Release, Excerpt, Giveaway, and Review Blitz: 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!




by Lauren Blakely


A standalone romance told from the male Point-of-View, HARD WOOD is the final hot and hilarious book in the Big Rock series.


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

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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.

Find Hard Wood on GOODREADS




4.5 “Why the hell not?” stars

Hard Wood was fantastic. Sexy, sweet, and hilarious, it gave me everything I wanted from a rom com. It’s a fun, super-fast read that I couldn’t put down from the moment I picked it up and I finished it in one day.

Patrick Milligan runs his own outdoor adventure tour company and he is loving life and happy with his success. Only, something is missing.

My business is thriving, my family is healthy and happy, and my friends are settling down. There’s only one thing that I long for more of. Well, not a thing. More like a lovely, captivating, I-just-click-with-her someone.

Mia Summers is Patrick’s best friend’s sister and he’s been caring a torch for her since the moment they met. He is ready to settle down like his friends have done and Mia may just be the perfect someone for him…if only she didn’t live all the way on the other side of the country. When Mia comes back early for her brother’s wedding, Patrick thinks it’s the perfect time to spend some one-on-one time together. Just as things seem to be going in the right direction, Mia hires his tour company instantly making her off-limits. How will Patrick and Mia navigate their new hands off relationship when all they want to be is hands on?

I loved Hard Wood. It’s primarily told in Patrick’s POV and this book proves once again how awesome Lauren Blakely is at writing male POVs. I loved getting into Patrick’s head because of his great personality. He is the total package – sweet, sexy, swoony, and a complete gentleman. He is caring, considerate, and selfless when it comes to people who mean something to him. He adores Mia and I couldn’t keep the smile off my face when he is honest with her and expresses the way he truly feels.

“I can’t stop thinking about you.”
“You mean the other night?” she asks, her voice like a feather. “You can’t stop thinking about the other night?”
I shake my head. “No. Just you. Everything about you.”

Mia is adorable. Even though she is hard working and determined to advance her company, I loved when she let’s loose to release some of her stress. She has a goofy side and is fresh and fun to be around. I loved that she doesn’t run away or push too hard and that she know what she wants.

Patrick and Mia have an easy, playful relationship that is full of flirty, witty banter.  They are so good together and are a perfect fit. They connected from the moment they met and as their interactions increase, so do the intense sexual tension and sizzling chemistry surrounding them. It is refreshing that they do not act stupidly when it comes to each other. I understood why they try to fight their feelings, each having reasons that are justifiable, and when they decide to give each other a chance to be more, they are mature about it. I also loved that they are functional as a couple and don’t fight when challenging circumstances arise.

I enjoyed seeing the other characters from the Big Rock series but I have to give a shout out to Zeus, The Hiking Tomcat. He is a fun addition to the story and I loved how Lauren Blakely cleverly uses him to give us some insight into Mia’s head. Overall, Hard Wood is an entertaining read full of heart, humor, and heat, and I highly recommend it to all rom com lovers!

*ARC generously provided by the author and InkSlinger PR 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.”


Don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!



Big Rock

Mister O

Well Hung

Full Package

Joy Ride

Hard Wood


✮✮✮ 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




The Escapist Book Blog is not responsible for this giveaway.


About 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, 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!


Check out some of our favorite Lauren Blakely reads HERE!




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