Genre: Contemporary Romance

Throwback Thursday Review: The Girl Most Likely To… by Susan Donovan

Posted February 22, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 10 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: The Girl Most Likely To… by Susan DonovanReviewer: Casee
The Girl Most Likely To... by Susan Donovan
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: December 30th 2008
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 340
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Kat Cavanaugh was sixteen when she hitchhiked out of Persuasion, West Virginia and vowed never to return. Who could blame her? She'd just stumbled upon her father's adulterous affair, found out she was pregnant, got dumped by her boyfriend, and kicked out of her house and school . . . all in a single afternoon. Twenty years have gone by and Kat's back—gorgeous, rich, and looking for an apology from everyone who'd turned their backs on her. First on that list is Riley Bohland, the boy who broke her heart before she could tell him about the baby.

But Kat didn't count on Riley having his own axe to grind, or that he'd be just as delicious as he was at sixteen. She also didn't count on her heart opening at the sight of him. When their anger ignites a passion intense enough to burn through two decades of secrets and lies, Kat must question everything she thought she knew about her past. And what about her future? The only place to find the answers may be in Riley's arms…

***Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on December 29, 2008.

I adore Susan Donovan. She writes some of the best contemporaries I’ve ever read. He Loves Lucy and Take a Chance on Me are a few of my favorite contemps of all time. That’s why I was so disappointed when I read that this would be Susan’s last contemporary. I mean, wtf?

Kat Cavanaugh left home at sixteen, alone and pregnant. When she went to tell her boyfriend that she was going to have a baby, he dumped her before she got the chance. Kat left town that night and has never returned. Until now, twenty years later. After coming into some unexpected money, Kat decides to return Persuasion to show her parents and Riley Bohland that she made it just fine without them. Little did she know what she would find.

Riley never knew that Kat was pregnant that long ago night. Being pressured by his father to break-up with Kat, he only did it to appease his father and fully intended to get back together with her. He had known that Kat was the one for him years ago, but everyone said that they were too young to know that. So when he found out that Kat left town without a word, he was devestated. That’s until he found out her secret a little more than eighteen years later.

Kat is stunned at Riley’s anamosity toward her. What right does he have to act like he was wronged? She was the one that was dumped, pregnant and alone at sixteen. To Kat’s dismay, the explosive attraction between them at sixteen was even more prominent at thirty six. Even with all the unsolved issues between them, Riley and Kat can’t stay away from each other.

While this book wasn’t up there with He Loves Lucy and Take a Chance on Me, it still had Donovan’s trademark humor. There were a few things the book could have gone without, including Kat’s psychotic father. There was already Riley’s stalker ex-girlfriend and the Bed-and-Breakfast owner who decided that she wanted Riley’s brother, even though he was already taken. Any one of these things by itself would have been okay, but all three together was a tad over the top.

Another thing I think Donovan did a great job on was the confrontation between Kat and her son, Aidan. Finding out he had a father after twenty years is not something that Aidan easily accepts. Especially since the mother he has loved so deeply lied to him. The book wouldn’t have been as good if Aidan would have easily accepted that Kat lied to him. Also, the reunion between father and son is “awwww” inducing.

Overall, I loved this book which makes me that much more disappointed that it will be her last contemp. Boo. and am so excited that she’s coming out with a new trilogy next year. w00t!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Guest Review: Straight Up Irish by Magan Vernon

Posted February 22, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Straight Up Irish by Magan VernonReviewer: Tracy
Straight Up Irish by Magan Vernon
Series: Murphy Brothers #1
Published by Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: February 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 309
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

I need a wife if I want to help save my family’s billion-dollar pub empire. There’s just one problem: I never plan on marrying. So, I need someone who understands that this is just another business deal. I don’t do commitments. And my brother’s executive assistant, Fallon Smith, fits that bill.

Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.

A fake wedding and a whole lot of whiskey. What could go wrong?

Fallon finishes her MBA and is looking for a job.  She needs a good one so that she can pay for her grandmother’s nursing home and of course her student loans.  She ends up taking a job in Dublin for the Murphy Pub Franchise.  For the past six months she’s been keeping Connor, her bosses brother, in order.  Calling him to make sure he got to his meetings, etc.  She loves the sound of his voice but when she sees him in person she’s amazed at how good-looking he is.

Connor is a total playboy and not about to settle down any time soon.  This is until his father dies in the will dictates that all three brothers, Connor, Jack and Sean must marry and be married for at least 6 months in order to keep the company.  Also, this must all happen within the next year.  All the men are floored but none more than Connor.  He quickly comes up with a scheme that has him getting quickly engaged to Fallon, getting married and staying that way for a little more than six months.  When that time is through she’ll have her student loans paid off and enough money in the bank to take care of her Nana’s nursing home for the next ten years.\

Fallon isn’t sure about this whole plan but decides to go along with it.  The problem is that if anyone suspects that it’s a farce Connor loses it all.  The more time that Fallon spends with Connor the more she likes him and she’s soon falling in love with the man.  He is so nice to her but she knows that love isn’t something that will ever be on his radar.

Nice book.  I liked Fallon ok and definitely liked Connor both by the end of the book.  I must admit that Fallon was a bit wishy-washy and that bothered me throughout most of the book.  She was just so indecisive and I just wanted her to stand her ground with everyone in her life.

Connor was a bit of a bastard at first but we didn’t get to see too much of his playboy ways before he was “dating” Fallon.  You could tell from the start that he really liked her and that he was falling in love with her, even though he tried to hide it.  I liked seeing the playboy fall. 😉

Overall it was a cute contemporary novel and I look forward to reading about Sean and Jack in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: His Best Mistake by Lucy King

Posted February 21, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: His Best Mistake by Lucy KingReviewer: Tracy
His Best Mistake by Lucy King
Series: The Maclean Family Legacy #1
Published by Tule Publishing
Publication Date: January 22nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Is it too much to ask for a relationship that works?

When Stella Grant realizes her perfect romance is a lie and that she's the other woman, she flees to her remote cottage in the Highlands to lick her wounds.

Billionaire currency trader Jack Maclean has nothing but contempt for the woman who stole not only his sister’s fiancé but quite possibly a family heirloom to boot. Nonetheless, he wants answers and he intends to get them. A quick trip north should do the trick. Never in a million years could he have predicted a kamikaze sheep and inclement weather would leave him stranded.

Jack might be gorgeous but Stella isn’t in the market for a man, especially one who hates her. No matter how attractive he finds her Stella is the very last person Jack should want. The trouble is, they’re all alone and the chemistry is irresistible, and, well, what happens in Scotland stays in Scotland, right?

Stella is trying to get away from everyone and everything after she found out that she was the “other woman.”  She never wanted to be that person and is sick to think that the man she’d been dating for 3 months was engaged to someone else.  She’d been at a cottage in the Scottish Highlands for almost a month when a truck starts up her drive.  The driver is none other than Jack Maclean, the brother of the woman who was heartbroken when she found out her fiancé was two timing her.

Jack is pissed off on his sister’s behalf but he eventually gives Stella a chance to tell her side of things and he realizes that he believes her when she says she had no idea that she was dating an engaged man. At that point Jack is satisfied with that issues but he can’t seem to get his lusty thoughts off of Stella.  They both know it’s a horrible idea to sleep together but they do anyway and lo and behold, Stella gets pregnant.  Talk about a sticky situation.

Stella is willing to let Jack off the hook or even let him in completely (in the baby’s life) if that’s what he wants. Jack is more than willing to be by her side 24/7 but there are reasons behind that.  Jack, however, has no idea what he’s doing or feeling and when he realizes that he might be falling in love with Stella he calls it quits.

In this story Stella is pretty alone.  She basically raised herself and her parents are so into their own dramas that they barely noticed they had a daughter.  Stella was a bit traumatized by that so she had kind of been looking for love in all the wrong places.  She tended to fantasize about a guy before she ever got to know him.  I think it’s something we’ve all done from time to time.  With Jack she really didn’t do all that much fantasizing until after she got pregnant.

Jack had had some hard knocks in his life but now he was a billionaire and who was so invested in his work he hadn’t had sex in 4 years.  Well, there were other reasons he hadn’t had sex in that long but he never imagined he’d end up having it with the woman who broke his sister’s heart. Once he found out that Stella was pregnant he acted kind of like a nut case.  Yes, again, big reasons why that was but it just didn’t endear the man to me in any way.  He was so on again, off again with Stella that I wanted to smack him upside the head and say, “Snap out of it!”  In the end I thought that Stella was too good for him and I wanted him to grovel more to even get a little bit of attention from her.  But maybe that was just me, IDK.

This was a novella that sounded so very good but in the end didn’t really work for me.  There was nothing truly wrong with it but as I read the last page I laid down my Kindle and thought “meh” which is never a good thing.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Shot on Gold by Jaci Burton

Posted February 20, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Shot on Gold by Jaci BurtonReviewer: Rowena
Shot on Gold (Play by Play, #14) by Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play #14
Also in this series: Holiday on Ice, Rules of Contact, The Final Score (Play by Play, #13), Changing the Game (Play by Play, #2)
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

In the new Play-by-Play novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Final Score, opposites attract when a figure skater and hockey player lace up their skates--and go for the gold...

Will "Mad Dog" Madigan is making his second trip to the Winter Games, and he couldn't be happier. Hockey is his life and playing for the U.S. team is a privilege. Then he meets U.S. figure skater Amber Sloane. She's beautiful, ambitious and driven--everything Will desires in a woman. He would love to show Amber how hot life off the ice can be.

Amber has skated her entire life, sacrificing everything in the hopes of one day winning gold. Now she's competing for the third and final time. She intends to win, and nothing's going to get in her way--until she meets Will. He's an irresistible charmer, and before long Amber is wondering if this sexy hockey player is the perfect guy to show her some moves outside the rink.

But after all the medals have been awarded, Will and Amber will have to decide if what they have together is just a fling or a real shot at true love.

Shot on Gold is the fourteenth book in the Play by Play series by Jaci Burton and it was a sweet romance. Both the hero and the heroine were so sweet and so polite to each other and they were super nice and all of that but that’s pretty much it.

This book follows Will “Mad Dog” Madigan and Amber Sloane as they fall in love during the Winter Olympics. They’re both competing in the Games and they meet in the athlete’s village and their romance takes off right from the very beginning.

Will is at his second Olympics with the US Men’s Hockey team and this time around, he wants to experience the whole thing with a clear head and make actual memories. His first time around, he won the silver medal with his team and he remembers a lot of alcohol, lots of women and lots of partying. He’s older now so he wants to savor the experience and he wants to help his team win the elusive gold medal. He’s serious business this time around so when he meets Amber Sloane, he’s definitely interested and wouldn’t mind a little female company during the two-week international tournament.

Amber Sloane is competing in her last Winter Olympics. She’s an ice skater who has always put skating above everything else and while she is a very decorated athlete, she doesn’t have a gold medal and she doesn’t have any friends. She’s twenty-four years old and she vows to have some fun during these Olympic games because she deserves a bit of fun after all of her hard work. She’s ready to compete for that gold and she is very confident that this is her year to finally win it. Her one friend is a Canadian snowboarder and they’re roommates again so Amber knows that if anyone can help her let loose a little, it’s Lisa. When Lisa takes her a party, Amber meets Will and she’s just as attracted to him as he is to her and she’s determined that he will be the person that she gets cozy with and he doesn’t disappoint.

Over the course of the two weeks that they’re both competing in Vancouver at the Olympic Games, Will and Amber fall into a relationship that is pretty hot and super steamy. They get closer and closer and they spend as much time as they can together and everything is just peachy. Being together makes them happy and it shows in their performance in the games. Will is killing it on the ice and so is Amber. Everything is perfect. Nothing is ever wrong, except for a few mean words from Amber’s Mom…and I think that was my problem with the book. There weren’t any real conflicts in the romance and the conflict that we do get, happens after the games and to be honest, it was pretty weak.

This book reads like a fairy tale where everyone is accepted and everyone wins a gold medal and while that’s fine, I wanted more meat from the story. The romance itself worked but outside of that, everything was pretty tame. Everyone got along, there was no drama between any of the athletes and I expected…more. I finished this book wanting more. I would have enjoyed the setting and the environment a whole lot more if something actually happened instead of happy, happy, joy, joy, all the time. So while the romance was sweet, the rest of the story low key needed more umph for me.

Play by Play Series

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Posted February 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers #4) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #4
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3)
Published by Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: February 12th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

You'd think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You'd be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don't know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It's what friends do. But what friends don't do is rip off each others' clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she's avoiding me. She says we're too different, and it can never happen again. So why can't we keep our hands off each other?

I couldn’t request this book for review fast enough. To say that I’ve been anxious for Becca and Nate’s story is putting it mildly because I did a happy dance the minute that I got the email that it was sent to my kindle and I stopped reading a book that I wasn’t all that interested in anyway to jump into this one. So, there was a lot of hype going in. A lot, a lot of hype. Sure it was all in my head but I needed this book to be perfect, especially since I had just DNF’d my very first book by this amazing author and…Sarina Bowen delivered, yet again.

Nathan Kattenberger is in love with Becca Rowley and has been for years. It doesn’t matter that he’s her boss. He flat out loves her and has been loving her from afar for so long. It’s getting harder and harder to keep his feelings for her at bay because when she gets hurt, Nate steps in to lend a helping hand because even though Becca works for him, she’s also one of his closest friends and has been with him since the beginning. She knew him before he became the billionaire that he is now, so he knows that she cares for him and not his money.

Becca is still smarting from Nathan transferring her to Brooklyn to manage his hockey team instead of keeping her in Manhattan, working for the company that she started off with. When he hired Lauren, a more sophisticated admin to run his software company, she was hurt because she loved her job in Manhattan but she went to Brooklyn because Nate wanted someone he trusted to run the office for the hockey team that he bought, the Brooklyn Bruisers. That was two years ago and even though Becca loves her job now, it still burns a bit. If Becca knew the real reason Nate transferred her, she’d be blown away because she has no clue that Nate has been carrying a torch for her, all these years. When she gets hurt and Nate starts taking care of her, things start to change and well, heat up.

In the last three books of this series, Becca and Nate have been on the outside of the story being told and they captured and held my interest in every single book. I wanted to know more about Nate’s feelings for Becca and I could not wait until Becca found out how Nate felt about her. I wanted them to be front and center for what feels like forever so getting this book was such a treat for me.

Nate was a fantastic hero. I loved how fierce his love for Becca was and how he tried to do right by her at every turn. He wasn’t the most perfect of heroes since he did get things wrong a lot of times but he proved to be a good listener and he respected Becca and learned from his mistakes. It was nice to see a different take on the boss and employee storyline and I thought Sarina Bowen did a fabulous telling Nate’s story. I really enjoyed seeing his friendship with Stew from beginning to end though I wish that we could have seen more of Stew in the book.

Becca was pretty great herself. She was capable and strong and she reacted to finding out about Nate and his feelings for her the same way that I imagine, I’d react. Completely blown away and then really uncomfortable with all of that money. I connected with Becca’s character and really loved getting to know her.

The romance between Nate and Becca was fantastic. It was sweet and it was steamy and it was everything that I hoped it would be. Sarina Bowen keeps winning me over with these stories and this series and I just never want it to end. I’m curious to see if we’ll be getting a story for Alex cause I’d love to see how her story turns out.

Yeah, I loved this one. So good!

Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,