Reviews Published Professional Reader Challenge Participant 80% 2016 NetGalley Challenge 50 Book Reviews

Friday, June 28, 2019

Seven Nights of Sin (Penthouse Affair #2) by Kendall Ryan

My Rating: 4 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Penthouse Affair #2.
He's the powerful CEO. I'm the know-it-all intern.

Things went further than they should have, but I don't have any regrets. Well, maybe just one...

I went and did the one thing he told me not to – fall in love with him.

Now I have seven days to prove my trust and devotion. Turns out money is a powerful drug, but love is even more addictive.

Seven Nights of Sin is the stunningly sexy and heart-tugging conclusion to The Two Week Arrangement.

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Conclusion to the Penthouse affair series, we get to read about what happened between Presley and Dominic. 
At the ending of the first book they are at a crossroad, Dom can'r trust her, after all his past experiences had shown him that people don't care about anyone but themselves. Presley has no clue on how to make him understand that she was just naive, that she would never hurt him.

Their working relationship makes it impossible to stay apart and Dom continues to see her for the amazing woman that she is, but he can't seem to let her in, his walls are up so high now, that there is no way anything is getting in.

Presley knows she has fallen hard and now it's time to move on, Dom is not able to give her what she needs and wants. But how do you give up the person you love?

We have all met the unavailable guy, the one that puts himself first, because someone hurt him in the past and he uses that as a shield and justification to push everyone away. They feel they are unable to love, they can't imagine how anyone can fit into their lives.

Since Dom cares about her he doesn't want to end up hurting her, because even though his heart is ready, his mind is not letting him move forward. 

Will he be brave enough to take a chance on her? 

Can Presley stand the back and forward routine long enough to let him see she is perfect for him?

About Kendall Ryan

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than three dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 2.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world.
Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than

70 times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

Visit her at: for the latest book news, and fun extras.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Trouble with You (Rixon Raiders #1) by L.A. Cotton

My Rating: 4 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Rixon Raiders #1.
From the author of the Wicked Bay series, comes an angsty YA/NA enemies-to-lovers romance. Cocky football players, school rivalry, and the girls who get in their way. Get ready … The Raiders are coming! 

Hailee Raine only has to survive one more year. 
One year of life in her football obsessed town. 
One year of nauseating school spirit. 
Just one more year of her cruel step-brother Jason; and his cocky, arrogant, football-playing friends. 
She hates them. Especially, Cameron Chase, the guy she thought was different. 

Cameron Chase has the world at his feet. 
He has it all; good looks, talent, and the charm to go with it. 
He has colleges lined up at the door, all wanting a piece of Rixon Raiders star wide receiver. 
Until something threatens everything he's ever worked for, and only one person can quiet the war raging inside him. 
But he's supposed to hate her; his best friend's sister. 

She's off-limits. 
She's trouble with a capital T. 

Then Hailee finds herself in the middle of a football prank gone wrong... 
And suddenly hating each other never felt so good. 

The Trouble With Youis the first book in The Rixon Raiders series. All books in this series can be read as standalones! 

The Trouble With You 
The Game You Play (coming soon) 

The Harder You Fall (coming soon) 

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Hailee Raine is definitely not the popular girl in School. She is happy staying out of the spotlight, and as far away as possible from her stepbrother and his squad of morons.

She has no clue what made him hate her on sight but she has been living with his torturing for years.

Something seems to be different this year, her life changes drastically when Cameron Chase starts to pay more attention to her. That, paired with the fact that her best friend is dead set at experiencing everything that they haven’t yet, pushed Hailee out of her comfort zone and into this unknown world she doesn’t know how to navigate.

The story is basically a “from hate (that was never really hate) to love” high school romance, which we have seen before. But I was really captivated by their chemistry, Cameron made all the wrong choices, he was basically flying blind, and still figured out a way of getting Hailee to see him for who he really was.

I guess people are always categorized in their respective boxes and people end up believing that’s all they are. But as humans, we can’t be fitted in one box; we have different shades that made us special, infinity of levels that define our personalities. 

Cameron was not an exception, he was more than just a Jock and when Hailee sees that there is no way she can walk away from him. 

She will be what keeps him from falling into pieces and he will keep her safe from the world.

“Hells yeah, Fee baby, get over here.”

I smirked, watching as Felicity’s eyes widened at Asher while his gaze swept down her body. The guy had it bad, which sucked for him since she had it bad for the moody fucker sitting beside me.

“The girls are here.” I nudged Jase with my elbow, and he blinked at me, ripping his ear buds out. “Huh?”

“The girls”. I pointed in their direction.

“Oh, great.” He grimaced, a dark look falling over his expression.

“Can you at least try? I know it’d mean a lot for Hailee if you did.”

He got up and grunted, “Like I give a fuck. You want a beer?”

“Sure.” I let out an exasperated breath, watching as he skulked away. Jase pretended not to care but something told me did, and he didn’t know what to do with that.

“Hey, everything okay?” Hailee asked as she sank down in the chair beside me.

“Yeah.” I reached for her hand, pulling it onto my thigh. “Just Jase being his usual self.”

Her lips thinned. Things were strained between them. My girl and my best friend. It was a mess, but tonight was about cutting loose, and I intended to do just that.

“Go in the pool with me,” I said, eyeing Asher across the yard. He was busy charming Felicity although she looked less than impressed at his efforts. I kinda felt sorry for the guy. But not enough to go save him. Not when I had more important things to be doing.

“You’re not serious?” Hailee’s eyes went wide. “It’s too cold.”

“It’s heated. Besides, you’re not afraid of a little chill, are you?” My brow rose, daring her.

“Oh, it’s like that is it?” She smirked, her eyes darkening with lust and love and acceptance.

Fuck, I loved this girl. I couldn’t remember a time when I hadn’t always felt something for her, but it was different now. We might have only been seniors, with our whole lives ahead of us, but I knew one day, I was going to put a ring on her finger and call her Mrs. Chase.

“Cam?” My name rolled off her lips in a breathy sigh. “Where’d you go?

“Nowhere.” I grinned standing up and pulling her with me. “Come in the pool with me, Sunshine.”

“I don’t have my costume.”

“So, it’s only us, the guys, and Felicity. Go in your underwear.”

“You’re crazy.” Laughter spilled from her lips and I dipped my head, kissing her.

Hailee’s hands went to my chest as she sank against me, giving over to the connection that tethered us. I sucked her tongue, nipping and licking. Chasing my lips down her throat and back up, lingering at the shell of her ear. “I dare you, Sunshine.”

“You don’t play fair,” she breathed, inching away from me. Her hands hooked into the hem of her sweater and she yanked it off in one before kicking off her pumps.

“Now it’s a party,” Asher yelled, and I flipped him off, fighting a smug grin.

“Your turn.” Hailee arched her brow, the corner of her mouth tipped in anticipation.

Silently, eyes locked on hers, I pulled off my jersey, and kicked off my sneakers, before unbuttoning my jeans and shucking out of them. Hailee’s heated gaze ran over my body, pausing at the bulge in my black boxer briefs. “See something you like, Sunshine?” I asked all while wondering how much Asher and Jase would give me shit if I was to throw her over my shoulder Neanderthal style and take her to up to my room in the Bennet’s house.

“Oh no.” Hailee’s voice snapped me out my trance. “We are seeing this thing through now. You should know by now, I never back down from a challenge.”

Slipping her fingers in her pants, Hailee pushed them over her hips letting the soft material glide down her legs. “On three?” she asked, her face lit up with happiness.


“One.” We counted together. “Two.”


I wrestled her over my shoulder, sprinted to the pool and jumped. Water filled the spaces between us, but Hailee managed to wrap herself around me just as we emerged.

“You’re dead,” she ground out. “So dead.”

I glanced over at Asher and Felicity before doing a quick sweep of the Bennet’s yard for Jase.

“I’ll make it up to you.” I carried Hailee through the water to the far end of the kidney shaped pool. It wasn’t completely hidden from view from the rest of the yard, but it was discreet enough.

“Cameron, what are—”

I cut Hailee off with my lips, pushing my tongue deep into her mouth. Her legs clamped around me until she was grinding on me.

“Here?” Her soft laughter washed over me as she eased back to look at me.

“Later,” I said with a hint of promise. “For now...” I dipped one of my fingers down to her soaked panties.

“Cam,” she gasped as my finger hooked inside and found her clit. “Oh God.” Hailee buried her face into my shoulder. I’d positioned us against the edge of the pool, trapping her body there. It probably looked all kinds of obvious should anyone come look for us, but right then, I didn’t care. I needed to touch her. Needed to feel her come undone.

“Look at me, Sunshine,” I commanded softly, and Hailee gave me her eyes.

“I want to watch you when you come.” Pushing two fingers inside her, I curled them up, rubbing the spot that I knew drove her wild.

“Oh God...” she cried, biting her bottom lip to trap the sound.

“Not God, Sunshine, just number fourteen.”

Even through the pleasure, Hailee managed to roll her eyes at my words. “Fuck, I love you like this.” I whispered. “You have the cutest blush along your neck.”

Watching Hailee come was one of my favorite pastimes.

“Cam, more... I need...”

My mouth crashed down on hers as I worked her over, alternating rolls of my thumb against her clit with the steady stroke of my fingers. Hailee began to tremble, her hands clamping onto my shoulder as she rode my hand, demanding more, taking what she needed.

She could take everything and I’d willingly give it to her.

“Come for me, Hailee.” I whispered against her lips, and my words sent her over the edge.

Skin flushed, eyes closed, my name spilled from Hailee’s lips over and over as her body clenched around my fingers.

“You okay?” I asked, chuckling.

Her sated expression turned into a frown. “It was great... but all I’m thinking now is how many girls has Asher done the exact same thing to in this exact same spot?”

“Seriously, that’s what you’re thinking right now?”

Hailee smirked. “It’s not my fault your best friend is a slut.”

“He’s not...” I rolled my lips together.

“Exactly.” Her smirk turned smug. “We should probably get out of here before we catch something.” Hailee slid out from between me and the wall, but I snagged her wrist.

“I’m pretty sure Asher wouldn’t mind getting Felicity in here.” My brows waggled but she didn’t laugh.

“Number one, that’s gross. My bodily fluids have contaminated the water, you should probably go tell Asher to clean it out or whatever; and secondly, we both know if Flick does want to get in the pool with someone, it won’t be Asher.” Her expression was tight.

“Okay, the pool is strictly off limits for the rest of the night,” I said, attempting to lighten the mood.

“Can we go get dry now?” A hint of a smile played on her mouth.

“Will you let me dirty you up again first?”

“Only if you can catch me.” Hailee dived for the steps, hauled her cute little ass out the pool and took off toward to the house.

And what did I do?

I went after her.

Like I always would.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Naughty Stranger (Dangerous Love #1) by Stacey Kennedy

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Dangerous Love #1.
From USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy comes a thrilling, sexy romance about a woman in danger and a small-town police detective who will do anything to keep her safe.

After a sudden tragedy blew her world apart, Peyton Kerr fled her big city career and started over in Stoney Creek, Maine. So far, she’s loving small-town life–no one knows about her past, and her easy flirtation with Boone Knight gives her a reason to smile. But then someone is murdered in Peyton’s store, and her quiet, anonymous existence is instantly destroyed. To make matters worse, Boone–a police detective–is assigned to the case, and Peyton knows she can’t keep him at arm’s length any longer. She’s resisted the simmering heat between them–but now this gorgeous man is promising to keep her safe–and satisfied…

Boone Knight doesn’t want the complications of a relationship. But when he volunteers to protect his town’s newest–and sexiest–resident, he finally admits he’d like to explore their sizzling attraction. And after one incredible night, everything changes for Boone. Peyton is sweeter–and braver–than anyone he’s ever met, and with her in his arms, everything makes sense. He just needs to convince her to trust him enough to reveal her secrets, or risk losing her to a merciless killer who seems to grow bolder with each passing day.

Boone and Payton, what can I say? They were amazing! their connection intense and captivating. Two broken souls who found in each other the thing that completed them in a different way than they could have ever expected. 

Payton's story was heartbreaking, she went through one of the hardest things that anyone could experience and she was taking a step into finding her place in the world again, a new life, a clean slate. 
Little by little she starts to make a new home for herself, she has amazing friends and a job she loves. She also has a crazy knee-weakening attraction to the sexy detective and she has no clue what to do about it. 

How do you open yourself up to love again when you thought you already had your HEA? When is the right time to move on?

Boone's life hasn't been easy either, he has been able to move on from his past hurt, but he is still not complete. His life is full of family and friend's love, but he hasn't been able to open his heart again. 
As a detective, he has always trusted his gut but after everything that happened he is not sure he can make things work with someone else without fearing dishonesty.

Something dark has followed Payton to this new heaven she's found and it will be up to Boone to figure the mystery out if he want to save her.

Thrilling action scenes, death, guns, a lot of blood and some intense sex scenes made this story amazing! 

A story about second chances in life. Even when it feels that everything is over, you have to focus on the lights in the dark. Those shinny moments, even if small and fleeting can be the start of something bigger that will bring light back into your life. 

The loud rumble of the baby blue Volkswagen Beetle quieted as Peyton Kerr pressed against the brake pedal. Stoney Creek’s Main Street was cute and quaint, with boutique shops lining the skinny road where cars were parked without much space in between them. Through her open window, she tasted the salt in the air coming off the Atlantic Ocean and drove by a young man packing large containers with live lobsters into the back of his old Chevy pickup. On the next corner was a ticket booth for the lighthouse boat tours. Stoney Creek was a far cry from the bright lights, skyscrapers, and pungent busy city aroma that Seattle carried, but it was also a most welcome change.

People came to Stoney Creek for the picturesque views of the coastline on the bay. They climbed the mountain that overlooked the town and the ocean. They ate fresh fish at the restaurants near the marina, walked the beaches, and sailed the open waters. Peyton came for those reasons too. Well, and a laundry list of others, including that Stoney Creek was the last vacation spot she visited with her late husband, Adam, just over a year ago. She’d been her happiest here. They swam the waters, ate too much, laughed hard enough to cry. That’s what brought her back to the small Maine town. She’d left Seattle a heartbroken twenty-six-year-old widow, and she returned to Stoney Creek determined to find happiness here again.

Her heart clenched at the reminder of all she’d lost, threatening to expose all the weak spots. She forced the emotion back with a deep swallow, refusing to go to the dark place again. The past was behind her. That’s where it’d stay.

Up ahead, Peyton recognized the dark-haired slender woman waiting beneath a withered store sign as Isabella, her real estate agent. Peyton squeezed her used—but new to her—car into one of the parking spots.

Before she could even get out, Isabella was already at the passenger-side door. “You made it.”

“I’m so glad to finally be here.” Peyton smiled, turning off the car and exiting. She’d done a nine-hour flight with a layover in Philadelphia, then landed at the Portland International Jetport. That’s where she found her new car, which she thought suited small-town living. After a good night’s sleep in Portland, she drove three hours, taking the scenic drive along the coast to her fresh start. “Thanks for meeting me.”

“It’s no problem. I’ve got your keys here for both your house and your shop.” Isabella reached into her purse, then handed Peyton two sets of keys. “You’re all set to move in and open shop.” She handed her a slew of business cards. “I’ve given you some names of handymen around town if you want to give the store a makeover.”

Peyton glanced up at the old sign again and took in the cracked windowpane and peeling white paint on the exterior. Both the shop and her new lake house needed work, but so did she. “Great,” Peyton said, feeling like a fish out of water. “Thank you so much for everything. You’ve been so helpful.”

“Call if you need anything.” Isabella smiled and, shocking Peyton, threw her arms around her like they were friends. “You’re going to love it here.” With a final wave, she was off, practically skipping her way down the sidewalk.

Okay, so the people were the nice, touchy-feely sort.

Peyton turned back to her new shop and exhaled the breath she hadn’t known she’d been holding. Set in a historic redbrick building, in between Whiskey Blues, a jazz club on the right, and an empty store on the left, was her little lingerie shop with the French-style storefront. Two large display windows hugged the dark maple door with the original brass handle. The store might not be much in size, but the charm of the shop made up for it.

It was also 100 percent hers. Paid for with the insurance money from Adam’s death. Two weeks ago, in her lowest of lows, a Facebook ad for the Stoney Creek B&B, where she and Adam had stayed at when they’d vacationed there, had popped up on her screen. After that, she’d fallen down the Internet hole until she discovered the local lingerie shop was for sale. Everything from there happened so fast; she’d up and bought the shop on a total whim. Because if anything could make her feel happy again, it would be found in the place she felt the happiest. She also kept thinking that if she could make other women feel beautiful, then she’d feel that way again too.

This past year, she had no reason to wear gorgeous lingerie, let alone find a reason to get out of bed. She wore cotton bras and underwear for comfort. But she’d had a blast selling lingerie during her nursing school days. She couldn’t help but think that buying a lingerie shop was a good step forward to finding the fun parts of herself that had disappeared with Adam’s death.

Sure, she knew her mental state was hanging in the balance of her new life and her new shop. She couldn’t fail. Not because of the money. Adam had left her in good shape financially. But she couldn’t fail because this was all she had. There was nothing else giving her a purpose. And she was done playing the victim. She was also done simply surviving. She’d already been doing that in spades in Seattle. She wanted to breathe. To live.

And that’s why she’d left Seattle and her parents. She’d given up her nursing career in the ER at Seattle’s General Hospital, and she’d dumped every cent she received from Adam’s insurance money into this shop and her little house on the lake.

Was she crazy?

Oh, yeah, she was totally batshit nuts.

She glanced down at the house keys in her hand. All of her belongings would be shipped tomorrow, so tonight she planned to stay at the Stoney Creek B&B a couple blocks down Main Street.

“Are you the new owner?”

Peyton turned around, finding an older couple smiling at her. “Yes, I am.”

“Oh, so lovely to hear,” the woman said, her arm wrapped in her husband’s. “We need more young business owners coming in and keeping our downtown alive.” She offered her hand. “I’m Marjorie, and this is Joe.”

Peyton returned Marjorie’s handshake and then shook Joe’s hand. “It’s nice to meet you both. I’m Peyton.” When she drew her hand away, her stomach suddenly rumbled loudly. “I’m sorry about that. Apparently, I’m starving.”

Joe’s amber eyes crinkled with his warm smile. “The bar next door has one of the best fish sandwiches in town.”

“That sounds delicious.” Peyton returned the smile, feeling the tightness in her chest begin to dissolve. “I’ll be sure to check it out. Thanks.”

“Enjoy your evening, Peyton,” Marjorie said. With a final wave, they continued on their walk.

When Peyton’s stomach growled again, she headed for the bar, thinking a drink along with food sounded like the next best step forward. She didn’t see any parking signs, figuring she could leave her car there for the night.

She grabbed her purse from the car, locked the doors and entered the bar. From its original flagstone walls and restored burgundy velvet chairs to the gold accents, the bar was pure class. Four large crystal chandeliers gave the space a warm, inviting feel, and round tables surrounded the black shiny stage, where a man had his head bowed over the piano he played.

Peyton headed for the bar that had three men drinking beers. She hastily moved to the other side, keeping her distance from anyone of the opposite sex. Even the hot guy with the dark hair and muscular biceps who held her gaze, the side of his mouth curving sensually. Actually, especially because of that. She needed to find herself again, not find herself in anyone’s bed.

When she slid onto the stool, a friendly voice said, “You’re new here.”

Peyton glanced up, finding a slim, long-haired brunette wearing a black T-shirt that read whiskey blues across her chest. The bright pink lipstick she wore made her big blue eyes pop.

“Yup, I’m brand spanking new.” Peyton smiled, offering her hand. “I bought the store next door.”

“Did you?” The woman returned the handshake. “Well, that makes us friends already, then.”

Peyton laughed. “And here I was thinking making new friends was going to be hard.” She placed her hands back onto her purse. “I’m Peyton.”

“Kinsley,” the woman said, grabbing a martini glass. “Lucky for you, I own this place, which means I can call it a night and celebrate us being neighbors.” She gestured at the glass. “Chocolate martinis sound okay?”

“Sounds divine,” Peyton said, her mouth watering. She definitely wanted a fish sandwich, but a little liquid love first didn’t hurt. Besides, she hoped the drink would help dissolve the lump in her throat. She questioned her sanity, uprooting her life and leaving her family behind. But she couldn’t have stayed in Seattle another day. Seattle belonged to her and Adam. She needed to belong without him. Adam was gone. He wasn’t coming back.

Kinsley finished pouring two glasses, then held hers up. “To new friendships and new beginnings.”

Peyton lifted her glass. “Cheers to that!”

Before long, one glass turned into two glasses, and Peyton’s belly felt warm, her smile easy, the fish sandwich long forgotten. She spoke of Seattle, leaving out all the personal parts, keeping those secrets locked up tight. And Kinsley shared life in Stoney Creek, the fun places to go, the sights to see.

“I make a damn fine martini,” Kinsley said, licking the chocolate flakes off her upper lip. She placed her empty glass behind the bar. “Give me a couple minutes, then we’ll Uber it to this new house of yours on the lake and grab some takeout on the way. I gotta see this place. It sounds amazing.”

Sure, Kinsley was a stranger, but something about her laidback way put Peyton at ease. “Deal.” Peyton took another sip of her drink, watching Kinsley leave the bar and move into the back room, feeling happier than she’d felt in an entire year.

Something warm suddenly brushed against Peyton’s arm, making her shiver. She turned as Mr. Crooked Smile sat on the stool next to her. He was tall—around six foot two, pure muscle, an all-around fine specimen of a man. His intense blue eyes that appeared nearly gray in the low lighting held hers, and his five-o’clock shadow brought her attention to his totally kissable lips. He wore a navy-blue T-shirt that stretched across his chest, showcasing hard biceps, and jeans that hugged his thick thighs.

“Hi.” He grinned, voice as smooth as melted chocolate. And she really liked chocolate. A lot.

She took in the hard masculine lines of his face, softened a little by the strands of dark hair falling across his forehead. “I’m new here, opening the shop next door,” she babbled.

“Ah, the lingerie shop,” he said, his eyes dancing at whatever was crossing her expression. “Tonight’s a celebration, then?”

God, she must have looked like she wanted to eat him. Well, she did, so whatever. Obviously, the martinis without food had been a terrible idea. “That’s right,” she said, lifting her chin, trying not to look as rattled by this guy or as tipsy as she felt.

His arm brushed against hers again—clearly intentional this time—and she shivered, hearing her own hitching breath. His gaze went red hot, those deep eyes turning darker, examining her deeper. She swallowed, trying to calm her puckering nipples and the building heat between her thighs.

What. The. Hell?

“Um, excuse me.” She slid off the stool and stumbled in the process. After she laughed at herself and hid her gaze from him, she beelined it toward the bathroom across the bar. Once inside, she turned on the water and placed her hands underneath to cool off. She looked into the mirror, finding her cheeks flushed, her eyes glossy and full of heat. Maybe those chocolate martinis had an aphrodisiac effect. Because . . . holy hell!

She stayed in the bathroom probably longer than necessary. When she came out, she nearly walked into Mr. Crooked Smile. He caught her by the waist to steady her, and when his hands tightened on her hips something overcame her, an emotion she could not control. His touch was warm and strong, and his potent stare pulled her in until she looked into his eyes intimately.

He arched an eyebrow. “All right?”

“Why are you waiting here for me?” she managed.

His smile was gentle and sweet, and on a big tough guy looked mouthwateringly delicious. “You’ve been in there a while. Feeling okay?”

She stared at him. For some reason she was immensely touched by his kindness, and she suddenly couldn’t remember all the reasons she didn’t want a man in her life. “God, you’re so hot.” She grabbed his face and kissed him. Passionately. With tongue.

A low masculine sound that tickled her in the best places rose from deep in his chest. Then her back hit the wall. Hard. Shock and desire flooded her as he threaded one hand into her hair, then claimed her mouth. Owned it, with every hard press of his lips and swirl of his tongue.

When she began nearly climbing up his body, a moment of clarity hit her, and she broke away with a gasp. “What in the hell are we doing?” she asked, staring at his mouth, and wanting desperately to have more of it. “You’re a stranger.” A naughty stranger.

“I believe you kissed me,” he said in a voice so low goose bumps rose on her arms, and a smile so sexy it should come with a warning label. “And were doing a fine job of it.”


Still in the man’s arms, Peyton turned, finding Kinsley staring at them with her arms folded.

“So,” Kinsley said with a sly smile. “I see you’ve met my brother, Boone.”

Kickin' It (Red Card #2) by Rachel Van Dyken

My Rating: 5 Stars
Sex Scenes: Yes.
Series: Yes, Red Card #2.
Love breaks the offside rule in New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s irresistibly sexy Red Card romance.

Successful, high-profile sports agent Matt Kingston thinks he can handle anything. Then soccer player Parker Speedman shows up at his door. She is young and gorgeous, has natural talent, and is looking for a team. She’s also a hothead with a punchy past who floored her last coach on live TV. Despite his misgivings, Matt agrees to be both her agent and her coach. Professional common sense says she’s off-limits. But what can he say about the raw attraction between them?

Parker plays soccer with her heart and soul. But after the events of the last year, she’s shaken. She’s already seen what a powerful man can do to a female athlete’s career. And her beloved dream is in the hands of a sexy, gorgeous man with the uncanny ability to slip past her defenses…and into her heart.

Now Matt and Parker are about to learn that when it comes to love, the only way to win is by breaking every rule they know. And by playing nice. Real nice.

As I always say, Rachel, I love you! You are one of my favorite writers! Every book of yours is perfection, there's no denying it! Simply amazing.
I ate this book up! Strong female characters, amazing alpha male guys, what else can we ask for?!

Matt and Parker's relationship was a bit taboo, but we can't even think about that because their chemistry is incredible!

Parker had something terrible happen to her, she was hurt while in a weak position and now she is scared of letting anyone get too close. She won't be taken advantage of again, even if that means putting up an impenetrable wall around her heart.

She is ready to fight for her future; she is strong and talented, nothing can stop her.

But what happens when the unexpected shows up?

Matt is nothing like she thought he would be, she instantly feels closer to him than any other person in her life. He slowly inches closer to her wall, until he is almost all the way inside her heart, Can she trust him?

Matt's life is a great one, he has all the money he could want, an amazing job he loves and awesome yet annoying friends. But lately he realizes something is missing, he is lonely, and this new addition to his household might be just what he needs.

Can they fight her demons and prove to the rest of the world her truth and their love?

Will being together destroy them both, or is there a way to find their HEA?

PS.: Willow and Jagger (L) OMG! I love them! he has no clue what he is in for :)

I found a box of tampons in the hall bathroom.

Next to a can of aerosol spray that had a giant kangaroo on it and something about a twenty-four-hour hold.

For what? Your ponytail?

I broke out in a cold sweat when I spotted another toothbrush near the sink. It was red with sparkles. This bothered me. I had no idea why. It wasn’t like it was the master bathroom. But it was still my f*cking bathroom.

I narrowed my eyes as a hairbrush with exactly three dark hairs stuck in it sat alarmingly close to the toothbrush. She was a monster! A savage! Who put hair that close to something that goes inside your mouth? Just the thought had me shuddering as I turned off the light and closed the door behind me.

“Oomph!” Parker stumbled against me. I caught her by the biceps. And then was completely caught off guard that she actually had them.

Slightly firm in all the right places, yet completely soft.

Her brown eyes had speckles of gold near the center, and I imagined that on any given day they could change color depending on her mood. Her strong jawline made her look like a tomboy, but part of me wondered if it was because of the way she wore her hair. Tight ponytails and not a stitch of makeup. Like attracting someone of the opposite sex was the furthest thing from her mind.

She jerked away from me as though I was the offending party.

When she’d done nothing but insult me since she arrived at my house.

“Your hairbrush is scary close to your toothbrush, just thought you should . . . know.” F*ck me, did I really just warn her about hair? What the hell was wrong with me?

I mentally slapped myself while she narrowed her eyes at me then back at the closed door. “You think you’re going to be able to sleep tonight knowing how close together they are or should you watch me move them farther apart? I don’t want to cause any more gray hair.” Her eyes moved to the side of my head like she was fixated on at least a million gray hairs shining in all their glory telling her that I was thirty going on thirty-one with no girlfriend and an empty future filled with lonely nights and a room full of rescue kittens.

“I don’t have gray hair,” I snapped.

Her eyes fell to the side of my head, and her eyebrows rose.“If you say so.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Parker let out a sigh that was cuter than it should have been. It also made her look less harsh, like she had a side that was all soft curves and laughter. “It means everyone gets old, you should embrace the gray.”


“I need to use the bathroom.” She sidestepped me and put her hand on the doorknob. “But thanks for the warning. I’ll be sure to manage my bathroom tools more effectively, especially since I know they’ll be inspected every night before bed.” With a sarcastic wink, she was inside and the door was shut in my face.

I gasped.

Raised my hand to knock again then turned on my heel. “What the hell?”

“You look lost.” Willow laughed as she made her way down the hall in short shorts and a crop top that looked like it belonged to a toddler. Why was she back in the main house? I gave her space so I could still hold onto some of my manhood and dignity in my own home! So far it wasn’t working was it?

“Let me guess, these are your pajamas now?” I pointed at her and shook my head. “Thought we talked about this.”

She sighed and hung her head then put her hands on my shoulders. “Matt, I appreciate the concern, but I’m a grown adult. Nobody is going to see me in these but me, m’kay? Plus, you really aren’t my dad even though we both know you’ve been more of a dad than brother.”

My throat closed up as it always did when we talked about Dad. The usual anger boiled to the surface. I slammed it down and pulled her in for a hug. “I’m your older brother. It’s my job to worry.” Our parents had never truly been involved in our lives and had died when I was in high school and Willow was in junior high. They used money and gifts instead of hugs and words of affirmation. We were like little trophy kids you tell your friends about but don’t manage to take care of. Willow and I only had each other. Sink or swim, we did it together. Always.

“Hah.” She pinched my side and pulled back. “And as your younger sister and only sister, it’s my job to worry about you too. You’re thirty.”

“Why does everyone keep reminding me of my age?” I wondered out loud, suddenly irritated with myself because it made me think of other things I didn’t have yet. Success was easy. But I had nobody to share it with. It never bothered me before. I never thought twice about it.

Maybe it was because Slade had settled down, fallen in love with his other half, and a part of me wanted that sort of passion.

Or maybe I was just feeling sorry for myself because I had two college graduates putting their toothbrushes all over the place!

Yeah, I was going to go with that.

“Because,” she said in a sweet voice as she gripped my hands and squeezed, “you should be settling down and getting married. I mean look at Slade .”

I did a double take. Had I said any of that out loud?

“Man, look at you!” She slugged me again in the shoulder. “You look like I just told you to take up synchronized swimming!”

“Do not,” I argued.

“Your eyes bugged out of your head like you needed an oxygen mask. So yeah, good to know that fear of commitment is still strong in you.”

I scowled. “It’s not that. Trust me, you’re not even close.”

She nodded slowly and then took a seat on the couch, pulling a blanket over her lap. “I see, so when was your last serious relationship?”

I opened my mouth but she held out her hand to stop me.

“With a female who wasn’t your client,” she added with a knowing grin.

I swallowed and then shrugged. “I date some.”

“Define ‘some.’”

“I’ve gone on a few dates.” Lame. How many dates that weren’t business dates, though? Or networking dates? Or meetings?

I tugged at my shirt and licked my lips.

“Yeah, okay, I’m setting you up.”

“The hell you will!” I roared.

“Do you want to die alone?” she countered.

“Seriously? You come into my house, eat my food, beg for me to give you a job, and after one day I’m suddenly dying alone?”

“At least you don’t have cats . . . yet.” She winked.

I just rolled my eyes. “Stay out of my love life, Willow.”

“Or lack thereof!” She cackled as I paced in front of her, then I grabbed a throw pillow and flung it in her general direction as hard as I could.

“I’m happy.” I spread my arms wide. “I party with celebrities and athletes on a daily basis. I get to summer in the Hamptons—”

She made a gagging motion.

I glared. “The right girl will come along. I’m just . . . patient, not because I’m lonely but because I’m happy.”

“You’re patient because you’re . . . happy?” She narrowed her eyes just as Parker walked into the living room and took a seat next to her.

Surrounded by ovaries, wasn’t I?

“He’s happy?” Parker just had to ask in that snarky little voice with her hair—I gulped and did a double take.

Out. Of. The. Ponytail.

My eyes burned as I watched her sigh and then pull her hair around her neck and inspect it for what I could only assume was split ends.

Even that seemed sexy.

She had shots of caramel and red in her auburn hair, how had I not noticed that?

Or the thick, natural waves that fell past her breasts.

Sh*t, now I was noticing her breasts.

Does no one wear a bra anymore?

“No,” Parker said dryly. “Burned those during the parade, right, Willow?”

Must have said that out loud.I grimaced. “And to answer your question”—I addressed her with a sternness that reminded me of my father and made me simultaneously want to strangle myself—“Yes, I’m happy.”

“Are you really happy if you have to convince others that you’re happy?” She tilted her head, dropped her hair against her chest, and crossed her arms.

“Sleep.” I shook my head. “I need to sleep. Try not to stay up too late.”

F*ck. It was out before I could stop it.

Try not to stay up too late?

I hesitated, waiting for a rebuttal.

But both girls just shared a smile.

I glanced one last time at her hair, at her smile, at the easy way she talked with Willow like she didn’t need a wall to protect her.

And then I shook my head as I walked back toward the master bedroom and stared at myself in the mirror.

I was happy.

Wasn’t I?

I had everything a man could want.