Early Review: Stripped by Zoey Castile

Stripped by Zoey Castile
Series: Happy Endings #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 28th 2018
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Skilled, sculpted, and sexy, the men of adult entertainment are the kind of guys a woman reserves for her fantasies, not her reality. But is there more to these professional hotties than meets the eye? . . .

The day Robyn Flores meets Zac Fallon is one of those days. You know, when you’re already late for work. Mostly because you haven’t really slept since your best friend abandoned you for her fiancé and her exponentially better life. The kind of day you drag yourself to the cleaners to pick up your laundry, only to discover you’ve got the wrong bag—Star Spangled sequined thong, anyone? So Robyn is definitely not ready for the ridiculously gorgeous guy at her front door, except that they have each other’s clothes. But then, is any woman ever ready to meet the love of her life?

There’s just one problem: Zac Fallon is not the love of Robyn’s life. Zac knows, despite the all-too-intimate dinner they share, he doesn’t have a shot at her. Because the next time Zac sees Robyn, he’s front and center of the male revue headlining her best friend’s bachelorette party. So much for wooing the pretty schoolteacher, much less impressing her old-fashioned family, with his upstanding lifestyle. Now he’s only got one way to win his dream girl. It’s gonna be the steamiest, most irresistible seduction she’s ever seen. And this time it will be no act . . .

I had such high hopes for Stripped – I mean, a stripper and a fifth-grade teacher? To say I was intrigued would be an understatement, and I ended up adoring Fallon and Robyn. Their romance was surprisingly so much sweeter than I expected, but just as dirty and sexy as I was hoping a stripper romance would be. It was so easy to fall into the story, the writing, the characters. Zoey Castile is a new author you don’t want to miss. And if you’re a fan of Magic Mike, you absolutely need to read Stripped!

Robyn Flores’ life is a bit of a mess. She’s an elementary school teacher who is perpetually late getting to work. She used to have plans growing up on how exactly her life would turn out, and it’s all spiraled out from under her. But things start to change when she finds a sequined thong in her laundry… a thong that belongs to her next door neighbor, who is also one of the strippers who shows up at her best friend’s bachelorette party.

Fallon is not ashamed of being a stripper, and why should he be? He embraces his job that has led him to become successful and comfortable in life, a change from his childhood. He sees no shame in what he does, though he hates that people disrespect him and look down on him when they find out what he does for a living. He and Robyn feel an instant connection the moment they meet and the chemistry between them is on fire. I loved every moment they were together, as they banter with each other and form a closer bond. Fallon is absolutely perfect for Robyn, with the way he treats her so preciously. The way he embraces his job helps Robyn discover and embrace her own true passion in life. Robyn frustrated me a bit with her back and forth – in both life and with Fallon – but that was balanced out by how kindhearted Fallon was. Stripped was surprisingly low on drama, but it worked for their story.

As far as first books in a series go, Stripped was fantastic. It was entertaining, funny, but also had its meaningful moments. Also, Zoey Castile is way too talented at writing stripper scenes, because they just come to life right out of the pages. And they are HOT. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for her readers with the rest of the series, and I’m so excited to see more strippers fall in love!


lacey


Reading Order: Happy Endings series

  

#1 ~ Stripped: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Aug. 28, 2018)
#2 ~ Hired: Ebook • PaperbackGoodreads (Feb. 26, 2019)
#3 ~ Flashed: Goodreads (2019)


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAMGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

ARC Review: Hold You Against Me by Skye Warren

Hold You Against Me by Skye Warren
Series: Stripped #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 31st 2016
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Once upon a time the daughter of a mafia king fell in love with a foot soldier.

This fairy tale didn’t have a happy ending.

My sister and I barely managed to escape alive, and we’ve lived in relative hiding ever since. I’m safe now, but I can never forget the boy who gave his life to save mine.

Except there’s a chance that he’s still alive. And he’s fighting a war.

Even knowing the risks, I have to find him. I have to find some way to protect him, the way he protected me. But he isn’t the boy I left behind. He’s a violent man. A criminal. And he’s been waiting for me–the final pawn in a dark game of survival and love.

All the mafia books I’ve been reading recently are so. freaking. good!! Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but these recent mafia romances are so engrossing and enticing, and Hold You Against Me is no exception. I read this one as a standalone and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a little dark and intense, but also surprisingly sweet, which I loved. Skye Warren delivers an addicting romance I couldn’t put down. The blurb intrigued me, but the story was what got me hooked. A long-lost love come back to life… except he’s no longer Prince Charming, but rather, the villain.

Hold You Against Me opens up with the novella Tough Love, which introduces us to Clara, a mob princess, and Giovanni, a mob soldier. Here, they’re teenagers who are just falling for each other… until Clara has to run away and Gio has to give his life up for her to escape. Eight years later, Clara is using the freedom her love gave her to be an art student happy with her life. She’s never once forgotten Gio and his sacrifice… but it turns out nothing was as she believed when her lost love comes back, only turned dark, deadly, and dangerous.

The soldier or the boy. The monster or the lover. Which one is he? I think he might be a little of both, but the two can’t exist side by side. They’re fighting each other, battling within him. It remains to be seen which side will win.

I love Skye Warren’s writing. She’s able to write in a way that sucks the reader right into the story, feeling everything right alongside the main character. I could feel Clara’s awe, wonder, and relief at finding Gio still alive, juxtaposed with her feelings of despair, hurt, and helplessness at the heartless man he’s had to become. As the new leader of the mafia, Gio embodies everything Clara wanted to escape from as a young girl, but he’s returned only to drag her back into that world.

I loved Gio’s determination to getting Clara back, even though I hated that meant Clara losing her freedom again. There were so many ups and downs to this novel – I loved it! I couldn’t stop reading and trying to find out how everything would turn out between these two lost loves. And even though there are some dark parts (like the mafia and oh, kidnapping), the romance was sweeter than I could’ve imagined. Clara and Gio have both changed, for better or worse, but the love they have for each other has never diminished over the years. Their love swept me away – these two are IT for each other, and I was in awe of their devotion to one another.

When I was younger, I longed for freedom as if it were a place. I longed for love as if it were a person. In the end I found both back where I started, with the man who loved me all along.

If you love your dark reads on the sweeter side, I can’t recommend Hold You Against Me enough. It’s got a little suspense, an intriguing mafia world, and a heart-wrenchingly sweet romance to make this an entertaining read from start to finish. Now that I know how wonderful Hold You Against Me is, I’m so excited to read the rest of the series!

4 hearts
lacey

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


Reading Order: Stripped series

   
   

#0.5 ~ Tough Love: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#1 ~ Love the Way You Lie: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#1.5 ~ Heartbreak: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Better When It Hurts: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Even Better: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Pretty When You Cry: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3.5 ~ Caught for Christmas: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#4 ~ Hold You Against Me: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAM • GOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Release Promo + Excerpt & Giveaway: Stripped by H.M. Ward

Stripped-Release-Event-Graphic_AtoMR-Tours

Celebrating the release of Stripped (A Ferro Family Novel), author H.M. Ward is offering an amazing giveaway PLUS we have an excerpt! In Stripped, we get to know another Ferro brother, Jonathan Ferro!

strippedcovermednew

Title: STRIPPED – A Ferro Family Novel
Author: H.M. WARD
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press
Release: September 2, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Add to Goodreads

By New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling New Adult author H.M. Ward.

The V Card. Virgin. Most of us want to punch that sucker ASAP, and hide the fact until then, but not Cassie Hale. Three years ago she frickin’ covered hers in glitter and laminated the thing, proudly telling me that she’s waiting for the perfect guy.

So when I see her half naked, tangled together, rolling around on the floor with another stripper, I’m kind of shocked. Okay, that’s an understatement. I’m enthralled. I have to know what cracked her picture perfect world and landed her here, and I hope it’s something horrible-an event that broke her the way she broke me. Because, that’s who Cassie Hale is–the woman who stole my heart and crushed it in her hand.

   Purchase:
AmazonBarnes & Noble

Excerpt

As I climb the steps up the side of the stage and head to the silvery tinsel curtain, I call back to Beth. “Who is this party for again? And why is he the shit? I must have missed the memo.”

She laughs as she’s examining one of the lights within the glass table. It looks like fire, but it can’t be since it’s pink. She looks up at me. “Dr. Peter Granz, and he’s the shit because he’s a Ferro. Hence the swank party.” Beth looks up when I don’t answer.

I rush at Beth, nearly knocking her over. My jaw is hanging open as worry darts across my face faster than I can contain it. “Ferro?”

“Yeah, why?”

I’m in melt down mode. “I can’t be here.” I glance around the room and look at the door longingly. Before I make up my mind to run, I hear male voices approaching. Fuck! My heart pounds faster in my chest. If he’s here, if Jonathan sees me—the thought cuts off before it finishes.

I’m ready to bounce out the window when Beth grabs my wrist and hauls me to the front of the room. She shoves me behind the curtain and hisses in my ear, “If you freak out now, Gretchen will steal your job. Snap out of it. Whoever this guy is, he isn’t worth it.”

The tinsel curtain in front of me flutters, but it conceals both of us for the moment. The male voices grow louder until the door is yanked open. The curtain rustles and I’m in full freak-out mode. He can’t be here. He can’t see me like this. At the same time, Beth’s right. I can’t skip out. Bruce will run me over with the van and there’s no way in hell they’ll ever give me another cent.

I stand there, frozen, unable to think. Every muscle in my body is strained, ready to run, but I don’t move. My bare feet remain glued to the floor as I smash my lips together.

Then, I hear it—that voice. It floats through the air like a familiar old song. Oh God, someone shoot me. I can’t do this.

giveaway
Author Event Giveaway: (1) Kindle Fire Prize Pack: THE WINNER WILL GET: A Kindle Fire, Plus 32 of H.M. Ward’s hottest ebooks including: Stripped, NYT Bestseller Damaged 1 & 2, NYT Bestseller Scandalous 1 & 2, NYT Bestselling Series Arrangement Vol 1-9,  Secrets 1-5, The Secret Life of Trystan Scott 1-5, and Christmas Kisses, Demon Kissed 1-5, Bane 1 & 2 (Value $270US)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

about the author

H.M. Ward is the #1 bestselling New Adult author in the world, having sold over 2 million books in 2013. This NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, USA TODAY, and Amazon #1 bestselling writer’s series include: THE FERRO FAMILY: DAMAGED, THE ARRANGEMENT, and STRIPPED; as well as SCANDALOUS, TRYSTAN SCOTT, and SECRETS. Ward was recently featured in FORBES, the WALL STREET JOURNAL, and the WASHINGTON POST.

You can interact with this bestselling author at: www.facebook.com/AuthorHMWard.

Don’t want to miss a release date: Text AWESOMEBOOKS to 22828 and get an email reminder on release dates.

Blog • Facebook • Twitter

AToMRTours_mdm