Review: Flirting On Ice, by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley

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Part of a series? No.

Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance.

Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck

Pages: 100

Blurb:

A satisfying category romance from Entangled’s Lovestruck imprint…

Mr. Perfect has found his kind of trouble…

Professional hockey player Zac Elliott is in top form. He’s having the best season of his career, the local fans can’t get enough of him, and he’s in the middle of the most successful contract negotiations of his career. When the sexy little spark between Zac and the team owner’s daughter blazes to life, no matter how forbidden, he can’t resist.

Philanthropist Heather Ryan can’t keep her hands off of Zac. If her father finds out, it could end Zac’s career and ruin her reputation. What they share is deeply passionate and intensely private…until the press exposes their illicit relationship.

Now the fans have viciously turned against Heather, Zac’s game is faltering, and even his team has deserted him. The only way out of the penalty box is for Zac to play hockey like life—and love—depends on it…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 

Flirting On Ice is a sweet and a little bit sappy hockey romance novella. It’s a nice read, quick and great when you’re in between books.

I’m always a sucker for hockey romance stories. I don’t love them all, but I often have a good time reading these stories and this one didn’t disappoint. 🙂

I didn’t have any expectations before reading this novella and I’m glad because I don’t know if my enjoyment would have been the same otherwise. You see, this novella is sweet, but there’s not much depth here. I’ll hand it to you, it’s a novella so it’s a rather short story, but I wouldn’t have minded it if the characters were a tiny bit more developed and if some scenes, events, conflicts would have been more developed, too. I have a feeling that this story could have been spectacular then.

But I did enjoy Zac and Heather’s story. They’re cute together and while I didn’t have much time for the build up like I often like, I still enjoyed their sweet chemistry—though I think the authors wanted to make us feel the urgency, not just the sweetness.

What else…

Some things in the plot aren’t exactly well-introduced or well-put together to add some suspense. I saw some things coming from miles away and it dampened my reading pleasure a bit. But I’m being picky here.

The writing flows well and as I said, this novella is a quick read. I enjoyed this short interlude between books. If you’re looking for a sweet romance, a quick read then maybe this one is for you.

 

RATING:

4

Review: Broken Juliet, by Leisa Rayven

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: New Adult, Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 288

Blurb:

How do you fix a love that’s been broken beyond repair?

For years, Cassie Taylor tried to forget about Ethan Holt. He was the one great love of her life, and when he failed to return her love, a part of her died forever. Or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Claiming to be a changed man, he’s finally able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago, but can she believe him? What makes this time different from all his other broken promises?

Ethan knows he can’t change their tumultuous past, but if he’s going to have any chance of being with the woman he loves, he’ll need to convince Cassie that her future belongs with him.

Don’t miss this stunning conclusion to the unforgettable love story that captivated over two million fans online.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is the second book in the Starcrossed series and it concludes Cassie and Ethan’s story. If you remember my review of Bad Romeo, the first book, you must know I have been eagerly waiting for this one. I didn’t think I would fall even harder for Cassie and Ethan, but Broken Juliet proves me wrong.

Brace yourself because I’m going to gush. 😀

Lisa Raven is on my auto-buy list from now on. She has won me over completely, not only because of these characters and the plot, but also because her writing is flawless, vivid, fresh and the dialogues are amazing to read. Reading this book, and the previous one, is a wonderful experience because I quickly forget the words and I end up living the story.

Ethan and Cassie come to life in this sequel, just as much if not more than in the first book. Their love story is epic, intense and feels incredibly real. I couldn’t help but be mad at Ethan and also feel for him. And Cassie moves me. These two characters are strong, have flaws, feel human and I believe in their story. Actually, it’s crazy but it’s almost as if I know them now that I’m finished with Broken Juliet.

And don’t get me started on the chemistry between Ethan and Cassie. These two are very h-o-t together and yet the scenes stay tasteful and are all the more incredible to read.

Yes, this book truly went above and beyond my expectations. This series will stay my favorite for a very, very, VERY long time.

Once again the plot itself is flawless. The author manages to show us Ethan and Cassie in the present, but also their past when they were still students. The past and the present resonate to better characterize Ethan and Cassie, but it also adds depth and emotions. It’s easy to follow and it all blends to perfection.

The set of characters is a good addition to still create a full world that breathes life. Every characters serve the plot and the love story between Ethan and Cassie. I can’t find a single thing to criticize. It’s embarrassing!

It’s difficult to find a second installment as good as the first book and yet here Broken Juliet is as good, as thrilling, as emotional and as moving as Bad Romeo. If you love Bad Romeo, you’re going to love Broken Juliet. Don’t wait to 1-click this one!

Guess what I’m going to do next month? I can already picture these two books on my very real shelves in my apartment. And I look forward to re-read Ethan and Cassie’s story because their love is so compelling that I’m not ready to let them go. 😉

 

What do you think about Ethan? I’m telling you right now, he’s in my book boyfriends list!

RATING:

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Review: Filthy Rich, by Dawn Ryder

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Part of a series? Not really, but there is a book featuring these characters’ best friends.

Category/Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, romance, suspense.

Publisher: SourceBooks Casablanca

Pages: 288

Blurb:

SHE’S FIGHTING FOR CONTROL…
Celeste Connor swore that she’d never be a victim again. After the hell of her abusive ex, the last thing she needs is to be under another man’s thumb. But when she catches the eye of fiercely dominant Nartan Lupan at her best friend’s wedding, Celeste finds herself drawn into a glittering world of wealth and power that has her body aching and her mind reeling.

HE’S FIGHTING TO MAKE HER HIS…
Nartan is a filthy rich businessman who works hard, plays harder, and doesn’t take no for an answer-and he wants Celeste with a hunger he’s never before felt. He’ll do whatever it takes to have her. But Nartan didn’t expect that he’d want still more…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

I was expecting a story with many sex scenes, but unfortunately even though these scenes are great for the most part, it took me way too long to get in the story. So much so that I thought I wouldn’t finish reading it.

You see, I don’t have as much time to read as I used and that’s probably why I’m getting more and more demanding. Here, I wanted to fall for the main characters right away, but it didn’t happen. The dialogues aren’t flowing as well as I would have liked, the descriptions are sometimes breaking the rhythm of the story and the plot itself takes a very long time to truly get interesting.

I love reading about characters very blatantly attracted to each other, I enjoy the back and forth characters can experience, but it needs to be interesting and serves the characterization and moves along the plot. Even in a very small, seemingly insignificant way. Here, all I could focus on are Celeste’s same thoughts circling. And when I say same thoughts, I mean SAME. Almost word for word sometimes. I still don’t know why I obsessed over this, but it drove me mad at one point.

I’m also sad that we don’t have more of Nartan’s POV. His POV is interesting and I think it’s his POV that convinced me to keep reading. Unfortunately, the author barely used his voice in the book.

Speaking of POVs… I don’t like when there are more than two POVs in a book. It’s a personal pet peeve, so I’m sorry for pointing this out and ignore this part of my review if you like stories with more than two POVs.

In this book, while most of it is told from Celeste’s POV and a little bit of Nartan’s POV, there are also two more POVs. They’re introduced close to the end of the book and it broke the tension that the author was trying to build. I don’t want to spoil you any more so I’ll spare you, but I don’t think it helped the plot, the atmosphere and the narration. Again, it’s just my opinion.

Other than that, yes the chemistry between Celeste and Nartan is well-described. Yes, I’ve felt the heat in some scenes and yes it was entertaining, but I was tired really fast of the same thing happening; Celeste trying to push away Nartan or trying to leave and Nartan always chasing her and convincing her to stay because she wants him too. It can be fun, but there’s basically no variation of the same thing, not for a while.

 

RATING:

3

 

Review: The Consequences of Loving Colton, by Rachel Van Dyken

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor, Comedy

Publisher: Skyscape

Pages: 286

Blurb:

My name is Milo Caro and I have a confession to make.

I’ve been in love with Colton Mathews since I was five. He should have known that sharing a cookie with a sugar obsessed little monster would do the trick–it sealed his fate. So really, the fact that he’s sporting a black eye, a limp, almost got ran over by a car, and was nearly responsible for another person’s death? Right. HIs fault. Not mine.

I made a pact with myself–this weekend would be different. I’d come home for my brothers wedding, smile, and Colton would naturally melt into my arms, we’d get married have five kids, live in a house by the river, and get a dog named scratch (clearly I’ve thought this through).

What really happened? I punched my brother in the face, Colton kissed me and apologized, I lied about having a boyfriend, oh and everyone wants to meet the mystery man.

They say laughter always comes before insanity–ha, ha. All I wanted was my brother’s best friend…instead I’m sitting in prison.

Let this be a lesson to you all…life rarely happens the way you want it to.

Damn cookie.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

 

This is the first book in the series, but can be read as a standalone. The next installments will feature a different couple.

 

It’s not the first book I’ve read written by Rachel Van Dyken, but it’s probably the first one I didn’t like reading. Believe me, I’m more disappointed in myself than  in the book right now.

Let me explain why I hesitated finishing the book…

 

I don’t mind reading romantic comedies, I don’t mind when said romantic comedies are openly silly and a little bit over the top. But here, I’m sorry to say that it’s WAY over the top.

At first, I was having mixed feelings, but still I didn’t have an issue with the story, but when it hit the halfway mark, I almost decided to quit. Though, I’m glad I pushed on, not because the book redeemed itself to me, but because I hate writing a review for a book I haven’t finished.

 

You see, here the comic relief is not subtle and sounds downright stupid at times. Really. I had a feeling the characters were not behaving according their age and were too much like caricatures instead of actual characters. This type of humor is probably not for me.

 

Yes, I smiled a few times, yes some things are funny and the writing is still flowing, sharp and good, but the plot itself is too all over the place, the sub-plots almost not flowing well enough and the characters have all the same voice. With the same silly behavior that got tiring real fast. Maybe I wasn’t in there right mood, but I do think the author went too overboard and wanted to do too much here.

 

The idea, the premise, is good and I do think it could have been an amazing romantic comedy for me if only the characters would have been a little bit more down to earth and if the plot itself would have been more believable.  I know it’s fiction, but I like it when I believe in a book, in characters, to a certain extent. That’s when I usually let myself be swept off. Here, I just couldn’t.

 

You see, it’s a matter of personal taste because it’s obvious so many readers love this book and many more will love it too. I don’t think this series is for me and I will probably not read the next installment that will feature Max, Milo’s best friend. Though, I do think his story is going to be even crazier!

 

What do you think of this story? Am I the only one who didn’t like it?

 

RATING:

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Review: Touch & Go, by Mira Lyn Kelly

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult, contemporary, romance

Publisher: Loveswept

Pages: 240

Blurb:

USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly cranks up the heat for two lifelong friends whose most secret longings come true in every delectable way.

Vivacious and successful, Ava Meyers is living her dream life, except for one thing: Ever since childhood, she’s been in love with her best friend . . . and she’s never admitted it. Back then, Sam Farrow was a damaged young man with a tough past. Now he’s supremely confident, super-sexy, and totally untouchable—until the night when Sam pretends to be Ava’s boyfriend to save her from some unwanted attention. In a moment of weakness, Ava finds out that a long friendship is no match for blistering sexual chemistry.

After years of denying his own feelings, Sam finds that one amazing night with Ava isn’t enough to chase away all the pent-up fantasies. So he proposes they spend a few weeks driving each other wild, exhausting their every desire, and then return to their perfect platonic relationship like nothing ever happened. But Sam’s plan has one fatal flaw: the part where they give each other up. Because the more they let go of their inhibitions, the more they’re tempted to never go back.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 

 

This is the second book in the Dare to Love series, but it can be read as a standalone. Each book features a different couple.

 

I really like reading “friends to lovers“ stories and this one really shows how difficult it can be for two friends to deal with their friendship, the sex and their feelings. I enjoy how the author doesn’t forget to show us that Ava and Sam are first friends. While reading, I couldn’t forget their friendship and their fear of ruining everything because they’re exploring each other on a very different level.

 

That being said, I think some things are a little bit too repetitive even though well written and interesting. In a way, I think everything is more rushing in the end and we don’t see enough of Sam’s hangups. I would have loved to see more of him breaking down sometimes, I would have love to see more anguish somehow. Don’t mind me, I think I was in the mood for more angst when I started reading.

 

The plot itself is pretty much classic in the genre, but that’s why it works. The chemistry between Ava and Sam is unavoidable and they’ve swept me off. I love their playfulness with each other, their thoughtfulness, their tenderness, their sweet love and the crazy heat between them.

 

Speaking of the heat…

 

The author has written some really great sex scenes. They’re intense without being too graphic. They’re also tasteful and yet quite thrilling. And they serve the characterizations and the plot! That’s exactly what I love to see in such books.

 

The group of friends featured in this book (and series) is great. They all have that little something that make me want to read more, to know more. It’s always nice to read about a tight knit group.

 

It has taken me a few chapters to really warm up to the characters and the story, but it is a nice read. I enjoy Ava and Sam’s journey and I recommend their story if you’re looking for a “friends to lovers” novel with some heat mixed in.

 

I will keep this author on my radar and will probably read the other books in the series.

 

What do you think of Sam? 

 

RATING:

4

Review: Fifty Days Part 1, by Taylor Shade

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Yes.

Category/Genre: Erotica, contemporary, suspense, adult.

Self-published

Pages: 111

Blurb:

I know you. I know what you want, what you secretly desire.

You walk through the world hiding your true self, all covered in clothing that only slightly reveals the real you. You make yourself up to look so pristine. You follow all the social cues to make sure you’re acting like a “proper woman.” A good girl.

Most men don’t know. But I do. I see right through it.

It happens when I first look you in the eyes. I know what you really want. You say you want a “nice guy,” a man who will wait while you try on a thousand outfits in the dressing room, who will pick you up and drop you off. But really… deep down… I am what you want.

Because you know I won’t do any of those things. And I scoff at those wusses. You know what kind of man I am as soon as you see me. You know you should be sickened by a man like me, even repulsed. But you can’t help it. You’re lit up at the first penetrating stare of my blue eyes.

You can almost feel me inside you as you read this. Your body doesn’t lie. No amount of logic or words can stop it. It’s primal, animal, coming from your deepest most private space.

Yes… you know. You know I am the man who will soon fulfill your darkest desires. The one who breaks down your resistance, who leads you into complete surrender. Your heart beats faster in anticipation. A droplet of sweat forms on your lips as you think about it. You long to give yourself to me… relishing every moment of being at my tantalizing command. Because it’s all about command.

You want to give me command of your body. Teasing it. Pleasing it when I want. Using it for my own pleasure. Keeping you on edge. Yes, you are my dirty, filthy slut and you know it. You will do nearly anything I ask. You want a man who can take you fully, who can do things to you that you wouldn’t even tell your best friend… because to actually say it to another human being means you’re admitting who you really are.

Which you can never do. Even though I know. And you know.

You’re my dirty little slut. And you know what else I know?

You love it.

Yes. You do.

Shhhhhh. It will be our little secret.

 

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

 

This is the first part of the serial called Fifty Days. As per usual with serials, the installment ends on a cliffhanger.

 

I don’t know if you’re the same, but upon reading this blurb I was intrigued. I mean, it’s not telling, but gives some clues as to what to expect. That worked on me when I saw this book on Netgalley. Unfortunately, and maybe my expectations were too high, but I didn’t like this first installment.

 

It’s a matter of personal taste, but when I read erotica novels or serials, I like it when I feel and see a building connection between the characters, a connection that has the potential to go beyond the rampant lust. Sex scenes after sex scenes when the characters are just meeting (and I mean that literally because this installment covers the first day), I have a harder time to enjoy a story and get into it.

 

Also, I don’t like the main characters. Neither Sloane, nor Matthew are compelling. I can’t see a quality that makes me want to stick by them, I don’t see a weakness that makes me want to know more, and I don’t feel much of anything regarding them other than mild annoyance. They’re over the top. In my opinion, way over the top.

 

I don’t mind graphic sex scenes, I don’t mind reading several sex scenes pilled up in a book, but I’d rather read something that is more than a sex scene for the sake of it. Right now, I don’t understand the real plot, don’t get why the author made the characters have sex so soon and so easily and I find it disappointing that the suspense, which I think is supposed to be the main thread of the plot, so little used. In the end, I’m pretty sure the suspense isn’t taking more than 5 pages and the rest is mostly about the sex and how Sloane has never met a man like Matthew and how she’s never like this with men and things like that. And when it’s Matthew’s POV, it’s mostly about Sloane’s sex appeal.

 

I don’t know, I was expecting something very different, not as much in term of plot, but in term of how the story is built and the characterization.

 

I don’t think I will be reading the next installments. I’m sorry.

 

RATING:

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Review: Hard Ride #3, by Opal Carew

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No, it’s the last installment.

Category/Genre: Adult, erotica, contemporary romance

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Pages: 64

Blurb:

Liv never expected to rekindle her romance with her college boyfriend, who’s now a hard-bodied, tattooed biker. And she never imagined sharing herself with his entire gang.

Shock can feel Liv pulling away from him, just like she did all those years ago. Her lies are a painful reminder that she’s not ready for anything more than a good time in bed, but he’s not willing to let her go. He lost her once, and it’s never happening again. Faced with losing the one thing he’s always wanted, he must prove to Liv that what they have is more than physical and that his heart is in her hands. But is she ready to give him hers?

This is part three of HARD RIDE, a three part novel.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

 

This is the last part and while the second part started to win me over, this third and last part convinced me that this novel—cut into three parts—is not for me.

 

I can see why other readers will probably rave about this story, but I can’t help but think and point out the things I think are negatively impacting this story. I’m really sorry for writing such a review.

 

The first thing that comes to mind now that I’m finished with Liv and Shock’s story is that the author seems to have tried to put a lot of what we find these days in this genre of books. Shock is an alpha male, is a sweetheart, is also bordering on the dominant life style and yet can be pretty vanilla. He’s also rich, is a biker, used to be the son of a big shot CEO… You see, in  a way it’s too much for ONE guy. It’s my opinion.

 

Then, Liv is lacking depth. When I think about it, she overcomes her hangups quite easily and rather drastically. I’m not really convinced and to be honest, I can’t even feel much of anything between Shock and Liv now. There’s sexual tension, but it’s like the author used the steamy scenes to fill in the story. There’s no real outside conflicts and the only one disappeared in a matter of a couple of pages! It was supposed to be intense, supposed to bring a layer of angst/drama and show how closer Liv and Shock are getting. In the end, it fell rather short for me.

 

The secondary characters are more present in this last part and I like them, but they’re more decorative than anything else. It’s too bad because I think they would have completed this “biker“ world a lot better.

 

In the end, the plot isn’t that developed, the characterization is rather poor and not digging deep enough and the sex scenes aren’t that thrilling to read. For me, it’s overall a miss.

 

RATING:

2.5 to 3