Book Reviews, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Broken Ties by L.A. Cotton

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Broken Ties; Rixon High #4
(An interconnected standalone within a series)

Publication Date: May 19, 2022

Genre/Tropes: Sports/New Adult/Friends-to-Lovers Romance

Author: L.A. Cotton

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars


A super, angsty slow burn between two best friends.

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to fall in love with not only your best friend, but the best friend that is so interwoven into the fabric of your lives that your parents are best friends, your friendship circle consists of each others friends, that everywhere you turn there is another reminder that if you take that leap and allow your heart to fall and it doesn’t work, there is no escape from the heartache? Yeah…that is the very precipice that Aaron Bennet and Poppy Ford stand upon.

Broken Ties is full of angst. A back and forth that if I was a teen, I’m not sure my own heart would have survived.  Aaron and Poppy grew up together, their parents are best friends, so these two have literally been side by side and formed their own deep friendship. It is only as they reached their teenage years, as the added hormones and body changes arose that feelings started to change, but neither really said or did anything until their senior year. It’s a preverbal straw breaking Poppy’s back that finally springs her into action and she decides that she is no longer going to wait on the sidelines for Aaron to notice her as more than just a friend as her senior year passed her by.

Poppy decides to go out with another boy who has shown interest in her. Finally deciding she’s had enough of waiting around for the one boy she’s ever loved to take notice of her. Eli is nice, sweet, funny, everything she could want, except at the end of the day he’s not Aaron. Doing her best to make the most of her last year in high school she’s determined to enjoy it, even if Aaron drives her crazy with his whiplash.

Does he take notice? Yes and no. He’s always noticed her, but remember my first paragraph. He has a really hard time with separating Poppy the girl he grew up with from the girl he is in love with. Aaron is a good kid and he really wants to do what is right, but sometimes the right thing is more of a detriment to his greater good. Aaron’s senior year is not going like he expected and I love this side of the story that shows even with the best parents, decent grades, the right extra curriculars, and doing all of the right things that even what looks perfect on paper, well…sometimes not everything is actually perfect. L.A. Cotton never fails to bring a very real aspect to every story and this part of Aaron’s life is very relatable.

Lastly, it’s hard not to mention the moments on page with Jason Ford, Poppy’s dad, as he definitely has a special bond with his baby girl. Practically every time he was in the story I was weeping.  As a coach and father, Jason always has the best intentions of those around him whether he was with his daughter or doling out advice for Aaron. Every moment he popped up really made me miss my dad something fierce. That’s a rare treat and I appreciate Cotton for bringing him to life.

Broken Ties is another wonderful addition to the second generation of Rixon High and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

From USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author L A Cotton, comes a slow burn, friends-to-lovers romance. Angst… drama… friendship… and football. Will you survive senior year?

Poppy Ford has been in love with her best friend forever.
But she’s firmly in the friend zone and fears she may never get out.

Aaron Bennet has been dreaming of a football scholarship forever.
But he’s not the Rixon Raiders star player, and he never will be.

While Aaron is focused on proving himself, Poppy is hoping he’ll finally wake up and see what’s right in front of him.

He doesn’t want to lose his best friend.
She doesn’t want to lose senior year to a boy who doesn’t want her.
But fate has other ideas for them.

And when hearts get broken and dreams get shattered, will their friendship be strong enough to survive?

Or will the ties that bind them finally unravel?

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2022 Excerpt/Teaser, Blog Tour - 2022, Contemporary Romance, Year of Releases - 2022, Year of Reviews - 2022

Blog Tour – Seduction by Ivy Smoak

I thought seducing my professor was hot.
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“Penny, my favorite redheaded goddess, please tell me you’re renewing your vows and need my help. The bigger the celebration the better. Let’s make it a night to remember.”
“I can do you one better. But don’t freak out.”

“Don’t say that. Now I am freaking out. Stop freaking me out right this instant!”

This was already escalating quickly. I shouldn’t have started with ‘don’t freak out’. “Remember James’ brother?”

“Yes, just as handsome as James. How could I forget?”

I laughed. “Well…he’s getting married. And we need your help.”

Justin squealed. “Of course! Tell me everything. Wait, I can do the second weekend of September. The leaves won’t have started changing yet. Unless there’s a drought in the summer. Fingers crossed for no water next year! Drought, drought, drought!”

“Yeah, the second weekend of September is perfect.” I stopped pacing. “But we need to make it…this year. Not next year.”



“What the actual F are you saying right now? “Who is this woman who wants to get married in two weeks? She must be barbaric!”

“Justin, come on. Don’t be rude.”

He huffed.

“She’s super sweet. You’re going to love her.”

He huffed again.

“Justin, please.”

“I can’t,” he said. “It’s literally impossible.” There was a long pause. “Which means I’m the only one that can do it. Fine! Screw you and your beautiful husband. I hate you.”

About Ivy
Ivy Smoak is the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon #1 bestselling author of The Hunted Series. Her books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
When she’s not writing, you can find Ivy binge watching too many TV shows, taking long walks, playing outside, and generally refusing to act like an adult. She lives with her husband in Delaware.
It’s been a wild ride to chase her dreams…

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