Review
Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQA+, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Unwanted by Marley Valentine

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Unwanted; The Unlucky Ones #1
(#1 within a series)

Publication Date: May 21, 2022

Genre/Tropes: Second Chance/Addiction/MM Romance/Found Family

Author: Marley Valentine

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars

Review/Synopsis:

Review:
A very emotional, second chance at life, at romance, at a new beginning.

Unwanted isn’t just a story about foster kids finding love, or finding support, or their new family. It’s a combination of all of that plus it’s a deep look into the heart of addiction and forever journey on the road to recovery.

I’ve shared before that I will read anything and jump into any trope, I basically have zero limitations when it comes to reading romance. However, like any human being there is one topic that can sometimes push me just a little too far and that is drug abuse. My family has lived through this nightmare with my brother and it never fails to reopen those wounds again every single time. So while I gripped the pages and prepared my heart to read Unwanted, I am proud to say that Marley Valentine wrote a beautiful story that didn’t cut open old wounds, but instead filled my heart with overwhelming love. She captured the heartbreak during addiction and poured out the guilt and shame that both men felt during that dark time. It’s easy to forget that drug abuse is a shame spiral that only gets worse to hide a bigger issue. Everyone’s issue is different, but at the heart of addiction there is always one and Marley doesn’t gloss over it or take this issue casually.

What I appreciated more was how this book tackled recovery. It was a beautiful reminder that every addict and their support people eventually find a point where they are filled with pride and love and that everyday is a process and everyday is still a journey. While love doesn’t fix every problem, nor should it be to an addict, it’s a hug, or a safety net, or a reminder to your loved one that you are there for support. Marley couldn’t have written a better roadmap for the emotional journey of addiction, with a side story of romance, than she did in this book.

Let me take just a moment to talk about the actual romance because it is integral, but it also feels like a side character to everything else. Arlo and Frankie’s love is a second chance romance, but it is steeped in heartbreak and history. They grew up in the foster system and fell down the addiction road together, but when it came to getting out Frankie did and Arlo took a darker path. Unwanted contains all of their foster siblings and several real life issues that makes this a very touching story. While this could have been overwhelming with so many secondary characters it actually wasn’t and I’m looking forward to returning to this world and reading more about each one.

I know I hardly touched on the romance aspect in this review, but like I said, it was seamless and just blended into everything else. It’s hard to dissect when it’s connected to the darkness and light of everything else so I’ll let you discover their second chance and encourage you into reading this story instead.

Synopsis:
Two halves of a whole, Arlo Bishop and I were both unwanted kids brought together by the foster system. Dealing with the aftermath of neglect and abandonment, we grew up side by side and found solace in one another.

We wanted.

We needed.

We loved.

Desperately.

But somewhere along the way, Arlo wanted and needed and loved drugs more. So, I did the only thing I could and broke my own heart to save his.

Now, four years later, I’m back in L.A. and face-to-face with my past. Not only does the pain and hurt of our mistakes linger between us but so do our feelings.

I didn’t plan on a second chance—fear of history repeating itself making it hard to forgive and even harder to forget. But with only one touch, one kiss, I was taken back to where it all started.

Two halves of a whole, Arlo and I were made for each other. But we were no longer the unwanted foster kids.

We were grown men.

And I wanted nothing more than him.

Releasing May 21! Reserve your copy TODAY!
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2022 Excerpt/Teaser, Blog Tour - 2022, Contemporary Romance, RomCom, Year of Releases - 2022, Year of Reviews - 2022

Blog Tour – Kiss My Giraffe by Erin Nicholas

She’s the only woman he can’t resist.
And now she lives right next door.

Kiss My Giraffe, a spicy grumpy sunshine romantic comedy, and the final standalone in the Boys of the Bayou Gone Wild series from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas, is available now!

𝙀𝙣𝙚𝙢𝙞𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙖𝙡𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨…𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙩𝙤 𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙙-𝙤𝙛 𝙚𝙣𝙚𝙢𝙞𝙚𝙨…𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨. 𝙁𝙤𝙧 𝙖 𝙜𝙪𝙮 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙠𝙚𝙚𝙥 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙨𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙪𝙩.

Fiona knew Knox would be mad when she moved in next door.
And not because she brought a collection of wild animals with her.

And she was right.

So she intended to leave him alone. Mostly.

But he’s not ignoring her. He’s actively working to send her and her “ridiculous menagerie” (rude) right back out of town.

Still, as hard as she tries, it’s impossible to stop thinking about the small town grump’s long hair and tattoos and that mouth.

Not the one that’s almost always set in a grim line and says things like, “you got a permit for that?”

Nope, the one that kisses her like she’s everything he’s ever wanted and says very dirty things in her ear. And sweet, protective, supportive things. Sometimes. Accidentally. When she catches him off-guard.

The one that also says he only wants a long-distance fling with her. Nothing serious. And that he never dates women he sees every day. Like his neighbor.

Well, fine. If he doesn’t want her—and her unbelievable past and that-can’t-be-real future—then she doesn’t want him either. He can just kiss her…giraffe. (Yeah, she actually has a couple of those.)

Now she just needs to convince her heart to give him up.

Fall in love today!
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Read on for a look inside Kiss My Giraffe!

“Remember that thing we talked about at Christmas?”
Knox felt his gut clench. They’d talked about sleeping together. And him becoming the temporary foster dad to three baby otters.
And they’d kissed for the first time. A kiss that had been causing annoying, unwelcome, frustrating dirty dreams for three fucking months.
“About having a salacious affair where we sneak around behind our friends’ backs and sleep together whenever I’m in town?” she pressed when he didn’t answer.
“Yes. I remember.”
Too well. He was incredibly pissed about how often he’d replayed that conversation and how restless he’d been waiting for her to call or come back to Autre.
He didn’t pine for women. Ever. He did the opposite of that.
But now she was here. And Knox wasn’t sure what he was feeling. Her showing up unannounced wasn’t unusual. Fiona Grady rolled into Autre without warning more often than not in her grape-soda-purple truck that sent his heart hammering and cock hardening.
But it had been three months since he’d seen her. Since they’d talked. Since he’d had any clue what she was doing, where she was, how she was.
Suddenly, she was on his doorstep asking about their plan to bang whenever she was in town for a couple of days?
“Okay, well, there’s something I need to tell you that will make you not want to do that anymore,” she said. “So I was wondering if maybe you wanted to get naked together once before I told you and ruined everything?”
He opened his mouth to reply. Then shut it without a word. What the hell?
He glanced over his shoulder. Three minutes ago, he’d been sitting at his kitchen table doing paperwork with a cup of coffee and listening to a podcast about new creative urban development ideas.
Now the woman he was low-level obsessed with was on his porch asking if he wanted to have sex before she told him something that would make him not want to have sex with her anymore.
He ran a hand through his hair. This was why Fiona Grady was no good for him. She came into his carefully controlled and organized life and made things chaotic and messy.
“Are you sick?” he asked.
“Sick? No.”
“Dying?”
“No.”
“Is anyone dying?”
“No.”
“Are you married?” He braced himself. He knew very little about this woman, actually, and if she belonged to someone else, he’d… leave her alone. And hate that man. And never forgive her for stirring him up like this.
“Absolutely not.”
“Engaged?”
“No.”
Okay, that was all…way too much of a relief. He should not be this happy to hear that.
“Did you kill someone?” he asked.
She tipped her head, her mouth curling. “Is that a definite deal-breaker?”
No, probably not. Knox narrowed his eyes.
“No, I haven’t killed anyone.”
“Are the Feds looking for you? Or will I be implicated in some kind of crime if I let you in?”
“Not that I’m aware of.”
“That’s not a no.”
“I’m just being honest.”
Fair enough. Fiona was a wild animal advocate. The type of person to show up at roadside petting zoos and ‘circuses’ to monitor how the animals were treated and hand out literature to people attending the events, raising awareness about the poor conditions and treatment of those animals. She showed up to help rescue and care for animals, wild and domestic, after natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. She regularly lobbied local, state, and even the national government for animal protections.
The chance that she could have done something in the “gray area” for one of her causes was pretty good.
The problem with that was he knew that wouldn’t keep him from wanting her.
She was precisely the kind of woman he should be avoiding.
He studied her face for another long moment, then gave in to the inevitable. He pushed his door open.
“Yeah?” she asked.
“Yeah.”
She wasn’t dying, wasn’t married, and hadn’t killed anyone. And he wanted her more than he’d ever wanted another woman in his life. So how was he possibly going to shut the door on her? After three months of missing her? He wasn’t that strong. Or stupid.

Start your binge today with Otterly Irresistible!
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About Erin Nicholas

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.
Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin
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2022 New Release/Release Day, New Adult, Year of Releases - 2022, Year of Reviews - 2022

New Release – Broken Ties by L.A. Cotton

BROKEN TIES (Rixon High #4) by L.A. Cotton
Release Date: May 19th
Genre/Tropes: Sports Romance/Childhood Friends to Lovers/Best Friend’s Brother
Book 4 of the Rixon High series (standalone)

AVAILABLE NOW!!!
Amazon US: amzn.to/3EQpNnj
Amazon UK: amzn.to/39c3SLv
Apple: apple.co/3rWfzMX
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Nook: bit.ly/3MvVHYR

Add to Goodreads:
https://bit.ly/BTrixonhigh4

Blurb:
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?

Read Kay’s Review: Broken Ties

About the Author:
Author of over thirty mature young adult and new adult novels, LA COTTON is happiest writing the kind of books she loves to read: addictive stories full of teenage angst, tension, twists and turns.
Home is a small town in the middle of England where she currently juggles being a full-time writer with being a mother/referee to two little people. In her spare time (and when she’s not camped out in front of the laptop) you’ll most likely find LA immersed in a book, escaping the chaos that is life.

Connect w/L.A. Cotton:
Website: https://www.lacotton.com
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2022 New Release/Release Day, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Year of Releases - 2022, Year of Reviews - 2022

New Release – Nothing Ventured by Avery Samson

Nothing Ventured by Avery Samson is now live!
https://geni.us/NothingVentured
Available on All Platforms

From Contemporary Romance Author Avery Samson comes a brand new romantic comedy full of unexpected laughs and the forever kind of love.

Karlie is a star volleyball player at a small college in New England. Moving into the last available apartment on campus, she has high hopes until she finds its state less than stellar. Deciding to make the best out of a sketchy situation, she soldiers on. Until she locks herself out the first night. No one else has moved in, so she’s left with only one option. Call the university police to help.

Max is just settling into his new, temporary assignment as a police officer on one of the many college campuses in town. Heading home after patrolling the first day of move-in by the fall athletes, he agrees to take one last call. Little does he know what awaits him on the other side of the door. He just has to survive flaming appliances, nipple rings, rabid squirrels, and a basement dwelling chupacabra to win the girl of his dreams.

Read Kay’s Review: Nothing Ventured

About the Author:

Avery Samson grew up on a ranch outside of a small west Texas town. Since she could remember, she’s had her face stuck in a book. She left ranch life to attend Texas Christian University where she studied History and English receiving her Bachelor’s degree.

After living all over the state of Texas, she now finds herself back on one of the family ranches near Dallas with her husband surrounded by cattle. When not traveling or reading, she spends her time writing.

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