A Book Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

A Book Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

A Book Review: Hooking Up by Helena HuntingHooking Up: A Novel five-stars
by Helena Hunting
Published by St. Martin's Press on November 7th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 304
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Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

Review of Hooking Up

 

Hooking Up is a hilarious contemporary romance novel written by New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting. The story follows Amalie Whitfield, a young woman with a long history of making questionable choices in her love life. These choices come to a predictable, though shocking, climax when her husband of a mere few hours is overheard on speakers engaging in an explicit act with another woman. What ensues is a scene of chaos and hilarity when Amalie, reeling from shock, hacks off her wedding dress and tackles the groom’s cousin Lexington, or “Lex”, to the ground. Lexington and Amalie have always shared a bit of chemistry, however, Lex’s cousin Armstrong managed to hijack Amalie’s interest in Lexington and convince her that he was nothing but a manipulative playboy. It was Armstrong with the questionable morals and inability to remain monogamous, that was the true manipulator and deceiver.

Amalie, needing to escape the gossip and the shredded remnants of her marriage, embarks on her honeymoon to Bora Bora alone- well, not completely alone, as Lex decides to escape the gossip and speculation to the same small island as Amalie. From the plane ride to the island, to the time spent in Bora Bora and New York City, Lex and Amalie fall helplessly into a secret affair where they learn what they want from life and each other, while trying to deal with the fall-out from the failed- albeit brief- marriage.

The story was fast-paced and riddled with humor, steamy scenes, and exciting dialogue. Amalie was likable and conflicted. She grows from an unsure and resigned young woman, to someone who takes charge of her future and makes decisions that, at one time, may have frightened her. Lex, with help from his experiences with Amalie, learns to let go of an age-old conflict with his cousin Armstrong and learns to navigate new feelings. From beginning to end, Hooking Up was a thrilling and amusing story that left an impression with me. In fact, I can confidently say that Lexington has joined the ranks of my current “book boyfriends” list.

Five stars!!

 

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five-stars
5 Star Review of Rocco by Sarah Castille

5 Star Review of Rocco by Sarah Castille

5 Star Review of Rocco by Sarah CastilleRocco five-stars
by Sarah Castille
ISBN: 9781250104083
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 2nd 2018
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
Pages: 350
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Mafia enforcer Rocco De Lucchi is the best in the business.

Cold, hard, and utterly ruthless, Rocco is the most dangerous of men. Feelings are a luxury he cannot afford—until a chance encounter brings him face to face with the only woman who found her way into his heart and touched his soul.

Grace Mantini has spent her whole life running from the mob. The daughter of the boss's right-hand man, she is both a prize and a target. When Rocco walks back into her life, she wants nothing to do with the man who betrayed her and broke her heart. But only Rocco can protect her from the dangerous forces that seek to destroy her family. Can they escape the hands of fate closing around them? Or will love be the kiss of death for them both?

“Castille [gives] readers the compelling romance they crave.”—RT Book Reviews

Review of Rocco by Sarah Castille

 

Rocco is the third novel in the Ruin and Revenge series by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Castille. Rocco, also known as Frankie, is a hardened and cold mafia enforcer for the Toscanis in Las Vegas. His childhood was devoid of comfort and love, and his future appeared to be heading that direction…until he met Grace, the daughter of a powerful mafia underboss, someone he has sworn to protect. Intense passion and love pulled them together and swept them into a forbidden entanglement that, while strong and fiery, was severely tested in the cruelest of ways, thus forcing them apart and spurring Grace to run.

Years pass and Grace has made a life for herself in Las Vegas, far from the horror that was inflicted upon her physically, mentally, and emotionally. Not wishing to be embroiled in the turbulent life of the Mafia like her father and brother, Grace distances herself and obtains a degree to counsel others, while her secret passion for singing is put on hold. The physical scar she carries upon her face as a result of the night that sent her fleeing and her heart breaking, is a deterrent to her in the novel whenever she finds herself longing to indulge in her passion.

While in Las Vegas, Grace and Rocco run into each other at a funeral and all the passion they have been holding at bay threatens to explode. Their encounters are filled with so much emotion and pain that you can practically feel it leaping from the pages and taking a hold of you. It is quite evident that there is still a lot they needed to say to each other and a lot of feelings they were never able to dispel. When Grace’s life is threatened once more, Rocco steps in and is once again in a position to protect her. He’s given a second chance to prove to her that he can keep her safe, that he can love her.

I loved Grace’s character. She is sweetness and strength all rolled into one. I love how she starts to come to terms with the past and is able to move past her disfigurement. Seeing Grace bring life and compassion back into Rocco, and watching as he did the same to her was a beautiful feeling. The story was a perfect blend of passion, suspense, forgiveness, and redemption. It tugs at the heart strings while steaming up the room!

Five out of five stars for Rocco!! Check it out today!!

Buy on Amazon

 

five-stars
Gena Showalter’s CAN’T GET ENOUGH – Excerpt, Review, Giveaway

Gena Showalter’s CAN’T GET ENOUGH – Excerpt, Review, Giveaway

Gena Showalter's CAN'T GET ENOUGH - Excerpt, Review, Giveaway

Gena Showalter’s CAN’T GET ENOUGH – Excerpt, Review, GiveawayCan't Get Enough five-stars
by Gena Showalter
Series: Original Heartbreakers, #6
Published by Strawberry Valley Press on December 5th 2017
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 234
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New York Times best selling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers tale, featuring a rough, tough bad boy brought to his knees by... a kindergarten teacher?

The king of one-night stands...To inherit--and destroy--his father’s business at long last, Brock Hudson needs a temporary wife. The ruthless ex-military heartthrob has always avoided romantic entanglements. Women are sweet, but vengeance will be sweeter. Or so he thinks. Only one woman will do, but the vulnerable beauty is more than he bargained for—sexier, wittier, and utterly irresistible.

The queen of the deep freeze…After an abusive first marriage, Lyndie Scott has sworn off relationships. But still she longs for a child of her own. Turns out, the brawler who used to frighten her with only a glance is the answer to her problems. She agrees to his proposal, with a caveat: spend every night in bed with her, then walk away for good when it’s time to divorce. Even if she’s pregnant.

A marriage of breathtaking inconvenience... As the days pass too quickly and the nights heat up, Brock battles a sense of possession and obsession. Will the former commitment-phobe convince his wife they’re better off together, or will she pack her bags and go?

Excerpt

“I expect you to be amazing in bed,” she said. “Like, beyond my wildest expectations. You’ll need stamina to keep up with me.” Maybe. Probably not. “I want orgasms!”
He made a strangled sound. His pupils expanded, overshadowing all that luscious green. “I will give you orgasms. I will give you more orgasms than you can count.”
“Also,” she continued, as if she weren’t fighting a wave of lust right that second, “I firmly believe in the Ten Commitments.”
He crossed his arms over his chest. “I’m a little light-headed after all that orgasm talk, but I’m also listening. Do tell.”
“A boy shalt not lie to anyone, ever, not even to flatter, cheat with so much as a look, steal even when desperate, harm others in any way, or make excuses for bad behavior. He shalt compliment when merited, help when needed, treat others with kindness, always, consult his girl when making big decisions, and do his best, not just what’s good enough.”
His gaze searched her face. “The commitments are basic human decency for anyone, not just a potential temporary husband and possible sperm donor. I accept.”
Surprising. And welcome. “When our relationship ends,” she said, “you can go back to your man-whorish ways with my blessing.” A pang cut through her chest, and she swallowed a moan. Did the pang spring from jealousy? Or regret? No, no. Neither one. Probably came from indigestion. Because of the wine. “While we’re together, we’ll be having unprotected sex—if you agree to my terms—so I’ll need you healthy. Speaking of, you’ll have to get tested. I will too.”
“I won’t want a lifelong commitment because of a child,” he said, his tone soft.
Oh, the gall of this man! “I’m not hoping to trap you, Brock. Believe it or not, being married to you isn’t the bow on top of a gift but a burden to bear in order to get what I want.”
“Burden.” He traced his tongue over his teeth, the very picture of masculine pique. “Stop, please. Your flattery is going straight to my head.”
What, had she hurt is feelings? No way, no how. But…
Maybe? The thought disconcerted her, and her shoulders rolled in. “I’m sorry,” she said, and sighed. “I never meant… it’s just…” Another sigh. “Maybe this is a mistake.”
“Now wait just a second.” He swooped in, kneeling in front of her, placing his big, strong hands on her knees. “Getting naked with you does not strike me as a mistake.”
The warmth of his skin burned through her pajama pants, caressing her skin, and she gasped. Tingles erupted and spread, different parts of her reacting in different ways. Between her legs, liquid heat pooled. Her lower belly quivered. Her breasts ached.
Eyes ablaze, he said, “I want you, Lyndie.”
She gulped. “You can have me.”
“If I give you a baby and walk away.”
“Yes.”
He stared at her for a long while before nodding. “Very well. I’ll get a temporary marriage and you’ll get a baby.”

Review of Can’t Get Enough by Gena Showalter

Review by: April Hughes

Can’t Get Enough is the 6th novel in The Original Heartbreakers series by New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter. The story follows Brock Hudson, a man determined to avoid romantic obligations by sticking to a one-night rule. Despite having grown-up with a mother who was obvious in her hatred of him, Brock’s experience in the military, and the lasting friendships he made there, showed him that family isn’t always blood related. It was his friendship with his two comrades that led him to Lyndie Scott, a shy and distant Kindergarten teacher. Their meeting is fortuitous because for Brock to inherit his father’s estate, he needs to find a woman willing to marry him, and divorce him, all within a month. And Lyndie Scott is perfect…

Lyndie’s childhood was reflective of Brock’s…not perfect at all. Her mother died when she was little and Lyndie was left to the mercy of her abusive father. She managed to escape him by marrying young to a sweet-talking man with aspirations to be in law enforcement. Unfortunately, the man was merely a wolf in sheep’s clothing and turned out to be as horrendous as her father. So, when Lyndie’s husband died, and she tasted true freedom for the first time, she started counseling and was determined to be independent. That is, until she met Brock Hudson and found herself thinking more about him than she should.

When Brock approached Lyndie with his ludicrous plan to get married (and divorced)- a stipulation to winning over his father’s estate- Lyndie agrees under one condition…that he gets her pregnant and then signs over all legal rights to the child. Brock, being the infamous king of one-night stands, agrees.

That’s when all the fun happens…

I am hardly ever disappointed with a novel written by Gena Showalter…and this one was NO exception! Lyndie was wonderfully unique and surprisingly quirky for someone having lived with abusive, suppressive people. Her flippant quotes, her hilarious wine-drinking episode the night Brock showed up to “propose”, and her wonderful accumulation of animals, makes her an entirely likeable character. As for Brock…there’s a reason the women in town fan themselves when he walks into a room. Not only is he drop dead gorgeous, with muscles to spare mind you, he is also considerate of Lyndie’s feelings and fears and entirely respectful of them. He goes from being determined to be the one-night stand king, to Lyndie’s happily forever after. It was thrilling to watch Brock’s feelings develop from determined to leave, to determined to stay. Lyndie slowly began to change from desiring to be entirely independent, to allowing Brock to make her breakfast in the morning.

Brock and Lyndie have become delightful additions in my library of “Characters I am Truly Fond of”. Though I have finished reading it, I already can’t wait to pick it up and read it AGAIN! FIVE stars!

 

About Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

Related

Check out my post Featuring Gena Showalter — “Top 10 Best Book Boyfriends List”

Book Tour Information

Gena Showalter’s CAN’T GET ENOUGH – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

December 6th

Angelically Devilish Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Booknerd1107 – Review & Excerpt

Kayns Book – Review

Literary Misfit – Review & Excerpt

NallaReads – Review & Excerpt

Rainy Thursdays – Excerpt

The Eeny Meanie Neen – Review

December 7th

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

It’s All About the Romance – Excerpt

Read. Eat. Love. – Review & Excerpt

Romancing the Laser Pistol – Review & Excerpt

Under the Covers – Review & Excerpt

December 8th

Always a happy ever after – Review

Book Lovers 4Ever – Excerpt

Katlyn’s Life of Books – Review

Lover of Big Books Cannot Lie – Review & Excerpt

Novel Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Under The Covers Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt

December 9th

A crazy vermonters book reviews – Review

Binding Addiction – Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review

E-Romance News – Excerpt

KDRBCK – Review

The Romance Rebels – Review & Excerpt

December 10th

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Francoise’s Reading Corner – Review & Excerpt

Jen’s Reading Obsession – Review & Excerpt

Nicole’s Book Musings – Review & Excerpt

Polished Bookworm – Review & Excerpt

Somewhere Lost in Books – Review & Excerpt

The Vagaries of Us – Review & Excerpt

December 11th

Melissa’s Bookworld – Review & Excerpt

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Romancing the Readers – Review

Sweet Red Reads – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

December 12th

All Things Dark & Dirty – Review & Excerpt

Bobo’s Book Bank – Excerpt

Loves Great Reads Blog – Review & Excerpt

Panty dropping Book Blog – Review

Read-Love-Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt

December 13th

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Review

Never without a book in hand – Review & Excerpt

The Book Addict’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

The Readdicts – Review & Excerpt

December 14th

Dirty Girl Romance – Review

Evermore Books – Review & Excerpt

PBC – Excerpt

One-Click Chocolate Chick – Review & Excerpt

The Book Lover – Review

The wandering bookaholic – Review

December 15th

BJ’s Book Blog – Review

Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt

Cutting Muse Blog Review – Review

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Heroes & Heartbreakers – Review

Wrapped Up In Reading – Review & Excerpt

Related

Check out my post Featuring Gena Showalter — “Top 10 Best Book Boyfriends List”

five-stars
Review of “When It’s Real” by Erin Watt

Review of “When It’s Real” by Erin Watt

Review of “When It’s Real” by Erin WattWhen It's Real five-stars
by Erin Watt
Published by Harlequin on June 1st 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Performing Arts, Music, Romance, Contemporary, Social Themes, Dating & Sex, Family, Siblings
Pages: 304
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Wealth, fame and a real-life romance she never expected—seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett lands it all when she agrees to become a pop star's fake girlfriend in this smart, utterly addictive novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt 

Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths. 

There's nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star's got Grammy Awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he's settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary. 

Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley's image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She'll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little. 

Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there's no telling what your heart will do…

WHEN IT’S REAL – REVIEW

 

When it’s Real is a Harlequin Teen novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt. The story features Vaughn Bennett, a seventeen year old girl struggling to make ends meet with her older sister and two younger brothers. After losing both of their parents, the Bennett sisters push themselves through school and land available jobs in order to keep themselves financially afloat. Unfortunately, money continues to grow tighter and tighter, making the future before them appears ominous and uncertain.

IN STEPS FAMOUS TEEN ROCK STAR, OAKLEY FORD, AND HIS WILD AND RECKLESS SELF…

Oakley Ford is an insanely talented musician who is stuck in the midst of the music version of writer’s block. Struggling to find inspiration and desperately wanting to work with the music producer King, Oakley finds that he must turn the scandalous gossip fodder surrounding him into something more ideal and productive. Thankfully, his agent and marketing team come up with the brilliant idea to hire a fake “normal” girlfriend for Oakley. The idea is to make him seem more personable and likable to the masses, while preventing his reputation from sliding into more infamous waters.

AND THEY DISLIKE EACH OTHER ON SIGHT.

Neither Oakley nor Vaughn is particularly thrilled at being placed together. Vaughn finds Oakley to be rude and self-absorbed, and Oakley finds Vaughn to be cold and uptight. But as they spend more time together, feelings begin to change and it becomes difficult to separate true feelings from the ones they are supposed to present to the world.

Once again, Erin Watt completely blew my mind with how amazing this story was! I could literally feel the intensity between the characters pouring off the pages. I found both characters to be equally interesting and easily relatable. The chemistry between Vaughn and Oakley was palpable, the setting was captivating, and the humor was spot on! I laughed multiple times throughout the novel, and also found myself eagerly devouring the words on the pages to see how the scenes would end. I was never disappointed.

“WHEN IT’S REAL” IS A BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN MODERN LOVE STORY BRIMMING WITH LIKABLE CHARACTERS, SEARING CHEMISTRY, AND DELIGHTFUL HUMOR!

Like Erin Watt? Check out my review of Paper Princess!

When It's Real - Amazon

Check out “When It’s Real” on Amazon!

View on Amazon

five-stars
Review of Luca by Sarah Castille

Review of Luca by Sarah Castille

Review of Luca by Sarah CastilleLuca four-half-stars
by Sarah Castille
ISBN: 9781250104069
Series: Ruin & Revenge, #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on June 27th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
Pages: 350
Buy on Amazon//Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

The mafia men of New York Times bestselling author Sarah Castille’s Ruin & Revenge series are hard, hot, and ruthless. They show no weakness and take no prisoners. But the right woman can soften their stone cold hearts and make them come alive with dark desire.

Luca Rizzoli was nearly destroyed by a brutal betrayal that cost him his family. Now a ruthless crime boss in Las Vegas, he lets nothing touch his frozen heart...until a smoldering encounter with a beautiful stranger ignites his passion. One night isn’t enough for a man who takes what he wants—and Luca will do whatever he can to possess his mysterious temptress...

Police detective Gabrielle Fawkes lives for revenge. She lost everything at the hands of an unforgiving ruler of the Vegas underworld. Now she wants to see him six feet under. But when a near-fatal attack leads her into Luca’s arms, what was meant to be one night of unbridled passion becomes something forbiddingly more. Luca has his own agenda, but when strong, determined, kick-ass detective Gaby sets her sights on her target, Luca feels compelled to stand by her side and protect her at all costs. However, pursuing danger comes at a high price—and both Gaby and Luca must work together in order to eliminate the dark enterprise that threatens them, in Luca by Sarah Castille.

Review of Luca by Sarah Castille

Review by: April Hughes

Luca is the second novel in the Ruin and Revenge series by New York Times bestselling author Sarah Castille. After reading the first novel Nico, and being completed awestruck by how amazing it was, I had high hopes for the second one…and I was not disappointed. Luca continued its fascinating dive into the dark underworld of the Las Vegas mafia, with its charismatic characters and ominous rules and “guidelines”. Luca’s intensity, wickedness, and deep sense of loyalty and family made him an instant favorite of mine. In fact, I believe Mr. Luca Rizzoli- a Toscani crime boss- has the honorary position of being my current book boyfriend *sigh*

As for Gabrielle Fawkes- a narcotics (and theft) detective for the LVPD- well, I simply adored her. In fact, should I ever create a book bestie list, she would be right there near the top. Gabrielle, still recovering from the violent murder of her husband David, starts the story off by getting herself shot during her quest for revenge against the drug lord who killed him. Thankfully, this near-death experience places her in the hospital right next to the equally indisposed Luca Rizzoli. So, this cop and a mafia boss are wheeled into a hospital room…sounds like the start to a joke, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. It’s the start to an explosive, fiery, and all-consuming story of tragic loss, quests for revenge, fierce loyalty, and heart-stopping passion.

Despite being on opposite ends of the law, Luca and Gabrielle are clearly perfectly matched. Luca is feared and respected in his line of work- he has no qualms about decimating his enemies and protecting his family. Gabrielle is equally fierce about protecting those she loves- this is seen multiple times throughout the novel. She didn’t hesitate to protect her best friend from a threatening altercation with a man twice her size, and she didn’t hesitate to throw herself into a precarious situation to protect Luca (probably one of my favorite scenes in the whole book). It’s clear these two are meant to be together. They make one badass couple.

As for the rest of the novel- the secondary characters contributed wonderfully to the story. I enjoyed getting to know the unique and dynamic members of Luca’s crew. I was also intrigued by the mystery behind the drug lord Garcia, and found myself anxious to put all the pieces together with Gabrielle and the Toscani mafia.

And- I just love a good surprise ending!

All this story has done is make me hungry for the next one titled “Rocco”, which is scheduled to be released January 2nd of 2018. Do I have this book pre-ordered? Why yes, I do.

If you haven’t read the first novel of this series, Check out my review of Nico! 

Check Out “Luca” on Amazon!

four-half-stars

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