Tag: Adult (page 1 of 10)

BOOK REVIEW: Yours in Scandal (Man of the Year #1) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW: Yours in Scandal (Man of the Year #1) by Lauren LayneYours in Scandal (Man of the Year #1)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A political golden boy and the woman of his dreams take the risk of their lives in a sexy romantic comedy of strange bedfellows and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Fresh off being named Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, New York City’s youngest mayor, Robert Davenport, decides it’s time to strategize. Next move: a bid for the governor’s seat. In his way: an incumbent with a flawless reputation. He also has an Achilles’ heel: an estranged wild-child daughter with a past so scandalous it could be Robert’s ticket to victory. And a charm so irresistible it could be Robert’s downfall.

Rebellion is a thing of the past for Adeline Blake. As New York’s premier event planner, she’s all about reform and respectability. Then she’s approached by Robert to organize the party of the season. Curious, considering he’s her father’s most formidable opponent. And alarming, too. Because Addie can’t help but fall for the righteously popular candidate with the movie-star smile.

Now it’s Robert’s choice. Does he pursue a future that holds his legacy? Or the woman who holds his heart?

Review:

Yours in Scandal was smile inducing and so much fun!  With steamy scenes, moments that made me laugh out loud and the perfect amount of angst, this book was such a big hit!  The story was effortless to devour and I finished it in no time at all.  If you’re looking for a flirty romance story to get lost in, definitely give this one a try!

She wasn’t for him, and he wasn’t for her. Not now, not ever.

Robert Davenport was NYC youngest mayor for the last eight years, and he had just been voted Man of the Year for a magazine like People. He was a good man who wanted what was best for the people of his city, he truly cared.  Robert had aspirations to be governor, and was advised that the only way would be if he knocked down the current governor a peg or two. And what better way to get the dirt on the governor than becoming close with his estranged daughter, Adeline, who’d been hiding in plain sight.

“It’s perfect,” he said quietly, meeting her eyes, his hand dropping lower, fingertips brushing teasingly over her palm before he stepped away. “Absolutely perfect.”
The butterflies were back.
But they had nothing to do with the party.

I loved Adeline Blake, who use to be known as Adeline Brennen.  She was wild in her younger years and the media had a field day with her topless photos and partying.  But she seemed to disappear.  And years later, she’d been hiding in plain sight, with a different last name.  She was an event planner and I loved how hard she worked.  Adeline was quick witted, strong and definitely held her own.  She said it like it was, but you could tell that she was trying to be someone more reserved.  So when Adeline got invited to plan an event for the mayor of NYC, it brought her into contact with Robert. And he offered her an invitation that she couldn’t refuse.

Because when he looked at Adeline, he didn’t think of himself as the mayor. Somehow he’d turned into a goddamn Hugh Grant movie, standing in front of a girl, asking her to like him.

I absolutely loved Robert!  He was thoughtful, listened and felt so down to earth.  And in a world where everyone tried to use him, Adeline didn’t.  It was refreshing and made Robert want to be around her more.  But he could also be so awkward. Especially when it came to trying to make a true friend lol. Adeline tried her best to keep Robert at arms lengths, since she didn’t want to be back in the world of politics.  She had already been there and done that.  So Adeline could be standoffish and cold to Robert, even if she liked what she saw in him.

He lifted his hand to her face and lightly dragged the tip of his finger from the base of her ear along her jawline until it rested under her chin.

I loved Robert and Adeline’s interactions!  I couldn’t stop smiling when they were together, especially with Robert’s sense of humor.  But I was nervous with how the story was going to unfold.  Adeline saw that Robert wasn’t a typical politician, he showed emotion, was heartfelt and it was impossible for her not to like him.  And Robert was pulled in by Adeline and couldn’t seem to keep away from her.  But ultimately he originally interacted with her to get dirt on her father.  So it felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and I was so nervous.

“You’re beautiful,” he said quietly.
Addie smiled in feminine pleasure that he appreciated her efforts, but her smile slipped when she realized he hadn’t even looked down yet— he was still looking into her eyes when he said it. He thought she was beautiful. Not her body, not her lingerie, not her curves.
Her. All of her.

The path this story took was emotional, and I even had tears in my eyes.  But there were also moments between Robert and Adeline that were so sensual.  Lauren Layne writes some of the steamiest and classiest scenes.  So if you’re a fan of romance, you’re going to want to add this one to your tbr.  Yours in Scandal was hilarious, heartwarming and scorching hot.  I can’t recommend it enough!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Finding Him (Covet #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

BOOK REVIEW: Finding Him (Covet #2) by Rachel Van DykenFinding Him (Covet #2)
by Rachel Van Dyken
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A novel about a shattered family, broken hearts, and healing love by Rachel Van Dyken, the number one New York Times bestselling author of Stealing Her.

Coming out of a coma was one hell of a wake-up call. While I was in the dark, my estranged twin brother, Bridge, had replaced me in the company I owned and swept up my fiancée in the takeover. With my ruthless reputation, can I blame them for falling in love? I have to look long and hard at where I’ve been and where I’m headed. Alone time? The universe has other plans.

Our family’s secluded Vermont cabin comes with a gorgeous—if at first, unwelcoming—surprise. She’s renter Keaton Westbrook, a social media superstar struggling with her own private grief. As a winter storm bears down, we’ve found something to keep us warm—an intimacy neither of us expected and both of us need.

After we say goodbye, what happens then? Keaton and I are longing to reconcile with our painful pasts. I can’t bear to do it without her. Is it too much to ask of fate to give us a second chance at life and love?

Review:

“You’re the annoying twin, aren’t you?”
I narrowed my eyes at the back of her head. “Actually, I’m the charming one.”
She looked over her shoulder. “Hmm, can’t see it.”

Finding Him was beautifully emotional and one of my favorite books this year!  By that first chapter, I already had tears in my eyes.  Twice.  And as the story unfolded, I had tears for a past love story, tears for brothers and of course tears for Julian and Keaton.  But there was also so much to smile and swoon about.  This book was sexy, funny and had the best banter.  So if you’re a fan of romance, a tortured hero and the most beautiful happily ever after, definitely add this one to your list.  I can’t recommend it enough!

“You’re going to get drunk while I take care of our basic human needs?”
“Think of it this way . . .”He smirked. “If you don’t build a fire, we’re going to have to get naked and share body heat, and I highly doubt that would be your first choice, since you’re already so fucking frigid.”
I almost picked up the knife.
I almost threw it at his perfect face.
Instead, I took the high road, flipped him off, and went in search of my coat.

Julian and Keaton got off on the wrong foot, and then some.  Julian was forced to get away from life and find some peace after waking up from a coma, losing his fiancée to his twin brother, and having his mother pass away.  Keaton wanted to write her past love story, but away from all of the lime light.  Neither of them expected to find someone else at that cabin.   And neither of them wanted to be the one to leave.  So what unfolded was an emotional roller coaster that had me completely addicted.

Because my heart might as well have been buried in that casket next to my mom’s. God knows that’s how my soul felt, like the dirt was trying to pull me under, trying to bury me along with my mother.
I was just as dead as she was.
And I had to wonder if maybe, maybe the world was better off without Julian Tennyson fully existing in it.

Julian fascinated me in Stealing Her, and as we got to know him in this story, I loved him even more than Bridge.  His thoughts bled from the pages, since he was consumed by the pain of his past.  His decisions, actions and who he was haunted him at every waking moment.  Yes he had done horrific things, but at the same time it felt like he had been so easily cast aside.  His whole world changed in the blink of an eye.  So of course he was an asshole to those around him.  Especially when we saw how little he thought of himself.  He broke my heart again and again.  So tortured doesn’t even begin to describe Julian.  Yet, he could be so thoughtful and considerate.  Well, when he wanted to be lol.

I would always need a weapon and armor.
Because Julian Tennyson up close was lethal.
And Julian Tennyson thinking about me, holding me in his arms, felt too good.
I shivered again.

And while Julian was battling his own demons, Keaton was there.  She was sassy and I loved how she had no problem standing up to him. She would go toe to toe with him and wouldn’t back down!  They definitely didn’t like each other in the beginning, and they had no qualms letting the other know it.  It was awkward and funny, and I loved how the messed with each other.  The “test” had me laughing so hard I was gasping for air! 

“Just because you type the end to one story doesn’t mean you don’t get to start another,” he said wisely as he stood and made his way back to the stove.

Yet at the same time, Keaton had her own personal struggles.  Her parents were celebrities and she was a social media sensation.  Keaton fell in love with a normal guy who sadly ended up passing away from cancer.  And she was writing their love story for a book.  So while there was lightness within Keaton, she was still drowning in her own pain too.  Just like Julian.

We were polar opposites. The media painted me like a saint. And Julian Tennyson? Hell’s number -one sinner.
I wasn’t stupid enough to believe it was just mind-blowing sex.
It wasn’t.
Not with Julian.
It felt raw, aggressive, violent in the way it crashed over me every time he touched me.

Finding Him truly had it all.  There was love, friendship, redemption, forgiveness and it was emotional every step of the way.  There was also sexual tension, steamy moments and scenes that had me laughing so hard. And the journey Julian and Keaton faced, after leaving the cabin, had me even more obsessed with what would happen next.  Finding Him had everything I always look for in a romance novel.  It was uplifting while also gutting.  If made me laugh, smile, cry and best of all, I fell madly in love.  This story will always hold a special place in my heart and I hope you’ll discover Finding Him too!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough

BOOK REVIEW: Dead to Her by Sarah PinboroughDead to Her by Sarah Pinborough
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

For fans of Liane Moriarty, Liv Constantine and Lisa Jewell, a twisty psychological thriller about a savvy second wife who will do almost anything to come out on top from the New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes.

Being the second wife can be murder . . .

“Once a cheat, always a cheat,” they say. Marcie Maddox has worked hard to get where she is after the illicit affair that started her new life a few years ago. But her world of country clubs, yachts and sumptuous houses in Savannah, Georgia, isn’t easy to maintain, no matter how hard she tries. Nor is keeping her husband, Jason, truly interested.

So, when Jason’s boss brings home a hot new wife from his trip to London, the young Mrs William Radford IV isn’t quite the souvenir everyone expected. Sexy, drop-dead gorgeous and black—Keisha quickly usurps Marcie’s place as the beautiful second wife. But when Marcie sees the extra spark in the room when Keisha and Jason are together and their obvious, magnetic attraction, the gloves come off.

Revenge is best served cold, but in the steamy Savannah heat, blood runs so hot that this summer it might just boil over into murder.

Thank you to Edelweiss, William Morrow and the author for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

“But in this town, dear,” she continued. “murder is considered classier than embezzlement.”

This was a really unique and refreshing mystery/thriller book. I feel like I’ve read a lot of thrillers and I truly haven’t read anything like it. Between the setting and mystical realism components, it certainly has some unique features that aren’t found in most mystery/thriller book.

Here’s the main characters:
•Marcie Maddox: Second wife to Jason, working her way into the upper echelon of the Savannah elite
•Jason Maddox: Marcie’s husband and business partner to William Radford
•Keisha Radford: The much younger wife to the newly widowed William; Fish out of water in Savannah, as she is from London
•William Radford: Much older and richer husband to Keisha; Upper crust of Savannah circles

There’s a lot of side characters, but those four really serve as the main characters, with chapters told in alternating viewpoints of Marcie and Keisha.

Let’s start with the setting: Savannah, Georgia. I’ve read very few thrillers set in the south, let alone a large city in the south. So right off the bat I was happy for the change. The oppressing summer heat and humidity is almost a character itself. There’s a lot of discussion about what it means to be in southern high society and the expectations that are pressed on those trying to get in and stay in.

They were all poison one way or another, and maybe she was the only one honest enough to see it.

I found all of the characters to be incredibly engaging, even if I didn’t personally connect or particularly like any of them. If you’re looking for likeable character(s), this may not be the book for you. All of them are doing what they feel they need to, but it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing. However, especially for Keisha and Marcie, I had a lot of sympathy for them at various times. They are both different from a lot of the other Savannah elite and are doing their best to fit in. It’s also incredibly clear that their marriages are not everything they thought they would be and there’s a very serious power imbalance between them and their husbands.

“Often what you worry other people might be thinking of you is most likely to be what you think of yourself. Be kinder to yourself, Marcie. Nobody’s perfect.”

Another thing that sets this apart is just how risqué it is. Sex is often part of thriller books, but not as explicit as this. There’s several different relationships that have fairly graphic sex scenes between partners. I would imagine they wouldn’t be too hard to skip if that isn’t your thing, but there are numerous ones. If you’re also totally not OK with cheating, this definitely won’t be the book for you. It’s a very big point for several of the characters.

Overall, Dead To Me was very well written and fairly different from a lot of other thrillers. I was left guessing until the very end and was even surprised (but happy with) the route the author took. If you are looking for a steamy mystery, look no further.

Dead to Her is available February 11, 2020.

Their marriage foundations had been secrets, an affair and lies. It had been exciting then. It wasn’t so much fun now. But still-if he had his secrets, what was so wrong with her having hers? Why shouldn’t she have something for herself?

Content Warnings: Cheating spouse/partner, explicit sex scenes (m/f and f/f), death, attempted murder, talk of death of animal, abusive relationship, sexual assault.

BOOK REVIEW: Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW: Marriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3) by Lauren LayneMarriage on Madison Avenue (Central Park Pact #3)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on, and he knows that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother—announcing he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?

Review:

Marriage on Madison Avenue was the perfect ending to this series.  I fell madly in love with the fake fiancée story-line…oh my heart, it was so much fun!  And I loved Audrey, Clarke, and their group of friends.  I found myself laughing, crying and even gasping out loud while reading, this book was such a huge win!  So if you’re a fan of swoon worthy romance, a fabulous group of friends and the fake boyfriend trope, you definitely have to pick this one up!

Clarke’s fingers dug slightly into her hip, reminding her of the plan, and she played her part, winding an arm around his waist and beaming up at him. “Me, too. I don’t know what took me so long to see that he’s the one, but I’m glad I finally woke up.”
The smoldering look Clarke gave her in return caused her breath to hitch just for a second and made her think the man had seriously missed his calling— that was some Oscar-level acting right there.

I have been excited for Audrey’s story since the first book, Passion on Park Avenue.  She was always my favorite, but shhh don’t tell the others.  Audrey was an Instagram influencer who was extremely popular.  But an evil troll got dirt from her past and tried to tarnish her reputation.  When her best friend since childhood, Clarke, announced they were engaged, it looked like all of their problems could be fixed.  Her troll would hopefully disappear, right along with Clarke’s ex who was back in town.  And being pushed on him by his over bearing mother.

What had been brutally true was that Audrey was the other woman. The whole time she’d thought she’d finally found her happily ever after, she was destroying someone else’s. A woman who, as Audrey had come to discover, deserved it more than anyone she knew.

I absolutely loved Audrey, she felt like a friend. Her thoughts made her easy to relate to and I loved all of her energy.  But my heart hurt for her.  She had lost faith in herself when she was damaged by a horrible man.  And it ate away at her.  Audrey had been the other woman, even though she had no clue.  So she didn’t think she deserved a happily ever after.  A fake engagement was not only perfect, since it’d fix her reputation, but it’d be the closest thing she would ever get to experiencing marriage. Without it going anywhere. Or so she thought.

“Smile,”he instructed, stepping even closer and sliding his hand around her waist. She smiled automatically, even as she registered that his hand had slid low on her back, his face needlessly close to hers.
“Clarke—”
“Brace yourself,”he said out of the corner of his mouth.
“What—”
His lips closed over hers.

Clarke was the ultimate friend and book boyfriend.  He was driven, dedicated and I loved how much he loved Audrey.  And how he always tried to do right by her.  Even the relationship Clarke had with Audrey’s parents was what hopes and dreams are made of.  But with his overbearing mother pushing his ex in front of him and his ex showing up where he was, being engaged seemed like the perfect answer to fix it all.  It was a safe plan.  Especially since Audrey had been his best friend since they were kids.  What could possibly go wrong?

It was no big deal, she told her thundering heart. Just a perfunctory stamp of a kiss to get the doubters to back off. It’d be over before she knew it.
Clarke’s lips moved against hers, his head tilting to the side, deepening the kiss slightly as his hand slid up her back, pulling her more firmly against him.
Audrey felt something strange and unfamiliar flutter in her stomach.

As Audrey and Clarke got further into their charade, I was a smiling, laughing and oh my gosh what’s going to happen next mess.  I had butterflies and excitement, but I was also so nervous for them.  Because what happened when pretending to be in love with your best friend caused feelings to stir inside?  Especially when you had to touch each other in public.  Act like you’re in love.  And have kisses that melted those around you.  It was only a facade.  Right?!  Ahhh see that’s why I love these types of books so much.  They’re such a blast and Lauren Layne, for the second time, has pulled this trope off beautifully and seamlessly (the other book she wrote with this trope is Isn’t She Lovely and that book is like a modern day Pretty Woman…sooo addictive!).

“Okay, I’m going to ask something that’s not my business,” Naomi said.
“Now, there’s a surprise,” Claire said. Naomi gave Claire a toothy smile and turned back to Audrey.
“Have you ever thought about trying this whole romance thing for real with Clarke?”

On top of a beautiful romance story, there was a friendship that spanned these three books.  And it was such a huge gem in these stories!  Audrey, Naomi and Claire seemed like an unlikely trio.  Especially since Audrey and Naomi had been sleeping with Claire’s husband, unbeknownst to them that he was married.  And from their first meeting on the day of his funeral, a beautiful friendship blossomed.  One that was based on trust and respect.  These ladies had true friendship goals, and I loved watching them grow with each other throughout this series!

She glanced down and winced. “I was in a hurry to talk to you.”
“About?”
Slowly she dragged her gaze back up, but only as far as his Adam’s apple. “About us getting married. Shouldn’t there be . . . more?”
He swallowed, though it felt like a Herculean effort. “Do you want there to be more?”he asked roughly, needing to ask the question even if he wasn’t at all sure that he wanted to know the answer.

If you’re looking for a fun romance story that is light and will make you smile and laugh, but also deep and will pull at your heart, then definitely add Marriage on Madison Avenue to your list!  This story left me feeling so happy, especially with that epilogue!  Just keep in mind, this series is a little different than LL’s other books, since it’s a fade to black.  But it was still extremely sexy!  So yes, I definitely recommend this book and series!  And Marriage on Madison Avenue can easily be read as a standalone.

PS The crossover with Alexis Morgan, from To Love and To Cherish, as their wedding planner had me squealing with delight!  Especially with that Bride Wars reference…the scene with it was absolutely perfect!

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

BOOK REVIEW: The Boss Who Stole Christmas (Reindeer Falls #1) by Jana Aston

BOOK REVIEW: The Boss Who Stole Christmas (Reindeer Falls #1) by Jana AstonThe Boss Who Stole Christmas (Reindeer Falls #1)
by Jana Aston
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Dear Santa,

Please bring me a new boss for Christmas. Mine is the worst. The worst, hidden in a six foot tall package of male perfection. It’d be easier if he looked like an old Scrooge, wouldn’t it?

Nick Saint-Croix doesn’t look like an old scrooge. He’s hot as-

Um, never mind. Just bring me a new boss. Please.

Sincerely,
Holly Winter

Warning:
Reindeer Falls is more naughty than nice. They're over-the-top Christmas with merrily-ever-afters guaranteed. These stories are novella length for quick holiday binging. Enjoy!

Review:

The Boss Who Stole Christmas was laugh out loud funny, sigh inducing, and there was so much Christmas cheer I couldn’t stop smiling.  With characters that came alive and a story line that played out like a movie, this easily became my favorite Jana Aston book!  Just so you know, I loved this book so much that I’ve already read it twice lol!  So if you adore romance and Christmas, then you definitely have to pick this one up!

I shouldn’t be thinking about doing things with him that would put me on top of Santa’s naughty list.
Yet I do. I think those things.
I’m feeling suffocated in this car. Suffocated by all the different versions of Nick dancing in my head.

Holly Winter, whose family obviously loved Christmas ha, worked at the Flying Reindeer Toy Company.  She loved her job and was such a hard worker, but there was one small problem.  Or maybe I should say one tall, gorgeous problem.  Nick Saint-Croix.  He took over his Uncle’s toy company and had been driving Holly crazy ever since.

The tone of his voice sounds like every filthy thought I’ve ever had coated in a candy-cane sugar glaze.

You guys, I loved Holly.  She made me laugh, was devious, quick witted and had no problem going toe to toe with her Grinchy boss.  Even when Holly saw little clues that maybe, just maybe, Nick wasn’t the Grinch she thought he was.  She tried her best to ignore it.  Along with her attraction to him too.  But the more time they spent together, the more that became impossible to do.

“If you could have anything you wanted for Christmas, what would you ask for?” I question while we’re waiting for the shopkeeper to bag up my collection of gingerbread. He’s silent and I’m not sure he heard me so I turn, one eyebrow raised in question.
“Nothing I can have,” he answers, and he seems uncomfortable, not looking directly at me.

I was obsessed with Nick.  He was charming, smart, sexy and took being in control in the most wonderful of ways.  Nick was also full of surprises and the definition of sigh worthy.  And any time that Nick and Holly were together, their moments felt erotic and hot.  They were like fire and gas, when they were near each other they burned so brightly.  I loved them together!

“Holly,” Ginger chastises. “Where is your seasonal spirit? Is there no room at the Vagina Inn for Nick?”
“Oh, my God, you did not just say that.” I shove chocolates behind the new doors and start to gather my things.

On top of this book being scorching hot, it was beyond hilarious!  I loved when Holly was with her sisters.  They made me laugh so hard and you could feel all of the love between them.  Like the creation of Dickmas.  Oh my gosh, I kept finding myself laughing so hard I couldn’t even catch my breath!   But Holy and Nick together made me laugh so much too.  This was the perfect feel good book and I loved every minute of it.

Kissing Nick is like finding out that Santa is coming twice this year. And he’s bringing things you didn’t even think about putting on your list.

The Boss Who Stole Christmas had everything I could want in a Christmas story.  There was so much emotion packed into the pages and the characters leaped from the story, this book sure didn’t feel like a novella.  Especially since I laughed from beginning to end.  And with Christmas sprinkled throughout the pages, this book was a ton of fun to read.  The Boss Who Stole Christmas was festive, smile inducing and oh so hot, I can’t recommend it enough!

PS Here are some of Holly’s Christmas thoughts I loved and I’ve been stealing her Oh my Santa! saying…

I’ve got the nervous energy of an elf who overindulged in candy canes.

Oh, my Santa Claus, please stop talking!

I stand a little straighter. Be brave like Rudolph, I remind myself.

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