Runaway Girl (Girl, #2) by Tessa Bailey

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

1.) Getaway Girl ★★★★

“This is it. This is the kiss I’ll think about for decades to come, maybe longer. I can feel it ruining me with every mash of his lips against mine…”

After me and my friends completely fell in love with Tessa Bailey’s dirty talk, we devoured Getaway Girl in a day and we knew we had to finish off this duology together. These stories are about the aftermath of what happens when a wedding gets called off. In Getaway Girl, we follow the would have been groom, but in Runaway Girl we follow the girl who left him at the altar and fled to start a brand new life in Florida.

Naomi – A woman who has had her life predetermined for her for as long as she can remember. From finishing schools, to the pageant scene, Naomi hasn’t ever been able to do what she wants, only what is expected from her. That is, until she runs away from her wedding at the start of Getaway Girl.

Jason – A man who is trying his best to take care of his little sister, after his parents bailed on them both because of grief. He is also a Special Forces diver, trying to live with his own PTSD from the military.

Birdie – The girl getting coached by Naomi to enter the pageant scene, while also dealing and living with the loss of her sister, and also the star of Halfway Girl! Also, she is diabetic, and I really loved seeing that rep in this story.

And these three characters are intertwined when Birdie needs someone to help her win a pageant and get some closure after losing her twin, who really wanted to win a pageant, and she thinks that she needs the help of Naomi to do! So, this story is all about Naomi’s two months in Florida, and everything that unfolds while the events of Getaway Girl were also taking place.

I just really loved Naomi and I loved seeing her want to live her life for herself and not her family or society’s expectations. I loved watching her come into her own power, with her sex life and her everyday life. And I also really loved how there was no shaming of pageants or making her feel lesser because of her looks or things that brought her joy. I was so scared that it was going to be a storyline, but it wasn’t, it was just accepted and embraced, and I loved it completely.

And if you have been on this wild journey with me and my friends, you will know that we are all literally obsessed with Tessa Bailey’s sex scenes, and Runaway Girl is no different, they are truly unparalleled. They are very dirty and very explicit, so use caution because I know that isn’t for everyone, and that’s valid. But if you do want to venture into something a little steamier, than I can’t recommend Tessa, and everything she’s written, any stronger.

“Understand I want to drink it out of your belly button. Want to warm it on that perfect skin, sip it into my mouth, then let it drip out all over your pussy.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this one, and Tessa Bailey is the queen of dirty talk, without question, but I just didn’t love the end of this one. It’s a trope that a lot of readers don’t like, and I think many people who read my reviews won’t like it either, so use caution! I also didn’t love Jason completely, even if I did love his mouth, just because I’m not the biggest fan of military men, because my dad is a Marine, but we aren’t going to go there and even think about that right now. But I truly did loved the majority of this book, and I can’t wait to read everything by Tessa Bailey.

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | WishlistYoutube

Content and Trigger Warnings: talk of loss of a loved one, grief depiction, PTSD depiction, and depression.

Buddy read with Paloma, Chelsea, Jane, & Madalyn! ❤

I read this for SummerAThon! ❤

Getaway Girl (Girl, #1) by Tessa Bailey

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

“When I woke up this morning, I didn’t plan on crashing a wedding…”

Hello, my name is Melanie and I am officially obsessed with Tessa Bailey, her characters, and her writing. Me and my friends all recently fell head over heels in love with Fix Her Up , so we knew that we had to continue on and read something else by her! And Getaway Girl was the perfect next pick!

Addison – Left town five years ago and hasn’t looked back, but recently has because of the passing of her grandmother, who also left her home and business to Addison. She is trying to figure out what to do next, but thought it would be okay to sneak into her estranged cousin’s wedding.

Elijah – Has a very powerful family, served three tours overseas with the army, and is soon going to take his fathers place as Mayor. He is rich, and powerful, and ungodly attractive, but that doesn’t mean anything when he is stood up at the altar on this wedding day.

Obviously, Elijah is very much in the spotlight because of his family and his upcoming election, but he escapes the disaster of a wedding in Addison’s car, while she promises him that he can lay low in her not very ordinary apartment. (Friend, you all have no idea how appealing it is to me to picture Addison living in a constantly wintery/Christmas wonderland. I loved this aspect of the book so very much, and I honestly would totally decorate my home for an all year holiday, too.) And both of them truly strike up such a beautiful friendship, that I was swooning instantly. This is like the best friends to lovers in the world.

But we get to see Addison, who is hiding from her family’s past, and Elijah, who is willing to do anything to not put Addison in the spotlight after she saved him that embarrassing day, while they come together and figure out if they want to stay best friends or become something more. All while also trying to figure out if the woman that ran away on her wedding day will ever come back into town, especially if she figures out that her ex-fiancé is maybe being naughty with her cousin who is banished from the family.

“This is what it’s like to have a man obsessed with you. Do you like it?”

Okay, let’s talk about the sex in this book. In Fix Her Up , the male love interest is the dirty talker, while the girl was innocent but very reciprocative, but in Getaway Girl, Addison truly gives Elijah a run for his money. Her mouth is so beautifully filthy, and the things that she did with it will truly keep me up at night in the best way possible. This author is truly not afraid to go there, and me and my dirty friends very much appreciate it. From the one-liners, the one-pagers, the entire book, it was all so sexy and I truly think Tessa Bailey is just on another tier in the romance genre right now.

“You own this city now, Mr. Mayor. Right now, that includes what’s under my dress.”

Yet, it was also so damn romantic. And I loved seeing both of these characters carve out the future that they truly want, instead of letting their pasts control them. And I honestly think I could read ten more books starring these two, and I wouldn’t get bored or be completely satisfied.

The only thing that I’ve come to realize with Tessa Bailey is that she writes very abrupt endings. I think going forward this is something that I’m just going to prepare myself for, but this ending in particular felt so quick and I was left feeling not 100% satisfied. Even though I still completely recommend this story with 100% of my heart.

Overall, I really loved this book. From the characters, to the setting, to the atmosphere, to the mind-explosive sex scenes, it was so damn good. Again, I just recommend you all to pick up something by Tessa Bailey if you’re looking for some sexy reading in your life. Also, me and my friends have no chill and we already read Runaway Girl, which is book two in this duology!

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | Wishlist | Youtube

Content and Trigger Warnings: talk of loss of a loved one, talk of infidelity in the past (not the main characters), and abandonment.

Buddy read with Paloma, Chelsea, Jane, & Madalyn! ❤

The Major’s Welcome Home by Tessa Bailey

Goodreads | Amazon US

“I’m welcoming you home, Major”

It breaks my heart to say this, but this was easily my least favorite Tessa Bailey story so far! I will say that I don’t really like military love interests, or love interests that are as possessive as the one in this story, and I especially don’t like it when they like to be called daddy. Full disclosure and all that; my dad is a Marine and I just can’t, friends, I just can’t. So, I think many people will enjoy this story more than I did, but I really need to just stop trying to make military romances work for me.

Beck – Army Major Mastermind, who is currently dealing with the loss of a friend, and is finally back on US soil after many years away, and plans to stay back home.

Kenna – Daughter of a Lieutenant General, who has put the fear of God into any Army soldier who would touch his daughter, but he has asked her to pick up Beck from the airport. And after she makes some gross jokes about how he probably likes videogames; she realizes that he’s a total hottie and she would be honored to make him a sandwich and maybe welcome him home any way he would like.

You all see where this is going. Beck doesn’t realize who Kenna’s family is right away, but once he does, he is already head over heels for her. And he hasn’t thought of the woman who wrote him a dear john letter a year ago, who he thought he would spend the rest of his life with. Oh, also, Beck is a virgin and has never done anything sexual with anyone before.

I will say that I did like that the guy in this story was a virgin, and I really liked it at the start when he would desperately beg for any contact, but I didn’t love the sex scenes in this book. Now, this might be again because of what I said in the first paragraph with military guys, and daddy kinks, but I also just thought that Beck was too possessive. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good possessive lover, but he was too much, even for my submissive ass. Also, he is very southern and, if you’ve watched a certain booktube video of mine, I don’t really like cow-people/farmers/southern gentlemen/whatever love interests either, and Beck is very much that.

Plus, the sex locations and positions in this were kind of questionable, too. Again, you do whatever is safe and makes you feel good, but her just like going to town while he was walking around the gym? Baby, what are you doing? And right after messing around in a pool? Girl, no. And did you all clean up the gym/therapy equipment after you were humping away? Probably not. Yikes. Also, his first time on an armchair? I don’t know, and I’m not here to ever sex shame, but some questionable choices were made, that’s all I’m saying. Especially when so many other of Tessa’s books have 11/10 sex scenes (and positions and locations) in them!

But we get to see both characters realize that things that happened to them in the past were not their fault, and that they are both deserving of happiness. Sometimes life can just be cruel, whether that means shitty parents, or shitty heartbreak over losing someone you love. And I really did like the dynamic of him being the innocent one, while she was a “bad girl” at the start of this book.

Overall, this one just didn’t work for me. Basically, I would 100% smash Kenna, and 100% pass on Beck, so it left me in a weird reading headspace. Especially when this story started to really take a stereotypical alpha male “omg, I must give you my seed and have all the babies” turn. Again, it makes me sad, because I love Tessa Bailey’s other stuff so much! But this one just really missed the mark for me in so many different ways.

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | WishlistYoutube

Content and Trigger Warnings: talk of loss of a loved one, talk of war themes, use of the slur g*psy, talk of heart attacks, and abandonment.

Buddy read with Paloma, Chelsea, Jane, Joce, Emily, & Madalyn! ❤

I read this for SummerAThon! ❤

Fix Her Up (Hot and Hammered #1) by Tessa Bailey

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

“Dammit, Georgie. You had to be exactly what I need, didn’t you?”

Best romance of 2019? Probably. Holy shit, friends, Fix Her Up blew me and every expectation I had out of the water. I will say, don’t let the *cute* cover fool you, this book has many explicit sex scenes, but it was some of the best sex, and best dirty talk, I’ve ever read in my entire life. BRB, buying everything Tessa Bailey has ever written.

But this is a story about two people who grew up in the same small town together. But when one comes back five years later, they both realize that maybe they can build a happier future with help from the other one.

Georgette Castle – 23, An actual clown for children’s birthday parties, and the baby of her family, and they always let her know it by never taking her seriously, no matter what she does.

Travis Ford – 28, Newly retired professional baseball player, because of an injury. But now he is very much struggling to be more than just a baseball player, especially after moving back to his hometown.

Both Georgie and Travis want to be taken more seriously, and they want to be more than the expectations that are already placed upon them. So they strike up a friendship agreement, that starts off with a few meals, some cleaning, and a fireplace, but eventually becomes a full on fake-dating element so they can change what people think of them. Travis wants desperately to look more wholesome to the press so that he can get a job he wants, and Georgie wants people to see her as more than a innocent comic-relief.

And obviously sex has to be completely off-limits, especially since Georgie is a virgin. Which is something that they both start to find difficult, yet Travis starts to realize that he might not want to be a steppingstone for Georgie. Meanwhile, Georgie knows that she wants things in life that Travis doesn’t want to give her. And, Lord, the angst is real, but it’s perfect, and I was living my best life watching these two also figure out how to deal with their attraction.

Also, another reason this book means a lot to me is because of the story as to why I picked it up. Basically, me and three of my best friends have a group chat that we constantly talk in throughout the day, and Chelsea set that group chat on fire describing the first sexual encounter in this book. So immediately, me, and Jane, and Madalyn all went and bought the audiobook. And we all listened together, updating swooning constantly, at our very different workplaces, and I will remember and cherish that experience forever. Fuck, my friends are the best, truly.

Overall, this book was just perfect in my eyes, and I completely expect it to make my best of 2019 list come December. The dirty talk was 11/10, the actual sex scenes were 11/10, and this was maybe the best fake dating setting I’ve ever read in my life. I am now obsessed with Tessa Bailey, and I feel so blessed that I am able to read her entire backlist now.

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | Wishlist | Youtube

Content and trigger warnings for abandonment and an emotionally abusive parent.

Buddy read with Chelsea, Jane, & Madalyn! ❤

 

Arranged by R.K. Lilley

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

“He hated me on principle, and he fascinated me in spite of myself.”

If you’ve been reading my reviews for a few years, you’d know that I am utter and complete R.K. Lilley trash. Not only is my favorite sex scene of all-time in Bad Things, but R.K. Lilley proves again and again that she truly is out here writing all the sexiest of scenes in the romance genre. And even though I didn’t love Arranged completely, the sex scenes in this were so fucking hot that I feel like I need a glass of water just writing this review. Seriously, if you’re looking for steam, look no further, and I still think that this was such an enthralling enemies to lovers, age gap, standalone romance that was a treat to read.

Noura – A very young up-and-coming model, who just sold her virginity and promise of marriage to a man she doesn’t know, but for a whole lot of money.

Calder/Banks – The soon-to-be groom, regardless of how he feels about the situation his family has placed him in.

I mean, with a promise like this, you all know what you’re getting into and you know it’s going to be messy in the best way possible. Noura is so sweet and kind, but is pushed to her limits trying to further her career while also playing the part of the perfect wife to a husband who lets her know constantly that he doesn’t want to be in this marriage. Yet, their sexual tension and compatibility are off the charts with each other, so it puts them in a very unique situation that both of them are afraid to approach.

Okay, this paragraph is going to have a spoiler in it, so read at your own risk! As always, I list my content and trigger warnings at the end of this review, but I feel like I need to talk about one of those triggers in a section all of its own; cheating. There is off page cheating that comes out at the very end of this story, and if you’ve read other reviews for this title on Goodreads, then you will know that a lot of people in the romance community are very upset about it, and that’s valid. For me, the cheating wasn’t unbearable because it was off page and because the other character doesn’t easily forgive the adultery. Also, I read and review a lot of new adult romance differently than other kinds of literature, since I’m really reading it to just escape and suspend my disbelief. Like, this is a story about a girl selling her virginity and marrying a guy she doesn’t know; I think cheating is a little believable in a story like this? But, again, everyone’s feelings are valid, but these are just my feelings on the controversy surrounding this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this, and I will continue to read everything that R.K. Lilley writes. I truly hope whatever she does write next will be set in Vegas like so many of her other books, but she set up so many characters in this NYC world to eventually have their own books written about them. But if you’re looking for something a little over the top, but with some of the best written sex scenes 2019 has to offer, then I completely recommend you pick this one up.

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | WishlistYoutube

Content and Trigger Warnings: underage drinking, a lot of very triggering talk of eating disorders and restricted eating that were personally very triggering to me, talk of statutory rape of a side character, a lot of very controlling “alpha male” behavior that I know will be too much for many readers, talk of past loss of a loved one, mention of past cancer of a loved one, assault, cheating, and violence.

Buddy read with Paloma! ❤

Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet #1) by Giana Darling

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

“…A parting of night as if Hades himself was breaching the veil from the underworld.”

Friends, first off, this is a very dark and very taboo story. There are so many content and trigger warnings for abuse, sexual assault, and more, that I wrote at the bottom of this review, so please use caution and make sure you are in the right headspace if this looks like something you’d want to pick up. But if you liked The Debt series back in the day, you’ll probably like this dark and twisted tale, too.

Cosima – On her eighteenth birthday she decides to sell herself to pay off her father’s debt. The arrangement is supposed to be only for five years, and then she is free to go or start up a new contract with the man who she is going to make a deal with.

Alexander – A British royal, who is about to become Cosima’s master, and who has calculated this deal (and his secret plan) for a while, because of something in his past that he is hiding.

“Sometimes we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes we are born to bad people and live a bad life. There doesn’t always have to be a reason for misfortune, Cosima.”

Again, this is a dark BDSM romance that will probably have many of you screaming “Stockholm Syndrome” at me, and that’s valid. But I’m going to be honest with you, I was in Hawaii, with sunburnt feet (damn you water-shoes from Hell) and I just wanted to read something that was going to be sexy, out of my comfort zone, and that I could finish in a day, and this completely checked that list.

I really did enjoy this one, and I thought the consensual sex was very sexy, even if this did have a lot of very triggering content along the way. Obviously, there is a huge power imbalance, and Alexander does so many questionable things throughout the entire novel, but I never wanted to stop reading this one. And I cannot wait to see what Giana Darling does next, and where she will take this duology when Enamoured releases. Because the end of this book? Holy shit, what even?

Overall, this is one of those books you read and review based off enjoyment and maybe not the literary merit, if that makes any sense. I feel like I always read and review my erotic romances differently than other books, and this is very much the case for Enthralled! But if you’re looking for an extreme sub/Dom dynamic, with an age gap romance, and also with major enemies to lovers vibes, then I think you should give this a try. Just, please make sure you are in the mood for something extremely dark, and you’re able to suspend your disbelief.

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | WishlistYoutube

Content and Trigger Warnings: human trafficking, slavery, talk of eating disorders, talk of loss of a loved one, loss of a child, forced body modifications (piercings), abuse, sexual assault, a lot of abuse, and torture. This is a very dark book, so please use caution and make sure you are in the right headspace.

If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

ARC provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.

“If I was going to commit to someone, I wanted him to be worth the worry, worth the part of me I was going to give him.”

Wow, this truly read like a gift from above. Like, I’m actually bitter than I didn’t have a YA contemporary story like this when I was in high school; because this was perfection. The Taming of the Shrew/10 Things I Hate About You loose retelling, starring a popular mean girl and a nerdy gamer boy, where they go to The Rocky Horror Picture Show together? I mean, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted in my adult life, too. I truly think this will be the best YA contemporary romance I’ve read all year, and these authors are now in a tier all on their own.

Cameron – A senior in high school who wants nothing more than to go to UPenn and to get a summer internship to work with her dad and finally have him be proud of her.

Andrew – Black, and has been friends with Cameron for a really long time, and they are running partners with each other.

Paige – A girl who goes to Cameron’s school, who for sure marches (and dances) to the beat of her own drum.

Brendan – Paige’s brother, who has kept to himself and his video games ever since Cameron called him a really horrible nickname that everyone at their school uses now.

And basically, Cameron is one of the most popular girls in school, and that nickname stuck because her word is law. She and her friend group are known for being rather ruthless, but Cameron is especially known for being completely unattainable and also a complete bitch. Yet, she has finally decided to make a move on Andrew, since she has been secretly crushing on him for over a year. But Cameron completely snaps at a girl who is foiling her moment of telling (and showing) Andre how much she likes him. After that, he can’t really see her the same way, so she vows to be nicer and prove to him that she can change her heartless ways. Yet sometimes, the person we need forgiveness from the most is ourselves.

But when starting the journey to become a nicer person, Cameron quickly realizes that the girl she was mean to is not going to make it easy for her, and she isn’t going to let her forget about the nickname she gave to her brother all those years ago. And friends, Brendan is my new favorite character in all YA literature.

But this is a book all about second chances and how it is never too late to be the person you want to be; just make sure you are becoming the person you truly want to be. And we definitely see Cameron learn this the hard way; from the having to take care of her mom, to the pressure and neglect her father shows her, to everyone in school thinking she’s a heartless bitch, while she is hiding everything that is going on in her life behind the scenes. I loved seeing Cameron’s journey, even if it was a bumpy road, and I just loved Cameron as a main character so damn much.

“The heart of every doubt and insecurity that’s ever weighed me down—that between the only two parents I have, nobody’s ever wanted me.”

Okay other random fangirl things that I adored: What do I talk about in all my reviews? My brother is my best friend in this entire world, and I love reading about strong sibling relationships, so Paige and Brendan really made me happy, especially since Paige constantly tries to be slick, but she truly was her brother’s wingman through and through, and that is so damn relatable. I also really liked how Cameron was older than Brendan. I feel like we never see stories where the girl is in grade higher than the guy, and I was here for it. The LA setting was so realistically and magnificently done. And lastly, I loved seeing all the imperfect family relationships. Cameron, Paige, and Brendan all have such different expectations on them; and all of them suck. I think this is just rep that isn’t really seen that much, especially in YA books, and I really appreciated how real it felt and the importance it played in the story.

“Katherine’s not the villain of the play. It’s the people trying to change her”

Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I just adored this. I immediately want to run to the store or my library and pick up their debut, Always Never Yours, because this book truly blew me and my expectations out of the water. And I fell so in love with these complex and realistic characters. Plus, you all know that I am always going to go completely heart-eyes over a video game playing soft boy, always. Oh, and unrelated, and this doesn’t impact my review whatsoever, but the authors are engaged to one another in real life, and that honestly makes me want to melt into a puddle of goo while finishing writing this review, because talk about partner goals.

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | Wishlist | Youtube

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Trigger and content warnings for side characters cheating, talk of cheating in the past, and emotional and verbally abusive parenting.

Buddy read with Kayla! ❤