Monday, March 2, 2015

HOT TEXAS DAYS { jessie evans box set } release & reviews

Hot Texas Days Box Set by Jessie Evans
Lonesome Point, Texas, books 1 – 3 

Purchase links || 
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Hot Texas Days, Hotter Texas Nights…

Three full-length hot, suspenseful novels by New York Times Bestselling author Jessie Evans, featuring rugged, alpha cowboys and the women feisty enough to tame them. Welcome to Lonesome Point!

click title to jump to synopsis & review

about Jessie || New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessie Evans, gave up a career as an international woman of mystery to write the sexy, contemporary Southern romances she loves to read. She's married to the man of her dreams, and together they're raising a few adorable, mischievous children in a cottage in the jungle. She grew up in rural Arkansas, spending summers running wild, being chewed by chiggers, and now appreciates her home in a chigger-free part of the world even more. When she's not writing, Jessie enjoys playing her dulcimer (badly), sewing the worlds ugliest quilts to give to her friends, going for bike rides with her house full of boys, and drifting in and out on the waves, feeling thankful for sun, surf, and lovely people to share them with.

Cowboy bikers, fireworks, and romance, oh my…

Wild girl, Mia Sherman, has a secret—she isn’t as fearless as she pretends. Descended from Lonesome Point, Texas’ founding family, Mia grew up hearing tales of an ancient Irish curse that followed the Shermans to America. The first-born daughter of every generation is cursed to lose her husband on her wedding night, which is one of the many reasons Mia has sworn off relationships. Until the fateful day rancher Sawyer Kane rides his Harley into her life …

Can true love conquer all, even a centuries-old curse? Mia and Sawyer will be the first to find out.

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{ excerpt } .
Sawyer searched Mia’s face in the glow of the moon, the soft light making her look even sexier than she had in the yellow bulbs strung above the farmer’s market. “I really like you. A lot.” 

“I like you, too,” she said, her full lips curving at the edges.

“But I meant what I said before, about not being ready for anything serious.” The words tried to stick in his throat, but Sawyer forced them out. He owed Mia honesty, and he wanted to make damned sure they were on the same page before things went any further. “I want to make sure that’s still okay. I wouldn’t ever want to hurt you.”

Her smiled faded, but her eyes remained soft, unguarded. “You won’t hurt me.” She ambled down the stairs, stopping on the stair above his, putting them face-to-face and their lips inches apart. “I’m fine with a night, or a week, or the summer…however long feels right. And when it stops feeling right, we go our separate ways, no anger, no regrets.” She lifted her arms, twining them around his neck, sending arousal surging through his body. “This is exactly what I need, Sawyer. You are what I need, and I can’t wait to touch you. Everywhere.”

Any hope of resisting vanished as that last word feathered between her tempting lips. Sawyer closed the distance between them, claiming her mouth as his arm wrapped tight around her waist, crushing her body to his. Her breasts flattened against his chest and her body heat caressed him, making his pulse spike and a moan sound low in his throat. He wanted this woman—badly. And he was past ready for them to be alone in a room with a bed, a door, and a lock to keep the rest of the world out.

Sawyer lifted Mia off her feet, carrying her through the shop entrance before kicking the door shut behind them. “Up the stairs,” she whispered against his mouth. “Bedroom’s up there.”
{ review } .

Rating: ★★
Original Review Date: January 15, 2015 { link }

I must confess, it's not often that I read a book that I don't like. Yes, a few do stumble into my hands, but for the most part, I find a slew of things that I like about the book.

But that wasn't the case here (the whole not liking a book thing). I can usually tell if I'll like the book by the first paragraph, and if I don't get a feel there, I will most certainly read the epilogue.

Yeah, didn't need the epilogue.

All it took was Mia, a grown woman mind you, panty-ing her cousin's gnomes and falling into a large hunk of a man to get me hooked.

There were many things done right with this book.

Mia being a daredevil -- kissing a total stranger just to keep him quiet while her cousin searches for the perpetrator; Mia being totally comfortable in her skin and flirty yet hiding that little 'urban legend' -- because, let's face it, you can be sexy and confident and still hold on to that... urban legend; Sawyer having a crazy ex-girlfriend but not really letting that get in his way; Sawyer being a big, bad biker dude, shaved head and all, but being a genuinely nice, honest guy...

I also like that even though Mia went all easy-girl-kissing-behind-bushes on him, she isn't actually an easy catch. In fact, Sawyer has to work for her.

Mia also has a couple of strong friendships, such as with Bubba. Not only does he partake in the shenanigans she likes to pull, he has her back. He doesn't want her to let her past jeopardize her future and recognizes Sawyer as a good guy.

Sawyer is also that insightful guy that we all wish we had -- you know, the one who knows it's something when you say it's nothing. When he feels Mia putting up her walls, he shares his darkest parts yet doesn't push her to do the same, and when Mia's darkest parts show up and she pushes him away, he doesn't let her... he just lets her take a separate vehicle and she comes to her senses.

Altogether, I loved this book and wish I'd gotten to it sooner. My book funds are a bit low, or else I'd be buying the other 2 books and novella right now -- after seeing Mia and Tulsi's friendship, and seeing Tulsi in GLITTER AND GRIT, I'm super interested in her and Pike's falling, Pike being Mia's brother and all.

Even sweet cowboys have a sinful side…

Robert Lawson—Bubba to his friends—is six feet, four inches of tall, dark, and handsome cowboy, with a panty-melting voice and a face made to launch a country music career. But when his family’s ranch hands go down with the flu, Robert cancels his high-profile auditions and returns home to help out. Marisol Medina has been looking for her golden ticket since she became a country music manager, but she refuses to mix business and pleasure, even if it will be hell, resisting temptation while spending a week at the Lawson family ranch with her star client.

But as Marisol and Robert grow closer and the passion between them ignites, Marisol must decide if a chance at forever is worth breaking all her rules.
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{ excerpt } .
“I don’t know about the women you date,” Marisol continued. “But I’m not that kind of girl.”

“What kind of girl are you?” Bubba aimed for a casual tone, but his voice came out strained.

“I’m not,” Marisol said, her expression sobering. “As far as you and I are concerned, I’m not a girl. I’m a businessperson. I will use every weapon in my arsenal to get your career moving. I will flirt with club managers and be your arm candy at events until you find a cute little thing to take home to your mama, but that’s where it ends. As long as you’re my client, it’s business between us.” 

Bubba swallowed hard, fighting the urge to tell her that he was fine with ripping up their contract, right here and now. He’d rather have the Marisol who kissed him like she’d been dying for everything he wanted to give her than a business partner any day of the week. He’d had several managers approach him after the open mic night, but he hadn’t felt this drawn to a woman since he and Casey broke up a few years after high school.  Still, no matter how much he wanted to let his heart—and cock—do the talking, he had a meeting tomorrow morning with Wendy Dann and her people. Wendy wasn’t country music royalty just yet, but she was a major star. The chance to open for an act like hers, while her original opener was out of commission for vocal node surgery, was a once in a lifetime opportunity. If he landed this job, he could tell his asshole boss at the electric company to go fuck himself, and put his five-year career as a lineman behind him. He’d been relieved to be spared his older brothers’ fates as slaves to the family ranching business—he loved his family and spending long weekends at the ranch, but he’d never felt the call of the cows the way John and Cole did—but it wasn’t his dream to maintain overhead transmission lines, either. 

No matter what the rest of the Lawsons had to say about it, music was in his blood. He never felt more alive, more at home, more at peace and generally right with the world than when he had a guitar in his hands and his lips inches from a microphone. Singing was the only thing that had ever lit a fire inside of him, and he didn’t want to risk losing his shot to transform his passion into a career because he was too hot for a woman to focus on the big picture.

So, with a deep breath and a brittle smile, Bubba swallowed the words on the tip of his tongue and said, “Just business is fine with me.”

“Good.” Marisol smiled, but Bubba would swear she sounded disappointed. “Then go get some rest and I’ll pick you up at six-thirty tomorrow. We want to be sure we’re on time. They’re making an effort to squeeze in this meeting before Wendy gets on a plane to Nashville for her week off, and we need to be there bright and early to show how appreciative we are.”

Bubba nodded, plucking his new, three-hundred-dollar cowboy hat off his head and running a hand through his hair, still feeling a little strange wearing a hat for stage dressing. Back in Lonesome Point, you wore your cowboy hat so your nose wouldn’t burn off by the end of a long day working outside. He was definitely out of his comfort zone in the designer hat Marisol had picked out for him. So far, almost all the money he’d made at his gigs had gone right back into clothes and headshot photographs and half a dozen other things he hadn’t realized he needed to launch a country music career. He couldn’t afford to derail things now, when he was so close to making good on his investment.

But as he swung into his truck, and Marisol crossed the parking lot to her vintage Spider convertible, Bubba couldn’t help wishing things could be different. For the first time in his life, he was defying his family’s party line and looking for a life outside of Lonesome Point. If he met someone special right now, it wouldn’t have to end the way things had ended with Casey, with a sad goodbye because most girls want to grow up and leave a small town behind, not settle in and raise a fifth generation of Lawsons with their high school sweetheart.

In Bubba’s gut, he knew he’d return to Lonesome Point eventually, no matter where his new career might lead, but in the meantime he had the chance to see what it was like to date someone he wouldn’t have to run into at the supermarket every other day, someone he hadn’t known since elementary school, and whose mama wasn’t friends with his. But so far, he hadn’t met anyone who intrigued him, let alone made him think about what it might be like to fall in love again.

No one but Marisol, the one woman who was off limits.

“Just my luck,” Bubba mumbled as he started the truck and drove across the nearly abandoned parking lot, doing his best not to peek into his mirror at the convertible behind him. Marisol had made it clear they were never going to be more than friends and colleagues, and Bubba had learned his lesson about pining for impossible things a long time ago.

Still, he couldn’t resist one last glance in his rearview as he pulled out onto the deserted street—wondering how long he’d be able to honor his “all business” promise with a woman who was everything he wanted, wrapped up in one irresistible package.

{ review } .

Rating: ★★
I am surprised at how much I enjoyed Bubba's story.

Why, you ask? 

Well, because Bubba's.....


He's Mia's sidekick. He's the quiet guy how would likely blush if you so much as said 'penis' to him...

But au contraire, my friend... Bubba's a bit of trickster. Sure, the man thinks he's lacking in the looks department. In fact, when I think of Bubba, I tend to think of Deacon Claybourne (Nashville) -- a man who's got those rugged good looks, but isn't textbook handsome by any means (at least, not to me). The man now has women flocking him and he still thinks of himself as lacking.

Marisol, however, doesn't think he's lacking. 

As his manager, Marisol does a damn good job of hiding her attraction. She also does a damn good job of keeping the ladies off of Robert. When he confesses his thoughts of himself, she's stunned.

...well, Marisol... be prepared to be stunned even more.

Bubba has a mouth on him. 

A dirty one at that.

From the first dirty conversation he had with Marisol, I was completely on board. Such an oxymoron, that man.

But beyond this funky ways, I loved Marisol and her fears. She let them hold her back for a good little bit, but eventually she began to trust -- herself and Robert (sorry about the constant changing of names... Marisol calls him by his given name, but he'll always be Bubba to me).

I loved when Bubba stood up for her to his mama -- mama's boy that he is, that was a big deal.

I loved that when everything started to go correctly in his career, he was even more apprehensive, due to his nature -- to him, family is first, and that means his family, the family ranch... and keeping Marisol around. 

And I love that, regardless of being his manager, Marisol was always in his court, standing up for him and standing with him.

Again... pleasantly surprised over here.

The home run neither of them expected…

Pike Sherman is a legend in Lonesome Point, a hometown boy who made it to the big leagues. Literally. Professional baseball acquired one hell of a pitching arm and it’s latest celebrity bad boy when the gifted Pike was drafted seven years ago. Pike’s broken heart came along for the ride, too, but he kept that private. Tulsi Hearst knows she should stay far away from the brooding man her summer love has become, but she can’t resist a dance with the only man who ever made her blood rush.

After a few days back in Lonesome Point, Pike can’t imagine life without the girl he left behind, but when Tulsi’s secret is revealed, his heart is broken all over again. The only thing worse than losing Tulsi, is losing six years with the daughter he didn’t know he had.

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{ excerpt } .
Tulsi stewed in her anger all day, and by the time Pike pulled up beside her in his red pickup truck as she was walking back to her aunt’s farm for supper, she was in a truly foul mood.

“Tulsi?” Pike frowned at her through the open passenger side window. “What the heck are you doing here? Did you and Mia come up to watch spring training?”

“No, I’m alone, and I’m working, Pike Sherman,” Tulsi said, losing the last of her cool. “I have a job that has nothing to do with you, your sister, your family, or baseball. I am a person, and I have my own dreams, my own interests, and my own life!”

“Okay, okay.” Pike blinked in obvious surprise. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you.”

“Well, you did,” she said, still so angry she couldn’t seem to control her mouth. “You’ve been insulting me for years.”

His eyebrows lifted. “What? When have I ever—”

The black car behind him on the two-lane country road blared its horn, but instead of driving away, Pike pulled over on the gravel shoulder in front of her and got out of the truck. 

Tulsi watched his long, lean form emerge from the driver’s side, refusing to notice how amazing he looked fresh out of the shower, with his brown hair hanging in thick chunks against his forehead and a gray tee shirt molding to his impressive chest. Instead, she focused on the fact that Pike was an entire foot taller than her five feet three inches, and how stupid she was to have spent years crushing on a boy who would have put a terrible crick in her neck if she’d ever actually kissed him.

“Have I done something wrong?” he asked, waiting for her response with a lost expression on his face. 

Tulsi rolled her eyes, wondering how a boy on the verge of graduating from college with a three point five could be so stupid. It wasn’t like her crush had been particularly subtle. Even her big sister knew Tulsi had it bad for Pike, and Reece rarely paid attention to anything that wasn’t about Reece, still considered Tulsi a baby, and hadn’t been home to Lonesome Point in years.

“Because if I have, I’m sorry. You know I love you,” Pike continued, his words sending an arrow slicing through her already suffering heart. “You’re like the sweet, less irritating little sister I never had. I really… I care about you.” Tulsi sucked in a shaky breath, pain and frustration warring in her chest, making her brave enough to step closer and pin him with a hard look. “I care about you, too, Pike, but I’m sick and tired of being treated like your little sister.” His eyes went wide with surprise, but there was something else there, too, a flicker of interest that made her bold enough to take another step toward him and add in a softer voice, “And maybe I’m not as sweet as everybody thinks I am.”

“Is that right?” he asked, brow arching.

“That’s right.” Something wild and brave inside of Tulsi raised its head, insisting it was time to make her stand, to grab for what she wanted before Pike was forever out of her reach. “So, as far as I’m concerned, you have two options.”

He nodded slowly, holding her gaze with an intensity that made her shiver. “I’m listening.”

“Either get out of my way and let me forget you,” she said, adrenaline making her pulse pound in her throat, “or shut up and kiss me.”

Oh, boy. That did it… 

Tulsi watched the spark in Pike’s eyes kindle into a flame with equal parts fear and excitement. There was no doubt she’d captured his attention, but when he reached for her, the moment still felt surreal. She’d been fantasizing about Pike taking her in his arms for so long that when he finally did it, it felt like a dream: a scene from a movie she’d watched too many times to believe she would ever play the starring role. 

{ review } .

Rating: ★★
I think I found my favorite Lonesome Point couple.

I don't know what it is about old-loves coming back together, but I just adore these stories. 

I always find it a little roll-your-eyes worthy when the guy doesn't put two and two together and place the bright smile on the child as his own, but hey... He'd been lied to and it's easy to believe the lies.

I read Tulsi's sister's book before this one -- what I got from Reece's story was that her little sister had a quick romance and bam! Was married soon after.

...but there was a little bit more to it than that.

Tulsi is, and has been since the age of five, best friends with Mia Sherman. Mia's older brother, Pike, has always looked at Tulsi as a sister... until he didn't anymore. But he kept that to himself. 

When they decided to make a go for it before he left for Minor League baseball, they opted to keep their relationship quiet.

So when he left for baseball and she found out that she was indeed pregnant (they'd had a scare a few months prior), she knew she had to keep it to herself... she kept the truth to herself and told everyone that the baby belonged to someone else, a man who wanted nothing to do with her or the baby. Kept things easier...

...or so she thought.

Pike, meanwhile, was heartbroken -- and didn't step back into Lonesome Point. My first thought was 'what about holidays?' -- ah, but he had an answer for me.

The Sherman family went to Pike's grand place in Montana for holidays and family get-togethers. He never had to see the woman who broke his heart. But then Mia has to go and get married, and back to Lonesome Point he goes.

Through the years, Pike hasn't been a saint by any means. He's a professional athlete after all. So even if Tulsi wanted to make amends, she figures she'd never rate up to the supermodels and actresses that often adorned Pike's arm.

Like most stories of the sort, these two fought their attraction to one another. They fought the realization that their love never went away. They fought that while the years were gone, there could still be good between them.

When tragedy strikes and the truth all comes out... 

...I have to say, I absolutely loved Pike's response. He's hurt, sure... but he's adult enough to accept it and be more than willing to work through it.

I absolutely loved Pike and Tulsi, and while their families may find them crazy, I'd love to see them fill that house with ten kids :)

Finished with those three?
Don't forget about book 4, GLITTER AND GRIT!

& not only that, but there are two novellas!

{ giveaway } .