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

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Review: Getting Off, by Abby Green

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Part of a series? No.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin

Pages: 76

Blurb:

Caitlin Ryan has never had an orgasm and she wants one! So does she

(1) Date lots of Mr. Nice-but-Wrongs and keep faking and hoping?

(2) Do a little DIY with a battery-operated friend and a lot of imagination?

(3) Go to NYC and have a wild night with a totally hot stranger?

When (1) and (2) don’t work, Caitlin goes for (3). But even with motorbike-riding sex god Liam, old habits die hard, and yet again she has to fake it. Only he notices and is not happy! Could things get any worse? Well, yes, when Liam becomes her new boss. But when Caitlin reveals that she’s never climaxed, Liam rises to the challenge, offering a weekend of hot sex with the only goal her pleasure. Will letting him take control work? Caitlin can’t resist finding out….

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is a standalone novella, my first read by this author and a fun read when you don’t have a lot of time and need something light and openly sexy. In fact, I’m surprised I enjoyed reading this book so much. 🙂

Sometimes you don’t expect much when reading a book. You pick it up because you’re in the mood for something light that is going to fulfill your need for some mindless reading and make you smile a time or two and that’s all. But then, something unexpected happen…

You actually truly have fun reading said book.

Here, it’s exactly what happened to me. I wasn’t in the mood to read something long and I knew I needed to just find a story to chill. I thought I’d get easily bored and annoyed with the female character because in this type of books I usually end up rolling my eyes every few pages when the voice is over the top girly and chick-lit like, but here it’s not like that.

The author has a fresh voice, something that makes the female main character likable without doing much. Caitlin is the kind of character you can easily picture yourself in her shoes and it’s all the more easy to delve in the story and just enjoy an hour or two of reading.

The male character’s POV is maybe less thrilling to read, but it’s always nice to get an inkling of what’s going through his mind. Also, it truly helps his characterization so we don’t mistake him for an insensitive ass. 😉

The story itself is fast paced, the plot is rather light and sexy, but hey! It’s obvious from the blurb that it’s not supposed to be anything else. Obviously it’s a very quick read because it’s a very thin novella, but considering the theme and the way this story is built I don’t think it needs to be longer.

The thing that bothers me a little bit is the short time jump (two weeks) at one point in the book. I would have enjoyed to read a scene or two during that time period and if you read this novella you’ll know what I mean.

That being said and even though it’s a nice story, it’s not one I’ll remember in a few weeks and it’s not revolutionary or original. Of course, the ending is fluffy and easy. Actually, everything is rather easy and there’s no real conflict, but still, it’s a fun read.

(I checked the price for this story on amazon and considering the length of this book I think it’s too expensive).

RATING:

3.5 to 4

Review: Forbidden, by Lauren Smith

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Yes.

Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever Yours

Pages: 167

Blurb:

Kat has always been a good girl. She studies hard and never stays out too late. But when sitting in a pub on her birthday, she realizes she’s a nineteen-year-old virgin who’s never really lived. And she wants tonight to be the night that changes.

Then she sees him walk in. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and straight out of her deepest fantasies. His voice makes her knees feel weak, and when he smiles, she imagines him doing wicked things to her in bed. From the look in his eyes, she knows he’s imagining it too. So when he asks if he can walk her home, she hears herself whisper yes . . .

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

Forbidden is the first installment in Her British Stepbrother series/serial. This is a short first installment, mainly focusing on the introduction of the main characters Kat and Tristan. This story is written in third person with heavy inner musings thrown in.

So… Am I in love with this story? Not necessarily, but I did spend a good enough time reading this book. It’s a quick read, a bit too sweet at times and also a bit childish regarding Kat’s reactions, but overall it’s nice.

The author spends a lot, and I mean a lot, of time sharing Kat’s (and a bit of Tristan’s) inner musings. Usually I enjoy it when it helps me understand the characters and see their evolution, but here I’m afraid it turns out to be a bit too repetitive to keep me riveted from start to finish. I would have probably enjoyed it more if there were more dialogues. But you know what, it’s only my opinion. We all often feel differently when it comes to this.

The plot itself is easy. Is it too easy? Well, I think the purpose of this installment is mainly to introduce the characters, the conflicts coming in the second installment and how Kat and Tristan get closer, so much so that we have to root for them later on when actual conflicts happen. Doing a fairly in depth intro is fine, but I would have loved to see more real conflicts in this installment instead of giving off the very obvious hints as to what to expect in the next installment. Here, I think that the few things happening (mainly Kat acting a bit too ‘childish’) are mostly to bring some type of issues to the story so Kat and Tristan don’t get close too quickly. But these issues are truly non-issues and I can’t help but think that the plot in this first installment misses a little something to tie me over and make me want to crave the second book in the series.

Kat and Tristan are quite likable even if, as I already said, Kat is a bit too childish for me. She’s not a child and she does have depth beyond her years, but on the other hand she tends to act as you’d expect a teenager sometimes. I understand where she comes from, so it’s funny but she didn’t annoy me as I expected she would. It just bugged me a bit. Tristan is your usual play boy, but with a softer side that we see quite fast. There are a few things I’d like to see regarding his family dynamic and I’m sad that it’s not more used here in this first installment.

Overall, it’s a rather nice introduction to this story. The tropes used here are fairly common and that’s probably why I’m not necessarily overeager to read the next book, but I will read it. I think the author can surprise.

RATING:

3 to 3.5

Review: A Fighting Chance, by Shannon Stacey

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Part of a series? No.

Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance.

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages: ? (This is a novella.)

Blurb:

All work and no play makes Adeline Kendrick a dull girl, so when she heads to a casino resort for a friend’s bachelorette weekend, she’s ready to have a good time. Until she runs into Brendan Quinn, professional fighter and the one who got away—the one her family drove away—and things take a turn for the interesting.

Running into his ex won’t shake Brendan. Even if it brings up the old pain of loving her when she was only slumming. Even if she looks really good. In fact, what better way to get over the past than to take advantage of the still-sizzling chemistry running hot between them? He’s there to win an MMA fight, but he won’t say no to a little physical relief of a different kind.

But when the weekend is over, Adeline isn’t ready to give up her second chance that easily. Brendan is still the one for her, no matter what her family thinks. Now, if only she can convince him of that…

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is my first book written by this author and while I can imagine that other books could appeal to me, this novella is a disappointment, as much for the writing as for the characters and plot.

I don’t want to be harsh or anything, but while this isn’t a bad novella I don’t think it’s a good one either. Honestly, there’s no compelling voice here, no thrilling plot and the writing itself is rather dull/bland with some words used too much for my liking on the same page. Considering I wasn’t overly invested in the story I was able to focus a lot more on the writing itself. That being said, I have an ARC so I’m sure editors worked their magic with the author before A Fighting Chance was published.

The story itself is very, very straightforward. I can’t say it’s a surprise because this is a novella, not a novel so it’s without saying that the plot has to be less thick. But still, I think it would have been good to at least get ONE conflict or anything to threaten Brendan and Adeline’s relationship. Instead, I honestly didn’t feel once that it’s a second chance romance. It’s way too easy and the chemistry isn’t all there in my opinion. Speaking of… The sex scenes are like reading a grocery list to me. It’s surprising. It doesn’t enhance the chemistry between the main characters, doesn’t spice things up either. I don’t know, I guess I could have gone without… :/

The characters, Adeline and Brendan, are cute. They don’t have a real trait that stands out. They’re nice, but I think the author didn’t develop them. And now that I’m finished with this novella, I still don’t understand Brendan’s decision six years ago or how come Adeline could forgive and forget so easily when she’s supposed to still be hurt over it. Once again, I think it’s too easy.

I’m not saying I always need angst in books, but I do need some conflict to help the plot along, to develop the characters and actually feel something while reading. Here, it’s a nice story, but I don’t see the point. I’m really sorry.

RATING:

2.5 to 3

Review: Hook, by Marie York

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Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? Yes.

Category/Genre: Adult, Erotic Romance, Contemporary

Self-Published

Pages: ?

Blurb:

Knox “Knockout” McArthur should be on top of the world. He’s the top fighter in the country, he lives in perfect Las Vegas, and he never has a problem getting women. But, no amount of partying and women can heal the scars from his past. He could never forget Zoey.

Mila Greene is just trying to survive. Granted, her way of survival is not the most conventional, but she does what she has to to support her little sister, MacKenzie. Stripping has become a way of life for her, and she chooses to embrace it. Her worst fear, however, is that Kenz will follow in her dirty footsteps.

When these two’s worlds collide, can they heal each others’ wounds? Or are they just bound to be another scar of the past?

ADD IT TO GOODREADS


 

REVIEW:

I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This is the first installment in the Las Vegas serial/series. This first installment is rather short (think novella length) and sets characters and events for the next few installments.

When I started this book, what threw me at first was how quickly we’re launched into the story without a real handle on who Mila and Knox are. And what I’m still unsure of is the chemistry between these main characters.

Considering this book is a dual POV story, I expected to feel more of what they feel toward each other and while it’s spelled out that they have no issues feeling lust toward each other, I don’t feel it. You know, sometimes in books I actually feel something between the characters, as if the chemistry is palpable. Here, I’m one of the few early readers who doesn’t feel this way. It’s apparently me, though.

And yet, I was quite drawn to the story and the characters, more as individuals as who they are together. If that makes any sense to you. Mila is, with no doubt, a strong character and I feel really bad for her. Actually, the author deals with Mila’s little sister wonderfully, so much so that I actually feel what Mila feels when her sister is disrespectful. And yet, I’m sad that the author doesn’t spend more time on what happens to Mila with one of her clients. I’m not going to say anything more as to not give away something, but I think it’s too easily overlooked. Maybe it’ll be talked about more in another installment.

Knox is interesting and yet we still don’t know much about him. There’s a mystery kept regarding his past and even though the author gives away a few hints to keep us hooked, I’d like to know more and in details. I feel like I don’t know who Knox is yet, even though it’s obvious he’s not a bad guy at all. He’s strangely sweet actually.

Knox and Mila works together, but I expect to feel more for them when they’re together. I’m not just saying that for the sex scenes because I honestly don’t care much here. No, actually I want to see more of them and feel more when it comes to their chemistry. I don’t expect a whirlwind romance because it’d clash completely with the somewhat gritty atmosphere of this story, but I want something that reaches out to me in a way.

The plot itself is… I don’t really know how to describe it. I think the author has a lot more up her sleeve for the next installments. The ending sure lets us think that things are going to turn out more complicated for Mila soon and I wonder what impacts it’ll have on Knox’s career. Speaking of, I’d love to see more of Knox as a fighter.

Overall, it’s a great first installment. I’m not as into it as I expected, but the writing flows well, the characters have something to them that makes me want to know more and see more so I will be reading the next installment. And I hope the plot gets a lot more twisted than it is so far.

RATING:

3.5 to 4

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:

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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