Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

The Chase by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 6th 2018
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

OHHH MY GOD. I loooved The Chase!! Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series is one of my favorite college/new adult/sports romance series ever, so the anticipation for its spinoff series was REAL. I’m so happy to say that Elle Kennedy did not disappoint with The Chase (though does she ever!?). I adored Summer and Fitzy’s story. I literally had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading them. And these new hockey boys Elle introduced had me cracking up like crazy – though I did love seeing some old, beloved characters too 😉 If you loved the Off-Campus series, you definitely need this spin-off series in your life!

I want a man with clear intentions. A man who makes an effort and is excited to spend time with me. A man who actually wants to want me.
If he has to fight himself to be with me, then chances are he’d never fight for me if it came down to it.
What woman would ever choose somebody like that?

I adore a good opposites-attract romance, and you can’t get more opposite than with Summer and Fitzy. Summer is your privileged, dramatic, outgoing, fashion-loving girl, while Fitzy is a drama-hating, introverted, game-playing/-making nerd and hockey player. One’s all light and the other is pretty gloomy. But despite their differences, these two have wanted each other from the very start – but they get off to a rough start when Summer overhears Fitzy judging Summer as an airhead. And… they also become roommates (awkward). Can he make her believe that he sees her for who she really is: his sunshine?

… I never felt truly alive until Summer.
I don’t want to be with a woman who hides in the shadows with me, because that enables me to keep hiding. And that’s what I’ve done for years—hidden pieces of myself from my parents, my friends, chicks, the world. I want someone who encourages me to step out of my comfort zone, and Summer is that someone.

I had the BEST time reading The Chase. It’s funny, smart, relatable, sexy – everything I wanted in a college sports romance and more. Do I believe that the Briar U series has the potential to live up to its predecessor? Absolutely. I fell in love with Fitzy and Summer, their sweet, hilarious, slightly angsty romance, and can’t wait to read more of the new characters. I am dying to get my hands on the next book. I can’t get enough of Elle Kennedy’s fantastic storytelling!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Briar U series

#1 ~ The Chase: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Risk: EbookGoodreads (Feb. 18, 2019)

Reading Order: Off-Campus series

The Deal by Elle Kennedy The Mistake by Elle Kennedy The Score by Elle Kennedy 

#1 ~ The Deal: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Mistake: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Score: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ The Goal: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Early Review: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill
Series: Heirs of Chicagoland #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 14th 2018
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill’s spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

I have been a big fan of Chloe Neill’s since I discovered her Chicagoland Vampires series years ago. The first few books are still some of my favorite paranormal/urban fantasy reads. I did however put the series on hold around book 10, but when I heard the author would be releasing a new spinoff series, I knew I had to catch up on the CV series. Fast forward to me racing through the last few books and figuring out just how Merit and Ethan ended up with a baby, and I finally get to Wild Hunger. I honestly wasn’t sure how this spinoff series about their child would turn out, but I have to say that I was not disappointed! I had so much fun returning to the world Chloe Neill created and fell in love with Elisa Sullivan.

Elisa is the only known born vampire to exist. Born to the powerhouse vampire couple of Chicago, she is the princess of Cadogan House, though that doesn’t mean she’s spoiled. She’s smart, headstrong, and responsible – she wants to be treated like any other vampire and goes training in Paris to get that equal treatment. But when she returns home to Chicago for peace treaty talks, tension is brewing between the vampires, werewolves, and fae. All hell breaks loose when one of her friends is framed for murder, with Elisa caught right in the middle.

I loved this exciting, new, fresh take on the vampire world Chloe Neill created. Elisa makes a fantastic heroine and investigator, a role previously held by her mother. I am so happy with her love interest as well: Connor Keene, the future king of the shifter Pack. They’ve known each other their whole lives, most of which they spent annoying each other, but Elisa’s years away from Chicago makes them see each other in a new light. I see so much potential for the two of them and they are definitely what I’m most excited about for the rest of the series! I loved seeing old faces, but Chloe Neill writes them in a way that doesn’t overshadow this new generation. Wild Hunger is a great start to this spinoff series, with plenty of action, political intrigue, chemistry between the main characters, and I already can’t wait for more.


lacey


Wild Hunger is the first book in the spinoff series of the Chicagoland Vampires series. Though it can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the CV series as well.

Reading Order: Chicagoland Vampires series

   
 
   
   

#1 ~ Some Girls Bite: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Friday Night Bites: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Twice Bitten: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Hard Bitten: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Drink Deep: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Biting Cold: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#7 ~ House Rules: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#8 ~ Biting Bad: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#8.5 ~ Howling for You: Ebook • Goodreads
#9 ~ Wild Things: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#10 ~ Blood Games: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#10.5 ~ Lucky Break: EbookGoodreads
#11 ~ Dark Debt: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#12 ~ Midnight Marked: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#12.5 ~ Phantom Kiss: Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#13 ~ Blade Bound: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#13.5 ~ Slaying It: EbookGoodreads


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Release Day Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

City girl Calla Fletcher attempts to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself torn between her desire to return to the bustle of Toronto and a budding relationship with a rugged Alaskan pilot in this masterful new romance from acclaimed author K.A. Tucker.

Calla Fletcher was two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when her father reaches out to inform her that his days are numbered, Calla knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this new subarctic environment, Jonah—the quiet, brooding, and proud Alaskan pilot who keeps her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. As time passes, she unexpectedly finds herself forming a bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago.

It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

The Simple Wild is now one of my new favorite reads of 2018! I almost cried at the end of this book, while I was taking public transportation. That’s how intensely emotional this book is, since I rarely ever cry while reading. I fell in love with Calla, her family, Jonah, flying, and Alaska in this phenomenal read. This is definitely my favorite K.A. Tucker read to date and I highly recommend this beautifully written book – it’s the kind of read that you won’t be able to forget.

City girl Calla Fletcher never thought she would travel to a remote town in Alaska of all places, but when someone who works with her estranged father tells her that he has terminal cancer, she packs her bags to go see the man who abandoned her for over two decades, who always chose his job as a pilot over his daughter, before he’s truly gone from her life.

At its heart, The Simple Wild is about relationships and taking chances. Calla is woefully unprepared for the wilds of Alaska – but what city girl wouldn’t be? But she takes the chance to go see her father and reconnect with him after decades in the hopes she won’t have any regrets about their relationship by the time he’s gone. She takes a chance on Alaska, on its unforgiving nature and the close-knit community that the Alaskan small town has. And she takes a chance on a surly, gorgeous pilot named Jonah, who she can’t help but go head to head with. But even after letting all these new experiences and people into her heart, can a city girl at heart and the wilds of Alaska truly mesh?

The Simple Wild quite simply wrecked me. As soon as I picked it up, I couldn’t stop reading Calla’s heartfelt story. I felt for this girl, the way she tries to make a new relationship with her father, the way she stands up to Jonah and falls slowly in love with him. I never expected to fall in love with Alaska, but K.A. Tucker writes the place in a way that makes it come to life. I am beyond impressed with this breathtaking story and highly recommend it for those who want more in their contemporary romances!


lacey


Also by K.A. Tucker

Standalones

 

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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ARC Review: Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 30th 2018
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe Winston remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

With each new Winston Brother book, I fall more in love with this fascinating cast of characters Penny Reid has created. This latest installment is about the youngest of the Winston boys, Roscoe. He’s a vet, basically has photographic memory (he can remember memories/events word for word), and… has always been in unrequited love with his childhood friend. But Dr. Strange Beard is so much more than childhood friends reconnecting – it also features racial issues that are so prevalent in today’s world. Though this isn’t my favorite Winston Brother novel, I loved Roscoe and Simone, and highly recommend their story if you want to read something different.

There is no one.
There’s never been anyone.
There’s only been you.

Ten years after Roscoe cut all ties and communication with his best friend Simone, she’s back in town, and as much as he tries to avoid her, he can’t. Simone makes it her mission to get close to Roscoe again, but not for the reason you’d think. She’s never stopped wondering why Roscoe dropped her a decade before and is determined to find out. But as she learns how kind-hearted, protective, sensitive, and not to mention gorgeous he is, she can’t help but fall for him.

Loving Roscoe wasn’t a hunch, or a hypothesis, or a theory.
I loved Roscoe, and that was a law.

Roscoe and Simone were a breath of fresh air for me. We have a sensitive hero who loves the heroine with all his heart and a headstrong heroine who thinks that love is not for her. I loved how these two learn to be vulnerable with each other. They learn to tackle issues together, lean on each other, and grow in a beautiful way that wasn’t possible when they were apart. And I am so impressed with the way the author chose to portray racism and Simone’s struggles throughout the book. It was honest and real, and having sensitivity readers for this aspect of the book certainly helped.

“You are in my heart. You have shaped my soul. Nothing–nothing–will change that for me.”

I can never get enough of Penny Reid’s characters. Each one is so utterly unique and amazing in his/her own way, and Simone and Roscoe were no different! If you like Penny’s books, this one’s a must read. Now I’m eagerly awaiting the next and final Winston Brothers book, which I feel will end up being my favorite (BILLY!!!).


lacey

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


Reading Order: Winston Brothers series

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid Beard Science by Penny Reid
   

#1 ~ Truth or Beard: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Grin and Beard It: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beard Science: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Beard in Mind: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Dr. Strange Beard: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#5.5 ~ Beard With Me: Goodreads (Feb. 2019)
#6 ~ Beard Necessities: Goodreads (April 2019)


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Blog Tour + Review & Excerpt: Playboy by Katy Evans

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Playboy by Katy Evans!

Playboy by Katy Evans
Series: Manwhore #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 29th 2018
Add to Goodreads

It started as a game.
We flirted. We played. Most importantly—we won.
Then I discovered who he was: Gambler. Famous playboy. Silver-eyed player who never plays to lose.
…And my best friend’s soon-to-be brother in law, Cullen Carmichael.
He needed a good luck charm, I needed a distraction.
So we made a gamble and set off for Vegas—but pretty soon—I was in too deep.
My heart, soul, and body weren’t supposed to be part of the deal.
But somewhere between big wins and long nights, my house of cards started to tumble.
What was this devil with those piercing eyes doing to me?
I’d given up on love, but the wicked, all-in Cullen Carmichael was upping the ante and wouldn’t stop until he’d won it all.

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & Noble • iTunes • Kobo • Audible

review button

When I first started the Manwhore series, meeting Wynn as Rachel’s friend, I was hoping she would get back together with her chef boyfriend, Emmett, and it seemed like they would by the end of Womanizer. But now that I’ve read Playboy, I’m so glad Katy Evans decided on Cullen for Wynn. He is alpha, sexy and sweet all at once, wanting to give everything to the girl who deserves it all. I adored both of these characters and their love story. If there’s an author who can make the love and romance between her characters feel real, it’s Katy Evans.

“I won’t fit in my lucky black dress tomorrow,” I worry in a whisper out loud.
Cullen eyes me and partly smiles, lifting his hand to stroke his thumb along the underside of my cheek. “Not a problem. You’re my lucky charm, not that dress of yours.”

After breaking it off with the man she imagined her happily ever after with, Wynn is ready to get back in the game and find a partner who’ll cherish her this time. Unfortunately, it’s not the guy she’s on a date with, who’s taken her to a poker game. But that’s where she meets Cullen Carmichael, the gorgeous man her date is playing against. There’s instant attraction and want on both ends – and once Cullen makes a bet with Wynn, they’re off to Vegas, where the stakes (and emotions) are higher.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Whoever you do in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
My Cullen.
Ugh.
We had a silly wager.
That’s all it was.
But I’m hooked on him, not because of what he is or how much he can spoil me.
It’s because of who he is. Who I am when I’m with him. Who we are together.

Despite the label of “Playboy,” Cullen is very much into Wynn and only Wynn. He shows her the glamorous side of being with a successful professional poker player, treating her like a queen, but once they leave Vegas, will the charm rub off? Wynn and Cullen have fallen head over heels for each other, but with that love last outside of Vegas?

“That’s what I am to you,” I remind him “We’re playing a game.”
“You’re playing a game.” He shakes his head somberly, his poker face gone, his eyes livid with heat. “I’m playing for keeps.”

Wynn and Cullen are perfect together. I love the way Cullen dotes on her the way Wynn deserves, and the way Wynn softens the hard edges Cullen has. The chemistry between them is off the charts – Katy Evans knows how to turn up the heat in her books, and the way Cullen can focus all of his desire, dominance, and need onto Wynn has me all heart-eyed and fanning myself. And besides these two lovely characters, I’m happy we get to see all the previous characters in this book. If this is the last Manwhore book, which I’m praying it’s not, because I could read about all of these characters for ages, it ended the series perfectly!


lacey

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

Now here’s an excerpt from Playboy! ❤

excerpt button

“So you just kissed me because you wanted to.” I speak on a breath.

“Very good. You’re perceptive. Intuitive.”

I realize he’s teasing me in that low, terribly rumbly voice and I wish he would smile at me.

He takes my hand and fingers my palm with his thumb as he leads me to our suite.

I’m sizzling where he touches me, nervously prying my hand free when he leads me into the biggest, most spectacular two-bedroom penthouse suite I’ve ever seen. Not that I’d seen one before in person, only movies.

There’s a kitchen area, and windows from floor to ceiling. A living room, a pool table, gold brass chandeliers, a brown-and-beige-patterned carpet, dark woods, Italian leathers. Gorgeous! I could move in here.

Now I see the appeal but won’t admit as much.

Thinking of our bet, I pay attention to the art on the walls. It’s expensive. I can tell by the numbered print and the signature. Painters with indecipherable and artistic signatures are often the artists to watch. It’s like they know from the moment they paint their first work that they’re on to something big, something that will distinguish their work from all others.

I wish Cullen loved art as much as I do. Maybe I could drag him away from the tables to a local gallery.

“Wow. I could just live he—” I spin around and bump into his big warm body, and he bends his head and kisses my words right out of me.

Kisses me stupid. Kisses my toes curled. Kisses my brain blank. Kisses my heart crazy.

Reading Order: Manwhore series

Manwhore by Katy Evans Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans Ms. Manwhore by Katy Evans
Ladies Man by Katy Evans  

#1 ~ Manwhore: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Manwhore +1: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Ms. Manwhore: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ladies Man: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Womanizer: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Playboy: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads

about the author button

Katy EvansKaty Evans is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her debut REAL shot to the top of the bestselling lists in 2013 and since then 9 of her titles have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages across the world.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Katy Evans


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