Dating You Hating You by Christina Lauren #XOXperts


All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.


Evie and Carter meet at a party. Well, maybe they are “set up” at a party.   Their relationship starts out with great promise.   Then their companies merge.  The competition and sexual tension begin to OOZE and turns them into 7th graders on steroids! 

Evie and Carter have exceptional chemistry….OOOOOOOOLALA!! I just swoon every time Carter walks into a room! He is smart, hard working and down right FINE! Their relationship takes a turn and they just cannot stop themselves from niggling each more ways than one. They are competing for the same job. This puts them in a do or die mode. Plus, their boss, Brad is a real (ok, I will try not to curse) “piece of work” (insert your own expletive).  You have to read the book to find out how sexist,  condescending and criminal Brad really is. 

This is childish in some places, especially when Carter and Evie are in the midst of their petty backstabbing. But, this just adds to the fun experience of reading this story.  This is a joyous, laugh out loud,  HOT AND STEAMY ride. 

I received this novel from Simon and Schuster as part of XOXPERTS

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No Greater Agony by Todd Allen with excerpt. 

No Greater Agony

By Todd Allen

Genre: Horror, Thriller


Jack Bishop always dreamed of becoming a writer. 

That ambition finally became reality with his critically acclaimed debut novel, but following up on that success has proved difficult. For over a year, he has failed to produce a new work and his publisher is losing patience. 

In a last-ditch effort to save his floundering career, Jack is sent to the renowned writer’s retreat, Wabasso Lake, with orders to finish his manuscript in record time. 

Jack’s first impression of Wabasso is that of an idyllic place to work, but despite being surrounded by awe inspiring nature and the lovely Kate, a fellow author, he continues to be plagued by self doubt. 

It is with the discovery of a hidden manuscript that Jack begins to scratch the surface of the retreat’s sinister purpose. As visions of fictional characters inundate Jack’s waking life, he is driven to the brink of madness.

A diabolical intelligence has stirred. Wabasso wants something from Jack, but is he willing to pay that price to achieve his greatest desire?



Jack has had a knock out of a first book!! Sadly, he is failing on his second novel. He just cannot seem to get it right. His publisher is pushing hard. He decides a change of scene is what he needs. He moves himself to a cabin on Wabasso Lake. This place is perfect….or so he thinks!

Jack is a character, I am sure, many creative people can relate to. He is always second guessing himself, expecting so much more out of himself than he can give. When he moves to the cabin he thinks this is just what he needs to come out of his creative funk. He finds an old manuscript. This is where the story takes off like a rocket. Strange and weird things take place and is just about Jack’s undoing. 

This story has you by the seat of your pants and will not let go. There were times I had to put the book down and gasp for air. That being said, there were also places in this tale which were choppy and did not flow as well as I expected. Do not let that stop you from this enthralling read! 

 I received this novel from Sage Adderley Blog tours for a honest review. 

About the Author


Todd Allen lives on the East Coast of Canada. A lifelong fan of all things horror, Allen threw his hat into the literary ring in 2015 with his first novel, Sacra Obscurum. Allen is proud to follow up his debut with the 2017 release of the psychological thriller, No Greater Agony. Influenced by genre greats, M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft, and raised on Stephen King and Peter Straub, Allen aims to deliver his own brand of creeping, cerebral horror.


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No Greater Agony Excerpt


The trail branched off to Jack’s left. Cabin Five—Frasier’s cabin—was down there, tucked secretly amid the trees. A low hanging branch swayed as though someone had just pushed it aside while running past. That served enough intrigue for Jack, and seconds later, he pushed it aside as well.

Cabin Five came into view a few yards down the trail. It reminded Jack of his own cabin, only more given to shadow from its taller, more oppressive neighboring trees. No one appeared to be home. Jack could see nothing in the windows, but the reflection of the sun dappled day.

He leapt up the porch steps and knocked on the door. It sounded oddly hollow.

“Frasier, you in there?” Jack called.

He prayed his neighbor would come to the door, towel around his neck, perspiration dotting his brow, fresh from a morning jog. Perhaps a pair of headphones would explain why he hadn’t heard Jack’s greeting on the trail. He knocked again.

The door creaked open a few inches under the weight of his knuckles.

A spoiled fruit stench escaped the cabin. Jack recoiled and waved a hand in front of his nose. He called for Frasier through the opening and as he did, caught sight of the blood inside. His jaw went slack. He pushed the door open wide.

All the furniture had been cleared to one side of the cabin—the desk overturned, the bookcase as well, the cot tossed atop it. The furniture seemed to be moved to make room for a solitary wooden chair in the center of the floor. A pool of congealing blood spread around it. Jack covered his mouth and nearly doubled over as the trash can smell of rot assaulted him again. It left a sour film on his tongue.

Despite the flash of nausea, he stepped inside, careful not to set foot in the gore. The buzzing of black flies overpowered him once he was out of the summer breeze. Dozens of flies circled the chair, landing for split seconds at a time before lifting off again. Jack wondered how he hadn’t heard their dizzying drone outside. He felt the promise of vomit bubbling up from his core, but he forced himself to look more closely at the chair. Certainly, he would need to describe this scene to the authorities at some point.

Scraps of rope hung loosely from the chair. Some lay in the blood around its legs. More clung to one of the wooden arms. A ruin of splintered wood was all that remained of the other arm. Jack bent to inspect it. The arm had been shorn in two, the likely result of a heavy blow.

Fresh panic flooded his chest. The image of Jonathan Dunn flashed through Jack’s mind. He pictured him in this very cabin. He saw him swinging an ax downward—blade cleaving flesh and bone and busting through the arm of the chair. Jack staggered backward, too weak to stand. He slammed into the wall behind him and slid to the floor.


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The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova  


From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes an engrossing novel that spans the past and the present and unearths the dark secrets of Bulgaria, a beautiful and haunted country. 

A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. 

As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger. 

Kostova’s new novel is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country. Suspenseful and beautifully written, it explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss.


Alexandra has just move to Bulgaria to teach English. She accidentally ends up with someone else’s bag. The contents of this bag send her searching throughout Bulgaria for the rightful owner. 

Alexandra is extremely naive in a new country. I sometimes wanted to pop her upside the head and say “THINK WOMAN!” As she is searching for the owner of the bag, she befriends a strange taxi driver. They travel through Bulgaria in search of the owner of the bag. Many learning experiences later….

This is a winding tale. It is beautifully written just very slow going.  It took forever to get anywhere and believe me…we were all over Bulgaria. I enjoyed the historical aspect to the novel. I did not realize the communist history of Bulgaria. I learned a great deal. However, this story meandered way too much for me. Some people enjoy slow soothing reads. This book is for you if that is you taste in reads. I need more action! 

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

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A Bend In the Willow by Susan Clayton-Goldner


Willowood, Kentucky 1965 – Robin Lee Carter sets a fire that kills her rapist, then disappears. She reinvents herself and is living a respectable life as Catherine Henry, married to a medical school dean in Tucson, Arizona. In 1985, when their 5-year-old son, Michael, is diagnosed with a chemotherapy-resistant leukemia, Catherine must return to Willowood, face her family and the 19-year-old son, a product of her rape, she gave up for adoption. She knows her return will lead to a murder charge, but Michael needs a bone marrow transplant. Will she find forgiveness, and is she willing to lose everything, including her life, to save her dying son?


 Robin Lee has changed her stars. She had a horrible start on life. But, she changed everything about herself, including her name. She married a wonderful man and had a beautiful child. Then, her child developed leukemia. She must face her past and what she has done to save her little boy. 

I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I wanted to bail on it a few times. However, Robin Lee’s present and her past kept me reading.  The story itself keeps you interested enough to keep reading. It is the characters which are lacking. They are one dimensional and hard to relate to. I dislike Robin Lee’s husband. He is arrogant and judgemental, especially of her. The conversations are forced and labored. I know conversations are extremely hard to write and I may be being too harsh. This just really detracts from the story. I rolled my eyes in several places. 

A good read with a few problems. If you can get past that, you will enjoy this tale!

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.  

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Bridges by Maria Murnane – BOOK SPOTLIGHT

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Bridges: A Daphne White novel


It’s the one piece of news Daphne White never expected to hear: Her globe-trotting friend Skylar, who vowed never to get married, is engaged! First on the bride-to-be’s agenda is a celebratory weekend in Manhattan with her two best girlfriends—her treat, of course. After two decades scaling the corporate ladder with ease, Skylar can more than afford it.


While Daphne is happy for Skylar, the timing of the trip couldn’t be worse. Her own relationship is sputtering, and the debut novel she’s finally finished—which she’d hoped would land her on the bestseller lists­­­­—appears to be going nowhere but the trash bin of every publishing house around. She doesn’t want to spoil the weekend with bad news, so she arrives in New York determined to keep her disappointment under wraps. When she sees Skylar’s spectacular Tribeca apartment, however, that becomes a little trickier. She and Skylar were academic peers in college. Could Daphne’s life have been like this if she’d chosen a different path?


Daphne struggles to hide her feelings of inadequacy, but what she doesn’t know is she’s not the only one with a secret. Skylar and KC are also holding something back, but what? As the weekend unfolds, the truth about each woman emerges, along with tears.


And laughter. And love.


The fun-loving trio readers fell for in Wait for the Rain is together once more. Never underestimate the power of female friendship!


Author Bio 

Maria Murnane spent several years working in high-tech PR before deciding she needed a change. She quit her job and went to Argentina by herself for what was supposed to be a two-week trip before figuring out what to do next. Instead, she ended up staying for a year to play semi-professional soccer, and while down there she also decided to write a humorous novel called Perfect on Paper based on her experiences as a single woman in San Francisco. Fast forward a few years, and she’s now the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series (Perfect on Paper, It’s a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two), as well as Cassidy Lane, Katwalk, Wait for the Rain, and Bridges. Learn more at 


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The Castle by Skye Warren – Book Spotlight 

The Castle by Skye Warren

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Safe in the ivory tower…
Gabriel Miller swears he’ll keep me safe. Enemies lurk outside, waiting to strike. An army held back by these walls.
Except some animal instinct warns me the danger is much closer. It’s already here. Is Gabriel my protector or my enemy? Is this house a castle or a cage?
There’s nowhere for me to go, no one left for me to trust.
No escape from a past determined to capture its prize.

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Praise for the Endgame series:
“Sinfully sexy and darkly beautiful, The Pawn will play games with your heart and leave you craving more!” – Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author
“Edgy, provocative and deeply erotic, The Pawn is one of my top reads of the year! Skye Warren brings you a sensual battle of wills guaranteed to leave you gasping by the end.” – Elle Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author
“Positively sinful, and outrageously sexy! Emotions run high and readers will be left gasping.” – Lisa Renee Jones, New York Times bestselling author


Start the series today with THE PAWN!
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“Sinfully sexy and darkly beautiful, The Pawn will play games with your heart and leave you craving more!” – Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author
The price of survival…
Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.
There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.
My virginity.
A forbidden auction…
Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.
Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. It’s the first book in the brand new ENDGAME series.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Grab THE KNIGHT now!



The power of pleasure…
Gabriel Miller took everything from me. My family. My innocence. My home. The only thing I have left is the determination to get back what’s mine.
He thinks he’s beaten me. He thinks he’s won. What he doesn’t realize is that every pawn has the chance to become a queen.
And the game has only just begun.

THE KNIGHT is book two in the Endgame series from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.
About the Author:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.
Contact Skye:

Safe in the ivory tower…
Gabriel Miller swears he’ll keep me safe. Enemies lurk outside, waiting to strike. An army held back by these walls.
Except some animal instinct warns me the danger is much closer. It’s already here. Is Gabriel my protector or my enemy? Is this house a castle or a cage?
There’s nowhere for me to go, no one left for me to trust.
No escape from a past determined to capture its prize.






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The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart #XOXperts 


From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes the first novel in her all-new series, The Hudson Sisters, following a trio of reluctant sisters as they set out to fulfill their father’s dying wish. In the process, they find not only themselves, but the father they only thought they knew.
When celebrated and respected agent Fritz Hudson passes away, he leaves a trail of Hollywood glory in his wake—and two separate families who never knew the other existed. Allie and Des Hudson are products of Fritz’s first marriage to Honora, a beautiful but troubled starlet whose life ended in a tragic overdose. Meanwhile, Fritz was falling in love on the Delaware Bay with New Age hippie Susa Pratt—they had a daughter together, Cara, and while Fritz loved Susa with everything he had, he never quite managed to tell her or Cara about his West Coast family.
Now Fritz is gone, and the three sisters are brought together under strange circumstances: there’s a large inheritance to be had that could save Allie from her ever-deepening debt following a disastrous divorce, allow Des to open a rescue shelter for abused and wounded animals, and give Cara a fresh start after her husband left her for her best friend—but only if the sisters upend their lives and work together to restore an old, decrepit theater that was Fritz’s obsession growing up in his small hometown in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Guided by Fritz’s closest friend and longtime attorney, Pete Wheeler, the sisters come together—whether they like it or not—to turn their father’s dream into a reality, and might just come away with far more than they bargained for. 


Three sisters…strange circumstances. Two of the sisters which did not know the third existed till the reading of their father’s will. “What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

I adored Des and Cara. Did not have much for Allie. She is self-centered and just a little mean! These three must renovate an old movie theatre to gain their inheritance.  They learn so much about themselves, their father and their family. 

This tale has a little of everything, romance, mystery, family. Des also rescues dogs…a woman after my own heart. How can you not enjoy a book with dogs.  This story also has some wonderful HOT💋GUYS! Dogs and guys, my favorite combination! 

This is a great palate cleanser book…stolen from Litsy.  There is just something about a good, simple, read that hits the right spot!  Plus…the cover is fabulous!! 

I received this novel from Simon and Schuster and Gallery Books as part of XOXPERTS 

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