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Posted in: Book Reviews

WHAT A WALLFLOWER WANTS by Maya Rodale

In the third novel in Maya Rodale’s charming Wallflower series, London’s Least Likely to Be Caught in a Compromising Position finds temptation in a devilishly handsome stranger . . .  Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret. Everyone knows that she’s the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season—but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again. John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is nobody’s hero. He’s a blue-eyed charmer with a [...]

TRUTH OR DARE by Mira Lyn Kelly

After her one attempt at commitment ends with the discovery that her fiancé already has a wife and kid, Maggie Lawson vows that the only people she’ll love ’til death do they part will be her friends. Unfortunately that means Maggie letting her bestie rope her into a year-long dating dare: score a new date each month or pay a penalty. Seems doable—until Maggie’s date stands her up, leaving only one option: the sexy stud who just moved in upstairs. The problem? He and Maggie can’t stop fighting—and that’s just the beginning. His name is Tyler Daniels and the last thing he needs is his neighbor distracting him with her girl-next-door smile and sharp tongue. Tyler’s in Chicago for one [...]

ALL OR NOTHING by Kendall Ryan

The chemistry between Ellie and Braydon in the first two Love by Design books was hot. Their humor and quick wit had me begging for the pair to get together. Thankfully Kendall Ryan gave them their own story to fill my need. After a romp in the bathroom at their best friend’s wedding, Braydon convinces Ellie to be “fuck friends.” It’s clear from the start their friends with benefits relationship isn’t going to work. For being the one who suggested their arrangement Braydon acts like he and Ellie are something more right from the start. Actually, that’s not right. Braydon acts like he and Ellie are in a relationship when they’re at Ellie’s apartment. If Ellie suggests they go to [...]

IN YOUR DREAMS by Kristan Higgins

Everyone loves Jack Holland, but Emmaline Neal needs him. Her ex-fiancé is getting married in Malibu and, obviously, she can’t go to the wedding alone. In Manningsport, New York, tall, blond and gorgeous Jack Holland is practically a cottage industry when it comes to rescuing desperate women. He knows the drill, Em figures, so he won’t get the wrong idea.  What Jack needs is an excuse to leave town. Ever since rescuing four teenagers from a car wreck, he’s been hailed as a hero and the attention is making him itchy, especially since his too-pretty ex-wife is back, angling for a reunion. He’s always liked Emmaline. She needs a weekend date? No problem. So when they wind up in bed [...]

SHATTERED BONDS (Wicked Play #7) by Lynda Aicher

Shattered Bonds tells the story of The Den Club Co-Owner Noah Bakker and Liv Delcour, sister to Vanessa Delcour, aka Mistress V another co-owner of the The Den whose story is told in Bonds of Courage (Wicked Play #6) — a book I loved. Shattered Bonds opens with a bang, an event that truly rocks this cast of characters. This is a story that features all the characters in the prior books so I would recommend reading at least some of the stories before this one. (I read Shattered Bonds having only read some of the prior books and I had no issues following the story.) Ms. Aicher did an amazing job taking one event (no, I am not telling you [...]

BREAKING HIS RULES by Allison Packard

I hadn’t read any of the previous books in the Feeling the Heat series so I was pleasantly surprise when it didn’t prevent me from enjoying Breaking His Rules. I’m drawn to books where one of the main characters has gone through a transformation. I like to see how those who have been with them from the start of the journey contrast to those who have only seen the finished product. This novel centers on Melissa and her decision to become a healthier person. Melissa met her personal trainer, Jake, when she was at her heaviest. Although she was unsure of herself, Melissa had the drive and determination to change her life. Her dedication to her health impressed Jake from [...]

WICKEDLY DANGEROUS by Deborah Blake

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them. Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment. But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught [...]

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 [...]

Talking Blacktop Cowboys with Lorelei James

What inspired you to write the Blacktop Cowboys series and this particular installment? LJ: I loved the idea of taking the bodyguard trope and flipping it on its head—having a tough woman with a military background protecting a male celebrity.  Obviously a tough Wyoming cowboy has an issue with that, so it was really fun with the back and forth between them as they learned to rely on and trust each other. What is your favorite Devin and Liberty “moment”? LJ: I only get to pick one? Their first kiss and first intimate encounter have to win out. But I also love the small moments when they bolster each other when they’re alone on the tour bus. Who is your [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

A WEDDING IN PROVENCE by Ellen Sussman

If a trip to the south of France isn’t in your travel budget this year, don’t dismay. Ellen Sussman’s A Wedding in Provence will transport you – jet-lag free – to an inn surrounded by lush vineyards in the coastal town of Cassis.  Sussman’s descriptions of the scent of lavender,  taste of champagne, and the chill of seawater are equally matched by the complex interplay between the cast of characters. A wedding invitation on the very first page sets the tone, announcing the betrothal of Olivia, an artistic director of a theater company based in San Francisco, to Brody, a Wyoming veterinarian, set to take place at Olivia’s best friend’s picturesque inn, La Maison Verte. First off, Olivia is not [...]

LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell

I was a Rainbow Rowell virgin before reading Landline – which qualifies me for reading idiot of the year. But it also let me come to this novel without expectations. Landline is Rowell’s first adult novel, after wowing readers with Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.  In a nutshell, Landline is about a woman named Georgie who has always been torn between her “work husband” Seth and her actual husband, Neal. But there’s a twist: while Georgia and Neal are separated during the Christmas holiday, and in the middle of an epic fight, she calls Neal from an old landline in her childhood bedroom, and finds herself in a conversational time machine. Confused at first, Georgie comes to realize that the [...]

THE GIRL IN 6E by A.R. Torre

I went into The Girl in 6E completely blind. I didn’t even read the plot summary. As a fan of Alessandra Torre, I’d heard a bit of internet buzz on this book but honestly, had no idea what I was signing up for, I just took a leap of faith and went with it. This book is in large part a dark thriller but there are some coming of age aspects in it —  oh, and it’s also part fetish instruction manual. Jessica is the screen name Deanna uses to make a living as a “camgirl” now that she’s locked herself away for humanity’s safety. Deanna has murderous urges that she initially feels she can only control by keeping herself [...]

STRADDLING THE LINE by Jaci Burton

I should tell you up front that I am a huge baseball fan. I go to games, I listen to baseball podcasts, I follow fan blogs for my home team, and I even play in a fantasy league. I’m also a romance fan, and I love when these two things merge well. When I first started reading romance again about eight years ago, there was a dearth of good sports romances, but thanks to authors like Ms. Burton, I am happy to report this is no longer the case. I should also probably tell you that when the baseball season ends, I turn to football to sate my sports fan needs. This works out, because the football season ends right [...]

HARDER by Robin York

Caroline still dreams about West. His warm skin, his taut muscles, his hand sliding down her stomach. Then she wakes up and she’s back to reality: West is gone. And before he left, he broke her heart. Then, out of the blue, West calls in crisis. A tragedy has hit his family—a family that’s already a fractured mess. Caroline knows what she has to do. Without discussion, without stopping to think, she’s on a plane, flying to his side to support him in any way he needs. They’re together again, but things are totally different. West looks edgy, angry at the world. Caroline doesn’t fit in. She should be back in Iowa, finalizing her civil suit against the ex-boyfriend who [...]