Summer is coming to a close, and the smell of pumpkin spice everything is in the air! With my son starting his senior year in college and my daughter starting her senior year in high school, I’ve been feeling a bit reminiscent lately. I flipped through an old Reading Journal and found a handful of books I loved that released in August of 2016. I hope you enjoy my walk down memory lane!
I mean…it’s Tessa Bailey, she always delivers the goods! The notes I made in my Reading Journal had me laughing out loud. “Well hot damn Duke…broody, gruff, dirty talking that delivers because he gives as dirty as he talks!” Duke is the OG #PMB (Pouty Man Bear), he’s a mountain of a man whose lumbering grace is a big slice of heaven on Earth. Samantha might be small, but she is mighty and is the perfect match for Duke, in every way. Sam is an artist, and she exemplifies the idea of living life through an artist’s eye. Poor Duke didn’t stand a chance when she plopped down at the bar next to him. Sam was having a not so great day, and Duke’s protective gene kicked in mightily. The man just wanted to drink his beer and watch his game in silence, but one small smile from Sam and ol’boy was all in, and he was not happy about it at all! These two end up in a fake relationship that is obviously not fake one single bit, even though neither wants to admit it.
Bailey tells exciting stories that suck you in from page one. Her writing style creates relatable characters, filled with layers, a delicious parfait of layers, and contradictions. From Duke and Sam to Duke’s four crazy sisters, to the teasing couple in the next book, Wound Tight, the entire Made in Jersey series is a pure delight. Also, I’d be remiss if I left out the part about the first sex scene that whoa nelly, still lands in my dreams three years later. With Worked Up, you’ll come for the dirty talking #PMB and stay for the sweet, sexy story.
You might not know this about me, but I love a broken hero. The more damaged, the better, I guess I’m just a hopeless fixer at heart. Jake is one of the most broken characters I’ve ever read. Infuriatingly broken to the point that some might find his cold-heartedness off-putting. But, I urge you to stick with him, he is abrupt, but that’s really because his bullshit meter lives at a very low bar. Make no mistake, Gillian has her own set of baggage she’s carting around, literally and figuratively. The “turbulence” part of the story is multi-faceted, but it starts with the fact that Jake is a pilot and Gillian is a flight attendant, and the company has a no fraternizing policy…which they are blowing to shreds on the down low! And that is simply the tip of the turbulence iceberg, so to speak! If “tortured hero who has his ice-cold heart melted by the sweet heroine with a hefty dose of screaming hot erotic romance” is your catnip, Turbulence is the book for you, too!
This is the third book in O’Keefe’s Everything I Left Unsaid series, and it might be best described as the book I didn’t know I needed! It would be an understatement to say Everything I Left Unsaid and The Truth About Him left my brain boggled and back on my heels most of the time. Max is Dylan’s (from the first two books) hard-living, president of the scary motorcycle club brother. The story really picks up at the end of The Truth About Him, and it really hits the ground running. Honestly, it could be read as a standalone, quite easily but you wouldn’t want to miss the other O’Keefe smoking hot goodness!
Joan/Oliva has one mission in life, to rescue her sister from some sinister bad guys. She will literally blow shit up to make that happen, damn the consequences! Burn Down the Night amps up O’Keefe’s ability to place us and our characters in uncomfortable and harrowing predicaments that on the surface, seem like no-win situations. And then there’s the steam level. If I learned anything during my Reading Journal walk down memory lane, I read a lot of erotic romance back in August 2016!