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Review: MISTLETOE ME, BABY by Katie Reus

Mistletoe Me, Baby by Katie Reus reminds me of a Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie with an added MA rating for the insanely hot love scenes. It has the adorable characters that are just so good down to their core with a tragedy that causes challenges in their budding romance. It leaves you with so much hope and joy in the end – all the aspects of a great story.

Miranda and Nolan are the best of friends, but they both secretly want to be more than just friends. An opportunity presents itself to Nolan and he takes advantage of it by sweeping Miranda off her feet. They have great chemistry doing daily mundane activities, but they are dynamite when the bedroom door closes.

Reus writes a passionate and heartfelt romance between these two friends to lovers in a novella format. It’s quick, but builds up nicely, and keeps the reader interested and flipping pages. If you like hot, sexy, Christmas stories that will entertain you from beginning to end and bring out many emotions while reading, give Mistletoe Me, Baby a read.

Title: Mistletoe Me, Baby

Author: Katie Reus

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: ARC received via NetGalley

 

Review: UNDER HER SKIN by Adriana Anders

In Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders, Uma Crane is on the run from her abusive ex-boyfriend, who tortured her one night by tattooing her body against her will. When she learns of a doctor offering free tattoo removal, Uma settles in rural Virginia and accepts a job as a housekeeper for the reclusive Mrs. Lloyd. The job puts her in contact with the neighbor, Ivan, a convicted felon, who is trying to get his life back on track. When Ivan sees Uma outside of Mrs. Lloyd’s house, something about her peaks his interest. Ivan has his work cut out for him because Uma is scared to form any relationships, much less a romantic one as she hides from her ex. Can Ivan convince Uma that not only is she beautiful but that he loves her?

There is just something about Ivan that had me adding him to my book boyfriend collection as soon an Anders introduced him. Underneath his dark, brooding exterior is a man who deeply cares for the people in his life (and the animals that he has taken in). Ivan has accepted the punishment that the justice system gave him and is working to put his life back together.

Uma’s story was just heartbreaking. There were a few times when she was recalling what her ex did to her that I had to stop reading due to the intensity of the scene. I loved watching this broken woman slowly blossom under Ivan’s friendship/romance and become whole again.

The chemistry between the two characters is palpable from the moment they meet. It really becomes a question of when they will get together verses if. And when they finally have a love scene? Holy cow! I was feeling a little warm reading it and it wasn’t because of the hot summer weather.

Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders is the first book in the Blank Canvas series. Anders has written a dark and gritty romance that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster. If you enjoy darker contemporary romances, this would be a good book for you.

Title: Under Her Skin

Author: Adriana Anders

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: Borrowed from Library

Review: WIND CHIME SUMMER by Sophie Moss

In Wind Chime Summer, by Sophie Moss, Izzy Riveria left the Army six months ago after having served her country for years. She had hoped one day to retire from the military and open her own restaurant. Now Izzy can barely make it through her day as she battles PTSD. Forced to enroll in a rehab program or face jail time for shooting someone, Izzy reluctantly joins the program. As she slowly begins to know the other veterans in the program and her boss, Ryan Callahan, she starts to trust people again. Will Izzy tell her new friends the truth about why she left the Army? Can she overcome her PTSD and function in civilian life?

A lot of people think that romance stories are nothing but fluffy stories that aren’t taken very seriously by the general public. It is true that there are some fluffy stories out there that are great for a good escape. Writers like Moss, though are tackling real life problems in their stories that get their readers thinking about current events.  In this book, Moss not only touches on what some of our returning soldiers face as they reenter civilian life, but she also discusses environmental issues, violence against women in the military, and immigration.

I wasn’t sure if I would like Izzy to begin with. As I was reading the first chapter, she was so darn prickly and aloof that it was hard to like her. As her story unfolded I couldn’t help but be in awe of what a strong woman she was. The daughter of migrant workers, Izzy chose to serve in the military as a way to improve her life. Despite a huge set back after suffering a violent attack, Izzy emerged from that time period in her life better and stronger than she was prior to entering the rehab program.

Ryan Callahan, the hero of the book, was just as interesting to read about as Izzy. His father, a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay, wanted a better life for his son and encouraged Ryan to pursue his education and leave the area. Ryan had done just that by getting his doctorate in marine biology but he can’t escape the call of his home or his concern for the polluted water he loves. With a plan to help save the bay by bringing back oysters, Ryan wins over the veterans that he has employed from the rehab program.

Wind Chime Summer is the third book in the Wind Chime series by Sophie Moss and it can be read as a standalone. Moss has written an emotional story about overcoming tragedy that makes for a fantastic read. If you enjoy contemporary romance or women’s fiction, this would be a good read for you.

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If you open your heart, it will always lead you home…

Since leaving the Army six months ago, Izzy Rivera has closed herself off from everyone and everything. Struggling with a debilitating case of PTSD, she has been fired from three jobs and was recently arrested for assault. Her last hope is a rehab program for veterans on Heron Island, which she was admitted to on a probationary basis and which she must complete to stay out of jail.

After establishing an illustrious career as a marine biologist, Ryan Callahan has returned to Heron Island to open a nonprofit to save the Chesapeake Bay and help his father—a fourth-generation waterman—expand his oyster farm. As one of the primary employers for the veterans’ center, Ryan is counting on his new workforce to make the merging of these two operations a success.

But Ryan underestimated the challenges of employing a group of physically and psychologically wounded veterans—particularly the female Army veteran who wants nothing to do with his nonprofit, his father’s farm, or the peaceful island that’s supposed to help her heal. Can Ryan find a way to convince Izzy to believe in something again? Or will the shell she’s built around her heart trap her in the past forever?

Buy links:

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2w90gnF

Nook: http://bit.ly/2xDrW1O

iBooks: http://apple.co/ 2vt3U9c

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2wJbfFW

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2wfx9xk

Paperback: http://a.co/hWCqr7K

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Sophie Moss is a USA Today bestselling and multi-award winning author. She is known for her captivating Irish fantasy romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with realistic characters and unique island settings. As a former journalist, Sophie has been writing professionally for over ten years. She lives in Maryland, where she’s working on her next novel. When she’s not writing, she’s testing out a new dessert recipe, exploring the Chesapeake Bay, or fiddling in her garden. Sophie loves to hear from readers. Email her at sophiemossauthor@gmail.com  or visit her website sophiemossauthor.com t o sign up for her newsletter.

Review: WILD AT WHISKEY CREEK by Julie Anne Long

In Wild at Whiskey Creek by Julie Anne Long, Glory Greenleaf just can’t seem to catch a break. Just as she was getting ready to leave the sleepy town of Hellcat Canyon to pursue a singing career, her brother is arrested for drugs. Glory has no choice but to stay in town and help her mom try to keep their home. Sheriff Eli Barlow is probably Glory’s biggest fan, not to mention the fact that he has been in love with her since they were kids. It absolutely killed him to have to arrest her brother, who is also Eli’s best friend. His relationship hasn’t been the same with Glory since then. When Glory is presented an opportunity to perform for a music executive, another hurdle is thrown in her way. Can Eli help Glory get her big break? Will Glory ever forgive Eli for arresting her brother?

I can think of two words that describe Glory Greenleaf: sassy and determined. Despite all of the obstacles placed in her way, Glory keeps playing her music hoping one day she will be discovered. Her sassiness is on display in just about every interaction she has with the other characters in the book, especially those that think the worst of her.

I loved how Eli and Glory danced around each other for most of the book, ratcheting up the sexual tension. It’s obvious that they both want each other but neither wants to admit it. These two even date other characters in the book, making each other jealous. When these two finally come together, sparks flew off the pages.

Wild at Whiskey Creek by Julie Anne Long is the second book in the Hellcat Canyon series, but it can be read as a standalone. Long has written a fun romance with vivid characters that leap off the pages. Anyone who loves contemporary romance or small town romances would enjoy this book.

Title: Wild at Whiskey Creek

Author: Julie Anne Long

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: Borrowed from the Library

Review: HOT SHOT by Kelly Jamieson

In Hot Shot by Kelly Jamieson, Marco Solis learned a long time ago not to get too close to anyone. His parents were deported back to Mexico when he was just fourteen, throwing him into the foster system. His sister ended up being adopted and has stopped talking to Marco. While serving in the military, Marco’s fiancée decided she couldn’t wait for him to return home and married another man. Now his best friend is pulling away from Marco as he spends more time with his fiancée. Except his friend’s fiancée brings an unexpected intrusion into his life in the form of Carrie Garner. Carrie is way out of Marco’s league. She is a model, who is leaving for Spain soon to study photography. Not to mention she drives him bonkers but that doesn’t stop him from lusting after her. When these two finally give in to their attraction, they agree to have a no strings affair. Gradually these two realize they want more from each other. Will they admit to wanting a long term relationship or will Carrie leave Marco for Spain?

There is a lot of delicious tension in this book. Marco and Carrie both claim to dislike each other. Carrie thinks he is a shameless flirt and Marco thinks she is too flighty. As they plan ad surprise engagement party for their mutual friends, the sexual tension ramps up, until they finally decide to just get it out of their system.

One of the things the book focuses on is how all of us have insecurities and how they affect our lives. Marco has a fear of abandonment and keeps people at arms length. Carrie feels she is never taken seriously because she is a model. These insecurities play into their relationship but ultimately, Carrie and Marco find a way to overcome them.

Hot Shot by Kelly Jamieson is the second book in the Last Shot series, but it can be read as a standalone. Jamieson has created a fun, sexy read with great banter between the two main characters. If you like contemporary romance, this book would be a great read for you.

Title: Hot Shot (Last Shot, #2)

Author: Kelly Jamieson

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: NetGalley

Review: ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE by Jill Shalvis

Whenever I don’t know what I am in the mood to read, I always look to Jill Shalvis and her books. They always enter and never disappoint. Such is the case with Accidentally on Purpose, the third book in her Heartbreaker Bay series. You don’t have to read these books in order as each one stands alone and is connected by characters or friends.

Archer and Elle are tough. Tough individuals and were a little tough for me to fall in love with at first. The way they avoided each other was somewhat annoying yet I couldn’t stop turning the pages and had a difficult time putting the book down. Shalvis’ writing is like that. Even if you are not instantly fond of how the characters are acting you still find yourself immersed in their lives and you just can’t turn away.

As the story played out my heart gave way to Archer and Elle when they both turned a corner on how they were approaching their relationshiop and letting their guards down a bit. Their chemistry was off the charts and they fell into a comfortable rhythm. Not every relationship is the same in real life which makes books more entertaining when you have a couple like this. Their bickering works for them. They like to push each other. They both like control. Shalvis did an excellent job with these two.

The supporting characters in the story are always great and I hope we get more of Joe and Spence in future books! I also adored the tiny bit of suspense this story offered. It was perfect for Archer and Elle’s story.  If you are looking for a sexy, contemporary romance story, give Accidentally on Purpose a read.

Title: Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)

Author: Jill Shlavis

Category: Contemporary Romance

Source: Borrowed from the Library

Review & Giveaway: DIRTIEST LITTLE SECRET by Skye Jordan

Don’t you just love picking up a book by an author you love and diving into one of their stories? Skye Jordan is an auto-read author for me because I know every story she writes will be filled with emotion, smart characters, and freaking hot sex. Such is the case with Dirtiest Little Secret. So good.

Ava is looking for a good time. She was recently betrayed, feels like she is living in a cage made by her parents, and is just not enjoying her current life. Ready to step outside her carefully erected ivory tower, Ava visits a rough biker bar looking for something. She finds it alright. In the sexy Isaac. She is in for quite an experience with him.

Jordan delivers an engaging story in Dirtiest Little Secret where you find yourself immersed in the characters’ lives and living things out along with them. Not only do Isaac and Ava have explosive chemistry in the bedroom but also outside. They enjoy each others’ company and are a great match for each other intellectually. It’s just too bad that Isaac has to go and mess things up by withholding the fact that he remembers her from his childhood but she has no clue. Tsk, tsk, Isaac. I am siding with Ava on that one.

With all good romance stories, though, there is a happy ever after in Dirtiest Little Secret. This book is a quick read so and I found myself reading it from start to finish in no time at all. It was tough to put down and the pacing just flowed so well. So beware that when you pick it up, you will want to have plenty of time to finish it!

So Many Reads is proud to be a stop along Skye’s Blog Tour! Read on and enter to win a Kindle Fire or Echo Dot! 

Skye’s New York Times bestselling novels are all about enjoying that little wild streak we all have, but probably don’t let out often enough. About those fantasies we usually don’t get the opportunity to indulge. About stretching limits, checking out the dark side, playing naughty and maybe even acting a little wicked. They’re about escape and fun and pleasure and romance. And, yes, even love, because Skye is ultimately a romantic at heart and a happily ever after kinda gal. Skye also writes romantic suspense as Joan Swan, weaving fast paced novels of passion, danger and suspense.

Skye is a California native recently transplanted to the East Coast and living in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside Washington DC with her husband of 25 years. She has two grown daughters in college in Colorado and Oregon. In her free time she loves rowing on the Potomac. She’s always learning, attending courses and seminars in art and history and cooking.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

She is his fantasy…

Ava Jennings has spent her life dedicated to her family’s steel business. So when she catches her fiancé engaging in extracurricular activities under his desk with a coworker, Ava fires him on the spot. With her self-esteem at an all-time low, Ava throws caution to the wind and heads to a well-known, wild biker bar. She’s determined to prove she’s capable of the spontaneous, wicked-hot sex her fiancé was searching for outside their relationship. And she finds all that and more in a rugged, edgy motorcycle mechanic, the one man in the bar who eclipses all the others.

He’s her dirtiest little secret…

Isaac Banks doesn’t talk to members of the Steel Warriors motorcycle club about his painful past. All they know is he’s the best bike mechanic in the state, which is exactly how he likes it. Ava doesn’t recognize him as the awkward kid who used to spend Sunday nights at her dinner table with their families, but she’s sure interested in the man she thinks he is now. She’s from the world he left behind, and he knows he should walk away—but it’s impossible to say no to the woman who starred in all his adolescent fantasies. All he wants is one night to get her out of his system. Because there was no way she could live up to his dreams.

But he’s wrong. One night will never be enough.

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