Tag: Sports Romance (Page 1 of 4)

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Beauty and the Baller was such a wonderful story! Check out my 4.5 Star Review below, enjoy ♥!

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-MillsBeauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

Review:

I want to touch the stars, even if I get burned.

Beauty and the Baller was a sexy, swoony, angsty read!  With a spunky cat, a lovable heroine and a sexy hero, this book was a lot of fun.  Add in fake dating, small town charm and a wonderful HEA and this book was such a beautiful love story.  If you like sexy, adult romance then you definitely need to check this one out!

“I like seeing you squirm,” she murmurs.
“Why?”
“Payback.” A slow blush works up from her neck to her face as she mutters something under her  breath.
“What was that?”
She clears her throat. “Just . . . life has a funny sense of humor.”

Ronan Smith had a tragic past.  His fiancé was killed in the car wreck that also killed his professional football career.  While still struggling a year later, Ronan found himself having a one night stand with someone he actually felt a connection to.  Too bad for Ronan, Nova Morgan saw it as a horrible and left before he woke up.  I just want to say I screamed noooooo out loud over something that went down, so I got why Nova bailed afterwards….you’ll see lol.  Two years later, fate had them both living in the same small town, neighbors and unable to escape one another at every turn.

I’m Ronan Smith and . . . I pause as clarity runs through my head. I want my life back, no matter what that may be.
Closing my eyes, I touch the ring around my neck.
Today is when everything changes.

Ronan was in Blue Belle Texas coaching their high school football team.  With the small town scared that they could lose their coach, they went to unimaginable lengths to keep him.  Especially their attempts to set him up with every single female.  So when Nova re-entered his life, he didn’t remember her.  He just knew that she wanted nothing to do with him, unlike everyone else.  So when he proposed that they fake date, to solve both of their problems, I was so happy when she said yes!  Yes Ronan had some growing to do, but I absolutely loved him.  Jaded characters always sneak so easily into my heart.  And when Ronan started to show us little bits of himself, I just knew he was so much more than meets the eye.

“Everything will be fine. We’re different flowers from the same garden, but we’re perfect together. Mama always said so.”

Nova was completely unique.  She was someone who knew what she wanted and went after it, like dressing up in the past as a Star Wars character to win over Ronan for their one night stand.  She loved telling us about the outfits she was wearing.  She had so much sass.  But her life completely flipped upside down when she gained custody of her high school aged sister, since her mother passed away.  While trying her best to raise Sabine, Nova definitely had her hands full.  This story was an emotional journey for Nova too, and Ronan helped play a big part of that.  But Nova had no problems pushing Ronan’s buttons.  And telling him when he was being a jerk, I actually clapped out loud in one scene lol.

I literally have no idea what I’ve gotten myself into. On the outside, I’m cool, but on the inside, I’m quivering with uncertainty.

The way the fake dating played out was so much fun!  The touching.  The kissing.  Showing the town that they were together.  And time and again they crossed that line of what was real and what was fake.  Because Ronan and Nova definitely wanted to rip each other’s clothes off.  The passion between them was so intense.  And when things did develop between them, it was extremely sexy and hot!  But Ronan was terrified to feel and he didn’t want to love.  His past still haunted him.  Except when he was around Nova, it was impossible not to feel.  And for Nova, each time Ronan showed a true piece of himself to her, it was hard to keep him away from her heart.  It didn’t matter that they didn’t want anything to happen, there was no stopping it!

My head tells me to keep the walls up around us, but the other side of me—my stupid, weak heart—clamors to tell him things.

This story was rounded out so well with some fabulous side characters.  I’m looking at you Skeeter, Sabine and Sonia!  And I loved the feel of the small town charm that was laced throughout this story.  Plus not only did Nova and Ronan’s love story cause me to laugh so much, but I even shed a tear.  Beauty and the Baller was a wonderful, adult romance that many will fall hard for!

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

About Ilsa Madden-Mills:

Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

Amazon I Instagram I Mailing List I Goodreads I Bookbub I Book+Main I Website

Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up here.

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BOOK REVIEW: Boyfriend (Moo U #0) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Boyfriend (Moo U #0) by Sarina BowenBoyfriend (Moo U #0)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A new hockey player to steal your heart this fall...

The dreamiest player on the Moo U hockey team hangs a flyer on the bulletin board, and I am spellbound:

Rent a boyfriend for the holiday. For $25, I will be your Thanksgiving date. I will talk hockey with your dad. I will bring your mother flowers. I will be polite, and wear a nicely ironed shirt…

Everyone knows it’s a bad idea to introduce your long-time crush to your messed-up family. But I really do need a date for Thanksgiving, even if I’m not willing to say why. So I tear his phone number off of that flyer… and accidentally entangle our star defenseman in a ruse that neither of us can easily unwind.

Who knew that Weston's family was even nuttier than mine? He needs a date, too, for the most uncomfortable holiday engagement party ever thrown.

There will be hors d'oeuvre. There will be faked PDA. And there will be pro-level awkwardness…

Boyfriend is a full-length book for Weston and Abbi!

Review

It should come as a surprise to ABSOLUTELY NO ONE that I absolutely loved this book. I was lucky enough to read every other Moo U book as an eARC and when I saw that the Queen of True North herself was going to be making an addition to the series???? Well, I was ecstatic.

You see, The Year We Fell Down was my first foray into the world of hockey romances and I have not looked back since. ALL of Bowen’s characters feel like home and family to me. Whether it be the entire town of Colebury, the Brooklyn Bruisers organization, or even Moo U. I know that if I’m going to be immersed into one of these stories, I WILL be leaving them fully satisfied.

And how come someone not? Abbi is a relatable, hard working college student just trying to work long enough to get a fat bonus at work to help with her rent. Weston is a pretty typical college jock– charismatic, hilarious, but also kind and willing to go the extra mile to make sure a person in need of a Thanksgiving date, has one LOL. Fake dating man. Who doesn’t love fake dating?

The best part about this book, in my own humble opinion, is that they start out purely as acquaintances from both of their time spent at the Biscuit, to partners in crime as a fake couple trying to deal with their respective families during the holidays, to friends, to so much more than that. They laid the best foundation they possibly could have for themselves, ESPECIALLY for someone like Weston who had seen first hand how messy a relationship and ship ensuing divorce could be. Then both just naturally fell in love and there wasn’t anything either of them could do to stop it. Serious love talk aside though, this book also had me howling with laughter as is typical of a Bowen book. She has some of the best banter and dialogue in romances that I’ve ever read. Top of the line stuff. HIGHLYYYY recommend.

Huge thanks to Sarina Bowen and Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion. ♥

BOOK REVIEW: Goalkeeper (Moo U #10) by Andi Burns

BOOK REVIEW: Goalkeeper (Moo U #10) by Andi BurnsGoalkeeper (Moo U #10)
by Andi Burns
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Winning games has always been his focus, but will winning her heart become the ultimate goal?

Everyone at Moo U knows the party doesn’t start until Paige Underwood arrives. Not only is she beautiful, she’s fun and charming too. Guys want to date her, and girls want to be her best friend. All Paige wants is to have a good time and make videos for her beauty channel--and maybe get that girl down the hall to do her eyeliner correctly. Is that too much to ask?

According to her parents, yes. They’ve said the party’s over and that it’s time to get focused.

Spencer Briggs knows all about focus. He’s had one goal since he set foot on the ice as a kid: make it to the NHL. After years of hard work and endless practice, he’s the starting goalie for Moo U and mere steps away from his dream. He can’t afford distractions, and isn’t interested in relationships. And he definitely can’t afford to flirt back with the gorgeous girl in his lit class.

He needs to stay serious. She needs to get serious. But now serious sparks are flying . . .

Review

Okay I just have to get this out of the way–in almost every single one of these books either one of both of the MC’s have the the most UNSUPPORTIVE parents of all time AND IT HURTS MY HEART. Gahhh.

Anywayyyys this was a good one. I freaking loved the element of Paige’s YouTube channel because I was big into watching a few different vloggers a few years ago and I have always had an appreciation for the amount of content they put out week after week. You could obviously tell that was her passion and the way she went about it in a teaching manner, wanting to help her subscribers feel pretty in their own skin—pure perfection.

Spencer wasn’t my TOP favorite guy of the series but he was still great. As much as I know NOTHING about hockey other than from reading so many hockey romances (lol) I do enjoy the books that feature the goalies and learning how their training and jobs on the ice are so much different than the rest of the team’s.

I thought the two had great chemistry and again, as much as I cannot stand that just about every parental in this series sucks, I was really glad that the two were able to understand each other in that way and be there for each other as well. Overall a good book to round the series out with *catch me crying now that it’s all over*

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read a copy of this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

BOOK REVIEW: Snowballed (Moo U #9) by Melanie Ting

BOOK REVIEW: Snowballed (Moo U #9) by Melanie TingSnowballed (Moo U #9)
by Melanie Ting
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

She needs Prince Farming . . . but she got me instead.

Sure, life’s been easy for me. Growing up in an oceanside house in SoCal, playing top-level college hockey, driving a luxury car with a generous allowance—sounds like the dream, right? Turns out what I didn’t have was freedom. And when I decided to transfer to Moo U for my last year of hockey, my controlling father cut me off.

No money, no car, no friends. I’m just another student struggling to make ends meet. The only place I can afford to live is the Meyers’ farm, where I’ll work in exchange for room and board. Farm work is so exhausting that I don’t even have time to wallow in the crappy turn my life has taken. Zoe Meyers is a hot blonde Amazon with all the energy of a chipmunk on crack. And her positivity is making me realize how lucky I really am, even though I’m broke. Too bad she’s not impressed by a guy who can’t figure out which end of a goat to milk.

Because suddenly I want to impress her. I want to do a lot more with her too . . . if I can get her out of the barn and into my arms.


Review

I FREAKING LOVED THIS ONE SO MUCH.

Snowballed had two of my favorite things in the World of True North. Farming and hockey.

Noah, a California kid who has a famous hockey play dad, figure skater mom, and a life dictated down to the very meal decides he needs to make a change after he’s presented with a spot on the Moo U hockey team. He moves across the country, entirely cut off and jumps on the first opportunity that presents itself–move on to Zoe Meyers’ farm, help out with chores, and have a warm bed and meals provided.

Zoe, who also plays on Moo U’s women’s team does not start off the the right foot with Noah. She’s the type that babbles when she’s nervous (especially around very attractive guys) and Noah could not take her personal brand of overly bright sunshine when she picked him up from the airport. These idiots, I tell you lollll. She kicked him to the curb, quite literally, after he made one too many rude remarks and things progressed from there.

The more time that Noah spends on the farm doing chores, eating fantastic meals, and being around a more normal Zoe, he does start to loosen up. I loved him so much you guys. He was super serious but also very genuine and caring. He was the ultimate team player on the ice and I loved watching him make the people he was paired directly with, better. Zoe, her brother—literally anyone he was on the ice with. Oh, and did I mention he was BOSSY? But in a good way. Both on the ice and in the bedroom and boy was that a turn on lol.

The ~drama~ in this on revolved around Zoe dealing (or I guess NOT dealing) with the death of her father from two years ago. The farm in which they lived was his baby and her ability to not let it go, as we eventually learn, is a result of that. I’m really glad that more and more books are championing the use of a therapist lately. The stigma on going to one needs to be broken because there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with asking for help from a professional. Watching Zoe go through that process and having her work through all of her pent up feelings about the past and find out what it really even was that was bothering her was a powerful thing. Very realistic and satisfying.

Highly recommend!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Darkroom (Moo U #7) by Kate Willoughby

BOOK REVIEW: Darkroom (Moo U #7) by Kate WilloughbyDarkroom (Moo U #7)
by Kate Willoughby
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

As a top draft pick from a family of hockey royalty, I'm under so much pressure that I’m losing my edge on the ice. I need something to snap my brain out of this self-destructive stress-loop. That’s where Indi Briscoe from my photography class comes in. She’s flirtatious and funny one moment, sweetly shy the next.

But she’s cagey. She has secrets. Also? She’s a virgin. Did I mention the pressure thing? Maybe I’m crazy for starting something with her. But we can’t seem to help ourselves...

Warning: this standalone novel contains heat, heart, familial expectations, extreme milkshakes, and a hamster with deep thoughts.

Review

I have been so deep in Moo U hockey over the past week and a half that I am going to be so confused reading another series with different characters when I pick up my next book, lol! I will say that I am very impressed with the range of topics that themes that this series has presented so far. There have been a lot of very different characters experiencing very different things and I really appreciate that.

This book features Indi and Hudson. Indi was born in China and adopted by an American couple when she was a baby. She has a port-wine stain on her face that she now covers up very thoroughly with makeup after being bullied for years as a kid. For a good chunk of this book she also denies any and all attempts to connect with her Chinese heritage until her roommate helps her realize that part of the reason why she has so vehemently rejected that part of herself is because she associated it with her birth parents having abandoned her at a Chinese orphanage. Delving into that part of herself really got to me because I’m sure plenty of other people struggle with that very same part of their identity as well after being adopted, especially if it was from a country other than the one they now live in.

Hudson comes from a hockey dynasty. There has been a member of his family in the pros since the league was formed about a hundred years ago. He struggles with some really intense pressure and anxiety over preforming well in front of others and also find out over the course of the story about a medical issue involving his hearing that also really takes a toll on him as well.

While I overall really enjoyed reading about how all of those aspects of life affected and shaped Indi and Hudson both separately and together, there were times that I became frustrated with Indi especially. It’s brought up one time by her mom after she blows up at Hudson but it could really be overwhelming for me when she went from 0-100 with her anger and verbally lashed out at people. Sure it was realistic but I just didn’t vibe with her as much as other characters. Still, it had a great ending and I was so happy for how both of their journeys were wrapped up by the end!

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

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