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

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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.

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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

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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)

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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

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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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As Dust Dances by Samantha Young ~ Review & Teaser (#SamanthaYoung)

I really enjoy reading Samantha Young's work, and As Dust Dances was such a good read! I loved watching Skylar and Killian build a connection through her music.
As Dust Dances (Play On, #2)
Title: As Dust Dances
Author: Samantha Young
Series: Play On #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: April 16th 2020

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Once upon a time I was a pop-rock princess.It was a dream that turned into a nightmare.
I lost everything to that world.

Scotland was supposed to be a refuge. I hid in Glasgow, singing on street corners for money.
But then he found me. Killian O'Dea. A record executive. An ambitious one.
I didn't want anything to do with the brooding and ruthless Scot.

Until the day I realized it wasn't safe for me to be on the streets, and I had no one else to turn to but Killian.
In exchange for help, I agreed to give Killian what he wants. But what he wants is to return me to a life I hate.

And to make things worse, there's something growing between us. Something hot and dark. A bond. A passion that can't be denied.

I made a deal with the devil. And now I'm falling in love with him.

Killian O'Dea is going to ruin me.
I wonder if he realizes... I'm going to ruin him right back.

I wasn't expecting to be as blown away as what I was, but As Dust Dances was such a strong and at times, moving read. It was incredible to see Skylar struggling and to hit rock bottom before she reached out for help.

Skylar had really chosen to live her life the way she was and although she didn't want to go back to her previous life, I could see that it was going to be inevitable. She was such a sweet girl, who was trying to find herself out of the spotlight. She loved to sing and write music, but her old life scared her and the toxic relationships that made her unhappy.

Killian was a strong, broody character and I liked seeing the soft side of him. He was determined to get Skylar to record once again, and did all he could to persuade her. I liked watching him build that working relationship with her, by playing his guitar and working on the music with Skylar.

It was fun watching these two bond and seeing their relationship grow into something more. It was good that Skylar faced her demons eventually and was able to find her inner strength once again. Skylar was definitely Killian's weakness and I liked watching him soften each time he interacted with her. Samantha Young did a great job writing a story line that made such an impact on me. There were a few tense moments that had me on edge, but I hoped that these two would find their happily ever after.

Skylar and Killian built a bond early on, and I liked that he did things he wouldn't normally do for Skylar.

“So, do you always play part-time therapist with your artists?”
His smile was wry. I wanted to trace my fingers along his lips to feel it. “You’re the first.”
“Well, you should know I’m feeling vulnerable and defensive right now. I might need you to be a prick so I have an excuse for being mean and sarcastic to you.”
He grinned. A full-out grin that made my breath catch. “I don’t feel like being a prick today.”
“Of course, you don’t. Contrary bastard.”

Kindle Page 146

“I broke it off with her when I realized that the first person I thought of every morning when I woke up was the same person I thought of last before I went to sleep.”
Realization made me melt into him. “I knew you cared about me.”
“What I feel is a little stronger than that, Skylar.” He stared at me with pure need. “You’re mine.”

Kindle Page 261

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 
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Hands Down by Mariana Zapata ~ Review & Teaser (@marianazapata_)

Mariana Zapata is my go to author when I want a well fleshed out story, with intense characters who build a slow romance. This one was a good read, but certainly not my favourite Zapata book.
Hands Down
Title: Hands Down
Author: Mariana Zapata
Genre: Sports Contemporary Romance
Published: July 2nd 2020

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Before he was Big Texas, he was Zac the Snack Pack.

Bianca Brannen knows time—mostly—heals all wounds. Including those your once loved ones might have unintentionally given you. (Those just take longer.)

She thinks she’s ready when a call has her walking back into her old friend’s life. Or at least as prepared as possible to see the starting quarterback in the National Football Organization. Before the lights, the fans, and the millions, he’d been a skinny kid with a heart of gold.

Waltzing out of Zac Travis’s life should be easy. Just as easy as he walked out of hers.

I’ve read a few books by Mariana Zapata, and after reading The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, I was genuinely excited for Hands Down. I’m usually swept away with Zapata’s world building and character development. However, I was a little let down by this particular read, as both characters seemed clueless, there were many repetitive phrases, and the realisation for the characters came very late in the book.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a horrible read. I liked that Bianca and Zac had such a long friendship and that Biancas cousin Boogie that brought them back together. There were so many good elements. I just thought that the story was so drawn out in places, where other moments were skipped. They were oblivious to the change in their relationship, and if I had to hear “my old friend” one more time, I was going to throw the book.

It was obvious that Bianca and Zac belonged together, they enjoyed each other’s company and would do anything for one another. It was a shame they lost touch with one another, and they didn’t reach out to one another earlier. I liked seeing Vanessa and Aiden make an appearance in this read too. It’s just disappointing that I couldn’t get right into this read.

I have a sweet moment between Zac and Bianca, and one where Zac is putting his feelings out there, that made me giggle.

I took the step into them. As an adult, as grown-up Bianca.
He drew me into him, into his chest, into his life, I guess.
Zac Travis hugged me and said, “I sure did miss you, Little Texas.”
Something in me unraveled at the name he hadn’t used in so long.
In so, so long.
With my cheek against his chest, I told him the truth. “I really missed you too, Big Texas.”

Kindle Page 202

He made a soft sound in through his nose. “Did you steal my damn heart, run off with it, and say I’ll see ya later? ’Cause the answer to that is yes.”
I really was on the verge of passing out, and it took everything in me to whisper, “No, for real.”
“I’m bein’ for real,” he replied easily, one corner of his mouth curled up into a lazy smile. “I’ve thought about it. I’m thinkin’ it happened sometime between you givin’ me that awful pep talk about old Zac kickin’ this Zac’s ass and you throwin’ bombs at me, I’d say.”

Kindle Page 494

Mariana Zapata began writing love stories soon after she learned how to spell. She probably shouldn’t admit that she started sneaking romance novels from her aunt’s bookshelves way before she was old enough to even understand what it meant when a man flipped up a woman’s skirt… don’t tell her mom. Luckily, she stuck to stories about princesses and princes for a while. In her teens, she wrote boy band fanfiction (there’s still a website up somewhere on the internet with those masterpieces), and in her early twenties, she picked it back up again with Sookie Stackhouse and Twilight. Eventually, her significant other finally told her to do what she wanted to do and she began working on her original work. Her novels tend to include potty humor, bodily functions, and bad words. Mariana lives in a small town called Pagosa Springs, Colorado with her husband/best friend, Chris Letchford, and their two well-beloved (and emotionally manipulative) Great Dane children, Dorian and Kaiser. When she’s not pretending to write, she’s reading sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk or historical romance novels. You can usually find her harassing her dogs, being a hermit at home or cracking jokes at the expense of her family members.

Other reviews featuring Mariana Zapata
The Best Thing
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