Sunday, June 30, 2019

June Wrap Up

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Where did another month go? It's so crazy. June was a bit of a crazy month for me, with my birthday thrown in there to traveling to visit my partner's dad for his birthday to my parents packing their lives away to another state. I've somehow managed to read a lot of books in between. 

However, I completely forgot to do ANY of my monthly features in June. They just complete slipped my mind! So hopefully I can get back to it in July. I also had some discussion posts I wanted to write, but never got around to them, so I am planning to do them next month. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

#ARCREVIEW: A Highlander Walks Into A Bar By Laura Trentham #romancereview

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A Highlander Walks Into A Bar By Laura Trentham
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release Date: July 30th, 2019
Format: egalley*
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 
The timeless romance, soaring passion—and gorgeous men—of Scotland comes to modern-day America. And the rules of love will never be the same… 
Isabel Buchanan is fiery, funny, and never at a loss for words. But she is struck speechless when her mother returns from a trip to Scotland with a six-foot-tall, very handsome souvenir. Izzy’s mother is so infatuated by the fellow that Izzy has to plan their annual Highland Games all by herself. Well, not completely by herself. The Highlander’s strapping young nephew has come looking for his uncle…

Alasdair Blackmoor has never seen a place as friendly as this small Georgia town—or a girl as brilliant and beguiling as Izzy. Instead of saving his uncle, who seems to be having a lovely time, Alasdair decides he’d rather help Izzy with the Highland Games. Show her how to dance like a Highlander. Drink like a Highlander. And maybe, just maybe, fall in love with a Highlander. But when the games are over, where do they go from here?

You guys...I love a good Scotsman, I mean they have the best accents, right? Yes, it's true, sorry I don't make the rules. So when I saw the plot of this new romance book, I knew I had to read it. The idea of a town in the South so obsessed with Scottish Pride was so interesting to me. I also love that Izzy is so suspicious of her mom's new boyfriend, in the same way that Alasdair is suspicious of Izzy's mom. It was just too funny to me.

Friday, June 28, 2019

#REVIEW: Rookie Move By Sarina Bowen #hockeyromance #romancereview

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Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Format: paperback
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N TBD

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series. In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...  Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington. Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast

Look, I'm kind of obsessed with hockey romances, don't judge me. Also, I don't care if you judge me because I read whatever the F I want!!! So I kept on seeing Sarina Bowen suggested everywhere, but hadn't really gotten into her stuff before. When I was out in Boulder, the first book in her Brooklyn Bruisers series caught my eye, and my partner's step-mom bought it for me for my birthday. 😂😂 She definitely judged me about it, but again I don't care.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

#ARCREVIEW: The Kissing Contract by Amy Andrews #romancebooks

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The Kissing Contract by Amy Andrews
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Release Date: July 15th, 2019
Format: egalley*
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 
Marshall Dyson wants one thing and one thing only: to raze his grandfather’s island to the ground. Everything is ready to go—except for the freakin’ bunnies! Hundreds of the furry critters hopping about and multiplying before his eyes. And then there’s the American Bunny League, along with one distractingly beautiful veterinarian, taking him to court to save them...
Dr. Augusta “Gus” North can’t believe the grumpy—and annoyingly hot—builder she’s facing in court cares more about demo-ing some cabin than the lives of 200 bunnies. But when the judge orders Marshall to stay on the island and help her rehome the rabbits—the entire month—she knows they’re going to need to lay some ground rules.
Like, for example, absolutely no kissing. Might as well go ahead and get that in writing. Sure it’s on a napkin, but that still counts.
How hard could it be to keep their hands off each other amidst all the fighting? Surprisingly, harder than wrangling 200 bunnies
This is the second book I've read by Amy Andrews, and I definitely want to read more of what she has to offer. This one is a little different than the last book, because that was a sports romance, but this one was a straight contemporary romance. I loved the plot of this one, two people that were at odds with each other trying to fight their attraction for each other.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

#ARCREVIEW: Playing House by Ruby Lang #Romance

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Playing House by Ruby Lang
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: August 12, 2019
Format: egalley*
My Rating: ★ 1/2
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 

 Playing House is relatable, heartwarming, and oh so sexy. I zoomed through this thoughtful and joyful story about two people finding themselves and each other.” —Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Date and The Proposal 

Romance blossoms between two city planners posing as newlyweds in this first in a bright new series by acclaimed author Ruby Lang

The last thing Oliver Huang expects to see on the historic Mount Morris home tour is longtime acquaintance Fay Liu bustling up and kissing him hello. He’s happy to playact being a couple to save her from a pushy admirer. Fay’s beautiful, successful and smart, and if he’s being honest, Oliver has always had a bit of a thing for her.

Maybe more than a bit.

Geeking out over architectural details is Oliver and Fay’s shared love language, and soon they’re touring pricey real estate across Upper Manhattan as the terribly faux but terribly charming couple Darling and Olly.

For the first time since being laid off from the job he loved, Oliver has something to look forward to. And for the first time since her divorce, Fay’s having fun.

Somewhere between the light-filled living rooms and spacious closets they’ve explored, this faux relationship just may have sparked some very real feelings. For Oliver and Fay, home truly is where their hearts are.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise : all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
Playing House by Ruby Lang is a relatively tame romance book, but it's a cute book if you are looking for something fun to read. The heat level on this is pretty tame, but there is a sex scene in this one. So be forewarned if you don't like romance books with that in there.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

#AudiobookReview: Alanna: The First Adventure By Tamora Pierce

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Alanna: The First Adventure
Publisher: Listening Library
Release Date: October 24th, 2003
Format: Audiobook narrated by Trini Alvarado 
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N TBD

From now on I'm Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I'll be a knight.

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.
But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna's first adventure begins - one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.
You guys...this book is OLD! Like this is some OG fantasy up in here. I know above it says 2003, but this book originally came out in 1983!!! I wasn't even born yet. So I'm taking a lot of that into consideration as I write this review.

Monday, June 24, 2019

#REVIEW: Something So Right By Natasha Madison

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Something So Right by Natasha Madison
Publisher: Natasha Madison
Release Date: July 30th, 2016
Format: Kindle
My Rating: ★ 1/2 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 
The moment everything changed didn’t happen in that cliché rockets-red-glare kind of way, it happened in the form of a waking nightmare. I caught my husband, my high-school sweetheart, the father of my children, balls deep in a sordid affair. 
That was when I gave up on men and love. 
I didn’t count on the NHL’s golden boy, the beautiful, arrogant Cooper Stone turning my life and my hockey rink upside down. 

My kids are why I wake up in the morning. 

Hockey is what Cooper breathes for. 

We’re from different worlds and places in our lives but when our hearts collided something so wrong and different turned into something so right.

Full disclosure, I'm pretty sure I only read this one because the ebook was free on amazon. (It might still be). Because otherwise, I just felt so meh about this story. Like, Cooper and Parker just didn't make sense to me. Later in the book once they are together I was okay with it, but the way they get together just felt so "meh." It feels like it comes out of nowhere and then bam they are just having sex all over the place. I wanted a little bit of a chase or at least an interesting way for them to be together.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

#ARCREVIEW: Bet Me To Stay By Candace Havens

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Bet Me To Stay By Candace Havens
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Release Date: July 8th, 2019
Format: egalley*
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 
After a bet with his brother, Liam O'Connor has to date the next woman who walks into the pub. And he's all in, because his pub is on the line. What he didn't expect was Casey Meadows, who at first glance with her big glasses and bulky sweater looks like a woman who has many, many cats—but her wit and smile make him wonder what's underneath her bulky armor.

Casey Meadows aka sweet romance author Cassie O'Brien is about to lose everything. As in, her writing career is going down the drain because she can't write the sexy stuff that's selling these days. She needs inspiration in the worst way. That's when she walks into the wrong pub at the right time. Sexy owner Liam is just what the writing doctor ordered. Her whole body is feeling inspired—and when he makes a proposal she can't refuse—she's all in. Oh, hell yes. Best. Sex. Of. Her. Life. Thanks to Liam, she's about to write a best-seller.

But having an erotic romance alter ego is nothing compared to the real secret Cassie is hiding—and that one could destroy everything.
Bet me to Stay by Candace Havens is a perfect romance book if you love the concept of romance writer seeks help with writing sex scenes. I was 100% here for it. So be forewarned this book is very sexy, so if that is not your thing, you should pass on this one. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

#ARCREVIEW: Soul Of The Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

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Soul of the Sword By Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: June 18th, 2019
Format: egalley*
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 
One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.
I really loved the first book in this new fantasy series by Julie Kagawa, but when I started Soul of The Sword, I found myself really struggling. Not sure if it was plainly just my mood reading at the time, or if this is just a book that suffers from the dreaded second book syndrome. I just found it didn't grab me quite as much as the first book.

Friday, June 21, 2019

#REVIEW: Bridal Boot Camp (Little Bridge Island 0.5) By Meg Cabot

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Bridal Boot Camp by Meg Cabot
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: May 28th, 2019
Format: Kindle
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the first story in her Little Bridge Island series—which also includes an excerpt from her forthcoming new full-length novel No Judgments!
Looking for a tropical escape?
Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest—and most beautiful—islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, stunning sunsets, and some of the quirkiest—but also kindest and most resourceful—people you’ll ever meet.
Physical trainer Roberta “Rob” James moved to Little Bridge hoping she’d found paradise, but things haven’t turned out quite as she’d hoped. The closest Rob has come to her “happily ever after” is happy hour at the Mermaid Café with her buddy Bree, the bartender slash waitress who’s got romance problems of her own.
But Rob’s situation suddenly changes when sheriff’s deputy Ryan Martinez accidentally enrolls in her bridal boot camp class. Turning mush into metal in time for the big day is Rob’s passion (because even the happiest bride could use a little toning).
But what happens when a guy who’s all mush meets a girl who’s all metal?
They discover they have a lot to learn . . . about each other, themselves, and the island paradise they’ve come to call home.
Bridal Boot Camp is supposed to be before No Judgements (the first in this new series, which I already reviewed). It's a short novella about two side-characters in the first full-length novel, and therein is where this novella fell a little too flat for me. It was just too short! I know it's not supposed to be that long but it just felt like everything went a little too quickly for my liking.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

#REVIEW: Clean Sweep (San Francisco Dragons #1) Kate Willoughby

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Clean Sweep by Kate Willoughby
Publisher: Kate Willoughby
Release Date: July 28th, 2018
Format: Kindle
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 
He’s a hockey player, not a housekeeper.
Cameron Bowes is the face of the San Francisco Dragons, so when the team needs a gimmick to improve their fan relations, Cameron becomes the focus of the new video "At Home with a Dragon". Unfortunately for Cam, his bachelor pad looks like an earthquake hit it. Repeatedly.
She’s the sexy maid a teammate hires as a joke.
Dakota Kelly has been working non-stop since she was unexpectedly awarded custody of her young niece. Though the little girl's grandmother swooped in to help, the old woman's overbearing ways have left Dakota no choice but to work as a janitor and moonlight as a maid in the hopes of one day getting some much-needed space from her niece's highly controlling Nana.
Lucky for Cam, Dakota turns out to be the miracle worker he desperately needs, and he jumps at the chance to hire her as his live-in housekeeper. Soon, the two can no longer ignore their smoldering chemistry, and it seems turning their business relationship into a happily-ever-after for all three of them will be the next play. There's just one problem: Nana doesn't approve, and she's not about to let her granddaughter go without a fight.
Clean Sweep may be read and enjoyed as a standalone sports romance!
This is a book that I definitely discovered due to another book reviewer, but I don't remember who! They were promoting book two in this series, so I decided to check out the first one. I thought Clean Sweep was a pretty good book, there were some things about it that bothered me, but I ended up enjoying it for the most part.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

#Review: Killian (on the line #1) by Brenda Rothert

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Happy Reads Everyone!
Killian By Brenda Rothert
Publisher: Silver Sky Publishing
Release Date: February 25th, 2015
Format: Kindle
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N 
Killian Bosch knows he’s his own worst enemy – he just doesn’t give a damn. The star forward of a minor league hockey team, he’s unstoppable on the ice. His reckless behavior, devil-may-care attitude and complete disregard for consequences have made him a major source of headaches for the Fenway Flyers’ brass. 
But the new Flyers owner is more steel than brass. Sidney Stahl is a disciplined woman who parlayed earnings from a college job into a real estate empire. She’s determined to transform the Flyers from marketing nightmare to hockey powerhouse. Once she gets Killian in line, she knows the rest of the team will follow his lead. 
The seduction of his sexy new team owner is a challenge too forbidden for Killian to resist. Sidney plays into his attraction as a means of controlling him, but soon finds that she’s the one surrendering. It’s all on the line as Killian and Sidney are forced to choose - business or pleasure? 

I have to file this book under the "just okay, meh" column. Maybe it's because I have been reading A LOT of hockey romances right now, but this one just didn't work completely for me. It was fine, but It just didn't gel with me.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

#ARCREVIEW: Playing it Cool (Sydney Smoke Rugby #2) by Amy Andrews

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Playing It Cool by Amy Andrews
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: September 12th, 2016
Format: egalley*
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Harper Nugent might have a little extra junk in her trunk, but her stepbrother calling her out on it is the last straw… When rugby hottie, Dexter Blake, witnesses the insult, he surprises Harper by asking her out. In front of her dumbass brother. Score! Of course, she knows it’s not for reals, but Dex won’t take no for an answer.

Dexter Blake’s life revolves around rugby with one hard and fast rule: no women. Sure, his left hand is getting a workout, but he's focused on his career for now. Then he overhears an asshat reporter belittle the curvy chick he'd been secretly ogling. What's a guy to do but ask her out? It’s just a little revenge against a poser, and then he'll get his head back in the game.

But the date is better than either expected. So is the next one. And the next. And the heat between them…sizzles their clothes right off.

Suddenly, this fake relationship is feeling all too real
Look at me breaking out of my comfort zone with hockey romances...just to read different sports romances! LOL. I actually really like Rugby, and I used to go to the Rugby 7s in Chester, PA every summer mostly because I had mutual friends that played for Kutztown University (who are really good!!!) but I still do not understand the rules of this game. I tried, I really did. So anyway, I was interested in reading this sports novel because it was a little different from what I normally read. It is also set in Australia by an Aussie writer, so there were definitely some lexicon stuff that I had to look up, but the author does provide a glossary in the back that I thought was really helpful.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

#REVIEW: Pucked Love (Pucked #6) By Helena Hunting

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Pucked Love (Pucked #6) By Helena Hunting
Publisher: Ink & Cupcakes, Inc
Release Date: November 13th, 2018
Format: ebook
My Rating: ★ 1/2
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
As an NHL player, relationships haven’t been my thing. Shrouded in secrecy and speculation, they never last very long. But then that’s what happens when you require an NDA before the first date. 

Until Charlene. She’s like a firefly. She’s elusive, and if you catch her she’ll burn bright, but keeping her trapped dulls her fire and dims her beauty. 

I caught her. And as much as I might want to keep her, I’ll never put the lid on her jar. Not at the risk of losing her. So I've let her set the rules in our relationship.

But as long hidden secrets expose us both, I discover exactly how fragile Charlene is, and how much I need her.

We’re all broken. We’re all messed up. Some more than others. Me more than most.
I'm not sure if Helena Huntings's hockey romance series is for me, because this is the second book I read in her Pucked series, and I just wasn't that into it. I found things about Violet in the first book Pucked to be so annoying. I wanted to try some of the other books in the series, but I read reviews that Violet was so annoying. I think this is actually the last book in the series, but it was totally fine to read having not read the other ones. This one is about Violet's best friend Charlene and Darren, one of the other players on the team. I'm not sure I really liked their relationship in this one.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

#ARCREVIEW: Something Like Gravity By Amber Smith

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Something Like Gravity By Amber Smith
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: June 18th, 2019
Format: egalley*
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N TBD
For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.

Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.

A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.

But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.

But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?
I haven't read a lot of books with trans characters as the main character, so Something Like Gravity was interesting to me because I really want to see diverse characters in books. This book does deal heavy with Chris' challenges in being trans and tackles a lot of the struggles he goes through. It also tackles him falling in love for the first time, with a girl like Maia who is having her own struggles with grief.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

#REVIEW: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 14th, 2019
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.
This was my first book I read by Christina Lauren, and I definitely don't think it's going to be my last! I LOVED this book. I am a huge fan of hate-to-love, or enemies-to-lovers so the concept that Olive and Ethan have to share a hotel room and pretend to like each other was my jam! Because you so know what is going to happen!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

#AUDIOBOOKREVIEW: Four Day Fling By Emma Hart

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Four Day Fling by Emma Hart
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release Date: June 11th, 2019
Format: Audiobook narrated by Melissa Moran and Nelson Hobbs
My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
A standalone romantic comedy of epically awkward proportions, from New York Times bestselling author, Emma Hart.

Imagine this. You’re ready to leave after a one-night stand, and you’re figuring out how to—shock horror—leave your number and ask him to be your fake boyfriend for your sister’s wedding this weekend. When he wakes up. Well, that happened to me. And over coffee and omelets, I found myself a date. 

Which was how I ended up arriving at the wedding with a guy I knew nothing about. I didn’t know his last name, or how we met, or how long we’d been dating. I didn’t know where he grew up, what he’d majored in in college, or how many siblings he had. I sure as hell didn’t know he was Adam Winters, hotshot hockey player—and not only my father’s favorite player, but my little nephew’s freakin’ idol. Which means I’m in trouble. Big, big trouble. My mother is suspicious, my sister is bridezilla on crack, and my grandpa will tell anyone who’ll listen about his time in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Four days. I have to keep this up for four days, and then Adam and I can return to our regular lives, where we don’t have sex whenever we’re alone and my family aren’t interrogating him over his intentions with me. 

At least, that’s the plan. And we all know what happens to those.

I am kind on a tear when it comes to hockey romances right now, so even though I own another book by Emma Hart, I stumbled across this book and knew I had to read it! I would loosely say it's about hockey, because it's during the off-season and Adam just happens to play the sport. It still counts, but there is not a lot about the actual sport in this one. I love a good fake relationship, so this one was a total win for me!