The Weekend: London Affair Part 1 – Rhyannon Byrd 2 stars

October 17, 2017 Uncategorized 1

The Weekend: London Affair Part 1 – Rhyannon Byrd  2 starsThe Weekend: London Affair by Rhyannon Byrd
Published by Headline on October 17th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 144
Goodreads

The Weekend begins Rhyannon Byrd's sexy new serial, London Affair, where a dangerous web of passion, deception and intrigue unfolds into an explosive love story... Perfect for fans of Sylvia Day, J. Kenner and Jodi Ellen Malpas.

American art-history graduate Emmy Reed is in London, hoping to land her dream job by getting an exclusive scoop on a famous reclusive artist. When a dangerous encounter throws her into the path of millionaire playboy Jase Beckett, Emmy is grateful for his quick-thinking - but equally determined to turn down his proposal to be his date for a family wedding. That is, until she discovers that her sought-after artist is his grandfather.

Tired of the game-playing women in his circle, Jase finds Emmy refreshingly fascinating. And as the weekend progresses and they work together to survive his insufferable family's devious scheming, Emmy and Jase find themselves drowning in an intoxicating sexual chemistry that leaves them both desperate for more...and reeling emotionally.

When their stunning weekend is over, neither is ready to let go. But dark secrets surround the Beckett family - can their fledgling relationship survive the damaging revelations to come?

Emmy and Jase's explosive London Affair continues in The Chase and The Confession.'From London to the English countryside, Jase and Emmy burn up the sheets in this first installment of Rhyannon Byrd's London Affair' P.T. Michelle, New York Times bestselling author'London Affair is signature Rhyannon Byrd - exciting, sexy, and romantic. Byrd brilliantly crafts a steamy love story with a couple that dazzles, and I couldn't put it down!' Virna DePaul, New York Times bestselling author

Looking for more sexy reads from Rhyannon Byrd? Check out the steamy Dangerous Tides titles: Take Me Under, Make Me Yours and Keep Me Closer.

Warning, spoilers ahead.  If you haven’t read The Weekend yet and don’t want major plot points spoiled please come back later.

 

While sitting down to write this book, I had to ask myself what makes a the plot of a book realistic.  It was interesting to think about because it wasn’t as black and white as I thought it would be.  I’m a big fan of both the PNR and UF genres, so I can’t determine whether or not a book is realistic based on whether or not the events portrayed in the book would ever take place in the real world.  So what then makes the story we are presented with relatable to us the reader.  What I decided was that as the reader I needed to be able to understand the decisions that the main characters were making.  That evaluation has nothing to do with whether or not I would make the same decisions, rather that given who the character is and the situations they have found themselves in, do I believe that they would make the decisions that they are making in the book.

Many books have a moment where the character makes a decision that seems out of character or unlikely in my opinion, but it rarely affects my enjoyment of the overall story.  It’s only when it is decision after decision that seems unlikely or downright dangerous that it affects my ability to suspend belief and enjoy the story.  The Weekend ended up falling into the latter category for me.  I just couldn’t see a woman making the decisions that Emmy did throughout this first installment.

My struggle with this story started from the very beginning.  When Emmy wakes up in a stranger’s home after sustaining a concussion sustained during a mugging, you would imagine that she would be suspicious and likely in a hurry to leave.   I mean when you don’t know where you are, or how you got there most women would be in a hurry to get the heck out of dodge, so when Jase offers Emmy a deal for an interview with his grandfather if she’ll be his date at a weekend family wedding I raised an eyebrow at her decision making.  Little did I know that this would be one of the most believable scenes in the entire story.

Once at the wedding, we find out that Jase’s family is a hot mess of epic proportions.  His dad is an alcoholic who is still actively drinking, his step mother could give the Wick Witch of the West a run for his money and his cousins are egotistical abusive assholes.  Does Emmy ever seem to second guess the situation she has found herself in… nope.  Below are just a few examples of the types of situations I am talking about.

  • Jase’s step mother is shown screaming at him on multiple occasions and quite frankly seems to have a creepy attraction to Jase although that’s never shown on page.  Emmy rescues Jase twice from these events, yet never calls him out for bringing her to this weekend without giving her a clear picture of what the situation is.
  • Jase’s step mother and cousin conspire to split Jase and Emmy up by making Jase believe she is cheating on him.  That in itself isn’t an uncommon premise, but in this case his cousin corners her, physical restrains her and forcibly kisses her.  Not only does our heroine not decide that she may be in over her head with this family, but she is immediately intimate with Jase for the first time after this happens.
  • Jase’s other cousin is cheating on his fiance throughout the entire book, and at one point a teenager that he has gotten pregnant shows up and he physically threatens her.

I just couldn’t wrap my head around a man that would knowingly continue to subject herself to all of this when she isn’t even in a relationship with man.  I personally would be hard pressed to stay in that situation with a man I loved, let alone a man I had a temporary arrangement with.

The Weekend ends on a bit of a cliffhanger and I will admit even with all of the issues in the story, I am a tad curious about what happens with both characters in the next installment.  It’s my hope that the over the top insanity gets dialed back a few notches.

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Deacon – Kit Rocha – 4 stars

October 6, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

Deacon – Kit Rocha – 4 starsDeacon by Kit Rocha
on August 29, 2017
Pages: 268
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars
four-half-flames

Book #2 in explosive new series from bestselling author Kit Rocha...

Ana has trained most of her life to achieve one goal: to prove that anything men can do, she can do better. Now she’s Sector One’s first female Rider, and being the best is the only way to ensure she won’t be its last. Distractions aren’t allowed--especially not her painful attraction to the reserved but demanding leader whose stern, grumpy demeanor has already gotten into her head.

Deacon has spent the last twenty years trying to atone for his past, but the blood he spilled as a mercenary and assassin will never wash away entirely. If his riders knew the extent of his sins, he’d lose their trust and respect. It’s easier to keep them all at arm’s length, especially Ana. But his newest recruit’s stubbornness is starting to crack his defenses.

And their sparring matches are driving him wild.

The passion sparking between them can’t be denied, but neither can the vengeance barreling toward Deacon. When his old squad comes back to punish him for his betrayal, Ana and the Riders are squarely in the line of fire. The only way to save his people may be to make the ultimate sacrifice.

But first, he has to convince Ana not to follow him straight into hell.

This is another instance where I suck…. I blame the stress of school and then waiting to know what happened with my dad’s house in Rockport after Harvey.  Thankfully Dad is okay and his house came out of the storm with no real damage… He’s lost his garage and shed but his house is good.

This being said… Deacon was who I expected him to be and his match in Ana is completely appropriate.  Deacon has a history that isn’t pretty but at his core he is a very good man that does things that need to be done even thought they may not be pleasant.  He struggles with this as he doesn’t feel like he deserves the level of respect those around him offer and does not want to veer in to the idea of being worshiped.  The kicker to this is … people that have his mindset are ones that deserve the trust and faith while those who reach for it often do not deserve any such devotion.  I appreciated that he wanted nothing more than to keep Ana out of his mess but at the same time understanding that she would jump in because, like him, she really wants to do what needs to be done to keep others safe.  He was strong and I loved how he showed his softer side in moments with Ana.

Ana was an amazing discovery.  She’s a heroine that can kick ass but also has a very clever brain that enables her to interpret data coming in from sources and from her own observations in a way that is uniquely her.  She is the first one to figure out there is more to Deacon’s story than meets the eye but she also pushes him to step back in to his role as the boss faster than he might’ve had she not been a safe haven for him.  She has so much to live up to but I think the fact that she recognizes this and doesn’t take her role lightly or what she needs to do to make sure to not make a mess for any of those looking up to her for becoming a Rider.  She also struggles with what she feels for Deacon but they both bring out the best in one another along with some sweetness that is needed in the world they inhabit.

This was an interesting story with some appearances from the other Sectors which made my O’Kane loving heart happy.  Kit Rocha never fails to entertain me even in moments where life seems to be running amok.

four-stars

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The Real Thing – Melissa Foster DNF

October 6, 2017 Boookluvr Reads, DNF, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

The Real Thing – Melissa Foster DNFThe Real Thing by Melissa Foster
Published by Amazon Publishing on September 5th 2017
Pages: 286
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads

Bakery owner Willow Dalton's friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane's always had a reputation as a player. He's arrogant, and he's definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough for her to go along with a fake engagement a decade later--even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America's hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An "engagement" to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move...provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow's little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement and the real thing--including them.

Sometimes you just know that a book isn’t going to be for you once you start reading it.  While I used to force myself to finish a book once I started it, this year I have stopped that practice.  With the state of the world today, I think all of us need to allow ourselves to find enjoyment where we can.   No one book is for everyone, so if it’s not for me that’s ok.

I love the fake girlfriend, fiance, wife trope in romance.  Watching a couple who is faking a relationship fall for each other gradually in the midst of their efforts to con someone else rarely fails to delight me.  At least one of the characters is so sure that relationships aren’t for them that it’s entertaining to watch their life be turned upside down when they figure out they fell for someone when they weren’t paying attention.

As excited as I was for a new fake relationship story, I knew very early on that The Real Thing wasn’t going to be for me.  I found Zane’s actions to get Willow to help him improve his image, regardless of whether she wanted to or not, to be extremely selfish and aggressive.  Why wouldn’t he call her and ask for her help as opposed to tricking her into believing she had a catering job for her bakery and ambushing her?   The fact he went so far as to have a moment between them captured by a photographer before even giving her a chance to agree made me want to punch him in the face. And telling someone they owe you for you agreeing to take their virginity years ago just made him a douche in my book.  By the beginning of chapter 4 I knew that I wasn’t going to connect with this storyline because as far as I was concerned, Zane needed to fall off the face of the earth.

On top of Zane being a jerk, I struggled with some of Willow’s dialog when it came to other women.  I get that Zane is supposed to be a movie star player, but referring to what would happen when he was in town as a “Zane Hotter-Than-Hell Walker slutfest” was kind of gross.  It implies the women are the problem when Willow’s real issue was with Zane’s behavior.

I am sure that both characters evolve throughout the book and we get to see more than the surface level interactions that I experienced to understand them better and that there will be plenty of readers who love this book.  It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

 

 

 

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Defending Their Mate: Part 1 – Moira Rogers – 3.5 Stars

October 5, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Sent, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Defending Their Mate: Part 1 – Moira Rogers – 3.5 StarsDefending Their Mate on September 18, 2017
Pages: 72
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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three-half-stars
four-flames

It's been three months since her new pack saved Grace from captivity. They're everything she never knew to expect as a werewolf--loyal, devoted, and fiercely protective. But her peace of mind is threatened by the arrival of her mating fever--and the crushing desire it brings.

The last time she went into heat, her wolf would accept none of her captors, and the thwarted need almost drove her mad. Now, she finds herself drawn to two very different wolves. Connor's easy, affectionate nature makes her feel worshiped, sheltered. And Mac's inner darkness calls to her own feral cravings...

Tragedy has left Mac emotionally locked away, unwilling to take a mate. It doesn't matter that Grace sparks lust as well as his instincts. He'll keep her safe, defend her--with his life, if necessary. But he can't risk his heart.

Control over his wolf is all that matters to Connor--until Grace. But claiming the beauty is anything but simple. Falling for her could shatter the bond he shares with Mac, and cost him everything that's kept him sane.

When Grace goes into heat, all bets are off. Because only one thing matters--soothing her fever.

NOTE: Previously published as Defending their Mate Part One & Part Two as Mia Thorne. Though the stories have been reissued, the content is unchanged.

Let’s admit it now…  I suck… I got this early from Moira Rogers but actually completely disconnected while I was out of town and didn’t read this until now…

This being said I appreciated seeing Grace start to come to terms with who she is and what she needs.  I also appreciated that Mac and Connor are both struggling with what they want and need versus what they think the other two are thinking.  Grace is coming in to heat which means she believes she needs to leave before she hurts people.  She’s afraid but the time she spends around Mac grounds her in a way she didn’t know was possible.

This story is a very short start but as with the last book – Protecting Their Mate – the story is meant to develop over multiple installments.  I appreciated the view of the struggles being experienced between each party as they interact but also how they try to figure out who they actually are and what they need/want.  You think you know but the struggles Mac, Grace and Connor are facing could prove too difficult to overcome if they don’t talk to each other.

Grace doesn’t fully trust her instincts and knows she’s strong.  This makes her scared to fully let loose as she doesn’t think that the others can handle her but Mac shows her that not only can he handle her… he can push her to heights that she didn’t think she could reach.  She also is shown that her wolf can have fun by just being able to run with a partner and no restraints.

Connor has a damaged wolf.  He also has an interesting relationship with Mac where he allows himself to be ordered by the older man which provides his wolf with a level of comfort.  The fact that he wants Grace complicates things because he knows Mac wants her as well.  There is a dynamic of extreme trust and devotion between the two men which is hot as hell but isn’t one of them wanting each other sexually.  They just compliment each others needs in a way that they don’t completely understand.

Mac…  now Mac has interested me since the last book… I want to know all his secrets and am looking forward to the rest of this book.  He’s going to be a hard one to let his walls down and trust what he’s feeling with the two of them.  I love his ability to sense what the other two need and how he doesn’t force things to go his way.  He is very in tune with his pack but especially Grace and Connor.  There is a huge sense of honor and duty to him but that is what will cause the pain that we know will be coming in future installments.

While this one wasn’t perfect it is part one but I look forward to reading the next installment so I can learn how these three damaged souls find happiness.

three-half-stars

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Archangel’s Viper – Nalini Singh 5 stars

September 26, 2017 Boookluvr Reads, Read in 2017 2

Archangel’s Viper – Nalini Singh 5 starsArchangel's Viper by Nalini Singh
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on September 26th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, General, Science Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh's breathtakingly passionate Guild Hunter world with the story of a woman who isn't a vampire or an angel...or human...   Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it's not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman--it's the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.   Now, someone has put a bounty on her head...   Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael's private guard, and he's as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly's. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself--because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening...   No one is safe.

You’ll have to pardon my fangirling for a moment, but with some books/authors it simply can’t be helped.  I love Nalini Singh’s PNR books!  It doesn’t matter if I am in the middle of another book, when a new Guild Hunter or Psy-Changeling  book comes out I immediately start reading it.  PNR worlds can be tricky (especially first books) because so much of the story centers on the building or description of the world and I can find myself struggling to feel connected enough to the main characters of the story because I am so focused on the world.   I am always amazed that given how detailed the worlds in both series are, I didn’t feel that frustration or disconnect from the story.  Nalini’s world always seems to provide the detail needed to connect you to her characters rather than take away from the.  She does such an outstanding job bringing details like color, texture, taste and emotion to life in her books that you can almost feel the backdrops she describes.  Every description brings you further into the world of her characters and bonds you to them so that you feel every emotion along with them.  Given that, it’s no wonder both series are a favorite re-read for so many readers.

Archangel’s Viper was such a wonderful installment to the Guild Hunter series.  I have been looking forward to seeing Holly and Viper since Holly was introduced to us as Sorrow.  Their back and forth banter made me hopeful that they would be paired up later in the series once Holly had time to heal, so I was thrilled when this book was announced.

I loved seeing how far Holly came since we last saw her.  Her confidence, determination and attitude were delightful.  The emphasis on her clothing and accessories gave us a glimpse not just into who Holly is today, but who she was prior to being thrust into the world of angels and vampires.  The back and forth between Holly and Viper made me smile because they truly had a dynamic that was simply their own.  When the everyone else was still treating Holly with kid gloves in some ways, Viper never shied away from treating her like his equal.  Whether that meant telling Holly truths she may not want to see, or physically testing her limits, it showed us how much confidence Viper had in Holly’s ability to exist in their world.

My favorite elements of this story (without spoilers) were:

  • Ashwini programming ringtones in Holly’s phone.  I love seeing the playfulness between such powerful beings.
  • All the nicknames Holly and Viper had for each other.  To others these may have seemed like insults, but in the end it was a way for the two of them to establish a subtle intimacy before they even realized what was happening.
  • Holly’s dislike for Viper’s sunglasses.  I love that a feature that made Viper seem so alien was something that never deterred Holly.  She was not only fascinated by his eyes and their behavior, but could read his eyes ina  way that other’s seemed unable to do.  While Viper didn’t believe his eyes reflected emotion in the same way that most eyes do, with Holly that wasn’t the case.
  • The details of Viper’s home that called out to both he and Holly.  Given that otherness of Viper I don’t think I realized how important it would be that whoever he ended up with would be drawn to some of the same comforts.
  • Viper absolutely melted my heart when he cooked for Holly.  Seriously, a vampire that doesn’t eat who goes out of his way to not just prepare food, but meals that were either centered around dishes that he knew Holly liked based on observing her or those that were a bridge to his own past.  Each one was prepared with such care that it was one of the most romantic scenes I have ever read.
  • The flavored blood that Ashwini sent with Venom.  This to me is an example of such a subtle detail making a world of difference to the story.  Listening to Venom describe the flavors and the memories associated with them (especially given his taste for flavored blood) humanized him in a way that I wasn’t prepared for.
  • The glimpses into Holly’s relationship with Dimitri.  Given his painful past, I love that he has become a father figure to Holly and Naasir.
  • Holly and Viper playing in Central Park.  That scene did such a good job showing us how alike Holly and Venom were, and it was the first time we got to see Holly let her abilities surface in a playful way.
  • That Venom gave Holly his true name.  To me it was symbolic of his final wall coming down between them.  It was the moment where I knew that Holly had his heart for eternity no matter what came next.

Fans of the Guild Hunter series will not be disappointed with this latest installment, and I dare say may find Viper their favorite hero in the entire series (sorry Dimitri 🙂 ).  To those that haven’t read any books in the series yet, I have only one thing to say… What Are You Waiting For?!

five-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part Three) – Moira Rogers – 4 stars

August 11, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Sent, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Protecting Their Mate (Part Three) – Moira Rogers – 4 starsProtecting Their Mate (Part Three) on August 7, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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four-stars
four-half-flames

Part Three (of Three)

As the full moon raises tensions--and appetites--Ashley indulges her wildest fantasies...and discovers what it truly means to belong to the pack. But Blake's control is tested as outsiders descend on the pack's territory, and Ashley discovers that following her heart may be the only way to find her mate.

Ashley's heart longs for one man, but her wolf demands that she test herself against the alpha. Can she settle for a life of never knowing, or will she risk everything for Blake?

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

So we have seen Blake and Ashley struggle over the last two books with what knowing what they want and in this book we finally see it pushed to the brink as Blake wants to make sure that Ashley is with the wolf that is strongest and that her own wolf cries out for.  He struggles with his inability to keep her completely safe in the conflict with the other pack but the issue isn’t with his strength but the fact that even with the best laid plans something can go awry.  His actions and choices make him do something that is not truly needed but I understood his actions.

Ashley also is struggling with her own wolf but considering her background the fact that her wolf is being cautious is understandable and I appreciated her own honesty as she even struggles with what the real answer should be regarding who she takes as her mate.  While I didn’t like Blake’s action I did completely appreciate what we got as a result of it…  Lucas, Ashley and Blake…  oh yeah…  YUMMY!!!  The way this is wrapped up did make me happy as it was clear from book one that Ashley did have real feelings for Blake even though what brought them together could’ve explained some of it there was just a connection that was true from that moment forward.

I am happy that there is word about more books with the rest of the pack so I will sit here and try to control my urge to ask for updates as they work on their Kit Rocha titles…  but hey…  Moira Rogers…  More???  Now??? Please???

four-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part Two) – Moira Rogers – 3.5 Stars

July 31, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Protecting Their Mate (Part Two) – Moira Rogers – 3.5 StarsProtecting Their Mate (Part Two) on July 31, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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three-half-stars
four-flames

Part Two (of Three)

As Ashley settles in to her life at the lodge, she meets more of her new pack mates--including wicked, intense Jud. His touch arouses her hunger--and Blake's possessiveness. Lucas, the unyielding alpha, grows concerned with the attachment between Blake and Ashley and sends Blake out on a mission.

While Blake is away, Ashley meets the most elusive member of her new pack--the enigmatic Connor, a hacker who, like her, was raised among humans. For Connor, sex is volatile--dangerous--and being near Ashley draws out the feral edge of the wolf inside him. As Ashley's connection with Blake--and with Lucas--grows deeper, an outside force threatens the peace of the Last River pack.

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

And… it continues…

Lucas sends Blake away in order to provide his second much needed breathing room so everyone really gets to figure out what Ashley needs.  You may not like this as the story continues but his reasoning is sound and it gives others a chance to get to know her better.  Yes, Mac and Connor take over making sure she gets what she needs which is a moment that is enjoyable even as you sense that everyone understands who she is meant for even if her wolf hasn’t fully embraced it yet.

Jud is another interesting character so I am looking forward to when we get more from Moira Rogers in this world as I hope his story is told.  There is a bit more told about how the pack operates and the history but mainly the focus is on Ashley figuring out more about who she is and what she wants.

Lucas really intrigues me as he seems to always hold himself back but I sense that if we get his story there will be a lot of pain buried behind this powerful Alpha.  I also cannot wait to see what happens with Connor and Mac as there is a lot of concern with Connor which I hope proves to be a lot of worry about nothing.

There is also a discovery of another female werewolf so tension starts to rise as the worry surrounding this other “pack” comes in to the picture with plans being made to meet with them.  I think that this new discovery causes ripples that fold in to the next book as Blake is on edge with his own struggle to be certain that Ashley has a choice.  He wants her so much but his need to take care of her causes tension along with her own need to find out what her wolf needs.

Part three wraps this up so stay tuned for next week…

three-half-stars

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Protecting Their Mate (Part One) – Moira Rogers – 3 stars

July 31, 2017 Read in 2017, Self Published, Steph 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Protecting Their Mate (Part One) – Moira Rogers – 3 starsProtecting Their Mate (Part One) on July 24, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars
four-flames

Part One (of Three)

Blake is on a mission from his alpha--to track down a werewolf whose parents dragged her into the human world years ago, one who may be in danger. He expects the lead to go nowhere, given how few wolves live among humans, but he discovers something rare indeed, caged in a basement: a beautiful, curvy woman gripped by the fever, ready to mate.

Ashley Todd has never fit in. She's always been too much--too big, too demanding, too aware of the wolf hiding beneath her skin. She's been locked away for months--been alone for a lifetime--and in walks Blake to save her from her prison. Her rescuer is hard, intense--a dominant wolf whose bossy attitude makes her growl...and yearn to submit.

Soothing Ashley's mating fever is Blake's responsibility--and his pleasure. Their passion is explosive, undeniable. But what started out as a job for Blake quickly becomes something more, and the toughest part of his mission looms: taking Ashley back to his pack so she can choose her permanent mate from amongst his brethren.

Ashley is drawn to dominant Blake, but meeting the rest of the pack reignites her desire. She is overwhelmed by her new life and all it entails, but embracing her inner wolf means embracing the truth: if she doesn't explore her attraction to the other members of the pack, she'll never find her forever mate .

Protecting Their Mate was originally published as an eight part serial under the penname Mia Thorne. It has been repackaged, but the story remains the same.

Imagine living a life where your fundamental nature was considered foul and needed to be suppressed.  This is reality for Ashley who has been locked in the basement of her family home by her father.  He is what she is which is a werewolf but has gone insane so doesn’t feel that his very nature should be considered acceptable and living as a human is the goal.

Ashley has finally hit her limit and is trying to escape while in heat when she hears someone trying to get to her and smells the scent of death.  She is relieved to be free but at the same time conflicted by the fact she’s always been told she wasn’t right.  She misses her family but the new life she is going to be building is so right for her and I enjoyed watching her bloom under the attentions of some seriously yummy males.

This first installment introduces us to the main members of the pack but focusing on the potential bond between Blake and Ashley.  Blake wants to make sure that Ashley has a choice in what she wants and needs so she knows she’s free compared to her past.  He’s strong and definitely wants her but makes sure that her needs in the midst of the mating fever are taken care of by the pack.  I loved Blake but also loved her interactions with Mac and the other packmates.

I’d like to say that this is on par with my love for the O’Kane series but this first installment left me a bit shaky as I wanted to get more time of Ashley and Blake getting to know one another before we had her with others.  I know I know… just me being a bit greedy.  LOL

and… on to part 2…

three-stars

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All or Nothing at All – Jennifer Probst – 3 stars

July 25, 2017 Boookluvr Reads, Gallery Books, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

All or Nothing at All – Jennifer Probst – 3 starsAll or Nothing at All by Jennifer Probst
Published by Gallery Books on July 25th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, General
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

HGTV’s Property Brothers meets The Marriage Bargain in this third novel in the Billionaire Builders series, an all-new sexy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

***Warning, this review will contain a pretty major spoiler.  I felt the topic needed to be touched on in the review, so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want spoilers, come back after you’ve had a chance to read the book 🙂 ***

 

For readers of the Billionaire Builders series, I am sure that you, like me, saw some elements of this story line coming a mile away.  It was clear that Tristan and Sydney would be the focus of his book, and given the glimpses that we have had of Sydney’s daughter Becca, that we would be looking at a secret baby romance.   Secret baby story lines can be tough because the author must impress upon the reader that the choice of keeping a child from their father was justifiable at the time, and that given the circumstances the hero would be able to forgive the heroine for her decision enough to finally have their HEA.   This criteria wasn’t completely met for me in All or Nothing at All which I will get into further later in the review.

In the 3rd installment of the Billionaire Builders series,  the book begins by showing us the moment that Tristan left town, and Sydney 7 years ago.  This glimpse helps set the stage for why they have such off the charts chemistry and so many unresolved issues as we move into the present.  These flashbacks continue throughout the book showing the reader scenes from both character’s perspective all the way from childhood through recent events.  While I think these flashbacks help demonstrate the history that the characters have with each other and how integrated Sydney was in their family, I do think they were too frequent and not all necessary to help the reader understand the dynamics between the characters.

The main plot point in this book is that when Tristan and Sydney once again find themselves considering a relationship, everything implodes when Sydney reveals to Tristan that he is in fact Becca’s father.  While I understood how Sydney would feel a momentary sense of panic given Tristan’s desire to leave his home to move to NYC, I didn’t buy in to this being a justifiable reason to keep his child from him for 7 years.  Sydney wasn’t just keeping Becca from Tristan when she made this decision, but also the rest of the Pierce family.  Given how much a part of the family Sydney was and how much she professed to love them all, this was where the story line didn’t fit for me.  She has worked in the Pierce family business all this time, spent time with Cal and Dalton (Tristan’s brothers) and yet never once seemed to second guess her decision.  In the end I felt that Sydney had made an extremely selfish decision because regardless of what would have happened between her and Tristan, she would have had a support system in the rest of the family.

While the secret baby wasn’t as well done as I had hoped, I enjoyed seeing Tristan and Sydney come back together and work out their issues.  The forced wedding angle was a bit over the top for me, but it did serve as a catalyst to keep them in close proximity.  It was also enjoyable to see Cal and Morgan’s wedding in this book.  Picturing that wedding dance sure gave me a chuckle.  I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see Dalton and Raven’s engagement but I realize not everything was going to get tied up in this book.

I am a little sad to know that this series is finished because I did enjoy the brothers.  Seeing how far they have come in their relationships with each other was the most heartwarming part of All or Nothing at All for me.

If you have thoughts on this book or the series in general, I would love to hear them!

 

 

three-stars

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Rocky Mountain Home – Vivian Arend – 5 Stars

July 19, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent, Steph 1

Rocky Mountain Home – Vivian Arend – 5 StarsRocky Mountain Home by Vivian Arend
Pages: 507
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars
four-half-flames

The FINAL NOVEL in the bestselling SIX PACK RANCH series by New York Times Bestselling Author Vivian Arend.
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There’s no distance you can run to escape the past.

Too stubborn to face his sins, Jesse Coleman bolted from the Six Pack Ranch, only to fall straight into the arms of a beautiful stranger. Twelve hours later, the seductive firebrand is nothing but a whiskey-laced memory—but one powerful enough to convince Jesse tracking down his elusive lover is worth the effort.

Darilyn Hayes figured it was her lucky night when the sexiest cowboy in Alberta interrupted her annual drink-until-I-fall-over wake. At least until four weeks later when she discovers she’s pregnant and her one-night-stand is nowhere to be found. Still, as she’s shared with her devoted blog readers, Dare has dealt with life’s not-so-gentle surprises before. She’ll make it on her own.

When an internet picture gone viral leads to their reunion, Jesse’s floored by Dare’s news. She’s very clear she’s not looking for a commitment, but screw that. He’s going to do the right thing by her and his unborn kid. The fact they lit the sheets on fire is a bonus, but with a baby on the way, both their lives are gonna change.

Jesse’s got a ton of family to reconnect with, including his estranged twin. Dare holds family loosely—even though she loves them—because she knows too well how fragile life can be. Between her and Jesse, they’ve got enough baggage to open a store.

But they still have a shot at forever—if they’re willing to fight for it.

This final novel in the series contains the following:
A sexy, dirty, cocky-as-hell prodigal son Coleman with massive bridges to rebuild. A woman able to see to the heart of the matter yet bold enough to speak the truth. A family of extraordinary resolve and endless love. A wedding or two. And babies—oh lordy, the babies…

Ok anyone who knows me knows I have LOVED the Six Pack Ranch Series by Vivian Arend.  I didn’t want it to end but all good things must come to an end and this series ends on the story all of us have been waiting for…

JESSE JESSE JESSE JESSE JESSE

ok ok you get the point…  but damn if I wasn’t waiting with baited breath as we watched the others finding their way while wondering what our favorite asshole was doing.  I loved Jesse…  love him even more now but even Vivian would have to admit he was a weeeeeeeee bit of an asshole.  Yeah I got it …  I honestly got why he reacted the way he did.  I don’t forgive him for it but things aren’t always exactly as they seem so finding out what the final nail on the coffin was for his time in Coleman territory made his behavior so much more heartbreaking.

Jesse meets a woman at a bar who is obviously out for the same thing he is… a good time in the sack while forgetting things that noone else needs to understand.  He’s a bit surprised when he wakes up in the morning and she’s gone but life moves on.  The woman in question, Dare, really did enjoy her time with him but the surprise she’s left with means she’d like to have been able to find him.  She’s strong and as we get to know her we learn why she was there while also seeing that her strength is also a bit of a downfall as it has left her a bit isolated.  She deserves so much but fear holds her back and with her backstory it makes sense.  She posted on her blog a picture of Jesse which leads to him finding her then finding out that their little roll in the hay has a little complication.

I loved seeing Dare not beat around the bush with Jesse but I especially liked that she didn’t immediately take him up on his offer to marry her.  They both deserved better than that and I think that this gave them both the time to finally realize what is important.  Jesse had a lot of growing up to do and while he did it there was some strain on what they were building together.  Both of them were both shaped by actions in and out of their control so seeing how they supported one another by calling each other on misconceptions made me smile.  Her reaction to meeting all the Colemans was also perfect as she got to see who shaped the man Jesse really is behind the asshole exterior.  He’s got such a huge heart but he’s stubborn as a mule which makes them a perfect pair.  I honestly adored watching them battle but never crossing the line in to bullying or hatred.

As the synopsis says… BABIES BABIES BABIES but we would expect no less from the Colemans.  I look forward to the next series and know there will be a lot of fireworks with the first couple.

Oh… and Vivian… if you read this…   we need dragons and bears and cowboys and more more more… hint hint…  😉

five-stars

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