Review: An Unexpected Distraction by Catherine Bybee

An Unexpected Distraction by Catherine Bybee
Series: Richter #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 30th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Family secrets and fresh romance collide in this heart-pounding Richter series installment by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee.

Jacqueline “Jax” Simon knows how to expose secrets: she’s a skilled operative with MacBain Security and Solutions. When Jax hears her parents are divorcing, she races to London to find out why. She’s determined to learn the truth, especially when her investigation uncovers why her parents sent her to Richter, the German military school that made her a fighter.

Andrew Craig collects Jax at Heathrow Airport as a favor. He’s heard she’s a handful, but he didn’t know she’s dangerously gorgeous too. His instant attraction could change his life…or end it.

Jax doesn’t want to fall for Andrew, but soon he’s worming his way into her life. Together, they infiltrate Richter to discover if it has returned to its covert purpose: training children to be spies and assassins and blackmailing parents to look the other way. As the attraction between the two intensifies, so do the secrets exploding all around them. How deadly are those secrets—and who will survive?

If you love reading romantic suspense and haven’t tried Catherine Bybee’s Richter series, you’re missing out! The third book has just released and we have Jax and Andrew’s romance. It’s another thrilling installment in a series that I’m enjoying more and more with every new book. And although each book has its own couple, I highly recommend reading the series in order just so you can get a better understanding of the series characters and plots.

Jax is yet another badass, highly-trained heroine who hails from Richter Academy and now works for McBain Security. During her best friend’s wedding festivities, she gets a mysterious phone call from her brother asking her to return to London. She’s picked up by her brother’s friend Andrew, who knows nothing about Jax’s exciting, dangerous life. But he feels a connection between them that he thinks is worth exploring and worth making Jax want to stay in England.

The romance here is solid, if not that steamy. I still enjoyed it though and I liked the way Andrew handled learning about Jax’s life. They made a fantastic couple and I loved how genuinely the romance built between them. Jax went deep into investigations about her family’s past, learning all these secrets, which kept me on the edge of my seat. Overall, I had a great time reading An Unexpected Distraction!


lacey


Reading Order: Richter series

#1 ~ Changing the Rules: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ A Thin Disguise: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ An Unexpected Distraction: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Review: The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn

The Highland Fling by Meghan Quinn
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 24th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In this steamy tale by USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn, an American searching for her purpose escapes to a Scottish town but finds more questions than answers when she meets a brooding yet handsome handyman.

Freshly fired from her third job in a row, Bonnie St. James has lost her way. So when she and her best friend stumble upon a “help wanted” post to run a coffee shop in the Scottish Highlands, they apply on a whim. Who knows? Maybe traveling to a new place is just what she needs to figure out her next move.

When the friends arrive in the tiny idyllic town of Corsekelly, they instantly fall for the gorgeous Highland landscape and friendly townspeople. But Bonnie finds a less-than-warm welcome in Rowan MacGregor, the rugged local handyman. Busy wrestling his own demons, Rowan’s in no mood to deal with the quirky American—even if she is a bonny lass.

As Bonnie and Rowan’s paths inevitably cross, insults—and sparks—fly. Can the pair build on their similarities to help each other find purpose and direction…and maybe romance too? Or will their passionate tempers fling them apart?

I enjoyed Meghan Quinn’s The Wedding Game so much earlier this year so when I saw she had a new release coming out, I knew I had to read it! I always have fun with her rom-coms – they’re quirky, cute, and sweet. I had a lot of expectations for The Highland Fling, mainly because of the setting of Scotland and the hero being a Scottish grump, and while I enjoyed it, I sadly can’t say it’s my new favorite Meghan Quinn book.

I love Highlander historical romances so I had no doubt I would enjoy a modern day Highlander romance. Bonnie and her best friend are traveling in Scotland when they stumble upon the Highlands an a coffee shop that’s in dire need of help – and an owner. Bonnie, with no plans for her future, decides to take this coffee shop on. She loves the town and its people except for one person: Rowan, the grumpy local handyman. They don’t get along, mainly because he’s too grumpy and she’s too sunshine-y but there are definitely some sparks flying between them.

I really liked the setup of this book. I love Scotland and always enjoy when a book is set there. Bonnie and Rowan were interesting characters and I thought their romance was fun. The only thing that’s holding me back from a full 4 stars read though is the ending of the book, which I wasn’t the biggest fan of. I got mad at Rowan and the way her acted just took me out of the story, unfortunately.

Still, if you’re normally a fan of Meghan Quinn, this is another book with her signature ridiculousness and humor. I still say give it a try, especially if you love Scottish heroes!


lacey


Other Books by Meghan Quinn

The Wedding Game: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Review: The Casanova by T.L. Swan

The Casanova by T.L. Swan
Series: Miles High Club #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 26th 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In T L Swan’s steamy third installment of the Miles High Club, Kate’s hot new pen pal is a welcome distraction from her horrible boss. But nobody is as distracting as Elliot Miles…and he knows it.

My favorite hobby is infuriating Elliot Miles. Just the sight of my boss’s handsome face triggers my sarcasm. God knows how he earns his Casanova reputation—if a million women want him with his personality, what the heck am I doing wrong?

Disgusted with my love life, I join a dating app under a fake name. I start chatting to a man named Edgar. He’s not my type and lives on the other side of the world, but we hit off a friendship, laugh and confide in each other.

But lately things are getting weird at work. Elliot’s being…attentive. His eyes linger a little longer than they should, and there’s a heat behind them that I haven’t felt before. And then, in the shock of all shocks, he tells me that my vulnerability is appealing. But when was I vulnerable?

Horror dawns…Has my boss been reading my emails to Edgar?

Damn it, why did I use my work email?

Oh no, does he know what I really think of him? I’d rather die than ever admit it.

Or, even worse: is it possible that the man I loathe in real life is the man I’m falling for online?

The Casanova is book 3 in the Miles High Club series, about the third Miles brother! We’ve seen Elliot around in the previous two books and he and Kate get an enemies to lovers office romance. Two of my favorite tropes, so what could go wrong?

I sadly had an issue with the blurb promising something that… I didn’t get? It seemed like the whole dating app thing would feature heavily in the romance. I was hoping for something like an epistolary romance, but the dating app isn’t actually what sparks the romance at all and we only see Elliot and Kate using it a handful of times. It doesn’t really have an effect on the romance building between them.

The enemies to lovers part was okay. It’s starts off with some HEAVY hate and I’m still not sure why he hated her so much because she seemed to be really good at her job. Kate gets a makeover courtesy of her new fashionista roommate and of course, that’s when Elliot starts to notice her and get horny all over her. It happens pretty early on in the book so we don’t get too much of the enemies before they become lovers. And Kate fell for him wayyy too quickly, especially after that messed up shit he said about her dressing provocatively in order to get him to touch her so she can file a harassment complaint against him. WHAT?

That being said… I liked this one a bit more than the first two books! Lol. I didn’t hate the ending, when Elliot decides to go pursue another woman, because I could definitely feel he was into Kate and anytime he thought about another woman, he believed her to be an 80 year old and only cared about her art (he’s art obsessed). The grovel was nice though, not gonna lie.

I’m so sad about this one. It could have been SO GOOD!


lacey


Reading Order: Miles High Club series

 

#1 ~ The Stopover: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Takeover: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Casanova: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads


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Review: The Mixtape by Brittainy Cherry

The Mixtape by Brittainy Cherry
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: July 1st 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Since the death of his twin brother, Oliver’s caught between pleasing his fans and finding himself. Emery finds him first.

Emery has never felt more alone. Raising her daughter is both her pleasure and her pain as she struggles to hold on to her job as a bartender and keep a roof over their heads. With no one to help them—no support system—any unexpected expense or late bill could turn their whole world upside down.

Reeling from the death of his twin brother and bandmate, rock star Oliver Smith is trying to drink his problems away. Apparently he isn’t very good at it; they follow him wherever he goes. Also in hot pursuit are the paparazzi, who catch Oliver at his lowest low.

He could have walked into any bar in California, but he walked into hers. Emery helps Oliver lose the crowd, and they find themselves alone: two people whose paths are marked with loss and pain. However, they hold an unshakable hope for healing. They find solace together, but can their love withstand the world?

The Mixtape is a down-to-earth rock star romance between a single mother and one of her rock star idols. It’s emotional and heartbreaking, as with most Brittainy C. Cherry books. I’ve been enjoying her books a lot lately and this one was fantastic in audio. If you’re a fan of rock star romances and books with a ton of feels, you need to read this book!

Oliver is a part of a rock star duo with his twin brother, and when twin dies in an accident, Oliver is left reeling and devastated. Being in the public eye doesn’t help matters either. Everyone and their mother seems to have a negative opinion on Oliver and he can’t deal with his grief and public scrutiny on top of it. He finds himself drunk in the middle of a bar when he meets Emery, a single mom who helps him during this painful time. They form a connection over their trauma and loss and they help each other heal all while falling for each other.

Oliver and Emery’s stories are heart-wrenching. I hurt for both of them, from the loss of the most important person in Oliver’s life to Emery’s hurtful and toxic family. Their romance is sweet and all about healing two broken people. I adored Emery’s daughter Reese, who adds a brightness to the story that’s much needed. The Mixtape took me on an emotional journey and I enjoyed it so much.


lacey


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Review: The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn

The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: March 1st 2021
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn’s latest bauble is the charming story of a crafting queen battling a jaded divorce lawyer on a wedding reality show.

Luna Rossi is a veritable crafting genius—she can bedazzle and bead so hard her Etsy site is one of the hottest in the world. So it’s only natural that Luna would convince her brother and his husband-to-be to compete on The Wedding Game, a “do-it-yourself” TV show, for the title of Top DIY Wedding Expert.

As a jaded divorce lawyer, Alec Baxter scoffs at weddings and romance. But when his recently engaged brother begs him to participate in The Wedding Game, Alec grudgingly picks up a glue gun and prepares for some family bonding.

Both fierce competitors, Luna and Alec clash on national TV as harsh words and glitter fly with abandon. But as they bicker over color swatches and mood boards, they find themselves fighting something else: their growing mutual attraction. While Luna is torn between family loyalty and her own feelings, Alec wonders if he might have been wrong about love and marriage all along…

I love romances that center around TV show competitions, but I’ve never read one about a DIY wedding competition! The Wedding Game is a fun, quirky rom-com from Meghan Quinn, featuring a DIY expert and a jaded divorce lawyer who compete to create the ultimate dream wedding for their brothers.

Luna loves her brother Cohen and wants the best for him and his fiancé. So when she see the chance to enter a competition to win a penthouse and dream wedding, she signs them up. With her DIY skills as the owner of a famous Etsy store, she’s sure to win. Alec is a hot-shot lawyer with a strained relationship with his younger brother Thad. Thad used to idolize Alec growing up, since Alec was the only one in their family to take care of him. But now, after leaving Thad to pursue his career and never checking back in, Alec feels guilty and wants a chance to mend their broken relationship. When newly engaged and soon-to-be father Thad asks Alec to join him on The Wedding Game, he can’t say no.

Luna and Alec’s romance is so much fun. It’s a great enemies-to-lovers romance with plenty of banter and bickering, especially while they’re on set and fighting for the number one spot. I enjoyed the slow progression of their romance, and there was some good added drama with trying to keep their new relationship a secret from the TV crew and their brothers. Cohen, Thad, and their respective fiancé(e)s were also really entertaining! They brought so much humor and heart to the story. I didn’t mind at all that they almost stole the spotlight from Luna and Alec’s romance.

The Wedding Game is a great read if you want a light-hearted romance with strong family ties. It’s got a great cast of characters, some silly humor, and a whole TV show competition. Right now I’m really hoping we get a book for Luna and Alec’s best friends!


lacey


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