Royally Matched

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ROYALLY MATCHED

By Emma Chase

Release Date: Feb 21, 2017

Review

4.5 stars!

“To thine own self be true.”

Royally Matched is the story of Henry the prince, next in line to the throne. Henry’s brother abdicated the throne for the woman he loves, and Henry has now been thrust into a role he is unprepared for and never thought he would have. With the new responsibility on his shoulders, Henry agrees to a bachelor type tv show where he is to look for the love of his life.

Sarah is a young librarian, technically a lady by name. When her family is approached to be a part of the tv series, her sister jumps at it and Sarah joins in to get out of a work obligation. But Sarah doesn’t want to participate in the game for the prince and comes as her sisters assistant.

Henry and Sarah become friends while filming and get to know each other. And as time goes by feelings begin to develop on both sides. But Sarah is unsure of herself and of Henry, and Henry has his own issues and obligations holding him back.

“If nightmares can come true, and sometimes they do…. then so can our happiest dreams.”

I think Emma Chase writes some of the best escapist romance out there. Normally a royal romance with sweet moments wouldn’t be my thing, but I loved every second of this novel. Chase is able to deliver a sweet and heartfelt romance and at the same time can be cheeky and poke fun at the real world.

I was able to devour this book fairly quickly, it’s a fun and lighthearted read. Sarah as a heroine was so cute and enchanting, I love when the girl who is normally overlooked gets noticed by the hero. There was a lot more to Henry than he let others see, and Sarah was very perceptive at reading him. Yeah sometimes he messed things up, like a true Chase hero, but ultimately he got his shit together and was able to pull it off.

If you’re looking for that perfect book to snuggle up to on a lazy Sunday, this is the book for you. Emma Chase is a constant delight and I cannot wait to read more from her.

“I’ve never had someone who was just mine, body and soul-mine to protect and hold and love. And that’s what Sarah is… she belongs to me now. We belong to each other.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

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Excerpt

 

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

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About the Author:

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

 

Website: http://authoremmachase.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEmmaChase/?fref=ts

Newsletter: http://authoremmachase.com/newsletter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emmachse

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6551005.Emma_Chase

Ripple Effect: Episode 1

Ripple Effect: Episode 1 by Keri Lake

4 stars!

“Ripple effect: noun 1. A spreading effect or series of consequences caused by a single action or event.”

Ripple Effect part 1 kicks off what promises to be a dark and intense ride! Dylan is a young woman, desperate to escape her circumstances but darkness is constantly bleeding into her life. In a series of miserable things to happen to her, Dylan crosses paths with the ruthless killer Ripley and her life changes forever.

I just want to start off by saying that good lord people, Keri Lake CAN WRITE. I mean, I already pretty much knew this from reading Ricochet, but this book just reinforced in my mind how unbelievably talented Lake is with words. For example:

“Wind rattles the glass in its frame, the tendrils of late winter sneaking their way beneath the thin afgan wrapped around my shoulders.”

I could quote countless other sentences or small moments to prove my point, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. I love the romance community and I don’t mean to bash it at all, but it’s rare to find this high quality of a writing style combined with a great story, and Lake delivers both.

I will say this book proved to me what a giant scaredy cat/pussy I am. Because this was dark. Like, I felt nauseous and had to skim some of the more violent parts because my weak butt could not handle it. Nevertheless I very much enjoyed this first installment and cannot wait to get to the others!

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Wait For It

Wait For It by Molly O’Keefe

3.75 stars!

“Whatever this is…this impetus you have to help me right now, I know it’s a lie. You’re not kind, Blake, and I’ve had more than enough lies in my life. I don’t want any more.”

Even though I have enjoyed the majority of this series, I shamefully did not really recall the main characters in this installment. Luckily we got a bit of a reminder at the beginning, and I honestly believe this book can be read as a standalone novel.

Wait For It is about a woman named Tiffany, who has three kids and an abusive husband. She had a very bad past encounter with her brother in law Blake, and now a year later when she needs help he’s the one who wants to step in. But Tiffany doesn’t trust easily, especially the man who paid her off and treated her like trash. It’s up to Blake to figure out a way to help Tiffany and do the right thing.

“Listen to me,” he said. “I will never hurt you or touch you. I won’t put my hands on you unless you ask me. Beg me.” I gasped and fell back against the door, strength leaving my legs. “And I want you to beg me,” he said, still closer. “And I think someday you will.”

I found the best part about this book was the main characters and how flawed yet beautiful they both were. Both very much wanted someone to see through their hard exterior, and to be loved for who they truly were within. Granted, it took them both a while, because both of them had spent so many years building protective walls around their hearts.

O’Keefe delivers an intense, complicated romance filled with sensitive characters trying to change their lives for the better. You can’t help but root for this couple, they’ve dealt with so much crap in their lives and they deserve the best.

If you haven’t picked up a book in this series yet, make sure to buy this one!

“She was the miracle I was trying to hold on to.”

ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Black Hearts

Black Hearts by Karina Halle

4.5 stars!

“Didn’t your father ever teach you that love is what gets you killed?”

Just want to say first off, Black Hearts can be read without having read The Artists trilogy or the Dirty Angels trilogy. I myself (shamefully) have not read the Dirty Angels books or completed TAT and can honestly say I was able to read and enjoy this book just fine.

Black Hearts is the story of Violet McQueen, a young woman in her second year of photography school who is beginning to discover her family is not everything she thought it was. While uncovering secrets she meets a man named Vicente, who has a silver snaked tongue and is obviously interested in her.

But what Violet doesn’t know is Vicente is connected to her parents past, and he already knew who she was when they met. And Vicente finds himself doing something he never expected… falling in love with Violet.

“Everything I know is a lie.”

This was a riveting read from the very first page, I met these characters and I fell into their lives seamlessly. Violet is a character with a sensitive nature, and it makes her more intuitive than others. She knows Vicente isn’t all good, but she decides to overlook it because she’s attracted to him.

I loved reading Vicente, I’m not normally one for mafia alpha males, but Vicente is the exception! While he lives a harsh and ruthless life, there’s a part of him deep inside that is vulnerable and wants to connect.

My favorite part about this book was how it kept me guessing. Guessing at what would come next, how characters would react, and whether things would go as I predicted. A suspenseful read, I think this is a book all readers could enjoy.

“The Bernals aren’t good people. The McQueens aren’t either.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Defy

Defy by LJ Shen

4 stars!

^^^This is me, throwing all my reservations up in the air. It was helpful going into this novella knowing it was smutty fun with instalove/instalust because I knew what was to come.

Defy is a prequel novella to Vicious centering on the teacher/student affair between Melody and her student Jaime. Melody hates her job at an elite high school, and her boss the principal seems to hate her too. One day Jaime accidentally crashes into Jaime’s car, and from that encounter he makes it clear that his sights are set on Melody.

What ensues is a hot lusty romance that’s a lot of fun to read. I had seen a little bit of this couple in the book Vicious and wanted to know more about their story, so I was very much satisfied with this novella written for them.

I cannot wait to read more about the rest of the Hotholes!

ARC was provided by author in exchange for honest review

By Your Side

By Your Side by Kasie West

3.5 stars

Kasie West is one of those authors who I will read anything she writes. I preordered this book and found time to read it. I enjoyed this story, but she’s given us better. I do think lots of teens will relate to the characters in this book, the MC with her anxiety disorder, and the love interest in foster care. But I felt she could have gone a bit deeper, everything felt very surface level when dealing with issues. Like a teen afternoon special on TV.

I have to get one thing off my chest, I have worked in libraries for 13 years, we do extensive checks before closing the building AND it is a violation of safety codes no to have an emergency exit in a building. So the whole getting stuck in the library thing I had to really bust out the suspension of disbelief. (Yes I understand it was all for the story, but it was too much for me).

Infini

Infini by Krista & Becca Ritchie

5 stars!

“The love we carry for each other is the strongest and most vulnerable place in us all.”

There’s one thing I always know when I start reading a KB Ritchie book: I’m going to fall in love with the characters. All of them, main characters or side characters, strong or silent, outspoken or timid. No one does character development like Krista and Becca Ritchie.

Infini tells us the story of Luka and Baylee, two performers who work for the same aerial company. The two were friends when they were teens, and they were in love. But harsh circumstances ripped them apart and still keep them apart in the present. The company wants to revamp one of their current shows and Luka finds himself working with Baylee once again. What follows is an emotional and angsty journey between two people who never really got over each other.

“He wants me beside him. Just like I want him beside me. More than anything.”

Infini is a book I have been dying to read, and it can be read as a standalone but I encourage you to read Amour Amour, if only to meet and get to know some of the characters. Amour Amour is a story that touched hearts and told the reader to follow their dreams. Infini to me is about not losing hope and to never give up on love. Baylee and Luka invoked the rawest emotions in me, I found myself at times either holding my breath or exhaling with relief while I was reading.

And for my angst junkies out there like me, BUY THIS BOOK! Those of you who don’t love angst? Everything that caused the angst was not unnecessary and was not added to the book solely to manufacture drama. It all makes sense, it all fits together and the characters and their actions will not frustrate you. I PROMISE.

Side characters, I almost always address this when I review a KB Ritchie book but I will again. I LOVE THEM!!!! We don’t get disposable one dimensional characters, nuh uh. We get believable and lovable and relatable and flawed AND wonderful side characters. They make the story so real and I find myself always wanting to know more about them. They add to the main characters and refine the world building in the books. Obviously I want to see more of ALL OF THEM. But for now can we pretty please have a Katya book? And a Sergei? And a Dimitri? AND a Timo/John?? You callin me greedy? NEVER.

I teared up near the end, my eyes burned with emotion for these characters. Luka makes an amazing hero and Baylee a stunning heroine. I would gladly read more about them and the world they live in any day of the week.

“Circus is family.”

ARC was provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review

Fast Connection

Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

5 stars!

“He’s completely complicated. And lost. And frustrating. But we do something for each other. . . . We fit. We need each other.”

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! This was my first full five star rated book of 2017, this was the perfect book at the perfect time!

Dominic Costigan served his country in the army for many years, and it was there he realized that his skirt chasing days may also include pant chasing. Basically, he’s bisexual. Upon returning home he gets a gay dating app and finds himself in a hook up with silver fox Luke.

Luke is a divorced father of two teens, also bisexual, and has zero interest in a relationship. But there’s something between the two of them that Luke recognizes and doesn’t want to. Can Luke look past his reservations and open up to Dominic?

“I couldn’t get enough of him. He was an addiction now, and I hadn’t decided yet if he was a healthy one like eating apples every day or an unhealthy one like meth.”

I loved this book, I loved it. I am going to keep saying that. I LOVED IT! There. It’s all out. Maybe. If you read the first book, the Dominic Costigan we met wasn’t his best self, I was wary of his character to be honest. But I love when authors take a character who doesn’t appear to be great in one book, and we see a whole new side of them in their own book.

Dominic is one of my favorite book heroes now, I loved reading about his journey to find himself and what he wanted to do with his life. His insecurities came from a real place, not having a supportive figure in his life. Luke was his perfect counter point despite being kind of a dick in the beginning. The two of them got each other, one kind of goofy and the other stoic. Dominic breaks through Luke’s hard exterior, and Luke recognizes that “Nick” needs affection.

Perk for all of you pervy pervs out there like me, this book was seriously HAWT. Very, vert hot. But it was equal with plot which is so hard to do and I appreciated that. And it had the perfect level of angst, the delicious kind where rainbows come out of my mouth while I am reading it. (Yes, I am weird).

Anyways, if you are in the mood for an awesome MM story between a hot Captain America type and a silver fox, this is the book for you!

“I want you. To be mine. Only mine.”

Holding Up The Universe

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

4 stars!

“Dear friend, You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only you there is. Don’t be afraid to leave the castle. It’s a great big world out there. Love, a fellow reader”

This book shocked me with how much I enjoyed it! Holding Up the Universe is about Libby and Jack. A couple years back Libby had gained so much weight that she needed to be rescued from her house to be saved. Jack has a secret, he cannot recognize faces, not even his own.

The two become connected after Jack does something he regrets, and a friendship begins. Through friendship becomes an attraction, but both have personal barriers they need to get past.

“We’re all weird and damaged in our own way. You’re not the only one.”

I really enjoyed this book, way more than I thought I would. I am not a fan of All the Bright Places, it was one of those books where everyone loved it except me. But I was intrigued by this book and I liked Niven’s writing style so I wanted to give it a shot. I myself am overweight, and while I am nowhere near Libby’s size I could easily relate to a lot of what she was going through, even though I am an adult. High school is hard enough without adding in the fat shaming factor and I really admired her strength and tenacity when dealing with the hateful comments of others.

Jack’s story was very interesting, I knew little to nothing about face blindness before reading this book. I think Niven did a great job of describing what day to day life would be like living with this condition. Jack himself was one thing I didn’t love about this book. He had a lot of growth by the end, but ultimately I still feel Libby deserves a better guy than him.

Beautifully written, Niven has sold me on anything else YA she writes in the future. I always love when an author has a book I didn’t connect with has the ability to write something different, it shows variety in her writing style.

“It’s my experience that the people who are most afraid are the ones who hide behind mean and threatening words.”

Vicious

Vicious by LJ Shen

4.5 perfect a**hole hero stars!

“He’d treated me horribly in the past, but right now…he brought color into my life.”

Vicious is the story of Emilia and Vicious. In high school her parents worked for his family, and Vicious made her life a living hell. Now ten years later Emilia is living in New York when Vicious approaches her and offers her a job. She’s not stupid, she knows there’s more to this offer than he says there is, but Emilia is desperate and needs the money for her and her sister.

As they work together, Vicious continues to be the awful jerk he was before, but Emilia also sees a new side of him that he kept hidden from her years before. But she dreads what he’ll make her do and she scared of her heart being broken by him again.

“I used to think of you as a villain, but you’re not my villain. You’re your own villain.”

This was my first book by LJ Shen and I can honestly say it won’t be my last. She’s an author I’ve always been meaning to read and never made the time for, and I regret that now. Asshole heroes are not normally my favorite trope, but I loved Vicious so much! I think having his POV helped us as readers see his more vulnerable sides and made him so much more human.

The other thing that made this book great is Emilia. When it comes to asshole heroes, there is a fine line for the heroine in which she can become the victim and let the hero walk over her, or she can be the perfect counterpoint and deflect the harmful things they can say. Emilia was perfect! She knew what to let slide, she didn’t take his crap, and she saw past his asshole exterior and saw the vulnerable man beneath.

This was a book that was hard to put down and a story I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come. I am eager to read more by LJ Shen in the future!

“I loved her when I hated her. And I loved her when I didn’t want anything to do with her. I was so crazy about her, the lines had blurred together. Feelings were mixed, emotions twisted together.”

Good Boy

Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

4.5 stars!!!

Receiving this arc was like getting a Christmas present! It came at the perfect time during stressful holiday season.

Good Boy is a spin off of the Him series, which is two MM books before this one, BUT this can be read as a standalone and is MF. Jess Canning is planning her brother’s wedding to his boyfriend and it has to be perfect. Too many times she’s let her parents and family down with her restless spirit. The only thing that can get in the way of that is Blake, friend of the groom’s and a mistake Jess won’t make again.

Blake is the guy no one takes seriously, always happy and a fun guy to be around. And the more time he spends with Jess, the more and more he likes her and wants to see her. And little by little Blake begins to grow on Jess.

First thing I want to say is BLAKE IS MINE! That’s right ladies (and possibly gents), he is mine!!!! I called it!!! LOL

Ever since these characters were introduced I was excited to read their story so this book was a mother-frickin delight! I love that we got a back story of what happened when Jamie was sick, we got to see the wedding, and then a beautiful romance between two unlikely people.

One of my favorite parts about this book was the layers we saw behind both characters, this wasn’t just another romance. We got character development (and for those of you who know me well, I drool over character development). There’s more to Jess and Blake than meets the eye, and in the two of them discovering that about each other, we got a beautiful romance.

Full of laughter, feels and some seriously hot stuff, Good Boy is the book you need to escape reality and have a great time!

ARC provided by authors in exchange for an honest review

Wait For It

Wait For It by Mariana Zapata

4 stars!

“You can’t always wait for someone else to do the right thing when you can do it yourself.”

Mariana Zapata is the queen of the slow burn!

Wait For It is the story of Diana, a young aunt who is raising her two nephews after the death of her brother and his wife. Moving into a new neighborhood, Diana meets her neighbor when she rescues his brother from being beaten up. From this point, their lives mix between family and friends and little league games.

Dallas is a grumpy guy across the street, and while he warms up to her nephews, he doesn’t seem to like Diana very much. Over time the two reach a friendly agreement, and then become friends. But Dallas is married, pursuing a divorce, and Diana may want more, but she won’t go after it.

“Only thing cover model about Dallas was his resting bitch face that was too aggressive to be on the cover of anything other than a survival guide magazine.”

The moment I saw this puppy was live early, I one-clicked it so fast! I love this author, her slow burn romances are exactly what I needed in a world of instalove and women accidentally falling on men on page 2. I loved how much this book was about daily family life and Diana raising the kids more then it was about romance.

The slow burn, it’s more glacial than slow in this book but I honestly didn’t mind. But for those who you who want stuff to happen, we don’t even really get to know the hero until after 39% into the book. BUT like I said, I really enjoyed the daily life of Diana with the boys. I’m not a parent but I was laughing so hard at moments like Diana’s dread at hosting a sleepover and stress eating pop tarts. This book actually made me crave pop tarts and I don’t even eat them!

Dallas was a great hero, he was supportive and understanding and once he got to know Diana and her intentions he was good to her and her boys. This book made me like the strong and silent type.

“Because no one else was as kind or selfless, as giving or as patient, as loving in all the little and the big ways, as he was. I’d never really known what I wanted most of my life, but this—him—was it.”

Fire in You

Fire in You by J Lynn

4 stars!

“Scars, whether physical or emotional, could be not just a representation of survival but also a story of hope.”

 photo fire in you.jpg

Reading a J Lynn book always feels like coming home.

The sixth book in this series, Fire In You, follows the characters Jillian and Brock. When Jillian was younger she was in love with Brock, following him around everywhere like a puppy dog. But one night of tragedy changed that, and Jillian hasn’t been the same since. Now, about six years later, Jillian has agreed to go to work for her dad, and Brock enters her life once again. But Jillian has changed, immensely, and she refuses to go back to the way things were between them while Brock is insistent on being in her life again.

“What in the actual hell of all nine circles of Hell was this?”

There isn’t a book in this series I haven’t enjoyed or loved. This one started out very strong, I like how JLA develops her heroines so we get a sense of who they are before we get more of the story. I could totally see where Jillian was coming from, her insecurities and bewilderment at Brock’s sudden interest in her. But I think his big brotherly feelings did develop into something more, I just wish we saw more of his journey than hers.

I devoured this book beginning to end. I’ve been in a romance slump lately and was wary of reading this, but JLA delivered a story that sucked me in and wasn’t the same as everything else. There’s a reason she’s one of my favorite authors, she almost never lets you down. If you’re in the mood for a romance to make you smile, this is the book for you.

“I love you because you have this fire in you that you don’t even recognise, but I do. You’re strong and you’re a survivor.”

Hold My Breath

Hold My Breath by Ginger Scott

3.5 stars!

“The hurt is almost good. It reminds me that something real was in my heart once, and as much as I want to run away from it, in this moment, I also want to hold onto it.”

Hold My Breath is the story of two swimmers, Will and Maddy. Growing up Maddy was in love with Will’s brother, until a tragic accident happens and Will survives and his brother dies. Four years later and Will wants to reenter the swimming world and he’s been training for it. This brings Will back into Maddy’s life, and all of his feelings for her from years ago return. The more time they spend together the more they ease back into their old friendship.

Ginger Scott knows how to pack an emotional punch into her books, I always know I can expect a good drama from her. This was a good slow burn romance, a bit slow at the beginning but it picked up pace near the end. Good for fans of sports romance and emotional romance.

”I’ve wanted Maddy since she dared me to beat her when we were kids racing in the pool. I’ve wanted to kiss her since I wrapped my hands around hers on the rope swing, and I know in my gut that I loved her first. I loved her more…and I loved her first.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for review

The Hating Game

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

4 IHATEJOSHUA4EV@ stars!!!

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.”

The Hating Game is a sleeper hit, it feels like it came out of nowhere and everyone seems to love it. After dragging my feet for a long time, I finally got my rear in gear and checked out this lovely from the library, and it was the perfect escape.

Lucy and Josh work in the same company in the same room. The two have hated each other since they first laid eyes on each other and every day at work is a semi hostile one with glares and witty barbs fired at each other. Now they are both up for a promotion and everything comes crashing together as they do their best to be the winner.

“It’s a corporate truth universally acknowledged that workers would rather eat rat skeletons than participate in group activities.”

While this book may be a tad predictable and full of stereotypes, I enjoyed every second that I spent reading it. I’m not normally one for the “I hate you but I love you” kind of trope, but Thorne nails it in her delivery of the book. I was blown away by the layers to the story, having only Lucy’s perspective the more I learned about Josh, the more I grew to love him. This book also had those little angsty tidbits that I just ate right up!

“You’ve broken me down so completely, I can’t even handle it when a guy tells me I’m beautiful.”

I found myself giggling while reading this. Lucy was a fantastic balance of intelligent, work wise, and naive when it came to interpreting Josh and his feelings for her. My favorite part of the entire book is when Lucy got sick (and that’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to spoil it for you).

Lately I haven’t been able to read romance because it all seems the same to me, and I am happy to say this book stands out amongst the sea of books that all sound alike to me. Bravo to Ms. Thorne for her debut novel and I eagerly await more of her books in the future.

“I’m probably not good at a lot of things, but I will try to be.”