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review 2017-05-18 08:05
Virtual Tour w/Review – Betting The Bad Boy
 
 
He's an expert at breaking the rules…
 
 
 
BETTING THE BAD BOY
Behind the Bar #3
Stefanie London
Releasing May 8th, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck
 
 
Self-confessed perfectionist Paige Thomas isn’t used to failing. But when a critical error in romantic judgment sends all her big city career dreams crashing down, she scrambles to find a job—any job—to make ends meet.
 
 Noah Reid may as well have “trust issues” tattooed on his forehead. Being raised in the foster system didn’t give him a positive outlook on relationships, but now he’s looking after his best friend’s bar for one month, and he can’t do it alone.
 
Things get steamy when Noah hires Paige, but she’s determined not to repeat her mistakes and she bets Noah that she can keep her hands to herself while they’re working together. Too bad for her, Noah is an expert at breaking the rules…    
 
 
 
 
 
 

She held the blindfold while trying to ignore the flutter of excitement in her stomach. Her fingers toyed with the elasticated band meant to hold the mask in place.

 

Both partners are going to get a turn at being blindfolded,” Libby said from the front of the room. “Between yourselves, pick who’s going to go first.”

 

Noah looked down at her, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. He ran a hand along his jaw, catching the reddish-gold bristles of his burgeoning beard. For a moment, Paige was totally captured with the idea of how the bristles might feel on her skin. Would they be smooth or rough? Would she shriek if he brushed them along her inner thigh?

 

What do you say, new girl?” He cocked his head. “Would you rather do the blindfolding or be blindfolded?”

 

At that point she would have been happy to go all in— blindfolded, tied up, and held down.

 

Holy crap, would you listen to yourself? This is a work function, not a goddamn re-creation of

Fifty Shades.

 

Blindfolded,” she squeaked, thrusting the mask into his hands and spinning so quickly that she almost lost her footing.

 

You know, I’ve never done this before.” His hand steadied her, the reassuring warmth of his touch seeping into her skin. Her bones felt like jelly.

 

Blindfolded someone?” she asked, cringing at how shaky her voice sounded.

 

Ah, no. I meant the taste test.” He chuckled as he slipped the mask over her eyes.

 

Heat rushed up to Paige’s cheeks. Of course he meant the taste test. What an idiot she was. Just because her brain was earning an R-rating tonight didn’t mean his was, too. She fought back a tremor as he brushed some loose hairs from her neck so he could adjust the strap on the mask.

Everything went dark, and Paige gripped the edge of the table for support.

 

Warm breath whispered over her ear, and she could tell he’d leaned in a little closer. The scent of coffee and faded cologne tempted her to turn her head toward the source.

 

I’ve definitely blindfolded someone before, but it wasn’t for a taste test.”Her breath hitched, and she was grateful that she’d had the presence of mind to hold on to something.

 

Oh.”

 

He chuckled. “Yeah, that’s what she said.”

 

Holy. Freaking. Shit.

 

 

 
Betting the Bad Boy (Behind the Bar)Betting the Bad Boy by Stefanie London
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book #3 in the Behind The Bar series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

Paige has no luck getting a job in the field of her own choosing. The problem with her previous employer probably not helping. Now she just needs a job anywhere or she will have to go home.

Noah has no idea she is not the candidate he was going to interview for the position. After the whole mess, he just is glad he has someone competent to the job. Now if he can just stop wanting her for himself....

I found this to be a fun and sexy read. I liked the banter between the characters. I think this series is fun and I hope there are more stories to come.


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews
  
 
 
 
 
 
Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of over ten contemporary romances with humour, heat and heart. Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Thus, it was no surprise Stefanie was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfil her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.
 
 
Originally from Australia, she now lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is currently in the process of doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, lipstick, romance novels and zombie movies.
 
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review 2017-05-17 14:56
Virtual Tour w/Review - Betting The Bad Boy
 
 
He's an expert at breaking the rules…
 
 
 
BETTING THE BAD BOY
Behind the Bar #3
Stefanie London
Releasing May 8th, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck
 
 
Self-confessed perfectionist Paige Thomas isn’t used to failing. But when a critical error in romantic judgment sends all her big city career dreams crashing down, she scrambles to find a job—any job—to make ends meet.
 
 Noah Reid may as well have “trust issues” tattooed on his forehead. Being raised in the foster system didn’t give him a positive outlook on relationships, but now he’s looking after his best friend’s bar for one month, and he can’t do it alone.
 
Things get steamy when Noah hires Paige, but she’s determined not to repeat her mistakes and she bets Noah that she can keep her hands to herself while they’re working together. Too bad for her, Noah is an expert at breaking the rules…    
 
 
 
 
 
 

She held the blindfold while trying to ignore the flutter of excitement in her stomach. Her fingers toyed with the elasticated band meant to hold the mask in place.

 

Both partners are going to get a turn at being blindfolded,” Libby said from the front of the room. “Between yourselves, pick who’s going to go first.”

 

Noah looked down at her, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. He ran a hand along his jaw, catching the reddish-gold bristles of his burgeoning beard. For a moment, Paige was totally captured with the idea of how the bristles might feel on her skin. Would they be smooth or rough? Would she shriek if he brushed them along her inner thigh?

 

What do you say, new girl?” He cocked his head. “Would you rather do the blindfolding or be blindfolded?”

 

At that point she would have been happy to go all in— blindfolded, tied up, and held down.

 

Holy crap, would you listen to yourself? This is a work function, not a goddamn re-creation of

Fifty Shades.

 

Blindfolded,” she squeaked, thrusting the mask into his hands and spinning so quickly that she almost lost her footing.

 

You know, I’ve never done this before.” His hand steadied her, the reassuring warmth of his touch seeping into her skin. Her bones felt like jelly.

 

Blindfolded someone?” she asked, cringing at how shaky her voice sounded.

 

Ah, no. I meant the taste test.” He chuckled as he slipped the mask over her eyes.

 

Heat rushed up to Paige’s cheeks. Of course he meant the taste test. What an idiot she was. Just because her brain was earning an R-rating tonight didn’t mean his was, too. She fought back a tremor as he brushed some loose hairs from her neck so he could adjust the strap on the mask.

Everything went dark, and Paige gripped the edge of the table for support.

 

Warm breath whispered over her ear, and she could tell he’d leaned in a little closer. The scent of coffee and faded cologne tempted her to turn her head toward the source.

 

I’ve definitely blindfolded someone before, but it wasn’t for a taste test.”Her breath hitched, and she was grateful that she’d had the presence of mind to hold on to something.

 

Oh.”

 

He chuckled. “Yeah, that’s what she said.”

 

Holy. Freaking. Shit.

 

 

 
Betting the Bad Boy (Behind the Bar)Betting the Bad Boy by Stefanie London
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book #3 in the Behind The Bar series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

Paige has no luck getting a job in the field of her own choosing. The problem with her previous employer probably not helping. Now she just needs a job anywhere or she will have to go home.

Noah has no idea she is not the candidate he was going to interview for the position. After the whole mess, he just is glad he has someone competent to the job. Now if he can just stop wanting her for himself....

I found this to be a fun and sexy read. I liked the banter between the characters. I think this series is fun and I hope there are more stories to come.


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews
  
 
 
 
 
 
Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of over ten contemporary romances with humour, heat and heart. Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Thus, it was no surprise Stefanie was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfil her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.
 
 
Originally from Australia, she now lives in Toronto with her very own hero and is currently in the process of doing her best to travel the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, lipstick, romance novels and zombie movies.
 
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review 2017-05-16 09:10
Release Blast w/Review - Trying It All
  
 
Riley’s brain tells him she’s a ticking time bomb—
but his body doesn’t want to play by the rules.
 
 
 
TRYING IT ALL
Naked Men #4
Christi Barth
Releasing May 16, 2017
Loveswept
 

 

Order. Attention to detail. Never leaving anything to chance. These are the qualities that make Riley Ness such a terrific federal agent . . . and a pain in the ass to everyone else. The only time Riley lets loose is when he’s hanging out with his closest pals. So when he’s thrown together with gorgeous, flighty Summer Sheridan, Riley’s brain tells him she’s a ticking time bomb—but his body doesn’t want to play by the rules.
 
Riley has to be the most irritating man Summer has ever met. The brooding hunk thinks he needs to teach her a few lessons about real life, while she’d rather show him how to enjoy it. But her BFF’s all but engaged to Riley’s best friend, and besides, their intense physical chemistry is all too real. Summer just needs Riley to try to meet her halfway and take a chance with the one thing that matters: his heart.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Living forever’s only fun if you truly live.”

 

That jab stung. Because it was the same riff the guys threw at him, over and over again. “I live. I just follow the rules. Obey the speed limit. Turn off my phone before the plane starts to taxi.”

 

Summer tossed her cloud of hair back. Gave him a knowing look. No, a knowing smirk. “Oh, I get it now.”

 

What?”

 

You’re not uptight. You’re chicken.”

 

The woman had crossed a line. He’d gone through wilderness training and survival training. He’d climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. Become a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He’d pushed himself to physical and mental limits most men wouldn’t be able to attain. Being sensible? In no fucking way was it comparable to being scared.

 

Riley’s long strides ate up the distance between them. Furious, he spat out, “You want me to try something risky?”

 

Yes. Just once. But I don’t think you’ve got the balls,” she taunted.

 

Riley grabbed her face with both hands. Her lips parted in surprise. And he swooped right onto them.

 

Her lips were soft. So soft and pliable it almost deterred him. But then . . . they were so soft and pliable that he couldn’t possibly stop. Instead of holding her still, his hands curved to cup the back of her head, his thumbs caressing those impossibly high cheekbones that gave her the look of someone made to walk a runway.

 

Riley nipped at her wide bottom lip. Soothed it with a stroke of his tongue that savored the sweet, lingering tang of the orange cream cheese icing on the cinnamon rolls from brunch. He wanted to keep going. To nip and bite and lick down her neck, over the side of the breasts she flashed at him all day. To gobble down her sweetness and spice just like he had those rolls.

 

Her moan refocused him. This wasn’t just following through on a dare anymore. This was a real kiss. A real moment of pure, physical pleasure. So he dropped his hands to the small of her back and hauled Summer tight against him.

 

Thanks to her ridiculous—and ridiculously sexy—high heels, everything lined up right. The notch between her thighs ground right against his dick behind the suddenly too-tight fly of his shorts. Breasts plumped against his chest. Breasts he was pretty sure he could fit entirely into his mouth . . . since he might have pictured them a time or ten since meeting her in the spring. Tight nipples insistently poked at his pecs.

 

The kiss kept going. Ry slipped his tongue in as she let out a kittenish purr. God, it was the sexiest sound he’d ever heard. The soft, tiny mewl fired through his blood. Fired him up. His tongue tangled with hers. Like they were two swords, fencing for the win. Because there would damn sure be a winner. The way they were grappling at each other? It wasn’t just fun. It was about proving something.

 

Her mouth—made for kissing. And more. His tongue slid deep. Felt her wetness. And Riley couldn’t help imagining how all that warm wetness would feel locked around another part of his body. Summer’s hands came up to fist in his shirt. Shit—for a second, he worried she’d push him away. But then those fists pulled him even closer. One smooth calf twined around his. He wanted to walk her back ten steps to the nearest tree and just sink into her.

 

Which was crazy. Riley didn’t even like this woman. He’d kissed her to save his pride. To defend his honor. To get her off his back. And now he wanted to put Summer on hers, spread her thighs, and—

 

That was it. Riley let go. Let go of the sweet ass he didn’t even remember moving down to squeeze. Let go of those luscious lips. Yanked his head back and deliberately stepped out of the semicircle of her curved leg.

 

You and I both know that was the riskiest damn thing I could possibly do today.” Riley looked at her still unfocused eyes, her kiss-swollen lips. Proof that she’d enjoyed it every bit as much as he had. “Oh, and you also know now that I’ve got the balls. I’ve got the whole package.”

 

 
Trying It All (Naked Men, #4)Trying It All by Christi Barth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #4 in the Naked Men series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding and enjoyment, I recommend reading this complex series in order.

Riley and Summer are thrown together by the fact that their best friends are a couple. This changes the group's dynamic and even how they both look at things. Summer is hot and reckless. Riley is careful and cautious. It makes for a heck of a dance.

Summer never wants to plan anything for the future. She has learned the hard way in the past that even with a good plan, things can arise. So, why is she so attracted to the ever buttoned up Riley? Why is a kiss with him so hot it rocks her world?

This story is so very emotional as well as just plain sexy! These characters are already so head over heels for one another it makes for a great read. This series just keeps getting better with each book.


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews
 
 
 
 
 
 
USA Today bestselling author Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series.

Christi can always be found either whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.
 
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review 2017-05-11 08:05
Release Blast w/Review - The Magnate's Marriage Merger
  
 
The matchmaker meets her match…in one very persistent tycoon!
 
 
THE MAGNATE'S MARRIAGE MERGER
The McNeill Magnates #2
Joanne Rock
Releasing May 9th, 2017
Harlequin Desire
 

 

The matchmaker meets her match…in one very persistent tycoon! 

Secretive matchmaker to the rich and famous, Lydia Whitney prefers to stay behind the scenes. But after one mistake, rich resort developer Ian McNeill is hot on her trail, and he’s more attractive—and persistent—than ever before.
 
Ian can’t believe it when he figures out who’s messing with his family: a woman who has deceived—and seduced—him before. What’s her agenda? And why can’t he resist her? He’ll get the answers to all his questions, if Lydia agrees to his convenient marriage proposal. But once she’s in his arms again, will he let her go?

 

 
 
 
 

She was a woman of habit and that would serve him well now. He hoped. He remembered how much she had enjoyed swimming first thing in the morning when they were working together in the islands of Tahiti. He’d accused her of being a mermaid with her daily need to return to the sea, but even when he’d been bleary-eyed from working late the night before, he never missed a chance to swim with her. For safety purposes, he’d told her, and not just because he enjoyed the occasional chance to slide a hand beneath her bikini top or wind the wet rope of her hair around his hand and angle her sea-salty lips for his kiss.

 

When the elevator sounded its dull chime, he slowly looked up. The doors opened and Lydia strode into view. His gaze fell on her long, shapely legs, the hem of her black mesh tunic revealing a hint of thigh.

 

Ian?” Her voice tugged his attention higher, pulling his focus to her green eyes and creamy skin devoid of makeup.

 

With her hair scraped back into a ponytail, she looked every inch the part of his earthy, warmhearted lover from last summer. He had to remember that she hadn’t been the woman he thought, that he’d been wrong about her, or he might have swept her up into his arms and ridden the elevator back up to her hotel room to remind her how good they were together in at least one respect.

 

Sex. Raw, sensual, mind-blowing sex.

 

His pulse ramped up at the steamy memories, so much so that he had to shut down those thoughts and focus on the present or his plan would be doomed before he even started.

 

Hope you don’t mind if I join you.” Ian tucked his phone back into the pocket of the cargo shorts he’d slid on over his swim trunks.

 

She halted in front of him abruptly. Then, eyes sliding to the desk attendant, she stepped closer. Probably she did it to minimize the chance of being overheard.

 

Ian liked the opportunity to breathe in the scent of her—the lavender fragrance of the detergent she washed her clothes in and a subtle perfume more complex than that.

 

What on earth are you doing here?” She glanced over her shoulder. “You realize most of the consultants working on the Foxfire are staying in this hotel? What will they say if someone sees us together at this hour?”

 

They’ll think we had a whole lot more fun last night than they did.”

 

Last night, he’d paced the floor of his penthouse suite for far too long, thinking through every aspect of a contract marriage and what details he should include in the paperwork.

 

In the end, she would sign. But she wasn’t going to like him forcing her hand, and that bothered him more than it should have.

 

And that doesn’t concern you? I happen to enjoy a hard-earned reputation as a professional.” Her clipped words and the high color in her cheeks told him he’d gotten under her skin in record time.

 

If you don’t want anyone to see us together, we might as well hit the beach. Take refuge in the water.” His hand itched to touch her. To rest on the small of her back and steer her out the door, across the street and onto the soft sand. But he had to be careful not to push or she could dig her heels in about his suggestion and delay the whole thing.

 

Now that he’d made up his mind and seen the benefits of a union between the two of them, he couldn’t think of one damn reason why he should delay.

 

After narrowing her green eyes at him for an instant, she pivoted on her wedge sandals and strode toward the exit.

 

He caught up to her in two long steps, holding the door wide for her before as they headed out onto Ocean Drive, which was strangely quiet in the predawn dark. There were more joggers on the beach than bathers; a few runners kicked up sand as they pounded past them.

 

It’ll be quieter down here.” He pointed out a stretch of the shore where no beach loungers had been set up yet, a spot free from any hotel guests.

 

In fact, he’d claimed the location for them earlier when he’d ordered a cabana and sunrise breakfast. Lydia apparently didn’t notice his preparations, however, instead appearing too absorbed in her frustrated march toward the water, her feet churning through the sand at breakneck pace.

 

The horizon was starting to smudge from inky black to purple as she reached the shoreline and kicked off her shoes. Then she yanked the black mesh cover-up off and over her head. Mesmerized by her silhouette as his eyes adjusted to the light, Ian watched as she ran into the surf and made a shallow dive under an oncoming wave… She was a woman of habit and that would serve him well now. He hoped. He remembered how much she had enjoyed swimming first thing in the morning when they were working together in the islands of Tahiti. He’d accused her of being a mermaid with her daily need to return to the sea, but even when he’d been bleary-eyed from working late the night before, he never missed a chance to swim with her. For safety purposes, he’d told her, and not just because he enjoyed the occasional chance to slide a hand beneath her bikini top or wind the wet rope of her hair around his hand and angle her sea-salty lips for his kiss.

 
 

The Magnate's Marriage MergerThe Magnate's Marriage Merger by Joanne Rock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the 2nd book in The McNeill Magnates series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To enjoy the series without spoilers, I always recommend reading them in order.

Ian had set out to find who nearly ruined his brother's public image. He find out who it was and it is a shocker! Only to turn around and want to keep her for himself.

Lydia has a hot and sexy past with the intimidating Ian. She also has a secret she has not yet shared with him. Is there any kind of future for them after such a rocky start?

I found this series to be very heated and compelling so far. These characters a rich and complex. I love the interaction and the sparks flying.


***This ARC copy was provided for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 
Don't miss ANY of The McNeill Magnates
 

 

 
<!--[endif]-->
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn't like. The author of over seventy books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly--love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she's not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
 

 

 

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review 2017-05-09 07:05
Release Week Blitz w/Review - Score

 

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

Title: SCORE

Author: Victoria Denault

Series: San Francisco Thunder, #1

 

 

On Sale: May 9, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD

eBook: $3.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

 

 

Denault launches a new series, featuring the bad boys of the San Francisco Thunder, with gusto, passion and heaps of tension and sensual detail. Several genre-defying complications makes the story feel unexpectedly fresh. Moreover, the consistent reinforcement of the female characters’ strength and individuality turns this book into something unique, and provides plenty of incentive for fans of sport romances to seek out this new series without delay.” –RT Book Reviews

 

Sexy, sassy, and a perfect new adult read for fans who love hockey and romance, not necessarily in that order. An excellent new sports series launch.” –Library Journal

 

He's used to winning, but now he's playing with his heart.

 

Jude Braddock. Hockey god. That's how everyone sees him now. But when they were teenagers, Zoey knew him as the kid who didn't have enough nerve to make a move on their one and only disastrous date. Seems he doesn't have that problem anymore, though. According to the rumors, he's with a different woman every night. After a rough divorce, the last thing Zoey needs is more heartbreak. But Jude's cocky, playful attitude is mighty hard to resist.

 

Jude knows he isn't built for long-term relationships. But he's getting sick of women pounding on his door in the middle of the night looking for a rematch. When Zoey comes back into his life, it's like fate has given him a second chance. He'll do anything to make her happy again. Is this what love looks like? He has no idea. All he knows for sure is that this time, he's playing for keeps.

 

BUY THE BOOK HERE:

 

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million! ~ Google Play ~ iBooks ~ IndieBound ~ Kobo

 

 

 

 

Still staring at my blank phone screen, I stumble toward the door and of course I walk straight into someone. Of course. Because to- day is going to be shitty in every possible way. Luckily, I manage to avoid getting chai latte on either of us; it barely spills over the lid and only dribbles onto my hand.

 

“I’m so sorry!” I say at the exact same time she does, and I look up to see a familiar face staring back, but I can’t place it.

 

She blinks azure eyes and then her whole face lights up. “Zoey?

 

Zoey Quinlin? Oh my God!”

 

She’s hugging me before I realize what’s happening. I wrap the hand not covered in latte around her back and return the embrace. She pulls back, still holding my shoulders, and smiles. “Holy crap! It’s been over ten years! Oh my God.” She pauses and glances around before adding in a softer voice, “It’s Dixie. Dixie Braddock. You used to babysit me at my family’s summer cottage in Maine. You were friends with my brother, Jude.”

 

“Holy shit! Dixie Braddock?” I can’t believe it. The last time I saw her she was thirteen. Wheat hair; pink, suntanned skin; freckles across her nose and chronically scabbed-up knees from trying to keep up with her older sisters and brother, who were all daredevils on their bikes and skateboards and surfboards. Babysitting them—well, the girls, anyway—for the two years I lived in Maine was a highlight of my summers. And so was seeing their brother. Shit, I hadn’t thought of Jude Braddock in a while. I find myself smiling now that I am.

 

“You live in San Fran?” she questions as she takes my elbow and leads me over to the counter and hands me a napkin for my latte- soaked hand.

 

“Yeah. Stayed local after college,” I explain as I put down the latte and wipe my hand. “And you live here?”

 

She nods, her sleek blond bob moving like a curtain around her face. She looks close to the tiny thing I babysat but much more refined and beautiful now. I do the math: she’s only twenty-four, but she looks more put together than any twenty-four-year-old I’ve known.

 

“Yeah. I went to school for sports media, then interned with the San Francisco Thunder hockey team, and they hired me full- time this year.” Her eyes dart around, and her voice drops again. “Jude plays for them, so I use my mom’s last name, Wynn, so no one thinks he got me the job. He didn’t.”

 

“Jude is in San Francisco?” I don’t know why I felt the need to say that with such breathless shock. I knew he made the NHL, but I had thought he was playing in Milwaukee. That’s where he was last time I Googled him, which was three years ago, before I married Adam.

 

“Yeah. Got traded a couple years ago,” Dixie explains. “So how’s your family? Where’s your dad preaching now?”

 

“He’s retired. Mom and Dad are in Sacramento,” I explain. “My brother, Morgan, is a teacher here in San Francisco.”

 

“Morgan!” She laughs and her cheeks turn a little pink. “Sadie, Winnie and I had such a crush on your brother when we were little. Remember we used to keep begging you to invite him over when you were watching us?”

 

I nod and can’t help but smile back. Yeah, that memory hasn’t faded. The Braddock girls wanted my brother to come over, but I never invited him. Not because he was gay, which I already knew at that point, but because if Morgan was around, he would tease me about gawking at Jude, which I always did if he happened to come home before Mr. and Mrs. Braddock’s date night ended.

 

Dixie glances at her phone in her hand, and I realize we both must have been looking at our screens when we collided. She frowns. “I have to go. I have a meeting at the arena in twenty.” She puts a hand on my arm again. “But I would love to catch up with you, and I know Winnie and Sadie would too. They’re going to be in town this weekend. Would you be able to do brunch?”

 

“Yeah, I can do brunch,” I reply and am shocked at how excited I am at her suggestion. I haven’t really done much of anything social since the separation. I kind of lost touch with a lot of my friends after marrying Adam and adopted his circle of friends. And they all promptly orphaned me after the separation. I didn’t care much because I didn’t feel up to social interaction, but suddenly this seems like a pleasant distraction from my reality. The Braddock family was one of my favorite parts of my childhood.

 

“Amazing!” Dixie almost squeals. “How about tomorrow. Eleven?”

 

I nod. “Where?”

 

“You pick.”

 

“MKT?” I blurt out because it’s in my hotel and I’m too flustered to think of anything else. To be honest, I don’t even know what they serve for brunch.

 

“Great! Sadie loves that place, and she’s normally impossible to please.” She hugs me again. “See you tomorrow! Winnie and Sadie are going to be so excited!”

 

And then, before I can even lift my hand to wave, she’s back out the door. She never even got a coffee, but she doesn’t seem to notice. I’m more dumbfounded and confused than I was from the phone call with Minerva. The Braddocks are here. Well, at least Jude and Dixie are here. In San Francisco. Where I live. When the hell did that happen?

 

I look around the coffee shop to make sure there’s no one else from my past lurking around. A teacher, a neighbor, another sister of an old unconsummated love. Although Jude was my only unrequited love, but he did have three sisters. Whom I will be having brunch with tomorrow. Crazy!

 

I slip out of Peet’s and concentrate on the clicking of my heels as I make my way back over to my office. I finally take a sip of my jostled latte. It’s barely warm but the caffeine still manages to clear my head a little. Not enough that eagle-eye Marti doesn’t notice something is up.

 

“Everything okay?” she wants to know as she stands at her desk, gathering things she needs for her day and placing them in her bag. “You look more out of it than you did before the coffee.”

 

“I ran into someone I haven’t seen in a long time,” I murmur, and for some reason Jude’s seventeen-year-old face floats through my head, not Dixie’s from this morning. “The last time I saw her was in Maine eleven years ago, so it was surprising.”

 

“Wow.” Marti takes a break from filling her Michael Kors satchel with listing flyers. “Small world, huh? I love when that happens. Unless it’s someone I hate. Was it someone you hate?”

 

“No. Not at all,” I reply and drop down gently into my seat. “She and her sisters were sweethearts. Seems like they still are. I’ll definitely find out, because I’m having brunch with them tomorrow.”

 

“Cool.” Marti isn’t paying attention anymore. Her eyes are focused across the room on Parker McDavid, who is the owner of our company. He’s midforties, tall with a dad bod that is oddly at- tractive, probably because he covers it in perfectly tailored designer clothes. His dark hair is graying in all the right places, like George Clooney’s, and his eyes are warm and his smile is kind. But he’s an astute businessman who expects a lot from his Realtors, and Marti is constantly trying to impress him. I am too, if I’m being honest, but I’m new. She’s not new, but she’s still hungry.

 

“I’m going to tell Parker about the deal I just closed, and then I’m off for a condo showing,” Marti explains and barely even waves good-bye as she hustles toward the kitchen Parker just disappeared into for his morning croissant and English Breakfast tea.

 

I open my laptop and pull up my email, determined to keep my mind focused on work. I need to send a follow-up email regarding the potential Haight listing, but my brain is bouncing from Adam to Dixie.

 

One future encounter I’m dreading—confronting Adam—and one I’m looking forward to—seeing the Braddock sisters. But the one that isn’t destined to happen is the one that fills me with excitement I haven’t felt in a long time—the potential that since I’m meeting three Braddock siblings I might also run into the fourth: Jude.

 

 

 

 

Score (San Francisco Thunder #1)Score by Victoria Denault
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zoey & Jude have a past. One he would like to move on from. He wants to at least seal the deal this time. Their attraction is obvious. The only thing that Zoey wants is sex.

Jude knows that the divorce was hard on Zoey. Her ex has tried to hurt her at every turn. Jude has no desire to be in the same cloth as that jerk. He wants to take care of Zoey. His past keeps her guessing also. Is there hope for a future?

This was a great start to the new San Francisco Thunder series. I cannot wait for the next book! These characters were fun to read. The sexy times we hot!


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

View all my reviews

 

 

 

THE SAN FRANCISCO THUNDER SERIES:

 

SCORE, #1

SLAMMED, #2

 

Series Page on Goodreads

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in L.A. but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

 

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