Release Day Review: Checkmate: This is Effortless by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is Effortless by Kennedy Fox
Series: The Checkmate Duet #4  (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Courtney Bishop is as sugary sweet as her famous blueberry muffins.
Southern belle at heart, Cali girl by choice.
She barged into my life and easily became my best friend.
All was great as roommates and just friends, but then I fell for the girl who could chop firewood, deliver baby calves, and bail hay without breaking a sweat.
She’s the perfect mixture of sugar and spice, and I love her.

Being more than friends and trying to build our future isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Moving forward and creating memories is all I want for us, but when the past continues to come back and haunt me, I’m not so sure she’ll stay for the ride.

Loving her is easy, but losing her will break me. Burning passion combined with an undeniable chemistry constantly pushes and pulls us together. In the end, I’ll prove we’re worth the fight, even when the game is far from over.

Checkmate, sweetheart.

Checkmate: This is Effortless was a highly anticipated read of mine ever since I read that god-awful cliffhanger from This is Reckless. I needed to see how Drew and Courtney would deal with the bitch drama that is Mia. While I didn’t quite enjoy this one as much as I did Drewtney’s first book because of all the hectic, filler drama, I was still glad to have read this and finally get to see how Drewtney ended up. If you were a fan of the Checkmate Duet series, you will most likely love Drew and Courtney’s conclusion!

Mia has gone off her rails and is determined to ruin what Courtney and Drew have. This woman is CRAZY, thinking she and Drew still belong together. But Drewtney is as strong as ever, despite Mia’s antics to scare Courtney off. Courtney does get scared, but Drew, mister Deputy, is working hard to make her feel as safe as possible. Drew is as sweet as ever – I really enjoyed how he was trying to handle Mia all the while making sure Courtney knew how much he loved her. Courtney is relatable with her fears and struggles with Mia, although I did get frustrated at how she relied on Drew a little too much.

The main reason why I didn’t love this book was because of how the drama with Mia seemed to drag on forever. I felt like Drew and Courtney could have dealt with Mia so much sooner than they did, which would have cut down the book length. And when Drewtney weren’t worried about Mia, they were having sex. I love a good steamy scene, but all the sex seemed to hinder the story progression.

Still, the ending of the book was definitely my favorite part. I was happy to see how Drewtney’s relationship concluded, and I’m excited for more in the series! I love the girl group that is Viola, Courtney, and Kayla and can’t wait for the dog-lover of the group to get a book with her uniformed man!


lacey


Reading Order: The Checkmate Duet series

   

#1 ~ This is War: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ This is Love: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ This is Reckless: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ This is Effortless: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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Preorder Promotion + Giveaway: Roar by Cora Carmack

Want the chance to win some Roar swag? Check out the preorder promo below!

Roar by Cora Carmack
Series: Stormheart #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
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In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleBAMiTunes • IndieBound

Pre-order your copy of Roar and submit your receipt here (http://us.macmillan.com/torforge/promo/roar2017preorderoffer) to receive a special swag bag of a Skyfire pendant and Stormheart Chart in a cloth bag!

Reading Order: Stormheart series

#1 ~ Roar: Ebook • HardcoverGoodreads (June 13, 2017)

about the author button

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling author who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

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Roar by Cora Carmack poster/map (US only)

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Release Day Blitz + Excerpt & Giveaway: It Happened on Love Street by Lia Riley

Happy release day to Lia Riley – It Happened on Love Street is live!
Check out an excerpt and giveaway below!

It Happened on Love Street by Lia Riley
Series: Everland, Georgia #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
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In the tradition of New York Times bestselling authors Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and in-house author Marina Adair, comes the first in a new series by Lia Riley about two city sisters finding love in a small town.

The most romantic place she never wanted to be . . .

Pepper Knight moved to Everland, Georgia, as step one in her plan for a successful legal career. But after this big-city gal’s plans go awry, going home with her tail between her legs isn’t an option. So when the town vet-and her sexy new neighbor-offers Pepper a temporary dog-walking job, she jumps at the chance. No one needs to know that man’s best friend is her worst nightmare . . . or that Everland’s hot animal whisperer leaves her panting.

The last thing Rhett Valentine wants is to be the center of small-town gossip. After his first love left him at the altar, he’s been there, done that. These days, life is simple, just the way he likes it. But sultry southern nights get complicated once sparks fly between him and the knockout next door. When she proposes a sexy, secret fling-all the deliciousness and none of the prying neighbors-it seems too good to be true. And it is. Because Pepper’s determined to leave Love Street, and when she goes, she just might take his heart with her . . .

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Books-A-Million • Google Play • iBooks • Indiebound • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from It Happened on Love Street! ❤

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“Here’s an idea.” He nudged his finger on hers. “Say we—and this is purely hypothetically—enjoyed the . . . ahem . . .pleasure of each other’s company in the privacy of ourhomes.”

“Hypothetically, kept it casual and under the radar?”

She nudged back. “When I leave, there’s no heartbreak, no drama, and no one is the wiser.”

“Interesting theory?” He reached out, his hand splaying her knee. “Or recipe for disaster?”

Tingles shot up her thigh. His skin was warm, those fingers very big and very male. “I have enough to worry about with my future. If you don’t need me for more than a little here and now? I might be persuaded. Hypothetically.”

He moved his hand from her knee to the back of her neck. The touch melted her faster than an ice cube in the July sun.

“What are you thinking?” she murmured.

His deep blue gaze locked on hers and there it came again, that curious sensation of floating and drowning. “That I’d like to hypothetically kiss you.”

There was a sudden roaring in her ears, a whoosh of blood. “Well, there’s only one way to test a hypothesis.”

Slowly, oh so slowly, he dipped forward. His lips didn’t settle on hers like she expected. Instead, he kissed the center of her forehead, softly, experimentally. A tremble rocked through him.

The evening air was sultry, no a hint of chill. The idea that she shook this steadfast man sent a shiver of need through the join of her thighs, a throbbing shudder that swelled to an ache as he peppered a light trail of kisses down her temple, and then moved lower. He took his sweet time on her cheeks, treating her as something to savor, a delicious dessert you didn’t want to wolf in one bite. Tension spread through her body, pulling tighter and tighter, her belly doing a fluttery dips and dives.

When he finally reached her lips, it seemed reasonable to expect that the kiss would be as soft as the others. Silly. Because Rhett was full of surprises. He didn’t hold back, his tongue was greedy, insistent, and hungry. Their teeth banged together. A chair tipped over. They crashed against a table leg, sent it screeching across the floor.

“In theory, you’re a good kisser,” she gasped, tracing her lower lip with her tongue. The skin was puffy, aching.

“Let me experiment a bit more. The initial results are promising.”

Reading Order: Everland, Georgia series

 

#1 ~ It Happened on Love Street: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Corner of Forever and Always: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Sept. 26, 2017)

about the author button

Lia Riley is a contemporary romance author. USA Today describes her as “refreshing” and RT Book Reviews calls her books “sizzling and heartfelt.” She loves her husband, three kids, wandering redwood forests and a perfect pour over coffee. She is 25% sarcastic, 54% optimistic, and 122% bad at math (good thing she writes happy endings for a living). She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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Ten (10) mass market copies of IT HAPPENED ON LOVE STREET

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Release Day Review: Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey

Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey
Series: Romancing the Clarksons #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Links: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The third book in New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey’s Romancing the Clarksons series about four siblings on a cross-country road trip, perfect for fans of Gena Showalter and Julie James!

This time, she’s calling the shots.

Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he’s been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy’s determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she’ll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

I am the BIGGEST sucker for angst – and if Tessa Bailey writes it? It goes without saying that I’ll probably love it. I’d been DYING to read Peggy’s story ever since I heard it was going to be a second chance romance with an older hero who would have some major groveling to do. I love me some good grovel, and Tessa Bailey didn’t disappoint. I loved this book so, SO much. I adored Peggy and Elliot and their angst-filled, intense, steamy romance. If you’re a fan of second chance romances or groveling heroes, you need this book in your life!

One more mile to campus and she would be sharing oxygen with Elliott Brooks. Coach Elliott Brooks. The man she’d let ruin her for all others.
This weekend, Peggy would be returning the favor.

Back when Peggy was in college and in the cheerleading team, she couldn’t resist the allure of the football coach, Elliott Brooks. She had plans to seduce him, but fell in love with him instead… but he never reciprocated her feelings, and pushed her away. Now, years later, during a stop along the Clarkson family road trip to New York, Peggy is back at her old college and ready to make Elliott remember exactly what he threw away. And yeah, maybe she’s never been able to forget about him, despite her several ex-fiancés, but she’s determined to make Elliott suffer for all the hurt he caused her. But is all this effort worth it on a man who will never love her back?

Because whatever she’d felt for Elliott the man? She was declaring it dead. At one time there’d been more than sexual dependency and her need for approval between them, not that Elliott would admit it. But he’d slowly killed the good. She’d be damned before trying to revive it, when he didn’t want it back.
I’m over you, Elliott Brooks.

Elliott’s life revolves around football and it’s been his sole focus for years… except for that one period when he was obsessed with a certain cheerleader named Peggy Clarkson. But he pushed her away years ago and never expected to see her again… so when she shows up out of the blue, he’s knocked right on his ass and doesn’t know what to do with himself anymore. Then Peggy decides that she truly is O-V-E-R him, and what’s a man to do but fight for the only woman he’s ever loved and not let her go a second time?

“Miss you?” He grated the incredulous question, dropping his mouth to her temple. “You left me without a soul. I can barely remember the days since you left. They passed without me feeling a single thing. Because you are feeling for me. You’re the only thing that keeps me from being numb. Twice in my life you’ve turned me back into a living, breathing man, and missing you… missing you, Peggy, doesn’t even begin to cover it. You revive me.”

Too Hard to Forget is my new favorite read of Tessa’s. It’s my favorite so far in the series, and it’s up there at the top with Risking it All for me. This book had my heart in constant palpitations – the angst, the tension, the frustrations, the steam, all of it had me utterly hooked and infatuated with Peggy and Elliott’s story. From their torturous flashback scenes to their tension-filled, erotic present, their story was everything I could have hoped for and more. I adored Peggy and how she knew when to let go and stop fighting for a man who wouldn’t fight for her. Elliott had me frustrated and hot and bothered at the same time, but I truly fell in love with him when he realized how much he loved Peggy and was willing to move heaven and earth to prove his love to her. This man does some major groveling – you won’t be disappointed!

I had crazy high expectations for this second chance romance, but Tessa went above and beyond my expectations. I completely loved it! It’s got all sorts of tropes to love – a second chance romance, an age gap, opposites attract, a groveling hero… honestly, how could I NOT end up loving it? If you’re a fan of Tessa Bailey and her dirty, delicious reads, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on Too Hard to Forget!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Romancing the Clarksons series

 
  

#1 ~ Too Hot to Handle: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Too Wild to Tame: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Too Hard to Forget: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Too Close to Call: EbookGoodreads (June 13, 2017)
#4 ~ Too Beautiful to Break: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Sept. 5, 2017)


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Release Week Blitz + Top 5 List, Excerpt & Giveaway: Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey

Happy release day to Tessa Bailey – Too Hard to Forget is now live!! Check out Tessa’s top 5 traits in an alpha male, an excerpt, and a giveaway below!

Top 5 Traits in an Alpha Male

Where to start? Where to start?! I love so many things about alpha males, but they’re all different, right? They’re extra special to me when they have the following traits…

  1. When they’re protective. Of course, I love when the hero is protective over the heroine, but it’s an added bonus when they’re protective over their mother or sister. I love a family man who not only cares for the women in his life, but respects them as well.
  2. When they grunt. Come on, I’m not the only one! LOL. I love when men grunt in lieu of answering a question. Of course they have to answer it eventually for real, but yay sound effects.
  3. No head games. My favorite kind of alpha male knows exactly what he wants and goes after it. If the heroine isn’t interested, he adjusts and learns more about her. He ups his game. A reasonable level of persistency is something I find very attractive.
  4. They’re easily confused. Maybe this makes me crazy or sadistic, but I love that moment when a capable alpha male is totally knocked onto his ass by the heroine, to the point where he starts to question everything he knows. I love that process and him coming to the realization that she makes him better.
  5. They’re jealous. It’s a total guilty pleasure of mine when a man gets irrationally worried that he could lose the woman he’s falling for to someone else. It can often spur the realization that he’s sunk and that’s such a gratifying moment!

Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey
Series: Romancing the Clarksons #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Add to Goodreads

The third book in New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey’s Romancing the Clarksons series about four siblings on a cross-country road trip, perfect for fans of Gena Showalter and Julie James!

This time, she’s calling the shots.

Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he’s been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy’s determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she’ll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Books-A-Million • Google Play • iBooks • Indiebound • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from Too Hard to Forget! ❤

excerpt button

“I don’t know, Peggy.” He whirled on her, closing in until she was forced back onto the desk. “I had an All-American on my squad this morning and now I don’t. That’s all I know.” He pointed a finger toward the window. “I solve problems down on the field. Saving people isn’t my job.”

Saving people. God, there was such a wealth of regret and pain in those two words. But he couldn’t hear it and she couldn’t address it. Letting him know she saw right through his façade to the hurt beneath might force Elliott to close himself off. “You didn’t always limit yourself. Why are you doing it now?”

“Accepting things that can’t be changed isn’t a limitation. It’s realistic.”

“But how will you know if something can’t be changed unless you try?”

“When it comes to certain things, Peggy, trying leads to losing.” He was in her face now, the mint from his toothpaste familiar and inviting where it slid over her lips. “And I don’t lose.”

No one ever stood up this man but her, and she wouldn’t be cowed now. “No? You’re out a receiver.” She hitched herself up on his desk. “I’d call that a loss.”

The tips of his shoes met Peggy’s, his hands gripping the furniture on either side of her hips. “Who do you think you are, little girl? Coming into my office and telling me what I’ve done wrong?” His eyes were brilliant in their vexation, the attraction he was trying so hard to fight. “Where do you get the goddamn bravery?”

“The bravery is what you liked best about me,” she breathed, heat sizzling in a downward V toward her thighs. “Isn’t it?”

“No. That bravery is what almost led to my downfall.” His hands found her bottom, jerking her to the edge of the desk. “I resented it. Still do.”

“Liar,” Peggy whispered, easing her thighs wider. “You’re dying for an excuse to head for another downfall.” When her legs were as open as she could spread them, she leaned up to Elliott’s ear and let her breath shake loose. “One thrust.”

Elliott’s right hand came up out of nowhere, molding over Peggy’s mouth as his hips crowded into the notch of her legs. With a quick maneuver to recline her halfway back, Elliott’s erection found the apex of her thighs, delivering an aggressive pump against her underwear that sent a scream climbing up Peggy’s throat, only to be trapped by his hand. Knees jerking up out of reflex over the rush of sensation, an orgasm almost—almost— broke past the surface, sending her waters rippling out on all sides. Her legs wanted to hug Elliott’s waist, her voice wanted to beg for one more, one more, one more, but he shook his head, denying her, even though his gaze was hot, a low groan issuing from his harshly masculine mouth.

He leaned in and nipped the lobe of her ear. “Next time, ask for two.”

Reading Order: Romancing the Clarksons series

 
  

#1 ~ Too Hot to Handle: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Too Wild to Tame: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Too Hard to Forget: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Too Close to Call: EbookGoodreads (June 13, 2017)
#4 ~ Too Beautiful to Break: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Sept. 5, 2017)

about the author button

Tessa BaileyTessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans, and laptop, and drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend, and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Goodreads

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Ten (10) mass market copies of TOO HARD TO FORGET

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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