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A Second Chance by Brooke May (Power River Pack #1) – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

A Second Chance (The Powder River Pack #1)A Second Chance by Brooke May
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Second Chance is the first instalment of the Power River Pack series. The perfect mix of romance and fantasy, this book, and series, follows a pack of werewolves as they deal with the struggles that come with them finding their mate. While I’m not normally a fantasy reader, there is something about werewolves that just appeals to me; I blame Twilight! This was a great read and I will definitely be diving into the rest of the series.

This book has a lot of angst and a lot of tragedy. From the very beginning, we learn that our werewolf, Derek, as not had an easy ride. Letting the love of his life go was the most foolish mistake of his life, one he’s still paying for now. Derek is so broken and we can see that from the very start. I loved learning about him and his complex character. But the best part of Derek is his relationship with Annabelle. They have such a difficult history and seeing them come to terms with this, and the people they are now, was so much fun to read. There is a lot of emotion in this read and some of the scenes Annabelle and Derek share are real tear-jerkers. Despite this, the passion and chemistry they have is immense. I loved seeing them together, especially when things go a little hot and steamy!

As far as werewolf reads go, this one is a winner. It has definitely sorted my fantasy need and has left me wanting to read the rest of the series. If this is your sort of genre, I can strongly recommend this. Thanks for a thoroughly satisfying read!

Review by @ashleighw

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Healing Danger (Fortis Security #1) by Maddie Wade – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Healing Danger (Fortis Security #1)Healing Danger by Maddie Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Healing Danger is the first book in the Fortis Security series. A contemporary romance, this novel also doubles as a suspense, with danger lurking from the very first pages. I quickly became absorbed with this book and obsessed with the characters and their storylines. This is one of those reads that takes over your day and before I knew it, most of the evening had passed while I was glued to the screen of my Kindle. Fans of romance with added mystery and thrills, this is definitely a read for you.

Our leading characters come with one of my favourite things; a past! As much as I love reading about characters meeting each other for the first time, I adore stories where the characters have a difficult past that they have to face up to. Lauren and Dane have exactly this kind of story and I loved jumping in and seeing how things would turn out for them. Falling for these two wasn’t difficult, as Lauren is a loving, kind woman and Dane is, typically, a special forces -trained action man. Who doesn’t want to read about them?! But aside from what some may call, romance stereotypes, this plot is so much more. It’s exciting, completely enthralling and very real. Lauren and Dane both have to make some difficult decisions in this book, many that had me nervous for their future. No spoilers, but I hope you’re as satisfied with the ending as me!

If action-packed romance is what you like, Healing Danger is a must. This is an exciting start to a new series that I cannot wait to jump into. Thanks to the author for a great read!

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Once Upon a Romance (A Dream Come True #1) by Alex Bailey – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Once Upon a Romance (A Dream Come True, #1)Once Upon a Romance by Alex Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once Upon a Romance is the first instalment of the A Dream Come True series and, simply put, it is the perfect romance read. If you’re starting to get in the Christmas spirit, or just love a holiday read, this is exactly the read you need. It has a cute child, plenty of romance and is set in the most magical place on earth, Disneyland!

Our leading lady, Sophie, is everything her sister wasn’t, including not being a Disney fan. So when her niece, Ariel, reveals her Christmas wish is to spend the holidays at her recently deceased mother’s favourite place, Sophie begrudgingly agrees. And then the miracles start. Not only does Sophie manage to find a hotel room for her and Ariel at such short notice, she’s also able to make sure her boyfriend, Dean, can join them, too. As for Sophie and Dean’s relationship, I’ll let you make your own minds up!

This book has magical written all over it. From the setting to the characters, I just fell in love with everything about this read. While at its core it’s dealing with quite a difficult issue, the loss of a family member, this author doesn’t let this overshadow the amount of love between the characters. Rick and Ariel’s bond is one of my favourite elements of this book and I loved reading the scenes where they were together. The change in Sophie’s character was also something I loved, especially when it came to her life and romance choices; no spoilers her, but I was rooting for her to get her happy ending!

If I wasn’t already feeling Christmassy, I definitely am now. In fact, I’ve gone and put my Christmas tree up! This is a feel-good read and could quite happily sit here all night and tell you just how much I loved it. Instead, I’m going to tell you how much you should go and grab your own copy and snuggle up a blanket and devour it in one go. I did just this and can safely say, it was a Saturday afternoon well-spent! I cannot wait to read the rest of this series and now have a new author to fall in love with!

Review by @ashleighw

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Getting the Goods by Elizabeth Perry – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Getting the GoodsGetting the Goods by Elizabeth Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Getting the Goods is a standalone contemporary romance novel that will have you laughing from the very first chapter. The plot is simple, yet completely ridiculous, which is what makes it such an addictive read. The characters are engaging and honestly, I just really liked this read. For fans of romantic comedies or classic miscommunication scenarios, this is a must read.

We meet Gaby during one of the most important nights of her life; the night she will finally steal the sperm needed to help her get pregnant. This sounds insane, but as soon as I read the blurb I new I had to read this book. The more crazy, the better, right? Gaby and the relationship with her friend Maria (who let’s be honest, has some questionable practices) is amusing right from the beginning and remains this way throughout the story. But things really get interesting when Gaby meets Conner/Carter and hilarity really ensues. Not only does Gaby find out her job is at risk and the man whose sperm she tried to steal is now her boss, she is also faced with his twin. Yep, there are two of them. Cue funny miscommunications, dramatic passing-outs and awkward encounters. What more could you want from a romantic read?

This is a feel-good read that has the perfect balance of drama, emotion and laughs. While the comedy level is high, there are some serious issues dealt with in this book, including Gaby’s issues with fertility. This may be a difficult read for some but I found it insightful and inspiring. The author dealt with these themes respectfully and it’s left me wanting to read more of her work. If you’re looking for a well-rounded and satisfying read, Getting the Goods is a must!

Review by @ashleighw

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Across From You by Amabel Daniels – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Across From YouAcross From You by Amabel Daniels
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Across From You is a fun, romantic standalone novel. Written in alternating points-of-view, we follow Lexi and Jack after they meet during a compromising situation. In your typical tale of miscommunication, hilarity ensues from the very beginning despite Lexi’s obvious embarrassment at recent life events. This book is relatable, funny and just all-around loveable. A must read for any contemporary romance fans!

Lexi Regan is not having much luck. Having been the victim of a horrendous romantic blunder, the last she wants to think about is men. What happens next? She’s faced, literally, with a naked, hot, sexy man during a one-off art class she attends with her best friend. Cue hilarious flirting. I was laughing out loud at Lexi’s mixture of embarrassment and intrigue, which only became more hilarious when we found out her surprising connection to the mystery model. The author timed this miscommunication perfectly, not dragging it on too long so that I got both bored and annoyed. One of my biggest issues with romance reads is when this type of scenario is dragged out for over half of the book; just get on with it! We didn’t have too long to wait until Jack O’Connor is revealed to Lexi which just made things all the more interesting!

Jack is a fantastic male lead. While he has some of the stereotypical traits (a sexy man in uniform is always a win for me), in many ways he isn’t so typical. This made him a really complex character, which is always fun to read. The connection him and Lexi have is both instant and deep, and only strengthens over the course of the book. They had their ups and downs and there were some seriously emotional moments, which rounded off the book perfectly.

Overall, Across From You hits the romance-crave so many of us have. It is not only a really good story, but also packed full of wonderful characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and cannot wait to try more of the author’s work. This will definitely be on my recommendation list!

@ashleighw

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Born to Fight (Can’t Resist You #1) by Brittany Anne – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Born to Fight (Can't Resist You, #1)Born to Fight by Brittany Anne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Born to Fight is the first instalment of the dystopian-romance series, Can’t Resist You. It follows Hunter and Rain, who are thrown together after a deadly attack on Hunter’s life. There is instant chemistry between these two and that is what makes this book so addictive. If you’re a fan of dystopian reads, this is definitely one for you.

We meet Hunter in the midst of him saving a woman from an attack by UNR soldiers. So basically, Hunter is a hero. Cue swoon. Then we learn he’s part of the resistance. Cue bigger swoon. A strong, rebel? Sign me up for one! Hunter is an instantly memorable character who I was immediately drawn to and hooked on. I had so many questions about how he got to where he was, I couldn’t read fast enough to get to the flashbacks about his past with this father and the rest of the resistance. While he is technically the ‘enemy’, he most definitely the hero of this read. I love reads like this, but mostly when we see things from the side of those rebelling against the state. This makes for a much more interesting read and, let’s be honest, all of us have a little rebel in us. And that is why I loved Rain so much. Not only is she a strong, independent woman (yes!), she also knows what she wants. When it is thrown right in front her in the form on Hunter, she panics, like all of us would! I loved seeing their relationship develop of the course of the story, both physically and emotionally.

This book is full of suspense. While there is the fear of the UNR at every corner, the biggest stressor for me was waiting for Rain to find out the truth about Hunter. I actually found myself reading super fast to reach that moment, as I just couldn’t handle the stress! No spoilers here, but prepare yourself for some serious action!

I really enjoyed Born to Fight and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series. It falls perfectly into the dystopian-romance genre, one which so many people love. Add this to your to-read list and it will not disappoint!

Review by @ashleighw

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Say When by Bree Kraemer (Cedarville #9) – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Say When (A Cedarville Novel Book 9)Say When by Bree Kraemer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Say When is the ninth (yes, ninth!) instalment of the truly wonderful Cedarville series. One again, we are transported to the beautiful lakeside setting which has become so familiar to fans of this series. This instalment does not disappoint, as were introduced to a new couple that immediately grabbed my heart. This is one read not to be missed!

I have to start this review by admitting that I am a superfan of this series. I absolutely love the world that the author has created and it holds a very dear place in my heart. So as soon as a new book is released, I am immediately anticipating finding the time to sit and really enjoy it. Cue a nice cup of team, some chocolate cookies and a cosy blanket; time to read!

Say When had me hooked after the very first page. Immediately jumping into the wonderful world of baking had my mouth-watering; luckily I had the cookies! Dani is such an endearing character and I felt myself warming to her straight away. I love her innocence, which I think makes her such a strong character and so interesting to read. She has a lot of fears and learning about these over the course of the story allowed us to see why her and Patrick have such an intense connection. As for Patrick… what a cutie! He is such an equally interesting character who I couldn’t wait to find out more about. We learn about him more slowly than Dani, with the main focus of the story being her getting over her fears, but that just makes him so much more intriguing; who doesn’t love a mysterious man?! Seeing them together is so much fun and, let’s be honest, super hot. There are some steamy moments in this book, which are sure to get you feeling a little hot. All I’ll say is, lucky Dani!

I don’t think I will ever stop loving this series or this author’s work. Every single book in this series is beautifully written, packed with wonderful characters and has an intriguing and exciting plot. Ultimately, this series is about love and the connection that develops between two people, and Say When perfectly portrays this. If you haven’t already, I cannot encourage you enough to start reading this series. By the time you get to Dani and Patrick’s story, you’ll be as hooked as I am!

Review by @ashleighw

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Touchdown (The Big Apple #1) by Alexa Summers – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Touchdown: A Steamy Football Romance: The Big Apple Series Book 1Touchdown: A Steamy Football Romance: The Big Apple Series Book 1 by Alexa Summers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Touchdown is a contemporary romance novel set within the world of American football. This is a steamy read, so if you’re looking for something more subtle, this is not the book for you. The heat starts instantly and does not stop until the very end of the book. This feels like a very promising start to a series and I cannot wait to read more.

This is a full on read. From start to finish, Touchdown brings the heat, drama and emotion. Our leading lady, Lexi Driver, is a woman we all would love to be. Spending her life inside a football team’s changing room, she has seen it all. And it’s fair to say she loves it. She is a strong, sassy and sexy woman that isn’t afraid to speak her mind. I liked Lexi from the beginning, and grew to like her even more over the course of the book. Yes, she has her flaws (maybe she should have just apologised for that whole incident to start with) but she has been through so much in her life. As the story went on, I found myself really feeling for her and everything she was going through.

A sports romance isn’t complete without a sexy man to raise the temperature. Brett Brock is just that man. He had a rough start, I’ll give him that, but I have to admit I had a love hate relationship with him. While you can see why he wanted revenge, his way of doing so was questionable. I spent a good portion of the book on the edge of my seat, waiting to see if he would in fact release the recordings he had made. While some tension is good, I have to admit that this is one of the things that drives me mad when reading! I won’t spoil what happens, but I was so pleased when it finally did. This really moved the story along and finally, I could breathe again!

Overall, Touchdown is a really fantastic sports romance read. It stands-out for its steaminess as this is definitely not your average read. If your looking for a romance that offers just that bit more, this is definitely one for you.

Review by @ashleighw

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Small Town Hero (Small Town Brides #1) by Kim Koby – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

Small Town Hero (Small Town Brides, #1)Small Town Hero by Kim Koby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Small Town Hero is a short, contemporary romance that focuses on renewal and second chances. Our two characters are thrown together under difficult circumstances but find hope and new life in each other. This was an uplifting read and one that I enjoyed from beginning to end.

Rebecca was convinced she had everything figured out, including a loving fiancé who was accepting of her decision to save herself until after they were married. So after finding him in bed with her best friend, she takes off on a journey to get herself as far away from his as possible. Finding herself in Tennessee, we enter Rebecca’s life as she’s at a real turning point. This is exciting as we see her develop from the ‘old’ her to the new, more relaxed version of herself. I loved how sassy she was at the beginning but also that she was aware of this. Her reaction to Ryan had me laughing out loud at points, especially because she was so surprised at herself! As for Ryan, what a complex character! While we immediately focus on Rebecca’s heartbreak, he too has faced some traumatic events in his life. I loved getting to know him and finding out why he is the way he is.

The connection between Rebecca and Ryan feels so natural and is really entertaining to read. I loved seeing them interact and how easily conversation flowed between them, after they had got to know each other of course! This was such a lovely, sweet read and I’m so glad I took a chance on it. I can’t wait for more in this series!

Review by @ashleighw

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The Nearness of You by K.G. Fletcher – Review by Ashleigh Whitwell

The Nearness of YouThe Nearness of You by K.G. Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Nearness of You is a standalone romance novel from author K G Fletcher. Focused around the world of showbiz, fame and glamour, we meet two characters who are both following their dreams. This is an exciting read that has all the makings for a fairy-tale story. I loved it and am already on the lookout for more of the same!

We meet Lauren, our leading lady, during a comfortable period in her life. She’s happy, but determined not to give up on her dreams of making it big in the music industry. So when a routine gig introduces her to David, thing change forever. Lauren is an ambitious, fun and completely likeable character. I loved finding out more about her life and found myself praying that all of her dreams would come true. Her instant connection David felt real and not forced at all, which is sometimes the case in romance reads. They naturally bounced off each other and it was obvious just how much they enjoyed being around each other. Let’s be honest, I think it would be easy for anyone to enjoy being around David! As a Brit myself, I maybe didn’t have quite the same reaction to him as my American counterparts. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate him! He doesn’t seem to have nay major flaws and he treats Lauren like a queen; where can I find one?! David’s relationship with his sister is also a highlight of the read for me and, again, written so naturally and authentically.

While this story is packed full of romantic moments, it also has it’s drama. When we meet David’s assistant, Sabrina, things get really interesting. Her involvement in the couple’s relationship is complex, infuriating and so addictive to read. If you like some meddling in your love stories, this a must read!

Overall, The Nearness of You is a beautifully romantic read. I fell in love with the characters and their stories, as well as the incredible locations we visited. Another wonderful element of this read is the inclusion of music. I strongly recommend checking out the playlist at the back of the book; it opened my ears up to lots of new music! This book has got me hooked onto music-romances and I can’t wait to find my next one!

Review by @ashleighw

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