Author Highlight: Elle Kennedy

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A series I started here on the blog is “Author Highlights.” It’s a whole post where I gush about my favorite authors. This week it’s Elle Kennedy, one of my favorite romance authors.

Elle Kennedy is a NY Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She writes romantic suspense, and contemporary adult romance. I have read eleven Elle Kennedy books, and I’m slowly making my way through her entire collection. EK books are not new here on whim&witty. I’ve written a review on The Risk and talked about Elle Kennedy books on my mashup romance genre post. To celebrate the most recent release, The Play, I’m here to tell you about my experience reading EK books!


Off-Campus series
The Off-Campus series holds a special place in my heart because these were some of the first new-adult romance books that I read. I’m so happy it was because this series got me hooked on the genre. While each book is a standalone, they follow the same character group so I’d still suggest reading from the beginning.

This series consists of The Deal, The Mistake, The Score, and The Goal. This series takes place on a college campus and each of the heroes play hockey. Y’all know I love a good sports romance and hockey is my favorite. The Deal is my favorite by far because I love Hannah, the main character. She’s sassy, outspoken, and career-driven. Sign me up!

Truly though, The Deal, The Mistake, and The Score are all 5/5 books for me. EK has such a unique voice and the way she captures characters in their early twenties is so realistic! Another thing I love about this series is the complex family dynamics included in each book. It helps give each romance depth.

The Goal is my only 3/5 rating for this series and this is mainly because it includes a trope that is one of my least favorites. (If you want spoiled click my books tab > browse by trope). Take this with a grain of salt though, because you may totally love this one if this trope is one you’re into. Clearly this one is an outlier for me!

I would recommend starting here if you haven’t read EK before.


Briar U series
The Briar U series is a spin-off of the Off-Campus series. It takes place on the same campus and the hero characters are similarly on the hockey team. Again, each can be read as a standalone, but it follows the same group so I’d still suggest starting at the beginning.

This series consists of The Chase, The Risk, and The Play. The Risk is my favorite book out of this series. The main character, Brenna, was so funny to read through. She’s totally badass and takes on feminist issues in a male-dominated career/workplace. The Risk also features two of my favorite tropes enemies-to-lovers and fake relationship. Read my whole review here (it’s a 5/5.)

I gave The Chase a 4/5. While I really enjoyed this story, I got a little annoyed with the hero going back and forth. I still highly recommend it though!

The Play is the most recent release and I gave it a 3.5/5. I just felt a little disconnected from this book. I’m hoping to post a full review soon and when I do, I’ll link back here. There is a bit of OM/OW in the beginning before our two characters get together and this always brings the romance down a bit for me. Again, this is just a personal choice for me and it may be right up your alley.

I still recommend starting with Off-Campus, but definitely check out Briar U to get to know the new characters and see glimpses of how the old characters turned out!


Him series
The Him series is a collaboration between Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen. This is a M/M romance and also features two college hockey players. (Can you see a theme? I love hockey.) This consists of two books: Him and Us. This is a second chance romance and it really explores the complex dynamics of how a friendship can translate to a romance and it’s a sweet first-time m/m romance. EK and Sarina Bowen are magic together. Him was a 5/5 for me and Us was a 4/5.

If you like sports romance and m/m, this series is a must!


WAGs series
The WAGs series is a spin-off from the Him series and is co-authored again by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen. (WAGs = wives and girlfriends). This series has two books: Good Boy and Stay. This series also follows hockey players, but this time they’re professional players so the characters are a bit older. Stay is my favorite in the series because I just love our main characters, Hailey and Matt. The angst and buildup between the two is *chefs kiss.* Stay is a 5/5 for me.

I rated Good Boy a 4/5. I really enjoyed this one and it has such great humor. Wedding planning drives the plot and it makes for hilarious content. This one isn’t a full 5/5 just because I couldn’t deeply connect with the characters (I typically need some big emotional scenes for this to happen.) I still highly recommend it, especially if you’re in the market for sports romance with a lot of humor!

Ok y’all that’s all I’ve got for my second “Author Highlight.” I’m already planning my next few highlights, but in the meantime check out some of Elle Kennedy’s books.


Get More Info: visit Elle Kennedy’s website; get more information on the Off Campus series; get more information on the Briar U series; get more information on the Him series; get more information on the WAGs series.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. All books mentioned were purchased by me.

Author Highlight: RS Grey

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I want to start a new series here on the blog where I can highlight my favorite authors. I can’t think of a better way to kick off “Author Highlights” than a whole post where I gush about one of my favorite romance authors, R.S. Grey.

R.S. Grey is a USA Today Bestselling author and the queen of romantic comedy. R.S. Grey has published an awesome selection of standalone romantic comedies and standalone comedies with overlapping characters. For help on the reading order, R.S. Grey has released a super helpful infographic. I have read eleven (!!!) R.S. Grey books, and I’ve made it my goal to finish her entire collection. R.S. Grey books are not new to the blog (I wrote a review for Make Me Bad and talked about R.S. Grey in my mashup romance genre post). But for now, I thought it would be fun with the upcoming Cold Hearted Boss release, for me to reflect back on my favorite R.S. Grey books.

Arrogant Devil
Truly I think it would be difficult for any R.S. Grey book to top my favorite – Arrogant Devil. This book has everything I love in romance. It’s slow burn (y’all know I’m a slow burn queen), the setting is small town/ranch, the hero character is an arrogant jerk with a sweet/tender side, and the heroine character is badass/independent. Yes please!!

This book is classic R.S. Grey in its humor and lightness. I always laugh to myself while reading her books and Arrogant Devil is no exception. However, this one has such depth y’all, and it made me emotional. Learning about Meredith, the main heroine’s, backstory and then seeing her growth…y’all! I was her biggest cheerleader and in the end it was her that inspired me. I hope to write a full review on this one day, but for now – trust me when I say it’s a full 5/5 from me, and its the R.S. Grey book I recommend the most.

Make Me Bad
I have a full review on Make Me Bad because I was so graciously given an ARC in exchange for an honest review by R.S. Grey herself. (Yes, I did indeed fangirl a little. It’s fine. I’m fine.) I don’t want to go on too long here since I’ve already written an entire review, so I’ll keep it brief.

Make Me Bad is another one of my top favorites. I love the main characters, and I really related to the heroine, Madison’s, character. Plus who doesn’t love a bit of forbidden romance/falling for the town bad boy? This one was a 5/5 from me, and it is another R.S. Grey book that I recommend the most.

Hotshot Doc
Hotshoc Doc is another R.S. Grey book that I recommend to everyone! This book has one of my favorite tropes: boss/assistant mixed with a slow-burn romance. Mhm, sign me up! I loved reading Bailey’s story. I loved how strong and determined she was despite the hardships she’d faced in life nor did she crumble under the intense responsibility she had to carry. The emotions and depth wrapped up into Bailey’s backstory had me lining up to be her number one supporter.

Plus, I loved Matt as a hero. He was an arrogant jerk, but he was also so caring, understanding, and empathetic towards others. He made my heart swoon. His relationship with Bailey and her sister will forever be one of my favorites. This one was a 5/5 from me.

The Foxe and the Hound
Oh The Foxe and the Hound…this book will always have a special place in my book-heart, because it was the first R.S. Grey book that I ever read. In my opinion, Madeline is one of the funniest narrators in the romcom genre that I have read. I loved how Madeline was still finding her way through life in her late twenties, and that she allowed herself to feel overwhelmed at times. She was such a relatable character that I was immediately invested in her story. Plus the first time she meets the hero character, Adam, I was dying of laughter. It’s a meet cute…sorta.

However, The Foxe and the Hound finds itself at the top of my list for its emotional depth and slow-burn angst. I loved the slow build up between the two characters. There was so much angst. I was literately flying through the pages! Not to mention, I’m a total sucker for emotional depth in romance. I feel like I need it in order to really connect and champion the romance. I totally felt that here. Especially towards the end of the book in the storm. I loved the entire thing. This one (no surprise) also gets a 5/5 from me. I hope to post a full review one day.

Ok y’all that’s all I’ve got for my first “Author Highlight.” If y’all like this, I would love to do more. In the meantime, check out some of R.S. Grey’s books or get ready for her new summer release, Cold Hearted Boss.

Get More Info: visit R.S. Grey’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Arrogant Devil on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited; find Make Me Bad on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited; find Hotshot Doc on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited; find the Foxe and the Hound on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy of Make Me Bad in exchange for my honest review. The rest of the books mentioned were purchased by me.

Mashup: Contemporary Romance Authors

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Hi y’all. Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! In celebration of the holiday, I wanted to share with y’all my top ten contemporary romance authors. Contemporary romance has always been one of my favorite genres. Even though most romance books aren’t necessarily life changing or perhaps the most profound literature…they make me happy. There is just something heart warming about reading someone’s love story. So – enough rambling – here are some of my favorite contemporary romance authors (in no particular order).

Elle Kennedy
I have to start out by recommending any book by Elle Kennedy. Kennedy was the first author that really got me to love the contemporary romance genre. I started out with the Off-Campus series and absolutely fell in love. There are four books in this series – but if I had to choose my favorite (and I really love them all, so this is hard) … I would tell you to check out The Deal (book 1) or The Score (book 3). Kennedy does a great job of creating a dynamic cast of characters that you can keep up with throughout the series. Kennedy also creates some funny and strong-willed female leads, which I love. Plus, the series is about hockey. I mean… need I say more?

Also: recommend trying out her Briar U series (spin-off from the Off-Campus series). Kennedy also has a series Him which she authors with Sarina Bowen. This series is very sexy, but also very heart-warming. It follows the love story of Jamie and Ryan (and again, includes hockey!)

Mariana Zapata
Mariana Zapata continues to give me life with her romance novels. Before you go into one of her books, though, you have to know – her books are sloooow burn. If you’re not into the slow build up between the leads, her books are not for you. However, I will say I have loved the books of hers that I’ve read. She just finds a way to make me fall in love with the leads based on their friendly interactions and the love between them – not necessarily for the sexy scenes. I have to recommend that you try The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (my favorite!) Find more of her books here.

Sally Thorne
Sally Thorne has written one of my favorite books, The Hating Game. This is a romance novel that was so funny and just truly warmed my heart. This is also a enemies-to-lovers romance, which always entertains me. Plus, I love how quirky and happy the main character was. 99 Percent Mine is her new release, and I have a full review on that here. Please don’t miss out on this author! Both books are so witty and she clearly has a talent for writing.

Linda Kage
Ok I have to recommend Linda Kage to y’all. I started the Forbidden Men series and fell in love. First, there is just something I love about a good trope. In this case, it’s obvious, forbidden love! I think I find this trope so entertaining because this trope tends to align closely with slow-burn. I love when the anticipation builds between the two leads. In this series, I have to recommend Price of A Kiss (although trigger warning: includes prostitution), Be My Hero, A Perfect Ten, and Priceless.This series includes ten novels, so it can keep you entertained for quite some time! However, for full disclosure, I could never get into Worth It or The Girl’s Got Secrets. But please – let me know your thoughts!

Sawyer Bennett
I’m starting to think my love of hockey really shines through my romance choices. Regardless, I can’t help but recommend Sawyer Bennett to y’all. I have read quite a few books from her Carolina Cold Fury Series, and I really loved each one I read. She has a mix of tropes in there, but she truly just writes very complex characters with dynamic backgrounds. She writes real people with real issues/baggage – and some of these “issues” aren’t just resolved in one book. She has a spin-off series Arizona Vengeance Series, which I also have loved. Although, if I have to recommend my favorites: try Alex, Garrett, and Bishop.

Kristen Callihan
When I first found Kristen Callihan, I was obsessed. The idea of contemporary romance surrounding famous band members? Um, count me in. The VIP series is one of my favorites! The characters have complex back stories and it’s so fun to see them all interact together. Plus, the setting (a band on tour) makes for such an entertaining read. Out of the three books that are currently out in this series, if I had to choose, I would say that Managed is my favorite – but only barely. I really love them all.

Sarina Bowen
Ok so I guess hockey is a theme for me? Should I be embarrassed or embrace it? Regardless, Sarina Bowen is one of my favorites. I know I’ve already mentioned Bowen’s book Him that she co-authored with Elle Kennedy, but she has another series I love: Brooklyn Bruisers. I love Rookie Move and Brooklynaire. Also, Overnight Sensation. Basically – read the series, I love the whole thing! I fall in love with all the heroes. Plus, I love when a series has a cast of characters that you get to follow throughout each book (although one book is clearly their focus.) Please check this author out if you haven’t already.

Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Listen, we have to talk about Hate Notes. Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward kind of broke my heart with this one. It’s a stand alone, which is a change up from the series recommendations above. I honestly don’t want to give much away, because I went into this unspoiled and it was so worth it. This book was really so much more than your typical surface level romance. This one just hit me right in the heart. Ugh, I can’t recommend it enough. Please check this one out!

R.S. Grey
R.S. Grey has written quite a few of my favorite romance novels. She writes dialogue that makes me laugh out loud and characters that really pull at my heartstrings. One of my favorites from R.S. Grey is The Foxe and The Hound. I’m gearing up to read one of her newer releases soon, so hopefully a review on that one will be up shortly!

Hooray if you’re still here after reading all that! I can’t wait to hear some of your recommendations for contemporary romance authors (seriously! please! I need more!). Let me know if you’ve read or loved any of the ones I’ve recommended above. I hope to eventually have more in depth reviews of some of these books on the blog, because I really do love them that much.

Happy Valentine’s Day y’all.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links.