Monday, July 13, 2015

Blog Tour + Review + Excerpt + Teaser + Giveaway: Hat Trick by Liz Crowe

Title: Hat Trick
Series: The Black Jack Gentleman
Author: Liz Crowe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publish Date: July 7, 2015
Review Source: eARC
Detroit’s expansion pro team has a hot star forward, fresh from the English Premiere League. Thanks to a series of fatal misunderstandings coupled with his famous temper, Declan MacGuire only has one thing left to him—soccer—and he’s determined not to make the same mistakes in his new life stateside. 

Emily Keller, an accidental low-level PR flunkie for the team watches as Declan gets sucked into a whirlwind romance with Cassandra Dean, the team’s Queen Bee groupie, trying not to be jealous while the woman maneuvers him into a sickeningly familiar situation.

When things escalate, the team is forced to take sides, and Declan faces the toughest choice of his life.

 So I have had the chance to read and review each book of this series.  As in true Liz Crowe fashion she seems to hit us with an emotional battle in each of her stories.  This one is no different.  Not only does she keep us on an emotional roller coaster, but she gives us our sexy alpha men as well.  Now lets dive into what makes this book what it is, and will have you falling in love with a ginger from Scotland.

So hopefully by now you have met and gotten familiar with the BJ's soccer team.  We meet up in this story with Declan MacGuire who has left the English league trying to put his past behind him and hopefully get a new start.  He longs to find that one person with who he can spend his time and possible future with.  So when he meets Cassandra Dean, who is the leader of the team's WAGS, he does everything he can to try and convince himself that he loves her.

Cassandra Dean is a lying and manipulative woman, who sees her chance to rope a luck sap into marriage and giving her a golden ticket.  But, most of the men have seen her for what she is and refuse to give into her bed hopping ways.  When the "new kid" arrives she sees her chance and does everything in her power to hook him in quick.  But, she still keeps up her bed/player hopping ways, but manages to keep Dec still wrapped under her spell of lies.

Emily Keller, has become the "PR Lady" for the BJ's.  When she finally decides to leave her cheating husband, she jumps back into the daily workforce and lands a great job with the team.  She finds herself pulled towards the sexy Scotty, but refuses to get involved with a player, knowing that they are no better than her ex-husband.  Due to some of Dec's problems with Cass, she and Dec develop a strong friendship, that could lead to more if either party would let the outside world fall away.  Unfortunately lives change, things happen, and for them, the friendship is all that they decide they can have, but what will Karma say?

I loved this book just as much as I have the others.  I will say that Liz Crowe steps out on the ledge and continues to hit on those taboo topics that we don't like to discuss.   She has taken on homosexuality in Man On, Female Athletics in Red Card, Pro Sports injuries and single parenting in Wild Card, and now domestic abuse in Hat Trick.  These are all major issues that follow our professional athletes that we don't like to think about and discuss. But with the way that she puts them out there it is as if she is giving us an insider view and also throwing a second side to each story that we don't always think about.  This is what makes this book and the others so fabulous.  Now, we don't want to forget that she has the romance, the dominance, and the hot and steamy sex scenes all wrapped up in it for us as well, which gives us our trifecta so to say.

So with all this being said, yes I highly recommend this books, as well as this entire series to you to read.  She will have you laughing, crying, and wanting to scream, and lastly pulling out you best battery operated friend if you don't have an alpha man of your own on hand.  

“Hey,” a familiar voice said, making her flinch and almost knock over the glass of ice water the bartender had helpfully provided. She looked up and came face to face with Declan, his deep green eyes sparkly, his thick auburn hair slicked back, that stupid shirt hanging open, per marketing department instruction. Her eyes went directly to his cut torso as if pulled by magnets. She blinked and looked away.
“Hey there.” She held up a finger, figuring it time to resume the alcohol intake. Maybe she could pass out on the way home in the cab and just forget this night ever happened. She shifted when he took the seat next to her and brushed her arm with his.
“It ended all right, didn’t it? I mean, for the charity or whatever it was?” He grinned at her, forcing her to match it and sending a zing of lust from the base of her spine to her toes. That singsong voice—dear Lord, but she could listen to it all night. And she would, if given half the chance.
Stop it, Emily. 
“Um, yeah. I mean. It’s for, uh…” She gulped, realizing she’d totally forgotten the cause du jour that had made her have to chaperone this nightmare. “Food Pantry.”
“Right,” he said, accepting a cup of coffee from the bartender. “Cheers, mate.” He sipped, looking straight ahead while she sat, gnawing the inside of her cheek and wishing she could unhear what she’d just heard in the hallway.
“Gabe and Lillian leave?” She sipped the fresh gin and tonic, hand shaking. It was their common conversational thread and she grasped at it.
“Aye,” he said. 
The silence took on a heaviness that made it hard to breathe. When she risked a glance at him he was staring at her, his eyes narrowed. “What?” she said, startled and defensive. “Do I have lime in my teeth?”
“No,” he said and resumed sipping his coffee in silence. 
She clenched her jaw, willing something resembling a coherent small-talk starter or even a mildly flirtatious comment to emerge. Nothing. She cleared her throat, sipped, cleared it again, sipped some more. Her heartbeat pounded in her ears. The heat from his leg seemed to increase. She moved her thigh ever so slightly away. 
“Well,” they said in unison. She giggled and nearly fainted when a flush crept up his neck into his cheeks. 
“You first,” they said together. 
“Cut it out,” she said. “God, you’re making me feel like a dolt.”
“Me?” He reared back in mock dismay, hand to his bare—very bare—chest.
“Yeah, you. Where’s Jason? Please tell me he didn’t decide to carry his vendetta outside the building?”
“Nah, he’s over there.” Declan pointed behind her. “He’s the one in the lip lock with, ah, what’s her name. I think she’s actually gonna play on the women’s team.”
“Oh, okay,” Emily said, suddenly recalling the recent lip lock she’d been privy to. 
“I think Coop is messing with your office girl,” Declan said, motioning for the bartender to refill his cup. 
“We call them ‘interns’ in the twenty-first century, at least here in the colonies.”
He laughed and blushed again. She had to sit on her hands not to touch his face, to not brush a lock of thick red hair off his forehead. 
“Aye, well, you know what I mean.” He rubbed his jaw and ran his hand around the back of his neck. “Bastard really clocked me.”
“I know. I’m sorry.” She let herself do it—to reach out and just graze his shirt-covered biceps with her fingertips. He flinched as if she’d burned him. “I mean…right. Well.” She sighed and consumed the entire drink in a gulp.
Declan gave a low whistle. “I do love a woman who can do that. It’s the English in me, I guess.”
“English?” She said, wiping her lips with a BJG-logoed napkin. The bit of the booze that wasn’t headed straight to her brain sloshed around in her bloodstream, reminding her of her lack of food in the past few hours. 
Oh well. Fuck it. 
She turned to him and leaned on one elbow, deciding to flirt because why not? 
For some reason, the bar didn’t materialize under her arm and she sensed herself sliding sideways. The teetering barstool made a loud screeching sound right before Emily shut her eyes, waiting for the inevitable embarrassing landing.
But there were strong, warm arms around her waist and lips at her ear, making her eyes fly open.
“Gotcha, PR lady,” Declan said. She swallowed hard and got her feet under her, stepping away from him at the precise second Cassandra appeared, smiling until she saw that Declan still had one hand on Emily’s arm. “You all right?” he said, looking into her very soul.
Oh good Christ, stop it! You are drunk off your ass. This is no stupid romance novel. He is not looking into your soul. He’s staring down the front of your sleazy costume.
“Well, isn’t this cozy,” Cassandra-who’d-just-been-fucked-by-Max said with a sneer.
“Where’s Max?” Emily asked, unable to stop herself, even while knowing better than to engage in any kind of a cat-fight with this bitch. 
She had to give the woman credit. Not even a quick blink or blush to acknowledge the blatant cheat. Emily watched as Cassandra ran her fingers through her hair, and then touched Declan’s arm. He let go of Emily and stepped away, blinking fast as if waking up from a trance.
 “Time to go, Scotty, my darling.” Cassandra took his hand and turned him away without another word. But as Emily bent down to slip her shoes off, grateful yet sad to let go of the moment, the other woman looked around and pinned her with an accusatory glare.
With a long sigh Emily righted the overturned barstool and sat slumped, mostly makeup-less and wishing herself anywhere in the universe but here.

Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction hybrid, “Unconventional Romance. Worth the Risk,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.


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