Review: Homecoming King by Penny Reid

Homecoming King by Penny Reid
Series: Three Kings #1
Publication Date: December 14th 2021
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Rex “TW” McMurtry’s perpetual single-hood wouldn’t bother him so much if all his ex-girlfriends didn’t keep marrying the very next person they dated, especially when so many of those grooms are his closest friends. He may be a pro-football defensive end for the Chicago Squalls, but the press only wants to talk about how he’s always a groomsman and never a groom. Rex is sick of being the guy before the husband, and he’s most definitely sick of being the best man at all their weddings.

Bartender Abigail McNerny is the gal-pal, the wing-woman, the she-BFF. She’s dated. Once. And once was more than enough. Privy to all the sad stories of her customers, ‘contentment over commitment’ is her motto, and Abby is convinced no one on earth could ever entice her into a romantic relationship . . . except that one guy she’s loved since preschool.

The guy who just walked into her bar.

The guy who doesn’t recognize her.

The guy who is drunk and needs a ride home.

The guy who has a proposition she should definitely refuse.

This was ADORABLE! If you’re in the mood for a romance that’s sweet, feel-good, and fun, you need to read Homecoming King. It’s got a grumpy football player hero, a bartender heroine who used to crush on him back in school, and a marriage of convenience. I legit could not stop smiling while I read this book.

Abby is a bartender who’s sworn off romantic relationships after the mess that was her previous marriage. Then in walks the boy she used to love all throughout school, except Rex is all grown up now. He’s a professional football player who’s had some terrible luck with his own romantic relationships. Every woman he’s ever dated ended up marrying the man she met after dating Rex. He’s sick and tired of being known as “training wheels” for the women he dates so he concocts the perfect plan to stop the moniker: enter a marriage of convenience with Abby.

I loved Abby and Rex’s relationship! Abby is a lovable dork who’s still got a her schoolgirl crush on Rex but is trying to be professional/the best fake wife she can be for him. Even though we don’t get the hero’s POV, you can clearly see Rex slowly fall for Abby and simply adore everything about her, even as she’s a little oblivious to his feelings. Both are endearing, lovely characters I enjoyed reading about so much.

Also, I should’ve realized this was a holiday romance from the cover. I wish I read this a month earlier, but still, it was so good!


lacey


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Review: Triple Threat by K. Webster

Triple Threat by K. Webster
Series: Deception Duet #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 11th 2022
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

I’m a prisoner in a prestigious world.

A perfect princess locked in a tower.

My father will never let me go.

Not that I could leave. I would never abandon my little sister. Hope comes in the form of a devilishly handsome man with dark eyes and darker secrets.

With each encounter, I’m lured deeper into the labyrinth. The danger lurking beneath his surface calls to me, even as it warns me away.

Except there’s a new side of him every time we meet. A different danger each time we touch. It’s as if three different men want to devour me.

He’s not just one villain. He’s three.

I couldn’t believe when K. Webster announced she would be writing a romance for the Terror Triplets from the Cinderella Trilogy. They were nasty, spoiled bullies – but was I still going to read their book? Absolutely.

I shouldn’t have doubted K. Webster because Triple Threat was so good! It’s a reverse harem romance with a heroine and three identical triplet heroes. The Mannford boys have grown up now and they’re not as spoiled and bratty. Sparrow, Scout, and Sully kind of work for the mafia but all they want to do is escape so they can live their own lives. Their uncle gives them one last assignment before they can be free – dupe the daughter of a tech billionaire into believing they’re one man and get close to her so they can find out her father’s secrets.

Landry may come from a rich family, but she lives in terror because of her abusive father. She wants to escape but she stays for her younger, deaf sister to protect her. Landry has never gotten close to anyone but she finds solace in a new, gorgeous classmate named Ford… who at times seems like he has a split personality.

I enjoyed this reverse harem romance so much! Each triplet clearly has his own personality and way of being with Landry, but I still fell for all 3, though I’m going to need more when it comes to the craziest brother, Scout. Landry was a strong heroine who I really felt for. I was on the edge of my seat reading this, just waiting for the moment when Landry would find out the truth about the brothers.

This is the first book in a duet and I am dying for Death Wish already. You can see the cliffhanger coming but it still killed me. Triple Threat is hot but not as steamy as I would expect from this author so hopefully we get more in the sequel!


lacey


Reading Order: Deception Duet

#1 ~ Triple Threat: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Death Wish: Ebook • AudibleGoodreads (March 29, 2022)


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Review: Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey
Series: Bellinger Sisters #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 1st 2022
Links: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…

King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time—in bed and out—and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

I had such high hopes for Hook, Line, and Sinker after loving book one, It Happened One Summer. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and it was actually my first 2022 release that I read! I enjoyed this one a lot – it was REALLY good, but I will say, Fox and Hannah didn’t draw me in like Piper and Brendan did in the previous book. It’s surprisingly slow for a Tessa Bailey romance and this is the first time I’m going to say I wanted more steam in a book by her. Still, if you loved the first Bellinger Sisters series, you won’t want to miss this second one. It’s a fun, breezy, flirty friends-to-lovers romance!

Fox and Hannah were first introduced as Brendan’s best friend and Piper’s sister, respectively. We felt some fantastic chemistry between them and now we finally get their romance! Fox is a (former) playboy hero who unexpectedly becomes best friends with the last person he expected to become BFFs with, Hannah. He’s usually known as a ladies’ man, but she’s the one woman immune to his charms. They grow a beautiful friendship, and he even offers her a room to stay at his place while she’s in town for work. But soon enough, Fox realizes he’s fallen for his new best friend, though he’s terrified of his reputation ruining things so he keeps her in the friend zone.

I had a wonderful time reading this book. It’s a really sweet friends-to-lovers romance and I enjoyed Fox and Hannah’s characters. I especially loved revisiting Westport, Piper, and Brendan. I just didn’t love it quite as much as the previous book – it was missing that charm from book 1 for me. Still, I always have so much fun reading Tessa Bailey and this was no different!


lacey


Reading Order: Bellinger Sisters series

#1 ~ It Happened One Summer: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Hook, Line, and Sinker: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads


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Review: An Unexpected Distraction by Catherine Bybee

An Unexpected Distraction by Catherine Bybee
Series: Richter #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 30th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Family secrets and fresh romance collide in this heart-pounding Richter series installment by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee.

Jacqueline “Jax” Simon knows how to expose secrets: she’s a skilled operative with MacBain Security and Solutions. When Jax hears her parents are divorcing, she races to London to find out why. She’s determined to learn the truth, especially when her investigation uncovers why her parents sent her to Richter, the German military school that made her a fighter.

Andrew Craig collects Jax at Heathrow Airport as a favor. He’s heard she’s a handful, but he didn’t know she’s dangerously gorgeous too. His instant attraction could change his life…or end it.

Jax doesn’t want to fall for Andrew, but soon he’s worming his way into her life. Together, they infiltrate Richter to discover if it has returned to its covert purpose: training children to be spies and assassins and blackmailing parents to look the other way. As the attraction between the two intensifies, so do the secrets exploding all around them. How deadly are those secrets—and who will survive?

If you love reading romantic suspense and haven’t tried Catherine Bybee’s Richter series, you’re missing out! The third book has just released and we have Jax and Andrew’s romance. It’s another thrilling installment in a series that I’m enjoying more and more with every new book. And although each book has its own couple, I highly recommend reading the series in order just so you can get a better understanding of the series characters and plots.

Jax is yet another badass, highly-trained heroine who hails from Richter Academy and now works for McBain Security. During her best friend’s wedding festivities, she gets a mysterious phone call from her brother asking her to return to London. She’s picked up by her brother’s friend Andrew, who knows nothing about Jax’s exciting, dangerous life. But he feels a connection between them that he thinks is worth exploring and worth making Jax want to stay in England.

The romance here is solid, if not that steamy. I still enjoyed it though and I liked the way Andrew handled learning about Jax’s life. They made a fantastic couple and I loved how genuinely the romance built between them. Jax went deep into investigations about her family’s past, learning all these secrets, which kept me on the edge of my seat. Overall, I had a great time reading An Unexpected Distraction!


lacey


Reading Order: Richter series

#1 ~ Changing the Rules: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ A Thin Disguise: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ An Unexpected Distraction: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas

Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Ravenels #7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 27th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestseller Lisa Kleypas returns with an enthralling and steaming romance between a Scot with a mysterious past and strong-willed lady looking for adventure—and love.

“The devil never tries to make people do the wrong thing by scaring them. He does it by tempting them.”

Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible.

From the moment Keir MacRae arrives in London, he has two goals. One: don’t fall in love with the dazzling Lady Merritt Sterling. Two: avoid being killed.

So far, neither of those is going well.

Keir doesn’t know why someone wants him dead until fate reveals the secret of his mysterious past. His world is thrown into upheaval, and the only one he trusts is Merritt.

Their passion blazes with an intensity Merritt has never known before, making her long for the one thing she can’t have from Keir MacRae: forever. As danger draws closer, she’ll do whatever it takes to save the man she loves . . . even knowing he might be the devil in disguise.

I am dying over how wonderful this book was. It was everything I wanted and more from a Lisa Kleypas romance. I loved Merritt and Keir so much. The passion and love between them stole my heart. Devil in Disguise is now one of my new favorite Lisa Kleypas historicals!

Devil in Disguise is book 7 in the Ravenels series but I’m not sure why that is. You might be able to read it fine as a standalone but I would recommend reading the Wallflowers series first, because this book is the second generation of that series. Not a lot of Ravenels actually show up. Merritt, our widowed heroine, is Lillian and Marcus’ oldest daughter and is in charge of her late husband’s shipping company. Her newest business partner is Keir, our very first Scottish Lisa Kleypas hero. The connection between them is instantaneous and fantastic to read!

Keir and Merritt killed me in the best of ways. I was swooning over their romance, which does happen quickly, but then a wrench is thrown in that slows things down and evens out the pacing. I adored how gone both of them were over each other. Keir is a total grumpy sweetheart and it was too easy to love him. There’s a bit of suspense in this with someone going after Keir, so in between the romance, mystery, and family drama, there’s never a dull moment in this read.

If you loved Sebastian from Devil in Winter, I am happy to say you’ll get to see a lot of him here! We even get a few chapters in his POV. I won’t spoil anything, but I had no problem with the connection between Sebastian and Keir. Honestly, it was just a delight seeing the Wallflowers cast (well, half of them) again and I can only hope we get more second generation books in the future!

Merritt and Keir are perfection together. There’s a reason why Lisa Kleypas is so beloved and why she’s my favorite historical romance author. I fall so hard for every one of her stories – and heroes – and cannot wait to read more!


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: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Devil in Disguise: EbookPaperbackHardcoverAudibleGoodreads


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