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Review: Too Hot to Handle (The Boys of Summer #2) by Katie Rose

Too Hot to Handle Book Cover Too Hot to Handle
The Boys of Summer #2
Katie Rose
Sports Romance
Loveswept
January 27th 2015
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Katie Rose’s Boys of Summer series returns for a delicious double-header—with the story of total opposites who are drawn to each other like moths to a flame.

Nikki Case is no fan of baseball. Her ex gambled away a fortune on the sport, and now her PR firm has tasked her with cleaning up the league’s most notorious bad boys. The New Jersey Sonics are known for wild womanizing and booze-fueled brawls, so Nikki expects the worst. Her first stop in the battle to win hearts and minds is star hitter Jake Baldwin—a legendary ladies man so smokin’ he threatens to melt her tough-girl armor.

Although his teammates prank her without mercy, Jake admires the way Nikki gives as good as she gets. She may be the queen of frost, but there’s kindling beneath those sultry curves—and he’s just the man to ignite it. But when a PR nightmare lands the Sonics in headlines across the country, Nikki is ready to walk. Only then does Jake realize how important she is to the Sonics’ success—and that winning the love of a good woman is no game.

Review

Much better!!!

In my review of Bring on the Heat, I mentioned that I was looking forward to reading more about The Boys of Summer. And I’m glad I did! This story was fun, sexy and romantic with a bit of emotions thrown into the mix to round it all up!

Nikki Case has just been assigned with the task to clean up the image of the New Jersey Sonics, a tough task to accomplish but one she’s determined to complete. What she was not expecting was to find herself intensely attracted to Jake Baldwin. She’s not in the lookout for a relationship, but the more time she spends with the sexy star player, the less she can’t seem to help herself.

Jake Baldwin is always up for a challenge. So when his teammates challenge him to win Nikki Case’s heart, he’s up to the task. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the woman is gorgeous and fierce. But soon is not only her fiery personality and good looks that twist him up. The woman is his perfect match and he will not give up until he has her for real.

I enjoyed this story very much! I especially enjoyed the characters and how well they complemented each other. This time around, Katie Rose didn’t miss a beat in bringing forth Jake and Nikki’s connection to the page. They bickered, flirted and got on each other’s nerves and through it all their connection kept on growing. Of course, it helped tremendously that they also shared a great amount of chemistry. The more time these two spent together the more I became convinced that they were right for each other.

What further convinced me (aside from those sizzling moments when they gave into their attraction) were the moments when we got glimpses into who their vulnerable sides. Although known as a ladies man, Jake was not uncaring or heartless. He was sweet, considerate and had a heart of gold. Which complemented the more sensitive side of Nikki. Although she gave as good as she got and appeared to be unreachable, she was only protecting herself from further heartbreak.

Although this is the second book in The Boys of Summer series, it can be read as a stand alone. As with the first book in the series, I enjoyed the participation of the secondary characters and what they brought to the story. This group of guys were a bunch of fun and I can’t wait to know more about them.

*I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

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New Release: Worth the Risk (The McKinney Brothers #2) by Claudia Connor *Review and Giveaway*

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Worth the Risk (The McKinney Brothers #2)
by Claudia Connor

A Contemporary Romance
From Loveswept
Released February 3rd 2015

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When a McKinney brother falls in love, powerful emotion and overwhelming desire are never far behind.

Two hearts locked away… Hannah Walker spends her days coaching children through injury and trauma, one therapeutic horseback ride at a time. She knows all too well how violence can change a child and leave scars that never heal. It’s easy for her to relate to the kids; what isn’t easy is the thought of facing her own harrowing past.

Millionaire playboy Stephen McKinney could use a little coaching himself. Five years ago he encountered his most horrible nightmare—and the nightmare won. No matter what he achieves, nothing can make up for that awful night… or so he believes.

Both desperate for a second chance… Stephen is used to getting what he wants. And he wants Hannah. So when she turns him down, he’s intrigued. What he doesn’t know is that her secrets will lead him to a place he never wanted to go again… to a side of himself he’s tried to forget… a side that would scare Hannah away from ever loving him. Now his only chance to win her trust is to bare his soul, risking everything he tried so hard to protect.

 

Worth the Risk Cover (1)

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Review

5-stars

After reading Worth the Fall I couldn’t wait to read Stephen’s story. What little Matt let on about his brother intrigued me. I enjoyed Matt’s story very much, so I had great expectation for this one as well and I’m glad to say that I was not disappointed.

Once again, Claudia Connor manages to bring to the page all the essential elements I’ve come to love in a story, but this time she upped the range in emotions and their intensity.

Not only was Stephen the kind of character I love with his brooding side and conflicted emotions, but he was also so very sweet and caring. His story was not I what I expected at all and it soon had me teary-eyed. So when he reluctantly starts to let Hannah into his heart I was ecstatic.

Hannah’s story was by no means a picnic. Hers was as traumatic as Stephen’s so seeing her confronting her demons head-on had me cheering her on all through the story. She was a smart young woman who kept mostly to herself. She was happiest when she was working with her horses and making a differences in children’s lives, so when she Stephen appeared in her life I was anticipating her reaction and how the author would go about bringing them together.

Through honest dialogue that at times was as heartbreaking as it was insightful, stolen looks and subtle touches, the author didn’t miss a beat in bringing Stephen and Hannah’s connection to the page. I enjoyed the diversity of events throughout the story. There were emotional moments from both Stephen and Hannah–as individuals and as a couple finding their way together. There were also the candid moments where their easy rapport came to the surface and further strengthened their connection. And of course, I can’t leave out those tentative yet sensual moments that helped to cement my believe that these two were made for each other. Claudia Connor didn’t miss a beat in bringing their chemistry to the page while still keeping true the characters’ state of mind and/or past experiences, which I appreciated.

Worth the Risk is the second book in The McKinney Brothers series but it can certainly be read as a stand alone. Although Matt, Abby and the family take part in the story, it is Stephen and Hannah’s romance and their journey throughout that takes center stage.

All in all, an emotion-driven story about moving on and letting go. Worth the risk, indeed!

I received a copy of this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

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Worth the Fall (The McKinney Brothers, #1)

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Claudia Connor attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and masters degrees in early childhood education, and completed her studies in Sawbridgeworth, England. Always a lover of happy endings, she enjoys movies, reading, and spending her days putting on paper the stories in her head. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters.

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Tour: Choosing Happy (More Than Friends #3) by Aria Grace *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Choosing Happy (More Than Friends #3)
by Aria Grace

An M/M Contemporary Romance
Released March 15th 2014

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Steve is living in Portland with many regrets. He has alienated the people he cares most about by making bad choices that continue to haunt him. When he meets a kid that’s in a bad relationship and needs some help, Steve reluctantly offers it, knowing it’s his chance to redeem himself. What he doesn’t expect is to find happiness. It’s there, all he has to do it choose to accept it.

For mature readers. Book 3 of the More Than Friends Series. Can be read in sequence or as a standalone. (Book #1 is free)

 

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Excerpt

At six ten, I’m perched in the window as if my favorite movie is about to start. In some ways, it is. The short film of my little duck and his prick on their evening stroll to utopia. Or what I would imagine the world to be like with a guy like that.

For the first time ever, the prick is staring hard when he approaches my window. I force my hands to flatten on the counter from the fists they naturally curl into when I see him. He’s daring me to say something but I know the game. I’m not going to break first. They stop but my ducky doesn’t look up. He’s staring at the ground a few feet in front of me.

When I look back at the prick, he’s got an evil snarl on his face. “Tell him.” He smacks the kid on the arm hard enough that he stumbles but quickly recovers. Without meeting my eyes, he looks toward me and says, “We’re not interested.” The black eye he’s sporting is enough to make me see red.

If the fucking window was bigger, I’d dive through it and beat the fuck out of the prick but my shoulders are blocked when I get right in his face and say, “I see a mark on him again and I’ll be paying you a visit.”

The kid looks up at me in shock, terrified by my action and my words. I want to drag him away and keep him safe but I can’t. I don’t even know his name.

“You let me know if he lays a hand on you again,” I say directly to my little duck as the prick drags him away.

FUCK!

I’ll probably never see the kid again because I couldn’t follow my own fucking rules.

 

 

About the Author

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. She lives with her husband and two children on a quiet hill that gives her lots of time to read and write. Her first series was a semi-traditional look at sexy gigs found online. She has now ventured into the exciting M/M world of gay erotica. She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at www.ariagracebooks.com.

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Tour: A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen *Review, Playlist and Giveaway*

Blind-Spot

A Blind Spot for Boys
by Justina Chen

A Young Adult Contemporary Romance
From Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Released August 12, 2014

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Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who’s right in front of her?

Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it’s time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don’t just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana’s interest. Right as she’s about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously…

Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.

 

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Review

4 stars

I have to say that I found it hard to get into this book in the beginning. Grace didn’t make the best of impressions to begin with. She was rude to Quattro, which I didn’t appreciate.

It was a sad moment for all involved when Grace’s father was given his diagnosis, however I can’t help but be thankful for it since it’s where the story picked up pace. From there on out, everything flowed nicely.

The author did a wonderful job in describing every aspect of the trip. I loved experiencing the trek through Grace’s eyes. I especially enjoyed the growth she did as an individual and how that allowed her to come to terms with her father’s illness and brought her closer to Quattro.

There was a fair amount of emotions and these were written well by the author. The uncertainty of the situation, the fear of being hurt again and the joy at finally finding some light at the end of the tunnel were jut a few of them. There were the funny moments too which brought some laughter and helped move the story along.

This is not merely a romance between Quattro and Grace. It dealt with how Grace’s family came to accept the diagnosis, how Quattro mourned for the loss of his mother and how Grace confronted her conflicted emotions and gave herself the chance to explore the connection that was building between her and Quattro. Everything was brought together seamlessly without it being overwhelming.

All in all, an interesting story about healing, family and young love.

*I received this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

4

 

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About the Author

Justina Chen

Justina Chen is an award-winning novelist for young adults whose books include A Blind Spot for Boys, Return to Me, and North of Beautiful (a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and Barnes & Noble). Her other novels are Girl Overboard (a Junior Library Guild premiere selections) and Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), which won the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature.

A passionate advocate of teen advocacy, Justina co-founded readergirlz, a cutting-edge literacy and social media project for teens, which won the National Book Foundation’s Prize for Innovations in Reading.

When she isn’t writing for teens, Justina is an executive communications strategista. That’s a fancy way of saying that she helps leaders tell their stories at companies like Disney and AT+T, NASDAQ and Microsoft. What she enjoys best is trekking the world with her two compadres, her teen kids.

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LeAnn’s Book Reviews has moved!!!

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Thank you for your support and understanding. Happy Reading!!!