Genre: New Adult Romance
Cover Design: Perfect Pear Creative Covers
Photo: Sara Eirew
Models: Simon Cooki & Pamela Tremblay Mcallen
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Available in Kindle Unlimited on May 20
I only have one love now—the home furnishings business I’m building into an empire. Maybe money and success can’t love me back, but they keep what’s left of my heart safe. One-night stands are my way of scratching the occasional itch I get for something more. And no one’s better for that than a sexy as sin hockey player I’ll never see again after one very hot night together.
I used to love two things: hockey and women. But now my nieces and nephew are my top priority, because I’m raising them after tragedy stole their parents. Somehow I balance single parenthood and my career as a forward for the Chicago Blaze. There’s no time for women, until I get knocked on my ass by Abby Daniels. She’s everything I’ve ever wanted, but her devastating past may end us before we even get started.
“Hold still, Uncle Luca.”
My niece Emerson gives me her best glare, but she’s five and cute, so it makes me smile.
“I’m trying,” I tell her, checking out the dark purple polish she’s trying to brush onto my nails.
It’s not my inability to hold still that has more nail polish on my skin than my nails; it’s her technique. My “MANicure”, as my two nieces like to call it, started with my ten-year-old niece Cora and was then passed off to Emerson.
“I found yogurt!” Cora says as she breezes into my bathroom. “It’s got strawberries in the bottom, but that’s okay. This face mask will make you smell good, Uncle Luca.”
I try not to roll my eyes. It’ll be better than the last face mask they whipped up in the kitchen, which had butter in it and was a bitch to scrub off in the shower.
“I have to leave for practice in twenty-five minutes,” I remind the girls. “And I still need a shower. So you have ten more minutes to beautify me.”
“Will you paint my nails, too?” Cora asks me.
I was shit at painting nails when I first became the legal guardian of my two nieces and one nephew a little over a year ago. With practice, though, I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it.
“How long ‘til Gram and Gramps will be here?” Emerson asks, still painting my thumb nail even though she’s looking at me.
“About four hours ‘til their flight lands, then maybe an hour for them to get to the house.”
Her toothless grin of excitement makes me ignore the nail polish I can feel on my knuckle.
“Emerson!” Cora yells. “You ruined it! That looks awful.”
Cora picks up the bottle of purple nail polish and Emerson’s happy expression drops away.
“Give it to me,” Cora huffs, holding out her hand for the handle to the polish. “I never should have let you do it.”
“Hey, now.” I give Cora a sharp look. “She was doing her best.”
Cora’s eyes flood with tears. Emerson edges closer to me, because she knows what happens when Cora gets upset.
“He won’t let us do spa days if you mess it up!” Cora cries, glaring at her younger sister. “You ruined everything!”
“You didn’t ruin anything,” I tell Emerson. “And Cora, I never said we wouldn’t do this again. We can do a big spa day after my road trip, okay?”
Cora wipes her eyes and nods, still crying. It kills me to see her like this. As the oldest, she carries more of the weight from the deaths of her parents than her siblings. We’ve been in counseling for more than a year now, transitioning through the death of their mother, my sister-in-law Danielle, to the kids’ new life with me as their guardian. The clinical terms for what Cora struggles with—anxiety and controlling tendencies—are easier for me to handle than her breakdowns.
The tension leaves the room and Emerson starts my massage, which is pretty much just her karate chopping my shoulders, while Cora slathers strawberry yogurt onto my face.
“Is your shoulder better?” Cora asks me.
“Yep, it’s all good.”
“Think my mashage helped?” Emerson asks from behind me.
She can’t pronounce some words, and I kinda hope that’ll last longer, because it gets me every time.
“It definitely helped,” I tell her.
I tweaked my shoulder at practice yesterday, and Cora noticed me wince when I was taking out the trash last night. She worries about every sinus cold and bruise I get. I can’t blame the kid. Her dad, my brother Matt, died serving in Iraq and her mom passed away from cancer a year later.
“Hey, let’s get your nails painted, Cora,” I say after glancing at my watch. “I’ve only got five minutes til I have to hit the shower.” I turn to Emerson. “Can you go get the nail polish remover, peanut?”
“Okay.” She races from the room, brown curls flying behind her.
Brenda Rothert authored one of the very first hockey romance series that I ever read. Therefore I believe she is the reason I leave so much money on Amazon as she was part of the reason I got so hocked on hockey. Living in Ireland it isn’t something that we are naturally exposed to or have a predilection to love, it is something I have sought out and fallen in love with. Though with this weeks play offs I am starting to think my heart hates me for it.
An avid reader of all Brenda’s books I was absolutely thrilled when she announced that she was writing a new hockey series. Sports romance is my favourite genre to read and hockey comes out top of that. Anton, the series starter was fantastic and Luca was just incredible. I admit my love for a series grows with every book as we get to know the characters a little more each time and the take root inside of us and we start to feel as though they are friends. Add kids to the mix and well we are just smitten completely. Luca being a single father (OK not biological but he is raising those children) gives him massive brownie points in my eyes (single fathers comes in a very close second to sports, add it to sports and I am a complete goner). Brenda also writes incredibly well, she know how to draw you in to make you laugh and damn her make you cry. Yes, I admit it, there were definitely a few tears shed in the reading of this book. I implore anyone to read this book and not need the kleenex.
Abby, Oh Abby. I would have to say that she is one of my favourite female characters in a long time. That woman is kick ass. I want to be her when I grow up. Kinda. Without all the stuff that made her kick ass. Ya OK never mind. I will just admire her from afar. She is an amazing woman. I can’t really say a hell of a lot else without giving things away and I don’t do that. Suffice to say you will love her. She and Luca are one of those couples that were just destined to be together, to guide each other through the tough times and enjoy each other in the good times.
To say that this book will pull at your heart strings is probably a huge under statement. However it will also give you many heart warming moments and at times you will even laugh and smile. It really is a fantastic work of art by Brenda Rothert and I simply can’t wait to see how she is going to follow it up with the rest of the series.
Crazy for Your Love by Lexi Ryan
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Crazy for Your Love, an all-new standalone contemporary romance by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Ryan
A family wedding with a fake boyfriend, meddling parents, and an obsessive ex . . . What could go wrong?
The only thing worse than being single at my sister’s wedding is finding out that my ex will be there too. Not just any ex—the guy everyone expected me to marry, the man I came to Jackson Harbor to escape.
Now I need a date, and fast. Enter Carter Jackson—the firefighter who’s dealing with an unwanted five minutes of fame ever since a shirtless photo of him saving a puppy went viral. He’s warding off propositions left and right, and he needs a fake relationship as much as I do.
Sweet and sexy, Carter is completely off-limits. See, I have a rule. A no heartache rule. Not only is Carter my friend and a known heartbreaker, but his job as a firefighter puts him in danger daily, and that’s something I just can’t handle.
The commitment between us might be pretend, but the passion all too real. As crazy as it makes me, I have to keep Carter at an arm’s length. Even that might not be enough to spare my heart.
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“The whole drive from the hospital, I told myself I wanted to check on you.” Carter wraps his hands around his coffee and looks up at me through thick, dark lashes most women would pay a premium for. “But the second I walked in the door, I knew that wasn’t what brought me here. I want to finish what we started.”
I bite my lip and whimper. “You’re killing me.”
“And when you look at me like that, all I want to do is seduce you into ignoring your better judgment.”
That! my traitorous body cries. Yes, let’s do that!
“But I get it,” he continues. “We’re friends, and as tempting as I find you—as tempting as I’ve always found you—if adding sex to our friendship is out of the question for you, this conversation is over. I want you, but I’m not enough of an idiot to ruin this just to take you to bed.”
My brain stumbles on as tempting as I’ve always found you before landing on adding sex to our friendship. Is that an option? Does that ever work? Crap on a cracker. I’ve known Carter for four years, and I’ve never had to exert so much self-control for something as simple as not straddling his lap.
“Tell me what you’re thinking.” His voice is low, a husky rumble that bypasses my brain and speaks directly to the parts of my anatomy I’d rather exclude from this conversation.
I’m thinking I want you too. I’m thinking we could be naked and in my bed in less than sixty seconds. “I’m thinking you should leave,” I blurt, pushing the words past the other really bad ideas on the tip of my tongue.
He blinks at me, then nods as he pushes out of his chair. “Sure. I understand.”
Jumping up, I catch his arm. I can feel the heat of his skin through the cotton of his shirt sleeve. “I’ve never done this.”
His eyes go wide. “Wow. I thought . . . Seriously?”
“Not sex, you idiot. The whole friends-with-benefits thing. I’m not sure I’m made that way.”
He’s quiet for a long beat. “If you need more than that from me, Tea, I—”
I press my fingers to his lips and shake my head before he can say anything else. I’m not hoping for more. More is out of the question for me with someone like Carter. But even so, I don’t want to hear that he doesn’t want anything either. I know it’ll feel like rejection—even if that makes me a hypocrite. “I don’t want more, but I don’t know if . . .”
I drop my hand from his mouth and lift onto my toes to press my lips to his. I want to know if it’ll feel like it did last night, and the second our mouths touch, I have my answer. Electric need zips through me. I loop my arms behind his neck, planning to take the kiss deeper.
He doesn’t let me. With a hand on either of my wrists, he pulls my arms away and steps back, his eyes dark. “I’ll go. You think. If we do this, it needs to be a decision, not an accident.”
I nod and watch him leave, but I stand there for a solid five minutes, considering running after him.
Ok so it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I am a huge fan of Lexi Ryan. I think that I may have mentioned it a time or two. She is one of those authors with a direct line to my head. As soon as I begin to read her books I am drawn in and everything else falls to the side. Alright so I feed the children but the laundry will be neglected and I will jump up about half an hour before my husbag is due home from work in an attempt to make it not look as though I have been sitting on my arse all day immersed in a fictional world where no one ever cleans anyway. He isn’t stupid but bless him, he wants his dinner so knows better than to say anything.
WOW, I do tend to get a bit off topic. Teagan and Carter. Teagan has always stood out, she has a great personality and I really loved her character right from the very beginning. I wouldn’t say Carter got lost in all the Jackson awesomeness but neither would I say he jumped out at me. Oh no that boy is cunning, he just snuck right up on me and took me by surprise. After all you know what they say, it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for. Teagan should have been watching out. Or not, cos then she would have missed out on all of that!
Both of them have their issues but neither were so broken that they didn’t want to help the other out, the were just drawn together and to quote another saying “what’s for you wont pass you by”. If ever there was a couple made for each other it is these two. I wouldn’t call them broken but they both have their own issues, hers in the not so forgotten past and Carter with grief and survivors guilt. Two complex issues on their own but so seamlessly brought together by the amazing talent that is Lexi Ryan. If I was stuck on a desert island and could only bring three things I think I would pick her imagination. I swear I don’t know how she does it.
This story is sweet, sexy and gut wrenching all at the same time. You will quite literally have all the feels when you are reading it. Laugh, cry and want to slap a bitch. Take my word for it.
Lexi Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of emotional romance that sizzles. A former academic and English professor, Lexi considers herself the luckiest girl around to make a living through storytelling. She loves spending time with her crazy kids, weightlifting, ice cream, swoony heroes, and vodka martinis.
Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband, two children, and a spoiled dog. You can find her at her website: http://www.lexiryan.com
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