~☆Review☆~ Beauty and the Beefcake by Pippa Grant

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She’s my sun and moon.
My stars, my air, my sunshine.
She’s every heartbeat.

There are two kinds of women in the world – those I can bang, and those I can’t.

My teammate’s sister?

She’s a can’t.

I moved in with her to protect her from a nasty ex, not to be the next guy in line.

She’s the brains.

I’m the brawn.

She’s the fruit.

I’m the sausage.

She talks too much.

I don’t talk at all, if I don’t have to.

Should be easy to resist her.

But every minute I spend with Felicity is another minute she gets under my skin. She makes me feel like something more than a dumb puckhead with a big Zamboni pony. And it’s getting harder to remember why I need to keep my hands to myself.

Beauty and the Beefcake is a vegan-friendly standalone romantic comedy featuring a hockey player whose vocabulary is the only thing smaller than a hockey puck, a book smart but aimless ventriloquist with too many voices in her head, a dilapidated old house that may or may not be haunted, and no cheating or cliffhangers.

Available now on Kindle Unlimited!

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Your honor, I’d like to enter into evidence exhibit one, The Beauty and The Beefcake by Pippa Grant on why you should never underestimate the romance genre, why people should stop referring to it as “mommy porn”, and why people (women especially) should stop being embarrassed to read it.

Yes, The Beauty and The Beefcake has all the requisite requirements of a romantic comedy – humor, shenanigans, and of course, sexy times. But Ms. Grant’s ability to weave words into an entertaining and enjoyable story is not what sets her apart from other contemporary romance authors. No, it’s Ms. Grant’s ability to insidiously insert an underlying message about the human condition, social norms, and acceptance into an otherwise fluffy, feel-good story that truly makes this novel stand out.

On the surface TB2 reads like any other book in the genre – silly, steamy, and full of as-expected tropes – but it’s so much more. She took a silent, brooding secondary character and turned him into a hero with depth and emotion and managed to do it while giving him only 176 lines of dialogue. Additionally, the heroine of this story is not at all whom I expected her to be when she was introduced in the previous novel, Royally Pucked. Ms. Grant served up the expected on a silver platter, but when the cloche was removed we instead find the surprising and the unexpected.

Let’s move past the characters because as likeable as they and their story are, it’s the underlying theme of this seemingly irreverent romantic comedy that I want to explore. That of acceptance; of looking beneath the surface; of not judging the book (or the beefcake) by the cover. Perhaps that wasn’t Ms. Grant’s intentions. Perhaps she meant to write a regular romance about regular characters, but she failed. She gave us human, hurting, flawed characters searching for someone, anyone, to see who they truly are (no, I did not intend to evoke Moana, but it works so I left it). To see past the brawn or the brains, or the weirdness and awkwardness, to understand that they are so much more than what society sees and disregards because they aren’t “normal”. 

And THAT your honor, is why I loved this story. THAT is why I couldn’t put it down and read it straight through at eleven o’clock at night. Because I’ve been the awkward one, the weird one, the one who talks too much or doesn’t talk enough, the one who has been underestimated or condescended to because of how people perceived me without taking the opportunity to really know me. 

So please, don’t let the cover or the title of this book fool you. It’s not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill romance. 

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~☆Review☆~ 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Nine

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Nine.
Introducing Discovery authors Melanie Harlow and Lili Valente, the Bundle contains 6 novellas from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Carrie Ann Ryan, Heather Graham, Jennifer Probst, and Christopher Rice!
Grab your copy of this incredible bundle today!

 

 

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About 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Nine:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Carrie Ann Ryan, Heather Graham, Jennifer Probst, Christopher Rice, and introducing Melanie Harlow and Lili Valente.

Six Dark Tales. Six Sensual Stories. Six Page Turners.

Since I’ve read most of the stories included in this Bundle (because I’m a 1001 Dark Nights junkie) I only reviewed the novellas I hadn’t read. Each review is after the book blurb below.

Hidden Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan
Hailey Monroe knows the world isn’t always fair, but she’s picked herself up from the ashes before. Sloane Gordon lived through the worst kinds of hell yet the temptation next door sends him to another level. He’s kept his distance but when she comes to him with a proposition, he’ll do everything in his power to protect her.

Blood on the Bayou by Heather Graham
When a family friend receives a message from the Blood Bayou killer—It’s your turn to pay, blood on the bayou—he comes to Danni Cafferty for help. Cafferty and Quinn soon realize that a gruesome local history is being repeated. They find themselves in a fight to save not just a friend, but, perhaps, their very own lives.

Searching for Mine by Jennifer Probst
Connor Dunkle knows what he wants in a woman, and it’s the three B’s. Beauty. Body. Boobs. Other women need not apply. Ella Blake is a single mom and a professor at the local Verily college. When sparks fly, neither of them are ready to face their true feelings, but will love teach them the ultimate lesson of all?

Dance of Desire by Christopher Rice
From New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice, comes a steamy, emotional tale of forbidden romance between a woman struggling to get her life on its feet and the gorgeous cowboy her father kept her from marrying years before.

Some Sort of Happy by Melanie Harlow
Skylar Nixon. She’s even more beautiful than I remember. Ten years ago she was an impossible dream, and now she’s right here in front of me, offering everything I ever wanted. But happiness never lasts, not for someone like me.
Sebastian Pryce. He’s the most complicated, frustrating, beautiful man I’ve ever met, and my body craves his with a hunger I’ve never known. My heart is his completely. Why won’t he let me in?

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After a disastrous stint on a reality tv show Skylar returns to her hometown with her tail between her legs, trying to figure out who she is and her place in the world. Sebastian is trying to live his life with as much normalcy as possible. He tries to keep Skylar at bay, but the more he resists, the harder it is.

This story had a lot of angst, but it stemmed from a real-life condition. The author addressed the issue of OCD with dignity and grace – she doesn’t make it a gimmick or joke, but still manages to infuse it with levity and humor. 

Magnificent Bastard by Lili Valente
Face it, ladies: love sucks and then you cry…while your ex rides off into the sunset banging your best friend. But why let a break-up end in tears when it can end with sweet revenge? Enter Magnificent Bastard Consulting and me, chief executive bastard. With the help of my virtual assistant, I’ve built an empire giving broken-hearted women the vengeance they deserve, while keeping myself far from the front lines of the heart. Until my virtual assistant shows up on my real doorstep for the first time, begging for a Magnificent Bastard intervention of her own.

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This was a really great story – enough so that I went looking for the next book in the series (no luck…there better be another book in this series). The story is fun and the tension is high and so is the sexiness. If you’re a fan of Lauren Blakely, you’ll love Magnificent Bastard!


Every Dark Nights tale is breathtakingly sexy and magically romantic. 

 

Experience the 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Nine Here…

 

Bundle 9 - Harlow Teaser

 

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About the 1001 Dark Nights: Bundle Nine Authors-

 

Carrie Ann Ryan - headshotAbout Carrie Ann Ryan:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan never thought she’d be a writer. Not really. No, she loved math and science and even went on to graduate school in chemistry. Yes, she read as a kid and devoured teen fiction and Harry Potter, but it wasn’t until someone handed her a romance book in her late teens that she realized that there was something out there just for her. When another author suggested she use the voices in her head for good and not evil, The Redwood Pack and all her other stories were born.

Carrie Ann is a bestselling author of over twenty novels and novellas and has so much more on her mind (and on her spreadsheets *grins*) that she isn’t planning on giving up her dream anytime soon.

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Heather Graham - headshotAbout Heather Graham:

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham has always been an avid reader, from classics to sci-fi, mystery, horror, thriller, romance, and all kinds of non-fiction. She’s fairly certain that her mom’s deliciously crazy family–arriving in the US a bit before her birth from Ireland–gave her the love of storytelling. She started out in theater and commercials, but once her children began to arrive, she stayed home and gave writing a try. She’s incredibly grateful to be doing what she’s doing for a living. Heather belongs to MWA, RWA, Sisters in Crime, HWA, and ITW, and has the recipient of the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, a Silver Bullet for charitable works, and this year, she will receive the Thriller Master title from ITW. She has over 200 novels in print, and has been published in 22 languages.

 

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Jennifer Probst - headshotAbout Jennifer Probst:

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012, and spent 26 weeks on the New York Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a “romance phenom” by Kirkus Reviews.

She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team on her website.

Sign up for her newsletter for a chance to win a gift card each month and receive exclusive material and giveaways.

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Christopher Rice - headshotAbout Christopher Rice:

After publishing four New York Times bestselling thrillers by the age of 30 and being declared one of People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive, award-winning writer Christopher Rice became the first author to make his erotic romance debut part of the 1,001 DARK NIGHTS series. THE FLAME: A Desire Exchange Novella kicked off a steamy new series set in New Orleans, featuring magical candles and a sexy new breed of supernatural beings, The Radiants, who are devoted to helping heroes and heroines realize their heart’s desire. THE FLAME earned accolades from some of the biggest names in erotic romance and was quickly followed up by THE SURRENDER GATE: A Desire Exchange Novel, available from Evil Eye Concepts as a Blue Box Special. Aside from authoring eight works of dark suspense, Christopher is also the co-host and executive producer of THE DINNER PARTY SHOW WITH CHRISTOPHER RICE & ERIC SHAW QUINN, all the episodes of which can be downloaded at TheDinnerPartyShow.com and from iTunes. Make sure you’re subscribed to The Dinner Party Show’s You Tube channel to receive their newest content in 2016.

Photography credit: NANCY ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Melanie Harlow - headshotAbout Melanie Harlow:

USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow likes her heels high, her martini dry, and her history with the naughty bits left in. She’s the author of AFTER WE FALL, MAN CANDY, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series (contemporary romance), the FRENCHED series (contemporary romance) and the SPEAK EASY duet (historical romance). She writes from her home outside of Detroit, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and one insane rabbit.

 

 

 

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Lili Valente - headshotAbout Lili Valente:

USA Today bestselling author Lili Valente writes both naughty things and funny things (that are also naughty). She has slept under the stars in Greece, eaten dinner at midnight with French men who couldn’t be trusted to keep their mouths on their food, and walked alone through Munich’s red light district after dark and lived to tell the tale.

These days you can find her writing in a tent beside the sea, drinking coconut water and thinking delightfully dirty thoughts.

 

 

 

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Bundle 9 - Now Available

 

 

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