Review: Aimee And The Heartthrob, by Ophelia London

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Pages: 223

Blurb:

He never noticed her before, but now she’s all he can see…

Miles Carlisle is every teen girl’s fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn’t interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he’s interested in is not only his best friend’s little sister – and off-limits – but won’t even give him the time of day…

As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles…until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she’s outgrown both him and her pigtails, the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn’t exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested. Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback. But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is not the first book I’ve read written by Ophelia London and while this one is sweet and a breath of fresh air, I’m afraid I’m starting to get too old for such a story. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it!

This is the first installment of the Backstage Pass series. Each installment will feature a different member of the S2J band. This first installment is all about Miles and the girl who’s been crushing on him for years, Aimee.

As I said before, this is a cute and sweet story. Miles and Aimee are both teenagers and the author does a great job at showing us their age without falling into the over-the-top teenage vibe I sometimes see in YA romance novels.

But, there’s something rather strange here. While I enjoyed the story, the characters and their very cute love story, I couldn’t completely delve into the story. That’s why I think I’m getting too old for cute and sweet YA books. I guess I miss some edge here, maybe even some depth.

While the characterization is good, I still think the author could have dug even deeper. Both Aimee and Miles are supposed to have trust issues, but I couldn’t feel it. Even when something happens that happens to threaten everything (but I’m not going to tell you what!). And I would have loved to really see how Miles’ short fuse is still something he has to be careful about. Somehow, I think some aspects of the main characters are too much skimmed and not enough explored. But then again, this is a light YA story.

Also, I think some things are too repetitive regarding Aimee’s description of Miles and some things about their relationship. The same goes for Miles. I kept seeing the same kind of sentence structures about the same thing and sometimes just a couple of pages from each other. It’s nothing major and I’m pretty sure I’m just being picky here. It happens when I’m not completely in the story.

The plot itself is interesting and very fitting for the atmosphere of the story and the targeted readers, but I think some things are a little bit too obvious. I could see some things happening very early on.

But I must stress it…

This is a great YA book. I’m sure any teenage girl would love to read this book and enjoy the teenage band atmosphere along with the building romance. It’s like a teenage girl fantasy written. 😉

RATING:

I went back and forth between 3 & 4 so…

3.5 to 4

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Review: Primal, by Sasha White

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Sort of.

Category/Genre: Adult Erotic Contemporary Romance, BDSM

Publisher: White Hot Books

Pages: 128

Blurb: 

BDSM club owner Adam Kessler is no one’s hero. He joined the army to get away from the gang-life that had taken his brother, only to come home to heartache. He doesn’t hide his dominant side, and he doesn’t hesitate in his need to protect or enforce his particular brand of retribution on those who’ve earned it. There’s no way in hell he could walk past a man hassling a woman in an empty parking lot and do nothing. Only when the confrontation is over and the voluptuous blonde turns eyes filled with desire to him, does Adam realize he’s in trouble.

Psychologist Olivia Lang grew up with the proverbial silver spoon, and has never regretted spending more time on her career than on romance, until she meets Adam Kessler. He’s dark, he’s dangerous, and he’s deliciously dominant… and she wants him.

Passion burns quick and hot between them and soon they’re caught up in an intensely carnal relationship that neither can deny. But when Olivia’s life is threatened and Adam shows her just how dangerous he can be, will it be too much for the civilized psychologist to handle, or will she truly accept the man and win her hero’s heart?

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is the first installment in the OverWatch series (but there’s a short prequel available). Primal is a novella featuring a BDSM club owner, ex-military and a psychologist, mature and classy. They meet one night as Adam saves her from two thugs.

The premise isn’t really original, right? Well, I can’t say the story in this book is unheard of, yet it has some potential for the next installments. But, if I’m completely honest I’m not sure I’m going to read the next one.

Please, I apologize for this review because I’m not as enthusiastic as I thought I would be. Keep in mind this is my opinion and doesn’t mean you’d feel the same.

Now that it’s out of the way…

I didn’t connect with the main characters Adam and Olivia. At all.

I wanted to connect with them, to feel for them and feel their attraction, but I didn’t. Olivia seems fascinated and it’s understandable. Adam saves her one night and I can understand if they feel some attachment, some connection that is difficult to define, but what I would have loved is to actually feel it. I had to think about it, to force myself to try and get around some things the author writes regarding her characters. In my opinion, that doesn’t speak in favor of a deep and thorough characterization.

I think Adam has a lot to give to this story, to this series. There are many dark edges about him even though his caring side is pretty much forefront, but it’s not much used here. It’s showed in the prologue (which is very good) and then it’s broached near the end when he talks with Olivia. But that’s all. The rest is focused solely on the BDSM club he owns and how he is attracted to Olivia and how he wants to explore the BDSM life with her and how she’s perfection. Good thing, but I would have loved to actually feel it.

Olivia is a strong willed character, independent and smart. But so far she comes across as more of a convenience to me. She’s the character that rationalizes some things and she sees beyond some of Adam’s edges with what seems like only a quick glance. I’m sorry, but even though she’s a psychologist, I would have liked to see her struggling a little bit more when Adam tells her something regarding his past. Instead, everything seems like it’s all chill and fine because…she loves him and knows he’s a good man at heart.

Like often in romance novels I think the word love is too easily and too soon dropped in. I like it when the characters go through some ordeals before they get there. That’s a personal taste so if you don’t mind it when characters fall for each other without much bumps in the road, then ignore me.

What else…

I think there are a few interesting characters we see very little of here, but I think they will offer an interesting twist later on. Just like some mysteries hinted at that should really kick start the core of the story. Hopefully it will make things more thrilling and enhance the romance between Adam and Olivia.

Right now, I don’t know if I’m going to read the next installment or not, but I will be keeping an eye on it. I have some questions regarding some things the author hints at in Primal.

RATING:

20140103-095135.jpg to 2.5

Review: Lance, by Christi Snow

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult contemporary romance suspense

Self-published

Pages: 178

Release Date: June 5th, 2015

Blurb:

As the owner and CEO of Lancer Industries, Matthew Lancer spends his days in three piece suits and conducting meetings that affect the world financial markets. What the world doesn’t know is that Matthew Lancer has a deep, dark secret. He’s actually super-hot, super-sexy, and covered in tattoos. When he can, he spends his free time letting loose as bad-boy male model, Lance Jones. No one knows and it has to stay that way or Lance will lose the one thing that’s keeping his high pressure life sane.

Andi Kelly writes erotic romance. Day in and day out, she imagines a world filled with bondage, multiple partners, and just a few whips and chains. But that’s the fantasy life in her novels. In the real world, she’s an introvert who spends her days at home living out her fantasies through her laptop. Andi’s finally worked up the courage to ask Shauna Kruse if she can sit in on the photoshoot for Andi’s next novel…with her model-crush, Lance Jones.

But Lancer Industries has a mole and it’s put both Andi and Lance in danger. Lance’s two worlds collide and when corporate espionage meets erotic romance, there’s no telling what might happen.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

Lance is the second installment in the Male Model Chronicles. Each installment can be read as a standalone.

I am surprised how suspenseful this installment is compared to the first one. The vibe is very different, the characters too. It is a nice read and very entertaining, but I miss a little something to make it a “wow“ read. You know what I mean.

Lance has a little something quite interesting going for him and I’m not talking about the CEO thing, but more about his need to get away from his real life. That’s different and while I think we have a good enough idea of why he needs that reprieve, I think it’s not showed enough. His characterization could have been more thorough.

The same goes for Andi. She’s a great character, and I like how she’s portrayed as a shy person, but I think the author brushes it off too easily and too soon. I understand why, the plot needs it, but I think it’s too easy and then kinds of negate some of her characterization.

But I really like how Andi and Lance/Matthew are fighters at heart. That’s the great thing here and it serves the suspense very well. I can’t exactly give you any more details or else it’d ruin the plot for you, but the whole “corporate espionage” thing going on is great and it drew me in quite easily.

That being said, I think the ending is too fast and goes too smoothly. Call me twisted. 😉

Other than that, the romance is lukewarm at best for me. Andi and Lance are cute, I guess, but I miss a spark there. I can’t explain it, but maybe I was expecting to actually feel how Lance can’t stop looking at her or how Andi can’t stop the flutters in her chest. I don’t know, I guess I don’t feel the emotions in this book, but I still had a good time reading it.

In a few words…

This is an entertaining read, fast paced and with a touch of suspense. The romance isn’t memorable, but if you’re in between books and if you’re looking for a quick read, then this one may be for you.

RATING:

3 to 3.5

Review: Unworthy Heart, by Dorothy F. Shaw

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Erotic Romance

Publisher: Samhain

Pages: 314 (goodreads) and 340 (amazon)

Blurb: 

Opposites not only attract, sometimes they spontaneously combust.

The Donnellys, Book 1

Ryan Donnelly’s past relationship may have failed, but he’s determined to make single fatherhood and his career a resounding success. He’s got his eye on the top of the ladder at an L.A. marketing firm when his gaze snags on co-worker Maiya Rossini.

She’s a feisty, witty, tattooed redhead who’s nowhere near his type, but she pushes every one of his hot buttons.

Maiya clawed her way out of her dysfunctional, trailer-park childhood to earn a college degree and establish a promising career. Her future dreams are big, bright and packed with full-throttle fun, but when it comes to matters of the heart and men—especially stuffy corporate types like Ryan—her past slams on the emotional brakes.

In the office and in the bedroom, Maiya and Ryan rub each other in all the right ways. Though Maiya is everything Ryan didn’t know he wanted, he’s got his work cut out for him convincing her she’s worthy of love—or the bright light she’s brought to his life could slip through his fingers.

Warning: Contains a lot of graphic, yummy sex. To those prone to lock their bedroom doors, fair warning. In this book, there are no doors, only windows. With no curtains. For those who aren’t afraid to keep their eyes wide open: Enjoy the show!

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 

This is the first book in the Donnellys series. It can be read as a standalone.

Do you know what attracted me at first upon seeing the cover and reading the blurb? For once the tattooed hottie isn’t the guy.

I know what you’re thinking, but of course I’m not tired of reading books featuring a hot tattooed male character, but it’s nice to shake things up a bit and here, the author does just that.

Don’t get me wrong, some usual tropes are still used here, but it’s well done. I like the characters because they have flaws and hang ups and have a hard time overcoming them. I love it when the author doesn’t rush anything regarding the romance and the big love declaration. Call me twisted, but I love to see the characters work hard to get there. 🙂

That being said, I think there’s one thing the author rushed a bit here. The beginning. I’m not talking about how the characters start to have sex, but about how both characters are introduced. It’s rather fast and without much of a setting to fully get where’s the attraction is coming for between them. I wouldn’t have minded a short prologue to see their IM interactions and/or phone calls for work before they first meet each other (that is a face-to-face meeting) at work taking place in the opening chapter. That’s just my opinion of course.

Other than that, I fell for the author’s writing. It’s easy, flows well and is perfectly balanced when it comes to dialogues and descriptions. The Donnelly family is a gem and I can’t wait to read Jimmy’s story or Cyn’s. It should be interesting.

One character I shouldn’t forget to mention is the little Jacob, Ryan’s son. He’s really cute and brings another side to Ryan’s character I really love.

Now, I’m going to talk about the sex scenes. I may shock some of you, but I think there are almost too many sex scenes here. They’re well-written, don’t leave out anything regarding the plot and the characterization, but at one point I thought it was a little bit too much. Though, it shows well how both main characters are head over heels for each other even though it’s taking a while to acknowledge it to themselves. You see, these scenes are hot and very entertaining, but sometimes I think they make the story drag a little and make the plot circle around a little bit more than needed. Of course, it’s subjective.

In a few words…

If you’re in the mood for a SEXY read featuring a hot, single father (and dominant man in the bedroom) and a tattooed woman who is very afraid of love and relationships, then this book is definitely for you. I recommend it.

RATING:

4

Review: Forward Pass, by Desiree Holt

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Part of a series? Yes, but this is a standalone in a series of standalone novels.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult contemporary “erotic” romance

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Pages: (I don’t know yet. This is an ARC)

Release Date: July 7th 2015

Blurb:

Get Ready to Play Rough

Shay Beckham grew up idolizing her brother’s best friend, star quarterback Joe Reilly. There was no one in their Texas town who had the moves to match Joe on or off the field. Years later, he’s still a player who has what it takes to drive any hot-blooded woman wild. But Shay isn’t a kid with a bad case of hero-worship anymore. She’s grown-up and independent, with her feet on the ground and a serious head on her shoulders. If she could just say the same for Joe.

It’s been fifteen years, but Joe Reilly hasn’t forgotten the skinny little kid who used to follow him around like a shadow. What he can’t get over is that the skinny shadow has grown into one hell of an incredible woman. One any man in his right mind would kill to get his hands on. And one who seems to be completely immune to him. He knows he and Shay could have something special together. If he could only convince her he’s about more than just the game.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 

Forward Pass is the first book in the series Game On, but it can be read as a standalone. I’m always in when I see a sports romance novel, but sometimes I happen to be disappointed. Here, I’m not disappointed, but I’m left feeling rather “meh”.

There’s everything to make this one very addictive.

Hot ex-football star? Check.

Older brother’s best friend? Check.

But then…

Then, there are all these little things that keep happening and I can’t not see them. You’re going to think it’s rather ridiculous, but unfortunately it is a bit more difficult to stay in the story when I keep thinking that this or that have been said just a couple of pages before. Or sometimes, in the exact same dialogue. I’m sorry, but it’s a turn off for me.

I understand that Joe is mesmerized by Shay and that’s wonderful and what I expect when I read a romance, but it’s not necessary to see him say that she’s beautiful three or four times in the span of very few pages. Or if the author wants a repeat, then better change slightly how it’s said.

Same with Shay. She has doubts regarding Joe and it’s perfectly understandable and it’s rather nice because it shows that she’s not completely blindsided by her feelings. But she keeps on saying the same thing regarding Joe’s past (he used to be a real player out the field too). Maybe the author could have given her characters some more subtlety. That would have been welcomed and it would have given them more sustenance and in turns it would have felt more real to me.

The plot itself works well. It’s pretty straight-forward and classic, but that’s why it works. I would have liked to see more of Joe’s work and I would have liked to see one or two subplots or even some setbacks when it comes to Joe and Shay’s relationship.

Now, this is my personal taste, but I don’t like it when characters easily go all out and say the big “L“ word soon. Here, Shay and Joe say “I love you” quite fast. Or so it feels like it. It bothers me a little because it seems like they go from lust to love rather fast even though it’s obvious some feelings have been there before. I’m just… I don’t know, somehow I can more easily see and feel the lust between them than the love.

Speaking of lust…

There are numerous sex scenes and it’s nice even though maybe not always necessary. But who’s going to complain about the sex scenes if they don’t mess with the characterization and plot? Not me. Though, I do think some scenes aren’t that hot. They’re great to read, but I miss a little something I can’t pinpoint to make me fall for Joe (and Shay).

In a few words…

This is a nice addition to the genre. This book features likable characters, a common love story and decent chemistry between the main characters. I will not remember this one as my favorite in the genre, but I had a good time reading it.

What do you think about Joe? 

RATING:

3 to 3.5

Review: Wild, by Magan Vernon

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Beautifully Broken Books

Pages: 53

Blurb:

Wild- EPISODE 6 is the conclusion in the Forever Wild serial.

All roads led Valerie and Wes back to the Vegas desert where they first met.

Valerie is ready to do whatever it takes to get back her husband, even if it means getting help from an old friend and signing confidentiality contracts.

But nothing has come easy for Valerie and Wes in their wild relationship and when they’re hit with some extra surprises they have to figure out if one wild night will lead to being Forever Wild.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS

 


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is the last installment of the Forever Wild serial. Wild is a nice ending to Wes and Valerie’s love story, but it will not leave a lasting impression on me.

If you’re looking for a nice, light-hearted serial then you probably should try this one.

If you want a different serial, something thrilling and addictive with an incredible love story, then you should lower your expectations.

I hope I’m not too harsh because I had a good time with this serial and the characters are nice. But that’s all. I miss that little something more that would have made it impossible to stop reading. I miss feeling something while reading. And I’m saddened that the plot isn’t thicker. I think this story lacks depth and some characterization to make it a 5 stars read for me.

The first thing on my mind upon finishing this last installment is how very little we know of Wes. In the end, we have facts, we know some of the conflict with his parents, but it’s swept under the rug. There’s nothing more and the last scene (I don’t want to spoil you, but his parents make an appearance) contradicts completely what we’ve been told in another installment. If I remember correctly, there are a couple of flashbacks showing how poorly Wes’ father treated him and yet…There’s nothing much regarding this.

And don’t get me started on how easily Wes’ life turns around in all aspects. Call me a cynic, but I don’t find it all that believable—even if this is a fiction. I’m sorry. :/

There’s also something in the plot that is a little odd when Valerie goes after Wes back to Vegas. I’m not going to give away anything if you’re about to read it, but I couldn’t read this with a straight face. It was entertaining and fun, but it was difficult for me to truly enjoy reading it.

In a few words…

This is a nice serial, but I think it would have been better as a full length novel instead. The plot and characterization lack some depth, but if you’re looking for something light and maybe a bit cliché, then go for it. Good for a beach read. 🙂

RATING:

3


 

Serial RATING:

3

Review: Wild For You, by Magan Vernon

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Yes.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Beautifully Broken Books

Pages: 53

Blurb:

Wild For You is the fifth book in the Forever Wild Series. (This is a six part series with one book releasing every 3 weeks)

Things seem to be finally looking up for Valerie and Wes.
Valerie finally left her job and started a new company with two of her closest work friends and if that wasn’t enough of a stress reliever, she finally decided to let her true feelings show for Wes. And when they’re reciprocated everything seems to be falling in place for the girl that once thought that she’d never get anything right.
But there are secrets that Wes has been keeping from her that involve her former friends with benefits, Max Green, and when they come to the surface it could put an end to Mr. and Mrs. Wild.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is the fifth installment of the Forever Wild series. After this one there’s only one installment left.

My review is going to be rather short, so I apologize.

I was expecting a lot more and in the end it’s like with the other installments. Some things happen that could have, should have had deeper consequences, more of an impact on things and characters. It’s like the author takes the easy way out most often than not and without digging deep enough to make this story a true epic love story.

Valerie and Wes have a good chemistry, but the love is difficult to feel as a reader. At least, I have a hard time feeling it.

The plot itself is interesting and has a great potential, but I don’t think it’s exploited at its best. Again, that’s how I feel so I’m sure not many other readers feel the same.

The ending of this installment is a disappointment for me because it’s too predictable and too much like what we often see in the genre and in stories using the same kind of trope.

I hope the last installment will be a bit better, but it’s still a nice serial to read and light-hearted. That’s always a good point.

(I don’t know if it’s because I have a review copy, but I have seen a few typos in these installments.)

RATING:

2.5 3