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

23491286

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

Advertisements

Review: Her Fantasy Husband, by Nina Croft

29082356

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

Review: For Seven Nights Only, by Sarah Ballance

27863991

Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Lovestruck)

Pages: 186

Blurb:

Kelsie Reed is over bad luck and bad men. Newly dumped, she’s now the pathetically single maid of honor in her sister’s wedding—and her ex is the best man. Her bad luck continues when a plumbing meltdown in her apartment sends her sexy neighbor running to her rescue. He’s got “serial dater” written all over him, which is unfortunate because the man is hot.

Sawyer Chase loves women, but settling down? He’ll leave that to his brothers. But when Kelsie confesses she’s a dating disaster and is about to become the laughing stock of her family wedding, Sawyer takes control. He’s got one week to teach her how to land the man of her dreams, and he’ll do it on her terms: no touching, no kissing, and definitely nothing more.

But some rules need to be broken, especially when, for once, there’s something on the line worth fighting for…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

For Seven Nights Only is the second book in the Chase Brothers series. This second installment can be read as a standalone. Each book features a different couple—and a different brother.

I’m not familiar with this series and this author and I was eager to read this book after reading the blurb. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm lasted so long. It’s an enjoyable read, but not something I’d necessarily recommend or remember in a few weeks. As soon as I was a few pages in I knew it wasn’t for me, that the writing wasn’t lively enough for this type of book in my opinion.

Is it badly written? No, it’s not badly written. It’s just that, considering the rather light plot I think it’s important that the writing style must be lively, must be a breath of fresh air and mostly shows the characters in such a light that they appear somewhat alive.

The thing is, I don’t have a real appreciation for Sarah Ballance’s characters in this book. Granted, Swayer and Kelsie are likable, but they seem too superficial to me. I enjoy it when an author dugs very deeply in their characters’ psyche and here I’m left hanging. Somehow, I think they lack substance.

The same goes for the plot. The plot is basically circling to the same thing, with the same kind of dialogue without much of anything solved until suddenly something clicks for the characters and it’s changed. They’re changed. I’m sorry, but maybe it’s because I wasn’t really into it, but somehow it left me with an emotion of no real interest. Of disbelief too.

And I’m still wondering what is the interest of a few passing characters barely introduced in this book. They barely register, are of almost no use and we forget their name as soon as they’re mentioned. At least, this is how I feel. :/

Somehow, this story is “so light” in all things that it misses the mark of truly entertaining me as it should. It could have packed a punch if only the plot was tighter and if the events were more nuanced instead of them feeling like a repeat.

Then again, it’s an easy read, quick and with its sexy scenes so it can be nice to read in between books or when you need something to chill after a long day.

I’m sorry to say I’m not the right reader for this book and I will not read the other books in the series.

RATING:

2.5 to 3

Review: Aimee And The Heartthrob, by Ophelia London

25206843

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

Review: How We Lived, by Erin Butler

17791107

 

Part of a series? No.

Cliffhanger? No.

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Pages: 200

Category: New Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Drama

Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Kelsey Larkin’s parents uninvited her to her brother’s funeral. She just wanted to wear jeans and a T-shirt—the clothes Kyle would’ve wanted her in—not wrap herself up in death. So she watched the funeral from afar, like an outsider. Which is just how she feels.

Chase came, though, just like she knew he would. Until a few months ago, the three of them had been best friends, and then Chase made a mistake that shattered both families. But when Kelsey looks at him, she doesn’t see her brother’s killer. She sees the boy next door who’s always taken care of her. She sees home.

When Chase tells her his feelings run deeper than friendship, she can’t help but get lost in him. In Chase, she finally has the closure she’s been unable to find anywhere else. But the boy she’s falling in love with is still hiding secrets about the night Kyle died. Secrets that could destroy everything they have…again.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17791107-how-we-lived

 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

I love reading books that will make you tear up, that will gut you and move you to the point that you have a hard time thinking that it’s just a book, that it’s not real and that these characters aren’t your friends. When I find a book like that, I’m in book Heaven.

How We Lived got to me, mostly the first half. The grief all characters were feeling seemed real and raw, exactly how it does in real live. The author described it really well and it made me like the characters right away.

Chase’s pain is palpable, undeniable and yet he’s strong enough to fight for Kelsey in the most beautiful way, never invading her, never pushing her but he was always there despite the mess he created.

I truly enjoyed their relationship even though I’d have preferred a slower build up and some scenes and dialogues more polished to better FEEL what they were feeling. Sometimes, the dialogues seemed rushed or a little messy and it pushed me out of the story. Since this book is quite short, it’s an issue I need to address.

But still, I truly enjoyed reading it because nothing is overdone and the hope brought back to the characters’ life is truly humbling. In fact, after I finished reading this book I was madly in love with the title, something that never happens with me.

The only issue I have is the length of the book that makes it impossible for the author to develop fully all the secondary characters and the way things evolve between Chase and Kelsey, otherwise in the genre I recommend this book. I’m one to believe that when you’re tackling a heavy subject, you need to take the time to truly show everything, take the time to show how the relationships, no matter which sort, are affected, how the character(s) are doing to get better. In this book, I think it could have been even more explored to fully knock us to our knees and then make this book unforgettable.

Who read this one? What do you think about Chase? Do you think that some parts were too rushed and not showed?

 

RATING:

3.5 to 4

Last Chance Proposal, by Barbara DeLeo

20140102-180647.jpg

Category: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Warning: None
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Pages: 169

Blurb:

A wife he needs. The woman he desires.

Cy Hathaway needs a wife, fast, to win custody of his son, Jonty. He returns home to discover the childhood sweetheart he once left behind has become a vibrant, beautiful woman. Even though wanting to sweep her off her feet wasn’t part of the plan…

For Ellie, Cy’s sudden reappearance awakens a flood of memories—and resentments for the way he’d abandoned her all those years ago. But she has a life now, a career. She can’t simply drop everything and get hitched, even if the sight of him still makes her heart race.

But after Ellie meets his little boy, she can’t refuse. Certain she has a grip on her old feelings for Cy, she agrees to marry her first love until he gains custody. But when did helping out a friend become something with the capacity to hijack her heart?

About the Author:

Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.

After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins.

Barbara still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.

Visit Barbara on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/BarbaraDeLeoA…

Author’s website

20140102-180843.jpg

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

I’ve been following this publisher since they launched their first title and it blew my mind. When I saw a title available on Netgalley and read this interesting blurb, I requested it right away and was delighted when I received the go to read and review it.

While it’s obvious why Entangled decided to publish this novel, it didn’t work its magic on me. I missed this little something that makes a book hard to put down, the kind you’re craving even ten minutes of free time to read another chapter.

The author is talented to recreate the feeling you have in small towns and to give us a great background for the main characters, but also for the secondary ones which makes it easy to settle into this story. But I didn’t connect enough with Cy and Ellie.

These are great characters and the little boys were a wonderful addition, but I missed the chemistry between Cy and Ellie. I couldn’t truly see it, feel it as I should have. And yet, the author described it well, made it sweet and even frustrating, but I didn’t feel involved in their story. Maybe I needed more of an emphasis on the characters issues to be truly invested into them. I don’t really know why. I enjoyed this novel, but could put it down without a problem, even welcomed it once.

There is a lot of on and off going on between Cy and Ellie, but usually I love that part in Romance novels so I don’t think it’s really my issue. In fact, I think it’s because it wasn’t explained enough why the characters acted the way they did at times and I couldn’t always understand or empathise with them which is a big problem for me.

But I love the premise, the secondary characters – special shout out for the two boys – and the settings. I enjoyed this little trip to New Zealand.

In the end, I see the talent of the author, but I think this story could have been even better if the feelings were more heightened in some scenes. The first chapter caught my attention, but it wasn’t held for the whole novel to this extent.

Maybe I’m the only one, so let le know What you think about it if you’re reading it or once you finished it.

What do you think about Cyn? And about the couple Cyn/Ellie?

Rating:

20140102-181558.jpg to 3.5