Tag Archives: The Book Barista

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

jade-bw

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.

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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.


Announcement from Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Title:  Good Boy

Series:  WAGs, #1

Author:  Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Expected 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?

Warning: Do not read while sipping hot liquids. Or cold ones. Or while sitting anywhere laughter would be inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppies and a snarky pair of underwear.

Check out the YouTube video for this announcement!


Cover Reveal: To Save Him by Jade C. Jamison

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to-save-him

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Release date: November 21, 2016
Genres: Contemporary romance, dark romance, May-December
Audience: 18+ due to sexual situations, adult language, BDSM situations, and descriptions of torture

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?

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
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2eqgKBt
**other platforms pending**

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.


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

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


The Book Barista Reviews: Top Shelf by Kelly Jamieson

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Title:  Top Shelf

Series:  Aces Hockey, #3

Author:  Kelly Jamieson

Release Date:  October 18, 2016

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Top Shelf

ISHO Summary

Whether it’s a clutch goal or a cocktail, nothing beats “top shelf.” In this novel from the bestselling author of the Heller Brothers Hockey series, a fun-loving jock and an ambitious career woman mix business with pleasure.
 
Not only is Jared Rupp one of the stars of the NHL’s Chicago Aces, he’s also the owner of the Sin Bin, the after-hours hot spot where the whole team hangs out. Lately, Jared can’t take his eyes off the woman he’s hired to give the Bin a more modern feel: a sexy, sophisticated consultant who has carved out a niche updating drink menus. She’s as passionate about her career as Jared is about hockey—and yet he can’t help wondering what kind of cocktail she really wants.

In her line of work, Sidney Frayne is used to guys hitting on her in bars, but Jared gets her hot enough to burst into flames. When he’s wining and dining her, he’s sophisticated as hell; on the rink, he’s a testosterone-fueled powerhouse. Still, Sidney’s bitter divorce taught her to keep her emotions on ice. With her busy schedule—and Jared’s playboy reputation—she’s not sure she’s ready for a fling. Because if she lets Jared into her bed, she just may have to let him into her heart.

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It’s no secret that I love sports romance, especially hockey romance.  There’s nothing like a big, gorgeous hockey player.  Kelly Jamieson knows how to provide the hot steamy hockey romance and the big sexy hockey player book boyfriend.

A chance encounter and an honest comment brings Sidney and Jared together, at first in a business relationship and then as fun.  Both Jared and Sidney are reluctant to get into a long term relationship but both agree to have some fun together.

I really enjoyed Sidney.  She was a strong, independent woman who had gathered up the pieces of herself after being emotionally destroyed in a previous relationship, and made a new career for herself.  I definitely thought she was a great character.  She also had a fantastic dog.  I’m a sucker for pets as fictional characters.

As for Jared…I loved Jared!  He had been introduced in the previous books in this series so I was happy to see him get his own book.  He was a very sexy (and well dressed) hockey player and bar owner.  He’s an older and wiser player on the Aces team. I must also say that Jared  could very well be the king of great dirty talk. Yes indeed!!!

One of my favourite parts of the book was their first real kiss.  Man oh man was it hot!!!!  I don’t know if it was the kiss itself or if it was the build up to it.  Maybe it was just these characters.

Also, I love the way this author actually puts some hockey in her books.  It’s not that he’s just a hockey player and hockey is mentioned.  She actually writes some exciting hockey action into the story.

Kelly Jamieson once again delivered a great story with great characters (including a lovable dog).  I look forward to more in this series.  I gave Top Shelf five hot, rich and steamy cups of Tim’s Dark Roast coffee.

five-tims-dark-roast-horz

ISHO Purchase LInks

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


The Book Barista Reviews: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

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Title:  The Goal

Series:  Off-Campus, #4

Author:  Elle Kennedy

Release Date:  September 26, 2016

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the-goal

ISHO Summary

She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

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I’ve really loved this series.  I’ve loved the story lines and the characters.  That’s why I was pretty excited to read this one.  At the very end of the last book, the pregnancy bomb was dropped which set up this book nicely.

I have to admit that at first I didn’t much like Sabrina. She just seemed a bit egotistical to me.  As I read through, I found myself understanding her.  She was very driven and had a plan.  A boyfriend didn’t  really fit into that plan.  Life was not easy for her and she worked very hard to be able to achieve her goals. I actually admired her ability to not lose sight of her big picture no matter the hurdles in her way.

That said, I often felt that Sabrina might not be deserving of Tucker.  Tucker has to be the most patient, kind-hearted, beautiful soul to ever exist.  I mean, the guy loves and is good to his mama. *sigh*.  Did I mention his patience?  The man has the patience of a saint.  And through all of these traits, he’s still confident and doesn’t give up on what he wants.  He’s a damn good book boyfriend

I loved their journey together even though Sabrina sometimes made it harder than she should have.

Like the other books in this series, The Goal got five delicious cups of java from me.  I highly recommend this series to everyone.  Especially to anyone that loves a good sports romance.

NEW Five coffee

 

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AMAZON | KOBO | B&N

 

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