Publisher: Avon

Review: Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Posted November 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Hate to Want You by Alisha RaiReviewer: Rowena
Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts, #1) by Alisha Rai
Series: Forbidden Hearts #1
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 371
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

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.

I’ve been hearing such good things about this book from all over blog land so I’ve been curious about it for a while. I’ve always been a chicken to trying new to me authors so I dragged my feet on getting this book even though some of my most trusted book bloggers adored it. I’m super glad that I finally got around to reading it because I really liked both Nicholas and Livvy.

Nicholas Chandler and Livvy Kane are childhood sweethearts who were ripped apart by a family scandal that changes the course of both of their lives. Nicholas has to live with the havoc that the actions of his father created for the Kane family while dealing with the death of his mother. Livvy, on the other hand, has to deal with not being rich anymore, the death of her father and losing her boyfriend all in one fell swoop. She also has to deal with the fact that her brother was accused of starting the fire that burned down what used to be her family business before her mother sold their family’s portion to her boyfriend’s father.

Their emotional connection to each other has never gone away and because of this, they meet in secret, once a year, for a night of pleasure. They don’t reach out to the other any of the other days of the year but on that one night, they belong to each other.

They kept their arrangement up for ten years and then Livvy stopped contacting Nick and she stopped showing up. Nick wasn’t happy about that and when Livvy comes back to town to help her ailing mother, Nick can’t stay away. He has questions and nobody can answer those questions but Livvy.

Livvy needed a clean break to try to move on from Nick. She needed to be strong in that decision but when her mother gets hurt and Livvy heads home to help her recover, she knew the Nicholas merry go round would swing back her way and while she thought she was prepared to face him, who was she kidding? The Nick and Livvy train has never truly left the station.

The romance between Nick and Livvy was believable and it was filled to the brim with drama. I thought Rai handled that drama well. Between their family drama, there was drama between the two of them that needed to be handled and I enjoyed seeing them both work through their shit to get to that happy ending.

I liked that Rai packed a lot of drama into this one book. Nick had his own share of shit to sort through, same with Livvy and then they both had their shared shit and then their individual family shit, it’s all in here. Some of the drama will be carried on to the other books in this series but there’s a lot here for you to eat up and enjoy. I did. I’m looking forward to the next book.

Oh, you know what I liked about this book and seriously, in this series? How diverse the characters are. I don’t normally notice those things in other books but I liked seeing Livvy’s Japanese and Hawaiian background showcased in this book.

Overall, I’m really glad that I started this series because this first book was a good start to a very promising series. I enjoyed the main couple, the secondary characters and I really enjoyed seeing everything come together. The pacing and Rai’s writing style is easy to fall into it and I just liked the whole thing. I’m totally jumping right into the next book right now. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Forbidden Hearts Series

four-stars


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Review: Ride Hard by Laura Kaye

Posted November 10, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Ride Hard by Laura KayeReviewer: Casee
Ride Hard by Laura Kaye
Series: Raven Riders #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Brotherhood. Club. Family.

They live and ride by their own rules.

These are the Raven Riders . . .

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .

I’m on a roll. I read this book in two days. I haven’t been reading regularly since the end of May, so that’s a record for me. I’m thrilled and excited. After reading Hello Again by Brenda Novak, I decided to try Laura Kaye who is a new-to-me author. I actually read the summary for Ride Wild which is the third book in the Raven Riders series and was intrigued so I picked up Ride Hard.

Dare Kenyon is the President of the Raven Riders MC. Aside from their racing business, the Ravens have a side business of taking in anyone that is in trouble or needs help. Haven Randall and her friend Cora Campbell fit that description perfectly. At twenty three years old, Haven has fled her tyrant father who believes that Haven is nothing more than a possession. Haven thought that when she turned eighteen things would change. When they didn’t, she held out hope that things would change when she turned twenty one. When twenty one came and went, Haven and Cora started planning their escape. Their plan was forced into action when she learned that her father was going to force her to marry one of his criminal business associates. On their way through Baltimore, Haven and Cora get caught up in a gang war. The gang that captures them learn about a $50,000 reward that Haven’s father has put out for her. It’s the Raven Riders that rescue the two women and give them a haven (lame pun, huh??) at their clubhouse.

Dare is deep in club business and doesn’t meet the women until a week or so after they arrive. He’s instantly and intensely attracted to Haven. He immediately realizes that she is a victim of abuse, though instead of keeping his distance, he pushes her to take back her power. At the beginning the fifteen year age difference bothers him, but he realizes that what Haven lacks in years she makes up in experience. As much as he tries to stay away from her, he can’t. Especially when he sees her bucket list. Knowing that she’s keeping something from him about the situation about her father, Dare goes snooping. That’s when he finds the list. He’s determined to help as many of her wishes come true as he can. While Haven opens up to him more and more, Dare realizes that he has to reciprocate, something he’s not sure he can do. He has felt responsible for the murder of his mother and brother since he was fifteen and not even Haven can change his mind.

When the situation with her father intensifies, Dare knows that he has to send Haven and Cora away. Getting the women started with a new life with new identities in a new city is the last thing Dare wants. After being a boneheaded idiot, he realizes that he loves Haven deeply. However Haven and Cora’s safety along with the safety of his club and its members come first. There is nothing that Dare takes more seriously than the safety of his club. After the death of two of its members, Dare and the top members have been even more vigilant. Now all they can do is wait for the new identities to put their plan in place and hope that they’ve done enough. While they’re waiting, Dare and Haven decide that they have no time to waste. Haven doesn’t want to waste a single moment with the man she’s fallen in love with even though it’s going to tear her in two to leave him. Dare feels the same way, he just doesn’t know how he’s going to let her go.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast, easy read. It introduced a lot of characters that will eventually have their own books and Kaye built a fascinating world of this MC that rides a fine line between the legal and illegal. They are also fiercely loyal to each other. I have to say that I wasn’t crazy about Haven being twenty three. I didn’t care about Dare’s age. I’ve not been into heroes or heroines in their early twenties for sometime. I often wonder how they have enough experience to go through what they do throughout the book. I got over it rather quickly in this book because Haven was an old soul. Not a lot of people go what she went through with her father and survive. And the way she protects Dare towards the end of the book? Those were the actions of someone young.

I would definitely recommend trying this series!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

three-half-stars


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Lightning Review: Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke

Posted October 10, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee GuhrkeReviewer: Holly
Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 27th 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

Annabel is about to marry the perfect man…

The last thing Miss Annabel Wheaton desires is true love. She learned the hard way that love makes a woman foolish and only leads to heartache. That’s why she agreed to marry an earl who needs her money. He’s got a pedigree and a country estate, and he won’t ever break her heart. There’s only one problem…

Christian isn’t about to let her marry that pompous prig…

Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough, thinks this stubborn heiress is about to make the biggest mistake of her life, and he’s determined to stop her. Tempting beautiful women is Christian’s forte, after all. When her family offers him a nice sum of money to stop the wedding, he’s happy to accept. Falling in love with Annabel wasn’t supposed to be part of the bargain…

Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke is book 3 in the Abandoned at the Alter series. I didn’t read the other books in this series. I don’t feel I missed anything by reading out of order.

I enjoyed the setting and unconventional heroine. With the flood of regencies on the market, its refreshing to read about something different. This was a quick read for me. I enjoyed both Annabel and Christian. She’s an heiress with a fiance she know she’ll never love..something she’s quite happy about. Unfortunately, Christian knows she’s making a huge mistake marrying the pig she affianced to, so he sets about trying to convince her she’s wrong.

Ghurke writes fun, fast-paced historials. I really enjoyed the setting, the characters and the sweet romance.

3.5 out of 5

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

Posted October 4, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill ShalvisReviewer: Tracy
Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #4
Also in this series: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay #1), The Trouble with Mistletoe, The Trouble with Mistletoe, One Snowy Night, Accidentally on Purpose, Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4), Holiday Wishes (Heartbreaker Bay, #4.5)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Meet cute...

Run for the hills—temporarily. That's Colbie Albright's plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie's so over it that she's under it. She's also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she's pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won't be a stranger for long.

Make merry...

Spence's commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn't have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot chemistry—he's got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she's gorgeous and a great listener just because she gets Spence immediately doesn't mean he won't be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock's ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.

Colbie Albright is a YA fantasy writer who is stressed to the max. She’s in charge of her very dependent family as well as getting texts and emails constantly from her assistant, publisher and agent.  All of this has left her with writers block and she just wants to get away and get back to the place where she can just enjoy life and not stress.  She feels sure that when this happens the words will once again flow from her.

She heads to the airport to blindly choose a destination and she ends up in San Francisco.  Her cab driver tells her about the fountain that grants love wishes and that’s where she is when Spencer is walking a dog who decides to dump Colbie into the fountain.

Spencer feels so bad about what has happened and insists on taking care of her.  He’s not sure why he feels this overwhelming need to assist her and keep her close but he just goes with the flow.  His employee, Elle, isn’t so sure about Colbie and wants to run a background check but Spence trusts Colbie and holds her off.  The longer Spencer is with Colbie the more he likes her and soon finds that he can’t do without her in his life.  Colbie starts to fall for Spence as well but she has her whole life in New York and can’t even imagine moving from there.  The two have to figure it out or give each other up for good.

This was a very sweet story.  I loved Spence and Colbie together.  It was such a natural thing for the two of them to get together and I truly enjoyed reading their love story.

Spencer is such a great character and I’ve liked him in past books.  He is a pretty simple but genius guy that has always put work first.  He never planned on getting married because he knows, especially after a past relationship failed, that he can’t put the woman in his life first.  Except, he manages to do that with Colbie and seeing Spence grow and the realization that he could put a woman first was wonderful.

Colbie at times seemed like a flighty woman but she truly wasn’t.  She was pretty organized and had taken care of her family for a very long time.  Because of this she had put herself into a situation where they depended on her fully.  She finally realized that she’d been enabling them and stood up for what she wanted – them to take care of themselves.  It worked and I loved seeing the load that lifted off of Colbie.

In the end, it was a great HEA and I was happy to see Colbie and Spence together and in love.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Retro-Guest Review: When A Stranger Loves me by Julianne MacLean

Posted September 27, 2017 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Retro-Guest Review: When A Stranger Loves me by Julianne MacLeanReviewer: Brie
When a Stranger Loves Me (Pembroke Palace, #3) by Julianne MacLean
Series: Pembroke Palace #3
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 27th 2009
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

I saved his life . . . and I had much to demand in return.

When he washed up on shore, I knew my prayers had been answered, and that I, Lady Chelsea Campion, need no longer fear poverty and heartbreak. To secure my family's estate, all I needed was a child. Handsome, clearly noble-born, and with no memory of his previous life, the mysterious man was perfect. All I had to do was visit his bedchamber and seduce him. I had expected him to be a skillful, scandalously wonderful lover, but once in his arms I was overcome by something more than mere passion. I had fallen hopelessly, desperately in love.

My plan has gone shockingly awry. But I will not give up a man who makes me feel such wicked ecstasy. No matter his true identity, no matter the secrets he struggles to remember, I will do anything in this world to make this stranger love me.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: We’ve been blessed to have some pretty amazing guest reviewers over the years. From readers to other bloggers to authors and industry professionals, we’ve seen some lovely talent here.

This review was originally published on May 7, 2009

Scandalized years prior, Lady Chelsea Campion lives a life of exile on the Jersey Isles with her family. Since her brother and sister in law have been unable to create an heir to save the Earldom, Chelsea’s overbearing mother is eager to have her married off to a distant and cousin whom Chelsea does not want, but is the only man who will have a “ruined” woman. One day while walking along the beach, Chelsea comes across an injured man lying lifeless in a cave. She goes for help and the man is brought back to the family’s estate where the stranger is nursed back to health. When the stranger comes to, he has no memory of who he is, therefore, Chelsea has no way to return him back to his family.

The stranger’s extended stay does open up an opportunity for Chelsea. Not only does he incite her passion, but he seems to be the answer to her families biggest problem. Chelsea devises a plan with her brother and his wife to become pregnant by the stranger, whom she calls Jack, and then let them pass the baby off as their own. That way, Chelsea is saved from marriage to a man she doesn’t want and the Earldom remains in the family. Jack and Chelsea embark on a passionate affair until she realizes that she’s falling for him and no longer wants to keep up the charade. But before Chelsea can reveal the truth to Jack, he finds out on his own about Chelsea’s plans and in enraged. Then his brother arrives, sharing the news that “Jack” is really Blake and he is from a family of nobility and must go back to England at once.

By this point, Blake has become attached to Chelsea and even though he is beyond angry with her devious plans, he knows that she might be carrying his child so he demands that she come along. Chelsea goes, because she is in love with Blake even though he has made it clear that he wants nothing to do with her further than the child that she might be carrying. Still, all of Blake’s posturing can’t keep him from longing for Chelsea and what they shared on the Isles. But they soon find out that neither of their feelings for the other really matter because their is something from Blake’s past that promises to keep them apart, no matter how bad they want to be together.

I can’t say that I enjoyed When a Stranger Loves Me. The plot is more than a little outlandish and because of that I had a hard time getting into the story. Chelsea’s plan that she comes up with her brother and sister in law, was just plain silly. I had to wonder what kind of brother that claims to care for his sister would agree to letting her sleep with a man just so that he can pass the baby off as his. The relationship that Chelsea had with her mother was another low point. It was clear that her mother cared more about herself than anyone else, and even the so called “resolution” that they came to in the end rang false. The first half of the book was very unengaging, and the only saving grace was the second half, after Blake’s family finds him, and that was only because Chelsea took a back seat and Blake was able to shine. For my first Julianne MacLean book, this was a disappointment, but there is always next time.

3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here.

three-half-stars


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