Review: A Moment of Madness by Brooklyn Skye

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Moment of Madness by Brooklyn Skye
Series: Boston Alibi, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Make Me Beg Cover
ISBN: 9781682814598
Release Date: March 20, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Sailor Carlson comes back to Boston to make amends with her dad, only to find he passed away, and his bar, the Alibi, now belongs to a bearded, grumpy hottie. Mr. Hottie liked her enough for a night of nameless sex on the kitchen counter, but he wants nothing to do with her now he knows who she is.

Ryan Edwards has been running the Alibi for seven years. Being in a bar night after night means he’s no stranger to one-night stands. But when the quirky, beautiful blonde he spent a hot night with shows up at his bar claiming it used to belong to her father, his guard goes right up.

Ryan’s desperate for a waitress, and Sailor wants a chance to work in the place that meant so much to her dad. If only the tenuous trust they establish were as strong as the pesky attraction simmering between them.

An awkward meet cute that involves a bar, a beard, a dying houseplant, and a drunk cousin is just the start of the fun in A Moment of Madness. Brooklyn Skye’s second Boston Alibi story is both hot and humorous, which made it a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Sailor is a former drug addict who has worked hard to get clean and put her life back together. As a teenager, she turned her back on her father, and now that he’s gone she’s looking for redemption by trying to make his bar a success. Sailor’s past made her a rather unique heroine and I liked and admired her for her strength and determination to make amends and be a better person. She’s a funny, caring woman who’s a bit goofy and a lot of fun to read about. When she walks into the Alibi, ready to make an offer on the bar, she’s stunned to learn that the current owner is her previous night’s one-night stand. She and Ryan hit it off from the start (even with the aforementioned pitiful plant and drunk cousin in the way), but Ryan doesn’t trust the woman who turned her back on the man who was like a father to him. Their mutual attraction (and the fact that the bar is short-staffed) means that Ryan can’t ignore her, no matter how much he may want to. Ryan is gruff, but he can also be sexy and interesting. He definitely has trust issues when it comes to Sailor, but when the two of them are on the same page they make an excellent pair, both in bed and out.

Where A Moment of Madness falters is the climax of the story. The dreaded “big misunderstanding” comes into play (a personal pet peeve which may not bother other readers) and it takes the shine off of Ryan. There was also a dropped thread, which was minor but bugged me a bit. Even with these quibbles, I thought Ryan and Sailor’s story was fun and I liked it enough that I will definitely pick up the first Boston Alibi book, A Moment of Weakness.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Make Me Beg by Rebecca Brooks

Monday, March 20, 2017

Make Me Beg by Rebecca Brooks
Series: Men of Gold Mountain, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Make Me Beg Cover
ISBN: 9781682814604
Release Date: March 20, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Bartender Mackenzie Ellinsworth has always gone it alone. So when she has a chance to open her own bar and restaurant, she's got a plan for how it should go. Not in that plan: a ripped and rugged playboy stepping in to take over. Mack doesn't do players, and she doesn't do one-night stands. If Connor wants to work with Mack, he's going to have to keep his strong, sexy hands to himself.

Connor Branding is determined to prove he's not the directionless playboy Mack thinks. But opening a place together causes more problems than it solves. The two of them can't agree on anything—except how scorching hot their chemistry is. Connor may be ready to indulge every desire Mack's been denying herself…but turning business into pleasure is likely to get him burned.

Rebecca Brooks proves that frenemies-to-lovers can be hot as hell in Make Me Beg. Connor and Mackenzie are two interesting, flawed characters with chemistry so appealing I devoured their story in one sitting.

Connor is a chef, a playboy, and a man who hasn’t ever committed to putting down roots. Gold Mountain was just supposed to be his stop onto bigger and better things, but there’s something about the town – and about Mack – that keeps him rooted to the spot. Connor is easy to like. Despite his love ’em and leave ’em ways and the way he frustrates Mack, he’s got a good heart and his character develops wonderfully. I loved watching him come into his own as he fell for Mack. And speaking of the woman who can bring Connor to his knees, Mack is equally stubborn and can be a bit combative, but she’s got a good heart, and a past that has scarred her and left her with mile-high walls to hide her vulnerability. It’s clear that she and Connor would make an excellent pair, but the way they make assumptions and don’t communicate threatens to derail them. Normally the lack of communication would be incredibly frustrating to me, but Ms. Brooks does an excellent job of making me see why Mack and Connor are the way they are. Sex both clarifies and complicates things for them, and the road to happily ever after definitely isn’t an easy one for these two. Surprisingly, what made Make Me Beg stand out for me was the downs rather than the ups. Mack in particular makes mistakes that hurt Connor, but he actually calls her on it – something that rarely happens in the books I’ve read lately – and I appreciated that both of them not only wholly accepted one another, but were willing to stand up for themselves when needed.

While it’s a rocky road for Mack and Connor, that doesn’t mean the story is missing out on red-hot moments. Make Me Beg is insanely sexy and when Mack and Connor are on the same page they make an incredible couple. I finished Make Me Beg wanting to explore the world of Gold Mountain more. While Mack and Connor’s story can be read as a standalone, I will definitely be picking up the first Men of Gold Mountain book, Make Me Stay!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Fair Chance by Josh Lanyon

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Fair Chance by Josh Lanyon
Series: All’s Fair, Book 3
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Male/Male Romantic Suspense Fair Chance Cover
ISBN: 9781459293618
Release Date: March 13, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Josh Lanyon Reading Order

One final game of cat and mouse…

Ex–FBI agent Elliot Mills thought he was done with the most brutal case of his career. The Sculptor, the serial killer he spent years hunting, is finally in jail. But Elliot’s hope dies when he learns the murderer wasn’t acting alone. Now everyone is at risk once again—thanks to a madman determined to finish his partner’s gruesome mission.

When the lead agent on the case, Special Agent Tucker Lance, goes missing, Elliot knows it's the killer at work. After all, abducting the love of his life is the quickest way to hurt him.

The chances of finding Tucker are all but impossible without the help of the Sculptor—but the Sculptor is in no position to talk. Critically injured in a prison fight, he lies comatose and dying while the clock ticks down. Elliot has no choice but to play this killer’s twisted game and hope he can find Tucker in time.

The stakes are high, the mystery arresting, and the romance fantastic in Fair Chance. Josh Lanyon hits all the right notes in the third All’s Fair book. Fair Chance was impossible for me to put down, and it was likely a terrible idea to start it late at night because I was up until almost dawn finishing it. But a book hangover is totally worth it when you have characters like Elliot Mills and Tucker Lance keeping you awake.

It’s almost impossible for me to describe how much I enjoy reading about Elliot and Tucker, so I’ll put it this way: they’re right up there with Adrien English and Jake Riordan (if you’re a Lanyon fan, you know that’s high praise). In Fair Chance Elliot and Tucker have more or less settled into their lives, but the Sculptor case is still infringing on their happiness. The Sculptor (the villain from the first All’s Fair book, Fair Game) is fixated on Elliot and being behind bars won’t stop him from exacting his revenge. What no one knew was that the Sculptor had an accomplice, and the clock is ticking for Elliot to find out who that is…because Tucker has gone missing.

Elliot’s been in danger and has had a personal stake in some form in each of the All’s Fair stories, but there’s an added tension in Fair Chance. Tucker’s abduction (not a spoiler since it’s in the book blurb) ups the intensity and had me glued to the book. While the mysteries are always engaging in this series, Tucker and Elliot themselves are what made me fall in love with the books, so it’s no surprise I was wholly invested in this story. Elliot is our eyes and ears for this series and he’s an interesting, complex, and flawed protagonist. I’ve loved that he isn’t perfect and have enjoyed watching him grow as a character. As for Tucker…I think he might just be my favorite of Lanyon’s characters. Tucker is dominant, protective, and emotionally open and vulnerable in a way that grabs my heart. He isn’t perfect either, but he’s a fantastic hero I could read about all day. I’ve loved watching he and Elliot grow as a couple – it’s part of what makes this series shine – and seeing how far they’ve come makes the story all the more rewarding.

Fair Chance is the third book in the All’s Fair series, and I highly recommend reading Fair Game and Fair Play before jumping into this book. The mystery and the romance are both far more fulfilling if you’ve read all the books in order. This book reads like the final in the series, but there’s just enough of an opening that I can hope Lanyon returns to Elliot and Tucker one day. I absolutely loved Fair Chance and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s an intense, exciting, and wholly rewarding romantic suspense tale.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Mummy Dearest by Josh Lanyon

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mummy Dearest by Josh Lanyon
Series: The XOXO Files, Book 1
Publisher: JustJoshin Publishing, Inc
Genre: Male/Male Contemporary Romance Mummy Dearest Cover
Source: Original Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link
Josh Lanyon Reading Order

In the world of academia, it’s publish or perish. But for Drew Lawson, his weekend is turning into a case of publish and perish. Drew’s out to write an article on the mummy of Princess Merneith, but he’s got to rush his trip to a small museum in Wyoming to do so, or his relationship with his boyfriend will be as dead as the mummy he’s studying. Drew is convinced he can make the whirlwind trip work...until Fraser Fortune puts a kibosh on his plans.

Fraser is the host of a reality TV show, and he’s set to film a documentary on the supposed Halloween curse of Princess Merneith. He won’t let a stuck up professor like Drew take up the time that he and his crew need to make their show work. However, he offers Drew a deal: he’ll give Drew the time he needs to examine the mummy if they can film it. What neither man takes into account is the attraction between them. As the day goes on, the pair finds that the real Halloween excitement is what’s happening off camera.

Mummies, legends and some Forties Hollywood schlock blend beautifully with a burgeoning relationship to deliver the fun romantic caper, Mummy Dearest. Josh Lanyon’s writing is delightfully energetic in this first installment of The XOXO Files.

Fraser may have irritated Drew in the beginning, but he’s sure to charm readers from the start. His sparkling personality and genuine niceness are compelling. And while Drew may – at first – seem like a bit of a stick-in-the-mud to Fraser, he’s actually an incredibly likeable protagonist. Each man has flaws, but they’re minor and serve to add dimensionality to their characters. Quite honestly, both Drew and Fraser are men I wish were real, if only so I could befriend them. They’re smart, funny and have an affinity for cheesy silver screen horror flicks that I appreciate.

Mummy Dearest was a joy to read all the way through. It’s fast-paced and fun, with snappy dialogue and endearing heroes. I couldn’t ask for more from Lanyon...except, perhaps, for the next XOXO Files story. Even though Mummy Dearest has a wonderfully satisfying conclusion, I can’t wait to see where Lanyon takes Drew and Fraser next!


Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book edition of Mummy Dearest for free from the original publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Sprinkled with Love by Jennifer Faye

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sprinkled with Love by Jennifer Faye
Series: Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 3
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance Sprinkled with Love Cover
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

What does one do with a matchmaking cat named Romeo?

Spirited and beautiful, Jillian Parker is one of Marietta’s newest business owners. Still, her mother worries about Jillian’s bare ring finger. So in order to give her mother something else to fuss over, Jillian adopts a cat named Romeo. He turns out to be anything but a docile lap cat.

One snowy night, Romeo makes a break for it. With Jillian right on his heels, they have a near miss with a passing pickup driven by Avery Wainwright, one of Jillian’s closest friends. A rodeo accident has the sexy cowboy returning home to recuperate, and he’s not happy about it.

So when Avery finds himself lassoed into the Bachelor Bake-Off, he turns to the one person who has always helped him out—Jillian. But will teaching him to take chances outside of the show ring have them both discovering that their feelings for each other run much deeper than they ever imagined?

Sprinkled with Love is a sweet story with a lot of potential. There’s a lot to like about Jennifer Faye’s Bachelor Bake-Off story. Jillian and Avery are good-hearted protagonists who are easy to root for, and when you add in a couple of hilarious cats, it’s clear that this story has the makings of a feel-good romance.

When Avery and Jillian are on the same page, Sprinkled with Love made me smile. They have an easy chemistry and a solid history that means their love story should have unfolded in an organic manner. However, while all the elements are there, the story is dragged down by general miscommunication, the dreaded “big misunderstanding,” a lot of unnecessary push-pull, waffling about big life decisions that didn’t always make sense, and an abrupt ending. I was never quite sure what Avery wanted, likely because a lot of the time he didn’t know what he wanted. As for Jillian, she fell for Avery when she worked for him before, but he never made a move on her (which made sense to me, given that she was a live-in babysitter and housekeeper in his employ). That her feelings were hurt made sense, but it felt wrong that she (and others) seemed to blame him because half the town assumed she was waiting for him to marry her back then. Little things like these picked away at my enjoyment of the story, which was a pity because I really wanted to love Sprinkled with Love. With a bit more fleshing out and a bit less back-and-forth and false drama, the story could have gone from ok to great. As it stands, Ms. Faye’s writing has enough charm to make the story entertaining even when I was frustrated with Jillian and Avery. And of course, the story is also buoyed by the antics of the lovelorn Romeo and Marshmallow, the previously mentioned scene-stealing cats. Overall, Sprinkled with Love was a bit hit-and-miss for me, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading more Bachelor Bake-Off books and I will be looking for more of Ms. Faye’s work in the future.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Monday in Review

Monday, February 6, 2017

It’s update time again :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written for Wit and Sin, Joyfully Reviewed, and Romance Junkies. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- The Duke (Victorian Rebels, Book 4) by Kerrigan Byrne (available 2/7/17)
- A Spoonful of Sugar (Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 2) by Kate Hardy (available 2/14/17)

All other new reviews:
- Playing the Player (Sydney Smoke Rugby, Book 3) by Amy Andrews
- On Broken Wings (Wild Aces, Book 3) by Chanel Cleeton
- Planned Seduction (Seduction, Book 1) by Jess Dee
- Stealing Taffy (Bigler, North Carolina, Book 3) by Susan Donovan
- Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman
- Keeping Faith by Kris Norris
- Wicked in His Arms (Wedded by Scandal, Book 2) by Stacy Reid

Upcoming reviews:
- The Conquering Dark (Crown & Key, Book 3) by Clay and Susan Griffith
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoƫ Archer
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Paper and Fire (The Great Library, Book 2) by Rachel Caine
- The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, Book 1) by Genevieve Cogman
- The Masked City (The Invisible Library, Book 2) by Genevieve Cogman
- Wicked Ever After (Blud, Book 4) by Delilah S. Dawson
- Fire Bound (Sea Haven, Book 5) by Christine Feehan
- Bound Together (Sea Haven, Book 6) by Christine Feedhan
- At Last by Addison Fox
- Baking for Keeps (Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 4) by Jessica Gilmore
- His Game, Her Rules by Charlene Groome
- Base Instincts (Demonica) by Larissa Ione
- The Thing About Love by Julie James
- When the Rogue Returns (The Duke’s Men, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries
- The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors, Book 1) by Sabrina Jeffries
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- The Governess Was Wild (Governess, Book 3) by Julia Kelly
- Midnight Target (Killer Instincts, Book 8) by Elle Kennedy
- Fair Chance (All’s Fair, Book 3) by Josh Lanyon
- Before You Break (Between Breaths, Book 2) by Christina Lee
- There You Stand (Between Breaths, Book 5) by Christina Lee
- Yours All Along (Loving on the Edge, Book 6.5) by Roni Loren
- Break Me Down (Loving on the Edge, Book 8.5) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- Captive Prince (Captive Prince, Book 1) by C.S. Pacat
- Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince, Book 2) by C.S. Pacat
- Kings Rising (Captive Prince, Book 3) by C.S. Pacat
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Beauty’s Kingdom (Sleeping Beauty, Book 4) by A. N. Roquelaure
- Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
- Fighting the Fall (Beyond the Cage, Book 2) by Jennifer Snow
- The Angels’ Share (The Bourbon Kings, Book 2) by J.R. Ward
- A Reluctant Betrothal (The Grantham Girls, Book 3) by Amanda Weaver
- Single Player (Slices of Pi, Book 3) by Elia Winters
- Takeover by Anna Zabo

Review: A Spoonful of Sugar by Kate Hardy

A Spoonful of Sugar by Kate Hardy
Series: Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 2
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance A Spoonful of Sugar Cover
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Tyler Carter is a healthy-eating gym owner who doesn’t bake. When his employees enter him into a bake-off contest to raise money for Harry’s House, an after school space for kids commemorating local first responder Harry Monroe, he needs to learn–fast!

Shy special needs teacher Stacey Allman loves to bake and often dreams of sharing her confections with her uber fit, gorgeous neighbor. So when Tyler sets off his smoke alarm and explains his dilemma, she can’t resist the temptation of playing pastry chef tutor. He offers boxing lessons in exchange. More time together? Yes please.

But when Tyler’s ex comes back to Marietta asking for his help, will it derail Stacey and Tyler’s chance at love, or will it make them see that they’re the perfect fit?

A Spoonful of Sugar is as sweet as can be without ever entering saccharine territory. Kate Hardy has delivered the ultimate feel-good romance, with kind, endearing characters who will have you avidly turning the pages as you root for them to get together.

Stacey is a special needs teacher with a heart of gold. She’s hearing-impaired and having had her self-esteem constantly beaten as a child left its mark on her. Rather than breaking, she’s become a giving person who works tirelessly to help others and make sure that no one is ever made to feel like she was. Tyler, in turn, is a gym owner who carries a few internal scars of his own over a bad breakup. He’s focused on his gym, but when his team enters him in the Bachelor Bake-Off, he knows he’s in trouble. Tyler can’t make a grilled cheese without setting off the fire alarm, never mind cookies, cakes, and pies. When his first attempt at baking (predictably) sets off the fire alarm, it’s his neighbor, Stacey to the rescue. When she agrees to teach him to bake in exchange for boxing lessons from him, it’s the start of a friendship that will fast turn into something more. Tyler and Stacey made me smile more than once as they fell in love. She’s an amazing teacher and a genuinely kind soul, which made her easy to adore. And Tyler…wow. He spots early on that Stacey’s self-esteem isn’t the highest and the way he genuinely compliments her and helps her see how amazing she is just made me melt. As a pair, the two of them were excellent. They had lovely chemistry and were so sweet they warmed my heart.

A Spoonful of Sugar is the second book in the multi-author Bachelor Bake-Off series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. That being said, after finishing Tyler and Stacey’s book, I’m definitely intrigued and want to read the rest of the series as soon as possible. As for Stacey and Tyler, they’re a couple I’ll definitely be revisiting when I need a pick-me-up.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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