Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Review ~ Strong Side (Eastshore Tigers #1) by Alison Hendricks

Book Description:

Their chemistry on the field is undeniable. But can they ever be more than friends?

Jason Hawkins is about to throw the biggest Hail Mary pass of his career.

If he can't turn NFL recruiters' heads this year, he'll lose his shot at the one thing he's ever been good at. But every quarterback needs a man he can count on down-field. For Jason, that man just might be the Tigers' new receiver, Derek Griffin.

Four years ago, Derek nearly lost everything after being outed by his teammates.

Now he finally has a chance to get it all back as a walk-on for Eastshore College... if he can resist his immediate attraction to the gorgeous and very straight star quarterback.

An instant connection during practice leads to an easy friendship that only grows stronger off the field. Derek is convinced friendship is all it'll ever be, but a very confusing moment of impulse leaves both of them fumbling for answers about their relationship.

As curiosity gives way to passion and passion gives way to something deeper, Jason and Derek will have to tackle their own personal demons to bring home the win and earn their happy ending.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars

“I think I’m starting to have feelings for my best friend.”

For a debut author Alison Hendricks certainly starts off with a bang and stamps her name firmly in the MM genre. Strong Side is one hell of a sweet, cute and adorable Gay For You story that will have you championing these two from the very start. Low on angst, with a healthy balance of steam this story will quench those MM itches that I know I get on the regular, trouble with me though is one MM is never enough.

Derek Griffin is the new guy, the new receiver, the new team mate, the new gay team mate. His coach knows his sexual orientation but he has kept it quiet from the team for the fear of repercussions. He had been there once and didn’t want to go there again. He is openly gay with a huge support network, but coming out the first time had nearly cost him his footballing career and had left its lasting mark.

“…I want things to go back to the way they were before I got injured. Before I realized there were people in this world so fucking hateful that they would do something like that.”

Jason Hawkins was the team; he was the All Star Quarterback that needed to make his impression this year to catch the NFL recruiters eyes. He was the crux of the team, the guy that the team relied on for the moves, the calls and the motivation. He was the guy that all girls wanted to date and the guy that all guys wanted to emulate. He was as straight as they came, chock full of testosterone and masculinity. But Jason Hawkins was different. He was not your typical jock and from the very start he was a character that I connected with.

“Fake it ‘til you make it.”

Derek is having a few struggles and issues and Jason can see it, but Jason can also see Derek’s potential. Jason knows that if he can iron out those issues that he and Derek could make a formidable team. Giving up his spare time to help, Jason and Derek start a fantastic friendship, one where secrets are told and they become each other’s confidante. Where they both spur the other on to be the best and are a great support network to each other. Derek tells Jason that he is gay and Jason isn’t bothered, but what happens when those lines of friendship blur?

“I want more of this. I’ve never been all that sex-crazed before—I’ve always had too much other shit on my mind—but with Griff, it’s like I can’t get enough. He’s a drug, and I’m the guy who can’t quit buying. Can’t quit using.”

Strong Side was an engaging read, low on drama and angst and with something that I crave…the slow burn. The transition from friends to lovers was captivating but most of all, believable. Both Griffin and Jason were adorable, two characters that I instantly fell in love with and the journey that they undertake was engaging. This book will leave you with the warm and fuzzies, a heart glowing full of love and pride as the heart knows who the heart wants. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Review ~ The Goal (Off Campus #4) by Elle Kennedy

Book Description:

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“I’m not the girl for John Tucker, and I never will be.”

After the bomb was dropped at the end of The Score I was more than eager for John Tucker’s story, he was a character that had always blended into the background and we never really got to know him throughout the other books in this series, but as they say, the quiet ones are often the worst.

However, John Tucker was adorable in every sense of the word. He really surprised me in The Goal. He was one of the most loyal and loving guys out of all of them and had the patience of a saint to back it up and with Sabrina James he certainly needed it. But also, Tucker was as sexy as hell and had a filthy mouth, I never would have guessed it. For some godforsaken reason Tucker loved Sabrina, whereas some guys would have given up and run for the hills, Tucker was glutton for punishment, he took the punches, he took the rejection, but would he get a happy ever after?

“Even if you hadn’t said you loved me back, I’d take whatever scraps you were willing to give me as long as I could be with you. I don’t give a shit if that makes me pathetic-”

Sabrina James, she was one cool customer who I just couldn’t warm up to. I admired her drive and determination, her focus on bettering herself but her treatment of Tucker just wound me up no end. She was the puppet master and she definitely pulled all the strings and led our Tucker on a merry dance. Her coolness and aloofness throughout just grated on my every last nerve. If Tucker was insincere I could understand it, but she knew deep down that she held Tucker’s heart in her hands and had no qualms about toying with his emotions.

“It doesn’t matter how thin or thick anyone’s wallet is. We all hurt. We all love. We’re the same. And your past, who you live with, where you came from, it doesn’t have to matter. You’re creating your own future, and I want to see where the road forward takes you.”

For me though, my biggest gripe with this book was pacing. This story runs parallel with The Score and so a chunk of the plot line was repetitive. I just felt that as situations were rehashed through someone else’s eyes it lost its impact and for me interrupted my reading mojo. If you are reading this as a standalone and have not read The Score, then this shouldn’t be an issue. The first half of the book was particularly slow for me, however, as everything hots up in the second half it pulled me back in.

“My goal, once upon a time, was to succeed. I didn’t realize that success wasn’t grades or scholarships or achievements, but the people I was lucky enough to have in my life.”

My heart definitely belonged to John Tucker in this book, this guy had a heart of gold, was the most loving and giving, he gave Sabrina everything she wanted and needed and yet she still kept him at arm’s length. He was forever trying to bore little holes into her life and heart to inch that little bit forward but she was an emotional fortress, it all seemed a little one sided. They get there in the end but she was definitely a tough nut to crack.

“I can’t make a single decision. Not until Sabrina makes the most important one of all.”

Teaser Tuesday ~ Blow (Virtuous Paradox #1) by Heidi McLaughlin

Book Description:

Meet the complicated men behind the sexiest boy band in America! In Blow, the start of an emotionally charged series from bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, an insatiable heartthrob gets blinded by the spotlight—and learns to fight for love.

Bodhi McKnight has always had everything handed to him on a silver platter: fame, success, money, girls. The raven-haired, blue-eyed hottie is the son of Hollywood A-listers, and when he’s asked to join the boy band Virtuous Paradox, his star shoots even higher. But so do expectations, leading Bodhi down a destructive path of addiction—until a drop-dead gorgeous guardian angel shows him her sizzling brand of tough love.

When Bodhi ends up in rehab, he doesn’t expect to meet someone as cool and down-to-earth as Kimberly Gordon. Although he’s enjoyed the company of beautiful, charming women before, none of them have tried to get to know the “real” Bodhi. But Kimberly isn’t fazed by his stardom. She’d rather go horseback riding, teach Bodhi to play guitar, or ask him about his feelings. Soon Bodhi realizes he’s fallen head over heels for her. He just hopes that he’s strong enough to protect what they have from all the pressures and temptations of the outside world.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Release date: November 8th! 

Pre-Order Links: 

Teaser Tuesday ~ Thief of Hearts by LH Cosway

We're so excited to share a teaser for THIEF OF HEARTS by L.H. Cosway! 

Title: Thief of Hearts
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Add it to: Goodreads

Book Description:

Seduce the teacher.
Meet the cousin.
Make a deal.
Steal the painting.

Andrea Anderson has no clue of the thoughts churning around in the dark and dangerous ex-con’s head as he enters her classroom. In fact, she’s momentarily lost for words. Not in her entire teaching career has she had a student who looked quite like Stu Cross.

A widow at just twenty-eight, love is something Andie hasn’t considered a part of her life for a very long time. However, when lingering touches turn to whispered words and hot, searching stares, she begins to wonder if maybe she should take a leap of faith.

But Stu is in her class for a reason, and it has nothing to do with love. He’s there to burrow his way into her life and repay a debt, otherwise his family will suffer. Andie is the first person to show him true kindness since he left prison, and though he doesn’t want to mislead her, he doesn’t have another choice.

Before long, Stu can’t tell whether or not he’s acting anymore, and his feelings for Andie could throw all of his carefully crafted plans into complete and utter disarray.

**Can be read as a stand alone.

Pre-order Links:

Amazon link to come!

About the author:

L.H. Cosway lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories. L.H. is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

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