Julie Anne Long is technically not a new author for me. I’ve enOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
Received a copy of this book through Edelweiss.
Julie Anne Long is technically not a new author for me. I’ve enjoyed her Pennyroyal Green Historical Romance series before. But her Contemporary Romance was an unexplored area. I can easily say that I love her Contemporary style a lot better!
Top 5 reasons why I loved First Time at Firelight Falls, in no particular order.
1. Book Boyfriend Alert!!
Are you in a reading stump? Can’t find the next book boyfriend to crush on? Look no further because I’ve got two words for you: GABE CALDERA.
Just like his last name suggests he is HOT like lava. And sweet to boot too. I haven’t come across a hero like this one in a while. A humbled fellow with a sweet disposition and the cutest conversationalist ever. *swoon*. (I haven’t swooned over a character in a LONG time and yes, I haven’t used all caps in my reviews in a while either).
2. The hard to get factor
I’m not just talking about the relationship between Gabe and Eden. I loved the fact that their relationship did not zoom straight into bed. It was a long drawn out process of back and forth and conversations that would stop abruptly. The "to be continued" flirtation was so adorable. It totally made me impatient for the end result, for sure. So yes, the author played hard to get with the reader as well.
3. Eden’s fight or flight personality, but mostly flight.
Okay, so normally, I’m not into heroines who are squirrely. Eden might have come off like that, but I totally get her reasons. She has a teenaged child. Priorities and all. The fact that she didn’t jump into bed with the totally hawt guy crushing on her, made me respect her as a character more. Hint:That aspect made Gabe totally respect her too.
4. Secrets: Relationship Destroyer?
Eden’s secret plays a special role and as the reader the clues start adding up and we figure it out. However, true to romance story form, that secret might just destroy trust. This secret however, was a legitimate one that even I couldn’t get angry at. Usually, secrets between characters can get a bit overwhelming. It really was just one, and I could totally handle it. So yes, to sum this up: juicy drama.
Leesy was one of the cutest kids in fictional form. (Technically, I did get tired of the “colty legs” adjective every now and then to describer her TBH). But, her personality was not teenage angsty *whew* yet. So glad that she wasn’t a teen character. It just added a certain charm factor to the whole story. Lightened it up even more.
Return to Fear Street was more like return to nostalgia street for me. MOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
Received a review copy from Edelweiss.
Return to Fear Street was more like return to nostalgia street for me. My inner 13 year old jumped for joy when I found out about the new Fear Street stories. R.L. Stine sure knows how to turn YA into creep fest city. And I love it.
You May Now Kill the Bride was a glimpse into the lives of the Fear Family. (The street so famously named after them causes all sorts of trouble). The story starts out in the past (the 1920s) and works it's way up to present day setting. Following the Fear Family's sordid past and questionable characters.
Going into this story, I already knew that what might seem like a normal settings quickly turns to skin tingling atmospheres. This did not disappoint. The main premise to take away from this one is the sibling rivalry between the two sisters in the past and present. They mirror each other in both characters and jealousies. You will find that the Fear's also dabble in witchcraft and the way that plays into the story worked overall.
Without giving away too much of the plot, time travel does occur as well. If you are into that sort of thing. I felt like it was too convenient of a way for the story to be wrapped up and I was hoping for more in regards to that. It was too easy.
Overall, whether it's purely because you are a fan or just like a light thriller, You May Now Kill the Bride will satisfy your inner 13 year old....more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book, via Edelweiss.
If it's one thing that Jill Shalvis can do is make me want to be friends with everyone in the story (barring the antagonists, of course). When Laney finds herself at the Winery, it's like she finds a substitute family, the family that she's always wanted. Even though she doesn't admit it at first. The same could also be true for River.
I loved the drama and backstory that Laney's ex-husband caused. This story is about friendships and healing. The romance between Laney and Mark was sweet and smoldery. They both were opposed to a serious relationship, but as with all romances, the more time they spend around each other, the harder it is to resist.
If you like heartwarming, tearjerkers, this one is for you....more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy (received via Edelweiss) of this book.
Top 5 reasons why I loved All the Ever Afters, in no particular order.
1. Fairytale re-imagened
Just a little heads up: this isn’t your typical fairytale retelling. In fact there is NO MAGIC *gasp* and no talking animals. This reads as a historical fiction and given that the cover is a little misleading, I’m not letting that get in the way of my judgement. The reason that it’s not what I expected made this a stellar read for me.
2. The “Evil” Stepmother’s story.
I always wondered about the back story of Cinderella’s stepmother. We all know how she’s portrayed in the classic fairytale, but one wonders why and how badly the truth was twisted for it to be in favor of Cinderella.
I liked Agnes, I felt sorry for Agnes, and I actually agreed with Agnes. Agreed with the way she raised her daughters and Cinderella. Her hardships made her into a strong character that was both vulnerable and stern at the same time.
One fair bit of warning. If you are steadfast in your opinion of Cinderalla and might take umbrage of a slightly (less appealing) version of the character don’t read this book. However, if you are interested in a different take on her character, by all means pick it up.
Two words: Spoiled brat. Okay actually, here’s a few more: Slightly annoying and a bit loony.
If you aren’t afraid of these descriptors, I highly recommend this book.
4. The Stepsisters
I LOVED them. Not normally what I would find myself saying, but oh goodness, I felt so sorry for these girls. They had everything working against them from the minute they were born.
5. The writing style
I really enjoyed the ease and flow of the author’s writing. There were times that the story did drag a little bit, but the plot was interesting enough for me sit back and enjoy the storytelling. ...more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy received via Edelweiss, of this book.
While marriage of convenience is not my favorite of tropes, I found that Counting On a Countess by Eva Leigh to be the perfect example of how to write one. That being said, I wasn’t too enthralled with either of the two main characters. Both Tamsyn and Kit have selfish motives in marrying each other and while they both agreed on the marriage, I could not justify their reasons. Tamsyn is a smuggler.
What an awesome sounding background right? Well...I just wished the story kind of maintained that excitement that was introduced in the beginning. I loved the premise of her smuggling to help her little village. But that excitement kind of petered out in the middle of the story and picked up again towards the end.
Kit is a former soldier gone rakehell.
Ah Kit, the quintessential PTSD suffering, “going to drown my sorrows in female pleasures” Elligsworth. He has to marry to be able to use a financial windfall that a friend has bequeathed upon him. So what does he want to do with said money? The reason kind of draws out as the story unfolded, so it was not quite a hundred percent clear. It’s like we had to drag it out of him. And what did I think of it? All I said was “Hmmm, really?”
So Tamsyn has a secret (of course she didn’t tell him about her smuggling) and Kit has a secret. Two secrets don’t make a right and the whole marriage begins to strain in certain parts.
My favorite parts.
The last half of the book was exciting and I actually had a giggle there towards the end. The smuggler reveal and Tamsyn’s relatives were what made the story good. Even Kit’s character actually shone there at the end. I just wished it was like that throughout the whole book.
This was my first Eva Leigh book and I can say that I would be interested in reading more from the series. ...more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Joanna Shupe’s A Scandalous Deal had it’s ups and downs, but overall, it did make for a somewhat enjoyable read.
I liked the heroine, but the hero....? I really enjoyed how this story started out. Lady Eva is a character who had gumption and drive to make something of herself. Even if she was still in her Father’s shadow. The meet cute between her and Phillip was amusing and sexy.
I wasn’t amused by how his character did a complete 360 from the time Eva meets him on the ship, to when she meets him again on land. I could not justify why such a charming character could turn into a jerk. The author did introduce the theme of sexism from the beginning and highlighted the hardships, and also the achievements women started to do in the Gilded Age. However, Philip, although not completely sexist (maybe just scared of a woman who was smart? Like almost every other male character introduced in this story?), was hard to like, for me. While Eva’s character did remain constant, Philip’s backstory of being lied to, was a little weak.
One other thing I could say about this story is that there were a lot of sex scenes. Yes, I appreciate some good steam from the couples, but seriously some of the scenes went on for far too long and I felt like there wasn’t enough suspense from the main plot to really pull this one together.
What I did like... There were some really funny quotes from Eva.
“You are exceedingly handsome. Even when we first met I thought you were perfectly lickable.” “Did you say ‘likable’ or ‘lickable’?”
A definite memorable first kiss scene.
Eva and Philip were actually perfect for each other. The attraction was feasible and their personalities did complement.
I did enjoy the author’s writing style. This was my first Joanna Shupe novel and although I didn’t read the previous book in the series, it did not effect the storyline of this one....more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy, received via Edelweiss, of this book.
If one thing can be said about a Tess Diamond story is that she really knows how to write a believable villain. In Be a Good Girl, the cringe worthy serial killers set the tone and slightly dark edge of the storyline. Those scenes of terror (especially that in the beginning where the reader is right there as the scene unfolds) and danger is evenly rounded out with hints of romance.
Special Agent Paul Harrison’s story is told in this story and suffering a little bit from PTSD from his experiences from book one (Dangerous Games). It was also kind of strange to see him in a new light. In book one he was kind of treated badly by the heroine. His overall sweetness and concern was interesting and his dedication to his job admirable. So, I’m kind of glad that his broken heart leads him back to his first love for a kind of second chance romance situation. He’s more take charge here and not on the backseat to a heroine that is tossing him aside.
But it’s definitely a hard journey for him and his love interest, Abigail who has her own demons to slay. Both returning to the small town that they grew up in and both trying to solve a murder mystery that involves their shared past. Both suffering guilt over the death of their friend, somewhat hinders the relationship growth, but in a way strengthens their bonds as well as the come to find out that they were meant for each other.
Abigail’s second guessing often plays a role in that hindrance.
“Once again, Abby, you are the author of your own destruction.” ~Abigail
The serial killer’s identity was not a shocker, but it was still appalling. So one does get the sense of shock in terms of how the story unfolds. It all ties up nicely in the end with an exciting climax full of danger and Abby kicking butt.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy (via Edelweiss) of this book.
With each Heartbreaker Bay novel that comes out, my favorites always get replaced by its predecessor. It is true in this case as well. I have to say that About That Kiss may very well be my favorite book of the series.
Leave it up to Joe to make any woman feel like Wonder Woman. I knew that I would love his character once we had his book and I wasn’t wrong. If you’ve read the previous series, you know Joe as being surly and not really that lovable. It’s always those kinds of characters that truly become the best, in my opinion. In About That Kiss, Joe comes off as actually a sweet and thoughtful guy. With that kind of complexity to his character, with the tough outer shell and soft gooey inside. (P.S. Those are my favorite type of heroes, someone should make chocolate bars based on characters like that.)
Jill Shalvis sure does know how to write a really good contemporary romance. She hits all the right buttons. Comical banter, character growth, and in this story, she added a bit of fun suspense to the party.
“My mom once told me to fall for someone who makes me feel like I do when my phone’s at three percent and I just found a charger.” ~Kylie
As Kylie says afterwards, she never lets her phone get to three percent. Both Kylie and Joe have relationship hiccoughs. All the more fun to see them fall on their butts in love with each other. While that could get frustrating in some reads, I did find that I enjoyed their ups and downs. Kylie just knew what she wanted and that was getting a valuable back that was stolen from her. Oh, and seeing her mom’s relationships kind of scarred her perception about love in general.
With this book, I have found my first book boyfriend of the year. Actually, it’s been quite a long time since I had one, so this more than made up for the dry spell. ;)...more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy via Edelweiss of this book.
Pupcakes by Annie England Noblin was such a cute and sweet read. While the romance aspect itself was nice, I really enjoyed the dynamics between Brydie, Pauline, and Teddy the dog. It was really about Brydie finding her purpose and actually gaining the confidence to break away from the shadow of her failed marriage and ultimately that of her somewhat controlling mother.
If you enjoy ‘meet cutes’ you’ll love the one in this story. The dogs steal the show and their antics lead to Brydie’s and Nathan’s ever budding relationship. I say it like that because it’s a slow burn romance. Maybe at times I thought that there wasn’t anything there at all. In a way, it seemed more realistic. Nathan being a doctor might have had something do to with the way he handled it.
“I’m a doctor,” he said. “I fix people. It’s what I do. I know that you’re not a patient. I know that, but I can’t help wanting to fix whatever is wrong in your life. I care about you so much.”
Teddy and the mystery around his owner Pauline really were the most enjoyable part of the whole story for me. I loved that sassy old lady and loved how her being in a nursing home did not slow her down. Just a fair warning that tears might make an appearance while reading this. Teddy was crucial in all of their lives, but with Brydie he healed her heart and gave her the focus that she needed.
Overall, it was a nice heartfelt read that got me into the mood for the holidays and the generosity that it brings. ...more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy (received via Edelweiss) of this book.
Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis is a cute second chance romance set in the Heartbreaker Bay series.
“You’ve got to live for what today’s offering, not for what yesterday took away from you.”
No truer words have been spoken. I’ve actually had something similar told to me as well. Lotti is holding on to the past and letting those past experiences hinder her chance at happiness. So when a blast from the past shows up at her bed and breakfast, the sparks fly and the attraction sizzles.
I love a good second chances romances. This was a quick and cute read. If you’ve read the previous stories in the Heartbreaker Bay series you’ll find Sean’s story in this one. He’s the cute pub owner we never get the chance to know better. The bachelor party turns into oh so much more than anyone anticipated.
Nothing really happens except two people realizing that they want each other. The novellas in this series are usually like that so don’t expect a major plot line. I didn’t get the over-the-top Christmas-y theme to this, which I was hoping for.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy (through the publisher) of this book.
Map of the Heart is a heartwarming tale that highlights the many ups and downs of women’s fiction. The story focuses heavily on the relationships between family members and the drama of every day life.
Whenever I’m in the mood for women’s fiction, I always turn to a Susan Wiggs story. She has a way of making me get lost in the storytelling. There are always those aspects of an underlying sadness as well. Camille’s background was sad enough with her guilt of how she lost her husband (we actually don’t find out the full story until quite a ways into the story), but also with the way that guilt trickled down to her daughter, Julie.
Julie came off as the typical teenage character and at first I was not having it with the attitude, but that quickly goes away after more of her story starts coming out. It’s a sad tale and the angst is real.
Not sure if I was a hundred percent invested in Camille though. She seemed a little self absorbed. I mean, she misses all of the cues of Julie’s issues and she’s a little stubborn when it comes to trying to fix her issues. I understand that she suffered a loss, but it happened long before the actual story timeline, that I wasn’t sure why she was still so affected. There is a lot of guilt involved and I don’t know why we weren’t shown the whole backstory early on. Because, by then, I’d already formed my opinion of her.
The best part of the story, in my opinion, happens at the halfway mark. The story changes gears by flashing back to the past during WWII in France. I loved finding out about Camille’s Grandmother. I just wished there was more of that storyline. I was totally feeling the forbidden love theme in this storyline, which totally made up for the confusing love story between Camille and Finn.
Understandably, Finn starts of pissed off at her, but the sudden change of angry to “Oh man, but she’s so hot, I want to sleep with her. I guess I can forgive her” was so annoying.
So, Julie’s story and the flashbacks totally elevated the overall rating of the story.
"Feelings could not be plucked from thin air or manufactured out of whole cloth. If they didn't develop from a slow burn, or if they didn't strike her with the force of a tsunami, they simply weren't meant to be, and she couldn't force them."
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
The Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke was every bit as entertaining as I thought it would be. Set in the Victorian period, one can find a heroine who is outspoken, runs her own gossip rag, and is a budding suffragette--I say budding because we never get to read about her protesting. And best of all, she doesn’t care what you think of her.
Okay, so the men of Irene’s era haven’t come around to women speaking for themselves, voting or running newspapers yet. But that’s where it gets interesting. Irene only wants to save her family business and if that means writing about the ton then she’s going to do it. However, it gets even more interesting. Irene is Lady Truelove! An advice column where those who seek romantic advice write to her. Well, it’s because of this column where she meets Henry, a disgruntled son of the first water whose mother will be causing scandal thanks to Irene.
One can almost call Henry’s and Irene’s romance similar to that of Elizabeth and Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. Their witty repartee, their judgements towards each other, and the social class divide.
A lot of their conversations made me chuckle, especially this one:
“Better to be a newspaper hawker than a lily of the field like you.” “A lily of the field?” Henry thought of the duties that filled his days and worried his nights, and he almost wanted to laugh. “Is that what I am?” “You toil not, neither do you spin, yet you believe you are entitled to wield power over the lives of those around you.”
Oh snap Henry!
Now Henry, stuffy shirt that he is, is a Mr. Darcy character through and through; albeit a little more sexy. Yes, I said more sexy than Mr. Darcy!
“I have had, from the moment we met, an ardent desire for you.”
Desire which equals tons of sex. It happens a little ways into the story and it might even have dragged the story down a bit, because a good chunk was dedicated to Irene’s and Henry’s sexual “agreement." It takes them forever to find out their love for each other, Henry’s super pigheadedness was enough to make me really annoyed with him.
Irene could have easily have become redundant but her character was written in such a way that remained constant. Her character growth made sense. Henry’s too, if I were to admit that.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Laura Lee Guhrke is a new author for me and I loved her writing style; it easily flowed. Not a bad start to a series and am eager to know whose story is next....more
I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book via the publisher and Edelweiss.
The Riverman by Alex Gray brought all the mystery that one can hope for. His character interactions are what to look out for as the story progresses.
Although the dialogue is very detailed, at times the story seemed like it dragged on forever. I have not read a police procedural before and I can say now, that it’s probably not my favorite style. I love murder mysteries, but this one brought more of a character story than anything else. It says it’s a DCI Lorimer story, but he’s not always in the forefront. The points of view jump everywhere and at times I didn’t know the character changed. I could have been fine not to know the inside workings of almost every character that was introduced.
But I can say that the identity of the murderer always kept me guessing. Even with all the POVs, nothing was given away. Maybe perhaps some suspicious guilt? But other than that, I did enjoy finding out who did it. The story was wrapped up neatly.
A little note...
-Although this is a series, it can be read as a standalone. I found that I did not need to know what happened in previous stories. -No cliffhangers....more
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy (via edelweiss & publisher) of this book.
“Funeral Trauma.” Emma Lee still has it and it’s not going any time soon. A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes brings back the zany occupants of Sleepy Hollow for this installment and it just keeps getting better. With the added bonus of a ghostly kitty, Emma Lee finds herself at a loss because of her new “In betweener” client.
Emma’s “Funeral Trauma” is still talk of town. Townsfolk think she’s crazy, including her grandmother (who in my opinion is also cray cray) and her sister, Charlotte. Personally, I did not like Charlotte, she was a biotch, treating her sister like crap all the time. But there was something happening in Charlotte’s life that was clued in to the reader, but we did not find out until later. I did feel sorry for her and especially for Emma, who would have a hard time doing her job this time around.
“Ghost Charlotte is much nicer than living Charlotte.”
Too bad it was too late for the sisterly bond, but I guess they did get some in at the end. The elements of humor were still there and I especially loved the cat that makes an appearance. There is another story there and the ending sets the next story up, as it does in the previous books. I wouldn’t say it’s a cliffhanger, since the main plot is resolved, just think of it as a preview into the next story.
Her relationship with her boyfriend Sheriff Jack Henry pretty much is still the same. There isn’t that much drama on that front. It’s a sweet romance and we catch glimpses of how sexy Jack Henry can be. He’s basically the support character. He knows about her “In betweener” clients and doesn’t think she’s crazy.
Overall, I thought the build up to the climax of the story was good. Emma’s mystery solving leads to some wrong conclusions until she finds her self in danger and of course has that “Oh, now it makes sense” type of deal. I would totally recommend this series to anyone who likes small town shenanigans and funny heroines.
A little note...
-No cliffhangers per se’ just a preview to the next book.
-I would suggest reading these in order.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book orOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Is it Christmas yet? The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis definitely put me in the mood! The second in the series and so far the best. If you like your contemporary romances a little sweet and full of spice, this one is a keeper!
Besides, it is set around Christmas. Can't get any better than that!
As my hashtag so succinctly put it, this one was way better than book 1. Finn from the last story may have been my book boyfriend but I think Keane took that honor away from him.
The Heartbreaker Bay series is all about close knit friendships. The storyline really plays along with that theme and it makes the reader invest in all of the characters. I did think that Willa’s character was more likeable than Pru. She does make a little guest appearance in this story but does not really play a major part in the plot. After all, it’s all about Willa and Keane.
Sexy as hell!
Ahem...Keane is sexy as hell and so is the chemistry that he has with Willa. There was a slight aspect in the beginning which I thought might have been unnecessary. The whole “he stood me up at prom and I still hate his guts” thing. I just wanted to tell her to get over it. It doesn’t really play that much into the storyline and she does get over it rather quickly. Their first kiss might have been sexy, but their first love scene was HOT!
There is a cat!
I loved Pita. A no nonsense, pain in the butt, sassy cat that stole the show and in the end played matchmaker in the cutest way possible.
Overall, this was a great book to start my Christmas themed story binge. After all, it is never too early to read a holiday romance, in my opinion anyways. Like I stated earlier, the secondary characters are endearing. It makes me want to read all about them and hopefully they will all get their own stories. ...more
So, let me just start off by saying that covers like the one on this book always attract me. It lets me take aOriginally posted on lampshadereader.com
So, let me just start off by saying that covers like the one on this book always attract me. It lets me take a chance on a book, even if it’s an author I haven’t read before. In this case, that chance was totally worth it! I’m totally in love with this book and author. It’s books like these that make me want to clutch it to my chest and never let go.
Okay, moving on...
I love a heroine that is scandalous. But it’s with a great vulnerability to her character and a sort of naiveté that causes Lily to fall from grace. A victim of a very talented but yet douche of an artist, she finds herself humiliated in front of society and subject to disgrace and torment. It’s a little heartbreaking to read. The reader knows before the heroine does, that her ruin is imminent and so sad, that Lily’s character endeared me right then and there. I was hooked into the storyline and with each chapter with a header that reads like a scandal sheet, it summarized the chapter perfectly. It was so entertaining.
In order to lighten the mood, humor played a big role.
There were a lot of instances in this story where I literally laughed out loud. One of them included a dog dress, but really it was the interaction between Lily and her Scottish Brute, Alec.
Talking about chaperones and their behaviors, Lily starts:
“I know they are not supposed to loom,” she snapped. “I’m not looming” “You are nearly seven feet tall. All you do is loom.”
*snort* I loved their banter and their witty repartee.
Our Alpha hero has issues...
Mr. Scottish Brute cannot get over the fact that he is not good enough for anybody. His secret is slow to reveal, so watch out for that. It might be even more scandalous than Lily’s! However, his back and forth between his feelings was like watching a tennis match. Seriously, he need a good shake and slap to get his act together. With a little help from his friends (and Lily’s) their love soon comes together in a sigh worthy romantic climax. Lines like this made me forget the frustration I had with his character,
So the author has a new fan in me and I definitely need to go back a read her other series. Give me more of this and I’ll be a happy little bookie.
*I received an ARC via the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Richard is a hero I can definitely write home about. Well, to my mom anyway. His mysterious, only comes out at night and only attends masquerade parties attitude, exudes a certain sexiness that really had me peg him in book boyfriend territory early in the story. Although, his main mission is for revenge (usually not a good trait for a hero to have), I couldn’t help but be drawn to his character. I absolutely loved the Phantom of the Opera type theme of this story. Yes, he does wear a mask. I love a disfigured hero, it makes them all the more realistic and the fact that their path to love becomes more meaningful.
I love first kisses in every romance story, and this one had me sighing. If you love the mysterious sexy stranger in the night kiss, then this scene in the book is for you. Wow, after that kiss, Richard surely could do no wrong in my book. Because of his character, he needed a heroine who would have a robust character, full of love, compassion, and hold similar interests in common.
Music plays a major role in the storyline, and Lady Mary’s secret singing is the tie that will bind them together. It held all the romantic qualities that I was looking for in a Historical Romance. It kept me turning the pages because of the pompous butt of man that kept harassing Mary and also of the sub plot that was going on in the background. The missing box of heirlooms and the mystery behind the deaths of Lady Duncaster’s father-in-law and Richard’s grandfather is a continuing theme throughout the series.
Since this is the first book that I’ve read in the series, I found sub plot interesting, but I felt that I missed something. However, with that being said, the reader will get the gist of it overall. It can be read as a standalone, but I will backtrack and read the first two of the series. This is also the first book that I’ve read by this author. Her style of writing is fun to read. The character dialogue and back stories were well done.
*I received a ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*...more
Gotta love a sweet and sexy story that encompasses all the aspects of a contemporary romance. Sassy and sexy heroine and just plain sexy hero. Laugh out loud moments and Kindle melting sex scenes (and there was quite a lot of those), made this story so fun to read.
Pru has a secret, which let’s face it, we as the reader know that it will bite her in the butt later on in the story. A somewhat kindhearted person, Pru feels guilty for her parent’s actions that took lives and changed others' completely. It was a bit of a stretch to think that she reimbursed so much and felt solely responsible for something that she had no part in. That is a lot to take on. But, that was her character and her selflessness proved to be her undoing. The title may be Sweet Little Lies, but I don’t see any lies. It was more of a secret that potentially would hurt a man’s pride.
Part of her secret is helping Finn’s family financially after the loss of his dad in the car accident. It’s one of those instances where she didn’t intend on falling in love, but did so anyway. She basically wanted to check and see if he was alright. Pru’s secret festers and after repeatedly being told to confess, she lets the relationship progress, possibly past the point of no return. That’s what made me keep turning those pages. I really wanted to see what would happen.
Finn is hot. End of story. Well, maybe not end of story, but it helped the story along. He had those certain alpha characteristics going for him, but at the same time his vulnerable beta side came out as well. Strong, independent, sweet. His extended family (his tight knit friends) were a hoot to read about and their interactions with each other were amusing. I would love to see their stories as well.
There were times when I felt that the story could have been cut a little shorter, but in the end it proved to be one of those aww moments in the end. This was the first Jill Shalvis story that I have read. Her character development is very thorough and secondary characters are unforgettable. Witty and fun dialogue bring together a well rounded story. I can’t wait to visit Heartbreaker Bay again.
*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*...more
An open letter to Bryson Courtland, Viscount Rainsleigh,
Oh Bryson, why? Why did you have to make me have a love/hate relationship with you?
You started off great, I loved your character. Tall, dark, and handsome. A man with a past. A family knee deep in scandal. You sounded like you were an enigma and you did charm me at first. You had Mr. Darcy-esk qualities as well. But then you became bitter and mean not only to Elizabeth, but to the reader as well. You made me gasp at your insults and sigh at your smoldering sex appeal. Thank goodness you redeemed yourself there toward the end, because I was really hoping that Elizabeth would truly leave you.
You would have deserved it.
Sincerely, A disgruntled romance reader
I loved Elizabeth. She was also a character with a past, but she somehow managed to turn it into something great. Her wanting to help women of ill repute spoke volumes of her character. It’s a story of two pasts colliding. For, Elizabeth and Bryson met under strenuous circumstances 15 years prior to when the actual story takes place.
It’s the chance second meeting that sets Elizabeth on a path of no return. Her heart is the most valuable thing at stake. Bryson woos and seduces her with kisses. Let me just say their first kiss was hot. The only thing is, Elizabeth has a secret. She recognizes Bryson, but he doesn’t remember her. It’s a secret which seems to be her undoing. I didn’t agree with her hiding that information from him, but after the way he handles her admission, I was beginning to think that Elizabeth might be better off. Their first of many arguments were edgy. It did remind me of Mr. Darcy and Lizzy. Insults were thrown and feelings were hurt. But he makes her marry him anyway. Arguments continue, insults continue and I wondered where the happy ever after was. Oh, but I wanted to read on.
Never fear, I did mention redemption. It happens. Bryson will turn out for the better. I promise.
This was a new to me author. I liked her writing style and her ability to make me feel for the characters (even if it was frustration in some parts) made it all the more fun to read. The characters were well developed and the plot was solid. This book is part of The Bachelor Lords of London series. This reads as a standalone.
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*...more
“When you can’t communicate with the world at large, you hold on to the ones you can communicate with a little bit longer.”
I wasn’t expecting this book to take me on an emotional roller coaster.
It tugged and played with my heartstrings until I could not leave their world even if I wanted to.
Carli and Reed’s story was a romance for the ages. Modern and realistic, they were two characters whose battles were fought on every page. It started off lighthearted. Well, lighthearted enough to like the at times sarcastic character that was Carli. She was imperfectly perfect in every way. Family troubles, hearing troubles, and insecurities made up the complex character that she represented. She was embarrassed because of her hearing aids and would not let anybody in. Her problems were her own and she had to deal with them.
Of course it has to be the one special person that brings our heroine out of her shell. Enter Reed, a super hunky, and also imperfect hero. It is rare to find a story that has both hero and heroine with an impairment. He was completely deaf and completely sweet. He had is own issues but really, he served as Carli’s rock and stability.
When she becomes even more “broken”, Reed has to pick up her pieces and put them back together again. Let me say that the emotional roller coaster comes in when it seems that their happily ever after was never going to happen. When Carli’s rock turns into her rock bottom, I was biting my nails in anticipation and sadness because of her depression.
It was a breath of fresh air to read about two characters that couldn’t verbally communicate with each other. Which does not distract from the story and it made for a unique experience for me. Once you read this story, it is important to read the author’s note in the end. Not only does that put everything in perspective, but it shines a new light to the different but yet beautiful world of the hearing impaired.
*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*...more
Somehow I missed reading books 2 & 3, but that really did not detract from enjoying the story. Six Degrees of Scandal can be read as a standalone because it focuses on Olivia and James’ story. Characters from the previous stories do pop up, but their purpose and backstories are sometimes explained, if it was pertinent to the story line.
I loved Olivia and James’ story. It had a sweetness factor that I sometimes miss in Historical Romances. Even when James thought he was spurned, he didn’t hold a grudge. There was no revenge motto for him, in fact, he was wanting to apologize! How refreshing to read about a Hero that doesn’t have to be a jerk to gain the heroine’s attention. If you are looking for a new Book Boyfriend, look no more, because James is the one you seek. A girl needs a break from a jerky, self absorbed hero, and James proved to be all that was good. He comes to Olivia’s rescue and helps her to once and for all, get rid of the ominous shadow that is constantly following her.
Olivia’s character was also well written. I liked the fact that she stayed true to herself throughout the book. Her inner monologue and thoughts did not jump all over the place. In that, she knew what she wanted and she strove to obtain it. She had her fears and doubts, which made her more realistic and the threats to her person caused her to run away. Not everyone is strong, but she did end up growing as character and her strength came from her realizations. Which came to her slowly and steadily.
The plot made for an interesting read. I love art smuggling themes and the camaraderie between the characters trying to solve the problem took me a journey with them. There were some humorous parts towards the end of the book, which lightened the overall tone of the storytelling. It was wrapped up perfectly and now I know that I have to go back to read the ones I missed. I have to say that from what I have read previously (Book 1), this one was better written and the main characters were more endearing.
*I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*...more
I voluntarily reviewed a copy (received via publisher) of this book.
Ride Hard by Laura Kaye is a rough and tumble story that somehow softens your outl
I voluntarily reviewed a copy (received via publisher) of this book.
Ride Hard by Laura Kaye is a rough and tumble story that somehow softens your outlook on motorcycle clubs. A brotherhood that has the appearance of intimidation but also has the sweetness and caring that you might not expect. It is worth it to take a glimpse of the Raven Riders, a spin-off story of Kaye’s Hard Ink Series.
A beta heroine meets a hot alpha...
I might have missed a lot of backstory from not reading the Hard Ink series, but it holds its own in terms of seeing into the lives of the Raven Riders. This is not your ordinary motorcycle club; they help endangered women, children, and families. It adds a humanitarian role to an otherwise intimidating sounding group. And no one experiences that juxtaposition more than Haven.
There was an overall theme of nasty sounding fathers and horrible living situations.
“I just usually expect the worst. That way it doesn’t hurt as much when it happens.”
It makes you feel for the characters and bond with them more. It’s that common ground that Haven and Dare, two totally different types of people, bond with each other.
And when I say bond, I mean it in every sexy and non-sexy way. There was a lot of sex, maybe even too much of it. When it happens, it went on forever that I might have just skipped over it at times wishing for more storyline. I hate doing that, but I loved both of those characters so much, that I wanted more substance. There was believable attraction, so it was fun for them to finally do that bonding thing, but come on.
However, the romance aspect pulled this book back together for me. I needed to hear the words, just like Dare needed to hear them as well.
“You own my heart and you always will, because you taught me what love was and you showed me what life could be. You gave me wings, Dare, and they brought me right back to you. And they always will.”
Hot and sexy, with a bit of suspense and action, makes this a new series that is one to watch out for.