I have had no success with any of the challenges that I have tried, so again I made up a simple one that has very few rules but will help me clear my TBR list. The rules for this one are pretty simple. They have to be books I own, books that are on my TBR and highly recommended. I have chosen 12 books for this one and hopefully will clear 12 more books off of my TBR.
I have read 2 of my challenge books this month. Wrong by Jana Aston and Professed by Nicola Rendell.
Wrong by Jana Aston
I have a history of picking the wrong guy. Gay? Player? Momma’s boy? Check, check and check.
Now I can’t stop fantasizing about one of the customers at the coffee shop I work at between classes. It’s just a harmless crush, right? It’s not like I ever see this guy outside of the coffee shop. It’s not like I’m going to see him while attempting to get birth control at the student clinic. While wearing a paper gown. While sitting on an exam table. Because he’s the doctor. Shoot. Me.
But what if, for once, the man I’ve had the dirtiest, most scandalous fantasies about turned out to be everything but wrong?
The Hard Way by Katie Ashley
Cade Hall has always been the golden boy of the gridiron. Because of his talent at football, coupled with his father’s wealth, he’s always gotten his way. But when a night of drunken debauchery lands him in hot water with the college athletic board, neither his influential father nor his charming grin can save him. Cade finds it a total buzz kill when he is sentenced to community service with troubled youth at an inner-city shelter. But his nightmare is only beginning when his greatest high school regret is the very one in charge of the program, and she has him by the balls in more ways than one.
For Avery Prescott, senior year was a nightmare of epic proportions, and Cade Hall played the lead villain. After she fled her small town for college in the bright lights of Atlanta, she thought she had escaped the painful memories of her past. She never could have imagined Cade would waltz through the door of the outreach program she presided over. But Avery has news for Cade—she isn’t the same shy, doormat of a girl she was in high school. Since she holds Cade’s football future in her hands, she’s more than ready to make payback a real bitch.
Will they stay in the defensive zone or discover that sometimes life’s greatest lessons are learned the hard way?
Royal Atlas by HJ Bellus
Love struck me at the early age of five. The boy turned into a man, and I fell even deeper. Guy Webb had no idea my fragile heart belonged to him for so many years. He was too busy being my brother’s best friend and a star on the football field. He was my daydream, and consumed every single thought, but he was always one step from my reach.
Beartooth Ranch was our home. The rich ranch land raised us, fostered our laughs, losses, and even gained a new family member when Guy moved in for his sophomore year of high school.
I hid my love for years. But now he’s back. Guy Webb returned a broken soldier after serving his country all over the atlas. And now it’s my job to help him heal.
My family lost everything with his return and I can only hope I survive it.
Balance by Lucia Franco
Adrianna Rossi is no stranger to the rigorous demands required of her body. Years of pain and determination make her one of the best. Olympic glory is the ultimate goal, and she’ll do anything to achieve it. Even if that means leaving home to attend World Cup Academy of Gymnastics, a training center that serves one purpose—producing champions.
Perfection, precision, and dedication are required of his athletes. When two time Olympian Konstantin Kournakova is persuaded into training the young hopeful, he immediately regrets it. She doesn’t come close to his high standards. As the relentless pursuit of her dream keeps her striving, a passion is ignited within him.
Kova’s power and domination, coupled with Adrianna’s fierce tenacity, reveal there is more for her body to learn. Every interaction can be misconstrued, but there’s no mistaking the darkening of his gaze, the lingering of his touch, or the illicit image of his bare skin pressed against hers. Integrity is on the line. One toe off the beam and their forbidden desires could ruin everything they’ve worked for, throwing it all off balance.
Ten Thousand Words by Kelli Jean
There’s danger that neither of them can escape.
Reclusive author, Xanthe Malcolm, likes her private and quiet life. However, when her wildly-popular series Paranormal Hunters gets picked up by a big-time publishing agency, she’s thrust into the limelight alongside sexy, photographer-turned-cover model, Oliver Fairfax. Upon meeting, the chemistry between the quirky writer and arrogant model quickly intensifies, creating a steamy page-turner of events made for romance novels.
Then comes the plot twist.
Xanthe has secrets that have kept her bound to silence.
And the truth has Oliver questioning every unspoken word.
Retrieval by Aly Martinez
One story. Two couples.
I proposed on our first date.
She laughed and told me I was insane. Less than a day later, she said yes.
It was a whirlwind, but we were happy…
Until we got greedy and wanted a family.
It was a life I couldn’t give her, not for lack of trying. Fertility just wasn’t on our side. We sought out doctors and treatments. Spent money we didn’t have. Lied to our families. Smiled for our friends. Put on a brave face for a world that didn’t understand.
Finally, we were successful…
Until we were forced to bury our son.
We were left broken, battered, and destroyed.
They say love is in the details, but it was the details that ruined us.
This is the story of how I took back what had always been mine.
The retrieval of my wife and our family.
No cheating. Not a triangle.
The End Game by Kate McCarthy
“Professional athletes are pillars of their respective communities. They are heroes in the eyes of boys and girls and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that positively represents their community.”
The public loves a good scandal. Seeing someone fall from the pinnacle of success makes a great headline. No one knows that better than I do. What started out as a promising career in college football, spiralled into scandal and shame.
But being a hero is easier said than done. Especially when there are those who expected to see the great Brody Madden fail. I craved nothing except being the best—willing to do anything to prove them wrong. But I went too far, and I tried too hard, and it broke me.
“At the time of going to print, Jordan Elliott was unavailable for comment.”
I met Brody Madden in my senior year of college. An Australian native on an international scholarship, I was the female soccer sensation with stars in her eyes and no room for a hotshot wide receiver with a chip on his shoulder.
But a heart bursting with ambition and a driving fire to succeed isn’t made of stone. I became his strength, his obsession, and the greatest love of his life. Only I wasn’t there when he needed me most.
This is a story about love and a game that takes everything. Where the path to glory is paved with sacrifice. Where pressure makes you, or breaks you, and triumph is born in the ashes of failure. Where two people’s end game will change everything.
Professed by Nicola Rendell
At a secret masked ball at Yale, Naomi Costa is literally swept off her stiletto-blistered feet by a man with a killer jawline, a perfect body, and an even-better kiss. They bust out of an emergency exit and have axis-shaking sex. He pours whiskey in her belly button and after they run out of condoms, they have to get creative. That kind of sex.
The next day, she learns that he is none other than Dr. Benjamin Beck, a brand new member of the Yale faculty and the hottest thing to happen to academia since… well, ever. She has to take his damned junior seminar to graduate, but it gets worse. He’s also her College Master: her boss, her advisor, her everything. And he’s just moved in, right downstairs.
They can’t stay away from each other. They’re either fusion or fission or both. They’re making out in libraries, hiding notes between stones, and sneaking off to nautically themed AirBnbs. Hear that sound? It’s the academic code of ethics going up in flames.
If they’re found out, he’ll lose his job and his reputation. She’ll lose her scholarship and be forced to return to the life of lobster fishing that she thought she’d escaped.
And they will be found out, yes they will.
So what the hell are they going to do?
Heartless by Winter Renshaw
My obsession was born of innocence and good intentions, and it began the day I spotted a handwritten journal lying in the bushes outside a townhouse on Lexington Avenue. It was raining sideways that morning, and my plan was to return it the next day; safe and dry.
Only I kept it.
I kept it, and I read it.
A week later, overwhelmed with curiosity and feeling guilty for harboring secrets that didn’t belong to me, I tried to return it.
Only I wasn’t expecting to meet him.
Unapologetically heartless and enigmatically sexy, he claims he knows nothing about the journal I found outside his place, but the reticent glint in his blue-green gaze tells me otherwise.
There’s something different about him; something damaged yet magical, and I’m drawn to him; pulled into his orbit.
There’s just one problem.
The more I get to know him, the more I’m positive the journal belonged to him . . .
. . . and the more I find myself hoping, selfishly, that I’m wrong.
Thicker Than Blood by Claire C Riley and Madeline Sheehan
A true friendship never dies.
Leisel and Evelyn lost everything. Husbands. Families. Friends. Lives that made sense. All they had left was each other, and a friendship that could withstand anything… Even an apocalypse.
Until one fateful night, the marginal safety they’d come to rely on comes to a vicious and brutal end. With the help of Alex & Jami, both unlikely allies, Leisel and Evelyn are able to escape their shattered sanctuary only to find themselves face-to-face with a much altered, much crueler life where they have to find the way—and the will—to stay alive in a world they no longer recognize.
Traveling across a broken and infection-ridden country; the road-weary group are pitted against endless violence, improbable circumstances, and the ultimate loss.
Everything comes at a price—especially safety, the cost of which could very well strip them of the one thing they’ve tried so hard to cling to: their humanity.
Yet along with all the trials they’re forced to endure, there’s also hope in the form of love. Having loved Leisel from afar, Alex attempts to put the pieces of her fractured heart back together.
But in such a savage world, is there room for love?
In a place of nightmares-made-reality, where the living should be feared far more than the dead, an unbreakable friendship and a love amongst all odds can mean the difference between life and death.
There are friends…
And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.
Perfectly Imperfect by Harper Sloan
Mirror, mirror … who’s the fairest of them all?
I still cringe when I hear that line. A fairy tale that had girls pretending they were the fairest, the most beautiful, and the most entitled. A fairy tale most couldn’t grow out of turned my haunted childhood memories into a living nightmare. Girls who grew up believing that pile of garbage became the meanest of all ‘mean girls.’
And those mean girls were right – it was a line meant for all the beautiful people in the world – and I knew the answer would never be me.
The women with long legs, flat stomachs, and perfect chests.
The type of women Kane Masters gravitated toward.
Well, that’s definitely not Willow Tate.
No. That will never be me.
Because I’m completely imperfect.
And … I hate myself.
I have no idea what Kane could possibly see in someone like me when he could have them.
Moonshot by Alessandra Torre
Baseball isn’t supposed to be a game of life and death…
The summer that Chase Stern entered my life, I was seventeen. The daughter of a legend, the Yankees were my family, their stadium my home, their dugout my workplace. My focus was on the game. Chase… he started out as a distraction. A distraction with sex appeal poured into every inch of his six foot frame. A distraction who played like a god and partied like a devil.
I tried to stay away. I couldn’t.
Then, the team started losing.
Women started dying.
And everything in my world broke apart.