by Jen Frederick
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on February 4, 2016
Genres: Romance, Romantic Comedy, Coming of Age
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She's always played it safe... College junior Lucy Washington abides by one rule-avoid risk at all costs. She's cautious in every aspect of her life, from her health, to her mock trial team, to the boring guys she dates. When a brash, gorgeous jock walks into the campus coffeeshop and turns his flirt on, Lucy is stunned by the force of attraction. For the first time ever, she's willing to step out of her comfort zone, but can she really trust the guy who's determined to sweep her off her feet? He's always played around... Entering his last year of college eligibility, linebacker Matthew "Matty" Iverson has the team captaincy in his sights. And it's his for the taking, if he can convince his quarterback Ace Anderson to give up the starting position. Luckily, Matty already has an edge-the hottie he's lusting over just happens to be Ace's childhood best friend. Getting Lucy on his side and in his bed? Hell yeah. Matty is more than confident he can have both, but when he falls hard for Lucy, it's time for a new game plan: convince the woman of his dreams that she's not sleeping with the enemy.
Jockblocked is the second novel in the Gridiron series by USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick. The story follows Lucy Washington, a college junior who works at a coffee shop, spends a great deal of time practicing for a mock trial, and steadfastly avoids jocks- especially the football players. Matthew Iverson is a star football player who plays defense, but when he meets Lucy studying in the coffee shop, he immediately moves into the position of offense. As Lucy tries to respect the wishes of her best friend Ace- the football team’s quarterback- and avoid his teammates, all while trying to manage her health issues and mock trial team, Matthew-or Matty-finds himself in the unique position of trying to pursue his interest in Lucy while keeping his own team together- by trying to convince Ace to leave his quarterback position.
From the moment Lucy and Matty meet in the coffeeshop, the metaphorical sparks fly and the chemistry between the two immediately pulled me into the story until I thought, “Oh yeah, this is going to be good.” I have read stories where the chemistry between the characters starts off strong, and then half-way through something changes and I have to struggle to detect the sizzling attraction between the two that the first half of the book promised.
That was NOT the case with Jockblocked.
Lucy was a compelling character in the sense that she was very believable- a mix of flawed and intriguing characteristics and morals. Lucy was adamant and consistent in her defense of her friends- she did not allow people to run rough-shod over her feelings, and she certainly did not say or do something that went against her firm beliefs in how a friend should behave or act. I respected Lucy for these beliefs, and respected Matty for understanding them as well. With that being said, Lucy realizing that what she had previously thought were strengths in her character but were well-rooted fears keeping her from taking chances, was what truly won her over for me.
Now, Matty Iverson…where do I begin with him? I have always been a fan of strong, alpha heroes who grin frequently, have a wicked sense of humor, dirty mouth, and are respectful and persistent. Matty was all of that and more! He won me over with that foot rub…seriously, I need that in my life. His character not only adapts to the health needs of the woman he desires in every sense of the word (what guy is that willing to go out to eat at a vegan restaurant?), but he demands that his friends respect her, and even sacrifices something he cares about to ensure her safety and well-being. Matty…you may have just won your spot on my next book boyfriends post.
Jockblocked was a humorous and sizzling mix of intense chemistry, laugh-out-loud moments, compelling characters, and non-stop fun! I literally could not put this book down. While I initially read it on my kindle, I loved it SO much that I am ordering the paperback version and the rest in the series along with it!
Five stars for Jockblocked!
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!
Four Letter Word
by J. Daniels
Published by Grand Central Publishing on October 4th 2016
Genres: Romance, Erotica, Romantic Comedy, New Adult
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"Love! That's the four letter word to describe how I felt about this unique, sexy story. J. Daniels' hottest book to date."---Penelope Ward, New York Times bestselling author
Fate. Hate. Love. Lies. Which four letter word will change their lives forever? Sydney Paige was never so mortified to hear the words "wrong number" in her life. She meant to tell off the guy who broke her best friend's heart, but unleashed her anger on a perfect stranger instead. And now her world is turned upside down by the captivating man who wants to keep her on the line. Brian Savage is living a life he's quickly come to hate-until Sydney's wild rant has him hooked and hungry for more. Soon the sexy woman on the phone becomes the lover in his bed. But Brian has secrets, and the closer he lets Syd get, the harder it is to shield her from the devastating mistakes of his past . . .
Review of Four Letter Word
Four Letter Word is the first novel in the Dirty Deeds series by New York Times bestselling author J. Daniels. The story follows Sydney Paige, a young woman who has recently separated from her husband after years of being in a loveless marriage, and Brian Savage a young man who both co-owns a surfing shop and is involved in adult filming (though for reasons that totally broke my heart). Sydney moves in with her best friend after leaving her husband and is confronted with her friend’s own heartache. This results in a phone call to the completely wrong person- thank goodness! I swear fate stepped in here and directed her to Brian- who was completely flabbergasted and amused by Sydney’s surprise tirade (it was the wrong number, after all). Naturally, this sparked Brian’s interest in Sydney and they decided to carry on a relationship over the phone before finally meeting in person-
And did the sparks fly or what?!
Four Letter Word was brimming with sizzling passion, heartbreaking turmoil, and laugh-out-loud moments!
There were times I laughed, times I cried, and times I needed to turn my fan on blast despite the sub-zero temps outside- it was just that hot! I adored Brian- I mean, do guys like that really exist? He made one fatal mistake and it made him humble- the things he was willing to do to make up for this mistake…and everything he does for Sydney! Ah! It’s just too much. Sydney- here’s a young woman that some women may be able to relate to. I love that she’s not perfect. I love that she’s not certain of every moment of her life, but she’s willing to take chances and learn from her own mistakes. And her relationship with her best friend? I adored it! It reminded me of my own best friend and how close we are.
Despite some of the heavy content (you’ll understand when you read it), J. Daniels was still able to make the story one you could read over and over. The chemistry between the characters was spot on, and it provided the HEA I was hoping for. And that first meeting between them on the beach…uh…yeah. I highly suggest getting a fan for your room when reading that particular part. Sigh.
Four stars for Four Letter Word!!
Hooking Up: A Novel
by Helena Hunting
Published by St. Martin's Press on November 7th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy
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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.
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