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Book Reviews

THE BEST KIND OF TROUBLE by Lauren Dane

Natalie Clayton was one of those characters who is difficult to like. She has built a very protective shell around herself, and is often times standoffish with people, making it hard to connect with her.  She is only open and completely herself around her small group of college friends; once you see her in that element, you want her to be like that all the time because she is clearly a very warm, caring person. Once we got her back-story, it’s understandable why she protects herself.  So when her long ago, two-week teenage romance, Paddy Hurley, walks into her favorite bakery, it’s clear that life as Natalie knows it is going to change…big time. There wasn’t much I didn’t like [...]

THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES by Jeaniene Frost

It’s the age-old tale of angels versus demons, but forget the usual stuff about their rift because Jeaniene Frost is switching things up in The Beautiful Ashes. Curious? Since I’ve been fortunate enough to snag an ARC, I’m giving you a quick lowdown on Ivy and Adrian’s story. The rest you just have to read for yourself. Let’s start with the romance: what you’ll find in The Beautiful Ashes is the forbidden sort as Ivy and Adrian’s lineage has been at odds with each other for centuries. Now I wouldn’t necessarily call it insta-love because they said the L-word towards the end but if we are to follow the timeline, Ivy and Adrian did fall for each other sooner rather [...]

A HIGHLANDER’S OBSESSION (Highlander’s Beloved #1) By Vonnie Davis

I’ve never hidden the fact that in the realm of paranormal romances, I’m a shifter girl, not a fang banger. In the romance realm, I am also a lover of all things Highlander and let me just interject, what a wonderful time it is to be a lover of the Highlanders! A HIGHLANDER’S OBSESSION is the best of both worlds. Set in modern times, there is a definite throwback feel when exploring the mores of the castle/bed and breakfast inhabitants. In fact, Creighton Matheson is the laird of the land. He’s the first born son in an area that places huge value on first born sons but there is also a curse settled on these fellas, and it never ends [...]

DARK SKYE (Immortals After Dark # 14) By Kresley Cole

Dark Skye is the story of ill-fated childhood best friends, Thronos and Lanthe. Thronos is royalty in his Vrekener clan. A real life prince of a winged warrior. Vrekeners reside in the secluded floating city of Skye Hall. It is far above the clouds, heaven of sorts and the residents live a life of austere moderation to say the least. No impure thoughts, no pre-marital sex, no drinking, no dancing, no flashy clothes, no thinking outside the box. Self control to the most excruciating degree. Lanthe is Queen of Persuasion, royalty of the Sorceri. Sorceri worship gold, live in the moment, and are carousing, wanton sexual beings. Sorceri are the night to Vrekener day but Lanthe is fated to be [...]

THE RELUCTANT GOVERNESS by Maggie Robinson

Eliza has settled in as the efficient receptionist at the Evensong Agency. So when her boss asks her to temporarily resolve a family problem, Eliza agrees. The governess job isn’t her first choice but watching over her boss’s niece-in-law should be a breeze. If only the adorable girl’s father wasn’t one of those “unconventional” artist types. Shirtless, covered in paint, and answering his own door, Nicholas isn’t what she expected a Scottish baron’s brother to be like. But when the little girl jumps into an antique vase and her father does nothing, Eliza knows she’s desperately needed. Nick and daughter Sunny have been getting along just fine since the last governess died. Why had his meddlesome sister-in-law sent a proper [...]

A CURSE AWAKENED by Cecy Robson

Discover Cecy Robson’s sensational Weird Girls series—or return to where the magic first began—with this eBook original prequel novella about four sisters coming to grips with their unique supernatural powers. Celia Wird shouldn’t possess the ability to transform into a tigress. Her three sisters should never be able to burst into flames, heal wounds, or transform common objects into deadly weapons. And yet they do. Before they were born, the Wird Sisters were cursed by a spell that was intended to destroy them, not endow them with extraordinary powers. The sisters’ magic is untamed and explosive at best, and time is running out for them to take command. Vampires have targeted Celia’s sweet, tragically human ex-boyfriend Danny. The sisters rush [...]

EVER AFTER by Kate SeRine

Kate Serine’s Transplanted Tales is my favorite fairy tale-inspired series. The series gist is very similar to the TV show Once Upon a Time: a rift happens, and our beloved characters from lores, legends, myths, and tales of old are transplanted to our world.  Some have managed to stay true to their characters as they were in the tales, some are almost unrecognizable, while others managed to do both like the heroes and heroines of each installment. Ever After is book four of the series. The hero is Gideon, whom we’ve met in the earlier books, a loyal Unseelie guard to the royal fae family, and his lady love, Arabella aka Robin Hood. I was one of those fans who [...]

IT’S IN HIS KISS by Jill Shalvis

Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam’s eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile. Boat builder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will [...]

VEXING THE VISCOUNT by Christie Kelley

As the reluctant new Viscount Middleton, Braden Tavers already has several reputations to save–including his own. So it’s imperative he rescue his estate’s healer Tia Featherstone from her impetuous plan to find his rakehell brother Jonathon. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her determined spirit and unworldly charms at arm’s length. But protecting this stubborn beauty from himself is only stoking an irresistible desire–and an insidious danger threatening them both . Tia must get Jonathon back under her care before his unforgiving brother discovers how ill he truly is. But searching London’s most scandalous hellholes and staying two steps ahead of Braden is uncovering the viscount’s deepest secrets–and a longing to make his wounded heart her own. To [...]

SHELTER ME by Catherine Mann

Once I read that Shelter Me was about an animal rescue, that was it: I had to read it.  I love animals, especially dogs, and I’ve rescued three of them myself.  Like Lacey, I would save them all if only I had the time and the money.  The subject matter is near and dear to my heart, so this book got bumped up to the top of Mt.TBR. Shelter Me destroyed me. DESTROYED me. Not because it was sad, but because each of the damaged, grieving characters found their HEA.  I grew to like them all so much, so it was gratifying that they were able, with a rescued canine’s assistance, to put their grief behind them and embrace a brighter [...]

UNBROKEN by Maisey Yates

In Unbroken, Cade Mitchell, former Rodeo star, finally finds a purpose in life after an accident forces him to retire. And while he leans on his best friend, Amber Johnson, to help him realize his dream, he discovers that the love of a good woman can heal all sorts of wounds. Amber and Cade are best friends and have been for a long time.  I was a bit skeptical on how the friends to lovers storyline was going to work.  But I was pleased with how Maisey Yates developed their story. There has always been a deep love between the two, but it took a rouse to ward off a potential threat to Amber’s family ranch to discover the love [...]

DRIVING WITH THE TOP DOWN by Beth Harbison

Driving with the Top Down is a story of three women whose reality does not match up to their dreams. Colleen Bradley is married with a teenage son. She is happy but has always believed she was her husband’s second choice. She also feels she has failed at her job as wife and mother. Tamara is a sixteen year old girl and Colleen’s niece by marriage. After her mother died, Tamara was raised, begrudgingly, by her father. Tamara makes bad choices, hangs with the wrong people, and is a considered a “screw-up” by others and herself. Bitty’s life was perfect on paper. Married to a wealthy business man and living in a mansion, she appears to have it all except [...]

THE SWEETEST SUMMER by Susan Donovan

A mermaid statue could be the cause of heartbreak or everlasting romance for a practical-minded police chief and his first love—in the second of the delicious Bayberry Island trilogy by national bestselling author Susan Donovan…. Every instinct told Police Chief Clancy Flynn that his island’s claim to fame was nothing but a silly tourist attraction. But now and then, he couldn’t help but wonder if his lifetime of bad romances—starting with the pretty tourist who broke his twelve-year-old heart—could be traced back to a childhood prank involving that very statue…. Then one day the pretty tourist comes barreling back into Bayberry—all grown-up and on the run with her niece. Though Evelyn McGuinness is wanted for kidnapping, she tries to persuade [...]

LAY IT DOWN by Cara McKenna

The Dessert Dogs is a new series from Cara McKenna. This is the part where I admit to Lay It Down being my very first Cara McKenna book. McKenna has been on my TBR pile forever and I am so happy I finally got the chance to read her. And what a way to start. The Dessert Dogs series promises to be an excellent one, full of mystery, suspense, danger, and passion. Let’s start at the beginning, the very beginning…the cover. There is a whole lot of pretty on that cover but don’t be mistaken: Lay It Down isn’t a conventional motorcycle club themed book. Yes, you have a group of guys, a small group of friends but a group [...]

UPSIDE DOWN by Lia Riley

Talia is a college student getting ready to graduate when she decides to take a semester abroad in Australia. What her family doesn’t know is that she’s not actually going to graduate due to being put on academic probation because of her grades. Not only is she leaving her school issues behind, but she’s leaving her broken family; her mom has fled to Hawaii and has filed for divorce and her father is left alone to go about his USGS job. The family was irreparably broken after the death of Talia’s sister, Pippa, just a year ago. Her time away from her family will serve to get her back on track, away from the triggers and memories that keep her [...]

UGLY LOVE by Colleen Hoover

After every Colleen Hoover book I think, “Okay, that one was my favorite,” until I read the next one and I think, “No wait, okay this one is definitely my favorite.” Well, I’ve just finished Ugly Love and I can say without a doubt, it is my absolute favorite. While adults would enjoy any of Hoover’s novels, this book is the first I would firmly put in the “adult fiction” category. Hopeless and Losing Hope may deal with more disturbing situations, but Ugly Love is more sexually graphic. But before you start thinking Colleen Hoover has turned into the next great erotica author, I should explain what I mean by graphic. The premise of Ugly Love revolves around the main [...]

JANE’S HARMONY by Ryan Winfield

This installment of Jane and Caleb’s story picks up right where Jane’s Melody ends. The two are living in Caleb’s little apartment, Caleb is working at a beer distribution center while playing shows in the evenings and on weekends, and Jane is trying to figure out where she fits into the entire equation. She is unemployed with no real prospects for work, especially in her given field. They live next door to a psycho neighbor with her equally psychotic dog, so even if she wasn’t tired of being stuck in the tiny apartment, she’s walking on eggshells trying not to disturb her neighbor. Will life in Austin really be what they both imagined it would be? What if Caleb never [...]

BLURRED by Kim Karr

When he lost the only woman he’d ever loved, it seemed there was nothing left to live for. Even as a boy, all Ben Covington ever wanted was to spend forever with Dahlia London, the beautiful girl next door…then one life-altering decision tore them apart and he was forced to leave her. Now, despite having returned to win her back, he’s still alone. She’s with someone else—someone she’s never going to leave. Resigned to a future without his former girlfriend, Ben numbs his broken heart in a haze of liquor and women. But then the only woman who ever even turned his head while he was with his girl reappears unexpectedly. And he’s never forgotten their one incredible night together. [...]

CRAVE THE NIGHT by Lara Adrian

Born and raised to be an emotionless killing machine, Nathan is one of the most lethal Breed vampires in existence. A key member of the Order—an elite group of warriors charged with protecting both mortals and vampires—Nathan executes each mission with flawless precision and a total lack of mercy. Now he must pursue a powerful, hidden enemy. But Nathan’s hard discipline and training are no match for the fierce pull he feels toward a young woman he has no right to desire—a woman of wealth and high social standing who has long been promised to another Breed male, and who may also prove to be the key to rooting out Nathan’s elusive quarry. Jordana lives a life of glittering privilege [...]

VIRGIN by Radhika Sanghani

“VIRGINVIRGINVIRGIN. I hated the word. I hated it just as much as I hated the fact that I was one. It wasn’t fair–why did I have to be the only non-deformed, non-religious girl stuck with an untouched inner lotus at the age of twenty-one?” Virgins and deflowering tales: Erotica ruined what historical romance worked diligently to romanticize for me during my formative years. I’m sure I’m not the only person who rolls their eyes when we see “virgin” attached to the heroine who ends up being unbelievably skillful in the sack. I don’t know about you, but virginity to me is almost sacred. I blame it on the nuns who raised me and were this short of saying that I [...]

ONE NIGHT PROMISED by Jodi Ellen Malpas

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. M, the hero of One Night: Desired, the newest novel from Jodi Ellen Malpas, the author of the bestselling This Man trilogy, is not likeable. There were so many times when I wanted to scream at Livy, the heroine, for continuing to return to him even when he acts like a complete jerk. But I think she kept going back to him for the same reason I enjoyed reading this – I was intrigued. Olivia “Livy” Taylor is twenty-four and a waitress in a London bistro. She had a rough childhood and was raised by her grandmother, with whom she still lives. One day, a handsome customer in a business suit orders a coffee [...]

HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR by Lorelei James

Devin McClain is every country music lover’s dream man, and he’s in danger. No one knows if the threat is coming from the “super” fans who basically stalk his every move, a jilted lover, or a jealous husband,. But management demands extra security measures be taken after a crew member is brutally attacked. Liberty Masterson is a former soldier, trained in elite personal security. She’s signed on to keep Devin safe posing as his personal assistant/girlfriend on their four month long tour.  While Liberty may not like the egotistical jerk, she’s more than up for the challenge of guarding him. Even if that means trading in her no nonsense style and combat boots for a look more suited to one [...]

THE GAME AND THE GOVERNESS by Kate Noble

This delightful romp of a story from the RITA Award-nominated author Kate Noble should be devoured in one sitting, if at all possible. The Earl of Ashby, an incorrigible sweetheart who immediately brings to mind the actor Simon Baker from The Mentalist with his lopsided, rakish smile, switches places with his secretary in order to prove that his easy life is due to good luck, not his title. The two wager a bet during a business trip to the town where Ashby was raised. The gambit: each man must win over the heart of a lady. For one man, it’s a silly distraction. For the other, the stakes are serious. Noble drops the two men at the Puffington Arms, home [...]

THE DOG PARK by Laura Caldwell

Stylist Jessica Champlin knows it takes more than a darling goldendoodle to save a marriage. She and her ex-husband, investigative journalist Sebastian Hess, had too many irreconcilable differences for even their beloved dog, Baxter, to heal. So they’ve agreed to joint custody, and life has settled into a prickly normalcy.  But when Baxter heroically rescues a child and the video footage goes viral, Jess and Sebastian are thrown together again, and her life takes some very unexpected twists. The line of dogwear she creates becomes wildly successful, and suddenly she’s in the spotlight with everyone watching—the press, the new guy she’s seeing, Sebastian and the past she never imagined she would face again. Soon there’s only one person by her [...]

ONLY WITH YOU by Lauren Layne

I’m going to hazard a guess that every reader of romance has a list of Book Boyfriends (goodness knows I certainly do). But what I recently realized is that I never thought about creating a list of Book BFFs. The reason for this is because after I read Only With You by Lauren Layne, the first book in her “The Best Mistake” series, I knew who I was going to put at the top of my list—the heroine, Sophie Dalton. I laughed with her, and then felt her pain when the hero, Grayson (Gray) Wyatt, acted like a total jerk towards her. Don’t get me wrong. Gray isn’t always a jerk with her, but during their first encounter, he wins [...]

THE MAN PLAN by Tracy Anne Warren

What’s a girl to do when the man she’s loved her entire life thinks of her as a little sister? Worse, her own big sister was the one who broke his heart years earlier. For Ivy Grayson, the chance to get him to see her in a different light comes when she receives an unexpected invitation to move into his luxury New York apartment building. Manhattan also just happens to be the perfect place to pursue her wish to become a successful artist. But how many dreams can one woman expect to come true? Billionaire financier James Jordon has everything a man could want—except love. When Ivy’s family asks him to keep an eye on their “little girl” in the [...]

DESIRED by Stacey Kennedy

Since Fifty Shades of Gray exploded a couple of years ago, the erotic genre has been saturated by kinky billionaires who have a particular taste for virginal subs. I could only read so many versions of this trope before it started to get monotonous. I became wary of the bored Alphas and their surprisingly skilled virgin consorts. Some of these novels read like borderline porn; I’m one of those snobbish readers who believe that erotica, like nude paintings, is art. It should go beyond sex and, to paraphrase author Kyra Davis, each sexual encounter should be a revelation of some sort. Not just sex for sex. So after wading through some sub-par erotica, one of my favorite smexy paranormal writers, [...]

THE FALL OF GRACE by Julia London

Grace Cabot, Julia London’s latest heroine, is full of surprises. She talks far too much, rarely thinks her schemes through, and in a lesser writer’s hands she’d be a wacky sidekick to the saintly, well-mannered protagonist. Instead, her endearing traits lift her off the page and into our hearts. Desperate to save her family from financial ruin, Grace throws herself upon a suitable marriage prospect. But instead of ensnaring the fun-loving Lord Amherst, she finds herself betrothed, under scandalous circumstances, to his brother Jeffrey, the tortured Earl of Merryton. Cautiously, Grace and Jeffrey begin to get to know each other beyond their fiery hot first encounter, although both have secrets they loathe to reveal. The sexual heat between the newlyweds [...]

JUST LIKE THE MOVIES by Kelly Fiore

Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.  Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend. While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much [...]

The Wednesday Daughters by Meg Waite Clayton

It is early evening when Hope Tantry arrives at the small cottage in England’s pastoral Lake District where her mother, Ally, spent the last years of her life. Ally—one of a close-knit group of women who called themselves “The Wednesday Sisters”—had used the cottage as a writer’s retreat while she worked on her unpublished biography of Beatrix Potter, yet Hope knows nearly nothing about her mother’s time there. Traveling with Hope are friends Julie and Anna Page, two other daughters of “The Wednesday Sisters,” who offer to help Hope sort through her mother’s personal effects. Yet what Hope finds will reveal a tangled family history—one steeped in Lake District lore. Tucked away in a hidden drawer, Hope finds a stack [...]