The Right Fit
by Daphne Dubois
Published by The Wild Rose Press Inc on April 12, 2017
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
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She’s sworn off love, he’s sworn off sex, but together they’ll score the goal of a lifetime.
When Maxine Nicholls discovers her fiancé is cheating, she turns to fast food and nighttime soap operas, but her sister has a plan—unbridled rebound sex with a stranger.
As one of Toronto’s hottest players, Antony Laurent tallies scores on and off the ice, but when the chiseled defense man hits a slump, rumors of a trade to the minor league send him to ambush a managers meeting at a posh club.
That night a chance encounter ends up as an unforgettable evening of passion. But Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.
Daphne Dubois writes contemporary romance and believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference. When she’s not putting her characters in compromising positions (ahem), she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Eastern Canada, the most romantic place in the world.
You can also find her writing for teens as B.R. Myers.
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Review of The Right Fit
The Right Fit is a contemporary romance by author Daphne Dubois. The story follows Maxine Nicholls- a young woman who tries to move on after finding out her fiancé was cheating on her. The disastrous end to this relationship, followed by another failed attempt at dating, has deepened Maxine’s insecurities and has her questioning her own desirability. A chance encounter with Antony Laurent, however, begins to turn these feelings around as she starts to see that there was nothing ever wrong with her, but with others and her own misguided perceptions. Antony Laurent- a professional hockey player in Toronto- is instantly attracted to Maxine and pursues her. However, he decides to keep his true identity a secret, a decision that could prove to be detrimental to his pursuit, especially considering Maxine’s trust issues.
Maxine was a very “real” and unique character. She is likened to a vintage pin-up girl, and her style of dress is reflective of this. It was interesting to see the clever names she developed for nail polish (she wishes to own a beauty shop), and how she would use them to match her mood for the day. Her insecurities were prevalent throughout the story, and evident in the way she would approach some of the more heated situations with Antony. Her character grew well throughout the novel as she slowly regained her confidence- there were a couple situations near the end of the story where I silently cheered for her. Her quirkiness also led to some humorous situations that had me laughing out loud and snapping my kindle shut with an, “oh my gosh! I just can’t even right now-“. As for Antony- I adored how patient and understanding he was with Maxine throughout the story. He was an important part of the development of Maxine’s confidence. As she was an important part of his healing from a past tragedy. I did question his judgement a few times and was relieved when he redeemed himself after some of his more questionable decisions. That man is going to keep the florists in Toronto in business! Also, any man who brings you treats or buys you brownies is a keeper. Just sayin’.
The chemistry between Antony and Maxine was palpable and steamy! Their uniqueness and differences made their more heated scenes a delight to read. Antony was charming, witty, and strong- which was a perfect compliment to Maxine’s eagerness to be loved the way she wanted to be loved, and those moments when she stepped slightly out of her comfort zone- operating purely on instinct and buried desires- and was bold in her own pursuit of him. In all, the story was a light-hearted, endearing, and steamy read about a chance encounter between two different people that leads to a sweet and enduring love- a love that was just “the right fit” for them both.
Four stars for The Right Fit!
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One Small Thing
by Erin Watt
Published by Harlequin on July 1, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Dating & Sex
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author duo of The Royals and When It’s Real comes a sensational new novel about a girl falling for the one boy she should never have met…
Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems like a small thing, just for her.
Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…
Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.
Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.
Review of One Small Thing
One Small Thing is a standalone novel by New York Times bestselling author-duo Erin Watt. The story follows Beth, a high school student who-for the past three years-has been sheltered and monitored closely by her parents after the sudden, tragic death of her older sister. However, her desire to finally break free from their over-protectiveness leads her to a party where she runs into another high school student- Chase. Chase has just been released from a three year stay in juvie due to his involvement in Beth’s sister’s death. His desire is to start fresh and to make sure he is never put into a position where something unfortunate may happen. When he and Beth meet, the metaphorical sparks fly and they push all the darkness aside that has been clinging to them for years and lose themselves in each other.
One Small Thing is definitely one of the darker, heavier novels written by Erin Watt. Despite the controversial foundation that was created at the beginning of Chase and Beth’s relationship, the story held the subtle humorous notes that are present in previous novels. Beth’s ability to look beyond Chase’s actions the night her sister died, and recognize that he made a tragic mistake made her an instant favorite of mine. She struggled deeply with her conflicting emotions throughout the story- her love for her sister, her forgiveness of Chase, her frustration with her parents, her fear of being judged by others for feeling something for Chase, etc. Chase had his own metaphorical demons to contend with- his guilt over Beth’s sister’s death, his experience in juvie, his feelings for Beth, his own guilt for putting Beth in a position to lie to friends and family about their closeness and involvement with each other, and his belief that he should continue to atone for what occurred in the past.
Despite all the turmoil and controversy surrounding their burgeoning relationship, Chase and Beth are able to connect on a level that far exceeds the tender, sweet juvenile love that is often seen in novels in this genre. The melancholy tones weave perfectly with their relationship, making their feelings stark, real, and meaningful. Beth was exactly what Chase needed to realize that he was more than the sum of his past mistakes, and Chase was exactly what Beth needed in order for her to understand her parents, and herself, when it comes to their way to heal and grieve.
One Small Thing was a beautifully written masterpiece about star-crossed lovers who find the strength to grow from their grief and forgiveness while seeking solace and understanding in each other’s company. It is a deep and meaningful love story that was crafted and built from a subtle, melancholic place and flourished into something enduring and lasting and real.
Five stars for One Small Thing! Racer
by Katy Evans
Published by KT PUBLISHING on November 24, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Coming of Age
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A bad boy with something to prove.A woman with a mission.The race of their lives.The love of a lifetime.
I don't think his parents expected him to live up to his name?Racer Tate?but once he felt the adrenaline rush behind the wheel, he was addicted.
He's the fastest, fiercest driver around.
�Scouting new talent brings me to his doorstep... but his smile sends me to my knees.�
The sexy, mysterious Racer Tate is not the kind of man a girl like me falls for. He's secretive, reckless, elusive. But his proximity pushes me beyond reason, and his kiss....
This is our last chance to win, and he is our only hope. I'm supposed to watch him?make sure he doesn't get into trouble. But it's an impossible task. And now the one in heart wrenching, toe-curling, soul-crushing trouble is me. Because when your heart belongs to someone, their truths become your own, and their secrets become your salvation...or your curse.
He says he wants me. He says I'm the One. But he also thinks he'll break my heart, one piece at a time until it's gone.
Racer is a contemporary standalone novel by New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans. The story follows Lana, a twenty-two-year-old woman who is trying to keep the family business of racing professionally afloat. Unfortunately, without finding a driver for their team, the HW Racing Team may not see another season. This quandary sends Lana back to the States in search of someone to race for their team- a trip that sends her crashing- literally- into Racer Tate. Racer lives for the adrenaline rush fast cars provide and has earned a reputation among the illegal racing circuit as being one of the best drivers. So, when Lana approaches him about racing professionally with her team, he jumps on the opportunity. Of course, it isn’t just the promise of being able to drive at harrowing speeds that has Racer practically pumped with anticipation- it’s having the chance to grow closer to Lana and win her heart.
Racer Tate was a force of nature in this novel. His energy and intensity were consistent throughout the story. He was the first male protagonist in a romance novel that I have read about that has bipolar disorder. It was interesting to see how this disorder would play out in his professional life, as well as his romantic life. Lana has grown up the youngest of four children- with three older brothers, an ill father, and a mother who was no longer around. This has sort of forced Lana into a position of having to be strong, patient, and steady. Luckily, both Racer’s intensity and Lana’s steadiness help to balance each other. The chemistry was palpable between both characters and remained overwhelmingly present- there’s just no hiding something as raw and beautiful as the charged emotions between these two. While I usually don’t like male characters to be overly confident (as it often comes across as arrogant), Racer pulled it off nicely! In fact, Racer’s confidence and assurance in his ability to win Lana’s heart managed to snag mine in the process (hello new book boyfriend!).
What I also enjoyed about Racer was his consistency in the story. Racer kept me constantly engaged and sleep-deprived for a good couple of days. In fact, I’m quote confident that I strode into work a couple of days with blood-shot eyes and haphazard pony tails with a serious case of “book hangover”. Not surprisingly, I finished the novel faster than I would have liked because I enjoyed the characters so much. It was also refreshing to see two dominant and strong men (Racer and his father) being able to express their love for each other. Racer’s father is inspiring and admirable in his support of his son and the mental health issue he is facing. Also, Lana’s relationship with her father is equally warm and supportive. In this, both Racer and Lana have something in common.
In all, Racer was a fast-paced, humorous, and sizzling read that completely absorbed my world for a good couple of days. It also holds the current position in my life as the giver of a pretty solid book hangover. I’m going to need to cure this feeling pronto.
FIVE stars for Racer!! Manwhore
by Katy Evans
Published by Simon and Schuster on March 24th 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
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Book #1 in the sexy new Manwhore series from the New York Times bestselling author of REAL. Is it possible to expose Chicago’s hottest player—without getting played?
This is the story I’ve been waiting for all my life, and its name is Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint. Don’t be fooled by that last name though. There’s nothing holy about the man except the hell his parties raise. The hottest entrepreneur Chicago has ever known, he’s a man’s man with too much money to spend and too many women vying for his attention.
Mysterious. Privileged. Legendary. His entire life he’s been surrounded by the press as they dig for tidbits to see if his fairytale life is for real or all mirrors and social media lies. Since he hit the scene, his secrets have been his and his alone to keep. And that’s where I come in.
Assigned to investigate Saint and reveal his elusive personality, I’m determined to make him the story that will change my career.
But I never imagined he would change my life. Bit by bit, I start to wonder if I’m the one discovering him...or if he’s uncovering me.
What happens when the man they call Saint, makes you want to sin?
Manwhore is the first book in the Manwhore series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans. The story follows Rachel, a journalist working for a struggling magazine called Edge. To save the magazine, Rachel’s boss asks her to get close to one of Chicago’s popular playboy billionaires- Malcolm Saint- and write an expose on him. Rachel agrees to the assignment (despite questioning the morality behind it) as refusing to do so would mean having another competitor taking over the piece, potentially costing Rachel her position. Thus, Rachel begins her undercover adventure under the pretext of wishing an interview with Malcolm for his latest business ventures. This request is granted, and Rachel begins working to gain Malcolm’s interest and his trust.
There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this novel- and some things that frustrated or confused me. To get into my thoughts and feelings on this novel, I’ll need to reveal some scenes and situations that unfolded. So, be warned- there may be a few spoilers!!
Malcolm Saint is really talked up in Rachel’s mind. He’s described as ruthless, a playboy, manwhore, powerful- a man who won’t stop until he controls the world. I was practically hanging on the edge of my seat when I saw that Rachel was to meet with him. Then she gets summoned to meet with him at an inconvenient time- basically, she’s wearing paint-spattered overalls and is unable to rush home to change so must meet with him while in this outfit. This intrigued me. Sexy, powerful billionaire meets hesitant, determined woman in overalls in said billionaire’s chrome and glass place of employment? Yes please! This is a perfect recipe for a fun and titillating scene…
And then the scene happened. Rachel meets Malcolm and he barely says anything about her appearance. In fact, they barely exchange ANY dialogue at all! Malcolm spends most of the scene on the phone. The most exciting part of the scene was when he gave her one of his extra white shirts to wear. Then he leaves. Where was the heat? Where was the witty, intense exchange? I sort of deflated at that point. Then I pressed onward, ever optimistic. Rachel, despite saying very little to him during the initial meeting, somehow scores another meeting with him. Their next two “interactions” are nearly as short as the first (I seriously wanted to reach into the book, grab Malcolm’s cell phone, and chuck the cock-blocking device out his limo’s freaking window! AH!). Fast forward two stilted conversations filled with phone calls and heated gazes, and you get another potentially great scene. Rachel crashes one of Malcolm’s club parties and is prompted by Malcolm’s friends to join them and Malcolm. Rachel and Malcolm once again barely speak to one another besides Malcolm refusing to allow Rachel to join them at an after party. So, Rachel goes home. Uh…
Despite the less than stimulating interactions between the characters, Malcolm and Rachel eventually grow close. Things begin to pick up between them once she starts joining Malcolm on yacht excursions. They begin exploring their physical attraction and emotional one- by divulging personal thoughts and experiences to one another. Surprise! Malcolm has trust issues! And Rachel is pretty much living a lie with him. Naturally, she waits too long to tell him about her undercover status and all hell breaks loose in a shocking way.
Overall, Manwhore was a fun read with interesting characters and a mostly compelling plot. I will definitely be picking up the second book in the series as I must know what happens after that cliffhanger…
Three stars for Manwhore! PUCKED
by Helena Hunting
Published by Helena Hunting on May 3rd 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy
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With a famous NHL player for a stepbrother, Violet Hall is well acquainted with the playboy reputation of many a hockey star. So she isn’t interested in legendary team captain Alex Waters or his pretty, beat-up face and rock-hard six-pack abs. When Alex inadvertently obliterates Violet’s misapprehension regarding the inferior intellect of hockey players, he becomes much more than just a hot body with the face to match.
Suffering from a complete lapse in judgment, Violet discovers just how good Alex is with the hockey stick in his pants. Violet believes her night of orgasmic magic with Alex is just that: one night. But Alex starts to call. And text. And email and send extravagant—and quirky—gifts. Suddenly, he's too difficult to ignore, and nearly impossible not to like.
The problem is, the media portrays Alex as a total player, and Violet doesn’t want to be part of the game.
Review of Pucked
Pucked is the first standalone novel in the Pucked series by New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting. The story follows Violet Hall, a young woman who distrusts hockey players due to a prior misjudgment of character, as well as her NHL step-brothers philandering ways. After being coaxed to attend one of her step-brothers games with his new team, Violet comes face-to-face with the team captain, Alex Waters. And while he intrigues her, Violet hesitates due to her ingrained mistrust. Alex, being his charming and patient self, slowly wears down her resistance and Violet and Alex find themselves enjoying a spontaneous and unforgettable experience together. Unfortunately, the next morning Violet second guesses her actions, makes a stealthy escape, and convinces herself that that momentary lapse of judgement will not be repeated.
Alex Waters has other ideas. For Alex, Violet is quirky, unique, and witty. She’s the girl who pulls a book out during a hockey game and refuses to chase after him despite his fame and wealth. She’s also into wearing spider-man pajamas (first protagonist I read in a romance novel that does that). Intrigued by her, Alex starts to text her, call her, and finds ways in which they can be in each other’s company. He even sends her cute little gifts (my favorite was the stuffed beaver wearing his jersey! Haha!)- all these completely send Violet into an ambivalent state about her feelings for the hockey team captain. It doesn’t help that the media portrays him as a playboy- and that a lot of his team members are the same way. Violet is definitely a unique character! In fact, I completely adored her and admired Alex for being so patient with her! Violet had me busting out into laughter numerous times throughout the story. The way she approaches situations is amusing and refreshing. She doesn’t hold back and is forthright and honest (almost to a fault). And Alex…he is superb book boyfriend material! He’s charming, persistent, patient, and amusing in his own way (though he did disappoint me at one point in the novel. A lot.).
The story was riddled with laugh-out-loud moments, witty dialogue, intense passionate scenes, and enough chemistry to burn through the pages! I enjoyed getting to know not only Violet and Alex, but Violet’s step-brother Miller “Buck” Butterson as well. Violet and Buck’s dialogue also kept me chuckling (though I did think she was a little harsh with him a few times). It was also interesting to see how different Alex’s family was from Violet’s- one was cool and aloof, and the other was vibrant and warm (which also made for an amusing read once both sides met). Pucked was a surprising gem as I am not a huge fan of romance novels involving sports (despite my love of hockey!).
Will I read Pucked again? Heck yes!
FIVE stars for Pucked!