Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Forgiven by Garrett Leigh

With each new touch, each moment of forgiveness, old hurts heal and the future they’d hoped for ten years ago becomes possible again.

High school sweethearts Mia and Luke get a second chance at love in this brand-new contemporary romance from award-winning author Garrett Leigh.

When Mia Amour returns to England to open a florist shop, all she wants to do is put her lousy ex behind her and never look back. But getting a fresh start is easier said than done when her first love, the boy who once broke her teenage heart, strolls back into her life. He’s every bit as sexy as she remembers, and the urge to melt back into his arms almost makes her forget how devastated she was when he took off without a word. Almost.

Left with no choice, Luke Daley did what he had to do, leaving town to earn enough money to save his broken family, though it just about broke him, too. But now he’s back, running his uncle’s business and trying desperately to forget about Mia, the girl he left behind all those years ago. When he runs into her in town, the shock of seeing her again brings an intense rush of emotions: love, guilt… and an overwhelming urge to find out if it’s still as amazing between them as it used to be.

It doesn’t take either of them long to give in to desire and discover the fiery passion they once shared burns hotter than ever. With each new touch, each moment of forgiveness, old hurts heal and the future they’d hoped for ten years ago becomes possible again. But their fragile connection is tested by a threat neither of them saw coming—a threat that could end their second chance before it even gets started.

 

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Forgiven by Garrett Leigh

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)
Carina Press (Harlequin)

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is a really, really good read. I have read many of Garrett Leigh's books, and they all have something very special about them – and that is they are raw, real, and do not hold back on being incredibly honest. When people are upset, they really are upset, sometimes they may even be upset for entirely the wrong reason, but they reveal it, and even revel in it. Not every action that a character takes is sensible, or forgivable, or rational. At times, they feel almost too real. This is fiction which does not gloss over the uncomfortable, or the (almost) unforgivable; it forces us to acknowledge that love can be rediscovered, even after hurt. That there may be anger, animosity, misunderstandings, but that it takes time, effort, and energy on both sides to arrive at a compromise which enables a relationship to move forward.

And that is what I always love about Leigh's books. They are not a smooth ride into the sunset. They are so much richer for the complexity of the environment around them, and the resolution of the conflict that leads to a truly meaningful ending.

So if you have not read a Garrett Leigh book before, and that sounds like the kind of writing you like, then you have a wonderful adventure ahead. This is a great place to start, as Mia and Luke's story is intense, exciting, and laden with a chemistry that even they can't fight. It makes for a great read – and I am very excited that Billy and Gus are going to get their chance in the next installment!


Sarah☆☆☆
I’m usually a huge fan of Garrett Leigh’s writing, but this was painful. As a disclaimer, I do tend to avoid m/f romance – but I enjoy a good second-chance romance and I love Leigh’s writing enough to overlook most things. Or I thought I did.

Mia Amour arrives back in England after a messy divorce. She’s still grieving her mother and she’s avoided her brother, her hometown, and everyone she grew up with for years. She’s a bit of a mess. As she starts a new floristry business, she is blindsided by the appearance of her first love, who has also returned to town.

I really didn’t warm to Mia. She’s prickly and emotionally messy. I feel like she takes advantage of her brother and she plays emotional games with Luke. But many of Leigh’s characters are similarly messy. Leigh’s writing is at its strongest when it gets to the heart of difficult characters, but I don’t feel like we ever get to properly know Mia. And honestly, there is a point when it becomes ridiculous for a grown woman to harbour debilitating resentment towards an ex-boyfriend for decisions he made as a grieving teenager.

Luke is an easier character to warm to. He feels solid and good – but I really didn’t understand why he kept running back to Mia. Luke doesn’t deserve the head games Mia plays and I found myself losing respect for him every time he ran back to her.

Running alongside Mia and Luke’s reunion is an odd sort of stalker storyline. It’s odd because there isn’t really any escalating suspense and when it is all over, readers are still left with far too many questions about Mia’s life in France and her relationship with her ex-husband.

This feels like a very different author to the one who has written so many of my favourite stories. I don’t think the difference is totally down to the m/f romance, but I did find myself more curious about the potential relationship between Luke and Mia’s brothers than I ever was about Luke and Mia. Which probably says something about both me and the book.


Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/F Second-Chance Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Mia knows that sometimes, hoping for love can blind you to who a person truly is. After a bad divorce, she heads home to buy and open a flower shop. With help from her brother, she digs in and works hard to open her shop. When she sees her old love, she can’t help but be a little blindsided.

Luke left years ago to be able to help his family. But in leaving, he had to leave Mia too. He knows that he didn’t do a fantastic job of leaving, but at the time, he didn’t know another way. Now that he has seen Mia again, he can’t help but feel a little frustrated with her view towards him, not to mention these strange things that have started to happen to him.

With Mia and Luke trying to figure out if their present can include a relationship from the past, they will have to navigate old hurts, family, and mysterious events that will either bring them closer together or tear them further apart.

This book, for me, was a little slow. I liked how protective Luke was, but it was a lot of history and I’m sorrys, which made it feel somewhat redundant.

I do hope that Mia’s brother gets his own book, as his life seems very fun and mysterious too.

 

 

Author Bio



GARRETT LEIGH is an award-winning British writer and book designer.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at
Black Jazz Design, and co-owns the specialist stock site M O O N Stock Photography with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Connect with Garrett

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Garrett’s Den

 

 

Carina Press


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Forgiven (Forgiven #1) by Garrett Leigh to read and review.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Dare to Stay by Carly Phillips Release Blitz

Dare to Stay by Carly Phillips

He’s the one who left.
She’s the one he left behind.


Willow James, athletic trainer for the Miami Thunder football team, knows abandonment and hurt. A child of foster care, she’s been moved around and left behind more times than she cares to count. Just when she was starting to let her guard down with Braden Prescott, he left for a two year stint with Doctors Without Borders. Now he’s back.

Dr. Braden Prescott always felt like an outsider in his family of professional sports players. He’s traveled the world and is better for it, but now he’s home with a job for the Miami Thunder. When he comes face to face with the woman he left behind, their chemistry still smolders. She’ll give him her body again but not her heart.

He knows leaving her once was the biggest mistake of his life. Can Willow learn to trust him not to leave, especially when adventure comes calling again?

Don’t miss our reviews of other books in the Dare Nation series!
For book two, Dare to Tempt, click HERE.
For book three, Dare to Play, click HERE.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Dare to Stay by Carly Phillips

Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)

 

 

When his mouth touched hers, all thoughts, good and bad, fled completely.

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is the fourth book in the series and as Phillips fans will know, links to other of her series, so whilst you possibly don't need to have read them all, you will definitely get a very rich experience if you have.

Braden is the one of the brothers who did not excel at sports, but rather was very bright and became a doctor. For this, his father berated him constantly and so in order to make his own way, he went off with a friend to do a stint with Doctors Without Borders. In so doing, he may have benefitted himself, but he upset his family and broke the heart of Willow, his then girlfriend. Her past made his desertion all the worse, and now he is back, she is not inclined to trust him again.

As Braden learns just how much hurt he caused, he is genuinely remorseful, and I enjoyed seeing him grow as he took on board the effect his actions had on his family and most especially Willow. This is a good second-chance romance, without too much angst and with plenty of chemistry.

Another good addition to the series, and another reminder of how much damage a verbally abusive parent can do long term – thankfully, these guys are all finding that love is a great healer!


Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Second-Chance Romance

Willow loves her job. She works with pro athletes on their training programs and is fantastic at her job. She knows that her life hasn’t been the easiest, but she has made something of herself and prides herself on being able to compartmentalize her emotions.

Braden didn’t know who he was growing up. He was the odd man out. But when he takes a chance and joins Doctors Without Borders, he knows that he’ll be finding himself, but he doesn’t realize what he might be giving up. Now that he’s home and working with his brother’s team, there is one person he knows that he needs to make up with... Willow.

Willow and Braden have to find out if what they had before they grew up is still something that is possible now that they have lived a little more. These two will face small hurdles, emotional challenges, and walls that need crumbling, but you’ll be cheering for them.

I can’t wait to see what happens next, especially with Aurora’s story!

 

 

“There’s been no one since you,” she admitted, hating how that sounded. Like she’d been pining for him. “There’s not going to be anyone else.”

 

Author Bio



New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller, CARLY PHILLIPS gives her readers alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. The author of 50 romance novels, she has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a full-time writer. Carly’s book, The Bachelor, was chosen by Kelly Ripa as a romance club pick and was the first romance on a nationally televised bookclub. Carly loves social media and interacting with her readers.

Connect with Carly

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Carly’s Addicts

 

 

He had to go at her pace. It was a road worth traveling. One she didn’t even realize they were on.

 

Hosted by

Wildfire Marketing Solutions


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dare to Stay (Dare Nation #4) by Carly Phillips to read and review for this tour.

Monday, January 25, 2021

My Beautiful Sin by J. Kenner

My Beautiful Sin by J. Kenner. January 26, 2021.

Everything Ellie thinks she knows is about to change.

Despite his dangerous past, billionaire Devlin Saint finally has Ellie Holmes in his life—and in his bed. Yet shadows still cling to Saint, obscuring his dark secrets and the confidences he swore never to reveal.

An investigative reporter, Ellie is certain the man she loves hasn’t told her everything. And when she starts receiving anonymous warnings about Devlin, she vows to investigate. Soon it becomes clear that Devlin isn’t the only one with things to hide, and the more Ellie learns, the more she realizes how dangerous it is to love Devlin Saint.

His touch is her sin…

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Fallen Saint series!
For book one, My Fallen Saint, click HERE.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

My Beautiful Sin by J. Kenner

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Paperback (US)

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance

This is the second installment of the series. You need to read book one first, because this book begins where book one left off.

We get to see Devlin try and figure out if his secrets are going to be too much for Ellie to handle. He's juggling his present, the future, and his past, but when things start to collide, Devlin will have to hope that everything doesn't fall apart.

Ellie is hot on the trail of her uncle's past, as well as a potential new story of who might be the vigilante taking out the worst of the worst. Ellie loves Devlin with everything she is, but the questions that she is asking about her uncle, she knows some of them might hurt Devlin. Despite knowing that, Ellie isn't quite ready to quit her digging.

As things heat up for Ellie, Devlin and his crew have to decide if they can truly trust Ellie and her crew. Pieces are put in place for Ellie, but more questions are revealed. Someone is sabotaging them and it's a race to figure out who.

This book will be just as fast-paced as the first one and again, Kenner sucks you in and doesn't let go. Will Ellie and Devlin's connection hold everything together or blast them apart? I can't wait for the next installation, as this book leaves several unanswered questions.


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is the second book in the series, and there is no question at all that you must read book one to get to grips with what is happening here.

Ellie is having quite a hard time coming to terms with her head and her heart where Devlin is concerned because the revelations keep coming. Overall though, one gets the feeling that the blows can keep coming, but they will sort it out, because their history and the trust they have is deep set. That said, the tension is high and they both are feeling the vulnerability of love.

I enjoyed the side characters a lot, and they enable us to see the less biased side of some of the incidents, which is valuable as passions rise.

This is a classic, intense, passionate, and complicated story from J. Kenner, and I am loving it – roll on the next installment!

 

 

Author Bio



J. KENNER (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over one hundred novels, novellas, and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and #1 internationally, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of wide variety of genres.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A six time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award, JK took home a RITA trophy in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me, and again in 2017 for her novel, Wicked Dirty.

In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.


Connect with J. Kenner

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: J. Kenner Krew

 

 

Devlin Saint finally has Ellie Holmes in his life—and in his bed. Yet shadows still cling to Saint, obscuring his dark secrets and the confidences he swore never to reveal.


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of My Beautiful Sin (Fallen Saint #2) by J. Kenner to read and review.

Friday, January 22, 2021

The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill

With the fate of queen and country at stake, Kit and Rian must learn to trust each other, or else the Isles will fall...

Chloe Neill brings her trademark wit and wild sense of adventure to a stunning seafaring fantasy starring a dauntless heroine in a world of magic and treachery.

Kit Brightling, rescued as a foundling and raised in a home for talented girls, has worked hard to rise through the ranks of the Isles' Crown Command and become one of the few female captains in Queen Charlotte's fleet. Her ship is small, but she's fast--in part because of Kit's magical affinity to the sea. But the waters become perilous when the queen sends Kit on a special mission with a partner she never asked for.

Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, may be a veteran of the Continental war, but Kit doesn't know him or his motives--and she's dealt with one too many members of the Beau Monde. But Kit has her orders, and the queen has commanded they journey to a dangerous pirate quay and rescue a spy who's been gathering intelligence on the exiled emperor of Gallia.

Kit can lead her ship and clever crew on her own, but with the fate of queen and country at stake, Kit and Rian must learn to trust each other, or else the Isles will fall...

 

Add to Goodreads

 

The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
Berkley

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Sarah☆☆☆☆☆
This is such an insanely fun read! It’s the story of Kit, an orphan turned ship’s captain and secret agent, as she fights pirates and enemies in the name of the Queen. Set in a historic fantasy world that almost resembles our own, the story is full of fabulous characters, thrilling action scenes, and a little bit of magic.

Kit is my new favourite leading lady. An orphan with a chip on her shoulder, Kit is formidable, competent, and highly entertaining. I love her adopted family as much as the sailors she leads and I love her tumultuous relationship with Rian.

While there is a hint of romance in this story, the focus is on the action. Kit works directly for her queen as a secret agent of sorts. I love Kit’s adventures and the exuberant battle scenes. There’s a sense of fun behind her brave escapades that I thoroughly enjoyed.

This is a book that completely rewrites and defies genre. It is almost fantasy, almost historic fiction, almost a romance, almost a comedy, and almost an action thriller. It is none of these things and all of these things. It will take some time for readers to fully engage with Kit’s world, though much of the history is loosely borrowed from early 19th century Europe. This feels like the start to a new series and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next book. This is a completely new side of Chloe Neil – but it is definitely a great read.


Erica☆☆☆
The Bright and Breaking Sea is the first in a new series by Chloe Neill.

I need to be quite frank, I struggled for months to read the beginning portion of the novel. I wasn't hooked at all. I would barely make it a page before my eyes crossed. This happened several times per week, attempting to persevere.

The reason is because it felt as if I was dropped in the middle of the second or third book in a series, amid a major event that was occurring on page, and I had no idea who these people were, what they were doing there, where they were going, or how they got there in the first place.

It was a majorly confusing beginning with zero hook for me. I wasn't eased into it, just dropped into a ship and expected to float. Battles are info-dumped as if I read them in real time during the last installment. A mass of characters are spoken about as if I know who they are and what they mean to the main character.

To be honest, time and time again, I got frustrated and just closed the book. I was unsure of what I just read needed to be retained, like I was reading a textbook and should take notes for later.

I was at a precipice where I either just gave up or gave in. Being that Chloe Neill tops my all-time favorite list, I gave in. What does that even mean, I skimmed past it, retained or not didn't matter.

In my quest to be completely honest, I struggled to stop skimming. The issues didn't abate for me. I never fully connected to the storyline because I was always inundated with too much information, unsure what I needed to retain. Chaos, because there wasn't much downtime for me to digest what was happening on the pages before Kit was yet again thrust into more action.

I like to think myself as intelligent, hoping it was my mood at the time. Being that I struggled for months, at least twenty or more attempts to finish the novel... overall, I just felt it was too complicated, no easing into the information, the setting, or the characters.

Kit was exactly my favorite type of heroine. Strong and capable and loyal, deeply emotional but doesn't let anyone in. A strong role model. Add in pirates and ships and adventuring and forbidden romance and political intrigue and magic, it should have been a page-turner for me.

I just couldn't connect with the story, and that truly upsets me. I wanted to love it. I so badly wanted a new series by Neill that I'd be just as hooked with as Chicagoland and its spin-off. Sadly, that wasn't the case. In the future, I'll attempt a reread, hoping by then my view of the story will change.

Definitely recommend readers check out The Bright and Breaking Sea, assuming responsibility that it just wasn't for me.

 

 

Author Bio

CHLOE NEILL was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires series, the Heirs of Chicagoland series, the Dark Elite series, and the Devil’s Isle series.

Connect with Chloe

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

 

 

I can feel the sea, the rise and fall, like an echo of my heartbeat.

 

Berkley


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Bright and Breaking Sea (Captain Kit Brightling #1) by Chloe Neill to read and review.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Every Waking Hour by Joanna Schaffhausen

Each second that ticks by reminds her of her own lost hours, how close she came to death, and how near it still remains.

The fourth book in Joanna Schaffhausen's heartpounding Ellery Hathaway mystery series, Every Waking Hour...

After surviving a serial killer’s abduction as a young teenager, Ellery Hathaway is finally attempting a normal life. She has a new job as a rookie Boston detective and a fledgling relationship with Reed Markham, the FBI agent who rescued her years ago. But when a twelve-year-old girl disappears on Ellery’s watch, the troubling case opens deep wounds that never fully healed.

Chloe Lockhart walked away from a busy street fair and vanished into the crowd. Maybe she was fleeing the suffocating surveillance her parents put on her from the time she was born, or maybe the evil from her parents’ past finally caught up to her. For Chloe, as Ellery learns, is not the first child Teresa Lockhart has lost.

Ellery knows what it’s like to have the past stalk you, to hold your breath around every corner. Sending one kidnapped girl to find another could be Chloe’s only hope or an unmitigated disaster that dooms them both. Ellery must untangle the labyrinth of secrets inside the Lockhart household—secrets that have already murdered one child. Each second that ticks by reminds her of her own lost hours, how close she came to death, and how near it still remains.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Ellery Hathaway series!
For book one, The Vanishing Season, click HERE.
For book two, No Mercy, click HERE.
For book three, All the Best Lies, click HERE.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Every Waking Hour by Joanna Schaffhausen

Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Hardcover (US)

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
M/F Thriller
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Ellery survived a serial killer when she was younger and it's shaped her past and present. Now a Boston detective, she knows how to solve crimes and get results. Because of her past, she prefers her solitude. However, she is in a relationship now, with her rescuer, and he brings with him a whole different dynamic.

Reed knows that he is good at his job. He also loves his daughter. He is trying to learn to juggle his demanding career with raising his daughter and co-parenting with his ex-wife. While visiting Ellery, his daughter, Tula, and Ellery are slowly getting to know each other. What they weren't expecting was to be embroiled in a kidnapping.

The family of Chloe is beside themselves. Not a stranger to heartbreak and trauma, Chloe's parents don't know why their family is being targeted again for tragedy. This mystery will leave you on the edge of your seat. In reality, there are two mysteries to solve and it was fun watching them unfold, intertwine, and resolve.

You won't be disappointed with this mystery and despite the relationship between Ellery and Reed in constant flux, you won't be disappointed in their story either. I think that both are trying to do what's best for the other and sometimes that doesn't align.


Sarah☆☆☆☆☆
Ellery’s first big case as a Boston Police detective sees her tracking down a missing child. Elements of the case are very similar to Ellery’s own abduction as a child and Ellery has to fight to stay professional – and stay in the present – as she tracks down the missing girl.

This is easily the best book in the series so far. The writing is excellent. The complicated, twisting plot has been exactingly crafted. I loved every twist, turn, and dead end in Ellery’s investigation and I love the way the author builds almost painful tension as time runs out for the missing child.

Ellery feels functional and competent for most of this story. I feel like I was meeting her fresh this time. For the first time, she is almost likeable and almost relatable. Her relationship with Reed is an unsteady constant and this book sees them mixing families and lives more than ever before. I love Ellery’s sister and I even enjoyed Reed’s daughter here.

This new angle – Ellery as a detective – really works for the series. Ellery is easier to engage with in this role. Her past trauma is still an enormous part of her life, but here we see Ellery use her experience to be a strong cop. She feels more of Reed’s equal here and they almost make sense as they live and work together.

I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to more in the series.

 

 

Author Bio

JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. The Vanishing Season is her first novel.

Connect with Joanna

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

 

 

Minotaur Books


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Every Waking Hour (Ellery Hathaway #4) by Joanna Schaffhausen to read and review.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Happy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker

This feel-good escape hits all the right notes. Melonie Johnson, USA Today bestselling author.

Author Ann Marie Walker brings you a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that'll warm your heart for Singles Day (the true anti-Valentine's Day!) and every day after!

Single and proud of it! Oh, oops...

As a Certified Professional Organizer, everything in Paige Parker's world is as it should be. Perfect apartment, perfect office, perfect life. And now, the perfect vacation planned to honor Singles Day. After all, what's better than celebrating her pride in being single? Because who needs a man anyway? They have zero taste in quality television, leave the toilet seat up, and sleep with your best friend. No thanks. Her life is fine just the way it is.

As the owner of a now-dormant bed & breakfast, Lucas Croft's life is simple and quiet. It's only him and his five-year-old daughter, which is just the way he likes it. Because who needs a woman anyway? They nag you to clean up your stuff, want the toilet seat put down, and expect the dishes to be done the same day the meal is cooked. No thanks. His life is fine just the way it is.

But when Paige books a room that Lucas' well-intentioned sister listed without his knowledge, their two worlds collide. If they can survive the week together, they just might discover exactly what they've both been missing.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Happy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Paige Parker is fine being single and makes no bones about it. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, she's not eager to be interrogated as to why she's still single. Then she finds Single's Appreciation Day, which is celebrated on February 15. Determined to celebrate this day with her first vacation in years, she books a room at a quaint B&B on a remote island off the East Coast.

Lucas is furious with his sister for re-activating the listing for his now defunct bed and breakfast. Yes, he can use the money to pay the upcoming taxes, but he's not up for guests. The house is a wreck – just like his life. Being a single dad to an almost 5-year-old is no easy task and now he has to make nice to some stranger that his sister has virtually laid out a welcome mat for.

Paige's first impression of the bed and breakfast and its owner, Lucas, is not a good one. First, it looks like she is a victim of a bait and switch as the home is a dingier and grungier version of the pictures of it on the website. Second, Lucas is almost as dour as the house itself. While the outside needs a good coat of paint, the inside needs a good dose of organization, which Paige cannot help but want to get started on.

As the days progress, both Lucas and Paige come to know one other in a way neither expected. They say, all things must come to an end, but do they? Can Paige and Lucas compromise to find a life that works for them both?


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars of island romance

This is a fun read, sweet, cute, and low angst.

Parker is forced into taking a break by her hilarious assistant, and ends up paying a small fortune to go and stay in a B&B on an island for a few days’ rest. The reality is not much like the website, but a storm forces her to stay at least for a while. We really feel how she struggles to relinquish the control and the pressure that normally rule her life.

As we see her come to terms with being stuck, Lucas has to come to terms with having an unexpected guest. They are both two very hurt individuals, who also feel an inconvenient attraction to each other. And so the scene is set for a romance which in no small part relies on Lucas's four-year-old daughter.

This was a well written story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you, Ann Marie Walker.

 

 

Author Bio

ANN MARIE WALKER is the author of nine novels, ranging from romantic suspense to romantic comedy. She's a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and '80s rom-coms. Her superpower is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends, and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl.

You can find her on her website, where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis, or Chewbacca, the Morkie who is kind enough to let her sit on his couch. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.

Connect with Ann Marie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

 

 

Romance Reads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Happy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker to read and review.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Not My Match by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Not My Match by Ilsa Madden-Mills. Free with Kindle Unlimited.

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills delivers a smart and sexy romance about a professional football hottie and the girl he’s sworn to never touch.

Homeless and heartbreakingly innocent, Giselle Riley walks into my penthouse and chaos follows.

I shouldn’t have invited the girl genius to live with me, but it’s clear she needs my help—not only for a place to lay her pretty blonde head but in finding real love, which she’s not going to get with the crazy men she picks up online.

Too bad she’s a twenty-four-year-old virgin and I’m a bad boy wide receiver. She’s off limits for a hardcore player like me—and we’re just friends.

Instead, I’m her matchmaking service, no matter how jealous it makes me when I tag along on her dates.

I can keep my self-control. Right? No way will I give in to everything inside me that dreams of a girl like her in my world.

I may be the best wide receiver in the country, but how could I hold on to a girl like her?

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of The Game Changers series!
For book one, Not My Romeo, click HERE.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Not My Match by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

 

 

Reviews


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team


Mary☆☆☆☆☆
This is the second book in the Game Changers series, and we met Giselle and Devon briefly in book one. Giselle is the one who stole her sister's boyfriend but that was a mistake because as it turned out, he was only out to use her. Devon is the teammate of Giselle's brother-in-law and they met at her sister's wedding.

These two could not be any more different, she is a physicist and he is a football player. When her building catches fire and leaves her homeless, Devon offers her a place to stay until she finds another apartment. he knows it is not a smart decision, but he can't help wanting to save her. The longer they spend together, the more the sparks fly.

Can they stay away from each other? Will Devon help her with her little problem? Is there a chance for a future between them?

I love this author and her stories about football players and the women they love are a favorite too. This story is packed with all the feels that make a story great and it also has the crazy mom and aunt to make it even better. If you are looking for a new author to read, then give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is the second book in the series, and as I absolutely loved book one, I certainly could not resist. I would recommend that you read them in order, so that you get the connections, but it could be a good read on its own too.

Our first introduction to Giselle was less than favourable, but we should have got that straightened out by now. And the very fact that we know she is a virgin would suggest that any cheating was not quite at the level that might have been expected. She is such a fun, clever, and enjoyable character. I love that she has high career ambitions to work at CERN, but also loves her crazy family and hometown. Her birthday woes will have you laughing in disbelief that she can really have so many disasters on that particular date!

Devon is undoubtedly a sports god, but he clearly has morals and behaves so correctly with Giselle; it is really funny watching them dance around each other. And whilst the 'helping the girl find a lover whilst wanting to date her yourself' scenario is not unique, it is played for every laugh and sexy encounter so perfectly, especially given they are sharing a home.

It was also good to see Jack and Elena, and to catch up on their relationship, as well as some of the crazier members of the family, like Aunt Clara. All in all a very enjoyable dip back into a world which gave me the pleasure of complete escapism from the everyday.


Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
This book is a great read for a snowy afternoon.

Giselle and Devon dance around each other, both wanting the other yet being too afraid to reach out. Hampering the romance is Giselle’s brother-in-law, who also happens to be Devon’s teammate.

Giselle wants to be a normal woman, not the geeky nerd in the corner who doesn’t know how to make small talk with anyone, especially good looking men like Devon.

Over the course of the book you can see Giselle’s self-confidence increase the more she gets to know Devon.

Devon really likes Giselle but he’s just a ‘dumb’ jock who knows he will never be good enough for her. Yet when she looks at him, he feels like he’s just won back-to-back Super Bowls.

Take a few hours and enjoy the story. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.


Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Giselle is a nerdy, shy virgin who just wants to teach science, work at CERN, and write her fantasy sci-fi novel, with real science facts. Her best friend is a hilarious older woman who makes me think of what a crazy aunt would be, if I had one. Giselle loves teaching her students, but her advisor is a sexist jerk who doesn’t see the value in teaching kids any other way than his way.

Giselle is also looking for love. She wants the type of love that will last forever. The fact that she is still a virgin weighs on her but she doesn’t want to just have sex to have sex. With her sister happily married and on her honeymoon, Giselle isn't expecting her brother-in-law's friend, Devon, to come to her rescue in more ways than one.

Devon knows that Giselle is beautiful and smart. If only he wouldn't be seen as such a player. Devon knows that his friend wouldn't want him dating Giselle, if only because she's so innocent. But when Devon sees that Giselle is in trouble, the words "come stay with me" just tumble out.

Giselle and Devon dance around their attraction for a while. It became almost too much dancing around – the push and pull between them was too slow at times. Giselle has to work hard to make sure that she isn't going to change her life for someone who might not change their life for her. She wants an equal partnership. But when she gets to know Devon more, she sees what he is hiding away from the public eye. You'll want to love Devon despite his player ways.

These two have a cute story with family drama and meddling friends. You'll cheer them on, groan is frustration, and cross your fingers and toes for them. With that said, I wish that we could've seen more of Giselle's intelligence in the story. I'm looking forward to the next book.


Sarah☆☆☆
I wanted to enjoy this more than I actually did. The story of a scientist and a football star should have been a perfect fit for me. But while there are a few great moments, the story didn’t quite work for me.

I found it impossible to feel a connection to Giselle. In my real-life Big Bang Theory-ish world, I’m surrounded by female scientists and nothing about Giselle’s studies or career ambitions rings true. Her experiences don’t make her very likeable, either. Giselle is the girl who takes a crazy amount of time off for ‘personal issues’ and then complains about discrimination when her supervisor isn’t impressed.

Apart from the scientist thing, the most interesting thing about Giselle is her virginity. There’s a culture gap for me here – I will never understand the importance placed on virginity by Americans. The drama around her ‘long preserved virginity’ is absolutely tedious. As a UK reader, I often struggle with conservative and religious undertones in American romance and parts of this one just felt wrong to me.

There are a couple of great scenes in this book. I love Giselle and Devon smashing things up in her barn – but that scene was borrowed from a show. Giselle’s neighbour and her interfering mum provide entertaining moments.

I realise I’ve forgotten to mention Devon. Probably because he has already blurred into all the other alpha/bad boy/star athletes in romance. He’s closed off because of family issues and struggles to share his feelings. Yawn. He feels weirdly parental and proprietary over Giselle. He’s weirdly obsessed with her virginity. He gets his feelings hurt when she gets an amazing job offer. Urgh. Nope. He just doesn’t do it for me.

After two books, I think I’m done with this series. I do recognise there’s a bit of a culture clash for me and this author – more conservative readers will likely enjoy the books more than I have.

 

 

Author Bio

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author ILSA MADDEN-MILLS is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Bestseller List:
Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things
Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She's addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online
.

Connect with Ilsa

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Unicorn Girls

 

 

Montlake


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Not My Match (The Game Changers #2) by Ilsa Madden-Mills to read and review.