Having recently read Loving Jessie by Dallas Schulze and thereby loving Matt Latimer (the hunk loving Jessie), I took the plunge and ordered 6 more bo...moreHaving recently read Loving Jessie by Dallas Schulze and thereby loving Matt Latimer (the hunk loving Jessie), I took the plunge and ordered 6 more books by the author...eager for more drool-worthy heroes. In Home To Eden, Schulze proved true-to-first impression and served up another dish of beefcake in Nick Blackstone. Unfortunately, the hunkiness of Nick was not given its due because of the author's faux pas in teaming up Nick with Kate Moran...the mousy, bland heroine with an overgrown chip on her shoulder and the personality of a tree stump to boot.
Five years ago, Nick's wife Lisa, suffering from a severe case of postpartum depression, closed the garage door and started the car with both herself and their 2-month-old son inside. Wracked with grief and guilt (that he hadn't acted on the signs of Lisa's illness), Nick left behind his friends and family in the little town of Eden, CA and moved to New York. Now, at the urging of an old friend who wants his house restored, Nick moves back to Eden. Upon his arrival at his parents' house, he is shocked to discover that his older brother, Gareth, is engaged to Kate, a one-night-stand he indulged in before his move. I was disappointed that their first sexual encounter was never explained because the grieving widower + miss goody two-shoes did not equal a believable hookup (in a bar, no less). All we get to know is that they never exchanged names (wtf?) and that Nick stole away when Kate fell asleep.
Despite the relative obscurity of their meaningless one-night-stand, Nick and Kate struggle to tamp down the intense, raging desire they feel for each other. Unfortunately, they fight a losing battle and end up sleeping together. When it's over, Kate decides she hates Nick for making her weak (even though she made the first move), and has no plans to confess to Gareth or to break her engagement with him. After all, she has always wanted a stable, loving family and that is what Gareth represents. And...and...she loves him!?!
Awww...poor Gareth. He is a wonderful guy by all standards...handsome, personable, hard-working, family-oriented and very rooted. True, he doesn't wear leathers, ride a Harley and ooze sex appeal like Nick, but he did absolutely nothing to warrant being cheated on. My heart went out to Gareth when he found out his brother and fiancee were having an affair.
"Just how did you plan on me finding out?" Gareth asked. When he looked at her again, Kate flinched from the anger in his eyes. "Were you going to tell me over dinner some evening? Or maybe you were going to tell me after we slept together?" Rage broke through the calm, putting a cutting edge to his voice. "Did you think I'd take this kind of news better after a good screw?"
"That's enough!" Nick stepped between them, as if to physically protect Kate from the sharp bite of his words.
"Enough?" Gareth looked at him, his eyes burning with rage and pain. "I don't think it's nearly enough." He looked past Nick to Kate, who stood white-faced and silent beneath the lash of his anger. "Is this why you've been keeping me at arm's length?" he demanded. "I've been worrying about your health, and the only thing wrong with you is that you're f***ing my brother?"
"That's enough," Nick said again. "She's not the one to blame here."
"We didn't - It's not that way," Kate said.
"You're pregnant with another man's baby - my BROTHER'S baby. How the hell many ways can there be?"
"It only happened once," she offered, then winced at the stupidity of her words.
"Oh, well that's all right then," Gareth said, his voice razor sharp and just as deadly. "If it was just once, then I guess I really don't have any reason to be upset, do I?"
Lame, thy name is Kate.
Seriously, there was a major wrongdoing committed here. I've been following a thread at Amazon for quite some time now about cheating heroes in romance novels and the unanimous feeling by readers is that in order for the male protagonist to regain "hero" status, grovelling is a must! In fact, the majority feel that the success of the book is measured by the strength of the grovel. The passage above is about the extent of Kate's grovelling. Is she worthy of the term "heroine"? Not in my opinion. I see no reason for double standards when the roles are reversed.
Schulze has a free-flowing writing style (lots of believable dialog, minimal scene description) that gives her books a "page-turner" tag...you get caught up in the story and can't seem to find a good spot to slip the bookmark in and walk away; therefore, even though I wasn't in tune with the heroine, I was captivated with the story enough so that the book was never in jeopardy of becoming a DNF casualty. Was I a tad impulsive buying 6 DS novels after reading only 1? Nah...she's got the formula down pat for my kind of contemporary hero...grade B alpha, fangless, unarmed and built like a brick s***house. That's my pleasure, guilty or otherwise. :p
Books like this should come with a WARNING: Bittersweet ending...prepare to cry your eyes out in the epilogue and then feel like sh*t afterwards when...moreBooks like this should come with a WARNING: Bittersweet ending...prepare to cry your eyes out in the epilogue and then feel like sh*t afterwards when you realize there isn't one more page to make it all better. (less)
Thoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don...moreThoughtless is a compassionate but heartbreaking story of three people caught in a contemporary love triangle. I read this book last Sunday, and I don't know if it was because Andy Whitfield passed away, or because it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11...maybe a bad case of the "Sunday blues" or simply because the angst was ratcheted up so high in the story. Whatever the reason, when all hell broke loose in Chapter 23, the damn burst. Reading with blurred vision is such a bloody nuisance but I had to finish the last three chapters to see if somehow, despite the cheating, deceit and lies, all 3 protagonists were able to find a measure of peace & happiness in the end.
Kiera and Denny, both in their early 20's, have been an exclusive couple for 2 years. When Denny is offered an intern position with a prestigious ad firm in Seattle, Kiera applies for and receives a scholarship to the University of Washington. Leaving small-town life behind they travel across the country...moving in with a close friend of Denny's from when he served as an exchange student in high school. Enter Kellan Kyle...an extremely good-looking, sexier-than-hell lead singer in a local band...and new roommate to the transplanted Ohioans.
What follows is an extremely intense story of a young woman who is torn between her love for two equally-deserving men and their unwavering love for her. There is no menage here, where in a fantasy world Kiera would keep both Denny and Kellan. This isn't erotica, yet the sexual tension is so prevalent and so fine-tuned you'll be buzzing with expectation. Told through Kiera's POV, it is a simple day-to-day story made complex by the unexpected attraction between Kiera and Kellan and the powerful, emotionally high-charged atmosphere that settles among these two as well as the unsuspecting Denny. Fortunately, even with the limited POV,the author won't ever leave you scratching your head and wondering 'what just happened here?' She leaves nothing to speculation and plays the entire drama out in explicit (although somewhat lengthy) detail.
As you can probably guess, there is cheating in this story. And while the idea of cheating in a romance novel might totally turn you off, at least the circumstances that prompt the cheating are not due to the overplayed drunkenness or selfishness or the big misunderstanding...they are simply due to inexperience, vulnerability and the inevitable loss in the struggle to follow one's head and not one's heart. As such, there are no bad guys in the story. Unfortunately, this greatly restricts the reader's ability to justify the cheating; and because of the devastating outcome, it was hard for me to forgive Kiera and be truly happy for her.
This book is angst at its best. I was riding the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime and had to physically unwind & stretch cramped muscles whenever I took a break. But I loved the fact that a story could totally consume me like Thoughtless did...blubbering tears and all. The author, S.C. Stephens really has the ability to express feelings and emotions and internal struggle. She gets to the heart & core of the characters and thoroughly fleshes them out...so much so you will feel like a personal friend to Kiera, Kellan & Denny. Their story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and you will live every moment with them.
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!
Being a big fan of Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless/Effortless, I'm always looking for a book that will give me the same adrenaline rush I felt when...moreBeing a big fan of Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless/Effortless, I'm always looking for a book that will give me the same adrenaline rush I felt when I read those. Taking Chances was that book for me. It has the incredibly sexy, tatted, buzzed-head hero who makes a living as an underground fighter like BD and the heart-wrenching love triangle between a sweet girl and two equally awesome frat brothers who are both in love with her like T/E. Can Romancelandia get any better for me? Not likely.
Harper Jackson has just started her freshman year at San Diego State University. Being raised by a strict, emotionless father on a military base in North Carolina, she is completely overwhelmed by her over-zealous roommate Bree and the craziness of living in the dorms on campus. Bree's brother, Chase, is the first guy she meets; and, although they fall into a routine of trading snarky remarks with each other, Chase's chiseled, tatted body and surfer good looks have Harper secretly swooning despite her vow to steer clear of the obvious "man-ho". But then she meets Brandon, the sexy "Travis Maddox look-alike" and it is love at first sight for both of them. Unfortunately, Brandon lives in Chase's frat house and it becomes a messy love triangle that escalates to disastrous proportions.
I can't say anything more in detail without giving away the story, but it is an amazing, heart-wrenching, soul-searching journey that Harper embarks upon in her first year of college. It is a long book - just short of 500 pages - but I was so caught up in Harper's dilemma with her two awesome men that I read the book in one sitting. Yes, it is that good!
This is Molly McAdams debut "new adult" novel and I'm excited for her to write more because she has that special "gift" of bringing her characters alive and making her readers feel as though we know these people personally. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all lovers of a good romance but especially to those who are still in a state of limbo after experiencing Travis Maddox and Kellan Kyle. But heed this warning: Have a box of tissue handy...there are a few situations that will have you tearing up and one incident that will tear your heart to pieces! *sniff*
I'm all jacked up on angst-driven romance right now so when I saw this cover and title I thought "meh". Not that I don't read sexy, sweet light-hearte...moreI'm all jacked up on angst-driven romance right now so when I saw this cover and title I thought "meh". Not that I don't read sexy, sweet light-hearted adult romances, it just isn't what I'm feeling at the moment. But being the first book to pop up on my Kindle day after day wore me down so I decided to give it a shot.
What can I say? I erroneously judged a book by its cover; but come on...if it looks like a duck, right? In this wonderful era of the indie author, so many books are continuously being presented that for me the book covers act as tags. Visually I can tell if I'm in the right place without reading a thing. Kick in the title "Accidentally on Purpose" and you've got light, sexy contemp...Bella Andre, Shannon Stacey, Jill Shalvis. Not the case here. Although the author has a great sense of humor and is able to project that through the heroine's high-spirited personality, the subject matter isn't funny at all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RECIPE FOR DISASTER
Ingredients: 1 - Beautiful, single, independent, open-minded female 1 - Hot-headed, hot-bodied hunky boss, attached but not unavailable 1 - Sexy studmuffin hottie with a jumbo-sized who-ha, single but convinced ingredient #1 is who he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
Mix 3 ingredients very carefully. Timing is of utmost importance as you don't want 2nd & 3rd ingredients to blend.
When inserting into the oven, WEAR A GLOVE! Failure to do so means someone will surely get burned.
Finished product will result in a complex love triangle
Note: Do not attempt to enhance recipe with crystal meth as it might create a monster.
This is Emmy's story - a beautiful, brainy, feisty, potty-mouthed 30yr old "Jersey Girl" who loves to drink and plot her mother's demise (usually done simultaneously), who falls in love with two hot men and the repercussions of not having the willpower to let one of them go. She will crack you up, she will piss you off and she might make you cry...whatever it is, she will definitely evoke some kind of emotion in you. And so will Kyle and Luke who both love Emmy with everything they've got... but of course are approaching from very different angles as Kyle is engaged to someone else and Luke wants to "domesticate" her. As you might imagine, this story packs a whole lotta punch (literally & figuratively) so proceed with caution. But definitely proceed!!