Posts Categorized: Read in 2017

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
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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
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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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The Red – Tiffany Reisz – 4 stars

July 18, 2017 Read in 2017, Sent 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.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
The Red – Tiffany Reisz – 4 starsThe Red by Tiffany Reisz
on July 11, 2017
Pages: 248
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
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four-stars
four-flames

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

I admit to being a huge fan of Tiffany Reisz.  I really enjoy her writing no matter the genre but this story is something hard to define and yet I couldn’t put it down.

The premise is interesting in that Mona is doing everything she can to keep the gallery her mother loved open but even though she does everything she can the gallery is still in dire straits.  She ends up making a deal with a mysterious stranger that unlocks her inner siren and saves the gallery.  The stranger takes us all down a seductive path that delves in to fantasies that are mild in the beginning but then gets stranger and more disturbing but still intriguing as the book progresses.  I found the descriptions of the artwork to be my favorite part as the words seem to leap from the pages with an almost visceral impression on my brain that I felt at times like I could touch the images as if they were here.

This book is not for the faint of heart as the sex described is disturbing to many but the underlying current is one of consent and exploration.  We must remember that this is a work of fiction and even though some of the kink described is beyond my level of comfort others would find this to be exciting and something they wanted to try.  Malcolm is mysterious and as you get to the end of the book you understand why he is such a mystery.  I appreciated the twist at the end because it again proves that Tiffany is great at keeping something hidden from the reader until the pivotal moment where this bit of surprise is needed.

This is another moment when I ask…. when do we get more?  I know this book will not be for everyone and even the bloggers that I know who love Tiffany were of mixed feelings when it came to this one.  I liked it a lot but do not go in to this one without an open mind and a willingness to push the boundaries of what you are willing to read and experience.

four-stars

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The Bridesmaid and the Hurricane – Kelly Maher – 4 stars

July 5, 2017 Read in 2017, 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.

The Bridesmaid and the Hurricane – Kelly Maher – 4 starsThe Bridesmaid and the Hurricane by Kelly Maher
Published by D Ink Editions on July 4th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 234
Source: the Author
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four-stars
three-flames

A one-weekend stand over a year ago, and now they're coworkers...

Being a woman in TV is hard enough, but when the boss is trying to derail Radhika O’Leary’s career from behind the scenes, she has to make sure every aspect of her work—and her life—stands up to scrutiny.

Of course, the double standard is alive and well and Malcolm Jones, the broadcast meteorologist known as “Colm” to his friends and “The Hurricane Hottie” to his fangirls, knows that fame can hurt just as much as it helps. When Colm moves to DC, he’s excited to work with Radhika—her professional reputation is sparkling, and so are the kisses they shared that one weekend over a year ago when he was in town covering a blizzard.

But when Radhika is paired up with Colm for a project, all she sees is a looming storm over her carefully constructed career. Sparks still fly between the two journalists, and if they’re not careful, lightning might strike and alter the course of their lives forever.

So…  I meant to have this posted on release day but… ummmm…  yeah.  I found myself enjoying naps too much so this got delayed by a day.

The book opens with our heroine dreading another day with her horrible boss, Bella.  You will see this character pop-up over and over in the story which serves to make you dread seeing her name as much as Radhika hates to hear it.  Radhika is not looking forward to the day for more than just having to deal with this woman; her one-night *okay okay* two-night stand which was only supposed to be a rebound fling is now going to be working at the same station she works for.  She’s strong but there is something about Colm that calls to her even after not seeing him for a year.  I loved how they ran in to one another and you could sense that the chemistry that fueled the two-day fling is still there.  She’s been burnt so severely before that she has issues with seeing him but I understood them and appreciated that he didn’t let that stop him nor did he judge her for those issues.  She also has some great friends that support her while still kicking her ass at moments when she needs it most.  She also is strong enough to help her friends out and you sense that this is a woman who defends those who mean something to her even if she could get burned or hurt by the fall-out.  I liked her spunk and how when push came to shove the feelings she has for Colm cause her to take the chances she does with him.  She’s smart and independent but still craves the roots that many of us want but never find.

Colm… yeah..  I really liked Colm.  He’s smart and driven but such a sweetheart when it comes to his family.  He also never forgot his incredible two-day fling with Radhika so when he gets a chance he does not squander it.  He also makes sure to do what he can to protect her career as he knows that their involvement could prove tricky but he wants her too badly to not try.  Yes, he protects her by making sure that if they were to get involved there would be no blowback from an HR perspective plus knows that her abilities speak for themselves so adding this layer of “I’m not your boss” is a smart move even as it gets tested late in the story.  I also liked how he really worked to be honest with her and take it slow as he wanted to make this comfortable for her.  His feelings were strong and steady but his understanding of why she struggled made me enjoy the wait.  We see a couple who truly respect each other even as they want nothing more than to recreate the two-night fling.

You will enjoy how the boss has her downfall but I think the key to me was seeing how Colm did everything he told her he would do even as everything blew up.  He really was a great character so seeing how true he was to her made me smile.  I look forward to more of this series and hope that we get to see her other friends meet the partners they need or want.

four-stars

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Master Professor – Tara Sue Me – 3.5 stars

April 4, 2017 NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

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

Master Professor – Tara Sue Me – 3.5 starsMaster Professor by Tara Sue Me
Published by Penguin on April 4th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General, Contemporary Women
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-half-stars
four-half-flames

The New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive novels launches a new erotic romance series...

Students are begging to be held after class...

Andie Lincoln is madly in love with Terrence Knight—her childhood friend-turned-Hollywood’s newest golden boy. But he’s a Dominant and wants her trained as a submissive before he’ll consider a relationship with her. He enrolls her at the RACK Academy with strict instructions for her teachers: Do whatever you need to, but don’t take her virginity.

Fulton Matthews, the director of incoming students, is enthralled by Andie. Though he questioned her enrollment at first, watching her discover her submissive nature is hotter than his most intense fantasy. Under his control, her sexual awakening brings him to his knees.

Yet they can go only so far. Andie belongs to another, and Fulton is bound by a contract that strictly forbids relationships between teachers and students. But when Terrence comes to collect his prize, Fulton discovers it’s not easy to let Andie go. . .

I really wanted more from this story… more time with the characters, more details, more about the school, more about the secondary characters…  you get the point.  I am looking forward to more in this series but let’s chat about this first one.

We start this story by meeting Andie who is a virgin and is dating Terrence, a man she’s known forever but only recently made the transition to dating.  He’s a huge star but he has a secret he only recently shared with her…  he’s a Dom.  So we learn that he’s arranged for her to enter this school that teaches the BDSM community and, in particular, Doms/Subs.  She’s unsure but she knows she wants Terrence and as she researched the BDSM community she found that this kicked off a new level of fantasy she never imagined.  She’s a bit of a mystery as we start the story because you wonder why she was so willing to do this and not demand more from the man she supposedly loves.

When we meet Fulton Matthews we don’t get the best impression of him or how he treats others.  He’s very opinionated but he does own up to mistakes and the fact that he judged her before he really gave her a chance.  He’s got his own issues to work through as the story progresses but I did enjoy getting to know him.  I also enjoyed the fact that he was honorable even as he was hoping for things to go his way.  He’s drawn to her even as he knows he shouldn’t be but he really tries to not cross the line.  I also have to admit that he made a lot of valid points with her but mainly he did what was right which was to not interfere when Terrence comes to visit.  He did piss me off in the later stages of the book but that’s to be expected as we have to have the bad to make the good that much sweeter.

I had issues with this whole idea, no matter how presented, of “taking a break” or “granting a pass” in order for your lover to be trained to be perfect for you.  I just don’t think that this is an idea that sits well with me but I did enjoy the book.  I am definitely ready for more of this series and cannot wait until we get more of the others stories… yeah… I want to know more about the lover/best friend and what happened.

three-half-stars

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The Mistakes – Elizabeth Brown – 3.5 stars

April 3, 2017 NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

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

The Mistakes – Elizabeth Brown – 3.5 starsThe Mistakes on April 4, 2017
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-half-stars

The Mistakes - An Sexy Office Rom-Com

It started as a promise.
A momentary lapse in sanity had me agreeing to two months of celibacy.
Then Mark Bishop showed up. My new boss was cocky, arrogant, and unfortunately, sexy as hell.
My first mistake?
Thinking I'd last two months.

Book III in the Off-Limits Series - Winnie and Mark's story. Can be read as a standalone.

Warning: This story contains mature humor, a lot of cursing, and of course, sexual situations. It’s intended for adult readers who enjoy that kind of thing.

This is my first read of this author and I will definitely go grab more as I had fun reading the story of a woman who only does flings and a man who wasn’t looking for anything but when he found the one will do anything to keep her close.

We start this story with the heroine panicking because of something stupid that should wake her up but… it doesn’t.  She then makes a deal with her friend to not have sex for two months but that goes up in flames when she meets a stranger at the reception.  She thinks it won’t come back to haunt her but after she starts work at her grandfather’s law firm she runs in to the man who gave her one incredible night.  Yeah, he’s her new boss… SURPRISE!  He’s not exactly happy to see her either but there definitely is an attraction that they try to fight but it does not last long.  I liked her but I did get frustrated with the fact she wouldn’t open up and talk to him/others about how she is struggling.  She’s strong but she really wants to have a family that is stable and hers.  I like how she pushed him to be honest with himself and opened him up to being more relaxed.  She also has a fun business that I was happy to see become something that will let her be her own person outside the family business.

Mark was such an ass initially but the one thing he never really did was lie.  He didn’t always tell her what she was to him but he didn’t lie about it.  He knew she might bolt so did what he needed to do to make sure that she slowly started to understand what she meant to him.  I also love how his grandma makes sure he sees what is happening and how he needs to grab on to it with both hands.  I liked how he worked hard to include Winnie and Lucy but also respected her decisions when it came to telling her family.  It did lead to some tense moments but he really did what he could to make sure Winnie was happy.  He’s also quite opinionated in the bedroom but I’d be quite happy with that kind of attention.

Overall, this was a nice story with a great amount of chemistry between the pair.  I will be going back to read the others in this series and hope others will give this a try.

three-half-stars

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His Alone – Alexa Riley – 4 stars

March 31, 2017 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

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

His Alone – Alexa Riley – 4 starsHis Alone by Alexa Riley
Published by Carina Press on March 28 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 166
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars
five-flames

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Ryan Justice may be her boss, but nothing will stop him from making her his. New York Times and #1 ebook bestselling author Alexa Riley entices with a brand-new, full-length novel.

She thinks I'm perfect. A good boss, a good man. She thinks that I play by the rules.

She has no idea who I truly am. Why I'm really here.

Paige Turner is trying to outrun her past, but there it is, tossed back in her face anytime she manages to get two steps ahead.

She has no idea what a man like me will do to get what he wants.

Her need for Ryan got in the way of revenge, took her off course. Redirected her focus. Before she knew it, he'd made his way into her life. Into her heart.

I'm dirtier than she knows. She thinks I'm good to the core, but she doesn't know the things I've done. The things I would do for her.

True love doesn't let secrets as big as these stay buried. And when the truth about Paige's father is finally exposed, Ryan will do anything to fix everything. Paige has always been his—and his alone.

This book is approximately 75,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

I have to say that I was looking forward to this story after reading Everything for Her…  it does not disappoint!  Paige and Ryan definitely have chemistry and when they finally allow it loose it definitely does not dim.

Paige has proven herself to be a great friend (yes, that may have begun as a job but) and is trying to learn how to be a sister but she isn’t quite willing to open her heart or her life up to anyone.  She’s attracted to Captain (Ryan) who happens to be her boss but she thinks he’s too good for her.  She takes on guilt for things that weren’t her fault and is trying to find revenge on someone who deserves it but honestly isn’t worth the damage she is doing to herself.  I liked her and especially liked how she pushed Ryan’s buttons while making sure that once she claimed what was hers she let everyone know it.  She’s not afraid to get dirty but she is terrified of the need she feels to have a true family.  She wants love so badly that she hides from it until forced to admit that is what she craves.  I loved how she ultimately got everything because one man decided that he would make it his mission to give the world to her.

Ryan, aka Captain, isn’t the perfect guy Paige believes and we get to see there is more to him at the beginning of this book.  He’s so damn growly and sweet with Paige that you can’t help but swoon.  Everything he does is to keep her safe even if it means keeping her away from him for years.  I loved how we got to see their first meeting as a bonus chapter from his point of view as this shows us how hard it was for him to be patient.  I also loved how we got to see his struggle with waiting to claim her until she really was his.  I felt for him as his secret was exposed but he knew it might go down the way it did and while it hurt he still did what needed to be done.  I admit his ways of showing his dirty side made me swoon as much if not more than his gentle ways of showing how much she means to him.

The epilogues to this story will make you smile as they show how much these two have gained over their years together and laugh as his protective side does not diminish over time.  He’s definitely growly and possessive but with a heart of gold when it comes to those who mean everything to him.  Paige is his world and seeing that it remains true for years in the future made me smile.

four-stars

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Everything for Her – Alexa Riley – 4 stars

March 30, 2017 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

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

Everything for Her – Alexa Riley – 4 starsEverything for Her by Alexa Riley
Published by Carina Press on January 1st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 379
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars
five-flames

"I devour every single delicious word Alexa Riley writes." —#1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Maya Banks

New York Times bestselling author Alexa Riley's first full-length novel shows just what happens when a strong, possessive man finds the woman of his dreams

I'll never forget the way she looked, so confident and sure of herself. I watched her from a distance. She wasn't ready for me yet. I didn't approach her and I didn't disturb her, but I never once took my eyes off her.

Mallory Sullivan is ready to start her new life. After graduating at the top of her class, she's landed one of the most coveted internships in the United States. Hard work and determination have gotten her to this moment of living the life she only dreamed of growing up in foster care.

From the start, I knew that she would be my greatest achievement, so the day I let her go, I set down a path for her. A path to me.

She never expected Oz to be the greatest culmination of those dreams. But sometimes fate determines who you fall in love with. Who makes you lose control. Who owns your soul.

And then you realize it wasn't fate at all…

I've wanted to care for and protect her since the first moment I saw her. I've constructed everything in our lives so that at the perfect moment, I could have her, could give her the life she deserves.

The time has come.

This book is approximately 97,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

I admit that I am losing my mind a bit but I would’ve sworn that I already posted this earlier in the year.  Yeah ummmm nope I didn’t so here I am getting ready to post this the day before I post my review for book 2.  I swear I cannot wait until next February when I will be done with school and can get back to doing more reading and blogging.

This book was interesting to me as if I had a man do one iota of what Oz does I would be creeped out and run as fast as possible in the other direction.  In this book we meet a man who has been busy plotting revenge on his scumbag of a father when he comes across the one person who would end up mattering more than revenge ever would.  He’s driven to protect her and give her all the perks he can while keeping her away from him until she’s ready and he’s ready to finally make her his.  He moves faster than he expected because he just can’t help himself but as you get to know him you see what drives him to be so obsessive.  He absolutely is not good at expressing his true feelings so this is a barrier when it comes to Mallory and Paige but Mallory gets him to be more open as she works on making him wake up to what is truly important.

Mallory annoyed me a bit with how naive and sheltered she was but I got it.  I really did understand where it came from and liked when we saw the spine that she kept buried during a decent chunk of the book.  She’s definitely a sweet person but she isn’t the wallflower or pushover others have seen in her.  I liked how she just wanted to prove herself and what she was capable of without others paving her way.  I also appreciated how she was hurt by the realization that the internship was not due to merit but due to Oz wanting her to be near him so he could pursue her.  She isn’t willing to just be the pampered princess but really wants to be a valued member of a team who pulls her own weight.  As she processes the secrets that Oz and Paige have kept from her we see a woman emerge who is more aware of what she wants, who she is and what she needs to do.  I liked her and really enjoyed seeing her again as Paige finds her way.

four-stars

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Forever Mine – Erin Nicholas – 3.5 stars

March 29, 2017 Grand Central, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

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

Forever Mine – Erin Nicholas – 3.5 starsForever Mine by Erin Nicholas
Published by Grand Central Publishing on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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three-half-stars
three-flames

Maya Goodwin doesn't believe in holding back. Ever. As a cop, she never hesitated to throw herself into harm's way to save someone. Even after an injury on the job forces her to retire, she's not afraid to keep risking it all to get the life she wants. With a new career teaching martial arts to kids already underway, she's looking forward to the future - and taking a chance on the unbelievably hot Dr. Alex Nolan.

Maya - daring and spontaneous - is the exact opposite of what Alex always thought he wanted. But when a nine-year-old daughter he never knew existed shows up on his doorstep, Maya is the one who helps them hold it together. With love on the line, will the guy who's always played it safe be willing to take the biggest risk of all?

I enjoyed this title but I wasn’t happy with the hero in many ways.  I liked him… I just didn’t like him…  yeah I know this is a direct contradiction but you’ll see…

Alex is trying to make up for not being in his daughter’s life for her first 9 years through no fault of his own.  He had a one night stand and the mom didn’t tell him until she needed help managing the disease that both he and his daughter have, hemophilia.  He’s reeling by this intense attraction he feels for the woman who might be able to help him understand the superhero universe his daughter loves.  He wants to be there for his daughter and perhaps try for something with his former fling but this attraction to this woman is hard to ignore.

Maya is just as thrown by her instant attraction and connection to Alex.  This attraction allows her to get distracted in the oddest moments but as with everything else she does…  she rolls with it and jumps in.  She’s not afraid to take risks but is also confused by his hot/cold routine.  I liked her and her openness as it was refreshing compared to Alex’s tendency to keep things compartmentalized.  She also has a wake-up call in this story as she has to confront her own tendency to do things without regard to long term consequences.  You’ll enjoy her personality and what she does for those she cares for.  I really liked her so the way Alex behaved pissed me off even as I liked him.

Alex has a lot to learn about life as he doesn’t share his own diagnosis of hemophilia and this hinders him in so many ways he didn’t realize.  He almost lost something important to him because he is so damn shut down.  This is why I say I liked him but…  I just didn’t like him…  I got it… I really did but I wanted to just hurt him many times in this book.  Maya deserved better than the way he treated her but as always the hero does wake up and I think the epilogue helped me come to terms with him.  He did try but dammit he made me mad…  LOL

I need to go back and read more by Erin as I enjoyed this one plus…  she’s sort of local for me.  Gotta try to support NE/IA writers as much as I can…  😉

three-half-stars

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The Unyielding – Shelly Laurenston – 5 stars

March 28, 2017 Kensington, Read in 2017, Sent 1

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

The Unyielding – Shelly Laurenston – 5 starsThe Unyielding by Shelly Laurenston
Published by Kensington on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, General, Fantasy, Action & Adventure
Pages: 400
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five-stars
five-flames

Stieg Engstrom, Angriest Viking Ever, has got big problems. The human Viking Clans of earth are in danger of being obliterated—along with the rest of the world—and the only one who may be able to save them is a super pain-in-the-ass Crow. Most people annoy Stieg, but this is the one woman he really can’t stand…

Erin Amsel loves being a Crow! Why wouldn’t she when the other Viking Clans are so hilariously arrogant and humorless? She’s not about to let all that come to an end! She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle with Stieg. Then again, he’s so easy to torment—and also kind of cute.

With the future of the world riding on them, Stieg knows he’ll have to put aside his desperate need to kiss the smirk right off Erin’s face. Wait. What? He didn’t mean that—did he? No! They have one goal: To conquer the idiots. Because nothing bugs Stieg more than when idiots win. If only he can keep himself from suddenly acting like one…

Are you ready for more Crow craziness?  Are you sure?  Are you really, really sure?

Well, buckle up for some more fun with the ladies and men who are trying to keep the world safe from some really insane deities.

Erin is up to something…  ok..  so she’s always up to something but this time she’s REALLY up to something.  She’s caught by someone that she honestly can’t stand at a moment when she really did need help (soooooooooooooooo not liking admitting that) but who she gets is someone that she can’t easily manipulate or ignore.  I loved getting to know more about her and understanding where the personality traits that drive everyone else insane came from.  She’s not willing to admit what Stieg comes to mean to her but he knows and accepts her for who she is.  I love her smart mouth but also found that behind this is someone who cares deeply for those around her and is willing to do what it takes to keep people safe.  There are moments when you just want to strangle her but the moments are broken up by laughter as she even knows that she’s doing it on purpose.

Stieg was so much fun to watch.  He’s driven but the way he tries to tell her not to do something in the beginning made me put down the book for a bit to laugh.  He’s not what he seems either which is why their pairing makes so much sense.  His relationships with others including shifters made me smile but it was the damn goat that made me almost lose it.  You’ll love meeting her but also love the way that he struggles to come to terms with what Erin starts to mean to him.  I will admit there is a part of me that wanted a more overt claiming but honestly these two are perfect for one another.  The way that the relationship just is… not forced… just natural made me smile.

Now… when is the next one?  I really wanna see how this new threat plays out cause…  DAMN MAN.

Also, Shelly…  if you ever decide to make more totes…  yeah… I NEED ONE… also… Vida…  thanks again!!!  I won’t see you this year at RT but thank you for letting me continue to share the love of these stories.

five-stars

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