Early Review: Flashed by Zoey Castile

Flashed by Zoey Castile
Series: Happy Endings #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 27th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

When a man makes his living by his looks, he can forget that love—and lust—are more than skin deep. But the right woman can remind him . . .

A former soccer player, stripper, and model, legendary party boy Patrick Halloran finally gets his big break starring in the summer blockbuster. But when an accident leaves him changed forever, he hides away in his secluded Montana ranch. Only his new housekeeper is allowed inside—with one rule: she’s not allowed to see him. But Pat sees her, and she’s the most stunning woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Even her voice is beautiful. Still, Pat can’t allow himself to get close to anyone. Not without a fight at least . . .

Magdalena “Lena” Martel is a long way from Queens, New York. After a rough patch, the aspiring artist is working her way through college—even if it means keeping house for a man whose gruff voice she can only hear through a closed door. Still, Lena senses Pat’s got a good heart, maybe even a lovable one. She’s intrigued—until his anger sends her running into the freezing woods. Now Pat will have to find her—and when he does he may have found the one woman who can thaw his heart—not to mention the rest of him. But can their new bond survive the paparazzi—and their personal demons?

Flashed is without doubt my favorite of the Happy Endings series! I’ve enjoyed Stripped and Hired, but Flashed was just a wonderful read. I loved the Beauty and the Beast (and a little bit of Cinderella) vibes. Pat is an amazing tortured hero and I felt for him so hard! His heroine Lena is lovely and the perfect sunny balance to his grouchy ways. Flashed is much heavier and emotional than the previous two books in the series but absolutely a must read.

Patrick Halloran climbed to such great heights as a model, actor, stripper, and former soccer player, but we all know the saying the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Pat couldn’t have fell harder when a car accident leaves his younger brother in the hospital and Pat beyond scarred and disfigured. He loses the one thing that made his life so successful – his gorgeous looks – and now he’s too traumatized to even leave his house. But when a friend hires him a lively housekeeper, he finds himself wanting to overcome his traumatic past and be the man she deserves.

Lena is a struggling art student who is in debt because of her stepmom. She takes on the housekeeping job because she needs the money but doesn’t expect to have such a grouch for a boss. Still, she keep a great attitude and outlook and happily fixes and cleans Pat’s house. I loved the way the story was executed. Lena isn’t allowed to look upon Pat and see what he looks like, so they communicate through text and voice. The little things they did for each other made it believable that they would fall in love. Lena’s Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage came across so well through the food she makes Pat and the music she plays to annoy him. Their romance is slow and sweet and I couldn’t help but root for their HEA!

There’s not much of stripping or dancing if that’s what you’re expecting, since the first two books are very much about strippers and Pat is now only a former stripper. Flashed has a very different feel than the other books, but I loved that about this book. I’m not sure if this is the final book in the Happy Endings series or not. Either way, Zoey Castile has yet to let me down and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!


Reading Order: Happy Endings series


#1 ~ Stripped: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Hired: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Flashed: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Early Review: Stripped by Zoey Castile

Stripped by Zoey Castile
Series: Happy Endings #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 28th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Skilled, sculpted, and sexy, the men of adult entertainment are the kind of guys a woman reserves for her fantasies, not her reality. But is there more to these professional hotties than meets the eye? . . .

The day Robyn Flores meets Zac Fallon is one of those days. You know, when you’re already late for work. Mostly because you haven’t really slept since your best friend abandoned you for her fiancé and her exponentially better life. The kind of day you drag yourself to the cleaners to pick up your laundry, only to discover you’ve got the wrong bag—Star Spangled sequined thong, anyone? So Robyn is definitely not ready for the ridiculously gorgeous guy at her front door, except that they have each other’s clothes. But then, is any woman ever ready to meet the love of her life?

There’s just one problem: Zac Fallon is not the love of Robyn’s life. Zac knows, despite the all-too-intimate dinner they share, he doesn’t have a shot at her. Because the next time Zac sees Robyn, he’s front and center of the male revue headlining her best friend’s bachelorette party. So much for wooing the pretty schoolteacher, much less impressing her old-fashioned family, with his upstanding lifestyle. Now he’s only got one way to win his dream girl. It’s gonna be the steamiest, most irresistible seduction she’s ever seen. And this time it will be no act . . .

I had such high hopes for Stripped – I mean, a stripper and a fifth-grade teacher? To say I was intrigued would be an understatement, and I ended up adoring Fallon and Robyn. Their romance was surprisingly so much sweeter than I expected, but just as dirty and sexy as I was hoping a stripper romance would be. It was so easy to fall into the story, the writing, the characters. Zoey Castile is a new author you don’t want to miss. And if you’re a fan of Magic Mike, you absolutely need to read Stripped!

Robyn Flores’ life is a bit of a mess. She’s an elementary school teacher who is perpetually late getting to work. She used to have plans growing up on how exactly her life would turn out, and it’s all spiraled out from under her. But things start to change when she finds a sequined thong in her laundry… a thong that belongs to her next door neighbor, who is also one of the strippers who shows up at her best friend’s bachelorette party.

Fallon is not ashamed of being a stripper, and why should he be? He embraces his job that has led him to become successful and comfortable in life, a change from his childhood. He sees no shame in what he does, though he hates that people disrespect him and look down on him when they find out what he does for a living. He and Robyn feel an instant connection the moment they meet and the chemistry between them is on fire. I loved every moment they were together, as they banter with each other and form a closer bond. Fallon is absolutely perfect for Robyn, with the way he treats her so preciously. The way he embraces his job helps Robyn discover and embrace her own true passion in life. Robyn frustrated me a bit with her back and forth – in both life and with Fallon – but that was balanced out by how kindhearted Fallon was. Stripped was surprisingly low on drama, but it worked for their story.

As far as first books in a series go, Stripped was fantastic. It was entertaining, funny, but also had its meaningful moments. Also, Zoey Castile is way too talented at writing stripper scenes, because they just come to life right out of the pages. And they are HOT. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for her readers with the rest of the series, and I’m so excited to see more strippers fall in love!


Reading Order: Happy Endings series


#1 ~ Stripped: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Aug. 28, 2018)
#2 ~ Hired: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (Feb. 26, 2019)
#3 ~ Flashed: Goodreads (2019)


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Blog Tour + Review & Giveaway: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer!

Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: December 29th 2015
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On his own

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

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I’m a huge fan of Brigid Kemmerer’s Elemental series, so I was excited at the thought of reading a new book of hers! Thicker Than Water is a little different than the Elemental series, since it reads like a contemporary book right until near the end. It’s a fantastic, well-written story with relatable characters and a suspenseful mystery surrounding them. I really enjoyed this new book of Brigid Kemmerer’s and I’m hoping there will be more!

Thomas Bellweather and his newlywed mother have only moved to a new town for a short while before Thomas’s mother ends up murdered… and everyone thinks Thomas did it. Even at his mother’s funeral, there are glares and accusing looks at Thomas, especially from the police. It seems like everyone’s out against him, all but Charlotte Rooker, who he meets at the funeral. She doesn’t seem to suspect him like everyone else, but with her three cop brothers, Thomas needs to stay away from her, no matter how pretty and relatable she seems to be.

I felt so bad for Thomas – my heart went out to him from the very first page. Not only is he devastated over his mother’s death, the only family member he had, but he’s also accused of her murder. He just can’t catch a break, and the only time he feels calm is with Charlotte, but even she brings trouble with her overprotective cop family. I really liked Thomas’s character (Brigid Kemmerer writes the male POV SO well) but Charlotte took me a while to warm up to. I didn’t like how her family kind of walked all over her and she didn’t really do anything about it. She does grow to have a spine, so I eventually grew to like her more.

The mystery in this book was so well-written! I had no idea what to expect, and the plot was unpredictable. You can really feel the suspense in this novel as Thomas and Charlotte find clues and information regarding the murder. There was also a little romance in the book, but the main focus was definitely the mystery.

Thicker Than Water is written in both Thomas and Charlotte’s POV, and I have to say again, the author’s writing is fantastic. It’s compelling and the way she writes her characters makes them feel authentic and understandable to the reader. I would definitely recommend this for the writing, and if you’re a fan of Brigid Kemmerer, you don’t want to miss this new release. Now I’m very much hoping for a sequel, because the ending left me curious for more!

4 hearts

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Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)

Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager.

While writing STORM, it’s ironic to note that Brigid’s personal life was plagued by water problems: her basement flooded three times, her roof leaked, her kitchen faucet broke, causing the cabinet underneath to be destroyed by water, the wall in her son’s room had to be torn down because water had crept into the wall, and her bedroom wall recently developed a minor leak. Considering SPARK, book 2 in the series, is about the brother who controls fire, Brigid is currently making sure all the smoke detectors in her house have batteries.

Brigid loves hearing from people, and she probably won’t refer to herself in the third person like this if you actually correspond with her. She has a smartphone surgically attached to her person nearby at all times, and email is the best way to reach her. Her email address is brigidmary@gmail.com.

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2 – copies of Thicker Than Water (US/CAN)

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Book Tour Organized by:
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Release Day Review: Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken

Feel the Burn by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #8 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 24th 2015
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

War makes strange bedfellows.

I, Gaius Domitus, one-eyed rebel dragon king of the Provinces, know that better than most, since I have to fight off half my ungrateful family on a regular basis to keep law and order here in my lands. But I never expected to have to consort with a barbarian human woman.

Kachka is beautiful, if you like them fierce—and of course I do. But she keeps complaining about how spoiled and decadent I am, and how a feared Daughter of the Steppes has no time for foolish dragons. I think she likes my eye patch, though. It is quite dashing. With death always at our tails, we take our passion like we take our allies. As they say, love the barbarian you’re with…

I absolutely LOVED the first book in the Dragon Kin series, which is the only book in the series I’d read prior to Feel the Burn. When I went into Dragon Actually, I had no idea that it would be one of the funniest books I’d ever read. Who knew dragons could be so funny!? So when I started Feel the Burn, I was expecting an awesome mix of quirky humor, sexy dragons, badass heroines, and some fun action. G.A. Aiken certainly delivers, and I had the best time reading this latest Dragon Kin book.

Gaius Domitus is the one-eyed Rebel King, and he’s out for vengeance against the cousin who tortured his twin sister. He needs to team up with Anwyl the Bloody, but somehow manages to find himself teamed up with the Daughters of the Steppes. They’re fierce barbarian women who, amusingly, look down upon men, so when Gaius finds himself saved and intrigued by one, she doesn’t give him the time of day.

“Kachka Shestakova . . . I owe you much.”
“Yes,” she replied. “You do.”
“How can I ever repay you?”
She faced him, her blade and arms covered in blood. “Give me your kingdom!”
Gaius smiled. “You’re adorable.”
“See? The royals. They say all this and they say all that . . . but they do nothing but lie.”
“We don’t lie all the time.”

I wish there had been more romance in this book! I absolutely loved Kachka and Gaius together, but they weren’t together enough. The book focused a lot more on the action and adventure part than the budding romance between the main characters, and even though it was entertaining to read, I wanted more of Kachka and Gaius together. Kachka’s a no-nonsense woman who’s blunt and has no filter, and Gaius humors and adores her.

“Why have you never chosen a husband, Kachka Shestakova?”
She smirked at him. “In love with me already, Rebel King?”
“We both know you’d be lucky if I were. I am a king and,” he teased, “pretty damn benevolent.”

The secondary characters were my favorite part of this book, besides Gaius and Kachka. The other Daughters of the Steppes and so. freaking. hilarious! Zoya totally stole the spotlight a couple of times – she’s a character you NEED to read, because she cracked me up so many times. I also loved seeing the Southland characters that I’d read in Dragon Actually, especially Anwyl. All of the characters in this series are just so fantastic to read about.

I don’t read a lot of PNR these days, though I wish I did more, but the Dragon Kin series is a unique one full of hilarity and adventure. I’ve never read anything like this series, and I’m certainly going to need to catch up on the rest of the books. If you love humor in your PNRs, you definitely need to pick up Feel the Burn.

4 hearts

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

Reading Order: Dragon Kin series


#1 ~ Dragon Actually: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ About a Dragon: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ What a Dragon Should Know: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Last Dragon Standing: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#5  ~ The Dragon Who Loved Me: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#6 ~ How to Drive a Dragon Crazy: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#7 ~ Light My Fire: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#8 ~ Feel the Burn: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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