Review: The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan

The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan
Series: All the King’s Men Duet #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 28th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Power. Passion. Betrayal.

Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King’s Men Duet.

Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.

In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.

My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I’m determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

This book is ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. It deserves all the stars and all the love. I haven’t felt this giggly and excited about a read in a while, but The Kingmaker blew. me. away. It’s sexy, smart, aware – I LOVED the way Kennedy Ryan blended the romance and politics. Also… Maxim and Lennix were on fire together!!! This book without a doubt is definitely going on my best of 2019 list and right now I’m willing to do anything to get my hands on the sequel.

It’s been a while since my last Kennedy Ryan read, but reading The Kingmaker reminded me of how much I love her writing. Everything from the romance, the second chance, the heroine’s Native American heritage, the hero’s sustainability ambitions, all were seamlessly blended together in a thoughtful, meaningful, and addicting read. Have I mentioned how much I love this book?

When Lennix and Maxim first meet, they find an instantaneous connection together over their youthful ambition and desire for a better world. She’s trying to save her Native American ancestors’ land, and she doesn’t know that he’s the son of the corporation’s CEO trying to destroy that land. They never expect to see each other again after their time in jail after a protest, but years later, they reunite in a chance encounter in Amsterdam. They have one week left before they move to opposite sides of the Earth, but they use that week to its fullest. Theirs is a whirlwind, passionate romance that had me swooning and wanting an HEA for them, even though I knew they wouldn’t get one… yet.

“How does it feel knowing you could bring a man like me to my knees?”

The Kingmaker is divided into three parts, and the last part is the second chance Maxim and Lennix deserve ten years later. It’s a beautiful, emotional, and sexy as hell second chance. Lennix wants nothing to do with Maxim and Maxim is determined to win the heart of the woman who stole his a decade ago. If you thought these two were steamy in their 20s, that’s NOTHING compared to them in their 30s. They’re all grown up now, Maxim especially. You will absolutely be fanning yourself over this man, his desire to save Mother Nature, and how single-minded he is to make Lennix love him again.

He was my first. Ten years ago when we made love, I didn’t know a passion like this was rare, something to be coveted and chased and clutched, but tonight, I know it’s a comet shooting across the sky and all we can do is ride its fiery trail.
Now I know.

If there’s a romance you need to read this year, it’s The Kingmaker. Lennix is one of the strongest, most passionate and admirable heroines I’ve ever read. Maxim will have you heart-eyeing for days. I fell so hard for this couple and the first part of their epic love story. Now I am DYING to read The Rebel King!


lacey

Reading Order: All the King’s Men Duet

#1 ~ The Kingmaker: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ The Rebel King: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Nov. 17, 2019)


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Early Review: Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 6th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The bestselling author of The Simple Wild and Keep Her Safe and “master of steamy romance” (Kirkus Reviews) delivers a sizzling novel about an ambitious and high-powered executive who reconnects with her first love: the boy who broke her heart.

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counselors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is still alive and strong, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.

K.A. Tucker wrote one of my favorite books of 2018, The Simple Wild, so to say I was excited for her next contemporary romance would be an understatement. She knows how to write stories that will appeal to your emotions and heart, which is exactly what happened with Say You Still Love Me. Reading this book was like an emotional roller coaster I never wanted to get off of. If you love second chance romances that will hit you in the face with summer feels and nostalgia, read this book.

Second chance romances are my favorite, and Say You Still Love Me hit all the right buttons for me. The main characters met and fell in love at summer camp as teenage counselors, but Kyle never contacted Piper again after that one summer. Thirteen years later, Piper has just received control of her father’s company and she needs to prove to her dad and her employees that she’s the right fit for this multi-million dollar company. Just when things are looking up, her past love shows up as the new security guard at her office building, and feelings resurface. It’s almost as if the decade that passed without each other never happened. The privileged, wealthy girl is still very much in love with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks.

I LOVED these Piper and Kyle. You can feel the absolute heartbreak, the longing, the adoration that these two still hold for each other. They might not have gotten on the right foot during their reunion, but over time I couldn’t help but swoon over how clearly the two worship each other. We get some great juxtaposition between alternating chapters of past and present, with the past chapters set in summer camp. We can see Piper and Kyle falling in love for the first time alongside them relearning each other in the present and falling in love all over again. This kind of storytelling reminded me a lot of another 2018 favorite, Love & Other Words by Christina Lauren, so if you liked that book, you’ll probably like this one too.

Say You Still Love Me made me feel nostalgic over summer camp and I never even WENT to summer camp. K.A. Tucker made that camp setting come to life in this book, and it’s almost as if it’s another character itself. Which made this the perfect summer read. This is a romance that will hit you in the feels and I can’t recommend it enough!


lacey


Also by K.A. Tucker

Standalones

  

The Simple Wild: My ReviewEbook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
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: 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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Release Day Review: The Rose by Tiffany Reisz

The Rose by Tiffany Reisz
Series: The Red #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 16th 2019
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Bestselling author Tiffany Reisz returns with an imaginative tale of lust and magic, and the dangers unleashed when the two are combined…

On the day of Lia’s university graduation party, her parents—wealthy art collectors with friends in high places—gift her a beautiful wine cup, a rare artifact decorated with roses. It’s a stunning gift, and one that August Bowman, a friend of her parents and a guest at Lia’s party, also has his eye on. The cup, August tells her, is known as the Rose Kylix, and it’s no ordinary cup. It was used in the temple ceremonies of Eros, Greek god of erotic love, and has the power to bring the most intimate sexual fantasies to life.

But Lia is skeptical of August’s claims of the cup’s mythology and magic—after all, he’s a collector himself, and she suspects he just wants to get his hands on this impressive piece of art. So he dares her to try it for herself, and when Lia drinks from the Rose Kylix she is suddenly immersed in an erotic myth so vivid it seems real—as though she’s living out the most sensual fantasy with August by her side…

Realizing the true power of this ancient and dangerous relic, Lia is even more wary of giving it up, though August insists it is only safe with him. He’s willing to pay the full value of the cup, but Lia has another type of trade in mind. One that finds them more tangled up in each other—and in fantasy—than either was prepared for.

The Red is one of my favorite books from Tiffany Reisz, and it certainly was one of the hottest books of hers I’d read… until The Rose. It’s hard for me to decide whether The Red or The Rose is steamier (they are both off-the-charts scorching), but since I’m all about Greek/Roman mythology, I’m gonna go ahead and say The Rose is TR’s hottest book yet, and as my queen of erotic romance, that’s saying something.

“I mean, the Rose Kylix is literally the cup of Eros. If you drink from it, you will experience your erotic fantasies. You will enter them, live them.”

I was incredibly excited for The Rose since it’s basically Greek mythology come to erotic life, but I was also pleasantly surprised to realize, once I got to reading it, that the heroine, Lia, is the daughter of the main character from The Red. We get plenty of Mona and her husband in The Rose, which I loved, and both are the kind of hilarious parents that live to embarrass their child. However, The Rose can stand on its own and you don’t need to read The Red to understand it, though I highly recommend the book!

A secret madam of an illegal escort agency, Lia Godwick is obsessed with all things Greek mythology. At her graduation party, her father gifts her a rare, ancient artifact called the Rose Kylix. This party is where she meets August Bowman, a beautiful, mysterious, older man who wants the Kylix for himself. He claims it holds the power to bring sexual fantasies to life, and here begins Lia’s sexual awakening, bringing all her Greek mythology fantasies to erotic life.

He met her eyes. “I’m going to make you fall in love with me. I don’t know how, but I am. Before this week is over, you’ll tell me you love me in this world.”
“Why?”
“Because you believe in Eros.”
She touched his face, his lips, his sweat-damp hair.
“I believe in you,” she said. “Isn’t that enough?”
“It’s a good start.”

I don’t know what else to say besides that this book is non-stop titillation. Tiffany Reisz never ceases to amaze me with her ability to writes such fantastic erotica that gets my mind thinking and my body hot. You can clearly tell the amount of research that went into the Greek mythology retellings, but at the same time, I loved TR’s twist to the tales. We get retellings of the stories of Achilles, Apollo and Psyche, Zeus, Poseidon, and plenty more. Aethra and Poseidon’s story in particular stood out to me. The storytelling is so well done that TR makes you feel like you yourself are transported into these Greek mythologies.

She lay back again and let herself enjoy the terrible sweetness of being the cause of a man’s undoing. He was older, a mystery to her and vastly more experienced, and she could conquer him utterly while laying flat on her back. This was power even a god would envy.

If you love Greek mythology, you absolutely need to read this book. It’s unique and completely different from anything else I’ve ever read. It’s dirty, decadent, and yes, romantic. I loved Lia’s story and I can only hope that TR gives us more in this series!


lacey

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


Reading Order: The Red series

#1 ~ The Red: My ReviewEbook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Rose: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads

Also by Tiffany Reisz

Standalones

 

The Bourbon Thief: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
The Night Mark: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Lucky Ones: My ReviewEbook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

The Original Sinners series

The Saint by Tiffany Reisz The Angel by Tiffany Reisz The Prince by Tiffany Reisz The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz
The Saint by Tiffany Reisz The King by Tiffany Reisz The Virgin by Tiffany Reisz The Queen by Tiffany Reisz
The Mistress Files by Tiffany Reisz 

#1 ~ The Siren: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Angel: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Prince: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ The Mistress: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ The Saint: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ The King: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ The Virgin: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ The Queen: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
The Mistress Files: Ebook • Goodreads
The Confessions: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
The Chateau: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Picture Perfect Cowboy: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Review: The Reigning and the Rule by Calia Read

The Reigning and the Rule by Calia Read
Series: Surviving Time #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 18th 2018
Links: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Étienne Lacroix and I had a fire I thought would never die.
Our love was timeless.
An irreversible decision sent me back to the present day with a family I barely recognize, but I am determined to find a way back to Étienne.
I can survive time. But I can’t survive life without him.
Time bends to no one’s demands, so I must fight with everything I have to return to the past. However, I am terrified that the past I once knew might not look the same, and the man who once called me his surviving trace will no longer be waiting for me.

Time bends to no one’s demands but sometimes love does…

One of my FAVORITE new-to-me authors I discovered in 2018 is Calia Read. I saw the synopsis for The Surviving Trace – a time travel romance – and knew I had to read it. A heroine who somehow travels back to the early 1900s in the Southern U.S. and takes over the life of a woman who looked exactly like her and had the same name? I had to so many high expectations, and I was absolutely blown away by this phenomenal book. The writing, the characters, and the story all sucked me in and I couldn’t get enough of Serene and Etienne. By the time I got to the end, I was DYING for their next book. Thankfully, Calia Read didn’t let me down!

The Reigning and the Rule is the direct sequel, so you need to read The Surviving Trace beforehand. I honestly won’t say much about the plot, since it continues on from book one. All you need to know is that it’s just as good as book one, maybe with even more twists and turns. As soon as I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down. I was easily sucked back into Serene’s baffling journey, the love she found with Etienne, and how she’ll do anything to keep it. She is such a strong, determined heroine, and I loved her for it. Etienne is as swoony as EVER. God, I love that man.

SO many emotions ran through me while reading this sequel. There’s a constant question of “What’s going to happen next?” and a heaping dose of angst to go with. The Surviving Time series is a must-read, whether you like time travel romances or not. It’ll transport you to another world that you never want to leave! Just a fair warning though, the ending will make you scream!!! I couldn’t believe Calia Read left us there, and I’d give my soul up to read the third, and maybe final?, book.


lacey


Reading Order: Surviving Time series

#1 ~ The Surviving Trace: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ The Reigning and the Rule: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ Echoes of Time: Goodreads (May 26, 2019)


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