Archive | romance RSS for this section

The Best Man’s Bride, Anne McAllister

The Best Man’s Bride, Anne McAllister

The Best Man's Bride (Royal Wedding Invitations Book 4) by [McAllister, Anne]

Genre: General Fiction (adult), Romance

I love deep, dark, intensive novels but sometimes I just want an easy, quick, escapist read, one where I can just enjoy the story without having to use my brain to work out complex plots. This book delivered all that, and was a fun read.

I loved Celina, and so felt for her when we found out what had made her leave Jack – well, her reaction would be what most would do I think. She still loves Jack, even though they are divorced, even though she’s not seen him for so long.
Then her best friend, relative to her employer, tells her Jack is to be his best man, and of course she’ll be at the wedding as PA to her employer and as Friend to Jonas….no escape, and worse, its once of those weddings where celebrations go on for days.

Jack, he’s fiercely proud, and was so hurt that Celina didn’t give him a chance to explain, wouldn’t talk to him, didn’t trust him, and he’s angry at that when it all goes down but…he still loves her too and this chance to spend time with her, to get a chance to explain is one he’s seized on.
He’s such a well known star though its hard to escape the ladies and get Celina on her own, and she’s certainly doing her best to avoid him.
I wanted them to make things work, they seemed such a true couple, so good for each other, so in love and yet if they wouldn’t ever get to talk what hope was there?

Its a fun story, and even when Jack does get her to hear his story, there are still barriers that crop up – that’s so true in real life, nothing does ever go truly smoothly.
I would have liked a bit more of the Rock Star/band scene, it seemed he was a star for the novel but the action didn’t really reflect that, apart from the ever present paparazzi. He could have been anyone famous, not necessarily a rock star, and I was hoping for more of the background that goes with that scene.

Stars: 4, a fun story, easy to read and relax with.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Advertisements

Two for the Show, Megan Derr.

Two for the Show, Megan Derr.

Two for the Show (Lovesongs Book 4) by [Derr, Megan]

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

This is book four in a series. Its billed as a stand alone so I requested although I hadn’t read the others.

I did follow the story just about OK but there were so many little snippets and incidences that I think if I’d read earlier books I would have enjoyed this one more.

Still, I hadn’t, came in cold so to speak and never really felt that I connected with either the characters or the story line. I liked both Nikko and Jake but didn’t really feel anything more between them that a spark of lust, it didn’t have that must-be-together feel that I love in romance reads.

Its an OK read for me, not great but not bad, just one that because I didn’t feel “into” the story it was a rush to just finish and pout it away.

I didn’t really understand the logic about creating a scandal, did see it would be a distraction but in the circumstances it would have created more eyes on Nikko and his world and I didn’t think that would have been a good idea given what he’s trying to do.

Like I said I think if I’d read earlier books, knew more about the overall story and characters I’d have got far more from this. As it is, its a short read, just 1903 kindle locations – I’d guess that’s about 125 pages or so, and there simply isn’t the space to let me get to know the people and understand the whole story well enough.

Stars: 2.5/3. Its an ok read coming in cold to the series, and if I’d read other books I think I would have rated this far higher.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Burn for You, Slow Burn Book 1, J. T. Geissinger

Burn for You, Slow Burn Book 1, J. T. Geissinger

Burn for You (Slow Burn Book 1) by [Geissinger, J.T.]

Genre: General fiction (adult), Romance

A quick word about Genre headings. I’m so glad this is General Fiction and not the (for me) dreaded Women’s Fiction. I find that so demeaning, so sexist in this supposedly enlightened times. Are we really saying a while category of books will only appeal to women?
Anyway, that off my chest and on to the book.

I’ve enjoyed many of J.T.Geissinger’s stories, both paranormal and contemporary, so clicked request soon as I saw this. I read it last night and loved it.
I was thinking about what to put in my review this morning earlier, and the dialect was something that struck me. So often its done badly and I cringe ( all those “doona worry lassie” “ach, I’m noo worrit ye fashit man” really make me want to hurl) but done well, as here, it makes me feel I’m there in that setting, that the characters are real. And I’ve never been to any part of US, but love books with this Southern setting, and have read so many I feel I know the place and the people.

Jackson, what a rude surly man he appeared to be, and his first dictatorial appearance was enough to have many people in tears. That he made one of her staff cry infuriated Bianca, and she lets him have it. Full flow, and she’s an amazing range of expressions, one for every circumstance. Of course after meeting her mother and her staff I can see where she gets it from.
I loved the banter between the two, the Slap, Slap, Kiss as it gets termed later 😉
Bianca’s a real star too, hard working, been burned by a man in the past, thrown everything into her restaurant. (I so want to try some of those recipes – though not okra, that stuff just seems to look like mush, jelly, slime, when I’ve seen it cooked!)

Of course the more we see of Jackson (Jax) and Bianca the more I fell in love with them. I loved hearing their innermost thoughts, seeing what the felt as opposed to what they were saying or doing.
Circumstances are such that they get thrown into an engagement, and Bianca learns more about Jax and begins to see beyond his grouchy exterior to the man hidden underneath.

Its a fabulous story, full of sharp, fresh humour, sizzling sex scenes, characters that I felt I knew, could understand, could “see” in my mind. There something really sad too, that was unexpected, and made me shed a tear or two, that’s how emotional and real this book felt.

Stars: five,  a very worthy five star read, and one to keep for re-reading.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Underneath it All, Kate Canterbary. First book in a terrific series currently free

Underneath it All, Kate Canterbary
Underneath It All (The Walsh Series Book 1) by [Canterbary, Kate]
Genre: Contemporary Romance
“If I had known I’d have a hot architect balls deep inside of me before the end of the weekend, I’d have made time for a pedicure. Also, a little chat about not losing my shit at all the wrong moments. Hindsight was a bitch, and karma…well, I didn’t know her story yet.” Well, with an opening like that who could resist? Not me…so I fell straight into this tale of hot sex, romance, lust and love by way of a very odd family.
Lauren is great, driven, ambitious product of two very loving but very forceful parents. Failure isn’t a word in her fathers vocabulary, and it feels to me as if she’s always trying, struggling to live up the example set by him and her SEAL brothers. She young, but is opening her own school, creating it from scratch right down to finding a building to convert. That’s how she meets Matthew. He’s an architect in a family of the same. Their mother died when he was young and the brothers and sisters (4 brothers, two sisters) have taken over the business from their father. He changed when he wife died and is a horrible man, cruel both mentally and physically, he says some awful things. He still has some kind of link with the business, and still tries to influence its direction and the way the family work. I learned all this over the course of the book, and at first it felt as if there ought to have been some kind of prequel, or maybe I was reading a new series based around an existing one, as it seemed as if I ought to know things about the family from the way conversations went. I even went as far as looking up in kindle lists just to see if there was anything else…. It left me floundering at times, but the interaction between them and Matthew and Lauren was so riveting, so entrancing that I simply had to continue.
I’m so glad I did carry on, Matthew and Lauren have something magical between them, and oddly though its Matthew with the dysfunctional family background, he’s the one that’s all in for a romance, for one that has a proper relationship and not just a quick fling as has been the way for him so far. Lauren is the one who’s convinced her life has no time or place for a relationship, that one night is all she can give, but then one night becomes two, and then a week, and then more. She tries to keep control by leaving arrangements til literally the last hour, and it makes Matthew realise she’s hiding, running scared, but can he change her, and how to proceed?
I loved all the characters, even the awful father – grief does strange things to people, not that it’s an excuse but it happens. As I got to know Matthews’ family as individuals I began to appreciate what strong people they were, and how they were all very different, but that diversity is what made them so strong in business. Matthew reminded me very much of Cade in the fabulous “ no weddings” series by Kat and Stone Bastion. He shared that same single mindedness about getting what he wanted once he’d found love. He knew Lauren was the one for him, it was just a matter of convincing her. (Cade had the same problem with Hannah.) Their sex scenes were seriously hot, sensual and erotic and they simply couldn’t keep their hands off each other every time they met, no matter where they were. Poor Riley, the youngest brother – he saw and heard more than a brother ever wants to a couple of times, when they didn’t know he was in the office. That kind of scene led to some great humour and snarky one liners…
Its a terrific read – once I’d sorted out the tangled family relationships, and I’m sure stories from and about the other family members will be equally good. Lauren too has brothers who could well enter the scene later in the series and be interesting.

Stars: Four and a half, that beginning where I was floundering, wondering who was who, and how they related brought it down the half star.
ARC supplied by publishers and Netgalley.

A Vampire’s Dream Carla Susan Smith

A Vampire’s Dream Carla Susan Smith
A Vampire's Dream by [Carla Susan Smith]
Genre: fantasy and paranormal, Romance
Longish novella at around 170 pages, and I’m always rambling on about how for me novellas rarely work – too short to deliver enough in depth characters and plots.
When they’re like this though, part of a world I already am familiar with through existing novels they’re perfect.

I loved this insight into Aleksei and Anasztaizia’s early years, how they first met, and of course Gabriel pre Rowan. It was interesting seeing Katja again too, and seeing how she feels about Gabriel.
I loved the main series, exciting and entertaining world and this peek into the years before those books was perfect. I’ve always had a soft spot for Aleksei, now after reading this even more so.

You could read this before, during – or as I have – after the existing books, and its a perfect read to add that additional character info.
I do love when existing series run these side books about individuals, it makes me feel more understanding of their actions. Its a great read, and as with the main books, really excellently priced.

If you like vampires, romance, suspense and action read this series, it delivers all that and more, though this novella is shorter on the suspense angle, that’s really the prerogative of the main books.
Might be time for a back-to-back read through them once more.
Stars: five, a great story to read pre,post or during the existing novels. Made me feel even more for Aleksei!

Can’t Walk Away, Sandy James

Can’t Walk Away, Sandy James

Can't Walk Away (River Bend, #3) by [McLain, Molly]

Genre:Romance

I love romances set in the music/fame world and this seemed to be right up my street. Well, I enjoyed it, it was a decent read but sadly not the spark for the magic five.

Brad and his friends were a great trio, and that kind of close friendship is to be valued.
I understood his feelings of betrayal over what he discovered after his loss. I did get irritated with him at times when he seemed to think he knew best what Savannah wanted from her career.
Savannah, devoted to her daughter, loves her music and after the disaster of her career years before she’s being very careful this time round. Sometimes though I felt she was OTT in her reactions to Brad, that she didn’t seem to realise he’s not a mind reader and she needed to make very clear how she felt.

Its a sweet romance, with some sensual and emotional moments, but overall I just didn’t feel any strong emotion coming from it, nothing that really made me really happy for the characters, or really upset, sad, felt down for them. Even right with the events at the end I didn’t really feel that kind of angst that I wanted.

Stars: Four, a sweet, well written romance but a little light on angst and drama for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

69 Million Things I Hate About You, Kira Archer

69 Million Things I Hate About You, Kira Archer

69 Million Things I Hate About You (Winning The Billionaire) by [Archer, Kira]

Genre:  Romance

I really enjoyed the humour in this story, both Cole and Kiersten have some cracking lines that had me sniggering. I think the Amish County weekend was my favourite _ I could just picture the expressions, the looks on peoples faces.

Its not heart-stopping drama, but then this is the Indulgence imprint, more about feelgood books and happy endings than anger and angst. It is a teeny bit predictable in a couple of places but that’s fine, didn’t spoil the story.

The characters were good, Kiersten and her friends, Cole and his mates, his mum – what a great lady, I loved the Harry and Krispin scene, what fun that was.
I liked the way all the staff were in one what was going on, that Cole had a view on what but not why, and that Kiersten didn’t know that he knew….it all added up to a fun read, a way to leave dull everyday problems behind, and do just what the imprint asks, Indulge in a story to make you feel good.

Stars: four, a fun escape that will make you smile

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Make Me Yours, Men of Gold Mountain 4, Rebecca Brooks

Make Me Yours, Men of Gold Mountain 4, Rebecca Brooks

Make Me Yours (Men of Gold Mountain) by [Brooks, Rebecca]

Genre:  Romance

A fun read, I hadn’t read the earlier novels but each are stand alone and I don’t think it would have made a great deal of difference, i was certainly able to get to grips with the story easily.

I liked Claire, loved little Maya, and really felt for her. she had been stupid when it came to Ryan, but when you’re young and in love we do act in stupid ways. when the chips were down though she pulled herself up and used her strength to build a good life for her and her daughter.
Ryan, in a world where everyone smokes, drinks and does drugs its hard not to give in to one of them, and like so many he just doesn’t realise or recognise he’s an addict until its too late, Claire has gone. he doesn’t know why or where and when after five years he sees her at a small venue he’s not letting her go. there’s a huge shock in store for him though…
She’s determine to stand strong but the attraction between them is still there, steamingly sensual. She still holds a bit of herself back though even when she’s given in to that. He seems changed, but is he? well, Ryan is determined to prove he is….until the ultimate test.

Its a sweet story, some serious heat, well written and fitting the story. Its very real in many way, parents do have to be “on” 24/7 but inevitably mistakes happen.
There’s a point in this book where something is pointed out – and i just knew what was going to result. I would have liked a bit more surprise, that felt a little too predictable but it worked well to move things along, and there’s a beautiful ending to this.

Stars: four, its a neat romance, sexy and fun but no deep dramas or real heartache.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

ENTHRALL ME, Tamara Hogan

ENTHRALL ME, Tamara Hogan

Enthrall Me (Underbelly Chronicles Book 4) by [Hogan, Tamara]

Genre: sci-fi and fantasy, Romance

Stupidly I just looked at description, thought it sounded fun and requested…so it wasn’t until I started to read I realised it was 4th in a series…doh. My bad, again.

Still, I did find it relatively easy to keep up, though I needed to back track a few times to check on who people were and how they fit the story.
I’d rather do that though, its my fault, than have authors bore established followers of a series with info they already know. I’ve found that in a few series I follow and to be frank its irritating. I always feel valuable story telling time is taken up that way, and if readers don’t know then they need to go back and read earlier books, or at least the samples so they get that info.

Its a fun story, one where the supernatural world is still hidden from humans but where they all interact, sometimes reluctantly, with each other, and where modern technology has meant they have to embrace it to keep themsleves hidden.
Its very sensual at times but sex that doesn’t dominate, fits the story-line. for me many promising books are let down when the sex overtakes the story, becomes the main them and I want story first, sex second.

I liked Tia, though she was very self confident at times, especially in the way she pushed Wyland. Its clear there’s a strong attraction between them, but they move in different circles and are hundreds of years apart. I found it a bit odd that she was never awed by what he’d seen and done, but just very interested in learning more. I don’t think I could help being a bit awed by him, but then Val and Thane are older than Wyland, and she’s the same with them.
Its that freshness, that taking them at face value that makes her so likable, and makes her fit in so well. That’s a good job because owing to the current danger surrounding her she’s had to move in to their household for a bit…..Wyland, watch out, she’s determined to open what you have – and she does. Poor guy doesn’t stand a chance.
There’s one bit I book marked that made me snigger ( there were a few but this one deserves retelling.) Tia has just got out a condom, “…. he smelled latex, and chemicals – odd but not off-putting, especially compared to sheep intestine….” That really sums up his age to me.

Its a fun story, plenty of action, lots of viewpoints, which I love, makes me understand characters better.
Its got a solid story-line too, and brings in characters from earlier books, which made me want to read their stories too.
I could see the differing arguments between the modernisers and the purists as being very real, there are always people with opposing views, and with a supernatural society there is plenty of space for revel/stay hidden, mix with others, stay within own species arguments and I really want to read further books in this series.

Stars: 4.5, a story I enjoyed even though I didn’t know the background having missed first three books ( bad Jeannie!)

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Soul Reckoning, Nancy E. Polin

Soul Reckoning, Nancy E. Polin

Soul Reckoning by [Polin, Nancy E. ]

Genre: sci-fi and fantasy, Romance

I really enjoyed Nancy’s collaborative novel After the curtain call, so when she asked if I’d like to review this new book I was keen to read it. Its a very different style, different genre, but the romance is the same tender, realistic type, and the characters feel very genuine.
I’ve a weakness for PNR, and for books set in new Orleans, its a perfect setting for the voodoo/houdou type read. With this book I could mentally visualise the characters and settings, and felt very much a part of the story. that’s important to me, I want to feel the danger, the surprise, the closeness of a relationship, not just watch it unfold, but really believe in it.

I loved Rowan, she’s a kind and generous soul, and the inheritance comes just at the time when she needs a fresh start. She soon finds out she’s inherited much more than just the tavern though, that it comes at a cost, and there’s no escape.

There are some great characters in her new life though, and they rally round to help where they can. Luke is one of them. He worked for her uncle, and lives – in the storeroom, sharing washing facilities with Rowen’s apartment!
They don’t hit it off at first sight, Luke is very antagonistic to her. Slowly they get to know each other though, and she discovers his prickly outlook is his way of protecting himself from his past tragedy.
Without either of them realising how, they’ve gone from surly comments to becoming lovers, and Luke fears for Rowan. He knows just how eerie New Orleans can be, how the things that go jump in the night aren’t always human, and certainly don’t play by human rules. The closer he gets to her the more he can see the danger and its coming to a head.

I loved the way this developed slowly, not just rammed in with an insta-lust relationship, and life threatening dangers from second chapter. Sometimes there’s far more to be gained from stories like this that are paced carefully, let plots develop and the reader work out whats happening, with having to be spoon fed it because there’s been no time to lay clues. That’s the best story for me, whatever the genre, one that flows at its own pace, lets me try to work out what is happening and puzzle over a resolution – not that I ever succeed. That’s why I’m a reader and not a writer.
Stars: 5. a fun, standalone paranormal romance, with the spooky voodoo spirits typical of stories in this setting.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

jeannie's art adventures

my adventure with acrylic pouring artworks

Danny Clark - Artist

Nothing you probably haven't already seen.

J.A. Hazel

Author of Siren's Wave, a rock romance novel

barn conversion blog

Saving a piece of local history and creating our dream home

Emme Cross

Totally Addictive Romance Novels

Kelly's Book Blog

Romance book reviews! I'm a book lover, speed reader and reviewer!

Reads and Treats

Satisfying Books and Scrumptious Eats

jeannie zelos product reviews

Jeannie's honest thoughts on products bought or received for review purpose.

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Book Junkiez

The place where book addicts go for their book fix!

Hit or Miss Books

Honest book reviews for the Young Adult, New Adult and Adult categories.

Lorna Soar

Feltmaker & Artist

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

A Writer's Life For Me.

Blog of Author Mishka Jenkins

Book Gossips

We are four cousins hailing from Australia. Love of books runs in our family and we have decided to share our exhilirating gossip sessions with you. Here you can find book reviews from multiple genres, bringing you the best of buzz worthy popular fiction.

Brandy L Rivers

New York Times and USA Today Best selling Author