I’m Reading The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

Today, I’m continuing my string of New Adult romances with terrific characters in The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan. I’m a little shocked that this was Ms. Callihan’s first contemporary romance (I guess she’s written some paranormal). Frankly, I was a little miffed because I want more NOW.

Again, the plot of this story isn’t anything earth-shattering. Boy meets girl. . .and in this instance, boy and girl feel instant attraction. Boy is willing to pursue, girl wants nothing to do with boy because he’s the BMOC (is that a thing anymore? It was in my day.) Dude’s a football star, 2-time champion and Heisman trophy winner. Anna Jones is the type to fly under the radar after getting shunned by the popular crowd during high school.

But Drew Baylor doesn’t take no for an answer. Not in a stalker, creeper way, but in the sense that he’s taking advantage of every opportunity he gets to see and talk to Anna. When they finally hook up, she lays down some rules in her own head (which is something else I liked: she doesn’t tell Drew the rules, it’s just understood, which I think is so much more realistic): no kissing on the lips. No telling anyone. No staying the night. No falling in love.

Of course it becomes more. You know it will, I know it will . . . so why do we get hooked by hook up stories? Because it’s about falling in love. It’s about two damaged characters who are fighting being together until the absolute senselessness of it makes being apart impossible.

The only problem I had with this book was that I want the next one NOW. Yesterday. And there’s not even a release date. I’m a little bitter.

I think I might need a 12 step program for new adult contemporary romance.

The Only One. . .Teaser #2

One week from today, The Only One goes live on all venues! Are you ready? I know I am!

Today’s sneak peek features Rilla and Mason . . . she’s working for him, taking care of his daughter and his mother, and they’ve just come from dinner out. Something happened that kind of set Rilla off. Watch out for those quiet types.

“You’re crazy. Just flat-out, no-holds-barred insane.”

Rilla didn’t wait for me to open her door this time when I pulled the truck into the driveway. She jumped out and then leaned back to unbuckle Piper. “Come on, sweet pea. Let’s get you ready for a bath and bed.”

TheOnlyOneEbook“Rilla, come on. We need to talk about this.” I followed her into the house. “Just wait a second.”

“No, thanks. I’m going to put Piper to bed, and then I’m going to help Naomi with her medicine and help her get changed for bed. And then I’m going to my room and going to bed myself. I suggest you do the same. Clearly you got too much sun today, and it fried your brain.”

“It didn’t go above seventy-two degrees today, Rilla. I don’t have heat stroke. I just—”

“No.” She stopped and spun on her heel, shooting me a stern, shut-your-mouth look that halted me in my tracks. “Not another word.” She turned around again, pausing only at the doorway to my mother’s room. “Naomi, as soon as I get the little one down, I’ll come help you, okay? You all right ‘til then?”

I heard my mom speak, cautious and curious. “I’m fine, darlin’. The bigger question is, are you okay?”

“I’m peachy. Be right back. Piper, say good-night to Nan.”

Rilla bent to set my daughter on the floor, and Piper scampered to hug her grandmother. She ran back to grab Rilla’s hand and marched up the steps.

I went into Mom’s room and dropped into the easy chair, rubbing the back of my neck.

“I’m nearly afraid to ask, but what happened? Here I was happy, thinking the three of you were off having yourselves a time, and instead Rilla comes home in a snit and you’re trailing her around, begging her to give you a minute of time.”

I sighed. “You’re not going to like it, and I’m not sure I can deal with another pissed female tonight. So let’s just say I said something that made perfect sense to me, but apparently was the last thing Rilla wanted to hear.”

Mom laid her head back against the chair. “Oh, son. ‘Fess up, now. Tell me what you did.”

I steepled my fingers and stared down at them. “I asked Rilla to marry me.”

Want to know what happens next? Preorder The Only One NOW and have it on your ereader in one week.

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I’m Reading #Nerd, #Hater, #Player

The indie community is not without its drama, and last fall, some of it involved two authors who apparently were both writing books with a similar main idea. I don’t know details, I don’t know people involved; I only heard buzzings here and there. For some reason, the topic in question stuck in my head.

So when I saw the titles of Cambria Hebert’s series, it rang a bell. I might’ve just slid past it, but the blurb of the first book (#Nerd) struck a chord, and I downloaded it.

I’ve said before that I find some New Adult books somewhat formulaic. It doesn’t bother me, necessarily, as long as the characters are strong and the storyline doesn’t take itself too seriously. A few extra twists never hurt anyone, either.

#Nerd definitely has the formula element. The nerd is the girl, Rimmel (and it’s never addressed where her name came from. . .which I found interesting and a little maddening. If I knew a girl named Rimmel, the first thing I’d ask is where she got her name). She’s not only a nerd, she’s actually a very shy, withdrawn, almost-hermit girl, who dresses in clothes five sizes too big, wears her hair around her face and keeps everyone at arm’s length.  As a matter of fact, in my school days, she wouldn’t have been termed a nerd, necessarily, as much as just ignored. In Buffy-lore, Rimmel would’ve gone invisible long before our story begins. But I digress.

She’s at a college in Maryland on scholarship, and of course part of that scholarship is the requirement to tutor her less-academically-minded students. And to whom is she assigned as a tutor? You guessed it. Hot, rich, popular football player, with heavy emphasis on PLAYER. Dude gets around. During their first study session in the library, he slinks off with a random chick and our poor little nerd spies him getting some action in the stacks.

(Side note to girls in college: if popular literature is accurate, get yourself on staff as a tutor to meet the man of your dreams. Apparently it never fails. You’re welcome.)

But our player, Roman, aka Romeo (and it’s a testament to how much I really liked his character, because I had a hard time taking him seriously with that nickname) turns out to have a heart of gold. He sees the sweet vulnerability in Rimmel, and something in him harkens to something in her. Deep cries unto deep, one might say.

Unfortunately, before this can really develop, there’s a complication in the form of a fraternity rushing initiation. Although this is not a belabored point, thankfully, it does play into both the rest of this book and the second one. There’s the twist, see?

I gobbled up all three books in about three days, so you can tell I enjoyed them. The characters were compelling, well-written and likable. The plot wasn’t shocking or earth-shattering, but it was viable and interesting. The use of the fictional college’s BuzzFeed, a texting gossip network work that uses way too many hashtags, was cute and added to the background.

If I had any reservations about these books, it would be the speed with which Rimmel transforms from hermit-girl to girlfriend of popular dude. We find out why she’s hiding under all those clothes fairly quickly after she and Romeo begin dating, and while I am all for the theory of love-cures-all, I needed her to be a little more real in her reservations. Then again, maybe in real life, any girl who was full-court-press pursued by our man Romeo would cave fast, too.

A fourth book is coming out in May, about one of the side characters. I really enjoyed the supporting cast in these books, including Romeo’s parents. I like this new trend in NA of letting the parents play a bigger role. It feels more realistic to me.

So if you enjoy New Adult romance with a little humor, some heaty heat (oh, yeah!) and some intense love. . .if you liked Beautiful Disaster, for instance. . .check out Cambria Hebert’s Hashtag series.

I’m off to skulk for something else to read. Oh, yeah. . .and write the book that’s under deadline right now.

Music is Just Desserts

Just Desserts is the book that was never supposed to be written.

I told you last week that the basic plot for Best Served Cold came from a song. At this point, I’d written The King Series and The Posse, and I knew by the end of The Posse that I’d write more Crystal Cove books (they’ll be out this year). I was determined to write a stand-alone contemporary romance, and Best Served Cold was supposed to be it.

Wrong again.

I was shocked. . .truly and well shocked when it came out that Ava had a secret she’d been keeping from Julia in BSC. I was even more JustDessertsCovershocked when I realized that this secret was going to mean that Ava got her own book. . .especially because I really, really didn’t like Liam. See Liam Bailey was actually based on someone I knew in real life, and I had no desire to give him any kind of redemption or closure.

Turns out I didn’t have a choice. Liam not only was the main character in the next book, he totally got redeemed, to the point that I fell into literary love with him. I love Liam and Ava enough that I gave them a second book, when it was request by readers: I Choose You is Ava and Liam’s wedding story.

Music is huge in the relationship between these two, and their playlist had to reflect that. For the first time, I did a playlist with a single artist: Frank Sinatra (full disclosure: while writing, I also listened to Sinatra covers by Harry Connick, Jr. HC swings).

Go check it out here.

Next week. . .the playlist for The Last One. Get ready to get country.

Five From Josie Bordeaux

Welcome to Five From Friends Friday!

Each week, I’ll share with you five quick and quirky questions and answers

from some of my favorite author friends.

I think you’ll see some familiar faces in here, too.

Quickies from Josie Bordeaux

I met Josie last summer at Indie BookFest 2014 and then again at Indie MashUp Tampa. She’s funny, smart and talented. . .and I really enjoyed hanging out with her a bit. I was thrilled when I got the chance to corner her for five quickies!

Q: A friend is about to get on the airplane and asks for a fast-read book recommendation. What do you tell her? 

A: Aside from my erotic romance novella (I’m assuming since this is my friend she’s already read it!), I would recommend Strictly Off-Limits by Jessica Hawkins. It’s a quick, erotic romance that was a part our limited time Forbidden Fruit Anthology. I fell in love with her writing.

Q: A genie appears and offers to bring one of YOUR characters to life. Who do you choose?

A: Ohh! Definitely Matt from Romantic Promises. Believe me, I love my other characters, but Matt is a nice mix of alpha, sweet and most definitely sexy! 

Q: Your significant other offers to take you to any restaurant you want for your birthday dinner. Where will you go? 

A: Anywhere? I’m assuming – anywhere in the world? Mmm, that would definitely be Le Chalet de Gruyeres for some amazing fondue in the world! Oh wait, you mean locally? Columbia Restaurant! Their 1905 Salad and Sangria are to die for! 

Q: What’s the most surprising part of being an author? 

A: The amazing friends I’ve made. Between readers, authors and bloggers, the Indie community is absolutely supportive and amazing to be a part of.  

Q: Your car’s being repaired at a shop next door to a Target. You have an hour to kill. In which department will we find you?

A: Gah! Please don’t ask me that! I’m so embarrassed. It would be the toy department. Yes, even when my kids are in school, I find myself wandering around there. Legos are my favorites and I’m just a little jealous that they have girl Legos now. My favorite thing to do on a rainy day is break out my daughters’ Legos and start building! Sometimes I’ll even let them play! 😉 

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Josie Bordeaux is the author of the Alluring Promises series. Her romance novels revolve around friendships, sizzling JB picattraction, and steamy sex scenes. Lust, passion, and love are all entwined with a lot of drama and fun-filled friendships. Josie lives in the sunshine state with her best friend (AKA – husband) and two sweet (and very creative) daughters. When she’s not driving her kids around town, she’s usually clicking her fingernails on her keyboard or down at the beach where her eyes are glued to her kindle app reading.

Follow Josie here: Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads/Google+/Tsu/Amazon/Newsletter (by signing up for my newsletter, readers will receive The Naughty Au Pair, an erotic romance novella for free!)

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**Each Book in the Alluring Promises Series can be read as a stand-alone.**
Adult Content for 18 and over.

Clark leaves heartache in his wake at every turn. He’s perfected the art of a well-oiled one-night stand. Banging a girl in record time in the back room at his favorite bar has always been his M.O.

Aubrey should know this better than anyone. After all, she was one of his one-night stands. Even though she has fond memories BP-3D-Trans-noshadowof that night, she adheres to her own set of rules when it comes to using a guy–One time only.

But, when Aubrey willingly moves in with Clark, the most attractive, annoying womanizer she’s ever met, their living situation forces the pair into an unlikely, and at times, unusual friendship…and what develops from that is something they never could have predicted.

The walls they both spent their lives trying to construct start to crumble beneath the power of friendship and lustful attraction.

When those walls come down, will either of them be able to handle what’s happened to their hearts?

Buy today!!

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