Top Ten Tuesday {21}: Top Ten Underrated Books

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s theme is…

Top Ten Underrated Books:
Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads


My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads

  1. Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen ~ Bittersweet is one of my FAVORITE book of the year!!! I have so much love for this sweet, funny, endearing romance. It’s somewhat of a second chance romance since the MCs hooked up back in college, but now, years later, they meet again and sparks fly. Oh, and Griffin is now a hot as hell farmer! I recommend this one to everyone who loves unique contemporary romances.

 
Beast in Shining Armor: EbookGoodreads
Ghost Walk: EbookGoodreads

  1. Beast in Shining Armor/Ghost Walk by Cassandra Gannon ~ Cassandra Gannon is a new-to-me author this year, and she’s probably the best author recommendation I’ve ever received, because I’m OBSESSED with her books now. She’s not that well-known, which is a shame because her books are AMAZING!! They’re hilarious paranormal romances with obsessed alpha heroes that I can’t get enough of. Beast in Shining Armor is a sweet, sexy Beauty and the Beast retelling, and Ghost Walk has a ghost hero and a time-traveling heroine determined to clear the hero’s wronged name. If you love PNRs, you NEED to give these books a try!!


My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn ~ This is one of the few books this year to make me ugly cry! It’s got angst on top of angst, and I absolutely loved it. The heroine falls for her dead best friend’s husband – wrong, but it feels so, so right between them. It’s not an easy read, but if you give it a try, it will so be worth it in the end.

 
#1 ~ Fly With Me: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Into the Blue: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads

  1. The Wild Aces series by Chanel Cleeton ~ This is one of my favorite military romance series – the writing is wonderful, the heroes are swoon-worthy and head-over-heels for the heroines, and the heroines are tough, independent, and kickass. Into the Blue just released today FYI, and it’s an amaaazing second chance romance!


My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads

  1. Crashed Out (Made in Jersey #1) by Tessa Bailey ~ This is one of the HOTTEST books I’ve read from Tessa Bailey, which is saying something. It’s got an older heroine and younger rock star hero – and holy hell, was it fun to read about the hero winning over the reluctant heroine. Crashed Out is one of my faves from Tessa – the rest of the series is fantastic as well!


My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

  1. Addicted (Outlaws #2) by Elle Kennedy ~ Who doesn’t love friends-to-lovers, right!? Well, this one is set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world, and best friends Lennox and Jamie are badass mofos who’ve had each others’ backs since they were kids. I really, really enjoyed this one – and it’s crazy hot too. If you want a friends-to-lovers erotica, this one’s a must read.


My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Playing with Fire (Hot in Chicago #2) by Kate Meader ~ A firefighter heroine and a Chicago mayor she hates – this is the perfect enemies-to-lovers romance that I absolutely loved reading. It’s hot, the chemistry is on fire, and Eli’s got a dirty-talking mouth that will make you blush like crazy.

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne
My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Cuff Me (New York’s Finest #3) Lauren Layne ~ Lauren Layne is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors, and Cuff Me is without doubt my favorite of all her books. It’s a friends-to-lovers romance years in the making between homicide detective partners Vincent and Jill. Vincent is a gruff, grumbly hero and Jill is sweet and adorable – it’s opposites attract at its finest.


My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads

  1. The Billionaire’s Favorite Mistake (Billionaires and Bridesmaids #4) by Jessica Clare ~ I’m a sucker for billionaire romances, and Jessica Clare never fails to deliver fun and sexy ones. This one’s a new favorite, with an accidental pregnancy and a groveling hero – it’s SO much fun to read!


My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

  1. Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane #10) by Elizabeth Hoyt ~ If you love anti-heroes, this one’s a must read. I read it perfectly well as a standalone – it’s wicked, funny, sexy, and one of the best historical romances I’ve ever read. A not-so-good duke who falls for his prim and proper housekeeper – what’s not to love!?

What underrated books do you love?

lacey


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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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Early Review: Good Girl by Lauren Layne

Good Girl by Lauren Layne
Series: Love Unexpectedly #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 17th 2016
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Lauren Layne brings all the unpredictable heat of her USA Today bestseller Blurred Lines to an all-new cast of characters! Country music’s favorite good girl is hiding away from the world—only to find herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

Lauren Layne does it again! She delivers another fun-filled, hilarious, and sweet contemporary romance with Good Girl, a new adult standalone in the Love Unexpectedly series. I seem to never be disappointed with LL’s works, which makes her an auto-buy author for me whenever I’m in the mood for something light-hearted that will make me smile. So basically, I really, really enjoyed Good Girl – it’s the perfect opposites-attract/enemies-to-lovers romance! If you love broody heroes and sassy heroines, this book is definitely for you.

Jenny Dawson is a famous country singer who’s known for her ‘America’s sweetheart’ persona, but when false accusations appear in the media claiming that Jenny is involved in a cheating scandal, her life becomes a mess. She needs to get out of town ASAP, and the perfect place happens to be in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana. Her trip to the quiet, serene countryside would be perfect… if it weren’t the annoying, broody, sexy caretaker, Noah.

You know that feeling you get sometimes? Well, okay, rarely. That feeling when you meet a stranger’s eyes and something inexplicable and intense sizzles between you?
That.
That’s what happened between me and Noah Maxwell, at least on my end.
And then . . .
And then he had to go and open his mouth. It would figure that the first guy I’m attracted to in a good long time turns out to be a total jerk. It would also figure that I’m stuck sort of living with him for the next few months.

Noah… isn’t the caretaker of the place Jenny’s staying at, but she doesn’t need to know that he’s actually the owner. Noah himself wanted a quiet place to turn to while escaping from his preppy life as Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, but everything’s disrupted when a gorgeous country singer and her annoying Pomeranian arrive at the estate. To say that Noah and Jenny don’t get along is an understatement – they get off on the wrong foot from the first second they meet, and it all goes downhill from there. But the delicious tension between builds as they trade insults and banter, and who can resist when the two are stuck together on an estate with no one around for miles?

This girl is like crack to me. Sweet, addicting, and fucking dangerous.

I read some earlier reviews and knew going into Good Girl that Noah wouldn’t exactly be the greatest hero ever. He’s a jerk, in fact. He does asshole things, says cruel words – but never did I think that the things he did go too far or should never be forgiven. Jenny, thankfully, isn’t a doormat, but neither is she petty, which I admired. Somehow, LL wrote these two characters in a way that just worked for me. The gradual build-up of their feelings and the romance felt genuine and I really connected with it. And by the end, any lingering anger or frustration I had towards Noah were gone, and I was giddy and smiling at how things wrapped up. This book might not be for everyone, but I really enjoyed LL’s take on an enemies-to-lovers theme.

4 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Love Unexpectedly series

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne 

#1 ~ Blurred Lines: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Good Girl: EbookGoodreads (May 17, 2016)


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Release Week Blitz + Author Interview & Giveaway: Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

Cuff Me release

Happy Release Day to Lauren Layne – Cuff Me is live!
Check out my Q&A with Lauren and a fantastic giveaway below, and read my review for Cuff Me here!

Author Interview: Lauren Layne

What did you love most about writing Vincent’s character?

I think how genuinely “head up his @$$” he is. You know every now and then you encounter a macho hero, and you don’t quite buy that he’d be so oblivious. For me, Vincent has always been the brother that really was that clueless. He doesn’t relate to people in a “normal” way, and it takes him so adorably long to figure out why what he he feels for Jill is different than what he feels for other people.

What was your favorite scene to write in Cuff Me?

It’s a toss-up between the doughnut scene (you’ll know when you read it), and the two of them alone together in the motel. Both tugged at my heartstrings, because we really get to see Vincent at his most vulnerable.

What makes Vincent and Jill’s relationship different from the other couples’ in the series?

Vincent and Jill have known each other for quite awhile before the start of the book, so it’s a different kind of love story altogether. Instead of there being the classic “meet cute” these are two people who know each other incredibly well, but haven’t quite figured out how perfect they are together.

Who would you cast as Vincent and Jill?

I always had Kristen Bell in mind for Jill and someone with a sort of Chris Messina vibe for Vin.

Would you ever write Marco’s story?

I think so! I know exactly how his story unfolds in my head (and it is sex-ay!) but for now the series is a 3-book series ☺

Who is your favorite Moretti brother?

Anthony. I’m a sucker for the strong, silent types. Although I also sort of have to say that since I named his character after my husband.

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne
Series: New York’s Finest #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Publisher: Forever
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ARRESTED BY LOVE

Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD’s top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl’s heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he’ll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes • KoboGoogle Play

Reading Order: New York’s Finest series

Frisk Me by Lauren Layne Steal Me by Lauren Layne Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

#1 ~ Frisk Me: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Steal Me: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Cuff Me: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

about the author button

Lauren LayneA long-time romance reader, Lauren Layne thinks the only thing better than reading about happy endings is writing them. She now pursues a full-time career in Happily Ever After, a job she’s naturally suited for after marrying her high school sweetheart. A bit of a nomad, Lauren’s lived everywhere from Orange County to Manhattan, and currently lives in the Seattle-area. Her hobbies include coffee by day, wine by night, and lots of writing in between. She’s also a total website nerd and insists you check out laurenlayne.com!

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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5 copies of CUFF ME

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Early Review: Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne
Series: New York’s Finest #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 29th 2016
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

ARRESTED BY LOVE

Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD’s top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl’s heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he’ll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .

AHHH!!! I. loved. this. book!!!

If you know me, then you know I’m a massive Lauren Layne fan. Her books are just contemporary romance heaven and I always look forward to all her releases. Cuff Me was my most anticipated read of hers, and it didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, Cuff Me is my favorite of the New York’s Finest series and so far my FAVORITE LL book ever!

You know those series where you’re just WAITING for a certain couple to get their book? There’s all this buildup for them and you have all these expectations that you hope will be met? Well, Cuff Me was that book for me. I’d been dying to read Vincent and Jill’s story ever since meeting them in Frisk Me, and Lauren Layne gave me everything I wanted and more with this book. The romance is slow, but it’s absolutely filled with sexual tension. This is a bit of the hate-to-love-you trope, a bit of opposites-attract and friends-to-lovers. LL did a brilliant job blending all these tropes together. I wholeheartedly adored Cuff Me – it’s sweet, sexy, funny, and all-around an irresistible read.

Their relationship had always been both horribly complicated and wonderfully simple.
Those two elements canceled each other out so that when it came right down to it, Jill and Vincent were beyond definition.
They simply were.

Vincent Moretti and Jill Henley are partners and homicide detectives for the NYPD. There’s a bit of love/hate going on, and a healthy dose of lust too – and while it’s obvious to everyone how in love with each other Jill and Vin are, these two are absolutely clueless about how the other feels. But no matter what they feel, they’ve always had each others’ backs. That is, until Jill blindsides Vin by coming back home after a trip… engaged.

Jill has loved Vin since forever – and even more than just her partner, he’s family to her. But it’s been six years since they were first partnered together, and Jill just isn’t sure anymore that Vin could reciprocate her feelings – so she jumps into an engagement with another man, all the while still loving Vin.

Vin has always been the quiet, shy one ever since he was a boy, so he’s not adept at expressing his feelings, but he knows he has to try in order to win Jill back. And when he finds out that Jill is engaged to another man, it awakens this jealous, possessive, alpha side of him that is seriously the hottest thing ever. And when Vin is determined to do something, whether it’s trying to solve a murder, or in this case, win over the woman in his heart, there’s nothing that can stop him. Except maybe his own fears of loving and being loved, but that’s what Jill and his family are there for, to knock some sense into him. 😉

“My brothers said that saying it would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. They were wrong. It was the easiest. Because loving you is easy.”

I adored Jill so much. She’s just so happy and light compared to Vin’s broody and dark, and while she doesn’t make the best decision getting engaged to a man she doesn’t love, it does do what she’s always wanted: make Vin realize his feelings for her. And Vin, while frustrating, is so sweet and adoring of Jill – even though he struggles with showing her that, you can’t help but love him for it. These two make such a heart-warming couple that my heart melted every time they were together in the book.

Lauren Layne has once again written a brilliantly sexy and romantic read. I loved Cuff Me! If you love some men-in-uniform, you definitely need to get your hands on the Moretti brothers, especially Vin. Now I can’t help but hope that LL will write another book for the fourth Moretti brother, who we get to know a lot better in Cuff Me!

5 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: New York’s Finest series

Frisk Me by Lauren Layne Steal Me by Lauren Layne Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

#1 ~ Frisk Me: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Steal Me: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Cuff Me: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads (March 29, 2016)


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