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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 2020-04-04 00:31
It's been a while since I first read this one...
Chief's Mess - L.A. Witt,Nick J. Russo

and while I enjoyed revisiting the story on audio...because...Nick J. Russo! This is a narrator who consistently delivers and is one of my top 5 narrators. Without fail I can rely on his narrating to make a good story great and to make a not so good story better and he's even made some that were less than tolerable into something tolerable. Simply put as a narrator Nick J. Russo consistently delivers.

 

Now onto what it was that he delivered...'Chief's Mess' is the third story in L. A. Witt's naval series "Anchor Point" and while I liked the story it wasn't quite on the same level for me as the first two and while I think that might be a very tiny bit the story, I know that it's more of a personal issue for me...so yes, it's not the story it's me.

 

I was fairly certain before I started this audio book that I probably wasn't going to enjoy it quite as much as the first two audio books...one because I read the book so I knew what I was getting and two because I read the book and it also wasn't my favorite but I'm ok with this. Not every book has to be an over the moon I love it read/listen for me and I'm just one of those people who likes to read/listen to all of the books in a series whether or not I'm going to give them all rave reviews or not. For me it's about having all the info so that I can more readily make connections between characters and events and my other half will tell you it's really just my book OCD kicking in...whatever, it is what it is.

 

Ok, so back to Noah and Anthony why didn't they enchant me the way other couples in this series have...well, it's not broke so I'm not going to try and fix 

Noah Jackson is a member of Anchor Point's military police. He's got a stressful job and unfortunately his solution for dealing with the stress of his job comes from a bottle and he sees no problem with this. As a matter of fact he's so on board with this that when a problem results from his drinking his solution is to make his life accommodate the drinking...can't drive home because you've had too much to drink...take a cab...problem solved because drinking less or not drinking doesn't even ping his radar as a reasonable solution. Noah is what is known as a functioning alcoholic. Unfortunately he's not as functioning as he believes people like his best friend and superior officer, Senior Chief Will Curtis see what's happening. I'm sure most of us have met or had someone like Noah in their lives at one time or another, I know I have.

While we weren't introduced to Noah in 'Fear of Flying' we did meet Anthony. Anthony is the supportive brother of Curtis's ex-wife. There was a lot about Anthony's behavior that I understood in regards to his mildly paranoid behavior about how much Noah drank. I got that and I remember being so cautious about people in my life and how much they drank wondering how much and how often they truly drank. Honestly, it's not fun living like that doubting and never fully trusting until you're sure really sure that it's safe to trust that person because they aren't going to crawl into a bottle every chance they get.

 

You see the fact is that while I've known Noah, I've been Anthony...been part of the rubble left behind when the landslide stops. I've lived through the lies, the deceptions and justifications, the heartbreak of knowing you can't fix them. That they're the only person who can fix themselves and not until they're ready to. The frustration of knowing that you've reached the point where the only thing you can do is walk away and save yourself.

 

The concept for this story was good and while I liked it, I think maybe for me it came just a little to close to a reality that I've known which was a big part of the reason that I didn't enjoy 'Chief's Mess' as much as the first two books. 

So that's basically where the fail came in between me and this story not a bad thing not a good thing it just was what it was and I knew that going into it and while each of these stories could stand on their own for me a part of the enjoyment of each story comes from the complete picture that reading them all gives to me. 

 

At the end of it all I'm leaving this one at 3 stars even though I did actually enjoy the audio a bit more than just reading the story and I'm moving on the 'Rank and File' to see if Senior Chief Will Curtis is as good at sorting out his own love life as he seems to have been with his friends.

 

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

An audio book of "Chief's Mess" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2019-10-01 07:10
Release w/Review - Chronicles of a Rockin' Mess
 
 
Title: Chronicles of a Rockin' Mess
Author: S.E. Rose
Genre: Slow Burn Rocker Romance Rom/Com
Release Date: October 1, 2019
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rockstar Lincoln Grant is off-limits. But that hasn’t stopped his assistant, Lark Sutton, from wanting him.
 
Lark put her own music dreams aside when she took a position working for the scandalous, playboy rockstar. After he finally does the unthinkable, she leaves him to pursue her own music and re-invent herself. Eighteen months later, Lincoln’s band comes knocking at her door, begging her to come back to help them with an out-of-control Lincoln.
 
At first, Lincoln tries to resist her help, but soon he finds that he’s falling for her. Will Lincoln change Lark’s mind about him or will she leave him and the band once and for all?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chronicles of a Rockin' MessChronicles of a Rockin' Mess by S.E. Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lark is the personal assistant to the most complicated celebrity. She is also in love with him. She puts up with a lot. One night, there is more than she can take.

Lincoln realizes he feels more than he should for his right hand woman. With her holding herself back, he decides to find a way to let her go. Then the regret sets in.

I thought this book would be different. I am so glad I was wrong. This story has all the feels, and more. I enjoyed the action, banter, and definite angst. It all comes together very nicely. Only catch for me is I wish I could hear the music. Very good read.


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

View all my reviews
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
S.E. Rose lives in the DMV. And if you know what that means, then you know where she lives. She currently resides with her husband, two children, and always at least two cats and usually other random creatures her children decide they need. While she works at a desk during the day, her evenings and weekends are devoted to writing and editing her romance novels. She loves all things wine, coffee, tea and dark chocolate; that’s right, dark chocolate. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, traveling, going to concerts, and reading.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2019-10-01 00:46
Messy
Chronicles of a Rockin' Mess - S.E. Rose

Lark is the personal assistant to the most complicated celebrity.  She is also in love with him.  She puts up with a lot.  One night, there is more than she can take.

 

Lincoln realizes he feels more than he should for his right hand woman.  With her holding herself back, he decides to find a way to let her go.  Then the regret sets in.

 

I thought this book would be different.  I am so glad I was wrong.  This story has all the feels, and more.  I enjoyed the action, banter, and definite angst.  It all comes together very nicely.  Only catch for me is I wish I could hear the music.  Very good read.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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