Review: Can’t Resist Him, by Molly McLain

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult.

Self-published.

Pages: 196.

Blurb:

Sometimes what you want and what you need are two very different things. 

Always relegated to the “friends with benefits” corner of small town River Bend, Jenny Riley is done giving the milk for free. Falling hard for a bad boy? Not in the plan, either.

Sexy, emotionally-wounded Marine Reservist Brody Nelson just needs someone to lend an ear. A friend. Friends to lovers? That’s more than he bargained for.

Neither wants a relationship. A long distance friendship should be enough.

It’s not.

Warning: This books contains a tattooed, pierced hero with a few surprises up his sleeve…and a hella sexy one down his pants.

Can’t Resist Him is the fifth book in the River Bend series.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This book isn’t the first one in the River Bend series and while I thought I could read this one without reading the others first I don’t think it’s the best solution if you want to enjoy the full experience. There are mentions of other characters that made it hard for me to fully get into this book at first because I wasn’t familiar with the little world the author created.

This is a great book in the genre. The writing is mostly flowing and while I think some dialogues should have been more natural (mostly in the first few chapters), I had a nice time reading Brody and Jenny’s story. They’re good characters.

Brody and Jenny are characters you often see in romance novels, but they work. I can’t say I fully fell for them or that I felt for them when they would go through a tough time, but the story was nice enough to make me want to finish this book. It’s a win considering. 🙂

But, I’m a bit sad that I didn’t feel more for these two characters. While Brody touches me a bit more than Jenny, somehow I don’t buy their issues all that much. And I find their romance too “easy”. Ah, it sounds bad to write this. I’m not saying I need angst and drama piled up, but I do enjoy some set backs that actually make me sweat and tighten my grip on my e-reader. Here, the main issue coming rather late in the story doesn’t last long enough or is exploited enough to produce the desired effect on me. Yet, I find that Brody’s background drew me more than I had anticipated at first.

Also, Jenny’s issues while interesting regarding her self-worth and fear of falling for the wrong type of man again isn’t shown enough. Obviously, Brody is there to break through her defense, but I think it’s done a bit too soon or maybe without showing how hard it was on Jenny at first. In a way, I can’t buy all her issues, but I’m not sure it’s because it’s not used more here in this book or because I’m not all familiar with this series and her past with another character we don’t see much here, but is mentioned a lot.

The plot itself is holding on its own pretty well. It makes for a nice story with a sweet romance that doesn’t tug on my heart strings too much. I find it a good read when you’re looking for something to read quickly after reading a novel emotionally taxing.

Overall, it’s a nice discovery and I will probably grab the first book in the series real soon and check for myself if I made a mistake by reading Can’t Resist Him first thinking that while it’s part of a series it not needed to have read the other books. You can read Can’t Resist Him on its own, but I’m afraid you’d miss out on some of the dynamic between other characters in this book that aren’t introduced that smoothly when you’re new to the River Bend crowd.

RATING:

3.5 to 4

Review: Living In Shadow, by Jackie Ashenden

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Erotic Romance, Contemporary.

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages: 189

Blurb:

Finding his way out of the darkness could be the biggest fight of his life.

Living In…, Book 1

Law professor Eleanor May is fine with taking over a class for a colleague on sabbatical. She’s not so fine with the hot student who’s always seated front and center. Once upon a time she was that student…and the scars remain eight years after it ended.

Yet this guy seems different from the others. Despite the alarm bells in her head warning her about history repeating itself, she is drawn toward the forbidden once again—even though this time it could consume her.

Lucien North’s past is darker than the ink on his skin, a reminder of a time when survival was a fight to the death. Seducing his beautiful professor wasn’t supposed to be part of his plan to put it behind him, but there’s something about Eleanor that’s gotten hold of him and won’t let go.

Together they light up the night, but will their powerful desire lead them to love—or drag them both to the brink of disaster?

Warning: Contains a younger man so hot he might scorch your fingertips, and forbidden lust so tempting, there’s no point in trying to resist. Check your inhibitions at the door—it’s WTFery 101 and class is in session.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 

Living In Shadow is the first book in the Living In… series.

It’s not often that you find a book about a “forbidden” romance between a professor and a student when the professor is not the man, but the woman. I was attracted to this book when I realized that the author decided to reverse some things regarding the “usual” age gap used in romance books. I was intrigued and the blurb, quite amazing in my opinion, left me with high expectations. I enjoyed this book, but what I would have wanted to see isn’t in the book so I can’t help but being a little bit disappointed.

You see, I find the background given to Lucien pretty amazing. I can’t tell you more or else it’d ruin a good part of the book if you decide to read it, but it’s not something common and I believe it’s well-done even though I think the author could have dug deeper in his psyche. I think his past should have been a good reason to make him darker than he really is. In fact, the story itself could have been darker and grittier.

I like much more Lucien than Eleanor. She’s a rather strong character in a way, but I wasn’t that interested in her. Also, I completely understand her back and forth behavior with Luc, but because I didn’t care much about her I was a bit bored for a good part of the book. I think I would have been more onboard if only I felt closer to her and if her emotions would have been even more fleshed out to better show some of her dark thoughts. In a way, I think that the author takes some easy shortcuts when it comes to Eleanor to introduce the slight “BDSM” trope to the story to make it sexy for the reader. Yet, don’t get me wrong, it’s rather well-done. I’m just sad that the author doesn’t go deeper with these characters.

The plot itself is pretty much straightforward without real conflicts. I would have welcomed more conflicts and maybe more issues regarding Luc earlier than the very end of the book. Of course, it’s my opinion, but I think this story is almost only about the sex and not enough about the characters. For instance, I didn’t see them falling in love, I only saw lust and also a hint of fascination for each other.

Then, the matter of the “taboo” aspect of the relationship portrayed here is almost not used. At one point, Luc finds a way to make the issue moot. I would have liked more, here too. Maybe an external conflict would have been fun.

The author’s writing is flowing rather well even though I think the beginning of the book is a bit too wordy. The author has a storytelling talent and that’s why I kept reading this novel.

In the end, this book is rather nice to read, but it’s not the emotional slap I was looking for and expected to find. It’s more of a succession of sex scenes once both characters start having sex and the issues are pretty much relegated to the background. I’m sure it’s the kind of story that most readers will love, but for me while it’s enjoyable, it’s nowhere near what I’m usually looking for. I know, sometimes I can be demanding…

The other books in the series seem interesting, but I don’t know if I’ll read them.

RATING:

3 to 3.5

Review: Sweet As Sin, by J.T. Geissinger

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult, Rockstar Romance.

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Pages: 386

Blurb:

Twentysomething Kat Reid is loving life as an in-demand Hollywood makeup artist. She has absolutely no interest in rock ’n’ roll, but in order to pay the mortgage, she agrees to work on the set of a rock video for the world-famous rockers known as Bad Habit…which brings her face-to-face with Nico Nyx, lead singer of Bad Habit and Adonis in the flesh.

However, the fiercely independent Kat isn’t impressed by the hard-living, womanizing rock star. But when Nico’s model girlfriend shows up to the set drunk and Kat is tapped to replace her as the video’s sexy bride, her combustible chemistry with Nico suddenly threatens to consume the set. Nico feels it, too—and becomes determined to win Kat over, body and soul. Yet behind his rock god swagger, Nico hides a dark secret. Can he rock Kat’s world forever, or will he just break her heart?

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

Sweet As Sin is the first book in the Bad Habit rockstar romance series. The other books will feature a different couple.

This book is like a guilty pleasure. I’m not going to lie, it took me a few chapters to really warm up to the story and characters, but once I did it was difficult for me to put it down. I can see many flaws about this book and I’ll explain a few, but in the end I believe it’s a book I needed to read to chill and have mindless fun without expecting too much.

Let me talk about the first reason why it took me a few chapters to get into the story…

You see, I easily buy insta-lust because in romance novels it’s pretty much what almost always happen. I enjoy it, but insta-love? I have a real issue with that. I can work with an instant connection between characters sometimes, but love… it’s different. I know other readers aren’t like me and I’m not saying Kat and Nico blurt out their undying love to each other quickly or easily, but very, very quickly we get the impression from Nico that he’s head over heels with Kat for no apparent reason and Kat is easily swayed by his grand gestures and his sometimes “alpha-male” behavior. Unfortunately, it took me a little while to get on board.

Also, I find Nico a bit aggressive in his pursuit of Kat. It was a bit over the top for me and it took me longer to truly like Nico and root for him. But once I opened up to this character, I was rooting for him all the way. Even when Kat started to show less of a backbone (to my dismay).

The plot itself while working and entertaining is a bit over the top in parts. I would have enjoyed seeing more of a character’s development regarding Kat’s past or even Nico because everything is told to us, but in the end I haven’t fully felt real emotions while reading.

Basically, I’m disappointed that I didn’t feel more when it’s called for and yet I’m very surprised that I enjoyed reading this book so much.

Then, the ending and the whole plot unravelling at once had me a bit unsure of what to think of it. I believe that it’s all over a bit fast and without too many consequences for any of the characters and I didn’t have the time to truly worry. After such a build up, it can be a bit disappointing.

This book isn’t without faults, without flaws, but it did what it’s supposed to do: distract.

The writing is flowing well so it made it easy for me to stay interested, even when some dialogues are a bit “too much” for my liking. Once again, it goes back to stating that this book is like a guilty pleasure.

A few words regarding Kat and Nico’s relationship. I’m not going to go into details and tell you what I think works and what doesn’t because I don’t want to give away any spoiler, but I believe that the heat between these two isn’t always there. I’m not talking about graphic sex scenes, but about the chemistry between them. Sometimes I couldn’t really believe in it and I’m afraid that some scenes are more filling than very useful. This is only my opinion, of course.

Now that I’m finished with this first book, I look forward to the next book in the series that will be available January 2016. A.J has me intrigued and him and Chloe together should be… fun. 😉

RATING:

3.5 to 4

Review: Crave the Rose, by Karen Kincy

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Part of a series? No.

Genre/Category: Contemporary Romance.

Self-published.

Pages: 117

Blurb:

She’s not a good girl. He’s not an alpha male. This isn’t your ordinary love story.

Cassia’s a tattooed bad girl, a bitch, hurt one too many times to believe in a happy ending. While studying abroad at Oxford, she loses her boyfriend in an accident–the night after she catches him screwing another girl.

Bram’s an Irish charmer whose wolfish smile hides his darkest secrets. He knows how it feels to be broken. He’s no alpha male, but he’s sweet, sexy, and the only man who makes Cassia feel anything but numb.

Together, they work on Wolfenwold Hall, a crumbling manor house tangled in a garden run wild, while the attraction between them blazes out of control. This is sex, nothing more, with three little rules:

No cheating.
No lies.
No falling in love.

But rules are made to be broken…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

I want to apologize for this very, very short review. I went back and forth between posting something or not regarding this book, but ultimately I felt bad for not writing anything after receiving this book via Netgalley.

First, I must admit that I fell for the cover. It’s what attracted me to begin with and the blurb intrigued me. Unfortunately, upon reading the very first chapter I knew it wasn’t for me.

I only read 27% of the book and that’s why I feel conflicted for writing a “review”. I will probably not finish this novel and I hate not finishing a book. But this time around, I can’t connect with the characters and I find the writing way too stilted and the dialogues seem to jump around a bit and don’t flow.

I really like the premise and maybe the plot and characters would appeal to me more if I kept reading, but I’m not into it.

DNF at 27%

RATING:

I will not rate this book as it is a DNF and I would feel bad for rating it 1 star because this novel is readable.

Review: To Win Her Love, by Mackenzie Crowne

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance.

Publisher: Lyrical Shine

Pages: 287

Blurb:

To win the game, they’ll have to risk losing their hearts…

When a bizarre child custody stipulation pits popular sports blogger Gracie Gable against football superstar Jake Malone, losing the battle for her twin nieces isn’t the only thing Gracie has to worry about. Forced to live for three months under the same roof as the sexy tight end, will she fall prey to his flirtatious pursuit? Or worse, will the skeletons in her closet destroy her chance for the love and family she so desperately wants?

Neglected by his parents as a boy, Jake doesn’t believe in happily ever after. Yet living with Gracie and the twins might be enough to change his mind—and his womanizing ways. But when the press unearths a scandal from Gracie’s past, will he lose the one woman he was ready to open his heart to?

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Players series. I’m often eager to read sports romance books and while this one is nice, it’s not exactly what I expected in term of romance as I see it. But, it really is a nice book and worth the read.

After reading the blurb I was sure I’d be in for a heady romance between the handsome football player Jake and the gorgeous young woman and blogger Gracie, but in the end the romance is a bit disappointing. Now, you must be wondering why I think this is a novel worth the read if I didn’t enjoy the romance…

The characters are interesting.

Don’t get me wrong, they don’t have anything special. When I take a few minutes to analyze all characters they don’t have much of anything different from what we often read in the genre, but they all work together and create a nice and comforting little world. Will I remember them in a few weeks? Probably not, but in the meantime I spent a great few hours while reading this novel.

The plot itself is extremely unsurprising contrary to what I expected and sometimes I was hoping more would happen to shake things a bit and grab my attention again when I felt I was slipping away.

You see, the romance between Jake and Gracie isn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. I expected more conflict between these two, maybe a bit more back and worth in a plausible way. The reality is that Jake and Gracie started something quite seamlessly and didn’t encounter much of any issues along the way. (And the ending is rather quick and extremely cheesy.)

Also, my main issue lies with the beginning of their involvement. It happens almost suddenly and then the author uses an ellipse of a month (or more I don’t really know) and we don’t see much of their relationship or if either of them have issues hiding their newfound relationship when dealing with others and the little girls. I’m sad to say that it didn’t help me root for the couple or feel involved in any way. I wanted to see them grow closer when they started sleeping together.

The little girls, Angel and Charlie, are nice and sometimes bring a little something to the story, but unfortunately I think they’re not enough to make it obvious how much Jake changed throughout the book. In a way, it feels like he’s the same guy, only now ready to welcome a family. I like it when I see a true evolution in characters. Consider it a personal quirk of mine.

Other than that, the writing is flowing rather well even though I think some parts could have been deleted when it comes to long length of descriptions or some repetitive inner musings from both main characters. I enjoy reading characters’ thoughts, but when it becomes repetitive without much of a change from page one to the end I find it weighing on the rhythm of the novel.

As I said, it’s a nice book. It’s not heavy on the football aspect and I wouldn’t have minded more details regarding Jake’s career. The romance is light and nice and it’s sweet to read a story that is all about being a family and/or building one. It could have had a bit more depth, but in the end, it’s a good book to grab when you want something to chill and finish with a soft smile.

RATING:

4