OOOH! I have been waiting for Silas and Lola’s story! Last Round was a fantastic ending to the Twisted Fox series!
I loved the backstory of how Silas and Lola met! Silas is the perfect broody tortured hero who doesn’t think he’s deserving of love and happiness. He puts up a good front, but he is so lonely. For a while, their platonic friendship serves Lola just fine, but eventually, she starts to develop feelings for him and isn’t quite sure what to do about it. Silas has feelings for her as well, but he is beating himself up over something that wasn’t his fault has imprisoned his heart. Give in to her, dude!
Their journey is rough! I cried for this couple more than I did for any other pair in the series.
Last Round is a standalone, but the characters in the Twisted Fox series are all friends so we see lots from the couples in the other books. And I love how the timelines are concurrent; having read the other books, I love seeing what’s happening with the other couples in the progress of their relationships as Silas and Lola’s story unfolds. And finally getting to see Lola’s birthday fiasco from her POV — WOW!
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
Charity resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. She grew up riding her bicycle to the town’s public library, and reading anything she could get her hands on. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, spending time with her family, or caving into her online shopping addiction.
She didn’t want a one-night stand. He couldn’t promise more than a ten-day fling. Sometimes compromise is all you need.
Zack Weller is timely, orderly, and meticulous. Too bad his seven-year-old, twin sons are hellions. With his divorce final, a two-week vacation beckons him to his best friend’s cottage. Unfortunately, he can’t help the magnetic pull of memories from the house next door—the one that was once his childhood home—or fight the force of nature in the naked woman sunbathing in that backyard.
River Nagle is a free spirit. She understands the trials and tribulations some people face and offers the compassion to deal with them head on. When she inherits a lakeside home, she takes the blessing for what it’s worth: a gift and a new beginning. Until one day two little boys make themselves at home in the tree fort in her backyard and she meets their hot, growly dad who steals her wine, her time, and her heart.
Newly divorced, single father grump meets a ray of sunshine, next-door neighbor in this small town, second chance romance where learning to love over 40 works with the right teacher.
What to Expect from Learning at 40
– Grumpy single dad
– Rambunctious twins
– Ray of sunshine, next-door neighbor
– Over 40 romance
– Second chance at love
– Lakeside shenanigans
Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars
Another absolutely charming story in LB Dunbar’s Lakeside Cottage series. In a sea of contemporary romance books featuring heroes and heroines in their 20s and 30s, I really appreciate her over-40 books.
In Learning at 40, we return to the lakeside cottage for Ben’s funeral. The remaining three points are trying to find their way through life without him, as are his widow Anna and teenage sons and sister. This book focuses on Zack, and his struggles to adapt to being a single dad of rambunctious twins as well as the death of his best friend. The night of Ben’s funeral, he swears he sees an angel in the yard next door — the house that was once his childhood home. Returning a few months later for the group’s two-week vacation, he again sees the free-spirited woman, but when he finally meets her, he and River definitely get off on the wrong foot.
But the chemistry! So much chemistry! But what do you do when he’s only there for two weeks and she’s not interested in one-night stand? By the time the two weeks are up, neither one of them can walk away — and Zack finds that the last thing he thought he wanted was exactly what he needed.
I loved how River brought out the best in Zack, and how well she handled the twins. She calmed his rough edges and soothed him when he got anxious.
Learning at 40 isn’t as much of an emotional rollercoaster as the first book was, simply because it doesn’t involve Ben’s illness. But this story still packs quite an emotional punch as Zack learns how to fall in love with River. He started off as so rude and grumpy and a dude with so many issues, but there is a really nice arc for his character as he falls hard and fast for the neighbor.
This book ends with an intriguing epilogue for Anna’s brother, Asher, who I figure will be the focus of the next book, but I really can’t wait for Mason’s story!
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
“Some mistakes can’t be forgiven or left behind. Some mistakes, leave a mark on us and we have to carry their consequences forever.“
Six years ago, my life fell apart and ever since I was living within those broken pieces.
Until I met him.
The moment I walked into the Starbucks on my first day of work and laid eyes on him, everything changed.
He saw me.
For the first time in three years, I wasn’t invisible. I’ve grown used to staying on the sidelines and living in the shadows until I met him.
Aiden Hitchings was my father’s favorite player. Our university’s soccer star. The one who lived in the spotlight.
I knew I shouldn’t have tempted fate, but falling for him wasn’t a choice.
History was about to repeat itself, and I couldn’t do anything to stop it.
Last year of college was going to be epic. Juggling our NCAA Championship, coursework and my part-time job at Starbucks wasn’t easy, but it was all going to pay off once I signed my professional contract.
That was before she walked in.
The hazel-eyed girl with a sharp tongue, the one who always blended into the background, was staring right back at me. The Coach’s daughter, one I should have avoided at any cost but kept being drawn to.
She shattered my carefully built-up world and inked herself deep into my soul.
But she carried a secret with her that stood between us, slowly breaking us.
And for the first time in my life, I lost control and I felt helpless.
The coach’s daughter and the star soccer player hate each other on sight. He thinks she’s holier-than-thou, and she assumes he’s another smarmy jock. But as they work together at the local Starbucks, they find that those initial assumptions were wrong, and they begin to fall for one another. But she’s got a major secret, and he’s potentially headed to Europe to play pro soccer — does their relationship have an expiration date?
The Sky Between Us had good potential, but it fell kinda flat. I liked Aiden more than I liked Hazel, but I had a hard time shipping this couple. I figured out right away what Hazel’s secret was, and while it is life-changing, it isn’t traumatic and really didn’t ruin her life the way she made it seem. Unfortunate? Yes. Traumatic? No. Sure, she has a jerk of an ex, but she had lots of family support after the event, and was in a much better position than some other young women in her situation could have been.
Also, this author isn’t American, and there is a clear language barrier. Her phrasing is kind of clunky, and there is dialog between some characters that is not natural. So that was a bit jarring for me in reading.
I thought there was some nice growth between Hazel and Aiden by the end of the story, and I really liked the epilogue. But generally, this book just didn’t work for me.
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily let a review.
Meet Mia Kun
Mia is a Young Adult and Contemporary Romance author.
She grew up in Budapest, Hungary, but she is currently living in London.
She’s been dancing since she was six and that’s why ballet is heavily featured in her books. If she is not writing she loves to spend time with her friends and dog, and reading.
Keeping You, an all-new laugh-out loud small-town romance from Lena Hendrix is available now!
When I moved to my sister’s small town, I was looking for a fresh start—no more shallow relationships, no snotty fake friends, and definitely no charming, dirty-talking musicians.
We had a fun, red-hot night together and we agreed that hooking up was a mistake, a one-time thing. But when my dream bakery location happens to be right next door to his bar, every day I’m forced to see that chiseled jawline and remember the feel of his incredible body on mine.
No. I’m starting over. I have rules. No more bad habits, definitely no falling in love. No matter how hard he tries, hooking up with him again would prove I’m the flake everyone expects me to be.
But here I am, stuck between wanting to make something of my life and wanting to grab him and make another delicious mistake.
Two weeks after I gave the one finger salute to my former boss, I pulled my vintage matte black Chevelle onto Main Street of Chikalu Falls, Montana. The ninety-minute drive left behind the flats and wound through beautiful mountain highways. Chikalu Falls was nestled at the base of the mountains and from the church on the corner, to the grocer on the right, it always felt slower and a little like stepping back in time. Childhood memories of the summers Jo and I spent with Grandma Nana and Pop flooded back to me. A bubble of excited energy squirmed in my chest. Nearly every person I passed raised their hand in greeting, and whether they knew me or not, I waved back enthusiastically. I peered over the steering wheel as I entered town to watch someone rolling white paint high on the town’s water tower. Are they painting over a drawing of a dick? I shook my head and laughed about this quirky town—Jo always had great stories about it. I passed the town bar and dance hall, The Dirty Pigeon, and fractionally slowed my car. Willing myself to look straight ahead, I still managed to sneak a side-eyed peek at the front door. My palms felt sweaty against the steering wheel. It wasn’t all that long ago I spent the most incredible, panty-melting night of my life with the bar’s owner, Colin. My chest warmed just thinking about it and a tingle settled between my legs. Get it together. You both knew it was just one, hot night. Squashing the thought, I pressed the gas harder and cruised forward, leaving behind all thoughts of Colin’s thickly roped arms pulling me close and the scrape of his stubble against the sensitive skin of my neck. Four turns later, I pulled into the hidden driveway of Joanna’s farm property. The long and winding gravel path opened up to a stunning piece of land. Off the road, the Big House was a gorgeous white home with black shutters and a huge wraparound porch. A small river cut through the landscape and near it were several little cottages. I wasn’t sure where Jo wanted me to stay, so I parked near the house and found her sitting on the veranda, waiting for me. “There’s my girl!” I called up to Jo. The excitement expanded in my chest at seeing my sister after so long. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and a sense of relief. She pulled me into a tight hug, “I’ve missed you!” Jo and I used to share an apartment, but with her now living in Chikalu Falls, it felt like an eternity since we’d been together. “Mmmm,” she replied, squeezing me a little harder. “I just still can’t believe you’re really here.” “It didn’t take too long to sublease my apartment and I need a change of scenery.” “Well,” she moved away from me to sweep a wide arm around the impressive, rural land, “this is definitely a change!” We both laughed and held each other tightly. It was fantastic to see Jo’s face so full of life and happiness. I shooed away the brief pang of jealousy. She deserved this life and it suited her. “You’re welcome to stay for however long you need. Mr. Bailey is in Cottage Four, but all the others are open. I think the best view is from Cottage Two.” “Cottage Two it is! Help me unpack?” Jo looked past me to see my car practically bursting at the seams with bags and luggage. She didn’t know it, but the trunk was full, too. “How is it possible you have so much shit?” “Well,” I answered, “a girl’s gotta look her best.” I winked at her and lifted a shoulder. “Honestly, Honey. If you’re going to survive here, you at least need one pair of good work boots.” She eyed my ankle booties and their sharp heels warily, but then we got to unpacking. It only took a few—ok, fine, several—trips for Joanna and me to lug my clothes into the cottage, but we managed to get it all in. After she helped me put some things away and stack the suitcases in the closet, we stood together in the dimly lit kitchen. Jo wrapped her arm around my shoulders and squeezed as we both looked out the large picture window overlooking the riverbank. “You did what so many people are afraid to,” she whispered in my ear. “You started over.” My eyes misted and a small, scratchy lump formed in the back of my throat. I pressed my tongue to the roof of my mouth and willed the tears away. I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. “Thanks, Jo.” I hoped with every fiber of my being that I could get it right this time. * * * After getting cleaned up, Joanna and I decided to meet her fiancé, Lincoln, at The Pidge. A flutter danced in my stomach at the possibility of running into Colin. He was Lincoln’s best friend and hot as fuck. I glanced around to see if I would spot him. Bumping into someone I’d slept with had never been a big deal before, but Colin just did something to my insides. Since he was Lincoln’s best friend, Colin and I had been thrown together to help with Jo’s fundraiser. At the time, she hosted a fishing event for veterans and he insisted that the bar cater for it. The food was spectacular, and his generosity did not go unnoticed. Neither did his thick arms, hazel eyes, or that tight ass. I needed to think about something—anything—else. “Can you believe this place?” Jo was perched on a stool across the high-top table. “It is pretty incredible,” I admitted. The walls were covered with old photographs of life in Chikalu Falls mixed with posters for local bands. It had a real honky tonk vibe but with an upscale flair to it. The name might suggest it was a dive, but the parts of my brain trained in marketing knew it was intentional. My eyes swooped across the stage and dance floor, still secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of Colin. No. Remember the rules? No men. Especially men who make you tingle straight down to your toes. “Well aren’t you two a sight for sore eyes,” Lincoln’s deep, rumbling voice had us looking behind us. He wrapped both arms around Jo and left a trail of kisses up her neck. She giggled and tried to move away, but it was obvious she loved the attention of her man. “Hey, Linc,” I said between sips of my vodka gimlet. “I heard you stepped away from your old job. Planning to stay a while?” “More like lit my old life on fire and danced on the ashes. But yeah. You’re stuck with me now.” We all laughed but a heaviness lingered around my shoulders. I took another sip of my drink and added, “I still need to figure out what the fuck I’m going to do about a job. But that,” I finished my drink in a burning gulp, “is a worry for another night. Who needs another?” Jo lifted her glass and Lincoln unwound himself from her. “I got this, ladies. You just sit back and enjoy.” Joanna’s gaze wandered over her fiancé’s muscled back as he walked up to the bar. “You going to eye fuck him all night, or what?” I teased. A blush immediately rose to her cheeks. “Cut it out.” She slapped her napkin against my arm, but not before I caught her sneaking another peek and drooling over him again. When I followed her gaze to the bar, my heart sputtered and my mouth went dry. Colin McCoy was behind the old wooden bar, filling glasses from the tap with beer in beautiful shades from dark amber to gold. “You know,” Jo added hopefully, “now that you’re in town again, maybe you and Colin could pick up where you left off.” I tried to sound as indifferent as I could manage despite the warmth feathering across my chest. “Nah. I think it was just a one-time thing.” Over my drink, I took a peek at him again. Fuck. That man is a walking orgasm. “We agreed it would be better to be friends—especially with you and Lincoln now back together. Your friend group doesn’t need us tangled together and complicating matters. Plus, we were separated by ninety miles.” I shrugged my shoulders and flicked my eyes to the dance floor and hoped to look confidently unaffected by his presence. “Well not anymore. He’s right here.” Jo bumped my shoulder and winked. Since getting together with Lincoln she’d become a hopeless romantic. I can’t even handle being around him—he’s too tempting and my life is a literal train wreck right now. As if my thoughts wound through the crowded bar and tapped him on the shoulder, his eyes flicked up and locked onto mine. The familiar thrum of desire bloomed in my chest, sinking lower into my belly. It really was a fucking shame that I had sworn off meaningless sex—all sex for that matter—before getting to see Colin McCoy naked again. Damn, the things I would do to you. Colin’s eyes didn’t leave mine, but a smile quirked his lip up and that lopsided grin was nearly my undoing.
Another great book from Lena Hendrix! I adored her debut novel, Finding You, and have been looking forward to Keeping You. Honey is Jo’s sister from Finding You, and I was excited to read her story, see how she starts her life over in Chickalu Falls after a career faux pas in big-city Butte. She’d had a one-night stand with Colin before Keeping You takes place, and I loved seeing how this second-chance romance came together.
Honey had big plans when she moved to Chickalu. She was kind of flighty and a bit of a screw-up, so she had a list to guide her through opening a bakery in her new town. Meanwhile, Colin is already an established business owner, but he is crumbling inside over the immense guilt he feels for his perceived role in his brother’s suicide. But Honey caught his eye months ago, and he hasn’t been able to get her out of his mind. Even though she’s so focused on building her bakery, Colin swoops in and woos her before she even realizes what is happening! Swoon! But Colin has been lying to her by omission, and when the truth is revealed, will it break the bond that they’ve formed?
I thought that LH handled Colin’s family’s grief brilliantly. I read in the author notes that she is a survivor of sibling suicide herself, so it’s no wonder that she wrote Colin’s emotional turmoil so well. There is a really lovely scene between Colin and his mom where he lets it all out, and I loved that vulnerability.
So far, the Chickalu Falls series has been a big hit for me, and the teaser that LH dropped at the end about Maggie and Deck’s upcoming story… I can’t wait!
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
About Lena Lena Hendrix is the author of steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her love of romance started with her grandmother’s Harlequin paperbacks and now Lena’s stories are full of heart, humor, and plenty of strong Alphas with marshmallow insides-she likes her coffee hot and her heroes hotter!
Lena lives in the midwest with her husband, three children, and two derpy Australian Cattle Dogs. When she’s not writing or devouring new novels, you can find her hiking, camping, fishing, and sipping a spicy margarita!
I can’t have him because he’s my older brother’s best friend. I can’t have him because I broke his heart five years ago; because he’s now engaged to someone else—someone kind and dependable who deserves his whiskey eyes, his soft mouth, his fierce intellect.
I can’t have Elijah because I’ve chosen God instead.
The Bell brothers, though . . . well, we don’t exactly have the greatest track record with vows. But I’m determined to do this monk thing right—to pledge myself to a cloistered life and spend the rest of my years in chastity and prayer. But now Elijah’s here. He’s here and he’s coming with me on my European monastery road trip, and between the whispered confessions and the stolen kisses and the moments bent over an ancient altar, my vows are feeling flimsier by the day.
And vows or not, I know in my heart that it would take more than a good and holy monk to resist Elijah Iverson right now. It would take a saint.
And we all know that I’m no saint.
(This is the third full-length standalone in the Priest Collection, featuring Father Bell’s brother, Aiden Bell. You do not have to read Priest or Sinner to read Saint.)
Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars
Sierra Simone does it again with this emotional, smoldering, sexy, forbidden romance! If you know the Bell family, you know Father Tyler Bell (Priest) and big brother Sean (Sinner). Now middle brother Aiden gets his turn in the spotlight with Saint. As with the previous two books, Simone masterfully blends a forbidden romance, but this story has so much more than just a forbidden romance between Aiden, who is a year away from taking his final vows as a monk, and his ex-boyfriend Elijah (who happens to be Sean’s best friend and the older brother of Sean’s wife, Zenny).
Aiden — or Brother Patrick, as he’s been called since he literally left Elijah in the middle of the night nearly 5 years ago — is such a tortured hero. His long battle with depression plays a huge part in this story, and his inner conflict as he tries to reconcile his saving grace (the church and God) with his heart’s true desire (Elijah) is a wonderful, heartbreaking, poignant journey. Is it possible for him to have both God in his life and Elijah? Does one have to exclude the other? As Aiden and Elijah play their many “what if” games as they explore European monasteries, what if they are really able to make their relationship work again in the real world?
Saint is a beautifully crafted story!
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
About the Author:
Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.
A new stand alone enemies-to-lovers romance from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…
Derek Ballentine and I have always been on opposite sides of everything.
I went to a public Savannah high school. He went to a private Catholic school. I went to Duke on scholarship. He went to UNC as a legacy. When we both end up at Harvard for graduate school and we’re finally on a level playing field, I think it’s all going to change.
I was wrong.
The only thing that changed was ending up in his bed.
Now my grandma has passed away, and Derek is the attorney helping the people trying to steal her legacy. I’ll do anything to stop that from happening. Even take on my lifetime enemy.
I hate him at first sight…but I also want him at first hate.
At First Hate is a delicious enemies-to-lovers second chance romance by K.A. Linde and I binged it in a day!
Marley and Derek’s story spans 15 years, from high school through college and beyond to their professional lives, and it was an emotional journey of missed moments and bad timing. Just when they seemed to be on the same page, they were pulled apart over and over again. How many times could Marley hope for more from Derek before enough was enough?
They both changed as people over the years, and the more mature Derek manned up in ways that teenage Derek never did. But with them being on opposite sides of her family drama, would their newfound relationship be over before it really even got started?
I didn’t realize at first that this book is connected to Hold The Forevers at first, so it was quite a happy surprise when I discovered that Marley and Derek’s story takes place in the same timeline as Lila, Ash and Cole’s angsty triangle. There are some scenes from HTF that now take place from Derek or Marley’s POV, which I loved. And I am so excited that Maddox will be getting a book, too!
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
Meet K.A. Linde
K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding Series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels.
She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team.
She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching Supernatural, traveling, and dancing in her spare time.
She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.
Rich. Vicious. Vengeful. Forbidden. The Boys of Clermont Bay had always been untouchable.
The Taste of an Enemy, the first angst-filled new adult romance in The Taste of an Enemy Duet from Holly Renee is available now!
Rich. Vicious. Vengeful. Forbidden. The Boys of Clermont Bay had always been untouchable. And Carson Hale was the worst of them all. He was pretentious and a player, and he had hated me for so long I forgot that we were ever anything more than enemies. Brutally beautiful and savagely heartless, his only plan was to ruin everything I loved. But dares were made, and even though I had no business saying yes, I found myself in trouble and forced to work with my rival to get us out of it. He had always been cruel, but something changed. The lure of him was too much. The way I craved his touch was unbearable. Just as I fell for him, he proved himself to be exactly who he had been all along.
The Taste of an Enemy is the first book in a duet focusing on Allie and Carson. But it’s also part of a series that follows a group of popular boys in Clermont Bay.
I felt like it was a slow start for me, because I had not read the previous two books in the Clermont Bay series. The book opens at a party, and I felt like I was starting to read mid-scene rather than at the start of a new book because connections between the characters weren’t spelled out the way I would have expected them to be. So it took me a while to get a grip on who all the characters are, and then I finally got into Allie and Carson’s story itself.
This enemies to lovers/childhood best friends/second chance romance was quite the rollercoaster. I hated Carson so much at times, but yet loved the rare vulnerability he showed with Allie. There is a lot of history between them, which is the root of most of their drama and all the tension. So much tension!
And just as Carson is finally giving in to what he realized he’d wanted all along, things blow up spectacularly with an epic cliffhanger scene. I knew the reveal of how he’d betrayed Allie was coming, and yet my heart broke for them both when it actually happened! I can’t wait to see how this story concludes!
BTW, This cover is so hot! Whoever this model is, he nails Carson’s sexy smolder in this cover photo!!
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
I walked into Wings and Things and spotted Eli as soon as I made it through the door. He smiled before standing and coming to meet me. I couldn’t tell if anyone else was already at the table, and I tried to remind myself that I shouldn’t care. Tonight was about having fun and getting to know Eli. Carson didn’t matter for either of those things. I would just drown him out and pretend he wasn’t there. That was what I was used to doing. That was what the two of us had been doing for years. Even though I was already a little but irritated that Eli hadn’t offered to pick me up. My dad was irritated by that fact too. “You look beautiful.” Eli grinned before pulling me into a hug. “Thank you.” I breathed in the scent of his warm cologne, the smell familiar and calming. “You look nice as well.” I looked up at him as he let me go. He was much taller than me, although shorter than Carson, and he had a smile that made me feel comfortable. He grabbed my hand in his and led the way back to the table. I fixed my hair while I was still blocked from view, and I planted the best smile I could manage on my face as he pulled out the chair for me that was directly across from Carson. “Thank you.” I settled into my seat and tried to avoid making eye contact with Carson. “Allie, this is Kimberly. Kimberly, Allie. I think you all might know each other.” I looked across the table at Kimberly, and of course I knew her. We had gone to school together since grade school, and I had hated her almost as long. She was popular, conceited, and a perfect fit for Carson. “Of course.” I nodded and pulled out my menu. “How are you, Kim?” “I’m perfect.” She giggled and looked over at Carson. His hand disappeared under the table, and even though I couldn’t see it, I knew that his hand probably rested on her thigh. I wanted to rip it off. “Awesome,” I mumbled and tried to focus on the menu. Carson laughed under his breath, but I ignored him. “What are you getting?” I looked to my right where Eli sat. “Do you want to share some wings?” “Oh.” He looked up from his menu. “I was thinking about getting the burger.” “A burger at a wing place.” Carson scoffed and tossed his menu down on the table. “I’ll share an order with you, Allie. Kim’s getting a salad.” He didn’t give me time to answer. As soon as the waitress came to our table, Carson opened his mouth. “My girl Allie and I are going to share a large order of wings, extra ranch for both of us. No carrots. She hates those.” I looked at him like he had lost his mind because I was pretty sure that he had. “What can I get you to drink?” The waitress was now looking at me. “Um, just a Coke, please.” Everyone else ordered their food, and I fidgeted with my hands under the table. “So, Allie, how is school going for you?” I looked up at Eli. I had almost forgotten he was there. “It’s all right. I’m so ready for fall break, though.” “Me too.” He nodded. “Are you going anywhere? My family is taking a trip to Europe.” “No.” I almost choked on the word. Sometimes I forgot just how far apart my family was from those who went to Prep. They were made of money, old money to be exact, and guys like Eli had never had to think about working or how he’d pay for college. “We typically stay home and do a Thanksgiving meal at our house. It’s real low-key.” And my dad would still be working every day except for Thanksgiving, and my small house would be busting with people. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. We were always together on holidays, and I loved it. It may not have been Europe, but it was ours. “That’s cool.” He nodded and turned his chair to where he faced me better. “We’ve been going to Europe for years now. My parents love it, and they take us about every other year. Have you ever been?” “To Europe?” I shook my head, and suddenly I felt ridiculous. “No. The farthest I’ve been is Disney World.” I didn’t mention that had been almost ten years ago. I could hear Carson and Kimberly talking across from us, and I hoped he was too enthralled with her and her perfect face to even consider listening to our conversation. Eli laughed like I had just told a joke, but I hadn’t. “That’s too bad. I bet you would really like Europe.” “What makes you think that, Eli?” Carson was leaned back in his chair with his arm resting on the back of Kimberly’s. Eli laughed nervously and looked between me and Carson. “It’s Europe.” He shrugged his shoulders. “But you don’t know anything about Allie specifically that would make her love Europe, correct?” Eli opened his mouth, but Carson continued. “Like you have no clue that she’s been dreaming of going to Paris forever, and she has this little Eiffel Tower key chain that she’s had on her set of keys since she’s had them. Or that she thinks she’s part Irish because she has a little bit of green in her eyes.” “I didn’t realize you knew so much about her.” Eli was no longer aloof. He was sizing Carson up, and I wasn’t here for a pissing contest. “Well, now you do.” Carson stared back at him with the same unrelenting gaze, and I felt like I was going insane. Carson hadn’t given a shit about me since that night he needed me and I wasn’t there. If he wasn’t ignoring me altogether, he was making me wish he was, and now all of the sudden, he wanted to share wings and spew facts about me like he was my best friend. “Stop,” I hissed. “You’re being an ass. Aren’t you supposed to be on your own date?” I looked over at Kimberly, and she looked uncomfortable. I couldn’t blame her. I felt uncomfortable too. The waitress arrived back at our table with food in hand, and we were spared from whatever Carson was going to say next. He looked down at the food, and his bright eyes looked so hollow. He scrunched his brow, something he always did when he was upset, and his jaw stiffened. I didn’t know if he was angry with me or with himself. But I didn’t want to find out. I quickly grabbed a wing from our plate and took a huge bite. Sauce dripped down my chin, but I didn’t stop. The food was a distraction. If we were eating, then we weren’t talking, and I couldn’t stand to hear anything more from Carson right now. Not after everything he just said. Not with the way he had brought up memories of me like it wouldn’t mess with my head. “This is good.” I wiped at my mouth with the back of my hand. “Do you want a bite?” I looked over to Eli, and he shook his head as he looked at my half-bitten wing. “Nah. I’m good.” “Suit yourself.” I shrugged as I looked down at his measly-looking burger. “I’ll take one.” Carson reached forward, his fingers wrapping around my wrist, and he stood in his seat enough to bring my hand to his lips. I stared at him, shocked by what he was doing, but there wasn’t an ounce of shame in his gaze. He didn’t look away from me for a second as he bit down into the wing I was still holding, and I couldn’t stop myself from holding my breath as his lips met my fingers. Carson Hale wasn’t just taking a bite of my chicken. He was causing a scene, and part of me wondered how he had gotten so damn good at it. He ran his tongue over the edge of my thumb, licking up the sauce that had dripped there, and I felt like he had just used his tongue on parts of my body that no one else ever had. I pressed my thighs together as I watched his mouth, and I couldn’t bring myself to care that Eli was watching me as Carson finally let go of my hand and settled back into his seat. “You’re right, Allie. That’s absolutely delicious.” He licked his lip before picking up a wing of his own, then began eating like that display hadn’t just happened. I picked up my napkin, quickly dropping my gaze to my lap as I wiped my hands, but I couldn’t get the feel of him off. And I didn’t know if I wanted to.
I’m Holly Renee, a small-town east Tennessee girl who is obsessed with all things romance. I love bringing flawed, sassy, and real characters to life in a way that makes you feel like you’ve been best friends with them for years. No two Holly Renee books are the same, but if you love real, relatable, fun female characters and swoon-worthy heroes, I’m your girl. When I’m not writing or reading, you can find me momming so hard, being disgustingly in love with my husband, or chilling in the middle of a lake with my sunglasses and a float. #lakelife I have a 2-year-old adorable little man who is as wild and sweet as they come and a baby girl on the way.
We’ve all heard about the public image consultant brought in to fix the bad boy’s image. That’s not me.
Nope, quite the opposite. I’ve been hired—well, blackmailed is more like it—to be a bad influence on grumpy, gorgeous, humor-deprived billionaire Elliott Bradford. He’s just become the public face of his family’s company, Bradford Amusement Parks. Problem: The board is about to kick him to the curb because they think Elliott wouldn’t recognize fun if it bit him in the as… spiration.
And they’re not wrong. I can’t believe I have to spend the next three months trying to coax a smile out of Jerk-in-a-Box. But if I fail, my secret shenanigans will be brought to light and my parents will pay the price. Again.
So here I am, getting stuck on top of a midnight roller coaster ride with him… and letting him kiss my panic attack away. Signing us up for a mud run… and letting him wash the mud out of my hair in the shower… Yes, I’m that dedicated to my job.
But the more I get to know broody Elliott, the more I think there might actually be a beating heart hiding underneath that navy double-breasted jacket. And the closer I get to the end of my assignment, the more I want to be the girl who can make him smile for real.
Bad Influencer is the first book I’ve read by Kenzie Reed — and I fell in love with Elliott and Jillian! I loved this twist on the trope where a bad boy needs a good girl to clean up his image. Here we have straight-laced suit Elliott needing to learn how to let loose and have a good time with some help from social media influencer Jillian, the queen of questionable decisions.
The banter between these two characters was phenomenal. I loved how Elliott had noticed Jillian tending bar all those months before they officially began working together, yet tried to stay away from her because she wasn’t his typical type. He was so focused on business he left himself zero room for having fun. But as Jillian unlocks another side to Elliott, he seems to ground and settle her. They complement each other perfectly!
I loved this story so much and can’t recommend Bad Influencer enough if you are looking for a fun, steamy, workplace romcom! I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
Meet Kenzie Reed
Kenzie Reed lives in beautiful New England and is addicted to happily ever afters.
She has a black belt in sarcasm and makes the worst puns ever—just ask her kids. She spends her days clearing dog fur from her keyboard and dreaming up snarky dialogue for sexy heroes.
Her taste in books ranges from science fiction to thrillers to romantic comedy, and her bookcases have multiple personality disorder.
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, BLEEDING STARS, FIGHT FOR ME, CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART, and FALLING STARS novels. Grab her latest stand-alone, GIVE ME A REASON, now!
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 33222 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.
When We Were Reckless is another fantastic addition to the Lost Stars series — Jesse and Quinn’s book is unrequited perfection!
Jesse was riding on top of the world, but thanks to his ex-girlfriend’s betrayal, his life has gone into a downward spiral. His life is a total mess, which is why he keeps pushing Quinn away. There’s always been a connection between Quinn and Jesse, but she is 9 years younger than him and his best friend’s little sister. While they’ve always been friends, Jesse plans to spend as much time as he can with Quinn the summer before she leaves for college — partly as a favor to her brother to convince her to stay in Texas, and partly because he’s a SOB and is drawn to her bright light. Even though he thinks he doesn’t deserve someone as good and pure as Quinn.
I loved the push and pull between these two. I loved how strong Quinn is. She knew when it was time to cut her losses, and she refused to be a doormat when it came to Jesse’s hot and cold interactions with her. She took what she wanted — a summer fling — and walked away when she knew she wasn’t going to get anything more. Except that by that time, Jesse *did* want more. And he just didn’t know how to admit that he wanted more from Quinn, especially after their relationship blows up in an epic way.
There is so much to love about Quinn and Jesse. There is something so fabulous about a love story when it’s written in the stars like it was for these characters. From the time she was 5, Quinn was so sure that Jessee was her soulmate. Their journey isn’t an easy one, but this book concludes with a wonderful HEA. I also loved getting to catch up with Jude/Lila, Brody/Shiloh, and getting to know Ridge better! I can’t wait for more MacAllisters!
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emery Rose has been known to indulge in good red wine, strong coffee, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. When she’s not working on her latest project, you can find her binge-watching Netflix, trotting the globe in search of sunshine, or immersed in a good book. A former New Yorker, she currently resides in London with her two beautiful daughters.