Reviews

 

Stout: A Lovibond Novel (Lovibond Collection Book 2) (Kindle Edition)

WOW! I’m still sorting through my thoughts about this book. I enjoyed the story and Georgia Cates is rising in my list of go to authors. Adelyn Maxwell and Olliver Thorn are two troubled souls who find completeness in each other. Its not an easy road with obstacles both internal and extternal. Georgia Cates explores topics that some might find taboo, but does it well. I’m sure once I’m done processing my emotions I’ll have more to add, but for now I just reiterate ….WOW!

 When I Become Yours (The Richmond Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)

A quick, fun read. When I started When I Become Yours I was expecting a long drawn out story of complications and repressed love. The story is simple, but real. Everyone has some from of insecurity and Renee is no exception. In love with Ben for years she’s afraid of his reaction to her secret. It may not seem like much, but a lifetime of rejection has shaped her thinking. However, Ben’s love is tired of waiting to be recognized. Giving Renee no chance of escape Ben gives her the opportunity to give into her heart. Wonderful story filled with humor.

Blown Away (Kindle Edition)

Blown Away is a simple story about second chances. The plot isn’t overly complicated with subplots or excessive characters. Brenda Rothert keeps us focused on the main characters and their relationship journey. When Colby’s best friend and fiance met a year after his death they must deal with their own demons and decide if they’ll let his ghost interfere with their future.

Overall a great story. I was a little worried about the indecisiveness between Drew and Adien at first, but Ms. Rothert explores each characters insecurities and addresses it well.
I was given an ARC in exchange for a honest review

Hate me, hate me not (Kindle Edition)

Let me start with saying that I loved this story. It tells about the high and lows of love and the consequences of not communicating. Brysen and Mekenzie form a bond from childhood that is tested by death, natural disaster, and ironically their own love for each other. While it took me a couple chapters to really be invested in the story it held my attention long enough for that to happen. However, I found the writing style a bit disjointed and choppy. The story is told in a straight forward manner and lacks some fluency. I wish there were some more elaboration and background information. I do think the character development would have benefited from the extra details. I did enjoy the banter between the characters and felt you can ascertain their relationships with each other through the dialogue. All I all it was decent book and I’ll give other works by this author a try.

Rush: A White Lace Novel (Kindle Edition)

advanced reader copy provided for review-
I loved it. The characters were realistic and had real life issues. The need to please your parents and make them proud is over whelming and it doesn’t matter your status in life. It can be all consuming, taking over your own dreams. This is where we find Everly Parker and Max Levin. Everly, a over achieving law student, maybe an inexperienced book worm, but she’s open minded enough to learn about Max’s world. She also recognizes she needs some fun. Max, despite being VP of a adult film company, is down to earth, if a bit arrogant. What starts as a “business” arrangement, quickly becomes something neither realized they needed and not just the hot sex.

Odin: Gods of Wrath Security and Investigation (Gods of Wrath Security Agency Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

I was given an arc for review.
Odin is my first Michelle McLoughney novel and won’t be my last. The story is told with a wonderful mix of humor and sentiment. McLougney doesn’t over complicate the story with excessive details, but describes everything beautifully. McLoughney creates strong characters who are able to stay true to who they are throughout the story.

Dirty Sexy Secret (Green County Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

HOLY SH$+! LOVED IT! WOW. MURDER MYSTERY HIDING IN A LOVE STORY OR A LOVE STORY HIDING IN A MYSTERY, EITHER WAY WELL DONE. FOUR YEARS AFTER RUNNING FROM HER FEELINGS, HAZEL CAMPTON RETURNS HOME AND DOES WHAT ANYONE ELSE IN HER SITUATION WOULD, ISOLATES. BRANDON ARCHER DECIDES SIX MONTHS IS LONG ENOUGH TO HIDE FROM THEIR FOUR YEAR SECRET. BUT IN LITTLE OLD GREEN COUNTY HAZEL AND BRANDON AREN’T THE ONLY ONES WITH SECRETS. WHILE MOST OF THE STORY CENTERS ON THE LOVERS MS ANDREWS THROWS IN ENOUGH DETAILS AND SUBPLOT INFORMATION SO THE MYSTERY DOESN’T COME OUT OF LEFT FIELD AND THROW OFF THE FLOW. THERE IS ALSO A WONDERFUL BOND BETWEEN THE CHARACTERS THAT IS REALISTIC AND HONEST. WONDERFUL STORY THAT COULDN’T PUT DOWN

BOUND: a seven year itch book (Kindle Edition)

Wow. Bound is not your typical troubled rich guy falls for innocent girl love story. Yes Ben is troubled and rich and has questionable sexual preferences, but there’s just something about the way his character evolves that draw you to him. Then there’s Macy. She’s no shrinking flower. Having emotional issues of her own she still proves to be a strong independent character. She tries to fight the inevitable and the relationship has some bumps, but Ms Foor doesn’t drag it out. You don’t get annoyed with the characters. The plot lines serve a purpose and the story stands alone.

One Night Stand (Kindle Edition)

Cute, just enough silliness to keep it light, but not to much to make story sappy.

His Secret Child (Kindle Edition)

This is my second Jordan Silver book and since I found the first one light and funny I tried another. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it right away. The book is told from the male point of view, but he’s angry. Cord Helmsworth it’s nursing a broken heart and a fierce hatred for the woman who broke it. We find out early on Zania left him with no explanation and Cord has tried hard the post 6 years to forget her. All of a sudden she shows up and as you can guess from the book title let’s him know about the child she had. Obviously something is wrong or why else would she come back after 6 years. Understandably, Cord is torn and lashes out, my issue is with how he handled it. What I appreciate is that being told from Cord’s point of view you can see the other side of the situation and that’s why I can feel better about some of his actions. I also like that theres no quick fix to the issue. They address their feeling, eventually. The characters have spunk and I enjoyed reading this book.

Stranger: Book 1 (Kindle Edition)

While the story line wasn’t to surprising I loved this book. Can we say HOT!!!!!! Elizabeth has a past that she knows will come back and bite her, but meeting Marco is just what she needs. Encounter after encounter Marco awakenings something in Elizabeth that gives her courage to do what she should’ve done two years ago. Now Elizabeth isn’t weak and can hold her, but there’s something to be said about a strong alpha male taking control and that he does. Marco is hot and the sex hotter. Great read.

The Curvy Architect and the Gardener (He Wanted Me Pregnant!) (Volume 17) (Paperback)

As a curvy girl myself, I have a special place in my heart for the stories that focus on larger women. Each story I read from the He Wanted Pregnant series gives me hope. I know it sounds silly, but i don’t care. Some may say that they’re unrealistic and over the top, but isn’t that what we look for in a fairy tale.
In this edition we meet Kara a lonely New York architect who impulsively takes a job redoing a mansion in the heart of Alabama. There she meets Hank the sexy southern gardener. After a few misunderstandings, a tropical storm and an alligator the two get their HEA. There are some differences from the other He Wanted Me Pregnant books, but the light hearted text and the confidence building is the same. Some other points I love are that the male character isn’t a billionaire and the willingness to leave his world behind.

Beneath It All (Beneath Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

Tori Madison has turned a somewhat taboo subject into a beautiful, funny and realistic read. Despite all the awareness and fundraising for Breast Cancer and research we tend to forget there’s more than that, people’s lives are altered.
Beneath It All its about a young woman’s journey from diagnosis through treatment. The support of her friends and family along with her humor get her through. But the story isn’t sappy or cliche. Victoria has her weak moments and life does go on. It’s not all treatment and side effects, this is also a story of love as well, Victoria and her husband have a healthy sex life and were get to see how that is (or isn’t) affected. I personally can’t wait to see what the future holds for Victoria.

The Maid and the Billionaire Prince (He Wanted Me Pregnant!) (Kindle Edition)

Fairytale with a modern twist. Love the books in this series because they make the impossible seem realistic. I’m looking to suspend reality for a little while and believe in Prince charming and love at first sight. Victoria Wessex did just that.

A Week in New York (The Empire State Series Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

Sweet beginning to this story. Simple, but leaves you wanting more. Ethan isn’t your overbearing alpha, but a sexy play boy who is starting to realize with the right woman, a relationship might not be so bad. To bad she lives 3,000 miles away. However, the distance and knowing all they have is one week allows Ethan and Anna to be honest with each other and make the most of their time together, they take the blinders off so to speak. Anna is a heartbroken woman looking to nurse her heart back together. Just when she gave up on love, it might have crept right in

Autumn in London (The Empire State Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)

Love the progression of the relationship. Also happy it doesn’t take forever to resolve any misunderstandings. Ana and Ethan admit they have something special, but also that a relationship takes work.

New Year in Manhattan (The Empire State Series Book 3) (Kindle Edition)

Great ending to a beautiful story. Ana and Ethan are always honest with each other and resolve issues quickly. Their journey was delightful, banter cute and witty. You don’t even care that there’s no epilogue with glimpses into the future, you just know they’ll be ok. Louise Bay did a wonderful job.
The Sin trilogy is on my TBR, but seeing stand alone pushed me to read Endurance out of order. I loved Georgia Cates Beauty Series and knew I’d be in for a treat and I wasn’t wrong. Endurance is a story of love set within an organized crime community. Despite this, it’s not overly steeped in the mafia paraphernalia, but definitely relayed the danger of the life. Ellison is an outside introduced to the life by her sister (who is the subject of the original Sin series). To fully become a member of the Fellowship she needs to be claimed by a member and Elli has her sights set on one man. Jaime is a med student who is attracted to Ellison, but worries about how she’ll fit into the life. Jaime’s concerns though valid are a bit much at times and he clearly cares more for Ellison than his standing. Ellison is a quirky mix of intelligence (she’s an ER nurse), mature and high maintenance slightly submissive woman. I loved the way Jaime and Ellison’s relationship evolves though I could do without the others vying for her. I definitely will read the Sin series to fully appreciate the background and look foreword to the next installment if there is one.
Dominic is a standalone and book two of the Benedetti Brothers series. The story opens right in the middle of all the action; which I assume is more detailed in book one, but it sounds more like events took place in between. It doesn’t matter there’s enough detail to keep you informed. Dominic is the youngest son of a mafia leader who is struggling with his identity after finding out some life altering news. He’s sunk deep into the dark underworld and feels nothing. Enter a routine “job” that is anything but routine. Then there’s Gia, a good girl born into the life, but not naïve enough not to know life’s a bitch. Dominic and Gia know its going to be a dark, dangerous and unpredictable. While Gia loses it briefly at one point neither has false hopes. It’s a different type of bonding and relationship building that ends with HEA with a twist. Dominic is dark and rough, but not over the top. Gia and Dominic pretty much lay it out from the beginning and the story is more focused on navigating outside issues.
In a sweet story about love and recovery Bethany Lopez weaves a brilliant narrative. Told from Belle’s point of view you embark on a journey as she struggles to deal with overwhelming grief, guilt and finally learning to love again.
Managed by Kristen Calihan
Managed earned a spot on my favorite’s list if not for anything, but the Star Trek references. The fact that I was laughing one page in sealed the deal. Sophie and Gabriel’s relationship is fun and endearing. They balance each and create an adorable story.
Kissing Mr. Mistletoe by Kate Kisset
Kissing Mr. Mistletoe is reminiscent of traditional Hallmark movies. No fuss admittance of love, but enough obstacle to test their resolve. Short and Sweet.
The Pawn by Skye Warren
SON OF A BITCH! I didn’t realize this would have a cliff hanger, but damn it was worth it. The mind games, soul relishing and body surrendering made The Pawn a exciting read.
Rule Breaker by Kat Bastion
Rule Breaker was a PSA disguised as a romance novel, a heartfelt romance. While the message behind Rule Breaker is a somber the story is engaging and beautiful. Leilani and Mason forge a connection that goes beyond race and skin color. Their relationship is based on two souls finding their counterpart and creating a relationship based on patience, honesty and faith in each other. This is the first novel I’ve read that deals with a relationship within the setting of social un-acceptance due to race and I think it was beautifully done.
So Twisted by Melissa Marino
So Twisted by Melissa Marino was an emotional read. So Twisted is so much more than a nanny/single dad romance. Aaron and Callie fall in love quickly, but their relationship isn’t all sunshine and roses. The complicity of the characters and depth of the story made for a wonderful read. The story evolves in such a way that you know there was no other way to tell Aaron and Callie’s journey. There was nothing cliché about So Twisted. It was a distinctive telling of a often told story
Tempting Isabel by Rissa Brahm
Tempting Isabel is one of those stories that leave you feeling heavy. I enjoyed the story, loved it in fact. The connection between the main characters is believable and the internal monologue insightful. However, the story is slow moving at times and detail can be excessive. Not that these qualities are flaws, but to fully appreciate the story you need to be invested and prepared to appreciate the detailed story telling.  I will definitely read more stories by this author.
Heat Wave by Karina Halle
Heat Wave was a different take on second chances. Ronnie lives in the shadow of her deceased older sister. Juliet got everything; her parents approval, attention of everyone and the man of her dreams, Ronnie’s dreams.
Down on her luck after a very unfortunate incident at the restaurant she worked at Veronica (Ronnie) is looking for a brand new start to reignite her dying career. The only catch is the new opportunity is in Hawaii with her former brother-in-law, the man she has conflicting feelings for. Logan is a typical man, not using his head to make choices. He now runs his hotel in paradise alone and bitter. Together they have to decide if letting go of the past, forgiveness and going against the norm is for them.
Veronica marches to the beat of her own drum and sees the best in others. She struggles to deal with the inattention of her parents and living up to the perceived perfection of her sister. Logan is older and time and experience have given him a different view of life. Karina Halle weaves a beautiful love story, even if not conventional. Her attention to detail is amazing and was a treat to read.
The Vintner’s Vixen
The Vintner’s Vixen is my first novel by either of these authors and I enjoyed it very much. Angelica is an actress ready for a new chapter in her life while Noah is a wine maker living a quiet life away from the family legacy. From the moment they meet there’s a volatile attraction. Confused Angelica can’t figure out why Noah is so easily angered and can’t decide if perusing an active relationship is worth the fall out if things go wrong. Noah admits his attraction to Angelica and can’t deny the pull he feels towards her, but something holds him back and keeps him jumping to the wrong conclusions. Usually in love stories the heroine is the one with emotional issues and lots of indecision. The back and forth and uncertainty. It was a change of pace to have the hero’s issues being front and center. The relationship is realistic and the issues the same and most couples. I look forward to the next story in the series.
A Promise Made by Anissa Garcia
A Promise Made is an interesting look into the emotional baggage one brings into budding relationships. Marla is afraid of losing her personal identity by bending to a man’s will. She is so intent on being independent she almost misses the chance of a life time. Then there’s Josh who despite a tumultuous past and failed relationships still believes in true love. Through his patience and persistence Marla and Josh navigate through their relationship. Josh is a sweet, caring and thoughtful man who’s totally alpha. There’s also the looming danger hanging in the background and unsure work situation. I also appreciated the little bit of spirituality thrown in. Its tastefully done and isn’t a whole religious brew ha-ha (they only mention church once), but an acknowledgment that for some faith is a part of life. A Promise Made was one of those read in one sitting stories and a new fav.
His by Brenda Rothert
His by Brenda Rothert is a modern Cinderella (yes refrencing the book) story with a slight twist. Quinn Bradley lives on the streets with her little sister. Survival and safety are key. When she hits rock bottom, Quinn does what some in her situation might do, sells the only thing she has left, her body. However, things don’t go quite the way one might expect. Andrew Wentworth is more than just intrigued with beautiful woman who won’t share any details with him. The journey they take to explore their relationship is one built on trust, trust that almost crumbles. Quinn takes a chance on Andrew and Andrew learns he can’t always be in control. The road to happiness is easy and obstacles stand in the way, but together the fix each other and find their version of happy ever after
Forbidden Lyrics by Jodie Larson
Forbidden Lyrics is a cute sorry about taking a chance on love. Breck and Lizzie have known each other their whole lives. When they finally act on their mutual attraction, they test friendships and their commitment to each other. Lizzie is the sister of Breck’s best friend and because of the “bro-code” he promised to leave her alone. However, Breck and Lizzie decide to have a little fun, but the heart wants what the heart wants. I enjoy that the story doesn’t end with a typical HEA. There’s resolution, but promise for the future, a life to plan and live one day at a time, not all the questions are answered. Forbidden Lyrics can be read as a stand alone, but the character interactions and references have convinced me that I need more Jodie Larson in my life and will be adding books 1 & 2 to my list.
Broken Girl by Gretchen de la O
Broken Girl breaks your heart from the first paragraph. Rose is under no dellusions about what she does or who she is. She’s a prositute, its work and its survival. The night she see Shane for the first time she begins to yearn and even though she knows it’ll end in heart ache, she starts to hang out with him. Thier journey isn’t easy and a life altering tradgey finally gives Rose the motivation to do what she needs to. Broken Girl is a realistic look at internal conflict and the dirty little secret society tries to keep. Gretchen de la O weaves a story that draws you and speaks to your inner person
Never Been Good by Christi Barth
So I did it again and missed/ignored that Never Been Good is part of a series. However, that didn’t take away from this segment of the overall story. Flynn and Sierra make a compatible couple. Two souls running from their past are able to do more than just survive. They learn how to live the life they have to the fullest and to trust each other. Never Been Good has a seriousness to it, but isn’t overbearing. With each word, plot point, chapter you are drawn to the McGuires and become invested in Flynn and Sierra’s story. I’ll be reading book one while I wait for book three.
Touch Down by Jessika Klide
Sex, lots of sex. That’s all i took away from this volume. I knew this was a part 2, but thought I could get away with not reading volume 1. Wrong! Reading part 1 is a must. The story won’t make sense without, unless you just want a hot sex scene. After reading volume one and figuring out what was going on I admit it’s an okay story. The installments are too short and a bit disjointed, but definitely get you curious for what comes next. The writing gets you into the mind set of the characters, though, kind of a mess, but extremely horny. I’ll definitely check out the next part to get some answers
Politically Inncorrect by Jeanne McDonald
One of my first (of two read together) political romances and I loved it. Politically Incorrect addresses the issue of office romance, ageism and love in politics. Elizabeth is older, republican and a single mother. Liam is young, democratic and a bit old fashion. Together they embark on an unconventional and possibly career ending relationship. Liam challenges Elizabeth and brings out a side of her that reminds her she’s a woman first. Elizabeth tries but can’t deny that even with the age difference that Liam is a man who ignites something inside of her. I was worried at first that the relationship would hit a snag and the story would drag, but Jeanne McDonald tells a wonderful story. I enjoyed the continuity of the storytelling and the resolutions. Each obstacle was met head on and there were no ambiguity or games.
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