it is starting to come to a head, so expect a significant amount of the narrative to involve Darrell and the Iron Wraiths.

Simone is scrappy, cunning and hilarious. I was automatically drawn to her when she let loose with Cletus being “almost” as brilliant as she is. WHAT THE WHAT WHAT?!?!? CLETUS???? My Cletus??? Who some may call diabolically-oh alright, pathologically. Tomato, to-mah-to.-intelligent? ALMOST???? Sputtering ensued. She is smart and charming so she’s got Cletus there, and she can hold her own against him, but let’s face it Cletus is in a class by himself.

Being inside Simone’s head was an experience I’ll not soon forget. I don’t fully understand how she got this bee in her bonnet that she was never going to fall in love or get married but she did. She’s set on being an independent woman who will be self-reliant. Except… she can’t seem to get Roscoe Winston out of her head, or as she says, she likes him against her will. 😂 She zinged me several times but when she busted out with her scientific theories on sex I snorted then slow clapped. I’d pay good money to go to that “scientific” seminar. Simone is yet another female character in this series that I both respect and admire, that I can relate to.

Stories that utilize the friends since childhood to lovers trope always resonate with me and Dr. Strange Beard is no exception. However, what made this one special was Roscoe’s singleminded devotion to Simone even when they were apart. He’s only ever loved her and everyone knows it. Literally, everyone in Green Valley knows it and is rooting for them. I loved how much Simone’s parents loved him, how his family loved her and how oblivious they both are to their silent cheering section.

They’ve hurt each other but the love is still there just beneath the surface; they just need to tap into it. Expect UST. Expect heartwarming moments. Expect a few sexy moments too. Expect to be moved. Expect a few surprises. But more than anything, expect to feel the chemistry between them. They are crazy about each other and how they come to accept and embrace those feelings is what I’ll remember most about this book.

Ordinarily I don’t mention race in my reviews but Penny Reid reframed something for me and I feel that needs to be acknowledged and that I should thank her for it. That coupled with the RWA situation I think merits a mention at minimum. I also think she deserves credit for the research she did as it was obvious that she put time and energy into developing these characters. I feel like this is a hallmark of hers that maybe doesn’t get acknowledged enough and is instrumental in making these characters memorable as well as three-dimensional.

Recommend to fans of friends to lovers, unrequited love being requited and anyone who loves a good romance.

Now the wait begins for Billy’s book. The good lord willing Cletus will finally, FINALLY get to deploy the armadillo plan!

An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

New Release & Giveaway for Bed of Flowers

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Bed of Flowers by Erin Satie is LIVE!  First in a new series, Sweetness and Light.

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About Bed of Flowers:

Bonny Reed is beautiful, inside and out.

A loyal friend and loving daughter, she’s newly engaged to her small town’s most eligible bachelor. She’s happy for herself—but mostly for her family, who need the security her marriage will bring.

An old enemy shatters her illusions.

First Baron Loel cost Bonny’s family her fortune. Now he’s insisting that her fiancé has hidden flaws, secrets so dark that—if she believed him—she’d have to call off the wedding.

How will she choose?

When the truth comes out, Bonny will have to choose between doing what’s right and what’s easy. Between her family and her best friend. And hardest of all—between her honor and the love of a man who everyone wants her to hate.

Get your copy today:

Amazon      iBooks      Google Play      Kobo      Barnes & Noble

 

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Excerpt #1:

This is from Loel’s perspective; he’s just kissed Bonny’s wrist.

“You know that you are beautiful,” he said.
She began to shake her head, but he didn’t wait for her to contradict him. He would not offer the courtesy of pretense.
“I do not think you understand how beautiful.” How could she? She’d never seen much of the world. He’d circled the globe and he’d never met another woman who could compare. “If you wanted a husband who would prostrate himself at your feet and worship you, you would have no trouble finding one. If you demanded this of him every day of your married life, year after year until his knees crumbled to dust, he would still get down on those ruined knees to thank God that you chose him.”
Miss Reed tittered. “Don’t be absurd.”
He was dead serious and she knew that, too. “If Charles Gavin has convinced you that he is your equal, he is a liar. When you chose him, it was an act of grace.”

Excerpt #2:

Loel has been sick and Bonny has been nursing him back to health. He’s finally recovering and now that he can think straight, he realizes that he shouldn’t be all alone in his greenhouse with an unmarried woman. (They’re in a greenhouse because it’s warm, and because he raises orchids for a living).

“You shouldn’t be here,” said Loel.
Bonny abandoned the lever pump with the water tank only half full. She’d fought her family and she’d been ready to defend herself against the whole town of New Quay—all for Lord Loel. Who, it turned out, also wanted her to go.
“As you like.” She snatched up her things and waved at the basket. “That’s for you. It should see you through the day and perhaps most of tomorrow. Best of luck for a speedy recovery.”
“Wait.”
Bonny flicked him a scathing glance. He’d work himself to exhaustion, fall over—probably hit his head on the way down—and lapse back into a fever. And he’d deserve it.
“I’m thinking of you,” he said.
“You and everyone else.” Bonny’s anger cooled. Without it, she was just… tired. “But I was thinking of you.”
“Well, stop.” He covered his face with his hands, breathing hard. “Did I ask for your regard? Did I invite it?”
“No.” Quite the opposite, actually. In the beginning, she’d intruded and he’d chased her away. Their encounters had proceeded more or less according to the same template ever since.
And yet she would have sworn that he was fond of her.
“Would you be more comfortable if I fetched you some clothes?” she asked. “If you tell me where—”
“Go.” His head sank further toward his lap. “Please.”
Bonny sank down to her knees. Something like curiosity drove her, a nagging conviction that she was on the verge of an important discovery. She gently pulled Lord Loel’s hands away from his face.
The torment she read in his expression startled her. He’d been sick and now he was nearly better. He ought to be happy.
“You’re upset. Why?”
“Because your kindness is wasted on me.”
“How? You’re better, aren’t you?”
“At what cost to you?” He grimaced. “Who will punish you for helping me? How? Miss Reed—”
“That doesn’t matter when your very life was hanging in the balance—”
“It matters to me.”
His anger was real and it had increased since her arrival. The harsh tone, the urgent delivery—he meant every word. And yet Bonny’s impression that she was listening to a foreign language that she only vaguely understood had increased in perfect tandem.
She might have remained confused forever if something bright hadn’t drawn her attention to the roof of the glasshouse. A ray of light caught on the dirt-clouded glass, then fractured into a brilliant sparkle. Bonny tipped her face up to the sky, attentive to this small miracle of nature for precisely the length of time required to identify, categorize, and dismiss it: just the sun cresting the horizon, dawn breaking into day, nothing to be concerned about.
She looked down, problem solved, and caught Lord Loel staring at her mouth. Hotly, fixedly, with a heat that struck an answering chord in her.
Oh, she thought, wondering how she’d been so stupid. Now I understand.
And she kissed him.

 

 

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About Erin Satie:

Erin Satie is the author of the dark and elegant No Better Angels series of historical romances set in the early Victorian period. She’s currently hard at work on her new series, Sweetness and Light.

Erin is a California native who’s lived on the coasts and in the heartland, in tiny city apartments and on a working farm. She studied art history in both college and graduate school—research is always her favorite part of starting a new book.

Her favorite part of finishing a book, whether reading or writing, is the happily ever after.

Connect with Erin:

Author Site | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter

Giveaway: enter to win 1 of 2 e-copies of any back catalog book by Erin Satie!

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/88d45f0359/

 

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New Release & Giveaway for The Varlet and the Voyeur

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The Varlet and the Voyeur, an all-new standalone in the USA Today bestselling Rugby Series from Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway is LIVE!

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He kept his salacious secret for years. But soon, everyone is going to be reading about it in their morning paper…

THE VARLET (and the VOYEUR)

William Moore is a long way from home. A farm boy from Oklahoma, he’s now the most well-respected member of the Irish rugby team. But appearances are often deceptive, and Will isn’t the clean-cut, all-American good-guy everyone imagines him to be. He’s got a secret, one that will tarnish his reputation forever.

THE VOYEUR (and the VARLET)

Joesy Kavanagh is a self-proclaimed mess, but she’s finally get her shi…uh, act together. She’s set her sights on becoming a veterinarian, but there’s one teeny tiny road bump. Her living arrangements are coming to an abrupt end, leaving Joesy homeless and in need of a job to pay her way through college.

THE PLAN

What he needs is a companion to keep him on the right path.

What she needs is an apartment with free rent.

Will is convinced Joesy will make the perfect companion, since she’s brutally honest and basically ‘just one of the guys.’  Joesy is convinced she can ensure Will doesn’t succumb to his voyeuristic proclivities by keeping a scrupulous eye on him.

Except, what happens when the varlet is tempted by the voyeur, and vice-versa?!

Perchance something very, very volatile. And vexing.

The Varlet and the Voyeur is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the 4th(and last) book in the USA TODAY bestselling Rugby Series.

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2l89gDn

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TheVarlet

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2jqFMiU

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Enter the giveaway to win a signed paperback of The Varlet and the Voyeur!

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Start the Series of standalones with The Hooker and the Hermit!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2wp3GoC

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/TheHookerandtheHermit

Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lakzsD

Twitter: @ReidRomance

Newsletter: http://pennyreid.ninja/newsletter/

www.pennyreid.ninja

Meet L.H. Cosway:

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

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Connect with L.H. Cosway:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LHCosway/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jVTDk8

Twitter: @LHCosway

Newsletter: https://goo.gl/vkhYHN

Website: www.lhcoswayauthor.com

 

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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: Review by Lost in a Book

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Blurb:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

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5+++++++++ Stars

Illuminae

My feels on this book…

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My feels on the audio casting and their execution for this book…

 

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Illuminae is unique, riveting, gruesome, action packed, and intelligent. Throughout the entire “read” I was constantly in awe of the authors and the clever creativity required to write a book like this.

The blurb provides an overall scope of the book with Kady and Ezra breaking up, their planet being attacked, them being rescued by a nearby ship, and some of the things they encounter while trying to escape the enemy warship. Except, the blurb doesn’t do the story justice. This is way more than a romance. I hesitate even calling it that because the MCs are on separate ships for 95% of the book, have to communicate through computers, and much passes before they get on the same page (maybe a SciFi with romantic elements?). I’m not quite sure there’s a label that encompasses what this book actually is. But I damn sure loved it.

Illuminae is downright gruesome and not for the faint of heart. There were moments when I was squirming and others where I had actual tears running down my face. Legit face-leaking was taking place. Lotssssss of leaking.

This story isn’t written in the traditional sense and is instead composed of “a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more.” But don’t let that throw you off and keep you from diving into this addicting story.

AIDAN… Oh, AIDAN. What really surprised me was my ability to love *and* the level of my love for AIDAN. I had moments of rage/hate for “him” and then was swooning and professing my undying love the next moment.

Let’s talk about this audio. Hands down, the BEST audio I’ve ever heard. Ever. For real. It was everything I wish I could experience when I go see a book to movie adaptation. But it was better because it’s the actual book being performed and the only true way to describe what the cast accomplishes is to call it a performance.

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The story is captivating. It took a while to get through because I did audio and there were times I had to hold off because I needed to slow my heart after a nail biter scene or to deep breathe through my tears. Will I go on to book #2? Hell to the yeah… after I surround myself with fluff because this was INTENSE. I’m a fan. I’m amazed by the authors. I’m amazed at the quality of audio. 1 million% recommended.

 

Speakeasy (True North #5)

Speakeasy (True North #5) by Sarina Bowen: Review by Cupcake

Speakeasy (True North, #5)

Blurb:

Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…
May

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it.
Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.
Alec
I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job.
It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us.
Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

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ALL THE STARS!!!!!!!!!!

True story. When I discovered that this one wasn’t going to feature Roderick and Kieran I had a sad, because something is up with those two! But I soldiered on and guess what happened?

I fell in love with this book! I might even like this better than Bittersweet! Bold statement I know, but this book filled up my love tank to bursting.

And now I’m going to squee. A lot. So brace yourselves.

This series always feels like coming home. I love the atmosphere in this sleepy little Vermont town called Tuxbury that SB has created. I love the Shipleys and look forward to catching up with them every time a new book comes out. Tuxbury is really more of an extended family than made up of merely neighbors. They love their craft beers, baked goods, whatever Audrey cooks up in the Shipley kitchen for Thursday dinner, organic farming and the sense of community that pervades the True North series are what make it special for me.

May is the oldest Shipley daughter. She calls herself a hot mess for many reasons; she’s an alcoholic, made mistakes aplenty and she generally feels like she’s always fucking something up. In short, no one is harder on May than May. She’s bisexual and been in love with her best friend Lark for years, but Lark does not reciprocate her feels. She actually went and fell for the nicest of nice guys Zach in Keepsake. That probably sent May into a bad “rebound” relationship with Daniela. Who is a bitch. A controlling, abusive and awful bitch.

Coming home from work one night May spots Daniela’s car at The Gin Mill and in an effort to be a nice girlfriend goes in and finds her putting on a show in a booth. With her ex. Who is also awful. Alec, The Gin Mill’s proprietor, intervenes before blood is shed. Good thing since I’m guessing the Vermont Bar Association would frown upon one of its members being charged with assault.

Alec Rossi is the boy your momma always told you to stay away from. He’s made a lifestyle out of partying. He’s the fun guy that found a way to hold a kegger in high school. Every weekend. He’s allergic to relationships and commitment, an allergy which has earned him a rep as a sex wizard. The ladies are never in short supply. Oozing charisma with an aura of laid back that borders on zen makes him VERY popular. He’s also a Rossi. There’s been bad blood between the Shipleys and Rossis since forever, so there’s a certain Romeo and Juliet vibe about Speakeasy that’s extremely appealing. There’s something sexy about sneaking around, isn’t there? Adds to the excitement or something.

Naturally both of these characters have more depth than they believe themselves to have. Both are well constructed and infinitely likable. The banter between them put a smile on my face and kept it there for the majority of the book.

They have sizzling chemistry and embark on a friends with bennies relationship which of course segues into deeper feelings. They both have baggage but that baggage felt genuine, honest. I never felt that mountains were being made out of molehills or that their angst was contrived. As I watched them fall in love I could see how well they compliment one another which is guaranteed to make me swoon.

May’s addiction is still very much a part of her life and isn’t downplayed. I wouldn’t say that I enjoy reading about addiction but if it’s going to be integral to the character then I applaud when it’s portrayed authentically and SB not only did that for May but she again addressed the opioid epidemic that’s plagued the northeast for several years now and is now spreading like wildfire through the rest of the country.

May’s bisexuality wasn’t sidestepped either. She truly believed that her future lay with another woman but once she realizes that she’s fallen for Alec she doesn’t hold back. She fully commits to him and the possibilities of a future with him, but it’s made clear that doing so doesn’t make her any less bisexual.

The fact that Alec isn’t intimidated by her bisexuality and is prone to “perving” on her lesbian fantasies made me adore him. Well, that and that he’s not afraid to show emotion. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is honest with both himself and May where his feelings are concerned. He’s a refreshingly honest male character who is alpha in many ways without being an alpha-hole. As much as he likes to believe he’s the antithesis of Griff, I noticed a lot of similarities between them. Alec’s just not as grumpy.

 

Making her happy makes me happy.

The backdrop of their love story is The Gin Mill and its future. It’s Alec’s baby and he has designs on expanding, just not the capital to do it. The way this storyline evolved put May and Alec’s connection front and center. It also showcased what makes me love the Shipleys and this little town so much. It made me a little verklempt a couple times to see it unfold. Maybe it was a little “too easy” but I do not even care. Not. One. Care. It was perfect to me in every single way and I can’t wait to reread it.

I have nothing else to say on this long and rambling road other than I LOVE GRANDPA SHIPLEY AND HIS OLD SCHOOL WORDS! Can’t wait to catch up with everyone in the next installment *side mouths* which I’m rully hoping is about Kieran and Roderick. Please don’t make me beg, SB.

An ARC was provided.

Studly Period

Studly Period (The Ivy Years, 3.5) by Sarina Bowen: Review by Lost in a Book

Studly Period (The Ivy Years, #3.5)

Blurb:

A serialized story from Sarina Bowen.
Get it here only. 

There are 1016 people in the freshman class at Harkness College. I can’t be the only socially awkward nerd girl virgin among them. Right?
It’s time I learn to talk to guys without blushing and stammering. So I take a confidence-building job at the student tutoring center. Twelve bucks an hour, plus human interaction. What could go wrong?
A fun-loving French Canadian hockey hunk, that’s what.
When Pepe Gerault sits down at my tutoring table, my brain shuts off and my mouth goes right into hyperdrive. Even the sound of my name on his lips—Josephine—gives me a mini orgasm.
I want to hand him my V-card. But all I manage to hand him is…my thesaurus. And my dignity. All seems lost, until I hatch a plan to get him alone…

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4 Stars

This was a refreshing little pick-me-up each week. The best part is that I could be lazy and have it be served directly to my email. For Free. Add in a nerdy girl still carrying her V-card and a hot ass french hockey player named Pepe and I was one verra verra happy Lost.

Pepe is this big bear of a hockey player with a fluffy teddy bear demeanor. English isn’t his native language and he heads to the tutoring center for help on his papers. This is where he meets the shy, Josephine. There’s lots of tutoring going on between these two. For real just tutoring… until there’s more and the build-up was fabulous.

I wish it was longer, the beginning and lead up was on point and once they got together it was sort of rushed and then tada here’s the epilogue. Still totally enjoyed it, it was freeeeeee, hit a bunch of my preference boxes and made me want a Pepe all to my self.

I was excited each time it hit my email inbox. Definitely Recommended.

Back in the Game

Back in the Game by Meghan Quinn: Review by Cupcake

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Blurb:

Single dad and hockey star, Calder Weiss has put his love life on the back burner for the past five years, raising his daughter and keeping up with the demands of his profession.
But all that changes the minute Rachel Perry runs into him in the most unlikely of places, right outside the men’s bathroom. Vibrant and enchanting, she captures his attention, making it impossible for him to walk away without scoring her number.
Their connection is immediate, their attraction palpable, and their relationship undeniable. But Rachel isn’t the only girl in Calder’s life which scares him, because Calder’s daughter already lost her mother. He doesn’t want Shea to lose someone close to her again, making Rachel’s task of breaking through Calder’s wall that much more difficult.

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 3 Stars

Low angst cuteness

Sports romance is difficult for me to resist so when this came up for review I snapped it right up. I’m glad I did because this was a fun little read.

Calder and Rachel have a meet cute outside a restaurant bathroom where Calder’s fairy wings almost take out Rachel. He’s having a Daddy/daughter day and he’s committed to it!

Instant attraction quickly evolves into instalove. They hit it off and have a super cute first date during which Calder books the second date, so he’s into her. Then begins a flurry of texts since Calder is a professional hockey player and on the road pretty often.

Some of the dialogue can veer into Cheeseville but mostly I found their banter to be cute. Rachel is sassy, quick witted and confident. Calder is kind of a hot mess without the backstory to match it, but overall I thought this was a sweet, sexy diversion.

If you’re looking for a low angst, feel good sports romance that’s light on sports this story could be just the thing.

An ARC was provided.

 

 

Cover Reveal: Sarina Bowen’s upcoming release May 29

 

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Synopsis:

Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…

May

Did you hear the one about the girl who walks into a bar and catches her live-in lover kissing someone else? No? You’re the only one in town who missed it.

Luckily Alec is there to wrap me up in strong arms and carry me out the door before things get too ugly. And that’s not all Alec is good at. Our unexpected chemistry makes him the perfect rebound guy.

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I should know better than to hook up with my rival’s little sister, but the fiery look in May’s eyes really turns my crank. She needs cheering up, and I’m just the guy for the job.

It’s not like I’ll fall in love. Not even after a string of scorching hot trysts, and the realization that we’re good at the same things: wild nights and familial disappointment. I don’t do love, never have, never will. So this is the perfect arrangement, for both of us.

Nobody would approve, but nobody has to know…

 

Amazon:  http://geni.us/AmazonSpk 

iBooks: http://geni.us/iBooksSpk 

Kobo: http://geni.us/KoboSpk 

 Goodreads: http://geni.us/GRSpk 

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Dear Aaron

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata: Review by Lost in a Book

Synopsis: 

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.

The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.

What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.

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4 Stars

This may be the looooooooooooooooongest slow burn I’ve ever read. Holy hell! I’m a huge fan of Zapata’s writes and can usually handle her slow burn method… this brought it to a WHOLE new level. The amount of time we had to “burn” just to get an “I like you revelation” tested my sanity.

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That’s actually fitting because it didn’t happen until the mid 80ish%. Still, I’m not mad… just lost a few brain cells from all that burning while I waited for a kiss hug  an “I like you, too.”

I’m not going too far into the plot but Ruby volunteers to be pen pals for an adopt a solider type program and gets paired with Aaron. Aaron is on a long deployment and looks forward to hearing from his pen pals to break up the monotony in the desert. They form a friendship and oh so slowly it becomes more.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s not my favorite book by this author and that’s ok. The slow burn tested my sanity, it was a long read (485pg), and Ruby could be long winded in her thought process at times many times. Still, another enjoyable read and I look forward to the next book about her sister.

I did audio as well as Kindle with this one. Both narrators were a great fit for this book but as I’ve said before, Teddy Hamilton can read the phone book and I’d pay to listen.

Definitely recommended.