A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

The Book cover of A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

The Book cover of A Sweet Mess by Jayci LeeThanks to St. Martin’s Press for the review copy

Baked goods and reading are two of my favorite things, and with A Sweet Mess Jayci Lee, those two loves collide. A Sweet Mess is an adorable love story between a self-made baker and a food critic whose harsh review nearly ended her career – a true recipe (pun intended) for chemistry and drama. This book was light and airy and was almost great – with the exception of its ending and lack of resolution.

Bake a chance on love.

Aubrey Choi loves living in her small town nestled in the foothills of California, running her highly successful bakery away from the watch of her strict Korean parents. When a cake mix-up and a harsh review threaten all of her hard work and her livelihood, she never thought the jaded food critic would turn out to be her one-night stand. And she sure as hell never thought she’d see her gorgeous Korean unicorn again. But when Landon Kim waltzes into her bakery trying to clean up the mess he had a huge hand in making, Aubrey is torn between throwing and hearing him out.

When she hears his plan to help save her business, Aubrey knows that spending three weeks in California wine country working with Landon is a sure recipe for disaster. Her head is telling her to take the chance to save her bakery while her heart—and her hormones—are at war on whether to give him a second chance. And it just so happens that Landon’s meddling friends want them to spend those three weeks as close as possible…by sharing a villa.

When things start heating up, both in and out of the kitchen, Aubrey will have to make a choice—to stick it out or risk her heart.

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Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Book cover of Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina LaurenChristina Lauren, the prolific author duo behind hits like The Unhoneymooners, has become a mainstay on the romance bestseller lists. They’re one of the most consistent duos in romance – they release books on a two a year cadence, and rarely do they miss the mark in terms of quality. Sadly, Twice in a Blue Moon is a definite departure from their normally swoon worthy rom-coms – it’s core story is flawed and makes the romance between the main two characters hard to understand and very forced feeling.

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

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The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton

Book cover of The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton

Book cover of The Finders by Jeffrey B. BurtonA review copy was generously provided by St. Martin’s Press

I am a huge dog fan – I have my own pampered pooch who I dote on all day, every day. When St Martin’s Press approached me about reviewing an upcoming mystery about a dog trainer and his cadaver dogs, I was immediately sold. Bonus points: there’s an adorable dog on the cover. The Finders by Jeffrey B. Burton was an exciting mystery, with some underdeveloped characters and half-baked explanations.

Mason “Mace” Reid lives on the outskirts of Chicago and specializes in human remains detection. He trains dogs to hunt for the dead. Reid’s coming off a taxing year—mourning the death of a beloved springer spaniel as well as the dissolution of his marriage. He adopts a rescue dog with a mysterious past—a golden retriever named Vira. And when Reid begins training Vira as a cadaver dog, he comes to realize just how special the newest addition to his family truly is…

Suddenly, Reid and his prize pupil find themselves hurled into a taxing murder case, which will push them to their very limits. Paired with determined Chicago Police Officer Kippy Gimm, Mace must put all his trust in Vira’s abilities to thwart a serial killer who has now set his sights on Mace himself.

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Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Book cover of Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Book cover of Fumbled by Alexa MartinAfter mostly enjoying Alexa Martin’s first book, Intercepted, I decided to check out the second book in the series – Fumbled. I went in with tepid hopes given the oddities of the first book and the letdown that the ending was. Mostly I was looking for a way to reset my reading brain after reading a few very dark heavy books – and Fumbled by Alexa Martin did the job. Was it groundbreaking and something I’m dying to reread? No. Was it a fun beach read? Heck yes.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

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Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Book cover of Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Book cover of Intercepted by Alexa MartinAnybody who has ever read a sports romance novel knows just how addictive they can be. Personally, I tore through Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series a few years back, and a few of Cindi Madsen’s hockey player books. Are they fine literature? No. But they are often a quick, fun romp where you can check your brain for a few hours between heavy books. Heck, I use them to get myself out of reading slumps all the time. Needless to say, my expectations were high for Intercepted by Alexa Martin. As expected, this was a fun escape – far from flawless, but a fun ride regardless.

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season.

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