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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Review: He’s a Brute by Chloe Liese

He’s a Brute by Chloe Liese
Series: Tough Love #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 6th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

One dark and handsome control-freak sports star meets one smarty pants bioengineer with hair to match her fiery temper. It’s an experiment straight out of sexual thermodynamics.

Every good scientist knows the second law of thermodynamics: the universe’s disorder, entropy, is always increasing. Professionally and personally speaking, Nairne’s familiar with the principle. After a streak of costly fame, now she’s set on saving the world, microscope in hand, and there’s no time for romance. Problem is, when a rude, despicably sexy Adonis shows up to run their board meeting, chemistry and its ensuing chaos become more than a formula—now they’re a burning hot reality.

Mafia prince. Professional footballer. Bad boy demeanor and a reputation for being as talented between the sheets as he is on the pitch. Rumors are the man’s an absolute brute. And he turns out to be just as demanding, controlling and vicious in person as he is on paper. The Law of Attraction’s proven true, as Nairne finds herself accepting Zed’s proposal: rough, wild stress release, more orgasms than she can count, and most importantly—no falling in love.

Agreement in place. End date secured.

No attachments. No forever.

What could possibly go wrong?

Book One in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, bedroom negotiations, feisty heroines, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!

I’ve been making it a goal to read more debut authors in 2019, and I’m so happy that I can include Chloe Liese to my list! I wanted to read this book because 1) I LOVED the cover and 2) the blurb sounded so intriguing. Mafia, sports, AND science? I was definitely game. I ended up really enjoying Nairne and Zed’s story – if you’re looking for something a little different in your contemporary romances, you should give this a try!

Former professional soccer player and current bioengineer Nairne MacGregor is set on saving the world with science. She’s in the US for school and work, but in a few months, she’ll be back home to Europe. Which means she has no time to meet anyone, much less fall in love. But all that changes when she meets the boss at her new job. Zed Salvatore is confident, assertive, and has too much swagger for his own good. He’s an alpha through and through, and he’s never met anyone who can hold their own against him… until Nairne.

I don’t want to break her. I want to possess her.

There’s a serious chemical attraction between Zed and Nairne from the moment they meet at a board meeting. Zed wants to explore what they have while Nairne is more reluctant. But once they do start exploring, boy do they set things on fire. I’d almost say He’s a Brute is lite-erotica – they begin a Dominant/submissive relationship in bed (which stays in bed), and while it’s nothing like Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinner series, it’s HOT and a little kinky. Zed has a filthy mouth on him that I couldn’t get enough of!

The one thing that detracted me from fully loving this book was that there seemed to be too much going on to fully devote enough time to each aspect. Zed is part of the mafia in Boston, with a leader role, but he doesn’t do much on the pages relating to the mafia. It was definitely overshadowed by the sports aspect of the story, though I did love all the soccer talk. I also loved the little twist towards the beginning of the book that changes the dynamics of the characters and how I perceived them. Other than that, the writing is fantastic, especially for a debut – I can’t want to read more from Chloe Liese and more about Nairne and Zed.


lacey

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


Reading Order: Tough Love series

#1 ~ He’s a Brute: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ She’s a Spitfire: EbookGoodreads (June 24, 2019)


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Review: Well Suited by Staci Hart

Well Suited by Staci Hart
Series: Red Lipstick Coalition #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 2nd 2019
Links: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Chemistry is my love language.

I’ve always been able to separate feelings from chemosignals. A shot of dopamine, a dash of serotonin, and a sprinkle of oxytocin—and bam. You’re in love.

And when egg meets sperm, you’re pregnant.

I couldn’t even be surprised as I stared down at the little blue plus sign, because I knew exactly when and how, and with whom it happened.

When: approximately five weeks ago.
Who: one night stand.
How: prophylactic malfunction.

The upside? I don’t have to go looking for a suitable mate.

Genetically, he’s the cream of the crop. His musculature is a study in symmetry and strength, his height imposing and impressive. He is a man who thrives on control and command, a man who survives on intelligence and resourcefulness. A perfect male specimen.

And the whole package is wrapped up in a flawlessly tailored suit.

I’m having this baby, and he insists we’re well-suited to have it together. And what’s worse? He wants more, in the way of love and marriage.

But love isn’t real. It’s just a product of chemistry.

And if he changes my mind about that, we’re both in trouble.

“We do solemnly swear,” she recited, ”to use this shiny little tube of power to inspire braveness, boldness, and courage. We promise to jump when it’s scary, to stand tall when we want to hide, to scream our truth instead of whisper our fears. May we be mistresses of our destinies, and to hell with anyone who tries to tell us otherwise.”

The anticipation for Well Suited was REAL after I finished Work in Progress (which was amazing). Katherine is the fourth and final girl in this Red Lipstick Coalition girl group, and I just KNEW she’d end up with Theo, the previous hero’s brother. Even better, theirs is an accidental pregnancy romance. I normally am not a fan of romances where a surprise baby is thrown in the middle of a book to further the plot, but thankfully this is different. We know about the pregnancy from the beginning, and we’re along for the ride with Katherine and Theo as they navigate their way towards parenthood, with love and romance along the way.

Katherine is different. She’s very analytical and logical, and sees love as something to do with brain chemicals. Which is why when Theo enters her life, she doesn’t understand why he makes her think and feel differently than normal. He makes her want, so she gives in for one night… which unexpectedly leaves her knocked up.

I could be her everything. She was already becoming mine.

Theo has wanted Katherine from the moment he met her, and being around her makes him even more certain that she’s the one woman meant for him. Her getting pregnant couldn’t make him happier, since this is his chance to show Kate that they’re meant to be together. And boy, does Theo turn up the swoon dial! He is SO sweet, sexy, kind, understanding, and considerate of Kate. He really was the perfect man for her.

I couldn’t get enough of Well Suited. It was a hot, fun read that left me with a smile on my face by the end. I adored Theo and Kate together, and of course I loved seeing the Red Lipstick Coalition gang again. If you want a series about a group of strong, independent women, you definitely need to read this series!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Red Lipstick Coalition series

#1 ~ Piece of Work: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Player: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ Work in Progress: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#4 ~ Well Suited: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads


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Blog Tour // Review + Excerpt: Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen

Pretty Reckless by L.J. Shen
Series: All Saints High #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 21st 2019
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From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes an intense, high school enemies-to-lovers romance with a twist.

Penn

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.
I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart was completely iced.
I took her first kiss.
She took the only thing I loved.
I was poor.
She was rich.
The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.
Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.
Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.
Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.
There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.
Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

Daria

Everyone loves a good old unapologetic punk.
But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.
The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.
In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.
Four years ago, he asked me to save all my firsts for him.
Now he lives across the hall, and I want nothing more than to be his last everything.
His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.
Now? Now he is making me pay.

Buy Links:
EbookPaperbackAudible

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I don’t read high school romances anymore. Young adult books set in high school just don’t interest me as much these days. That being said, I devoured Pretty Reckless. I’d been looking forward to this second generation of characters after loving the Sinners of Saint series. First up is Daria, Jaime and Melody’s eldest daughter. There were highs and lows in this book, as expected when the main character is a teenager. Daria and Penn’s love story is addictive and tumultuous, things I love in a hate-to-love romance. If you’re looking for a read with plenty of drama and twists, read this book!

His scent messes with my head. I want to reach out and caress his face. Kiss his wounds better. Beg for forgiveness. Curse him. Push him away. Cry on his shoulder for what we’ve done. For how it ended. For what we became afterward. Because I’m full of crap, and he is totally empty.
We ruined ourselves the day of our first kiss

Daria lives in the cushion of privilege and Penn does not. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks, and she’s the most popular girl at her elite private school. At their first meeting, they shared their first kiss, but quickly after that, things spiraled downward and all they have is hate and lust. When Daria’s mother takes in a homeless Penn, things start to change with the forced proximity. The chemistry and tension racks up, there’s even more biting banter, and all they want to do is make each other hurt.

I struggled a bit in the first half of this book, not going to lie. Daria and Penn were hard to warm up to, being so full of anger and wanting to hurt each other and everyone around them. But I trusted L.J. Shen and stuck with them, and I’m so glad I did. Daria and Penn eventually won me over and I felt for their heartache. These are two characters that have so much going against them that I only wanted them to be happy, which was delivered in the best way. They grow into characters I admire, ones who learn the consequences of their actions. All the drama, involving a spiteful sister, neglectful parents, and of course, other high schoolers, all of it made the end result – their love – worth the pain.

“There’s nothing I want more than every single thing you have to give.”

L.J. Shen’s writing gets better and better with each book she puts out. She knows how to write straight to your heart and gut, to make you FEEL. And she knows how to write brilliant character development. I hated Daria and Penn, and I loved them. I kept having to remind myself of the fact that these characters are teenagers and will keep making stupid decisions, even when I want to smack them. I felt so many emotions reading this book, but I couldn’t seem to put it down. Pretty Reckless is a fantastic start to a series that I’m sure will be filled with even more drama and steam, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

I love you, Daria Followhill, and I think you love me, too. In fact, I think we fell at the same time. You, like rain, in drizzles, over the weeks. Me, like the fucking sky above my head, all at once, crashing without the faintest chance of stopping.


lacey

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

Now here’s an excerpt from Pretty Reckless! ❤

excerpt button

“I don’t want you transferring into my school,” I hiss out. Melody would gladly file a transfer request, and Principal Prichard would salivate over the chance to snatch him up for our football team.

“That won’t be a problem. You guys suck so much ass, you have shit-breath.”

“Still smells better than poverty. You’re poor, right? Your sister was just bullshitting about being rich.”

When someone hits me with a stick, I run over them with a tank. I’m so mean to him I want to throw up. I hate this part of being me. The striking harder at all costs part.

“Just to make things clear.” I put the brush down, batting my lashes. “You’re not my step-sibling, foster brother, or a part of the family. You’re a stray dog. Last of the litter, most unlikely to be adopted, and a charity case.”

Penn takes a step toward me, and my heart is fighting its way out of my ribcage. The closer he gets, the more I realize that my heart might succeed. Penn’s eyes remind me of a snake’s. Mesmerizing, but inhuman altogether. They weren’t like that before.

His scent messes with my head. I want to reach out and caress his face. Kiss his wounds better. Beg for forgiveness. Curse him. Push him away. Cry on his shoulder for what we’ve done. For how it ended. For what we became afterwards, because I’m full of crap and he is totally empty.

We ruined ourselves the day of our first kiss.

Penn looks down at me. Time stops. It feels like the world is losing gravity, falling into a bottomless depth in space when he clasps my chin with his thumb and finger, lifting my head up. I can’t breathe. I’m not sure I want to, either. My towel drops to the floor with a thud, even though I secured it over my chest. I realize that he tugged at it intentionally. I’m naked. My body, my soul, my heart. All my walls are down. Somewhere in my head, a red alarm blasts and my inhibitions are getting armed, ready to fight back. I’m trying to decode his expression. He is amused, irritated, and…playful? The mixture of emotions doesn’t make any sense.

“Mess with me, Followhill, and I will ruin you.”

“Not if I ruin you first.”

Reading Order: All Saints High series

#1 ~ Pretty Reckless: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Angry God: Goodreads (Aug. 20, 2019)
#3 ~ Broken Knight: Goodreads (2019)

about the author button

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • InstagramGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Fumbled by Alexa Martin
Series: Playbook #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 23rd 2019
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

A second chance doesn’t guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

T.K. Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

I was a huge fan of Alexa Martin’s debut novel, Intercepted, so when I heard she’d be writing more stories for the Denver Mustangs football team, I was ecstatic. And even more so when I discovered Fumbled would be a second chance romance, which is my go-to romance trope. Alexa Martin did not disappoint with this second novel – I love the way she writes tough, independent heroines, and the heroes who will do anything for them!

Poppy Patterson is a single mother whose life revolves around her beloved son. She’s worked hard to provide for them both, and she couldn’t be prouder of Ace. She’s built a good life for the two of them, but when her high school sweetheart, and the man who got her pregnant, shows back up in her life, all of the feelings she thought she’d moved on from come crashing back. She wants her son to have his father in his life, but will she be able to protect her heart from TK Moore this second time around?

TK is living the football dream he’s always wanted for himself. There’s just one thing missing, and he realizes what it is when he discovers Poppy and Ace – his family. There are secrets that need to be aired out, but bottom line, TK wants to be a part of his family’s life. Where Poppy is rightfully wary and hesitant to restart their relationship, TK goes all in with helping and providing for his family. He’s determined to win Poppy’s heart, and being the big sweetheart that he is, Poppy has no chance of guarding her heart from him.

While I liked TK, Poppy was what made the story for me in Fumbled. I admired the hell out of this woman, who created an amazing life for her and her child on her own. She’s smart, funny, head-strong, and an incredible mother. I was also impressed with the way the author chose to portray football, which is not always about money and glory. Poppy knows the dangers and risks that come with this professional sport and has important discussions with TK and Ace about it.

Fumbled is another fantastic sports romance from a romance author who knows how to write, and write well. There’s a good setup within this book for the next couple in the Playbook series, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!


lacey


Reading Order: Playbook series

#1 ~ Intercepted: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Fumbled: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Blitzed: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads (Dec. 3, 2019)


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