Category Archives: Carina Press

Ruby – Jeffe Kennedy – 4 stars

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The Blurb:

Book three of Facets of Passion

Danielle Sosna has no problem denying herself in order to achieve her goals—after all, that attitude landed her a dream job at Vogue Paris. But in New Orleans for one last assignment before heading overseas, she’s faced with the most decadent of temptations. Seductive Cajun chef Bobby Prejean takes Dani’s strength of will as a challenge, and offers her a night of wild indulgence—if she will agree to obey his every command…

Dani can’t resist Prejean’s invitation to join him in a world of carnal desire, complete with fetish costumes and masks. Determined to keep her emotional distance, she gives Prejean everything but her name. A night becomes a week, as she spends Mardi Gras suspended…in the delicious space where pleasure meets pain.

Too late, she realizes the cloak of anonymity has not protected her—and that chasing her dream might come at the expense of her heart.

For more Facets of Passion, check out Sapphire and Platinum, available now!

My Thoughts:

Oh dear GAWD I want a Cajun of my own like Prejean.  He’s just deliciously dirty and so willing to give her everything she desires while still retaining a level of control over her that is caring and not smothering.  I just…  YUM!

Don’t try to make sense of only knowing someone for a week and being willing to think of them in terms of forever..  I mean for me that usually is a WTF thing that I have trouble seeing around but in this case I can overlook it just because of how yummy Prejean is.

Dani is in New Orleans to do a final shoot for the magazine she is working for before taking off for what she thinks is her dream job in Paris for Vogue.  She’s an expert at self-control and has this incessant need to be in charge no matter how much it hurts to deny herself things she craves.  Weakness is something she cannot stand and self-denial has gotten her to where she is today.  When she gets her attitude handed back to her in spades she’s shocked and even more shocked when this horrid chef makes her a proposition she just can’t seem to refuse later that same day.  She’s willing to be with him for the week she has left in town but on her terms.  He can’t know her name and she doesn’t want this to be anything more than a fling.  What she gets is someone who reads her like an open book and breaks down every single barrier she has.

Prejean…  Bobby Prejean… now this is one sexy ass Cajun.  Dear lord I’d have to let him have his way with me if he asked because he is just that damn appealing.  He’s drawn to Dani and finds himself wanting to make her open up to him in ways that are more than just a fling.  He brings out the best in her just by being there to push her beyond her controls and opens her eyes to what she truly wants versus what her father would have wanted.  He’s definitely a Dom but I liked how he read her needs and didn’t give her what she thought he was going to but gave her constant surprises.  He treated her like a treasure and I melted at that.  I also melted a bit when we got to see his pain and what he is struggling to move on from.  I adored him..  truly adored him.

Hot sex, wonderfully caring Dom and an interesting story made this a wonderfully quick read.  Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always if you want this or other Carina Press titles please click the link on my sidebar.

The Rebound Girl – Tamara Morgan – 4 stars

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The Blurb:

Book one of Getting Physical

Plastic surgeon Whitney Vidra knows all about getting over a cheating ex. She followed her boyfriend halfway around the world before she found out about his infidelity. Now she’s focusing on her career and her friends, and using men just for single-serving, no-strings fun. Until she meets charming Matt Fuller.

Newly single Matt is captivated by the vibrant Whitney, in every way the opposite of his cheating ex-wife. When he confesses to Whitney that he hasn’t had sex since his divorce, she volunteers to be his rebound girl. But Matt’s not a no-commitment kind of guy—he’s either all in, or all out.

Whitney is determined to remain attachment-free, but Matt is equally determined to prove to her that what they have is more than just a rebound fling.

My Thoughts:

I struggled with how to rank this one.  I loved it but there was one thing keeping it from a 5 star for me – the heroine.  I liked her but she was just so hard to get close to for both the reader and her adorable hero.

Whitney is used to getting her own way and will let nothing sidetrack her from her goals of opening a medical spa with her friends.  She’s also very open when it comes to sex but  is not willing to even consider that there might just be a relationship and love out there for her.  She’s scarred from her past where a man she gave up everything for ended up cheating on her and is determined to never be that vulnerable again.  She’s loud and opinionated but in this small town it makes her a pariah and not someone that will fit in which ends up causing things to happen that put their plans of a medical spa in jeopardy.  Before all this happens she meets Matt in a bar and can’t help but feel for this obviously sweet man that is so horrifically clueless when it comes to dating or picking up women.

Matt is still smarting from his divorce from a woman who cheated on him.  He’s such a good guy though that he keeps helping her at every turn and while lonely isn’t quite ready to start again.  When he gets a chance to meet Whitney he’s intrigued and extremely interested in this woman who doesn’t seem to care what people think.  She’s exciting and outlandish but there is something about her that calls to him for more more more.  He’s shocked when she suggests she be his rebound girl but is unwilling to have intercourse with her unless they are truly in a relationship.  He’s strong and yet there is this inherent weakness in him for taking care of people at the expense of self that you just can’t help but be drawn to.  He’s also deliciously sexy with what he is willing to do with and for Whitney sexually other than full intercourse.  I loved him and I have to say I cheered when he finally let everything out to stand up for himself and his needs.  He didn’t deserve the crap people were willing to put on his shoulders but at the same time he needed to learn that he was worthy on his own and to put boundaries in place when needed.

Ok… where I had problems…  Whitney was very harsh on Matt in many sections of this book and I’m sorry I did get a bit frustrated with her.  I only wish she had been able to let him in a bit more and a bit earlier even though I did understand it.  I liked Whitney being strong and everything but she came dangerously close to just being a bitch at times…..

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this one in exchange for my honest review.  I’d have to say read this for our amazingly wonderful hero.  You’ll warm up to Whitney eventually but Matt makes the book.  As always if you want this or other Carina Press titles please click the link on my sidebar.

How Beauty Loved the Beast – Jax Garren – 5 stars – Contest!

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The Blurb:

It’s all been leading to this.

Jolie Benoit has become a skilled agent of the Underlight, relying on her savvy to complete assignments while Sergeant Wesley Haukon was out of commission. But an unexpected clue to the Order of Ananke’s diabolical scheme rattles Jolie, and she turns to Hauk for comfort.

It’s been years since Hauk took comfort from the touch of another person, though his love for Jolie is deep and powerful. Uncomfortable in his skin, scarred by a terrible fire, he is unable to give in to the pleasures that Jolie so desperately wants to grant him.

Meanwhile, the Order is lurking in the shadows—and when they strike, the blow is swift and terrible. Hauk and Jolie scramble to fight for their community, but with the future of the Underlight threatened, no one is safe. And Hauk will never be the same…

My Thoughts:

I really wanted this story but at the same time having this story makes me sad.  I mean I have been craving watching Jolie and my so worthy Hauk find their HEA but at the same time knowing they have their HEA means that their story arc is over.  Others who are as addicted to them understand my quandary but I hold out hope that Jax will get a chance to show more of the Underlight and give us more glimpses of this amazing couple.

As those of you who have been following the series know, Hauk has had a major thing for Jolie since the moment he met her but his scars and status as a fugitive make him feel that he is unworthy of such a beautiful person (inside and out).  He always dreams for more and at the end of How Beauty Save the Beast we got to see Jolie make her intentions towards this honorable man known.  When we start this story Hauk is still healing from his injuries and it is causing Jolie to go a bit crazy with both missing him and worrying about him.  She also is having to own up to her own blindness when it comes to fitting in to the Underlight and what she needs to do to make them feel like she really is there for the movement.  She works hard to become accepted and I really enjoyed her willingness to see things from their side and not just get hurt/pouty when not everyone warmed up to her.

This is not an easy story to write a review on as I want to let you enjoy the twists and turns Jax takes us on even when they break your heart a bit.  I have to admit to sobbing a few times in this as their road to bliss is not an easy one and watching both of them struggle to help Hauk with his self-confidence was at times painful to read but so worth every second and tear it brought out of me.  I’m keeping this review short but I have to tell you that if you haven’t read this series you need to do so as it is such a worthy storyline to read and enjoy.  These are two people that really deserve every ounce of happiness they can get and I adored that it did take so long to get there as neither character would have stayed true to themselves without all the pain and angst.

Beautiful story and a wonderful ending to an amazing pair.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Oh and I was lucky enough to meet Jax Garren at the RT Convention so I can say truthfully she is as lovely a lady in person as she is a wonderful writer.  I cannot wait for more stories from her and I hope that she goes far in this business.

As always if you wish to purchase this or other Carina Press titles please visit the sidebar for the link to their site.

Now for the good stuff…  I adored this series and want to share my adoration with 2 lucky commentors to this post.  I will draw 2 winners that will get all 3 stories (Met, Saved, Loved) in either a Nook or Kindle format.  Contest will end at 11:59 pm CT Sunday May 19th with winners getting emails early on Monday May 20th.  Please just tell me what you like to see in a love story and the format that you would prefer if you win.  If for some reason you cannot get a comment to save on the site please tweet me at @sac402 to enter.

Plus One – Brighton Walsh – 4 stars

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The Blurb:

Olivia hates the singles scene, so when her best guy friend, Ian, offers to be her plus one to a series of weddings she has to attend, she agrees. Although she doesn’t want to complicate their lifelong friendship, she can’t pass up the chance to have a steady date without the dating drama. What she doesn’t expect is to now find Ian so incredibly sexy.

When Ian sees his old friend Olivia dolled up for wedding #1, the boyhood crush he once nurtured transforms into smoldering attraction. It doesn’t take long for their no-strings arrangement to turn physical. But as Olivia’s desire to stay “just friends” becomes clear, Ian’s feelings are deepening. In the time they have together, how will Ian convince Olivia that one plus one can make for a lifelong pair?

My Thoughts:

This was a fun story about two people who have always been there for one another but one has kept a blind eye to how much the other truly wants them.

Olivia has just ended yet another meh relationship but is not looking forward to going to a series of weddings by herself.  When her best friend’s little brother (her best guy friend) Ian offers to be her “plus one” for the events she decides to accept but is shocked by how much she wants him as the time moves on.  She struggles with this new attraction as she feels it will cause her to lose the two people who mean everything in the world to her.  As they spend more time together she decides to propose a no-strings attached fling but finds herself fighting to not let it be more than she proposed.

Ian was just an incredibly sexy man.  He only moved away to escape his feelings for Olivia.  He can’t be around and watch her go from person to person when all he wants is to be is her one.  He agrees to go along with this whole plus one thing just so he can spend time with her but struggles to keep his own attraction under wraps.  While he agrees to the whole no-strings plan he really hopes that he will be able to finally get her to see him as someone that will love her for all time.  He’s willing to push her when he has to but is smart enough to back off as needed.

Overall this was a very nice story with a good amount of heat and heart that made me laugh at times but also made me smile at the level of sweet adoration Ian had for her.  She truly is a lucky woman.

Thanks to Netgalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always for this and other Carina Press titles please use the link on my sidebar to visit their site.

The Seduction Hypothesis – Delphine Dryden – 4 stars

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The Blurb:

(1 Curious Sub + 1 Dom in Denial) – Inhibitions = 4 Naughty Nights

Wildlife biologist Lindsey thought attending a fan convention with her new boyfriend Ben was a great idea—until their relationship fizzled. Lindsey still lusts after her ex—but if he wants her, he’s going to have to prove it.

Ben will do anything to win Lindsey back, and when he sees her in her skimpy black vinyl convention get-up, he realizes what she’s been craving all along. And he is inspired to finally give in to his own dark desire to take complete sexual control…

Lindsey is surprised by her reaction to Ben’s kinky new seduction techniques, and suddenly sees the brilliant but uptight code guru in a different light. After several erotic encounters in hotel rooms and stairwells, she’s falling for Ben all over again. And wondering if the intimate connection will last once they head home…

My Thoughts:

I read this preRT convention and really enjoyed it.  I also enjoyed getting to meet Delphine while there!

Imagine having to be stuck in a RV for hours with your ex-boyfriend.  It would suck wouldn’t it?  In this case it all works out for the pair in the end as they really never lost their lust or feelings for one another it just didn’t work out.  Both of them were hiding things from each other but I loved how it all played out.

Lindsey has always had an interest in BDSM but when Ben saw her reading a comic that is heavily BDSM oriented and tore it apart verbally she believed that he would be so adamantly opposed to it she never brought it up.  As she hid more of this side of her nature away they started to come apart at the seams.  She still wants him but her need to be dominated is becoming more and more prevalent with his misinterpretation of her interest in a mutual friend causes them to finally split up.  When they arrive at the convention she lucks in to a gig as a substitute for one of the submissive characters in her favorite comic which allows her to experiment with this side of her nature.

Ben is shocked when he sees his ex acting out her submissive fantasies (mild and publicly acceptable) and realizes he still wants her.  After a funny conversation with the friend (actually his girlfriend) he finally wakes up to realize that he is turned on by her wanting to be dominated.  Even better he goes about finding out more about the lifestyle and realizes he’s not only turned on by it but that he wants to be the one to fulfill all her fantasies.  I really enjoyed watching him wake up and come out of his shell.  He’s geeky but hot and when his inner Dom comes out to play it is a lot of fun to read.  I also enjoyed that he did work on his own issues with never committing to anything long term and realized that this was also a major part in their breakup.

 

This is a cute, hot read and trust me I think any of us would love to have Ben for our very own…  Long live the sexy geek.

 

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me a chance to review this in exchange for my honest review.  As always if you want to get this or other great Carina reads please click their link on my sidebar.

Cutest Couple – Kate Davies – 3 stars

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The Blurb:

Book two of Girls Most Likely to…

Ten years ago, Marc and Bree were voted Cutest Couple—until a graduation-night argument destroyed their relationship. Unable to contact him, Bree had no choice but to forget Marc—and raise the son she never got to tell him about.

Marc got Bree’s message loud and clear when he never heard from her again. Now stationed near his hometown, he sees their high school reunion as a chance to make peace with the past. But after one glimpse of Bree, he knows he never really got over her. And after one glimpse of her son, Marc knows he’s the boy’s father…

Despite the secrets and lies that kept them apart, Marc and Bree can’t resist picking up where they left off. But when the weekend is over, it may be too late to build the future they once dreamed of.

For Kelsey and Nathan’s story, check out Most Likely to Succeed.

My Thoughts:

So far this series has had a cute reunited crush story and now we have former sweethearts with one holding on to a huge secret.  Both were good quick reads but in this one I did find myself a little mad at the heroine for keeping the secret the way she did.  I understood her reasonings but just because you understand it doesn’t mean you like the reasons.

Bree is dreading the high school reunion but she figures her old flame won’t show up especially since he hasn’t set foot in their town since the last argument they had.  She’s not 100% thrilled that he shows up nor is she happy when her feelings for him don’t seem to have gone away since the last time they saw each other.  She knows she has one hell of a secret to spill but it comes out in a very public, very poor way that they both have to scramble to come to terms with.  As she spends more time with him she has to decide is what drove them apart in the first place really worth losing the only man who has ever been able to make her feel anything?

Marc is shocked when he sees Bree and realizes that she still calls to him in a way that no other woman has been able to.  He’s also understandably shocked when he finds out he has a son.  He’s pissed off for being kept in the dark and does behave a bit badly in the initial moments but I understood his reaction and just felt bad for him.  I loved that he just wanted to know his son but as he spent more time with Bree he realized that he wanted it all with her.  He pushed but also didn’t back down when she wouldn’t accept his career choices and kept his life going but with them in it.  He’s a good guy that deserved better treatment by the woman he loves even though I really did get her reactions and issues.

I really did enjoy the pair and cannot wait for the next one…  😉  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always you can run out and grab this plus other fun titles by clicking the link to Carina on my sidebar.

Behind the Courtesan – Bronwyn Stuart – 3.5 stars

Behind the Courtesan

 

The Blurb:

When courtesan Sophia Martin returns to the village she fled as a young woman, she knows it won’t be a happy reunion–but she can’t refuse her brother’s request to attend his expectant wife. Trapped until the baby arrives, she must navigate the social rift she caused when she left to pursue a disreputable life–and keep the true reason for her departure from the man she once loved, the bastard son of the Duke who ruined her.

Blake Vale has never forgotten Sophia, but he can’t accept the decisions she made, the courtesan’s life she leads, or the fact she’s cast aside her true self. Plain old Sophia has to be inside this hardened woman somewhere, and he’s determined to make her see she doesn’t need rich men to be happy, and that their future has nothing to do with the past.

When the dukedom suddenly falls within his reach, Blake must come to terms with his own past and his birthright, and what that means for his future…and Sophia.

My Thoughts:

I was torn on this book when it came to rating it, while there is a heroine that I liked there is a hero that I wanted to strangle so many times and just scream.  It turns out that having a heroine I liked and admired weighed more favorably that I had expected.  The writing was very enjoyable but the hero just pissed me off to no end.

Sophia (Sophie) is sucking up her misgivings and heading back to her childhood haunts.  She left there under horrible circumstances and never revealed the truth to any of the men that adored her due to fear and concern for their own futures.  She’s made some decisions that others may not agree with but she is surviving in a time when women were nothing more than property to many families.  She’s tired of playing the game but is also afraid of what her future might hold when she comes home to be there for her brother when his wife gives birth.  People judge her based purely on her being a courtesan but she is so much more than just that label which she proves through the course of the book.  I loved how strong she was able to appear no matter what was thrown at her and that she stood up for herself when it was needed even if all she wanted to do was curl up and hide.  She’s vulnerable but as you see more of the hell she went through due to her father you learn that this is a woman who really does need to be able to let someone else carry her and be her helpmate for the rest of her life.  

Blake..  now this is where I had major problems and wanted to reach in to my Kindle to hurt someone.  He’s so hurt by what he sees as the betrayal of the love of his life that he can’t see the truth staring him in the face.  I mean there are huge signs that something major happened to her in her past but he is so blinded to what he sees as her gold digging ways that he doesn’t listen when she does actually try to talk to him.  He just says so many things to cut her to the quick and while he does seem to regret them as soon as they are uttered he just keeps doing it over and over again.  It takes him getting the truth from his half-brother and her brother to finally realize how wrong he has been but he still seems to not completely accept her past even though he claims to love her.  

I have to say my hope is the note from the author did prove to be the way their lives went in the future as I believe that Sophia really deserves her HEA after all the hell that she was put through.  I really do hope that Blake became worthy of her and treated her with the respect and love she deserves but felt a bit sad by Blake being so damn stubborn.  This was a good read if you can overlook some of his behavior.  I really enjoyed it and will keep an eye out for more by the author as her writing was interesting even with my feelings towards Blake.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this early in exchange for my honest review.  As always with Carina Press titles, if you find this one interesting please head out to their site via the link on my sidebar for it and other fun titles.

Night of the Dark Horse – Janni Nell – 3 stars

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The Blurb:

Just another typical week in the life of a paranormal investigator.

I had barely arrived in Ireland to investigate a pooka terrorizing the villagers of Dingaleen when I got called to ride the fairy horse myself. When a pooka calls, you answer–and hold on for dear life.

Unfortunately, the beast tossed me into a bog. Fortunately, my gorgeous guardian angel fished me out. Just barely.

You see, Casper is still weak from tangling with an evil spirit on our last case. So he’s not even much help to me in the land o’ the green. The powers-that-be are even hinting at retirement…

But I won’t lose Casper. Not now. Not ever. As luck would have it, I have a chance, albeit a slim one, to save him and get the answers I need to solve the pooka case–if I just take a wee trip through Fairyland. Except angels aren’t welcome there, humans can’t eat, drink or sleep there, and time is running out.

An Allegra Fairweather Mystery

56,000 words

 

My Thoughts:

Another cute entry in the series with an ending I was very happy with.

Allegra is at it again but this time in Ireland where she has been called in to help a village get rid of the pooka that has been tormenting them.  She’s at a bit of a disadvantage as her normal guardian is a bit under the weather and trying to heal from their last adventure.  As we watch her struggle to solve the mystery of who the pooka is and why it is so pissed off at the villagers we get to see why she is so capable of doing this whole paranormal investigator thing even without Casper’s help getting out of all the predicaments she manages to get it.  She gets to heal some old wounds from her past and we get to see what exactly is most important to her.  I like her even when she behaves like a moron because I think all of us have those moments when our brain takes a momentary time out and we do/say things we didn’t mean to.

Casper makes the whole book worth it for me.  I love seeing how much he really cares for her and his struggles with needing to heal which means leaving her behind.  He always wants to be there to support her but things may not cooperate to make that possible.  The Powers That Be are aware of his unusual closeness with his charge but as they haven’t completely crossed the line maybe that isn’t the issue.  He’s weak in this one from a physical standpoint but watching him still try to do what’s right was sweet.

I liked the story of the pooka and learning more about the Fae and other magical creatures.  I still need to go back and get a better look at the beginning stories in this series but this one was enjoyable.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always with this and other Carina Press titles please click the link on my sidebar to grab copies of them.  I’ve had great luck with titles put out by them so go give them a chance.

Soul Sucker – Kate Pearce – 4 stars

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The Blurb:

Supernatural Branch of Law Enforcement empath Ella Walsh sucks memories from people’s heads. The job fills her mind with others’ nightmares and leaves her with little time for love, but if she doesn’t pair off with a mate of the government’s choosing soon, the psychic blowback will destroy her powers and her sanity.

The last time shapeshifting SBLE superstar Vadim Morosov worked with an empath, he got her killed and himself assigned to a desk. He worries about taking on another partner, but helping Ella track down an empath killer might be his only chance to save his career.

Naturally, the government decides to throw them together…

They resist at first, but they can’t deny the simmering heat between them. As the killer’s strikes grow closer to home, their bond gets tighter. And when the murderer finally traps Ella, her developing link with Vadim might be the only thing that can save her.

 

My Thoughts:

Ella is an empath nearing her 27th birthday.  In this world empaths act as a gatekeeper for the Otherworld and will go crazy if they are not mated to their chosen partner by that fateful birthday.  She’s always known this and has decided she wants no part of government enforced mating so is living her life on her own terms.  She’s very distrustful of people since her own upbringing was less that perfect due to being taken from her family to the empath school when she was only 5 years old.  Her family treats her like a ticking time bomb and while I think they do mean well they don’t really understand her and make her feel like an outsider.  She’s drawn in to a case where other empaths are being murdered and their entire essence has been removed by an unknown intruder.  As she investigates this case she ends up being drawn to a man who keeps most of what he is locked down behind shields and has an ability to push her buttons like no one else has ever gotten close to doing.

Vadim is a mystery through most of this book and he isn’t completely explained even at the end.  He’s not looking forward to having to work with another empath but sucks it up to do his job.  He’s very prickly and doesn’t want to be around Ella but as he gets to spend more time with her he is drawn to her strength and also to the soft side he sees.  He has his own secrets but when push comes to shove is willing to face some of his issues just to save her.  He ends up finding his other half and while their ride is bumpy as hell it is fun.  When he makes a decision he sticks with it even if it could backfire on him completely if she doesn’t let her own walls down.  He’s such an Alpha when it comes to her but really does an amazing job keeping that under control even with her insane prodding.

I have to say I enjoyed the world that was created in this and would love to see more stories about the SBLE.  We have a world with shape shifters, Fae, trolls, and many other supernatural beings who are held in check by humans that happen to have a little extra something.  I’d love to see more of the agency especially if it meant I got to see more of Ella and Vadim.  I can only imagine them having kids and the insanity that would bring.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  As always if this title interests you please feel free to click the Carina Press link on my sidebar to go to their site for this and other titles.

Rush Me – Allison Parr – 4 stars

Rush Me

 

The Blurb:

When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gatecrashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL’s most beloved quarterback.

While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school. Or her brother, who’s obliviously dating Rachael’s high school bully. Or that same high school’s upcoming reunion.

Still, when Ryan’s rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up cohosting Friday night dinners for half a dozen football players.

Over pancake brunches, charity galas, and Alexander the Great Rachael realizes all the judgments she’d made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love–even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.

My Thoughts:

I have to say this was my first foray in to NA and I enjoyed it.  We have a fun story of a uptight, fairly repressed woman and an easily angered, carefree man who end up finding love when/where they never expected it.  At their core they really share a ton of values and attitudes but the surface appearances make them both think that they aren’t worthy of one another.

Rachael ends up stumbling in to a party being thrown by Malcolm who happens to be a football player for the local NY team.  When there she meets the teams all-star quarterback who of course assumes she’s there just for a hook-up which causes her to go off on him about dumb jocks and their behavior.  She is quick to distrust his motives and when things get tough or can be misconstrued she always seems to jump to the worst conclusions.  She says things she really doesn’t mean out of fear and hurt but as the book progresses we get to see her grow up and face her fears.  I liked she didn’t care about his money or fame but instead wanted the real man beneath the image.  I also adored that she did stand on her own two feet even when it was stupid of her to do so.  I understood his frustration when her pride wouldn’t let her take anything from him but I liked her spunk.

Ryan was something else.  He’s a great guy who instantly went on the defensive with her which made me laugh a bit.  He pushes all her buttons but finds that even though she is prickly and hard to handle he wants her in a way he has never wanted another woman.  He doesn’t really date but does play the field which does cause a few of the worst arguments when she says things that make him out to be horrible.  I loved when we saw his soft side but enjoyed it when he pushed through her walls and showed what she really meant to him.  This is a man who most see as invulnerable and this god but what he really is was so much more thoughtful and amazing.  He’s had his share of hurt in his past and watching him let her in made me smile.

This was a very well done story with some fun elements in the other players and her friends but mainly I enjoyed it because the pair was just wonderful together with their fighting and banter.  Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

As always with any Carina Press title if you want to pick this one or any others please click the link in my sidebar to go out and grab it.

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