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THE CAD and the CO-ED (Rugby Series #3) by L.H. COSWAY & PENNY REID :: REVIEW

Standalone romantic comedy with a sports theme

SYNOPSIS

Keeping a secret this big is going to take lots of balls. Specifically, rugby balls.

THE CAD
Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he *was* a cad.
No one is quite certain.
Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.
The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED
Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.
The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN
Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.
Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.
But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

THE CAD and the CO-ED is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4 Forking stars

‘She didn’t deserve to be forgotten. She deserved to be treasured.’

To be honest, the whole ‘secret baby, don’t tell the father’ trope in romance isn’t one of our favourites. More times than not we don’t feel the reasoning for denying the father knowledge of his child to be justified, leading us to become frustrated with the heroine and siding with the clueless Dad in the scenario.

But… we have a deep affection for this series and adore the collaboration of L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid, so it’s testament to their talent that we dove in despite our hesitancy over the theme of the story. After all, we had heard about Bryan’s carousing, heavy drinking playboy ways previously and were keen to hear his story, to see what lay beneath this wayward man and witness him find love….twice!

“I’m attracted to you on every level. I want you, Eilish. I want you with every breath I take.”

In this instance, we felt Eilish’s reasons for keeping little Patrick a secret from Bryan to be completely justified. After all, Bryan had no recollection of sleeping with her, not even remembering her name after losing huge chunks of his memory due to his over indulgent haze around the time of their one night stand.  It was a night of passion that had Eilish believing she had found ‘the one’ after hero worshipping Bryan for years. For Bryan, however, that night was another in a long line of forgettable conquests thanks to Mr Smirnoff.

“She has more unresolved feelings for you than Perrie Edwards has for Zayn Malik.” (Sean)
I stared at him for several seconds, dumfounded. “Who?”
He threw his hands up in the air. “See. This is half the problem. I should’ve used Jenn and Brad as an example instead. You’re completely out of touch, Bryan. Can you even remember how to seduce a woman?”

After hooking up with Bryan at Ronan and Annie’s wedding and leaving his hotel room humiliated and hurt, three months later, Eilish discovers she’s pregnant with Bryan’s baby. Fast forward five years and Eilish is back in Ireland at the request of her cousin Sean, who she has a really close bond with. He arranges a job for her as the Rugby Team’s Physio which brings her face to face with her nemesis, Bryan.

‘I was the villain of the piece, and we both know it.’

Both Bryan and Eilish are riddled with insecurities and trust issues, can they move on from their past and start afresh? We were completely swept away by the sweet and tender build in the relationship between little Patrick and Bryan and the witty banter between Bryan and Sean. Both big winners for us.

The dream team once again weaved their magic by delivering a story chock full of love, warmth, humour, emotion and loveable characters whom we took to our hearts, once again, delivering their story in their own unique quirky way. We love the way these authors deliver such life like characters. We feel their pain, we embrace their love, and we devour the wittiness and emotional connection between them all, feeling we know them personally.

‘Christ, I needed to stop touching her, because if I thought she was beautiful before, the fact that this woman was the mother of my child gave her a fucking halo. I swear, she glowed. She was radiant. As magnetic as before but also something more.’

Can a beautiful little boy melt the heart of a big burly Rugby player? There were certainly some angsty moments between Eilish and Bryan as we hoped and prayed they could make things work.  We fell in love with the protective, forthright and witty Bryan, he certainly had some wooing to do and he wooed us! There were precious, tender and funny moments throughout. We adore this series.

 


THE RUGBY SERIES by L.H. COSWAY & PENNY REID

The Hooker and the Hermit

                    

The Player and the Pixie

                    

The Cad and the Co-Ed

                     

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Filed under L.H. Cosway, Our Reviewers, Penny Reid, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

GOOD BOY (WAGs, #1) by SARINA BOWEN & ELLE KENNEDY :: REVIEW

Standalone hockey themed friends to lovers sports romance

31st

SYNOPSIS

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear

GOOD BOY is available to purchase below

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Good Boy (1)

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 Cheezus Stars

‘I want someone to look at me like they just won the lottery. And I want to feel sure that I have to, too- that I can say “forever” and know I’m making the absolute right decision. I’ve been in love before. A little. But never like that.’

CHEEZUS…we loved this book! You know those stories that have you laughing out loud whilst swooning and loving that typical frustration you feel when you want to knock a few heads together. Well, Good Boy is that book. Not only do we get to properly know the loud and brash Blake from Him & Us, we also get a fabulous catch up with the gorgeous Jamie and Wes curtesy of Jessica, Jamie’s sister.

“That’s Blakey’s best trait, you know. His need to protect. To make everyone happy…”

Let’s start with Blake shall we! This guy had us in stitches with laughter, he’s like a bull in a teashop. Huge hockey dude with an endearing immaturity and juvenile humour which came across as loveable and hilarious rather than crude and annoying. We fell in utter love with this guy, and we have to admit our soft spot for him has gained him entry to an all-time favourite book boyfriend list. Why? Because this man has a heart so big and soft under all that hard and imposing exterior.  He’s so bloody tenacious and a cheeky bugger who just stole our hearts.

‘Blake was onto me, though. And that dude is like a big, drooly dog. Doesn’t matter if he just met you, he wants to lick your face and hump your leg.’

Blake is a blunt flirt who’s set his sights on Jess. It all began with a massage chair one night, a night neither he nor Jess can forget. Frenemies to lovers is a theme we love and it was so well written by these Authors ensuring we inhaled every word watching this push pull romance blossom. It was such a brilliantly funny ride and we loved every minute of it.

“Never meant to do this tonight.” – Jess
“Don’t overthink it.” I tear the packet and roll the rubber onto my aching dick. “You just need a little recharge on my docking station.” – Blake

Where Blake is confident and comfortable in life Jess is the exact opposite. She’s got this heavy weight on her shoulders of not having found her place and trying to live up to this misplaced insecurity that she’s the black sheep in a rather large family of siblings. She feels like a user rather than a contributor. But when she shines, she lights up the world when a nudge in the right direction bolsters a natural ability, showing her understanding and compassion. If only things with a certain hockey rascal was as easy to see as the wood for the trees.

‘I miss you, he writes.’

‘I miss you, too, I admit. But that doesn’t mean we’re dating.’

‘We are though.’

‘Goodnight, Blake.’

‘Good night, girlfriend.’

We loved these characters; their real life struggles and perceived inferiorities. Their story was warm and fuzzy; sweet and sexy; funny and emotional. It was a fabulous romantic comedy that gave us such enjoyment as we read and fell in love.

  “You know,” he continues, “when all the babes would throw themselves at me nilly-willy.”
“Willy-nilly,” I correct.
“Huh?”
“It’s willy-nilly. The willy comes first.”
He winks at me. “I’ll let you have this one, but only because you’re right – the willy always does come first.”

Good Boy Quote


TBB also recommends this MM Series by Sarina & Elle
THE HIM SERIES by SARINA BOWEN and ELLE KENNEDY

HIM US

Purchase HIM and US below
Him Book One ::our review |amazon us | amazon uk
US Book Two:: our review |amazon us | amazon uk

love is friendship us


For more TBB Recommended reads by Elle Kennedy, click below

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For more TBB Recommended reads by Sarina Bowen, click below

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STAY – WAGs #2 Will release on 20th June

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GRAVITY by LAUREN RUNOW :: REVIEW

Standalone : Childhood friends to lovers angsty romance spanning over twenty years.

24th TBB Rec

SYNOPSIS
Gravity is not your normal, sweet romance of childhood friends to lovers. Spanning over twenty years—it’s raw, it’s real, asking the question if soul mates really exist.

Lily
At eight years old, the boy next door changed my life. He was the force pulling me toward him despite our differences. It was like magic.
We understood each other, supported each other and in the process became everything to each other.
But in chasing Trevin’s dream, I lost myself along the way.

Trevin
Through tremendous heartache, she was there. Through fame and fortune, she was there. Loving Lily was the one thing I got right.
Eclipsing her in my shadow, I took from her until she was empty. Now I must do anything to prove I can be the man she wants, no, the man she deserves.

Pre Order GRAVITY below – Releasing 24th January

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Gravity Review

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“You and me, we’re meant to be together.”

This was our first experience with Lauren Runow’s stories and we’re certainly keen to try out more. In Gravity we meet Lily Pace and Trevin Allen who become firm friends at eight years old and who live a life of ups and down, successes and failures, missed opportunities. And as the synopsis suggest, it’s certainly not a warm and gooey childhood to lover’s story, indeed it’s not. This is one angsty journey for Lily and Trevin that’s full of heartbreak, loss and bad decisions, and begs the question, can soulmate love fight, survive and conquer?

‘Without each other, we both will float away into darkness, because my life would be nothing without her.’

Trevin Allen lives in a troubled household with an alcoholic cruel father who really was one of the most revolting characters we’ve met. He made our stomach turn and his treatment of Trevin was hard reading, in fact his behaviour was downright bizarre at times.

A friendship with Lily develops when they are both eight, with Lily’s companionship being the reprieve Trevin craves. They share a reckless innocence which is so sweet and develops as the year’s progress into something more than friendship. At thirteen Trevin’s talent and passion for Baseball could be his passport out of his situation, but it is music that is his dream, and apart from Lily, his love.

‘I will try my hardest to be the best man anyone would want to love, especially the girl holding me right now.’

Trevin’s life begins to take a downward spiral thanks to his father in which Lily tries to pull him out and show him his potential, signing him up for an audition with Sony records. Trevin’s life changes, leaving Lily behind as he chases his music dream.

Trevin tries to include Lily into his life but it’s clear the prim and proper Lily is out of her depth with Trevin’s drug taking, rock star companions and cracks in their relationship and friendship develop.

Gravity follows Trevin and Lily from eight to thirty five and it’s quite the journey. We advise you to hang onto your Kindles because you’ll want to throw them a time or two! Both Lily and Trevin change in personality, behaviour throughout the story, fighting to find their identity whilst exploring the complexities of growth and eventual maturity. Life at times is erratic, separation unavoidable, and both have to learn to bend and make allowances for the other, which is easier said than done.

‘He’s been here, with me, every day since I was eight years old, and now he’s gone.’

Despite Lily’s belief and encouragement in Trevin, we did find Lily to be a little judgemental at times, and felt the time jumps didn’t allow for us to actually feel and live their story some of the time. We know Trevin had drug issues throughout his rock and roll lifestyle but we feel as though we didn’t really experience the gritty, raw aspects of this, and so the impact wasn’t as compelling as it would’ve been if we had lay witness to it.

“He’s my gravity I’m pulled toward him, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

The path to true love isn’t always straight and narrow, it’s rocky and full of potholes, and no more so than in the case of Lily and Trevin. Their love tested us, their reasoning frustrated us, some of their decision making infuriated and confused us, but there’s no doubt Lauren Runow’s story held us captive as we hoped with our hearts in knots that love would eventually prevail for these two.

4 Stars

Gravity

 

 

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LOVE IN LINGERIE by ALESSANDRA TORRE :: REVIEW

Standalone sexy office romance

love 16th

SYNOPSIS

I hired her to fix my company, to bring Marks Lingerie back to life. I didn’t expect her to become my friend. I didn’t expect to fall in love with her.

The first rule of business is to never touch your employees. I think there is another rule about not falling for your best friend—a rule against imagining the curves of her body, or the way her breathing would change if I pulled down her panties and unzipped my pants.

Now, I can’t wait any longer. I’m tossing out the rules.

Damn the company.
Damn our friendship.
Damn my fears.

LOVE IN LINGERIE is available to purchase below

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Love in Lingerie

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 ‘The man should be illegal.’

Sexy, fun, seductive and enticing….there’s knickers and bra’s for every occasion and there’s Love in Lingerie.  We jumped straight in and were immediately swept away by everything Trey; pass the fan please! Who doesn’t love a sexy office romance? Even better, who doesn’t love a strong and feisty heroine, a mature and sexy hero as well as a friends to lovers romance.

“But despite what you may have heard about me, there are certain lines I don’t cross, and fucking my employees is one of them.”

“Literally or figuratively?”

When Kate joins Trey’s company there’s an immediate sexual tension which is soon overtaken by a beautiful and cheeky friendship. Different as night and day, they have an immediate strong connection which grows over the years. We felt it and revelled in it. It was swoony, flirtatious and so very delicious. There was heat, vulnerability, understanding and angst wrapped up in lace and leather.

‘If this woman was lingerie, she’d be black leather, with studs along the seams and enough of a dominatrix vibe to give a man pause. If this woman was lingerie, I’d strip it off and then properly show her who is in charge.

Trey and Kate’s story is an enjoyable, hot and easy read. It’s well written yet has a very slow build. Which in some ways felt a contradiction as their story spans a few years yet we never really experienced detailed time with them. A romance which felt unattainable, whilst in the same breath, smoke was wafting off of the pages from the intensity of sexual chemistry and attraction.

If Love in Lingerie was a bra and knickers set, we think it would be a lacy, teasing and tantalising one piece with silky ties that goes on for miles in hot fiery red. 

4 Stars

Love in Lingerie A.T


FOR MORE TBB RECOMMENDATIONS by ALESSANDRA
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THE OVER DUET by J.A. DeROUEN :: LOW OVER HIGH (#1) and EVER OVER AFTER (#2) :: REVIEW

An intense story of first love and second chances. 

‘My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.’
‘My name is Ever Montgomery, and this is my story of love resurrected.’

LOW OVER HIGH BOOK ONE 

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EVER OVER AFTER BOOK TWO 

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LOW OVER HIGH BOOK ONE
SYNOPSIS

I fancy myself a purveyor of truth, a sifter of lies, a cutter of bullshit. It’s not a gift, but rather, all skill, honed to a razor’s edge after one too many trips down the rabbit hole.

Some may dismiss my talent as misplaced and misguided cynicism, but they’d be wrong. Cliches about hope and faith in mankind are concocted unicorn farts, an effort to keep the dreamers dreaming. Experiences don’t lie—people do.

While I’m not proud of the circumstances that led me to this way of thinking, I respect the journey. The road to enlightenment can be dark and foreboding, but the destination makes it all worthwhile.

But funny thing about the past—it’s a defiant child refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected, and sink its fucking claws into the flesh of your heart. No, not my heart—I no longer have one. I foolishly gave it away years ago, but I still feel the ripping in my chest as I fist the crumpled note left on my porch.

I’ve avoided this day, ran from it, for the past eight years.
And still we meet again.

But to truly understand … to feel my dread and fear my future as I do, it’s important to know what happened in my past.

Or who…

My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.

MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY 18+
Warning: This book contains graphic content which may not be suitable for sensitive readers.


EVER OVER AFTER BOOK TWO
SYNOPSIS

Marlo … wild-eyed, untamed, and every single thing I’ve ever wanted from this life. I wasn’t ready for her back then. I was a stupid boy with adult feelings and no idea what to do with them. I squandered away every chance she gave me.

Yes, love like ours either burns white hot or crumbles under the pressure.
And now I’m back to sift through the rubble.

Questions and excuses are two things I have in spades. What I need now are answers.
Answers and Low.
Always Low.

My name is Ever Montgomery, and this is my story of love resurrected.


the-over-duet

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘Love changes over time. The edges may dull, the butterflies hibernate… but sometimes, the best things sharpen and flourish as years pass.’

The Over Duet is our first foray into the work of J.A. DeRouen and it’s safe to say, we’ll be checking out more of her work in the future because we both loved this story. The drama element was intense though not prolonged for unnecessary reasons, the wit between the characters lightened the load when needed, J.A. DeRouen’s prose ensured we instantly connected with her writing and fell in love with her characters, all playing a part to tell the story of Low and Ever, and what a story!

This is a spoiler free review for the complete Duet and it’s imperative you read Low Over High first as the story in Ever Over After continues on, eight years down the track from the events that unfolded in book one, with Low (Marlo) and Ever (Everett’s) story concluding in book two.

“Time passes, memories fade, but feelings are forever.”

Low Over High begins with a gripping prologue set in the present when a very disillusioned and bitter Low tells us how she is sworn off relationships, has a cynical outlook on love and is, in general, quite disgruntled and not at all interested in seeking a relationship. The prologue ensured we voraciously turned the pages to find out what transpired all those years ago to make Low resentful.

The story then flicks back to eight years when a then 17 year old Low is about to leave her loving Dad, Nana and brother, Declan in Texas to attend her Senior year in New Orleans in order to reconnect with her mother, who had left Low and Declan when they were very small children.

It is at Orleans Academy Low meets Ever, the quintessential sullen ‘lost boy’, and the nephew of the Dean of the school. Ever is a 17 year old boy fighting many demons and heartache.

An accidental meeting has them taking an instant dislike to one another, though over a four month period, we lay witness to the growth of their relationship, their first love and the tragic incidents that would see Low disappear one day, never to return. This part of the story was heartbreakingly sad on both accounts and presented tough and tragic time for both Low and Ever individually.

“Please stay…even if my heart is scarred and my soul is dirty. Please stay….”

The build of the relationship was beautifully executed, and although the time span was relatively short, these two had dealt with a lot in their young years, and so we felt their love at first was very innocent, very real and beautiful. Those four month would shape their lives in many different ways, essentially determining who they are when we meet them again eight years later in book two.

‘He’s the creation and the rapture. Every good and bad thing all wrapped up into one. And now, after all these years, he may just be my resurrection.’

During their time apart we felt the characters had developed, matured and grown individually and felt the infinite pull that lead them back to one another. However, hidden secrets, unspoken words, and memories unearthed from the past lay beneath their hearts. What consequences will bringing them to the surface ultimately be and could Low and Ever rediscover the love they had?

“I’m a better man when I’m loving you. I don’t think I can stop, even you beg me to.”

J.A. DeRouen delivered a heartfelt, believable and beautifully moving story and she did so without the melancholy that could have so easily brought it down. Yes, she deals with some very heavy subject matter in this duet, and yes we felt the emotional and mental fallout from this, but it was handled sensitively.  We met a bunch of friendly, outgoing and wonderful characters who burrowed into our hearts, who, together with Low and Ever, ensured we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this first love, love second chance story with friendships, family and loyalty at its heart. Grab this one!

the-over-duet-teaser

 

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Filed under Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny