Elle’s Favorites of 2017

2017 was an extremely slow reading year for me. I wrote and edited more than I read and it doesn’t help that I’m not the world’s fastest reader to begin with! I also read a bunch of unpublished work from some talented author friends that would have totally made this list if I could have included them!

There were also more DNF’s than I care to count. But of course, there were some gems mixed in with the coal!

Dirty Boxing by Harper St George and Tara Wyatt. In fact, the whole Blood and Glory series is amazing (the third book releases in January but I’ve read it and loved it so look out for that one). Harper and Tara are a dream combo with some of the best writing I’ve read. They make mixed martial arts look incredibly sexy and their heroines are feisty and strong, despite all having to overcome their personal issues. This is sports romance at its best- low on the sports and high on the heat. [Read more…]

Review: Seducing his Student by London Hale

Reviewed by Elle

Samantha looks forward to her daily flirt sessions with the hot new guy in town that makes her stomach flip.

Elliot hasn’t made a move… until now. The chemistry between them is intense, and Elliot knows she’s the woman for him. Sam agrees to meet him at a sailing event, but plans go awry when Elliot realizes the woman he’s been fantasizing about for months, is one of his students. That doesn’t stop him from doing some pretty sexy things with her on top of a pool table in her parents’ boathouse.

He vows to stay away from her until graduation but the pull between the two is too strong, and so begins a hot and steamy affair, that could cost Elliot his job, and Samantha the chance to graduate. [Read more…]

Review: Take Down by Harper St George and Tara Wyatt

Reviewed by Elle

Take Down takes us back into Harper St. George and Tara Wyatt’s dirty hot MMA world, this time following Gabe and Megan, who we first met in Dirty Boxing. Gabe was a bit of a mysterious figure in the first book, so I loved getting inside his head in Take Down, and seeing him get his girl.

Though Gabe Maddox holds the championship belt, he fights not to hold onto it, but because exhausting himself in cage is the only way for him to find peace. He has more scars than just those on his skin. Gabe is a lone wolf, keeping everyone at bay, and living in fear that another loss of someone he loves will be his undoing. Better to just not love at all right? After all, there’s plenty of women out there who are happy to have just one night with Gabe ‘The Sandman’ Maddox. [Read more…]

Review: Dirty Boxing by Harper St George and Tara Wyatt

Reviewed by Elle

Jules and Nick had a hot fling for a few weeks in Chicago, but just as Nick began wanting more, Jules left without explanation.

A year later, Nick, an MMA fighter, has joined a new club and has his eye on the championship belt that will make his career. He thought he’d moved on from the intense feelings he’d developed for Jules during their short time together. That is, until he realises Jules is the new marketing manager, assigned to work on promoting the club. And to make matters worse? She’s the boss’s daughter. [Read more…]

Review: War Flower by Mary-Anne O’Connor

Reviewed by Elle

In 1965, 18 year old Poppy meets a beautiful boy named Ben on a Sydney train. Poppy is instantly besotted with him, but disappointed when Ben begins dating Poppy’s arch nemesis Barbara. Barbara and her squad have always made Barbara and her twin sister Rosemary, feel like wallflowers, teasing them mercilessly throughout their high-school years. [Read more…]

Review: Undeserving by Madeline Sheehan

Reviewed by Elle

Ohhhh this book has been a long time coming. The Undeniable series, and Madeline Sheehan will always be one of my favorites, no matter how long she takes to release a book (but please don’t make us wait over two years again! My heart can’t take it!).

This book is a bit different than the rest of the series. We take a break from all the current day drama of the first four books, and go back in time 50 or so years. Now for those that need a reminder, Eva Fox is our book 1 heroine.  She and her man, Deuce, have played fairly central roles in each subsequent book, and this one is no exception. [Read more…]

Review: Until the Sun Sets by Tara Wyatt

Reviewed by Elle

Dean is a bit of a man whore. So when his cousin decides to get married in a Mexico, they’re understandably concerned about him causing trouble with the bridesmaids. To keep him in check, they ask him to not only behave, but to bring a date.

Carly and Dean have worked together for a long time and are firmly in the friend zone. A week hanging out in Mexico with her friend sounds like a good time, so she agrees to be Dean’s date for the wedding.

But to Carly’s horror, one of the wedding guests is her ex boyfriend and the woman he left her for. Not wanting her ex’s condescending pity, She let’s them believe she and Dean are together. To keep his family off his back, Dean is willing to go along with the scam. [Read more…]

DNF: The Darkest Corner by Lilliana Hart

Reviewed by Elle

The Gravediggers were once elite soldiers. For whatever reason, they at one time found themselves betrayed by their countries and facing death. Then in swooped Eve Winters and gave them a choice- die or come work for her, ridding the world of terrorists. The catch? Their deaths would be faked. Their previous selves would cease to exist. Their families and friends left behind. Oh, and Eve and her directors own you. But what choice did Deacon have but to accept?

Working out of a funeral home in a tiny town seemed to be the perfect cover. But Deacon didn’t count on falling for the feisty red headed mortician. He needs to keep his distance because any attachment to Tess gives Eve and the directors leverage over him, putting her life in danger. [Read more…]

Review: Behind the Wall by Jane Harvey-Berrick

Reviewed by Elle

Garrett has simple dreams. A clean place to live, a regular pay check and a woman to call his own. But the odds of that happening when he’s spent the last five years in prison seem slim. But getting his GED is a start.

Enter Miss Ella Newsome, the prison’s new teacher. Committed to helping the prisoners succeed, shes not afraid of hard work. Through the essays she assigns, she quickly realised there’s more to Garrett than his hard exterior. [Read more…]

Review: Turn Me Loose by Anne Calhoun

Reviewed by Elle

At 19, Riva Heneman locked eyes with a grad student across a crowded cafe. Their chemistry was instant. With the intent of taking him home, Riva goes to talk to him, but is bitterly disappointed when all he wants is to buy drugs from her. With the tension between them burning hot, she makes the deal. Only to find herself in a pair of handcuffs- and not the fluffy, fun kind.

Years later, Riva has turned her life around, and is on the straight and narrow. With a farm and a restaurant that teaches underprivileged youths, she’s a shining example of a good citizen. But she’s never forgotten the simmering tension between her and the undercover cop that she became a criminal informant for. [Read more…]