Tag: Romance (Page 1 of 68)

BOOK REVIEW: Dauntless (In Vino Veritas #6) by Victoria Denault

BOOK REVIEW: Dauntless (In Vino Veritas #6) by Victoria DenaultDauntless (In Vino Veritas #6)
by Victoria Denault
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

He’s everything I’ve ever wanted, at the worst possible moment.

One and done. That’s always been my motto when it comes to guys, because I’m not about to pull someone else into the closet my parents have locked me inside. I’ve been waiting years to claim my inheritance and live the life I want to live–out, free, and oh yeah, rich.

So why is the universe dropping the sexy farm boy with the lazy smile into my life right now? When Bowen Whitlock says he’ll join my band, and later my bed, I know one time won’t be enough.

But loving Bowen is dangerous for me. And he has his own struggles, like keeping his family afloat and trying not to get fired from his job at Vino and Veritas. But he lives his life with an authenticity that gives me a tantalizing taste of living my truth.

My secret relationship with Bowen is everything, until someone betrays us in the worst possible way…

Review

WHAT A WAY TO END A WONDERFUL SERIES! Oh my gosh this was such a great addition and Bowen and Chase completed this series in the best way. (Also yes I was cackling at the fact Bowen’s name is Bowen and that there was a reference to Him while Chase was visiting the bookstore side of Vino & Veritas LOL). I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced listener copy of this one which worked out great because I had a long drive yesterday and was able to finish almost all of it in one go! The narrators were PERFECTION. It’s crazy how that really can make or break my experience with a story sometimes but it’s true. Teddy Hamilton and John Lane you did great, sweeties.

Not like I even need to mention this in yet another review for this series but I WILL just to get the point across. The chemistry that Bowen and Chase had was off. the. freaking. charts. Bowen is the “sexy hemp farmer” that we first heard about back in Wildfire who was selling buns to Joss and Chase is first seen for tiny bit in Wonderland when he offers to help the Meadows family with the old amusement park. During one of Bowen’s many disastrous nights at V&V, Chase has his own disaster. The drummer for his cover band flakes and what do you know? Bowen knows how to play drums and knows several of the songs that the band had already planned on playing.

Apart from these two getting to know each other more through band practice and the occasional gig, we also see conflict in the form of Chase not truly being out with his sexuality because of his shitty family who are all knee deep in politics and because he doesn’t want to lose access to a trust fund he plans on using to better their community. Bowen’s brother is also trying to run for Mayor during the book and his main opponent is a family friend to Chase’s. So really, the two are dealing with a lot in this book, both together and separately. Without spoiling anything, I will say that Chase does have a moment towards the end where he makes a choice during a very pivotal scene and it is SO good, you guys. I love love love how the ending turned out so much. It was such a treat to be able to come back and spend more time with both new and old characters!


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

BOOK REVIEW: Wonderland (In Vino Veritas #5) by Rachel Ember

BOOK REVIEW: Wonderland (In Vino Veritas #5) by Rachel EmberWonderland (In Vino Veritas #5)
by Rachel Ember
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

I left Vermont on the most painful day of my life and swore I’d never go back. Meadows Park–the shuttered amusement park that’s been in my family for generations–is the home of all my finest and worst memories. They all star Peter Landry–the best friend I ever had, and the only guy I’ve ever loved.

But then my eccentric grandfather buried two million dollars on the property and couldn’t remember where.

So I’m back, and asking Peter for help. He’s an Ivy League lawyer now. Still gorgeous, and able to gut me with a single smile. And I’m still a disappointment, living in the city and washing dishes to get by. As soon as we strike off down the first sunlit path, the Meadows Park magic begins to fill my heart with yearning, lust, and most dangerous of all—dreams.

I’m secretly relieved each time the day ends, leaving us empty-handed. I know it’s wrong—without that money, we could lose the park.

But if I find the treasure, I lose the guy.

Review

Wonderland truly deserves gold for having the most unique premise in this series! This story revolves around Peter (Aaron’s friend from law school that we meet in Counterpoint) and Riley Meadows. Riley’s grandpa who was his most stable and caring family member growing up was best friends with Peter’s uncle so the two spent many a summer together when they were younger on the land that Grandpa Meadows owned. It was home to an old amusement park that had been closed down for many years even at that point but it didn’t stop the two from exploring every inch and using the land as their personal playground. Naturally the two became best friends and from there, their relationship progressed into something more and they eventually experienced quite a few firsts together.

Fast forward about ten years and the two are thrown together again after not having any contact for YEARS. After a falling out/injury the two parted ways, never planning on seeing each other again. Because of how special their relationship had been in the past, it was no surprise to me when they immediately felt that old sizzle during their first meeting. Sure, part of it was anger and confusion on Peter’s part from not knowing what even happened to cause the rift in the first place but mostly it was purely their old attraction.

In a wild turn of events Riley finds out that his grandpa…..misplaced…something, LOL and the two band together like old times to help him find it. That honestly was my favorite part. Just those two, “forced” together trying to do this very important thing for Grandpa Meadows, back in a place that meant SO much to the both of them. I loved seeing them talk about what went wrong with that last argument they had in the past and how they still meant so much to each other, even after all these years. I am such a sucker to childhood-friends-turned-lovers, especially if a second chance romance is also thrown in the mix. SUCH a good story and I really really enjoyed every minute. AND LEMON!!!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to listen to an ALC in exchange for my honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Underdog (In Vino Veritas #4) by L.A. Witt

BOOK REVIEW: Underdog (In Vino Veritas #4) by L.A. WittUnderdog (In Vino Veritas #4)
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Life in foster care wasn’t easy. Life after prison? Unforgiving. But I’m determined to stay out of trouble, and I’m gaining a foothold on the closest I’ve ever known to normal.

Then, thanks to a pair of escape artist dogs from the sanctuary where I’ve found work, I cross paths with my boss’s neighbor, Ty Adams. He’s a horse trainer, and winter is his quiet season. It’s also the season when he gets restless and lonely—two things I know all about. He’s not interested in love or romance. I’m just happy someone’s interested in me at all, even if emotions are strictly forbidden.

When we’re not together, I’m thinking about him. When we are together… Well, I’m definitely thinking about what he does to me and what I want to do with him.

As we keep each other warm through the Vermont winter, this feels a lot more than physical. Somehow he soothes my pain, and I wonder if I’m touching something deep inside him too. But Ty won’t let himself love anyone. I never had a chance. And now, with my past closing in, I could lose the one man I hoped I could count on. The one I thought might be different.

When his present and my history collide, is it too much to hope he’ll choose me?

CW: Sick horse and a minor accident involving a horse—no animal deaths or serious injuries/illnesses.

Review

Ahhhhh I feel terrible that it took me so long to review this but I felt like death last week/ this weekend and just…couldn’t.

Anyway, I was so excited to get Ty and Landon’s story after we got a few little tidbits here and there from Luke meeting and texting with Landon during Unmanageable. Gosh I am just such a sucker for these series that interconnect even if you don’t HAVE to read all of the books in order. I was immediately drawn in by the animals in this book. Blain and Houdini really stole the show for me hehe those little trouble making escape artists. Also!!! The horses! As a Millennial I’m pretty sure I can speak for most of my generation when I say that it was impossible to grow up and not be a horse girl for at least a small chunk of time. I read all of the horse books I could get my hands on and wanted one for myself until I was able to ride one at a local county fair and it actually scared the hell out of me, LOLLL but I digress. The animals were a special part of this book and I really, really enjoyed that element.

On to the characters and relationship. ONCE AGAIN, the immediate chemistry that Ty and Landon had was off the charts. I’m not sure how this has happened so consistently in every book this series has given us so far but I am a huge fan. Ty lived and breathed horse training and boarding and competitions. That was his family’s whole world and he continued on the legacy after his parents decided to retire. Because that was such a demanding and time consuming lifestyle, he has always tried to keep relationships low key and simple. Landon on the other hand has recently gotten out of almost a decades worth of time in jail/prison. He didn’t have an easy or stable childhood which led to him getting into a lot of bad situations that he just couldn’t seem to get himself out of. That has all changed though. This time around he is determined to live life the “right” way and stay as far away from trouble as he possibly can. Through a work rehabilitation program, he was hired by Brent and Jon (MCs of Aftermath in the Vino and Veritas series) to work for Second Chances Animal Sanctuary and eventually started working for Ty at Lost Acres Farm after Ty learned he had experience with horses and was good with animals.

As you might expect this book deals a lot with the aftermath of Landon being a released prisoner and how other people perceive him because of that. Oof my heart. The BEST part of this how this specific theme played out in this book was how, for the most part anyway, Ty trusted Landon with his whole gut and gave him so many more opportunities than most people would. That’s all it takes sometimes. People who have spent time imprisoned can’t hope to reintegrate with society if they don’t have people at their back, encouraging them and actually helping them live a normal life again. This book definitely brought up a lot of things I never would have thought about before and I know I will be keeping them in mind for the future….On the opposite end of that there are also parts of this book that feature many people mistrusting Landon and even trying their best to get him to screw up because they assume that’s all he’s capable of. That hurt to read. L.A. Witt is definitely a pro at tugging on heartstrings in a very real way, let me tell you.

Seriously this is one you aren’t going to want to miss!

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

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.*

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