Review: Rules of Engagement by J.T. Geissinger

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Title: Rules of Engagement
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by J.T. Geissinger
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

As the owner of Perfect Pairings matchmaking service, Maddie McRae earns her living helping others fall in love. Dubbed the Wedding Whisperer due to her success getting couples down the aisle, the sweet Southern belle knows that the foundation of wedded bliss is built on similarities: opposites might attract, but they don’t stay together.  

Which is why she’s holding out for her own Prince Charming, a perfect gentleman who will arrive one day and sweep her off her feet with his devotion, kindness, and charm. 

Enter Mason Spark. 

Rude, arrogant, and notoriously allergic to monogamy, the hottest quarterback in the NFL is Maddie’s polar opposite. He’s also her new client. Her gorgeous, infuriating new client who’s paying her an outrageous sum of money to find him a wife. With his multi-million dollar contract on the line due to his behavior on and off the field, bad boy Mason is willing to pretend to settle down.  

But when he starts to fall for the adorkable matchmaker who can’t stand him, the playboy finds himself in the game of his life to keep something he never thought he’d lose—his heart.

Review:

This book is everything I wanted in a rom-com. Everything. I want to shout it from the rooftops that you all need to pick this up and read it immediately.

Rules of Engagement gave me R.S. Grey vibes in terms of the heroine of the novel (which is a high compliment because in my eyes she is the rom-com queen). Maddie was sassy and sarcastic without ever actually being mean. Her sense of humour was her shining point. She could dish it and take it and that is the best kind of heroine you could ask for in a rom-com. She was also a little bit clueless about Mason, but in the way you would come to expect in a romance. That little bit of back and forth that makes things more interesting.

The romance between Maddie and Mason was the cutest. I can’t remember the last time I’ve rooted for a couple so hard despite knowing that they are obviously going to end up together. They were the perfect match. Opposites who complimented one another so well. They had also each gone through some familial trauma when they were younger and I think that allowed them to understand the other better in terms of how they react and adapt to more difficult situations.

Each of the side characters added their own flair to the story. They all had their place that added to Maddie and Mason’s romance. I love that Aunt Waldine and Dick each had a chapter or two from their perspective. It made the story that much more authentic and really added to the comedy aspect of rom-com.

I really really loved this book. I had high expectations going in, and it smashed them all out of the park. This is a rom-com you need to add your TBRs.

About J.T. Geissinger:

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J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.

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Review: Dead Ringer by Kat Ross – Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: Dead Ringer
Author: Kat Ross
Series: Gaslamp Gothic #5
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: December 13, 2019
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 5 stars

A poisonous secret.

A terrifying curse.

And a client she’d just as soon see dead in a ditch…

Summer 1889. Harrison Fearing Pell hoped for adventure when she signed on with the Society for Psychical Research as an occult investigator. Slogging through New York’s sewers in pursuit of a “mud man” wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. But the reeking monster terrorizing the dance halls of the Tenderloin leads her to an even more peculiar mystery — and the last man on earth Harry wishes to become entangled with. 

James Moran is a prodigy in music, mathematics . . . and crime. Harry’s older sister, the famed detective Myrtle Fearing Pell, has vowed to put him behind bars. But Harry owes Moran a personal debt, so when he demands her aid she can hardly refuse. It turns out that the brilliant black sheep of New York Society is part of a secret club at Columbia College whose members have started dying in bizarre ways that may not be accidents. 

Thus begins one of the strangest cases of Harry’s career, a tale of murder, cold-blooded revenge and fairytale bogeymen to make the Brothers Grimm shudder. As the bodies pile up, each preceded by sightings of the victim’s doppelgänger, Harry and her stalwart friend John Weston must race against time to save a man who arguably deserves his macabre fate.

Review:

This is the third book I’ve read in the Gaslamp Gothic series and I must admit, it’s easily becoming one of my favourites. I adored A Bad Breed and The Necromancer’s Bride and my feelings toward Dead Ringer are no different.

James Moran has been one of my favourite characters of the series by far. Despite being the number one crime lord of the city, he was just so damn adorable. The way he would flirt with Harry (who was having absolutely none of his boyish charm)  had me grinning like an idiot every time. I also loved how vulnerable he was with her (and John when he was there). There was none of this macho crap. He realized the gravity of the situation surrounding his friends’ death and took it seriously.

I also loved Harry. She was a strong badass lady who was just a little bit sarcastic and took no crap from anyone. She takes her job very seriously and is 100% committed to her cases. If my life was in her hands, I’d have confidence I’d live to see another day. Her and John were great to read about as well. I loved their working relationship. They complimented each other so well. The way they figured out things together proved how great of a team they were.

The story and mystery itself was so good. I was absolutely flying through the novel wanting to know how the secret society came to be targeted and by who. With seven men in the society and James Moran being an untouchable crime lord, that leads to a lot of options of people that could want to kill them. Add in the paranormal and this story was just *chef’s kiss*

Seriously though. You guys need to pick up this series. I’m obsessed with it and I can’t wait to see what Kat Ross brings to the world next because everything I’ve read from her so far has been beyond amazing.

Giveaway:

  • Enter HERE
  • Prizes: $20 Amazon gift card, 5x eBook copies of A Bad Breed
  • International
  • Ends February 6, 2020

About Kat Ross:

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Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

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Review: Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

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Title: Woman on the Edge
Author: Samantha M. Bailey
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Genre: Thriller
Source: Received a copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

A moment on the platform changes two lives forever. But nothing is as it seems…

‘Take my baby.’

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes forever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or was something much darker going on?

Pulse-pounding, heartrending, shocking, thrilling. This is one book you won’t be able to stop thinking about.

Review:

Morgan is a woman who has already been through a lot in her life, more than most people should have to go through. She’s in the process of trying to rebuild what’s left after her husband’s suicide and the discovery of his fraud.

One night on her commute home from work, a woman she has never seen before approaches her. She looks frantic and frazzled and shoves her infant daughter towards Morgan saying, “take my baby.” In a state of complete shock, Morgan just kind of takes her and in the blink of an eye the mother jumps in front of the incoming train. And so begins another absolute state of chaos in Morgan’s life.

Told in alternating perspectives between Morgan’s life after Nicole jumps and Nicole’s life before she jumps, Woman on the Edge is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat up until the conclusion. It was so fast-paced, I couldn’t put it down. This is one of those books when you need to know what happens next.

The fact that this is a debut thriller novel blows my mind. It was so carefully written and crafted with the experience of a veteran in the genre. I can’t wait to see what Samantha M. Bailey will bring to us next, because if Woman on the Edge was just a hint of what she has to offer the genre, then oh my god give me her next book now.

About Samantha M. Bailey:

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Samantha M. Bailey is a Toronto-based novelist, freelance editor, and journalist who has written extensively for Now Magazine, Oxford University Press, and many other publications. She is the co-founder of “BookBuzz,” a promotional and interactive author event held in New York City and Toronto. She holds a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics and credits that degree with her writing career because she wrote her first (unpublished) novel after taking a course on imagination.

Now her imagination leads her to create dark and twisty stories. Her debut psychological thriller, WOMAN ON THE EDGE, is published by Simon and Schuster Canada and Headline UK, and will be translated into seven languages.

She loves reading as much as writing, so when not tapping away on her computer, she’s probably curled up with a really good book.

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Review: Bad for You by Taylor Holloway

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Title: Bad for You
Author: Taylor Holloway
Series: Lone Star Lovers #9
Publisher: Self-Published by Taylor Holloway
Publication Date: October 2, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Amazon

Rating: 5 stars

The boy next door.
Star of my teenage fantasies.
My tormentor.

After serving as an army doctor in some of the most dangerous places on Earth, Brandon has finally come home. And he’s brought his cocky, alpha attitude and rugged good looks with him. To my hospital. He’s still a loose cannon and I’m right in his sights.

But instead of begging for him to stop, this good girl is having to stop herself from begging for more.
I thought I put my obsession with this moody bad boy to bed.
It now appears that’s right where he wants me.

I’ve always made good choices.
But this time I’m worried I’ll pick the one that’s bad for me, even if Brandon feels oh so right.

Review:

Wow. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Bad for You. Just… wow.

Enemies-to-lovers is pretty high up on the list of tropes I love. It usually leads to crazy intense sexual tension and a lot of sass and snark, which makes my heart very happy. I am pleased to inform you that Taylor Holloway did not disappoint. In fact, she exceeded my expectations (and I was expecting a lot).

This book starts off with a bang right from the prologue. It tugs at your heart and makes you feel for Aimee and Brandon because of the awful circumstances of their childhoods. You get a vivid picture of how their hate for each other started, and let’s be real. Aimee has every reason to hate Brandon.

One of the best parts about Bad for You was the pacing. The last thing you’re going to find is insta-love. It takes place over quite an extended period of time and because of that the romance that develops between Aimee and Brandon feels much more believable and real. It allows you to be fully immersed in the story and all of the events that take place.

Speaking of events taking place, oh boy. For a contemporary romance, there were so many twists and turns and I loved every second of it. It reminded me of Grey’s Anatomy in the early days and I am here for that. Somehow everything just seemed to fit into the story perfectly and it had my on the edge of my seat needing to know what was going to happen next.

Taylor Holloway is an incredible writer and I can’t wait to pick up the other novels in her Lone Star Lovers series. Her ability to write swoon-worthy romance while also tugging at your emotions is off the charts amazing and I highly suggest you grab a copy of Bad for You immediately.

About Taylor Holloway:

Taylor Holloway is a bestselling romance author who writes sweet and sexy stories with just enough of an edge to offset all the feels. Her books are specifically Taylor-ed to make you blush, cry, laugh, ans swoon. She’s an Austin native with a penchant for bad puns, strong margaritas, expensive shoes, and shiny things. When she’s not writing, she’s working a hilariously bland corporate job, spoiling her husband and cat, or going for long walks in the dark.

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Review: The Necromancer’s Bride by Kat Ross – Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: The Necromancer’s Bride
Author: Kat Ross
Series: Gaslamp Gothic #4
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: September 6, 2019
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 5 stars

Forgiveness is not Gabriel D’Ange’s strong suit.

A self-appointed soldier of God with a penchant for ruthlessly punishing his enemies, he vanished after Anne Lawrence stabbed him with his own dagger.

The smart thing would be to let him go.

Unfortunately, Anne’s life isn’t just lonely without Gabriel. It’s insufferably boring.

Determined to heal the rift between them, she goes in search of her tempestuous former lover, black parasol in hand and daeva magic crackling at her fingertips. But Gabriel has his own plans afoot and Anne finds herself drawn into one of his tangled webs, much against her better judgment.

Gabriel’s nemesis has reappeared in Brussels, a vile slaver who’s plundering the Congo Free State with the blessing of King Leopold. Gabriel might be willing to give Anne a second chance, but not until Jorin Bekker’s head is lying at his feet.

Back in London, the quasi-reformed necromancer Balthazar sets his sights on the same quarry. He holds a very personal grudge against Bekker — and killing him might be the only way to keep Gabriel D’Ange from Balthazar’s own throat.

When the hunters collide at a lavish gala thrown by the king, Anne learns just how far she’ll go to save the man she loves.

Review:

So a few months ago I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of A Bad Breed by Kat Ross (the third book in the Gaslamp Gothic series). I freaking adored it. It’s rare for me that I anticipate the next book in a series because a lot of fantasy stories don’t catch my attention the way they used to. But my god, when A Bad Breed ended the way it did I knew I needed the next book as soon as I could get it. And let me tell you, The Necromancer’s Bride did not disappoint. It was worth the wait.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve done this, but I read the last half of the novel in an evening. So many things were happening and I just couldn’t put the book down. There was so much action and I was emotionally involved with the main characters. I wanted to know what was going to happen and how their big plans were going to go down.

Speaking of the characters, I love Anne and Gabriel. I will literally go down with that ship. She’s a badass and Gabriel is stubborn but in the best way. They compliment each other the way a true couple should. I also love Balthazar and Lucas. Their mentor relationship is my favourite thing ever because Balthazar looks out for Lucas and wants more than anything to get that revenge for him. It makes my heart so happy that they’ve been with each other for so long.

This book has absolutely sold me on Kat Ross and her writing. The way she blends fantasy and paranormal with a touch of romance is flawless. She knows how to write a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and her action scenes can be seen in your mind like a movie. During my time reading this, I thought so many times that this book should be made into a movie. The novel is fast-paced but also descriptive at times and in all the right places.

To summarize: you NEED to read this. Read A Bad Breed first, and then pick up The Necromancer’s Bride immediately after. It is so wonderful and I highly suggest picking it up. It’s worth your time and the gothic atmosphere is perfect for the upcoming fall season.

Enter the giveaway HERE

  • 1 signed copy of A Bad Breed
  • 1 of 10 ebook copies of A Bad Breed
  • International
  • Ends September 19, 2019

About Kat Ross:

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Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Goodreads