Game On (Hometown Players #6) by Victoria Denault-a review

Game On (Hometown Players #6) by Victoria Denault-a review

Game On

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About the book: Release Date October 10, 2017

When it comes to scoring in the pro hockey league, Alex Larue is crushing it-with the hot puck bunnies. He’s the life of the party, the guy with all the jokes . . . and the one whose Party Guy mask keeps the real him well hidden. The last thing he needs is anyone finding out about his troubled past, or the nightmares that haunt him still.

Brie Bennett is less than impressed by Alex from the moment she meets him. And even though he insists on volunteering at the charity she runs, she doesn’t trust him. He’s hiding something…but so is she. She’s not just the rich, privileged New York princess he thinks she is. The animosity between them is undeniably addictive and as their worlds keep colliding it becomes supercharged with something else – attraction. But if they stop playing games and let each other in, they both might lose.

••••

Review:
Game On begins with Alex Larue on a new team, in a new city. His new team picked an old friend and fellow Frenchman, Luc, to be his “buddy” to show him around and also to show him the ropes as far as his new team goes. After Alex is shot down in hilarious fashion at Starbucks, they head to the arena for practice. Once practice is over, he finds out that his coach isn’t really game (pardon the pun) on having him on his team. He knows he’ll have to work harder than ever…… The one constant that keeps him sane is his work with children who’ve not had an ideal childhood. After all, why would he not try and stop kids from going through things that still, all these years later, give him nightmares.

Brie Bennett is bound and determined to keep the charity she founded afloat without asking her parents for help. She knows they’re in a bit of a jam financially, but vows to make ends meet one way or another. Enter Alex Larue, mega hockey star, and the guy that she shot down at Starbucks, wanting to volunteer for none other than her charity. What are the odds? She finally backs down and lets him volunteer when her best friend hammers it home that he can bring in a lot of money for them. Even though she doesn’t trust his motives, she does trust in the fact that big names draw big money.

Once Alex and Brie agree to be a team, and Brie lowers her guard, they come together to get a kid off of the streets. Not only does that help the kid, it helps Alex and Brie see that maybe they need to give their growing mutual attraction a chance. When obstacles hinder their progress, both professionally and personally, they both face them head on…….kind of.

Game On is a great story. Brie shatters that “pampered princess” persona so many of her ilk are known for. She’s ferocious when it comes to those she considers hers in the home that she runs for the homeless. She’s a great daughter to her parents and she’s a great friend. She is also very protective of her past. Alex is not your typical mega sports star. Yes, his reputation precedes him, but it is also a mask that hides a horrendous childhood that he is bound and determined to keep hidden. When he rises to the occasion and faces his past and puts it out there for all to see? Amazing. But, let me tell you….when you see how his and Brie’s lives were intertwined? Get a tissue. Game On is ultimately a story about facing your past in order to leave it there…in the past. It is also a story that shows that more times than not, karma can actually be your friend. I’ve not read any of Denault’s books in this series before this one, but I will rectify that as soon as I can. I didn’t see a problem with this being read as a standalone. I look forward to the next installment. Well done, Victoria Denault! Very well done.

Copy supplied for review.

Reviewed by Vickie M.

About The Author

Follow: website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook

Victoria DenaultVictoria’s a member of the Romance Writers of America and is  represented by Kimberly Brower.  Her debut novel, One More Shot, was released June 2, 2015. Making a Play and The Final More released later the same year and two years later, the now six book series, concludes with Game On, releasing October 10, 2017.

Victoria’s first trade paperback series, The San Francisco Thunder, debuted May 2017 starting with Score and the follow-up Slammed will release December 5, 2017.

If Nicholas Sparks and Christina Lauren had a love child, it would be Victoria Denault. Her characters are mostly from simple beginnings with big hearts, bigger passions, bold personalities and authentic obstacles on their winding path to true love. Their journeys are never easy, but they’re always worth it.

Victoria’s love of writing and books began at 12 when she picked up her first Sweet Valley High and grew from there as she devoured everything from Christopher Pike to SE Hinton to Mary Higgins Clark and more. Her favorite childhood gift remains the 1930s typewriter her parents found at a garage sale.

Victoria has a BA in English, a graduate diploma in Journalism and has taken both creative and screenwriting courses at UCLA Extension. She’s worked as a professional cheerleader, reporter, editor, stand-up comic, actor and in marketing and advertising before becoming a full-time author. She was born in Quebec, Canada where hockey is a religion and has been a fan of the sport since childhood. She’s written editorial and humor pieces on the National Hockey League for CanucksHockeyBlog.com, and has had her articles picked up by Yahoo Sports and the Vancouver Canucks.

Victoria has lived in many major cities across North America, spent her childhood summers in Maine and adult summers in Spain. She’s now happily settled in Los Angeles with her husband and their two chubby Chihuahuas, Gus and Belle.

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Playing With Forever by Amy Andrews – a Review

Playing With Forever by Amy Andrews – a Review

 

Playing With ForeverAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
Country boy, Ryder Davis has the world at his feet. A stellar rugby career, a winning way with women and a beach view that keeps him in blue sky and bikini babes. He’s living the dream.  The last thing he needs is a Great Dane called Tiny destroying his feng shui.  

Dog whisperer, Juliet Morgan is about to start living her dream and she’s counting down the days. In two months she’ll finally be moving to Italy and no man’s going to stop her this time. Not even a rugby superstar with a badly behaved pooch.  

But when Ryder skids into the animal shelter looking for help Juliet agrees to assist him with his canine issues.  Pretty soon they’re assisting each other out of their clothes and tumbling headlong into a sex thing with an expiry date. 

Neither of them expected it to become more. But when for now starts to feel like forever Juliet hits the panic button. Ryder knows he has to play the long game and let her walk away. After all it’s not over until the final hooter sounds and all’s fair in love and rugby. 


Review;

Amy Andrews is a new author for me and I’m glad I had the chance to read Playing with Forever.  I really enjoyed this one from beginning to end.  Ms. Andrews seems to know how to grab the reader’s interest from the first page.  Playing with Forever is a fast paced, hot, steamy, sexy, charming and fun story. 

I quite enjoyed both of the lead characters in this one.  Both Ryder and Juliet are very strong, confident, take charge type characters.  Both know what they want out of a relationship and sex and aren’t afraid of showing it.  The chemistry between these two is off the charts, and every time they get together they set the pages a blaze. Their romance is fast to get going, but Ms. Andrews never made it feel like it was just thrown together.  Even though Ryder and Juliet’s romance started pretty much from the get go in their story, we were still allowed to learn what makes the two tick as individuals, and as a couple.  The supporting cast of characters help to propel their romance forward showing us different sides to both characters.   Along with their intense and steamy romance, they wind up forming a very strong friendship along the way and aren’t even aware of the fact they are falling in love with one another until it’s almost too late for them. 

The timing of the scenes that show us when they realized they’ve fallen in love with each other is spot on and perfect for the final climax of the book.  These scenes leave you hanging on the edge of each page wondering if they are going to make it or not.  I absolutely loved the scene when Ryder learns that Juliet loves him, it’s so Juliet and fitting how she tells him.  It was a cute, yet tender scene.  You have to read the book to know what I’m talking about and being one who doesn’t like spoilers, I’m not spoiling anything for you. 

Even though Playing with  Forever is a very intense and steamy romance, Ms. Andrews manages to lighten things up with some humour and fun involving a Great Dane named Tiny who isn’t very tiny and only seems to respond to the female gender.   This leaves poor Ryder frustrated at times and thus Tiny is the reason for Ryder and Juliet’s paths crossing.  Their interactions with Tiny are comical at times, but light and refreshing which is makes it a perfect balance against their intense and sexy romance.  Playing with Forever is a fun, charming and sexy read, with two lead characters who manage to carry the story with little to no effort.  It’s a perfect read for a lazy Sunday afternoon with a you favourite glass of wine and box of chocolates or carton of ice cream. 

Until next time, happy reading.

Reviewed by Marcie

Copy provided by Publisher

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Elina/Halo Boy by M. Garzon – Reviews

Elina/Halo Boy by M. Garzon – Reviews

 

Halo BoyAmazon

Description:
How do you fix things when you’re failing at every part of your life? Don’t ask me. 
I did okay in high school. I had friends, dated, even made decent grades thanks to my brainy twin sister. But now high school’s over. It’s time to be a man… if only I knew how. 

I couldn’t live by my stepfather’s rules, so I flew the coop and landed at my genetic father’s, in Spain. A whole new country for me to screw up in. So of course, I did. After I’d burned through a second family, there was nowhere left for me to go. Maybe I was destined to wander the earth—me, the homebody. 

 

Review:

Halo Boy by M.Garzon spot lights Seth, Tea’s twin brother.  We met Seth in the Blaze of Glory trilogy and learned a little about him, but now it’s time for Seth to stretch his legs and tell his story. 

Halo Boy is about feeling lost, finding oneself and learning that it’s okay to screw up along the way as long as you don’t loose sight of the big picture and forget where you came from.  Seth is your typical teenager, sorta adrift with his life, and not knowing where he wants to go next, or what he really wants out of life.  He feels that by going to Spain and meeting his biological father he can find all this out.  However, it’s the exact opposite, he doesn’t want to be anything like his biological father, in fact he starts to realize that maybe Dec, his stepdad, is the father he truly wants to have in his life.  It’s through his friend Eli who he meets in Spain, and a family he winds up working for in Ireland on a horse breeding farm of all places, go figure eh Seth, back to the horses again, that he finally realizes just what he wants out of life and what direction he wants to go with his life.  He finally figures out what he wants to do once he’s done school.  Once Seth finally comes to this realization he decides it’s time to finally go home to the only real home he’s ever had, and wants to have back in Canada on the farm he loves dearly, and everyone he truly loves and holds dear lives.

Halo Boy is a sweet story about a teenage boy who feels like he’s failed at everything and is destined to be a screw-up the rest of his life.  I enjoyed watching Seth go through his journey and finally realize that he isn’t a screw-up, but only needed to find what he loves most and go for it.  Watching Seth ‘grow up’ and see that he can  do whatever he wants in life if he puts his mind to it and believes in himself was very satisfying for me because I always felt bad for him in the Blaze of Glory trilogy. I was hoping we’d get to see Seth’s side of things and see how he came to the realization he came to in the end of the Blaze series.  Ms. Garzon has knack for writing these coming of age stories and showing just what young people of today deal with in there every day lives.  Seth is a well written character that any teenage boy can relate to and connect with in reading Halo Boy.  Halo Boy is a well written story, with a solid cast of characters and plot development.  It’s a story that any young person can connect with, along with any parents who have teenagers today.  I feel another hit coming on for Ms. Garzon with Halo Boy.

Until next time happy reading everyone. 

 

Elina

  Amazon

Description:
A mother will always do what’s best for her children… even if it means giving up her own chance at happiness.

A decade ago, Elina’s life was derailed by a smooth-talking charmer. Since then she’s toiled endlessly to create a better life for her children, putting thoughts of romantic love aside. But when handsome, intimidating Declan wins her over with his timely help and old-fashioned notions of love, Elina has a decision to make. Her long-awaited financial success requires a move to Montreal, a city too far away to keep new love alive, and Declan runs his family’s equestrian business – he can’t move. How can Elina find happiness when her heart is pulling her one way and her children’s futures are pulling in another?

Discover the story behind the Blaze of Glory trilogy readers have come to love. You don’t know everything about a man until you know his history.


Review:

Well Ms. Garzon has done it again with Elina.  She’s written a story that reaches the  reader on a realistic level with real fleshed out characters who are facing very real everyday problems/issues.  This is Elina’s story, Tea and Seth’s mother, whom we learn a little about in the Blaze of Glory trilogy.  After learning what we do of Elina in the Blaze of Glory triology through her children and Declan, it was nice to finally read her story, and see how she and Declan met and fell in love.  As nice as it was to read Elina and  Declan’s story, it was somewhat sad for me as I knew what becomes of Elina in the Blaze of Glory trilogy.  So for me it was a little bittersweet when I got to the end of this story. 

As we meet and learn who Elina is in this one, we also get to meet a much younger version of Tea and Seth.  These two just steal the show with every scene they are in and watching the mother/child interactions is sweet and adorable.  We can see and feel the love that this little family has for each other and you can’t help but fall in love with them.  Seeing the determination and willingness Elina has, and will do whatever she has to for her children is very strongly written and empowering.  Elina is a very strong female protagonist that anyone can relate and connect with. 

Elina and Declan’s budding romance is rocky at first but slowly moves into a sweet, charming and loving relationship.  For Declan it’s practically love at first sight not only with Elina but her children as well.  You can see Declan’s love for not only Elina but her twins as well with his actions and words whenever they are in scenes together.  He knows they are a package that goes together and stays together and is willing to take them all on because he loves them that much.  When Declan admits all this to Elina it’s a scene that steals the story, and made me wish I didn’t know what was to come for Elina in the Blaze trilogy.  Elina and Declan are a wonderful well written and realistic couple who both have problems of their own, but together realize that they are stronger together then apart.

In my opinion Ms. Garzon has another hit on her hands.  Elina is a lovely, charming, heartwarming and well written pre-quel to the Blaze of Glory trilogy.  I enjoyed finally learning and reading about Elina, the younger versions of Tea and Seth and seeing how Elina and Declan met and came to be.  It’s a fast paced story that is hard to put down once you get going with it.  The events happen quickly and keep the reader interested every turn of the page to the very end.   For anyone who hasn’t had a chance to read these wonderful, heartwarming stories from Ms. Garzon, I say what are you waiting for. 

Until next time, happy reading everyone!

Reviewed by Marcie

Copies supplied for reviews

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Roman (Cold Fury Hockey #7) by Sawyer Bennett-a review

ROMAN (Cold Fury Hockey #7) by Sawyer Bennett-a review

Roman

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 21, 2017

n a league full of troublemakers, Cold Fury defenseman Roman Sýkora stands out—at least when it comes to negative publicity. When he’s not chilling in the penalty box, the sizzling Czech skate demon is racking up tabloid headlines for his scandalous behavior with the ladies. But now Roman’s feeling the burn from management to clean up his act, or else. Luckily he’s got an enticing distraction: a fun-loving barista who plays the ukulele and brings out a side of Roman he didn’t know he had.

Lexi Robertson came to Raleigh, North Carolina, to finally meet her father, Brian Brannon, and her half sister, Gray, both of whom work in the Cold Fury’s front office. That’s where she first meets sexy, intimidating Roman—who’s really a big softie at heart. As one relationship takes off, another begins: Brian seems to be clicking with Lexi’s boss at the coffee shop. But when the friction between Roman and her new family heats up, Lexi wonders whether she’s a pawn in their game. Feeling hurt and foolish, Lexi’s ready to quit while she’s ahead. Trouble is, Roman’s not ready to quit on her.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: ROMAN is the seventh installment in Sawyer Bennett’s contemporary, adult COLD FURY HOCKEY romance series focusing on the members of the professional hockey team the Carolina Fury. This is team enforcer/bad boy Roman Sykora, and barista/musician Lexi Robertson’s story line. ROMAN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story line is revealed where necessary.

There is a secondary romance developing between Lexi’s father, Carolina Fury team owner Brian Brannon, and Lexi’s boss Georgia Mack

Told from three first person points of view (Roman, Lexi, Brian) ROMAN focuses on the troubled career of hockey enforcer Roman Sykora. Growing up in the Czech Republic, the son of absentee parents, Roman Sykora put all of his efforts into the game of hockey finally making something of himself in the NHL. As one of the league’s toughest enforcers Roman finds himself on the receiving end of too many suspensions, fines and negative press, and it doesn’t help that many of his less than stellar off ice activities have landed him on the front page news resulting in more suspensions and team fines. Meeting Lexi Robertson, Carolina Fury’s owner ‘secret daughter’ finds Roman focusing more on his volatile relationship with the team’s manager Gray Brannon seeing that Gray is Lexi’s half-sister by blood. What ensues is the building relationship between Lexi and Roman; Roman’s ongoing battle with the team’s manager; and team owner Brian Brannon’s new found love in the guise of Lexi’s boss and friend Georgia Mack.

Lexi grew up never knowing her father-a man she believed abandoned her mother without a second glance. Upon her death bed Lexi’s mother revealed the identity of the man she would come to call father-a man who would find himself falling in love with a girl he knew nothing about, and a woman that would call to his heart. Lexi’s relationship with Roman is threatened on numerous occasions by a well-meaning sister whose experiences with our story line hero are less than positive-experiences that have colored Gray’s opinion of the man that Lexi loves. The $ex scenes are seductive and provocative without the use of over the top sexually graphic language and text.

There are a large number of secondary and supporting characters including several members of the Carolina Fury hockey team, as well as team owner Brian Brannon, team manager Gray and her husband, former Fury goalie Ryker Evans, and Lexi’s boss/mother like figure Georgia Mack.

The world building divides its focus on two relationships: Lexi and Roman, Brian and Georgia, as well as Roman’s struggle to amend his bad boy reputation-with or without the support of team manager Gray Brannon-Evans. Gray will interfere on more than one occasion leaving a heartbroken Lexi to mourn the loss of several relationships that were starting to bloom.

ROMAN is a story of destined mates; of one woman’s search for a family she new had, and one man’s battle with the family he never wanted. The premise is heartwarming and energetic; the characters are spirited and passionate; the romance is captivating and spicy. Sawyer Bennett will arouse your senses with her breathtaking COLD FURY series focusing on the men and women of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews

Alex
Garrett
Zack
Ryker
Hawke
Max
Roman

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Roman Teaser

Roman Promo

About the author

SIGN UP for Sawyer Bennett’s newsletter HERE

Sawyer BennettBest-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

 

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Rules of Contact by Jaci Burton – Review & Giveaway

Rules of Contact by Jaci Burton – Review & Giveaway

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RULES OF CONTACT
Play by Play #12
by Jaci Burton
Genre: adult, contemporary, sports, romance
Release Date: December 6, 2016

 

Rules of ContactAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
A football player with all the right moves on the field needs a better game plan for his love life.

A defensive end for the San Francisco Sabers, Flynn Cassidy is used to being in the spotlight—he just doesn’t enjoy it. But if getting in front of the cameras will help his new restaurant succeed, he’s willing. Now if he could just meet a woman who loved him and not his fame…

After her divorce, Amelia Lawrence is thrilled to start over as head chef at Ninety-Two. It’s just the opportunity she needs to heat up her career—if only she wasn’t wildly attracted to her sexy new boss. Their chemistry might be sizzling hot, but Amelia has no intention of being burned again.

Amelia is genuine and fun and Flynn can’t get enough of her—and Amelia loves every second she spends with the tough but tender Flynn. But trust is a hard fought battle for both of them. Breaking the rules of contact and surrendering to their passion was easy, but are they willing to risk their hearts to win at the game of love?

 

Review;

Have I mentioned in past reviews how much I love this series?  Jaci Burton has done it again, and found another hit story with Rules of Contact.  This book is once again filled with well-defined characters, cameo appearances from past characters, a strong sense of family, storyline and a steamy romance.  I swear her keyboard must start smoking and set off fire alarms after she’s typed a sex scene, because Amelia and Flynn definitely brought the heat in this one.  Even though they did steam up the pages in this one when they are together, Jaci also lets the reader learn about our hero and heroine regarding their past relationships and how they get to be where they are by books end.  Both Flynn and Amelia have issues regarding trust and understanding due to various reasons; Amelia it’s her failed marriage, and for Flynn it’s his career and the fame that comes with it.  He wants someone to see him, Flynn Cassidy, not Flynn Cassidy the football player and the fame that comes with his career.  Amelia just wants someone to love and respect her and see her as an equal with a career of her own. 

I loved both Flynn and Amelia from the get go.  I found they balanced each other out and made a fun and charming couple.  Amelia is a strong, independent woman, who can make decisions for herself and knows what she wants both in a career and personal matters of the heart.  She’s also funny and quirky and seeing her flirt, banter and pretty much drive poor Flynn crazy trying to figure her out was amusing.  I liked that she kept him unbalanced at times and caused him to look deeper into who she really is.  Flynn, well what can I say about Mr. Cassidy besides the fact he’s smoking hot and irresistible to the female race.  No really, Flynn is every women’s dream; sweet, charming, respectable, caring, heart of gold, tough on the outside with a teddy bear interior.  Flynn just wants what’s best for Amelia and wants to make her happy.  Like I said, who wouldn’t want a man like Flynn Cassidy?  Plus he can cook, damn right I want a man like this.  Speaking of cooking, there were times Ms. Burton had me salivating for a taste of what her characters were cooking either at Flynn’s restaurant, or just at their respective homes.  My only complaint about this book is that it didn’t come with the recipes to the various dishes both Amelia and Flynn created in the book.  I could seriously see me attempting these dishes if only I had the recipes to go with them, lol!!  Sorry, I digress once again, now where was I?

Ah yes, back to my review; another aspect of Rules of Contact I enjoyed was catching up with past couples from this series as they made cameo appearances to help further Amelia and Flynn’s story.  I think one of my favourite parts of this one, and all the books about the Cassidy siblings is when they go home to visit on the family ranch. The family dynamic is one that anyone would want to be a part of.  The siblings are all pro athletes, love to tease and razz each other, but love one another deeply and will be there for each other no matter what.  The sibling rivalries and camaraderie just flows off the page and makes you feel like part of their family.  It really is a fun part of the story, and one I look forward to every time I get to read about one of the Cassidy siblings.  They really do have a cool family.

Rules of Contact is a delightful and fun addition to the Play by Play series by Jaci Burton.  It had everything one comes to expect from Burton’s Play by Play series; smoking hot athletes, strong independent women, a fun storyline filled with strong family ties, fast furious sports action, flirty/playful banter between our couple that leads to a steamy romance and a HEA.  For any fan of Jaci Burton you can’t go wrong with Rules of Contact.

Until next time, happy reading my fellow sports fans!!

Reviewed by Marcie

Copy provided by Publisher

 

giveaway

Jaci’s publisher is offering a paper copy of RULES OF CONTACT to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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7. Giveaway open to USA only.

8. Giveaway runs from December 16th – 19th, 2016

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First Step Forward by Liora Blake – Review & Giveaway

First Step Forward by Liora Blake – Review & Giveaway

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First Step ForwardAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
After eight seasons playing pro-football, Cooper Lowry knows all the right answers.

Is he stubborn, short-tempered, and impatient? Yes. Are jersey chasers more trouble than they’re worth? Absolutely. Has he ever imagined a life beyond the game? Nope.

Cooper has built an enviable career—the result of staying focused, working hard, and keeping his head on straight—even as his body takes the brunt. So when a hard hit during a Sunday home game leaves him in a dazed heap on the field, it’s nothing more than another day at the office. The only thing that’s different about this Sunday is a chance encounter with a certain fascinating, beautiful free-spirited woman. And some sternly-worded instructions from his coach to take a little time off and give his body the TLC it craves—before he does lasting damage.

Whitney Reed is a few months away from losing the organic fruit orchard she bought three years ago in the tiny town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the time, she was just looking for a place to get lost. Instead, she found a home, somewhere she could finally put down roots. Now foreclosure is knocking on her door—along with a grumpy, gorgeous football player who might be just what she never knew she needed.


Review:

First Step Forward by Liora Blake is the 1st book in her new Grand Valley series.  This was a sweet fun romance.   We meet our hero, Cooper Lowry, who is a professional football star.  Cooper has a major headache, as he suffered a concussion in his last game, and goes to the pharmacy to get some salt to soak his aching body.  Whitney Reed notices someone bending down in pain, and tries to offer support.  She ends up giving him advice on what to buy, knowing nothing that she is talking to a mega super sports star.

Whitney is in town to try to get a loan for her organic apple orchard which is facing foreclosure, due to insufficient funds.  In another chance encounter with Cooper, a friendship develops of two people totally different.  Cooper, when sidelined with a leg injury will visit Whitney, where she lives in a small town called Hotchkiss, and finds a different peaceful atmosphere that he is not used to.  Whitney is totally surprised to see Cooper, and shortly thereafter a fun romance begins.

I loved the premise of this story, as well as our leading couple.  Whitney was enjoying her flirtation with the rich famous Cooper, and he was finding himself slowly falling for her.  She refuses to allow Cooper to help her with a loan, since she does not want to owe anyone anything.  The story was a lot of fun, as we follow Cooper during his games, and his injuries that could end his career.  We also follow Whitney as she tries to salvage her business and land, and meet some of the people from Hotchkiss.  I will add that there were a lot of sex scenes throughout the whole story, which I prefer to be more story oriented.  But overall it was a fun read with a sweet couple. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

giveaway

Liora’s publisher is offering a paper copy of First Step Forward to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging in, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please LIKE us on FACEBOOK and click GET NOTIFICATIONS

4. Please FOLLOW us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Please FOLLOW us on GOODREADS for an additional entry.

6. Please like Liora Blake on Facebook for an additional entry

7. Giveaway is open to US only.

8. Giveaway runs from November 28th to December 2nd, 2016

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For The Win ( Perfect Play #1) by Sara Rider-Review,Guest Post & Giveaway

For the Win (Perfect Play #1) by Sara Rider-Review,Guest Post & Giveaway

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FOR THE WIN
The Perfect Play #1
by Sara Rider
Genre: adult, contemporary, sports, romance
Release Date: June 6, 2016

For the Win

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About the book: Release Date June 6, 2016

Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge.

Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge.

The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.

•••••••••

REVIEW: As the blurb states, Lainey has sacrificed a lot for her love of soccer. She was on the team that won the World Cup, but a devastating injury left her battling her way back and into top form. When she and her new team hold their first press conference, things don’t go quite as planned. She hates talking to the press and that is exacerbated when Gabe crashes the press conference. He’s a media darling and has the smooth charm that immediately wins anyone and everyone over, except for Lainey. Even though she’s a huge fan of his, she’s determined to bring him and his team down a notch…..or three.

When the owner of both teams (yes, the same man owns both teams) does not like what he saw on the news, he calls them both in. However, when Lainey arrives, she had no idea Gabe had been called in as well. Her heart sinks but she’s not going to take the tongue lashing lightly. As Gabe tries to soothe things over, she stands up for herself and her team, much to everyone’s surprise. The resulting plan that is a battle of the sexes, which both are determined to win. What follows is something neither ever expected. With careers on the line, will they be able fight their growing attraction to each other and do what’s best for their respective teams? Will their feelings for each other be enough for them to conquer old superstitions and forge a path that is beneficial for them all? Well, of course they will. This is a romance, after all. But, oh, what a read it is!

For the Win is a nicely written story by Sara Rider. Lainey is as strong and determined as she is stubborn. The way she leads her team and conducts herself makes her a worthy young woman. The way she guards her heart, or tries to, not only makes her believable, it makes her vulnerable. But, not in a bad way. Then, there’s Gabe. He has to work very hard to overcome his woman-chasing reputation in order to get Lainey to give him a chance. He’s very protective of everyone around him, but his interaction with his family, as well as Lainey, will make you swoon. When I first started this book, I was like….meh… But, a funny thing happened on my way to the end of the book. I absolutely fell in love with these characters. The way Rider lets you see their thoughts (told from dual POVs) was intriguing. I found myself not being able to turn the pages fast enough. No, it’s not a pulse pounding thriller, but it IS a wonderfully written romance about a boy and a girl who decide to throw caution to the wind, give in to their desires and see what can be. The secondary characters were well written as well. This book was funny, sexy and left you feeling like you actually knew the main characters. This was the first I’ve read by Sara Rider, but it will NOT be the last. If you’re looking for a fast, smart and sexy read, you cannot go wrong with this one! Well done, Sara Rider! Very well done!

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Vickie M

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Developing the Heroine

You can follow Sara at : Website / Goodreads/ Twitter/

Hello and thank you for having me on your blog today!

Soccer is one of the few sports in North America where the top female are arguably much more successful than their male counterparts – the US Women’s National Team have won the World Cup and Olympics multiple times – yet receive a fraction of the prestige, income and media attention. The financial rewards and glory are substantial for male soccer players, but some of the best female soccer players in the country can’t afford to play pro soccer without taking on second jobs or making huge financial sacrifices. This is a dynamic that has always captivated me and what inspired the character of Lainey Lukas in my novel For The Win.

Lainey is a character who pushes herself to the extreme in order to achieve her dreams simply because she loves the game more than anything else in the world. She is stubborn, fiercely independent and driven to a fault, to the point where even her own teammates sometimes find it difficult to relate to her. As a writer, her character fascinated me, but it also challenged me to find a way to make her sympathetic. The easy road would have been to soften her edges, but it was important to me to make her as honest and authentic as possible.

Rather than portray Lainey’s single-minded drive simply as a flaw, I wanted it to be the very thing that makes Gabe Havelak, the hero, fall in love with her. As a successful athlete himself, Gabe deeply respects her work ethic and determination but finds her curious at the same time. In many ways, they are opposite sides of the same coin – Lainey is adamant that hard work is the only variable she can control whereas Gabe believes that luck has played a huge role in his success. Matching Lainey with someone as laid-back and charming as Gabe was a way for me as writer to peel back her layers and find out what really makes her tick.

The fun part of writing a character like Lainey is that her journey isn’t just about falling love. Her struggle to connect with her new teammates on the Seattle Falcons is a huge part of the book, and allowed for the lighter moments in the story. Having to build a brand new team in a new league from the ground up means Lainey can’t just rely on herself anymore. She has to find a way to work with a group of women who have been her opponents and competitors in the past. Ultimately, developing a bond with her teammates is what gives Lainey the confidence to open herself up to love.

That’s the story of how Lainey Lukas came to be. I hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I enjoyed writing her!

~~Sara~~

 

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Sara’s publisher is offering an ecopy of FOR THE WIN to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

IMPORTANT: The  ebook download will NOT work with a Kindle e-reader

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9. Giveaway runs from June 4 to June 8, 2016

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Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton – Review & Giveaway

Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
Playing For Keeps

 Grant Cassidy knows how to be a football star—flash that dazzling smile, throw the winning pass, get the girl. But while the hot quarterback loves the game and the lifestyle, no woman has come close to catching his heart.  Then he matches wits with a smart, gorgeous model, and Grant finds himself wanting more than a fling.

Supermodel Katrina Koslova might live in a world of glitz and camera flashes, but she works hard to provide for the family that relies on her. She doesn’t have time for fun—much less a boyfriend—but Grant seems determined to be the exception to Katrina’s rule. Their explosive chemistry is undeniable, but Katrina’s afraid to let go and rely on anyone but herself. Grant intends to ease her fears and prove he’s a man of style and substance.

Review:

Quarterback Draw is book 9 in Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series and I can only say this series just keeps getting better and better. Jaci never ceases to amaze me with her ability to write a sports themed story complete with a hot romance between her main couple. This time up its pro football player Grant Cassidy and supermodel Katrina Koslova. All I can say is these two steamed up the pages from their first meeting. The chemistry between Grant and Katrina is off the charts and gets hotter and hotter as their relationship progresses. I absolutely loved the relationship between Grant and Katrina, they are two well balanced characters who couldn’t be more perfect for one another. Another plus in Jaci’s column is her ability to write the perfect match in her hero and heroine. Somehow they always seem to balance each other out and make each other’s lives better for it. Even though their chemistry is combustible and off the charts, Jaci doesn’t rush a thing between them. Another thing I enjoy about Jaci’s stories, she never rushes the romance, she lets it build and simmer until the perfect moment in the story and then it’s no holds bared between our couple. The romance takes off and there’s no turning back, which is how it plays out between Grant and Katrina.

One of the things I liked most about this relationship is Grant’s patience, tenderness and romancing of Katrina. Even though she’s a world class supermodel, she’s had a tough go of life, having to raise her brother and sister from when she was 18. Which meant she pretty much put her social life on hold to make sure her siblings had a good chance at life. When Grant learns she’s a virgin, he doesn’t question her reasons, instead he listens to all she has to say, understands her and decides to be the best damn teacher when it comes to sex. Let me just say, I’d let him be my teacher any day 😉 Grant definitely knows what he’s doing in the bedroom, along with being a kickass quarterback for his pro football team. Watching Grant and Katrina’s relationship develop slowly and passionately was a lovely treat to read. Jaci does a fantastic job of allowing Katrina to spread her wings in the romance department, while at the same time being a little apprehensive because she’s always got her siblings best interest at heart. She feels that whatever she does in her life will affect her siblings, so she’s always mindful of that. Katrina is a very endearing character that has the reader falling in lover with her from the start. She’s a female lead that any woman reading this story can relate to and respect. As for Grant, his character gives me hope for the male species. He’s just a wonderful human being, who’s chivalrous, kind hearted, knows how to treat a woman, is sexy as hell and a stellar athlete. I absolutely loved him and he had my toes curling on more then one occasion, he’s definitely swoon worthy material in my book.

Quarterback Draw is a well balanced and written story. The romance between Grant and Katrina is endearing and lovely to read. They really are the perfect couple. Like I said earlier their chemistry is off the charts and ensnares the reader from their first meeting. The secondary characters, Anya and Leo(Katrina’s siblings) and Grant’s family(parents and siblings) are loveable, give us more insight into our couple both as individuals and as a couple, while adding another dimension to the story. On top of a well written and passionate romance between Grant and Katrina Jaci also keeps us riveted with the sport side of things with every football game scene. She does a fabulous job of writing these scenes and making the reader feel like they are actually sitting in a football stadium cheering Grant on. How she manages to do that baffles me every time, but I couldn’t be happier with these scenes as I love my sports. All in all this is another successful addition to her Play by Play series and I for one can’t wait for the next installment. Next up is Grant’s brother Tucker and he’s a pro baseball player. One of my fave sports, and I’ll be sure to bring you all the play by play details about that one.

Until next time, happy reading.

Reviewed by Marcie

 

giveaway

Jaci’s publisher is offering a paper copy of QUARTERBACK DRAW to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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6. Please LIKE us on TSU for an additional entry.

7. Follow JACI BURTON  on Facebook.

8. Giveaway is open to USA only.

9. Giveaway runs from February 20-24, 2015

 

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