Dreaming Of Your Love (Hollywood Legends book 3) Mary J Williams

Dreaming Of Your Love (Hollywood Legends book 3) Mary J Williams

Dreaming Of Your Love (Hollywood Legends Book 3) by [Williams, Mary J.]

Genre:  Romance,

I enjoyed the first in this series, and we met Colt and Sable there briefly, so I felt as if I already knew them slightly. Its the Hollywood trope too that I so love reading so I had to take a look at their story.

Well, its Hollywood…but not as we know it Jim, or that’s what Spock would say😉
Colts a top film star, from a Hollywood Royalty family. Yet he’s pretty much able to move around as he wants, until someone takes a stab at him.
I always think of those in his position as being surrounded by guards, given that the public can be rabid, and even those who mean well can be intense so it felt a little unreal to read he hadn’t had one before Sable. Still…that’s the way it is.

To be honest I felt it was Hollywood Trope in name only, not much of what I’m used to in this trope cropped up, manic fans, the media spinning stories whether true or not, the jealousies and b itchiness that usually pervades this trope and leads to some fabulous drama. There was the jealous co-star but even that was kind of light😦

They’re all lovely people, Colts family are lovely, his staff are lovely, even his brothers dog is lovely!! The only ones who aren’t are Sable’s parents, so when the romance happened it was hot and sexy, but also sweet, unremarkable and I didn’t ever get the feeling it would be derailed…that’s a shame as I need the drama in a romance, and here it was just sweet, sweet story.
There’s a secret Sable is holding but when it came out it wasn’t anything greatly unexpected, sadly something that I can believe is all too real.

So, its a fun and gentle romance, a great HEA but without a great deal of drama and angst, and for me they are what makes a story special. I enjoyed this read, but didn’t love it and won’t reread.

Stars: Three, a sweet, sexy and gentle romance .

Read on KU

Possessed. The Dollhouse, Part One , Stacia Stone

Possessed. The Dollhouse, Part One ,  Stacia Stone 

Possessed: The Dollhouse, Part One by [Stone, Stacia]

Genre:  Romance, Erotica, BDSM

Well, I guess the first thing that caught me was that although Goodreads and Amazon say this is 209 pages, its short – just 334 KB, and 1522 kindle locations which is usually around 100 pages, and honestly that’s all it feels like from the time it took me to read.
If books 2,3 and 4 all have the same page issues it means a huge difference in total novel length. That may not matter to you – it does to me. As this is on KU its not actually a problem for me, but if I was paying then I’d be pretty upset.

So, having got that off my chest what about the book? Well, its a great story, I really enjoyed this first part and definitely want to read the next three to finish the story.
Its got elements I enjoy, bright girl but with problems, working to support family and can’t make ends meet. Dalea needs money and quick, for bills, for rent and for mum’s essential chemo to save her life. Family come first eh?

She has to turn to the Dollhouse though to get the money she needs, hiding it from her family of course. She can get $1000 a night against her waitress job for tips that brings in a fraction of that.
She doesn’t know what to expect, had to sign a contract that basically agrees to let a stranger do whatever they want with her body and not to talk about anything involving the dollhouse or the people in it.

Dalea gets chosen by a patron who wants her submission, wants to control her every action and need, wants to do things to her that she never imagined.  She’s terrified and yet like many finds it pleasurable – but she’s ashamed of that, ashamed of what she’s done and terrified how much further it may go.

Its ends on a sort-of cliff-hanger, a place that’s a natural stopping point, but which makes you want to read more. Fortunately all four parts are out so I can continue while the story is fresh in my mind.
I Hate waiting for next parts of stories, love it when i find one like this where I can read right through.

Its well written, I didn’t find it particularly dark, what they do is what’s common in many BDSM books and clubs. I wouldn’t want to be submissive – I’m far too bolshy and difficult!! but for many its what they want and more important, actually need.
She’s looked after well, treated properly as far as these things go, with proper aftercare so I didn’t find it particularly dark and enjoyed reading it.
I want to have a sexy escape when I read erotica, not to be taken down deep, dark avenues with scenes that are unpleasant. There seems to be a few books out recently that have non consensual acts as a base, and then its “OK” as the woman enjoys it – its not, consent is essential!!
In this case consent could be considered kind of dodgy as though Dalea gives it she doesn’t really know what for, and of course when money is involved there’s an element of coercion. Ultimately she chose to go there, to take part, she wasn’t forced and that’s what makes this different to those where there’s a  lot of non consensual scenes.

Stars: Four, a fun, sexy read, and a story I want to know more about.

Read on KU.

NB: I downloaded the next three parts as I want to read the rest, and tried to work out the page anomaly…
pt 2 is 1782 kindle loc. a little larger than this part, and 334KB/233 pages- again I’d have said around 110.
pt 3 is 1538 kindle loc, but according to amazon its a massive 4328 KB yet only 210 pages…looking at the kindle location size I’d have thought around 100 pages.
pt 4, well its 1437 kindle loc, 1478 KB and yet amazon says its just 44 pages….I’d say its more like 90 or so…Weird or what??

The House in Quill Court, Charlotte Betts

The House in Quill Court,  Charlotte Betts

The House in Quill Court by [Betts, Charlotte]

Genre: Romance,

A new-to-me author, but the blurb compares her work to Phillipa Gregory and I’ve loved many of her stories so I wanted to try this.
Sadly its not the same as PG’s novels, not to me anyway. I found this an OK read, and just wasn’t really hooked into the story.

When I read any book I want to be there with the characters, feeling what they do. I need to like them too and to want them to succeed at whatever it is they want. Here I just didn’t feel as if I was back in time, didn’t feel the flavour of the period most of the while.
I liked Venetia, but wasn’t really pulled in by any of the others including Jack, though by the end I thought he was OK.
Its a read that started well for me but sort of went downhill. I’m not really sure why, its got all the potential, history, plots that have romance and danger, and it just sounded so much like a novel I could get lost into – but I didn’t. * sigh* and its frustrating that I can’t really pin down why I didn’t love it.

Stars: Three, just an OK read for me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

Vespers (Hours of the Night 1), Irene Preston , Liv Rancourt

Vespers (Hours of the Night 1), Irene Preston , Liv Rancourt

Vespers (Hours of the Night Book 1) by [Preston, Irene, Rancourt, Liv]

Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA

I’d read and loved Irene’s A Taste of You, so when I saw she’d teamed up with another author to write this m/m novel featuring vampires I was intrigued. I do love paranormal romance, especially that with vampires.

It took me quite a while to get in to the story, to really feel I knew the characters. Sara is pretty open, I could feel fairly quickly the kind of man he was, but Thaddeus Dupont was a harder read. We just don’t see enough of him early in the novel, he comes over as some kind of mysterious hermit.

By halfway through though I was well into the story. First books in a series have a such a hard job, introducing new characters, scenes and a plot that will keep readers attention is a difficult task, so I wasn’t surprised it took me so long to get to grips with this one.
Its a very different Vampire novel, one where Thaddeus works for The White Monks, some sort of religious order that has partnered up with him, getting him an assistant to feed from and another who works with him on despatching the baddies!
I’d have liked to have known a bit more about the Monks, some of them don’t really seem very compassionate, and they’re holding a sword over Thaddeus in a way “ work for us and maybe, just maybe, your sol can be redeemed.” He’s been doing that for many years now but its a pretty solitary and thankless task.

Once I was past halfway I felt I understood more, about not only the characters, but what dangers they faced – and they were very real, they were dancing with death each time they leave the house, with the Demons behaving very uncharacteristically.
It seems where the usual odd disorganised Demon pops up and needs despatching this time someone is behind them, working them in groups, something previously unheard of, and using them for a personal attack. That part was very interesting, and worked well.

The connection between Thaddeus and Sara was very sensual, a pull that had more than just attraction behind it, with Sara able to do things that seemed to bode more between them that just sexual connection. The sex scenes weren’t overdone, fitted the story, especially given that Thaddeus has up to now been celibate.

Stars: Four, a good start to a new series.

ARC supplied by authors

Destiny’s Past, Book 1 Daughters of the Crescent Moon Trilogy, Patricia C. Lee

Destiny’s Past, Book 1 Daughters of the Crescent Moon Trilogy,  Patricia C. Lee

Destiny's Past (Daughters of the Crescent Moon Book 1) by [Lee, Patricia C.]

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

I really liked the sound of this, but as does happen sometimes even though its a well written story, a great debut book it just didn’t really work for me.

I found it hard to be convinced of the story, and didn’t really connect to either Kelly or Jarek. That means for me the story becomes kind of mundane, I need to feel empathy with the leads and to feel “there” with them and I just didn’t. That’s just a personal issue though, I can see others are raving about this and that’s great for them, and as we all want different things from books its bound to happen. There are readers for every book, its choosing the right one that is hard, and though I thought this would work for me I was wrong.

I just felt like an onlooker, watching, rather than being in the story and even put it aside a few times as I felt myself not concentrating. Usually I get lost in a book, much to the dismay of those around me who get irritated when I fail to respond to questions – used to drive my parents mad, then friends, then husband and now its the kids. Luckily no 1 son is a reader like this so he understands😉

Anyway, I’m not really sure why this story didn’t work better for me, its a fun plot and I was expecting to be sucked in to a riveting past/present mystery. I think maybe it was that everything seemed so slick, it was question – meet the answer, when what I need is question – what could have/who could have and why? I needed more twists and puzzles.
Add in that Kelly and Jarek just didn’t feel real and I guess that’s my issue. Still, remember that’s just me, this could be just what you’re looking for, and it has many readers who are hooked into the series already. For me its a book I’m glad I tried but won’t be looking for more from the series but I’d happily try a different one from Patricia.

Stars: Three, well written but not really one for me .

ARC supplied by publisher and Netgalley

After The Curtain Call, Nancy E. Polin, Elaine Radley

After The Curtain Call,  Nancy E. Polin,  Elaine Radley

After The Curtain Call by [Polin, Nancy E.]

Genre:  Romance.

Nancy has teamed up with another author,Elaine Radley ,  for this book. I’d read a couple of Elaine’s stories so decided I’d like to review this one too.

Amy is a lovely lady, but with a troubled past she’s escaped from. She adores her son and is determined to keep him safe. She’s a stage actress, found her niche in a little rundown theatre, and made some great friends.
She’s settled – for now- but is always guarded, doesn’t date and doesn’t seem to actually put roots down where she lives, its as if its a holding place til she needs to run again. For now though she’s happy, ish….

Then the theatre owner brings in an investor, the place needs some serious money and he can provide it. Turns out the man investing is a film star, though Amy doesn’t do TV, films etc ( she sounds like me!) so when she meets him she’s no idea who he is. She’s scared though, she can feel the pull between them, and he has the potential to make her want to let her guard down and she won’t do that, determined to keep her son safe and her heart free.
Thomas isn’t put off easily though and wears her down in a nice way. Just when things are going well for them a danger from her past appears, and she’s torn, its why she hasn’t ever let herself get attached to people or places, before Thomas she’d just have moved, run again, start afresh, but life can’t be lived to the full that way.
She’s agonising over what’s best to do, her usual run and lose everything here she’s got, or stay and face up to the danger. Its a great read seeing what she ought to do – her head v what she wants to do – her heart. Its not a decision she can just sit on, either way she needs to be proactive.
Things get more intense, both her romance with Thomas and the dangers, and I enjoyed wondering whether she’d be scared away, and what Thomas would do if that happened, or whether she’d stay and how she would deal with the danger and her attraction to/relationship with Thomas.

It was an enjoyable read, easy to follow and quite light on the drama front, not a cant-stop-reading book, but one that’s a perfect escape for a fun holiday or relaxing read. I love drama, felt this was a bit lacking in it for me, but sometimes a more relaxing read is what you’re in the mood for and this is perfect for those times.

Stars: Four, a fun escapist read.

ARC supplied by author

Arctic Dawn, The Norse Chronicles: Book 2, Karissa Laurel

Arctic Dawn, The Norse Chronicles: Book 2,  Karissa Laurel

Arctic Dawn (The Norse Chronicles Book 2) by [Laurel, Karissa]

Genre:  Romance,Sci-fi and fantasy

For those who don’t like those fantasy reads that are all romance all the way – this isn’t. Its now book two and only by the end do we actually get a hint of romance that’s maybe developing…maybe😉 So don’t let the romance genre put you off. I like both sorts but know others don’t.

So, Solina finished the last book with a bang – literally – and has spent the last month as a shooting star. What??! Yep, read book one first, this isn’t one you can start with, you have to read all the story.
Its a fabulous take on Norse mythology and its fun to work out who is or isn’t some kind of God, or at least has special powers. You need to be really “in” to the story and to have read the first book, otherwise nothing will make sense, and that’s a shame as its a fabulous, real Fantasy read.
I love the way the Norse legends have been woven in, and the way Karissa manages to give an overview of the relevant ones for readers who might not know or remember the stories.

I loved the way Solina and the Apple Orchard stuff was woven into her dreams and slipped into reality. I’m a sucker for that sort of crossover, though I do wonder – I know they’re in a very uninhabited place in the world but surely news reports, monitors, all the eyes on the world, cyber spying stuff must have picked up some of their battles. Its not like its a small event when Gods battle after all. Huge fires, cracks that are massive craters in the earth, the noise and firework effects – they must attract some kind of attention.

What I didn’t like was that it seemed a bit like running, always running, from someone to somewhere but not actually getting anywhere.
Baldur, the Allfather frankly seemed a bit of a lovelorn wimp, but maybe his time with Helen had affected him and I’m just unsympathetic. I didn’t really see why they were trailing with him after Nina, well Thorin anyway, given the magnitude of what they faced, even though there is an explanation. I guess it just didn’t sit right with me.
Then again – Immortals – they’ve a different take to time and importance, but this danger affects them too.
I’d guessed someone who wasn’t what they seemed from book one, it was nice to be proved right, * huffs proudly * so often I’m, waaay off track.
I have the feeling Nina is going to be more important in the next book, there must be some point to all that time rescuing her in this one.
I want to read how the Valkyries rally, and I’m glad to see them stand up for themselves, might have been fine in history toadying and waiting around for the males to need them, its different times now and Feminism has found them!

Once more is a gripping story, so very different to most fantasy reads about today and so very refreshing to read something so totally unique. Roll on book three🙂

Stars: five, a fantasy read in the real sense!

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

The Man on Top of the World, Vanessa Clark

The Man on Top of the World,  Vanessa Clark

The Man on Top of the World by [Clark, Vanessa]

Genre:  LGBTQIA

I was so looking forward to this book, it sounded like one I’d love. Sadly I was wrong – I just didn’t connect with it.

The two main characters seemed to me to be clearly troubled, confused, deep, and yet I just didn’t like either of them – couldn’t get a sense “of” them, of what sort of person they really were underneath all the front they put on. I need to care about characters, to want them to succeed in what makes them happy and though I felt for Jonathan and was so sad for him when it all went wrong, I couldn’t really feel that everything could be real.
Dunno – I guess the start put me off, it was page after page after page after page of sex, along with drugs, drink etc that follows the rock star world. Usually that’s a kind of colour added to the story but I felt it became all the story, that there wasn’t much else. I was pretty confused at times but the way the words flowed, wasn’t always sure just who was speaking and who was listening.

One of those stories that will be great for many readers but just didn’t work for me. It happens, its just a disconnect between reader and story, we don’t all want the same things from our reading and though this doesn’t work for me it could be perfect for you.😉 I might go back to it in the future and see if I still feel the same – I just really really wanted to like this read.

Stars: Two, just didn’t work for me sadly.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

Sugar Rush, A Sugar Bowl Novel, Sawyer Bennett

Sugar Rush, A Sugar Bowl Novel,  Sawyer Bennett

Sugar Rush: A Sugar Bowl Novel by [Bennett, Sawyer]

Genre:  Romance,

I loved the first book – except that damn cliff-hanger though. That’s a personal bugbear, though one shared by many readers…Now in book two we’ve another sex laden story, full of drama and secrets that ends in – yes you’ve guessed it – another cliff-hanger😦

Things seem to be going well now for Sela and Beck, after the misunderstandings and dramas of the end of the last book are sorted. They get closer, Sela tells him exactly what happened, and he tells her some family secrets too – which all have major repercussions in this story.
Beck wants revenge on JT for Sela, he isn’t happy with him over the recent past anyway, seeing some of the things he’s been doing, and now with Sela’s revelations he sees them in a different light. He is distraught, determined to get justice for Sela one way or another, and it brings him into some murky waters…

The secrets that come out play a huge part in moving the story forward, and some of it came as a real surprise to me, though once revealed of course it made sense. Beck needs to decide just how far he’ll take his pledge for justice, how he and JT can continue as business partners when his actions are threatening the Sugar Bowl.  Beck finds it hard to even look at JT now he knows the truth about him, but he needs to play a good game though if he wants things to work out, there’s so much riding on the outcome.

Its another great instalment, not quite as riveting as the first book, and Sela’s actions just at the end had me gobsmacked. For an intelligent lady she does something that’s just plain stupid, and TBH that didn’t really fit for me. I think Sawyer could have found a more believable way of getting to that part of the story without making Sela choose such a stupid, foolhardy course of action. That brought the story down for me, lacked credibility😦

Its still a great read of course, with Sawyer’s trademark sensual and seductive sex, wrapped up in plots that twist and turn revealing things that then lead on to more questions.
I do want the last part now though – I really struggle with the whole trilogy and cliff-hanger novels issue, I want to read all of the story all at once, not months apart. Still, that’s clearly the market so….

Stars: Four, a good story but Sela’s action at the end….

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

Deja Vu, St Barts, Emme Cross. Free serialisation on authors blog

Last in the St Bart’s series, and Emme has released it in serial via her blog. The full story is there, it’s a great read and free! Start here and find the rest in later posts on Emme’s blog.

Déjà vu: St. Barts Chapters 1 & 2

 

Deja Vu, St Barts, Emme Cross.

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance.

I’ve loved this series right from book one and have avidly devoured them, got lost in another world for hours reading them.

Emme’s brought us some riveting romance, spiced up with sensuality and full of dangerous dramatics.
Sven, I really wasn’t keen on him at first, the way he was “Lothario Larsen”, and I didn’t think he appreciated just what a gem Sunny was.
I’ve seen criticism about her, saying she’s weak, a Mary Sue type character, but I feel actually that’s wrong, she was a very strong lady. She didn’t chase after Sven when he wasn’t pulling his weight in their relationship in the early days, didn’t run away, didn’t whine to friends about the unfairness of it, she just moved back to St Bart’s, to where it suited her best, and waited for him to realise what he risked losing. He did, and from then on he was a different man.

There’s a piece in this book where Lennon is described, “He’s so like his mother. Don’t mistake kindness for weakness”.
That’s so true, and Sunny’s kindness is what some  people see as weak. She just tried to see the best in people, was a natural glass half full person, and instead of being jealous and bitter, she deflected people and ended with them loving her. Given a glut of lemons she wouldn’t make lemonade, she’s make something like a refreshing Ginger and Lemon Sorbet. She was a person I’d love to emulate.

Anyway – she passed much of that on to Lennon, her open nature, her ability to get along with anyone, learn a language easily, along with her love of cooking. He’s made some terrific friends and learned so much from his travels its hard to believe he’s still in his early twenties.
He’s a great character, and though he’d got a bit jaded by the easy, plentiful sex he’d had on his travels he wasn’t looking for permanence. Then he meets Alex…

I loved her, such a natural person, found sudden fame after her fanfic went wild, and she’s kind of startled by it, not ready for the huge changes to her life it brings. (would anyone be?)
After she gets a dangerous stalker she needs to retreat until things are under control and she’s safe. Her publisher suggests St Bart’s, where security is good and they are used to fame.
She meets Lennon quite quickly, though they Do Not hit it off at first! That was good, showed her sharp side, and Lennon’s shortness, which wasn’t they way either were naturally, but like all of us real people sometimes we’re just not in the mood, and take it out on others, fairly or not. That made them feel so genuine.

Its something all Emme’s characters have, they are real people, with flaws, get things wrong, make mistakes and it adds that edge of authenticity I need in a story. I don’t want perfection and an easy romance, I want friction, drama, angst but also a HEA. It comes with sadness in this book too though – but it was needed.

I love that she’s older than Lennon, only a few years but its so rare to see romances this way round. No-one bats an eyelid at the older man, younger woman, even if there’s 15-20 years diff, but older woman – words like cougar get thrown around, along with the suggestion of desperation, shrivelling ovaries, man eater etc. Sad isn’t it?
Still, though she’s older in years she’s naive in so many ways, and Lennon with his background, his loss and his travelling seems older than his years, they balance each other perfectly.

I love the way the story unravels, and the addition of more drama from way back took me by surprise. That was so perfect though, really finished off the books, turned the story full circle.

Stars: Five, I thought the last book was a good end to the series, though it made me cry, this one does too but its perfect, a real joining full circle for the story.

ARC supplied by author

Emme Cross

Totally Addictive Romance Novels

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