Tag Archive | love story

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 ūüėČ
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

The Fine Art of Deception Series, Boxed Set

The Fine Art of Deception Series, Boxed Set- A Time Travel Romance Book Series,
Alyssa Richards

The Fine Art of Deception Series, Boxed Set: A Time Travel Romance Book Series by [Richards, Alyssa]

I loved this trilogy, have reviewed the three books individually, and now there’s the chance for readers to get all three at once. That’s always my preferred way of reading trilogies and series, where I can indulge in a reading fest, immerse myself in another world for ages, and really ‚Äúfeel‚ÄĚ the story, be there with the characters. Sometimes its a shame to come back to the real world!
I love romance that has something extra, and though the genre selection didn’t suggest anything other than straight romance, it’s far more IMO, a beautiful romance with elements of paranormal and suspense.

Adeline comes from a family with extra talents, her sister can mentally ‚Äúpush‚ÄĚ people to do what she wants, and Adeline has an ability to see the history from touching an object, and find out more about the people connected with it. Its not a gift that’s brought her family happiness though,family, friends and her job have all been affected and not in a good way.
She’s decided that she’s going to ignore her gift, and look for something normal, a straightforward job, and try to live as everyone else does.

I loved Addie, felt for her when the job she enjoys turns out to bring her into real danger. Then there‚Äôs Blake and what a guy he is. The connection between them sizzles, steams and feels intense, but of course Addie knows he‚Äôs hiding things, not least because she suspects he has abilities similar to her sister, and the things of his she touches are blank. That just doesn’t happen, has been done deliberately to hide things….so she tries to avoid him but he keeps on asking, and somehow she finds herself wrapped up in a relationship with him.

Though they’re the main two characters there are many others, each with their own important place in the story, and adding to the cohesivness and reality of the novels.

It’s a fabulous read, something so very different in the Fantasy/Paranormal genre¬†which is dominated by stories that are just a couple of hundred pages or less, too often¬†of a Vampire or Were hundreds of years old finding his Mate, in a simplistic, sickly¬†thin story * roll eyes * so¬†its a real treat to get a book I can really get stuck into, lost in the magic (!) of the story.

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 ūüėČ 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.

Wolfsong, TJ Klune A story I bought!!

Wolfsong, TJ Klune

Wolfsong by [Klune, TJ]

Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance

I’ve been seeing recommendations for this story for a while now but you know what its like, there’s ARCs and KU, free books so actually buying one by an author whose work you don’t know if you like….well, for me it rarely happens even though I was very intrigued.
Then a few weeks back it was on sale at £1.49 so I bought it. Only got round to reading it last week and wow Рwhat a book. Its kind of hard to review, one of those that defies categories.

It is Romance, but its a very slow burn and TBH though we know the two are going to get together they’re kids when we first meet them and have such a lot of growing to do, meeting others, just maturing. someone wrote criticising the sex, but I’m wracking my mind and all I can recall is one scene right at the very end.
Its M/M but the characters are so good that you don’t think of any of them specifally in terms of what sex they are, just that they are right for each other.
Its werewolf/Supernatural but again so much more. The werewolf/witch angle is just a part of who they are it doesn’t define any of them.

I adored Joe, been through so much and what a wonderful family. I got so angry at him at one point though I understood what he did but my heart broke for Ox.
And Ox, what a star he is, so truly good, loyal, despite the things that had happened to him, despite his awful father.
There’s lots more characters here, who fit the story so well, and I’d really like to read more about them ‚Äď but seems they don’t have books. Yet ‚Äď TJ Klune ūüėČ

Its one of those books that are bittersweet when they end, where part of you is glad things worked out finally, and the other part just isn’t ready t leave the characters. Its a slow paced book, not an all action racey sex fest, but one where things develop over several years, where the story slowly expands, brings in more and more people and where Ox really grows into himself, becomes confident, where others see the strength and goodness that’s in him.

A wonderful story, one I’ll definitely re-read and I’ll be trying more from this author.

Stars: five, a fabulous, slow sensual read, with a great story building theme.

For the Winner, Emily Hauser

For the Winner, Emily Hauser

For the Winner by [Hauser, Emily]

 

Genre:  Historical Fiction

As a child I adored fairy-tales, but mum frowned on me reading them as I approached high school, telling me I should have outgrown them.
Then joy, high school and a library full of myths and legends from all over the world to replace my beloved fairies.
Those from Rome and Greece were my favourite and I noticed many parallels in the stories.

So when I saw this it took me mentally back those happy days getting lost in stories of times past, different cultures and the vagaries of the different Gods and Goddesses.
Then came children, a film addict husband and my stories took form once more with fabulous Classic films for the kids, and Jason and the Argonauts was one of their favourites.

This book doesn’t really dwell on the¬†Argonauts perilous¬†journey so much as Atalanta’s part in it. We do go with them for long stretches but its more the interaction of the characters than the perils of the journey.
Atalanta was abandoned as a baby even though she was the first born and a princess, and she’s brought up by loving foster parents.¬†When she hears the tale, when her parents feel she’s old enough for the¬†story of how she came to them, found in a torrential storm,¬†she sets off to find her family, and then finding out the truth she sets out to prove her worth to the king.
She’s a fearsome warrior, the equal and better of many men, and in disguise as a Lord she gets her place on the¬†Argonaut, intending to steal the fleece and prove herself to the king, and thwart Jason’s cruel plans for the places he wants to rule.

That’s the plan but of course its never that simple, and Atlanta has to constantly revise her plans according to circumstances.
Its not hard enough being a woman in a time when they were definitely subservient to men, being a princess in disguise, having to fight every step of her way against her peers, but the Gods and Goddesses have their own plans and are constantly interfering in mortal affairs.
Luckily there’s Iris, ostensibly a messenger for Hera, but in reality a Goddess in her own right, using¬†her messenger persona¬†as a way to keep things as she feels they should be.

Its a fabulous read, transporting me back in time, waiting to see what would happen to Atalanta and her plans with each new chapter, inwardly ranting at the bigoted and short sighted men, railing at the Gods and Goddesses for their careless interference, their disregard for human life.
I kept telling myself “just one more chapter” and then “well, just til I see if/til I find out what…” until¬†I¬†was so tired i wasn’t appreciating the story as it deserves.

Its a fabulous read, feeling very real, letting me rail at the unfairness of how women were treated, and then thinking, how come we still don’t get equal treatment thousands of years later.
I loved the characters we met, loved the scenes of everyday life, loved seeing a different side to Jason than the usual one, and his cruelty was all too believable.
And the ending, just so right, took the story to the perfect finale.

Stars: A very worthy Five, a wonderful tale to escape from everyday life into another time and place.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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 ūüėČ

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

Savaged Vows, (Savaged Illusions Trilogy 2), Jennifer Lyon

Savaged Vows, (Savaged Illusions Trilogy 2), Jennifer Lyon

Savaged Vows: Savaged Illusions Trilogy Book 2 by [Lyon, Jennifer]

Genre:  Romance

I loved Savaged Dreams, the first part of this trilogy, and have been waiting for this installment. Luckily its not been too long so that was still fresh in my mind, and the final part is out this autumn.

I hate waiting long periods between parts in duets/trilogies, I’ve lost the impetus often, especial when its a year or more….I know I’m not alone in that so a huge thank you to Jennifer for keeping the wait to a reasonable time ūüėČ

Anyway, the book…well, another winner from me. Lots of Beth/Liza and Justice, and of course the band and their way upwards in the fame search.

Having lost the competition – in part due to the negative publicity around Beth and her past – they’re now pulling things together and moving on,¬†and upwards they hope. Its just one of those things that happen, none of them could have prevented it but understandably the band are feeling a little as though Beth is a bar to their future.

They like her as a person but she is undoubtedly a force that can be used against them, and there’s nothing they can do except for Justice and Beth to separate – and they’ve made it clear that’s not happening.

The dramas move on rapidly in this part, scarcely has the ink dried on their marriage certificate than she’s pregnant.

Wow, their publicity officer really isn’t happy about that, and urges Justice into some moves to prevent it harming the band. Some he does, some he stands out against, but its a compromise at best and he feels he’s not being fair to Beth or the band much of the time.
Some of the measures¬†isolate Beth from the band a bit, but she’s also busy building her career, in a new and exciting job, spending time with her best friends.

She does feel as though they’re drifting though, with Justice being more and more wrapped up in band stuff. She understands but..it hurts, especially given the nightmare of her past that still affects her badly at times.

Justice is stuck between the traditional rock and hard place, does he give up his dream? Will that affect the band badly if he leaves? And will he come to resent Beth? And of course money, they’re all¬†deeply in debt now and only carrying on with the tour can bring them out, and let him give Beth and the baby the lifestyle and protection he wants for them.

He has a really tough time in this book, and there’s the pressure of Noah too, his father who’s struggling with PTSD. Jagged Edge ( or Sin – I can’t quite recall their name..) ¬†and Gene Hayes are still lurking around too, providing danger and dramas.

Its all action and just when you feel that’s it, nothing worse can happen, there it is.

Beth feels betrayed on all fronts and once more there’s a nail biting finish.

Its all very realistic, very genuine issues that could happen and its hard to see what else either of them could have done, or whether that would have made things worse.

Its heartbreaking at times, and I felt so sad for all of them, really difficult choices, just as we have sometimes in real life.

Stars: five, another great read. Roll on book three

ARC supplied for review purposes by author

Seducing Abby Rhodes, J. D. Mason

Seducing Abby Rhodes, J. D. Mason

Seducing Abby Rhodes: A Novel by [Mason, J. D.]

Genre: Multicultural Interest.

I saw the synopsis for this, thought “romance” and as it had a great prospective nasty B itch female – I love those – I requested. It wasn’t until writing this review I saw the¬†Multicultural Interest tag.
I did notice after the first couple of chapters that Jordan isn’t the usual white, well connected, Alpha male and thought then how refreshing it was to read of a male coloured lead. We see ladies of colour in romance, almost always gorgeous Latino types ūüėČ but I can’t recall the last time I read one with a male lead. That’s a shame, and bad in that it certainly doesn’t fit reality.¬†I was pretty ashamed too, that until then I’d just made the assumption that he was white. Says much for today’s stereotypes and how they lead to unconscious bias. I’ll try to work harder at avoiding it in future.

I loved Abby, a real Lady and so hard working. My type of lead lady. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty, join in and work with her construction crew on the pull down and build up of her projects. As someone who loves to garden and usually has somewhat dry and scrubbed hands and nails, rather than elegant manicures that was good to read.
The romance between her and Jordan takes place pretty quickly, and was really believable. Even though they are very different sorts of character, very contrasting backgrounds I could feel the pull between them. And of course when Robin got involved that was perfect for me.
Characters like hers add so much fun to a story. I do wish there were more like her! Educated, gorgeous looking and determined to hang on to her catch, to do whatever it takes to me the next Mrs Xyz.

Of course there are always things in people’s pasts which could be misinterpreted, and Jordan has a few more issues than most people. I really wanted to know the connections, the real story, and little hints kept being teased out but determining what was real, what actually happened wasn’t easy and I didn’t get it til the reveal.

The biggest problem for me in this story was when things did play out they felt almost anti-climatic, after all the big build up. It felt like there should have been more consequences, stronger reactions somehow, it just felt kind of faded, muted to me.
Still, that’s me, drama all the way is what I love, and I did like the way when things went wrong for Abby and Jordan that it was stretched out, given a good working over, not a two-pages-later-and-all-is-well solution.
I like breakups to be solid, heartbreaking, to really wring at my emotions.

I hadn’t read any of the earlier books, and maybe if I had the revelations of the past would have worked better for me, knowing what happened, or some of it. I had a little trouble remembering who was whom at first too, and if I’d met the characters before that would have been easier to follow. Never the less this can be read as a complete read, a stand alone in its own right.
One day I’d like to read the earlier books, I really like JDM’s writing style and the types of characters she creates.

There is a very slight supernatural element here, a little ghostly action, people from the past interacting with those in the present, and that was fun, but a very minor part of the story.

Stars:¬†Four, a enjoyable story with some solid plots and intrigues…

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

To Win Her Smile, Mackenzie Crowne

To Win Her Smile, Mackenzie Crowne

To Win Her Smile (Players) by [Crowne, Mackenzie]

Genre:  Romance,

I didn’t realise this was book five in a series, but its one of those where each story is a stand alone, and connected by the characters so I was able to keep up OK ūüėČ

I really enjoyed this read, loved Piper, understood her desire to keep the family estate intact, it sounds a wonderful place and there’s so much family history attached.
Times are tough though, and she’s facing a fierce financial deadline, so when offered the chance to earn enough to clear it she jumps at the chance. Its using her beloved photography skills too, she’s been running the estate as a posh B&B but photography is what really is her preferred way of earning, she loves the magic found in the right picture.

She’s working for Wyatt though, as well as his team, and gets to know the group well. Wyatt makes it clear he’s wants more than just her there as his lucky charm…more than her taking pics for the charity calendar, and soon they’re into a hot and steamy relationship for the five weeks she’s there¬†working.

I loved Wyatt too, talented, a great team mate and player yet his father, just starting a bid for Presidency, doesn’t see how well he does, can’t see he’s doing what he loves, he’s simply irritated that Wyatt hasn’t followed him into politics. He wants him around solely to back up the family image, to boost his own career. He needs squeaky clean family, and as usual his employees are checking into every part of their lives.
Secrets beware! and of course we all have them.

Of course just when everything is going well it isn’t…and in a way that brought the story down for me.
I saw this angle coming way, way off, as soon as something happened right back in the early part of the book, but thought it was so obvious and clunky that maybe the author had thrown it in to distract form the real story line. As we got closer to the end more clues came in, almost spoon feeding us to the event.
I still kept hoping that it would be something else, this was too easy, too simplistic and surely Piper as a professional would have taken measures to ensure it couldn’t happen.
But no…Sigh…I was right ūüė¶ and that brought the story down a star.

I was so angry with Wyatt, but understood his reaction, absolutely loved the way he was made to work for redemption, the way it covered months in the story, not juts one of those sorry, I goofed, effed up and its all happy, happy, happy on the next page.
I do like my characters to have to work hard for forgiveness, love the leads to be feeling really sad, upset, distraught, and Piper was all those.

Its got the perfect ending too. If only that reveal had been less clumsy, less obvious it would have been a full five star read for me.

Stars:Four, a great read, just brought down by a too obvious story line.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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