Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lost In Between by KL Kreig | Excerpt

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 with
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Hello everyone,
After reading and being completely addicted to KL Kreig's Black Swan Affair last year, I couldn't wait to read more by her. Good thing she has a new book coming out on February 20th called Lost in Between.


We all have one.

A price.

That magic number that will get us to agree to do anything, be anything.

Don’t sit on your gold-plated high horse and say you don’t because you do. Everyone does. Each of us has something we covet enough that we’d sell ourselves to have it.

What’s my tipping point, you ask? Apparently a cool quarter mil will do the trick.

What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit.

I’ll fight falling into bed with him. I’ll fight falling in love with him even harder. I’ll fail at both. And when my past and present collide in the most unexpected of ways, I’ll learn that while one man’s love for me has never died, the only man’s love I really want will never be mine.


Lost In Between is the first book in a two-duet. And if Black Swan Affair was anything to go by, it's gonna a super steamy read, and judging by the synopsis, feature a sexy alpha.

Here's a little preview of Lost in Between.

As long as Noah and I have known one another and as close as we are, he’s far from an open book. He holds some of life’s secrets so close to the vest, he’ll likely take them to his grave. So how he knows Ms. Randi Deveraux of La Dolce Vita is still a mystery he won’t divulge.

When he told me his plan and showed me the picture of the woman who’d play my love interest for the next several months, I was immediately drawn to the her, but it took me a few seconds to realize why.

It was her.

My spicy little Goldilocks.

The one I haven’t heard from.

The one I haven’t been able to get out of my fucking head for the past eight days.

The one my cock involuntarily gets hard for in the dark of night.

The glossy-colored print I stared at for long minutes was a complete contradiction to the fiery woman I’d met.

On paper her exterior was flawless. Not one sculpted eyebrow out of place. Striking blue eyes rimmed with the right amount of shadow, liner, and mascara that made them alluring but not slutty. Pouty lips painted a deep shade of maroon, lined impeccably so the stain didn’t seep, then glossed enough in the middle to draw your attention to their fullness. Hair curled into loose ribbons that fell over her shoulders and down her slim back.

But while the outside was practiced perfection, the inside screamed dead. Not damaged, not broken or bruised, but lifeless. This beautiful creature went through the motions. She moved through life without living. I don’t know how I saw it, or why, but I know it wasn’t a product of my overactive imagination. This woman’s pain was rooted deep but she put on an award-winning fa莽ade that told the outside world otherwise.

I saw the same thing when I stared into her fierce eyes under the cover of my sunglasses days ago, but I also saw something else. Smoking embers buried under piles of ash. God help me, but for some reason I want to be the man who stokes those smoldering cinders until they spark into a burning inferno, bringing her roaring back to life.

Standing before her now, I’ve no doubt I’m the igniter, the single match needed to wake her from the living dead.

“Summer, is it?” I close the door behind me and move to the couch, gesturing for her to sit.

She doesn’t. She just blinks rapidly like she’s seeing a ghost. That makes me smile for some reason.

I know the name she’s using is fake. I hate it. Not the name, per se, but the fact that I don’t know her real one. I told Ms. Deveraux my circumstances and my concern around using a fake name. The press will eventually find out and it’s best if we’re up front in the beginning rather than if they dig, thinking we’re hiding something. That would be disastrous. She agreed but told me the decision was up to Summer. If she agreed to my terms, I could plead my case. If not, then her anonymity was still protected.

“You don’t look like a Summer,” I say casually as I take a seat and cross my legs.

Although in a way she does. She’s hot and sultry and I’ve no doubt she’s nice and moist in the place I’m dying to drive my cock. Jesus, she is absolutely mouthwatering. And she has the sexiest fucking voice I have ever heard. It’s no wonder I can’t stop thinking about her.

She crosses her arms and cocks a hip in irritation. “Is that so? What do I look like then?”

Mine.

Why that disturbing word pops into my head, I haven’t a clue. She is yours temporarily, though. If she agrees.

“How is your neck by the way?”

That seems to catch her off guard because her cocky bravado falters. “Uh…fine. It’s fine.” She unconsciously reaches up to palm it. My fingers itch, wishing they were on her skin instead. I still remember the electricity that ran down my arm when I touched her before. It set my cock on fire and it hasn’t stopped burning since. “You’re lucky, you know. I could be wearing a neck brace right now and be lawyered up.”

“And you’d still be just as beautiful.” I ignore the lawyer comment. I know it’s just a dig. When she blushes and looks away, my grin gets wider and I allow myself a few seconds to absorb her, head to toe. I find myself zeroing in on that tiny diamond stud in her nose, now catching the light. I first noticed it when she pounded on the window of my Rover calling me names. I generally find them childish, yet on her, I find myself incredibly turned on by it.

“Why don’t you take a seat?” On my lap would be preferable.

Defiant eyes snap back to mine. “Hit and run anyone else lately?”

“Hit and run?” I chuckle. “I didn’t hit and run you. I took accountability.”

“Yeah. After I dumped car parts into your lap, it was pretty hard to deny it any longer.”

Hell. This woman is full of restrained passion. She just needs someone to help her unleash it in a very controlled manner.

“Why haven’t you called about your car? Change your mind on whose fault it was?” I’m goading her, but Hot. Damn. The sparks firing from her are overly addictive.

“Oh, it was your fault, all right,” she snaps. “And I’ve been…busy.”

“Yes, I can imagine you have a very full schedule.” I sound more sarcastic than I intend, but the thought of her with other men makes me feel exactly the way I felt when I thought of Noah with her.

Her lips thin. She’s madder than a hornet. I’m harder than a two by four.

“Why are you here, Drive By?”

Drive By? I laugh at her feisty spirit. God, I want to kiss her. Feel her tongue sparring eagerly with mine. See if she tastes of rage and raw energy.

“I was under the impression you were agreeable to meeting with me.”

When Noah set this up, I insisted on three things.

One: it take place in Ms. Deveraux’s private home with her alone. There’s no way in hell I will be caught on film coming and going from her “business.”

Two: I meet with Ms. Deveraux in advance and work through the contractual details to my satisfaction. Let’s just say I now feel comfortable we have a mutual interest in keeping this arrangement buried deep.

And three: I be allowed to personally meet with “Summer” before she signs the contract. Surprisingly, that was the toughest piece to negotiate. Seems Ms. Deveraux is very protective of her, or maybe she’s that way with all of her employees.

Everything I have done to secure her has deviated from Ms. Deveraux’s normal course of business, but this situation is far from normal. It’s reckless at worst. Precarious at best.

“How did you find me?”

Sheer, dumb luck.

“I’m very resourceful.”

Her forehead creases. “This is a mistake.”

She turns to leave and I panic. True blistering panic sears through me at the thought she’s about to walk through that door and I may never see her again. I don’t know her real name. I don’t know how to contact her and if this meeting goes south, I know I won’t get anything further about her from Randi Deveraux. If she walks out on me now, I highly doubt she’ll give me the time of day when she finally does call Dane about her car.

I don’t know why I care that I spend the next few months with her and only her so damn much. I just do.

“Wait,” I plead.

She stops but doesn’t turn. I have no idea what possesses me, but I close the distance between us until I’m a whisper away. Our body heat plays off each other, growing hotter by the second.

“You haven’t even listened to my proposal,” I say against her ear.

Her breath kicks up. Good. She’s not unaffected by me, and that will play into my hand nicely.

“You can get someone else,” she replies softly, without conviction.

Drawing her long hair off her shoulder, I let my finger feather across her bare flesh. It’s soft and silky. She shivers. I suppress a moan. Fuck, I want her so much. It makes no sense.

“I don’t want anyone else,” I tell her truthfully, keeping my voice low.

“Why?” she breathes.

I don’t know why. I have no idea what it is about her that draws me in. I wish I did. I need to stop it. I should end this right now—look at a dozen other pictures and pick a woman whose very presence doesn’t twist me into knots and make me have thoughts I’ve never had before. Thoughts that make me uncomfortable. It’s unnerving.

But, fuck me. I can’t. There is just something different about this woman and I won’t rest until I find out what it is.

“Have a seat. Just hear me out. Please,” I tack on sincerely.

She stands motionless and I wonder what her next move will be. My hands curl into fists as I restrain myself from throwing her over my shoulder and hauling her to my house. I think she could benefit greatly from a hard hand and a red ass. I have a feeling she might even enjoy it.

When she floats effortlessly to one of the velvet-covered chairs, I release a veiled breath. Picking up the contract from the edge of Ms. Deveraux’s desk, I make myself comfortable across from her and place the paperwork on the table separating us. Her eyes drop to it but she makes no move to pick it up.

“So what’s your proposal, Mr. Knowles?”

“Mr. Knowles?”

“That’s your name, right? Dane Knowles. Wildemer & Company?”

Amused, I rest my elbows on my knees and grin at her. “No. Dane is my assistant. I told you to call him and he’d take care of the damage to your death box.”

“Death box?” She sounds offended.

“Do you know what the safety rating is on that little tin can you drive?” When she opens her mouth to respond, I talk over her. “Five point seven out of ten. You’re basically driving around in your own steel coffin.”

I expect a hot retort or for her to leave in a huff. What I don’t expect is a genuine, breathtaking smile that lights up her face like summer and makes my cock knock uncomfortably on my zipper in a futile attempt to reach her. My God, she’s trying to kill me already.

“Are you a walking Kelly Blue Book of safety ratings, Mr.…?”

“I have a vast array of useless Trivial Pursuit knowledge up here,” I retort with a smirk, finger pointing to my temple. I’ll never admit that I looked it up after our little accident. She could be seriously hurt in that ridiculous miniature box on wheels that somehow passes for a fucking car. Hell, had I hit her any harder, she would be in the hospital. “And I’m Shaw. Shaw Mercer.”

“Shaw Mercer,” she repeats slowly like she’s tasting my name for the first time. Savoring every consonant and every vowel. Fuck. I sit back and cross one leg over the other to hide my rock-hard erection.

“Any relation to Preston Mercer?”

I nod, impressed that she tied me back to my father instead of referring to me as one of Seattle’s most eligible bachelors. She’s intelligent and up on politics. I like that. Immensely. If you ask three-fourths of the residents of Seattle, they wouldn’t be able to tell you how many branches of government there are, something that’s taught in middle school, let alone who the mayor of Seattle is.

“So why is the mayor’s son…here?”

Her eyes are locked on mine, waiting on an answer.

When she swallows I follow the delicate line of her neck down to the swell of her breasts that peek out from the light pink strapless flowing dress she’s wearing like a fucking Greek goddess. One flick of my finger and I could find out the color of her areolas and the size of her nipples before I draw one into my mouth for a sample. My mouth waters at the thought.

The conversation that Ms. Deveraux and I had earlier about expectations sits hard in the pit of my stomach. On one hand, I was relieved to get confirmation she doesn’t sell herself, only her “time,” but now that I’m sitting here in front of her, I won’t rest until she lets me explore every square inch of not only her perfect body, but her complex mind. I want to know her like no one else has.

When our gazes connect again I’m sure mine is full of unmistakable heat. Hers definitely is.

She clears her throat and straightens her back. “I think you have the wrong idea about what it is I do.”

“I don’t,” I state plainly.

“I don’t sleep with my clients, Mr. Mercer.”

Oh, but you will. We both know our ingredients are explosive.

“Women would pay to have sex with me, not the other way around.”

She huffs a laugh as a wry look crosses her face. “Then what is it you need if not a good fuck?”

I chuckle and when I lean forward she straightens her spine. I love that even the simplest of movements I make in her direction affect her, just like she does to me. “Is that what I’ll be missing with you? A good fuck?” I won’t be missing a damn thing. She will be mine in every conceivable way. I know it and so does she.

“Not just good. Life altering,” she banters smoothly.

Now it’s my turn to smile slowly. What I wouldn’t give to throw her up against the wall and show her just what a life-altering fuck really is. For what seems like forever we stare at each other in some sort of weird silent challenge where we’re waiting to see what move the other will make.

Shaking myself out of her spell, I pick up the papers and hand them to her.

“What’s this?”

“Your employment contract.”

“All the paperwork is handled through Randi.”

“I want a little extra insurance.”

She quickly flips through the five-page document before lifting her eyes. “Nondisclosure agreement? This is sounding very fifty shades-ish. And just so you know, if I find any mention of hard limits or safe words, that’s a deal breaker.”

I can’t help but laugh loudly.

“I’m not kidding,” she says, her voice stern.

“Trust me, Goldilocks, if I could have gotten that past your warrior she-devil, I would have.”

Her eyes narrow, but I see a little twitch at the corner of her mouth so I forge ahead, making a mental note to invest in handcuffs and a flogger. Or six.

“The duration is for approximately the next four months. Ten hours a week, maybe more, maybe less, depending on my schedule. You may be required to travel and you will be available at all times when I need you, day or night. You will attend social events, fundraisers, business dinners, and family functions. You will be photographed and it’s only fair to warn you, you will likely be hounded by the press but I’ll try to shield you as much as possible.”

She regards me quietly. I wish I could tell what’s spinning around in that pretty little head of hers. A corner of my mouth tips when she says, “Reelection is just around the corner.”

Not a question and I don’t answer, but score another point for her.

For not the first time I wonder if this little plan of Noah’s will backfire, taking us all down in a curl of hot flames. She figured out what I was doing within two minutes. Lianna would be a far safer, more believable choice. But there’s also an undeniable, powerfully charged connection between us that will be hard for people to refute.

“And what is my role, specifically?”

Deciding I don’t care if this entire thing blows up in my face because that means I won’t get what I want—which is her—I stand and step around the table, holding out my hand.

When she tentatively sets hers in mine, I help her up and wrap one arm around her waist.

Pulling her close, I relish in the hitch of her breath. Cupping her cheek, I savor the baby-fine skin under the pad of my thumb. I take a deep breath, drinking in her delicately floral scent. She’s intoxicating and my head is already spinning.

“What are you doing?” she whispers, her small hands going to my chest.

Dipping my head, I trail my nose along her jaw, stopping so my lips brush her ear. “Making sure we have chemistry.”

She mutters a curse under her breath I know I’m not meant to hear before stuttering, “Wh…why?”

Fuck, if she only knew the dirty things running through my head right now.

“Because, my wide-eyed little pretty, you’re going to play my new love interest. My girlfriend. My serious girlfriend.” I emphasize the word so she understands what she’s getting herself into. I won’t pay her to be in my bed but that doesn’t mean she won’t end up there anyway.

“I…I haven’t agreed to anything yet.” Her breathlessness is testing me and she’s only about half an inch away from finding out exactly how much.

Walking into this meeting, I had already agreed to what I thought was a generous offer with her boss, madam, keeper, whatever she’s called. But after the last fifteen minutes, I’ve decided I will pay whatever it takes to have her. To own her. I think I would give away my own soul.

Framing her face with both hands now, I lean in until my mouth is a hairsbreadth from hers. Her eyes fall to my lips. I feel her wariness, but I also feel her hunger. She parts her lips and I watch with a deep ache in my groin as her tongue darts out to moisten them in anticipation of my kiss.

I restrain from slamming my mouth to hers, taking what I want. What she wants me to take, regardless of how she’s trying to refute me.

“But you will. Everyone has a price, Summer. What’s yours?”

About the Author
Author KL Kreig
As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption.

Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).

Happy reading,
Michelle

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Publisher: InterMix
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Source of my copy: e-ARC
Series: Roughneck Billionaires #1
Synopsis
Boone Price and his brothers know oil; at least, the dirty, backbreaking side of working an oil rig. But when their scrubby, worthless hunting land turns out to be sitting on top of one of the biggest oil wells in North America, they go from the rig to the boardroom and end up billionaires practically overnight.

Now with enough money to do whatever he wants, Boone is developing a taste for fine things. And the finest thing he's ever seen is Ivy Smithfield, local realtor. Boone's determined to buy her affection and show the world that he's more than just a dirty fool with a bit of money. Ivy's classy and beautiful - she'll make the perfect trophy wife. The fact that she's sexy and funny is just a bonus.

There's one tiny problem - Ivy's as dirt poor as Boone is. Her carefully crafted veneer of luxury? All an act to promote her business. What's Boone going to do when he finds out the woman he's falling for is, well, in his league?



I have really mixed feelings for Dirty Money
My true rating for this book is 2.75/5 stars. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it very much either. But it's still very readable, but the characters drove me nuts... Like I said, very mixed feelings.

 Okay, I'm going to start with what I liked.

When I first started reading Dirty Money, like within pages of the first chapter I tweeted this.
Yes! I thought. A different kind of billionaire. I love my billionaire heroes, but I have to admit a lot of the time they're one and the same: smooth, sophisticated, well-cut suit, coiffed hair, worked in a high rise office with corner windows. Then, here comes Boone: a dirty roughneck with unkempt hair, Duck Dynasty-style bushy beard, trailing dust wherever he goes, and basically the opposite of sophisticated. Did I swoon and fall for him? No. Because he did some stuff that made me side-eye him, which I'll get into later. But I appreciated the fact that we got a different type of hero in Boone. 

Another thing I liked was the writing. It was very readable. It was paced well, and there weren't any parts that dragged. It was well-written. Oh, and the smexin' was HOT!

Now, what I didn't like.

Boone was this uncouth guy, but I didn't mind that about him. There's something sexy about a hardworking, dirty man.

*Ahem* 

But Boone did some crazy shit. Like, when he went to confront this one rich guy at a golf course and this guy and his other rich buddies turned their noses up at Boone, which understandably upset Boone. If there's one thing Boone hates, it's people looking down at him. So, to get back at these people, he decided to buy their golf course (because he can afford it) just to torch it down to the ground. Like, that'll show 'em for disrespecting me! He did ended up doing something nice to the golf course after he burned it to the ground so that sort of redeemed his actions. But, there were also other instances where he just threw money at situations because he didn't want to deal with it, or he threw money to get what he wanted. Personally, for me, throwing money to solve problems is not sexy no matter if you can afford to. 

Another thing was how Boone found Ivy: he saw a picture of her on an real estate ad (because Ivy worked in real estate company) and from seeing her picture he decided she's the classy lady he wanted as his wife. So, he goes to her place of work and within a day of meeting her, he proposes marriage. Boone continually would do these things where if it happened in real life, it wouldn't be romantic, it'd be creepy. However, as much as I didn't like some of his actions there was something endearing about Boone so I couldn't really dislike him.

As for Ivy, I wasn't a big fan of hers. She hit two of the things I hate most about heroines: she's the martyr type (she worked herself to the bone so that she can give her little sister the college education she didn't have, but she refused to tell her sister that she can barely keep food on the table and pay the bills every month--like, why? If her little sister was a young child, I would've understood keeping money troubles from her, but her sister was in college. If she got sick, what then?) and she kept a big secret about herself--lied to Boone--pretty much the entire book that she's not the rich, classy lady Boone thought she was. And she kept lying until about 87% of the book. She was also kind of hot and cold towards Boone (which is another strike against her) where she'd pull away and avoid him for a few days whenever he'd ask anything personal. 

And when the "I love yous" came between the two of them, I really wasn't feeling it, especially from Ivy.

So, basically, I read Dirty Money to get to the next book in the series. Boone is the oldest of five roughneck billionaire brothers and I wanted to the next brother's book. While this particular book didn't quite for me, I do want to continue on with the series. This series is like the sexy, steamy version of Duck Dynasty and I'm all for that. If you like your billionaires rough around the edges and a lot dirty, give this series a go!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: November 28, 2016
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: n/a
Synopsis
At a house party in the countryside, the joyful spirit of the Christmas season threatens to sweep Georgiana Trent under the mistletoe—and back into the arms of the dashing rogue who broke her heart two years ago. Little does she know that Lucas Godwin has no intention of leaving until he has reclaimed her as his own.


NOTE: Sweetest Regret was previously published in the in 2015 in the Christmas-themed anthology, What Happens Under the Mistletoe.

Meredith Duran is one of my auto-buy authors because I can always count her books for an excellent historical romance read. Sweetest Regret, a novella, is no exception--even though it's a novella, you still get a full, satisfying story and a swoon-worthy HEA.

Georgiana "Georgie" Trent, the prime minister's daughter, and Lucas Godwin met and fell in love two years prior in Munich. But, Lucas left Munich without so much as a goodbye and broke Georgie's heart. After her father was suddenly called away on business during a Christmas house party, he invited Lucas to help her look for a missing letter of diplomatic importance that was reportedly stolen by one of the house party guests. Georgie was still very angry and wanted nothing to do with him, but, for some reason Georgie didn't understand, Lucas seemed angry with her as well.

As they're forced to reluctantly work together to find the missing letter, they find that they still have a strong attraction and feelings for each other. But, they have to first work out what actually happened in the past that caused Lucas's abrupt departure before they can hope for their happily ever after.

The events in the novella occurred days leading up to Christmas and days immediately after. The house party guests were foreign diplomats who wanted to experience a true English Christmas so there was a wonderful holiday season-y vibe to the story. The writing is as excellent as always--just as well-written as Ms. Duran full novels. The pacing was excellent--even though it's a novella it was a well-rounded story. 

If you're missing the holiday season now that we're in dreary January, I highly recommend you pick up Sweetest Regret. Read it while drinking some peppermint flavored hot cocoa, and it will take you right back to Christmas.
(Currently $0.99 at your favorite e-book retailer.)
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Monday, January 9, 2017


Hello everyone,
I am so excited to be a part of the Full Package release day launch blog tour. I discovered Lauren Blakely in June last year when I spontaneously one-clicked Big Rock and ever since I've been devouring her romantic comedy books, one right after the other.
The previous books in the companion series. I read and enjoyed them all! 
Full Package--the fourth in her standalone companion novels that are told the guy's POV--is out today!

Release Date: January 9, 2017
Publisher: self-pubbed
Source of my e-copy: InkSlinger PR
Series: standalone
Synopsis
From the New York Times Bestselling author of Mister O and Big Rock, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

I’ve been told I have quite a gift.

Hey, I don’t just mean in my pants. I’ve got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing....

Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard…place.

Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy’s smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I can resist Josie. I’m disciplined, I’m focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It’ll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Spoiler—neither one of us sleeps.

Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends? That she’s brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.

What’s a man stuck in a hard place to do?


Full Package is about Chase Summers (aka Dr. McHottie) and Josie Hammer. If you've been keeping up with Lauren Blakely's romantic comedy standalone series, Josie is the little sister of twin brothers Nick Hammer (Mister O) and Wyatt Hammer (Well Hung). But, if you haven't picked up Nick and Wyatt's books (as well as Big Rock), feel free to start with Full Package, because while the books follow a chronological timeline, they can be read and enjoyed in any order (although I suggest starting with Big Rock, Mister O, Well Hung, and then Full Package because you're gonna want to meet and fall in love with all of these hardworking, sexy guys).


Chase decided to move in with his best friend Josie when his sublease expired. Sure, he's always been kind of attracted to sweet, smart, wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve, makes-the-best-desserts Josie, and they've always had a flirty banter going on, but Chase is good at compartmentalizing. But, sharing a tiny apartment with Josie, smelling her cherry lotion, knowing when she's in the shower and imagining all the things, it's getting harder and harder for Chase to resist Josie. Until the night they both stopped resisting. Chase knew taking their roomies-with-benefit relationship further could ruin their friendship and that is something he absolutely does not want to happen. But, can they really just go back to being best friends again after becoming lovers?

Full Package is everything I love in a friends-to-lovers story. Chase was not only sexy, but he's also smart and a hardworking ER doctor. He's also very upbeat, funny, and drama-free, which I appreciated since we were in his perspective ninety-five percent of the time. Josie, too, was very easy to like. She was such a sweetheart--a character I'd want to be friends with myself, not only because of the yummy treats she'll potentially send my way, but also because she's happy and content with where she is in her career and life. As for love, she's online dating and there was this really fun scene of her and Chase going through her potential dates together. She and Chase share the same sense of humor so their banter was fun to read. Josie owns and runs Sunshine Bakery, and I love how the author incorporated a little bit of her perspective in her recipes so we got a little glimpse of she's feeling about her and Chase's situation--I thought that was really clever. As for the steam factor, Chase and Josie definitely turned it up. I needed to fan myself after certain scenes because these two were just so hot together! Dr. McHottie indeed!

While this novel wasn't original in plot and nothing about what happened in the story really surprised me, I still had such a great time reading it. Out of the four books in this connected standalone series, Full Package is up there as one of my favorites. Full Package is the definition of a romantic comedy--it was an easy and fun, but also very sexy and steamy, read without all of the angst and extra drama. I basically smiled the whole time I was reading it, and when I wasn't smiling I was swooning because Chase and Josie were just the sweetest.
You can find this sexy standalone romantic comedy across all retailers!
✦Amazon UK➜http://amzn.to/2j6xezI
✦Google Play➜https://goo.gl/U5ND2B
✦Amazon Paperback➜http://amzn.to/2avft4u
✦Audio (Sebastian York!)➜http://amzn.to/2iwO9Hc
or via Audible at http://adbl.co/2imeWG6


Here's a short excerpt to give you all a taste of Chase and Josie.
I point to the curved wooden stand with a hook at the top. “This. Explain this.”

Josie sets her hands on her hips. “It’s a banana holder.”

I give her a stern look. “I can read. I don’t need to know what. I need to know why.” I poke the object on the shelf at Bed Bath & Beyond, otherwise known as the Nexus of Unnecessary Things. Pretty sure there’s some kind of vortex or force field right smack dab in the middle of this store attracting all the weird, bizarre, and odd home goods. “Why can’t they sit on the kitchen counter? Or, how about in a bowl?”

“Maybe the bananas just like to dangle?” she suggests. “Hang free and all?”

Smacking my forehead, I go along with it. “Aha. That makes perfect sense.”

“I’m here to help.” She tugs on my shirtsleeve. “But can we please get to the sheet aisle? You can’t sleep on a naked mattress.”

“That may be true, but I could definitely sleep naked on a mattress,” I offer, and she laughs as we navigate through another sardine-packed aisle in the mammoth store.

It’s one in the afternoon, and I just moved in this morning. That took all of two hours. Spending my twenties in med school and as a resident gave me very little time for the acquisition of things, so most of my possessions fit in a duffel bag. I have very little. Not even sheets for a queen-size bed. Ergo, I’m spending Saturday at Bed Bath & Beyond, which is a bit like wandering through a Buzzfeed post titled “Ten Things I’ll Never Use.”

More like five hundred. Wait. Make that five hundred and one, because I just spotted the new number one item on the list.

“That,” I say as I make a beeline for a shelf of cr猫me br没l茅e torches. Grabbing a silvery one, I hold it up. “Please say we can have a housewarming party, and you’ll make cr猫me br没l茅e, and I can stride all proud and awesome into the kitchen,” I say, puffing out my chest and deepening my voice. “And I can light it with a torch, and we’ll all ooh and ahh at the manly fire I made when I lit up a dessert.”

She arches an eyebrow. “A manly fire?”

I nod vigorously. “And then you’ll let the guests take turns punching me in the face for being a total douche for owning a cr猫me br没l茅e torch.”

She narrows her eyes. “You actually want people to punch you?”

I’m deadly serious as I answer her. “If I ever own a cr猫me br没l茅e torch, you have carte blanche to punch me, Josie. You really should.” I drop the torch on the shelf and take her hand, clasping it tightly in mine. “Promise me. From this day forward. Promise you’ll punch me if I ever own a cr猫me br没l茅e torch, a rotating tie rack, or more than one kind of cheese grater. This is part of our roommate pact.”

She grips my hand tighter, her green eyes glowing with stark seriousness. “I solemnly swear to pummel you under all the aforementioned circumstances. As proof of our friendship and roommate solidarity.”

“You’re a saint,” I say, then wrap a hand around her head and tug her close for a quick kiss on her forehead.

And hello, sweet, sexy scent of Josie. What is this delicious smell? Is it . . . oh fuck me. Cherries. My God, she smells like cherries. Like the perfect summer fruit. Like the naughtiest fruit. And I’ve got to wonder if that cherry scent is her face lotion, her shampoo, or her body wash?

Body wash.

My mind is adrift, and the word association begins. Because what goes with body wash but nudity?

Naked woman in the shower. Washing. Lathering. Soaping.

Ah, hell.

Snap the fuck out it, Summers.
And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!

✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing FULL PACKAGE GIVEAWAY!✮✮✮
Josie and Chase put together some of their favorite things just for you to celebrate the release of Full Package!

The Full Package is filled with:
✮ $50 Gift Card to Lush: Fresh Handmade Cosmetics for fruity scented bath products that Chase loves so much.
✮ $50 Gift Card to Sugarfina: A Luxury Candy Boutique where you can sample some of Josie's favorite gourmet candy.
✮ A lovely Coach Wristlet containing a $50 Amazon Gift Card for you to spend on whatever your heart desires.
✮ And last but not least, my entire Audiobook Collection minus Full Package on Audible. It is aurally delicious!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter is not showing up for some reason, you can also find it here: http://laurenblakely.com/full-package-giveaway/

About Lauren Blakely:
Since self-publishing her debut romance novel Caught Up In Us over three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that's full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With thirteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like Big RockMister OWell Hung, and The Sexy One which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she'll release Full Package, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

Happy reading,
Michelle

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hello everyone,
The last few days I've been wrapping up the year 2016 book- and blogging-wise. If you haven't had a chance to see the previous posts yet, I listed my favorite and most most disappointing reads of 2016 and I talked about how I did with my 2016 reading goals and outlined my new 2017 goals.

Today, I am going to talk about my blogging plans for 2017 and what you can expect on this blog going forward.

You might have noticed that in the past few years I've been blogging less and less. In the years 2014 and 2015 it's because I've participated in less weekly memes and stopped putting up what I consider "fluff" just so I have a post up that week. But, in 2016 I only put up a total number of 79 posts--the least amount of posts in the six years I've been blogging.

To be honest, I've been kind of slowly losing interest in book blogging throughout 2016. Don't get me wrong, I participated in some fabulous blog tours in 2016 and those were fun, but besides those I felt uninspired and bored. Maybe it's because other things like my new Redbubble store, or Twitter and Instagram have been taking up the time I usually dedicate to blogging, but more often than not I'd rather do anything else but blog. It's becoming another chore I have to do rather something I want to do.

In 2017 I really want to recapture my enthusiasm and love of book blogging. If I can't then 2017 will probably be my last year as a book blogger, because what's the point?

So, here's what you can expect on this here blog in 2017.

More sexy romance and new adult books. While we do feature and review romance novels and new adult on our blog, we primarily highlight YA novels. However, in 2017 there will be a shift and we'll be featuring more NA/romance titles. We'll still be featuring YA books, of course, but more selectively and less frequently. This means there will likely be more naked torsos on this here blog this year. You've been warned, but, no worries, it will be a good time! ;-)

My Redbubble store. I opened a Redbubble store on a whim back in April of 2016 and haven't really done much with it until this winter. Graphic design is a fun, new thing I've been really getting into and I've put up new designs the last few weeks. Surprisingly, people are actually buying my designs and I've gotten some really positive feedback! So, I'm planning on doing more with it and actually advertising new designs I put up. That means you'll hear more about my store here on the blog.

Reviews of bookish merch. I'm kind of obsessed with bookish merch and I am planning on reviewing some of my purchases or featuring some of my faves.
Me on Etsy when I'm looking at all the bookish things.
Monthly wrap-ups and TBRs. I want to get into the habit of doing monthly wrap-ups that way I can share my thoughts about books that I read but did not write full reviews of. As for TBRs, I'm a mood reader so they don't usually work for me but I'm thinking maybe instead of listing books I plan to read, I can pick a theme instead (sort of like my 2016 TBR Jar) and pick books to read based on that monthly theme. That way I still have the freedom to pick and choose what books to read based on my mood.

GIFs. There will be more gifs. I will be incorporating gifs in my reviews, wrap-ups, updates, etc. Gifs are fun!

*****
That is it for now. Thank you so much for sticking with us and our blog. I really, really hope 2017 is the year I love blogging again because I do want to keep doing it and having fun doing it. If you have any tips on keeping your blogging spirits up and keeping things light and fun rather than an obligation, please share them!

Happy reading,
Michelle

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hello everyone,
Yesterday, I shared my favorite and most disappointing reads of 2016. Today, I am going to blog about how I did in 2016 in terms of my reading goals and also my new reading goals of 2017.

I had seven bookish goals for 2016.

Goal #1: Read 96 books. (Goodreads Goal)
I read a total of 97 books in 2016.

Goal #2: Read at least 8 books every month.
I made this goal to help me accomplish goal #1. I didn't read 8 books every month--there were some months I read fewer than 8 and other months where I read more than 8 so it all balanced out in the end. But, technically, I didn't read 8 books per month.

Goal #3: Only buy up to 75 books in 2016. 
I bought a total of 102 books in 2016. BUT, I only bought 72 physical books and when I made this goal it was to control my buying of physical books because I really do not have room for them all even though I regularly purge my shelves every three months or so. This is a fail, but I'm still patting myself in the back a little because I did curve my book buying. [FYI, in 2015 I bought 148 books, and 195 books in 2014. Yikes!]

Goal #4: TBR Jar.
I completed my TBR Jar challenge! Here are the books I read for each topic:
A book you meant to read in 2015, but didn't: Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
The first book in a new to you series: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
The next book in a series you are reading: The Skylighter by Becky Wallace
A middle grade book: Took by Mary Downing Hahn
A YA fantasy: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
A historical romance: The Lie and the Lady by Kate Noble
A YA contemporaryThe Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
A romance contemporary: Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis
An e-bookBig Rock by Lauren Blakely
Listen to an audiobook: 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
New adult book: Keepsake by Sarina Bowen
Read a book written by your favorite author: Idol (VIP #1) by Kristen Callihan

Goal #5: Visit at least 5 blogs a week and leave at least one comment per blog.
This was a HUGE fail. No excuses. I suck.

Goal #6: Keep connecting with the book blogging community.
While I sucked at visiting and commenting on blogs, I did a couple of buddy reads with a couple of really wonderful girls. I also got really close to a group of fabulous bookish ladies (who share my love of smutty reads) who I chat with almost everyday. I am so happy to have them in my life because they are basically my sisters in smut and pettiness and, of course, delicious tea. Ha!

Goal #7: Write everything down in a physical notebook.
This was another HUGE fail. I specifically bought a planner for 2016 to accomplish this goal and I got to mid-March before I stopped using it completely and reverted back to using Google Calendar and Sheets and Goodread to keep track of blog tour dates and books I read. It was so much easier and more convenient to use Google and Goodreads than carrying around a physical planner or notebook.

So, all in all, not a bad year!

*****

Now, onto my 2017 Bookish Goals.

I want to keep 2017 as stress free as possible in terms of reading and blogging. I think it's going to be a stressful enough year as it is with all the political turmoil going on. I don't want the two things that are supposed to be my fun hobbies to add to the stress.

So, for 2017 I have three bookish goals:

Goal #1: Read at least 50 books. This is also the number of books I put as my Goodreads goal--50 is a nice, low, stress-free number.

Goal #2: Buy less physical books. I bought 72 physical books in 2016 so that means I have to buy less than that in 2017. Notice I specifically said physical books? E-books are fair game. I have a feeling I'm going to reading A LOT more e-books in 2017 than in previous years thanks to my recently purchasing a Kindle Paperwhite.

Goal #3: Make blogging fun again. You might have noticed that I've been posting less and less in the last few years. To be honest I really fell out of love with book blogging in 2016--it just became another thing I have to do, not something I want to do. So, I'm hoping to recapture my love of blogging in 2017 (more on how I plan to do that in a later post).

Okay, three goals for 2017. Here we go...

Happy reading,
Michelle

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello everyone,
Happy New Year!

Usually, I am always excited at the start of a new year, but this time, with all the political turmoil and uncertainties, I am currently feeling subdued at best and apprehensive at worst. To be honest, I don't quite know how I feel about 2017.

Anyway, today I am going to list my top 3 favorite YA and top 3 favorite romance reads, as well as my least favorite reads in both genres. I read a total of 97 books in 2016, and these are the books that stood out as the best and the worst.

Top 3 Favorite YA of 2016
Heartless, Tell Me Three Things, and The Rose and the Dagger are the three books that stood out among the eight YA books I gave five stars to in 2016. 

I reviewed Heartless here so I won't get too much into it, but it's such an amazing origin story of the Queen of Hearts and it made me appreciate the original Alice in Wonderland story so much more. Tell Me Three Things was the best contemporary YA book I read in 2016. It's been so long since a contemporary YA really hit me in the feels as well as made me swoon, and this book did both that. As for The Rose and the Dagger, okay so it wasn't as good as The Wrath and the Dawn to be honest, but I was so worried that it was going to do that keep-the-lovers-apart-until-the-end shit that most YA sequels pull, and it did not. I got all the Shazi and Khalid swoony scenes that I wanted--basically it's everything I wanted the sequel to be.

Top 3 Favorite Romances of 2016
I also gave eight romance/new adult novels five stars in 2016. The three that stood out among the eight were Undecided, Steadfast, and Idol. I didn't expect to love Undecided as much as I did, but reading it brought back all the feels I had when I read The Deal--basically, it's a really damn GOOD college romance. Steadfast stood out because it didn't shy away from that rawness and vulnerability of the hero battling his addiction. I have a review up for Steadfast, so you can read more of my thoughts about it there. Idol is a rockstar romance and I typically stay away from rockstar romances because they're just not my cup of tea, but I loved Idol

Most Disappointing YA Reads of 2016
It wasn't that I completely hated these two books, but they just meh.  Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between was basically about this couple who are going to different colleges and they're trying to decide if they should break up or stay together. It was a really frustrating book because they basically kept having the same conversation over and over the whole entire time and I was at the point where I was like, just frickin' break up already and put me out of my misery. As for Reign of Shadows, I actually rated the book three stars in the end, but that was thanks to the last few chapters of the book. Before that, nothing was really happening to move the plot along and I was just passively reading it just to read it. Maybe I hyped this book up too much, but it essentially ended up disappointing me.

Most Disappointing Romance Reads of 2016
Bad Romeo was hands down my most hated romance read of 2016, but I kind of waffled whether Hitched Vol. 1 belongs next to Bad Romeo in terms of disappointment level because I did give it three stars, but, yeah, it does. Hitched wasn't my most hated book of 2016 like Bad Romeo was, but it certainly was a disappointing read.

I buddy read Bad Romeo with a couple of Twitter friends, and I went into it with such high hopes that I'll love it. It comes highly recommended from other romance-loving friends and its high rating on Goodreads cannot be denied. But, the two main characters frustrated me to no end! I wanted to reach into the pages and give them a good shake. Ethan and Cassie epitomized characters and actions I cannot stand in romance novels. Hitched Vol. 1 was just plain disappointing. It's premise was so promising, but the unrealistic situations, eye-rolling dialogue, uninspired main characters, and wonky pacing really brought the book down for me.

*****
Let me know if we share similar favorites, or similar disappointments. Or, if one of my disappointing reads is one of your favorites, I'd love to know. If you haven't read any of my six faves of 2016, of course I highly recommend them and urge you to add them to your to-read list.

Tomorrow I'll be posting about how I did with my 2016 reading challenges, as well as sharing my 2017 reading goals.

Happy reading,
Michelle