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BOOK REVIEW: Unmanageable (In Vino Veritas #3) by Leslie McAdam

BOOK REVIEW: Unmanageable (In Vino Veritas #3) by Leslie McAdamUnmanageable (In Vino Veritas #3)
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

I’ve never been romantic. Just ask my ex-wife.

Since she broke up with me, I get my needs met any time I want, without putting my heart on the line. Exactly how I like it.

But when she is called overseas and leaves me with our child, my bachelor lifestyle ends faster than you can say, “Daddy, I want a pony.”

I need help.

Problem is, help’s come in the form of an incredibly hot nanny.

My employee.

Who is much younger than me.

And also … a guy.

I watch Scott care for my kid and can’t help feeling like he clicks into place in her life.

When he looks at me, though … I get an entirely different feeling. One that makes me long for things I can’t have.

Like him.

Unmanageable is a contemporary m/m age gap romance about a starry-eyed nanny who wants hot-air balloon
rides and singing telegrams and a grumpy single dad who most definitely does not.

Review

This one sunk its claws into me IMMEDIATELY. I’m not sure if it was because Scott was just so damn likeable or if it’s because the instant chemistry that he shared with Luke was so appealing. Either way, I flew through this one!

The way that Scott immediately meshed so well with Addi and ingrained himself into her and Luke’s every day life so easily, almost like he had always been there, made my heart so happy. Even though Luke was Addi’s father and still saw her when he could, I can’t imagine how overwhelming it would have been for him to suddenly be thrust into the world of being a full time parent after never having been one. That’s….a lot. With all that in mind I really loved the scene when Luke joined the book club and the book they had read dealt with a similar family dynamic so through the discussion about the book we as readers, and even Scott, learned more about how Luke’s specific situation made him feel. I think that was definitely a turning point in the sense that Scott better understood why Luke felt the way that he did about relationships and honestly I think the act of Luke speaking those words out loud was just as important for himself.

Overall I loved how this was wrapped up and that Scott got his very romantic happily-ever-after, just like he deserved!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!♥

BOOK REVIEW: The Sweetest Game (Southern U O’Brien Brothers #3) by Cookie O’Gorman

BOOK REVIEW: The Sweetest Game (Southern U O’Brien Brothers #3) by Cookie O’GormanThe Sweetest Game by Cookie O'Gorman
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Hopelessly in love with my best friend's brother.

That's what it will say on my tombstone. Here lies Junior "June" Dorsey. Tomboy. Car lover. Bookworm. She suffered from a severe case of unrequited love syndrome.

It's not like I haven't tried liking other guys. I have. It's just none of them measure up to him.

Baylor O'Brien. Beautiful. Cocky. Talented (on the field and in the bedroom—or so I've heard).

And completely oblivious to my love for him.

When Bay asks for my help, I can't say no. He needs my PR expertise to revamp his reputation and up his chances of being scouted after one scout—the one he really wants—dismisses him as nothing more than a party-loving playboy.

When he asks me to be his fake girlfriend, I accept his proposal.

But how am I supposed to act like I'm in love without revealing the truth? And why is Baylor so good at pretending?

One thing I know that's true:

All's fair in love and baseball.

Wish me luck,

June

This new adult sports romance features two friends destined to become lovers, one sizzling fake romance, and a sexy set of brothers guaranteed to make you swoon.

Review:

This laugh out loud romance was an instant favorite!  With characters that were so easy to love, a story line that was absolutely adorable and an ending that will make your heart soar, this book was such a huge win!  If you love the fake dating trope, you so need this book in your life!  The Sweetest Game was heartwarming, swoon worthy and a beautiful love story!

The O’Brien brothers were off-limits.
At least to me.
Too bad my heart didn’t get the memo.
That rule had been broken the moment I met him.

I had already fallen for June and Baylor in the previous books.  And while this one could easily be read as a standalone, I can’t recommend them enough.  June had been in love with her best friend’s older brother, Baylor, since forever.  Baylor saw June as just a really good friend.  When Baylor’s pro-baseball dreams started to go up in smoke, he desperately needed to change his act.  Enter June.  Not only could she help fix his social media presence, but by being his fake girlfriend she could fix his image too.  What’s a little fake dating to be able to reach ones dreams?

“Please don’t hate me for this.”
Before I could say I could never hate him, not in a million years, before I could ask what he meant or utter a sound, Baylor’s lips met mine……
and my world ignited.
His kiss set me on fire.

I absolutely loved June!  She was sweet, heartfelt, such a good friend and a hard worker.  She lived with her dad to save money while going to college.  And she worked for him in the auto shop he owned.  I adored the relationship she had with her dad!  Plus the relationship she had with Emmy, Baylor’s sister.  They loved and cared for one another so deeply!  But doubt could be June’s worst enemy.  She had no problem playing the part of Baylor’s girlfriend, but she didn’t think Baylor could be feeling what she was.  There was no way!

It was all fake. I knew that— but then why did she keep breaking into my thoughts?

Baylor was someone you will fall hard for.  He had so many layers to him and we got to see all of his different sides as the story progressed.  Baylor was a player and loved baseball.  He was destined to go pro, but had his sights set on only one team.  When that team snubbed him, Baylor was desperate to do whatever to get in their good graces.  Having June be his fake girlfriend?  Of course!  The things he did for June, to help her or just out of the kindness of his heart was swoon worthy.  Baylor was kind, thoughtful and caring.  But he wasn’t kind to himself.  He didn’t think he was worthy of love or anything good besides baseball and having sex with random people.  My heart ached for Baylor and I kept hoping he would see himself as June saw him!

Leaning in, he put his lips against my ear and said…
“I know this is supposed to be pretend, but I wish it was real.”
My breath caught in my throat.
“Then I could just kiss you whenever I want.”
He paused.
“Which is basically every time you open your mouth.”
Turning to him, I noticed he’d put on a playful grin.
“If this was real,” I breathed, “I’d let you.”
His grin slipped, and I couldn’t seem to stop staring—until  someone cleared their throat.

Together June and Baylor were absolutely perfect.  The chemistry between them was intense and sexy.  And when they toed the line of friendship *fans face*, it was soooo hot!  But mistakes were made along the way.  Baylor was blind to June’s love and while he thought he knew June, I loved that she stunned him again and again.  So watching their friendship turn deeper gave me all of the feels!  Rounding out the story were side characters I adored!  I loved Baylor’s relationship with his siblings and mom.  They had such a strong bond, it made my heart so happy!  And I loved how they could see beyond his cluelessness.  Also keep those tissues nearby because there was a scene in this book that got me right in the feels and I cried ALL the tears!

She shook her head. “You told them I was off limits.”
“Yeah.”
“And what made you think you had the right to do that?”
“I had every right,” I said.
“Oh really, why?”
“Because you were mine.”
I took a step closer,  watching her eyes flare.
“You are mine,” I said.

The Sweetest Game was sexy, hilarious and absolutely adorable!  From that first page to the last, this book was smile inducing!   The banter was a ton of fun and the characters captured my heart.  If you love new adult romance, the fake dating trope, friends to lovers or sports romance you should definitely pick this book up!

“Want to know something, Sunshine?” he asked, his breath hitting the side of my neck.
I nodded.
“I’m mad at you too.”
My lips parted, and my breath caught as he nipped my earlobe.

PS I have a guess for the next book….. Masie and Dex??

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

GIVEAWAY & BLITZ: The Sweetest Game (Southern U O’Brien Brothers #3) by Cookie O’Gorman

 

I’m late to the game for this post….I  was so sick last week *cries* and I’m still not doing that great.  But I wanted to share a giveaway for a book I absolutely loved!  My 5 Star Review will be coming up shortly but until then you can check out what the story is about and enter a fabulous giveaway.  Enjoy! ♥

 

The Sweetest Game
Cookie O’Gorman
Publication date: September 8th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports

Hopelessly in love with my best friend’s brother.

That’s what it will say on my tombstone. Here lies Junior “June” Dorsey. Tomboy. Car lover. Bookworm. She suffered from a severe case of unrequited love syndrome.

It’s not like I haven’t tried liking other guys. I have. It’s just none of them measure up to him.

Baylor O’Brien. Beautiful. Cocky. Talented (on the field and in the bedroom—or so I’ve heard).

And completely oblivious to my love for him.

When Bay asks for my help, I can’t say no. He needs my PR expertise to revamp his reputation and up his chances of being scouted after one scout—the one he really wants—dismisses him as nothing more than a party-loving playboy.

When he asks me to be his fake girlfriend, I accept his proposal.

But how am I supposed to act like I’m in love without revealing the truth? And why is Baylor so good at pretending?

One thing I know that’s true:

All’s fair in love and baseball.

Wish me luck,

June

This new adult sports romance features two friends destined to become lovers, one sizzling fake romance, and a sexy set of brothers guaranteed to make you swoon.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

After the other girls walked away, I’d opened my mouth to speak, to tell her she was brilliant, a miracle worker, the best buffer ever, but when Sunshine turned around the scowl on her face stopped me. She took my hand and started walking. She didn’t stop until we were in the kitchen where she opened the door to the pantry, pulled me inside, closed the door and crossed her arms.

“Sunshine, I can explain,” I said, but she held up a hand.

“True or false,” she said, “you’ve been with those girls before.”

“False,” I said. “One hundred percent false. They tried in the past, but I’ve never taken them to bed.”

“But you’ve taken others.”

I shrugged helplessly. “You know the answer to that.”

“True or false, you wanted to go with them just now.”

“False.”

“True or false”—she cocked her head to the side—”you told people I was off limits.”

I stared into her eyes then said, “True.”

She put one hand on her hip, used the other to poke me in the chest. “What were you thinking, Bay?”

“I just wanted to keep you safe.”

Her laughter was cold. “As if I’d need you to do that.”

I was starting to get a little pissed now. “You do need me. You have no idea what guys can be like. Most of my teammates are decent, but none of them is good enough for you.”

“I think I could’ve determined that on my own.”

“You don’t even know when a guy wants you. Take Seaver.”

Her eyes narrowed. “What about him?”

“He was hitting on you at the garage.” She scoffed, but I kept going. “Seriously, Sunshine. Guys are jerks.”

“You mean like you?”

“Yes,” I said, taking a step closer. “I am a jerk. But I’m a jerk who cares for you. Deeply.”

She shook her head. “You told them I was off limits.”

“Yeah.”

“And what made you think you had the right to do that?”

“I had every right,” I said.

“Oh really, why?”

“Because you were mine.”

I took a step closer, watching her eyes flare.

“You are mine,” I said.

The reality of my words didn’t hit me until a few moments later. I didn’t know how to take it back, wasn’t sure I wanted to.

“Bay,” she said, and I looked down into her eyes, “are you ever going to kiss me again?”

I swallowed. Suddenly, I realized I wanted that more than anything. “I guess as your love coach I probably should.”

She nodded.

“It’ll give you some practice for that asshole you have a crush on.”

“He’s not an asshole,” she said. “Though he can be a jerk sometimes.”

“I hate him,” I said vehemently.

My words hit her lips. We were that close now.

She swallowed. “How will I know if someone wants me?”

Her words distracted me from the all-consuming hatred I felt toward her crush, and I forced a grin.

“He’ll probably try to get real close,” I said. “Like this.”

Her breath came faster as I pressed my body to hers.

“He’ll also compliment you, say things to make you laugh, just to see you smile.” My hand went to her face, fingers resting on her lips. “You’ve got a great one of those, Sunshine.”

“What else?” she asked.

“He’ll look at you like you’re the only girl in the world.”

I met her eyes.

“If he’s smart, he’ll realize he’ll never measure up.”

She took a shuddering breath when my hand moved into her hair.

“But that won’t stop him from trying.”

I didn’t even know what I was saying anymore. I just knew I had to taste those lips.

“If he really wants you, then you’ll be able to feel it. In every look, touch, kiss, that he gives you. It’ll be there.”

“Oh,” she breathed.

“That’s how you’ll know.”

“I think I’m ready for you to kiss me now.”

“As you wish, Sunshine,” I said.

My lips came down on hers, and heat burst to life between us. The spark I’d felt before was nothing to now. This was fire. Pure fire. I had Sunshine in my arms, and she was burning me up. And I loved every second of it.

 

Author Bio:

Cookie O’Gorman writes YA & NA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her novels ADORKABLE, NINJA GIRL, The Unbelievable, Inconceivable, Unforeseeable Truth About Ethan Wilder, The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad, WALLFLOWER, CUPCAKE, and FAUXMANCE are out now! She is also the author of NA sports romances, The Best Mistake, The Perfect Play, and The Sweetest Game.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Newsletter

 

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BOOK REVIEW: Counterpoint (In Vino Veritas #2) by J.E. Birk

BOOK REVIEW: Counterpoint (In Vino Veritas #2) by J.E. BirkCounterpoint (In Vino Veritas #2)
by J.E. Birk
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

One playboy. One perfectionist. So many secrets.

I’m considered the biggest playboy in Burlington, Vermont. The party boy. The guy who lives in the moment and makes decisions with no thought for the future. But people don’t know my past. They don’t know why I make the choices I do. Even my best friend doesn’t know the truth about me. Actually, there are a lot of things he doesn’t know…like the fact that I had a one night stand with his brother last year.

Did I mean to hook up with Aaron? Um, no. Mistakes were made, okay? But unlike most of my mistakes, this one has lasting consequences. Aaron works at the law firm where circumstances are forcing me to be their errand boy. Now we see each other every day. Aaron’s such a nervous wreck he keeps tripping over the copy machine. I’m surprised he hasn’t ended up in traction yet.

He and I are opposites in almost every way. He’s got a GPA higher than Mount Mansfield, and I’m barely going to graduate college. He grocery shops with a spreadsheet, and I’ve got YOLO tattooed on my body. But Aaron sees things in me that no one else does, and I see things in him he doesn’t see in himself. Before I know it, we’re sharing late-night office picnics, evenings out at the bar, and long, hot afternoons on my boat. I’m having the best summer of my life, but there’s no way this can end well. My bff will kill me if he ever finds out how thoroughly I’ve corrupted his brother…

Counterpoint is an opposites-attract forbidden romance featuring an incense-filled law firm, meddling friends, and angst and humor in (mostly) equal parts. It stars Jeremy Everett and Aaron Morin, who first appeared in the Vino and Veritas story Booklover, but Counterpoint is a standalone novel.

Review

The best part about all of these books within The World of True North is that you see characters from other books and it feels like you’re coming home to old friends. This book can essentially be called a companion novel to Booklover from the Vino & Veritas series because Aaron, one of our MCs in this book is Jamie’s brother from Booklover and Jeremy, the other love interest, is his best friend. SADLY (yes I know I am ashamed) that was one from V & V I haven’t gotten to yet but you better believe I will be soon after this!

One of the things I really enjoyed about Counterpoint was that it put me in my Moo U feels. Now, I’m not sure if people really do call the University of Vermont, Moo U but either way I feel nostalgic about it when I come back and read a mention of it and that to me is hilarious. I have never even been Vermont but somehow all of these books have me feeling like I HAVE lived there and that I have this network of family and friends there to visit/ come home to when I’m missing them.

Aaron and Jeremy in particular were two that I wanted to wrap up and hug multiple times throughout this book. After a soul crushingly bad review at the last corporate law firm he interned at, Aaron was doubting his ability to practice law once he graduated from Harvard which had him even more upset as he had only recently patched up a falling out he had with his family over leaving for law school in the first place. Jeremy is a playboy or, if we want to get fun and stay on brand, modern day rake who was ALWAYS up for a good time as far as anyone could tell. What we end up finding out is that he’s dealing with a LOT of family things (mainly a father who developed early onset Alzheimer’s and heavy tension with his mom in result of that) that he keeps hidden from everyone.

Everyone except Aaron. I’m a big fan of the dynamic in romances where one love interest is only able to confide in the other love interest, even way before they get together, because that person makes them feel completely comfortable. Aaron and Jeremy’s personalities might be night and day in comparison but as the saying goes, “opposites attract.” Throughout the book when Aaron is struggling with work and worrying about what people think of them/ letting them down he thinks “what would Jeremy do in this situation?” and that helps him more than one time let go of his anxiety and settle in to the confident, smart, and capable person that he is. Jeremy on the other hand learns from Aaron what it’s like to open up and let people try to help. How much that helps to lighten the very heavy load. The two have their faults but as all of their friends notice, they’re better together. Overall another winner in my book!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Wildfire (In Vino Veritas #1) by Garrett Leigh

BOOK REVIEW: Wildfire (In Vino Veritas #1) by Garrett LeighWildfire (In Vino Veritas #1)
by Garrett Leigh
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A gorgeous new sexual awakening romance with sizzling first times, snarky British banter, and off-the-charts chemistry.

Life doesn’t always pan out as you expect. When it explodes in my face, literally, an old friend offers me a place to heal and a job renovating the kitchen of Burlington’s coolest wine bar.

V&V is a chill fest. Living above it should be a blast. But I’m not built to be a social butterfly. Not anymore. I’m a damaged man.

And I’m not its target clientele.

At least, I think I’m not until I come face to face with the most beautiful human I’ve ever seen. Joss is the new chef and my roommate. He has hair like spun gold and it’s as pretty as the rest of him. Crystal blue eyes. Megawatt smile.

I can’t stop staring. Or thinking about him. He chases my nightmares away. And when he spots my crush a mile off, his solution to our chemical attraction blows my mind.

An experiment of sorts. Science. Is this sexual exploration or sex education?

Either way, Joss is only here for the summer. He’s leaving.

I can’t fall in love with him.

I can’t.

Shame my foolish heart never got the memo.

WILDFIRE is a heartfelt MM friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort romance in the True North world, with a brooding lumbersexual, a wild-hearted chef, sweet angst and all the Vermont food. Content warning: contains mentions of depression, ADHD, suicidal ideation, and PTSD recovery.

Review

When I saw that the first book to kick this series off was by Garrett Leigh, I was SO excited. Her book, Heartscape, which was in the Vino & Veritas series, was one of my very favorites! Like Heartscape, this one was definitely more emotional and dealt with Kai’s personal trauma after a work incident and the PTSD and insomnia that ensued, and in Joss’s case, ADHD with a case of non-verbal Tourette’s, too.

Right from the get go we get a small teaser that one of our MCs went through something very harrowing before jumping into the main story line of Kai getting a kitchen ready in V & V so that they can start serving food to their very hungry patrons. Joss comes in as the chef and an old friend of Jax’s who doesn’t typically stay in one place very long before moving on to greener pastures.

Joss moves into the apartment above the bar with Kai (gotta love that forced proximity) and immediately the two, who usually are up at all hours of the night not being able to sleep (Kai) or have excess amounts of energy to be burned and have trouble staying on track for more than 5 seconds (Joss), find a calm around each other. The two work perfectly together and form a very fast attachment. Kai, who has never officially been interested in men can’t help but notice Joss’s every move. And vice versa, honestly. The chemistry these two have was off the charts and I enjoyed seeing the evolution of their relationship throughout the book.

I can’t lie, I HAD been worried about the point in which Joss did decide to up and leave Kai/V & V/Burlington like he had in the past. Especially because like the rest of Kai’s friends, I was worried about the bb and wanted to protect him at all costs. Seeing as I don’t want to spoil what actually happens, all I will say is that I was satisfied with how things pan out for the two of them. The way that these two filled each others cups and fit so perfectly made my heart happy. This was the perfect start to this newest series in The World of True North!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review! ♥
 

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