Monday, January 25, 2016

Pucked Over (Pucked #3) by Helena Hunting @HelenaHunting

5 Balls to the wall stars
I’m so ridiculously in love with this series and its cast of loony characters. Since first introduced to Hunting’s unique writing style in Pucked, she has become one of my favorite go-to authors and a master when it comes to penning scorching hot, outrageously humorous romantic comedies. Randy and Lily’s love story in Pucked Over did not disappoint ~ Tons of side-splitting laugher courtesy of these characters’ crazy hijinks and witty banter; Heart throbbing, intense chemistry; A broody hot hockey hunk with an overly salacious sexual appetite and a fondness for bathroom hookups; A sassy yet sweet heroine; and a storyline filled with the feels.  Randy “Balls” Ballistic and Lily LeBlanc’s journey from casual sex-turned-burning lust-turned-true love tale was another riotously funny, passion filled installment in this great sports-themed romance series.

Although this book can be read as a stand alone, you’ll miss out on all the hilarity from the previous couples’ love stories, as well as a glimpse into Randy and Lily’s beginnings. In Pucked Up, we saw Lily (Sunny’s bff and Alex’s pseudo little sister) bitterly end her seven-year relationship. In the midst of all her break-up drama, Randy (an incredibly hot NHL player and Miller’s buddy) swooped in and heroically saved the day… by giving her an unforgettable night. I was left wondering what would become of their relationship and couldn’t wait to see the fireworks these two would ignite. Holy moly, after reading Pucked Over I have to say, whenever these two got together…it was explosive!

In Pucked Up, Lily came across as an assertive and opinionated type of chick. However, there was so much more to her character and it was disheartening to see all of her woes. Lily is strong-willed, yet extremely vulnerable. Her life was filled with struggles as her dreams of being a figure skater were crushed, her self-esteem was shot thanks to her asshole ex, she juggled several jobs in order to make ends meet, and her overbearing mother made her situation worse. Stolen moments with Randy gave Lily a well-deserved escape from reality. She had a taste of something special and desperately wants more, (regardless of the fact that he’s a notorious ladies man who avoids commitment like the plague). A distraction is exactly what she needed to forget her troubles…a little fun with Randy and a whole lot of screwing. And Balls was more than willing to be her no-strings-attached rebound.

I loved seeing Lily become stronger and grow more confident through Randy’s guidance. The only issue was, she’s a relationship kind of girl. Her situation intensifies as feelings for Randy turned from casual to deeply serious. She has fallen hard for the commitment-phobic bad boy, and I was holding my breath, fearing how Randy would react to Lily’s change of heart. Nail biting anxiety set in as I anticipated and dreaded more emotional turmoil for Lily.

Now, I absolutely adore all the Pucked gents, but there’s just something extraordinary about Randy that intrigued me. His mercurial character had an air of edginess that I was highly attracted to. I loved his smugness, his witty sense of humor and his filthy mouth. I mean, come on – how could I not love a guy whose nickname is Balls and has a warped, perverted mind. Aside from being overly sexy and broody, Randy in his own way was vulnerable and insecure. There were secrets buried underneath his hipster beard…mysteries Lily (and I) wanted to unravel. In particular, why was Balls so adamant to do it only in the dark? Poor Lily, there was no chance for a peen peek….

Discovering the underlining fears behind Randy’s sexual quirks and his aversion towards serious relationships made me fall deeper for his character. I truly felt sorry for all his inhibitions. However, there were times I wanted to club him over the head with his hockey stick and force him to man up. He made some lousy decisions that added major angst to the plot and it ticked me off. I got why Randy was hesitant when it came to facing his true desires, but I was peeved when he acted like a total jerk towards Lily. Needless to say with all the charms he possessed, I was able to forgive Randy for his delirium. He finally grew a pair of big boy balls, won Lily’s affections and trust, when ultimately admitting his true feelings. Sheesh, dude took his sweet ass time getting over and moving on from his hang-ups.

In the end, I experienced a major book hangover, missing Randy, his balls, and the entire Pucked crew. I loved seeing how these couples’ lives intermingle and the dynamics of their relationships. Happy to see Miller, Alex and the rest of this whacky cast pop into the story line, as well as a hint of what is to come in the next installment. If you miss Vi, no worries, she’s just as crazy and meddlesome as ever, constantly over-sharing and creating havoc in her wake. Another winning funny and flirty read from Helena Hunting.

 ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Baller by Vi Keeland @ViKeeland

  5 Stars
Vi Keeland scored a winning touchdown in her latest and best work yet…The Baller and Brody Easton is the man! 

I loved this flirty and fun romance. The smoking hot cover is just a prelude to all the goodness wrapped up inside:
Brody ~ A snarky and sexy hero whose dirty mind, one-liners and come-ons had me giggling and swooning;

Delilah ~ A heroine who tries to fight the attraction, but happily fails;
A hint of drama and an emotional twist that had me all teary-eyed; plenty of laughter as this couple wittily banter back-and-forth in both the bedroom and locker room.

Most importantly, moments of scorching hot passion as Brody and Delilah find their way into each other’s hearts, overcoming past sorrows, only to fall blissfully in love.

From the very beginning, I was enamored with Brody. I couldn’t help it…I’m such a sucker for a cocky, overly confident bastard with an affectionately sweet heart. Since the moment these two met, flirtatious mind-games began and sexual tensions escalated, as Brody was determined to have Delilah. The only thing is, he’s a self-proclaimed ladies’ man who avoids commitment at all costs. (And boy, does he have his reasons). However, the more time spent with the feisty Delilah, the more Brody was willing to let go of his past heartbreak, take a huge chance, and step out of his comfort zone. I just swoon whenever a hot shot, macho bad-boy changes his ornery ways once smitten with the heroine. Brody goes all out, holds nothing back, as he works his way into Delilah’s (and my) heart.
I adored his wit, his sense of humor, his coquettish ways and his sensitive side. Brody was just one of those characters whose charms and bigheartedness struck a chord within me ~ Honest, loving, beyond patient (particularly when Delilah flaked out) and truly committed ~ all the traits I look for in a hero. Yeah he was an arrogant bastard and extremely conceited, but in playful way that was so compelling, he had me gushing.
Delilah’s a sportscaster making her way in a field dominated by men. Trying to prove her worth, she faces off against one of football’s most notorious players. For her efforts, she was rewarded with a full view of Brody’s package, and oh it’s a sight to behold.
And thus began the chase. From flustered beginnings, Delilah soon learns what she’s up against, but nothing prepared her for the intense attraction. Brody charged into her life, giving all of himself, in hopes of helping Delilah to let go of the painful loss from her past. It was a challenge seeing how hard she resisted and fumbled, taking her sweet-ass time opening her heart to Brody’s affections. However, between his persistence, fortitude and dedication, Delilah was left with no choice but to give in as she fell completely head over heals in love.  
Devouring this read in one sitting, The Baller had me hooked from beginning to end. Told in dual points of view, Vi Keeland tells a beautiful, yet comical second chance at romance story filled with lots of sizzle. Brody was so mouthwatering sexy, he made this fun read amazingly spicy hot. I’ll miss some pretty memorable secondary characters that wormed their way into my heart as well, especially Brody’s two older friends, Marlene and Grouper – I love them wholeheartedly. I truly enjoyed this couple’s journey and always looking forward to more from this author.    

ARC received in exchange for an honest review

Monday, January 18, 2016

Appealed by Emma Chase @EmmaChse

4.5 Stars
Brent Mason is the last lawyer standing in the firm of Becker, Mason, Santos and Shaw to find his way to love. Incredibly handsome, rich, successful and self-focused, Brent is a renowned ladies man with major issues when it comes to relationships and intimacy. (A likely result from a traumatic childhood accident and partial amputation of his leg). Watching his friends/colleagues find their way to ‘happily ever after’ has him subconsciously craving for more than just sex. Well, at least that’s what his therapist believes.

As luck would have it, the woman who catches his eye (as well as open a floodgate of emotions) is none other than Kennedy Randolph, once close childhood friend. It’s been over fourteen years since last seeing her, and boy has she changed. At first glance, Kennedy was unrecognizable as she blossomed from an awkward ugly ducking, to a beautifully breathtaking woman, that Brent of course put the moves on. Lets say their reunion did not go over so well and right off the bat, these litigators were at each others throats, exchanging hysterical insults and banter. They share a complicated history, both wonderful memories and heart breaking experiences. There are misunderstandings, hurt feelings and deceit to weed through, especially for Kennedy, as the past is finally brought to light. Brent soon discovers he is directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for most of Kennedy’s insecurities. He soon finds himself anxious to make amends for all past mistakes.

Brent was an interesting and highly entertaining hero. I found myself at war with my feelings towards him. Flashbacks to their early childhood had me falling in love with a sweet, adorable little boy. Seeing the events during their teenage years had me wanting to bitch slap the crap out of him, hard. He was obnoxious, insensitive, and so totally oblivious of the fact that Kennedy had a huge crush on him. It was difficult seeing how deeply she was hurt. I understood he was dealing with his own difficulties, and most of what happened to Kennedy was not of his doing. But Brent did turn a blind eye and offered no support or comfort during her time of need. He stood by while others taunted her. It was heartbreaking seeing their relationship during these flashbacks.

Nevertheless, I liked the cocky, sexy man he became. It was sweet seeing how hard he worked to restart their relationship, to heal her heart and regain her trust. Buried deep inside, Brent carried a torch for Kennedy all along; he just lost his way when it came to winning her affections in the past. But now hes determined to make amends while seducing Kennedy with all of his charms. Oh, there were moments I still wanted to smack him over the head for being an ass and botching things up from time to time. But I too fell under Brents spell and adored how he finally tended to all of Kennedys needs.

Despite the hurt and humiliation suffered, Kennedy became a successful federal prosecutor with enough sass and balls to hold her own against Brent, never allowing vulnerabilities to hold her back. Loved how she was the perfect match to rival his intelligence and wit. I enjoyed their back-and-forth banter in the courtroom and the bedroom. A large part me felt terrible seeing the events of the past unfold, and how it affected Kennedys character. But, I delighted in how she succeeded despite of it. I always admire a strong heroine, and Kennedy certainly proved her persistent strength.

As Brent and Kennedy muddle through all the ugly feelings to make their way as a couple, the sexual chemistry between them was intense and explosive. The passion, mixed with a heavy dose of hilarity, made this friends-turn-lovers romance the best in this series for me, with a heartfelt epilogue tying all story lines together. Brent is, by far, the sexiest dirty talker of the bunch. Emma Chase is a genius when it comes to penning a romantic comedy voiced through the heros point of view and I love climbing inside the hysterically warped minds of her men. She strikes the perfect balance between love and humor. Appealed was a great ending to The Legal Briefs Series and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for her fans in the future.