Fearless King by Maya Hughes

Rule No. 1 - Don’t dream about your best friend’s sister.

Rule No. 2 - Don’t kiss your best friend’s sister.

Rule No. 3 - Definitely don’t sleep with your best friend’s sister.

Too late.

Liv’s gotten under my skin with her sweet smile and her gentle touch. We had one kiss before it all fell apart. I wanted to hold her close, but I broke her heart.

Now, she’s in trouble and I’m the last person she wants to confide in, but I’m not giving up.

New Rule: Don’t fall in love with your best friend’s sister.


Title: Fearless King
Author: Maya Hughes
Series: Kings of Rittenhouse Book 4
Pages: 340
Genre(s): Contemporary, US, New Adult
Hot Buttons: death of parents, parental cheating, fire<-- highlight to reveal (may contain spoilers)

I have been a fan of Ms Hughes’ writing and the Rittenhouse Kings series since I read the third book in the series (Ruthless King) earlier this year. I’ve yet to read the first two books in the series (shocking, I know!) but from reading Ruthless King and now this book, I feel I know all the Kings - a group of pro hockey players who met and formed a bond at the prestigious Rittenhouse Prep school. As I mentioned, I’ve only read one of the previous books in the series and while this book does stand alone, the Kings and their ladies do feature a lot in this book - so I would suggest that you’ve maybe read at least one other book in the series so you have a prior handle as to who everyone is and how they connect.

I feel Ford and Liv have been teased quite a lot in the run up to this book so there were a lot of expectations for this book. And I’m happy to say it lived up to all my expectations.

Ford is the strong silent hockey goalie who has wanted his best friend’s little sister, Olivia, for a very long time. But not only is his best friend in the way - so too is Ford’s own brother, who also fancies Liv. And those two things just ramp up Ford’s sense of honour - can he really cross that line?

Oh - of course he can…because Liv is just so adorable. She’s loyal, spunky, feisty and just wants to do what’s right for everyone she loves. She’s so darn likeable, and so vulnerable, you just want to protect her - or let her very own hard bodied hunk do that for her. He might not want to cross that line, but she’s going to cross it for him. And he loves every minute of it.

This is one of those books that you can’t help get involved with. There’s quite a lot angst in the book but it’s never out of proportion and feels like the kind of things that everyone can identify with. Themes of following your heart - in life and in love, loyalty, honesty - it speaks to everyone despite being a new adult title.

There’s just enough sex to keep you happy - and to keep Liv and Ford pretty darn happy, too. The pair are just so right for each other - despite bad timing and external forces just always being in the way of the pair getting there. But don’t worry, they get there!

And bonus points for the name-check of Seph from Hughes’ other title, The Perfect First. It was just her name but I got a bit fangirly when I read it!

Colm, Liv’s brother, features quite heavily in this book - in presence if not in person. And man is he annoying. I would happily have given him a slap ten times over. His book is up next (Heartless King) and, at the moment, I’m feeling so annoyed with him that I’m not sure I’ll read it. But I know I will, even if it’s grudgingly, just so see if Ms Hughes can redeem him in my eyes - and so I can get another glimpse of Ford and Liv.

This is a story that you can get lost in. The writing is just top notch and the characters come alive off the pages. It’s one of the first stories in a while that I’ve been dying to tell people about when I wasn’t reading - like these characters were people that I actually knew. Ms Hughes is onto another winner with this book and it’s one I would highly recommend. 5 stars.






Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! :-) I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.

I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.



The Fearless King short, The Wedding Kiss is complete! Read it today.







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BLOG TOUR: Take the Bride by Carly Phillips

She used to be his. Now she’s about to marry another man.

Will he let her go … or will he stand up and take the bride?

Ryder Hammond and Sierra Knight were high school sweethearts. Despite him being her brother's best friend, their relationship burned hot and fast…and ended with heartbreak and regrets.

Years later, she’s at the altar, about to marry another man.

He’s only there for closure, to finally put the past behind him.

But when the preacher asks if anyone has a reason the couple shouldn’t wed, she turns around and her gaze locks on his.

Suddenly he’s out of his seat.



And ultimately stealing the very pissed off bride and taking her to a secluded cabin.

He wants one week to convince her they’re meant to be, to remind her of the fiery passion still burning between them.

When their time together is up, will she walk away and break his heart this time, or will he finally have the woman he's wanted all along?


Title: Take the Bride
Author: Carly Phillips
Series: Knight Brothers (Book 2) 
Pages: 125
Genre(s): Contemporary, US
Hot Buttons: /

When I first read the blurb for this book, I assumed it was going to be a wham-bam, caveman takes his woman, type of book. And while that would have been fine, it actually wasn’t much like that at all. It was more of a slow-burn. Well, a slow-burn with sex.

The story was a fairly simple second-chance romance with a twist on the circumstances of the reconciliation. Despite that, the writing really elevated the story to something special that made me keep those pages turning and turning. It’s a short story - just 125 pages - so you’ll devour it in no time at all.

Sierra was a likeable character and you could understand and sympathise with her plight and confusion over what to do. I mean, what would you do if you thought the love of your life was lost to you? You can sulk or move on with second best - even though you’ll always be aware he’s second best.

Ryder was absolutely delicious. Such a rugged, alpha man who’s determined to win back the heart of the girl he’s always loved. He just needed a boot up the bum for him to realise it’s now or never. And he’s going to make sure it’s now.

The sex was wonderful but it was actually more of the banter and intimacy that caught my attention and captured my heart. These two were made for each other which made this a sighworthy and swoonworthy romance.

This book is technically the second book in the Knight Brothers series but stands completely alone (and it does because I haven’t read the first book in the series, Take Me Again). Sebastian from that book does appear in this book - along with the other Knight brothers - but not with Ashley, although she is mentioned.

This was a fun taster of Carly Phillips’ books and it’s made me want to read more of the Knight Brothers series. She’s got me hooked with this quick, fun and happy romance. 5 stars.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series.**









Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at www.carlyphillips.com.





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Read Me Romance Season 1: Recap and Review

I was a little bit of a late bloomer when it comes to the Read Me Romance podcast.

The whole thing kicked off in November 2018 but it wasn't until February this year (2019) that I decided to give it a listen.

And then I binged.

And promptly fell in love with audio books, Tessa, Mel and Lea - and lots of new authors and their books. Not necessarily in that order!

And although we're now just about to start Season 3 (hell to the yeah!), I wanted to do a quick recap of all the book in, first, Season 1 and then, Season 2 in the coming days/weeks/whenever.

If you've never tried audio - or, as I had, tried audio and hated it - have a read through the book descriptions and my thoughts on them below and if any take your fancy - give them, and this whole podcast a go. Honestly - you won't be disappointed.

I feel that I'm forgetting to tell you the best bit of the podcast and that's Tessa, Mel and Lea. (Mel and Lea being the duo behind Alexa Riley).

They chat. Just on Monday and Fridays, mind. (The rest of the days of the week are just one of them, or two of them introducing the chapters for that day). And they help you realise you're not alone. You're not different. You're one of them. You're wanted, welcomed and at home with these girls we'll likely never know. They feel like the personification of the romance reading/writing community giving you an all-inclusive, all-welcoming hug.

Sorry to get sappy but I feel this podcast has helped me find my place and helped me realise that there are other people like me out there in this lonely world.

I hope you love it as much as I do.


Guys - this is going to be a long post so sit tight. And because of the longness - if you fancy buying a book (assuming it's available), just click on the cover to take you to the book's Amazon.co.uk page. If you're not in the UK, from that page you should be able to click on the link on the right hand side to take you to the Amazon page of your own country and buy!

I'm also not going to rate a book in my traditional 1-5 star rating. I don't know why, to be honest, but I think you'll still get the gist of whether I enjoyed a book or not.

Read Me Romance is a FREE podcast hosted by New York Times Bestselling Authors Alexa Riley and Tessa Bailey.

At Read Me Romance, they bring you a new, original audiobook novella every week from one of your favourite authors! One section of the audiobook will be released each weekday, beginning Monday and ending with a perfect happily ever after on Friday!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss a single instalment!



Ava fudged a little on her résumé to land her dream job. She’s been working her curvy booty overtime to get her boss’s new lingerie line off the ground. But when her boss’s brother comes in and says Ava should be the face—and body—of the campaign, she’s having second thoughts.

Lucas knows what he wants, and the second he sees every lush inch of Ava all bets are off. She’s not only the one for the job but the one for him, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make her see it.
Title: Closer
Author: Alexa Riley
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Joe Arden & Maxine Mitchell

I can't remember if this was my first ever Alexa Riley or just the one where I fell in love with them - it barely matters anymore since I'm well and truly obsessed. And God they hit the spot with this over-the-top, I must have you now, alpha man, virgin heroine story. Sometimes all you need is a quick and dirty break from reality and that's definitely what this is.

Extra points for the scooping scene in the limousine. I think I was listening while out on a walk and my knees just might have given way to leave me in a pile of goopy lust on the ground. Good times.

As for the narrators - I'm going to be honest when I say that at first I thought that the female narrator was a robot when I first started to listen. But I'm going to chalk that up to the fact that this was pretty much the first time I'd ever listened to an audio book properly. (But does anyone else think she was majorly channelling robot?)

The male narrator was just the right amount of rich douchebag (his words) and sexy alpha hero - he could definitely stand in my living room and talk.

Outcome: Pre-ordered the book and I clutch it to my chest even today.

The last place ex-Special forces soldier, Kyle Musgrave, expected to find himself was in a joust at a renaissance fair. There’s a prize for winning, however—her name is Cameron and she’s just as horrified by her medieval circumstances as Kyle. She needs his help badly to escape her would-be suitors. For Kyle, that means donning uncomfortable armor, galloping to victory on a stubborn steed and claiming a reward he never expected. If she’ll have him.
Title: Renaissance Man
Author: Tessa Bailey
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Emma Wilder & Teddy Hamilton

Oh holy jousting this is a good book! There's jousting and a pink prom dress and a meet cute that starts with our heroine butt-up, hanging over a fence showing off her kecks to our hero. And it's seriously one of the best things I've read/listened to.

Kyle goes from not giving a shit, to pass me that sword while I win my woman. It's the dream, man. It's. The. Dream.

Teddy Hamilton's voice rumbles through you like the start of a darn good orgasm while Emma Wilder does a nice turn as our heroine, Cameron.

Outcome: Bought, re-read and re-swooned.

In the twenty-five years I’ve known Cory York, the only thing I didn’t fake with him were my orgasms.

In seventh grade, I faked a stomach flu to stay home and keep him company while he was sick. I ended up with a virus that kept me out of school for an entire week.

In twelfth grade I faked an injury to avoid going to prom by myself. He took pity on me, dumped his original date and escorted me to the dance where the spurned girl dumped an entire pitcher of red punch over my head.

In college, I faked being in a relationship with him to get him out of a bind with a classmate. Most recently, I faked a proposal, an engagement, and wedding date.

Between the ring on my finger and the home cooked meals every night, I fell for him. So I left, because Cory York is a good friend, but a terrible boyfriend. I had to leave before he broke my heart.

We went from best friends to silent strangers. Now that I’m back in town, he wants me to be his plus one for his cousin’s wedding. This time I’ll have to fake not loving him.
Title: Fake Love
Author: Claire Contreras
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Savannah Peachwood & Stephen Dexter

This story couldn't have been cuter if it tried. Sure the couple have sex and it's all grown up and shit (but properly good shit, by the way) - but it was so fluffy and innocent and wonderful. And if you can't tell, I'm a sucker for a fake-relationship where they're actually in love with each other the whole damn time. Sigh.

Loved Savannah as Evelyn - she gave so much emotion to her words and really made the story her own. Plus her name - Savannah Peachwood - someone has to write a story with her as the heroine. Our male narrator only makes a small appearance at the end of the story but he's got a nice, deep voice that I was happy to listen to.

Outcome: Bought and re-read looking like this emoji 😍.

I’ve been raised as the good, obedient daughter, but I never expected to be sold to pay my father’s debts. Cold. Rough. Merciless. The foreman of the construction crew is going to make me pay every last cent.

Title: Heavy Equipment
Author: Skye Warren
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Lidia Dornet
I was ready to love this story. I'm game for a bit of selling folk to pay debts - especially to rough, gruff construction dudes who (I'm guessing) will fall in love with the person they bought. Not in real life, obviously - that whole scenario would be wrong.

But, well, I didn't love it. I didn't even like it. The heroine was a wet blanket, and the hero was, for the short time I listened, vile and cruel and mean. And not the good kind of mean. The 'I'm going to kick your puppy and laugh' kind of mean. I stopped listening before the end of the first episode on the Monday and didn't listen again.

Outcome: Did not finish and did not like.

August is bitter and cold.

Two people he loved most betrayed him.

Winter is hot and sultry.

She’s the enemy’s daughter.

A blowout fight between Winter and her dad sends her straight into August’s waiting arms.

But August doesn’t want to hold her…he wants revenge.

The two are an explosive combination whenever they’re together.  August antagonizes and Winter pushes back. Under all the hate burning between them is an attraction so intense, neither can ignore it.

It’s only a matter of time before it consumes them both.
Title: Red Hot Winter
Author: K Webster
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Melissa Barr & Philip Alces
Winter is a young girl (fear not - she's 18) who at first I wasn't sure I would like. She's a little mouthy, a lot feisty and knowingly tries to push August's buttons. No simpering virgin here, sadly. I know, I know - but I do love my Alexa Riley heroines!! Melissa was a great voice artist for Winter as she sounded young enough but with a maturity and a sass that I'm sure the author was envisaging when she wrote the character.

I had to look up Philip Alces as I could detect a touch of England in his American accent which gives him an unusual (but in a good, interesting way) twang to his speech. (He apparently splits his time between California and England, just in case you're interested!). He's got a nice voice, the English giving him a sort of dirty school teacher feel to his voice which seemed perfect for Autumn's voice.

Lots of forbidden sex and I loved the 'over the back of the couch' time. Yum!

Outcome: An enjoyable, slightly forbidden romance that I liked, but decided not to buy in e-book.

When Noemi Huxley was forced to choose between love and duty…she chose duty. Three years later, the last thing she expects when she accepts the invite to attend the Thalanian royal wedding is to come face to face with her ex—or to find out he’s assigned as her security detail for the event.

Isaac Kozlov let the love of his life get away once before, and he’ll be damned before he does it a second time. He’s got three days to bring Noemi around to his way of thinking, and Isaac’s pulling out all the stops to make it happen. He’ll play dirty to convince Noemi that happily ever after doesn’t just belong in fairy tales.
Title: Their Second Chance
Author: Katee Robert
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Virginia Rose & Tristan James
This book is part of Katee Robert's Thalanian Dynasty set of novels. I think this was why I was a bit confused about how our heroine, Noemi (No-Me), fit into the royal family in question - but that wasn't really important in the grand scheme of our story.

I love a second chance romance and enjoyed this one, too - even if it was slightly forgettable. (Sorry - that sounds so mean and I don't like to be mean!)

Perhaps if I was reading the Thalanian Dynasty books I would have liked this particular story more than I did. I mean, Issac is a big, brooding Slavic beast of a man - I should be predisposed to love it. But I just liked it.

I loved Virginia Rose's audio, though. So authoritative and fierce. Yes, girl! Tristan was good, too, but paled next to the heroine's voice.

Outcome: Enjoyed it in the week but couldn't tell you much about it after the fact.

For the last two years Miko Riley has mourned her husband, a famous, bestselling novelist. While grieving, she put her heart and libido on ice, but she’s finally thawing. And who better to bring the heat than Adam Stone, the editor who secretly harbored feelings for Miko, but missed his shot years ago?

They’ve always been careful to ignore the connection, the attraction that flared between them. Now that they’re both hot, hungry and single, careful is the last thing they want to be.
They’d rather get burned.
Title: Swipe
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Grace Grant & John Lane
No - this isn't Kennedy Fox week. Is my brain really so taxed that if someone has the same name - hell, even the same first letter - I think they're the same person? Sigh.

I didn't like this story for numerous reasons. I didn't understand what the heroine's name was until probably Thursday. Niko? Miko? Nicky? I don't bloody know and I would think that might be the most important starting point.

And then she just seemed to mope about her dead husband who she loved/didn't love.

Then the hero had loved her for ages and she was going to date and he didn't want her to...

Oh, I barely care.

And then he ate her nipple. That's not sexy, dudes.

Then the heroine was Vietnamese. Not that this matters but it just shows she wasn't described before probably Thursday - about the same time I finally caught her name. 😐

Outcome: Didn't like the story but I at least listened to the whole audio book.


My name is Sage McAllister and my life is about to change remarkably.

I own a thriving yoga studio in Los Angeles.

I have a celebrity client list a mile long.

I’m followed. Fawned over. Adored.

And I’ve just been offered a TV show that could rocket me to stardom.


The choice should be easy.

I have absolutely nothing to lose.

Until a student walks into my class that sets my heart aflame.

Olivia Nguyen, my high school sweetheart.

And the woman I’ve loved my entire life.

Inhale. Exhale.

My name is Sage McAllister and I’ll be your yoga teacher this evening.

Let’s begin.
Title: Breath of Fire
Author: Kathryn Nolan
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Lucy Rivers & Rock Engle
Okay - prepare to be offended by my traditionalist views.

I don't like the name Sage for a hero. It made me think he was a bit wet.

And then he was a famous Yoga teacher. He's getting less manly by the minute.

I know, I know - people can do whatever they want and still be masculine/feminine/whatever. But there are so many other romances out there where the heroes are not yoga teaching men called Sage - and I prefer those ones.

Truthfully, I enjoyed the romance of this book and the interplay between Sage and Olivia - it's a second chance romance after all - but the setting and details just didn't do it for me.

Lucy was interesting to listen to and Rock (Rrrrrrock!) was 100% the mellow hero of Sage.

Outcome: Enjoyed it but ultimately not really my cup of green tea!

My brain exploded at the supermarket. One minute I was arguing with my three-month-old about sticking grapes in her tiny mouth and the next minute I was staring at the face of the father of my child.

The guy ghosted me after I told him I was pregnant. I sent him texts, called him and even posted a certified letter but received zero response. While he was down for the baby-making activities, he had zero desire to accept the consequences.

So I did what any other like-minded woman would’ve done in my position. I reached into my cart and started hurling things at him.

To my surprise, he not only paid for the damage but followed me home. Now, he’s telling me he never got my messages or my letter and that he’s ready to be a father.

He’s patching drywall, doing the laundry, and carrying the trash to the curb, and I’m remembering what it was like when he was loving me every night. A few heated stares and a few brushes of his hand against mine and my long-dormant female parts are roaring to life. Everyone’s going to think I’m a few French fries short of a Happy Meal if I let him back into my life, but my heart can’t keep asking what if…
Title: Bombshell
Author: Jen Frederick
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Erin Mallon
Gah - I bloody loved this story. It was so over the top funny and downright implausible that I gobbled it right up! It was like Sunset Beach (does anyone remember that beaut?) with romance.

After the fact, I've read some reviews where people are 'wah-wah-wah-ing' over the age of the baby in the story and whether it can talk. Seriously, guys - who gives a fuck? Is that what happens when you become a parent? I don't sit there and over-analyse whether the dogs in stories 'woof' at the right age and in the right circumstances. Sometimes my eyes don't roll hard enough.

The actual romance is a delight - I mean, how can a story that begins with braining a 'stranger' in the grocery store with tomatoes not be a winner?

Erin Mallon's voice was the perfect fit for Kate. I would have liked to have heard Jack's voice and had his point of view - but you can't have everything!

Outcome: Bought this book, read other people's reviews and pulled my eye muscles rolling them so hard.

There was a reason I was handcuffed to the bed, chocolate syrup smeared over both nipples. Dario Capece was getting married, and if he thought he’d ditch me to marry some rich Vegas bitch, then he had another thing coming.

I was taking my revenge in the best way possible: his best friend. Seduction was a new game for me, but thankfully, Trip Reinnet was good at reading signs and delivering orgasms. While a hurricane gathered force and moved closer, I played a risky game of love, luck and sex, with my most valuable possession up for grabs: my heart.
Title: Rolling the Dice
Author: Alessandra Torre
Genre(s): Contemporary
Narrator(s): Stella Bloom & Jonathan Ash
It's 'think' coming. Just saying.

This was another story that I enjoyed but was ultimately a little forgettable for me. Our heroine wanted another man and was still wanting him when she decides to get revenge by sleeping with his best friend.

Hmmmm. I get the concept and perhaps in a longer book you can believe in the romance and the happily ever after. But I just can't believe that the sex could be so good that our heroine (Stephanie) would ditch her crush and fall in love with Trip in such a short space of time.

Shame as I liked the writing and Ms Bloom's voice was a dream. The voice of Trip was also good - not quite as gruff and gravelly as I might have expected but pleasant to listen to none the less.

Outcome: Enjoyed but no further action taken.

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