Booty Camp Dating Service by Debra Anastasia

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Booty Camp Dating Service is a wildly successful matchmaking company. The twist? Well, Wolf Saber –who inherited his gift– is NEVER wrong when he matches people. It’s a gift passed down from his grandmother to his mother to him.

He’s sexy but stays behind the scenes, letting his buddy Chance do all the talking while he matches the clients at parties and events. Booty Camp Dating Service travels the country, and nine months after they leave the city there’s always a flurry of weddings and an accompanying baby boom. Booty Camp claims that clients will be 110% satisfied and they deliver on that promise every single time.

Except Wolf refuses to deliver on that guarantee for himself. He doesn’t find love until Hazel Lavender’s best friend pushes her through his front door. Now all he wants to do is make sure Hazel is 110% satisfied…in his bed. Which, ironically, would break the very rules Wolf demands of his employees–no dating clients, ever.

So instead, Wolf and Hazel fight. And kiss. And fight some more.

Will Wolf’s own rules make him the very first Booty Camp Happily Never After? (Book Camp Dating Service is a STAND ALONE!)

So first, Debra Anastasia is amazing. I saw this book recently in a group and the synopsis sucked me in immediately. Then I got a chance to snag an ARC and review it and I am so happy I was given the opportunity.

This book was so fun. I know that sounds sort of silly. But I loved this book from start to finish. We start off with Hazel having the night of her life, or so she thinks. But then it flips quickly on her. Scott…what can I say? Honestly, nothing that Amazon would let me publish in a review. What a jerk! (And that is really the tamest I can say)

So Hazel’s best friend, Claire, wins a lotto to attend Booty Camp when it comes to town. But it costs $1000.00, and Hazel goes along with it. Luckily for Claire, she meets Chance right away and never makes it any further. Hazel isn’t as lucky.

I loved the banter between Wolf and Hazel. Wolf really tries to stay behind the scenes. He has strict rules about staff and clients dating. Its not allowed. He only tells Chance that he can date Claire because he technically met her before she ever even started the process.

Hazel is so feisty. I loved her. I think, if Hazel really existed, she and I would be great friends. Or two people who could cause a lot of havoc when angry. Hazel is immediately mad once she is there and is demanding her money back. But our sweet Hazel paid with a check. And the Booty Camp contract says you have to go on five dates before you get your money back. So Hazel gets wasted and tries to steal a painting. I cheered her on the entire time.

Wolf initially is annoyed but he wants to make sure Hazel gets home okay. So he gets her back to her apartment and sees Scott (the jerk ex) with his new girlfriend. Those two are purposely trying to get Hazel down. So Wolf rescues her as only he can in the moment, by kissing her. But nothing more.

I loved the way this book was written. It was really funny and also endearing. I really felt for Hazel. I think most of us, whether male or female, have had someone treat us terribly and it can bring us down in some of the worst ways. Even if what someone says about us isn’t true, it can really sting when someone takes that low blow at you.

I also admired that while the book has funny parts, there are also serious parts. In particular, with Wolf and his family, and his sister. I liked how she tied that in so it made the issue apparent, but it wasn’t as if Wolf is a totally tortured soul. I also appreciated seeing Wolf dealing with some of the different aspects of the dating world, which include people not using their real photo or a guy being inappropriate to the women. I know people who have done online dating and it can be a crazy place. Seeing some of the crazies slip in was clever but also probably very accurate.

Of course, I’d recommend Booty Camp. We all need a Wolf in our lives, in more than a few ways.

**This book is technically live on amazon, but right now, its listed as only available in paperback. So once the links are updated, I’ll post them on my facebook page. You can find me over there at A Published Romance on FB

 

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Believe by Zoe Danielle

Believe

Believe by Zoe Danielle

Believe follows the story of Kate, whose marriage unexpectedly comes to an end when her abusive husband leaves her. Although, it’s probably a good thing, it still knocks her to the ground.

Needing a fresh start, Kate asks for a transfer in her company and moves to the UK for a six month period. Hoping this will give her the time she needs to clear her head and mend her broken heart.

That’s when she meets Luke.

Luke Bennett is a sexy, dirty, arrogant and an extremely alluring police officer who is interested in getting to know Kate better. Kate’s friends convince her to use this brilliant opportunity as a ‘distraction’ which will help her take her mind from her failed marriage and divorce proceedings.

But a one night stand quickly turns into something more as Kate finds herself falling for Luke…

Advanced readers have described Believe as an addicting read which will make your heart race and mouth water.

This is my first book by this author and I was extremely honored to be asked to review this for her.

The story starts with Kate, and her husband, Dale. To be entirely blunt, Dale is a jerk. I had an ex named Dale so it was extremely easy for me to loathe him. The way he treated Kate made my blood boil. It really did. With that said, as much as it pained me to watch Kate experience his abuse, I felt the author did a really great job with the thoughts that Kate would be going through. I felt like I was right in the room with Kate after Dale was telling her how ugly and worthless she was.

I enjoyed seeing Kate take her remaining strength and go to the UK for work. I think when you’re really beaten down, there are still glimmers of fight and I admired Kate took the sliver insider her and ran with it.

When she finally meets Luke, its a bar and she’s out with her co-workers, who encourage her to just have a one night stand with him. But one night stands sometimes turn into multiple nights…

The chemistry between Luke and Kate was smoldering. I loved Kate’s character; many times we see her reflecting on how Luke treats her nothing like Dale did. How he respects her and is admiring. He isn’t just giving her lip service, he does show her with his actions. Obviously, their physical chemistry is intense. One thing I loved about Luke and Kate is how they managed to push each other, but it was never some insane thing. Yes, they also push the boundaries sexually, but its never into a land of crazy fetishes.

Let me clarify: nothing wrong with crazy fetishes, but I don’t think either of these characters would have really fit that mold. It would have been forced, so I admired the author for restraining them.

I don’t want to give more of the story away, because of spoilers. I really enjoyed this book. The only parts of it I didn’t necessarily like was the ending because it felt like too much happening all at once. For me, I wished the conflict of her divorce came up sooner. There are other conflicts but I just felt they were a bit rushed at the end. Again, its not something that would deter me from this book, but from my personal perspective, I would have liked it spread out a bit.

BelieveTeaser

 

Wednesday by E.L. Todd

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Wednesday by E.L. Todd

It took me a long time to forgive Hawke—a very long time.

But now that I have, I feel nothing but unbridled joy. Everything is exactly as it should have been two years ago. He’s just what I need, and not just now, but forever.

Until disaster strikes.

We promised each other forever, but will Hawke honor that promise when his world comes crumbling down? When the ground cracks below his feet, will we still stand?

Or will we fall?

Did this book give me a heart attack? Yes. I swear…I think E.L. Todd might like to torture readers and her characters.

This book broke my heart. It truly did. I think once you read the first two books (Monday and Tuesday), its so hard to watch Frankie and Hawke ever struggle in anything. At this point, I’m so invested in them that I’m worried if they hit a patch of ice while walking on the sidewalk. I mean, its intense and sort of crazy.

To be entirely honest, I really love E.L. Todd’s writing. She manages to evoke such imagery and very intense feelings for me. I feel like writing about love is truly her calling. She nails it.

But I did not love this book. As a reader, I felt like we Hawke and Frankie go through some of the same battles over and over and to be honest, it was starting to drain on me a bit.

With that said, I did admire aspects of the book. One is that Hawke finally seeks help. I apologize if that is a spoiler for some, but its a part of the book that is paramount. I also valued that Frankie rises above Hawke and manages to achieve other goals of hers. But to be honest, while I liked these things, they also annoyed me. There was a part of me that almost didn’t want them to end up together anymore. A part of me wanted them to not be together just because their back and forth was starting to drain on me mentally.

I still would recommend this book and when I post my review to Amazon, I’d still do 4 stars. This book isn’t written badly or anything like that. Its just that for myself, I feel like two books would have been more adequate or if this book were shorter. But I think to keep seeing Frankie and Hawke do this push and pull, it just became too much for me at certain points.

Its a great series and Frankie and Hawke have a love like no other. Its a love that I think most of us can only hope to find for ourselves.

Something to Believe In by Ella Fox

 

SomethingToBelieveIn

Something To Believe In by Ella Fox

A rock star with millions of adoring fans.
A country girl with a broken heart.

Rock star, Tyson Allen, is the hilarious, in-your-face bass player for one of the world’s most popular bands. Behind his funny-guy exterior hides a tragic past full of unbearable horror. After turning to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain, Tyson hit rock bottom on a New York City sidewalk. For several minutes, Tyson Allen was gone–dead. And now, he’s trying to rebuild a life he nearly lost. He found a way to move forward and live life—a way he was comfortable with. All was going according to plan until he met the new assistant for his band.

In an instant, everything changes.

Daisy Hammond has a slew of her own tragedies. And the last thing she needs is a crush on one of America’s rock legends. But unlike Tyson, her kind and generous heart refuses to push people away. Working with the band isn’t easy as Tyson doesn’t want anything to do with her. Despite his standoffish and rude demeanor, Daisy can’t deny the pull she has for him. Determined to stay away from the bass player with an attitude, she goes about her business without getting in his way. But one night, their desire for one another erupts. Now it’s up to Daisy to pull Ty out of his shell before the tour ends and they go their separate ways. Will she find a way to break down Ty’s walls before it’s too late?

Dear Ella Fox,

what am I supposed to do now? This is the last book in the Renegade Saints series and so now, unfortunately, I’m going to need something else from you. So get cracking.

Being serious for a moment, Ella Fox is one of my go-to’s. We all have them. Its that group of authors that could literally write about the process of cleaning their toilet and we’d one-click and be fascinated. So that is Ella to me. And now I’m lost.

If you’ve read the other books in this series, you’d have to be insanely curious about Tyson. After reading the last book (Cole & Devon’s story), I was like…what is happening with Ty? I mean, this seriously plagued me for months.

I truly can say that I appreciated the approach that Ella took with this book. I actually felt like she went a bit outside of her norm. Not that every book is the same at all. But in past books, we might see more of the Hart family sneak in, or the couple may have more conflict. This book is different. And Ella might say I’m giving her too much credit here, but I felt like this book was the perfect one to give closure to the series as the characters are gaining a certain amount of closure too.

Tyson and Daisy spark immediately. I mean, its intense. And he’s a huge jerk to her to try and push her away. One thing I loved is that the Saints boys know each other so well, so the others are well aware of the this connection. They see it immediately. Instead of leaving Tyson to screw this up royally, they just call him out on it. Which is what a true friend would do for each other.

Once Daisy and Tyson start getting closer and opening up to each other, its explosive. Ella Fox writes the most intense sex scenes. I mean…Tyson and Daisy are off the charts. But its the way they interact otherwise that makes the story really special.

Tyson has had addiction issues and an extremely rough childhood. As someone who has had family members with addiction issues, I felt she gave a lot of reality to Tyson’s character and some of the anxiety that he experienced, especially as he became intimate on a more mental level with Daisy. You knew he really wanted to open up but was scared that she wouldn’t be accepting or that something bad would happen.

As for Daisy, I just loved her. It was hilarious to watch her be professional and then when she would get mad, she just lit up and then her more country roots came out. I enjoyed that a lot. As she learns more about Tyson, and his past, she isn’t trying to slap a band-aid on him. She listens. She understands. She never throws anything in his face or betrays his trust by using his past against him.

I want to give this review more and more of my words, but I keep retracting because I’m scared I’ll leave a spoiler. And of any book, I do not want to spoil this one for you. I want you to experience it for yourself because it will make you think and it will truly make you appreciate the fragility of life and how important it is to have those great people in your corner.

Ella closes out the series so beautifully with Tyson and Daisy. I am not sure how intentional it was for Tyson to be the end, but I thought she did it flawlessly and I adored this book.

Anti Stepbrother by Tijan

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Anti Stepbrother by Tijan

He told me to settle.
He asked what was wrong with me.
He called me an easy target.
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

Okay, y’all…look at that cover. I do not know who the model is but to say I’ve been lusting over him for a few months would not be a lie. This cover caught my eye and I’ve been waiting for the book ever since.

We start by meeting Summer, who is starting college and it happens to be the same college that her stepbrother, Kevin, attends. Summer used to have feelings for Kevin, but that was before he betrayed her. Some wouldn’t call it betrayal, but I would because Kevin is just…I honestly don’t think every horrible word I can find describes Kevin. He’s just a manipulative user and just treats everyone like garbage. I mean, he truly does. Tijan did an amazing job making me hate Kevin. Like, just writing this post makes my blood boil again.

The initial scene is Summer covering for Kevin, but its before she really is aware of what’s happening and I don’t think she truly knows what Kevin does nor his reputation. But this is also when she meets Caden.

Sort of an injection here: I absolutely LOVED how Summer was portrayed. I appreciated how we, as readers, get to realize how attractive Summer is. She isn’t made into that character that is super hot but just doesn’t know it. And yes, Summer clearly is attractive but doesn’t know it. But that doesn’t mean she is wallowing in low self-esteem either, or total oblivion. Summer is sort of socially awkward and funny and just herself. I think if Tijan hadn’t made her character be that way,  I don’t honestly think it would have been believable to see Caden being interested in her.

I also adored Caden. Another side note: this is my first Tijan book. I know, I realize the error of my ways and please forgive me. She is freaking incredible. Getting back on topic (sorry, I stalled out from having a mini fangirl moment). Caden has the reputation of being broody, a fighter, sort of a man-whore. But I love how Caden calls it what it is. If he wants to get drunk and have sex, he does and will. He just owns it. And not in a cocky way. Its matter-of-fact and truthful.

As the story goes, we see different situations happen, but Summer and Caden never really confirm anything. Its obvious they are together, but Summer isn’t sure of the actual title and while she sort of wants to know, she also goes with it. I don’t think until a very pivotal scene later does she fully realize that Caden does truly have feelings for her.

I feel like I’m selling this review a little short but only in the face of saving spoilers. Because I don’t want to spoil the last 20% or so for you. Which, for the record, had me messaging Tijan at like, 1:30AM and telling her thanks for ALMOST killing me but that my soul is slowly being revived. I want you to experience that for yourself. I was caught off-guard and she kills the ending.

I just adored this book. Anti Stepbrother is so good, I would recommend this to everyone. Summer and Caden had one of the most realistic connections and relationships that I’ve read about lately. I mean, we always see the characters connect, but this was different. This was that connection that you want to have, but just can’t because we don’t always have it with everyone. So stop reading my blabbing about connections, go one-click!

Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward

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Neighbor Dearest by Penelope Ward

From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a friends-to-lovers story with sexy new characters.

After getting dumped, the last thing I needed was to move next door to someone who reminded me of my ex-boyfriend, Elec.

Damien was a hotter version of my ex.

The neighbor I’d dubbed “Angry Artist” also had two massive dogs that kept me up with their barking.

He wanted nothing to do with me. Or so I thought until one night I heard laughter coming through an apparent hole in my bedroom wall.

Damien had been listening to all of my phone sessions with my therapist.

The sexy artist next door now knew all of my deepest secrets and insecurities.

We got to talking.

He set me straight with tips to get over my breakup.

He became a good friend, but Damien made it clear that he couldn’t be anything more.

Problem was, I was falling hard for him anyway. And as much as he pushed me away, I knew he felt the same…because his heartbeat didn’t lie.

I thought my heart had been broken by Elec, but it was alive and beating harder than ever for Damien.

I just hoped he wouldn’t shatter it for good.

I was REALLY looking forward to this book. Like, really looking forward to it. And then I didn’t get an ARC. Ugh, #firstworldbloggerproblems. HaHa. So of course, I bought this thing and devoured it in a few hours and kept bouncing between loving Penelope Ward and wondering if she and I would be ending our imaginary friendship before it really had a chance to develop.

Poor Chelsea. Elec was such a tool. Ugh. That guy. The nerve. My poor Chelsea. Sorry, I became really invested in Chelsea. I think it was because you really can see her point in wanting closure and wanting to know what she “did wrong”.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, Damien was listening in on all of her conversations with her therapists and he had no problem making pure fun of her for it. (That therapist was sort of a quack though, I mean…a unicorn?). Thus, their friendship begins.

I really enjoyed how Penelope Ward let this friendship turn into more, but it was so gradual that you could have almost missed it. And I don’t mean that we don’t see moments of steaminess or heat between Chelsea and Damien, I mean she wove it in so easily. You could easily see two friends having the conversations they had and interacting the way they did. It made total sense.

But when Chelsea gets a surprise and sees Elec, Damien rescues her with what I would call the kiss to end all other kisses. You knew it was a moment that Damien both had been wanting and yet, dreading.

Chelsea and Damien were such great characters. Chelsea is just that kind-hearted friend that has no idea how much much people really see in her. I wouldn’t call her oblivious, but I think she is one of those characters who is living life and isn’t spending all of her time worrying about other things that people say about her. That isn’t to say she doesn’t worry, but its not her whole life focus.

Damien is just this observant, super-intelligent guy. Its funny how as we learn more about him in the story, more and more surprises come out. And its not like you’re surprised once you learn the secret. You sort of can see it when you look back. You almost wonder how you didn’t see it.

I don’t want to give away the reasoning why Damien keeps pushing Chelsea away. I will say it was not something I saw coming at all. I thought Chelsea and Damien’s love story was one that was so beautiful and I felt it covered so much true love. Not just the love we like to read about. But the love that really is out there. The love that makes sacrifices. The love that may lead to pain, knowingly. Penelope Ward really did an excellent job with Damien and Chelsea and you are completely missing out if you do not take time to read “Neighbor Dearest”.

Tuesday by E.L.Todd

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Tuesday by EL Todd

Getting over Hawke is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

I couldn’t breathe, sleep, or eat. Every day was more agonizing than the one that followed. But somehow, after two years of suffering, I finally got back on my feet.

And I moved on.

Now I’m living in the city and running my own bakery. Life is good again. I’m surrounded by good friends that I love, and every day is even better than the last.

Until everything changes.

Now I have to face him after two years of silence. I have to look him in the eye and act like he has no effect on me. I have to hold my head high and pretend he didn’t shatter me into a million pieces.

I have to act like he doesn’t mean a damn thing to me.

Can I fool him? Can I fool myself?

I highly would recommend all bloggers have surgeries that put them on bed rest. I am blazing through books I need to review. Its ridiculous how much time one can really devote to reading when they aren’t supposed to be doing anything else.

So after the way “Monday” ended, I am not going to even try and act like I was looking forward to reading “Tuesday”. E.L. Todd has woven such a connection between Frankie and Hawke and I honestly felt like a part of me died at the end of book 1. But back to that surgery that’s left me with more time than I know what to do with…

“Tuesday” starts with Marie and Axel becoming engaged. Frankie has her bakery in Manhattan and its been two years since she’s seen Hawke. We don’t hear about anything else that’s happened in the meantime. I, personally, appreciated that the author took that approach. There is a scene where Frankie and Hawke basically have almost a confessional type of moment and I actually felt that although it was intensely painful to experience, I felt it was right for Frankie to be the one to tell Hawke everything she experienced. Had it just been narrated, I don’t think it would have done it justice.

It was really interesting to see Frankie and Hawke both just existing. I don’t think anyone really noticed their connection until they truly focused on it. I appreciated that when Frankie or Hawke tried to communicate to Axel or Marie about being soul mates, no one really understood. Not because I don’t think Marie and Axel aren’t meant to be together, but I think when you have that special connection with someone, its just there.

I think in life, we sometimes meet people and that connection is just there. No one else understands but its there. That’s what Frankie and Hawke have. This book seemed to more, to me, about both Frankie and Hawke both healing. Its like they were both forgiving themselves and each other at the same time. But even as those things are happening, we are seeing them evolve as a couple. There is a scene where Frankie was upset about the other women in Hawke’s past who have been in his bed. He initially talks to her about it but he rectifies the situation. Not because he just has money and can, but you can tell he truly can see why Frankie feels the way she does. To me, it was a poignant moment.

Not going to lie, I am SO nervous for “Wednesday” because I just don’t know that I think E.L. Todd will make it easy on Frankie and Hawke and I want them to have their happily ever after like, 5 books before this even existed.