Genre: Contemporary Romance

Review: Light My Fire by Christie Ridgway

Posted October 15, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Light My Fire by Christie RidgwayReviewer: Holly
Light My Fire (Rock Royalty, #1) by Christie Ridgway
Series: Rock Royalty #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 258
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Goodreads
three-stars

Years ago, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the nine collective children of the most famous band in the world “Rock Royalty.” Now all grown up, the princes and princesses are coming back to L.A.’s Laurel Canyon to discover if love can be found among the ruins of a childhood steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

One touch will start a fire…World-weary band tour manager Ren Colson leaves his London business behind for a stay in Southern California, never expecting to wake up beside Cilla Maddox. Cilla Maddox—who in the years since their last meeting has turned sexy as hell. But she deserves more than a man hardened by long nights, dark roads, and too many faceless women.

One night will change her world…Cilla Maddox not once imagined she’d see the bad boy of her dreams again. But then he’s sharing her air, her home, her bed. Though he claims he has no heart, she wants it to be hers. Can she convince him that the flames that leap between them might signify forever?

It’s been several years since I read anything by Ridgway. This was a free Kindle download. I’m a sucker for rock star romances, and the premise of this one intrigued me.

The children of rock band Velvet Lemon have been dubbed Rock Royalty by the media. They grew up surrounded by sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. None of them have really managed to form lasting connections, but youngest child Cilla craves family more than most. Since her latest relationship ended very badly, she’s home licking her wounds and mourning the loss of her surrogate mother, Gwen, a groupie who took all the kinds under her wing. Gwen left each kid something personal of hers and Cilla figure cataloging the collection of costumes she got is a great excuse to regroup. Only she didn’t expect Ren, another Lemon kid, to show up at the same time.

Ren has always been a loner. He isn’t looking to connect with his family or a romantic relationship, but he can’t deny he’s attracted to Cilla. When it becomes clear the attraction is mutual, he knows he can’t resist. As long as she knows the score, all will be well, right? What could possibly go wrong…

Light My Fire wasn’t a bad read, but the characters read as very young. Ren’s bad-boy persona was told more than shown, and I got frustrated with Cilla several times because she seemed so immature. I did like the other siblings and the way that part of the story was told. I also liked the connection between Ren and Cilla, and how their romance developed. There were a lot of unanswered questions, but I assume they’ll be cleared up in the following books, since there are 9 in the series.

Overall this was a quick read. Not a lot of substance, but entertaining.

3 out of 5

Rock Royalty

three-stars


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Review: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Posted October 15, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Fight or Flight by Samantha YoungReviewer: Rowena
Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was--until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....

Fight or Flight is a standalone contemporary romance by Samantha Young that had me thinking I would DNF it right at the very beginning but I am so glad that I didn’t. The story starts off with the hero and heroine meeting at the airport. They both want to upgrade their seats on their flight and the hero does not make a good first impression on the heroine, nor did he leave a good impression on me. I honestly wanted to punch him in his junk and make sure he hurt before I moved on. But Ava can’t shake the asshole that almost ran her over to get to the counter because, after that, she sees him in line for coffee, he shows up to “save her” at dinner, the spend a very intense night together and to top off her already shitty week, she’s stuck sitting next to him on the flight home.

Ava wants to get home too much to put much effort into her seat partner but for some reason, he brings out the worst in her and they clash at every turn. When she gets home and she continues to run into her seat partner around town, they figure they’re not done with each other.

Our hero, Caleb Scott is from Scotland but is in Boston on business. While he’s in town, he’s interested in keeping the naked party going with Ava and our heroine Ava figures, why not? They continue on as they’ve been going for the past few weeks with the knowledge that as soon as Caleb’s business in Boston is at an end, so is whatever is happening between them. They’re both going through some serious issues, both avoiding rather than dealing and seeing them both come to terms with those issues and fix them made reading this book just that much more enjoyable.

Caleb struggled with his ex-girlfriend, and because of that, he struggles with commitment and relationships. Ava’s issues were more outward then internal as her struggles came about from outside sources and seeing her really come into her own, really own her future while letting go of the past brought me such joy.

Caleb and Ava together were such a great source of entertainment. Their bickering and their chemistry leaped right off the pages and I thought Samantha Young crafted a delightful romance between two people who were right for each other and came to love each other in a very organic and believable way. After that shaky start with Caleb, I came to love him so much over the course of the book.

I also really enjoyed the friendship between Ava and Harper. It made me appreciate my friendships and how I have the same support system that they have with each other and that made me happy. This was a fabulous stand-alone romance that did its job. It made me laugh, it made me sigh and it also made me hopeful for the human race after certain current events. I definitely recommend this one if you’re in the mood for a hate to love romance with a super sexy hero and a heroine that will have you cheering for her to come out on top. So good.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Posted October 14, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 1 Comment

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I fell in love with Samantha Young’s contemporary romances when I first read On Dublin Street and I haven’t looked back since. With every contemporary romance that she releases, it automatically goes on my must have list and it wasn’t any different with Fight or Flight. That’s why we’re featuring Fight or Flight today for Sunday Spotlight. Enjoy the excerpt!

Sunday Spotlight: Fight or Flight by Samantha YoungFight or Flight by Samantha Young
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was--until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

“Take that,” he grunted out and I turned my head to see he was holding his empty tray out to the flight attendant. The flight attendant stared at it, momentarily stunned.

“Of course, sir,” he said calmly, practiced, before taking it and walking away.

Irate at his behavior, I couldn’t help myself. “Do you ever say please or thank you?”

He cut me a dark look. “What?”

I gestured with my plastic fork to where the flight attendant had been standing. “People aren’t your servants. The flight attendants are not your servants. They’re doing a job and trying to make this flight easier on you. You can be forgiven for being abrupt and standoffish and maybe unintentionally insulting because you’re anxious about flying. I was trying to tell myself that anyway. But the way you speak to people in customer service makes you an arrogant, entitled prick.”

“If I were you I’d shut up and mind your own business.”

“Yeah, well if I were you I’d reach into that goddamn dark soul of yours and pull a thank you out of there every now and then.”

I didn’t know if it was the honest pique trembling in my words, but the Scot’s eyes widened marginally before he glowered and pulled his laptop back out with a clatter on top of his table.

Hateful, hateful man.

Ignoring him now came much, much easier. In fact, after lunch (and another coffee) I actually got into my book. The urge to use the bathroom about fifty minutes from our estimated arrival, however, made continuing to ignore my neighbor impossible. I was going to have to ask him to move. Plus, I was too warm and dying to take off my jacket.

“Could you please let me out?” I asked in a carefully neutral tone.

Equally lacking in expression, he grabbed up his laptop, pushed his table back in and gestured for me to get out.

I stared at the barely-there gap between his knees and the seat in front of him. Was he kidding? He wasn’t going to get out of his seat? My gaze flew to his face but he was staring determinedly ahead.

Fine!

If I happened to step on his feet and then grind my stiletto into his toes that was his fault. Huffing, I got up, grabbed hold of the top of the seat in front of him, trying not to touch the head of the woman sitting in it and I shoved my right leg into the teeny gap he’d left. If he was an average-sized man I probably would have squeezed past no problem in the spacious first class seats.

But he wasn’t an average-sized man.

My leg touched his and my fingernails dug into the headrest in front of me. I shimmied into his space, bringing my left leg into the mix and I heard him curse when my heel came down on his left foot. A fizzle of satisfaction moved through me and I pushed further into his space. I felt his legs tense and I was suddenly very aware that my ass was in his face. Thankfully, it was mostly hidden by the peplum of my jacket.

With one last shimmy I stumbled out into the aisle and looked back at him, hoping he was seared and scorched by the heat of my glower.

The bastard already had his laptop back out.

Wondering how it was possible a person as ill-mannered as him hadn’t been caught by karma by now, I marched down the short aisle and into the toilet at the entrance of the galley.

Inside I did my business, washed up, and yanked out of my jacket feeling unbearably hot. Thankfully, the silk camisole I wore was cut low enough under my arms that there were no damp patches on the material. I patted under my arms and sniffed to make sure I didn’t smell. Though I didn’t, I’d need to freshen up soon in order to avoid it. Not that I cared if I smelled while sitting next to that asshole. I’d do anything to make the rest of his flight uncomfortable.

Knowing I couldn’t stay in the restroom any longer, I slipped out, nearly bumping into the woman who had been sitting in the seat in front of the Scot.

“Sorry,” I smiled apologetically. “Have you been waiting long?”

She shook her head, her expression filled with a sympathy that didn’t make sense until she said, “It’s okay. If I were sitting next to that jerk-off I’d want to stay in there forever, too.”

Of course the people around us had heard our conversation. Weirdly, when I was talking to the miserable bully I forgot everything else around me but him. That knowledge was not welcome. “Yeah,” I managed feebly.

“Good for you, though. You know how to handle him. I think I’d probably have been thrown off the plane before we even took off. You know, for swinging a punch at him.”

I laughed and thanked her, walking back to my seat feeling relief move through me that our flight was nearly over. As I approached, the Scot looked up at me. His gaze dropped to his computer but only for a millisecond before it flew back up. That arctic stare of his moved over my cleavage, now visible in the cami that was tucked into my high-waist pencil skirt.

A shiver I detested for betraying me skated down my neck.

His eyes flew back up to my face and he no longer looked right through me.

He appeared displeased.

Narrowing my eyes, wondering what the hell I’d done now, I gestured to my seat. “Can you let me back in?”

He snapped shut his laptop, dropping his table again. “High maintenance,” he murmured quietly.

I gripped the now empty seat in front of him and turned my back to him as I shimmied in. “Yeah, needing to pee is so high maintenance.”

My left foot hit his left foot and he pressed his knees in closer to the back of my thighs, trapping me.

I glanced over my shoulder, about to snap at him, only to catch him glaring at my ass. There was an angry heat in that stare, heat he hadn’t looked at me with before. The kind of heat a guy usually had in his eyes when he wanted to find the nearest bed and throw me on it.

Suddenly the image of him looming over me, his body pressed between my legs, flashed through me in a surge of fire that shocked and pissed me off in equal measure.

Huh.

I snapped my head back around, not going there. “Would you move?” I bit out.

His knees suddenly pulled back and I stumbled out of his space and tumbled into my seat with less grace than I’d have liked.

Feeling his gaze on me, I shot him what had to be the hundredth filthy look of the day. “What?”
Instead of answering he turned, bent down toward the aisle and came back up with my jacket in his hand. I hadn’t even realized I’d dropped it. He shoved it at me and I snatched it out of his hold.

“What? No thank you?” he mocked.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Gleam widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: October 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Samantha Young

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Fight or Flight, a new standalone to be published by Berkley Romance, is out October 9th 2018. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s YA contemporary novels The Impossible Vastness of Us and The Fragile Ordinary are published by Harlequin Teen. Her next adult contemporary romance As Dust Dances releases August 7th 2018. It follows the story of homeless ex-poprock star Skylar Finch and the ambitious Scottish A&R Exec Killian O’Dea who shakes up life as she knows it.

Samantha is from a small town in Central Scotland and is known for her romantic stories set in her beloved home country. She is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author. When she’s not writing books, she’s buying shoes she doesn’t really need and searching for nooks and crannies to shelve her ever-expanding book collection.


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Guest Review: Mistletoe Miracles by Jodi Thomas

Posted October 11, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Mistletoe Miracles by Jodi ThomasReviewer: Tracy
Mistletoe Miracles (Ransom Canyon #7) by Jodi Thomas
Series: Ransom Canyon #7
Also in this series: Sunrise Crossing, A Christmas Affair (Ransom Canyon #6.5)
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

A small-town Texas Christmas story, where hearts are lost, love is found and family always brings you back home

Griffin Holloway is desperate: the Maverick Ranch has been in his family for generations, but lately, it's a money pit. He'd sooner marry one of his horses than sell the ranch. Marriage, though, could be a solution. If he can woo a wealthy bride, he might save the ranch--just in time for Christmas.

Jaxon O'Grady likes his solitude just fine, thank you very much. But when a car accident brings the unexpected to his door, he realizes just how much one person can need another.

Crossroads is the perfect place for Jamie Johnson: avoiding nosy questions about why she's single, she's happy to keep to her lakeside home. So she's baffled when she gets the strangest Christmas present of all, in the form of a Mr. Johnson, asleep on her sofa. Who is he, and why does everyone think he's her husband?

In this uplifting novel, three unlikely couples discover just what Crossroads, Texas, can offer: romance, belonging and plenty of Christmas spirit.

Griffin Holloway is desperate to find a wife.  Not that he thinks he’s ready to get married but because he needs a rich wife to pay the mortgage on the ranch that has been in his family for 10 years. He goes to the two old ladies who run the local B & B for advice and they match him up with Sunlan Krown.  She’s the daughter of a rancher in Texas and very rich.  She agrees to marry Griff but with many stipulations.

Army Captain Wyatt Johnson is taking some time off between assignments.  His girlfriend (who he wasn’t really attached to) got engaged while he was away and his parents were living their own lives.  He just wants some place to call home to rest his weary body for a while.  When he collapses from lack of sleep the local ranger takes him to Mrs. Johnson’s house.  The ranger said that Mrs. Johnson had said that her husband wasn’t around much so him being in the Army would explain a lot.  They put Wyatt into Jamie’s house and leave him there.  Imagine Jamie’s surprise when she comes home after a weekend away with her drama students and finds a strange man in her place.

Jaxon is a man who is hurting on the inside.  He was also physically hurt two years earlier but now he’s just emotionally scarred.  He lives alone on a piece of land his family owns and likes the peace and solitude it provides.  He is out walking one day when he witnesses a car accident.  He runs to help but he’s pretty far away.  By the time he’s gotten there the woman who was driving is being loaded into an ambulance.  He starts to leave and hears a whimper.  It’s a dog and he takes it and nurses it back to health.  When he discovers that the dog belongs to the driver, and that she’s hiding from an abusive boyfriend, Jaxson volunteers to nurse her back to health as well, while hiding her from further danger.

Once again Jodi Thomas has given us a book with three stories that are all so good.  Each one would have made a great novella but adding them together, and alternating chapters made it that much better.  Two of the stories ended up being intertwined and that was a bonus as well.

I liked all three of these stories equally.  I like Thomas’s books because for the most part there isn’t a ton of angst and I appreciate that.  This book was like that and I really enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Ransom Canyon

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Under Contol by Shannon Stacey

Posted October 10, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Under Contol by Shannon StaceyReviewer: Tracy
Under Control by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #5
Also in this series: Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Fully Ignited, Fully Ignited, Controlled Burn, Hot Response, Hot Response (Boston Fire, #4), Under Control (Boston Fire, #5)
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

When faced with the opportunity to change shifts while staying in the same house, veteran firefighter Derek Gilman jumps at the chance. His new schedule means not working Saturdays, which means more time to spend with his two kids. His divorce may have been amicable, but being a firefighter and a single dad is a lot to juggle. And when fate brings a gorgeous, wealthy woman into his life, he’s pretty sure he can’t handle more than he already is.

Olivia McGovern loves plans. She planned to start her own business and planned its growth. It’s earning her seven figures now, but her personal life simply doesn’t exist. Getting trapped in a broken elevator figures in exactly nowhere, and freaking out in front of a sexy firefighter definitely isn’t on the agenda. Especially not one with two kids and an ex.

What would have been a random incident with an attractive stranger becomes something more when a charity event brings them back together. They’re from different sides of the tracks, literally—with friends, family and careers to consider. But as Derek and Olivia are discovering, chemistry doesn’t allow for plans, and love doesn’t bother with logistics.

Derek Gilman is a man who loves his family.  His marriage didn’t work out, but they stayed good friends.  He has two children and they mean the world to him.  He wasn’t expecting to meet anyone that would catch his eye, but when he gets stuck in an elevator with Olivia McGovern she pushes all of his buttons.

Olivia has no time in her life for dating.  She has a plan and a man plays no part of that.  Unfortunately for her plans, Derek gets under her skin and she’s soon having to make adjustments.  But can she make enough adjustments to her life to include Derek and his two kids and still live her life the way she wants to?

This was a cute story.  I liked Derek a lot.  I liked how he was with his kids and also the fact that he was such good friends with his ex-wife – kind of like he was before they got married.  With Olivia it took me a while to warm up to her because she was so Type A and had every minute of her day/life planned.  She needed some warmth and spontaneity in her life…and Derek provided that.

Olivia and Derek fall in love pretty quickly but neither is willing to compromise their lives for the other.  They live 40 minutes away from each other.  She makes a lot of money, he makes a fair amount but nothing spectacular.  Her job is in downtown Boston, his isn’t.  Money and location ended up being an issue between them and that annoyed me for some reason because he wouldn’t compromise and his pride was getting in the way.  I mean, I could tell how much they loved each other, and their relationship was pretty good, but the story lacked a spark.  Maybe it was because the book was so centered on them and lacked outside issues?  IDK.

We got some time with the other guys in the firehouse and characters from past books.  We also got, woven into this story, a bit about Grant and his girlfriend Wren.  I’m thinking the next book will be their book and it looks like it will be a good one.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Boston Fire

three-half-stars


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