ARCs

ARC Review ~ Bishop by Sawyer Bennett

handsome fit man

Title: Bishop
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Netgalley

Goodreads Summary

Meet the Arizona Vengeance, hockey’s hottest new team. They’re burning up the ice—until a one-night-stand with the coach’s daughter freezes one player in his skates.

Bishop Scott, co-captain. Not too shabby, huh? It’s all part of my fresh start with the NHL’s latest expansion team, and that means new teammates, a new coach, a new city, and a big new contract. Basically, I cannot f***ing wait to show my old squad what they’re missing.

But first, I decide to check out the town before the grind begins. Turns out Arizona chicks are totally smokin’, and I’m fortunate enough to meet one who’s looking for the same thing I am: a night of anonymous, unforgettable, no-strings-attached sex.

Fast forward to the Vengeance arena. It’s the last place I expect to see her again—let alone in her own office. Then bells go off and I finally realize who this girl is: Brooke Perron. My new coach’s daughter. All of a sudden, we’re picking up right where we left off, which means our hands are all over each other. That’s when her dad—my boss—walks in. And before I can get a word out, Brooke’s introducing me as her fiancé.

Sure, she just saved my ass. So why do I get the feeling Brooke’s going to turn my world upside down? Maybe it’s because this fake relationship feels way too real. . . .

Review

Sawyer Bennett knows how to write hockey players She did it 11 times with the Cold Fury series, and now she introduces us to the Arizona Vengeance – a new expansion franchise (think Vegas).

Bishop Scott was brought to the franchise from New York with his friend Dax. He goes to a club in Phoenix one night and meets Brooke – whom he finds beautiful and intriguing and ends up taking her home. He never got her last name or number in the morning, which he regrets. Imagine his surprise when he gets to the arena the next day and discovers Brooke works for the team – and is the coaches daughter.

Brooke’s mother died seven months prior to the move to Arizona, and her father has been taking it very hard. She moved to Arizona to be closer to her dad, and took a position with the team that wasn’t what she wanted to be doing, but it meant being close to her dad, and she was fine with that. Her dad finds her and Bishop making out in her office, and Brooke blurts out that they are engaged, even though they aren’t.

They decide to continue their charade, while of course developing feelings for each other for real. I liked the other guys on the team, especially Dax and Erik (who the next book is about, yeah). There was a side story with a friend of Brooke’s that was a little annoying, but it added a little drama.

There wasn’t an epilogue, which was disappointing, but maybe we will get the closure in the next book. This was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it.

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ARCs

ARC Review ~ To Have and To Harley by Regina Cole

to have and to harley

 

Title: To Have and To Harley
Author: Regina Cole
Rating: 2 1/2 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Netgalley

Goodreads Summary

You may now kiss the biker
Bethany Jernigan owes her bestie. Big time. So when wedding planning overburdens the bride-to-be, Bethany steps in to handle the nitty-gritty. But the guy in charge isn’t anything like she imagined. He’s gruff, tattooed, and 100% male. His staff is even rougher around the edges, and it’s not long before she feels as if she’s stepped into some kind of crazy alternate reality.

Are those…bikers? Arguing about wedding favors?

Trey Harding never wanted this to get so out of hand. One little lie somehow snowballed into a world of dresses and flowers and food and holy-hell-he’s-in-over-his-head. But it’s not like he can confess he’s not the wedding planner he’s pretending to be–especially now that he’s falling for the maid of honor! His charade is becoming a farce, and as engines rev and ribbons fly, Trey’s running out of time to figure out how to tell the truth without losing his new family, his crew…or the woman of his dreams.

Review

You will need to suspend to serious reality in order to find this book entertaining.

Trey Harding is the leader of a motorcycle club.  He takes down drug dealers and scumbags. He grew up in foster care, believing that he was abandoned at a gas station by his mother. Turns out he could not have been more wrong. He had a loving family who he didn’t know about.

Turns out his new sister, Sarah, is engaged to be married, and is finishing up pharmacy school. She outsources the planning of her wedding to her best friend, Bethany. Turns out Bethany is recently out of a job and needs something to do.

Trey goes to meet his birth mother, and while there, he freaks and tells his mother that he’s a wedding planner. Yes, the 6 foot 5, tatted up biker claims to be a wedding planner. Not only does he claim to be a wedding planner, he actually gets his biker friends to start planning the wedding!!!

There are a lot of problems with this book. Here are some of them:

  • The cover. Trey is 6 foot 5 and covered in tattoos but the guy on the cover doesn’t have a drop of ink on him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book cover about an MC with a guy without tattoos on the cover.  So strange.
  • The story line it not at all believable or feasible. In fact, it’s ludicrous.
  • At times, the book is silly and then it’s very serious.
  • The story was kind of all over the place.
  • Trey is the Prez of an MC – he has no cool code name and quite frankly, he was the weakest and least vulgar Prez I’ve ever read.
  • There wasn’t a lot of character development – we didn’t get to learn a lot about the biker gang members or Sarah.
  • The story with Bethany’s grandmother – completely stupid and not believable.
  • Insta-love.
  • No epilogue.

I liked Trey. He wanted to be the son that his mother wanted, but he struggled with how to make that happen. I liked Bethany as well. She was strong, but the storyline with her grandmother and the promise she made her father – it was just so dumb.

The ending – really? Just really? I liked some of the characters but I honestly don’t know if I can continue reading.

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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.

 

ARCs

Release Blitz & Review ~ Getting Schooled by Emma Chase

Head of the class…

Garrett Daniels has this whole life thing figured out.

The cocky, charismatic former high school star quarterback is an idolized football coach and “cool” teacher in the hometown where he’s not just a golden boy — he’s platinum. He has good friends, a great house on the lake, and the best damn sidekick a man could ask for: Snoopy, the albino beagle.

Then…Callie Carpenter comes home.

And knocks him right on his tight end zone.

Back to school…

Callie has a pretty sweet life herself…on the other side of the country. But circumstances — that she’d prefer to never speak of again — have brought her back home, helping out her parents and substitute teaching at her old high school.

Now she’s facing bickering, raging hormones, constant gossip, awkward weirdness, and drama galore…and that’s just the teachers.

Just like old times…

When Garrett offers to show his former high school sweetheart the secrets of his winning teacher ways, Callie jumps at the chance – and then has to stop herself from jumping him.

Good friends are all they can ever be.

Or…these teachers just might end up getting schooled — hard — by love.

Includes a special bonus interview with the author!

©2018 Emma Chase (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

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High school parking lots are one of the most dangerous places on earth. I don’t have statistics to back that up…but I know it’s true.

I pull into the school parking lot Monday morning in my Dad’s giant, newly repaired mint-green Buick, with Back in Black by AC/DC blasting from the speakers. I feel tough, powerful—like I’m driving a tank.

I’m a badass teacher—I’ll run you down even if you’re a student—I’ve got twenty-nine more in class just like you.

The outfit helps too—leather boots, blue jeans, a starched white blouse and a black leather jacket. It’s my armor. The morning air is cool and crisp today, but I barely feel it. I’m locked and loaded and ready to roll.

As I march towards the main entrance, I spot Garrett and Dean and Alison Bellinger outside the doors. They pause when they see me, waiting.

“Damn,” Dean chuckles. “Callie’s got her shit-kickers on. Did you dig them out of a mosh pit from 1993?”

Garrett crosses his arms. “Somebody’s channeling Michelle Pfiefer in Dangerous Minds.”

He looks fantastic. His hair is tousled from the breeze and kisses his brow, and he’s wearing a dark blue sweater that’s snug around his biceps and soft, worn, light blue jeans. I remember his arms around me yesterday on my parent’s porch. The wonder and exhilaration of the moment.

Of him.

The intensity in his eyes, the desire and possessiveness in the grasp of his hands. The scorching feel of his mouth, his wet talented tongue that made my stomach swirl and my head spin.

So much for not complicating things.

But I’m not going to play head games with myself or Garrett—we’re too old for that shit.

I have feelings for him—I always have—our break-up had nothing to do with either of us not wanting each other desperately. But these aren’t just leftover echoes of a sweet, first love—this is something new. A throbbing, breathless attraction to the amazing man he’s become. I want to be near him. I want to know him, inside and out, all over again.

And he feels the same way. Garrett wants this version of me as much as he always did—maybe even more. I heard it in his whispered words and felt it in his kiss.

I don’t know if we have a future, if it can go anywhere. We have separate lives on opposite ends of the country. But I’m not going to worry about that—for now, I’m going to take each day as it comes and enjoy every moment we can.

Except for now. Now is not the time for enjoying or worrying or relationship building…now is the time for focusing. Now is the time to be ice and steel—don’t smile, don’t waver.

“Little fucknutters don’t know who the hell they’re dealing with,” I growl.

Allison pumps her fist. “That’s the spirit.”

Garrett opens the door for me. “Go get ‘em, Gangster’s Paradise.”

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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5 out of 5 stars

OMFG, I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!

I am so glad I found this little gem!!! I cannot express how much I loved this book.

Callie Carpenter lives in San Diego and just gets her dream job as the director of a musical theater. She then gets a phone call that changes her life. Her parents have been in a car accident.

Don’t fret, her parents survive, but they each have a broken leg and the reason for the car accident is hilarious (I won’t spoil). Her parents will require round the clock care while they recover, so Callie has to move back home to Lakeside, New Jersey to help her sister care for her parents.

Callie gets a job at the local high school as the theater teacher, covering maternity leave for another teacher. On her first day, she runs into Garrett Daniels – her ex-boyfriend and former love of her life. Garrett teaches history at the high school and his the head football coach.

Callie and Garret have sizzling chemistry from day one (take 2).  Garrett is kind of an alpha, and Callie is a strong woman. She knows that her time in Jersey is limited, but she jumps into a relationship head first with Garrett, because she knows deep down she’s never stopped loving him.

One other amazing thing about Garrett – he’s a dog lover and has an 18-year old dog named Snoopy who is his best friend. His relationship with Snoopy was so sweet – it was one of my favorite parts of the story.

There is not a lot of drama between Callie and Garrett in the story. I love a good second chance romance and this book didn’t disappoint. I loved how Callie and Garrett cared for their students and fought to protect them. I loved Garrett’s big, crazy family and Callie’s small, crazy family.

I read this book in less than 24 hours (shows you how sucked in I was) because it’s so delightfully wonderful. If you love second chance romances, or books with great characters, you should give this book a try. You won’t be disappointed.

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ARCs · Cover Reveals/Blitzes

Release Blitz & Review ~ Only Him by Melanie Harlow

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MHOnlyHimBookCover5x8_MEDIUMOnly Him, an all-new sexy and emotional second chance romance from USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow is available NOW!

MHOnlyHimBookWrapFB

Sometimes your first love deserves a second chance…

He was my first crush, my first kiss, my first everything.

But I’m not a lovesick teenager anymore, and I’d never let that cocky troublemaker break my heart again.

So when he shows up out of the blue asking me to have dinner with him “for old time’s sake,” I say I will. After all, it’s been twelve years, and I’m stronger and smarter than I was back then.

Except…he still does something to me. He’s got those eyes that make me weak, those hands that drive me wild, and a body I can’t resist—especially once I see the tattoos. It doesn’t take long for our trip down memory lane to go from sweet to sizzling.

We’re just as good together as we were back then—better, even—and I’m willing to give the only man I’ve ever loved another chance.

But he’s got to tell me the truth.

* * *

All I wanted was to see her again. Tell her I’m sorry. Make her smile.

Okay, that’s a lie. I wanted to do more than that—a lot more. But I know she’s better off without me, and I promised myself I’d behave.

Except I’ve never been much good at keeping promises…or my hands to myself when I’m around her.

I can make her laugh, I can make her cry, I can make her body surrender to mine in ways that neither of us could have imagined back then. I can—and I do—love her more than she’ll ever know.

But I can’t tell her the real reason why I’m here.

And I can’t stay.

OnlyHim-AN

Excerpt

Maren glanced back at me, more puzzled than ever, but she started up the cement stairs. I couldn’t take my eyes off her legs in front of me. Her calf muscles were insane from all the ballet training. I remembered how flexible she’d been and felt my dick start perking up.

“In addition to all the history I just gave you,” Aiden said, his voice echoing off the walls, “this hotel was also the site of a certain prom a few years back.”

All of a sudden, Maren stopped moving and looked down over her shoulder at me. “No way.” The stunned, joyful expression on her face was worth every penny I had to pay to make this happen.

Goose bumps rippled down my arms inside my jacket. I smiled at her.

Her jaw dropped, and she continued up the stairs. At the top, Aiden moved ahead and opened the door to the rooftop. “Ballrooms were not available tonight, but when Dallas asked if you could have the roof to yourselves, I had to admit no one had booked it. In fact, no one has ever even asked to book it.” He laughed.

Maren stepped over the threshold onto the rooftop. “Dallas is definitely one of a kind.”

The three of us moved away from the door, and I saw the table that had been set for us, complete with white linens, flower centerpiece, and candlelight. Luckily, the air was warm, and the wind was soft. The sun was still setting beyond the skyline to the west, and to the east the Detroit River was visible; a little to the south was the Ambassador Bridge, and beyond the river, Canada. The view was breathtaking on all sides.

After turning around in a full circle, Maren looked at me with shining eyes. “Dallas. This is incredible.”

“You’ll have your own server for the night, and he should be up shortly,” Aiden said, checking his watch. “I should get back downstairs. Dallas, you have my cell if you need anything. Maren, good seeing you again, and I hope you enjoy your evening.” He gave us a smile before heading back to the stairwell door.

As soon as he was gone, Maren turned to me. “I cannot believe you did this.”

I shrugged. “I felt pretty bad when you said you’d missed the prom because of me. I figured I owed it to you.”

She laughed and rolled her eyes, which were filled with tears. “You didn’t, but whatever. I’ll take it.” Opening her purse, she hunted around in it for something. “God, I don’t even have tissues. I didn’t know you were going to make me cry.”

“No crying allowed at the prom. And I hope it’s okay I’m wearing jeans.”

“It’s fine.” She sniffed and closed her purse. “I’m not that dressed up either.”

“You’re perfect.” Our eyes met, and the air between us suddenly felt full of hope and possibility. In any other circumstance, I’d have kissed her.

But I couldn’t do that tonight.

“Oh, I almost forgot.” Reaching into the inside pocket of my jacket, I pulled out a wrist corsage. “Sorry if it’s a little smashed. I had to get rid of the plastic container to hide it from you.”

She giggled and held out her arm. “That’s okay. It’s beautiful.”

“Good.” I slid the elastic band with three deep red roses attached to it along with some other green stuff onto her wrist. “I told the lady at the florist to make it a prom corsage. Pretty sure she thought I was crazy. Or creepy.”

“You might be crazy. But I love it. Thank you for this.” Then she rose up on tiptoe and pecked my cheek. When she lowered her heels, she stood there for a moment, her hand on my arm, her mouth so close I could have simply tipped my head down and my lips would be resting on hers.

My heart stumbled over its next few beats. I wanted to do it so badly, but I’d promised her I’d behave. I’d promised myself I’d behave. There were so many reasons why I shouldn’t be here tonight, standing so close to the only girl I’d ever loved, tempted beyond reason by her legs and her lips and her laugh and her eyes and her ability to make me feel like I fucking mattered in the universe.

What was the right thing to do?

If only—

The door from the stairwell opened, and we moved apart.

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About Melanie

Melanie HarlowMelanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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Review

3 out of 5 stars

I read Only You and really liked it, but I’m going to be really honest – I struggled with this one.

Without giving much away, there is a very tough topic in this book that I a) wasn’t expecting and b) didn’t much appreciate (especially with no warning in the summary). I won’t spoil, but I had a really hard time with this topic.

Maren is a yoga instructor who lives in the Detroit area (as do all MH’s characters). She has been having a recurring nightmare and she doesn’t know what it means. Her sister encourages her to go see a psychic, and her sister gets some really interesting information. Maren is not convinced. Turns out Maren was hurt terribly years ago by Dallas, her first love who disappeared without a word.

Twelve years later, Dallas shows up on her doorstep unannounced and they start talking again.  They start hanging out and feelings get involved.  Except Dallas has a huge secret he doesn’t share with Maren.

I have a few issues with this book. One was how quickly Maren forgave Dallas.  He hurt her very badly and yet she forgave him so fast.  I also had a hard time with the “issue” surrounding Dallas. It seemed really unnecessary. Dallas is also one of those “I was never good enough for my parents” guys. I found that annoying.

The ending was pretty good, as well as the epilogue, but it wasn’t enough to save this book for me. I will certainly continue to read this author, and I will read the next book in the series for sure. This book just wasn’t as good as some of her other material for me.

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ARCs

ARC Review – I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting

i flipping love you

Title: I Flipping Love You
Author: Helena Hunting
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: ARC from Netgalley

Goodreads Summary

SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in The Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous, but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she inadvertently catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

HE’S A FIXER UPPER

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance — without burning down the house?

Review

 

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

 

Somehow I missed book 2 in this series, but I read the first book and really enjoyed it. This one was good, but I didn’t love Rian (Ryan with an I) as much as I should have.

Rian and her twin sister Marley are into real estate. Marley is the brawn and Rian is the brain (she’s a self-admitted number lover). She lives in the Hamptons with her sister, and is accosted in the grocery store by a gorgeous man who accuses her of hitting his car. Turns out it was her sister and not Rian, but the guy, Pierce, is instantly attracted to Rian and can’t stop thinking about her.

Pierce is a patent lawyer who works for his dad. He made a mistake on a patent, which has caused his family some embarrassment, so he’s taking the summer off to reevaluate things. Pierce is staying in the Hamptons with his brother, Lawson, who is buying up houses and renovating them. The description above makes it seem like Pierce keeps stealing real estate from Rian, but that wasn’t really the case.

Rian has some pretty big secrets. And she doesn’t share them with Pierce until it’s too late. Almost. These secrets have turned her into a hard person, and she is not really likable. She’s quick to make assumptions about people. It made her unlikable. Marley was a much nicer character, but she wasn’t the main story.

Where I didn’t love Rian, I loved Pierce. He was a very sweet guy, and he was very funny. They had some great banter between them. He was very caring and good to Rian. She didn’t always return the favor.

My biggest complaint would be this book was really LONG. It was much longer than it needed to be, and I honestly skipped over a lot of unnecessary internal dialogue. This wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t as good as Shacking Up, in my opinion.

Happy reading.

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ARCs · Cover Reveals/Blitzes

Release Blitz & Review ~ Every Promise You Made

Title: Every Promise You Made
Series: Redeeming Love Series
Author: J.E. Parker
Genre: New Adult Romance

Release Date: May 24, 2018

Red Hatter Book Blog – “Their story is one of the most powerful and emotional stories I have ever read.”

Sheridan – “I think their story will stay with me forever!”

Jenn the Readaholic – “This book was absolutely fantastic.”

Christine Jalili – “This book completely gutted me but also left me feeling like they had so much love.”

Two shattered lives. One final vow. 
 
Hope
 
Growing up, I had everything.
A loving big brother, a great family and a happy life.
But then it all changed. Now, my entire world is shattered.
The only thing that still makes sense is how I feel about Evan.
I love him more than anything, but it’s not enough anymore.
I’m tired of chasing after him. Tired of being held at arm’s length.
I can’t live like this any longer.
Walking away will destroy me.
Yet what other choice do I have?
 
Evan
 
Growing up, my best friend’s sister was always around.
I took care of her, I protected her. She was my friend too.
Then one night she became more. So much more.
But then all hell broke loose.
I screwed up. I became the reason for her pain.
My mistake ruined everything.
Afraid of destroying what we have left, I keep her at arm’s length.
Fed up with my distance, she’s ready to end it all.
That can’t happen.
It’s time to face facts… Hope is mine.





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J.E. Parker is an American romance author who was born and raised in the great state of North Carolina. A southern belle at heart, she’s addicted to sweet tea, Cheerwine, and peach cobbler.
Not only is J.E. married to the man of her dreams (albeit a total pain in the rear), she’s also the mother of a herd of sweet (sometimes), and angelic (only when they’re sleeping) children. Despite their occasional demonic behavior and bottomless stomachs, J.E. loves her little tribe more than words could ever express.
On the weekends, you can find her sitting on the couch, cheering on (or cursing) her favorite football team, stuffing her face with junk food, and guzzling a bottle of cheap red wine.
When she’s not busy making sure her husband doesn’t burn the house down or acting as a referee for her fighting children, J.E. enjoys reading, writing (obviously), and listening to a wide variety of music.

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Review

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Wow, this book is deep! So many emotions and feels.

Every Promise You Made is the story of Evan Morgan and Hope Petersen, who have known each other forever. Evan and Ryker, Hope’s brother, have been best friends since kindergarten. They were inseparable. Ryker and Hope are extremely close, and Hope is always around. She’s always felt very close to Evan, and has been in love with him since she was 4.

Evan has been in love with Hope forever as well, but feels like he can’t act on it. The night before he leaves for the Marines, he finally kisses Hope and tells her that she’s his forever. Evan and Ryker had for Iraq where tragedy strikes, and it breaks both Hope and Evan.

Fast forward three years. Hope is now a social worker helping victims of domestic violence in Georgia. Evan lives there too, with Hope. He’s a security guard at the shelter she works at. Hope tries and tries to get close to Evan, but he constantly pushes her away. Until she tells him she’s done trying, and he decides it’s time to man up.

So, I didn’t read the first two books in this series (and I’m honestly kind of glad, because it sounds like they were rough [about abuse]). Not having read them, I wasn’t familiar with all of the characters, though the author did a very good job of filling us in. My biggest complaint, for lack of a better word, is there are SO many characters that it was often hard to keep up.

With that being said, the characters in this book were really great. Grandmama is particular was a hoot. Shelby was great, and the guys were too. I liked the characters, even when I had a hard time remembering who they were!

Back to the main characters – Evan and Hope. Evan was a very broken man. He felt a lot of guilt over what happened in Iraq, and struggled to overcome it. His growth over the story felt real and organic. He sought counseling. He tried to be a better man for Hope. He was a total alpha too, which I loved.

Hope was one strong woman. She spent her time helping women who had been abused, and really didn’t realize the impact she’d had on their lives. She became part of a big, extended family who loved her like she was born into it. And she never gave up on Evan, loving the big guy to the moon and back.

The last 10% of this book – wow. I teared up so many times during the ending. It was so beautifully written and hit you right in the feels. I loved how it ended, and will absolutely read the next book – who I think will be about Evan’s twin brother, Brantley.

While there were tears in this book, there were also quite a few laughs. It’s rare for an author to hit all the emotions, but Ms. Parker did just that. This is a really, really good book and I would recommend it.

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