Publisher: Berkley Books

Guest Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 24, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Tracy
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
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four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Lauren Williams works for a multi-million dollar technology company and loves it.  Her boss also owns the Brooklyn Bruisers, an NHL hockey team.  Lauren grew up with hockey and used to love it.  She loved it up until the Bruiser that she was planning on marrying suddenly up and left her for his ex-wife with very little explanation.  Lauren’s not willing to put herself out there again when Mike Beacon, the man who broke her heart, starts to show signs that he’s interested in her once again.  She’s moving ahead with her life and her plans for single motherhood and Mike has no place in her plans. Unfortunately for Lauren’s plans, Mike is determined to get back the woman he never stopped loving no matter what he has to do.

I have to tell you that when I read about why Lauren and Mike broke up in the first place I didn’t want to have Lauren and Mike get back together.  Seriously, I was that mad at him for being an insensitive ass.  True, his motivations were honorable but the way he handled it was horrible and I wasn’t sure I could forgive him.

By the middle of the book I still wasn’t sure how he was going to win Lauren back but by that point I was on his side.  He was a good guy who had made a gigantic mistake.  I couldn’t condone how he handled things with his ex-wife, and of course there were plenty of ways he could have helped his ex and stayed with Lauren (but then we wouldn’t have a book, would we?) but that’s not what happened.  Now that time has passed since his ex-wife died he knew that he couldn’t live any longer without Lauren by his side but he not only had Lauren to contend with but also his extremely sassy 13-year-old daughter, Elsa.

Elsa was a piece of work and I truly wanted to climb into the book and give her a good talking to but I could understand why her emotions were all over the place. Her mother had died, her dad is gone a lot because of his hockey schedule, she had to move away from her friends and now he’s gonna date a woman that everyone tells her stole her father away from her mother?  Yeah, I’d be an emotional wreck too.  Despite her sassiness, however, I liked the kid.  She had her moments of goodness and I thought she was a good addition to the story.

The romance in this book was extremely emotional but oh, so good.  Lauren and Mike were so good together but it was definitely hard for me to see how they’d work things out and let the hurt of the past go.  I was happy that they were able to move on and that Lauren was able to trust Mike again.  The story was fabulous and of course I loved the hockey talk as well.  😊

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Wedded Bliss by Celeste Bradley

Posted May 9, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Wedded Bliss by Celeste BradleyReviewer: Tracy
Wedded Bliss by Celeste Bradley
Series: Worthington #5
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
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four-stars

As a ship's captain, high-born bastard Morgan Pryce has spent his life sailing away from England. The last thing he needs is a wife. But when he fears that his titled half brother Neville is about to be snared by a gold-digger, Morgan aims to protect Neville by trapping the lovely crook into marriage first. He knows he can't allow himself to believe a word she says. If only she wasn't so convincing .

Determined beauty Bliss Worthington is not terribly fond of finding another man waiting for her at the altar after all, no one tricks a Worthington and gets away with it. Somehow she must persuade her dangerously handsome new husband to grant her an annulment because her heart is set on his brother. Soon the newlyweds must deal with a secret but mutual attraction. Morgan finds himself oddly devastated by her tenderness and braveness. When Neville shows up to rescue her from a loveless marriage, she will have to quickly decide which man is the right one for her...."

Bliss Worthington and Neville, Duke of Camberton, love each other.  Bliss knows that Neville’s uncle is against their relationship so Bliss takes it upon herself to plan a clandestine wedding.  She sent notes to Neville telling him of the plans and headed to the church the night of the wedding.  Unfortunately her notes had been read by Neville’s uncle and not Neville.  The uncle talked Neville’s half-brother, Morgan into taking Neville’s place at the wedding.  He stated that Bliss was a manipulative gold digger and as Morgan loved his brother dearly and would do anything for him, he agreed.

Bliss is obviously heart-broken and distraught when she finds out that she’s married the wrong man.  She tries to talk Morgan into an annulment but he won’t agree.  She does all she can to talk him into it with no luck.  Morgan just wants to consummate the marriage and move on.  His uncle promised him that he would own the ship he’s been sailing for his brother’s fleet and he wants that more than anything.

As time goes on and Morgan gets to know Bliss he finds that she’s not the person that his uncle made her out to be.  He starts to question his uncle and his motives and then starts to realize what he’s done to his brother.  His guilt eats at him but he can’t feel too bad about the marriage as he falls in love with Bliss.

This was a very sweet story that I really enjoyed.  I thought that Bliss was a lovely heroine and I admired her continued strength after everything she’d been through in her life.  She kept her calm and just went on with life as best she could, despite the circumstances.  She never planned on falling for Morgan – she thought she loved Neville!  But as she gets to know Morgan and her feelings grow she realizes that she never truly loved Neville and probably would have been miserable with him.  I loved the way the author wrote Bliss and the dawning realization of her feelings for Morgan – it was done well.

Morgan was the bastard son of a duke but his father had always treated him as a son and not someone he needed to forget about.  He let his sons play together and as such the pair created a bond that Morgan thought was unbreakable.  When he realized the mistake he had made in believing his uncle and marrying Bliss he felt horrible.  The confrontation between Morgan and Neville was awesome and while it turned out well it kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened.

Overall I thought it was a lovely historical romance.  While it’s the fifth book in the series I thought it was a great stand-alone.  This was my first read by Bradley but it definitely won’t be my last.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Satisfaction by Lexi Blake

Posted February 13, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Satisfaction by Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
Satisfaction by Lexi Blake
Series: Lawless Series #2
Also in this series: Ruthless, Satisfaction
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
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four-half-stars

The sizzling second novel in a sexy new contemporary romance series featuring the Lawless siblings from "New York Times "bestselling author Lexi Blake. Brandon Lawless is a man on a mission: obtain the information that will clear his father s name. He s willing to do whatever it takes even seduce his enemy s personal assistant, the beautiful and innocent Carly Hendricks. But with her beguiling smile and captivating intelligence, Brandon soon realizes he doesn t want to deceive Carly, he wants to win her over both in the boardroom and the bedroom. Then a twisted crime leaves Carly vulnerable and Brandon finds himself reeling. The stakes of his mission are now life or death Carly s life. And Brandon realizes he s lost his heart to an amazing woman and his plan must succeed, because the stakes are no longer just revenge, but a once in a lifetime love."

I absolutely loved this book. This is the best book I’ve read this year. I know it’s only been a month, but I couldn’t put this book down. Bran. Brandon. Bran. Bran. Bran. Bran. Oh how I love thee. I really thought I would want Drew’s book because he was so nerdy in a hot kind of way, but Bran really snuck up on me and just smacked me in the face.

Drew was supposed to be the one that went in and swooped Carly off her feet a la Riley and Ellie. Bran wasn’t so keen on that plan, so he went in before Drew could and laid it out straight. Patricia Cain murdered his parents, he and his siblings were taking her down, could she please help? Cue the misbelief. Not that Patricia Cain was innocent. Carly didn’t have blinders on when it came to her boss. She knew exactly what kind of woman she was. No, Carly thought that Bran was batshit crazy.

Carly was exactly the kind of woman that Bran was drawn to. A woman that needed help. Not to mention the hotness factor. Bran knows that his plan to lay it out for her was exactly right. Having Drew go in and manipulate her the way that Riley did to Ellie would never have worked out. This way, Bran could help her with her problems (which were many) and the Lawless siblings could take down Patricia Cain. If Bran could get some time with Carly between now and then, all the better.

When Carly leaves Bran, she still isn’t sure. That all changes when her ex-husband’s problems turn up on her doorstep quite literally. Suddenly she’s calling Bran and he’s sleeping on her couch. She’s agreed to help him and he’s pretending to be her boyfriend. Then they’re not pretending. Carly is falling in love with a man that might not know how to love her back. It’s readily apparent that Bran has issues that he refuses to acknowledge let alone discuss.

Bran had a serious case of PTSD stemming from his childhood. While the Lawless siblings are closer than most, they have more problems than most as well. Bran was left in foster care long after he should have been. Drew finally admits that it was easier for Bran to be left in the system while he was starting up 4L than to bring him home. He tells Bran that revenge came first. It was heartbreaking. Once that comes out in the open, it finally brings Bran some peace.

Carly and Bran are just perfect for each other. Carly has so little control in her life thanks to Patricia Cain that she grabs it where she can. Bran is glad to cede control to her in every place except for the bedroom. It works surprisingly well for them. I love it. Carly was a little insecure which got a little old, but Bran more than made up for it. He was so damaged, but he confronted it head on and that was refreshing. I loved him.

There was a twist at the end of the book that I didn’t see coming and I can’t wait until June!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

four-half-stars

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Review: Power Game by Christine Feehan

Posted February 3, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Power Game by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Power Game by Christine Feehan
Series: Ghost Walkers
Also in this series: Shadow Game
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 24th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 464
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four-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan is “one of the best storytellers around” (RT Book Reviews). Find out why as two lovers surrounded by greed and corruption discover there’s no telling whom you can trust—or who will come out on top...
When members of a United Nations joint security force are taken hostage by radical terrorists in Indonesia, Captain Ezekiel Fortunes is called to lead the rescue team. Part of a classified government experiment, Zeke is a supersoldier with enhanced abilities. He can see better and run faster than the enemy, disappear when necessary and hunt along any terrain. There are those in the world willing to do anything for power like that...
A formidable spy genetically engineered to hide in plain sight, Bellisia rarely meets a man who doesn’t want to control her or kill her. But Zeke is different. His gaze, his touch—they awaken feelings inside her that she never thought possible. He’s the kind of man she could settle down with—if she can keep him alive...

Bella has lived her life at the mercy of Peter Whitney. During a mission to discover if one of her fellow GhostWalkers is actually selling them out, Bella uncovers the unthinkable. Violet Smythe is trying to sell them out. Not only sell them out but eradicate them from the face of the earth. While that sounds laughable to Bella, Violet can certainly do it as Vice President of the United States. Bella knows that it is not going to be long before Violet is President. Then she will have access to almost all the GhostWalker records. With that knowledge, Bella escapes Whitney and heads to Louisiana, and the GhostWalkers that Violet wants to go after first.

Ezekiel Fortunes is someone whose temper runs hot. Literally. The only outlet he has is to fight. That and to keep his family safe. He is obsessed with safety. When he realizes someone has breached his security, he goes nuts. He has no idea how they have done it, but they have. He has no idea that it’s the very woman that he’s drawn to when he goes into the French Quarter for a fools’ errand by Nonny, the grandmother of their merry band.

Ezekiel is immediately drawn to Bella and he has no idea why. Then he does. She’s a GhostWalker and she is the one that has been circumventing his security. All Bella wants to do is help Ezekiel and leave. She wants to build herself some semblance of a life and keep out of Whitney’s hands. When she finds herself in a situation and has to help Ezekiel, he repays her by taking her captive.

That was heartbreaking. Bella truly believed that Ezekiel worked for Whitney. She gave up her potential freedom to help save his life. The sense of betrayal she felt was immense. You could literally feel it coming off the pages. Bella literally lived her life living in a cage and Ezekiel and his family captured Bella after she saved his life and threw her in a cage. It was heartbreaking.

Ezekiel was mad that she was put in a cage and immediately got her out (though the damage was done) and brought her into Nonny’s home. It was sweet to see how Bella took to being part of a family. Even though she had a family with her fellow GhostWalker sisters, it obviously wasn’t traditional. Ezekiel’s family isn’t traditional either, but Nonny definitely is and she tries to keep things as normal as possible.

Of course Violet comes after them again. Bella and Ezekiel have to work as a team along with their fellow GhostWalkers. Bella gets in trouble and she has to trust Ezekiel when she hasn’t trusted anyone in her life. It shows how far she has come in her relationship with him that she trusts him so much.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

four-stars

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Joint Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Posted January 31, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Joint Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

From the USA Today bestselling author of Rookie Move comes the second novel in the series that s hot enough to melt the ice.
He s a fighter in the rink, but he s about to learn that playing nice can help you score...
As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O'Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team s massage therapist. After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers MVP. O'Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O'Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good..."

Rowena: Hard Hitter is the second book in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series and it features Captain Patrick O’Doul. We first met Patrick O’Doul in Rookie Move. He was one of Leo’s new teammates and he hit on Georgia, Leo’s girl. I don’t remember much else about Patrick, aside from he helped make Leo feel more comfortable transitioning to a new team.

Patrick is the team enforcer and over the years, his body has taken some beatings. He’s coming off a wrist injury and his hip is acting up but every night, he goes out on that rink and he fights whoever needs fighting.

I’ll admit that when I first heard that Patrick was getting his story told next, I wasn’t all that excited. I’m not sure why that was since I didn’t hate Patrick, I just didn’t really think much about him.

Well…I love him now. Ha!

What about you? What did you think of Patrick and the rest of his book?

Holly: I really liked Patrick. He was quiet and intense and private. I kind of expected some deep dark secret or tortured past after the way he acted about being touched.

Rowena: Something more than the deep, dark secret about his parents? I liked the way that Bowen handled Patrick’s issues in this book. He’s had a pretty rough childhood and he had some hangups about them but he wasn’t saddled with those issues. He was an adult. He wasn’t this angsty hot head who lashed out at every turn or anything like that. He ignored them for as long as he can and then he fixed them. I dug it.

Holly: No, I just meant that I expected there to be something, and I was right. I dug the way his issues were handled, too. I thought there might be more angst over it, but he just handled his business.

I’m kind of on the fence about the heroine.I didn’t dislike her, but she isn’t my favorite Bowen heroine.

Rowena: Ari isn’t my favorite heroine either and she got on my nerves throughout the book but not nearly as much as Georgia did in Rookie Move. My thing with Ari was that she taught all not judging and how to listen with your heart in her yoga classes but holy cow did she turn into the biggest judger of all judges when Patrick lands himself in trouble. That annoyed the snot out of me…even if she did buy him a coffee maker.

Holly: I didn’t like how she turned her back on him either. I get being angry, but her reaction was over the top.

Rowena: What did you think about all of the crap that Ari went through with her ex-boyfriend?

Holly: I don’t know how I felt about Ari’s boyfriend troubles. It didn’t seem like she made very good choices when it came to him. Not calling the cops on him, agreeing to meet him alone, etc. I wasn’t impressed.

Rowena: I think that was part of my gripe with Ari. How dumb she was where Vince was. Why did she wait so long to tell the Security guys at the Bruisers about everything that was going on? For someone so smart, she sure was dumb a lot.

View Spoiler »

Rowena: I’m not all that into yoga so I didn’t think that I would care much about Ari and what she did for a living but damn…can you imagine working as a masseuse to all of those hot guys? Getting paid to rub down all of those yummy hockey players every day? I’m low key jealous. Ha!

Holly: Omg, girl. I need some of that in my life.

Rowena: I would have married all of them if they asked me…and I would start every appointment with a foot rub so those marriage proposals would keep rolling in.

Are you looking forward to Beacon and Lauren’s story?

Holly: I am looking forward to Beacon and Lauren’s story. I like this world and I’m definitely glad we’ll see more.

Rowena: Overall, I enjoyed the story and the romance between Patrick and Ari. At least, when Ari wasn’t being a dumbass and I really liked Patrick. He was a complete dreamboat.

My grade for this one is 4 out of 5.

Holly: I liked the romance, too, as well as the additional time with the team. I didn’t love Ari on her own, but I did like her with Patrick.

I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

Holly: 4/5
Rowena: 4/5

four-stars

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