Exes by Aria Hawthorne

http://amzn.to/2jkW38wTitle: Exes 
Author: Aria Hawthorne
Series: Chicago Billionaires
Pages: 350  
Genre(s): Contemporary, US  
Hot Buttons: Divorce

When Chicago real estate tycoon Harvey Zale pings a "friend of a friend" with a flirtatious text, he never expects to start an addictive sexting affair with a complete stranger. He's a billionaire who can get any woman he wants, but he can't have her--his mysterious, sultry Contessa, who inspires his nightly confessions and soothes more than just his conscience from the consequences of his own shallow ambitions.

He's determined to build the tallest towers in the world and he needs to sell his Chicago riverfront property to finance it. But when Alma Castillo, the Lara Croft of antique hunters, shows up on his land, claiming the existence of a priceless Tiffany stained-glass window and doing everything in her power to muck up his deal, he knows he's got more than a stray cat to collar and tame. She's not only on a mission to save long-lost antiques; she's also on a personal crusade to hate his guts.

He would know. She served him divorce papers a year ago, just to prove it.

And he'd care a helluva lot more if his ex-wife's sassy tongue and wicked intelligence didn't turn him on every time she called him "asshole" and if she didn't look so damn cute in those baggy overalls, disguising her affinity for being naughty as much as being nice.

Perhaps even as naughty as his Contessa, who unlike Alma, doesn't know anything about his real identity or flawed, billionaire reputation, which flames his desires to escalate their fantasy relationship into the reality of one scorching night of mindblowing...

If he could only get his mind off his ex-wife--the only woman he's ever truly loved. God, woman...if she would just let him pleasure her scornful frown and turn it oh, oh, oooohhhh so upside down, maybe he could convince her to marry him again.

But no one ever said it was easy being a greedy opportunistic billionaire bastard, especially one who happens to know there's nothing better than make-up sex with an ex...


This is the first time I’ve read Aria Hawthorne’s work but it definitely won’t be the last - I adored this book from start to finish.

Alma was such a ‘normal’ girl that I would love to have her as a friend but could also see a lot of myself in her. I rooted for her from the first moment. Harvey, however, stole my heart from the moment he showed his vulnerability and how much he was still in love with Alma. On his own he was the arrogant, business-like and somewhat tortured hero but with Alma, his playful side came out. He was hilarious and my God, I could see why Alma was by turns ridiculously irritated by him and couldn’t help her feelings for him. They had such chemistry that I honestly couldn’t put this book down.

Throughout the whole book, my stomach would get butterflies in anticipation of what was to come and of the interactions between Harvey and Alma. The sex scenes were deliciously hot but also had an all-consuming slow burn which was obvious throughout the novel. The sexual tension was there in spades.

The sexting affair was a really unusual twist and it really added something extra to the story. Why don’t men ever text me naughty things? I also really enjoyed the details of the Tiffany windows that Alma wanted to save. Either Ms Hawthorne is an expert herself or she’s just a damn good writer because Alma’s passion for her work shone through in detail. The story’s back-drop of Chicago was wonderful, too, and I honestly would love to visit there and see all the historic sites described in the book. A subtle tourism advert for the city.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of second chance romance novels and this one just blew me away. There aren’t many books that come along that have me so engrossed but this story and its characters hooked me from start to finish. If you love a sexy and sultry romance about soulmates who are a little too stubborn to admit what they really want, then I would highly recommend this book to you. 5 stars.


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* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

In the Boss's Bed by J. Margot Critch

http://amzn.to/2j5KjGGMaya Connor was already embarrassed after a dare - and a shot of vodka - resulted in one seriously sexy kiss with an even sexier stranger. She had no idea that the man she made out with was hotel magnate and reputed playboy Jamie Sellers. Or that she would soon be working for him

Maya won't let anything get in the way of her ambition. And she's determined to be taken seriously as she begins her career and not give in to the heat that's constantly driving her to distraction. Lust, that's all it is. The more Maya and Jamie ignore it, the stronger it gets. But ending up in the boss's bed won't just be Maya's wickedest fantasies come to life it'll be the end of her dreams.


This sounded like just my sort of Blaze - hot, sexy and just a little bit naughty. Sex in the office? Yes, please!

I wasn’t disappointed as soon as I started to read - I just adored Maya. She was fun, feisty but also a card-carrying introvert and I felt an immediate kinship with her. Her first interactions with Jamie were cute, sexy and also very realistic. Apologising for kissing him was genius!

From the start I also really enjoyed the writing style. It was quirky and fresh - a unique voice that even made me laugh out loud at certain times.

But as time went on in the book, I started to seriously lose interest. It seemed like nothing much would happen or if it did, it was a little samey. Let’s be colleagues. No - let’s be lovers. We can’t - let’s try colleagues again. Et cetera. I also really don’t like when sweeping statements are made to show the passing of time. “The next two weeks were much the same…”

With those big gaps in the timeline of the story, I also felt that a lot of the chemistry was missing. Sure, their inner monologues told that they could barely keep their hands off each other but I wasn’t seeing much evidence of their connection. I even started to skim the sex scenes because of this and that’s not like me.

Once the affair came out the story got a little bit interesting again but by that time I felt Maya had changed into a person I didn’t recognise or even like. Some random tells you she’s been sleeping with your man and while you don’t really believe it or even pitch a fit, you still tell him to get out of your life. What?

As other reviewers have really liked this book, I suppose it’s just horses for courses. It’s not one I took a great liking to but I will read more of J. Margot Critch’s books because I can see that if the story grabs me, I’ll really like her writing. Just 2 stars from me for this one, though.


Hot and Bothered by Serena Bell

http://amzn.to/2iozZsaTurning a certified disaster into a certifiable dish!

Image consultant Haven Hoyt needs to take former pop superstar Mark Webster from boozing, brawling mess to presentable musician—capable of keeping his tacky boot out of his mouth. Mark has no interest in being molded, but once she's finished with him, he'll be a work of art.

Haven has very simple rules for herself: be perfectly put together, don't crack under pressure and never sleep with your client! But under the scruff and the surly attitude, Mark is hot. Haven's careful image is unraveling with every look of lust and too-tempting touch. This talented musical hunk wants to pluck her strings. If she's not careful, she'll fall for her work of art…and break each of her rules in the process!


The premise of this Blaze story is slightly different than any I have come across before - an image consultant making over, and essentially falling for, a scruffy, bad-tempered former boyband singer.

I was a bit surprised by Mark to begin with. Normally in a Blaze story at the very least the heroine can see beyond the scruffiness, bad manners and bad dressing of the hero, to see the man beneath. I’m not sure she did and I certainly didn’t. I also got an image of dirtiness (not the good kind) which made it a little icky for me when our heroine, Haven, first whispered in his (to my mind dirty) ear. That feeling soon wore off for me, thankfully.

The strange thing about this story was that I actually really liked it. It was well written, kept my attention and did have a good depth to the story. There wasn’t as much sex as in other Blaze stories I have read but what there was was enjoyably sexy if not off the charts hot.

I liked both Haven and Mark and liked who they were when they were together. There wasn’t as much focus on the expected drama of falling for someone’s image rather than who they are on the inside, which I was pleased about. Instead, the conflict comes from other sources and felt true to life.

My main issue with this book was that I didn’t feel that connection between the main characters that I like to read about. There was no sizzling, jumpy feeling in the pit of your stomach, chemistry between the pair which really did disappoint me. The book was still a good read but in the end I wanted more. 3 stars.


Tempting the Best Man by Tanya Michaels

http://amzn.to/2izDTl2A lesson in chemistry…

Back in college, Mia Hayes had a secret crush on fellow student Daniel Keegan, who was an obnoxious stuffed shirt. But she fantasized about turning Mr. Uptight into Mr. Hot Sex. Now Mia owns a successful event planning business, and at a bachelor party she’s organized, she runs into Mr. Uptight himself. And she's determined to show overly serious college professor Daniel how to loosen up a little…

Imagine Mia’s surprise when she learns that Daniel has a deliciously wicked side—one that makes her knees weak with lust. It turns out Daniel is a whole lot more than she ever dreamed. But tempting the professor might have been the riskiest thing Mia has ever done. Because in their case, opposites don't just attract… they combust.


There’s nothing quite like a light and lusty Blaze to start off the new year and that’s what you get with this book.

Mia and Daniel knew each other in college. Knew each other and didn’t particularly like each other except for that inconvenient lust for each other that they both kept hidden.

Fast forward 10 years and each is successful in their field, each has grown up and moved on - except that pesky lust is still right there.

From that you have the perfect opening for what is a very sexy tale about two people rediscovering each other, and themselves, on their way to their happily ever after.

I wasn't sure if I’d like Mia at first, if I’m honest. Anyone described as brash, opinionated and mouthy is always going to start on the back foot with me. Luckily, she was written really well and while there were times when I wanted to scream at her to shut her mouth, she was a realistic character and realised her faults, apologising when necessary.

Daniel on the other hand, I loved from the start. A slightly geeky, straight-laced professor who hides a wickedly naughty side that seems to only come out when around Mia. I especially liked that the author didn’t make Daniel change - he was still the same guy at heart just a little wilder than even he realised.

There was plenty of sex in the story as well as sexy times. These were hot and well written; lovely for these cold winter nights. I didn’t get bored or skip even a single word - as can sometimes happen with stories like this.

Overall this was a fun, well-written and sexy story that I would recommend to fans of Blaze stories. Really enjoyed it. 4 stars.

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