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Michael, Doms of the Silver Screen Book 1, Marie Tuhart

Michael, Doms of the Silver Screen Book 1, Marie Tuhart

Michael (Doms of the Silver Screen Book 1) by [Tuhart, Marie]

Genre: Erotica, Romance

My bad: I saw Hollywood, romance, erotica and BDSM and I love any/all of those so clicked without checking further.
But its just 65 pages, yep, short story time, and for me they just don’t work. Too much to compress in too short a space for me.

I liked Michael, seemed a responsible Dom, and Kelsey needs to trust him, but given her past that’s hard.
Its his job though, his career, and she can’t (and doesn’t of course) expect him to limit what he does to suit her confidence. She either trusts him or doesn’t.

The press, all the things I love to hate in a story 😉 along with the wonderful, scheming, manipulative co-star.
If this was a full length book I think I’d have really enjoyed it, but its so short there’s not really time to go into any of the people or plots in any detail. Scarcely has a potential issue arisen than its over, done and dusted, and though that’s great for many its not for me.
I need books I can really lose myself in, plots I can really get my teeth into, emotion that pulls at me and makes me feel as if everything is real.
Novellas, short stories just don’t have the time to do that, and that’s why I usually avoid them.

Like I said , my bad- it’s not the book it’s me.

Stars: Two, just too short for me though as full length I think I’d love it.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Kane, Sinclair Jayne

Kane, Sinclair Jayne

Kane (American Extreme Bull Riders Tour Book 6) by [Jayne, Sinclair]

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

There’s something about these western romance reads, I hate the idea of rodeos and bull riding, the stress on the animals and yet…they make for some great reads 😉
I loved Sky, and understood exactly why she kept Montana a secret. Given her family history and Kane’s career and lack of commitment to her she did what she thought was right for her baby. I felt for Kane though, he feels he’s missed so much, and he too has a background that’s not the happy family unit everyone sees in public. Its easy to be wise with hindsight, to say he would have been happy, would have been involved but it could have been such a disaster, he could have ended up resenting Sky and Montana if his fledgling career crashed.

Now though he knows, and he’s like a bulldozer. I did want to say to Sky at times “stand up for yourself woman” especially when it was a d ick waving contest between him and Jonah. As an artist too I was a bit puzzled how easily her career seemed to go, casting in bronze and metal sculptures in general are very expensive procedures, not one the average single mum can afford easily.
I hadn’t read any of the earlier books, didn’t realise there were any but I still followed the story easily. I think that if I had read them though it would have enhanced my reading, I’d have enjoyed updates on the earlier characters. It was a fun romance, loved the setting, the characters felt very real, and its a series that would be an enjoyable read. Its not one I’m likely to reread, but I’ll look for more from this author.

Stars: four, fun romance.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

A few more past reads.

Wins

Paris Lights This was free a few weeks back when i got it, its £1.49 now, still a bargain. Its a fun read, with much of the action taking place in Paris of course and I felt a real sense of the city. Claire and Louie make a great couple and the story has something extra from the A meets B and they live happily ever after format. It does have a HEA, but its a fun journey to reach it. I hadn’t realsied but I’d also bought the next book as it was on offer at 99p ( now £2.49) and I haven’t read it – so that’s todays book sorted, after I finish the current review one! New York Nights the third book I also loved, London bound was on KU, its now £1.49. I love this authors style, a fresh slant on romance with the two I’ve read and I’m looking forward to the one I didn’t realise I had!

Under Locke  One of the fabulous Mariana Zapata reads. I’m not usually into MC reads but this one worked for me. I’ve had several of hers now on KU and enjoyed most of them. Wait for it was the first I read, about a lady bringing up her two nephews. That got me hooked on MZ’s stories, though of course I haven’t loved all of them. One that didn’t work for me is below even though others love it. That’s how it works, some you love and others hate and vice versa.   The Wall of Winnipeg and me  was a great read, as was Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin a rare-for-me purchase!!
I loved Poppy Dunne’s Extra Credit, made me laugh and was a fab story full of emotion but another of hers I read yesterday was just a kind of OK/mundane story (see below)

Shape-shifter series that begins with Trigger was a fun read, and I thought it was the start of a good sereis with that something extra, but the next book (below) was just the usual simplistic para romance and disappointing aftet that start

 

Fails (for me – may not be for you!)
Dear Aaron  A Mariana Zapata read. This just didn’t work for me, couldn’t get into it at all, but it was (and still is ) a KU book so nothing lost! another of hers that didn’t fit is Lingus Tried it, didn’t like it.

Dating the billionaire ( OK I’m a sucker for these reads) Though I loved Poppy’s Extra Credit this was just bland and dull for me
Transcend Second in paranormal series after Trigger (above) but was for me a huge disappointment. the promise of the extra arc, the story line that lifted the first book above bog standard shifter romance was more or less gone, sucked under the heavy romance theme. I love romance but I really want reads that offer that bit extra too. I might continue with the next as its on KU, but was very disappointed and have seen others that feel the same way.

Some you win, some you don’t. KU reads mainly

Of course not all books suit all readers, so my thoughts and feeling about these recent reads could differ wildly from yours, and do differ from many review(er)s. Book reading and enjoyment is very subjective, and this is just how I feel about these as always. I don’t like many of the current Best Sellers, and ones that dominate Amazon top 100 lists.
BF/Shade of …. – loved by thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, but is not for me is all I’m saying 😉


Didn’t like.

Princely Passions: A Royal Romance by Alexis Angel.
Didn’t get past 10%, obnoxious, foul mouth lead, with no redeeming features. He might have got better after a while, but was such a selfish, arrogant, misogynistic jerk that I couldn’t bring myslef to continue.
Kings Series Boxed Set
Books 1 – 3: Mated To The Werewolf King, The Warlock’s Nemesis, Heartless by Alena Des
Pretty much as above, less swearing but throw in paranormal. Like a YA trying to be grown up.
Anaconda (Irresistible Bachelors Book 1)by Lauren Landish I thought I’d read others by this author but must have been another Lauren, as after checking I don’t recognise any of her books. This one has another jerk MC as above, plus the addition of a simpering, feeble minded heroine who can’t keep her eyes off his cock. Really people, accidently walk in on someone naked and keep on staring at his dick, not just a peek, but a full fledged stare and cue all the “mouth watering” etc comments that follow…its kind of sexism in reverse, when ladies see men as nothing more than a walking dick. we don’t like it when men talk to our breasts, so why the heck are books were women talk to men’s cocks so popular?
Take Me (Vampire Billionaire Romance Series): The Untouchables 1  T. A. Grey
Read the first half, skimmed the second hoping it would improve. It didn’t ;-(
Out of the Shadows (A Werewolf Wars Novel Book 1) Bethany Shaw
Sounded interesting but just felt too YA for me. I don’t mind a well written YA, some transcend ages, but this felt very aimed at the late teen end of the market.
Obsidian (Mystic Stones Series 1) Kayla Curry
I wanted to like this but…just couldn’t get into it, neither the story or the characters appealed.

Did like/were OK:
Wolfsong,  TJ Klune
This is seriously one of the best reads this year, in fact possibly the last couple of years. a beautiful story, terrific pacing and incredibly emotional. a very unusual read. I’d love to read more by this author.
Idol (VIP Book 1)  Managed (VIP book 2)  Kristen Callihan
I Bought these two, not ARCs not KU, but paid for!! Two great fun reads, I really enjoyed. I’d bought Managed first, (it was cheaper!) and its still my favourite of the two. It reminds me very much of Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar book with Jimmy and Lydia, same strong humour, great lines. Jimmy and Gabriel are very similar types. I’ll look forward to more of this series. 
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander Book 8), Diana Gabaldon
I loved the first books in this series, and my tattered paper backs were read over and over. Charles would say “not Diana Gabaldon again….” and then came Echo in the bone  which was so war orientated, so full of characters and different plots and times it felt messy. and what I really didn’t like about that was it left several plots hanging, first time DG had done that, and given she writes Very Slowly I knew i’d have lost the impetus by the time the next book came out.  I was right, I’m wading slowly through Written IMOHB and having to keep looking up exactly what happened, where we left certain characters. Echo was published Jan 2010 and Written in June 2014 so you can see what a long gap. In fact book one I read in hospital in 1995…..
I’m finding its war heavy, that there are whole chapters covering a half hour or so and the minutiae which i so love about her writing has become details on speed, even too much info for me, a details lover. I’m really tired or reading peach fuzz of Jamie’s balls, musky smell/male musk of ( insert character here ) etc.
Its taken me three years to actually get on and buy this when I ordered echo from US in hardback as it was out a month sooner than in UK. Part of that was waiting for price drop but I was so disappointed by echo that I thought long and hard before continuing with the series. I’m halfway through this one and already skipping parts to get to the action.
Absinthe, by Winter Rens An ok/good read, I loved Winters Country Nights  and was hoping for more like that
Bucking Wild, by Maggie Monroe Enjoyed the first book about Ben and Chelsea, but not enough to continue with their next books. Kind of OK but slowish for me.

 

 

Make me sin and Sin with me, Bad Habit series, J.T. Geissinger

Make Me Sin (Bad Habit Book 2) by [Geissinger, J.T.]

Sin With Me (Bad Habit) by [Geissinger, J.T.]

 

I enjoyed book one, and saw books two and three were on KU. I love JT’s writing style in paranormal reads, and after enjoying the first in this series I knew that her contemporary reads suited me too. Sometimes the transition works, other times I find I enjoy books in one genre by authors, but not a different one.

I remember Chloe and AJ from the first book, and the wedding from that one brings the two closer together – and boy, did those sparks fly. Chloe and AJ have some serious heat between them and as usul AJ writes that in a very believable way. I could see events playing out as they did here. Of course its never plain sailing is it, there’s always something holding them back and this one was something outside the norm. I loved that, sometimes the restriction and issues seem to be cut from the same page in romance novels so its always fun when an author comes up with something new.

A great read, my favourite so far.

Stars: Five, a terrific band book, with realistic characters.

Book three was another great read but….I wasn’t quite so taken with it as book two. I loved the characters but the issues holding them back were pretty complex, and though I felt for Grace I wasn’t convinced of her solution to the memory problem. but then what could she do? what would be best? she was trying to prevent others from being hurt but it was costing her dearly and wasn’t really working anyway. You can’t apply logic to emotions and expect it to work. doesn’t stop us trying though 😉 I loved Brody, the enigmatic strong and silent guy but I wouldn’t want to be him, he’d paid many times over for his secret. Sometimes things just happen, and we blame ourselves but that doesn’t mean we’re to blame….complex. The trouble with secrets though is the always come out, and always at the very worst time…but JT pulls them through in a very believable way.

Stars: four and a half, a great read but not quite the magic five.

Blackmail, Anna James Watson

Blackmail, Anna James Watson

Blackmail (Skeleton Key Book 1) by [Watson, Anna James]

Genre: erotica

A dip outside my norm, but I was pointed in this direction, and the book is free for KU subscribers. I love KU!
I do like erotica when it has a solid story attached. This was fun and certainly very steamy and sensual! I was a bit surprised to find it continues in further books, though look forward to reading more from the three main characters. Its labelled skeleton Key part 1 but there’s also a series called Skeleton Key, where different authors have written stories that are unconnected except for the title, so I mistakenly thought it was part of that, and not part 1 of a series by this author. My bad…but just in case you have that thought too 😉

I liked – and disliked in the case of Tristan – the characters here. They’re all in their 20’s and studying at school/uni?
As a UK reader sometimes the terminology can be confusing, and I found a few words here that even kindle look up couldn’t help, but context gives me a rough idea. One big issue for me was this Tap thing, its a big part of the story, involving people being selected for secret(ish) groups, and TBH I hadn’t a clue exactly what it was at first, but it became clear as the story went on.
American colleges/schools/universities seem to have a great emphasis on these lifelong clubs, which are often difficult to join. We don’t really do that so much in UK. Same with frat/sorority houses etc.

Anyway, Mia gets caught out, and caught up in some hot and sexy times with Tristan and Julian. The background connecting the trio, the story and the sex scenes is the clubs, and what happens and who can join.
There’s day to day stuff that makes the story feel real, and gives a sense of grounding to the characters, its not just a sex fest but a sexy story and I was disappointed when I came to the end and found…it wasn’t the end ;-0. I’d been watching the % bar waiting for some crisis as usually happens at about 70-80%  and thinking “what’s going on?” and then  realised around that, yep, there’s more to come.
I’m kind of sad as I want to know now whats going to come next, and pleased because it means the story gets longer to evolve, and that way we can really get to know the characters well.
Already I can see that Tristan is so much more than the jerk I first thought, but don’t yet know why he acts that way. I like Julian, he’s very self assured and composed, and Mia is learning a lot about herself. I think this has got the potential to develop into quite a complex series ( I hope), something that’s not often found in erotica, a genre that’s dominated IMO by the short’n’hot reads, where the story come last in priority. Its fun to get an erotic series with a solid and interesting, something I’ve not found very often so far, and something I’m looking forward to continuing. M.Q. Barber’s Neighbourly Affection series is one I really enjoy, though thats very BDSM orientated in comparison to this. Who knows how this one will develop though 😉 .
I did feel the story was a little overtaken by the sex, and that’s why its a four for me not a five, but as always sex is what many readers want, and they’re happy for story to come second. Its a very personal thing.

Stars: four, a good intro to a sensual and steamy series.

The Haunting of Alcott Manor, Alyssa Richards

The Haunting of Alcott Manor, Alyssa Richards

The Haunting of Alcott Manor: A Contemporary Gothic Romance by [Richards, Alyssa]

Genre: Fantasy and paranormal, Romance

I loved Alyssa’s trilogy The Fine Art of Deception, and this book is another paranormal read but very different to the trilogy.
When I first started reading I was taken back to my teens/early twenties when I read many mysteries, especially those by Victoria Holt, and this book gave me that same kind of feeling, though I don’t remember the romance being a major part of those reads 🙂

So, Gemma loves her parents, but has had some strange childhood experiences that are suggested through the book, seem to have given her kind of PTSD/OCD issues. Its clear she struggled with things of the supernatural world, but equally clear she shares her mum’s talent for solving issues of that sort.
Sadly her mum has died, and now her dad needs her help. She really doesn’t want to get involved, but loves her dad and knows if he’s asking for her help, knowing her problems with the supernatural he really does need it.

She agrees to meet him and do what she can for the land, but isn’t intending to step into the house. She thinks using her gift by clearing the land of spirits will help.
Tragedy isn’t finished with her though, and her dad is involved in an accident that leaves her to take over the restoration, against her wishes but she owes him much, and can’t see him lose everything.

From there on it a race to finish the first stage of the renovation before the court deadline, or lose the house to those who want it demolished and new homes put up.
Its a beautiful old building and when she meets Henry she can see its special to him. He’s on a mission though, knowing that the past owner Benjamin Alcott was convicted of killing his wife, he wants to free him from haunting the property, as Benjamin is destroying much of it in his search for something that would prove his assertion he was innocent.

Its a great read, I loved hearing about the house, sharing the memories that played out and wondering if Benjamin really was innocent as Henry thinks, and if so what really happened that night. Was he really responsible for the deaths of people involved with the house since then?
Henry is really worried that past people have become trapped in the house memories, and cautions Gemma to take absolute care not to interact with any scenes she sees, however lifelike they feel.  That sounded weird at first, but its soon clear the house really does have a life of its own.

It’s a gently paced novel, not a race through to the finish, with events playing out slowly, scenes from past and present there, and clues that could mean very different things happened. The evidence for the full story is still missing and seems to be the key to Benjamin’s destructive actions, and there are some fun twists to the story in the search.

It all wraps up neatly, the loose ends tidied away, all the answers given, which was great as I hate to be left wondering “but what about??What happened to??”  I was totally surprised by the ending, I simply didn’t see it coming, and that’s good – I love a novel that does that 😉

I’m still a romance reader more than a mystery one but this was a nice bridge between the two, and an enjoyable read. Sometimes its good to step away from a favoured genre and dip into something different.

Stars: four, an escapist read, full of secrets and suprises that caught me out completely!

ARC supplied for review purposes by author

All or Nothing at All, Jennifer Probst

All or Nothing at All, Jennifer Probst

All or Nothing at All (The Billionaire Builders) by [Probst, Jennifer]

Genre:  Romance,

I’ve enjoyed a few of Jennifer’s stories now but this one didn’t really work for me.
I understood the background issues, the need Tristan felt to get away, as well as the reasons why Sydney wouldn’t leave with him.
He acted like a spoiled child growing up, a thwarted teen when he left for the city, and now he’s back eight years later he’s still acting like a kid, holding old grudges, never once looking at his own decisions or questioning them.

The romance side is pretty generic, secrets revealed, heartbreak just when the characters had finally got together…but as usual for a book by Jennifer its well written, and plays out nicely.

What I had major issues with was the way Sydney managed to get away with no one, not one person, questioning who’s Becca’s father.
Its a small town, and as we see in the book, like most its one where everyone knows, or think they know or suspect, every little thing that happens, so how she managed to keep this a secret isn’t believable.
Then Tristan returns home and never once suspects? Nor do his family, who Sydney works for, who are very close to her? Even when they’re organising Becca’s 7th birthday party is still way over Tristan’s head…..
That was a huge issue for me to get past.
When finally he finds out his reaction at first is understandable, but they way he acts after didn’t make me like him.

He’d been a pretty cold jerk to Sydney for the past year and he reverted to, went past even, that same icy behaviour. I just wanted to say “grow up man! Look at who you were and think honestly how you would have reacted, if things could have worked out!!”
Sorry, a well written read that many will love, just not me.

Stars: Two, a good read for some, but which didn’t work for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Suddenly Engaged, A Lake Haven Novel Book 3, Julia London

Suddenly Engaged, A Lake Haven Novel Book 3, Julia London

Suddenly Engaged (A Lake Haven Novel Book 3) by [London, Julia]

Genre:  Romance, General Fiction (adult)

I really enjoyed the first two Lake Haven novels and was eager to read this one. Its another great read, full of emotion and drama but tempered with some fantastic humour from little Ruby.

Kyra, she’s lovely but its hard, there’s only her and Ruby, her dad lives far away and isn’t really close to her, mum died when she was a kid and she’s no other family. Still, she knuckles down and does the best she can for her and Ruby, works hard even if its is only breadline earnings.
Ruby is a wonderful character and gave the novel so much fun. I could picture her red head nodding enthusiastically, her mouth moving at a mile a minute. Who couldn’t love her? Some kids are like that – when mine were small I used to say all kids should come with volume controls. Wouldn’t that be great? Save on the eardrums when all three were arguing, trying to get their voice heard. There was only three years separating eldest and youngest so….

Then there’s Dax, the neighbour in the new house they’ve just moved to. Mr Grumpy as Kyla refers to him.
Poor guy, he’s got a sad past, bad divorce, bad situation and I so felt for him. That must have been so tough emotionally. Ruby wears him down though, slowly bit by bit.
He calls her and Kyra the Coconuts, play on their surname which makes Ruby giggle. she’s such a sweet child, so full of fun, loves his dog Otto, knows no boundaries and has this innocent logic ” but I didn’t go under the fence today mummy, I went around it!” That kind of logic where she does just as she wants, seeming to feel she’s still within mum’s rules.
She was a really great part of the story, the way she slowly wormed herself into Dax’s heart.

It was great seeing Wallace again too, from the furniture shop. He’s a real character, and I enjoyed the way he put the moves on Dax every time he came in to bring his latest works. Its all chat and fun, he has his partner but can’t resist embarrassing Dax.

Who else? Well there’s loads of characters, from Ruby’s father to Furniture shop employee Janice and her friend Heather, who she kept trying to set Dax up with. I felt a little sorry for Heather, Dax really hadn’t led her on, but she was hearing and feeling what she wanted to happen, and not what actually did happen or was said. Sad, but no ones fault. She was a little over enthusiastic, slightly pushy and I think most guys would feel a little taken aback by her attitude, even if they weren’t hoping to be more with someone else…There’s the diner staff, the others who live around the Lake, plus the summer visitors, and of course Ruby’s father and his wife…

When things take a turn for the worse with Ruby’s health I so felt for Kyra. I’m so glad we have the NHS in the UK, and we don’t need to find cash for surgery and doc visits, choose between expensive health plans or food and a roof.
I understood just how scared and desperate Kyra must have felt. I loved Dax for what he offered, but was so cross at him not acknowledging even to himself how he felt until it was almost too late. But it would have cut short the story if he had 😉

The drama keeps on coming with Ruby’s health issues, the financial side, the romance between Dax and Kyra and the involvement finally of Josh – and I so did not like him! Jerk!

Its got the perfect ending, as with the whole story everything is perfectly paced, measured and we have to wait for the right moment, for the time when all falls into place. Its a great read, and one I’ll re-read.

Stars: five, a fabulous story, full of pathos and emotion, perfectly paced and with some terrific humour from Ruby lightening the story.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

One True Pairing, A Geek Girl Rom Com, Cathy Yardley

One True Pairing, A Geek Girl Rom Com, Cathy Yardley

One True Pairing: A Geek Girl Rom Com (Fandom Hearts) by [Yardley, Cathy]

Genre:  Romance

Sounded a book I’d love, the Hollywood trope with a heroine who works hard, isn’t a simpering coy miss who falls at his feet.
Sadly though it was an OK read for me that was it, its not a re-reader, and parts dragged and I found myself skimming through. somehow it all became very storm in a teacup stuff.
The fact their “romance” only covers a week, apart from the last few pages meant there had to be some serious chemistry between them for me to believe it, but though there was lust by the bucket load, that was it for me, no real romantic feelings.

I found Haley a bit abrasive at times, I know she had a difficult past, but she verged in outright rude to Jake, and he wasn’t the Hollywood hero I was expecting, but a star on the way up who almost rolled over and let her stomp on him at times.
I like strong women, but I like strong men too, and Jake was just far too trusting of everybody!
There’s one “twist” that was pretty clear very early on but the person it affects was oblivious. That smacked of naivety, a laziness in not checking,  and made me want to shake them….
The story didn’t really have anything more to it than the blurb, very one paced, one plot where I was hoping for more. Its going to be a great read for some but for me it was just an OK one, I didn’t dislike it but didn’t love it either.

Stars: Three, a little bland for me, but that’s OK, others love it, we all want different things.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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