Release Day Review: The Deal Dilemma by Meagan Brandy

The Deal Dilemma by Meagan Brandy
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: September 23rd 2022
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

Ever wonder what would happen if you bribed your brother’s ex-best friend to pop your cherry?

Yeah, me either, but I did it anyway. Now the moody man is madder than ever, but I came prepared to strike a deal …

One he can’t refuse.

Crew Taylor is the picture of perfection, if gruff, grumpy, and prone to throw a punch is your type. Clearly, it’s mine or I wouldn’t be begging him to bite the bullet and claim my virginity as his own.

Sure, he’s a bit of a caveman, broody and bossy and oh so naughty, but that’s sort of the point.
He’s experienced, his heated hazel eyes promising sinful skills in seduction, and I want him to teach me all he knows.

Lesson by lesson.
Night after night.

The problem?

He says he won’t allow me in his bed … but I wonder what it would take to get him to play in mine a bit?

If you love a good brother’s best friend romance, The Deal Dilemma is for you! This is a new adult standalone about a college girl who wants to finally lose her virginity, and she knows the perfect man to do the job: her brother’s ex-best friend.

The Deal Dilemma is so fun and flirty, and I adored the main characters. Davis is a gorgeous nerd who wants her brother’s ex-bestie Crew, who she grew up around, to help her get rid of her v-card, even though they haven’t spoken in years since Crew and Memphis’ falling out. Crew thinks Davis is insane for this (especially when she whips out a whole essay on the reasons why he should agree) but he doesn’t seem to want her to lose her virginity to anyone else. There’s lots of good jealousy on his part, and the way Davis drives Crew crazy is hilarious! Their banter and chemistry was great, and I loved seeing their friendship slowly grow into something more.

Besides the romance, I loved Crew’s brother/best friend crew! They are all so funny but so protective of Crew, who was taken advantage by someone who should’ve been there for him. We get to learn more about his past and his former relationship with Memphis, which might not have been the best. All of this added some great depth to the story and made for a great read.

Even though on the surface, The Deal Dilemma sounds like your typical new adult, brother’s best friend romance with a bad boy/good girl dynamic, it’s a lot more than that too!



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Review: To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters

To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters
Series: The Regency Vows #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 5th 2022
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The “sweet, sexy, and utterly fun” (Emily Henry, author of People We Meet on Vacation) Regency Vows series continues with a witty, charming, and joyful novel following a seasoned debutante and a rakish theater owner as they navigate a complicated marriage of convenience.

Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her father’s large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theater—the kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.

With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her father’s unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriage—Julian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.

To Marry and to Meddle is the third standalone in the Regency Vow series, and it’s another fun, silly historical rom-com from Martha Waters. We’ve got a marriage of convenience between a theater owner and a respectable lady. They enter a mutually beneficial, unromantic marriage, but of course, meddlesome feelings develop. If you’re a fan of the series, you won’t want to miss this newest installment!

Lord Julian Belfry is the second son of a marquess who completely scandalized his family and society when became an actor and theater owner. Lady Emily Turner has been “on the shelf” for 6 seasons now and has yet to find herself a husband. Then her father’s debt collectors come to, well, collect and she has no choice but to marry and awful man. But when Juliana and Emily meet, they discover they both need something from the other and hatch a plan to save them – they’ll get married and she won’t have to marry a gambling house owner and he’ll have a wife that can help his theater bring in more respectable clientele. Neither of them expect to fall for each other… until they do.

Like the other 2 books in the series, the romance here is silly and over the top. Emily and Julian have plenty of banter and they work their way through uncharted waters that is their marriage of convenience. Emily adopts a kitten that causes so much havoc for Julian, which was great to see. The theater aspect was interesting, but the plot towards the end with Julian putting Emily on a pedestal was tiring to read. I do wish we got a little more chemistry between the main characters – I enjoyed the way the friendship developed, but wasn’t quite sold on the romance. Overall though, I had fun with Emily and Julian and their kitten from hell!


Reading Order: The Regency Vows series


#1 ~ To Have and to Hoax: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ To Love and to Loathe: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ To Marry and to Meddle: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ To Swoon and the Spar: Goodreads (2023)


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Review: Ruthless Rival by L.J. Shen

Ruthless Rival by L.J. Shen
Series: Cruel Castaways #1
Publication Date: May 3rd 2022
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From Wall Street Journal bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an enemies-to-lovers romance about the fine line between seeking revenge and finding love.

When she was young, Arya Roth became best friends with her housekeeper’s son. Soon, friendship turned to young love, and when Arya dared him to kiss her, a chain reaction of disastrous events led to the boy being sent away and out of Arya’s life.

Now, two decades later, Arya is an on-the-rise publicist with her beloved father as one of her biggest clients. So when her father is sued by a former employee, Arya sets out to prove that her father is not the monster he is accused of being. The only problem is the attorney who is determined to destroy her father’s good name. Christian Miller is charming, ambitious, and devilishly good looking, and Arya has no idea he is that same boy who kissed her all those years ago.

Past and present collide as Arya falls hard for Christian. But when she finds out who he really is and about his obsession with getting revenge on her father, can she choose love over family?

There’s no one who does enemies to lovers quite like L.J. Shen.

I’ve been dying to read Ruthless Rivals since I first heard about it and read the blurb! It’s got childhood friends to lovers, second chance romance, and of course, enemies to lovers. Arya was the rich girl from a powerful family, Christian was the poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks who was sent away and built a new life for himself. Now they reunite – her an on-the-rise publicist whose father is being sued, him a ruthless lawyer set on destroying her father – but she has no idea who he used to be to her.

As soon as Christian and Arya meet as adults, there are fireworks between them. The romance has L.J. Shen’s iconic banter, especially from the hero’s dirty mouth. If you’ve read and enjoyed the author before, you’ll pretty much know what to expect, because she doesn’t hold back from the chemistry or steam.

Ruthless Rivals will have you on the edge of your seat. It’s not necessarily suspenseful, but there’s so much good tension between the main characters, from all of Christian’s lies and his quest for revenge against Arya’s father. Everything gets twisted and addicting and I really enjoyed how everything played out!



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Review: Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Series: Strangers in Love #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 29th 2022
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

This was freaking adorable! I’ve enjoyed Ilsa Madden-Mills’ sports romances in the past, but this might be my favorite one yet. It was fun and and so cute, with plenty of great banter and chemistry!

Nova and Ronan meet at a party one night and hook up, but they don’t see each other again for 2.5 years, when they suddenly become neighbors. Ronan is retired from the NFL and has moved from NYC to Texas to coach a high school team and Nova is in Texas to be her niece’s guardian. The feelings that started back all those years ago pretty much come back to life now that they’re in each others’ lives again.

If you love the fake dating trope, you’ll love Beauty and the Baller! Nova and Ronan fake date in their small town to get some people off their back, and they were simply adorable together. Because of the forced proximity and fake dating, they slowly become friends until that beautiful moment when they realize that maybe the “fake” part of their relationship isn’t so fake after all.

This book was a wonderful combination of small town, second chances, and fake dating. Throw in a former football player and you have a fantastic romance!


Reading Order: Strangers in Love series

#1 ~ Beauty and the Baller: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Princess and the Player: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads


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Review: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #1 (full reading order below)
Paperback Publication Date: April 5th 2022
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Cat Fisa isn’t who she pretends to be. She’s perfectly content living disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus, avoiding the destiny the Gods―and her dangerous family―have saddled her with. As far as she’s concerned, the magic humming within her blood can live and die with her. She won’t be a pawn in anyone’s game.

But then she locks eyes with an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south and her illusion of safety is shattered forever.

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker―the woman who divines truth through lies―and he wants her to be a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm. Kidnapping her off the street is simple enough, but keeping her by his side is infuriatingly tough. Cat fights him at every turn, showing a ferocity of spirit that burns hot…and leaves him desperate for more. But can he ever hope to prove to his once-captive that he wants her there by his side as his equal, his companion…and maybe someday, his Queen?

I loved this fantasy romance book! I’ve been wanting to read the Kingmaker Chronicles for the longest time, because I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about it, and it totally lived up to the hype. A Promise of Fire is the first book in this fantasy romance series that I already can’t wait to read more of. It was SO fun and entertaining. I loved our main couple as well as the fantastic secondary characters. The world-building is unique and fascinating. If you love fantasy romances, I highly recommend you try this one out.

Cat is known as the Kingmaker, and because of this, she’s run away from her powerful mother to live a life on her own, disguised as a soothsayer. Things have gone well for her, until she runs into Griffin and his band of men. Griffin is the warlord of a southern territory, and he wants Cat for her powers. So he kidnaps her to take her back to his kingdom, where his family rules. But the thing about Griffin is that he’s… a nice guy, besides the whole kidnapping thing. Their romance is slow burn but so genuine. There’s so much good chemistry between them, and you can tell he’s totally into her – he’s definitely the kind of hero who falls first. But Cat makes his life hell for kidnapping her, which he deserves. She does have a past that makes her hesitant to start anything with him, but he’s too perfect to not fall for.

I loved Cat, Griffin, and their bodyguards so much. The banter between them all is fantastic, there’s plenty of action, and I enjoyed the world-building. It’s a unique take on Greek mythology. It was a great first book that had me hooked and I’m planning on finishing up the series soon!


Reading Order: Kingmaker Chronicles series

#1 ~ A Promise of Fire: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Breath of Fire: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Heart on Fire: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ A Curse of Queens: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Oct. 4, 2022)


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