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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Release Day Review: Off the Record by K.A. Linde

Off the Record by K.A. Linde

Off the Record by K.A. Linde
Series: Record #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 11th 2014
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Montlake Romance) in exchange for an honest review

Liz Dougherty has no idea a single question is about to change her life.

Her first big reporting assignment for her North Carolina college newspaper has her covering a state senator’s impromptu press conference. Brady Maxwell may have everything it takes to be a politician—a winning pedigree, devastating good looks, a body made to wear suits—but his politics rub Liz the wrong way. When Liz’s hard-hitting question catches the upstart senator off-guard, it impresses Hayden Lane, Liz’s editor who feels she’s headed for a promising career as a reporter.

But Liz is also headed into a secret romance with Brady that could destroy both their ambitions. Though he’s a bachelor, potential voters might frown on Brady cozying up to a reporter. And Liz isn’t sure sneaking around is enough for her—especially when things between her and Hayden might be less platonic than she thought.

Sleek, sexy, and smart, Off the Record ventures into a high-stakes campaign and an even higher-stakes affair to answer the question: When politics and love collide, can there ever be a winner?

Oh my gosh. OH MY GOSH. OH MY GOSH!!!! This book was so. freaking. goooood. I honestly had no idea I would end up enjoying this, loving this, as much as I did! It’s been a few days since I finished Off the Record–I still can’t get over it! My mind is a mess trying to come up with things to say about it in this review. Let me just start off with saying: Read this book!

Liz Dougherty is a very interesting heroine. She’s a newspaper reporter, an occupation I don’t often stumble upon while reading, so it was refreshing to read about something different than usual. Liz is likable enough, though she wasn’t too relatable. What I loved about her, though, was her drive, her ambition, to be the best possible reporter she could be. She tries hard in school, and we get to see her struggling through her classes and job, and I was very, very impressed with her. I loved that K.A. Linde gave us a very thorough, in-depth look at a reporter’s life through Liz–it’s always so fascinating to read about things you know nothing about.

At Liz’s first coverage of a press conference, she meets Senator Brady Maxwell. Hot, sexy, smart, confident, ambitious Brady Maxwell. And, well, he propositions her. They are incredibly attracted to one another, but is getting involved with each other worth the risk? Worth their jobs? Because if they have a sexual relationship and it becomes exposed, their careers will be ruined. But… Liz and Brady can’t help it. They want each other, badly, and so they agree to have a strictly sexual relationship.

Brady was someone I never expected to actually LOVE. First off, he’s a politician! So Brady couldn’t be that impressive, right? WRONG. I totally LOVED Brady! He had this whole other side to him, a side that doesn’t make him hide his emotions, that just lights him up. When he doesn’t have to be a politician, when he can just be Brady, he blows you away.

“Seems like you’re stuck here with me now. You’re going to have to answer me,” he said, taking another step toward her. His smile was playful. He was flirting with her… teasing her. Brady Maxwell was teasing her.
“I’d be happy to,” she said boldly. “It’s not like anyone is going to be writing an article about me.”
“That’s good. You don’t need to be in the papers. Then everyone would know about you, and I think I prefer you here all to myself.”

Brady could be a total sweetheart, but I have to admit I loved the dirty side of him. When he wants something–and he wants Liz–he is smokin’. He is seductive and charming, and you just can’t not fall for this man. And holy hell, this book was on fire because of Brady. I was fanning myself so much while reading–K.A. Linde can write some seriously hot scenes.

But… But but but. There’s always the but. Sigh. But no matter how much Liz and Brady love spending time together, they are still doing everything in secret. And Brady–freaking Brady, this is the only part I don’t like about him–says over and over that he’ll choose his job over Liz. The elections are everything to Brady. His ambition is an attractive trait of his, but sometimes it can go too far. And yet… and yet, these two do fall for each other. Their chemistry is explosive, but they have such tender feelings for each other. I loved seeing Brady and Liz slowly fall for each other, even as my heart was breaking for them.

“Oh, Brady,” Liz whispered, “I love you.”
She knew it was true. That against all odds, she had fallen for this man. The one man she couldn’t have.
“Baby,” he groaned, his voice strained, “I know you do.”

My heart was literally aching for these two. Because you know, you just know, there can’t possibly be a good ending for these two, at least not right away. All the secrets, all the lies are building up. They go through tons of heartache and heartbreak, and my heart was breaking alongside theirs. Off the Record had the perfect amount of angst–I loved it!

This book was almost perfect–I just wanted MORE! And now I’m so so so soooo excited for the second book! August is too far away!!

4.5 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Record series

Off the Record by K.A. Linde On the Record by K.A. Linde For the Record by K.A. Linde

#1 ~ Off the Record: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ On the Record: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ For the Record: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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