Early Review: Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #7 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.

Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

“Knitting means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Kat and Dan’s story has seemed like it has been a long time coming, but trust me, Penny Reid will not disappoint you! I binge read and caught up on all the KitC books I hadn’t read yet to prepare myself for Marriage of Inconvenience, which was SUCH a fun experience. It’s not necessary to read the entire series before starting Marriage of Inconvenience because I know, they are such big books, but I do recommend them, not only because they are all fantastic reads, but also for the lead-up to Kat and Dan’s romance.

Marriage of Inconvenience takes on the classic marriage of convenience trope, but in Penny Reid fashion, she delivers the trope in her own unique, intelligent, complex way. Kat has always been a bit of a mystery to not only readers, but also her group of knitting friends. We know that she’s richer than God, and has got a crush on Dan O’Malley since they first met. Both finally come into play when Kat needs a man to help save her family’s legacy, and who better than Dan the Security Man?

“I want it all, Kit-Kat. I want all of you.”
I nodded, sniffing. “I want all of you, too.”
He placed a gentle kiss over my mouth, and then brushed his lips over the tears on my cheeks before resting his forehead against mine and closing his eyes.
“And I want it to last.” It was a rough whisper.
The words sounded like a wish.

Despite it being fake, there are real, complicated feelings on both sides of this marriage. Kat and Dan both want this to work in the long run, but they’re terrified that the feelings they have for each other aren’t strong enough to last. I ADORED these two characters – they’re both clueless about love, but I couldn’t help but love them anyway. Kat is fierce and lovable – she’s had to be tough to survive in the ruthless world she grew up in. Dan is an absolute sweetheart with a heart of gold and mouth of unending curses. He is protective, kind, and devoted to making Kat happy and safe. And anyway, how can you not love a man who names his dog Bark Wahlberg? In between the lovey dovey stuff (where it’s OBVIOUS they’re meant for each other), there is some action and suspense that makes you unable to put this read down.

I don’t want to delve too much into the plot, because it’s best just to experience the wonder that is the knitting group and their men together. Penny Reid has created a wonderful, unforgettable cast of characters I could read about forever. I highly recommend Marriage of Inconvenience (and the rest of the series, for those who haven’t started) for fans of slow burn romances, with a little kick to them. And for those of you who’ve been patiently waiting for Kat and Dan, you don’t have to wait much longer!

“I’m in love with you. You’re my fucking–fucking sunshine. My goddamn everything. You’re the center of my whole fucking universe. I’d give up swearing for you, I swear. If you asked, I’d never say the word fuck every again, that’s how much I love you. I love you more than fuck, so that’s a whole-fuckavalot.”


lacey

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


Reading Order: Knitting in the City series

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid
Love Hacked by Penny Reid Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid Ninja At First Sight by Penny Reid
Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid  

#1 ~ Neanderthal Seeks Human: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Neanderthal Marries Human: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Friends Without Benefits: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Love Hacked: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Beauty and the Mustache: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Ninja at First Sight: My Review • My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Happily Ever Ninja: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Dating-ish: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#7 ~ Marriage of Inconvenience: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (March 6, 2017)


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Blog Tour + Review & Giveaway: Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Beard in Mind by Penny Reid!

Beard In Mind by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #4 (full reading order below)
Release Date: August 1st 2017
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All is fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words. Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity–exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity–and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

Buy Links:
Amazon US • Amazon UK • Amazon AU • Amazon CA

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Oh, Beau. ❤

Penny Reid is one of my favorite authors. I always look forward to every new release because I know she is going to give her readers something unique, meaningful, and worthwhile. Beard in Mind is the fourth book in the Winston Brothers series, and though it can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading the rest of the books first because a) they are all amazing and b) you’ll understand all the Winston brothers and their dynamics better. And who doesn’t want to know the Winston boys better?

Beau Winston is one of the twins of the family, but he’s the nice, sweet, charming one that everyone always gets along with. There’s nothing that can get under his skin… except for the family’s auto shop’s most recent (and a surprise to him) hire, Shelly Sullivan. They get off on the wrong foot when he mistakenly thinks she’s a stripper and things aren’t about to be mended anytime soon. Even though she is quite literally the most beautiful woman Beau has ever seen, she is rude to him, which makes Beau rude back.

But there’s more than meets the eye with the beautiful, blunt, and unemotional Shelly. She has a severe case of OCD, but she has been seeing a therapist to treat it. She is quite unlike any character I’ve read before, and pretty much a breath of fresh air to read about. And as Beau gets to know Shelly and understand her OCD better, he can’t seem to stop falling for her. These were two characters who couldn’t be more different, yet perfect for one another. I loved how they slowly fell for each other, and even though it wasn’t a crazy hot read or anything, Shelly and Beau’s chemistry was fantastic.

Moments of quiet ordinary, made extraordinary by sharing them with the woman I love.

I appreciated so much how Penny Reid handled Shelly’s OCD. It was thoughtful and educational – who else could incorporate something you don’t normally read in a romance into her books but Penny? Beard in Mind is an incredible read with an OCD heroine and I loved it. I need more books like this, and can only hope Penny Reid will give us more!


lacey

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

Reading Order: Winston Brothers series

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid Beard Science by Penny Reid 

#1 ~ Truth or Beard: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Grin and Beard It: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beard Science: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Beard in Mind: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#5 ~ Dr. Strange Beard: Goodreads (April 2018)
#6 ~ Beard Necessities: Goodreads (October 2018)

about the author button

Penny ReidPenny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

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Signed Paperback Giveaway

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Blog Tour + Review & Excerpt: Dating-ish by Penny Reid

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Penny Reid’s Dating-ish!

Dating-ish by Penny Reid
Series: Knitting in the City #6 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 16th 2017
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There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She’s fed up with online dating, 2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.

After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:
Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler.
Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach.
Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation!
Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?

But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different–and crazier–solution to her dilemma . . .

As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • Barnes & NobleiTunes • Kobo

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Dating-ish is absolute perfection. As soon as I finished reading it, “WOW” was all I had in my mind. This book was so much more than I was expecting, even from Penny Reid. It’s without a doubt my new favorite read of hers. It seriously blew my mind – I don’t know how to describe my immense love for this book!! The powerful message, wonderful writing, heartfelt characters, and laugh-out-loud humor all made Dating-ish one of the best books I’ve read this year.

All Marie Harris wants is to find that one person who is meant for her – and in this day and age, it’s all about finding someone through online dating. When she’s notified of a “perfect match,” she agrees to meet with him. But her “perfect match” couldn’t be less perfect for her, and the date ends in a disaster. When Marie goes to her next get-together with her knitting group, though, who should show up but her friend’s neighbor, who is also her not-so-perfect match?

Matt isn’t exactly who he claimed to be when Marie met him, but he has a perfectly good explanation for his strange behavior during their date. It turns out Matt is Professor Matt Simmons, a computer scientist who’s working on building an AI, essentially a robot, to replace human interactions. Marie completely disagrees with the notion of erasing human interactions and proposes to write an editorial on the various methods on human interaction, from cuddling to orgasm meditation. Marie and Matt couldn’t be more different, but after getting over their rough start, an unexpected friendship forms as Matt helps Marie out with her article. The more time they spend together, the more Marie realizes… Matt might actually be her perfect match.

“Marie, you are the sine to my cosine.”
My eyelashes fluttered and so did my heart, but I managed to tease, “Are you saying we’ll never be on the same wavelength?”

Matt and Marie are ridiculously charming and hilarious. Their teasing and banter is fun-filled perfection – I literally couldn’t stop smiling every time these two talked to each other! The development of their friendship felt so genuine and real. It grew slowly and honestly, just like their romance. Honestly, I grew to appreciate their romance so much more thanks to the foundation of their friendship – this book is the definition of slow burn, and though it takes a while for Marie and Matt’s relationship to go anywhere, I promise the wait is so worth it!

“You should have someone who adores you. Who is worthy of you, Marie.” His mouth firmed into a determined tight line. “Never settle for less.”

Funny, charming, quirky, and heartfelt, Dating-ish is another phenomenal read from Penny Reid. Who knew robots and romance could mix so well – or be so sexy!? Let me tell you, our nerdy professor has got a serious dirty mouth on him. The steam in this book might not be high in quantity but trust me, it is definitely high in quality. Dating-ish is everything you can expect from a book Penny Reid – intelligent, unique, hilarious – and so much more. I simply adored this gem of a book. It’s truly a special read, and I highly recommend everyone give this a try, because it’s nothing like you’ve ever read before in a romance.

“You—being with you—was the first time I wanted real life over a virtual existence. You distracted me. I’d never been distracted before.”


lacey

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

Now here’s an excerpt from Dating-ish! ❤

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He was quiet for bit, we both were, and I felt myself relax more and more. His palm took a detour every so often, dutifully skipping my hip and sliding along my side, and then back to my leg. Soon, I was so relaxed I felt drowsy.

I felt fingers in my hair, moving the mass away from my neck with treasuring strokes just before Matt nuzzled the back of my neck, causing goosebumps to scatter over my skin.

“Mmm.” I smiled. “Hey. Jared said no tickling.” My voice sounded sleepy.

“Does this tickle?” Matt asked softly, nuzzling me again. I felt the brush of his lips—not a kiss, a brush—paired with hot breath against the bare skin of my neck and a zing shot straight down my spine, making my toes curl and a sudden hot ache twist in my lower belly.

Oh no.

I knew that ache. I hadn’t felt it because of another person’s touch in quite a long time. Nevertheless, no one ever forgets that ache.

My back arched instinctively, my bottom pressing back against his crotch, and I stiffened. I felt my nipples harden, strain beneath the cotton of my bra. I was now fully awake. No longer drowsy.

Nope.

Not even a little.

Matt stiffened, too. His movements abruptly ceasing.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asked, alarm coating his words, and in the next moment his hand was suspended in the air above me. “Did I touch something I shouldn’t?”

I exhaled a short, nervous laugh, gripped by the urge to sit up.

“No. No. You didn’t.” I moved to the edge of the bed, righting myself, away from Matt, needing distance. “I’m good.” I gathered a silent breath and released it slowly because my pulse was racing.

Crap, Marie. Get a grip. It’s Matt Simmons. Professor Matt. The big kid. Why are you reacting this way?

“Did I . . .” These initial words were hesitant, and a moment of silence stretched before he continued, his tone comically teasing as he finished his thought. “Did I arouse you?”

I snorted, shaking my head, laughing at his silly tone. Turning at the waist to peer at him over my shoulder, Matt was grinning at me, twisting a make-believe mustache between his thumb and forefinger.

But then he stopped.

“I did, didn’t I?” he pushed, his hand dropping. He looked pleased, if not a little amazed.

I sighed, feeling a smidge embarrassed, and nodded. “Actually, yes. That’s a sensitive spot for most women.”

“The back of your neck?” He lifted himself to one elbow, his eyes darting to my neck with keen interest.

“My neck in general, actually.”

“Huh.” Matt frowned thoughtfully. “Where else?”

I pressed my lips together and gave him an incredulous look. “I’m not telling you that.”

“Why not?”

“Matt.”

“What if I needed it for research reasons?”

“Matt.”

“What if I told you it was part of our questionnaire?” He tossed his legs over the side of the bed and stood, walking around to my side and offering me his hand. “You should give me a schematic of your body with the erogenous zones circled and rated.”

“Let me guess, you want them rated on a ten-point scale,” I deadpanned as I accepted his hand, stood, and stepped away to gain some distance and straighten my shirt.

He shrugged, crossing his arms, stalking after me. “Or exponential. I was going to say a Likert scale, but a logarithmic scale works, too.”

Chuckling, appreciative of his attempt to diffuse my embarrassment and awkwardness with the joke, I realized Matt Simmons wasn’t a bad guy. He might even be a good guy, just a little . . . peculiar.

And wants to replace romantic relationships with robots. Best not forget that detail.

Yeah, he’d make an interesting friend.

“Thanks.” I gave him a small smile.

“For what?” His eyes moved between mine.

“For the cuddle. Thanks for the cuddle, Matt.”

“Anytime, Marie.” He grinned down at me, his eyes dancing as he leaned forward and whispered, “Anytime.”

Reading Order: Knitting in the City series

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid
Love Hacked by Penny Reid Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid Ninja At First Sight by Penny Reid
Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid  

#1 ~ Neanderthal Seeks Human: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Neanderthal Marries Human: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Friends Without Benefits: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Love Hacked: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Beauty and the Mustache: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Ninja at First Sight: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Happily Ever Ninja: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Dating-ish: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#7 ~ Marriage of Inconvenience: Goodreads (2017)

about the author button

Penny ReidSEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Website • Goodreads • Facebook • Twitter • Newsletter


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Blog Tour + Review & Giveaway: The Cad and the Co-Ed by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

the-cad-and-the-co-ed-tour

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for The Cad and the Co-Ed by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid!

The Cad and the Co-Ed by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Series: Rugby #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 14th 2017
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Keeping a secret this big is going to take lots of balls. Specifically, rugby balls.

THE CAD
Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he *was* a cad.
No one is quite certain.

Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.

The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED
Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.

The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN
Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.

Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.

But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

Buy Links:
Amazon US • Amazon UK • Amazon CA • Amazon AU

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I love Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway – individually, they’re such unique authors, but together, they make magic! They write the most endearing, quirky characters that are easy to love. After the snippet of The Cad and the Co-Ed in the previous Rugby book, I was DYING to read Bryan and Eilish’s story. I wasn’t sure how the authors would redeem Bryan and the awful way he treated Eilish, but I trusted them. And thankfully, they didn’t disappoint! Eilish and Bryan, despite their rough start, had the sweetest romance ever. They’re so weirdly adorable, which made for such a fun reading experience. If you’re a fan of the series or either authors, I highly recommend The Cad and the Co-Ed!

If you’ve read The Player and the Pixie, then you’ll know that when Eilish Cassidy was a naive nineteen-year-old, she fell for Bryan’s charms and gave up her virginity to him. She had stars in her eyes and thought they would have a future… but it turns out Bryan Leech was a cad, through and through. He was drunk during their one-night-stand, couldn’t even remember her name the next morning, and promptly kicked her out. He leaves Eilish with a broken heart… and a baby he’s never known about.

Fast forward five years, and Bryan has been through rehab to fix his drinking and partying ways. He’s a changed man… or is he? When Eilish sees Bryan again for the first time in years, she realizes that he doesn’t even recognize her or their one night at all. She’s not sure that she can trust that Bryan is sober now and safe to be around their son, Patrick. Can Bryan show Eilish that he’s there to stay and win the heart of the woman he forgot? And what will happen when he finds out about their secret baby?

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, still touching me, shifting his weight from one foot to the next.
“What for?” The question was out before I could catch it.
“For so many things. … Mostly for ever making you think you are anything other than magnificent and unforgettable.”

I thought that The Cad and the Co-Ed would be an angsty read, but it turned out to be so much sweeter and funnier than I expected! Eilish is hilarious and adorable, a great mother and a strong heroine. She definitely makes Bryan work to win her trust and heart. I loved her! And another surprise was how easily Bryan won me over with his changed ways. He’s done a 180 from drinking and partying 24/7 to sipping tea in his robe and wanting his neighbors to keep quiet at 10 P.M. He’s such a riot, and the way Sean, his rugby teammate and Eilish’s cousin, rags on him is SO funny.

This book is too freaking sweet. L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid make such a fantastic writing duo. Only they would be able to redeem a huge jerk from the previous Rugby book and make me love him. Eilish and Bryan have a slow, swoony romance that I adored. I’m really hoping there will be more in this series (Will!!!) because I can’t get enough of it! And I definitely have plans to go back and finally read the first book in the series!

I’d never forget that look.
I’d never forget seeing her like this.
I’d never forget another moment with her for the rest of my life.

4 hearts
lacey

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

Reading Order: Rugby series

The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid  

#1 ~ The Hooker and the Hermit: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Player and the Pixie: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ The Cad and the Co-ed: Ebook • Goodreads

about the authors button

L.H. CoswayL.H. Cosway 

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Pinterest

Penny ReidPenny Reid

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Website • Goodreads • Facebook • Twitter • Newsletter

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Enter to win a signed paperback of Royal Marriage Market, Beg Tease Submit, Letters in White, Love Walks In, Hooker and the Hermit, Player and the Pixie, Wasted Words and Changing Course!

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Best Books of 2016!

2016 has been one crazy year, and I can barely believe it’s already over. I don’t know if it’s just me, but time is seriously flying by so fast. It’s already been a year since the last time I made the “Best Books of 2015” post – which means it’s been another year filled with incredible books! And I apparently read over 300 of them 😂 So here are my top 16 reads of 2016 (in no particular order, except for the first), books I highly recommend everyone read if they haven’t already. These are the unforgettable books, the ones that have stuck in my head and stayed in my heart. What have been your favorite reads of the year?


1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

THE HATING GAME!!! It was a tough decision, but my absolute top favorite read of 2016 is The Hating Game. I was SO impressed with this debut novel – it was everything I wanted in a romance and more. It’s funny, romantic, adorable, sexy, and did I mention funny? This is probably the book that has made me laugh the most I’ve ever laughed while reading. It’s an enemies-to-lovers office romance that is H I L A R I O U S. It was a pure joy to read this novel, and I’m dying to see what else Sally Thorne has in store for us. P.S. JOSH TEMPLEMAN IS EVERYTHING!!!

“I hope it’s not too forward of me to say, but your eyes are incredible, Lucy. I die when you blink.”


2. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me & Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata 

TWoWaM: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Wait for It: EbookPaperbackGoodreads

OBVIOUSLY I had to include Mariana Zapata, my new favorite author ever. Winnie is a close second to The Hating Game (though neither have been able to surpass the ultimate fav, Kulti). This is sports romance at its finest, so if you love anything in that genre, especially football romances, Winnie is your thing. And, if you’re a fan of the fake marriage trope, READ THIS! Aiden is the perfect grumpy hero and Vanessa is such a relatable, genuine heroine. Mariana Zapata never ceases to amaze me with her stories, and Winnie was a total winner in my book.

Like football and art, like anything that anyone in the world has ever wanted, love was a dream. And just like a dream, there were no assurances behind it. It didn’t grow on its own. It didn’t blossom without food to feed it.
It was the greatest in its subtleties.
It was the strongest in its selflessness.
And it could be forever with someone who wasn’t afraid to never give up on the possibilities it presents.

And then there’s Wait for It – which only cemented Mariana Zapata as a favorite author of mine and the queen of slow burn. It was beautiful, heart-wrenching, and everything in between. I loved all of the characters, especially the kids. I honestly don’t know what to say about Wait for It besides the fact that it was an unforgettable read I loved so damn much and that everyone needs to read it.

There was a lot of things about love that you could only learn after you’d faced the real kind. The best kind wasn’t this soft, sweet thing of hearts and picnics. It wasn’t flowery and divine. Real love was gritty. The real kind of love never quit. Someone who loved you would do what’s best for you; they’d stand up for you and sacrifice. Someone who loved you would face any inconvenience willingly. You didn’t know what love was until someone was willing to give up what they loved the most for you. But it was also never letting them make that choice, either.


3. Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Unbreak My Heart is probably my most reread book of 2016. This book is the literal definition of angst, and it was one of the few books this year to make me cry. I don’t even have the words to describe the tumultuous emotions the author wrung out of me while reading this. It was an experience, to say the least, and one everyone has to try. You’ll probably hate the hero (like me, lol) but even so, it was totally worth the read.

It had always been Kate. My hands shook as the truth seeped into my pores. It had been her since I was just a stupid kid.


4. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

EbookHardcoverPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Rhysand aka THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! This book destroyed me in the best way possible. I honestly don’t know why I ever held back on reading the ACOTAR series, but I’m so glad I finally succumbed because it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This series alone is the reason why I’ve gotten back in YA fantasy, and even into NA fantasy. The writing, world-building, and characters is beyond fantastic. But now I’m DYING for the third book!

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.”


5. The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz

The Saint by Tiffany Reisz The Angel by Tiffany Reisz The Prince by Tiffany Reisz The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz

The Siren: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Angel: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Prince: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Mistress: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

If there’s one series that has messed with my mind completely and I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s the Original Sinners series. Tiffany Reisz changed my entire outlook on BDSM and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Y’all, these books are unforgettable masterpieces, so beautifully yet simply written I bow down to TR. If you’re not afraid to step out of your comfort zone, I highly recommend reading this series (and yeah, I know I’m totally late to the game with these books, but I’m just glad I finally read this). Nora is my all-time favorite heroine – I kinda wanna be her when I grow up.

“I know people think erotica is just a romance novel with rougher sex. It’s not. If it’s a subgenre of anything, it’s horror.”
“Horror? Really?”
“Romance is sex plus love. Erotica is sex plus fear.”


6. The Player by Kresley Cole

The Player by Kresley Cole

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

The Master was one of the best books I’d read in 2015, so to say my expectations were high for The Player would have been an understatement. But thankfully, Kresley Cole didn’t disappoint and I got another alpha, heroine-obsessed Russian billionaire hero to fall head over heels for. The con artist heroine couldn’t have been more different than the hero, but together they were explosive. This was such an addicting read – if you were a fan of The Master, trust me, you’ll love The Player.

“Imagine a pitch-black room with a single candle lit in the center,” he said, his voice gone low. “The room is the world. You are the candle.”
A shaky breath escaped my lips. “How can you be so sure about me?”
He leveled his spellbinding gaze on my face. “When you’ve been in the dark as long as I have, moy ángel, there is no mistaking the light.”


7. My American Duchess by Eloisa James

My Review • Ebook • Hardcover • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

This is one of my all-time FAVORITE historical romances ever! It was my first Eloisa James book but judging by how much I loved it, it for sure won’t be my last. The duke hero is beyond perfection – the way he adores his American duchess made me swoon madly. And the heroine herself is so quirky and adorable (I totally fell for her myself). If you love historical romance (and even if you don’t – I’ve made a lot of non-HR readers read this book), you absolutely must read My American Duchess!

“You are my American duchess,” Trent said gruffly, his finger tracing the shape of her cheek. “You pour milk into tea at the wrong time, but you do everything else the right way. I love the way you speak. And I love what you say. I’ve never met another woman who is as fascinating.”


8. Beast in Shining Armor by Cassandra Gannon

Ebook • Goodreads

A friend on Twitter rec’d this book to me, and I’m beyond glad she did. The A Kinda Fairy Tale series a humorous twist on fairy tales, and Beast in Shining Armor focuses specifically on Beauty and the Beast. This book is stinkin’ hilarious – it’s up there as one of the top books that have made me laugh the hardest. The hero is just so sardonic and sarcastic, and the stuff that happens is the laugh-out-loud kind of ridiculous that I love. Also, the hero is a “Bad” prince who’s been in love with the heroine since kindergarten, but they’ve also been enemies since kindergarten (long story) and she’s currently usurped his throne yet he’s trying to win her heart. Swoon, right!?

“I have longed for you my whole life. There is nothing in this world or any other that I want more than to be with you, Belle.”


9. Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

This is one of those books that made me so HAPPY while I was reading. It was charming, hilarious, sexy, and utterly heartwarming – and it’s about farmers! Apple farmers!! Ugh, I loved this book so much, especially Griffin. He is so adorable and all big, sexy, protective, and caring. He and Audrey made such a cute couple. And hello, do you see that cover!? You need this book for that alone (but I promise, the inside is just as good as the outside 😉 )

Whether it was convenient or not, Audrey and I just fit. We’d always been good together. It’s just that I’d never allowed myself to imagine a future where we shared everything. A bed. A home.
A name.
Hell. That got me panting. I wanted everything. There was nobody else who got under my skin like she had. To think of her as mine seemed like an impossible luxury.
It’s the only luxury I’ve ever been greedy for.


10. Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton

My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads

This is the PERFECT second chance romance/military romance! I’m usually picky about both tropes, but Into the Blue hit all the right buttons for me. There’s some good angst, good grovel, and the hero is desperate to win back the only woman he’s ever loved. I love this series SO much – if you’re ever in the mood for some good military romances, the Wild Aces series is a must read!

You couldn’t fake what we had. Couldn’t duplicate it. We were so fucking lucky to have found each other once, and even as I’d always suspected it, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that letting her go was the biggest mistake of my life.
Now I needed to fix it.


11. Fast Connection by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Fast Connection surprised me in the best way, because I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about one of the heroes. He was a total dick in the first book, but he was completely redeemed in this one. The romance gave me all the squishy feels – I felt so much for Dominic and Luke. The authors write seamlessly well together and the characters blew me away. The silver fox and his adorable (former) player made me laugh and swoon. I totally need more Megtino books!

“He’s completely complicated. And lost. And frustrating. But we do something for each other.” I intertwined my fingers. “We fit. We need each other.”


12. Next to Never by Penelope Douglas

Ebook • Goodreads

I know this book doesn’t come out until 2017 but I read it this month so I’m counting it! And it’s only a few weeks away from release 😉 Reading this novella made me realize how much I’ve missed the Fall Away characters. Next to Never was the perfect way to introduce the second generation of characters while still rewarding fans of the Fall Away series with cameos of the original characters. Honestly, there’s so much to love about this novella – Quinn, Lucas, Jared (aka my love) but now I’m dying for more!


13. Managed by Kristen Callihan

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

This book was so much better than I expected, especially after the okay first VIP book, but Kristen Callihan upped the ante in Managed. I loved the endearing characters, the sweet romance, the delicious chemistry, everything! Sophie is a sweetheart of a heroine, and uptight, closed-off Gabriel has definitely met his match in her. This was the perfect opposites-attract read, and there’s the added bonus of sexy rock stars to make things more fun 😉

“I’ve lived my whole life denying myself what I truly want. And yet I cannot turn from you. Haven’t you realized it yet? I am yours. I will always be yours, whether I touch you or not.”


14. The Fallen World series by Laura Thalassa

  

#1: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#3: EbookPaperbackGoodreads

I got SUPER into NA fantasy this year, which I’m so happy about. I need more books in this genre! Laura Thalassa had been on my tbr for a while and I finally got to her Fallen World series, which I pretty much read back-to-back, non-stop. I was utterly addicted to the post-apocalyptic world the author created, with the hero as a villain and the heroine who hates him, sent to marry him for peace. The story is unlike any other that I’ve read – it’s dark and violent, but such a gripping read! I also highly recommend Laura’s newest book Rhapsodic, which is another fantastic NA fantasy romance!

Once upon a time we were innocent, and then we were not.


15. Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Has there been a Penny Reid book that I haven’t enjoyed? She always writes such smart, adorable romances. Grin and Beard It charmed the pants off me – it’s a sweet, slow-burn romance between a Latina celebrity actress and park ranger Jethro Winston. Jethro has no idea who she is and some mad flirting and banter ensues. This was such a fun, light-hearted read with adorable MCs.

Pleasing her—my woman—cherishing her, loving her had no comparison. Satisfaction, desire, fulfillment were woefully inadequate words. So responsive. So incredible. So . . . mine.


16. Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Elizabeth Hoyt is becoming one of my favorite historical romance authors! I’ve only read a few of her Maiden Lane books, but I love the series so much already. Duke of Sin is the best I’ve read so far – it has the perfect anti-hero duke who falls for his tough, proper housekeeper. The story is wicked, funny, sexy, complex… the MCs are able to match each other intellectually, which made for some fun reading.

“This is who I am, Séraphine. Naked, with blade and blood. I am vengeance. I am hate. I am sin personified. Never mistake me for the hero of this tale, for I am not and shall never be. I am the villain.”


I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year’s and an even better 2017!

lacey


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