Master Baker by Pippa Grant

 

 

Title: Master Baker
Author: Pippa Grant
Genre: Romantic Comedy

Cover Design: Lori Jackson Design

Photo: Wander Aguiar

 Release Date: June 27, 2019

Blurb

 

They call me the sugar whisperer.

Anything your tongue desires, I can bake it. Scones? Child’s play. Cupcakes?
I’ll frost them so good you won’t know what hit you. Donuts? Please.

You’re talking to a master baker.

But there’s one egg I’ve never been able to crack.

My best friend.

Correction: My former best friend.

She’s the apple in my pie. The whip in my cream. The lemon in my meringue. The
wish in my bone.

She’s the one who got away.

After ten years in the military, she’s back. She’s bruised and battered by
life, but she’s back.

Except she’s not my second chance. She’s gone to the dark side.

Running a rival bakery in a town not big enough for two.

So now I have to decide—which do I want more?

My bakery?

Or the woman I never should’ve let go in the first place?Master Baker is a deliciously fun friends-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy
featuring a smooth-talking baker, the one who got away, and a goat with more
matchmaking tendencies than a nosy old grandpa. It stands alone with no
cheating or cliffhangers.

 

My review:

I’ve read every single one of Pippa Grant’s books. The first several ones, loosely centering around the same group of friends/family, were delightful. I loved America’s Geekheart. But lately, I noticed I am finding her books exhausting. It’s almost like the previous books were so organically funny, that the author is trying to keep up and outdo the previous book in humor each time, except that there is too much of a good thing. It’s more slapstick and cartoonish.

BUT that isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy this book. Quite the opposite, actually. Grady and Annika are incredible together. Annika’s relationships with her mother and sister are heartwarming. I adore how the three of them are there for each other. The support their towns show each of them is the best part of small town life. However, all of that can still be brought to life without a zany-animal-for-a-pet gimmick and over-the-top supporting characters. I mean, I get a small town rivalry. I can easily see residents of each town goading the other with their trash talk, but then all getting a beer together after work on Friday. But these people hate each other simply because they live 10 miles away! And as wonderful of a mother as Maria is, and big sister that Annika is, why doesn’t either one stop and tell the 13 year old that it actually *isn’t* okay to hate someone just because they live in another town?

There are some incredibly touching moments in the book, too. Every time Annika and Bailey celebrated one of their mother’s accomplishments. Amy coming to interview and why she was there. But my heart broke for Annika during the competition when she saw the cameraman.

Overall, this is a great book like the previous books Ms Grant has written. Don’t miss a fantastic love story because too much comedy fell into the batter.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

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Author Bio
Pippa Grant is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes romantic comedies that will make tears run down your leg. When she’s not reading, writing or sleeping, she’s being crowned employee of the month as a stay-at-home mom and housewife trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, all the while fantasizing about long walks on the beach with hot chocolate chip cookies. 

 

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Chasing Paige by Ellen Devlin

Title: Chasing Paige
Series: Washington Guardians Hockey
Author: Ellen Devlin
Genre: Hockey Romance
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Limitless Publishing

 
“Love at first sight.” It’s such a cliché. But when I saw her across a crowded room I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
 
One can say I’m the modest type. I don’t walk up to a girl, introduce myself and expect her to fall at my feet just because I’m a NHL player. If friends didn’t give me a little push me in her direction, I probably never would have approached her. But I’m so glad I did.
 
The electricity between us blew me away. From our first kiss to the first night we spent together it was clear. Paige was the one.
 
But something is holding her back, And with the trade deadline looming, she’s using it as an excuse to push me away.
 
Luckily, I know how to chase dreams; it’s how I made it to the NHL. I like a challenge, and I never quit until I get what I want. 
 
And what I want is Paige.

My review:

Paige is a high school English teacher sharing an apartment with her best friend Liz. Chris “Becks” Beckman is a professional hockey player who is very shy off the ice, except when performing job-related interviews or events. They meet and he is head over heels in love with her and waiting for her to catch up.

I wanted to love this book. I didn’t exactly dislike it, but I was very disappointed in it. I did receive this book as an ARC so I hope that some of the mistakes were corrected before release – namely Paige’s mother having the same last name as Chris when they first meet, although she is referred to by her correct name later. The first several paragraphs of the book were hard to figure out. They were written with an omnipotent POV, so we got both Chris’s actions and his best friend’s end of the phone conversation equally to the point where I wondered why they were on the phone to each other if they were in the same room, and also to figure out exactly which one this book was about.

I did like Chris and Paige’s relationship for the most part. They were sweet and adventurous. Paige just seemed off the entire time, though, as if the author never quite figured out the character. Sometimes she was almost Puritanical in her innocence – both sexually and in how life works in general. Other times she acted like they were shooting a porno with her actions and commentary. Not that there is anything wrong with that between two consenting adults, but the complete personality shifts were head-spinning. But one scene that really didn’t make sense for the character was after she and Chris had been together for a few months, she and LIz were watching a game on TV and he was involved in a fight during the game which was noted as a rarity for him. One brief punch on the ice and Paige is suddenly questioning their entire relationship, acting like he’s a terribly violent person and she couldn’t be with someone like that. So many times during the book it’s pointed out how intelligent Paige is, and yet she cannot separate one minor event during a tense hockey game with the real-life person she has been intimately involved with for months? The same illogical behaviour comes about later in the book, too, because of a hypothetical situation that may never even happen in Chris’s career. And for real: how many times can Paige call Chris “big guy”? I get it, she’s tiny and he’s a NHL player but come one! Several times per conversation just sounds cheesy.

I did like Liz a lot, and also Zee, Chris’s teammate. I would happily read a book about either of those characters. I would not, however, read this one again.

Rating: ♥♥♥

 

Red Hatter Book Blog – “Chasing Paige is dipping cotton candy into powdered sugar and topping it off with frosting and sprinkles levels of sweet.”

 

 

Law firm office cog by day.
 
Writer of steamy romance by night.
 
Hockey fan all the time.
 
Ellen lives in the Northern Virginia area with her husband and two sons, along with various furry and scaly creatures.
 
Life is good.
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The Accidental Girlfriend by Emma Hart

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The Accidental Girlfriend, an all-new hilarious romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Emma Hart is available now!

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Top Tip: Don’t put out an online ad offering your services as a fake date. Someone will take you up on it.

And it won’t just be for one night.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I ended up being Mason Jackson’s fake girlfriend.

He didn’t even want me to be. No—his sister was solely responsible for me being his date for his ten-year high school reunion.

Now, she’s responsible for telling his parents our relationship is real.

We have no choice. We have to act like this isn’t all a mistake, like it’s not all fake, like we’re totally, completely, utterly, head-over-heels in love with each other.

Simple, right?

Wrong.

My review:

This book is so freaking hilarious. Seriously, I had not anticipated laughing out loud without being able to control myself, in the middle of a hospital cafeteria on my lunch break. Lauren is insane in the best way – the things that came out of her mouth were so unexpectedly hilarious. And Mason was able to keep right up with her.

Mason’s family was just as amazing. I could picture the crazy aunt and uncles (and I tried hard *not* to picture Grandpa), they were all so well written. There were so many one-liners in this book, too.

I can’t think of one negative thing about this book. It was sweet, it had poignant moments (Lauren confiscating her niece for a day so her sister could deal with her postpartum depression was wonderful). You should definitely read this book.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

 

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About Emma Hart

Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.

She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs.

Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.

Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic.
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Deceitful by Victoria Ellis

Title: Deceitful
Author: Victoria Ellis
Genre: Romance Suspense
Release Date: June 21, 2019

 

As a bestselling author, Marlowe Nicholson strives to live the simple life while saving the intense storylines for her readers. So far, she’s succeeded…
Until she wakes up one day in a cabin she doesn’t recognize. A year is missing from her memory, and the man serving her breakfast? He’s the long-time boyfriend she just dumped. Or so she thought.
While Nate has all of the perfect answers to her persistent questions, she can’t help but feel as if there is more than he is telling her…
And that he has much more to do with it than he lets on.

 

My review:

Holy crap what a book.

A good psychological suspense novel keeps you questioning everything, and this one definitely does that. Marlowe wakes up with a headache, apparently married to the boyfriend she dumped last night which is now over a year ago. He has answers for all of her questions and logical explanations for the lack of photos, but her instincts tell her that something is very wrong. What follows is such a mindfuck that the reader doesn’t even know what to believe. Is she believable? Is Nate telling the truth? Is she really losing her mind? And then the ending – holy crap. I won’t spoil anything but I completely did NOT see that coming.

This book is most definitely worth reading. I usually reserve 5 stars for books I want to re-read but this one is like The Sixth Sense – it isn’t the same when you already know what will happen so a reread just doesn’t have the same effect. But this definitely deserves a five star rating.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

 

 

Victoria Ellis is a new author who publishes Psychological Thrillers and Suspense novels.
She is the founder of Cruel Ink Publishing, LLC and her debut novel is Sinners’ Retreat.
Victoria resides near Chicago, Illinois with her husband and an abundance of animals.

 

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Behind the Veil by Kathryn Nolan

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Just because the marriage is fake doesn’t mean the attraction is…

Delilah Barrett is a head-turning beauty on a quest for justice. The former cop with a checkered past has made a career of recovering stolen rare books with her private detective firm. She’s level-headed, smart, cool under pressure… and entirely unprepared for her new assignment.

When a centuries-old book worth an astronomical fortune disappears from Philadelphia’s Franklin Museum, Delilah is paired up with Henry Finch, a brilliant rare book librarian and celebrated academic.

Their orders: Go undercover as a married couple and recover the book by whatever means necessary.

Henry can speak four languages and wear a suit like he was born in Armani. But he’s never squared off against criminals. Never operated in this underground society of glamour and greed. And he’s certainly never pretended to be married to a woman who both dazzles and distrusts him.

Delilah’s keen instincts are her greatest gift, but her growing attraction to the sexy librarian is messing with her head. Every feigned caress, every for-the-audience kiss only heightens the seduction, building a fire that refuses to extinguish. As the danger intensifies, so does the temptation to let their fake desire become real. With a priceless artifact at stake, can this undercover couple learn to trust each other…before it’s too late?

My review:

I could not put this book down! Henry is a rare books librarian who is recruited by Codex, a private detective company that retrieves and returns stolen priceless books. Delilah is an agent with Codex and brilliant at her job. When she and Henry are mistaken for newlyweds by their target at a party, they go undercover as a newlywed couple to befriend the target and retrieve the stolen book.  Before too long, neither one is pretending about their feelings but they also don’t want to jeopardize the team.

This book is fantastic. It is well-paced, and the story is completely engrossing. And Henry and Delilah together are so freaking hot. I can’t wait to read more of this new series.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

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About the author:

Kathryn Nolan is an adventurous hippie chick that loves to write steamy romance. Her books are filled with slow-burn sexual tension, memorable characters, tons of heart — and are often set in wild and beautiful locations.

Kathryn started her writing career in elementary school, writing about Star Wars and Harry Potter and inventing love stories in her many journals. She blames her obsession with slow-burn on her similar obsession for The X-Files.

Kathryn is a wanderer at heart, and loves to spend her free time hiking, camping, and traveling in her camper van (“Van Morrison”) with her cute, nerdy husband and Walter, their rescue pup. Kathryn is a Philly girl who just moved back home after spending more than 8 years living in Northern California — and six months traveling across the country in her camper van.

 

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Follow me on Instagram for way too much photos of my dog: @kathrynnolanromance
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Cover Reveal: Like A Hurricane Duet by Kristie Leigh

 

Title: Wrecked by Her
Series: Like a Hurricane Duet #1

Author: Kristie Leigh

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: Taylor Sullivan, Imagination Uncovered

Release Date: August 7, 2019

 

Blurb
Loving Jules in high school was easy — gentle and natural.
But that was eight years ago, before she left town. Before she took off and
left my heart shattered.
Now she’s back…with a kid I’ve never met.
A hurricane, that’s what she is — powerful and potentially
destructive, yet so thrilling and intense.
If she leaves me wrecked again…I won’t survive.

 

 

Pre-order Links

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Title: Saved by Him
Series: Like a Hurricane Duet #2
Author: Kristie Leigh
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Taylor Sullivan, Imagination Uncovered
Release Date: August 21, 2019

 

Blurb

 

I’m always running, hiding to avoid the reality that has
become my life. Hunter didn’t deserve the destruction I left in my wake—I just
hope it’s repairable.
Because I need him.
I need him to love me like he used to, to make me whole
again. To remind me that my reality doesn’t have to be like this.
Most importantly…I need him to save me.
Author Bio
I’m a feisty redheaded Canadian/American who fell in love
with romance novels when my friend Phil bought me a Kindle that hasn’t left my
side since.
My favorite books to read are anything taboo and super sick
and twisted. I’m not sure I will ever write anything dark, but I would love to
give it a shot one day.
I live in South Florida with my high school sweetheart and
three kids.
I grew up in Burlington, ON, Canada but made the move to
South Florida in 2013 and definitely don’t miss the snow.
I’m not sure where this writing journey will take me but
either way, I know it will be a fun new adventure, and I’m super excited about
it.
Author Links

 

 

 

Blog Tour: The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Read my review here

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The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Release Date: June 18, 2019

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The Lemon Sisters, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by Jill Shalvis.

When Brooke’s older sister, Mindy, shows up at her door with her three kids in tow, she barely recognizes her sibling who looks like she’s on the verge of a total breakdown. While adventurous, wanderlust Brooke was always the problem child, eager to slip free of Wildstone and its small-town constraints, Mindy was the golden child, who never had a hair out of place or a GPA below 4.0. The Mindy that arrives at Brooke’s apartment however, is a far cry from the ever-perfect doctor’s wife.

Brooke’s further stunned when Mindy asks to trade places with her for a few days so she can pick up her pieces and put herself back together. What Mindy doesn’t realize is that Brooke is just as broken. Her sister needs her though, so Brooke takes the kids and returns to Wildstone.

But how does one go home after seven years away and what feels like a lifetime of secrets? It doesn’t take long for Brooke to come face-to-face with her past, in the form of one tall, dark, sexy mistake. But Garrett’s no longer interested, or so he says. Only his words don’t match his actions, leaving Brooke feeling things she long ago shoved deep.

The sisters begin to wonder if the childhood taunts were true, are they lemons in life? In love? True or not, they know one thing—you can’t run far enough to outpace your demons. And when long-dead secrets surface, they’ll have to overcome their differences and learn that sometimes the one person who can help you the most is the one you never thought to ask.

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Excerpt:

“Okay,” she said. “Time for me to go to bed.”

“Or you’re running,” he said. “Again.”

She closed her eyes and told herself to ignore the soft taunt. No matter what they’d been – or hadn’t been – to each other, she wasn’t looking for love with anyone, and certainly not a wash and repeat with the one man who could destroy her. It wasn’t as if she’d been a monk. She’d dated, but she hadn’t let anyone in. Not ever. Even Cole had complained about the brick walls she’d encased her emotions in.

And he was right. She could get involved to a point, but she always pulled back.

“You don’t have to run from me, you know,” Garrett said. “There’s no reason for there to be anything but honesty between us.”

Yes, there was… “Maybe I’m just not feeling it.”

Another soft laugh. “Okay.”

“Hey,” she said and poked a finger in his pec. His hard, ungiving, sexy pec. “If I was feeling it, you’d know.”

“Yeah? How?” he challenged.

“I’d be …flirty. I certainly wouldn’t be thinking of all of your faults.”

He grinned. How like a man to not be worried about his faults.

“So what are these so-called faults?” he asked, curious. Still not concerned.

“Well, for starters, you’re wearing black knit boxers with bananas on them.”

This made him laugh outright. “Someone sent me a subscription box. They come once a month. Last month’s pair had cocks all over them.”

“Like … chickens, or…?”

He was still smiling. “If you’re curious, I’ll be happy to wear them tomorrow and give you a peek.”

“Whatever,” she said. “And the fact that some woman sent you a subscription to undies is another reason I’m not feeling it. You’ve stayed friends with every single person you’ve ever met.”

“And that’s a fault?”

She shrugged. Of course it wasn’t a fault. It was the opposite of a fault. “Well, except for me, of course.”

“Because you don’t answer phone calls, texts, emails…” He tilted his head. “Tell me something.”

Oh boy. “What?”

“Why did you and your last boyfriend break up? That Cole guy.”

“I told you, he’s my boss.”

“But you’re sleeping together,” he said, his eyes holding hers prisoner. “Or you were.”

“How do you know that?”

He smiled grimly. “You just told me.”

Dammit. She crossed her arms over her chest. “We’re not together if that’s what you’re asking.”

“Why?”

“Why what?” she asked.

“Why aren’t you together?” he pressed.

“Because I don’t like him like that.”

Did his eyes warm very slightly, or was that her imagination? “Because you’re just not feeling it?” he asked mockily, using her words.

She rolled her eyes. “You think you’re funny. How about we talk about you. Tell me about the girlfriend you said you don’t have. The one who called you the other day for a hookup.”

“It wasn’t a hookup. She dumped me.”

She snorted. “Right. You expected me to believe a guy who looks like you do, and is funny and smart like you are, got dumped?”

“Actually, I expect you to believe whatever I tell you.” He shifted close until they were knee to knee. “Because I’ve never lied to you, Brooke. Never will.”

About Jill:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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