Review: Tangle by Adriana Locke

Tangle by Adriana Locke
Series: Dogwood Lane #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 2nd 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sparks fly between a die-hard romantic and a sexy cynic in this fresh, funny romance from USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke.

That cream-filled, caramel-topped doughnut should have been hers. Still, Haley Raynor can’t deny that the pastry thief with the dreamy blue eyes looks even more delicious. But moving in on a handsome devil like Trevor Kelly is bad news for a die-hard romantic like Haley. Trevor doesn’t believe in love. She does. Giving in to a fling and Trevor’s irresistible charms can’t end well. Can it? What can it hurt to give it a shot?

Girls always fall for Trevor, and in the end, he always ends up looking like a bad-boy cad. Still, spending some time with Haley and her smart-talking, kissable mouth sounds pretty perfect. Besides, he’s only going to be in Dogwood Lane for one week. How much trouble could they possibly get into?

The only answer? A “no falling in love” contract. All Trevor and Haley have to do is follow the rules and resist the attraction sizzling between them…before their hearts get completely tangled up in temptation.

After the wonder experience I had the last time I read a small town romance from Montlake Romance (That Second Chance), I couldn’t wait to experience this new small town romance from Adriana Locke! Though I didn’t quite love it as much as I did Meghan Quinn’s book, this was a solid contemporary romance read that I would recommend to fans of this trope. It’s sweet, the town is comforting and cozy, and I enjoyed the overall feel, though I wish I could’ve loved the main characters more. It’s book two in the Dogwood Lane series but can be read as a standalone, which is how I read it.

Haley and Trevor have the most adorable meet cute. It’s at a bakery and they argue over who gets the last donut (Trevor gifts it to Haley, the magnanimous man that he is). The two hit it off, with some great wit and banter, but they know they couldn’t be more different when it comes to love and relationships. Trevor has sworn never to get into a relationship or fall in love, and Haley wants exactly that. They make a contract between them: he promises not to break her heart and she promises not to fall for him. Easy, right?

Trevor is new to the small town but everywhere he goes, he sees Haley. And every time they bump into each other, they are so charming and adorable – they really bring out the best and most out of each other. We can clearly see them falling for one another, but Trevor is one of the most stubborn men I’ve ever read. He was mainly why I couldn’t enjoy the book more. He’s very adamant he’s not capable of love and that he doesn’t want the responsibility of another person loving him. He was frustrating right until the very end. I really wanted to shake some sense into him!

Besides that, Tangle is a solid contemporary small town romance. I’m intrigued enough by the town and the secondary characters enough that I want to keep going with the series. This was my first time reading Adriana Locke, and although I didn’t love it, her writing is great and I know I’ll need to look into her other books!


lacey


Reading Order: Dogwood Lane series

#1 ~ Tumble: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Tangle: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Trouble: Ebook • Goodreads (Feb. 11, 2019)


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Review: Million Dollar Devil by Katy Evans

Million Dollar Devil by Katy Evans
Series: Million Dollar #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 28th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Big-city sophistication meets carnal hunger in this devilish contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans.

Heir apparent to her father’s company, Lizzy Banks needs a man. The perfect man. But when the rich “fundbabies” she usually rubs shoulders with prove impossible to hire, she takes a chance on a raw beast of a man salvaged from the wreckage of a bar brawl.

James Rowan earns a modest income as a YouTube daredevil, but he can’t refuse Lizzy’s million dollar deal. As she polishes his rough edges, creating a sophisticated gentleman fit for the highest circles of society, not only does she bring out the perfect man—it’s like she’s making the man of her dreams. How can she resist?

Though Lizzy loves seeing James in his clothes—and out of them—he isn’t the kind of man you bring home to Daddy. Her father’s disapproval and the pressure of the campaign have her eyeing the straight and narrow, but Lizzy’s finding it awfully hard to resist the devil on her shoulder…

The premise of Million Dollar Devil had me hooked and intrigued. There the clash of the classes trope – rich girl, struggling boy – opposites-attract, and a sort of reversed-gender Pretty Woman thing going on. Katy Evans has always been a solid author for me, doling out book after book of steam, chemistry, and hot AF alpha-male heroes. While this book has everything that KE is usually so good at, it lacked something that was in all her other books I loved. It was a bit of the writing, the characters didn’t work for me… While it’s not a bad read, it’s not as good as I’m used to from this author.

All Lizzy Banks wants in life is to impress her father and inherit his billion-dollar company. She’s tasked with one last chance to show him that she has what it takes to take over when he retires: find the perfect man to become the face of the company’s new line of men’s clothing. Then she meets James “Jimmy” Rowan – YouTube daredevil, protective older brother, and a gorgeous man who is in need of some cash. They strike a million dollar deal to clean up and sophisticate the man so he can become the model Lizzy needs.

I wish I could’ve loved Million Dollar Devil more. It’s probably my least favorite Katy Evans book. The writing just was NOT working for me. I couldn’t connect with the characters or their narratives (we get both their POVs) and at times I felt like one was too good for the other. I usually like the opposites-attract trope – Lizzy is as proper and good as a girl can get, while Jimmy is rough around the edges and a little dangerous – and while the chemistry is through the roof, I couldn’t bring myself to really root for them. I wish the story and characters could’ve been fleshed out a bit more.

Million Dollar Devil didn’t work for me, but if you love Katy’s more recent works, if might work for you. I’m still looking forward to and will read the next Million Dollar book, so I haven’t given up yet!


lacey


Reading Order: Million Dollar series

#1 ~ Million Dollar Devil: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Million Dollar Marriage: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (July 23, 2019)


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Review: That Second Chance by Meghan Quinn

That Second Chance by Meghan Quinn
Series: Getting Lucky #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 7th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn delivers a smart and cheeky romance about love’s power to lift hearts . . . and curses.

It was supposed to be an innocent night, celebrating my brother’s birthday. Nothing was supposed to go wrong. We’d vowed to be on our best behavior after all . . .

But it only took one rowdy night with my brothers to flip my world upside down. One unlucky encounter saddled us with a family curse and the promise of doomed relationships. I laughed it off immediately. “Yeah, right,” I thought. “A love curse. Ha!”

Boy, was I wrong.

Word spreads quickly in a town like mine; rumors about that night soon made us the most eligible yet untouchable bachelors in Port Snow, Maine. As a subject of endless gossip and speculation, I could kiss my dating life goodbye.

It would have stayed that way if Ren Winters, the new girl in town, hadn’t crashed into my life. Brave, beautiful, and smart—her vivacious thirst for a fresh start has given me hope that maybe, just maybe, I can have one too.

Everyone wishes for that second chance . . . but could this really be mine?

I haven’t been THIS delighted in a book in a while! That Second Chance is one of the most charming romances I’ve ever read. It’s set in the small town of Port Snow, Maine, and legit, Meghan Quinn wrote this small town with so much heart that I wanted to move there. This was my first novel from Meghan Quinn as well, but you can be sure that it won’t be my last. I’ve become a huge fan of her writing and storytelling after reading this book. I’m absolutely dying for more of this series already!

I love discovering a series that centers around a group of family members. With the Getting Lucky series, we follow four brothers who’ve had a love curse placed upon them after a rowdy night in New Orleans. Griffin is the eldest, and a widower. He believes in the love curse because only a few days after he and his brothers were ‘cursed,’ his wife passes away. He’s been going through the motions for the past few years now, working at the family fudge shop and volunteering as a firefighter. Everything changes when a new resident moves into their quaint small town, and he’s the first to greet her – by rescuing her after a moose-related car accident.

Ren needs a new change of pace from her former life in Los Angeles. She chooses to move to the opposite side of the country to be a math teacher. It’s scary and overwhelming, but with the help of her first Port Snow friend Griffin Knightly, she easily finds a new home in this small town. I LOVE the fact that Ren and Griffin become friends first. Friends-to-lovers is my kryptonite, and the romantic development (which was paced perfectly slow and steady) felt so much more genuine between these two after they became friends. They are seriously adorable, taking trips around town, camping, setting up her new house together, all the while bantering playfully with each other. I loved every scene they had together and I couldn’t get enough of them. The main source of conflict for their romance is predictable, but I enjoyed the way it played out. The love curse is a little cheesy, but I really had no problem with it!

What makes That Second Chance such a solid small town romance is how real the town and its inhabitants feel. The Knightlys are such a charming family and all their friends are hilarious and sweet. Meghan Quinn has me so invested in this town and characters now – I can’t wait for each of the Knightly boys to get their own books. I only hope I’ll love them as much as I did Ren and Griffin!


lacey


Reading Order: Getting Lucky series

#1 ~ That Second Chance: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ That Forever Girl: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Aug. 27, 2019)


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Early Review: Frozen by L.A. Casey

Frozen by L.A. Casey
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 19th 2016
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

There’s one must-have toy this Christmas, and Neala Clarke has told her niece Charli she’ll get it for her. Never mind that she’s got less than a week and it looks like everywhere is sold out. She’s promised Charli a Fire Princess doll—and Neala is a woman of her word.

Darcy Hart is a people-pleaser. So when his adorable six-year-old nephew, Dustin, asks for a particular doll at the last minute, he says yes. Luckily for Darcy, there’s one left in stock at the local toy store. Unluckily for Darcy, he’s not the only person who wants it—and his rival is the one woman who’s immune to his charms.

Neala and Darcy have loved to hate each other since they were kids, and they’re both willing to do whatever it takes to get that doll. This can’t possibly end well for both of them…can it?

Frozen is a Christmas-themed standalone from L.A. Casey, and it’s a quick, humorous read for those who want to enjoy something light-hearted and fun. I didn’t particularly love it, but I can’t say it wasn’t entertaining. The antics Neala and Darcy get up to are hilarious – you definitely won’t be able to get through this book without cracking up a bit!

Neala and Darcy used to be childhood friends… until they weren’t. Now, fifteen years after they declared themselves enemies, these two are just as toxic and have never ceased their arguments. They have some wicked banter and lots of bickering, so much that sometimes their families, who are friends, become involved. This Christmas, Neala and Darcy are fighting over a toy that they want to give to their niece and nephew (respectively) – except there’s only one toy left in the store.

What ensues is a hilarious, over-the-top fight, basically a tug-of-war for the toy. It’s ridiculous and funny and seriously entertaining to read. Then, when Neala and Darcy are snowed in, they have to confront the feelings that that been brewing since they first met and are now finally being let out.

I didn’t care for Darcy much – he’s a clichéd player who messes up with Neala – but I adored Neala. I loved how she never gives in to Darcy and can hold her own against him. She’s strong and independent, and just a fantastic heroine. But put her and Darcy in the same room together, and it gets explosive between them, both verbally and physically.

Frozen is funny and over-the-top – it’s a great read to pass the time. This would be the perfect holiday read, so if you have the patience to wait a few more months to read this book, go for it!

3 hearts
lacey


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Release Day Review: Friction by Sawyer Bennett

Friction by Sawyer Bennett

Friction by Sawyer Bennett
Series: A Legal Affairs Standalone (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 27th 2015
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

At the powerhouse law firm of Knight & Payne, winning comes first and ethics a distant second. Leary Michaels uses her female charms to daze opponents, and it’s always worked well—until now. On her most personal case yet, she finds herself going up against a defense attorney just as skilled, shameless, and seductive as she is.

Reeve Holloway has never met a woman as sure of her own sexuality, or as ruthless in wielding it, as Leary is. But he won’t be toyed with. What Leary starts, he’ll finish—in the courtroom, the bedroom, or any-damn-place he wants. The sex is uninhibited, electrifying, and absolutely against the rules. Reeve’s job is to ruin Leary’s case…even if it destroys her in the process and costs him the woman he’s come to love.

I loooove Sawyer Bennett!! The way she writes is just so… intelligent and mature, yet so much fun to read. Friction is actually the first Legal Affairs book I’ve read from this author, but it definitely won’t be my last! I enjoyed the heck out of Leary and Reeve’s enemies-to-lovers story. These two attorneys may be on opposing sides of a case, but bring them together and the chemistry between them is off the charts. Friction is a sexy, fun, quick-paced read that fans of the author won’t be disappointed with.

Leary Michaels has the job of her dreams working as a kickass lawyer for Knight & Payne. She’s an independent, strong, intelligent woman who owns her sexuality and isn’t afraid to use it to her benefit. And in her newest case, a case that’s near to her heart, Leary uses her feminine wiles on the opposing counsel… except she never expects for him to give as good as he gets.

How can one man be so vastly different from the others I’ve had? How can he bring me so quickly to dizzying heights? How can he fully entertain and annoy me at the same time? And how can I actually be starting to have feelings for a man who should be my sworn enemy?

Reeve Holloway may have been duped (spectacularly) by Leary upon their first meeting, but he’s not about to let this fierce, gorgeous women do it again. But one taste of her and he’s dying for more. And hot. Damn! The intense chemistry between them makes for some smokin’ hot scenes. But when the lust starts to grow into something deeper and more, can these two should-be enemies actually make a relationship work?

I had such a fun time reading Friction. Actually, I always enjoy Sawyer Bennett’s books – so just a little nudge, if you haven’t given her a try yet, you’re missing out. Her writing is fantastic – witty, intelligent, and FUN! Her characters are also always kickass, especially the women. Leary and Reeve’s story can be read completely as a standalone, though it’s a part of the Legal Affairs series, and I definitely recommend it for those who like their romances sexy and intelligent.

4 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Legal Affairs series

McKayla & Matt:
 Confessions of a Litigation God by Sawyer Bennett

#1 ~ Legal Affairs Vol. 1-6: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Confessions of a Litigation God: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Macy & Cal:
  

#1 ~ Clash: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Grind: Ebook • Goodreads
#3 ~ Yield: Ebook • Goodreads

Leary & Reeve:
Friction by Sawyer Bennett

Friction: EbookPaperbackGoodreads


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