Release Launch, Reviews, and Giveaway: Hard Wood: Lauren Blakely

by - Monday, October 23, 2017

From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes a hot and hilarious standalone romance about what happens when you have one week to convince your best friend’s little sister that you’re the one for her. What could possibly go wrong? It looks like things are about to get hard in the woods...Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud and insanely hot story, HARD WOOD!

Hard Wood
Lauren Blakely

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Release Date October 23, 2017

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 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.

I can follow my own guidelines for a quick group tour down the hills and over the trails—even if it’s hard in the woods. I’m about to give myself a badge of honor when the storm of the century hits, sending everyone else running for cover. They're safe, but Mia and me? We're trapped. Together. Alone in the woods. 

You don’t screw the client, especially when you’re already in love with her . . .

But what’s a guy to do when she’s so hard to resist? Time to take a trip in a new direction. 

✦ The audiobook is narrated by Sebastian York! Get your copy today! ✦

Patrick Milligan is an adventure tour guide and outdoorsman. He is charming, funny, sexy, dependable, and normal. Yes, normal is so important. He has seen his sister, Evie find her man (Stud Finder), and his best friends Max (Joy Ride) and Chase Summers (Full Package) find love. And he has his eye on someone too. She happens to be Mia Summers, their little sister.

But that's not his biggest obstacle. He's a good guy and his friends are pretty level headed. First, he has no idea what Mia really thinks about him. Sure there's some looking, flirting, and definite like and fun. But they both don't really let on what they are thinking. 

The big problem is she lives in California and he is in New York. Hello long distance! When she comes to visit her brothers, he's been around her at times, but it's hard to do casual cross country dating. And she has her own successful beauty business on the West Coast while he runs his own company from New York and delegates out his West Coast business. 

So there's this zone between the Friendzone and  Love-land where these two are living in with a lot of sexual tension, a little flirting, and some lusty thoughts. But both are afraid to put it all out there and risk scaring the other away.

I freaking adored Patrick. He was damn near perfect. He knew his own mind. he had no qualms about love, settling down, or Mia being the girl he wanted. He was easy going, capable, protective, sweet, and just everything. Totally made me swoon!

And Mia was tiny, but sassy, smart, and witty. She was stressed out and working hard, but she could see the benefits of getting back to nature and spending time with a hot, built, hard, inspiring tour guide. We have seen her in the background of several books and I was so glad she finally got her turn.

These two have their own personal epiphanies and make their own decisions. There are different paths they could choose. But their biggest issue might just be not putting it all out there. Oh, communication breakdowns, tension, and angst!

There are other conflicts and c*ckblocking situations, but overall this is such a sweet, passionate, humorous, fun, and engaging friends-to-lovers-best-friends'-sister-long-distance-love story.

It brings back so many friends from other books in this series of stand-alones. There are big events and progressions. It brings everything together. There are epilogues. There is the most amazing wonder cat, Zeus. This is a flirty and heartfelt adventure in love that left me smiling and swooning.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Patrick Milligan has watched his sister and his best friends find love and he is ready for his turn. The only problem is the attraction he feels for his best friends’ sister. And the biggest problem with that is the distance between the coasts that they each make their homes.

Mia and Patrick have been hinted at, but when Patrick decided to not let long distance stop him from developing feelings for Mia, things heat up quickly. But distance isn’t the only challenge they have to face, and just when it seems they have the all clear, more challenges arise to make things difficult.

The sexual tension between these two is electric. Even before they decide to give it one night, the attraction crackles between them. But when they decide to give in to the feeling, there are still things standing in the way.

Zeus’s interludes added a fun element, and I loved the thread that became his tagline throughout the story. With as much as people talk to their animals, and fail to filter around the four legged roommates, it was only a matter of time before it was pointed out.

Once again, Lauren has created a story filled with humor, family, friends, and love. This was an easy read that moved quickly, smoothly, and kept me entertained. I loved watching Patrick and Mia try to find a common ground, a way to make thing work between them. The lengths each is willing to go to prove that they are a perfect match.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

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.”
And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!
Lauren Blakely

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she's sold more than 2 million books. In October, she'll release HARD WOOD, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! 

✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing HARD WOOD GIVEAWAY! ✮✮✮
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 Smores Making Kit for a backyard adventure

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