Review: The House Mate by Kendall Ryan

the house mateTitle: The House Mate

Author: Kendall Ryan

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: Nanny Addison Lane

The hero: Ex-Ranger/Construction company CEO Max Alexander

The blurb: What’s sexier than a bad boy? A bad ass man who’s got his shit together.

Max Alexander is nearing thirty-five. He’s built a successful company, and he’s conquered the professional world, but he’s never been lucky in love. Focusing so much time on his business and raising his daughter, adulting has come at the expense of his personal life.

His social skills are shit, his patience is shot, and at times, his temper runs hot.

The last thing he has time for is the recently single, too gorgeous for her own good young woman he hires to take care of his little girl. She’s a distraction he doesn’t need, and besides, there’s no way she’d be interested. But you know what they say about assumptions?

Standalone or series: This is book three in the Roommates series, but they’re all separate stories with no interconnecting characters, so this can be read as a standalone.

The review: I really enjoyed this one. I don’t go out of my way to read books where there’s a substantial age difference between the two protagonists – at thirty-four, Max is nine years older than Addison – but it didn’t at all detract from the story.

Max is a successful businessman, running his own construction company. One day, he comes home to find an ex with whom he had a three month relationship sitting in his driveway. She hands him the year old baby he never knew existed, tells him she can’t cope with motherhood anymore, and takes off. Suddenly, Max’s world is turned upside down, but he’s determined to look after his daughter.

He needs a live-in nanny, fast, so he hires Addison Lane. She bonds with baby Dylan (named after Max’s favourite singer) straight away… and finds herself attracted to Dylan’s father more than she’d care to. She’s sworn off men, but the job is just what she needs after her ex dumps her when he realises he’s gay.

The attraction is mutual, but getting tangled up with the nanny is not a good idea… is it? Max is torn, but the longer Addison stays, the hotter their chemistry gets. So Max offers a proposition – between nine and five on weekdays, they are employer and employee. Outside of those hours, they are just a man and woman attracted to each other. It doesn’t take long for the heat between them to ignite, and when Dylan’s mother reappears, Max needs to work out what he wants for good. Of course, what he wants is Addison, and since she loves him and Dylan, you can guess the ending! 🙂

Review: The Play Mate by Kendall Ryan

the play mateTitle: The Play Mate

Author: Kendall Ryan

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: Social media expert Evie (Everleigh) Reed

The hero: Businessman Smith Hamilton

The blurb: Smith Hamilton has it all—he’s smart, good-looking and loaded. But he remembers a time when he had nothing and no one, so he’s not about to mess up, especially with his best friend’s little sister. That means keeping Evie at arm’s length … even though the once pesky little girl is now a buxom bombshell. A sexy blonde who pushes his self-control to the limit the night she crawls into bed with him.

Evie Reed knows she’s blessed—with an exclusive education, a family who loves her, and a new job managing social media for her family’s lingerie company. But she wants more, like a reason to wear the sexy lingerie herself. She has just the man in mind to help with that. She’s crushed on Smith forever. Surely tricking her way into his bed will force him to see her in a new, adult way.

Except that when Evie’s plan leads to disaster, she and Smith must decide—ignore the attraction sizzling between them, or become play mates and risk it all.

Standalone or series: This is book two in the Roommates series, but they’re all separate stories with no interconnecting characters, so this can be read as a standalone.

The review: This is my favourite of the series so far. Smith has known Evie for years; he’s been best friends with her brother, Cullen, since they were kids. Evie’s all grown up now and Smith’s noticed; but since she’s his best friend’s little sister, he would never dream of making a move.

Until one night in Paris, where the three of them have met up, when Evie slips into his hotel room and seduces him. He doesn’t realise until almost past the point of no return that it’s her, and although he stops anything further from happening, he regrets it. But once they all head home to Chicago, he won’t really have to see her, right?

Wrong, because Smith decides to invest in Cullen and Evie’s family lingerie business as they need a cashflow injection to keep it afloat, and Evie’s agreed to take over the social media role for the company. Which means that they’ll be seeing each other every day, because Smith has agreed to spend six months helping Cullen get the business back on track. And being around each other means that neither of them can resist the magnetic attraction between them.

What I’ve noticed with the first three books in this series is that there are age differences between the couples; in the first book, Paige is four years older than Cannon; in this one, Smith is seven years old than Evie; and in the third book, Max is ten years older than Addison. Age differences don’t bother me a whole lot, because younger people can be mature and older people can be the opposite, and what I like about Kendall’s books is that it’s not made out to be a very big deal.

I loved Smith. He comes from a potentially damaging background; his single mother dumped him when he was four and he was adopted by the Hamiltons at six. What’s nice is that he was raised in a perfectly normal, loving family; they never made him feel any different. He’s close to one of his siblings, Pam, and adores her three children. While he does wonder about his biological parents, he’s not so desperate to find them that it consumes him, because he loves the parents who raised him and he doesn’t want to hurt them.

But he does know he wants a family of his own, and he realises he wants that with Evie. So he tells Cullen how he feels; Cullen does the anticipated sulk for a little while, but eventually gives in when he sees how much Smith and Evie mean to each other. I also love the little epilogues we get, when they’re together and happy. Loved this book!

 

 

 

Review: The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan

the room mateTitle: The Room Mate

Author: Kendall Ryan

Year of publication: 2017

The heroine: Human Resources manager Paige (I don’t think her last name was ever revealed)

The hero: Med student/future cardiologist Cannon Roth

The blurb: The last time I saw my best friend’s younger brother, he was a geek wearing braces. But when Cannon shows up to crash in my spare room, I get a swift reality check.

Now twenty-four, he’s broad shouldered and masculine, and so sinfully sexy, I want to climb him like the jungle gyms we used to enjoy. At six-foot-something with lean muscles hiding under his T-shirt, a deep sexy voice, and full lips that pull into a smirk when he studies me, he’s pure temptation.

Fresh out of a messy breakup, he doesn’t want any entanglements. But I can resist, right?

I’m holding strong until the third night of our new arrangement when we get drunk and he confesses his biggest secret of all: he’s cursed when it comes to sex. Apparently he’s a god in bed, and women instantly fall in love with him. I’m calling bullshit. In fact, I’m going to prove him wrong, and if I rack up a few much-needed orgasms in the process, all the better.

There’s no way I’m going to fall in love with Cannon. But once we start…I realize betting against him may have been the biggest mistake of my life.

Standalone or series: This is book one in the Roommates series, but they’re all separate stories with no interconnecting characters, so this can be read as a standalone.

The review: Kendall Ryan is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. There are four things you can guarantee when reading one of her books, based on the ones I’ve read so far:

  1. You’re going to love her hero and heroine
  2. There’s going to be hot sex, and lots of it
  3. They’ll get their happily ever after, and
  4. There’s going to be at least one scene in which you’ll snort with laughter so loudly that you’ll have to slap your hand over your mouth so you don’t look like a lunatic in public

I bought the four book Roommates series as a box set and have just devoured them. So, book one is about Paige and her best friend Allie’s little brother, Cannon. When Cannon has his apartment destroyed by a crazy ex, Allie asks Paige if he can stay with her and her amusingly named dog Enchilada, since he’s only in town for another couple of months before he moves away to continue his residency. She agrees, and not having seen the now twenty-four year old Cannon for five years, she’s shocked when he rocks up on her doorstep.

Cannon is no longer a child. He’s a gorgeous, sexy man, and Paige knows the minute she lays eyes on him that she’s in trouble. Cannon moves in and while he’s aware of his attractiveness to women, he’s not really smug or obnoxious about it. Paige seems reluctant to get involved, if only because he’s Allie’s little brother… who’s not so little anymore.

It doesn’t take long for the spark between them to explode and the first time they try to have sex, Allie shows up just as things are getting interesting. After the aborted attempt, they finally get together and it doesn’t take long before it’s more than just sex for either of them. But Cannon is moving for his job and he doesn’t want to throw away all he’s worked for, so he takes a chance and sends Paige a plane ticket for a weekend to see if they can make their relationship work. After the inevitable initial freak out by Allie, she’s on their side; while I can understand how it could be a little weird to have your best friend and sibling hook up, I really don’t get why people get so worked up about it. Surely you know your best friend would never hurt your sibling, right? You wouldn’t be best friends with them if they were douchebags. That aside, both Paige and Cannon were great characters and it was nice to see them get together without agonising over everything too much.