Romance Review: Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen: "There's only one bed"

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Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: October 21, 2019
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing, LLC
Genre: romantic suspense
Format/Source: ARC, from the author
Status: book 1 of The Company companion series

Five nights. Two adversaries. Only one bed in their hotel room.

Eric Bayer is at the height of his hockey career. He only gets six weeks of summer vacation. He’d never agree to do a favor for his brother, the head of a global security company so secretive that Eric doesn’t even know its name.

Pass, thanks. He doesn’t need a summer job.

But the jerk ambushes Eric with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl he knew when they were kids. Now she's a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble.

So guess who's on a flight to Hawaii?

It's going to be a long week in paradise. Eric’s job is keeping Alex safe, while her job is torturing him with her tiny bikinis. It's all snark and flirting until the threat against Alex gets serious. And the hockey-playing party boy becomes her major league protector.

Moonlighter is a stand-alone novel. No cliffhangers, no prior experience necessary. Expect: a growly hero, a lady boss with no time for his attitude, and a war of wills and hormones. Bonus: a hunk wearing a baby in a sling.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the author. This does not affect the content of my review.

Double Cover Reveal: Moonlighter by Sarina Bowen & Man Cuffed by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Today is a Sarina Bowen cover double header with both her fall new releases! Moonlighter is the first book in a new companion series starring Eric Bayer, who you know and love from Sarina's Bruisers and Brooklyn books, and his leading lady Alex is also returning from her introduction in Brooklynaire. You may have seen a cover for Moonlighter floating around the past few weeks, but it's gotten an eleventh hour update so you'll want to look out for THIS cover when the book releases TOMORROW! I've already read Moonlighter, and it is absolutely incredible. Sarina takes a turn toward romantic suspense with this action-packed story, and it's immediately become a new favorite!

Man Cuffed is a new installment in Sarina and Tanya Eby's utterly HILARIOUS series Man Hands. This duo is truly putting the comedy back in rom com, and I'm loving it. Fans of the series will remember Meg from her appearance in Boy Toy. Sadie's younger sister is perpetually unlucky in love (girl, same), and I have a feeling she's going to be an absolute handful in her book. I CAN'T WAIT!

Release Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: adult romantic suspense

Only in my family could a professional hockey player earning seven million dollars a year be considered a slacker.

I’m at the height of my athletic career. Yet my arrogant brother is always trying to recruit me into the family business: a global security company so secretive that I don’t even know its name.

Pass, thanks. I don’t need a summer job.

But the jerk ambushes me with a damsel in distress. That damsel is Alex, the competitive, sassy girl I knew when we were kids. Now she’s a drop-dead gorgeous woman in deep trouble.

So guess who’s on a flight to Hawaii?

It’s going to be a long week in paradise. My job is keeping Alex safe, while her job is torturing me with her tiny bikinis. Or maybe we’re torturing each other. It’s all snark and flirting until the threat against Alex gets serious. And this jock must become her major league protector.

Moonlighter is a stand-alone novel. No cliffhangers, no prior experience necessary. Contains: hackers, hockey players, and a hotel room with only one bed.  

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Release Date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: adult romantic comedy

A good cop can always spot trouble. That’s why my senses started pinging the moment I met the hottie next door. The neighborhood may never be the same. First she confuses me for a male stripper and tries to remove my uniform. (The guys on the force will never let me live that down.) And then there’s the breaking and entering.

I don’t know what to do with her. My libido has a few ideas of its own, though. Bad, bad ideas.

Hey, it’s not my fault that Hot Cop’s nightstick gets excited every time we see each other. And I can’t help that someone broke into his apartment.

Fine—that last thing was totally my fault. And I intend to make amends. So when he needs a date for his sister’s wedding, I’m there. This is right up my alley. I’m an actor. By the time it’s over, his entire family will believe we’re a couple.

Even him.

Warning: may cause unrestrained giggling in public. Contains: a bridezilla with a turkey leg, a flash mob, and a growly hero.

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About the Author:
Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over thirty contemporary novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list last week with Top Secret (co-written by Elle Kennedy) and in January, with Overnight Sensation. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina's books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

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Blog Tour: When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows

Today I'm celebrating the upcoming release of When She Reigns, the final book in Jodi Meadows's Fallen Isles trilogy. Scroll down to find out what goodies you can get when you preorder (you still have 5 days!), check out my painted pages tutorial, AND enter the tour giveaway!

When She Reigns (Fallen Isles, #3)

Release Date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: young adult fantasy
Status: Book 3 of the Fallen Isles trilogy


The First Dragon

The Great Abandonment has begun. Panic has seized the Fallen Isles, where no one knows which god will rise next. Mira Minkoba believes her dreams hold the secret to bringing an end to the destruction, but in order to save her people, she’ll have to find a legendary treasure: the bones of the first dragon.

The Last Hope

Mira’s desperate search leads the Hopebearer and her friends on a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory: the Algotti Empire itself. The empress is more than willing to help—for an impossible price. And as tensions escalate beneath the shadows of the risen gods, Mira grapples with a terrifying question: What will she have to sacrifice to preserve what she loves?

The explosive finale to Jodi Meadows’s Fallen Isles trilogy is ablaze with sizzling romance and fiery magic as Mira’s fight to save dragons from extinction evolves into a mission to save her world from annihilation.

Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Rating: 4 stars
Release Date: August 7,2018
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ARC, from the publisher
audiobook, from my library
Status: book 1 of the Dance of Thieves duology

A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty's resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. This does not affect the content of my review.

Romance Review: Superfan by Sarina Bowen: Goofy good boy meets cynical girl with a voice like magic

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing, LLC
Genre: adult contemporary sports romance
Format/Source: eARC, from the author
audiobook, purchased
Status: book 3 of the Brooklyn companion series
(spinoff of the Brooklyn Bruisers series)

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart.

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the author. This does not affect the content of my review.

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: eARC, Edelweiss & audio, purchased
Status: standalone (for now)

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. This does not affect the content of my review.

Novella Review: Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot

Rating: 3.5 stars
Pub Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: adult romantic comedy
Format/Source: eARC, Edelweiss
Status: novella, book #0.5 of the Little Bridge Island series
Summary: Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge thinking she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped.
The closest Rob has come to her “happily ever after” is happy hour at the Mermaid Café with her buddy Bree, the bartender slash waitress who’s got romance problems of her own.
But Rob’s situation suddenly changes when sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Turning mush into metal in time for the big day is Rob’s passion (because even the happiest bride could use a little toning).
But what happens when a guy who’s all mush meets a girl who’s all metal?
They discover they have a lot to learn . . . about each other, themselves, and the island paradise they’ve come to call home.
Bridal Boot Camp is the first look into Meg's new Little Bridge Island series, which I'm really excited about! I've been needing some more adult romance from Meg since I frequently reread her Boy series and last year I reread the entire Heather Wells series. Her books are a shot of fluff that I always appreciate, and Bridal Boot Camp isn't any different.

I think Rob and Ryan have really really great chemistry, and I loved seeing them overcome some initial not-quite-right first impressions to get to the good stuff (ie kissing). However, I'm going to give Bridal Boot Camp 3.5 stars because it was SO SHORT. I don't mind novellas, but I like them more in the 80-120 page range. Bridal Boot Camp is only 51 pages, and that really wasn't enough time to get a good arc with Rob and Ryan. We only get four chapters, and while they're good, fun chapters, full of that classic Meg Cabot banter and charm, this didn't feel like a fully fleshed out story.

And although I thought it introduced the world of Little Bridge Island decently, I prefer for companions (whether novellas or full-length novels) to be at least a little more connected. The summary mentions Bree (who is the mc of the first full Little Bridge Island book No Judgments) and Rob being friends, but really, Rob is just Bree's one-a-week trainer, and Bree is the "sad-eyed" waitress Rob sometimes sees at the Mermaid Cafe. I've also just finished reading No Judgments, which I really enjoyed (review coming closer to its pub date in September!), but Rob was not even mentioned by name in it. Ryan is in exactly one scene, and only refers to Rob as his girlfriend.

I never miss an opportunity for more content in a good series so I love novellas, I just think this one was not quite meaty enough to be a must-read. But if you're a die-hard Cabot-fan like me, or if you read No Judgments and want more Little Bridge goodness, Bridal Boot Camp will whet your appetite while you await the next book in the series.

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About the Author:
Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana during the Chinese astrological year of the Fire Horse, a notoriously unlucky sign, but learned at an early age that a good storyteller can always give herself a happy ending.  Her 80+ books for both adults and tweens/teens have included multiple #1 New York Times bestsellers, selling over twenty-five million copies worldwide. Her Princess Diaries series has been published in more than 38 countries and was made into two hit films by Disney. Meg’s numerous other award-winning books include the Mediator series, the Heather Wells mystery series, and Avalon High, the latter of which was made into a film for Disney Channel. Meg Cabot (her last name rhymes with habit, as in “her books can be habit forming”) currently lives in Key West with her husband and various cats.

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