Release Day Blitz for Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis


Jills Shalvis starts a new small-town, family type of series and first book, Second Chance Summer, releases today! You can read an excerpt as part of the celebration and also to get a small taste of Aiden (who is just delicious) and Lily (who is just too cute).

Title: Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge #1)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Date of publication: 30 June 2015
Genre / Themes: Small town romance

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Add to Goodreads

Pre-order: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks



Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it's the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there's an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance .


“How did you fall?” he asked.
“Backward. Fast,” she quipped, not about to admit she’d been startled by a bunny. A baby bunny.
“Smartass.” He began to check her over. As in he put his hands all over her and ran them over her body. “You’re bleeding,” he said.
“I’ll buy you new sheets.”
“Shut up.” He frowned at her wrist and found another problem at her ankle, all while she attempted to keep her T-shirt covering as much as of her as possible. Then he pointed to her shirt. “Lose it.”
“Bite me.”
“Later,” he said. “I want to see your ribs.”
“How about my foot up your ass?”
He met her gaze, his own stubborn and unbending. “Me or a doctor, Lily.”
He’d do it too, she had no doubt. He’d drag her kicking and screaming out of here if need be. So she sighed and very carefully lifted the T-shirt to just beneath her breasts. 
“See? I’m fine—”
She broke off, the air backing up in her lungs when he ran his hands very lightly over her ribcage, stopping when she managed to suck in a breath.
“Bruised, not broken I don’t think,” he said, his voice quiet and calm and clinically dispassionate, in direct opposition to his eyes. “Turn over.”
She bit out a harsh laugh. “Yeah, that’s going to happen nev—”
He rolled her over and pinned her there with a hand low on her back.
She sputtered and fought him, but then went utterly still when he ran his fingers up the back of one thigh, scooping the edge of her boy cut panties up a cheek.
“Also bruised,” he said.
“That’s where I landed. No worries, I’m padded nicely.”
“Nicely is right,” he said, and he removed his hands from her.
She leapt off the bed, tugged down her shirt, and had to tighten her lips not to whimper at the fast movement. “Okay, thanks. Be sure to lock the door on your way—”
“Did you hit your head or lose consciousness at any time?”
“No!” She didn’t want to need his help, wanted to lick her wounds in private rather than get turned on by his gentle touch. But she was stupid light-headed from getting up too fast and knew she wasn’t in the greatest shape.
And must as she didn’t want to like it, she did like how he always seemed to be there for her, even if her brain kept telling her heart she didn’t want him to be.
He still wasn’t leaving. “Tell me what really happened.”
“I loaded up some wood and was making my way up the stairs when”—she broke off and grimaced —“something popped out of the wood. I nearly had heart failure and fell down the stairs. The end.”
He never took his eyes off of her. “What popped out at you?”
“A spider,” she said, because hey, that could’ve totally happened. Just because she’d freaked out over the baby bunny didn’t mean that there wasn’t also a spider. Maybe she’d been so busy falling down the stairs she just hadn’t seen the spider.
“A spider made you fall down the stairs?” he asked in disbelief.
“A big one.” She lifted her hands so that they were about a foot apart.
His lips twitched.
Her hands spread apart even wider. “It might have been a mutant spider.”
“Or a baby bunny,” he said.
She stared at him while he grinned wide.
“You knew the whole time,” she accused.
“Yep. Lenny told me.”
“Well isn’t that just like a man,” she said in disgust.
Aidan tipped his head back and laughed out loud.
“Fine. Whatever,” she said. “I’m taking a shower. Alone.”
“Make it lukewarm, not hot,” he said. “I’m going to the truck for my first aid kit.”
“Aidan, I’m so not in the mood to play doctor.”
“Good,” he said. “I’ll play doctor and you play the nice, sweet, passive patient.”

Jessica Topper

Review: Courtship of the Cake by Jessica Topper


Title: Courtship of the Cake (Much "I Do" About Nothing #2)
Author: Jessica Topper
Date of publication: 2 June 2015
Genre/themes: Contemporary Romance

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

Add to Goodreads

My rating: 3.5 stars


“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride” has suited Danica James just fine…until the mysterious man who crashed her sister’s wedding steals her heart, leaves a slice of groom’s cake under her pillow, and then disappears.

Hoping to forget her unforgettable fling, Dani takes a job as a backstage masseuse for a rock music festival, not expecting the tour’s headlining bad boy to make an offer she can’t refuse. Nash Drama needs a fiancée—and fast…

Mick Spencer is the best wedding cake designer in New Hope and the town’s most eligible bachelor. But despite the bevy of bridesmaids he’s sampled, Mick can’t get the evening he spent with Dani out of his mind.

So when she shows up for a cake tasting at the Night Kitchen—with his former best friend’s ring on her finger—Mick vows to charm the woman of his dreams into choosing a sweet and sinful ever after, with him.


This is the second book in the I DO series and I can say these stories shape out more like women's fiction, family sagas, than romance.

It's Danny's story whom we met briefly in the previous book. We see that she is not the confident, clear-headed Dany from What Would Dany Do that Laney thought of her. She is a normal person with strengths and weaknesses, she is a little lost and confused, a lot of caring and full of love.

This is a compelx story, overwhelming at times with its diversity of characters and intricate relationships between them. Yet, it was engaging. I cared about Dany, and Mick, and Nash, and everybody in New Hope. I felt the complexity of the story reflected real life, it's messy, people make mistackes and hurt each other, but there is also forgiveness, acceptance, love, hope. 

Despite having two guys as lead characters in teh story, it's not a love triangle, there is no real competition, they are both involved in Dany's life in an important ways. I wanted more of the romance, wanted Mick and Dany to spend more time together. It seemed the author tried to cover too many issues in the story and the love/romance got lost inbetween them. I feel some of the events/characters could have been skipped, there was some jumping from character to character which was rather distracting.

All characters, Dany, Mick and Nash had one too many issues stemming from their past. They all needed to deal with them in order to move on with their lives but I felt some of the problems were superficially treated and far too easily and conveniently resolved. The whole subplot with Dany and Jax didn't fit the story and the dramatic twist towards the end was uncalled for. 

Overall it is a well wrtitten romantic story of one woman's journey to herself and to love, it's smart and full of tender emotion. Fans of the author will enjoy this installment in the series and I'd recommend it while keeping in mind that the romance is not the main focus of the story, it's rather women's fiction with romantic elements.

Purchase links: AmazonBN | iBooks | Google Play | Books A Million | Kobo

Alexi Lawless

Friday Favoruites #10: Alexi Lawless


Today's guest at my Author Spotlight post is Ms Alexi Lawless, author of the romantic suspense series Complicated Creatures. You can read my reivews of Part One and Part Two. If you are curious, you can the first book, Complicaed Creatures: Part I which is currently free on Amazon. 

Friday Favourites

Favorite Place:
Miami—hands down. It’s humid hot, sensual, gorgeous, a bit deviant and extremely diverse. I feel totally at home there. It’s a tantalizing combination of refuge and retreat. I used to run away there for long weekends back when I was a corporate raider. I still recall those moments of respite fondly. 

Favorite Food & Drink: 
Sushi and bourbon, though never together. I can eat my weight in fish. If you told me I could never eat red meat again, I’d eventually get over it after a lot of pouting and moaning. But if you denied me fish, I’d go apesh*t, I kid you not. 

As for drink… it’s no secret I’m a bourbon girl. This evolution came about after years of consuming more than my fair share of vodka martinis at rowdy bars and chic eateries. But the more I started writing, the more I craved something slow and easy—a lovely, unfurling burn late at night, just me and my pages. Thus the late-in-life love affair with a full-flavored, handmade sour mash. I highly recommend Willett or Four Roses if you’re hankering for a try. 

Favorite Genre/Music/Artist/Song:
I’m a big fan of indies and I mean that for musicians, artists and writers. People who are brave enough to go out and make art, music or write books without huge signing packages are incredibly inspiring to me. I’d go to concerts, art shows or download books from indies all day long if I could. That said, I’ll share some of my favorites. I can’t write without music, so you’re listening to some killer bands who have really influenced me while I was writing Goddess Rising: 

Favorite Movie/TV Series: 
My current addiction is Penny Dreadful. Their screen-writers are fantastic, the casting is impeccable and the special effects are phenomenal for a TV series. Combining some of the best-known fictional characters of our nightmares into Victorian England is pretty darn brilliant. And Ethan Chandler’s character is no hardship to look at either (*wink). 

Favorite Hobby:
I had a pretty significant foot surgery a couple years back and was stuck in a space bootie for a couple months losing my mind. A friend suggested I pick up boxing for cardio since I could just stand still and work a bag or pads and still get a pretty good workout. Mind you, I’d never hit anything in my life, but I found a passion for it. When the space bootie came off and I could move around again, I discovered I was pretty decent at boxing. Subsequently, I added a lot of fighting scenes to the first Complicated Creatures book as I was learning the same moves I gave Jack in his bout with Vic Vidal. Thankfully, I’ve never been KO’d. 
Wish me luck.

Top 5 Books of All Time:
1. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice: I fell in love with this woman at 13. I knew immediately I wanted to be a writer. It just took me a few decades to get there! 

2. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts: Because one word: EPIC

3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: One of the greatest writers who ever lived, hands down. 
4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: Say what you will about the movie, but this book is one helluva inspiring personal journey. 

5. My Wicked, Wicked Ways by Sandra Cisneros: Nobody captures the painfully beautiful and often funny way we humans fall in love like this lady.

Author Bio and Links

ALEXI LAWLESS.Corporate Runaway. Novelist. Wanderer. Bourbon Drinker. 
...and Now: Amazon Top 100 Best Seller

It's simple really: I wanted heroines who were strong, powerful women in charge of their kingdoms, dreams, and destinies. So I began to write characters I wanted to read, and as soon as I opened that Pandora's Box-- well, it became a passion. The kind you quit your 9-5 to devote your life to. The kind that wakes you up in the middle of the night to write. I hope you enjoy these characters as much as I enjoy writing their stories. 

Interested in launch dates, exclusive free content, playlists and excerpts from the series? Subscribe for updates from me at: www.alexilawless.com

*** *** ***

Check out the exclusive cover reveal of Alexi Lawless' latest book, Goddess Rising, which is the prequel to her Complicated Creatures series. It releases in a few days and tells the story of Samantha (and Wes) in their college years before we meet them in Complicated Creatures.


She’s a bad-ass. He’s a bad-boy. One photograph changes everything.

Samantha’s been living in the shadow of her father all her life. But now she’s got plans of her own… and they don’t involve the university’s resident walking one-night stand. 

When Samantha Wyatt finally gets out from under her father’s thumb, she’s got her mind set on one thing: making a name for herself that’s got absolutely nothing to do with her dad. But when she meets the incredibly distracting and utterly relentless Wesley Elliott, she realizes there may be more to life than good grades.

Wesley’s the undisputed king of easy-come, easy-go—until a beautiful, mysterious girl walks right past his camera… and the photograph he takes of her becomes an obsession.

But Samantha’s no one-night-stand and she’s definitely not a typical college girl. She’s fierce, driven and completely focused on winning the Ranger Challenge, one of the toughest military competitions ever created. Wes finds himself in unfamiliar territory—busting his ass to keep up with her and discovering the extent of his own talents in the process. 

Goddess Rising is a coming of age novel unlike any you've ever read, and it will leave you questioning: Who says you have to do what you’re told?

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Don't forget to stop by next week when my guest at Friday Favourites will be the all-around fabulous romantic author and academic, Ms Laura Florand!


Waiting on Wednesday: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Ride Steady (Chaos #3)
Author: Kristen Ashley 
Genre/Themes: Romance, Bikers
Release Date: 30 June 2015

Add on Goodreads

Pre-order:  AmazonAppleBAM!B&N - Google Play – Kobo


The ride of her life . . . 
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . . 
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever.

Why am I waiting for this? - Kristen Ahshley is a hit or miss for me. Some of her stories are my all-time favoruites (Motorcycle Man, For You, Lady Luck), others are a big disappointment. Furthermore, I'm in the mood for a biker romance and hope Joker and Carissa will be just as good as Tack and Kiara!

Amy Jo Cousins

Review: The Girl Next Door by Amy Jo Cousins


Title: The Girl Next Door (Bend or Break #3)
Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Date of publication: 16 June 2015
Genre/Themes: Romance, queer

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Add to Goodreads

My rating: 4 Stars


When it comes to love, go big or go home.

Charles “Cash” Carmichael traded his high-rise condo and family-firm career for a job coaching soccer for Chicago’s inner-city kids. He’s adjusting to living on minimum wage when his young cousin, newly out and running away from home, shows up on his less-than-luxurious doorstep.

Angsty teens definitely aren’t Cash’s thing. He needs local backup, and there’s only one name he can think of: Stephany Tyler. Back in the day, the bisexual Steph was the perfect friend with benefits until she fell in love with a woman.

To his relief, his former friend steps up to the plate. Soon, though, Cash finds himself feeling the familiar need to keep her in his bed, and in his life. But Steph, burned by the ex-girlfriend and by the absentee dad she’s been trying to connect with, won’t risk her heart again.

Good thing Cash believes in leaving it all on the field. If he can just convince Steph to get in the game, there’s a chance they can both win.


I love this series, the first two books so far being New Adult MM and this one is more adult since we have a m/f couple at the centre yet the story is diverse/queer at heart.

I like Ms Cousins' writing - it's engaging, telling the stories of real young people dealing with different issues. Her strength for me is the way she builds her characters so real - insecure, making mistakes, yet not giving up, following their hearts.

This is the story of Cash and Steph whom we meet in book 1, Off Campus, he is Tom's best friend and she's is Reese's. They were both great there, especially Cash - accepting Tom being bi-sexual, the friendship he developed with Reese was pretty awesome as well. We never see much of his relationship with Steph there though I always suspected there was something more than friendship between them.

This books takes place a couple of years after the four friends graduated from college and now are trying to make it on their own as adults.

The best thing about this story for was Cash. I loved everything about him - he truly one of a kind. Open, acceptable, loyal to his friends, honest with himself. Working with the kids just warmed my heart. I loved his voice - struggling to be an adult, the sense of confusion, not feeling smart, often feeling lost and not knowing simple things, things that are supposed to be common knowledge, yet he was hardworking, never quitting, giving his all (I just have to say is again, he was FANTASTIC with those kids).

Steph had a tough time competing with Cash for my heart. I liked her, she was fun and open minded and, yet vulnerable, tender, hiding emotional scars behind free and easy-going attitude.

Cash absolutely stole the show for me. In fact, the romance felt somewhat weak compared to all the other things happening in his life. There was so such much of growth and development in him as a person that his relationship with Steph.

They have this great chemistry, sex is the easiest part of their relationship but Cash wanted more and was both patient and persistent in his affections. Their relationship flowed easily and lacked much tension and conflict. The (in)famous threesome scene was huge sign of Cash's love for Steph but still it left me wondering how it will affect the relationship between the three of them. 

And Denny, Cash's nephew, was cute and sweet and a catalyst for Cash making a fateful  decision. I can't wait to see more of him (and Rafi) in the upcoming book 4, Level Hands.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Google Play / iBooks / Samhain

My reviews of the previous books in the series:
Off Campus (Bend or Break #1) - 4 stars
Nothing Like Paris (Bend or Break #2) - 4.5 stars

Cara McKenna

Friday Favourites #9: Cara McKenna


Please welcome, Ms Cara McKenna as my guest at today's Friday Favourites. She writes intense romantic/erotic stories with complex characters exploring their emotions and desires.

Friday Favourites

1. Favourite place
I've got a few mismatched answers for this one, including Powell's City of Books, the front steps of my childhood home in Maine during a thunder storm, Boston's Public Garden, any bar with fried pickles on its menu, and Wellington, New Zealand.

2. Favourite food and drink
Guess I'd better say fried pickles, now! See also: really good clam chowder (New England-style, not Manhattan—Manhattan clam chowder is not chowder, legally speaking), Anjou pears, scallops, cheese balls / curls / puffs. To drink, a nice tart lemonade. And once this baby falls out and I can do alcohol again, a strong IPA in the cooler months, pilsner in the summer. I've also invented a cocktail that consists of equal parts prosecco and pineapple juice, which I call the Easy Cara.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
Hardest question ever. My all-time idol is Elvis Costello, particularly the albums "Spike" and "Punch the Clock." Nine Inch Nails got me through high school, Tori Amos got me through college. Kylie Minogue or Missy Elliott if I'm exercising. My favorite song of late is "The River" by Son Little.

4. Favourite movie/TV series
No contest on the movie front—The Shawshank Redemption, all the way. TV-wise…tough one. What shows would I never change the channel on, even if I've seen the episode a thousand times? Weird mix—Kath & Kim (the original), Hoarders, Absolutely Fabulous, certain seasons of Top Model, Bob's Burgers.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
I like exercising! When I'm not hugely pregnant I enjoy kickboxing and vinyasa yoga and hiking, though these days I'm mostly walking. I do lots of other creative things somewhat well, on an irregular basis—cooking, knitting, sewing, painting. Reading, of course! I especially love memoirs by people in the entertainment field, comedians in particular.

Favourite books
The two books I reread nearly every summer are The Long Walk by Stephen King / Richard Bachman and Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. Some recent favorites have been The BedwetterThe Boys in the Boat, Chasing the Scream, and 11/22/63. Anything and everything by Mary Roach and David Sedaris.

Author Bio and links

Cara McKenna writes award-winning contemporary romance and smart erotica, sometimes under the name Meg Maguire, and has sold more than thirty-five novels and novellas to Penguin, Harlequin, Samhain, and Signet Eclipse. She's known for writing no-nonsense, working-class heroes with capable hands and lousy grammar. She is a 2015 RITA Award finalist, a 2014 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award winner, a 2013 and 2011 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award nominee, and a 2010 Golden Heart finalist. Cara writes full-time and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her own bearded hero.

Her latest book, Drive It Deep, novella in the Desert Dogs series, was just released this week. It's the story of Raina and Miah's wild summer together 2 years before the start of the rest of the series.


The author of Give It All and Lay It Down reveals a glimpse into the past in this blistering new Desert Dogs prequel about love gone wrong.

Jeremiah Church and Raina Harper have been close since they were kids, back when life was all about hot Nevada summers spent running wild on the backs of their motorcycles with their friends. Now in their thirties, their lives are changing, and so is the way Miah looks at Raina—a sizzling tension has begun to smolder, impossible to ignore.

Miah is a man of simple pleasures—after a long day overseeing his family’s cattle ranch, a cool drink in his hand and a barstool under his backside are all he needs. Except lately, Miah’s begun looking at his bartender differently. Raina is Miah’s polar opposite—she’s as hot-headed as he is self-possessed, as wild as he is steady. And though they’re a recipe for disaster, the mutual attraction brewing between them is too tempting to deny.

But when bottled-up desires hit this hard, this fast, after so long, the results are positively explosive. And while the affair is hot enough set the badlands on fire, when the flames burn out, will their lifelong friendship survive, or go up in smoke?

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

Megan Erickson

Waiting on Wednesday: Focus on Me by Megan Erickson


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Focus on Me (In Focus #2)
Author: Megan Erickson
Genre/Themes: New Adult, M/M, road trip, mental illness
Release Date: 21 July 2015

Add on Goodreads

Pre-order: Amazon


Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert, and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.

Riley only intended to take a short ride in Colin’s Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However there are shadows in Riley’s eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn’t an option.


Why am I waiting for this? - I quite enjoyed book 1, Trust the Focus, though I had some issues with it. This one promises to be a bit darker and the reviews I read point out how powerful and emotional this story it. Plus it deals with mental issues and I have a soft spot for non-neurotypical characters. 

Contemporary Romance

Mini Review: Suddenly One Summer by Julie James


Title: Suddenly One Summer
Author: Julie James
Date of publication: 2 June 2015
Genre/themes: Romance, Lawyers

Author's links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars


Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn't mean she's opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister's case, she's as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford…

Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He's willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. He might not be looking to settle down, but there's no denying the scorching attraction between them. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for.

Mini Review 

I'm a a big fan of Julie James' FBI/US Attorney series and this book is standalone but can be considered a spinoff since the hero, Ford, is actually, Brooke's friend from Love Irresistibly.

Ms James writes low on the drama and angst contemporary romances with strong characters. Her stories flow easily and leave you with a happy smile in the end. 

This book turned to be one of my favourite of hers. Ford and Victories are just two people in their early 30s going about their life and falling in love in the process. They feel refreshingly normal - smart, educated, professionals, successful in their jobs but no billionaires. They both some issues to deal with but who doesn't. I loved how ordinary and real this story felt. Both Ford and Victoria read like real people, easy to understand and relate to. 

The neighbours-to-lovers trope added humour to the story and made their bickering and subsequently friends-with-benefits scenario cute and sweet. 

The subplot with Nicole and her baby daddy also worked well. It was a bit sweet but didn't bother me, I found it fitting to the overall light and easy tone of the story.

If you are looking for a light contemporary romance with well-built characters and engaging plot, you can give this book a try. Fans of Julie James will enjoy for sure this simple, yet entertaining modern-day love story. 

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BAM | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo

Amy Jo Cousins

Friday Favourites # 8: Amy Jo Cousins


It's time again for my Friday Favourites post and today I'm having Amy Jo Cousins, author of the NA diverse romance series Bend or Break. She reached out to me with an ARC of book 1, Off Campus, after I complained on GR that Samhain had declined my request on NetGalley, yet again. After reading and loving Tom and Reese's story so very much, Ms Cousins and me have struck an online friendship all over the interwebs - GR, FB, Twitter and I can't tell you all, She is an amazing lady and a wonderful romance author. 

Friday Favourites

1. Favourite place
Always: Chicago; 
Nostalgically: the dock on the lake in the town where I grew up; 
Far from home: the Santa Cruz neighborhood in Sevilla, Spain.

2. Favourite food and drink
I'm a peasant at heart: give me a plate of cured meats, cheeses, bread and olives, and I'm happy. I'm trying (unsuccessfully so far) to cure my Diet Coke addiction. Cranberry & club soda is my secret weapon.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
Depends on my mood! Bach's Double Violin Concerto is right up there with Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole" and Etta James singing "Don't Explain". 

4. Favourite movie/TV series
West Wing, West Wing, West Wing. Also, lately, the new Netflix Daredevil.

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
Writing is my job and reading is what keeps me sane. Does having a pint and a cheeseburger at the pub while debating politics on Friday afternoons count? I enjoy that more than the marathon training. ;)

Five favorite books Ack! This is hard! I'm gonna go old school and give you five of my formative romance novels growing up. 

1) The Ice Maiden by Sally Wentworth - The early days of computer dating! Back when wearing a blond wig would totally fool your alphahole into thinking you're a different girl. 

2) The Windflower by Laura London - Pirates. That's really all I need to say, right? 

3) The Stanislaski books by Nora Roberts - I loved the rough and tumble love of this family. La Nora definitely sparked my love of series books about family members. 

4) Angel by Johanna Lindsey - An independent young woman. A peacemaker with a gun. A panther named baby. Played with all my expectations and has that great eighties romance feel, without all the problematic stuff found in books of that era. 

5) Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann - The entire Troubleshooters series, really, but this book is where Jules, Brockmann's gay FBI agent (a secondary character in earlier books in the series), meets Robin, the alcoholic Hollywood actor who is the love of his life. This book is a bit of a cheat, since it only came out ten years ago, but Jules and Robin's story line was my first encounter with LGBTQ romance and the idea that I could write romance about any kind of love absolutely changed me.

*** *** ***

Author Bio and Links

Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.

Amy Jo Cousins' latest book in the Bend or Break series, The Girl Next Door, releases on 16 June. It tells Cash and Steph's story (we meet them in book 1, but it can be read as a standalone). I just finished it last week and it was such a fun, sweet and sexy and truly DIVERSE NA crossing into Adult (both characters graduated from college a couple of years ago) romance. 


When it comes to love, go big or go home.

Charles “Cash” Carmichael traded his high-rise condo and family-firm career for a job coaching soccer for Chicago’s inner-city kids. He’s adjusting to living on minimum wage when his young cousin, newly out and running away from home, shows up on his less-than-luxurious doorstep.

Angsty teens definitely aren’t Cash’s thing. He needs local backup, and there’s only one name he can think of: Stephany Tyler. Back in the day, the bisexual Steph was the perfect friend with benefits until she fell in love with a woman.

To his relief, his former friend steps up to the plate. Soon, though, Cash finds himself feeling the familiar need to keep her in his bed, and in his life. But Steph, burned by the ex-girlfriend and by the absentee dad she’s been trying to connect with, won’t risk her heart again.

Good thing Cash believes in leaving it all on the field. If he can just convince Steph to get in the game, there’s a chance they can both win.

Exclusive Excerpt

Steph and Cash have arranged to meet up for dinner so she can help him figure out how to help his young cousin who ran away from home after coming out to his parents. They had a friends-with-benefits arrangement for a while in college that ended when Steph got involved with a woman, but they haven’t seen each other since Cash moved to Chicago for work. When Cash asks her about her college girlfriend, Steph gets emotional.

He couldn’t take it anymore. After reaching across the table to grab her chin, he dunked a corner of his napkin in Steph’s ice water. “Hold still. You look like the Joker in Batman.”

“Jack Nicholson or Heath Ledger?”

“Yeah, you’re full-on creepy Ledger.” He wiped gently under her eyes, barely rubbing the delicate skin around her eyes.

“God. I’m so embarrassed I’m probably going to start propositioning you inappropriately or something, out of sheer need to change the subject.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” He ran his thumb along the edge of her jaw. This was how it always started with them. A verbal flirt, the bold suggestion, a dare that one of them couldn’t resist. And then a fast, hard tumble into each other’s bodies, where he’d found a level of comfort and ease, mixed with blazing hot, filthy sex, that he’d never experienced before.

Or since, for that matter.

He finished clearing away the worst of the eye makeup damage. Dropped his napkin on the table and tilted her head with a gentle hand on her chin. Yup. Still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, though he knew she’d argue with him there. Everything on her face was slightly tilted. Her top lip curved up at the corners of her mouth. Her nose tipped up a little at the end. Even her eyes seemed set at an angle, just enough to make her look different from everyone else. Magical. Like a big-eyed elf or something.

“Stop staring at me. It’s your fault, you know.” She lifted her chin away and he dropped his hand.

Cash nodded solemnly. “Most things are.”

God. Why did it make his heart thump every time he got a smile out of this girl?

Purchase links: AmazonB&N / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play

Don't forget to stop by the blog next week when my guest will be Ms Cara McKenna!

Alexis Hall

Review: For Real by Alexis Hall


Title: For Real (Spires Universe)
Author: Alexis Hall
Genre/Themes: Romance, MM, BDSM, May-December
Release Date: 1 June 2015

Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads 
Add on Goodreads

My Rating: 4 Stars


Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.


Where do I start with this? Probably with the disclaimer that Alexis Hall is my favoruite author at the moment and I'd describe us as friends on the interwebs.

I greatly enjoy his writing and he is one of the few writers out there that I would read anything they write. Having said this, I took reading this book as a personal challenge, since I'm not a big fan of BDSM romances and stories with big age gap rarely work well for me, but, hell, this is Alexis, so it's not surprise I enjoyed this book quite a lot.

I feel a comparison with Glitterland is unavoidable not just because both stories are set in the same time and place. There are certain similarities between the stories and the characters of both books and I don't think it's a bad thing. What I didn't particularly like is the sense of instalove I got in both cases. We see the gradual development of the relationship between Laurie and Toby (as well as between Ash and Darian) but things start pretty quickly for both couples - they meet at a club, there is an immediate attraction and the one-night stand develops into deep and meaningful relationship.

It came as a surprise to me but it was the age difference that I liked so much in the story. The exploration how two people (Toby 19-yo dom in the making and Laurie  - 37-yo disillusioned and experience sub ) build a relationship and find their way to one another - was an amazing reading experience. If I have to sum up this book in one word, it'd be INTENSE. Mr. Hall tells the story of two people coming together - defying labels and expectations. They are nothing alike but they complete the other one perfectly. And the best quality of the book for me is how real the emotions of the Toby and Laurie felt - the hesitance and reluctance of a jaded, somewhat scarred older man and the enthusiasm and sense of invincibility of youth.

In his interviews talking about For Real, Mr. Hall describes this book as the the kind of BDSM he wants to read. It quietly but insistently subverts of all norms, not just in BDSM romance, but in general - social status/class, sexual relationships, stereotypes of education and beauty. I can't judge how authentic or realistic the BDSM aspect of the story is and I don't really care about it being true to life. What I love about the story is that Mr. Hall made me care about Toby and Laurie (and their friends) and believe in their connection and love. 

I really liked Toby's voice - his character was done brilliantly, all the confusion of being young and pretty much on your own, trying to find your place, direction in life, it felt so very real and familiar. Yet, Toby was special in his own way, open, full of life and light, yet insecure, shy - just young, a typical 19 yo.

There is also a lot about Laurie that I liked too. He shows us that you can fuck up even when at 37 but can also learn at that age, and dream and find love/happiness. Making mistakes and occasionally losing direction/yourself is part of being adult, not an inconvenience of the teenage years which passes away as we grow older. I found it easy to relate to many of his emotion - grief for the past relationship, inability/unwillingness to move on, resignation to live as it, fear of opening up of letting someone new in. Still, his introspection came as too much at times. I loved the tiny glimpse we got into Laurie as a medical consultant but felt his life outside being with Toby/club scene remained rather vague.

I have to admit that the BDSM was the hardest element of the story for me to understand/appreciate. I love how it was not just a kink, merely role playing, but it was all a matter of intimacy, of trust, of love. It's the hottest story by Alexis Hall I've read but it was never sex/kink for its own sake. It's all intermixed with a detailed exploration of human emotions - love, loss, grief, hope.

One of the strengths of the story were the full developed characters, both Laurie and Toby were more than just dom/sub, but the rest of the characters really stood out, especially Laurie's friends, the Oxford crowd (we see Edwin there :) and Dom the Dom. I wasn't the biggest fan of Toby's mother, though she is an intriguing character and dislike was a personal matter. 

Alexis' writing style is a little purple and a lot of erudite in general and it's clearly seen here. I really enjoy his way with words - it's just the right amount of challenge to keep me invested in the story and not make me frustrated for being over the top/too anything. Still, I'd describe Mr. Hall's style as an acquired taste and it might not work for everybody. I'd encourage you to give his works a try though. They are brilliant!

In short, For Real tells a surprisingly emotional and intimate love story where BDSM is more than sex kink but rather of a way for these two characters to be themselves and to be together. Recommended read!

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Riptide

My reviews of other books by Alexis Hall:
Glitterland - 5 Stars
Prosperity - 4.5 Stars
Liberty and Other Stories - 5 Stars
There will be Phlogiston - 4.5 Stars
Sand and Ruin and Gold - 5 Stars

Historical Romance

Waiting on Wednesday: A Fashionable Indulgence by K. J. Charles


Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: A Fashionable Indulgence (Society of Gentlemen)
Author: K. J. Charles 
Genre/Themes: Historical romance, M/M
Release Date: 11 Aug 2015

Add on Goodreads

Pre-order: Amazon


In the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power, and manipulation.

When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.

After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion.

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Why am I waiting for this? - I've only read the first of the Magpie books and I was intrigued by the mixture of fantasy and historical fiction. A Fashionable Indulgence is the first book in a new historical m/m romance series and I looking forward to reading it this summer.

New Adult

Review: Elements of Chemistry by Penny Reid


This is a review of the complete Elements of Chemistry series  - Attraction, Heat and Capture. They tell  the story of the same couple and the first two end in cliffhangers and you need to read them in order before you get to the sweet HEA. 

Attraction (Elements of Chemistry #1)

One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.

Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.

When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

Heat (Elements of Chemistry #2)

Four days left.
Private beach (…and boat).
Not so invisible girl.
And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.
What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?

Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.

When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin—previously known as the jerk-faced bully—Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.

But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their newfound connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.

Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust—or her heart—can handle.

Capture (Elements of Chemistry #3)

One week. 
Manhattan apartment. 
Super-hot ex-boyfriend.
…What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s been nine months since Kaitlyn Parker has seen or heard from Martin Sandeke—nine months and five stages of matter. She’s lived through the worst of first-love heartbreak, and is most certainly stronger (and less likely to hide in science cabinets) than ever before.

But now Martin is back. And he wants to be friends. But he’s sending mixed signals to the Bunsen burner in Kaitlyn’s pants.

Will Martin re-capture Kaitlyn’s heart? Can Kaitlyn and Martin ever be just friends? Or, despite an abundance of chemistry, are some bonds just too unstable to endure?


I'm a big fan of Ms Ried's contemporary romcom series, Knitting in the City and was curious what she could do with younger characters in a college setting. These books were funny and much sexier than her adult series and overall, I quite enjoyed them, though I still prefer her adult series.

I felt the pacing was a bit uneven with book 2 being the weakest element in the story. I liked the final book the best and it left me in a good place, all happy and satisfied about Kaitlyn and Martin.

Ms Reid has brought her trademark humour and appreciation of socially awkward and not very neurotypical characters in her NA romance. Kaitlyn was adorable - super smart and nerdy, not really experience in matters of the heart (and body). I liked her development as a characters throughout the series. there is real growth and change and in the end we have the same nerdy girl but she is confident in herself, independent, open to follow her dreams.

While I liked Kaitlyn from start to finish, even if sometimes I thought she was acting immature, I could relate to her. My attitude towards Martin was more complex. In the beginning was acting pretty close to the typical college spoilt brat, bad boy player. He was both kind and tender with Kaitlyn and possessive and his complicated family situation partially explained his behaviour but wasn't enough for me to accept his intrusive, forceful courtship of Kaitlyn. bossiness, disrespect to everybody. Wanted a more neutral perspective on him than the starry-eyed vision of K.

I liked how Ms Reid explored complicated family/friends dynamics, I found both K and M families far from perfect and in a way both characters had to gain their Independence form them burden of family expectations/obligations. It was painful but necessary coming-of-age for both of them.

I'm generally wary of CEOs, especially, super young ones like Martin but the professional aspect of the story worked well here.

Book 3 stands a bit apart from the rest. The previous two can be read as preparation, a sort of providing the setting for the romance to develop in Book 3. It's a complete story of its own, not just because of the ending. We Kaitlyn and Martin struggling to get back together but it also shows us a lot of them as individuals.I have some minor quibbles with the way the conflict was built in the final instalment, it seemed unrealistic. While Kaitlyn was more mature and open about many things, she still acted totally clueless about obvious things (like Martin's true feelings towards her) and it didn't ring true to me and generally did a disservice to her character. I liked Martin much more than in the previous books and his gentle, albeit too stealthy and under-disguised plan for winning K back took him a while to bring to expected results.

I liked Kaitlyn's band and her bandmates were great addition to the story and very fitting. And I want Abram story, pretty please Ms Reid! There will be more NA stories by Ms Reid coming later on and though I'm curious to read them.

Purchase links (the complete set of Elements of Chemistry)
Amazon / KoboB&N / iTunes  

Alexis Hall

Friday Favourites # 7: Alexis Hall


Friday Favourites is the latest feature on my blog, an Author spotlight where you have a chance to learn more about my favoruite authors in a blitz interview and see what their favourite books are. Today I'm more than a little excited and happy to have as my guest, an absolutely fabulous and truly exceptional English gentelman, Mr. Alexis Hall

Friday Favourites

1. Favourite place
Gosh, this is really difficult. In England, my favourite cities are Brighton and Oxford, because they’re both places I’ve felt really at home. I love the tawdry glamour of seaside towns and Brighton is/was the UK’s queer capital. And Oxford is where I learned who I was. It’s where I first found friends, first fell in love, first did most of the things that really matter. It’s also a ridiculously beautiful city, all gold and green and grey, dusty sunlight breaking against ancient stone.

2. Favourite food and drink
Being English, my favourite non-alcoholic drink is probably tea. And my favourite tea is lapsang. It’s kind of an acquired taste but I love its rich smokiness, that oddly ashy smell it has. My favourite alcoholic drink is champagne, preferably pink champagne, because … why the heck not? All things being equal, I genuinely can’t see why you wouldn’t want to drink anything else.

Foodwise, it’s hard to choose because I … well … I like eating and I like being indulged with posh-type delicacies. I think it’s a working class thing. I find food in general very romantic and very sensual—although once in my quest to try new things, I did eat testicle, which was neither. Not completely awful but it’s not like sit around of a quiet evening thinking “gosh, I really fancy some testicle right now.”

I guess my comfort food of choice would be hot buttered crumpets. Or, failing crumpets, just hot buttered toast. It’s very simple but there’s a deep pleasure to it, especially that glisten of too-much butter. Nom.

3. Favourite music/genre/artist/song
Ah! This is impossible, Ellie.
I guess I have to choose John Grant because he sort of … helped me be okay with feeling things. I’d always been quite into The Czars but his solo album QUEEN OF DENMARK was a complete revelation to me. I still listen to it all the time but I can remember the first time I heard it … like, literally stopping everything I was doing, and just lying down on the floor to properly listen to thing. I mean, how often does that happen? A piece of music just stilling the whole world for you for the forty-minute stretch of an album. I actually cried—just these sort of deep, relieved tears because that album articulated things for me I didn’t even realise I needed articulating. I’m a lot more emotionally comfortable now than I used to be but at the time it felt like some dislocated part of me finally settling into its proper face.

4. Favourite movie/TV series
Ahhhh again!
I’m starting to get increasingly nervous about this concept of ‘favourite’ – I mean, obviously there’s … the idea The Best Thing Ever That Blows My Tiny Mind and Reduces Me to A Damp Pile of Feelz … but I guess the things I tend to consider as ‘favourites’ are the things I come back to like coming home.

It’s probably showing my age, but I do come back to Buffy the Vampire a Slayer a lot. I know Joss Whedon is kind of Problematic these days … but Buffy was just sort of there with me throughout my teenage and university years, and kind of captured something or articulated something for me at that time. So it’s comforting to come back to it, although Season 6 is ropey and Season 7 is awful. And there are some plot developments it is best Not To Speak Of. It’s also weird how you relationship the show changes over time. I remember being completely blown away by Series 3 and 5 at the time, but arc-based stories are really common on TV now and, actually, shows that are all about the arc and less about the individual episode, aren’t so good for re-watching. So I’m all about Season 2: it’s this perfect balance between individual episodes, while also carrying a broader narrative. Also it has my favourite episode in it, which is I Only Have Eyes For You. 

5. Favourite hobby besides writing, if you consider writing a hobby
I do consider writing a hobby :)
So probably gaming? My partner and I are hideous, hideous nerds and so are most of our friends so we play a lot of board games. It’s just a really sociable, entertaining way to spend an evening. I used to play a lot of computer games, especially RPGs, but I don’t really have enough time any more. Also I might have sort of out grown them just a little bit. I’m not sure. 

Favourite books
Omg. Okay, so treating ‘favourite’ in the sense of … books I return to like old friends, for solace and warm feelings.

1. Georgette Heyer. Again, Georgette Heyer novels remind me of the good parts of my adolescence, so I always end up coming back to them. I’d be hard pushed to pick a favourite, but some of my favourites (hah, I’m cheating) are Cotillion, Sylvester, Venetia and These Old Shades. Now I’m older and my sense of romance has changed, I’m also very fond of The Civil Contract.

2. Skin Lane by Neil Bartlett. This book is just perfect to me. I don’t want to say anything about it for fear of spoiling it. It’s so many things, none of which are necessarily the things you expect. What is, though, is extraordinarily beautiful.

3. Crush by Richard Siken. This is actually a volume of poetry, not a novel, but I love it. Again, it’s really hard to describe but I guess it’s … about obsession. The language is just stunning, the way the words build up and overwhelm you.

4. Laura Kinsale. A slightly newer discovery but I love her. Again, having trouble picking a single favourite. I guess For My Lady’s Heart will always be special to me, because it’s the first I read. I love the Middle English, and the way the story intersects with and dismantles the Gawain myth. Also Melanthe is amazing and awful and the best heroine ever.

5. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I know this is a slightly odd choice but I just completely love it. It’s like the first post-modern Victorian novel I suppose, told through these unreliable, narrative fragments (a bit like Dracula but a gazillion times better). Also Marion is another amazing heroine. And her foeyay with Count Foscoe is kinky as hell. - Free edition available on Amazon

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Author Bio and Links

Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret.

He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.

He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car.

He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.

Website / Twitter / Goodreads 

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Alexis' Hall latest novel, For Real, a BDSM May-December romance, which is part of the Spires series, realeased on 1 June. I will be reviewing it next week but my one-word description is Intense! 


Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Riptide

Don't forget the check my Friday Favourites post next week when I'm having Amy Jo Cousins sharing her favourites and I will spotlight her upcoming diverse book, The Girl Next Door!

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