Sunday, July 31, 2022

REVIEW: American Royalty by Tracey Livesay


American Royalty
is the first Tracey Livesay novel I've read and I've already started scrolling through her backlist because it will definitely not be my last. I immediately was drawn to Duchess (aka Dani) and how fierce she was. I loved all of her commentary about the people around her, whether it was lifting someone around her up or being unflinchingly honest, I thought she was the bees knees. Then, you put her in the path of the more seemingly uptight (and royal) Jameson and the tension and sparks were so fun to read--I was always wondering what would set them off next. They both antagonized each other, only to feel remorse later, but I couldn't help but enjoy it because I just knew that all of that tension was going to mean good things for later. And it did, y'all. Once they admitted the obvious sexual tension, it was on, and so much fun. Not only because they were hot together, but because of the things they shared together, the way they were protective of each other, and truly wanted what the other one wanted. 

The conflicts they each battled (her coattail rider, scrutiny of a future business partner and his family, namely his grandmother and her threats) also added to my interest and rapid page turning. Additionally, as an American ignorant of the royal traditions, I always love to delve into their world, even if it's fictional and only loosely based on their protocols, I love imagining what that world must be like. Add to that, a larger than life rap goddess and imagining what that must be like? This royal romance was my jam. 

If I have any complaint, it's that I wasn't ready for it to be over when I got to the end; I wanted pages and pages more of their life together, their HEA...but I admit that that was just a selfish wish on my part. There wasn't anything I didn't enjoy and as stated earlier, I am eager to read more of Tracey Livesay.



In this dangerously sexy rom-com that evokes the real-life romance between Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle, a prince who wants to live out of the spotlight falls for a daring American rapper who turns his life, and the palace, upside down.

Sexy, driven rapper Danielle “Duchess” Nelson is on the verge of signing a deal that’ll make her one of the richest women in hip hop. More importantly, it’ll grant her control over her life, something she’s craved for years. But an incident with a rising pop star has gone viral, unfairly putting her deal in jeopardy. Concerned about her image, she’s instructed to work on generating some positive publicity… or else.

A brilliant professor and reclusive royal, Prince Jameson prefers life out of the spotlight, only leaving his ivory tower to attend weddings or funerals. But with the Queen’s children involved in one scandal after another, and Parliament questioning the viability of the monarchy, the Queen is desperate. In a quest for good press, she puts Jameson in charge of a tribute concert in her late husband’s honor. Out of his depth, and resentful of being called to service, he takes the advice of a student. After all, what’s more appropriate for a royal concert than a performer named “Duchess”?

Too late, Jameson discovers the American rapper is popular, sexy, raunchy and not what the Queen wanted, although he’s having an entirely different reaction. Dani knows this is the good exposure she needs to cement her deal and it doesn't hurt that the royal running things is fine as hell. Thrown together, they give in to the explosive attraction flaring between them. But as the glare of the limelight intensifies and outside forces try to interfere, will the Prince and Duchess be a fairy tale romance for the ages or a disaster of palatial proportions?

Monday, July 25, 2022

REVIEW: Reverse by Kate Stewart



First things first: if you haven't read Drive, you absolutely need to read it RIGHT NOW or Reverse will not be as meaningful and of course, you'll know all the spoilery things if you don't and then decide you want to read it later. Additionally, because these books are so intimately connected, I undoubtedly will have spoilers about Drive in this review, so be forewarned and read no further if you don't like spoilers. 

Reverse is the story of Nate and Addie's daughter, Natalie, and Stella and Reid's son, Easton and just as Drive was a love triangle between Nate, Stella, and Reid, Reverse is also a love triangle of sorts. Except in this case, rather than it being a conflict between lovers, it's a conflict of love between lovers and love between families. As you know from Drive, when Stella and Nate end things, there is still love between them but with Stella and Reid being together, there's no way any sort of friendship will prevail and so they all walk away to live their respective lives as far away from each other as possible. So when Natalie begins meddling in things from the past, causing a meeting with Easton that then evolves into an intense weekend between them, we are to assume that disaster is looming. When a weekend turns into something more which turns into a hidden relationship, all hell breaks loose when Natalie and Easton end up secretly married and Nate and Reid find out, ripping them apart in some sort of Romeo and Juliet family fuckery. Does this sound like a night time soap opera? It does, doesn't it? Keep reading.

You may be asking yourself, why though? Why after all of these years would Nate, Reid, and Stella care if their children end up together? If they're all content and happy in their marriages, why does it matter? I, too, had that question and I had it for a very long time. Like 80-90% of the reading. Even after the secret is revealed, I didn't get why it was that big of a deal, other than it was a major plot point and the book couldn't have been what it was without it. There was a moment at the end, though, that finally made it make more sense and even though I finally 'got' it, I still thought that it was a little over the top and a little overbearing on the part of the parents. But, once you get to know Natalie and Easton and the relationship with their parents, it makes more sense. They were both sheltered and groomed for the lives that they grew into and those protections, while coming from a place of love, created an environment where their parents felt they had a right to react the way they did. 

While their parents' histories were a major part of how Natalie and Easton met and the major source of conflict between them, they approached things so differently that that also caused a lot of friction and hurt feelings on both sides. He'd want to bulldoze things and she'd want to take more time to consider all the angles and people involved and it just really caused a ton of issues. Both of them felt unheard and unsupported at times, obviously not good for a budding romance. 

So between their parents, miscommunication or the complete lack of it, plus their careers exploding at the same time, Natalie and Easton were headed toward heartache, which meant we were headed to it too. No lie, the conflict and angsty bits were both infuriating and heart pounding. I'd get SO MAD (mostly at Natalie) and then when I finally felt like I could breathe they'd do something AGAIN to get me all riled up again. And because this book is really long, those angsty bits seemed to go on for a lot longer too. The rollercoaster did not end until the very end--so hang on because once you hit it that first loop de loop, it just keeps going. 

All of that to say that while there were some parts that I could've lived without, I love when a novel gets me all sorts of crazy and these characters definitely did that. Also, the music, the inclusion of characters from Drive plus the new ones in Reverse, and the epilogue all worked together to get me through some of the things I struggled with (I had a really hard time liking Natalie, some unanswered questions about Easton, and I detested the way the parents were so overreactive) and by the end I enjoyed the crazy ride that it was.

Looking for a angsty, rock star romance that spans the course of two generations, is hotter than hades, and really showcases a love of music? Pick up Drive and Reverse today.



From the bestselling author of The Ravenhood Trilogy comes a angsty, steamy journey filled with love, loss, and self discovery.

Thirty years ago, my father became the other half of a broken love story.

A relationship he’s kept hidden for decades.

Upon unearthing his secret through a series of emails in our paper’s archives, I began my search for the truth. Haunted by my father’s love story, and in my quest for answers, I never imagined I would discover a love of my own. Or that my love for Easton Crowne would be key in discovering the reason behind what split our parents up.

Doomed from the start and knowing the havoc our relationship would inevitably wreak on our families, I could never have prepared for the toll it would take or the cost of the truth.

But in order to find our ending, we had to go back to their beginning.

My name is Natalie Butler, and this is my star-crossed love story.

The Bittersweet Symphony Duet
#1 Drive
#2 Reverse

*Both books in the duet must be read in order.

SNEAK PEEK: True North by JB Salsbury


He said he’d never fall in love.
Never say never.

True North, an all-new mistaken-identity contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury is coming August 8th, and we have your first look!

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.

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Keep reading for your first look inside True North!


An hour and a half later, we’re in the backseat of a minivan, trying to figure out how we’re going to smuggle a bag of double cheeseburgers and fries into the hotel without anyone seeing.
“Here, you take the fries and fill your pockets.” I hand him the containers of fries and pop a couple in my mouth in the process. “Oh, these are so good.”
“Stop eating them all.” He carefully slips the sleeve of fries into the inner pocket of his coat and then eyes me. “What about the burgers?”
Turns out, our meal at the restaurant was delicious. The meat was tender and juicy and full of flavor, but even after we ate blue corn cakes with elderberry syrup for dessert, we were still hungry. We also had two more drinks and a glass of dessert wine from the local winery, which may have directly contributed to our current situation.
Because the entire staff saw us eat in the restaurant, and we don’t want to insult anyone, we’re sneaking food back to our rooms.
I grab a burger and shove it into my clutch. Then I stuff another into my cleavage.
“You can’t do that. It’s too obvious,” Hudson says without looking at me. “Give it to me. I’ll tuck it under my arm.”
“Eww, I don’t want your armpit touching my burger.”
He shoves his hand out again. “Then it’ll be mine. Give it.”
“No, this works.” I pat the burger between my boobs. “Women do this all the time. Look. You can’t even tell.”
His gaze drops to my chest and then darts away. “Uh, yeah. You can.”
“It’s fine. I got this.”
“What do you mean women do this all time?”
I do a doubletake. Is he joking? “You didn’t know that women use their cleavage as a pocket?”

Want more? Continue reading here >>>

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.

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REVIEW: Run For Your Honey by Staci Hart



Staci Hart packs in a ton of sweet and funny in the last installment of the Blum sisters' series when both Poppy and Duke set goals of being the next mayor. In a series of run ins we get to know that Poppy and Duke were high school sweethearts until Duke left for school and things fell apart. Fast forward years later and he's baaaaaack with a ton of ambition and Poppy's target on his back. In their initial meetings, Poppy snarls and Duke feigns amusement, covering his lack of desire to hurt her, and you can't help but feel all the things--anticipation of things to come, hilarity at the dialogue, and curiosity about how things will end up. As things progress, Poppy becomes less snarly, Duke is more honest about some things, and even while they openly compete for the job of mayor, they find themselves secretly getting closer and closer. As you'd expect, some things happen that shake everything up but Staci Hart doesn't leave us hanging for long and we get the happily ever after that we wanted.

This series has been a delight. It's small town romance with all of the trappings of small town life--both the good and the bad. There's family and romance and laughter and all the happily ever afters you could want. If you haven't started the series, now's the perfect time to pick it up and escape into the world of the Blums. 


☀️🍯🐝  AVAILABLE NOW IN KU! πŸπŸ―☀️
Run For Your Honey, the FINAL book in Staci Hart's Blum's Bees series, is available now in KU! This second chance, enemies to lovers story is the perfect weekend binge! 
Grab your copy here:

🐝 Small Town
🐝 Second Chances
🐝 Enemies to Lovers
🐝 Steamy Texas Summer
🐝 Rivals Turned Lovers
🐝 Secret Relationship
🐝 Hot AF Rendezvous πŸ₯΅
🐝 Sassy, smart mouthed heroine
🐝 Suit turned cowboy hero
🐝 Available Now in KU!

But for reals, grab it ASAP!

Twelve years ago, my first and only love left town and never came back.
How dare he show up now, looking like that.
And? He’s running against me for mayor.
It’s unfair, him standing there, too tall and handsome for his own good. It’s audacious that his clothes accentuate every lean, strong curve of his body. It’s universal BS that his smile makes my heart flipflop, and it’s patently un-freaking-believable that my body would betray me when he turns that gorgeous smile on me.
I’ll do whatever it takes to win, and he knows it.
But when he kisses me, all bets are off.
If I win, he leaves.
If he wins, I lose.
And either way, he breaks my heart.

Monday, July 11, 2022

REVIEW: Tease by Melanie Harlow

I didn’t mean to say I was engaged to a hot billionaire–it just slipped out.

TEASE, an all new steamy fake engagement, small town romantic comedy from USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author Melanie Harlow, is now available!


 I feel like I should apologize to Melanie Harlow because what probably took her hours and hours to plot, plan and write, I demolished in the matter of a few hours. I absolutely could not stop reading what was going down between Felicity and Hutton. I'm not going to lie, Felicity had me cringing a few times, face palming a few times, but ultimately, just stanning (is that still a thing? am I dating myself?) her and Hutton. These two were made for each other. Of course, there was definitely some denial but isn't that what makes it so much fun?

A little backstory--Felicity and Hutton were best friends in high school, went their separate ways but remained friends through their college/post-college years, and had ginormous but never revealed crushes on each other, which brings us to now. Hutton is a billionaire techie and Felicity is starting a vegan catering company. He has a strong case of social anxiety and she has an even stronger case of impulsively talking to fill the quiet spaces when she's nervous...or when she feels especially threatened or extremely out of place, which is exactly what happened at their ten year reunion. Before you know it she's spun a story about being engaged to Hutton and a month out from their wedding to the biggest mouth in their class, who then blasts it to every media source she can. Cue Hutton and Felicity waking up to everyone they know thinking this is a thing and them having to play along. Through all of this, I found myself giggling at the ridiculousness and so hopeful that this would be the spark that these two needed to take the leap.

As soon as they decided they needed to "practice" being a couple, it was on. As much as Felicity and Hutton tried to fool themselves that this fake relationship wasn't real and had an end date, it sooo wasn't and didn't. They quickly fell into an intimate relationship --they shared secrets and opened up about things they didn't share with others--and their sexy times were *fans self* hot hot hot. Gah. And I loved all of that but I think their NYC trip was one of my favorite parts--so swoony. If I didn't already adore Hutton, I definitely did then. Of course, it couldn't end there; they both had to eff things up and get all sad but Melanie Harlow didn't make me suffer too long before we got to their HEA.

Tease hit me at the exact right time--it was such a nice escape that offered laughs and hot romance and has me, once again, looking forward to more of this series. Thanks, Melanie Harlow, for the best way to spend a summer day. 

I didn’t mean to say I was engaged to a hot billionaire–it just slipped out.

In my defense, I’d had a really bad haircut, a really strong drink, and I was trying to save face in front of the Mean Girl at my high school reunion.

Lucky for me, I happen to know a hot billionaire. Hutton French and I have been friends forever, and even though big social gatherings are not his thing, I called him from the coat closet and begged him for a favor–show up and play my fake fiancΓ© for the night.

Except that word of our engagement spreads like wildfire. Our families are ecstatic. We’re front page news. My little food blog is launched into the stratosphere.

Of course, I offer to set the record straight right away, but Hutton wants to give it a little time–the phony engagement will keep his matrimony-mad mother and every matchmaking granny in town off his back.

He even suggests I move in with him to make the ruse more real.

And we don’t stop there.

We practice kissing. Undressing each other. Saying things–and doing things–we’d never dare if we weren’t pretending. Because it’s all for show, right? We’re just role-playing. Hutton doesn’t want a real relationship, and I don’t want to get hurt. But the more time we spend faking it, the more I start to wonder.

Could Hutton French and I actually be right for each other, or is it all just one big tease?

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About Melanie Harlow
USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like Ted, Lasso, Schitt’s Creek, and Fleabag. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the BELLAMY CREEK series, the CLOVERLEIGH FARMS series, the ONE & ONLY series, AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, and the FRENCHED series. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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