✍🏻 Professor Romance's 4 1/2 ⭐️ Review: Katana Collins's Beefcakes ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

What do you get when you pair a former Mr. Universe/stuntman/baker and a current uptight, “colors within the lines” town manager together with a baking reality show about exes? You get Katana Collins’s romance, Beefcakes. While I am not the most prolific romance reader, I can tell you that this story read like a fresh take on second chance romance. From its first page to its last, you find yourself rooting for this couple to move beyond their past to find an exciting future together. What is here is a reminder that living an abundant life requires moving forward instead of always looking back. 

Why should you read this book?

  1. Neil is this anomaly of a hero. He’s an amalgamation of types. And I think this is Collins’s purpose. Throughout the story, Neil has to remind Elaina “Lainey” that she can be both intelligent and “buttoned-up” and also the carefree “party girl” of her youth. She can take chances and find freedom in losing her strict control. We see Collins crafting this lesson with Neil. He’s a former ex-Mr. Universe bodybuilder who moved into the life of a stuntman before he comes back to his hometown to help his mother’s bakery. He is also an amazing baker who crafts bakery items that are healthier, yet delicious. There is clearly a traditionally masculine side to Neil (we see this also evidenced in his possessiveness around Lainey), but there is also a more compassionate, feminine side to him. We find him worried over Lainey, even when he shows her his “cocky” side. Through his creation, Neil encompasses one of the truths of Collins’s Beefcakes: we can be more than one identity. We can be whomever we want to be. This is a profound message for her readers, an admonishment to be “more” than we allow for ourselves. 
  2. This is a story of second chances that emphasizes the need to stay and work through problems. Neil and Lainey are high school best friends with benefits. As they prepare to graduate high school, they have made plans for their future; however, at the last minute, Neil leaves town without a “good-bye” to Lainey. For ten years, Lainey nurses a broken heart, even though she engages in a nine-year relationship with another man. However, no one ever really compares to Neil, yet he left her without ever looking back. Or so she thinks. Neil has always regretted leaving Lainey, but he made a choice and he lives with it until he returns home. It is then that the gravity of his interest in Lainey becomes apparent, and he wants to do everything to win her back. Unfortunately, Lainey struggles with trust, not just due to Neil’s swift departure, but for other reasons. This is the reason for her control. In order for Neil to win her over, he will need to remedy his tendency to run when problems arise. I think this lesson is a profound one for today’s romance. We see this plotline in romantic stories, but it really is something that seems prevalent in today’s relationships. Through Neil and Lainey’s reconciliation, Collins proposes that the time and energy necessary for the maintenance of relationships breeds great rewards. Staying power and facing troubles together is always better than running from problems. It’s an important admonishment that Collins develops beautifully through Neil and Lainey’s story.
  3. The contemporization of second chance romance by using a common media attribute: reality television. Collins’s use of a reality television baking show connects us to our own society where these shows are the “bread and butter” of their networks. As a plot device, it forces Neil and Elaina together, but it makes it easy for her readers to imagine. We can see the bachelor-esque beginning of this show as Neil’s exes compete against each other for the coveted spot in the baking competition. It is here where Neil and Elaina are reminded of the depth of their chemistry. It is also in those moments where the readers can enjoy the cattiness of his former ex. This adds some spice and tension to Neil and Lainey’s journey towards reconciliation. As Collins crafts the show in her story, we can see the equivalent of a Cupcake Wars-ish reality show as a means to fully unpack Neil and Lainey’s soulmate-ish chemistry and their inherent conflict. Attaching their journey with something we can “see” and understand from our own world makes this more distinct, more significant, as their happy ending becomes threatened. In my eyes, this was smart of Collins, setting her apart from most second chance romances.

There are enough differences with Beefcakes from other second chance romances that it makes for an engaging read. I found myself falling into Neil and Elaina’s story and hoping for their reconciliation while laughing at Neil and his brother, Liam’s sudden social media celebrity, empathizing with Elaina’s trust issues, and applauding the beauty of Katana Collins’s epilogue. 

I signed up for an ARC for this book simply because I hadn’t read a story like it in terms of its characterization. It intrigued me, and I wanted to read these characters developed on the page. Katana Collins did not disappoint with Beefcakes. It was engaging and thoughtful and the type of second chance romance that makes you believe in happily-ever-afters for everyone. I am INDEED excited for any forthcoming stories in this series, maybe Liam’s story? Neil and Elaina in Beefcakes are an apt reminder that we must forgive and move forward to live a rich life without fear. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 Katana Collins has a second chance romance out TODAY! Elaina and Neil's chemistry is off the charts. You will laugh and cry with this one. ✍🏻

Beefcakes - RB banner

Things are about to get sticky…

Beefcakes, an all-new hilarious and sweet second-chance romance from Katana Collins, is available now!

9.11_Beefcakes

I might as well permanently add the label “Ex” to my name. I’m an Ex-Mr. Universe. Ex-Mr. Olympus. An Ex-Hollywood Stuntman. But no one from my small hometown cares anything about that. They only care that I’m the ex-boyfriend to the beloved Mayor’s daughter, Elaina Dyker.

And now, ten years later, I’m back, helping my siblings run my mother’s bakery while she takes on chemo. What should have been a routine cupcake delivery turns into utter chaos when the bachelorette party thinks I’m a stripper. And what’s worse? Elaina is the maid of honor.

But the meme about us sure went viral fast. My small hometown has become positively infested with tipsy bridesmaids looking for my erotic cupcakes.

Now Hollywood’s knocking again—and this time they want me and my ex, Mr. Beefcake and Ms. Prude, to star in a reality show.

It could solve all my problems—except her.

Beefcakes - AN

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2NJWR7w

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2KpxzK2

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Beefakeskc

Nook: http://bit.ly/374L6Am

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2q4uw30

Add BEEFCAKES to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2T8PhX4

Beefcakes - Teaser 6 AN

KC - PhotoAbout Katana

As an author and a story-teller, it is the lifeblood to which my ideas take flight. And I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Occasionally someone (ie – my husband) will try to secretly switch out my beloved regular coffee for decaf. I always know the difference. ALWAYS (I’m looking at you, SEAN).

I am incapable of achieving the perfect ponytail. I’m dyslexic. I can never wear white without spilling on myself. And I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice (gasp!).

When I was younger and stole my mother’s Harlequins to read beneath the covers with a flashlight (seriously, did we ALL do this? I think we did.), I wanted to read about the tough as nails heroine. The perfectly imperfect girl with quirks and attitude and sass. And the anti-heroes who were anything but “Prince Charming.” Forget the knight on a white horse… give me the bad boy on a motorcycle.

So, now, I write those romance novels I craved to see on the shelves all those years ago—the sassy heroines. The badass heroes. I spend my days in the throes of my imagination, and am loving every minute of it. I can travel anywhere and become anyone I want to be. One day, I’m a mechanic in Boston and the next, I’m a vampire stripping in Las Vegas.

Since penning my first novel back in 2012, I’m now an international author with 15 published books, in a wide range of contemporary romance genres–(Paranormal, New Adult, Small town, Erotic Suspense… you name it!).

After living for a decade in Brooklyn, NY, I took the plunge and moved to beautiful (although kinda chilly) Portland, Maine. I now live full time in ‘Vacationland’ with a kind of mean cat, a mellow chihuahua, and a very NOT mellow lab-pittie mix. Oh, yeah… there’s a husband who draws comics somewhere in that mix, too. I can usually be found in a coffee shop with my nose in my laptop wearing fabulous (albeit sometimes impractical) shoes.

I love connecting with readers and fellow sassy storytellers, so feel free to drop me an email at katana.collins@gmail.com or connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@katanacollins). You can find a list of my available books over on my Bookshelf or if you’ve already read a book, it would make my day if you wrote a review!

Threats, complaints, and criticisms should go to comments@fbi.gov.

Connect with Katana

Facebook: http://bit.ly/2R1qnq2

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2Ft8RFB

Amazon: https://amzn.to/35wm37j

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2sMSMbj

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2tCCD8b

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2T0o1dl

Join her reader group, Kat’s Kittens: http://bit.ly/2QvrP4P

Stay up to date with Katana by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2QQe0wM

Website: http://www.katanacollins.com

✍🏻 Every Little Piece of Me by Lexi Ryan is coming. I’ve got her GORGEOUS cover here. Preorder your copy of it today. ✍🏻

ELPoM - CR banner.jpg

Every Little Piece of Me, a sexy, standalone second-chance romance in the all-new Orchid Valley series by New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Lexi Ryan is coming May 19, 2020!

Copy of EveryLittlePieceOfMe-PRINT-FOR-WEB.jpg

It’s not every day you’re invited to your wife’s wedding . . . as a guest.

The first time I saw Brinley Knox, she was crying, draped in a ridiculous pink tulle dress for her sweet sixteen, and cursing the boy who’d broken her heart.

I was the hired help, a teenage charity case.

She was the daughter of the wealthiest family in Orchid Valley.

I knew a girl like Brinley was off-limits. That didn’t stop me from kissing her. Or from promising that if she were ever mine, I’d never let her go.

The last time I saw Brinley, she was sleeping, tangled in the sheets of my Vegas penthouse, my diamond glittering on her finger.

I returned three hours later to an empty bed, the ring on the dresser, and a goodbye note.

We haven’t spoken in the six months since, but I’m not the kind of guy who’d file for a divorce he doesn’t want.

Until I got this damn invitation, it never occurred to me that Brinley didn’t remember our impulsive Vegas nuptials.

It’s time to return to Orchid Valley and remind the bride-to-be that I’m a man who keeps his promises.

Copy of EveryLittlePieceOfMe AMAZON.jpg

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/37TzS0I

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/EveryLittlePieceofMeLR

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2v4vKOd

Nook: http://bit.ly/391ewjc

Kobo: http://bit.ly/3a2tYvz

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2PpUpDM

ELPoM - CR.jpg

Photographer: Sara Eirew

Cover Designer: Hang Le

About Lexi:

Lexi Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of emotional romance that sizzles. A former academic and English professor, Lexi considers herself the luckiest girl around to make a living through storytelling. She loves spending time with her crazy kids, weightlifting, ice cream, swoony heroes, and vodka martinis.

Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband, two children, and a spoiled dog. You can find her at her website: http://www.lexiryan.com

Connect with Lexi:

Website: http://www.lexiryan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexiryanauthor
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/qymaH
Bookbub: http://www.bookbub.com/authors/lexi-ryanv
Instagram: http://instagram.com/writerlexiryanv
Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerlexiryan
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2856947.Lexi_Ryan
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bIYjGa

✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4 ⭐️ Review: Kim Karr’s The Pretend Prince – Live TODAY! ✍🏻

Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kim Karr grabbed my attention initially with her Men of Laguna series. She has this way of creating heroes and heroines who find themselves at odds. In that tension, you find them falling dramatically in love and lust. It’s that tension that makes her writing exciting, pulling her reader into her stories. Over the past year or so, Karr has created a royalty series, The Royals. With the first book in the series of standalones, Washed Up Royal, I was hooked. With the second book, Would Be Royal, I fell further under her spell. Wannabe Heir cemented my undying love for this series of standalones. 

Now, Karr has released The Pretend Prince, another standalone story about Julius Monaco, a prince who is a former Bachelor contestant who fell in love with his “perfect” match only to find out that she wasn’t who he thought her to be. Spurning her, they haven’t seen each other in three years, three long years that separated them physically, but never emotionally. They are brought back into each other’s lives, and Julius’s heroine, Ophelia, wants to make amends for her prior choices. Julius, however, still feels angry, so he places his anger on her. Faced with an issue created by Ophelia’s employer, Julius and Ophelia must pretend to fall in love again. These two struggle between their past feelings for each other, their overwhelming chemistry, and Julius’s anger over Ophelia’s betrayal. Will Julius ever forgive Ophelia and find a happily-ever-after with her? Or is Ophelia’s love for Julius doomed?

I have to admit that this story, of the four, is my least favorite. Yet, there is quite a bit of it that I loved:

  1. The idea behind the story. Here’s the thing. Shows such as The Bachelor and Love is Blind are instant reality television gold. People love the competition of these types of shows, and Karr using it as the vehicle for both Julius and Ophelia falling in love and breaking apart makes the story seem relevant and contemporary. It’s a nice little twist to a fairly common “opposites attract, second chance” contemporary romance.
  2. The Queen’s character. Honestly, Julius’s grandmother, the Queen, steals the entire book. She is your wizened, scheming grandmother who knows all when her grandson believes she’s ignorant of his situation. As such, her machinations behind the scenes bring Julius and Ophelia together in a way that allows them to fall back into love. Every moment she was on the page made this reader happy. She is a shot of humor in this story of second chances.
  3. Karr’s incorporation of the larger Royals community into her story reminds us of this great little series. In each of her books, Karr connects us back to her other Royals. It might be a mention or even an insertion of a former character into the present one that builds feelings of nostalgia. There is a little bit of it in The Pretend Prince. It’s enough that we realize Karr can build universes for her characters, a trait that other romance writers might struggle with. 

Now, where did I find challenges with this story?

  1. Julius and Ophelia’s relationship. I love a second chance romance. There is more tension built into these stories that create moments of angst and a resolution that usually feels overwhelmingly satisfying. This same tension belies Julius and Ophelia’s relationship; however, Karr carries it for too long in the story. I began to lose respect for Julius as he figuratively flagellated Ophelia for her supposed deception. He’s inconsiderate and temperamental in ways that feel immature. This is a man who has taken on the mantle of his grandfather’s company and made it better. Yet, he doesn’t give Ophelia the consideration of an explanation and holds it against her for much of the story. Even more, he uses physicality to his own ends and it becomes a penance for Ophelia which felt unhealthy. Ophelia accepts this as her plight towards redemption. However, it felt icky in ways to approve of Julius’s behavior. Honestly, I wanted to punch him at times because he’s stubborn and dogmatic. For someone who thought Ophelia was his soulmate, it takes him most of the story to accept her truth. That didn’t sit right with me. 
  2. The story at times felt very one-note. There were parts of the story that never were resolved or they were resolved too easily, namely the ire between Ophelia’s boss, Raquel, and Julius. She was the impetus for Ophelia and Julius reconnecting, and her ministrations of it were purely self-serving. I would have liked a better resolution to her part of the story than Karr provided. 

All of this aside, The Pretend Prince is more of what Karr serves up well. Once again, her readers find the hero and heroine at odds, chemistry flowing off the page. It’s clear from the beginning of this story that Julius and Ophelia are destined for each other. However, Karr never makes it easy for them. Whether it’s her ReWined series or her Men of Laguna or any of her princes, the journey towards love is a battlefield, and her characters either run or strategically place themselves among her mines. In the end, it makes for an explosive, compelling reading experience and her readers feel like the happy ending is well worth the battle. The Pretend Prince is no different and a great afternoon read during our troubled times. 

In love and romance,

Professor A

✍🏻 Kim Karr’s The Pretend Prince is LIVE! This is a second chance romance with a brooding prince and his gorgeous commoner soulmate. Grab your copy today! ✍🏻

🔥🔥 NEW RELEASE 🔥🔥

The Pretend Prince by Kim Karr is LIVE and FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

an adorable & fun & sexy second-chance Royal Romance!!” ~Bianca, BJ’s Book Blog

Not her. No way. Never again.

But I need a fake girlfriend…fast.

I’m about to lose everything.

And I know just the person who can help.

The little liar that she is.

Lia Heart and I share a past.

Not just the dirty, sweaty, get tangled between-the-sheets kind.

Getting over her wasn’t easy.

But convincing her to help should be.

She owes me.

First I have to suck it up and pretend she didn’t rip my heart from my chest.

Easier said than done.

I can’t forgive or forget.

Then again, this is just business.

Nothing more.

Turns out my ‘girlfriend’ is as sweet and delicious as ever.

Temptation and chaos wrapped in a nice little package.

She’s my heaven and hell.

When resisting her proves impossible, I tell myself it’s only sex.

That a hate f-ck is just that.

Right?

I can’t possibly be falling.

Can I?

No way. Not for her. Never again.

Famous last words.

AVAILABLE NOW & FREE IN KU!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HJj4ie

Paperback: http://bit.ly/TPP-Paperback

Audible: http://bit.ly/TPP-Audible

Add to GR: http://bit.ly/TPP-GR

The author is giving away a signed set of the series (open international) on her FB page. Stop by to enter: https://www.facebook.com/132218663607627/posts/1478323558997124/

Reader * Chocolate Lover * Writer * Coffee Lover * Romantic * Beach Lover * Yoga Beginner

Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eighteen novels. Best known for writing sexy contemporary love stories, she enjoys bringing flawed characters to life.

Her romances are raw, real, and explosive.

Her characters will make you laugh, make you cry, make you feel.

And her happily-ever-afters are always swoon worthy.

From the brooding rock star to the arrogant millionaire. From the witty damsel-in-distress to the sassy high-powered business woman. No two storylines are ever alike.

Get ready to fall in love.

PRIVATE READER GROUP: Hang out with Kim’s Krew! (Hot guys, fun posts, & giveaways!)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/630362490322805/

WEBSITE: My website has all you need to know about me and my books!

http://www.authorkimkarr.com

NEWSLETTER: Sign up for my newsletter and get emails directly to your inbox whenever I release a book, have a sale, or host exclusive giveaways!

https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/view/537821#tab_form

MY BOOKS: To see what books I have available at your favorite retailer, simply click the links below:

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1PHV3aT

IBOOKS: http://apple.co/1I4zzlT

B&N: http://bit.ly/1X6Ar0m

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1T8fxIm

GOOGLE PLAY: http://bit.ly/1I4zLSi

AMAZON: Follow me on Amazon and get notified by them of my latest releases when they happen!

http://amzn.to/1RhljZf

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimKarr/

✍🏻 Corinne Michaels’s All I Ask is Live today! Grab your copy of this emotional breathtaking story of second chances ✍🏻

AIA - RB banner.jpg

From the New York Times bestselling author of One Last Time comes a breathtaking story about first love, second chances, and starting over.

All I Ask, a new standalone contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling author Corinne Michaels is now LIVE!

AllIAsk7_RGB302_book cover.jpg

Teagan Berkley is trying her best. A single mom raising a precocious teen, she may have given up on her dreams, but she’s accepted her life in her small beachside hometown. Now the one person who abandoned her when she needed him the most has returned, bringing back memories of what might have been.

Derek Hartz arrives in town with a teenage daughter – and he’s full of guilt over his failed marriage and the way he ended his friendship with Teagan. He’s determined to set things right with her, but first he needs to gain her trust. Something he’s not convinced he deserves.

As Teagan and Derek open up to each other-and confess their deepest secrets-it’s impossible for them to deny what’s always been between them. But just when their happily ever after is within reach, their complicated history surfaces again and threatens to keep them apart. Forever.

AIA - AN.jpg

Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HeWRs2

Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/AllIAskCM

Apple Books: https://apple.co/31KBAQs

Nook: http://bit.ly/31JTRxx

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Sl4xj5

Google Play: http://bit.ly/31KvuzA

Audible: https://amzn.to/2SH9Ckw

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/31MMp4u

Teaser.jpg

Meet Corinne:

Corinne Michaels is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller author. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun-loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife.

After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

Connect with Corinne:

Facebook: https://bit.ly/1iwLh6y

Twitter: https://bit.ly/2Jcp29z

Instagram: https://bit.ly/2L1Vzo6

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2N1H2Gb

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NVZmhv

Pinterest: https://bit.ly/2m7MkEL

Bookbub: https://bit.ly/2yc6rss

Stay up to date with Corinne and sign up for her mailing list:

To sign up for monthly text alerts: Text CMBOOKS TO 77948

*US only due to carrier restrictions*

✍🏻 Meghan March’s Creole Kingpin is LIVE and Available on multiple platforms. Have you downloaded Magnolia’s story yet? This is a duet you do NOT want to miss. This is a 5 ⭐️ romance. ✍🏻

Creole Kingpin Blog Tour

March 10, 2020

New York Times bestselling author Meghan March goes back to New Orleans and the world of Lachlan Mount with a dangerous and bold new anti-hero. 

The thing about ghosts is they’re supposed to stay dead. 

That’s exactly what I am, but I can’t stay away from Magnolia Marie Maison for one more day, let alone another year.

We’ve already got fifteen of those between us.

As it stands, she’ll want to kill me as soon as she lays eyes on me. And knowing her, she’s completely up to the task.

But I’m a man on a mission, and I’ve got everything riding on this.

So, here I come, Magnolia. This ghost is ready for whatever you got.

After all, there’s only one way I want this to end—’til death do us part.

Creole Kingpin is the first book in the Magnolia Duet. Magnolia’s story concludes in  Madam Temptress releasing April 14, 2020. 

Add to your Goodreads TBR: http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinGR

Where to buy:

https://meghanmarch.com/creole-kingpin

Amazon: 

mybook.to/creolekingpin

Apple Books: 

http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinApple

B&N: 

http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinBN

Kobo: 

http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinKobo

Google Play: 

http://bit.ly/CreoleKingpinGP

About the author:

Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers: http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

To get the inside scoop on a daily basis, search Meghan March’s Runaway Readers on Facebook and join the fun!

FACEBOOK 

WEBSITE | 

INSTAGRAM 

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | 

TWITTER | 

BOOKBUB