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Three Simple Words
     

Three Simple Words

4.4 20
by A.J. Pine
 

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I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.

So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like

Overview

I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.

So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book.

Each book in the Kingston Ale House series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 The One That Got Away
Book #2 Six Month Rule
Book #3 Three Simple Words
Book #4 Worth the Wait

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781633757486
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
10/17/2016
Series:
Kingston Ale House , #3
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
299
Sales rank:
9,381
File size:
1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Three Simple Words

The Kingston Ale House Series


By A. J. Pine, Karen Grove

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 A.J. Pine
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-748-6


CHAPTER 1

"I think we have time for a couple more questions," Wes said as he looked out onto a sea of smiling, beautiful faces. One of the perks of the job for sure.

A hand shot up from the center of the crowd, and Wes nodded toward the woman. She stood, blond waves tumbling over her shoulders and directing his eyes right to where her breasts swelled beneath her shape-hugging sweater.

His lips curved upward. She glanced down to where his gaze rested below her eyes and offered a coy smile of her own. Then she surveyed his form, starting from his head and traveling lazily to just below the belt. She raised her brows with what felt to him like approval. She glanced up, and he met her stare with unabashed boldness.

"You ... have a question?" he asked.

"Yes," she answered without hesitation. "Your hero, Ethan, is a very skilled lover in Down This Road. Tell me, do you write from experience or just base those scenes on extensive — research?"

He flashed her a roguish smile and leaned back against the signing table, running a hand through his light brown waves.

"I like to think of experience as research," he said. "And I'm always looking to learn something new — for the sake of the next book, of course."

The woman narrowed her stare and pressed her lips into a knowing smile.

"The oral sex!" a petite brunette with a pixie cut blurted from her seat before he could ask for the last question, and gasps and murmurs echoed among the seated crowd. "The oral sex scenes were my favorite," she said with a slight tremble in her voice. "He wasn't just a skilled lover but an attentive one. I think that's one of the reasons why all those women were forgiving of his inability to commit. Because — because —"

"The oral sex," Wes said, finishing her thought, and she nodded vigorously.

His agent, Max, shot up from his stool at the bar. "And, that's it for questions, ladies. Let's give Mr. Hartley here a few minutes to grab a drink, and then he'll be signing for those of you who purchased books."

Max ushered him toward the bar as he thanked the crowd for their patience.

"You really are an asshole," Max said. "Seriously. You've fucking ruined sex for those of us with wives and partners who expect us to be able to do what Ethan can do. If you didn't pack houses like this with readers willing to throw their money at you, I'd cut you loose right now."

Wes ordered his drink and laughed. "I could do a how-to manual next if you want. Maybe a YouTube video? Or how about this? If you're doing it wrong, ask her how the hell you can do it right."

"Fuck you," Max said. "It's not that easy."

Wes raised a brow. "Have you ever asked your wife what she likes?"

Max laughed. "You mean other than her personal shopper at Bloomingdales?" He went silent for a moment, and then his eyes widened. "Jesus, you're a genius, Hartley."

Wes took a slow sip of his drink. "True — but I don't follow."

Max pulled his phone from his pocket and began hammering out a text. When he finished he looked at Wes again. "I just told her I'm meeting her at Bloomingdale's after my breakfast meeting tomorrow. In a fitting room. Where I'm prepared to ask her what she'd like."

Wes laughed and shook his head. "That's one way to go about it. Feel free to bring the book if you want to reference a specific scene."

"Speaking of books ..." Max said, but Wes cut him off.

"There's a line at the signing table. I'll catch you after?"

He didn't wait for Max's response. He was on too much of a high from the Q&A. Now wasn't the time to get into book two — or the current lack thereof. He had a line of women waiting for him, and he wasn't one to disappoint.

Wes scrawled his name across the title page along with his signature phrase, "Enjoy the journey." He slid the book back to the woman, enjoying the flush that grew in her cheeks as her hand accidentally brushed his.

"Thanks for coming out tonight," he said, lifting his rocks glass in a gesture of cheers before he threw back what was left of his scotch. The woman from the Q&A — the one so curious about his research — bit her lip and smiled, glancing behind her to the handful of other women still in line. When she looked back at him, she swiped a tongue over her painted bottom lip and tucked her blond waves behind her ear.

"Will you be staying for drinks after the signing?" she asked, her tone full of innocence, but her blue eyes brimming with heat.

Wes noted his empty glass and gave her one of his patented "Wes Hartley author" grins.

"It does look like I'm in need of a refill," he said.

She pressed her hands to the table and leaned forward, whispering in his ear, "Then I guess I'll see you at the bar."

"I guess you will."

No sooner had she ducked out of line than the next woman placed her book on the signing table. "Can I get a picture with you?" she asked.

"Oooh, I'll take it for you!" the woman behind her said. "If you'll take one of me and Wes with my phone when you're done!"

And there she was — the woman without a question at all who just wanted to talk oral sex — rounding the table before he had time to think. And then she slid onto his goddamn lap. Wes glanced toward the bar where Max still sat, and the man raised both a brow and a glass. Wes shrugged. This was the part of the job he'd never get tired of.

He encouraged the woman to wrap her arms around his neck, then tilted her down into an almost kiss.

She gasped. "This is just like that first time in Natasha's apartment where Ethan tells her the relationship can't move forward and then he lays her out on the butcher block table and —"

"The oral sex," Wes said.

She swallowed hard, apparently unable to respond as she squirmed against his thighs.

"Say cheese!" the other woman said, and he flashed his grin toward the phone aimed in their direction.

No. He'd sure as hell never get tired of this.


Max was gone by the time the signing had ended, no doubt only there to make sure he sold a respectable amount. Judging by the fact that the bookseller had to return to the shop to grab more stock, he'd say he had. But the text his agent had sent still hung in the air.

Don't fuck anyone who might fuck up your sales. Send me that new manuscript ASAP. And call me when you get to Chicago. I still think you're crazy as hell for leaving New York, but who am I other than the guy who sends you those big, fat checks? Just remember what we have riding on book two.

Looked like Max didn't need to continue their conversation face-to-face. All that had to be said was right there.

Wes looked up from his phone to find the blonde who'd offered to buy his next drink waiting on a stool with two rocks glasses in front of her, crystal clear liquid in each.

"I'm a vodka girl myself," she said. "I hope that's okay."

Wes smiled. "I'm not a picky man," he said, lifting one of the glasses to his lips and taking a sip. Heat spread from his tongue to his throat and straight to his core.

"You a New Yorker?" he asked, and she gave him a coy smile.

"I'm from Philly, actually. Took the train up just for your event. Heading back home in the morning." She drank. "Look, I don't do things like this. Ever. But your book — it just ... You're Ethan, right? Meandering down this road and never really finding what you want? I mean, that's the title. Down This Road."

"It's a story," he said, voice steady. "Make believe," he teased. Because this was where he always drew the line, letting on how much autobiography actually seeped into fiction.

"Well ... all those relationships?" she said. "All of them ending ... and the hero resigning himself to being alone? Ugh." She shuddered. "So. Many. Feels."

He laughed and held up his glass. "To feels, then," he said.

"To feels!"

They clinked their glasses together then drained the rest of their drinks.

"Excuse me, Mr. Hartley?"

The voice came from behind. He turned to see the brunette pixie who'd been in his lap only thirty minutes before.

He raised his brows.

"I was hoping I could buy you a drink?"

A blonde to his left, brunette to his right, and they wanted to buy more than just his books. Who was he to say no?

"I guess it's a party now," he said, and surprisingly both women smiled.

"Another round," the blonde said to the bartender. "Plus one." She glanced back at the other woman.

And then it was like a swarm — the bar flooded with the women who'd stayed past the end of the scheduled event. Drinks were poured, drank, and Wes was in his element, at his best when he was the star of the show.

When it was well past midnight, he finally broke from the small crowd that remained.

"I need to head out, ladies, but it has been a lovely evening."

There were audible awwws and visible pouts.

"You're leaving? A-alone?"

The brunette pixie's eyes were wide, and he chuckled softly at the memory of her blurting oral sex during his Q&A.

"Sorry to disappoint," he said, though the disappointment was really his. "But I thank everyone for a spectacular night."

He gave the small party a nod and backed away, offering them one final, appreciative grin.

Because he wasn't an idiot. He was grateful for all of the attention and knew it could end as quickly as it began. But for now the show was over, because Wes Hartley wasn't headed back to his New York apartment. He was headed home.

CHAPTER 2

The Playboy — Why We Love to Hate Him (and then love him)

by HappyEverAfter admin | Leave a comment

Annie tapped her finger against her bottom lip as she read over yesterday's post, pausing at the last line.

It is in the heroine that we see the playboy redeemed — that he is, in fact, capable of love. And it's in this trope we see love truly does conquer all. And that, my friends, is why we love to hate — and then fall in love with — the player hero in romance. As always, it's time to share, so lay it on me. Who's your favorite romance playboy?


She took a deep breath. After all, she knew her posts were good, that they were always on point with current discussions in romance. That's how the HappyEverAfter blog was born and how she'd amassed a 5k following. Sure, it was modest in the grand scheme of things, but she'd started the blog for herself once she'd fallen in hard love with romance and found she needed an outlet. Now she had daily conversations about her favorite genre — albeit with people she'd never met — and the blog filled a void she hadn't been able to before. But the comments — it was always terrifying to read the first few. Did her readers agree? Disagree? Had a romance resistant troll hunted her down just to make trouble? While the latter rarely happened, it was an inherent truth of the book blogging community, which was why she kept a hefty folder of "Haters gonna hate" memes on her desktop — always her favorite troll reply.

COMMENTS:

HEAlove says: So much yes to this post. I adore the player because his redemption is everything. I have to say, though, that my favorite one is a bit unconventional. I'm head over heels for Ethan in Wes Hartley's DOWN THIS ROAD. Like, I can't get that book out of my head. Tell me you're going to review it here because I'm dying to hear what you think!

11:01 a.m.

Well ... not a troll, but not what she was hoping for. Annie read on.

Bookluvr says: Ditto HEAlove! I just finished DTR last night and ugh! Total book hangover. Ethan is so the player I love to hate — and then fall for in the end.

11: 25 a.m.

She rolled her eyes. Surely the next example would be someone other than Ethan from Down This Road.

Romreader says: Okay, so I know this book doesn't follow the conventional "rules" of romance, but how can you not swoon for Ethan? Every woman he's with thinks she's got everything she ever wanted. He's cocky, arrogant, and an amazing lover. So what if he doesn't believe in the HEA and leaves them all? When he does, he unwittingly leaves a piece of himself behind, too, because no matter how much he tries to keep them out when he has sex with them, he lets himself feel. SPOILER WARNING, but since we all read (Annie tell us you read!!!), I don't care that he ends up alone or that he broke my heart with every heart he broke. He's ridic sexy, and he made me feel all of the feels. Ethan FTW!

12:16 p.m.

15 more replies ...

Annie stifled a scream. It would be one thing if the author was some nameless, arrogant ass. But she'd known him once — long ago. And he'd grown into this arrogant ass who was distorting her poor romance readers' views of a good love story. She pushed back from her desk with too much force, her rolling chair catching the lip of the rug and sending her toppling over.

"I'm okay!" she said, springing to her feet, only to have Brynn — her best friend and account manager — spin toward her and raise a brow.

"You read the comments," Brynn said drily.

Annie righted her chair and plopped back down into it. "Ihave to read the comments. It's my blog. I write the posts. I read the comments. And I reply. It's called good blogger etiquette," she said. She used her heels to scoot her chair back to the desk. "Plus, it's also free advertising for Two Stories, and you know how much we need that."

Brynn winced. If anyone knew how hard it was to keep an independent bookstore afloat, it was the woman who made the bank deposits each day.

"Okay," Brynn said. "You've got a point there. But what's got your panties in a bunch this morning? I think someone needs a caramel apple cider run."

Annie huffed out a breath. "I do need a cider, but first things first. You know that post that went live yesterday, the one about the playboy hero trope?" Brynn nodded. "Well, I always ask for a reader response at the end, so naturally I asked them to share their favorite playboy heroes."

Brynn nodded again. "I'm liking where this is going. Ready to add them all to my TBR."

Annie shook her head. "Do you remember that book by my brother's old high school friend, Wes Hartley?"

Brynn threw back her head and laughed. "The one who said he had to get out of Chicago, that only New York was the creative epicenter for young artists?" Brynn rolled her eyes and groaned. "You hated that one! Oh God. Don't tell me your blog is an inadvertent love fest for the book you love to hate."

Annie groaned. "You know I don't love to hate anything. Especially in public. I'm a bookseller. I talk about books I love but never disparage those I don't. But, crap. I guess Down This Road has had a resurgence in sales from the paperback release because more than half my comments were about the readers' undying love for the hero, Ethan." She cleared her throat. "And I use the term hero lightly. Because, duh — no happily ever after — and I can't even feel bad for him. He brings it all upon himself. I just — no. Hard no on that book."

"Tell me how you really feel," Brynn said with a grin.

Annie threw her hands in the air. "I know you don't share my affinity for the romance novel, but geez!" She was up and pacing now. "You still get it."

"Get what?" Brynn asked with brows raised.

"That love can, in fact, conquer all if you're not such an idiot that you refuse to let it in."

Brynn crossed her arms. "Like me and Jamie were for ten years."

"Yes!" Annie halted mid-pace. "You guys were 100 percent, certifiable, bona fide idiots."

Brynn opened her mouth to protest but then pressed her lips back together. "You're right. We were the worst. But now we're the best." A dreamy smile took over her features.

"Exactly!" Annie pointed at her friend. "Just like all good romance heroes and heroines, when you two were ready to say 'fuck you' to fear and open yourselves up to the possibility of something more —"

"Fireworks," Brynn interrupted. "It was fireworks."

Annie held her head high. "Thanks to me giving you guys a push — and what I know was an epically romantic road trip." She collapsed back into her chair. "That's what's wrong with Wes Hartley's not-a-romance. This maddening character, Ethan, has women swooning for him right and left, almost all of them saying they love him — and he never returns the sentiment. Other than some pretty sensational sex scenes ..." She fanned herself. After all, she would give credit where credit was due. "... Ethan, the not-a-romance-hero, is the most shallow, vapid, self-serving fictional human I've ever read. He takes and takes and takes but claims he cannot give."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Three Simple Words by A. J. Pine, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2016 A.J. Pine. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

A. J. Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, A. J. has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality—romance. Naturally, the books she writes have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes). And a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, superheroes, and a certain high-functioning sociopath detective. You’ll also nd her hanging with her family in the Chicago ’burbs.

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Three Simple Words 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
nelriv 7 months ago
I loved this book. We have Wes, and he does not believe in love, or HEA, yet the book that he just wrote, is number one in the bestseller list for romance. He has to write another story, publisher is waiting, but he is blocked, and he decides to go to his hometown of Chicago, to see if it helps him. There he is reunited with his bestfriend, and his bestfriends sister Annie, who he used to have a crush on. Unfortunately, Annie, hates his book and she is also a blogger, and she can not understand why everyone loves this book. Wes helps Annie out, and they end up falling in love, even though they didn't they could. Now on to Jeremy's love life.
JensReadingObsession 12 months ago
I loved that this is a romance about a bookstore owner/blogger and a writer. Annie lives and breathes romance novels and is convinced her hero and happily ever after is out there somewhere. Wes did not set out to write a romance book, and while Annie does not consider his book to be a romance, the book community sees it as one. Just as his character in the book does not believe in happy endings, Wes is serial dater that refuses to believe he has more to offer than his time in bed. This sets the tone for the beginning of their relationship, but pretty soon they are both learning things about themselves that they had never considered. Three simple words have the power to change their lives, but they must each have the courage to go for their happy...beginning. Overall a sweet and sexy read that can be read as a standalone. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
TDB005 More than 1 year ago
I have Three Simple Words for you guys about this book...download it NOW! No seriously, this one ticked every single one of the boxes for me, and it was such an enjoyable read that I couldn't put it down start to finish. I've never read A.J. Pine before, and let me tell you this will not be the last. In fact, I'm going to backtrack and read the previous books while I look out for the next release. This book even had the honor of being added to my favorite book list, so that alone should tell you all a little something about how much I adored it! Annie and Wes had their own issues to overcome, both avoided real relationships for example without revealing any spoilers, but neither of them realized that finding the right person could change all of their preconceived notions. From the engaging plot to the fun cast of characters, Three Simple Words really had it all. It was witty, sexy, fun, and just so incredibly good! I could probably gush more, but I'm just going to say again that if you enjoy a cute romantic comedy with a bit of heat thrown in, then you are going to love this one just as much as I did. Promise!
CassandraNZ More than 1 year ago
Three Simple Words is the first book I've read by A.J. Pine, and I'm looking forward to reading her other books. Wes is a bestselling romance author. He writes books that has steam and would make any women blush while reading his book but there is always something missing in his stories. You guessed it…The Happily Ever After. When Wes’s publishing house demands Wes to send in more pages of his work in progress, Wes is in a slump. The words are not coming out and all he sees are blank pages. And so when Wes decides to go back home, he runs into Annie, his best friend’s sister. Annie is a book blogger and book shop owner. She is well aware of Wes’s success as an author but she is not a big fan of his book. His stories don’t have that happily ever after ending that she craves. All his stories ends with happily for now. Can a romance author write his own happily ever after? Or will he have to settle with a happily for now? *I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book*
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
"A love letter to romance!" This is a delightful romance where Annie is a bookseller and blogger who believes in the possibility of meeting the love of her life and achieving her own happily ever after. Wes is three years younger, was the teen best friend of her brother, Jeremy, and has written a best selling novel which concerns the romantic liaisons of a fictitious character who does not believe in any HEA being possible. When these two meet, they're seriously attracted to each other but he doesn't want to upset his best friend or break the bro code by having a soon to be ended relationship with Annie. However, fate may have other plans! This is a great novel to escape into, with a well developed plot and characters who are brilliantly portrayed, easy to relate to and to empathise with. I really appreciate how this author describes settings and interactions so it seems like you are actually witnessing them, bringing them to vivid life in the imagination of the reader. I totally agree with what the author says in her acknowledgements where she describes this as "a love letter to romance. . . . Showing us that love can conquer all and happy endings are just the beginning." I have no hesitation in highly recommending this to anyone who enjoys escaping into a well crafted contemporary romance written by a skilled wordsmith. I was gifted an ARC of this novel via NetGalley with no obligation or requirement. This is my honest review after choosing to read the ARC.
Mommaleena More than 1 year ago
Unexpected What an exciting story about author Wes Hartley and Two Stories book store owner Annie Denning. After his 1st book Down This Road hits the NY Best Sellers list Wes decides to leave NY and come home to Chicago, in hopes of breaking through his writers block. With the a wedge between him and his father, he calls his best friend Jeremy to see if he knows of a place he can crash. Jeremy does one better and not only offers him a room at his place, but offers him a part time position at the bar he works at, in exchange he asks Wes to do a book signing at his sisters book store that is having financial troubles. In high school Wes had a crush on Annie, so he's not only happy to help, but needs to hide how excited he is about it. One draw back..... Annie hates his book and says it's a —no happily ever after—not-a-romance, who's *character Ethan, has women swooning for him right and left, almost all of them saying they love him—and he never returns the sentiment (*direct book quote). *Other than some pretty sensational sex scenes Ethan, the not-a-romance hero, is the most shallow, vapid, self-serving fictional human I’ve ever read. He takes and takes and takes but claims he cannot give. (*Direct book quote). Can Wes change Annie's mind about his book? Can Wes get over his high school crush, or has it turned into more? You'll have to read THREE SIMPLE WORDS to find out, but I absolutely completely enjoyed this story. I wanted to share more favorite quotes, but they'd given away too much information. So here's just a few that won't spoil the story! Now I want to read SIX MONTH RULE & THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. I received an ARC via IndieSage through NetGalley in exchange for an honest blog tour review. Due to sexual content this novel is recommended for readers 18 and older! FAVORITE PASSAGES ~~ - “Drunk on the nearness of her, on the warm, sweet scent of home. - “Am I gonna be as much trouble for you as you are for me?” - Why did it matter so much whether or not he believed that love could conquer all?
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
This third story in the Kingston Ale House series is a fun look at the world of authors and bloggers, plus a sibling's best friend trope romance (one of my favourites) that is a great addition to this series and a very enjoyable and entertaining read. Annie runs a small bookshop and has a romance blog. Her younger brother's best friend Wes has landed himself in the spotlight with his story of Ethan, the man who loves them and leaves them in a story without a happy ending. 'Not a romance!' cries Annie on her blog, entering the current debate of the 'non-HEA romance' and hating the story for getting all the publicity in the field where the happy ending should be sacred. Financially, her store could use some help and having a book signing by the now famous Wes would definitely put it in the public eye. Wes is happy to help out his friend's sister, a woman he had a crush on when he was younger. Now as adults, they meet as equals and to Annie's chagrin, she finds herself attracted to him even as she despises his book. One favour leads to another, then leads to the bedroom where a heated affair begins. But is Wes just like the character in his book, ready to walk away without commitment? Or will he man up and admit that his feelings for Annie are deeper than he's let on? This is a fun and timely story that combines the current controversy facing the romance world with a sexy and overall lighthearted story that still contains some emotional scenes. Wes's reluctance to commit to women stems from his grief over his mother's death, and he finds it easier to have one night stands than to contemplate a long term relationship that could end as his parents relationship ended. He turned those experiences into his bestselling book, blending fact with fiction. Annie quickly figures out that there is some truth to this fiction when they keep bumping into women who ended up as 'chapters' in Wes's book in some humorous scenes. Their agreement to a friends with benefits arrangement definitely comes with some decent benefits alright, as the sexual encounters in Wes's book don't appear to be exaggerations, to Annie's ultimate delight. But it's not long before she's falling for him despite knowing it's not going to end up the way she wants, though she doesn't realize that Wes is also struggling with his deeper feelings for her. There are some great scenes with the other characters from previous books in the series as the story propels its way to the happy ending that they both deserve. 4.5 stars for this timely ride to true love.
LeighKramer More than 1 year ago
There are plenty of romance subgenres but I do believe I've found a new favorite: book nerd romance. After reading the description for Three Simple Words, I knew I'd be in book nerd heaven and I was right. Three Simple Words was such a fun read. It had the perfect amount of humor and angst. Annie owns a bookstore, writes a blog called Happy Ever After, and loves romance novels. Her bookstore is facing a little financial trouble when in swoops her brother's best friend Wes whose first book was an explosive hit. She didn't like his book because the hero never evolves but she needs the business and the event is a smashing success. I was surprised she'd never hosted an event before because this seems like a common bookstore practice but better late than never. Everything changes when Wes ends up becoming Annie's date to a wedding. As they get to know each other, as Annie faces a few uncomfortable truths about her love life, sparks fly and the fun begins. Their night together also breaks down Wes's writer's block and his second novel, which is already overdue, starts to flow. At this point, I couldn't put the book down. There are so many delicious nods to romance novels and tropes and happily ever afters, as well as general book nerdery. I loved seeing how Annie functioned as a bookstore owner and found her blog posts to be really fun and engaging. I loved watching the story pour out of Wes once Annie became his unwitting muse, as well as the behind-the-scenes info on the publishing industry. I found Annie and Wes's ongoing conversation about the difference between real life and fiction to be especially interesting. Wes's hero is informed by Wes's life but they are not the same people, despite the thin line between them. Wes has a lot of unresolved grief and a strained relationship with his father that directly impacts his writing. It's no wonder Annie is confused about whether Wes and Ethan are the same person and takes the pages from his work-in-progress a little too close to heart. The thin disguise between Wes and Ethan is one of the main drivers of the plot. Annie wants Wes to become more emotionally engaged. Once she falls for him, she wants to love him into loving her back. Wes and Annie both have unexpressed high expectations for each other and this leads to major miscommunication and misunderstanding. This was frustrating at points as a reader- gah, why would you act that way when you actually feel this way?!- but people really do behave this way, especially when they're taking vulnerable risks in a relationship. One of the most satisfying scenes in the book is when Annie realized for all her concerns about Ethan, she was actually closed off to relationships. I do think this is a common misunderstanding about romance readers- that we confuse fictional HEAs and idealized heroes from what is standing before us. It's not true for me. But it made perfect sense for Annie and how she held herself back. I also liked how the characters were there for each other, whether it was giving someone a spare room or keeping an eye out for their well-being. It was a solid crew and I'm looking forward to getting caught up on the series. This was such an enjoyable read. I loved how Wes and Annie's romance developed and how they both grew as individuals and as a couple. I loved all the book nerdery. Disclosure: I was provided an ARC of Three Simple Words from IndieSage in exchange for an honest review.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Three Simple Words is a romance novel for people who love writing and are in general bibliophiles. Annie Dening runs a small town bookstore and also rights a blog about the romance genre. Her business is on the edge of going under and she is looking for any solution to help solve her problems. She reluctantly agrees to let her little brother's best friend Wes, who has become a famous author, sign books at her shop. We has always had a crush on Annie, and he jumps at the chance to accompany her to a wedding. They begin to hook up and soon Annie starts to a happy endings. Will Wes be willing to give up his bachelor ways and make a commitment to Annie? This is a cute book that features interesting characters, a original plot and a fun supporting cast. I enjoyed this book and am very happy I read it! I was given a free copy for an honest review.
Brigittehf More than 1 year ago
This third instalment of "Kingston Ale House" takes us on another romantic journey with all its trials and tribulations. Wes is a twenty five year old author who has just made the headlines with the launch of his first novel. He needs to produce another book to keep the momentum but unfortunately he has come to a stand still. Writer's block! He takes a trip back to Chicago, his home town where he will either find his muse or face financial difficulties. Annie owns a bookshop and writes a blog about romance. Her blog is popular but the shop isn't doing so well. She is also waiting to meet her happily ever after, something that she firmly believes in. Wes is staying with Annie's brother, Jeremy his school friend and works part time at Kingston Ale House. Jeremy talks him into holding a last minute signing day at the book shop to hopefully generate more interest and income. Annie is not one of his biggest fan because his book doesn't have a happily ever after. During the signing, Wes is drawn into an impromptu date with Annie for a wedding. They are attracted to each other and decide to have a night of fun. No strings attached! Neither of them expected what follows and this is where everything becomes complicated as they don't want the same thing. Their well hidden issues come to the surface and they have to face and address those before they can move forward. Mistakes and wrong assumptions are made. Can they fight what's meant to be? This novel is sexy and intense with love and laughter as well as heartaches and sorrows. There moments where I found myself laughing out loud and others where my heart broke. I enjoyed the first two books in this series but this one is my favourite so far. Jeremy had me in stitches with his recollections of a shower incident! I find him to be adorable and hope that he gets his own story. I can honestly say that I loved each and every aspect of this story. I was kindly issued with an eARC via NetGalley. This is an honest review.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4 stars Three Simple Words was a fun, sexy & sweet read. I really enjoyed watching Annie and Wes together, they made me laugh, they frustrated me and they made my heart swoon. A.J. Pine has once again given her readers a well written, enjoyable read with relatable and likable characters that will entertain you and leave you with a heart full of love. Three Simple Words is a wonderful addition to the Kingston Ale House series, each book can be read as a standalone and I highly recommend them all.
Laura_F More than 1 year ago
Another amazing return to the Kingston Ale House!! Annie is a bookstore owner who believes in happily ever afters. Her bookstore needs help though and her brother's best friend just happens to be a best selling author who agrees to do a signing on short notice. So what if she hated his book.... Everyone else seems to love it. Wes had a huge crush on Annie in high school and wants to show her that he's not the same kid he was back then. So, he doesn't believe in happily ever afters, that's not what either of them is looking for right now. This book can be read as a standalone but you should read the ones that came before it because they were equally as good as this one. I loved the check-ins with the characters from the previous books. Annie and Wes' banter was hilarious and these two couldn't be more perfect for each other. I'm really looking forward to Jeremy's story next!! *This is a voluntary review of an Advanced Reader Copy.*
SinfoniaDosLivros More than 1 year ago
Now that's what I call a couple made in heaven! A writer and a book addict. What could go wrong, wright? That's what we all could think about Annie and Wes, but the truth is very different. I was, once again, one of the lucky bloggers who could read this story before it came out to the major public. This book is the third one of Kingston Alle House serie and like the previous two it was a privilege to read it. Wes and Annie have known each other since they were very young, from the time that Wes was Jeremy's best friend, her younger brother. The fact was that Wes was three years younger than she and for that, she never paid him to much attention. He was only the brat that was her brother's friend, that spent his afternoons in their home playing videogames. What no one ever knew was the adolescent passion that Wes had for her. He dreamed of her all the time and could not, or dared to declare it to her, because, come on, he was younger than her. She was out of his league. However, they no longer seen each other for many years and each one took his path in life. He left the city and went in search of peace of mind after the death of his mother and Annie stood and opened a bookstore. For those who do not know, Annie is the best friend of Brynn, the character that, along with Jamie Kingston, gives rise to this Kingston Alle serie. Wes became a well known writer only with a published book and the pressure of writing a second one becomes a literary lock. In search of some inspiration, Wes returns to his hometown and asks for Jeremy's help to him find a place to stay and a job that allows him to have some leeway to be able to pay his bills (since he spent the money earned with the book paying his fahter mortgage) and to write the second book, as his agent desired. That's when he finds Annie again, the one who read his book and hated it, because she is one of those people who expects happy endings and his book, although being a roamnce, does not give her that happy ending. It was expected that the relationship between Annie and Wes would be explosive, because Annie owns a strong and intense personality. She expects the best of love and her only desires are to make her library a success and find that person who will do anything to see her happy and that she also will do anything for. Once again, I loved how the author managed to create a couple so dynamic and loving. With its ups and downs, but always with the intention and hope to heal the traumas that both of them had. She will show him that people can, in fact reach a happy ending, although the way to reach it can be rough. Also Wes will teach Annie that happy endings are not the only way to have someone who loves you more than anything without some suffering. Loved to know that Jamie and Brynn are even more in love with eachother. That complicity that makes them so cute and sweet. Can't wait to see how Jeremy will find, also, the love of his life!
MBurton More than 1 year ago
Annie is a bookshop owner and romance blogger. She believes in happily ever after and knows she will get hers someday. Wes is a romance author who doesn't believe in happily ever after. He's the confirmed bachelor who writes about confirmed bachelors. He's also Annie's brothers best friend who just so happened to have a huge crush on Annie when they were kids. This book felt like I was reading a romance novel inside a romance novel. You got the player trope and the brothers best friend trope. Add in the heroine who believes she can change the player and show him he can love after all while hiding their relationship from the brother. It was pretty comical to read a romance novel while the hero and heroine are arguing whether life is like romance novels. It was well written and yes, we do get a HEA. There is a bit of other women drama with all the real life woman the hero based his book on but there is no cheating. ARC provided by NetGalley.
Rhondaz More than 1 year ago
Three Simple Words by A.J. Pine....This book was, fun, sexy, sweet, loving with great characters. A.J. Pine does an amazing job with this story, Wes an author is writing a book, it is a book within a book. I loved Wes and Annie and theirs stories were both sad in their upbringing, but fun to watch unfold. This is my first book by A.J. Pine and I am so excited to read more by her. I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book by publisher via NetGalley.
Vicki101370 More than 1 year ago
Three Simple Words by A.J. Pine is the third book in her Kingston Ale House series. I have been completely drawn into this series, and was really looking forward to Annie's story, because, well, she owns a bookstore! What a dream! Wes is a best selling author, who's come back home to Chicago to clear his head, and crashes with his old friend Jeremy, who just happens to be Annie's younger brother. Author. Bookstore owner. While it seems like a match made in heaven, Annie believes in Happy Ever Afters and Wes doesn't. Regardless, the attraction between them is smoking hot, so spend time together, no strings attached. Of course, the more time that passes, the more they each realize how much the other is right for them. They just have to get past their personal demons so that they can move forward. A.J. Pine always writes with such heart, it's impossible not to fall in love with her characters and stories, and Wes and Annie were no exception. They had a great banter that I really enjoyed, and Wes' words... sigh. When you can feel the energy and attraction radiating from the pages of the book, you know you have a winner.
Carla Maggiolo More than 1 year ago
Book given by Netgalley for an honest review. http://thesecretworldofbooklovers.blogspot.com/ This is another series I started in the middle and regret it, not because I couldn't understand or didn't like it, just because I LOVED the book and the characters so much, that now I need to know their stories, how they became the people I read about in this book. Anyways, regarding this book, I must say it's the first one I've read by the author and liked it a lot! The characters are funny and relatable, I loved the little bookshop and I could picture them sitting there among the smell of books, that's how good the book is. Annie was a great character, her love for stories and happily ever after made me like her a lot and I felt super close to her. All of us, as book lovers are a little bit like that, keeping our heads inside our books and hearts in the clouds, looking for our own version of prince charming in real life. Wes was something else, he was super hot and charming and I actually knew he would not be able to move on from Annie, they were too good together. They were both too blinded to see it but when they lowered their walls and started to really feel each other, there was no turning back. It was a beautiful love story, and the fact that they took their time before the big sex scene made it even better. They spend some time together so they started to really know one another and when the big moment came; their love for each other was familiar to us readers because we have seen it grow. It was a nice change from the instant love kind of books we are used to. The almost enemies to lovers gave it a hilarious twist that resulted in back and forwards banter that I really enjoyed.
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars! Three Simple Words by new to me author A.J. Pine, is a sexy and entertaining book. I was able to make a connection to all the characters because they each individually exude depth, personality, and realism. Although this is the third book from Ms. Pine's Kingston Ale House series, it can be read as a standalone. Bookstore owner and book blogger, Annie Denning, loves to devour romance novels that end with a happily ever after. Furthermore, she tends to really dislike love stories that do not fit into her happily ever after criteria. So when her brother's best friend Wes Hartley returns to town, she has a difficult time liking him and his work. Wes wrote a bestselling romance that does not end with the main characters finding their forever. Wes has crushed on Annie since high school, and seeing her once again brings his old feelings to the forefront. However, much like the hero he writes about, Wes does not believe in happily ever afters. Annie and Wes end up spending some time together, which develops into some very sexy and emotional times. As they get to know and understand each other, their respective outlooks on love and life evolve. In fact, Annie becomes Wes's muse, and as a result, his bout with writer's block quickly dissipates. Thanks to Wes and his book signings, Annie's store becomes more successful. They are truly perfect for each other, however, their emotional baggage must be dealt with before they can forge a forever together. I liked the evolution of Annie and Wes's romance. It was engaging and real, and Ms. Pine's words caused me to truly care about them. I especially liked getting to know Annie's small, close-knit group of friends. They added some amusement, as well as a little playfulness to the story. The plot went off course quite a bit towards the end, however, the epilogue wrapped everything up quite nicely. Overall, this is solid love story and I am looking forward to reading more from this author. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Three Simple Words is a look at the differing points of view that men and women have on one subject, LOVE. Wes sees romance as a tempting way to make money and bag women. As the author of a gritty, sensual bestselling book Wes is living the dream. Sex, money and women are his for the taking, but with success comes the fear of not being able to keep the momentum going. Annie believes in rainbows and happily ever afters. Her blog and business pay homage to the fairytale. Her heart belongs to romance, her censure belongs to Wes' book and it's distortion of love. Three Simple Words revisits the theme: "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus in this light read. It's funny to see after so many years, some things never change.
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
During a book signing, author Wes Harley notices a lovely woman, Annie Denning, who asks him questions. Wes is a best selling romance novel author, and his book is making women swooning with the hero’s sexual techniques; they all wonder if it’s autobiographical, even Annie. At 25, Wes has a best seller under his belt, “Down this Road”, but words haven’t been coming for months, and he has three days to send his editor 50 pages of his still unwritten second novel. Wes had moved to New York eight years ago, and while he is definitely not suffering from writer’s block, of course not!, still he decides to go back home to Chicago for a bit and see if inspiration will strike. Wes runs into Jeremy, his high school friend and Annie’s younger brother, who tells Wes that Annie’s small bookstore, Two Stories, is in a precarious financial situation, and if Wes could do a book signing, it would help a lot. Wes has nothing better to do, so he agrees, and he used to have a crush on Annie. And she is even better looking than he remembers! Annie remembered the teenager who used to hang with her brother, but Wes looks much better than she ever thought. The book signing is a huge success, and then two of Annie’s friends are getting married, she’s supposed to bring a plus-one, and said friends beg Wes to accompany her; reluctantly, she agrees, but Wes is thrilled: he’ll be able to make a move. Finally! A.J. Pine was a new author to me, and what a wonderful discovery this book was! I just love Ms. Pine’s writing style: her prose is understated, precise, and utterly delightful. The dialogues are brilliantly simple, the characters sound natural and young; everything invites you in their circle. The story is unpretentious, the pace is brisk, and everything flows so well, it’s a joy to read. It’s all the little details that make THREE SIMPLE WORDS magical instead of the predictable story it could have been. Annie has a blog, HappyEverAfter, and the blog entries are a very nice touch, there are humorous little things here and there, glimpses of a struggling author’s daily life, clever twists on familiar tropes, and what misunderstandings happen are very skilfully handled. The banter between Annie and her friend and account manager Brynn, as well as between Jeremy and Wes is terrific. THREE SIMPLE WORDS is a book I thoroughly enjoyed, it was one of the best surprises of the year, and I will be looking forward to A.J. Pine’s future offerings: THREE SIMPLE WORDS is worth every second of your time! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.