Early Review: Stripped by Zoey Castile

Stripped by Zoey Castile
Series: Happy Endings #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 28th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Skilled, sculpted, and sexy, the men of adult entertainment are the kind of guys a woman reserves for her fantasies, not her reality. But is there more to these professional hotties than meets the eye? . . .

The day Robyn Flores meets Zac Fallon is one of those days. You know, when you’re already late for work. Mostly because you haven’t really slept since your best friend abandoned you for her fiancé and her exponentially better life. The kind of day you drag yourself to the cleaners to pick up your laundry, only to discover you’ve got the wrong bag—Star Spangled sequined thong, anyone? So Robyn is definitely not ready for the ridiculously gorgeous guy at her front door, except that they have each other’s clothes. But then, is any woman ever ready to meet the love of her life?

There’s just one problem: Zac Fallon is not the love of Robyn’s life. Zac knows, despite the all-too-intimate dinner they share, he doesn’t have a shot at her. Because the next time Zac sees Robyn, he’s front and center of the male revue headlining her best friend’s bachelorette party. So much for wooing the pretty schoolteacher, much less impressing her old-fashioned family, with his upstanding lifestyle. Now he’s only got one way to win his dream girl. It’s gonna be the steamiest, most irresistible seduction she’s ever seen. And this time it will be no act . . .

I had such high hopes for Stripped – I mean, a stripper and a fifth-grade teacher? To say I was intrigued would be an understatement, and I ended up adoring Fallon and Robyn. Their romance was surprisingly so much sweeter than I expected, but just as dirty and sexy as I was hoping a stripper romance would be. It was so easy to fall into the story, the writing, the characters. Zoey Castile is a new author you don’t want to miss. And if you’re a fan of Magic Mike, you absolutely need to read Stripped!

Robyn Flores’ life is a bit of a mess. She’s an elementary school teacher who is perpetually late getting to work. She used to have plans growing up on how exactly her life would turn out, and it’s all spiraled out from under her. But things start to change when she finds a sequined thong in her laundry… a thong that belongs to her next door neighbor, who is also one of the strippers who shows up at her best friend’s bachelorette party.

Fallon is not ashamed of being a stripper, and why should he be? He embraces his job that has led him to become successful and comfortable in life, a change from his childhood. He sees no shame in what he does, though he hates that people disrespect him and look down on him when they find out what he does for a living. He and Robyn feel an instant connection the moment they meet and the chemistry between them is on fire. I loved every moment they were together, as they banter with each other and form a closer bond. Fallon is absolutely perfect for Robyn, with the way he treats her so preciously. The way he embraces his job helps Robyn discover and embrace her own true passion in life. Robyn frustrated me a bit with her back and forth – in both life and with Fallon – but that was balanced out by how kindhearted Fallon was. Stripped was surprisingly low on drama, but it worked for their story.

As far as first books in a series go, Stripped was fantastic. It was entertaining, funny, but also had its meaningful moments. Also, Zoey Castile is way too talented at writing stripper scenes, because they just come to life right out of the pages. And they are HOT. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for her readers with the rest of the series, and I’m so excited to see more strippers fall in love!


lacey


Reading Order: Happy Endings series

  

#1 ~ Stripped: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Aug. 28, 2018)
#2 ~ Hired: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (Feb. 26, 2019)
#3 ~ Flashed: Goodreads (2019)


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Release Day Review: Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey

Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: May 10th 2018
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Everyone in Cedar Creek, Texas, knows Jack McNight is an arrogant devil. Physically, I get it: he’s tan and fit, with coal-black hair that’s clearly been scorched by hellfire. Oh, and his personality? It burns just as hot.

When I show up on the doorstep of Blue Stone Ranch, I’m run-down and rockin’ my last pair of underwear. I’m hoping for a savior, but instead, I find him.

My opinion of Jack is marred by a dismal first impression, but his opinion of me is tainted even before I arrive. He’s heard I’m a spoiled princess there to take advantage of his goodwill. To him, I’m more trouble than I’m worth.

Our button-pushing banter should get under my skin. His arrogance should be a major turn-off. Problem is, devils are known to offer their own form of temptation.

Every one of his steely glares sends a shiver down my spine.

Every steamy encounter leaves me reeling.

Sure, it could be the Texas heat messing with my head, but there’s no way I’ll survive the summer without silencing him with a kiss and wrestling him out of those Wranglers.

Who knows…going to bed with the devil might just be the salvation I’ve been looking for all along.

If there’s one author that I know I can count on to deliver a laugh-out-loud, hilarious, fun romantic comedy, it’s R.S. Grey. She nails the humor in her books every time, from the funny banter to the crazy situations that the characters (mainly the heroines) end up in. Meredith was such an endearing heroine and though the hero was hard to like in the beginning, Jack grew on me in the end. If you’re looking for the perfect rom-com with cowboys, look no further than this one.

Jack breezes right past me and stomps into the shack so heavily that the fragile walls quake. It’ll be a fitting end, both of us suffocating under the rubble. Just as we’re gasping for our last breaths, I’ll offer to make peace, and very quietly, he’ll whisper back, Go to hell.

This quote perfect describes the kind of relationship our dear hero and heroine have, at least in the beginning. Meredith dumps her cheating husband and her cushy life, and the only place she can find a job is on the very hands-on ranch her sister works at. Jack sees her as a pampered baby, and though he’s not off the mark, Meredith is determined to be the best housekeeper she can be. To say they get off to a rough start would be an understatement – Jack is arrogant and judgmental, and no one fires him up like Meredith. He doesn’t take it too far, but it was hard to like him in the midst of all his asshole-ness.

Slowly, though, as Meredith and Jack get to know one another (thanks to a scheming grandmother and the constant proximity on the ranch), the two form a sort of truce. They becoming friendlier and start to understand each other better. Of course, they try to ignore the underlying attraction between them, but has that ever worked out for anyone? One thing I was surprised by in this book in the best way possible was that the romance was actually a slow burn. There’s lots of delicious tension between Meredith and Jack, but R.S. Grey tortures us a little by making their romance a slow and sweet one. I’m glad about the pacing of the romance – it made it that much more enjoyable and believable.

I adored Arrogant Devil. It’s got cowboys, humor, and an independent heroine. There wasn’t much more I could ask for. This was a fantastic Southern rom-com that I highly recommend for when you’re in the mood for something light and funny!


lacey

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


Also by R.S. Grey

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey  
  
  The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey The Allure of Dean Harper by R.S. Grey
 

Scoring Wilder: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Settling the Score: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Out of Bounds: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
With This Heart: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Chasing Spring: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
A Place in the Sun: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
The Allure of Julian Lefray: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
The Allure of Dean Harper: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
The Duet: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
The Design: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Anything You Can Do: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
The Foxe & the Hound: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
The Fortunate Ones: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
The Beau & the Belle: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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ARC Review: Bad for You by J. Daniels

Bad for You by J. Daniels
Series: Dirty Deeds #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 23rd 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

He didn’t want to be bad. He just didn’t have a choice…

Shayla Perkins isn’t the kind of girl who makes the same mistake twice, especially when it comes to Sean “Stitch” Molina. So when he gives her the world’s biggest rejection, that’s it–she’s done. Until the sexy, silent, unavailable Sean makes Shay a very personal offer. Of course, it still doesn’t mean he’s interested in her. Or does it?

Sean has done things in life. Bad things. And he’s paid the price. All he wants now is to make up for his past by doing good in the present. And no one deserves more good than Shay. Beautiful on the inside and out, Shay is the kind of woman who should be cared for and protected–especially from a man like Sean. He’s tried to keep his feelings for her in check, but a single, reckless impulse pulls them closer than ever before.

Soon the two are sharing their biggest dreams and satisfying their deepest desires. But what will happen if the only way to truly give each other what they want most…is to let each other go?

I have been WAITING for Shayla and Sean’s book ever since they were introduced in the first Dirty Deeds novel. The anticipation for them seemed endless and torturous, because I knew when I read it, it would blow me away. And that’s exactly what it did when I got my hands on this ARC. Their story was absolutely breathtaking and heart-wrenching – my heart nearly couldn’t handle all the feels that were being dished out. I freaking adored Shayla and Stitch – these two are my new favorite couple of the series. Sean for sure is my new favorite hero (sorry, Trouble and Loser!). For all you new adult romance lovers who love a good emotional read that will twist up your insides, I highly recommend Bad for You.

Shayla Perkins swore that she wouldn’t give Sean Molina another chance after he rejected her and broke her heart. But after seeing time and again Sean acting on the kindness in his heart, despite his surly demeanor, she’s determined to mend fences between them and help him out with his personal troubles. She just can’t help the way her heart feels for him.

“You deserve love and kindness because you put out those things, Sean. You deserve to feel wanted. I want you. I want you so much. Let yourself feel that.”

Sean “Stitch” Molina grew up thinking he was nothing, that he was unworthy of anything and everything good – including Shayla. He has a past filled with heartache and pain, but Shayla makes him long for more than empty life he’s lived. She is the light that he never wanted to taint with his darkness, but this is a woman hell-bent on showing and giving him the love and happiness he doesn’t realize he deserves. I could feel Sean’s ache and longing for Shayla so clear through the pages – my heart broke for him over his past and his current struggles with accepting love into his life. When he finally learns to let love in with Shayla, it’s nothing short of beautiful.

“How the fuck can I have my family when the woman I love more than my own fuckin’ life isn’t with me? You wanna explain that?”

Sean and Shayla devastated me. Sean broke me, but Shayla healed me right alongside with him. J. Daniels did an incredible job with wringing out all the emotions in this novel. There were also so many unexpected, lovely things in this book that took me by surprise in the best way possible. We get to see a completely new side to Sean that is absolutely PRECIOUS. Honestly, you need to experience Shayla and Sean’s love story on your own – it’s one that will gut you and wreck you, but you will be glad for the experience. I simply loved it!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Dirty Deeds series

  

#1 ~ Four Letter Word: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Hit the Spot: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Bad for You: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


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ARC Review + Excerpt: Follow by Tessa Bailey

Follow by Tessa Bailey
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: October 30th 2017
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

He wants her soul. Too bad she already sold it.

Family is everything to gambling den darling, Teresa Valentini. Blood comes first, especially before men. So when her brother lands himself in hot water, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save him. And showing up topless in her unwitting savior’s motel room is turning out to be the furthest thing from a hardship…

Will Caruso is the bad boy of New York’s financial scene…and he just found out the very thing that drives his success is a damn lie. Now, he’s exchanged his high-stress life for the open road, no one but his Great Dane…and half a million Instagram followers to keep him company. When a mysterious beauty arrives, her secrecy prods his suspicions, even while she tempts his lust to the breaking point.

Teresa met Will under false pretenses, but the bond consuming them is real. They’re strong enough to overcome a little betrayal…aren’t they?

**FOLLOW is a mega hot, contemporary, first person standalone**

You know those Instagrams of gorgeous men who document their road trips with their dogs? Well, imagine a romance story for one of those men, and you have the wonder that is Follow. Of course, only Tessa Bailey could write about a hero who Instagrams his road trip with his dying dog and make it as fun and sexy and intense as this book is. If you know me, then you know I adore anything and everything Tessa writes – she has yet to disappoint, because I enjoyed Follow SO much. It gave off a vibe that reminded me a bit of her earlier works, like the Line of Duty series (which I LOVE). If you love dirty-talking alpha heroes and the heroines who knock them off their feet, then I highly recommend Follow (and every other Tessa Bailey book)!

“I might take you to fancy hotels, baby. Might walk you through those elegant lobbies and demand you be treated like a queen.” He drops forward, bending down to lick a path between my breasts, up and down. Again and again, before lifting his head. “But I will always be the man who fucks you nasty on the floor once we’re upstairs, with your thong twisted around your dripping cunt. We clear?”

Very much the Wall Street man, Will Caruso’s life was turned upside down when he discovered the truth about his father… and how he was lied to his whole life. Now, as a last wish for his beloved, dying Great Dane, he sets out on a road trip with Southpaw across the U.S., commemorating their journey on Instagram (and getting a TON of followers). What he doesn’t expect to see at one of his stops is a gorgeous woman who makes his heart stop and riles up his newly possessive instincts. Teresa Valentini is an enigma of a woman, but she’s a woman he has to have.

Teresa is mine. My bones know it. My head. Even the heart I thought was too damaged and scabbed over to be touched knows she belongs with me.
The hard part is being patient while she figures it out.

Teresa’s baby brother has landed himself into trouble with the one and only mob boss of New York, so she does what any good older sister would do and try to bargain for his safety. She’s tasked with getting the mob boss’s son back to New York in any way possible, including false pretenses. But the mob boss’s son, Will, is a man who loves his dog, can dirty talk like a mofo, and knows what he wants out of life – i.e., her – and is willing to do anything to have it. She can’t stop herself from falling head over heels for him, but can they have a real relationship when everything between them is based off a lie?

Follow is a fantastically sexy romance I devoured in a few short hours. Tessa Bailey is the kind of author I drop everything to read, because she never lets me down! This newest release is chock-full of the dirty talk she is known for – Will’s dirty talk is scorching. But besides the fiery chemistry, I really did enjoy the characters and story – it’s intense, exciting, and had me on the edge of my seat. If you’ve ever wanted a romance about a gorgeous guy who Instagrams about his cross-country adventures with his dog, you need Follow in your life!


lacey

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


Now here’s an excerpt from Follow! ❤

excerpt button

“Here we are.”

My face heats over being caught even imagining such things. We’re at my door and I have no recollection of entering the motel. Come on, Teresa. Stop letting this guy get to you so bad. “Right.” I fish for the key card in my pocket, but cease all movement when Will brushes his fingertips down my arm, then trails them back up. Slow. And all the while, he invades my space, eliminating inches at such a leisurely pace that I’m panting by the time our mouths are a breath apart.

“What are you going to do when I close this door behind you, Teresa?” He grazes my bottom lip with his teeth, making me gasp. “You going to get undressed in front of the air conditioner, thinking it might cool you down after teasing my cock for over an hour in the bar? It won’t. I give you five minutes before you’re face down in bed, riding your own fingers.”

My knees threaten to buckle. “That’s my business.”

“Make it mine.”

Mayday. Mayday. “Will—”

He stops my admonishment with a drugging kiss, his tongue stroking in and out of my mouth. His hands grip my elbows, lifting me up on my toes in desperate degrees, meshing our bodies, our lips, until I’m moaning, letting him have rough intercourse with my mouth. Just when I’m on the verge of giving in and begging him to take me up against the door, he steps back, eyes glittering, wiping away the moisture on his mouth with a wrist swipe. “I’ll be out on the balcony. If you’re going to finger yourself in my honor, I want to listen.”


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Release Day Review: The Emperor of Evening Stars by Laura Thalassa

The Emperor of Evening Stars by Laura Thalassa
Series: The Bargainer #2.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 15th 2017
Links: EbookGoodreads

In the beginning, there was darkness.
Before he met Callie, before he became the Bargainer, there was Desmond Flynn, the bastard son of a scribe. A boy born to a weak mother, cursed with little magic, and destined to marry a slave.

But fate had something else in mind.

Till darkness dies.
From the barren caves of Arestys to the palace of Somnia to the streets of earth, this is how Desmond Flynn, a fairy who began with nothing, became the Emperor of Evening Stars.

***This is a roughly 200 page novella told from Desmond Flynn’s perspective.***

“Love costs even more than power, even more than revenge or hate.”

Laura Thalassa has given me exactly what I didn’t know I needed in the Bargainer series. I have loved Callie and Desmond and their story from the very first page, but after reading The Emperor of Evening Stars, I’ve come to love them even more – Des especially. This novella (which is a pretty decent length) is told entirely in Des’s POV, from his very beginnings in the Caverns of Arestys, to his rise in becoming the King of Night, and finally, his love story with his soulmate. If you’re a fan of the series, this companion novella is a must read.

I loved everything about this novella. We learn about Des’s past, which is heartbreaking, and about his quest for revenge against his father. But what I was really dying for was the moment Des would meet Callie, his soulmate and love of his life. When he first learns that his soulmate is human – mortal – he is appalled and not too keen on her. But after experiencing loss after loss, he realizes that he’ll do anything to find the woman who will stand by him and love him. So he does.

I swear to the Undying Gods that once I’m able to, I will scour the earth for me soulmate. I’ll put my past behind me and focus on the future. And when I find her—if I find her—I won’t waste time fearing what others will think. I’ll cherish her, respect her, love her.
For all the days of her mortal life, I’ll claim her as mine.

Getting Des’s POV about his first meeting with Callie, how he fell in love with her, how he withstood being without her, was perfect. If you didn’t love him in the first two books, you will definitely fall head over heels in love with him in his novella. He has been such an enigmatic character throughout the series in Callie’s POV, but we get so much insight in how he thinks and feels. The wait for the third and final Bargainer has gotten just the tiniest bit easier thanks to this novella. And I’m hoping we get a few more chapters in Des’s POV in Dark Harmony!

Can’t she tell that she brings me to my knees? Morning, evening, and night, she’s always right there in every beat of my heart. That sweet voice of hers sings through my veins. It calls to me across worlds. Everything she is, is mine, and everything I am is hers. Always.


lacey

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


Reading Order: The Bargainer series

  

#1 ~ Rhapsodic: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Strange Hymn: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ The Emperor of Evening Stars: EbookGoodreads


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