I have to do a little happy dance every time I get a new Caisey Quinn book to read, but I think FALLING FOR FATE has to be my favorite by far (sorry T...moreI have to do a little happy dance every time I get a new Caisey Quinn book to read, but I think FALLING FOR FATE has to be my favorite by far (sorry Trace).
As the second book in the Second Chance series, it takes a bit of a departure and moves from the rehab ranch of the same name in Texas to the big Yankee city of New York. There, broken hearted Fate Buchanan tries to put her shattered life back together as she starts her new job at Maxwell Medical. She didn't expect the newly appointed CFO to be the man who divested her of the one thing she was saving for her cheating ex on the night her life broke apart or for the sparks between them to nearly burn the office building down. Fate has to decide if her heart can take a second chance at falling in love.
Dean Maxwell is now on my book boyfriend list. The self professed playboy was not match for fate or Fate when her met her that night on the beach. So instead of being the calm, cool ladies man he thought he was, he turned into this alpha cave man who would love nothing more than dragging his woman around by her hair as a sign that all other guys should back off. Dean struggled with these feelings, because he thought he wasn't that guy. But the more time he spent with Fate, the more that alpha man came out and demanded he get his woman.
Both Dean and Fate make some big mistakes in their burgeoning relationship, but they are both easy to forgive and talk through their issues. The essence of these characters makes it truly hard not to fall in love with them. I was pulling for them, from the very beginning, wanting them both to get out of their own way to admit how they feel. It may take them a little bit to understand what they feel and one big demonstration of love from Dean, but this couple finally got it right, making this an absolute joy to read.
If you haven't had the opportunity to read Casiey Quinn before, definitely consider this book. Despite being the second book in the series, this is a stand alone book and one hell of a way for you to be introduced to Caisey Quinn and her fabulous stories.(less)
Ann Aguirre gave me my favorite kind of trope...our heroine falling in love with her best friend's brother. AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME is a b...more3.5 Cocktails
Ann Aguirre gave me my favorite kind of trope...our heroine falling in love with her best friend's brother. AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME is a beautifully crafted story about two people who found, through each other, the ability move past the things that were holding them back or keeping them down.
Rob and Lauren have known each other forever and for almost as long as Lauren's known Rob she's had a huge crush for him. But when she comes back home to small town Sharon, Nebraska after flunking out of college, the last person she thought would make her feel better about what she was doing was her old crush. Through hours spent with each other as they worked to remodel Rob's house, they discover how much they have in common and a friendship and slow building romance begins. Rob and Lauren have their quirks, and other have pointed out those quirks as deficiencies, but these two accept each other as they are. They help each other understand how they are so much more than what others may see. It's with that affirmation that each of them being to grow and they embrace their quirkiness.
I really enjoyed the romance between the two, especially when Rob insisted they needed to have a waiting period before sleeping with each other. Even though Lauren was adamant she didn't need romance, Rob was insistent that by waiting it would make the moment they do have sex that much more special. It was one of those "awww" moments and made me fall for Rob.
This book has definitely peaked my interest in Ann Aguirre books. She has a unique style and creates characters that are real and flawed, but who grab hold of you, demanding you follow their story.(less)
I am so glad J. M. Darhower wrote the second book in this series with Naz's POV. That POV took a hero that was mostly unlikable and gave us the insigh...moreI am so glad J. M. Darhower wrote the second book in this series with Naz's POV. That POV took a hero that was mostly unlikable and gave us the insight to like him, want to put your arms around him and hug him and finally to give us a reason to understand how Karissa could love him.
MONSTER IN HIS EYES is a must read before picking up this book. This is a continuation of the story that was told in that book, except this one was told from Naz's POV. Naz is a cold, hard ass, mafia guy that you don't want to mess around with. He's the guy mafia boss, Ray, calls when he needs something taken care of. But as TORTURE TO HER SOUL starts, we realize Naz has come pretty deep emotional scarring from the betrayal by his best friend and being cut out of his family by his father. Instead of feeling the pain, he's learned to close himself off from feeling anything. It makes him stiff, awkward and a little OCD.
Karissa is the one exception to everything Naz knows.
She fights him. Back talks him. And when she's pissed, gives him the cold shoulder for quite a while. But he loves her and he's not willing to let go of her, just because she thinks she hates him. Fighting for her goes against everything he thought he was, but he does it anyone, because he knows she's the light to darkness. I enjoyed this story so much more than the first book. Karissa, being so young, tended to annoy me. But seeing her from Naz's POV and watching her grown more into their relationship made me like her more. Made me understand exactly why the two of them worked so well together.
J. M. Darhower never disappoints me and I'm glad I was able to enjoy this series over the weekend. If you like your romances a bit dark, definitely give this one a try.(less)
AGAIN had an interested premise and one that I thought I would really, really enjoy. But as I read the story, I had to wonder is going back to "redo"...moreAGAIN had an interested premise and one that I thought I would really, really enjoy. But as I read the story, I had to wonder is going back to "redo" college the way Kate did really the way to change the course your life is taking.
Kate is a hard character to like. She relies on alcohol WAY too much, her best friend drinks just like Kate and her boyfriend is actually her married boss. So after losing her boyfriend and her job in the same day, Kate decides going back to college to try and "redo" where she thinks her life went wrong is the way to go. For most people I would applaud them for trying to change, but Kate does it in a bit of a creepy way. She's 29, pretending to be 19 and living in a freshman dorm. Really?
For a woman who knows she has an issue with alcohol, the last place she needed to be was living on a college campus, in the dorms, where partying and availability of alcohol was probably going to be an issue. Then there is the issue of a very adult Kate drinking with minors. You thought you're life was hell now, imagine what would have happened if a party she was at got busted by the cops. YIKES! Then there was her relationship with RA Carter. Yes, he's 22, and legal enough for Kate to be with, but it felt weird. Yes, Carter was trying to rebuild his life after a horrible error in judgement when he was a freshman. Yes, he could sympathize with Kate for wanting to start over and forget the past. But I just couldn't get with their relationship. He seemed like the adult and she the child. He was saddling himself with a woman who really couldn't help herself. It just felt like too much for him to deal with.
I enjoyed the author's writing style and the unique voice she gave to this New Adult book. But unfortunately, this was a story I couldn't connect with and a heroine I didn't really want with the hero.(less)
Rebecca Shea knows how to give us this female leads that are just a mess. But they always have an inner strength that when they most need it helps the...moreRebecca Shea knows how to give us this female leads that are just a mess. But they always have an inner strength that when they most need it helps them dig themselves out of whatever hole they might find themselves in. Most of the time it's a heartbreaking journey, but the characters have to make the decision of grabbing onto that second chance or risking losing everything. In Lindsay and Matt's story, both of the characters find themselves on a bit of a downward spiral have to find the courage to pull themselves out and fight for what's important to them.
Lindsay and Matt are one of those couples that you can tell are meant for each other the minute you meet them. But sometimes what appears perfect on the outside has cracks a mile wide inside. That was the relationship between Lindsay and Matt. Matt was ready to shout his commitment to Lindsay from the rooftops, where Linsday wanted to keep them secret. But the most damning crack to their relationship came when Lindsay chose her career over the man she loves. That choice devastates both of them in ways they could have never imagined. They both spiral, but Matt is able to cling to a bit more sanity by virtue of his friends and work, where Lindsay is under constant scrutiny and pressure. It's that pressure that causes Lindsay to break down.
It's hard to follow both of the characters and then flounder, because you know that everything would be so much better if one of them would just speak up and admit their separation was killing them. But pride is a hard thing to move out of the way, especially when you don't want to admit when you're wrong. But as Lindsay and Matt finally work towards fixing the wrongs in their relationship, you can see them slowly building a foundation in their relationship that was going to last forever.
UNFORGIVEN is definitely a story about the ability to forgive the one you love more than life and figuring out how to grab onto that second chance at life. It's an emotionally challenging read, but most definitely a book worth reading (and one that can be read without having read the other two). Rebecca Shea is a fabulous voice in New Adult and author you must read.(less)
Kendall Ryan absolutely outdid herself with FILTHY BEAUTIFUL LOVE. She took a very unconventional meeting and start to the relationship between Colton...moreKendall Ryan absolutely outdid herself with FILTHY BEAUTIFUL LOVE. She took a very unconventional meeting and start to the relationship between Colton and Sophie and turned it into something very strong and worth fighting for. Of course, she doesn't give them the easy road in finding their HEA. As with other books by the author, the story is emotionally charged and the couple must fight to get what they want.
The troubles that Colton and Sophie faced at the end of FILTHY BEAUTIFUL LIES played out very quickly at the beginning of the book, which made me happy. We didn't get a long, drawn out story where the heroine tortures the hero with whether or not their issues are resolved. Instead, Colton and Sophie must address issues: his divorce and her sister's cancer (which was the whole reason they were together in the first place). Both issues have a large hold on both the character and have shaped who they are, but it came down to the two of them facing a lifetime without the other or keeping the ugly cloud over them.
It's not an easy road for either character and there were times when I was left wondering if Sophie was going to be able to pull herself out of the hole she found herself in, but they fought individually and together to prove to one another and to themselves they were a forever kind of thing.
A beautiful story about an unconventional couple, one that is on my Must Read list for 2014. (less)
There was one big reason why I jumped to read this book: the romance between Indian Priya and Caucasian Tyler. Being married to an Indian, I was inter...moreThere was one big reason why I jumped to read this book: the romance between Indian Priya and Caucasian Tyler. Being married to an Indian, I was interested in seeing how the author was going layout the romance between these two, given how different they were culturally.
Priya, finishing her residency in Houston, has a bit of freedom from her traditional Indian family who lives in Dallas. It's very clear Priya does not want to disappoint her parents, even if what they want for her is not what she wants for herself. She lets her mother strong arm her into meeting with a man, because his good family called hers and they would be a good match. It doesn't matter that Priya doesn't want to meet him and really doesn't want to get engaged to someone she doesn't know...she doesn't want to disappoint her parents so she followed their lead.
Tyler, the man Priya meets one night in the ER and soon discovers is her neighbor, is instantly attracted to Priya. He doesn't care that she's Indian, he just wants to get to know this woman who's sparked his interest. But Tyler soon discovers trying to do anything with Priya was going to cause a lot of hurt (on both sides) and become an exercise in extreme patience.
In my opinion, Tyler was a saint. Being married to an Indian, I'm thankful my husband's family was very open to him being married to someone who wasn't an Indian. I only wished Tyler could have had the same thing. Instead of following the normal path of a relationship: meet, get to know each other, fall in love...., poor Tyler was put through the ringer. By Priya and her inability to put her foot down and tell her parents it's Tyler she truly wants, and by her parents and their prejudice against him. I would have walked away. No matter how much I wanted the other person, I would have said enough is enough. But Tyler has so much faith in Priya, even when it seemed like he didn't, but he was still there for her. No matter what she said, who she was with or what she did, he was still there for her.
Priya was not my favorite character, mainly because she kept stringing two guys along when she knew her heart belonged to one of them. I understood why she felt she needed to follow the course her mother had set, but having been raised in America and American enough to use some pretty horrible slang regarding her friends, I would think she would be American enough to tell her parents that she was in love with Tyler and she wasn't going through with the arranged marriage.
In the end, this was a decent read with drama and angst. Despite not liking Priya, the author does a great job of giving us insight into Priya life and how difficult it can be to blend two cultures. It takes Priya a while, but she does finally figure things out.(less)
There was so much more to this story than what I originally thought. I loved how Drew fell and fell hard for Anna. And as much as Anna drove me nuts w...moreThere was so much more to this story than what I originally thought. I loved how Drew fell and fell hard for Anna. And as much as Anna drove me nuts with her fighting her feelings for Drew, you couldn't help but have some sympathy for the girl who wasn't used to being an "everything" to someone like Drew.
I don't know how Renee Carlino does it, but she manages to write these books I just absolutely fall in love with (while being emotionally challenged)....moreI don't know how Renee Carlino does it, but she manages to write these books I just absolutely fall in love with (while being emotionally challenged). Review to come closer to release date.(less)
A.L. Jackson can write a story that will pull at every single emotion I have. Doesn't matter what the story is, it happens every single time. PULLED w...moreA.L. Jackson can write a story that will pull at every single emotion I have. Doesn't matter what the story is, it happens every single time. PULLED was one of those stories that just breaks your heart from the very beginning. With two characters so significantly broken, I couldn't help but be broken with them as their story unfolded. Told in alternating POVs, from both the past and the present, we learn that love doesn't lesson when you separate yourself from your soul mate.
Melanie and Daniel were high school sweethearts who were inseparable from the moment they met. They were determined to build a future together, despite a two year age difference that separated them while he was in college. When tragedy strikes the young couple, they are pulled apart by parents who think they know better. That separation destroys a little something in each of them and they are left bumping along for the next nine years. Fate plays it hand then, bringing these two back together, but not without some serious roadblocks. But they both learn that what pulled them apart when they were teens is exactly what pulls them together now, just when they need it.
Melanie and Daniel break your heart. From Melanie trapped in a marriage of convenience to Daniel only having one night stands, you long for them to find the people they were when they were together. And when they finally do see if each for the first time (again) it's as if the cloak of despair and emotional isolation they'd been living with was removed. For Daniel, he immediately wanted to reclaim what was his...no matter the cost. Melanie's situation did require a bit of finesse, of which Daniel's bursting in and practically screaming "mine" wasn't going to work. But despite that, you could see that for both Melanie and Daniel it was as if a huge piece of themselves has returned home. At that point, you could tell that no matter what they had to go through it was going to be completely worth it to them.
I loved the emotions A. L. Jackson evoked with this story. I felt every hint of desperation, despair and joy along with the characters. And not matter how hard it was to read this story, I longed for just one more minute with Melanie and Daniel as they go their happily ever after. If you haven't picked up an A. L. Jackson book before, this is a great one to start with.(less)
Thank you Jamie McGuire for giving me visions of Sissy Spacek in the prom scene from Carrie.
I loved this installment in the Happenstance series. We g...moreThank you Jamie McGuire for giving me visions of Sissy Spacek in the prom scene from Carrie.
I loved this installment in the Happenstance series. We got to see how Erin struggled with how much her life had changed, especially her parents being so willing to give her everything when Gina was the exact opposite. Then there was Weston. He had been Alder's boyfriend and now he was with her, and she wasn't always comfortable with how close he was with her parents and the information they shared.
Alder's journals gave us the turning point in this story and has me anxiously wanting the last book in this novella series. With Carrie references and secrets revealed on why Alder and Sonny turned on Erin, I'm hoping that whatever happens with Weston and Erin, they get the HEA they're both hoping for.(less)
Lorraine Heath is one of my "go to" historical romance authors. She creates characters and storylines that pull you in and have you dreading the endin...moreLorraine Heath is one of my "go to" historical romance authors. She creates characters and storylines that pull you in and have you dreading the ending because you don't want it to be over. So I was excited to crack open ONCE MORE, MY DARLING.
Lady Ophelia Lyttleton was the belle of society and a rather huge snob. She looked down her nose many times, but there was one person who she subjected to her especially nasty ayer: Drake Darling. So when Drake happens to find Lady Opehlia on the banks of the Thames with no memory of how she got there or who she is, he decides to provide a little payback to her nastiness and tells her she's his housekeeper. While he only meant to keep up the charade for a few days while he tried to figure out what happened to her, he discovers a woman who is much more to his liking than society's darling.
I liked Drake. He was a man who was torn by the way society looked at him and his own perception of how unworthy he was. Those two things would make it difficult for anyone to rise above and prove they are not what everything thinks. But Ophelia's cut of Drake, on numerous occasions, drives home his feelings of unworthiness. Despite being adopted by a family that loves him and having friends who would do anything for him, he still thinks he's this awful man who must pay for the sins of his father. And given how horribly Ophelia treated Drake, I thought I was a bit funny to have him pull this rouse on her. At that point in the story, I felt like Ophelia needed the set down and she learned not to treat others that way.
There is much more to Ophelia than what we see when we meet her. As we learn more about, in her role as inept housekeeper Phee, the ugliness that was Ophelia starts to peel away and we see a woman who rescues abused animals, befriends her neighbors servants and wants nothing more than to please Drake. There is a reason Ophelia was the hard nosed woman she became, but it was a shame that the woman we met as Phee was hiding behind the harsh, hard woman who would cut a man the way she did with Drake (especially given her true feelings for him). It was hard to like her, even when her true self started to come through. I know I should have felt more for what she went through, but it was hard to reconcile that with the nasty woman she was in the beginning.
I enjoyed the bulk of this book, but unfortunately my feelings for Ophelia tainted my view for the entire story. I felt like Drake deserved someone more. Someone who truly appreciated him, from the very beginning.(less)
I do love a good British hero in a book, but I just couldn't connect with these characters. I don't know what it was. DNF'd this one (which makes me s...moreI do love a good British hero in a book, but I just couldn't connect with these characters. I don't know what it was. DNF'd this one (which makes me sad).(less)