The Eeny Meanie Neen's ARC Review, The Eeny Meanie Neen's Book Review

I Hate You by Ilsa Madden-Mills Blog Tour and ARC Review

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I want you . . . even when I hate you.

I Hate You, an all-new enemies to lovers sports romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills, is available now!

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Blaze Townsend: I hate you.

Charisma Rossi: I hate you more.

She’s been expecting this ever since their latest showdown. She had good reason.

Hottest guy she’s ever seen.

Former fling.

Dumped her in front of her friends.

At her own party.

So no, she’s not about to forgive and forget just because he sits next to her in class.

He thinks all he has to do is turn on those baby blues, and she’ll melt right back into his arms. Please.She’d be crazy to let this cocky player affect her again. (Tell that to her body.)

Charisma Rossi.

Nerd girl with a dash of bad.

The one who got under his skin.

The one he cut loose.

Blaze knows she’s the riskiest prospect at Waylon University, but none of the interchangeable girls he hooks up with have ever made him feel the way she did. There’s absolutely no way he can have the girl and the game.

So why can’t he stop trying to win her back?

Can this wide receiver score the girl or will he make the biggest fumble of his life

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Excerpt:

“Need some help?”

I’m on my tiptoes when the question comes, trying to reach a book on the top shelf in the bookstore at the student center.

My heart does a nosedive off a cliff as that familiar gruff voice washes over me, his accent a smooth drawl that’s reminiscent of hot summer nights and slow kisses—kisses we never had…well, except for that one time freshman year.

I ignore him and try to grab the book.

“You’re too short. Let me,” Blaze says, this time closer, his voice soft.

I ease back on my feet and whip around, internally wishing I’d worn something more I hate you and don’t you wish you still had me, but sadly, I’m not in my kickass shoes and itchy dress. Today it’s flat-soled red Converse, black joggers, and a Yankees sweatshirt. I blow at a piece of hair in my face. Shit.

Of course, he looks magnificent in a tight long-sleeved black shirt that clings to his broad chest and tapered jeans molded to those leg muscles. His face is unshaven, the darkness on his jawline adding a broody look.

Curse him and his hotness.

I stare at him a little too long, until I snap out of it.

“I don’t need help,” My voice is strangled as I move to brush past him—forget the textbooks—but he reaches out and takes my elbow.

“Charisma—”

His fingers are a hot brand on my skin—it’s the first time we’ve touched in three months—and I pull away. A tremble starts in my legs. How dare he?It was one thing to see him in a social setting and pretend I was fine, but when we’re face to face without people watching… “Don’t put your hands on me. I’m not your hookup anymore, football player.”

His face reddens, and he drops his arms. “I didn’t mean—” he stops, not finishing as he studies my face.

I wonder what he sees. You know what he sees, Charisma—someone who wasn’t up to his usual standards.

Everything I didn’t say last night rushes out. “Didn’t mean to what? Dump me in the middle of my own sorority’s party in front of all my friends and half of campus? And you know, that’s totally fine. We both knew I wasn’t enough to keep your attention.”

His jaw clenches and he frowns, his brow furrowing. “I didn’t plan for things to happen that way.”

“How did you want to break up with me? Over candlelight? A text would have worked just fine,” I bite out.

The silence builds between us, and he watches me intently, as if trying to figure me out. He starts at my hair and works his way down to my feet, then comes back to my face. Just when I think I might combust from the intensity of his eyes, he looks away.

“What?” I cock my hip. “You look like you want to say something.”

He taps his hand against his leg. Ice-blue eyes, ones I used to stare into and get butterflies from, glitter down at me. “You just can’t handle that ended things, sweetheart.”

“Not your sweetheart.”

“Never were.”

Shit…shit…my heart feels like an anvil just landed on it, heavy and hard, and I can’t breathe for a second at his words, part of me pissed, the other part devastated. I wanted to be his sweetheart, I did, but he…

You’re not my type.

“Thanks for the reminder,” I say quietly, my anger folding away piece by piece and slipping into that horrible self-pity I despise.

He closes his eyes and scrubs his face with those talented hands, strong and big and capable, skillful with a football.

He steps in front of me, much like he did last night, and I tilt my head back to take him in. At my height of five feet, three inches, it’s hard to glare at a guy who towers over you and not look ridiculous, but I manage—until his eyes flicker with lingering emotion.

I dart my eyes around the store, searching for a way out, but I’m stuck between him and a bookshelf. “You’re blocking my path.” I focus on his legs. No sexiness there—well, except for the tight muscles under that denim.

“This is what I know,” he says in a low voice, ignoring my statement. “You told me we were just messing around. You set all the rules. Isn’t that how you operate? So why does me ending things with you even matter?”

“You never asked for more. You could have.” The revealing words fall around us, tinged with hurt, and I want to pull them back.

The silence between us crackles, yet I’m aware of other people around us. There are a few girls on another aisle, and I glance over as one of them pulls out her phone. No doubt she’s taking a picture of him. Part of me retreats, anxious she’ll get me in that photo—a girl who clearly doesn’t belong. He doesn’t notice. Everyone knows who he is, and they’re probably wondering why he’s talking to me.

“No, I didn’t,” he finally says, the words taut as if pulled from him unwillingly. He taps his leg, his tell that he’s anxious or angry. We weren’t together long, but every moment we spent together, I studied him like a wine connoisseur given a glass of rare cabernet. I know what makes him laugh, usually random things that make no sense. I know that groan he makes deep in this throat when he slides inside me, like he’s home. I know the feel of his hand when he cups my face and stares at me, a hesitant expression on his face—

“You can’t even look at me anymore. I wonder why,” he says, his voice a challenge.

Steeling myself, I face those baby blues. “You know why. I wish we’d never met up last fall. I wish you’d never flirted with me. I wish I’d never fucked you that first time in the library—”

“Same page. Same fucking page, Charisma.” And then he’s walking away, broad shoulders swaying as he stalks down the aisle…


About Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

 

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Review:

I Hate You by Ilsa Madden-Mills has been one of those books that you just couldn’t put down once you’re in your reading zone. I loved it so much that I had to read it twice just to highlight the scenes that I loved on my e-reader.

This is not your typical college romance when the guy catches a girl’s eye and voila insta-love! Nope. I loved it precisely because both characters have their own inner demons to overcome. This enemies-to-lovers second chance romance is nothing like I’ve ever read before and it made me love it even more.

Charisma is a nerdy and sassy girl that screams strong and independent from a mile away. But little do you know, there is more to her that meets the eye. Blaze may seem like your typical college football hero. But even a jock can have his own hidden depths of character.

We see them hook up and kiss and make up. But what I love about this story is the buildup into an actual relationship. I loved the moment when Charisma and Blaze finally realized that they’re meant to be together despite their doubts and fears. A heartwarming HEA is what these characters both deserved and it’s truly wonderful to see it unfold in the pages of this book.

Rating: 5/5

Book, Cover Reveal

Chris by Bethany-Kris Cover Reveal

CHRIS

by Bethany-Kris
Guzzi Legacy, #3
Publication Date: September 2, 2019
Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

Cover Reveal Credits: Lee Ching @Under Cover Designs

#PREORDER YOUR COPY NOW, RELEASING 9/2!

SYNOPSIS

A made man versus the cartel …

The job was simple—a contract from a powerful crime family to retrieve Valeria Lòpez. A woman believed to have been forcibly taken by one of the major cartels in Mexico. Easy enough, right?

Christopher Guzzi thought so, but the details made it difficult. He didn’t expect to trick his way into the path of the cartel leader only to develop feelings for the woman he was meant to recover. That leader’s wife. Every step he takes is risky, and one wrong move could leave them both dead. Too bad that’s not enough to keep him away from Valeria as he tries to find a way to free her.

Hope is a dangerous thing.
Love is even worse.

Here, everybody plays dirty.
No one can be trusted.
So, how do they get out alive?

*

Note: Chris is book 3 in The Guzzi Legacy. It is a standalone novel.

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EXCLUSIVE REVEAL EXCERPT

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” Gian said, giving Chris a wave to enter the office first, “shall we get started?”

Dare picked up the remote on his desk and pointed it at the screen once Chris and his father entered the office. The picture changed when he pressed a button, showcasing Andino in a tux, a woman in a white wedding dress, and a little girl between them being held by a black-haired, beautiful woman with a wide smile.

And God, yeah, beautiful didn’t do the woman justice. Her joyful smile brightened her delicate features, and her black hair had a glossy sheen under the sunlight. Tall, and curvy, the lavender dress she had picked for the day hugged her body and showed off all kinds of leg.

With only a picture, Chris thought whoever had taken it had captured the woman’s beauty, her confidence, and her womanly appeal all at the same time.

Quite a feat.

“Valeria Lòpez,” Cree said when Dare stayed quiet. “Formerly Gomez, but she changed it after a forced marriage to Jorge Lòpez at fifteen when the cartel killed her mother down in Mexico, it became a means to blackmail her father. Or, those are the details we have.”

“That’s all we had,” Andino muttered.

“Right,” Dare said, nodding at Andino, “and so this is what we’re working on. Somehow, around sixteen from what we understand, Valeria was pregnant, and ran away from her husband, and the cartel. She found her way to the States, and we don’t know how. What we do know is her daughter was born in the States, and at some point, she met Haven Murphy.”

“Marcello, now,” Andino added under his breath.

That name rang a bell.

Chris looked to Andino. “Your new wife?”

Andino nodded. “The two happened to be roommates for quite a while before I came along, Valeria worked for Haven, and one night she came home … seemed like Val up and left and so did—”

Dare pressed a button, and the screen changed to a single picture of the little girl Valeria had been holding in the wedding picture. “Her daughter, Maria. Who is six. We cannot find anything for this little girl anywhere at the moment. No school records in Mexico, nothing for a doctor, and … yeah.”

Chris let out a heavy breath as he took in the black-haired, brown-eyed child. She looked all of maybe five on the screen if that. Cute, with a wide, toothy smile, and her arms high in the air as her yellow summer dress spun around her legs.

“Jorge Lòpez is her father,” Dare said, “but what’s important is … Valeria ran from the cartel, we’re aware she was forced into marriage, and at some point, they took her again. We have every reason to believe she is back with the cartel.”

“Might she want to be there?” Chris asked.

“Possibly,” the man returned, “but you must figure that out when you get inside, won’t you?”

Gian hummed under his breath beside his son. “And that’s why you want me here, isn’t it? Being the boss of the Guzzis, I’m not affiliated to the Marcellos on paper as a business partner, they wouldn’t expect me to go there for her, and I could use my status and territory as a transaction for them, correct?”

“They wouldn’t suspect something’s up, no.”

Chris looked to the two Marcello men as this was their job. They had come here with it, and they wanted to retrieve the woman. “Why is she important? A cartel wife … that’s playing with fire. I’m familiar with details about the Lòpez cartel. Jorge, he’s the oldest son, and has taken over more now that his father took a step back years ago. And you want to … what, take his wife and child from him?”

Andino arched a brow, replying, “I respect the hesitance, but the woman never asked for the life they gave her. From what my wife explained, and I understood, Val stayed on the run and had been for years, which meant she had to be running from something.”

“Or someone,” Chris finished.

“Jorge, likely,” Andino agreed. “Val and Haven … she needs to know if Val is where she wants to be, is safe, and happy. And if she is, fine, we leave it alone. But if she isn’t, and if she needs help, that’s what you’re here to do.”

Chris cleared his throat and nodded once. “All right.”

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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Book, Cover Reveal

The Bar Next Door by Katia Rose Cover Reveal

The Bar Next Door
Katia Rose
(Barflies, #1)
Publication date: August 22nd 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sometimes you take the shot, and sometimes the shot takes you.

As the manager of Montreal’s most infamous dive bar, Monroe—and it’s just Monroe, thank you very much—is used to serving up her signature pearls of wisdom alongside an array of shots, pints, and pitchers. In fact, she thrives on it. Taverne Toulouse is a mighty ship, and she its fearless captain, trusted by patrons and bar staff alike to steer them through choppy waters.

If only she’d been given a little warning before a full-on tsunami swept in next door.

Julien Valois’ wining and dining empire is making waves. The next item on his agenda is opening a trendy lounge right next to Monroe’s beloved Taverne Toulouse—one that’s meant to run the dive bar out of business so he can buy up that property too.

His plans did not include falling for a five-foot-nothing brunette with an impressive vocabulary and an even more impressive ability to manhandle drunk frat boys twice her size.

They’re rivals in every sense of the word, but when Monroe and Julien are in a room together, the battle lines fade away. Their defences lower, their hearts get louder than their heads, and the burn between them goes down like just the right shot—intense, intoxicating, and able to sweep their priorities away with a single taste.

Until reality decides to slap up a big ‘For Sale’ sign and force them remember those priorities all too clearly.

The Bar Next Door is part of the Barflies trilogy, a series of standalone romantic comedies that follow the ups and downs of the staff at a Montreal dive bar.

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Author Bio:

Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart, and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she’s rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.

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