Wednesday 11 November 2015

Release Day Blitz, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway ~Licked (L.A. Liaisons #1) by Brooke Blaine

Brooke Blaine 

November 11, 2015

Book Description:

As the owner of Licked, an eclectic ice creamery and bar, Ryleigh Phillips doesn't have time for that love stuff. Serving up Nibble My Nuts sundaes and Drunken Sailor boozy shakes are as close to an orgasmic affair as she's had in months thanks to her expanding empire—until the night of her ten-
year high school reunion.

When Ryleigh's crush, gorgeous ex-football god Cameron Mathis, comes streaking into her life (literally—streaking), she begins to wonder if she really can have it all.

Wouldn't it just figure that the moment you think life is perfect is when it falls spectacularly apart?

Enter Hunter Morgan, the contractor in charge of Licked's renovations. Devastatingly handsome, and a smartass to boot, he's got his eyes on Ryleigh from the moment he finds her passed out on his couch (yeah, that's a long story). There's just one tiny complication—he happens to be Cameron's best friend.

When the lines between relationships and friendships blur, and it's impossible to choose between two delicious flavors, what's a girl to do? Taste a sample of each? Or go out and get LICKED?

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“And then?”
I tugged at the edge of my apron in an attempt to avoid the three pairs of eyes staring bug-eyed at me. “And then he walked me to my car.”
“And then you…?” Shayne asked.
“Went home,” I said.
“Wait a minute, can we talk about the fact that he made you sleep on his couch?” Paige’s eyebrows were raised up to practically her hairline. “I’m sorry, but in what fucking universe is that acceptable? Why didn’t you call Quinn to pick you up?”
“He didn’t make me, geez. He passed out and it was late, and I thought maybe…you know. Morning sex.”
Shayne cocked an eyebrow. “And did that happen?”
“Well, no. Hunter made me coffee, and then Cameron woke up and…that’s it.”
“Wait,” Quinn interrupted. “You slept in an apartment with two guys and both of them had you sleeping on the couch? Jesus, Ryleigh, it’s against man-code for that to happen. Did you wear a chastity belt last night or something?”
I groaned, my head falling into my hands. Of course the girls would give me a hard time. I’d been talking up tackling Cameron at the reunion for weeks, so my body wasn’t the only one feeling let down.
Still, I was seriously regretting inviting them over for a powwow at my shop during our off hours.
“I think I need another shot of vodka in my Feisty Ho-bag now.” Paige pushed her glass stemware toward me, and I grabbed a liquor bottle from behind the bar and tipped some into her glass.
Boozy shakes. They were the bread and butter of Licked during the brunch and evening hours, and the main reason for the expansion next door. I glanced at the black tarp hanging over the doorway that led to the space I’d bought a few months ago and sighed. Construction was running behind, and it was too late to hire another company if I wanted to keep the launch date set.
And I had to keep the date set.
“So are you seeing him again?” Shayne asked, dunking her cherry through the layers of baklava bits and whipped cream on top of her Nibble My Nuts shake. “I will totally get involved if I need to.”
No doubt she’d be successful. She basically ran one of the top matchmaking companies in the city, not that you’d know it from her degrading pay scale. Her boss was a fucking nightmare, but Shayne was convinced she had to pay her dues.
“I don’t need your expert skills this time, but thank you. He’s got my number, so…we’ll see.”
“You can’t just wait around for a guy to call,” she said.
“I’m not waiting. I’ve got all that”—I gestured to the ugly tarp that hid the mess behind it—“to deal with, so I’m actually quite busy at the moment.”
The three of them gave each other “the look.” You know, the one that said, We’ve got to help our poor little friend get laid so she doesn’t end up gorging on the ice cream and boozy shakes she makes and be relegated to spinsterhood.
“Guys,” I said, placing my hands on the counter as I stood in front of them. “I’m not on my way to spinsterhood. I just have priorities.”
“I’m sure you could squeeze Cameron Mathis in,” Quinn said with a wink. “Get it? Squeeze him in…”
“More like blow off the dust, grab a key, unlock that shit, and pray there are no bats,” Paige agreed.
Oh for fuck’s sake. “All right, no more booze for either of you.”

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“I believe you just…what’s the term you use? Got Licked.”

First of all I have to state how much I LOVED this cover, if ever a cover attracts you to read a book this would be it and once you read the story between the pages it is so apt and fitting too.

Ryleigh should have grown up in the fifties, she has always been that little bit eccentric, even at school, dressing in fifties clothes and loving everything about the decade. While Ryleigh was always a little bit different, the other girls did not see it that way and she was mainly ostracised and bullied. Ryleigh never let it determine the person she became though and if anything made her all the more determined to prove everyone wrong.

“You’re different.”

“Different looks good on you.”

Now, ten years later Ryleigh is the owner of an adult ice-cream shop, is branching out and is on the cusp of attending her high schools ten year reunion. She doesn’t really want to go, she never had a good school life, but she was itching to catch a look at her high school crush…curiosity gets the better of her.

Cameron was such a good guy, seriously. He may have been a bit of a douche at school but his heart was definitely in the right place. He had matured, he was majorly good looking and he was a general all round Mr Nice Guy. Soon after meeting with Ryleigh and after only a few dates he has to go away on business for a few weeks, Ryleigh is stressed because the builders have not been working on her time scale, so Cameron being the good guy, sends his best friend and flat mate around to help.

Hunter owns his own construction company and was only too pleased to help this damsel in distress. He had that enigmatic charm, that cheeky smile that could make panties melt and had the goods to back it all up too. But underneath that good looking exterior was a man that was extremely guarded, something had happened to him, he had been burned.

This is not a love triangle, yes there are two men that Ryleigh finds herself conflicted over but she makes her choice and does not string anyone along. I love the fifties theme and the ice-cream names and of course their ingredients, I felt the drool many times. If you don’t want a knicker bocker glory after reading this I’ll be surprised, especially when said ice-cream is laced with booze, hence the adult theme.

“I’d lost my voice when I’d needed it most. And as I stared at the shut door in front of me, I realized that wasn’t the only thing I’d lost.”

Ryleigh has some amazing friends and I can see further books in this series following a few of them and of course I want to know what happens to the man that Ryleigh did not pick. I loved the banter, you get that friendship vibe and this really made this a feel good book. Me personally, I didn’t laugh, which I was expecting too but I did have that perma-smile as I read this book in one sitting, it really is a feel good read that gives you the warm and fuzzies with a little bit of angst.

“If you can’t tell your friends to fuck off with a smile and know they aren’t going anywhere, then you don’t have real friends.”

Me personally, I would have loved to have delved a bit deeper into the characters back grounds so that I could really connect with the characters and understand them a bit more, I like to live with the characters when I read and that always enhances my enjoyment of a story. Brooke Blaine’s writing though was flawless, addictive and the story immersed me in one of my own favourite eras, it was a really sweet read but still had that heat that so many of us love.

“I’m keeping you.”


About the Author:

You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her quiet time. Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas. Flash Point is Brooke's debut solo novel, and she is the co-author of the erotic serial, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released on November 11th, 2015. If you'd like to get in touch with her, she's easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that's dominated her cell phone for ten years. 

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