Review: Scoring Off the Ice by Stacey Lynn

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Title: Scoring Off the Ice
Author: Stacey Lynn
Series: Ice Kings #2
Publisher: Self-published by Stacey Lynn
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 3.5 stars

There is no playbook for situations like this.

Sometimes scoring off the ice leads to the greatest rewards.

I’ve had only one goal in life since I first strapped on a pair of skates—make America’s pro hockey league.

I left Denmark. I made it to the top. Now, I’m determined to be the best. No distractions. I eat, sleep, and breathe hockey.

Until my birthday when my teammates convince me to live a little.

But living a little takes on a whole new meaning when less than a year later I’m confronted with a crying baby on my doorstep, drooling on a note that declares he’s mine.

Suddenly, I’m a single dad in way over my head.

There is no playbook for situations like this.

Luckily, I have Paisley.

My gorgeous neighbor, my long-time crush, and now—my savior.

She’s there any time I need her.

Helping. Guiding. Gazing at me with those green eyes that make me feel capable of this after all.

With her at my side, I’m quickly learning there’s more to life than winning a hockey game.

Review:

I enjoyed this book. It was a lighthearted sports romance with two characters who knew they were meant for each other the first time they had an actual conversation with one another. Even if that conversation was Paisley knocking on Mikah’s door to say “hey there’s a baby in our hallway that I’m pretty sure is yours.”

Paisley and Mikah were cute. They weren’t my OTP or anything like that, but I didn’t hate them. They had some clear chemistry and because of Angelo we got to see their relationship develop in a real way. It wasn’t just about their physical connection. We got to see the emotional connection between them as well.

My one big issue is that the ending felt super rushed. The conflict between Paisley and Mikah was solved way too easily. We didn’t even get to see them discuss it. It was just mentioned in passing after they made up that they talked about what happened. I was so looking forward to reading about Mikah explaining everything to Paisley.

Overall, this was a cute sports romance. I enjoyed it enough and if the third book in the series is about the player I think it’s about, then I’ll most likely pick it up.

About Stacey Lynn:

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Stacey Lynn likes her coffee with a dash of sugar, her heroes with a side of bossy, and her wine a deep shade of red.

The author of over thirty romance novels, many of which have been best-selling titles on Amazon, AppleBooks, and Barnes & Noble, she loves being able to turn her vivid imagination into a career that brings entertainment and joy to her readers. Focused on sports romance and emotional, small-town romance, she also loves stretching herself in different genres.

Born in Texas and raised in the Midwest, she now makes her home in North Carolina and loves all things Southern. Together with her ultimate tall, dark, and handsome hero, she has four children. Her life is a chaotic mess that fights with her Type-A, list-making, neurotically organized preferences and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Review: Let’s Get Physical by Cassie Cross

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Title: Let’s Get Physical
Author: Cassie Cross
Series: Love Is… #2
Publisher: Self-published by Cassie Cross
Publication Date: March 26, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

Corinna McKnight is a chronically single girl in need of toned abs and a hot date for a wedding that her highly successful, deliriously happy lifelong frenemy will be attending. The weddings is only six weeks away and she doesn’t have much time to make it look like she has her life together. Luckily, her best friend’s boyfriend owns the hottest gym in town and sets he up with Noah, the best personal trainer he has on staff.

Noah Cartier is at a pretty good place in his life. He has a job and he loves working for his best friend, Hinter. Noah is in high demand, mostly for his talent, but sometimes for his body and Hunter has one very firm rule: no fooling around with the clients.

It’s an easy rule to follow until he meets Corinna, who makes him want more out of life and leaves him straddling the line between breaking a promise and betraying his heart.

Review:

Corinna is going to be attending a wedding in six weeks, one that her frenemy/rival will be attending as well. She might not have the heart surgeon husband and the perfect instgram feed, but she is determined to have the hottest body. She decides to find a personal trainer and her best friend’s husband (who owns a gym) sets her up with his best personal trainer on staff.

Turns out, Corinna and Noah know each other from when they were young teens and she used to stay at her grandparents house during the summer, while Noah lived next door. The moment they lay eyes on each other, romance ensues.

Usually I’m not the biggest fan of novellas because everything develops so quickly. Characters fall in love in the blink of an eye or the turn of a page. However, this was such a feel-good novella. I flew through it and loved it.

This was the cutest novella. If you’re looking for an adorable romance read that you can easily get through in a day and is likely to boost your mood, then definitely check this one out!

About Cassie Cross:

Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.

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Review: His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey

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Title: His Royal Highness
Author: R.S. Grey
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by R.S. Grey
Publication Date: November 14, 2019
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 2.5 stars

I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek.

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end.

He’s just biding his time.
Making me sweat.

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.
And he wants me.

Review:

It physically pains me to rate an R.S. Grey book at 2.5 stars, but here we are. In my eyes she is the queen of writing laugh out loud romantic comedies with heroines that are adorably relatable and heroes that make you swoon. Unfortunately, His Royal Highness just didn’t vibe with me.

The two things that bothered me most about this book with the main female character and the romance. Whitney and Derek first met 8 years ago when she was interning at the park. She was 18 and he was 28. He was her mentor. Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of a great age gap romance? Yes. Was it the beginning of a great age gap romance? No. Basically she had a crush on him and he then left to go work at the theme park in London.

Fast forward 8 years later and Derek comes back to the Unites States and is back working at the park. Has Whitney gotten over her school girl crush on Derek? No. Is she dramatic and acts immature? Yes. Does she overreact in thinking that he basically abandoned her when all there was between them was her crush and it’s not like he left her in the middle of a relationship? You bet your ass she did.

Listen. Age gap romances are my weakness. Sign me the fuck up for one of those any damn day of the week. But even though she’s now 26 and he’s 36, she somehow reverted back to 16 with her attitude and immaturity and that just wasn’t for me. Nothing grinds my gears more than adults who act like children.

I’m sorry. This one just wasn’t for me. Over 10 R.S. Grey books under my belt with mostly 5 stars, but I just couldn’t hop on board for this.

About R.S. Grey:

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R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughter, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga!

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Review: Weekend Wife by Erin McCarthy

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Title: Weekend Wife
Author: Erin McCarthy
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by Erin McCarthy
Publication Date: February 3, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 2 stars

Billionaire businessman in need of a fake fiancée…

It should be the easiest job ever for an out-of-work actress, right?

All I have to do is pose as Grant Caldwell (the Third)’s fiancé for a fancy-pants weekend in the Hamptons. Easy. Wear designer clothing and sip champagne? Don’t mind if I do. Flirting with Grant? It’s so delicious I should be paying him.

Nothing can go wrong as long as I can just keep my hands off of him.

But that’s the hard part. And I do mean hard.

Because Grant is sexy.

And bossy.

And surprisingly sweet, a real rarity in his pretentious family.

Oops. I’m not as good at faking it as I thought. Or maybe they call this method acting. Because it’s getting harder to figure out where my character ends and I begin…

It just might be the role of a lifetime.

Review:

I know I’m in the minority, but oh wow this was not the book for me.

Going into this I had such expectations of a cute love story. They make their arrangement, spend a weekend in the Hamptons and realize that “oh no this person is pretty great how do I deal with that” and then go back to their lives in New York and try to navigate around these feelings for one another and eventually (strong emphasis on the EVENTUALLY) fall in love. That sounds cute, right? Yeah, that was not what I got.

Everything seemed like it was done to the extreme. For example, Grant’s family. They were a caricature of what we would imagine a mean billionaire family to be like. His family would have been perfect for the dramatics of the CW. They were what I assume the family on Dynasty is like.

Then of course, there was the insta-love between Leah and Grant. To me, insta-love is a complete turnoff so when I read about it, it’s hard for me to come back from that. Sure, he went to the restaurant once a week for six months, but all he did was eat chocolate chip pancakes broodingly while Leah did her job. Staring at a woman once a week for six months does not a relationship make. After two weeks of knowing each other they’re both the human version of the heart-eye emoji saying “I love you” in the Hamptons. No. I can’t deal with that.

It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t too fond of either of the characters. I had no feelings towards either of them so I wasn’t even a little bit invested in their love story. Which made the dramatics at the end seem so much worse to me than it probably was.

This book just did not vibe with me. It wasn’t my thing. It wasn’t for me.

About Erin McCarthy:

Erin McCarthy

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written over seventy-five novels and novellas in the romance and mystery genres. Erin has a special weakness for high-heeled boots, martinis, and Frank Sinatra. She lives with her renovation-addicted husband (he built her a bar, so it’s all good!) and their blended family of kids and rescue dogs.

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Review: Lost Girl by Holly Kammier Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: Lost Girl
Author: Holly Kammier
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: January 5, 2020
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 2 stars

AN APPALLING ACT OF VIOLENCE AND AN UNSOLVED DOUBLE MURDER.

SMALL-TOWN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, SHELBY DAY, IS DETERMINED TO HUNT A KILLER. 

As her search draws closer to uncovering the twisted truth, she begins receiving ominous warnings to stay quiet and drop the story. The young journalist is in danger. Her cameraman and best friend, a person with his own secret past, says he wants to protect her. But Shelby is headstrong and dodging anything that could lead to love. She can’t allow anyone to distract her as she fights for the two women who deserve justice. 

She never expects along the way she’ll have to stop and save herself.

Ticktock… If Shelby doesn’t solve the crime soon, she’ll become the killer’s next victim. 

Review:

Shelby Day is an investigative reporter in a small town. On Halloween night, two young women are killed in their home. She gets the lead on the story and is determined to find the killer to help these women and their families get the justice that they deserve.

Shelby was the worst. I’m sorry, but she was. You know when you’re watching one of those cheesy horror movies about a cabin in the woods and the character constantly does the opposite of what common sense dictates? Oh, there’s a noise in the basement when a crazed murderer has already tried to kill you twice? Let’s go check that out! That was Shelby.

When the killer started leaving threatening notes on her door, she decided to not tell anyone and continue with the investigation because allowing fear to distract her would apparently make her weak. Listen. I get it. She felt some connection to these women and wanted to get justice for them but when a person who just killed two women slasher style starts threatening your life, at least tell the police.

The romance though. No. Nope. One big huge nope. There should not have been a romance in this book. There was absolutely no connection between Jack and Shelby. I didn’t even realize that there were any feelings between them until it started being forced and awkward. Jack was possessive. So possessive and gross to the point that he became a suspect in my eyes. And Shelby. Well. I said what I said about her. Imagine how that lack of common sense adds to a romance.

The ending was choppy. I felt like the book dragged on and then suddenly it was over. It was disappointing because I wanted way more action after all the threats and the buildup to the reveal of the killer. Even after the fight when their lives returned back to normal when the killer was caught. It just didn’t fit.

Giveaway:

  • Prize: $15 Amazon gift card
  • International
  • Ends January 16, 2020
  • Enter HERE

About Holly Kammier:

Holly

Co-owner of Acorn Publishing, the UCLA honors graduate is an accomplished content editor/writing coach (her authors have gone on to become USA Today best-sellers and a New York Times best-seller). With a background in journalism, Holly Kammier has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon.

She is the best-selling author of the novel, Kingston Court (Acorn Publishing 2015), and Could Have Been Hollywood, a memoir. Holly recently published her third book, Choosing Hope, a harrowing story of passion and deceit, and the things we do for love. Her next novel, the YA Romantic Suspense, Lost Girl, is scheduled for release in early 2020.

Holly resides in her hometown of San Diego, California, close to family and friends. An avid reader with a passion for timeless books and beautiful writing, she also enjoys long walks, romantic movies, and pink peonies.

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