Secrets of the heart

Bride in Secret by Serenity Woods

I can safely say that this third book in Serenity Woods’ Bay of Islands Brides series is my favourite thus far – I absolutely loved the story which had me hooked from the very first chapter. But the reasons why I loved it… I don’t want to go into as I don’t want to spoil the story and trust me, this book is best read going in blind because there are some major events, big shocks and a whole lot of love!!!

Bride in Secret is a beautiful story about the trouble that secrets can get you into – even if these secrets are kept with the best of intentions. Roberta and Angus have been secretly attracted to each other ever since they first laid eyes on one another two years ago but neither of them have tried to be anything more than friends. But when a night in Las Vegas leads to some unexpected consequences, the real possibility of forging a relationship comes to the forefront. I absolutely adored Roberta in the first two books and I was thrilled to learn so much more about her in the book. And Angus is the biggest sweetie ever and his role as town doctor and Elliot’s best friend made for some very interesting scenes.

Without a doubt, Bride in Secret is my pick of the theee books released so far in this series. But with three more books still to come, I’m definitely keen to read Elliot’s book as he is the Goldsmith family member that intrigues me the most.

nicandbooks
❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Caught – hook, line and sinker

Fresh Catch by Kate Canterbary

image1.jpeg

Like so many readers out there, I have an incredibly long TBR and a whole heap of one-click authors … and I tell myself that I won’t add any more … and I yet again I broke that promise … but OMG I am so glad I did. Kate Canterbary is an author so many of my book buddies – and other authors I love – have raved about and I kept saying I would get around to reading her books. An opportunity came up to read her most recent release, Fresh Catch, and so I thought why not?!? And I’m so very very glad I did.

When I discovered this was an mm romance I was thrilled – since this is one of my all time favourite tropes. And the story of Silicon Valley billionaire Cole and lobster farmer Owen is nothing short of fabulous. Despite their differences, at the heart of this story is two guys who are desperate for love and yet neither feel deserving. Kate weaves a story that not only highlights some important social issues …

“Eventually, there’d be a time when we led with curiosity rather than assumptions about sexual identity, race, faith, ability…all of it.”

but also brings to life to absolutely gorgeous characters in Cole and Owen – two men who you feel like good friends by the time you are done with the story. Their quirks are loveable, their personalities authentic and the the love that blossoms is one that is such a joy to watch. Add to this a small town with characters you won’t to know more about (and thankfully we will get to know more about Annette and Jackson at the end of the month!!) and Fresh Catch is one story that I’m sure to read again. I also have to mention the chapter titles and definitions because these totally helped to make the story … plus who knew so many boating terms could have such great innuendo.

Well it’s safe to say I’ve found myself another one click author – and I’m off to binge read ALL the books because I just cannot get enough of Kate Canterbary!!!

nicandbooks rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fresh-Catch-Teaser

Hollywood meets Pity Falls

Stuck by Logan Chance

stuck

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read the blurb of Stuck and realised it would involve not only a Hollywood movie star but also a “step-sibling” trope … but with Logan Chance at the helm I knew that any reservations I had would be blown away by a well written story with two very appealing characters. Ethan Hale is an overnight success as a major movie star now with a few films under his belt and when his dad decides to marry a woman from a little town called Pity Falls in Montana, it seems Ethan will be getting a step sister… he just doesn’t count on this being the sassy, sweet and caring Nova Sparks.

I loved that this story told the real – and kind of depressing – side of being a big star, especially when it comes to the paparazzi and their intrusion into a famous person’s everyday life. What Ethan deals with in a day to day basis – and what so many famous stars have to deal with – I do not envy them at all!! And yet, Logan manages to portray this “uglier side” of fame with respect and authenticity, as well as getting a few laughs as well. The way Nova deals with the paparazzi as well is nothing short of awesome – it’s authentic for a “nobody” like her and it’s even a little sad when you see just how ruthless these camera-wielding, story-hungry people can be.

But at its heart, Stuck is a slow burn romance about two people who are so attracted to one another but don’t know how they can make any kind of relationship work when they are in very different places in their lives and careers. But reading the to and fro, seeing the sparks fly and the chemistry burn hot … it’s a fantastic story between Ethan and Nova, as they both come to realise exactly what is important and who is worth ending up stuck with 😉

nicandbooks rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

image1

There is no reason to feel guilty about pleasure

All the Waters of the Earth by Leslie McAdam

watersonearth.jpg

I was definitely right when I predicted that I would absolutely adore the Giving You series by Leslie McAdam, and All the Waters of the Earth just cemented this series place as one of my faves! Jake and Lucy’s story had so many fantastic elements – from a workaholic hunk to a romance author single mum, from the trials and tribulations of parenting and custody arrangements to the joy of art and nude sketching, all culminating around the notion of needing to find a work-life balance and discovering the joy in pleasure. And while the romance is still at an all time high of sexy times, intense chemistry and lots of flirting, the story is just so realistic and true to life it felt like it was a story being told to me by a friend.

I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of Leslie’s books that I love the way in which she portrays her heroines and Lucy is yet another example of leading lady who isn’t ashamed or afraid of who she is: a curvy, strong woman who has single-handedly raised her son and makes a living from doing a creative pursuit she loves (writing romance novels 😁). Lucy is the driving force behind the relationship that develops between her and Jake, and even though she has been hurt in the past, Lucy is willing to go all in with Jake…if she can convince him to spend more time with her than at work. Jake the workaholic is also another great portrayal of a main character who has genuine, realistic flaws – something I really appreciated. Reading about Jake overcoming some of his weaknesses adds a unique element to what is already a fantastic story that will have you hooked from the very first page.

nicandbooks rating
❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads rating
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

atwoteteaser2-option

When opposites attract

The Stars in the Sky by Leslie McAdam

This story – wow 😮 It’s one of those romance novels that is so much more than a story about two people falling in love … and these are fast becoming my favourite type of romances. The Stars in the Sky gives us two polar opposites in Marie – the Democrat, vegan, environmentally friendly, tattooed woman – and Will – the Republican, ranch owner who loves his meat, his wranglers and his cowboy hat. But what makes these two different is also what makes them so damn good together and watching them fall in love was a pleasure.

Despite the story being solely from Marie’s POV, Will is a strong, dominating character who we still manage to learn so much about. And what we do discover adds him to my list of ideal book boyfriends and I now know why so many readers swoon over this cowboy. Sure he can be an a**hole (both his and Marie’s words!) but it’s the depth lying underneath that tough exterior which Marie – and all of us readers – fall for. And when you see just how he affects the strong-willed, stubborn Marie and manages to crack into her closed off heart, you know you’ve found one hell of a man.

Leslie McAdam does an incredible job of intertwining into the story quite opposing politics views without advocating for one or the other. And this is the first romance novel I’ve read that has done such a fantastic job of this. There’s no political agenda here, just a story about understanding and respecting the views of those you love. And I absolutely adored seeing both Marie and Will make compromises in their beliefs – and yep, I even enjoyed the arguments too because angry, make up sex is hot!!!!!!

This series is shaping up to be one of my favourites. And I can’t wait to read the next book with Amelia’s workaholic colleague Jake about to get taught a lesson in loosening up.

nicandbooks
❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Swooning over the Sun God

The Sun and The Moon

I’m finally getting around to reading all of Leslie McAdam’s back catalogue and I’m so excited to be reading her Giving You series. Knowing this was her first series, that the coffee shop in this first book inspired the name of her Facebook author group … it’s like I’m getting to know a bit of Leslie history as well as getting to read some amazing books at the same time. The first book in this series, The Sun and The Moon, has just blown me away. I’m actually shocked this was Leslie’s debut novel as it does not read that way at all. Already her ability to create genuine, authentic and nuanced characters is finely tuned and I have fallen in love with both Amelia and Ryan, aka the Sun God.

What makes this a stand out story is Amelia. She is flawed, she lives with depression, she has a lot of inner demons (and rules regarding sex) to battle … and Ryan is willing to do his best to support her through it all. Amelia’s self criticism and her negative and questioning internal voices are something that – unfortunately – lots of people can relate to (me included) and I loved that Leslie has portrayed a heroine like this. The issues that arise in Amelia and Ryan’s relationship aren’t the usual big dramatic events (ie: past exes, surprise pregnancy, massive fight), they are problems that occur due to Amelia battling with assumptions she has made due to her last, assumptions she makes about Ryan and the first impressions she gathers as well as the fact that something positive is happening in her life and her brain isn’t ready to accept it … especially when it seems “to good to be true”.

After saying all that, The Sun and The Moon does provide a lot of laughs, some very very hot and steamy sex scenes and a story line that will resonate with a lot of people on some level I am sure. We all deserve a Sun God, but no one more so than Amelia. And I cannot wait to read the rest of this series 😁

nicandbooks
❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A librarian named Samantha

Heels by Megan Erickson

I was thrilled when Megan Erickson announced that Bryan – an important side character in her newsletter serial turned full blown book, Boots – was getting his own book. He is the ideal anti-hero, Bryan is not a good guy but he does what he does for good reasons. And when he meets small-town librarian Samantha, you know that things are going to get interesting.

I don’t want to say too much about the storyline of this book as I’m not a fan of spoiling people and this is a book that is best experienced without too much prior knowledge – except of course that which you gain by reading Boots (though of course this book can be read as a standalone). But I do want to talk about Samantha’s her characterisation was so authentic and I really connected with her inner critic. Sam has suffered from gaslighting in her past and this has resulted in her questioning everything about herself – from her display of emotions, her everyday choices and, most of all, her appearance. And while it was devastating to read about the consequences of such manipulation, I really felt that Megan did a fabulous job with such a realistic portrayal.

Heels was everything I wanted from Bryan’s story and a whole heap I didn’t expect but was so thrilled to get. There were jaw dropping moments, hot and panty-wetting sex scenes, past demons back with a vengeance and some twists I didn’t see coming. Plus a catch up with Tara and Lance from Boots, that I thoroughly enjoyed (and for those who have read Boots, the significance of the title of my review gets a mention!!) A definite five star read!!

nicandbooks
❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Point me in the direction of a flannel-wearing, bearded hottie please!!

Lumbersexual by Leslie McAdam

30653195

Holy moly!! This book right here is one big slap in the face of why I needed to jump on the Leslie McAdam romance train way earlier than I have. I already love the first two books in her Love in Translation series (Sol & Sombra) and I was kicking myself that I hadn’t read her previous novels – and I’m so glad I made it a priority because boy, oh boy, she is one talented lady and I am hooked!!!

Lumbersexual has one interesting title, one hot as cover and a storyline that had me captivated from the prologue. Maggie Washington is spending the summer in Yosemite National Park while she decides what to do with the rest of her life. When she meets permanent Park ranger Court Thompson – whose reputation as the king of the summer fling precedes him – Maggie discovers that there is so much more to life than living by a plan.

I still consider myself a newbie to Leslie’s books and as such I’m only now realising that coupled with an incredible ability to write smoking hot, panty wetting sex scenes, she writes stories that have such fabulous life advice. And as a reader in my 30s, I love books that not only let me escape my real life for a little while, but also make me think about myself and how I live too – and Leslie’s books make me stop and think EVERY SINGLE TIME!! And I also have to mention that Leslie creates female leads that are realistic and authentic – and most of all, vary from your “typical” white, skinny, gorgeous heroine. Maggie, for instance, is a woman of colour, a woman who isn’t stick thin, a woman who is intellectual and isn’t afraid of it. And I can’t rave enough about how much I love this!!

Lumbersexual is a novella in length but definitely not substance. It’s a cleverly written, romantic tale of finding yourself and finding love – all over the course of one summer in Yosemite.

nicandbooks rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

image1

Sweet, sexy and a whole lot of fun

Playboy by Logan Chance

35289148.jpg

Logan Chance is one versatile author but I have to say I love his romantic comedies and Playboy is a perfect example of this. A best friends little sister trope with an accidental marriage thrown in and this is a book that will captivate you from the very first page. I loved Jonah the photographer and Chelsea the aspiring actress – they are so good together and their chemistry is hot, hot, hot.

Logan does a fantastic job of including a whole heap of movie quotes in Playboy and despite me not knowing them all, I loved this little quirk that made the story stand out. And knowing that this book is the start of a loosely connected series of standalone about her four guy friends – Jonah, Booker (from Heartbreaker which is out now and I read last year), Ethan (from Stuck which is coming June 2018) and Declan (whose book isn’t announced yet) – I’m totally thrilled because I’m always a fan of revisiting characters and seeing everyone get their happily ever after 😁

If you like your romances sweet, funny, sexy and a little dirty then Playboy is definitely a must read!!

nicandbooks rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

playboy teaser

When one item of shoe wear can conjure up an entire story!

Boots by Megan Erickson


“Funny how you think you have nothing to lose until you lose it all.”

Boots was my introduction to Megan Erickson and after what began as a free newsletter subscriber serial book, I knew I would be hooked and have to read more by this talented author. This story has a bit of everything – romance, suspense, violence, humour and a couple in Tara and Lance that will burrow in deep!!

I loved the connection these two shared almost straight away and add to that with their shared pasts and this story is so gripping you will devour it as quick as I did. It’s a quick read now that I can do so in one sitting and yet there were plenty of chapters where I remember being so frustrated with Megan because she left us newsletter subscribers on a massive cliffhanger.

If you love romantic suspense, if you love hot, panty-wetting sex scenes, if you love quick, captivating reads … then grab Boots.

nicandbooks
❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Amazon/Goodreads
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️