After a really great month for new releases, we were due for a quieter week! Not everything was a winner this week, but there were a couple of stellar new books (including one of my favorites of the month).
If you read my Teaser Tuesday post (found here), you know that things pick back up on the 7th, then go into overdrive starting on the 14th. I’m using the holiday weekend to get ahead on my ARCs, and I’ve got some very exciting books on my Kindle right now!
If you missed any of this week’s reviews, I’ve got the blurb and rating for each below. There’s also a link to my Best of June 2020 list, my July Release Calendar, and this week’s Deals and Steals list.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ SO GOOD
Hard to Handle, book one in the Play Hard series, an all new series of standalone books by New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, is LIVE!
At first, the request seemed simple—sign a new athlete to the agency. Then I found out the new athlete was none other than the most wanted man in hockey today: Hunter Maddox
Gifted. Sexy. At the top of his game. And the only man who has ever broken my heart.If signing him will help save our family business, I’ll swallow my pride and do what’s asked.
But when it becomes clear his uncharacteristic antics off the ice are a hint of something deeper, keeping things strictly professional between us becomes more than complicated.
But I know better than to cross that line.
I’ll never date a client. Not even for him.
Win the Stanley Cup and do it before time runs out.
Not a small feat, but it’s what’s motivated me since the start of my career.
And time is running out.
Enter Dekker Kincade.
Feisty. Dogged. Damn gorgeous. The one I let get away.
I have no idea why she’s traveling with the team, but hell if resisting her is going to be easy.
But I have a job to do, and I refuse to lose sight of that end game. Even if she confuses me. Even if she sees parts of me I’ve hidden from the world.
I can’t lose focus. Not even for her.
Read the review here
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/31sFj7b
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Heartfelt and emotional
The sexy-as-sin contractor and straightlaced attorney are from two different worlds, but can they find common ground with each other in this small-town romance?
First I turned down a marriage proposal, then I moved to Annapolis to open a law firm. I thought my world couldn’t change any more…
Until Cade stepped into my office, smelling of sawdust with his company’s T-shirt stretched taut over his chest and biceps. Everything about him was sexy-as-sin and completely off-limits.
But I can’t risk the business I sunk my savings into by dating a client, and he won’t risk his heart.
The more we spend time together, the more I want him. Even if a relationship between us was possible, how can he give me all of him?
After my wife died, I swore off dating. I threw myself into my charity instead. It was easy at first, but I can’t ignore my attraction anymore.
Hadley comes from a wealthy family that operates with manipulation, lies, and deceit. I don’t fit into her world, but the closer we get, the more I wanted to show her how things could be different.
I never thought I’d meet someone who gave me hope for a future. One full of possibilities, love, and maybe even marriage and kids.
But how can I promise her forever when I know love doesn’t last?
Read the review here
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/2VrNooY
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2YGsWmr
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Emotional and sexy
I knew the risks of this job when I signed on with Jameson Force Security. Knew my time as a marine would prepare me for the danger I would face. But no amount of training could have ever prepared me for the helplessness of watching my teammates die, the agonizing mental and physical pain of torture, or the despair of captivity.
Returning home to Pittsburgh following a mission gone wrong, I am riddled with guilt and haunted by nightmares. I spend my days trying to regain the parts of myself I lost in that desert, the pieces that made me the Malik Fournier I once was. While the physical effects of my torture are fading, the emotional ones are proving much more stubborn and I find solace from the last person I should ever seek such comfort.
Anna Tate lost even more than I did in that mission. Now a widow and a single mom to the daughter she gave birth to shortly after her husband’s death, Anna offers me comfort I don’t deserve. As my feelings for Anna grow, I worry that once she learns the truth about what happened, she’ll turn her back on me.
I pull her to me just as tightly as I push her away. Hoping this forbidden love will save me from the ghost I’ve become.
Read the review here
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/2YFCEFj
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2Vpf0ec
Audiobook (narrated by Aaron Shedlock and Virginia Rose): https://amzn.to/3eKjlAr
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Suspenseful and steamy
From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Nicole Snow comes a heart-wrenching, steamy, and laugh out loud funny standalone romance where one growly Romeo puts everything on the line to save his fake fiancée.
He never bothered with hello.
The shrieking hot stranger had me dizzy the instant he said we’re engaged.
Then he chased off the bully on our heels and dragged me back to his place for the night.
Pure insanity, right?
You don’t let pride do the talking when you’re homeless, on the run, and hauling around your sick father in a truck so old it must’ve been on Noah’s Ark.
You definitely don’t complain when Ridge Barnet takes charge.
(In)famous heartthrob. Stinking rich. Fed up owner of one angry rooster. Eyes set to permanent storm.
Of course, it doesn’t end there.
My unexpected Romeo doubles down on this ridiculous “fake fiancée” rescue scheme.
One blazing kiss shatters worlds.
I’m swept up in a small-town fairy tale, wishing I hadn’t lost my faith in wishes years ago.
He’s saving my life. Hero and done. Nothing more.
Prince Charmings don’t really marry pumpkin farmers from Wisconsin.
Give me strength.
Tell me his gaze doesn’t scream obsession.
Save me from his oh-so-believable growls.
Help me believe our little arrangement never, ever ends in “I do.”
Full-length romance novel with a Happily Ever After sure to blow some socks off. Two shattered hearts from opposite worlds find their forever. A damaged heartthrob takes control, lays claim, and protects his sassy stray.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Not so satisfying
“Kevin Kwan’s new book is his most decadent yet.” —Entertainment Weekly
The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the WASPY fiancé of her family’s dreams and George Zao, the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.
On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can’t stand him. She can’t stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can’t stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can’t stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin Charlotte. “Your mother is Chinese so it’s no surprise you’d be attracted to someone like him,” Charlotte teases. The daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton, where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, and ultimately herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world–and her heart. Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️ Not for me
He was someone who belonged on the cover of Sports Illustrated instead of in my small beach town.
A sexy, cocky Australian soccer star named Finn was the last person I expected to be living with for two weeks.
He showed up at my brother’s house on his wedding night, hot, drunk, and very much not married. Next thing I knew, we were roommates, spending nights watching TV and getting to know one another.
Those two weeks turned into more than either of us bargained for.
He was fresh off a broken heart and I had a boyfriend.
I wasn’t supposed to fall for the jilted jock, especially when I knew we’d be going our separate ways.
All good things must come to an end, right?
Except he’s not letting me go without a fight.
Read the review here
Best of June 2020
This was such a FANTASTIC release month that I really, really struggled to narrow down my list of favorites. I think I rated more books as 5 stars this month than I did in March and April combined, but I also read more of June’s releases than I have any other month (39 in total!). There are six books that immediately jumped to the top of the pack, books that I would recommend without hesitation. I devoured each and every one of my top picks this month, completely invested in the stories.
But I’d be remise if I didn’t mention the other five that stood out in a crowd of great new releases. I usually pick 5-6 of my favorites as the best of the month, but looking at these Honorable Mentions… I just could not leave them out. They’re all excellent reads in their own way, with completely different vibes and storylines that will keep you hooked. They might have one or two things that bugged me, but they all held my attention in a big way.
Check out the complete list here.
Mark Your Calendar: July Releases
There are SO MANY new romance novels coming your way in the month of July!!! It can be incredibly difficult to keep track of all of the new releases each month, so I’ve put together a calendar to help you manage your TBR. The following books are the ones that are on my radar – I’ll be reviewing MANY of these throughout the month, so keep an eye out for new reviews! If I know for sure that I’ll be reviewing a book, then I’ve indicated that as well. See all of the upcoming releases here.
New Month, New Freebies and Deals
I love the first of the month because it brings a whole new selection of deals! I’ve collected free or cheap Kindle books from romance authors I’ve read or been meaning to try – most are less than $1! Try out some new-to-you authors for cheap or fill up your Kindle with books from authors you already love. Grab them while you can because they change daily!!!! View the complete list here.