Reading Challenge: New to Me Challenge

Review: More of You by A.L. Jackson

Posted September 17, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: More of You by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
More of YouNarrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Confessions of the Heart #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 19, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Length: 11 hours and 35 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

My daddy warned me never to fall for a boy like Jace Jacobs...

The second I saw him walk through the door, I knew he was trouble.A gorgeous rebel with a bad attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder.My heart warned me. I didn’t listen. I saw something protective and good beneath the fierce, tough exterior.I fell hard and fast.He promised we’d be together forever, and then left me with a broken heart.Now, ten years later, Jace Jacobs is standing at my door.Sexier than he’s ever been.Provocative and commanding.Successful and powerful.The man I always knew he would become.But I promised myself I’d never lose my heart to him again.Even time couldn’t dim our chemistry. One glance of his intense eyes, and I become weak. One brush of his hand, and he brings me to my knees.Little do I know, Jace holds the key to everything I’ve lost and everything that threatens my future.Now he will either save me, or he will break me all over again . . .

More of You – a Confessions of the Heart second-chance, stand-alone romance

This is yet another new-to-me author. I’ve seen her books mentioned, but wasn’t really interested. I’ve decided to have more of an open mind when it comes to new authors. I’m really glad I picked this one up because it was amazing.

Faith has been in love with Jace since high school. He was the bad boy, she was the good girl. She felt an inexplicable draw toward him from the moment she saw him. When Jace’s life takes an abrupt turn for the worse, he leaves her with a broken heart. She doesn’t know why he left, only that he did. Now as a widow with a toddler, Faith is doing the best she can. However, there is something sinister lurking and she has know idea what it could be. Then Jace shows up at her door after ten years.

For as long as Jace can remember, he has been the protector of his little brother and his cousin. He protects them from their mother and from the men in her life. When he met Faith, it was life changing for him. He was in love. They made big plans. Then it all went to crap when his cousin put drugs in his backpack. Jace was eighteen when he was framed by his cousin, so he went to jail. After he is released, he immediately goes to find Faith. And finds her married to the cousin that framed him.

Now his cousin is dead. Murdered by an unknown assailant. Jace knows that he was into something shady and it’s now spilling into Faith’s life. While Jace wants to be bitter that she married and had a child with her cousin (a child that should have been his), Jace will not let Faith and Bailey go unprotected. He soon is immersed in her life. As the days pass by, Jace is certain that he will not let her go.

Like I said, I really liked this book. It was about two lovers reuniting after years apart. They find out that a love one has betrayed both of them. All stemming from jealousy and greed. I loved how Jace instantly loved Bailey, even though he didn’t want to. He was such a good hero. Jace was totally given a bum deal, but he’s not only living his life, he’s thriving. As for Faith, I didn’t like her at first. She really loved Jace that much, then turned around and married his cousin? WTAF. It was sort of explained, but I tried not to think about it. What can I say?

You should read it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Confessions of the Heart

four-stars


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Review: Hot as Puck by Lili Valente

Posted September 9, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Hot as Puck by Lili ValenteReviewer: Holly
Hot as Puck by Lili Valente
Narrator: Tyler Donne, Summer Roberts
Series: Bad Motherpuckers #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 3, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours and 39 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars


The NHL's biggest bad boy is about to fall for the virgin next door...

I am the world's biggest dating failure. We're talking my last date went home with our waitress kind of failure.

But I have an ace in the back pocket of my mom jeans--my sexy-as-sin best friend, NHL superstar forward, Justin Cruise.

Justin owes me favors dating back to seventh grade, long before he became a hotshot with a world famous...stick. So in return for my undying platonic loyalty, all I want is an easy-peasy crash course on how to be a sex goddess.

How hard can it be?

***

I have never been so hard in my life.

The things I want to do to my sweet, kindergarten-teaching, mitten-crocheting best friend Libby Collins are ten different kinds of wrong. Maybe twenty.

But I'm a firm believer in teaching by example, and by the end of our first lesson, we've graduated to a hands on approach to her education: my hands all over her, her hands all over me, and her hot mouth melting beneath mine as I prove to her there isn't a damned thing wrong with the way she kisses.

Give me a month, and I'll transform Libby from wall flower to wall banger, and ensure she's confident enough to seduce any guy she wants.

Problem is... the only guy I want her seducing is me.

Hot as Puck is a sexy, flirty, friends-to-lovers Standalone romantic comedy from USA Today Bestseller Lili Valente.

Hot as Puck is the first book in the Bad Motherpuckers series by Lili Valente. It’s the first book I’ve tried by the author. This was a cute friends-to-lovers story I enjoyed for the most part.

Justin and Libby have been friends since he was 13 and she taught him to crochet while he was stuck in bed with mono. He’s best friends with her older sister, Laura, but he and Libby have a special bond. Which is why she feels comfortable asking him to help her learn how to flirt and overcome her extreme shyness around the opposite sex. She’s had a crush on the Vice Principal at the school where she teaches kindergarten forever, but she makes an absolute fool of herself every time she tries to talk to him. She’s tired of feeling like an idiot and just needs some guidance. There’s no one else she trusts enough to ask for help.

Justin is a professional hockey player at the top of his game. He’s killing it on the ice, but his personal life is kind of shit since he just broke up with his latest girlfriend. He isn’t ready to get married and start popping out babies, but he can’t quite figure out why all his relationships keep ending. When Libby asks him to teach her how to be comfortable around men, he’s kind of a jerk because he’s uncomfortable with the idea of Libby as anything other than a friend. Soon, however, he steps up and agrees.

I really loved Justin’s nerdy self. He crochets and geeks out over Star Wars, which was a cute look on a professional hockey player. I didn’t dislike Libby, but her actions toward the end of the book definitely brought her down a few notches. Still, I enjoyed them as a couple and fully bought into their friends-to-lovers romance.

While this wasn’t perfect, it was a quick, light read and I enjoyed it for the most part.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bad Motherpuckers

three-half-stars


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Review: Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole Norris

Posted September 4, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole NorrisReviewer: Holly
Wait No More: A With Your Permission Spin-off by Stephanie Nicole Norris
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 1, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 156
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars

The rumors... they came from sources that she trusted; the news, the neighborhood, and now the patrons in her night club, Rendezvous. Still, Sophia Clark wouldn’t believe that the soldiers who returned from their tours included the only man she ever loved. But when Dean St. James strolled through the door, the shock to Sophia’s spirit nearly disassembled her. There was no explanation for the reckless up-surging beat of her heart, not after the way Dean disappeared, leaving Sophia to wonder if he’d become a casualty of war.

Now, without time to process her turbulent emotions, Sophia comes face to face with his return, which proves to challenge the love they lost—bringing them together or closing the door on what could have been for all time.

Wait No More by Stephanie Nicole Norris is listed a spinoff of her With Your Permission series. I’ve never read the author before, but I didn’t feel like I missed anything by starting with this novel. This came up as a KU recommendation, so I decided to give it a try. The reunited lover romance was sweet.

Dean and Sophia were college sweethearts who were planning their future together. Until one day he comes home and tells Sophia he enlisted in the Army without speaking to her first. She tried to maintain a long-distance relationship with him, but two years after he left for the Army he broke it off with her. Four years later, he’s suddenly back in town and wants to pick up where they left off. Although she loves him still, she doesn’t trust him to stay.

I really liked seeing Dean and Sophia come back together. His struggle to readjust to civilian life was well done, and I liked that she supported him as he dealt with his PTSD.

I did struggle with the writing at times. It was overly descriptive at times, and very flowery. I also struggled with the basic premise of the story. They were together in college, engaged, buying a house together, then bam, he enlists in the Army without checking with her first? Then he doesn’t see anyone for 6 years? That’s just not realistic. Still, I set that aside to focus on their reunion.

I’ll look for more books by Norris in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Black Sheep by Meghan March

Posted September 4, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Black Sheep by Meghan MarchReviewer: Case
Black Sheep by Meghan March
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: The Dirty Mafia Duet #1
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours and 28 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Casee's 2019 New to Me Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a story of untold truths and one man’s redemption in the Dirty Mafia Duet.

Every family has a black sheep. In the infamous Casso crime family, that black sheep is me—Cannon Freeman. Except I’m not a free man. I’ve never been free. Not since the day I was born. I owe my loyalty to my father, Dominic Casso, even if he won’t publicly acknowledge me as his blood. I’ve never had a reason to go against his wishes… until I met her. Drew Carson turned my world upside when she walked into my club looking for a job. Now, my honor and my life are on the line. Going against my father’s wishes might buy me a bullet straight from his gun, but black sheep or not, it’s time to make my stand. She's worth the fallout.

This is the first book I’ve read by Meghan March. It was available on Audible Escape, so I thought what the hell. I’ll try it. I’m so glad I did because I am really loving this author even though I want to strangle the heroes. Meghan March has something special, that’s for sure.

Cannon Freeman was born into the mob. His father, Dominic Casso, runs the mafia with an iron fist. Dom treats Cannon like a pile of poo, yet Cannon feels loyalty to him for taking him into his home after his mother was murdered. It’s pretty messed up, but Cannon can do nothing but be there for his father. Cannon runs a club for the elite. It’s about the only legit business that the Casso’s own. When Drew Carson comes in for an interview, Cannon knows he’s pretty much screwed.

Drew Carson is working at the club for one reason and one reason only: to bring down the Casso family. Her father was found hanging in his apartment, but Drew has never believed it was a suicide. It’s confirmed when she finds a file full of facts and pictures of Dominic Casso. Now she has her finger on the Casso family and she’s not letting any of them get away with her father’s murder. Not even the man she’s found herself wanting.

Now that Drew is in his life, Cannon finds himself standing up to his father for the first time in his life. He’s going to protect Drew from Dom, no matter what the cost. As Cannon and Drew begin an affair, Cannon begins to realize that Drew has something to hide. He’s determined to find out what it is. He doesn’t care about her secret, he just wants to protect her.

So the fact that Cannon has almost a blind loyalty to Dom, I’m making it sound like he’s a doormat. Not so. Cannon is a strong man that has been dealt an impossible hand. All he is trying to do is be a part of the family. Drew becomes his family and Cannon will die to protect her.

I really enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end. There are a lot of obstacles that Cannon and Drew had to overcome and I found myself impatiently waiting for the next book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Dirty Mafia Duet

four-stars


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Review: Count to Ten by Karen Rose

Posted September 3, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Count to Ten by Karen RoseReviewer: Rowena
Count to Ten by Karen Rose
Series: Romantic Suspense #6
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 1, 2007
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 564
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

In all his years in the Chicago Fire Department, Lieutenant Reed Solliday has never experienced anything like this recent outbreak of house fires - devastating, vicious and in one case, homicidal. He has another problem - his new partner, Detective Mia Mitchell. She's brash, bossy, and taking the case in a direction he never imagined. Mia's instincts tell her the arsonist is making this personal. And as the infernos become more deadly, one look at the victims' tortured faces convinces her and Reed that they must work closer to catch the killer. With each new blaze, the villain ups the ante, setting firetraps for the people Reed and Mia love. The truth is almost too hot to handle: This monster's desire for death and destruction is unquenchable ... and for Mia he's started the countdown to an early grave.

Count to Ten is the sixth book in Karen Rose’s Romantic Suspense series and the first book that I’ve ever read by Rose. I don’t know what I was expecting when I jumped into this book but whatever, I liked this one. This was a book club read and if you guys know anything about my book club, they like happy, happy, joy, joy stories and this weren’t one of them. I didn’t mind the gore and the darkness that surrounded the villain (that we actually see on the page) because I was super wrapped up in the investigation, the romance between the main couple and I was really rooting for the good guys to figure everything out.

This book read like an episode of Law & Order: SVU. The crime is committed, the fire department and the cops are called, the detectives scramble from lead to lead to find the bad guy and all of that is happening at the same time that some characters are dealing with personal issues and falling in love. I thought Karen Rose handled each aspect of the story really well. It was too heavy on one specific thing. The characters were fleshed out, the story was engaging and though it was a bit slow in the beginning when it picked up, it really picked up.

Reed Solliday was an interesting hero, one that I really enjoyed getting to know. He is still grieving his late wife, even though it’s been a few years and his daughter is really going through it. She’s fourteen and is feeling some type of way about constantly living in the shadow of her dead mother. It’s a big thing that is tackled in this book and I thought Rose did a great job of letting the reader feel what the characters were feeling. I loved that Reed wasn’t perfect, that you really go through every day with him and see him grow into his feelings for Mia while figuring out how to reach his daughter and trying to stop a serial killer from taking another life. I loved seeing him struggle with trying to understand his growing daughter, struggle with moving on from his wife, a woman he thought was the love of his life.

Mia Mitchell really grew on me. I didn’t read any of the other books in this series, so I didn’t go into this story knowing the background on what happened with Mia and her partner, Abe but that didn’t really matter because Rose did a good job of making the reader understand what was going on anyway. It took a little bit for me to warm up to Mia’s character but I ended up really loving her. I thought she had a great head on her shoulders, she was strong and brave and she didn’t need anyone to save her, no matter how many times Reed tried. She was also extremely caring of those in her small circle of trust and I really loved seeing her fix the broken parts of her life. She dealt with a lot of things on her own and it took her a while to really come around to the idea of leaning on anyone so when she finally does, I was here for it.

Overall, this story was action-packed and the romance was sweet so I had a good time reading it. I am definitely interested in reading more books in this series and more books from this author. This was a great introduction to Karen Rose’s work and I’m glad that I read it. I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Romantic Suspense

four-stars


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