At the risk of sounding shallow-but really, what are covers, if not reader magnets?- I solemnly swear that I picked up this book based first and foremAt the risk of sounding shallow-but really, what are covers, if not reader magnets?- I solemnly swear that I picked up this book based first and foremost on its awesome cover. Just looking at it made me quite the happy gal. That coloring, that pose with the cover models, that potential bad girl making an appearance from behind the good girl façade of the heroine, and the ever so trouble bad boy of course. All was in that gorgeous cover and after skimming through the plot, I was a goner.
I gotta say I’m still a baby when it comes to New Adult. I can be confused with the classification, but what the book wanted to tell was loud and clear. Although I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the genre, I truly believe that I can enjoy a good book no matter what it’s about. And did I find this world of humans with magical abilities interesting? Oh yeah.
Told from both the point of view of Francesca and Rafael, the story was easy to follow. With no big angst filled dramas that always scare me, Francesca and Rafael presented many challenges as they were. I can’t emphasize enough how much enjoyed such variety of people in one story, with both the hero and the heroine, and their families and friends, there was always so much going on and so many issues and challenges thrown in at once. It was definitely fun to read. I was on the verge of getting lost a few times with the speed of conversation of all 18 year olds, but hey, I got some young chica in me that quickly got the gist. Needless to say, after I got on board with them, I had a good time in their company. Francesca and Rafael’s gangs were fun, and on their way to be united in more ways than one I think, which is something I’m looking forward to in the upcoming books.
A great, fast paced start to a new magical world, I recommend this book to those who like the genre, and to ones who wouldn’t mind giving it a try. I sure didn’t regret it. Plus, look at the cover! You gotta admit, that gets extra points in awesomeness.
Let me sign up for the next book! I hear there’s still time. Now, how to kill it, hmm? Magic brownies and crazy tea parties anyone?...more
If there’s something I like as much as small town romances-and I like them a lot– it is a good ol’ family saga. Add to that a pretty cover and a promiIf there’s something I like as much as small town romances-and I like them a lot– it is a good ol’ family saga. Add to that a pretty cover and a promising plot, and hopefully I got myself a recipe for good romance.
Although I liked this book, there were still a few things that didn’t sit well with me. For starters, Aiden is introduced as a workaholic control freak who lacks in the romance department. I could see and like that, but only if he made some solid progress. He was all of the above from beginning to end, and then he said and did some really hurtful things to Zoe, and although I’m all for making mistakes only to atone for them later, I thought some of those things were pretty harsh. And that’s where I lost a bit of my connection with Zoe because I would’ve preferred she not caved so easily.
To be so honest, Aiden and Zoe weren’t as strong as I would’ve liked as the main characters. Their romance felt rushed in the almost teenage like way they handled things. Zoe, though portrayed as a hard worker serious young woman, didn’t convince me with the way she reacted to some bad luck coming her way. And Aiden, a creature of habit, was not convincing at all with his obsessive objection towards change, which included Zoe spending time with his family. Now, there was a reason behind it of course, there was a reason behind everything, but the author seemed to scratch the surface with them.
The idea for the basis of these characters was good, but the end result was lacking. I needed more depth with their problems, I needed more details to understand where they were coming from and definitely more time for them to develop their feelings and take the next step in their relationship. Everything that happened seemed to happen in the last few chapters, before then, it all felt like stalling.
I kind of also wished the change in character perspectives were done in a clearer way, perhaps with more spaced out paragraphs or so. It’s a pet peeve of mine when the story is told from more than one point of view. It helps to get me in the right frame of mind, and though it’s not always a hassle, it helps for a smoother read.
I can say that I will be reading the next book, since I liked the idea in here, and I have one of my favorite couple tropes-*cough* friends to lovers *cough*- to hope for in the future stories. And besides, I am all for reading more than the starter book in a series unless I’m really peeved by it, which wasn’t the case here. I liked the family dynamics, though they were a bit maddening at times, they were sweet at others.
As much as I liked reading Aiden and Zoe’s interior design flirtation skills at work, I have my fingers crossed for the next brother who I hope to be the clueless one who can’t seem to see what’s right in front of him....more
Who’s up for a second chance story going hand in hand with a contemporary sports romance? Well, if you’re one of the awesome people who raised their hWho’s up for a second chance story going hand in hand with a contemporary sports romance? Well, if you’re one of the awesome people who raised their hands and made room in their never ending to-read shelf, then you’ll love this one. I’ve known and loved Alison Packard’s FEELING THE HEAT series for a while now, and I couldn’t help but jump at the chance to read this book. You know, for purely professional reasons, for you guys who follow the updates about the making of the hodgepodge, and not for the crazy chick inside me who loves men of sports, later daydreams about snagging one and hogs the tv for any matches. Nope.
I didn’t read that many second chance romances, and the last few ones I’ve read were about couples where one of them already loved and lost, for good. So, though I loved those previous books, Katie and Tom’s relationship was like a breath of fresh air for me. They were friends and lovers in their teens, and reading about them rekindling their passion and remembering good old times was, what can I say, romantic. I’ve always had a soft spot for friends to lovers and bickering couples, and this story had a little bit of both which was another bonus for me.
In this smoldering heat, it isn’t easy reading a sexy romance, I tell you. Tom and Katie’s sexual tension was part hot-which wasn’t good for body temperature in the summer- and part sweet-which totally wasn’t good for yours truly single. However, I sacrificed myself and read through this fun book, laughed at times, got jealous at others, got mad a little sometimes, but in the end, thoroughly enjoyed it. All for you. Really.
Tom was a sweet hero who did justice to his position as manager to the Blaze, and Katie reminded me yet again that women can very well be strong and independent and deal with the media all at once. They were good for each other, made a nice couple that I loved to read about. And since they were both actively involved with baseball, we had a lot of chance to read about the sports itself. It looks like I still have a few more things to learn in baseball, but it still didn’t take from my enjoyment of reading this book. With new characters and potential couples in the horizon, I simply cannot wait for the next installment in the series.
I know I have a hate/hate relationship with gym, and a tentative truce with actively playing any sports, but really, when are they going to invent the tv that allows us to bring the players we watch right into our living room?...more
So far in my romance reads I have judged by the cover, I was surprised in both good and bad ways, I have been let down by many factors, but this bookSo far in my romance reads I have judged by the cover, I was surprised in both good and bad ways, I have been let down by many factors, but this book was by far the top of my disappointment list. The cover is lovely to look at, the plot seemed like it was tailored for my tastes what with childhood crushes and ex sports player renowned playboy. But none of these came to fruition. If you’re a lover of contemporary sports romance like me, and love bits of the action in your read, then let me warn you beforehand, this book had no sports at all regardless of being shelved as sports romance. Sure, the hero was an ex player, and yes, he was involved with some charity work for youth who’re interested in playing, but we got to see none of that. In fact, I wouldn’t be lying if I said most of our time was spent in the house the hero and the heroine shared, let alone involving the sport or any kind of socializing.
I am sorry to say I couldn’t connect with the heroine at all as a woman. There used to be times when I had difficulty understanding where a hero or heroine was coming from, but this was way worse. I couldn’t see Shay as nothing more than a child, or in some cases as much as an adolescent who acted childish, selfish and completely clueless when it comes to relationships of any kind. She wasn’t considerate or understanding, she spent almost all her time worrying over whether Joe was still the womanizer he used to be even after they started sleeping together and throwing words that hinted at love and devotion around. He takes a phone call outside, she thinks it’s another woman for a hook up, he says he has a business meeting, she makes cutting remarks about his playboy past. It was, to put mildly, most annoying. As a woman, I didn’t like the way she was portrayed, she definitely wasn’t relationship material I can tell you. To be honest, and this was a tragedy for me as a reader, she wasn’t worth the effort Joe put in to be with her.
As for Joe, I didn’t feel much about him other than perhaps a bit sorry for trying so hard to prove himself to a woman who seemed like she could never trust him anyway. Trust is one of the most important things in a relationship, and Joe and Shay lacked that in theirs. When they were together they had sex, and when they were apart Shay was worried whether he was cheating on her, and Joe was juggling his charity work with planning grand gestures to make Shay believe he was not a playboy anymore. I don’t know about you, but that’s not an ideal relationship for me. There was no trust, no understanding, no sharing, no binding in this book. So for me, no story....more
It’s hard to criticize a book in a genre you rarely read. When it falls outside of your reading preferences, you find yourself having to tackle that fIt’s hard to criticize a book in a genre you rarely read. When it falls outside of your reading preferences, you find yourself having to tackle that first, and then focus on the story. Why choose this book or genre then?, you may ask. It’s because I love sports romances and frankly, because I still haven’t quite figured out how to weed through the new adult genre.
If have to be completely honest, I was a bit disappointed with this book. As a fan of contemporary sports romance-and hockey to boost- I hardly had any chance to read it. While the hero was a hockey player, there wasn’t much of the sport to classify this as a sports romance. I’m not asking for a rundown of a whole match or anything, but a little on field action here and there would make this gal happy.
The lack of the sport wasn’t the only problem I had while reading though. I believe my tastes for romance are in more adult category, so while the hero and the heroine of this story might appeal to certain readers, I found it hard to immerse myself in a book with two people of twenty years of age. Both Auden and Aleksandr had more on their shoulders than their peers so I could respect that, and I could understand that they were still a couple of 20 year olds, but most of their issues were dealt with in the last twenty pages. I think this book could’ve used more pages to tell their story, since they both had quite the baggage. More time to give the two of them to connect and share would’ve been nice too. Though I’ve never been tempted, I’ve seen my fair share of people who fall hard and young in love enough to want to be married, and though I’m in no way judging, it is also precisely why I would’ve been happy to see more of the two strengthening their bond. More joking around because they’re still young, more talks about their burdens, more time to spend together, and more reassurances that they themselves believed they were on the right path when it came to their decisions for future.
All in all, I think this was a good portrayal of young love. Rash and passionate, Auden and Aleksandr jumped straight from dislike to love. While I could appreciate this in another setting, I couldn’t help but feel like a big sister, that I should keep my eyes and ears open for the two of them lest their fire of young love burns quick.
As an end note, I want to acknowledge the author’s desire to attract attention to those who, for any reason whatsoever, don’t have families. It’s a tough world out there, and any attempt to make it better for those who need it is always appreciated....more
Though this book is also shelved as a sports romance, considering also the hero is a football coach at a highAnother charming coach..What a gal to do?
Though this book is also shelved as a sports romance, considering also the hero is a football coach at a high school, I couldn’t put it in that category. And I know I have my pet peeves when it comes to the genre and my expectations, but this was not the case here. I simply thought that the story was more about Coaches Bennett and Callie, rather than any sports they were teaching.
This was an easy book to read. The meeting of Bennett and Callie, their first impressions of each other, and the slowly building romance was quite nice to read. There was that sexy factor, yes, but I think it took a backseat with Bennett and Callie’s considerate romance and easy banter. This was more about the passionate and silly yet endearing start of a romance, with teenage like make out sessions, phone calls made at night just to hear the other one’s voice, and jealousy. Crazy, sweet jealousy.
Bennett and Callie made a nice couple with the way their pasts and presents collided with one another. While Bennett seemed like a shy, introverted football coach, Callie was the outgoing, social butterfly. But then they could easily switch places and that was all fun to read.
There were only a few scenes where I might’ve scolded the two when they were interrupted by their young charges’ problems and they were a tiny bit bitter about them, but still. They continued to be considerate and helpful afterwards so I let that slide. Heh.
As the second book in the series, I was no stranger. In fact, I was curious about the first book, which I’ve already added to my to-read pile....more
I have long been looking forward to this book. Single father hero taking care of his little girls? Check. Sexy hockey player hero having the hots forI have long been looking forward to this book. Single father hero taking care of his little girls? Check. Sexy hockey player hero having the hots for his boss? Check. Heroine giving a bold statement about her place as both an authority figure and a woman? Check and check. And my check list goes on a bit more, but you get the idea.
I probably already said this a few times but I struck gold when I discovered this series. Great characters, a sport I love to read about, and sexy romances. RYKER was just another installment that proved once again that ice hockey is sexy, fathers who braid their daughters’ hair and who are maybe a little bit afraid of spiders is so heart melting and sexy, and that women can very well make it and make it damn good in a male dominated sports world and be sexy doing it. I loved it.
While you might guess that I was already well on the way of turning into a puddle before I started this book-see my single father statement- I enjoyed the journey. Ryker was exactly the kind of man this lady could appreciate. As a loving father he had me in the previous book, but I came to find-not so surprisingly considering Sawyer Bennett’s talent in writing near perfect heroes- he was caring, protective without being an asshole about it, and respectful, especially towards a female authority figure. He didn’t dismiss Gray simply because she was a woman among many men, and in an executive capacity no less. He saw her first as a general manager, and then as a woman which was something I appreciated. He respected her long before he fell for her. If that is not an endearing characteristic for a hero, I don’t know what is.
As a woman, I admired Gray. She was strong as steel and yet vulnerable in a way I could relate to. She knew what she wanted and never made excuses for it. She was bold, determined, sure of herself and a fine manager. She had the brains to go with her beauty and it’s always a pleasure when I come across a heroine like Gray....more
I don’t have much reading experience when it comes to erotic romance, but I’d like to think that this is a good example of it. As inexperienced as I aI don’t have much reading experience when it comes to erotic romance, but I’d like to think that this is a good example of it. As inexperienced as I am, I expected a lot of sex-and there was that for sure- but there was also an underlying of sweet romance. This was as much erotica as it was a story of a couple reconnecting and learning to appreciate each other again.
Though this is a part of a series and I haven’t yet read the previous books, I didn’t feel like a stranger reading it. Sure, previous characters appeared and offered advice and company to Emma, but all it did was make me curious about their own books. I was completely focused on Emma and Pete’s relationship, their sexy adventure on the secluded island, but what I loved-and I can’t believe I’m about to say this- and looked forward to the most when I was reading, was how Emma and Pete worked things out. The sex? It was explosive. The kind of lifestyle these guys live is one I’m stranger to, but damn, it was hot. It was all the naughty fantasies wrapped up in a nice little package on a gorgeous, dream like island. Though they have an open relationship, Emma and Pete were very much in love, and it was enjoyable to read them spice things up by turning to each other first and foremost. There was no cheating, no drama despite their lifestyle. Just some good ol’ sexy fun times, jealousy thrown in here and there that I loved, and two people sharing something they both loved.
I think if you’re a lover of erotic romance, this is a good choice for you. I don’t know much about what’s going on in the genre, but I like my couples to end up only with each other, never mind everything and everyone in between, so if you feel the same as me, then again, this book is for you. The love and respect I see in challenging relationships like this makes it all the more enjoyable to read.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go do my laundry now and get ready for the previous books, because I just have to know what went on in them....more
Here, in this book is why I love friends-to-lovers stories. Parker and Ben’s adventure from best friends to friends with benefits to finally sweet lovHere, in this book is why I love friends-to-lovers stories. Parker and Ben’s adventure from best friends to friends with benefits to finally sweet lovers was just the perfect thing I could’ve possibly wished to read in this theme. To simply put, I loved it. To go into a little more detail, it’s been a while since I enjoyed two people’s interactions this much. Especially a guy and a girl who are best friends, who slowly fall in love. They made me laugh, and damn if I didn’t envy them their easy friendship and passionate relationship.
As much as I love this theme, I can’t say that I’ve read many friends-to-lovers stories so far. A few, and luckily I’ve enjoyed them all, but this was by far my favorite. To write a story about two people who meet and fall in love has its challenges, yes, but to have a set relationship and moving it forward is sure a difficult thing. You gotta pick the right pace for your story, and pick the right moment where it tips toward the more than friends point, and then make the reader believe that here they are, two people who’ve known each other, who never considered anything more than friendship before, only now realizing that they were meant for each other all along. I can either buy it or not. And it pains me when I don’t. But here? Oh how much I bought. Lauren Layne fed me the idea of Parker and Ben so nicely, so perfectly that I made a little happy dance when they finally were there.
I devoured this book in a day in total I think. And the only times I was forced to let it go was when I was ordered to eat by my stomach, and sleep by my eyes. Apparently they have limits. Huh. But they were still good sport, they stuck with me the whole time, and only ever complained when they couldn’t take it anymore. They even made do with little, dear champs.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves friends-to-lovers stories. Hell, if you like romance at all. Simple as that. A sweet, delightful story about two people who are good as best friends, but even better as lovers. I’ve loved reading about Parker and Ben....more