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Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny- Cindi Madsen

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Blurb

Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.

Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.

Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.

Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.

Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.

Review

 When this book came across my radar everything about it called to me.  The description, the cover, the very high chance for a happily ever after (I really need my books to have a HEA).  Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny is an NA sports romance and #4 in the Taking Shots series by Cindi Madsen.

For some reason, I hadn’t realized that this book was a part of a series, while reading out of order is not typically something I would do I decided to persevere without pausing to read the others in the series first.  I’m so glad that I did.  This book was cute and sweet with an excellent beta hero.  While it was clear there were other couples that came first the story didn’t rely heavily on knowing this details and I was able to follow alone without any problem.

Now, the good part.  We need to talk about Ryder.  I just love a sweet, smart, caring hero and Ryder had it all going for him.  A hockey player with muscles upon muscles who’s sensitive and sweet and academically smart? Yes, please!!

Lindsay the heroine is a reformed puck bunny just trying to make it to graduation without slipping back into her puck bunny ways.  The two big obstacles are Ryder and her math grade.  Unfortunately for her, the best shot at conquering the math problem is spending more time with Ryder while he tutors her.  As she gets better at math, she starts to realize staying away from another hockey player is harder than she thought.

“If things were different . . . I could really see myself slipping.”

“Just slip.” I reached up and ran my thumb across her bottom lip, my blood pumping hotter at her sharp exhale. “I’ll catch you.”

I LOVED Ryder but I wasn’t a huge fan of Lindsay in the beginning of the story. She put up a lot of the obstacles between them. I found she was sometimes unnecessarily mean and actually fairly immature even though she was two years older than Ryder (although, can I just mention how much I love that our hero is younger?) He was thoughtful and considerate of feelings for most of the book like a true beta would be. Ryder really took his time, chased her, and always saw them as long-term even when Lindsay couldn’t.

“In the moments she laughed and fired off those quick comebacks, I was sure she felt the same spark I did, but before she let herself fully enjoy it, she’d quickly pull away.”

The story was fairly predictable but oh, so sweet and I was right about the HEA.  Overall this was a well written, very sweet NA story and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an easy read with a guaranteed happy ending.  I’m definitely adding the other books in the series to my to be read list!

 

Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Find Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny here:

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Catch Up On the Series!

Getting Lucky Number Seven

Anatomy of a Player

Crazy Pucking Love

 

About Cindi Madsen:

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.

Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.

 

Connect with Cindi:

Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads

 

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Tapping Her by Max Monroe

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Blurb

Blissful in Bora Bora…

 

Kline and Georgia Brooks are fresh off their wedding and ready to indulge in the honeymoon of a lifetime.

 

Luxurious and private, their overwater bungalow in the South Pacific is the perfect backdrop for fun, sun, and enough sexiness to necessitate a dip in the clear water to cool down.

 

But marriage means more, and Kline and Georgia may have to find a different way to handle the heat.

 

Nowhere near normal in New York…

 

Thatcher Kelly loves wild women, and Cassie Phillips is about as wild as they come. Put them together and they are a match made in chaos.

 

Bound by cat-sitting responsibilities, Cass and Thatch have to find a way to right their mistakes—and wade through the dense cloud of sexual tension that seems to suffocate the room whenever they’re together.

 

Will they be able to resist?

 

And more importantly, will Walter be okay?


Review

If you’re looking for a quick, dirty read with some slightly crass characters this is definitely the book for you. Just when I’d been craving a funny book, quick read that was low on angst, along came Max Monroe, two romance authors under one penname keeping their identities a secret.  I devoured Tapping the Billionaire on it’s release day in April and I was excited that a novella was going to be released so quickly because I couldn’t wait for update on Georgia and Kline.

 

Tapping Her takes place in Bora Bora while Georgia and Kline are on their honeymoon and in New York with Thatch and Cassie who are cat-sitting for the newlyweds.  It’s told in a multiple person POV which I hadn’t read before. It was interesting to know what was happening from so many perspectives but honestly I don’t know if we needed all four.

The book tries to cover a lot of bases in a short time by acting as both an epilogue to Georgia and Kline’s book and a prologue to Thatch and Cassie’s yet to be released story.
The scenes with Georgia and Kline were heavy on the sexy times and this book was way dirtier than the first.  I guess we can’t expect anything different, they are on their honeymoon after all. There wasn’t a ton of development in their story, just some hilarious lines, sex, sex and more sex.
The story was certainly over-the-top but Thatch and Cassie themselves are really over-the-top characters.  Cassie is vulgar, sarcastic and very often inappropriate, she knows it too, but is totally unapologetic, what you see is what you get.   The idea that opposites attract does not ring true here because Thatch is her match in everyway.

 

The story had zero angst but was high on outrageous shenanigans. I anticipate these two getting themselves into a lot of awkward situations when their story continues in Banking the Billionaire and Tapping Her was perfect for tiding me over until it’s out.

This is the kind of book that makes you blush and look around to see if anyone was reading over your shoulder.  If you’re looking for a quick, hilarious read that will make you laugh out loud, this is it.   I’d make sure to start with Georgia and Kline’s story in Tapping the Billionaire and be sure to add Banking the Billionaire to your to be read list on Goodreads because it’s release date is only a few weeks away!

Disclaimer: I was not provided a copy of this book for review

You can find Max Monroe online here:

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

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The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez

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Blurb

I was afraid to fly.

He made me soar.

After years of climbing the ladder of success in the music industry, I finally had everything I could want.

Yet I still found myself wandering through life alone.

Captain Evan Roth was the one man I never saw coming.

Tall, dark, mysterious… Straight.

We were both damaged beyond repair and searching for something so elusive we weren’t sure it even existed.

But, when two broken souls collide in midair, falling is a given.

I just never expected to crave the spiral down.


Review

Confession time, I have never read anything by Aly Martinez. *gasp*, I have no idea how this author wasn’t on my radar – but she will be now! I’ve been in a major book slump lately so when a friend told me that I just HAD to read The Spiral Down, I dropped what I was reading and picked it up.

I skipped the first book in the series, The Fall Up to read this one so hoped I wouldn’t be lost.  While this book isn’t entirely a standalone, I didn’t feel like I was missing pieces.

I’d read that this was Aly Martinez’s first M/M which made me nervous, but the person who recommended the book wasn’t one to let me down and I can firmly say this book did not disappoint!
The story focuses on Henry Alexander, a secondary character from The Fall Up.  He’s a rich and famous singer who’s also openly gay.  Henry’s had a hard life growing up in the foster care system but he doesn’t come across as too damaged instead I’d describe him as insecure and emotionally vulnerable.

 

”I have millions of fans. But it’s the people who get to know me who leave. It always happens.”

 

Outwardly Henry is seriously charming and cocky, no one can resist him but he does have two weaknesses- flying and seducing straight men.  Fate brings both of these vices together in the form of ex-Air Force pilot Evan Roth.  Evan is dark and brooding where Henry is lovable and teasing.

 

There is a lot of sexual tension between the two and when Henry and Evan finally cross the line the scenes are HOT and steamy.

 

The story is told in a rotating, dual perspective which allows you to connect with both characters and their struggle to accept that their relationship isn’t a casual affair.

 

Of course, there was some drama and angst but it wasn’t over the top.  I also loved being able to read both Henry and Evan’s perspective as they overcame it to reach their happily ever after.  I think Aly was able to use this to insert some romance and keep the story from feeling too heavy.

 

“His laugh. His randomness. The way he can captivate me from across a room. The rush I felt when we were together. It was the closest thing to flying I’ve ever experienced with my feet on the ground.”

 

I did feel like the first half of the book was stronger.  Henry pursuing Evan made for a great story but I thought once Evan let his defenses down Henry’s character changed a bit too much from the one we’d initially been introduced to.  Despite this one short-fall I would still definitely recommend this book.  I’m anxious to read book one and learn Sam and Levee’s story in The Fall Up and I will be keeping an eye out for any future releases from Aly Martinez.

 

While you can totally read this book as a standalone, I can assure you that you’ll want to pick up The Fall Up, so you may as well read in series order!

Disclaimer: I was not provided a copy of this book for review

You can find Aly Martinez online here:

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram