Skye Warren and Amelia Wilde’s Tropical Storm does exactly what’s it meant to do: ends a trilogy in a spectacular fashion. Honestly, the Deserted Island trilogy could have easily been a duet, in my opinion. Carter’s realization about his family’s acceptance, Theo’s reconciliation of leaving the island to stay with June and Carter, and June’s understanding of her place with Carter and Theo (probably the most underdeveloped of these character journeys) could have been resolved in two books along with settling the plot line of the Russian double-agent. Tropical Storm places Carter with his parents and siblings, showing him that acceptance and love are possible in a family of “wolves.”
There is more spice especially with Carter and Theo consummating their portion of the relationship. In fact, this overshadowed June’s place in this throuple. Thankfully, the resolution of this story and its trilogy is sweet, and it rectifies this oversight.
Did I enjoy reading Tropical Storm? Yes. Did it feel like it was doing anything new? Not necessarily. I will always read Skye Warren; I’d simply love to read stories from her that aren’t always a trilogy.
Tropes: sports romance; new adult romance; inter-connected series; tortured lead; mental illness; hockey romance
Tijan’s Hockey with Benefits is more than its blurb. I didn’t realize, on entering her book, that we would be re-introduced to Mara, the somewhat throwaway character from Tijan’s Rich Prick. One of my favorite characterization treats is having a vilified character humanized. In her newest tome, Tijan takes Mara, who stands as a bit of a foil to the heroine in Rich Prick, challenging and insidious, and invites us into her backstory, which is complicated and heartbreaking. After Hockey with Benefits, everything makes sense about Mara, and Tijan’s capacity for drawing sympathy and empathy around her endears us to this new story.
Adding Cruz to the mix and the complication of their relationship creates a depth of emotion in this story. Cruz’s capacity to understand Mara’s situation is one of my favorite aspects of their relationship. It makes it so that it’s impossible for them NOT to become more than a situationship. When he protects her from the complications of her life, their tether becomes more defined and bold. Tijan makes us work through their complicated relationship in an almost tedious manner, allowing us to experience the difficulties of their lives. You can’t help but “feel” the characters’ emotions.
Add to the decided characterizations of Mara and Cruz messages about mental illness and its impact on loved ones and the trauma and process of dealing with SA. These plot lines undergird Hockey with Benefits with a depth of story that is compelling for the reader. Honestly, I couldn’t stop reading it because 1) I needed Mara to enact boundaries with her mother, and 2) I really needed the story’s villain to get his comeuppance. Tijan uses these story lines along with Cruz and Mara’s burgeoning and evolving relationship to engage us with her story.
My only criticism of Tijan and her Fallen Crest and spin-off stories are the sheer number of characters she infuses into an individual story. It can make it tedious to remember who is who, especially when she, as in Hockey with Benefits, vacillates between their first and last names. I love the supporting ancillary characters, but I’m not sure this book required so many.
If you haven’t grabbed Tijan’s Hockey with Benefits, you should. You won’t be able to put it down.
Snowed in for days with a gorgeous soccer star? Maybe that’s someone’s else’s dream vacation, but not mine. I’m a small town girl with big-city dreams of seeing San Francisco-cable cars and wine bars and the Golden Gate Bridge-not getting stranded during a blizzard in a tiny mountain cabin. And definitely not fixing leaks and playing endless board games with my brother’s grumpy best friend, who has zero construction skills and even less charm. Did I mention there’s only one bed? I’m on a self-imposed man ban, so I try to ignore his sculpted abs and gorgeous dark eyes. He tests my resolve with his gourmet cooking and perfect campfires, but even those can’t make up for his prickly personality. Problem is, once Danny Weston starts to drop his guard, I begin to understand him. His painful secrets rival my own, and his beautiful, tender heart begins to melt mine. Which leads to one unforgettable night when our resistance wears so paper thin, it rips to shreds. I shouldn’t want him at all. And I shouldn’t think about what would happen if this vacation fling becomes permanent. Weston is known for breaking records on the field. But what happens if he breaks my heart? He’s a Charmer is a brother’s best friend sports romance and a full-length standalone novel. It is Book 3 in the San Francisco Strikers series.
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Stacy Travis writes spicy small-town romance about bookish, sassy women and the hot heroes who fall for them. Writing makes her infinitely happy, but that might be the coffee talking. She’s worked as a journalist, camp counselor, TV writer, SAT tutor, corporate finance researcher, education technology editor, and non-fiction author. When she’s not on a deadline, she’s in running shoes complaining that all roads seem to go uphill. Or on the couch with a margarita. Or fangirling at a soccer game. She’s never met a dog she didn’t want to hug. And if you have no plans for Thanksgiving, she’ll probably invite you to dinner. Stacy lives in Los Angeles with her two sons and a poorly-trained rescue dog who hoards socks. And she’s serious about the Thanksgiving thing.
“All I had were nevers before you. Now, you’re my happily ever after.”
Happily Ever Never, an all-new steamy Montgomery Ink Legacy novella from New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan is available now!
New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ann Ryan returns to the Montgomery Ink world with a blind date romance between two unlikely strangers.
I love falling in love. Only I’m the worst at it.
My friends call me a serial first dater and I can’t blame them. All I want is a happy ever after, yet all I find are happy ever nevers.
This is my last chance. After this set up with my friend’s tattoo artist, I’m done. No more dating. No more chances.
If I don’t fall in love with Leo Johnson, I’ll give up on dating. Even if it shatters my dreams in the process.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
Keep reading for a look inside Happily Ever Never!
Was it me? The common denominator was me. Maybe I just wasn’t good at first dates. Perhaps I needed to get over myself and ignore the NO column completely. After all, I was nervous on first dates. On the other hand, maybe my dates were, too, and that was why everything ended up going horribly wrong. In fact, the only first date I’d had recently that had been nice, albeit without sparks, had ended up being with my new employer—my friend currently in love with one of my best friends. That wasn’t awkward at all. “As for paying my half of the bill…I just want to get out of here. Not that I don’t love the food. You guys do make an amazing bisque.” “We do. Will we see you soon?” the hostess asked, then cringed. “With your friends,” she amended. I smiled, nodded, and waved, ignoring the twinge in my chest. She likely assumed I would be here again for another first date that would inevitably crash and burn. There was that one time the guy bailed on me. Or the time another had shown up with his four kids—which was fine when I assumed it was a childcare issue. But no, he’d wanted to go on a date with his wife, needed a babysitter, and thought I could do it since I was sitting alone at the next table over. There was the time the man showed up, grinned at me, and ended up arrested on a bench warrant halfway through the hors d’oeuvres. At another restaurant, my date had tried to grope me under the table before we could even finish introducing ourselves. Then there was the other married guy. And the widower who cried in my arms as I cried with him, holding him as the waitstaff walked around us, nervously wondering what to do. That one had broken my heart. I still talked to him and had even introduced him to his new wife, a soft and sweet woman who wasn’t the first person he’d tried to date after his late wife passed. I had been through my share of first dates. And I hated it. I got to my car and checked my phone for the time. “Six-thirty p.m. That’s a new record for me.” I rolled my eyes and started my car, heading out of the parking lot. With a sigh, I saw a familiar lit sign and smiled. I did not want to go home. I didn’t want to watch TV, read a book, or study the latest articles and research for my field. I didn’t want to prep for my day with Luke, the little boy that I adored and cared for during the day. I didn’t want to focus on my childcare management classes or the lessons I would be teaching at upcoming seminars. I didn’t want to do any of that. So, instead, I pulled into the parking lot of Montgomery Ink Legacy, turned off the car, and hoped to see a familiar face or two. Some days when I came here, I even brought Luke since he loved to see the man I knew would one day be his stepfather.
I am in love with Silas Taters, the broken hero of Meghan Quinn’s newest hockey romance, Right Man Right Time. The third book of her Vancouver Agitators series, I’m certain this newest story is my favorite. You might ask why.
I’m a fiend for a broken hero. And Silas Taters is a broken man, complete with fortified walls against emotional attachments and a short fuse ignited by the thoughts of his cheating ex-girlfriend. Silas is a man who takes life a bit too seriously which means that Meghan Quinn must surround his character with people who add humor to his life. Even more, Silas is one of her dirtiest MMCs to date.
Enter the FMC of Right Man Right Time: Ollie. Even her name inspires a smile. She is exactly the heroine for Silas because, even though she is ten years younger than him, she brings light and life to his focused, sterile, protective life. From their first unexpected kiss, Quinn writes them as necessary for each other. She challenges and titillates him and makes him break down his emotional walls. I loved Ollie from the moment she decided to engage in a fake relationship of convenience with him. When he “forgets” her at their first hockey event because he’s fixated on his ex, my heart broke for Ollie. When she reminded him of his promise not to leave her side and she breaks down in front of him, my heart melted for her. I cheered for her when she stood up to his ex Sarah because Sarah was taking liberties with Silas. As much as I loved Silas, Ollie is the magic of their coupledom.
Besides Ollie, Posey adds more light to Silas’s life as he jockeys within his “relationship” with Ollie. When Ollie isn’t providing humor, Posey is, acting as a break from Silas’s seriousness. Pacey, Hornsby, and Holmes add to Silas’s characterization in the same way, but Posey is necessary to ameliorate the pain of Silas’s characterization and offers respite from his angst and anger.
Quinn’s recent books, including Right Man Right Time, are straight-up steamfests. When Silas and Ollie finally acknowledge and act upon their attraction, Quinn teases it in some of the spiciest physical scenes. These are combustible, and Quinn metes it out in sections of chapters throughout her book, turning up the heat with each new scene. It’s everything you love woven into an emotional, humorous romance.
Don’t miss Silas and Ollie. Right Man Right Time is my current favorite Vancouver Agitators…but there is always Holmes. I’m ready for his story, but I’m okay with Silas holding the title for now.
Tropes; single dad with teen daughter; one month nanny; forced proximity; grump/sunshine; small-town romance
I’ve decided that there is one thing that will make my heart sing: a grump/sunshine small-town romance written by Adriana Locke. Now, I’d LOVE for her to stop writing compelling family stories because, as a reader, I want them all, a story for each new character that inhabits the pages of her books. But…but she is but one author and it takes time…time that I often hate to pass awaiting the next story in a new series of intriguing characters. This is More Than I Could, Adriana Locke’s newest story.
Think grumpy single dad trying to parent a witty, intelligent, but complicated young woman. Add in a willful, sunshiney, intelligent, beautiful woman from the big city of Los Angeles who comes to small-town Peachwood Falls, Indiana to act as a nanny for the grumpy single dad’s thirteen-year-old daughter. From the moment they meet, Chase and Megan are combustible. Whether it’s Megan challenging Chase’s hard-headed ways or gruff communication, or it’s Chase trying but failing to stay away from Megan, they simply cannot help their attraction to each other.
Unfortunately, Megan’s situation is temporary, so Chase and Megan have to navigate their attraction while avoiding becoming serious. Best laid plans, right? This is the magic of More Than I Could. That fraught space along with Chase’s grumpiness in contrast to Megan’s spiritedness engage the reader. You don’t want to put this story down because (1) you love the characters – Megan, Chase, his brothers, the town folks and (2) you know that Locke will serve up a huge helping of a romancelandia happy ending. Which she does with aplomb.
In her acknowledgments, Locke had hoped to craft and release a story that would allow an escape from the nastiness of the world. And she does this well in More Than I Could. It’s a story that eases along with moments of triumph for its characters that keep you suspended all the way to the sweet and spicy final page. If you’re looking for a feel-good romance with a minor side of tension, you’ll want to read Adriana Locke’s More Than I Could.
Tropes: hockey romance; sports romance; neighbors turned lovers; hockey star and hockey trainer; mm romance
Sarina Bowen’s The New Guy is a fantastic addition to her Brooklyn Bruisers stories. Her newest book is satisfying as her characters, Hudson and Gavin, navigate professional sports life under the shadow of secrets. Bowen takes her time in drawing Hudson and Gavin together even though their chemistry is combustible from the moment they meet at the bar made famous throughout Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers/Brooklyn Hockey series. She carefully weaves in our favorite Brooklyn guys while introducing us to Gavin and Hudson, reminding us why we love these series so much. Even more, if she has the margin to write them, The New Guy provides a launching pad for a new series with a different hockey franchise.
Through Gavin and Hudson’s stories, Bowen interrogates fear from the perspective of a widowed single father wanting something for himself while negotiating a new life in Brooklyn and a staid hockey player who has hidden his true self from the world, hoping to find a team who will keep him. This means The New Guy has Gavin and Hudson moving one step forward and three steps back for much of the book. While their attraction flies off the page, building any relationship between the two is fraught with lots of starts and stops. Bowen uses these spaces to develop more than their attraction as they learn about each other and themselves. She waxes poetic about facing and overcoming fears when she writes, “maybe there’s something holding you back, too. Maybe you’re dyslexic, or depressed or carrying around some burden I can’t see. Let me just tip you off that holding it in doesn’t make it go away. Please learn from my mistakes. The time and energy I’ve spent on my fear could have been put to better use…” Bowen reminds us that we stagnate if we don’t face our biggest challenges, and it becomes impossible to find an abundant life if we live in constant fear.
This truth, returning to past Brooklyn Bruisers players, and the sincerity, sweetness, and spiciness of Gavin and Hudson made for an engaging and entertaining read that made it impossible to put down.
The breathtaking and sensual conclusion to the MFM deserted island romance!
Tropical Storm by Skye Warren & Amelia Wilde is now live!
A hurricane has come to Bishop’s Landing… Carter Morelli has been all over the world. Secret missions. Gunfights. The eye of a tropical hurricane. Nothing scares him more than home, where he looks into a mirror every time he sees his father. But when the two people he loves most are in danger, there’s only one place that’s safe for them. New York City. He won’t be able to avoid the place where he grew up. The place where demons from his past haunt him. The place where June and Theo can finally see the truth about him. TROPICAL STORM is book three in the Deserted Island trilogy. Find out what happens in the breathtaking conclusion of Carter Morelli’s scorching hot story!
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Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.
Amelia Wilde is a USA TODAY bestselling author of dangerous contemporary romance and loves it a little too much. She lives in Michigan with her husband and daughters. She spends most of her time typing furiously on an iPad and appreciating the natural splendor of her home state from where she likes it best: inside.
Dive in to this all new, fake dating, standalone sports romance featuring the hockey men you can’t get enough of and love! You won’t want to miss Silas’s love story! This steamy, age-gap romantic comedy will bring all the laughs while making your cheeks blush at the same time. One-click your copy of this sexy, laugh-out-loud romance today!
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.
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