#Love4Evr

A couple of weeks ago…around Valentine’s Day, I entered into a contest that was held on Kennedy Ryan’s facebook page. We were asked why we read romance. I can’t remember what exactly what I said, but it was basically this:

I read romance because it gives me hope that love is real and not just a word that is thrown around. I read romance because I love getting lost in the stories. I read romance because I love the warm and fuzzies that I (mostly) get at the end.

Surprisingly, I won the contest!

Today, my prizes arrived. I got a cute tote bag from Forever Publishing, and four paperback romance novels.

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Of course, I was more than happy to get my little ginger hands on the books. Do you see those covers!? I’m in love.

All four books are by author’s that I’ve never heard of or read before (which is SO SAD). I wasted zero time getting comfortable on my couch and curling up with one of these. Which one did I start with? I picked the one second from the right — Undone by Shannon Richard. I won’t say too much about it here, because I’m fixing to write up my review on it. But I will say… that I started it about 3pm this afternoon…and seven hours later? I’m done with it. I devoured this book. I can’t wait to read the rest. I think I’ll read the one on the far left next. Bringing Home The Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon. Or maybe I’ll read Only With You by Lauren Layne… Unleashed by Rachel Lacey? Hrmm.

If they’re as fabulous as Undone was, then I really scored!

Thank you to Kennedy for hosting the cool contest and to Forever Publishing for sending the awesome books and tote bag! I’ll definitely be using it.

 

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Living In Secret

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

Living In SecretAvailable: February 24, 2015

Living In Secret — Jackie Ashenden

I’m pretty sure I’ve read books by Jackie before… but I can’t find any reviews that I’d written since starting TGGR blog. Humph. That mistake ends now.

I got this book from Jackie on twitter. She’d offered a few ARC copies of the book, and I was the lucky third person to ask. I’m so so happy that I asked.

This book is the third in a set that she has. In it, we have Connor Blake. He’s a lawyer and pretty much at the top of the playing field. Rich, gorgeous, broody. What more could you want? Well. His soon-to-be Ex-Wife (if he’d just sign the damn papers) Victoria Blake could probably make you a list a mile long.

I loved Victoria. She wasn’t perfect and was pretty hard on herself for things that had happened in her past…but she was pretty strong and knew she didn’t need to be taken care of. She could take care of herself.

Connor. Oh, Connor. Some of the time I wanted to strangle him. Some of the time I wanted to hug him. Then there were the other times that I just wanted him. Like Vic, he has his own demons from his past that are affecting his present day life, and if he’s not careful…his future.

Their relationship was crazy amazing. It started off very cold. Their marriage was basically a business transaction, and Vic decided she’d had enough. Well. That and her secret finally came to light. Connor, the ass, decides that he’s not going to sign the divorce papers until Victoria spends one more week with him, so he can get his fill.

Why do men always think that they can work a woman out of their systems? Silly men. That’s not how it works.

Once the week starts, that’s when things really get heated. You might want to have some ice water when reading this. Seriously. I wish that I’d had some ice water when I read the book. Anyway. Things get seriously hot and seriously interesting.

Secrets from both of them become unburied and both Vic and Connor must deal with the discovery that neither of them are perfect. And they both have to realize that even though they’d been married for several years… they didn’t know each other. Not really.

This was such an amazing book. I loved it so much, I went out and bought the book that came out before this one! I definitely give this one a 10/10. I’d rate it higher if I could.

His Only Valentine: Part 1

*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*

His Only ValentinePublished: February 2, 2015

His Only Valentine – Various Authors

I discovered this book…or rather, set of books because an author tweeted about it. I clicked on the link and decided I couldn’t pass up the deal. Thirteen (that’s right…THIRTEEN BOOKS) books for about a dollar? Yes, please.

Because this “book” is thirteen books long… that means that I’m still reading it. Yes. I know. I’m having problems with that too, don’t worry. BUT, I’m not going to make y’all wait until I’m done with all of it to start reviewing. I figured I could review the books that I’d already read. I’ve decided that I’m going to have to break this review into parts. I’m thinking there will be three reviews for each part. That way my posts aren’t too terribly long.

So, without further procrastination… here’s part one. (Most of these books are connected…but not all of them…just fyi. And by connected… I mean that they’re set in the same town).

Tease Me, Cowboy — Rachael Johns

I’m not terribly sure that I’ve read anything by Rachael Jones, but I really enjoyed this one.

Selah Davis is back in her hometown to do a story for the town. She has a few reservations about being back home, but she’s loving the time to catch up with her friends.

Things seem to be going fine until her former flame (and still serious hottie) Levi Monroe comes back into her life. That’s when things really start to heat up.

I loved Selah. She’s just as unique as her name (which I’ve never heard before…and loved). She’s got some baggage to deal with from her previous relationship with Levi, and also just from her past… but she grows so much over the course of the book. She really comes into her own and learns that she has to take risks and take a chance… even if she’s not sure that risk will pay off.

I really liked Levi too. He was a bit of an ass at some points of the book, but he learned his lesson and decided that ass like behavior was not the way to Selah’s good graces (smart man). He’s a cowboy, so he’s of course good looking. There were definitely times where I wanted to either shake him, or smack him upside his hard head… but he redeemed himself in the end. Both to myself and to Selah.

I really liked Rachael Jones’ writing style and I loved what she was able to do with Selah and Levi. I’m going to be looking for more of her work to read, for suuure.

I give this one a 10/10

Please Me, Cowboy — Megan Crane

Awh man. This one hit me right in the feels.

I think I’ve read Megan Crane before… but I’m not 100% positive on that one. If I haven’t…I should have.

[Edit: I have read her. She also writes as Caitlin Crews…]

But back to the feels. There were SO MANY FEELS with this one. SO. MANY.

In Please Me, Cowboy we have Gracelyn Packard, a sassy secretary type to the brooding billionaire Jonah Flint. She’s not easily intimidated, even by the reputation that proceeds the man. Though, it’s probably pretty hard to be intimidated by a man that has to ask you to pretend to be his girlfriend for a week.

I loved Gracelyn. She was passionate and really a huge sweetheart. She was insanely loyal to Jonah and the deal that they had made… even though she didn’t agree with it.

Jonah. Oh man. Jonah. He’s definitely a handful. Insanely rich, stupid attractive and he’s a twin. What could be better? Well. He could be less of a hardass… but beggars can’t be choosers. Right? Jonah has it in his head that he must protect his twin Jasper from marrying a woman that he hasn’t deemed worthy at all costs. Even if that means hiring a woman to be his girlfriend.

The chemistry between Jonah and Gracelyn was electric. Faking a relationship is hard enough, but having to do it in front of family is probably harder. It’s pretty easy to have the lines between what’s real and what’s not blurred. They both give it their best shot though. The whole “staying professional” thing. Everyone around them can see the attraction and chemistry sparking between them…except them.

This book made me mad, parts of it made me sad, but at the end it gave me the warm and fuzzies that I’m always after.

Megan Crane crafted an excellent story. You can’t help but fall for the characters, and after reading this one I definitely want to visit Montana. It’s only something like a seventeen hour drive from here to Billings. I could do that in a day and a half! Now I just have to find the time. Maybe I’ll find my own cowboy…

I give this one a solid 10/10 recommendation.

Kiss Me, Cowboy — Melissa McClone

I know for a fact that I haven’t read anything by Melissa McClone before this book, and after reading this one… she’s on my author list. I loved this story.

In Kiss Me, Cowboy we have Zack Harris. Former military, current cowboy hottie. He’s got some serious baggage that he kinda deals with, but he’s got a good heart. We also have Charlotte “Charlie” Randall, horse whisperer and cowgirl extraordinaire. She’s one of the guys and wishes that they would see her as more than just Charlie.

One kiss turns their whole friendship on it’s head. Zack thinks it was all a mistake, and refuses to think anything else. Charlie thinks it’s meant to be and can’t think of anything else.

So… that’s a problem.

But dear Zack wants it both ways. He wants Charlie to stick around on the ranch that they both work on, but only wants to remain friends. She wants him but can’t just be friends. Being in the friend zone isn’t fun, y’all.

Zack’s realization of his feelings over the course of the book were fun to watch… even if they were a little painful at times. Charlotte’s realization that she didn’t have to settle, and that she needed to do what was best for her, even if it hurt was a great thing to see. So much growth happened with both of them.

I think my favorite part was when one of their kisses got interrupted by a horse. I could totally picture that happening in my mind. Or maybe it was when Zack lost his cool and counted to twenty to try to calm down… but then had to start over in Arabic because counting in English wasn’t helping. I literally laughed out loud.

I wanted to kick Zack’s ass part of the time but mostly I just wanted to hug him. I want Charlotte to be my best friend.

I loved Melissa McClone’s writing style. I can’t wait to see what else she has out, or what she has coming out next.

I give this one a 10/10 recommendation.

I Dare You

*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*

I Dare YouPublished: January 19, 2015

I Dare You — Leslie Kelly

This book and Truth or Dare are connected. They’re in the same “world” and have some of the same characters in them. I don’t think I’ve read anything by Leslie Kelly before this book and I was pleasantly surprised with how quickly I got pulled into the story.

In I Dare You we have Marcus “Bigs” Bigsby (Amber’s big brother from Truth or Dare), a former Professional Football player and a big hulk of a man. Tired of the fame and busy life of being a NFL player, he moves home to Caribou, Oklahoma to get back to his roots and let his life calm down a bit.

But then the girl that got away literally falls into his lap. Blaire Tremaine is the girl that tries to fly under the radar and does her best to not to give the gossips in town anything to gossip about. Which, y’know, isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do when you live in a small town.

Blaire and Marcus reconnect and each of them has to come to terms with their past and who they are now as adults.They definitely have some bumps to deal with along the way — her insecurity about looking bad in front of the community, his ex that doesn’t want to stay an ex — but they are able to work around the bumps to get to the end goal.

Marcus might be my favorite hero so far this year. I really, really, really just loved him. He’s a big badass NFL guy (I’m so not a football fan… sorry) but he’s a total marshmallow. I want my own Marcus. Newest book boyfriend? I think so.

I really loved Blaire too. She was so smart. Not just book smart, but also street smart. When the ex that doesn’t want to stay an ex comes to town, Blaire doesn’t let the woman wreck things between her and Marcus. Which is rare in these types of books. Normally the “other woman” comes in and mucks everything up. Makes the leading lady doubt her man… but not with Blaire. Nope. She wasn’t having any of that nonsense.

Leslie Kelly made a fantastic contribution to Carly Phillip’s Dare to Love world. I seriously loved the book and loved the characters. I’m putting all the other books in the DTL world on my “to read” list, and hopefully they’re just as great as these last two. Fingers crossed!

I give this one a very solid 10/10 recommendation.

Bound to the Bachelor

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

Bound to the BachelorPublished: February 20, 2015

Bound To The Bachelor — Sarah Mayberry

I’ve read a series out of order again. I really shouldn’t be surprised by now. I mean really. How many books have I read out of order now? Lots. Humph.

Bound To The Bachelor is the first book in a series. The last book I reviewed The Bachelor’s Baby is the third book in the series. So basically I skipped ahead two books. Oops.

I really liked this book. The dynamic between the two main characters, Lily and Beau (I just really LOVE his name) is electrifying. They have a bit of a love/hate relationship. They dig a bit at each other whenever they are near each other.

Beau is the big and tough, badass former Marine. Basically, he’s the guy that you don’t want to piss off. He’s also the guy that you do want at your back when things go sideways. I really, really liked Beau’s character. I don’t think I really ever got mad at him like I do with most of the guys in the books that I read. Normally I get annoyed with the hero at least once in a book. I don’t think that happened with Beau. Hrmm.

Lily. Oh, Lily. I loved her. My heart broke for her past history (it’s seriously no bueno), but I loved the person she became to be after all of the heartache. She’s a tough cookie, but she’s hot a bit of a gooey center. The perfect cookie, in my opinion.

There’s a bit of violence in this book towards Lily. Just wanted to put that out there. She doesn’t let that hold her back and Beau helps her get over it and learn how to defend herself if she should need to do so.

Just like with The Bachelor’s Baby I wish this one was a bit longer… I wish I could have gotten a little more of the romance between Lily and Beau, but I don’t feel like the book was unfinished. I really liked Sarah’s writing style and how she brought Lily and Beau (and the secondary characters) to life.

I can’t wait to see what else she’s written and to see if it’s as great as this one (or maybe better if that’s possible?).

I give this one a solid 10/10 recommendation.

Now I have to go read the other books in the series…

The Bachelor’s Baby

*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*

The bachelors babyAvailable: March 6, 2015

The Bachelor’s Baby – Dani Collins

This isn’t the first “oops I’m pregnant” type of book that I’ve ever read. But I think this is my favorite. I’ve never read anything by Dani Collins before, and I have to say that I really enjoyed myself.

In most of these books that I read, the guy gets pissed off once he finds out he accidentally knocked up the leading lady, blames her and broods for the next six chapters. Not in this one. Oh sure, he still mucks up the whole situation, but he’s quick to realize that he’s an ass and does his best to make amends.

I loved that.

Lincoln Brady is a man that knows how to own up to his “mistakes” and doesn’t shy away from confrontation. Meg Canon has been dealt a pretty shitty hand growing up in life, but it’s made her into the type of woman that doesn’t take shit from anyone. I loved Meg. I just wanted to give her a big hug and squeeze her.

Linc, however, I wanted to smack him upside the head during several different parts of the book. I liked him too though, so don’t worry. By the end of the book I even mostly loved him. He was a fun character to read.

I wish the book had been a bit longer, but I don’t think that there was anything missing from the book.

Dani Collins has a wonderful writing style and has a great ability to bring her characters to life. I could feel Meg’s pain when Linc was an ass about the baby. It brought tears to my eyes and made my heart hurt (that was one of the times I wanted to smack him).

I didn’t do much research on Dani before I started my review so I have no idea what other books she has published, but whatever they are. I want to read them.

I give this one a 10/10 recommendation.

Eat, Play, Lust

*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*

Eat Play LustPublished: August 26, 2013

Eat, Play, Lust – Tawna Fenske

This book was such a treat to read. It’s like a fun sized candy bar. Short, sweet, and it kinda makes you wish that it was a full sized bar.

Eat, Play, Lust is a cute little novella that caught by attention first by the title… because it made me think of Eat, Pray, Love (which I haven’t read…but I know Julia Roberts was in the movie adaptation… which I also haven’t seen) and then by the cover. I am SUCH a sucker for a good cover.

I read the synopsis and decided that I needed to read the book.

I was not disappointed.

In Eat, Play, Lust we have yoga instructor and closet tater tot addict, Cami Pressman. I really liked Cami. She was normal and battled real things that normal women battle in today’s society. We’re expected to look a certain way and if we don’t… we’re looked down upon. That doesn’t always happen, but in America there’s definitely a culture of fat shaming and thigh gaps are coveted.

Poor Cami has been brainwashed by her mother that she shouldn’t eat certain foods (like tater tots) because they’re bad. Which y’know isn’t exactly wrong… but it’s all about moderation.

Then Paul Hammond signs up for her yoga class and messed with her perfectly portioned and controlled world. He’s a chef who would be more than happy to become her personal chef. I loved Paul. Cami describes him as the “desperately hot lumberjack”… which was the perfect. I love the lumberjack look. A big, brawny guy with a beard? Yes please.

Their chemistry was fun to read. From the beginning with him being a terrible flirt while trying to balance on a paddle board, to every bumbling foot-in-mouth instance after that. When he really messes up and inadvertently hurts Cami, he’s quick to fix his error.

And he teaches her that food can be fun.

In the most delicious of ways.

It’s a very cute book and the only problem I have with it is that it ended. I really wish it could have been longer, but I don’t think the book was missing anything.

Tawna Fenske is a very talented writer and I love her books. I have a couple of reviews to write for some more of her books that should be coming soon.

I give this one a 10/10 recommendation.