Book Reviews · Releases & Reveals

Release Blitz + ARC Review: ‘Hard Wood’ by Lauren Blakely

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!

Now available on all retailers! Grab your copy today, and get HARD WOOD in your hands!


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 is precisely the one I need to stay far away from.

After that fantastic night with Mia Summers, I’m ready to give her many more. But there’s a hitch in my plans — she just hired my company. If there’s one thing I’m committed to, it’s running a squeaky clean adventure tour business. One of the iron-clad rules?

Don’t screw your customers.

I can follow my own guidelines. After all, it’s only a week-long trip with Mia and her employees over the trails and down the hills I guide them on. I can obey the rules—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, but us—my biggest temptation and me, alone for a long weekend. 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?

✦Kindle US ➜
✦Kindle UK ➜
✦Kindle CA ➜
✦Kindle AU ➜
✦iBooks ➜
✦Kobo ➜
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✦Google Play ➜
✦Amazon PB ➜
✦Amazon Audio ➜
✦Audible ➜


5 ‘Why the hell not?’ Stars!

ARC provided by the author via Ink Slinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

I can’t believe this is the last book in the Big Rock world. It seems like yesterday that I fell in love with Lauren’s writing and her wonderful characters. Actually, Big Rock was my first book by hers and after that I could not stop reading: as soon as she drops a release, I am all over it! Well, of course, this one was no exception. And Lauren made it an epic ending!

Hard Wood is, as I said, part of Lauren Blakely’s Big Rockbooks but as all her other releases in this world this novel can be read as a standalone (though I highly recommend reading all the books because they are totally worth it!). This is the love story between Patrick and Mia: also known as Max’s friend (Joy Ride) and Max and Chase’s (Full Package) little sister. These two are very good friends but friends that are extremely attracted to each other. The problem is one of them leaves in San Francisco and one in New York. How can they act on their attraction if both fear this distance? Well.. nothing gets in the way of love!

When I see Mia, when I talk to Mia, when I spend time with Mia, it confirms my belief that some things are simple. 

I FLOVE a good friends to lovers romance. It’s one of my favourite tropes in the genre and it’s always good that Lauren knows how to work with every single one of them! In Hard Wood I got everything I love in Blakely’s novels: a great plot, outstanding characters and lots of laughter, emotion and HEAT! Patrick and Mia have the most adorable friendship and they take it to the next level with their flirting and those moments with Patrick’s cat Zeus (OMG so cute and so funny!). It’s impossible not to love this couple!

I tried to put her in the friend zone. I tried hard, and I thought I’d succeeded. Maybe I was just fooling myself.
But there’s no fooling myself now.
Sometimes you don’t know where a trail goes, but you turn onto it anyway.

And of course, when these two actually accept the attraction cannot be stopped and they act on it.. HOLY CRAP! Absolute off-the-fucking-charts chemistry! Mia and Patrick are adorable as friends but as a couple they will melt your insides! Especially Patrick. I mean.. He is a normal man, a VERY SEXY normal guy and a man who is ready to settle down and he knows Mia is the one for him. I fucking adore him to pieces! And of course, Mia is sassy as heck and I loved it too! These two together are amazing in all the possible ways, if you know what I mean!

Something happens when you touch the person you’ve fantasized about for months. The person you’ve longed for. You not only want to fuck her, you want to adore her with every part of you. 

So yeah, it will be hard to say goodbye to all these fantastic characters that Lauren gave us these last years and I will sure revisit them from time to time because I loved every single one of them. I loved having some moments will all of them in Hard Wood: it made it even more special for me. And boy.. does Lauren Blakely know how to give us a good ending: 3 epilogues, guys, 3 freaking epilogues! Hell yeah! I am definitely all over it! I loved this story so much!

Mia is the life I’ve imagined. She’s the dream I want to make real. 

Therefore, my rating for Hard Wood is 5 STARS because Lauren just delivered another brilliant love story in the Big Rock world: surely one of my favourites! I loved Patrick and Mia, their cute moments together, that wonderful cat they have and their crazy chemistry. I loved all these characters so freaking much and loved reading all their love stories. It’s so sad to say goodbye to them but I know for sure that Lauren is creating more stories and characters that we will absolutely fall for too! Now, if you haven’t read this or any of the other books, I highly recommend you do. You will not regret it!

I let go of her hand and thread my fingers through her hair. “Get on me.”

Then I grab her hips and move her so she’s straddling my lap. She gasps, a sexy noise that turns into a moan as she sinks down on my hard-on.

I hiss because it feels so fucking good.

“I wanted to come over the other night. After dinner. After the elevator,” she blurts out.


She nods. “Dinner ran late, but I couldn’t stop thinking about you.”

“What were you thinking?”

“That we didn’t get to kiss, and I wanted to so badly.”

“I can fix that problem right now.”

I take her face in my hands and bring her to me. Then the world spirals away as I kiss Mia Summers for the very first time.

It’s extraordinary. Her lips brush against mine, and she wastes no time. She slides closer, rubbing on my dick as she presses her chest to me. It’s as if she’s climbing me, and God, how I want this. How I want her like this.

I thread my fingers through her hair, pulling her closer, kissing her deeper. Tasting her. Her mouth is soft and sweet, and she makes these little sounds—whimpers, sighs, gasps—that make me nearly lose my mind.

I’m kissing Mia. I’ve been crazy for her for so damn long, and she’s on my lap, rubbing against my erection, kissing me as if her every last breath depends on it. Her tongue tangles with mine, and in a hot second, the kiss become furious. Greedy. Like two people who are mad about each other. I curl my hands around her head, wanting to get as close as I can, but she bats them away.

I break contact for a moment and raise a questioning eyebrow.

“My turn.” She lifts her hands, cups my cheeks, and then she strokes my jaw. Reverently. Hungrily. And I know what she’s doing. She’s feeling my beard. She’s touching my stubbled jaw with eager fingers, as if she’s wanted to get her hands on me for as long as I’ve wanted to touch her.

I don’t stop her. I drop my hands to her hips, and I guide her along, moving her so she grinds against my cock, and she’s gasping and murmuring as she kisses me.

We consume each other. We are ravenous. My brain turns to static, firing pleasure signal after pleasure signal to every nerve in my body. I want to live in this moment for the rest of the night. I don’t ever want to forget how good it feels not only to kiss her, but to be kissed by her.

She rocks harder, goes faster, murmurs louder, then she separates and looks at me with desperate eyes. “You have no idea.”

I shake my head. “I do. I have every idea.”

Other Books

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


✮✮✮ 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 adventture
$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

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, the final standalone romantic comedy in the Big Rock series. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!

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