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!

Blindsided by Amy Daws

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What happens when an almost thirty-year-old virgin agrees to let her Scottish footballer best friend give her some lessons in seduction?

Lots of banter, awkwardness, jealousy, and heat.

Midfielder Maclay “Mac” Logan is a loud-mouthed, tattooed ginger content with focusing on football. But when an adorably-freckled seamstress comes barreling into his life, he finds Netflix-And-Bickering with her to be his new favorite pastime.

Freya Cook is used to being the invisible woman with a needle and thread, offering cheeky punchlines as she helps dress London’s finest. She’s plus-sized in body and spirit, and other than her friendship with Mac, talking to the opposite sex is one skill she never mastered.

However, after one innocent game of Never Have I Ever, Mac offers to play Love Coach for Freya.

What neither of them see coming are the feelings that develop when the clothes come off.

Now they’re both about to learn the biggest lesson of all: Don’t fall in love with your best friend.

Book: Blindsided by Amy Daws
Published: November 21, 2019
Pages: 322
Genres: Romance, Athlete, Best Friends Become More, Famous Hero
Format: Kindle
Date Read: February 6-7, 2023
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

“You’re pals with adorable pet names for each other who bicker like an old married couple.”

I absolutely loved the chemistry between Freya and Mac! They fit so well together and I loved how comfortable they were. The natural progression from friends to more was so refreshing to read; it wasn’t awkward at all!

I loved the secondary characters as well- the Harris family, Macs family and Freya’s coworkers. I loved everything about this book from start to finish! I may have never read this author before but you can be sure I definitely will be reading her other books now!

Give this story a chance, you won’t be disappointed!

Hot Mess (Love is Messy #1) by Emily Goodwin and Twice Burned (Love is Messy #2) by Emily Goodwin

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My life is a hot mess.

Single, working, and raising two daughters, it’s a miracle I get us up, dressed, and fed every morning. Forget about dating—nobody’s got time for that. Even if love hadn’t left me jaded, I’m not settling for anything less than perfect this time around.

Lucky for me, the perfect man just happens to work in my office. But there’s just one small problem: he’s my boss, and is totally off limits. But hey, if it’s meant to be, it’ll find a way, right?

Then a night out with friends turns into a night in with the walking-talking bad boy cliche of a bartender. It’s just one night. No harm, no foul, right?

Except when the hot bartender turns out to be my boss’s trouble-making brother, who wants more than just one night with me. The more I resist the spark between us, the more I find myself wanting him too. Which puts me in the middle of what could be the biggest sibling rivalry of the century.

Life is messy.

And love?

Well, love is even messier.

Book: Hot Mess (Love is Messy #1) by Emily Goodwin
Published: February 1, 2017
Pages: 266
Genres: Romance, Swoony Males, Tattoos/Piercings, Firefighter
Format: Kindle
Date Read: February 2-4th, 2023
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

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I’ve been burned before.

Once by love, twice by fire.

And I don’t know which hurt worse.

For years, I’ve been playing with fire. Both in the sheets and in the streets. But after a life changing accident, something had to give. Moving from Chicago to New York to live with my estranged brother is less than ideal, but it’s only temporary. To make it through the next year without killing each other, I need to stick to a few simple rules: no dating, no drama, no getting in each other’s business. Easy enough, right?

Then I met her, and the rules went out the window.

Problem is, he met her first.

Book: Twice Burned (Love is Messy #2) by Emily Goodwin
Published: March 1, 2017
Pages: 280
Genres: Romance, Swoony Males, Tattoos/Piercings, Firefighter
Format: Kindle
Date Read: February 4th, 2023
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

“Life is messy, and I think the trick is finding beauty amongst the chaos. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll find someone to notice it with you.”

I enjoyed these characters so much that when book 1 ended on a major cliffhanger I immediately bought book 2!

My favorite thing about these books was how realistic the characters were. They had hard pasts, deal with realistic issues and they weren’t rational and confronted the other with misunderstandings right away. They both reacted impulsively before having to take a step back and thinking things through. Luke and Lexi were both complete messes but fit so well, they clicked and made sense. And I loved them for it!

Luke was the ultimate swoon worthy bad boy with a good heart. For someone who didn’t have relationship experience he sure knew how to treat a lady and was a amazing with Lexi’s girls. I was so happy that all 3 of them finally had someone who made them a priority.

One of my favorite Lexi quotes that really stuck with me since the first book was- “The hardest thing I’ve ever done was accept an apology I was never given.” It just shows how strong her character is and how determined she is to give her daughters and herself the best life possible.

Will I read Coles book? I’m undecided since I don’t care for what he did through a lot of these books, even though I understand his reasoning behind his actions. But I truly enjoyed both books! Brava to the author!

Ignite (Cloverleigh Farms #6) by Melanie Harlow and Tempting Levi (Cade Brothers #1) by Jules Barnard

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My new neighbor is a firefighter—and a scorching hot single dad—but I swear I didn’t set off that smoke alarm on purpose.

(And I was beyond mortified when he rushed in and saw me naked.)

Nothing happened, of course—because I, Winnie MacAllister, romance junkie and owner of a constantly broken heart, have sworn off men for one solid year.

Even protective men with chiseled jaws, bulging biceps, and deep brown eyes that make my breath come faster. Even former SEALs with broad chests and strong hands that make my skin sizzle. Even gorgeous, grumpy guys who have their hands full raising two adorable little girls and claim they don’t believe in love.

Until Dex kisses me one night, and I drop all my defenses.

(Also my underwear.)

He says he’s not gentle, and he’s right. He says I should take the dream job I’m offered in another state, and he’s right. He says he’s too old for me and could never be the man I deserve.

He’s wrong.

Dex and I might be twelve years apart, but the fire between us is the kind that will never burn out.

How can I convince him to give happily-ever-after with me a chance?

Book: Ignite (Cloverleigh Farms #6) by Melanie Harlow
Published: November 22, 2021
Pages: 350
Genres: Romance, Large Age Gap, Firefighter, Tattoos, Military
Format: Kindle
Date Read: Jan 4-28th, 2023
Rating: 3 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔

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Off-limits never looked so tempting.

Levi Cade’s firefighting career burned up after an accident on the job. Then his father died and left him in charge of the family’s multimillion-dollar resort. Now he’s forced to work with financially uptight advisors telling him what to do, and he needs someone he can trust at his side.

The perfect candidate walks through the door in her pencil skirt, fitted white blouse, and a mass of wavy blond hair she tries to contain.

The only problem? She’s his cheating ex’s younger sister.

Hell no. The last thing Levi needs is another Wright female in his life.

Then again, he always liked playing with fire.

Book: Tempting Levi (Cade Brothers #1) by Jules Barnard
Published: May 9, 2017
Pages: 230
Genres: Romance, Firefighter
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 28-30th, 2023
Rating: 3 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔

I’m including both of these books in one review since I feel the same way about both of them. Both books were… okay. I enjoyed reading them for the most part but I just found both books lacking in so many ways. I feel like they were just one dimensional and I wasn’t actively engrossed in the stories. There was nothing pulling me into the worlds the authors created. I didn’t mind any of the characters for the most part but the storylines just didn’t do anything for me. The summaries drew me into the books and the books didn’t deliver. There was so many unresolved issues that were glossed over or weren’t delved into where they should have been. I almost feel cheated by both books because had the stories been fleshed out more I might have truly enjoyed them.

Were the books okay? Yes. Will I read them again? No.

Shatter Me (The Jaded 1) by Alex Grayson

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Pain.

That’s a word Bailey Winsor knows well, having endured it since she was a child from the people who were supposed to protect her. Just when her life appears normal, something Bailey has never experienced, she meets a man and falls in love.

Love can be deceiving.

Bailey jumps from the frying pan that was her childhood into the burning bowels of hell, which is her sick and twisted husband. It’s hopeless. Suffering more years of abuse, Bailey eventually realizes she has no choice but to run.

Forced to stop in a small town in Ohio, Bailey encounters a town full of people that welcome her with open arms, especially Jaxon Walker, the tattooed and pierced local bar owner. Bailey has secrets she’s unwilling to reveal. Jaxon senses her fear and refuses to give up trying to discover them.

Will Bailey be brave enough and learn to trust Jaxon with her deepest secrets? Will Jaxon be strong enough to protect Bailey when her past comes knocking at her door?

Book: Shatter Me (The Jaded 1) by Alex Grayson 
Published: January 12, 2015
Pages: 241
Genres: Romance, Abuse, Tattoos/Piercings, Freebie on Amazon
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 20-21, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes! 🥔🥔🥔🥔

I’m still crying big, fat, ugly tears as I write this. This book had me feeling allllll the feels- anger, sympathy, laughter, joy, heartbreak, and the list goes on. This book pulled me in, chewed me up in every way and spit me back out again.

I love the characters in the small town of Jaded Hallow! I love how everyone just banded together and was there for one another.

One of my wishes for this book was that there was a little more time for Jaxon and Bailey to build up the trust between them before they got into a relationship. I know time passed and they grew closer but I would have liked to see more of those moments instead of them being glossed over.

Jaxon, Jaxon, Jaxon… he is definitely ranking up there on my book boyfriend list! I love how truly kind he was and how he thought nothing of helping a stranger in need. It made him all the more sexy.

Bailey was a strong heroine, even though she didn’t believe she was. It takes an enormous amount of strength to leave an abusive relationship. There are so many that never get enough courage to do so!

The ending of this book destroyed me in more ways than one. I don’t want to spoil anything but the death of a character I loved gutted me. And I really didn’t like the way the characters death was handled in the book by the other characters at all. It might just be my opinion but the aftermath of the characters death didn’t seem realistic.

The epilogue, Jax and Bailey’s happily ever after, had my tears turning to happy ones. Those two more than deserved it!

I would recommend reading this book but beware- the abuse scenes in this book are not for the faint of the heart and are pretty graphic.

Dirty Like Me (Dirty 1) by Jaine Diamond

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A gorgeous rock star.
An indecent proposal.
How can a girl resist?

Struggling barista Katie Bloom doesn’t even know who Jesse Mayes is until she inadvertently wins the coveted role of sex kitten in his hot new music video. But by the time she’s in bed with him, she knows his reputation.

Love maker. Heartbreaker.

Making out with a stranger in front of a camera crew isn’t how Katie imagined herself getting over a broken heart, but when Jesse touches her, sparks fly. The sex is fake but the chemistry is real, and soon the steamy video is blazing up the charts.

Then Jesse makes Katie an irresistible offer: act as his girlfriend for six weeks while he promotes his new album. The only catch? Their sizzling make-out sessions will be for the cameras only.

Which is fine with Katie, since she’s not about to trust her heart to rock’s most legendary lover. Her body? Maybe…

Book: Dirty Like Me (Dirty 1) by Jaine Diamond
Published: November 2, 2016
Pages: 404
Genres: Romance, Musician, Famous Hero, Tattoos/Piercings, Erotica
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 17-19, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

I really enjoyed this book and the characters in it. One thing I wished for, and its the main reason this is not rated 5 Potatoes, is because the characters weren’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. We barely got to know Jesse and Katie and we know next to nothing about the secondary characters. I wanted to know more about everyone!

The character of Jesse was very hot. I love that, as famous as he was, he wasn’t a jerk about it and didn’t make Katie feel inferior for not being famous. He was strong when he had to be but also sensitive and kind too.

Katie’s characters was also fun for me to read. I like that she was always aware of how she really felt and what she was doing. She wasn’t in denial or pretending to be something she wasn’t. She was true to herself and I loved her for it. I also loved that, in the end, she fought for Jesse and I enjoyed reading the way she went about trying to prove her love.

I did not care for how the book ended. The epilogue did not wrap up the story, it was the beginning of the next book about Jessa to get you interested in it. While I did enjoy reading a bit about the her in the eplilogue since she wasn’t in the book much, I would have preferred the eplilogue to be about Jesse and Katie. I needed more, I wanted more and I felt like the ending wasn’t as wrapped up as I would have liked without it being about Jesse and Katie.

This book was still a great read! I might check out some of the other books in the series.

The Other Fish in the Sea (Grab Your Pole #2) by Jenn Cooksey

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In Shark Bait, readers everywhere met and fell in love with the new girl, Camie Ramsey, and swooned over her sure to be future husband, Tristan Daniels. Now, in The Other Fish in the Sea, the long awaited second installment of the Grab Your Pole series by Jenn Cooksey, Camie and Tristan are back, but so are their friends!

So, find a breathing apparatus and shimmy into your scuba gear, because it’s finally time to dive deeper into the lives of the GYP gang, but be warned, it’s a big world out there and an even bigger ocean where danger might be lurking around the next corner and realistically, anything could happen.

Book: The Other Fish in the Sea (Grab Your Pole #2) by Jenn Cooksey
Published: April 23rd, 2013
Pages: 381
Genres: Romantic Comedy, Athlete Hero, Tattoos/Piercings
Format: Kindle
Date Read: May 03 to 04, 2013
Rating: 5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

HOLY CLIFFHANGER BATMAN! All I have to say is Tristan has some major sucking up to do in the next book! And he darn well better do it! I’m currently crossing my fingers that book 3 will come out early and that there will be a HEA for Tristan and Camie!

*spoiler* I understand he was sexually frustrated at the end but the poor girl was clearly dizzy and drunk. I mean, she couldn’t even concentrate on him and he gets mad she told him to stop? Party fowl, Tristan, party fowl!!!

Bring on book 3, the book where Tristan better be on his knees groveling, even though I’m pretty sure he won’t be (at least at first)! 

Walking Disaster (Beautiful 2) by Jamie McGuire

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Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster; the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

Book: Walking Disaster (Beautiful 2) by Jamie McGuire
Published: April 2nd, 2013
Pages: 433
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Tattoos/Piercings, Swoony Males, Sexy Alpha Male
Format: Kindle
Date Read: April 02 to 03, 2013
Rating: 5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

TRAVIS MADDOX! Five stars! That is all. I mean really, what else do you need to know? Its Trav!

If You Stay (Beautifully Broken 1) by Courtney Cole

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24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.

Seriously.

He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.
But he’s got his reasons.

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?
Wrong.

And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’d better figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.

He knows that. And he’s working on it.

But is that enough to make her stay?

Book: If You Stay (Beautifully Broken 1) by Courtney Cole
Published: February 7th, 2013
Pages: 351
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Tattoos/Piercings, Swoony Males
Format: Kindle
Date Read: February 10 to 13, 2013
Rating: 5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

Love love love this book! For a good portion of it I just wanted to hug Pax and take all of his pain away. Poor kid.

Ahhh Pax. He truly was an asshole (especially in the beginning). He was also funny, sexy, romantic… Pax was everything all rolled up into one effed up ball. But, you couldn’t stop yourself from rooting for him and wanting him to get his act together, for his sake as well as Mila’s!

As I write this I still have tears in my eyes from the feelings this book brought out in me. Pax and Mila are the epitome of the phrase, “opposites attract” but it worked for them! Such chemistry! I loved this book so much, it had it all – a couple who truly are two halves of a whole, a fascinating storyline that wouldn’t let me put the novel down and flawless editing that made it such an easy read.

Wonderful book from start to finish. Awesome job Miss Cole! Brava!

Bad Rep (Bad Rep 1) by A. Meredith Walters

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“Who gives a damn about their reputation? Oh, that would be me! Especially since mine had gone straight to hell in the span of thirty minutes”.

Maysie Ardin is soaking up the summer before her junior year of college, shopping, hanging by the pool and shopping some more. But when her black belt in spending lands her in trouble with her parents, she is forced to take a second job at a local bar to dig herself out of a deep financial pit.

She thought she’d be miserable. But then Maysie didn’t count on Jordan Levitt, the hot, pierced and tattooed, drum playing bartender who also happens to be very interested in her. And the feelings are totally mutual.

It had the makings of the perfect romantic set up. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy has girlfriend? Okay, maybe not.

But attraction is a hard thing to ignore and soon Jordan and Maysie find themselves in the middle of a gossip induced firestorm. Maysie has to learn whether she can set aside her fear of public disapproval in order to be with the one she wants. Or will she let the opinions of others dictate her life and her heart?

Book: Bad Rep (Bad Rep 1) by A. Meredith Walters
Published: December 21st, 2012
Pages: 444
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Tattoos/Piercings, Swoony Male
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 01 to 02, 2013
Rating: 5 Potatoes! 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

I was only going to give this book 4 stars but I loved Jordan so much I decided he’s worth more!

Mays really pissed me off, the only thing that kept me reading was Jordan. I understand her hangups and its easy to see why she’d have all of her insecurities but enough is enough. Jordan did everything he could to reassure her and it still wasn’t enough!!!! At one point I wanted him to stop fighting for her and find someone worthy!

*spoiler alert* Thank God they got their acts together in the end! When things were good between them they really were a perfect couple, such chemistry! So yeah this book gets five stars simply for the fact that I loved Jordan so much! He’s so yummy! This book was worth the read just for him alone so check it out!