Monday, January 15, 2018

Release Day Review: Man Card by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby


Nothing ventured, nothing banged...

Ash


I still don't know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor--our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down... 


It can never happen again. I don't even like Braht. He's too slick. He's a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.


So why can't I get him out of my head?

Braht
There are two things I know without question. One: Ash and I are destined for each other. Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.


Ash is my missing my piece. She's the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don't call her the Ashkicker for nothing.


Eventually I'll win her over...if my past doesn't ruin everything first.




Exclusive Excerpt

Name your other favorite movies,” I challenge Braht.
All of them?” He chugs his margarita.
Hmm. Top ten? Top five?”
That’s totally easy,” he says. Somehow I’ve gotten closer to him on the floor. When he sits back, I actually snuggle in beside him. He’s wearing a ridiculously soft shirt that feels good against my skin. And I watch with fascination as he ticks off the names of films on his fingers. When Harry Met Sally. The Devil Wears Prada. Roman Holiday. Clueless. And Working Girl.”
I burst out laughing. I can’t help it. Those are all chick flicks. You should just hand over your man card right now.”
Not a chance.” Braht’s expression grows intense. In the first place, I gave you a very thorough demonstration of my man card last week. I don’t remember hearing any complaints.”
I swallow hard, because this is certainly true.
And secondly, you’re looking at this all backward.”
I…am?” And why can’t I look away? He has the most beautiful, intelligent eyes.
Yeah, you are,” he whispers. It’s the guy who has a firm grip on his man card that can hold your purse. He’s not afraid to be seen with that Tory Burch you like to carry—nice color, by the way. He’ll free up your hands because he likes your hands, and he remembers all the terrific things you can use them for.”
Oh,” I say slowly. Now my fingers itch to reach out for him. I have to make fists with both hands so I won’t do it.
Furthermore, he’s not afraid to quote Working Girl. Because Joan Cusack is a genius. And who wouldn’t want to say Melanie Griffith’s best line out loud?”
I can’t help saying it with him, and together we sound like the world’s horniest Greek chorus: I have a head for business and a body for sin.”
Sin sounds pretty good right now, actually. But Braht’s not done with his speech. Any man who tells you that chick flicks are for pussies can’t be any good in bed. Because that man does not speak the language of women. He doesn’t know that a little luxury can erase a shitty day of worrying about your ex…”
Braht takes my hand in his and begins to massage it. He has a great technique, applying gentle pressure between each joint. I relax just a little bit more against him.
“…That man doesn’t speak the language because he’s afraid of sounding like a girl. But fuck that noise, honey bear. If a man doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe a satin teddy with peekaboo lace and mother-of-pearl snaps at the crotch, he can’t buy it for you and then strategically ask you to wear it. He can’t plan ahead to blow your mind sometime by lifting your skirt somewhere semi-public and dangerous. And he can’t get down on his knees and kiss that lace and then pop open those snaps while you bite your own hand to keep from screaming when you climax.” Braht takes a deep breath and lets it out in one hot gust. Fuck. What was the point of this speech?”
“Um…” My voice is hoarse, and my face is suddenly very hot. Let’s not even mention my nipples. Man cards, I think.” But I’m not sure, because everything tingles.
Right,” he says with a sigh. Still got mine. Shall we watch Working Girl next?”
Okay,” I breathe, sinking a little further into his comforting embrace.


What I thought about Man Card

Man Card is the second novel from Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby.  Like Man Hands, Man Card is a flirty, humorous story with a nice level of drama. 

Braht and Ash are in a sales competition at their real estate firm and love to rib each other, that is until they find out the depth of their sexual attraction. It's off the charts!

Their relationship builds a bit more slowly than their physical connection. Secrets get revealed, and Braht shows the depth of his love for Ash. It's really quite sweet and has a "Gift of the Magi" sort of twist at the end that's just adorable. I loved these two together -- it's a fabulous love story.

I did find it a little tough to get into, the opening scene just didn't get me hooked to reading the book. Writing humor is not an easy task, and sometimes Ash's internal thoughts didn't hit my funny bone quite right.  The more dramatic ending more than made up for it though.  

Man Card left me smiling. It's a terrific contemporary love story.

An ARC was provided for review. 

  
About Sarina

 Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont's Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.



  
About Tanya
Tanya is a member of SAG/AFTRA. She is a narrator and has over 500 titles to her credit. She also narrates under the name of Tatiana Sokolov for books that are particularly saucy (AKA erotica books). When not narrating, she’s working on her own writing. Check out her books: Easy Does It, Blunder Woman, Pepper Wellington and the Case of the Missing Sausage, Foodies Rush In,  Tunnel Vision, and Synchronicity. She also has a food blog at dips.tanyaeby.com.


Release Day Review: Decidedly With Love (By The Bay #3) by Stina Lindenblatt



Fake boyfriend Rule #1: never fall for your fake girlfriend.

Oops.


Emma Lovejoy runs Aphrodite’s Boutique, a store that specializes in all things love-related. A store that she adores with all her heart, and which is at risk of being shut down and replaced with a condo development.

Playboy Travis Hamilton was raised by his feisty, well-meaning grandmother, who is determined to help her grandson find The One. But when most women he meets tend to be puck bunnies or women only interested in his hockey-player income—and let’s not forget the nutcase of an ex-girlfriend—why bother?

Travis realizes only a fake girlfriend will deter his grandmother’s matchmaking scheme. Too bad the one woman who can help him is the sexy redhead who wants to assist him as much as she wants her eyeballs to be dunked in hot sauce and barbecued. To convince her, he promises to help her with her own dilemma. But sometimes fire and ice really do mix. Now Travis has to decide if love is in the air—and if together he and Emma make something hotter. Something stronger. Something real.



Buy Links

Amazon US | iBooksKobo  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Google Play

 

What I thought about Decidedly in Love

In this third installment in the By The Bay series from Stina Lindenblatt, Emma Lovejoy, owner of the Aphrodite Boutique aka the love store and playboy Travis Hamilton, hockey star, engage in a fake relationship to placate Travis’s matchmaking grandmother. Turns out its a win-win for Emma and Travis in multiple ways.


This is a familiar trope, so there aren’t many surprises here and the story rests on the likability of the characters.  Travis has a fairly serious transformation as he starts out with a no girlfriends ever mantra.  He’s got just the right amount of sexiness and vulnerability.  Emma is a business woman peddling love who’s looking for it herself, and when they get together it’s quite heartwarming. They’ve got great chemistry and their journey to their HEA is full of humor and some surprises along the way. 
 

Decidedly with Love can be read as a standalone title although there are appearances from characters in the first two books in the series.  This is one of my favorite Stina Lindenblatt’s series.  I love the sweetness and it’s a nice escape from the drama of real life.
 

An ARC was provided for review.

About the Author

 Stina Lindenblatt

Sign up for Stina's newsletter for updates on book news, info on new releases, exclusive cover reveals and sneak peaks, and a few surprises -- http://bit.ly/YU5rnn

Stina Lindenblatt lives in Western Canada, where she loves to dream up New Adult and Young Adult stories, especially those with romance. She loves to travel, and has lived in England, the US, Canada, and Finland. She has a Master’s of Science degree in exercise physiology and has worked with elite athletes. In her free time, Stina enjoys photography, especially the close-up variety.





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Goodreads   https://www.goodreads.com/StinaLindenblatt

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Coming January 30, 2018 : Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

 
From critically acclaimed author Katie McGarry, comes SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME—a story of two people from different worlds pushing themselves, and each other, to get what they deserve! 

SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME releases on January 30, 2018.  
Pre-order your copy today!
 
 SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME Synopsis:

"Doesn't matter who did it. Not anymore. I did the time. It's over."


When Drix was convicted of a crime--one he didn't commit--he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn't may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.


When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life.


But sometimes love can breach all barriers.


Fighting against a society that can't imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves--Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence--and each other to finally get what they deserve.


Preorder
SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME here!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Google Play | B-A-M | Kobo

       

Add it to your Goodreads Now!


Pre-order SAY YOU'LL REMEMBER ME, register and you will receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER, a novella that features your favorite Pushing the Limits and Thunder Road characters!


From the Pushing the Limits series,
Noah, Beth, Isaiah, West and Logan are all grown up. Catch up with your favorite characters as one of them finally says, I do.

Pigpen, Eli and Addison from the
Thunder Road series: Three separate personalities who still needed to find love...and still had someone important to meet.

This is a limited time offer! So hurry! Registration ends on February 3, 2018! You must register your preorder to receive AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

https://a.pgtb.me/4tLZSM
     

 Can't wait to get your hands on a signed copy of SAY YOU'LL REMEMBER ME by Katie McGarry? 

You don't have to!

 Pre-order a signed copy of SAY YOU'LL REMEMBER ME by visiting Carmichaels' Bookstore at www.carmichaelsbookstore.com/katie-mcgarry


 International readers: Email the bookstore directly to order at Info@carmichaelsbookstore.com

 About Katie McGarry


 

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.
Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My Most Memorable Books of 2017


Wow! 166 books read in 2017! I'm always amazed at the number at the end of the year. It's always worth a review and selection of my favorites.

These are the books that have made an impression me. Yes, all eighteen of them! The books that made me feel something, the books that are memorable.  Some are books from authors I know and love and some are books from new authors that have now moved over to my favorites list. 2017 was a good year.

I'd like to thank all the authors who have entertained me with their stories in 2017. Your words have made me laugh, made me cry and made me smile!

Thank you to the publishers and publicists that I've worked with this year who have given me the opportunity to read and review. 

So without further ado, here are my most memorable books of 2017!

I'm going to start out with my top two favs from 2017.  It wasn't an easy decision! 


My Most Memorable

Good Boy (Wags #1) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy 

Oh yes, Blake Riley makes me smiley!  You'll be saying "Cheesus" by the end of the book.  I loved this book so much, I lost count of how many times I've read it!  Humor, romance, and a good man with a heart of gold and a good woman who knows just what he needs.  

From my review...

"I love that these two just don't fall back into bed with each other.  Blake really has to woo Jess back into his life and bed, and that's a huge part of the fun in this book.  Blake's personality is effusive -- he's apt to get under your nerves at times and make you want to hug him until he calls "uncle" at others.  But underneath all of that personality is a man who is keeping a secret and nursing a betrayal that all comes to head near the end of the book."  


Read my full review.

Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone

Hannah's search for her past really spoke to me. I loved this creative story and the bit of mystery that went along with it. It was a fresh and page-turning reading experience for me.

From my review...


"I thought the writing in this book was lovely. Everything flowed for me, and the touch of humor and sarcasm spoke to me. I really liked Hannah and applauded her willingness to find herself, no matter what she found out. I may have had to wipe my eyes a little bit toward the end. It was all good for me -- a great reading experience. Half Past is definitely on my favorites of 2017 list."   



Read my full review

 And the rest of my list...



A Rancher's Heart (Heart Falls #1) by Vivian Arend 

Great start to a new series from Vivian Arend!  I love her outdoorsy family stories.  Here's a snippet from my review:
 

"The first tip-off that there's a boatload of sexual tension coming -- Tamara and Caleb begin their first day of work naked and wet after intimately meeting Heart Falls.From the very start, there's attraction between these two, but both have a great sense of honor and responsibility to their jobs that they try to ignore it, hide it, forget it. Only problem is that with each honorable turn, they fall harder for each other."   

Read my full review


Bountiful (True North #4) by Sarina Bowen

I just love the True North series from Sarina Bowen and Bountiful was no exception! 2017 saw many surprise pregnancy tales, and this was one of the best! Here's a snippet from my review:

"The True North series is one of my top recommendations for contemporary romance. The writing is excellent and the stories are unique and engaging.  Bountiful is no exception!  (Can I claim Dave for myself? Please?) Another winner from Sarina Bowen. This is a fabulous book from a terrific series." 

Read my full review.


Small Change (Small Change #1) by Roan Parrish

This was the year I discovered the wonderful writing of Roan Parrish. Her words slay me and her characters are so interesting I can't put her books down. 


From my review:  

 "I read around 3-4 romance titles a week, and it's been a while since I've been "wowed." Small Change wowed me. The hangover from this book is real and big. Needless to say, I will be reading more of this author's work." 


Read my full review. 

 

Barking Up the Wrong Tree (Sex and Sweet Tea #3) by Juliette Poe 

This is another series I turn to when I want something easy and sweet. The town of Whynot, NC is full of quirky characters and does a good job of representing all the "small-town-people-in-your-business" sorts of situations. 


From my review: 

"Barking Up The Wrong Tree is a low conflict romance that celebrates life in a small town and the compromises the people who live there must make to get their happy ending. I've enjoyed every book in this series, and this is no exception. It even gives us the dog's point of view on everything, and the image of Jake and Miss Goatikins just had me smiling every single time."

Read my full review.


  
Retreat (The Getaway Series #1) by Jay Crownover


I loved this romantic suspense story from Jay Crownover and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll write more in this genre.  Here's what I had to say about Retreat:

From my review:  

"I also thought Cyrus was yummy, and I'm looking forward to his brother's stories.  Not everything turns out "fine" and I liked that about Retreat.  There was no magic that made everything better -- the characters had to learn to live with the cards they were dealt and that made for a very satisfying conclusion to the story (nope, not gonna tell).  

 I definitely recommend grabbing a copy of Retreat -- it's a very exciting and super steamy romantic suspense that puts Retreat on my favorites of 2017 list."





Most of All You by Mia Sheridan

This was another book that wowed me. It's a story of healing, but it does take a while to get there. 


From my review: 

"I loved the emotions in this story. Yes, it's dark. Yes, it made me get teary eyed. Every page held my interest and I just couldn't put this down. The story is told in dual POV and I really liked that about it. I loved Gabriel and all he represented to Crystal. It takes a while for these two to work through their broken pieces and see a future this isn't full of the ugliness of the past, but that just made it more satisfying."



Read my full review.
Pipe Dreams (The Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen 

I love me a sports romance that has both sports and romance and Sarina Bowen never disappoints.  As a matter of fact, you've probably noticed that Sarina's books appear more than once on this list.  If you aren't reading her, you really should check out her books. There's something for everyone. 

From my review: 

"This might have been my favorite book in the series.  Both Mike and Lauren were more seasoned characters that understood that life didn't always go the way they had planned, but they still managed to keep a positive spin on things, and I liked that about them.

I loved the hockey in this book too.  Sarina Bowen captures the excitement that is having your team in the playoffs very well, and I was totally caught up in the Bruisers bid for the title.  *sigh*"


Read my full review.

Rebel (Renegades #3) by Rebecca Yarros
Rebecca Yarros delivers with an action-packed series full of young love with the Renegades and Rebel is my favorite book in the series.  What a fun (and very steamy ) ride and I loved it. It had just the right amount of everything! I'll just leave you with a snippet from my review. 

"The stunts were awesome and Penelope's journey back to her bike was a great story line. I think I really liked this part of the book as much as the romance. What makes the thrill seeker tick and how injuries mess up an athlete were very interesting parts of Penelope's recovery." 

Read my full review






Raw Rythm (Found in Oblivion #6) by Cari Quinn & Taryn Elliott 

 Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott amaze me.  They are also a comfort read for me. Hot rock stars with problems and the women that love them.  And those women are also in the band, and that was a very cool thing about this series.  It's a great escape.

"I've been waiting for Mal's story since the beginning of the series, and Raw Rhythm did not disappoint!  Yes, Mal is a bit of a "junkyard dog"  (one of my favorite quotes from the title), but we finally get to see his heart and the depth of his feelings for Elle. It's really quite beautiful in a rough-around-the-edges sort of way, which complements Elle very nicely.   Not only do they connect physically (wow!) but also are great together outside the bedroom (or shower). I loved these two together."

Read my full review.


Rebel Without a Claus ( (Movie Club Mysteries #5) by Zara Keane 

 Zara Keane's Movie Club Mysteries series is another action packed, quirky small town story of more murders than you ever knew could happen in one little town. It's full of humor and the mysteries are well crafted. 

"Zara Keane does a great job in this series of crafting an engaging mystery and crime for Maggie to solve.  I've loved the progression in this series from Maggie coming back to Ireland after her failed marriage to building a business for herself.  She's a strong character and I just love her.  There's always a nice touch of humor too that always has me finding a place for Zara Keane's stories in my busy reading schedule."


Read my full review.

Blood Guard: A Mission Novel by Megan Erickson
I loved this paranormal offering from Megan Erickson. This is an intriguing world she has created and there's plenty of action, suspense and romance! I hope there will be more!

From my review:

"Blood Guard is an action packed paranormal with a great romance between Athan and Tendra. I could feel their growing passion as I read the book and I worried about the fact that Athan was supposed to deliver Tendra to his brother Idris who is supposed to take the throne with the Sanguivita as his wife. The action and romance come in equal amounts and I loved that about this book."

Read my full review.



House of Cards (Porthkennack #4) by Garrett Leigh

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history.  That's the setup for this series, and I've been enamored with these very emotional stories.

From my review:

"Both Calum and Brix are learning to live after the circumstances that have brought them to Porthkennack. This is very much of a book about experiencing those hard life-lessons and what happens in the aftermath.  I loved both of these characters. Calum's tendency to get depressed and down on himself was a natural outcome of what he'd been through in his London relationship.  Brix's penchant for helping the less fortunate fit well with his character and background as well.  It all made for a very emotionally realistic romance between Calum and Brix that I loved because it's about learning to live and love again after life kicks you around."

Read my full review.

Tru Flame (Ember Peak #3) by Edie Danford

I've been a fan of this series from the start!  Tru and Jones are such an interesting couple because of their differences.  I really liked the pairing of an older, accomplished business man with a younger free spirit.  They really work together.

"What I liked in this book was what I liked in all three books of the series -- the dynamic between Tru and Jones is interesting and engaging for me. Tru Flame was such a sweet conclusion to their story. It just left me feeling happy and that's why I read romance!"





Eyes on You (A Blasphemy Novella) by Laura Kaye

This book had everything I love about erotic romance -- great characters, steamy scenes and no shame! I just love this series! Here's what I had to say about Eyes On You.  

"These two not only heat up the pages, there is a very sweet "falling in love" story going on her too that made Eyes on You so romantic! The pages flew by for me and I found myself at the end of the story wanting more. 

There is some drama here when Wolf takes Liv to Blasphemy, which she loves. She fits in with the other Dom's partners at the club and finds not only sexual expression but some friends there. It all gets threatened one night.  It's a good thing the other master's are there to help her out."

Read my full review.


Beyond Forever (O'Kane for Life #2) by Kit Rocha

I've read all the Beyond books because I just love these characters and the world that Donna and Bree have created.  Dallas and Lex have always been a favorite pairing for me, so this was a no-brainer.  It's great to get a view of their beginnings. Here's what I had to say about Beyond Forever:

"I've always had a hard time understanding Lex -- sometimes I got her and sometimes I didn't and Beyond Forever helped me see a different side of her. I got her. 
Beyond Forever is the story of the beginnings of the O'Kane legend, if you will, and the early days of Dallas and Lex.  I loved every minute of this story, especially the glimpses of the early days... and well, you should read it instead of me telling you about it because it's terrific." 
Read my full review.


The Red by Tiffany Reisz

I adored this gothic tale from Tiffany Reisz.  I love how she crafts her stories, how she reveals things bit by bit. Here's what I had to say about The Red...

"This is Tiffany Reisz, so I expected kink and a level of eroticism unlike other books I've read and I was right about that.  The erotic scenes are all done so very well and the heart of the story regarding saving the art gallery isn't diminished or overshadowed in the least by the erotic nature of the tale.  So be prepared for scenes that may stretch the limits of your imagination and that works well with the overall story."
 
Read my full review.



Whew!  So many favorites! That's all for 2017 ... now on to the 2018 reading list.  I've already have one favorite this year!  

Happy 2018 everyone! 
May you find the best escape in a book!  

Love, Tradermare
 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Release Day Review, Teaser & Giveaway: Relay (Changing Lanes #1) By Layla Reyne

Series: Changing Lanes #1
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date (Print & Ebook): January 8th, 2018
Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Sports Romance
Link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/relay 


"Layla Reyne is one of the most exciting new voices in queer romance, and her newest book does not disappoint. RELAY is everything you'd want in an enemies-to-lovers tale and a sports romance. While reading, I had the same heart racing excitement as I do when watching the Olympics and could not put it down." -RITA nominated author Santino Hassell

Book Blurb:

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together. 



Add to Goodreads

Buy Links

Riptide | IBOOKS | NOOK | KOBO

Amazon (E-Book) | Amazon (Paperback)



Teaser Excerpt:



“How’s it going in there?”

Dane opened the stall door, eyes downcast as he tried to straighten out his shirt. “There are a lot of snaps.”

Alex inhaled sharply, and before Dane could wrap his head around that sound, around the blush streaking those high cheekbones, Alex had already moved on. To standing right in front of him. “You’re supposed to leave the shirt open.”

Dane lifted his hands, and Alex batted them away. He grabbed the uneven shirttails and ripped the buttons apart, the staccato snaps mirroring Dane’s stuttering heartbeat. Alex’s grip on the chambray lingered, as did his presence in Dane’s space, and with each heaving breath, each whiff of cologne tinged with chlorine, a pore-deep scent no swimmer could shake, Dane’s paper-thin resolved shredded.


What I thought about Relay

 This is my first book from this author, and I was intrigued to include this on my review list because I think this is my first sports romance dealing with the world of Olympic swimming and I was eager to see how that would be handled.  I love it when a sports romance actually includes the sport, and I did like how Layla Reyne incorporated the sport into the story.

Dane and Alex fell in love with each other ten years ago at a developmental camp. When Dane can't stand up to his ultra conservative family and be honest about himself, Alex moves on but doesn't forget what he feels is a betrayal. Ten years later, Alex and Dane are back together again, training for the Olympic swim team.  Things do not go well for them at the beginning, as Alex tries to take out some of his anger on Dane by keeping him out of one of the relay teams. He believes that Dane is just a product of his privelige and the grudge he holds against Dane is pretty big.

What Alex doesn't realize is that Dane is a product of his ultra-conservative parents and their manipulation. Dane is very unhappy with his life and the way his parents control him, but it isn't until he faces this head on that he gets himself together.  After a "truce", Alex shows Dane what kind of life he could have, and that starts Dane's journey to being his own man.

When Dane's parents find out and make threats, everything almost falls apart, including the Olympic team. Dane has to really find his backbone to make things right.  There's a bit of a mystery and a few surprises along the way too.

I liked Relay, especially how the team dynamic was utilized in the story.  That may have been my favorite part of this sports romance.  I adored Alex and Dane's illicit night out, especially Alex showing him how those less fortunate live.  It's an eye-opener for Dane all the way around, and he responds to it just beautifully.   

Relay whet my appetite for more in this world, so I'm already looking forward to the next book.  I hope to get a view of the team at the Olympics! 

An ARC was provided for review. 



Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Relay, Layla Reyne is giving away two paperback copies of Relay. Open internationally!  



About the Author 

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she's not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

  Connect with Layla



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