My Best Friend’s Brother by Alexis Winter

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— BLURB —

It’s no secret I’ve always had a crush on Damon Strickland.

My best friend’s older brother and the center of every single one of my fantasies.
He’s a walking, talking temptation.
That cocky grin and those broad, athletic shoulders.
You know what they say about a man with big hands right?
Growing up, we always tormented one another.
I was the nagging, annoying little girl he hated.
And he was the man-whoring, douchebag I couldn’t seem to get over.
Now as adults he actually came through and helped me land a job at my dream company.
How the hell am I supposed to focus when all I can think about is tearing that tight suit from his tempting body!
What’s even worse?

He forgot to mention he’s my boss.

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— MY REVIEW —

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This was unexpectedly such an enjoyable, funny read that I couldn’t put down. I took a chance after seeing it as a freebie on Amazon and wanted to read something quick and light in between reads, and it did not disappoint whatsoever! 🙌

If anything, it exceeded expectations. It’s a relatively shorter story than what I would consider a full length novel but it packed a punch full of world-building and backstory between the two main protagonists that sets up their present relationship.

It had a great developing story that was consistent and engaging. A lot of surprisingly LOL moments that had me giggling like a school girl and grinning like a loon!

My Best Friend’s Brother is a hate-to-love romance between two childhood neighbors/ friends. It’s about missed chances, secret crushes, and all around good-humored banter. Jazz’s secret crush on Damon was one that started from childhood, developed deeper into their teens, and going just as strong now that they’re adults.  

I love a good banter, do you? These two bantered like stereotypical teenagers who easily made the other embarrassed. It was cute. It hits the feels. It was definitely nostalgic of my teen years 😅

Was there some predictability detected in the storyline? Meh yeah. But honestly, I didn’t care because Damon and Jazz’s love story was probably one of the sweeter stories I’ve read in a while. There was enough light and shade in their relationship that you wouldn’t be so quick to judge it as just another instant hookup despite the length of the book being on the shorter side.

This was an effortless read that kept me captivated. Very relatable subject — I mean who hasn’t had a crush (let alone a secret one) at least once in their lives?! The characters are realistic in their feelings, insecurities, and reactions to certain moments. I know I snort-laughed a time or two whilst reading this, nodding my head and relating. 

“I’ve been in love with you since I was five years old, and you tormented me. I had to watch you march in girl after girl.” 

I think if you weren’t similar to Jazz, then you knew someone who was. LOL. The person who had the biggest crush on someone. Yet no matter what you said or did, it just seemed like you were not their type. 

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One main highlight in my opinion was whenever they re-encountered a moment in their past because it shows both their perspectives on it. It’s also evident how much they were always around each other growing up. Jazz may have been Maddie’s best friend, and  even with Damon being a few years older, it never stopped all three of them from hanging out with one another.

From first impressions, Damon seemed like the popular, good looking, confident man that Jazz has always seen him as. The guy who only seems to see her as his sister’s annoying friend and nothing more. But as time goes by that’s not necessarily the case.

Damon’s take on certain events is the most intriguing in comparison to Jazz’s, only because from her POV, she openly shared her romantic feelings for him. Whilst with Damon, he’s a little hesitant, gradually opening his feelings throughout time. 

Their story is told from both POVs, and it couldn’t have been executed more brilliantly. You know that quote “There are two sides to every story”? — Their life story is a perfect example of it.

“Did I tease you? Yes! Did I pick on you a little? Damn right, I did. But I only did those things because I liked you and didn’t know what to do about it.

Anytime you’ve needed me, where have I been?

I’ve been right here, by your side. Even if you didn’t know it. Even if you didn’t want me to.”  

Other than Damon and Jazz’s throwback into their childhood. Another positive I found in this book is the main secondary character, Maddie (who is Damon’s sister, and Jazz’s best friend). She’s just as likable, hilarious, and added depth to Damon and Jazz’s history as it goes back and forth from past to present. She made such an impact that I’m look forward to reading about her story in the next book of this series!

If I had to make an itty-bitty critique however, it would be that it was too short (I would’ve loved a few more chapters). There were a few things that were mentioned but it never went into any further detail. And despite that cover being all half-naked gloriousness… it didn’t really match Damon’s description. I don’t remember reading Damon having any tattoos let alone a entire chest piece… 🤔 If I was judging based on the cover, I would think that there was a bad boy in this story — FYI there so was not! Damon is a complete gentleman!

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A nice, lighthearted read that would for sure take your mind off day to day stresses and adulting for at least a few hours. It’s pretty straight forward. There’s no real jaw dropping twists but still leaves you with satisfaction. And I can’t forget the great friendships in this one. Alexis Winter is also a new-to-me author, but after having read this, I’ll be sure to look into more of her work.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

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My Best Friend’s Brother by Alexis Winter is FREE on Amazon!

(For a limited time only)

📘 My Best Friend’s Brother Link

Disclaimer: At the time that this review was posted, the book was FREE. Keep in mind depending on when you read this, it may or may not still be the case.



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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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Doctor Dearest by R.S. Grey

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•••

— SYNOPSIS —

Natalie

Dr. Easton is part man, part myth.
He’s a formidable surgeon. Highly respected in his field.
He also happens to be an ex-collegiate quarterback with a classically handsome face.
Are you catching on yet?
He’s horrible.
Beautiful.
A walking Ralph Lauren ad.
He’s also so off limits he should come with a warning label: This way lies heartache.

Not only is he an attending at the hospital where I’m training, he’s also my brother’s best friend. If you’ve lost count, that’s two reasons why I plan on putting this ridiculous crush behind me. Besides, it’s definitely not mutual.

Dr. Easton has never once paid me special attention. No tempting smirks. Not even one subtle innuendo. To him, I’m just another resident—all but invisible.

Connor

For the last five years, I’ve mentored Natalie in the OR, stayed in line, and kept my hands to myself, but it’s been agonizing.

Natalie is trouble in scrubs. A walking temptation I’ve been forced to ignore.

For so long, I’ve wanted her in silence. By the time fate finally gets around to throwing me a bone, my patience has run out.

Natalie’s brother is leaving town, and he wants me to watch over her while he’s gone.

He has no idea how I feel about her.
Neither does she.
But she will.

Haven’t you heard good things come to those who wait, Natalie?
Well… I’ve done my waiting.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

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Okay… *pheeew* Just survived another R.S Grey book without too much withdrawals! 😛

If you’re familiar with her books, then you know what to expect—

  • Fast-paced storylines.
  • Overly detailed, yet funny descriptions of the lead swoony character.
  • Banter. Lots of banter!
  • Characters pouring out random, crazy thoughts like word vomit.
  • A few embarrassing hide-under-a-rock type moments.
  • Supporting characters that add an another element to the plot.

Doctor Dearest is no different. This is another, fun, enjoyable, sit-back-and-get-comfy type of read that I flew through at rapid speed. Despite thinking I knew what to expect from another Grey book, I was surprised to see that this story took a turn from secret crush and into a rollercoaster ride of love, hate, love again, nope hate, uhhh no… love again scenario.

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Normally I would eat up the hate-to-love trope in my romance books (it’s actually one of my faves) but this one had one too many loop-de-loops for my liking. But I think that’s more to do with Natalie. She’s an indecisive little thing. Lol. But looking back at it now that I’ve had time to let the entire story sink in, I can actually get on board with why she’s that way throughout the book. It’s easy to criticize, question or judge someone’s actions when you’re only a spectator but honestly if I was in Natalie’s position I probably would’ve been just as confused, scared shitless and hesitant of going all in, and so quickly too. So, I’m giving Natalie a reprieve over her flip-flopping ways.

Connor on the other hand was someone I could easily add to my book boyfriend list.. *cough* along with all the other gorgeous, swoony men Grey has conjured up in her books *cough* 😉 😉

Is he perfect? No. Like Natalie, he didn’t always have the best reactions to circumstances. But in saying that, he was sweet, didn’t mess around and all in all a very well rounded, damn good guy! He’s someone you would want to be besties with (that’s if.. if you weren’t attracted to the guy). Because not only is he smart, caring, has a good sense of humor and easy-going— he’s also the type of guy you would be saying ” Oh, his mama raised him right!” about. The man’s a package. Good looks, brains and manners!

GeneralHospital_Doctor He was definitely the more mature one in this relationship. And I’m damn glad he had more sense than Natalie, or else their relationship would’ve ended long before it even got to the juicy bits.

I tell ya though, she has some of the best people doting on her. Besides the protagonists in R.S. Grey’s books, I always look forward to the side characters. They always put the extra oomph in these rom-coms. And Doctor Dearest has some awesome ones included! 😀

Noah; Natalie’s brother (and Connor’s best friend), is one I absolutely would love a book centred on. He’s the cool, bigger brother who loves and protects, but who can also tease and be playful. And based on how Natalie mentions how girls drool over him, I’m thinking he’s not a bad looker either. I’m putting it out there — book gods.. could we get a book on Noah?! Pretty please??

And then you have Natalie’s best friend Lindsey. She’s a hoot. You would never be bored or feel lonely with a friend like her. I love the fact that she was a great sounding board for Natalie. She needed someone who she could vent and cry to and genuinely have support in return. I’ve read one too many amazing romance books but I found a lot of them have annoying friends (ones who are too loud, too out there, too in your face) and who takes a lot of the focus and attention away that it makes you wanna roll your eyes and say, “Oh, shut the eff up. You’re ruining a potentially great story here!”

Lindsey is the complete opposite. I wanted more of her. Book gods? A book with Lyndsey as well, if that’s not too much to ask for? Sigh.

There’s really not much else I can say without word vomiting spoilers. If you love romantic comedies, then this is definitely not one to miss. R.S Grey has perfected these types of romances and honestly, they read like I’m watching one of my all time fave rom-com movies. The blurb is pretty much self-explanatory of how Natalie and Connor start off. It’s all a matter or just seeing how it all develops — like all good, swoony, lighthearted romances go.

Were there parts I found predictable? I admit, yes. But it didn’t bum me out knowing that’s where it was heading. I was actually curious to see how it would be handled.

But were there things I wasn’t expecting? Hmm. Yes and no. There’s one particular thing I was hoping would happen… and when it sort of brushed against the idea I was over-the-moon giddy about the prospect of it. Buuuuuut…. it unfortunately didn’t go any further than I would’ve liked, so my giddiness was short lived.

How did I find the overall backdrop? Natalie and Connor are both doctors working in the burns unit. There’s plenty of terminology, examination scenes, and steps explained on taking care for these victims that made it all the more intriguing and put depth in what would have been an overall fluffy love story. Regardless of this being fictional (and a romance book), the amount of research Grey put into making sure the setting felt authentic, and that Natalie, Connor and all the doctors in this book looked the part and knew the lingo was pretty impressive, in my opinion. I don’t know how accurate all the technical medical mumbo-jumbo was, but to me it sounded pretty on point!

Overall — I loved reading it. It’s great escapism from the hustle and bustle of everyday adulting. I seriously think I was smiling the entire time. Who wouldn’t enjoy a nice feel-good read, am I right?! After reading this, along with the half dozen of Grey’s books I already crossed off my TBR, I realise they always leave me feeling like I stumbled upon another modern day fairy tale— light, airy and one hell of a love affair.

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RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5 

Thank you to R.S Grey and InkSlingerPR for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!

•••

Doctor Dearest is NOW AVAILABLE!

Grab your copy: Amazon

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•••

Author_R.S. Grey

About the Author

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughter, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga!

Follow R.S. Grey on her Social Media

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Hoped you enjoyed this one. If you wanna read more reviews on the other R.S Grey’s books I’ve read and blogged about, then check these ones below! 🙂

Happy reading! Enjoy your day, and catch you in my next one! Xo

 

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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— BLURB —

A hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

2) A person’s undoing

3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual. Trapped in a shared office together forty (ok, fifty or sixty) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything-especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking. If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date?

After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong. Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

I’ve divided my review into different parts — My impressions on Lucy, Joshua and my overall thoughts on the storyline.

So here we go!

LUCY HUTTON: Ahhhh Lucy. Well… She’s definitely a quirky, one of a kind character. Loved her from the get go just for the fact that she’s sass in a teeny tiny body. It was like “Yesss! Another fictional shorty!” 😀 I instantly connect with characters who are short because whenever it’s mentioned or whenever jokes are made, I instantly relate. Lol! Whenever Lucy mentions her height, or her short legs, or having to wear heels just to get a bit of height had me nodding like a bobblehead in agreement! I know #shortpeopleproblems all too well haha.

She’s so relatable when it comes to relationships too (both with her parents and with guys). I feel like if there was one fictional character that is my spirit animal, it’s Lucy! It’s like I was reading about my life whenever Luce talked about work, her colleagues and that one particular person you dread having to deal with. The one that makes your working day a drainer. Uuck!

Off topic here, but I did work with a colleague once who was the biggest arse. But reading about Luce and Josh’s daily “hating game” reminded me of that time. Except in my situation there was definitely no love lost. Lol. 😅

Question: Who has an annoying colleague you can’t help but think hilariously mean thoughts about — like wishing they would trip over or have something embarrassing happen to them because they’re straight up rude, or smug, or just plain douchey towards you? Anybody??

Anyways, for those who’ve read the book — then you’ll know why I included smurfs into my photo (hehe). But seriously, who doesn’t love a character who has some nerdiness in them!? Although I couldn’t completely agree with her fashion choices, Lucy does have such a hilarious personality, with the most random of thoughts – some of which I still can’t believe she had the guts to say out loud… to Josh no less! There were moments of me blurting “Ahhh! shut up! shut up!” followed by a facepalm! LOL. 🙈

My favourite Lucy Hutton quote:


“Maybe he’ll murder me down there. I’ll end up dead in a Dumpster. The investigators will see my fishnets and heavy eye makeup and assume I’m a hooker. They’ll follow all the wrong leads. Meanwhile, Joshua will be calmly bleaching all my DNA off his shoes and making himself a sandwich.”


and here’s another delightful little comment…


“I want to know what’s going on in your brain. I want to juice your head like a lemon.”


Hehehe.

Lucy is a nice change from female leads I usually read about who ooze cocky confidence and ass-kicking abilities (not that I don’t love them too. If you’ve seen most of my book reviews, those characters are usually leads in some of my most fave of books!)

JOSHUA TEMPLEMAN: And what can I say about Josh? Except when a male colleague is described the way he was (by Lucy) in this book, you can’t reaaally believe that she ‘hates’ having daily banter sessions with the guy. He’s total eye-candy!

Josh may sound jerk-y and rude but I just found his comments and his observations about Luce down right hilarious! His remarks about her height.. her all too niceness towards people.. her choices in attire — I tell ya, all bloody entertaining to read! 😁😁

Maybe I’ve watched wayyyy too many romcoms in my lifetime but his serious, unemotional, mean ‘persona’ – I wasn’t buying it! Uh-uh no way! You just know he’s 100% the sweet, thoughtful, caring guy deep down… (who obviously has personal issues and that’s why he has that facade) but still.

My favourite Joshua Templeman quote:


“I love you, Lucy Hutton. So much, you have no idea. Please be my best friend.”


and then there’s also this:


“When I’m your boss, I’m implementing a corporate support uniform policy. No more of your weird little retro costumes. I’ve already got it circled in the Corporate Wear catalog. A gray shift dress.” He pauses for effect. “Polyester. It’s supposed to be knee length, so it should reach your ankles.” 


See what I mean?! How can you not laugh? As a fellow shorty-mcshorty pants, if someone said that to me ok yes, I would’ve rolled my eyes but then I would’ve cracked up two seconds later because I would’ve been picturing it!

And finally..

PLOT: What is it about contemporary reads that you can pretty much figure out in the first chapter whether you’re gonna like the book or not?! Why can’t it be that easy with fantasy fiction?

This was an enjoyable read. No doubt. Love the characters. Love the dynamics. Love the slow development between the two and getting to know about their lives. But if I had to nitpick I did predict the ending. I guessed it 2/3 of the way through how it would end for Lucy and Josh, and yup… I hit the nail on the head! I did feel a little “meh” about it. But then again it’s not rocket science.. There were obvious signs as to how this was all gonna go down anyways. So no biggie (remember, just nitpicking).

If you guys scrolled right through my review and onto my overall rating, then you guys can pretty much guess that I loved the plot of this one. Contemporary, office romance and best bit… the protagonists’ totally hate each other at the beginning which only means… they really secretly love each other! 😜

I love reading books with love/hate relationships and this is one of the best I’ve read so far. You can’t help but laugh out loud when reading this book and the cringy-ness of some of the things that comes out of Lucy. There were several moments when I wanted to hide behind a pillow for her. Like I said it’s an enjoyable read for anyone who loves romcoms, chick-lit and all round light-hearted good fun.

Sometimes a very well written standalone read can be just as gripping as reading a book series. This will definitely become one of my fave holiday rereads or traveling companion.

RATING: ♥♥♥♥½

•••


Love Office Romance Books?

📘 Read my review for The Carrero Effect!

The Carrero Effect by L.T. Marshall


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Hope you enjoyed my review! Happy reading. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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The Carrero Effect by L.T. Marshall

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— BLURB —

Emma Anderson has everything in her life worked out, the perfect job in a Manhattan empire allowing her to live a quiet organised and safe existence. A necessity to her. That is until a promotion sends her straight into the presence of her young, super hot playboy billionaire boss and stuck as his right-hand man every waking moment of every single day. Like chalk and cheese, two people with no longing for love or complication this unusual pairing may either be just what she needs in her life or the absolute path to disaster. He is everything she is not, compulsive, confident, laid back, dominant and fun, with an ability to steamroller over her manicured ice maiden exterior. New love, overwhelming emotion and heartbreak. This tale will take you on a rollercoaster begging for more. Love-able sexy characters and deep emotional topics. Contains some mature, adult content and language.

Book one in The Carrero Series.

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— MY REVIEW —

*Please Note: This book contains mature content. 

**Trigger Warning: Please be aware that this book talks about harassment, sexual and physical abuse.

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I was lucky enough to receive an ebook copy of The Carrero Effect from the author (through Voracious Readers Only).

I received it a couple of months back and I’m seriously regretting not having read it then. I could’ve been consumed in the Jake and Emma swoonfest a lot earlier! 😜

But seriously… Where do I start?!

If I didn’t need sleep and.. you know.. go to work.. I would’ve read this in one sitting, it was that addictive!

Jake Carrero is just the sweetest guy! Forget the wealth, the sexy bod and the playboy traits.. this boy had me with his sense of humor! The constant banter between him and Emma is what made this book such a fun and easy read.

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They’re definitely made for each other… and I say that considering… (here it comes) I’m not the biggest fan of Emma.

Don’t get me wrong.. *quickly waves hands* I don’t dislike the chick but she does have some habits that annoyed the shit outta me. I wasn’t a fan of her whining — her CONSTANT whining! Ugh.

She was always thinking or saying one thing (which had me screaming “YESSS! DO IT! YOU GOT THIS, GIRL!”) only to read a second later that she does the exact opposite of what she was thinking. Double ughh!

But I don’t want you guys coming away from my review thinking I hate Emma. No no! There are deep issues as to why Emma behaves and reacts to situations this way. She had a shitty adolescents. Shitty is not even a strong enough word for what Emma had gone through. Crappy mother. A non-existent father. Multiple sexual, mental, emotional and physical abuse (most of which were from craptastic men that her mother brought into their lives at the time). I can’t even begin to imagine how anyone can live and even ‘move’ on from something so life changing, horrendous and deeply scarring.

I should also mention that Jake isn’t Mr. Perfect either. Sure he’s an Italian Adonis but even gods have personality traits that just make you wanna…

He’s got a hot/cold attitude towards Emma (and anyone in the near vicinity…poor office people) whenever things don’t go his way. Should I say typical man?? Hehe I kid, I kid. 😜

He does tend to use his power and wealth to his liking. Yeah, it’s cool when he uses it to go on lavish holidays with Emma and to help her out whenever she comes-a-crying but I couldn’t help but eye-roll (yes.. a major Emma eye-roll) whenever he decides to use it to push her away or to make her do something she feels she has no choice but doing.

(But if you’ve read the book… you’ll know no one can really make Emma do something she reaaaally doesn’t want to do — especially when it comes to Mr. Carrero himself.)

All in all — Emma is a nice, realistic protagonist (a little on the possessive side) but at the end of the day I can’t pick on her whining too much because honestly, I probably would be the same. Thinking one thing but not having the guts to follow through. Especially when a boy is involved. Haha *blushes*

I could do a little less of “drunk” Emma though (Sorry Jake). I found those parts a little lengthy and just plain annoying as it went on. It’s probably the parts I would skip over whenever I decide to reread this again.

Okay. Back to the happy!

I would say the main reason I ended up liking this book is because of Jake and the electric chemistry between him and Emma. You just have to accept that their relationship is one massive roller coaster. Full of banter. Full of arguments. Full of hugs. And a whole lot of sexual tension!

I did see a couple of predictable parts in the plot but it didn’t deter me from reading on.. (if anything I was pretty chuffed about knowing that certain things would happen. I had serious “I knew it! moments. Haha!)

Oh and I almost forgot. There was another thing I did enjoy from this book, something I thought was cute and unique was the exchange of emails between Em and Jake of songs with titles that pretty much say what they’re feeling at the time or what’s on their minds but can’t seem to say in person. Like I said, cute. 😊

After having read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne earlier in the month, I was really keen to read another office romance. This book was just what I wanted!

RATING: ♥♥♥♥/5

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The Carrero Effect is in full force! (And it’s only book 1!) I’m completely invested in this series and I can’t wait to read them all. I’ve already started book 2; The Carrero Influence — So look out for a future review on that one. 😄

This is like 50 shades (but less racy) mixed with a bit of You’ve Got Mail type characters and a Two Weeks Notice backdrop. If you like contemporary romance/ chick-lit, give this one a go!


📚 Check out the full series!

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As far as I know, you can only find The Carrero Effect and the entire series on ebook and paperback on Amazon.

I’ve never been big on ebooks and although I have these on my kindle app. I do wish the paperback editions were more easily accessible to purchase. I can only see them for sale on Amazon US, and for someone who lives outside of the US, shipping can be whoa pricey! So I do hope these became available with international retailers in the near future.


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Okay. Another review, done and dusted! Happy reading guys. Catch you in my next one! Xo

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