By Sawyer Bennett
A heart-warming and deliciously funny story about the world’s worst behaved dog and how he trained his human how to love herself again.
Through the haze of vodka and self-loathing, Hazel Roundtree saw the poor creature lying in a ditch.
One brown eye. One blue.
Covered in mud and crying from pain, the puppy was desperately trying to free itself from a hopeless situation.
She almost kept walking by. She had her own problems and besides… no one had ever stopped to help her.
Who we’re ultimately meant to be is a journey without end, but there’s always a defined start…
Hazel had no idea the dog would be her beginning, her second chance, the miracle she never saw coming. She named him Atticus. He grew up to be a very bad–and completely awesome–dog. He took Hazel on a life-changing journey filled with mischievous adventure and painful heartbreak. In the end, Hazel grew up to be completely awesome, too.
An absolute must read.
ATTICUS is a story about love, friendship and forgiveness, but is it a love story? I’d say yes, but not in the way you might be expecting. Told in the POV of Hazel and Atticus, it’s about the unconditional love that forms between a dog and his human. It’s about Hazel learning to love herself and that she is someone worthy of being loved. There is a sliver of romance towards the end, but romance is not the focus of this story, and the story is beyond amazing without it.
I want to say so much more about ATTICUS, but I’m really struggling with words because I feel as though no matter what I say, I just can’t do this book justice. So I will simply say this:
I could not put this book down.
I was deeply moved.
This is the best book I have read this year, and I strongly recommend you read it.
Atticus: A Woman’s Journey with the World’s Worst Behaved Dog
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By Stacey Lynn
First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in a baby carriage. Just not necessarily in that order. . . .
Braxton: I should probably be dead or in jail right now. Instead, thanks to some tough love, I worked my ass off and now I own a string of tattoo parlors throughout the Pacific Northwest. And yet the one thing I’ve always wanted—a family—still seems out of reach. When my best friend gets married, I’m just hoping to blow off some steam with the super-hot maid of honor. But after Cara Thompson tracks me down to tell me she’s pregnant, she’s more surprised than I am when I tell her I’m all in.
Cara: For the first time in my life, I’m living for myself—not for my parents and their ridiculous expectations. I gave up on my MBA, dropped out of the Ivy League, and moved to Portland to pursue my dream of becoming an artist. And what’s the first thing I do? Get knocked up. For a tatted-up sex god, Braxton Henley seems way too eager to “be there for me.” Is this guy serious? Maybe. He sure is patient. Because he won’t back down until I admit what I know in my heart: that our one night stand might’ve led me to the one.
If you’re looking for a sweet and easy read, one that flows well and has just the right amount tension, then KNOCKED UP is for you. It has an enjoyable story, likable and honest main characters, a believable conflict, a sweet resolution and finally, a HEA for Braxton and Cara.
However, I do feel it’s important to point out that the man on the cover looks nothing like Braxton should, who is described as having tattoos that cover his entire torso and arms, from his neck to his knuckles. It’s probably something the author can’t control, but the couple on the cover should look somewhat similar to how they’re described on the inside.
KNOCKED UP is told in dual POVs and while it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. From memory, this is an entirely new set of characters that are in no way connected to the first book.
Knocked Up (Crazy Love # 2)
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Crazy Love Series
It’s a cold game, but this is one HOT cover!
by Kate Willoughby is coming July 23!!!
He’s a hockey player, not a housekeeper.
Cameron Bowes is the face of the San Francisco Dragons, so when the team needs a gimmick to improve their fan relations, Cameron becomes the focus of the new video “At Home with a Dragon”. Unfortunately for Cam, his bachelor pad looks like an earthquake hit it. Repeatedly.
She’s the sexy maid a teammate hires as a joke.
Dakota Kelly has been working non-stop since she was unexpectedly awarded custody of her young niece. Though the little girl’s grandmother swooped in to help, the old woman’s overbearing ways have left Dakota no choice but to work as a janitor and moonlight as a maid in the hopes of one day getting some much-needed space from her niece’s highly controlling Nana.
Lucky for Cam, Dakota turns out to be the miracle worker he desperately needs, and he jumps at the chance to hire her as his live-in housekeeper. Soon, the two can no longer ignore their smoldering chemistry, and it seems turning their business relationship into a happily-ever-after for all three of them will be the next play. There’s just one problem: Nana doesn’t approve, and she’s not about to let her granddaughter go without a fight.
Clean Sweep may be read and enjoyed as a standalone sports romance!
FOLLOW KATE FOR RELEASE ALERTS
Kate is in love with the sport of hockey. And the entire Los Angeles Kings team. Having lived most of her life completely uninterested in professional sports, she is surprised at the intensity of her enthusiasm and her growing collection of Kings merchandise.
She has held a variety of jobs—podiatrist’s assistant, telemarketer, typist, gift wrapper, painter, illustrator’s assistant, paste-up artist, calligrapher, teacher, transcriptionist and barista—but her favorite by far is author. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, their two sons, and a Chihuahua named Mochi.
She is also a member of the Romance Writers of America, Los Angeles Romance Authors, and Santa Clarita Romance Writers, and winner of the 2009 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy/Paranormal Erotic Romance and the 2016 EPPIE Award for Best Contemporary Romance.
Find Kate Online!
By Alanea Alder
When a mysterious illness begins to sweep through Noctem Falls affecting the children, Eleanor Kimball is called to the city to see if she can determine what is wrong. As a pediatrician Eleanor loves children and desires many of her own, however, after several dating disasters she has not only sworn off men, but has given up her dream of a family, and the promise of a destined mate.
After discovering Grant in Noctem Falls she is faced with her own insecurities and finds it hard to believe in his love.
Grant Douglas is a man of few words and doesn’t do well surrounded by others. He is scared to death of finding a mate. He believes the harshness of his past, where he struggled to survive, didn’t cultivate a gentle heart. After a series of terrifying nightmares where his mate is at risk, Grant has decided he doesn’t want a mate at all.
When he meets Ellie, he realizes there are some things worth fighting for. Even if it means putting himself out there by becoming the Alpha he was born to be and facing the power he desperately tries to hide.
As Ellie starts to believe in Grant’s love it will take every ounce their combined strength to discover why the shifter children are suddenly falling ill before it’s too late.
MY DEFENDER is the eighth book in the Bewitched and Bewildered series and was another enjoyable read. The story continues on from MY CHAMPION and follows the mating of Grant (wolf shifter) and Ellie (elephant shifter), and we’re still in Noctem Falls.
As I’ve said in my reviews of the last couple of books, the romance and relationship side of the story is lacking, but that doesn’t really bother me anymore. Instead, I choose to focus on everything else that is going on in this paranormal world that connects these books together.
I don’t remember much about Ellie, other than she’s a really sweet, caring and loving woman. I don’t even remember Grant from the previous two books, even though he’s one of the top Unit Warriors at Noctem Falls, and I assume readers have met before. But while I might not have remembered him at the start, I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about him any time soon. From how he comforts children, to hearing about everything he went through between the ages of twenty and fifty, you can’t help but admire his strength, his compassion and his ability to adapt and survive.
MY DEFENDER is told in dual POVs, with the epilogue being told in Etain’s POV as he’ll get the next book. While each book is about a different couple, the books in this series cannot be read as a stand-alone and must be read in order.
My Defender (Bewitched and Bewildered # 8)
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Bewitched & Bewildered Series
By Stacey Kennedy
I’ve wanted Aria Finley from the moment I met her.
We flirt, we laugh, we connect. It could be perfect.
She’s even best friends with my assistant.
Problem is, she works for my archnemesis—Jackson Keller—and she’s the kind of girl who stays loyal unless you give her a reason not to.
Besides my hard-on there’s something hot between us, and I won’t rest until I put my finger on it.
So when I get the chance to buy Aria for the weekend at a charity auction, there’s no limit.
I’m going to take her home and take what I want because I’ll make her want it too.
And by Monday, she’ll know she’s mine.
Liam Maxwell thinks he can get to me through my assistant.
Well, two can play that game.
Now Mallory Beckett—Liam’s assistant—is mine for the weekend.
Only she has no idea who bought her at the charity auction.
This is going to be worth every penny.
But soon I realize that Mallory has been waiting for my touch all along.
What starts as a fling turns into something more.
From the beginning, I was so focused on stealing her away.
I never thought about the fact that I’d drown if I lost her.
Now the game has changed. And she needs to know that she belongs to me.
BOUGHT BY THE BOSS is made up of two novellas: His Price (Liam and Aria) and Dirty Money (Jackson and Mallory). Once upon a time, Liam and Jackson were best friends and college roommates, but the actions of one destroyed their friendship. Several years later, they’re both very successful corporate lawyers who hate each other with a passion and are always trying to one-up the other. Their rivalry comes to a head when they each bid on the other’s assistant at a charity auction.
Being novellas, both stories are very short, with lots of sex and not a great deal of character development. Despite all the parties knowing each other for at least two years, each story is an insta-love. Both stories are told in dual POVs and while the ending was a little abrupt, it does come with a HEA for both couples.
BOUGHT BY THE BOSS was a good way to spend a couple of hours, but I am glad I got this on sale. I almost never comment on the price of a book, and I know that the author has no say in the sale price, but I do think $4.99 for two novellas totaling less than 200 pages is a bit much.
Bought by the Boss
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By Sarina Bowen
Sometimes you fall for Mr. Right. And sometimes for Mr. Right Now…
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.
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…
SPEAKEASY is the fifth book in the True North series, and I’m sorry to say it was my least enjoyable read from this series.
I liked Alec, who was fun to be around and who treated May like she hung the moon. I liked May, who battled her alcoholic demons every day, and while the struggle at times was immense, she won that battle every day too. I think Sarina did a great job of getting her readers inside the mind of a recovering alcoholic. Not only did I like them as individuals, I liked them as a couple as well. I also liked that we got to see how three of the previous four couples were doing in their lives and how their relationships were progressing.
While I liked the characters and their story, there were two things I wasn’t a fan of. I didn’t like the lesbian fantasy scenes that I felt Alec pushed May into talking about, which he did so purely to satisfy his own sexual curiosity. I also didn’t like how down on themselves Alec and May were throughout the story. I got to a point where I just could not handle their “I’m not good enough” thoughts anymore.
SPEAKEASY is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Alec and May. While it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. As per Goodreads, there will be at least one more book in the True North series, but at the time of writing this review, book 6 is currently untitled, makes no mention of a release date and doesn’t mention who it’s about. I’m thinking it might be about one of Alec’s brothers.
Speakeasy (True North # 5)
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True North Series
Here are our Top Reads from May 2018
By Helena Hunting
Rian Sutter doesn’t usually get hit on in the grocery store, but when she notices a sexy man in a suit checking her out, she thinks maybe it’s her lucky day. Either that or the suit has a thing for sweaty, yoga-pant wearing women with excellent price matching skills.
Turns out it’s neither.
Pierce Whitfield can’t believe his luck when he’s able to track down the woman who scratched up the paint job on his car at the scene of the crime. But when he confronts the hit and run hottie, he discovers there’s not just one, but two of them, and he’s been throwing accusations at the wrong twin.
As repair costs are negotiated, and the chemistry between them flares, Rian and Pierce find out they have more than mutual attraction in common. They’re both vying for the same pieces of prime real estate in The Hamptons and neither one plans to give up without a fight.
Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance—without burning down the house?
When a book has me laughing out loud on page three, I know I’m in for a good read…and I FLIPPING LOVE YOU did not disappoint.
My tank is still dewy, post-exertion, I have terrible under-boob sweat, and my thong is all wonky. If I were alone in this aisle, I’d for sure fix the last issue, but suit guy is here so I must leave the thong where it is for now, wedged uncomfortably between my vagina lips.
I LOVED PIERCE. Absolutely loved him. I loved his confidence and his sense of humor, and he’s probably the best book boyfriend I’ve read in a while. I liked Rian too, but Pierce was definitely the standout character in my opinion. My favorite scene was right at the beginning, where Pierce and Rian first meet in the grocery store, because it was fiery, feisty, exciting and a whole lot of fun. Coming a close second were all the scenes where Pierce was flirting with Rian and trying to win her over with his charm. Oh, and the epilogue. The epilogue was really good too.
“You think it’s sexy that I can do math in my head?”
“Yes. You’re gorgeous, outspoken, and intelligent. It’s a hard-on-inducing trifecta.”
There were a couple of minor things that bothered me throughout the story, like a few repetitive thoughts and scenes, and time jumps that were not identified by breaks within the chapters, which affected the flow of the story at times. But as I said, these were minor and didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the story.
I FLIPPING LOVE YOU is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series—and characters from the previous book do make an appearance or two—it can be read as a stand-alone as it comes with a HEA for Pierce and Rian.
I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up # 3)
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