New Release Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: Home Run by Heidi McLaughlin

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 0 comments


Home Run by Heidi McLaughlin
Series: The Boys of Summer #2
Publisher: Forever

LOVE ISN'T A GAME . . .
I've given up everything for the chance to play major league baseball. Everything. Now I'm so close I can practically hear the crowd chanting my name. There's nothing that could take my dream away from me . . .
Unless I lose focus. And Ainsley Burke is the most beautiful, distracting woman I've ever met. When I'm with her, I can't think of anything else.
But no matter how much I want Ainsley, there's no room for love in my game plan. I can give her a quick tour of the bases, but that's it. Then I have to let her go. If she wants to think I'm a love 'em and leave 'em player, fine.
All dreams require sacrifice. I just wish this one didn't mean tearing out my own heart.

I may or may not be slightly in love with Cooper effing Bailey. First of all, let's talk about Ainsley. I absolutely love this character. She was such a kind person and she had to deal with so much while taking care of her mother. One thing I love about her character was her love for animals- giraffes in particular. It was super cool to read about working at the zoo and watching a giraffe give birth- even though it brought back memories of hours and hours waiting for another certain giraffe to give birth live on facebook....*eye twitch*
The chemistry between Ainsley and Coop was electric and I loved them together. Even though Coop was a surprisingly sweet hero, he did have his moments where I wanted to climb into the book, shake him and make him stop being a huge d-ck (no, not a duck). However, he redeemed himself in the end and he made up for it. Also, the plot twists in this book? I actually had moments where I gasped out loud and I really loved being surprised by a book to a point in which it gets such a reaction from me. Home Run was a sexy, unforgettable read. Is it too soon to go back for a reread?
*Disclaimer: A Review Copy was kindly was provided to Reads By Rose by the author in exchange for an honest review. My reviews will always remain truthful, unbiased and respectful.
Third Base, #1
Home Run, #2
Grand Slam, #3




Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup, a Highland West/mini schnauzer, Jill, and her brother, Racicot. When she's isn't writing stories, you'll find her sitting court-side at her daughters' basketball games. 


 Forever, the romance imprint of Grand Central Publishing, publishes a wide array of romantic fiction, featuring everything from Regency rogues to sexy billionaires, Scottish Highlanders to Texas cowboys, Navy SEALs to immortal shapeshifters to the gorgeous guy next door. Authors include #1 NYT bestseller Jodi Ellen Malpas, #1 NYT bestseller J.A. Redmerski, Jill Shalvis, Jessica Sorensen, Rachel van Dyken, Kristen Ashley, Jennifer Haymore, Kristen Callihan and Hope Ramsay. Since its founding in 2003, Forever has launched the careers of Elizabeth Hoyt, Larissa Ione and Paula Quinn, all of whom have become New York Times bestselling authors.


“Where are we going?” I ask. I turn my ball cap around to prevent it from flying away since her convertible top is down and it looks like we’re heading toward the parkway.
“I thought we’d go to the beach.”
“Isn’t that like thirty minutes away?”
Ainsley glances at me quickly before turning back and focusing on the road. “Do you have a curfew or something?”
I shake my head. “Nope, drive on.” I may not have a curfew, but six a.m. comes very early, and it’s our last practice before we start pre-season play. I suppose, since I went without much sleep in college, one night now isn’t going to hurt me. Besides, it’s for a good cause. I’m into Ainsley, and if she wants to take me to the beach, I’m going to let her.
She turns up the radio and starts singing along to the song. I know it as well so I join in, and before I know it, we’re having our own karaoke party while we’re cruising down the road. When we hit a stoplight, I expect her to stop singing, but she doesn’t, and the people pulled up along the side of us start singing too.
Before I know it, we’re at the beach. The car is shut off, the music has stopped, and the only thing you can hear are the waves crashing onto the shore.
“Coming here at night affords me the ability to sit and think without too many people around.”
“Is it safe?” I ask.
“I don’t know. I never thought about that. I suppose in some aspects it’s not, but there are always a few other people around so…” She gets out of her car before finishing her sentence. She shouldn’t walk the beach alone at night, but who am I to tell her otherwise? I quickly follow her, catching up with her in the sand.
We walk side by side until the dry sand turns wet, and then we both sit down.
“When I was little, my mom used to bring me here all the time. I’d swim and play while she read her book or she’d come in the water with me. It’s funny, when you’re a kid, you have no worries in life, but the minute you become an adult, everything changes.”
I wish I could relate. “My life was the opposite. I’ve always had the pressure to succeed in baseball on my shoulders. My dad, he was strict about everything. In fact, if he knew I was out here now and not sleeping, he’d have something to say about that.”
“That’s sad.”
Shrugging, I slip off my socks and sneakers, burying my toes into the cold sand. “It is, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without that kind of structure.”
“Do you like playing baseball?” Ainsley slips off her shoes and pulls her legs to her chest, wrapping her arms around them tightly.
“I love it. I love everything about the game.”
“Do you ever wish you had done something else?”
I think about her question and wonder what else I could’ve done. If my dad and I hadn’t turned to tossing the ball in the backyard, where would we be? For us, it was therapeutic and a way for me to express how angry and hurt I was that my mom had died. The harder I threw, the better I felt. The more my dad cringed when he caught the ball, the more satisfying it was that he was hurting as much as I was.
“I don’t know what else I would’ve done, honestly. Baseball is what I know. My dad used it as a tool to help me cope with my mom’s passing, and before I knew it, I was trying out for these elite baseball clubs and making all-star teams. College and major league scouts would come watch my games in high school, and I thought ‘Wow, this could be a career for me.’ I was drafted out of high school but chose to go to college first. I wanted something to fall back on in case baseball didn’t work out.”
“What’s your degree in?” She turns and looks at me. The moon is casting enough of a glow that I can make out her facial features. Now would be the perfect time to lean over and kiss her, but I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not what she wants from me.
“Well, the only thing that made sense.”
Ainsley holds her hand up. “Don’t tell me, it’s something to do with sports.”
I nod, holding back laughter. “Yeah, broadcasting. I figure I can become a commentator or something when I retire.”
“Interesting,” she says, turning back toward the ocean.
I lean into her, bumping her with my shoulder. “Don’t be like that.”
“Like what?”
“Like I took the easy way out with my degree or my career isn’t the same as a doctor or whatever.”
“Is it though?”
“Baseball is America’s game. It doesn’t know social class, race, or any other classification. It’s a game every one can play and afford to participate in. You don’t have to have straight A’s to go to college to play ball. Hell, most players come to the majors right out of high school. It’s a game for everyone.”
“A game that you make millions of dollars at.”
“It’s no different than being an actor. We bring entertainment to people.” I counter her claim.
 “I don’t like this argument,” she says.
“Me neither. I think we should talk about something else.”
“Like what?” she asks.
Taking her hand in mind, I kiss the top of it before meeting her gaze. “Like you going out with me.”
She shakes her head.
“I know, you don’t date athletes, so think of me as a sports broadcaster.” I waggle my eyebrows at her, and she laughs.
“You’re hard to resist, Cooper Bailey.”
With those words, I pull her closer. “Then stop resisting me, Ainsley.” This is my chance, and I take it. My lips brush against hers lightly, testing her resolve. She’s either going to punch me, push me away, or let me continue to kiss her.


Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

Thursday, May 25, 2017 0 comments
Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti (Blood Brothers #2)

A deadly secret can't stay buried forever . . . 
Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars—even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.
Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

“Zanetti balances the adventure and menace of Zara and Ryker's lives with a relatable romance. The result is a story that's sexy and emotional, and filled with a rich look at love in all its forms.” 
—The Washington Post on DEADLY SILENCE

The Blood Brothers series is one of the few series that I have read and really enjoyed when it comes to romantic suspense. Rebecca Zanetti does an amazing job of making my heart race so fast you fear it might pump right out of my flipping chest while reading certain parts in these books. I have to admit it did drag on at some points but the story made up for it with the amount of times it made my heart skip a bit or swoon at something Heath would say to Anya. I enjoyed this one but I do have to say that I found myself enjoying Deadly Silence (book #1) just a little bit more so my expectations were a bit high going into this one and weren't quite reached.



“Budget your time, readers, because this is one that's hard to put down.” —HeroesandHeartbreakers.com on DEADLY SILENCE




DEADLY SILENCE, #1
LETHAL LIES, #2
TWISTED TRUTHS, #3




Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five romantic suspense, dark paranormal, and contemporary romances, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher's Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations for Forgotten Sins and Sweet Revenge, and RT Top Picks for several of her novels. She lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her own alpha hero, two kids, a couple of dogs, a crazy cat...and a huge extended family. She believes strongly in luck, karma, and working her butt off...and she thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out.


                           

Dual Review: This Is Reckless + This Is Effortless by Kennedy Fox

Thursday, May 18, 2017 0 comments


This Is Reckless

Introducing book 1 in the new Checkmate Duet Series from a secret duo of bestselling authors! This friends to lovers romance will have you swooning and laughing from the first to the last page! Are you ready to play the game?

Drew Fisher is the type of guy every girl wants.
Noble police officer by day, charming prince by night.
He has no idea the effect he has on women, especially me—his little sister’s best friend.
I’m the blonde Southern belle who lives up to the cliché, except I have my own quirks. I’m smart as a whip, can change my own oil, and recite The Pledge of Allegiance backward, but he doesn’t see that girl.
It’d be easier to forget him if he wasn’t my roommate and if the first thing I saw in the morning wasn't his shirtless body covered in tattoos. I’ve crushed on him since the day we met, but he’s made it perfectly clear where we stand. Just friends.
I know I need to move on and accept that his feelings will never be mutual, but every day he smiles at me, I’m left dreaming of what if.
He has girl issues, and I’ve got a crush I can’t deny.
We’re friends, but I want more.
One drunken hookup leaves us with much more than a platonic friendship. Pretending it never happened proves to be more difficult than anticipated.
A crazy ex-girlfriend, a dangerous war of stolen glances, and passionate kisses leads to the most reckless battle yet. I won’t be a pawn in his game, but I’ll play by his rules if it will show him I’m the one worth breaking them for.
Checkmate, Prince Charming. 

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*
**This is book 1 of 2 in the Checkmate Duet Series--a friends to lovers romance. Highly recommended to read the Checkmate Duet, This is War and This is Love first, but not necessary. This can read as a standalone duet.**

WHAT?! WHAT?? That ending!!!! Excuse me?! Oh my god. I am so freaking out. Drew might just be my favorite character in this series so there is no doubt that I absolutely LOVED his book. But WOW, watch out for some characters missing some screws in this one. I mean, really? JESUS. THE PSYCHOS. if you've read books #1 & 2, you should know what I'm talking about. If you haven't *ahem* GO. my god. How will I get through this month now that I've read that ending. Kennedy Fox is quickly becoming one of my MUST READ/ONE CLICK authors!


------------

This is Effortless

Introducing book 2 in the new Checkmate Duet Series from a secret duo of romance authors who teamed up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox! This friends to lovers romance will have you swooning and laughing from the first to the last page! Are you ready to play the game? 


***
Courtney Bishop is as sugary sweet as her famous blueberry muffins.
Southern belle at heart, Cali girl by choice.
She barged into my life and easily became my best friend.
All was great as roommates and just friends, but then I fell for the girl who could chop firewood, deliver baby calves, and bail hay without breaking a sweat. 
She's the perfect mixture of sugar and spice, and I love her.
Being more than friends and trying to build our future isn't as easy as it sounds. 
Moving forward and creating memories is all I want for us, but when the past continues to come back and haunt me, I'm not so sure she'll stay for the ride. 
Loving her is easy, but losing her will break me. Burning passion combined with an undeniable chemistry constantly pushes and pulls us together. In the end, I'll prove we're worth the fight, even when the game is far from over. 
Checkmate, sweetheart.

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*
**This is book 2 in the Checkmate Duet Series--a friends to lovers romance. You must read book 1, Checkmate: This is Reckless first. Highly recommended to read the Checkmate Duet, This is War and This is Love first, but not necessary. 
This can read as a standalone duet.**

The wait is over and my heart is so happy that DREWTNEY is back! This is Effortless sucked me in from the very first page. Things left off exactly where they had so cruelly ended in the previous book and I can't say I am disappointed with the way the story went. Things got a bit darker and a hell of a lot more twisted! The plot twists actually made me gasp out loud and the chemistry between the characters never lessened as they fought to overcome all the obstacles trying to tear them apart. Really, I absolutely LOVE these two! Although the authors left it off at a point in which all I could think of was "HOW DARE YOU" (really, kennedy fox, how dare ypu?) I absolutely loved This Is Effortless and I CAN NOT WAIT for Logan and Kayla's book!



This Is Reckless
-
This Is Effortless


The couple that started it all! I binge read these books and finished them both in one weekend! Yes, Travis and Viola were just that good! Don't believe me? Check them out yourself *winky face*
This is War
-
This is Love

Click the Goodreads button above to head on over to the series page!


A secret duo of romance authors team up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox who share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate together under a pseudonym and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you! 








Copyright © 2014 Reads By Rose
Template by These Paper Hearts