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review 2018-05-22 08:10
Release Blitz w/Review - Marek

Marek: A Cold Fury Hockey Novel
Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: May 22, 2018

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Marek Fabritis is used to delivering blows, not receiving them. But when he gets tipped off by an anonymous email about his ex-girlfriend, the news leaves him ice cold—and it’s not because Gracen Moore is getting married to a total jerk. It’s the fact that Marek has a three-year-old daughter he never knew about. Now he’s going back home, not to play knight in shining armor but to make damn sure that no man takes what’s his. For the first time, there might be something more important than hockey.

Gracen Moore has always loved Marek. That’s why she let him go, so he could pursue a career in the NHL. And that’s why she never told him about Lilly. Only now does Gracen realize that she made an unforgivable mistake. But is that any reason for Marek to crash her wedding and make an epic scene? If the spark that still smolders between them is to be trusted, maybe. Still, Gracen’s not getting her hopes up. Because she knows better than anyone that appearances aren’t always what they seem. . . .

 

Purchase Marek:


Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | Audible

Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/2kIk6T0

 

 

 

 

Marek (Cold Fury Hockey, #11)Marek by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #11, in the Cold Fury Hockey series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers, and for complete understanding of the series, I recommend reading these in order.

Marek is in shock. He just found out anonymously that his ex has been keeping his child a secret. Can they work it out without coming to blows?

Gracen wants to make something right she cannot take back. There is so much pain and problems connected to her past she has no idea where to start. She must find a way to forge a future with her child's father.

This book started out so sad. I was just aching for these characters. I was profoundly grateful that the author had a plan. In her infinite wisdom, this story got hotter by way of a slow burn. Like all the books in this series - it was totally hot.


***This early copy was given in exchange by Netgalley and its publishers.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

 

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.

Sawyer also writes general and women’s fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.

Connect with Sawyer:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bennettbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BennettBooks
Instagram: https://instagram.com/sawyerbennett123/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Sawyer_Bennett
Book+Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/sawyerbennett

Sign up for Sawyer’s newsletter:
http://sawyerbennett.com/signup/

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-05-20 14:10
Temptation
Rumor Has It - Jessica Lemmon

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

 

Barrett has to "pretend" date another reporter, so they can make ratings magic.  Not a stranger to the publicity stunt genre - he decides to go for it.  Then he meets the elusive Catarina.  

 

Catalina has never been so insulted.  She already has a boyfriend - why must her boss play this game?  Barrett is no prize.  Ratings is the key here.  Only the attraction she is feeling seems to be mutual.....

 

This book was sparks galore from almost word one.  The very sexy characters banter well.  The book has a great pace, and lots of heat to keep one turning the page.  This is a great addition to the series.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This book was provided by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-05-17 13:28
Release Blitz - Level Up

 
TitleLEVEL UP
Series: loosely related to the #gaymers series, but stands alone
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Annabeth Albert
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40,000 words
Genre: Romance, contemporary m/m romance, gay romance, geeks, nerds, friends-to-lovers, gamers, gaymers
 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

Synopsis:

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Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.
 
However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.
 
A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.
 
Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

 

 

Excerpt:

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LEVEL UP EXCERPT—This is their first kiss, because I absolutely love writing first kiss scenes!
 
***
 
Bailey was the type who moved a lot as he gamed, biceps flexing, knees wiggling, shoulders jostling. Landon always liked people who got so into gaming, but it was more than a little distracting. His body was quickly coming to associate that orange scent of Bailey’s with good things, and other parts of him apparently liked Bailey’s nearness, which was a novelty because instead of intimidated, as he would have expected, he was more than a little turned on.
 
“Oh man, that was a rush.” Bailey laughed as both of their health meters dipped to zero. “I’m almost wishing I’d gone into game art, not photography. Amazing how these graphics have held up over the years.”
 
“Totally. And speaking of art, let me find the Space Villager stuff.” Landon reluctantly stepped away from the game. He headed to the nearby kitchen, where he was pretty the papers were buried with a stack of mail. Paper control was not his strong suit. “You’ll go nuts at the latest screen shots and promo teasers.”
 
“Cool.” Rather than follow Landon, Bailey went to sit on the couch.
 
“You want a drink while I’m in here?” Landon called to him after he found the papers under a pile of pizza ads. “I’ve got four flavors of Snapple, soda, and water.”
 
“Surprise me with a Snapple flavor.” Bailey looked right at home on Landon’s couch, lounging back.
 
He really did not look at all like any photographer Landon had ever met, and curiosity had him asking, “So why photography? You said you could have done game design?”
 
“Yeah, I had plenty of friends at the art institute go that direction. But I’ve been in love with photography ever since I worked on our middle school yearbook. I figured out quickly that taking pictures of events and sports was far more fun than trying to do the sports myself, so I did yearbook all through high school, got a photography scholarship to the art institute in Portland.”
 
“So you don’t play a sport?” Landon had a hard time believing that. With Bailey’s height and breadth, he totally looked like he lived for weekend games of some type.
 
“Nope. Hopelessly uncoordinated.” Bailey shot him an endearing smile when Landon handed him the bottle of tea.
 
“Me too.” Landon clinked bottles with him, then held up the papers. “Found the codes. But can I show you some stuff on the TV screen while you have your drink?”
 
“Absolutely.” Bailey took a long swig of tea, and Landon had to look away before he got mesmerized by Bailey’s full mouth, how it looked when his tongue chased a stray drop of moisture, how pink it was in contrast to his paler skin and brown beard.
 
Landon queued up the pre-release trailer Josiah had sent him a link to. Bombastic music filled his small living room as on the screen, and a spaceship pulled in for a landing on a planet filled with ruins of a once-powerful civilization. The narrator had an iconic voice and detailed all the special features of the expansion pack. Landon had already watched this a half-dozen times, and it still gave him happy chills.
 
“Wow. I can’t wait.” Bailey looked suitably awed. “This is even cooler than when War Elf added the mystic raids.”
 
“I know, right? Now look at the in-game screen shots.” He brought up another video, body relaxing more and more despite Bailey’s nearness. It was just so awesome to have someone new to share this with. He’d been hyped about this all week, but Pike was distracted by his boyfriend Zack’s deployment, Savannah didn’t game much, and the rest of his regular crew seemed to have other things occupying their attention.
 
Somehow, as he shared more video clips, he drifted closer to Bailey, so that their knees were almost rubbing. It wasn’t a giant couch, so there wasn’t a ton of room to move back, but even so, Landon wasn’t looking for an escape. He was aware of Bailey, very much so, but not nearly as freaked out as he’d been a few hours ago. Instead, his senses seemed to soak up Bailey’s scent and nearness, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth video that he realized that he was aroused.
 
Clink. Somehow Landon’s left hand, holding his drink, and Bailey’s right hand tangled.
 
“Oops.” He tried to extricate himself without spilling both beverages. Bending to put his on the floor, he hadn’t realized that Bailey had also leaned down until their heads collided.
 
“Ow,” they said simultaneously.
 
“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” Bailey reached out, feeling around on Landon’s head. “Did you see stars? Break the skin?”
 
“I’m fine.” Landon didn’t pull away. Bailey’s hand felt damn nice. Gentle. Soothing more than just the bump on his head. Their eyes met, and he really needed to move back, break this spell, but he didn’t, instead leaning into to the touch. Bailey’s eyes darkened, and he stroked down Landon’s jaw. God, that felt so good, like an extra blanket on a chilly night, warmth he hadn’t realized he was missing. How long had it been since he’d been touched like this? Hugged, sure. He’d hugged Savannah goodnight, and hugged and wrestled around with his best friend Pike at the last LAN party, but neither of those things was touch like this. Caring. Sweet. Arousing.
 
Bailey leaned in again, way slower this time, all the time in the world for Landon to stop him. But he didn’t. Bailey’s beard tickled an instant before their lips met, a soft slide of mouths. Not aggressive at all, not the on-a-tight-schedule rush of a hookup, Bailey kissed like they had a sleepy Sunday afternoon to kill, like each reaction of Landon’s mattered, like he was trying to memorize something important and was going to take his time learning the lesson.
 
Landon was the first one to take things further, mouth opening on a sigh, welcoming Bailey’s agile tongue. He tasted sweet, like tea, and minty like the gum he’d popped after the pizza, familiar yet new at the same time. How had he managed to forget how awesome kissing could be? A laugh bubbled up in his chest, but quickly transformed to a groan of pleasure as Bailey nipped at his lower lip.
 
Not content to let Bailey be the one exploring, Landon sent his own tongue on a quest, tracing Bailey’s full lower lip, delving inside to rub tongues, retreating playfully to earn another nip. Fuck. This was nice. The video switched over to something random, and he barely registered it. He couldn’t say how long they kissed, just that he didn’t want it to ever end.

 

Purchase at Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Level UpLevel Up by Annabeth Albert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Landon absolutely did not want to do this calendar shoot. If the photographer had not known how to coax him out of his shell, it could have been a disaster. Afterwards, he realizes he is attracted to the quiet photographer and wants to spend more time with him.

Bailey is immediately attracted to Landon. He appreciated the qualities that make him the shy almost recluse of a professor that he is. After spending time gaming together - they realize this could be worth a shot. Now if they can just put past pain and hurt behind them.

I felt like these characters were a great mix. I loved the reference to the amazing Gaymers series also! This story unfolds at a rather steady pace. The heat is obvious, but the solution is not. As always, this author brings us a book that makes us smile. Even after the storm.



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

View all my reviews

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

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Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.
 
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Annabeth's Newsletter | Annabeth's Angels

 

 

Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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review 2018-05-10 21:17
Who doesn't know the words to at least one song by Stevie Wonder...
Life is a Stevie Wonder Song - V.L. Locey

While I'm still not a big fan of stories where there's an age gap between the MCs and by age gap I mean 10 years or more. I really enjoyed this one. 

 

Stephen Ramsey is a successful 45 year old writer who's lost his muse. He's been married 3 times and has a college aged daughter who thinks he needs to try something different and wants him to go to a retreat for the summer...not having any better ideas he decides to give it a try and heads off for basically the middle of nowhere to find his muse and commune with nature. What he finds is 22 year old Declan Pomeroy a photography student who piques his interest and has him totally enchanted.

 

While I haven't read a lot of stories by this author I have to admit this one had a slightly different tone to the writing and I enjoyed it. At times it felt a little rambly and disjointed but at times life can be a bit rambly (yes, rambly's a word...ok, maybe i just made it one but hey how do you think all these other words came to be?) and disjointed so really why can't stories reflect that aspect of the real world if it works and in this case for this reader it worked.

 

There's a 22 year age gap between these two men and I have admit for me that's stretching things...I mean seriously we've gone from "who's your daddy?" to "I could be your father...literally I could be your father" and sometimes that's a little more than I'm comfortable with but there were certain things that really helped to offset this for me taking it from a story that could have been 'eewwww and creepy' to a story that was sweet and I enjoyed. So let's see if I can explain what went right for me...

 

1st is the fact that it was Declan who basically did the pursuing. Which for me can make a huge difference. It made this a story about 2 men who were interested in each other exploring a relationship and it offset the imbalance of power that I often feel when it's the older man who does the pursuing. Especially when the older man is established in his career and has the amount of relationship experience that Stephen has.

 

2nd I liked that Declan didn't loose sight of his goals and what he wanted out of life for himself when it came to a career. While Declan may not have totally had his life together neither was he anyone's pushover who was going to become some mindless little neophyte. If anything in some ways I felt like Declan was what some people would call an 'old soul'. But only in some ways in other ways he had a certain sweetness and innocence about him. 

 

3rd I enjoyed the interactions between these two. In general this pairing worked for me both in and out of the bedroom. I realize that Stephen suddenly realizing he's bisexual at the age of 45 may seem like a stretch or even a bit preposterous to some but honestly I had a dear friend who was in their 50s when had the same realization so for me it didn't seem so unlikely of an event.

 

4th I really liked the way the author wove music into this story. I think a lot of us could probably create our own 'life play list' without a lot of effort and I know for me a number of the songs in this book would be on my playlist so I think in hindsight that my connection to this story started with the music...

 

I haven't done this in a while but this story basically begged for it and I found that at the end of it all for Stephen and Declan it was a Stevie Wonder song...'Overjoyed'...

And though you don't believe that they do
They do come true

For did my dreams
Come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe
You too might be
Overjoyed, over love, over me

This one was short, sweet and fun to read. So if you're in the mood for something that's not complicated but definitely enjoyable then load up your Stevie Wonder playlist and curly up for an hour or two of light entertainment with 'Life is a Stevie Wonder Song'.

 

*************************

An ARC of "Life is a Stevie Wonder Song' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-05-06 03:38
Competition
Spies, Lies, and Allies - Lisa Brown Roberts

Laurel wants a summer job, but she wants to spend time with her incredibly busy workaholic dad also.  Offering her services as an assistant, she ends up meeting with all the company's interns who are fighting for a scholarship.  When she finds out who she is actually working with she freaks.

 

Carlos is just one of the hotties she is to help over the summer.  He is a busy family man, who also hopes to get to college.  The sparks between them are lit almost immediately.  Only problem with this is the timing.  He is disqualified for the scholarship if he is seen dating or fraternizing with Laurel.

 

This book just shot out the gate.  The release timing was excellent, with all of the great Star Wars and pop culture references.  Laughing my way through, I had a hard time putting the book down just to eat!  This author has quickly become a must for me.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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