Showing posts with label 18-Friends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 18-Friends. Show all posts

Justice Ascending by Rebecca Zanetti

June 17, 2024

Justice Ascending by Rebecca Zanetti

“Love makes phenomenal soldiers act like morons. I know… I did."
- Jax Mercury

Justice Ascending by Rebecca Zanetti

Justice Ascending by Rebecca Zanetti

Rating -
Standalone - Scorpius Syndrome #3
Release - January 31, 2017
Genre - SciFi Romance / friends to lovers
POV - multiple 3rd person
Heat - descriptive
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 353 pages

Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly... and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he's lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there's no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she's one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she's not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she'll face even that hell again to save him.

Oh wow. Tace had a lot hiding beneath that good ole boy, Texas ranger vibe he had going on. As a former combat medic he held two jobs—Vanguard soldier and the go-to medical guy. When he catches the Scorpius virus, he barely survives. And the man he once was is slowly disappearing. There's a darkness and coldness within him that was only hinted at before. Either he keeps fighting his way back to who he used to be or he embraces the man he could become.

Sami is a woman with secrets. One of them is the growing attraction she has for Tace. She sees all of his parts and comes to appreciate each of his sides. When they finally come together (because we knew that would happen eventually), it becomes the two of them against the world. For the first time since the virus hit, their loyalties are divided. Protect Vanguard or each other?

There was so much going on in this story, such as Tace's recovery, the developing romance between him and Sami, the force required to go against the POTUS (you have to read to figure this out), and so much more. I'm intrigued by the blossoming alliance with the Mercs and for that, I'll be reading the next book.

Previous books in the series:

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over forty romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Upcoming series are: The Blood Brothers, The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome.

Visit for more information!

Review // Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

May 21, 2024

Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

"Even when you were gone, the echoes of you still lived inside me, and I would play them over and over in my mind just so I wouldn't lose the sound. I've loved you in every incarnation, and that will never end." - Nash

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon

Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

Rating -
Standalone - Lost & Found #2
Release - May 2, 2023
Genre - Contemporary Romance / friends to lovers
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - descriptive
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 330 pages

Nash Hartley has always been my everything: Protector. Partner in crime. Best friend. The person who was there for me in my darkest hour.

But my heart wanted so much more. So, when I knew for certain Nash didn’t feel the same about me, I tried to move on. What a mistake that turned out to be.

Now, I’m back in our small town, desperate to escape my living nightmare, and the only person I want to see is him.

As secrets are revealed, and Nash finds out what happened to me, he’ll do anything to keep me safe.

But there are those who will do anything to stop him, and this time neither of us may make out alive…

Echoes of You is a seemingly light friends-to-lovers romance with a bit of suspense.

I thought Nash and Maddie were a bit slow on the uptake, but their eventual relationship was better for it. They were best friends for most of their lives, but Nash never felt quite good enough for her. So when she knew her heart couldn't take anymore disappointment, she tried to move on. Where she moved to caused her a lot of pain and the only place she deemed to be safe was back at home... with Nash.

When Nash finally got out of his own way, I couldn't have been happier. I wish he had followed his heart sooner, but I guess if he had there wouldn't be so much of this story to tell. Maddie had to live through pain and shame in order find something truly hopeful and beautiful with her bestie.

I loved how when I thought I had one part of the story figured out, the author threw another twist to shake things up. It kept things interesting, that's for sure.

I am in love with Hartleys and will definitely be reading the other books in the series.

Echoes of You by Catherine Cowles

Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she's not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.

Visit for more information.

Frostbitten by Rebecca Zanetti

January 26, 2024

Frostbitten by Rebecca Zanetti

Find it here: Goodreads * Amazon

Frostbitten by Rebecca Zanetti

Frostbitten by Rebecca Zanetti

Rating - 1/2
Standalone - Deep Ops #6
Release - January 2, 2024
Genre/Trope - Romantic Suspense / pseudo-friends-to-lovers
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - descriptive scenes
Source - eARC provided by publisher
Length - 328 pages

Enigmatic. With a wildly gifted mind, and an untamed head of hair to match, petite powerhouse Millicent Frost is brilliant when it comes to gadgets and electronics—less so with people. After an attempt to bust a bank scam goes awry, Millie is in hot water with Homeland Security and targeted by lethal enemies. In the midst of the trouble, she heads home to help out with the family hunting and fishing business. But when their rival competitor and Millie’s ex is murdered, she’s the number one suspect . . .

Irresistible. Former Marine turned lawyer Scott Terentson devotes himself to getting his clients out of tricky binds. A loner, the last thing he wants is to belong to any team, yet the Deep Ops group considers him one of their own—and he pays the price by getting shot at by their enemies. Now Millie is seeking his help—just as he’s dealing with a brutal fail regarding a recent trial. Both are a headache, yet he’s drawn to Millie in spite of himself. They’re opposites, but maybe the old adage is true . . .

Electric. Working together, Millie and Scott soon have more on their hands than they bargained for as the danger escalates—along with the sizzling heat between them. And when a disappearance is thrown into the mix, all bets are off . . .

A lock of his hair fell over his forehead, giving him more of a rebel look than a boyish one. There didn't seem to be anything boyish about the badass ex-marine turned lawyer.

Previous books in the series:
Hidden * Taken * Fallen * Pivot * Broken * Driven * Unforgiven

This better not be the last book of the series!!

Scott was so much more than I expected him to be and I loved him for it. He gave me the edgy, dark, and dangerous vibes I needed and looked forward to in this series. Millie was no slouch. A gadget genius, she definitely gave me Q vibes like Scott suggested.

There was almost a pseudo-enemies quality to the beginning of their relationship, more because of Millie's aversion to lawyers, but I was so glad to see all of her assumptions and misconceptions about this man be smashed to dust. And what grew once she gave him a real chance... I enjoyed every moment of it.

I've found something truly special about this Deep Ops team, and no matter what case, what city, or what horrifying trouble finds them, together they make magic happen. I'm a huge fan of found family and these characters have got that in spades.

Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over forty romantic suspense, dark paranormals, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own Alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat…and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off…and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Upcoming series are: The Blood Brothers, The Realm Enforcers and The Scorpius Syndrome.

Visit for more information!

Review // Three Simple Words, The Pact, and Center Mass

November 15, 2023

I read these books a long time ago so they're not exactly new, but it was about time I shared them.
Have you read any of these?

Three Simple Words by AJ Pine

Three Simple Words by A.J. Pine

Contemporary Brother's Best Friend Romance, dual pov

I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.

So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book.

The last time I saw Annie Denning, she was a senior in high school, three years older than me and way out of my league.
Now I’m her last-minute date to a wedding, and what started as a night of pure fun has turned into something more real than either of us anticipated.

Annie is my muse. When I’m with her, my writer’s block fades away, and the words finally flow.

The only problem? She wants the fairy tale—her very own happily ever after—and anyone who’s read my book knows the truth. I just don’t believe they exist.

Rating: ★★★★★

Looking for a great, light, feel-good story? How about one that many of us can relate to? Then this is the book for you!!

I can't tell you how many times my mind and heart have been stuck in a book. Sometimes it takes a real long while for me to let the story go. And I have to admit that the female main character in this book reminded me of me. *shrugs* I love a tortured hero. Or one who truly believes that love just ain't in his cards. And I absolutely love watching him get knocked on his ass by the one woman he can't seem to resist!

Introducing Wes and Annie. Annie owns a bookstore and runs a blog titled "Happy Ever After". Her hopes, dreams and ideals about love come from romance novels and she can't find her HEA in real life. Wes is a newly successful author of a romance novel that isn't really romantic. He also happens to be Annie's younger brother's best friend. He believes that true love and HEAs ONLY belong in fiction. And yet, when these two start a mutually beneficial "arrangement", their stances on love and happy endings lose traction.

It felt surreal to read about a character that thought so much like me. I could easily put myself in Annie's shoes but it wasn't difficult to do the same with Wes. I adored both characters. They made me smile, cheer, laugh, giggle, grin, slap my forehead in frustration, but ultimately, they made me love them.

To quote the author: "Thank you, Annie and Wes, for showing us that love can conquer all and that happy endings are just the beginning."

Although part of a series, this book can definitely be read as a standalone. Fair warning: once you read it, I'm sure you'll be just as interested in the other books as I am.

The Pact by Karina Halle

The Pact by Karina Halle

Contemporary Friends-to-Lovers Romance, dual pov

It all started with a pinky swear…

Linden McGregor is tall, rugged, and gunslinger handsome; a helicopter pilot with a Scottish brogue and charm to spare. He’s also one of Stephanie Robson’s best friends and has fit into that box for as long as she’s known him.

But some relationships can’t be boxed, can’t be classified, can’t be tamed.

Back in their mid-twenties and tired of the competitive hit-or-miss dating scene of San Francisco, Steph and Linden made a pact to marry each other if neither one of them are in a serious relationship by the time they hit thirty.

It sounds like fun and games but as the years to thirty tick past and lovers come and go out of their lives, the pact becomes larger than life.
Sex is inevitable. Friendships are tested. Hearts are on the line.

The pact is about to change everything.

Rating: ★★★★★

Simply put, this book was awesome! I can't believe it took me so long to read it. I found a quote in it that really stuck with me throughout the entire story:

"His dick is perfect. Just f*cking perfect. I can’t stop staring at it. It’s not just that it’s massive (and in a good way, not in a spearing your uterus kind of way), but that it’s smooth and thick and long and hard and perfectly proportioned. It’s the most gorgeous penis I’ve ever seen and it makes me wish I could paint because I could have a whole gallery devoted to the beauty of his dick and I would consistently sell out of all my paintings."

Yup, that and more can be found in this great book. Linden and Stephanie were amazing characters and I'm sad to see them go. It's nice to know that they're not forgotten, however, and make future appearances in the other McGregor books. The author found a way to captivate with warmth and light-hearted fun. I read the Acknowledgements and what the author said is true. There aren't many books that tackle the dating scene of actual adults. So thanks for this refreshing, heart-warming, hilarious addition!!

Center Mass by Lani Lynn Vale

Center Mass by Lani Lynn Vale

Contemporary Single Parent Romance

Luke Roberts came to the small lazy town of Kilgore, Texas with one thing on his mind: Forgetting. He wanted to forget why he left. Forget those emerald green eyes that haunted his dreams. And forget how it felt to have his heart ripped out of his chest by a woman who didn’t like the fact that he had a child. It was something he’d been doing a damn fine job of doing, too. Until Reese smashed through every one of his defenses, and made him feel again.

Reese Doherty was just trying to do the best for her little girl. So she moved to the little boomtown nearly an hour from where she grew up to be the school nurse for Kilgore’s littlest people. That’s where she met him. The SWAT officer and the man that would change her life forever. The sexy man who liked to drive fast, and live life like it should be lived. He drove her crazy, and became something she could barely live without.

But Luke was a hero. A man used to risking his life to make the world a safer place. Something Reese had to decide whether she could handle or not. Preferably before her and her daughter became too attached.

Just when she’s ready to give him her whole heart, her world takes a huge hit, and everything she thought she knew wasn’t as it seemed.

wasn’t a quitter, though. Damn far from it, and he’d prove to her that he’d be there when the dust settled. Whether she wanted him to be or not.

Character details:

Lucas "Luke" Roberts + Reese Francesca Doherty

     Katerina "Katy" Roberts (Lucas's daughter) — Hide Your Crazy
     Rowen Diane Roberts (Reese's daughter) — Just Kidding
     Derek Roberts — Fries Before Guys

   Luke's Family:
     Travis (father)
     Paige (mother)
     Baylee (sister) — Lights to my Siren

   Reese's Family:
     Frank (father)
     Daniella (mother)
     Tru (sister) — Charge to my Line

Rating: ★★★★★

I gave this book 5 stars not because it was the greatest book of all time but because of how it made me feel in the end.

There's something about reading a book involving single parents that hits home for me. It could be because I can empathize with the characters. It could be because children in the story is always a treat! I'm not sure but the author did a fantastic job of bringing single parents Luke and Reese to life.

I liked how realistic their daily lives were. They were juggling their children, work, and attempts at a dating life. Their support systems (family & friends) were awesome. I really liked that there wasn't a huge conversation about the status of their relationship. They just kinda fell into commitment with one another and it was wonderful to watch it unfold.

I knew that Luke being SWAT and Assistant Chief would add an element of suspense. When the action came in the story, it wasn't crazy intense but it was definitely interesting. I wonder if more details concerning the aftermath will be revealed in other books in the series.

The epilogue was freaking fantastic!!

I laughed. I swooned over Luke's (and his team's) Alpha-ness. I giggled over the children. I raged at the angst caused by the exes. And I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this read.

Review // Perfection by R.L. Mathewson

November 07, 2023

He already decided she was marrying him no matter what.
Informing her that they were getting married was just a courtesy.

Perfection by R.L. Mathewson

Rating - ★★★★★
Standalone - Neighbor From Hell #2
Release - August 26, 2011
Genre and Trope - Romantic Comedy / friends to lovers
POV - Dual 3rd person
Heat - several explicit scenes
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 314 pages

Trevor Bradford knew exactly what he wanted and it wasn’t his plump little tenant who was driving him out of his mind, but with every touch, kiss, and caress, it was becoming more difficult to walk away.

He never should have said those words, but once they were out…

Trevor would have done anything to take them back, but the damage was already done. Hoping to make it up to Zoe, Trevor offers to help her, hoping that it would be enough. The last thing that he expected was to find himself thinking about her. Hoping to put an end to this hold that she had over him, he offers her something more, only...

It wasn’t enough.

Just once, Zoe wished that something in her life would go right, but that’s not usually how things went. At least, not for her. So, when her life suddenly takes an unexpected turn and the man who’d never looked at her twice offers to help her, she realizes that she has nothing left to lose.

Except for her heart.

My Two Cents

Seriously, these Bradfords are HILARIOUS!! It seems until they take their heads out of their asses, they're extremely obtuse. Trevor was terrible. He treated Zoe poorly, viewed life in general poorly, and honestly, it was more a reflection of how he viewed himself more than anything when he acted horribly.

Zoe was a doormat, but not really. She knew how to stand up for herself and I cheered her every time she did. They say opposites attract and I think that's very true for this couple.
Where Trevor was a slob, Zoe was neat.
He could eat a horse (or five) and Zoe was trying to diet.
He was one of the hottest people in the world and Zoe thought being called plain and chubby was fair.
They were absolutely perfect for each other and I enjoyed my time witnessing how they helplessly fell in love.

I laughed SO HARD so many times and this isn't my first time reading this book. I'm so grateful it was so amazing the second time around!

I also read two of the books from the Honeymoon From Hell part of the series:

With Jason and Haley's novella (which I gave 5 stars), I laughed so much I actually snorted my Coke through my nose. Anyone who has ever done something like this with soda, you know my pain. Jason kidnapped Haley (again) to get her to the altar at the courthouse and wanted to give her the honeymoon of her dreams. Good intentions and all, things only went from bad to worse. But the love these two had for each other made every mishap, obstacle, and bit of pain absolutely worth it. I freaking love these characters and their ridiculousness so much!!

With Trevor and Zoe's novella (which I gave 4 stars), I giggled like a loon. He also kidnapped her to the altar and thought to give her the honeymoon she never knew to ask for. Knowing she'd never taken a vacation before, he wanted to make things perfect. Right off the bat, things took a turn to the absurd and I enjoyed every minute of it. I'm in love with the way these characters love each other.

Previous Book in the Series:

The Author

New York Times Bestselling author, R.L. Mathewson was born in Massachusetts. She’s known for her humor, quick wit and ability to write relatable characters. She currently has several paranormal and contemporary romance series published including the Neighbor from Hell series.

Growing up, R.L. Mathewson was a painfully shy bookworm. After high school she attended college, worked as a bellhop, fast food cook, and a museum worker until she decided to take an EMT course. Working as an EMT helped her get over her shyness as well as left her with some fond memories and some rather disturbing ones that from time to time show up in one of her books.

Today, R.L. Mathewson is the single mother of two children that keep her on her toes. She has a bit of a romance novel addiction as well as a major hot chocolate addiction and on a perfect day, she combines the two.

Visit for more information

Review // Gula by Colette Rhodes

November 05, 2023

Gula by Colette Rhodes

"Bed," Selene ordered the moment I stepped into the room.
"You smell needy."
My historical trend of failing upward appeared to be continuing. "I am. Super needy. Let's go."

Gula by Colette Rhodes

Gula by Colette Rhodes

Rating - ★★★★1/2
Standalone - Shades of Sin #3
Release - September 30, 2023
Genre and Trope - paranormal romance / forced proximity / protection
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - slow burn and descriptive scenes
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 284 pages

Selene cares about three things in life:
 1. Her prestigious position as Lieutenant of the Guard that very few of the elite at Court feel she deserves.
 2. Her beloved sister and niece, humiliating reminders of her humble origins.
 3. Her penchant for rare and expensive dining—a status symbol and marker of the success she’s attained.

Austin only cares about one thing in life:
 1. Music.

Except Austin’s rockstar dreams never came true, and the bottom of the bottle isn’t giving him the answers he’s searching for.

But maybe, just maybe, a prickly Shade with a secret wild side will.

Other books in the series:
Luxuria * Superbia

Gula by Colette Rhodes

My Two Cents

The love story of Austin and Selene was very different from the books that preceded it. For one, the ex-hunter who never hunted was male. Secondly, there was no instalust or instant connection of any kind. Their meet-cute WAS NOT very cute at all and Austin had a bad impression to make up for. And third, the heat didn't exist for MOST of this story.

These differences allowed the characters to develop a unique relationship. Selene was very set in her ways, living a regimented, sheltered life, with no real companionship or feeling of belonging. And Austin was very mellow, easy to like, and could fit in anywhere. They were very different from each other, but at their core, the author illustrated that they had more in common than either of them realized.

I loved how they drew out the best of each other. Austin got Selene to open up more, to share her true self with him and she inspired him to take life and himself more seriously. It was wonderful to watch how things between them grew out of trust and friendship and became exactly what both of them needed.

I'm enjoying the heck out of learning more about Shades and the hunters that love them. I'm really excited to continue this series!!

The Author

Colette Rhodes is a huge fan of paranormal romance and reverse harem books. They're what she loves to read and what she loves to write. #WhyChoose, right?

Colette studied both History and Ancient History at university and loves including both historical facts and ancient mythology in her work.

When she's not writing, you'll find her spending time with her husband and daughter in beautiful New Zealand.

Visit for more information

Throwback Thursday // Friends to Lovers

October 05, 2023

Hey everyone and welcome to another Throwback Thursday!

This post has been missing for a while, but it's back and today I'm sharing with you the first five Friends to Lovers stories I reviewed on the blog that won high marks from me. Oldies but goodies, maybe you've read them, maybe they're sitting on your TBR... maybe you even have a suggestion for me because I really enjoy this trope.

I hope I've reminded you of the love for a particular story, suggested a new read, or at least entertained you for a moment. Happy reading! xo

Normal by Danielle Pearl

This is a young adult romance that read like a new adult romance. It tackled issues that no youth should ever have to face. It had a relatable heroine and a fantastic hero. On top of everything going on with these characters, the author can write. I remember being completely absorbed by this story and the ones that followed in this series. From the blurb: a gritty story of trust and abuse, heartbreak and salvation, and if they're lucky - love. This is not a flowery romance - not for the faint of heart.

Find my review HERE

Sweetest Sorrow by J.M. Darhower

After falling in love with Matty in the first book (By Any Other Name), I knew I wanted to be back in this world and I got what I wanted with this book. I fell in love with Dante (although Matty is still my favourite) and I really enjoyed how the author mixed suspense, mafia hijinks, friendship, humour and romance all in one story. I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end and knew that this wouldn't be the last book I'd fall in love with from this author.

Find my review HERE

27 Truths by M.J. Fields

This book right here... y'all this book taught me about angst! That tear-into-your-guts, feel-like-I-wanna-puke, how-could-you-do-that, why-am-I-still-reading, kind of angst. I didn't know a story could be so gut-wrenchingly good until I read this book. I didn't know I could love and hate a character with equal measure until I read this book. If you haven't read it, try it. If you have, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

Find my review HERE

Beard Science by Penny Reid

For years, this author has been one of my go-tos for romantic comedy. There is such quirky humour and warmth in Penny Reid's stories that I've really come to appreciate. With her Winston Brothers series, I quickly realized who my favourite brother would be—Cletus. While I loved and appreciated all of them, there was something truly special about Cletus and I couldn't wait to see him appear in other books in the series. He was the light of my life LOL!!

Find my review HERE

Defying Her Mafioso by Terri Anne Browning

While I didn't get everything I was hoping for from this story, it introduced many points that I was interested in exploring. Did I explore them? No. However, with this post, I'm reminded about it and hopefully will get back to this author's writing and discover that something more I was looking for from it.

Find my review HERE