Romance Books

The Wrong Game by Kandi Steiner

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Title: The Wrong Game
Author: Kandi Steiner
Rating: 3 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Kindle Unlimited

Goodreads Summary

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Two season tickets. 
One genius idea. 
Zero interest in a relationship. 

The plan is simple: a brand new, hot, preferably funny, definitely single male will fill one of those seats for every Bears game at Soldier Field. And I’ll fill the other. 

I can’t think of a better way to use the season passes I’d bought for my ex-husband. I am a woman of plans, and this one’s foolproof. 

Until Zach Bowen offers to be my practice round. 

He’s infuriating. Presumptuous and overbearing. And absolutely, undeniably gorgeous. Any woman with a heartbeat would be attracted to him, and mine picks up speed every time he speaks. 

But as I said, I’m a woman of plans — and I’m not backing down on this one. 

One night. One game. And then, his time’s up. 

He can try to change the rules, but here’s the truth: he can’t win if he’s playing the wrong game.

Review

A book about a female football fan who has season tickets to the Chicago Bears sounds like the perfect book for me. I am also a female football fan from Chicago. The Bears are my team. Sounds great, right? Not so much.

First of all, I have to things about this book that stuck in my craw. The are:

  • Gemma referred to her ex-husband. He’s dead. They were married when she died. He was not her ex-husband. 
  • They kept talking about the “kiss cam” at Soldier Field. They don’t do kiss cams at football games, especially Soldier Field (where I was a season ticket holder).

Ok, back to the story. I freaking loved Zach. He’s a great guy who gave up so much for his family, and he’s a hopeless romantic. He meets Gemma and he’s instantly smitten. Gemma’s plan is to take a different guy to each home game, to get herself back into the market. She doesn’t count on meeting Zach.

The reason I gave this book only 3 stars was Gemma. She was a really hard character to like. On paper, we have a lot in common. Both football fans from Chicago. But this girl, who was hurt, which I get, my god. She just wouldn’t budge on her stand to give Zach a chance. It made her so hard to like.

I did like the way this book ended and it had a good ending. But overall, I couldn’t relate to the heroine, which made the book less likable for me.

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Romance Books

Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Hate Notes

Title: Hate Notes
Author: Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Kindle Unlimited

 

Goodreads Summary

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue. 

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true. 

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new. 

But I have no idea how this one is going to end . . .

Review

I had no idea what to expect going into this story, but I absolutely LOVED it and encourage everyone to read this.

Charlotte Darling is down on her luck. She caught her fiance cheating, can’t find a real job and is living on ramen. During a drunken evening, she manages to schedule a showing for a $7 million penthouse and decides to go see it, just to see how the other half lives. When she gets there, she meets Reed Eastwood, the man who will show her the property.

Reed is annoyed at this meeting because he knows that Charlotte’s application is fake. She said she’s a dog surfer. So their meeting doesn’t end well. She ends up in a bathroom, in tears, and meets Iris. She tells Iris her sad story, and Iris tells her she sees a lot of herself in Charlotte. She offers Charlotte a job and she starts the following Monday.

Imagine Charlotte’s surprise when she literally runs into Reed and discovers that he’s Iris’s grandson. I’m sure you can imagine how that turns out.

One criticism is the title – I don’t think Hate Notes accurately describes the book – it’s a very small part, but that’s just me.

I won’t give too much of the story away, because I want you to read it, but this story is full of incredibly rich characters. Charlotte is an optimist who believes in true love. Reed is a hardened man, who is a cynic. The banter and chemistry between these two was written so well. I loved both of these characters so much, and I so badly wanted a happy ending.

I also adored Iris. Sometimes grandmothers are written to be very annoying, but Iris was amazing. She loved her grandson and wanted to see him happy, and knew, deep down, that Charlotte was the person who could make him happy. She did everything in her power to make it happen and it was beautiful.

This is a real slow burner. But the payoff is so worth it.  The epilogue was really amazing. I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s got all the feels.

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Romance Books

Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

royally endowed

Title: Royally Endowed
Author: Emma Chase
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Audiobook from Public library

Goodreads Summary

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, gorgeous royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.
***
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to call him hers.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

Review

I have been trying to find a copy of this book for a while now, and finally succumbed and listened to the book. I am generally not a fan of audio books, but I enjoyed this one. I liked the accent on Logan, voiced by Shane East. I felt the voice of Ellie was a little older than Ellie, but I liked her.

So we met Ellie and Logan in book 1. Ellie is Olivia’s sister and Logan is Nicolas’s bodyguard.  Logan stays behind and keeps an eye on Ellie when Olivia goes to Wessco for the summer after she starts dating, and even though she’s only 17 and a senior in high school, she knows that Logan is the guy for her.

Over the course of the next five years, we watch (listen) to Ellie and Logan grow and change. Ellie graduates from high school and moves to Wessco to be closer to Olivia. Logan, of course, goes back as well. He knows how Ellie feels about him, but he fights his feelings for a long time.

This is a SLOW burn romance. 5 years slow. But I enjoyed Logan and Ellie’s story. Logan grew up poor, on the wrong side of the tracks. Ellie’s mom died, sending her father into alcoholism, leading her to believe she’s the reason.

Ellie is such a sweet character. She’s smart and optimistic. Logan is tough, yet vulnerable when it comes to Ellie. I enjoyed seeing their relationship bloom.

Book 4 comes out soon and I’m getting an ARC so I didn’t want to be behind. I would recommend this, any way you can get it.

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Romance Books

The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting

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Title: The Good Luck Charm
Author: Helena Hunting
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Public library

Goodreads Summary

Lilah isn’t sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career, or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she’s no longer that same girl and never wants to be again.

Ethan Kane wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that.

Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let him in, though, she finds out their reunion has nothing to do with her and everything to do with his game. But Ethan’s already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he’ll do anything to keep from losing her again.

Review

I had a little lull between ARC’s so I decided to read something different, by an author I have read several times in the past. I’m a sucker for a) second chance romance and b) a hockey player.

Ethan Kace is an NHL player, who was with Chicago and traded to Minnesota. His family lives in Minnesota, and the timing is good because his dad has had a stroke and his mom needs help. She has help in the form of Lilah – the girl that Ethan dumped when he left for college.

Lilah is a nurse in the throws of finalizing a divorce when Ethan comes back to town. Ethan wants to be friends with Lilah, so she agrees, and their friendship quickly becomes more. Lilah loses herself in Ethan, putting herself and her schoolwork (she studying for her masters) on the back burner.

I will say I found it a little strange that Lilah stayed so close with Ethan’s family. I’ve never stayed in contact with any of my ex’s family members. I also found the end of the story to be pretty predictable, but still good.

I would have preferred a different epilogue, but it had one, so I  was happy about that.

I found Lilah’s insecurities to be pretty grating though. Yes, Ethan dumped her years earlier, but people change. She seemed to second guess everything he did, which got really old.

I did enjoy this book overall, and would recommend it for sure.

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Romance Books

Soldier Boy by Donna Alam

soldier boy

Title: Soldier Boy
Author: Donna Alam
Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Kindle Unlimited

Goodreads Summary

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

Captain Ben Monroe has a butt made for touching,
And a panty-dropping smile.
He’s also my best friend’s younger brother.
And the worst mistake of my life.

Or maybe the best.
It’s hard to tell.

He was a blight on my childhood.
A thorn in my side.
I haven’t seen him in years,
And now he needs a place to stay.

What I didn’t expect was to find him naked in my kitchen
And he’s all grown up.
But sisters before misters,
I wasn’t supposed to look, let alone touch.
d set both their reputations on fire.

Review

Soldier Boy was sitting on my Kindle for a while, and I was in between ARC’s, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did, all thanks to Ben Monroe.

Ben is a soldier in the British Army, and is home on leave. His sister, Melody, can’t take him in so she asks her best friend, Penny, to take Ben in. Penny hates Ben, but agrees to take him in for her best friend. She hasn’t seen Ben in years and doesn’t realize he’s grown into a beautiful specimen (I mean, look at that cover – YUM).

Penny – though Ben calls her Nell, a nickname which she hates, thinks Ben ruined her childhood. She thinks he killed her goldfish (he didn’t) and was the bane of her existence (he wasn’t). Truth is Ben has been crazy about Nell forever and desperately wanted her attention.

I freaking loved Ben. He was hilarious, sweet and hot! He was smitten with Penny, and she had no clue. He did a stupid thing around 75%, but I didn’t care. He was such a great character. Penny was sweet, but she was really clueless. She had no idea how Ben felt, which was hysterical.

My biggest complaint about this book was that it was clearly written by a British author and it only used the ‘ for dialogue, so it was sometimes hard to differentiate between dialogue and not.

Overall, this book was really cute and sweet and I would recommend it.

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Romance Books

Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

hard sell

Title: Hard Sell
Author: Lauren Layne
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Kindle Unlimited

Goodreads Summary

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

Review

I didn’t know that the 21 Wall Street series had a new book released (I got the first one on Netgalley), so I jumped when I saw this book. While it wasn’t as good as the first book, it was an entertaining sequel.

Matt Cannon is a billionaire investment banker who attends a bachelor party in Vegas, which happens to also be attended by a writer at the Wall Street Journal. There are photos posted, and it starts damage control at Wolfe Investments, where Matt works. His bosses tell him he needs to clean up his image but getting a girlfriend and Matt knows exactly who to go to – Sabrina Cross – who happens to hate him.

Sabrina does PR for the society folks in New York – very discreetly. She and Matt have a past – one that quite honestly didn’t make sense once it was revealed, but I digress. Matt goes to Sabrina to act as his girlfriend, and Sabrina reluctantly agrees.

They begin a fake relationship, which, surprise, surprise, isn’t really fake. They have feelings for one another, but are too dense to realize it. Luckily, they have a great group of friends who realize they are perfect for one another and won’t stop until they end up together.

I really, really liked Matt. He owned up his mistakes and tried to do the right thing. Sabrina was a little harder to like at first – she was very guarded and hard to get to like. By the end of the book, she was much more likable.

I’m really hoping that the next book is about Kate and Kennedy, because we need their book. But this was good read and I would recommend it.

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Romance Books

All The Way by Kristen Proby

all the way

Title: All The Way
Author: Kristen Proby
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Public Library

Goodreads Summary

Finn Cavanaugh is known for being a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. He owns a successful law firm with his brother and brother-in-law in Manhattan. On the rare occasion that he has down time, he spends it at his home in Martha’s Vineyard. But when Finn’s troubled niece goes to stay with him for the summer in Martha’s Vineyard, he’s reluctant to take time off from work. That is, until he meets his beautiful new neighbor, London.

London Watson is a Tony Award winning actress on Broadway. When tragedy strikes her family, leaving her alone and injured, she flees Manhattan for Martha’s Vineyard. Hoping she can figure out how to pick up the pieces of her life, London is convinced that she’ll never be able to return to the stage. But when she meets the charming young girl next door and her sexy uncle, they soon lure London out of her shell as she finally begins to heal from the wounds of her past.

But when London feels confident enough to return to the spotlight, she’s dealt another devastating blow. Will the newfound love between London and Finn be enough to conquer all? Or will it be over before it has a chance to grow…?

Review

If you have read my blog, you know Kristen Proby is my favorite author. I love her, so I was very excited to get my hands on this new series. It was good, but not great.

London Watson has just lost her parents in a fire, one where she was badly injured. She’s the Kristen Chenowith of Broadway – and thanks to her injury, she can’t perform and she’s devastated. After hearing her parents will, she heads to their family home on Martha’s Vineyard to recuperate and grieve.

Her parent’s lawyer, Finn Cavanaugh, happens to live next door to London’s house on Martha’s Vineyard, and has taken a few weeks off to go there with his niece, Gabby, who lost her mom and is struggling. Gabby and London take to each other quite quickly, and I liked there storyline.

Then, at about 25%, Gabby leaves with her grandma and we don’t hear from her again. She’s part of the summary, and she was quite a cute character, so I was a little bummed that she was kind of abandoned. We saw her a little at the end of the story, but that was it.

There was also a storyline with London’s brother, Kyle, who is a drug addict and was cut out of the will unless he checks into rehab. This storyline was really predictable and didn’t add too much to the story. I didn’t love it.

I’m hoping the next story is about Quinn, Finn’s brother. There is also Gabby’s father, Carter, who deserves a book.

I did like this story, despite the fact that there was no epilogue and some of the stories weren’t finalized. Maybe they will be in the next book.

Despite not loving this  book, I did really like it and I would recommend it. You tend to do that for your favorite author:)

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