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FIELD-TRIPPED (Ad Agency Series #3) by NICOLE ARCHER

BE SURE TO ENTER THE FABULOUS NICOLE ARCHER GIVEAWAY HERE
Standalone in a series – funny, sweet, second chance romance

SYNOPSIS

I was done with games. But playing with her is so much fun.

Ten years ago, I was all set to compete in the winter Olympics. Then I lost everything—my career, my best friend, and my girlfriend.

After that, I stopped playing games for good. I swore never to go back to Colorado. Too many bad memories. Plus, she’s still there.

Now I live a simple life as a creative director at Shimura Advertising in New York. All is good, until my boss cons me and my coworkers into spending two weeks in Colorado at Proton Sports’ sleep-away camp for adults, pitching their business. Turns out Proton’s idea of a pitch is making the agencies battle each other in a bunch of ridiculous winter games.

Guess who owns the rival company? Her. And she’s out to get me.

I might just let her win.

*Field-Tripped is a standalone romance and the third book in the Ad Agency Series.

FIELD TRIPPED is available to purchase below

          


‘That’s what love’s really about. We’re all flawed. We’re all messy. We all have baggage. But when someone dives in and happily swims around in our sea of weird, and you want nothing more than to float around in that person’s pool of imperfections – that’s love. And that’s how I felt about him.’

And so it went….We needed more Nicole Archer fabulousness, and dove straight into Field Tripped after finishing the previous Ad Agency books, Road-Tripped and Head-Tripped. Besides the stellar writing, the characters we’ve come to know and love and the warmth and happiness these books bring us, the Ad Agency Series gave us those excited book feelings. You know, the ones where every second you put the book down is a second too long, when all you want to do is shut out the world and immerse yourself in the story.

Field Tripped is a true second chance romance and tells the story of 31 year old, Elliott (Eli) St James, a designer at the Shemura Ad Agency whom we’ve met in previous books, and he’s a character we instantly warmed to and completely lost our minds over him in this book! TALK ABOUT HOT and sweet and witty and…yummmm. Eli is unexpectedly set to match wits with his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte (Charlie) Sullivan, when Shemura, and Charlies rival Ad Agency are pitted against each other in a madcap pitch for a client at a Camp in Colorado. The last thing either of them expected, or wanted was to once again be reunited after their bitter split and shocking heartbreak years earlier.

“I’ve missed you, Elliott…..I’ve missed you forever.”
‘My chest traps my breath. I lower my hand and don’t tell her what I’m thinking. I miss you, too.’

There is so much animosity and unresolved issues between Charlie and Eli who haven’t seen each other since Eli left Colorado for New York ten years previously. A lot of water has passed under the bridge, a lot of bitter resentment is exposed between the two of them, together with a load of misplaced guilt over a past tragedy. One things for sure though, there are a LOT of feelings between the two, both emotionally and physically.

‘That voice. It belongs to the same woman who sliced out my heart ten years ago.’

We bear witness to Charlie and Eli working through their emotions albeit in a very humorous way as only Nicole Archer can. Think of those rom-com movies we all love, how they stay with us, and give us a glow whenever we think about them or discuss them, and that’s how we feel about the Ad Agency series.  They’re a sexy, sweet, swoony funny and fabulous indulgence!

‘I thought he’d be there for me, not matter what. That was back when I believed in love.’

Nicole Archer once again charmed us with all the elements that drew us into the preceding books (each can be read as a standalone but we loved reading them all), yet she created something different for each story, so much so, that even after reading the three books on the trot we never once found anything to be regurgitated or overused. Again, the humour, the steam, the romance…it all flowed so naturally, with the musical aspect bringing a sense of familiarity to the mix.

‘The deadly St James smirk – breaking hearts for decades.’

We loved Field Tripped. We loved Eli and Charlie, their little dogs, the grouchy Burt and the irreverent Skip, in fact ALL the characters, once again entertained and won us over with their unique personalities.

If you love second chances romances, then you’re most definitely going to fall head over heels for Field Tripped. We’re going to miss Charlie and the Bearded Clam. We’re going to be on this Ad Agency ride right through to the end because we are dying for more of these quirky, fun and loving characters!


THE AD AGENCY SERIES

Purchase Road Tripped Book One

           

Head Tripped Book Two

          

Field Tripped Book Three

          

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HEAD-TRIPPED (Ad Agency #2) by NICOLE ARCHER

5 Stars!
Standalone in a series – Rock star theme – funny, sweet, emotional romance

SYNOPSIS

A rock star romance meets Alice in Wonderland.

Effie’s a gifted musician and a hot mess. Elias is the frontman in a popular band and hates fame. They both just want to be normal.
Except there’s nothing normal about the bizarre events that take place when they meet.
And there’s definitely nothing normal about the connection they share that weekend.
But he’s leaving for his European tour.
And she still has to dig herself out of the hole.
If only they could forget that weekend and go on with their lives.
Or…
He could break all the rules, invite her to play on tour with him, and travel across Europe in a Barbie camper/Disco Bus with a bunch of weirdoes.
Normal is boring.
Crazy is better.
Or is it?

Head-Tripped is the second book in the Ad Agency Series and can be read as a standalone, but many characters from the first book (Road-Tripped) appear in this book.

*Erotic content, adult language, and drug use. Not for readers under 18 or people offended by this content.

HEAD TRIPPED is available to purchase below

           


REVIEW

”If you love someone, you must love all of them. Even the dark parts – the craters of the moon.”

Well, she went and did it again! Nicole Archer swept us off our feet once more with another 5 star fantastic story and equally fantastic characters. Every…and we mean, every one of them had their own unique quirky personality, and we loved them all!  Honestly, this lady writes the most beautiful characters, Effie and Elias were superb. Relatable, troubled, funny, sweet, sexy, warm…..these two, and their madcap crew completely stole our hearts. We couldn’t get enough of either book!

Elias Lovaro (El Love) is a music god. And dear god, wasn’t this man just the cats whiskers! Talented, introverted, masculine, oozing sex appeal and yet such a sweetheart. He made us swoon! Suffering extreme stage fright, his band, Urban’s, impending European tour weighs heavily on his mind. In the music business, touring is a necessity, a way to ensure Urban remain relevant in a regularly changing business. Elias also battles demons from his past and his story was achingly tragic.

“What’s wrong, mi vida?”
“You make me feel….”
“Feel what?”
“That’s it. You make me feel. I was numb before I met you.”

Elias meets Effie Murphy, the twin sister of Callie Murphy who we were briefly introduced to in Road Tripped. We knew she was an incredibly talented child protégé musician who was also a recovering drug addict. In Head Tripped we delve into the events that drove Effie to nearly kill herself, get herself clean and take control of her life once more and her story is agonisingly heartbreaking.

Effie was robbed of her childhood, denied the chance to be young, enjoy life and have fun. Instead she was forced into gruelling long practice sessions by her overbearing stage mother. Because of this, Effie had such a beautifully innocent wild eyed childlike quality about her that drew us to her. Sweet, vulnerable – beautiful inside and out and fighting her addiction every day, her breezy attitude hid a multitude of pain with her past lurking like a murky shadow all around her.

‘She couldn’t even picture holding hands with someone, let alone falling in love with them. Men didn’t fall in love with damaged goods.”

Now, this all may sound quite heavy, but no, Nicole Archer tells Effie and Elias’s story through wicked humour, heart-warming interactions and a couple so imperfectly perfect fell instantly in love, wearing huge smiles plastered on our faces. Head Tripped delivered it all. Quirky, loveable characters, a rock star theme, heart stealing romance, and again a perfect balance of fun, deep emotion, angst and heat! Nothing was forced or overdone, everything fell so perfectly into place.

“God, you’re beautiful.” “Que linda,” he murmured. “Sos divina.”
“I love it when you talk dirty.”
“I didn’t say anything dirty.” He smirked. “Yet.”

Effie, and Urban take us on a whirlwind concert tour across Europe, where we FEEL every moment through the eyes of two people on a voyage of self-discovery, witnessing them fall apart and fall in love, whilst dealing with the heartbreaking and harrowing baggage that has plagued them.

“When you can’t look on the bright side. I will sit with you in the dark.”

Nicole Archer has stolen our hearts once again with her words, her characters, and her vividly creative and picturesque storytelling. We’ve greedily devoured every word we’ve read over the past couple of days, never wanting Road Tripped or Head Tripped to end. Our book hearts were overflowing with love for these story….and arggghh, the epilogue…again, stunning!  Te amamos F-Bomb and Elvis, te amamos.  Nicole Archer just shot to the top of our TBB fave authors list!


THE AD AGENCY SERIES

Purchase Road Tripped Book One

           

Head Tripped Book Two

          

Field Tripped Book Three

          

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BEARD IN MIND (The Winston Brothers #4) by PENNY REID :: REVIEW

5 STARS!! For this emotional, funny, sensitive and beautiful love story.
Standalone in a series (though we recommend the whole series)


SYNOPSIS

 All’s fair in love and auto maintenance.

Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.

Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.

Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.

The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean missing out on what matters most.

BEARD IN MIND is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 5 beautiful Stars!

Penny Reid -for us- is always like a breath of fresh air when we pick up one of her books. She doesn’t excessively flower her words nor does she soften them. She brings an air of real life –undiluted- into her fiction which will touch many readers’ hearts for their honesty and singularity. Characters who swim against the current, a storyline that mirrors only itself. This is why we love Penny Reid. The beauty is always there and her characters have their own unique mould.

“Unless they’re polished, their colors will fade.”

“Like a person.”

“Pardon?” I returned my gaze to her profile.’

“People need to be polished to be stroked, touched,” her tone was abstract, “and when they’re not polished, their colors fade. They fade, they change, warp become something different.”

We have read every single Winston Brothers book in this series and whilst they’re as different as night and day in many respects, they’re really quite similar in their message. Every character has a specific burden or personal disposition to work through yet whilst a beautiful romance runs through them, the underlying theme always has such depth and realism.

“All people are broken, Shelly. No one is perfect. Some seek help. Some don’t. But no one is ever fixed by another person. We can only work on ourselves.”

We were excited for Beau’s story, who is so much more than just a wonderful and handsome, family loving man. We loved Beau’s character for how he was written and how he always stayed true to himself and his principles. A man whose heart is pure and loving despite the aches and breaks thrown at it. This man is a sunset and a sunrise; constant with such beauty.

‘But Beau is amazing. Being with him is so…effortless. Nothing has ever felt effortless before. And he wants to be with me.’

Without question this was Shelly’s story to tell and it was told in such a vivid yet clinical way that the effect of her words felt like razors in their intensity and honesty. It was a window into a tormented soul who struggles with control and their place in life; adopting coping mechanisms which may confound others yet makes life somewhat liveable for her. These coping mechanisms are stressful and controlling in their own right and makes for devastating reading. However, that is Penny Reid, and for those who stand in judgement of romance readers clearly haven’t picked up a book by this Author.

‘But I have always known –always felt- how embarrassing it is, to be this way. To admit that I can’t touch people without wanting to cut myself, to keep them safe from me, just in case. Because though you say I am not crazy, I know how I sound.’

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and cannot be measured nor compared. We all see beauty differently despite the yardstick so often planted in front of us. For us, real beauty is found through emotions, healing, bravery in suffering and without question can be found where you least expect it or look for it. The beauty of words can never be underestimated, especially when those words are found by that one person whose heart feels their true value.

“You are absolutely vital to me. I want to be just as vital to you. I want to take care of you, let me take care of you. You are my first thought in the morning, and my last thought before I go to sleep.”


TBB RECOMMENDS THE WINSTON BROTHERS SERIES


Truth or Beard

TRUTH OR BEARD – BOOK ONE

SYNOPSIS

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk?

Available to purchase below:

                  purchase


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grin and beardGRIN AND BEARD IT –  BOOK TWO
SYNOPSIS
Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?
Available to purchase below:
               

  * * * *


11th

BEARD SCIENCE – BOOK THREE

SYNOPSIS

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

Beard Science is now available to purchase below:

                    


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FINDING MR. WRONG by A.M. MADDEN & JOANNE SCHWEHM :: REVIEW

Standalone in series – sexy romance with comedy

SYNOPSIS

Here s a tip: never trust a jackass in preppy clothing.

The phrase trust me should have been my first clue to hightail it out the door, but hindsight is always 20/20.

So there I was, on a stage with two other men, being asked ridiculous questions by a woman I couldn t see, but whose voice made my pants tighten and not around my ankles.

Before I knew what was happening, I’d signed up for six weeks in paradise, isolated on an island for forty-two days with a complete stranger. And when I finally laid eyes on the sexy brunette who belonged to that voice, a part of me thought this wouldn t be so bad.

I ve always been a levelheaded guy. I am a successful, smart, and shrewd business man. But that was when I was listening to the head above my shoulders. Once the blood traveled south, I always ran into trouble.

She called me Mr. Wrong, and that was fine with me.
Lesson learned: lust always trumps logic.

FINDING MR WRONG is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4 Stars 

“Please don’t make me regret picking you.”

Imagine you’ve just you’ve just caught your boyfriend/boss cheating on you, you’ve lost your job, your parents are about to lose their home and livelihood. What if you were given the opportunity to spend six weeks on a beautiful Island, no internet, mobile phones or outside communication and you get to spend it with a stranger you choose through an invisible screen? Think Blind Date meets Married at First Sight and you have a rough idea of what Brae is up to in Finding Mr. Wrong.

Fate rears its head for Brae when she is invited to be the lady in question for a dating site experiment where strangers will vie for the chance to spend time with Brae on the exotic, St Johns Island. The premise being; they spend six weeks together, complete assigned tasks, marry and stay together a year and if successful they gain a nice windfall. It’s an offer too good to pass up for Brae.

“What does it say?”
“It says I need to pleasure you.”
“No, it doesn’t. You’re such an ass. It doesn’t say pleasure me. It says you need to please me.”
“Meh, same difference.”

Jude Soren is the cocky, successful sexy Swede who, thanks to his pranking mate, Kyle is one of the guys railroaded into being up for selection on the show but he isn’t interested and answers Brae’s questions in a blunt, dirty and arrogant way to turn her off. But here’s the thing….Brae isn’t looking for love or a long term commitment, she just wants the money, and so…sight unseen she picks Jude.

‘Jude Soren was every woman’s dream. Wow, did he have them fooled. My guess would be he didn’t stick around long after he got what he wanted to find out whether he was, in fact, a dream, or a nightmare. ‘

Hmmm we think we would have picked him too. His answers made us hot and bothered! We’d be more than happy to be left on an Island for 6 weeks with Jude, the sexy, sinful Swede! Mmm mmm.

“I’m an open book. Nothing is taboo.”
“Okay, why the graduated star tattoos?”
“Because the ‘biggest star’ is behind my zipper.”
“Can you be serious?”
“I am serious.”

And…so the fun begins!  A lot can happen in six weeks! Can the relationship phobic, man about town, Jude melt the heart of the cynical Brae? Can she change his tarting ways? Will he forgive his friends for putting them up to this? Did she make the right/wrong decision? Oh well, it’s only a year…she can handle it…can’t she?

‘What was it about this man that made him get under my skin?’

We do love an enemies to lover’s story, and if you’re looking for a steamy, entertaining and fun easy read, you can’t go wrong with Finding Mr Wrong. No pun intended. There’s lots of light-hearted banter between Jude and his mates, and Brae and her girlfriends. The chemistry between Brae and Jude sizzles and the writing between these authors is absolutely seamless, it’s a collaboration that works very well, in fact, we couldn’t tell it was penned by two authors. This is the perfect sexy weekend read.

Now bring on the sweet, sexy Italian and the caddish Canadian…yep, we’re really looking forward to Luca and Kyle’s stories when they release in the future! It’ll be fun to watch these guys fall in love!

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Filed under 4 Stars, A M Madden, Joanne Schwehm, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

ROYALLY MATCHED (Royally #2 ) by EMMA CHASE :: REVIEW & EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

Standalone in a series. Swoony, funny and sexy contemporary romance 

SYNOPSIS

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

Purchase ROYALLY MATCHED BELOW below

            


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 stars

‘What a strange pair we are. The sad boy and the frightened girl.’

We’ve just been hit by the Henry Effect and we couldn’t be happier! After loving Nicholas’s story in Royally Screwed, we were craving his brother, Henry’s story after falling for him and his caddish way, desperately wanting know who was going to catch the attention of the party loving, uninhibited heir apparent. One would think it would take a strong, ballsy woman to tame him, not so, it befell the soul of a sweet, innocent and utterly captivating young bookworm to toy with the heart of the wayward Prince.

“Stories inspire us to reach high, love deep, change the world and be more than we ever thought we could. Every book allows us to dream a new dream.”

We were a little skeptical about the Royal Bachelor Reality TV aspect; unsure if it would work for us as we’re not fans of the show itself, so having it played out in a book…..hmmmm we needed convincing. And who better than Emma Chase and her innate ability turn the drab into something genuinely warm and funny, something meaningful with real grit, to do just that. This lady never disappoints. Her comical perception on situations is so incredibly entertaining and soon our reluctance took backstage to the innocent, witty, passionate and beautiful love story that was unfolding before our eyes. We were captivated, mesmerised as warmth spread through our hearts, giggles erupting from our lips.

“You are woven into my soul and you are wrapped around my heart.”

This book was quite different from the first. It would be akin to comparing the British Royal Family to the gregarious Royals of Monaco. Henry and Nicholas such individual characters, their stories were bound to follow suit, yet each both provided the fierceness of love, the comical inner monologues and all the elements that make an Emma Chase book a richly rewarding, entertaining and memorable experience.

“I would have been respected and admired, but Grandmother…he will be beloved. And if I have learned anything since the day Olivia came into my life, it’s that more than reasoning or duty, honor or tradition…love is stronger.” (Nicholas)

After Nicholas abdicated succession for love, it fell upon fun loving Henry to take up the reigns as the heir apparent. But for Henry, just a small taste of Nicholas’ life, leaves him bored out of his scone, looking for something to break the monotony. And so he receives an offer he can’t refuse. A chance to star in a Royal Reality version of the Bachelor. What could go wrong? A few weeks surrounded by a bevvy of gorgeous bluebloods all vying for his attention. Sounds perfect, right?

‘If I’m supposed to be the Great Royal Hope for my country, we’re all well and truly fucked.’

Little did Henry know he was to meet a woman who would challenge him in ways he didn’t anticipate and that challenge would come in the form of the sweet, innocent and utterly beguiling young Sarah Von Titebottum, who was accompanying her sister, Penny who is part of the show.

‘He could crush me; the foreshadowing is clearly written. It’s a tale as old as time: the inexperienced bluestocking and the bed-hopping rogue.
Bloody hell, I’m a trope.’

We adored Sarah and Henry, with Henry’s inner monologue giving us many laughs, courtesy of  his dirty witty thoughts tinged with the harmlessness of a naughty little school boy.  And Sarah, she was our kind of girl. How could we not adore this clever, sweet woman?

“I believe in you, Henry,” she says so softly, “I believe you can do anything…everything you set your mind to, because you care so deeply for everyone you meet. You will be amazing. I know it in my heart and to the bottom of my soul.”

Funny, passionate, sweet, sexy and brimming with pure heart stealing romance, we adored these characters, all the characters, implicitly, feeling more than satisfied with their story yet never wanting to let them go for a minute. We could read about these guys all day long!  So go on, lose yourself to this fabulous rom-com! We know we did and we love, love, loved it!


THE ROYALLY SERIES by EMMA CHASE

Royally Screwed Book One

purchase link small         purchase link small          

Royally Matched Book Two

                    

Royally Endowed Book Three
Releasing 15th June, available to Pre Order below

          


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from ROYALLY MATCHED


Trying to control my shaking limbs, I turn around and lower myself over the edge, into the water. My cotton sleeping pants and shirt mold to my body, but they’re light, so they don’t drag me down. Still, I hold onto the edge with white-knuckled hands.
And Henry is right there, his skin slick and warm, his arm like an iron band around my waist.
“That’s a brave girl,” he whispers against my ear.
Henry shifts to his back, arranging me on his torso, like he’s my own personal royal floaty. Then he reaches for his drink on the pool’s edge. “Hold onto this for me?”
Smoothly, he pushes us off from the wall, and the water makes little currents against his shoulders and arms as we glide toward the middle. My trembling eases a bit.
“See?” Henry teases. “Water is your friend. Do you want to learn to swim? I could teach you.”
“I don’t know.” I eye the water suspiciously.
“Why are you afraid all the time?” he asks, not in a nasty way but with simple curiosity.
“I’m not. I just like . . . consistency.”
“Consistency is boring.”
“It’s safe. If you know what’s coming, you’re never caught off guard.”
Henry rolls his eyes.
“Why are you sad all the time?” I ask.
“I’m not sad—I’m pitiful. There’s a difference.”
He’s quiet for a moment, and the only sound between us is the gentle swish of water.
“Do you think Charlie Campbell lived?” Henry wonders. “Before he died?”
Droplets glitter on his lashes like diamonds. I try to focus on that and not the heartache wrapped in the question.
“I hope so. Sometimes, that’s all there is. Hope.”
Henry nods. “I suppose you’re right.”
I hold up his drink and toast, “To Charlie.”
Henry smiles softly as I take a sip, before holding the glass to his lips.
“To Charlie,” he says, then drinks.
He takes the empty glass from my hand and sends it floating away. Then he strokes his arms through the water, pushing us gently forward.
And then, he just . . . looks at me. My glasses fog and I slip them off.
“Fuck, but you’re pretty,” Henry murmurs.
Instinctually, my chin dips and I glance down at his chest.
“Hasn’t anyone ever told you that?”
I shrug. “Not really.”
“They should have,” he insists softly. “You should’ve been told every day how pretty you are—inside and out.”
And there’s a great swelling of tenderness in my chest, around my heart, that almost feels too large to contain. Not because of the compliment, but because of him. This beautiful, broken, pitiful prince. Was Henry ever told how brilliant he is? Kind and strong, generous, and good? I don’t think he was and they should’ve told him. Every single day.
Before I know it, we’re across the pool at the shallow end. Henry’s shoulder brushes the slick, tiled edge.
“There.” He stands upright and my feet touch the pool’s bottom. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”
We’re close enough that I can taste his breath—smoky wood, whiskey, and man.
“No. Not so bad.”
And I feel like I’m in a daze, like I’m in a dream. Our gazes lock and Henry’s finger runs from my forehead, down my cheek to my chin, stroking back a damp lock of hair.
“Sarah . . .” he says, almost groaning.
He leans in closer, slowly . . .


19th
ROYALLY SCREWED BOOK ONE
SYNOPSIS
Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.
Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.
Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.
Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.
There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.
But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.
Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Emma Chase, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny