Review & Excerpt ♥ Hard Wood by Lauren Blakely

October 23, 2017 Angela Blog Tours, Excerpts, Friends to Lovers, Reviews, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Review & Excerpt ♥ Hard Wood by Lauren BlakelyHard Wood by Lauren Blakely
Published by Lauren Blakely Books on October 22nd 2017
Genres: Romantic Comedy
Pages: 217
Format: ARC

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Women often say a good man is hard to find. And a hard man is even better.

That’s why I’m quite a catch— good, hard, loaded, and wait for it…I’m ready to settle down too. But the woman I want to pitch my tent with lives clear across the country. Neither of us wants to get lost in those woods. All I have to do is resist her for the week she's in town.

I try. I swear I try. But yeah, that doesn't work out.

And after one fantastic night with my good friend Mia, I’m ready to give her years of nights under the stars. What's a few thousand miles when love's involved? But there’s a hitch in my plans — she just hired my adventure tour company. If there’s one thing I’m committed to, it’s running a squeaky clean business. Number one on my list of iron-clad rules?

Don’t screw your customers.

But what's a guy to do when she's so hard to resist? How hard can it be to keep our hands off each other for a quick group tour down the hills and over the trails? I’m about to find out, and I have a feeling I’m going to need a new badge of honor because things are about to get very hard in the woods.

I’m in awe of Lauren Blakely’s ability to rapidly write hit after hit. The sheer volume of her work is jaw dropping, but it’s the consistent quality of her rom-coms that is truly impressive. Hard Wood marks the end of her Big Rock compilation, and what a way to go out. This book had me smiling so hard my face hurt.

Patrick and Mia have always clicked: same sense of humor, same easygoing nature, and same interests. She checks all the required boxes in Patrick’s “The One” list, but the fact that they live on opposite coasts has prevented him from moving their relationship out of the friend zone.

Who wouldn’t love Patrick? He’s adventurous, wickedly cheeky, selfless, and old enough to be done playing games. Mia is an ambitious humanitarian with a quick wit and huge heart. I loved these two together.

I guarantee that any cat lover will fall head over heels for Zeus, one of the coolest cats in the history of felines. His trail blazing antics and chapters written from his point of view are particularly entertaining.

This book offers a slow burn with lots of sexual tension, a few misunderstandings, flirty banter, and a perma-smile for readers. What you don’t have to worry about is contrived mega drama cropping up just to create completely unnecessary conflict.

Hard Wood is pure joy. Whether you like sweet friends-to-lovers stories or sexy romantic comedies, this is one endearing treat.

Recommended for fans of:
Friends to lovers stories

**ARC received in exchange for an honest review.**

Hard Wood available now

I haven’t seen Mia in almost a month, since the last time she was in town staying with Max. I didn’t realize she’d be back a full week before her other brother Chase’s wedding, and am I ever glad to see her again.

She makes all parts of me quite happy indeed.

By happy, I mean hard as a rock.

Okay, fine. It’s not like I’m operating at full power this second. I’m thirty-three, not fifteen. I have plenty of self-control in the “when and where to pitch a tent” arena. All I’m saying is this woman gets me going, and I feel that zip down my body when I see her.

She’s on the phone, her eyebrows pinched, her expression harried. She drags her hand through her caramel-blond hair. As I walk closer, I hear her say, “I understand. Yes, I understand. Things happen.”

And that’s the sound of someone being disappointed.

Which is a terrible thing for this sexy-as-a-fiery-sunset woman to experience.

When she stops and ends her call, she spots me. She tilts her head, her eyes piercing, her brow furrowed, and her dimples killing me with cuteness. Her eyes roam from me to Zeus, and then she points at my boy. “I don’t know if anyone has told you this . . .”

I raise my eyebrows. “Tell me. What could it possibly be?”

Her eyes drift to the ground then back up. In a deadpan tone, she says, “But there’s a cat in your hat? Well, on your back, actually.”

“There is?” I crane my neck to peer over my shoulder. “You’re right. How did he get there?”

She parks her hands on her hips. “You’re in big trouble.”

“I’ve been bad, have I?”

She pushes my shoulder then wags her finger at me. “How did you keep this from me?”

I quirk an eyebrow. “The fact that there’s an awesome new Italian place down the street? It opened last month, and I planned to tell you.”

She huffs, rolling her eyes. “I’ve known you for months and you didn’t tell me you had a cat. Friends don’t hide pets from friends.”

She’s not in town that often. She hasn’t ever been to my apartment. And I don’t take Zeus upstairs to Max’s. But I’m not going to state the obvious. I’m going to have a little fun with her. Flirt with her. Because . . . that’s what we do.

“There’s a reason for that.”

Her eyes go wide, and she taps her toe, waiting. I drag a hand through my hair. Evie says my light brown hair is floppy, and she tells me this is a good thing. The ladies love floppy hair, she says. She’s been right so far. My hair’s been a big hit with the ladies, and other parts have, too.

“It’s a good reason,” I add.

“I’m waiting, Patrick. This really isn’t the type of intel you should hold back.”

I heave a sigh as if I’m going to make a huge admission, then I park a hand on her shoulder. Because, well, I’m a sneaky bastard and I’ll look for any opening to touch her. “Look, I’m going to be blunt. If I told you I had a hiking cat who rides shotgun in a backpack and can purr like he’s a jazz superstar, you’d have had no choice but to fall in love with me.”


The HARD WOOD Urban Adventure Pack ($380 value) is filled with:

  • A stylish Michael Kors backpack for when a purse is not enough for your shopping adventure
  • $50 Gift Card to The Body Shop to pamper yourself after a long day
  • Your very own plush Zeus to snuggle with
  • A S’mores Making Kit for a backyard adventure


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About Lauren Blakely

Lauren Blakely

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family.

With ten New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than fifty times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!



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