WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 7/18/18

WWW is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I’m Currently Reading

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. I am LOVING this book so far – Michael Phan is my new book boyfriend!!

the kiss quotient


What I Recently Finished

Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne. Pretty good.

irresistably yours

Stetson by Danielle Norman. New series about female ranchers. Enjoyed this one.

stetson


What I Plan to Read Next


What is on your list this week?

Happy reading.

Romance Books

Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

irresistably yours

Title: Irresistibly Yours
Author: Lauren Layne
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Public library

Goodreads Summary

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

Review

A book about two sports reports sounds amazing, given that I’m a huge sports fan. Add to that that they are both big baseball fans, I’m in.

Penelope Pope has moved to New York because her dream job was stolen out from under her by a man she thought she was in love with. While at a Yankees game, she meets Cole Sharpe – and realizes that they are going for the same job – co-editor at Oxford Magazine.

Penelope considers herself “the girl next door” and in the friend-zone with every guy she meets. She doesn’t believe she’s worthy. I have to say off the bat – I hated that aspect of the book. She was SO self-deprecating. It got really old, really fast, and honestly went on through almost the entire book.

Anyway, I did like Cole. He took care of his older brother, and we didn’t realize right away why, but it really made the story so much sweeter. I loved Bobby, Cole’s brother. He was a great character.

I loved the side characters in this story as well, but it was hard to really love this story, given Penelope’s constant self-bashing. If she’d had a little more confidence, I would have given this book another star.

I will continue to read this series for sure. Overall, this was a cute story and I would recommend.

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Other Memes

Music Monday – 7/16/18

Rules from Lauren:
Every Monday share one or two of songs you’ve been enjoying lately.  It doesn’t have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites – just something you’d like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post’s url over at this week’s post on Always Me.


Last Wednesday, I saw Foreigner in concert and now I can’t stop singing this song!!!

Feels Like the First Time by Foreigner

I have waited a lifetime
Spent my time so foolishly
But now that I found you
Together we’ll make history
And I know that it must be the woman in you
That brings out the man in me
I know I can’t help myself
You’re all my eyes can see

Enjoy!

Happy Monday!

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Uncategorized

Excerpt Reveal ~ Clean Sweep by Kate Willoughby

GET SWEPT!
Clean Sweep by Kate Willoughby will be here July 23rd!!!
KEEP READING FOR AN EXCERPT!

RESERVE YOUR COPY NOW:
Amazon → https://amzn.to/2tP92Fd
Apple → https://apple.co/2yNLNkn
B&N → http://bit.ly/2KmL1zz
Kobo → http://bit.ly/2Kc0PWh

When he got home from practice, Cam took a good hard look at his house, trying to see it as a stranger would. Unfortunately, Max was right. His place was hideously messy. It wasn’t that he didn’t like things clean; he did. He appreciated cleanliness. When on one of their twenty-some annual road trips, he liked how spotless everything was in the hotel. He could usually keep it that way for the one or two nights he was in the hotel room. At home it was a different story. It all boiled down to how much dirt and disorganization he could handle, and his tolerance level was pretty high. On the spectrum between Buckingham Palace and the aforementioned crack house, he landed squarely on the crack house end.

As a public figure, he had a responsibility to the team to keep up appearances and he didn’t particularly want to be that guy, the one who everyone thought of as the slob first and a hockey player second.

Even so, on the morning the maid Max ordered for him was due, Cam fought the urge to tidy up. From the moment he got out of bed, he questioned himself. Would he normally have thrown that water bottle away, or would he have left it on the counter? He was toying with the idea of making this a regular gig, but only if he didn’t have to perform the pre-visit tidying ritual that Max and Paul’s wife, Natalie, did. As much as possible, he wanted the state of his house today to be “authentic.”

The doorbell rang and his two dogs erupted in a cacophony of barking. He had an Akita/Shepherd mix, Zeus, and a tan-and-white Chihuahua, Gizmo. Gizmo could be counted on to behave, but Zeus was still a pup at heart.

Cam checked the front door video feed. His security system allowed him to use his phone to view several spots outside of the house. Holy shit. She was a looker. Mid-twenties. Hourglass figure. Long brown hair that tumbled to her shoulders. Oddly, she wore makeup that made her look like she was going to a club rather than cleaning his house. Maybe she had a date afterward. She also wore some kind of electronic device about the size of an Oreo on a cord around her neck.

Holding on to Zeus’s collar, Cam opened the door. Warily eyeing his dogs, she had a gym bag slung over her shoulder and a rolling crate of cleaning supplies. “Hi. I’m Suzette,” she said with a damned pretty smile. “I’m here to clean your house.”

“I’m Cam. This is Zeus and this little fella is Gizmo. Come on in. They’re friendly,” he said. “They just need to get used to you.”

Zeus pulled to get loose, but Cam held on. “I hope you’re prepared for a mess,” he said as his dog attempted to inhale all the olfactory atoms he possibly could.

“I’m used to messes,” Suzette said. “Is there a room where I can change?”

Change? He flicked his gaze over her—skinny jeans that clung to her superbly rounded ass, a gray T-shirt, a pair of red Converse shoes. Maybe she wanted to put on a smock or an apron or something. Zeus was now sniffing her feet, his tail wagging at a slow enough tempo that Cam risked letting him go.

“Ah, sure. There’s a bathroom right over there, on the right.”

“Thanks.” She pulled a piece of paper out of a folder in the crate and handed it to him. “If you could, I need you to sign this waiver thing before we get started.”

She left the cart of cleaning supplies in the foyer, but took her duffle with her.

Shit. Now that she was here, he felt even more embarrassed about the state of his house. Despite his earlier intent to leave his house in its raw state, he hustled to the kitchen and attempted to consolidate the dirty dishes into a pile instead of leaving them on every available square inch of counter. Damn it. Shouldn’t he get a pass just by virtue of being a single guy living alone? People knew that single guys were messy. They expected it. He’d just make sure to give her a really big tip. That should do the trick.

“Okay, let’s get started. Did you sign it?” she asked from the front hallway.

Shit. He’d forgotten. He grabbed a pen and scrawled his name on it. In his haste, he put his jersey number too, like he’d done thousands of times when signing autographs. Dumbass. He scratched out the number just as she came into the kitchen.

Wearing only lingerie.

A black lacy push-up bra, matching panties, a garter belt, thigh high stockings, and some fuck-me pumps.

What.

The.

Ever-loving.

Fuck?

About Kate

Kate is in love with the sport of hockey. And the entire Los Angeles Kings team. Having lived most of her life completely uninterested in professional sports, she is surprised at the intensity of her enthusiasm and her growing collection of Kings merchandise.
She has held a variety of jobs—podiatrist’s assistant, telemarketer, typist, gift wrapper, painter, illustrator’s assistant, paste-up artist, calligrapher, teacher, transcriptionist and barista—but her favorite by far is author. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, their two sons, and a Chihuahua named Mochi.
She is also a member of the Romance Writers of America, Los Angeles Romance Authors, and Santa Clarita Romance Writers, and winner of the 2009 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy/Paranormal Erotic Romance and the 2016 EPPIE Award for Best Contemporary Romance.

Find Kate Online!
Amazon → https://amzn.to/2sFChKF
BookBub → http://bit.ly/2xQPsgW
Facebook → http://bit.ly/2JsxYJf
Goodreads → http://bit.ly/2Jq4Py0
Twitter → http://bit.ly/2JyMAdc
Website → http://katewilloughbyauthor.com

ARCs

ARC Review – Playing Hurt by Kelly Jamieson

Playing Hurt (Aces Hockey, #6)

Title: Playing Hurt
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: ARC from Netgalley

Goodreads Summary

Chase: The last thing I’d ever want to do is let my team down. After overcoming my bad-boy reputation, I was dominating on the ice. But things aren’t going so well this season, and even my parents think I’m partying again. Now I’m really worried about my career. The only bright spot in my life is the Twitter flirtation I’ve struck up with pop princess Jordyn Banks. Turns out she’s a huge hockey fan—and she’s willing to wager a date on her favorite team. . . .

Jordyn: Even though I’m an L.A. fan now, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Aces, since I grew up in Chicago. Then I lose a bet to Chase Hartman, and suddenly I’m up close and personal with a pro athlete who’s anything but soft. Not only is Chase the hottest guy I’ve ever met, he’s secretly super sweet. As if I had time for a relationship . . . yeah, right. But when I suddenly have nothing but time on my hands, he’s the only one who understands. Now, with both of our careers at stake, Chase is tempting me to put my heart on the line too.

Review

I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.

I haven’t read any of the other books in this series, but they can be read as stand alones.

I’m a sucker for a book about hockey players. Imagine your a big NHL star and you end up tweeting with your celebrity crush and then bet on a hockey game, and when you win you get a date with said celebrity. That is the premise around this book.

Jordyn Banks is a huge pop star (I pictured Selena Gomez) and she’s also a huge hockey fan. She grew up in Chicago, so she’s an Aces fan, but she’s also an LA fan, since that’s where she lives now. Jordyn and Chase Hartmann start tweeting about hockey to one another, which turns flirtatious, and leads to much more.

Chase is having a rough season. He’s been “playing hurt” – he has a wrist injury. Jordyn ends up having surgery on her vocal cords, putting her out of commission for a few months, and then she and Chase begin to form a friendship.

This book was a fun read. I liked both Chase and Jordyn. Jordyn was incredibly down to earth for a mega star, and she appreciated the thought and effort Chase put into their dates (as did I – it was cute).  There wasn’t a whole ton of drama in this book, just a nice story about two famous people who meet and fall in love.

I was a little disappointed in the epilogue, though I was happy there was one. I didn’t feel that the epilogue provided closure to the story. But overall, this was a good story and I would recommend it.

Happy reading.

 

Cover Reveals/Blitzes

Release Blitz & Review – Broken Love Story by Natasha Madison

Samantha:

I had the perfect life; a husband who loved me, and two kids who were my world.

Until someone else answered his phone and my perfect life shattered.

When he died, I was left with answers he couldn’t give me and a box full of lies.

He left me broken.

Blake:

I fell in love when I was fifteen, knowing she was the one.

For five years, she was my everything—my every breath, every heartbeat, every thought.

She made me promise to move on, promise to find love again, but I broke those promises because I can’t move on.

Two broken souls brought together by tragedy and heartbreak.

Can a broken love story be fixed?

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Samantha

Standing in front of the full-length mirror in my room, I smooth down my black skirt. My blond hair is tied up in a ponytail, my cheeks are sunken in more than normal, and the blackness around my eyes indicates I haven’t slept well since this whole thing happened. Since I found out that not only did my husband die, but that he also married someone else.

I sit on the made bed and look down at my wedding band. My thumb of my right hand touches it, and the lone tear that falls out of my eye lands straight on it. “Mommy.” I look back at Lizzie, who is standing in the doorway wearing a black one-piece dress similar to mine with ballerina flats.

My mother-in-law went shopping yesterday and bought us all new outfits for today. “We need to put our best foot forward,” she said as I watched her walk in with the six bags. “We can’t let people talk.”

I turned around and walked out of the room, going upstairs. Shutting myself in my bathroom with my back against the door, I cried quietly, trying to hide my sobs. “We can’t let people talk,” I whispered to myself. The hatred I had begun feeling when I remembered my husband.

Lizzie walks to the side of my bed and sits next to me. “I hate this dress,” she says when I put my hand around her shoulder and bring her to me, kissing her head.

“I know, baby,” I whisper, “but after today, it’s going to be all over.”

“That’s what Grandpa A said.” She mentions the name she calls my father-in-law. Grandpa A because you can’t get better than an A.

“Is everyone ready?” I hear Ethan yell from downstairs. “The limo is picking us up in twenty.”

“Let’s go, baby,” I tell her, getting up and holding her hand while we walk downstairs. My in-laws are both sitting in the kitchen. My mother-in-law in a black skirt and top while my father-in-law has on a black suit. “Where is Daisy?” I ask them.

“Elliot is upstairs changing her. She spilled milk on her dress,” Judy tells me, looking at Lizzie. “You look like such a big girl.” She blinks her tears away.

Elliot comes down the stairs with Daisy on his hip, smiling at me when he walks in. “Okay, you girls go sit in the living room while us grown-ups talk,” my father-in-law says, and the girls both know to leave the room. When he knows they are both out of earshot, he starts. “Today is going to be tough, tough for us all, but we have to stand together. We have to be the family that we are.” I lean against the counter while he talks. “The situation with the other one has been taken care of, and she has been served papers.” I look at him and then at Elliot and Ethan, both of them looking down when our eyes meet. It’s almost as if they feel guilty for meeting this woman. My father-in-law continues, “After all this is done today, we are meeting with the lawyers in person, so we can go over the will, start the paperwork for the insurance, and make sure she doesn’t touch a thing that belongs to him.” I stop listening at this point, turning to look out the window at the backyard.

The swing set that he built in one day to make sure the kids could use it when he left the next day. The patio set he had delivered to us, so I could have somewhere to sit while I watched the girls while he was living with another woman. I shake my head, walking out of the room. I sit on the couch, and the girls come to sit next to me, one on each side. “Today is going to be really hard,” I whisper to them, “but we have to be strong for Daddy.” They both look at me, their eyes exactly like their father’s. “But, if at any time, you need to leave or you need me… I don’t care who is talking to me or who is around; you come and get me.”

“Grandpa A said we had to sit and wait,” Daisy whispers just as Elliot comes into the room and kneels in front of us.

“What is this meeting about?” he asks, smiling at us. The circles around his eyes are just as black as ours. He hasn’t left our house since this happened.

“Mommy said if we need her that we can go to her,” Daisy says, looking at him and then me, “even if Grandpa A said no.”

He leans in, whispering, “You can come to me too, and I’ll make sure that you get Mommy.”

“Okay,” Lizzie and Daisy both whisper at the same time, and then the doorbell rings.

We get up, put our jackets on, and one by one file into the black limo that has come to take us to the funeral home. We arrive before everyone else. “We get an hour with him, and then they will open the door,” Adrian says as Judy grabs her tissue and dabs her eyes.

I look around the funeral home. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, not sure where he is. I haven’t seen him since he kissed me goodbye four days earlier. His last words to me were, “Call you when I can.” That phone call never came.

I follow my in-laws to the big brown door that is closed. “I want to go in before the girls.” Everyone turns to look at me.

“We can keep them in the lobby,” says the lady who greeted us at the door. She told me her name, but I just didn’t listen.

I nod at her as she turns to ask the girls if they want hot chocolate. Daisy’s eyes get big as Lizzie turns to look at me. I nod my head, giving her permission, so she can go with the woman.

The doors open, and I don’t even know what to expect. I’ve never been to a funeral. Never known anyone well enough to pay my last respects. Judy and Adrian walk in first, followed by Ethan, and Elliot waits with me. I step foot into the room, and it’s so cold that I shiver. The smell of flowers hits me right away, making me turn my head. The number of flowers and wreaths shocks me; the whole room is almost full. Some wreaths blocking others. Rows and rows of brown chairs line the room, all facing toward the front of the room. My eyes land on the brown wooden casket at the front of the room. The open half showing you the white satin inside. I walk down the aisle toward him, and then my eyes land on him. Eric. I can’t take another step forward because my knees give out, and I fall. Elliot isn’t fast enough to hold me up, and my knee lands with a thud. But the pain doesn’t matter because nothing could take the place of the pain in my heart. The sound of wailing fills the room as I look up at my dead husband.

I feel arms around me; I feel myself lifted; I feel myself almost floating. He isn’t the Eric who kissed me goodbye; he isn’t the Eric who I made promises to; he isn’t the Eric who made all my dreams come true. This isn’t him.

The man with makeup caked on his face isn’t my Eric. My sobs overtake my body as I look at him, expecting him to open his eyes. Expecting something, anything but this. “I want the casket closed,” I say, my voice soft. “I want it closed.”

“Samantha,” my father-in-law starts, “it’s—”

I shake my head. “I don’t want the kids to see him like that,” I say softly. I know that for me they wouldn’t even consider it, but for the girls, they would move heaven and earth. “They need to remember him alive and smiling, not like that,” I say, pointing at the casket.

“Dad,” Ethan says after me, “I agree.”

“Me too,” Elliot says from beside me. “Close it.”

He just nods at us, then walks to the man standing in the corner. The man looks at him as they have a hushed conversation and then just nods his head. “Do you need some water?” Ethan says to me, and I nod. I don’t bother listening to what else he says; instead, I get up and go to the casket. Standing before the brown box, I look at him, really look at him. You see some bruising under the makeup, and his nose is a little swollen. His hands are folded over his stomach, resting on his black suit. The suit he wore when we got married. Why? I ask him in my own head. Why did you do it? I ask him, hoping I can hear him whisper something to me, whisper anything back. To answer my questions, to give me something; anything to make me understand why he did what he did. Why he left me with so many fucking questions and not one answer.

The man comes over to close the casket. Eric’s face disappears slowly, the shadow filling his face till the casket finally shuts. “I’m sorry for your loss,” the man says, nodding at me. “If at any time you want it open, we can open it back up.” I turn around now, looking at the chairs that will fill up as soon as the people start coming in. Ethan consoles my mother-in-law, and Elliot stands where we were just sitting, his hands in his pockets.

“I’m getting the girls,” I tell them and then walk out with my head held high but my shoulders slumped. Defeated is a word that you use so many times not really understanding what can actually defeat you. I know now, my husband dying, him cheating on me, my kids without a father, my dreams of growing old with him gone. Beaten straight down to my core, straight down to my bones.

I walk over to them as they look up. “Let’s go, girls,” I tell them as they both get up and walk to me. Lizzie takes one hand, Daisy takes the other, and we walk back into the room that holds a piece of our hearts. The room where their father lies, with no answers and no tomorrow.

We stand in that room for four hours while people come up to me and give me their condolences. I nod my head and play the part of the grieving wife. I am the grieving wife, but I’m also the wife whose husband didn’t love her enough to just be with her. The wife who knew her husband was slipping away but couldn’t catch it in time. The wife he said he would love and protect. The wife who stands here between his girls wishing that for one second he suffered horribly. The wife who has to pick up the fucking pieces and lie to her girls about what a great guy he was. The wife who, at the end of the day, just wasn’t good enough.

We listen as people tell us how amazing he was, how much he loved his family, and how much he loved his girls. The whole time, I’m yelling on the inside, ready to stand in the middle of the room, throw my head back, and yell at the top of my lungs. But I don’t do what I want. I don’t tell them what a fraud my husband was. I don’t tell them that it was almost all lies. I don’t tell them that the day he died, they called his other wife and not me. I don’t tell them that I wasn’t the one with him when he died.

I stand here thinking about this other person—his other wife—and wonder how she would handle this. How she would be with my in-laws. Would she just let them control her and do everything for her? Would she want it to be open and weep for him beside the casket instead of standing next to it?

I look around the room at all the people who came to pay their respects, and my eyes find someone I’ve never met before. Someone I’ve never seen before, and our eyes connect. His green eyes stare into mine as I watch him nod to me and turn to walk out. As he walks out of the crowded room, I strain my neck to watch his back. I don’t have long to think because Elliot comes up and whispers, “It’s time.”

When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…

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5 out of 5 stars

I’ve only read one other Natasha Madison book before, and it was nothing like this book. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it sure wasn’t this.

Samantha is married to Eric, and Eric travels for work quite a bit, leaving Samantha to be a stay at home mother to their two young children, Lizzie and Daisy. Eric hasn’t checked in for a while, so Samantha calls him and is shocked when his wife answers the phone. You read that right – Eric was married to two people at the same time. Samantha and Hailey.

Hailey and Eric have been married for six months, and Hailey is devastated when she gets the news. Her brother, Blake, is a firefighter and gets the news about Eric, and has to break it to Hailey. When going through Eric’s things, they find two cell phones, and Hailey’s life also changes forever.

Hailey and Samantha didn’t know one another existed. While Hailey is sad, Samantha is downright angry that her marriage has been a lie. In the beginning, right after Eric’s death, Eric’s family is very supportive toward Samantha, but when she starts asking questions about Hailey, things start to change.

Blake and his cousin Crystal go to Samantha’s house to meet her, and see what kind of woman she is. Samantha grew up a ward of the state and has no family of her own, so she feels very isolated. At some point, Blake calls Samantha to check in on her, and a friendship begins to form. They start to talk every day, and start to face time. It gets to a point where Blake is really the only friend that Samantha has.

I will say up front, I hated Eric’s family. From the beginning. They were manipulative and I didn’t care for them. There were some aspects that were very predictable when it came to their storyline, and it wasn’t really needed to make the story great.

Blake’s family, on the other hand, was wonderfully supportive of Hailey. Once Blake and Samantha started to become friends, they became supportive of her too. Blake had his own past and his own issues – Blake and Samantha were two very broken people.

Samantha’s girls were really adorable. They were probably the best part of the story, especially Lizzie, the oldest. She was very perceptive and caught on to things very quickly.

I liked the way the story ended, and I enjoyed both epilogues. Overall, this was a great book, and I would recommend it.

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 7/11/18

WWW is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What I’m Currently Reading

Stetson by Danielle Norman. Women ranchers. Good so far.

stetson


What I Recently Finished

Playing Hurt by Kelly Jamieson. Pretty good. Review will come later today.

playing hurt

Clean Sweep by Kate Willoughby. This one was ok. Not great.

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What I Plan to Read Next

I’m not too sure. I have a lot of books on hold at the library (like The Kissing Quotient) that I’m waiting on. Hopefully one of them will come in soon:)


What is on your list this week?

Happy reading.