Twist of Fate (2021)

by Tia Louise
ASN/ISBN: 9798704702146
Publication: February 22, 2021
Series: Standalone but crossover with other books

(Review at the End)

A sexy, friends-to-lovers, second-chance romance with a twist by USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise.

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DESCRIPTION

To be “just friends” with a guy, you’ve got to follow The Rules:
Don’t touch him unnecessarily.
Don’t share your intimate dreams with him (even if he asks).
Don’t kiss him, and definitely don’t sleep with him.

Scout Dunne and I have been “just friends” since childhood.
He’s everything you could want—sexy, charming, confident—every girl’s wet dream.
Until we broke The Rules.
We broke them in the ocean, in my aunt’s bathroom, in my bed…
It was the hottest week of my life.
I’m one of the few people who knows the first-round NFL draft pick wants more than a life of sports.
Because we’re friends, right?
Not anymore.

Now he’s gone, and I’m trying to get my career back on track.
Mamma said a guy would never put your dreams ahead of his.
But the twist of fate?
It’s something you never see coming.

(TWIST OF FATE is a STAND-ALONE friends-to-lovers, single-parent romance. No cheating. No cliffhanger.)


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EXCERPT

Scout

“It’s been a long time since we danced together.”

She doesn’t look up, but her smile grows. “It was homecoming, first dance of the year.”

“And the last. I still can’t believe you didn’t go to prom with me. All high school romances end at the prom.”

Her nose curls. “We were not a high school romance.”

“We might’ve been. The high school quarterback, all around hot guy who falls for the quiet, bookish future librarian. It’s the perfect setup for a movie.”

“All-around hot guy…” Her brown eyes roll adorably, and I’m glad the tension seems to have melted. “I’m not a future librarian.”

“I know.” I think about that night. “You did promise to have my back, though.”

“Until you broke the rules and kissed me.”

“It was a really good kiss. We should try it again to see if we’ve still got it.”

She steps out of my arms. “I’ve got a job to finish. Then I’m leaving Fireside.”

“Okay.” I shrug. “I’m not going to be here for long. Maybe we could pass the time together. Hang out.” I lean down to catch her eye. “What do you say, Tink?”

“Tink?”

“Tinkerbell. You remind me of her.”

“Does that make you Peter Pan, the eternal man-child?”

“I’m no child.” It comes out a bit hungrier than I intended, and her cheeks turn red so fast.

Should I say oops? I’m sure as hell not taking it back.

“I’ve got to go.”

She does it, too. She walks off, leaving me alone on the dance floor…

© TLM Productions LLC, 2021

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tia Louise is the USA TODAY best-selling, award-winning author of super-hot and sexy romances. All her heroes are alphas with hearts of gold, and all her heroines are the smart, sassy ladies who love them.

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REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Twist of Fate is an appropriate title for a book that’s all about how lives can change when least expected. Sometimes the things we want will also change along with what life throws at us. The plot of the book reflects the title along these lines starting with Daisy and Scout’s relationship–or lack of one–when they unexpectedly meet each other again. The twists continue to fall like dominoes from here.

One reason I like a friends-to-lovers stories is because when characters get together at the very beginning, it never feels like their relationship is moving too fast, especially when it’s possible one is in love with the other or they’re both in love with each other right from the start. Louise sets this up really well because in the span of one week, Daisy and Scout can’t keep their hands off each other and I was all for it. There was chemistry and I was rooting for then. I did want more of a backstory about the rules they set up in high school when they kept referring to what happened, but it doesn’t take away too much from the present day storyline. There were some events in the story I wish had been given more time or better explanations. While it can be read as a standalone, there’s a time or two when there was a reference to events that happen in a related book This Much is True (Scout’s brother JR’s book) and it made me wonder what happened or if I was missing something.

Life can change at any moment, and sometimes the things we want may change too. We just need to figure out what we’re willing to do about it. The twists that befall Daisy and Scout aren’t exactly surprising but it was still an enjoyable read.

Fumbled (2021)

by Cala Riley
ASIN/ISBN: B087PVMZQ5
Publication: February 15, 2021
Series: Quick Snap Novella

(Review at the End)

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Jude

Before training camp, I went on one last trip. Just me and the beaches of Miami without doting fans and the pressures of fame. Then I ran into Ivy, literally.

One thing led to another, and we spent a glorious week together. Then she utters the words I never wanted to hear: Just Friends.

I’m playing the best I’ve ever played, yet somehow with Ivy I keep fumbling. Our lives are worlds apart, but with each text, call, and stolen moment, my feelings for her grow. Can I keep my career and land the woman of my dreams?

Ivy

When I met Jude, I had no idea who he was to the world. He was a hot, vacation companion, nothing more. We spent one week getting to know each other, but at the end we went our separate ways as just friends.

Then he showed up back in my life. Jude Taylor, star wide receiver.

I don’t care that he’s on the TV every Sunday when I go to my parent’s house or that thousands of people worship him. I care about the man I met in Miami. I thought we could be friends, but the way he makes my heart race when the cameras are off is far from friendly. Every wink, smirk, and deep timbre of his voice makes me question why I ever wanted to be friends. Can I compromise my life plans to allow him a place by my side?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Cala Riley, better known as Cala and Riley, are a pair of friends with a deep seated love of books and writing. Both Cala and Riley are happily married and each have children, Cala with the four-legged kind while Riley has a mixture of both two-legged and four. While they live apart, that does not affect their connection. They are the true definition of family. What started as an idea that quickly turned into a full-length book and a bond that will never end. 

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REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Fumbled is a novella that packs nearly an entire 300-page novel worth of events into it’s limited number of pages (just over 100). This can be viewed as good or bad depending on what it is you’re searching for. Ivy and Jude meet, spend a week together, and then go their separate ways to only reconsider whether a week together was long enough. Because it’s so short, the events that occur don’t pack an emotional punch like they would if the story were a lot longer. There’s just not enough to go into detail about things that happen. There are only a few pages to spend on it, if at all, before quickly moving on to the next thing. There are a few places here and there where more than just a few pages are spent on a moment, and these allowed the ability of the authors to evoke emotion shine through. If you would like something that provides greater detail by concentrating on just one or a few significant events, that allows you to connect with the characters, this novella might not be the right one for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick read, this book will do the job. It reads like a full length novel but the pace is so fast–everything flies by. A lot of things happen and any problems or situations get resolved quickly.


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Inked Persuasion (2021)

by Carrie Ann Ryan
ASIN/ISBN: 9781950443000
Publication: February 9, 2021
Series: Montgomery Ink: Fort Collins #1, Montgomery Ink #16

(Review at the End)

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The Montgomery Ink saga from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues with a steamy new series.

Years ago, Annabelle Montgomery married not for love but for a promise of hope. When she lost him weeks later, she told herself she never needed those sentiments again. Only when she discovers years later that her new neighbor is her late husband’s brother, Annabelle finds she can’t quite shake the emotions she’s long since buried. 

Jacob Queen vowed he’d never set eyes on Annabelle again. When they’re forced into each other’s lives once more, they realize that no matter how far they run, no distance can keep them apart forever. More than ghosts lay between them, and when they finally give in to temptation, walking away whole may no longer be an option.

Coming Soon!

#2 Releasing July 20
#3 Releasing October 26

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carrie Ann RyanCarrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, paranormal, and young adult romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Fractured Connections, and Elements of Five series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over seventy-five novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not losing herself in her emotional and action-packed worlds, she’s reading as much as she can while wrangling her clowder of cats who have more followers than she does.

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REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

This is my first book by Carrie Ann Ryan. I was excited to read it because the book description was interesting. While there are positive aspects to the novel, I ultimately couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted. My favorite aspect of the book is its emphasis on family. Anabelle is the middle child being one half of a set of twins (a younger brother), with two older brothers (also a set of twins), and a younger sister. The five siblings all work together and get along fairly well. They book starts off by displaying the sibling love as Anabelle and her two older brothers discuss the partners of their younger siblings, mainly how they’re going to vet them to ensure they’re good enough. Ryan does a good job showcasing how close the Montgomery siblings are to each other and how they look out for one another. I love how they look out for one another as well.

Outside of the family dynamics is the main relationship between Jacob and Anabelle. It progresses relatively quickly from enemies-to-lovers. One moment Jacob hated her, and then the next he was fighting emotions he wasn’t supposed to feel. I liked the book and where it was heading until this happened, which felt a bit abrupt to me. There was hardly any time for them to be in a transitional period of figuring out their relationship before their relationship was heading to something more than friendship. This is more problematic for Jacob than Anabelle. While Anabelle never quite hated him, Jacob was adamant about how much he disliked her during and after his brother’s death. It wasn’t so much the writing because I generally liked the glimpses of the relationship I was getting. It had more to do with the story and how many things happened outside of the pages of the book. I’d turn the chapter and they’d apparently gone somewhere or did something. I didn’t get a chance to feel much chemistry before I was reading about Annabelle or Jacob realizing how they felt about each other. I was missing the growth and the changes that were supposed to be happening in the relationship.

The plot was a interesting and the writing kept me reading but I wasn’t a fan of how quickly the relationship moved without additional details. While the book was not a good fit for me, individuals looking for an enemies to lovers romance that is a quick read may enjoy the book.

Unraveled (2021)

by Alexia Chase
ASIN/ISBN:B08P5SPHPD
Publication: January 28, 2021
Series: The Everyday Hero World

(Review at the end)

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Alexia Chase’s Unraveled is a fast-paced, emotionally charged, sexy, contemporary romance written in K. Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes Worlds project.

Can a man who’s been burned find love with a woman who’s full of sunshine and happily ever afters? 

Kameron Willoughby

His mom walked out the door when he was twelve and never looked back. That was Kameron’s first taste of a woman letting him down, but certainly not the last. 

Over the years, he’s caught his high school girlfriend with his best friend. And his last girlfriend used him to humiliate another woman. To say he’s bitter and looking to lick his wounds is an understatement. 

When his cousin offers him a place to stay in Sunnyville, he jumps at the chance. Little did he know, he’d meet Little Miss Sunshine herself. 

Layla Malone

She’s looking for Mr. Right, and he has some big shoes to fill. The men in her family have loyal hearts and a helping spirit. The biggest complaint people have about her is that she’s always rushing off to rescue someone. Why’s that such a bad thing? 

The first time she meets Kameron, she’s wrangling ducklings when one accidently falls into a rainwater drain. 

Kameron couldn’t be farther from what she’s looking for. He’s grumpy, doesn’t like animals, and thinks she’s a do-gooder. Every time they meet, she’s jumping headfirst into helping someone, and he’s lecturing her on taking unnecessary risks. 

What happens when two people, who have nothing in common, keep getting thrown together? 

One thing that’s soon apparent – they have an undeniable scorching chemistry that has them both unraveling. 

Will they stay enemies? Do they have more in common than they think? 

Can Layla show Kameron that there’s light after the darkness? Or will Kameron destroy Layla’s belief that life is sunshine and rainbows? 

This story is filled with breaking preconceived notions, resolving miscommunications, learning to appreciate your past, and healing old wounds. 

There’s also some duck wrangling, cat rescuing, sexy firefighting, and an eighty-year-old man’s rushed delivery to a nursing home before his erectile dysfunction medication wears off. 

Are you ready to enjoy the next Everyday Hero? Kameron’s one Grumpalicious fireman. 


EXCERPT

Layla

Between Gertrude and I, we manage to corral three of the baby ducks into the park as several customers file out of the café to cheer me on. 

I lean down and swoosh my arms in the air as another puffball waddles toward the yellow center line. “Oh, no, you don’t.” 

At my exaggerated movements, the duckling shots into the grass like a fox is hot on his tail feathers. “Good job, little one.”

By now, cars on both sides of the road have come to a complete stop. Mayor Winston steps out of his Cadillac. He leans against the door with his arm resting over the top edge. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?”

I swipe a strand of hair out of my eyes, but it continues to swirl. “Yes, it is.”

He chuckles as Gertrude darts to the side of the road and frantically quacks at a duckling that has wandered down the cement gutter. “She sure has her hands full with this batch. I don’t think they’re going to make it.”

“You and me both,” I sigh in utter frustration. There’s no time to make idle conversation. I jog to catch up with them before another unsuspecting driver ends up running over the little family. 

Not that there’s anywhere for vehicles to go. The road to the south is blocked by the Mayor and a couple other drivers who’ve stopped to chat with him. And from the north, a large 4×4 is angled sideways to block traffic. 

I squint. Who’s that? I don’t recognize the vehicle. Before I can catch a glimpse of the driver, the pipsqueak on the loose slips between the rails of the drain grate and disappears. 

“Oh, shit.” My heart skips a beat. I run to the covered trench and stare inside with my co-parent quacking and fluttering her head from side to side. How am I going to get you out of there? 

“What are you doing?” A deep voice booms from behind me.

My mouth drops, and I pivot on my heel. Holy hotness, Batman. The man, who has apparently emerged from a monster truck with dual tailpipes, strides across the pavement. 

The muscles in his shoulders and neck ripple with each movement. When did superheroes start wearing low-hung jeans and wifebeaters? I swallow over the dry ball of lust in my throat and straighten my back. “Gertrude’s baby duckling fell into the drain.”

He yanks the sunglasses off his face, and the darkest pair of brown eyes stare at me in utter disbelief. Then, he glances in all directions. “And that warrants this mess?”

I jerk backward. “What mess?”

“This.” As he waves his hand in a circle in front of him, his eyes flash with contempt. “You’re holding up traffic. All the lookie-loos are out gawking. And the Mayor’s over there holding an impromptu press conference.”

I spin around to see Mayor Winston grinning from ear to ear as he uses his hands to talk. Tracie Atherton and Max Parson have their cellphones up as they appear to be recording his conversation. Welcome to Sunnyville, California. 

“Then, move on.” I shrug. “It doesn’t have to be your business.”

The man purses his lips. “Yes, it does. We received a call at the fire department, and I’m the lucky one who got the assignment.” 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexia ChaseMy name is Alexia Chase. 

I specialize in quick, dirty, and sweet short stories and novellas with some novels for your reading pleasure. I write for busy working mothers who admire and acquire books that provide the full escape of a novel but don’t have a lot of time. 

More importantly, I offer insta-love, smutty sex, and swoon-worthy moments that will leave you with a flushed face and a giddy smile. Quick – pray no one is watching and wondering what in the hell is wrong with you because no one else looks that happy. 

People who have read my books have the following to say: 

“This insta-love story is extremely funny, a quick read and just filled with so much good and filthy stuff. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone that likes Alexia Chase or is just thinking about picking one of her books up for the first time. Just make sure you are reading this where you can laugh out loud and get a crimson face when you read the erotic sex scenes.” LF Books 

“I’ve read a lot of books written by Alexia Chase; she has done a great job at writing another good short story; she is one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait to read more of her books.” Jeanne Richardson

My writing gives busy women that sixty-minute escape they need when they can’t afford a trip to the Caribbean with their secret lover, Dimitri.  My Soul Sisters don’t even have time to get away from the kids to take a shower. 

Quick. Dirty. Sweet. Alexia Chase Logo

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REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Unraveled is an instalust, opposites attract novel about grumpy firefighter Kameron Willoughby who temporarily relocates to the small town of Sunnyville, California and meets pocket full of sunshine Layla Malone. Kameron’s past with women prompts him to dismiss Layla as well as her positive outlook on life but he can’t stop thinking about her…and all the things he’d like to do to her. Although Kameron’s gruff exterior should be a turn off to Layla, she can’t seem to stop thinking about him either.

The lust is immediate, starting as soon as our leads meet one another. A few pages in and Kameron is already thinking things he shouldn’t whereas Layla is immediately attracted to him although not so much to his personality. I wasn’t bothered by the instalust but I didn’t feel much chemistry between Kameron and Layla beyond the initial attraction they had to one another, which could likely be attributed to the somewhat superficial interactions they had with one another before feelings got in the way. Because of a lack of chemistry, I wasn’t as invested in their relationship. The pace of the book is similar to the lust between Kameron and Layla, scorching fast. There are a few cute scenes. I think the beginning with the mother duck and ducklings stopping traffic was likely my favorite. I wasn’t a fan of Layla needing saving multiple times, which then required Kameron to repeatedly step in. If it was established early on that she was klutzy before Kameron’s appearance, I think I wouldn’t have minded as much. Readers looking for a quick, light read to start off the year may enjoy Unraveled.

A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day (2021)

by Kayley Loring
ASIN/ISBN: B08RCZ2NK1
Publication: January 14, 2021
Series: Standalone – connected to A Very Bossy Christmas (2020)

(Review at the end)

Get ready to spend Valentine’s Day with Eddie and Birdie!

A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day
is out today.

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EDDIE: Cancel your dinky little roomette on the train. I’m booking us two of the big bedroom suites. 

BIRDIE: I’ll cancel it AFTER you’ve booked the other sleeper rooms. And reimburse you.

EDDIE: Don’t worry about it. Just cancel your tickets. I got this. Round trip. I’m on the Amtrak website right now.

BIRDIE: You don’t have to leave NYC when I do! You’ll hardly be able to spend any time with your Instagram girlfriend that you’ve never met!

EDDIE: It’s fine. She’ll be fine with it. Cancel your tickets.

BIRDIE: You aren’t going to stop texting me until I’ve canceled them, are you?

EDDIE: Damn right I’m not. Just do it. You can thank me later.

***

EDDIE: Um. Did you cancel your tickets?

BIRDIE: Yes, Edward. I canceled them.

EDDIE: Okay, because it turns out they only had one Family Bedroom from LA to Chicago. But the good news is I booked it for us. It’s the biggest room they had. The bad news is I booked it for us. And it’s the only sleeper room they have left now.

EDDIE: In related news, there was also only one room left from Chicago to New York. 

EDDIE: Hands up if you’re excited! *man raising hand emoji*

BIRDIE: I am so mad at you right now.

***

BIRDIE: I’ve compiled a list of ground rules re shared train bedroom. Check your email, please read carefully, and refer to it again on the ninth of February. Thank you.

EDDIE: *nerd face emoji* Received. I have some notes. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Before writing steamy romantic comedy novels, Kayley Loring got a BFA in creative writing from a Canadian university and had a fifteen-year career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles (under a different name). She mostly wrote PG-13 family comedies that studios would pay her lots of money for and then never make into movies. In 2017 she decided to move to the Pacific Northwest and write about all the fun stuff that she wasn’t allowed to write about in those PG-13 scripts. Now she’s breathing cleaner air and writing dirtier words. It’s an adjustment she’s happily getting used to.

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REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Best friends Birdie and Eddie straddle the line between friendship and possibly something more. While both are attracted to each other, Birdie doesn’t want to ruin a 6-year friendship and Eddie is trying really hard to stay faithful to his hot Instagram model girlfriend whom he has never met IRL. Separately, they make plans to head to New York for Valentine’s Day–Eddie to meet his girlfriend and Birdie to attend a Tedx talk–but decide to make the trip together.

A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day is short and sweet (short as in over 200 pages but under 300) Because it’s short, there isn’t a lot of room to digress from our leading couple. As a friends-to-lovers romance, this book hits all the good stuff from the angst of being in close quarters to the jealousy that occurs when someone tries to hit on your best friend…the one who you are very definitely not in love with. The chemistry and the angst start right away, making it easy to root for Birdie and Eddie. Missing was the endearing and very hilarious family bantering, although we hear from Eddie’s mom and his brother as well as get appearances from his cousins. However, as Eddie’s cousin Billy laments in the book, a lot of holidays like Christmas and New Year’s can be spent with family but Valentine’s Day is often about having a significant other so it makes sense that families only make brief appearances in this particular book. (Not that Valentine’s Day can’t be about friends and other relationships–I’m all for it. I’m just repeating what Billy said. Don’t shoot me.)

As a fan of rom coms, A Very Friendly Valentine’s Day is an example of why Loring has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I was reading this at 2AM because I couldn’t put it down. I had to self-ostracize to the living room because I kept laughing too much. If you’re a fan of friends-to-lovers and laughing (because laughing is one of life’s best cures!), this is the perfect novel to head into Valentine’s Day with.

Side note: As soon as I was done, I had to go reread A Very Bossy Christmas again (yup…you read that right, reread again as in I’ve already reread it a few times) because I needed some more laughs. Now that the single Cannavale brothers have had their stories, I very much need a story about Maddie’s niece Piper. I love her.