Early Review: Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Ravenels #6 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 18th 2020
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

​Everything has a price . . .

Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything—or anyone—is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife—and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love—the one thing he can’t give.

Everything except her . . .

Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win.

When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he’s been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants—or does he? There’s one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride:

Never underestimate a Ravenel.

The chase for Cassandra’s hand may be over. But the chase for her heart has only just begun . . .

I’ve been on such a Lisa Kleypas roll lately. First, I read Again the Magic and it blew my mind. Then, of course, after I read that I HAD to read Marcus’ book, It Happened One Autumn. Next I ended up rereading Devil in Winter and then finally read the final Wallflowers book for the first time. I made it halfway through before the ARC of Chasing Cassandra landed on my kindle and I had to drop everything to start it.

I absolutely adore the Ravenels series – not quite as much as the Hathaways when it comes to family sagas from LK, but I love it nonetheless. With Chasing Cassandra we get the last and final Ravenel family member getting her HEA with a man who will do anything to have her. Tom Severin has been mentioned in a few previous books as the friend of West and Winterborne. He’s made a fortune for himself as a railroad mogul – in this case, he reminded me so much of Winterborne with his rags to riches story, and also Harry Rutledge from Tempt Me At Twilight. Both Tom and Harry are obsessed with their heroines right from the get-go, worshipping them and willing to do anything to have them. Tom also does not believe in love, thinking that he’s incapable of feeling it or of receiving it. But meeting Cassandra changes everything for him. Not only does he desperately want her for his wife, he’s feeling new emotions like *gasp* love for the very first time.

“Perfection is impossible. Most mathematical truths can’t be proved. The vast majority of mathematical relations can’t be known. But you… standing here in your bare feet in that dress… you’re perfect.””

I LOVED getting to know Tom and Cassandra. Tom first comes across as very robotic – logical, cold, ruthless, and unemotional. But with each tender interaction he has with Cassandra, we see him opening his heart to not just her but the whole Ravenel family, which made MY heart so incredibly happy. I loved seeing his character develop in such a lovely way. Cassandra is the Ravenel that we honestly saw the least of. I didn’t know much about her other than the fact that she was Pandora’s twin. But the more I read of her, the more I loved her character too. She’s such a sweet and headstrong young woman. All she wants is to find love and have a family of her own, basically the complete opposite of her sister, but that’s okay too. She knows she’s found a once-in-a-lifetime with Tom and she’s not willing to accept anything but his whole heart.

“Nothing has been exciting or satisfying for years. With you, though, everything is new. All I want is to be with you.”

The blurb hints that this is a marriage of convenience, and while there is one, the story doesn’t really revolve around that and it doesn’t happen until much later in the book. Mostly, it’s Tom being ridiculously loving and tender to Cassandra without him even realizing it. I was SWOONING over all the heart-stopping things he says. Their chemistry is fantastic. I just loved their developing relationship so, so much!

When I finished this book, I honestly didn’t even realize it was the final book until I started writing this review. Now I’m feeling bittersweet. While I would’ve loved an epilogue to wrap up the Ravenel family, I still was happy with how CC ended. It’s an emotional, heartwarming book that you don’t want to miss if you love Lisa Kleypas. All I can say now is PLEASE give us a new family series to obsess over (like the Marsden children)!


Reading Order: Ravenel series


#1 ~ Cold-Hearted Rake: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Marrying Winterborne: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Devil in Spring: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Hello Stranger: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Devil’s Daughter: My ReviewEbook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Chasing Cassandra: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads (Feb. 18, 2020)


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Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
Series: Hot & Hammered #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 14th 2020
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation…

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

YAASSSSSS!!!! The hype for Rosie and Dominic was REAL ever since I read Fix Her Up. I was expecting all the good angst and groveling in Love Her or Lose Her and Tessa Bailey gave all that to me and then some. I did have my frustrations with Dominic but I loved him (and Rosie) anyway. This was SO MUCH FUN to read and I have to say I loved it even more than FHU. The heartache, the humor, the sexy times… all of it together made a fantastic read. And if you’re expecting your classic TB alpha, dirty-talking hero, look no further than Dominic.

My favorite kinds of romance tropes are ones where the main characters have some sort of history together: second chance romance, friends to lovers, the brother’s best friend romance, etc. And of course, the already married couple trope! (Honestly, I’m not sure if that’s what the trope is called but we’ll go with that.) I’ve read some amazing romances where the hero and heroine are already married (and not in a marriage of convenience) at the beginning of the novel and I’m so glad to say Love Her or Lose Her is another hit to add to my list. Rosie and Dominic are high school sweethearts, but their marriage has fallen on the rocks ever since Dominic came back from his time in the army. He doesn’t communicate with Rosie anymore and she’s about had enough. She wants a divorce, Dominic doesn’t, they’re still completely in love with one another… so what do they have left? Marriage couples counseling.

“You really thought I wouldn’t take any chance—any chance—to get you back, didn’t you?” His voice roughened. “Fuck, Rosie. You can’t be serious.”

I just adored Rosie and Dominic and their path to an HEA (again). They both have their own journeys, Rosie with her career and passion for cooking, Dominic with learning how to communicate, but together is where they truly shine. You can clearly tell how much these two are meant to be together and I loved getting to be a part of that experience.

“I’ll do anything you ask me to do,” he said in a gravelly voice. “Except walk away.”

Tessa Bailey is one of my all-time favorite authors and rarely does she let me down. She always gives me exactly what I expect (a kickass heroine, obsessed alpha hero, all the steam) and she absolutely delivers with this newest release! Right now, I’m dying for Bethany’s story, and if you’ve read this book, then you know who her enemies-to-lovers romance will be with!


lacey


Reading Order: Hot & Hammered series

#1 ~ Fix Her Up: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Love Her or Lose Her: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Tools of Engagement: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Review: Winter Tales by Tiffany Reisz

Winter Tales by Tiffany Reisz
Series: The Original Sinners #8.7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 19th 2019
Links: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Return to USA Today bestseller Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series with Winter Tales, a collection of three fan-favorite Christmas novellas plus a brand-new novella exclusive to this anthology.

In December Wine, the long-awaited story of Nora Sutherlin’s first meeting with Nico can finally be told. Nora enlists her editor (and sometimes lover) Zach Easton on a mission to track down Kingsley’s long-lost son. Nicolas “Nico” Delacroix turns out to be young, strikingly handsome, and very French. He wants nothing to do with his father…but everything to do with Nora.

This special holiday-themed collection also includes the novellas Poinsettia, The Christmas Truce, and The Scent of Winter (previously available only as ebooks). A bonus short story starring Søren rounds out the Winter Tales anthology.

I am always SO happy when Tiffany Reisz writes anything related to my favorite erotica series ever, The Original Sinners. This is one of the few series that I can never get tired of. I adore everything about Nora, Søren, Kingsley, and the rest of this brilliant cast of characters. Any time I pick up a book or story with them, it’s like coming back to old (kinky) friends. And whether it’s a full length book or a holiday themed novella, I’ll take anything and everything from TR. This time, with Winter Tales, we get four novellas plus a bonus short story that all work perfectly with the winter holiday.

December Wine, the new novella in this collection, is probably my favorite of the five, mainly because I just love Nico so, so much. I wish we got more of him and Nora! We finally get to see how these two met for the very first time in France, and we can tell how besotted they become despite being complete strangers. I just want a full length book for them PLEASE! I need to know everything that happened between them meeting to how Nora became his Dom.

We also get novellas featuring Søren and his time with Magdalena in Italy, Søren and Kingsley sharing a cabin in the woods in the winter, and of course one with the dirty trio all together. The bonus short story takes place after the final Original Sinners book, which turns out not to be the final one anymore! God bless, but we are getting more of the OS world, and this short story is a little bridge to the upcoming book, The Priest.

Tiffany Reisz amazes me every time I open up one of her books. Her writing is stunning, the way she’s able to write love, kink, and humor so flawlessly. I cannot get enough of her words and I’m so glad we aren’t done with the Original Sinners series just yet!


lacey


Reading Order: The Original Sinners series


  

 

#1 ~ The Siren: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Angel: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Prince: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3.2 ~ The Mistress Files: EbookGoodreads
#4 ~ The Mistress: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ The Saint: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ The King: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#6.3 ~ Michael’s Wings: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ The Virgin: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ The Queen: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8.2 ~ The Confessions: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8.3 ~ Mischief: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#8.4 ~ The Chateau: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8.5 ~ Picture Perfect Cowboy: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8.7 ~ Winter Tales: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#9 ~ The Priest: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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Review: The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan

The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan
Series: All the King’s Men Duet #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 28th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Power. Passion. Betrayal.

Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King’s Men Duet.

Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.

In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.

My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I’m determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

This book is ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. It deserves all the stars and all the love. I haven’t felt this giggly and excited about a read in a while, but The Kingmaker blew. me. away. It’s sexy, smart, aware – I LOVED the way Kennedy Ryan blended the romance and politics. Also… Maxim and Lennix were on fire together!!! This book without a doubt is definitely going on my best of 2019 list and right now I’m willing to do anything to get my hands on the sequel.

It’s been a while since my last Kennedy Ryan read, but reading The Kingmaker reminded me of how much I love her writing. Everything from the romance, the second chance, the heroine’s Native American heritage, the hero’s sustainability ambitions, all were seamlessly blended together in a thoughtful, meaningful, and addicting read. Have I mentioned how much I love this book?

When Lennix and Maxim first meet, they find an instantaneous connection together over their youthful ambition and desire for a better world. She’s trying to save her Native American ancestors’ land, and she doesn’t know that he’s the son of the corporation’s CEO trying to destroy that land. They never expect to see each other again after their time in jail after a protest, but years later, they reunite in a chance encounter in Amsterdam. They have one week left before they move to opposite sides of the Earth, but they use that week to its fullest. Theirs is a whirlwind, passionate romance that had me swooning and wanting an HEA for them, even though I knew they wouldn’t get one… yet.

“How does it feel knowing you could bring a man like me to my knees?”

The Kingmaker is divided into three parts, and the last part is the second chance Maxim and Lennix deserve ten years later. It’s a beautiful, emotional, and sexy as hell second chance. Lennix wants nothing to do with Maxim and Maxim is determined to win the heart of the woman who stole his a decade ago. If you thought these two were steamy in their 20s, that’s NOTHING compared to them in their 30s. They’re all grown up now, Maxim especially. You will absolutely be fanning yourself over this man, his desire to save Mother Nature, and how single-minded he is to make Lennix love him again.

He was my first. Ten years ago when we made love, I didn’t know a passion like this was rare, something to be coveted and chased and clutched, but tonight, I know it’s a comet shooting across the sky and all we can do is ride its fiery trail.
Now I know.

If there’s a romance you need to read this year, it’s The Kingmaker. Lennix is one of the strongest, most passionate and admirable heroines I’ve ever read. Maxim will have you heart-eyeing for days. I fell so hard for this couple and the first part of their epic love story. Now I am DYING to read The Rebel King!


lacey

Reading Order: All the King’s Men Duet

#1 ~ The Kingmaker: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ The Rebel King: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Nov. 17, 2019)


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Early Review: Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 6th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Keep Her Safe and “master of steamy romance” (Kirkus Reviews) delivers a sizzling novel about an ambitious and high-powered executive who reconnects with her first love: the boy who broke her heart.

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counselors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is still alive and strong, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.

K.A. Tucker wrote one of my favorite books of 2018, The Simple Wild, so to say I was excited for her next contemporary romance would be an understatement. She knows how to write stories that will appeal to your emotions and heart, which is exactly what happened with Say You Still Love Me. Reading this book was like an emotional roller coaster I never wanted to get off of. If you love second chance romances that will hit you in the face with summer feels and nostalgia, read this book.

Second chance romances are my favorite, and Say You Still Love Me hit all the right buttons for me. The main characters met and fell in love at summer camp as teenage counselors, but Kyle never contacted Piper again after that one summer. Thirteen years later, Piper has just received control of her father’s company and she needs to prove to her dad and her employees that she’s the right fit for this multi-million dollar company. Just when things are looking up, her past love shows up as the new security guard at her office building, and feelings resurface. It’s almost as if the decade that passed without each other never happened. The privileged, wealthy girl is still very much in love with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks.

I LOVED these Piper and Kyle. You can feel the absolute heartbreak, the longing, the adoration that these two still hold for each other. They might not have gotten on the right foot during their reunion, but over time I couldn’t help but swoon over how clearly the two worship each other. We get some great juxtaposition between alternating chapters of past and present, with the past chapters set in summer camp. We can see Piper and Kyle falling in love for the first time alongside them relearning each other in the present and falling in love all over again. This kind of storytelling reminded me a lot of another 2018 favorite, Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren, so if you liked that book, you’ll probably like this one too.

Say You Still Love Me made me feel nostalgic over summer camp and I never even WENT to summer camp. K.A. Tucker made that camp setting come to life in this book, and it’s almost as if it’s another character itself. Which made this the perfect summer read. This is a romance that will hit you in the feels and I can’t recommend it enough!


lacey


Also by K.A. Tucker

Standalones

  

The Simple Wild: My ReviewEbook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
He Will Be My Ruin: EbookHardcoverPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Keep Her Safe: My Review • EbookHardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

Reading Order: Burying Water series

Burying Water by K.A. Tucker Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker Chasing River by K.A. Tucker Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

#1 ~ Burying Water: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Becoming Rain: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Chasing River: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Surviving Ice: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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