OCTOBER WRAP-UP

October was an interesting reading month for me! There weren’t a ton of new releases that caught my eye (until this week!), so I took the opportunity to catch up on my 2021 TBR a bit – and that worked out GREAT. I read a few very solid October releases, several disappointing ones, and a handful of excellent books that were released over the summer. If I subtract the books that were released prior to October, then it was not a good reading month for me. If I add the ones that were released over the summer, then it was fantastic. We’ll talk more about my favorites reads of the month when my Best of October list goes up this weekend!

Looking ahead to November, it seems like it’s going to be a quiet but solid release month. I’ve already read three 5-star romances that are releasing soon, and several other highly anticipated reads are on the way. Holiday romances and novellas will also be plentiful, so it should be a somewhat light and festive release month!

If you missed my November Release Calendar, you can find it here!

If you missed any of this month’s reviews, I’ve got the blurb and rating for each below. There’s also a link to my new release list.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Brutal and steamy 🎧

We were on the front lines in that world, the mafia world. 

There was nothing soft or glamorous about it. 

Who you were before no longer mattered. Names didn’t exist. 

I joined anyway. I had no other choice because they took my sister. 

Join. Find her. Try and make it out alive. 

Then he won me in a poker game. 

I hated him instantly, thinking he was like my other bosses before him. 

He wasn’t. He was worse

He wasn’t just cold. He was dead inside. 

It didn’t matter that he was gorgeous. 

He was the most lethal thing I’d ever met. 

He was also the only person who could keep me alive, if he didn’t kill me himself. 

A/N This is a 102k mafia/cartel standalone. 
This is the most violent book Tijan has ever written. 
Trigger warning: references to sexual violence

“Canaries sing to save lives. I sing and people die.”

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iIbjfV


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Flawless

When my husband died, he left my broken heart behind.

He left another heart behind, too—his.

I know it’s wrong. I shouldn’t be contacting the recipient of my husband’s heart. I don’t even expect him to reply…

But there’s a desperate, twisted part of me that hopes he will.

No names.
No personal details.

Just a conversation.

The only thing I have left of my husband is inside him.

WARNING: This book contains heavy themes, such as loss of a loved one and suicide. Please read responsibly.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XyJ3Vi


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Absolutely LOVED it

A wedding. A trip to Spain. The most infuriating man. And three days of pretending. Or in other words, a plan that will never work.

Catalina Martín, finally, not single. Her family is happy to announce that she will bring her American boyfriend to her sister’s wedding. Everyone is invited to come and witness the most magical event of the year.

That would certainly be tomorrow’s headline in the local newspaper of the small Spanish town I came from. Or the epitaph on my tombstone, seeing the turn my life had taken in the span of a phone call.

Four weeks wasn’t a lot of time to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic-from NYC and all the way to Spain-for a wedding. Let alone, someone eager to play along my charade. But that didn’t mean I was desperate enough to bring the 6’4 blue eyed pain in my ass standing before me.

Aaron Blackford. The man whose main occupation was making my blood boil had just offered himself to be my date. Right after inserting his nose in my business, calling me delusional, and calling himself my best option. See? Outrageous. Aggravating. Blood boiling. And much to my total despair, also right. Which left me with a surly and extra large dilemma in my hands. Was it worth the suffering to bring my colleague and bane of my existence as my fake boyfriend to my sister’s wedding? Or was I better off coming clean and facing the consequences of my panic induced lie?

Like my abuela would say, que dios nos pille confesados.

The Spanish Love Deception is an enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating, SLOW-BURN romance. Perfect for those looking for a steamy slow-burn with the sweetest Happily Ever After.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3BQZPxL


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Light and sexy

An actor, a model, and a younger man walk into a therapist’s office… They’re all Dylan Brodie. It’s only funny if you aren’t the single mom therapist he can’t stop flirting with.

Dear Mr. Brodie,

I hope this email finds you well.
Your well-being and personal growth are of the utmost importance to me, as a therapist.
As such, I have decided it is in your best interest to continue individual therapy with another practitioner.
This is due to the potential for boundaries being crossed between us.
Attached is a list of colleagues I would recommend for you.

Sincerely,
Scarlett Shepard, MS, MFT

Dear Scarlett,

Cool.
Consider our sessions terminated.
Now I can tell you how beautiful you are and how attracted I am to you.
Let’s start crossing boundaries over dinner tonight.
You’ll say it would be unethical, and I’ll point out that we’ve only had a few sessions.
You’ll cite the age difference, and I’ll tell you how hot it is that you’re six years older than me.
You’ll say you’re a mom, and I’ll remind you that I think your son is awesome.
We don’t have to discuss my former attachments to former co-stars ever again.
This is due to the fact that clearly my only personality issue is that I’m irresistible.

Yours in well-being and personal growth,
Dylan Brodie, W.M.H.T.A.T.Y.E.H. (Way More Handsome and Talented Actor Than Your Ex-Husband)

***This is a 74,000 word standalone novel with crossover characters from Funny Business as well as Sleeper and Charmer***

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3uBc2Uo


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Loved it

What happens when you strike a deal with baseball’s most talented pitcher? You slip a plastic ring on his finger and say, “I do.”

Quirky meets broody in this laugh-out-loud, romantic comedy from bestselling author, Kristy Marie. 

The tattoo down his forearm reads: My power is perfected in weakness.
It inspires bad decisions in everyone who crosses his path.
Not me though, I’ve made worse decisions before breakfast.
Marrying baseball phenom Cooper Lexington for his health insurance… doesn’t even rank Top 5.
But I can’t afford to lose this marriage by falling in love.
You see, I made a promise to myself—one I plan on keeping… even if it ruins us.

The Closer is a full-length stand-alone romantic comedy. It features crossover characters from the bestselling novel, IOU.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lTvKa9


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ So good

He might not be the devil, but working under him for six weeks is my idea of hell.

Hayes Flynn is an arrogant jerk known best for his scotch habit and the way he spreads his British “charm” all over Hollywood, never with the same woman twice. He’s the last person I want to work for, except he has a face I can’t look away from, and the longer we’re together, the harder he is to hate. Because under that smug exterior is a heart he doesn’t want to show—one that was badly broken a decade earlier.

A part of me wants to fix it for him before I leave…but can I do it without breaking my own in the process?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3oQwXSB


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Intense and steamy 🎧

Carnal (adjective):
1) Relating to the pleasures of the body
2) Given to sensual indulgence
3) The man who kidnapped me

The devil has blue eyes, an Irish accent, and a hatred for me that runs deep.

He blames me for starting a war. Consorting with his enemies. Getting his men killed. Though I’m innocent on all charges, he wants his pound of flesh. With an eye on revenge, he makes me his captive.

But as we’ll both soon discover, there are more powerful urges than that for revenge.

When the devil meets his match but she’s his sworn enemy, that’s when the real war begins.

Author’s Note: Readers requiring trigger warnings about any kind of naughty things two consenting adults might do to each other in bed (and out of it) should not read this book.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3mCFeaf


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Sexy series starter 

From USA Today bestselling author J. Saman comes a brand new Kindle-melting romance about one of Boston’s most notorious billionaire bachelors and the woman who flips his entire world upside down. 


I’ve been dreading this for a year.

Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve been dreading this reunion since we graduated high school ten years ago.

So why am I here, standing outside the door like the eternal wallflower I am?

I’d say it’s because my younger sister browbeat me into it, but the truth is, I’m tired of being a nobody. Of never taking a risk with myself and my life.

And…well…maybe I’m also hoping to see him.

The tall, insanely gorgeous man walking my way now. Oliver Fritz is regarded as one Boston’s sexiest doctors. I know him as the former god of our school. The one every girl wanted, and every guy wanted to be.

The one as loathsome to be here as I am.

That’s when he makes the proposal I’ve always dreamed of. Only, this one is fake. On bended knee, he places a ring on my finger and proposes we brave this reunion together, with me as his fake fiancée. But when our wild and steamy night ends in scandal, we’re forced to make a deal.

He gives me what I need, and in return I stay his fake fiancée, so he doesn’t lose face with the media who love him or his sick mother. Should be easy, right? Just a few months pretending to be engaged to one of Boston’s most notorious billionaire bachelors. What could go wrong?

Turns out everything.

DOCTOR SCANDALOUS is a 100k word SUPER steamy, laugh out loud, full on romance that will hit you straight in the feels! It is a standalone in a brand new series about Boston’s hottest billionaire doctors and the women they fall head over heels for!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3grDnTe


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Light and sexy

I’m having the definition of a bad year.

Game Six loss costing my team the Cup? Check.
Getting arrested and ruining my image? Check.
Almost getting run over after my car breaks down? Oh, look—a hat trick.

My contract is up with the Carolina Comets this year, and I need to get it together if I want to stay with the team.

I need relaxation, not a relationship.

But when I’m scrolling on a dating app and stumble across the pretty girl who almost ran me over, I know I can’t let her walk away this time.

Harper is funny, smart, and doesn’t care about hockey.

I’m not supposed to be focusing on anything other than my career, yet I can’t get Harper off my mind.

I know I shouldn’t fall for her…but I think I already have.

PUCK SHY is a standalone hockey romantic comedy. It’s good, low angst fun with some hot hockey players.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3i72Gux


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Laidback slow burn

Life comes at you fast and love comes out of the blue…

A small town romance about letting go of the past and learning to live in the moment. 

Blue Baldwin takes no horse crap from anybody. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. She does take horse crap. Piles of it. The real kind that is––not the metaphorical one. It kind of goes with the job description when you run a large animal rescue. What she does not take, however, is crap from an entitled movie star who needs to reform his rotten image.

Unfortunately, the farm she manages is in trouble and if she doesn’t raise the cash to save it she’ll be homeless along with the precious animals who depend on her. So she’ll grin and bear the King of Hollywood Screw Ups, and the assistant, and the overprotective brother he brings along. I mean, she takes care of large animals for a living. Isn’t that basically the same thing?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3kFUVO8


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Laidback and steamy

Summer in the city heats up when the girl who got away moves in next door.

Dean “The Machine” is a South Philly legend. Much to the dismay of fans who still hound him, the broody former fighter walked away from his boxing career right before clinching another championship belt. Tight-lipped on his reasons for retiring, he’s busy trying to figure out his future when the past literally falls in his lap.

Tabitha Tyler, the fiery redhead who captured his teenage heart, is back in town and staying next door. Only now the girl that got away is all grown up and offering him a strings-free, summer fling. Dean knows better than to start something that will leave him flat on his back and seeing stars.

But there’s only so much temptation a man can take.

Kept away by the secrets that tore her family apart, sparkly filmmaker Tabitha is home for the first time in nine years. And her old friend and new hunky neighbor is just the distraction she needs. It’s the perfect relationship for her – one with an expiration date.

She’s got two weeks to convince him to cave.

He’s got two weeks to convince her to stay.

But when she refuses to let down her guard, Dean realizes that this time…he just might get knocked out for good.

Author’s note: A smokin’ hot, friends-to-lovers, opposites-attract love story in a close-knit South Philly neighborhood with a quirky cast of nosy but well-intentioned neighbors.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3o6pTRC


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Fun series

So I may be in the Last Single Man Standing competition with my cousins, but five minutes around Kinsey was all it took to take myself out. Who cares about bragging rights when you’ve just found the woman you’re going to marry? Sure, she may work for my biggest competitor. Sure, she’s not dating right now. Sure, she’s my sister’s best friend and I’ve been sworn off her. But somehow she agrees to go on six fake dates to help me save face in this competition.

What does the guy who never uses his words have to say to convince the girl of his dreams that they’re perfect for each other?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3yxqga3


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Just okay

With happily ever after being something that happens to other people, April Mayson has decided to put all her energy into her career and living her best life, and things are better than ever. 

Little does she know that her world is about to be turned upside down when she’s asked to help out a family friend, Maxim Kauwe.

Now, she’s dealing with a man unlike any she’s ever met before, her ex—a famous musician who’s decided he wants her back—and a possible serial killer.

With all the drama suddenly swirling around her, she will have to figure out if she is brave enough to trust Maxim with her heart and maybe even her life.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3o6oRos


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Short and sexy

A holiday entry in the Rookie Rebels series, featuring a player who’s been here from the start . . . 

Goalie Erik “Fish” Jorgenson finally gets his shot at love . . . but first he’ll have to figure out what he did to offend the woman he’s had his eye on for some time. Can a little Yuletide cheer get him into her good graces, warm bed, and frozen heart? Or will he fumble the puck and lose his chance? 

Join the Chicago Rebels this holiday season and find out if Erik is as good at saving Christmas as he is at saving goals!

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3CGuDCh


⭐️⭐️⭐️ Just okay

An aristocrat and a gardener walk into a bar, and the barman says—never mind. They walked into a shed, and they’re kissing. Oops.

My name is Lady Gabriella Hastings, and there are three things you need to know about me.
One: my idiot brother will inherit the estate I’ve adored my entire life. Two: my father wants me to marry an idiot who has an estate like this. Three: my aunt’s goats keep escaping and terrorising the public.
Oh, and I have a huge crush on the gardener.
Except I have absolutely no time to sort my own love life, because I’m too busy moonlighting as an online agony aunt to fix everyone else’s problems.
If only I could stop having inappropriate feelings about Miles Kingsley, the grumpy, bearded gardener of Arrowwood Hall.
He hates me, and I’m not quite sure why. My own horticultural dreams are about to slip through my fingers, and he’s the one person who can help me.
If only he wasn’t such a classist bas—ahem.
But when a storm leaves us stranded at the estate with no power, and one of my assignments means I need his help, and a fancy party forces truths to come to light, there might just be a chance for us after all…

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3E3rYCe


⭐️⭐️ Didn’t love it

Grandma always said dying is the the easy part; it’s the living that’s hard. I’ve been fighting to live since I was seven years old, and now the doctors say I’m gonna lose that battle soon. I’ve crossed off just about everything on my bucket list—I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum and I’ve been swimming in the Caribbean; I’ve lived like I’m dying, because I am. 

There’s just one thing left on my list: I want to be a bride. I want to wear white and have my dad walk me down the aisle. I want a first dance and cake and a night to feel like a princess…and I want it with Westley Britton. 

The perfect guy. Musician, actor, and every girl’s dream man. My dream man. Only, he doesn’t even know I exist.

It’s the start of a strange, improbable fairy tale. When you’re talking about terminal leukemia, happily ever after seems impossible, but when your celebrity crush and the man of your dreams shows up out of the blue and proposes to you, it makes you feel like anything is possible. Even that hardest thing: living.

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jaXk1U


⭐️⭐️ Didn’t love it

Known as the team loner, Riggs Nadeau gives his all on the ice, but nothing extra off it. A beautiful stranger is about to cause chaos in his very structured world.

As a professional hockey player, people think I live a charmed life. On the surface, I do. But they don’t know the horrors of my childhood, or the real reason that I have custody of my seventeen-year-old sister, Janelle. And that’s exactly the way I like it. They may think I’m a prick because I don’t like to share, but that’s fine. They don’t know me, and they don’t need to.

In an effort to help Janelle get settled in Phoenix and stay out of trouble at school, I set her up with a job at Clarke’s Corner, the local bookstore owned by the girlfriend of a teammate. It’s there that she makes friends with Veronica Woodley, the extremely annoying, arrogant, money-hungry divorcee who I don’t want anywhere near my sister. Janelle insists I’m completely wrong about Veronica, but I refuse to accept that. I have to keep reminding myself that that the gorgeous blond with legs for days is off limits.

Through a series of events, I start to see Veronica for what she really is—an amazing woman who has survived her own hell to come out even stronger. I have to admit, we’re more alike than not and the attraction between us burns hot.

Maybe I was all wrong about my ability to love and commit, but when the past comes back to haunt me, can I be the man that Veronica, and Janelle, deserve?

Read the review here

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jTApHZ


DNF: Wasn’t loving it

I got about 100 pages into this on release day, set it down, and promptly forgot about it. I just don’t find the hero appealing AT ALL – he’s taken advantage of the heroine’s kindness for years and become a deadbeat father. I like the uniqueness of the storyline and the double “unrequited” love scenario is interesting, but I’m struggling with this. The premise sounded cute in the blurb, but in reality it’s not cool. 

—————-

“Give your heart to a man worthy of the claim.”
That’s been his constant excuse for keeping distance between us.
Little does he know that I’m his for the taking. 
If only he’d have me. 

Nolan Jasper has been my broody neighbor for almost six years.
I’ve been hopelessly infatuated with him just as long.
The bond I have with his little girl only serves to strengthen that hold. 

Since they moved in that stormy night, I’ve been trying to restore what was lost.
I would do just about anything for those two.
Acting as Nolan’s reliable doormat is getting old, though.
Especially when he seems incapable of accepting love.

I’m finally willing to admit that man is a lost cause.
Too broken. 
Jaded. 
Withdrawn.

Nolan Jasper has pushed me away for the last time.
If only he realized it before I’m already gone. 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/30woE4l


DNF: Boring

A feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas–perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December.
 
All they want for Christmas is a different life.
 

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over. 

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iMVqoB


Check out this week’s new releases here.


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