Category: Reviews

Review: Come As You Are by Lauren Blakely

Posted July 19, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Come As You Are by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Come As You Are by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: One Love #5
Also in this series: The Sexy One (One Love, #1), The Only One (One Love #2), The Hot One (One Love, #3), The Knocked Up Plan
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 16, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 334
Length: 7 hours and 29 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I couldn’t have scripted a more perfect night.

For one fantastic evening, at a masquerade party in the heart of Manhattan, I’m not the millionaire everyone wants a piece of. Fine—multimillionaire. But who’s counting all those commas? Not me, and not the most intriguing woman I've ever met, who happens to like dancing, witty banter, and hot, passionate up-against-the-wall sex as much as I do.

There's no need for names or business cards. And that’s why I’m eager to get to know her more, since my mystery woman seems to like me for me, rather than for my huge…bank account.

Everything’s coming up aces. Until the next day when things get a little complicated. (Newsflash — a lot complicated.)

***

He's charming, brilliant, an incredible lover, and right now I want to stab fate in the eyeballs.

I've had one goal I've been working toward, and lo and behold, my mystery man is the very person who stands between me and my dream job. A job I desperately need since my hard-knock life has nothing in common with his star-kissed one.

But it’s time to put that fairytale night behind me, and focus on learning what makes him tick. Too bad it turns out his quirks are my quirks, and his love affair with New York matches mine.

And as we spend our days together, I discover something else that feels like a cruel twist of fate — I’m falling for this naughty prince charming, and that’s not an ending I can write to our story.

Come As You Are by Lauren Blakely is the 5th book in the One Love series. I really enjoyed the previous book and I couldn’t wait to see what happened with Flynn. I ended up loving this book. I think it might be my favorite of the series. Andi Arndt and Sebastian York narrated, which probably helped. They’re my favorite duo.

Flynn Parker and his twin brother Dylan sold their start-up for millions. Now they’re working on a fully automated home system. He’s a hot, young millionaire at the top of the tech industry. But he never knows if people want him for him, or for his money. A masquerade ball gives him the chance to reinvent himself for a night- to remain anonymous. He could never have guessed he’d meet the woman of his dreams there, but that’s exactly what happened.

Sabrina Granger has been unlucky in love and business lately. But all that turns around the night she meets a mystery man at a masquerade ball. After the hottest encounter of her life – with the possibility of more – she’s offered her dream assignment – the chance to interview Flynn Parker, with the potential to make this a full-time writing gig with a prestigious magazine. She’s flying high – until she and her masked mystery man from the night before meet up in the daylight and she realizes her hot library fling is none other than Flynn Parker, in the flesh.

She needs this job more than she needs orgasms, so she tells Flynn they have to keep things professional. But that’s easier said than done when New York’s hottest bachelor turns out to be the Prince Charming she’s always wanted.

Flynn was such a sweetheart in the previous books, I knew I was going to love him. He was everything I expected him to be. He was sweet, funny, generous and kind. But also dirty, sarcastic and not afraid to take chances. Sabrina was the perfect partner for him. She was adventurous, kind and quirky. I loved the way they explored the city and got to know one another.

This was a sweet romance filled with witty banter and a lot of chemistry. I absolutely loved it.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

One Love

four-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Star Bright by Catherine Anderson

Posted July 18, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Star Bright by Catherine AndersonReviewer: Casee
Star Bright by Catherine Anderson
Series: Kendrick/Coulter/Harrigan #9
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 6, 2009
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 438
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Catherine Anderson presents an emotionally compelling story about the hard as nails, fiercely loyal Harrigan family...

Faking her own death to escape her murderous husband, Rainie Hall takes refuge in the rural community of Crystal Falls, Oregon, where she starts work as a bookkeeper on a horse ranch run by rugged, dangerously good-looking Parker Harrigan.   Parker's word is his honor, and he can't tolerate liars. When he realizes that Rainie hasn't been truthful with him, he's furious, then concerned. Clearly she's a woman in trouble and if she'll trust him, he'll do right by her. But as their attraction blossoms into a deep and thrilling passion, Rainie fears that her mere presence could jeopardize everything the Harrigan family holds dear...

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***
This review was originally posted on Mar 17, 2009.

I’ve always enjoyed Catherine Anderson’s books. They are always family oriented stories that just bring me a happy feelin’. This book starts off with Rainie Hall fakin’ her own death, so it basically grabs you from the beginnin’. Rainie knows that her husband plans on killin’ her on the cruise that he’s disguised as a vacation for the two of them, so she makes her own plans to disappear.

Landin’ in Crystal Falls, Oregon, Lainie finds a job as Parker Harrigan’s ranch workin’ as a bookkeeper. She sees right away that her boss is someone that values the truth more than anythin’ and is terrified of what will happen when he finds out that she’s not who he thinks she is. Her fears turn out to be well founded. Parker does not accept her lies very well. When he realizes that she has left an abusive relationship, he can’t get rid of her like he planned to. In fact, with each passin’ day, he finds himself more and more attractive to the elusive Rainie.

Rainie doesn’t find it easy to trust, especially a man. Yet she finds that she’s slowly beginnin’ to trust him as the days go by and Parker befriends her without expectin’ anything else. Still, she’s scared that she’ll make as bad of a choice as she did marryin’ her husband, Peter. Not to mention that she knows that he’s lookin’ for her and won’t give up until he finds her.

The best part of this book was seein’ Rainie discover herself again. It took a long time for her to accept that she wasn’t at fault for her disastrous marriage. It takes time, but she realizes that Parker isn’t anythin’ like Peter. Not only will he never hurt her, but he helps her take her self-confidence back, somethin’ that she thought could never happen. The romance unfolded slowly between these two, which worked. I think the book was more about Rainie findin’ her self-confidence and gettin’ her self-worth back than it was about romance. In order to get in a relationship with Parker, she had to get past her demons and learn to trust a man.

There was one thing in this book that drove me bat-shit crazy. Parker drops his “g’s”. It was so annoying and would take me out of the book which made me insane. It’s not that he was an uneducated hick, he just embraces his roots more than most. Still, I couldn’t effing stand it.

3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely

Posted July 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: One Love #4
Also in this series: The Sexy One (One Love, #1), The Only One (One Love #2), The Hot One (One Love, #3), Come As You Are
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 23, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours and 59 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

There are three little words most guys don’t want to hear on the first date. Not those…I mean these… “knock me up.”

This single gal has had enough of the games, the BS and the endless chase. I know what I want most, and it’s not true love. It’s a bun in the oven, and I’m not afraid to hit up my s-e-x-on-a-stick co-worker to do the job. Ryder is gorgeous, witty and charming — and he’s also a notorious commitment-phobe. That makes him the perfect candidate to make a deposit in the bank of me. I won’t fall for him, he won’t fall for me, and there’s no way baby will make three. Right?

****

There are four words every guy wants to hear on the first date — “your place or mine?”

When my hot-as-sin co-worker makes me a no-strings-attached offer that involves her place, my place, any place — as well as any position — I can’t refuse. Besides, I've got my own reasons to take her up on her deal even with her one BIG condition.

There’s no way I’ll want more from one woman than any position, any where, any night? Except . . . what if I do?

Be prepared to swoon and fan yourself from the heat! This full-length standalone contains lots of hot baby-making s-e-x, happy tears, playful jokes and a hot, swoonworthy hero you will fall madly in love with. One-click now for pure reading enjoyment!

The Knocked Up Plan is the 4th book in the One Love series by Lauren Blakely. This series has been hit or miss for me, but Andi Ardnt and Sebastian York are two of my favorite narrators. When I saw they were doing the audiobook I knew I had to give it a go. I’m glad I did. This was a sweet story. I liked both Ryder and Nicole. They had great chemistry and I really felt their friendship, too.

Nicole is ready to be a mother. She’s never really had a long-term relationship (except once, and he was more committed that she was), but she doesn’t want to wait. Her father died when she was young and her mother raised her alone, so Nicole sees no reason why she can’t do the same. The problem is finding the right donor. She wants to know what kind of DNA a potential father is contributing to her child, and picking one out of a catalog is difficult. Until she decides to ask her co-worker, Ryder. Ryder has everything she could ever want in a father for her baby – he’s kind, smart, sweet and sexy-as-hell. Plus, after his marriage went sour, Ryder isn’t looking for any kind of commitment. Which makes him the perfect candidate.

Ryder is pretty shocked – and, if he’s being honest, flattered – when Nicole asks him to donate to her cause. He’s been off romance since his marriage went down in flames, but Nicole doesn’t want romance. She just wants his sperm. He also needs help with a problem. He used to be the ultimate wing-man, the city’s dating Guru (think Hitch), but lately his ratings are down. When his producer tells him he needs to do a “10 Dates to Romance Her” feature, he figures he and Nicole can help each other out.

As these two embark on Ten dates designed to make couples fall in love, and fall into bed every night, things soon turn from light and flirty to serious. But are either ready, or willing, to take the next step? Because there aren’t just the two of them to consider..there’s the potential future child, too.

I thought this was such a fun, cute listen. Ryder was really wonderful. Down-to-Earth, happy, sweet, chivalrous. He had a it all. He and Nicole had chemistry in spades, so their jump from co-workers (and ping-pong partners) to lovers wasn’t a stretch. But more than anything, it was their friendship I adored. They both went out of their way for one another. There isn’t a lot of conflict or angst here. They both acted like adults about the situation with the baby-making, and watching them realize their feelings beyond that was great. Plus, Ryder’s on-air confession was super adorable.

Rating: 4 out of 5

One Love

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Posted July 17, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Huge Deal by Lauren LayneReviewer: Holly
Huge Deal by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 259
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's Summer Reading Challenge, Summer Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

Huge Deal is the third installment of the 21 Wall Street series by Lauren Layne, and my final read from Rowena’s picks for our Summer Reading Challenge. I really loved watching Kate and Kennedy battle their attraction.

Kate fell in love with Kennedy the moment she saw him. For months she gazed after him adoringly, hoping against hope he’d notice her…until the day she overheard him insult her. That killed her feelings quick. She’s been his assistant for years now, and though they don’t have the easy relationship she has with her other two bosses, she doesn’t moon after him anymore either. Her traitorous body is still attracted to him, but her head and her heart know better.

Kennedy has been oblivious to Kate and her feelings all these years, until suddenly something changes between them. Now he can’t stop thinking about her.

Since the first time Kate and Kennedy came on scene in Hot Asset, I’ve been dying for their story. They have chemistry in spades, and I couldn’t wait for Kennedy to finally open his eyes and see what’s right in front of him.

Watching them come together was so sweet and sexy. I loved how well Kate knew Kennedy, and how much they both realized they didn’t know about each other, even after all those years of knowing one another. Kennedy’s surprised delight to find he and Kate shared a lot of similar interests was so fun to read, and I loved watching Kate let go a little bit.

It did lose me a bit toward the end. Kate’s about-face when it came to love didn’t ring very true to me. I loved that Kennedy had to fight for her, and how well he did it, but the conflict didn’t feel authentic.

Still, this was a satisfying read and I’m happy to report that Rowena chose well for my Summer Reading Challenge picks. These were just was I was in the mood for.

Rating: 4 out of 5

21 Wall Street

four-stars


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Review: Law Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted July 17, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Law Man by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Law Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #3
Also in this series: Mystery Man, Wild Man
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 508
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Love is just around the corner . . .


Sweet, shy Mara Hanover is in love with her neighbor. For four years, she has secretly watched her dream man from afar. Handsome police detective Mitch Lawson is way out of her league. She's a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and there's no way a guy like Mitch would want anything to do with her. But when Mara has a leaky faucet that she can't fix, it's Mitch who comes to her rescue.

Mitch has been eyeing his beautiful neighbor for a long time. He jumps at the chance to help her, and soon their formerly platonic relationship gets very hot and heavy. But when Mara gets a disturbing phone call from her cousin's kids, she gets pulled back into the life she's tried so hard to leave behind. Can the hot law man convince Mara to let go of her past-and build a future with him?

140,000 words

Ah, Mitch Lawson. He’s one of my favorite Ashley heroes. Mitch is everything you look for in a hero. He’s sweet, but still alpha. He tells you how it’s going to be, but he does it in a quiet, but firm way. He cares deeply about his job upholding the law. Everything about him just works. That why it fucking sucks that he got such an awful heroine.

Mara Hanover appears sweet and shy just as the summary suggests. Appearances are deceiving. She has a serious problem. View Spoiler » Mara’s issues were so prevalent in the book that they overtook almost everything. She wasn’t worthy of Mitch at all.

As for Mitch, he was so sure that Mara was worth it. He could see little pieces of what he considered the “real” Mara shine through and he was determined to help her. That was Mitch. He was determined to help everyone.

When Mara’s two young cousins need to be taken away from the dangerous environment that their father has them in, Mara knows that she needs to take custody. She’s known that it’s been a long time coming, but everything has just now come to a head. That’s another thing that I couldn’t accept about Mara. She knew that her cousins weren’t safe at their home but she wasn’t “ready” to take custody yet. It showed her true character to me. Her taking them anyway meant nothing.

Mitch on the other hand completely stepped up. When he offered his help after knowing Mara for such a hard time, she did what Mara does. She turned him down even knowing that she couldn’t do it on her own. She was just completely ridiculous.

I really wanted to love this book, but I couldn’t. I don’t know what Mitch was thinking.

Rating: 3 out of 5 (and only for Mitch).

Dream Man

three-stars


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