August 12, 2020

IT FELT LIKE A WORDLESS WEDNESDAY KINDA DAY

 

















BLOG TOUR & BOOK REVIEW: The Pool Boy by Nikki Sloane

From USA Today bestselling author Nikki Sloane comes a sexy, edgy new standalone in the Nashville Neighborhood series.



BOOK BLURB


Nothing says happy birthday like catching your husband in a compromising position with his boss. 

His male boss.

Why, hello, midlife crisis.
I'm starting over, but this time I'm doing it right.
Or at least I'm doing what I want.

Taking the day off from work to hang out poolside?
Yup.
Do I leave the swimsuit in my house?
Sure.

Does my very hot, twenty-something pool boy happen to catch me naked?
Oh, yeah, he does. And he likes what he sees... a lot.

My best friend keeps telling me to have a fling and get back out there.
But I'm not so sure she meant for me to do it with her son.

EXCERPT


Troy Osbourne came once a week to service both my pool and the freestanding spa. I'd hired him last year to handle closing and covering the pool for the winter, then reopening it for me last month, and the weekly visits that followed had kept the water crystal clear and the pH perfectly balanced.

My pool had never looked so good.

But Troy always came when I was at work and let himself in through the gate at the side of my fence, so I had completely forgotten his schedule. He must have gone behind the pool house and inside to fetch his supplies, and when he'd rounded the corner and discovered me topless, he'd dropped everything in his arms. 

Including the long pole with the net at the end.

It was as if someone had put their foot down on the sustain pedal of a piano, only this piano played the music of time, and the moment suspended with my long, drawn out gasp.

I was topless, and he was frozen, and holy shit, he's my best friend's twenty-four-year-old son.

It burst from my lips in horror. "Oh, fuck!"

In my panic, I grasped at my towel to cover myself, only to struggle, hopelessly, since it was pinned beneath my body. I leapt to my feet and yanked the terrycloth up, pressing it over my naked chest.

Troy still hadn't moved. His lips were open, as if he'd planned to say something, but now he was frozen and unable to do anything. I couldn't see his eyes behind his mirrored Aviator sunglasses, but he didn't seem to be breathing. 

So, I did what any reasonable woman would when a gorgeous almost-stranger caught her naked.

I ran.

MY THOUGHTS

Genre: Contemporary / Erotic Romance 
POV: Alternating First Person 
Overall: 4 STARS
Character Development: 5 STARS
Steam Factor: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Nikki Sloane never disappoints. I've read every single book, novella, and short story she's ever published, and every single book, novella, and short story has been nothing short of spectacular




THE POOL BOY strikes the perfect balance between steamy and heartfelt moments. It's a perfect mix of sweetness and filth.


At the age of 42, Erika is in the best shape of her life. She can't figure out why her sex drive has ramped up to the max while her husband's seems to be fading, but it begins to make more sense when she catches him cheating on her with his boss.  

Ten months later, Erika is desperate for some release (if ya know what I mean), but fears of striking out have kept her from the dating scene. Instead, she keeps herself busy working as a talent agent. Fear once kept her from something else -- pursuing her dream of becoming a singer-songwriter. For Erika, scouting for talent is the next best thing. 

Meanwhile...

At the age of 24, Troy is stuck working for his stepdad's construction company. It's one of a few jobs, actually. He also teaches a fitness class at the gym and cleans the pool for Ms. Erika Graham. 

Troy's stepfather wants him to take over his company someday, but Troy hates the work and secretly dreams of performing music. So, he picks up gigs at a local dive bar on the weekends.

Troy has harbored a crush on Erika for years, but he knows that, realistically, the only place they will ever hook up is in his fantasies. Cue: fantasy comes to life. 




Erika is initially mortified when Troy finds her tanning topless, but her embarrassment quickly fades into fascination when she sees how it affected him.  


He said it like it wasn't his fault.
"You were topless."

"You're saying," I glanced at his erection, "I caused that?"

"Can we, like, forget that happened?"

"Show me," I pleaded.
"I want to see it."

"What?"

"You saw me," I offered.
"I... want to see you."

The corner of his mouth lifted in a hesitant smile,
and he delivered a look that said we shouldn't
but also let's do it anyway.
It was playful and reckless.
A deadly combination.

"I'll show you mine," he said,
both joking and entirely serious,
"if you show me yours."





As you can imagine, things escalate pretty quickly from there.

Surprisingly, aside from their age difference, Troy and Erika seem perfect for each other. Things feel easy and natural, they have a lot in common, and they inspire one another. Erika encourages Troy to pursue his dreams, and songwriting seems to just pour out of Erika whenever Troy is around.  


"His mouth was the same as his singing voice.
Gentle one second and full of commanding power the next."


No matter how things may seem, a relationship for Troy and Erika would not be easy. For one thing, Erika's best friend is also Troy's overbearing mom and they've both been lying to her. For another, she's now managing his musical career and a relationship wouldn't be appropriate. Last but not least, Erika struggles with their age gap and often worries that she's keeping him from doing normal 24-year-old things.  




MY REVIEW


I loved watching the relationship between Troy and Erika grow and evolve. They lift each other up, and that's always a beautiful thing. Like THE DOCTOR (the first book of this series) THE POOL BOY is a fun, steamy, quick and easy read. I loved that Clark worked for Hale Banking and Holding (Filthy Rich Americans, shout out!) and the cameo of Dr. Lowe and Cassidy was great. I loved that Erika was able to seek his advice. It was the perfect touch! 

It should come as a surprise to no one that I loved this book. I love all of Nikki Sloane's books. The woman can write a sex scene like nobody else -- they are always super hot without being cringy. That's not easy to do, but Sloane seems to nail it every time. (Giggity.)



Download THE POOL BOY today!


Amazon: https://amzn.to/39TKob6

Apple Books:https://apple.co/2BTlM5t

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2Xm61LU

Kobo:https://bit.ly/2XnDmGm

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Pm5tBy



USA TODAY bestselling author Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years, she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there.

Now she lives in Kentucky, is married and has two sons. She is a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA Finalist, a Passionate Plume winner, a two-time HOLT Medallion finalist, and couldn't be happier that people enjoy reading her sexy words.

CONNECT WITH NIKKI





*A big thank you to the author and her PR group for granting me the opportunity to read an advanced reader copy of this book. The thoughts expressed here are my own personal opinions and have been written in my own words.

August 2, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka



I initially gave this book three stars because it had so much potential, but I had to remove a star after I ruminated on it for a bit. There were just so many plot issues that I couldn't give it three stars in good conscience.



TIME OF OUR LIVES was marketed as Young Adult / Contemporary Romance. This book is not a contemporary romance story. It's a coming-of-age story (which is fine -- I love a good coming-of-age!) with a few romantic moments sprinkled in here and there. Perhaps I would've enjoyed the book had I known that, but I was in the mood for a feel good romance. I chose to read this particular book at this particular time because I was led to believe it would be similar to the duo's previous novels (which were adorable love stories that I loved!) IT WAS NOT THAT.

The plot (or lack thereof) moves very slow. The first half of the book failed to hold my interest, and I didn't pick it back up for nearly two weeks because I just didn't care about the outcome.


Juniper's life is chaotic at home in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her multi-generational household is filled to the brim, and she yearns for the freedom an out-of-state school would provide.

Fitz lives in New Hampshire with his mom and feels a great deal of responsibility for her. His mother carries the gene for early onset Alzheimer's Disease, and Fitz has resigned himself to a future attending a nearby college. He's never allowed himself to consider the possibility of going away for college.

Fitz begrudgingly agrees to visit a few colleges in the northeast to appease his mother. At the same time, Juniper is setting off an a week-long college tour with her boyfriend Matt. Herein lies problemo numero uno -- not only is it obvious that Matt's character is nothing more than a plot device to get Juniper in NYC alone (as no responsible parent would let their teenage daughter go traipsing across the northeastern United States by herself), but the author doesn't break them up until halfway through the book. Literally -- at the 50% mark! Yet, the story is set up to focus on a relationship between Juniper and Fitz.

We're then supposed to believe Juniper's completely over her charming, athletic, hunk of an ex-boyfriend a few hours later and is eager to continue her college tour with some random and awkward dude that she just met. 


To see the rest of my review (spoilers included),
you can read it on Goodreads >>> here.

May 21, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary


the flatshare book cover


BOOK SYNOPSIS


Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met.


Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window.



MY SYNOPSIS


When Tiffy's (short for Tiffany) ex-boyfriend moves on to another girl, he understandably encourages her to find a place of her own but her choices are limited. Tiffy earns diddlysquat working for the publisher of a craft magazine, and she owes her ex a bit of back pay on rent. She loves her job and can't bear to quit, but she can't afford her own flat in London either. Luckily, she comes across Leon's advert.

Leon works as a palliative care nurse at a hospice facility and makes enough money to cover the rent on his place. However, he needs extra income to hire a good attorney. His brother has been wrongfully convicted of a crime and desperately needs someone to represent him in appellate court. A second job isn't really feasible for Leon because he mostly works overnight to make more money. After brainstorming various ways to make money, he ultimately decides to procure a flatmate. It seems like the perfect solution because they will be occupying the flat at opposite times of the day. (Tiffy also has custody of the flat on weekends because Leon stays at his girlfriend's place anyway).

"I have a feeling Tiffy becomes 'our girl' easily -- she's the sort of person distant relatives and absent neighbors still like to claim some credit for."

Leon's new flatmate is friendly, and loquacious, and goofy, and fun. Her bubbly personality, tall stature (six feet!), and funky outfits grab the attention of everyone around her. Leon -- on the other hand -- is kind, and stoic, and likes to keep to himself. He's not a man of many words, often settles for the status quo to avoid change, and shies away from anything that might attract attention. In other words, Tiffy and Leon are polar opposites. But, that's okay! Because they will never see each other anyway!

Instead, the flatmates communicate thru Post-Its they leave all over the flat. The notes are innocuous at first -- general house upkeep or other trivial matters -- but they become more personal over time. Soon, they realize they've found an ally in this unexpected place and a relationship starts to bloom.

"Feels so different now that I've met her. Can't believe I wasted all that time -- not just those months, but the time before that, the years of dawdling, settling, waiting."


MY TAKE



"There's more emotion here than at an airport arrivals lounge.
Love Actually was missing a trick."


Leon and Tiffy are utterly charming, adorable, and unique. In fact, unique is the perfect way to describe this book.

The PLOT is unique.
The characters and their JOBS are unique.
The WRITING FORMAT is unique.

That's what really tips the scales and makes this book a winner in my eyes. It is so very difficult to find books that are unique. Every theme has been done a million times over (especially in romance novels), so it's exciting to read a book with a fresh storyline. 


MY RATING


OVERALL: 4 STARS
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 5 STARS
STORYLINE: 5 STARS

THE FLATSHARE is a heartwarming and feelgood novel that is well worth the read.    


May 13, 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Hunter by L.J. Shen

THE HUNTER really surprised me.
While Shen's writing is as clever and addictive as ever, it took a while for me to warm up to Hunter. Initially, I was not a fan.

"He was fearless, and a rebel, and a sinner, and a saint. 

A prince who'd never wanted his title.

A pure-hearted rake."


The story begins with Hunter knee deep in debauchery from the jump. And, it's shockingly gross debauchery at that. I'll just say that it involves a sex tape of a very public orgy and keep it at that.


Hunter is completely different from the heros I'm used to seeing from Shen.
He's a manwhore with a potty mouth and can turn anything into a sexual innuendo. He has zero shame and gives zero f*cks.

But... he does have his moments.
He's funny and flirtatious. He's kind and charismatic. He can be completely charming when he wants to be. And, let us not forget that he is f-i-n-e, finnnneeee.

He is Sebastian from Cruel Intentions (minus the stoicism).
He is Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl (but without all the snobbery).   
He is Wade from Hart of Dixie (if you replace the southern accent with a Boston accent).
He is John Tucker from John Tucker Must Die (but a hundred times filthier). 


Despite Hunter's arrogance and gross sexual habits at the beginning, he eventually grew on me and I had fun watching his character development. 

The one thing I really love about L.J. Shen is the way that she intertwines her series and connects the lives of her characters.

Boston Belles is about the Fitzpatrick family.
Hunter Fitzpatrick is friends with the guys featured in All Saints High.
All Saints High is centered around the children of the characters from Sinners of Saint.

The cherry on top with THE HUNTER is that Sailor is the daughter of the couple featured in Shen's standalone novel, SPARROW.


There are a few brief cameos of Knight, Vaughn, and Luna, but don't expect to see a lot of them. Vaughn's only appearance is in the very first chapter. Although, Troy and Sparrow have a solid showing and I was happy to get a glimpse of the Brennan family dynamic.


Ultimately...
I love this book because it was written by L.J. Shen. She's one of my favorite authors (she's in my top three, at least), so you'll be hard pressed to hear me utter a negative word about her.

THE HUNTER is an extremely well-written, funny, and delightful read... but there's very little romance and it wasn't my favorite.



MY RATING


OVERALL: 4 STARS
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 4 STARS
STORYLINE: 4 STARS
STEAM FACTOR: 🔥🔥


May 11, 2020

RELEASE BLITZ: The Hunter by L.J. Shen

"This is L.J. Shen at her wittiest, steamiest, heart-aching best!"
- Kennedy Ryan, Wall Street Journal bestselling author

the hunter book by l.j. shen

The Hunter, an all-new scorching hot contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is AVAILABLE NOW!


the hunter by l.j. shen available now

Boston's debauched elite is going up in flames, and it's the Fitzpatrick family that set it on fire.



HUNTER

I didn't mean to star in a sex tape, okay?
It was just one of those unexplainable things. Like Stonehenge, Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds. 
It just happened.
Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston's nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan. 
The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take my place in Royal Pipelines, my family's oil company. 
Little does she know, that's not the only pipe I'll be laying...


SAILOR

I didn't want this gig, okay?
But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.
I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.
Besides, what's six months in the grand scheme of things?
It's not like I'm in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston's most eligible bachelors.
No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick's charm.
Even at the cost of losing everything I have.
Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom.


the hunter by l.j. shen


Download your copy today or read FREE on Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/hunterlj

Add THE HUNTER to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Qav11R

About L.J. Shen

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post, and Amazon #1 bestselling author of contemporary, new adult, and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows, and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.


Connect with L.J. Shen

Facebook:        http://bit.ly/2OhSvp1
Goodreads:      http://bit.ly/2yhgPBx
Instagram:       http://bit.ly/2AIOiTo
Pinterest:         http://bit.ly/2oMbFsu


Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list: http://bit.ly/36MnmAQ
Website: http://www.authorljshen.com/




April 24, 2020

COVER REVEAL: The Hunter by L.J. Shen

Boston's debauched elite is going up in flames, and it's the Fitzpatrick family that set it on fire. 


The Hunter, an all-new dazzling and delicious contemporary romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is coming May 11th and I have the stunning cover!



HUNTER


I didn't mean to star in a sex tape, okay? 
It was just one of those unexplainable things.
Like Stonehenge, Police Academy 2, and morning glory clouds. 
It just happened.

Now my ball-busting father is sentencing me to six months of celibacy, sobriety, and morbid boredom under the roof of Boston's nerdiest girl alive, Sailor Brennan.
The virginal archer is supposed to babysit my ass while I learn to take my place in Royal Pipelines, my family's oil company.
Little does she know, that's not the only pipe I'll be laying...

SAILOR


I didn't want this gig, okay?
But the deal was too sweet to walk away from.
I needed the public endorsement; Hunter needed a nanny.
Besides, what's six months in the grand scheme of things?
It's not like I'm in danger of falling in love with the appallingly gorgeous, charismatic gazillionaire who happens to be one of Boston's most eligible bachelors.
No. I will remain immune to Hunter Fitzpatrick's charm.
Even at the cost of losing everything I have.
Even at the cost of burning down his kingdom.


Add THE HUNTER to Goodreads >>> http://bit.ly/2Qav11R
Be notified FIRST when The Hunter is live >>> http://bit.ly/36MnmAQ


Cover Designer: Lori Jackson
Photographer: Michelle Lancaster
Cover Model: Chase Chase Mattson

About L.J. Shen

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post, and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult, and YA romance. Her books have been sold in twenty different countries. She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J. Shen >>> Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list >>> http://bit.ly/36MnmAQ




April 6, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Admission by Julie Buxbaum

ADMISSION is a fictional story about the very real college admissions scandal that sparked outrage and passionate debate across the country. With sensitivity and grace, Julie Buxbaum has woven a tale about the forces that perpetuate elitism and white privilege and the destruction those forces leave in their wake. 




Chloe Berringer is living the good life in sunny, southern California. Well... she was before the FBI showed up on her doorstep with their guns drawn and a warrant for her mother's arrest. 

Before the FBI came knocking on her door, Chloe lived the most uneventful life that ever existed. Nothing bad ever happened to her, and her senior year was quickly becoming the best one yet. Not only was she recently accepted into the college of her dreams, despite her mediocre grade point average and the school's highly competitive acceptance policy, but her lifelong crush has also just invited her to Prom. However, Chloe's life dramatically changes after her mother's arrest. She can't go back to school, her best friend is MIA, and she's forced to ask herself some really tough questions.


MY TAKE


I was truly captivated by Chloe's story. Indeed, I read ADMISSION from start to finish without putting the book down. There are a few minor plot holes that involve secondary characters, but I thoroughly enjoyed the book overall. I also think it's an important and relevant story worth telling.  Ignorance may be bliss, but it can be irresponsible and dangerous too. 

OVERALL STARS: 4 STARS
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 5 STARS
STORY LINE: 4 STARS

Scheduled Publish Date: December 1, 2020


*A big thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review.

February 28, 2020

COVER REVEAL: The Pool Boy by Nikki Sloane

From USA Today bestselling author Nikki Sloane comes a sexy, edgy new standalone in the Nashville Neighborhood series.

An all-new standalone erotic romance by Nikki Sloane is coming July 14, 2020!

the pool boy by nikki sloane cover reveal
Cover Designer: Shady Creek Designs

THE POOL BOY


Nothing says happy birthday like catching your husband in a compromising position with his boss. 

His male boss.

Why, hello, midlife crisis. I'm starting over, but this time I'm doing it right.
Or at least I'm doing what I want.

Taking the day off from work to hang out poolside? Yup.
Do I leave the swimsuit in my house? Sure.

Does my very hot, twenty-something pool boy happen to catch me naked? Oh, yeah, he does.
And he likes what he sees... a lot.

My best friend keeps telling me to have a fling and get back out there.
But I'm not so sure she meant for me to do it with her son.


PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!





ABOUT NIKKI


USA Today bestselling author Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers' as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there.

Now she lives in Kentucky, is married and has two sons. She is a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA© Finalist, a Passionate Plume winner, a HOLT Medallion finalist, and couldn't be happier that people enjoy reading her sexy words.


CONNECT WITH NIKKI


Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub | Goodreads

Join Nikki's mailing list here >>> https://www.nikkisloane.com/newsletter

January 24, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Twisted Twosome by Meghan Quinn


twisted twosome book cover

Racer is a total man's man.

He builds houses.
He works hard for his money.
And he has a hot body to show for it.

(If you've read My Best Friend's Ex, you might remember Racer as Tucker's friend with the Little Debbie snacks obsession.)

While Racer is rough around the edges, Georgiana is the opposite. She's polished and refined like fine china (but delicate she is not). Despite living a life of wealth and privilege, G has dreams of finding her own way by owning her own bridal boutique. Armed with a business degree from Columbia and a solid business plan, the only thing standing in G's way is Daddy Dearest. He has other ideas about the role a woman should play in a "man's world" and is willing to do whatever it takes to thwart her dream.



After Georgiana's father uses his clout in the construction industry to blackball his own daughter, G desperately needs help from Racer to complete the remodel on her storefront. As for Racer, he risks losing the house he built with his deceased father if he refuses G's job offer. The partnership seems like a no-brainer because it's mutually beneficial to both parties. However, a previous encounter that ended in a shouting match left them both with a negative impression of the other. Forced into a volatile situation out of sheer desperation, Racer & Georgiana must learn how to work together without killing each other or, something equally stupid, falling in love.

As always, the shenanigans Quinn dreams up will have you laughing out loud. The crazy pranks Racer and G pull on one another are hilarious, and my heart melted into goo at Racer's sweetness.



"He believes in you, G. Straight-up, that man is a keeper. I know you're guarded, and you have every reason to be. But Racer? Even though you've never looked for or needed a knight in shining armor, that is what he is. Not as a rescuer, but as a believer. In you. He is completely and unashamedly there for and with you." 


My Rating



OVERALL: 4 STARS
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 4 STARS
STORY LINE: 5 STARS
STEAM FACTOR: 🔥🔥🔥🔥