Review: Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne

Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne
Series: Central Park Pact #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 17th 2019
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes the second delightfully charming installment in the Central Park Pact series, following a young widow whose newfound cynicism about love is challenged by a sexy, rough-around-the-edges contractor.

There are no good men left in New York City. At least that’s Claire Hayes’s conviction after finding out her late husband was not the man she thought he was. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her cheating husband, Claire sets out to redesign her boring, beige Upper East Side brownstone and make it something all her own. But what starts out as a simple renovation becomes a lot more complicated when she meets her bad-tempered contractor Scott Turner.

Scott bluntly makes it known to Claire that he only took on her house for a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and he doesn’t hesitate to add that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess with a penchant for pink. But when long workdays turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction…

This series is SO MUCH FUN! Lauren Layne gives us a delicious grumpy hero of a contractor in this newest installment of the Central Park Pact series. Just imagine a widow who’s trying to make her life pop with lots of color (especially pink) and a grump who is very anti-pink together. Total opposites (she’s very upper class and he is not) but perfect together anyway. If you liked Passion on Park Avenue, you will adore this Love on Lexington Avenue too!

If you’ve read Passion on Park Ave, then you know that Claire was the wife of one philandering husband, and at his funeral she swears off all men. All she wants is to leave her vanilla life behind and focus on fixing up her inherited brownstone, with the help of one gorgeous, surly contractor and his dog. Scott does not have time for spoiled rich ladies, which he think Claire is, but he does see the potential in her home and agrees to help fix it. Seeing each other every day, being around each other all the time, the two grow an unlikely friendship full of jokes and banter. But when Claire needs help in the one-night-stand category and starts working herself up to it with other men, what happens when Scott starts feeling jealous?

Lauren Layne always knows how to deliver a feel-good contemporary romance. Do I wish things were more explicit than fade-to-black with this series? Yes, but I can’t complain about the delicious chemistry that Scott and Claire work up to. I love a good grumpy hero and you don’t get any more gruff than Scott. I even made a grumpy hero list on YouTube thanks to him. Theirs is a bit of a slow burn romance, but each moment that leads up to that HEA is just so swoony and fun. I really enjoyed this romance of opposites attracting. I’m dying to get my hands on the next and final Central Park Pact book now!


lacey


Reading Order: Central Park Pact series

#1 ~ Passion on Park Avenue: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Love on Lexington Avenue: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Marriage on Madison Avenue: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads (Jan. 28, 2020)


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Review: Blood Truth by J.R. Ward

Blood Truth by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 13th 2019
Links: EbookHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Savior brings you the next sizzling and passionate paranormal romance in the Black Dagger Legacy series.

As a trainee in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s program, Boone has triumphed as a soldier and now fights side by side with the Brothers. Following his sire’s unexpected death, he is taken off rotation against his protests—and he finds himself working with Butch O’Neal, former homicide cop, to catch a serial killer: Someone is targeting females of the species at a live action role play club. When the Brotherhood is called in to help, Boone insists on being a part of the effort—and the last thing he expects is to meet an enticing, mysterious female…who changes his life forever.

Ever since her sister was murdered at the club, Helaine has been committed to finding the killer, no matter the danger she faces. When she crosses paths with Boone, she doesn’t know whether to trust him or not—and then she has no choice. As she herself becomes a target, and someone close to the Brotherhood is identified as the prime suspect, the two must work to together to solve the mystery…before it’s too late. Will a madman come between the lovers or will true love and goodness triumph over a very mortal evil?

If you know me, then you know that I adore the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and couldn’t be happier about a spinoff series called Black Dagger Legacy. The BDB series was one of the first PNR books that I’d ever read about seven years ago, and it’s still going strong – the series and my love for it – today. We’re up to seventeen books in the BDB series and four books now in the BDL series. I’ve enjoyed the previous three books in this spinoff series and while I can’t say that Blood Truth is my new favorite, it was amazing being back in this addicting world of alphas and vampires.

In Blood Truth, we get Boone’s happily ever after. Boone is one of the mentees in the Black Dagger training program run by the original BDB boys. I liked Boone but never really connected with his story nor his heroine, Helaine. Their romance unfortunately didn’t shine for me like the previous romances did in the series. I was intrigued enough by the plot about mysterious murders that Boone and Helaine are involved in to keep reading, but I was more looking forward to glimpses of Vishious and Butch. V is one of my favorite original brothers, so of course I’d love anything related to him.

I feel if parts of Blood Truth had been cut down, making this a shorter book, the romance could have worked better. Unfortunately, the main characters fell too fast and the book was too long, which equals a dragging story. Still, I love JR Ward’s particular style of writing and don’t think I’ll get tired of it yet. I am very much looking forward to the next BDB book, which is about Syn, who we get to know a little about in this book, and well as the next BDL book, which is about Rhage’s half-brother!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Black Dagger Legacy series

  

#1 ~ Blood Kiss: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Blood Vow: Ebook • HardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Blood Fury: My Review • Ebook • HardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Blood Truth: EbookHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ The Jackal: Goodreads (Aug. 2020)

Don’t miss the original series.

Reading Order: Black Dagger Brotherhood series

    
    
    
   

#1 ~ Dark Lover: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Lover Eternal: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Lover Awakened: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Lover Revealed: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Lover Unbound: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ Lover Enshrined: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Lover Avenged: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ Lover Mine: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#9 ~ Lover Unleashed: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#10 ~ Lover Reborn: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#11 ~ Lover at Last: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#12 ~ The King: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#13 ~ The Shadows: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#14 ~ The Beast: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#15 ~ The Chosen: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#15.5 ~ Dearest Ivie: EbookGoodreads
#16 ~ The Thief: EbookHardcover • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#16.5 ~ Prisoner of Night: My ReviewEbook • Audible • Goodreads
#17 ~ The Savior: EbookHardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#18 ~ The Sinner: EbookHardcoverGoodreads (March 24, 2020)


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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: Prisoner of Night by J.R. Ward

Prisoner of Night by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #16.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 7th 2019
Links: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward comes an unforgettable story of passion and vengeance in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world.

When Ahmare’s brother is abducted, there is nothing she won’t do to get him back safely. She is unprepared, however, for the lengths she will have to go to save his life. Paired with a dangerous but enticing prisoner, she embarks on an odyssey into another world.

Duran, betrayed by his father, imprisoned in a dungeon for decades, has survived only because of his thirst for vengeance. He has been biding his time to escape and is shocked to find an unlikely and temporary freedom in the form of a determined young female.

Battling against deadly forces and facing unforeseen peril, the pair are in a race to save Ahmare’s brother. As time runs out, and the unthinkable looms, even true love may not be enough to carry them through.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is one of those must-read PNR series that everyone knows, reads, and loves, and for good reason. There’s nothing quite like this world of vampires and alpha-males, both of which I can never get tired of if J.R. Ward writes it. Some of my favorite bookish heroes have come from this series (RHAGE!) and for that I will forever be grateful to the Warden.

In Prisoner of Night, we get a little break from the BDB boys and are introduced to two new main characters: Duran, whose father sold him into imprisonment for twenty years, and Ahmare, who will risk anything to save her brother’s life. These two have one common enemy, Chalen, who is Duran’s tormentor and holds Ahmare’s brother hostage. They must band together in order to free themselves of Chalen, even while having their own agendas. There’s an immediate connection between them, but they try to ignore it to reach their end goal.

Ahmare kind of made him want to stick around.
Even though that was crazy talk.

While I can’t say that I loved this novella, it was a nice addition to the BDB world. It doesn’t add anything to the main storyline, but we do get to discover new characters that maybe we’ll see in the future again. And not only do we get Ahmare and Duran’s romance, we get a bonus love story in this novella too, though I wish both were fleshed out just a bit more. Now, I’m dying for the next actual BDB book, The Savior, which is Murhder’s book! I can’t wait to see what J.R. Ward has in store for us in his book!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Black Dagger Brotherhood series

    
    
    
   

#1 ~ Dark Lover: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Lover Eternal: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Lover Awakened: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Lover Revealed: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Lover Unbound: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ Lover Enshrined: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Lover Avenged: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ Lover Mine: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#9 ~ Lover Unleashed: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#10 ~ Lover Reborn: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#11 ~ Lover at Last: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#12 ~ The King: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#13 ~ The Shadows: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#14 ~ The Beast: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#15 ~ The Chosen: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#15.5 ~ Dearest Ivie: EbookGoodreads
#16 ~ The Thief: EbookHardcover • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#16.5 ~ Prisoner of Night: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#17 ~ The Savior: EbookHardcoverAudibleGoodreads (April 2, 2019)

Don’t miss the spinoff series.

Reading Order: Black Dagger Legacy series

  

#1 ~ Blood Kiss: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Blood Vow: Ebook • HardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Blood Fury: My Review • Ebook • HardcoverAudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Blood Truth: EbookGoodreads (Aug. 13, 2019)


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Blog Tour // Review & Giveaway: Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade

Welcome to today’s blog tour for Life on the Leash! If you love dogs, this is definitely the book for you. Check out my review below plus a chance to win a paperback copy!

Life on the Leash by Victoria Schade
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: September 18th 2018
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Must Love Dogs meets My Not So Perfect Life in this hilarious romantic comedy about a dog trainer who’s a master at managing her four-legged friends, but when it comes to her love life…let’s just say she still has a lot to learn.

Cora Bellamy is a woman who thrives on organization. She’s successfully run her own dog training business for years, perfectly content with her beloved rescue pitbull as the main man in her life. She’s given everything to her business, and her lack of social life (or slobber-free clothes) has been completely worth it.

But all that changes when she meets Charlie Gill, the hottest client she’s ever had. The only problem? Charlie’s taken. Luckily, Cora has a new friend—the sweet, lovably geeky Eli Crawford. More loyal than a retriever, he’s always there to help Cora with her problems, including her love life. That’s why she’s shocked to realize that even as things start heating up with Charlie, there might just be a more-than-friends spark between her and Eli, too.

As Cora’s life gets more tangled up than a dogwalker’s leashes—and as she prepares to audition for a dog-training TV show that may irrevocably change her entire life—she has to figure things out before it all goes straight to the dogs.

Charming, witty, and warm-hearted, Life on the Leash inspires you to cheer for every underdog looking for love.

Buy Links:
Amazon EbookAmazon PaperbackBarnes & NobleIndieBound

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The main reason why I had to read Life on the Leash was because it was a romance that had DOGS in it!! I adore dogs of all shapes and sizes (I have my own Pomeranian who is the love of my life, much like the heroine), so I absolutely had to read this book – and it turned out as adorable as I hoped it would be. It’s not too romance-heavy, but if you’re a dog lover, Life on the Leash should definitely be on your radar.

Cora Bellamy is a natural with dogs and has turned her love for dogs into a career as a professional dog trainer in D.C. She barely has a social life as it is, but when an opportunity to audition for a TV show that’s about dog training appears, she can’t pass it up. And just when her professional life seems to be taking off, her social life comes knocking… in the form of two very different men.

Cora’s new client Charlie is everything she’s ever dreamed of – except he’s got a serious girlfriend. Eli is a new friend who is nerdy and sweet, someone she can always turn to. In between navigating her way between these two men, Cora continues to help new dog owners and even save a few dogs with her compassionate heart. I found myself charmed by Cora, though at times I did get frustrated at the love triangle. The romance didn’t feel as fleshed out as I thought it could be, but I did love the dogs and the dog training aspect of the story. Overall, I thought Life on the Leash was a fun, light-hearted novel with a very chick-lit feel. If you’re in the mood for something fluffy (and furry), this one’s for you!


lacey

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Victoria Schade is an author, speaker and dog trainer known for her upbeat approach to living and working with dogs. She’s published two books, “Bonding With Your Dog; A Trainer’s Secrets for Building a Better Relationship” and “Secrets of a Dog Trainer: Positive Problem Solving for a Well-Behaved Dog.” LIFE ON THE LEASH is her first novel.

She’s a frequent resource for the media, including the CBS Early Show, The View, WEtv, and FOX. Victoria has been featured in The Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple Magazine, Reader’s Digest, The Bark, and many dog-specific publications. She currently serves as a pet expert for petMD and PawCulture, writing training and behavior content and appearing in educational videos.

Website • Twitter • FacebookInstagram • Goodreads

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(1) Paperback of Life on the Leash
(US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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