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review 2020-07-16 09:01
Blog Tour w/Review - A Sweet Mess

 

 

 

 

ABOUT A SWEET MESS:

 

Korean-American author Jayci Lee delights with A Sweet Mess, a delicious and light-hearted romantic comedy that readers will devour and ask for more. 

Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she’d see the gorgeous Korean hunk again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out. 

When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster. Her head is telling her to take the chance to save her bakery while her heart—and her hormones—are at war on whether to give him a second chance. And it just so happens that Landon’s meddling friends want them to spend those three weeks as close as possible...by sharing a villa.

When things start heating up, both in and out of the kitchen, Aubrey will have to make a choice—to stick it out or risk her heart.

 

 

Excerpt from A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee. Copyright 2020 by the author and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Griffin.

 

“How’s this?” He’d chosen a small table at the back corner. When Aubrey nodded, he pulled out her chair and took a seat across from her.

 

Their proximity and relative privacy made the air between them hum with electricity. Their knees brushed every time either of them shifted in their seat, sending bolts of desire through him. A sharp intake of breath and a parting of her lips revealed Aubrey wasn’t immune to their magnetic attraction.

 

Landon had dated his fair share of beautiful women. There was no reason to act like a gawky teenager, but his roaring heart and churning stomach said otherwise. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d felt nervous around a woman. Her hand was resting less than four inches away from his, but he broke out in a cold sweat working up the nerve to brush his knuckles against it.

 

He started when Aubrey traced her fingers across the back of his hand with a shy smile. “So, Landon from out of town, what’s your dream?”

 

His blood had gone south at her touch, leaving nothing for his brain, but he was even more dumbstruck by her question. The woman threw him off balance on all fronts.

 

“Not big on making small talk, are you?” He managed to keep his voice steady despite his spinning head and hardening body.

 

“If I’m going to have a chat with a complete stranger, I might as well have an interesting one.” A deep blush stained her cheeks, and her lashes fluttered to hide her eyes. “Besides, you’re leaving tomorrow. I was hoping we could pack a lot into tonight.”

 

Landon sucked in a sharp breath. Her shy and earnest declaration moved him, and he fought the urge to pull her across the table to kiss her senseless. Instead, he lifted Aubrey’s hand and brushed a kiss on her pale inner wrist. A wolfish grin spread across his face when she gasped at his touch.

 

“My dream was to open my own restaurant.” To his shock, the truth stumbled out of him. A truth he’d refused to face for the past decade. Maybe he was desperate to give her an interesting conversation. A memorable one. “Someplace spacious and comfortable where people can enjoy a delicious meal without pretense or a six-figure salary.”

 

“That sounds amazing. What kind of food are we talking about?”

 

“Whatever inspiration strikes me. If I had to label it, New American–slash–Korean fusion will have to do.”

 

“I love Korean food. I would totally eat there.” Aubrey sat forward, her eyes round and sparkling. “So you’re Korean? I am, too.”

 

“Yes, I’m Korean, and you would be more than welcome to eat at my restaurant.”

 

“Are you a chef?”

 

“No, but I trained to be one. Have you heard of the CIA?” 

 

“The Central Intelligence Agency? You learned to cook for undercover agents while dodging bullets and jumping out of airplanes?” She cocked her head to the side and gazed at him with solemn interest.

 

“I . . . um.” Landon was fairly certain she was messing with him, but insulting her wouldn’t be the best way to seduce her. “It’s . . .”

 

Aubrey’s pale skin turned from pink to crimson before she erupted into laughter, her frame trembling like a 6.8 earthquake. She held up a finger, gripping her side, pantomiming she needed a minute. He crossed his arms over his chest and leveled her with a steely glare, which wasn’t an easy feat considering her infectious mirth.

 

“I’m s-sorry, but you had to see your face. You couldn’t decide whether a small-town girl like me knew about the Culinary Institute of America or whether I was pulling your leg.”

 

Mischievous little fox. He needed to get her back for that. “Actually, that’s incorrect.” He drew closer to her, his lips close to her ear, and lowered his voice to a deep, gritty whisper. “I was debating whether or not I should tell you the truth, because if I did, I’d have to terminate you.”

 

Aubrey stared at him in silence for a second, and then a delighted grin spread across her face. “This is fun.”

 

“Yeah, it is.” Landon was surprised to find he meant it. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had fun. He certainly had pleasant and interesting times, but fun times? No, this felt alien.

 

His earlier hesitation forgotten, he ran his knuckles down the side of her face, relishing the feel of her warm, silky skin. Aubrey leaned lightly into his hand, and her eyes slid shut. She was so responsive to his touch. Landon’s mouth went dry, and all he could think was more. He wanted to make her laugh again. He ached to make her fall apart in his arms with her swollen lips calling out his name.

 

“You’re beautiful,” Landon murmured, unable to look away from her.

 

“So are you.” Aubrey’s lips curved into a barely there smile that squeezed his heart.

 

He’d gone to the brewery for a pint to wash away the bitter taste of his sorry day, but he’d discovered something far more intoxicating—something potent enough to tip him off-balance. Aubrey made his blood sing and his rational thoughts melt away. The floor seemed to grow solid and strong, and his body settled heavily into his seat like he’d dropped anchor across from her—as though she had a gravitational pull all her own and he was helpless against it.

 

He’d led a nomadic life for a decade. He didn’t know how to stay still for long. The smart thing to do would be to run the hell away from this woman, whose mere proximity made it unimaginable to even leave the table.

 

But smart wasn’t part of his vocabulary at the moment. Greedy, feral, and desperate passion overwhelmed all else. He stood abruptly from his seat, and Aubrey’s mouth parted in surprise. Then he grasped her hand and raised her to her feet.

 

“Do you want to get out of here?” His eyes bored into hers, his desire and urgency displayed for her to see.

 

“Yes.”

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

JAYCI LEE writes poignant, sexy, and laugh-out-loud romance every free second she can scavenge and is semi-retired from her fifteen-year career as a defense litigator. She loves food, wine, and travelling, and incidentally so do her characters. Jayci lives in sunny California with her tall-dark-and-handsome husband, two amazing boys with boundless energy, and a fluffy rescue whose cuteness is a major distraction. She is the author of A Sweet Mess.

 

Buy this book: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250621108

 

Author website: https://jaycilee.com

Author Twitter: @authorjaycilee

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjaycilee

 

 

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review 2020-07-11 07:52
Challenge
A Sweet Mess - Jayci Lee

Aubrey runs a really successful bakery that is only threatened by the hottest specimen she has met in a long time.  She finds out later he wrote the worst review about her place.  Then has the nerve to claim he can still help her.

 

Landon is honestly meaning well.  He does not want to put his reputation on the line by retracting the review that caused all the devastation.  Yet somehow in between this all is electricity that crackles and sparks that fly for the two of them anytime they are in the same room together.

 

Surprisingly enough, this book has lots of humor, ideas for great recipes, and more than meets the eye.  I had a hard time getting the book finished as the couple were interesting and so was the plot - only I felt something was lacking there.  The heat and the chemistry were on point but something was just missing.  It is worth a read, as it has really deep characters who get more background story as you read.  I found it be a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2020-02-18 14:25
ARC REVIEW The Last Real Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

The Last Real Cowboy (Cold River Ranch, #3)Cold River Ranch #3, The third book, the third Everett brother and hopefully not the last book of the series especially not after introducing Amanda's brothers. This was an enjoyable book and much like the first it starts with unrequited love. Amanda has been in love with her oldest brothers best friend as long as she can remember, but half the time it's like he doesn't see her and the other times he treats her like she's still in school. Brady has done his best to try and ignore Amanda, she's always been hands off. The Kittredge family has been more a family to him than his own, and lusting after his best friends little sister is a big no no; until it's not.

Brady has a lot issues he was the book smart brother who left as soon as he was able because while loved the ranch he hated his father. His father made him feel like the red-headed step child and pushed to the point his brothers alienate him too. His promised year working on the ranch has been spent trying to convince his brothers that his college degree doesn't make him ranch dumb.

Amanda is the youngest the only girl with four older brothers, four very overstepping, overbearing, over protective brothers. So much so that at the age of 22 she's only been on three dates no one is brave enough to stand up to the Kittredge boys and to the Kittredge boys no one is good enough for their baby sister. Fed up of being treated like a child to everyone around her she makes the decision to start living her life no matter what her brothers do or say. She moves out of her parents house and gets second job at the low class bar on the skirts of town and rents one of the rooms above it. Her parents are supportive her brother's on the other hand. Brady was just supposed to watch out for her make sure no one tries anything but then Amanda asks him to teach her all about sex.

Overall it's a great read. I feel like it can be read as a stand alone, I missed reading the second one and didn't feel lost at all. I loved the bonding between the brothers and truths finally coming to light. I mentally applauded Amanda for standing up for herself and her relationship with Brady. 




 

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review 2020-02-11 14:41
ARC REVIEW Scot Under the Covers by Suzanne Enoch

Scot Under the Covers (The Wild Wicked Highlanders, #2)Wild Wicked Highlanders #2, I'm so glad I didn't miss out on reading this one. I loved this book it's one that had me smiling at the end of it, it made me happy. It was well written and it pulls you in completely; from her details to the sprinkling of Scots Gaelic it's very immersive. The story is about three Highland brothers who were forced to come to London and find English brides before their little sister marries or else lose the family fortune. Which means they can't afford the upkeep of the estate or their lands and tenants. One brother has already fallen in love and married now it's the second brother's turn to fall.

Miranda Harris hates gambling and gamblers. The first thing she heard about Aden MacTaggert was that he was a wagering man and a good one, she takes an instant dislike to him even before she meets him. Then when she finally meets her brother's soon to be brother-in-law he was too good looking for his own good and she hated that she felt an attraction and he had just rescued a stray dog; she would not let herself feel such things for him so she was deliberately mean to him. Unfortunately, it backfired, Aden was intrigued by the green-eyed beauty who seemed to make a rather harsh judgement about him.

Miranda soon finds out her brother is really lousy at gambling and a really easy mark, he loses way more than he could ever pay back to a Captain Vale. Instead of taking the money and completely ruining the family the debt will be paid when Miranda marries the captain. Miranda is livid she in no way will accept her fate of being married to such a villain she does the only thing she can think of she asks Aden for help. Aden doesn't make it easy for her but he does give in and help. Part of his plan is to court her to irk the captain and take his attention away from Miranda and on to Aden and because he's serious about courting her. The more Miranda spends with Aden the more she sees he's not the villain gambler like she thought, he's a good man, a smart man, a man she could see herself with forever assuming Aden can get her out of this mess. Lucky for her Aden is smart much more so than the captain.

Overall, I thought this was such a great book, I loved how everything played out. I am really looking forward to Coll's book, the bigger they are the harder they fall. I love that one by one the brothers stop seeing their mother as a bad person and while they aren't happy with what she did they are willing to forgive her so far all except Coll.   





 

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review 2020-02-05 17:25
Review:A Bad Day for Sunshine(Sunshine Vicram #1)by Darynda Jones
A Bad Day for Sunshine - Darynda Jones

 

Syno

 

 

Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose. Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, its strong cups of coffee—and a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff--an election her adorably meddlesome parents entered her in--and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of it's reminding Sunny why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that trouble at her daughter’s new school and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and Sunshine has her hands full. Enter sexy almost-old-flame Levi Ravinder and a hunky US Marshall, both elevens on a scale of one to blazing inferno, and the normally savvy sheriff is quickly in over her head. Now it’s up to Sunshine to juggle a few good hunky men, a not-so-nice kidnapping miscreant, and Doug the ever-pesky flasher. And they said coming home would be drama-free.

 

 

 

 

My Thoughts

 

 

***I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!***

 

To be honest I was a bit nervous about this book after her great Charley Davidson series and if it would hold up to it. And I’m happy to report, yes, it does. It is different than Charley Davidson, but still very good in his own rights.

Admittedly, it took me about 5-10% to really get into it but then I really enjoyed it.

We get both POVs, Sunshine and her daughter Auri’s , which I really enjoyed. I loved it, and that way, sort of get two stories in one, but also the main plot combines the two.

The story is pretty fast –paced but still easy to follow and keeps you on your toes until the last page.

I loved Sunshine and Auri and their relationship, matter fact I liked all of the characters.  Both are super funny and smart and can hold their own, but also love to have a shoulder to lean on when needed.

I liked Levi but so far he was not my favorite and sometime came over more of an ass than anything, but maybe that will change the better we get to know him.

I did however like Cruz very much and can’t wait to see more of the two of them together, I think that will be so much fun. I think them with Jimmy will be a hoot.

Zee and Quincey were also super fun, but we do get more of Quincey, and I loved that and him.

I really enjoyed this book and the suspense, I wouldn’t caller it a thriller but most definitely suspense filled. We do get some nice twists and turns, some I saw coming but most not. Of course we get lots and lots of snark and humor which I loved filled and topped with some hunky sexy men and moments. But we also get some tender and heartbreaking moments in the mix.

While I loved most of the book there were some things I could have lived without. It felt off and unnecessary, looking back now.  The premonition for example.

I think I spotted a Charley Easter egg which I loved, but I can’t be too sure lol.

Overall, I think it was a great first book in a new series and I’m looking forward to reading more now that we have most of the introductions of main story line and characters out  of the way .

I rate it 4 ★

 

 

 

goodreads-badge-add-plus-

 

 

Will be available 

April 7th, 2020

 

Amazon*** B&N *** Kobo 

 

 

 

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