Release Blast | Review + Excerpt | Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

 
The City’s HOTTEST Cold War is here!
 
 
WALK OF SHAME
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Loveswept
 
Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.
 
Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the
shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.
 
Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.
 
MY REVIEW
5 STARS

Walk of Shame follows pampered heiress, Georgianna Watkins, and celebrity divorce attorney, Andrew Mulroney. Georgianna and Andrew moved to the same apartment complex on the same exact date. They have been bumping heads since.

Lauren Layne have once again reminded me why she is an auto-read/auto-buy author for me. Her portrayal the enemies-to-lovers’ trope is like none other. She is the queen of this trope. And I can guarantee I will love anything she writes on it.

From the start you can tell there is more to Georgie than partying all night till dawn, making weekly salon appointments, and organizing charity events. Georgie goes out of her way to get donuts for the doorman, and she shows genuine interest in his personal life. While Andy is a no nonsense, serious guy. He doesn’t have time to chit chat the way Georgie does.

Right from their first meeting in the book, we could feel the tension and chemistry. Their banter, wit, and sass is all kinds of perfection. I could not have asked for witter banter. Their regular 5 am meetings are something Georgie looks forward to every morning. Georgie is clearly affected with Andy’s perception of her and Andy is enamoured by her vivacious personality.

They somehow find themselves in a romantic relationship and find they do fit in each other’s lives. Neither have experienced the type love and romance they do with each other. It’s glorious watching them understand and adapt to it. I truly adored the realistic and subtle approach Layne used. I could not have fallen more in love with this. Thank you so much for this beautiful piece of work.

EXCERPT

And who is he, you ask?

Andrew Mulroney, Esquire.

I know this because we moved into the building on the exact same day, and right before we got into a horrendous fight over whose movers should have access to the building loading dock first, he handed me his business card.

The thick white card stock declared that he had a fancy law degree to go along with the fancy suit he was wearing on a Saturday.

Andrew handed it over with such superiority, I actually wished for a half second that I had a business card of my own that would somehow be better than his. Like, lined with gold or something. No, platinum. With a diamond in the corner. It would be too heavy for him to hold, and he’d drop it, thus having to kneel at my feet to pick it up.

But then I realized it was just as well that I didn’t have a business card.

Because it would say . . . what? Georgie Watkins, professional party girl?

Anyway, I digress. Despite the high temps of that swampy July morning, the encounter had been the start of an epic cold war.

Me, the socialite in apartment 86A against the uptight esquire in apartment 79B.

I’m not entirely sure I’m winning the war, but I’ll never tell him that.

I let my gaze drift over Andrew, even though his appearance rarely holds any surprises. The man’s a lesson in sameness, like some sort of anal-retentive version of Groundhog Day.

There’s always the black mug with some healthy gunk inside held in his right hand, Tom Ford briefcase and Armani garment bag in his left, containing what I know to be a perfectly tailored three-piece suit.

Andrew’s coppery hair is perfectly styled, although I’d swear that there’s some natural curl in there threatening to disrupt his perfect order. I imagine that annoys him, so it therefore makes me happy.

Let’s see, what else about my nemesis?

He’s got a hard, unfriendly jawline that’s perfectly shaven.

Dark brown eyes, cold and flat. Black gym bag over one shoulder.

I suppose you could say he changes up his attire, because he does alternate between black and gray gym shirts. But considering that they seem to be the exact same fit, both colors molding perfectly to his impressively sculpted upper body, we’re not giving him any points for variety there.

Same goes for the lower half. The black shorts worn in summer have given way to sleek black sweatpants now that October’s upon us, but they’re both black and Nike, so we’ll give him no credit for changing it up there either.

The shoes, though . . .

I do a double take.

Well, well, well . . .

Instead of the usual black gym shoes, the man’s shoes are red. I don’t know how I missed it before.

I drag my eyes back up his body with a grin, and he gives just the slightest roll of his eyes to indicate that he’s noticed my slow perusal and isn’t fazed in the least.

“You went shopping, Dorothy!” I say happily.

He stares at me. “I don’t shop.”

Of course not. Far too frivolous.

“No, that makes sense,” I say, pointing at his feet. “Glinda would have given these to you.”

Andrew looks down at his Rolex watch. “I’ve got to go. Have a good day, Mr. Ramirez.”

“You too, Mr. Mulroney,” Ramon says with a deferential nod. “Enjoy your workout.”

“Yes, do,” I say, turning and watching as Andrew moves toward the front door of our building. “What’s on the schedule today? Treadmill, or just skipping down the Yellow Brick Road?”

Andrew Mulroney, Esquire, doesn’t respond. He doesn’t even turn before pushing through the revolving doors and stepping out into the still-dark autumn morning.

Now come on. Tell me that wasn’t at least a little bit fun, despite the ungodly hour.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies. A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
 
 

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Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt | The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

ThePlayerPixie_Tour

The Player and the Pixie

by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

Publication Date: April 12, 2016

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Humor

PATP

Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehole. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?

The Pixie and the Player is a full-length, romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the second book in the Rugby Series.

THE PIXIE

Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby. As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER

Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone. His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN

Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal? Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

My Rating: 5 stars

Review

The Player and the Pixie follows Lucy Fitzpatrick and Sean Cassidy. Sean has an antagonistic relationship with Lucy’s brother, Ronan, which is why they do not find themselves in each other’s company. However, one conversation changes that. The growing tension between them is too hard for them to resist and they find themselves in a relationship neither had anticipated.

Lucy moves to New York to start afresh, away from her mom’s scrutiny. Things seem to be looking up for Lucy until she visits home and has to live with her mom again, causing her anxiety and forcing her unhealthy coping mechanism to revive. Sean Cassidy is the outcast of the Rugby team; he is a talented player, but his undesirable personality causes him to become the black sheep. He lives a lonely life – his icy family and unsatisfying one night stands. Until one day he bumps into a girl with rainbow hair.

“It’s sandalwood,” he replied. “Here, give it to me.”

I handed it across the table and he swiped his fingers in, extracting a small blob. Before I could react he took my hand and smoothed the cream into my wrist. His hands were very….large. My fingers felt completely encapsulated, minuscule by comparison. A tingling, nervous feeling buzzed in my belly as his fingertips massaged my sensitive skin. When he was done he lifted my wrist to his nose and inhaled deeply.

“Smells good on you,” he said. I was momentarily lost for words.

The sexual tension between Lucy and Sean grows each time their thrown together, while Lucy does not want to acknowledge it Sean is ready to extinguish the fire. There is only so much Lucy can take – with Sean being everywhere and the looks he gives her. Ultimately Lucy does what she’s been dying to do.

While Sean’s kisses drive her crazy, his love making could not have turned her off faster. He is terrible at sex and he knows it, however, no one stuck with him long enough to teach him and he’s never really bothered much before. But, that was before he met Lucy.

“The moment you walk into a room you brighten it, Lucy Fitzpatrick, and I for one feel like the luckiest bastard in the world for having known you.”

What starts as a few erotic lessons turns into something more than either expected. Lucy feels really conflicted about her growing relationship (or lack thereof) with Sean Cassidy because of his animosity with her bother, but Sean is not ready to let go. For the first time he’s with someone who really knows him and makes him feel. He’s not ready to lose that.

“I think I’ve missed you all my life”

Sean and Lucy’s relationship is one of the best developed relationships I have ever read. While their relationship is fun and sexy it also very deep and emotional. The way their walls came down is written very naturally. I loved reading about them grow both individually and together. They brought out the best in each other.

Cosway and Reid are a riot. Alone they produce art, but together they produce a masterpiece (or should I say masterpieces). Their writings complement each other so well, I can’t tell who’s written what (and that is the best part). I’ve already started re-reading this. And that teaser for the next book has me salivating (see what I did there ;)).

Excerpts

Excerpt #1

*Sean*

I didn’t know what I was doing.

Requests, things I wanted, words I would never speak or allow myself to think were now uncontainable.

It’s the sex, I reiterated. Again. I’d used this explanation, now on repeat, as a simple justification for the complex cacophony of my mind.

“Be with you?” Her long, dark lashes fluttered, beating like distressed butterfly wings against warming pink cheeks.

I licked my lips, tasting her there. “Yes.”

She stared at me, confused. I was also confused. And oddly frightened.

Because it wasn’t the sex.

Several seconds ticked on as we studied each other in breathless silence. She found her voice before I did. “What does that—”

“Lucy?” Annie’s voice was paired with a soft knock on the bathroom door. “Are you okay?”

I opened my mouth to whisper a clarification to the question Lucy hadn’t quite posed, because I was compelled to tell her it wasn’t the sex. We didn’t have to have sex. We could just . . . talk. Or play cards. Or touch. Or look at each other from across the room.

We could merely be together.

But she covered my mouth with her hand. Her features arrested with unmistakable panic.

“Yes. I’m fine! I just . . . started my period is all. Made a mess in my jeans, like a crime scene.” Lucy hollered in response then grimaced. She immediately mouthed I’m sorry to me. Her cheeks flushed red.

I lifted an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes, ducking her head with obvious embarrassment. I pressed my lips together so I wouldn’t laugh.

Issuing me a quelling look, Lucy released me and skittered out of the stall, whispering, “Stay here and count to three hundred.”

“Oh! Do you need anything?” Annie’s voice was less muffled and I surmised she’d opened the bathroom door.

“Ah, no. Have it all sorted now. Thank God Tom has these nice absorbent napkins instead of those troublesome hand driers. Although I feel like I’m wearing a nappy. They’re bad for the environment, so I should talk to him about replacing the napkins. Maybe make a few available for emergencies . . .”

Lucy’s anxiety-riddled chatter faded as the bathroom door clicked shut.

I released an audible exhale. My heart was beating as though it might leap from my chest. I needed to catch my breath. Neither had anything to do with being caught.

What the fuck were you doing?

It was the sex. She’s phenomenal in bed. You’ve never had that before. It was just sex.

I nodded, reiterating the logic of my justification for the uncharacteristic behavior. If I repeated it enough, perhaps I would believe it.

I didn’t count to three hundred as instructed. I counted to one hundred and twenty-three, then realized what I was doing.

“You’re mad, Sean,” I muttered, shaking myself and promptly leaving the ladies’ room. I checked the cufflinks on my dress shirt—a nervous habit—and strolled back to the table, eyeing the assortment of eejits gathered.

Excerpt #2

*Lucy*

Later that evening, I got ready for the party. My dress was cream lace, sort of floaty, and I wore my hair down with a single daisy clip at the side. I was sitting in a VIP room at the back of the venue with my brother, his fiancée Annie, and a couple of Ronan’s teammates. We were enjoying a few bottles of champagne and discussing the success the Irish squad had enjoyed during the year. Mam was elsewhere, socializing with the other team mothers, and I was glad. I just wanted to enjoy my night without her saying something about how unattractive or embarrassing I was.

We were all having a great time until the door swung open and Mr. Tall, Blond and Up Himself walked in. That would be Sean Cassidy to those not in the know, Sleazy Sean, as nicknamed by the rugby club. I tried to always see the good in people, but he and my brother didn’t have the best relationship. Not only had Sean slept with Brona, Ronan’s ex-girlfriend, but he was also universally acknowledged to be an arsehole.

It went against everything I believed in to say, because I liked to think everyone was redeemable in some way, but Sean just wasn’t a nice person. He actually seemed to be proud about the fact, like he wanted people to dislike him.

The conversation died down, everybody casting surreptitious glances at Sean who swaggered his way up to the private bar and loudly ordered a bottle of bubbly. That’s actually what he called it, but speaking of bubbly . . .

Almost of their own accord, my eyes wandered over his broad shoulders, muscular back, and down to what must have been the most perfect bubble butt I’d ever seen. You know how sometimes male athletes develop those really defined, rounded but masculine derrieres? Well, Sean Cassidy was most definitely rocking one of those, and I couldn’t resist the urge to ogle it. It was pure muscle and simply bite-worthy.

I snickered to myself when I realized I’d almost commented on it out loud. Okay, I’d officially had too many glasses of “bubbly” as Sean so douchebaggedly called it. He must have heard my snicker because his attention landed on me. He stared at me for a second, arched a condescending brow, then dismissed me all in an instant, returning his attention to the bar.

Huh.

After about thirty seconds everyone went back to their conversations, trying their best to ignore Sean. Ronan had told me once that Sean was the kind of person who thrived on attention, so ignoring his presence was probably the best course of action to take.

It was my own fault I couldn’t stop staring. We’d never spoken before. In fact, I’d only ever seen him from afar at parties like this one, or on television when there was a match on. But right now he was close, close enough for me to realize just how devastatingly and legitimately handsome he was: light blue eyes, a strong jaw, nice lips, attractive nose.

Sigh.

Why were the beautiful ones always such pricks, huh?

He leaned back against the bar, having uncorked the champagne bottle and poured some into a glass. He wore a shit-eating grin as he stared right at Ronan, holding the glass to his lips, his pinky popped. I knew he was getting to Ronan when my brother muttered to Annie under his breath, “Is he fucking shitting me?”

L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Penny Reid

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing). By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

 

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Review: In His Corner by Vina Arno

in his corner by vina arno.jpg

In His Corner
by: Vina Arno
Publication Date: April 14, 2015
Genre: Romance

WORK OUT
No sex for almost a year could kill a guy, but when you’re the boxer known as the Juggernaut, it’s the price you pay for turning pro. Tommy’s fully dedicated to his craft, until he meets the incredibly gorgeous Dr. Siena Carr. Now he’s looking forward to taking on this prim and proper lady in a wet and wild work-out…

KNOCK OUT
Siena has seen many patients come through the ER, but none as sexy as Tommy Raines. With a nasty cut over his eye, she knows he needs stiches, but after he takes off his shirt, she needs some air. With rock-hard abs and taut biceps, it’s clear this man takes care of his body. And all Siena can think about is letting him take care of hers…

My Rating: 3 stars

Review

In His Corner follows Dr. Siena Carr and Tommy Raines. One fruitful day Tommy walks into Siena’s ER and is smitten by her (and she by him). Their attraction is instant, no amounting of fighting could extinguish it. And, before they know it, their attraction combusts and their left craving more.

Siena is a snob. She is an Ivy League graduate and floats with other Ivy Leagues. Until she meets Tommy. She’s an indecisive character and that did not sit well with me (I’m not too fond of such characters). I did, however, like that she gave time to her patients and connected with them. Tommy, I liked more despite his alpha male-ness (not too fond of alpha males). I love how he stayed true to himself and wasn’t swayed with his fame. I also liked how he wasn’t indecisive and went for what he wanted.

While their sexual chemistry was explored well, I felt their emotional chemistry was rushed. I felt like they hadn’t really resolved their issues before they got back together. Tommy didn’t mind Siena changing him, however, he felt that she is too much of a snob to lower herself to his level. And, Siena could not deal with Tommy’s profession; it completely contradicted her own profession. I wasn’t too fond of the way they resolved the matter, it felt too hasty.

All in all, I did enjoy it (even though some bits irritated me). And, I believe Arno has potential.

I received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review.

About the Author

Vina Arno is a pen name used by Cindy Fazzi. She is a Philippine-born American writer who has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. Her two decades of experience as a news reporter and editor includes working for the Associated Press. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University. Her short stories have been published in Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

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Review: Lucky Me by Saba Kapur

lucky me by saba kapur.jpg

Lucky Me
by Saba Kapur
Publication Date:
April 5th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Women’s Fiction

For eighteen year old Gia Winters, having a movie star for a father, a former Playboy bunny as a mother, a Hollywood mansion, and a closet stocked with Chanel is simply another day in the life.

But her world is turned upside down when her father mysteriously hires a group of bodyguards to trail the family 24/7 and threatening phone calls from a “Dr. D” start buzzing daily.

When Gia scores the coveted role of Miss Golden Globe, she is forced to strike a deal with her bodyguard, Jack, who is almost as arrogant as he is attractive. Juggling Gia’s romantic failures, fashion faux pas, and celebrity obsessions, the duo investigate a series of clues with the help of a police cadet, who has a special set of skills and an even better set of dimples.

But with the Golden Globes just around the corner, danger levels rise higher than her stilettos as Gia learns that the biggest secrets might be the ones buried in her own home.

In a place where the hills have eyes, high school nemeses, bad hair days, raging parties, and stolen kisses, there can only be trouble for a girl who was just starting to consider herself lucky.

amazon
My rating: 3.5 stars

Lucky Me follows Gia Winters, daughter of a movie star father and a former Playboy bunny mother. One day her father mysteriously hires a group of bodyguards, and just when she thought her life could not get any worse she discovers she has a stalker. When she lands the role of Miss Golden Globe, she is forced to make a deal with her bodyguard, Jake.

I tried my best to like Gia, but I was unable to for majority of the book because of her over dramatic behaviour and her obsession with falling in love (or not falling in love). I was not particularly fond of how falling in love/lust or becoming the future Mrs. Blank were the first thoughts she had when meeting a good looking guy. I did, however, enjoy her sense of humour and her behaviour whenever she would become nervous (I could I actually connect with her then). I also enjoyed her love for Channing Tatum and George Clooney.

I really did like Jack, her bodyguard. He was down to earth, and funny. I enjoyed his relationship with Gia, it was really fun to read. Their banter, teasing, flirting, everything was entertaining. The other characters did make leave much of an impact. The mystery stalker plot was well written. I quite like reading about their adventures to solve the mystery.

I would have liked the end to be a bit different, but I still enjoyed what Kapur cooked. It was unpredictable and funny at the same time. I think it is impressive Kapur created such a story at such a young age. She has a lot of potential and I would love to see her writing grow.

I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a fluffly read.

ARC kindly provided via NetGalley for the exchange of an honest review.