Review Post: When the Walls Come Down by M. Mabie & Aly Martinez

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“Exactly what I needed to relax, laugh, and swoon after a hard day. I cannot wait to see what M. Mabie and Aly Martinez come up with next.”
–Carrie Ann Ryan, New York Times Bestselling Author

When the Walls Come Down, an all-new, steamy, swoony, highly entertaining office romance from USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez and M. Mabie is available now!

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Did you ever hear the joke about the guy whose wife cheated on him with his best friend? So he quit his job, moved into his parents’ basement, and gained fifty pounds?

No? Because that wasn’t a joke. It was my life.

Four years later, I’m back with a dream job, a killer apartment, and a set of abs that are better than ever.

So, when Maggie Light, a stunning, snarky blonde moves in next door, and we spend the hottest weekend of our lives together, I think this could be the greatest comeback story ever.

That is until I realize Maggie has moved to town to do one thing—steal my job.

Maybe this isn’t a comeback story after all. Maybe this is war—one I intend to win.

What I never anticipated was that maybe I’d rather win her.

Perhaps, if I’m lucky, the universe has finally run out of jokes and I can somehow win both.

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Excerpt

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Am I a man or not?

Here goes fucking nothing.

Take a risk, my ass. I’d fucking show Casey and Blake a damn risk.

I marched down to where she was sitting. “Hi, I’m Shane.”

She looked shocked, maybe a little startled by my approach—and rightly so. I’d stalked over like the fucking Terminator, all amped up from my private pep talk.

“The bartender, Chris, said you’re new in town, and it’s your first time here.”

Her sparkling blue eyes stood out against her makeup, and now—standing close to her—I could smell her perfume. A subtle and warm scent that made me want to lean in.

What the fuck had I been thinking?

To put it mildly, she was out of my league, but hey… Risks, right?

“If you’re dining alone, would you mind if I offer a suggestion from the menu?”

“I was only looking it over out of curiosity. I really just came in for a drink or two.” She folded it and placed it on the wooden top in front of her.

Goddamn, that cleavage.

“Oh. Yeah. Okay. Well, then…uh…let me get one for you.” I might have strutted over like the Terminator, but I was fumbling over my words like Barney Fife and beginning to sweat like a Crossfitter.

Her brows bunched. “Um, you really don’t have to do that.”

“Please. After the day I’ve had, I’ll actually have one with you.” I swiped at the back of my neck. “The drinks are good here. Very cold. Wet.” Jesus fucking Christ, Shane. Wet!? “Um. Alcoholic, if that’s what you’re into.” I waved Chris—and his bigger-than-life shit-eating grin—down to us.

“Find something you’d like?” he asked her.

“I’ll just have a Titos and cranberry,” she answered. “I hear they’re very cold and wet here.”

Chris looked at me disappointedly, probably guessing at how badly I’d botched this introduction. He wasn’t wrong, but she hadn’t told me to fuck off yet.

Yet.

“And I’ll take a Honeybee Brown,” I added.

He spun on his heel, shocked. “Really?”

I shrugged and shot daggers at him. “Really. A pint, please.”

“A cold, wet one too, eh? Okay, man. Coming right up.” He made our drinks and then about a dozen more for the servers who were keeping him busy.

“Thanks for the drink,” she said, clinking our glasses together, her eyes never quite meeting mine.

“Yeah. Sure. No problem.” I followed her lead and took a sip.

“So, do you come here a lot, Shane?”

My name on her lips had me clearing my throat.

“Yes,” replied our asshole bartender before I could answer.

“I live close,” I explained, and she nodded in understanding. “So, where did you come to the Bay from?” I took another sip, realizing that counting the beer I’d had with Casey earlier and this one, I was nearing my only-a-few-drinks daily limit. So I’d be savoring the pint as long as she didn’t seem too put off by my dusty-ass small talk. Otherwise, I could chug it down and then be on my merry way, leaving her to enjoy her night without a divorced, practically fired dude bugging her.

“Atlanta,” she replied and swirled a piece of ice with the drink stirrer in her glass. Still no eye contact.

Small talk. I fumbled for more small talk.

“You have family here?”

“No, I’ve always wanted to get out of Georgia. So, when I landed a job out here, it seemed like a sign.”

Finally, her blue eyes met mine and… Fuck, if I could have just remembered to blink, I’d have been doing well. I feared if I broke the gaze for just a second, I’d never see that color again, because surely it was a mirage of some sort. Like a crystal-blue pool in a desert. The kind of trick eyes could only play on a man who hadn’t been laid in nearly half a decade.

She finished with, “I start on Monday. I guess fate is as good a time as any to take a risk.”

*****5 Completely Unforgettable Stars*****

M. Mabie and Aly Martinez are two of my favorite authors and people ever. They are two of the first indie authors I read when I started blogging 6 years ago, and I have been a fan of theirs since the very start of their writing careers. They have emotionally murdered me in more books that I can count on all of my fingers and I effing love it. Those two have crafted some of the most unforgettable and exceptional stories that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Let’s just say I love their words and what they create with them. Like a lot. Like a lot a lot.

So when I found out two of my all time favorite authors and people were cowriting a book together, I might have actually shrieked so loudly that it alarmed members of my family. To say I was excited for this book and story to be in my life is the understatement of the century, and to say that I LOVED this book is putting it too mildly. This book was everything I didn’t even know I needed in my life.

M. Mabie and Aly Martinez wrote one hell of a book with When the Walls Come Down. They killed it…and shockingly they didn’t kill or emotionally maim any of their characters off in this book. (Which if you’ve read their books before you know that must not have been an easy feat!) They infused their distinctive voices into writing a book that made me laugh, made me swoon and melt, and that even brought some tears to my eyes.

It was perfection.

Simply put, this book is one of the best books that I have ever had the chance to read.

When the Walls Come Down is a story of endings and beginnings. A story of kismet and serendipity. A story of two people who meet each other at the exact right and wrong time. It is a story of two people who are beyond right for one another, who have the most incredible pull to one another, yet soon find that there is more trying to pull them apart too. This story is about the walls we put up. The physical, emotional, and mental walls that can cage us in if we let them. This book is a story about hard choices, real truths, and all of the feelings and swoon and fire that comes in between.

This book is all about Shane and Maggie, their tangible spark and connection, their utterly incredible journey together, and what happens when those walls that were so thoughtfully crafted start to crack and crumble and come down to reveal what truly could be.

This story is all about Shane and Maggie. Their distinctive voices are infused through every breath of this book and it just gives it such a life, such a personality and vivid feel to it that shines through every word. this book follows Shane and Maggie as they’re both at a crossroads in their lives. It’s the endings and beginnings coming together in so many ways, with their literal spark and connection pulling them closer and closer to one another. From the moment those two meet, they can’t stop seeing one another, they can’t stop wanting to be together, and they can’t stop thinking about what could be. This story allows you to be with them as they take that chance, as they experience that pull, and as they come face to face with the walls that just might be trying to keep them apart.

This book is sweet and funny and light. It is bursting with tangible spark and life with Shane and Maggie. It is a book that will have you swooning and melting and falling more and more for those two with every word you read.

And that is just scratching the surface of what makes this such a special and fantastic story.

What I loved about this book was that it had it all. It had the humor and the banter that was so glorious and that made my cheeks literally hurt because I was laughing and smiling so much with these two as I read their story. I loved that there was such a heat with these characters. Their connection was on fire and was practically palpable through every part of this story. These authors completely brought that to life and that set this book on fire. I loved that even though their story was light and fun and easy in some ways, it also made me and these characters work for it. It had that emotion, it had that heart, it had that perfect amount of struggle that fit this story and these characters and what they were sharing. It was just enough and it was everything to read.

What Aly Martinez and M. Mabie created in this book for Shane and Maggie was spectacular. There’s no way around it. They wrote one hell of a book. They wrote a story that I loved from the very first word. They created characters that I rooted for from those very first pages. They brought me back to a world that I didn’t even realized I missed so much until I was right back in the thick of it. They wrote a love story that stole every part of my heart and that had these characters taking up every emotion and feel I had along the way.

When the Walls Come Down lets these authors’ writing shine. The cohesiveness of their writing, of what they create with Shane and Maggie, and what they allow you to experience with their characters on this serendipitous adventure is nothing short of magical. You can tell through every word of this book that these authors’ truly loved what they were writing, that they loved these characters and they loved what they were creating in this book. That love is so infused into every word. That love and life creates the most effervescent spark through every moment of this book. That love that embodies the writing of this book and the characters it allows you to fall in love with is truly what sets this book apart.

I love that this book not only gave me another opportunity to read words by these authors, but it brought me back to some of their characters that have owned my heart for years. (Let’s just say there was a lot more squealing when those characters I LOVED came back into play with Shane and Maggie!) Getting to be back in these worlds as they collided, getting to be there with Shane and Maggie as they fought for and against what they were feeling, as they felt that glorious push and pull grow and grow, and getting to be there through everything that came their way was nothing short of wonderful.

I just loved Shane and Maggie.

I loved how right they felt together. I loved the spark and fire and chemistry that was there right from the start. I love that everything felt so serendipitous, even in those moments when I wondered how they were going to make it through. I love that I believed in them, that I rooted for them, that my whole heart was in it with them through every turn of that page. I loved that these authors really allowed me to understand and get their characters on the deepest of levels. They let me get why every single thing happened to the way that it did in this story, and they let me be there in those moments as it all changed and as Shane and Maggie took their chance at it all.

I loved that through every word of this book I was with the two of them, taking cracks at those walls, living in the humor and glorious banter filled connection they shared, while fighting and hoping with my whole heart that those two would find a way to figure it all out.

Maggie Light is a girl ready to take on the world. She has dreams and goals, and much to her older brother’s chagrin, she is ready to take them all on with her new adventure that brings her to San Francisco. What she wasn’t expecting was one Shane Warren who makes her question everything she thought she knew and wanted. Maggie is fierce and fun and just real. She is easy to relate to, she is beyond easy to love, and her banter is on a whole different level. She is a girl searching for that new beginning that will bring her closer to the life she’s always wanted and dreamed of, and she isn’t afraid to put in the hard work that’s needed. She is a gem and you will love her right from the start.

Shane Warren is a man who’s been through a lot. After a not so swell time and a divorce that changed everything, he is back on his feet and loving his new life. That is until he’s forced, in a not so subtle way, to realize that he might have just become a little too complacent in that new life he fought so hard for. Enter in Maggie Light, a girl who truly changes it all for him and makes him realize even more the walls that have been caging him in. She keeps him on his toes, and she brings out the heart melting charm that Shane is ready to give. Shane is just the best. He is charming, kind, and real. He is a good guy who is trying to figure out a way to have it all, and you will love getting to be there with him as he makes his way through.

Maggie and Shane are beyond right, and you will love getting to be there with the two of them as they share what they do, as their connection builds to an unforgettable level, as the wrenches are thrown into their plans, and as they try to make their way through. Their story together is light and fun and feels like the best breath of air you’ll feel deep in your soul, yet it is very real, very honest and heartfelt, and it has a level of emotion to it that you won’t soon forget.

What M. Mabie and Aly Martinez created with the two of them will have you loving every word, believing in the two of them with your whole heart, and needing for everything to work out for Shane and Maggie because the rightness of them truly knows no bounds.

When the Walls Come Down is a story that I will never forget reading. This book, Shane and Maggie, and everything they shared made me so inherently happy. It made me believe in rightness of these two, it allowed me to feel every lick of their connection and what they shared, and it had me knowing through every word that I would always keep a part of that Shane and Maggie magic with me.

Aly Martinez and M. Mabie crafted a truly exceptional story in this book. They took two characters who would could not have been more right or more perfect for one another, and they created one hell of a story for them. The magic and literal goodness of them shines through every word of this book, and will have you believing in them with all that you have. Their words were everything. They gave me a story that made me so happy, that made me melt and swoon with the amazingness of Shane and Maggie, and that had me knowing I would never get enough of everything they were creating.

When the Walls Comes Down is a story of the walls we have around ourselves, our hearts, and that can fence us in if we let them. It is a story about what happens when you meet the one person who changes it all and starts taking pieces of those walls down in a way you didn’t even know was possible. It is a story of the literal magic and goodness that can come to your life when you start breaking those walls down (or climbing over them), when you take a leap of faith into the unknown that scares you shitless, and when you see what could be on the other side of that wall.

It is a story of orange TicTacs, magnificent banter, and allllll the murdering one needs (you’ll get that when you read the story!) It’s about late night Amazon shopping, Peach and the Old Man, and even more fantastic nicknames than you can count. It’s especially about the one person who truly makes all the difference and changes everything. It’s about all of that and so much more.

This book is hands down one of the best books I have read this year and ever, and I honestly just feel lucky that I had the chance to read it. M. Mabie and Aly Martinez gave me it all with Shane and Maggie, and I for one will treasure what I got with them. And honestly, I am just counting down the minutes until these authors write together again because I NEED more of their combined words and talents in my life. Stat.

If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh your ass off, that will have you swooning something fierce, that will give you one hell of a love story that will have you believing in everything these characters are sharing, and that will have you loving everything you get the chance to experience….RUN YOURSELF to this book and to Shane and Maggie. It would be wrong not to.

I am telling you, this is the exact book you need in your life this second. It will make you feel it all, it will be a breath of air you didn’t even know you needed, and it will give you one hell of a fireworks show that will have you completely mesmerized and taken from start to finish.

And honestly, that is just part of what makes this such an incredible and unforgettable book, so just do yourself a damn favor and read it. Read it. Love it. Live it all. Laugh it up and melt into the puddle with these two. Take it in and be prepared to never want to let that magic of them go. Enjoy it all because it is truly something you need in your life…and you will love it!

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About Aly


Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her husband and four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and olives. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

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About M. Mabie

Mabie lives in Illinois with her husband. She writes everything from steamy romantic comedies to angst-filled, pull your hair out drama. She enjoys it all. With her unconventional love stories, she tries to embody “real-life romance.”

She cares about politics, but will not discuss them in public. She uses the same fork at every meal, watches Wayne’s World while cleaning, and lets her dog sleep on her head. She has always been a writer. In fact, she was born with a pen in her hand, which almost never happens. Almost.

Mabie usually doesn’t speak in third-person. She promises.

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Review Post: The First Score by Amie Knight

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There was something about that first score, and not just on the football field.

The First Score, an all-new, best friend’s brother romance from Amie Knight is available now!

The First Score FOR WEB

I loved all of life’s firsts, which was why I’d been saving mine for one girl, my older sister’s best friend—Hazel Jones.

She was tough and sarcastic with walls around her heart as tall as a football stadium, but I knew she was the one for me.

Desperate times called for desperate measures and I’d have done anything to make her mine.

Like create a fake online persona.

Lie about my age.

Pretend I wasn’t some naive virgin.

And catfish the hell out of the love of my life.

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Excerpt

“Thanks so much for taking her home, Hazel.” Ollie nudged me to get my attention and I turned to look at him, not having much choice in the matter now. I couldn’t be rude. It was a mistake. The green of his eyes was deeper today, less brown. I knew it was the jersey. It was always that way. A bead of sweat slid down the side of his face and he ran a hand through his hair like he always did. I knew it was a habit of his, just like I knew so many other things about him.

“You owe me.” I tried lightening the mood like I had with Scarlett. I nudged his shoulder but only came into contact with a pad.

Dragging his bottom lip into his mouth, he raked his teeth over the fullness and his eyes heated. He leaned his face close to mine. “You name it and it’s yours, brat.”

My face flamed and my mouth watered. Lord, he was a terrible flirt and by terrible I meant amazing. I swallowed the saliva pooling in my mouth and stepped back.

“Cut it out, Olls. Quit giving her a hard time. She came all this way so your ass would have a way home tonight.” Scarlett attempted to save me.

He eyed me. “Oh, I haven’t even started giving her a hard time yet,” he said before walking backward down the stadium steps, hot eyes still on me. I was thanking whatever gods were listening that he was walking backward. Please, God. Spare me that ass. I couldn’t handle it after his damn lip trick.

“You’re shameless, Oliver Knox,” Scarlett called down to him.

She wasn’t wrong. Oliver flirted with all the women. I never could tell if he had a preference for a certain kind of girl. If it walked and had tits and a vagina, he flirted.

“Bye, ladies,” Oliver said loudly and jangled Scarlett’s keys over his head before doing the most awful thing in the world to me—he spun around and gave me his ass. And God, was it a marvelous ass. Immediately my eyes ate it up. Was there anything better than a hot ass in some football pants? It was round and firm and high and I bet I could have bounced fifty quarters off of it. But I didn’t have any change. Damn. That was just my luck.

I was being mesmerized by the twin all white globes when they stopped just barely and my eyes diverted up to see Oliver looking over his shoulder and smiling. Damn him. He gave me a slow wink before continuing down the steps at a trot.

The tease. The bastard. He knew how good-looking he was. It didn’t matter a bit that he was my best friend’s brother or that he was a year and a half younger than me. Oliver Winston Knox was fine on a regular day, but in a football uniform he was the stuff dreams were made of. My dreams to be exact.

*****5 Completely Unforgettable Stars*****

Let me start this review by saying that I am officially #TeamHollie for life….and the moment you start The First Score by Amie Knight, you will be too.

When I read a book by Amie Knight, I know that I will get many things. I know that I will get exceptional writing that will put me in the thick of her story and her beautiful words. I know that I will meet characters who will own every part of my heart. I know that I will read a story that will give me the emotion, the fields, the romance and Swoon that I crave. I know that I will get a story that I will never forget. I know all of that and more when I am lucky enough to read her words, and The First Score was no different.

This story was everything.

It was one of the most glorious slow burns I have ever read. It was a story of two people who could not be more perfect for one another, yet had to overcome quite a bit to finally get that chance to see what could be. This story was bursting with connection, fire, and visceral spark. It was built with the most exceptional level of intensity and pull between these characters, and there was such a rightness to everything that Ollie and Hazel shared that pulled me in with every fantastic word. Amie Knight’s incredible writing brought it all to life, made it all so real and vivid to experience, and thoughtfully created a story that felt so good to experience and read.

I loved every single word of this book. I loved how right Hazel and Ollie felt right from the start. I loved that I believed in the two of them and rooted for them with all that I had from that very first page. I loved getting to be there with them as they put it all on the line and as they went for it. I loved getting to know the two of them in such a real and honest way that made them two characters that I loved with every part of me.

I loved that Amie Knight took the time to let me understand Hazel and Ollie on the deepest of levels. She gave me their history, she showed me their past, she showed me how they came to be them. She put me in the thick of it in the best way and it connected me wholeheartedly to these characters and everything that they were sharing together. Hazel and Ollie have known each other almost their entire lives, and that is a big part of their story, their connection, their struggle, and just everything. I love that I got that level of understanding with them because it just made me believe in them more and it made me NEED the two of them to be together.

The way that Amie Knight allows you to be a part of this story with her character’s is truly incredible. Her writing has such a level of personality, voice, and authenticity to it that allows you to live her words right along with these characters. You feel what they do, you think what they do, you go through these moments and hurdles and triumphs with them. You live and breathe and feel it all in a way that is truly unforgettable. That level of connection, ease, and vividness she creates truly really sets her writing apart.

And let me tell you, from the moment you meet Hazel and Ollie, you will love them. You will love her fire, her quick wit, and you will love getting to peel back the vulnerable and emotional layers of her. Hazel is truly something special. There’s a lot more to her than initially meets the eye, and getting to go along with her and Ollie as those pieces of her are thoughtfully revealed, as she comes into her own in a way, and as she pushes for that more is nothing short of everything. Hazel has a hard shell, but inside she is all alone or ability and emotion, and getting to understand her, getting all of the pieces of her, and getting to be there as she sees what could be was beautiful and breathtakingly emotional. That girl is truly something special.

Ollie is just the best. He is an honest-to-goodness good man with a heart of gold who would do anything for Hazel. That much is obvious. He has wanted her his entire life, he has fought for her his entire life, and getting to see that all come to a head with the events of this book, and seeing how that affects him and her was spectacular. Ollie is a football player who can rock those little white pants, he is a man who knows what he wants, and he’s definitely willing to put it all on the line and take those risks when it really matters. He’s also a man who’s bound and determined to have the one girl who he knows is for him. His perseverance and determination, along with that smooth charm will have you melting for him. Trust me.

Hazel and Ollie will definitely make you work for it in this book with them, but you will LOVE every single second of that journey with them. You will love the moments with them that make you laugh, you will love the moments that make you melt and swoon, you will love feeling that heat and spark, you will love the moments that push you to the edge right along with them. You will love getting to see them fight. You will even love getting to be there in those moments when they struggle and in those moments that hurt your heart.

This story definitely makes the two of them work for it, but that was exactly what they needed. That was what fit and what was right, and every word and moment of this story will have you knowing that and believing in them again and again.

I have to say that one of my favorite parts of this story was all of the amazing side characters that make this world a place on never want to leave. Getting to be back with the characters I fell in love with in The Red Zone was amazing. Scarlett and Luke and Ella and Mason are just the best, and getting to see how this story coincided with that story, and really just getting to be back with this group of amazing people was wonderful. This world is truly something special and what Amie Knight has created with these characters is something that I will treasure forever.

Not to be outdone, but Hazel’s relationship with her Pops was EVERYTHING. Those two stole my heart almost as much as Hazel and Ollie did, and the humor and banter of those two was on a whole new level. But more than that, their relationship, their love for one another, and the special bond they share truly gave me so much. It honestly just made my heart happy to read and experience, and it definitely allowed me to understand a lot of what was and what could be. I dare you to go a page of reading Hazel and her Pops and not smile or laugh your ass off. It is literally impossible. Those two will have your cheeks hurting and your heart bursting and you will love it.

The First Score was a phenomenal story from start to finish. It is a story of friendship that is on the precipice of becoming so much more. It is a story of two characters who want so much more, who also have some very strong feelings about that more, and their story of fight to get to that more. It is a story of second chances. It is a story of heart and emotion and honest feeling from the deepest part of your soul. It is a story of two people who are so genuine, so good, and so damn right for one another. It is a story of struggle and build and tension. It is a story of unadulterated pull and connection and heat that literally lights the pages of this book on fire.

It is a story of two people who are just right and beyond meant to be.

It is a story of an amazing girl and a very special boy, who turn into a strong AF woman and an even better man who would do anything for his girl.

It is a story of hope over fear, heart over mind, lots and lots of incredible tension and build up, a little bit of Tic Tac Toe, and what can happen when you break the rules just enough for the chance to get to the person you’ve always wanted to be and be with.

It is a story of how everything can change with a lot of heart, a hell of a lot of fight and push, and maybe just a little scrap of paper and pencil under a doorway.

The First Score is truly one of the best books I have read this year and ever. It is something special. Ollie and Hazel will sear themselves to your heart from the moment you meet them, and you will root for those two and there chance at it all with all that you have. They make you work for it, but that work makes it allllll worth it. They may make you crazy and they may make you wonder what in the world is holding them back, but through it all you will love them. You will love them, you will believe in them, and you will need for them to find a way through it all to one another because they are two of the most perfect puzzle pieces that have ever been created and they only match one another.

Amie Knight rocked the hell out of this book. I truly can’t say that enough. Her words took me to a whole other level with Hazel and Ollie, had me experiencing the magic of them, and had me believing in the power and pull of what could be. Her words and what she created with them showed the true amazingness of #TeamHollie, and I will never forget what it was like to read and live and breathe and feel every word of this story.

Like I said at the start of this review, I am #TeamHollie for life and if I could shout that from the rooftops right now, I would. Hazel and Ollie are the actual best. Their story is one I will never forget, and if I could go back and reread their story for the first time again I would. Those two are something special and experiencing The First Score with them was everything that I needed.

And I am telling you, the minute you meet them you will love them, you will believe in them with your whole heart, and you will be desperate for everything they will give you in The First Score.

 

AmieKnightAbout the Amie

Amie Knight has been a reader for as long as she could remember and a romance lover since she could get her hands on her momma’s books. A dedicated wife and mother with a love of music and makeup, she won’t ever be seen leaving the house without her eyebrows and eyelashes done just right. When she isn’t reading and writing, you can catch her jamming out in the car with her two kids to ’90s R&B, country, and showtunes. Amie draws inspiration from her childhood in Columbia, South Carolina, and can’t imagine living anywhere other than the South.

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Review Post: Lessons in Lemonade (Starving for Southern #3) by Kathryn Andrews

Title: Lessons in Lemonade
Series: Starving for Southern Series
Author: Kathryn Andrews
Genre: Contemporary/Sports Romance
Release Date: April 28, 2020

 

Meg Dukette
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
I believe in living my best life, and if surviving cancer taught me anything, it’s exactly that. I wake every day in the most beautiful city in the South, I’m a chef at my own restaurant, and everything is just the way I want it: easy, calm, and in perfect harmony—that is, until my best friend shows up with his wounded heart, smoldering gaze, and adorable dimples. Now, things are changing—we are changing—but with the promises I’ve made to myself, I don’t want them to. After everything I’ve been through, breaking them now seems unthinkable, but the alternative might be a lesson my heart’s not prepared to learn.
Jack Willett
Just when you think life is the best it’s ever been, fate has a way of intercepting.
I’ve spent ten years playing in the NFL, and with one wrong hit, my world comes crashing down. Now, I’m at the crossroads of what might become my past and a very different future. What I need is time and my best friend. Her gorgeous smiles, sexy legs, and optimistic outlook on life make the world brighter, better, and I’ve quickly found myself craving her more and more. She says we’re just friends, says that’s all we’ll ever be, but actions speak louder than words. It’s time to change the game, and I’m ready to pass the ball. I just hope she’ll be on the other end to catch it.
He’s her best friend.
She’s quickly turned into something more.
Will making a play for her heart be more bitter than sweet? Or will it add just the right amount of zest to make the most delicious ending of all . . .

 

*****5 Completely Amazing Stars*****

There are many things I know to be true in life, and at the top of that list is the fact that Kathryn Andrews writes amazing, unforgettable books that are truly in a league of their own.

I have been a fan of hers since her very first book Drops of Rain, and every new book, every new set of characters, every new world she lets me so vividly experience shows me again and again why she is one of my all-time favorite authors. Lessons in Lemonade was no different. This book brought me back to a world that I honestly never want to say goodbye to. This book gave me two characters that my heart was immediately with, and that I immediately believed in and rooted for with all what I had. This book was emotional, it was meaningful, it was viscerally beautiful, and it was romantic. It was sweet and swoony and funny.

It was everything. It was more. It was one of the best books I have read.

Every word of this book was incredible. I honestly can’t say that enough.

From the moment I met Meg and Jack, I knew those two were going to permanently own a piece of my heart. From the very first word of this book through the the very last, I was completely consumed with everything those two gave me. Their story and their intertwined journey together is about a lot of things. It is a story of second chances and what comes next. It is a story of emotional and life-changing upheaval that will bring you to places you never thought you’d be. It is a story of two people who are drawn to each other something fierce. It is a story of what happens when you push for more, a story about meeting that one person who makes you think about changing everything.

Lessons in Lemonade is a story of two friends who see what could be when sharing something more together soon becomes an option they can no longer resist.

I loved everything about this book. I loved the characters who completely stole my heart from the very first page. I loved that I could not put down this book for anything. I loved that this story not only took me on a journey with these characters and their relationship together, but it also highlighted their own personal stories and journeys that were just as important. I loved getting to be with the two of them in so many vivid and memorable moments. I loved getting to see a friendship blossom into something so deep, so real, and so beautiful. I loved how Kathryn Andrews once again allowed me to live and breathe and experience every syllable of her words through her incredible writing.

I loved it all.

if you have read the other books in this series, then you know that Meg and Jack were a story that needed to be told. You meet them both along the way in the other magnificent books that make up this series, and that set up is just part of what will have you so ready for their story. Even if this is your first time meeting them, you will love them from the start. I guarantee it. There is no way you can meet them and not fall hopelessly in love with them. They are just too good, too right, and too special to not love them with your whole heart.

And let me just tell you, if you have not had the pleasure of reading the other books in this series, then you need to this very second. Those books are utterly spectacular, and they will not only introduce you to a world of characters you will never want to leave, but they are truly some of the most exceptional books I have ever read. This book is the last in that series of interconnected stand-alones, and let me tell you, Kathryn Andrews brought this world and this story to them most fitting and fulfilling conclusion. I truly could not have asked for more.

One of my favorite aspects of this series and any book that this author writes is the way that she makes it so vivid and beautiful to experience. She transports you to some amazing places that are truly memorable and completely encapsulating. She makes every location feel so real. (And so many of them are real, and let me tell you, I need to go to those places as soon as humanly possible.) She makes every moment feel like you’re right in the middle of it. She brings out so many exceptional nuances and dynamics with these characters that mean everything. She gives you food. She gives you magic. She gives you feels and romance and the little things that really are the big things. She gives you love. She gives you everything.

Lessons in Lemonade was just the best. I loved every single word of Meg and Jack’s story together. I loved that it was very much of friends to lovers story. I loved that these characters both had to face some very tough decisions and choices that showed so many truths about them. I loved that everything they share together made them question everything they thought they knew and everything they thought they wanted. I loved that them being together made all the difference and truly changed everything. I was completely entranced with their connection and their fierce chemistry together. The rightness of the two them enveloped me from the start, and honestly I just spent all of this book LOVING what I was getting with them and eager for more of it all.

From the very start, Kathryn Andrews showed me the literal goodness of the two of them. She showed me their spark. She showed me where it all started for them. She let me be a part of the foundation and start of their friendship, and she let me be there when it crossed over into something more. She let me struggle with these characters with the challenges they faced, both individually and together. She let me understand them both on the deepest of levels. She let me get them, she let me peel back their layers so I completely understood why everything was happening the way it was. She put me there in the thick of it as the events of this story took these characters to places they never thought they’d be. She gave me it all with Meg and Jack, and it truly was everything.

Meg is literal charm and then some. She sweet, she is good, she is smart, and she is determined to live a life that feels good and right to her. She is a restaurant owner and chef who knows her way around the kitchen, and she is someone who knows what she wants. Or at least she thinks she does. She is also a woman who has been through a lot, and has the strength and tenacity to show for it. She is a woman who knows the power of food, and this book will exemplify that with her in spades.

Seeing her world get turned upside down by the seriously heart melting Jack, seeing how their relationship makes her rethink everything she thought she knew and felt. Getting to be with her as she navigated the wonderfully complicated and authentic dynamics this book’s events presented her was nothing short of spectacular. It was real, it was consuming, and it was beyond emotional and meaningful. I love and respect that girl with my whole heart for so many reasons, and honestly I just wish I could spend all the time in the world with er. Kathryn Andrews created a very memorable, authentic, and dynamic woman who is seriously easy to love. She is just the best.

Jack is a good guy. You inherently know that from the very first time you meet him. He is good, he is funny and charming in his own distinctive way, and he is not to be ignored. I loved that he was a flirt and force to be reckoned with in his own very memorable way that was never too much. He was always just enough. He was always more. That man is pure goodness. He has a heart of gold that is on his sleeve ready to feel it all. He is a man who gives it his all no matter what. He is also a man who has his entire world turned upside down in this book, and must face many life changing decisions.

What I loved about Jack was that through it all he stayed true to himself. He never wavered. And even in those moments when it looked like he did, or where he second guessed himself, he was still him. He was still the good guy who gave it his all. He was still the man who would do anything for his friends and family. He was the guy who put it all on the line when it really mattered. He was the man who saw the glass half full, even when the world threatened to break that glass to pieces. He was the best. Getting to be with him through the dark moments, through the bright ones, and through every unforgettable moment in between was phenomenal. It just made me love him more. I think it’s honestly impossible to not love Jack. He is just the best.

let me tell you that this story will take ahold of you with all that it has, and it will blow you away with the emotion, the meaning, and just everything you get with these characters. There will be moments in this story that will make you laugh, moments that will make you melt and swoon with the romance and the heartfelt moments that these characters share. there will be moments that hurt your heart and bring tears to your eyes for these characters and what they go through. There will be moments where you might want to shake them silly because of what’s happening, but all the while you’ll completely understand the whys behind it all. There will be moments in this book that will turn your world upside down just like it does to these characters.

And through it all, you will love it. You will love it with your whole heart and you will know, without a doubt, that you are reading a truly special and incredible story.

In this book, Meg and Jack are both handed some pretty sour lemons, but through every second of their unforgettable story you get to see how they squeeze and twist and mold those lemons into something resembling lemonade. And that lemonade? It just might be the most perfect thing you’ve ever had the chance to get.

And it’ll taste so so good. Trust me.

Lessons in Lemonade is hands down one of the best books I have ever read, and it is definitely one of my top favorites by this author. This is such a special story to me. It was so emotionally meaningful, and it was the perfect way to say goodbye to a world of characters that have stolen my heart for years. It was love and food and connection personified. It was a beautiful and emotional story of what could be, and it truly was magical with what I got with Meg and Jack. Those two are something special. They are the best. They are right and more and just everything.

I am telling you, you will love them. You will love them fiercely with your whole heart, and you will want and need everything with them. You will love the lessons, you will sure as hell love the lemonade, and you’ll even love the lemons that come their way. You will love it all. Kathryn Andrews thoughtfully crafted and created a story that is truly unlike any other, and that will give you it all.

So are you ready? Are you ready for the literal amazingness that is this book? Well take yourself a seat. Get yourself a glass. Give yourself a heavy pour of that sweet sweet lemonade, and be ready to experience the incredible, emotional, beautifully breathtaking Lessons in Lemonade.

Kathryn Andrews loves stories that end with a happily ever after. She started writing at age seven and never stopped. Kathryn is an Amazon Bestseller for her much loved Hale Brothers Series and is a chi-lit, contemporary romance, and new adult writer. 
Kathryn graduated from the University of South Florida with degrees in Biology and Chemistry, and currently lives in Tampa, Florida. She spends her days as a sales director for a medical device company and her nights lost in her love of fictional characters.
When Kathryn is not crafting beautiful worlds that incorporate some of her most favorite real life places, she can be found hanging out with her husband and two young sons, while drinking iced coffee and enjoying the sun. To find out more about Kathryn and her novels, visit: www.kandrewsauthor.com

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Review Post: The Hardest Play by A.S. Teague

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“The Hardest Play is everything I love about sports romance. A.S. Teague once again masterfully delivers a book full of heart that will surely stay with you long after the last page.”- L.K. Farlow, bestselling author

The Hardest Play, an all-new emotional new-adult standalone from A.S. Teague is available now!

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It’s easy to convince the world that you have it all.

I’m Quinn Miller­­––record breaking running back, professional football’s favorite rags-to-riches story, all-around good guy.

What’s not so easy? Repairing your reputation after mistakes both on and off the field leave you labeled as a disgrace to the league.

With only one team willing to give me a chance, I have no time for a relationship.

But after one night with Georgia Reed, the hopeless romantic with fiery red hair and an attitude to match, I’m hooked.

With Georgia cheering me on, it doesn’t feel like the world is against me anymore.

That is, until her father steps into the locker room as my new head coach.

Finding the woman of my dreams was the easy part; it’s keeping her that will be the hardest play of all.

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Excerpt

“Quinn Miller? Is that really you?”

I turned, and my eyes landed on a face that I hadn’t forgotten. “Georgia Reed.”

Her lips parted in a smile that lit up her entire face, and she jumped from the stool she’d been perched on next to where my sister had been sitting and threw her arms around my shoulders. “I thought I saw you walk in earlier!”

I wrapped my arms around her waist and gave a quick squeeze before pulling back and looking her up and down.

I’d met Georgia last year at my best friend, Aiden’s, Christmas party. Her brother was a famous orthopedic surgeon who’d saved Aiden’s knee after a devastating hit. The two of them had forged a friendship, and Dr. Hampton Reed had brought his sister along when he’d been invited to the famous Shaw Christmas Party.

I’d seen her from across the room that night, unable to miss the gorgeous auburn hair that she’d let flow down her back. I’d walked over to introduce myself, but her green eyes had sparkled when she informed me that she already knew exactly who I was.

I wasn’t sure what I’d said after that, probably something ridiculous and cheesy, but we’d spent the rest of the evening chatting.

“How ya been?” I asked.

She stuck the straw that was floating in a pink drink between her pink lips and lifted a shoulder. After a quick sip of a fruity cocktail she said, “Same old. What about you? I heard you’d been traded and was hoping I’d run in to you sometime.”

I’d completely forgotten that the Reeds lived in Atlanta, where my new team was, but suddenly, that shitty trade that I was forced to accept didn’t seem so bad after all.

“Hey.” I glanced over to where my sister was eyeing us, her lips pressed together to conceal what had to have been the biggest shit-eating grin ever and squinted at her before turning and looking back to where Georgia was still sipping her drink. “You know, I don’t know much about this town. You’re a local, right?”

“That I am. Born and bred in the great state of Georgia. You know, my parents, they probably could have been a little more original when they named me.”

“Any chance you’re free this weekend to play tour guide?” I asked, hoping that I sounded fun and flirty and not like the pathetic loser that I felt like.

Jamie choked on a laugh and tried to cover it with a cough. I swung my head in her direction just as she covered her mouth and quickly looked away from my death glare. God, my kid sister was an asshole.

I felt fingertips on my bicep, forgetting my stupid sister immediately when I glanced down to see the perfectly manicured yellow fingernails that were resting on my arm. “Let me make sure I am clear on what you’re askin’.” Georgia’s eyes were gleaming, and she stepped closer to me. “Now, am I going to show you the popular clubs and bars, the parks to take your dog, and the restaurants that cater to locals, and then you’ll thank me and we’ll go about our ways? Or is this tour going to consist of me taking you back to my place, and before I know it, your lips are on my neck and my dress is around my waist?”

My mouth fell open and I sputtered. “I, uh, I, what?”

“Well, you know at Aiden’s Christmas party, after you kissed me­­––”

“Woah!” I stepped back, her arm falling to her side. “What are you talking about?”

Her head shook back and forth. “I’m not sure if I should be insulted or not that you are this clueless. We had a drink outside around the fire pit, and then you leaned in and kissed me, remember?”

“That is not at all what happened!” I fired back incredulously. I’d had a couple of beers that night, but I never let myself get so drunk that I would completely forget kissing the gorgeous woman standing before me.

She frowned, pulling her bottom lip between her teeth, and I couldn’t stop my eyes from watching the way she worked it. No, I would most definitely remember if my lips had tasted hers. “It’s not? Are you sure?”

My eyes bugged out of my head. “I’m pretty sure we didn’t kiss. Think I would have remembered that.”

“Oh.” She frowned. “Maybe that’s just what I hoped would happen.”

*****5 Completely Unforgettable Stars*****

A.S Teague continues to be one of my favorite authors for a reason. Her writing, her incredible storytelling, and what she allows me to feel and live with her characters has solidified her as an author who I know will deliver an incredible story. The Hardest Play was no different. this story encapsulated her wonderful style of writing, her memorable characters, and it pulled my heart into every breath of the story. From the very first moment of this book I was completely consumed with an everything she was creating. I fell in love with these characters, I once again fell in love with this world, and I loved every emotionally unforgettable moment I got along the way in this story.

I have been a fan of this series from the start. From the moment I jumped into that unforgettable and life changing night in Vegas with these characters, I knew that I wanted each and every one of their stories. A.S. Teague has thoughtfully crafted and created each of their stories in a unique and special way that has pulled me to them even more than I thought possible. I have loved all of these characters from the moment I met them in The Hardest Route. With each addition to this series, I have fallen more in love with them all. Their sense of family. Their unyielding friendships. Their loyalty. Their love. And their dynamic sense of fight and determination that defines them all in the best way.

A.S. Teague has created a magnificent series of interconnected standalones that I never wanted to see end. As sad as I was to say goodbye to these characters that have completely stolen my heart, A.S. Teague brought it all, and them, to a fitting close. I truly could not have asked for more from this book. From the feels, to the instant connection, to the deeply meaningful and emotional story, this book had it all. Combine that with the literal fire that is Georgia and the perfect level of honesty and sweetness that is Quinn, and you have yourself one hell of a story.

I absolutely loved getting these character Story. The connection between Georgia and Quinn is fierce. it is undeniable and it is their right from the start. I love getting to be there as that connection was given its wings, and as the two of them tried to see what could be. What started off as something neither of these two could fight, a pull so strong I never saw it stopping for anything, soon turned into a heavy dose of reality and some serious emotional anguish. when they’re real world comes crashing down around these two it will literally steal your breath away. It will also break your heart in so many ways for all of these characters because of the struggles and the consequences that they face because of those struggles. But you will also love that it is those moments that are the catalyst for the magnificent story this author creates.

A.S. Teague once again uses her incredible writing to let you fully understand her characters. She lets you get who they are at their core. She lets you get them, she invests you in them on the deepest of levels, and then she has you rooting for them with all that you have. The more you get into her words and this story, the more you get with these characters, and the more you love and understand them. The way she uses her words and thoughtfully crafted storytelling to peel back those layers of these characters, to show you them and their true selves, to let you understand their motivations on the deepest of levels, is nothing short of everything.

Every word of this book will sear you to Quinn and Georgia.

The more you get with them, the more you will absolutely love them. You will love the honesty and the rawness of their connection. You will love how right it feels to see them together. You will love that right from the start it feels so different between the two of them and so special. You will love that every word with them just solidifies the feelings and the emotions and the thoughts you have towards them. you will love that even though these characters don’t have an easy story, that you get to be there right in the thick of it with them as they fight for it, as they give it their all, and as they see if they can make it work.

This author makes it so beyond easy to love them, to believe in their connection, and to root for them with everything that you have. That speaks to everything that she creates with them that even on the darkest and hardest of moments, you have hope, you have fight, and you have so much belief in the two of them. Quinn and Georgia are life and so so special. They are perfect for one another, they have a connection and a fire that is practically tangible, and they have a love story that will truly take ahold of you with all that it has.

I have to tell you that Georgia and Quinn are kind of the best. Getting the two of them combines with the other amazing characters that make up this world will have you equally laughing and smiling as much as you get those feels. Griff, Aiden, Mel, Brooke, and the rest of the gang are back and better than ever. the family that all of these characters free together will just melt your heart through every word.

I have to say that one of my favorite parts of this book was getting to see the relationship between Quinn and his sister Jamie. They definitely have a very complicated story and relationship for a lot of reasons, but through it all you see the love that connects them and that brings them together. You see how much they do care for one another even in the hardest of situations, and you see that wall things might not be easy, that those two truly do what they can to make the best out of anything.

Quinn is a man with a heart of gold who is beyond thoughtful and so caring. That combined with the fact that he can make you swoon in about a second flat makes him the full package. He is a man who would do anything for his family, but he is also a man who has the weight of the world on his shoulders. This story is very much about what happens when his obligations, his loyalties, his family, and his love all coincide together. It is definitely not easy for him to find his way through all of those dynamics and moving parts, but this story allows you to fully connect with him as he tries to make sense of it all. As he’s tries to find that happiness he has been searching for forever. As he’s trying to do right by his sister. As he tries to see if he can make it work with Georgia.

Georgia is pure fire, personality, and sass. She is a girl who knows what she wants and goes after it with all that she has. She is honest, tells it like it is, and keeps everyone on their toes…especially Quinn. This story makes her face some very big things right along with Quinn. It forces her to take stock of what is truly important to her, what is the truth and what is real, as well as what she knows deep within her heart. Georgia was a character that I just loved from the moment I met her. (Which wasn’t actually in this book…so go find the book she’s introduced in because you NEED that book in your life stat.) She is life and color and voice. She is fierce and loyal to a T. She is the best, and is also so real. I loved that about her, and I loved every single second of her story with Quinn.

The Hardest Play it’s a story about so many things. It is a story of love, family, and friendship. It is an emotionally moving story about just how far you are willing to go for the ones you love and the ones who make all the difference. It is a story that pushes these characters to their emotional limits, but that simultaneously reveals the best of them and their hearts. It is a story of second chances and of new beginnings. It is a story about some of the most heartbreaking experiences that will bring many tears to your eyes, but in the same breath it is a story of love. Real, feel it in your bones with all you have, shout it from the rooftops, fight for it, love.

Quinn and Georgia’s love story was everything. It was consuming, exceptionally written and crafted, and it was emotional and meaningful from start to finish. Every word of Quinn and Georgia’s story in The Hardest Play will give you life. It will pull you to them, it will have you fighting right along with them for what could be, and it will show you the truly healing power of love.

I know that that sounds a little bit cliche but honestly it’s the truth. This story had me believing and knowing in the power of love. Love can heal you. It can restore you. It can give you everything. It can hurt you and it can threaten to break you, but it can also give you the world if you let it, if you trust it, and if you believe in it. This story allows you to experience every facet and part of love, and in the end it will have you knowing that Quinn and Georgia share the best kind of love story. A love story that is real, full of authentic emotion, and unforgettable.

The Hardest Play is one of the best books I have read this year and is hands down one of my favorite books by A.S. Teague. This author continues to wow me with her words, her characters, and her stories, and this book was no different. It gave me it all. Georgia and Quinn still own a piece of my heart as we speak, and I honestly can’t say enough good things about them. They are genuine, they are real, they are easy to love and root for, and that is just a fraction of what makes their story so special.

As sad as I am to say goodbye to this world and these characters, I could not have asked for more from this story. It was everything I needed and more. When I turned that last page and reached the end, I did so with a heart that was bursting for these characters and so in love with everything I had read, and that is the true tell of a good love story.

A.S. Teague created a phenomenal story and series from start to finish, and I am telling you, you need these characters and words in your life. You need them and you will love them with all that you have because they will put it all on the line when it really matters. They will show you the true meaning of love, family, and friendship, and in the end, they will have you knowing with your whole heart that that is truly all you need.

Author pictureAbout A.S. Teague

A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.

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Review Post: One Week Stand by M. Mabie

One Week Stand by M. Mabie

Publication Date: October 24, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Comedy/New Adult

Tag Line: A hilariously steamy, classmates-neighbors-enemies to lovers romantic comedy with a fun internet celebrity twist.

Blurb: 

Was it too much to ask for one wild week away from college, away from the cold weather, and away from my classmates? That’s all I wanted. A spring break vacation where I could live my best life with my friends and get a little crazy for once. Possibly, drink too many cocktails on the beach, wear the skimpy bikini I bought, and have a no-strings-attached, tropical escapade with a co-ed.

Sounds perfect, right?

Well, it didn’t happen because my dumbass missed the nonrefundable flight.

And if it wasn’t bad enough that I was stranded on an empty, snow-covered campus over my senior year spring break, it was about to get a whole lot worse…because he’s still here too.

The tall, dark smart ass. The cocky classmate I’ve been rolling my eyes at since freshman year. The annoying internet star who everyone thinks is hilarious.

Julien Carson.

So you know what? Screw it.

It’s just a few days, and nobody has to know. Plus, I guess he’s not so bad to look at when he’s saying all the right things and making all the right moves. Maybe I don’t have to fly thousands of miles for a spring fling because I can’t come up with a single reason why Julien shouldn’t be my… One Week Stand.

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***5 LAUGH OUT LOUD ROMANTIC STARS***

Five years ago I fell in absolute LOVE with the M. Mabie’s amazing words in her first book Fade In. The humor and wit and unforgettableness of that book sold me on her, and I have since devoured every word of hers I could get my hands on. Now five years later, reading this book, I was reminded once again how utterly incredible her humor, her wit, and the zest and personality of her characters can be!

From the very first word through the very last, I smiled so hard reading this book. I laughed like there was no tomorrow, and I loved every second with these characters.

One Week Stand was a book that I cannot put down. The humor, the life and personalities of these characters combined with their unadulterated and dynamic humor was the absolute best.

M. Mabie solidified her comedic and romantic writing talents in this story.

This book was equal parts an enemies to lovers, steamy and fiery, romance story that had me loving these characters and what they shared. Their story was memorable, enjoyable through every page, and the cheeky chapter titles were the the icing on top of this fantastic read.

What I love about this book was that it was so fun to read, yet at the same time I absolutely loved every bit of getting this story with these characters. I loved that I felt with them, but that I also laughed my ass off with them. I loved that they kept each other on their toes and didn’t make it easy. I loved that they took something and ran with it in a way that just felt completely right. I also loved the fact that they had my cheeks hurting from how hard I was smiling and laughing.

I loved every single word of this incredible story.

I loved that it was fun. I loved that it felt real. I loved the honest connection I felt to both of these characters. I loved the modern twist and feel to the story, and how this author brought every lick of it to life in such an authentic way. I loved it all.

And I truly can’t say it enough.

If you are looking for a book that will consume you, that will thoroughly make you laugh and love these characters, and that will show you the true chemistry and connection that is possible between two people, then run yourself to this book as soon as humanly possible.

You NEED it in your life. You need it’s zest. You need it’s life. You need these characters and their shenanigans that soon become so very real. You need to know what happens when these two get together. You NEED it all, and this story will deliver that in spades…and then some.

Five years ago M. Mabie stole my heart and all of my laughs and smiles with her first book. Five years later she’s still doing it even more and I absolutely love her for it!

One Week Stand is a book you’ll have to devour in one sitting. It’ll consume you, it’ll give you some feels and a hell of a lot of laughs with these two and their antics, and in the end it’ll give you a love story that is bursting with more fire and connection then you can shake a stick at!

So seriously, do yourself the best favor and read this book. Read it. Love it. And enjoy every single fantastic second of it!

About M. Mabie

M. Mabie lives in Illinois with her husband. She writes everything from steamy romantic comedies to angst-filled, pull your hair out drama. She enjoys it all. With her unconventional love stories, she tries to embody “real-life romance.”

 

She cares about politics, but will not discuss them in public. She uses the same fork at every meal, watches Wayne’s World while cleaning, and lets her dog sleep on her head. She has always been a writer. In fact, she was born with a pen in her hand, which almost never happens. Almost. 

 

M. Mabie usually doesn’t speak in third-person. She promises.

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Review Post: The Hardest Hit by A.S. Teague

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“A.S. Teague brings the feels with this one, y’all. The Hardest Hit is the kind of book that sinks its claws into your heart and doesn’t let go. Five well-earned stars from me.” –LK Farlow, Amazon bestselling author

The Hardest Hit, an all-new emotional, single dad romance from A.S. Teague is available now!

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My friends used to tell me ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’ Clearly they lied, because there was no way the chemistry I had with Mel could ever be left behind.

However, my children, her career, and nine hundred miles between us meant that for seven years, Melanie Holstein was the one who got away.

I was Aiden Shaw, first-round draft pick turned the best quarterback the league had ever seen. I worked hard to secure my position in football history while balancing life as a single dad. Through it all, my Vegas spitfire was never far from my mind.

And considering her best friend was now with my best friend, it was pure and utter torture.

When my career took a devastating turn, Mel was the first person at my side. I was broken and defeated, but that stubborn woman was determined to piece me back together.

I liked to pretend Mel and I were destined for greatness, but Lady Luck had never been on our side. And the tragedy that followed might have been the hardest hit of all.

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Excerpt

“Fine. I won’t argue anymore.” Brooke finally relented to letting me loan her more money so that we didn’t have to leave so early.

But suddenly, leaving didn’t sound like such a bad idea.

My face split into a grin, and I swayed toward her, whispering, “That’s my girl. Now, don’t be obvious, but there is a fuckin hottie at the table across from us who has been eyeing you since we sat down.”

I didn’t mention that I only knew he’d been eyeing her because I’d been having some serious visual foreplay with his buddy.

Brooke looked to the craps table where five men were cheering every time their numbers hit, clapping each other on the back and whooping. Her jaw dropped and I giggled.

After a full thirty seconds of her staring open-mouthed across the smoky area, she blinked and I hissed, “Yessssss.”

“I… um… think he’s looking at you.”

“Pshhhh.” I elbowed her and glanced back over to where both men had stopped what they were doing and were watching us almost expectantly. “That’s all you, girl. The guy beside him is a different story. Mister Dreamy over there, though, only has eyes for Brooke.”

“Who’s Brooke?” she whispered.

I couldn’t stop the sharp burst of laughter that erupted from my lips, and she grabbed her wine glass and drained it in one swallow.

I grabbed my own and followed her lead. Game on!

“Shit, I think I just had an out-of-body experience,” she whispered.

I scooped up my pile of chips and dumped them into my clutch. “Hopefully, you’ll have another one later tonight. Let’s go talk to them.”

“No, no, no,” Brooke objected as I dragged her by the arm to the group of guys. “Mel, stop. We can’t just…”

I gave her a gentle shove and she teetered on her heels, careening right into the back of the guy who had been watching her. And when he turned, I knew that my work there was done.

It was time to go take care of my own business.

“See something you like?” I asked, stopping in front of my date for the evening, whether he knew it or not.

He leaned in close and whispered in my ear, “I’ve never seen anything so breathtaking in my life.”

I tipped my head back to look at him, a response frozen in my throat.

The side of his mouth hitched as he stared down at me, his thick lashes giving a spectacular show.

I braced for what he was going to say next. Sexy as he was, I still needed him to have a personality, or it would never work… not even for a one-night stand.

He wedged a hand in the pocket of his jeans and murmured, “That took you long enough. I was worried I’d lost my charm and I was going to have to summon a smoke signal in order to ask you out.”

My brows shot up and a smile curled my lips. “Walking over to meprobably would have been easier.”

“Maybe. But then I would have missed the view of those sexy legs as they carried you over here.” He leaned in close. Not touching me physically, but his proximity was a tangible caress of its own. “Trust me when I tell you, it was well worth the wait.”

My breath hitched as he leaned away, that seductive grin still firmly in place.

“I’m Aiden. And you are?”

Whoever the hell you want me to be.

“Mel. Er… Melanie. Whatever. I answer to both.”

He nodded, his gaze dropping to my mouth. “Nice to meet you, Mel.”

That was the exact moment I realized that I’d been wrong. It wasn’t Lady Luck who had been on my side. For the way my entire body was heating, this man had to have been the work of the devil himself.

And I was completely okay with that.

*****5 Fantastic Stars*****

A.S. Teague continues to be one of my favorite authors for a reason. For so many reasons. Her words have brought some of the best stories to life, and I for one am always ready for more. She consistently delivers story after story and character after character that completely steal my heart with all that they have…and that is just a fraction of what makes her books so incredible. 

The Hardest Hit was no different. 

From start to finish this story enveloped me within everything that was Aiden and Mel. It was fiery in the best way. It was bursting with the best level of connection and chemistry and spark between these two. It was a sports romance that took ahold of me with all that it had. It was full of heart and longing and hurt and emotion. It was full of everything that combined in the most thoughtful way to make one hell of a story. 

And yet this book was different. 

It was different than what I expected for Aiden and Mel. It was different in how their love story came to be. It was different in all the ways that count. 

It was different in the absolute best way. 

The Hardest Hit explores every step of the story that Aiden and Mel share. It shows you how it all began with them during a crazy night in Vegas. It shows you how things got away from them in ways they both never expected. It shows you the chances they both took and gave over the years that they’ve known each other. It shows you every single moment that pushes them back together again in the most unforgettable way.


The Hardest Hit is their story back to one another. It is a story of second chances and third chances and even more chances. It is a story about what you’re willing to fight for when it really matters. It’s a story about just how far you’re willing to go for those that matter to you. This book is a story of heart, of emotion, of unadulterated longing and connection. It is a story of two people who share one hell of a connection, and who can’t help but be drawn to one another no matter what tries to tear them apart. 

From beginning to end, Mel and Aiden welcome you into their heads, their hearts, and their world in this story. They show you who they really are as they discover it themselves. They show you what it truly means to give it your all when it really matters. 

A.S. Teague and her phenomenal writing let you live this book and every piece of their story with them. She lets you see them and understand them on the deepest of levels. She lets you live their triumphs and feel every ounce of their hardships. She puts you on the front lines as they put themselves and their hearts on the lines. She bonds you to them and pulls your heart to theirs. Through every bit of this story, her writing envelops you within every piece of them, which will have you rooting for everything that they share.

What A.S. Teague so incredibly creates in this book for Aiden and Mel will have you believing in the power of second chances, and the life changing things that can happen with some serious fight, a hell of a lot of heart, and more determination and fire than you can shake a stick at. 

What I loved about this book was that it continued to keep me in a world of characters that I absolutely love, while also keeping me on my toes in the most unforgettable way. I went into this book thinking I knew what Aiden and Mel’s story would be like, and I came out of it surprised by everything they gave me. Those two kept me on my toes through every word in the most amazing way, and I cannot say enough how much I loved that. I loved that their story surprised me. I loved that they surprised me. I loved that their story turned my heart upside down and right again, and that through it all I was right there with those two. 

A.S. Teague does a phenomenal job in The Hardest Hit of letting you fall even more with Aiden and Mel. If you read The Hardest Route (which if you haven’t you should because that book is allll kinds of ahhhmazing!), then you will already come into this book loving Mel and Aiden. But what The Hardest Hit will give you will them is the real Mel and Aiden. It will show you exactly who they are, what they’re willing to fight for, and will let you feel every single bit of their story. 

A.S. Teague so outstandingly envelops you within their world, and you will never want to leave them. 

Ever. 

You will never want to leave their chemistry, their sass, and their banter. You will never want to leave their back and forth and the best test message exchanges. You will never want to leave them and those moments with them that will show you the two of them at their most vulnerable, at their most open, at their most honest. You will never want to leave the heart touching romance that is building between the two of them or the feels that they give you along the way. You will never want to leave the incredible love story that those two are brewing up together, and when you reach the end of their story you will love everything they gave you along the way. 

The Hardest Hit is a story about fight, faith, and love. It is a story about getting more chances and fighting for what truly matters. It is a story of heart and hope and the brilliant honesty that intersects both of those things. It is a story of what happens when the one you’ve always wanted, the one you’ve been fighting your whole life for, finally enters your life in a real way. It is a story of puzzle pieces coming together after so many years apart. It is a story of finding oneself in the darkest of days and what it takes to realize that the one person you always needed, the one person you always wanted, might have been there all along. 

I loved every single fantastic word of this book. 

A.S. Teague delivered an outstanding story within the pages of this book. I have wanted more of Aiden and Mel since meeting and falling head over heels for them and their electric banter in The Hardest Route, and their story did not disappoint. Not one little bit. Their story was everything and more. It was emotional, it was romantic, it was bursting with feels, and it had so much heart intertwined within every word and fiber of Mel and Aiden. Getting their story was the absolute best. Those two kept me and my heart on their toes in the best way, and I can’t say it enough.

If you met these two in The Hardest Route, if you’ve wanted their story ever since, or if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Aiden and Mel until this book, then I promise you, you will LOVE this book. You will love their story. You will love them. You will love every single thoughtful puzzle piece The Hardest Hit brings to life, and you will love getting to live this story with these characters. Their story will hit your heart, it will envelop you within everything that those two so memorably share, and it will have you rooting for them with all that you have that they will find a way to make it all work. 

The Hardest Hit is a story that will wow you while give you everything you need. 

It will make you laugh, it’ll make you swoon and melt quite a bit, it’ll probably bring a tear to your eye and it will most definitely squeeze your heart with what you get with Aiden and Mel along the way. This story will break you and put you back together again, and in the end, it will tell the story of the one second chance that truly mattered and made all the difference. 

I truly can’t recommend this book to you enough. 

It is equal parts sports romance, enemies to lovers, and contemporary romance rolled into one delightful package that will have you in love with everything you’re reading from beginning to end. A.S. Teague crafted a fantastic story that will give you it all and then some, and that is just a part of what makes it such an incredible read. I loved every single part of this story, and I cannot wait to get my hands on more words from this author and from within this world. I love these characters, I love their stories, and I cannot wait for more! 

If you love an honest to goodness good book that will deliver it all, then run yourself to this book this very second. Mel and Aiden will steal every bit of your heart, and you will love getting a front row seat to the shenanigans that ensue when those two are together. They may not make it easy for you or for each other, but they sure as hell make it all damn worth it. 

Trust me. 

About A.S. Teague

A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.

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Review Post: Last Slice of Pie by Kathryn Andrews

Title: Last Slice of Pie
Series: Starving for Summer #2
Author: Kathryn Andrews
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Sports Romance/Southern Fiction
Release Date: August 21, 2019
Cover Design: Julianne Burke from Heart to Cover, LLC

Last Slice of Pie is a novel every bit as delicious as its title suggests. From the first page to the last, you’ll be hungry for more of this gorgeous romance.” Author Elle Brooks

Last Slice of Pie is a delicious, sweet southern treat of a second chance sports romance, and I can’t wait to get more of this world that Andrews baked up.” Author Karla Sorensen, USA Today Bestselling Author

Lexi Jarvie
Pie isn’t just a dessert, it’s a way of life. 
Pies, fillings, jams, jellies, honey, they’re all a part of my award-winning business, Firefly Kitchen. After being left behind, by everyone, I was determined to make it all on my own, and I have. I love what I do, I love what I’ve created, and I love who I’ve become. Yes, it’s small, but it’s mine, and nothing or no one can stop me now. Not even Bryan Brennen. He may have returned, but it won’t be long before he leaves. And regardless of which way you slice it, some things can’t be forgotten, no matter how sweet the taste.
Bryan Brennen
Football isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life.
 
I’ve spent more years than I can remember chasing my dream. When you come from nothing, it’s even more important to become something. The unstoppable drive and incomparable determination that is ingrained in me has gotten me to where I am now; twenty-eight years old and undoubtedly the best professional quarterback in the league. To be happy is to be perfect. Plans, plays, passes, I’ve mastered them all, but it was never just for me, it was for her, too. Only she doesn’t know it, and now, ten years later, I’m ready to tell her.
She’s a small town girl. He’s a household name. 
Off the field and out of the kitchen, will they break and crumble, or finally get their second chance at the biggest game of them all . . . love.

*****5 Unforgettably Amazing Stars*****

Kathryn Andrews continues to be one of the most talented authors I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Her writing is so beautiful, so consuming, and has given me some of my all-time favorite stories. When I sit down to read a book by her I know without a doubt that I am about to go on one helluva journey that will be vivid, that will be memorable, and that will sure as hell take my breath away. 

Last Slice of Pie delivered all of that and more. 

This story was a sweeping and utterly enthralling story of second chances, football and pie, and what happens when the one person you’d already given up on comes blazing back into your life in a way you didn’t think was possible.

I loved every single incredible, emotional, and unforgettable word of this book. I loved getting to fall so hopelessly in love with Bryan and Lexi as their story unfolded. I loved getting to be right in the thick of it as those two put their hearts on the line and saw what could be. I loved getting to feel and live and breathe every single second of this story as Bryan and Lexi explored their second chance together. I loved getting to unfold their pasts, experience their presents and hoping with all that I had for their future together. I loved it all. 

I loved how this book swept me up whole heartedly into one of the most emotionally beautiful love stories I have ever had the privilege of reading. 

I loved how from the moment I started this book and started living this story, I knew it was one I would never forget.

I loved every thoughtful nuance, every big moment, every little one, every swoon worthy moment in between, and every single moment I got with Bryan and Lexi as they fought for what they always wanted.

Kathryn Andrews outdid herself with Last Slice of Pie, and I truly cannot say enough good things about this book, this story, and the characters within it. This book is a phenomenal addition to her Starving for Southern Series, and it just showed me again and again why I LOVE her writing and her books so much. 

This story was phenomenal from start to finish. It was exceptionally crafted, and the way that this story thoughtfully unfolded was practically magical. Getting to experience this story heart first, getting to fall in love with these characters, and getting to understand them on the deepest and truest of levels is just part of what made this book so magnificent. Kathryn Andrews allows you to peel back the layers of her dynamic characters, to understand what drives them, what binds them, and what will ultimately set them free. The way she so thoughtfully does this will sear you to her characters, and will have you rooting for them, their love, and what could be with all that you have! 

Last Slice a Pie is a story about many things. 

It’s a story of unrequited love and second chances. It’s a story of football, pie, and more southern charm than you can shake a stick at. It’s a story of heart and determination and the fire that defines these two characters in the best way. It’s a story of what happens when the past and present finally collide to make for one consuming and unforgettable future. It’s a story about what happens when two characters with the strongest connection finally decide to take that leap of faith. 

It’s a story of oak trees and fireflies, touchdowns and the biggest plays, pie crust and sass, and the beauty and magic of long lost love. 

From the very first word of this book until long after you read the very last you will be completely swept up into the sweetness, the unadulterated emotion, and heart of this story with Bryan and Lexi. You will be there through their darkest moments, you will see what made them them and what defines their electric connection that spans decades, and you will be there as they fight to be who they’ve always wanted to prove they could be. 

The way that Kathryn Andrews so incredibly delivers their story is practically magical. She has such a beauty to her words that creates the most vivid of moments that you will never want to have end. The way she lets it all unfold before your eyes will put you right in the thick of it with Lexi and Bryan, and will have you basking in the moments you get with those two. They will own you, break you, and put you through the wringer a bit, but you will absolutely love them and what they give you. 

You will love the emotion, you will love the heartache, you will love the build up and the palpable fire between those two, and in the end you will love getting a front row seat to their second chance love story. 

This book follows Lexi and Bryan as their paths cross once again and when a second chance at it all brings them to their knees. He was the one who left her behind in an effort to make himself worthy of what could be. She was the one who found herself picking up the pieces and letting the fire within her drive her to places beyond what she imagined. They’ve known each other for years, their hearts and their pasts are intertwined at the most basic level, and they have a lot of complicated feelings for one another. 

Last Slice of Pie is their second chance at it all. It’s their do over. It’s their hail mary. It’s their last little bite at something more. 

This book takes you along with them as they give into their feelings, as they fight to be who they were always destined to become, and as they see if their pasts truly do define them…or if they can make their own happily ever after together. 

What I loved about this book is that it combined the best of everything. It is as much of a love story as it is a story about self-discovery and the fight it takes to truly find who you want to be. It is a story about finding oneself and owning the path you want and need to take. It is a story of emotion and heart, and it is filled to the brim with moments that will tug at your heart, bring tears to your eyes, and that will literally take your breath away. It is a story of two characters doing their damndest to make it in a world that wants to tell them who they should be. 

And at its core, Last Slice of Pie is a love story. 

A beautiful, all-feeling, love story. 

It is a love story that will own your heart from start to finish, and will show you what it truly means to have a second chance at it all. What you get with Bryan and Lexi as they journey through their second chance will take ahold of every part of your heart, and will have you knowing with every fiber of your being that these two belong together. Those two might put you and their hearts through some serious challenges, but through it all you will love them, believe in them, and root for them with all that you have. 

Kathryn Andrews invests you so wholly in every single slice of them and their love story, and you will love getting to go along for the ride as those two try to figure it all out and see where their second chance takes them.

Lexi and Bryan will give you it all. And then some.

The feels, the laughs, the history and past, the heartache and struggle, the fight and fire, and every bit of connection and pull those have towards one another. Their story is emotional, raw, consuming to say the least, and in the end it will leave you knowing and feeling with all that you have that there is something truly special and remarkable about what they share. 

Last Slice of Pie is their story, and it is one that I will truly never forget. 

Kathryn Andrews blends the perfect amount of sweetness, heart, emotion, and fire into this story. She created a hero and heroine who I will love forever, and who both personify what it means to put your heart on the line and fight with all that you have. What you get and feel with them along the way in this book will have you celebrating every triumph with them, feeling every low and fall, and will have you pushing right along with them as they face the hurdles that come their way. 

Their story is one that I have wanted ever since I met them years ago in The Sweetness of Life. From the first moment I met them, I knew I wanted more, and the more I got with them in this book was truly exceptional and more than I could have asked for. This book gave me it all with them, and showed me again and again what sets this world, this series, and this author’s writing apart from all the rest. 

If you are looking for a second chance love story that will deliver it all in the most all-feeling, beautiful, and consuming package, then run yourself to this story faster than Bryan can throw his next touchdown pass. 

Last Slice of Pie is hands down one of the best books I have read this year, and I seriously cannot wait to be back in this world to get more of these characters. Kathryn Andrews has once again outdown herself with this book, and I cannot sing her writing praises enough. What she so unforgettably creates in this book will have you in awe of everything you are reading and experiencing. 

And in the end, it’s that last slice of pie that will you do you in in the best way with these characters. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Take that leap. Make the pass. Run that play. Eat the pie. 

And enjoy every single word, moment, and second of this amazing book.

It would be wrong not too. And you’d surely be missing out one hell of a book. 

Bryan
“How long has it been?” Jack asks as he walks up into our conversation. There’s a fork sticking out of his mouth, and I can’t help but roll my eyes. You would think after how much pie he shoved down his throat yesterday he’d be in sugar shock, but nope, he’s back at it again today. 
Catching my expression, he grins. “What? I can’t help that it’s all so good.” His eyes widen as he spots the two new boxes, and he tips his head. “What kind are those?”
I pick up the boxes and hand them to him. One says grasshopper pie, and the other says cherry.
“Yes! Can I take these home?” he asks, his voice so hopeful.
“Sure, and it’s been a while since I’ve been back—years, in fact,” I answer as I look at Jack. I’m certain my frown relays that it’s been more than just a few years, but only I know that the true answer is never. I’ve never gone back home.
He tucks the boxes under his arm, the sleeve of his clean shirt bunching up. He’s already showered and ready to go.
“I understand.” He nods and then breaks eye contact. “I don’t really have any one place I call home, so I haven’t been anywhere in years either. We moved around a lot with my father’s career, and now they’re retired in Scottsdale. I love the water way too much to think about staying there long-term.”
I agree. I love the water, too, which is why many people were surprised when I bought my house on the river instead of downtown or on the island with my other teammates. The minute I walked out the back door, which faces northwest, I knew it was the one for me. Yes, the river cuts through the city, but the view across from me is undeveloped, wooded, and it makes me feel like I’m not in the city. It’s perfect. 
“What time is the ceremony? Want me to go with you?” Reid asks. I should have known he would offer. He’s loyal and a true friend like that. Not many would give up their day off to drive two hours in the car, stand in the heat, and then drive two hours back.
“It’s at ten, and thanks, but no thanks. I might make a few stops while I’m there.” 
Not a few stops, just one, maybe, but I don’t tell them that. 
Tossing my cleats and helmet into my locker and my dirty clothes into my bag, I grab a towel, wrap it around my waist, and turn to find both Reid and Jack staring at me. It’s like they know tomorrow is more of a big deal than I’m letting on, so I slip into my role as a leader and try to assuage their concerns.
“Don’t worry, boys.” I smile real big and see both of them shift away from the uncertain tension that had set in between them. I throw out my arms and begin walking backward toward the showers. “I’ll be back and on the plane for our game this weekend first thing the following morning.”
If only it were that simple.
Kathryn Andrews loves stories that end with a happily ever after. She started writing at age seven and never stopped. Kathryn is an Amazon Bestseller for her much loved Hale Brothers Series and is a chi-lit, contemporary romance, and new adult writer. 
Kathryn graduated from the University of South Florida with degrees in Biology and Chemistry, and currently lives in Tampa, Florida. She spends her days as a sales director for a medical device company and her nights lost in her love of fictional characters.
When Kathryn is not crafting beautiful worlds that incorporate some of her most favorite real life places, she can be found hanging out with her husband and two young sons, while drinking iced coffee and enjoying the sun. To find out more about Kathryn and her novels, visit: www.kandrewsauthor.com
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Review Post: The Red Zone by Amie Knight

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The Red Zone, an all-new sexy, second chance romance from Amie Knight, is available now!

The Red Zone FOR WEB

They say the red zone is the hardest place to score.

But for me, those last twenty yards were my sweet spot.

They didn’t call me Lukas “Last Minute Lucy” Callihan for nothing.

I was at the top of my game…until life sacked me harder than any linebacker ever could.

Losing my mom was devastating and left me as the sole person responsible for my little sister.

Taking care of Ella and juggling my career was like playing the hardest game of my life.

My only saving grace was Scarlett Knox, Ella’s sexy, red-headed, no-nonsense teacher.

She loved Ella. She hated me.

She thought I sucked at this parenting thing, and she wasn’t wrong.

But whenever she was around I got the same earth-shattering, heart-stopping feeling I did when I was only twenty yards from the goal line.

She made me feel like I was back in the red zone, a place I’d never fumbled.

Until now.

TRZ - AN

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*****5 Utterly Amazing Stars*****

The Red Zone by Amie Knight is one of the most special stories I have EVER read.

Honestly as I sit here writing this review, all I can think about is how much I LOVED every single word of this book, and how my words about this amazing book will in no way do it the justice it deserves. This book was everything. It was emotional, meaningful through and through, and one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This book owned every part of my heart and soul through every page, and I truly do not have enough words to describe how truly magnificent this book is.

The Red Zone is so many glorious things.

It is a second chance romance that shows what happens when the heart is given a second chance to have it all. It is a story of family, and the struggle to balance the many parts of your life and heart.
It is a story of fight and heart and steadfast determination, and how each of those things can define your life in the best and most meaningful way. It is a story about a brother who would do anything to make sure his little sister is taken care of and okay. It’s about a woman with a heart of gold who would do the same for that girl, and for all of the incredible humans she teaches. This book is also a story of friendship, family, and letting people into your world and your heart and your life when it really matters.

It’s a story about what happens when the one person you never expected to see again comes back into your life and your heart in a way that cannot and should not be ignored.

It is a story about the lengths you’re willing to go to for the one who means everything and the one who will change everything.

The Red Zone is a story of second chances at it all, of football and friends and the family you make for yourself, of unbridled connection and fire, of heart and feels and the most meaningful dibs, and in the end, it is a story of what happens when the right things come together at the exact right time you need them to….and how that can give you everything if you’re willing to fight like hell for it.

What can I say? I loved this book fiercely. With my entire heart.

I loved the different kinds of love it allowed me to experience with its characters. I loved how deeply connected I felt to this world and to Lukas and Scarlett. I loved that this story was just as much about Lukas doing what was right for his family and his life, as it was about him getting Scarlett to see that they were meant to be. I loved that all of these characters were doing their damn best to fight for the life and the love that they wanted and that they so deserved. I LOVED Ella and her spunk and sass and how truly incredible she is.

I loved every part of The Red Zone.

This might just be my favorite book by Amie Knight yet. And let me tell you, her writing in this book and the exceptional story that she so thoughtfully weaves together is out of this world phenomenal. She truly delivers it all in this book. She creates one hell of a romance that will have your heart in every word of this book. She brings the feels and the emotions full force into every second of The Red Zone, and that will have your heart in every breath of this book…and you will love it. You will love the moments that make you cry, that squeeze your heart something fierce, and the moments that show you again and again why these characters and their journey is so beyond worth it.

Her words bring the world of this book to life in the most real and vivid way that will have you loving every second you get with Lukas and Scarlett along the way.

You will love getting those moments in the past with them that show you how things came to be and that give you the best kind of foundation with them. You will love the moments in the present with Lukas and Scarlett that show the intense and fiery connection they share that has the most glorious level of build to it. You will love getting to see and experience the most vivid and enjoyable game of cat and mouse as Lukas sets his eyes on Scarlett once more, and as she tries to fight what her heart knows is true. You will love getting to be with all of these characters every step of the way as they figure out what its important, what they need, and how much heart and fight it will take them to get all of that and more.

Amie Knight’s storytelling talent shines through every word of The Red Zone.

This book has distinctive characters that will steal your heart with all that they have. It is bursting with the most authentic and meaningful feels and emotions. It has so many memorable moments that will take ahold of your heart with all that they have, while having you live and love every second of this story with these characters. It has the humor and laughs and the side characters that will have you beyond ready to see more of this world and that amazing characters that make it what it is.

Suffice to say, The Red Zone by Amie Knight has it all. And then some.

It is a book you NEED in your life as soon as humanly possible. Trust me. It is a book that will have your heart in every word as you root for these characters, as you live every second of it with them, and as you experience the beautiful different kinds of love and heart it so memorably gives you.

This book is so special to me, and I truly do not have enough words to accurately articulate how literally amazing it is.

What I loved about this book is it just felt so good to read. It was so honest and real through every single word. It had the perfect balance of everything. It was a sports romance that brought all of those fabulous dynamics that come with it to life. It was a second chance romance that had the best balance of past and present that simultaneously seared my heart permanently to these characters. It had such a sense of family to it that completely stole my heart and gave me it all. It had the most incredible feel to it that I could not get enough of.

Amie Knight truly brings the best of everything to The Red Zone, and that is just part of what makes it one of my top reads of the year and one of the best books I have ever read.

I have to say though one my absolute favorite parts of this book was getting to see Lukas’s relationship with his sister Ella. That man melted my heart again and again for a lot of reasons while reading The Red Zone, but those moments with his sister did me in. They were so heartfelt and real. They were emotional at times and brought tears to my eyes for a lot of reason. This story is so much about his relationship with his sister, being what she needs, and finding a way to be exactly what she needs and what he himself needs. Those two have such a special bond that exemplified so much about what this story is about.

I loved every second I got with Lukas and Ella. (And Scarlett because she’s kind of the best too.)

I loved that even though those two had lost so much in their life, they were exactly what they needed for each other. I loved that Lukas celebrated and loved every bit of Ella, and that he was damn proud of his little sister and her amazing self. I loved that it was evident in every word of this book that Lukas would do anything for his sister and his family, no matter what it entailed for him. I loved that this book was just as much about Lukas finding the balance to it all, as it was about him realizing that he and Ella could create the exact family they needed. I loved getting to see how Scarlett fit into the special dynamic that Ella and Lukas shared, and every moment with those three made me love them all even more.

Every second I got with Lukas, Scarlett, Ella, and the other memorable and incredible characters of this world was one that I cherished. I LOVED this book with all that I had. I loved every word I spent with these characters in this book, and I loved getting to be a part of their second chance at it all. This book made me cry, it melted my heart something fierce, and it made me believe once again in the power, meaning, and beautiful and heartfelt level of emotion that comes along with second chances. My heart was in every bit of this story, embracing the meaning and heart of it all, and I truly can’t say enough about how magnificent this story was.

This book moved me, it enveloped me within its literal incredibleness, and it gave me a story that touched every part of my heart, and I honestly will be forever grateful that I had the chance to read and experience it.

What Amie Knight creates in The Red Zone is pure literary magic.

It is the best kind of romance with everything you need. It is full of connection, fire, and the best amount of sass and humor to keep it fun. It has two characters with a push and pull that will have you living for build and intensity they’ve got going. It has one hell of a love story that will invest you wholly in what Lukas and Scarlett are sharing during their fight at a second chance at it all, and it is a story with the best level of heartfelt and real emotions that will give you EVERYTHING with these characters.

Trust me when I say this is a story you need in your life as soon as humanly possible.

I loved every word of this story. I loved Lukas and Scarlett and Ella fiercely. I loved every moment I got to experience with these characters. I loved the sports, the feels, and the heart of it all.

And in the end, I loved how Amie Knight once again delivered an exceptional story that I will never forget.

The Red Zone lets her writing and storytelling talent shine, and I am telling you, if you read this book, you will love it. You will love it with your whole heart, you will be blown away by how truly special this story is, and you will love that you had the chance to experience the literary magic it gives you with Lukas, Scarlett, and Ella. And when you reach the end of this book, you will not only be so in love with everything that you’ve just read and experienced within this book, you’ll just want to have it all over again.

And that my friends is just part of what makes The Red Zone one of the most exceptional books I have ever read.

Excerpt:

“I’m going to kiss you.”

My body locked tight. Oh, no, he couldn’t do that. If he kissed me I’d think about it at least the next ten years and that would be awful. I still obsessed over the day he’d kissed me when he’d told me goodbye. I couldn’t let him do that to me again.

“That’s a terrible idea,” I whispered, his lips a breath from mine.

Slowly his eyes opened and they were suddenly boring into mine. “Why, Scarlett?”

I couldn’t tell him the truth. That his kiss had ruined my teenage heart. That I’d never moved on. That no other kiss had ever compared. That I still thought about that kiss and what I had meant to him. I couldn’t tell him any of that because it sounded pathetic and desperate even to my own ears.

So I lied. I lied my face off. “It’s just not appropriate. I’m Ella’s teacher and you’re her guardian.”

His smile said it all, but it didn’t have to because his mouth wasn’t far behind. “That’s bullshit. None of that has anything to do with me putting my lips on yours.” He studied my face like he did when we were in school together. Like he was trying to figure me out. I prayed he wouldn’t.

And while his eyes pillaged my very soul, his knee slowly wedged itself between my thighs, causing my skirt to rise. I turned my head to the classroom door, terrified someone would walk through even though I knew it was after hours and we were alone.

His hands left my jaw and traveled down my neck, past my shoulders and the outer swell of my breasts to settle on my hips where he squeezed.

“What are you so afraid of, baby?”

He called me baby and he was doing it again. That thing where he made me dizzy and stupid. He was making me forget why this was a bad idea. Why I shouldn’t want this. Because he felt so, so good against me.

His warm palms left my hips and slid down over my ass and to the bottom of my skirt where he clutched the hem in his fists, slowly sliding it up more.

I should have said stop. Anything, but the farther he pushed up my skirt, the more his knee moved in and up until it sat right there against me. Right where I needed it.

A small squeak escaped my lips and one corner of his mouth lifted in a slow smile. “God, you’re gorgeous.” His nose brushed the side of mine and the harsh stubble on his jaw scraped my skin exquisitely. His massive hands moved under my skirt and right to the globes of my bottom, squeezing, before one moved up and snapped the top of my panties. “And you have a thong on. You’re trying to kill me, Red.”

He lowered his head more, zeroed in on my lips, and even though I was a mess of hormones and turned on more than I’d ever been in my life, I couldn’t give it to him. I couldn’t give him my kiss again.

I turned my head in the nick of time and his mouth landed on my jaw.

“You’re not going to give me your mouth, huh?” he mumbled against my cheek before pressing open mouth kisses down my face to my neck.

“No,” I whispered into the quiet room, my voice breathy.

“Mmm,” he moaned right into the spot where my shoulder met my neck before giving me a bite there that simultaneously stung and lit my body on fire. “Then I’ll just have to take what you give me. Now won’t I?” he growled.

About the Amie

Amie Knight has been a reader for as long as she could remember and a romance lover since she could get her hands on her momma’s books. A dedicated wife and mother with a love of music and makeup, she won’t ever be seen leaving the house without her eyebrows and eyelashes done just right. When she isn’t reading and writing, you can catch her jamming out in the car with her two kids to ’90s R&B, country, and showtunes. Amie draws inspiration from her childhood in Columbia, South Carolina, and can’t imagine living anywhere other than the South.

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Review Post: Written With Regret by Aly Martinez

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Written With Regret, the first in an all-new emotional duet from USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez, is available now!

WW Regret FOR WEB

Every little girl dreams of the fairytale. The one where the white knight rushes in to save her from the clutches of evil. They fall in love, have babies, and live happily ever after.

By that definition, my life should have been a fairytale too.

When I was eight years old, Caven Hunt saved me from the worst kind of evil to walk the Earth. It didn’t matter that I was a kid. I fell in love with him all the same.

But that was where my fairytale ended.

Years later, a one-night stand during the darkest time imaginable gave us a little girl. It was nothing compared to the pitch black that consumed me when I was forced to leave her with Caven for good.

At the end of every fairytale, the happily-ever-after is the one thing that remains consistent. It wasn’t going to be mine, but there hadn’t been a night that passed where I hadn’t prayed that it would be hers.

I owed Caven my life.

However, I owed that innocent child more.

And that included ripping the heart from my chest and facing her father again.

WWR - AN

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*****5 Absolutely Amazing Stars*****

Written With Regret is Aly Martinez at her absolute best.

This book is one of the most unforgettable stories I have EVER read. The story you get in this book, the dynamic and interweaving layers it presents to you, the AMAZING characters it sears to your heart, and every single incredible word of this book is just a fraction of what makes this one of the best stories I have ever read. I truly have never read a book like this one before, and I’m completely positive that with the exception of the follow up to this book, I never will read another story like this one.

It is that magnificent. It is that consuming. It is that unique.

It is everything.

As I am sitting here writing this review I want to tell you all the things about this book and how utterly breathtaking and outstanding it is, but I also want to tell you nothing about the story because this is a story you NEED to experience for yourself. You need to go into this story blind. You need to just read the blurb and jump in heart first, because experiencing this story for yourself will take your breath away. LITERALLY. There were so many moments when reading this book when I felt the physical effects of what these characters were going through and when I could not breathe or move because I was so consumed in what was unfolding before me.

So trust me, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, just jump into this book ready for the emotional ride of your life.

I guarantee you have never read a book like this one. Ever. I promise you you will be completely owned by every word of this story. And I am telling you now, be prepared for one of the most emotionally consuming, heartrending, and breathtaking stories you will ever have the chance to experience.

From the very first moments of this book until the very last, your heart and soul will be on edge, will be feeling it all, and will be loving every word of what these characters give you. This story will push you right along with them to the limits. It will make you think and feel EVERYTHING, and it will have you wondering how in the hell it is all going to come together with the intricate and well thought out pieces this story delivers. You will love every piece of this exceptionally thought out story that you get in this book, and when you reach the last page of this book, you will be desperate for more.

More emotions, more answers, and more of this incredible world and these characters that will consume you within everything it has.

While I don’t want to tell you much about the story itself, as to not give away too much, I will tell you that these characters and what they give you in their story will touch and pull and break at every part of your heart. Caven and Hadley’s story isn’t easy. At all. It is quite the opposite really. It is messy, full of their own flaws and past mistakes, it is more complicated than an episode of Game of Thrones, with both of their pasts being an integral part of what continues to make their present and future so damn hard to fight for. Their story is full of emotional ups and downs, and it will have you guessing at what is really happening with every single word you read, as you sit their feeling it all. You will feel their struggles, you will bask in their triumphs, and you will break with them as the past and present collide in ways you didn’t even think were possible.

And through it all you will live and breathe and feel and experience every lick of what they are sharing, what they each feel themselves, and what this story does to them and the dynamic and interweaving layers of their lives come to be.

I think what I loved most about this book was the fact that this story and these characters weren’t easy. They weren’t just two people trying to figure things out and having things immediately go their way, they were two very distinctive characters who were desperately trying to not let the demons of their past rule their lives. They were two characters who fought with all that they had for what they wanted, for what they knew was right, and for the life they wanted so badly. They were two characters trying to redeem themselves for the choices they’ve made and the life altering consequences those choices brought to not only them, but those around them. Both Caven and Hadley were two characters tied together by so much more, who were trying to find some semblance of happiness in the seconds.

Their story is wholly unique and so are they. Written With Regret is about what happens when they come together, as they face the past and the consequences of their choices, and as they fight like hell for the future they so desperately want to have. This story is completely theirs, and I am telling you, it will move you, break you, shock you, tear at every part of you, all while giving you it all and you will LOVE it so much. This story will make you think and question everything. It will make you wonder what happened all those years ago, and what could be in the next moment. It will have you rooting for Caven and Hadley and the little girl that connects them, and it will have you dying for all of the answers you want and need and have to have.

This story is not a fairy tale. It is not a story of boy meets girl, they fall in love, and that’s it. This story is more. So much more. This is a story of darkness, of heartbreak, of unimaginable anguish and pain. This is a story of the twists and turns your life can take in the beat of a heart. This is a story of fight, of steadfast determination, and the power and gloriousness of redemption. This is a story of the light that can be found in the dark, and what it truly means to live in the seconds. This is a story about what happens when the person who saved you all those years ago might just be the person to save you one last time, even if it means sacrificing your heart in the process.

Written With Regret is an emotional, consuming, and truly unforgettable read from start to finish.

I promise you will not see these characters or their story coming. You may think you know what you’ll get when you read this book, but I promise you, you have no idea what this book will deliver to you. And that is just part of what makes this one of the best books I have ever read. This story will own every single part of you from beginning to end, and will have you NEEDING the second part of this duet like you need your next breath.

Aly Martinez truly outdid herself with this book. I have loved each and every one of her books fiercely, and she is the queen of duets in my opinion. She writes one helluva story, and this one is no different. Yet in a way it is. It is more. It is more emotional. It is more consuming. It is more twisty and turny and bursting with moments that will stop you and your heart in their tracks. It is more of everything.

What Aly Martinez creates in Written With Regret is her best writing yet. I say that with all of her books because she continues to deliver unforgettable stories with an outstanding level of writing and storytelling, but this story really takes the cake. It really changes the game. It will push your mental and emotional boundaries, it will make you feel every ounce of what these characters do, and the way she so thoughtfully brings her words together to create this story will have you knowing with every fiber of your being that you have just read one exceptional story.

Written With Regret lets her writing talent shine through the emotional roller coaster these characters take you on. And you know what? You will love every second of that ride, you will LOVE having a front row seat to it all, and in the end, you’ll just want that ride to keep going and going because that is how amazing it is.

This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It is full of emotions and feels and heartbreak, but at its core it is a story of redemption, second chances, and the fight that defines you and your story. Written With Regret is brimming with emotional honesty and heart, and I loved every single second I got to spend within its pages with its characters. I can’t wait to continue this story in the follow up because I have no doubt that Aly Martinez will once again blow me away with everything she creates for these characters.

So are you ready for the emotional ride of your life?

Because buckle up buttercup and be ready for Caven, Hadley and every word of Written With Regret to give you one helluva reading experience that you will NEVER forget.

And trust me, you will love every second of this ride because it is nothing short of everything.

Excerpt:

Life had never been easy for me. Chaos had been following me like a dark cloud, looming and hovering, casting its shadow far and wide despite how bright the path in front of me should have appeared. After growing up the way I had, where happiness had been more of a privilege than a choice, I knew better than to believe that that moment would be anything other than fleeting.

And one second later, the universe proved me right.

I opened the door to see who had rung the bell—a cursory check revealed an empty hallway.

And that’s when I heard it: the sound that changed not only my entire life in the present, but my life for all future days to come.

At first, it was just a grunt, but as if that baby could feel my gaze, the minute my eyes made contact, it let out a sharp cry.

Confusion hit me like a lightning bolt, sending me back a step. I used the door frame for balance as I took in the yellow blanket with a hole only big enough to reveal a pale-pink face.

“What the fuck?” I breathed. Glancing around the hall, I waited for someone to jump out and start laughing. When no one spoke up to issue a punchline, I took a step closer and repeated, “What the fuck?”

I was utterly unable to process the absurdity in front of me.

Of course, I knew the facts.

It was a baby.

On my doorstep.

Alone.

But the why in that equation was glaringly absent.

“Uhhh,” Ian drawled, peering over my shoulder. “Why is there a kid at your door?”

“I have no idea,” I replied, staring down at the squirming and now-screaming bundle. “It was just there when I opened the door.”

Ian shoved me to the side so he could stand beside me. “You’re shitting me, right?”

“Does it look like I’m shitting you?”

He looked from me to the baby, then back again. “How did it get there?”

We were two incredibly smart men who had created a technology empire out of nothing. But, clearly, a baby was too big for either of us to wrap our minds around.

I swept an arm out and pointed to the kid. “I have no clue, but I’m assuming it didn’t catch a cab.”

A light of understanding hit his eyes. He moved first, stepping over the crying baby and hurrying down the hall, searching around the corner near the elevator before returning alone.

The party continued behind me, but even with the door open, the loud chatter was no match for the ear-piecing cries happening in that hallway.

Veronica suddenly appeared beside me, her body going solid as she stammered out. “Is that…a baby?”

“Back up,” I urged, throwing my arm out to block her path as though the infant were going to suddenly morph into a rabid animal. And let’s be honest, I knew nothing about babies. Anything was possible.

Ian dropped to his knees, scooping up the wailing child. Meanwhile, I stood there like a gawking idiot, paralyzed by a weight I didn’t yet understand.

“Call the pol—” He stopped abruptly and reached into the top of the child’s blanket. “Oh shit,” he whispered, his wide, panic-filled eyes flashing to mine.

“What?” I asked, stepping toward him to get a better look at the kid. Only it wasn’t that tiny baby cradled in his arms that made my heart stop and bile rise in my throat.

There, in my best friend’s hand, was a folded piece of notebook paper that had been tucked into the child’s blanket. From the looks of it, the paper was unremarkable in every sense of the word. Blue lines, white spaces, hanging remnants from where it had been haphazardly ripped from a spiral bound notebook. Even the crease was crooked. But it was my name scrawled on the outside in messy, black ink that made it the most remarkable paper in existence.

I snatched it from his hand and, with blood roaring in my ears, opened it.

Caven,

I’m sorry. I never meant for this to happen. This is our daughter Keira. I’ll love her forever. Take care of her the way I can’t.

Written with regret,

Hadley

The hall began to spin, my head feeling like every ounce of blood had been drained from my body. The thundering in my ears faded and the loud chatter of my guests, who were suddenly aware that something was happening at the door, roared to life.

And then the chaos finally found me all over again—the past playing out in my head like my life flashing before my eyes.

I sucked in a deep breath and looked at the baby in his arms. The blanket had fallen off its head just enough to reveal a patch of fine hairs, more orange than its mother’s red.

“Call the police,” I declared, turning on a toe and walking back into my apartment, leaving Ian standing in the hall with Hadley’s child.

Shoving through the crowd of concerned onlookers, I headed straight to the bottles of liquor lining the counter. I didn’t bother with ice or even a glass. I threw back that bottle of vodka, hoping like hell the burn of the alcohol could numb the panic coursing through my veins.

Through it all, that baby never stopped crying.

Pre-order the stunning conclusion, Written With You, today!

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About Aly

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her husband and four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and olives. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

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Review Post: Fixing Us by Miranda Elaine

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Fixing Us, an all-new romantic standalone from Miranda Elaine is available now!

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Gabriel Starr is the love of my life, even if he breaks my heart time and time again.

Like a fool, I keep going back, so I’ve made a promise to myself—one final night and then I’m done.

One night of passion.

No pressure. Most importantly, no future.

One month later, a positive pregnancy test tells me different.

Our only option is to raise this baby as friends, but how can we make it work when we can’t even keep our hands off each other?

We finally have the chance to be the family we never imagined we could be.

But first we need to focus on Fixing Us.

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*****5 Utterly Fantastic Stars*****

So let’s talk about how much I loved every incredible word of this book. From the very first word until the very last, I was swept up into the magic of this world, the dynamic pull of these characters, and the glorious feel of it all. I’m pretty sure I read most of this book with a smile on my face because that is how much I loved it, its characters, and everything I was getting with them on their fight to happily ever after.

Fixing Us by Miranda Elaine is one of my top reads of the year. This book was everything I needed it to be and more. It was funny as hell at times. It was sweet and sassy at others in a way that just made me so damn happy. It was so full of authentic feels and moments that touched my heart with these characters. It was real and enjoyable through every word, and in the end it was such a special story that I wholeheartedly connected to.

This book is all about second chances. Second chances in life. Second chances at love. Second chances with family and friends. And second chances at everything you’ve always wanted.

I LOVE me a good second chance romance. I am a personal believer in second chances, and it is my absolute favorite kind of story to read because there is something so special and so real about a second chance romance and story. There is just such a different dynamic in those kinds of story. The fight is stronger, the feels are deeper in a way because of the past history and what the characters have gone through, and the romance is on point because you know what these characters have been through to get and share those kinds of moments.

And when you couple that with the fact that Gabe and Leigh are faced with the many ups and downs that come with a surprise pregnancy in the middle of that second chance….well that was just the icing on top of the cupcake for this story! It was the best, and the dynamics that that added to everything I was LOVING about this book.

I absolutely loved every single second I got to spend with Gabe and Leigh as they had their second chance at it all. Their story wasn’t easy. It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It was hard. It was messy and complicated and it had a lot of pieces to it with their shared journey, as well as their own individual struggles. They had to work at it with all that they had. They had to work through more complications than they thought possible. They had to wade their way through the murky and treacherous waters of the past, in order to find themselves in the clarity that their future could bring them.

And let me tell you, I basked in getting to see them through all of that. Every word of their second chance at it all solidified my love for those two even more, and showed me how worth it their love was. Every ounce of fight that both Gabe and Leigh had as they made their way through seared them to my heart in every way possible. It also had me rooting for them with all that I had that things would be okay and that they would find their way. I loved their characters fiercely.

I loved what they were fight for, I loved them, and I loved how I got to be there with them EVERY step of the way as they pushed and fought and worked to get to the places they did romantically, emotionally, and mentally. I was with them, in their arena, living and breathing their exceptional story. That is just part of what made this one of the best books I have read this year.

The level of connection to them, this story, and this world that Miranda Elaine created through her words was outstanding, and it is just part of what has made this entire series so amazing.

This series is one that I am so sad to leave because the feel of this world and how inviting it is has made reading these books one of the most incredible reading experiences of my life. I love this world. I love the supporting characters that make it the most special place to be. I love the connections and sense of family all of these characters have with one another. I love that Red Oak isn’t just another place in a book, it’s somewhere that is so real and somewhere so enjoyable to be. Getting to experience Gabe and Leigh’s story in this world was truly incredible, and it honestly just made me love everything I was reading more.

I think what I loved most about this book, and really this entire series, was that I could so truly connect into these characters’ stories and what they were going through, even though I had never actually experienced that myself. I could understand what it was like to feel like your life was stalling out. I could get what it meant to be recovering from the challenges that your life has brought. I understood the challenges in overcoming many different family dynamics and situations. I got what it was like to be so close to someone, so in love with them, and so pulled to them, while also feeling the weight and pressure of reality and life on your shoulders. I got what it was like to want it all, but to always feel like it was just out of reach or even to feel like it wasn’t something you should’ve been reaching for in the first place.

I got it all. I felt it all. I experienced it all.

And that is a true testament to what Miranda Elaine created in Fixing Us with Gabe and Leigh that I got and felt and understood it all with her characters. Her words were everything in this book. They brought her story and her characters to life in a way that was so consuming, so deeply real, and that truly gave me an outstanding level of understanding and connection with everything she was creating. I will never forget what it was like to experience this story with Leigh and Gabe. I read every bit of their story with a heart that felt so much for them and that loved them with all that I had…and it was truly fantastic to get that.

This book had it all. It had the laughs and the fire and the glorious sass of these characters that made is so fun, so full of laughs and memorable moments, and that made it so enjoyable to read. It had the romance and the feels that were so real, raw, and so consuming through every page. It had the embodiment of a second chance romance with the glorious level of fight these characters had and the unadulterated connection they shared. It had moments that made laugh, others that physically hurt my heart with their struggles, and others that made me soar with what they won and found along the way.

Suffice to say, Fixing Us was a book that delivered in every way.

It had the perfect amount of romance, friendship, and family. It was incredibly written and thoroughly enjoyable to experience from start to finish, and it was a book that I loved every single word of. This book was a story all about second chances. Second chances at life and love and family. It highlighted just how far you’re willing to go and how hard you’re willing to fight when love is on the table and at stake. It also highlighted the strength of these characters and the depth of their hearts with everything the shared.

When I finished this book I was sad to say goodbye, but I could not have asked for more with their story. Miranda Elaine exceptionally crafted Gabe and Leigh’s story into one I know I won’t soon forget! She made their connection, their love, and their fight for it all so incredibly special, and I truly feel lucky to have been given the chance to read it and experience it with them!

Miranda Elaine rocked it out of the park with Fixing Us.

Whether this is your first book by her or you’re a person who has come to love the world of Red Oak just as much as I have, you NEED this book in your life.

Trust me.

Gabe and Leigh will take ahold of you with all that they have and they will own your heart as you experience their second chance at it all. Their story isn’t always easy for the two of them, but it is beyond worth it and so are they. You will LOVE every second of being with them in the emotional trenches as they fight their way through it all, and in the end, you will be so damn glad you had the chance to see them attempt to fix each other and their relationship along the way.

Excerpt:

Finally, after what feels like a millennium, the door opens and Dr. Mallard enters, smiling. He’s an older man who is always overly happy. I like him, even if I find his cheerfulness somewhat off-putting at this exact second.

“Mrs. Simms, how exciting to have you here today. This must be your husband.” He walks over to Gabe, who stands, hand extended.

“Sorry, no,” I chime in. “Definitely not my husband.”

“My fault,” he apologizes. “Your boyfriend. This is a new age. Lots of people in lifelong relationships nowadays without marriage.”

Awkward.

“Nope,” I say, popping my P with a bit more attitude than intended. “We aren’t together.” I look over at Gabe, who’s holding his laughter in and I silently yell Help me!

“Just got her knocked up,” Gabe finally speaks. “Classic fairy tale story of ex-sex turning into a baby. Turns out those silly condoms serve a purpose and really shouldn’t be skipped. Who knew?”

“Seriously!” I yell while shooting him daggers with my eyes. All he does to respond is shrug his shoulders and give me an evil grin.

“Okay, Miss Simms, if you can lie back and put your feet up we can check on this little miracle,” Dr. Mallard finally says as the nurse pulls the stirrups out and helps me assume the position.

Even if you don’t want your ex-boyfriend back you still always want them to think of you as the sexy one who got away, not the girl nude and exposed with her legs in the air while a doctor probes her. Great, fucking great.

“Sure.” I lie back and my head jerks to Gabe. “But you stay north of the equator.”

“Not a problem, Leigh.” He smiles at me. “But it ain’t nothing I haven’t seen before.”

“Well, it’s definitely something you’re never seeing again,” I snap back at him, causing the nurse to let a small chuckle escape.

I try to act cool by the fact that the doctor seems to think sticking a huge wand up me is perfectly normal.

Thump thump. Thump thump.

Our bickering immediately stops. The room is dark and the monitor next to me is lit up.

“Is that—” Gabe starts.

“That’s your baby’s heartbeat,” the doctor interrupts. “And if you look over here, you see that small little bean shape in the middle there.” He points to the picture on the ultrasound machine. “That’s your baby. It’s currently approximately the size of a raspberry.”

“Wow,” Gabe and I both somehow say at the same time.

We finish the appointment with a plethora of information. Gabe is quiet and the silliness that existed in the examination room is gone. We check out and walk side by side. Neither of us bringing up everything we need to discuss.

Does him showing up mean he wants to be involved? Does he assume we will get back together? Can we even do this together? Do I want to?

All the questions are running rampant in my head and instead of saying a single one of them I simply say, “I’ll let you know when I have another appointment.”

“Thanks.” He holds the door to the building open, letting me walk outside, him close on my heels. “I want to be here for you and our child as best as I can.”

I nod, but my mind is still back in that office with that beautiful baby. My baby.

“We ought to talk, Leigh.”

“You’re right. But today I got to hear my—our, baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Let’s not ruin it, okay?” We’re standing in the middle of the parking lot, neither of us moving to our respective vehicles.

“Okay, but soon.”

About Miranda

Miranda is a loving wife and barely surviving mother of three occasionally good kids. Her hobbies include lying to herself about the calories in donuts and banana pudding, as well as running out of excuses when procrastinating. She’s been an avid reader since she was a young girl. Whether she’s by the pool, curled up in bed, or hiding in the closet, as long as she has a book in her hands she’s happy.

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