Friday, April 5, 2024

Wild Card by Staci Hart

Wild Card (Roseville Ramblers #1)
by Staci Hart
Published April 5, 2024

The hot baseball player I’m forced to stay with for my best friend’s wedding is off limits.

Remy Winfield has more muscles than manners, and he’s on a mission to get me into bed by way of the filthiest mouth I’ve ever wanted to kiss. He doesn’t care about my long time crush or my certainty that we’re finally about to happen.

Remy's sure I’ll break first and kiss him, and he’ll tease me to the limit to make sure I do. I might be a Lady, but I can still play his dirty little game. It’s perfectly safe, totally harmless.

Until I fall for him.

Suddenly, Mr. Long-Time Crush doesn’t matter at all.

And my best friend can never know.

Add to Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA

5 Stars

Jessa is in Tennessee for her best friend's wedding and for her chance to finally win over the fourth person in their friend group, Henry, the man she's had her sights on since eight years old. The spectacularly built man she's stuck staying with is just eye candy, a little fun to tease, nothing to pull her away from her family's grand plan for Henry. Except, Remington "Remy" Winfield brings out the best in Jessa in ways she could never imagine, she finally feels like herself, and Remy too experiences a sense of rightness. As wedding plans are underway, the two embark on a challenge of sorts, one that continues to raise the heat on the chemistry burning between them.

"...she seemed like a woman who was together all the time, in all circumstances. And I was left with a rush of desire to see her undone."

Wild Card is truly such an incredible release from an all time favorite author of mine. The romantic comedy with filthy spice that I didn't know I needed. A fresh love story from Staci Hart that is somehow just like her and also something new and fresh after a lengthy hiatus. I loved Jessa and Remy, each has always just stuck to what everyone else thought of them, but their walls came down with one another. The prim takes a back seat for fiery sass and Remy's playboy brashness becomes an alpha man with a crush he cannot help but tease. The match was lit and it was fireworks each time these two got going. In classic Staci Hart fashion, there is witty banter between these two that is natural, realistic, and laugh out loud funny. We also get some angst, because connections can't be that easy, and a twist that positions this novel as book one in the Roseville Ramblers series.

Y'all, it has been a minute since I stayed up all night reading, but Wild Card was absolutely un-put-down-able. Staci Hart said she was back and she came with the heat. Full of Chemistry and laughs, as well as a good old fashioned bet, Wild Card was such a fun read, or as Remy might say, like fun romp in the hay. 

Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Fallen One by Brittney Sahin

The Fallen One (Falcon Falls Security #6)
by Brittney Sahin
Published March 14, 2024

From Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestselling author Brittney Sahin, comes a sizzling love story between a morally gray hero who doesn’t believe in second chances, and the woman who will make him question everything.

Five years ago, a phone call forever changed my life as I listened to my wife being murdered half a world away.

Going rogue from the CIA, I became a man feared by everyone as I sought vengeance. Lies she’d told and secrets she’d kept, pushed me over an even darker edge.

With nothing to lose, I became unstoppable. A devil among men. Until justice was served, or so I’d thought it’d been . . .

Working alongside a team of veterans, trying to find my way back to the man I’d once been, another life-altering call came, drawing me back to the dark world I’d left behind.

The assignment should’ve been straightforward. Rescue a brilliant scientist working on a classified government project and save the nation from an attack while I was at it. But nothing in my life was ever simple.

When the missing scientist turned out to be the same off-limits woman I’d been obsessing over for months, saving her life was the easy part.

Not corrupting her in the process was the challenge. Especially when that gorgeous woman, innocent and untainted by the evils of the world, begged me to do exactly that.

Our past was complicated. The chemistry between us, undeniable. The desire to claim her as my own and never let go, unbearable.

My team may have been up against our most formidable threat ever, but there I was about to do something I never did. Lose my control.

Author’s Note: This is Carter Dominick’s book in the Falcon Falls Security Series. This romantic suspense novel may be read as a standalone.

5 Stars

Dom. The Devil. Carter Dominick. Five years ago he listened as his wife was murdered over the phone and as the world turned against him as he sought vengeance for her death. Only one woman held faith in him, giving him reason to believe in forgiveness and good. Partnered with a team of veterans with Falcon Falls Security, Carter thought he'd returned to good, but another phone call drags him back to the depths. He's tasked with rescuing a brilliant, beautiful scientist...the one who always believed in him, the one he absolutely cannot have.

Y'all, holy smokes. Holy insane chemistry. HOLY AGE GAP, MORALLY GRAY MC, GRUMPY SUNSHINE, ALL THE THINGS. Brittney Sahin said I can fit everything into this humongous 600+ page romantic suspense and a political mission at the same time. She pulled it off, if my five star rating doesn't give that away already. Carter hasn't been one of the main characters of the security team that I was dying to read, but that actually made The Fallen One all the better for me. Getting to know this grumpy man and the backstory to his jaded personality truly was incredible. As the world turned against him though, one young woman holds onto the belief that he is good, because she saw the real him. In fact, he's always let his walls down for her. I don't want to hide my review for spoilers, so I'll just say that the female main character will be an unexpected surprise for many readers and I hope they love her as much as I did.

There's a lot of emotional turmoil to get through for the happily ever after in this one, but it's worth it. I love a morally grey character finding hope, especially if a brilliant woman is the one to guide him to it. The Fallen One is a very classic romantic suspense, with the action taking the front seat and the romance sizzling slowly as the mission goes awry. You won't be able to put this one down, block out your calendar and settle in.

Friday, February 2, 2024

No One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall

No One Can Know
by Kate Alice Marshall
Published January 23, 2024 by Flatiron Books

The author of What Lies in the Woods returns with a novel about three sisters, two murders, and too many secrets to count.

Emma hasn't told her husband much about her past. He knows her parents are dead and she hasn't spoken to her sisters in years. Then they lose their apartment, her husband gets laid off, and Emma discovers she's pregnant―right as the bank account slips into the red.

That's when Emma confesses that she has one more asset: her parents' house, which she owns jointly with her estranged sisters. They can't sell it, but they can live in it. But returning home means that Emma is forced to reveal her secrets to her husband: that the house is not a run-down farmhouse but a stately mansion, and that her parents died there.

Were murdered.

And that some people say Emma did it.

Emma and her sisters have never spoken about what really happened that night. Now, her return to the house may lure her sisters back, but it will also crack open family and small-town secrets lots of people don’t want revealed. As Emma struggles to reconnect with her old family and hold together her new one, she begins to realize that the things they have left unspoken all these years have put them in danger again.

5 Stars

No One Can Know is a sinister tale of three sisters and the secrets they’ve kept since the night of their parents murder. They’ve been estranged for so long that they no longer know one another anymore, but it’s obvious they all have their own agenda. As they return to their childhood home, it is apparent that neither the town, or each other, have forgotten the events of that night. For the town, that means continuing to blame Emma, the middle sister, for the murders despite the investigation never closing. For the other sisters, it means covering up the parts in it they played, no matter how small. The story they told as children is about to be unraveled. It’s an every-man-for-himself thriller that I could not stop reading, at least once I got out of my reading slump.

I loved the changing character POVs and the flashbacks to the past, it gave such a great insight into who the sisters were at the time of the murder and the total impact it had on them and continued to as adults. We’re given the chance, as readers, to form a bond with Emma, to carry sympathy for her, even as the story twists. We see how she gave up her inheritence, how she's the nice quiet one, the way she works hard for her marriage. However, we meet the other siblings through her lense. That tainted perspective was actually super fun for me, because it made it harder for me to figure out truth from fiction. JJ was the perfect one, but she's shed that skin now, and Daphne just freaked me out from start to finish. Even as we get to know their past and their whys, Emma's perception carried on in my mind. Seeing how they work together and attempt to dig one another down was just fascinating.

With family drama, police corruption, and even a second murder, the pace of No One Can Know is breakneck. There is so much happening, but Kate Alice Marshall weaves it together so perfectly. It’s a haunting tale that I truly could not figure out, which means instant 5 stars from me!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Only If You're Lucky by Stacy Willingham

Only If You're Lucky
Stacy Willingham
Published January 16, 2024

Lucy Sharpe is larger than life. Magnetic, addictive. Bold and dangerous. Especially for Margot, who meets Lucy at the end of their freshman year at a liberal arts college in South Carolina. Margot is the shy one, the careful one, always the sidekick and never the center of attention. But when Lucy singles her out at the end of the year, a year Margot spent studying and playing it safe, and asks her to room together, something in Margot can't say no—something daring, or starved, or maybe even envious.

And so Margot finds herself living in an off-campus house with three other girls, Lucy, the ringleader; Sloane, the sarcastic one; and Nicole, the nice one, the three of them opposites but also deeply intertwined. It's a year that finds Margot finally coming out of the shell she's been in since the end of high school, when her best friend Eliza died three weeks after graduation. Margot and Lucy have become the closest of friends, but by the middle of their sophomore year, one of the fraternity boys from the house next door has been brutally murdered... and Lucy Sharpe is missing without a trace.

A tantalizing thriller about the nature of friendship and belonging, about loyalty, envy, and betrayal—another gripping novel from an author quickly becoming the gold standard in psychological suspense.

5 Stars

I love stories about the toxic relationships girls and women have, because they're realistic in ways many of us do not want to admit. The things we give into, the bullying we allow, the pervasive desire to be like one another or be better. In Only if You're Lucky, Stacy Willingham tells the story of enigmatic Lucy and the desperate to start over Margot. Life seems beautiful, like popularity and all the trappings of it are at Margot's feet. Lucy, however, leaves a dust in her wake that has Margot questioning everything. Is she who she says she is, or are they all pawns in the personal broadway show?

This one was as twisted as it comes, with Willingham taking us on a wild, dark academia journey through the perspective of Margot. We see her naivety, her desperate desire to fit in, her broken heart over her best friend she lost prior to beginning college. We also, from her perspective alone, see the beautiful Lucy, the other friends they share a home with, and the partying fraternity brothers next door, including Margot's former friend's ex. It's twisted as it sounds and so perfectly college. What's also twisted? The truths hidden and the lies mixed into every word. Nothing is as it seems and as a thriller fan, I loved that I couldn't figure this one entirely out. There are loose strings, there is horror on these pages, and yet I could not put it down. These are the sort of characters you hate to love and a story that requires only one sitting. This one sucked me in and I need everyone to read it now.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Plot Twist by Erin La Rose

Author: Erin La Rosa 
ISBN: 9781335458117
Publication Date: November 14, 2023
Publisher: Canary Street Press

Readers who love books about books will fall for Erin La Rosa's latest rom com—a friends (with benefits)-to-lovers story about a romance author who's never been in love, and needs to find out why before her next manuscript is due! For fans of BY THE BOOK and BOOK LOVERS.

Romance author Sophie Lyon’s ironic secret just went viral: she’s never been in love. Though her debut novel made readers swoon, Sophie’s having trouble getting her new characters to happily-ever-after, and she blames it on her own uninspired love life. With a manuscript deadline looming, Sophie makes an ambitious plan to overcome her writer’s block: reunite with her exes to learn why she's never fallen in love—and document it all for her millions of new online followers. Which also means facing her ex-girlfriend Carla, the one person Sophie could have loved.

Luckily, Sophie’s reclusive landlord, Dash Montrose—a former teen heartthrob—has social media all figured out and offers to help. But he doesn't mention that he’s an anonymous online crafter, a hobby that helps him maintain his sobriety. No one knows about his complicated relationship with alcohol and he intends to keep it that way. His family is Hollywood royalty, so Dash has to steer clear of scandal.
As Sophie and Dash grow closer, they discover a heat between them that rivals Dash's pottery kiln. But Sophie needs to figure out who she is outside her relationships, and Dash isn’t sure he’s stable enough for the commitment she deserves. So Sophie suggests what any good romance author would: a friends-with-benefits arrangement. Surely a casual relationship won’t cause any trouble…

Buy Links: 
5 Stars

 A romantic journey full of character growth, spice, and laughter, Plot Twist is destined to be a Tik-Tok sensation. With writers block and zero romantic prospects, author Sophie embarks on a foray into the exes of her past, asking them why they think they didn't work out. As she shares her findings with the world, she starts to wonder if she's been the problem all along. For Dash, the reclusive, self-aware, brooding, famous neighbor, Sophie is the problem. She's tempting, sultry, beautiful, makes him laugh, makes him want more. He suggested her social media look into her exes to help clear writers block, but now he just wants her to stop and be with him. Only, he's not ready to be with anyone. As the title predicts, these two are meant to be, but a plot twist has got to happen.

I really enjoyed this book, loved it in fact. It's cute and sexy, the kind of book that's fun to read, that keeps you smiling, even as you sort of want to throw your Kindle at the wall. La Rosa's Plot Twist is super fun to read, feels authentic to reality, and features the character development I always think romance reads skip over. These two work on themselves first (yay for personal growth), putting their wildly strong chemistry on hold to cheer one another on. Sure, I yelled at them to be together, but it wouldn't have been the Plot Twist journey I loved if they hadn't done the work and denied themselves.

Author Bio

ERIN LA ROSA is a writer living in Los Angeles. As a writer for BuzzFeed, she frequently writes
about the perils and triumphs of being a redhead. Before BuzzFeed, Erin worked for the comedy websites Funny or Die and MadAtoms, as well as E!s Fashion Police, Wetpaint, and Ecorazzi. Erin has appeared on CNN, Headline News, Jimmy Kimmel, and The Today Show on behalf of BuzzFeed. She is the author of Womanskills and The Big Redhead Book.
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