New Jersey Hurricanes striker Logan Hart is an international soccer star who plays hard on and off the field. Gorgeous, rich, and single, he has the perfect life.That is until a former one night stand hands him a baby, claiming it’s his, and disappears. Logan doesn’t know the child is really his or not and has no idea how to care for her. His sister puts a call into a nanny service. Logan’s all for handing off this new responsibility to more capable hands so he can get back to his single ways but when the sexy, blond, take no prisoners nanny shows up and informs him she is the nanny, not the parent, and his participation is non-negotiable, Logan finds himself looking for more than just a new notch on his bedpost…he wants to win her heart.
Isabella Bennett takes pride in her career as a professional nanny. Using her skills, she not only cares for the children of the rich and famous but also helps to teach the parents how to become a family. Logan and his child desperately need Isabella but their mutual attraction could create some problems. Isabella is there to whip Logan into shape, not fall into his bed. As the chemistry between them only continues to bloom, Isabella finds herself hoping that this is the real thing. But a secret Isabella is keeping may be the one thing that stops her from finally getting her happily ever after.
Hard to Hold is the first in a new sports based romance contemporary series by Katie Rose.An appealing premise and cover piqued my interest right away. I enjoy sport based romances and I’m always looking for more secret/surprise baby tropes that don’t follow the norm. Rose sets the stage right off the bat with a bold scene and narrative. Our hero, Logan Hart, is home from Europe and having a drink with a teammate. A young woman interrupts Logan’s night out, handing him a baby and informing him he is the baby’s father and she’s done. Logan is shocked and tries to chase after her but she drives off before he can stop her. Logan heads home, calls his sister, and proceeds to freak out. And rightly so. His sister helps him out by putting him in touch with a professional nanny service send over a nanny who instantly sets to right the chaos that has descended, winning his admiration, trust, and eventually his heart.
This lightweight predictable story hits all the basic notes for a romance but doesn’t develop beyond a singular level. This surprised me because I read and reviewed The Heat is On, #4 in her Bad Boys of Summer series, and enjoyed it. I found the overall romance and storyline much better developed and balanced in comparison to this one.
An antagonistic employee/employer relationship develops and trips along with a wee bit of angst, humor, and some push and pull in the romance. Logan sees a beautiful woman he’d like to get to know better but has no ambition towards making it something more permanent while Isabella sees a gorgeous abet arrogant man who needs to to be taken down a notch. They dance around each other as Logan learns how to be a parent while dealing with the team, the gossip, and locating the baby’s mom.
The chemistry is plausible and helped along by some steamy scenes but the connection is weak. Isabella seems determined to keep Logan firmly in “player” category though there is no evidence of this besides second hand gossip. I was also not happy with her presumptions about his having one night stands and obviously not using a condom. Logan struggles with crossing the line between them, knowing he needs her more for his child then his bed. When they decide to go forward, he stops them at a critical point and she ends up taking it personally. They don’t really seem to get to know one another on a personal level, and I never saw the moment it went from attraction to affection for either of them.
The best part of the book for me was watching Logan grow into parenthood. He doesn’t instantly take to the baby and there was a sense of realism there. The confusion and fear were evident and Logan learns to deal with it while growing to love his child. There was a small storyline concerning Logan that didn’t seem to offer much in ways advancement in the book or his character. Logan suffers under the care of a host family while in Europe as a teenager and resents his parents didn’t believe his claims. Interesting but there is no resolution and it disappears as quietly as it enters. A minor conflict concerning Isabella’s secret is the catalyst that pushes Isabella to trust Logan and we are left with the HEA we never doubted was coming.
Hard to Hold is sure to appeal to fans who enjoy predictably sweet and lightweight romance contemporaries with a hint of spice that doesn’t push any real boundaries or demand much emotionally.
All in all I liked this one. A sexy second chance romance with plenty of humor, steamy love scenes, and an emotional catharsis o3.5 stars (rounded up)
All in all I liked this one. A sexy second chance romance with plenty of humor, steamy love scenes, and an emotional catharsis of sorts that brings together two childhood frenemies whose pranks and antagonism were a gateway to their affection for one another. It did seem as some of the issues in this couples' past were skimmed over and the "big" grovel scene wasn't as impacting as I thought it would be. I did enjoy meeting the secondary characters and I look forward to reading Jared and Wyatt's stories. ...more
Roman Crazy is a deliciously sexy and humorous second chance romance that follows Avery Bardot to Rome, Italy after she catches her husband cheating on her. Reconnection and re-discovery are the themes on which this story is built with strong overtones of friendship and redemption. An appealing heroine steals the show as she begins to dig herself out from under the shroud of respectability she assumed when she married her college sweetheart and pushed aside her own wants and desires for his. Clayton and Bocci pave Avery’s emotional journey with their vibrant descriptions of the city, the food, and the art; each one a new adventure in helping to reawaken the passion Avery has buried inside her. When her first love suddenly reappears, Avery suddenly gets a second chance to right an old wrong and realizes that her own actions and decisions of the past bear some closer inspection.
Readers will delight in experiencing Rome with Avery she repairs her spirit and recaptures her independence while finding her very own Roman to go crazy with. My only qualm was I felt Avery took a little too long to be honest with Marcello about her situation. Regardless, Roman Crazy is a fun, fast read and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
Favorite Quote: “Let me captain this ship, Alec. I might dash it upon the rocks and send myself into the depths, but at least I did it myself.”
Miss Lillian Hargrove thought she had found the man of her dreams. Caught between two worlds, neither aristocratic nor the serving class, she has spent her life in limbo, just waiting for someone to notice her. And someone does. An artist whose whispered promises of love and marriage convinced her to pose nude for a portrait. A portrait to celebrate their passion. A portrait that was to be kept between them.
Until it wasn’t.
The man of her dreams turned out to be the king of toads. Her painting is about to enter the world for all to see and gossip about. Disgraced and hurt, all she has to do is wait 10 days. Then on her birthday she can take her inheritance and run and hide from the scandal.
Except someone doesn’t want her to run.
Alec Stuart, The Duke of Warnick, hates all things English but when he is informed he has a ward who’s embroiled in a terrible scandal, he leaves Scotland and comes to England on a mission. Marry off his troublesome ward so he can go back home to peace and quiet.
Only, he never expected her to be so beautiful.
Alec is determined to protect Lillian, even from herself, but Lillian refuses to marry except for love. As Alec leads her through the ballrooms of the ton, intent on securing her future, he finds his own life changing for the better. But unless Alec can come to terms with his own scandalous secret, he and Lillian are doomed.
A Scot in the Dark is the second installment Sarah MacLean’s Scandals & Scoundrels series. We first met Alec in A Rogue Not Taken. He gives the Marques of Eversley a much needed kick in the breeches to help along his romance with Lady Sophia Talbot. As always, trashy tabloids, scandals, and opposite attraction are the bases on which McLean’s latest historical romp is built upon. Though not as physically demanding or as outrageously played out as in book one of the series, MacLean designs the romance to fit this couple’s more solitary natures. Invoking quiet humorous scenes and heart-wrenching internal monologues, we get to intimately know a man and woman whose lives have been a series of disappointments and heartbreaks, delivered by those who should have known better.
Lillian Hargrown’s father was the steward for the 4th Duke of Warnick. She was made a ward of the family when her father passed away. Though each succeeding duke treated her decently, she falls through the cracks when Alec Stuart inherits the title and effectively ignores her for five years. An unparalleled beauty, her looks are a strike against her so she spends her life inside a gilded cage, isolated and alone. Forgotten by everyone, Lillian only wanted someone to see her. To touch her. To love her. This leads to her being preyed upon by a lecherous artist, Derek Hawkins, who covets her beauty for his own gain. His unwavering attention to her, along with his declarations of love and marriage, blinds her to his intentions. He convinces her to sit for a nude portrait and she is shocked when he reveals his plans to unveil it to the world.
They did not realize her life was ruined. Her heart crushed beneath his perfectly shiny boot. They did not realize she was cleaved in two before them.
Or perhaps they did.
And perhaps it was the realization that gave them such glee.
I liked Lillian. Witty, intelligent, and stubborn; her only crime was trusting and loving the wrong person. Thoroughly embarrassed and shamed for the unintentional role she played in her own ruination, she plots her own means of salvation.
I have a plan to save myself […] I plan to run.
Alec Stuart never thought he’d inherit a dukedom. This gorgeous, brawny, quite pouty Scotsman hates all things English. He is angry he is being forced to assume this mantle after a series of bad luck befalls the seventeen dukes before him and decides to stay in Scotland and just ignore it all. When he finally learns of his ward (five years later) he is aggravated he will have to travel to England to untangle the mess she seems to have gotten herself into. Nicknamed the Scottish brute, Alec is extremely self-conscious about his size. He feels like a brute at times, especially when around women. Already disgruntled at having to play hero to a woman he doesn’t know or even care about, meeting Lillian drags out his protective instincts and he is at a loss on how to deal with her.
Nothing made a bad day worse than a beautiful English woman.
Alec is not at all what I expected. I found him quite colorful when we first met him and expected similar characterization in here. MacLean instead shows us a silent man who chooses to embrace solitude due to fear. A single decision in his childhood set him on a path that left him ashamed and in the possession of a scandalous past himself. We learn that his need for Scotland isn’t so much rooted in his hatred of England but his need to hide from himself and his own actions.
Lillian and Alec are like oil and water in the beginning. Alec comes across rather high-handed as he sweeps in on his white horse, assured that his role as savior is justified and wanted. Unfortunately, Lillian isn’t falling to her knees before him in gratitude. She doesn’t want to be saved and harbors quite a bit of resentment towards him for
“‘I am a ward of the Warnick estate. I wouldn’t get too possessive if I were you.”
“Am I not the Warnick?”
“Perhaps not for long. You dukes do have a habit of dying.”
“I suppose you’d like that?”
“A woman can dream.”
Lillian wants her freedom. From him, from London, from all the gossip but Alec refuses to allow her to run. He hatches the plan to marry her off and proceeds to compile a list for her to choose from. This becomes a major bone of contention between them as Lillian tries to impress upon Alex and us that no matter what she does, she will always be held to blame for what happened and the world will never let her forget her fall from grace.
“The world harbors impressive hatred for women who make the mistakes I did. Beauty, used for anything but the holiest of acts, is a sin.”
Though their time spent together is relatively short, this book takes place in a span of only ten days, MacLean attempts to build a romance that unfortunately reeks of emotional angst and ghosts of the past. While I could easily believe the attraction between them-the intensity of the situation and their close quarters lends authenticity to their rising chemistry-I wasn’t sold on them actually falling in love. Lillian desperately loved another man just ten days prior and I felt her falling for Alec was more in response to finally having someone notice her. Alec’s reasoning was harder to pinpoint as he rejects Lillian and his feelings for her till the very end.
I found it ironic that Lillian ends up being the stronger of the two. Alec’s physical dimensions are quite impressive but he is weak in the areas of the heart and easily condemned by his own feeling of inferiority. His inability to move beyond his past keeps him on a constant loop of trying to convince himself that Lilian deserves better than him. This one aspect truly annoyed me. He blows hot and cold the entire book.
A lively cast of secondary of characters is what breathes life into this story, pulling the protagonists out of their heads and into the real world. Familiar faces and places from book one of this series and from its parent series, The Rules of Scoundrels, are seen in here and everyone offers to help in their own way. The Dangerous Sisters arrive in full force, especially Sesily, and the laughs are plentiful. The sisters know what Lillian is going through, having had they own dealings with the gossiping ton, and they offer her some invaluable advice.
“You can’t let them win. Not ever. There is nothing in the world they like more than tearing a woman down for having too much courage. Ad there is nothing in the world that makes them angrier than not being able to break her.”
The sisters also offer Lillian something she has always wanted-friendship. Lillian soaks up their attention and blossoms into to a strong woman who is able to look beyond her scandal and move forward with her life.
While I liked A Scot in the Dark, it does falls victim to an overabundance of plot lines, a fast-tracked romance that doesn’t allow for realistic development, and a couple who spend so much time on their own agendas I never truly felt the connection between them. Regardless, MacLean’s talented writing flows smoothly with its infectious narrative and personable characters, allowing for enjoyment despite any problems.
I am looking forward to the third in the series, The Day of the Duchess, set to release April 27, 2017.
“I have so many dead relatives floating around upstairs, I may have the Baptist preacher do an exorcism.” “Don’t you mean a priest?” “No, I asked him. He said if he cast out all the ghosts in this county, he’d lose half his congregation.”
Yancy Gray ran away from home at 14 years old and after a stint in prison and an unexpected inheritance, he has found a home in Crossroads, TX. He spends his days helping out at the local retirement home and his nights working on his homestead. When he discovers a stranger hiding out in his loft, he is surprised by the sense of home and peace she brings to him. But the secrets she’s hiding may spell trouble for them all.
Parker Lacey is all business while running one of the top art galleries in the country but when a friend and client comes to her begging for help, Parker looks towards the town of Crossroads and a stoic cowboy she met so many years ago.
Gabe Santorno aka Galen Stanley has spent his life drifting from place to place in an effort to escape a violent piece of his past. When he is contracted to find someone, the trail takes him back to Crossroads, the place where it all began, and discovers the town wasn’t the only thing he left behind.
Victoria (Tori) Vilante is a famous artist who’s being held hostage to her fame by her mother and stepfather. Longing for freedom, Tori strikes out on her own with some help from friends and finds a place to hide in Crossroads. But her family isn’t going to let her go without a fight.
Jodi Thomas’ stories are like reconnecting with an old friend. No matter the amount of time that has gone by, once you start talking again, it’s as if you never left each other’s sides. Small town contemporaries with sweet romances that run side by side with some intriguing mysteries. Each book focuses on a group of people within a small town; some there by choice, some lead there by chance. Each one an island unto themselves, until Thomas gently reveals the ties that bind them together. An easy steady pace, appealing characters, and a strong narrative opens the door to allow readers an intimate view into the town, the people, and the circumstances that brought them to this point in life.
As with all of Thomas’s stories, she skips through her towns and the lives of the residents that live there, building simultaneously upon multiple character’s lives. Every person is left content with the assumption being there may be more to come. Very rarely will Thomas focus on one single character/storyline from beginning to end through the series. So if you are disappointed to see that main characters from previous installments aren’t in here, don’t worry…you’ll see them again.
Sunrise Crossing picks up two years after the events in Lone Heart Pass. This heartwarming contemporary offers a healthy dose of mystery, suspense, and humor as it slowly reveals and resolves the main conflict. Acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption are the main themes while love, compassion, and trust help to flesh it out. Multiple voices tell their stories, each one out to steal your heart as you watch them rise to the challenges life is throwing at them. New and old faces come out of the woodwork to offer help, advice, or just some general observations while lessons learned are that while the past has carved out the road you’ve come down, it doesn’t have to decide the road you will travel.
Three romances intertwine and though not racy or explicit, the sentiment is sweet and sexy with some playful innuendos and fade to black scenes. A tense flurry of action towards the end resolves the main issues and leaves us with the knowledge that these characters are in a good place, happy with the choices they have made with the people they have found to love. I do wish that we could have seen what happened when one particular character goes home to straighten some things out. I was really shocked by the motivations involved and the lengths some will go to keep the status quo.
As always, Thomas’s stories quietly entertain. I recommend her to everyone who enjoys small town contemporaries with intriguing characters, charming romances and strong friendships that will have you waiting anxiously each new visit. I look forward to my next visit to Ransom Canyon.
Fans of Stacey Kennedy’s Club Sins series will enjoy this spin off that gives new meaning to the saying, “you can’t always get what you want...but somFans of Stacey Kennedy’s Club Sins series will enjoy this spin off that gives new meaning to the saying, “you can’t always get what you want...but sometimes you get what you need.” Intense emotions overflow and cascade around you as a romance of epic proportions is built between a man determined to retain all the control and the one woman who has the ability to make him lose it. Light BDSM elements flavors the storyline though it isn’t as defining in the relationship as you would expect from this author....more
Favorite Quote: “We’re going in hot…because I am pissed.”
Lt Eve Dallas is used to murder in the city she calls home but when she is called to the scene of a triple homicide in Central Park, she discovers a crime unlike anything she’s seen before. Three assignations from miles away. So precise and clean, it could only be committed by a professional-military and/or police trained. As the city goes on full alert, Eve calls in some favors only her husband Roarke can provide. Sorting through the mountains of clues, Eve is shocked to discover this isn’t one killer, but two. A mentor and a trainee. And Central Park is only the beginning.
Eve Dallas is back and facing one of her greatest challenge to date in the forty-third installment in J.D. Robb’s long-running futuristic mystery/thriller In Death series. Apprentice in Death opens the door to more action, mystery, and excitement as Eve and the NYSPD find themselves racing against time to stop a pair of deadly snipers whose still unknown agenda spells death for New York and its citizens. Eve finds herself thinking of her own childhood as she dives deep into the human psyche, struggling to understand and the dynamics of this team of assassins and the personal ties that bind them together. What exactly makes a killer? Genetics? Training? Tragedy? Or are some people just born evil? Eve most answer these questions and more as she hunts these killers down.
Even forty three books in, Robb continues to combine solid writing, intriguing subplots, and dynamic characterization to keep her world evolving but familiar and comforting. Strong police procedurals keeps readers firmly engaged while subtle bits humor and lighter moments helps to offset some of the darker moments of the storyline. Readers will soak up the moments of Eve’s personal life that Robb intertwines with her professional one. Humor and some lighthearted moments walk hand in hand with the more emotional scenes, giving readers the time to come to terms with the darker aspects of the story.
This installment reminded me a little of Devoted in Death as the staging and storyline reveal is similar. Here we are also made privy to the villains in the beginning though not their identity. Robb flashes between the police and the killers, allowing us to view Mackie and Willow as they set up for their next hit while Eve uses all her wits and talents to piece together the clues and evidence to form a picture that shocks even this hardened cop. Eve and her crack team of investigators learn they will have to look in their own house for answers and the emotional depth darkens as we learn that there is a personal connection not only between the killers but also between them and the police dept. One of the killers is one of theirs and that makes this a whole new ballgame.
Robb begins to cross the two storylines and merge them together towards a climactic finale. Though not as physically violent as some of Eve’s previous cases, there is a heightened sense of anticipation and fear due to the unpredictability of the suspects. Eve and her team must work fast in order to try and predict where they will strike next. As per Robb’s style, a majority of the book focuses on the investigation of the case with well laid immersions of Eve’s personal life into the storyline. Eve and Roarke’s continued evolution as a married couple is seen through small but poignant gestures that assure us they continue to grow as a couple. Interior decorating never seemed so important until you look at the new memories being built upon the ashes of the old.The chemistry between her and Roarke is still steamy hot and Robb doesn’t cheat readers out of their private times together. And it seems Roarke may have a bit of a fetish *fans myself*
Old familiar faces mesh perfectly with some new introductions, adding to the increasing cast of characters infiltrating Eve’s world. The family style atmosphere only serves to further enhance how much Eve has grown in the past two years. I love the strong contrast Robb uses between Eve the cop and Eve the person. Both she and Roarke’s childhood left dark marks on them but we see them learning to open up (especially Eve) together and accept they are worthy of the love and respect that they receive from friends.
Apprentice in Death is another intriguing addition to this series, giving readers an emotionally complex mystery to solve while enjoying the timeless couple whose love affair continues to capture our attention even forty three books later. Per usual, I love revisiting Robb’s version of the future and look forward to the next installment-Echoes In Death-set to release February 7, 2017.
A predictable romance reminiscent of the older Harlequin/Mills & Boone series. Uber alpha heroine pushes an intelligent but easily manipulated2.5
A predictable romance reminiscent of the older Harlequin/Mills & Boone series. Uber alpha heroine pushes an intelligent but easily manipulated heroine into marriage and from there they fight falling in love. Some aspects of the story weren't as developed as I would have liked, creating discord in the storyline and the ending left me skeptical. A fast easy read that requires nothing more from the reader than the ability to turn the page. ...more
Dane's newest PNR offers us a sexy second chance romance in a small town that is home to various shifters and witches. Solid world building and eng3.5
Dane's newest PNR offers us a sexy second chance romance in a small town that is home to various shifters and witches. Solid world building and engaging dialogue helps to integrate readers easily into the story. A mystery filled conflict runs along side the romance, Overall enjoyed though I found the protags overly chatty and there was a lot of rehashing of situations. The ending is very abrupt and that threw me a little. Looking forward to book 2. ...more
Favorite Quote: “I think I preferred it when you were in love with me.” “Sorry. My meds finally kicked in.”
Piper Dove is giving her all to make her family’s business, Dove Investigations, the best agency in the Chicago. Her first job? To shadow retired Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Unfortunately, Cooper has made her despite her numerous disguises and now he wants to know who hired her or he’s siccing his lawyers on her.
Cooper Graham is at the height of his success. Smart enough to retire from the Chicago Stars before he suffered any real damage, he now owns and operates one of the hottest nightclubs in Chicago. Currently looking for an investor to help take him take his clubs nationwide, the last thing he needs is any trouble in the form of a pint-sized crazy person.
Piper refuses to name her client but offers some insight into some of his employees, convincing Cooper he can trust her and he makes her an offer she can’t refuse. A job to help him clean up his nightclub. From social media guru to bodyguard to savior of servants, Piper is a one woman show, much to Cooper’s dismay.
When real trouble begins to stalk Cooper, Piper’s determination to save Cooper becomes a problem…because who is going to save Piper’s heart from Cooper?
First Star I See Tonight is the eighth installment in Phillip’s best selling Chicago Stars series. This standalone brims with laughter, insanity, and an enchanting antagonistic romance. Phillips captures the very essence of two people whose extreme competitiveness causes some very interesting dilemmas. Add in a plethora of dynamic individualized characters and a couple of subplots that weave in and out like a seasoned Nascar driver, you have a story that shines. While I haven’t been particularly fond of her last few books, Phillips has definitely rediscovered her groove and the spark that has always made her stories so much damn fun to read.
“I’m not full-out barmy, you understand. Just…mildly unhinged.”
Well written with an abundance of personality and charm; you are immediately drawn into the story. The strategic plotlines and flawed characters effortlessly entertains and delights. A firm conversational style dialogue keeps the book flowing smoothly (and you laughing) as Piper and Cooper bicker, fuss, and fight their way to true love.
“I doubt you’re ever in the mood to listen.”
“What do you mean by that?”
Her frustration got the best of her. “You’re so used to feeling superior that you’ve forgotten that there are people who might know something you don’t.”
One of his big, competent hands landed on the blade of his hip. “What’s you deal anyway? Do you feel like such a failure you need to attack anyone who’s successful?”
“No. Maybe. I don’t know. Fuck you.”
Piper Dove has to be one of Phillip’s most spirited and entertaining heroines to date. Defiant with her chaotic lifestyle and ability to take life by the horns, I was pleased to see the quintessential humiliation theme that is often a mainstay in Phillip’s stories was not in evidence. Raised by her father after her mother was the victim of a deadly crime, Piper was forced to adopt the dual role of son and daughter. He raised her to be strong, stoic, and deadly while having to take over the cooking, cleaning and other feminine roles of the household. He made her a part of Dove Investigations but refused to allow her to take a more active role in the investigations. In his effort to protect her, he completely smothered her. When he passed away, he left the family business to Piper’s step mother, forcing Piper to drain her life savings to purchase the business back. Now the owner, Piper is struggling to bring it back to it’s former glory after her step mother ran it to the ground.
Snarky, intelligent, and more than able to handle herself be it with a gun, self defense skills, or her mouth, Piper had me laughing from page one. A born protector, Piper will always jump head first into the fray for whoever she feels needs her help. And she is convinced Cooper needs her help.
“You’re walking a fine line here.”
“I want build a business based on people having a good time, not killing themselves.”
“Every thought about miniature golf?”
Cooper Graham is equally amusing with his larger than life celebrity personae that contrasts perfectly with his down home, sweetly gruff personality. An alpha hero with a strong sense of self and integrity, he matches Piper in snark, wit, and protectiveness. A thin vein of vulnerability and his need to remain connected to his family roots through terrace gardening gives him a realistic vibe as he keeps his feet firmly planted on terra firma.
"He’d always like growing things […] Out her, he’d been able to forget the adrenaline rush of being in control of the whole savage ballet that made up an NFL game."
The chemistry between Piper and Cooper begins as a small flame that slowly grows into a blazing inferno. Their foreplay consists of comedic antagonism and witty repartee. Emotionally, this couple needs the slow build that Phillips provides. Piper’s childhood left her emotionally stunted and constantly feeling the need to prove herself. She doesn’t trust the concept of love. Cooper’s fame is the barometer in his relationships. He is never really sure if he or his stardom is what attracts women to him. And most of the time, it’s proven it’s his fame. He wants Piper but knows he will have to tread very carefully if he wants to keep her.
“I don’t want to talk to him!”
“I understand. But this is a negotiation.”
“I hope you choke on your blood vegetables!”
The romance blends well with the main conflict. A myriad of seemingly random subplots contribute the rising strength of the conflict as Phillip’s uses Piper’s and Cooper’s sense of competitiveness to for the rights of a foreign servant, help a young girl gain some street cred, and discover who is trying to destroy Cooper and his nightclub. As Piper gets closer to the truth and the end of her time with Cooper, she is forced to look deep inside herself and examine the reasons for her impulsive actions and inability to trust Cooper.
The only issues I had with this story was the very end. The main hurdle in Piper’s and Cooper’s romantic journey was rather disjointed and not as cohesive as the rest of the story. Interacting with a few familiar faces from previous books helps to draw it all together but I found the path Phillip’s uses to confront and relieve Piper of her romantic misgivings odd even for this couple.
Regardless, First Star I See Tonight is the classic SEP I fell in love with and fans will delight in this amusing romance between two solitary people who find one another other and make their greatest wish come true.
Just Friends is D.R.A.M.A. 24 hours a day, seven days a week with an extra side of drama bursting with angst and ridiculousness. Three best friends (Dustin, Olivia, and Emily) begin to drift apart their senior year after two of them hook up over the summer while one was away. Told from the viewpoint of Olivia, we learn she and Dustin have feelings for one another and have acted on them in the past. Olivia teeters between making it official or keeping it low key because he means more to her as a friend then as a boyfriend. When she learns about him and Emily, jealousy rears its ugly head and she turns around and hooks up with new guy Ryan who Em likes. But Olivia doesn’t trust Ryan; she thinks he playing her and she could be right. She still like Dustin but knows he’s a player and he’s already betrayed her once. From there Olivia finds herself in a messy love triangle (love square?) with new friends, new loves, new enemies, and her former bestie on the sidelines sabotaging her every move.
I’m a sucker for high school teen drama stories. The more emotionally and physically over the top, the more I enjoy them. 90210, My So Called Life, Dawson’s Creek; I watched them all and reviled in the drama, backstabbing, apathy, and most importantly, the social issues that were addressed and not always dealt with in a positive manner. When I discovered Monica Murphy was writing a YA I was interested. I’ve enjoyed her NA and adult romances and was curious to see if her magic would work on a younger age group.
Unfortunately the magic was not here for me.
I disliked the majority of people in here. No one, with the exception of Amanda, interested me. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing in itself. I have disliked entire casts of characters before in a book but thoroughly enjoyed the story itself because the characters and storyline were so intriguing and outrageously entertaining, I was able to push aside my antagonism and keep going. But in here, I could not connect to these kids at all and I found their stories more aggravating than entertaining. They are so entitled and narcissistic. Most teenagers are affected this but these kids take it to a whole new level. The ME generation at its finest with their cheating, drug and alcohol use, backstabbing, lying, and nonstop pity parties. I spent a majority of the book aggravated and frustrated by these kids.
Though Murphy’s solid writing and flowing narrative are present, the dramatic scenes overflow with drama, angst, and emotional overload, making promises that don’t pan out. The nonstop drama disguises the fact there is really nothing underneath the surface. The premise is as old as time and maybe would have worked if there had been some solid external conflicts to help anchor and deepen the main storyline, explaining the motivations behind some of the characters actions. But everything is from Olivia’s point of view so the depth isn’t there. The plot lines are thin with almost zero growth from the characters or the storyline. The only storyline that had potential was the secondary romance. The push and pull of their relationship and the tension that surrounded it was the most realistic storyline in the book. But then Murphy leaves us on a cliffhanger with the assumption that they will suffer in the fall out.
Just Friends just wasn’t for me. It failed to engage or entertain me and left me so very very glad my high school days are over.
I picked up The Mysterious Governess out of curiosity. Oakley is a new author for me and I do enjoy a well plumed historical romance suspense. My iDNF
I picked up The Mysterious Governess out of curiosity. Oakley is a new author for me and I do enjoy a well plumed historical romance suspense. My interest was instantly captured by our heroine-an illegitimate child of a viscount who suffered the shame of her birthright and now works as a governess. She essentially blackmails her employer’s son for a chance to attend a ball and see her half sister who parentage is secure. A carriage accident on the way back home sweeps her up into a world of intrigue, espionage, and love.
I had a hard time deciphering if this book was suppose to be serious or humorous. There is a soap opera feel to it with its multiple melodramatic story lines yet it’s syrupy dialogue and characterization stays on the straight and narrow. Though this is 3rd in a series, I don’t believe not reading the first two was the cause for my confusion. The romance is extremely slow in developing and maintains a low profile despite the obviously attraction held by the protagonists. Around 30/40% realized I hadn’t formed a connection to anyone and didn’t care who was doing whom or why....more
Tessa Bailey certainly brings her A game as she introduces us to a pair of commitment phobics whose marriage of convenience opens the door to more thaTessa Bailey certainly brings her A game as she introduces us to a pair of commitment phobics whose marriage of convenience opens the door to more than they could have ever imagined. Humor, outrageous chemistry, wild unpredictable sex, and some mild angst helps to build a page-turning erotically charged romance when a pouty, growly, giant of a factory worker finds his world turned upside down when he meets a sexy, upbeat illustrator with a penchant for bad puns. Never had I had so much fun watching this couple banter their way in and out of bed, each trying to deny the intense chemistry that is burning them alive. Add in four divorced sisters, an over-protective step brother, and a nosy small town and you have a story that will leave you laughing and swooning for a Jersey boy yourself.
Duke doesn’t do relationships. He has seen the results of failure in his mom and four sisters. He admits he is a man and men are scum. All he wants is to work his shift and come home to a beer and Sportscenter. Samantha has recently called off her engagement and is in town to face the music with her brother. She had agreed to marry this man in return for a loan to start up an art program for children. No marriage-no money. When Duke and Samantha meet, their connection is instantaneous. But what can a factory worker who hates to date give a woman who is worth everything? Maybe more than he thinks.
While I have enjoyed many works by Bailey, Worked Up is the jewel in her Made in Jersey series. ...more
Frenemies gets a whole new meaning when two people whose first interaction ended so badly have a chance to repair the damage caused. They just need toFrenemies gets a whole new meaning when two people whose first interaction ended so badly have a chance to repair the damage caused. They just need to get past a few obstacles-one being big brother. Best friend little sister loving is almost always a guaranteed fun read and Elizabeth Brown doesn’t disappoint with this sexually charged, tension-filled, forbidden romance contemporary. ...more
Gods, goddesses, pantheons, explosive magic, vengeful antagonists, and a world on the brink of destruction is just the beginning in Galenorn’s newest PNR series-Fury Unbound. This action-packed supernatural conflict is saturated with Galenorn’s trademark wicked humor, personable characters, and explicit attention to detail. Set in an alternative post-apocalyptic Seattle, the world has been changed drastically due to a temper tantrum thrown by the goddess, Gaia. One woman, Kaeleen Donovan aka Fury, a servant to Hecate, is charged with recovering an ancient artifact before it falls into the wrong hands. As with most fantasy-based stories, the world building, and character setup holds a large part of the storyline though I found the sheer amount of information pushed at us in the beginning daunting and somewhat confusing. The story soon settles and we are off as Galenorn takes readers on a wild untamed ride that will leave readers ready for the next installment. My only qualm, besides the information overload in the beginning, was the weak interaction with the main antagonist . I hope the following novels allows them more on-screen time. ...more
Wild Ride is the 4.5 installment in the Fernando’s Wind Dragon MC series and fans are pleased to see it is the elusive Talen’s story. Talen is the pC+
Wild Ride is the 4.5 installment in the Fernando’s Wind Dragon MC series and fans are pleased to see it is the elusive Talen’s story. Talen is the president of the Wild Men MC; a rival club of the Wind Dragons. Though the MCs don’t get along, his relationship to a Wind Dragon brother and another member’s girlfriend complicates the situation. Content to stay in the background, trying to keep his MC on the straight and narrow and improve his relationship with his half-brother and sister, Talon has no time for romantic entanglements. But love waits for no one. We first meet the heroine, Tia, in Rake’s Redemption. She is Bailey’s bff and the perfect comedic sidekick. Fernando digs deeper into Tia’s personality and background, showing us and Talon that she is more than able to hold her own against a commitment phobic biker. This fast and furious story is brimming with plenty of laughter, passion, and some suspense as Fernando takes readers on the wildest ride of their lives. The novella does end rather abruptly on a cliffhanger, leaving this reader feeling a bit unfulfilled....more
The fourth and supposedly last book in Singh’s Rock Kiss series is an emotionally rich, sexy, and bittersweet second chance romance that speaks to everyone who has lost their way. Love, heartbreak, and forgiveness help a couple find their way back to one another after their journey to happily ever after was interrupted by fear and addiction. Singh doesn’t pull any punches as she takes us back to the beginning so that we can understand the elements that destroyed Abe and Sarah’s marriage before she slowly moves forward with the reconciliation, using their dialogue and internal thoughts to grant us an intimate step by step view. Laughter, tears, and incredibly sensual scenes keep the reader entranced as a couple destined to be together fights for one more chance. Previous characters in the series maintain a strong presence and Singh gifts us with some much desired scenes that assures us they are all happy, healthy, and very much in love....more