Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Steal by Rachel Van Dyken

Steal, the follow-up standalone rockstar romance to the #1 New York Times Bestseller Keep…

It's easy to lose yourself in someone you love.

Easier to lose yourself in someone you hate…

I didn't think it could get any worse than having to babysit a bunch of spoiled musicians on set ― keeping them out of trouble is a cakewalk compared to seeing my ex every day.

Seaside, Oregon isn't big enough for the both of us.

She hates me.

I loathe her.

The plan was simple ― stay the hell away and make sure she gets to set on time.
What I didn't expect was to be faced with our past in front of an audience ― and be forced to face it again.

It's torture.

The way she looks at me.

The way I try to look through her.

Words left unsaid.

The lingering aftermath still as powerful as ever.
I feed the chasm between us, for fear that she'll make me feel again ― and steal the last shred of heart I have left.

We have everything but each other.

It's not enough.

Not when you've lost love.

And replaced it with the only thing left ― hate.

4 of 5 Stars

The Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken is a spinoff of the Seaside series. If you haven't read them from the beginning, I highly recommend you do! I know this is a standalone but honestly, I feel like you miss out on connecting with the secondary characters so much if you start with this book and they all have such wonderful stories why not start with the originals?!?! 

We met Angelica Greene in Tear (Seaside #1) and to say I couldn't stand her would be an understatement. She was rich, famous, entitled and a straight up bitch. I was really unsure I would ever sympathize with her or want to read her story. But, I should never underestimate Rachel Van Dyken! The Angelica in Steal is broken. She is post drug rehab and finally wants to make amends for her mistakes. As a last ditch effort to save her career, Jay gives her a part in his movie filming in Seaside. 

The only manager willing to take on Angelica as a client? Will Sutherland, former lead singer  of Adrenaline and ex-boyfriend/love of her life. Will is extremely bitter of Angelica and can't seem to forgive her for her role in destroying their relationship and completely shredding his heart.  Honestly, he's never been the same post Angelica and as much as he wants to hate everything about her, he can't deny the attraction he still has for her either. How long will they be able to avoid the demons chasing them from their past?

I definitely enjoyed this installment and as always I love how Rachel weaves characters from the other books into her new releases and how important of a role those characters play with each new release.  It's like the best part of a "family reunion."  Without a doubt watching their meddling was probably my most favorite part of Steal. At certain points of the book felt connected to Angelica and Will, but I also had a hard time feeling their passion at times and the pace of this story felt a little rushed.  Regardless, this is still a really fun read and fans of this series definitely don't want to pass on this story.  Take it from me you're definitely going to want to know what makes Angelica tick, how the past has shaped her, what the driving force behind her struggles and cry for attention is, and in the end you will find yourself rooting for this "villain" to get her very own happily ever after!  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Until It Fades, by K.A. Tucker

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

4.5 out of 5 stars

There is a Miranda Lambert song that says “everybody dies famous in a small town.”  Catherine Wright knows the truth of those words all too well.   When she was 17 she fell in love with her high school art teacher.  As you can imagine things spun totally out of control.  The teacher and adults who should have protected her didn't and instead she was ostracized from everyone except a couple of true friends; Lou, the owner of Diamonds, the truck stop where she waits tables is wonderful.  I also love Keith, her best friend who is also totally in love with Cath - he loves her so much he selflessly encourages Catherine to follow her heart even though the path probably won't lead her back to him.  (Side Note:  I need to see him get a happy ending so please, please write a book for him!)  And Misty, a fellow waitress who has stuck with Cath through everything and who always manages to bring exciting drama to any circumstance!

One evening, 5-6 years post teacher scandal, following a horrible blind date, Catherine comes upon a terrible car crash and does the unthinkable.  She single-handedly pulls the passenger out of a burning car and saves his life.  Little does she know the life she saved is none other than the rich, famous and hot, Brett Madden, NHL player extraordinaire.  Catherine knows once news reporters break this story keeping her anonymity is going to be difficult, but terrified to be in the spotlight again, to be on the receiving end of judgmental eyes she vows to do whatever it takes to keep her identity unknown. I cannot say I blame her for wanting to stay out of the limelight, her first experience left her all alone with absolutely no self-esteem - all undeserved especially considering she was the victim!  Nevertheless, at her core Catherine is a genuinely honest, hard-working woman who wants nothing more than to get through her life standing on her own two feet.  This girl is in no way looking for a hand-out nor does she expect life to be easy or sadly even for her own dreams to come true. So, it's really no surprise she would run from any attention or money saving a star's life would surely bring.

When Brett eventually learns his hero's name and finally gets to show his appreciation in person and these two meet, the sparks are undeniable for them both.  As a reader, I loved Brett's character - talk about the ultimate "book boyfriend"!  He is famous but doesn’t act like it.  He's the guy next door only so much better.  He may have fame and fortune but at the end of the day he just wants someone to share his life with and for that life to be as "normal" as possible.  His heart is HUGE, and I promise you I'm not embellishing how wonderful this man is.  But, will Catherine ever allow her heart to love again?  She uses absolutely every excuse imaginable to push him away.  And I understand the reasons behind it, but I was desperate for her to have the courage to at least let herself try!  At her core is the worry Brett will only be around until his feelings fade.  The question is can she trust herself?  Can she trust Brett?  Is she willing to risk it all for a chance at love and true happiness?

The feels in this book are off the chart!  I opened my kindle one night because I couldn't find anything I wanted to watch on TV and didn't turn my kindle off until 3 am because I couldn't even think about sleeping without seeing how the story ended.  It's been two weeks since I read the ARC and I'm still swooning!  I love a good fairy-tale, perfect happily ever-after and this book gave me all that and more wrapped up in a beautifully well written, heart-melting story.  

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: Girl Off The Grid by Jillian Dodd and Kenzie Harp

From USA Today bestselling author, Jillian Dodd, and her daughter, Kenzie Harp, comes a travel romance that will take you on the adventure of a lifetime.

NYC fashion blogger, Camille Caldwell, gets offered a dream job by her favorite magazine. They’re going to send her on an all-expenses paid eco-trip to Costa Rica. She doesn’t know what that means, but she assumes she’ll wear fabulous clothes, sip Piña Coladas on the beach, and have her photo taken “out in nature.” Really, the hardest part of the assignment will be giving up social media while she’s gone.

Going off social media is no big deal for London-based wildlife photographer, Adam Lloyd. The only reason he even has an account is to share his photos with the world. He’s thrilled when an international publication wants to hire him, until he finds out it’s a fashion magazine. He decides to take the job anyway—after all, it will be great for his portfolio. But the minute he sees Camille, he knows it was a mistake. She has too much luggage, is too high maintenance, and way too pretty.

When they meet, their feelings are mutual—they hate each other. Can these two stop fighting long enough to complete their assignment? Will Camille give up and go home when she discovers there’s nowhere to plug in her hair straightener?

Or will they both realize that sometimes you have to go off the grid to find yourself?

4 out of 5 stars  

Sometimes I think we are all too absorbed with social media, our phones and having an online presence.  I blog so I kind of have to be online pretty frequently, but occasionally I find myself just needing to detox.  Girl Off The Grid does a really great job highlighting the need for all of us to just get outside, push our boundaries and really experience life outside the realms of technology. 

Camille  Caldwell is a relatively famous You-Tube fashion blogger who is offered a "dream job" of contributing on an article with a very popular fashion magazine.  Her assignment -  travelling on an Eco-Trip to Costa Rica and writing an article on her experiences upon her return.  It probably would have been helpful if Camille had done a little research on what an eco-trip is because then she would have known it entailed more third world conditions than luxury.  To say Camille is out of her comfort zone is putting it mildly!    

Adam Lloyd, is a photographer trying to make his way in the world. Adam did not have a typical childhood and spent a lot of time traveling the world with his parents, so living off the land and roughing it is pretty standard for him.  While Camille loves all things trendy, fashionable and luxury, Adam turns his nose up at consumerism in general.  

Camille and Adam are polar opposites and have a hard time connecting at first - well other than the initial physical attraction neither really understands. Camille can be a bit of a diva at times and Adam can be a little judgmental as well.  However, when we let our guards down and take off our judgmental glasses we oftentimes find we have more in common than initially thought.  This sentiment rings true with Adam and Camille and before long they realize their differences lead to a lot of ways they can work together to promote the things they both believe in such as the environment.  

I did enjoy this book, it had less drama and more environmental awareness than I anticipated, but it is YA, and a major force behind it's publication is for the book to be used as a tool to bring awareness to causes and concerns near and dear to the authors hearts.  I definitely feel like I know way more information on Costa Rica and it's environment now than I did before I read the book.  There is a lot of good info weaved into this story.  I truly enjoyed the romance element of this book but for me the ending felt a little rushed and too quickly wrapped up.  In conclusion, Camille and Adam's story is very sweet and endearing and if you like fun, lighthearted reads, give Girl off the Grid a try - not to mention a portion of every sale is being donated to the Sea Turtle Conservatory, and what's better than reading for a cause!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Cover Reveal: Girl off the Grid

Cover Reveal and Blurb Reveal Date:
 June 2nd
Book Release Date: June 27th

Book Link to all Vendors:  


From USA Today bestselling author, Jillian Dodd, and her daughter, Kenzie Harp, comes a travel romance that will take you on the adventure of a lifetime.

NYC fashion blogger, Camille Caldwell, gets offered a dream job by her favorite magazine. They’re going to send her on an all-expenses paid eco-trip to Costa Rica. She doesn’t know what that means, but she assumes she’ll wear fabulous clothes, sip Piña Coladas on the beach, and have her photo taken “out in nature.” Really, the hardest part of the assignment will be giving up social media while she’s gone.

Going off social media is no big deal for London-based wildlife photographer, Adam Lloyd. The only reason he even has an account is to share his photos with the world. He’s thrilled when an international publication wants to hire him, until he finds out it’s a fashion magazine. He decides to take the job anyway—after all, it will be great for his portfolio. But the minute he sees Camille, he knows it was a mistake. She has too much luggage, is too high maintenance, and way too pretty.

When they meet, their feelings are mutual—they hate each other. Can these two stop fighting long enough to complete their assignment? Will Camille give up and go home when she discovers there’s nowhere to plug in her hair straightener?

Part of our goal in writing this book is to make a difference. 10% of our profits from this book will be donated to the Sea Turtle Conservatory. It is the oldest sea turtle research and conservation group. It was founded in 1959 by Dr. Archie Carr. Their headquarters are in Florida, but they have programs worldwide that work to conserve sea turtle populations through education, research, advocacy, and protection of natural habitats. They also have a research station in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, which was one of the places visited in the book. For more information on the Sea Turtle Conservatory, click here.


Kenzie Harp recently graduated from the University of South Florida—St. Petersburg with a degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: History and International Studies. She loves to travel and read, lives in Florida with her husband and adorable Maltese puppy, and is currently planning her next travel adventure.

Jillian is a USA TODAY bestselling author who lives in a small Florida beach town, is married to her college sweetheart, has two grown children and two Labrador Retrievers. She is not quite as adventurous as her daughter, but loves to travel, shop, and paint.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review: Provocative (White Lies Duet, #1), by Lisa Renee Jones

There are those moments in life that are provocative in their very existences, that embed in our minds forever, and sometimes our very souls. They change us, mold us, maybe even save us. But some are darker, dangerous. If we allow them to, they control us. Seduce us. Quite possibly even destroy us. 

The moment I walked into Sonoma’s Reid Winter Winery and Vineyard and made eye contact with Faith Winter for the first time was one of those moments. Provocative because I know at least one of her secrets, of which, I suspect she has many. Provocative because she believes I was a stranger to her when we met, but I am not. Provocative because I sought her out, with no intention of touching her. But now I have. Now I want her. Now I have to have her. But that changes nothing. It doesn’t change why I came for her.

4.5 out of 5 stars

I never really considered myself a fan of romantic suspense, but then again that was before I had ever picked up a Lisa Renee Jones book.  My first LRJ book, If I Were You, book #1 of her Inside Out series hooked me from the very first chapter and from that point on I've considered myself a fan of the genre.  Every single time I've picked up one of her stories I've fallen hook, line and sinker!  I have devoured my way through series after series of her work, and I can assure the White Lies Duet is everything I've come to love and expect when I pick up one of her masterpieces. It's been at least a week since I finished this one and I am still trying to decide who I think is innocent and dying to know what happens next.  You see LRJ is the master of leaving you always yearning for more.  It's brilliant actually because it's a guarantee you're going to buy the next book because you HAVE to know what happens, you crave the truth - and the suspense - it's utterly addicting. 

Faith Winter is an artist at heart but is stuck running a winery since the death of her parents.  While she still mourns her father, her less than stellar relationship with her mother and the resentment she feels towards her are keeping Faith from moving forward in life.  She hasn't felt even a mustard seed of inspiration and therefore hasn't felt the urge to pick up a paint brush in months.  Add to that the bill collectors who are at every turn and threatening to take away her father’s legacy Reid Winter Winery and our heroine finds herself in a desperate situation, afraid to let her guard down.

Nick “Tiger” Rogers is a well known attorney who “rips the throats out” of his opposition.  He is stubborn, rich and never loses.  What begins as Nick secretly investigating Faith for the murder of his father and her mother quickly turns into him searching for her innocence and not guilt.  But when all their secrets come out will they still care for each other?  Can love conquer all, even forgiveness? I'm personally dying to know what really happened - who was behind the death/murders and their underlying motivation. 

The sparks between Faith and Nick fly from their first introduction.  Their chemistry is undeniable and what starts as a hard limit one night stand quickly turns into so much more than either one was prepared for.  With each chapter the plot thickens and as always, Lisa Renee Jones weaves mystery, love, suspense and more into a wonderful story.  I only wish I didn’t have to wait until July to find out the conclusion! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: Royal Player, by Katie McCoy

Charlie Davenport is the bad boy of British tennis - and third in line to the throne. He’s a beast on the courts, and a wild animal in bed (according to all the tabloids). Girls are lining up for chance at his crown jewels, and when I stumble into the wrong Wimbledon dressing room and catch a glimpse of his game, set, AND match, I can see why.

So what’s a little good luck kiss between f̶r̶i̶e̶n̶d̶s̶ strangers? 

I know better than to get involved with a bad boy like Charlie. But now he’s on a winning streak, he thinks I’m his lucky charm - and you know what’s luckier than a kiss?


Suddenly, I've got paparazzi on my trail, exes coming out of the woodwork — and you don’t know ‘cutthroat’ until you’ve seen a pack of hungry socialites set loose near the Royal Family.

I’m in way over my head, and even worse - I’m falling in love. Can this American girl win her Prince Charming? Or will we both crash out of the championships in flames? 

3 out of 5 stars

When I read the synopsis for this book I just had to say yes to reading it mainly because not only do I enjoy a good love story especially those involving princes but when I'm not reading I love playing tennis!  

The story starts out with our heroine Emmy having just landed in London, for her first trip abroad.  She's en route to meet her best friend where they will be working the tea tents during Wimbledon to make a little extra cash to fund this adventure abroad.  Before she knows it she is off on her first mission to serve tea, finds herself lost and accidentally ends up in a very naked Charlie Davenport's locker room.  It's a great meet cute!  Needless to say Charlie is intrigued - all it takes is one spark - one interaction and he has to have more.

Charlie is the black sheep of the royal family so to speak.  While he may not be the man the tabloids portray him to be he has decided to embrace the reputation they've given him.  This has always worked for him, except now he has a certain American girl he cannot get off his mind, one who perhaps give him a purpose, a reason to show the world his true nature - and let me assure you it is swoon worthy.  He is protective, genuine, has a natural philanthropic heart and when he let's himself love it's fierce and he especially isn't the type of guy who plays games.

Emmy tends to keep her true personality hidden.  She's been burned before and never wants to experience the heartache that seemingly goes hand in had with giving your trust away so she protects herself at all costs.  Sometimes without even realizing it.  She's artistic and passionate and has this innate ability to see the good in people.  She is the kind of character who easily draws others near - she is kind, she has a sense of self confidence she isn't afraid to let loose when it's needed and while she comes across as this perfect wholesome girls she also knows how to let loose and have fun!

So why only 3 stars?  Overall I enjoyed the story but it felt too much like too many movies I had already seen before.  While I don't mind a predictable story this one just felt too easily figured out.  It started out and wrapped up very quickly without really even giving me time to settle into a pace that allowed me to feel connected to the characters and their story.  I know mutual attraction was there but I would have enjoyed seeing the author expand on the how's and why they fell in love because it's like one minute they meet and the next true love is being declared without really any build-up.  My final thoughts would be to say Royal Player is a very sweet story with minimal conflict - so if that's your thing then don't think twice about taking a chance on this story.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Cheater's Regret, by Rachel Van Dyken

Austin Rogers’s dreams of domestic bliss involved watching Netflix and eating hot dogs with the love of her life. But then he cheated on her. And dumped her—as if the whole thing was her fault. To maintain her pride and restore her sanity, she decides to get revenge. It feels immensely satisfying to plot her ex’s downfall—but so does kissing him.
Thatch Holloway, a plastic surgeon straight out of residency, knows he ruined the best thing that ever happened to him. But not all cheaters are created equal. He got himself into this messed-up situation—true—but he has his reasons for what happened, and he’d do it all again to protect Austin.
He’s not over her. And she’s not over him.
Austin wants closure, but since Thatch refuses to give it to her, she takes matters into her own hands. She needs to write a human-interest piece for her MBA, so she demands the full plastic-surgery experience. Sparks fly as they’re forced to work together. But Thatch isn’t afraid to play dirty in return. And he’s still hiding something—something that has the power to destroy not only Austin but their second chance at finding forever…
4.25 out of 5 stars
When a new RVD book pops up on my  kindle I get a little giddy!  I love her stories and style of writing.  I mean talk about taking a chance on writing a series based on a word that when many of us see we would perhaps just pass on reading because honestly not everyone is up to reading the angst that usually comes in a story where the characters are cheating.  However, RVD has managed to take a word with a serious negative connotation such as cheater and forces us to examine the possibility that maybe there is another side, a different emotion associated with cheating that doesn't necessarily come from a bad place.
If you've read book one in the Curious Liaisons series then you are familiar with the main characters of Cheater's Regret, Austin and Thatch.  However, no worries if you haven't read Cheater because book two can absolutely be read as a standalone.  The story starts with a heartbroken Austin, her unexpected one night stand turned real life romance with plastic surgeon Thatch comes to a screeching halt when she sees him lip-locked with another woman.  What's worse is Thatch not only breaks her heart but makes Austin feel as if it's all her fault while simultaneously pushing her as far away from him is possible.  Are you intrigued yet?  Wait it gets better because what you don't know about Austin yet is she is strong and a woman scorned is a force to be reckoned with.  She may still be head over heels in love with Thatch but she isn't going to let him get away with such careless behavior.  She will get answers, she will find her closure and then she will move on.  But does she really want to move on?  
Thatch's character caught me by surprise.  I won't lie, I didn't totally love him in book one and his introduction in book two doesn't do him any favors.  But, the more I got to know him I realized he was nothing like I first expected.  Apart from a bad decision based on a need to protect someone he cared about he was a surprisingly honest, loyal man who did something stupid because he thought he knew best, he thought he was protecting the girl he loved - clearly men don't really understand how us women think or tend to feel!  He's someone who was dealt a crap hand in life, who lost his innocence and was forced to deal with an adult situation way to early and perhaps has too many secrets he feels responsible to keep and thus doesn't really see a clear picture - doesn't really know the best tools to use and certainly doesn't realize it's okay to put himself first occasionally.
Austin's character perfectly encompasses a scorned woman - out for revenge.  Is this a good idea?  No not really, revenge never really is.  We think it's going to make us feel better but oftentimes it just leaves us feeling worse.  But, it's this path of revenge which open the story telling doors  - it's this path that provides the perfect opportunity for Austin to perhaps see Thatch in a different light and honestly this is the meat of the story.
I totally enjoyed watching these two deal with one another while trying to keep their feelings neutral. I also rather enjoyed watching Thatch's motives come to light and I loved watching Thatch accept which circumstances cannot be changed and embracing those which can.  These two make such a cute couple and by the end of the book I was grinning from ear to ear and swooning over the love between them.  I wouldn't give any hesitation to recommending you buy and read this book!  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review: Royally Screwed, by Emma Chase

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you. 

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn't bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants. 

Dating a prince isn't what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There's a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they've traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven't chopped anyone's head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner. 

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King... or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

5 out of 5 stars  

There are many things in my life which I enjoy, 2 of which are: 1 - A good romance book that leaves me with all the feels and 2 - A Hallmark movie with the ability to suck me in with all their HEA and predictable goodness.  You know what I'm talking about I mean it is one of the most watched channels from November 1st to January 1st with women.  It's hands down my favorite "TV season" of the year.  I cannot help myself, I ALWAYS fall victim to their sappy predictable plot lines with perfect happily ever afters because who doesn't love a good love story?  Well, Royally Screwed gave me the best of both and completely made my week!  I knew even from the first page I was going to devour this book in one sitting and absolutely love every minute.

Nicholas is the Crowned Prince of Wessco and as perfect as that sounds, it most assuredly has its disadvantages.  Other than Christian Grey, I don't know of anyone else who requires women sign a NDA prior to sex.  Then there is the fact Nicholas truly has no idea if people aka women want him for himself or for his money and power.  Then there is the pesky detail of  having very little say in whom he is going to marry.  Love doesn't really matter because if said woman is gong to be queen there is a huge royal check-list of requirements, each of which she must meet.  So basically he has a crown, tons of money, and a tiny bit of power but essentially no true say in the direction of his entire life and unfortunately that's bound to effect his level of happiness. 

Enter Olivia Hammond;  loud, hardworking, blunt, New Yorker.  Olivia had no idea who Nicholas was when he walked into her pie shop, but it was certainly one of those defining life moments she isn't ever going to be able to forget.  She challenges Nicholas and empowers him to be the person he wants to be, to be the best version of himself.  Of course he can only spend at most 5 months with her before he must return to his reality, pick a woman who meets all the royal requirements, marry her and produce and heir. 

To make the most of their short time together he whisks her away to Wessco and his Royal life.  Needless to say the Queen isn't happy and will not budge - responsibilities are just that and as far as she is concerned love or not those responsibilities must be met.  What will happen?  Can love conquer all?    

This book was pretty much perfection for me.  It has everything I love, nothing I hate and even a few twists and surprises!  Royally Screwed was the perfect amount of humor, drama and heart.  Job well done, Emma!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Review: The Playboy Bachelor by Rachel Van Dyken

She's no Sleeping Beauty. And he's definitely no prince . . . Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again-her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot's whiskey-augmented grandmother "buys" Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he's at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass. Bentley's just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love-nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that "just friends" will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . . .

4.5 of 5 Stars

It is rare that I ever close a Rachel Van Dyken book and find myself even a little disappointed.  Unfortunately I was very on the fence when I finished The Bachelor Auction, book 1 of this series.  I loved the humor and the characters, but it was a tad too over the top at times even for me.  With all that being said I have to admit I was a little nervous starting book 2, The Playboy Bachelor.  You see RVD is one of my favorite go to authors and I didn't want a book I just sort of enjoyed I wanted it to be one I totally loved.  Guess what?  I am more than thrilled to report The Playboy Bachelor was everything I hoped it would be and all that I love in a Rachel Van Dyken book!  In fact, I can't seem to wipe the smile off my face and it's been hours since I finished reading it!

Bentley Wellington is a cocky, hot, jackass of a millionaire who seems to do nothing other than get wasted and screw his way through life.  Obviously, there is a back story and a reason for his self-destructive ways, but you don't immediately know what they are and I found myself wondering if he would ever be able to redeem himself.  Having finished I'm really not sure why those thoughts ever crossed my mind.  Rachel ALWAYS writes characters I love and Bentley Wellington is no exception.  He will worm his way into your hearts as well, I simply guarantee it!  You'll find he is actually this incredibly sensitive, loyal, decent man who is scared to put his heart on the line because putting it all out there means risking his life spiraling out of control.

Margot McCleery is Bentley's former BFF and her red hair reputation is no joke. The girl has a temper, and I love it.  She is a successful, regency romance author which a huge pile of her very on baggage.  Imagine a reclusive who never leavers her house.  Now imagine a concerned grandmother desperate for anything that will bring the "life" back into her granddaughter's eyes and a grandfather desperate to make amends for poor decisions while raising his grief stricken grandchildren.

Next imagine the fireworks that occur when these two are stuck together in Margot's mansion for 30 days after a discarded friendship and years of silence.  To say Margot and Bentley have a love/hate relationship is an understatement.  I loved the emotions, the POV, the characters and the plot line.  Sure, parts of it were predictable, but they were so good, so swoon worthy you don't mind because your spending your time reading for the enjoyment that comes from being engrossed in a good rom-com.  You can almost always guarantee a HEA with Rachel, but the journey to the end is simply delightful.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book and highly recommend you one-click it for yourself!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Opposite of You by Rachel Higginson

I’ve sworn off men.

All men.

Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it.

I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions.

The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd.

The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.

Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me.

So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him.

I want the opposite.

Review:  4.5 of 5 Stars

I have to confess that I have been in a total funk.  Work has sucked the life out of me, hell, life has just been blah lately.  So when I realized that Rachel Higginson was getting ready to release a new book, I asked for a copy to review.  And she was gracious enough to oblige me!  As soon as I could, I jumped right into this book, and I have to say....I adored it.

Vera Delane is an enigma.  She is confident but unsure.  She is creative but doubts herself.  She is someone that has been through hell in an abusive relationship and blames herself.  But, despite all of her low self-esteem, Killian Quinn makes her brave and bold to stand up for herself.  

Speaking of Killian, he is the smoking hot chef from Lilou, the acclaimed restaurant across the street from Vera's food truck.  Does he critique her food?  Yes.  Is he a total douche at time?  Absolutely!  But I love his character!  He pushes Vera to be a better her.  And isn't that what all our relationships should do?  

I loved everything from the food aspect, to the ties to NC and even the predictability of parts of this story. It was such a nice reprieve from reality and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone!  Great job, Rachel!