Source: Kindle Unlimited

Review: Wild Irish by C.M. Seabrook

Posted March 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Wild Irish by C.M. SeabrookReviewer: Holly
Wild Irish by C.M. Seabrook
Narrator: Kyle Maraglio
Series: Wild Irish #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 29, 2017
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Audible Romance Package, Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 277
Length: 5 hours and 19 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, New to Me Challenge
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I went searching for trouble and I found it. I just didn't expect to find it in the form of Cillian Gallagher.

The gorgeously tatted lead singer and guitarist of Wild Irish, Cillian is everything I've always tried to stay away from. He's wild and dangerous. And exactly what I need to cross off number four on my bucket list.

Kiss a complete stranger.

It should have been that simple. But I wasn't prepared for the scorching heat that would ignite a passion, leaving us both gasping for air.

It was never meant to be more than a fling.

I didn't expect that when I left Ireland, I'd be leaving a piece of my heart, or how our lives would be intertwined even when we were thousands of miles apart.

One last request.

One life-changing list.

One month of no regrets.

I ran from my boring, simple life, straight into the arms of trouble. The thing with trouble is that it has a way of finding you, no matter where you go.

I was looking for some Ireland-set novels for St. Patrick’s Day and grabbed this one from the Audible Romance Package. About 30% in I nabbed the ebook from KU, because I was having a hard time with how slow the narrator was. I actually really liked his voice and his Irish accent for Cillian, but it was sooo…..slooooww.

Delaney’s sister recently passed away after a long battle with an illness. The same week she loses her job and finds her fiance in bed with another woman, she decides to take her sister’s bucket list to Ireland and complete it for her. Her first day in she’s run off the road by a sexy, tattooed man and ends up going home with him because her car is totaled. While she waits for the insurance thing to get figured out, they strike up a sort-of friendship, wish is doused in a liberal amount of attraction and chemistry.

Cillian is the lead singer of a popular rock band. He’s taking a break to lick his wounds after being betrayed by his brother – another band member. Since the entire band has chosen to take his brother’s side, Cillian is avoiding all of them and trying to decide if he wants to pursue a legal battle to get himself out of their upcoming tour. In the meantime, he’s drinking himself drunk every night and basically wallowing in misery. Until he sees her…She lights up his world for the first time in months, and he knows he won’t be able to resist her.

The first half of this book was really good. Delaney arriving in Ireland and meeting Cillian, the mystery behind his brother’s betrayal (the betrayal itself is mentioned, but not the details), their attraction; I enjoyed all of it. Cillian wants to avoid his bandmates as long as possible, so he decides to take Delaney on a tour of Ireland so she can mark things off her list. I especially enjoyed the couple weeks they were away, getting to know each other and exploring – though even then I’d have liked to see more of them sharing with each other and opening up. More about that later.

The second half kind of lost me. Cillian has trust issues and he takes that out on Delaney several times. There’s a four month break while they’re apart, then a lot more trust issues. Going back to what I said earlier, they didn’t share enough with each other. We didn’t get to see them open up and spill their secrets, then come to some kind of understanding with each other. Plus, Cillian’s anger and irrational actions because of said anger really turned me off. Not to mention the resolution with his brother was glossed over and half-assed. I’m sure it’ll be addressed more in the second book, but I don’t think I’ll be continuing.

I was going to give this a 3 out of 5, because I really enjoyed the first half, but I’m lowering it to 2.75 after writing this review. I wish it had continued on as it began.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

Wild Irish

three-stars


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Review: Ariana by Ash Dylan

Posted March 1, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Ariana by Ash DylanReviewer: Holly
Ariana by Ash Dylan
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 26, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 132
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge
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three-stars

Princess Ariana, stuck in a tower for fifteen years, can only inherit her kingdom if she cuts her hair and marries. She spends her days killing every suitor she meets and refusing to cut her hair for anyone.

Devin, a warrior king from a neighboring country, thinks he has what it takes to woo the princess. Though he has enjoyed a no-strings-attached relationship with his bodyguard, Devin wants to move on, worried that his deeper affection is not reciprocated.

But Tan, the king’s loyal bodyguard, has kept his true feelings a secret and will do anything to protect his love from a deadly princess. He lost another loved one fifteen years earlier, and he refuses to let the same fate befall his king.

When Devin and Tan spend a night in Ariana’s tower, they realize an unlikely arrangement could lead to them living happily ever after. But first, Ariana needs to learn to trust them. And Devin and Tan need to make it through the night alive.

This polyamorous MMF novella, set in a post-apocalyptic America, has 30,000 words, an unapologetic heroine, two bisexual heroes, three HEA’s, and several happy endings.

I saw a friend talking about this on Twitter and knew it was the book for me when I read “She spends her days killing every suitor she meets and refusing to cut her hair for anyone.” in the blurb. Yassss.

I loved the concept of a tough, kickass Princess heroine who refused to humiliate herself for anyone. For 15 years she’s lived in a tower for the good of her people, and though that chafed, she didn’t resent them for it. I don’t know that I bought into Devin as a warrior, but that’s probably because we were told he was more than shown.

The MMF relationship worked for me and I enjoyed the main characters. There were some flaws with the world-building (namely that there wasn’t enough of it to truly give this a post-apocalyptic feel), but I really liked the way the story developed and the romance between the three. The BIG CONFLICT was predictable and didn’t do a lot for me, nor did the final resolution, but overall I rather enjoyed the way the story came together.

I’m looking forward to the next novella, which looks to be a FFM.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

I believe this is the start of a series, but I can’t find any additional information about it on the author’s website, Amazon or Goodreads.

three-stars


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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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Joint Review: The Wrong Game by Kandi Steiner

Posted January 29, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: The Wrong Game by Kandi SteinerReviewer: Holly & Rowena
The Wrong Game by Kandi Steiner
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 18, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 393
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-half-stars

Two season tickets. One genius idea. Zero interest in a relationship.

The plan is simple: a brand new, hot, preferably funny, definitely single male will fill one of those seats for every Bears game at Soldier Field. And I’ll fill the other.

I can’t think of a better way to use the season passes I’d bought for my ex-husband. I am a woman of plans, and this one’s foolproof.

Until Zach Bowen offers to be my practice round.

He’s infuriating. Presumptuous and overbearing. And absolutely, undeniably gorgeous. Any woman with a heartbeat would be attracted to him, and mine picks up speed every time he speaks.

But as I said, I’m a woman of plans — and I’m not backing down on this one.

One night. One game. And then, his time’s up.

He can try to change the rules, but here’s the truth: he can’t win if he’s playing the wrong game.

The Wrong Game is a stand-alone, angsty, enemies-to-lovers sports romance.

Gemma Mancini is a woman on a mission. After a rough year of infidelity, cancer, and death, Gemma is single but not ready to mingle. She has two season passes for the Chicago Bears home games and a plan to take a different date to each of those games. No repeats, no chance of falling in love again because she never wants to fall in love again but when she meets Zach Bowen, she doesn’t stand a chance against his charm…no matter how adamant she plans on fighting that attraction.

Rowena: Alright, this was a pretty quick read for me but at the same time, the story dragged for me. I’m kind of torn on what I think. There were parts that I liked, some of the characters, I liked but for the most part, I just…didn’t care about what was going on.

What did you think?

Holly: I agree this was a pretty quick read, though it did drag on in places. I have to say, based on the cover and blurb I expected a pretty lighthearted read, but this actually dealt with some pretty heavy themes. My heart really broke for Gemma in the prologue. I don’t want to spoil it, but damn. She really got knocked out with a solid one-two punch, didn’t she?

I really liked Zach. He was super sweet and adorable. Every time he was on the page I got all melty. It was really refreshing to have a hero who wanted a wife and a family. We don’t see that enough, IMHO.

Gemma…I really felt for her. My heart actually hurt in the beginning. But I didn’t understand all the games she played. She acted like a 19-year-old half the time, not a woman of almost 30.

You know what my biggest “OMFG THIS IS BULLSHIT” moment was? The Chicago Bears (THE BEARS) beat Green Bay twice in one season. That hasn’t happened in like 12 years. Talk about fiction…

Rowena: Hahahahaha, I so thought of you when I read that about the Bears beating Green Bay TWICE. I was low key waiting for you to bring it up. I couldn’t tell you much about football and the NFL to be honest but I know that the Bears aren’t beating Green Bay like that in a season. Haha.

The prologue really hurt my heart because Gemma didn’t deserve that. What a shitty position for her to be in but then the rest of the story started happening and what I felt for Gemma in the prologue started turning into something not so good. I kept thinking, “Just because shitty things happened to you doesn’t mean you get to play shitty games to others” I wasn’t a fan of all of the back and forth and the immature mind games she played with Zach.

I really liked Zach as well. I thought he was sweet and I loved that he didn’t give up on Gemma. When he made his deal with the couple with the season tickets next to Gemma’s, I smiled like a lunatic because how freaking cute is that?

Overall, I liked parts of the book but the second half seemed to drag for me and that, along with Gemma’s jealousy games from the first half of the book messed with my enjoyment so as much as I loved Zach, this book is getting 2.5 stars out of 5 from me…what about you?

Holly: Yeah, I wasn’t impressed. Bears fans, man. Always living in lala land. haha

I didn’t get all the back and forth mind games she played, either. I really liked the first part of the book, but the longer it went on the more frustrated I got with Gemma. The second half slowed down enough that I felt like I was really forcing myself to finish it.

While I liked parts of it, like you I wasn’t impressed overall. I’m giving it 2.75 out of 5. I would try another book by the author.

Final Grades

Holly: 2.75 out of 5
Rowena: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder

Posted January 23, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha SnyderReviewer: Holly
Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 72
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

He’s the bad-boy biker. She’s the good girl working in her family’s Indian restaurant. On the surface, nothing about Trucker Carrigan and Pinky Grover’s instant, incendiary, attraction makes sense. But when they peel away the layers and the assumptions—and their clothes—everything falls into place. The need. The want. The light. The laughter. They have more in common than they ever could’ve guessed. Is it enough? They won’t know until they take a chance on each other—and on love.

Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder is the first novel I’ve read by the author. Amazon popped it up in my recommendations several times, and Nalini Singh recommended it in her last newsletter, so I figured I’d give it a try. It was a great story.

Pinky Grover and Trucker Carrigan grew up in the same town. He was several years ahead of her in high school. She went away to college but left her graduate program when her mother became ill. Though she had fun partying at school, she’s kept things low-key at home. Her one guilty pleasure? Fantasizing about Trucker. He’s a bad-boy enforcer for the local motorcycle club, and totally off limits. But that doesn’t stop her body from wanting him.

Trucker has wanted Pinky for months, but he isn’t in a position to do anything about it. Until one day they end up getting busy in his truck at the local Walmart. Now he can’t stay away from her..even though he knows he has to. When things blow up, Trucker knows he has to walk away…but it isn’t easy saying goodbye to the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

I loved the witty banter between Trucker and Pinky. I also loved her sense of humor. Trucker is a total nerd boy and I loved that about him.

“You know, I had a girlfriend once who said she couldn’t suck my dick because she was vegan?”
“That…is not a thing. I think she just didn’t want to suck your dick.”

[…]

I’d had no idea there was an overlap in the motorcycle club and vegan communities. Who knew? Were there entire vegan motorcycle clubs? Did they wear vegan leather jackets?

I’m not completely satisfied with the ending. Perhaps it’s the short page count, or just the way the author resolved things, but I didn’t buy the final resolution. I won’t spoil the circumstances behind it, but needless to say, it didn’t work for me.

View Spoiler »

Aside from the one issue, this was a great story. I enjoyed both Trucker and Pinky, the steamy scenes and the anticipation of figuring out just how they could make it work. Though short, I fully connected with both main characters. Snyder penned a beautifully engrossing tale that pulled me in from page one.

3.5 out of 5

four-stars


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