Publisher: Indie

Throwback Thursday Review: Release Me by Farrah Rochon

Posted May 2, 2019 by Casee in Features, Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Release Me by Farrah RochonReviewer: Casee
Release Me by Farrah Rochon
Series: Holmes Brothers #1
Publisher: Indie, Leisure Books
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 325
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Tobias "Toby" Holmes was destined for NBA stardom. But when an SUV crashed into his car during his rookie year, his dreams of playing pro-basketball, along with his spine, were shattered. After floundering from one job to another, Toby has finally found his niche in the music business. And when the singing sensation he discovered is pegged to star in a new reality TV show, Toby finally sees light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel.

Sienna Culpepper has loved her childhood best friend forever, though he has never seen anything other than the girl with skinny legs, cornrows, and mad skills on the basketball court. When Toby returns to their hometown of New Orleans to start his career as a record producer/manager, Sienna is resigned to loving him from afar. However, when Sienna and Toby find themselves working together, feelings arise that has them both rethinking their friendship.

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on May 27, 2008

Release Me is the second book in Farrah Rochon’s Holmes Brothers Trilogy. In her debut book, Deliver Me, we met the Holmes brothers and their mother. Toby is intriguing from the start and his story will not disappoint readers of this series. If you like the friends to lovers storyline, even better.

Since a car accident ended his basketball career, Toby Holmes has been trying to find his niche in life. He has finally found it in managing the music career of Aria Jordan. When he’s approached by a producer who is beginning a reality show for musician hopefuls, Toby realizes that he needs good publicity for his client and goes to the best firm in New Orleans. Little does he know that he has put himself directly in the path of his childhood best friend, Sienna Culpepper.

Sienna has loved Toby for years. Since her high school days of playing basketball with him, Sienna has wanted more than Toby’s friendship. Knowing that she never had a chance has become a shield that she puts between herself and any potential lovers. Even knowing that her chances are non-existent, Sienna can’t help the feelings that Toby invokes in her.

Now, two people that have a life of friendship between them are seeing things in each other that they have never seen before. Sienna is seeing that while the core of who Toby is remains the same, he has never dealt with stroke of fate that left him without the career he so desperately wanted. As for Toby, he is looking at Sienna differently than he ever has. For years his brother Alex has tried to tell Toby that he and Sienna were meant for each other. Always thinking of Sienna as family, Toby has never looked at her as anything other than a little sister and his best friend. Now, Toby is forced to look at Sienna as the formitable, successful woman that she has become and admits to himself that she may just be everything he’s ever wanted in a woman.

While I liked Deliver Me, I didn’t necessarily like the heroine. Sienna was a great heroine. She was a woman that knew what she wanted and went out and got it. Overcoming past trauma to be with Toby was something that Sienna didn’t know if she was capable of. Forced to take a hard look at what she would be giving up, Sienna’s strong nature would not let her hide behind something that has shaped and changed her life for the past 10 years.

Romance readers should enjoy both Deliver Me and Release Me. If you like straight contemporary romance with no suspense, you’ll enjoy both these installments of the Holmes Brothers Trilogy. I can’t wait to see what Rochon has in store for Alex Holmes. She also writes some of the best secondary romances that does nothing but enhance the book.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Dorchester. You can buy it here.

Holmes Brothers

four-stars


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Release Day Spotlight: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne (+ Giveaway)

Posted February 12, 2019 by Rowena in Promotions | 13 Comments

Huge Deal by Lauren Layne is the final book in her 21 Wall Street series and it features the couple that I feel like I’ve been waiting for AGES to get together. This is my most anticipated read of 2019 because I cannot freaking wait to finally see Kate bring Kennedy to his knees.

You guys are in for a treat today because not only does Huge Deal release today to the masses, we’re giving away three e-copies of the book to three lucky winners. This book is not to be missed so we’re going to make sure some of you don’t. 🙂 Check it out!

Release Day Spotlight: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne (+ Giveaway)Huge Deal (21 Wall Street, #3) by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #3
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2)
Publisher: Indie
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: five-stars

Even for a top-gun banker, temptation this hot is quite a gamble, in a sexy Wall Street romp from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

An alpha among the wolves of Wall Street, Kennedy Dawson rose to the top of the pack by striking the right contracts at the right times. But there’s one deal that’s been giving him a run for his money—a pact to never again let his assistant, Kate, get under his skin. She may be smart, gorgeous, and sharp as a whip, but she’s definitely off-limits.

Kate Henley isn’t a banker, but she knows a thing or two about risk management—specifically, about managing her attraction to her smolderingly sexy boss. She already fell once, and Kennedy showed no sign of paying a return on her investment. So when Kennedy’s brother starts pursuing her, Kate figures she has the best of both worlds. Jack is charming, rich, very attentive, and the spitting image of his older brother.

It’s also making Kennedy think twice. But to win Kate’s heart, he’ll have to broker the deal of a lifetime…and prove he’s worth the risk.

Huge Deal is Out Today!

Order the Book

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21 Wall Street

Giveaway Alert

Release Day Spotlight: Huge Deal by Lauren Layne

Good luck!

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in nine languages. Lauren's work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.


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Guest Review: Jock Rule by Sara Ney

Posted January 30, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Jock Rule by Sara NeyReviewer: Tracy
Jock Rule by Sara Ney
Series: Jock Hard #2
Publisher: Indie, Three Legacies LLC
Publication Date: December 6, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 214
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Kip Carmichael is no pretty boy.

He's a rough. Dirty. Giant. Hair so unruly, and a beard so thick, his friends on the team call him Sasquatch.

The first time Sasquatch lays eyes on Theodora "Teddy" Johnson across the keg at a party one night on Jock Row, she'd been relegated to the sidelines by her jock-hungry "friends."

Week-after-week, he watches beautiful but bashful Teddy getting overshadowed, and overlooked. Sasquatch finally broad shoulders his way through the crowd, offering to to be her hairy godmother. But the minute their eyes meet? He's a goner.

Teaching her the RULES for winning a jock will be the easy part. Not falling in love with her is going to be a losing game.

Teddy is at the Rugby frat house at her college and isn’t having a very good time.  She came because her roommate Mariah wanted to, but then deserted her.  For some reason she keeps ending up at the keg. The first week it’s because she’s just not sure what to do since no one is manning it. The second week is because she somehow ends up filling people’s cups.

Kip is a rugby player with an attitude.  He transferred from Notre Dame to a college in the middle of nowhere so he could be left alone.  He comes from a wealthy family and between that and his good looks he’s hit on constantly – but not for who he is on the inside.  He grows an unruly beard and mustache and cops the worst attitude to keep people away. It works as people tend to avoid him. Kip has stayed away from girls and hasn’t even kissed a girl in two years.

He’s holding up a wall at the rugby house when he spots Teddy week after week.  They talk during week two and when a fight breaks out during week three, Kip ushers Teddy out and they end up at his house (no, nothing happens).  The pair become “sort of” friends and Kip tells her a few truths about her friends and what she’ll need to do if she truly wants to get a guy.  He offers to be her “Hairy Godmother” and gives her a bunch of rules that need to be followed. Will Kip let Teddy actually snag a guy or will he keep her for himself?

This was a really cute book.  I read book one in this series and really liked that one as well.  They’re just fun, cute romances that have little to no angst.  Ok, so they don’t have a lot of plot either, but that didn’t make me like them any less. 😊

In this book Kip had to grow on me a bit.  He’s an asshole and has cut himself off so much that he almost doesn’t know how to talk to people in a nice way.  He’s used to pushing girls away, so the fact that he lets Teddy in is huge.  I loved the relationship he has with his only sister.  Their texts back and forth cracked me up.

Teddy was a bit clueless for most of the book.  Her friends treated her like shit, but she didn’t realize it until Kip pointed it out.  Really?  She just said, “That’s just how they are.”  Whatever.  With friends like those who needs enemies, right? I was glad that Kip made her admit the truth.

The only conflict in the book, really was almost at the end and frankly was a bit ridiculous (on Teddy’s part, of course).  That and the many, many times they mentioned that Teddy was poor, were the only thing that truly annoyed me in this book.

If you want a quick, fun read then you should definitely pick this one up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jock Hard

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Sabine by Moira Rogers

Posted September 6, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Sabine by Moira RogersReviewer: Holly
Sabine (And the Beast, #1) by Moira Rogers
Series: And the Beast #1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 68
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A curse can erase her from his mind, but never from his heart.

" and the Beast, Book 1"

After three years at war, the High Lord of the Forest returns to his lands, a victorious wolf leader intent on claiming his mate. Instead Ciar finds an empty bed and a court with no recollection of the woman he loved. Following her long-cold trail proves far easier than facing what awaits him at the end.

Sabine s first instinct is to beg her beloved to leave. The High Lord s mother hired a witch to curse Sabine, desperate to wipe the lowborn wolf from her son s mind. But the spell worked too well, and Sabine has vanished from the thoughts of everyone who sees her. Including her own family.

The edges of his memory already blurring, Ciar and Sabine must race to find a way to reverse the spell. Yet every searing moment together is not enough to stop the curse s inexorable progress. His only chance is to bind Sabine to him too tightly to be forgotten, before she disappears once and for all.

Warning: This story contains cruel betrayal, destined love, vile curses, smoldering reunions, wicked deeds between wanton shapeshifters and a happily-ever-after worthy of any fairy tale. "

Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy!

This review was originally posted on May 6, 2011.

This is a very short read, clocking in at just 41 pages. For such a short novella this really packs an emotional punch. Sabine and Ciar were going to be mated (this was personal choice – they were very much in love) when Ciar got called away to war. While he was gone, Sabine was cursed by her lover’s mother. Now no one remembers her – not even her mother.

When Ciar returns from war to find Sabine gone from his home, he immediately searches her out. He’s surprised to find her living in a cabin in the woods, cutoff from everyone and everything. Once she shares with him what happened, he determines to fix it by getting the witch to remove the curse. But..will he remember?

I loved the connection between Ciar and Sabine. Ciar loved Sabine just as much as she loved him. I can’t imagine how solitary and depressing it would be to not be remembered by anyone. Ciar remembers Sabine when he first returns, but forgets her soon after. While I would have liked to see this explored further (I think the emotional impact could have been much harder) I think Rogers did a credible job of making it work considering the page count.

I wish there had been more on the final resolution. Especially more about Ciar’s mother, and her part in what happened to Sabine. In the end it seemed too abrupt. I also want to read more about Ciar’s 2nd and his new wife. I’m hoping there will be another entry in the series featuring them.

3.5 out of 5

…and the Beast

three-half-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Raphael by D.B. Reynolds

Posted August 15, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Raphael by D.B. ReynoldsReviewer: Holly
Raphael (Vampires in America, #1) by D.B. Reynolds
Series: Vampires in America #1
Publisher: Imajinn Books
Publication Date: April 15, 2009
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 248
Add It: Goodreads
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half-star
Series Rating: one-star

Malibu, California-home to rock-and-roll gods and movie stars, the beautiful, the rich . . . and vampires.

Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he'd give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it's too late.

Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough and sexy, a private investigator and former cop who's tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn's happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself.

Battling Russian mobsters and treacherous vampires, and betrayed by those they trusted, Cyn and Raphael find themselves fighting for their lives while caught up in a passion of blood and violence that is destined to destroy them both.

For our Summer Reading Challenge, Casee, Rowena and I chose 5 books for the others to read. We tried to choose books we thought the others would enjoy, though they may not have chosen to read them on their own. Or I did, anyway. I don’t know what Casee was thinking. I did’t care for Raphael at all. Why Casee thought I’d enjoy it is beyond me. 1) It features vampires, which I hate. 2) It ends in a cliffhanger, which I hate. 3) Did I mention the vampires? Ugh.

Raphael is the Vampire Lord of the United States. Though thousands have pledged their loyalty to him, he’s still betrayed and the one who means more to him than anyone else in kidnapped. Since humans helped with the kidnapping, Raphael engages of the services of PI Cynthia Leighton. She’s a former LAPD officer who once saved a vampire. Since then she’s often given cases they need help solving. This one is more dangerous than most, but Cyn is up for the challenge. Or so she thinks. Until she realizes she’s majorly attracted to Raphael. Since nothing good can come of that, she determines to focus on the case and nothing else. The problem? Raphael is attracted to her, too. And he doesn’t want to ignore what’s between them.

Here’s the thing. Cyn was an idiot. Right from the beginning she made questionable choices, ignored her instincts and threw common sense right out the window. Multiple times throughout the book she does and says things that make no sense, put herself or others in danger, or are, in general, ridiculous. I didn’t understand her motivations or her thought process, which made it really hard to connect with her. There’s literally a point in the book where she’s like (and I’m paraphrasing here): “This is a really bad idea. I shouldn’t do this. It’s not safe and none of the things are adding up. But eh..I’m just going to do it anyway. It’ll probably be fine.” Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t fine.

Also? This book features one of my biggest pet peeves in Romantic Suspense. Now, before I go on I want to say that I’m more forgiving of PNR than straight RS, because we’re dealing with fantasy elements, you know? Vampires don’t really exist, so of course I can’t hold the actions of the characters to the same standards I would a straight contemporary. But either way, the MCs having sex in the middle of a dangerous situation? Totally kills it for me. In this case, they’re in the middle of a shootout in a warehouse. Raphael partially rips a dude’s arm off. While he’s crawling around on the floor in the actual room, they start having sex. Right there. In front of dude half missing an arm. With dead bodies littered throughout. WTAF?!?! No. Just no.

Added to that, the writing is pretty choppy. So many times they’d be talking about something and then, mid-paragraph, switch gears. It made for an awkward reading experience. I didn’t understand why Raphael wanted her, or why he acted the way he did with her. His reactions seemed so out of context.

To add insult to injury, the book ended on a cliffhanger. Between the choppy writing, ridiculous actions of both the hero and heroine and the cliffhanger, this was a complete chore to get through. I love Casee like whoa, but this was a major fail.

1 out of 5

Vampires in America

half-star


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