June 27, 2017

RELEASE DAY REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Easy Nights (Boudreaux #6)


EASY NIGHTS is finally here, which means VAN and BEN are finally here. Check out my review and an excerpt!

Easy Nights (Boudreaux #6), by Kristen Proby
Publish Date:
June 27, 2017
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author and Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS


(Synopsis) Savannah Boudreaux knows what it is to hurt. To bleed. To be afraid that the man she’s promised to be true to until “death do us part” might in fact separate them far sooner than anyone had ever anticipated. But Van also knows what it is to survive. To move on. To live life to the fullest. With five brothers and sisters and a loving mother as her constant source of strength during the pain and the healing, Van realizes there is little else she needs.

But some things never change…

Benjamin Preston sat on the sidelines of the Boudreaux family for years, in love with a woman he couldn’t have. As the best friend of the Boudreaux brothers since childhood, Ben has seen both tragedies and joys in the family. And as a former MMA fighter and Krav Maga expert, Ben’s used to fighting for what he wants—and winning. His hands were tied when Savannah married her high school sweetheart not long after graduation, but now two years have passed since Ben found Savannah broken in her own home.

Sometimes what you need most has been right in front of you the whole time…


Van’s convinced that happiness isn’t in the cards for her, no matter how right it feels to be in Ben’s strong arms—and his bed. Ben is determined to win her heart and fight for her trust. He’s promised to protect her, to be her friend. But more than anything, he wants to finally make her his, and this is one fight he’s not willing to lose.

My goodness, it seems like I've been waiting forever for Savannah and Ben to get together. They've been dancing around each other for a few years now, but it's just never been the right time for them. But, their time has come - finally.

Savannah is in a good place now after getting help for her husband's horrible torture and some time passing. Her family has been incredible. And, that includes Ben. Ben's always been like family to all the Boudreauxs - except for Van. And now that she's in a better frame of mind, Ben and Van can finally give things a try. 

Van and Ben together was even better than I had imagined. Ben was protective and sweet and perfect for her. And Van was independent and sassy and with Ben she was the best version of herself. The journey of Van has been pretty amazing. Kristen Proby didn't rush her healing. It's been two years. As much as it killed all of us to wait until the last book to see Van's HEA play out, it really did have to be this way. If it had come sooner, it would've felt rushed. This way, it really was perfect. 

Of course, true love never runs smooth (one of my grandma's favorite sayings), and as perfect as Van and Ben are together, they still have a few more bumps in the road to get over. I'm glad, though. If they were too perfect, or if they went from the friend zone to practically married over night, it would've not been realistic at all. Once they gave each other permission to be together, things did pick up steam pretty quickly, but it definitely wasn't perfect. It was perfect for them, though.

I loved that Van's siblings were cheering them on the whole time. There was none of the "we need to keep this relationship a secret since you're my brothers' BFF and they'd kill you if they found out" business. Van's brothers know Ben. They trust him. So, they know she couldn't do any better than him. Their friendship is awesome. 

I'm sad to say goodbye to New Orleans and the Boudreaux family. Their stories and those of the people around them have been fun and sexy and amid the backdrop of the deep south, it's been even more interesting. Easy Nights finished things off pretty perfectly.

“Van.”

I spin at the sound of Ben’s voice, and silently cringe. I look horrible. I’m sweating like an ice cold drink without a coaster, and the clothes I wear here are skin tight, making it easier to move.

“You’re not usually here at this time,” I say and dab a towel on my face. “What’s up?”

“I had a meeting with another instructor,” he says with a smile. “Thought I’d say hi.”

“Hi.” I smile and readjust my ponytail. It’s much smaller now, but I can still pull it back. “How was your day?”

“Busy,” he replies and surprises me by letting his eyes travel up and down my body. “I like the new hair. You look great.”

“I’m a mess.” I chuckle and hook my towel around my shoulders. “You, however, do look great.”

That’s a fucking understatement. He’s in cargo shorts and a black tank top, showing off his tattoos and his muscles.

Good lord, the muscles.

“Can I show you a few things?” he asks, breaking my concentration on his muscles.

“Sure,” I frown as I follow him back into the empty classroom. “Am I doing something wrong?”

“No, I just want to go over some form things.” He leads me to the center of the room and stands behind me, looking into my eyes through the mirror.

Oh God. This is way sexier than it probably should be.

“Assume the stance.”

I follow his directions and work very hard to not react to his strong hands on my sides as he walks me through punches, kicks, and better ways to keep my center of gravity.

“You’re small,” he murmurs and pushes my legs just a little closer together. “I want you to keep your feet just a little closer together. You’ll have better balance.”

I nod. “It feels better.”

He smiles at me. I can’t keep my eyes off of him in the mirror. The way he moves, his facial expressions.

Ben has always been attractive to me, but holy shit, did he get hotter? Or was I just too broken before to see it?

Because holy shit, he’s hot.

“Van?”

“Yeah?”

“I just asked you to do the spin/elbow move.”

“Oh.” I bite my lip and will myself to stop ogling his arms.

“Are you okay?”

“Of course.” I do as he asks and spin, attempting to ram my elbow in his nose, the way I’ve been taught, but he blocks and sends me onto my ass. “Damn it.”

“You’re not spinning quickly enough.”

“I’m as clumsy as they get,” I remind him. “If I spin too fast, I’ll fall on my ass. I’ll be helping my attacker more than anything.”

“It’ll actually feel easier,” he says, helping me to my feet. “You can do this. I’ve seen it.”

“You’re taller than anyone else I’ve ever sparred with.”

“Good,” he says and narrows his eyes. “Chances are, if you ever have to defend yourself, your attacker won’t be shorter than you.”
“True.” I nod thoughtfully.

“But if you’re still not comfortable doing this with me, that’s fine. I can make suggestions for Shelly to work on next week.”

“I’m okay,” I reply, and am surprised to realize that it’s true. It wasn’t long ago that I couldn’t stand for any man to touch me, not even my brothers. But I don’t mind so much now.

In fact, I’m utterly shocked to realize that his touch is turning me on. I don’t remember the last time I had sexual thoughts toward a man. Even Ben. Which was one more thing that made me sad.

But hello, long lost hormones.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

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June 23, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: The Knocked Up Plan


The Knocked Up Plan, by Lauren Blakely
Publish Date:
June 23, 2017
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author and Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS


(Synopsis) This single gal has had enough of the games, the BS and the endless chase. I know what I want most, and it’s not true love. It’s a bun in the oven, and I’m not afraid to hit up my sex-on-a-stick co-worker to do the job. Ryder is gorgeous, witty and charming — and he’s also a notorious commitment-phobe. That makes him the perfect candidate to make a deposit in the bank of me.


I won’t fall for him, he won’t fall for me, and there’s no way baby will make three.
Right?

****

There are four words every guy wants to hear on the first date — “your place or mine?”


When my hot-as-sin co-worker makes me a no-strings-attached offer that involves her place, my place, any place — as well as any position — I can’t refuse. After all, my job is like a coach and my latest assignment for the good of mankind is to create a fail-safe, battle-tested, proven guide of what to do or say to get a woman to fall into your bed — I mean, fall for you. So when Nicole says she’s game to work through my list in a hands-on way, I take her up on her deal even with her one BIG condition.


There’s no way I’ll want more from one woman than any position, any where, any night? Except . . . what if I do?

Oh, my exploding ovaries. The Knocked Up Plan was absolutely everything a swoony romance loving mother could want (and I guarantee you'll love it even if you don't have any kids!). It's sweet and romantic and so sexy (of course it is - it's by Lauren Blakely!). 

Nicole wants a baby, and the fact that she has no boyfriend and no plans for one doesn't make an iota of difference to her. She's willing to troll the sperm back offerings and pick the perfect specimen to father her child. Except, she realizes the perfect specimen works down the hall from her every day. Luckily, Ryder is willing to help her with her problem, but he doesn't want to make a deposit in the bank. He wants to do things the old fashioned way. Cue the swoony sighs. 

Anyone who thinks that Nicole's and Ryder's well-laid plans wouldn't go awry is so dead wrong. It cracks me up that either one of them could think they would share something so intimate as not only having lots and lots of sex, but making a BABY together, and not end up having some feelings for each other in the end. Ryder was especially in denial after getting burned in the worst way by his ex-wife. Neither of them thought that they'd get both a relationship and a baby out of the arrangement.

But, what I loved about these two was that, before all the baby making shenanigans started, they were real friends. They genuinely liked one another and hung out together and knew a little about each other. Even when they started sleeping over and getting naked, they still acted like friends. They had this adorably playful banter, and Ryder's work assignment was to write a book and do segments on his dating radio show about the ten best places to take a date in NYC. So, he did these things with Nicole. And it was brilliant. It gave the couple a chance to get some depth to their relationship, which only helped with the connection I felt with them. 

I absolutely adored this book. It takes place in the Big Rock world that Lauren has set up for us, and we do see a few recurring characters in it, but not many. It can definitely be read as a standalone with absolutely no problems. The Knocked Up Plan is told in dual POV, and it was a very easy read for me. I can sit down with a Lauren Blakely book and read it from cover to cover in one sitting. This book was no different. I loved it.

Yanking open the door, I head inside. I stride to the small cafe where Ryder said he’d wait for me.

My chest falls. The man is known for punctuality. I scan the white bakery case and the five round iron tables, but he’s not here. When I spin around and survey the bookshelves, my heart nearly leaps from my chest.

He’s in the . . .

Oh my fucking God, he’s waiting for me in the . . .

I bring my hand to my mouth, and I want to run, to leap into his arms. When he sees me, his blue eyes twinkle with mischief.

I am a teapot about to whistle. I am a dog dancing before dinnertime.

He taps the shelves and holds up a book.

A pregnancy guide.

He’s ten feet from me. But I sprint anyway, and I grin like a fool. I stop two inches from him and clamp my hands on his broad shoulders. “Is that a yes?”

“Yes—”

I tackle-hug him before he can say anything more. I knock the breath from him in an oomph as I rope my arms around his neck and crash into him.

“But I have one condition,” he says, embracing me back.

I’m crying tears of happiness, so I don’t care. “Anything. Name it.”

“You better hear it before you agree.”

The moment screeches to a halt. He’s going to want visitation rights. He’ll want lots of money. He’ll want summers, or weekends, or evenings out.

I unwrap myself from the warmth of his strong chest and swallow. “What’s your condition?”

“I thought it would be best to present it in the form of a column.”

“A column?”

“Top five list and everything.”

I groan inside. He has five conditions? Maybe my mother was right. Maybe asking for baby-mix from someone you know is a big mistake. Anonymous donors request nothing but greenbacks.

I steel myself as he fishes in the back pocket of his jeans. The paper is square, folded in quarters. He hands it to me. “Open it.”

I unfold it then read the headline out loud. “‘Top Five Positions for Getting a Woman Pregnant’?”

I blink and stare at him. The cogs turn slowly in my brain. I part my lips to speak.

He raises a hand to silence me. “Hear me out. You explained how it worked. The room, the cup, the magazines, the videos. The whacking off in a fucking public place. The cost. But most of all . . . the wait.

You’d have to wait for an appointment for me, for the testing, for the jerking off, then for your special date with the turkey baster.” He cups my cheek. His hand is big and warm. “What if we did it theold-fashioned way?”

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she's sold more than 2 million books. In June she'll release THE KNOCKED UP PLAN, a standalone contemporary romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

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June 22, 2017

COVER REVEAL: Dear Bridget, I Want You

Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward have teamed up again to bring us, what is sure to be, another incredible book. Well... with a cover like this, it's hard to imagine how it could be anything BUT amazing...


Dear Bridget, I Want You, by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland
Publish Date:
September 18, 2017
Publisher: self-published
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

(Synopsis) Dear Bridget,

I’m writing this letter because it’s highly doubtful I’ll ever garner the courage to say this to your face.

So, here goes.

We’re totally wrong for each other. You’re the proper single mum with a good head on your shoulders. I’m just the carefree British doctor passing through town and temporarily living in your converted garage until I head back to England.

But here’s the thing… for some bloody reason, I can’t stop thinking about you in very inappropriate ways.

I want you.

The only reason I’m even admitting all of this to you right now is because I don’t believe it’s one-sided. I notice your eyes when you look at me, too. And as crass as I appear when we’re joking around about sex, my attraction to you is not a joke.

So, what’s the purpose of this note? I guess it’s a reminder that we’re adults, that sex is healthy and natural, and that you can find me just through the door past the kitchen. More specifically, it’s to let you know that I’m leaving said door cracked open from now on in case you’d like to visit me in the middle of the night sometime.

No questions asked.

Think about it.

Or don’t.

Whatever you choose.

It’s doubtful I’ll even end up sliding this letter under your door anyway.

--Simon

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list fifteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

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Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in fourteen languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

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