Sugar by Mandi Beck

Sugar

Sugar by Mandi Beck

***SUGAR IS A FULL LENGTH STANDALONE ROMANCE***

Country’s hottest bad boy.

That’s what they call me. My label ate it up until I became “too bad” for the good folks of country music. That’s when Hard Candy Records picked me up and took a chance on me. Probably not their smartest move, but I won’t tell them that. Especially when they’ve assigned me a babysitter to try and keep my ass out of trouble. One smart-mouthed, unimpressed, sexy as homegrown sin, Addy Mae Masterson.

She likes to pretend that she doesn’t like me and I like to let her.

I may have a past that haunts me and she may have a habit of getting attached, but damn if I don’t want to show her just how good this bad boy can be.

Oh my god. Go buy this book. It’s in KU, so you can read it that way too. I’ll wait until you get back. Done? Great.

I freaking LOVED this book! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. I can’t even with how much I enjoyed this book. I kept wanting to put it down, because I wanted to drag it out. But then I wanted more so I kept picking it back up.

Beau McCrae is walking sex, with a side of country bad boy. Addy Mae Masterson is a southern sweetheart who isn’t afraid to put Beau in his place. Their chemistry is off-the-charts. If it were possible to actually FEEL sexual tension, I felt it with this couple. *grabs fan*

The way the author approached this story was really phenomenal. I feel like we’ve read about the rockstar falling for the average girl before. But when we see Addy works for Hard Candy Records, and how intelligent and familiar with the industry she is, it changes the dynamic. Seeing these two have to work in the same industry together was fascinating, especially because Addy has to deal with the many (and I do mean MANY) females that clamor all over Beau. Beau, on the other hand, starts to see things through new eyes. One reason I enjoyed that was because it’s not like this change is necessarily forced on him. It happens gradually.

Addy’s character is someone who I’d love to be friends with. One aspect I loved about her was that she gets attached and she owns that. It was sort of used against her in the past, but I think it’s a sign of how big her heart is. I think so many times, we read a story about the heroine trying to hide her faults until it slowly sneaks out. Addy owns right up to it. Her friends know it, she knows it. She’s even very open with Beau about it.

Beau has his own demons to deal with. It was really interesting because as the layers peel back, things aren’t always what they seem. I don’t want to say more because I’ll end up going too much into it and it’ll spoil it for you.

If you’ve read “Stoned” by Mandi Beck, you get small glimpses of Stone, Willow, and the rest of the crew. With that said, if you haven’t read “Stoned”, you’ll still understand everything happening in this story. So still a true standalone.

If you love Sam Hunt, country music, rockstars falling in love, or just a good old Southern love story, you will enjoy this book. I found myself trying to keep a smile off my face the entire time.

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Lucky Number Eleven by Adriana Locke

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Lucky Number Eleven by Adriana Locke

People say not to believe the things you read in magazines, but you know what? Most things you’ve heard about me are probably true.

I totally banged the reporter in the locker room after the championship game last year.

Those pictures in Expose from last summer? Those were not modified.

I’m also not really six-foot tall. (But let’s keep that between us.)

Now, I know you’re wondering about that last Expose headline—the one about me and my teammate (and ex-best friend) Finn Miller’s sister, Layla James. That one is a little more complicated.

Here’s the thing: I’ve played football my whole life. If there’s one thing I know, it’s how to adjust when the game changes. And if there’s one thing I always do, it’s find a way to win.

Granted, the stakes are higher. The playbook has changed. There’s more on the line than (another) MVP title. But guess what hasn’t changed? Me. I’m still Branch “Lucky” Best and I’m not about to fumble this one.

Grab a seat and a subscription to Expose. I’m about to make some headlines. (Again.)

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When I started reading this book, it reminded me, immediately, why I love reading sports romance. Adriana Locke has this uncanny ability to let the characters connect while also making you laugh and grin and smirk as you read. Within the first few chapters, I was giggling and felt like I was right in the story. That feeling is one of the reasons I love to read.

Layla and Branch meet one weekend, when Layla and her friend, Poppy, show up to a family cabin in Illinois. Unbeknownst to them, Finn, Layla’s brother, and Branch also went to the cabin for a weekend break. Finn and Poppy have an off and on again thing happening. But Finn tells Branch that his sister is strictly off limits. But the chemistry between Branch and Layla is undeniable.

Layla is really spectacular and I loved the way her character was written. As a reader, it was easy for me to see why Branch was attracted to her. I don’t mean that just through looks, but from her actual personality. She’s funny, intelligent, and isn’t afraid to push Branch back a bit. But I also loved seeing the side of her that was serious, that had stresses. I feel like in a lot of sports romances, the heroine can be a bit sharp, in terms of fighting the relationship or thinking the guy is just a playboy athlete. I felt like the author kept a really good balance going, where we see Layla’s caution but we also see her still being carefree and letting herself fall for Branch.

Branch’s character was just…I don’t even know. I loved him so much. Again, you can see why people fell in love with him. He’s hilariously funny, charismatic, but yet when his serious side comes out, he really shines. Branch has been a star for awhile, and he knows immediately what people see when they look at him, especially women. He might seem like a jerk in some instances, but he’s incredibly self-aware and thoughtful.

I’ve been a big fan of this author for awhile now. One of my favorite parts of this book are the little nuggets from her other books. They are really subtle and thrown in inconspicuously. If you just opened this book and had never read anything from the author, you’d be none the wiser. But if you’ve been a longtime fan, you get treats from a past character popping in, or a sports team showing up. I appreciate the way this author does this for a few reasons. First, I love seeing past characters. When you really love a book, you start to miss those characters. But I like that the author brings them in so subtly. Do you ever read a book and there are so many characters swirling around and you can’t keep track of them, and then you start to feel like you’re missing something? This doesn’t happen here. The author keeps it casual and the longtime reader is delighted to see their favorite characters pop in, but it never ends up being a big production where you’re trying to keep track of a zillion people.

If you love sports romance, you should definitely read this book. If you’re also looking to laugh, and maybe cry, and feel like you’ve never felt, then you should pick this book up.