Everyone knows that if you play with fire you'll end up getting burned…
What happens when you attend a first responder's bachelor auction with your best friends? Well, if your name is Madison Kelly like me, your friends end up bidding on a date for you with your high school crush.
That's right. Even back when I was 'Fatty Maddie' to all my classmates, I had eyes for the quarterback of our football team. Not like I was the only one.
Mauro Bianco may fight fires for a living, but he still sets my heart ablaze. One look at the rugged, muscular man he's turned into and I want to slide down his pole.
One date. That's all I'm committed to. A few hours and I can tuck him back into that tattered old shoebox in my closet.
As always, the universe has other plans. I never would've predicted that in a matter of days he'd turn from my dream guy into my business partner-and that's when things got interesting.
Every so often a book comes along with characters that I can truly relate to; adding another layer of joy to the escapism I enjoy while reading books. This was one of those hidden gems that did just that.
Madison Kelly was in high school, when she first saw and fell for the oldest of the three Italian Bianco brothers, Mauro. They shared a special moment together one night during a high school party, giving Maddie hope that the boy she pined for had actually noticed her. However, Maddie soon found out that she was living in a fantasy-land.
Fast forward 10 years, along with some well-meaning yet meddling girlfriends, and Mauro was back in her life. Things were about to get complicated, very complicated.
Piper Rayne wrote a beautiful story, capturing what it is like to live with body image issues and self-doubt, all while trying to be a strong and independent woman. Also captured to perfection was the Bianco Italian family.
This story had so much heart and made me feel so much emotion that it was definitely one of my top reads of the year. I know it resonated with me on a deeper level because I could relate to both characters for different reasons, Mauro’s upbringing and Maddie’s insecurities.
The lovely story telling within was full of so much tenderness and heart that, although it is a work of fiction, it had a profound effect on me. It made me believe that love is possible. For all of the hurt we go through, there is hope and I for one am so grateful for the handful of books that I have read over the years that remind me of this simple fact, a fact that is so easy to give up on once we have been hurt.
This book will forever hold a special place in my heart. I hope that you give it a chance. I am sure that Mauro and Maddie’s story will make you a believer too!
As Always, Happy Reading!
This whole contest was supposed to be easy. I know, I know. Famous last words.
It’s a long story, but I messed up at work. Big time. To earn back the trust of my boss, I promised to save one of our magazines. Yep. That Hot Dad contest you’ve seen advertised all over the place was my idea. And if I’m successful, if I’m able to increase our online readership, then I get a shot at my dream job.
But the one thing I never expected to happen, happened: Contestant number ten, Grayson Malone. Hello, Mr. Difficult. And did I mention sexy as hell?
Unfortunately he knows me. The old me, anyway. And while we might be older now, I remind him of before. Of the woman who broke his heart, who hardened him, and who left him alone to raise the cutest little boy I’ve ever seen.
But I don’t want a relationship. And I definitely don’t fall for single dads with baggage. Even ones with chiseled abs and killer smiles.
But he got to me. They got to me. Him and his son and their messy, crazy life. But I got to him too. I see the stolen glances. I feel the walls he built start to crumble. I recognize that there’s an unexpected beauty to the chaos in his life.
And now that the contest is about to end, we’re left to decide whether the last six months were just fun or if what we have is worth risking it all?
The title may say, “Worth the Risk,” however, I have to say it was well worth the reward! You will without a doubt fall head over heels for this heartfelt love story that the talented Kristy Bromberg has woven together.
Sidney is a strong, self-reliant, and determined woman out to prove to her father (and boss) that she can handle anything he throws her way. With all of Sidney’s resolve to get the job done, she still has to face one tough fact. She must go back to the small town that she couldn’t get away from fast enough after high school in order to accomplish her mission.
Hometown hero, Grayson, a single dad with a heart of gold and a body that can make a woman stop right in her tracks, has no idea that a blast from his past is about to throw his life upside down.
I immediately fell in love with both Grayson and Sidney individually. Her spunk, high energy, and positivity were contagious. The determination she possessed to prove herself was something I craved to read more and more of. I loved following her journey of self-discovery as she realized that the most important things in her life were changing before her very eyes. She began to put others first and was rewarded beyond measure.
Throughout the book Grayson and Sidney struggle with themselves and one another, as to how they each see what they view their futures should look like, and how those futures they had imagined are evolving.
My heart felt like it was on an emotional roller coaster in the best way possible. I could not put this book down! I just couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.
These two multi-dimensional characters kept me captivated and stole my heart as they reluctantly let down their guard and took a risk on each other. I urge you to take a risk on this book because when you do you will gladly reap the reward.
The first time I laid eyes on Lydia Decker, I couldn’t speak. Or breathe. Or string two coherent thoughts together.
And I don’t mean any of that figuratively.
I’m not talking about a guy being floored by the sight of a gorgeous woman—although, of course, Lydia is gorgeous beyond words.
No, when I first laid eyes on Lydia Decker—my physical therapist—I was lying flat on my back in the ICU, high as a kite on painkillers, breathing on a ventilator, my bones as broken and splintered as my spirit.
When I first laid eyes on Lydia Decker, she was a ray of light in the dark. Hope for the hopeless. A salve for my singed and battered soul.
She said she’d been assigned to fix me. That she was there to bring me back to life. She said helping me was her calling.
And then she touched me. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. She healed me.
And I fell in love.
But what I didn’t know... what I couldn’t possibly know... was that Lydia Decker needed fixing far more than I ever did.
HERO was an emotional and captivating love story that had me enthralled from the very beginning. It delved deep into just how far true intimacy can take two individuals and where it can forge a single love story into a foundation for a lifetime of family love.
The main characters shared an intimacy that went beyond harmonious and brought their passion to intoxicating levels.
The warmth created in this love story left me wanting more and more. For the first time ever, I was having a difficult time finishing, Lauren Rowe’s HERO. I believe this was by far her deepest and rawest story to date. It was for simply selfish reasons that I did not want this beautiful love story to end.
As Always, Happy Reading!