#Review: Ruin by Samantha Towle @samtowlewrites

Description

From Samantha Towle, the New York Times bestselling author of Wardrobe Malfunction and Breaking Hollywood, comes a dramatically powerful and passionate new contemporary romance.

And the new heavyweight champion of the world is… 

Those are the words that Zeus Kincaid has been waiting to hear since he first put on a pair of boxing gloves. He just didn’t think they would come with a tragedy that would change how he viewed the sport forever.

Cameron Reed was in her second year at Juilliard when her childhood sweetheart, Zeus Kincaid, walked away from her. A few months later, Cam realized that she would never fulfill her dream of dancing for the New York City Ballet.

Now working as a dancer in an upscale club in Manhattan, Cam is brought face-to-face with the man she once loved. And it’s her turn to walk away from him.

After five years of missing Cam, Zeus isn’t prepared to let her go again. But when he finds himself standing on her doorstep the next morning, things don’t go quite as he expected…

Review

It’s always nice to get unexpected book post when that book post is a second chance romance featuring a well built hot boxer named after a Greek God then I’m all in baby! Zeus Kincaid dreamed of being the world’s best boxer, it’s all he’s ever wanted. Except for ballet dancer Cameron Reed. From the moment they met as teenagers they were destined for each other and then he broke both of their hearts by walking away thinking it was the best thing for their careers.

It has taken Zeus five years to knock on her door and he has so much more to make up for than he even knows when he knocks that door. Cam is one of those women you can’t help but love. A single mother, she works two jobs and puts her daughter first in everything she does. So having Zeus back in her life is difficult and not something she wants to deal with.

She doesn’t want her emotions re-ignited, she doesn’t want to be reminded of the love she still holds for him, she doesn’t want him upsetting her simple life. But Zeus is a man on a mission and he isn’t taking these things into consideration in his single-minded pursuit of the woman he loves.

Zeus was all alpha male, but soft-hearted to the core. He fought this battle like a true boxer, strategically and carefully. Taking hits when he needed to and pushing through each round like a pro. He came in knowing what he wanted and didn’t let any of the surprises along the way put him off.

I loved this book, it was paced really well with characters you couldn’t help but love thoroughly.

Thanks to Samantha Towle and Headline Eternal for the advanced review copy so that I could read and honestly review it.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleRuin
Series: Gods #1
Author: Samantha Towle
Genre: Romance | Contemporary Romance | Sports Romance | Adult
Publisher: Headline Eternal
Publication Date: 6 March 2018
Review Format: Paperback
Other FormatseBook
Pages: 352
Buy: Books2Read (Universal Link)

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#Review: Squeeze Play by Aven Ellis @AvenEllis

Description

Full of enthusiasm, recent graduate Hayley Carter is thrilled to be working for a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Having spent a lot of her life in the background due to family circumstances, Hayley is eager to step up and be heard—and bring much needed change to her new organization. With romance on the shelf, it’s time to focus on herself and new career. Armed with a workbook to help her improve on a personal and professional level, Hayley is ready to become a better version of who she already is.

But will a baseball player for the Washington Soaring Eagles challenge her thoughts on not only dating, but the person she thinks she needs to be?

Brody Jensen is the new catcher for the professional team in DC. Baseball is everything to Brody and has been his salvation while growing up. Brody wants to make the most of his full-time shot behind the plate. Which means no serious relationships.

However, when a chance encounter leads him to Hayley, Brody finds himself wanting to know all about the beautiful blonde who has engaged him from the moment he spotted her. Together, they find themselves questioning the ideals they had set for not only relationships, but themselves, too.

When the cherry blossoms bloom in the nation’s capital, Cupid puts a squeeze play on Hayley and Brody. Will they be brave enough to love themselves and each other? Will love be called out? Or will their relationship be safe at home?

Review

I make no secret of being a huge fan of Aven Ellis’ work her hockey novels are superb and as quite an unusual Brit who loves hockey I always get completely absorbed into them. Squeeze Play is Aven’s first venture into another sport, one I’m clueless about, Baseball. But not one to be put off by her ignorance I dove in head first and I’m so pleased I did.

Hayley is a girl after my own heart, with a one-track mind on her career she has no interest in love, it’s a distraction she doesn’t need. After meeting Brody in what is potentially the most funny and sweet meet-cute I’ve ever read she realises there may be room for romance after all.

Aven Ellis pulls out all the stops with this book, it has some of the best scenes I’ve read in it, the romance was ramped up to maximum and the way these two bounced off of each other was heartwarming.  Hayley has some deep-seated insecurities but Brody not only recognises them he works with her to face them as she does with his.

Aven Ellis has well and truly knocked the ball out of the park with this one (like what I did there?!) and she has given us characters that you just won’t be able to do anything but adore.

A huge thanks to Aven Ellis for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleSqueeze Play
Series: Washington DC Soaring Eagles #1
Author: Aven Ellis
Genre: Romance | Contemporary | Sports | Sports Romance
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 25 October 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsN/A
Pages: 306
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#Review: Playing Defense by Aven Ellis @AvenEllis

Description

After a string of bad set-ups and boring dates, Reese Brannon is done with men. She’s focused on her job as a fitness model and blogger. Her life in the city is fun. She’s young. There’s no need to look for a man because she doesn’t want one. Especially when relationships usually end in heartbreak.

Jean-Pierre Rochat—known as JP— is done with women. All this Swiss hockey player has ever wanted is to fall in love, but his relationships never end with a happily ever after. Believing he’s always going to be dealt the friend card, JP is over it. If he’s going to be stuck in the friend zone, he’ll keep things casual for his new endgame.

But will one hot Dallas summer night change everything for Reese and JP?

Because when the two meet again when JP returns for hockey season, Reese finds her attraction to him hasn’t waned since their first meeting. Charming and intelligent, JP is different in all the right ways, but Reese realizes letting him in will make her vulnerable, something that terrifies her. JP never forgot Reese from their initial introduction last winter, and the sparks fly for him even more so the second time. But with Reese, his thoughts are anything but casual . . .

Can JP and Reese let their guards down to take a chance on love? Or will this simply be a game of playing defense?

Review

JP and Reese briefly appear in On Thin Ice, and straight away I thought what a wonderful couple they would make and what a sweet story they could have. So when I received this advanced copy and realised this was their story I was over the moon as they hadn’t left my thoughts since last winter when I read Holly and Matt’s story.

Reese is a sports model but she’s fun and quirky and loves her food, especially if Oreo’s are involved. I’ve never eaten an Oreo in my life but she was making me crave them the way she talks about them in this book! Great commitment to your favourite food Reese.

JP is just the most adorable and sexy character I’ve read of Aven’s yet. He’s Swiss, which may have something to do with it, I mean the accent alone…right? But he’s super intelligent, knows what he wants and is very sensual and caring. He’s the all round good guy but fun and sweet with it. Honestly he is absolutely the kind of guy you want seducing you, lucky Reese.

They’ve both got reasons to be hesitant, good reasons. JP has been thrown in the friend zone so many times it’s a surprise he doesn’t have whiplash and Reese hates how relationships always end in heartbreak, her heartbreak. But as we know with Aven Ellis novels there is no stopping the inevitability of true love and these two falling in love has been one of my favourite all time love stories.

A huge thanks to Aven Ellis and Soul Mate Publishing for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

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TitlePlaying Defense
Series: Dallas Demons #5
Author: Aven Ellis
Genre: Romance | Contemporary | Sports | Sports Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: 27 September 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsN/A
Pages: 238
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US

#Review: The Definition of Icing by Aven Ellis @AvenEllis

Description

Kenley Hunter finally has everything sorted out. Fresh from studying chocolate making in Europe, she’s gambling everything on her new business, Confection Consultations.

All Kenley wants in life is people to take her seriously, to see the person on the inside rather than the blond beauty on the outside. While pursuing her passion of chocolate, Kenley discovered people seek her knowledge. They see past the exterior and fall for the chocolate delights in front of them.

So with work as her focus, Kenley is ready to start her career in Dallas. Men are out of her recipe, because she fears that once they get past her looks, they’ll be disappointed in what they find. Kenley decides she’s all about the chocolate now.

Or is she?

Because a chance meeting with new Dallas Demon hockey star Nate Johansson might change everything. Sent to Dallas in a blockbuster trade, Nate is somewhere he doesn’t want to be, for reasons that have caused him heartbreak on multiple levels. Nate knows he will never trust a woman again after what happened to him in Minnesota.

But when he meets a woman with an intriguing name and a passion for chocolate, Nate isn’t so sure about his theory. And he might just learn a definition of icing other than the one used in hockey with Kenley as his guide…

Review

I’ve been on a mission to read Aven Ellis’ back catalogue that I missed before I discovered her work, this is one of those books. I’ve learned now that to pick up an Aven Ellis book is to dive into a happy comfortable world where two people are going to discover what true love really means.

In The Definition of Icing we meet Kenley. Kenley runs Confection Consultations, she is a chocolate specialist who ensures that the people she works with love and understand chocolate just as much as she does when she is finished.

On a photo shoot ice hockey star Nate steps in to help her handle an awkward situation and the intense attraction between the two in incredible. They are both people who have been terribly hurt in the past but as readers we get to watch as they negotiate getting to know each other and learning what it means to trust someone again.

These are two people who are completely adorable to watch falling in love and this, as with all of Aven Ellis’ books, is an absolute treat, although you may want a few bars of chocolate by your side for this one!

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Definition of Icing
Series: Dallas Demons #2
Author: Aven Ellis
Genre: Romance | Contemporary | Sports | Sports Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: 27 May 2015
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsPaperback
Pages: 274
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Wordery

#BookBlitz: Clearing the Ice by Robyn M. Ryan @RobynMRyan @RABTBookTours #Giveaway

I am pleased to be a part of this book blitz for Clearing the Ice organised by RABT Book Tours. Check out more about these books below and don’t miss out on the giveaway.

Midsummer Madness Sale—or Sunstroke creates crazy ideas! For the first time, you can buy the first two books in Robyn M. Ryan’s Clearing the Ice trilogy for just £1.98 (or £0.99 each). This offer is good only July 10-14. Regular price for the set is £6.98 (£2.99 and £3.99). Grab this red hot deal and add some semi-sweet romance to your beach reads!

Description

She wasn’t looking for love.

Struggling to live up to the high expectations of overprotective parents and a hefty family name, Caryn Stevens only wants one Summer of Fun before focusing on finishing her college degree. She knows her destiny: to follow her dad as CEO of his multi-million dollar business. But that plan changes forever one day when she runs into—literally—sexy and single major league hockey player, Andrew Chadwick.

But love came looking for her.

Sparks instantly fly between the two, and Caryn can’t resist his charms as she discovers that Andrew has a reputation of winning – both on and off the ice. One of the most eligible singles in Toronto, Andrew could have any woman he wants, and he’s got Caryn in sights. But, when Caryn’s parents disapprove of the match and threaten to disinherit her and his hockey team trades him to a new city, it make take more than love for the couple to survive this penalty play.

They believe love conquers all.

One of pro-hockey’s golden couples, Andrew and Caryn Chadwick live in the limelight reserved for elite professional athletes. On their second anniversary, Andrew receives an unexpected contract offer to join the Tampa Suns. As they look forward to a new adventure, neither foresees an event that challenges their love and threatens their marriage.

Until it doesn’t.

A sudden and senseless accident threatens Andrew’s life and inexplicably drives a wedge between the couple. Shattered by the incident, paralyzed by fear that it could happen again, Caryn finds herself at odds with her husband and unable to provide the support he needs—at the time he is most vulnerable.

As their perfect world crumbles, each makes choices that take Andrew and Caryn further apart. Distrust, fears, and secrets construct walls. This Piece of My Soul follows the joint and separate paths the couple navigate as each hopes to rediscover the love that can conquer all.

This Piece of My Soul ends in a cliffhanger. The trilogy will conclude in This Piece of Our Being, anticipated release date Fall 2017

Clearing The Ice - Blitz Banner

Excerpt

Excerpt from This Piece of My Soul. 

 

After a freak accident nearly takes Andrew’s life, he faces months of rehab. His goal—a complete recovery that will enable him to rejoin the Suns and compete at an elite level again. Caryn, however, fears that this accident wasn’t just a fluke. If it happened once…

 

Caryn decided to surprise Andrew one day when she visited. She’d gotten in the habit of pulling on the same old pair of jeans and whatever shirt was handy. She looked through her closet, finally selecting a brightly flowered dress that matched her mood. She took a little extra care with her makeup and hair, and even added a touch of perfume behind her ears.

 

Andrew’s surprised expression quickly turned into a warm smile when she entered the room, and he set aside his iPad and held his hand out to her as she walked toward the chair.

 

“Hello, gorgeous.” He grasped her hand and pulled her toward him. “You look sensational.” She perched on the arm of the chair, the warmth in his eyes spreading through her.

 

“Good day so far?” She kissed him, a brush across the lips.

 

“Right now I’d say freaking fantastic. Unless you’re wearing that dress just to torment me.”

 

“Not my intent.”

 

Andrew pulled her onto his lap, his fingers tracing the edge of the bodice. “My favorite dress, you know.”

 

“I thought you liked it.” Caryn’s stomach contracted expectantly at his touch. Her skin tingled beneath his fingers, and she kissed him gently. His arms closed around her, and Andrew held her tightly as his lips accepted her kiss, quickly deepening it. His hands grazed her skin, and tenderness quickly yielded to passion in a seemingly endless kiss.

 

Caryn knew her cheeks were flushed when she pulled back to catch her breath. Andrew touched her chin gently, his darkened eyes casting a spell she didn’t want to resist. He started to speak, then changed his mind, and guided her lips toward his again.

 

They might have forgotten they were in the hospital and allowed their emotions to lead them, finally given in to the desire Caryn knew raged within both of them, but Andrew unexpectedly pulled back. Caryn murmured a protest. He placed a finger gently against her lips, and then looked over her shoulder. She followed his gaze, feeling her cheeks burn when she saw Dan Forster.

 

“Doctor, your timing is incredible.” Andrew smiled wryly.

 

“Sorry to interrupt, Chadwick,” Forster retorted. “Busy day or I’d come back later.”

 

Caryn stood awkwardly and moved away from the chair, noticing that Andrew’s eyes followed her every movement. She shivered slightly, suddenly cold without his arms around her, every nerve in her body alive to his touch. She couldn’t take her eyes off him, even after he turned his attention to the doctor’s questions. She tried to concentrate on their conversation, but only a few words penetrated the haze of desire.

 

“I suppose you’ll be asking about putting a lock on that door,” Forster commented as he completed his entry on Andrew’s electronic chart.

 

Caryn blushed, but Andrew laughed. “Sounds like a good idea to me. When do I get some R&R with my wife?”

 

“Negotiate that at your own risk. You know the comings and goings of the staff better than I do. You’re making good progress, Andrew. You will move to the Rehab Center in the not-so-distant future.”

 

“Other than a relocation, how will that change anything?”

 

“More types of therapy than you are receiving now. We’ll focus on all your sensory systems, push you beyond your comfort zone. I’ll remain your primary doctor.”

 

“So we could incorporate the plan Pettit outlined?”

 

“That would serve as the center of your PT program.”

 

“And to move there, I have to…?”

 

“Andrew, I need to see significant improvement with your balance, the ability to walk with a cane, and no assistance with your personal needs.”

 

Caryn watched as Andrew processed this, then nodded with a smile. “I like goals.”

 

“Yes, I’ve noticed.”

 

“I especially like goals when I’m scoring them during a game.”

 

Forster laughed. “Patience, Chadwick.”

 

Scoring goals in a game. The words literally knocked the wind out of Caryn as her mind flashed back to that night. Andrew diving to block the puck… the instant she knew he’d misjudged the angle, the puck crashing against the side of his head. Caryn turned her head, her heart racing and reached inside her purse. She grabbed the container for her anti-anxiety medicine, and fingered one into her hand while Andrew continued to chat with Forster. Neither appeared to notice as she swallowed it dry, and then Caryn concentrated on taking deep calming breaths. As soon as Dan walked from the room, Caryn stepped to the counter and opened a Diet Coke.

 

“Can I get you anything, Drew?”

 

“I’m good. Headache?”

 

Caryn looked over her shoulder at him and shrugged. “Just trying to avoid one.” She felt his eyes searching hers, and then he beckoned her to his side. He grasped her waist and pulled her onto his lap.

 

“You got so pale all of a sudden. Are you okay?”

 

Caryn shrugged. “Skipped breakfast again. You know how that affects me.” She managed a quiet laugh. I can’t keep burdening him with my fears. He needs positive support, not a whiny, frightened, unsupportive wife. I can deal with my fears later.

 

“So do I need to send you a text each morning to remind you?” His eyes teased her.

 

Caryn looked at him with a light laugh. “If you don’t forget.”

 

“I’ll do my best.” He slipped his hand to her neck and gently massaged her shoulder. If he noticed the tense muscles he didn’t mention it. “Today, you looked so beautiful when you walked in. I just wanted to get up and carry you away.”

 

She touched his cheek. “You will soon, Andrew.”

 

“It’s taking forever,” he complained. “I’m tired of this hospital. I can’t even remember what ‘normal’ is anymore.”

 

“Maybe you could come home for a weekend?” Caryn ventured tentatively.

 

“Yeah, maybe when Dan releases me to the Rehab Center.”

 

“How was therapy today? I never had a chance to ask you.”

 

“For the most part I’m done with the parallel bars. Now I’m working with weights to strengthen my legs and arms, and of course, balance activities.”

 

Caryn rested her hand on his bicep. “This feels plenty strong to me.” A smile crossed her face. “So you’re going to come home even more ripped than you are now?”

 

Andrew laughed. “I’m hardly ‘ripped’ as you put it. I’m losing muscle tone and strength every day.”

 

Caryn ran her hand against his chest, and then playfully lifted his shirt to peer at his abs. “If you say so, Drew.” She lightly outlined the muscles with her fingers. “Enough to get my heart racing. You just keep that shirt on during therapy, understand?”

 

“How about when I get a massage?”

 

She knew by his tone that Andrew was teasing. “Just keep it on.” She tried to maintain a straight face, but the look in his eyes caused her to break into giggles. “I love you, Drew,” she managed. “And I don’t want any other woman’s hands on you.”

About Robyn M. Ryan

By the time she was an eight-year-old tomboy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Robyn M. Ryan definitely knew what she wanted to do when she grew up—play major league baseball or write. She wrote throughout elementary and high school, first composing novels featuring favorite TV and music personalities, and then venturing into sports writing.

Attending UGA’s journalism school launched her career in public relations, which included an internship with the Atlanta Flames NHL hockey team. With the encouragement of a writers group on twitter—WritersThatChat—This Piece of My Heart, a hockey romance, and the first book in Robyn’s series Clearing the Ice was published May 2016. This Piece of My Soul, published January, 2017, continues the series and introduces the Tampa Suns professional hockey team.

Besides writing, Robyn’s passions include following the New York Rangers, NASCAR, and the Atlanta Braves; splitting time between homes in Atlanta and Palm Coast, and visiting Paris as often as possible. Two brilliant Westies rule both homes.

As do many writers, Robyn chooses to write using a pseudonym—hers is a combination of her sons’ names, a contribution from her youngest nephew.

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Giveaway

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Book & Buy Links

TitleClearing The Ice
SeriesClearing The Ice #1-2
Author: Robyn M Ryan
Genre: Sports Romance
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 2 May 2016 | 24 January 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 303 | 390
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US