Worth the Fight by Vi Keeland

The button-up lawyer falls for the ripped MMA fighter. A girl has to fall for a bad boy at least once in her life. It’s sort of an unwritten rule after all.

What’s it About?

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It didn’t matter that the ref called it a clean hit. Nico Hunter would never be the same. Elle has a good life. A job she loves, a great apartment, and the guy she’s been dating for more than two years is a catch and a half. But it’s boring…and she strives to keep it that way. Too many emotions are dangerous. Her own past is living proof of what can happen when you lose control. Then Nico walks into Elle’s office and everything changes…for both of them. But what can the tattooed, hard-bodied MMA fighter and the beautiful and always steady attorney have in common? A lot more than they bargained for.

First Impressions

When this novel starts, you think you’ve got it all figured out. Goody two shoes chica falling for the tough fighter. The beauty of this novel though is that she’s not exactly America’s sweetheart with a warm and fuzzy upbringing, and he’s not the hard-ass you would expect him to be. They both have troubled pasts which help them connect with each other on a deeper level. His sordid past is well-known, as he tragically killed another fighter in the ring in a terrible accident. Elle’s misfortune is something she wishes to keep well under wraps, assuming Nico will think less of her if it ever becomes comes to light. Little do they know that it’s only when they both  open up that they can become strong and move towards a future together.

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Falling for the Fighter

This novel is all kinds of sexy. When Elle and Nico first meet, she is actually dating another man. But upon first meeting Elle quickly discovers what has been missing in her currently stagnant and boring relationship. Passion. Lust. Raw sexual magnetism. Oh my! It doesn’t take long for these two to put some burn marks on the sheets, but don’t you worry, she breaks things off with her former boyfriend before pursuing anything physical with Nico.

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Series: MMA fighter, book 1.

Should you read it? This book is unlike your typical fighter romance. Not only does the male lead have a sweet side in addition to the usual alpha male possessiveness, but he’s not involved with anything or anyone illegal. It seems like we always have some kind of underground circuit of shady dealings and characters in these types of novels, but in this instance we just have a troubled man and woman trying to move on from their pasts. Rather touching at times.

Smut Level: Testosterone overload needs to be worked off somehow!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services, LLC. 376 Pages.

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Owned by the Dom: Parts 1 & 2 by Sam Crescent

The only way I would ever refer to my man as “Master” would be if he called me “Empress”. I might let him get away with “Czarina”, but he better be one pretty good cook on top of everything else.

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James Castleden has had enough of the press surrounding him and his club. Ravage is his place to let loose. He is possessive and dominant. When the younger sister of the woman he used to date walks into his club, James is not ready for the instant attraction he feels toward her.

Prudence Star fell in love with James seven years ago. She is no shy virgin and knows what he is. James does not scare her. She’s read the reports about his association with club Possession and she craves what only he can give. When their flirting deepens, James cannot stop the craving inside him to own, to claim, and to take Prudence as his woman.

But Possession and Ravage are under serious threat. Dominic and Eugene were just the beginning. There is nowhere to hide and no way to keep his woman safe. The Owners have no idea who they’re really dealing with.

First Impressions

I’m sorry to say that I have officially decided to stop reading this series. I initially went in with the impression that part 2 was the last book of The Owners story line, but shockingly enough there is definitely a set up for a continuation of the series. Unfortunately, I’ve lost interest. If I had to describe these two novels in just one word it would have to be…meh. Nothing special, just like the rest of the series as a whole. But what can I say? They’re short, quick reads, and I thought I had finally reached the culmination of everything!

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Owned by the Dom: Part 1

Most of the drama in this novel felt pretty unnecessary to me. I mean, for two people who admit they’re totally into each other, they take forever to have sex. James claims Prudence is too young for him considering the age difference between them, but he won’t let others have her. Therefore, he ensures she is fired from her current job working in his club so that nobody else can lay eyes on her. His BDSM lifestyle is something he seems hesitant to introduce Prue to, yet she openly admits to him that she’s into the idea, and also has an intense desire to be possessed. So…what exactly is the hold-up here people?

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As for the rest of the drama in this novel, some of the characters from the previous novels are aware of a human trafficking scheme going on which is linked to all their BDSM clubs. However, they choose to hide the true identity of who is behind this scheme to the rest of the characters because…I honestly don’t know. At this point, you just know that sh*t is about to go down, and it’s pretty frustrating that those who know the truth didn’t think to warn everyone else about this threat.

Owned by the Dom: Part 2

This book was sort of the nail in the coffin for me, as it had both expected results, yet an unexpected path. Part 1 ended with Prue being kidnapped by the same forces which were threatening the clubs in town. SPOILER ALERT: they get her back! Surprisingly, James and his posse rescue her fairly early on in the book, and the rest of the story primarily deals with Prue pulling away from him in the aftermath.

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It’s rather understandable that after surviving a kidnapping, and the possibility of being sold into human trafficking that Prue would experience difficulties adjusting to normal life again, not to mention being intimate with James. The most ridiculous part of the novel for me though was when Prue saw a therapist to help her with her PTSD. This therapist totally does a breach of confidentiality by telling James EVERYthing she talked about in her session with Prue. Her excuse was that Prue didn’t really need therapy, so it was ok to share all the details of their sessions with James. Like…what?!

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Series: The Owners, books 3 & 4

Should you read it? Meh. By no means terrible, but not worth rushing out to read either in my humble opinion.

Smut Level: This guy is possessive and into BDSM, what do you think? At the end of Part 2 James whisks Prue away to Italy and goes all caveman with her. They proceed to have so much sex I don’t know how they have any bodily fluids left.

Get it on Amazon: Part 1, click here. Part 2, click here. $4.99 each. Evernight Publishing. 180 Pages. 235 Pages.

 

Betting on Kincade by Devon McKay

You know, considering how proficient the main female character was at tying up goats during a rodeo, I’m surprised she didn’t take those rope tying skills into the bedroom with Dalton. Let’s just say they both employ their bull-riding capabilities though! Yee haw!

What’s it About?

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Everyone Cassie Wilcox loved is gone. And now, thanks to her drunken stepfather, her house and family business will be taken from her, too, unless she can find a way to buy back the ranch from the new owner. With less than two months to come up with money she doesn’t have, her options are running out, and apparently, her common sense as she rents out rooms to an eclectic group of strangers.

Returning home for Dalton Kincade is bittersweet. Not a damn thing has changed. Two years on the rodeo circuit weren’t able to shake free the memory of the feisty redhead who’d broken his heart into a thousand pieces. Nor the sting of her parting words…Never trust a Kincade.

Winning her beloved ranch in a drunken bet is the last thing he expected to happen, but at least he saved it for her. Now, he has to figure out how to break that news to a woman who never wants to see him again. Renting a room in the house he now owns might be a risk, but it’s nothing compared to betting his heart on winning back the love of his life.

First Impressions

Considering how many romance novels I’ve read over the years that feature a rodeo, I feel like one of these days I’m actually gonna have to go to one. Not only does it seem like you can admire some sexy-ass, Stetson wearing cowboys in tight jeans, but you can do so whilst stuffing your face full of hot dogs and funnel cakes. Sounds like a win-win from where I’m sitting!

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It’s All in the Plot

I must say, I positively loved the premise of this book! When Dalton returns back to town following a rodeo injury, he has every intention of staying as far away from Cassie as possible. She’s the one-time love of his life who always seemed one class above him. But when he wins the deed to her ranch from her drunken step-father in a lucky hand of poker, he can’t help but pay her a visit. When they meet again after so many years apart it doesn’t take them long to realize their chemistry is just as strong now as it once was, no matter how intent Cassie is on hating him for having left her behind.

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Dalton wants nothing more than to see the ownership of the ranch fall into Cassie’s deserving hands. However, rather than just hand it over, he intends to have some fun first. Why not place a few more wagers? Cassie begrudgingly agrees. After all, winning would mean Cassie gets back her ranch; losing means sucking face with the sexy Dalton. Again, win-win.

Funny Characters and Sexual Frustration

Cassie is determined to win back her ranch under any means necessary. Before she realizes Dalton was the one who won it, she intends to raise money to buy it back from the new owner by renting rooms out of her home. This allows for the introduction of some pretty entertaining characters, not to mention a new gal-pal to help dress up Cassie with the intention of making Dalton drool all over himself.

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The name of the game here is sexual frustration. Dalton is all about pushing Cassie to her limits so she can admit she still has feelings for her old beau. From whispering dirty nothings into her ear, to some clandestine horse stall make-out sessions, and even a sensual mechanical bull-ride, these two toy with each other to the point of insanity. Once they finally act on their urges in a romantic country inn, we are only privy to some of their foreplay. Talk about sexual frustration for the reader!!

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Fun Fact

This past weekend I was having brunch with some friends when one of the TVs at the bar started airing a bull-riding competition. My one friend couldn’t help but admonish, “How is this a sport?” Cue my explanation: “There’s actually quite a bit of talent involved. For example, some bulls will buck the rider, but others will spin to try and get the rider off. Depending on what the bull will do, the rider needs to adjust their grip, posture, and how they sit on the bull. A good rider can determine this before they get on the bull so they don’t get thrown off once the gate opens.” Cue the sound of crickets, and looks of open shock from my friends. So, thank you to the author of this book. I am now seen as the bull-riding expert in my friend group. Whoever said you couldn’t learn something from romance novels?!!

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Series: Nope

Should you read it? Loved the characters! From Cassie as a determined female lead to Dalton as a sexy cowboy who knows what he wants, and the various renters on the ranch. I do think it took a tad too long for the story to come full circle in regards to her step father, and even that felt kind of unfinished. Still a fun read on the ranch!

Smut Level: Loooooove the sensual flirtations going on. Not to mention all the waist grabbing and pelvic thrusting. Not a dirty read though!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 175 Pages.

Bait N’ Witch by Abigail Owen

Another great addition to the Legendary Consultants series by Abigail Owen!

What’s it About?

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In love with the witch hunter father of her charges…Rowan McAuliffe has been hiding most of her life. Secretly trained in her powers by an unusual source, she’d been taught not to trust anyone. Especially other witches. However, after she was forced to perform a hateful act against her will, she now hides from the Mage High Council who seek answers, and possibly her life.

Greyson Masters is the Council’s best enforcer–a witch hunter who lays down the law. Despite the danger of his job, Greyson is also raising his triplet daughters. Alone. Budding new witches who display an alarming combined power no one understands. Too bad he hasn’t got a clue how to deal with them.

Little does Greyson realize that the new nanny sent to him by Legendary Consultants is the very witch he is hunting. When the truth is revealed, can these two opposing forces find a way to listen to their hearts? Or will Greyson have to follow orders and kill Rowan–the one woman who has made his soul come alive?

First Impressions

When this novel first started, I couldn’t help but feel like it was the Sound of Music meets Harry Potter. And honestly, you can’t really go wrong with that combination! I mean, you’ve got the delightful nanny who comes to help look after the sometimes rambunctious children. There might not be seven of them, but when you’re dealing with three teenage triplet witches, it’s a pretty close comparison.

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Then you have the strict father who is all about following the rules, yet still has an obvious love for his children, and a growing desire for the nanny who is having such a positive impact on all of their lives. There might not be any singing or Nazis in this book, but you’ve got  witches, werewolves, a Mage High Council, and plenty of sexual tension that is just bursting at the seams! And I’m talking about the seams of Grey’s pants of course.

Nymphs, Werewolves and Witches, Oh My!

What I love about this series is that although there is a continuing story line throughout each of the three novels, we are offered a different perspective of the events which have transpired based on the characters who are being featured as the leads in any given book. An added bonus is the fact that each novel deals with a new kind of paranormal couple.

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In the first book you had a nymph and a demi-god, in book two you had a pair of alpha werewolves, and in this one you have some very talented witches with an unbreakable bond between them. You still see a reference to the characters and events from the previous novels, yet by constantly switching up the “species”, as it were, it’s basically a guarantee to never get bored!

Living with a Witch Hunter

A large portion of this novel deals with Rowan trying to hide her true identity from Grey, as he is actually a witch hunter who has been tasked with hunting her down. This complication definitely adds to the building sexual tension between them, as every time they get too close Rowan has to pull away, or risk discovery.

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The one thing I would have liked more information on was the evil werewolf forces chasing after Rowan. This feature was brought in rather quickly towards the end of the novel, and I felt like we really didn’t get to understand who this werewolf was, or why she was dead set on getting revenge against Rowan. Yes, technically the motive was mentioned, but I think a few more scenes involving this enemy would have added to a deeper understanding of the story.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Legendary Consultants, book 3. Can’t wait to see what comes next!

Should you read it? Another great read in this paranormal romance series. I think the enemy werewolf could have been introduced a bit earlier on in the story, but once again we have some amazing characters that you can’t help but root for to overcome the forces of evil and find a happily ever after.

Smut Level: Witch sex is the best. Nothing like casting a little protection spell between lovers to ensure a condom isn’t necessary. Freakin’ brilliant.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 193 Pages.

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Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne

This is an extremely dangerous series. It’s got me contemplating moving to Idaho for crying out loud. Idaho! I mean, just look at that cover image. So serene and majestic, it’s like a Bob Ross painting.

What’s it About?

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McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her beloved hometown of Haven Point. It may be small and struggling, but it’s never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family’s factory, leaving the town’s economy in shambles. Now he’s back—his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point’s sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.

What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? He left Haven Point behind years ago, for good reason. Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it’s least expected.

First Impressions

Unbeknownst to me before starting this book, it’s actually the second novel in the Haven Point series, and I had fortuitously already read book one a few months ago. Gotta love when not having a plan comes together so well! From the few details I remembered of the first book, I recall it took place in an adorably beautiful small town and was an incredibly sweet read. I’m happy to say that this second book definitely followed in the footsteps of the first. Not really a sexy or suspenseful read, but you’ll walk away feeling content with this cutesy novel.

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The Joys of Small Town Living

I must say, this idyllic Idaho town was reminiscent of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls, specifically in regards to its small town charm. You also can’t help but love all of the adorably nosy townsfolk who get all up in your business. One thing’s for sure, this town and its inhabitants are definitely brimming with personality! Especially when a man returns to Haven Point that everyone blames for the town’s economic downfall. Can they forgive him for his past mistakes, or will they continue to hold a grudge?

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A Complicated Love Tale

An interesting love story develops between Ben and McKenzie, which is heavily influenced by past perceptions and current dilemmas. McKenzie loves this town more than anything, and sees Ben as the reason for it’s present financial problems. She’s set on making him feel as unwelcome as possible, but when she discovers that he has the ability to turn the town’s misfortunes around, getting a little close to him seems like the only answer.

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As for Ben, Haven Point holds nothing but painful memories he’s trying to put behind him. Work is the only thing that brings him to town, and after that he has no intention to return again or bring his business here. But when the sexy mayor next door spends more time with him, leaving is the last thing on his mind.

Series: Haven Point, book 2.You don’t really have to read the first one, but that’s definitely a good Christmas romance.

Should you read it? It’s not one you have to rush out and read right this very minute, but it’s definitely a sweet and relaxing read. Good for the beach!

Smut Level: No sex to speak of, but a few smooch sessions here and there.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $6.49 Kindle Price. HQN Books. 379 Pages.

Tempting the Player by J. Lynn

I have determined that my favorite kinds of audiobooks are those with both a male and female narrator. When it’s just the one over the other I find that female narrators tend to go way too deep with the male voices, whereas male narrators make the female leads sound all breathy and whiny. Unfortunately, this book falls into the latter category.

What’s it About?

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Chad Gamble, all-star pitcher for the Nationals, is one of the best players on—and off—the field. And right now, the notorious bad boy wants Bridget Rodgers. But with her lush curves and snappy comebacks, the feisty redhead is the kind of woman a man wants to settle down with…and that’s the last thing Chad needs.

When the paparazzi catch them in a compromising position, Chad’s manager issues an ultimatum: clean up his act or kiss his multi-million dollar contract goodbye. To save his career, his meddling publicist says he’ll have to convince everyone Bridget isn’t just his flavor of the week, but his girlfriend.

Being blackmailed into a fake relationship with Chad Gamble isn’t easy, especially when the sizzling physical attraction between them is undeniable. With a month to go on their arranged pretense, it’s going to take every ounce of willpower they have not to fall into bed together…or in love.

First Impressions

These two have perfected the art of dancing around not only their feelings for each other, but also their sexual relationship. The entire novel is basically a do-si-do of slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. Upon first meeting they are quick to go back to his place where it doesn’t take long for Chad to bring Bridget to the ultimate pleasure point. However, it’s when he’s in the bathroom cleaning up that she gets intimidated over the concept of dating a player, so she flees.

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When they reunite some time later, and Bridget is basically blackmailed by Chad’s publicist to date the player, she consistently puts a hold on any moment of sexual tension between them. It takes a loooooong time before they do anything intimate again, and it’s only because Chad says enough is enough. Let’s do this! When they do come together they definitely do it right, but it was a frustrating build-up to finally get there.

Contractual Lovers

As the story progresses, you quickly realize that it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong between our contractual lovers here. After all, after so much build-up for them to finally end up in bed together, something’s gotta go wrong! In this instance, they have a pretty large spat over a minuscule misunderstanding which could have been resolved soooo easily!!! So frustrating.

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At one point during this large spat between them, Bridget thinks/complains to herself, “He won’t even listen to me for 2 seconds to explain myself!” In this instance, there was literally zero exaggeration. In the span of 2 seconds, Bridget could have resolved their entire argument, but instead she chooses to keep her mouth shut, and let Chad walk out the door in a hissy fit. Yes, he was being a whiny little douche who jumped to conclusions, but the fact that Bridget didn’t just yell out the truth at the top of her lungs made me more annoyed with her than with our temper tantrum throwing Chad.

Series: Gamble Brothers, book 2.

Should you read it? Definitely has it’s frustrating moments, but also some sexy ones thrown in there too.

Smut Level: At one point Chad reaches his breaking point, and decides there’s no point waiting anymore when they both obviously want it so bad. Gotta love he comes to this realization when they’re in a dressing room.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Brazen. 304 Pages.

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2016 in Review!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post everyone! Personally, I blame the holidays, and the fact that I entered into a food coma basically every night for the last week and a half. Who knew home cooking could be such a deterrent to productivity?

After the New Year celebrations officially conclude, I usually provide a wrap-up of some of my favorite books from the previous year, as well as a total count of how many books I read. I’m sorry to say that for the first time in three years I failed my designated reading challenge goal!

At the start of 2016 I had set a reading goal of 150 books, and sadly I only finished reading a total of 108. Such shame and humiliation!! You’d think with all the flying I did to China, Australia and all over the USA that I would have found some more time to read. What can I say though? The free movies always call to me on airplanes. That being said, I’m happy to report that just three days into 2017 I’ve already finished reading a book, and it was freakin’ amazing, so hopefully that’s just a sign of good things to come!

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Alright, let’s take a look back at some of my favorite reads from the past year. If you’d like to read my full review of each one, just click on the title!

Andromeda’s Fall by Abigail Owen: An amazing paranormal romance read that contains cougar shifters, polar bear shifters, and a tantalizing amount of sexual tension that will leave you wanting more. Some other great reads from Ms. Owen I read this past year include Crimson Dahlia, Her Demigod Complex, and the Worse for Were. This woman makes me love paranormal romances!

Breathe for Me by Natalie Anderson: Nothing like experiencing a range of fun sexual fantasies with an ex-lifeguard. It’s a quick read with interesting characters, and there’s a good mix of sweet, sexy and a touch of sadness.

Clingstone by Marti Ziegler: One of the best Civil War romance novels I’ve ever read, with an amazing male hero that I want for myself. Suspense, emotion, war, and awesome character development.

Haunted Souls by Kathryn Knight: I’m not normally one for ghost stories, but this one draws you in and won’t let go. A soldier returns home with PTSD to discover he has a son he never knew existed, and a ghost is haunting the house of the woman he loves. Talk about a stressful homecoming.

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Love in the Light by Laura Kaye: This was definitely one of my top reads of the year. Laura Kaye’s writing is superb. You’ll laugh, cry, and possibly even weep like I did, as we get a glimpse into the world of someone living with depression.

The Marriage Ultimatum by Charlotte O’Shay: Taking the concept of the “marriage contract” to a whole new level! Lovable characters who seem different on the surface find they have more in common than they thought by having survived difficult pasts. They also have some explosive chemistry.

Of Love and Betrayal by Louise Lyndon: This historical read has the perfect mix of intrigue, suspense, lust and romance. Not to mention two lead characters you can’t help but adore.

Seize the Flame by Lynda J. Cox: This novel has everything you could possibly hope for in an exciting western romance: a brooding bounty hunter, a brave woman on the run from an abusive husband, and the two of them trapped together in an isolated cabin during a snow storm. Loving it.

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She Laughs in Pink by Jessica Calla: An emotional read that left me in tears, no matter how hard I tried to keep them at bay. Filled with endearing, yet also imperfect characters, you’ll probably roll your eyes at some of the silly mistakes that all young college kids are bound to make. But if you stick with it, you’ll see the beautiful relationships that can bloom and evolve in Sheridan Hall.

Tangled Vows by Stella Hunter: Definitely one of the better romance novels featuring a love affair between a male celebrity and an average woman that I’ve read in a long time. It’s a quick and sexy read. A little bit of suspense is thrown in at the beginning, and there’s the hint of enough family drama to make your household seem like a haven of serenity!

That One Moment by Amy Daws: In my opinion, this was definitely one of the best of the entire London Lovers/Lost in London series. It covers some intense subjects, but there’s also a decent amount of humor woven in as well. From Vi’s over-protective footballer brothers, to her ball-sniffing dog Bruce. Oh, and did I mention it’s sexy as hell?!

Wedding Day by Erin Bevan: If you’re looking for a light-hearted romance featuring a dashing cowboy, a bit of intrigue, a good handful of sexual innuendos, and not too many detailed sex scenes, then this is definitely the book for you. From single parents to stalkers, bets, a cowboy contemplating his rodeo career, and a virgin heroine torn between two men, it’s all here! Another great read by Ms. Bevan is the delightful Christmas romance, Wrapped Up in You.

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Well there you go! That’s just a small sampling of some of my favorite reads from 2016. Thanks for reading everyone! And here’s to hoping that I actually reach my reading challenge goal in 2017.