Review: Million Dollar Devil by Katy Evans

Million Dollar Devil by Katy Evans
Series: Million Dollar #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 28th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Big-city sophistication meets carnal hunger in this devilish contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans.

Heir apparent to her father’s company, Lizzy Banks needs a man. The perfect man. But when the rich “fundbabies” she usually rubs shoulders with prove impossible to hire, she takes a chance on a raw beast of a man salvaged from the wreckage of a bar brawl.

James Rowan earns a modest income as a YouTube daredevil, but he can’t refuse Lizzy’s million dollar deal. As she polishes his rough edges, creating a sophisticated gentleman fit for the highest circles of society, not only does she bring out the perfect man—it’s like she’s making the man of her dreams. How can she resist?

Though Lizzy loves seeing James in his clothes—and out of them—he isn’t the kind of man you bring home to Daddy. Her father’s disapproval and the pressure of the campaign have her eyeing the straight and narrow, but Lizzy’s finding it awfully hard to resist the devil on her shoulder…

The premise of Million Dollar Devil had me hooked and intrigued. There the clash of the classes trope – rich girl, struggling boy – opposites-attract, and a sort of reversed-gender Pretty Woman thing going on. Katy Evans has always been a solid author for me, doling out book after book of steam, chemistry, and hot AF alpha-male heroes. While this book has everything that KE is usually so good at, it lacked something that was in all her other books I loved. It was a bit of the writing, the characters didn’t work for me… While it’s not a bad read, it’s not as good as I’m used to from this author.

All Lizzy Banks wants in life is to impress her father and inherit his billion-dollar company. She’s tasked with one last chance to show him that she has what it takes to take over when he retires: find the perfect man to become the face of the company’s new line of men’s clothing. Then she meets James “Jimmy” Rowan – YouTube daredevil, protective older brother, and a gorgeous man who is in need of some cash. They strike a million dollar deal to clean up and sophisticate the man so he can become the model Lizzy needs.

I wish I could’ve loved Million Dollar Devil more. It’s probably my least favorite Katy Evans book. The writing just was NOT working for me. I couldn’t connect with the characters or their narratives (we get both their POVs) and at times I felt like one was too good for the other. I usually like the opposites-attract trope – Lizzy is as proper and good as a girl can get, while Jimmy is rough around the edges and a little dangerous – and while the chemistry is through the roof, I couldn’t bring myself to really root for them. I wish the story and characters could’ve been fleshed out a bit more.

Million Dollar Devil didn’t work for me, but if you love Katy’s more recent works, if might work for you. I’m still looking forward to and will read the next Million Dollar book, so I haven’t given up yet!


lacey


Reading Order: Million Dollar series

#1 ~ Million Dollar Devil: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Million Dollar Marriage: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (July 23, 2019)


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Review + Giveaway: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne
Series: Central Park Pact #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 28th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Stiletto and Oxford series, the first in a sizzling new series following the unlikely friendship of three Upper East Side women as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in the city that never sleeps.

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

How freaking CUTE was this book!? Lauren Layne has yet to disappoint me with her fabulous contemporary romances, and Passion on Park Avenue, the first in her new Central Park Pact series, is no different. I had such a fun time with Naomi and Oliver, as well as the women Naomi makes a pact with: Claire and Audrey. The series centers around these three women who had a relationship with a man… unknowingly at the same time. I loved that they made the most of it and became such good friends. I adored this start to a new series!

I know I can always count on LL to deliver a feel-good yet meaningful contemporary romance with a strong heroine and swoony hero. Naomi is the rags-to-riches CEO of a jewelry company she started from the ground up. She thought she had the perfect life, career, and boyfriend… until that boyfriend died, and it turns out not only was he married, he also had another girlfriend in addition to Naomi. Lauren Layne could’ve taken the women’s first meeting in all sorts of directions, but I loved the one she took: Naomi, Claire (the wife), and Audrey (the other girlfriend) bond and make a pact to help each other when it comes to seeing men for who they are. This girl-bond is probably my favorite part of this book. They are all so loving, sarcastic, and supportive of each other – everyone needs friends like these women!

Now onto the romance… The chemistry between Oliver and Naomi is delicious. There’s a bit of hate-to-love going on, with lots of great banter and sexual tension. I wouldn’t say this book is incredibly steamy, but LL knows how to write tension! All of their scenes were so much fun to read, and I even loved Oliver’s grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s.

Passion on Park Avenue is a quick and delightful read. I zipped through it so fast and easily. Fans of the author will definitely have fun with Naomi and Oliver. It’s the perfect summer-y read and I can’t wait for the next two books!


lacey


Reading Order: Central Park Pact series

#1 ~ Passion on Park Avenue: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Love on Lexington Avenue: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads (Sept. 17, 2019)


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**CLOSED** ✨ PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY!! ✨ Happy Tuesday and happy release day to @laurenlayneauthor – PASSION ON PARK AVENUE is here! To celebrate, I’ve partnered up with @gallerybooks to give away a paperback copy to one US winner! This is a sweet, feel-good contemporary romance with an incredibly strong female friendship at its heart. Y’all need to read this book! 💖 · HOW TO ENTER: • Follow me @laceybooklovers & @laurenlayneauthor • Like this post and show some love to my recent posts • Tag 2 friends · BONUS ENTRIES: • Share this giveaway on your story & mention me • Tag more friends (each one counts) · FINE PRINT: • Ends Monday June 3 • Open US only (sorry INTL folks, this one is straight from the pub!) • Giveaway is not associated with or endorsed by Instagram · · · · · #bookgiveaway #laurenlayne #passiononparkavenue #contemporaryromance #reading #currentlyreading #readromance #romancestagram #romancereads #amreading #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookblog #bookblogger #booklover #bookaddict #bookloversforlife #booksofinstagram #bookworm #booklove #booknerd #igreads #igbooks #instabooks #bibliophile #booksofinstagram #booksbooksbooks #booksofinsta #romancereader

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ARC Review: Echoes of Time by Calia Read

Echoes of Time by Calia Read
Series: Surviving Time #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 26th 2019
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

For Etienne and me, our love has always left a trace.
It reigns over kingdoms, and rules over time.
With Etienne now in the present day, the echoes of time grow louder.
We must face the answers we seek to set things right.
However, we must be incredibly careful. One false move and everything we love will be destroyed.
And this time, could be the end of our surviving trace.

Echoes of Time is the epic finale in The Surviving Time Series.

“Our love holds time together.”

Serene and Etienne have been on a wild, epic, time-defying journey for their love, in finding it and keeping it alive. I can’t think of another series like this one – it’s about time travel, yes, but it’s a romance like no other. This series has kept my heart pounding and aching for these two characters who we KNOW are meant to be, despite time dictating otherwise. We finally come to the conclusion to Serene and Etienne’s heart-wrenching romance in Echoes of Time, and I couldn’t be happier about how their story ended.

“I lost my heart but found my soul in you. This was all worth it. My surviving trace.”

Echoes of Time picks up right where The Reigning and the Rule left off, with the cliffhanger that was both epic and god-awful. Serene and Etienne are reunited, but how do they stay together, in whatever era they’re in? Will their love be enough to defy time? Calia Read once again delivers an emotional, tumultuous, breathtaking novel, one that fans of the series will not want to miss. This is the book we’ve been waiting for, the one with all the answers that have built up throughout the series. We get POVs from Etienne, Serene, and even Nathalie. Things are left a little open-ended for side characters, especially Nathalie, Asa, and Livingston, so I hope we get their books.

You know that one book or series that makes you a lifelong fan of an author? The Surviving Time series is it for me for Calia Read. When I started The Surviving Trace, I had no idea what I was in for. Two books later, I can firmly say that Serene and Etienne’s love story is an unforgettable one and they’ve made a place in my heart. THANK YOU to Calia Read for giving us such an epic romance. What a wonderful ending to this whirlwind of a story!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Surviving Time series

 

#1 ~ The Surviving Trace: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ The Reigning and the Rule: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ Echoes of Time: Ebook • Goodreads


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Review: That Second Chance by Meghan Quinn

That Second Chance by Meghan Quinn
Series: Getting Lucky #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 7th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn delivers a smart and cheeky romance about love’s power to lift hearts . . . and curses.

It was supposed to be an innocent night, celebrating my brother’s birthday. Nothing was supposed to go wrong. We’d vowed to be on our best behavior after all . . .

But it only took one rowdy night with my brothers to flip my world upside down. One unlucky encounter saddled us with a family curse and the promise of doomed relationships. I laughed it off immediately. “Yeah, right,” I thought. “A love curse. Ha!”

Boy, was I wrong.

Word spreads quickly in a town like mine; rumors about that night soon made us the most eligible yet untouchable bachelors in Port Snow, Maine. As a subject of endless gossip and speculation, I could kiss my dating life goodbye.

It would have stayed that way if Ren Winters, the new girl in town, hadn’t crashed into my life. Brave, beautiful, and smart—her vivacious thirst for a fresh start has given me hope that maybe, just maybe, I can have one too.

Everyone wishes for that second chance . . . but could this really be mine?

I haven’t been THIS delighted in a book in a while! That Second Chance is one of the most charming romances I’ve ever read. It’s set in the small town of Port Snow, Maine, and legit, Meghan Quinn wrote this small town with so much heart that I wanted to move there. This was my first novel from Meghan Quinn as well, but you can be sure that it won’t be my last. I’ve become a huge fan of her writing and storytelling after reading this book. I’m absolutely dying for more of this series already!

I love discovering a series that centers around a group of family members. With the Getting Lucky series, we follow four brothers who’ve had a love curse placed upon them after a rowdy night in New Orleans. Griffin is the eldest, and a widower. He believes in the love curse because only a few days after he and his brothers were ‘cursed,’ his wife passes away. He’s been going through the motions for the past few years now, working at the family fudge shop and volunteering as a firefighter. Everything changes when a new resident moves into their quaint small town, and he’s the first to greet her – by rescuing her after a moose-related car accident.

Ren needs a new change of pace from her former life in Los Angeles. She chooses to move to the opposite side of the country to be a math teacher. It’s scary and overwhelming, but with the help of her first Port Snow friend Griffin Knightly, she easily finds a new home in this small town. I LOVE the fact that Ren and Griffin become friends first. Friends-to-lovers is my kryptonite, and the romantic development (which was paced perfectly slow and steady) felt so much more genuine between these two after they became friends. They are seriously adorable, taking trips around town, camping, setting up her new house together, all the while bantering playfully with each other. I loved every scene they had together and I couldn’t get enough of them. The main source of conflict for their romance is predictable, but I enjoyed the way it played out. The love curse is a little cheesy, but I really had no problem with it!

What makes That Second Chance such a solid small town romance is how real the town and its inhabitants feel. The Knightlys are such a charming family and all their friends are hilarious and sweet. Meghan Quinn has me so invested in this town and characters now – I can’t wait for each of the Knightly boys to get their own books. I only hope I’ll love them as much as I did Ren and Griffin!


lacey


Reading Order: Getting Lucky series

#1 ~ That Second Chance: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ That Forever Girl: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Aug. 27, 2019)


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Release Day Review: The Lying Hours by Sara Ney

The Lying Hours by Sara Ney
Series: How to Date a Douchebag #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 9th 2018
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

ABRAHAM DAVIS—Honest Abe to his friends—IS IN OVER HIS HEAD…

He’s a fixer and a do good-er. The all-knowing, resident “grandfather” on the wrestling team who everyone relies on to fix their problems. His teammates go to him for everything; advice, homework, or when they need a sober driver at three in the morning–whether he likes it or not.

Abe’s current mission is easy: mend his roommates broken heart by helping him find a girlfriend on the LoveU app–without getting caught in the lie…

SKYLAR GABRIEL. IS. OVER. IT.

Over her bad grades. And over dating douchebags. What she wants to know is: where have all the nice guys gone?

She longs for a handsome, sweet, and honest guy who can make her laugh. In one last ditch effort to prove that he exists—Skylar turns to LoveU.

On her worst day, Skylar has no filter (it’s a miracle she hasn’t been ditched mid-date).
On her best, she’s as wholesome, and sweet, as pie.
On Thursday? She matches with Abraham Davis’s roommate.

Skylar Gabriel is falling for the wrong guy—she just doesn’t realize it yet.

Why?

BECAUSE ABE DAVIS IS A LIAR.

You can imagine how happy I was when Sara Ney announced another book in the How to Date a Douchebag series! I love this new adult series and this group of wrestlers. She writes the best kind of characters that are endearing even when they have their douchebag moments. In The Lying Hours, we have two people who meet and fall for each other on a dating app. Except one of them is lying about who he is…

Abe Davis is a total sweetheart – he’s definitely more along the lines of Rhett and Kip than the other Douchebag boys. He’s the kind of guy who’s willing to do anything for his friends, which is why he’s on a dating app for his roommate to help him get over a bad breakup. He definitely doesn’t expect to match with one Skylar Gabriel, have fun, witty, meaningful text convos with her, and fall for her.

This is a case of a mistaken identity over a dating app, which you can imagine doesn’t go well. But Sara Ney writes all of this with her laugh-out-loud humor and hilarious wit. I loved the way Abe and Skylar connected, and their chemistry is off the charts. Abe is basically a big ole teddy bear you just want to hug. Skylar is the kind of heroine who you want to be best friends with. She and her best friend Hannah were so much fun to read about. I wish this book was a little bit longer, and that we got more time with Abe and Sky as a couple, but other than that, this is another great installment in the series! Now I need Hannah’s book!


lacey


Reading Order: How to Date a Douchebag series

 
 

#1 ~ The Studying Hours: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Failing Hours: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Learning Hours: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ The Coaching Hours: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ The Lying Hours: EbookGoodreads


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