Review: Blown Away, by Brenda Rothert

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Part of a series? No.

Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Loveswept

Pages: 205

Blurb:

In an emotionally charged, wickedly hot novel of love and loss, a passionate affair gives two daring storm chasers the strength to overcome shattered dreams and the courage to build a future together.

One year after her fiancé died in a heartbreaking accident, Drew McGovern decides to honor his memory by joining his old storm-chasing buddies on their latest excursion. What she’s not so sure about, however, is whether she’s ready to move on. Drew wasn’t expecting to feel the powerful pull of desire toward Colby’s best friend. But there’s no denying the intensity of their connection . . . or the heat he inspires in the parts of her that are still very much alive.

Aiden O’Neal doesn’t trust himself around Drew. He’s wanted this girl for a long time—long enough to remember the stab of jealousy he felt the first time he saw her in Colby’s arms. Now he’s trying his best to behave himself. But when the wind starts blowing and the adrenaline starts pumping, Aiden can’t resist the urge to claim Drew as his own. Because when it comes to desire, he’s hoping to make lightning strike twice.

Advance praise for Blown Away
  
“After I devoured Blown Away in one sitting, Brenda Rothert is absolutely going on my auto-buy list. I don’t think I’ve ever read such brilliantly wound sexual tension, and there were times when I was straight-up jealous of the heroine because I wanted Aiden all to myself.”USA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

Upon reading the blurb I was eager to read this novel. I mean, if it’s said to be emotionally charged and wickedly hot, it’s for me. That’s why I went in with high expectations.

While it’s a fast paced story and a really quick read, I can’t say I find it really hot or that emotional. It’s at odds with some things the characters are dealing with and I’m left hanging in a way.

You see, this novel opens with a very sad scene, something that should have immediately brought to life emotions and subsequently, I should have been all for Drew if not for Aiden. But the thing is, I think the emotions aren’t depicted that vividly to make me, as a reader, feel. I didn’t feel. I was merely a distant spectator and if I’m honest it went that way for most if not all the book.

I didn’t connect with Drew and Aiden even though they are likable characters and are somewhat enticing. I’m just afraid that the writing didn’t convey the kind of emotions I expected to feel like while reading a story built on something highly emotional.

Also, the hot factor of this book is completely lacking in my opinion. I’m not saying this with a comparison in mind with other books in the genre or in a more racy genre. No, I feel like the heat is lacking probably because I didn’t connect that much with Drew and Aiden, but also because the sex scenes seemed to be there only because it’s supposed to be there instead of showing us more of the connection between the characters. It’s an issue when it’s said in the blurb that there’s plenty of heat. I mean, even most of the sexual tension between the characters didn’t really work for me.

I’m sad to say all this because I truly love the plot and the story itself. It could be a huge, huge hit for me if only I clicked more with the characters and the writing. But don’t think it’s badly written, it’s just not the kind of writing I enjoy. It’s too flat for me and while some dialogues are really good, I’m afraid that the dialogue between Drew and Aiden isn’t exactly up to par with some other couples I’ve had the chance to read in books.

In the end, I believe it’s a good book for when you want to chill and if you’re in need of something quick, but it’s best not to expect an emotional slap going in.

RATING:

2.5 to 3

Review: Tears of Tess, by Pepper Winters

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Dark erotic romance.

Self-published

Pages: 376

Blurb:

“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold.”

Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.

For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.

But lusty paradise is shattered.

Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.

Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.

Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?

A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and nonconsensual sex. A story about finding love in the strangest of places, a will of iron that grows from necessity, and forgiveness that may not be enough.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Monsters in the Dark series. I’ve had this book for a while now and I’ve been scared to read it. If you’re following this blog, you know that I enjoy stories with angst and sometimes twisted emotions, but dark romance is not a genre I have dabbled in a lot. I needed the right moment to read it and, that moment finally came.

Going in, I knew I would be twisted in different directions and that my emotions would be hard to follow, but I didn’t expect I’d feel a bit lost on top of everything else. It’s really strange actually. I finished ten minutes ago and it’s difficult to write this review.

You must be wondering if I enjoyed it or not so I’m not going to make you wait long. I enjoyed Tears of Tess a lot. Really, I had a hard time putting it down. It’s well-written, the characters are compelling in a twisted way, the plot is rather interesting and, dare I say, thrilling.

But at the same time, I believe that some things are repeated too many times. It bothered me a little while I was reading and it dragged things a bit, but upon reflection, the author couldn’t go another way if she wanted us to buy into the story, the characters and Tess’s changes. We had to go through this, see her struggling so much sometimes, and giving in at other times to revert back to the beginning. Such a story can’t be straight forward. It’s the principle of a dark romance such as this one. At least, that’s what I believe. It had to be twisted in every way possible.

Q, the male character, is a complete mystery most of the book, if not during almost 80% of the novel. I honestly couldn’t stomach him most of the time, but you know what? It’s seriously crazy but I was still compelled to read more, discover more and I tried so hard throughout the book to find something redeemable, a softer side to him. Honestly, I’m not even sure how I feel regarding him now. It’s so strange because I’m truly attached to him and Tess. Complete mind f***.

As a novel told exclusively from Tess’s POV (aside from the epilogue), the author does an outstanding job at keeping us interested, invested even. I can’t tell you how many time I was scared for Tess, how sometimes I was a bit weirded out too and at the same time understanding. Even if, like in any fiction, I had to suspend disbelief, I let myself be swept off.

The only thing that still bothers me is Suzette’s character. She’s a secondary character, quite interesting and useful, but her reasoning and sometimes her reactions have me still unsettled and I’m afraid I can’t fully understand her. Maybe she’ll surprise me in the next installments.

Anyway, while it’s obvious Tess and Q’s story isn’t over, we’re not left hanging and it’s a nice touch. After everything we’ve been through while reading this story, it’s good to take a little breath and get ready for the next book.

I knew I’d enjoy this novel, but I didn’t expect the very strange emotions rolling through me, even after finishing the first installment.

RATING:

20140118-180203.jpg to 4.5

Review: The Movie Star’s Red Hot Holiday Fling, by Christine Glover

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC – Indulgence

Pages: 119

Blurb:

Determined to qualify for the fire department’s grueling physical, former marine Jessie Sullivan never gives up, despite the pins in her leg. The last thing she needs is a tall, incredibly hot action movie star sharing her gym…and who makes her want to trade in her reps for some sexy physical activity. Of the naked kind.

Blake Johnston is more than just a Big Screen Sex Machine, and he’s willing to prove it. Especially to a spirited and sexy ex-marine like Jessie. But when a harmless dare leads to sizzling fireworks, Jessie and Blake’s workout ends up generating some serious heat between the sheets. And it’s more than Jessie could have imagined. Much, much more.

But flings don’t last forever. And in two weeks, Jessie will have to say goodbye to her red-hot Christmas fantasy…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This novella is the first installment in the Sweetbriar Springs series.

What I like most when I think about this novella is that for once, the marine isn’t the male character. It’s a nice change, I have to admit it. But is it enough to keep me interested in the long run? Not really.

You see, going in I thought I would find characters with a real depth, a story that would bring out emotions, but I didn’t. Maybe it’s because this is a novella so by definition it’s a rather short story in length, but I believe the author doesn’t show enough when it comes to Jessie’s struggles. As soon as something emotional is coming we’re cut off and something more “analytical” takes place instead and that’s when I’m usually pulled back from a story. I miss Jessie’s in-depth characterization, but also Blake’s.

When it comes to Blake, even now that I’m finished with the story, I don’t know him that well. He’s a nice character, of course, and handsome, but I don’t really know what makes him tick and I don’t fully get why it’s so hard for him to open up to Jessie. Somehow, I think I’ve missed something when it comes to him.

The plot itself is pretty simple which is best when it comes to novellas. I regret some ellipses that, in my opinion, keep some things away from me as a reader. I didn’t see the change in Jessie and Blake’s relationship once they start sleeping together. In a way and if I exaggerate I feel like we go from physical attraction between Jessie and Blake to love. I would have liked a chapter detailing some more of their time together right after they start their casual fling. (And the end is a bit too cheesy for me.:/ )

Also, I think that some things regarding Jessie’s issues and Blake’s decisions (I can’t write more or else I’d spoil you) aren’t enough developed. Once again, I didn’t have enough room to feel and be invested.

It’s not because I think it’s a story more fitting for a novel than novella that I can’t appreciate the author’s writing or the nice flow of the dialogues. Some secondary characters are interesting and I wouldn’t have minded if only they had a bigger part in this story.

Overall, I think this novella is a nice choice for when you want a quick read. I believe my expectations are what truly prevented me from fully appreciating this novella as I probably should have.

RATING:

3

Review: His to Keep, by Terri L. Austin

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Pages: 320

Blurb:

Iain wasn’t just rough around the edges-he was uncivilized, despite all the elegant trappings and expensive suits. And Brynn wanted more of it. She wanted Iain in full-on barbarian mode.
She wanted to be taken.

Filthy rich British bad boy Iain Chapman made a name for himself as a ruthless businessman, but if he can secure an investment from Vegas powerhouse Trevor Blake, Iain could take his business to the next level. Solution? Hire beautifully timid corporate trainer-and Trevor’s sister-in-law-Brynn Campbell and seduce his way to success.

Brynn’s everything Iain is not: kind, delicate, decent. But she’s also got a taste for something a little beastly, and it doesn’t take long for Iain to break through her every inhibition. Brynn was supposed to be his pawn, but as Iain gets closer to his goal, he begins to realize he’s not ready to let her go, not now, not ever-even if it costs him everything.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

His to Keep is the third book in the Beauty and the Brit series. This is my first book read by this author and I’m afraid I’m not the right fit for this story.

I’m sorry, but when I read a book I want to have a good time with the story and/or characters. Here, I contemplated giving up the book a few times for different reasons. But I didn’t give up and I’m glad. This book isn’t horrible or anything, it’s just not for me.

I feel awful writing this. I know other readers will love this book and have a really nice time reading it, but I suppose not all books are for me so let me try and explain why I’m not the right fit for this novel.

First of all, I knew from the first chapter this book wouldn’t be for me. You see, I like it when I get to know the characters and their voice, but sometimes I find it hard to relate to some when the voice overtakes everything, detailing things too much. Here, the first chapter isn’t exactly “an info dump” introduction to the characters and the plot, but I couldn’t connect to either Brynn or Iain. Brynn’s voice was, at that moment, too present if you will. It’s my taste so I’m probably the odd one out.

Then, I think some dialogues aren’t flowing so well. Sometimes they feel a bit forced to me. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t connect or relate to the main characters, but either way, I had to re-read some parts a time or two (mostly in the first 30%). Then again, after a little while things are flowing more as if the author has a better handle on her characters.

My other issue is a big turn off for me. I love it when characters have flaws (I don’t necessarily dislike Iain’s flaws even though I don’t think his character is explored enough), but Brynn is not a character I like. Yes, she’s sweet and kind, but she has NO backbone. I know it’s part of her character and we somehow see her growing into herself, but seriously at some point it pisses me off a lot.

Incidentally, we see Brynn doing the same thing over and over throughout the book: running away. I think it becomes redundant real fast, mostly because I don’t like the character and the plot isn’t necessarily mind-blowing. I believe some parts could have been tightened a bit to make it a shorter story with a bit more dynamism and rhythm.

Last thing, some secondary characters are so over the top they further pushed me away from the story wile reading. Tash and Cass are too much. I get they’re supposed to show Brynn’s doormat behavior, but less is better sometimes in my opinion.

As you can see, I didn’t like this book. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not my type of read. I expected something different, not much in term of plot, but mostly in term of characters and their chemistry.

Once again, I’m sorry this one isn’t for me.

RATING:

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Review: Fly, by Molly McLain

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Yes.

Category/Genre: New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance

Self-published

Pages: 162

Blurb:

Meet Colton Wade, FMX rider…

I’m just a small town guy who caught a lucky break. Now I’m living the dream, on the brink of high-flying super-stardom. But something’s missing.

That something is Taylor.

She’s my best friend. The one who makes me want to push harder and higher. The one I fall back on when shit gets tough. The one I’d give it all up for.

I’d do anything to protect her. To make her dreams come true too.

But a single night changes everything.

And now the one she needs protection from…is me.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 

Fly is the first book in the Velocity series and it ends on a little cliffhanger. This book is a really quick read and fast-paced. I look forward to the next book.

I have to be honest here. What first caught my attention is not the blurb, but the cover. In my opinion, it’s perfect to make you want to pick up the book and it reflects the story itself nicely. I’m glad I got to read this book because while I expected a bit more, I still had a good time reading Colton and Taylor’s story.

Do you want to know something completely dumb? Either way, I’m obviously going to tell you so…

Every time I would read the name Colton I kept thinking about K. Bromberg’s Colton from the Driven series. Both characters are nothing alike and the stories themselves have nothing in common, but somehow the name Colton is already taken in my mind. I told you, it’s dumb.

Anyway, at first it threw me a bit, but it has nothing to do with the author’s story or this Colton. I rather like Colton Wade even when I wanted to knock some sense into him and/or when I was mad at him. He has flaws and I like that in books. But it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have liked to see, experience and feel more growth. To me, Colton, while a great character and a nice male interest in this romance, is still not up to par for me to be completely on board with him.

Taylor, Colton’s best friend and romance interest, is a good female character. She’s not a doormat even though she does a lot for Colton and doesn’t get enough credit for it. I like how the author manages in showing us a female character that doesn’t always swoon when the male character is close by. She’s her own person and it’s nice.

But…

I would have loved to be more invested emotionally speaking.

The romance is there, don’t get me wrong, but I think the emotions aren’t really showing. I like the relationship between Taylor and Colton, but strangely enough, I felt a lot more their friendship than their budding romance. And when the angst showed up, I barely felt it.

I had a good time with this book,  but considering the potential in this novel and the flowing writing, I expected feeling more and rooting all the way for Colton and Taylor. But, I think the next book has as much if not more potential than this first book. And I look forward to seeing more of some of the secondary characters.🙂

I like the world in which Colton is living in and I’d love to see more of it. Honestly, I had a really nice time with this book and I think so far it’s rather nicely executed even though I do think the author could have gone deeper emotionally speaking to better keep me riveted.

I’m now waiting for the next book coming out in a few months. I don’t expect to be that surprised by the plot itself, but I hope Taylor and Colton have something to show us that will make me swoon once and for all.

RATING:

3.5 to 4

Review: Her Fantasy Husband, by Nina Croft

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Genre/Category: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Brazen)

Pages: 157

Release Date: April 4th 2016

Blurb:

Security Company CEO Josh Slater put his life on hold when he said “I do” to protect a stranger. While his marriage was never meant to be real—he hasn’t even seen his wife in five years—Josh can’t shake the idea that he’d be cheating if he moves on. Now he’s a man with a mission: chase down his “wife,” get an annulment, and finally indulge in a little no-strings sex.

Heiress Alexia Slater entered into a marriage of convenience straight out of high school to gain control of her inheritance before her not-so loving family squandered the whole thing. She doesn’t want the marriage to be real—she’s fought hard for her independence—but that hasn’t stopped her from spending the last five years fantasizing about her gorgeous husband.

Then he shows up.

Josh wants an annulment. Lexi needs to stay married. When the chemistry explodes between them, there’s no stopping the battle of wills only one of them can win…

She’s had the fantasy, now it’s time for the real thing…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this novel via Netgalley for an honest review.

Her Fantasy Husband is the second novel in the Things to do Before You Die series, but it can be read as a standalone.

When I saw this book a couple of weeks ago, I knew it’d be something for me and my current mood. I wanted something that while not necessarily with lots of angst was something with somewhat of a depth. And it’s exactly what this book is like.

That being said, don’t think it’s extremely deep or that the whole plot is going to blow your mind completely. This book is perfect for when you need something to chill a little, nothing more and nothing less.

The writing of Nina Croft is flowing rather well, so well in fact that I didn’t see the time flying or the chapters passing. The voice is nice, fun at times without being over the top. It’s nothing new in the genre, but it’s always nice to go back to the roots of the genre once in a while. And here it works without much of a glitch.

The plot itself is, as I said before, nothing to talk about. It’s something we can easily find in the genre, but when done right it’s almost always a win and here the author doesn’t miss the mark in my opinion.

I truly like how Josh and Lexi are getting closer progressively. It’s not done all at once and yet it’s not really a slow burn either. It feels quite natural while reading even though I wanted to slap Josh a few times (which isn’t a bad thing because it means that I truly was into the whole story). But there is still something I find a bit disappointing. I think the story goes awfully fast in the last 25-30% of the story. Things are resolved easily AND quickly. I don’t want to put any spoiler here so it’s rather difficult to explain, but let’s say that things are a little too neat and tidy too quickly considering the build up from the very start. It’s a bit too much for me, but it’s also because I wanted that little bit more that’d make this story a complete hit for me.

The secondary characters while not very present add a little something to better characterize Lexi. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more, mostly when it comes to Josh and the people in his life, but still it draws a pretty good picture of Lexi and Josh’s little world.

Is this book worth the read? Yes, without a doubt.

Would I read the other books in the series? Yes.

This is a really nice read in the genre and I’m left with a smile so it’s always a good thing.🙂

RATING:

4

Review: Getting Off, by Abby Green

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Part of a series? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin

Pages: 76

Blurb:

Caitlin Ryan has never had an orgasm and she wants one! So does she

(1) Date lots of Mr. Nice-but-Wrongs and keep faking and hoping?

(2) Do a little DIY with a battery-operated friend and a lot of imagination?

(3) Go to NYC and have a wild night with a totally hot stranger?

When (1) and (2) don’t work, Caitlin goes for (3). But even with motorbike-riding sex god Liam, old habits die hard, and yet again she has to fake it. Only he notices and is not happy! Could things get any worse? Well, yes, when Liam becomes her new boss. But when Caitlin reveals that she’s never climaxed, Liam rises to the challenge, offering a weekend of hot sex with the only goal her pleasure. Will letting him take control work? Caitlin can’t resist finding out….

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is a standalone novella, my first read by this author and a fun read when you don’t have a lot of time and need something light and openly sexy. In fact, I’m surprised I enjoyed reading this book so much.🙂

Sometimes you don’t expect much when reading a book. You pick it up because you’re in the mood for something light that is going to fulfill your need for some mindless reading and make you smile a time or two and that’s all. But then, something unexpected happen…

You actually truly have fun reading said book.

Here, it’s exactly what happened to me. I wasn’t in the mood to read something long and I knew I needed to just find a story to chill. I thought I’d get easily bored and annoyed with the female character because in this type of books I usually end up rolling my eyes every few pages when the voice is over the top girly and chick-lit like, but here it’s not like that.

The author has a fresh voice, something that makes the female main character likable without doing much. Caitlin is the kind of character you can easily picture yourself in her shoes and it’s all the more easy to delve in the story and just enjoy an hour or two of reading.

The male character’s POV is maybe less thrilling to read, but it’s always nice to get an inkling of what’s going through his mind. Also, it truly helps his characterization so we don’t mistake him for an insensitive ass.😉

The story itself is fast paced, the plot is rather light and sexy, but hey! It’s obvious from the blurb that it’s not supposed to be anything else. Obviously it’s a very quick read because it’s a very thin novella, but considering the theme and the way this story is built I don’t think it needs to be longer.

The thing that bothers me a little bit is the short time jump (two weeks) at one point in the book. I would have enjoyed to read a scene or two during that time period and if you read this novella you’ll know what I mean.

That being said and even though it’s a nice story, it’s not one I’ll remember in a few weeks and it’s not revolutionary or original. Of course, the ending is fluffy and easy. Actually, everything is rather easy and there’s no real conflict, but still, it’s a fun read.

(I checked the price for this story on amazon and considering the length of this book I think it’s too expensive).

RATING:

3.5 to 4