Review: The Movie Star’s Red Hot Holiday Fling, by Christine Glover

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC – Indulgence

Pages: 119

Blurb:

Determined to qualify for the fire department’s grueling physical, former marine Jessie Sullivan never gives up, despite the pins in her leg. The last thing she needs is a tall, incredibly hot action movie star sharing her gym…and who makes her want to trade in her reps for some sexy physical activity. Of the naked kind.

Blake Johnston is more than just a Big Screen Sex Machine, and he’s willing to prove it. Especially to a spirited and sexy ex-marine like Jessie. But when a harmless dare leads to sizzling fireworks, Jessie and Blake’s workout ends up generating some serious heat between the sheets. And it’s more than Jessie could have imagined. Much, much more.

But flings don’t last forever. And in two weeks, Jessie will have to say goodbye to her red-hot Christmas fantasy…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This novella is the first installment in the Sweetbriar Springs series.

What I like most when I think about this novella is that for once, the marine isn’t the male character. It’s a nice change, I have to admit it. But is it enough to keep me interested in the long run? Not really.

You see, going in I thought I would find characters with a real depth, a story that would bring out emotions, but I didn’t. Maybe it’s because this is a novella so by definition it’s a rather short story in length, but I believe the author doesn’t show enough when it comes to Jessie’s struggles. As soon as something emotional is coming we’re cut off and something more “analytical” takes place instead and that’s when I’m usually pulled back from a story. I miss Jessie’s in-depth characterization, but also Blake’s.

When it comes to Blake, even now that I’m finished with the story, I don’t know him that well. He’s a nice character, of course, and handsome, but I don’t really know what makes him tick and I don’t fully get why it’s so hard for him to open up to Jessie. Somehow, I think I’ve missed something when it comes to him.

The plot itself is pretty simple which is best when it comes to novellas. I regret some ellipses that, in my opinion, keep some things away from me as a reader. I didn’t see the change in Jessie and Blake’s relationship once they start sleeping together. In a way and if I exaggerate I feel like we go from physical attraction between Jessie and Blake to love. I would have liked a chapter detailing some more of their time together right after they start their casual fling. (And the end is a bit too cheesy for me. :/ )

Also, I think that some things regarding Jessie’s issues and Blake’s decisions (I can’t write more or else I’d spoil you) aren’t enough developed. Once again, I didn’t have enough room to feel and be invested.

It’s not because I think it’s a story more fitting for a novel than novella that I can’t appreciate the author’s writing or the nice flow of the dialogues. Some secondary characters are interesting and I wouldn’t have minded if only they had a bigger part in this story.

Overall, I think this novella is a nice choice for when you want a quick read. I believe my expectations are what truly prevented me from fully appreciating this novella as I probably should have.

RATING:

3

Review: His to Keep, by Terri L. Austin

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Pages: 320

Blurb:

Iain wasn’t just rough around the edges-he was uncivilized, despite all the elegant trappings and expensive suits. And Brynn wanted more of it. She wanted Iain in full-on barbarian mode.
She wanted to be taken.

Filthy rich British bad boy Iain Chapman made a name for himself as a ruthless businessman, but if he can secure an investment from Vegas powerhouse Trevor Blake, Iain could take his business to the next level. Solution? Hire beautifully timid corporate trainer-and Trevor’s sister-in-law-Brynn Campbell and seduce his way to success.

Brynn’s everything Iain is not: kind, delicate, decent. But she’s also got a taste for something a little beastly, and it doesn’t take long for Iain to break through her every inhibition. Brynn was supposed to be his pawn, but as Iain gets closer to his goal, he begins to realize he’s not ready to let her go, not now, not ever-even if it costs him everything.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

His to Keep is the third book in the Beauty and the Brit series. This is my first book read by this author and I’m afraid I’m not the right fit for this story.

I’m sorry, but when I read a book I want to have a good time with the story and/or characters. Here, I contemplated giving up the book a few times for different reasons. But I didn’t give up and I’m glad. This book isn’t horrible or anything, it’s just not for me.

I feel awful writing this. I know other readers will love this book and have a really nice time reading it, but I suppose not all books are for me so let me try and explain why I’m not the right fit for this novel.

First of all, I knew from the first chapter this book wouldn’t be for me. You see, I like it when I get to know the characters and their voice, but sometimes I find it hard to relate to some when the voice overtakes everything, detailing things too much. Here, the first chapter isn’t exactly “an info dump” introduction to the characters and the plot, but I couldn’t connect to either Brynn or Iain. Brynn’s voice was, at that moment, too present if you will. It’s my taste so I’m probably the odd one out.

Then, I think some dialogues aren’t flowing so well. Sometimes they feel a bit forced to me. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t connect or relate to the main characters, but either way, I had to re-read some parts a time or two (mostly in the first 30%). Then again, after a little while things are flowing more as if the author has a better handle on her characters.

My other issue is a big turn off for me. I love it when characters have flaws (I don’t necessarily dislike Iain’s flaws even though I don’t think his character is explored enough), but Brynn is not a character I like. Yes, she’s sweet and kind, but she has NO backbone. I know it’s part of her character and we somehow see her growing into herself, but seriously at some point it pisses me off a lot.

Incidentally, we see Brynn doing the same thing over and over throughout the book: running away. I think it becomes redundant real fast, mostly because I don’t like the character and the plot isn’t necessarily mind-blowing. I believe some parts could have been tightened a bit to make it a shorter story with a bit more dynamism and rhythm.

Last thing, some secondary characters are so over the top they further pushed me away from the story wile reading. Tash and Cass are too much. I get they’re supposed to show Brynn’s doormat behavior, but less is better sometimes in my opinion.

As you can see, I didn’t like this book. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not my type of read. I expected something different, not much in term of plot, but mostly in term of characters and their chemistry.

Once again, I’m sorry this one isn’t for me.

RATING:

20140103-095135.jpg to 2.5

Review: Fly, by Molly McLain

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Yes.

Category/Genre: New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance

Self-published

Pages: 162

Blurb:

Meet Colton Wade, FMX rider…

I’m just a small town guy who caught a lucky break. Now I’m living the dream, on the brink of high-flying super-stardom. But something’s missing.

That something is Taylor.

She’s my best friend. The one who makes me want to push harder and higher. The one I fall back on when shit gets tough. The one I’d give it all up for.

I’d do anything to protect her. To make her dreams come true too.

But a single night changes everything.

And now the one she needs protection from…is me.

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 

Fly is the first book in the Velocity series and it ends on a little cliffhanger. This book is a really quick read and fast-paced. I look forward to the next book.

I have to be honest here. What first caught my attention is not the blurb, but the cover. In my opinion, it’s perfect to make you want to pick up the book and it reflects the story itself nicely. I’m glad I got to read this book because while I expected a bit more, I still had a good time reading Colton and Taylor’s story.

Do you want to know something completely dumb? Either way, I’m obviously going to tell you so…

Every time I would read the name Colton I kept thinking about K. Bromberg’s Colton from the Driven series. Both characters are nothing alike and the stories themselves have nothing in common, but somehow the name Colton is already taken in my mind. I told you, it’s dumb.

Anyway, at first it threw me a bit, but it has nothing to do with the author’s story or this Colton. I rather like Colton Wade even when I wanted to knock some sense into him and/or when I was mad at him. He has flaws and I like that in books. But it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have liked to see, experience and feel more growth. To me, Colton, while a great character and a nice male interest in this romance, is still not up to par for me to be completely on board with him.

Taylor, Colton’s best friend and romance interest, is a good female character. She’s not a doormat even though she does a lot for Colton and doesn’t get enough credit for it. I like how the author manages in showing us a female character that doesn’t always swoon when the male character is close by. She’s her own person and it’s nice.

But…

I would have loved to be more invested emotionally speaking.

The romance is there, don’t get me wrong, but I think the emotions aren’t really showing. I like the relationship between Taylor and Colton, but strangely enough, I felt a lot more their friendship than their budding romance. And when the angst showed up, I barely felt it.

I had a good time with this book,  but considering the potential in this novel and the flowing writing, I expected feeling more and rooting all the way for Colton and Taylor. But, I think the next book has as much if not more potential than this first book. And I look forward to seeing more of some of the secondary characters. 🙂

I like the world in which Colton is living in and I’d love to see more of it. Honestly, I had a really nice time with this book and I think so far it’s rather nicely executed even though I do think the author could have gone deeper emotionally speaking to better keep me riveted.

I’m now waiting for the next book coming out in a few months. I don’t expect to be that surprised by the plot itself, but I hope Taylor and Colton have something to show us that will make me swoon once and for all.

RATING:

3.5 to 4

Review: Her Fantasy Husband, by Nina Croft

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Genre/Category: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Brazen)

Pages: 157

Release Date: April 4th 2016

Blurb:

Security Company CEO Josh Slater put his life on hold when he said “I do” to protect a stranger. While his marriage was never meant to be real—he hasn’t even seen his wife in five years—Josh can’t shake the idea that he’d be cheating if he moves on. Now he’s a man with a mission: chase down his “wife,” get an annulment, and finally indulge in a little no-strings sex.

Heiress Alexia Slater entered into a marriage of convenience straight out of high school to gain control of her inheritance before her not-so loving family squandered the whole thing. She doesn’t want the marriage to be real—she’s fought hard for her independence—but that hasn’t stopped her from spending the last five years fantasizing about her gorgeous husband.

Then he shows up.

Josh wants an annulment. Lexi needs to stay married. When the chemistry explodes between them, there’s no stopping the battle of wills only one of them can win…

She’s had the fantasy, now it’s time for the real thing…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this novel via Netgalley for an honest review.

Her Fantasy Husband is the second novel in the Things to do Before You Die series, but it can be read as a standalone.

When I saw this book a couple of weeks ago, I knew it’d be something for me and my current mood. I wanted something that while not necessarily with lots of angst was something with somewhat of a depth. And it’s exactly what this book is like.

That being said, don’t think it’s extremely deep or that the whole plot is going to blow your mind completely. This book is perfect for when you need something to chill a little, nothing more and nothing less.

The writing of Nina Croft is flowing rather well, so well in fact that I didn’t see the time flying or the chapters passing. The voice is nice, fun at times without being over the top. It’s nothing new in the genre, but it’s always nice to go back to the roots of the genre once in a while. And here it works without much of a glitch.

The plot itself is, as I said before, nothing to talk about. It’s something we can easily find in the genre, but when done right it’s almost always a win and here the author doesn’t miss the mark in my opinion.

I truly like how Josh and Lexi are getting closer progressively. It’s not done all at once and yet it’s not really a slow burn either. It feels quite natural while reading even though I wanted to slap Josh a few times (which isn’t a bad thing because it means that I truly was into the whole story). But there is still something I find a bit disappointing. I think the story goes awfully fast in the last 25-30% of the story. Things are resolved easily AND quickly. I don’t want to put any spoiler here so it’s rather difficult to explain, but let’s say that things are a little too neat and tidy too quickly considering the build up from the very start. It’s a bit too much for me, but it’s also because I wanted that little bit more that’d make this story a complete hit for me.

The secondary characters while not very present add a little something to better characterize Lexi. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more, mostly when it comes to Josh and the people in his life, but still it draws a pretty good picture of Lexi and Josh’s little world.

Is this book worth the read? Yes, without a doubt.

Would I read the other books in the series? Yes.

This is a really nice read in the genre and I’m left with a smile so it’s always a good thing. 🙂

RATING:

4