Risky Game by @TracyKSolheim

Risky Game (Out of Bounds, #3)What a fabulous, fabulous sports romance!  Where to start?

I loved the fact that Brody wasn’t a jackass.  My big problem with the previous full length novel in the series was the fact that the Hero was an ass so thank you for giving me a hero I could fall in love with this time.  Don’t get me wrong, Brody had his faults with his inability to trust at the top of the list but he was still an all-round good guy.  He gets additional points for having an awesome relationship with a nun and I also really enjoyed his interaction with Julianne from the previous book.

And as for Shay, wow you’ve got to take your hat off to someone who can work like 3 jobs and get her PhD at the same time!  I liked how we got to meet her sister at the end (is she going to get her own book?) and they worked out their Brains Vs Beauty issues.

I loved the slow-build romance between Brody/Shay and how Tracy Solheim - Brodyinexperienced she was.  The whole ‘opposites attract’ trope can often end up with the two characters extremely stereotyped but it all felt real to me in this novel

My only small criticism is that it was a tad too long but otherwise it was still all around awesome.

So there we have it, ladies and gentlemen, my favourite book in the series so far. I only hope that Jay/Bridgette’s story is next as I’m sure it’s going to be a doozy!

Between The Sheets by @MollyOKwrites Blitz & Giveaway

BTS_Blitz

I am so pleased to be part of the promo for Molly O’Keefe’s latest book in her fabulous Boys of Bishop series.  Molly is one of my favourite romance authors and you’ll be hard-pushed to find a contemporary romance series as good as this one.

GooBETWEEN THE SHEETSdreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18750587-between-the-sheets

Book Summary:

Perfect for readers of Susan Mallery and Rachel Gibson, Between the Sheets is Molly O’Keefe’s final book in the Boys of Bishop trilogy, featuring a sizzling romance between a sexy motorcycle bad boy and the girl next door who can’t resist him.

After years of running, Wyatt Svenson has now parked himself in Bishop, Arkansas, trying to do the right thing and parent a son he didn’t even know he had until recently. Over six feet tall and packed with muscles and power, Ty likes to get his hands dirty, fixing his motorcycle at night and keeping his mind away from the mistakes he’s made. Then his pretty neighbor shows up on his driveway, doesn’t bother to introduce herself, and complains about the noise. First impression? She should loosen up. Funny that she turns out to be his son’s elementary school art teacher—and the only one willing to help his troubled boy. Ty needs her. In more ways than one.

Though Shelby Monroe is safe in her structured life, she is drawn to Ty’s bad-boy edge and rugged sexuality. What if she just lets it all go: her worries about her mother, her fear of heartbreak, and her tight self control? What if she grabs Ty and takes a ride on the wild side? “What if” becomes reality—intense, exhilarating . . . and addictive. But Ty wants more than a secret affair. He wants it all with Shelby. But will she take a chance and open her heart? Ty is determined to convince Shelby to take the biggest risk of her life: on him.

BETWEEN THE SHEETS Buy Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qz4fCG
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1jizY2a

Purchase the second book in the series – NEVER BEEN KISSED
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1qpWwn6
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/SXQ3U1

Purchase the first book in the series – WILD CHILD
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1pdqiLp
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1jDyO1i

Wild Childnever been kissed

GIVEAWAY:
3 winners will receive an ebook copy of WILD CHILD and NEVER BEEN KISSED.

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Author Links:
Site – http://www.molly-okeefe.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/MollyOKwrites
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MollyOKeefeBooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/223845.Molly_O_Keefe

Throwing Heat by Jennifer Seasons

Throwing Heat (Diamonds and Dugouts #3)Man, Peter Kowalskin is one sexy baseball player!  *fans self*

This was a really quick, sexy easy read.  I liked the whole set-up with the bet idea and the UST that came from that – and oh the whole pole-dancing class moment!!!

I liked the way Peter had accepted that this was going to be his last season but at the same time felt that more could have been made of it.

There were a couple of things I would have liked to see resolved: Jennifer Seasons - PeterPeter’s feelings and relationship with his newly discovered brother and whether Leslie ever got to buy the club out from her brother Mark.

Whilst I am usually pedantic about reading books in a series in order, I read this one without having read the other two and didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

Book: 4*

Cover: 5*

Between the Sheets by @MollyOKwrites

Between the Sheets (Boys of Bishop, #3)Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Before I get onto how much I loved this book, I have to say that the title (and therefore the cover) confuses me: with all the hot sex Ty/Shelby have, none of it actually occurs in a bed so isn’t Between the Sheets a bit misleading?  Hmm.  A bit like how this is the ‘final book in the Boys Of Bishop trilogy’ …. but is followed by a fourth book, the awesome Indecent Proposal which, whilst doesn’t unfold in Bishop, is part of the same universe. Maybe we can market Indecent Proposal as being the start of a new spinoff trilogy (with, you know, WES getting his own book next)?  *hopeful eyes*

Anyway, pushing my neuroses aside, let’s talk about how much I love this book.  Because I did.  A lot.  And even though the other 3 books in the series were perfection, I stupidly thought, based on the summary and the cover, that this one, whilst undoubtedly still being good, could not possibly be as good.

I was unforgivably wrong because this book was as heart-wrenchingly good as the others.  Molly O’Keefe really knows how to rip your heart to shreds and slowly put it back together again.

Apart from the gut-wrenching emotion, the thing I admire the most about Molly O’Keefe’s writing is her ability to write convincingly about anything.  Whether  it’s Alzheimers, surviving a sex scandal, bad boy bikers, a reformed rock chick, an abandoned, abused 11 year-old, the golden boy politician, she brings you into their world and makes it feel real.

Whilst Wild Child tackles the world of reality TV, Never Been Kissed Molly Okeefe - Tyexplores surviving a hostage situation and Indecent Proposal focuses on life in the political limelight, Between The Sheets is all about the real, day-to-day life and troubles that ordinary people face, whether it be Ty’s relationship with his son, Shelby’s relationship with her mother or Ty and Shelby’s relationship with each other.  Trust me, it is well worth taking the ride with these characters but hang on tight because it’s a rocky road!

PS. Molly, it was extremely cruel showing us Ty and Shelby starting to have phone sex and not letting us see that play out in its full glory.  😉

Book: 5*

Cover: 3*

His Game, Her Rules by Charlene Groome

His Game, Her RulesReceived an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This book contained two things which I haven’t seen in a contemporary romance novel in a long time:

1) The Present Tense

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this …. all I know is that it didn’t spoil the book as much as some of the other things did (see point #2)

2) Rampant chauvinism

Yes I get that you would come across some as a woman in a man’s world but seriously, SERIOUSLY? She is an Olympic medal winning hockey player! Dude, how can you even dream of questioning those qualifications!

“I’ve played nationally, as well as for the Olympics. Twice.”
“And that makes you a professional?”

Erm, YES!

And how can we be expected to be attracted to a hero who says things like

“She’s good looking!” Ty says. “I’m not kidding. She’s hot! I don’t know how she plans to teach us anything – we’ll be too distracted!”

What are you thirteen years old?!

And of course every other male in the book was just as bad:

“No offense [sic], Eileen, but you are a woman.”

But back to Ty ……. even though he doubts her skills as a teacher he is obviously wowed by her beauty (after all she must be so beautiful a “professional” like him couldn’t possibly concentrate on practice when faced with such a beauty) and he just keeps asking her out, even when she says no. Of course he finally convinces her but that’s just the start of the endless back-and-forth with the “I can’t go out with you because I’m your coach but I’m going to end up going out with you anyway” and even after she gets fired and that’s no longer a problem, that’s still the reason she goes back to. What a broken record.

I didn’t understand why the author didn’t show us how Eileen got on during the first training session. After the build-up of “the guys won’t listen to you”, I thought showing us the first meeting of Eileen Vs the team would be an obvious thing to explore. The whole threat thing? Overkill. Whilst I didn’t feel any sort of suspense over who did it (obvious from start), it would have been nice to have that wrapped up properly. And don’t get me started on how Eileen just brushes it off at the end instead of taking action, since, you know, this guy threatened her and cost her her job.

Eileen’s Uncle was the only nice guy in the whole book but I didn’t really understand the point of having him end up in the hospital – it just didn’t add anything to the story.

Another non-starter plot arc was bringing the ex-boyfriend back into play and having Eileen so easily agree to meet him even though he was supposedly a jackass who broke her heart, not to mention the fact that he has been wearing dentures since he was 25. Sounds like a real catch!

And then Ty gets traded and he keeps asking Eileen to move to LA with him and give up everything she’s worked for and she keeps saying no and he keeps asking and then, you guessed it, after some dreary back-and-forth dialogue she agrees to give up everything and join him in LA.

Finally, something which has to be noted is the overuse of exclamation marks! Seriously, on every page there were at least 3 exclamations. Goodness knows what the characters have to be exclaiming about all the time ….. unless it’s about how weak their romance is!

Book: 1*

Cover: 3*

Hot Shot by Lynn Raye Harris Blitz & Giveaway

LynnRayeHarrisBlitz

HotShotBook Information

Title: Hot Shot
Author: Lynn Raye Harris
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summary

Cool under pressure… Until now.

Hostile Operations Team sniper Jack “Hawk” Hunter is cool, methodical, and utterly lethal. Nothing rattles Jack’s calm. But that was before he learned he fathered a child three years ago–a child who has just been kidnapped.

Gina Domenico is a superstar, a pop sensation with a string of hit records. But deep inside, she’s still the lonely girl she’s always been. When Jack saved her from an arms dealer, they spent three unforgettable days together waiting for rescue–and Gina fell hard for the sexy soldier before he walked away forever.

But now she needs his help and she’ll do anything to get it. Though Jack can never forgive Gina for keeping his child from him, he’ll do everything in his power–and HOT’s–to bring their son home safely.

Nothing is what it seems, however, and their fates hang in the balance as someone else pulls the strings…and brings them ever closer to an explosive confrontation that could either save their son–or cost them everything.

Excerpt

LynnRayeHarrisTeaser

A few minutes later Jack came into the bedroom. She thought she should tell him to knock first or something, but she didn’t have the energy. The barriers that would normally be there between her and a man just weren’t there with Jack.

“You didn’t eat enough on the plane. I ordered room service.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“Gina.” He walked into the room and stopped in front of her. His blue eyes roamed her face while her heart kicked up. When he met her eyes again, her breath hitched. “You have to rest and you have to eat. We don’t know what’s going to happen, and you need to be strong. That’s one of the rules on a mission. Take care of yourself or you’re no good to your team.”

“I’m not part of your team. I’m just me.”

“You aren’t alone on this. We’re here, and that makes you part of the team. I’m ordering you to eat, same as I’d order my spotter or anyone else under my authority, and then I’m ordering you to rest.”

“I’m not under your authority.” Maybe she should be angry at the way he was talking to her, but she was oddly touched. God, just blame it on stress and a situation outside her control. She needed to push this man away, but she couldn’t seem to do it.

“Think of this like the island. I’m the one with the experience. I know what I’m doing. I got you out of there, didn’t I?”

She nodded.

“Trust me to get you out of here too, okay?”

“All right.”

He lifted an eyebrow. “You gonna eat when the food gets here?”

“Depends on what you ordered. I hate squash, for instance.”

“Then I’ll call and cancel the squash sandwich.”

She couldn’t help but laugh even though it had an edge that could turn into panic at any moment. “You didn’t order anything of the sort.”

“No.” He backed away and reached for the door handle. “Put on your pajamas. Get comfortable.”

“I don’t wear pajamas. I don’t wear anything.”

He stopped in mid-swing and she wanted to laugh again. She did wear pajamas, but she’d wanted to rattle him. Just because.

“Well, honey, you can come out here in nothing if you want, but it’ll probably be embarrassing for you and the delivery person both. Still, you can tip him good and I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

He shot her a grin before shutting the door behind him. Gina stood there with her heart pounding and her pulse skipping and wondered just what it was about him that made her want to get beneath his skin.

Buy Links

Amazon http://amzn.to/VGktMD
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1jmEKS2
iTunes: http://bit.ly/1mdfi0A
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1stCF6H

LynnRayeHarrisAuthor Bio

USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called “exceptional and emotional,” “intense,” and “sizzling.” To date, Lynn’s books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Social Networking Links

Website: http://lynnrayeharris.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2973925.Lynn_Raye_Harris
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLynnRayeHarris
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnRayeHarris

Love Is A State Of Mind Review: TO FOLLOW

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Almost A Bride by @MayberrySarah

Almost A Bride (Montana Born Brides #3)“Reid?” His mother’s voice sounded clearly through the door. “I’m making waffles. Should I save some for you?”
“Yes, please,” he called.
Tara started to giggle quietly.
“Tara would like some, too,” he added.
Her eyes went wide then, and she slapped his shoulder, doing her best to push him off her.
There was a telling silence. Then:
“I’ll open up another bottle of syrup. Morning, Tara.”
“Morning, Mrs. Dalton.”
“Judy is fine, dear.”
They heard the sound of his mother retreating down the staircase and Tara gave a mighty heave, successfully wriggling out from under him.
“That was a dirty stunt, Dalton.”
“I thought you liked waffles?”
“You are lucky you are so good in bed. That’s all I’ll say for now.”

What a perfect novella!  I absolutely and completely loved this for the following reasons:

Sarah Mayberry - Reid1. I have been waiting for a very long time to find a contemporary romance novel where both characters are cops and partners.  Why aren’t there more books with this trope out there?!  (Please feel free to recommend some to me!)
2. Whilst it may look like Tara moved on pretty quickly from her relationship with Simon, it didn’t seem rushed to me compared to some of the transitions I’ve encountered in other romance novels
3. Paddle-boarding.  Made for some fun and cute moments.
4. Reid’s relationship with his parents and just general backstories for both characters
5. Hot sex scenes!

I only wish it were longer so we could see more of Reid/Tara’s interaction on the job.

‘Her arms held him tightly afterward, denying him when he would have rolled away to relieve her of his weight. He was only too happy to stay. In fact, if he had his way, the world would stop turning altogether so they could remain like this forever.
“What’s your best guess?” she asked, her voice husky and low.
“About what?”
“Whether I’m a morning person or not?”
He was still inside her, and he felt her muscles tighten around him. He smiled against her neck.
“I’m thinking yes.”
“I’m thinking I might be an afternoon and evening person, too, when it comes to you.”

Book: 5*

Cover: 4*

Indecent Proposal by @MollyOKwrites

Indecent Proposal (Boys of Bishop, #4)Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Reading one of the books in Molly O’Keefe’s Boys of Bishop series is a bit like being strapped into your seat on a rollercoaster ride that takes you across the whole spectrum of human emotion.  You swoon, you cry, you laugh at the subtle humour ….. and by the end you are left completely drained (in a good way.  *spoiler alert* Indecent Proposal has a happy ending!)

Ever since we were first introduced to Harrison in Never Been KissedMolly Okeefe - Harrison I have been waiting on tenterhooks for his story and it definitely didn’t disappoint.  When Ryan first meets him at the hotel bar, he adopts the persona of ‘Harry’ which makes you (and Ryan) fall in instant love with him.  Molly O’Keefe does a great job at balancing the whole !instantlove with realism and the hotel room scene was HOT!

However, when he appears again in her apartment he has done a complete 180 and the way he threw accusation after accusation at Ryan gave me chills.  But never fear, ‘Harry’ reappears before the end to convince you that Harrison deserves Ryan.

I loved all of the secondary characters, even the ones you are meant to hate, and Wallace/Noelle especially made me smile.

In terms of Harrison’s political career, if I were wearing a hat I would definitely take it off to the author for having Harrison lose the election.  In terms of fake relationship tropes, the fake relationship is nearly always successful in helping the Hero or Heroine achieve his/her ultimate goal but I love how Molly O’Keefe took the unexpected route.

The only thing which could have possibly made this book better for me was perhaps have Wes appear for a scene in the latter half of the book.  This is because 1) he played such a key role at the start, it would have made sense to maybe have him turn up when Ryan goes back home and 2) I am really hoping he gets a book of his own in the near future!

Finally, a huge thanks to the publisher for including my Wild Child review at the start of this book.  It literally made my day when I sat down to start reading Indecent Proposal.

Book: 5*

Cover: 4*

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical ExaminerReceived an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Staying alive, as it turns out, is mostly common sense.

This is undoubtedly my ‘Must Read’ Non-Fiction book of 2014 so far.  If you’re like me and have a penchant for American crime shows and books about 9/11 then this book is for you!

To give you fair warning though if you look away during the autopsy scenes in NCIS or the operations in Grey’s Anatomy (guilty) then this book is going to be rather gruesome but well worth persevering through your ‘Eeek’ barrier.

One of the things I loved the most about the book (aside from its fascinating subject matter) was the way that the author didn’t let her personal life take over the book.  In other non-fiction books I’ve read, they start out being about the job (what you picked the book up for) and end with some introspective rambling.  However, with this you get tale upon tale of some of the numerous bodies she had to deal with whilst working in New York (The 9/11 chapter was especially harrowing).

Judy Melinek gives great insight into a job which is unerringly fascinating but which most of us wouldn’t have the nerves of steel to actually do.  Combined with some great writing, and black humour in parts, this book is a real page-turner and I finished reading cover-to-cover within 24 hours of receiving the ARC through the post.

PS. I also personally learnt a new word: defenestrated.

Book: 5*

Cover: 4*

One Night More by Mandy Baxter

One Night More (U.S. Marshals, #1)Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

On the surface this book had all the makings of a superb start to a snazzy new series: fabulous cover and set in the not-so-often-used law enforcement world of US Marshals.  However, unfortunately it didn’t live up to expectations.

A huge sticking point for me was the fact that we were meant to believe that after a one night stand, the two of them spent a year pining for each other.  What is even more unbelievable is the fact Galen did this whilst believing she was a cheater.

Which brings me onto the next point: seriously, SERIOUSLY?!  You work in law enforcement and seeing the name ‘Chris’ come up on a phone and you automatically think your girl must be cheating?!  You don’t, say, cast your eye around her apartment to look for signs that another male is in her life, or, you know, give her the benefit of the doubt since Chris could be a woman.

And I think the whole thing would have worked better if Chris actually had been one of Harper’s female friends.  Bringing in her ex-boyfriend for that one scene where he comes looking for his running shoes was pointless.

All that aside, there just wasn’t enough chemistry between Galen/Harper for me to really root for them.  I thought the “suspense” angle was pretty weak as it was obvious who the shooter was from the beginning and the stereotyping of the big bad FBI agent was comical at best.

So overall, great idea but weak execution.

Book: 3*

Cover: 5*