Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Lemmon

Title: The Billionaire Next Door
Author: Jessica Lemmon
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys #2
Main Characters: Tag and Rachel
Release Date: October 2016
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
It's Tag Crane's job to be the life of the party. Traveling from one exotic locale to another is just part of running the luxurious Crane Hotel empire. But even paradise isn't perfect. Devising a new business strategy is keeping Tag up at night-and so is the Great Dane barking at all hours in the apartment below his. To muzzle the problem, Tag charges downstairs . . . right into the most beautiful, blond distraction he's ever seen.

Dog-sitting by day, bartending by night. It's not exactly the life Rachel Foster dreamed of. But when Tag Crane rushes in, all mountain-man shoulders and obscenely sexy smile, needing her help for the Crane Hotels, it's a fantasy come true. What's the harm in a fun no-strings fling? Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-until suddenly the one man who can't be caught is the one flirting with forever . . .

My Review:
In the intro to this book, Jessica Lemmon mentioned that Brock O'Hurn was the inspiration for Tag. Best. Gift. Ever. I loved reading this book with him as my visual for Tag. 

Tag is a laidback guy despite the fact he's a billionaire in charge of all the Crane hotel restaurants and bars. He's the guy who looks more like a beach bum than a business executive. So, when Rachel meets him, she knows he's rich (he lives in the penthouse of her building) but she doesn't think too much about it. He's just a nice, normal...albeit gorgeous...guy who's easy to be around. 

For Rachel, her glamorous life in Chicago hasn't quite lived up to expectations. As a result, she finds herself dog and apartment sitting for one of her customers from her bartending job. Not exactly the marketing position she planned for...but her ex-boyfriend stole that dream along with her trust and self confidence. 

This was one of those books that was simply fun to read. It's like a Cinderella story...Rachel gets swept up by the prince and he takes her away from all the drudgery of her life. It was a great story, punctuated by the Crane brothers. Gah...I love them...and Eli. Wow, I cannot wait for his book. I also found myself completely enamored by Tag's friend, Lucas and his wife. 

This is a series built on fantastic characters and gorgeous locations...hello, upscale hotels...that just makes the books so much fun to read. I liked Tag and Rachel. His goal to get her to relax and to prove to her just how wrong her ex was made for some super-sexy and romantic times. I really did enjoy the book so much. And like I said before...I can't wait for the third in the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Only You by Denise Grover Swank

Title: Only You
Author: Denise Grover Swank
On Sale: October 25, 2016
Series: The Bachelor Brotherhood, #1
Publisher: Forever
Mass Market: $6.99 USD
eBook: $3.99 USD


The first book in a spin-off from Denise Grover Swank's New York Times bestselling Wedding Pact series (The Wedding Pact, The Player, The Gambler, The Valentine)

“Warm and funny, the first book in the Bachelor Brotherhood series reads like a great Hollywood rom-com.” –iBooks Best Books of June

Never say never…Romance isn't an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor…

Ex-Marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead, he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world's craziest women. At least that last one he can fix: he and his buddies have made a pact to swear off women, and this includes his sweetly sexy new neighbor.

After one hot night that looks a whole lot like a disaster in the light of day, Kevin and Holly are about to learn that true love doesn't play by the rules…


Kevin wasn’t sure why he was surprised Holly was here. She was a wedding planner, and from what he’d seen so far, she was a damn good one.
He’d been on his way out of the room, needing a breather from the noise and the chaos of the reception when he’d seen her at the table. He hadn’t planned on asking her to dance—hell, he hated to dance—but he’d been desperate for a reason to talk to her.
When he sat back down at the table, Tyler wore a smirk. “Crashed and burned, huh? I thought you were going to the bathroom to take a piss.”
“I was. I just happened to run into a friend.”
“Run into a friend, my ass. I thought we’d sworn off women. I’ve held up my end of the bachelor brotherhood. And let me add that I had no idea my balls could turn this blue.”
“She’s a friend,” Kevin said, trying not to sound irritated and feed any more fuel to the fire.
“She’s his neighbor,” Matt said, taking a sip of his beer, and giving Kevin a pointed look. “They’re friends.”
Tyler burst out laughing. “You got friend-zoned?”
“No,” Kevin said slowly, picking up his drink, surprised Matt hadn’t told Tyler about the situation he’d stumbled upon. “I was the one who said I wanted to be friends.”
“Why?” Tyler asked, watching Holly with a little more interest than Kevin liked. “She’s hot. Do you know if she’s seeing anyone?”
“No.” Kevin’s irritation grew.
Tyler stood and adjusted his tie, a smirk lighting up his eyes. “Screw the brotherhood. I think I’ll go over and introduce myself.”
Kevin was up in a flash. “I don’t think so.”
“Why not?” he looked surprised. “She looks like she’d be worth a short break from my hiatus from women.”
Kevin stepped in front of his path, his jaw set. “Because you’re a prick who will use her and toss her aside and she deserves a helluva lot better than that.”
Matt was up in an instant, grabbing Kevin’s arm. “Why don’t we get some air?”
“You like her,” Tyler said, slack jawed.
“Of course he likes her,” Matt said. “For someone so smart, sometimes you’re an idiot.”
“In my defense,” Tyler said. “He said they were friends.”
“Okay,” Matt said slowly. “When was the last time you convinced a woman to be just a friend?”
“I rest my case, counselor.”
Tyler sat back down, and Matt tugged on Kevin’s sleeve to get him to join them.
 “I can’t believe you didn’t last even a single week,” Tyler said.
“He didn’t last a single day,” Matt told him. “He slept with her the night after our agreement to remain single.”
Tyler burst out laughing. “For a tough-ass former Marine, I expected you to be the last holdout, man. At least a week or two.”


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese, which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty (in her own mind) Facebook comments and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn't lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.




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Repost of my A rated Review:

Although I have several of Denise Grover Swank's books in my TBR pile, this is the first book I've gotten to read by her. Wow...I really liked it. She has a great, easy-to-read style that I found difficult to put down. From the very beginning this story sucked me in and didn't let go until the final page.

This story is about Holly. She's a wedding planner working for a very demanding boss, Nicole. She lives with her cousin in a little bungalow that used to belong to their grandmother...who is begin to suffer from dementia and is in a nursing home that Holly pays for with her salary as a wedding planner. Right now she's willing to put up with Nicole's demands because of her grandmother, but Holly is also working to build her reputation so that someday she'll be able to strike out on her own with her own wedding planning business. 

Kevin just left the Marines and came home to work for his buddy and flip a project house. He tasked his sister to find the house for him. She found the next one to where Holly lives and that's how the two meet. They have instant chemistry, but that worked for me in this book.

In fact, pretty much everything worked for me in this book. First of all, I need to mention Whiskers. Can there be anything sexier than a man holding a kitten? The visuals of Kevin like this made my mouth water. Also, I loved what Nicole added to the story for both Kevin and Holly's situation. It was the perfect source of conflict without being contrived. I really liked that Kevin is planning to flip his house, but he really needed to know SOMETHING about construction for this plan to be viable...seriously. I liked the bromance between the three men and look forward to more from the series. And I adored the whole wedding planner backdrop. It provided great, romantic visuals that really worked for me as the reader. 

Overall, this was a fantastic book. I'm excited to read more, especially from the glances we got of the other two men throughout this story. I liked it and definitely recommend it for anyone that likes smart, witty, fast-paced contemporary romance.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Change of Address by Jordan S. Brock

Title: Change of Address
Author: Jordan S. Brock
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Hartsbridge Island #1
Main Characters: Michael and Josh
Release Date: October 2016
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Air Force sergeant Michael Baldwin wanted nothing more than to escape his family’s political ambitions, but his dream of freedom was shattered by an enemy bullet to the head. Two years later, he and his service dog, Kaylee, resist his father’s demand to join him on the campaign trail—where a photogenic “wounded warrior” is always an asset—and instead return to the family’s summer home on Hartsbridge Island.

There Michael and his beautiful German shepherd capture the attention of Josh Goldberg, co-owner of the local bagel shop. Josh has a knack for business and a killer repertoire of his bubbe’s recipes. But lack of education undermines his confidence, and Josh’s father doesn’t share his ambition for the restaurant’s future.

Chicken soup and bacon might be the way to Michael’s heart, but he and Josh need time to learn about everything that comes after—lessons that Governor Baldwin and his relentless ambition will do anything to thwart. Letting someone in is a tall order for two men who can’t trust themselves, but if they have any hope of a future together, that’s exactly what they’ll need to do.

My Review:
Whoa...this book was so much more than I expected and I loved that. It's always a risk when you pick up a new author, but this risk was a good one. I do really enjoy this author's voice. It was an extremely readable book with a very sweet romantic story. I fell totally in love with Josh and Michael.

Josh grew up on this small island. He and his dad run the local bagel shop. He's used to the comings and goings of the rich tourists. His family is a big NYC Jewish family...lots of extended, nosy family, but on the island, it's just him and his dad. Luckily his father is very accepting of Josh's bisexuality. As long as he eventually gets grandkids somehow, he's completely supportive of Josh. 

Michael comes from a very different family. His father is a cold senator with his political ambitions focused completely on the White House. He and Michael have never seen eye to eye since Michael joined the military, but now he sees Michael as a commodity for his campaign. There's nothing better than a wounded military vet that his father can parade out in front of the masses. The issue...Michael's brain trauma canNOT deal with that kind of pressure or stress.

So Michael escapes to the family vacation estate on the island with his service dog...LOVED her so much. 

On the surface, Michael and Josh have nothing in common. They come from completely different backgrounds, but there's an instant attraction for both of them...although neither thinks he deserves it. 

This was such a good book just because there were so many real-life obstacles standing in the way of their happiness. And all of them felt very believable. The author wrote both of these characters incredibly well...most especially their challenges that they both have. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and cannot wait to read more from this author. This was a fabulous beginning!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Too Wild to Tame by Tessa Bailey

Title: Too Wild to Tame 
Author: Tessa Bailey
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Romancing the Clarksons #2
Main Characters: Aaron and Grace
Release Date: September 2016
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Sometimes you just can't resist playing with fire . . . 

By day, Aaron Clarkson suits up, shakes hands, and acts the perfect gentleman. But at night, behind bedroom doors, the tie comes off and the real Aaron comes out to play. Mixing business with pleasure got him fired, so Aaron knows that if he wants to work for the country's most powerful senator, he'll have to keep his eye on the prize. That's easier said than done when he meets the senator's daughter, who's wild, gorgeous, and 100 percent trouble.

Grace Pendleton is the black sheep of her conservative family. Yet while Aaron's presence reminds her of a past she'd rather forget, something in his eyes keeps drawing her in. Maybe it's the way his voice turns her molten. Or maybe it's because deep down inside, the ultra-smooth, polished Aaron Clarkson might be more than even Grace can handle . . . 
My Review:
There is one word that fully describes this book...passionate. 
Whoa, is this book hot, like scorching steam rising off the page!

This is a total opposites attract story. Aaron is an extremely reserved and manipulative politician. Nothing gets to him emotionally...nothing. Not his family, not this commemorative road trip because of his dead mother, not guilt over what he's done to further his career. He's completely driven to hit his political goals and nothing is going to stand in his way. 

Grace is...other-worldly. She's a wild child. Something traumatic happened to her when she was 16 and that's affected everything about how she approaches the world. Needless to say, she does not fit in with her senator father's political life. That's why very few people even know of her existence. 

I'll be honest...this book is not going to be for everyone. When I started reading it, it was hard to know whether I was going to love or hate it. Grace looks at the world completely different from anyone else does. She almost seems like she's a little mentally off, especially at first. And the whole book reflects that. There's a surreal quality to the writing that is just like Grace is. Everything feels floaty and symbolic and has the tiniest magical edge to it....and that definitely is not going to work for everyone. But once I let myself sink into the rhythm and the writing of the book, I found it beautifully written and well done. 

And that's before we even get to the relationship between Grace and Aaron. Aaron is used to having everything in his life a very set, certain way. Grace comes nowhere close to fitting into that mold and her presence throws everything about Aaron off and out of whack. That's freeing for him and his entire whole responds to that change...that freedom. It puts him in a place where he's out of control. Grace spins him out of control.'s a gorgeous thing to read.

Needless to say, I loved this book. It was phenomenal to read. I felt transported to a magical place where anything is possible including the melting and transformation of a guy like Aaron. It was gorgeous!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.