Thursday 7 March 2024

[Release Day, Excerpt, + Review] IF YOU HATE ME (The Toronto Terror Series, #1) by Helena Hunting

Cover Designer: Hang Le
Artwork by Rosie's Fables
Book Source: Received an egalley in exchange for an honest review
and also pre-ordered a Kindle version.
Release Date: March 7, 2024


A brand new standalone hate-to-love, brother's best friend hockey romance.

My new roommates are two pro hockey players.
First, my manwhore older brother, and second, his seriously hot best friend (who I seriously hate).
This was a last resort.
No one should be sleeping on a futon that smells like Cheetos and ball sweat.
But here I am, trying to get my life together.

Tristan Stiles is the bane of my existence.
He never wears a shirt.
We can’t seem to stop fighting.
He’s an arrogant playboy with a filthy reputation.
Sure, I had a crush on him when I was fourteen, but that was a long time ago.
I know better than to trust him.

I just need to survive long enough to find a new job and get a new place.
And not accidentally let Tristan rail me into next week.

Grab your copy today, exclusively from Amazon!

Amazon Universal →
Paperback Universal →
Audio Universal →


Wowzers! I couldn’t put IF YOU HATE ME down! I’m always up for a new book for Helena Hunting, so I jumped at the chance to read and review this one nice and early and I’m so glad that I did! I read it both as an egalley and listened to bits of the advanced listener’s copy and both the ebook and audiobook were absolutely fabulous…the readers are amazing and Helena’s words were as captivating as always!

was hilarious, heartwarming and jammed full of sizzling spice! Rix and Tristan were such wonderful characters and I had so much fun seeing them go from hate to something much, much deeper…and their chemistry was off the charts! I loved their solo journeys, and also how they complemented each other. I loved seeing Rix become more confident in herself, uncover her passions, and find a sense of belonging...and Tristan. Oh boy! I was right there with Rix when Tristan was on her last nerve, but he won me over hard! It was a delight to see him grow, and I love, love, loooooved seeing him learn to realize his own worth. Gotta love self-aware main characters who know they have to work on themselves! ;)
There truly was so much heart in this story...and it definitely didn't cool the heat down at all. In fact, I'd say this is one of Helena's spiciest books yet and if you haven't perfected your spicy reader poker might want to watch if you decide to read this one in public...especially if the audio is your format of choice! It's a scorcher and you will likely find yourself blushing. ;)
Now onto the rest of the fabulous cast of characters! One of my favourite parts of starting new series from Helena is meeting her delightful cast of characters...and she's once again created the most excellent group of side characters who I desperately want to read about. I loved Rix's growing group of friends, and loooooved all of the Toronto Terror players! If you look around online, you might just spot some hints on what's in store next for this series (*hint hint* look for IF YOU WANT ME)...and I am seriously so excited for what's next! I'm also just so excited for all of the potential in this series, and can't wait until more and more people have read IF YOU HATE ME so we can all discuss who we want to read about next! ;)

Overall, I absolutely loved IF YOU HATE ME! Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favourite tropes and I'm always a fan of brother's best this was right up my alley! I also adored seeing a sports romance set in Toronto from one of my favourite Canadian authors! It was so fun to see certain Canadianisms...and even hear some of them in the audio version, too. I highly recommend IF YOU HATE ME to anyone who loves spicy rom-coms that are high on the spice scale and pack some delightful heat, especially if you also love hockey romances! This is one that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon and I already can't wait to reread it! ;)

Star Rating:★★★★★

About Helena Hunting

New York Times
and USA Today bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her adorable, emotional cat, who thinks the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from emotional contemporary romance to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.

Connect with Helena:
Website | Amazon | BookBub Facebook
Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads
Facebook Fan group

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 What do you think?

Does IF YOU HATE ME sound like something you'd like to read?
And are you excited for the start of Helena's new series?

Tuesday 13 February 2024

[Release Day, Excerpt, + Review] THE CATCH (The Influencer, #3) by Amy Lea

Source: Received an eGalley to participate in the blog tour.
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 13, 2024
Number of Pages: 341 (Kindle)


A grumpy lobster fisherman tosses a fashion influencer’s impeccably curated life overboard in the next romantic comedy from international bestselling author Amy Lea.
In a last-ditch effort to rescue her brand from the brink of irrelevance, Boston fashion influencer Melanie Karlsen finds herself in a rural fishing village on the east coast of Canada. The only thing scarier than nature itself? The burly and bearded B and B owner and fisherman, Evan Whaler—who single-handedly disproves the theory that Canadians are “nice.”

After a boating accident lands Evan unconscious in the hospital, Mel is mistaken for his fiancĂ©e by his welcoming yet quirky family, who are embroiled in a long-standing feud over the B and B. In a bold attempt to mend family fences, Mel agrees to fake their engagement for one week in exchange for Evan’s help with her social media content.

Amid long hikes and campfire chats, reeling in their budding feelings for each other proves more difficult by the day. But is Mel willing to sacrifice her picture-perfect life in the city for a chance at a true, unfiltered love in the wild?

Grab your copy today: | | Indigo | B&N | Bookshop | Blackwell's


I've been wanting to read Amy Lea's books for so long now, so I decided that THE CATCH was the one that I wanted to start with...and boy was it an excellent choice!

First off, I absolutely loved the characters! Melanie and Evan were wonderful and I loved seeing their relationship evolve...and oh boy, oh boy did I adore having a lumberjack-esque grumpy fisherman as the hero in this--I feel like that's a high I've been chasing ever since I read (and loved) Tessa Bailey's It Happened One Summer, and while there were definitely some similarities to the premise, Amy Lea kept this story so fresh and fun and I loved every single second of it! I loved that it was set in Nova Scotia, I loved Evan's family and all of the small town shenanigans! As someone from a small Canadian town that's a similar size...albeit in a very different part of the country, I can confirm that the way everyone knows all the news and the way everyone all comes together is very, very accurate. :P

Along with amazing characters and loving the Canadian setting, I loved the plot and story so much! It had elements of WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING, and THE PROPOSAL, and gave me all of those gooooooood ol' school rom-coms vibes! The chemistry between Mel and Evan made it even better, and it was so fun to see everything that they got themselves into.

Overall, I thought that THE CATCH was absolutely amazing and I loved it so much! I did read it as a standalone, so I think that if you wanted to do the same, you definitely can! I have to admit that I will definitely be going back to read the first two books in the series now though because I definitely want to get to read Crystal's and Tara's stories, too! Highly recommend this one if you're looking for a fun, steamy rom-com that you won't want to put down...and I recommend it even more if you're like me and can't resist a grumpy, super capable hero that seriously knows how to take care of the woman he loves. ;)

Star Rating:★★★★★


“Put me down! My underwear is showing,” I demand as a gust of wind hits my ass cheeks. At least I’m wearing a cute lace thong.

“Rest assured, I’m not looking,” he mutters as I flail like an eel the entire ascent up the staircase. He doesn’t put me down until we’re outside my bedroom.

“I’m taking a star off your Airbnb review for manhandling,” I warn as he attempts to steady me against the wall just as Lucy passes by with a mini garbage can.

“Double bagged. Just in case. Looks like she might need it,” she says, giving Evan a troubled look as she turns to get out of my vicinity. “Sorry, I’m out. I don’t do puke. Night, guys.”

“I won’t puke. I’m feeling fan-tas-tic!” I shout after her with unfounded confidence. I push the door open the tiniest crack, revealing the disaster I left my room in. My cheeks flush with embarrassment. I’m a secret slob—someone who looks neat and tidy to others but is most comfortable in my own chaos (when no one’s looking).

“I can take it from here,” I assure Evan, righting myself.

His expression is quizzical. “No. You can barely stand.”

“I’m great. You can retire to your underground candlelit lair now.” I take an eager stride into my room, which to me was pretty smooth, but apparently I’m useless.

He leads me to the bench at the foot of the bed, where I proceed to topple face-first into the mattress, legs spread like a mannequin. The compromising position isn’t lost on me.

“I feel the need to warn you, I have some pretty lethal hair spray. Just as effective as bear mace, according to Cosmo,” I say, voice muffled by the mattress.

“What are you gonna do? Blind me with it?” he asks, bending over to retrieve it from under the bed.

“If you try anything, I’ll have no choice.”

“You don’t have to worry about that, Mel.” He softens his tone considerably, which is comforting. I’m pretty sure this is the first time he’s ever referred to me by name.

Any lingering appreciation is short lived when he jabs my shoulder without an ounce of delicacy. I must have drifted out of consciousness for a minute or two, because when I open my eyes again, Evan is placing a garbage bin next to me.

“It’s right beside the bed if you need it,” he says slowly, like I’m a small child. “Do you need me to ask Lucy to help you change? A glass of water?”

“No. I’m perfectly fine,” I mumble, flopping over onto my side. He’s weirdly attractive from a horizontal perspective, and I don’t like it one bit.

He watches me for a couple of peaceful breaths before abruptly pivoting on his heel. “This is going in your Airbnb guest review, by the way.”

I glare at him, blowing at the hair stuck to my lip gloss. “The intoxication? Or my veiled threat?”

“Both. Mostly the drunk part. I did warn you about the Screech,” he reminds me, hands flexing at his sides.

“It wasn’t the Screech. Your friends were the ones pouring shots down my throat. Who am I to deny Canadian hospi-taly?”

He cocks his head. “Hospitality, you mean. And you’re wasted.”

“Perfectly sober,” I mumble, sliding under the covers without taking my shoes off.

“Wears shoes in bed. Another star off,” he mutters.

“Mean host. One and a half stars off,” I retort, squeezing my eyes shut when the room starts to spin.

“Scratched the shit out of me with those claws. Minus two stars,” he says, pretending to rub a hand over his shoulder. I definitely scratched him while holding on for dear life as he hauled me up the stairs.

“Hey, I paid a lot for these nails.”

Despite my questionable eyesight in my current state, I’m pretty sure I catch his lips draw upward into the tiniest smile before my eyes close.


The Catch by Amy Lea Copyright © 2024 by Amy Lea. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Photo Credit: Amy Lea

About Amy Lea

Amy Lea is the international bestselling author of romantic comedies for adults and teens, including Mindy Kaling’s Book Studio selection Woke Up Like This. Her acclaimed works have been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Elle Magazine and has been long listed as a CBC Canada Reads finalist. They have also been optioned for film and sold to over a dozen foreign territories.

When Amy is not writing, she can be found fan-girling over other romance books on Instagram (@amyleabooks), eating potato chips with reckless abandon, and snuggling with her husband and two goldendoodles in Ottawa, Canada.

Connect with Amy:
Instagram | Website

 What do you think?

Have you read any of Amy Lea's books yet?
Does THE CATCH sound like something you'd enjoy?