Review: Break Me, by Autumn Stark

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Part of a series? Yes

Cliffhanger? No

Category: Adult, erotica

Genre: Contemporary romance

Publisher: Books With Benefits Press

Pages: 158

Blurb:

Abigail Stevens, an efficient and no-nonsense editor for one of the biggest names in the romance novel industry, has a big problem. She’s been desperately in love with Anthony Tate, Mr. Romance-Writer himself, for the last four years. She’s settled for friendship and professional success for the last four years, but now the sexy writer needs something more from her and she can’t find a reason to refuse.

Tony Tate has built a career centered on his identity as America’s most romantic writer. That identity does not include a debauched temper tantrum in the aftermath of his very public break-up with his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Tony has known that Abby has had the hots for him since the moment they met, but when his Plain Jane best friend and controlling editor ends up being his only option to exorcise his demons and pent-up sexual frustration, he can’t wait to break her prim and proper shell.

As Tony and Abby push each other farther than they’ve ever gone before, the question becomes, who will break whom?

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
This book is the first one in a series, but it can be read as a standalone.
When I saw this one on Netgalley, I was intrigued. Reading the blurb, I was expecting something that would blow my mind and keep me riveted from page one to finish. Unfortunately, while I do think it’s a good distraction, I didn’t enjoy Break Me like I was expecting to.
The premise is really great. You have a young editor and her romantic author who is a man, but who doesn’t have a single romantic bone in his body. That sounds like something fun with the potential for some very hot chemistry. While the hot factor is undeniable, the fun isn’t all there and the depth is lacking. It’s my opinion, so please don’t hate me. I’m trying to explain what I feel.
I don’t mind stories with lots of sex scenes and little depth, but I’m getting tired of these. I love it when the sex scenes are insanely hot, numerous and frequent throughout the book if it serves the characterization and the plot. Here, while I get the need for these scenes packed and pilled up at the beginning of the book regarding the plot and how it’s built, it still turned off pretty fast.
I didn’t have enough time to get to know the characters, to understand their friendship and dynamic before they were having a marathon of sex. Also, I think it didn’t help that I hated Tony for the better part of this book. Really. And Abby came off as too weak for my taste. She redeems herself, but it comes late, just like for Tony.
You see, if the characterization would have been more emphasized, then maybe I would have been more lenient with these characters.
Also, their romance while sometimes entertaining, is not moving along all that much. You have twice big things happening that make it jump start quite drastically, and then it’s stalled again. I usually wouldn’t mind, but since I’ve started caring for Tony and Abby late in the story, it bothered me. Also, the whole sub-plot regarding Joyce doesn’t serve any real purpose. The potential is there, but it’s not exploited.
The writing is not bad, but I do think some dialogues could have been better without the repetitions of names. And I would have loved more descriptions regarding their feelings, their emotions. Once again, it’s my personal taste.
But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad novel. I’m more disappointed than I thought I would be because the premise appealed to me a lot.
RATING:
2.5 to 3
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Review: Hate Fuck — Part 2, by Ainsley Booth

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Part of a series? Yes

Cliffhanger? Yes

Category: Adult, erotica

Genre: Contemporary, romance, suspense.

Self-published

Pages: 100

Blurb:

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Then it’s business as usual.

Cole:

I know I’ve fucked up, but I can fix this.

Hailey:

This can’t be fixed.

This is not a standalone book. It is part two in a three part serial.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
This is the second part of a three part serial. I had to re-read the last chapter of the first part because I didn’t remember much (that’s a sign I read too many books), but it quickly came back to me. This second installment was enjoyable, but less so than the first one for me.
While you still have the hot chemistry between Cole and Hailey, I find this second part a little too all over the place. For example, we’re left with an insane cliffhanger after reading the first part, but in the end the events leading to that cliffhanger aren’t that important in this installment and are rather fast “forgotten“.
I think my issue here comes from the fact that for such a short installment you have a plot that is slightly all over the place. It’s very interesting to have some suspense, the whole thing regarding Cole’s work, but it’s almost confusing at times. To be honest, a novel would have probably made it easier for the author to develop fully that aspect of the story. It’s just my opinion.
But the funny thing is, because the two main characters are great together, because they have that amazing chemistry everything doesn’t seem so important. (But their issues are too downplayed and/or overlooked sometimes. The sex takes A LOT of place).
The writing is good for such a story. In the opening chapters I think some sentences are a little stilted, but maybe it’s because I needed to get back in the  story.
Overall, it’s a good second part, it makes me want to read the last part and I’m left with questions. After all, we know that in serials parts end on a cliffhanger. 😉
What do you think of Cole?
RATING:
3.5 to 4

Review: The Pleasure Principle, by Jane O’Reilly

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Part of a series? Yes, but this can be read as a standalone.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Adult, erotica.

Genre: Contemporary, “romance”

Publisher: Carina UK

Pages: 75

Blurb:

An education…

When it comes to sex, shy and awkward Verity is as reluctant as a virgin. So imagine her horror and shame when her ex reveals her inadequacies to the internet? To prove that she’s not frigid, as claimed, she’ll sleep with the very next man she sees!

So when her boss, Cal Bailey, a man completely confident in his own sexiness, invites her to one of his legendary parties Verity leaps at the chance. She gets Cal right where she wants him but at the crucial moment her insecurities take over, leaving Cal confused and her frustrated!

Verity, convinced she can’t do it, is set for rejection again but Cal is a sexpert and he’s determined to turn Verity’s pain into her ultimate pleasure…

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

 

This novella is very hot and if you’re looking for a story based on the sexual discovery of the main character, then this one could be a good read. It barely took me two hours to finish it (in between tidying my place and talking on the phone for a little while). I think it’s a good alternative when you don’t have much time to read and you want something shamelessly sexual. 😉

 

So, you have a main character from which POV the story is told. She’s a woman in her twenties, dumped by an asshole who went out of his way to ridicule her online. She’s very emotional, doesn’t believe in her abilities to satisfy men in bed so she agrees to go to a very special party at one of her boss’s place.

 

Seems pretty common, right? Well, I can’t exactly say that it’s a unique novella or story, but it’s still working.

 

Cal and Verity are an interesting pair. I think it’s fun that the author doesn’t show us that it only takes one try for the male character to make the female forget everything about her issues, her hangups and her fears. It made it more believable and I enjoyed Cal’s determination.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, there isn’t that much depth in this novella. You have a fairly good characterization considering the short length of this story, you have a plot that is working but isn’t overly complex and you have a writing style that isn’t stilted. It flows and I think I was in the mood for something light and not so difficult.

 

But, I must confess that there are a few peaks in both main characters’ psyche that let me believe that if the author would have wanted, she could have written a full length novel with some depth. Maybe even a more twisted plot. I’m pretty sure that I would have been onboard. 🙂

 

The ending is a little rushed maybe, and the characters’ feelings become too important too suddenly. At least, I didn’t have the opportunity to witness the build up. I saw the lust, the sexual chemistry between them, even a semblance of care, but actual feelings…not really;

 

I don’t regret reading this novella and I repeat: if you want an erotica novella, maybe you should give this one a chance.

 

RATING:

3 to 3.5

Review: No More Talking, by Rhian Cahill

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Adult, (erotica)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages: 78

Blurb:

Zac Moreland knew he shouldn’t act on the sizzling attraction between him and his best friend’s little sister. But act he did, and he can’t forget that one night he let the heat between them burn.

Now, after months of doing everything in his power to avoid a repeat performance, he’s ready to admit defeat—and ready to go up in flames all over again.

Freddie never understood why Zac gave her the hottest night of her life and then the cold shoulder. But what she does know is that her eyes are wide open when it comes to Zac, and he better understand that this time she isn’t settling for anything less than everything.

Warning: Two people learning to be more than friends and a big brother ready to spill blood.

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

 

This is the first novella in the Hearts Are Wild series. Apparently, and I didn’t know it going in, the characters are introduced in another series. The group of friends we briefly see in this novella are featured in another series and while I wouldn’t mind it usually, here it bothered me.

 

Considering this is a novella there are no filler scenes and everything is happening successively. There are not break and it’s a good thing, but unfortunately I felt pretty detached while reading.

 

I think that the fact that we don’t have the whole background of the main characters (Zac and Freddie), knowing that they’re introduced in another series, I missed the getting to know the characters. I feel like there’s something missing. It truly bothered me while reading and I don’t think you can truly enjoy reading this novella without reading the series in which West and Kelsey are featured. There should be a warning or else there will probably be readers disappointed like I am.

 

The writing itself flows pretty well even though it was sometimes odd when POVs switched from Freddie to Zac. I couldn’t completely feel a huge difference between them. Also, Zac is supposedly fighting his attraction for Freddie, but it doesn’t feel like it. I’m glad the fact that she’s his best friend sister is mentioned several times because otherwise I would have forgotten. :/

 

Then, you have the sex scenes. They are pretty hot and intense and well-written, but they are numerous. I enjoy reading erotica stories and I don’t mind reading several sex scenes in books, but I expect them to complement the characterization and even the plot. Here, I think some of the characterization is lacking and the room that should have been used for said characterization is used for more scorching scenes.

 

Finally, some of the timeline confused me, but I don’t know if it’s because I have an ARC.

 

I don’t think I will read the next ones in this series, but I will probably check out other books written by this author because I can see myself enjoying another story and other characters.

 

RATING:

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Review: Marry Me for Money, by Mia Kayla

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Part of a series? Apparently.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Adult.

Genre: contemporary romance, chick-lit.

Self-published

Pages: 294

Blurb:

Leaving her small town behind, Bethany Casse moves to Chicago in search of a new life. Working at a top financial bank brings her into contact with two men who are as different as night and day.

Kent Plack, heir to Plack Industries, has no interest in being with a woman for longer than one night. A spoiled and lazy man-whore, he is completely content with his playboy lifestyle, and Beth is surprised when they form an unlikely friendship.

Brian Burcham, a finance banker, is gorgeous and respectful. A man plucked from Beth’s dreams, he is definite husband material. Unfortunately, Beth has a hard rule against dating coworkers, but Brian is determined to change her mind.

When a deadbeat mother and money problems follow her to Chicago, Beth is offered a solution that could fix everything. Marrying for money seems simple enough, but when lines become blurred, Beth faces difficult choices, making her realize that the easy way out just made her life even harder than before.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 
While this book could (and in my opinion probably should) be read as a standalone, the author states in the book that there will be another book featuring Kent and Beth.
It’s unusual, but when I first received this book, I immediately started reading, but stopped around 15% or so. I couldn’t get into it and I didn’t know if it was me or the book. But here I am, a few months later. I finished it very quickly and I enjoyed it.
See? I guess it was me after all. 🙂
But even though I finished reading Marry Me For Money and even though I enjoyed it, there are a few things that prevented me from loving it as much as the author’s other book (which I LOVE). I am going to try and explain, but keep in mind that I truly had a good time reading Kent and Beth’s story.
This story is exclusively told from Beth’s POV and while I sometimes would have liked to have an inkling of what was going on in Kent’s head, the POV and the voice are a good match for the atmosphere and the characters. Beth is fun, but also driven and like many women out there. It’s easy to understand and maybe even identify to her to a certain extent.
But sometimes I couldn’t get Kent. I like him, a lot, but there are some things that clashed with what the author was showing us through Beth’s eyes. For a little while Kent was fun and that was great, but after a  while I started to be annoyed with him. Then again, it started right when I felt like things between Kent and Beth were not moving along one way or another which ended up frustrating me. It even bored me for a couple of chapters.
That being said, the dynamic between Kent and Beth is nice. Their friendship, while genuine, blossomed probably too fast for my taste, but it helped building them as characters and it served the important twist of the story: a marriage for money.
It doesn’t happen immediately and that’s a good thing according to me. It helped the characterizations, and also it gave the time for the author to show us the dynamic between all the characters and not just the two main. But, once it starts it all happens pretty fast.
The secondary characters and the secondary plot (regarding Beth’s mother) aren’t enough explored. Some things are very, very rushed near the end. It actually annoyed me and that’s probably the only thing I didn’t like at all. I’m sure I’m going to be one of the very few saying this.
Other than that, it’s a really good book in the genre. The romance is very, very slow building and I like that, but I do think that it can be annoying at one point. In hindsight, the author made the right call, but while reading it can be a letdown. Of course, it depends on what you’re looking for when you start reading.
The dialogues are great, some banters between Kent and Beth quite funny and they bring the right amount of comic relief to make this story pretty much a light read even though you will also find some angst in there.
As you can see, I have mixed feelings, but that doesn’t mean this book isn’t a good read. The author knows how to portray her characters, she knows how to build a plot and she knows how to write her story. Her writing flows well and it’s an easy read.
I will keep an eye on this author and will probably pick up the sequel when it’s out. (But I still think that the ending of this book is really good as it is and I’m not thrilled that there’s going to be another one).
What do you think of the handsome Kent?
RATING:
3 to 3.5

Review: Garrett, by Sawyer Bennett

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance, sports

Publisher: Loveswept

Pages: 278

Blurb: 

Carolina Cold Fury star Garrett Samuelson never wants to miss out on a single minute of fun. Whether he’s playing hockey, hanging out with friends, or walking the red carpet with a new date on his arm, he lives every day to the fullest. When he meets Olivia Case, he sees someone who’s exactly his type—confident, sexy, smart . . . his next fling. But the more he pursues her, the more Garrett shares a side of himself that other women don’t normally get to see.

Olivia has been keeping a secret. While Garrett lives for the next thrill, Olivia’s not sure she’ll live to see the next day. She’s undergoing treatment for some serious medical issues, and she doesn’t have time for a relationship with no guarantees—especially one with a hot-as-sin womanizer who won’t take no for an answer. But as she gets to know the real Garrett, Olivia can’t help falling for him . . . hard. To reveal the truth would mean risking everything—but you can’t score without taking the tough shots.

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

 

This is the second book in the series, but can be read as a standalone. Each book features different characters. I enjoyed the first one (Alex), but I remember not being completely won over. But here, Garrett (and Olivia) made me swoon.

 

It’s amazing when in a story there are sweet moments, hot ones, funny ones and also painful scenes. I love it when a book can put me in different moods when I’m reading, and this one did exactly that.

 

Olivia has cancer and when she meets Garrett, she decides to have a very short fling with him before she starts fighting for her health. The author did an amazing job at showing us how Olivia is strong, afraid and also very human. I empathized with her right away. Not even once did I get bored or annoyed with her. She’s a really great main character and it was amazing to see Garrett through her eyes and feel their connection. Believe me, it’s pretty sizzling. 😉

 

Garrett starts the book by being the ultimate one-night stand master. To be honest, I didn’t like the first chapter of the book. Really not. Not because Garrett is the ultimate player at first glance, but because the story itself seemed to be without depth. I was very soon reassured and I was even more drawn to Garrett and Olivia’s story. If Garrett doesn’t take a spot on your book boyfriend list I don’t know which character will! I swooned several times, blushed a few times too and yet the sex scenes aren’t overly descriptive. It’s pretty tasteful in my opinion. Hot, sometimes sweet, but tasteful all the same and I could feel/see the chemistry between both characters.

 

The plot itself is working well. We see Garrett and Olivia’s relationship evolve, we see them face obstacles regarding her cancer and it was really sweet and sometimes heartbreaking to read. I had a hard time putting the book down.

 

The supporting characters are great and while I’d have loved to see a little bit more of them—like more of Garrett’s family—I do think they complement the main characters.
We see Alex and Sutton in this book since Sutton is Olivia’s cousin and Alex is Garrett’s best friend. It’s a nice touch and well-brought to add a little something to those of us reading the series. But, I must insist, you don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this book or to understand the characters.
Now, I must tell you…I’m quite eager to read the next book which will feature Zack. I think I need to brace myself for this one!

What do you think of Garrett? Isn’t he dreamy?

 

RATING:

4 to 4.5

Review: The Line Between, by Tamsyn Bester

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: New Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Self-published

Pages: 254

Blurb:

There’s a fine line between love and hate, so fine that you don’t know you’ve lost balance until it’s too late.
I’m not sure exactly when I lost my balance, all I know is that he was to blame.
Dane Winters.
The boy who’d spent most of his life hating me for reasons I never understood.

** ** ** ** ** **

It was no secret that I hated her, but only I knew why.
She was off-limits.
And then our separate worlds collided with one tragedy.
It wasn’t her fault, I knew that, but I wanted her to hurt the way I did, and I needed someone to blame. She was an easy target.
Kennedy Monroe.
The girl I’d picked on all our lives.
And the woman I barely tolerated.
Until the line between love and hate was no longer visible…

*New Adult Contemporary Romance*
*Due to mature content this book is not suitable for readers younger than 18*

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

 

The Line Between is the first book of the series with the same name, but it can be read as a standalone.

 

First, I have to talk about the cover, because it’s what first attracted me. I’m in love with this cover and I think it fits to perfection both the story AND the title. I’m glad because when I first saw this book on Netgalley, I hesitated considering that the blurb doesn’t say much regarding the plot and the characters. I’m happy that I took a chance on this book. 🙂

 

Dane and Kennedy are a hot mess. Because of the Winters family and the Monroe family feud, they’ve always been at each other’s throat. But as I kept reading this novel, I soon realized that the tension, the sparks, the contradictory feelings of these two went beyond the family feud. The author does a wonderful job at showing the complexity of Dane and Kennedy’s feelings and relationship.

 

If you’re not fond of the hot and cold kind of trope, then this one may not be for you. It’s all about their issues, their preconceived idea of each other getting in the way, and something far more tragic that added to their already difficult relationship. I actually bought this right away even though I would have enjoyed to see a lot more of their families and of the family feud that supposedly runs from generation to generation, I couldn’t put down this book.

 

I loved reading how Dane and Kennedy started to get closer, mostly against anything and everything that should have kept them at arms’ length. It was touching and oh so hot! Seriously, I think I have a soft spot for Dane. 😉

 

The author’s writing is flowing really well and she is able to show the college life and a wonderful group of friends that is entertaining to follow. That being said, I think some characters don’t have enough purpose in the story. The first one that comes to mind is Chase. His role is not enough developed and used, I think.

 

The plot is one of a great love story that swept me off almost immediately. It’s common in a way, but the set of characters, the voice of the story and the chemistry between Dane and Kennedy make it entertaining and it also kept me on my toes.

 

The ending is rushed and the epilogue maybe too short for my taste, but I’m often unhappy with endings, finding them often rushed. But it didn’t impact my reading pleasure, so don’t hesitate and pick this book as your next read. I’m pretty sure Dane is going to make you swoon. And I’m sure you’re going to have to fan yourself. 😉

 

RATING:

4