Genre: Contemporary Romance

Guest Review: Hot Response by Shannon Stacey

Posted April 17, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Hot Response by Shannon StaceyReviewer: Tracy
Hot Response by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boston Fire #4
Also in this series: Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Heat Exchange, Controlled Burn, Fully Ignited, Fully Ignited, Controlled Burn
Published by Carina Press
Publication Date: April 24th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
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four-stars

The men of Boston Fire are back and hotter than ever! Don’t miss this brand-new novel from New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey.

Gavin Boudreau lives for the job, but he also believes in “work hard, play harder.” As the youngest guy in Ladder 37, he figures he’s got plenty of time before settling down becomes a priority. Soft, pretty women who aren’t looking for promises are exactly his type, and he’s comfortable with that. Working with a gorgeous EMT isn’t going to change who he is.

The last thing Cait Tasker needs in her personal life is a firefighter whose challenges on-scene have been a thorn in her side from minute one. Her plate’s too full for a man anyway. Back in her childhood home to help her family cope with an unexpected tragedy, she’s got enough to handle without throwing a hot, testosterone-laden fireman into the mix.

As long days on the job lead to long nights together, Gavin and Cait will discover how far temptation can take them—and what happens when the one you thought was all wrong for you turns out to be the person you can’t live without.

EMT Cait Tasker doesn’t feel like she’s living her own life.  Her mother’s second husband suddenly died six months ago and after a frantic call from her teenage half-brother fearing that his mother was going to do something drastic, Cait moved in.  She’s now been taking care of the family and giving emotional support while still working.  She doesn’t go out with any but one friend now, and she certainly doesn’t date.  She thought about asking firefighter Gavin Boudreau out but when she was about to do so he called her “ma’am” and made her feel a hundred years old.  Needless to say she never asked. Since then Cait’s been giving Gavin a bit of attitude and he can’t understand why.

Gaving thinks that Cait is pretty hot but he can’t figure out why she doesn’t like him.  He can’t stop thinking about her and even gets caught by her teenage brother checking out her ass.  Oops.  When Cait finally tells him about the “ma’am” issue he just looks at her like she’s crazy.  He calls every woman ma’am!  Once the pair actually start dating they can’t get enough of each other.  Gavin wants Cait with him all the time and hates that whenever they’re in bed she has to get up and leave to take care of her family.  Gavin thinks it’s been long enough and Cait needs to break away but Cait’s not ready to do that and it may be the point of contention that neither can get past.

I really like this series.  I was so happy to see that Stacey had written another book set in this world.  Gavin was a good man who was raised right (with manners) and that’s why he called every woman ma’am.  It was actually pretty cute, imho.  He was kind, giving and loyal and had a wonderful sense of humor.  I liked him, a lot.

I liked Cait a lot too but since she was in such a stressful time in her life, with a lot going on, it was hard to see the true Cait. She was a good daughter for taking care of her mother and brother but I was with Gavin, she needed to start easing away from them and start letting them live their lives.  It really took Gavin coming into her life for Cait, and her mother, to see this.

Overall a pretty great book.  Love, lust, humor, family, firefighters…what more could I ask for? 🙂  If you haven’t read any books in this series you’re missing out on some great contemporary reads.

Boston Fire Series

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Inside Out by Lauren Dane

Posted April 12, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Inside Out by Lauren DaneReviewer: Holly
Inside Out by Lauren Dane
Series: Brown Family #3
Also in this series: Drawn Together
Published by Berkley Trade
Publication Date: November 2, 2010
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 306
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars


WORTH THE WAIT

Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that nearly left her dead, she has spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she's needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard-won lessons. There hasn't been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it doesn't mean she has to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn't quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidely skittish Ella developed. He's known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she's been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to Ella is different from any attraction he's had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Cope does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella's sure Cope is just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly, and he reignites something deep inside her. It isn't long before desire and love turn them both inside out.

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on December 14, 2010.

The first time I read this book I was left feeling a little disappointed. While the other two books were slow moving in parts, I found this one to be rather slow from beginning to end. I kept wanting..something. Some kind of culmination or showdown. Upon re-reading the book, however, I was much more satisfied. I really liked the slow slide the characters took into love. This series is about real people finding real love. So it wasn’t dramatic or crazy. That took some getting used to.

I adored Ella and Cope both separately and as a couple. They had amazing chemistry and really got each other. They were both willing to look past the surface and see the real person inside. Because of Ella’s past, I expected most of the conflict, or hesitation, to come from her. She was in an abusive relationship and suffered greatly for it. We watched her recover slowly through the previous books, but I expected she’d still have some baggage.


So it was kind of a surprise to see that Cope was the one with the issues. Sure, Ella suffers still because of her past, but she made a decision not to let her past rule her life, and aside from a few bumps here and there, she’s stuck by that. She’s fairly well adjusted, and works hard to confront her fears. It was wonderful to see such a well-adjusted character come out of something so tragic. 


Cope’s issues weren’t the result of a tragedy. They were just insecurities that come from never quite measuring up to his perfect older brother. That’s not to say he didn’t love his family and get along with them, because he did. He just didn’t feel like he was quite good enough. He definitely recognized what a gem Ella was, and didn’t hesitate to snatch her up.  I think the depth of his feelings took him by surprise and he wasn’t sure how to deal with them. I loved that Ella didn’t let him get away with it, though. She called him on his crap and made him deal with it. 


Issues aside, Cope was an amazing man. He was sweet and caring, and he really took the time to understand Ella. The packages he sent Ella totally melted me. The first one she opened had my heart stuttering. Although parts of it moved slow, it was the moments like those that really made the book. 


As always, it was good to see the Brown siblings and their crew together. Erin and her men really played a large part in the novel, because of issues she was having. Elise and Brody were also featured, as the novel revolved in part around their engagement party and wedding. I like that Dane wove the characters together without taking away from Cope and Ella.

Another great novel in Dane’s Brown Siblings series. I love that the focus of these novels is directly on the characters and their growing relationship, instead of outside conflicts and misunderstandings.


4 out of 5

Brown Family

four-stars


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Release Day Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia Sosa

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO MIA SOSA!

Mia Sosa is an author that made it onto my radar in the past couple of months and I’ve been hearing such great things about her books. She’s got a brand spanking new book out today and we are spotlighting it so you guys know all about it.

Release Day Spotlight: Pretending He’s Mine by Mia SosaPretending He's Mine (Love on Cue, #2) by Mia Sosa
Series: Love on Cue #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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Mia Sosa returns with another fun, flirty romance in her critically-acclaimed Love on Cue series!

For Hollywood agent Julian Hart, representing his best friend—megastar Carter Williamson—means it’s nearly impossible to keep his personal life and career separate. To make matters worse, Carter’s younger sister has been starring in Julian’s wildest fantasies more often than he’d care to admit. He knows she’s off-limits, but when Ashley shows up on his doorstep, needing a place to crash… suddenly his greatest temptation is sleeping down the hall.

Free-spirited Ashley Williamson doesn’t do commitment. Jobs, apartments, men… why let herself be tied down? But she’s had a crush on her older brother’s best friend for years and she’s committed to making Julian want her, one towel-clad midnight encounter at a time. But just as things start heating up, their steamy flirtation is interrupted by Carter’s east coast wedding. Ashley has no desire to go home and face her reputation as the family disappointment. But living with—dare she say dating?—a successful, sexy film agent could give them something else to talk about.

Julian can’t believe he agreed to fake a relationship with the one woman he can never have. And it’s going to take more than a little willpower to remember it's all pretend. Or is it? 

Ooh, it’s a best friend’s little sister romance with a fake romance thrown in as well. I’m so here for that!! This book is out today so if you haven’t already, order your copy at any of the links provided below.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Love on Cue

About the Author

Mia Sosa

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night.

To learn more about Mia and her books, visit www.miasosa.com.


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Review: West Coast Love by Tif Marcelo

Posted April 5, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: West Coast Love by Tif MarceloReviewer: Rowena
West Coast Love (Journey to the Heart #3) by Tif Marcelo
Series: Journey to the Heart #3
Also in this series: North to You (Journey to the Heart #1)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: December 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 367
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

An aspiring food journalist and a grumpy cameraman take to the California coast for the biggest foodie event of the year in this sweet third novel in Tif Marcelo’s charming and romantic Journey to the Heart series.

Online food blogger Victoria Aquino has spent years doing social media for True North and Paraiso Retreats, and she’s ready to take her blog and writing to the next level. But after she was catfished and suffered a heartbreak, she’s clamoring for change. She auditions for and accepts a food host opportunity: covering the Labor Day holiday BBQ festivals along the California coast. For eight days, she’ll travel with a producer and a camera and sound person, in a vintage—and rickety—RV, and she’ll get her very first byline as a video journalist. The only catch? She can’t stand BBQ.

And the cameraman also auditioned for the job.

Joel Silva is a cameraman with his own past and big dreams of his own, and when he finds out that the job he auditioned for went to Victoria—a woman he’d gotten to know covering Paraiso Retreats, and someone he later slept with—he’s understandably furious and curious. Joel knows the BBQ circuit like the back of his hand, and he now has to help Victoria do her job amidst their growing attraction.

When the producer picks up on their push/pull vibe and increases the ante to feature both in front of the camera with the best host taking the next cross-country feature, the two have to decide: is their blossoming romance something that should be left to fizzle along with BBQ season? Or is it the beginning of something even more delicious?

West Coast Love is the third book in Tif Marcelo’s Journey to the Heart series and it was a book that had great appeal for me because I love foodie romances. Victoria Acquino is a foodie blogger who is branching out and trying something new. She wants to try her hand at hosting an on the road foodie show, featuring BBQ festivals up and down the coast of California. Only problem is…she hates BBQ. Joel is an experienced cameraman that has dreams of coming out from behind the camera. He was the cameraman for Victoria’s sisters live stream last year and he’s become a valuable camera to Vic’s family so when they run into each other in Vegas, sparks fly and they give in to the chemistry brimming below the surface. It was supposed to be one magical night. Haha, yeah right.

Joel auditioned for the same show that Victoria did and was really bummed that they approached him with a job offer to be…the cameraman. His dreams aren’t exactly coming true but the money was good so of course, he took the job. After spending a magical night with Victoria in Vegas, he thought of her with fondness until he shows up for the cameraman job and finds out that he lost the hosting job to her and she doesn’t even like BBQ. It’s a sour pill to swallow and he struggles with where he is right now, on this job, with this woman.

Joel has always kept things professional. He was never one to mix business with pleasure and his hookup with Vic is coming back to haunt him because no matter how mad he is about the situation, he is still drawn to Vic and she’s drawn to him.

I enjoyed the first book in this series and was looking forward to reading this one. I liked Victoria’s character in that book and I was curious to get to know her better. Her character was a good one. She was smart, she was driven and even though she was trying to find herself, she didn’t lose herself to find herself, if that makes any sense.

Joel was a great character as well. I enjoyed getting to know him and seeing him try to do right by his sister, by his nephew and then when Vic comes into his life, by Vic.

As great as they were a part, together, Joel and Vic kind of drove me crazy. There was a lot of back and forth between these two and there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into the both of them because they created drama out of the littlest of things. It got a bit annoying to slog through.

Tif Marcelo is a new to me author and even though I spent a little bit rolling my eyes at both Vic and Joel, Marcelo’s writing style is compeling and fun and I will definitely be reading more from her. I wonder what’s next but whatever it is, I’m in.

This book wasn’t perfect but I was stilled filled with feels and I shipped Joel and Vic throughout the entire book. When I put the book down, I was happy to have read it and have plans to go back and read Bryn and Mitchell’s book.

Journey to the Heart Series

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader

Posted April 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: In Skates Trouble by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #.5
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2)
Published by Self-Published, Kate Meader
Publication Date: May 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 158
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-stars

A USA Today bestseller.

He'll give her what she needs . . .

Addison Williams isn't looking for romance, but when she encounters an eavesdropping stranger on an adjoining hotel balcony, she figures she's due a little fun. She just hadn't reckoned on the "fun" escalating so quickly to "out of control." One minute she's flirting with a whiskey-graveled voice in the dark, the next that same voice is telling her to do things. Hot, wicked things.

Cup-winning hockey player Ford "Killer" Callaghan can't believe he let the anonymous woman who blew his mind slip away into the night. He'll track her down because once could never be enough—even if discovering her identity places her strictly out of bounds.

Stolen kisses. Secret hook-ups. Deliciously forbidden in every way. Can a passion that started in the dark find a lifetime of love in the light?

Originally published in Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, this sexy prequel to the Chicago Rebels hockey series features an older, curvy woman, a younger, driven hero, and a happily-ever-after you'll swoon over.

I picked up this book because I requested the third book of this series for review. I wanted to really dig into this series since I’ve been seeing such good reviews of the series as a whole all over Goodreads and other blogs.

In Skates Trouble is the short story that kicks off the Chicago Rebels series and it was a really quick read for me. I enjoyed what I did read but the experience came with some drawbacks.

So, Addy Williams is in Chicago and staying at a hotel when her friends come over to hang out and they get to talking about men and dating and sex on her hotel balcony. They’re all talking and laughing it up, not knowing that hockey star Ford “Killer” Callaghan is listening in on their talk from the next balcony over and he’s heard everything. He’s immediately interested in one of the voices. The sexy voice that is complaining about how her ex couldn’t please her in the sack and things get real interesting once Addy’s friends (cause, of course, it was Addy’s voice that Killer loved, duh) leave because Killer and Addy get real friendly and…that’s it.

The next day, Addy shows up at her friend’s house for dinner and she’s still thinking of last night’s steamy solo action with help from her neighbor when she’s brought face to face with…that voice. The voice that belongs to the guy that talked her to an out of this world orgasm, a guy that she thought she’d never in a million years meet face to face.

Addy’s ex-husband owns the hockey franchise that Ford plays for and a whole lot of complications arise as they try to figure out where to go from here.

As I said, this was a really quick read so everything happened at what felt like, warped speed. They went from helping each other masturbate on their hotel balconies to OMG, I need you, I love you and I want to spend forever with you in seriously, the blink of an eye. Everything happened so fast and it wasn’t quite believable to me but it did set up the rest of the series for me and I enjoyed that.

Ford was an interesting character who stood out to me in this book. Of everything, I think I’ll remember him the most. He’s younger than Addy but he knows his mind and heart. She’s worth figuring out their complications and I liked that.

Addy, on the other hand low key rubbed me the wrong way for most of this short story. From the way that her and her friends talked on the balcony (I had an attitude about their attitude while they were talking and the way that they spoke about men in general), to the way she was with Ford, and then the whole “don’t call her a plus-size model” thing, this story wasn’t long enough for me to completely get her though in the end, I didn’t hate her. I actually came to like her. She just…took some getting used to.

I’m interested in continuing this series and despite my issues with the heroine and the insta-love, this was still a pretty decent romance so I’m looking forward to jumping into the next book.

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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