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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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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Blog Tour + ARC Review & Excerpt: Damnable Grace by Tillie Cole

Welcome to today’s stop on the tour for Damnable Grace by Tillie Cole!

Deep Redemption by Tillie Cole
Series: Hades Hangmen #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Add to Goodreads

EVEN THE BROKEN, THROUGH LOVE, CAN FIND GRACE…
Secrets never stay hidden.
The burden of guilt never lifts from the heart.

Born and raised in The Order of David, Sister Phebe knows nothing but cult life. Head of the Sacred Sisters of New Zion, Phebe was groomed from childhood for one purpose: to seduce. Prized as a harlot, as a New Zion whore, Phebe is taken from the doomed cult by Meister, the notorious leader of the Aryan Brotherhood. Taken as his possession. Taken to be the woman who will obey his every sexual demand. Under his heavy hand, Phebe finds herself in a place much worse than she could ever have imagined… with absolutely no one to help. And no glimpse of hope.

Xavier ‘AK’ Deyes is content with his life as Sergeant-At-Arms of the Hades Hangmen. Leader of the infamous ‘Psycho Trio’ and ex-special ops sniper, AK knows how to fight. Experienced in warfare and schooled in military operations, AK is vital to the Hangmen. When his Vice President needs help retrieving his missing sister-in-law, Phebe, from a Klan-funded trafficking ring, AK volunteers to go in. AK remembers the redhead from New Zion. Remembers everything about her from the single time they met—her red hair, blue eyes and freckled face. But when he finds her, heavily drugged and under Meister’s control, her sorry condition causes him to remember more than the beautiful woman he once tied to a tree. Saving Phebe forces hidden demons from his past to return. A past he can never move on from, no matter how hard he tries.

As AK fights to help Phebe, and in turn she strives to help him, they realize their secret sins will never leave them alone. Kindred broken souls, they realize the only way they can be rid of their ghosts is to face them together and try to find peace.

Despair soon turns to hope, and damaged hearts soon start to heal. But when their deep, painful scars resurface, becoming too much to bear, the time comes when they must make a heavy choice: stay forever damned; or together, find grace.

Dark Contemporary Romance. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, disturbingly sensitive and taboo subjects, offensive language and very mature topics. Recommended for age 18 and over.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes • Kobo

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I was excited when Tillie Cole announced that she would be writing more Hades Hangmen novels, featuring AK, Tanner, and Viking. Damnable Grace is AK’s book, one that I was highly anticipating, not just for AK… but also Phebe. We’ve known Phebe for a long time in the series, and I’m so happy that we finally get her story. Hers is one that is dark, painful, and devastating, but not without hope. If you’ve loved the previous Hades Hangmen books, you definitely don’t want to miss this newest installment.

As a ‘sacred sister’ Phebe has been groomed all her life to be a seductress and to tempt men to joining The Order. But when things started going south for the cult and Phebe saw it for what it truly was – a disgusting, hateful place – she was taken away by possibly an even more evil man known as Meister. She became Meister’s sex slave, forcibly addicted to drugs and used and abused by him. Honestly, I got a little queasy reading about the horrible things Phebe went through at the hands of Meister.

Since the day the Hades Hangmen destroyed The Order and he met the red-haired beauty, AK hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Phebe. He vows to save her from the hands of Meister, but when he does, he’s got a long road ahead of him to truly healing her. Her pain-filled past and addictions are a struggle to overcome, and even AK has demons from his past that he hasn’t let go of. These are two broken characters who find solace and healing in each other. It’s an emotional roller coaster of a ride, experiencing what Phebe and AK have gone through, but their ending is more than enough to make up for it.

The reason why I didn’t love this book as much as I’ve enjoyed the previous Hades Hangmen novels was because it was a little too slow-paced, and the graphic scenes started feeling gratuitous by the middle of the book. I had to skim a few repetitive scenes, but overall it was still an intense read that left me raw by the end. Again, I highly recommend you read Damnable Grace if you love the series, especially Deep Redemption. I’m excited to see where Tillie Cole will take us next with the series – and I can’t wait for Ash’s story! I love who his future heroine seems to be 😉


lacey

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

Now here’s an excerpt from Damnable Grace! ❤

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“Well?” Ky asked.

Tanner ran his hand over his head. The brother hadn’t attended one of our cookouts or slutfests in weeks. Not that he ever entertained himself with sluts—still too hard for his piece of pussy down in Mexico. He’d been busy trying to track down Meister. Unlike most of the white-power shit Tanner and Tank grew up with, this Meister was untraceable and off the grid. As much of a computer whizz kid as Tanner was, Meister was proving to be one slippery fucking snake to pin down.

“Gotta be honest, I didn’t think I was anywhere close to finding anything on this prick.” Tanner nodded toward Tank. “We knew of him, of course. I knew he had dealings with my father and uncle, just never met him myself. He’s Aryan Brotherhood, but works closely with the Klan. And there’s nothing on him. No email traces, no invoices, no texts. Nothing.”

I gritted my teeth and glanced at Styx, who was listening closely. Ky wasn’t originally gonna tell the prez about the plan to get Phebe, because of his fucking wedding, but that didn’t last long. Styx knew something was up with his VP. He read him like I read Flame and Vike. So Ky fessed up, and Styx was all for the plan. He’d had to push his wedding back by a month anyhow to get the pastor Mae wanted to conduct the ceremony, so he had time to kill.

“But you found something?” Ky translated as Styx signed.

Tanner sighed, the black circles around his eyes showing how hard the brother had been working. “I got something.” He shook his head, and my blood ran cold. I knew whatever he had found wasn’t good.

Tanner opened the file in front of him and threw a photograph toward the prez. Styx looked at it, then gave it to Ky. “Some middle-of-nowhere ghost town?”

Ky passed the picture around. Vike handed it to me, and I studied it. It was an aerial shot, and the picture was grainy, but from what I could make out, it was just a huge piece of land scattered with decrepit old buildings.

I passed the picture along. “Fucker owns this?”

Tanner faced me. “Yeah, or at least his father did. He’s dead now, but the deeds are still in his father’s name. Been in the family for decades. Took me a while to trace it.” He shook his head. “Meister is notorious among the Klan. Right, Tank?”

“Yeah,” Tank agreed. “Never met him either, but we’d all heard of him. Prick has been mobilizing for years for the race war they think is coming. Real serious, Oklahoma-City-bomb shit. From what we’ve heard, the guy has a one-track mind when it comes to advancing the white race. You think Hitler was fucked up? Well, imagine if he had a kid who was one built motherfucker, with a fucking carbon copy of his psycho mind; and you’ve got Meister. Fucker ain’t even German. Just wishes he was, spouting German phrases around like he’s born and bred Berlin. Delusional asshole.”

“This ain’t gonna be easy,” Tanner finished, looking at me, Vike, Flame, Hush and Cowboy. It was the five of us who had agreed to go looking for Phebe. Hush and Cowboy nodded at me to let me know they were still in.

“So he’s in this ghost town?” Ky asked, translating Styx’s sign language again. “If so, we’ll all just go in and get him, make the fucker talk and tell us where he’s got Phebe.”

Tanner sat forward. “He ain’t just living in the ghost town or hiding out. That’s where he has his enterprise.”

“Enterprise?” Ky echoed. It was his own question this time.

Tanner nodded. “From what I can tell, it’s a fucking brothel. Members of the Aryan Brotherhood, Klan, or Klan sympathizers, can go there for a night or a few days at a time.” Tank shifted uncomfortably next to him. “Ain’t sure, but I’m thinking it ain’t just getting your dick sucked and fucked. It’ll be real fucked-up shit. If Meister’s reputation is anything to go by, we would be walking into an organized, armed hellhole.” Tanner’s eyes darkened. “I get the Klan has a reputation for being full of backward rednecks. I ain’t gonna lie—growing up, most of my father’s cronies were that way. Thick as fuck and couldn’t do shit without screwing it up. Skinheads, lower-ranked soldiers, you know?”

“But there were some members that weren’t,” Tank continued. He cast an embarrassed glance at Tanner. “We weren’t, for starters.”

Tanner nodded. “It’s not the norm, but some of us were good. Smart, strong fighters, or just outright fucking psychos. The skinheads and rednecks are the foot soldiers. The likes of us, the likes of Meister, are the fucking SS. The planners, leaders, the generals—the ones who believe in the cause so much that they’re fucking lethal with what they’ll do, what they’re capable of. Meister is true Aryan Brotherhood; he’s preparing for war. He’s the real fucking deal.”

“And now he’s in our neck of the woods to stir up shit?” I asked.

Tanner nodded. “Comes from northern Texas. Never moved our way before. But the Klan are building day by day, joining forces with other white supremacist gangs—like the Brotherhood—and with the shit that’s on the news twenty-four-seven, blacks and whites at each others throats, he’s moved to the headquarters.” The brother’s jaw clenched. “To my father and uncle, who’ll be protecting him from being found out by the feds.” He sighed and ran his hand down his face. “From what I can figure out, this ghost-town brothel of his has only existed in the last year or so. He’s looking to fund something.”

“They ain’t dealing guns?” Cowboy drawled. “I thought that’s what Rider said the contract with the cult was for?”

“Rider was sure it was guns. At least it was when he was dealing with the Klan—it was all about arms. The Klan was selling them on and taking a cut.”

“His fucking twin,” Hush spat. “He changed the arrangement, didn’t he? When Rider was locked up in cult prison?”

“Think so,” Tanner said after a few seconds of silence.

“Then what the fuck are they dealing? What was Judah giving them if not Israeli guns?”

“Women.”

Reading Order: Hades Hangmen series

It Ain't Me, Babe by Tillie Cole Heart Recaptured by Tillie Cole Souls Unfractured by Tillie Cole
  

#1 ~ It Ain’t Me, Babe: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Heart Recaptured: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Souls Unfractured: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Deep Redemption: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Damnable Grace: Ebook • Goodreads
#5.5 ~ I Do, Babe: EbookGoodreads (April 23, 2017)
#6 ~ Crux Untamed: Goodreads (release date TBA)
#7 ~ Darkness Embraced: Goodreads (release date TBA)

about the author button

Tillie ColeTillie Cole hails from a small town in the North-East of England. She grew up on a farm with her English mother, Scottish father and older sister and a multitude of rescue animals. As soon as she could, Tillie left her rural roots for the bright lights of the big city.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BA Hons in Religious Studies, Tillie followed her Professional Rugby player husband around the world for a decade, becoming a teacher in between and thoroughly enjoyed teaching High School students Social Studies before putting pen to paper, and finishing her first novel.

Tillie has now settled in Austin, Texas, where she is finally able to sit down and write, throwing herself into fantasy worlds and the fabulous minds of her characters.

Tillie is both an independent and traditionally published author, and writes many genres including: Contemporary Romance, Dark Romance, Young Adult and New Adult novels.

When she is not writing, Tillie enjoys nothing more than curling up on her couch watching movies, drinking far too much coffee, while convincing herself that she really doesn’t need that extra square of chocolate.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram • Goodreads


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ARC Review: Going Nowhere Fast by Kati Wilde

Going Nowhere Fast by Kati Wilde
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The brakes are off in this sizzling-hot new adult romance from the author of the Hellfire Riders MC Romance series…

One promise.
Two hearts.
Three rules.
Four weeks to break them all.

When Aspen Phillips’ best friend invites her on a month-long road trip, she has serious mixed feelings. Sharing their tight quarters will be Bramwell Gage, overprotective brother and all-around jerk. Bram may be ridiculously sexy, but he’s made no effort to hide how he feels about Aspen—that she’s trash who’s no good for his sister. But Aspen is determined to get along with the uptight millionaire—and to keep her promise, concealing a secret about his sister that Bram can never know.

But after a scorching kiss reveals that Bram’s feelings toward her run much hotter than she believed, Aspen’s emotions swerve into a complete 180. Suddenly the girl who has nothing has everything—but only as long as the truth about his sister remains hidden. Because when all the secrets and promises unravel, she risks losing it all…

I’m a huge fan of Kati Wilde’s Hellfire Riders MC series, so when I heard that she was going to write a new adult book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! I didn’t realize there would be a connection between Going Nowhere Fast and the Hellfire Riders MC series, so that was a lovely surprise. Going Nowhere Fast is a sexy, intense, angsty enemies-to-lovers romance I completely devoured. I enjoyed it SO much. If you love dirty books with seriously hot chemistry in them, I highly recommend this one!

Aspen and her best friend’s older brother, Bram, do not get along. One could even say that they hate each other. But only for Bethany, Aspen’s best friend and Bram’s little sister, would they agree to go on a month-long trip together, just the three of them. But when Bethany cancels on the trip, dealing with issues that Aspen won’t let Bram be privy to, the road trip get a whole lot more intense… and tension-filled. Bram blackmails Aspen into continuing on the trip so that he can entice Bethany to join them from wherever she is. And despite their disdain for the other – Bram sees Aspen as a bad influence on Bethany and Aspen thinks Bram sees her as trash – there’s an undercurrent of sexual tension between them that they can’t ignore the longer they’re around each other.

“You’re so fucking wrong for me,” he grinds out. “But I can’t stop wanting you.”
Then he kisses me—despite the ragged hole he just ripped through my chest, I kiss him back, because I can’t stop wanting him, either.

The second I picked up Aspen and Bram’s book, I couldn’t put it down. It wrought with delicious, undeniable chemistry. These two are seriously HOT together, not that I expected anything less from Kati Wilde. Bram has one dirty, dirty mouth, and I loved it. These two take hate fucking to a whole new level… until the hate turns into something more.

…this isn’t hate fucking. With hate fucking, he only ends up owning me.
But what we’ve done this time . . . now he owns my heart, too.

I loved Aspen and Bram’s enemies-to-lovers romance. There was a fine line between love and hate between them, and I loved seeing both of them toe the line. If you’ve enjoyed the author’s previous books, I encourage you to give Going Nowhere Fast a try, because this new adult book is just as amazing as her adult books. Plus, there are quite a few cameos from the Hellfire Riders 😉 I really hope Kati Wilde writes more NA books, because this was fantastic!


lacey

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


Don’t miss Kati Wilde’s Hellfire Riders MC series!

Reading Order: Hellfire Riders MC series

   
   
   

#1 ~ Wanting It All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Taking It All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Having It All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#1-3 ~ Saxon & Jenny: EbookPaperback
#4 ~ Betting It All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#5 ~ Risking It All: Ebook • Goodreads
#6 ~ Burning It All: Ebook • Goodreads
#4-6 ~ Jack & Lily: EbookPaperback
#7 ~ Breaking It All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#8 ~ Giving It All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#9 ~ Craving It All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#10 ~ Faking It All: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#11 ~ Losing It All: Goodreads (release date TBA)


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Release Day Review + Excerpt: The Thing About Love by Julie James

The Thing About Love by Julie James
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer blows the covers of two FBI agents who can’t hide who they are from each other…

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army Ranger clashed during their training at Quantico and gladly went their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to be assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with an old rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work together—a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a lot more complicated…

It’s been a long time since I picked up a Julie James novel (even though I don’t know why, because I’m a big fan of her work), but reading The Thing About Love reminded me of all the reasons why I love her and her books. She writes such fantastic contemporary romances starring FBI agents in a realistic, believable light. If you want contemporary romance done right, plus a little enemies-to-lovers trope and suspense, The Thing About Love will be the perfect read for you.

Six years ago, Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd first met at the FBI Academy in Quantico, where they ended up with the wrong first impressions of each other and clashing from the get-go. To say they didn’t get along would be an understatement, so it was a relief to graduate and go their separate ways. But now, when John moves back to Chicago after leaving his cheating girlfriend and receives what might be his last undercover assignment before joining the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, he is paired up with none other than his old nemesis, Jessica Harlow.

“John,” she said, her light blue eyes widening in surprise.
“Hello, Jessica.”
Nearly fifteen thousand special agents in the FBI, spread throughout the United States in fifty-six field offices, and she had to show up in Chicago for what was quite possibly his last undercover assignment.
As his new partner.
And here he’d thought HRT tryouts had been hell.

Newly divorced, Jessica is also looking for a fresh start in Chicago. She’s not happy about John being her partner, but she’s determined not to let their past get in the way of their assignment. But the more she’s around John and the closer she gets to him, she finds that her first impression of him might not have gone the way she thought it did. She gains a new perspective on John… and it’s one she finds herself falling for. But with John joining HRT and leaving Chicago in a few weeks, can they make a relationship between them work?

“Do you know how long I’ve waited for you to look at me this way?”
She assumed he was teasing her. “What are you talking about? You didn’t even like me for most of the time we’ve known each other.”
He bent his head before turning to go, his voice low and confident in her ear. “Or may I’m just that good of an undercover agent.”

I absolutely adored this book. The Thing About Love was sweet, funny, kickass – I had the best time reading it. Jessica and John had me grinning and giggling in spades. My heart was honestly so happy the whole time I was reading their story. I loved both their characters and how they made me laugh and swoon. Their banter is the absolute BEST – I loved it! If you’re ever in the mood for something light-hearted and fun about two undercover FBI agents who hate to love and love to hate each other, I highly recommend this book!


lacey

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


Now here’s an excerpt from The Thing About Love! ❤

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Steeling himself, John turned around and smiled as Jessica approached. “Yes, Agent Harlow. How can I be of service?”

In response to his dry tone, she threw him a glare so cold it could’ve frozen all nine circles of Dante’s Hell. Fittingly, just nine of the many places he would rather be than stuck working with her on this investigation.

“Look, I’m not thrilled about this, either.” Keeping her voice low, she came to a stop next to him at the elevator bank. “I thought you were supposed to be on the Hostage Rescue Team already.”

“And I thought you were supposed to be in L.A.”

There was a quick flash in her eyes before she shrugged off his question. “Change of plans.”

The elevator arrived at their floor, and they both stepped inside. She hit the button for the seventh floor, where the public corruption squad was located. Standing on the opposite side, he pressed the button for floor five.

They faced off as the doors shut. She folded her arms across her chest and studied him with those crystalline blue eyes that could so cleverly mask her emotions.

As he knew well.

“We’re going to have to figure this out,” she said. “We’re supposed to be business partners in this.”

Thank you, yes, being a professional, he was aware of that. He took a step closer. “It’s called “undercover” work, Harlow. If I can pretend to be a gun-buying, murder-for-hire thug, I think I can handle playing some rich investor-type who wants to skirt a few measly zoning laws.” Even a rich investor-type who was apparently masochistic enough to get in bed with the likes of her.

Professionally-speaking.

“Measly zoning laws?” she repeated.

Ooh, now he’d gone and pissed her off. How nice it was, really, that they could pick up like this, right where they’d left off.

She drew in closer, tilting her head back to meet his gaze. He was over a foot taller than her, although he noticed that she was heightening a bit with those expensive-looking three-inch heels she wore.

“Our target in this investigation is the mayor of the thirteenth largest city in the United States. That’s a pretty big deal in my book.” She gestured to his facial scruff and hair. “And while I appreciate that this . . . Sons of Anarchy motif you’ve got going might ingratiate yourself with the gun-buying, murder-for-hire, organized-crime thugs of the world, that’s not quite going to fly with this sting operation.”

“’Thirteenth largest city in the United States?’” he scoffed. “Just how many hours did you spend reviewing the case files last night?”

She smiled sweetly as the elevator arrived at her floor. “Enough to get the jump on you.”

Then the doors sprang open, and she gave him a friendly wave, once again stepping into the role of Ms. Congeniality. “So glad we got to catch up like this, Agent Shepherd. We’ll talk again soon.”

He watched her stride confidently down the hallway as the elevator doors closed between them.

Enough to get the jump on you.

Not for long, sweetheart.

Time for him to get cracking on that case file.


Don’t miss Julie James’ FBI/US Attorney series!

Reading Order: FBI/US Attorney series

  
  

#1 ~ Something About You: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ A Lot like Love: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ About that Night: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Love Irresistibly: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ It Happened One Wedding: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ Suddenly One Summer: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads


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