Review: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

The Chase by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 6th 2018
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

OHHH MY GOD. I loooved The Chase!! Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series is one of my favorite college/new adult/sports romance series ever, so the anticipation for its spinoff series was REAL. I’m so happy to say that Elle Kennedy did not disappoint with The Chase (though does she ever!?). I adored Summer and Fitzy’s story. I literally had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading them. And these new hockey boys Elle introduced had me cracking up like crazy – though I did love seeing some old, beloved characters too 😉 If you loved the Off-Campus series, you definitely need this spin-off series in your life!

I want a man with clear intentions. A man who makes an effort and is excited to spend time with me. A man who actually wants to want me.
If he has to fight himself to be with me, then chances are he’d never fight for me if it came down to it.
What woman would ever choose somebody like that?

I adore a good opposites-attract romance, and you can’t get more opposite than with Summer and Fitzy. Summer is your privileged, dramatic, outgoing, fashion-loving girl, while Fitzy is a drama-hating, introverted, game-playing/-making nerd and hockey player. One’s all light and the other is pretty gloomy. But despite their differences, these two have wanted each other from the very start – but they get off to a rough start when Summer overhears Fitzy judging Summer as an airhead. And… they also become roommates (awkward). Can he make her believe that he sees her for who she really is: his sunshine?

… I never felt truly alive until Summer.
I don’t want to be with a woman who hides in the shadows with me, because that enables me to keep hiding. And that’s what I’ve done for years—hidden pieces of myself from my parents, my friends, chicks, the world. I want someone who encourages me to step out of my comfort zone, and Summer is that someone.

I had the BEST time reading The Chase. It’s funny, smart, relatable, sexy – everything I wanted in a college sports romance and more. Do I believe that the Briar U series has the potential to live up to its predecessor? Absolutely. I fell in love with Fitzy and Summer, their sweet, hilarious, slightly angsty romance, and can’t wait to read more of the new characters. I am dying to get my hands on the next book. I can’t get enough of Elle Kennedy’s fantastic storytelling!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Briar U series

#1 ~ The Chase: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Risk: EbookGoodreads (Feb. 18, 2019)

Reading Order: Off-Campus series

The Deal by Elle Kennedy The Mistake by Elle Kennedy The Score by Elle Kennedy 

#1 ~ The Deal: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Mistake: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Score: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ The Goal: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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ARC Review: Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 30th 2018
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe Winston remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

With each new Winston Brother book, I fall more in love with this fascinating cast of characters Penny Reid has created. This latest installment is about the youngest of the Winston boys, Roscoe. He’s a vet, basically has photographic memory (he can remember memories/events word for word), and… has always been in unrequited love with his childhood friend. But Dr. Strange Beard is so much more than childhood friends reconnecting – it also features racial issues that are so prevalent in today’s world. Though this isn’t my favorite Winston Brother novel, I loved Roscoe and Simone, and highly recommend their story if you want to read something different.

There is no one.
There’s never been anyone.
There’s only been you.

Ten years after Roscoe cut all ties and communication with his best friend Simone, she’s back in town, and as much as he tries to avoid her, he can’t. Simone makes it her mission to get close to Roscoe again, but not for the reason you’d think. She’s never stopped wondering why Roscoe dropped her a decade before and is determined to find out. But as she learns how kind-hearted, protective, sensitive, and not to mention gorgeous he is, she can’t help but fall for him.

Loving Roscoe wasn’t a hunch, or a hypothesis, or a theory.
I loved Roscoe, and that was a law.

Roscoe and Simone were a breath of fresh air for me. We have a sensitive hero who loves the heroine with all his heart and a headstrong heroine who thinks that love is not for her. I loved how these two learn to be vulnerable with each other. They learn to tackle issues together, lean on each other, and grow in a beautiful way that wasn’t possible when they were apart. And I am so impressed with the way the author chose to portray racism and Simone’s struggles throughout the book. It was honest and real, and having sensitivity readers for this aspect of the book certainly helped.

“You are in my heart. You have shaped my soul. Nothing–nothing–will change that for me.”

I can never get enough of Penny Reid’s characters. Each one is so utterly unique and amazing in his/her own way, and Simone and Roscoe were no different! If you like Penny’s books, this one’s a must read. Now I’m eagerly awaiting the next and final Winston Brothers book, which I feel will end up being my favorite (BILLY!!!).


lacey

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


Reading Order: Winston Brothers series

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid Beard Science by Penny Reid
   

#1 ~ Truth or Beard: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Grin and Beard It: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beard Science: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Beard in Mind: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Dr. Strange Beard: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#5.5 ~ Beard With Me: Goodreads (Feb. 2019)
#6 ~ Beard Necessities: Goodreads (April 2019)


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Blog Tour + Review & Excerpt: Playboy by Katy Evans

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Playboy by Katy Evans!

Playboy by Katy Evans
Series: Manwhore #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 29th 2018
Add to Goodreads

It started as a game.
We flirted. We played. Most importantly—we won.
Then I discovered who he was: Gambler. Famous playboy. Silver-eyed player who never plays to lose.
…And my best friend’s soon-to-be brother in law, Cullen Carmichael.
He needed a good luck charm, I needed a distraction.
So we made a gamble and set off for Vegas—but pretty soon—I was in too deep.
My heart, soul, and body weren’t supposed to be part of the deal.
But somewhere between big wins and long nights, my house of cards started to tumble.
What was this devil with those piercing eyes doing to me?
I’d given up on love, but the wicked, all-in Cullen Carmichael was upping the ante and wouldn’t stop until he’d won it all.

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & Noble • iTunes • Kobo • Audible

review button

When I first started the Manwhore series, meeting Wynn as Rachel’s friend, I was hoping she would get back together with her chef boyfriend, Emmett, and it seemed like they would by the end of Womanizer. But now that I’ve read Playboy, I’m so glad Katy Evans decided on Cullen for Wynn. He is alpha, sexy and sweet all at once, wanting to give everything to the girl who deserves it all. I adored both of these characters and their love story. If there’s an author who can make the love and romance between her characters feel real, it’s Katy Evans.

“I won’t fit in my lucky black dress tomorrow,” I worry in a whisper out loud.
Cullen eyes me and partly smiles, lifting his hand to stroke his thumb along the underside of my cheek. “Not a problem. You’re my lucky charm, not that dress of yours.”

After breaking it off with the man she imagined her happily ever after with, Wynn is ready to get back in the game and find a partner who’ll cherish her this time. Unfortunately, it’s not the guy she’s on a date with, who’s taken her to a poker game. But that’s where she meets Cullen Carmichael, the gorgeous man her date is playing against. There’s instant attraction and want on both ends – and once Cullen makes a bet with Wynn, they’re off to Vegas, where the stakes (and emotions) are higher.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Whoever you do in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
My Cullen.
Ugh.
We had a silly wager.
That’s all it was.
But I’m hooked on him, not because of what he is or how much he can spoil me.
It’s because of who he is. Who I am when I’m with him. Who we are together.

Despite the label of “Playboy,” Cullen is very much into Wynn and only Wynn. He shows her the glamorous side of being with a successful professional poker player, treating her like a queen, but once they leave Vegas, will the charm rub off? Wynn and Cullen have fallen head over heels for each other, but with that love last outside of Vegas?

“That’s what I am to you,” I remind him “We’re playing a game.”
“You’re playing a game.” He shakes his head somberly, his poker face gone, his eyes livid with heat. “I’m playing for keeps.”

Wynn and Cullen are perfect together. I love the way Cullen dotes on her the way Wynn deserves, and the way Wynn softens the hard edges Cullen has. The chemistry between them is off the charts – Katy Evans knows how to turn up the heat in her books, and the way Cullen can focus all of his desire, dominance, and need onto Wynn has me all heart-eyed and fanning myself. And besides these two lovely characters, I’m happy we get to see all the previous characters in this book. If this is the last Manwhore book, which I’m praying it’s not, because I could read about all of these characters for ages, it ended the series perfectly!


lacey

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

Now here’s an excerpt from Playboy! ❤

excerpt button

“So you just kissed me because you wanted to.” I speak on a breath.

“Very good. You’re perceptive. Intuitive.”

I realize he’s teasing me in that low, terribly rumbly voice and I wish he would smile at me.

He takes my hand and fingers my palm with his thumb as he leads me to our suite.

I’m sizzling where he touches me, nervously prying my hand free when he leads me into the biggest, most spectacular two-bedroom penthouse suite I’ve ever seen. Not that I’d seen one before in person, only movies.

There’s a kitchen area, and windows from floor to ceiling. A living room, a pool table, gold brass chandeliers, a brown-and-beige-patterned carpet, dark woods, Italian leathers. Gorgeous! I could move in here.

Now I see the appeal but won’t admit as much.

Thinking of our bet, I pay attention to the art on the walls. It’s expensive. I can tell by the numbered print and the signature. Painters with indecipherable and artistic signatures are often the artists to watch. It’s like they know from the moment they paint their first work that they’re on to something big, something that will distinguish their work from all others.

I wish Cullen loved art as much as I do. Maybe I could drag him away from the tables to a local gallery.

“Wow. I could just live he—” I spin around and bump into his big warm body, and he bends his head and kisses my words right out of me.

Kisses me stupid. Kisses my toes curled. Kisses my brain blank. Kisses my heart crazy.

Reading Order: Manwhore series

Manwhore by Katy Evans Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans Ms. Manwhore by Katy Evans
Ladies Man by Katy Evans  

#1 ~ Manwhore: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Manwhore +1: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Ms. Manwhore: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Ladies Man: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Womanizer: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Playboy: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads

about the author button

Katy EvansKaty Evans is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her debut REAL shot to the top of the bestselling lists in 2013 and since then 9 of her titles have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages across the world.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Katy Evans


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Blog Tour + Review & Excerpt: Mogul by Katy Evans

Mogul, an all-new standalone from Katy Evans is available now!

Mogul by Katy Evans
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: May 31st 2018
Add to Goodreads

He’s my most delicious secret.
The hot Suit I had a one-night stand with one evening.
I didn’t know anything about him, not even his name.
Only that we shared a taxi, and he was staying at the hotel where I worked.
We met in room 1103. Where he commanded not only my body but my soul.
The next day he was gone and I only had a memory of him.
I could still taste his kisses, feel his demanding touch.
I searched for him for months. Daydreaming about him. Wondering if I’d ever find him.
Until the day I find myself staring face to face with his jeweled black eyes again.
He says lets keep it casual, and my heart knows that falling for this workaholic in a three-thousand-dollar suit is off the table.
Because he has a secret. One that’s a deal breaker for me.
My Suit has a name.
Ian Ford.
And this is our story.

Buy Links:
Amazon Ebook • Amazon Paperback • Audible
Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo

review button

There’s no one who writes a better man-in-a-suit than Katy Evans. I adore her alpha, possessive heroes, and the women who knock them off their feet. Mogul is her latest standalone, and though it is connected to a previous novel of hers, Tycoon, it can be read as a standalone. It’s sexy, intense, and romance, basically everything I hope and expect from a Katy Evans book. If you’re a long-time fan, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on Mogul!

When Ian and Sara meet, they experience a chemistry that neither of them can deny. They fall into temptation when Ian checks into the hotel Sara works at and have the best night of their life – but they leave each other without exchanging names or numbers. Sara unfortunately gets fired and they have almost no way of finding each other again… until a chance encounter with Sara’s new job as a dog walker for Ian’s grandmother has them reuniting. But Sara finds out that Ian is currently in the middle of a divorce with a wife he’s been separated from for years – can she trust Ian’s true intentions, or will she forever be on the sidelines?

I love how slightly obsessive both Katy’s heroes and heroines become when they meet the love of their life. Katy writes her characters falling in love in such a magical way that I feel as if I’m falling alongside with them. I highly enjoyed getting to know Ian and Sara and watching them work their way towards a hard-earned HEA they deserve. Sara teaches Ian to give love a second chance and that there’s more to life than work, while Ian teaches Sara to go after her dreams. I couldn’t get enough of these two, and that’s my only complaint: that the book was too short. I would’ve loved delving a little more into Ian and Sara’s lives, but I’ll take what I can get from Katy Evans. Right now, I’m dying for a certain secondary character to get her book!

4 hearts
lacey

Now here’s an excerpt from Mogul! ❤

excerpt button

My eyes lock on a third figure sitting with them. As I near, the man glances my way before quickly shifting his gaze. I continue to stare at him as I approach, and it doesn’t take long for his gaze to return to me. His large figure rises to full height as he stands to greet me, and I feel a bolt of electricity hit me in the chest as familiar eyes stare back at me.

He’s tall. Dark-haired. Gorgeous. With deep, thick-lashed eyes you want to sink into. And lips to suck on like they’re all that exists between you and heaven. I stop walking, stop breathing, because . . . he is here.

A moment passes and Bryn seems to notice my shock.

But shock doesn’t come close to it.

Because never in my whole life has my heart leapt so far and fast. It feels as if it’s ripping out of my chest. I can barely force my legs to move for fear of hearing my knees knock together. I struggle for air, but it feels like someone cut off my windpipe connecting my nose and lungs.

He wears a white dress shirt and black slacks, and his face is chiseled and brooding. The real shock lies in the intensity brewing in his dark eyes as they stay locked on mine. My heart speeds up as I hold his gaze. The city bustles around us. Making eye contact is not something I do often, living in a city of millions, but I can’t take my eyes off him.

The memory of having him inside me returns with a vengeance.

Bryn begins to introduce us. “Um. Ian, this is—”

“Sara. We’ve met,” Hot and Dirty Workaholic interrupts with a stiff smile.

Our eyes meet, and for a moment it feels like nothing else exists.

His name is Ian.

Fucking Ian, with his serious, handsome face and shiny, black hair. He’s as lit as I remember. Straight out of a Suits episode, and I am dying.

Though Mogul can be read as a standalone, there are characters that have first appeared in Tycoon.

My ReviewEbook • Paperback • Audible

about the author button

Katy EvansKaty Evans is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her debut REAL shot to the top of the bestselling lists in 2013 and since then 9 of her titles have been New York Times bestsellers. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages across the world.

Website • Email • Facebook • Twitter


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Release Day Review: Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey

Arrogant Devil by R.S. Grey
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: May 10th 2018
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Everyone in Cedar Creek, Texas, knows Jack McNight is an arrogant devil. Physically, I get it: he’s tan and fit, with coal-black hair that’s clearly been scorched by hellfire. Oh, and his personality? It burns just as hot.

When I show up on the doorstep of Blue Stone Ranch, I’m run-down and rockin’ my last pair of underwear. I’m hoping for a savior, but instead, I find him.

My opinion of Jack is marred by a dismal first impression, but his opinion of me is tainted even before I arrive. He’s heard I’m a spoiled princess there to take advantage of his goodwill. To him, I’m more trouble than I’m worth.

Our button-pushing banter should get under my skin. His arrogance should be a major turn-off. Problem is, devils are known to offer their own form of temptation.

Every one of his steely glares sends a shiver down my spine.

Every steamy encounter leaves me reeling.

Sure, it could be the Texas heat messing with my head, but there’s no way I’ll survive the summer without silencing him with a kiss and wrestling him out of those Wranglers.

Who knows…going to bed with the devil might just be the salvation I’ve been looking for all along.

If there’s one author that I know I can count on to deliver a laugh-out-loud, hilarious, fun romantic comedy, it’s R.S. Grey. She nails the humor in her books every time, from the funny banter to the crazy situations that the characters (mainly the heroines) end up in. Meredith was such an endearing heroine and though the hero was hard to like in the beginning, Jack grew on me in the end. If you’re looking for the perfect rom-com with cowboys, look no further than this one.

Jack breezes right past me and stomps into the shack so heavily that the fragile walls quake. It’ll be a fitting end, both of us suffocating under the rubble. Just as we’re gasping for our last breaths, I’ll offer to make peace, and very quietly, he’ll whisper back, Go to hell.

This quote perfect describes the kind of relationship our dear hero and heroine have, at least in the beginning. Meredith dumps her cheating husband and her cushy life, and the only place she can find a job is on the very hands-on ranch her sister works at. Jack sees her as a pampered baby, and though he’s not off the mark, Meredith is determined to be the best housekeeper she can be. To say they get off to a rough start would be an understatement – Jack is arrogant and judgmental, and no one fires him up like Meredith. He doesn’t take it too far, but it was hard to like him in the midst of all his asshole-ness.

Slowly, though, as Meredith and Jack get to know one another (thanks to a scheming grandmother and the constant proximity on the ranch), the two form a sort of truce. They becoming friendlier and start to understand each other better. Of course, they try to ignore the underlying attraction between them, but has that ever worked out for anyone? One thing I was surprised by in this book in the best way possible was that the romance was actually a slow burn. There’s lots of delicious tension between Meredith and Jack, but R.S. Grey tortures us a little by making their romance a slow and sweet one. I’m glad about the pacing of the romance – it made it that much more enjoyable and believable.

I adored Arrogant Devil. It’s got cowboys, humor, and an independent heroine. There wasn’t much more I could ask for. This was a fantastic Southern rom-com that I highly recommend for when you’re in the mood for something light and funny!


lacey

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


Also by R.S. Grey

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey  
  
  The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey The Allure of Dean Harper by R.S. Grey
 

Scoring Wilder: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Settling the Score: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Out of Bounds: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
With This Heart: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Chasing Spring: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
A Place in the Sun: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
The Allure of Julian Lefray: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
The Allure of Dean Harper: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
The Duet: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
The Design: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Anything You Can Do: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
The Foxe & the Hound: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
The Fortunate Ones: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
The Beau & the Belle: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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