ARC Review: Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell
Series: The Barons #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 15th 2017
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel.

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

I was already a fan of Santino Hassell before reading Illegal Contact, but this first book in The Barons series has only made me love him that much more. Gavin and Noah’s story is one of my favorite reads of the month – maybe even the year. I stayed up until 1 AM finishing this wonderful book because I literally couldn’t put it down. It’s a crazy sexy, endearing, and overall fantastic read! I highly recommend this for M/M or sports romance fans!

Gavin Brawley, New York Barons tight end, has a temper, and due to recent events, is on house arrest. Which means even though he doesn’t want one, he needs a personal assistant to help him survive being stuck in his million-dollar home. He’s grumpy, a little rude, a lot surly – who could ever put up with him (and his gorgeous looks)?

Enter Noah Monroe. Noah is in need of some money fast to support his laid-off father and pay off his student debt. So despite how he and Gavin didn’t get off to a good start, he accepts the job offer. It shouldn’t be too hard running around and getting things done for a famous athlete whose sport is his life, right?

Gavin doesn’t make his life easy for Noah, but good thing this Clark Kent lookalike gives as good as he gets. After their bad first impression, once they start getting to know one another, things start looking up. But there’s an underlying tension between them that is so hard to ignore. Their chemistry is ON FIRE – I could feel the lust and want coming off the pages. These are two men that revel in challenging the other, so of course the sex would be out of this world!

I loved Gavin and Noah so much. There’s more than meets the eye with both men, and I adored getting to know them better alongside with them. I loved the dynamics of their relationship and the slow but sweet development of their romance. I couldn’t get enough! This book was an incredible start to a series I know I’ll only come to love even more. I can’t wait for the next book!


lacey


Reading Order: The Barons series

 

#1 ~ Illegal Contact: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ Down by Contact: Ebook • Goodreads (Jan. 16, 2018)


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Release Day Review: Irresistible You by Kate Meader

Irresistible You by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 14th 2017
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Hot in Chicago series author Kate Meader returns with her all new, scorching Chicago Rebels hockey series, featuring her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (Romantic Times). Three estranged sisters inherit their late father’s failing hockey franchise and are forced to confront a man’s world, their family’s demons, and the battle-hardened ice warriors skating into their hearts.

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

I can always count on Kate Meader to deliver fun and sexy contemporary romances, and she has yet to disappoint me. This time, she’s moved from hot firefighters to gorgeous hockey players in the Chicago Rebels series. You have no idea how excited I was when I heard she’d be writing hockey romances – it’s been a while since I’ve read a good sports romance, so Irresistible You came at the perfect time! I ended up loving this book so much. A Cajun hockey player who whispers sweet nothings in French? A female owner of a hockey team? Can you see how I couldn’t help but love this fabulous read?

The Chicago Rebels series centers around three estranged sisters who’ve come together after the death of their father and the inheritance of his hockey team. The series kicks off with the oldest sister who has been preparing to lead the Rebels practically her whole life. But even though Harper Chase is prepared to take charge and show this male-dominated industry who’s boss, she’s not prepared for the newest member of the Chicago Rebels to set her insides on fire and make her want more in life in addition to the team.

Remy DuPre is known as the jinxed hockey player who is always so close to winning the cup, but has yet to succeed. This year is his final year, so to say he’s aggravated that he’s been traded into a sinking ship that is the Chicago Rebels team would be an understatement. To ensure he’s got a chance at the Stanley Cup, he make a deal with his irresistible new team owner – he’ll shape up the Rebels if he’s traded onto a better team that has a real chance at the cup.

Harper and Remy have an undeniable chemistry that is so passionate and sexy. I loved how these two were around each other. A little angry, a lot lusty, and very curious to see how their tension translates in bed. Harper is resistant to starting anything with her hockey player because of the backlash she’d face as a female owner, but Remy is irresistible in his determination to prove to her that what they have is worth fighting for. Will he succeed in charming his way into his team’s beautiful, ambitious owner?

Irresistible You is seriously a fantastic hockey romance. The characters are charming and lovable (Remy is to die for), the romance is as sexy as it is sweet, and did I mention that it’s hockey!? All of this combined made this book an amazing start to a series I have no doubt I’ll come to love even more with each book. Right now I can’t wait to read the next one!


lacey


Reading Order: Chicago Rebels series

  

#0.5 ~ In Skates Trouble: EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ Irresistible You: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ So Over You: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Dec. 4, 2017)


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Blog Tour + ARC Review, Top 5 List & Giveaway: The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas!

Here are Jodi’s top 5 reasons to love forbidden romance!

1) It takes you out of your comfort zone.
2) Everyone wants what they can’t have
3) Heightened feelings
4) The danger element creates more intensity
5) Conflicting feelings. Your brain and your heart being at odds.

The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 8th 2017
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What do you do when you can’t control your feelings for someone? When you know you shouldn’t go there? Not even in your head.

Annie has never experienced the ‘spark’ with a guy-the kind of instant chemistry that steals your breath and blindsides you completely. Until a night out with friends brings her face to face with the wickedly sexy and mysterious Jack. It’s not just a spark that ignites between them. It’s an explosion. Jack promises to consume Annie, and he fully delivers on that promise.

Overwhelmed by the intensity of their one night together, Annie slips out of their hotel room. She is certain that a man who’s had such a powerful impact on her and who could bend her to his will so easily, must be dangerous. But she’s already in too deep. And Jack isn’t only dangerous. He is forbidden.

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon Paperback • Audible
Barnes & NobleiTunes • KoboGoogle Play

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I went into The Forbidden not knowing anything besides what the blurb said. I had my suspicions, but I basically went into this book blind, which is what I feel most readers should do. You’re meant to feel as shocked and blindsided as the heroine is when the “forbidden” aspect of the romance comes into play. But I will say that this particular forbidden romance theme is not one for everyone – some readers adamantly try to avoid this topic, so if you really want to know, I’m sure there are reviews out there that say what it is. But I won’t be spoiling anything here! 😉

Twenty-nine year old architect Annie Ryan is at the height of her career, having just landed a client with an incredible project. Her whole life has been leading up to owning her own architecture firm, and she’s finally succeeded. Men have no room in her life, but what can a one-night-stand hurt with the most gorgeous man she’s ever scene, with whom she shares a deep, intense chemistry? Annie leaves Jack the morning after their passionate night feeling bittersweet that she’ll never experience that kind of passion again. But as luck would have it, the contractor for the new project she’s working on is none other than Jack Joseph… and despite their one night together, she can never have him.

Annie and Jack share an explosive connection that neither should act on but cannot deny. I was bouncing back and forth between rooting for them and hoping they would go their separate ways. It’s a tumultuous relationship with as many highs as there are lows, but through it all, there is never a doubt about the love these two characters have for each other.

Jodi Ellen Malpas writes a certain kind of alpha male that normally I can’t stand, but Jack surprisingly didn’t get on my nerves as much as her previous heroes. He has his moments, but overall I didn’t quite hate him like I expected to. Annie is a total sweetheart and I felt for her and her pain over Jack. I did get annoyed at how easily she succumbed to Jack, but all of JEM’s heroines do, so why am I still surprised? LOL. The sex between them is off-the-charts hot, so I was able to be a little more forgiving of the characters because of it.

If you love JEM, then you’re more than likely going to enjoy The Forbidden. It’s a bit more emotional and angsty than her other reads, but I found that I liked it. It’s definitely controversial and not a book for everyone, but if you’re curious and have an open mind, I’d say go for it!


lacey

Also by Jodi Ellen Malpas

The Protector: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads

about the author button

Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands’ town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her two boys. Working for her father’s construction business full-time, she tried to ignore the lingering idea of writing until it became impossible. She wrote in secret for a long time before finally finding the courage to unleash her creative streak, and in October 2012 she released This Man. She took a chance on a story with some intense characters and sparked incredible reactions from women all over the world. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters have become her passion, a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • BookBub • Amazon Page

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1 of 10 paperback copies of THE FORBIDDEN by Jodi Ellen Malpas

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Release Day Review: Wrecked by J.B. Salsbury

Wrecked by J.B. Salsbury
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 18th 2017
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

When you can’t trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?

It’s been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a tiny boat off the California coast, he thought he’d found the perfect place to escape life. Then Sawyer shows up and turns his simple life upside down. Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laid-back beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can-including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk. For Aden, the past doesn’t stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn’t care whose life it wrecks.

Tortured hero, anyone? If you’re looking for a book that will instantly hook you and has fantastically complex characters you can’t help but root for, you should definitely check out Wrecked. It’s intense, sexy, yet still has enough light-hearted moments to balance out the dark. I really enjoyed this read!

“I’m fucking wrecked without you.”

After being honorably discharged, Aden Colt arrived back on American soil wrecked from his time overseas. The loss of his men because of his mistake haunts him, and he can’t escape his nightmares. He secludes himself in a boat off the coast of San Diego, where he’s either drinking or fishing. It’s a quiet, simple, if lonely life – but everything changes when Sawyer Forrester enters his life.

Sawyer travels to San Diego to fulfill her dying twin sister’s wish – to pretend to be her while packing up all of Celia’s belongings so that the people who knew Celia would remember her as the adventurous, lively woman she was, rather than the sick, bed-ridden woman she is now. As the sister who was always overshadowed, Sawyer thinks she’ll have a tough time channeling her inner Celia. Sawyer has slight OCD, is terrified of germs, and never goes on adventures, so how can she possibly fool anyone? What Sawyer doesn’t expect is to come to love her time as Celia because of Aden. Aden, who she feels a draw, a connection with. He opens up a new world for her and makes her see that she is capable of so much more than she realized.

It’s the way he makes me feel like I’m the only woman in the world. He responds to every word I say, every sound that slips unabashed from my lips, as if I’m giving him a secret he’s been desperate to discover. When we’re together it’s as if I’m the air and he’s begging for his next breath.

But even as the two are undeniably drawn towards one another and can’t help but fall for each other, Aden’s demon’s are never far away… and oh yeah, Aden thinks Sawyer is Celia. Aden and Sawyer have a lot going against them, but the chemistry and connection they have is unlike anything they’ve ever felt, so how can they not pursue it?

“I don’t want to forget you.”
“I’ll make sure you never will… I’ll mark your fucking soul.” His lips touch the shell of my ear and he whispers, “The way you’ve marked mine.”

I’ll admit, as much as I enjoyed the story, I had a hard time connecting with the characters, mainly because I just couldn’t relate to them. Despite that, I loved how clearly the author was able to convey all the emotions coursing through the pages. Sawyer and Aden go through a roller coaster of emotions, the highs and lows all perfectly balanced so that I was entertained the whole way through. If tortured souls and self-discovery is your jam, make sure to pick up Wrecked!


lacey

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


Also by J.B. Salsbury

Split: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads


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ARC Review: Checkmate: This is Dangerous by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is Dangerous by Kennedy Fox
Series: Checkmate Duet #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 6th 2017
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Introducing book 1 in the Logan & Kayla saga of the Checkmate series from a secret duo of romance authors who teamed up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox!

This second-chance romance will have you gasping and cheering this two on from the first to the last page! Are you ready to play the final game?

***

Logan Knight is a real life knight in shining armor. 
A detective godsend in a sleek black suit has me thinking less than secretive thoughts. Brooding and mysterious, he’s the kind of guy every girl instantly notices. Between his seductive smirk and charming good looks, it’s no wonder I can’t help the way he makes me feel whenever I’m near him. 
Too bad he’s unavailable–or so he says.

He thinks I’m a do-gooder who shouldn’t get involved with a guy like him. His past is messy and relationships just add to that. He insists the timing is all wrong and he’s devoted to his career, but I don’t buy that excuse for a second. I see the way his body tenses and his jaw ticks every time another guy is around me. He just won’t admit it, but I’m more determined than ever to show him what he’s missing.

I’m a devoted animal rescuer and I’ll risk everything to save them, but when a dramatic turn of events puts both our lives at risk, I’m positive Logan will write me off for good. But when he asks for my help with a personal crisis, I know it’s my last chance to finally show him I can handle anything he throws my way–messy past and all.

He might think he has me all figured out, but I’ll prove him wrong no matter what he thinks. This game of push and pull has me running in circles. One wrong move and we could both lose.

Checkmate, Knight.

The first book in Logan and Kayla’s series wasn’t quite my favorite of the Checkmate Duet series, but I enjoyed their story nonetheless. It’s a fast, easy read with some over-the-top drama, and an AWFUL cliffhanger. I have to say that this cliffhanger was the WORST out of all three series – KF killed me with it, and I applaud them for it. So to say I’m excited for the next (and final!) book in the series would be an understatement.

Checkmate: This is Dangerous is a blend of friends-to-lovers and second-chance-romance, two of my favorite tropes. Kayla has had a crush on Logan since she first met him, but the mysterious man with a messy past has kept her firmly in the friend-zone… never mind the one or two kisses they shared. Logan’s life has no room for a woman, and despite how much he wants and cares for Kayla, he won’t make her settle for a guy who doesn’t deserve the wonder that she is.

I love love love dogs, so Kayla being an animal rescuer was perfect for me. Her character is adorable and sweet, if a little too sweet at times. She’s just so GOOD that it was sometimes unbelievable. Logan’s character grew frustrating after a while too, because of how slowly he revealed things to Kayla and him not making the effort to be with her sooner, damn the consequences. I do love a good man in uniform though, and Logan and Kayla together were on fire.

If you love the Checkmate Duet series, you will no doubt love Kayla and Logan. It’s just as crazy dramatic and intense as the previous reads. Just be prepared for that doozy of a cliffhanger, because it will have you DYING for the next book!


lacey


Reading Order: Checkmate Duet series

 
 
 

#1 ~ This is War (Travis & Viola #1): EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ This is Love (Travis & Viola #1): EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ This is Reckless (Drew & Courtney #2): My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ This is Effortless (Drew & Courtney #2): My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#5 ~ This is Dangerous (Logan & Kayla #1): Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#6 ~ This is Beautiful (Logan & Kayla #2): EbookGoodreads (Sept. 19, 2017)


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