I received this book for free from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Sugar Rush #5
Published by Snow Queen Publishing on December 12, 2017
Format: kindle e-book
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: InkSlinger PR
Buy on Amazon, Buy on IBooks
He knows if she's been bad or good.
Amidst the sugarplums and mistletoe, fashion stylist Julia Bennett is every inch a scrooge. Known for her ice-queen ways, she's having a meltdown over a botched business deal and an upcoming milestone birthday. Add the pressure of forced holiday cheer, and she's ready to dive into the spiked eggnog and not come out until summer.
Warren Stone, president and owner of the Sugar Rush Candy Company, is determined to make Julia slow down and enjoy the holidays. As her friend and confidante for fourteen years, he knows her better than anyone. But when decking the halls leads them to an explosive, sexy night, everything suddenly changes.
Just when Julia thinks Warren is all she wants for Christmas, an old flame comes to town and reminds her of the carefree girl she used to be. As the new year approaches, Julia is forced to decide if she wants to relive the past or embrace the future.
SWEET LIFE is a sexy contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling author Nina Lane. It can be read as a standalone or enjoyed as part of the Sugar Rush series.
“Wet and hot,” he murmured, biting gently down on her collarbone. “Exactly the way I’d imagined my ice queen under all that frost.”by Warren
Julia Bennett, aunt of the Stone brothers, and Warren Stone, dad of the Stone brothers, are going through a midlife crisis. She is a month away to turn 50 and has found an old bucket list which she is obsessing with now. He is 55, has recently lost a friend to cancer, and has decided to retire and do all the things he hasn’t had the time to do in his life. What seems like the first major change they are doing is to finally face the feelings they have for each other. Could some old mistakes prevent them from what could be a match made in heaven? Is Julia willing to give control to Warren and let someone else take the reign of her life?
- Addictiveness: I love the series. I’m crazy about the Stone family and I have looked forward to read Julia and Warren’s book since the first book. So, this was a one sitting for me. I started really late, but couldn’t put down, I went to bed after four in the morning because I had the need to finish this story.
- Character: hero 5/5, heroine 5/5, secondary characters 5/5, growth 5/5, real 5/5 Yes! My favorite part about Ms. Lane’s stories are her characters development. They are all multidimensional and easy to love, connect and understand. I have bond with the entire Stone family from the first book and all the female characters that Ms. Lane has found for those boys have been their perfect match. All I can say is: they feel real!
- Cover: art 5/5, title 5/5, subtitle 5/5, color-font 5/5, buy 5/5 Other obsession of mine with this series have been the cover art. Each cover is unique and has been created to portrayed one of the Stone’s. It’s perfect in each detail. I love how they didn’t forget the candy tie for Warren.
- Freshness: Even though the story doesn’t have anything we could say WOW, how different, the overall book has a fresh vibe. This story is not about one of the brothers, but of their elders. Their midlife crisis moment is something that happens in real life to many, but is not often shown in the romance world.
- Plot: believable 5/5, conflict 5/5, dialogue 5/5, ending 5/5, enjoyment 5/5, opening 5/5, pace 5/5, setting 5/5, subplots 5/5, twists 5/5 Great opening and wonderful ending. Perfect conflict and dialogues written by a wordsmith. Steady pace with enough subplots to enhance the story. A few unexpected twists here and there, that makes this story believable and enjoyable.
- Romance: believable 5/5, chemistry 5/5, description 5/5, development 5/5, steam 5/5 This is a love story. Their love has been forged with time and care. It’s not hard to imagine their love is real, in fact, even before this book I already knew they loved each other. Their chemistry is undeniable. The heat is scorching! In fact, Papa Stone and Aunty Julia are dirtier than their kids. Great smut!
- Writing Style: We all have our favorites, Ms. Lane’s has for a while been one of mine. She writes love stories with the perfect balance between humor and heat. Her novels are light, fun and hot! She is wonderful with words and her character development is superb. There are never loose ends in her books.
- I can’t think of anything. This was everything I was expecting from their story and more!
If you think you can shut me out with your ice, you’re wrong. I have a goddamned inferno. by Warren
Perfect! Splendid! Superb!
From the first book I wanted Julia and Warren’s story. From that book I knew they were perfect for each other. I was expecting it to be the last book of the series. Ms. Lane never does the expected and gave us their story in the middle of all the kids. Wonderful! I couldn’t be happier. It was more than I was expecting. In fact, they have become my favorite couple of the Stone family. All of the Stone are great, but Warren… be still my heart.
I can’t wait to what comes next and if I had to guess I would say Adam because of his moment with the little kids tap dance class.
- Action 0/5
- Angst 2/5
- Darkness 0/5
- Humor 5/5
- Romance 5/5
- Suspense/Mystery 0/5
- Would I recommend? I would recommend this book for everyone that enjoy romance. In fact, this is a MUST READ!
- Would I re-read this book? Definitely!!!
- Would I re-read this series? Yes!!!
- Would I read more from the author? I have a new mission in life: to read everything Ms. Lane writes!!!
You MAY read this because you followed the series; you SHOULD read this because you love romance; you MUST read this because you want mature romance with heat!!!
“Now step into my office.”
Julia blinked at his hard tone, her gaze shifting to his closed office door. “I beg your pardon?”
Warren opened the door. “In. Now.”
Her features tightened with resistance just as the elevator doors opened and several employees emerged, their voices rising in chatter. Julia crossed the hallway in front of them, her shoulders rigid. He caught a whiff of Chanel No. 5 as she passed him.
He entered the office behind her and closed the door, flicking the lock shut.
“You are not to take out personal crap on my employees,” he said. “That’s not how I run this company.”
Julia’s lips compressed. “Odd that you’ve never before questioned my treatment of your employees. And it wasn’t personal. She needed to know she’d screwed up.”
“Announcing the holiday party early is not screwing up,” Warren replied evenly. “You’re pissed off because you’ve had a shitty week, you have too much on your plate, an old bucket list has thrown you off your game, and you don’t know what to do with the fact that we fucked the other night.”
Two spots of color appeared on her cheeks. “I seem to recall that what I did with that fact was tell you it wasn’t going to happen again. After which you informed me in excellent caveman style that I was wrong. You seem to forget I’m never wrong.”
About this, you are.
He bit back the words. He hadn’t become the president of Sugar Rush by throwing his weight around. He knew how to bide his time, work his way into getting what he wanted. And damned if he didn’t want her more with every passing second.
“Well?” Julia put her hands on her hips and glared at him. “Are we done here?”
Under her make-up, purplish smudges shadowed her eyes. Brackets of tension lined her mouth. His jaw tightened.
“You had a migraine yesterday,” he said.
“What the fuck do you care?” Julia snapped.
Warren’s hands flexed. He was used to her quick-fire cursing, all the more effective when delivered by a woman who looked like royalty, but he didn’t like being the recipient of her wrath.
“I’m putting Mia Donovan in charge of the Sugar Rush holiday party,” he said.
“You’re firing me?” Julia stared at him, her eyes widening. “Are you serious?”
“Yes.” He steeled himself against her shock and the knowledge that he was hurting her. “You’ve planned it for the past ten years, and it’s time to hand it over to someone else.”
“You don’t get to decide that.”
“Yes, I do. Sugar Rush is my company. This is also the event where I’ll be announcing my retirement. You’re not going to plan it.”
“Because I have too much on my plate?” Julia stopped in front of the windows, her arms crossed and her fiery gaze fixed on him. “Thanks for your concern, Daddy, but I assure you I can handle everything I take on.”
“That’s why you’re such a success. It’s also why your headaches are getting worse.”
“You are not my fucking doctor.”
She barked out a laugh. “You need to rethink this retirement thing, Warren. It’s making you soft.”
Given the state of his dick, he was anything but soft.
“If you won’t delegate your projects, I will,” he said.
“Because you can’t stop being the boss, even if you think otherwise.” Julia paced angrily to the desk, her eyes flaring with blue ice. “Why are you retiring, Warren? Everyone knows you’re the power behind the throne, much as you’ve let the boys take all the glory. Three months—hell, one month from now when you have nothing to do and no one to order around, you’re going to wonder why you made such a bad decision.”
Warren’s jaw clenched. He was sick of getting pushback from all sides. “I’ve been in business my entire life. I know what I’m doing.”
“So do I, dammit,” Julia retorted. “I don’t need you looking out for me.”
“I will always look out for you.”
She came to a halt, her whole body stilling. By contrast, Warren’s heartbeat kicked up, sudden heat flooding his veins. Their gazes met across the room, a crackling electric current firing through the air.
Julia took a breath, her breasts heaving beneath her jacket.
“Goddamn you, Warren Stone,” she whispered.
“I told you to stop swearing.” He advanced, his own breath increasing, his hands fisting and unfisting at his sides.
Rebellion tightened her features. “And if I don’t?”
“You sure you want to find out?”
He closed the distance between them, his lust flaring like a match to dry leaves.
What the fuck was going on with them?
The question flared like a comet through his mind and died just as fast—because he didn’t care about the answer. His mind was consumed with the thought of tasting her red lips again, sweet like cherries, spicy like peppers. Her mouth could deliver an insult as sharp and searing as a blade, but he knew—had always known, even if he’d smothered the knowledge—that the sounds issuing from Julia Bennett’s mouth could also be smooth, hot murmurs of lust that rushed straight to his blood. Weakening him of all thought, all control, inciting him with the urge to—
He grabbed her shoulders, hauling her soft, slender body against him. He’d always loved the contrast of Julia, the sharp-tongued, acidic queen and the relentlessly devoted aunt. The rigorous boss who shot orders like arrows, and the loyal friend who bought Hailey’s favorite peanut butter, sent care packages to Gavin Knight when he was deployed in Iraq, spent hours on end with Evan at the hospital.
He stared down at her fine features, pale skin, and wide blue eyes that he’d seen almost every day of his life for the past thirteen years—and suddenly now it felt as if he were looking at her for the first time. Had he never noticed that tiny birthmark right beneath her left eye? Or the silver flecks in her irises, like falling snow? Or the perfect curve in her upper lip, tempting him to put his tongue there and—
Oh, he’d noticed all right. He’d just tried to pretend he hadn’t.
“What the hell am I going to do with you, Julia?” he muttered.
“Fire me, apparently.” Her tone was bitter, her eyes blue fire.
Her gaze flickered involuntarily to his mouth, her lips parting. He slipped his hand beneath her chin, lifting her face to his. His heart jackhammered. Her breath brushed against his mouth, the familiar scent of her—Chanel No. 5, lavender soap, pure Julia—suddenly exotic and tantalizing.
“I’m going to let you go,” he said slowly, “and take two steps back. I want you to reach under your skirt and take your underwear off… if you’re wearing any.”