Monthly Review

Monday, July 31, 2017

A quick recap of all the happenings around my blog for the month.

Popular Posts:

(all links take you to my reviews)

# of Reviews: 16

Average Rating: 3.6

How I'm Doing On My Reading Challenges:
(you can always click here to view current challenge updates)

Goodreads Challenge: 116 out of 200 books
Beat the Backlist:   23 out of 50 books
New Release Challenge:  82 out of 125 books

What you can expect in August:
I'm going to be changing this up a little bit in August.  I've made myself a tentative reading list for the month (which I will be posting tomorrow) and I've added a lot of my backlist books to the schedule.  I've tried really hard not to request any ARCs this past month, so I could catch up on the ones that I have and also check off some of the great looking books I already own.  I may not stick to my list 100% because I am a bit of a mood reader, but we'll see how it goes.

Another thing that's changed is that I'm going to be cutting back on Young Adult books in August.  I still have a couple mixed in but not as many as I normally do.  I have A LOT of romances coming up and a few fantasy ones as well.

I will also be trying to get some Top Ten Tues posts in (list posts) and some Waiting on Wednesday posts.  I have my art post scheduled for August already too!  I'm going to be sharing the Wonder Woman painting I just finished recently.  I'm still trying to figure out what I want to try next.  My ideas are: Beauty and the Beast, Harley Quinn, Joker, or Pride & Prejudice.  What do you think??

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What would you like to see more/less of on my blog?  
How was your July?

Review: Secret by Kindle Alexander

Friday, July 28, 2017

Title: Secret
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: MM Romance
Publication Date: June 9th 2015

 Tristan Wilder, self-made millionaire and devastatingly handsome CEO of Wilder-Nation is on the verge of a very lucrative buyout. With tough negotiations ahead, he's armed with his acquisition pitch, ready to launch the deal of a lifetime. There’s just one glitch. The last thing he expects is to fall for the hot business owner he's trying to sway.

Dylan Reeves, computer science engineer and founder of the very successful social media site, Secret, is faced with a life-altering decision. A devoted family man with three kids and a wife, Dylan has been living a secret for years. Fiercely loyal to his convictions, his boundaries blur after meeting the striking owner of the corporation interested in acquiring his company. For the first time in his life, reckless desire consumes him when the gorgeous computer mogul makes an offer he can't refuse.

This is my third read from Kindle Alexander and I've loved all three books so far.  That means I am definitely going to have to go back and scoop up more of her books! lol!  I already have 2 more waiting for me on my Kindle.  She writes the best swoon-worthy mm romances with some great steamy scenes.  I like her stories a lot because the steam doesn't completely overpower the plot.  I would also like to state that while the synopsis DOES say he is married with kids, there is NO cheating.  At all.  Trust me!

Dylan and his wife and best friend,Teri had all three of their children when they were very young.  After Dylan quit drinking he confessed to Teri that he was gay, and they decided to stay together to raise their kids.  They also decided that while they were going to continue being a team to raise their children together, they were obviously no longer going to be "physically together" and they could date outside of their fake relationship...but they have to keep everything a secret.  They are planning on telling the kids when they are old enough to head off to college, and then they are going to "separate" to find their own happiness.  Teri has been in a serious relationship with a man for a couple years but has kept it a secret, while Dylan has remained celibate since.  Until he meets Tristan, of course. lol!  

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the low level of angst in this one.  After reading the synopsis, I really expected this to be full of angst but it wasn't so much.  Dylan struggles a bit with public displays of affection but after hiding for so long and being worried about being seen, it makes sense.  I've seen a lot of reviews that say they feel as if Tristan was extremely pushy, and I didn't really feel that way.  He let Dylan call the shots and let him know they didn't have to do anything he wasn't ready for.  Dylan gave consent, he was just nervous.  The steamy scenes between them were sizzling, but I didn't feel like they overwhelmed the story.

Tristan isn't the type of man who has time for relationships or closeted men, but he finds himself instantly drawn to Dylan.  He was so sweet with Dylan and really went out of his way to show him how much he cared.  He quickly decides that he wants more than just the night with Dylan, but he feels as if he has to convince Dylan to start a relationship with him.  Dylan's main concern is 100% his family and doesn't want to get involved in anything that could potentially hurt them.  Tristan does everything he can to make Dylan comfortable and happy, even going as far to say that he would wait for him as long as he needs to.  He also makes a genuine effort to be nice and get to know Dylan's family, and I thought that was super sweet.

Dylan is so used to hiding everything about himself that he's closed off his emotions a lot.  He is a hard man to read because he's built such a huge wall around himself.  Tristan had trouble figuring out how he was really feeling about things.  Dylan has his moments when he panics and acts kind of like a jerk and that made him a little hard to connect with at first, but his love for his family really won me over.   

I really loved that Teri was never portrayed as the evil wife/villain.  She was one of Dylan's biggest supporters and wanted him to be happy.  They truly were best friends and talked everything through.  She let him know when she thought he was being stupid and even helped him see Tristan.

There wasn't too much about this story that I didn't enjoy.  I loved that we even got a sweet epilogue to see how everything worked out for everyone.  It really helped cement their HEA for me.

Find It Here: 

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: December 2nd 2010

 Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

This is one book that I've had on my TBR list for a really long time but for some reason never got around to it.  Everyone seems to absolutely love this one so I wanted to finally pick it up and see what all of the fuss was about.  This was my very first read by Stephanie Perkins too!

I really enjoyed all of the different character's personalities.  Anna was so completely lost at the beginning of the story and I really felt for her.  I would be really scared to be in a completely different place where I didn't know the language and I didn't know anyone, and I'm 32!  She's only a teenager!  St. Clair was equal parts sweet and completely frustrating for me.  I HATED that he had a girlfriend for almost the entire story.  I'm not a fan of cheaters.  He ran so hot and cold with Anna but somehow expected her to understand that his behavior meant he cared about her....but refused to break up with his girlfriend.  He also had some really sweet moments with her, and was really protective of her.  It also made me a little mad that even though he refused to leave his girlfriend for her, he didn't want her dating anyone else.  Sooo, she was supposed to wait around for him to make up his mind?  Nope.  I don't blame her for trying to move on.

In typical young adult fashion, there is a lot of friendship drama, with both her Paris friends and also her friends back home in Atlanta.  I don't remember having too much friendship drama when I was a teenager but I know it was definitely a thing.  It all felt pretty realistic.  There's bound to be trouble when both you and your friend like the same guy.  Along with the friendship drama, there was a lot of parent drama.  Both St. Clair and Anna have "jerk dads" but we don't hear much more about them other than "he's a jerk".  We know a little more about St. Clair's father, who definitely earns the jerk title, but I would have liked to know what made Anna's dad a bad guy.

I've never been to Paris, but it is one of those places on my bucket list, so I'm always interested in reading books that take place there.  I mean, who doesn't swoon a little over a cute accent?!  I really enjoyed reading about Anna discovering parts of the city.  She spent most of her time at the theater but she talks about visiting different places and monuments too.  This one is good for a case of wanderlust, that's for sure.

Unfortunately, I didn't end up loving this one as much as I had hoped, and I am definitely the unpopular opinion with that feeling. haha!  I think this one was a case of "it's not you, it's me".  I really enjoyed the parts of the story about discovering Paris, but St. Clair and Anna drove me a little nuts.  With as much back and forth that happened between them throughout the story, by the time they finally got together I was already over it. lol! Maybe I'm just burnt out on young adult??  I'm not sure.  I may still give the others in the series a try one day.

Find It Here:

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme where we have the opportunity to let others know about books that we are eagerly waiting for.

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: Taste the Dark
Author: Tibby Armstrong
Series: The Dark, #2 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Loveswept
Find It On: Goodreads

Releases On: December 12th 2017!

When something’s worth dying for, one taste is never enough. After a lost soul crosses over, a vampire prince becomes the mentor he needs—and the lover he’s always craved.

Half-human and half-vampire, Akito James just wants to be a hero. But after taking a little initiative in the fight against a dangerous coven, he’s banished for his troubles—and not even his best friends will stand up for him. Tormented by the voices in his head, Akito throws himself into Boston’s Charles River. He awakens to a solitary vigil held by a specter only he can see: a tall, dark, and leather-clad vampire who gives Akito a warm welcome to the shadow realm.

In a city this old, even the dead must be careful at night. No one knows that better than Lyandros Dragoumanos, brother of the War King, doomed to wander the streets of Boston unseen, unheard, and alone—until a spark passes between him and a troubled stranger with shimmering eyes and inky black hair. After witnessing the young man’s suicide, Lyandros seizes a tantalizing opportunity. Akito may just hold the key to his salvation—and his touch promises untold pleasures.

Why I'm waiting:  I read the first book in this series and really loved it.  I hadn't heard of this author before that book but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of her books.  Also, who could turn down a romance with action and vampires?!

What books are you excited about?

Review & Giveaway: Lucky In Love by Kasie West

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lucky in Love by Kasie West 
Publisher: Scholastic 
Release Date: July 25th 2017 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Find It Here:

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture. 

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

I can FINALLY say that I've read a Kasie West book! lol!  I have been wanting to check out one of her books for a really long time so I jumped at the chance to review this one.  I haven't read any books with an MC that won the lottery so this was a fun new idea for me.  The cover for this one is absolutely adorable and it screams summer to me.

Maddie is very intelligent and spends most of her time focusing on studying and keeping her grades up in school so she can get enough scholarships to pay for college. After having a pretty bad 18th birthday, she decides to get a lottery ticket.  She doesn't think much more on it because she knows the odds that she will win are minuscule, so she's ecstatic when she finds out that she won! She thinks the money is going to solve a lot of her problems, like: being able to afford college, helping her brother also afford college, and she hopes it will also solve her parent's money troubles and they will stop fighting. She doesn't expect everyone to suddenly know who she is and want something from her.  Even the people closest to her seem to be treating her differently.  The only one that doesn't seem to be treating her differently is her crush from the zoo, Seth.

I really liked how realistic it was that people seemed to come out of the woodwork to want something from Maddie.  That's how I would imagine it being if someone won the lottery.  All of a sudden everyone wants to be your best friend and needs money.  I'm a lot like Maddie in the way that I wouldn't want any of that attention.  It's also hard to tell who your true friends are and who is just using you.  I think all of that was done really well.  There is an instance when someone close to her talks to reporters about her spending habits, and we aren't sure who has done it.  I didn't end up guessing who it was and it never came across as obvious to me.

One of the biggest issues I had with this one was the quick change in Maddie's character.  She was a very money-conscious, intelligent person, that was all about planning for her future.  She starts off right, saying she is going to use the money towards college, but it seems like as soon as the popular girl started coming around she just started throwing money around left and right.  It quickly got me angry.  It was such a drastic change in her behavior, especially when she's judging her brother for his spending!  I think I understand where the author was going with this (trying to show how money can change people, and how easy it is to get carried away) but it was so out of character that it just ended up frustrating me.  I also thought that Maddie's parents would have a thing or two to say about Maddie's spending habits, but nothing was really said and I would have liked to see something there.  

I enjoyed the romance but I do have to admit that I wanted a little bit more from them.  I feel like it took a really long time to get anything started and then when it finally did start, there was drama, and then it was quickly wrapped up at the very end.  I really enjoyed Seth's character a lot but I wanted to see them interact a little more.  He was really sweet and it was really obvious (to me, at least) that he really liked her. 

*I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. *

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. Mynov-els are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE  BETWEEN  US, ON  THE  FENCE,  THE  FILL-IN  BOYFRIEND, PS  I  LIKE YOU, and BYYOURSIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.

Links: Website-

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Review: Owning It by Riley Hart & Devon McCormack

Monday, July 24, 2017

Title: Owning It
Authors: Riley Hart & Devon McCormack
Series: Metropolis, #3
Genre: MM Romance
Publication Date: May 26th 2017
Find It Here: Goodreads, Amazon

Just out of an eighteen-year marriage, the last thing Jackson expects the first time he visits a gay bar is for a sexy, drunk twink to mistakenly climb into his Jeep. The twink part he’s good with, the drunk part…not so much. As far as Jackson’s concerned, the boy should come with a warning label. But Derek is not as flighty as Jackson thought…he’s actually pretty incredible. Getting to know the wild, funny man is a breath of fresh air. And when Derek calls him Daddy? Christ, he never thought something like that would feel so right. 

Derek has serious daddy issues, and his name is Jackson. He’s stubborn and controlling…and ever since Derek woke up in the silver fox’s condo, he can’t get Jackson out of his mind. Maybe because no matter how many times he throws himself at him, Jackson doesn’t take the bait. And maybe because Jackson is the one person who sees him for who he really is. But Derek loves a challenge, and he’s eager to rock Jackson’s world. 

Jackson isn’t interested in a meaningless hookup. He wants the real Derek, not just the sassy jokester everyone else sees. But it’s not easy for Derek to open up. He feels much safer guarding his heart. And Jackson needs to figure out the balance between living for himself and the mountain of responsibilities weighing him down. Derek and Jackson must find the common ground between hookup and commitment—if they can’t own their issues and work together to overcome their faults, they could smother the flame between them that’s just beginning to ignite

 Owning It is the third book in the Metropolis series.  Each book can technically be read as standalones, as they deal with a different couple in each story, but I feel as if you would get more enjoyment out of them if you read them in order.  The couples from the previous two books make a lot of appearances and there are a few events that happen in the previous stories that are mentioned in this one.  I've been wanting Derek's book since his character was first introduced!  The first book was a fake relationship romance, the second one was a friends with benefits - to -more story, and this was is an age gap/daddy kink kind of story. lol!

Since this was Derek's story I really thought it was going to be all sex the whole time since he is the really promiscuous one of the group, but this was a slower burn than the rest of them!  Once you do hit the steamy scenes tho it's well worth the wait.  I'm glad that the authors decided to have the two MCs wait for a bit because I felt like it gave them a chance to mean more to each other.  

I really loved both of our main characters.  I didn't think I was going to love Jackson as much as Derek, but I really did.  He won me over pretty fast with his caring personality.  I loved seeing the other side of Derek in this one.  He comes off as the happy go lucky, little whirlwind that's always up for a good time, but we learn that there is much more to him than just his promiscuity.  They are both very different people but they balance each other nicely.  Jackson is used to being a more serious guy that always takes care of other people, and Derek helps him to let go and have some fun some times.  Jackson helps Derek realize his self worth, and I loved every second of it.

I can't wait to read more from these authors.  I have a feeling we may be getting Evan's story sooner or later too??  Wishful thinking maybe? lol!

Find It Here:

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post

Saturday, July 22, 2017

I am linking up again this weekend with Tynga at Tynga's Reviews for Stacking the Shelves and Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer for Sunday Post to share all of the books I picked up lately, share my posts for the past week, and also share what's coming up soon! 

For Review:

Freebies from Amazon:


(from Nick and Nereyda's Infinite Booklist.  Thank you!!!)

Life Lately:
Look at that you guys!!!  STILL no more books for review!  Just in case you are new around here, I've been saying that I am on a "book requesting" freeze until I catch up with some of the books I already have.  I haven't requested any books this month so far!  It's so hard to say no to all of the great looking books out there.  I still look on NetGalley at all of the new books (because I'm a glutton for punishment, apparently) but so far my self control has been strong....but I feel it weakening. haha!

I finished my Wonder Woman painting!  I'm going to be sharing it on my blog next month but if you want to see it now, I shared pictures of it on my Instagram.  I just shared my Wolverine painting yesterday.  I am really glad I decided to start sharing my art on here.  It's really helped motivate me to create more.  I've been debating on a couple new ideas for a new painting: Beauty and the Beast, Harley Quinn, Joker, or Pride & Prejudice.  What do you think??

I'm not going to be around for next week's Stacking the Shelves/Sunday Post because I'm going to be on the beach!!  We are leaving Thursday morning and coming back Sunday afternoon.  Just a quick little getaway but I'm super excited.  I love the beach!  And a lot of my family live out that way so we are going to meet up for a family reunion on Saturday.

Recently on my blog:

Coming up next on my blog:
Owning It by Riley Hart & Devon McCormack - Review
Lucky in Love by Kasie West - Review & Giveaway
Waiting on Wednesday
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Review
Secret by Kindle Alexander - Review

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What have you read lately?

My Bookish Art: Wolverine

Friday, July 21, 2017

I've been sharing my artwork on my blog for a couple months now, and I'm really glad I started to.  I was a little unsure about sharing it at first because this is primarily a bookish blog, so I decided to share my book inspired artwork to sort of tie it in.  I STILL haven't made the big jump and started an Etsy/Society 6 site but I'm starting to build up some courage now.  I'm just nervous to take that first step, I think.  This is the 5th painting of mine that I've shared so far on my blog.  So far I've shared: Daenerys and Jon SnowThe NotebookBlack Widow, and Iron Man. I've said it before, but I'm a HUGE comic book nerd so I've done quite a few other portraits of comic characters including: Hulk, Groot & Rocket (from Guardians of the Galaxy),  Catwoman, and Nancy Callahan (Sin City).  Right now, I just finished working on an acrylic painting of Wonder Woman.  I went with a bigger canvas than I normally do so it took me a little longer than I thought it would, but it's done now so I will be showing you that one next month.

(some progress shots because I think they are fun to share. lol)

Other art posts:

What do you think?

Next month I'll be sharing my Wonder Woman painting I just finished.  If you can't wait, I posted it on Instagram, along with some progress photos if you want to check that out.

Quickie Reviews: Unscripted Love & Summer Heat

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker
Synopsis: Kyle Vaughn had three goals in life: become a vet, find the man of his dreams, and start a family. He easily checked off the first item on the list when he took over his grandfather’s veterinary practice. Too bad he wasn’t as lucky in love.

Chaz Hamilton took a leap of faith when he decided to pursue a career in writing, but one best seller didn’t mean he could quit his day job. All work and no play threatened to make Chaz a very dull man when the only romantic action he saw was in the pages of his manuscript. Too bad he couldn’t write his own happily every after.

Circumstances pushed the two men together, and one magical kiss beneath fireworks and stars changed everything. Kyle knew his luck had finally turned around and Chaz found a man far better than any book boyfriend ever written. There was just one problem. Chaz has kept a secret from Kyle that could ruin their chance at a beautiful life together.

Kyle and Chaz learn that the best-laid plans often go awry, the heart has a mind of its own, and the greatest love is unscripted.
Review:  Unscripted Love is a spin off book of the "Curl Up and Dye" series.  It says that this one could be read as a stand alone without reading the other stories first, but I disagree.  I luckily read all of the books before this one, so I wasn't lost, but I think someone that was brand new to this one would be a little confused with all the different characters.  I was really looking forward to this one because they introduced these characters in the previous books and I wanted to see them get their happily ever after.  I enjoyed it but we have a case of "the big secret" that we hear about throughout the whole book that doesn't come out until the end.  I knew that was going to be a big thing with this one but I really wish Chaz would have just spilled the beans earlier so we didn't have to repeatedly hear about it.  It was also pretty anticlimactic when Kyle did find out.  They were really sweet together tho, so I still liked it.

Find It Here: Goodreads

Summer Heat by Jay Northcote
Synopsis: A summer fling is an ideal cure for a broken heart. But when it’s with your best friend, things get complicated.

When Adam is dumped by his boyfriend, a week away at a beach resort seems like a great opportunity to get over his ex. Sun, sea, and no-strings sex will be just the boost he needs to move on with his life.

Adam’s best friend, Finn, agrees to accompany him at short notice. Finn’s had a crush on Adam for years, but is determined to put his feelings aside and be the perfect wingman in Adam’s time of crisis.

A spontaneous threesome with another guy forces Adam and Finn to confront their attraction to each other. Having a holiday fling together wasn’t part of the plan, and as their trip heats up, they soon realise that one night of fun won’t be enough for either of them.

The passion might be scorching, but their hearts and friendship are on the line. If their romance is going to survive the flight home, they have to be honest about what they want.
Review: A sizzling friends-to-lovers romance with no angst. Involves a threesome that serves as a way for them to end up really getting together. Lots of steamy scenes and some sweet moments, but nothing that really "wowed" me or that would make me remember this one a month or so from now.

Find It Here: Goodreads

Excerpt: Smitty's Sheriff by Cardeno C.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Smitty’s Sheriff, a sexy, heart-warming MM romance by Cardeno C. is available now!

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they're perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.
Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.
It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.
When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?


“Todd.” Leanne snapped her gaze toward him. “You’re not too young to know the nickname people used to call guys named Richard, are you? “Uh.” Todd blinked and darted his gaze between Rich and Leanne. They were finally paying attention to him and all he wanted was to go back to being invisible. “Dick,” she said. “Big D got his nickname before we met, but some of us in my squad figured it wasn’t just about his last name being Davis. So we had a bet going.” She flicked her gaze to Rich again, as if expecting him to interrupt. He didn’t. “Problem is, we couldn’t agree on which side won because we couldn’t get solid evidence.” She focused on Todd. “But now I have an eyewitness.” “I, uh, I don’t—” Todd stammered, hating being in the middle of what felt like an argument. “Don’t let Sparky get to you,” Rich said, still completely unbothered. “Some of the guys saw Big D in the latrines, and they said he’s big all over, but when they tried to collect on the bet, the other side made a good point.” She narrowed her eyes menacingly at Rich. “If the man’s a show-er, that means he isn’t grow-er, so he doesn’t actually have a big D, now does he? That means the other side should win.” Todd drew his eyebrows together and tried to follow Leanne’s question. “Are you saying you guys have a bet going on the size of Rich’s dick?” “Yep.” Leanne leaned against the chairback, looking smug. “And you, little brother, are going to settle that bet.” Normally, Todd had no problem talking about a guy’s package. Hell, in the right situation, dicks were damn near his favorite topic. But he had never spoken to anyone about Rich’s body or, really, anything else related to Rich because he knew that was off limits. Of course, Leanne was asking him the question because she already knew he had the answer. Flicking his gaze toward Rich, Todd said, “Am I allowed to…” “It’s a simple question,” Leanne snapped. “Is he a grow-er or a show-er?” Rich didn’t tell him to stay quiet so Todd figured he had permission to answer. “Both.” She blinked. “Seriously.” He bobbed his head. “Length, girth.” He held his hands far apart. “It’s awesome.” As long as he had permission to share, he figured he should be thorough in his explanation. “His balls too.” Leanne coughed. “I mean it. They’re huge. Each one’s a mouthful by itself.” “Ehm.” Leanne cleared her throat. “Thanks.” Looking decidedly uncomfortable, she held her palm up in a stop motion. “I’m good on the details. You don’t need to keep going.” “Are you sure?” After a lifetime of being the butt of the joke with his siblings, Todd enjoyed turning the table. “I can sketch you a picture, but I’ll need one of those extra-long pieces of paper if you want it to scale.” “That won’t be necessary.” Leanne actually blushed. “I’m all set.” Rich threw his head back and laughed. “Thanks, Todd. Eighteen years these jackasses have had the silly bet going and I do believe you just put it to rest.” Thrilled with the praise and relieved to be playing and flirting with Rich again, Todd smiled broadly. “No problem. When it comes to your big D, I’m always willing to lend a hand.” He settled into the chair, comfortable for the first time that night, and when the conversation turned back to stories about people he didn’t know, he truly didn’t mind. Eighteen years was a long time. If Rich had cared about putting an end to the bet, he’d probably had a dozen different chances. That he did it now, meant his goal had been less about the bet and more about a point. Todd knew something about Rich that nobody else did, or at least nobody who mattered enough to meet his friends. That meant Todd mattered. Leanne knew that now. And so did he. SS-ANKU

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McFarland’s Farm

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About Cardeno C.

Cardeno C.—CC to friends—is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few awwws into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset. CardenoC.

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Review: Road-Tripped by Nicole Archer

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Title: Road-Tripped
Author: Nicole Archer
Series: Ad Agency, #1
Genre: MF Romance
Publication Date: August 1st 2016

 What’s worse than driving a phallic-shaped RV across the country with a coworker you hate? Falling in love with them.

Copywriter Callie Murphy has a bad attitude, a vicious tongue, and a serious aversion to Shimura Advertising’s resident manwhore, Walker Rhodes. Know where he can stick his good looks and Southern charm? She can think of a few creative places. Avoiding him wouldn’t be a problem, except her boss threatens to fire her if she doesn’t go along with him on their RV client’s cross-country tour. 

Burnt-out art director, Walker, is sick of his job, tired of women, and in a big old creative rut. The upcoming client road trip is just what he needs to shake things up and rediscover his lost passion. But his plans go south when his partner drops out at the last minute, and Callie, the foul-mouthed tiny terror, takes her place. Unless he can find a way to thaw his icy coworker, he’s looking at two months of pure hell. 

Callie is trying to start over at her friend's advertising agency after coming out of a bad situation.  Her past has left her angry, bitter, and very withdrawn from everyone around her.  When her friend/boss tells her she is going to be going on a road trip on a campaign for one of their clients with Walker and they have to pretend to be in a relationship, she is not thrilled.  She thinks of him as the manwhore of the office.  He always has women hanging all over him, and after what she's been through, she doesn't want anything to do with him.  Walker isn't thrilled about being stuck in an RV with Callie either.  They don't get off on the right foot at all, and continue to throw barbs at each other throughout the trip.  Walker is tired of his job at the ad agency and wants to try to make it as a photographer as soon as the trip ends.  As the trip continues, things become more and more volatile between them but the anger starts to turn into lust and they start to thaw a little towards each other.  They both feel the chemistry between them, and decide to give in to it but they both have some emotional baggage to work through if they want to make it work between them, or not strangle each other before the road trip ends.

When I first started this one I was a little confused because the title on Goodreads called this a romantic comedy, and this was a lot deeper than that.  Don't get me wrong, there were some pretty funny moments, but I found this much more angsty than I was expecting.  Callie's emotional baggage is a huge obstacle in this story.  She's just left an emotionally abusive situation with her ex fiance,  had her bank account drained and belongings stolen by her twin sister who is a drug addict, and suffers from panic attacks.  She's trying to completely start over and has formed an emotional wall around herself that keeps everyone out.  There was a lot of banter between them but I wouldn't call a lot of it playful at first, most of it was biting and really cutting.  They did have some funny interactions mixed in later tho.

Walker was the southern gentleman type, who tried his hardest not to even swear.  He had his very ungentlemanly moments/comments but he also had the southern charm.  With one smile, he could charm the pants off of anyone.  Callie was very much the opposite.  She had a very abrasive attitude and often picked fights.  I felt for Callie's situation, but she was a hard character to like sometimes.  She was just so mean and nasty almost all of the time.  I liked Walker a bit more but at times I wanted to hit him too.  These two were very frustrating! lol

I think this one was honestly just more of a case of "it's not you, it's me".  I went into this one expecting a light-hearted comedy and got something completely different instead.  While that's not necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn't what I was hoping for.  There were also some unbelievable moments in this one as well that I thought took a little away from the story (office drinking parties, pot smoking and vulgar granny, swinger campers, etc.).  I still thought there were some sweet moments between the two of them, and there was some great character growth on Callie's end.  

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