Publisher: Entangled

Guest Review: Defying Gravity by Kendra C. Highley

Posted July 29, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Defying Gravity by Kendra C. HighleyReviewer: Tracy
Defying Gravity by Kendra C. Highley
Series: Finding Perfect #2
Published by Entangled, Crush
Publication Date: July 25th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Zoey Miller lives for her holidays in Aspen. Her time up on the mountain with the Madison brothers, Parker and Luke, is everything. But for the first time, it’s not enough. This time, she’s determined to win one of the brothers’ hearts.

But the brother she has in mind is a renowned player, with hordes of snow-bunnies following him around Snowmass resort. And the other…well, he’s her best friend and knows she deserves better. Namely him. And he’s going to win her heart.

Parker is in love with his best friend. They are both seniors and they grew up together but now Zoey only spends holidays in Aspen where Parker is a permanent resident. He wants to tell her how he feels but he’s just not found a good time. He’s also afraid that he’ll jeopardize their friendship if she doesn’t feel the same way.
Luke is Parker’s older brother by two years and attends college in Arizona. He’s home for the winter break as well. There’s always been a bit of a competition with them but when it comes to Zoey they’ve all just been good friends – until now.

Zoey shows up from Texas thinking that she’s finally going to make a move on Luke, who she’s had a crush on for a couple of years. She even does her hair and make-up – which she never does while on vacation – to impress him. Luke’s got a following of groupies because of his skiing and Zoey’s not sure that she can measure up to them.

Parker sees how Zoey is looking at Luke and it’s pissing him off and breaking his heart. Luke is reacting to her and Parker confronts Luke. Of course Luke decides to make it a bet about who could “win” her first. Parker’s not really thinking about the bet, he just wants Zoey and he wants Luke to leave her alone.

This was a cute story. It was pretty light and airy for the most part and a quick easy read. Parker seemed like such a good guy and it amazed me that Zoey hadn’t seen him for the wonderful man he was – not just a friend – until she saw him killing it at the Terrain Park. I mean, I get it, the girl is confused because she thought she wanted Luke and then realizes that he’s a bit of an ass when it comes to women. She sees Parker in another light and it meshes everything together. Unfortunately, that also made her seem pretty shallow. Yeah, he’s my friend and I love everything about him but now that I see him at the terrain park and see how good he is then now I want him in other ways. Luckily the author worked around that issue pretty well and in the end I was satisfied with the outcome of it all.

I didn’t read the first book in this story and didn’t feel like I needed to in order to read this one. Yes, the couple from book one was mentioned and Zoey talks to her friend Paige (who I guess was one of the MC’s from book one). To me, however, it just seemed like she was talking to a friend and frankly I didn’t feel the need to know more about Paige and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. So overall a pretty cute YA story I enjoyed reading.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Guest Review: Driven to Temptation by Melia Alexander

Posted July 26, 2016 by Ames in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Driven to Temptation by Melia AlexanderReviewer: Ames
Driven to Temptation by Melia Alexander
Published by Entangled
Publication Date: June 13, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 200
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Aidan Ross might be an engineering genius, but people skills? Not this soldier’s forte. Thankfully, a trusted friend is accompanying him to a make-or-break tradeshow…but then a bubbly redhead hops into his truck, claiming to be his new road trip buddy. She’s a gorgeous distraction he can’t afford. Or ignore.

Delaney Harper comes from a family of engineers—male engineers. With several impressive projects under her belt, she’s on a mission to prove she can hang with the big boys, too. But cracking the sexy, closed-off CEO is tougher than she expects…and hotter than she could have imagined.

With the tempting woman disrupting his carefully planned schedule, Aidan can’t focus on the road, much less their upcoming presentation. The future of his company is riding on this trip, and if they’re to land a huge account, he has to keep his head—and his heart—in the game…

Two things ticked my happy reader list with the blurb for this book. A socially awkward hero and a woman trying to make it in a profession that’s previously been dominated by men. And Driven to Temptation lived up to my expectations.

Delaney Harper comes from a family of engineers. Her mother would rather she marry an engineer than be one, but Delaney wants to prove her mother wrong. When her boss gets sick, she jumps at the chance to take his place with Aidan Ross, the co-owner of the company, on a road trip to a conference. Aidan is not good with people and rarely comes into the office. So he doesn’t even recognize Delaney as his employee when she starts loading up his truck. He really doesn’t want her to tag along and the beginning of their road trip only reinforces that feeling. Aidan comes across as a bit anal and his ex-wife called him the Ice King. Despite his awkwardness, Delaney keeps making an effort to get to know him. Eventually Aidan stops seeing Delaney’s actions as annoying (like eating in his truck, stopping to rescue dogs on the highway, etc). He likes how she shakes up his life and even though their schedule has been shot to hell, he can’t deny that its been fun. She even fixes a situation that could have derailed their presentation at the conference they’re attending.

I liked Delaney and Aidan. They complement each other. Delaney is a bit of a tomboy who thinks her looks should have nothing to do with how well of a job she does. She’s quite driven and smart. Her one blind spot is her looks. She’s not a hag, but she doesn’t dress to impress. She’s more comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans. Being an engineer, that’s a more practical outfit than a skirt and heels. And Aidan. He knows people aren’t his strong suit and he can tell what he should do in a given situation but he just can’t (who can’t relate to that?). Delaney’s personality draws him out and he becomes more approachable. Knowing Delaney is his employee, he fights the growing attraction he feels towards her. That obviously doesn’t last and he and Delaney get to know each other very well at the conference.

Because of the ensuing conflict and resolution, I did not have a problem with Delaney being Aidan’s employee. My only quibble with the book was the length. It was a quick 215 pages (according to Entangled’s website) and a lot of story was packed into those pages. I felt that Aidan and Delaney fell for each other a bit quickly but I did not doubt their feelings. I would have liked to have seen that part of the story expanded a little bit. Overall, I enjoyed the characters and the story. There was character growth with both Aidan and Delaney and I like seeing a woman be successful in engineering.

Rating: 3.75 / 5

three-half-stars

0 Comments
Tags: , , , ,


Guest Review: No Falling Allowed by Melissa West

Posted July 18, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: No Falling Allowed by Melissa WestReviewer: Tracy
No Falling Allowed by Melissa West
Series: The Not Allowed series #2
Published by Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: July 18th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

My life just went South…

Twenty-four hours. That’s how long it took my life to flip upside down.

Wake up in bed alone after the best night of my life? Check.

Get fired instead of the promised promotion? Check.

Wealthy parents cut me off when I refuse to follow their path for my life? Check.

Now I’m in Cricket Creek, SC—a place where no New Yorker belongs—disowned and broke, with a new job that I can’t mess up. Oh yeah, and staring at my one-night stand, who happens to be the complete opposite of my type.

Southern.

Cocky.

Bartender.

Noah Hunter never should have made it back to my apartment in NYC, and I definitely shouldn’t be in his small town. But fate had another plan. Or a horrible sense of humor.

Who knew Mr. Wrong could feel so right…

Grace Soaring is pissed when she sees one of the wait staff at one of her Met events drinking at the bar.  He’s supposed to be working!  She heads over to confront him and they exchange words.  He actually ends the conversation inviting her to a bar where he’ll be bartending later.  She refuses but he just gives her a sexy smirk. Her friend Janey ends up arranging to meet friends at that bar and next thing you know Grace is chatting up Mr. Sexy aka Hunter.  He walks her home, one thing leads to another and they end up in bed.  It was amazing for both of them but when Hunter gets a call in the middle of night telling him that his young brother, who is guardian of, is in the ER he hightails it out of Grace’s apartment without leaving a note.

Grace is understandably upset when she wakes in the morning as she felt such a connection with Hunter but manages to get to work, where she’s promptly fired.  Apparently there are layoffs and her friend Janey gets laid off as well.  When she complains to her father, who runs his own company and is a billionaire that she was let go he wasn’t upset.  In fact, when she questions him he admits that he talked to a friend of his on the board at the Met and made them let her go so that she could take her rightful place at Soaring Industries.  Grace wants nothing to do with the company but her father isn’t happy with that decision.  She loved event planning when she was at the Met so she plans on becoming a wedding planner which, of course, her father scoffs at.  He finally tells her that if she doesn’t work for him then he’s cutting her off.  He cancels her credit cards, closes her checking account and she’s pretty sure he’s planning on kicking her out of the apartment she lives in which he pays for.  Sure, she makes a living but she’s never had to live on a budget.  She’s not a snob, she’s just had a privileged life.  She sets out to make a life for herself by getting a job as a wedding planner and her first job is to take care of a wedding taking place in South Carolina.  When she walks into the bar/restaurant where the wedding will take place she sees Hunter.  Hunter is actually Noah Hunter and the owner of the bar, Hunter’s Place.

Noah has been thinking about Grace as much as she’s been thinking about him but he feels that they’re too different to be together.  He is also guardian of Jonah, his 9-year-old brother, and he doesn’t feel like he deserves a life as he feels responsible for the accident that killed their parents.  Noah finally starts thinking that maybe Grace can be with him but when Grace’s father shows up in his small SC town Noah thinks that maybe Grace is changing her tune about working at Soaring Industries and plans on leaving him.

This was a bit of a love at first sight story.  Not that they acknowledged that fact but from the moment Noah and Grace’s eyes met they each felt something.  Spending the night together kind of solidified it but neither of them admitted it to themselves.  Neither could get the other of their minds so by the time they met each other again it was almost impossible to stay away.  I loved how they were together even though they had their issues.

I do wish that the book had been just a tad longer so that the author could have shown us more of Noah and Grace spending time together.  Not that the time they spent was bad it just seemed a bit fast for my liking.  They were very different people and had a lot to work out but that didn’t seem to play into it.  Idk, I just needed…more.

I did like the story in the end and plan on going back to read book one in this series and read about Grace’s friend Cameron.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Guest Review: Rush by Shae Ross

Posted May 11, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Rush by Shae RossReviewer: Tracy
Rush by Shae Ross
Series: Pretty Smart Girls #3
Published by Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: May 9th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Priscilla Winslow has a mouth that spits fiery sarcasm faster than I can throw a touchdown. But I’ve wanted her ever since I saw her in that Bo Peep outfit on Halloween. Yep, I’m a sheep who will follow that little hottie anywhere. There’s one problem…she hates me. Just because we ended up in jail and quite possibly ruined both our futures...

They’re changing the rules…

College Quarterback, Preston Rush is living the dream. He’s leading his team to the National Championship and days away from earning a ‘first round draft pick’ label. When he meets Little Bo Peep at a Halloween party, he thinks he’s scored big. Instead, he wakes up in a jail cell with the corseted beauty. Because of him, she’s in trouble and when he discovers her true identity, he realizes, his nightmare is just beginning.

The always shooting for perfection Priscilla Winslow can’t believe her good deed has cost her soccer career. Even though she knows it isn’t Preston’s fault, she can’t forgive him for the disaster that is her life. She just wishes her damn body would get the message. Every time she sees him, it’s all she can do not to kiss him.

When everything crashes down around him, Preston will have to decide if doing the right thing is worth losing it all.

Priscilla is the captain of the women’s soccer team at her university.  She loves soccer and can’t wait to go to the championships (they’re almost there).  Unfortunately, going to a Halloween party puts that all in jeopardy.  She is at a bar with a friend dressed as Bo Peep (her sister stole her ninja costume and left her with the BP costume) when she heads to the bathroom after a few drinks.  She meets a guy dressed as Chewbacca in the hallway outside the bathroom and something about the eyes behind the mask get to her.  Not long after that interaction Priscilla heads out the back door of the bar to get a breath of fresh air and sees Chewbacca getting beaten up.  She tries to intervene but makes no headway so she decides to pull the fire alarm when no one will help her.  The cops come and arrest both Priscilla and Chewbacca (aka Preston Rush who is the quarterback of the football team) and throw them in a cell.

Priscilla ends up going before the Athletic Board and gets suspended for the remainder of the year.  She’s despondent about the outcome as she was just trying to help someone out and she’s pissed off because she had left a letter for Preston to tell him when the AB meeting was so that he could be her witness to the events but he didn’t show.

Preston is quite taken with Priscilla and when he sees that she’s pissed off at him he can’t understand it.  He wanted to help but never received her letter.  He swears he’ll help her (as his charges were dropped) but that means going before the AB and telling them his part in the matter which will get him suspended from the football team when they’re about to go to the National Championship.  His teammates get wind of what he’s planning and don’t like it at all.

Preston and Priscilla get closer the more time they spend together but Preston is keeping secrets and Priscilla’s not sure if she can completely trust that when her appeal comes around he’ll actually be there for her.

This was my first read by this author and it was a good one.  I really liked her writing style and the way she slowly brought the characters together.  The romantic and sexual tension between the two MC’s was intense and I loved it.

There were several things about this story that I really enjoyed.  Of course the romance was one of them as I enjoyed seeing Preston and Priscilla come together.  I admired Preston so, so much.  He had a good head on his shoulder, cared about his family and his teammates and tried to live his life with honor.  Yes, he’d screwed up at one point but since then he’d been trying to do the right thing.  He was also trying to help his teammates do the right thing as well and his show of support for them made me like him even more.  His support of Priscilla despite the ramifications of his coming clean to the AB made me want to throw my arms around him and hug him to death.

Priscilla was a strong character.  When Preston didn’t show up for the first AB meeting I loved how she didn’t let him get away with it.  She wasn’t afraid to get angry with him and tell him exactly how she felt.  Loved that!

Overall this was a great New Adult sport romance.  It was nice to have both the hero and the heroine involved in sports and not just the hero as it added another element to the book that I hadn’t read in other stories.  I liked Shae Ross’s writing and will be going back to read the other two books in this series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Guest Review: Ironheart by Nico Rosso

Posted February 8, 2016 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ironheart by Nico RossoIronheart by Nico Rosso
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: January 18th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Action & Adventure, Fantasy
Pages: 125
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Love is a battlefield...
Superhero Vince “The Anvil” can take on knives, bullets, and bombs, but he’s not invincible. It was a hard hit when Kara, AKA “Snapdragon,” flew off after their explosive affair. And he’s especially vulnerable when she returns, looking for his help.
Kara is new to the superhero game, and villain TechHead is too much for her and her teammates to handle. He’s determined to use their combined power to fuel his ultimate weapon. Her only chance to take him on is with Vince’s brutal skill. But bringing Vince into the fight leaves her exposed to the white hot passion that had scared her away in the first place.
When TechHead captures Kara, Vince will stop at nothing to rescue her–even if it means sacrificing his heart.

Ironheart was previously released as part of the Holding Out for a Hero anthology.

Ironheart was my very first superhero romance, and I liked it!

Vince and Kara, otherwise known by their superhero names “The Anvil” and “Snapdragon”, had an intense but brief fling a while ago, but Kara broke it off abruptly. After that, Vince ends up dropping out of his superhero group and disappearing to live a normal life, though he mostly spends his time pining after Kara. When she shows up out of the blue at the same time as some thugs attacking him, Vince is suspicious, but still hot for her, naturally, so he gives her a chance. He and Kara seem to be reconciling, until Vince realizes Kara hasn’t been entirely truthful about her reason for finding him again. Can they put aside their issues to help stop a super villain?

This story is short, but it was so much fun! Rosso creates a mostly fleshed-out, albeit narrowly focused, superhero world. Vince and Kara’s powers are explained (as much as any superhero powers are ever “explained”), and they actually have character arcs. Vince has to accept what he really wants, which is to be a superhero, and to be with Kara. Kara needs to accept all the parts of herself and embrace who she really is in order to be the best superhero, and partner, she can be. They both change and find out more about themselves and the other person in the course of a story, which is not an easy feat in a shorter book.

Probably the neatest part is that Vince and Kara are both super–no one has to save anyone else, or at least it’s not the same person always doing the saving. And really, Kara’s powers are cooler and probably more powerful than Vince’s, but it’s a total non-issue for Vince. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously either. It isn’t mocking superheroes, but it also acknowledges that superheroes are kind of funny too, which I liked. And have you ever wondered what would happen if superheroes had sex? Well, this book provides one potential answer: shit falls down and/or lights on fire. I assume that means no sex in a bed for these two or the fire department would have to be involved! (And apparently Kara’s powers allow her to make a little internal birth control device, hands down my favorite contraceptive reference EVER in a romance.)

Because the book is short, it’s inevitable that some things would not be as well explained as I would have liked, like who/what exactly gave Snapdragon her powers, what was going on with The Anvil’s group (Omni Force), how exactly the superhero political/organizational structure works, etc. I could overlook a lot of those details though because they didn’t take away from the relationship storyline. I did roll my eyes a bit at how Vince seemed so broken up over losing Kara when they’d hardly been together long (weeks? maybe only days? I wasn’t clear). He still thinks of her every day months later and is tortured by her memory. Really? Seems kind of melodramatic, Anvil! I believe these two had an intense connection, but maybe they needed a little more time to explore it. I loved the two of them once they were back in contact–I just thought the back story was weak.

I know there are a few other superhero romances floating around (and I will most certainly be looking for them now), but not many. I am honestly puzzled why there aren’t more, given how popular superheroes are lately. I sure hope there will be a series coming from this world because it was a ton of fun, and I’d love to hear more about some of the side characters.

Grade: 4 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

four-stars

0 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,