Release Day Review: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
Links: EbookHardcover • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

My very first 6 star review of 2018 (and the first in a while) has to go to Love and Other Words, a gorgeously written love story by one of my favorite authors, Christina Lauren. I can’t remember the last time I was this wholeheartedly obsessed with a book. I finished L&OW last week and I’ve yet to stop thinking about it. The storytelling was incredible, the blend of past and present seamless. I couldn’t get enough of Macy and Elliot. If there’s one book you need to read this year, let it be this one.

I adore second chance romances – it is one of my go-to tropes, but I admit there have been few and far between that have been done perfectly. With second chance romances, I need angst, heartache, but most of all, I need to believe in the love that still exists. L&OW was everything I wanted in a second chance romance – and also so much more. Told in alternating chapters of Then and Now, we have teenaged Macy and Elliot who meet, connect, become best friends, and fall in love for the first time, alongside their adult counterparts, who reunite for the first time in eleven years and fall in love for the second time.

The way Christina Lauren handled the alternating chapters was stunning – each chapter connected, despite the eleven year difference in timeline. My heart was full from the beginnings of first love between Macy and Elliot, yet I loved even more that the foundations of their all-consuming love was built on friendship. I hurt and hoped for these two characters in the present timeline, as Elliot fights for the only woman who has ever held his heart. I can’t even tell you how in love I am with this man. He’s bookish, nerdy, a writer, and knows Macy is his one and only soulmate. There is no other woman for him, and he is not letting this chance to make her believe in love again go.

I read L&OW in one sitting. I literally could not put this book down, nor did I want to let the characters go by the time I got to the end. Elliot and Macy’s love story of friendship, heartbreak, and second chances absolutely stole my heart. Theirs is a love that is tender, raw, and beautiful beyond words. This book is now my favorite read of 2018 so far – it is pure perfection.


lacey


Also by Christina Lauren:

  

Dating You / Hating You: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Autoboyography: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads
Roomies: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Reading Order: Beautiful Bastard series

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren Beautiful Bitch by Christina Lauren
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren Beautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren Beautiful Beginning by Christina Lauren
Beautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren Beautiful Boss by Christina Lauren 

#1 ~ Beautiful Bastard: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Beautiful Bitch: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Beautiful Stranger: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Beautiful Bombshell: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beautiful Player: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Beautiful Beginning: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.6 ~ Beautiful Beloved: My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Beautiful Secret: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Beautiful Boss: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Beautiful: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

Reading Order: Wild Seasons series

 Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren

#1 ~ Sweet Filthy Boy: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Dirty Rowdy Thing: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Dark Wild Night: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Wicked Sexy Liar: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads


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Review: Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey

Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: March 26th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

This unlikely getaway driver never expected to help the mayor escape…

After a six-year absence, Addison Potts is back in Charleston to stir things up. And what better place to make her villainous return than her estranged cousin’s wedding? Only, the nuptials hit a snag when the bride doesn’t show, leaving Addison to play getaway driver for the jilted groom. A groom whose heartbreaking smile and deep, southern drawl she should not be noticing…

Elijah Montgomery Du Pont is the future mayor of Charleston. From his military career to city hall, every detail of his life has been meticulously planned. Until now. His only respite from life’s sudden upheaval is Addison, his new, improbable best friend. She makes him happy. Grounds him. And public disapproval be damned, he’s not willing to give her up. But with an election on the line and public pressure rising, Addison—and the cruel hand of fate—might not give him a choice.

I’ve found a new book to add to my favorites of 2018 list, and Getaway Girl is IT! I absolutely LOVED this friends to lovers romance!! We have a mayor hero who’s self-conscious about his bubble butt and a fierce, dirty-talking heroine who saves him after his bride ditches him at the altar. It’s sweet, incredibly sexy (it’s Tessa Bailey, after all) and all-around the perfect friends to lovers romance – I highly recommend this for those who love trope!

I have a friend. A completely platonic, non-romantic one.
But occasionally I rub one out to her.

When Addison Potts moves back to Charleston and attends her estranged cousin’s wedding, the last thing she expects is be the getaway car for the jilted groom, one Captain Elijah Montgomery Du Pont, candidate for mayor. There’s just something about Elijah that pulls Addison, and she couldn’t resist helping him out. The two strike up the most unlikeliest of friendships – as a candidate for mayor, Elijah is expected to keep up appearances as the perfect Southern gentleman, which he is. Addison, on the other hand, is the black sheep of the family and town. But these two characters GET each other and are able to connect in a way they’ve never been able to connect with anyone else. Somehow, they end up being roommates, then friends… but is there possibly more?

“You own this city now, Mr. Mayor. Right now, that includes what’s under my dress.”

The tension throughout the book was divine. Elijah and Addison connect on the friendship level, yes, but there’s always an underlying sexual chemistry that’s hard to ignore. They struggle not to cross the line into something more, but when their dynamic is fun, witty, and flirty, it’s hard to know where the line even is. Tessa Bailey had me DYING for Addison and the Captain to just do the deed – this is one author who knows how to write sexual tension right. And when the line is crossed… let me tell you, the dirty talking queen doesn’t disappoint. I loved that the heroine was main dirty talker in this case, though Elijah could definitely dish some out too. The passion and intensity between these two was perfection!

“You have my heart. You have my soul. And you’re the first and land person to ever have either one. I love you first. And last. I’ve only got this feeling for you. No one else. Never. Do you hear me?”

If you love the friends to lovers trope, I can’t recommend Getaway Girl enough. I adored the characters, the story had me hooked, and the chemistry was off the charts. I also loved that this was in dual first-person POV. Tessa definitely has a knack for it, and I really hope she gives us more of it! Also… can we please have a story for Addison’s cousin, the runaway bride!?


lacey

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


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Release Day Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Roomies by Christina Lauren
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren’s (Beautiful Bastard, Dating You / Hating You) new romance.

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin McLoughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

This is the kind of read that, when you finish, makes you say, “WHY DID THIS BOOK HAVE TO END!?” I couldn’t get enough of Roomies! I knew, as soon as I heard what it was about (marriage! of! convenience!) that I HAD to get my hands on it. I don’t typically read the marriage of convenience trope if it’s not a historical romance, but I had to give Christina Lauren’s modern take of the trope a try – and it was FANTASTIC. It’s an all-consuming, delightful read that I literally couldn’t put down. If you love well-written, unique, adorable contemporary romances, READ ROOMIES!

Every week, Holland Bakker goes out of her way in New York City to go to a certain subway station to admire the street musician who plays captivating music on his guitar. She’s developed a crush over the past few months watching and listening to him, but she’s never actually gone up to him and talked to him. Until one day she’s being attacked by a homeless man and the musician saves her… but leaves before she gets to thank him.

Holland wants to find a way to show Calvin her gratitude (and totally not because he’s gorgeous and has an Irish accent), and coincidentally, her Broadway musical director uncle is in need of a brilliant musician. Calvin blows the theater away with his music, but unfortunately can’t take the job… because he’s been living in the U.S. illegally for four years. Holland, wanting to do everything possible for this opportunity to work, offers to marry Calvin and pretend to be in love to help him gain U.S. citizenship. Ignoring the fact that she’s got feelings for him and oh, they’re lying to the government, everything should work out, right?

I swear that I was smiling for 90% of Roomies, it’s THAT much fun to read. I got swept away in the story, NEEDING Calvin and Holland to make their fake marriage a real one, and hoping alongside these characters that Calvin gets to stay in the U.S. I adored all the characters in the story – Holland in all her awkwardness and slow self-discovery, Calvin and his growing devotion and adoration for Holland, Holland’s supportive uncles who are so in love and compliment each other so well. I love that Roomies is not just about the romance between Holland and Calvin (though that shines pretty freaking well all on its own) but also about music and developing self-worth and being content in who you are. This book is brilliant, though I didn’t expect any less from Christina Lauren. I didn’t want Roomies to end, and am already craving more of Calvin and Holland. I highly recommend this book!


lacey


Also by Christina Lauren:

  

Dating You / Hating You: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Autoboyography: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads
Love and Other Words: EbookHardcover • PaperbackGoodreads (April 10, 2018)

Reading Order: Beautiful Bastard series

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren Beautiful Bitch by Christina Lauren
Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren Beautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren Beautiful Beginning by Christina Lauren
Beautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren Beautiful Boss by Christina Lauren 

#1 ~ Beautiful Bastard: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1.5 ~ Beautiful Bitch: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Beautiful Stranger: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Beautiful Bombshell: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beautiful Player: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Beautiful Beginning: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3.6 ~ Beautiful Beloved: My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Beautiful Secret: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Beautiful Boss: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Beautiful: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

Reading Order: Wild Seasons series

 Dirty Rowdy Thing by Christina Lauren Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren Wicked Sexy Liar by Christina Lauren

#1 ~ Sweet Filthy Boy: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Dirty Rowdy Thing: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Dark Wild Night: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Wicked Sexy Liar: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads


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ARC Review + Excerpt: Follow by Tessa Bailey

Follow by Tessa Bailey
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: October 30th 2017
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

He wants her soul. Too bad she already sold it.

Family is everything to gambling den darling, Teresa Valentini. Blood comes first, especially before men. So when her brother lands himself in hot water, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save him. And showing up topless in her unwitting savior’s motel room is turning out to be the furthest thing from a hardship…

Will Caruso is the bad boy of New York’s financial scene…and he just found out the very thing that drives his success is a damn lie. Now, he’s exchanged his high-stress life for the open road, no one but his Great Dane…and half a million Instagram followers to keep him company. When a mysterious beauty arrives, her secrecy prods his suspicions, even while she tempts his lust to the breaking point.

Teresa met Will under false pretenses, but the bond consuming them is real. They’re strong enough to overcome a little betrayal…aren’t they?

**FOLLOW is a mega hot, contemporary, first person standalone**

You know those Instagrams of gorgeous men who document their road trips with their dogs? Well, imagine a romance story for one of those men, and you have the wonder that is Follow. Of course, only Tessa Bailey could write about a hero who Instagrams his road trip with his dying dog and make it as fun and sexy and intense as this book is. If you know me, then you know I adore anything and everything Tessa writes – she has yet to disappoint, because I enjoyed Follow SO much. It gave off a vibe that reminded me a bit of her earlier works, like the Line of Duty series (which I LOVE). If you love dirty-talking alpha heroes and the heroines who knock them off their feet, then I highly recommend Follow (and every other Tessa Bailey book)!

“I might take you to fancy hotels, baby. Might walk you through those elegant lobbies and demand you be treated like a queen.” He drops forward, bending down to lick a path between my breasts, up and down. Again and again, before lifting his head. “But I will always be the man who fucks you nasty on the floor once we’re upstairs, with your thong twisted around your dripping cunt. We clear?”

Very much the Wall Street man, Will Caruso’s life was turned upside down when he discovered the truth about his father… and how he was lied to his whole life. Now, as a last wish for his beloved, dying Great Dane, he sets out on a road trip with Southpaw across the U.S., commemorating their journey on Instagram (and getting a TON of followers). What he doesn’t expect to see at one of his stops is a gorgeous woman who makes his heart stop and riles up his newly possessive instincts. Teresa Valentini is an enigma of a woman, but she’s a woman he has to have.

Teresa is mine. My bones know it. My head. Even the heart I thought was too damaged and scabbed over to be touched knows she belongs with me.
The hard part is being patient while she figures it out.

Teresa’s baby brother has landed himself into trouble with the one and only mob boss of New York, so she does what any good older sister would do and try to bargain for his safety. She’s tasked with getting the mob boss’s son back to New York in any way possible, including false pretenses. But the mob boss’s son, Will, is a man who loves his dog, can dirty talk like a mofo, and knows what he wants out of life – i.e., her – and is willing to do anything to have it. She can’t stop herself from falling head over heels for him, but can they have a real relationship when everything between them is based off a lie?

Follow is a fantastically sexy romance I devoured in a few short hours. Tessa Bailey is the kind of author I drop everything to read, because she never lets me down! This newest release is chock-full of the dirty talk she is known for – Will’s dirty talk is scorching. But besides the fiery chemistry, I really did enjoy the characters and story – it’s intense, exciting, and had me on the edge of my seat. If you’ve ever wanted a romance about a gorgeous guy who Instagrams about his cross-country adventures with his dog, you need Follow in your life!


lacey

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


Now here’s an excerpt from Follow! ❤

excerpt button

“Here we are.”

My face heats over being caught even imagining such things. We’re at my door and I have no recollection of entering the motel. Come on, Teresa. Stop letting this guy get to you so bad. “Right.” I fish for the key card in my pocket, but cease all movement when Will brushes his fingertips down my arm, then trails them back up. Slow. And all the while, he invades my space, eliminating inches at such a leisurely pace that I’m panting by the time our mouths are a breath apart.

“What are you going to do when I close this door behind you, Teresa?” He grazes my bottom lip with his teeth, making me gasp. “You going to get undressed in front of the air conditioner, thinking it might cool you down after teasing my cock for over an hour in the bar? It won’t. I give you five minutes before you’re face down in bed, riding your own fingers.”

My knees threaten to buckle. “That’s my business.”

“Make it mine.”

Mayday. Mayday. “Will—”

He stops my admonishment with a drugging kiss, his tongue stroking in and out of my mouth. His hands grip my elbows, lifting me up on my toes in desperate degrees, meshing our bodies, our lips, until I’m moaning, letting him have rough intercourse with my mouth. Just when I’m on the verge of giving in and begging him to take me up against the door, he steps back, eyes glittering, wiping away the moisture on his mouth with a wrist swipe. “I’ll be out on the balcony. If you’re going to finger yourself in my honor, I want to listen.”


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Release Day Review: Act Your Age by Eve Dangerfield

Act Your Age by Eve Dangerfield
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: September 27th 2017
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Just because Kate ‘Middleton’ McGrath, wants a man to call ‘daddy’ in bed doesn’t mean–

Oh, you stopped reading. Cool.

Kate gets it. Kinks aren’t for everyone. Hell, they’re probably not for Mr. Henderson, her grumpaholic boss. She really shouldn’t have crush on him, but the man is just so goddamn stern. Sure, a lot of that comes down to ‘being her boss,’ but still, it feels like there might be something there.

Tyler Henderson is a golden boy who’s lost his shine. He’s old, his dream career is over, his fiancée’s left him. Now all the former firefighter can do is to try and bury his troubles in paperwork and hard liquor. He says ‘try’ because he can’t get Middleton out of his head long enough to wallow properly. He’s not going anywhere near the girl. HR issues aside, he’s done with sweetness and things don’t come sweeter than a cupcake-baking engineer who knits her own hats.

A case of mistaken identity causes Kate and Ty’s attraction to give way to blistering sex. They have more in common–and more to lose–than either of them realized. When it comes to unreasonable attraction you can rarely change your mind but can you act your age?

OOOOOHH. MY. GOD. This is without a doubt one of the BEST books I have read all year. I loved Act Your Age so hard. GAH! I haven’t read some good erotica in ages, but this book hit all the right buttons for me, though it might not for everyone – because daddy kink! I highly recommend this book if you love kink, humor, older, grumpy heroes, and adorable, flawed heroines!

Kate wasn’t sure why she had the kinks she had. She’d done enough research to know it wasn’t as simple as the vending machine theory of ‘insert daddy drama, out rolls a can of kinkiness.’

I’ll admit I’m one of the few who doesn’t mind the word ‘daddy’ in romances. Besides, whatever floats your boat, right? Well, as soon as I read the blurb for Act Your Age, found out it had daddy kink AND the hero was an older boss, I was sold. Turns out this book went above and beyond my expectations – I loved everything about it, from the funny characters, to the angst, to the hottest sex scenes I’ve ever read. I’ve become a fan of Eve Dangerfield for life thanks to this book!

Ty didn’t think Middleton was a great girl. He thought Middleton was a pain in the ass. Waltzing around with her shiny hair and long legs and her throaty voice, being cuter than a fistful of buttons. Where did she get off?

Can I get an amen for grumpy, surly heroes? Tyler Henderson is as grumpy as they come, though he has his reasons. His fiancée left him for another man, he’s no longer a firefighter (a job he loved), his current coworkers are sexist pigs, and oh, he has a kink that others might see as disgusting. The one good thing going for him is Kate McGrath, who everyone calls Middleton. But even his crush on her is a reluctant one, not only because she’s under his employ, but also because she’s twenty years younger than his forty-five years. But when the opportunity of a lifetime lands Kate in his bed, and he finds out that they share the same kinky tastes, who is he to refuse to take this perfect woman for him?

“Can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to do this,” he muttered, seizing her plait and winding it around his fist. “Can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about fucking your sugary little cunt ’til you screamed.”

I love Kate so, SO much. She’s such a unique heroine – she’s tiny and adorable and quirky. She has ADHD, which has caused a lot of hurt in her past, but she doesn’t let that define her. She tries her hardest at her male-dominated workplace, and she tries to be social by joining a roller derby team. I have so much love and admiration for this girl!

Of the two of them, Kate is the one who is fearless in wanting to go all in with Ty. She doesn’t let her daddy kink shame her or hold her back. The chemistry between Kate and Ty is off-the-charts hot – these are two characters who want each other badly. But the emotional connection they share is what made this story.

“Do you think we’re weird?” Kate asked, because that was the thing she’d always been afraid to ask.
Ty pulled her into his arms. “We’re weird in the best possible way.”
“So… yes?”
He laughed. “Everyone’s weird Kate, we’re the perfect kind of weird for each other.”

Act Your Age has everything that I love in a romance – an older hero, a sexy kink, a lovable heroine, and angst. Eve Dangerfield brought out all the emotions in this book, and I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s a beautiful, heart-wrenching, hilarious, sexy as hell story that I highly recommend!


lacey

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


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