Tag Archive | Series

Hothead by Stella Rhys–Review

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Evie has had a recent run of bad times. Five weeks prior she was happy, engaged and looking forward to moving into a glorious apartment that she picked out for her and her fiancée. Now, she is continuously leaking tears, calling her ex just to hear his voice and find out what went wrong, and inquiring if they could get back together. Leave it to her ex, Mike, to give her false hope on that topic.

‘We could get back together, Evie. I mean that’s the plan. We’re soul mates. But I need some time apart first.’

Let me just preface this by saying, Mike is a total scumbag (as you will soon see when you read the book). There, now we can move on to the next topic.

Drew, Drew, Drew. (insert sigh) Drew is the cocky a-hole that you love to hate AND hate to love. Oh man, he was one delicious character and written so well. Drew is a pitcher in the MLB and in recent years, hasn’t had the best reputation. There is only one person that knows what makes him tick and what went on when certain names/topics are brought up and that is his agent, Iain. It is only recently that Drew finds out that the word ‘trade’ has been linked with him. He is upset and furious, because his best friend, Emmett is his agent’s partner and younger brother of the owner of his team. Iain has told him that he needs to clean up his act.

Drew ends up at a bar, where he is sitting in the corner sulking about this recent news. While sitting there he overhears a woman on the phone crying and begging to talk to whomever was on the other end (Evie was leaving a message for Mike). He interrupts her and they get into a heated argument which ends in a kiss. This very public scene turns into the latest headlines, ‘Drew Maddox publicly grovels with girlfriend.’ This turns into a plan initiated by his agent, to restore Drew’s wild ways and party lifestyle. Insert Evie. The plan is for her to play the part of girlfriend to fiancée who moves in with Drew, to give off the appearance of a solid, steady and stable relationship.

I loved Evie and Drew together. Each displayed their own character tics, but what was pleasant to read was the many layers to each character. Evie may have appeared to be a whiny, sniveling doormat, but she truly had an enormous amount of inner strength and eventually a positive self-esteem. As I said earlier, Drew was cocky and an a-hole on the surface, but when pulling those layers back, he was a big teddy bear.

This couple experiences ups and downs, rough times, good times, emotional times, but where does this lead to? Do they get their happily ever after? I completely recommend this book!

Mr. So Wrong by R.C. Stephens–Review

Mr. So Wrong is the second book in the series, but can be read as a standalone. We first meet Al in Mr. All Wrong, which is about his friend, Colton.

Albert Walsh the Third sounds like such a pretentious name, but truth is he’s just Al. Al is a guy who gave up that wealthy, snobby, privileged life a decade ago. The only remaining person that he talks to is his younger sister. Mr. So Wrong picks up where book one left off. His best friend has found love and is moving on, while Al is happy for him, this makes him unemployed and slightly lost. With nothing in sight, he plans a trip to spend Christmas with his younger sister at the family cabin in Colorado. Let’s just say his Porsche is not equipped for near blizzard like conditions and ends up in the ditch.

Samantha Belmont is a little girl who is lost and running away from life, despite, never leaving her hometown. Sam had made a promise to her mother when she was nine years old to make it out of their small town and find a good man to love. Here we are present day, where Sam is twenty-three and working side by side with her father on the ranch. Sam is coming home during the middle of the snowstorm and finds Al in the ditch. He is unconscious and freezing cold, so she takes him home (the home she shares with her father). It is the quintessential story of country girl and city boy.

Mr. So Wrong is a perfect balance of second chance romance among two damaged people, emotionally intense histories, new love/beginnings and breaking down the emotional barriers. Ms. Stephens wrote a book that was gripping, astonishing and outright beautiful. The plot and storyline was well done, as was the dual POV (past/present). The only negative I have is with the epilogue. If you are an epilogue whore, like myself, I was just plain wanting more. I felt that it was kind of lacking. Other than that, I truly do recommend this book.

“Even great men fall. I made fun of my best friend as he was falling hopelessly in love with his girlfriend. It was a jackass move I know. I’d been in love before but love was for fools. I promised myself I’d never fall in love again which means right now with Sam I’m totally screwed.”

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Escort by Skye Warren–Review

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I don’t know where to start on this one really. I am very conflicted, while I normally LOVE Skye Warren’s writing, Escort was a little different for me.

I loved the characters, Hugo and Bea, especially Bea. Bea is the sheltered, agoraphobic virgin who hires Hugo to de-flower her, because of a specific reason. However, upon meeting Bea, Hugo is hooked from her looks to her sweet, pure and innocent soul. She is a phenomenal pianist who has the ability to take any song and make it her own. For someone who is afraid to go outside, she has a YouTube channel with millions of followers where she showcases her music.

Hugo (as you can guess) is an escort. He appears to have it all, with wealth, looks, charm and the ability to make any women feel good. What he is lacking though is his sense of self-worth. He is used to feeling empty and alone. What he isn’t used to is this sweet and charming individual to be able to read him like a book. He soon finds himself falling hard.

“They aren’t asking about Hugo Bellmont, the man. They want the persona. That’s all I have to give them, anyway.”

Hugo and Bea are falling hard for each other, doing things that neither thought they could do and have a true and genuine connection. I loved their easygoing nature and witty banter between them. It was easy to root for them as a couple.

Now, I’m going to preface this next part by saying, I was experiencing a migraine while reading some of this story and don’t know how much it influenced some of my feelings. I felt slightly disconnected with certain aspects of the story. When it was just Bea and Hugo…5 stars excellent. When additional characters were brought in, I’m not sure I understood the need for them and the storyline they presented. I have to say, I’m iffy when it comes to this aspect.

That aside, Skye Warren, did a great job of bringing her main characters to life, full of emotion! Normally, I love her stories and writing, but something just seemed amiss. 🤷‍♀️

Glam Squad & Groomsmen by Samantha Chase–Review

 

Glam Squad & Groomsmen is the fourth book in the Enchanted Bridal series.  This is the first book that I have read in the series and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything, because I didn’t read the others.

This is about Penny and Spencer. I have to admit when I read the blurb, I was picturing all sorts of drama or salacious history. That wasn’t part of the story, but that was ok. What I got was so much better.

“He had always been her ideal man. Sandy brown hair, clear blue eyes and he still wore those wire-rimmed glasses that just totally worked for him.”

Penny and Spencer have a long history with each other. Penny’s longtime friend, Eva, also happens to be the sister to Spencer (Penny’s ex-boyfriend). They have gone out and due to wrong time and immaturity, they have broken up twice.

“It was during one of those games of dress up that Spencer had first kissed her. She was six, he was eight and Eva had conned him into being the groom for their pretend wedding game. And ever since then, she’d been hooked. On Spencer, not playing dress up.”

Spencer and Penny have had an on again/off again type relationship over the years and haven’t seen each other for a while. Currently, Penny is working at Enchanted Bridal as an assistant manager during the week and on Friday nights, she models bridal gowns for them. On one such Friday night, this is where she is caught by one of her bosses trying to escape, because Eva and Spencer are there for the fashion show. Eva is getting married and Spencer drew the short end of the straw when it came to be tagging along.

Spencer Buchanan is living life in Atlanta as an in-demand and up and coming architect. His father has an architect design firm in Raleigh (where Penny and Enchanted Bridal are located). Spencer’s dad has been aggressively trying to get Spencer to take over the company, but he has other plans.

Penny has plans for her life as well. She loves working at Enchanted, but she wants more out of life. She has a business plan drawn up for her Glam Squad. Penny is a certified cosmetologist that allows her to do hair and makeup. She wants to make this her permanent business, she currently helps in this fashion for the Friday night bridal shows, but desperately wants her own business.

Penny and Spencer have obviously matured since their college days, but has time put enough distance between that history and now? Will old hurts and feelings prevent them from making another run at a relationship? Penny and Spencer are great together, but they have many issues and hurdles to get over, before they can see their HEA.

“Spencer Buchanan was the one who got away. They just weren’t meant to be.”

Glam Squad & Groomsmen will take you on a journey that includes friendship, love, a love that includes distance, as well as highs and difficult lows.

 

Outcast by Jamie Schlosser–Review

Oh my God. Wow. Day-um. As usual, when it comes to Jamie, I am in awe of what I’ve read/what she wrote. Outcast is just EVERYTHING!

This is Ezra’s book, who happens to be Jimmy’s little brother from Dropout. Outcast starts out with Ezra in high school. He is a freshman who is picked on by other kids in the school for a disability that makes him walk with a limp, therefore making him slow in the hallways, ‘being a little soft around his middle’ for his lack of physical activities and a big case of low self-esteem. On one of his bad days, he has a brief moment of sunshine in the form of a new girl in school, Kayla. That moment is squashed when one of the football players indicates that she can sit next to him. So, Ezra is back to drawing and longing from afar. Fast forward to senior year (almost graduation) when Ezra and Kayla take off.

Ezra is off to an intense Physical Therapy boot camp while Kayla is stuck at home. They are relegated to snail mail and the occasional call. They are both attending the same college and this is what gets them through. Before sending Ezra off to college, his parents present him with a German Shephard service dog, Pierre. (Side note: Pierre is everything, he is so cute and lovable. Yes, I’m writing about a fictional dog, but Ms. Schlosser has written him so well, it’s like he was there with me). Back to college, Ezra has changed physically (more fit and able to walk without a limp most times) and he has gone through a mini makeover to update how he feels inside. His self-esteem is higher and generally feels better about himself.

Ezra and Kayla are the epitome of sweet, saccharine sweet young love. They are ‘it’ together and it was refreshing to read a book that explores young, college, virginal love that is true and built to last. Do they have their ups and downs? Of course, what couple doesn’t, but they mature and grow together as a couple while exploring themselves individually. I love them as a couple, but I LOVE EZRA! He was your ‘non’-hero hero and it was fantastic.

Something else that was executed flawlessly and at an incredibly poignant time in the real world were some of the topics that these two go through. Two main themes are bullying and hazing. Even though these are fictional characters, it is very hard to read these topics and not think of our youth (no matter what age they are) experiencing this on a daily basis. Whether this is through school, activates or just anywhere in the outside world. It was touching and sad at the same time. SO PERFECTLY WELL WRITTEN!!

Outcast is a very sweet, emotional read without ‘external’ drama. It is about a boy, a girl and of course, my sweet Pierre. Through the course of their ride from high school to college to the real world, they meet some great secondary characters. For those of you that have read, ‘Dropout’, Jimmy and Mackenna do make an appearance, so it was great to get a little follow up from them.

This book is everything! It encompasses so many great topics, emotions, sweet love to a HEA! I HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend it! It was beautiful and exquisitely written. There is one area I must address. There appears to be a little war on my boyfriend through social media (Book Snob Sue😉), but I will concede on the terms that I get Pierre and get dibs on Jamie Schlosser’s next hero!! In all seriousness, don’t even sample this book and just one-click! If I could, I’d give it more than 5 stars, but I can’t, so I will say here and now that I give it 5+ stars!! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“—But I can promise you one thing. You are, and will always be, my favorite thing about life.”

 

Menace by Laramie Briscoe–Review

Ms. Briscoe, Thank you for writing Menace/Mason’s book. I have been swooning over him in previous books and was so excited when he finally got his own story.

Officer Mason ‘Menace’ Harrison is with the Laurel Springs Police Department, where he specifically works with the Moonshine Task Force. Mason is a thirty-four-year-old man, who has sacrificed everything in his life for the past eighteen years. Why? Because this man had a child when he was only sixteen-years-old and was left alone to raise his son, Caleb. That’s right, Mr. Hottie in a uniform is a single dad who has devoted all his time for his son.

“I knew without a doubt, at sixteen-years-old I would do whatever it took to make this boy of mine a success. It’s been a hard eighteen years.”

Caleb is now a senior in high school and has taken it upon himself to set his dad up on an internet dating website. It’s through this dating app that he meets Karina. They go on their date and have a great time, sparks fly, the whole shebang. Afterword, Karina (Rina), ghosted him. Through a career experience day at the local high school, they realize Rina is Caleb’s teacher when Menace goes in to talk to the class.

Here’s the thing. Karina and Menace have a wonderful and loving relationship. They are enjoying the get to know you stage and figuring out the dynamic with Rina dating Caleb’s dad, Menace, while still being Caleb’s teacher. It works and I loved reading about them, but what I really have to gush over is the father/son relationship between Mason and Caleb. Mason is just plain sworthy (swoon + worthy; a hottie worthy of praise) with the way he loves his son (beware of exploding ovaries). Caleb, I freaking loved Caleb. He was very wise and beyond his eighteen years. Of course, he did have to grow up quickly when his dad wasn’t around a lot for work, but he absolutely adores his dad. There was so much love, trust and friendship between these two, it was great to read about a positive father-son relationship.

“If it weren’t for you loving me enough to stick around, I wouldn’t be here. I’ll never know all the sacrifices you made, and I’ll never understand what you went through in order to be the amazing dad you’ve been to me my whole life, but know I love you for every single one of them…I just thought it was important that you know that.”

Karina was almost like a breath of fresh air. Once she got over her hang-up (regarding something that happened on the first date), she was all in with this ready-made family. She took everything in stride and quickly immersed herself with Mason and Caleb like she’s been there the whole time. It was refreshing to read about the growth and development of the characters (father-son, father-Karina, Karina-Caleb and most importantly, Menace, Rina and Caleb as a family). It was beautiful!

“Karina Holland has fuckin turned my life upside down, sideways, and destroyed my careful existence.”

There continues to be a moonshine issue within the high school. This allows the appearance of the MTF to be read about, although a good chunk of the book was dedicated to the new, emerging family and what develops along the way.
I absolutely loved this book and wholeheartedly recommend it to you. MTF is a series, but you could read it as a standalone, as any important factors are explained well (characters and couplings). Even more exciting is that Caleb is going to get his own book!! I can’t wait to read about him.

 

“The teenage fuckup, the single dad, and the loner of the crew -none of those labels apply any more. The one that does? Mason Harrison; happy man.”

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Law and Beard by Lani Lynn Vale–Review

First, I should say, that I don’t know where she gets all her sayings that she starts each chapter with. Those alone are worth the read in this book.

“I’m at that age where a twenty-two-year-old is looking good…but so is his dad.” -Winnie’s secret thoughts

We finally get the story behind the President of the Dixie Wardens motorcycle club, who happens to be the Chief of Police as well. Let me introduce you to the “silver haired hottie who has muscles on top of muscles” and looks mighty fine in a pair of Wranglers. Steel Cross, also known as Big Papa to the boys in the department and in his MC. He is an older man with a grown son (Sean, 34). Big Papa has a heart of gold, loves his life and loves his career and MC. He believes that he has everything he needs, between the MC and their spouses, his family and his career. As a fifty-something he feels that he is complete. However, he hasn’t met the new neighbor yet. 😏

Winnie Holyfield is the single mother with two children who lives across the street. Conleigh is her sixteen-year-old, who is going on forty-three. Conleigh was her surprise baby when Winnie was sixteen years old herself. Cody is her five-year-old son from her ex-husband, Matt Holyfield. The plot thickens when you find out that Matt is an officer in the police department under Steel Cross. Cody is so stinking cute with his nuggets of knowledge that he lets loose anytime.

“Did you know that there are thirty-two ways to fold a piece of paper and make it look like a dolphin?”

Winnie is relatively fresh out of a bad marriage, along with some serious health issues. She works as a paramedic at the local hospital. Since she is having so many financial issues, she takes extra shifts at the hospital, which means Conleigh has had to grow up quickly. Conleigh is completely aware of the financial stress her mom is under and does something that is normally out of character. BP (Big Papa) catches her shoplifting and instead of taking her in, he brings her home instead to talk to her parents. BP meets Winnie, the auburn-haired beauty with bright green eyes and strong muscular legs. Needless to say, BP is hooked. Unfortunately, BP keeps having these little run ins with Conleigh and each time he turns it into a learning experience. He steps up as the surrogate dad, when there isn’t one.

Besides dealing with a non-caring ex-husband, financial woes and a teenager, Winnie’s past is about to hound her in a very big way. To say she has baggage is an understatement, but who’s there to pick her up, watch her back and be her protector? Yep, Big Papa. The love that blossoms between them is a beautiful thing to witness. Winnie soon realizes that when you have BP on your side, you also have all the Dixie Warden’s and their spouses on your side as well.

Steel and Winnie are wonderful characters to read about. Winnie is a fighter with a lot of inner strength and Steel is a good guy, who takes care of those he loves. True alpha all the way. Winnie’s past is a true testament to how far he’ll go for his loved ones.

Law and Beard was well written, fast paced, full of highs and lows along with lots of laughter from all characters involved (especially Cody). Pick up Law and Beard for one heck of a good read.

Some additional chapter headers that made me laugh:

“Do you ever wake up and think you’re not really in the mood for human interaction that day, or is it just me?” -Text from Winnie to Steel

“You want to know how lesbian sex works? Well, for starters, both people orgasm.” -True Fact

“What starts with a P and ends with -orn?” -Popcorn (you’re such a perv)