I can tell how good a book is by how many times I use the highlight feature on my Kindle. For this book, I highlighted 32 passages. 32! I think it’s probably a record! And these were just the passages that resonated with me. If I also highlighted all the times that this book made me laugh out loud, that number would be much higher.
I’ve only read a few of Kate Canterbary’s books, and I’ve enjoyed them all, but I think this is my favorite so far. It was originally released in her newsletter as a serial, but I have zero patience, so I waited until it was released as an entire book before I read it. I am currently in the same boat as Magnolia was at the beginning of the book: trying to find a good man. As she says at one point, “It shouldn’t be this difficult.” And yet, it is! Every woman (and man) has their dating horror stories, and many of Magnolia’s made me laugh out loud, and others made me cringe while also being grateful I haven’t had to deal with the men she that had!
Of course, the story delves a bit into the fantasy realm, when she finds not one, but TWO good men to date, and they are are ok with her dating both of them at the same time. (But I guess that’s why we read, to escape reality! 🙂 ) I don’t hold this against her, though, because given the opportunity, I’m sure I’d do the same thing!
The book is so cleverly written (many chapters begin with the words “my date was…” ), and so funny, (“The weekend rolled around but I forgot all about baking. It was probably a blessing in disguise since my sweet breads only rose about half of the time. That seemed like a fair statement on my ability to function as an adult too: fifty percent meeting expectations, fifty percent blobbing around like thick, doughy uselessness.”) and so relatable (“dating was draining my soul.”)
I also enjoy that her books are based in Boston, unlike so many stories that take place in New York. Don’t get me wrong, I love NYC, but the change in venue is refreshing. There’s just something so fun about a woman who has a tiny dog named Gronk! I’ve read some other reviews, and one problem some readers had with it is the lack of actual sexy times, which KC is VERY good at writing. I don’t think this book suffered from their omission, but I was surprised by it.
I am looking forward to reading it again, and I’ve also been inspired to read the rest of the Walsh series. (I’ve only read the first one, Underneath It All, and part of the second, The Space Between, as well as a separate standalone, Coastal Elite, which is actually the KC book that started it all for me!)
“Whoa. Undeniable is one of my top reads! Sizzling
chemistry, off the charts sexual tension and all the feels I’ve come to expect with a Melanie
Harlow romance!”- Ilsa Madden-Mills, Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Undeniable, an all-new sexy
standalone second chance romance from USA
Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow, is
When we were eleven, Oliver
Ford Pemberton dared me to jump off a barn roof. He said you couldn’t break a leg from a 12-
(You can also break a collarbone,
which served him right as far as I was concerned.)
I wish I could say it was the last
dare I ever took from him, the last bet I ever made with him, the last time I ever trusted Oliver
But it wasn’t.
Because he had the nerve to
grow up gorgeous, charming, and sexy. And as we got older, the dares only got dirtier—and the
betting stakes higher—until finally, he left me in pieces. I swore I’d never talk to him
But twenty years after I took
that flying leap, he’s back in my life, daring me to risk everything for him: my job, my self-worth,
and my heart.
How many chances does true
Download your copy today or
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Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, Succession, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the ONE & ONLY series, the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.
“I have loved every second of this series and I hope that there will be many more installments to come. This series has everything that I look forward to in getting my love and romance fix.”—Twin Spin
“An absolute must-read . . . To Have and to Hold is fabulous.”—The Romance Reviews
“Five stars . . . [To Have and to Hold is a] crackling read that’s full of emotion and drama.”—Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews
“A great story that unfolds beautifully . . . There’s a great balance of drama and romance, and I really liked the characters and their journey.”—The Escapist Book Blog
“A well-crafted welcome addition to a great series . . . [with] plenty of passion.”—I Love Romantic Fiction
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (RETURNING HOME, BOOK THREE)
He doesn’t remember her. She cherishes every moment of their time together. Is there any hope for a second chance?
Hunter Cross has lost a year. There’s a gap in his memory, and the woman who is living in his house has disappeared into it. He slept with her, fell for her, loved her—and he doesn’t remember any of it.
He knows he should send her away—except for one little thing. At night, when she slips into his bed, his body remembers hers.
Trina Levine is heartbroken, alone with her memories. Hunter won’t claim any of it—not the joyful days, not the steamy nights. It’s like Trina Levine dreamed it, and it hurts like nothing else could.
Except when Hunter cries out in his sleep and Trina comforts him. At those moments, Hunter’s body knows hers, and for a few, brief, blissful moments, Trina’s sure everything will be okay again.
Stepping through the glass gate doors at SeaTac. Striding, head up, not uniformed, as she’d expected, but clad in jeans, a gray T-shirt, and hiking boots. A backpack slung over both shoulders.
Trina felt like she’d never seen him before, and maybe she never really had. Because before, he’d been somebody’s dad. Somebody’s husband. And then friendship had morphed into love, so she’d never had that first-time-I-laid-eyes-on-you, love-at-first-sight moment. No heart stopping, no breath catching, no hormones firing in one big surge—
Not till now.
Because, damn. Dark hair and dark eyes, stubble smattered over his jaw, shoulders that poured off strength. Six-foot-plus of him, moving with intention. He was a guy who’d catch your eye on the street, pheromones setting you back on your heels before you’d registered that you’d turned to look. The hardness of his features, the everyman handsomeness, made an impression only after it was too late to decide how you felt about his appearance.
There were more lines in his face than she remembered—the laugh crinkles at the corners of his eyes, yes, but deep lines in his forehead, too. His eyes combed the crowd, looking for someone.
I’m right here.
Then his gaze swept past her and locked somewhere else, and his pace quickened until he was almost running. Behind her, someone broke away, flip-flops smacking heels.
Clara ran to her father and threw herself into his arms, forgetting Trina’s and her grandmother’s warnings to be gentle with him. Clara was laughing and crying and trying to tell her father everything that had happened in the last year, all at once.
“Slow down, baby.” Hunter knelt so he could hug Clara in earnest. “Slow down. We’ll have plenty of time.” He was smiling, looking so much like the man Trina remembered, and she realized she was silently pleading for him to raise his eyes and search her out. To turn that smile on her. And she shook her head, because this moment wasn’t for her. It was for Clara and Hunter. Trina would have her moment later. When she and Hunter were alone.
Hunter raised his head, and her heart skipped.
But his eyes caught on something behind her, and he rose and strode forward: “Mom.”
Trina wasn’t going to panic. She clutched her welcome home, hunter sign tighter, and tried to slow her pulse down.
Homecomings are weird, Hunter’s mom had told her when Trina met her flight several hours earlier. Don’t get your expectations up too high.He’ll need some time and space, and then it’ll be like he never left.
Plus, Trina had known they’d have to play it a little cool, to maintain the fiction for the girls.
In the meantime, Trina would remember what he’d said to her. Not only I love you, but also, I know my feelings, and they’re not going to change.
Hunter’s mom, Linda, was getting the full Hunter. Or the half Hunter, maybe, because Trina was pretty sure that Hunter at full strength would have swept both mother and daughter off their feet. Certainly in all her fantasies he’d swept her off her feet.
But with his chest wound just barely healed—a wound that had almost killed him—he wouldn’t be sweeping anyone off her feet for a while.
A hand snaked around her waist. Phoebe, at her side. Her daughter, awkwardly twelve and yet so beautiful, with that coltish mix of woman and little girl.
Phoebe was clearly feeling as awkward and left out of this homecoming as Trina was, and wanting solidarity.
That was the moment when Trina started to feel really, truly freaked out. Because she was fine with the fact that homecomings were weird and fine with Hunter’s priorities being for his daughter and his mother and fine with the secrecy that they’d agreed to keep up a while once he got back, but—
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Photo credit Susan Young
USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.
Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.
When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.
Sam has his family, and his business, and his best friend Miles. He’s a pretty solitary guy, and isn’t interested in a relationship. But when he comes to the rescue of a “damsel in distress” in his favorite bait shop, his life changes in a way he didn’t expect.
Maggie is at a bit of a crossroads in her life, (which I can relate to). She thought her life was going in one direction and suddenly she’s looking at a very different future than she expected. She decides to go on a bit of a voyage of self-discovery, and gets more than she bargains for.
Next in Line was my first Amy Daws book, and pardon the fish pun, but I am hooked! It’s a Best Friend’s Little Sister story, but there’s so much more to it than a simple trope. First of all, ice fishing! Have you read a book whose opening scene takes place in a Bait & Tackle shop? Because I haven’t! Secondly, the couple in question does not know they have a common interest until chapter 5. Third and finally, Maggie’s main goal throughout most of the book is getting her ex-boyfriend back! Of course, things turn out much differently than she expects and we are all better off for it.
Next in Line is the second in a series whose first book is titled Wait with Me. Each can be read as a standalone, available to read for free through Kindle Unlimited.
Finally Mine is the second book in a series about the couples in a small town called Benevolence. The first is called Pretend You’re Mine, which was the first Lucy Score book that I ever read. I have been fortunate enough since then to have become a member of her ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) team, and am so happy to have been given the chance to read Finally Mine!
I have to admit, I wish I could have gone back to read PYM before reading FM, but due to time constraints (not to mention the SNEAK ATTACK of this book on us unsuspecting readers!), I was not able to. (I did find a paperback copy of PYM at a used bookstore the other day, though, so a re-read is in my future.)
It had been so long since I’d read PYM, that I only had vague recollections of what happened in that book. I do remember a fun polar plunge and a very sexy office scene, and a mention of Gloria and Aldo here and there, but other than that, I could have used a refresher.
That being said, you could totally read this book as a standalone, without having read PYM. It would give you some spoilers about things that happen in PYM, but I don’t see it as a big problem. I actually loved that it wasn’t really a sequel, as it took place around the same time as the events in PYM were taking place. (Penny Reid does that with her Winston brothers series, and I really enjoy that.)
The bottom line: Aldo and Gloria have a complicated history, which is one of my favorite kinds of couples. They are both damaged, in more ways than one, and the real heart of this book is whether each of them can see past their scars (not wounds!) and allow themselves to love and be loved.
As an Army brat, I really liked the military aspect of this story. There’s also the Small Town feel that Lucy is so good at (see her Blue Moon series), as well as some very fun sexy times. Not every author writes these well, but Lucy really does! This particular book delved into some interesting issues surrounding sexy times, which I won’t spoil, but it was very well handled and I enjoyed it very much.
I will admit that I do hate that inevitable moment when the couple “breaks up,” and I *really* hate when it’s because one or the other of them is being an idiot, and that’s what happens here. But I understand that the conflict has to happen so that they can have their reunion and subsequent HEA.
Lucy Score is one of my favorite authors. She is crack-me-up funny, but oftentimes, she will hit you with a life lesson that is simple but profound. For example, “It doesn’t matter what happens to you. In the end, all we are is our ability to love. That never gets taken away or diminished.” and, “Without pain, there is no joy.” Phew. Deep!! Her writing made me tear up multiple times in this book. I love when that happens.
This may be my new favorite Lucy Score book, and I was especially excited to see that we will be going back to Benevolence sometimes next year to see Lincoln Reed meet his match!