Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Guest Review: Knuckle Down by Chantal Fernando

Posted July 12, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Knuckle Down by Chantal FernandoReviewer: Tracy
Knuckle Down (The Cursed Ravens MC #2) by Chantal Fernando
Series: The Cursed Ravens MC #2
Also in this series: Ace of Hearts
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: July 9, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 285
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Goodreads
three-stars

As a single father of two girls and the sergeant at arms for the Cursed Ravens Motorcycle Club, Jack “Knuckles” Chester doesn’t have much free time. And having earned his road name from his reputation as a fighter, Knuckles isn’t one to back away from a challenge.

But what he'll never admit out loud is that his two daughters have changed him irrevocably, softened him even. And these two girls are the only women who will ever hold his heart forever. That is, until he meets the cousin of another biker’s old lady.

Celina is nothing like the women Knuckles used to date. She’s a journalist for the local newspaper, dresses well, and basically just has her life together. And the last thing she wants is to be involved with a Cursed Raven. But when the ripped, badass biker worms his way into her heart, she has trouble remembering all the reasons they would never work.

But when a scandal at her newspaper breaks the thin trust she has with Knuckles, will she walk away for good? Or will Knuckles fight to keep Celina in his life?

Celina is a journalist and loves her job.  She loves being independent and making her way in the world.  She’s not really open to a relationship as her last one did a number on her.  When she heads to the Cursed Ravens MC clubhouse for her cousin Erin’s birthday party the last thing she expects to happen is to fall for one of its members.

Knuckles is the Sergeant-at-Arms for the Cursed Ravens MC.  He’s also a father of two daughters and does his work for the Ravens around his kids.  He loves his MC but he also loves his girls and will do anything for them.  He wasn’t planning on meeting anyone and hadn’t been attracted to a woman in a long time but when he sees Celina in the clubhouse he’s immediately smitten.

Celina has a bit too much to drink at the party so Knuckles ends up driving her home and then goes the next day to check on her. She keeps telling him that she’s not interested in dating him but he is persistent and their friendship soon turns into a relationship.

This was a fun story.  I really liked Knuckles a lot as he was just a good guy.  The author really doesn’t get into anything that the MC is criminally into.  The stories are definitely more relationship driven and the men just happen to be in an MC.  In this story there was one incident that was something I could see happening at an MC but other than that we don’t get much info about anything the MC does.

I’m not normally a fan of romances where the heroine is a journalist (actually I don’t like it when the hero is either but that so rarely occurs) but since I read book one in this series I thought I’d give it a shot.  The conflict had to do with her work (as expected) and I could see it coming for miles down the road.  Fortunately, that was worked out rather quickly.  Celina and Knuckles were good together once they each let their guards down.  Despite Knuckles chasing Celina he still held himself back a bit until later in the book.

The Cursed Ravens MC novels are pretty short and fluffy, but the author gives me enough about the characters that I end up wanting to see what the next guy is up to.  Point in her favor. 🙂

Rating: 3 out of 5

The Cursed Ravens MC

three-stars


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Guest Review: Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando

Posted July 6, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ace of Hearts by Chantal FernandoReviewer: Tracy
Ace of Hearts by Chantal Fernando
Series: The Cursed Ravens MC #1
Also in this series: Knuckle Down (The Cursed Ravens MC #2)
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: June 11, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 287
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Erin Dawson had the perfect life growing up in a perfect home with a perfect family. Her parents gave her and her sister everything a child could want. But after learning that the man she’s called “dad” her whole life isn’t actually her biological father, Erin is determined to find the man who is.

Armed with her original birth certificate, she finds her father, but begins questioning if her mom had been right all along to keep this information buried. It turns out he is the president of a motorcycle club, which could not be further from the life Erin leads. But, she’s determined to get to know the man who she gets her striking blue eyes from. Despite getting what she wants and finding her biological father, it’s the slightly older, much rougher but incredibly sexy biker Ace that catches Erin’s eye.

As the new “princess” of the Cursed Ravens, Erin is learning a whole new world, but her father has made it clear she is off limits. Will Ace follow his President’s orders or will he put his heart ahead of his duty?

Erin lived her whole life thinking that the man she called “dad” was indeed her father.  When she finds a birth certificate that says otherwise, she’s upset and wants to know what’s going on.  Her mother was dating a man who was in an MC and when she found out she was pregnant she left him and never told him about the baby.  The mom even went as far as faking a birth certificate when she got married so that Erin wouldn’t know that her step-dad wasn’t her father.

Erin’s mother tells her where to find her father and Erin heads there to confront him.  She walks into the clubhouse with no problem and demands to see Gage Parker. When he finds out that he has a daughter that he never knew about he’s understandably upset but welcomes Erin with open arms.  He tells all the MC members that she’s off limits to them but there’s one man that Erin can’t keep away from, and he seems to be ignoring his president’s wishes as well.

Ace isn’t prepared for Erin.  He’s a lady’s man and has women around him all the time.  When he sees Erin he’s pulled to her and can’t keep from wanting to be around her constantly.  He’d love to keep her with him for good, but Erin has her life planned out and her college isn’t anywhere near the MC club. Erin loves being with the MC however and is surprised at how comfortable she feels around these men except when someone starts trying to hurt her.  That hurts her physically, but when she finds out that her father is hiding some information from her she realizes that she doesn’t know the MC at all and she’s not sure she wants to.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked this one up.  I like MC romances and this one was good.  There were some things I thought were strange about the MC – their clubhouse was a house and Erin just walked right up to it with no one questioning her at all.  IDK, maybe because she was a woman?  It just found that strange.  I also found it odd that Ace was ignoring his presidents warning to stay away from his daughter but that’s explained later in the book.  I did find the attempts on her life a bit….much, but it worked in the end. The MC didn’t seem too fierce I’m sure not all of them are the same.

Ace and Erin were good together.  I thought they really cute together despite the fact that one was an MC member.  Ace was a sucker for Erin from almost minute one and I loved that he was so good to her.

The other men of the MC were definitely interesting and I look forward to reading more about them in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Undone by You by Kate Meader

Posted April 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Undone by You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #3
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2), In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5), Hooked On You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: March 5th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 184
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Goodreads
four-stars

USA TODAY bestselling author Kate Meader brings her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (RT Book Reviews) to this novella in the Chicago Rebels series, following the general manager of the Rebels as he scores with one of his players off the ice.

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey. He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett. Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist. Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know...

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?

Undone by You is the third book in the Chicago Rebels series by Kate Meader and it’s another good one. This book follows the new General Manager for the Chicago Rebels, Dante Moretti as he falls for the fan favorite defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett.

Dante is the first out of the closet GM in the NHL and he’s fought tooth and nail to get where he is now. He’s the general manager for a team in rebuilding mode and he’s got a lot of work in front of him. He doesn’t need the distraction of one of his players but Cade isn’t on board with ignoring the possibilities between them.

Cade is tired of hiding who he truly is. He’s tired of hiding it from his family, from the NHL, from everyone. He wants to live his truth and he wants Dante. Trying to get Dante to see things the way that he sees them is turning out to be a lot harder than he thought. Cade knows what he wants and he knows that Dante wants it too but Dante is trying to be professional, too bad Cade feels anything but professional.

I really enjoyed the dynamics between Dante and Cade. Dante is a bit older than Cade and he’s been through everything that Cade has yet to go through. He knows exactly how Cade feels about coming out to his father and the public so being there for Cade is a given but Dante has a lot to lose if his relationship with one of his players gets out so a relationship with Cade is complicated.

Kate Meader did a great job with Dante and Cade’s story. I don’t read very many MM stories but I have enjoyed the ones that I have read and I thought Dante and Cade’s story was a good one. I liked that Dante was older and more experienced but I also liked that Cade was comfortable in his own skin and knew his own mind. When Dante went to Cade’s father and went to bat for Cade, I sat up and had the biggest smile on my face because yes….that’s how you go to bat for your man. That’s how you have your man’s back.

The romance between Dante and Cade was super steamy and hot damn, their chemistry was off the charts good. I was super glad that Dante had Cade and Cade had Dante. They belonged together and Meader did a great job of showing us readers that. I’m really enjoying the heck out of this series and this book was a great addition to that. I’m so thristy for Violet and Bren’s book.

Like this thirsty…

Kudos to Kate Meader on another fabulous hockey book. I really liked it!

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: West Coast Love by Tif Marcelo

Posted April 5, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: West Coast Love by Tif MarceloReviewer: Rowena
West Coast Love (Journey to the Heart #3) by Tif Marcelo
Series: Journey to the Heart #3
Also in this series: North to You (Journey to the Heart #1)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: December 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 367
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

An aspiring food journalist and a grumpy cameraman take to the California coast for the biggest foodie event of the year in this sweet third novel in Tif Marcelo’s charming and romantic Journey to the Heart series.

Online food blogger Victoria Aquino has spent years doing social media for True North and Paraiso Retreats, and she’s ready to take her blog and writing to the next level. But after she was catfished and suffered a heartbreak, she’s clamoring for change. She auditions for and accepts a food host opportunity: covering the Labor Day holiday BBQ festivals along the California coast. For eight days, she’ll travel with a producer and a camera and sound person, in a vintage—and rickety—RV, and she’ll get her very first byline as a video journalist. The only catch? She can’t stand BBQ.

And the cameraman also auditioned for the job.

Joel Silva is a cameraman with his own past and big dreams of his own, and when he finds out that the job he auditioned for went to Victoria—a woman he’d gotten to know covering Paraiso Retreats, and someone he later slept with—he’s understandably furious and curious. Joel knows the BBQ circuit like the back of his hand, and he now has to help Victoria do her job amidst their growing attraction.

When the producer picks up on their push/pull vibe and increases the ante to feature both in front of the camera with the best host taking the next cross-country feature, the two have to decide: is their blossoming romance something that should be left to fizzle along with BBQ season? Or is it the beginning of something even more delicious?

West Coast Love is the third book in Tif Marcelo’s Journey to the Heart series and it was a book that had great appeal for me because I love foodie romances. Victoria Acquino is a foodie blogger who is branching out and trying something new. She wants to try her hand at hosting an on the road foodie show, featuring BBQ festivals up and down the coast of California. Only problem is…she hates BBQ. Joel is an experienced cameraman that has dreams of coming out from behind the camera. He was the cameraman for Victoria’s sisters live stream last year and he’s become a valuable camera to Vic’s family so when they run into each other in Vegas, sparks fly and they give in to the chemistry brimming below the surface. It was supposed to be one magical night. Haha, yeah right.

Joel auditioned for the same show that Victoria did and was really bummed that they approached him with a job offer to be…the cameraman. His dreams aren’t exactly coming true but the money was good so of course, he took the job. After spending a magical night with Victoria in Vegas, he thought of her with fondness until he shows up for the cameraman job and finds out that he lost the hosting job to her and she doesn’t even like BBQ. It’s a sour pill to swallow and he struggles with where he is right now, on this job, with this woman.

Joel has always kept things professional. He was never one to mix business with pleasure and his hookup with Vic is coming back to haunt him because no matter how mad he is about the situation, he is still drawn to Vic and she’s drawn to him.

I enjoyed the first book in this series and was looking forward to reading this one. I liked Victoria’s character in that book and I was curious to get to know her better. Her character was a good one. She was smart, she was driven and even though she was trying to find herself, she didn’t lose herself to find herself, if that makes any sense.

Joel was a great character as well. I enjoyed getting to know him and seeing him try to do right by his sister, by his nephew and then when Vic comes into his life, by Vic.

As great as they were a part, together, Joel and Vic kind of drove me crazy. There was a lot of back and forth between these two and there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into the both of them because they created drama out of the littlest of things. It got a bit annoying to slog through.

Tif Marcelo is a new to me author and even though I spent a little bit rolling my eyes at both Vic and Joel, Marcelo’s writing style is compeling and fun and I will definitely be reading more from her. I wonder what’s next but whatever it is, I’m in.

This book wasn’t perfect but I was stilled filled with feels and I shipped Joel and Vic throughout the entire book. When I put the book down, I was happy to have read it and have plans to go back and read Bryn and Mitchell’s book.

Journey to the Heart Series

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: So Over You by Kate Meader

Posted March 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: So Over You by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #2
Also in this series: In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5), Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3), Hooked On You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star
Publication Date: December 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels....

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then... let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice...

So Over You is the second book in Kate Meader’s Chicago Rebels series and what a great book it was. Kate Meader keeps getting better and better in my opinion and the more that I read from her, the more I want to read from her.

Isobel Chase was the apple of her father’s eye. She was the son that he never had and she strived every day of her life to please him but when her professional hockey career is cut extremely short, she feels like she let him down and she never really got over it. Her father was not the best father. He was a terrible human being and he broke her heart when he messed with the guy she lost her virginity to. Nobody has made her feel more like a failure than her father and when he keeps right on messing with her from the grave, Isobel is determined to do her own thing.

Vadim Petrov has been traded to the Chicago Rebels and he isn’t exactly thrilled about it because she’s there. It’s been years since he’s seen the young girl that he was crazy about when they were young but being with her cost him a promising career that he had to work hard to put back on track. He’s finally playing in the NHL like he always dreamed but now Isobel is back in his orbit, as his coach and it’s hard because on top of the new team, the new city, Vadim is dealing with a new sister he didn’t know existed until she needed some of his organs to stay alive. So on top of Isobel being back in his life, his long lost mother is too. He’s not sure how he feels about Isobel again but his mother? He wants nothing to do with her. There’s a lot of baggage with that and man, the more I got to know Vadim, the more that I loved him.

So this is a second chance romance and an office romance and a coach/player romance and I enjoyed all aspects of Vadim and Isobel’s story. I enjoyed getting to know them, their situations and I really loved seeing them bicker their way toward that happy ending.

Isobel was a great heroine. She was strong and she was grumpy but she was learning to be a part of a family outside of the family she had with her mother. She had strained relationships with both of her sisters and seeing them bond over the course of the book filled me to the brim with feels. Harper was a great character in her book so it was good to see her in a supporting role in this book. Violet’s book is going to be another fun one. I just know it. These Chase sisters are a force to be reckoned with and I can’t freaking wait to see more of them.

Vadim’s story was such a good one. He didn’t have an easy life even though he was rich as hell. He grew up alone and when he met and fell in love with Isobel, things didn’t work out the way that he hoped they would but seeing him fall for her again and everything was so, so good. He was a great brother and in the end, a terrific son….but he was also a great boyfriend. I want my very own Vadim…even though he has a Russian accent and the accent in my head sounded really bad, I don’t even care. I adored him and am going to be looking for him in all of the other books. He’s my favorite.

This was another great book in a series that is shaping out to be a fantastic one. I’m anxious for more and will be so sad when the ride is over. Kate Meader has made her way onto my auto-buy list. I can’t get enough of her stuff.

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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