REVIEW w/ Q & A , EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey

Romancing the Clarksons Book Three

Recommend reading in order

Purchase:  Kindle | Mass Market | B&N | BAM | Google | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

♦BLURB♦

This time, she’s calling the shots.

Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he’s been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy’s determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she’ll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

It appears Bailey is increasing the Tortured Hero factor in each subsequent book in the series, and with Too Hard to Forget, she hits a high point (though one is expecting the next book to be off the charts in this aspect). It’s not often that an author can put into the mix a devout religious man in a book and handle the religious aspect in a way in which it makes him more attractive and gives a rebellious spark to the romance, but with Coach Elliot Brooks we get not just that, but two different kinds of religion: Football and God.

One would think they had Peggy somewhat pegged (heh) from the prior books, but Bailey was holding out on us by waiting to release the chameleon that is this character until her own book. With alternating perspectives of past and present, the reader gets to experience their connection back when it started to now, where it’s severed and ugly. Fractured as it may be, there was no shortage of lust or unfinished business between the two. And when I tell you that the religious aspect of Elliot makes him more attractive, I am not kidding in the least. The way this man uses his religion is deliciously arousing.

Bailey knows how to make her men worthy of redemption, whether by action or emotion. I’ve yet to read a Tessa Bailey book that doesn’t evoke reactionary emotions such as sharp pains in the chest, deep dips of the stomach, or in some cases, tears. I search out books, like hers, that force me to respond in such a way, to feel and empathize with the hero and heroine, and to be an actual participant in their story. The heartbreak, lust, and emotional turmoil that the two harbored was palpable and painful. All of this to say that Elliot was at times a fumbling, naive man when it came to love, and watching him stumble like a newborn calf was endearing and sweet. As the older man, with so much on his plate, I wholeheartedly enjoyed seeing Elliot, the beloved Kingmaker of college football, have to fight his way back into the heart of the woman who got away on a playing field he had no playbook on.

Too Hard to Forget was another explosive story of second chances in the Romancing the Clarksons series. Peggy was a wild child spitfire that took hold of the pages and made them her battleground. It was sexy and raw and wild as any Bailey book, but it had such deep longing tied underneath it all; tied all together with the beauty of a love painfully lost. Well-written with only a skill that this author has, I couldn’t take my eyes off of them once the book opened. The Clarksons are each so vivid, their relationships with one another honest and disconnected, and I cannot say how much I adore each of them as we get them. I loved this book and I’m beyond ready to read the next.

Side note: And to all of those waiting on bated breath for more Belmont and Sage, you’ll be happy (happy being a very light word, maybe tortured is better?) to know that we get some more of them in this book. Hurry up September!

♦EXCERPT♦

“I don’t know, Peggy.” He whirled on her, closing in until she was forced back onto the desk. “I had an All-American on my squad this morning and now I don’t. That’s all I know.” He pointed a finger toward the window. “I solve problems down on the field. Saving people isn’t my job.”

Saving people. God, there was such a wealth of regret and pain in those two words. But he couldn’t hear it and she couldn’t address it. Letting him know she saw right through his façade to the hurt beneath might force Elliott to close himself off. “You didn’t always limit yourself. Why are you doing it now?”

“Accepting things that can’t be changed isn’t a limitation. It’s realistic.”

“But how will you know if something can’t be changed unless you try?”

“When it comes to certain things, Peggy, trying leads to losing.” He was in her face now, the mint from his toothpaste familiar and inviting where it slid over her lips. “And I don’t lose.”

No one ever stood up this man but her, and she wouldn’t be cowed now. “No? You’re out a receiver.” She hitched herself up on his desk. “I’d call that a loss.”

The tips of his shoes met Peggy’s, his hands gripping the furniture on either side of her hips. “Who do you think you are, little girl? Coming into my office and telling me what I’ve done wrong?” His eyes were brilliant in their vexation, the attraction he was trying so hard to fight. “Where do you get the goddamn bravery?”

“The bravery is what you liked best about me,” she breathed, heat sizzling in a downward V toward her thighs. “Isn’t it?”

“No. That bravery is what almost led to my downfall.” His hands found her bottom, jerking her to the edge of the desk. “I resented it. Still do.”

“Liar,” Peggy whispered, easing her thighs wider. “You’re dying for an excuse to head for another downfall.” When her legs were as open as she could spread them, she leaned up to Elliott’s ear and let her breath shake loose. “One thrust.”

Elliott’s right hand came up out of nowhere, molding over Peggy’s mouth as his hips crowded into the notch of her legs. With a quick maneuver to recline her halfway back, Elliott’s erection found the apex of her thighs, delivering an aggressive pump against her underwear that sent a scream climbing up Peggy’s throat, only to be trapped by his hand. Knees jerking up out of reflex over the rush of sensation, an orgasm almost—almost— broke past the surface, sending her waters rippling out on all sides. Her legs wanted to hug Elliott’s waist, her voice wanted to beg for one more, one more, one more, but he shook his head, denying her, even though his gaze was hot, a low groan issuing from his harshly masculine mouth.

He leaned in and nipped the lobe of her ear. “Next time, ask for two.”

 

♦Q & A♦

When asked for her Top 5 Alpha Romance Heroes, this is what Tessa Bailey had to say:

Oooh. This is going to be a tough list! I’ll go with a mixture of classic faves and new ones to the party!

  1. Joshua from The Hating Game (by Sally Thorne). Oh yes. Still waters run deep with this man. It has been a while since I reread a book, but I read this one twice. He is holding so much inside, but he’s clearly protective and IN LOVE with the heroine. It’s just the most beautiful slow burn I’ve ever read.
  2. Reiner from Kulti (by Mariana Zapata). This author has this amazing ability to write heroines that are totally oblivious to the hero’s undying devotion and it turns out, that is my catnip. This German ex-soccer star coach will always have a spot in my soul.
  3. Maksimilian Sevastyan from The Master (by Kresley Cole). This is the second book in her Gamemaker’s Series. He’s a politician/Mafiya boss and basically decides to keep the heroine, no negotiation. It’s probably the hottest book I’ve ever read in my life. I had a temperature the entire time.
  4. Jules Cassidy from the Troubleshooters series (by Suzanne Brockmann). He’s a badass FBI agent and also the first gay character I’d ever read. I fell in love with him and it was amazing watching his rocky road to love with Robin. They’re still one of my all time favorite couples.
  5. Tate Sullivan from Never Sweeter (by Charlotte Stein). This is a romance between a college student and the boy who bullied her in high school. That’s a hard road to redemption, let alone making me fall in love with him. Such a beautiful, angsty book.

 

♦SERIES♦

Too Hot to HandleKindle | Mass MarketiBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google | My Review
Too Wild to Tame: Kindle | Mass Market | iBooks | B&N | BAM | Google | Indiebound | Kobo | My Review
Too Hard to Forget: Kindle | Mass Market | B&N | BAM | Google | iBooks | Indiebound | Kobo
(Not Pictured) Too Close to Call (a 1001 Dark Nights novella): Kindle (13-JUN)
Too Beautiful to Break: Kindle | Mass Market (26-SEP)

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

tessa bailey bio

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

♦GIVEAWAY♦

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue Reading

BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW: Sin With Me by J.T. Geissinger

Bad Habit Book Three; Interconnected standalone

This book will give spoilers for the prior two books

Purchase: Kindle | Paperback

Add to Goodreads

♦BLURB♦

The past she can’t remember. The secret he hides. And a love that’s worth risking it all.

After a devastating car crash stole both her family and her memory, Grace Stanton was left with no past and an uncertain future. Now Grace likes to keep things simple. No sleepovers, never date a guy more than a month, and never, ever fall in love. Which is exactly why Grace avoids Bad Habit’s lead guitarist, Brody Scott, at all costs. The green-eyed, sexy-as-hell musician has “trouble” tattooed all over him, and Grace isn’t taking any chances with her heart.

Brody knows he doesn’t deserve an amazing woman like Grace—her creamy skin, red hair, or that smart mouth that fuels his every fantasy—but there’s something between them that’s more than chemistry. Something real. He’ll just have to convince Grace that he’s worth the risk—and hide the secret that haunts his worst dreams. But when fate plays a cruel hand, Brody’s darkest sin suddenly threatens his last chance at redemption…and the life of the woman he loves.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

The long-awaited (much) third installment in the Bad Habit series, Sin With Me shines as both a continuation and as its own entity. Grace and Brody, two characters with powerfully damaging pasts, come together with such force that the reverberations are impossible to measure. With in-your-face passion and a gracefulness that you wouldn’t expect, Geissinger brought together these two scarred individuals and created something spectacular.

There’s nothing else quite like a book with a hero who shows such stark vulnerability, a wide-open heart, and how it can, in effect, crush your own heart with empathy. The contrast between the two, his openness to her closed-off manner, made for a truly combustible attraction based on her contemptuous feelings and his playful, but oh-so-sweet flirting. The easy and spirited wit and banter between the two was a joy to experience. I could not get enough of them and the delicious fire that burned out of control. And speaking of fire, the eroticism and pure scorching hotness of this novel was the kind one should read with a partner, real or plastic.

While the wait for this novel was long, it was very much worth it. To see the other couples, experience their continuing stories, and to finally see Brody and Grace come together, was worth any length of wait. Geissinger, again, pens a beautiful love story with lovable, vivid characters and the kind of emotional journey that pays off in the end in Sin With Me. It’s a must read story.

 

♦SERIES♦

Each book is about a different couple, but they are interconnected

SWEET AS SIN

Bad Habit Book One

Purchase:  Kindle | Paperback ($6.99 currently) | My Review

 

12 - Make Me Sin

Bad Habit Book Two

Purchase:  Amazon | Paperback ($7.12 currently) | My Review

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

JT Geissinger

J.T. Geissinger is an award winning and best-selling author of dark, sexy romance.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and was a finalist for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

She lives in California with her husband, on whom all her heroes are based.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Continue Reading

NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Killer Instincts Book Eight; Not a standalone

Purchase:  Kindle ($7.99) | Mass Market($5.98)

♦BLURB♦

Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.

When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.

As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.

Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach…but first, they have to make it home alive.

 

♦4.5-STAR REVIEW♦

Midnight Target brings an explosive end to a beloved Romantic Suspense series with two different love stories that tie up all the loose ends. This book, as with the rest of the books in this series, brings intense action and romance together to tell the love stories of mercenaries and their feisty, badass counterparts. Kennedy created one final villian for Jim Morgan’s team to battle and in it we get both Cate and Ash, and Sully and Liam (whom we’ve been looooong desperate for) as they risk everything for one another.

One thing I have admired about this series is the way that Kennedy has mixed, with such ease, the two couples in each book, easily playing and teasing one while showing us the full story of the other. It has constantly given us something to look forward to even while we’re still in the current story. Even without that here, because it’s the end, the interweaving story lines were done so well. And these final two are important enders. Sully and Liam, both fighting their inner demons, have been denying an intense attraction since dang near when the series started. Theirs is most bittersweet; the soul-deep kind of love that has suffered for too long and is dying to be released. Repressed and forgotten, it is not without its bitter spikes. But the main story really lies within Morgan’s daughter, Cate. Stifled and overprotected, her yearning for freedom has quite the dire consequence. While you may want to throttle her at times, Kennedy expertly depicted her character and found her perfect complement, the guy to soften her edges and set her free, in Ash.

My one concession was that, maybe because the Sully/Liam lead-up had been coming for so long, I really wanted more of the story with them rather than with Cate and Ash. But I think that’s a personal issue that not every reader will experience, mainly because I was so invested in them and didn’t feel completely satisfied with their screen time… but they did get a lot of screen time in other novels, so, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m very selfish when it comes to those two men. Nothing against Cate and Ash, of course, because I still really loved them.

With the entire crew back together and a whole host of deadly problems, it felt like coming home upon opening the pages of Midnight Target. Kennedy, with her suspenseful twists and turns, managed to blend not only romance and suspense together and two very different love stories, but she brought a bittersweet and beautiful end to a great series. It’s the kind of story that refuses to be put down and I expected nothing less.

 

♦SERIES♦

Click on the covers to purchase


My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Elle Kennedy

A USA Today bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently publishes with Signet Eclipse, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Samhain Publishing and Entangled Brazen. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Continue Reading