One Hot Italian Summer by Karina Halle ~ Review & Teaser (@MetalBlonde)

If I am looking for a good read, I can always rely on Karina Halle to create a world that I can get lost in for a while. I had a lot of fun reading about Grace, Claudio and Vanni, in this sweet romance!
One Hot Italian Summer
Title: One Hot Italian Summer
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 28th 2020

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After the death of her best friend and writing partner, Grace Harper is struggling both with grief, and with her next novel, the first one she’ll have to write alone.

Fortunately, her new powerhouse agent, the formidable Jana Lee, has a solution for her. She can stay at her villa in Tuscany for a month, soak in the sunshine, relax, and find her confidence again. After all, Jana has a lot riding on Grace’s next book, and the last thing she wants is for her reputation as a “super-agent” to be tarnished.

At first the villa is a dream come true for Grace – that is until Claudio Romano shows up one day with his ten-year old son, Vanni, in tow. Turns out, this is Claudio’s house, and Claudio happens to be her agent’s ex-husband from long ago. Thanks to their annual father and son bonding trip being cancelled, Claudio and Vanni are here to stay.

So is Grace.

With the three of them sharing the same house, Grace’s writing plans are thrown out the window. But even if she’s not pounding the keyboard, she’s still finding beauty and inspiration... in none other than Claudio. He's unlike any man Grace has met before. He’s smart, charming, and wickedly sexy, plus a great father to Vanni. He’d be the perfect summer fling – if only he wasn’t completely off-limits.

But as the hot Italian summer wears on, Grace and Claudio are destined to succumb to the heat, no matter how hard they try to resist each other. One steamy encounter with Claudio could affect Grace’s chances of starting her career over.

Or he could be exactly what she needs.

After reading the description to One Hot Italian Summer, I was super excited to dive into it. It began a little slow as we got to know Grace and why she made the decision to go to Italy for a few weeks. The first meeting between Grace and Claudio was hilarious, and I just new I was going to be in for an enjoyable read.

Grace was finding it hard to create her own path after the death of her writing partner, and needed to find inspiration. Being in Italy and seeing the sights and spending time with Claudio and his son Vinni helped her find, not only herself, but her passion to write once again.

Claudio was quite surprised to find Grace in his home, but since they are both artists they quickly found a connection. Claudio came across as the broody type, but the more I got to know him, I could see the kind hearted man underneath.

I enjoyed watching the relationship between Claudio and Grace grow, and how comfortable they became with one another. The world that Karina Halle was beautiful, and I loved seeing these characters fall for one another in such an amazing part of the world. It was nice to see the characters grow throughout the story and find passion once again, both through their work and in the bedroom!

Claudio was so sweet and possessive!

“You’re mine, Grace. More than my muse, more than a lover. I’ve never felt this way before about anything or anyone, and I … I know that if you just trust me, if you give me your heart, I will carry it with me. I will be kind and gentle with it. I will always keep it tucked next to mine. So that whatever happens in the future, it doesn’t matter. I’ll have your heart and you’ll have mine.”
She turns and looks at me. Her fingers reach out and trail down the side of my face, her eyes big and gleaming as if she’s trying to really see me. “You’re a good man, Claudio Romano.”
“I’m your man,” I tell her. “That is what makes me good.”

Kindle Loc 3886

Karina Halle is a former travel writer & music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling author of The Swedish Prince, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Bad at Love & over 45 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her adopted pup Bruce, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

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Playing with Fire by L.J. Shen ~ Review & Teaser (@lj_shen)

If you haven't read anything by L.J. Shen yet, you need to pick up Playing with Fire! It was such a beaautiful read that I didn't want to put down!
Playing with Fire
Title: Playing with Fire
Author: L.J. Shen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: September 15th 2020

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

A broken boy on the path to destruction. A scarred girl without direction.
A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.

Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.
She is the strange girl from the food truck.
He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.
She is invisible to the world.
He is the town’s beloved bad boy.
She is a reject.
He is trouble.
When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.
But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.
Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:
She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.
And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.

This book both melted and broke my heart as I got to know both Grace and West. They both had demons in their pasts that they were trying to keep buried. Together though, it was cute; Grace let West into her world and he was so sweet to Grace. I just couldn't get enough of these two!

Grace struggled with not only looking after her grandmother, but she was still at school and worked as well. What happened in her past made her an outsider, but she tended to look past others opinions.

West was also hiding things in his past, but I could see that there was more too him than his quiet, tough personality. I liked seeing the changes in him as he spent time with Grace.

This read gave me all the feels as Grace and West's relationship grew. They faced a lot of difficult times and Grace was able to lean on West at times, even though it shamed her to do so.

Once again I enjoyed L.J. Shen's writing style and the way she takes her time to build the world. I'm able to really get to know the characters and I can feel the pain, the love and the loss oozing from the pages! It was a beautiful read that I'll be thinking about for a long time to come!

I really enjoyed the banter between Grace and West, but there were so many sweet moments too!

I’d never had anyone burst into my life, kicking the door down on their way in, and stick around after realizing how truly broken I was.
West was the first person to insist on being my friend, whether I was interested or not. It was unchartered territory for me. My instincts told me to push him away before he did the dumping, but every single cell in my body screamed to let him in.

Kindle Loc 1960

“Wanna say hi to Grams?”
“Are you kidding?” He scoffed. “Only reason I hang out with your sorry ass is to get close with Mrs. S.”

Kindle Loc 2315

He kissed my forehead, his lips lingering on my skin, then said the most stupid, outrageous, beautiful, awful, touching thing anyone had ever told me.
“I’m grateful that Tuesday went down the way it did.” His voice was scratchy. Thick. “Because the worst day of your life gave me the best version of you.”

Kindle Loc 3551

L.J. ShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and 
never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Other reviews featuring L.J. Shen
In the Unlikely Event
The Kiss Thief
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Bad at Love by Karina Halle ~ Review & Teaser (@MetalBlonde)

Another week, another Karina Halle read, and once again it was another unique and interesting romance that I was swept away in. She's one of my favourite authors, and everytime she puts out a book you can guarantee that I'm going to pick it up. 
Bad at Love
Title: Bad at Love
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: November 14th 2017

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

She's bad at love, but he's even worse...

Marina is hot, blonde, and wickedly smart, but when it comes to men? She's hopeless. Between her quirks and her lack of filter, there isn't a man in Los Angeles that will stick around after the third date.

Her handsome, charming friend Lazarus has the opposite problem. Everyone wants to be the sexy Brit's girlfriend, but he gets bored and moves on quickly.

There's only one way to figure out why neither of them has cracked this love thing-- they'll date each other. On paper, it's the perfect experiment. But in reality, things between Marina and Laz get complicated quickly.

They might be bad at love, but they are even worse at being friends.

Karina Halle has surprised me once again with this amusing friends to lovers romance. Marina and Laz were good friends and Marina couldn't figure what she was doing wrong when it came to dating and they decided to date each other to figure out what was going wrong.

Marina was a quirky and interesting girl, who had an interesting job as a bee keeper. Bees were a passion of hers that she loved to talk about. Laz was in a band, but he also loved to tweet about poetry online. Both these unusual characters were good friends, and I could tell they would be good together. Their connection continued to grow the more time they spent together and soon they were sizzling beneath the sheets.

Although Marina tried to be strong most of the time, I liked seeing the vulnerable side of her as well, when her emotions over flowed. Laz was certain that he was destined to be alone and was afraid when things became serious. I liked that Marina had Laz's sister to talk to at times, so that she could understand him a little deeper.

Bad at Love was another good read by Karina Halle, but unfortunately not my favourite Halle read. I think the unusual occupations these characters had made it a little difficult to relate to them. It was a good friends to lovers romance, and it won't stop me from picking up more of her work in the future.

Here is a sweet moment where Marina opened her heart to Laz... 

“... I want to find a guy. I want to fall in love. I want a future with someone, maybe marriage and babies, maybe right now all I need is to have someone’s arms around me as I fall asleep. I want love. I feel it’s absence in my life, every day.”
You’re breaking my heart, sweet girl.

Kindle Page 84

Karina Halle is a former travel writer & music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling author of The Swedish Prince, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Bad at Love & over 45 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her adopted pup Bruce, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Other reviews featuring Karina Halle 
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The Worst Best Man by Lucy Score ~ Review & Teaser (@lucyscorewrites)

After reading my first Lucy Score book, I knew I had to try some more of her work. The Worst Best Man sounded like a catastrophe waiting to happen, so I dived right in!
The Worst Best Man
Title: The Worst Best Man
Author: Lucy Score
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: February 9th 2018

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"Newsflash. You don't buy me, a$#%^*e. You earn me."

The bride is a doll. The groom is the perfect gentleman. But the rest of the wedding party? They're the stuff of nightmares. Rich? Check. Vapid? Double Check. Entitled? Not enough checks in the world. And the Best Man? More like the Worst Man.

But Maid of Honor Franchesca takes her duties seriously. Kidnapped groom? She's got this. Rude attendees? You just watch her handle them. So a Best Man with a big attitude and an even bigger...checkbook? Yeah, there's no way she's going to let that pretentious, judgmental jackhole ruin her best friend's wedding. No matter how sexy he is. (Well, that's the plan anyway...)

Aiden Kilbourn doesn't do long-term relationships. He's busy ruling the business world, and has yet to find a woman he can tolerate for longer than a month, two at the outside, anyway. Conquering the unconquerable is basically his bread and butter. And he hasn't met a challenge that he can't win. But Franchesca Baranski? This smart-mouthed girl from Brooklyn may just be his downfall.

I just knew this would be an entertaining read after reading my first Lucy Score book, By A Thread. This particular read is told from the third person POV, and it was just what I had expected; well fleshed out characters, interesting situations and a bit of drama to keep me on my toes.

Franchesca was such a nice character to read about. She was determined to make this wedding perfect for her best friend and was willing to do anything to make it happen. Aiden and Franchesca's relationship got off to the wrong start, as Aiden was a bit rude but Franchesca was the type of girl to brush it off and be the better person. The chemistry between them was there from the beginning and continued to grow throughout the story.

I felt that this read had so much going on, and the characters were willing to put everything on the line to get things back on track once again. I was able to get both Franchesca and Aiden's perspectives, which helped tell the whole story. Lucy Score did it once again, weaving an amusing world, likeable characters and a sizzling romance to create another great read.
This was one amusing kiss, Franchesca was trying to hold back but realised she needed more!

“I’m going to kiss you,” he warned her. “And then we’re going to go inside and have lunch. And then I’m going to take you home and fuck you.”
The thrill rushed over her as he reached for her.
“Fine, but no tongue. You know my pants fall off when you do that.”
He was grinning at her with something like joy. He laid a very chaste kiss on her mouth before pulling back.
“How was that?”
“My pants still want to fall off. Let’s get in your car and drive away and jump straight to the sex,” she suggested.

Kindle Page 214

Lucy grew up in rural Pennsylvania with a lot of time on her hands and a big imagination. She was the oldest of three in a literary household. Dinners were often spent in silence while family members had their noses buried in books. A passion for writing took hold at five when she taught her brother to write his name on the bathroom door. 

She started writing (on paper) in the second grade, first about pilgrims on the Mayflower and over the years graduated to essays, articles, blogs, and finally books. 

Before becoming a full-time writer, Lucy pretended to be a normal adult by holding down jobs that included event planner, bartender, newspaper lackey, and yoga instructor. 

Lucy and Mr. Lucy, enjoy spending time with their ten nieces and nephews and are determined to learn to sail so they can live on a sailboat in the Caribbean someday.

Lucy Score

Other reviews featuring Lucy Score
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Off Limits by M.S. Parker ~ Review & Teaser

I hadn't read anything by M.S. Parker before, and I decided to begin with Off Limits. It was a good start to the series that continues through the rest of the books.
Off Limits (The Scottish Billionaire #1)
Title: Off Limits
Author: M.S. Parker
Series: The Scottish Billionaire #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 2020 (first published May 9th 2020)

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

Alec: I’m in my thirties and life is…well not boring, but uneventful despite being CEO of the family company. Just how I like it. Then I meet Lumen, a woman who challenges everything in such an irresistible way. For once in my life I can see myself in a relationship. There’s one problem though, she’s off limits.

Lumen: Growing up in foster care wasn’t the nightmare for me as it was for some, but life hasn’t been easy. I work hard, focus on my goals, and I never let things distract me, specifically men and relationships. Until one rainy Seattle night when a gorgeous hunk walks into the spa where I work.

When billionaire Alec McCrae mistakes Lumen Browne’s workplace for a “happy ending” massage parlor, things get more complicated than he prefers. Especially when their lives become entwined in ways never imagined.

Don’t miss Off Limits, the first book in The Scottish Billionaire, M. S. Parker’s latest romance series.

Off Limits is the first book in a trilogy, so don't make the mistake that I did and jump into it, only to get to the end to realise the story continues... For the first book in a series (although there is a prequel too, which I didn't know about), it was quite a good start, as we get to know both characters.

It was interesting on how Alec and Lumen first met, and I was quite amused on how they both handled it. Alec was really just a lonely single father that didn't have time to find happiness for himself. I liked that he was dedicated to his daughter, and his work, and meeting Lumen put a bit more spark back into his life.

Lumen had come a long way in life and had finally landed a full-time position doing her dream job of teaching. I liked how she interacted with Evanne, Alec's daughter, and that connection continued to bring them closer. Although she had struggled a lot over the years, it was nice to see Lumen grow and find a connection with Alec.

I liked the building chemistry between both Alec and Lumen, and how they both handled the changes in their lives. For my first M.S. Parker read, it was a solid start to the series, but not the kind that blew me away. I'm unsure if I want to read more of the books, because I felt this one was a little drawn out. Maybe I'll try something else, but will have to do my research first.
Here are a couple of teasers, from moments that were monumental to the characters.

The first man I’d ever slept with was my favorite student’s father.
That sounded like the beginning of a really bad porn flick. Or maybe a really good country song.
It definitely wasn’t what I’d wanted for a strings-free, fun first time.

Kindle Page 197

Her eyes blazed as she took two steps…toward me.
My arms reached for her automatically and bringing my mouth to hers felt like the most natural thing in the world. We’d have a price to pay, of that I was certain, but in this moment, all I knew was her.

Kindle Page 220

M. S. Parker is a USA Today Bestselling author and the author of the erotic romance series, Club Privè and Chasing Perfection. Living in Las Vegas, she enjoys sitting by the pool with her laptop writing her next spicy romance. Growing up, she wanted to be a dancer, actor or author. So far only the latter has come true, but M. S. Parker hasn’t retired her dancing shoes just yet. She’s still waiting for the call for her to appear on Dancing With the Stars. When M. S. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading- oops, scratch that! She’s always writing. 
M.S. Parker

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Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G. ~ Review & Teaser (@Whitgracia)

This was a lot of fun! I loved the love/hate chemistry between Tara and Preston. For my first Whitney G read, I was left more than impressed!
Two Weeks Notice
Title: Two Weeks Notice
Author: Whitney G.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 19th 2018

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To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter to formally announce my resignation from Parker International (& the arrogant, condescending CEO) effective two weeks from today.

This was a VERY EASY decision to make, as the past two years have been utterly miserable. I wish his next executive assistant all the luck in the world (she'll need it) and if my boss should need me to do anything over the next two weeks, kindly tell him that he can do it [his] goddamn self...

Sincerely (Not Really),
Tara Lauren

That’s the version of my two weeks’ notice I should’ve sent to my boss, because the more professional version - the one where I said I was "grateful for all the opportunities," and "honored by all the rewarding experiences" over the years?

That letter was rejected with his sexy, trademark smirk and an “I highly suggest you read the fine print of your contract...”

So, I did.

And now I've realized that unless I fake my death, poison him, or find a way to renegotiate my impossible contract, I’m stuck working under one of the cockiest and most ruthless bosses in New York.

Then again, I thought that was the case until he called me late last night with an emergency proposition...

After reading the description to Two Weeks Notice, I snapped it up immediately! It sounded like a light, fun read and it was all that I hoped it would be. I enjoyed the love/hate relationship that Tara and Preston had, and I devoured this book very quickly as I wanted to see if these two would find a balance together.

Preston was like every driven, successful billionaire that I thought he would be. He was arrogant and difficult to work for, but his focus was his work and he expected those that worked for him to work as hard as he did. Tara just had to be caught in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing when she met Preston. He liked her initiative and basically hired her on the spot. Even though Preston was an ass to work for, she was determined to do this role and make her own path in life.

I enjoyed watching how well Preston and Tara worked together despite Tara's dislike of the CEO workaholic. She did her job well, and I could see that Preston appreciated her, but he didn't allow her to see that he did. There was definitely chemistry between them, and Preston fought it right from the start, and I was able to see his softer side, even though Tara didn't see him that way at all.

I thought this was quite the amusing and sizzling read. I could feel how intense things were becoming between Preston and Tara, and it was only going to be a matter of time before things became hot and heavy between them. The sexual innuendo, the thoughtful gifts, and the banter between them had me on the edge of my seat! I'm glad I picked up this read and am kicking myself that I hadn't done so before now!

These two had hilarious banter... the sexual tension was there from the start!

“I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you, Miss Lauren, but I don’t appreciate being ignored.”
“Noted,” I said, hating that my panties were soaking wet. “I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you that I hate you—”
“You say it every day.” He smiled and started to walk away. Then he stopped and looked over his shoulder. “I’ll take my coffee with you on all fours tomorrow morning.”
“What did you just say?”
“You heard me.”

Kindle Page 88

“It’s already complete, Miss Lauren.” He looked angrier than I’d ever seen him before. “Which is why you’re giving this presentation. Although at the rate you’re going, we may need to hire an actress to play your part.”
“I think that’s more than fine, as long as we can hire someone who knows how to shut the fuck up to play yours.”

Kindle Page 132

I’m Whitney G. and I’m a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author. I’m also a lover of all things coffee, alpha-males, and steamy romance stories. And although I have a tendency to set most of my stories in big cities, I live in a small wooded town in Tennessee.

My most popular books to date are Reasonable Doubt: Full Series, Sincerely, Carter, and Two Weeks Notice. However, if I’m being honest, the F.L.Y. Crew will probably tell you that their favorite books are Resisting the Boss (This series has its own crazy/awesome following 🙂 ), Mister Weston, and On a Tuesday. (I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these, but my favorite book that I’ve ever written is…Well, I haven’t released yet, but it’s a pretty intense romance that I can’t wait to share.)

In addition to publishing books, I run an inspirational and motivational site for indie-authors called The Indie Tea where I bare my soul and share some behind-the-scenes action. (Between you and me, one of my big dreams in life is to become a professional blogger someday. Crazy, I know.)

Anyway, I’m so happy you stopped by my corner of the world, and I hope to see you again soon. If you want to stay in the loop, be sure to sign up for The F.L.Y. List as that’s where I send my release/sales news first. (I also spend time here on, so be sure to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!)

Until we meet again.

F.L.Y. (Effin Love You)


Whitney G.

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Black Tangled Heart by Samantha Young ~ Review & Teaser (#SamanthaYoung)

I am loving reading Samantha Young right now! Every time she creates an amazing world that you can get lost in!
Black Tangled Heart (Play On, #3)
Title: Black Tangled Heart 
Author: Samantha Young
Series: Play On #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 15th 2020

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

To my siblings, Jane was a friend. A pseudo-sister, the girl we grew up with.
To me? She was everything.
Our passion consumed us.

When our world fell apart, I thought our love would be the thing that held us together.
She was the love of my life. But she abandoned me when I needed her most.
And I'll never forgive her.

For years I've been planning my revenge against the people who took everything from me.
Jane won't be an exception. I'm coming for her.
She knows it.

She says she wants to help me serve my version of justice on the people who hurt me.
I'll let her.
She probably thinks it will save her from me.

It won't.

I was intrigued immediately after reading the blurb for Black Tangled Heart, but I can tell you that I wasn’t prepared to be blown away like I was! This book had everything I crave in a read: strong passionate characters, intense moments and a captivating storyline that hooked me right until the end! I just could not put it down.

Jane became friends with Lorna McKenna, and was soon pulled into the McKenna family as she looked up to the eldest sibling Skye, and fell for Jamie. The friendships and relationships were tested at every turn and it was only a matter of time before their entire world was torn apart.

Jane was quite the reserved character, didn’t want to fit in, but allowed Lorna to push her around a bit. Jamie was a good brother, and could see that Lorna was pushing Jane and he soon built his own relationship with Jane that turned into something more. Skye was doing all she could to care for her siblings, but it wasn’t always an easy path.

I enjoyed getting to know each character. They weren’t perfect, they each had flaws, and each relationship was intense. In the second half of the book I could see that both Jane and Jamie had channeled their loss into their purpose in life.

Samantha Young has done amazing work with this story. There were so many twists and elements that I didn’t see coming. My heart broke numerous times and other times I struggled with miscommunication between characters. But overall I had faith that Jane and Jamie could get past the demons they both had to find that connection once again.

A bit of an emotional teaser and a possessive one 😁

“That girl deserves to be loved,” I said, my voice hoarse with emotion and a little discomfort. “No one has ever loved her right, except for you. Not even Lorna. When a guy comes along, he needs to love her hard. To make up for all the times people forgot to love her.” Or the times it was taken away from her, like with her adoptive parents. Just the thought of Jane feeling unloved made me want to punch a fist through the wall. “I plan to be the guy who loves her like that.”
Tears brightened Skye’s eyes. She reached up and brushed the backs of her fingers over my cheek. “Wow. Well … it sounds like you already might be that guy. Don’t you think?”
My heart pounded hard. Yeah. I did think.

Kindle Page 66

“Why do you care who kisses me?” I countered.
Jamie leaned his hands on the sink, caging me in. “My teammates are off-limits to you.” His breath whispered against my lips as he pressed his whole body against mine. He was hard.
I gasped and his eyes flashed.
“Everyone but me is off-limits to you, Jane. You got that?”
“I don’t belong to you,” I whispered. It sounded weak. I hated that it sounded weak. Why did he do this to me? How could one person affect me so much?
“Yes, you do.” His voice was hoarse. “And I belong to you.” He swallowed hard.

Kindle Page 80

I’m a Scottish bookworm whose dream of writing full time came true. 
Thanks to readers my books have hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists and several of my books have been nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards. I write adult contemporary and paranormal romance, YA urban fantasy and YA contemporary fiction. To my awe and delight I’m currently published in 30 countries and a #1 international bestselling author.

Other reviews featuring Samantha Young 
Play On series
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