Release Day Review: Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey

Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey
Series: Romancing the Clarksons #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 25th 2017
Links: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The third book in New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey’s Romancing the Clarksons series about four siblings on a cross-country road trip, perfect for fans of Gena Showalter and Julie James!

This time, she’s calling the shots.

Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he’s been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy’s determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she’ll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

I am the BIGGEST sucker for angst – and if Tessa Bailey writes it? It goes without saying that I’ll probably love it. I’d been DYING to read Peggy’s story ever since I heard it was going to be a second chance romance with an older hero who would have some major groveling to do. I love me some good grovel, and Tessa Bailey didn’t disappoint. I loved this book so, SO much. I adored Peggy and Elliot and their angst-filled, intense, steamy romance. If you’re a fan of second chance romances or groveling heroes, you need this book in your life!

One more mile to campus and she would be sharing oxygen with Elliott Brooks. Coach Elliott Brooks. The man she’d let ruin her for all others.
This weekend, Peggy would be returning the favor.

Back when Peggy was in college and in the cheerleading team, she couldn’t resist the allure of the football coach, Elliott Brooks. She had plans to seduce him, but fell in love with him instead… but he never reciprocated her feelings, and pushed her away. Now, years later, during a stop along the Clarkson family road trip to New York, Peggy is back at her old college and ready to make Elliott remember exactly what he threw away. And yeah, maybe she’s never been able to forget about him, despite her several ex-fiancés, but she’s determined to make Elliott suffer for all the hurt he caused her. But is all this effort worth it on a man who will never love her back?

Because whatever she’d felt for Elliott the man? She was declaring it dead. At one time there’d been more than sexual dependency and her need for approval between them, not that Elliott would admit it. But he’d slowly killed the good. She’d be damned before trying to revive it, when he didn’t want it back.
I’m over you, Elliott Brooks.

Elliott’s life revolves around football and it’s been his sole focus for years… except for that one period when he was obsessed with a certain cheerleader named Peggy Clarkson. But he pushed her away years ago and never expected to see her again… so when she shows up out of the blue, he’s knocked right on his ass and doesn’t know what to do with himself anymore. Then Peggy decides that she truly is O-V-E-R him, and what’s a man to do but fight for the only woman he’s ever loved and not let her go a second time?

“Miss you?” He grated the incredulous question, dropping his mouth to her temple. “You left me without a soul. I can barely remember the days since you left. They passed without me feeling a single thing. Because you are feeling for me. You’re the only thing that keeps me from being numb. Twice in my life you’ve turned me back into a living, breathing man, and missing you… missing you, Peggy, doesn’t even begin to cover it. You revive me.”

Too Hard to Forget is my new favorite read of Tessa’s. It’s my favorite so far in the series, and it’s up there at the top with Risking it All for me. This book had my heart in constant palpitations – the angst, the tension, the frustrations, the steam, all of it had me utterly hooked and infatuated with Peggy and Elliott’s story. From their torturous flashback scenes to their tension-filled, erotic present, their story was everything I could have hoped for and more. I adored Peggy and how she knew when to let go and stop fighting for a man who wouldn’t fight for her. Elliott had me frustrated and hot and bothered at the same time, but I truly fell in love with him when he realized how much he loved Peggy and was willing to move heaven and earth to prove his love to her. This man does some major groveling – you won’t be disappointed!

I had crazy high expectations for this second chance romance, but Tessa went above and beyond my expectations. I completely loved it! It’s got all sorts of tropes to love – a second chance romance, an age gap, opposites attract, a groveling hero… honestly, how could I NOT end up loving it? If you’re a fan of Tessa Bailey and her dirty, delicious reads, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on Too Hard to Forget!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Romancing the Clarksons series

 
  

#1 ~ Too Hot to Handle: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Too Wild to Tame: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Too Hard to Forget: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Too Close to Call: EbookGoodreads (June 13, 2017)
#4 ~ Too Beautiful to Break: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Sept. 5, 2017)


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Audiobook Review: Some Kind of Perfect by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Some Kind of Perfect by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Some Kind of Perfect by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Series: Addicted #3.5, Calloway Sisters #4.5 (full reading order below)
Audiobook Publication Date: August 2nd 2016
Length: 23 hours and 36 minutes
Narrated by: Mark Boyett, Therese Plummer, Stephen Dexter, Maxine Mitchell, Gregory Salinas & Jessica Almasy
Links: Audible • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an audiobook in exchange for an honest review

Falling in love was just the beginning

The conclusion to the epic ten-book series about the unbreakable strength of family, friendship, and love.

Lily & Lo are back one final time. Childhood best friends and soul mates.

Ryke & Daisy are back one final time. Wild risk-takers and flirty adventurers.

Connor & Rose are back one final time. Genius rivals and intellectual teammates.

Ten years of laughter. Of heartache. And love.

This series… I honestly can’t believe it’s over! I’ve been putting off reading/listening Some Kind of Perfect because I really, really didn’t want to let go of these beloved characters, but now I’m so happy I finally got to experience this final Addicted/Calloway sisters book. SKoP is a full-length epilogue novel to the series, so it must be read after you’ve read the entire series. And yes, the series is pretty long which can seem daunting, but I promise, once you get into it, you won’t want to let go of these characters either. And if you have been keeping up with the series, you HAVE to experience Lily, Loren, Rose, Connor, Daisy, and Ryke one last time!

I don’t really want to spoil anything about this book or what goes on in it, but honestly, if you love the Addicted characters, you will only fall head over heels in love with them all over again in SKoP. We get all six characters’ POVs, and they are just as true to themselves as they have been throughout the series. I think that might be my favorite part of Krista and Becca Ritchie’s incredible development of their characters – that no matter what life throws at them, no matter what they go through, whether it’s scandal or even parenting, they are still the same characters we know and love… only better.

Listening to SKoP was an incredible experience, and I know I’ll definitely go back and listen to it again (probably after I listen to the entire series… again). I loved all six narrators, especially since Rose, Connor, Daisy, and Ryke’s were all the same ones from past audiobooks. Maxine Mitchell and Gregory Salinas were great as Lily and Lo, but I have to admit I do miss Erin Mallon and Charles Carr’s narrations. I’m not sure why LiLo’s narrators changed, but I’m still happy with their new voices!

This is one of the few series where I have read all the books AND listened to them in audio. The Addicted series is seriously one of my all-time favorite series in the whole world, and it’s for sure my number one New Adult series to date. I’m not sure anything could live up to the fantastic writing, the brilliant character development, and the unforgettable characters this series has. But I’m seriously looking forward to more from K&B, especially the spinoff series, Like Us!

SOME KIND OF PERFECT is now available on Audible: http://amzn.to/2btff2S

5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Addicted/Calloway Sisters series

Addicted to You by Krista & Becca Ritchie Ricochet by Krista & Becca Ritchie Addicted for Now by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Kiss the Sky by Krista & Becca Ritchie Hothouse Flower by Krista & Becca Ritchie Thrive by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Addicted After All by Krista & Becca Ritchie Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie Some Kind of Perfect by Krista & Becca Ritchie

#1 ~ Addicted to You: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Ricochet: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Addicted for Now: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2.1 (Calloway Sisters #1) ~ Kiss the Sky: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2.2 (Calloway Sisters #2) ~ Hothouse Flower: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Thrive: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Addicted After All: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.1 (Calloway Sisters #3) ~ Fuel the Fire: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.2 (Calloway Sisters #4) ~ Long Way Down: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3.5 (Calloway Sisters #4.5) ~ Some Kind of Perfect: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Here’s an audio excerpt from Some Kind of Perfect!


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Audiobook Review: The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley

The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland #2 (full reading order below)
Audiobook Publication Date: June 21st 2016
Length: 17 hours and 1 minute
Narrated by: Tillie Hooper
Links: Audible • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an audiobook in exchange for an honest review

Circe Quinn goes to sleep at home and wakes up in a corral filled with women wearing sacrificial virgin attire – and she is one of them. She soon finds out that she’s not having a wild dream, she’s living a frightening nightmare where she’s been transported to a barren land populated by a primitive people and in short order, she’s installed very unwillingly on her white throne of horns as their Queen.

Dax Lahn is the king of Suh Tunak, The Horde of the nation of Korwahk and with one look at Circe, he knows she will be his bride and together they will start The Golden Dynasty of legend.

Circe and Lahn are separated by language, culture and the small fact she’s from a parallel universe and has no idea how she got there or how to get home. But facing challenge after challenge, Circe finds her footing as Queen of the brutal Korwahk Horde and wife to its King, then she makes friends then she finds herself falling in love with this primitive land, its people and especially their savage leader.

I’m seriously LOVING the Fantasyland audiobooks!!! I finished this 17 hour long audiobook in about 3 days – it usually takes me somewhere around a week for an audiobook of this length, but I just couldn’t stop listening to The Golden Dynasty. Both the story and narration were perfection – I honestly can’t choose whether this audiobook or Wildest Dreams is my favorite. All I can say is – when is the rest of the series coming out in audio!? I’m seriously dying to listen to the other Fantasyland books!

This second installment in the Fantasyland series opens up with Circe Quinn waking up caged with other women in a whole new world. Everything is different – the people, the culture, the language… thankfully she finds a translator there with her, but even a translator isn’t enough to prepare her for Dax Lahn, king of the Korwahks. He claims her as his bride, his queen, and Circe is reluctantly thrust into the politics of this strange, epic land. She can’t understand a word her husband says on her own – how will she survive has queen of the Korwahk Horde?

The Korwahks are primitive people. The men are all alpha males, with Lahn the most alpha of them all. Their brutish, primal culture is entirely different from the modern world, full of violence and savagery. It wasn’t easy to listen to, especially the things that Circe is subjected to do and watch. Some characters do questionable, disturbing acts, but somehow KA writes them in a way that’s fascinating more than anything. I found myself captivated by Lahn and his people, even though I didn’t agree with their ways. And Circe herself slowly starts to accept her husband and find qualities about him that make her fall for him. He’s a powerful, fierce warrior, but at his heart, he would do anything to protect his queen. I loved their romance and the way it slowly, naturally developed – and I adored that both of them learned to understand each other’s language!

The Golden Dynasty is another win from KA. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t read this series sooner, but I’m glad I waited until the audiobooks released. Tillie Hooper just might be my new favorite female narrator – her performance is stunning in this audiobook! I was so impressed with the way she spoke the Korwahk language. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, because some of the words seemed so difficult to pronounce, but her narration was flawless and sounded so natural. Now I’m eagerly awaiting the rest of the Fantasyland seires to come out in audio – and I’m hoping Tillie Hooper narrates them as well!

THE GOLDEN DYNASTY is now available on Audible: http://amzn.to/29rDf41

5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Fantasyland series

 
  

#1 ~ Wildest Dreams: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Golden Dynasty: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Fantastical: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Broken Dove: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Midnight Soul: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Here’s an audio excerpt from The Golden Dynasty!


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Release Day Review: Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton

Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton
Series: Wild Aces #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancée.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?

I loved loved LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Into the Blue was the PERFECT second chance romance/military romance for me. I’m usually a bit picky about these two tropes, and put them together? I was terrified about how it would play out, but holy hell, did I adore Eric and Becca’s second chance at love. I couldn’t have imagined a better story for these two characters. And omg Eric – can you say SWOON!? He was utter perfection as a hero. Seriously, I loved this book so much! Into the Blue is the second book in the Wild Aces series, though it can be read as a standalone (you can check out my review for book one here). If you loved Fly with Me, get ready to get your hands on Into the Blue – it’s an absolute must read.

I’d been an idiot before and thrown away the best thing that had ever happened to me, but there was no way I was making the same mistake again.

Ten years ago, Becca and Eric had been in love, engaged, and ready to begin a new chapter in their lives. Becca thought they were happy, but apparently not, because Eric just up and left her behind to join the US Air Force. The past ten years have been filled with bitterness, anger, and hurt, so understandably, when Eric comes back home for the first time in a decade, Becca wants nothing to do with him. I felt for this girl so hard. I was angry on her behalf, even though I knew her heart has only ever been his. My heart broke for the way hers broke, and I wanted nothing more than for her to kick Eric’s ass and show him what he’s been missing, and thankfully, she delivers. I loved Becca wholeheartedly, because I could connect with her so well. She’s got a huge heart capable of so much love, but the hurt Eric caused only made her grow stronger. And this time, she’s not about to let him in that easily. I was so happy with the way she kept making Eric prove his love to her – Becca ROCKED as a heroine.

You couldn’t fake what we had. Couldn’t duplicate it. We were so fucking lucky to have found each other once, and even as I’d always suspected it, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that letting her go was the biggest mistake of my life.
Now I needed to fix it.

The one thing that describes Eric? Regretful. He has so many regrets in life, but none does he regret more than leaving Becca, the love of his life. THIS is the kind of hero I adore reading about in second chance romances. The hero who never forgot about his lost love, the one who knows he effed up and can admit his mistakes. The kind of hero who’s not afraid to put his heart on the line again, and once he’s back in his woman’s life, he’s going to do everything he can to stay there permanently. Ten years ago, Eric gave up Becca for F-16’s – but this time around, he knows he’s not going to make the same mistake again. Will he be able to prove his love and devotion to her and win her heart again?

I’d never felt this way about anyone before. Wasn’t sure I’d even felt this way about her before. Maybe it took losing her to realize just how much I needed her, the contrast between my life with Becca and my life without never clearer than in this moment.

Eric and Becca were beautiful together. They might have loved each other back then, but they are so meant for each other even more now. Into the Blue made my heart ache in all the right places – the angst is so well done, but the love is what totally swept me away. Chanel Cleeton did such an amazing job with this story – it’s already become one of my favorite books of the year. Fly with Me was a fantastic read, but Into the Blue went above and beyond my expectations.

If you haven’t read the Wild Aces series yet, you are missing out. It’s an amazing military romance series – and if you love second chance romances too, Into the Blue will be perfect for you. This series only seems to be getting better and better, so I can’t even imagine how the third book will turn out, but I know I’m dying to read Easy’s story. I can already feel the heartache from On Broken Wings – January 2017 can’t get here fast enough!

5 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Wild Aces series

  

#1 ~ Fly With Me: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Into the Blue: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ On Broken Wings: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Jan. 3, 2017)


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Release Day Review + Author Interview: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 14th 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Farmers make the earth move.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Warning: Contains sexual situations, gourmet yumminess, a steamy outdoor shower and proof that farmers don’t mind getting dirty.

Holy freaking CRAP, I loved this book SO DAMN MUCH!!!! Bittersweet is the type of book that went above and beyond anything I ever expected. This is that first straight romance I’ve read from Sarina Bowen and it will definitely not be my last. I honestly can’t handle the amount of love I have for this book. IT. IS. AMAZING!!! Charmingly hilarious, amazingly sexy, and utterly heartwarming, Bittersweet swept me away and made my heart so happy. It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year!

Audrey and Griffin hooked up once in college but haven’t seen each other for years since. Audrey went off to become a chef and Griffin went off to play ball, only to go back home to the ranch help out his family. Now, both are struggling with their careers, but a twist of fate brings them back together, and they find that they can help each other out job-wise. Except the crazy hot chemistry they used to have back in college is still going strong. Should they get involved with each other again when they’re living two completely different lives… Or do they have something worthwhile to pursue?

She and I were a dangerous combination. We needed cautionary signs like the ones hanging in the tractor shed over the cans of diesel fuel. WARNING: COMBUSTIBLE.

Audrey and Griffin are absolutely AMAZING together!!! They are wonderful as individuals, both so strong, independent, funny, and lovable, but together is when they truly shine. They might not have been meant for each other in college, but fate has brought them together again for a reason, and you can clearly see that they are absolutely meant to be together. Griff is all big, sexy, protective, and caring, while Audrey is charming, witty, gorgeous, and ambitious. Their growing romance (and the hot, hot, HOT sexy times) was phenomenally written. Sarina Bowen has written a beautiful love story I rooted for from start to finish.

Whether it was convenient or not, Audrey and I just fit. We’d always been good together. It’s just that I’d never allowed myself to imagine a future where we shared everything. A bed. A home.
A name.
Hell. That got me panting. I wanted everything. There was nobody else who got under my skin like she had. To think of her as mine seemed like an impossible luxury.
It’s the only luxury I’ve ever been greedy for.

What I also loved about Bittersweet besides the romance was the farming life! The author was able to integrate everything related to farming in a cohesive, understandable, and relatable way, and I applaud her for it. Really, there was no part of this book that I didn’t enjoy or love. I never wanted Griffin and Audrey’s story to end! No joke, I couldn’t stop smiling as I read this book, giggling at all the witty banter and grinning at the delicious tension between the main characters. It was a fantastic start to the True North series, and I’m already dying for more. I can’t wait to read the next two books!

5 hearts
lacey

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

Author Interview: Sarina Bowen

Bittersweet is one of my favorite reads of the year! What inspired you to write it?

Thank you! Farmers really are sexy. True story! I am surrounded by interesting growers where I live. They’re young activists who want to change the shape of our food supply, and they are really inspiring.

Did you have to do some research on the farming aspect of the story?

Yes, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The organic-or-die Cedar Circle Farm in Thetford, VT is one of my favorite stops, and we buy hard cider in growlers from Poverty Lane Orchard in Lebanon, NH.

I’m in LOVE with Griffin – do you have a model inspiration for him?

Not really! Finding that photo for the cover, though, was some excellent luck. I thought: there he is!

Who was your favorite character to write?

I love them all equally. 😉

What was your favorite scene to write?

The cider-tasting scene! I cracked myself right up when Audrey would think the cider tasted like sex.

I know Jude will be getting his story next in Steadfast, but will Zach be book #3? *cough* Male virgin alert! *cough*

Oh you better believe it! Zach is totally book #3.

Will we see more of Griff and Audrey in the upcoming True North books?

Absolutely. I promise!

What are you currently working on now?

I’m writing Brooklyn Bruisers #3 (even though #1 hasn’t come out yet) and putting final touches on STEADFAST.

Thank you so much, Sarina, for the interview!

Reading Order: True North series

  

#1 ~ Bittersweet: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Steadfast: Ebook • Goodreads (July 12, 2016)
#3 ~ Keepsake: Goodreads (Oct. 2016)


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