Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How Forever Feels by Laura Drewry

How Forever Feels by Laura Drewry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say, I really love this series Friends First by Laura Drewry. How Forever Feels is the fourth installment in the series and possible the last (keeping my fingers crossed that Griffin Carr gets his own book). I’m so glad I stumbled on to Plain Jayne, which is the first book in the series because it introduced me to a new series with four very strong, independent women, Jayne( Plain Jayne), Regan (Prima Donna), Ellie(Accidentally in Love) and Maya(How Forever Feels).

How Forever Feels is about Maya McKay and Jack Rhodes. It’s been two years since Maya caught her husband cheating on her, now he is her ex-husband and two years since she saw his best friend Jack. Jack is back into taking care of some business when he runs into Maya, his best friend/brother’s ex-wife and the woman he has been fighting his feels for years. As Maya and Jack spend more time together feelings start to grow and things get more complicated. Jack’s strong loyalty to his best friend Will and Maya’s hesitation to trust another man again could be the two things that hold them both back from having the one thing they both want, each other.

As I said before, I loved this book and I love this series. It’s got everything I enjoy in a story, romance, humor, strong leading ladies, animals and steam. Plus this series has something a lot of books don’t, great quotes at the beginning for every chapter. Every chapter in How Forever Feels started out with a quote from the TV show Friends. I was a big fan of the show growing up, so I was excited to see what the next quote was going to be. I definitely will be doing a re-watch of the series now.

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From USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry comes a warm and witty new Friends First novel—perfect for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery. How Forever Feels is a sweet tale about the one that got away . . . and the one that came back.

Maya McKay’s heart is as big as Jack Rhodes’s shoulders are broad. Their chemistry is out of control, but it could never work between them because Jack is more than just best friends with her cheating ex-husband—they’re like brothers. Maya, the sensitive, practical florist, has given up on love and is ready to settle for like. But now that Jack’s around again, he’s stirring up old feelings—and turning Maya’s fantasies into irresistible reality.

Jack blew his chance with Maya years ago when he stepped aside for his best friend, Will, and he’s still kicking himself about it. Maya was promised forever once before, and she got burned. But when Jack realizes that second chances aren’t going to fall out of the sky, he seizes the moment—and the woman he’s always loved—to show her how forever truly feels.

Excerpt 3
Jack lifted his hands. “Hold on. In his defense, I think they were off at that point but were still . . . Anyway, when I saw Maya and her friend come in, I figured there was no way someone like her could possibly be single, so I kept waiting for some guy to show up. No one did, and I couldn’t just leave her sitting there, looking all kinds of pathetic in her grass skirt and plastic lei . . .” Laughing, he dodged the elbow Maya jabbed at him. “So I grabbed a couple drinks and headed over.”
“Oh.” Jayne’s soft sigh floated across the table, followed immediately by Regan’s snort.
“Are you freakin’ kidding me?” she asked. “Maya picked Dickhead over you?”
“What?” Maya sputtered as she shook her head. “No!”
“I think you did,” Ellie said. “Sure sounds that way.”
“That’s not what he meant. Jack wasn’t hitting on me, he was—”
“What?” Her tongue froze the second her gaze locked on Jack’s. “You were?”
His warm hazel eyes wide, Jack shrugged slightly and laughed over the rim of his bottle. “There’s only two reasons a guy buys a girl a drink, Snip: He’s either trying to pick her up or he’s trying to apologize.”
“Which one’s this?” Ellie asked, but both Maya and Jack ignored her.
“Oh my God, Jack.” Slapping her hands over her face, Maya couldn’t believe her cheeks could burn that hot and not burst into flames. “Then why did you wave Will over and introduce me to him?”
“I didn’t wave him over; I was trying to wave him off, but then you had to go and smile at him, and that was it. Big goofy dude like me didn’t stand a chance, so I took my sorry self and my stupid piƱa colada back to the limbo pole.”
“Wow.” Regan couldn’t seem to stop shaking her head. “Just when I thought Dickhead couldn’t be any more of a dickhead.”
It was all Maya could do to look at Jack now, and when she did, it was through a mortified wince.
“Don’t worry about it, Snip. It all seems to have worked out in the long run, right?” His quick wink and teasing grin made her laugh.
“Yeah,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Worked out great.”
“So.” Ellie sat back in her chair and crossed her arms. “He steals your girl and you stay friends with him? What the hell’s wrong with you?”
“She wasn’t exactly my girl.” Jack chuckled. “I think we’d been talking for . . . what . . . like ten minutes?”
Maya nodded. “Yeah, something like that.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever.” Leaning her elbows on the table, hands folded, Regan sighed dramatically. “Please tell us you’re not still friends with him.”
“Uh . . .” Jack tipped his head toward Maya and pretended to whisper. “Any chance I can lie my way out of this?”
“Doubt it. Ellie’s like a bloodhound about things like that.”
“Great.” Sitting straight up again, he inhaled deeply and nodded. “Then the answer to that would be ‘Yes, Will and I are still friends.’””
Shaking her head slowly, Ellie huffed out a long sigh.
“Jack, Jack, Jack,” she said. “That’s too bad.”
“We hate Dickhead,” Jayne said.
“Really?” He smirked. “I never would’ve guessed.”
Regan, Ellie, and Jayne nodded in unison, each one doing a horrible job of keeping a straight face as Regan explained what was what.
“Staying friends with him means we’re going to have to hate you on principle, which is too bad, because you seem like a nice guy and I, for one, had such high hopes for you. Sorry.”
“No, of course. Completely understandable.” Always a good sport, he bobbed his head in solemn agreement. “But before you have me lynched, would it do my case any good if I was to . . . I don’t know, just spitballin’ here . . . maybe pick up the tab tonight?”
“Don’t listen to Regan.” Unable to hold her grin back any longer, Ellie gave Regan a gentle shove and leaned closer to Jack. “I knew I was going to like you, Jack. Now let’s see what we can do about racking up that tab a little while you tell us all your secrets.”
She flagged Shelley for another round.
A flash of panic skittered across his eyes as he lifted his bottle; it was a look Maya had seen before, the same one he got whenever anyone wanted to make him the focus of the conversation.
“Well, that shouldn’t take long,” he finally said. “Snip’ll tell you how boring I am.”
“Why do you call her ‘Snip’?”
Maya sighed over a smile. “Because he thinks I’m like a snippet of a full-grown person.”
“Well, come on,” he teased. “You’re what, four foot nothing—you’re like a hobbit.”
“I’m five two!” Maya sat up as straight as she could when everyone else at the table raised their eyebrows at her. “I am so!”
Still blowing her off, they all sat back a little so Shelley could clear the empty glasses and replace their empty peanut bowl.
“And Jack isn’t even a little bit boring,” Maya said. “He has degrees in both creative writing and media arts and he designs videogames.”
Halfway through what she was saying, Jack leaned back, looked behind her, around her, and then under the table.
“What are you looking for?”
“Pom-poms.” With an exaggerated eye roll, he turned back to the others. “I don’t design the games, I just write parts of the scripts for some of them; the rest of the team makes the games work.”
“Just?” Jayne asked. “I’d guess the script is equally as important as everything else about the game.”
“Thank you, Jayne.” Maya stared pointedly at Jack as she spoke, as if that would somehow finally help to get it through his head. “I’ve tried telling him that about a hundred times.”

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

Author Info
USA Today Bestselling author, Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Irresistibly Your is the first in a new series by Lauren Layne called Oxford, it’s a spin-off series to her Sex, Love & Stiletto series. I really enjoyed this Irresistibly Yours. I am a fan of the Sex, Love & Stiletto series, so when I heard she was coming out with a spin-off series about the men’s magazine that had a minor roll in the other series, I was excited!

Irresistibly Yours centers around playboy Cole Sharpe, who we met in the Sex, Love & Stiletto series and tomboy Penelope Pope. Penelope is nothing like what Cole is usually attracted too, but yet he can’t help being drawn to her. Penelope and Cole are up for the same sports editor job at Oxford magazine which will force them to spend more time together.

One thing I really liked about this book was Penelope. She wasn’t like most girls in books; she’s a tomboy who loves sports and all the yummy food that goes along with attending a sporting events. She also was insecure and yet she didn’t hide those insecurities, which I thought was a nice change. It was nice to see the main girl not have it all together, it made her feel more real.

Irresistibly Yours was a fun fast read that I really enjoyed!

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Excerpt 2

But before Cole could make the call on whether or not to die curious about that damn notebook or risk rejection by Tiny Brunette, his best friend and co-worker was holding a fresh beer in front of his face.
“You look like you need it,” Lincoln Mathis said, sipping the foam off his own beer.
“How would you know?” Cole said. “You’ve been chatting up Jonas Leroy’s wife for the better part of four innings.”
“Had to,” Lincoln said with a little shrug. “She was bored. Her husband’s completely preoccupied with whatever’s going on with that ball down there.”
“As he should be at a baseball game,” Cole said pointedly.
Cole didn’t know why he bothered. His friend was already back on his cellphone, not the least bit interested in the game.
Lincoln Mathis looked like the type of man who should enjoy sports: tall, athletic, well muscled from their early-morning gym sessions. Carelessly styled black hair and friendly blue eyes that screamed guy’s guy just as loudly as they did ladies’ man.
But, much to Cole’s dismay, he’d never been able to get his friend to invest more than a passing interest in sports—any sport. Lincoln was always happy to tag along to a game when booze and women were involved, but ask him who he thought this year’s MVP would be, and he’d say Babe Ruth without the smallest hint of irony.
Still, tonight, Cole couldn’t exactly lecture Lincoln for not paying attention when he himself was having a hell of a time keeping track of the score.
Once more, his eyes found Tiny Brunette, who was . . . yep. Writing in her notebook.
“Hey, Sharpe. Do you know where they keep a fire extinguisher in here?” Lincoln asked, looking around the luxury suite of Yankee Stadium.
Cole tore his gaze away from the woman and her damn notebook. “What for?”
“If you stare at that girl any harder, she’s going to burst into flames,” Lincoln said, jerking his chin at Tiny Brunette.
“I wasn’t staring.”
“Don’t insult our bromance,” Lincoln said cheerfully.
“Keep running your mouth and we won’t have a bromance.” Cole forced himself not to look at the woman again.
“Hey, if you’ve got a crush on the wee lass, you can tell me,” Lincoln said, taking another sip of beer.
“I don’t have a crush. And wee lass? Really? You’re Scottish now?”
“Sometimes. Chicks dig the brogue. You should try it on your girl over there.”
“She’s not my girl. She’s just . . .” Interesting, Cole finished silently.
“Good,” Lincoln said, clapping him on the shoulder. “So you won’t mind that she left.”
Cole’s eyes flew to the seat where the woman was sitting, annoyed to see that his friend was right. She was gone.
“It’s just as well,” Lincoln said. “We have bigger things to focus on. Say, like how we’re going to annihilate the bastard who’s out for your job.”
“It’s not my job,” Cole said, carefully keeping the tinge of bitterness out of his tone.
“Not yet,” Lincoln said. “But it will be. Taking your competition out of the picture is the only reason I’m at this barbarian event.”
“Remind me never to take you to a hockey game,” Cole muttered.
Still, he appreciated his friend’s loyalty. And Lincoln was right. Tonight wasn’t about petite female baseball fans and their damn notebooks.
Tonight was about Cole’s professional future.

The key to that future? Oxford magazine.


Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

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

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

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a big fan of Lauren Layne’s books; she hasn’t put out a book that I didn’t like. Her writing style fits me. I was so excited when I got my hands on Blurred Lines, a new NA book by her and she didn’t disappoint.

Blurred Lines is a friends to lovers story, which is one of my favorite kinds! Ben Olsen and Parker Blanton have been best friends since their freshman year of college. Now out of college and leaving together their friendship is stronger than ever. With failed relationship after failed relationship Parker is looking to have some no strings attached fun and who better to do that with then her player bff. A friends with benefits relationship should workout like planned for Ben and Parker but they never do.

I really liked the fun relationship between Ben and Parker. They had great banter that made me laugh. This is another winner for me and I’m sure for anyone else who likes Lauren Layne’s books.

An ARC was kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Never Loved by Charlotte Stein

Never Loved
Dark Obsession # 1

By: Charlotte Stein  

Releasing July 21st, 2015





Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines, the first novel in the Dark Obsession series tells the story of a beautiful wallflower who falls for a chiseled street fighter—and learns just how dangerous love can be.


Beatrix Becker spent most of her life under the thumb of her controlling, abusive father. And now that she’s free and attending her dream college, she has no idea how to act like the normal crowd: partying, going on dates, even having a conversation. Then she meets Serge Sorensen. Big and surly with a whole host of riotous tattoos, Serge is supposed to scare the hell out of her. But beneath his harsh exterior, Beatrix discovers a kindred spirit who knows what it’s like to be a misfit. Most exhilarating—and terrifying—is what he does for a living: illegal street fighting.


There’s nothing like the rush Serge gets from the intense athleticism and brutal glory of combat—though his chemistry with Beatrix comes close. Slowly at first, he introduces her to his world, where he lives by instinct, passion, and desire. He even helps her out with her equally traumatized brother. But when Serge gets in too deep with the wrong people, he ends up paying in blood. And suddenly, just as Beatrix has been drawn into Serge’s perfectly sculpted arms, she’s thrown once and for all into the fight of his life.



Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23433442-never-loved?ac=1

Goodreads Series Link:  https://www.goodreads.com/series/139124-dark-obsession


Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher


Author Info

Charlotte Stein has written over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including entries in The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance and Best New Erotica 10. Her latest work, Run To You, was recently a DABWAHA finalist. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. For more on Charlotte, visit: www.charlottestein.net


Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


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Excerpt #3

“I tell you what, girl. How about you hop on, and I’ll take you to where he is.”

Some of the guys around him laugh. Hell, he seems to be laughing a little, too. He even slaps the back of his bike like the punch line to this whole crazy joke—he knows I’m never going to climb up on that thing. Everyone knows I’m not going to climb up on that thing. I’m a soft little kid, in corduroy.

Though for once in my life, I don’t want to be. I want to say yes, just to show him. Just to make up for all the times when I went back to my room and changed and changed and changed until my clothes were suitable, or stayed silent because silence was golden and talking back got you the basement. I don’t have to stay silent here, if I really don’t want to.

But that only makes it more disappointing when my sad little mouth leaks out, “I can’t do that.”

In fact, it’s so disappointing that he seems to catch some of it. He snorts, of course, as though he expected that answer all along. Yet beneath that snort I think I see something else, just sort of drifting around down there. A bitterness, I think, that carries through his otherwise amused and rather withering words.

“Afraid of bikes, huh?”

“Yeah, you could say that.”

“And maybe afraid of me?”

“I’d have to be insane to be anything else.”

“Oh, yeah? Why’s that?”

“Think it’s pretty obvious.”

“Try me.”

“Mostly it’s the size.”

He makes a face like Yeah, that makes sense.

But the shadow of that odd disappointment is still there.

“What can I say? I’m a big guy.”

“And maybe the tattoos.”

“I sure got them.”

“And the hair.”

“You don’t like it?”

He runs a hand over that thick black stripe right down the center, like some lady at a salon showing off her new hairdo. And it’s funny; it really is funny. It’s so funny that the assembled crowd laughs again to see him do it. This is probably the kind of show he does all the time, and I’m sure none of them ever question it.

But I’m questioning it. I can still see that serious undercurrent beneath his jokey manner, and it makes me answer him in a more impassioned way than I intend. “No, no, it’s not that at all,” I say, though it’s only afterward that I realize how true that sentiment is.

Yeah, he’s scary as fuck. Yeah, the thought of riding off with him on that bike almost freezes my blood. But if I’m honest with myself about liking that hair . . . I can’t exactly say no. I do like it. I like a lot of things about him, in a way I don’t fully understand. He should ping just about every aggressive-man fear I have, but every time I try to think of him that way, something else happens instead. I see the contrast between those black stripes and his pale blue eyes, and the way he waits for my answer in this actually interested manner, and how strange all of his clothes are and that flash of bitterness or weariness in him again, and then suddenly there it is:

The word handsome.

Dear God, I think he might be handsome, though I’m not going to stick around long enough to find out for sure.

“I’ve got to go,” I blurt out, but I immediately regret it. I should have just turned and run really quickly—not given him warning. Now he’s got time to punish me as I ever so slowly start to walk away. Oh, look at the little college girl. She’s frightened, he’ll say, and then someone will throw a rock at me. All of them will throw rocks at me, until I’m a bruised and bloody pulp on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper. Idiot Student Finds Angry Biker Handsome, I imagine, though I’ve no idea why I’m doing it.

That doesn’t even make any sense. People don’t write reports about girls randomly noticing attractiveness. They write reports about girls being murdered, so really, that should be my headline. Idiot Student Has Arms and Legs Pulled Off by Handsome Biker, I try, but I can’t help noticing that the word handsome is still in there.

God, I wish it wasn’t still in there.

It’s hard enough as it is to walk to my car without glancing back. Putting the word handsome in there makes it nearly impossible. My eyes want me to double-check, and not just because I probably hallucinated how good-looking he is. They want me to check because I’m almost positive I can feel his gaze pressing into my back. I can feel it the way people in books say they can feel it, even though I usually snort and roll my eyes when I get to stuff like that. You can’t sense someone’s stare in real life. That’s just not the way it works.

So how come I’m right?

I dare to glance up once I’m inside the safety of my car, expecting to see him going about his business. Maybe he’ll be in the middle of some awful drug thing, I think. Maybe he’ll be making some kid pay for wanting to do something other than come right home after school. But he isn’t doing either of those things—not even close.

Instead I see those frostbitten eyes still steadily on me, as everyone around him returns to their rowdy and brutal ballet.


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