Publisher: Forever

Guest Review: Love Blooms on Main Street by Olivia Miles

Posted August 16, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Love Blooms on Main Street by Olivia MilesReviewer: Tracy
Love Blooms on Main Street by Olivia Miles
Series: Briar Creek #4
Also in this series: Mistletoe on Main Street, Christmas Comes to Main Street
Published by Forever
Publication Date: July 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Florist Ivy Birch fantasizes about the day a man will surprise her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Especially if that man happens to be Brett Hastings. One stolen kiss at her best friend's wedding and Ivy can't get the sexy ER doctor out of her head.

In the small town of Briar Creek, you can't avoid anyone for very long. Not that Brett has been trying to avoid Ivy. He just can't afford to let anything distract him from his work-not again. So when a hospital fundraiser throws them together, love is the last thing on his mind. But with her quick wit and sweet laugh, soon the one woman he's tried to keep at arm's length is capturing his heart...

Ivy kissed Brett at her best friend’s wedding and she’s not been able to get him out of her mind since. She fantasizes about how their meeting will go and practically has her wedding planned. The problem? It’s been seven months since that kiss and Brett hasn’t contacted her once!

When Ivy heads to the local hospital to have a check up for her diabetes who does she run into but Brett! She makes excuses for him not contacting her when he got into town but Brett’s attitude is not exactly open and friendly. He purposely veres the conversation away from even a hint of future meetings. Ivy is pissed and determined to get this man out of her mind but that doesn’t work out as well as she thought it would.

Brett left Briar Creek for college and never wanted to come back. He feels unlimited guilt that he wasn’t in town, nor did he return to town the two times his mother was sick with cancer. He tries to tell himself it was ok since his mother told him to stay put but he still feels the guilt. He has no plans on staying in Briar Creek this time either but after losing a patient in the ER in Boston he was asked to take leave and rest. He plans on leaving again but what he doesn’t plan on was Ivy. Yes, he thought of her multiple times since they kissed but he knows she’s the forever type of girl and he’s not looking for long-term. Despite that, once seeing her again, he can’t get her out of his head and finds himself seeking out her company more and more.

This was cute book and pretty fluffy all around. At first I was a bit disgusted with Ivy because she was still pining after Brett after that kiss. I mean, come on! It’s been seven months and the guy hasn’t called, texted, emailed. That’s a pretty big sign to me to move on. I was also disgusted with Brett and his attitude toward his small hometown. He was a bit of a snob when it came to the slower pace and it took me a while to warm up to him.

Eventually the pair came to terms with each other. Brett started working through his guilt and Ivy was coming to terms with her diabetes and the fact that not one of her friends knew she had it. It was strange but her diabetes brought her and Brett together and I thought it was a unique bonding experience.

There was also a side story of with a girl named Kara. She worked at her friends restaurant and was not happy. She had worked with Anna at a bakery and Anna had taught her so much – Kara loved it. When Anna and her husband Mark opened a restaurant in town she was excited about the prospect of working her baking magic on a larger scale but when Anna asked her to work for her – she made her a hostess and hired a whole other crew for the kitchens. Kara loved helping her friends but wasn’t happy. She’d planned to quit many times but when she finally got up the nerve Anna offered her another job – being the office manager. Kara wanted to say no but couldn’t let down her friend and accepted. She really wanted to bake and be free from the restaurant but she could never say no! It annoyed the heck out of me. I understand not wanting to upset your friends or leave them in a lurch with no hostess and no office manager but she was so sad! Every time her story came on the page it made my heart hurt because she just couldn’t stand up for herself. I liked that she got some recognition by the end of the book but quite frankly this portion of the story brought me down and I wish it hadn’t been a part of Ivy and Brett’s love story.

Overall the story was good and I had a good time reading it. I did have some issues with it but in the end the good outweighed the bad.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

Posted August 8, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #4
Also in this series: Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire
Published by Forever
Publication Date: October 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 624
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three-stars

Millie Cross knows what it's like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn't be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie's chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can't ignore. And this time, she won't let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan "High" Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she's just a ghost of her former self. High's intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn't want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie's betrayal, he'll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .

This series has been hit and miss for me. Some I loved while others were just eh. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Walk Through Fire since High wasn’t my favorite character in past books. I didn’t dislike him, but I didn’t love him either.

High and Millie were together for three years. They met at a party and were inseparable after that first meeting. They both knew, right from the beginning, that they were it. There was no one else for either of them. Until Mill just cut High off one day and disappeared from his life. Twenty years later she sees him in a Chipotle and decides it’s time to make things right with him. She tracks him down to a motorcycle club event and they end up having sex, though it meant something totally different for High than it did for Millie.

They end up circling around each other for several weeks after that, until they come to a head the night the Club turns on Millie and the reason for her sudden breakup with him comes out. Then Millie takes off for Paris for two weeks and High realizes he’s been an ass and decides to fix what he broke.

Here’s the thing about this book: The first half was pretty great. I totally believed that Logan and Millie loved each other back in the day. I even believed that their love was the GREAT ONE and there was no one else for either of them (strictly speaking in terms of soul mates). What I didn’t buy for a single second was that Mille lived in a bubble for 20 years. She had close friends but never went out? She ran a very successful party planning business but didn’t network? Her life just stopped the second she walked away from High? That didn’t make a lick of sense to me.

It also frustrated me how immature both Millie and High acted at times. They were in their (or close to? I can’t remember now) their 40’s. I wish they’d acted like it. Instead they purposely lashed out at each other, refused to communicate and involved themselves in petty, high school-type drama. The Club didn’t show itself in a very favorable light, either. The way the men acted was silly and childish, and the women were just as bad.

But whatever. I could have gotten past that. The big problem was the second half of the book. Millie and High work out the animosity between them about 1/3 of the way into the book. The rest is all just external problems in the form of drama with his kids, club business and a bad guy using Millie as bait to draw High – and Chaos – out. Plus there were some things that made me want to bang my head against the wall. Example: The bad guy breaks into Millie’s house and tells her he took pictures of her and High having sex in her office/studio (which is in a building behind her house), yet they continue to have sex there without thought. Uh..what?

There were some minor frustrations with both Mille and High, particularly their lack of communication, but I enjoyed parts of the story. Ashley excels at writing stories I fall right into, and this was no exception, at lest for the first half.

2.75 out of 5

three-stars

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Review: The Billionaire Bachelor by Jessica Lemmon

Posted June 27, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Billionaire Bachelor by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
The Billionaire Bachelor by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys #1
Also in this series: The Billionaire Next Door
Published by Forever
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Indecent Proposal

Manwhore. That's what the board of directors-and the tabloids-thinks of billionaire bachelor Reese Crane. Ordinarily he couldn't care less, but his playboy past is preventing the board from naming him CEO of Crane Hotels. Nothing-and no one-will keep him from his life's legacy. They want a settled man to lead the company? Then that's exactly what he'll give them.

Merina Van Heusen will do anything to get her parents' funky boutique hotel back-even marry cold-as-ice-but-sexy-as-hell Reese Crane. It's a simple business contract-six months of marriage, absolute secrecy, and the Van Heusen is all hers again. But when sparks fly between them, their passion quickly moves from the boardroom to the bedroom. And soon Merina is living her worst nightmare: falling in love with her husband . . .

This is the first book by Jessica Lemmon that I’ve read and it definitely won’t be the last. I really enjoyed the romance between Reese and Merina. I loved how their story started, how their romance blossomed and I was super happy with the way that it ended. It wasn’t the perfect romance and I really liked that it wasn’t. The main couple had lots to work through and I liked the way that Lemmon brought these two people together.

Merina walks into the hotel that has been in her family for as long as she can remember one morning to find out that her parents sold her legacy and they sold it to the freaking Cranes, those money hungry soul suckers who won’t take care of her hotel the same way that she would. She’s so steaming mad that she rushes into Resse Crane’s office and gives him a piece of her mind.

Reese’s father is retiring soon and he needs to come up with a way to make the board of directors for his family’s company see that he’s more than the playboy the media paints him to be. They need to see that he’s serious about his legacy and he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that the running of the company stays in the family. When Merina Van Heusen storms into his office, wanting to tell him where he can shove his money and lets him know that she won’t rest until she finds a way to get her family hotel back, the wheels start turning in Reese’s head and before he knows what’s what, he’s proposing to Merina and offering her hotel as incentive to play his wife for six months until the Board votes him into the CEO position.

Their marriage was supposed to be in name only but when two people have explosive chemistry and an attraction that threatens to drown them both, things are going to go down.

Reese and Merina get down and they keep getting down. Spending so much time together, playing the perfect couple starts feeling more and more real and they longer they play the role, the more invested they become in each other.

I loved the romance between Reese and Merina. I thought they were great together and I really enjoyed seeing them get to know each other and fall slowly in love. Reese frustrated me with how long he held out where Merina was concerned but I loved that Merina was no one’s bitch. I loved how she didn’t let hurt feelings and misunderstandings get in the way of what she wanted and what Reese needed. She was a great heroine and I’m so glad that Reese ended up being the man she deserved.

This was a great book that I enjoyed from the beginning to end. There were times when I wanted to kick Reese in the balls but in the end, I was so happy for the both of them that I forgave him. I’m so looking forward to the next book and I’m hoping that we’ll meet the elusive Eli Crane in that book. I want to know all of Reese’s brothers.

I’ve read good things about Jessica Lemmon’s writing and I’m glad that the high praise lived up to my expectations. I will definitely be reading more from this author because I was invested in these characters. She wrote a fantastic contemporary romance with two passionate characters that come together in love and I really dug it. I’m so looking forward to Tag.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Falling Under by Lauren Dane

Posted January 21, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Falling Under by Lauren DaneReviewer: Holly
Falling Under by Lauren Dane
Series: Ink and Chrome #2
Also in this series: Coming Back, Coming Back
Published by Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The men of Twisted Steel are great with their hands.

And they're not afraid to get dirty.

Duke Bradshaw, co-owner of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle and hot rod shop, may devote his days to chrome and leather, but his nights belong to Carmella. His sultry redheaded neighbor has a smile like an angel and a body built for sin, and for the past year both have dominated Duke's dreams. When a problem at Twisted Steel requires a fast fix, Duke sees his chance to finally make his fantasy a reality.

Ever since she first heard the low rumble of his engine, Carmella Rossi has wondered if Duke Bradshaw handles his women as expertly as he handles his bike. When he shows up at her door offering her a much-needed job at his shop, she gets her chance to find out. Beneath Duke's masterful touch, Carmella soon submits to a world of unimaginable pleasure.

But history has taught Carmella how bad a boy boy can be. If she doesn't put on the brakes fast, her hard-bodied heartbreaker could drive her right over the edge . . .

I actually read this book ages ago and wrote a review for it that disappeared completely. Since I didn’t update my reading log with exactly when I read it, I’m just going to mark it as read-for-the-first-time in November.

Carmella is dealing with a lot of stuff in her personal life. Her ex is a d-bag and most of her energy is taken up dealing with her mom. She’s secretly been lusting after her hot neighbor Duke for ages, sure, but lusting and liking are two different things. She isn’t quick to trust, so when he offers her a job she takes it reluctantly, because she doesn’t want to get wrapped up with Duke. He’s hard to resist, though, and it isn’t long before they’re seeing each other. Casually at first, then more seriously.

Duke has been eyeing Carm for years, too, but she’s so much more than he expected. They get off to a rocky start thanks to him jumping to conclusions, but before long they settle into a sweet romance I really enjoyed. There isn’t a lot of conflict or tension. There’s sexual chemistry in spades, but not a whole lot of internal or external angst. Carmella is dealing with her mom and Duke has some family issues of his own, but mostly this was a sweet story of two people coming together and learning to let go with each other.

I really loved Duke and Carmella. Dane writes sexy alpha-males who aren’t assholes and strong, independent women who don’t cross the line into “so independent they’re stupid”. I love the Twisted Steele setting (the shop Duke co-owns, where they build custom cars), the secondary characters and the romance. This series has it all.

4 out of 5

Reading Order:

Opening Up
Falling Under
Coming Back

four-stars

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Guest Review: Coming Back by Lauren Dane

Posted December 14, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Coming Back by Lauren DaneReviewer: Tracy
Coming Back by Lauren Dane
Series: Ink and Chrome #3
Also in this series: Coming Back, Falling Under
Published by Forever
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-stars

Arriving back in Seattle after five years, Jessilyn Franklin is done pretending she didn't want two men. She's done letting anything stop her from being with Adam and Mick, now back from the war and working at Twisted Steel, a custom hot rod and motorcycle shop. One night changes everything, but their relationship must strengthen to weather the storms they'll face as they make their way back to one another.

Mick met Jessilyn when he was seven years old and she was just five. They were the best of friends until they, along with their friend Adam all got together. Mick couldn’t handle what he was feeling so took off and re-enlisted. That was four years ago and now Mick is ready to face his feelings for both Jessi and Adam.

Mick and his partners in Twisted Steel are having a grand opening for their new showroom and Mick invites both Jessi and Adam even though he hasn’t seen them in a long time. They both show up and when they all go back to Adam’s house it’s like they were never apart. Of course there are talks about what happened four years earlier but for the most part the three fall into a close relationship.

Mick’s parents are extremely religious and they’re not afraid to tell Mick exactly what they think about what he’s doing. Adam’s father isn’t thrilled either but only because he feels that Mick and Jessi are below Adam and how would that make the family look? Jessi’s family is wonderful and accepts all of them for who they are. That doesn’t mean that the trio has an easy time of it. With so many people trying to tear them apart they’re bound to have problems.

Coming Back, imho opinion, is the weakest in the Ink & Chrome series. While the relationship between the three is touching and I felt for them with all they were going through, it just didn’t have the extra something that I felt the first two books had.

Mick, Jessi and Adam were all great characters. I very much enjoyed Jessi’s independence and I loved her family to pieces. She was really the bright star in this novel for me. Mick and Adam were good characters as well but even though I felt they had bigger parts in the book they didn’t stand out to me quite as much as Jessi did. The relationship between the three was a good one, that’s for sure. I liked the strength of it and the fact that they all felt so comfortable with each other even after an extended period apart.

While I found this book entertaining I found it to be a little lacking as far as the plot and for that reason didn’t hold my attention too well.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

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