Mini Reviews: A Cute Sports Romance and a Deceiving Cover

MISTER HOCKEY by LIA RILEY

★★

32711194“I want to be the one who makes you believe in fairy tales.”

It Happened on Love Street was the first book I read by Lia Riley and although I didn’t end up loving it, I enjoyed it enough to want to check more books written by her. I went into Mister Hockey totally blind and hoped that I would at least enjoy it a little more than my previous Riley read.

Breezy Angel spends most of her time reading about life instead of living it. She’s always found solace between the pages of a book and enjoys spending her days as a children’s librarian. One day, Breezy finds herself in a predicament after her guest for a summer reading event is a no show. In walks Jed West, captain of the Denver Hellions and the leading man in all of Breezy’s fantasies. He manages to swoop in and save the day and Jed soon finds himself smitten with the sweet and quirky librarian. But there’s only one problem: Jed doesn’t date fans. So how’s this fangirl expected to turn her fantasies into a reality?

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Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen

❝ In short, we were a tangle of disasters. But there was nobody I’d ever felt so close to.❞

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Title: Hello Forever
Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: Hello Goodbye
Publication Date: July 14, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books 

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles  

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.* 

Rating: ★★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: A SINGLE BASKETBALL GAME CHANGES EVERYTHING…

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.

Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it’s Hello Forever.

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Mini Reviews: Falling For Your Roommate & An Over the Top Romance

MY BEST FRIEND’S EX by MEGHAN QUINN

★★★★


35004715“She doesn’t need to protect her heart from me. She holds mine in her hands, and I’ll never take it back.”

When I first saw the title for Meghan Quinn’s newest release, I was a little on the fence about actually picking it because I’m not a big fan of the “dating my best friend’s ex” trope. It’s honestly just a personal preference because the one’s I’ve read in the past have been over the top and I just couldn’t deal with it. But it’s Meghan Quinn so I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and hoped she wouldn’t let me down.

After being evicted from her apartment, Emma Marks is forced to find a new home immediately. When she runs into an old childhood friend and tells him about her troubles, he offers her a place to stay. With no other options in sight, she takes Tucker Jameson up on his offer. But the last thing Emma expected was to start falling for her old childhood friend because he’s more than just a friend: he’s her best friend’s ex.

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Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

I warmed up to you the day we met. I melted for you the second you kissed me.

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Title: Stay
Author: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Series: WAGs
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles  

Rating: ★★★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

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Salvaged by Jay Crownover

❝ We deserved happy. We fought for it and we won. He was my victory and I was his triumph.❞

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Title: Salvaged
Author: Jay Crownover 
Series: Saints of Denver
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Links: Goodreads Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: ★★★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

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North to You by Tif Marcelo

❝ Let me be the one who you hang on to, even for today.❞

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Title: North to You
Author: Tif Marcelo
Series: Journey to the Heart
Publication Date: June 5, 2017
Publisher: Pocket Star

Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & Nobles  

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.* 

Rating: ★★★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: In this warmhearted and charming debut from Tif Marcelo, a food truck chef and her long lost Army love clash when they cross paths in San Francisco.

Camille Marino has got a full plate. As the sole guardian of her eighteen-year-old sister and the head chef and owner of a food truck, she’s used to life being a juggling act. With food to cook, social media accounts to manage, and a little sister to look after, she doesn’t have time for much else.

That is, until Drew Bautista walks back into her life.

Drew is Camille’s former high school crush and he returns to San Francisco to repair his relationship with his father before he ships out for deployment. By helping his father renovate his failing Filipino restaurant, he hopes to win back his respect. But when sparks fly between Drew and Camille—his father’s major competition and sworn enemy—Drew is conflicted. Should he join his father in the war against her food truck? Or surrender to the woman who’s given him a second chance at love?

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Mini Reviews: Angst, Angst & More Angst

THE BEAUTIFUL GAME by A. MEREDITH WALTERS

★★★★


34180856“This isn’t a game. Not for me. Not since I realized you didn’t give a toss who I was. That you only cared about how I was. You make me a better person, Morgan.”

A. Meredith Walters absolutely slays when it comes to writing emotional romances. My two favorite books by her, Butterfly Dreams and One Day Soon, left me in tears and I immediately added her to my auto-buy list after that. But when I heard that Walters was writing a sports romance, I did a bit of a double-take as this is not her usual brand of romance so I wasn’t quite sure to expect. I could only hope that my fave wouldn’t let me down…

After landing a job across the pond, Morgan Carter hopes that this experience will bring about new adventures and possibly a new career. However, keeping up with the work load has proven to be a struggle and she starts to doubt ever accepting the job in the first place. But a night out on the town and one too many drinks leads to a wild night with famous British football player, Lucas Bradley. Sparks fly and the two eventually develop feelings for one another. But love comes at a cost and these two are going to have to decide whether or not their love is worth the price. 

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Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven

❝ Sex is for the body. Romance is for the soul.❞

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Title: Mister Romance
Author: Leisa Rayven
Series: Masters of Love
Publication Date: April 30, 2017
Publisher: Self-published

Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & Nobles  

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price.

As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York’s socialites can’t get enough.  Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he’s careful to keep his real identity a secret.

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn’t fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story.

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Buns by Alice Clayton

❝ I’m not my past, I’m my present. And my future is wide fucking open. I can make whatever kind of life I want for myself, and the life that I want for myself is with you, only with you.❞

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Title: Buns
Author: Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books

Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & Nobles  

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.* 

Rating: ★★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

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Mini Reviews: Forbidden Romance, Second Chances & New Beginnings

BEFORE I EVER MET YOU by KARINA HALLE

★★

34621496“I could be good for you. Let me be good for you.”

Before I Ever Met You is the second contemporary romance I’ve read by Karina Halle and after having read two dark romances by her this year, I was in definite need of some fluff to balance out the dark. However, while this story may be fluffy and sweet, the romance was a bit of a let down for me and unfortunately left me feeling unsatisfied.

Before I Ever Met You starts off with a bang after William McAlister’s marriage of fifteen years comes to an end when he discovers that his wife is pregnant…by another man. No longer able to work in such close proximity with his wife, he returns back home in hopes of gaining some sense of normalcy and move on from his divorce. Jackie Phillips has made her fair shares of mistakes and she ready to leave her past behind for a fresh start as she returns home and takes up a new job as William McAlister’s new assistant. Sparks fly between the pair and they will have to decide whether or not they are willing to cross the lines of professionalism for one more shot at a happily ever after.

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