Release Day Review: Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 12th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton brings her trademark blend of funny and sexy to this second contemporary romance in the brand-new Hudson Valley series!

Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is…cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be…love?

I’ve loved Alice Clayton since Wallbanger first came out, and her newest books in the Hudson Valley series are just as fun and entertaining as her first book. This author does rom-com like no other, so if you’re a fan of funny, sexy books, you’ll want to get your hands on this series! These books will have you laughing with delight and also have you blushing like crazy the next. Cream of the Crop is another winner from Alice Clayton — Nuts is still my favorite Hudson Valley book, but this one was pretty unique and I absolutely adored the heroine!

We first met Natalie in Nuts as one of Roxie’s best friends, and we know that Natalie has got a bit of a crush on a certain dairy farmer. Normally, Natalie’s the most confident, self-assured woman there is, but every time she’s within the vicinity of Oscar Mendoza, her brain fries and she’s literally only capable of saying two words to him. It’s hilarious and endearing – Natalie is seriously one of my favorite heroines ever! I just love her confidence (when she’s not shy around Oscar) and I love how empowered she is. She owns every one of her curves and I really couldn’t admire her more.

When she gets the chance to visit Hudson Valley for a job, Natalie jumps at the chance not only to see her best friend, but also to see Oscar in all his dairy glory. There’s a hot chemistry between these two characters despite how frazzled she is around Oscar, but once she gets over it, holy crap do sparks fly. These two are crazy hot together – there might have been a litttle too much sex, but otherwise I really enjoyed the way they were together.

Cream of the Crop is pure, light-hearted fun, and the perfect drama-free summer read. The romance was simple and uncomplicated, and the setting of Hudson Valley is gorgeous and homey. It’s seriously such a fun read – and I already can’t wait to read more of the series!

4 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Hudson Valley series

Nuts by Alice Clayton 

#1 ~ Nuts: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Cream of the Crop: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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ARC Review: Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst

Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst

Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst
Series: Billionaire Builders #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 31st 2016
Links: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Hot on the heels of her beloved Marriage to a Billionaire novels, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst nails it with the first in an all-new sexy romance series featuring red-hot contractor siblings who give the Property Brothers a run for their money!

Ever the responsible eldest brother, Caleb Pierce started working for his father’s luxury contracting business at a young age, dreaming of one day sitting in the boss’s chair. But his father’s will throws a wrench in his plans by stipulating that Caleb share control of the family business with his two estranged brothers.

Things only get more complicated when demanding high-end home designer Morgan hires Caleb to build her a customized dream house that matches her specifications to a T—or she’ll use her powerful connections to poison the Pierce brothers’ reputation. Not one to ignore a challenge, Caleb vows to get the job done—if only he can stop getting distracted by his new client’s perfect…amenities.

But there’s more to icy Morgan than meets the eye. And Caleb’s not the only one who knows how to use a stud-finder. In fact, Morgan is pretty sure she’s found hers—and he looks quite enticing in a hard hat. As sparks fly between Morgan and Caleb despite his best intentions not to mix business and pleasure, will she finally warm up and help him lay the foundation for everlasting love?

I love Jennifer Probst’s Searching For series, so when I heard she’d be writing something new, I couldn’t wait to read it. I’ll be the first to say that I don’t particularly know anything about construction and I don’t watch Property Brothers, but I was excited to see how Ms. Probst would bring that to life in the Billionaire Builders series. I can’t say that I loved Everywhere and Every Way, but it was a good read and a good introduction to the Pierce brothers and their upcoming books.

When his father dies, Caleb expects to inherit Pierce Brothers Construction, so he’s shocked when his father’s will states that he won’t get the company unless he works with his two younger, estranged brothers. It’s tough work to convince them, but Tristan and Dalton finally give in to working at their family’s company, despite the fact that the three of them can’t seem to have a conversation that doesn’t end in a fight. Their newest assignment is to build a magnificent home for Morgan Raines’ client, and even though it seems like an impossible feat, the brothers try to find a way to work with each other.

Morgan is a tough, independent, career-driven woman, and she gets hands-on when working on a construction site, to the shock of the builders. She’s reluctantly attracted to one of the Pierce brothers, but she’s determined to remain professional, despite how irresistible Caleb is. Caleb himself doesn’t make it easy for Morgan, determined to get her into his bed. But as they spend more time together working on the house, feelings start to get involved, and it’s Caleb who tries to make Morgan see how good they could be together.

This was a sweet, if slow contemporary romance. I really enjoy the way Jennifer Probst builds up her romances, and though Caleb and Morgan’s was a little too slow for my taste, I still did enjoy reading their story. I’m especially excited to see where the author will take us with Tristan and Dalton’s stories. If you’re a fan of Jennifer Probst or an HGTV fan, you should give Everywhere and Every Way a try – you might like it more than I did!

3 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Billionaire Builders series

Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst 

#1 ~ Everywhere and Every Way: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Any Time and Any Place: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (Jan. 24, 2017)


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Early Review: From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne

From This Day Forward by Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #0.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 6th 2016
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in this prequel to USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Up-and-coming wedding photographer Leah McHale’s career is on the rise–thanks in no small part to the Wedding Belles, the elite New York wedding planning agency that always throws top-tier business Leah’s way. So when one of the Belles asks Leah to fill in at the former First Daughter’s wedding, Leah is overjoyed to say yes–until she finds out who she’ll be working with.

Jason Rhodes is the one man who was able to capture Leah’s heart and, once he had it, promptly stepped all over it and left her broken. Now he’s working side-by-side with her at the biggest wedding of the season and Leah is determined to give him the cold shoulder. Despite his persistence, she is not going to fall for his charming, impish ways again. Not even if he still has that killer, irresistible smile…

Wheeee!!! A brand new Lauren Layne series! And it’s about weddings, too, which honestly sounds like heaven to me. The Wedding Belles kicks off with a sweet novella, a second chance romance between wedding photographers Leah and Jason. These two are still bitter and hurt over the end of their relationship – can they overcome their differences in order to work together… and win that happily ever after they capture on camera all the time?

It was both everything she remembered, and more. Somehow it was more. More intense than it had ever been, and somehow more important, too.

Lauren Layne always writes the best contemporary romances, and even with this quick novella, I was charmed and hooked onto the story. I’m not a big fan of miscommunication being used in romances, but somehow LL made it work for Leah and Jason. I could feel their heartbreak… and the feelings that they still have for each other. The chemistry between them has never died, and when they reunite, it seems to have grown even hotter. Their romance is as sweet and it is sexy, which made for a thoroughly enjoyable, satisfying read.

“Fuck. I love you. I didn’t know it back then. I didn’t know what I was feeling, and I treated you—us—carelessly. But I know it now, Red, and I swear to God, I am not letting you go ever again. … I won’t stop chasing you, and I sure as hell won’t stop loving you.”

From This Day Forward is a charming and irresistible novella. It’s a great introduction to The Wedding Belles series, which will be about the wedding planners Leah and Jason work with. I honestly can’t wait to read more – I’m sure the series be another hit from LL!

4 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: The Wedding Belles series

 To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

#0.5 ~ From This Day Forward: EbookGoodreads
#1 ~ To Have and to Hold: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ For Better or Worse: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ To Love and to Cherish: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Oct. 18, 2016)


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Release Day Review: Fate and Forever by Sophie Jackson

Fate and Forever by Sophie Jackson

Fate and Forever by Sophie Jackson
Series: A Pound of Flesh #2.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 18th 2016
Links: EbookAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sophie Jackson’s award-winning Pound of Flesh novels reignite “that feeling of sneaking risqué books under the bedcovers with a flashlight” (RT Book Reviews)! Join her millions of online fans with this irresistible enovella that takes the intimate relationship between a gutsy prison tutor and her sexy bad-boy student to the ultimate level.

When tutor Kat Lane met her brooding, dangerously tempting student Wesley Carter behind bars, she never dreamed of the day she would be excitedly planning for their wedding. It won’t be long before they’re man and wife, and neither Kat nor Carter can wait. But as they settle into the joyful haze of nearly-newlywed bliss, all their friends seem to be one step ahead. Everywhere they turn, couples are becoming parents, and the longing in Kat’s eyes worries Carter. What if she gets baby fever…and he’s not so sure? Carter’s childhood was rough, and his father was no example for how to be an upstanding man—or a good parent. Can Carter create a happy, safe, supportive home for his future children with Kat—the life he never had growing up? He had better figure it out soon…because Kat just told him she needs to take a pregnancy test.

I adored Kat and Carter from A Pound of Flesh, so getting a little more of their story was fantastic. Fate and Forever is super short and sweet – if you loved A Pound of Flesh, you’re sure to love this glimpse into Kat and Carter’s future. We get to see their marriage and honeymoon… overall, this novella is just a great way to catch up not only with these two characters, but the others in the series as well.

Carter and Kat are in newlywed bliss… or are they? They’re having the time of their lives on their honeymoon, but one late period for Kat causes all sorts of confusion and misunderstanding. I love the way Sophie Jackson handled this aspect of the story. The little angst and tension between this newly married couple isn’t ideal, but it’s real and honest and emotional. I couldn’t put this novella down!

Sophie Jackson’s writing is just as wonderful as ever, as was reading again about Carter and Kat, Max and Grace, and even Riley, who will star in the third A Pound of Flesh novel. Fate and Forever is definitely a tease for Riley’s book, and it’s made me even more excited for A Measure of Love!

4 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: A Pound of Flesh series

A Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson Love and Always by Sophie Jackson
 Fate and Forever by Sophie Jackson A Measure of Love by Sophie Jackson

#1 ~ A Pound of Flesh: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Love and Always: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ An Ounce of Hope: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Fate and Forever: EbookAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ A Measure of Love: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (June 21, 2016)


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Review: The Master by Kresley Cole

The Master by Kresley Cole

The Master by Kresley Cole
Series: The Game Maker #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 17th 2015
Links: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

A need colder than Siberian winter meets an attitude hotter than the Florida sun in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s sultry new Game Maker novel.

Everyone fears the Master…
Rich, irresistible politician/Mafiya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his…complicated desires. That is, until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.

Except her.
Catarina Marín was a well-off young wife until her world fell apart. Now she’s hiding out, forced to start working as an escort in Miami. Her very first client is beyond gorgeous, but when he tells her what he plans to do to her, Cat almost walks out of the door.

If pleasure is a game, play to win.
After their mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past–to offer Cat his future? Only then will she tempt him with what he really wants: her, all tied up with a bow.

I honestly don’t know how or why I haven’t reviewed The Master yet. I read it back when it first released, became obsessed with it, and never ended up writing a review, I guess. But since the third and final Game Maker book is coming out (today!!!), I thought it’d be a good time to finally post my review!

The Master was one of my top favorite books of 2015 – I loved it THAT much, y’all. To be honest, I never expected to love it so much, because I was less than impressed with the first book in the Game Maker series. So to say The Master took me by surprise is an understatement – but I’m so glad I took a chance on it even though I didn’t love the first one. This book simply AMAZED me. The hero is alpha perfection, the heroine is sassy and badass, and their romance swept me away… I loved every single thing about The Master!!!

Catarina Marín is on the run from her murderous husband. She never stays in any place for too long, but with no money to her name, she joins an escort agency in Miami. Her first client is a gorgeous, sensual, wealthy Russian politician named Maksimilian Sevastyan – who turns out to be an arrogant ass. She’s not his type, he’s too egotistical for his own good, and they couldn’t be more different or unmatched… but the insane chemistry between them is off the charts and the connection between them in undeniable. Soon enough, Cat gets her first paycheck from her first client, and she’s ready to leave with her thousands – but Maksim isn’t ready to let her go.

“I’m surprised you aren’t acting ingratiating.” He was still talking to me, engaging me?
I turned back to him.
Mocking sneer in place, he said, “You’re supposed to tell me how I moved heaven and earth for you. You’re supposed to fawn over me, increasing your chances that I’ll book you again.”
I gave him an aren’t you adorable? smile and purred, “Oh, baby boy, don’t you know statistics? Chances can’t be improved from one hundred percent.”

The Master might be one of the few books where I’m completely in love with the hero – and I love the heroine even more. Maksim is SUCH an arrogant SOB, but I love him anyway. The way he wields control, especially over Cat’s body, is the hottest thing EVER, and there is some seriously dirty stuff going on in this book. He’s a jealous, possessive alpha-male to the max, and his character pushed all the right buttons for me. He was the perfect sort of over-the-top hero that I love. Cat, though, is definitely the star of this book. She’s such a relatable girl – she’s fun and fiesty, yet totally down-to-earth and resilient. She’s the perfect match for Maksim, even if it didn’t seem so at first glance. She never lets him walk all over her, and ends up making him as obsessed with her as she is with him.

Grabbing my ankles, he yanked me across the bed. “Spread your legs.” When I did, he stared at my pussy. “This is mine now.” He met my gaze, telling me, “I own it. Just as I own you. I’m your master now, Katya.”

Somehow, everything that didn’t work in The Professional totally WORKED in The Master. I was addicted to the possessive hero, the heroine blew me away with her strength, and the romance was to die for. Who wouldn’t want to be romanced by a gorgeous billionaire who’s completely gone for you!? The Master is erotica perfection – I’ve reread this book maybe 20 times, and I love it just as much every time. It’s one of the few books that I automatically go to reread, that’s how much I adore this book. If you love romances with an alpha hero who would die for the heroine and tons of kinky sex, I can’t recommend The Master enough – go read this if you haven’t already!!!

5 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: The Game Maker series

The Professional by Kresley Cole The Master by Kresley Cole The Player by Kresley Cole

#1 ~ The Professional: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible (Part One, Two, Three) • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Master: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Player: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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