James Patterson + hot sex isn’t something I saw coming.

“I was never one for the jocks in high school.”

I have to agree with Mel’s statement in Sacking the Quarterback, a flaming-hot, new readSacking the Quarterback by Samantha Towle from James Patterson’s BookShots imprint. Jocks don’t normally light my fire, but this book will satisfy you in one way and leave you hungry in another.

If you haven’t heard, Patterson is working with some very talented new writers to bring short, two-hour reads to those who want to get into a book and wrap it up in one sitting. I never thought I’d see one of the world’s most highly respected writers delve deeply into the romance genre, but I’m not surprised that Patterson would take up the challenge of working with writers in an attempt to satisfy some of the world’s most discerning readers.

Under Patterson’s direction, Sacking the Quarterback was written by Samantha Towle, a fairly new writer who has only been writing novels since 2008. However, she can give long-time romance writers a strong run for their money. I’ve been reading romance books for over 20 years, and I know that I (and other avid romance readers) have high standards for what is and what is not a strong love story.

Sacking the Quarterback will not let you down. It’s a quick race across the field that ends in a touchdown without any fumbling along the way. (Hey, as a non-football fan, I’m rather proud of tying in sports terminology in my description haha!)

Folks, if you want a book that will make you squirm with passion yet still manages to amazingly still feel like a clean read, you NEED to pick up Sacking the Quarterback. It’s cheaper than my beloved pumpkin spice lattes, and it will make you feel all charged up and ready to go grab your significant other. (Golly, remind me to block this post from my mother and Facebook friends). I’m seriously impressed how Towle is able to bring such an emotional intensity to a short book while managing to keep the plot going at lightening speed.

In Sacking the Quarterback, it seems like the golden boy of the Miami Dolphin’s football team has gone bad when rising star Assistant State Attorney Melissa St. James first meets Grayson Knight. However, Knight’s halo might not be as tarnished as it seems–it could be that he’s protecting another person by claiming he’s the owner of the stash of drugs found in his possession. Will the truth come out? Will Melissa get busted for playing around with the person she’s prosecuting on a drug charge?

You’d think that in order to be a short, two-hour read that you’d feel like the story is missing something or too abbreviated but this is happily not the case. It is a quick roller coaster ride that you won’t want to put down because you just have to see what’s going to happen next. It takes some serious skills to keep a book short yet make it as satisfying as a full-length novel, so hats off to the BookShots team for successfully doing this. And at the paperback price of $4.99 (US) or $3.99 for an e-book, you can enjoy very many hot reads for very little money.

4.5/5 Stars, so close to being 5 stars but knocked .5 off only because I knew who Grayson was covering for as soon as the character was mentioned.

Amazon Paperback | Kindle

Barnes and Noble Paperback | Ebook

P.S. Full disclosure, I know the editor personally/professionally, but that only makes me want to be more honest in my review so that her books are fantastic and do wonderfully.

Thanks USMilitary.com for the photo!

This Hot Military Romance May Make Your Heart Skip a Beat!

Eyes Turned SkywardIf you found out that you have a life-threatening heart condition, would you get a pacemaker if it meant you’d live a longer life? What if you felt like the pacemaker would limit you to living just a shadow of a normal life? Would it be worth it to sacrifice some of your happiness if it would mean you’d make your loved ones happier by living longer?

That is the main question that Paisley Donovan ponders in Rebecca Yarros’s new release, Eyes Turned Skyward. I can’t say I have read many stories where I wonder if the main character will die on me (ahem, The Fault in Our Stars), but I was genuinely concerned about the sweet character Paisley. Yarros created an excellent character that was both strong and weak, brave and scared all at the same time. As the daughter of an Air Force General, it is no surprise that Paisley has some backbone, but what is surprising is that the bucket list she risks her life over is not filled with goals of her own. I won’t tell you whose goals she is trying to check off since that is would be a plot spoiler! However, I will say that while fulfilling an item on the list, Paisley nearly drowns after a drunk idiot tosses her in the ocean, ignoring Paisley’s protests that she can’t swim. Thankfully, Jagger Bateman, a tattooed “tough” guy, is able to rescue her before she dies. Jagger and Paisley have some serious chemistry, but Paisley is engaged to someone else so they part ways shortly after her rescue. A few months later though, Jagger and Paisley unexpectedly come face-to-face when Jagger becomes a flight school student on General Donovan’s base. Sparks fly again, but Paisley is still with her fiance who sees her as a delicate woman in need of cossetting due to her heart condition. The question is, will Paisley break up with her fiance and begin dating Jagger since he makes her feel alive? Will she ever tell Jagger about her heart condition? You’ll have to pick up this book to find out!

I received this book as an advanced reader from Entangled Publishing. As a whole, my eyes were glued to the page, but I must admit I was a little unsure if I would like it when I first started it. In my opinion, Jagger should have joined the navy because in the beginning of the novel, he swears more impressively than any sailor I’ve heard. His language almost took away my enjoyment of the unique, contemporary story line but his language improves as his character softens and falls in love with Paisley. Perhaps his character changed a bit too much to be 100% believable but you will have to read it to decide that for yourself!

P.S. Can I say how much I love the title? I love how skyward can be interpreted both as Paisley looking up in the sky as perhaps Jagger flies by or how it could reference her looking up to the heavens as she ponders her own mortality. Props to coming up with such an awesome book title!

Watch Out for Aunt Bev’s Discerning Eye… and Cane!

Okay, before getting into the book review, I have a question for you: Would you tell a lie to a dying relative if it would mean they’d die happier?

Me, I’m not so sure it is worth the guilt that would plague my conscience in case my loved one would realize I told them an untruth from Heaven.

Can we say sizzle, sizzle?

Can we say sizzle, sizzle?

In The Surrogate Husband by Wynter Daniels, the contemporary romance novel opens up with a distraught Mama who told her dying Aunt Bev that her daughter, Lucy, had eloped. Lucy, who swore off serious relationships after getting hurt by her father and ex-fiance, suddenly finds herself trapped in a situation not of her own making. She loves her great Aunt Bev who helped finance her lingerie store, yet she isn’t comfortable lying to her great aunt. When her aunt decides to come to town for a family wedding, Lucy decides that it is better to play along with her mama’s lie rather than risk her aunt’s health. The problem–where do you find a husband in a few days?

Well, if you’re Lucy, you happen to have this hottie accountant, Dex, walk in your store at the most opportune time. Lucy had talked to Dex on the phone and had practically melted at his sexy voice, yet this straight-laced accountant reminded her too much of the men who had hurt her in the past. Dex is already attracted to the black and pink-haired, punk beauty but dating a client is a serious no-no–especially when you’re trying to merge your company with another one.old lady with cane

Of course, everything blows up in Lucy’s face when Dex reveals the fabrication. The question is, will Lucy forgive Dex and will Aunt Bev forgive the entire family for lying to her?

If you’ve read a lot of romance novels, like I have, you know that they practically always have a happy ending. It was clear that Dex and Lucy would end up together, just as it was equally clear that Aunt Bev would learn of the deception at some point. It was fun just reading to see how the author would bring the looming disaster to a head. This book was made even more interesting by having a punky but “wounded” heroine. Lucy is definitely a one-of-a-kind character that dresses up in sexy clothing as her personal way of making people think she is much stronger person that she really is. Any reader that has been hurt by previous relationships will definitely feel a kinship with Lucy as she struggles with opening her heart to Dex in order to have a chance at a happy forever after. I received this book as an advanced reader from Entangled Publishing but I would definitely have picked it up off the shelf if I had seen the book on my own. For $.99, you can’t beat this kind of entertainment!

Now, I’m off to read another romance. Being a sick woman is a lot of hard work! 😉

Evil Lurks Everywhere in “The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall”

The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall coverAs I’m sitting here starting this post, lightening is flashing in the sky and thunder keeps rolling above in the heavens. How apt of a time to write a review of The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall, a book that I had the pleasure of receiving from Entangled Publishing before its release date of today, September 29th. This new sensual romance written by Lauren Smith was a page-turner that I did not want to put down. Seriously, if you love a strong, Byronic hero that happens to be an earl with a haunted castle, add this novel to your must-read list.

Normally, I am the type of person that always goes for the typical historical or contemporary type romances–I don’t like anything that will give me nightmares. However, this modern romance novel that contains just a touch of paranormal was a refreshing change from my typical romance selections, yet it still contained the witty, tongue-in-cheek remarks that make me adore romances. With this novel, Smith did an excellent job of creating an electrifying environment that keeps you on edge without the book being overly scary or just cheesy. Best of all, I couldn’t figure out exactly how the the two main characters (Jane and Bastion) would remove the over 200-year-old curse that otherwise would keep the two ill-fated lovers apart. I had an idea thanks to the hints that Smith supplied, yet Smith managed to still surprise me at the end with how the characters stopped the curse that had been killing off Bastion’s family for centuries. After reading romances for over 20 years, it is nice when an author can still create a plot twist that you don’t see coming.

I’d definitely recommend reading this book, which is the first in Lauren Smith’s Dark Seductions series. It’s only $0.99 and can be purchased here. Lucky for you today (September 29th) is national FREE coffee day in most restaurants around the United States, so what you might normally spend on a cup of joe can be spent on this awesome book instead. 🙂

If you do read it, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Now, I’m off to see what other works Lauren Smith has written to feed my never ending hunger for romance novels!

(On a side note, credit goes here for the cool lightening image, used in my post header, which is available for download!)

Sass, Class, Wildlife, and Romance–What More Could a Girl Want?

Wild About Rachel by Blaire Edens

This is a gorgeous, eye-catching cover. Did you catch the alligator in the background?

Oh my goodness, there is a fabulous new contemporary romance that just hit the book stand this past Monday. Wild About Rachel by Blaire Edens kept me turning the pages (okay, e-reader pages) because I wanted to see what happened next. If you took one of the stars of Gator Boys, made him super hot, and gave him a sexy former-cheerleader-now-broke debutante to work with, you have a rough idea of the plot. Rachel, the main character, is used to wearing Prada and alligator shoes. She’s terrified of almost all wild critters, yet she overcomes this fear to not only make herself a stronger woman but also in an effort to pay off her mortgaged-to-the-hilt ancestral home. It doesn’t hurt that her boss, Mark, is a super buff guy that learned how to become a tough man in the army but still displays heart-breaking gentleness when taking care of his dying mother.

Even though it might seem like a giant leap to turn a waitress into an alligator catcher almost overnight, Eden did an amazing job of building character and keeping the story believable. I love how she also took the time to educate her readers by providing wildlife statistics, such as how many people a year are killed by sharks–a surprisingly low number. As I read the novel, I felt like I became best friends with Rachel. I wish there was a sequel to this story (perhaps starring Rachel’s best friend, Shelley) because I am not quite ready to say goodbye to this amazing group of characters. Their lives were so real and identifiable (hello, please pass that Chick-Fil-A), which is a refreshing change from reading about a bunch of lords and ladies.

I was given an advanced readers copy of this book by Entangled Publishing in exchange for a review, but I highly encourage everyone to go out and buy this book. Right now, you can pick up a copy of this classy romance novel for just $.99. Support this talented author!

Oh, and one final note. Don’t read this novel when you’re hungry. There is a dog named French Toast in it. 😉