Category Archives: Nicola Rendell

SO GOOD (Alpha Dogs #1) by NICOLA RENDELL :: REVIEW

Standalone sexy romantic friends to lovers rom-com

SYNOPSIS

On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.

But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?

It feels so good.

SO GOOD is available to purchase below
           

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘Love is friendship set on fire ‘ Jeremy Taylor

Wow! Wow! Double wow’s are needed here because Max and Rosie’s friendship didn’t just catch on fire, it exploded into an inferno! Talk about bloody hot! These two burned up the pages as the chemistry between them went from zero to sixty in seconds flat!

‘With my tongue, I made her understand all the shit I hadn’t yet said. I want you. I adore you. I need to be inside you.’

Max and Rosie’s relationship became the ultimate friends to lovers’ romance. Theirs was a friendship that spanned twenty years and saw them through highs and lows, each being a shoulder to lean on, as they shared so much of their lives together. It was a friendship that saw them go through their share of hook-ups and failed relationships which never really stood a chance, because Rosie and Max couldn’t see what was standing right before them. Though, we expect Max knew he wanted Rosie way before she even realised!

‘She was so important to me, such an integral part of my world.’

After twenty years in the friend zone, things changed the day Max caught Rosie in the nuddy! Not a stitch to be had. Seeing Rosie bare naked sent a synapsis to his brain that had Max declaring her his! We could almost feel the rumble of him professing ‘mine‘ through our Kindles!

‘I fucking adored her. Adored her so hard it hurt.’

So, what happens when your friend tells you he wants you, and desperately so? Do you take the plunge at the risk of ruining the friendship or do you hold out? Well, there was no way the latter was an option once the sparks began to fly between Rosie and Max. No sirreee…..we would have combusted if they didn’t release their pent up sexual attraction! Even our Kindles would have had blue balls!

‘He was the gallon of Rocky Road I should not have. He was the box of chocolates I should not eat.’

We adore Nicola Rendell’s stories and characters, with So Good providing the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon entertainment. It was low on angst and drama and high on sweetness, sexiness, silliness and swooniness…oh the swooning, but not for the reason you would expect.

You see, as much as Rosie and Max’s romance set our pulses racing, the swoon factor was provided by one of the most sweetest, cutest, and heart-warming relationships you could imagine. It was the Dogmance between Max and the little dog he rescued, Cupcake, the Chihuahua mix who had this red blooded, possessive, dirty talking, gruff, alpha Maine carpenter turning to utter mush, and in turn turning these two avid dog lovers into complete mush! We were putty in their hands!

“….I want to be the one to treat you like you deserve.”

We’ve read everything this author has written and loved them all, and whilst So Good may not be our favourite, it still retained everything we adore about this lady’s work. Seriously, the way she weaves an animal tale into her stories lately has left us in fits of giggles and puddles of love. Being dog owners we always relate and can picture every experience she draws on as though we’re watching it unfold.

So, if you’re looking for an easy read that’ll put a huge smile on your face, a dirty talking sexy sweet alpha, a cute heroine, a savage and sassy feline named Julia Caesar, and a sweet as pie dog named Cupcake, we’re sure So Good is going to tick all those boxes!

“In my eyes, you’re everything.”

4.5 Stars


TBB RECOMMENDATIONS from NICOLA
Click on covers for more details



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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Nicola Rendell, Pick an Author

CHAPTER REVEAL :: SO GOOD (An Alpha Dogs Novel) by NICOLA RENDELL


SNEAK PEEK CHAPTER ONE REVEAL – SO GOOD by NICOLA RENDELL


If friends to lovers stories, with a sexy alpha male who has an adorable soft spot for his best friend Rosie and his adopted dog, Cupcake, is what you’re in the mood for, then SO GOOD is the book for you! Steamy, sweet, funny and soooo swoony! You’ll see what we mean when you check out the first chapter we have for you!
Oh and releasing 7th August and available to pre order below!

‘This man. How had I not seen this underside of him? This filthy gorgeous talk that made me so crazy?’

 

SYNOPSIS

On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.

But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?

It feels so good.
SO GOOD is available to pre order below
           

 
CHAPTER ONE – SO GOOD by NICOLA RENDELL


1
Max


I wasn’t planning to see her naked—I swear to God, I wasn’t. The day was a scorcher, one of those godforsaken New England summer days that makes a guy wonder how he ever said fuck you to winter. I stood on the roof her house, three stories above the Maine woods, with a far-off view of the ocean. It was pretty, yeah, like the kind of shit real estate companies put on complimentary calendars. But in that heat, it was like standing on top of a goddamned toaster, turned all the way to burnt. I could feel that shit in my socks, straight through my work boots. At my feet was a stack of shake shingles, old school, to replace the ones that were missing. Her house had a few slow leaks, and one over her bathroom that made the ceiling look like a huge Rorschach test. She said it definitely looked like a rose in bloom, I said it definitely looked like Batman. But I told her hidden meanings wouldn’t make shit for difference when the ceiling collapsed into the tub, so there I was. Fucking miserable work, but I was glad to do it. Glad to do anything for her—anything she needed at all.
In the forest on every side around the cottage, the cicadas screeched. It sounded like a needle squeaking off a record player. I knelt down by the stack of shingles, using my utility knife to score a line through one to fit a nearby gap. I snapped it with my hands and tossed the scrap end off the edge of the roof. A trickle of sweat ran down my forehead, and I wiped my face with my forearm. One droplet got away, sparkling in the sun. It caught my eye, and I watched it fall, as it landed on the skylight window with a splat.

​And that was when it happened. Boom.

​There she was, right under me. She couldn’t have been more than six feet away, but she felt even closer. I had a direct line of sight down into her gorgeous, soft cleavage, bright and pure in the sunshine. Maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was the surprise of seeing her, but at first I didn’t really process that it was Rosie at all. My dude brain said, I want that woman.

​Then my regular brain said, Don’t be an asshole, man. It’s Rosie. Have some respect.

Respect I definitely had, but of course I’d thought about seeing her naked before. She was so fucking beautiful that any man would have thought about it. Sometimes, like right then looking down into her dress, I couldn’t fucking help it. Sometimes we’d be out doing something ordinary, like eating dinner, or I’d be changing her oil, or she’d be teaching me to do shit I should have learned at some point in the last 34 years, like iron a dress shirt without screwing up the collar, and I’d catch myself watching her cleavage rise and fall as she breathed, or thinking how nice her legs were, and I’d think, Holy hell.

Now she was directly underneath the skylight. The angle of the sun cast my shadow down the roofline, away from the skylight, so I didn’t give myself away. Like that, I watched her. I gave in to my dude brain and just took her in. Her light brown hair glinted, and a beam of light caught the curve of her shoulder.
That was when the goddamned striptease started, beginning with the left strap of her sundress.

Her movements were graceful, sexy, sassy—the sway of her hips, the shake of her shoulders. I realized I might be in real fucking trouble, because I loved that sexy sass. It wasn’t normal Rosie-cute. It was naughty, like nothing I’d ever seen her do before. I liked it so much, I couldn’t look away. She shimmied out of her sundress, and it fell to the floor in a pool at her feet. No big deal, I tried to tell myself. I’d seen her in her bikini a thousand times. This was no different from that.
Except it was, because then she reached around to undo her bra. Before I could tell myself Don’t look, dude. It’s Rosie, don’t look, it was too fucking late. The straps slid down off her shoulders, and for one perfect second got caught on her nipples, swinging in the air before falling to the floor.

Holy…

I pressed my clenched fist to my mouth and groaned into my hand. All my blood was leaving my head. The roofline was getting wobbly.
It wasn’t like I didn’t know her curves; we’d spent whole summers on the beach—I knew her shape and her softness, I knew her lines and her freckles. Every curve of Rosie Madden was sacred in my book. Fucking douchebags on the beach giving her eyes had to answer to me and my eyes, right behind her. She did that to me—I was one punch away from defending her honor, always. But this? This was different. Seeing your best friend in a bikini at a clam bake is one thing. Protecting your best friend from assholes with wandering eyes is part of the guy-girl best friend creed. But seeing your best friend, absolutely naked in her bedroom, without knowing she can see you? That was a different deal.

…Shit.

Part of me knew I should keep my eyes off of her. She thought she was in private, I had no business spying. Anyway, I didn’t want to be that guy. I hated that guy. But the other part of me, fuck. The other part of me was nothing but want.

Then she bent at the hips, and time slowed down, like some kind of stop-motion Jackie Chan kung fu sequence. All the cicadas went silent, at least in my head they did. The wind stopped blowing through the trees. It was just her, and her perfection, in the sunshine underneath me. I felt like I was on one of those glass-bottomed boats, looking at a world I never knew existed.

She tossed her bra aside, and it landed on her neatly made bed. She shimmied out of her panties, shaking her ass as she did. I growled into my fist, and that’s when I went down into a crouch.

Because as she shimmied I saw it in a V above her ass. My kryptonite. A skimpy thong.

All these years, all these decades, I’d had her pegged for cute cotton panties—pastel polka dots, thin stripes, shit that was sweet and sensible. But I was so fucking wrong. Black. Strappy. Tiny. Not sensible at all. Now it was in a rolled-up ball at her ankles. Using her toes, she plucked her panties from the floor, and caught them on one finger.

Fucking A.

She was completely naked, not a thread on her. Every thought I’d ever had got sucked out of my brain, like dishwater down the sink drain. What was left was only one true thing, and it wasn’t about her ass, or her skin, or her breasts. It was the one thing I think I’d always known but never let myself feel. Until that moment.

She is the most beautiful woman in the world.

Part of the reason I thought that was, yeah, obviously, she was fucking stunning, every inch of her straight out of a dream. Not just my dream, either. Guys would slow down on Main Street to give her the elevator stare, and I’d quietly crack my knuckles and give them don’t-you-fucking-dare stares. But the other part, the part that wasn’t in my gut but that was in my heart, was that I fucking adored her. Adored her so hard it hurt.

She crouched down to pick up her dress, lifting the delicate straps with her small, sweet fingers. She pivoted, so I had a view of her other side of her body for the first time. There it was.

The tattoo.

I groaned again. I wasn’t prepared for this shit; three stories up, that body was dangerous. It was a rose tattoo, snaking around her hip, on the milk-white skin that was always under her bikini bottoms. The part of her I’d never seen. It was serious ink, real art, not some namby-pamby temporary tattoo or some amateur shit she might’ve gotten in an hour at a tattoo parlor on a dare on a cruise to Puerto Rico. It was complicated, detailed, and artful. Multiple visits to some tattoo artist, touching that creamy skin—goddamn.

It took every fucking ounce of strength I had, but I did manage to look away. I felt as disoriented as if I’d been sucker punched. Not cotton—lace. Not cute—hot. Not my friend—my fucking fantasy.

She was so important to me, such an integral part of my world, that I’d never let myself think of her as more than what she was. She was like running water, or electricity, or the sunshine itself. She was one of those things that was perfect exactly as it was, and one of those things only an idiot would want to change. I never looked at her and thought, I wish I could have more of her than I do already. That would be like thinking, I wish I could turn that cold glass of water into a swimming pool. Or, I wish electricity came through the air. Fuck that noise. Perfect things are perfect things, and Rosie Madden was a perfect goddamned thing, from the tips of her toes to the freckles on her nose. And that rose, holy fuck, that rose.

I was strong, but not that strong, and I let my eyes move down again. She’d disappeared from view, mostly, except for the edge of her ass. I watched her rifle through her closet, and a few dresses fluttered onto her bed. On her bedside table, I caught a glimpse of the picture she always kept there, of the two of us together. The memories flew back at me like a runaway train. The first time I’d ever seen her was the day my parents and I moved to Truelove, at the start of middle school. The first time I ever saw her, she was volunteering at the community gardens. She had a smudge of dirt on her cheek, and I thought she’d looked super badass. I’d helped her dig up carrots and had been too fucking tongue-tied to say a goddamned word.

That’s how I felt, all over again times a thousand.

I’d never made a move. She’d cried on my shoulder through a line of guys who were never good enough for her. Jocks and pricks and a brief and seriously unfortunate stint with a guy who was a drummer for a reggae band who I hated so much it made me grind my teeth. But I never said shit about it. She was perfect even when she made mistakes. Tips of her toes. Freckles on her nose.

Never mind that rose. Like Banksy took on a temple.

One more time, I glanced down. Now she was sitting on her bed, and I saw that dark V shadow between her thighs. Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. I watched her put on a pair of red panties. Equally skimpy, equally not-sensible, equally ball-busting. They were only tragic because they hid the parts of her I’d never seen before.
Christ. All. Mighty.

As the world started to spin, I realized fixing the shingles could wait. I’d been working on old houses long enough to know that if you found yourself on a dangerously sloping roof and felt like you might be less than 100% on the ball, you needed to reconsider your game plan. I needed to get my shit together—that body had me totally fucking derailed. So I made my way down the roof, basically bouldering down backward. I focused on my grip, and my steps, like a climber coming down from Everest without enough oxygen. When I got to the gutter, I worked my way around the corner, standing on the eave, and hooked my leg over my ladder, making sure to put one foot after another and keep a tight grip on every rung.

When I stepped off the ladder, I grabbed a bottle of water that she’d left for me and filled up my palm and then splashed my face. My sweat stung my eyes through the droplets of water, and I rubbed away the tears. I heard the hinges on the screen door creak. “All done?” she asked.
I opened my eyes. They stung like hell, but I didn’t give a fuck. There she was, in a dress I’d seen before. Striped and sweet. But now I knew the secret. There were red panties under there. Red. Cherry red. My eyes fell on that part of her hip that I knew was inked.
“Max?”
I managed somehow to snap out of it. “Sorry. Getting there. Spotted something weird with the skylight.”
Rosie cocked her head. “Were you up there? Above my room?”
Awesome, dude. Smooth. “Just noticed it out of the corner of my eye.”
“I don’t like you being on the roof.” She pursed her lips. “Too steep. Promise you’ll get some ropes up there or something? Promise?” She reached out and put her hand to my arm, her fingers with their short pink nails pressing into my tanned skin. I had a quick but totally unavoidable image of her gripping my forearm in a very different situation. I want that. So fucking…
Oh, for fuck’s sake.

When I didn’t answer—I knew that if I opened my mouth the first words out would be You. Me. Right Now.—she looked up at the roof and squinted into the sun. She peered suspiciously up at me and shifted her nose, kind of like a bunny. Adorable. She wasn’t very tall, so whenever she looked at me she had to lift her chin, which used to be cute. But now looked…like everything I’d ever wanted. “Have you had too much sun?”
​I was vaguely aware that she’d said some words, but I wasn’t hearing them because I realized that I couldn’t see her bra straps, so that had to mean she was she was wearing a strapless…

Knock. That. Shit. Off. “I’m good.”

“Mmm.” She nodded and furrowed her delicate eyebrows, which had never looked so pretty as they did at that moment. I didn’t even know eyebrows could be pretty. They’re eyebrows, for fuck’s sake. But suddenly I felt like for the last ten years, I’d been looking at her through a standard definition television, with a shitty cable connection. Now someone had handed me an HDMI cable, and she was in 1080 dots per inch. Christ.
“Lemme make you a sandwich. You’re acting strange.”

Rather than answer her, I dumped the remaining half a bottle of water over my head, like Andre Agassi used to do between break points at the French Open.
“Ham? Or turkey? I’ve got both. Or chicken salad!” She clapped her hands together, compressing her cleavage. “Do you want a pickle?”
She means an actual pickle, you fuckwit. “Surprise me,” I told her, and dragged my eyes off the curve of her cleavage. I grabbed the bottom of my T-shirt and pressed it to my eyes. I had to get out of there. I needed a cold shower, or a call from my tax guy, or an unexpectedly urgent trip to the DMV—anything to stop myself seeing her stark naked every goddamned time I looked at her. Anything to get my mind off that ink.
As I wiped my face, she cleared her throat, and I dropped my shirt. “What?”
She pressed her lips together and rocked back on her sandals. “Nothing!”
I followed her eyes and glanced down at my fly, but the stallion was still in the barn. “Come on,” I said, finding myself smiling right along with her. “What are you looking at?”
“Just…” She swallowed hard. “Looking good there, champ.” She glanced at my stomach, where I’d shown her my bare abs. She made a fist and gave me a mock punch, soft and sweet. “That P90X is working great for you.”

Here we go again with the fitness videos. For everything else she was—beautiful, smart, funny—she was also a fucking ball-buster sometimes. She’d worked up this whole narrative that I spent my nights with Tony Horton on my houseboat, getting cut and doing reps while I drank protein shakes with a straw straight from the blender. It was her only explanation for why I didn’t have a girlfriend. P90X it had to be, she’d said. Or maybe, she’d whispered like a co-conspirator, “Jazzercise.” Now, though, I had a better idea than ever about why I was so picky: not a single woman held a candle to her. I’d been fucking blind to it, but now the mist had burned right off. “I’ve never even seen the opening sequence. Never have. Never will.”

“They’re streaming now!”

​“Christ.”

Rosie snorted and made a long wheeeeee. “Sure. Surrrrrrre,” she said, stifling her giggle. “One ham-and-turkey, coming right up.” She spun on her sandals and disappeared into the house. Hips swinging. Red panties invisible, but not to me.

Not anymore.

TBB STANDALONE RECOMMENDED READS by NICOLA
(Click on cover for our reviews and purchase links)


About the Author

Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.

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JUST LIKE THAT by NICOLA RENDELL :: REVIEW & EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Now Live!
Standalone sexy, sweet, steamy rom-com

SYNOPSIS

“I bet I can untangle you.”

At an airport baggage claim, Penny Darling looks up from her knotted mess of ear buds to find the sexiest hunk of man she’s ever seen. He’s got a military haircut, a scar through his eyebrow, and he’s rocking a pastel pink dress shirt like only a real man can. But Penny is on a man-free diet so she leaves the airport without succumbing to his delicious double-entendres…or his dreamy dimples.

PI Russ Macklin can’t take his eyes off Penny. As she sashays out of the airport with hips swaying and curls bouncing, he suspects they may share more than just sweltering chemistry. That suitcase she’s rolling along behind her? It looks a lot like his.

Because it is.

When he tracks her down, he holds her bag hostage in exchange for a date. Their night begins with margaritas and ends in urgent care, and Russ proves that Cosmo’s theory about a very particular type of orgasm was oh-so-wrong.

In Penny, Russ finds a small-town sweetheart with a very naughty side. For the first time ever, he’s thinking about picket fences. Penny finds in Russ a loving, caring man who understands the power of massaging showerheads.

But Russ is only in Port Flamingo for a week. They agree it’ll be a fling and nothing more. Because really, they can’t fall ass-over-teakettle in love just like that…

Can they?
Dual POV. No cheating.
Featuring a big drooly dog named Guppy.

JUST LIKE THAT is now available to purchase below

                    


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 unbelievably fabulous stars!

‘I don’t believe in much, but I do believe that guys who fuck with their socks on should be taken out back and punched in the face.’

Nicola Rendell has asserted herself as one of our favourite one-click Authors. We’ve read every single book she’s published and we’ve loved them all. Picking up Just Like That was our weekend treat and we excitedly read it in one sitting, swept up in this well-written, hilarious, sweet, romantic and passionate story. Oh and we have to give props for the most fabulously written pet. We’re not sure how Nicola knows our dogs, but Guppy is pretty much a caricature of our very own Joey and Floyd!

“Every night at about 5:55, he starts to hump his bed. It’s really best if you don’t interrupt him. And he doesn’t like when you stare.”

Now, we hate dieting, it’s a necessary evil, but no way would we go on a man diet like our Penny Darling did, especially when Russ Macklin is about. Our jaws dropped and we came over all unnecessary because damn that man was the epitome of lusciousness. No question, we have a new book boyfriend for that coveted shelf and we’re not letting him go.

‘He’s dark and sweet and funny. Russ Macklin is all the best things at once.’

Just Like That had everything that makes us smile and laugh out loud, we love this Author’s sense of humour and comedic timing, and as for those hot moments, well hose us down and turn us over because we’re done. Hot actually, doesn’t even come close, we were on fire, baby!

‘He’s dominant, knows what he wants, and is damned well going to take it.’

A chance meeting changed the lives of two beautiful people who immediately felt an intense attraction. Two people who had their own lovable quirks and were set in their ways. But the heart wants what it wants and love -of the soul mate variety- can’t be denied.

‘…then here comes this little tornado of a sweetheart, with her volunteering and her home canning, and her small-town heart, and her fucking adorable aprons, and wrecks me.’

Now, we’re not huge fans of insta love and this romance is as insta as it gets and for that reason we did find it hard to connect to the romance aspect in the first thirty percent or so. However, the seed was sown and we ultimately fell hook line and sinker the further we got into this story. It was all just so bubble-gum pink with a Bunsen burner thrown into the mix whilst it continuously tickled our funny bone. Nicola Rendell is certainly a queen of sexy romantic comedies, of that there’s no question. Words to the wise though, if you’re anything like us you may want to google a certain term…you’ll know what we mean when you read this story. Our only advice….proceed with caution and make sure no one can see your google result *wink wink – nudge nudge*.

“We’re in deep, Penny.”

“I know.”

“I never want to come up for air.”

“Me neither.”

 


JUST LIKE THAT
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Russ

She takes a sledgehammer in both hands and brings it down hard. The ball in the cylinder almost hits the top, but not quite. Penny raises one clenched fist in the air, cursing the ball through giggles.

“Your girl’s got some guns on her!” says the big guy running the ball-and-hammer.

I hand him another raffle ticket, and he tucks it into his front pocket, which is stuffed almost to bursting. My girl. It’s too soon for that, way too soon. But still, I like the sound of it. The ring to it. The simplicity of that beautiful fucking idea. “She sure does.”

Wham goes the hammer again, ding goes the bell, and the lights at the top come to life, slightly dimmed against the afternoon sun. “Yaaaay!” she cheers, beaming. “What’d I win?”

“Got your choice of a coconut,” the guy explains, holding one up that still has a $2.99 sticker on it from the grocery, “or a goldfish,” which he holds out in a plastic sandwich bag.

My snort sneaks up on me out of nowhere, but Penny is much more polite. In her eyes, though, I can see that sassy twinkle. What kind of shitty prize is a goldfish? So she chooses the coconut, smiling and laughing as the big guy drives a gleaming railroad spike into the top, and sticks a straw inside.

I grab my camera from around my neck—key equipment if you’re in the PI-location-scout trade—and make like I’m going to take a picture of her. At first, I have zero intention of taking a picture of her, because there’s a shitload of guys here who look seriously shady. That’s the best thing about local carnivals. Need a guy who “has the skills required” to unfasten an ankle bracelet? Carnival. Need to launder some money fast? Town fair. Need to get a sense of a crooked mayor’s potential known associates, criminal, personal, and somewhere in between?

Port Flamingo Boardwalk.

But in the frame appears Penny, beaming, holding her coconut up like the Stanley Cup. As soon as I see her in the frame, I get this instinctive desire to possess her. That woman needs to be mine. I grab a handful of shots of her. Flipping back through them, I get almost dizzy with her smiling face, adorable nose, her freckles, all that happiness shining back at me from the screen.

Fuck it. The mayor’s shady possible associates can wait.

She takes a long sip of the coconut water, and then she puts her glasses on her head and looks up at me. “You think this spot would be good? For the movie? Want me to show you something else?” She takes another sip through the straw, and her pink lips pucker up in a way that makes me think so fucking much of what she’d look like on her knees with her mouth working the length of my…

She really has no idea what she’s doing to me, none at all. “We’re not out of tickets yet.” I pull two more from my pocket. She pushes her bangs from her forehead, and I see the beginning of a sunburn. “But you’re getting some color.”

“I’m fine,” she says. “Don’t worry.”

She’s in the midst of trying to untangle her sunglasses from her hair—worse than the earbuds by far. I help her out, pulling the fine, long strands from the nose clip, being careful not to hurt her. What she doesn’t understand is that she makes me want to worry. She makes me want to take care of her. And I’ve only known her a day.

Christ.

“I’ve got to stop doing that.” She folds them up and jams them in her purse. She squints into the sun. “You’d think I’d learn to get the ones without the nose pads. But nope, never. I see a pair of aviators, and I’m powerless.”

“You just need someone to look after you,” I tell her and take my hat off. I tighten the adjustment strap a few notches and stick it on her head, the bill slightly to the side. She giggles a little and then repositions it. The hat makes it so she has to lift her face right up to the sun to see me.

“How do I look?”

I tuck a lock of her hair behind her ear. “Sweet as marmalade. Now, how about you, me, and that roller coaster? Perfect for the first plot point.”

She grimaces and then she looks away. “Ummmm…” She clutches the coconut to her breasts and presses her fingers to her mouth. “What about palm reading?”

I glance at the tent. Hell, no. “Not really my thing.”

Penny snorts and gives me a shove. “What, are you chicken? Big bad Russ afraid of a lady with a scarf on her head and Palm Reading for Dummies under the table?”

“Fuck, no, I’m not scared. It’s a bunch of bullshit, is all.”

She puts her hand on her hip. “You think the hero of your movie is going to deny the girl he’s trying to win over a palm reading? Really?” She wiggles her eyebrows. “Really?

Seriously, this woman. Every needle and poke makes me want her more than the last one. “All right, you little pistol. You’re on.”

 


More TBB Recommendations by Nicola

TBB Rec

HAIL MARY – Standalone
A sexy, naughty, emotional and fun standalone sports romance…
At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.
Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.
Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.
But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”
In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.
Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.
And throws their lives into total chaos.
***
To the reader: Sweet. Safe. HEA. This is a comedy that gets very dirty, so be advised. Other tasters’ notes: Hints of honey and champagne. And a feisty little dog named Frankie Knuckles.

Hail Mary is available to purchase below

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professed

PROFESSED – Standalone

At a secret masked ball at Yale, Naomi Costa is literally swept off her stiletto-blistered feet by a man with a killer jawline, a perfect body, and an even-better kiss. They bust out of an emergency exit and have axis-shaking sex. He pours whiskey in her belly button and after they run out of condoms, they have to get creative. That kind of sex.
The next day, she learns that he is none other than Dr. Benjamin Beck, a brand new member of the Yale faculty and the hottest thing to happen to academia since… well, ever. She has to take his damned junior seminar to graduate, but it gets worse. He’s also her College Master: her boss, her advisor, her everything. And he’s just moved in, right downstairs.
They can’t stay away from each other. They’re either fusion or fission or both. They’re making out in libraries, hiding notes between stones, and sneaking off to nautically themed AirBnbs. Hear that sound? It’s the academic code of ethics going up in flames.
If they’re found out, he’ll lose his job and his reputation. She’ll lose her scholarship and be forced to return to the life of lobster fishing that she thought she’d escaped.
And they will be found out, yes they will.
So what the hell are they going to do?

Professed is Available to purchase below 

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confessed

CONFESSED – Standalone 

 

Lucy Burchett is the heiress to a notoriously disastrous family, and she’s left home for good. But when she runs a big, black pickup off the road, totaling it, she finds herself stuck in the middle of nowhere with the driver. He’s got a body to die for and a hair-trigger temper. Vince Russo looks like a felon, but he’s also pretty funny. He’s on the lam from the cops… and a psychopathic, Russian mob boss who wants to put his balls on a barbeque. Literally.
After a night of ill-advised cocktails and bathroom-wrecking sex, Vince just can’t get Lucy off his mind. But he’s got plans to rob her. And Lucy’s life is about to get a little bit criminal too.
But can a bad boy and a good girl really escape from their troubles together? Can they trust each other at all?
In the steady march of disasters that follow them west, they fight and they laugh. They tease and they’re tender. They’re either oil and water, or chocolate and peanut butter.
Except, they can’t run from the real world forever. And there’s a hell of a surprise in store for both of them…

Professed is Available to purchase below:

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Nicola Rendell, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

HAIL MARY by NICOLA RENDELL :: REVIEW


HAIL MARY :: TBB 5 STAR REVIEW

A sexy, naughty, emotional and fun standalone sports romance…


TBB Rec

SYNOPSIS
At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.

Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.

Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.

But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”

In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.

Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.

And throws their lives into total chaos.

***

To the reader: Sweet. Safe. HEA. This is a comedy that gets very dirty, so be advised. Other tasters’ notes: Hints of honey and champagne. And a feisty little dog named Frankie Knuckles.

Hail Mary is available to purchase below

purchase link small          purchase link small


hail-mary-review

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“I need you more than you can possibly understand. I need you with me. I want you with me. By my fucking side, in my bed, in my life. On the road. The plane. Not just to fuck. Not just to get dirty. But I need you to let me love you I need you to let me unleash on you. I can’t be polite about it much longer.”

We’ve been on such a book high since finishing Hail Mary!  This book made us feel so bloody happy as we lost ourselves completely to Jimmy and Mary’s story, easily declaring it to be our favourite sports romance of the year.  

“You know you can tell me to step back, but I can’t. And I won’t. And I never will. Because you’re all fucking mine and that’s how it is.” ‘All fucking mine.’

Hail Mary encompassed everything we love in a good sport romance, and even convinced us of the insta love connection between Jimmy and Mary; something we often find difficult to feel and believe. Not so in this case. We felt the intense passion, we believed the unbreakable bond and we lived and breathed the love between these two from the outset.

“The earth will pivot on this. The sun will rise and set on this.”

All too often we find the ‘sports‘ element to be lacking in sports romance, and whilst we may not understand all the ins and outs of NFL, that doesn’t stop us wanting to soak up the ambiance of the event as though we’re sitting in the stands feeling the nervous anticipation with our hero and heroine. It’s an important factor for us and this author brought this aspect well and truly to fruition, much to our delight.

Break the rules for me. Please.”

Nicola Rendell managed to deliver the perfect balance of explosive chemistry, naturally funny moments, swoony sweet, ridiculously sexy and abundant emotion to Hail Mary. We swooned over Jimmy, we fell in love with Mary, we giggled over her friendship with Bridget, we lost our hearts to little Annie and we howled with laughter at Frankie Knuckles, (pun intended) that cute little canine! Nicola’s comedic timing is spot on and so effortless. Not once did it feel forced, flowing easily between all characters=and many a time, this author had us in fits!

AndWe’re ruined! Completely and utterly ruined by one Mr James (Jimmy) Falconi! This guy was THE package (with quite the package!) – this sexy, alpha, dirty talking, possessive, protective Quarterback with a vulnerable and sweet side and a penchant for Pinterest, Costco, children and dogs melted our hearts…and our knickers! Wowsers! Jimmy wasn’t afraid to say and show exactly how he felt and constantly had us swooning, fanning ourselves and even tearing up once or twice….In the words of Mary…… ‘He wanted to sweep me off my feet. I’d say I’m already airborne.’

“Get ready, because I’m going to kiss you.”
“I’m ready.” I take the buttons of his Henley in my fist and pull him closer.
“You fucking better be.”

Mary was such a gorgeous and relatable heroine. Despite issues from her past, she was plucky, strong, funny and so honest, never the victim. There was no messing about with Mary, she didn’t dwell and never once did she frustrate us. We got her. We understood her and we adored her! We related to the spirit and bond of her and Bridget’s friendship. These girls were so warm and friendly and such a hoot!

Whilst the sex was off the charts hot, it was the connection between Jimmy and Mary that grabbed us in Hail Mary. We expected a light-hearted and steamy romp, and it was certainly that, but it was also a whole lot more as well! There was one scene in particular where the emotion completely overrode the physical and it was beautiful, it was heartfelt and it cemented our belief in Mary and Jimmy.

“Where have you been all my life?” …..And then her eyes meet mine, which is when she says one word. The perfect thing.
“Waiting.”

To say we enjoyed Hail Mary is an understatement! Sometimes it’s the easiest reads that bring the most enjoyment, the most effortless entertainment for the reader; such was the case with Hail Mary, and we make that summation in the most positive and flattering of ways, because we know the work involved in making a story come across this way.  Nicola Rendell is proving herself to be such a versatile and talented author. We’ve loved all her characters and enjoy the fact that friendships bear as much importance as the romance factor in her stories, it’s something we love. We enjoyed Professed, we really, really liked Confessed and now we’ve been completely bowled over by Hail Mary. Watching this author evolve is extremely exciting and you can bet we’ll be grabbing anything this lady produces. Nicola Rendell well and truly has us under her storytelling spell!

Oh and note to Nicola Rendell from TBB: Please! Please! Please! Write Bridget’s book!

 hail-mary

 


More TBB Recommendations by Nicola

professed

PROFESSED – Standalone

At a secret masked ball at Yale, Naomi Costa is literally swept off her stiletto-blistered feet by a man with a killer jawline, a perfect body, and an even-better kiss. They bust out of an emergency exit and have axis-shaking sex. He pours whiskey in her belly button and after they run out of condoms, they have to get creative. That kind of sex.
The next day, she learns that he is none other than Dr. Benjamin Beck, a brand new member of the Yale faculty and the hottest thing to happen to academia since… well, ever. She has to take his damned junior seminar to graduate, but it gets worse. He’s also her College Master: her boss, her advisor, her everything. And he’s just moved in, right downstairs.
They can’t stay away from each other. They’re either fusion or fission or both. They’re making out in libraries, hiding notes between stones, and sneaking off to nautically themed AirBnbs. Hear that sound? It’s the academic code of ethics going up in flames.
If they’re found out, he’ll lose his job and his reputation. She’ll lose her scholarship and be forced to return to the life of lobster fishing that she thought she’d escaped.
And they will be found out, yes they will.
So what the hell are they going to do?

Professed is Available to purchase below 

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confessed

CONFESSED – Standalone 

 

Lucy Burchett is the heiress to a notoriously disastrous family, and she’s left home for good. But when she runs a big, black pickup off the road, totaling it, she finds herself stuck in the middle of nowhere with the driver. He’s got a body to die for and a hair-trigger temper. Vince Russo looks like a felon, but he’s also pretty funny. He’s on the lam from the cops… and a psychopathic, Russian mob boss who wants to put his balls on a barbeque. Literally.
After a night of ill-advised cocktails and bathroom-wrecking sex, Vince just can’t get Lucy off his mind. But he’s got plans to rob her. And Lucy’s life is about to get a little bit criminal too.
But can a bad boy and a good girl really escape from their troubles together? Can they trust each other at all?
In the steady march of disasters that follow them west, they fight and they laugh. They tease and they’re tender. They’re either oil and water, or chocolate and peanut butter.
Except, they can’t run from the real world forever. And there’s a hell of a surprise in store for both of them…

Professed is Available to purchase below:

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Nicola Rendell, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

CONFESSED by NICOLA RENDELL :: REVIEW

A super hot standalone

confessed

SYNOPSIS

Lucy Burchett is the heiress to a notoriously disastrous family, and she’s left home for good. But when she runs a big, black pickup off the road, totaling it, she finds herself stuck in the middle of nowhere with the driver. He’s got a body to die for and a hair-trigger temper. Vince Russo looks like a felon, but he’s also pretty funny. He’s on the lam from the cops… and a psychopathic, Russian mob boss who wants to put his balls on a barbeque. Literally.

After a night of ill-advised cocktails and bathroom-wrecking sex, Vince just can’t get Lucy off his mind. But he’s got plans to rob her. And Lucy’s life is about to get a little bit criminal too.

But can a bad boy and a good girl really escape from their troubles together? Can they trust each other at all?

In the steady march of disasters that follow them west, they fight and they laugh. They tease and they’re tender. They’re either oil and water, or chocolate and peanut butter.

Except, they can’t run from the real world forever. And there’s a hell of a surprise in store for both of them…

***

To the reader: Confessed is a standalone featuring Lucy, who readers met as the best friend in Professed. Both are standalones and do not need to be read together. Be advised, things get super dirty in this book. The sex is explicit, and the language is rude. It’s an erotic love story with fury. Other tasters’ notes: Bobby pins. Peculiar motels. Horses. Motorcycles. Aiding and abetting. Great Smoky Mountains. New Mexico.

Available to purchase below:

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confessed-collage

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

So in Confessed we spent a – hot flush – ride with Lucy, who is Naomi’s best friend from Professed which we read and enjoyed too. Both books can be read as standalones so if this one tickles your fancy first then read it and be swept up in one passionately intense Bonnie and Clyde style ride that’ll burn the tips of your fingers and steal your heart in the same breath.

“We’ve got a problem.”

“Do we?”

“Yeah. I had this whole plan for today. Until you ran me off the road”

“I said I was sorry.”

“Fuck sorry. There’s a new plan. I want to make some bad fucking decisions with you…”

Having read Professed then moving straight onto Confessed we definitely noticed a difference in the second book by Nicola Rendell. It had more depth and polish and she’s certainly got a knack for hot and sexy alpha males with a vulnerable side. Once again Confessed is another easy and highly entertaining read which hits the target for readers who love their erotica and feel like indulging for a couple of hours. It had us riveted that’s for sure for those very delicious reasons.

‘There’s that phrase, an awakening. I never understood that until now, but that’s what’s happening to me. I know it. I love it. I need it. That trust, no inhibitions. No shame. That’s the thing that brings tears to my eyes. In front of him, I have no shame. I can be whatever I want. Whatever I am.’

Lucy on first impression is quite the spoilt airy fairy rich girl who needs her driving licence revoked because wow…stand back! However, when circumstances change and she becomes the daughter of a wanted man up for fraud who quite frankly drops her right in it, we see a different side of her. A very very different side once she literally bangs into Vince Russo.  She’s a flighty yet adorable and sassy girl.

“Peaches, we don’t choose where we come from. We only choose where we go.”

Vince Russo…hang on while we pick ourselves up off the floor where we’ve just spent a considerable amount of time in a hot puddle. This man is the definition of tattooed bad-arse alpha male. He was LUSH! Not only that, he had real heart and was creatively talented and gifted in many many things and ways.

‘Deep in my chest I feel this rush, this need, this fucking burning desire to protect her. Even from herself, even from her bad dreams.’

We loved the characters, the story development and as far as erotica is concerned this is definitely one of those that pack a punch as it was well written, flawless in characterisation and story. Erotica with an emotional beating heart.

Now excuse us while we go look for our bobby pins…..

4.5 Stars


professed

Also check out PROFESSED – Standalone

At a secret masked ball at Yale, Naomi Costa is literally swept off her stiletto-blistered feet by a man with a killer jawline, a perfect body, and an even-better kiss. They bust out of an emergency exit and have axis-shaking sex. He pours whiskey in her belly button and after they run out of condoms, they have to get creative. That kind of sex.
The next day, she learns that he is none other than Dr. Benjamin Beck, a brand new member of the Yale faculty and the hottest thing to happen to academia since… well, ever. She has to take his damned junior seminar to graduate, but it gets worse. He’s also her College Master: her boss, her advisor, her everything. And he’s just moved in, right downstairs.
They can’t stay away from each other. They’re either fusion or fission or both. They’re making out in libraries, hiding notes between stones, and sneaking off to nautically themed AirBnbs. Hear that sound? It’s the academic code of ethics going up in flames.
If they’re found out, he’ll lose his job and his reputation. She’ll lose her scholarship and be forced to return to the life of lobster fishing that she thought she’d escaped.
And they will be found out, yes they will.
So what the hell are they going to do?

Available to purchase below 

purchase link small        purchase link small        purchase

Leave a Comment

Filed under 4.5 Stars, Nicola Rendell, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny