Tag Archives: ARC

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers # 4)

By Sarina Bowen


You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?


Like every other Sarina Bowen fan out there, I have been waiting for Nate and Becca’s story since we met them in the very first Brooklyn Bruisers book, ROOKIE MOVE back in September 2016.

Nate and Becca are both very easy characters to like. Becca is sweet, loyal, friendly, fun-loving, outgoing, giving and hardworking. She’s very well respected by everyone in the Bruisers organization, from the players to the office staff. Nate is intelligent and generous, but also a little socially awkward, which is absolutely adorable. Although, I will say he seemed more take-charge and less socially awkward in this book than I remember him being in the previous books.

The sound of her voice occasionally gives him goosebumps. When she laughs, he feels it in his chest.

After trying to ignore their attraction to each other for the past seven years, you will definitely be rooting for them to finally get their happily ever after.  But therein also lies some frustration, because a lot of this book involves watching them circle around each other as they try not to cross that line, and then circle around each other again after they do finally cross that line.  Which I understand. I really do. Because Nate is Becca’s boss, so not only does she have to deal with a power imbalance, she also has to worry about how her co-workers will see her if she starts sleeping with the boss.

BROOKLYNAIRE is told in dual POVs and while some of the events in this story take place in PIPE DREAMS—the previous book in the series—it can be read as a stand-alone.  It also includes flashback chapters that give us glimpses into how Becca came to work for Nate, and how they became friends before he was rich and famous, which I really enjoyed. I especially liked the way those chapters were written, as though the characters were speaking in a slightly medieval tongue. Overall, Nate and Becca’s story is a slow build, friends-to-lovers romance, that is a wonderful addition to the Brooklyn Bruisers series.

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers # 4)

My Rating:  

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Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Reed (Cold Fury Hockey # 10)

By Sawyer Bennett


The offseason is heating up for one Carolina Cold Fury heartbreaker who’s eager to make nice with the girl next door.

No one plays like Reed Olson, whether it’s hockey season or not. After back-to-back NHL championships, he’s craving a little R&R. Reed leans to a specific type—blond, busty, and interested—and fortunately he has a little black book full of options. So why is it he can’t stop dreaming about the new girl who just moved in next door? A certified brainiac, she seems to want nothing to do with the hard-bodied athlete.

Josie Ives desperately needs something her celebrity neighbor obviously doesn’t: solitude. Reed is everything she imagined—a little too good-looking, with a body that puts Greek gods to shame. But she didn’t expect he would also be funny and charming. Josie knows she’s the opposite of his type, and that’s fine with her. Still, the chemistry between them is undeniable. Their newfound friendship certainly has its benefits, but she’s starting to wonder if opposites really do attract.


REED is the Cold Fury story I’ve been waiting for since reading MAX, book 6 in the series.

“We’re friends, Josie. The benefits are very good. So good I don’t need benefits from anyone else. Your benefits are the only ones I’m interested in.”

Reed comes across as a bit of a jerk in the beginning. He has a revolving door of blonde models warming his bed, and other than making sure they get off, he doesn’t care about them at all. He doesn’t even want them talking to him. He wants to get off and then get gone. But then he met Josie and slowly became a man I could very easily fall in love with. Considering he’s never had a meaningful relationship before, he did an amazing job of wooing Josie. He was sweet and romantic, and because he had no experience in dating before Josie, it made all his attempts even more special. My favorite scene was when he was upset about burning dinner, because all he wanted to do was make her a nice meal. It was very swoon worthy.

“Why do you want to slow it down?”
“Because I like you, Josie, and you’re not a notch in my bedpost.”

I can’t say much about Josie other than I thought she was smart, level-headed and the exact opposite of the women Reed usually surrounds himself with. She does battle with some insecurities about being with Reed, because she’s been hurt before and she knows she’s not his normal type, but she doesn’t shove her insecurities in your face every five minutes, which I greatly appreciated.

“I don’t know if I can be everything to you, Josie. But I want to be everything that I can possibly be. I want to be exactly what you need.”

I know there are quite a lot of readers out there who are avoiding this book because they’ve heard that Josie has sex with Reed after hearing him have sex with other women. I’ll admit, I was a little worried about that too when I heard about it, but it ended up not bothering me at all. It’s not like Josie hopped straight into Reed’s bed after hearing him; it’s weeks into their growing friendship before they become physical. Besides, they’re both grown ups and are fully aware that the other has had sex with other people before. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to read it, I’d say give it a go, because I don’t think it’s as bad as people are making it out to be.

REED is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Though they didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the story, I did have two minor issues: the conflict is a bit weak and the story ends abruptly. I turned the page—after the previous chapter ended on a sex scene—only to discover that I was at the end of the book. That being said, I really enjoyed watching Reed and Josie get to know each other and become friends, before finally becoming more.

Reed (Cold Fury Hockey # 10)

My Rating:  

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Cold Fury Hockey Series

The Elder

By Celia Aaron


A shocking murder.
A suspicious son.
A dedicated detective.
In Azalea, Mississippi, the only thing hotter than the summer days are the men of the King family. When the patriarch Randall King is found dead, Detective Arabella Matthews will race the clock to stop the killer from striking again. Benton, the eldest of the King siblings, has to decide if he wants to cooperate with the feisty detective or conduct his own investigation. The more he finds out about his father—and the closer he gets to Arabella—the more he wants to keep her safe. But the killer has different plans . . .

–> This is a full-length mystery with a slow-burn romance. xx


Firstly, the cover of The Elder I really love.

The Elder is a slow and steady build-up to a fast-paced conclusion. This whole story takes place over a few days. With this in mind, the first 70% of this story is all about the mystery of who killed The Elder “King” and other members of the town.

I struggled with the pace of the chemistry between Arabella and Benton. There were moments that I hoped we would see a turn but Arabella was so closed off.

Porter, Benton’s brother was actually one of my favourite characters in this whole story. He provided humour and helped connect the two main characters. HIs whole team was great including a stand out being “Santa”.

Interesting that I did not pick all the main players in this mystery until the last few chapters.

When Benton and Arabella finally unite it was wonderful and so I am left disappointed in a way as they are a great couple.

The Elder is definitely more of a mystery/suspense with only a light sprinkle of romance.

The Elder

My Rating:  

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A Shameless Little Con (Shameless #1)

By Meli Raine


I didn’t do it.

I never betrayed my friend.

Last year, I was kidnapped along with presidential candidate’s daughter Lindsay Bosworth, forced to help her assailants, my mother implicated in one of the biggest political scandals in American history.

I’ve been cleared of any wrongdoing, but that doesn’t matter. Once you’re tried by the media, you’re guilty as sin. The truth doesn’t get the public’s attention.

But shame? Shame sells.

And everyone assumes you’re tainted.

Now I have my own personal security team, courtesy of the United States government. Not the one you learned about in civics class, though.

I’m being tracked by the deep state. The shadow government. They’ve assigned Silas Gentian to be with me twenty-four seven. He thinks he knows everything about me – all of it bad — and he does.

On paper.

Like everyone else, he assumes I’m a traitor. A backstabber. A betrayer. Someone who helped a group of violent psychopaths, puppets of powerful men in Washington who made me into a tool.

Yet I see how he looks at me. True desire can’t be faked.

Or hidden.

And that goes both ways.

He assumes I’m trying to fool him.

And he might be right.

But not for the reasons he thinks.

A Shameless Little Con is the first book in the Shameless trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.


A Shameless Little Con picks up months after The Harmless Series ends.

Having read and loved The Harmless series, I still had lingering questions and thoughts floating from that completion.  I was not ready to leave Lindsay and Drew so am very happy they play pivotal roles in Jane’s personal story.

Jane was one character that left me with many questions hanging over her and also personally Monica Bosworth the Senators Wife and Lindsay’s mother.  Monica is as vicious as ever in this first installment of this trilogy.

So many secrets and such mystery surround Jane and her mother and their connection to the political arena.  Upon the first few chapters, I was on Jane’s side wanting to support her.  This story spans just a few days as so much is happening with threats against Jane and also other members of the Bosworth group.

A Shameless Little Con finishes at a particular moment that will totally change the course of Jane’s story going forward.  Silas’s personal story with Kelly is heartbreaking and I hope my wishes come true for a future with Jane as there is a slow burn of attraction building.

Senator Bosworth does not make much of an impact in this installment as he is busy running for President.  I remain with many unanswered questions about Senator Nolan Corning and those three boys.  I have suspicions about his motives now considering the ending of this installment.

It is such a riveting read with drama, secrets, and emotions.  I felt such exhaustion for Jane to be continually alert to threats from inside and outside of the Bosworth arena.

This book briefly at the start rehashes major parts of the Harmless Trilogy.  To really get into the political backstory and drama I highly recommend reading The Harmless Trilogy first.

A Shameless Little Con (Shameless #1)

My Rating:  

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Hostage (Criminals & Captives #2)

By Skye Warren & Annika Martin



I’d never even kissed a boy the night I met Stone. The night I saw him kill. The night he spared my life. That was only the beginning.

He turns up in my car again and again, dangerous and full of raw power. “Drive,” he tells me, and I have no choice. He’s a criminal with burning green eyes, invading my life and my dreams.

The police say he’s dangerously obsessed with me, but I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe it’s wrong to let him touch me. Maybe it’s wrong to touch him back. Maybe these twisted dates need to stop. Except he feels like the only real thing in my world of designer labels and mansions.

So I drive us under threat, until it’s hard to remember I don’t want to be there.

Until it’s too late to turn back.

HOSTAGE is a dangerous standalone romance by New York Times bestselling authors Skye Warren and Annika Martin. It’s set in the same world as PRISONER, but can read separately! 


Hostage had me hooked from the first few chapters and I read this in a day, simply could not put it down.  Upon finishing I have already purchased Prisoner which explains Grayson and Abby who we meet towards the end of this story.

One favourite component of this story is the relationship of the men living at The Bradford Hotel.  What a harrowing way to grow up and their bond and sense of family was one of my favourite parts.

The first half is a slow build to the secrets and realizations of the background story.  As the story builds in relation to the retribution, the characters develop and you get a sense there are more connections.

The interactions between Stone and Brooke take place over a few years.  Given their age difference, it is interesting to following the development.  Consequently, In the end, it is built honestly and in a believable manner.

Brooke & Stone’s sexual moments are built slowly in line with the innocence and done respectfully but provide great heat and anticipation.

Many characters at the beginning will evolve and have you second-guessing your instincts and perceptions, it will make you think.  Detective Rivera and Brooke’s dad were two surprising standouts that forced me to change my beliefs.

Hostage left me satisfied with the outcome for Brooke, Stone and their extended family.

Finally, if you enjoyed The Endgame series by this author you will enjoy Hostage like I did.

Hostage (Criminals & Captives #2)

My Rating:  

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Captive Beauty

By Natasha Knight



The Beast had Belle.
Killian Black has me.

How I got here doesn’t matter, even though he says it does. Says it was my choice. He doesn’t get it, though. It wasn’t ever a choice for me.

And now, he’s changing the rules.

The agreement was one month. For thirty days, I’d be his. He’s no longer satisfied with my body alone, though. He wants my soul, too. Wants every part of me. And even though I can pretend I’m safe when I lie beneath him, this man does something to me. Something wicked.

A thing that will break me.


People suck at consequences.

Cilla made the choice. She offered the deal. I just took her up on it. So what if I changed the rules half-way in? I’m not apologizing for it.

See, Cilla and me, we’re the same. She’s dark. As dark as me. Something happened to her. Something bad. It damaged her.

But it’s not a hero she seeks. It’s an avenging angel. A dark knight. That, I can do. I’ll slay her dragons, but it’ll cost her, because in return, I want everything. And I’ll take it.

She’s mine.

Author’s note: Captive Beauty is a standalone romance. Think Beauty and the Beast, but twisted and dark in the best, dirtiest ways.


Loved this Dark and erotic romance with a highly emotional and thought-provoking sub-story.

Cilla and her brother’s story Is heartbreaking and when you think you know their secret, be prepared. I had a thought about them and was praying I was wrong, I was not, it brought tears to my eyes.

Kill’s history is no better with his own family and this will make you forgive him for his highly built emotional barriers. His ability to see past Cillas walls and his relentless need to slay her dragons made him my hero.

Kill and Cilla in their own way heal each other and it is beautiful and painful. Their love and passion are not enough to break their barriers. I was simply riveted by this story, the pace is perfect as is the suspenseful secrets.

The sexual scenes are frantic, sensual and loving, no two scenes are the same.

It was interesting to follow the change in the relationship dynamics between Cilla, Kill, and Jones. The characters grew and developed over the story which was impressive considering their mental, physical and emotional traumas.

The epilogue is heartwarming and has left me totally satisfied.

Captive Beauty

My Rating:  

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Ryan’s Bed

By Tijan


I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.

I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed—her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…

I didn’t.
I didn’t jump out.
I didn’t get embarrassed.
I relaxed.
And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.

I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.

The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.
He became my sanctuary.

Because—four hours earlier—my twin sister killed herself.


The cover of Ryan’s Bed is simply beautiful and visually expresses the fragility that is Mackenzie.

Admittedly, I couldn’t put this story down, it was gripping and at particular moments had great depth and maturity.   Drama surrounding the girls at her new school was not needed in my opinion for this highly sensitive story.

Mackenzie was an interesting character, so closed off with grief and her inner banter with her sister helped to cement their connection.  Their moments left many questions as I continued through the story. Over the 12 month period, the author built the relationship between Ryan and Mackenzie realistically.

Her mother and father’s part in this story confused me at times and made me very angry.  The way they just left their teenage daughter to fend for herself made me sad and confused. Two favourite moments for me in the book are Mackenzie standing up to her parents and showing them she is alive and relevant.  Her brother was a wonderful character and the love between sister and brother mended my heart and gave hope.

Most of all, upon turning the last page, I was shocked but also disappointed because this alarming fact could have made this story so much more.

Left to wonder should I read this again to see if I pick up any clues.   The counselor and her sessions are making me question her words.  There are moments between Mackenzie and her parents which start to make sense upon the conclusion.

I have too many questions at the end to feel 5 stars satisfied

Quote:  I was coming together even as I was falling apart

Ryan’s Bed

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Midnight Blue

By L J Shen



From bestselling author L.J. Shen, comes a new, standalone, contemporary romance.

It should have been easy.
I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.
I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.
The worst part is that I should have known better.
Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.
“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”
Guess what? I didn’t listen.
I signed the contract.
World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.
My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.
Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.
Then he took my heart.
Then he took my all. 


Indie from the first few chapters in MIdnight Blue melted my heart, made me feel helpless but also determined.  She was strong and stubborn yet so fragile at moments that made me tear up particularly for her family situation.

Alex was a typical musician and his music family provided many complications in this story and drama.

Alex and Indie’s physical and emotional connection to each other was poetry on the pages.

Midnight Bue is told in dual point of view thereby assisting in connecting to both characters and their personal demons.  Personally, the length of the story was wonderful and allowed us to fully engage with the characters and the build-up to the dramatic secrets being revealed.

I definitely enjoyed the second half of Midnight Blue more than the first but they both were important to the overall build up and sexual frustration to this story.  The way the author takes us to different cities around the world was enjoyable.

Moving to the Paris chapter, I was expecting drama with the reunion but to experience, the devastation and betrayal in that chapter simply left me shattered.

Indie will stay with me for a long time, her individuality and the way the music family became her protectors was beautiful and gave me hope.

Finally, the Epilogue was brilliant and left me totally satisfied with all the characters and their final moments of where Midnight Blue concludes.

Quote:  “You look at me with dynamite in your eyes, waiting for me to light up the match and finally set you on fire”

Midnight Blue

My Rating:  

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By Alyn Martinez



Technically, you aren’t supposed to fall in love with your best friend’s girl.

But if we’re talking technicalities, he wasn’t supposed to be cheating on her every other weekend, either.

The day I met Mira York, I knew she was off-limits. But after months of stealing side-glances while he ruined the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, I realized there wasn’t a rule in the world I wouldn’t break to make her mine.

She chose him anyway.

I wasn’t sure how I’d ever move on, but bitterness turned into fuel for my fire.

Without Mira, I thrived.

Until seventeen years later, when she showed back up, begging for protection from the very same man she’d left me for all those years earlier.

Now, it was my turn to choose.

And she wasn’t going to like my answer.

THRIVE takes place seventeen years AFTER a love triangle.


Thrive is a love story with moments that make you catch your breath, hope for happiness and hold on for dear life.  From the first few chapters you flow from present to past, we learn about Kurt, Lark, and Mira.  At times I became frustrated as I truly just wanted to return to the present.  I was impatient for my happy ever after.  Upon reading their young love you know as a reader that this reunion was going to be epic and it was.  I am so happy at the end of this story, I could not hold back my smile.  The last few chapters are brilliant in the way the author ties up the loose ends.

From the first few chapters, I felt such despair but kindness for Mira.  Unfortunately, she just made bad decisions when young and when simple communication would have enabled her to thrive in a good life.   There is so much manipulation and secrets from her life that I simply failed to comprehend and provided such surprises right up to the last few chapters.

Inner thoughts help with the connection between the two main characters Mira and Lark.  At no time did I second guess their actions and the story flowed perfectly.

Mira was such a contradiction for me as a character, in the beginning, she was weak.  As each inner bruise was healed with hope, support & love she became so strong.  Lark was very abrupt and cold however as the first crack in armor occurred he was gone.  It was enjoyable to read the banter from his workmates at the Guardian Protection Agency.

Surprising me was a fantastic backstory of Mira and Kurt, the secrets and suspense provided great moments. Lark’s alpha protectiveness that makes him so hot delivered in the bedroom and anywhere else.  A favourite character for me was Matteo, he provided some great humour, darkness but adoration for Mira.  His whole story I loved and at this point, I could not put this book down.

Thrive had so many favourite chapters that I cannot pick a standout, so many played important moments in this long lost love story.

My second book by this author and it will not be my last.  I have not read the first book in this series and you do not have to in order to enjoy this installment.

Quote:  “Safe. Secure. Comfortable. Three Things I only every felt with him.”


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Man Card (Man Hands # 2)

By Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby


Nothing ventured, nothing banged.

I still don’t know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor—our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down…
It can never happen again. I don’t even like Braht. He’s too slick. He’s a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.
So why can’t I get him out of my head?

There are two things I know without question.
One: Ash and I are destined for each other.
Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.
Ash is my missing my piece. She’s the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don’t call her the Ashkicker for nothing.
Eventually I’ll win her over…if my past doesn’t ruin everything first.


I really liked MAN CARD.  It was a fun read from the very first page to the very last, and it was a great way to spend a few hours.

I liked Ash.  She’s determined, she gives as good as she gets, and she’s a great friend to her two besties: Brynn and Sadie.  But I can’t say much more about Ash because in my opinion, Braht stole the show.  I loved his boudoir photo shoot scene, as well as his pedicure scene with his octogenarian friends.  Both scenes were hilarious and really highlighted his playful and sweet sides.  But while he might be a prankster who likes his skin to be as soft as a baby’s bottom, he’s strong and smart enough to take care of what’s his.  He’s been looking after his little brother since he was seventeen, and when Ash was being harassed by an ex, Braht came up with ways to help keep her safe.  Together, their banter was always witty and fun.

MAN CARD is told in dual POVs and while it is part of the Man Hands series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  We did see a little of the previous couple, Brynn and Tom, and it was nice to see how they were doing and what was new with them.  I’m assuming—and hoping—Sadie will get her own book next, given that her husband is a dick who doesn’t deserve her.  MAN CARD comes with a sweet and humorous epilogue that was oh so Braht and Ash, and just perfect.

Man Card (Man Hands # 2)

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Man Hands Series