Review: Her Sexiest Mistake, by Jill Shalvis

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Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warnings: a few open door sex scenes.
Publisher: Forever Yours
Pages: 320

Blurb:

Mia Appleby finally has the life she always wanted. She’s escaped her trailer trash childhood and built a nice life for herself with a marketing job and a cute, little condo. But no matter how much baggage she’s ditched from her past, she still hasn’t managed to shake her greatest weakness-men. So when her new neighbor turns out to be single and oh-so-sexy, Mia’s worried she’s playing with fire . . .

Kevin McKnight can’t get enough of his gorgeous neighbor, but after one amazing night, she’s already showing him the door. Something tells him this is the way she handles most men. But Kevin is far from your average guy-and he’s ready to prove it to Mia. When a blast from her past shakes up Mia’s life in a major way, will she stick with her self-sufficient solo act . . . or take a chance leaning on Kevin’s strong shoulders?

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About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s latest, RUMOR HAS IT, on shelves and ereaders now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold. Also, visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Connect with Jill on Facebook: http://facebook.com/JillShalvis

Author’s website

Review:

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

While this story is a fun and light story as I expected it to be, it’s also more than just that. What I wasn’t expecting before I started reading this novel, is that the characters bring a whole other layer to the story and it won me over from the very first page to the last one.

Mia is an interesting character. She’s fun in an unconventional way and I was drawn to her right away. As the amazingly sweet and hot Kevin tries to open her up, I wanted to slap her for being so frustrating and stupid, but it is done in the best way and with finess. The author mastered the characterization of all her characters, even the secondary ones. And damn, I loved reading the dialogues between Mia and Hope and the ones between Mia and Kevin. I laughed a few times, was sad for the characters and I needed to read always another chapter, unable to put this book down.

So yes, this book is more than what I bargained for and when it happens it’s amazing. And let me tell you, Kevin and Mia together are like fireworks – and it’s not always for the best! 😉

I enjoyed the author’s writing style as it flows perfectly and she put a lot of work on her dialogues, so much that I could have thought that it was from a movie. It’s that natural.

The little group of characters create a real world, one I let myself fall into happily. It’s the first book I read from this author and let me tell you, it won’t be the last.

The chapters are well built, the different POVs well brought and not confusing or repetitive at all and the transitions are flawless. No parts are boring or useless and everything is put into use to better help the reader to “see” the characters and not just read about them.

The only thing I’m a little disappointed with is the end that is quite fast and abrupt even if predictable and perfect. I thought that the author would put more time into the resolution, but well, it’s often what I complain about in books.

Without a doubt, you should add this book to your tbr. I can’t wait to know what you think about Kevin McKnight! 🙂

Who read this one already? What do you think about it?

Rating:

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Review: Wanted, by J. Kenner

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Category: Erotica
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 352

Blurb:

For fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, Bared to You, and Release Me comes an all-new erotic series of three enigmatic and powerful men, and the striking women who can bring them to their knees.

He is everything I crave, all I desperately want—and he is everything I can’t have.

Evan Black embodies my every fantasy. He is brilliant, fierce, and devastatingly handsome. But he is also headstrong, dangerous, and burdened with secrets.

My family warned me to stay away, that I could never handle Evan’s dark dealings or scarred past. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I should have run. But our desire is undeniable, and some temptations you just can’t fight.

And from the moment we touch—the passion between us consuming us both—I know that I will never be the same.

Wanted is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

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About the Author:

J. Kenner spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and Central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge her passion for writing. California born, she now lives—and writes—in Texas, with her husband and daughters.

Author’s website

Review:

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

This book is a first installment, but don’t worry! There’s no cliffhanger. 🙂

I truly enjoyed reading this novel as it’s very well written, thrilling and with characters very well developped. In the erotica genre it’s not often that you see a characterization taken that thouroughly, so when it happens, I’m in bookish heaven.

Angie/Lina is an interesting character who is not afraid to go after what she wants, or who she wants as it is the case here, and it’s great to read about a female character not caring if the guy pushes her away. She tries again and again and it was quite fun at times.

But fortunately, the author cuts the chase just before it starts to get old, which means that boredom in not in the cards! When Angie and Evan finaly let go, it’s quite explosive! But it’s well written, with taste even.

Speaking – or writing – of Evan, he’s an interesting character even if too transparent. I mean, I knew almost right away what his deal was and what it was about the Da Vinci notebook. I think that it could have been better hidden, but maybe I’m being just picky because, overall, the mystery is well brought.

So yes, Angie and Evan together are amazing and the chemistry is undeniable. I was happy whenever there’s a scene with them together. The author succeeded in blending together sweet and hot scenes with them, switching effortlessly and without making me feel as if there was something not working. It’s effortless and yet very much enticing.

The secondary characters are very interesting too and I hope to see more of them very, very soon. Tons of possibilities there and it’s making me quite giddy just thinking about it. 🙂

But even if I had a really good time with this book and that the author has a talent to write, I’m a little disappointed with how fast the story ends. Don’t get me wrong, the novel is a very decent size, but it’s in the way the things are resolved that bother me. You have these big revelations and issues in the way – I can’t explain more than this or else it would ruin your future read – and it’s over and finished with in less than 10 pages. In my opinion, it’s too rushed and impact negatively to all the story aside from the romance, because it’s also a suspense kind of book which means that it’s an important part of the novel.

Do I feel that way because I’m also very much into thrillers and suspense books? Maybe, but the thing is, I can’t rate it five stars because of this and it’s annoying me to no end knowing I had such a great time reading this book.

Another thing that is more on the anecdotic side than anything else. The female character, Angie, often says “oh” throughout the novel and it made me cringe countless times.

But this novel is worth the read. In the genre, this book is coming in my top list in 2013 as it is quite different and so very well written. The writing is flawless, flows so very much that I didn’t see the time flying and even if the author uses a few things you often see in books in this genre, she doesn’t overuse them as much as build from them. So far, I can’t think of another book quite like this one.

But once again, I knew early on – very early on – what the big secrets were. It dampened my reading enjoyment in the last part of the book.

I can’t wait for the next installment, but I should be patient as I know it’s not going to release before quite a few – too many 😉 – months.

Is this book on your tbr list? I can’t wait to know if you think that Evan Black is Hot Stuff or not.

Rating:

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Review: Working It, by Kendall Ryan

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Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warnings: Many sex scenes.
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 352

Blurb:

A story of heart-stopping, toe-curling passion by the New York Times bestselling author of Hard to Love, Resisting Her, and The Impact of You.

Emmy Clarke is out of her depth in New York City’s fashion world, but when she lands a job as an assistant at a modeling agency it seems like the perfect mix of business and pleasure. Working under the notorious Fiona Stone is a nightmare, but there’s one distinct perk: ogling the ridiculously hot male models who parade through the office—particularly rising star Ben Shaw.

Ben is everything Emmy’s not: exquisitely gorgeous, highly paid, and well-traveled. He’s also got more issues than Vogue. Emmy looks after Ben on photo shoots, but she refuses to become another one of his lusting groupies. Ben finds Emmy’s refreshingly real attitude to be surprisingly attractive.

Against a backdrop of the most fashionable cities in the world, casual flirting turns into an illicit affair, but when Ben’s twisted past is revealed, and the bitter Fiona catches wind of their relationship, their careers and hearts are threatened.

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About the Author:

Romance author. Shamelessly addicted to bad boys, kissing and steamy romance novels brimming with dark, angsty tension.

Author’s Facebook page

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I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

I enjoyed other books from this author and when I read the blurb a few months ago, I was quite eager to read it. While I had a really good time reading it, I think it’s quite the cliché kind of story even if very hot and quite addictive. Let me explain…

First of all, I should warn you because you’re going to melt and burn while reading this book with the ever so hot and naughty Ben Shaw. Is he unique? No, because we often read about the same kind of character in this genre, the dark, handsome and so very hot with a naughty side and who is also tortured, but it always works. I’m just slightly sad that he’s not more outstanding in his own way. But believe me, Ben is the perfect male character for whom you’ll drool on your kindle/kobo/paperback/whatever.

Emmy is a sweet character, not too naïve or too much of a temptress. She’s like your average girl with her own doubts and it’s quite well brought even if I wanted to shake her a few times. That’s also why I had a hard time to put down my iPad. 😉

Kendall Ryan is her talented self and delivered a story well built, well written and entertaining with a heavy dose of hotness. Wow! Believe me! (For example, I wouldn’t mind to see again Braydon, just saying).

But even if it’s a great book, there wasn’t much of a twist I wasn’t expecting. I even found a few dull scenes and unfortunately, they didn’t help the characterization of Emmy. If I have to push things further, I’d say that I don’t like her all that much. But I expect more in the next book.

Fiona is a character I enjoyed to despise throughout the novel, so it’s well done. I’m quite eager to see what she’s got up her sleeve next. B****. No need for me to translate that word, I think. 🙂

I also hope to see more of Emmy’s family next. As a girl close to her family, I think the author should have put a real scene with them in this first book instead of a short phone call. It would have helped with the characterization, in my opinion of course.

So even if this book doesn’t offer a new breather into this genre that is starting to be saturated, it works perfectly with the writing style of the author and the use of the perfect mix of “the average girl meets the good looking if dark hot man”.

Add it to your tbr if you love that kind of book and if you’re looking for a hot read to warm your Fall days.

Who already read it? What do you think about Ben Shaw? Hot Stuff or not? (say yes!) Drop me a line!

Rating:

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It’s Love, Dude, by Jenny Schwartz

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Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warnings: None
Pages: 129
Publisher: Escape Publishing

Blurb:

From our favourite short story writer comes a debut full-length novel about sand, sun, small towns, and surfing…

Zane Carlton is a World Champion surfer. Molly Georgiou is a shy, small-town girl. They have nothing in common except an instantaneous attraction and an impossible quest for a rare, endangered Australian marsupial. But Zane is determined to make it work, and invites Molly to take a step into his world. But Molly isn’t ready for the spotlights and attention — she loves her town, its quirks, its characters. Opposites attract, but can two such different people find both a woylie and forever?

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About the Author:

I enjoy reading and writing romance because the genre celebrates the joy of living life passionately–taking risks, embracing wonder, creating your own happy ever after.

Steampunk is my newest love. Such a great way to mis-use my history degree 🙂

I’m hugely appreciative of everyone who takes the time to share a review of my books. I find reviews a challenge to write, so THANK YOU!

Author’s website

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I received this novel after I requested it on Netgalley. It doesn’t influence my review.

A romance between a hot surfer and a small town girl? Sign me up immediately! And I’m not disappointed. 😉

First of all, I know nothing about surfing and I was afraid that it would be complicated for me to follow and still be interested, but the author doesn’t talk all that much about it. In fact, it’s just a tool – a perfect one at that – to emphasize the difference between Zane and Molly. And it brings just enough of dream to it all.

Also, I enjoyed the chemistry between Zane and Molly. It’s not very emotional as it is a light read, perfect when you want something easy, but the attraction changing into something deeper is well written. I was never bored while reading and it’s not always that easy to keep a reader interested from chapter one to the epilogue.

The secondary characters are great and make the small town feel all the more real. Though, the journalist – Tony – should have been more present. I don’t want to give away anything of the story, but I think his role is a little underdevelopped at some point. It could have been more thrilling, which in turn would have made me want to rate this novel even higher.

The writing style is flawless, dynamic and light without being silly. The author knows how to build a Contemporary romance story without falling and over using clichés and it’s very welcomed!

Zane and Molly are characters you will enjoy even if Zane should have been even more characterized to make him unforgetable. But I’m being picky.

The dialogues and descriptions are well balanced, perfect according to the atmosphere of this story. This novel is also a fast read with a fast paced story. I’m telling you, I was never bored! 🙂

This story brought some sun to my gloomy Fall day and I’m very happy I read it. I will read more of this author as I enjoyed her writing style very much. Add this book to your tbr!

Who read this book? What do you think about Zane: Hot Stuff or not?

Rating:

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Review: Beg, by C.D. Reiss

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Category: Adult
Genre: Erotica
Publisher: Flip City Media Inc.
Pages: 102
Warnings: sex scenes.

Blurb:

This novella is the first in a series

My name is Monica. I’m a singer born and raised in Los Angeles.
I’ve stopped dating. When I cut a record, or win a Grammy, maybe then I’ll be with someone, but every man in my past has done everything he could to make me submit myself to him, and it’s gotten in the way of my career. I won’t do it again.

But there’s Jonathan. He owns the high-rise hotel where I work, and he is gorgeous and charming. I refuse to fall in love with him, even though when he asks me to submit to him, I want nothing more.

****GRAPHIC LANGUAGE, SEX, AND ADULT SITUATIONS****

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I received this novella after I requested it on Netgalley. It doesn’t influence my review.

I’m not a big fan of novellas and even less when it’s a serial, but Beg might be the exception. I truly enjoyed reading it and I’m quite eager to know more about Monica and Jonathan.

The chemistry between these two is obvious and is well described by the author to make us thrilled and eager to read more. Unfortunately, it’s so short – which is the norm with novellas – that it was over way too fast. I also hate to be left hanging that way when it’s obvious that this is a story that could be solved in a novel or at least in a two book series. That’s probably the only downside, but it’s my taste.

The characterization is great, very efficient. Jonathan is mysterious and hot and closed off enough to make us drool. I can’t be sure as this novella is very short, but he could be one hell of male character that could be representative of this genre. Monica is quite a complicated character and it’s What I love the most in books. I’m not sure yet if I understand her fuly, but I do enjoy reading her story.

The secondary characters are also very interesting and I hope that they won’t be kept in the background and that they will play an important part. All of these characters help to create a believable atmosphere which is very important to be caught into such a story.

The writing style is also flawless even if some of the dialogues aren’t flowing that well.

All in all, this story is a good surprise and I’m sure to read the other novellas even if I don’t like the serial aspect that is a new trend.

What do you think about Jonathan? Hot Stuff or not? What do you think about novellas set into a serial?

Who read Beg already? What do you think about it.

Rating:

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Review: Random, by Lark O’Neal

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Category: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warnings: None
Pages: 300

Blurb:

New Adult Romance

Life is random…

19-year-old Jess Donovan knows better than most that life is random. Her mom is dead, and she’s on her own, patching together a living as a waitress when a car crashes through the restaurant where she works. In two seconds, she loses her job, watches her best friend hauled away in an ambulance…and meets Tyler Smith, one of the hottest, most fascinating—and mysterious guys she’s ever met.

Both for the good and the bad…

Within days, Jess is swept up into the mesmerizing force that is Tyler. Their every touch sizzles, every kiss dissolves them both, and the sex is…fierce. But there’s more to Tyler than his hypnotic eyes. He’s adrift, too, and his body—and his soul—are covered with scars. How can she find herself with a guy who is lost himself?

Until you take charge….

Jess is determined to find her way, and make a life that is better than the one she was given. But how?

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About the Author:

Lark O’Neal has waited tables, dispensed drugs to schizophrenics, loaded trucks, answered phones in a call center and tended bar, but the only thing she ever really wanted was to write novels. She writes new adult contemporary romance, Going the Distance trilogy (Random, #1 will be released November 12), and paranormal young adult, The OtherLands Chronicles (#1 released Jan 15).

She has won many awards for her books, and writes full time from Colorado.

Author’s website

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I received this novel after I requested on Netgalley. It doesn’t influence my review.

I just finished and maybe I should wait a little longer before writing my review, thinking more about the aspects of this novel, but the fact is that I’m very disappointed even if there are good things going on for this book. That’s why I’m rating a little higher than I first thought I would.

The main issue here is that I couldn’t connect with the characters, couldn’t enjoy the romance or the pain they felt. Nothing. I read the story, always feeling a distance from it. It’s not often that I can’t connect with the characters to this extent. And that’s very, very disappointing.

Otherwise, the plot is not too bad even if things are not explored to their fullest, in my opinion. It’s like I could almost touch the amazing that this story could have been without ever reaching it because something was missing to make it all click.

Yet, it’s very different from other New Adult novels you can find out there and it’s a damn good thing. But different isn’t always enough when the characters are not that insteresting despite their issues, their painful past. And to be honest, I was expecting an amazing chemistry between the main characters after reading the blurb, but in the end, I am left wondering if I missed something. Again, it’s because I didn’t connect with the characters. This novel lacks in emotions to be a hit for me. And many times I had a feeling that the dialogues didn’t sound ‘true’.

Believe me, I hate to write such a review because I’m pretty sure that other readers will enjoy this novel as it is not badly written. It’s just not what I love in that kind of books and I’m left…bored.

The secondary characters are not enough characterized in my opinion and it makes the whole story and the environment flat, which doesn’t help when you already have a hard getting into the story. Henry is interesting, but he’s almost too flat. Rick disturbingly intrigued me and I’m annoyed that his role was so short in the story. He would have been a good addition to put some more density to the whole story. Instead, Rick is too much of the useful one to get the story to move on twice. And Virginia could have been perfect to bring a huge dose of emotions, but it’s almost too clinical.

Also, the ending is fast, more told than showed. The big revelation about Tyler is not even well brought or used to create a real climax that is always important in books. The end is rushed when the whole book is quite slow.

So, you get it, I’m not all that thrilled after reading Random and it bothers me. I hate writing such a review, but I can’t hide the fact that this story is a miss for me even though the author has qualities.

Who read this book? What do you think about Tyler? Hot stuff or not?

Rating:

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Review: Solace in Scandal, by Kimberly Dean

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Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warnings: several open door sex scenes.
Publisher: Mischief Books
Pages: 200

Blurb:

Greed and lies bound them together, but will the truth tear their love apart?

When Elena Bardot suffers the backlash of a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by her father, she retreats to the abandoned estate of his partners in crime. Wolfe Manor is lush and private, a perfect place to lick her wounds – until the notorious prodigal son returns. Disgraced billionaire Alex Wolfe is aloof, imposing, and sexy as hell. Elena knows she shouldn’t want him, but attraction overrules her head.

Life behind bars has changed Alex. He doesn’t have time for the complication of a gorgeous little brunette – especially one with her name – but the tension between them escalates. Lust overwhelms their resistance, and the sex is hot and cathartic. They’ve both been betrayed by family, hurt by society, and cast as villains. Alone together, they take solace in slow kisses and sensual nights. Yet while Elena may be content to hide from the world, Alex is driven to reclaim his place on top of it. This time, he’s determined to take her with him.

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About the Author:

Kimberly Dean is an award-winning romance author. She has written for Black Lace Books, Red Sage Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Avon Red, and Pocket Books. She enjoys the freedom and creativity allowed in writing romance, especially with all the interesting cross-genres that have been exploding on the scene. Yet she still believes that a good contemporary romance can save a bad day. When not writing, she enjoys movies, sports, traveling, music, and sunshine.

Author’s website

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I received this novel after I requested it on Netgalley. It doesn’t influence my review.

When I was browsing through titles on Netgalley, I saw this cover and it caught my attention and once I read the blurb, I knew that I had to read it. I was intrigued, hoping to find a good romance.

While I think Solace in Scandal starts too slow for my taste to accelerate way too fast with the characters’ relationship, I was caught into the author’s writing. And to be honest, the plot around the Ponzi scheme their families orchestrated is very interesting. It’s quite a unique setting and I was eager to see how it would play out when both characters would get closer.

Elena and Alex bring steam to his story, so much so that I can’t really see the love. I felt the sexual tension between them, the lust is ever present and well described, but I have to take for granted that they love each other – which is clearly said near the end – and aren’t just in lust because that was all I felt; lust. That bothers me a tiny bit and that’s why I’m not rating it five stars.

The plot is very well built, well enough to thrill me and to make me want to read faster. The questions aren’t answered right away, the answers are brought slowly to build up along side with their relationship. I saw Elena and Alex starting to trust each other, fighting against the world when their relationship was outted and it felt quite real. The author did well and it’s obvious that the characterization is mastered.

The ending is almost sudden in a way, but it ends the story perfectly, giving all the answers that arose throughout the book. But to be honest, I would have loved to see Elena’s mother meeting Alex in the last chapter. After all, her mother is an important character who suffered from what Elena’s father did and it would have been interesting to see more of her instead of just ‘hearing’ about her.

This novel is the kind of book I can’t really criticize as everything is working perfectly as it is. The small things I pointed out here are more of a personal taste rather than issues within the story.

All in all, it’s a very good story with interesting characters brought in a plot not all that common. It’s rare enough in the genre to point it out. And it’s refreshing! But don’t get me wrong, it’s not a funny and light story.

The author knows how to write steamy scenes without being over the top and without forgetting the plot. She knows the codes that are common in Romance novels to make it work and her writing style is efficient.

I recommend this book if you’re looking for a book in this genre. You shouldn’t be disappointed by this stand-alone. I’m pretty sure to read more from this author.

Who read this one? Do you think that Alex Wolfe is Hot Stuff or not? (I’d say yes…)

Rating:

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