WEEKLY WRAP-UP: September 11th

This week… was actually lamer than I expected! There was a definite lull in releases because of Labor Day and kids going back to school. There was also one new release that I was really excited about, and it ended up being a major disappointment.

The good news? I’ve spent the last several days reading NEXT week’s releases, and there’s a lot of good stuff on the way. The 15th is a huge release day, and I’ve already read several books that come out next week. There are some hits and some misses, but my favorite so far is Loathe Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter, which is definitely a contender for my best of the month list.

The extra good news? There are a LOT of great deals going on right now. I think this week’s recommendation list will be all about the best books that are on sale – stay tuned!

Since there weren’t a lot of new reviews this week, I’m doing things a little differently. Now that I’ve read six of the ten September releases I was most excited about (and have two more sitting on my Kindle), I thought I’d revisit last week’s list and give a few updates – including a bonus entry that was just announced!

Sept 17th: Loathe Thy Neighbor by Teagan Hunter

Update: Loved it! This was an easy 5-star rating for me. While I wasn’t originally sure what the vibe was going to be like, this was light and sexy with so much great tension. It never gets too heavy, and I read it in one sitting. It’s undoubtedly a contender for my best of the month list. The live release is set for the 17th, and I’ll have my full review up then.

Don’t fall for your enemy…especially when he’s your new roommate.

Dean Evans is the worst.

Not only does the devil in disguise steal my pie on a regular basis, he also lives in the apartment right. Next. Door.

I see him all the time. At the mailboxes. In the elevator.

Every single morning.

It’s exhausting because he’s exhausting.

Now, after setting his apartment on fire, he’s my roommate…and he’s the worst at that too.

I don’t know what possessed me to let him stay with me. Pity, perhaps?

I do know that I won’t be falling for his charm.

Or that panty-dropping smirk.

His quick wit.

That body he works so hard for.

Nope. Not falling for any of it…least of all him.

There might be a fine line between love and hate, but I know exactly where I stand.

Amazon: Live Release

Check out my favorite from the author, Let’s Get Textual, while you wait for the release: https://amzn.to/2QZGk02

Sept 10th: The Setup by Meghan Quinn

Update: This REALLY disappointed me. The more I think about it, the less I like it. While the previous book in the series, The Change Up, is one of my favorite books of the year so far, the truly horrible ending of The Setup makes it one of my least favorite. It scored a 3-star rating from me because of the quality of the first half, but the ending is the kind that makes you want to 1-star an otherwise great book.

I’ve fallen victim to a heinous act. 

An act so vile, so downright dirty, that I’m not sure as a twenty-year-old man I’ll ever recover. Brace yourself, because what I’m about to tell you might have you gasping in secondhand horror.

Ready? Here it goes . . .

I’ve recently become the pawn of a meddling mom.

Yes . . . A MEDDLING MOM–who’s been trying to set me up all summer.

Now, I understand it’s not a crime for a mother to want her child to fall in love, but when she makes it her relentless MISSION, the heinous act should be classified as a misdemeanor at least.

Of course, my mom, the evil matriarch in the devil’s leggings, made her final stab at finding a girl for me days before I went back to college.

And I hate to admit it, but she saved a doozy for last. 

A titan in black skinny jeans. 

A boss of nonchalance. 

And a girl who would not only turn my life upside down, but do it while juggling a soccer ball, looking effortlessly gorgeous around campus, and is one hundred percent against relationships. Of any sort. 

Thanks, Mom. 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YPRxF5

Check out The Change Up if you want Quinn’s banter paired with angst that’s heart-wrenching but not problematic: https://amzn.to/2QUQmzJ

Sept 15th: Flirting with 40 by K. Bromberg

Update: This one is sitting on my Kindle at the moment, and I can’t wait to get into it! From what I’ve heard from other early reviewers, this one is light and easy with touches of angst. I’ll have my review up next week with the verdict!

An all new flirty, lighthearted, standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg guaranteed to make you swoon. 

Blakely Foxx is having one of those years. 

Her divorce may have been finalized a few months ago, but her ex is already engaged to someone half her age. Her younger boss is determined to sabotage her chance at getting the promotion she rightly deserves. And to make matters worse, she’s closing in on the big 4-0. There isn’t enough wine or ice cream in the world to convince her things will turn around.

When Blakely meets Slade Henderson, she’s left wondering why an early-thirties, hotter than hell, cardiothoracic surgeon would take an interest in her. 

She’s been warned that he’ll break her heart, but she’s willing to take the chance. Not only is he helping her get that promotion, but in the process, he’s encouraging her to find the parts of herself she’s lost over the past few years. 

Slade shows her that good guys really do exist, but who knew the hardest part about turning forty would be realizing the man you thought was a rebound, is actually your happily ever after?

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lBkmPl

Want something angstier? Check out Hard to Handle, the first book in Bromberg’s series of sports romances: https://amzn.to/3lRu6VF

Sept 3rd: Real Fake Love by Pippa Grant

Update: Loved it! This had so much of Grant’s quirky humor and sexy chemistry. It’s my favorite series of hers (so far), and I can’t wait to read more. I recommend it if you want something light and funny with heart. Another best of the month contender for sure.

If people have polar opposites, Luca Rossi is mine.

His butt is in the baseball hall of fame. Mine’s comfortably seated in the hall of lame.

When he’s not snagging fly balls out in center field, he’s modeling in shampoo commercials. I once jammed my own finger while stirring cookie dough, and sometimes I forget shampoo is a thing.

He’s a total cynic when it comes to love.

I make a living writing love stories.

But after my latest broken engagement (no, I don’t want to talk about how many times that’s happened), it’s clear he’s exactly the man I need.

If anyone can teach me to be the opposite of me, it’s him.

The first thing I want him to teach me?

How to not fall in love.

And as luck would have it, he’s in desperate need of a fake girlfriend to get a meddling grandmother off his back.

We couldn’t be more perfect together, because the last thing Luca Rossi will ever be is the next man to leave me at the altar.

Or will he?

Real Fake Love is a line drive straight to the heart featuring a grumpy athlete, a jilted bride, a fake relationship, and the world’s laziest cat. It stands alone and comes complete with sibling rivalry, the world’s most awkward shower scene, and a sweetly satisfying happily ever after.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3i1T2aE

Real Fake Love is out now, but if you haven’t read the first book in the series, Jock Blocked, yet, I highly recommend you do so. Not for storyline purposes, but because it’s excellent: https://amzn.to/2Z922mS

Sept 24th: Crazy to Love You by J. Saman

Update: This one is sitting on my Kindle at the moment and I’m ready to get reading. I snuck a peek at the prologue, and that alone tells me that it’s not going to pull any punches. The duet the precedes this was tense and kinda angsty, and from everything I know about this hero, his road to happily ever after is going to be rocky. I’ll have my review up on release day!

I am meeting this woman for one reason and one reason only. And that officially makes her off-limits.

I want the one woman I cannot have. Again.
The second I lay eyes on Naomi Kent, I know I want her. 
And not just for my duet, though her voice is so strikingly beautiful, it can make angels weep. 
It’s her mind, her passion, her perfect curvy body. Everything about her sets my blood on fire.
But here’s the thing… I need her to get this song produced. 
She needs me to help her regain the life she lost. 
So, any chance at an us… Well, that’s a no-go, right? 

I don’t want anything Gus Diamond has to offer me.
And that includes his gorgeous face and sexy-as-all-sin body. Well, maybe I do want those. 
But this duet? Nope. Not a chance. 
I gave up this life when my world shattered and my broken pieces were stomped all over in a very public way. So you can understand why the last thing I want is to relive all that. 
But Gus has this way about him. 
And before I know what’s happening, I’m saying yes to things I know better than to say yes to. 
Including him. 
That is until my past decides to make an unexpected return. With one hell of an entrance. 

CRAZY TO LOVE YOU is a sexy, fun, and emotional forbidden romance with all the feels! It can be read as a standalone

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jnsjWg

Crazy to Love You will read as a standalone, but you’ll get a more complete picture of our antihero if you read the Wild Minds duet first: https://amzn.to/3266aGl

Sept 20th: The One That Got Away by Karina Halle

Update: I was nervous about the complicated relationship in this book before, and I’m extra nervous now! I have a feeling that this one’s going to be for those who love angst and messy relationships. Halle is very active on Twitter, and one of her recent posts has me thinking that this is going to be drama-filled:

We’ll see how this one plays out! I did not request an ARC and am not sure if I’ll read it right away. I might wait to see how the other early reviewers feel about this one.

An epic standalone sports romance

Ruby Turner was never meant to be mine.

When I first met her she was a fresh, young American sports journalist trying to find her footing in a new life abroad. She was the one interviewing me for an article, yet I wanted to know more about her. She captivated me.

But she went home with Marco that night.
My agent.
My brother.

And I did what I could to pretend I was fine with it. After all, I’m Luciano Ribeiro. As the captain of Real Madrid, and Portugal’s National Team, it’s my job to be cool, calm, and collected, not easily rattled.

Only what I felt for Ruby over time, shook me to my very core. It made me do things I never imagined I would do.
It started with a stolen kiss in the middle of the night.
It led to a passionate tryst.
It created a burden of guilt that I had to carry, as Ruby came in and out of my life until she left for good, leaving her mark on me.

Now, seven years later, she’s back.
She was the one that got away.
I don’t think I’ll let her go this time.
But I might not have a choice.
Because my heart still belongs to her.
And her heart might belong to my brother.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2G7SUbA

We got a peek at this hero in Halle’s One Hot Italian Summer, and it got me excited to get reading. Check out that summer fling romance if you haven’t yet: https://amzn.to/3h1G6jQ

Sept 3rd: Revved to the Maxx by Melanie Moreland

Update: Loved it! This had such a unique feel, and I loved the gruff, grumpy hero. It’s opposites attract romance at its best with a whole lot of steam. There’s banter and chemistry from the first time they meet. A definite contender for my best of the month list.

Maxx Reynolds needs help.

His shop, house, and life are all in a state of disarray.

In desperation, he turns to the internet to hire a new employee, 
thinking it will make his life easier

What he expects is a fellow named Charly.

What he gets is a quirky, sassy, red-head named
Charlynn who runs circles around him.

And she’s all woman.

He can’t stand her.

He can’t keep his hands off her either. 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32okjNP

Revved to the Maxx is available now, so if you’ve already read it, then check out Moreland’s light, funny Changing Roles next: https://amzn.to/2F9Z1LO

WAS Sept 29th: Return Billionaire to Sender by Annika Martin

Update: The release date just got moved to October 20th, so we’re going to have to wait a little longer for details on this sexy rom com!

The newest book in the Billionaires of Manhattan romantic comedy series! 

Shy mail carrier Noelle goes to confront the elusive and ornery billionaire, Malcolm Blackberg, to try and save their building–and gets far more than she ever bargained for.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32DS4ef

Each book in this series reads as a standalone, but you’ll want to check out The Billionaire’s Fake Fiancée because it’s a hysterical, sexy read: https://amzn.to/2Z7jqbu

Sept 16th/18th: Thanks for Last Night by Lauren Blakely

Update: This was good. Not great, but good. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was a pretty solid buildup before the steam kicks in, and this couple has plenty of chemistry. My only real complaint is that the other couples in the series overtake the story, and the romance felt lacking because of it. I’ll have my full review up next week – the release date has actually been moved up a couple of days!

A sexy new friends-to-lovers standalone!
Let me list the reasons why dating the sexy, charming pro hockey star is a bad idea:
1. He’s one of my closest friends
2. All our friends are friends
3. The wounds I’ve got from past relationships go deep. And so do his.
We’re both devoutly single — it’s just safer for the heart that way. But there’s no reason not to bid on the gorgeous, clever athlete at the charity auction this weekend. If I win, it’ll be a “friendsdate.” 
And I do win.
I win him big.
And hard.
And all night long.

The trouble is . . . what happens in the morning?

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EJWPKS

Blakely’s got a whole catalog of light and sexy romances to read while you wait, but we learned more about these friends in The What-If Guy: https://amzn.to/3i8E7eY

Sept 15th: Kane by Sawyer Bennett

Update: This was not bad, but it was pretty disappointing. These friends get together almost immediately, so it lacks any real tension. Still a light, suspenseful read and it does advance the series, but it wasn’t my favorite by any means. I’ll have my full 3-star review up next week.

I have a problem. 

Potential problem? 

I’m not really sure. Here’s the deal. 

There’s this girl—isn’t that how it always starts?—and her name is Mollie. I like her. I mean really like her. I hope that doesn’t make me seem less manly than my professional hockey player persona implies. But here’s the issue—she’s my best friend. The one person I can count on for everything, who’s been there with me for all the moments, big and small. 

When Mollie shows up at my door, travel weary and scared following an incident with an ex, my instinct to protect her goes into overdrive. It’s then that I know she’s more than just my best friend and the skates are swept out from under me when I find out she feels the same way.

Our transition from friends to lovers to potentially something more is seamless, the Arizona Vengeance is back on the ice looking for a repeat championship, and my life has never been better. Just when I think I’ve got it all figured out, the realities of us both having careers which keep us on the road put our blossoming relationship on ice.

It feels like the game just went into overtime and I’m on the verge of either the biggest win or most disappointing loss of my life. And losing is never an option.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YAbcIS

This series is easy to read in any order, but the last book, Wylde, has been one of my favorites so far: https://amzn.to/3buzokW

Sept 27th: Swing and a Mishap by Tara Sivec

Update: This is a bonus entry, because the book was just announced! We don’t have a cover or many details yet, but the first book in the series, Kiss My Putt, was SO GOOD. I can’t wait to hear more!

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