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, f*ck!"

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. So, she doesn't understand why her husband's sex drive seems to be fading until she catches him cheating with his male boss.  

Fast forward ten months. Erika is desperate for release (if ya know what I mean), but her fear of striking out has kept her from the dating scene. Instead, she keeps busy working as talent scout a Nashville music agency. She once had dreams of being a singer-songwriter, but she let fear keep her from pursuing that too.

Meanwhile...

At the age of 24, Troy is stuck working for his stepdad's construction company. It's one of a few jobs he keeps, 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 the business 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 knows that, realistically, the only place they'll be hooking up is in his fantasies. Cue: fantasy come to life. 




Erika is initially mortified when Troy finds her tanning topless, but her embarrassment quickly fades into fascination when she sees how she affects 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 easy things may seem, forming a solid relationship will not be easy for Troy and Erika. For one thing, his overbearing mom is Erika's best friend and they have both been lying to her. For another, Erika is now managing Troy's music career and it wouldn't be appropriate to have a personal relationship with him. Lastly, Erika struggles with the age gap and worries that Troy will miss out on typical 24-year-old experiences by being with her. 




MY REVIEW


I loved watching the relationship between Troy and Erika grow and evolve. They lift each other up and that's 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 the connection between Erika's ex-husband and Hale Banking and Holding (Filthy Rich Americans, shout out!), and the cameo of Dr. Lowe and Cassidy was great. He's the perfect person to give Erika advice!

It should come as no surprise that I loved this book; I love everything that Sloane has ever written. The woman can write a sex scene like nobody's business -- the scenes are always super hot without the cringe. That's no easy feat, yet Sloane manages 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 TIME OF OUR LIVES three stars because it had so much potential. But after ruminating on it a bit, I removed one of those stars. The book just has way too many plot holes for me to give it a three-star rating in good conscience.


TIME OF OUR LIVES has been marketed as Young Adult / Contemporary Romance. This book is NOT contemporary romance; it's a coming-of-age story (which is perfectly fine -- I love a good coming-of-age!) with a romantic moment or two here and there.

Perhaps, the story would've been more enjoyable to me had I not been in the mood for an adorable, feel good romance. I chose to read this particular book, at this particular time, because I was led to believe that it would be similar to the YA Romance novels previously published by this author duo. THAT IS NOT THE CASE.

The plot (or should I say lack thereof) moves verrrrry slow, and the first half failed to hold my interest. When I put it down, I didn't pick it back up for two weeks because I didn't care about the outcome.


Juniper has a chaotic life at home in Springfield, Massachusetts. She lives in a multi-generational household and 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 pressure to take care of her (she carries the gene for early onset Alzheimer's). Although he's resigned himself to a future attending a nearby college, he begrudgingly agrees to tour several universities in the northeast to appease his mother.

As Fitz sets off on his college tour, Juniper and her boyfriend Matt set out to do the same. Herein lies problemo numero uno. It becomes clearly obvious that Matt is nothing more than a plot device to get Juniper alone in New York City (as no responsible parent would let their teenage daughter traipse across the northeastern United States by herself), yet they don't break up until halfway through the book! This story is about Juniper AND FITZ. This is not a story about Juniper and her EX-BOYFRIEND. 

Thennnn... we are to believe that not only is Juniper over her charming, athletic, hunk of an ex in mere hours, but she's also ready and willing to continue the tour with this awkward dude whom she literally just met


To read the rest of my review (spoilers included),
you can find 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 (short for Tiffany) breaks up with her boyfriend, he understandably wants her to find another place to live. Unfortunately, her choices are limited.

Tiffy earns diddlysquat at her job working for a craft magazine. On top of that, she owes her ex-bf a bit of back pay on her rent. She loves her job and doesn't want to quit, but she can't afford to pay for a London flat by herself either. Lucky for her, she comes across Leon's advert.



Leon is as a palliative care nurse at a hospice facility. He can afford his rent but needs the extra income to hire a good attorney for his brother. It isn't really feasible for Leon to obtain a second job because he works the higher paid overnight shift.

After a bit of brainstorming, Leon decides his best option is to find a flatmate. This solution seems easy enough, as they will occupy the flat at opposite times of the day and he stays with his girlfriend on the weekends 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, loquacious, goofy, and FUN. Tiffy's bubbly personality, her tall stature (at six feet tall!), and her funky outfits grab the attention of everyone around her. Leon, on the other hand, is kind and stoic, and he likes to keep to himself. He's not a man of many words and often settles for the status quo to avoid any type of change. Tiffy and Leon are polar opposites, but that's okay because they won't see each other anyway!

After Tiffy moves into her new flat, she begins to communicate with her flatmate via Post-It notes left all over the place. The notes are mundane and contain information about general house upkeep or other trivial matters but become more personal in nature over time. Soon, Leon and Tiffy 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 word to describe this book.

The plot is unique.
The characters are unique.
The writing format is unique.
Even their jobs are unique.

And, that's what really tipped the scales for me and made it a real winner in my eyes. It's nearly impossible to find books that are unique, especially romance novels. Everything has already been done a million times over, so it's always refreshing to read a book with a unique storyline. 

MY RATING

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

THE FLATSHARE is heartwarming and 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 that 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 (without the snobbery). He is Wade from Hart of Dixie (but replace the southern accent with one from Boston). He is John Tucker from John Tucker Must Die (but a hundred times filthier). 


Despite Hunter's arrogance and gross sexual habits, he grew on me and I had fun watching his character grow and develop. 

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

Boston Belles is about the Fitzpatrick family. 
Hunter Fitzpatrick is friends with the guys featured in All Saints HighAll Saints High is centered around the children of the characters from Sinners of Saint. The cherry on top -- The Hunter is about Sailor, the daughter of Troy and Sparrow (from Shen's standalone novel, Sparrow).

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


To put it plainly, I love this book because it was written by L.J. Shen. She is one of my absolute favorite authors (at the very least, she's one of my top three), so you will be hard pressed to hear me utter a negative word about her.

THE HUNTER is an extremely well-written, funny, and a delightful read. However, 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 living it until the FBI showed up with guns drawn and a warrant for her mother's arrest. 

Before the FBI showed up on her doorstep, Chloe lived the most uneventful life that ever existed. Nothing bad had ever really happened to her, and senior year was quickly shaping up to be her best yet!

An acceptance letter from the college of her dreams had just arrived (despite her mediocre GPA and the school's highly competitive acceptance policy), and her lifelong crush just asked her to Prom.

Sadly, everything about Chloe's easy life changes after her mother gets arrested. Her best friend is MIA, she can't go back to school, and she's forced to face some really hard truths alone. 


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 and believe it's an important story worth telling.

Ignorance may be bliss, but it can be irresponsible and dangerous too. 

OVERALL STARS: 4 STARS
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 5 STARS
STORYLINE: 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's got the hot bod to show for it.

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

While Racer is rough around the edges, Georgiana is as polished and refined as fine china. (Yet, 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's got other ideas about the role women play in a "man's world," and he's willing to do whatever it takes to sabotage her dream.

When Georgiana's father uses his clout in the construction industry to blacklist his own daughter, it puts G in a precarious situation. She desperately needs help from Racer to complete the remodel on her storefront, and he risks losing the house that he built with his deceased father if he refuses. Their partnership would seem like a no-brainer, but a previous encounter that ended in a shouting match left them with negative impressions of each other. Forced into a volatile situation out of sheer desperation, Racer & Georgiana must now learn how to work together without killing each other or falling in love.

As usual, the shenanigans that Quinn dreams up will have you laughing out loud. The crazy pranks that Racer and G pull on each other are hilarious, and Racer's sweetness turned my heart into goo.

"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: 🔥🔥🔥🔥