This was a SUPER sort novella about a military man getting together with his long age best friend. It was cute, but I wanted more! B- Full review to co...moreThis was a SUPER sort novella about a military man getting together with his long age best friend. It was cute, but I wanted more! B- Full review to come(less)
While I haven’t read any of the other books in this series, I’ve enjoyed Bell’s books in the past. A sexy Dom cop and an insecure heroine seemed like the recipe for success, IMO.
Something about Rafe has always made Courtney a little leary. Maybe it was his potent sexuality. or maybe it was the thought of him dominating her in bed, either way, Courtney knows she needs to steer clear of that one. But Rafe hasn’t been letting her run away, and he ends up giving her a proposition he can’t refuse: four scenes with him calling the shots.
Rafe doesn’t do more than four scenes with any woman, because then they get too connected. He knows that everlasting love isn’t in the cards for him, so committing isn’t on the table. But what Courtney needs isn’t a commitment, she needs someone to help her explore her sexualiaty, and Rafe wants to do it. Too bad Rafe can’t seem to give up on the idea of Courtney, even after their four sessions are done.
There were a few times while I was reading this book that I felt a little confused. Usually I am a stickler about reading series books in order, but I made an exception here. While I’m sure I missed some nuances and jokes, I didn’t feel like I was totally lost around this cast of characters. That being said, I think I’m going to go on a buying spree to read the previous books! :)
I really liked Courtney. She had been through a really rough time, and was trying so hard to work on finding herself again. Having come from an emotionally abusive relationship, she wasn’t looking to find someone who would be super controlling, or want a commitment from her right away. The deal she made with Rafe seemed more than perfect, especially since it gave her a chance to explore the side of her sexuality that she was intrigued by, but scared to give into. I loved the way she really tried to protect herself from falling back into old relationship habits, but that she was still willing to take the chance on love. That she was strong enough to realize she had grown into a strong woman capable of making good decisions about her love life.
My poor heart broke for Rafe. Given his past, he had more than enough reasons to worry about falling in love again, but I was a little worried he was protecting his heart a little too much. It was especially evident after he realized just how important Courtney was to him, that he continued to push her away. I hoped that he would have wised up a bit sooner, but he was a stubborn ass right up to the end.
Their relationship was SUPER sexy, and I thought Bell did an amazing job with balancing the sex scenes between smutty and sweet. I liked that Rafe pushed Courtney to her boundaries, but also that he took the time to make love to her without the bells and whistles. For me, it made their relationship seem more realistic, more true to them as individuals and a couple. Let me warn you now though: the epilogue might require a glass of ice cold water and a cigarette. *wink*
All in all, I really liked the third book in the Dare Me series. It easily came across as a stand alone novel, and had a wonderful storyline. I enjoyed the hero and heroine as well as the secondary characters. The romance was both tender and rough, and I thought Bell did a wonderful job bringing together two unlikely souls. I give Down on Her Knees a B(less)
Cute short romance about a geeky hero that has to overcome his nerdyness to win the girl. Not as good as Barth's other books, but a cute wrap up to th...moreCute short romance about a geeky hero that has to overcome his nerdyness to win the girl. Not as good as Barth's other books, but a cute wrap up to this series. B- Full review to come. (less)
I love Hollywood romances as well as new adult. Put them together and I was pretty damn excited about this book. However, it really didn’t work for me.
Olivia has always dreamt about coming to LA to work as a costume designer. When her boyfriend cheats on her back home, she has the perfect excuse to pick up her life and start anew. With a group of friends from her apartment complex, and a wonderful job at a lingerie company, Olivia is flying high with her new life. When she meets Berkeley, the sexy front man of her favorite band, he will throw a wrench in her perfect life and do everything he can to keep her forever.
I have to say, I really liked the plot of this book, I think overall it was really strong and had a great premise behind it. However, the leading lady Olivia made it near impossible for me to find much enjoyment out of this book. She came across as an immature and insecure teenager, instead of the composed and mature young adult she supposedly was. There were times when I was reading and wondering if Olivia was really supposed to be 15 or 16 instead of her 20s. For example, at one point she is hanging out with her friends and after one comment she starts doubting their friendship with her and she runs off to cry and pout.
There were also a lot of little plot points that didn’t work for me. Little things like after getting a new job and having only worked there for a few weeks, she is allowed a week off to hide from the press after going with Berkeley to the Grammy awards. Oh honey…. that’s not the way the real world works, and I hated that so much of this book was spent in alternate reality where the heroine can do no wrong. There was also a significant amount of celebrity name dropping. I get that when writing a Hollywood romance, it’s going to come up that people interact with other celebrities. However, I always prefer when the other A-listers are other made-up characters, instead of real life people. I’m not sure why that bothers me, but I don’t like it one bit.
I did enjoy Berkeley. He came across as a genuine hero who loved making music, but hated the life that seemed to go along with his celebrity status. I thought Berkeley had a lot more depth to his character than anyone else, including the two cute secondary characters that were Olivia’s best friends. Despite that, Berkeley did start to get on my nerves when he continued to settle for Olivia’s immature ways. Despite the things he told her and showed her, she still refused to believe him over the media, and made some really sketchy decisions. In addition, Berkeley seemed to apologize for every little thing. Didn’t matter if he was wrong or not, he was always saying he was sorry.
The romance was hard for me to get behind, not just because it developed so late in the story, but also because of Olivia. Again, when a character in their 20s is acting like an immature 16 year old, it’s really hard for me to get behind their happily ever after. Fans of young adult books might enjoy this one more than I did (I am not a fan of the YA genre), however I just found everything about Olivia and her relationship to be annoying and tedious.
All in all, I wasn’t very impressed with this new adult book from Delahanty. I wanted to really fall in love with the Hollywood storyline, but instead I found myself rolling my eyes and waiting for something to happen. Something special, something funny, something sad… Anything. While this book has some really good writing and editing, it just wasn’t something I enjoyed. I give In Bloom a D(less)
I had never read Yates before, so when I saw this fun novella about a geeky heroine who is looking for a little fun, I couldn’t help myself.
Evie is a smart and brilliant woman who owns her own software design company, but when it comes to men, she is completely clueless. When she is contracted to design a dating app, Evie does what any woman in her position would do: research. But researching with Caleb is more than Evie expected, and after one night, Evie found she can’t seem to shake Mr. One Night Only.
Caleb has never wanted to date a woman full time, but something about Evie has him coming back for more. After their one explosive night together, Caleb is determined to spend as much time with Evie as possible, even if it’s not between the sheets. Helping her with her app and learning everything that makes her smile isn’t his style, but for Evie, Caleb is beginning to think that long term might not be such a bad thing.
I have to say, I absolutely adore geeky heroines, and Evie was such a wonderful character. I adored the fact that she was so nerdy, and yet so confident in herself. It gave her character such depth that she could see her shortcomings, and I loved the way she tried to deal with it all. She went out and got help, she tried all the tips and tricks, and even when she was failing, she just tried again. It really endeared her to me. Made me fall for her all over again.
I thought Caleb was great as well. He was the typical bachelor who came from money. He didn’t have to work, didn’t have to scrape by, and basically lived off his family money doing whatever the hell he wanted, whenever he wanted to. At the same time, it was easy for me to tell that he was disappointed with the way life was going for him, especially once he met Evie. The way she inspired him to be more, to do more with his life was so fun to watch. I really liked the way that Caleb could see that although Evie was a little rough around the edges, there was something so special about her.
The romance between these two was so wonderful. I adored the way they really made each other better people. Evie gave Caleb the strength to find something that motivated him other than partying and women. Likewise, Caleb was a kind of sounding board for Evie, someone to help her break out of her nerdy shell and be herself around. I thought their romance was such fun, especially when Caleb shows up at her office. That scene was probably one of my favorites!
I have to say, the sex in this book was super steamy and oh-so-hot! I’m definitely going to have to pick up another Mates book in the future, especially if this is her normal style of writing. I loved the way Caleb and Evie were so into each other, that they let their emotions reign supreme a lot of the time. It led to some really interesting naked moments. :)
All in all, I really enjoyed my first Mates read. I thought Evie and Caleb were both really great characters, and although this novella was short, it didn’t read like one. It felt really drawn out and well developed. The romance was super sexy and also very sweet. I give Crazy, Stupid Sex a B(less)
This is a SUPER short novella that is more like a prequel to the next story. I liked it, poor Jackson couldn't catch a break with all the blind dates...moreThis is a SUPER short novella that is more like a prequel to the next story. I liked it, poor Jackson couldn't catch a break with all the blind dates he got set up on. LOL(less)
I really liked this book. I loved the whole Sawyer family. I can only hope that Packard will write more books about the Sawyer brothers! B+ Full review...moreI really liked this book. I loved the whole Sawyer family. I can only hope that Packard will write more books about the Sawyer brothers! B+ Full review to come(less)
I liked getting to see Ryan and Glory get their HEA, but wasn't impressed with the open ended way the book left the overall series. B- Full review to co...moreI liked getting to see Ryan and Glory get their HEA, but wasn't impressed with the open ended way the book left the overall series. B- Full review to come(less)
From the moment I picked up the first Hard Ink book, I was hooked on the world that Kaye created. I couldn’t wait to find out more about Crystal and Dean, and I was not disappointed.
Crystal is stuck in a world that she hates, unable to get out of paying off her father’s debts. She is terrified for her little sister’s safety, and getting out is a risk she isn’t willing to take. If anyone at the strip club found out she had helped Shane, her life could go from bad to worse in seconds.
Shane was drawn to the waitress who helped him one night, and he can’t seem to shake the feeling that there was more to her story. When he and the Hard Ink team need more information about the organization Crystal is working for, he reaches out to her for help, and is sucked into her life in ways he never expected. But danger to both Crystal and the team lurks around every corner, and Shane will have to pull out every trick in the book to keep Crystal safe. And Shane wants to keep her, for longer than just the mission.
The ongoing plot arc in this series is so good, so extensive, and so mysterious that Kaye had me salivating for every little clue I could find. I love the idea of this rag-tag team of military brothers doing anything and everything they can to find out the details of their ruined careers. But for every question that Kaye answers in this book, another two pop up. For me, it’s both exciting and annoying all rolled up into one. I know this series has so much in store for it’s readers, but the instant gratification I crave is non-existent.
I adored everything about Crystal. This poor woman is stuck working in a job she hates, tied to a man she loathes, all because her father got involved with the wrong guys and then died before he could pay off his own debts. She went through hell and back to get into the position she had, and the risk she took with helping Shane was huge. I could practically feel her anxiety at every turn, and I desperately wanted to give her a hug throughout most of the book. Her strength was absolutely amazing. The way she was able to hide the hardships of her life from her sister, under the guise of providing the best life possible, blew me away. When she finally reached out to Shane and was able to accept his help, I wanted to throw up my arms and cheer her on.
After reading the first book, I couldn’t wait to find out more about Shane. There was so much backstory between his character and the hero of the first book, Nick. I love the bromance between all the guys in this series, but the relationship between Nick and Shane was extra special. They had some great moments together in this book, and I thought their friendship was so well done. There was one aspect of Shane’s character that I wish would have been explored more: his past regarding his sister. I felt like Kaye really set us up to get more resolution with that sub-plot but instead she left the ends dangling like so many other aspects of this book.
Their romance was really well done too. Carly had gone through a lot in her past, and although she is currently “dating” someone else (and I use that word lightly, because she is in the relationship solely out of fear), I never felt that impact on her relationship with Shane negatively. I’m not usually a fan of books where the main character is dating someone else in the beginning, but it kinda worked for me here. I loved the way Shane was so patient with Carly, developing a trust and friendship over time while still doing everything he could to protect her both physically and emotionally. Shane more than proved his devotion to her time and again, especially when it came to helping Carly’s sister.
Like the first book in this series, there was a lot going on. The action was intense, and at times pretty violent. This world that Kaye has created takes no prisoners, and it’s hard-hitting and not apologetic. The tone is dark and gritty, but the sweet romance does a wonderful job of balancing it all out. I was glad to see the overall plot advance a little, and while Shane and Crystal accomplish their main objective, I wanted so much more.
All in all, I thought the second installment of the Hard Ink series was great. The romance between Shane and Carly was a mix of both sweet and sexy and intense. The suspense plot focused on human trafficking in this book, and I thought Kaye did a wonderful job with it. While I wanted the overall plot arc to advance further than it did, Kaye left me jonesing for more and more! I give Hard As You Can a B+(less)
I have to be honest, when Frederick offered me the next book in the Woodlands series, I didn’t even read the blurb before saying YES! But a small part of me was a little nervous to start reading once I read the blurb because I’ve read books in the past with the war hero dead hubby and the widow that absolutely DID NOT work for me. I’m so pleased to report that Frederick knocked this one out of the park!
Sam has been a widow now for over two years, and the thought of moving on scares her more than she ever expected. Working at the bar and making plans to go back to school makes her feel like she might be starting to move on, but Sam doesn’t even want to think about a relationship. That is until she meets Gray.
Gray has the time of his leave to decided if he wants to stay in the Marines or not. With his father pushing him in one direction, and his grandfather in the other, Gray heads off to visit his Marine buddies to get away from it all. Running into Sam isn’t what Gray had in mind for his leave, but getting to know her is more than Gray expected. But when his leave time is up and he has to make a decision, will he and Sam be able to move on from their pasts to start a future?
Some of the other books I’ve read with a heroine who was a war hero widow were not handled in a way that I was okay with. More often than not, the dead husband is made out to look like a bad guy. He was a cheater, he had wanted out of the marriage, he had a secret child somewhere… Whatever the case may be, it always came across as cheap and a bit of a cop-out. However, Frederick did an AMAZING job of showing that there is a way for a couple to honor a fallen soldier and family member, and move past it. I loved the fact that Gray asked Sam questions about Will, how he died, what he was like, what they did together. It showed me that Gray was mature enough to acknowledge that Sam was married to a soldier, and that Gray was confident enough in their relationship to help keep the memory of Will alive, and be able to move past the jealousy. It was so beautiful and so well done.
I almost instantly fell in love with both Sam and Gray as individuals. Gray was cocky and funny and although you could tell he took his job in the Marines seriously, it was obvious he still wanted to be a young and carefree guy at times. I enjoyed his struggle with staying in the Marines or not, especially since his promotion would require him to be in charge of people. It showed just how much he cared about his fellow Marine. However, Gray’s hangup with relationships with a little too much at times. Although he had a definite reason to be jaded, I think he also had some really good examples of relationships he could have looked to as well. Instead, he chose to ignore those influences, and that didn’t seem to jive with his character.
Sam is so sweet, so caring, and so supportive of everyone around her. But at the same time, she is also stuck with her grief over Will, and she is unable to move forward or back. She hates that she didn’t move to Alaska with him, she feels guilty they were married for such a short time, and she is almost crushed under the weight of her own grief as well as the pain and loss of her mother-in-law. The fact that she wanted and is able to move on a huge feat in and of itself.
I thought the romance between Gray and Sam was absolutely perfect. Sam still struggled with her attraction to Gray, and he struggled with jealousy over a dead man. They each had to work through their own issues, and find ways to help one another move forward. I thought the romance moved at a pace that was perfect for each of them, and I absolutely loved them together.
Getting to see the other Woodlands guys and gals is always a treat. I think this cast of characters is one of my favorites in the new adult genre, and I am always anxious and excited to read about who will be getting their HEA next. I’m anxious to read more about Finn, and hope that Frederick writes faster. :)
All in all I think this book is my favorite in the Woodlands series so far. Although the story touches on some really sensitive topics, Frederick does an incredible job dealing with each and every aspect of the romance, the character development, and the story overall. I loved the way Sam and Gray were able to find ways to honor Will together and move on with their lives. It was a beautiful story! I give Unraveled an A-(less)
Lou: Oh Ruger. You’re a sexy beast but a sexist pig to boot. But since the author made no bones about you being a sexist pig, and the heroine knew of all your faults, I can’t be too mad at your character. I love this series that Joanna Wylde created, and while I can never approve of some of the characters actions, I’m totally enthralled by their world and the people. Ruger likes sex. He likes sex and he doesn’t like tying himself down to one woman. But he’s never been able to get Sophie, the mother of his nephew, out of his mind. Ruger was bossy, rude and an asshole. Yet his sexual attraction with Sophie was out of this world and he never lied to her about his intentions. Ruger is not a hero that you can say is a decent guy when it comes to women but he adores his nephew and the love he has for him is in no doubt. Ruger can’t get Sophie out of his mind and I suppose in his MC world, it’s kinda romantic.
E: Once again Wylde has created a hero that I considered a well-meaning crude ass for the majority of the story but that I enjoyed reading. Ruger’s interactions with Sophie were primarily negative with the exception of a few moments but watching him with his nephew Noah was a completely different story. He seemed to make every decision with Noah’s safety and stability in mind regardless of what Sophie thought. Ruger was so invested in the Reaper Motorcycle Club culture, he did not know how to explain things to Sophie, he just expected her to take his word and do what he said. However, there were moment when Ruger could be so sweet and caring. Wherever Sophie moved, he would take the time to set up some sort of home security system and offered on multiple occasions to help them out. It was obvious through his point of view that he really didn’t want to admit to himself what he wanted with Sophie but one thing was for certain, while he was mentally struggling she wasn’t going to find it with anyone else. As annoying as I found him at times, I will admit Ruger melted my heart and pretty well redeemed himself in my favorite scene which I will discuss below.
MinnChica: What to say about Ruger other than he was kinda a dick, a total selfish pig, and a Alphahole that I could totally fall in love with. I really liked the fact that he was so in love with Sophia and Noah, and yet he was so scared to give up something that I think he genuinely considered an everyday aspect of his biker lifestyle. I agree completely with E that Ruger was so wrapped up in his lifestyle, had been with the Club for so long, that he forgot how to talk and communicate with people on the outside. With Ruger, it was his way or the highway, only he wouldn’t let you take the highway if he didn’t want you to. So really, it was just his way. There were times I loved him for it, and other times I thought he was being an insensitive asswipe. But at least he was consistent. :)
Has: I love that Joanna Wylde did it again in making me love another sexist, alphaholic hero who you can’t not help like! I love that the MC world she has created is authentic and realistic and she does not have any qualms in the seedier side of things. But I liked that Ruger despite being a man who is unashamedly a womaniser, totally went into alpha possessive mode over Sophie and I loved that she made it hard for him to rail-road over her. I loved how he had to deal with that and that helped to develop his character because he learned what was important and face up to his real feelings for Sophie.
2. Thoughts on the Heroine
Lou: I loved Sophie right from the start. I loved her narrator voice because she was a person with flaws. She wasn’t this perfect picture of motherhood. Sophie had a rough time with her abusive ex, and she’s forced to rely on others because she is a single mum and money simply doesn’t grow on trees. But she loves her son. She loves her son so much that for all these years she’s not allowed him to be around Ruger’s club. She allows Ruger to see Zach because she can see how much they love one another. But she’s not stupid. She sees all the faults in Ruger yet her attraction and crush on him does not wane. There’s incredible sexual tension between them and I loved that Sophie gave into her carnal lust. Coz there was a lot of carnal lusting going on between these two. Sophie made some poor choices in the past but she’s determined to make the right ones this time.
E: Unlike Lou I found Sophie also provided me with mixed feelings. On one hand I admired her drive to be independent and how she tried to minimize the emotional pain of those she cared about but in certain cases I thought she took it to an unhealthy extreme. She wasn’t exactly providing the best living conditions for Noah due to her stubbornness and guilt over a certain event. I did like how she refused to put up with all of Ruger’s nonsense and valued herself enough to force him to come to his senses. I was bothered by her complete almost wilful blindness towards the motorcycle club culture even after discussions with some of the ladies who could have explained things. As I learned more about Sophie’s past and her relationship with Noah’s father I really felt for her and as a result I understood her desperation to get out. I understood her logic in how she was finally able to get support from law enforcement I just wish the end result didn’t taint her views on having a relationship with Ruger.
MinnChica: I think I fall in between E and Lou on the scale of Sophie. I loved that she was so independent, so devoted to her sun, and although she was stubborn and pigheaded, I liked that about her. It showed a strength of character that she obviously needed to have in order to go head to head with Ruger. However, like E said, her unwillingness to learn more about Club culture was a little ridiculous, especially once she became such good and close friends with some of the other women. I would have expected her to be grilling the ladies on any and all nuances within the club to get a better understanding of Ruger and his way of life.
Has: I am with MinnChica, I found Sophie likeable even if she was too stubborn for her own good at times. And even though the hand she was dealt with her crappy ex and job – I liked how determined and loving she was towards her son. I also thought this helped her stand up against Ruger, who would have have just overpowered her and that helped her make a stand against him. Although I definitely agree, it got silly when she didn’t want to know anything about the MC culture which is something that will always touch her and he son because Ruger is his uncle. Even though there were aspects of the Club’s life may not be appealing, she could have learned a lot from it to help understand and tackle Ruger better when they had conflict later in the book.
3. Favorite Scene
Lou: I don’t have a particular favourite scene but I did find where she gets payback on Ruger by falling asleep and not giving him any mercy where her son chats non-stop to him in the car about his favourite show. It was funny and kinda cute.
Oh. And the sex scenes were pretty darn good.
And the scenes with Em, Marie, Kimber, Dancer and Mags were hilarious.
E: I am sitting here giggling over the scenes Lou mentioned and those were quite enjoyable, but my favorite scene is a different one. I absolutely loved the scene in which Ruger explains the mysterious tattoos on his shoulder and upper back area. This was the scene when he became a complete romance hero to me despite his tendency towards assholeness. When I read that scene, my perception of everything he said or did previously fell into place and I saw him through a new light. No, I didn’t accept his behavior but I could understand the romance, persistence, and tangled web that existed between the two of them.
MinnChica: For me, I think the scene that sticks out the most for me is a little gruesome and dark. I don’t know that I’d classify it as my favorite, because the girls all drinking together were some of the funnest, but for me, this spoke to the true devotion between Sophie and Ruger. When Sophie called Ruger to help her clean up a little problem with Noah’s father, that really stood out to me. Not just because Sophie took her life by the horns and did what she thought was right (although her decision is questionable), but also because right or wrong, Ruger was one hundred percent there for her. No questions asked, he cleaned up her mess and told her he still wanted her. That really spoke volumes to me about just how far they were willing to go in life for themselves and each other.
Has: I also loved that scene when Sophie had her own back with her son talking incessantly about the toy characters and the scenes with the other cast of characters especially the other ladies of MC Club world was full of great chemistry. I agree with MinnChica again with the ending when Sophie asks for Ruger’s help and her realisation about the path that led to her decisions in her life was my favourite. It was a dark and quiet scene, but showed how willing Ruger was dedicated towards to keeping Sophie safe and that cemented their romance for me.
4. Dislike about book
Lou: There’s no real dislike in this book. At times I thought Ruger was an insensitive ass that needed a slap around the head but Sophie never gave into him.
E: I dislike the overall attitude towards women and the combination of belief and expectation that if a woman is not identified a certain way that woman was automatically fair game for whatever. I also did not enjoy the use of treasured women targeted in threats and actions but unfortunately that is a theme throughout history. With that said I understand this is fiction and I do enjoy reading the story. I also loved how strong and determined the women could be when they were pushed.
MinnChica: While I agree with E to some extent, I can also appreciate that right or wrong, that is just the way of the MC culture. There were times when I definitely wanted the women in this book to stick up for themselves more, but I got it and understood it.
Has: I agree, this is not going to be a series that will appeal to people who won’t be able to get past the sexism of MC culture. And Joanna Wylde reflects this realistically, but it is balanced with humour, and wonderful fleshed out characters even if they can be sexist prigs. I may not want to be married to a MC hero, but they’re fleshed out and likable characters here and that makes the romance work for me.
5. Any other misc. thoughts
Lou: I loved this installment because we see how characters are growing and how Wylde is building story threads along the way. I’m so excited for Em and Hunter’s book, and I loved that Em can be just as wild as her father. All in all, I give Reaper’s Legacy a B+.
E: Overall despite my mixed feelings about the characters I enjoyed reading this and continue to look forward to future installments in the Reaper world. It was fun to see Marie and Horse again and I loved the give and take between Sophie and Ruger. Like Lou, I appreciated the building story threads and I really hope Em gives a certain individual hell after his actions in this story. I give Reaper’s Legacy a B.
MinnChica: All in all I thought this was a very enjoyable MC romance read. I love all the secondary female characters, and can’t wait to see more and more of them. I thought the romance was well done between Sophie and Ruger, despite the fact that it was an up and down roller coaster ride the whole time! I think Wylde has created a wonderful romance series that both stays true to the real-world influence of MC clubs, but also creates wonderful characters that you can really rally behind and cheer for. I give Reaper’s Legacy a B
Has: I think this is my favourite MC romance series. Joanna Wylde is just fantastic in creating a great cast of colourful and vibrant people and I especially love the female characters who help to balance out the over the top alphahole MC bikers. I love how dark and gritty this series can be but at the same time, the humour and sparkling dialogue just shines through and adds a fabulous dimension into the story, especially the romance. I give Reaper’s Legacy a B+(less)
We have done some promo for Davis here at The Book Pushers in the past, so when I got the opportunity in my schedule to finally read one of her books, I jumped at the chance. I adore my wolf shifters, and thought Davis created a unique world.
Christa has been working for the human Shield organization for some time now, making sure that the wolf shifters don’t take out the humans. But her new boss is taking risky moves and making her rethink her position. When she is taken hostage by a shifter, she worries about which shifter rumors are true, and which are not.
Hayden enjoys his job as Marshal, and having a human mate throws him off a little. Hayden wants Christa to believe in his cause, but getting her to see his side of the story may be harder than he thinks. But as Christa’s old boss wages a war against them, they will have to fight together to save their own.
While this book can be read as a stand alone, there were multiple times when I felt like I was missing out on so much because I hadn’t read the previous books in the series. There was a lot of world building that had already been done in the other stories that wasn’t explained thoroughly, and there were times I felt as if I had to infer a lot about the world, the characters, and their ongoing fight with Shield and other rogue wolf groups. That being said, I think Davis has done a wonderful job creating a fun world to read about different kinds of shifters and humans all interacting together and finding ways to coexist.
The romance in this book felt a little rushed to me. While Hayden is all in because of the pull he feels for his mate, I had a harder time connecting with why Christa finally gave in to the romance. Hayden kidnapped her, wouldn’t let her leave, almost threatened her niece and nephew and then kept trying to keep her from her true nature, being a warrior. The sexual chemistry between them was obvious, but the emotional connection I wanted to see wasn’t as strong as I had hoped.
I was definitely intrigued by the other secondary characters of this series, and will probably go back and read the previous books. I liked how the two groups of shifters have banded together to fight the common enemy, and I wish I had a better frame of reference for their backstory, because I think it has incredible potential to be a great story arc.
While I enjoyed Hayden and Christa, I did feel like a lot of this novella was split evenly between the romance and the ongoing plot arcs, so we didn’t get a chance to really know Hayden and Christa as individuals. Again, part of that could be because I hadn’t read any of the other books, but I would have liked to see a little more in-depth character development.
All in all I enjoyed my first read from Davis, but would definitely recommend anyone starting this series to read the book in order. I really enjoyed the world building and overall plot arcs, and I am interested in going back to get fully caught up to date. For me, I would have liked a little more on the relationship and individual development of the hero and heroine. I give Divided Loyalties a B-(less)
I’ve really enjoyed Lowe’s wedding books in the past, but have to admit I was a little bummed we hadn’t met the hero or heroine before the release of this book. This is the third book in her latest wedding series, and one of my favorite aspects of series is getting to see recurring characters, it was a bit sad for me to come in not knowing either Amy or Ben.
Amy’s life is not turning out how she expected. She was fired from her dream job, dumped by her boyfriend, and runs off to hide at the cabin vacation home of her youth. She didn’t plan on having to share her vacation home with a sexy Australian, but since she was the main reason he couldn’t leave, she also couldn’t complain.
Ben is running from a past he is desperate to forget. Having his bike break down in the middle of nowhere with a town that is nonstop weddings, isn’t his ideal situation. But Ben makes the best of it, and spending his time with Amy is turning out better than he could ever hope for.
But despite the fact that Ben and Amy are enjoying each other more than their old lives, in order to move forward, they both have to face the past. And that might be more than either of them is ready to do, even for each other.
I was pretty anxious to see what the story was with Amy’s job, why she was fired, why her boyfriend left, and why she was so upset about it all. As more and more of the story unfolded, I felt so bad for her! That poor women went through so much crap at the hands of her jerk of an ex, it was obvious to see that he really beat down her self esteem and self worth. But watching Amy get the chance to build it back up and grow even more amazing was fun to see.
I liked Ben, but thought that maybe he was reacting a little melodramatic given the dent to his ego. I thought his backstory wasn’t as traumatizing and dramatic as his actions implied, and because of it I felt like I had a harder time connecting to his character. Even though he redeemed his character, I had a hard time liking him up to the very end. Although he was fun and did a good job at bringing Amy back out of her shell, his character really just didn’t work for me. I don’t know if I just thought he was too emo or what, but I struggled.
That being said, I always enjoy the way that Lowe creates such a strong secondary romance in her books. We got a special treat with two secondary romances here, first Al and Ella, the older couple that Ben starts to think of as parental figures both get a second chance at love, and I thought they were super cute together. I also liked the story with Melissa and Scott. All three couples had very different relationship journeys, and they balanced out well.
One thing I didn’t totally love about this book was the way that Ben messed up their relationship. He came across as extremely selfish to me, and although he eventually realized where and how he went wrong, I needed Amy to make him beg a bit more. Instead, she welcomed him back in with open arms, after she laid it all out on the line for him, and then had to go through a really hard struggle without someone to stand by her side. I needed more groveling, and was a little upset to see Amy give in so easily.
All in all I really enjoyed the third book in the Wedding Fever series. I do adore the town of Whitetail and their devotion to the wedding business. I think Lowe does a wonderful job of really giving more storyline and life to the secondary characters, and getting to see multiple couples fall in love is always a plus. However, I struggled with the main hero and heroine in this. I give Runaway Groom a B-(less)
MinnChica: Oh man, I have such a love of sports romances, and Burton continues to write wonderful and engaging and sexy stories that feature some of my favorite kinds of sports and heroes. This time we get back to the hockey rink with Drew and Carolina, who just happens to be Drew’s best friend’s little sister. I do really enjoy the brother’s best friend trope, however I don’t think Burton touched on that as much as I would have liked her to. That being said, there was something so simplistic and sweet about the romance between Drew and Carolina that I really enjoyed.
E: Ever since a certain tense weekend involving Drew, Carolina, Preston and Evelyn in One Sweet Ride I have been anxiously looking forward to Drew and Carolina’s story. I really liked the switch Burton made with this story to include a painful past, best friend’s younger sister, and a heroine who wasn’t trying to convince the hero to do something or cooperate. Unlike MinnChica, I really liked the minimal focus on the brother’s best friend trope because I thought it demonstrated more of a trust and adult reaction to an adult relationship. I did have a few niggles with this story but overall I enjoyed watching Drew and Carolina find their way.
MinnChica: One thing that surprised me with this story was the diminished heat level compared to the other books in the series. Those Riley brothers and cousins were horndogs, and we got to see them in action between the sheets. A lot. With Drew and Carolina, there was a lot of sexual tension, but there naked moments were significantly fewer than the previous books. While I liked that, because it gave Burton time to showcase the relationship that Drew and Carolina were building, I also missed some of the more spicy scenes I’ve become accustomed to with this series.
E: While I agree this story certainly did not have the same level of heat, I preferred it because Drew had to work extremely hard to regain Carolina’s trust on any level. The tension was incredible and when they finally indulged the scene was wonderful. I found the end of that particular scene slightly ironic and thought Drew’s realization gave him another idea of exactly how much of a jerk he had been in college. What bothered me in the lead up was how pushy Drew was about spending time with Carolina. I understood there was no way for him to make amends without being around her, sometimes I just wondered about his persistence. I know Carolina was brought up to be a socially polite hostess but it appeared as if she allowed Drew to push her around at times while she was working towards her deadline. That being said, I loved how she was able to take inspiration for her line from some of the activities they did together which also gave her brain a much needed respite. I thought the inclusion of road game troubles for Drew’s team brought a level of three dimensionality as the backdrop to their relationship.
MinnChica: I agree that at times Drew was pushy and used Carolina’s weaknesses against her. Also, some of the other external conflicts, namely Drew’s road game problems, and Carolina’s stress of getting her line launched did add an extra layer to the story that worked well within the romance. One thing that Burton continues to do so well is write incredible secondary characters. I am so excited to read more about Trevor and Haven. I love the small role that Haven’s parents have played in this series of books, so getting to see Haven’s story wrap up is going to be so wonderful!
E: While I enjoyed the roadgame tension it lead to an event that I felt let me down somewhat. Drew pulled a rather inconsiderate move out of fear and superstition. Carolina’s reaction given their past history was very understandable. However, I felt she went from her reaction to forgiveness a tad too easily. I didn’t see how Drew for all of his talk earlier made up for his actions and their potential impact on Carolina’s dream. However, he did realize the error of his ways and addressed it. I agree with MinnChica that the next story should be very interesting.
MinnChica: All in all I liked getting the chance to see Drew and Carolina work past their awkward college interlude and move forward with a mature and adult relationship. While I liked both Drew and Carolina as individuals, there were parts of their romance that just didn’t work for me. However, I am anxious to see what Burton has in store for the next book in this series, as I think Trevor and Haven have a lot of history. I give Melting the Ice a B-
E: Like MinnChica I did enjoy this story overall. I liked seeing a grown up Drew acknowledge his lack of consideration when younger and how he tried to rebuild trust with Carolina. I also loved seeing Carolina work towards her dream. As I said earlier I did have a few niggles with this story but I thought the twists to Burton’s pattern so far were refreshing. I continue to anticipate future installments. I give Melting the Ice a B/B-(less)
This blurb seemed like it would be right up my alley, snarky heroine, badass hero, and a suspense plot to keep me on my toes. However, this book didn’t live up to my expectations.
Maggie has been dating a Senator for over a year now, and when she finds him cheating on her, she is pretty much over the guy. But finding him murdered isn’t what Maggie wanted either, especially when she is the prime suspect. Thankfully, FBI Agent Clive was following her and able to provide an alibi.
Clive has wanted Maggie since the first moment he started shadowing her. Finding out she had nothing to do with the Senator’s shady business deals was a relief, getting to spend time and care for her was his dream and nightmare all at the same time. As the killer realizes Maggie is the main witness to his crime, her life is in more danger than she ever imagined.
Let me start by saying this book is REALLY short. We’re talking around 50 pages or so. For how intensive the blurb made this book sound, it shouldn’t be a surprise that so much of the actual story takes place off the page. However, I was kind of shocked at just how much was behind the scenes. I felt like we were a little jipped on just how much of the story was told to us. I wanted to get in on the pulse pounding action, I wanted the suspense give me heart palpitations. Instead, we had a passing mention of all the good stuff, and it was almost like we were given an overview of what happened. Not fun for me to read. :(
However, I did enjoy Maggie’s character. She was a bit of a snarky and sarcastic heroine that I knew I would have loved even more if we had gotten more of a chance to know her. She was both sweet and caring and also a little cocky. She made me laugh and I thought she was a wonderful character. I know this is going to be a series, so I’m sure her character will be flushed out a bit more, so I can only hope that readers get to know even more about her.
Clive was sweet, but didn’t really stick out in my mind after putting down the book. He didn’t have that air of badass about him that I was expecting, and unfortunately there wasn’t anything special about him that made him stick out in my mind after I was finished with the story. It was a bit disappointing to say that there wasn’t really anything bad about him, but nothing great either.
The romance was the main focus of the 50 page story, and even that kinda fell short for me. It wasn’t that the romance wasn’t good, or that the writing or character development wasn’t good. There just wasn’t enough time for Yardley to cram everything in that would have made this book spectacular.
All in all I was pretty disappointed with this book. Again, it’s not like the writing or editing was bad, there just wasn’t enough story to work for me. I am a big fan of novellas, however the story has to have enough meat on it in order for it to grab my attention, and this just didn’t make the cut. I give Wake Up Maggie a D+(less)
MinnChica: The biggest worry for me going into this book would be that I would hate Robin and never be able to forgive her. I went through a similar situation in college, and I went into this story hoping that McCarthy would be able to redeem Robin, but also a little determined to hate her character overall. Let me just say this: Robin suffers. She made a horrible mistake one drunken night, and she is SUFFERING for it. She acknowledged what was wrong in her life (drinking) and decided to do something about it. She really did anything and everything she could think of to get herself to a place where she could look in the mirror and not hate herself. I was happy to see that she never really got there. It will take time for her to be okay, and I like that McCarthy didn’t sugarcoat that.
E: I think all of us who read the second book had some serious concerns about Robin’s actions and how McCarthy was going to manage to redeem her in our eyes. Line MinnChica I felt the amount of mental anguish and suffering that Robin experienced along with her drastic attempts to change her behavior redeemed her as a romance heroine. I loved how her growth and change wasn’t instant nor was everything magically fixed once she identified she had a problem. She was really caught in a difficult situation without an easy answer. As challenging as Robin’s journey was during the story I think the final decisions she made really solidified her as a character and left me feeling satisfied about the work she still has to achieve.
MinnChica: Despite my reservations about Robin, I was so excited to read more about Phoenix. I love the idea of the misunderstood hero, and after reading the teaser chapter in the last book, I knew that Phoenix would be right up my alley that way. I adored him. Despite the fact that he was in jail for an extended period of time, for a somewhat violent crime, Phoenix was a total softie, and I loved that about him. Sure, he could be hard and tough when he needed to be, but underneath it all he just wanted his mother to love him, family to call him own, and a strong woman to stand by his side. His luck had been running real low on all those points until he met Robin. Despite that, he was still pretty optimistic and hopeful that life would work out for him, and I loved him for it!
E: Phoenix was pretty complicated. He seemed set up for failure from the very beginning with his mother and his anger management challenges. I loved the teaser chapter that introduced him and couldn’t wait to find out his story. As the story developed and I got to know Phoenix, my heart broke for what he had gone through and what he was still facing. I loved how patient he was with Robin and yet he also drew a hard line about what he was not willing to accept in his life. He was also incredibly talented and protective but not devoid of the impulsiveness that comes from trying to live life to the fullest. I also enjoyed the symbolism of his name as the story reached its conclusions.
MinnChica: I also really enjoyed their romance. It wasn’t always easy and perfect, but for them as individuals it really worked. There was a scene where Robin gets Phoenix to give her a tattoo. There was something really sexy about the trust that Robin had in Phoenix, and the way that Phoenix was able to really bask in that. It was Robin’s way of showing through actions, not just words, how much she cared for him and trusted in him to keep her safe. It was a sweet and touching moment for me. I think it also really showcased just how much they cared for each other, since they were willing to share such an intimate moment and mark each other permanently into their skin.
E: The tattoo scene was really touching I agree. But I think what stuck to me the most was when Phoenix laid down the law to Robin. They had discussed earlier in the story how he was against any sort of drug and given his childhood it was very easy to understand why. However, Robin wasn’t considering anyone other than her wish to make the pain she was feeling vanish so she needed to understand what her actions had done to those who cared about her and how her default response to stress was extremely unhealthy. It wasn’t enough for her to stop drinking cold turkey as a knee-jerk reaction to an incident, she had to acknowledge she had more of a problem than what she did while drinking. She had a problem that caused her to turn to alcohol as her default. Phoenix’s willingness to say and do what he did along with Robin facing the further implications of her lifestyle up to that point really made this story for me. While it wasn’t a pleasant scene, I think it showed McCarthy’s skill in characterization and giving a complete story without hand-waving over the messy details.
MinnChica: Yes, I couldn’t agree more that the way McCarthy handled Robin’s drinking problem was so incredible. Phoenix’s reactions were perfect, her parents concern was so genuine, it was very well done. However, there were some things that were a little unrealistic for me in this book. The first was Phoenix’s mom. While I didn’t hate her as much as I’m sure others will, the problem I had with her is that given her track record with dealing with Phoenix, I had a hard time believing that she would come back into his life like everything was rainbows and unicorns. If she really was a drug addicted piece of shit mom, why made her nice all of a sudden? I felt like that change in his mom was a little too happy and didn’t like it. Also, I had mixed feelings about the way the book ended. I liked that Robin and Phoenix were able to go off and pursue their dreams, however it did feel a bit like they were being punished for Robin’s actions. Because her friends didn’t want to be around her anymore, they voted her off the island, and she had to go. It just didn’t leave the best taste in my mouth, but I’m anxious to see if it’s addressed at all in future books.
E: I really disliked Phoenix’s mother. Not just as a character because I did, but her entrance part way through the story really without any consequences. Her lack of contact with Phoenix while he was incarcerated, her actions during his childhood and her expectation that he would be happy to see her I could excuse because family is complicated. But what really threw me was the lack of a hard-line about her presence given what was at stake for Phoenix’s cousins and their custody arrangement. Phoenix had to find a job and a new place to live in case Child Welfare Services paid a visit but it was expected throughout the entire story that his mother would pay a visit. This was really the only inconsistency that bothered me during this story. Unlike MinnChica, I liked the idea of Phoenix and Robin moving to a fresh environment. I felt they needed the change to have a chance to succeed. I do hope the lingering anger and hurt is resolved in future installments because the girls were so close.
MinnChica: All in all I liked this book much more than I expected to. Like I said, I was really hesitant to read this one because of Robin’s major screw up, however I did end up liking it. I was glad to see that McCarthy let Robin really suffer for her mistakes, and didn’t give her an easy way out. I adored Phoenix and his almost beta-like hero ways. I’m anxious to see what happens next in this series! I give Believe a B
E: I was completely caught up in this story. I felt for Phoenix, Robin, and the other characters as they struggled to deal with the aftermath of the summer. I thought the choices they had to make and the angst associated with those choices fit their experiences. No, they weren’t ones I would ever wish on anyone but they are a facet of today’s society. This is not a comfortable series for me to read but the way McCarthy brings up situations and lets them play out in all of their messiness including second and third order effects continues to suck me in. I have hope for Robin and Phoenix but I also know it is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to succeed. I also give Believe a B.(less)
When I read my first Covington book last year, I knew that she would become an auto-buy author for me. When I got the chance to be a part of the blog tour for this release, I jumped at the chance to read more!
Teague has big plans for himself: partner in his law firm, and a political career he hopes to take all the way to the White House. All he has to do is continue on the path he has already laid out for himself, the straight and narrow that leaves no room for drunken Vegas antics. Too bad he wakes up naked next to a Vegas Showgirl. Teague isn’t worried about anything coming of it, until Risa shows up at his door and informs him they were married.
Risa got in deep with the wrong people, and trapping Teague into a compromising position was going to be enough to get her out. But Risa can’t do that to the sweet and sexy stranger. After just a short time with Teague, Risa knows she will have to think of something else to get out of the hole with the mob boss she owes money too, because even though she falls head over heels, she knows that a Vegas Showgirl isn’t exactly the kind of woman Teague wants as his first lady.
I loved the premise of this book, but I have to admit that coming in without having read the previous two kinda threw me off. There were times I just knew that had I started reading the series at the very beginning, I would have understood the characters, the town, and the situations better than I did. That’s not to say I wasn’t able to get the jist of what was going on, however I know I would have had an even deeper understanding if I wouldn’t have joined the series on book three.
However, I did find myself adoring this group of guys and the small town they are all originally from. I’m definitely going to have to go back and read the previous books in the series, because I would love to get more backstory about all the characters we saw popping up. The secondary cast was such a fun and supportive group of people, and I adored them all so much!
For me, Risa was the shining star in this book. Her determination to pick herself up and make something out of her life was wonderful to see. Especially in the face of so many people looking down on her because of it. I wanted to hug and applaud her every time she held her head high, despite the numerous times others tried to beat her down. She was so strong and driven and focused on doing the right thing, even if her options were limited. I thought she was such a wonderful heroine, and I sincerely hope we get to see more of her in the future.
While I enjoyed Teague, there were a few moments when I really couldn’t stand the guy. He was so wrapped up in his own goals, his own dreams, his own future political aspirations that he really had a hard time seeing above and beyond that. There was a scene when one of his best friends kinda puts Teague in his place, reminding him of how narrow minded and dickish he’s been, and I loved watching the lightbulb go on over his head. It was a wonderful moment to literally see Teague realize how wrong he has been. That and his groveling really helped make up for some of that asshat behavior.
The romance between these two was too cute. I adored the fact that they were both so level headed about their night in Vegas, and how mature they were about handling their drunken marriage. The sparks were definitely flying with these two, and I loved the fact that throughout most of their relationship, they really were so on the same page about what they both wanted, what the expected, and what they wanted to gain from their relationship. It is always refreshing to read those kinds of romances, and I thought Covington did a wonderful job with it.
All in all I enjoyed the third book in The Boys are Back in Town series, I am definitely going to go back and read the previous books to further my understanding of the series. I loved Risa, and Teague more than made up for his jerk moments. I thought the romance was wonderful, and I’m anxious to see which bad boy gets his HEA next. I give Sweet Southern Betrayal a B-(less)
I have to admit the one thing that really inspired me to read this book was the stalking aspect. I’m always intrigued by stalking plots in books, because I think they can be so creepy and scary and so good.
Amber went through a horrible ordeal as a girl, she was stalked and tortured by someone whom she thought was her friend. People close to her were killed, and she has been living in the shadow of her former self. She is trying desperately to be normal, but between the nightmares and failing math, she worries if she bit off more than she could chew.
Marcus has been eyeing Amber since the first time he saw her, but tutoring her in math isn’t what he wanted to do with her. But after spending a little time with Amber, Marcus realizes that there is something horrific in her past, and he wants to care for her. Marcus isn’t the type to stick around, but with Amber he wants to help her heal and look toward the future. But they both have secrets, and getting past them might be more than either can do.
Poor Amber seriously had to go through hell, and she has the emotional scars to prove it. I felt horrible for her, especially as the details about her life came pouring out. I was a little surprised that all she had were the nightmares. If I was in her shoes, I don’t think I’d be able to function, let alone accomplish all the things Amber had. The strength of her character was astounding, especially as her past started to come back and haunt her.
Marcus was a bit of an enigma for me at first. He came across as this player, a total rake who wanted nothing more than to bed hop from hot chick to hot chick. He seemed okay with that too, but the more he got to know Amber and her story, the more he seemed to realize the value of having a partner, of letting someone in. I liked watching that transition in him, but wish we could have gotten it from his perspective. Since the story was told in Amber’s POV the whole time, we never got the chance to be in Marcus’ head. :(
The romance between these two was super cute. I liked the way that Amber wanted to have nothing to do with Marcus, and he had to work his way up to gaining her trust and becoming friends. I liked the way they leaned on each other and really took the time to build a friendship before moving into something more. The slow build in their romance really worked for me, especially given the trauma of Amber’s past.
I also really enjoyed the secondary characters in this story. I’m anxious to see what we learn about Amber’s friends, and the hard life lessons that they’ve lived through. I do hope that we’ll get the chance to see them have a chance at happily ever after, like Amber did.
All in all I was really impressed with Lindenblatt’s debut novel. I thought the stalking aspect of the story was so well done, especially as it was weaved through the present day storyline. I thought the romance was really well done given both Amber and Marcus’ pasts, and hope we get to see more of them in future books. I’m looking forward to what this author has in store next. I give Tell Me When a B(less)
E: I liked the blurb when I was browsing for review books but noticed that MinnChica already had it scheduled for review. I mentioned I was looking forward to reading what she had to say and she convinced me to go ahead and do a joint review with her. I wasn’t sure what I thought I was going to read but what I got was very visceral, elemental, and brutal in more ways than one. Bri had a horrible home life and after one especially brutal night she fled. After some time living on the street she ended up working as a bar waitress and seemed to enjoy life with the constant hum of danger.
MinnChica: When I first read this blurb I was instantly intrigued. However, I never expected the book to be as dark and brutal and ugly as it was. Wyllys touched on some very heavy topics, and she didn’t pull any of her punches. This book was raw and at times difficult to read, and yet it was such a beautiful story. I found myself staying up till almost 2:30 in the morning finishing this book, because I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I really feel as if everyone needs to read this book! :)
E: I can’t say this is a story I will ever re-read nor did I necessarily enjoy the characters and their choices BUT it gripped me and I was unable to stop reading. I think part of the attraction was how Bri and Luke never tried to smooth over anything. What they thought or felt was blatantly evident without any filters. Yes, each had secrets they kept from the other about their past but they were almost brutally honest about the present. It was also interesting to see the connections between the supporting characters appear, shift, and sometimes get in the way. Those connections demonstrated just how out of the loop Bri was with the other people around her and made me wonder what her best friend really knew.
MinnChica: For me, the big attraction between Luke and Bri was the fact that they didn’t try to change each other. Let’s be brutally honest for a minute, both Bri and Luke were seriously effed up people. They both had some serious, major issues. Bri drowned herself in booze and bad decisions, Luke was a fighter first and foremost, and he had no problems using his fists to solve problems. But despite the fact that they are both broken, they don’t try to change one another. Luke doesn’t force Bri to clean up her act and get her shit together. Instead, he accepts who she is and just wants to be a part of her life. Bri doesn’t force Luke to quit and go to some kind of legitimate business, instead she grits her teeth and bears the fact that fighting is a part of who he is. Like I said before, both Bri and Luke are ugly, but their romance is beautiful in and of itself.
E: That is so very true. They accepted and loved each other in all of their messed up glory. Luke wasn’t going to change his life because it spilled over and impacted Bri. He would make sure to get revenge but he wasn’t changing his life. Nor was he after her to change, except maybe not wave the equivalent of a red cape in front of a charging bull. Bri on the same hand didn’t expect Luke to quit his livelihood. It might bring her back to some of the darker places of her childhood but it was an elemental part of Luke. In a way it was refreshing to see a romance that centered around accepting who/what the characters were attracted to and that didn’t mean they were condemned to relive the past but could make the choice to be different while staying in the same environment.
MinnChica: Another thing I really liked about this book was how different all the supportive characters were. Bri’s best friend was so worried about her reckless ways that he went above and beyond best friend duties to try and keep her safe. Almost to the point that I found myself like his character less and less as the story went on. This is supposed to be the first book in a series called The Lane. I’m anxious and excited to see who will be next. I’m not sure if Wyllys is going to keep following Bri and Luke, or if we’ll get the chance to see some of the other eccentric Lane characters get their chance at finding love, in whatever forms works best for them.
E: It will be very interesting to see what characters come to the forefront as this series continues. I think Bri’s best friend knew a lot more about Luke’s world then he ever wanted to admit. It will be interesting to see if he redeems himself or is forever pushed out of the picture. While this story was brutal and vicious as MinnChica said earlier, the romance was there. I think the best thing is at the end I had the feeling that love isn’t limited to the “perfect ones,” f’ed up characters are just as eligible to love and be loved.
I give Wild Ones a B
MinnChica: All in all I thought this was a beautiful and wonderful book. Don’t get me wrong, it was ugly and violent and brutal a times, especially as Bri and Luke navigate the waters of their relationship. But despite that, it was such a truthful and real love story between two people who thought they were never capable of love. I’m not usually a fan of darker romances, I tend to prefer my romances with rainbows and unicorns, but this was story was just as wonderful as the happy romances. I’m so anxious to see what Wyllys comes up with next. I give Wild Ones an A(less)
I’ve really enjoyed Maxwell’s writing in the past, so when I got the chance to read the next Fighting for Love book, I jumped at it. I happen to love my fighter heroes, and Irish did not disappoint.
Kat is running from something, and she is doing her best to stay under the radar and away from everyone she loves. When Irish walks into the bar where she works, she is instantly attracted to him, and incredibly on edge around him. She isn’t ready to fall for anyone again, and after one day with Irish, she knows that he has the capacity to crush her heart more than anyone else.
Irish had a big secret, running into Kat wasn’t by chance. He was sent by her sister and soon to be brother-in-law to find her and keep her safe. Just when he thinks that Kat is safe, he finds out she is running from someone very dangerous. The only way that Irish can see to keep Kat safe is to join a not-so-legal fighting ring and win the cash to buy her freedom. But plans change and Irish will have to make some hard choices to keep Kat safe, and possibly win back the future he never thought he could have.
I love the way Maxwell added in a suspense plot with this book. There is something to be said for a hero and heroine who are on the run from the bad guy, and who need to rely on each other to get out of a jam. I love that Irish and Kat know who is after them, know what they need to do to get free, and yet are still on edge about how everything was going to work out. I thought it was a great balance between the romance development and the suspense sub-plot.
I adored Kat. The poor girl went from one bad situation to another one. As a teen and young woman, she couldn’t seem to catch a break. I loved that when she met Irish she was really hesitant about him. She wasn’t sure that he would be someone she could trust, and I liked that she was wary of him, that their relationship built from friendship, and that she was willing to let Irish prove to her that he was worthy of her trust. Kat had some serious issues to work through, especially with her past, and I liked that they weren’t sugar coated when it came to her sexual relationship with Irish.
I loved and adored Irish, but his ability to play the martyr did get on my nerves after awhile. Irish was broody and sexy, but even once we found out more about his past, I felt as if he wasn’t willing to cut himself any breaks, when he demanded other people do it for themselves. It was a little narrow minded for him, and although I loved his character, I did want to slap him for that line of thinking at times. One of my favorite aspects of Irish was the way he was so devoted to Kat. He was so careful of her. He pushed when she needed it, and backed off when she wasn’t ready to admit certain things. He gave her safety, and comfort and he endeared himself to me in so many ways!
My only big complaint is that I wanted more. I wanted more from Kat and Irish. I wanted to see them continue to grow more and more comfortable with each other, I wanted to see further into their happily ever after. I just wanted more. The story ended well, and didn’t feel like it was an abrupt ending, however I just wanted more!
All in all I really liked the third book in the Fighting for Love series. I adored getting to see the softer and gentle side of Irish, especially as he dealt with so many of the dark parts of Kat’s past. I loved getting to see Kat grow into her own as a strong and steady woman. I thought their romance was so well done, and the suspense was fabulous as well. Add in the pet alligator, and this was a wonderful story! I give Fighting for Irish a B(less)