Tag Archives: ARC Review

The Book Barista Reviews: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Title:  Good Boy

Series:  WAGs, #1

Author:  Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Release Date:  January 31, 2017

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good-boy

ISHO Summary

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.

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We were first introduced to Blake and Jess in Us, so I was pretty excited about them getting their own book.  I just knew that I was going to love Blake.

I would definitely say that Blake is one of my all-time favourite characters.  He’s a professional hockey player.  He’s funny (sometimes downright goofy).  He’s loyal and protective of those he loves and cares about.  He’s a good and thoughtful friend. He’s got a super positive outlook. He’s Canadian (his family lives in the same city as I do!).  What’s not to love?!

Jess was a bit of the opposite.  She’s flitted from career to career and believes that her family sees her as a disappointment.  Her focus is on the new direction she wants to take in her life and doesn’t see room in it for anyone (Blake).

Blake never gave up even when Jess gave him an ice-cold shoulder.  He remained positive.  Then, when she needed a little boost, he was there for her giving her all the positive vibes a girl could want.

This writing duo has definitely joined the list of my favourite authors, both individually and collectively.  I look forward to reading more from these two.

You know when you read a book and it just makes you feel good? THIS book did that for me.  It was a fun and sexy read.  No big angsty moments.  Just a sweet and funny love story.  There was no hesitation on my part in giving Good Boy five sweet, hot and delicious caffe lattes.

five caffé latte

ISHO Purchase LInks

AMAZON | KOBO | B&N

Note: I received this ARC  in exchange for my honest opinion.


The Book Barista Reviews: Back Check by Kelly Jamieson

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Title:  Back Check

Series:  Aces Hockey, #4

Author:  Kelly Jamieson

Release Date:  January 10, 2017

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back-check

ISHO Summary

The so-bad-they’re-good alphas of hockey’s Chicago Aces are back in this emotionally charged novel of sex, love, and second chances from the bestselling author of Top Shelf and the Heller Brothers series.

Tanner Bennet hates weddings. They just remind him that he simply isn’t cut out for any kind of healthy, committed relationship—never has been, never will be. After getting rejected by the girl he thought was “the one” all those years ago, he made a huge mistake and married the wrong person. Now that the divorced heartbreaker has reluctantly agreed to be a groomsman for one of his NHL teammates, the last thing he expects is a chance at redemption with the one that got away.

After Marc Dupuis of the Chicago Aces hires wedding planner Katelyn Medford, she discovers that her big break comes with a twist: a reunion with her college sweetheart. The way she dumped Tanner still haunts her. Eight years—and three broken engagements—later, Katelyn knows she’ll never have that kind of innocent, wide-eyed passion again. Still, she and Tanner soon generate enough body heat to burn up the sheets. And even with Tanner’s career with the Aces up in the air, Katelyn’s wondering whether the time is right to let him in for real.

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This book has so many things going for it.  The first thing you’ll notice is the amazing cover.  HELLO SEXY MAN WITH THE STUNNING EYES!!!  Then once you dive in, you’ll add a new sexy, hockey player book boyfriend to your list.  And then, who doesn’t love a second chance romance?

This series sucked me in right from the first book.  Kelly Jamieson writes amazing characters.  You’ll love the hockey players and the women who love them.  I thought it would be tough to top Jared and Sidney from the previous book Top Shelf, but this one pretty much tied as my favourite in the series.

Katelyn and Tanner have history, so imagine their mutual surprise when they come across each other again. Katelyn as Marc and Lovey’s wedding planner and Tanner as one of Marc’s groomsmen.  In the past they made choices that required that they each go their separate ways.  Now they keep bumping into each other and their chemistry is unmistakable.  Once again they may be forced to make some tough decisions.  I loved seeing how they came to terms with the love they have for one another.

I really enjoyed this book and it definitely is worthy of five hot and steamy Tim’s (you know, the first one you have in the morning that is oh so satisfying).  As usual I look forward to more in this series.

fiveTim-Hortons

ISHO Purchase LInks

AMAZON | KOBO | B&N

Note: I received this ARC from the Publisher/NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


The Book Barista Reviews: Saint by A. Zavarelli

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Title:  Saint

Series:  Boston Underworld, #4

Author:  A. Zavarelli

Release Date:  December 15, 2016

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saint

ISHO Summary

Scarlett-

When going to war, there are three very simple rules one must abide by.

1. Know thy enemy
2. Be prepared to sacrifice.
3. Always wear good shoes

After all, revenge is a dish best served in stilettos.
I’ve got an eye for it, and nothing’s going to stand in my way.

Not even Rory ‘The Saint’ Brodrick.
He’s a fool if he thinks he can change me. By the time I’m through with him, I’ll make his mafia look like child’s play.

Cross me, Mr. Brodrick?
You better cross your heart and hope to die.

Rory-

I’m a fighter. A hustler. A mobster.
I’ve seen a few things in my day.
But I’ve never encountered anything like her.
She’s a beauty with a beast of a heart. The poison apple I just can’t resist. And in her trail she leaves a wake of men crawling on their knees.
What she doesn’t know is that I like my women wild.
It only makes it that much more fun to tame them.

**This is a DARK mafia romance. A full-length standalone novel with HEA and no cheating.**

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The Boston Underworld series has quickly become a favourite for me.  Who doesn’t love a good Irish mob story? This series is so well written but note that it is definitely not for the faint of heart.  It’s gritty and violent but OH SO GOOD!

Both Scarlett and Rory had been introduced in the previous books in the series. I knew Scarlett’s story would be interesting but I couldn’t have imagined what she had suffered.  She is driven by revenge and the need to get back at those who so violently wronged her.  As for Rory, yes he’s “A fighter.  A hustler. A Mobster” but he’s definitely a good guy.  He loves his mom.  He loves kids.  He definitely is interested in Scarlett.

I obviously liked Scarlett but I wanted her to come around to Rory’s side a lot faster.  As I mentioned before, she is consumed by her need for revenge so she doesn’t allow herself to acknowledge what she really feels for Rory.

Rory seemed, to me, to be the most patient man EVER.  He knew Scarlett had deep-seated issues and that she wasn’t willing to completely share with him. He waited and waited. Even when I thought he’d give up he didn’t.

This was a great book and I didn’t want to put it down (even though it was the holidays and I had a house full of people).  I gave Saint four fantastic Irish coffees. I’m definitely hoping there will be more in this series.

four-irish-coffees

 

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Note: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


The Book Barista Reviews: To Save Him by Jade C. Jamison

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Title:  To Save Him

Author:  Jade C. Jamison

Release Date:  November 21, 2016

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ISHO Summary

A new look at the May-December romance…

She said she would do anything to save him…but will it cause her to lose herself?

What if she was wrong?

What if Brandon Abbott is not who he says he is?

Kimberly Cooper’s emotional compass has been off since her bitter divorce and the death of her oldest son, so when young soldier Brandon shows up at her door, she invites him to be part of her family’s life. He says he was friends with her deceased son…

But things don’t seem to add up.

And then, when she becomes sexually attracted to him, all bets are off.

When her heart trumps her brain, will she know if she was wrong or will she learn the truth after it’s too late?

(Please note: this book had the working title December Lust.)

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I have yet to read a Jade C. Jamison book that I didn’t love and this one is certainly no exception.

In this May-December romance Kimberly is the older one in the relationship.  She’s endured a divorce and the death of her oldest son.  When Brandon knocks on the door claiming to be a friend of her late son she’s eager to help him out.  Soon enough she finds herself attracted to him.  She can’t help but be concerned about the age difference and what her two kids will think.

When she and Brandon finally embark on a sexual relationship, certain aspects of Brandon become clear.  Through her doubts about him, she follows her heart and is committed to helping him.

I will admit that this story took a couple of turns that I did not see coming and I found myself holding my breath sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop.  As the story progresses, it’s a journey of self-awareness for both Kimberly and Brandon.  In both cases, to a certain extent, a journey to self-forgiveness and acceptance.

It was a pleasure to read To Save Him and I gave this story four delicious, hot and comforting cups of java.

NEW four coffee

 

ISHO Excerpt

There was a sadness about Brandon that touched my heart. I could sense that he had so much more to say, but the words couldn’t find a way out. Maybe he needed time, but there was also a chance that those words would be forever buried inside him.

“Brandon, I haven’t been a Christian woman since the day I learned of my son’s death, but it wouldn’t be very Christian or civil of me to turn you away after dark.” I took a deep breath and saw him mustering up an argument, but I began speaking again before he could protest. “Ordinarily, I’d have a guest stay in the extra bedroom, but—if you’d be okay with it—I’d imagine Gabriel would like to have you stay in his room. It’s…been unoccupied for a very long time.”

There was a long pause until JR clamored, “Please?

Brandon’s struggle was evident in his eyes but he said, “That’s very kind of you. I’d…appreciate it more than you know.”

His soul had spoken to me that night. It was the night I fell in love with Brandon Abbott.

ISHO Author Bio

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For years, Jade C. Jamison tried really hard to write what she thought was more “literary” fiction, but she found herself compelled to write what you read by her today—sometimes gritty, raw, realistic stories and other times humorous, light tales—but most of the stories she writes revolve around relationships and characters finding their way through life. While she doesn’t confine herself to just one genre, nor is there a nice neat label for what she writes, most of her work could be called erotic romance.

She lives in Colorado with her husband and four children.

ISHO Purchase LInks

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dsY031
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2duFRNt
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2ezZX9F
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2ecX8i5
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2erkT6y
iTunes: http://apple.co/2eMjqnF
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2eqgKBt
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2fwsdf0

 

Note: I received this ARC from the Author for my honest opinion.


The Book Barista Reviews: Explosive Forces by D.D. Ayres

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Title:  Explosive Forces

Series:  K-9 Rescue, #5

Author:  D.D. Ayres

Release Date:  November 1, 2016

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explosive-forces

ISHO Summary

Danger is heating up…

When Carly Reese’s beloved fashion boutique catches fire, she sees her dreams go up in smoke. The good news is that Carly was saved from the flames by a barking dog nearby. She soon discovers the heroic pooch is a trained K-9 who’s guarding his unconscious partner …a gorgeous firefighter who ends up in Carly’s arms.

Noah Glover and his K-9 are a fearless duo, and Noah has clearly met his match with the brave, beautiful Carly. Soon they team up to track down the arsonist behind the blast – a psychotic criminal who’s intent on framing Noah. Meanwhile, the sparks between Noah and and Carly could ignite a five-alarm fire. Should they smother their feelings in the name of justice…or fan the flames of passion? Find out in Explosive Forces!

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I think D.D. Ayres has really outdone herself with this book.  I’ve loved all the other books but I think this one is my favourite.

For a change, the heroine saves the hero in this book. Carly saves an unconscious Noah from a fire that’s made to look like it was a suicide attempt.   These two have tons of chemistry but she’s a witness to a crime and he’s under investigation for the said crime. Clearly, the two should not mingle.

I sat on the edge of my seat as slowly, information about the person framing Noah and the motives were revealed.  I couldn’t put this book down.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a K-9 Rescue book without Marley, Noah’s lovable K-9 partner.

All the intrigue and action made this book worth of five delicious coffees for me.  I hope there will be more in this series.

NEW Five coffee

ISHO Purchase LInks

AMAZON | KOBO | B&N

Note: I received this ARC from the Publisher/NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


The Book Barista Reviews: The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Lemmon

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Title:  The Billionaire Next Door

Series:  Billionaire Bad Boys, #2

Author:  Jessica Lemmon

Release Date:  October 25, 2016

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ISHO Summary

It’s Tag Crane’s job to be the life of the party. Traveling from one exotic locale to another is just part of running the luxurious Crane Hotel empire. But even paradise isn’t perfect. Devising a new business strategy is keeping Tag up at night-and so is the Great Dane barking at all hours in the apartment below his. To muzzle the problem, Tag charges downstairs . . . right into the most beautiful, blond distraction he’s ever seen.

Dog-sitting by day, bartending by night. It’s not exactly the life Rachel Foster dreamed of. But when Tag Crane rushes in, all mountain-man shoulders and obscenely sexy smile, needing her help for the Crane Hotels, it’s a fantasy come true. What’s the harm in a fun no-strings fling? Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-until suddenly the one man who can’t be caught is the one flirting with forever .

 

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I really enjoyed the first book in this series but I have to be honest, I enjoyed this one even more.

Both Rachel and Tag were great characters that I instantly liked.  Tag was just an easygoing, super hot guy.  Rachel was smart and fun and sometimes a little uneasy.  Every time they got just a little bit closer I was right there cheering them on.  I loved their story.  Jessica Lemmon built it up in such a great way.  It really was a pleasure to read this.

I enjoyed seeing characters from the previous book and meeting some new ones.

Overall this was a sweet, sexy, fun book for me and I gave it five hot and delicious cups of java.  I look forward to the next book in the series.

NEW Five coffee

 

ISHO Purchase LInks

AMAZON | KOBO | B&N

 

Note: I received this ARC from the Publisher/NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


The Book Barista Reviews: Falling For Flynn by Kate Willoughby

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Title:  Falling For Flynn

Series:  Hockey On Tap, #1

Author:  Kate Willoughby

Release Date:  October 19, 2016

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falling-for-flynn

ISHO Summary

Tracy Duval has spent her life proving women can play hockey. From leading her college team to coaching little girls, she’s been a champion of the sport. But when a sexist ad for the Barracuda Fantasy Hockey Camp seems to exclude women, she signs up to teach the boys a lesson.

Retired NHL player Flynn Hammerstrom meets Tracy at the local ice rink and is immediately intrigued. She’s mature, confident, sexy—and hello, she plays hockey. He’s ready to settle down again and, after his tumultuous marriage, he’s looking for a woman who is high on fun and low on drama.

Unfortunately, even though he’s nuts about her, the drama he desperately wants to avoid flares up at the fantasy camp.

And Tracy is smack dab in the middle of the fire.

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I love Kate Willoughby’s hockey romance series In the Zone, so I was pretty excited to see that she had a new spin-off series for me to sink my teeth into.

The first thing that I liked about this book is that the characters are more mature.  In their 40’s.  How awesome is that?!  It’s nice to read about characters that are closer to my age.

The next thing I liked about it is that Tracy is a hockey player.  It’s good to see females playing the game.  In the book she stands up for women everywhere who love to play hockey.  Aaaaand she also coaches a little girls’ team.  I think it’s safe to say that I really liked Tracy.

Now what can I say about Flynn?  He’s a retired hockey player.  The chemistry between Flynn and Tracy is instant.  He apparently had IT back in the day and he’s still got IT. I instantly also liked Flynn.  He’s sexy and sweet.

This was a quick read as it is a novella.  There was just enough heat and drama to satisfy any reader.  I gave Falling For Flynn four steamy lattes.  The only reason it didn’t get five is because it is a novella.  I would’ve liked more.  Please note that that isn’t a complaint, it’s just my preference.  I’m am definitely looking forward to more in this series.

four starbucks

ISHO Purchase LInks

AMAZON | KOBO | B&N

Note: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.