Thursday, August 13, 2020

REVIEW: The Pool Boy by Nikki Sloane



If you know anything about Nikki Sloane's previous books you have to take one look at the title and the cover and know that this book is going to be hotter than hot. SPOILER ALERT: it is. Gah. The other thing fans of her work know is that the hotness is just part of it--it's the story that just pulls you in and keeps you coming back for everything she writes. 

In the case of The Pool Boy, it's really the story of Erika that initially grabbed me. Her burgeoning confidence and confrontation of flaws was refreshing and my favorite thing? Her age. So many times an age gap story line is about an older man and a younger woman. Heck, even in the real world the scandal is less with the older man/younger woman than with the older woman/younger man and it's just so ridiculous and dumb. As long as you're two consenting adults, who cares? WHO CARES?!!! Gah. But it's this stigma and fear of scandal that drives a large part of the emotional conflicts of Erika. It's real and the way that it's handled is just so well done. As much as I appreciate Erika's story arc, I really loved how Troy was written. He was the perfect mate for her and if I had my magic fairy wand, I would have loved for Nikki Sloane to add more chapters to see how things are going for them--I am imagining all sorts of HEAs for them, in addition to the one they were given. 

One final thing--when I was reading, I initially thought the neighbor and their story was a reference to Katee Robert's delightfully naughty Your Dad Will Do (if you haven't read it and you liked The Pool Boy, you definitely should read it!). But I was wrong. Somehow, someway, I never read Nikki Sloane's The Doctor. The neighbor's story is actually told in that one and you better believe, I'm buying and reading that next! And I'm super excited to see they'll be a third novel in this series of stand alones--can't wait to see who's next!

So to sum up, if you're looking for a quick, hot af, age gap read with a lot of heart this is definitely the novel for you.

You're going to get wet...

The Pool Boy by Nikki Sloane is now live!

Nothing says happy birthday like catching your husband in a compromising position with his boss.

His male boss.

Why, hello, midlife crisis. I'm starting over, but this time I'm doing it right. Or at least I'm doing what I want.

Taking the day off from work to hang out poolside? Yup. Do I leave the swimsuit in my house? Sure.

Does my very hot, twenty-something pool boy happen to catch me naked? Oh, yeah, he does. And he likes what he sees... a lot.

My best friend keeps telling me to have a fling and get back out there. But I'm not so sure she meant for me to do it with her son.

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Troy Osbourne came once a week to service both my pool and the freestanding spa. I’d hired him last year to handle closing and covering the pool for the winter, then reopening it for me last month, and his weekly visits that followed had kept the water crystal clear and the pH perfectly balanced.

My pool had never looked so good.

But Troy always came when I was at work and let himself in through the gate at the side of my fence, so I had completely forgotten his schedule. He must have gone behind the pool house and inside to fetch his supplies, and when he’d rounded the corner and discovered me topless, he’d dropped everything in his arms.

Including the long pole with the net on the end.

It was as if someone had put their foot down on the sustain pedal of a piano, only this piano played the music of time, and the moment suspended with my long, drawn out gasp.

I was topless, and he was frozen, and holy shit, he was my best friend’s twenty-four-year-old son.

It burst from my lips in horror. “Oh, fuck!”

 In my panic, I grasped at my towel to cover myself, only to struggle, hopelessly, since it was pinned beneath my body. I leapt to my feet and yanked the terrycloth up, pressing it over my naked chest.

Troy still hadn’t moved. His lips were open, as if he’d planned to say something, but now he was frozen and unable to do anything. I couldn’t see his eyes behind his mirrored Aviator sunglasses, but he didn’t seem to be breathing.

So, I did what any reasonable woman would when a gorgeous, almost-stranger caught her naked.

I ran.

Meet Nikki

USA Today bestselling author Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there.

Now she lives in Kentucky, is married and has two sons. She is a three-time Romance Writers of America RITA© Finalist, a Passionate Plume winner, a two-time HOLT Medallion finalist, and couldn't be any happier that people enjoy reading her sexy words.

Connect with Nikki







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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

REVIEW: Pretty Face by Lucy Parker


In this second stand alone in the London Celebrities series, we get a sharp, cynical, clumsy and funny Lily and the resident grumpy cat and her new boss, Luc. As you can guess, it's a romance (and comedy) that probably shouldn't happen because of the work situation but I'm so glad it does. Their resistance to each other is short (and futile) which leaves more time for me to chuckle at their quips and, even more interestingly, feel surprisingly wounded when their 'trouble' starts. I liked them together so much that when the inevitable bad thing happened I had to put down the book for a few minutes because I wasn't ready for either of them to have their heart broken. If that's not a great sign of how invested I was in their characters, I don't know what is. Fortunately, the angsty part was over relatively quickly and painlessly and their HEA was just as sweet and funny as I hoped it would be.

Looking for a light, romcom set in the London theater district? This is the read for you.



The play’s the fling

It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.

Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…

Don’t miss the London Celebrities series by Lucy Parker! Order your copy of Act Like ItMaking Up & The Austen Playbook today!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

REVIEW: The One Real Thing by Samantha Young


You know how sometimes you start a book and it's like you're sinking into the most comfortable couch--it's that feeling of warmth and ease that just feels right and makes you want to sit and read for a while? Yeahhhh, that's what I felt when I started The One Real Thing. I immediately sunk into the novel, began feeling curious about Jessica and her story, and was very curious about how finding the person who needed to read those letters would go. Somewhere along the way the letter went on the back burner and I had more of a vested interest in Jessica and Cooper and all the folks on the boardwalk.

This new book by Samantha Young had a little bit of everything--insta-lust/love, insta-best friends, some bad guys, some intrigue, and a ton of fantastic secondary characters--ones I'm hoping we'll get to know more about in future books. This is definitely a great book to have on the weekend--imagine yourself curled up next to a fireplace with a hot cup of something next to you and nothing but time to read this book. Sounds good doesn't it?

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…
While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life.  Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.
Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations.  But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her.
Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for….

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

REVIEW: Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley


First off, KA novellas are never really novellas, they're novels (thank god). 

Second, I'm gonna be in deep recovery after Shirleen's novel because omg, KA held nothing back--she went in deep and she did it fast. Seeing Shirleen fall in love with Moses was hilarious and touching and seeing how deeply she loved her boys and her boys loved her ...well, bring on the waterworks. I teared up a few times in this reading, along with some serious laughting fits. 

I loved their story. And, when you read the epilogue, I can't help but wonder if we'll ever get a spinoff for a few characters (Sniff! Roam! And always, Darius!). 

Friendship, family, laughter and love are the cornerstones of this series and a reason I'll always turn to it for comfort and undying hope that she'll find a way to continue their stories.



As a Rock Chick, Shirleen Jackson lived through all the kidnappings and explosions. Along the way, she also watched the dramatic love stories that came with those rides unfold.

But long ago, Shirleen made her choice. It affected who she was and would always be. She decided to settle for what she had and not want more. She had good friends. She was raising two fine young men who weren’t hers, but she loved them anyway.

She was good.

And then Moses Richardson crashed into her life, literally…and deliberately.

Moses has different ideas about Shirleen. He’s more interested in the Shirleen of now, mostly because she’s interesting. And funny. And loyal. Smart. Beautiful.

But Moses has a big challenge on his hands.

He has to convince Shirleen of all that.

And then convince her she deserves to have more.

Monday, August 3, 2020

REVIEW: Exodus by Kate Stewart

EXODUS, book two, is the explosive conclusion in The Ravenhood Duet from best-selling author, Kate Stewart, is LIVE! Get ready for a sinfully 𝐇𝐎𝐓, 𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐒𝐓𝐘, 𝐔𝐍𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐕𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐋, and 𝐓𝗪𝐈𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐃 love story filled with suspense, a little action, and 𝐀𝐋𝐋. 𝐎𝐅. 𝐓𝐇𝐄. 𝐅𝐄𝐄𝐋𝐒! ⁣⁣

EXODUS (The Ravenhood Duet, book 2) by Kate Stewart
Cover designed by: OkayCreations



Sinfully hot?


There are no lies detected in the advertising of this book. This duet, and in particular, Exodus, has got us alllll in our feelings. I know I can speak for both of us when I say we were glued to this duet as it hit our Kindles and stayed up until all hours of the day and night to see what would happen next and how the story of Cecelia, Sean, Dom, and Tobias would end. 

Court: YASS, I literally stayed up until 7 a.m. and finished this book, yelling at my husband and animals that they would not ruin the first time I read this book. It physically pulled me apart from the inside out and I would be dead if I didn't love Shelley and Kate Stewart so much right now, for real. 

Shel: Accurate depiction of us both:

Shel: Without giving any major plot points away, let me just express how many of the texts between us went down:

COURT: Where are you in the book?
Me: tells her.
COURT: 😭😭😮😮😭😭
Me: 😭😭😭😭😭😭😮😮😮😮😭😭😭😭😭😭

There were also several of these exchanged: 


There was definitely an exchange that was simply:

And there were times...TIMES (note the plural) where we both felt like this:

Shel: The novel is definitely twisty and turny and unpredictable--all things that kept us on our toes, in our feelings, and completely hooked on Cecelia, Tobias, Sean, and Dom. I loved how in depth Kate Stewart went into plot and characters in this novel. We got the past and the present. We got the backstory and how it connected to the events that set this all off. We got actual answers--the hows and the whys. We got our hearts broken and our hearts healed. This duet was so good that we're both hoping that Kate decides to circle back to some of the side characters (and new characters introduced in Exodus) because neither of us are quite ready to leave the world she created in Triple Falls. This duet is so good that with months remaining in 2020, we already know this will be a top read of 2020. This novel is so good that we say it's a MUST READ. 

Court: It is absolutely everything she said and more. I am still dying, and I know it won't be one that leaves me. She found a way to use words to delve way down deep into these characters, and gosh, must have been deep down in herself to give so much life to this duet. I for 100% sure know that I can't tell you the last time a book effected me this way. Book hangover was felt right down to my bones, and I hope you read it. The blurb doesn't give you much, and that is exactly as it should be. There is a lot of thick plot here, folks, and I hope that it makes you stay up all night too! 

Shel: Kate Stewart, we know that many authors these days don't read reviews and we totally get it. But should you read anything in this review, we hope you know how much we enjoyed these characters and how much we'd love to see more of what you built here. And if that's not possible, we just need you to get started on your next novel because you've put us in a desperate place as we wait for what you do next.  Court: Same. We've read a few others, and I loved them, and honestly wasn't sure they could be topped. I have got to stop saying that, because holy crap I was wrong. Keep doing what you do, and we'll keep right on loving every single word of it! 


Can you live a lie?

It’s a ghost town, this place that haunts me, the one that made me.

It’s clear to me that I’ll never outgrow Triple Falls or outlive the time I spent here.

I can still feel them all, my boys of summer.

Even when I’d sensed the danger, I gave in.

I didn’t heed a single warning. I let my sickness, my love, both rule and ruin me. I played my part, eyes wide open, tempting fate until it delivered.

There was never going to be an escape.

All of us are to blame for what happened. All of us serving our own sentences. We were careless and reckless, thinking our youth made us indestructible, exempt from our sins, and it cost us all.

I’m done pretending I didn’t leave the largest part of me between these hills and valleys, between the sea of trees that hold my secrets.

It’s the reason I’m back. To make peace with my fate.

And if I can’t grieve enough to cure myself in my time here, I’ll remain sick. That will be my curse.

But it’s time to confess, to myself more so than any other, that I’d hindered my chances because of the way I was built, and because of the men who built me.

At this point, I just want to make peace with who I am, no matter what ending I get.

Because I can no longer live a lie.
Add to your GOODREADS TBR:
𝐅𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤- (The Ravenhood #1)-⁣⁣
𝐄𝐱𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐬- (The Ravenhood Book #2)-⁣⁣


The Ravenhood Duet Spotify Playlist:

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About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author and Texas native, Kate Stewart, lives in North Carolina with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. She pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance, as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense. Kate's title, Drive, was named one of the best romances of 2017 by The New York Daily News and Huffington Post. Drive was also a finalist in the Goodreads Choice awards for best contemporary romance of 2017. Her works have been featured in USA TODAY, BuzzFeed, and translated in five languages.

Kate is a lover of all things '80s and '90s, especially John Hughes films and rap. She dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity, and on occasion, does very well at whiskey.

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