Friday, July 29, 2022

Release Blitz: Even If It Hurts by Sam Mariano

EVEN IF IT HURTS: A Toxic Romance (Coastal Elite) by Sam Mariano Release Date: July 29th Genre/Tropes: Dark Romance/Bully Romance/Villain gets the girl/Psycho Hero   AVAILABLE NOW!!! FREE IN KU!!! Amazon US: 

Blurb: A psychopath and his prey. A dangerous, toxic, and utterly destructive love story...   He could have been my hero. He saved my life that night, a beautiful dark angel slicing through my fear and the water, dragging me from its deadly clutches. He should have been my hero. I thought maybe he was.   Villains aren’t supposed to win, and good should always conquer evil, but in the elite coastal town I live in, the only purpose a label has is letting you know what something—or someone—costs. Good, bad; it’s all relative, and it hardly matters. Baymont, California, is a land of beautiful villains and happy-ever-afters that are just out of reach.   Especially for me.   Until Dare moves the world beneath my feet, and even though I’m afraid to trust it—to trust him—boy, am I tempted. In more ways than one. Being with Dare is scary, but being without him is impossible. He makes it impossible.   Dare’s no hero, that much is clear, but maybe… Maybe he’s mine.   This story contains triggers and is intended only for a mature, adult audience. See the opening author's note for more explicit warnings, but know this is a very dangerous relationship with a very dark hero.   

4.5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

After I finished reading this book I asked myself what did I just read and why did I love it?  But I knew the answer to that question.  I just read a dark and twisted bully romance written by Sam Mariano and that is exactly why I loved it.  I have yet to read a book of hers that I did not like, no matter how dark and gritty they are.  But this time she took it to a whole other level.  I must WARN you though. Please read the trigger warning from the author because this book is not for everyone.  


Aubrey has a lot going on in her life to worry about having friends and going to parties.  But for some stupid reason she decides to attend a party one night and finds herself very close to death, until Dare, the guy that basically runs the school, saves her.  She has heard the rumors about Dare, she sees how he treats people at school and how in no way should she trust him. But when he starts paying a little attention to her, she starts to question her own morals, because she finds herself liking  the attention and him. 


Dare is a psychopath!  There is no other way to explain him.  People are afraid of him for a reason.  He saved Aubrey that night at his party so there must be somewhat of a conscience in there right?  I am still not sure…lol What I do know is that he makes a deal with the devil herself which gives him the chance to get to know Aubrey more.  For some reason he is intrigued by her.  Now this is where it gets tricky because this all started out as a plan to ruin her, but personally I think he had his own reasons for agreeing to that plan  Very vague, I know but if I give any more details it will ruin the story. 


Dare is a possessive, manipulative, dark human being.  He is a predator and Aubrey is his prey.  And while she thinks she knows what she is getting herself into and hanging onto some bit of hope that maybe she could really be his, she also knows that being with someone like Dare could ruin her.  But she cannot seem to help herself whenever she is around him.  She wants to trust him, love him and be with him, no matter how toxic this thing between them is.  And believe me it is very toxic.  He turns on the charm when he needs to, but still shows the other sick side of him and no matter what side she sees, Aubrey keeps going back for more.  


Dare is very calculated with his moves, everything he does is planned out and done for a reason.  And I think you see in the end what his plan was all along. I do not doubt that he loved Aubrey in the only way he knew how.  He wanted her, and as far as he was concerned she was his and vice versa.  But being Dare's in such the way that Aubrey was, came with many consequences.  Ones she was willing to a accept. I questioned her many times.  My God I questioned my own morals many times, because just like Aubrey I fell for a psychopath!!!  I tried to find the good in him, but I am not sure the is even possible.  They're relationship was beyond toxic, but despite everything that happened, she loved him!


As I type this and think back on the book I question why I loved this book so much but I know it's because of Sam Mariano.  This book is dark, twisted, raw and gritty.  If you have read a book by this author you know that she has this ability to create a monster, and write him in a way that you fall for him and then question your own sanity because of it.  She has a talent for writing the darkest of books.  As I said earlier int his review, she took this to the next level of dark, going places that I did not know if I could come back from. But here I am giving this 4.5 stars and wishing we have more of Dare and Aubrey.  So, if you love a dark bully romance, then this one is for you.  

About the Author: Sam Mariano loves to write edgy, twisty romantic reads with complicated characters you’re left thinking about long after you turn the last page. Her favorite thing about indie publishing is the ability to play by your own rules! If she isn’t reading one of the thousands of books on her to-read list, writing her next book, or playing with her adorable preschooler… actually, that’s about all she has time for these days.   

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Release Blitz for Layla Hagen's Kiss Me Forever

Release Date: July 22

Last night, he was a sexy stranger I couldn't get enough of.
Today, he's my new boss, who I can't seem to please.

Bad luck seems to follow me. Last night, I grabbed a drink at the bar near my new workplace.
I met the most sophisticated man when he “stole” my table. We bantered and danced, and I went home with a stranger for the first time in my life.

The next morning, I find out my hot one-night stand is my new boss. Gone is the playful, charming man from last night. Luke Maxwell is all business, acting as if our night together never happened.
He’s impossible to please, but I’m determined to succeed. This job is my chance to prove myself and put my past—and my ex—behind me. I’m not going to mess this up.

But then we go on a business trip together and end up stranded for the night. Instead of discussing our project, he kisses me in the elevator and throws a jealous fit, claiming I’m his.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who can’t forget our evening together after all.

Grab Your Copy Here:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU 

Free in KU

Meet Layla Hagen
Welcome! My name is Layla Hagen and I am a Contemporary Romance author.
I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later. I write romantic stories and can't wait to share them with the world. And I drink coffee. Lots of it :-D

I am represented by Louise Fury (The Bent Agency)

Connect with Layla Hagen:

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Lisa Kane's 3.5 Star Review

Luke Maxwell is over the top rich and a clever businessman with a highly successful architect firm, Supreme Architecture.  He has multiple brothers (some whose stories have been told and some yet to be told) and a couple of female cousins too. They are all wealthy and super close. This is my first read into a series about these family members. I'll get to the whole back stories on these characters later. 

He checks out a new bar that just opened up around the corner from his Chicago office. As he heads to a table, there is a gorgeous female vying to grab the same table. They have some cute banter, shared the table and a few drinks. Her name is Megan Pierce. She's excited and nervous to be starting an internship the next day and she just came from a dry run of finding the business and feeling confidant to start her job. She wandered in to have a calming drink. Only first names were exchanged and no work talk was allowed. Next thing you know, they tumbled into bed at his penthouse. The next day they exchanged phone numbers and went their separate ways. 

You do know where this is headed right? Imagine Megan's surprise when she turns up for her first day and Luke is the owner of the firm. Both are shocked, but Luke is a little better at recovering. Megan isn't sure she should take this job and leaves to think about it. But she does take it and they fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

Megan settles in, Luke tries to act professional and of course, feelings spill over. Megan wants to apply for the US Architecture Design Award. Luke's firm has had finalists and winners for that award and he does all he can to mentor Megan to do her best work. 

There are a few hiccups along the couple's path to love. Just a little angst, but enough to add spice to the story. Now, for the things that bothered me. I didn't read the previous books in the series, and I got bored of every characters' back story being told over and over. I can go back and read them if I choose, but those stories aren't necessary for this one to evolve. Also, does any family really exist that have this much love and sweetness and sugar? Luke demonstrates over and over what he would do for his brothers and cousins. It's a little too much. I am not a fan of insta-love but that's exactly how things are between Megan and Luke. Things moved way too quickly from a one night stand into happily ever after. I have read other works from this author and have enjoyed them. This one just wasn't my cup of tea. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Release Blitz: My Scorned Best Friend by Piper Rayne


My Scorned Best Friend by Piper Rayne is now live!


Xavier and Clara kissing in a tree...

When your best friend growing up is a girl, that's the song your classmates taunt you with over and over again. But it was never like that... until now.

It's always been Clara and me. She's the only one who truly knows me. After I was drafted into the NFL and ended up the starting quarterback for the San Francisco Kingsmen, I begged her to come with me. But she had her own life and responsibilities back in our small Alaskan town, so I didn't fault her for staying.

We remained the best of friends despite the distance. I'd hang with her in Alaska during the off season, and she'd visit me in California while I was playing. Then, one night the lines blurred for the briefest of moments and set in motion a series of events that changed everything.

I'm not proud of the decisions I made after that fateful night, and I plan on making amends, because I need Clara back in my life. But not as my best friend—as my everything.

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo!


Apple Books:



Google Play:

Audible: Coming Soon!

Add to Goodreads:


Meet Piper Rayne

Piper Rayne is a USA Today Bestselling Author duo who write "heartwarming humor with a side of sizzle" about families, whether that be blood or found. They both have e-readers full of one-clickable books, they're married to husbands who drive them to drink, and they're both chauffeurs to their kids. Most of all, they love hot heroes and quirky heroines who make them laugh, and they hope you do, too!

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Sunday, July 10, 2022

Release Blitz for Vi Keeland's The Boss Project

Title: The Boss Project
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 11, 2022


The first time I met Merrick Crawford was during my job interview.

Well, technically, I’d met him twenty minutes earlier when he’d barged into a fitting room a few doors down from my appointment.

I yelled. He yelled. After an argument while standing in my bra, I proceeded to smash the door into the gorgeous jerk, trying to yank it shut.

As you might imagine, I was freaked out when I discovered that the rude guy was my potential new boss.

Yet he didn’t seem to recognize me. Or so I thought… Until we wound up bickering again during my interview and he told me to go sniff my armpit.

Okay, so maybe I hadn’t exactly been changing when he walked in on me. In my defense, I’d been stuck on a hot train for two hours and wanted to make sure I didn’t smell.

I obviously didn’t expect to get the job. But somehow an invitation to a second interview arrived in my inbox.

Before I left, I asked to see Merrick. I needed to know why I was even in consideration after our disastrous start.

Turned out, Merrick only wanted to hire me because I was the least competent candidate. It seemed his board was making him fill the position, against his wishes.

I didn’t really want to work in a place where my boss expected me to fail. But I figured maybe I’d enjoy proving him wrong. It was a little thing I dubbed the boss project.

What I wasn’t prepared for was that there would be other things I’d enjoy doing to Merrick Crawford.

Getting involved with the boss wasn’t the smartest choice.

But you know what they say about choices: Some we regret, some we are proud of. I just had no idea where this one was going to land.



Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles are currently translated in twenty-seven languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.





Lisa Kane's 4.5 Star Review!

Evie Vaughn is looking for a new job. When she lost her fiance (technically her husband) she also lost her job and her place to live. She's staying with her sister and her husband. They have been trying to get pregnant for years, but with no success. Evie's got a job interview (thanks to a little help from her friend Kitty) and she doesn't want to mess it up. Unfortunately, the cherries she was munching while riding the subway just ruined her cute white shirt. She scrambles to buy a new one, and has an encounter with a gorgeous but obnoxious guy in the dressing room. (she really thought she was in the girls' dressing room!) 

Can her day get any better? So imagine her surprise when Mr. Obnoxious turns out to be the man interviewing her? Merrick Crawford is part owner of a trading house, a very successful one and has little patience for things he deems not worthy of his time. yes, Evie is soft on the eyes, but she's not qualified to be a therapists for his employees. Especially as he feels this job position is a total waste of money. But the board demands it and maybe hiring the least competent employee might be a way to get back at their actions. 

There is lots of banter between them at their interviews- it's obvious they are both attracted to each other, but are going to ignore that. (yeah, let me know how that works out) Turns out that Merrick finds out that his grandmother, Kitty is the one who arranged for Evie to be considered for this position. He knows she's not as qualified as some of the other candidates, but Merrick goes with his gut and hires her. Let the games begin!

The Boss Project is full of fun and wit and some serious subjects. Evie is a survivor of abuse and witnessed her mother being beat multiple times by her father and spent a lot of time at the shelter that Kitty founded. Her grandmother was a dear friend of Kitty's and Evie finds strength in that connection. Evie thought her life would be spent with her fiancee Christian but discovered a horrible truth right before their wedding. Her revenge at the wedding reception literally went viral. 

Merrick is not without his own demons. He shuns commitment and fights his attraction to Evie. But her combination of beauty and brains and wit just can't be ignored. Of course there is a little heartbreak, what great story would be without it's lumps and bumps? 

Treat yourself to this one, it's well worth your time and the story line will stay with your long after you turn the last page.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Release Blitz for Sawyer Bennett's Gage

★★ NEW Hockey Romance from Sawyer Bennett ★★

Summer just got a whole lot hotter!! Gage: A Pittsburgh Titans Novel is available NOW from Sawyer Bennett —a whole THREE WEEKS earlier than originally scheduled! See what early reviewers are saying about Gage:


This book filled my bucket!

An absolutely outstanding read!

Meet the absolute heartthrob who is Gage Heyward! Read the first THREE chapters of Gage: 

And then grab your copy of Gage, a standalone hockey romance featuring a perfectly swoonworthy book boyfriend and the fierce woman fighting to overcome past trauma who steals his attention.





Buy the digital and signed paperback direct from Sawyer Bennett:
** Digital files must be read within the BookFunnel app **

Still need a little convincing? Here’s the blurb to get you game ready:

Veteran player Gage Heyward retired from the league following a successful career. Now the Titans need him, but does he have what it takes to get back on the ice and pull this team together?

After achieving the goals I set for myself, I walked away from my professional hockey career. It was a tough decision, but the right one at the time. When the Titans organization approached me about joining the team they were rebuilding following a devastating plane crash, I felt a passion for the game and a competitive spirit I hadn’t felt in years. The opportunity to make a huge difference to a lot of people spoke to me, and I accepted their offer and headed to Pittsburgh without a second thought.

Jenna Holland is also new to town, having moved from Phoenix to Pittsburgh to take a job with the Titans. Her past has left her with scars—both physical and emotional—and she’s slow to trust others. But the more I learn about Jenna, the more I want to know. The more I need to know. Because the beautiful blonde with honey gold eyes and a wall around her heart has me enamored.

My game on the ice is the best it’s ever been, but it’s my game off the ice I’m focused on these days. Because while Jenna may not be willing to take a chance, I know the potential is there for something big. Something life changing. Now I just need to convince her to take the shot.

Trinette Dungee's 4 Star Review!

Who says nice guys finish last? Gage Heyward most definitely does not!!

Devastated by the plan crash that killed the majority of the Pittsburgh Titans like the rest of the hockey world, Gage agrees to come out of retirement to help rebuild the team. As the weeks go on, the team is coming together, Gage is becoming more and more familiar with his new surroundings, and he’s proving to be one of the leaders of the team management thought he would be. The one place he is struggling -Jenna Holland. Surviving a vicious fire has left her visibly scarred, and she’s determined to keep herself hidden from Gage and everyone else. But, Gage is just as, if not more determined than Jenna is to truly get to know her, be her friend, or possibly more. 

Jenna Holland has landed a job with the Pittsburgh Titans and she is taking the biggest leap of her life. She’s making the bold move from Phoenix, Arizona to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She’s moving away from the security of her family and everything she knows. Baring the scars from a fire, she’s lived her life in the comfort and seclusion of her home. This new job will have her exposing herself by being face to face with people again; but even though she finds herself out in public more, she still manages to hide. That is, until Gage Heyward enters her life and doesn’t allow her to hide any more, not behind closed doors, not behind a computer screen, not behind her hair, and most definitely not from herself. 

Gage was a quick read with characters that were completely likable. Right now, this series is giving up some pretty likable and nice men, but Gage really takes the cake. This guy seemed to just get people and how to handle them, even when he wasn’t sure. What I liked about him with Jenna, is that he was straight forward. Okay, maybe in the beginning he stumbled a little, but once he gained his footing, he pursued Jenna in such a way that she really had no choice but give in!! He let her know up front he was not put off by her scars, he saw beyond them and anything he wanted to know about them he asked. He pushed her out of her comfort zone without being aggressive about it. 

I was a little shocked (in a good way), in Jenna’s character. I expected her to be written with a huge amount of resistance and insecurities, but she wasn’t. Although she did resist Gage in the beginning, and she struggled with her insecurities, Jenna was fun and witty, and sexy! I loved her sense of humor too. I love banter and the banter between these two was enjoyable. 

Jenna’s not the only person with issues that Gage attempts to help. Along with Baden, and Stone he lets troubled teammate Coen know he’s there to help him in any way he can. Seriously, this guy is so nice and so lovable it’s crazy! But even the nicest guy has buttons that can be pushed, and Coach Keller managed to push Gage’s buttons. Each book has shown us that the Titans coach is a real butthead, and he manages to put the final nail in his own coffin with remarks about Jenna. I’m pretty sure Gage reaction had me screaming out loud “YES!”.  

I am loving these Titan Men and I can’t wait for the rest of them!! I don’t typically read the blurbs of books in a series; I like reading a book and seeing trying to figure out who the next book will be about and what their storyline might be about. I’m pretty much slapping my own hands to keep from reading Coen’s blurb. If Gage is the good guy/angel on your left shoulder, then Coen is the bad boy devil on your right. Reading about Coen in the previous books and especially Gage’s book had two things going through my mind. 1. It’s not just the guilt of not being on that plane and losing his team, it’s who in particular did he lose in that crash? That becomes very evident a conversation he has with Gage and Stone about the crash. 

“It would do no good. My chances of redemption went down with that plane, and without it, I can’t be on this team.” Could he be more cryptic, and could I be any more confused? “What was on that plane?” Stone asks, but I’m thinking that should be a who was on that plane. 

2. This man’s story is going to gut me. 

While she’s not a player, the team owner Brienne also has me intrigued. Based on her first encounter with Drake, I’m wondering if she will be the one in his story?  I guess only time will tell. 

If I could add one thing to this story it would be some sort of redemption for Jenna with her ex. Other than that, this was a quick read with a feel good vibe from beginning to end. 

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