Tuesday, August 9, 2022

REVIEW: True North by JB Salsbury



Choosing her may ruin his life.
But he doesn’t want a life without her.

True North, an all new forbidden, workplace contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury is now available!


OUR REVIEW:

 The North Brothers series has been such an addictive series for me. Every time a new book comes out, I manage to read it in a matter of hours because I get completely sucked into their world and don't want to leave it until I'm forced to. So the good news is, all of the novels are highly rated reads for me and the bad news? They're over so quickly and I'm left dying for more. 


In True North, we get to know Hudson better and he's my new favorite North (though to be fair, I've probably said that before). He's thoughtful and kind and such a fighter for the things and people he cares about. There's so much to adore about him but I especially adore how he treats Lillian (Lily). From the start, he is nothing but kind to her and sees all the things that others may see as detriments about her as her superpowers. He encourages her and supports her and gosh I just love him, if you can't tell. 


Lily, if I'm going to be truthful, was a little harder for me to connect to because I felt like I didn't really understand her backstory at first. As more was revealed, though, I came to understand her and I really enjoyed how and where her story ended. I liked how she could appear to be a set of contradictions--sometimes she seemed a little meek or easily embarrassed but then a page later, she'd be bold and honest. The thing that felt a scattered about her at the beginning, made everything make sense later and what she viewed as flaws, were the things that made her unique and interesting and led her to a job of a lifetime. I appreciated that she never tried to deny herself or Hudson the attraction she felt for him and that as the novel progressed, her strength was more and more on display. The more empowered she felt, the less crap she took from people--whether that was her brother, her former bosses, or even Hudson. 


Honestly, there wasn't anything I didn't enjoy about this novel. Hudson was a delight, as was Lily. I've enjoyed getting to know these brothers and their significant others and I'm very curious about the story it looks like we're getting with Hayes. Don't sleep on this series, it's a good one!

The North name is a heavy burden. Two things I learned young—the best way to keep my head on is to keep my head down, and… never fall in love.
But I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress.

Lillian came into my life swinging. Mistaking me for my abusive twin brother, she greets me with a swift kick to the balls and a busted lip. Then she really shakes up my world.

She needs her job, but she needs a break just as much. And nothing silences my demons as efficiently as playing the hero.

To protect her from my jerk twin—her boss—I take her on a business trip and quickly learn that she’s different. Blunt. Honest. Intriguingly strange. I’m transfixed, so when she unknowingly sinks a multimillion-dollar deal, I don’t speak up. Something my family won’t forgive.

Now, I have a choice to make. I can go against my own blood and burn the North legacy to the ground, or play it safe, commit to my self-imposed rules and predestined future. Choosing her would ruin my life as I know it, but I’m starting to wonder if a life without her is worth living.

Download your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/37GpaAM
Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/TrueNorthJB
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/38Yya4K
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3P7G0JH
Nook: https://bit.ly/3yuI2gZ

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3xsrvcB

Keep reading for an exclusive excerpt from True North!

Hudson

We stroll down the street, taking turns with the fried bread and looking at each booth that offers some variation of Native American cuisine. Lillian finds a way to strike up a conversation with everyone. The woman likes to talk. And I’m getting an unexpected level of enjoyment watching her.
“Let’s head to the arts section.” She tugs on my jacket sleeve. “I want to get a souvenir—oh, look! A bouncy house!” She hooks her hand into the crook of my elbow.
I startle a little at the contact, even though, so lost in her excitement, she doesn’t seem to notice she’s even touching me.
“We have to jump in the bouncy house!”
“Why? We’re not six years old.”
She drags me closer to the jungle-themed contraption, complete with inflated palm trees, monkeys, and bananas decorating the entrance. “Because it’ll be fun.” She whirls around, her pale blue eyes dancing. “You do remember what fun is, don’t you?”
“My idea of fun isn’t making a fool out of myself in front of a bunch of kids.”
“Why not?” She toes off her shoes. “Kids don’t care if you look like an idiot.”
“You go ahead.”
“You’re missing out,” she calls as she ducks through the strips of green plastic made to look like hanging vines.
Within one minute, she’s laughing with the kids, jumping in a blur of black, with her golden hair flying in every direction. I don’t mean to stare, so I pull out my phone, sure that there’s an email I can attend to, but her laughter keeps my eyes from the screen. I’ve never heard a sound so authentic, free from the constraint of social expectation or acceptance. Have I ever met a person who gets this much joy from something so simple and childish? Lillian balks at a three-Michelin-star meal and finds a contagious kind of joy from a bouncy house.
She’s breathing hard as she has an in-depth discussion with the kids about what she dressed up as for Halloween and who would win in a fight between Sophia the First and someone named Doc McStuffins. A little girl asks her where Lillian’s mom is and if she wants to have a playdate tomorrow.
“See that guy there?” Lillian points me out to her new friends. “He’s afraid of bouncy houses.”
The group of littles reply in multiple forms of shock.
An evil smirk tilts her lips. “I think he might feel brave enough to try if you guys go talk to him.”
“Oh, come on…” I grumble.
Three kids who I wouldn’t guess to be older than five come barreling toward me.
“Don’t be scared!”
“My little sister isn’t even afraid!”
“You can hold my hand.” A small hand slips into mine and holds on. The little girl with bright brown eyes and black hair tilts her head back to look up at me, and something warm seeps into my chest. “Just hold on, okay?”
Only an asshole would say no to that face.
I kick off my shoes and let her drag me to the bouncy house. The kids are still shouting their encouragement while Lillian dissolves into a fit of laughter.
“Don’t be a wussy!” one of the boys calls out while jumping furiously.
I release the little girl’s hand and walk straight into Lillian’s space. Her laughter dies, and I watch her throat bob with a hard swallow.
“I’m going to pay you back for this,” I say low so the kids don’t hear, which makes my voice rumble.
A spark fires in her eyes. “You’ll have to catch me first.”

Read more here>>> https://bit.ly/3oFoTD6

Start the Wild North Series of standalones now!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3a4T53v
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/WildNorth
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3s9EkCB
Nook: https://bit.ly/3eazOip

About JB Salsbury
JB Salsbury, New York Times Best Selling author of The Fighting Series, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day lost in a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles as stories claw away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.

Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to write her first novel.

Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award.

Connect with JB
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3stLCRV
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mZRQaR
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3stsCms
Twitter: https://bit.ly/3dtpF0X
Instagram: https://bit.ly/3x7WCbh
Website: http://jbsalsbury.com/

Monday, August 8, 2022

REVIEW: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

 


OUR REVIEW:


Love Her or Lose Her is unlike anything I've read in romance, or at least it's unlike anything I can recall reading in my recent past. The focus on Rosie and Dominic isn't about the lead up to their romance or how they fell in love, it's about how to foster and grow the love they used to have. What made Love Her or Lose Her interesting was reading this as someone who has been married for 22 years and knows how easily relationships can hit that slump and stay there, if you're not vigilant. I really appreciated a romance that focused on married love and how challenging it can be when the lines of communication aren't open--and how easily fracture in things can go from days to months before you even realize that it's happening. At first you make excuses, then you get used to it....until it's just not okay anymore, which is where we start with Rosie and Dom. The novel follows their journey to find their footing in their marriage, which means doing things outside of what's become comfortable and really examining your own role in contributing to how things are going. 


As heavy as all this seems, there were still many moments of humor and heat. The humor really came in with all of the secondary characters; I can tell I need to go back and read all of the books in this series. And the heat? Well, that's never been a problem with Tessa Bailey books and seriously not a problem with these two characters. As a matter of fact, their chemistry was one of the best things going for them. 


I enjoyed the self-reflection that Love Her or Lose Her provided as I was reading and am looking forward to delving into more of this series and pretty much everything Tessa Bailey writes. 

BUY IT HERE.

BLURB:

Named one of the Best Romances of 2020 by Insider and Oprah Magazine + Marie Claire's Best New Books of 2020

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation... 

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp. 

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippie. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret... and it could demolish everything.

“Her voice feels as fresh and contemporary as a Netflix rom-com.” —Entertainment Weekly

NEW RELEASE: True North by JB Salsbury

 

She’s his total opposite.
But she could be his everything.

True North, an all-new opposites attract contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury is now available!

The North name is a heavy burden. Two things I learned young—the best way to keep my head on is to keep my head down, and… never fall in love.
But I’m a sucker for a damsel in distress.

Lillian came into my life swinging. Mistaking me for my abusive twin brother, she greets me with a swift kick to the balls and a busted lip. Then she really shakes up my world.

She needs her job, but she needs a break just as much. And nothing silences my demons as efficiently as playing the hero.

To protect her from my jerk twin—her boss—I take her on a business trip and quickly learn that she’s different. Blunt. Honest. Intriguingly strange. I’m transfixed, so when she unknowingly sinks a multimillion-dollar deal, I don’t speak up. Something my family won’t forgive.

Now, I have a choice to make. I can go against my own blood and burn the North legacy to the ground, or play it safe, commit to my self-imposed rules and predestined future. Choosing her would ruin my life as I know it, but I’m starting to wonder if a life without her is worth living.

Download your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/37GpaAM
Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/TrueNorthJB
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/38Yya4K
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3P7G0JH
Nook: https://bit.ly/3yuI2gZ

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3xsrvcB

Start the Wild North Series of standalones now!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3a4T53v
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/WildNorth
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3s9EkCB
Nook: https://bit.ly/3eazOip

About JB Salsbury
JB Salsbury, New York Times Best Selling author of The Fighting Series, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day lost in a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles as stories claw away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.

Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to write her first novel.

Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award.

Connect with JB
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3stLCRV
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mZRQaR
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3stsCms
Twitter: https://bit.ly/3dtpF0X
Instagram: https://bit.ly/3x7WCbh
Website: http://jbsalsbury.com/

Friday, August 5, 2022

REVIEWS: 4 Football Themed Romances

This summer I went on a little bit of a football romance bender and it was so much fun that I thought I'd put together a few mini-reviews of what I liked about all of them. 


REVIEW | BUY

I started my bender with I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills. This novel starts with Delaney and Maverick one night their freshmen year of college and jumps forward to their senior year. She's coming off a bad break up and he's a seemingly notorious player. She's a proud nerd girl and he's the king of football. Seems like they're pretty opposite, right? Well, for as opposite as they are, they're also really kind, loyal, good people. Of course it's never that easy; there are secrets and lies and hurt feelings. There are mitigating factors with his sister and it never fails that a miscommunication makes for some angtsy moments but overall the angst was low, the romance was high, and the happily ever after was perfect for these two.

Synopsis:

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills returns with an all-new swoon-fest of a novel about what happens when you look beyond labels and take a chance on love. 

Bad Boy Athlete: 
I dare you to…
Delaney Shaw: 
Who is this?

The late night text is random, but "Bad Boy Athlete" sure seems to know who she is…

Delaney Shaw. 
Good girl.
Lover of fluffy kitties and Star Wars. 
Curious.

His dare? Spend one night in his bed—a night he promises will be unforgettable—and she can solve the mystery of who he is. 

She knows she shouldn't, but what else is she going to do with her boring Valentine's Day? One sexy hook-up later, her mind is blown and the secret's out.

Maverick Monroe.
The most talented football player in the country.
Just ask him.

Too bad for him Delaney's sworn off dating athletes forever after her last heartbreak.

But Maverick wants more than one night and refuses to give up on winning Delaney’s heart. She isn’t one to be fazed by a set of broad shoulders. 

Will the bad boy score the nerd girl or will the secrets they keep separate them forever?

I DARE YOU is a full-length college football romance.

This series of stand-alone sports romances also includes: I Bet You, I Hate You, and I Promise You.


REVIEW | BUY

Next, I read The Varsity Dad Dilemma by Lex Martin. Single parent, football players, and a little enemies to friends to lovers? Sign me up! Gabby and Rider started out as friends their freshmen year and then he basically ghosted her. Here we are senior year and he and some of his football players, including her brother, live across the street. She pretty much hates everything about that house across the street but when a baby shows up, she puts her type A organization skills to the test and helps them out until they can figure out what to do with the baby. Along the way, Gabby and Rider fall for each other and battle through some obstacles to find their HEA. 

SYNOPSIS:
★ A sexy, small town sports romance from USA Today bestselling author Lex Martin! ★

What’s worse than having Rider Kingston, the star quarterback, give you the big brushoff because he doesn’t want to get serious? You’d probably think living across the street from him where you get a first-hand view of his hookups, right?

That’s what I thought. Until someone drops off a baby with a note pinned to her blanket that says one of those jocks—either Rider or one of his roommates—is the father. The problem? Baby mama doesn’t mention which of these numbskulls is the sperm donor.

I wouldn’t care about their paternity problems—not the slightest bit—except my brother lives there too. Which means that adorable squawking bundle might be my niece, and there’s no way I’m leaving her unattended with those bumbling football players.

They need my help, even if they don’t know it yet. Once we solve this dilemma and figure out who’s the daddy, I’m out.

I’ll just ignore Rider and those soul-searing looks he gives me every time I reach for the baby. He broke my heart three years ago. He won’t get a second chance.




REVIEW | BUY

Tight Ends and Tiaras is the second book in this series by Lex Martin and just when you think the surprise dad trope is done in this series, it's not! This time it's Ben who finds himself in a situation he didn't expect and the sweet Sienna finds herself trying to help him out. He's trying to make his way into the NFL, despite a dickish coach, and she's trying to find her way outside of a manipulative dad, and they're both trying to figure out how to parent a one year old who has basically been abandoned by a good for nothing ex. They find themselves in a fake dating situation, that very quickly turns into more. Throw in a little angsty times and one heck of an explosive scene and before you know they've broken up and found themselves back together again and if you're like me, you've inhaled yet another football romance and are ready for more.

 SYNOPSIS:
★ USA Today bestselling author Lex Martin delivers a swoony, single dad romance about a college football player and the fake girlfriend he knows he should resist.


Football is one hundred percent the focus of my life—until a squawking toddler, with a temper to rival my own, lands in my lap and flips my life upside down.

I'll never be Dad of the Year. Anyone will tell you that. Except maybe Sienna, my sister's former roommate, who somehow manages to make my broody ass laugh and sees something in me no one else does.

When Sienna offers to let me and my little princess move in with her, I'm not sure if it's to help or because she wants revenge on my teammate and long-time rival, who broke her heart.

Either way, I'm game. Because I need to get my ex off my back, and Sienna doesn't mind pretending to be my girlfriend.

Only neither of us is ready for the sparks that fly between us or the consequences when they do.



REVIEW | BUY

That leads us to my most recent football romance, Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills. Truthfully, the eye catching color of the cover is what initially grabbed my attention and the synopsis was interesting, so I dove in. The way that Ronan and Nova initially hook up was a little bit off for me, if I'm going to be honest but I quickly put it aside as the story moved past that to a few years later when they find themselves as neighbors. Nova immediately recognizes him but it takes him a little bit longer to put two and two together. He's now the coach of the local high school team, she's moved home to take care of her younger sister in is in need of a job, and low and behold, there's one available at his school and part time as his assistant. Between the nosy small town boosters trying to settle him down and her ex, they decide fake dating is a thing they should do to buy them some time and space. During their fake dating, we get to know them and I felt like the thing that was off about the initial hook up is explained. Lots of humor and heart and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. 


SYNOPSIS:

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancĂ©e in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?


Monday, August 1, 2022

REVIEW: Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan

 


OUR REVIEW:

After Whelan wrenched my heart in My Oxford Year, I was eager to see what damage she'd do to me in Thank You for Listening and I'm happy to report that I made it out alive and heart fully intact. 


I've been in a weird reading space where I'm either zooming through books in a day or laboring over them with half a mind to DNF them but stubbornly persisting. In many of these cases the end result is a mixed bag. I don't know what's going on with me, because let's face it--it's most likely a me thing and not the book, but I have been seeking something with a little more to it than just the feel good glow at the end. Thank You for Listening gave me that thing that I've been looking for. It gave me those much needed moments where I put down the book, stared off into space, and reflected on how certain things applied to me, if they applied to me, and what I could foresee doing about them, if I did anything at all. I guess what I'm saying is that I appreciated the opportunity to reflect and ponder and get lost in the story and myself all at the same time. 


So needless to say, Sewanee's story of cynicism and loss transitioning into that one that shows her emboldened and content at the end was just the story I needed today. While there were sections that were more introspective and serious, there were also just as many times I laughed out loud or found myself smitten by one of the other characters. And now having enjoyed both of her novels, I can definitively say that Julia Whelan is a definite one-click, must read for me.


BUY IT: https://amzn.to/3GzsfPX

SYNOPSIS:

For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger. 

On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her. 

As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more.

If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

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