Release Day Review: Next to Never by Penelope Douglas

Next to Never by Penelope Douglas
Series: Fall Away #4.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 17th 2017
Links: EbookAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times bestseller Penelope Douglas introduces Quinn, younger sister to Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, in the latest novella in the series that began with Jared and Tate in Bully….

Quinn Caruthers has several problems.

Her father, Jason, and her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon.

Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without them jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood captures her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man—experienced, sophisticated, and important. And knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.

But Lucas left town years ago and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore.

But then a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn Quinn’s world upside down. She’s never asked about the tumultuous path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start.

As she begins to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.

“A strong person realizes that the only love you truly need in this life is the love you have for yourself. If you have that, it’s like armor. No one can stop you. No one else matters.”

Ugh, I’ve missed the Fall Away characters SO MUCH!!! This novella was the perfect way to introduce the second generation of characters while still rewarding fans of the series with cameos of the original characters. Plus, we finally get Katherine and Jason’s full story! Next to Never was the perfect tease from Penelope Douglas – it left me desperate for more, but I loved it all the same.

Quinn – Jared, Jax, and Madoc’s little sister – is now a teenager, but her life is being overshadowed by everyone in her family. There’s Jared’s Dylan, Jax’s Hawke, and Madoc’s twins Hunter and Kade, who all have their own personalities and problems that seem to be bigger than they are. They have a presence that Quinn doesn’t believe she has, and she’s afraid to go after what she wants and to mess up the status quo. She’s stuck in her life, with no direction out – but when a book lands on her doorstep, its contents changes everything for her.

It turns out the book is actually a diary… the story of her parents’ relationship. I don’t want to say much about Jason and Katherine’s story because I feel like it’s best to go in blind, but the road to their now-HEA has not been an easy one. They had an addicting, intense, and ultimately toxic relationship that broke them both… but you’ll have to read this novella to find out how they healed themselves and each other.

Honestly, there’s so much to love about this novella. Seeing the original cast of characters was such a delight – you have no idea how giddy I got every time they appeared on the page. Reading about them here made me fall in love with the series all over again, honestly. But now that I’ve finished Next to Never, I’m dying for more, especially Quinn and Lucas’s actual book! The wait for them is killer, but I know Penelope Douglas won’t disappoint. If you love the Fall Away series, I don’t know why you wouldn’t read this novella (that didn’t feel as short as a novella at all, thankfully), because it’s everything you expect and more from PD and the series!

5 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Fall Away series

Bully by Penelope Douglas Until You by Penelope Douglas Rival by Penelope Douglas
Falling Away by Penelope Douglas Aflame by Penelope Douglas  

#1 ~ Bully: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Until You: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rival: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Falling Away: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Aflame: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Next to Never: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads (Jan. 17, 2017)
#5 ~ The Next Flame: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (May 2, 2017)


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Release Day Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From the USA Today bestselling author of Rookie Move comes the second novel in the series that’s hot enough to melt the ice.

He’s a fighter in the rink, but he’s about to learn that playing nice can help you score…

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O’Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O’Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she’s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O’Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O’Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good…

Why do grumpy heroes turn out to be the sweetest heroes? I totally adored Patrick and his grumpy, protective, loving ways. He and Ari made the perfect couple! Their romance was slow and utterly sweet. This is another wonderful hockey romance from one of my favorite authors – if the Brooklyn Bruisers series isn’t on your TBR list, you need to add it there asap!

As captain and enforcer of the Brooklyn Bruisers, Patrick O’Doul has been through a lot on the ice, and his body is not happy about it. So in comes the team’s massage therapist, Ari Bettini, though Patrick is more than reluctant to let her do her job and help soothe his muscles. He’s got a ton of baggage from his past that prevents him from getting close to anyone, mentally and physically. But Ari has magic hands and a few tricks up her sleeves, and she’s determined to get him back into fighting shape.

Ari has baggage as well, in the form of an annoying ex who just won’t stay away and seems to be putting her in danger. He’s the reason why she’s not looking for a relationship soon – if ever – but the chemistry she feels with Patrick can’t be ignored. Patrick himself, after he’s warmed up to Ari, wants to explore what they have even more. He’s gruff, yet gentle and sweet with her. He is the PERFECT man trying to win her heart and make her swoon. He even enlisted the help of his teammates to get some tips on how to woo a woman – how freaking adorable is that!?

Wanting Ari wasn’t like any of those other other wants. It was far more terrifying. In the first place, there was too much that was out of his control. He’d always been able to say: if I just work a little harder, I can have this. If I just put in the hours. That wasn’t the case with Ari. Even as he dreamt up the next romantic thing he might do for her, he knew it might never be enough. She could decide that a punk from the wrong end of Minneapolis wasn’t what she needed in her life.

Hard Hitter is a heartfelt romance between two people with pasts that they try to overcome together. It’s a feel-good story with tons of sexy times, so what more could I ask for? Sarina Bowen totally nailed Ari and Patrick’s story and I grew to love them so much. The series keeps getting better and better, and I’m dying to read the third (and hopefully not last) book!

“I’m so gone for you,” he ground out, still laughing. “I’ve got it bad. It might take me years to convince you I’m a good guy, but I’ll never stop trying.”

This is also an open plea to Sarina Bowen to please, please give us Nate and Becca’s book!!! Nate’s longing and the tension between them is torture – I will take them in any way Sarina can give them!

4 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Brooklyn Bruisers series

  

#1 ~ Rookie Move: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Hard Hitter: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ Pipe Dreams: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (May 2, 2017)


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ARC Review: Beauty and the Billionaire: The Wedding by Jessica Clare

Beauty and the Billionaire: The Wedding by Jessica Clare
Series: Billionaires Boys Club #6.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 15th 2016
Links: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In this all-new novella in the New York Times bestselling series, Hunter and Gretchen are finally tying the knot—but their wedding may not be the easy fairy tale they’ve dreamed of…

Someone’s out to ruin Gretchen’s happy-ever-after on the eve before the big day. Can she trust Hunter, the man she’s given her heart to? And can she rely on her sister Daphne (the least reliable person of all!) to help her salvage things? Or is this marriage going to go down in flames before Gretchen and Hunter ever get to the altar?

Beauty and the Billionaire: The Wedding is the conclusion to both the Billionaire Boys Club series and the Billionaires and Bridesmaids series. I have to admit I’m a bit sad to see both series come to their ends, because I adore Jessica Clare’s billionaire books! That being said, this novella wasn’t quite wasn’t what I expected, though it was still fairly enjoyable. I loved that we got more Gretchen and Hunter, who make up my favorite couple Jessica Clare has written yet. But what surprised me was the big role Gretchen’s sister Daphne played. So if you’re expecting this novella to be solely about the upcoming nuptials, just be aware that half of it is Daphne’s story!

Gretchen is stressing out about her upcoming wedding. Nothing is going right for her, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that she’s marrying the love of her life, Hunter. Still, it’s not a story starring Gretchen without some ridiculous fun and messy entanglements. And of course, Hunter is still as devoted and in love with Gretchen as ever. He’s planning surprises for his bride, trying to show her just how much he adores her.

Then there’s Daphne’s story and her battle against her addictions and trying to make right with her family again. I wasn’t expecting to get her story in this novella, though I do appreciate Daphne getting her own little HEA with her life coach. I still don’t completely love her character, but I admired her determination to gain back her sisters’ trust and respect.

This novella was funny, quick, and sweet. I wish there was more (as I always do with novellas) but it’s a bittersweet ending for the series. I’m glad I got to see all the past characters one last time – so if you’re a fan of either series, make sure to pick this one up! I’m excited to see what else Jessica Clare has in store for her readers!

3 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Billionaire Boys Club series

Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare The Wrong Billionaire's Bed by Jessica Clare
Once Upon a Billionaire by Jessica Clare Romancing the Billionaire by Jessica Clare One Night with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare 

#1 ~ Stranded with a Billionaire: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Beauty and the Billionaire: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Wrong Billionaire’s Bed: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Once Upon a Billionaire: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Romancing the Billionaire: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#6 ~ One Night with a Billionaire: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#6.5 ~ Beauty and the Billionaire: The Wedding: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads

The Billionaires and Bridesmaids series is a spinoff series of the Billionaire Boys Club. Though it’s not necessary to read it prior to Billionaires and Bridesmaids, some recurring characters from the older series appear in the new series.

Reading Order: Billionaires and Bridesmaids series

The Billionaire and the Virgin by Jessica Clare The Taming of the Billionaire by Jessica Clare
The Billionaire Takes a Bride by Jessica Clare The Billionaire's Favorite Mistake by Jessica Clare 

#1 ~ The Billionaire and the Virgin: EbookAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Taming of the Billionaire: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Billionaire Takes a Bride: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ The Billionaire’s Favorite Mistake: My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Billionaire on the Loose: My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads


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ARC Review: Looking Inside by Beth Kery

Looking Inside by Beth Kery
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The New York Times bestselling author who brought you GlowGlimmer, and The Affair is back with a new novel that will have you leaving the curtains open.
 
Are you just going to stand there and watch?
 
Eleanor Briggs just can’t help herself. The sight of the man in the high-rise across the street is driving her wild. She longs to feel his touch up close and personal. To win him over, she’ll need to shake off her wallflower sensibilities and become the seductress she never imagined she could be. The only trouble will be finding the perfect way to meet him…
 
Or are you going to join in?

Sex is easy for millionaire entrepreneur Trey Riordan. Finding something of substance, however, seems impossible. That is until a simple night of reading at a local coffee shop becomes something far steamier when a beautiful brunette comes by and leaves a note telling him to look out his bedroom window at eleven o’clock. But when the time comes, neither of them will be truly ready for what follows…

Looking Inside took me by surprise in the best way possible. Going in, I was expecting just a steamy erotica with an exhibitionism/voyeurism theme, but it turned out to be so more more than that! I don’t believe I’ve read any of Beth Kery’s books before, but if they’re as incredible as this one was, I’ll definitely have to get on that. I love her writing and I loved the main characters of Looking Inside. Trey and Eleanor were so much fun to read about – I would highly recommend this book to erotica lovers!

For months, Eleanor Briggs has been looking out her window to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous man in the high-rise across the street. She’s seen him a total of seven times, but six of them were of him having sex, and every time Eleanor imagined that it was herself underneath him and experiencing all the kinky things he’s inclined to. One day, she gets the chance to meet the one and only Trey Riordan and transforms herself from her quiet, boring librarian self to a confident, sexy, sultry woman she wishes she truly was. The moment they meet in person, the insta-lust goes haywire – I loved the chemistry between these two!

Trey is an absolute sweetheart. For all the money he has, he’s very down-to-earth, though he does have alpha tendencies. He’s been burned enough times by women who only want him for his money, so he’s put his romantic life on the back-burner, but the second he meets Eleanor, he wants her bad. Along the way, though, he starts falling for her, too – but he’s the kind of man who values honesty and trust, and he’s been falling for a version of Eleanor that’s only a persona… or is it?

I’m not the biggest fan of BDSM, but Looking Inside was just the right amount of kinky that I really enjoyed. It wasn’t too much or too little – Beth Kery knows how to balance out the steam and the story, which I definitely appreciated. The main characters were a delight to read about, and I’m not just talking about their chemistry. Their romance was sweet and genuine, even as they explored their exhibitionist/voyeuristic sides. I seriously adored this book and am definitely looking forward to more from this author!

4 hearts
lacey


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Early Review: Ruled by Elle Kennedy

Ruled by Elle Kennedy
Series: Outlaws #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review

In the latest novel in the series with the “sexiest, baddest, hottest”* outlaws around, one woman must choose between the two men who want to claim her…

…Or does she?

Despite his magnetic personality, Rylan can’t seem to seduce Reese, the deadly leader of their town of outlaws. Winning her over is a welcome challenge, but her indifference isn’t the only thing standing in his way. If he wants Reese, Rylan must also win over Sloan, her stoic protector…

Sloan has always loved Reese, but their painful past has stolen his chances of a future with her. Rylan’s interest in Reese only intensifies the tension—until Sloan begins to wonder if the reckless man might be the one person who can bridge the distance…

The last time Reese fell for the wrong man, she had no choice but to kill him. Now, she desperately wants to take what both Rylan and Sloan are offering. But if she makes the wrong call again, she risks losing them both.

To say I’d been dying to read Ruled ever since finishing the previous Outlaws book would be an understatement. You have no idea how READY I was for Reese, Sloan, and Rylan’s story because hello, THREESOME!!! And SLOAN!!! And now, all I can say is that Sloan is one of my favorite heroes from Elle Kennedy, and Ruled might be the hottest book she’s written yet. If you thought you were ready for the steam thanks to Claimed and Addicted, think again, because Ruled will seriously blow your mind with the chemistry between this threesome.

Reese is the queen of her outlaw community. She is fierce, independent, badass – she will do anything and everything to protect her people. But there’s only one person she allows to protect her and stand by her side: Sloan, her quiet, stoic right hand man. These two are tied to the knot, and there is essentially no Reese without Sloan, and vice versa. But what Reese doesn’t know is that Sloan has been in love with her since forever. Will Sloan ever be able to win his queen? Or will he need the help of a new man to get her to open up to him – to them?

The only thing he didn’t like about the man was this creeping feeling he had that he was losing Reese to him. But was he really losing her? Or was Rylan the key to winning her?

Rylan – the irreverent, perpetually horny Rylan – has also wanted Reese since the moment he met her, but he’s gotten nothing but rejections from her. But when the stress piles up on the outlaw queen, Rylan offers his body as a way to relieve it. But there’s only one catch from Reese – that Sloan has to be there to watch them. So what starts off as an insanely hot exhibition act turns into so much more when the chemistry between Sloan and Reese, Reese and Rylan, and even Rylan and Sloan ignites. This is a threesome with no shortage of lust and raw desire – but can Sloan and Rylan ever get Reese to be vulnerable enough to admit to loving them?

“There is nothing we won’t give you,” Sloan said softly. “Nothing you could want that we can’t deliver.”

The steam in Ruled went above and beyond my expectations. Elle Kennedy knows how to write erotica, and I’m seriously hoping this won’t be the end of the Outlaws series. I’ll admit, I really wasn’t that into the plotline regarding the evil dystopian government – all I cared about were the main characters. It just wasn’t as engaging as the love story, and some details about it were too rushed. So if you’re like me, and just want the sexy hot threesome to set your panties on fire, trust me, you won’t be disappointed with Ruled!

4 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Outlaws series

Claimed by Elle Kennedy  

#1 ~ Claimed: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Addicted: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ruled: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Nov. 1, 2016)


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