It was a week of hits and misses! Three of this week’s releases made my Best of July list (making it a crazy good week in that regard), one was sexy escapism, and two didn’t quite hit the mark. After a bit of a slump mid-month, I was so happy to find some books that pulled me out of it.
If you read my Teaser Tuesday post (found here), you know that there are plenty more exciting books on the way this month. I’ve already read some of August’s releases, and we’re in for some very good romances. I’ll have reviews going up throughout the week!
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 August release calendar, my Best of July list, and this week’s Deals and Steals list.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Absolutely LOVED this
“Palmer ‘Pal’ Campbell has epic breakdown on the 18th hole of the Bermuda Open! Video at 11.”
After spending my entire pro golfing career being known as the quiet, controlled, no-nonsense golfer on the tour, there’s nothing more humiliating than throwing all of that down the drain—or into a water hazard—on national television. Needing some place to hide, to lick my wounds and figure out what I even want to do with my life once this blows over, I can only think of one place I need to be. Summersweet Island, where everyone treats me like one of their own, and they’ll all be happy to have me home again.
Well, except maybe one person. It’s been two years since I last set foot on Summersweet Island or spoke to anyone there. But I’m sure Birdie Bennett, my best friend since I was 15 and the clubhouse manager of my favorite golf course, has had plenty of time to forgive me for that tiny little misunderstanding where I blocked her on social media and blocked her in my phone. Oh, and I guess I kind of, sort of accused her of being a stalker. It’s fine!
Once my sexy, spunky, former best friend gets over the shock of seeing me again and stops trying to drive a 9-iron into my skull, I can finally let her know I’ve also kind of, sort of always been in love with her…
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Vacation escapism
A writer looking for inspiration in Tuscany.
One hot Italian single dad.
This summer is going to be a scorcher.
One Hot Italian Summer by New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA TodayBestselling author, Karina Halle is now live!
After the death of her best friend and writing partner, Grace Harper is struggling both with grief, and with her next novel, the first one she’ll have to write alone.
Fortunately, her new powerhouse agent, the formidable Jana Lee, has a solution for her. She can stay at her villa in Tuscany for a month, soak in the sunshine, relax, and find her confidence again. After all, Jana has a lot riding on Grace’s next book, and the last thing she wants is for her reputation as a “super-agent” to be tarnished.
At first the villa is a dream come true for Grace – that is until Claudio Romano shows up one day with his ten-year old son, Vanni, in tow. Turns out, this is Claudio’s house, and Claudio happens to be her agent’s ex-husband from long ago. Thanks to their annual father and son bonding trip being cancelled, Claudio and Vanni are here to stay.
So is Grace.
With the three of them sharing the same house, Grace’s writing plans are thrown out the window. But even if she’s not pounding the keyboard, she’s still finding beauty and inspiration… in none other than Claudio. He’s unlike any man Grace has met before. He’s smart, charming, and wickedly sexy, plus a great father to Vanni. He’d be the perfect summer fling – if only he wasn’t completely off-limits.
But as the hot Italian summer wears on, Grace and Claudio are destined to succumb to the heat, no matter how hard they try to resist each other. One steamy encounter with Claudio could affect Grace’s chances of starting her career over.
Or he could be exactly what she needs.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Adorably sexy
I met Alessandra at a party. Tried to impress her. Was almost positive I was going to fail.
I think I said something along the lines of, “I’m a Goat called Fish who’s hung like a bull—but not really. I’m actually pretty average.” Smooth. I know. Try not to be jealous.
When she laughed—and I mean, really laughed—I knew she wasn’t like the other girls I’d been meeting on tour. Hell, she wasn’t even in the same stratosphere as those fangirls and gold-diggers.
At one point during the party, Alessandra said, “There’s nothing like a girl’s first love.” I knew she was talking about the first smash hit by my band, 22 Goats. Alessandra said it was the first song she’d heard by us and it “hit her like a ton of bricks.” Ironic, seeing as how I was having the same reaction from being in her presence.
I made it my mission to impress her. Give her the kiss of a lifetime that night. But since I’ve always been the dude with zero game, nothing went according to plan.
I’m not giving up, though. I’m going to win this girl over. I’m done sitting on the sidelines, watching the bad boy getting the girl. This time, the nice guy will finish first. Even if it’s the last thing he’ll do.
Smitten is an all-new standalone friends to lovers romance!
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️ Lacking the love
I never thought my perp walk would lead to true love.
Then again, I never thought I’d be arrested on RICO charges and hauled away in zip ties on camera for the world to see, minutes after closing the most amazing deal of my career.
And all of it in front of my biggest rival, billionaire wunderkind Ian McRory.
I am broke.
I am disgraced.
I am alone.
I am a sucker.
But the worst part? I have to go back to my hometown and live in my bedroom filled with relics from my childhood.
Lisa Frank never made me so mad before.Just when I needed a rescue, I got one — in the form of help from my biggest rival.
He can’t bring back my money.
He certainly can’t bring back my reputation or my pride.
But there’s one thing he can bring back to me.
A sense of hope.
Maybe even love.
Ian sees something in me no one else does, and he’s relentless about making me see it, too. As we grow closer, I’m starting to see that while my entire life used tobe a lie, the truth is staring me in the present — and it’s a truth I like very, very much, hot eyes and gorgeous smile and all.
But I have to be careful.
I can’t be too —That’s right.
The final book in the USA Today bestselling Do-Over Series (Fluffy, Perky, Feisty), as Mallory’s sister, Hastings “Hasty” Monahan gets her turn at a happily ever after that starts off with an arrest.
Read the review here
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 stars – with an asterisk
Nathan Mercer, the only man in my life.
Falling for him was never an option.
We met ten years ago, when we started at the same company on the same day.
With being new in town and nobody else to rely on, we quickly became friends.
And while Nathan went on to rule San Francisco, I’m still doing the same job with the same people.
We finish each other’s sentences, we spend Christmas together and he sleeps at my house more than his.
He’s beautiful…. beyond belief.
In another life, he’s probably my soul mate.
However, lately things have changed. He’s started looking at me differently.
His eyes drop to my lips as I speak.
His hugs are tighter…. longer.
Our fights are more passionate, his jealousy insane.
I know it’s all in my head….it has to be.
They say to never love someone who treats you like you’re ordinary.
I don’t, to him I’m a queen.
But our story is complicated.
And as much as I love Nathan Mercer with all of my heart.
He’s the one man I can never have.
Read the review here
That awkward moment when you insult the boss on your first day on the job.
Yeah, that just happened.
In my defense, if I’d known it was Connor Colby of the Colby’s Chocolates and Candies empire standing by the display dressed in a candy cane-striped suit, I never would have opened my mouth to tell him that their signature chocolate bar sucked.
How was I supposed to know he was the boss man?
He was in town temporarily to help save his father’s company.
I was only there for a payday to jump start my art career.
I had one job—help him come up with a rock solid marketing plan.
The task included long nights and late dinners working by Connor’s side.
It did not include kisses, sex in the supply closet, or … worst yet, falling in love.
Why is that so bad you ask?
Because the man is leaving right after our mission is complete. Job done.
Will our sweet love turn into sour patched tear jerkers or will he be my big hunk, now & later and forever?
Read the review here
Mark Your Calendar: August Releases
There are SO MANY new romance novels coming your way in the month of August!!! 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! Check out the calendar here.
Best of July 2020
July was all about exploring the work of new-to-me authors because many of my favorites released books in June. So I think it’s only fitting that every single book at the top of my list for the month was written by an author whose work I’m just starting to get familiar with. I loved this crazy month of ups and downs; for every miss (nearly half of my reviews this month were rated as 3 stars), there was an author whose work I’ll be moving up to the top of my TBR the next time around. And that’s priceless to me.
Call it a slump, call it an exploratory mission into untested waters, this month was a wild ride for me! The following five books stand out at the top of the pack, and they are so different that it’s ridiculous. From light to angsty, complicated to easygoing, there’s something for every mood here. Check out the list here.
This Week’s Deals and Steals
New week, new deals!!! There continue to be a ton of great freebies and deals out there on Kindle books, so get clicking and load up your eReader! These low/no price books are the perfect way to try out new-to-you authors without breaking the bank.
They’re sorted into four lists – freebies, 99 cents, $1.99 and $2.99 or more. These deals change daily and it’s almost the end of the month, so grab them while you can! Fair warning: I add new deals as I see them, but only remove expired deals once a week and they sometimes go fast. Check out the complete list here.