Genre: Contemporary Romance

What Are You Reading? (+ Alisha Rai Giveaway)

Posted August 17, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 0 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I’m just finishing up Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs. I didn’t have a lot of time to read last week because I was getting my son ready to move to college. I think I literally have two pages left. I’m going to read Cross Breed by Lora Leigh next. I’m really curious how Cassie’s story turns out.

I’m also waiting on the first Harry Potter book in audio from my library. I never got into the craze as everyone else did and I’m super curious about the books.

Holly: I haven’t had a lot of dedicated reading time this week. I want to read, and in fact I’m in the middle of four books, but I just haven’t had time. It’s depressing.

I’m currently reading The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne, When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare and Herons Landing by JoAnn Ross. I’m also listening to Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely. I DNF’d The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward. I managed to slog through 30+ chapters. If I were close to the end I’d probably finish it, because I want to know if my thoughts about where the plot is heading are right, but there’s still 20 chapters to go. I just can’t.

I did manage to read Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews, though. It was so good. I can’t wait for the next book (fall 2019!).

Rowena: I got some good reading in this week so I’m one happy camper. I finished up Down with Love by Kate Meader and while I enjoyed it, there were some things that annoyed me about both the hero and the heroine but I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Yay for Lucas! After that, I started listening to When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon at work. It’s a good way to get some reading in while I’m at the office but it also takes forever. I’m enjoying what I’m reading so far even though Dimple is aggressive as hell. I do adore Rishi though. I also read Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews already because, I couldn’t help myself. I adored that and am so looking forward to more Catalina and Leo and Arabella and just seeing them grow into their powers. Woot!

Right now, I’m reading When a Duke Loves a Woman by Lorraine Heath and I’m loving it. I love Thorne and I adore Gillie so I’m going to finish this one up pretty quickly then I’ll be moving on to Two Weeks Notice by Whitney G.

Happy reading, everyone!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Alisha Rai Giveaway)Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts, #1) by Alisha Rai
Series: Forbidden Hearts #1
Also in this series: Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts, #2), Hurts to Love You (Forbidden Hearts, #3)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 371
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

One night. No one will know.

That was the deal. Every year, Livvy Kane and Nicholas Chandler would share one perfect night of illicit pleasure. The forbidden hours let them forget the tragedy that haunted their pasts—and the last names that made them enemies.

Until the night she didn’t show up.

Now Nicholas has an empire to run. He doesn’t have time for distractions and Livvy’s sudden reappearance in town is a major distraction. She’s the one woman he shouldn’t want . . . so why can’t he forget how right she feels in his bed?

Livvy didn’t come home for Nicholas, but fate seems determined to remind her of his presence—and their past. Although the passion between them might have once run hot and deep, not even love can overcome the scandal that divided their families.

Being together might be against all the rules . . . but being apart is impossible.

What Are You Reading: Hate to Want You

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Guest Review: One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi Betts

Posted August 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi BettsReviewer: Tracy
One Wedding, Two Brides (Fairy Tale Bride #1) by Heidi Betts
Series: Fairy Tale Bride #1
Published by Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: Judy 23rd 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 263
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Jilted bride Monica Blair can’t believe it when she wakes up next to a blue-eyed, smooth-talking cowboy in the middle of nowhere and with a ring on her finger. It had sounded like a great plan at the time. Get married, get revenge, and get her money back. So why is she cleaning out stables and trying to keep her hands off the hot cowboy helping her?

Ryder Nash would have bet his best Stetson that you’d never see him walk down the aisle. But when the city girl with pink-streaked hair and a frog tattoo hatches a plan to expose the conman who married his sister, no idea is too crazy. And even though Monica might be the worst rancher’s wife he’s ever seen, he can’t stop thinking about the wedding night they never had.

What was supposed to be a temporary marriage for revenge is starting to feel a little too real...

Monica is devastated when she opens her Chicago paper and reads a wedding announcement for her fiancé, Matt.  But she’s not the bride in the announcement!  She hops on a plane and while she knows that she won’t make it to stop the wedding, she knows that she has to do something to let Matt know that she found out about the deception.  While on the way to Nevada she ends up getting drunk and crashes the reception and starts spouting off.  She’s hauled out by the bride’s brother, Ryder.

Monica tells Ryder that she needs to get back at Matt and let him know the huge mistake he made by marrying someone else.  The only way, according to her drunken mind, to do that is to get married as well. This will supposedly infuriate Matt because she’ll be the perfect wife.  (Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.)  She says she’ll pay Ryder $50,000 to marry her – a marriage of convenience, of course – and then they’ll get it annulled when she feels Matt has been bested (as he’s so competitive).  So, Ryder’s farm is failing and he needs money, desperately, so while he knows that marrying Monica isn’t smart he needs that money.

The next morning Monica wakes up and can’t remember anything.  She’s horrified that she married this man she didn’t know and then lets him know that she doesn’t have $50,000 because Matt stole it from her before he married Ryder’s sister. Ryder is shocked but determined to get the money back from Matt, so they decide to stay married and work together.

While I enjoyed this story at times, there were plenty of parts that annoyed me.  Ryder was one of them.  He was very concerned for his farm, I get that, but it made him seem pretty self-centered in the way he acted.  He went along with Monica’s schemes but never graciously.  Monica and I had a love/hate relationship as well.  I thought she was an idiot at the beginning, but she made up for it by the end of the book.

This is intended to be an overall light-hearted book and that’s what it is – there’s not a lot of depth.  It was cute and funny at times so that kind of made up for the parts where I found myself rolling my eyes.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Posted August 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa ColeReviewer: Rowena
A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2) by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 374
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

I finally read my first Alyssa Cole book and it did not disappoint. I’ve been hearing such great things about her writing so I’ve been meaning to try her out for a while but I kept getting distracted by other books and other authors but I will not overlook another Alyssa Cole book because I really enjoyed Tavish McKenzie and Portia Hobbs romance.

I’m not going to lie, what drew my attention to this book was the cover and the dress that Portia is wearing. That’s a gorgeous dress so I immediately wanted to read this one because of that alone. Alyssa Cole was blessed by the cover Gods and I’m happy to report that she is also blessed with the gift of writing. I had a blast with this book. I didn’t read the first book but my enjoyment of this book didn’t suffer because of that. I do have plans to go back and read the first book because I liked Ledi and Thabiso in this one enough to want to read their love story.

So this story follows Portia Hobbs as she travels from New York to Scotland to be the apprentice of a swordmaker. She’s trying to get her life together because she needs to and she is through being irresponsible and the party girl. She’s cleaning up her act and the first step to her new and improved life is to be the best damn apprentice that Tavish McKenzie has ever had. She’s low key excited to learn all that she can and isn’t going to let her grumpy ass boss get in the way of her growing as a person.

Tav McKenzie is trying to stay afloat. His business isn’t doing as well as usual and he’s stretched thin trying to be everything and do everything for everyone. His brother Jamie thinks he needs help and help comes in the form of a young woman that he’s very attracted to and doesn’t have the time or inclination to act on that attraction. The desire doesn’t go away and the more time that he spends with Portia, the more he realizes that there is more than meets the eye and he likes her more and more. When they stumble on the fact that Tav is the rightful Duke of Edinburgh, Tav is thrown. He’s a small town lad who has no business trying to be a fancy duke but with Portia’s help, he realizes that he can make good things happen for everyone who is struggling in his town and everywhere else. That’s not something that Tav can exactly walk away from.

Tav and Portia’s romance was a good one. It was fun, it was sweet and I really enjoyed Cole’s writing style. She wrote characters that charmed the socks right off of me and I’m super glad that I read this. There were times when I wanted to smack both Tav and Portia upside their head for being boneheads about small things but overall, this was an enjoyable romance and I recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a fun and sweet romance.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Reluctant Royals


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Review: Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger

Posted August 10, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Midnight Valentine by J.T. GeissingerReviewer: Holly
Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 316
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

A hauntingly powerful love story in the tradition of The Notebook and The Time Traveler’s Wife.

True love never dies.

Megan and Cassidy were childhood sweethearts who thought they would be together forever. Fate had other plans. Soon after they were married, Cass’s life was tragically cut short. Still grieving her soul mate five years later, Megan moves to the small town of Seaside, Oregon, hoping to rebuild her life.

Her first night there, she meets the town recluse, Theo. Withdrawn, guarded, and mysteriously silent since a terrible accident left him scarred, Theo takes an instant and inexplicable dislike to Megan. But as their paths cross again and again, Megan becomes convinced there’s more to Theo than meets the eye. When she discovers the reason for his silence, his nightmares, and especially his pointed dislike, Megan becomes convinced of something far more astonishing.

Is a second chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love possible, or is a broken heart the cruelest kind of liar?

I read and really enjoyed Burn for You by J.T. Geissinger, so I figured I’d try some of her other works. Her paranormal series wasn’t as successful for me, but I thought I’d enjoy Midnight Valentine since 1) It’s a contemporary and 2) It has stellar reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Plus, the blurb was really intriguing. With the exception of the Epilogue, the story is told in first person from the heroine’s point-of-view.

After the death of her husband, Megan moves to a small Oregon coastal town to finally realize their dream of restoring an old bed-and-breakfast. Upon arrival in town she meets mute, scarred contractor Theo. Despite having never met him before, Theo seems to hate her and Megan can’t figure out why. She decides to go with another contractor, even though he comes highly recommended and she’s told he’s the best. What does being the best matter if the man can’t stand her, right? Except it seems the universe has other ideas. Strange coincidences keep happening until Megan finally has no choice but to hire Theo.

Though his eyes burn with hatred when he looks at her, they’re both drawn to each other. It seems like Theo knows her, but how can that be possible when they’ve never met? As Megan tries to deal with her grief and torment over the loss of her husband, she also tries to make sense of her strange desire for a man who seems to hate her..yet is drawn to her in spite of himself.

This is a hard book to review without spoilers. I really enjoyed the humor and wit of the heroine, Megan. Her sarcastic sense of humor had me laughing more than once. I also enjoyed the mystery surrounding Theo and why he’d turned mute. Toward the end, the book took a dark turn. Even though I saw it coming, I didn’t expect it to go that dark. The tone of the early parts of the book were light, despite the trauma Megan suffered. So the last quarter, by comparison, read almost like a different book.

View Spoiler »

None of what happened was a surprise as I’d figured it out early on, but the way it was told kind of killed it the story a bit. While I enjoyed Midnight Valentine overall, I wasn’t left feeling warm and fuzzy when I closed it. Still, it was very well written and I can’t deny I was pulled in by the story of Megan and Theo, both separately and together.

I’m conflicted about the grade. The first 1/2 was a solid 4 for me. The humor, the wit, even the slow burning romance. All of it worked. The last 1/2 pulled my grade down. Ultimately I’m giving it:

2.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Breakup by Erin McCarthy

Posted August 9, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Breakup by Erin McCarthyReviewer: Tracy
The Breakup by Erin McCarthy
Series: The Jordan Brothers #2
Also in this series: The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers #1), The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers, #1)
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: August 14th 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Can two wrongs feel oh-so-right? This bride is about to find out—with the bad boy who makes an epic breakup worth her while.

Bella: I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancé begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.

Christian: If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem? Besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .

Bella is pretty sure that her fiancé is cheating on her.  She’s one week out from her wedding and she’s an emotional wreck. When she finds texts on her fiancé’s phone confirming the cheating Bella confronts Brad about it.  He, of course, being the ass he is, turns it around to make it look like Bella is the cause of his cheating.  She knows she’s being manipulated but still can’t bring herself to end it.  She talks to her parents who push her to marry Brad anyway.  She’s SO confused!

Bella recently became friends with Christian, a bartender in the coastal Maine town that she’s getting married in.  She gets drunk and asks him to teach how to be good in bed but he refuses.  Though Christian doesn’t normally have problems sleeping with women in relationships, because they’re emotionally unavailable, there’s something about Bella that makes him want to treat her well.

When Bella decides right before the wedding ceremony that she absolutely can’t marry Brad she calls Christian and he whisks her off to a family cabin to hide her from her family, Brad and his family and anyone else trying to talk to her.  With Bella now single and free, Christian has no problem showing her exactly how good in bed she is.  The two spend a couple of days together but soon they have to face reality.  Bella has to decide what she’s going to do now that she quit her job, sold her furniture and has nowhere to go, and Christian has to decide if wanting Bella in his life will be a good thing or just make his crazy life even crazier.

After book one in this series I can’t say that I liked Christian all that much.  Book one was about Bella’s sister and Christian’s twin brother getting together.  It seems that Christian slept with his twin’s girlfriend and was caught.  Of course it comes out in this book that the girlfriend, Ali, had told Christian that they had broken up and since Christian had had a thing for Ali all through school he took her up on her off of some bed-play.  Little did he know it would change his life forever.  Turns out he wasn’t a bad person after all – he just didn’t make the best judgment calls about people.  He knew this about himself so that’s why he hesitated when Bella approached him about going to bed with her.  I was happy that he finally saw that it would be a bad idea.  I actually ended up liking Christian a lot in this book, thank heavens. 🙂

Bella was a strong character but sometimes she made me a bit crazy. She knew deep down she was never going to marry Brad but then ended up waiting until the last possible moment to run. That bothered me a lot.  I guess I have not idea what I would have done in that situation so I can’t be too judgy.  I liked how she handled things with Christian, her family and Brad after the wedding fiasco and was happy that she didn’t settle.

I was annoyed at the alternating first person POV.  Not that I mind that POV so much, but there was no clear delineation of when one POV stopped and another started, like a new chapter.  There was just a break in the story and then we’d get another POV – sometimes it was hard to figure out if I was reading Bella’s POV or Christians.  🙁  Not to my liking.

The book was good and I really liked it. It was a fun, easy read and was perfect for just sitting in the back yard with no worries.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Jordan Brothers

three-half-stars


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