Book Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Posted 3 October, 2016 by Amy in adult, Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill ShalvisThe Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #2
Published by Avon on September 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Sullivan & Partners
Purchase Links: Amazon US | Barnes and Noble

If she has her way. . .

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her. . .

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him. . .

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice. . .

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work. . .

Author Bio:
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Note: I received this book for free from Sullivan & Partners in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I was not paid to write this. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The holidays are coming guys! They’re coming! While I love the holidays, I can’t help but freak out (just a bit). I have presents to buy, plans to make, and lonely days at work in the horizon. (No vacation days for me.) Along with all of that good stuff, also comes HOLIDAY THEMED BOOKS! & If you’re in need to a holiday read, why not check out The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis.

To be honest, I’m not a huge seasonal reader, but lately, I have been sneaking in the occasional winter holiday themed book into my TBR. I’m quite glad I picked up The Trouble with MistletoeThe Trouble with Mistletoe had everything I expected from Jill Shalvis: a fun romance and a group of amazing friends. It also had a bunch of pets, which makes sense since Willa owns a pet shop.

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Weekend Round Up (72): I’m leaving my job as a bookseller!

Posted 1 October, 2016 by Amy in Random Thoughts, Weekend Round Up / 0 Comments

You must think I’m crazy. Heck, even I think I might be a bit crazy. But the reality is that at the end of October I will no longer be working at a bookstore.

I’ve been working as a bookseller for 3 years, and part of that time was even as a full-time bookseller. (Yup, 40 hours a week dedicated to stocking and selling books.) However, I’ve come to realize that working my dream full-time job plus working as a bookseller part-time makes me want to sleep 24/7. Shockingly, even my boss at my full-time job was shocked to hear that I’ve decided to quit my job as a bookseller. (Is it that obvious that I’m a book lover? *side eyes the stack of books I’ve been meaning to read in my cubicle*)

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Excerpt: Sex Machine by Marie Force

Posted 26 September, 2016 by Amy in Book Promos / 0 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.


Today, I’m extremely happy to share an excerpt of Sex Machine by Marie Force. I absolutely love Marie Force’s work, and I’m sure Sex Machine won’t only be filled with steamy romance but some heartfelt moments as well.

sexmachine_cover_f3_hrSynopsis: He’s good for one thing and one thing only—and she wants it bad.
Honey Carmichael has never had a decent orgasm, and she’s out to change that with the one man in town known for his superior skill between the sheets.
Blake Dempsey is happy to help Honey with her “problem” as long as she knows he’s only interested in sex. His heart was broken when his high school girlfriend was killed in the car he was driving, and he has nothing to offer other than more orgasms than Honey can handle.
Which is just fine with her—until fantastic orgasms aren’t enough anymore for either of them and unexpected feelings turn hot sex into messy entanglement—and that most definitely wasn’t in the plans.
But you know what they say about plans…
A sexy, dirty stand-alone romance intended for MATURE audiences. If you can’t take the heat in Blake’s bedroom, stay out or you might get burned. You’ve been warned!
Author Bio:

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1.2 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series as well as the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list on her website at for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook at, on Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram at

Buy Sex Machine today:


Chapter 1

“I want you to fuck me.” I’m proud of the fact that I never blink as I stare into the baby blues of the man I just blatantly propositioned. In public, no less.

Blake Dempsey chokes on a mouthful of beer, his eyes watering as beer meets lungs in an unholy alliance.

For the first time since I walked into the dark, dank bar, my resolve begins to waver as I question the wisdom of this mission. But if I don’t take the bull by the horns, literally, I might never know why everyone else makes such a big freaking deal about sex. My best friend, Lauren, has assured me that Blake Dempsey is the answer to my most pressing problem. And she speaks from experience.

Tentatively, I pat him on the back, hoping to get him breathing again so we can get back to our conversation, such as it is. Let’s face it—he’s no use to me dead.

As he continues to hack beer out of his airway, people begin to take notice of us, which is the exact opposite of what I wanted. I’d planned to come into the dive bar where Blake has his end-of-the-day beer at exactly six thirty every night before heading home—alone—make my proposition and walk out of there with him.

I hadn’t counted on him choking on his beer or having the eyes of every man in the place on me as I wait for him to recover and give me an answer. What if he says no? Men never say no to Honey Carmichael, which is part of my problem. I have a reputation for attracting them like bees to. . . well, honey. But I’ve never been tempted to keep one of them, thus my well-earned reputation as a love ’em and leave ’em kind of gal.

It’s not my fault that I’m blessed with thick honey-blonde hair, brown eyes that made the boys start simpering over me in fifth grade and a rack that’s been getting me in trouble since high school. Not to mention the long legs that somehow manage to stay tanned year round and an ass that Tommy Lonergan once referred to as a work of art. So I’ve had my share of men. So what? The one thing I’ve never had is a decent orgasm with a man, which is why I’m still alone at almost thirty and happy that way. Most of the time.

Blake finally quits sputtering long enough to look up at me with eyes still watery from coughing. “You wanna run that by me again?”

“You heard me right the first time.” I resist the urge to fidget and hold his steady gaze.

His steely blue eyes seem to look right through me, as if searching for the truth behind my blatant invitation. As he runs his fingers through a short crop of dirty blond hair, his entire torso ripples with muscles.

My mouth waters at the thought of all those muscles wrapped around me. I lick my lips as my nipples stand up to take notice and my pussy clenches in anticipation. From what I’m told by a reliable source named Lauren, Blake has the biggest cock in town and knows how to use it. That thought causes the throbbing between my legs to intensify. When desperate times call for desperate measures, I believe in hiring the best man for the job. And these are most definitely desperate times.

“What brought this on?” His sexy drawl and the relaxed way he occupies the bar stool belie the intensity of his stare. To look at him, filthy from a day of hard, physical labor, one might dismiss him as just another working man.

One would be mistaken.

Blake runs the most successful construction and renovation business in the area, and judging by his grimy appearance, he works as hard as the many men he employs. On him, the grime only makes him more appealing.

“Did you finally run out of guys to fuck in this town? No one left but me?”

I can’t deny that I’ve probably had too much sex, looking for the elusive something that has other women waxing poetic about the act. To me, it’s nothing special, two bodies coming together to expend some energy. Big deal. I’ve never understood what all the hoopla is about, a sentiment I recently shared with Lauren. After she finished laughing at me, Lauren had said, “If you want to know what the hoopla is about, you need to fuck Blake Dempsey.”

Lauren ought to know. She’d been Blake’s fuck buddy for a short time years ago and had declared him an absolute machine in bed. Lauren assures me that doing the deed with Blake will result in nonstop orgasms and pleasure unlike anything I can possibly imagine. “One night with him,” Lauren had said, “and you won’t wonder anymore.”

“You wouldn’t care?” I’d asked my friend.

Lauren had shrugged. “It was just sex between us. That’s all he’s capable of. Everyone knows that. A girl would be a fool to fall for him, so I took what I could get, and when it was over, it was over. It was a long time ago. Have at him and The Cock.”

Even though I’ve known Blake all my life and have never once considered him boyfriend material—mostly because my best friend dated him ages ago—I’m desperate enough to know what I’ve been missing out on to walk into a bar and utter a sentence that no doubt has my dear, sweet grandmother rolling in her grave.

I can’t think about what Gran would have to say about me unashamedly propositioning a man. All I can think about since the conversation with Lauren a week ago are the words “machine” and “nonstop orgasms.” The best orgasms I’ve ever had are the ones I’ve given myself, thus my need for Blake and his legendary cock.

“Are you gonna answer the question?” Blake drawls.

I snap out of the fog to realize I’ve been staring at him while he waits for me to answer him. “What was the question again?”

“Did you run out of other guys to fuck? Is it down to me?”

I hold back a wince at his judgmental tone. I’m not proud of the number of men I’ve test driven, seeking the hoopla. “What do you care?”

“I don’t.” It’s a well-known fact that Blake Dempsey doesn’t care much about anything other than his family, his business, the people who work for him and a few select friends. He shrugs as he drains the beer bottle and puts it on the bar next to a ten-dollar bill. “It’s your business, not mine.”

When he stands to his full six-foot three-inch height and looks down at me, I nearly swallow my tongue. My nipples stretch against the confines of my bra and tank top, as if they’re reaching for him. I hold my breath waiting to see what he will do.

He brings his head down close to my ear. “Follow me home.” His tone is gruff and sexy and authoritative.

I shiver as my heated core weeps in anticipation. My eyes travel from broad shoulders to lean hips and below where the outline of that legendary cock has me licking my lips once again. Soft faded denim hugs him in all the right places, and it’s all I can do to refrain from reaching for the button and giving it a tug to get things started.

My mouth waters as I pictured his big cock springing free of his clothes, ripe for my mouth, my pussy and anywhere else he chooses to put it.


Once again I shake off the sexual stupor and force myself to meet his gaze. If thinking about sex with him gets me this hot, I can’t imagine what the actual deed might entail.

“Are you coming?”

Even though Lauren had assured me he wouldn’t say no, I’m still insecure enough to be surprised that he accepted my offer. Oh my God, I’m really going to have sex with Blake Dempsey. Resting a hand on his sculpted chest, I say, “Oh yeah, I’ll be coming, and so will you, big boy.” The cocky statement, exactly what he expects from me, covers the quaking going on inside.

A throbbing pulse in his chiseled jaw is the only sign of emotion in his otherwise blank expression as he takes me by the hand and heads for the door.

Mindless of the prying eyes of the other customers, I scramble to keep up with his long-legged stride.

“Where’s your car?” he asks when we’re outside in the fading sunlight.

Heat from the long summer day rolls off the blacktop in scorching waves, but I shiver from the almost predatory way he looks at me. “There.” I point to my tiny silver car with the decal on the side hawking my photo studio.

“I’ll wait for you.” He drops my hand and stalks to his big black truck with his own company emblem on the side. His long strides eat up the pavement. I watch him go, fascinated, by the way his jeans hug his muscular ass. I can’t wait to see if his ass looks as good naked as it does in denim. Who am I kidding? It’ll look even better.

I order my quivering legs to move. They finally get the message, and I rush to my car, managing to drop my keys in the dusty dirt parking lot. I bend to get them and am scorched by awareness. As I stand up, I venture a glance at his truck and find him watching me intently, his entire focus on my ass. The quaking begins anew as I get into the car and fumble some more with the keys before managing to get the car started. At this rate, I’ll need an insane asylum before I ever get what I want from Blake.

His truck leaves a cloud of dust in its wake as he pulls out of the parking lot onto Highway 90, heading out of downtown Marfa, Texas. The sun is a ball of fire in the sky as I follow him at a safe distance. The last thing I need is to smash into his back end because I’m such a nervous fool. It’s not like I’ve never come on to a guy before. I have. Too many times, but this guy has always been so remote and off-limits that it took all my courage to walk into that bar and say the line that Lauren and I rehearsed until I got it just right. My hands are trembling and sweaty as I reach for my phone.

“What’d he say?” Lauren asks when she picks up on the first ring.

“I’m following him home.”

“To his house?”


“This is huge! He never takes women to his place.” Lauren lets out a shrill squeal. “I’m so jealous!”

Instantly alarmed, I swerve before I right the car. “You said you didn’t care!” I can’t lose Lauren, the closest thing to family I have left. “I’ll call it off right now if you don’t want me to go with him.”

“I’m not jealous about him. I’m jealous that you get to be with The Cock.”

I swallow hard. “It can’t be that different from all the others.”

Lauren’s dirty chuckle comes through the phone. “Oh, Honey. . . You have no idea what you’re in for. Tomorrow, when you’re walking bow-legged, remember I told you so.”

A bead of sweat slides down my backbone. Propping the phone between my ear and shoulder, I turn the AC on high and follow the black truck as it hangs a left onto Antelope Hills Road. “You always did exaggerate, Lo.”

Lauren snorts with laughter. “You’ll know soon enough that I’m not exaggerating. Call me in the morning. I want every, single detail. In fact, if you could take notes, that’d be great.”

“Shut up.”

“Honey. . .”

The unusual seriousness in Lauren’s voice has me immediately on guard. “What?”

“Ever since your Gran died, you’ve been looking for a place to call home again. It’s not going to be with him. No matter what happens, don’t forget that. Do you hear me?”

“I hear you.”

Blake’s story is well known around town. He blames himself for the car accident our senior year of high school that had claimed the life of his girlfriend, Jordan Pullman, who’d also been a friend of mine and Lauren’s. The loss of Jordan had rocked our entire class, but no one more so than Blake. Even after the police ruled that the accident was the fault of the other driver, Blake continued to blame himself. He’d kept his distance from people—especially women—ever since, throwing his considerable energy into his business. Occasionally, he took a lover, but he never kept her for long.

My story is equally well known. Abandoned at the church when I was days old, Nora Carmichael, who’d never married, took me in and raised me as her own. Because Nora was in her early sixties when I came to live with her, I always called her “Gran.” She died ten years ago when I was only twenty, leaving me to fend for myself in an unforgiving world. I’ve done okay, all things considered, but it’s been a struggle.

“Call me in the morning?” Lauren says.

“I will.”

“Remember: Only sex.”

“I gotcha.”

“Did you use the ‘I want you to fuck me’ line?” Lauren asks. We’d debated a number of ice-breaking lines and had settled on the most direct of the many choices.

“Sure did.”

“I need to try that one on Garrett.”

Poor Lauren has been lusting for years after Garrett McKinley, accountant to Blake’s company and most of the other businesses in town. “What’s stopping you?”

“Um, only the fact that he thinks I’m a brainless floozy.”

“You’re neither brainless nor a floozy. Look at what a booming business you’ve made of the flower shop. How can he think you’re brainless?”

“Maybe because I act that way any time he’s in the same zip code as me?”

“I still say you should hire him to do your books. Then he’ll find out how full of brains you really are.”

“Not happening. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.”

I watch Blake pull into a driveway a block in front of me. The door on a two-car garage goes up and Blake pulls in. “I gotta go. We’re at his house.”

“Just sex,” Lauren says one more time.

“I heard you the first ten times. Bye, Lo.” Ending the call, I repeat Lauren’s refrain. “Just sex.” The last place in the world I’m going to find my home is in the arms of the most remote man I know. Determined to take this one night, and only this one night, with him and “The Cock”—a thought that makes me giggle nervously—I follow Blake’s hand signal to pull into the empty half of the two-car garage.

By the time I make it out of my car and into the laundry room that adjoins the garage, he’s removed his work boots and stripped down to boxer briefs that hug his tight ass.

I stare at the muscles on his back that taper down to that most excellent butt—and wonder if we’re going to get busy right here. I clear my throat to remind him I’m here.

He seems in no particular rush as he tosses his clothes into a front-loading washer, adds detergent and starts the cycle. Then, as if I’m not there, he goes into the kitchen.

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to follow him, but I do it anyway.

He hands me a piece of paper. “Tell them to send my usual and get whatever you want.”

I somehow manage to tear my gaze from the most lickable male chest and ripped abs I’ve ever seen to glance at the red and green print on the paper. I recognize the logo of Pizza Foundation. “They don’t deliver.”

“They do for me. I pay extra.”

“I’m not hungry.”

He shoots me a meaningful look. “I worked all day, and if I’m going to be expected to work all night, too, I need fuel—and so do you.”

A burst of heat creeps from my chest to my face as the implications of his statement settle on me. All nightWhoa.

“Make the call. I’m going to grab a shower. There’re drinks in the fridge. Help yourself.”

For a long moment after he leaves the room, I stand motionless in the middle of a nicer-than-expected kitchen. What the hell am I doing here? Did I really go to the bar Blake Dempsey frequents and ask him to fuck me? “You’ve lost what’s left of your mind.”

I could cut my losses and leave while he’s in the shower. Sure, the few times a year that I run into Blake at the grocery store or post office or at the home of a mutual friend would be awkward from now on, but I can live with that if it means saving some face.

My cell phone chimes with a new text message that jostles me out of my temporary paralysis. Digging into my purse, I pull out my phone. From Lauren: No matter what, don’t chicken out. You’ll be sorry forever if you do. Trust me on that!

As always, Lauren’s timing is impeccable. Sucking in a deep breath and releasing it, I call in the pizza order and then take a beer from the fridge. If there’s ever been a time for liquid courage, this is surely it.

Copyright 2016. HTJB, Inc. All rights reserved.


Exciting September Releases

Posted 8 September, 2016 by Amy in Bookish Thoughts / 0 Comments

I’m sorry! I feel like such a terrible blogger. It’s been ages since I’ve blogged, I think… I’ve reached the point where all I want to do is SLEEP. Working full-time with a part-time job is so difficult. I don’t know how people do it! If you have any tips on how to stay awake, let me know. (If your tip is coffee or tea, yeah… I think I already drink enough of that.) Seriously, though, if I’m at home and not eating or using the bathroom, you’ll probably find me on my bed reading a book struggling not to fall asleep regardless of the time. Is this what adulthood is supposed to look like?

diplomatic-immunity possibility-of-somewhere
Anyway, September isn’t really a huge month for me in terms of books. Nothing was really screaming “READ ME!” when I was browsing Goodreads. Then again, I was probably half asleep. So below you’ll find the books I’m fairly interested in. If you have any recommendations though, please leave them in the comments! I need good book recommendations STAT!

1. Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton (9/6) – To be honest Diplomatic Immunity fell onto this list because of 2 things: the fact that it’s set in Washington, DC and because the synopsis kind of reminds me of The Fixer and Gallagher Girls series but with a journalism focus.

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