Boss’s Secret Baby by Crystal Monroe

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My new boss is my baby’s daddy…
He just doesn’t know it yet.

But when he sees my son for the first time…
Feels a fatherly connection that he can’t describe,
He knows something is wrong.

Five years ago, Carter and I had one unforgettable night hours before he left town.
I tried to find him, but fate had other plans.

Now, five years later, he’s back in town.
And my baby’s daddy is my prick of a new boss.

The moment his intense soul piercing blue eyes lock on mine,
I know I’m in trouble.
I have a secret that’s four years old.
And that secret needs a daddy.

Hopefully Carter needs a mama…

Can our second chance survive a secret this big?

Book: Boss’s Secret Baby by Crystal Monroe
Published: May 21, 2021
Pages: 238
Genres: Romance, Surprise Pregnancy, Hero is Heroines Boss
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 16, 2023
Rating: 2 Potatoes 🥔🥔

I have been getting a lot of book recommendations from Facebook ads lately and some of them have been good and some haven’t been. Unfortunately, this is one that was not a good recommendation.

The author can write very well and I didn’t see many typos or anything like that, the writing itself was fine. But there was no character progression at all! The beginning of the book started off so well that I was excited to read it!

So the book starts off with Izzy’s boyfriend breaking up with her and her friends trying to convince her to have a one night stand to get over him. Enter Carter. Izzy and Carter had great chemistry when they met and I felt like things were definitely starting off on the right foot for our hero and heroine.

5 years later Izzy interviews for a job at the company that Carter owns and that part was written very well too. But, thats when things start to go down hill. They start sleeping together and spending time with one another but there is no character progression and they barely talk and learn nothing about the other. They are in deep lust with the other and have good sex, thats about the depth of their relationship.

Then Carter finally finds out about their son Liam and boom he just wants to be with them and take care of them. This coming from the guy who 2 months ago was sleeping with anyone with legs? I just feel like the characters did a complete 180 and were suddenly in love with the other and want to be together and there was no journey going from like to love. I wanted more, I want to read the moments in between and how they fell in love, what they like about the other. I wanted more Liam and Carter moments. I just wanted MORE overall and this book did not deliver. I was really looking forward to reading this based off the reviews and the premise of the store but it came up short.

The Risk (Briar U, #2) by Elle Kennedy

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Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

Book: The Risk (Briar U, #2) by Elle Kennedy
Published: February 18, 2019
Pages: 432
Genres: Romance, Athlete, College, New Adult
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 14, 2023
Rating: 4.5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

I read this book after reading The Dare (the 4th book in the series) and I enjoyed it even more than The Dare!

I loved Jake and Brenna both, which isn’t always the case. Most times I care for either the hero or Heroine more than the other but not with our Jake and Brenna! I loved that both characters were so strong and true blue. They didn’t pretend to be anyone else, they knew who they were at heart and that’s how they acted with the other one.

I loved reading the build up of their relationship and how it wasn’t this insta love where they were professing their feelings 30% into the book. Their relationship progressed at a normal pace and we got to see them slowly fall in love over time.

I loved how Jake was truly such a good guy at heart and wasn’t afraid to be in a relationship once he realized he wanted one. And I absolutely loved that Brenna wasn’t afraid to be with Jake, even though he played for her teams rival. My only wish is that we would have gotten to see where their relationship takes them in a few years but the author can still release a novella taking place after the book.

I enjoyed the Off Campus series a lot and enjoying this series as well!

The Dare (Briar U #4) by Elle Kennedy

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College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.

Book: The Dare (Briar U #4) by Elle Kennedy
Published: June 16, 2020
Pages: 354
Genres: Romance, Athlete, New Adult, College, Curvy Heroine
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 13, 2023
Rating: 3.5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔

When I finished this book I was leaning more towards a 3 rating but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the book and how much I truly enjoyed Conor’s character so for him alone its getting bumped up to a 3.5.

I’m not sure whether Conor already had me here…

Because whoever is torturing this poor girl is certainly watching us right now and they can eat shit. “Lead the way, babe.”

Or here…

“Taylor Marsh, will you do me the incredible honor of updating your relationship status and becoming my fake girlfriend?”

But either way – I love him, I love him, I love him! He is not perfect, he doesn’t always say or do the right thing but he really does care about Taylor and he tries, he tries so hard. I loved how he tried to be the best fake boyfriend for Taylor and then starting falling for her and found himself missing her like a true boyfriend should.

The reason this book is not getting bumped up to a 4 is because of Taylor, plain and simple. I understand we all have body image issues and you can’t tell someone how to feel about themselves but her issues were just over the top. Many males in the book hit on her and checked her out and from the description she was curvy but not fat. Again, you can’t tell someone how to feel but her insecurities drove me nuts! She was doing better with her issues at one point and then it was just like nope, back to square one!

I loved the beginning of the book, it started out great, the middle was good but I didn’t like the chapters leading up to the end. The final hurdle the couple had to go through didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me and felt unnecessary. I know these are college kids and we aren’t always rational at that age but I found myself very confused and wondering what the heck just happened in the book. And then boom, a rushed ending and suddenly everything is okay. I also feel like the epilogue didn’t give us a true glimpse of their future. I need to know that they made it as a couple because with the way things went at the end, even though they worked things out, I still feel like so much was uncertain.

I feel like if the ending gone differently and not been as rushed, and we had an epilogue that was more in the future and gave us more certainty on this couples future this could potentially gotten a 4 rating.

Princess and the Player by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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Level-headed Francesca Lane never thought she’d miss her own wedding. But when her fiancé betrays her, she puts on her wedding dress and ditches the altar for a masquerade ball—at a sex club.

There, she meets NFL star Tuck Avery, dressed as a prince and hiding behind a mask as he celebrates his birthday. For one night, Francesca and Tuck indulge in a wickedly incognito affair. No names. No strings. And the masks don’t come off.

Unfortunately, Francesca soon realizes her prince is the wealthy jock who lives in the penthouse of her apartment building. His hobbies include parties and supermodels—or so the tabloids say. Another shallow jerk is the last thing Francesca needs, so she vows to keep Tuck from recognizing her, not that she’s his type anyway.

But fate has a teeny-tiny trick up her sleeve… a plus sign on a pregnancy test. Can this tormented prince accept love, or will he push his princess away forever?

Book: Princess and the Player by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Published: November 8, 2022
Pages: 283
Genres: Romance, Athlete
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 12-13, 2023 Rating: 3 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔

I wanted to love this book so badly, I really did, but I can’t bring myself give it a better rating. The premise was great, the beginning was binge worthy and then it all fell apart in the middle. The entire middle of the book is Francesca trying to come up with reasons not to tell Tuck she’s pregnant and putting it off every chance she gets. I understand her being afraid and not wanting to lose him but she’s 30 years old at this point, she’s not an 18 year old kid. And that was literally all the middle of the book was – when is she going to tell Tuck she’s pregnant? And then the end was very rushed and didn’t wrap things up as nicely as I would have liked.

I did enjoy the characters! I liked that Francesca was a fighter who kept her head held high and didn’t let her cheating jerk of a fiancé ruin her. It was refreshing to see a heroine that keeps going, even after being knocked down several times. I absolutely loved Cece and Brogan, and Jasper too, I feel like they made the book honestly! And I obviously enjoyed reading about Tuck as well! He also didn’t have an easy life growing up and is now at a big moment at his life when his football career is coming to an end, which is a huge life altering change. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to pursue Francesca and continued to seek her out because he knew there was something there with their chemistry.

The ending, while forced, made me smile because our couple got their happily ever after which is really all I want to see in a romance book like this. Overall it was a good read but will I read it again? Most likely not.

The Words by Ashley Jade

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He was the talented bad boy everyone wanted.
I was the irrelevant geek everyone hated.

He was the sun…drawing all of us in.
I was a black hole…taking up space.

He was destined to be a star.
I was destined to remain an insignificant no one.

Until he made me believe I was special…

And then he destroyed me.

I never thought I’d see Phoenix Walker again after he broke my heart, but fate had other plans.

One tour. Eight weeks. Forty shows.

Countless opportunities to make him pay.

The world thought he was a God…
But I knew the truth.

Book: The Words by Ashley Jade
Published: January 18, 2022
Pages: 676
Genres: Romance, Musician, Curvy Heroine, New Adult, Tattoos-piercings
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 11-12, 2023
Rating: 5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book because the summary threw me off a bit and I was trying to figure out just how our heroine would end up on tour with our hero. But, I knew that either way this book was going to be worth the read.

“Mistakes don’t define who someone is, Phoenix. It’s what you do after that does.”

And oh boy did our Phoenix make a lot of mistakes! He is very flawed, he’s not perfect by any means, but he truly loves Lennon inside and out.

“Don’t let your insecurities overpower that which makes your soul come alive. Otherwise, you’ll walk this earth never feeling whole…and that’s no way to live.”

Lennon and Phoenix both had a lot of baggage throughout the book but I love how much they loved each other, despite the others imperfections, and were willing to give the other up so they didn’t hold them back. They truly loved the other more than anything.

Phoenix was hurt in the past and didn’t deal with it in a positive way at all until he decided that Lennon was worth more than anything else and that he wanted a real relationship with her. And I was so for it! He didn’t change overnight, he changed a little bit at a time and then he was all in – he didn’t care about anything except making things right with Lennon and just being with her. I can definitely get behind that!

Lennon was hurt very badly by Phoenix and it took a long time for him to earn her trust back and I absolutely loved that about her. She didn’t give in and let him walk all over her, she was strong and held her head high. she is also a very independent character, which always makes my heart happy. I cannot stand a heroine who has no back bone and relies on the hero for everything and Ashley Jade’s heroines are nothing like that!

I absolutely love Ashley Jade’s writing and will continue to buy more of her books in the future. If you are on the fence about buying an Ashley Jade book, ANY Ashley Jade book, just do it!

Ruthless Knight (Royal Hearts Academy #2) by Ashley Jade

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Welcome to their kingdom…

Cole Covington is the most popular heartbreaker at school.
Every guy wants to be him and every girl wants to screw him.
Except me.
His devastatingly good looks, golden arm, and flirty smiles don’t do it for me anymore…because I know what’s lurking underneath the star quarterback’s gorgeous armor.

At least I thought I did.
Sometimes the most beautiful people…hide the ugliest truths.
And sometimes the only way to save someone…
is to walk beside them through hell.

Sawyer Church is the bible-thumping nerd of Royal Hearts Academy.
Girls pick on her and guys don’t notice her.
Except me.
Sweet, curvy, and sarcastic, she’s impossible to ignore.
No matter how much I try.
Everyone at school has her pegged as the chubby, Jesus loving geek, but unlike them—Sawyer’s real and never pretends to be someone she’s not.

Until I ask her to be my fake girlfriend.

Sometimes the most beautiful souls…hide the greatest pain.
And sometimes the only way to save someone…
is to fight for them.

Book: Ruthless Knight (Royal Hearts Academy #2) by Ashley Jade
Published: January 20, 2020
Pages: 608
Genres: Romance, Athlete, Curvy Heroine, High School, New Adult
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 10-11, 2023
Rating: 5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

Where do I even begin with this book?

This is the first book I have ever read of Ashley Jade’s but I am officially a fan! I have had the first book in this series in my to-buy pile for a while but never got around to it and then saw the reviews for this one and decided to jump right into the middle of this series. I’m so glad I did!

I want to know what it’s like to feel like I’m enough.

Sawyer Church as not had it easy – she has been bullied all her life and always made to feel like she wasn’t beautiful simply because she is overweight. She is a size 14 though to me I would consider that thick or curvy but that’s just me. She has had a crush on Cole since she came to California and always wants to believe in the good in him, even when he is acting like a jerk.

“You ended with a positive. You can tell a lot about how someone feels about a person by the way they end a statement, especially when they’re feeling conflicted about them.”

Cole Covington has had a thing for Sawyer for a while but due to having a reputation to uphold wont admit it to anyone, least of all her and treats her horribly in public.

“You think love is perfect? Like one of those fairytales?” He shakes his head. “Hell no. Love is hard…difficult. It’s dealing with someone’s shit day in and day out but never giving up on them because your heart won’t let you. It’s having a million reasons to leave them…but always having one good reason to stay.”

Sawyer and Cole’s journey was definitely not an easy one and had a lot of ups and downs but what I loved the most about them was that they truly loved each other and saw who they were as a person underneath it all. Cole was not always the easiest person to love but Sawyer loved him anyway and wasn’t afraid to call him on his crap. And Sawyer got what she needed most from Cole – someone who loved her for her, despite what her body did or didn’t look like.

I loved how much the characters grew as the book progressed. The Sawyer and Cole at the end of the book were so much more sure of themselves and were actually happy! It was so amazing to watch Cole grow as a human and be so in love with Sawyer that he didn’t care about anything else except making her happy and being with her. I loved his character so much, even when he was being a complete jerk.

The author does such a great job of developing these complex characters with real fears and issues. I can’t wait to read more of her work! I highly recommend this book!

Athica Lane by Brynne Asher

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Cam Montgomery is a single full-time dad who knows his priorities: his kids, his job, his team, his business. Dealing with his disaster of an ex-wife is bad enough, not to mention delinquent football players and a meddlesome mother. Cam doesn’t have the luxury of time for anything more, especially a relationship. Even if it is Paige Carpino—smart and sweet but at every turn, knocks him on his ass with the unexpected.

That’s figuratively speaking of course. Paige might come in a small package, but she makes up for it in spirit. An energetic spit-fire who has some heat to her sauce, she’s dedicated to her new business, her family, and a select group of friends. She’s never put herself out there, but then again, there’s never been anyone worthy of putting herself out there for.

Until one day in a burger joint, an asshole practically enters her into a wet t-shirt contest with his drink. Who knew a disaster like that could be the beginning of your life? Or more importantly, that asshole would be your reason for being. But anything can happen when you finally put yourself out there for a single dad, ex-football player, and the hottest man you’ve ever run into. Throw in the Carpino’s, the Montgomery’s, and an eighty-five-year-old bossy woman in the mix, and it’s a recipe for something big.

Book: Athica Lane by Brynne Asher
Published: September 29, 2015
Pages: 482
Genres: Romance, Sexy Alpha Male, Athlete, Swoony Males, Single dad
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 9, 2023
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

Holy Cannoli, why didn’t I read this book sooner?

Cam. I love, love, love him! He is stubborn and overbearing in some ways but I loved that about him. He was so sure of himself. And honestly, is there anything sexier than a dad who loves his kids? The quote below from the book speaks for itself!

Dadmire – defined by all single women admiring a man who’s hot to begin with, but his hotness quotient increases leaps and bounds by him doing hot dad things. Examples: calling his girl punkin’ pie, his boy buddy and looking like there’s nothing he wants more in this world than the two kids in front of him.

That being said – I did not like Cam’s incontrollable anger and how he disregarded Paige’s feelings on a lot of things. And I didn’t like how Paige didn’t push the issue of how she felt about things and didn’t force him to include her in things going on in her life.

I also felt that Paige was a little naïve but she is also a young adult so it wasn’t out of character at all. Other than that, I truly enjoyed her character. She was a good person and I felt like she was the perfect other half for Cam. I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow throughout the book.

I loved the kids and how family oriented both of their families were, even though they were sometimes overbearing. I can’t wait to check out more books in this series because I really did enjoy all of the characters!