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review 2017-04-23 05:20
Not again
Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny (Taking Shots) - Cindi Madsen

This is book #4 in the Taking Shots series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To not read a spoiler, and to understand this really great series, I recommend reading in order.

 

Lindsay has come a long way to not be like she used to.  Ryder threatens all this because he is still part of the "hockey life" she has left behind her.  As their attraction heats up and she needs his help to cement her future, she struggles with whether she is doing the right thing.

 

Ryder wanted Lindsay from first sight.  He found her beautiful, smart, and completely amazing.  Winning her over and not being a threat to her new life is a challenge.  He is never one to not get what he goes after.

 

This series rocks!  Each book just gets better and better.  If you love sports, romance, laughter, and an HEA - this series is a must read!  I happily give it 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publisher.

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review 2017-04-23 05:15
Hit me
Grinder (Seattle Sharks Book 1) - Samantha Whiskey

Bailey has known Gage pretty much her whole life.  Their mothers are best friends.  It seemed inevitable they would become close as well.  He does not seem to know that she is seriously attracted to him.  The problem is she knows he is a player.

 

Gage has a hard time trusting anyone close.  His past has held a lot of pain.  A life that he does not want his daughter to have to have.  He is choosing who to trust and keep close.  Who he allows around his child.  

 

Very endearing story with some sports thrown in.  I loved these characters and hope to see them again in upcoming books in the Seattle Sharks series.  There was sexy times, silly times, and more.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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review 2017-04-23 04:12
Beartown
Beartown: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

By: Fredrik Backman 

ISBN: 978-1501160769

Publisher: Atria

Publication Date: 4/25/2017

Format:  Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

This author has a knack for "Best Books To Tug At Your Heart Strings."

Talented storyteller, Fredrick Backman returns following the novella (2016), And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer: (A small book with a BIG message ), with his latest powerful story, BEARTOWN — A Swedish dying hockey town. A town of stories. A town of secrets.

High-expectations. Burdens. Pressures. A town which relies on the sport and its youth to pull them through. Some people have the "bear" in them.

Beartown isn’t close to anything. The town is losing. It has been a very long time since it won at anything. The town slogan, “Beartown Leaves You Wanting More.” The wind, snow, and weather have since wiped out the word “more.”

The ice hockey stands are packed every weekend, even though the team’s achievements have collapsed in line with the town’s economy. A small town with big dreams. A community. Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden to carry, for all concerned.

There are also those from the Hollow. Those less fortunate. How do those from different social classes stack up?

“Hockey is both complicated and not complicated at all. It can be hard to understand the rules, challenging to live with the culture, as good as impossible to get all the people who love it not to pull so hard in different directions that it breaks . . . “

This is why everyone hopes that when the team’s fortune improves, the rest of the town will get pulled up along with it. Their motto has been: "Word hard, take the knocks, don’t complain, keep your mouth shut, and show the bastards in the big cities where they are from."

Once upon a time, Beartown Ice Hockey’s A-team was one step above the juniors and second best in the top division in the country. That was more than two decades and three divisions ago, and now Beartown will go up against the best once again. A win means something for the town’s economy. Survival.

“The sport demands only one thing from you. Your all.“

Maya hates hockey but understands her father (Peter)’s love for it. Peter had made it all the way to Canada and the NHL, matching up against the best in the world. He had come home to take over the team. Peter and his wife, Kira (attorney) have their own grief from the past. Does family mean more than sports, a town, a community's survival?

When the star player on the hockey team, whom everyone looks up to is accused of rape, the town is devastated. The guy on the pedestal. Who would dare take him down?

"It’s only a game. It can only change people’s lives. "

A hidden crime. One that could change lives. There are secrets and lies among friends, family, teens, husbands, and wives.

Backman reaches down into the soul and hearts of his characters and the human psyche. He takes his flawed characters to the dark places and brings hope. They become heroes. As with all his books, readers will find themselves bookmarking many passages, with this bold story of friendship and family bonds; ultimately one of redemption. Rich in character and the true meaning of family.

From loyalty, betrayal, and courage.

Backman's writing is lyrical, poignant, and thought-provoking. Highly emotional and insightful; part coming-of-age and a cautionary tale for both parents and teens; the consequences of carrying other’s dreams on our shoulders.

 



Have read all his books and highly recommend each one.
A Man Called Ove
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Britt-Marie Was Here
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

 

Best Novella of 2016

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (always love his quirky covers). Also purchased the audiobook.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

PRAISE FOR BEARTOWN

“Like Friday Night Lights, this is about more than youth sports; it's part coming-of-age novel, part study of moral failure, and finally a chronicle of groupthink in which an unlikely hero steps forward to save more than one person from self-destruction. A thoroughly empathetic examination of the fragile human spirit, Backman's latest will resonate a long time.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Lest readers think hockey is the star here, it’s Backman’s rich characters that steal the show, and his deft handling of tragedy and its effects on an insular town. While the story is dark at times, love, sacrifice, and the bonds of friendship and family shine through ultimately offering hope and even redemption.”—Publishers Weekly

 

“The sentimentally savvy Backman takes a sobering and solemn look at the ways alienation and acceptance, ethics and emotions nearly destroy a small town and young people.”
Booklist

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Fredrik Backman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages.

 

He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.  Read More 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Beartown
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text 2017-04-19 07:05
Release Blast - The Right Fit
  
 
Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can 
lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.
 
 
THE RIGHT FIT
Daphne Dubois
Released April 12th, 2017
The Wild Rose Press
 

 

When Maxine Nicholls discovers her fiancé is cheating, she turns to fast food and nighttime soap operas, but her sister has a plan—unbridled rebound sex with a stranger.
 
As one of Toronto's hottest players, Antony Laurent tallies scores on and off the ice, but when the chiseled defense man hits a slump, rumors of a trade to the minor league send him to ambush a managers meeting at a posh club.
 
That night a chance encounter ends up as an unforgettable evening of passion. But Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.
 
 
 
 
 
 

She dropped her gaze and stared at his hands. God, they are big hands. Big hands, big… “Do you want a coffee?” she blurted out.

 

A coffee? Non.”

 

Or maybe you need the washroom?” She pointed down the short hallway that lead to her bedroom.

 

He looked down the hallway, then back to Maxine. “You want me to use washroom?” he asked seriously.

 

No.” She backed up a few steps until she reached the kitchen counter. The heat under her dress was now slick and uncomfortable. She glanced down and saw a mint leaf sticking out of her cleavage. Classy lady.

 

The romance cover model ran a hand through his hair again, making his biceps strain under the t-shirt sleeve. Maxine suspected he’d practiced that move in the mirror a few times. “Then what do you want?” he asked.

 

A burst of nervous laughter escaped, but then her smile faded. “No one has asked me that in a very long time,” she said. Slipping off his jacket, she laid it on the counter, letting her finger trace the stitching along the zipper, trying to build up her courage. “Why did you follow me into the cab?”

 

Because no one has ever run away from me before.”

 

Rolling her eyes, Maxine looked up and saw that he was smirking. “Rejection is a new thing for you, I’m guessing.”

 

Is that what you call inviting me here?” He tossed the ball cap and it landed perfectly on the dining table. The floorboard creaked as he took a step closer to her. There was a spark of anticipation in his eyes.

 

Hold on, cowboy,” she said, putting a hand on his chest. My God! His muscles are rock hard under his shirt. Who the hell is this guy? She cleared her throat. “What makes you think you can kiss me again?”

 

He was still as stone under her touch, but Maxine could feel herself falling into his stare. “You kissed me,” he said, his voice ridiculously smooth. “There is a difference, I promise.”

 

It wasn’t only the French accent, but the confidence in his voice that made her knees almost unhinge. Her hand was flat on his chest; his racing heart was keeping time with hers. “That sounds like a proposition,” she said.

 

It can only be decided one way.” Then he repeated his earlier question. “What do you want?”

 

He was so close she could see the faint brown and black colors of his stubble. There was a cleft in his chin. What do you want? An image of the long white box hidden in the closet was ignored; all Maxine wanted at that moment was to mold herself into his arms and forget about the last four years. “Kiss me,” she said.

 

His fingers grazed her cheek, tucking a wave of hair behind her ear. “Un moment,” he said. “A man should be prepared.” He peeled the last mint leaf off her chest then placed it in his mouth.

 

Maxine giggled through a surprised expression, which faded into a sigh.

 

Then, with deliberate care, he brought his lips down to hers, perfectly fitting their mouths together. He gently moved his chin starting a slow pace, controlled but with a sense of held back urgency.

 

This was nothing like the hastily stolen kiss at the club.

 

The cautious seduction was almost too much for Maxine. She wanted to taste him fully, kiss him back hard—tackle this moment like Alexis Colby.

 

 
Daphne Dubois writes contemporary romance and believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference. When she's not putting her characters in compromising positions (ahem), she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Eastern Canada, the most romantic place in the world.
 
 
 
 
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text 2017-04-12 07:10
Excerpt Reveal - Confessions Of A Former Puck Bunny
 
Every addict has their relapse.
 
 
 
 
CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY
Taking Shots #4
Cindi Madsen
Releasing May 8th, 2017
Entangled Embrace
 
 

 

Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.
 
Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.
 
Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.
 
Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.
 
Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.  


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Every thought turned to how strong he was. How much I’d like to see all those muscles without a shirt in the way.

Once he’d counted off twenty-five, he stood and, as if he’d been reading my mind, peeled off his shirt.

I stared. Not subtly, either. Nope, totally unabashed, taking in every dip and groove of his sweat-glistened skin.

“Since we’re playing dirty,” he said, shooting his wadded shirt over to his bag. He grabbed my hand. “Last machine. I’m not sure you can handle it, though.”

“I’m not sure you can handle it.” As far as comebacks went, not my best, but I mentioned he was shirtless and crazy ripped, right?

He sat down on the leg machine, the one where the seat reclined at a forty-five-degree angle, and then he lifted the weighted bar that rested at shin-height with his legs.

He reached for my hand, and since I’d already talked trash, I took it, even though I was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to handle it. He pulled me toward him, and I had no choice but to run my shins into the weights or to straddle the machine. I chose straddling, but kept space between us like I had earlier.

My heart hammered against my rib cage, beating in time with his leg lifts, the steady clink of the weights filling the air. Ryder’s eyes remained locked on mine, and energy crackled in the air between us. He sat up enough to run his hands up my thighs.

A dart of heat shot through my core, and my breath lodged in my throat. Ryder’s fingertips skimmed the skin between my pants and shirt and desire danced across my nerve endings. Still our eyes remained fixed on each other, and I wasn’t sure I was taking in oxygen anymore.

A distant part of me whispered that if I didn’t stop this…whatever we were doing, I’d be in trouble. But fighting my attraction to him was exhausting and the ache that’d formed between my thighs grew more persistent, drowning out silly things like common sense.

I leaned over like I had before, my hands braced on either side of him. He lifted the weights again, and then he brushed his lips against mine. Just a quick slide of soft lips.

My throat went completely dry. I pressed my palm flat against his stomach and slowly slid it up, feeling his firm chest and the hammering of his heart, which echoed mine.

Ryder gripped my hips and pulled me down to sit on his lap, eradicating the space between us. He lifted the weights with his legs a few more times, each rep bumping me tighter to him. Friction was definitely happening, and with each lift, it became clearer and clearer how much it was affecting him as well.

The tiniest whimper escaped my lips and he raised an eyebrow that added even more smugness to the curve of his tempting mouth.

Two could play dirty. So I sank farther into his lap and he groaned.

Of course, all it did was give me dirty thoughts and turn me on that much more.

He lifted his legs two more times, the movement shaky. He slowly ran his fingertips up my arm, across my collarbone, up my neck, and then he reached back and tugged my hair free of its ponytail.
 

He drove his hand into my hair, cupped the back of my head, and for one torturous moment, time stopped, both of us suspended right there on edge of crossing lines.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. 
 
You can visit her Website, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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