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No Cowboy Required by JoAnn Sky
Series: A Biggest Little Love Story (# 1)
Release Date:  May 14, 2018
Publisher:  Entangled Bliss
Pages:  187
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

Grace Harper is a pro at handling the unexpected—which comes in handy when she inherits the ranch she ran away from years ago…along with a young, autistic stepbrother she’s never met. And because nothing ever goes easy for her, Grace finds her frustrating, sexy ex-flame, Noah, taking care of JJ. But if she’s getting out of this nowhere town, she’ll have to find a way to keep from throttling Noah—without kissing him first.

Noah Taylor may be enemy number one to Grace, but she needs his help. He knows the girl he used to love is still there, beneath the heels and fancy clothes, so he’ll help her—and keep his distance like she says she wants. Only the more time they spend together, the closer he wants to get. Grace has no intention of staying, but she belongs in his arms—he just has to prove it to her.

Review:  This is a modern day romance set in Reno, Nevada.  It was ironic because I was in Reno for the RT book convention.  Reno is a beautiful state, and the mountains are intensely beautiful.  We have mountains here in New York, but they are nothing compared to the mountains in Reno.

Just to let the reader know, there are no love scenes in this book.  If that’s ok, keep on reading, if not, then I would suggest reading something else.  However, I think the reader would be missing out on a very entertaining read.  This book had my attention from when I started it when I finished it.  I was at RT at the time so finding time was hard, but I managed.

The title of the book is apropos because Noah isn’t a cowboy in the traditional sense.  He’s not a rodeo tootin, yeehaw kinda cowboy, but he does know how to take care of the ranch that Grace’s family owns, so he has cowboy tendencies.  I like that term..

I really liked Noah because he wears his heart on his sleeve but he’s not a wuss and he stands up to the woman that he loves even when it kills him because he knows right from wrong.  He’s strong, physically as well as emotionally and he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty on the farm.  He loves the land and he respects nature and he’s very, very good with JJ, even when the child is having a bad moment.

JJ, who is Grace’s stepbrother, has some challenging behaviors due to autism.  Is it me, or has there been more books with children with an autistic diagnosis?  I think it’s great that authors are creating awareness about it so that others that don’t know about it can learn.

I have to admit, I did not like Grace.  I tried, I really did, but she just annoyed me, and I think that she got off too easy at the end to get her HEA.  What bothered me about Grace was that she wouldn’t admit her feelings to Noah, she wouldn’t accept help from people who wanted to help her, she decided to try to get help from the smarmiest man on the planet, and she was in a constant state of stress over everything that she decided on.  In the end she did the right thing with her situation, but it took her a while to get there.  I know that characters like people have flaws and tend to make mistakes; I just couldn’t wrap my mind around Grace.  On a positive note, she wound up having a great relationship with her stepbrother, and she did get her HEA, so she’s not all bad.

She stopped shuffling the papers and stood but didn’t face him. “I want you to keep the farm, and I want to help you do it. But I need a new start, too.” She took a deep breath, turned her head just slightly over her shoulder toward him. “On my own.”

He watched those three little words barrel toward him. In another second, they’d knock him on his ass. He grabbed her arm and turned her around. “And that’s just the way you like it.” He leaned into her, watched her pupils dilate. “Doesn’t that get lonely?”

Her lips parted, as if to respond. But no words came out. She stared at him, waiting. For what, he wasn’t sure. She licked her lips.

To hell with whether it was love or lust or chemistry or kryptonite. He swooped in, covered her mouth with his, and drank her in. He thought she would push him away. Instead she pulled him closer, offered him more.

He took it at first, deepening the kiss, his tongue probing, tasting. It was good. She was good. But it could be better. He did care whether it was love or lust. He needed to take it slow, make it mean something.

Maybe then she’d stay.

JoAnn Sky has written for years as part of her job (business and marketing plans and the like). One day she tried her hand at writing for fun—and like it. Now she authors adult contemporary romance and young adult romance with a magical twist as well as children’s books.

JoAnn is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist (YA category and Contemporary Short category). Originally from the Midwest, JoAnn currently lives in northern Nevada with her husband a.k.a. love of her life, three teenage children, and three crazy rescue dogs.

JoAnn is represented by the fabulous Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.

Website  | Facebook  | Twitter  | Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

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Burning Up by Jennifer Blackwood
Series: Flirting With Fire (# 1)
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Pages: 253
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

Unemployed schoolteacher Erin Jenkins is back in Portland, the town she hasn’t called home for more than a decade. It’s not the way she wants to spend her last days of summer: in between jobs and avoiding her mother’s snooping by escaping to the ice-cream aisle. But when the opportunity arises for her to accompany her brother’s best friend—her lifetime crush—to a wedding, summer gets a whole lot more interesting.

Firefighter and single dad Jake Bennett has built a nice, safe wall around his heart—no romance, no getting burned. That doesn’t mean he’s ruling out a fling. Considering Erin’s visit is temporary, they’re the perfect fit for a scorching no-strings one-night stand. Or two. Or five. Until the worst thing happens: Erin and Jake are feeling more. Damn that four-letter word.

Now their hearts are on the line, and when their smoldering summer comes to a close, it’s going to be harder than ever to put out the fire.

Review: Sometimes you run away from home only to find your way back there when you least expect it. Then while back home you run into that crush who happened to be your brother’s best friend. If things go the way you want them to…you find yourself flirting and….

Erin left home ten years ago to get away from her overbearing mother. Fate can be cruel at times and in Erin’s case it decided to end her teaching career in Cali and send her back to her hometown of Portland to help with the family business while her mother recoups…Talk about fate being evil at time.

Running into Jake her brother’s best friend and her crush may make this trip back home a little interesting.  Jake is a single dad who dotes on his daughter and his life is his daughter. He is rather a little gun-shy when it comes to dating.

I enjoyed the flirting between Erin and Jake.  The flirting was full of sparks; chemistry was not a problem for these two. They fit together like peanut butter and jelly. Slow build-up for the relationship. But that was okay.

The characters were likable and realistic with normal issues and problems. The dialogue was a little lost on me…I kind of like a normal banter between the main characters adds to the realism.

I liked it being a single dad it gave me a different take on the relationship side of things.I enjoyed this quick fast paced story. Hot firefighters are always enjoyable.






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Jen: Today we welcome Lauren Layne to Romancing the Book. Lauren, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Lauren: Thanks so much for having me! As for me, picture an extra on the set of Sex and the City, probably one having a glass of wine in the background, and that’s basically me! I live in Manhattan, and I’m basically the cliché image of a big city gal. I wear a lot of black, a lot of stilettos, and I’m rarely without my laptop, because the story ideas are my nonstop companion!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and how you first got the idea.
Lauren: Hot Asset is my newest release, and the idea for the series (3 guys working in Wall Street) came before the actual book idea. I knew I wanted to do a modern take on The Wolf of Wall Street, with over-the-top playboy heroes, and then redeem them with smart, powerful women. For Ian’s book (Hot Asset), I knew he needed to have something that would turn the perfect lifestyle he’d worked for upside down, so I had him falsely accused of insider trading. And what better heroine than the SEC investigator who brought that very charge against him!

Here’s the official blurb:

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Jen: If you could have coffee with any romance writing living today, who would it be and why? What would be the first question you asked them?
Lauren: Nora Roberts. I’m in awe, not only of her prolific writing pace after 30+ years published, but with the fact that her stories are so varied, and yet all bestsellers.

Jen: What is the most challenging aspect of writing? The most rewarding?
Lauren: The first draft is almost always the most challenging for me. There’s something very daunting in the early/middle stages of every book, where you realize, “I could write nonstop for the next 24 hours, and still not finish this book.” Writing a book is akin to a marathon in that way; half the battle isn’t in the actual writing, but in the mental stamina.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Lauren: My favorite thing to do on a day off is a long walk in Central Park, followed by a cocktail somewhere. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, I’m not above binge-watching Friends reruns. I don’t watch much TV at all, but when I do, it’s almost always a rerun of something that makes me laugh.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Lauren: I’m hoping Kennedy and Kate’s story (the third book in 21 Wall Street series), though I’m still working out the publishing logistics of that one!

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Hot Asset by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street (# 1)
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Pages: 266
Source: Book provided by NetGalley for review

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Review:  It didn’t take very long to figure out that author Lauren Layne has a wicked sense of humor. In Hot Asset, she rolls out a hot investment broker and throws an obstacle in his path in the form of an SEC investigator. Talk about mortal enemies.

I found Ian Bradley to be perfect in his role. On the surface, he’s rich, powerful and incredibly cocky. He’s definitely not interested in any kind of entanglements. It’s not until Lara enters the story that I was able to see much more depth and substance.

Lara’s self confidence provides a perfect mechanism to allow her to face off against Ian. From their first encounter, sparks were evident. While it was clear that neither one wanted to get involved, the chemistry proved difficult to resist. It’s a cat and mouse chase at its finest.

Another strong element aiding in the storyline is the solid cast of secondary characters. I’m hoping that Matt, Kennedy and Sabrina will be featured in their own stories. Even as Lara emphasizes that it’s just business and not feelings, the tension created when she walks into investment firm is evident. Aside from the attraction she feels to Ian, Lara’s strong sense of dedication to her job also adds to the drama. She is determined to be successful in order to move up in her career, but Ian’s just as determined to maintain his innocence.

Snappy dialogue and hot tension make this a fun and enjoyable story to read. I would highly recommend it for an afternoon by the pool.






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How to Tempt an Earl by Tina Gabrielle
Series:  Raven Club (# 1)
Release Date: May 14, 2018
Publisher:   Entangled Publishing, LLC
Pages: 280
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

London society is cruel for a young woman whose father is an avid gambler. Miss Grace Ashton is not one to stand idly by while her family becomes destitute. Donning a mask, she slips into the night and attends the infamous Raven Club to confront the proprietor. But nothing prepares her for the sinfully attractive and wealthy Ian Swift.

Ian is intrigued when Grace walks into his gambling club but refuses her offer of a few jewels to pay her father’s large debts. Unbeknownst to anyone, Ian has inherited the Earldom of Castleton, and he must reluctantly take his place in Society. But Ian’s manners as a gentleman have suffered. He needs a tutor, and he knows the exquisite lady standing before him is the answer.

But soon tutoring turns to flirting, which unfortunately lands both of them in…marriage?

Review:  I enjoy historical romances set in England and How to Tempt an Earl did not disappoint.  Grace and Ian had an immediate chemistry and felt the zing when they met under less than ideal circumstances – at his gaming club, The Raven Club.  From there their attraction kept ratcheting up a notch throughout the story except when it wasn’t.  They didn’t always see eye to eye but seemed to understand each other better than some of their family and friends.

Grace is in her third season and with a dwindling dowry isn’t sure how she can keep her family afloat.  With a young brother, a dad who both drinks and gambles to excess, and a household staff to support she becomes creative.  When Ian needs a tutor to get him back into society things get hot and spicy fast!  I loved the interactions between them.  They both had a depth to them that the other didn’t realize.  They liked what they saw as they got to know each other as friends, or do they?  There was a nice flow to the story  and a few twists and turns along the way.  The characters who rounded out the story were a nice addition.  There was a happily ever after or is there since Grace and Ian don’t always see eye to eye and she’s not meek and mild by any means. The epilogue which takes place six months after the story ends gave me the closure and glimpse into the future I was hoping for.  I look forward to reading more books in the Ravens Club series.

Ms. Gabrielle is a new to me author.  I have added a few of her other books to my always growing TBR pile.

Favorite Quote:  She wanted to point out that she’d be far safer were she not ensconced with him in a conveyance.  Everything about him was large, and she was all too aware of the breadth of his shoulders, his distinctive shaving soap, and his long legs.  The interior of the spacious carriage suddenly seemed very small.

Tina Gabrielle, an Amazon best-selling author, is an attorney and former mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She often picked up a romance and let her fantasies of knights in shining armor and lords and ladies carry her away. She is the author of adventurous Regency historical romances: A Spy Unmasked, At The Spy’s Pleasure, In The Barrister’s Bed, In The Barrister’s Chambers, Lady Of Scandal, and A Perfect Scandal from Entangled Publishing and Kensington Books. Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical romance by Romantic Times Book Reviews. Tina loves to hear from readers. Please visit her website to join her newsletter and enter her free monthly contests and giveaways. www.tinagabrielle.com

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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A Rancher’s Song by Vivian Arend
Series: Heart Falls (# 2)
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: self-published
Pages: 277
Source: book provided by the author for review

Can love help a champion bull rider face his fears and find his future? Welcome to Heart Falls, a new series from New York Times bestselling author Vivian Arend.

Ivy Field’s heart nearly broke when she left Heart Falls, but her high school sweetheart insisted she follow-through on her dream of becoming a teacher. She thought that meant putting their relationship on hold briefly, but it’s taken eleven years to return. Now she’s back, no longer a painfully shy young girl but a confident woman who knows exactly what and who she wants–a home and a family–with too-sexy-for-his-boots Walker Stone. He was her first; she wants him to be her last.

Walker “Dynamite” Stone was still reeling from his parents’ unexpected deaths when Ivy left. He let her go, throwing himself into work on the Silver Stone ranch and dangerous living on the rodeo circuit. But lately Walker’s adrenaline junkie ways have crashed–he’s having panic attacks. Potentially devastating to his budding music career, they’re a deadly handicap when shooting for eight seconds aboard an angry bull. He needs to learn to face his fears to save the family fortunes. If he succeeds, this time Walker will be the one to leave Heart Falls, and Ivy, behind.

Will Ivy and Walker have to give up on forever, or can they turn this rancher’s song into a winning duet?

Review:   I’ve been a fan of Vivian Arend for a couple years.  I’ve read much of the Rocky Mountain series and was curious about her new series.  When I was asked to review A Rancher’s Song, I jumped at the chance.  This is the second book in this series.  The book stands alone, but there were times where I felt if I’d read book one, some things would make more sense.

A Rancher’s Song is a reunion story.  Ivy and Walker were high school sweethearts who went their separate ways following graduation.  Ivy went off to college and Walker ended up in the rodeo.  Now years later, they’re both back in their home town and obviously still have feelings for each other.  They also both have secrets and issues to overcome.

Ivy was a much easier character to like.  She’s overcome various obstacles in life and now is ready to live life to the fullest and go after what she wants most.  She’s got her dream job, is back around family and now she wants Walker.

Walker on the other hand was a little harder to get a grasp on.  I don’t mean to say he wasn’t likable, he was.  But he was a little brooding and like a lot of guys, he didn’t want to talk about what was bothering him.  His internal struggles got a little repetitive after a while.

The romance between Ivy and Walker is the whole story.  It is sweet and well developed.  There wasn’t any crazy drama or external forces trying to tear them apart.  In fact, it seems that everyone was cheering them on.  In the end, it was just internal issues with Ivy and Walker that had to be handled in order to find their happy ever after.

All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable read.  I could have used a little drama, some sort of friction.  But it was a sold read and my emotions were engaged.  If you’re looking for a good western romance, check this one out.






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Jen: Today we welcome Mary Burton to Romancing the Book. Mary, will you share a short bio with us?
Mary: A Richmond, Virginia native, I’ve birthed my family here as well as my thirty-four published novels—four as Mary Ellen Taylor. I began by writing romance and soon segued into romantic suspense, which I love. It’s a natural for me as I’ve always enjoyed research, which goes hand-in-hand with my fascination with law enforcement. I never tire of learning more about it, whether it’s procedures, evidence collection or forensics. My husband and I still live in Richmond, along with our three miniature dachshunds. (More about the pups at www.maryburton.com) When I’m not writing, you can find me at the gym, taking long walks, or baking in the kitchen.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Mary: I set my latest novel HER LAST WORD in my hometown of Richmond, a location that has inspired me time and time again. Not long ago, I started listening to podcasts and found them fascinating—not just the content but the opportunity for individuals to share ideas, opinions and, in Kaitlin Roe’s case, her search for a killer. As I listened to more and more different voices, I realized I wanted to write a story that incorporated the format. I saw it as not just way to amplify ideas and gain influence, but as an investigative tool my protagonist could use in her search for truth. Once that idea hit me, I was off and running.

Fourteen years ago, Kaitlin Roe was the lone witness to the abduction of her cousin Gina. She still remembers that lonely Virginia road. She can still see the masked stranger and hear Gina’s screams. And she still suffers the guilt of running away in fear and resents being interrogated as a suspect in the immediate aftermath. Now Kaitlin has only one way to assuage the pain and nightmares—by interviewing everyone associated with the unsolved crime for a podcast that could finally bring closure to a case gone cold.

But when a woman Kaitlin questions is later found stabbed to death, she fears that she’s drawn a killer out of hiding. It’s Detective John Adler’s fear that the murders have only just begun. Now his job is to keep Kaitlin safe.

As a bond between Kaitlin and Adler builds, the past closes in just as fast—and it’s darker than Kaitlin remembers. Soon, her wish will come true. She’s going to find out exactly what happened to Gina. Someone has been dying to tell her.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Mary: No, it’s just me!

Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Mary: Tense. Dark. Tight.

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Mary: Right now, it’s a no to the first part of your question. There was one area I was very excited about and a few years ago, I followed through. I decided to try my hand at “women’s fiction” and Mary Ellen Taylor was born. Those four contemporary novels themes of family, relationships and growing/succeeding in the face of life’s challenges. Also, I’ve always enjoyed history. I got my start writing historical romance. I was ready to tackle a novel that wove in historical elements. Beginning with the first Mary Ellen Taylor title, THE UNION STREET BAKERY, I’ve brought history—real and imagined—into each book. “Mary Ellen’s” next novel, WINTER COTTAGE, will be released by Montlake in September 2018.

Regarding part two of your question, I’m feeling pretty comfortable saying you won’t find me writing military science fiction. Too far from my wheelhouse.

Jen: What’s been the highlight of your career to this point?
Mary: Hitting the top 10 in the Kindle store and The New York Times and USA Today best seller lists were great milestones to me as were becoming a two time RITA finalist. And just a couple of years ago, Washington Romance Writers honored me with their Lifetime Achievement Award. But honestly just being able to write (which I love!) on a daily basis is pretty amazing.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Mary: I love to take my three dachshunds for walks. I often post our morning walk pictures on Facebook. I also enjoy baking and even went so far as to earn my baking certificate from the of University of Richmond’s Culinary Arts School.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Mary: I’m working on my next suspense novel and also my next Mary Ellen Taylor novel, both of which will be out next year.

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Her Last Word by Mary Burton
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher:  Montlake Romance
Pages: 360
Source: Book provided by NetGalley for review

 

Fourteen years ago, Kaitlin Roe was the lone witness to the abduction of her cousin Gina. She still remembers that lonely Virginia road. She can still see the masked stranger and hear Gina’s screams. And she still suffers the guilt of running away in fear and resents being interrogated as a suspect in the immediate aftermath. Now Kaitlin has only one way to assuage the pain and nightmares—by interviewing everyone associated with the unsolved crime for a podcast that could finally bring closure to a case gone cold.

But when a woman Kaitlin questions is later found stabbed to death, she fears that she’s drawn a killer out of hiding. It’s Detective John Adler’s fear that the murders have only just begun. Now his job is to keep Kaitlin safe.

As a bond between Kaitlin and Adler builds, the past closes in just as fast—and it’s darker than Kaitlin remembers. Soon, her wish will come true. She’s going to find out exactly what happened to Gina. Someone has been dying to tell her.

Review:  Author Mary Burton departs from a traditional storytelling approach in Her Last Word. While it might seem unusual to some readers, I found it highly engaging. Each chapter alternates between snippets of a podcast created by the main character and actual events that are happening. This works very well in keeping the suspense mounting as the story unfolds.

The central theme of the book focuses around Kaitlin Roe’s search for her missing cousin. As she reconstructs the events leading up to the 14-year-old abduction, the story shifts to a current day murderer who seems determined to silence the past. The love element comes into play in the form of Detective John Adler.

I found myself trying to put the clues together, but the author only revealed snippets at a time. It’s not until the explosive ending that all the pieces fall into place. I felt that all of the characters, even those who were eventually killed off, meshed well together with plenty of development. The added details of Kaitlin’s rather troubled past illustrated why people weren’t taking her seriously in her search for justice.

I enjoyed this introduction to Mary Burton’s work and look forward to seeing if she has more in this genre. It takes skill to pull off a solid serial killer story — and Her Last Word meets that requirement.






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Today we welcome Jennifer Blackwood to Romancing the Book.  Before we get to her top 5 list, let’s learn a little more about her and her newest release.

Jennifer Blackwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the Rule Breakers, Drexler University, and Snowpocalypse series. Aside from writing contemporary romance, Blackwood teaches English in Oregon, where she lives with her husband, son, and unruly black Lab puppy. When she isn’t writing or teaching, you can find her binge-watching some of her favorite TV shows, such as Supernatural and Gilmore Girls.


Burning Up by Jennifer Blackwood
Series: Flirting with Fire, #1
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Unemployed schoolteacher Erin Jenkins is back in Portland, the town she hasn’t called home for more than a decade. It’s not the way she wants to spend her last days of summer: in between jobs and avoiding her mother’s snooping by escaping to the ice-cream aisle. But when the opportunity arises for her to accompany her brother’s best friend—her lifetime crush—to a wedding, summer gets a whole lot more interesting.

Firefighter and single dad Jake Bennett has built a nice, safe wall around his heart—no romance, no getting burned. That doesn’t mean he’s ruling out a fling. Considering Erin’s visit is temporary, they’re the perfect fit for a scorching no-strings one-night stand. Or two. Or five. Until the worst thing happens: Erin and Jake are feeling more. Damn that four-letter word.

Now their hearts are on the line, and when their smoldering summer comes to a close, it’s going to be harder than ever to put out the fire.

Top 5 Reasons To Love a Firefighter

Thanks for having me on here today! I’m here to chat about Burning Up, my sexy new firefighter romance. It follows school teacher Erin Jenkins and her brother’s best friend (and life-long crush) Jake Bennett.

Jake was so much fun to write. First, because let’s be honest here—firefighting is a totally hot profession. I had the tough task (complete pleasure) of riding along with my local station in order to gather information for the book. The dynamic and brotherhood of the men on shift really gave me loads of inspiration for the characters in the Flirting with Fire series! The first hero, Jake, is not only a firefighter, but a father. There’s just something about a single dad that is really fun to explore. Jake is a multi-faceted character that excels at his high-octane job, makes sure all his men at the station are taken care of, and then comes home and dotes on his daughter. He’s no stranger to Youtube tutorials and Googling. He’d do anything for his family and the people he loves.

When I was writing Jake, I used a mix between Jesse Lee Soffer and Tyler Hoechlin as inspiration. As for why Jake is a firefighter, he chose this job because he loves the rush he gets when he helps someone in need. Plus, since he was three and his firefighter grandfather took him to visit the fire station, he’d always wanted to become a firefighter, and hasn’t wavered since.

Why you’ll love reading about firefighters:

  1. They are fiercely loyal to those they care about
  2. They like it hot. Both in and out of the bedroom
  3. They’re great at cleaning and cooking (both things they have to do at the station)
  4. Training and weights are a must, so you know they’re going to be ripped
  5. They help people for a living—how sexy is that?

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A Little Fang Never Hurt Anybody by JR Pearson
Series: Monster Haven (# 1)
Release Date: September 1, 2017
Publisher: Changeling Press
Pages: 144
Source: book provided by the publisher for review

Werewolf Wild Child.
Taco Enthusiast.
Drunk Table Dancing Expert.
Queen of Shitty Relationships.
Me.
Kokoa Lovell. (Pronounced as cocoa)

I’m an honest-to-goodness, denial wearing- f*ck-up. My love life contains themes of extreme complication, washboard abs and mind-blowing romps in the sack. It’s okay though. I swallow the crazy sh*t life is bringing in buckets because I really don’t want to deal with what’s important… like finally facing my scarier than split ends great grandfather — the head honcho himself and why his decades long absence has come to an end in time for my birthday. And wondering why I collected lust cards from three different guys.

The next few days I face is sure to be a cluster–f*ck of epic proportions, during which, I will learn the following: It’s cute to cuddle with a lion but dangerous when he’s keeping secrets… Flirting and making hubba-hubba eyes at a vampire is just asking to get your neck chomped on. And sending Polaroid pictures of your ass to a dragon is all fun and games till he decides to kidnap you.

My solution: Eat a ton of birthday cake then run like hell.

Review: This writing style and I didn’t get along. I found the constant cheesy lines, and “bad ass” attitude wore thin on the third page. The one-liners zinging back and forth and constant character interaction without purpose took me out of the story. I felt like I was reading chapters worth of filler with very few real nuggets of plot or important information that would come up later.

The leading lady, Kokoa felt more like sixteen, than twenty-three, and her indecisiveness, immaturity, and concern over minuscule things annoyed me.

The world itself had potential. The story of a supernatural town, its founders, and the beings living in it intrigued me. Unfortunately, we didn’t get an in-depth look into that, and what we did get read too much like an info dump. There was an interesting twist, but it came so late in the story, it didn’t save the read for me. I felt like the story ended where it should’ve started.






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