Boy Toy (Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby)

A brand new romantic comedy from your favorite snort-laughing duo!

Liam
The moment Sadie Matthews walks through the daycare center door, I feel my world tilt in her direction. Again. I fell for her when I was fourteen, and I’m still not over her. Problem: she still thinks of me as a teen she used to babysit. But I’ve learned a few things about pleasing a woman in the last fifteen years. I can’t wait to show her how good it could be. I need to move quickly before I lose her again. This is more than a game to me, but I still plan to win.

Sadie
I’ve just survived the worst year of my life. As a single mom of twin toddlers, I don’t have time for a man. I barely have time to finish a thought. Who knew that Liam McAllister would grow up to be so devastating? He’s everything my husband was not: tall, built, and willing to have a tea party with my girls.

I can’t possibly get involved with him. He’s too young for me. Too handsome. But he’s so persuasive…

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Definitely my favorite one of the series. Yes yes yes!

This duo won me over with their writing since the first book on this series, Man Hands, but it went even further with this 3rd book. This was hilarious and so much fun to read. I love a good single parent romance, especially when the children are so young. And a babysitter romance to boot? Also, the babysitter is younger, and it’s the hero?! HELL YES! I loved everything about it.

I already liked Sadie before, but she became something else on this book. She’s such a strong and amazing person. She deserves everything good in her life. And Liam. She deserves Liam, because he’s AMAZING. He was not only hot and funny, but he loved Sadie and the girls deeply and he fit with them.

Liam and Sadie (and Kate and Amy) were amazing and stinking cute as a family. I loved them together so much. I loved the romance, and how the two shared a history, I loved seeing their feelings develop and how greatly they matched.

I don’t even know what else to say about this book. I loved it. The humour is on point, and the romance is beyond sweet. It’s incredible. It can also be read as a standalone, so please please please, give it a read. You won’t be sorry.


Excerpt:

I messed up. Big time.

These are my thoughts as I rush into the bathroom for the world’s fastest shower. The hot spray of water judges me as I hastily wash Liam off my thighs.

A better mother wouldn’t let this happen. I shouldn’t have a younger lover. If I didn’t, he wouldn’t be so deliciously appealing. I couldn’t lose my mind, wake him up out of a sound sleep to ride him like a pony. And then collapse beside him in peaceful, sated slumber.

Seriously, how did I let that happen?

You know how, my hormones scold me. Because he’s the hottest thing you’ve ever tasted.

Oh yeah. That.

After showering I get dressed at top speed. Poor Liam is currently shouldering all my parental responsibilities. Throwing on yesterday’s sundress, I pause for a moment to pop a birth control pill, because that’s one thing I won’t goof up.

Then I hurry downstairs.

The sight in the kitchen gives me heart palpitations. But not because there’s flour dusting much of the countertop. Rather, it’s the hot, shirtless guy holding my toddler and making a dump truck sound as Amy tips the measuring spoon over a bowl.

“Yes! Well done, little miss,” he says, relieving her of the spoon. “Batter up!” he says, easing her to the floor and catching Kate, who’s trying to climb him like a tree.

Aren’t we all.

Liam easily rests Kate on one of his perfect arms, measures a half teaspoon of baking powder one-handed and then hands the spoon to Kate. “Beep beep beep,” he says, making the sound of a truck backing up. “Look out below!”

Kate dumps the spoonful into the bowl and giggles.

“Awesome. Who wants to add the milk?”

“My do it!” Amy yells.

Boy, I need another minute of alone time to compose myself. Because I love this picture a little too much. I love Liam’s ease with my girls. I love how calm he is at the center of toddler-induced mayhem.

It causes a little pain in my heart as I allow myself one more comparison to my former life. The truth is I never once saw Decker elbows-deep in kitchen chaos with a kid on one arm. Starting breakfast with twins in tow? He was more likely to captain a NASA expedition to Mars than he was to do this simple Saturday morning thing.

I feel like crying for no reason at all. Clearly I’m on some kind of emotional overload. Maybe coffee will help.

Sliding into the kitchen, I go right for the coffee grounds.

“Mama!” Amy says. “Wiam making pancakes.”

“That is amazing,” I say in a wobbly voice. “What a lucky girl you are.”

“Sorry about the mess,” he says, casting a glance in my direction. And I know he doesn’t just mean the flour on the counter, but the bigger mess of waking up naked in my bed.

“You know,” I say with a small sigh. “Messes shouldn’t scare me so much. It’s going to be fine.”

Liam’s smile is so filled with relief, that I now feel like an ogre. This man wants to make pancakes with us on Saturday morning, and I said no to that before? I’m clearly insane.

“Which frying pan should I use?” he asks, casting an eye on the cookware hanging from the rack over the sink.

“Oh, no. You want this.” I pull a double-burner griddle out of a lower cabinet.

“Oooh,” he says. “Mommy has the fancy pancake griddle.”

Kate giggles. She’s gazing at Liam as if he invented fun.

And in my life, I guess he did.

Here’s the tricky thing about being a shrink — sometimes you notice that you’re doing something that’s exactly contrary to the advice you’d give your patients.

I’m having one of those moments right now.

If I had a single mom in my office telling me there was a lovely guy in her life who was kind to her kids—and yet she was giving him the stiff arm? I’d tell her: “Be kind to yourself. Don’t push away the good people in your life, especially if you think you don’t deserve them. Let people surprise you.”

I’m such a hypocrite.

Also, I need caffeine.

Ten minutes later I’m sipping from a mug of coffee, but Liam’s is cooling on the countertop. The man has his hands full right now as he puts pancakes on the griddle with “help” from my daughters.

“How about a few of these?” he asks, holding up a bag of chocolate chips. Meanwhile, Kate waves the spatula around like a ninja. “A guy needs to make smiley faces in his pancakes sometimes.”

Good. Lord. It’s a miracle I’m not just a puddle of my former self right now. This is some serious mommy porn I’m watching. Shirtless guy feeds toddlers before eight a.m. I walk over to the high cabinet where I keep the ramekins. “We could make smiley faces with dried organic currants,” I say, just to be a pain in the ass.

Liam makes a face of disgust as I take the chocolate chips from his hand and pour some into a ramekin. “Joking! Here.”

He gives me a big, hot smile. Okay, it probably wasn’t meant to be hot, but I feel flutters down below.

“Choc-it!” Kate yells, grabbing for the ramekin.

“Easy,” Liam says with a laugh. “That’s for my artwork. Come here and I’ll show you.”

I set the table and pour the sippy cups of milk. And Liam manages to serve up two smiley pancakes — one for each girl — at exactly the same moment, in exactly the same size. This is a man who knows his way around toddlers.

“Not cut it!” Amy yells when I approach her plate with a knife. She picks up the pancake in two hands and takes a bite right out of the side of its face.

“Okay, right.” I back away. Forks are optional today, then. No big deal.

Liam takes advantage of this moment of quiet to quickly pour six more pancakes onto the griddle. He leans over his work, dotting them with chocolate chips.

I step closer to him and put a hand on his lower back. “Thank you,” I whisper.

“For trashing your kitchen?”

“No.” He glances at me and I give him a shy smile. “For being so amazing all the time.”

His eyes get very warm, and I just want to stay right here in that blue-eyed gaze as long as I can. “This might be a good time to confess that I didn’t make smiley faces on my own pancakes.”

“No?” I look down at the griddle. Side by side, two of them have a different design — little bullseyes in their centers. “Those are…?”

“Boobs,” he whispers. “My inner fourteen-year-old has a dirty mind. He can’t shut it off sometimes.”

“Drink your coffee,” I whisper, handing him the mug. “Sit down. Let me finish these for you. Or go put on a shirt because my inner fourteen-year-old has her tongue hanging out all the time, too.”

He gives me a wicked, wicked smile and then runs upstairs to find his shirt.


 

Review Blitz: It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time (Kylie Scott)


Review:

“Addictive like all Kylie Scott books, you’ll swoon, laugh, ache, put your life on hold, and compulsively read until the wee hours of the night—only to reread the whole thing the next morning. Perfection!” – Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author

Returning home for her father’s wedding was never going to be easy for Adele. If being sent away at eighteen hadn’t been bad enough, the mess she left behind when she made a pass at her dad’s business partner sure was.

Fifteen years older than her, Pete had been her crush for as long as she could remember. But she’d misread the situation — confusing friendliness for undying love. Awkward. Add her father to the misunderstanding, and Pete was left with a broken nose and a business on the edge of ruin. The man had to be just as glad as everyone else when she left town.

Seven years later, things are different. Adele is no longer a kid, but a fully grown adult more than capable of getting through the wedding and being polite. But all it takes is seeing him again to bring back those old feelings.

Sometimes first loves are the truest.

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | iBooks | B&N | KOBO


I was so excited for this book, because I wasn’t quite sure on whether or not I would like this troupe, but it’s something that I don’t have issues with, as long as it’s well achieved, so I was excited. Let me say, this book wasn’t quite what I was expecting, and it disappointed me a bit.

I really liked the writing, and I loved the main character Adele. She was beyond amazing! However, I really needed a dual POV on this book, because Pete was a mystery to me, and still is. I needed to know what his feelings and thoughts were. On whether or not he had ever felt that way for Adele before? If it was new? What was exactly what he felt? The fact that we only had Adele’s POV, didn’t allow me to fully enjoy this story. Moreover, it’s not like Adele and Pete had deep and long conversations after they finally got involved, and discussed their feelings, so again, I have no clue. If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely sure I even liked Pete, and that put a damp on my enjoyment of this story.

What I loved was Adele’s relationship with her dad and her new stepmom. That was gold.

There’s also something that happens toward the end of the book, that I was not a fan of. At all. I wished it had never happened. But oh well.

I really liked the setting of this book, and I adored Adele. She’s the reason I’m rating this book this high. I would be ok with the age difference and the story itself, but I had major issues with Pete, so I could never get fully onboard with the relationship.

But hey, try it, and then tell me your thoughts.


Excerpt:

It was meant to be a soft kiss. A chaste one, even.

The minute my lips touched his, however, everything changed. Callused hands grabbed the sides of my face and my mouth opened on a gasp. His tongue swept inside, taking me over. Holy hell. Shoes and purse hit the floor, forgotten. Nothing about this kiss was slow or easy. The man devoured me. Every ounce of emotion poured into that kiss, all of the anger and frustration between us. His tongue was teasing and tasting, driving me wild. Then he drew back to suck and nip at my bottom lip. One hand slid around the back of my neck, the other over my hip to grab at my ass. His hold was firm, a little rough even. He treated my body like it belonged to him and I wasn’t gentle either.

Apparently experience mattered. Because all I could do was try and keep up.

I held on tight to his open shirt, straining against him, trying to get closer. I’d have crawled inside the man if I could. Turned out that under certain circumstances, the taste of scotch worked for me in a big way. Against my hip, his cock hardened, digging into me. And oh my God, I’d done that to him. Me. How amazing! Meanwhile, my body felt liquid, core aching and empty. I needed him inside of me and it seemed like I’d already been waiting forever.

“Pete. Please.”

“Fuck,” he muttered, breath hot against my ear.

I fumbled at the remaining buttons on his shirt. My damn fingers didn’t seem to be working. Easier to just push the whole thing upward. Luckily, the man decided to help, tearing the shirt off over his head. More skin was good. And he was so hot and smooth, a thrill to the touch. The solid flesh of his pecs and the flat plane of his stomach.

He tore at the zipper on the back of my dress, dragging fabric down over my shoulders. A growl came from the back of his throat, a noise of frustration, impatience. I’m reasonably certain I heard the silk rip. I didn’t care. His hands and mouth seemed to cover every bit of skin revealed, touching and tasting me everywhere. The dress got stuck on my hips. Out of the way enough for now.

He didn’t even bother undoing my bra, simply peeling down one of the lace cups to free my flesh. My breast filled his hot palm as it took the weight. Fingers plumped me, his thumb flicking over my hard nipple. The sting of pain followed by the heat of his kiss made my head spin and my body ache. There was no room for thought as he fed me deep, wet kisses. Slowly, he took us to the floor. No time for anything else. Just the urgent need to have him inside me.

The hardness of the polished wood was cool against my back. My legs were spread, his body between them. And with his broad chest above me, his weight taken on one arm, he was all I could see. I swear even the insides of my thighs were wet, I was so ready. It would have been embarrassing with anybody else. But this man, he had to know, he had to understand. It had always been him.

“Pete, I need—”

“I know,” he said, voice harsh and low.


About the Author:

kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

 

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The Chase (Elle Kennedy)

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.


I’m so happy to be able to able to visit the Briar University world again! ❤

I missed Elle Kennedy and her writing, and the amazing group of friends that she created on the Off Campus series, and I’m very glad that most of them made an appearance in this book. And I really loved the 2 new characters that she gave us on this first book of this new series.

I really liked Fitzy, though sometimes I wanted to smack him for his stupidity. The character definitly had layers and I understood his reasonings, but nevertheless, he’s one of the reasons I’m not giving this book 5 stars, because Fitz’s character development is SO SLOW!

Summer, however, I LOVE! This girl is all kinds of amazing, and it’s so rare for me to like a girl MC more than the guy, but Summer stole the show. I loved her internal dialogs, I loved how Elle Kennedy represented Summer’s wandering mind, I loved how protective she was of the people she loved, and how she fought for what was right. But mostly, I loved that even though she didn’t have it easy, she didn’t confirm and she always tried to be better.

I loved the romance between these 2, they had such different personalities and ways of living their lives, but they just fit! But mostly, I loved he development of their relationship. I’m happy that they took their time, and went through all the ups and downs when they did.

However, I was not a fan of the love triangle thing. It was clear that Hunter never stood a change, but I didn’t appreciate that he was lead on for so long. It put a damp on my enjoyment of this book, and it’s the other reason why this is not getting 5 stars from me.

Elle Kennedy writes amazing romances, but she also writes amazing friendships, and I’m so happy for the connection between Summer and Brenna. I love Brenna! And while on the Off Campus series I always felt like the guys shone more than the girls, I think Briar U might go the opposite way, and that makes me excited for the prospect.

Guys, this is yet another amazing book by this author. If you’ve read and loved the Off Campus series, get this book now!


Excerpt:

“Dance with me?”

I want to say no.

But I also want to say yes.

I call this the Summer Dilemma—the frustrating, polar reactions this green-eyed, golden-haired goddess sparks in me.

Fuck yes and hell no.

Get naked with her. Run far, far away from her.

“Thanks, but I don’t like to dance.” I’m not lying. Dancing’s the worst.

Besides, when it comes to Summer Di Laurentis, my flight instinct always wins out.

“You’re no fun, Fitzy.” She makes a tsking noise, drawing my gaze to her lips. Full, pink, and glossy, with a tiny mole above the left side of her mouth.

It’s an extremely hot mouth.

Hell, everything about Summer is hot. She’s hands down the best-looking girl in the bar, and every dude in our vicinity is either staring enviously or glowering at me for being with her.

Not that I’m with her. We’re not together. I’m just standing next to her, with two feet of space between us. Which Summer keeps trying to bridge by leaning closer to me.

In her defense, she practically has to scream in my ear for me to hear her over the electronic dance music blasting through the room. I hate EDM, and I don’t like these kinds of bars, the ones with a dance floor and deafening music. Why the subterfuge? Just call your establishment a nightclub, if that’s what you want it to be. The owner of Gunner’s Pub should’ve called this place Gunner’s Club. Then I could’ve turned right around when I saw the sign and spared myself the shattered eardrums.

Not for the first time tonight, I curse my friends for dragging me to Brooklyn for New Year’s Eve. I’d way rather be at home, drinking a beer or two and watching the ball drop on TV. I’m low-key like that.

“You know, they warned me you were a curmudgeon, but I didn’t believe it until now.”

“Who’s they?” I ask suspiciously. “And hey, wait. I’m not a curmudgeon.”

“Hmmm, you’re right—the term is kind of dated. Let’s go with Groucho.”

“Let’s not.”

“No-Fun Police? Is that better?” Her expression is pure innocence. “Seriously, Fitz, what do you have against fun?”

An unwitting smile breaks free. “Got nothing against fun.”

“All right. Then what do you have against me?” she challenges. “Because every time I try talking to you, you run away.”

My smile fades. I shouldn’t be surprised that she’s calling me out in public. We’ve had a whopping total of two encounters, but that’s plenty of time for me to know she’s the type who thrives on drama.

I hate drama.

“Got nothing against you, either.” With a shrug, I ease away from the bar, prepared to do what she’s just accused me of—run.

A frustrated gleam fills her eyes. They’re big and green, the same shade as her older brother Dean’s eyes. And Dean’s the reason I force myself to stay put. He’s a good friend of mine. I can’t be a jackass to his sister, both out of respect for him, and for fear of my well-being. I’ve been on the ice when Dean’s gloves come off. He’s got a mean right hook.

“I mean it,” I say roughly. “I have nothing against you. We’re cool.”

“What? I didn’t hear the last part,” she says over the music.

I dip my mouth toward her ear, and I’m surprised that I barely have to bend my neck. She’s taller than the average chick, five-nine or ten, and since I’m six-two and used to towering over women, I find this refreshing.

“I said we’re cool,” I repeat, but I misjudged the distance between my lips and Summer’s ear. The two collide, and I feel a shiver run up her frame.

I shiver too, because my mouth is way too close to hers. She smells like heaven, some fascinating combo of flowers and jasmine and vanilla and—sandalwood, maybe? A man could get high on that fragrance. And don’t get me started on her dress. White, strapless, short. So short it barely grazes her lower thighs.

God fucking help me.


The Real Deal (Lauren Blakely)

Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau — the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

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ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS TODAY!


Once again, Lauren Blakely doesn’t fail me. Her books are always entertaining, eheh. This one felt slightly different from all the others I read from her, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it as much as the others, because I did.

The characters were very well thought of, and I really liked their backgrounds and their personalities. I especially liked Theo, because he went through such a rough time growing up, and he was still such an amazing person. I loved how open April was, and how strong. And most of all, I loved the family and their role in the story and on their lives.

The romance was interesting and entertaining, however, it is a bit of instalove, but I’m gonna forgive the issue because April and Theo do spend a lot of time together, and even though they fall in love in just a few days, it also happens while they’re spending 24 hours a day together, so… Also, they’re super cute!

Guys, if you love Lauren Blakely, you’re gonna love this one too. If you like the fake boyfriend troupe, you’re gonna love this. If you like a good contemporary romance, likelihood is that you’re gonna love this too. 😀

The audiobook is narrated by Zachary Webber and Erin Mallon! 


About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In August she’ll release UNBREAK MY HEART, an emotional second chance romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

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The Accidentals (Sarina Bowen)

Never ask a question unless you’re sure you want the truth.

I’ve been listening to my father sing for my whole life. I carry him in my pocket on my mp3 player. It’s just that we’ve never met face to face.

My mother would never tell me how I came to be, or why my rock star father and I have never met. I thought it was her only secret. I was wrong.

When she dies, he finally appears. Suddenly I have a first class ticket into my father’s exclusive world. A world I don’t want any part of – not at this cost.

Only three things keep me going: my a cappella singing group, a swoony blue-eyed boy named Jake, and the burning questions in my soul.

There’s a secret shame that comes from being an unwanted child. It drags me down, and puts distance between me and the boy I love.

My father is the only one alive who knows my history. I need the truth, even if it scares me.

Amazon | Audio | Paperback | iBooks | Kobo | Nook


I’m convinced! Sarina Bowen can write anything, and I’ll love it.

The Accidentals is Sarina’s YA debut, and I think she did a wonderful job. 😀 The writing is obviously amazing, that’s not even a point of discussion by now, but it was still so different on this book. I really liked that the book was divided into musical sections, and the themes of each one. But I also really enjoyed the very short divisions within the chapters. It made the book go by super fast, while just giving us snippets of the situations. It made the chapters and the book itself go by super super fast. It also made it feel like the book wasn’t long enough.

While I love a good romance, I loved that the main focus of this book was not the romance itself. This book was all about growing up, facing fears, learning how to stand up for yourself and speak your mind, even when it hurts, when it’s hard, when you’re afraid.

I felt like Rachel was very relatable in some ways, especially on her fears that if she spoke out of turn, or said something, she would lose the people that mattered to her. I loved Rachel, and I thought she was such a good representation of her age, to be honest, I felt like this is the truest representation of an 18 year old I’ve read so far.

The second most important person in this book is Frederick, Rachel’s dad. I like him. Yeah, he screws up a lot, and fails to see a lot that’s right in front of him, but he also has no guidance, and he’s just trying to be there and do the best job he can. He loves Rachel, and that’s clear, even when he’s messing up.

Jake is such a cutie, and I loved the development of their relationship. It was so adorable! I really liked how much he liked, care and respected Rachel, and the fact that he was willing to listen to her at all times.

Shout out for Aurora, who was an awesome friend, and such a stable support for Rachel, especially while she was trying to navigate her tricky relationship with her dad.

I really loved this book, and I wouldn’t mind getting more from it. Maybe a novella about Jake and Rachel in college? Maybe a book about Frederick and Norah???!!! I would read either… I would even take a book about Aurora. I just feel like these characters might have more to show, and I would be all for it.


Excerpt:

After the last course — chocolate mousse — the three of us go tripping back across the cold lawn in the dark, Aurora in the lead. I’m the tiniest bit tipsy and wearing heels. So naturally I stumble on a frozen clod of snow and nearly fall. But Jake catches my hand to steady me. “Thanks,” I breathe.

Curiously, his warm fingers remain curled around mine until we reached the door of Habernacker.

I try not to feel ridiculously excited about it.

He lets go when we all reach the third floor. When Aurora opens the door, he follows us inside until we all collapse on the S.L.O., with me in the center.

“Oh! I forgot to steal my plate,” I realize.

“Me too.” Aurora sighs.

Jake reaches into his jacket and pulls out a plate.

“Well done, Mr. Jake!” Aurora laughs. “The party in the annex starts in fifteen minutes.” She heaves herself off the squishy couch. “I have time to redo my makeup.”

I watch her walk over to the stereo, where my phone is already ensconced, and turn on our Christmas playlist. Then she grabs her makeup bag off her desk and leaves the room.

When the door clicks shut, neither Jake nor I speak for a moment. The low chords of a Straight No Chaser song play through our little speakers.

Suddenly, it’s awkward. We’ve been circling each other for a while now — since the night he was trying to be nice and I wrecked it.

“You’re probably sick of a cappella by now,” I say, just to find something to talk about.

But Jake turns slowly toward me and says something unexpected. “Rachel, I need to ask you a question.”

My stomach does a little flip flop, and I turn to face those blue eyes I love so much. “What?” I whisper.

“Well…” He clears his throat. There is a very long pause, during which I hold my breath. “Will you come skiing some time?”

I exhale. “I guess so?” Another beat of silence passes. “That was your big question?” I ask, feeling like I’ve missed something.

His color deepens. “Well, no. I just…” His brow furrows, as if he’s trying to explain some point of astronomy. I love his look of concentration. I’ve missed it.

Jake’s blue eyes lock on mine, and I see how our own orbits might finally collide. This time, I will not send the moment winging back into space. Instead, I lean an almost imperceptible degree in his direction.

And that’s all it takes.

Reaching up, Jake cups his hand to the side of my face. I’m still processing the sweet touch of his fingers when he leans in farther, his lips brushing the sensitive corner of my mouth. His eyes are tentative, seeking permission. My heart thuds with expectation.

And then — finally — Jake kisses me for real. We come together the way a well-timed drummer kicks into the chorus of a song — swiftly, and without hesitation.

We broke apart a moment later, eyeing each other while I try not to smile. “Can I do that again?” he asks, his voice rough. “That was my real question.”

“Well, since you asked so nicely…”

Jake makes a low noise of approval, then draws me closer. I reach up for the back of his neck, my fingers grazing that golden patch of skin I’ve always wanted to touch. He kisses me again, his arm finding the velvet waist of my dress and encircling me.

My heart flutters, but not from fear. Warm lips tease mine gently apart. And when his tongue tangles with mine, I lose myself.

He tastes like champagne. Everything is wild and sweet, until the moment Aurora’s voice rings out. “Ay, caramba!”

I feel an unwelcome rush of cool air between us as Jake retreats.

“I did say I was going into the bathroom, right? And not on a trip to Fiji?”

Neither of us says a word; we only look sheepishly at Aurora.

“Just to be clear, now I’m ducking into the bedroom for my coat, which only takes a second.” She steps into the bedroom, and I hear the rustling of fabric. Then she peers dramatically around the door frame. “Good listening! Now I’m going to the party. Will I see you both there? Don’t answer that. We’ll speak later.”

Jake laughs. “Sorry, Aurora.”

“I’ve seen worse.” She departs, the door closing behind her.

And now I’m self-conscious. Rising, I decide to fiddle with the music playlist. “Do you want to go to the party?”

“I’ll go. But I’m not great at parties. It’s all shouting over the music, drinking warm beer out of a plastic cup.”

“Then let’s not.” My fingers shake as I adjust the volume. I go back over to the sofa and sit down.

“So.” He clears his throat. “Where are you going for break?” As he asks, he takes one of my hands in his, massaging my palm with his thumb.

His light touch is so distracting that I almost forget to answer. “Kansas City,” I manage. “To meet my grandfather for the very first time.”

“Um, what?” He squeezes my hand.

So I tell Jake the embarrassing highlights of my weird story — that I hadn’t met Frederick until this past summer.

“Wow. I’m sorry,” he says.

“Don’t be.”

“I guess I’m not that offended now that you wouldn’t introduce me. If the normal waiting period is seventeen years.”

My laugh begins with an unladylike snort. Ah, well. “With me it’s just all soap opera, all the time. Believe it or not, a year ago I was really a boring person.”

“I don’t see how.” He regards me with darting eyes. “You look beautiful tonight.”

“It’s Aurora’s dress,” I whisper.

But Jake doesn’t seem to care. He slips his arms around my waist. Scooting closer, he slides his lips from my forehead, down my nose and onto my mouth. And we begin again.


Release Day Blitz: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

Sometimes you need to find a boyfriend-for-hire in the most unusual of places…

What do you get when you mix a bad boy with a heart of gold and a smart & sassy heroine with a desperate need for a fake relationship? THE REAL DEAL, a brand new, standalone romantic comedy from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely! Get a copy of your next favorite feel good rom-com now!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsForHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau — the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

✮✮✮ THE REAL DEAL is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

 Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | iBooks | Kobo | B&N | Google Play

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS TODAY!


Excerpt:

THEO

I can be anyone you want.

I can transform into the boss you’re banging, your hot nerdy coworker who’s only a friend, your best friend’s brother you’ve had it bad for since he danced with you at prom way back when, the guy next door everyone adores since he mows your lawn, fixes your car, and repairs the sink. I can also pull off a fireman, a soldier, a cop, a billionaire, a rogue, an athlete, a pirate—yes, some women like to play with buried treasure — and the bad boy who will drive your family bananas.

How would you reach me if you needed me?

It’s not that hard. You just have to know what you’re looking for and plug the right terms into that trusty old search engine. You might even find me the next time you’re hawking a Cuisinart or hunting for a used exercise bike on GigsforHire. There, you’ll discover a menagerie of roles I can take on, characters I can play for you. The assignments rotate depending on the season, the needs, and what’s in demand for weddings, reunions, Christmas parties, barbecues, and any other occasion where you might need a date.

I’m not an escort, a gigolo, or a stripper. This isn’t about fluid exchange. My job is to become your arm candy, and you can pick the flavor you want. I’ve played them all.

And there’s one role that outsells all the others. By far, the most popular part has been the bad boy.

Trust me when I say I wasn’t your average bod boy. I was the goddamn dictionary definition, and this ad was my golden ticket:

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m Your Man

I’m a good-looking 28-year-old ex-con. But I swear the time I got nabbed, it wasn’t my fault. I was framed. I can play anywhere from 19 to 31, depending on if I shave or act like I love Ed Sheeran music. My most valuable possession is a scratched-up motorcycle one year younger than me that’s painted like a snarling leopard. I’m a bartender and work till 2 a.m. at a dive bar. If you’d like to have me as your date for a wedding, reunion, or work soiree, I can pretend you picked me up when my shift ended and I banged you in the bathroom or that we’re in a serious and committed relationship. Your choice.


✮✮✮ The audiobook is narrated by
Zachary Webber and Erin Mallon! 
✮✮✮

AUDIO


“This book was yet another true LB masterpiece, romcom meet fake relationship meet romantic af = perfection!”
~Elsa Gomes, Bookish Aurora~

“I loved every word on every page of this story. I can’t stop thinking about it and smiling like a dork. If you were to say #JustBecause or #DoYouRemember? I might just melt into a puddle on the floor, because I do remember…sigh. I want more Lauren Blakely, I’m addicted. The line forms here…”
~Rosa Sharon, iScream Books Blog~

“The Real Deal was a sweet, sexy, hilarious, and entertaining standalone romantic comedy, and I absolutely loved it!”
~Julia, The Romance Bibliophile~


Reader’s Choice Giveaway!

Everything you need for Date Night except the date:).
Find the perfect date in the Real Deal!
$100 gift card to the restaurant of your choice, $50 gift card to the movie theater of your choice, and $50 gift card to the retailer of your choice. ($200 value)


About Lauren Blakely:

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. In August she’ll release UNBREAK MY HEART, an emotional second chance romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

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Review Blitz: The Downside of Love (Meghan Quinn)

THE BLURB IS SPOILERY! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

This isn’t a story about a love triangle. There is no triangle involved.
This isn’t a story about an accidental pregnancy. Although having a baby with her . . . I would.
This isn’t a story about lies and deception, even though at times I’ve lied to myself.
No, this is my story.
A story about sacrifice.
A story about a man who fell in love with the wrong girl.
A story I wish I never had to tell.
This is a story about the true meaning of the downside of love.

ADD TO GOODREADS | AMAZON | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU


REVIEW:

Reviewing this book will  be hard, because I’m absolutely not giving SPOILERS away. And as such I’m going to talk very little about actual facts of this book.

So, I loved the first book, but this one blew me out of the park. The character development is beyond amazing, and I was so scared as to where Meghan Quinn would take this story, but I shouldn’t have. This one felt absolutely right. It’s very hard to pull the twist on this series, and make the readers okay and happy with the result, so very well done Meghan!!!

The development on this book is slower than the first, and it allows for a sturdier relationship, amazing character growth. And the development of beautiful and amazing friendships.

I was a little thrown off by the last chapter and I do hope there’s a third booking coming our way, because I have so many questions, and I feel like all these characters have a lot to give, and I also feel like some of them need to confront the bullies in their lives. I need them to overcome the issues in their past, and I want other people to burn in hell.

This book absolutely messed up my feelings, and it’s a story that I will keep close to my heart for a long long time. So I can only recommend you read it, but don’t attempt to read this one without reading the first book of the series first, The Upside of Falling.


The Upside of Falling:

Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains lived a little boy with one singular dream: leave this broken and battered home and become someone.
Be somebody’s hero.
That boy was me — Colby Brooks. Except I’m not that same little boy anymore.
My dreams might still be the same, but my reality isn’t.
I’m smarter. Stronger. A man.
And I learned a long damn time ago, the only way to achieve my dreams was to avoid distractions — at any cost.
Focus. Resolve. Determination.
But all it took was one single night. One night and my entire life…changed.
One night had me colliding head first with the biggest distraction of my life; Rory Oaks.
Smart. Charming. Beautiful.
Rory changed everything.
Quickly, my one-track mind started to bend.
Each kiss faded decade-long dreams.
And with one single incident, I fly off course.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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One Small Thing (Erin Watt)

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make — follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.


Hmmmm, I’m not really sure how to review this book. First of all, it was complete surprise to receive this ARC, and it’s always awesome to get review copies from a favorite author. However, this book was not what I expected. And unfortunately, I didn’t really like it.

There is too much drama on this book, and it kind of felt like Erin Watt was trying to recreate the level of drama on The Royals, but it just didn’t work here.

I had a problem right off the bat with Beth, because I felt like the issue she had with her name was silly. She felt like Lizzi was too juvenile? Juvenile was making everyone change the way they’ve always addressed you just because. If the name change had been something related to her sister, fine, I would have gone with it. As it was, it made no sense!

I didn’t like Beth. At all. She was so dramatic. And I couldn’t understand her reasonings and her feelings. But worse than her were her parents and friends. Her friends were all terrible. Her parents couldn’t deal. This girl lost her phone, car and room door several times during the book… I lost count. It was making me so mad! 

To be honest, I only liked one person in this book, and it was Chase! I felt sorry for the guy, because he was surrounded by awful people. And he lived with the weight and guilt of taking someone’s live, and no one was able to support him and make him see that it wasn’t all his fault. But he had such a good heart, and it pissed me off that he was being bullied all the time, and had no support at all.

The writing was engaging, and that is the reason I always end up coming back for more of Erin Watt, but I hated the excess drama, the terrible people and actions. And the romance didn’t make much sense. I don’t know, I didn’t feel it at all. I wasn’t sure if Chase really liked Beth, or if she pressured him so much, and given that she was the only person talking to him, he just kind of went with it?! That’s a terrible thought to have while reading a romance book…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Did you like it? Or was the drama too much for you too?

Cover Reveal: Boy Toy by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Guys, check out the cover for
Boy Toy by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby


BLURB:

A new romantic comedy from your favorite snort-laughing duo!

Liam
The moment Sadie Matthews walks through the daycare center door, I feel my world tilt in her direction. Again. I fell for her when I was fourteen, and I’m still not over her. Problem: she still thinks of me as a teen she used to babysit. But I’ve learned a few things about pleasing a woman in the last fifteen years. I can’t wait to show her how good it could be. I need to move quickly before I lose her again. This is more than a game to me, but I still plan to win.

Sadie
I’ve just survived the worst year of my life. As a single mom of twin toddlers, I don’t have time for a man. I barely have time to finish a thought. Who knew that Liam McAllister would grow up to be so devastating? He’s everything my husband was not: tall, built, and willing to have a tea party with my girls.

I can’t possibly get involved with him. He’s too young for me. Too handsome. But he’s so persuasive…

Amazon |  iBooks |  Nook |  Kobo


Sarina Bowen

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

Tanya Eby

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Review Blitz: The Upside of Falling (Meghan Quinn)

Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains lived a little boy with one singular dream: leave this broken and battered home and become someone.
Be somebody’s hero.
That boy was me — Colby Brooks. Except I’m not that same little boy anymore.
My dreams might still be the same, but my reality isn’t.
I’m smarter. Stronger. A man.
And I learned a long damn time ago, the only way to achieve my dreams was to avoid distractions — at any cost.
Focus. Resolve. Determination.
But all it took was one single night. One night and my entire life…changed.
One night had me colliding head first with the biggest distraction of my life; Rory Oaks.
Smart. Charming. Beautiful.
Rory changed everything.
Quickly, my one-track mind started to bend.
Each kiss faded decade-long dreams.
And with one single incident, I fly off course.

Add to Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU


Review:

This was a very different book from other Meghan Quinn’s stories that I’ve read before. It has a lot less humour, and maybe even a bit less focused on the sexy times (though it still has plenty of those to go around), but the writing is more poetic, and more breathtaking too. It’s beautiful, and though I love her humour, I liked this one just as well.

I loved the romance and the characters. Colby’s background is so sad, and he’s such an amazing person, and I just wanted to reach into his early life and beat the crap out of everyone who hurt him. He goes through such an amazing character development in this book, opening his heart and his mind, and letting himself feel and dream.

I loved Rory as well, she was also an amazing girl and an amazing human being. She has such a difficult home life, and she still looked at everything with a smile on her face and an open heart. She’s amazing and strong.

These 2 together were explosive. The chemistry was there from the first moment, and even though there is a bit of insta-something, they develop their relationship, and you understand their bond and believe in it.

Unfortunately, knowing this is a duet, and knowing what they’re both facing, I knew from the start that this book wasn’t going to end well. But I could also see some things coming, and I was kind of disappointed with them, to be honest. I was hoping that Meghan Quinn wouldn’t go there, but she did. I’m not gonna hate on it, because I think the next book will surprise me and this is all going to make sense. But at this point, I’m not happy about that ending. I wanted heartbreak, but I felt like the ending was a bit cliché. Please prove me wrong, Meghan!

One thing that I was expecting a bit more of, was Colby’s background. We get a few chapters of his childhood, but they stop around 60% of the book, and I was hoping we would get more of those little insights. Another thing that I needed, and I hope we’ll get on the second book, is the “resolution” of some of Colby’s past, or some sort of explanation.

But as you can see, I loved this one. I can’t wait for the second book on this duet, because that ending killed me and I need to know how it’s going to end. 


Excerpt:

Head turned down, pushing the sleeves of his white Henley up his arms, he swaggers toward me. His jeans hang low on his hips, held up by the same brown belt he wore the other night. His narrow waist directs my eyes to the center of his jeans, and I can’t help wonder what might be behind the crotch of his pants.

And then there is his chest. Barrel like, broad and prominent. His thick biceps showcase his strength, and the fabric of his shirt stretches over his shoulders and forearms. Having spent a lot of time at the gym, I’ve seen every body type, but Colby’s is different. He’s strong, built, but not like a body builder. His body seems to suggest the only kind of weight he’s been lifting is his own body, pushup after pushup. I can’t imagine there being barbells in his workouts, but I can imagine logs, cadets, and heavy machinery. He has working muscles, the kind you earn from hard, dedicated work on the field. In a word? Impressive.

Walking up to Stryder, he grips his friend’s shoulder and says something into his ear. A smirk crosses Stryder’s face before he moves over to our side of the bowling alley and takes Colby’s place.

Is he leaving? Already?

Might as well at this point. It’s not like he’s going to talk to me, not after my pathetic attempt at a bet. I should have known I was going to hang out in the gutter all night. It’s where I usually am when I’m bowling. I blame the ball. The thing has a vendetta against me.

Sighing, I prop my chin in my hand and watch Stryder expertly toss his ball down the lane, getting a strike . . . once again. And just like every other strike, he pumps his arm up in the air and celebrates. We get it, you’re good, no need to—

“Hey.”

That voice . . .

Stunned, eyes wide, not able to move, not wanting to scare him away, I keep my eyes trained forward, soaking in that beautifully deep voice of his for a brief moment before saying, “Hey.”

“Can I sit here?”

Still keeping my eyes trained forward, I say, “Sure.”

My body tingles with awareness of how close he is to me, that fresh laundry scent invading my senses, prickling the little hairs on my arm. My body leans toward his, wanting a little more, searching for anything else he might give me. I don’t know why he’s choosing to engage me in conversation, but I’m sure as hell not moving while he does.

“Sorry about tonight,” he says and he actually sounds sincere.

“Why are you sorry?” I mumble.

Reaching around, he takes my cheek in his hand. The calluses on his palm rubbing against my skin is a welcome sensation. As I’m turned toward him, I steady my breathing. I’m having a hard time slowing my heart rate because of his close proximity, and the unexpected touch shooting a wave of heat through my veins.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get to ask me any questions. I didn’t think you were going to suck that bad.” A playful smile tugs at his lips, and my heart sinks to the floor. Oh God, he’s so gorgeous, especially when he smiles.

Matching his smirk, I say, “I didn’t think I was going to suck that bad either.”

“I feel bad.”

“You should.” That garners a laugh, deep and throaty, the sound cloaking me like a shield, protecting me from the outside world, bringing me into a little bubble where we are the only two that exist.

“Ask me a question.”

Shocked, I swallow hard and say, “Really?”

He nods and holds up his fingers. “You get three.”

“Oh, three? Wow, I feel like you just gave me the key to your soul.”

Rolling his eyes, he adjusts his stance on the barstool and leans back, giving us some space, our knees still knocking into each other. “Easy killer; it’s just three questions.”

“Yeah, three questions I didn’t have before.” Tapping my chin, I try to think of good questions, but now that I have him willing and waiting, nothing comes to mind. I wasn’t prepared for this, he caught me off-guard, and now I feel I can’t be strategic about my probing. “Hmm . . . what do you like to do on the weekends?”

“Jump,” he answers.

Searching his eyes, lips quirked, I say, “Uh, you’re going to have to be more specific than that. What kind of jumping are we talking here? Like jump roping? Because that seems kind of weird to do on the weekends, and if you tell me you’re in some kind of jump-roping club at the academy, I’m not going to believe you.”

His lips curve up as he scratches the side of his jaw. “Jump out of airplanes.”

Oh.

Oh.

That’s . . .

Uh, that’s really hot.

“So you just casually jump out of airplanes?”

“I’m part of the Wings of Blue, the academy’s parachute team. We jump every day, at least two to three times a day after class and before dinner, depending on wind and ceiling limits. On the weekends, some of the guys, including Stryder and me, go to Springs East Airport and do civilian jumps. The more jumps we get in, the higher the chance we’ll be considered for big demonstrations, like parachuting into football games and major sporting events for the Rockies and Broncos.” Ummmm. Did anyone else just hear how many words he gifted me? And seriously? Does the man have no clue how incredibly sexy he is when he talks about something he loves? The expression on his face . . .

“Wow, that’s . . . that’s really hot.” I chuckle. “Sorry, I don’t mean to fangirl over your parachuting, but I guess I wasn’t expecting that answer. You just jump out of planes?”

He slowly nods. “Every day.”

“Anything to get you up in the clouds, huh?”

“Yeah,” he answers shyly, rubbing his jaw. “Okay, next question.”


The Downside of Love

Coming July 5th
Add to goodreads!


About the Author:

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

Facebook | Follow on Goodreads | Website | Amazon Author Page | Instagram | Follow on BookBub