Release Day Review: Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett

Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett

Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett
Series: Sugar Bowl #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 16th 2016
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In the steamy and suspenseful sequel to Sugar Daddy (“A totally gripping take on romance and revenge!”—Lauren Blakely), a heartbreaking rift threatens to unravel a dangerous alliance . . . and a fragile new love.

After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She’s closing in on the site’s heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend’s business partner and her lover, by her side. She’d thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing?

Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn’t exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT’s trust and pretend that they’re still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her.

Note: Sugar Rush ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck’s story concludes in Sugar Free!

Sugar Rush is a fantastic follow-up to Sugar Daddy! To say I had high expectations would be an understatement – the cliffhanger ending in Sugar Daddy nearly killed me, so Sugar Rush became one of my top anticipated reads, and thankfully Sawyer Bennett didn’t disappoint. I’m so happy with the way things were handled in this book. If you enjoyed the first Sugar Bowl book, make sure to get your hands on this sequel – you need to continue on with Sela and Beck’s story!

I’m not going to spoil anything from the first book in case you haven’t read it yet, but at the end of Sugar Daddy, Beck knows he’s effed up. He’s got a ton to make up for – and while I would’ve loved a little more groveling than we got, I liked the way the author resolved this conflict. It’s not gratuitously dramatic and it’s handled with maturity and of course, love.

“I intend to spoil you, Sela,” he murmurs. “I want to give you the world.”

Sela continues to want revenge against the man who raped her, but her love for Beck is making her reconsider her plans by leaving her past in the past and moving on with the man of her dreams. JT is as vile and disgusting as ever though – Sawyer Bennett has really written a great antagonist in him.

The pacing is pretty slow, but I was still hooked on the pages and dying to see what would happen at the end. And of course, there’s another cliffhanger that has you salivating for the third and final book (which I’ve actually already read… 😉 ) I have to admit, I liked this sequel even more than I did the first – Sugar Rush is an intense, emotional, and suspenseful follow-up to Sela and Beck’s addicting story. If you love Sawyer Bennett, this is definitely a series you need to try out!

4 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Sugar Bowl series

Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett 

#1 ~ Sugar Daddy: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Sugar Rush: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Sugar Free: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (Oct. 11, 2016)


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ARC Review: Burn Down the Night by M. O’Keefe

Burn Down the Night by M. O’Keefe
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 9th 2016
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

A battle for control turns explosive as a beautiful con woman takes a bad-boy biker hostage in this edgy, seductive novel set in the world of Everything I Left Unsaid (“Toe-curlingly sensual.”—Katy Evans) and The Truth About Him (“Absolutely one-click worthy”—J. Kenner).

The only thing that matters to me is rescuing my sister from the drug-cooking cult that once enslaved us both. I’ve run cons my whole life, and I’ll use my body to get whatever I need. Max Daniels is the last connection I have to that world, the one person reckless enough to get involved. Besides, now that his brothers have turned on him, he needs me too.

The deal was supposed to be simple: a place to hide in exchange for rescuing my sister. Now he’s my prisoner. Totally at my mercy. But I’m the one captivated. Enthralled. Doing everything he asks of me until I’m not sure who’s in control.

We both crave the heat. The more it hurts, the better. But what if Max wants a different life now, to leave the game . . . to love me? I thought I knew better than to get burned. Now I’m in too deep to pull away. And the crazy thing is . . . I don’t want to.

I really, really enjoyed the first two books in the Everything I Left Unsaid series, so I don’t know why I’m so shocked that I loved Burn Down the Night. I guess I just wasn’t expecting how gritty, intense, addicting, and freaking HOT this book would end up being. I loved the main characters – they’re a bit of anti-heroes, not good guys, but not as bad as they think they are either. The chemistry was seriously on fire between them, too. Can you tell how hooked I got onto Joan and Max’s story?

I needed Max Daniels. Not for Lagan. Not for my sister.
For me.
I saved his life so he could save mine.

If you’ve read the previous two books, then you know how Burn Down the Night starts – with Max unconscious and being kidnapped by Joan. Technically, Joan saves Max from being killed before she kidnaps him, but still, what a great start to a relationship, right? To say their romance is unconventional would be an understatement, to say the least. These two don’t particularly like each other, but they need each other – and they certainly want each other according to their bodies. Joan has Max handcuffed to a bed for the majority of the book, but that doesn’t stop them from getting up to some wicked things – and when I say wicked, I mean WICKED. My cheeks were nearly burning, that’s how hot this book was. If you like steam, you definitely need to experience Max and Joan’s.

“Save your act for other people. The lies and the show—I don’t want it. I want you. Fucked up and crazy. I want you.”

Joan and Max couldn’t be more ill-suited for one another – a con woman on the run, and a bad boy biker ex-leader? But somehow, they start to fall for one another in the time they spend together, and they grow to want more than just each others’ bodies. Their romance is a bit slow, but I felt it moved at the perfect pace for the two of them.

This is one of those books with characters who show themselves in all their raw honesty, which I loved about Joan and Max. They are unapologetic about who they are, the take-them-or-leave-them sort of people. I don’t usually come across these kinds of characters, so they were refreshing and unique to read about.

We’d burned down the night and our old lives with it.
But we’d built something so much better in its place.

Burn Down the Night was the perfect dark and gritty read to get me out of my slight book funk. I adored the main characters – they’re both so broken but still tough and tenacious. Survivors no matter what gets thrown their way. You definitely need to add this book to your TBRs if you like gritty and intense reads – once you’re hooked, you won’t want to put it down!

4.5 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Everything I Left Unsaid series

Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O'Keefe The Truth About Him by M. O'Keefe 

#1 ~ Everything I Left Unsaid: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Truth About Him: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Burn Down the Night: EbookGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett

Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett

Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett
Series: Sugar Bowl #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 24th 2016
Links: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sela Halstead lost her innocence in a way that no sixteen-year-old should ever have to endure. She’s spent years trying to forget that night even while wondering about the identities of the monsters who brutalized her—until a telltale tattoo flashes across Sela’s TV screen. The incriminating ink belongs to Jonathon Townsend, the millionaire founder of The Sugar Bowl, a website that matches rich older men with impressionable young women. Obsessed with revenge, Sela infiltrates Townsend’s world, only to come face-to-face with a tantalizing complication: Beckett North, his charismatic business partner.

The tech mastermind behind The Sugar Bowl, Beck always gets what he wants, in business and in bed. And yet, for a man who’s done every dirty thing imaginable, there’s something about the naïve, fresh-faced Sela that sparks his hottest fantasies. Because with her, it’s not just about sex. Beck opens up to her in ways he never has with other girls. So why does he get the feeling that she’s hiding something? In a world of pleasure and power, the shocking truth could turn them against each other—or bind them forever.

Note: Sugar Daddy ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck’s story continues in Sugar Rush and Sugar Free!

Sawyer Bennett is a go-to contemporary romance author for me – her books are always so well-written and enjoyable! Sugar Daddy has been on my radar ever since I heard the awesome title, and then I read the blurb, which totally sold me. Sugar Daddy is the first book in Sela and Beck’s story, and seriously, I’m dying for more. It’s a good start to a series that has so much potential to become even better. Fans of the author should definitely check this one out!

The plot of Sugar Daddy is intriguing, to say the least. Sela Halstead is on a plan of revenge against the men who raped her on her sixteenth birthday ten years ago. It’s a rash, not-too-smart move, but who can blame her with the hatred she feels against Jonathon Townsend, one of her rapists who’s living the rich life? Her in is through The Sugar Bowl, of which Jonathon co-owns, a dating website for sugar daddies and sugar babies. Sela disguises herself as a sugar baby, and while she planned to get close to Jonathon, she doesn’t expect to get close to his co-owner instead.

Whatever the connection . . . for whatever reason that I’ve given her something that others haven’t, I have a deep gut instinct that it’s something that defies reason or logic. I almost get the sense it’s mystical in nature and I’m intrigued beyond measure. And for the first time in my life, I’m doing something that is completely unlike anything Beck North has ever done before.
I’m exploring something deeper with one woman.
This woman to be exact.

Beckett North is the tech genius behind The Sugar Bowl, though he doesn’t partake in its activities himself. He’s rich enough to be a sugar daddy, but he’s never wanted to be one… until now. From the moment he meets Sela, he wants her bad, and he’ll do anything to have her. So they agree on a contract that will last a month to explore the explosive chemistry between them. Sugar Daddy is seriously HOT – Sawyer Bennett writes some steamy scenes in this book. But what I loved in addition to that was the way Sela and Beck develop feelings for each other slowly. But can they have a relationship when it’s built on lies, and Sela is determined to go through with her revenge?

I, Sela Halstead, am not as broken as I thought I was. While I thought Jonathon Townsend took everything away from me, I’ve realized just now that he took nothing. He only warped my perception.
… I realized that intimacy is actually something that I could learn to crave with a man like Beckett North and that I’ve only just begun to discover the true potential inside of myself.

I loved the way this book started and ended (omg – don’t even get me started on that killer cliffhanger). The middle was a little too slow and repetitive, but I still enjoyed the book overall. The ending made me want to SCREAM – I need the next book yesterday. Sugar Daddy is a great first installment – I may not have completely loved it, but I’m totally invested in Sela and Beck, and can’t wait to see how their story continues.

3.5 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Sugar Bowl series

Sugar Daddy by Sawyer Bennett Sugar Rush by Sawyer Bennett 

#1 ~ Sugar Daddy: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Sugar Rush: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Sugar Free: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (Oct. 11, 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 Day Review: Worth It All by Claudia Connor

Worth It All by Claudia Connor
Series: The McKinney Brothers #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: April 19th 2016
Links: EbookAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

She’s fighting for control. . . . Paige Roberts learned to fend for herself growing up. Now she’s doing everything possible to give her daughter, Casey, the stability she never had. But when the vivacious five-year-old decides she’s done wearing her prosthesis, Paige faces her toughest challenge yet: trusting a handsome, brooding stranger who simply wants to help.

He’s struggling to connect. . . . JT McKinney lost more than his leg in a car accident that stole his dreams of pro football. Eight years later, he’s made a new life for himself far away from his old one. His business is developing cutting-edge prosthetics and he’s more than happy to turn his attention to machines instead of people. Still, he can’t shake the feeling that something’s missing.

Will they take a chance on love? . . . When JT gets the chance to help Paige’s daughter, he takes it. He never planned on the two of them tearing down his walls or teaching him to believe in himself again. Paige might not believe in happily ever afters, but JT wants more than anything to be her prince. They’ll both have to let go of the past if they want a future.

I love The McKinney Brothers!! Well, the two books I’ve read of the three in the series. The first, Worth the Fall, is one of my favorite audiobooks ever, so when I had the chance to read the third, I jumped right in. I’m such a sucker for romances where the hero who falls for a single mom and her child(ren) – my heart just melts reading about a sexy alpha turning into mush for a child. Gah! So Worth It All was pretty much the perfect contemporary romance for me – it’s sweet, heart-melting, drama-free, and did I mention sweet?

What would it be like? To love a man and have him love you back. To be with one person forever and make a real family like the ones she’d seen here. She hadn’t thought it was real. Hadn’t believed in it at all.

Paige Roberts has been working her butt off to provide for her 5-year-old daughter, Casey, everything that she never had as a child – safety, security, stability, love. It’s not easy working two jobs while also caring for a daughter who doesn’t want to wear her leg prosthesis anymore. But when a gorgeous, kind-hearted man enters her life who has the power to help not only Casey, but also Paige, will Paige be willing to risk her heart for love?

JT McKinney’s life was turned upside down after a car accident causes him to lose his leg, his football scholarship, and something even more devastating that still haunts him to this day. He’s got scars inside and out, but he’s been able to pick himself up and become a biomedical engineer who uses his experiences as an amputee to help develop top-of-the-line prosthetic equipment. Jake is a GOOD guy – and when he meets Paige, he wants to do everything he can to make life easier for her. He’s utterly sweet and sexy with Paige, always there for her and making her feel like the amazing woman and mother that she is. And Jake with her daughter Casey? SWOOON!!! I died every time these two were together. Understandably, Paige is wary of starting anything with a man, but Jake is determined to make her see that the three of them would make the perfect family.

He loved Casey and Paige more than himself. He wanted to give them everything, wanted to do what was best for them. And he always would.

Worth It All is a heartfelt, gentle love story that will leave you with a smile on your face. The pages flew by quickly and easily – I really didn’t want to put it down. If you love a hero who is perfect with children and want to read a romance that won’t disappoint, I highly recommend this book – and series!

4 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: The McKinney Brothers series

Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor Worth the Risk by Claudia Connor 

#1 ~ Worth the Fall: EbookAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Worth the Risk: Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Worth It All: EbookAudible • Goodreads


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