Publisher: Self Published

BOARDED BY LOVE by Toni Aleo

I received this book for free from Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Reviewer
BOARDED BY LOVE by Toni AleoBoarded by Love by Toni Aleo
Series: Bellevue Bullies #1
Published by Self Published Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Sports
reviewedbydani

 

Do you love Toni Aleo’s Nashville Assassins series as much I do? Well you won’t want to miss Boarded by Love, the first book in her new spin off series, Bellevue Bullies and you guessed it, it’s about Phillip’s niece Claire Anderson. She is no longer the sourly teenager we met in Breaking Away. Claire is now a college woman with the whole world ahead of her, including catching the eye of campus playboy and team captain, Jude Sinclair.

 

Claire still has trust issues because of her past, which doesn’t always cause her to make the best decisions, but the support she gets from Phillip and Reese really help her along. She has tested them in many ways to make sure they would always love and support her. She finally realizes that no matter how she acts out, they are a family and will stand by one another.

 

I have to be honest, the only reason I wanted to read Boarded by Love was to see how Claire turned out. I know that might not be a reason to read a book but I liked her and was hoping she would find love and be a successful dancer. Some spin off series are really hit or miss with me but to my surprise I ended up really enjoying Boarded by Love. I was completely satisfied with how Aleo had the story play out. Plus, hello!, more hockey players was also an added bonus.

 

Jude and Claire go from zero to sixty in like 4.5 seconds … okay maybe it takes a little longer but the moment they catch each other’s eye it’s definitely a game changer for the both of them. They have spectacular chemistry and I just loved how they came together. While Jude was a player on and off the ice, I thoroughly enjoyed how completely smitten he was with Claire from the very beginning.

 

While the romance blooms with Jude and Claire, it was a bit rushed for me. Toni fleshed out these characters so well that I felt their emotions and could “see” all the happenings as if I was there. What I really liked was although there was a little drama, which is always needed in a good romance, the secret was the big issue. Not only was Claire keeping a secret from her family but she was also keeping it from her new boyfriend. I knew when the secret came out, things could go either way, it was swoon worthy when Jude finally comes to his senses.

 

Boarded by Love is a very emotional story, so much that I was totally tearing up at certain moments as well-being equally humorous. When Phillip and Jude met was very funny and of course since Phillip pretty much raised Claire, I felt how protective he was of her. Jude handled the situation well and really won me over in that scene. Jude respects Phillip but is also falling for Claire and wants to stand by her and her decisions. Seeing Phillip like that was different since when he was introduced into the Assassins series he was a player and the fun guy, now he is all settled down being the father that Claire needs.

 

I believe the whole point of a spin off series is to have some guest appearances by previous characters. While there were numerous ones that did appear from previous Assassins books, I was happy to catch up with the ones that did make special appearances. Phillip and Reese finally tie the knot and do it Assassins style with the whole team there to help support them. One of the cutest moments is when Jude is sitting next to Shea and threatens that if he ever hurts Claire he will have the entire hockey team out to get him. They were one big happy family and I loved it!

 

Boarded by Love strongly starts the Bellevue Bullies series off and I’m excited for Jude’s bothers and his sister upcoming stories. Yes, each of them will be getting their own story! I fist bumped at that news, because not only do we get more hot men, but more hockey! The Sinclair’s are definitely an interesting group and I’m hoping the series gets even better as more Bellevue Bullies books are released.

BREAKING AWAY by Toni Aleo

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Author
BREAKING AWAY by Toni AleoBreaking Away by Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins #5
Published by Self Published Genres: Contemporary, Sports
reviewedbydani

 

I’m going to go all fan girl here and scream, Phillip is the man!! Breaking Away was more than enjoyable and omg, he ends up with Reese?!!! Not only was I shocked but I was pleasantly surprised at their pairing. I liked Reese in the previous Assassins books and knew it would take someone special to really catch her eye.  Phillip was just the man for the job. Neither are looking for anything serious, each for their own reasons. Reece was deeply hurt by an ex, Phillip is busy raising his niece, Claire and needs to focus on her needs. As Reese teaches Claire to dance, these two ladies really connected. Things get a bit complicated but they can’t stay away from one another, which made Breaking Away an even more enjoyable read.

 

While the relationship between Phillip and Reese is a big part of the book, it wasn’t just all about them. I loved the blossoming relationship between Phillip and Claire, he loves her and really wants the best for her. Phillip and Reese start to get closer and that’s truly when their relationship starts to progress and really take off. It’s during this time that Claire starts accepting Phillip as her guardian and begins to start feeling a deep bond between them. Claire was a typical teenager who is  hurting from the loss of her mother as well as having just had her whole life uprooted. Phillip made sure she knew she was loved and wanted, that made me love him even more.

 

Reese and Phillip as a couple are hotter than hot. They steamed up the pages and had some of the best chemistry I have read in the Assassin series. What started off as just sex grew into much more. I loved that Ms. Aleo had Phillip be the first to fall in love because normally it’s the heroine who falls first. There were many moments where I started to fall for Phillip right alongside Reese. He just did and said some of the sweetest things which was nothing like the Phillip I got to know from the previous Assassins books. In prior books, Phillip came off as a player, so it was a nice change to see him in such a postive light.

 

Reese did have her annoying moments but she finally came around. Thank god because if she didn’t want him I would have gladly taken him off her hands. Phillip had this confidence about him that grabbed me from the moment he was introduced in prior books and I really liked that he was unsure of himself with Reese and how to move forward.

 

Hands down Breaking Away was a great addition to an already amazing series. Each book in the series is a little different depending on the characters situations, which each title being a unique read. Ms. Aleo brings her characters to life and gives them real problems that people face with every day. Phillip losing his sister and having to raise a teenager all while playing for the NHL was damn impressive, but what really stood out was how hard he was trying to make her life better. I’m glad Claire will be receiving her own book in time because I can’t wait to see how she turns out and who will be her love interest.

 

MIDNIGHT QUEST by Lisa Marie Rice

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Author
MIDNIGHT QUEST by Lisa Marie RiceMidnight Quest by Lisa Marie Rice
Series: Men of Midnight #4.5
Published by Self Published Genres: Contemporary, Suspense
ReviewedbyJo

 

Morton “Jacko” Jackman is an ex-Navy SEAL who now works for ASI, a top security firm who works worldwide for its clients.  He has just come home from an assignment more than ready to see his love, Lauren, after being away.  Jacko is hoping to ask her to marry him, because he really can’t think of a future without her in it.  However, before he has a chance to do more than have a great night together, his world comes crashing down when he learns that Lauren is pregnant.

 

Lauren Dare is a graphic designer who does book covers, among other things.  Lauren met and fell in love with Jacko, and they have been together ever since.  While she worries when Jacko is gone in his assignments, she knows that his work is what he was always meant to do.  This time, she is waiting for him to come home, because she has wonderful news to tell him—at least she thought so until Jacko reacts as he does.

 

Jacko has never wanted children, and when he finds out that Lauren is expecting, all of his fears come forward forcefully.  Jacko knows that before he can work around to being a father, he needs to learn about his life, his mother’s past, and his father.  To do this, Jacko begins a journey that first leads him to a place he never wanted to see again—his hometown—and then to a surprising discovery of his mother’s family and an even more surprising discovery.  When Jacko heads home, he is ready to step up and be the man that Lauren and his child will need.  But his journey has had another effect which will bring deadly danger to Jacko and Lauren.  A fierce battle will finally answer the last of Jacko’s questions in the open and will give both Jacko and Lauren another piece to their future.

 

A quietly dangerous man seeks answers about his and his parents’ pasts when facing parenthood in Midnight Quest.  Jacko only knows the bad about his mother and never knew anything really about his father, so when he finds out that he and his lover are expecting a child, he begins a journey to learn the truth and quiet the night terrors.  Lauren has always been supportive of Jacko, and that doesn’t change when he disappears after learning about her expecting their child.  I have to admit that I was extremely disappointed in how Jacko handled things and that he just took off without any word to Lauren.  Seeing Lauren having to hold things together and hoping that all would end well and that their love would bring Jacko back had me really wanting to shake him more than once.  I also felt that this story was centered only on Jacko and Lauren was there as background only.  No, I never doubted that Jacko loved Lauren deeply, or that he would come back to her just how he treated her after her announcement.  However, I will give him points for taking control when the danger that followed him home hit hard, threatening both their lives.

 

I have really enjoyed the Midnight Man series, but I had to admit that I was mostly disappointed in this short story.  Midnight Quest is a man’s hunt about his past while hoping for his future with his lover.

 

I’M GONNA LOVE YOU by Virna DePaul

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Author
I’M GONNA LOVE YOU by Virna DePaulI'm Gonna Love You by Virna DePaul
Series: Home to Green Valley #3
Published by Self Published Genres: Contemporary
ReviewedbyJo

 

Anna Kincaid has escaped a serious health issue and because she never knows when something might change that, she has decided to live life at full strength ahead.  So, she opened an eco-adventure company to give others the same thrills she is looking for.  Anna loves her job and company, but she also is still striving forward in accomplishing her personal bucket list.  One of those items brings her up close and very personal with one of the sexy O’Neill brothers from Ireland.

 

Brady O’Neill is the second oldest of the five brothers.  Brady is the only brother who has been married and lost it all.  He made the decision to move to California and help his oldest brother with a new restaurant as one of the co-owners.  Brady believes that he is ready to move on, but is he really ready to accept the chance at loving and losing yet again?  That question becomes front and center when he meets Anna in a way that brings his passions alive again.

 

Anna wants Brady and her to go at a rushing speed, while Brady wants to slow things down when he learns exactly what she wants.  Brady discovers that he buried an important part of his life when he married, and Anna is torn between jumping in with no holds barred and taking the time to get it all right.  Brady watched as reckless risks harmed his family’s restaurant in Ireland and, because of that, he points out things that might have the same risks in Anna’s business.  Anna continues to wonder about her push and pull relationship with Brady when the health threat from her past rears its ugly head again.  As Anna and Brady learn more about each other, secrets and misunderstands might just be able to tear them apart.  Both Anna and Brady discover just how important trust is when beginning a serious relationship as the secrets are revealed and the misunderstandings are resolved.  Anna and Brady are finally ready to go forward, hand in hand, towards their future filled with the passion for adventure and each other with their eyes open.  Their future is looking brighter than ever, and so is their love.

 

A woman racing toward the next adventure and a man trying to find a way to go forward again discover the true meaning of love and trust in I’m Gonna Love You.  I had to laugh at the way Anna and Brady met and was a bit surprised at the rush of that evening.  I enjoyed watching as Brady showed Anna that the best part of being together is discovering each other.  While I understood the reason behind Anna’s rush in life, I was worried that she might take one risk too many and felt sorry for her when the past came to call.  I loved how Brady not only found the strength he needed to move forward with Anna, but also to show Anna that life was just as good, if not better, when done at a normal pace.  Even with the misunderstandings that can happen during the beginning of a relationship, I quickly came to see that Anna and Brady had something that would not only last, but grow stronger as the years went on.  I’m Gonna Love You is a book about discovering love and taking the steps necessary to keep it strong and growing, even when life throws you a curve ball.  Yet another excellent book in this series.

 

RUSHING THE GOAL by Toni Aleo

I received this book for free from Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Source: Reviewer
RUSHING THE GOAL by Toni AleoRushing the Goal by Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins #8
Published by Self Published Genres: Contemporary, Sports
reviewedbydani

 

Rushing the Goal is the eighth book in the Assassins series and honestly I can’t believe it. When I first started this series I never dreamed after years of enjoying the most loveable characters I have read that I would still be enjoying more and it doesn’t look like an end is coming anytime soon. Yay! This was one of the first hockey romance contemporary series I had ever read and I’m sticking with it until the very end.

 

This story goes hand in hand with Toni Aleo’s spinoff series Bellevue Bullies where Lucy Sinclair is first introduced, but don’t worry Rushing the Goal could be read as a standalone but why would you want to miss out on starting from the very beginning? Lucy is a single mom and grew up with three brothers who were each headed to the NHL. The Sinclair family is a talented family and while Lucy might not be a hockey professional, she is rising from heartache, a nasty divorce and raising an incredible little girl, Angie.

 

One of Lucy’s brothers was supposed to help Angie learn to play hockey but when they show up Benji Paxton is the one who takes to Angie and life as they know it will never be the same. While Lucy has her own demons so does Benji and yet his might run a little deeper. When these two met for the first time I just adored how Benji couldn’t take his eyes off Lucy and Lucy is thinking that he is a weirdo. With their funny banter and longing looks these two are in the running for best couple of this series.

 

This story seemed a little longer than the previous in the series but I actually didn’t mind at all. Aleo not only did this couple justice by having them come together but they learned to love, trust and make it through the demons they were both fighting. They were funny, cute and the way Benji took to her daughter totally won me over. This story was emotional yet it contained lots of laughter and cute moments that I really didn’t want to end. The banter is hilarious and the group texts between Lucy and her brothers were entertaining.

 

Rushing the Goal didn’t just have a great happily ever after but it had some really hot scenes and by hot I mean sizzling. But the best part was watching Lucy and Benji grow from the very first page until the very end. I loved these two as individuals but when they came together they made not only their bond stronger but themselves stronger. There was some drama but it wasn’t overly done which also was a big plus for me. Aleo concentrated more on the couple as a team even though they were dealing with certain things.

 

The best part of the Assassins’ series isn’t just the romance that blooms between the two main characters but it’s like attending a family reunion. Aleo touches base with each and every previous couple and blends them into one big family. I can’t get enough of this series and hopefully it will last for many more books to come. If you haven’t started this series you are missing out on fabulously written characters that seem realistic and have real problems.

 

SLOW BURN by Pamela Clare

SLOW BURN by Pamela Clare

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DIRTY SEXY SINNER by Carly Phillips & Erika Wilde

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THE GOAL by Elle Kennedy

THE GOAL by Elle Kennedy

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WHAT LOVE CAN DO by Virna DePaul

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THE WAY LOVE GOES by Virna DePaul

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KELLEN’S TEMPTING MATE by Elle Boon

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XAN’S FIESTY MATE by Elle Boon

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STAR CROSSED by Emma Holly

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STEEL RUSH by P. T. Michelle

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NIGHT SHADOW by Cherry Adair

NIGHT SHADOW by Cherry Adair

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HEART OF A HUNTER by Lara Adrian

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ICE COLD by Cherry Adair

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I’VE GOT YOUR SIX by Erosa Knowles

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MINE TO KEEP by Cynthia Eden

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CLOUDED HELL by J. R. Gray

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