Review: The Summer of Jake, by Rachel Bailey

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Part of a series? No.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Supposedly New Adult, but I think it’s more an Adult one.

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Publisher: Entangled Publishing.

Pages: 288.

Blurb:

A new adult title from Entangled’s Embrace imprint… Falling in love wasn’t part of the plan…

Life is just dandy for aspiring fashion designer Annalise Farley. She has a great job (or she will once her designs are discovered), parents who onlyslightly disapprove, a cat that thinks she’s a dog, and a best friend…even if she hasn’t seen her in a while. But then Jake Maxwell saunters back into her life. Jake, the love god. Jake, her best friend’s older brother. Jake, who broke her heart at sixteen without realizing it, then left to become a pro surfer. Now he’s back, having taken the surfing and business worlds by storm, and he’s ready for a new challenge—catching the eye of another girl. And he wants Annalise’s help. Helping Jake land his next girlfriend is too fraught with emotional danger for her liking, but then Jake offers to put her designs in his shops. Is that the sound of her life cracking at the seams? It’s hard to tell with Jake smiling at her likeshe’s the only thing that makes him happy…

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS.

 

REVIEW:

 

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This book surprised me a little. I was expecting the usual type of NA Contemporary Romance novels — which wouldn’t have been a bad thing — and instead I discovered a book that is more adult than New Adult and I enjoyed it.
If there is one thing that comes to my mind immediately it’s the voice of this story. Since it’s told from both Jake and Annalise’s POV, it’s obvious that the author needed to work very hard on the voice of her characters if she wanted us to actually believe in them. And she did a great job at it.
While I enjoyed Jake’s POV, I would have loved it if he would have showed more of himself. Somehow, I think we were kept in the dark sometimes.
With Annalise, it’s the opposite. There’s nothing left to guess and her voice is quite overwhelming at times. It took me a few chapters to get used to the onslaught of info and weird analogies that are quite fun to read.
The writing style of the author is pretty flawless from what I can tell. The dialogues are flowing well, the descriptions are dynamic and never boring. It’s a good surprise. And the great thing is that I could believe that both characters have known each other for a long time.
But the plot itself is a little repetitive and the characters are trapped in the same circle for too long for my taste. At one point I was a little bit bored, thinking that even though I understood where they were coming from, I still couldn’t see anything giving to make the plot move along. Fortunately, just before I truly got annoyed things moved and I could finally see an evolution.
The plot is nothing that new or surprising, but it’s always nice to read. I enjoyed the few bits of depth put here and there to give more dimension to the main characters.
I truly enjoyed this book even though the plot could have been a little more thrilling. Maybe. But honestly, I’m being picky.
I’ll be following this author in the future.
What do you think about Jake? Is this book on your TBR?
RATING:
4
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Review: Allure, by Lacey Weatherford

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Part of a series? No.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: New Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Self-published.

Pages: 211.

Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Brooklyn Hall has had her eye on uber sexy tattoo artist, Six Jagger, for a while. There’s only one problem—she’s pretty sure he doesn’t even know she exists. A friend of her older brother, Six is five years older than her. Plus, there’s the pesky fact that he’s had a steady girlfriend for months. Still, even though she knows there’s no chance for her, she can’t seem to let the fantasy go.

Six Jagger has had a thing for Brooklyn Hall since the first time he laid eyes on her a year ago. However, after finding out her age, he wiped her off his list of possibilities. That should’ve been the end of it, but for some reason, he can’t stop watching and admiring her from afar. Happy that he’s successfully maintained his distance, all that changes on the night Brooklyn walks into Inked Edges, asking him for an illegal tattoo. After that, all his carefully constructed barriers come tumbling down, taking them on an explosive ride of lust, passion, and desire.

All’s well that ends well, right? Too bad that wasn’t the end, but merely the beginning…

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS.

 

REVIEW:

 

I’ve been reading Lacey Weatherford’s novels for a little while now and Allure is probably her sexiest one. Though, it’s not my favorite.
I enjoyed reading it a lot and the relationship between Six and Brooklyn is very cute and hot. Though, I’m missing the real emotional stuff here. I was addicted to this book and was eager to finish it, but at the same time, I felt more the steam than the emotions. At one point in the book it bothered me because it was supposed to be that gigantic mess that I think I should have felt in my heart. And I didn’t.
Six and Brooklyn are really great lead characters and there’s not one more weak than the other. They both have their strengths and fears and I like that. I enjoyed the dual POV of the book, and absolutely loved the first half of the book.
The second half is a little bit more disappointing in comparison. I was expecting something big close to the end, something that would have made me feel more the angst and the pain the characters were going through. In the end, it fell a little bit short.
Though, the writing style is flowing, the characters interesting and in the end I had a really great time with them. I still think that some things were a little bit repetitive, some aspect of their past and their hang ups overlooked and the emotions too downplayed.
For example, I couldn’t actually see the impact of Brooklyn’s brother’s death on the characters. Granted, it happened before where the book started, but just one week prior! I would have loved to see more of these emotions supposedly warring inside the characters.
In the end, I enjoyed this book as a summer read, something to chill and have fun with when you’re in the mood for something a little steamy. Maybe I was expecting too much emotion wise, but in the end it’s still a really great book.
Who read this book already? What do you think of Six? He’s on my list of book boyfriends. 😉
RATING:
3.5 to 4

Review: Game On, by Cat Johnson

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Part of a series? Not exactly.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Published by Kindle Worlds.

Pages: 83.

Blurb:

In the game for love, only the winners walk away with their hearts intact…

Trent O’Shea is a superstar athlete on the football field, but for one week each year he escapes into anonymity at an exclusive resort in the Florida Keys that caters to the rich and famous. Armed with a fake identity, he’s happy to sit by the pool and do nothing except enjoy some breathtaking scenery—and maybe ask her if she needs help putting sunscreen on her back.

Laurel Burnett never met a bad boy she couldn’t catch. Cheating spouses. Deadbeat dads. Scammers. Once the determined PI sets her sights on them they all fall, and the next alleged perpetrator in her crosshairs is none other than the San Francisco Outlaws’ Trent O’Shea. The super-sexy linebacker who Laurel’s client hired her to track will be her biggest trophy yet. She’ll do anything to bring him down, even follow him to a resort paradise and use herself as bait.

But things aren’t always as they appear and Trent and Laurel both learn that sometimes even perfectly planned plays can go wrong when love and lust are involved. Then it’s game on!

A contemporary “mistaken identity” romance trope featuring a rich, alpha hero athlete who also happens to be a Texas cowboy, and the private investigator heroine determined to catch him.

 

Add it to Goodreads.

 

REVIEW:

 

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

To be honest I’ve never heard about this Kindle Worlds thing before. From what I gathered, authors publish stories using some things from other series. Like a fan fiction of some sort. I think.
This one is from Bella Andre’s Game For Love.
While I don’t mind this at all, with Game On is fell a little bit short for me. In every aspect to be honest.
The length of this story wouldn’t have bothered me if only the plot itself would have been built in a way to provide me enough build up between the characters and not that “falling in love after sex’’ thing I tend to hate. Not always, but in this case I couldn’t buy it. While in some scenes I could “feel’’ the heat between Trent and Laurel, it wasn’t enough to make me buy the whole story.
Also, I find some little things a little bit contradictory. I still don’t understand the 180 Trent did when it comes to breaking his rules and with Laurel at the end of the book. Maybe things went too fast for my taste. I wouldn’t have minded 50 more pages or so to better develop the characters and the plot.
The chemistry between Trent and Laurel was believable in the very beginning but soon it derailed a little too much for me. Maybe because things were too easy. I don’t really know…
The writing style of the author here is nothing special, but it works pretty well with the tone of the book and the type of story. Maybe I’d have loved it if the author would have made me actually “see’’ the scenery because I couldn’t picture everything all that well. But once again, it’s probably because I wasn’t sucked in the story so other readers might not feel the same.
I think this is a good read when you’re chilling while on vacation. If you’re not expecting to feel your heartbeat increase, your need to read just one more chapter to know what happens next, then maybe you should try this book because it’s just a nice story that I won’t remember in a couple of weeks.
RATING:
2.5 to 3

Review: Engaging the Enemy, by Susanne Bellamy

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Part of a series? No.

Category: Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Publisher: Escape Publishing.

Pages: 162.

Blurb:

 

One building, two would-be owners and a family feud that spans several generations: all relationships have their problems.

Andrea de Villiers can’t lie to save herself. But when developer, Matt Mahoney, buys the building she and a friend have established as a safe house in the Melbourne CBD, she decides that protecting The Shelter is more important than her aching heart. She will confront Mr Mahoney, and she will emerge victorious. There are no other options.

But Matt has other plans for Andie, and she soon finds herself ensnared in a web of well-meaning lies and benevolent deceit. To protect the building and the families that depend on her, Andie agrees to play the part of Matt’s fiancée, and play it convincingly.

But lies soon bleed into truth, and what was once a deception starts to feel all too real. Can Andie accomplish her goals and protect The Shelter, without losing her heart to the charming Irish developer?

 

Add it to Goodreads

 

REVIEW:

 

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
I was so thrilled to read this book after reading the blurb, but unfortunately it’s not at all what I was expecting. That’s probably the reason why I’m so disappointed.
I don’t know you, but when I read the blurb of this book I was sure that it’d be a blend of fun, hot, light and angst. In the end, it’s not deep in places it should have been, not even funny when some scenes or situations were calling for it and the heat level is barely close to warm when I’m concerned.
Also, and that’s something I find more and more these days, the dialogue doesn’t flow well. Sometimes it felt forced, with a repetition of names, some dialogue tags not really setting the scene and some sentences turned in such a way that a couple of times I had to read them twice — but maybe that’s because I received an ARC which isn’t the finished product.
The plot itself moves along in a strange rhythm, sometimes to the point I was wondering what the real misunderstanding was. And there are so many things left unsaid! I mean, the resolution around Andie and Matt’s family is so simple… I don’t know, it makes me feel like it could have been made into a short novella to have a tighter plot and then I wouldn’t be complaining about the little characterization and so forth.
The characters aren’t that fascinating. I can’t say I don’t like them, but I don’t care much either. Even the secondary characters don’t interest me.
I truly thought I’d love this book. I mean, the first chapter was kind of intriguing and even though it’s pretty cliché, it also works. But I think the author didn’t dig enough both in the characters’ past and emotions and in the plot twists.
Though, if you’re in the mood for something that will not call out to your emotions, something pretty straight forward, then maybe this book is for you. After all, I can understand if other readers truly enjoy this book. I guess this one is just not for me at the time.
RATING:
1.5 to 20140103-095135.jpg

Review: Wounded Courage, by S.M. Butler

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a touch of thriller.

Publisher: Soaring Phoenix Press

Pages: 250

Blurb:

**A SERIES OF NEW ADULT MILITARY ROMANCES FROM S.M. BUTLER**

Navy SEAL Eamon Murphy regrets never kissing his best friend’s sister at graduation. Addison kept him twisted in knots growing up, with her vivacious smile and her gorgeous curves. He thought he was over her. But finding her at the wrong end of his gun three years later is only the beginning, and Murphy just might have to break all his rules to keep her safe.

Addison Hardy enrolled in her university’s exchange program to prove she wasn’t just the family black sheep. How was she to know her exotic French boyfriend would be the son of an international arms dealer? Or that his murder would land her in the custody of one brooding SEAL with a chip on his shoulder?

Their chemistry is flammable–and potentially explosive–but there are complications, silly little things like Addison being arrested, Murphy’s unwavering devotion to duty, and all her dead boyfriend’s enemies out to kill her. But the final conflagration might not be at all what they’re expecting.

This New Adult title includes adult situations and language and may not be suitable for readers under 18 years.

Reading order of this series:
1) Killing Honor, #1
2) Wounded Courage, #2
3) Dying Commitment, #3

 

Add it to Goodreads.

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 
Wounded Courage is the second book in the series, but it can be read as a standalone considering that the main characters in this book are different from the first one.
What caught my attention when I saw this book on Netgalley is the fact that it’s supposed to be a NA Contemporary Romance novel, but with a lot of action and mysteries like a thriller. While there are a lot of action and “mysteries“ in this book, I can’t see why this book is a NA novel.
While the plot itself could have been interesting, I wasn’t fully won over. Is it because I haven’t read the first book in the series? Is it because the plot lacks surprising twists and other fake leads? I don’t know, but I do think that the plot isn’t tight enough to truly works as it should. I wasn’t out of breath while reading this book and I even sighed a few times.
Also, the connection between Murphy and Addison is pretty much boring. I couldn’t see it fully, couldn’t feel the fact that they’ve known each other for years, that they’ve always been attracted by each other. Seriously, I couldn’t see anything. Even the emotions didn’t seem true. I had a feeling that it was forced and I had a hard time enjoying their time together.
Some of the things in Addison’s behavior really bothered me. Some things are very repetitive, the tension with her family told several times, but actually never showed and it’s pretty much overlooked. I couldn’t understand her or her emotions.
Murphy is interesting, but in a way I had a hard time connecting with him. I don’t know if it’s because his characterization isn’t deep and thorough enough, but in the end he’s not a character I’ll remember.
The whole story isn’t that interesting when there’s everything to make it brilliant and thrilling. In the end, I’m left with a “meh“ feeling that doesn’t sit well with me.
Some dialogues were not that well introduced and many internal musings broke the rhythm of the story and dialogue. That didn’t help either.
I don’t know if I’ll read another book in this series, but maybe I’m too harsh because I’m more used to that type of story being more tight with several fake leads, many insane twists with some very bad consequences.
What do you think of this book? And Murphy?
RATING:
2.5 to 3 for the effort.

Review: Insomnia, by Bethany Bazile

Beuatiful men relaxing naked in bed

 

Part of a series? Yes, it’s the first installment in a serial.

Cliffhanger? Yes.

Self-Published.

Category: Erotica.

Genre: Contemporary.

Blurb:

I was arrogant, pushy, controlling, and I was fine with that. What I couldn’t control were my dreams. Memories haunted me there.

Even after over a decade, I found that I couldn’t outrun them. Returning to the place they lived only seemed to trigger a landslide. I couldn’t focus, couldn’t sleep. Some people drank a warm cup of milk, cuddled up with a book, or threw back a couple shots.

Me?

I fucked my way to sleep.

Every single night I lost myself in pussy. For a long time it was the only way I knew to get to sleep. But lately it’s been getting less and less effective. I slept shorter periods of time before the dreams started.

There was only one hope for my insomnia and she was sexy, intelligent and unexpected. I wanted to exhaust myself in her sexy little body and let her soothe me to sleep.

The only problem… she was my therapist and I’d have to break her code of conduct and totally corrupt her before I made her mine.

***Warning: This is an Erotic Serial and contains explicit sexual content and language. ***

 

Add it to Goodreads.

 

REVIEW:

 

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
Insomnia is the first part of an erotica serial that counts three parts. The other parts are already available.
I must say, that I am pleasantly surprised with this serial. Usually serials aren’t my thing, but this one won me over. Though, since it’s an erotica story the characters get to sleep together pretty fast and that bothers me a little because while I understand it’s a short format, I would have liked just a little bit more build up.
That being said, I don’t feel like the characters are under developed or not enough characterized. In erotica novels sometimes I find it difficult to understand characters because there’s not enough characterization, but here the author somehow succeeded in doing so, giving them some background and mysteries that make me want to read the next part right away.
The writing style itself is great and flows pretty well. Dialogue and descriptions are well-balanced and the bits of background thrown in don’t slow down the rhythm of the narration or the plot.
I like that there’re still many mysteries to discover. In fact, at some point it was a little maddening but in a good way. My curiosity is picked and while I’m a little bit afraid that there’re too many mysteries for only two more parts, it promised some intense twists!
The premise of this story was interesting. I mean, if an attraction between a psychiatrist and a patient isn’t taboo, I don’t know what would be considered it. And reading taboo stories is always fun if done the right way. The thing I regret a little is that that very complication is quickly overcome.
The cliffhanger at the end surprised me and I would have never seen it coming. Either I was too caught in the story to see it coming or the author did a wonderful job at putting that very twist there. While this twist isn’t the reason why I’m eager to read the next part, it still adds a little thrill to it.
In the end, it’s a very good surprise and for once I’m not reluctant at reading a serial.
What do you think of this new serial? 
RATING:
4

Review: Trapped, by Beverley Kendall

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Part of a series? It can be read as a standalone, but you should read the free prequel novella.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: New Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Publisher: Season Publishing

Pages: 320

Blurb:

My life has turned out to be such a cliché. And not in a good way.

It’s not exactly Sixteen and Pregnant, but at eighteen my only advantage is a high school diploma. And if that’s not enough, the father—and I use that term loosely—couldn’t have hightailed it out of my life fast enough.

I thought I really knew him. Unfortunately, my boyfriend of three years transformed from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde once he realized his carefree, childless days would be coming to an end.

I’m over him now though. The real love of my life is chubby, has more gum than teeth, and stands a little over two feet tall. She may not have been planned, but I’ve never regretted having her. She is the center of my world.

A world that’s been turned upside down when Mitch returns ready to earn the love and trust of the child he abandoned before birth.

Letting him into my daughter’s life is one thing but letting him back into mine isn’t going to happen. Ever.

Now if only I can get my heart to heed the lessons of the past.

 

Add it to Goodreads.

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

To better enjoy this book, you should read the prequel novella The Trap available for free. You don’t have to read it to read Trapped, but in my opinion it helps a lot understanding the characters.

This book kept me interested even though at one point I wanted something more, maybe more twists and not necessarily the one at the end of the book that left me with a WTF look. Of course, the book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger since Paige and Mitch’s story ends with this book, but still.

Paige and Mitch are great leading characters and their POV is interesting. I enjoyed reading about their fears, their feelings and struggles, but the new development in their relationship was a little too fast for me. I’d have loved to see a little bit more angst.

The writing style itself is great even though sometimes I would have loved it if I could have felt even more the characters emotions. But I’m being a little bit picky.

The secondary characters are great and make me want to read their story. Really. It’s always a big plus and usually it means that the “world“ in which the main characters are evolving is well-described, well-built and in turns it makes me feel invested in a way.

Bree, Mitch and Paige’s daughter, is just a cute little kid. She’s a baby and obviously doesn’t talk, but I could feel how cute she is and how her parents love her deeply. The author did an amazing job with this.

The plot itself isn’t one to remember down the road, but it works really well and even though sometimes I’d like if there’s more twists or consequences to some choices, I still enjoyed this book a lot.

I will read the books with the other characters I saw in this novel and I hope their story will win me over too.

What do you think of Paige and Mitch? Will you read the other characters’ books?

 

RATING:

3.5 to 4