Craft by Adriana Locke

Craft

Buy it here: Craft by Adriana Locke

They’re not quite enemies. Not really friends. More like frustrated balls of sexual tension and neither will give in.

Lance Gibson drives Mariah Malarkey absolutely crazy. He uses her office like a phone booth, takes cupcakes from the corner of her desk like she baked them just for him. She didn’t. Maybe she knew the history teacher happened to love peanut butter icing, but that was purely a coincidence. All sixteen times.

Mariah has a way of getting under Lance’s skin too. She calls him out on his crap, spoils him even if inadvertently, and seeing the librarian in skirts drives him wild. She won’t give in. It’s for the best, really, considering there’s no way he could lie to a woman like that and he’s not about to tell her the truth about himself. Not in a million years.

These two don’t hate each other. They don’t really like each other. But for this to be a friends-to-lovers story, they have to start somewhere, right?

Note: This can be read as a standalone novel.

This book will make you hungry. If you don’t end up wanting peanut butter frosting, lemon bars, and Coke with the good ice, then you have amazing willpower. The kind of willpower that Mariah and Lance definitely lack…

This couple had a really good chemistry level, and it was appropriate for their story. Another aspect I loved about this story was, as readers, we really get to see how this couple draws each other out. Lance pulls out Mariah’s sexier side, and it’s not because he’s trying to do it, but because she has a comfortable with him. Mariah pulls out Lance’s more serious side, and again, it’s because of his comfort and trust in her.

This couple isn’t without their conflicts though. Mariah and her mother have a strained relationship and Lance has his own secrets that he’s hiding. I appreciated that while there are conflicts, they don’t all get resolved and I felt like that made sense for the story. I never felt like the author rushed through anything in order to make everything absolutely perfect for this couple. Mariah and Lance have to get to their own kind of perfect.

This book is the epitome of what I think of when I picture a small-town romance. It’s sweet; an easy read that I ended up reading in one sitting. The story has characters that show growth for themselves, not just each other. You can feel their love grow and you truly experience it happen. This will go down as one of my favorite books from Adriana Locke.

 

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Renner’s Rules by K. Webster

Renner's Rules Front Only (1)

Buy it here: Renner’s Rules by K. Webster

I’m a bad girl.
I was sent away.
New house. New rules. New school.
Change was supposed to be…good.
Until I met him.
No one warned me Principal Renner would be so hot.
I’d expected some old, graying man in a brown suit.
Not this.
Not well over six feet of lean muscle and piercing green eyes.
Not a rugged-faced, ax-wielding lumberjack of a man.
He’s grouchy and rude and likes to boss me around.
I find myself getting in trouble just so he’ll punish me.
Especially with his favorite metal ruler.
Being bad never felt so good.
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These taboo treats from K. Webster are so exceptional. They are quickly becoming my favorites to read. They move quickly, but yet I’m never left with plot holes. They’re steamy and ride a really fine line on the taboo aspect. But I never feel like I’m uncomfortable with the book, or that something is taken too far. To me, that is the mark of a great author.
This story features Elma and Adam, or Principal Renner. Elma is the 18yr old daughter to Adam’s best friend. She’s been sent to Adam because she was getting into trouble in her old school in Florida. But now she’s up staying with Principal Renner until she graduates.
One of the big things I loved about Adam and Elma’s relationship is that they seem to connect on a deeper level. They both seem to know what the other needs, just instinctively. It’s not necessarily some insane insta-love thing so much as when these two are together, it’s almost like their true nature is able to come out and just be.
I have only read two of the books in the Taboo Treats world but one thing I really respect is that the characters never just find love and their life is done. Each character has ambitions and dreams that they still are working at and following. I feel like that is a strange thing to notice or even care about it, but I truly appreciate it.
Renner’s Rules is an easy and quick read that will have you wishing Adam Renner was your Principal, now and forever.
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About the Author
K Webster is the author of dozens romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.
Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.

Maybe This Time by Nicole McLaughlin

MaybeThisTime

Buy it here: Maybe This Time by Nicole McLaughlin

Maybe This Time is the next heartwarming contemporary romance from Nicole McLaughlin in her Whiskey and Weddings series.

Jen Mackenzie has been knocked down more than a few times, but she always gets up and makes sure she has the last word. It’s the reason she now considers herself equal parts self-sufficient and free-spirit. But since losing her job and trying to help her mother beat cancer, real life—and her occasional careless choices—have begun to catch up with her. Her one saving grace: The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s go-to wedding venue. The only catch: One of the owners, TJ Laughlin, happens to be the one man who somehow manages to make Jen feel inadequate.

TJ has secretly had a thing for Jen since high school. Now, as her new boss, it’s a daily struggle between revealing his feelings and wringing her beautiful neck. Only one thing is for certain: he can’t stand idly by and watch the woman he cares for struggle. She may be convinced that accepting TJ’s help is a weakness. But all he sees in Jen is beauty and strength, inside and out. As things finally heat up between them, can TJ find a way to convince Jen that love is about give and take—and having it all, together?

This is the first book I’ve read from Nicole McLaughlin. I admit that I do get nervous trying a new author. I think it’s because I want to love her every book that floats my way and I feel bad if I don’t like something. But I didn’t need to worry. I actually read this book in one sitting. It was easy to read and I became so invested in these characters.

Jen Mackenzie might be one of my favorite female characters ever. She is exceptionally flawed. She’s made some poor decisions, she has her own insecurity, plus her present day life brings a lot of stress. I aligned with Jen. There was a scene where she sort of breaks down as all of the stress just hits her. I cried right along with her. Her stress and anguish just soared off the page.

TJ Laughlin is, again, a favorite character. When you look at these characters, without meeting then, you see TJ as the rich kid and Jen as the poor kid. Which is true. But having money, or not having money, doesn’t leave you immune to insecurity or issues in life. TJ has many battles, they are just of a different caliber. Even with all of that, TJ isn’t scared to give Jen his love.

Jen and TJ are in their early 30’s. I feel like this is a weird thing to hone in on, but I really appreciated that the characters weren’t so young. And the fact that they both had sexual experience. I know we all love a good virginal, first love romance, but I also appreciate when the characters have experienced life with other people. It makes the connection so much stronger. There was one particular love scene in the story where you the passion was so intense and, as a reader, I understood how these two could feel how they did.

If you enjoy contemporary romance, you will enjoy this story. But if you also love seeing a couple overcome the odds, you would also love Jen and TJ’s story. Both characters have flaws that are realistic, and when we see these two come together, the passion and chemistry seem to jump off the page.

 

 

Justice by K.C. Lynn

Justice

Buy it here: Justice by K.C. Lynn

Fate made us brothers, loyalty made us family.

A bond that runs deeper than the Mississippi, my brothers and I might not have the same DNA but what we share is far more powerful. Our loyalty to one another and the man who made us a family is stronger than those bound by blood.

The most sought out sharp shooters in the country, our paths were certain, before one woman changed my life and altered the relationship I have with my brothers.

Ryanne Lockwood disappeared without a trace but her memory never faded, torturing me on the darkest nights. Until a twist of fate leads me back to her, sending our worlds to collide once more, and this time, there will be no escaping me.

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Justice Creed’s bad boy appeal caught my attention from the moment he rolled into town. For years I watched from afar, swallowing up the rumors that surrounded him.

Until we shared a night of forbidden passion. One that destroyed my heart and reshaped my soul, and it sent me fleeing from the only town I’ve ever known.

Now, years later, he’s barged back into my life, uncovering a secret I’ve worked so hard to keep and it’s one that will change our lives forever.

I try not get excited about books before they are released. Silly, right? But when I hear about a book for too long, I usually find it to be a letdown. That is NOT the case here. I’ve been seeing teasers for this book for months and it lived up to every single expectation I had.

One of my favorite aspects of this story is how traditional tropes are here, but they’re manipulated and they feel fresh again. One example of that is Justice and Ryanne’s relationship. They’ve known each other since high school. But they weren’t technically high school sweethearts. But when they reconvene, everything comes right back. So you get the longer lasting connection with the characters, while still introducing new ideas and taking the characters in different directions.

I think that KC Lynn writes some of the sexiest and most intense sex scenes. The passion that the characters have for each other jumps off the page. One thing I really loved about Justice was how he would push Ryanne’s boundaries but she was still in control. He definitely took their sex to a whole other level and it was incredible.

One person we meet in this story is Thatcher Creed, who is Justice’s father. The reason I mention him is because he encompasses the whole theme, which is love. Even though the Creed brothers and Thatcher have been through some awful things, Thatcher’s message to his sons always comes back to love. His character definitely touched my heart.

I enjoyed this book. It was a really easy to get lost in Justice and Ryanne and watching their evolution was really endearing. Again, I don’t usually get excited over books. But by the end of this one, I was dying for the stories on the other brothers. I got really wrapped up in this family and I loved every minute of it.

 

 

Mr. Blakely by K. Webster

MrBlakely

Buy it here: Mr Blakely by K Webster

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press give you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two, these sex-filled microromances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily-ever-after. 

It started as a job.

It turned into so much more.

Mr. Blakely is strict with his sons, but he’s soft and gentle with me.

The powerful businessman is something else entirely when we’re together.

Boss, teacher, lover…husband.

My hopes and dreams for the future have changed. I want—no, I need—him by my side.

This book is approximately 33,000 words

Editor’s note: All characters in this story are over eighteen and all sexual interactions are fully consensual.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: what you want, when you want it. Over-the-top sexy microromances designed to be read in an hour or two.

 

So I already loved novellas because they are just fun, quickies. But Carina Press is releasing some amazing dirty bits and this one from K. Webster is no exception.

Mr. Quinn Blakely got burned badly by his now ex-wife. He also has full custody of teenage twin boys.  He’s running a successful marketing company. He’s exhausted.  He needs help. Enter Ava.

Ava is one of those characters that you just find yourself rooting for. She works hard. She’s somewhat unassuming. She hasn’t really dated anyone before. We even learn about a stunt that a teenage boy pulled on her in the past. I found a lot of similarities between myself and Ava. I wanted her to find happiness.

The sparks between Quinn and Ava were immediate. They have a common bond in their love of the french language. Quinn has traveled to France when he was younger, but Ava is hoping to save her money to go there on a trip. This sounds like a silly point to mention in a review but this is where we really see the two characters bond.

I really enjoyed this story. There was actually a point where I teared up just because of the amazing connection these two have (and that doesn’t normally happen to me). I’ve been thinking of re-reading this one already too. Again, I don’t normally do a bunch of re-reads (just don’t have the time). This dirty bit from Carina Press and K. Webster is a must read and definitely one of my favorite stories of all time!

 

 

 

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins

WallflowerMostWanted

Buy it here: Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins

THE PICTURE OF ROMANCE

A dedicated painter, Miss Sophia Hastings is far more concerned with finding the right slant of light than in finding Mr. Right. But when an overheard conversation hints at danger for another local artist, Sophia is determined to get involved. Even if it means accepting help from an impossibly good-looking vicar who insists on joining her investigation—and threatens to capture her heart…

Reverend Lord Benedick Lisle knows that Sophia is no damsel in distress. But he won’t allow her to venture into peril alone, either. . .especially since he finds Sophia’s curious, free-spirited nature so alluring. But protecting her from harm is becoming more difficult than the vicar could have expected as he and Sophia confront their fiery mutual passion. Who could have known that the art of love would prove so irresistible?

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins is a page-turning Regency romance and part of the Studies in Scandal series.

 

I swear I don’t like historical romance. No. Not my genre, won’t ever be. And then I read one Manda Collins book over the Christmas season and here I am, devouring another and not being able to put it down. I think I like historical romance. Please welcome me to your club with open arms.

Our story starts with Miss Sophia Hastings painting near the edge of a cliff. Everything is going well until she slips. Luckily Lord Benedick Lisle is there to help. But before he can help her, both overhear an ominous conversation.

My favorite aspect of this overall story is how the author stays true to the history within the story, but the characters never become stuffy or hard to understand. Sophia is progressive and is one of the ladies of the Beauchamp House, where women are encouraged to use their intellect. For Sophia, this translates into art and painting. So while I get the great historical aspects, I am not left with antiquated characters. I truly appreciate that.

The author gives us a fantastic build up between Ben and Sophia. Throughout the story, we see multiple characters trying to gain their romantic affections. Ben, being the Vicar and a man of stature, he is highly sought after. Sophia, a beautiful young lady who is wickedly talented and intelligent. As you read along, you can truly see why Ben and Sophia work well together and if you were to be standing there, watching the scene unfold, you would put them together.

If you enjoy this author already, you will definitely enjoy her latest work. But even if you are on the fence about historical romance, I would encourage you to read this book. There is romance, mystery, and great interactions between the characters throughout the entire story. Definitely a fantastic read that will give you a break from everyday life.

Hidden Seams by Alessandra Torre

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Buy it here: Hidden Seams by Alessandra Torre

From a New York Times Bestseller, a story of a billion-dollar fortune, and the sex, lies, and betrayal that surround it…

I’ve worked a decade for this fortune. I’ve sold my soul and my reputation. I’ve lived a lie, smiled for the cameras, and hated myself, all for this empire.

And then … she pops up. A mysterious heir with a rap sheet, combat boots, and a mouth that I want to pin shut with my– It doesn’t matter.

I’ve played this game for a decade. I can continue the charade a little longer, keep my hands to myself and her body out of my mind.

I can keep my secret until the ink dries and everything is mine.
Or not.

When I think of Alessandra Torre, the first word that comes to my mind is refreshing. With her latest release, Hidden Seams, she continues to be a dynamic and refreshing writer, spinning tales that manage to surprise the reader, while still maintaining the style that her readers love.

Marco is one intriguing man. I don’t want to call him troubled but he’s got some issues that he needs to work out. The more we learn about Marco, the more you feel for him. He’s gotten himself into a beneficial mess. The problem with a mess? You still have to clean it up at some point.

Avery is exceptional. I loved her the moment I met her. I feel like no words I use are adequate to describe her. She’s rough around the edges, caring, curious. She isn’t going to put up with just anything. She’s street smart and knows how to handle herself. That said, she does still have a vulnerable and naive side to her. We see that peak out from time to time and for me, that only made me love her character more.

This book is an easy read, and I managed to stay sucked into the story from the minute I started. I tried taking a break and I found myself wondering what was happening and what could happen next. You could easily lose yourself in this story.

The chemistry, and in particular, the sex scenes in this book are fantastic. You could feel the sexual tension between these two. You honestly could feel the intensity and passion of these two characters; it felt like it jumped right off the page. It was fantastic.

If you like books that take your preconceived ideas and twist them up, you’ll love this book. You would also love this book if you want to feel like you are right in the story. Everything just jumped off the page and I could see it so vividly in my mind. An absolutely amazing book from Alessandra Torre.