Tag: 3.0 Reviews

Guest Review: A Match Made in Bed by Cathy Maxwell

Posted April 20, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: A Match Made in Bed by Cathy MaxwellReviewer: Tracy
A Match Made in Bed (Spinster Heiresses #2) by Cathy Maxwell
Series: Spinster Heiresses #2
Also in this series: If Ever I Should Love You
Published by Avon
Publication Date: April 17th 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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three-stars

Once upon a time there were three young ladies who, despite their fortunes, had been on the marriage mart a bit too long. They were known as “the Spinster Heiresses” . . .

Miss Cassandra Howell is too tall, too bookish, and too smart—but she does have money and a father who wants a grand title for her. Cassandra hasn’t felt a desire to marry until she meets the sinfully handsome Duke of Camberly, who captures her imagination . . . until Soren York, Earl of Dewsberry and her family’s sworn enemy, steps in the way.

The Holwells ruined Soren’s family, and he’s lived on the knife’s edge trying to resurrect their fortunes . . . until he considers marrying the Holwell Heiress. Not only would her dowry give him the funds he needs, he has secretly had an eye on the independent-minded bluestocking since they both first realized the differences between men and women.

She likes to read; he has no patience for books. She knows little of sex; he is a man of the world and willing to school her. Her family destroyed his; his offer of marriage may be her only salvation.

Now Cassandra and Soren must learn to love each other for who they are, not what they are—and the lessons are becoming an exercise in absolute pleasure.

Cassandra is a woman who will inherit a ton of money when she gets married.  Soren, the Earl of Dewsberry needs money so he thinks to marry her.  She doesn’t want to marry a fortune hunter, she wants to marry for love. On top of that, Soren and Cassandra’s families have been enemies for many years so there’s really no chance that her father will let her marry.

Though Cassandra says she doesn’t want to marry Soren she can’t help but be attracted to him.  Despite her thoughts on love she decides that maybe Soren is the man for her.  Unfortunately the life that the two plan together may be very different from the one they end up with.

This was a cute book.  It was a good story, but unfortunately I thought it lacked a certain spark between the H/h.  IDK, maybe it was because Cassandra nay-sayed Soren so often that I didn’t really see the connection between them when she finally capitulated.  Whatever it was it wasn’t good.  That’s not to say that I didn’t like the book.  It was a decent read and an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.

This also gave us a view into the Duke of Camberly, who Cassandra had had her eye one.  It’s pretty obvious that her friend and the Duke will have their book next but frankly I really didn’t like the guy.  He was not the type of man I want as a hero in a romance novel so I’m not at all sure I’ll be reading the next book in the series.

Spinster Heiresses Series

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Lightning Review: Midsummer Delights by Eloisa James

Posted April 4, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Lightning Review: Midsummer Delights by Eloisa JamesReviewer: Tracy
Midsummer Delights: A Short Story Collection by Eloisa James
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: February 6th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 96
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three-stars

A Midsummer Night's Disgrace

​Eloisa revisits the ​scintillating world of the Essex Sisters with a story featuring a young lady, Cecilia Bellingworth, who has decided she would rather ruin her reputation than endure further speculation about whether her children will be "silly," like her brother, Billy.​ ​After two failed seasons, ​Cecilia ​decides she ​will dress as she likes​ (in a scandalous red dress!)​ and flirt outrageously​ (with a scandalous pianist!)​. Fortunately, a gorgeous musician at the Duchess of Ormond's house party presents the perfect candidate for scandal…

​Previously published in the Essex Sisters Official Companion Guide (e only).


At Midnight
​Elias Hempleworth-Gray has one thing and one thing only of value—his title, Earl of Leyton. Determined to leave England and the scandal of his gambler father behind, Elias hopes to turn his fortunes around and come back a respectable man to claim the only woman for him, Miss Penelope White. But Penny has other plans for the man she has loved all her life…plans that include a masquerade, a stolen kiss and a lost shoe.

Previously published in the Fairy Tale sampler (print only).


Ever After

When she was sixteen, Miss Violet Leighton spent one blissful month romping around her family estate with Rothwell Talcott…thirty days of shared kisses, culminating in a very illicit afternoon in a berry patch. As Rothwell leaves for his grand tour, he gives his word of honor that he will return for her. Four years and seven refused proposals later, Violet is about to give up and marry when he finally returns. Now the Duke of Cambridge, Rothwell wants to make her his duchess. But how can Violet trust the man who stole her virtue—and then broke her heart?

Previously published in The Ugly Duchess (print only).

I won’t go into detail as the blurbs give you more than a good idea of what each story is about. 

This is a grouping of three very short stories by Eloisa James.  They are very cute, and I enjoyed all of them, but they were so short that just when I was starting to get into the stories, they were over and done.

The stories were all reunion stories so the characters had known each other previously so they definitely weren’t insta-love stories, which I appreciated.   I think if you’re in the mood for short and sweet, and love Eloisa James, this would definitely be a book that you’d want to pick up.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader

Posted April 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: In Skates Trouble by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #.5
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2), Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Published by Self-Published, Kate Meader
Publication Date: May 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 158
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three-stars

A USA Today bestseller.

He'll give her what she needs . . .

Addison Williams isn't looking for romance, but when she encounters an eavesdropping stranger on an adjoining hotel balcony, she figures she's due a little fun. She just hadn't reckoned on the "fun" escalating so quickly to "out of control." One minute she's flirting with a whiskey-graveled voice in the dark, the next that same voice is telling her to do things. Hot, wicked things.

Cup-winning hockey player Ford "Killer" Callaghan can't believe he let the anonymous woman who blew his mind slip away into the night. He'll track her down because once could never be enough—even if discovering her identity places her strictly out of bounds.

Stolen kisses. Secret hook-ups. Deliciously forbidden in every way. Can a passion that started in the dark find a lifetime of love in the light?

Originally published in Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, this sexy prequel to the Chicago Rebels hockey series features an older, curvy woman, a younger, driven hero, and a happily-ever-after you'll swoon over.

I picked up this book because I requested the third book of this series for review. I wanted to really dig into this series since I’ve been seeing such good reviews of the series as a whole all over Goodreads and other blogs.

In Skates Trouble is the short story that kicks off the Chicago Rebels series and it was a really quick read for me. I enjoyed what I did read but the experience came with some drawbacks.

So, Addy Williams is in Chicago and staying at a hotel when her friends come over to hang out and they get to talking about men and dating and sex on her hotel balcony. They’re all talking and laughing it up, not knowing that hockey star Ford “Killer” Callaghan is listening in on their talk from the next balcony over and he’s heard everything. He’s immediately interested in one of the voices. The sexy voice that is complaining about how her ex couldn’t please her in the sack and things get real interesting once Addy’s friends (cause, of course, it was Addy’s voice that Killer loved, duh) leave because Killer and Addy get real friendly and…that’s it.

The next day, Addy shows up at her friend’s house for dinner and she’s still thinking of last night’s steamy solo action with help from her neighbor when she’s brought face to face with…that voice. The voice that belongs to the guy that talked her to an out of this world orgasm, a guy that she thought she’d never in a million years meet face to face.

Addy’s ex-husband owns the hockey franchise that Ford plays for and a whole lot of complications arise as they try to figure out where to go from here.

As I said, this was a really quick read so everything happened at what felt like, warped speed. They went from helping each other masturbate on their hotel balconies to OMG, I need you, I love you and I want to spend forever with you in seriously, the blink of an eye. Everything happened so fast and it wasn’t quite believable to me but it did set up the rest of the series for me and I enjoyed that.

Ford was an interesting character who stood out to me in this book. Of everything, I think I’ll remember him the most. He’s younger than Addy but he knows his mind and heart. She’s worth figuring out their complications and I liked that.

Addy, on the other hand low key rubbed me the wrong way for most of this short story. From the way that her and her friends talked on the balcony (I had an attitude about their attitude while they were talking and the way that they spoke about men in general), to the way she was with Ford, and then the whole “don’t call her a plus-size model” thing, this story wasn’t long enough for me to completely get her though in the end, I didn’t hate her. I actually came to like her. She just…took some getting used to.

I’m interested in continuing this series and despite my issues with the heroine and the insta-love, this was still a pretty decent romance so I’m looking forward to jumping into the next book.

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: Twisted Truths by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted March 30, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Twisted Truths by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Jen
Twisted Truths (Blood Brothers, #3) by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Blood Brothers #3
Also in this series: Deadly Silence, Deadly Silence, Lethal Lies, Lethal Lies
Published by Forever
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 432
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three-stars

You can't escape the past . . .

Noni is desperate. Her infant niece has been kidnapped, and the only person who can save her is a private detective with too many secrets to count--and more enemies than he can name. A man who walked away from Noni without any warning a year ago, a man who broke her heart. But with Talia's life on the line, Noni needs his help now more than ever--and this time, she won't take no for an answer . . .

The moment Denver Jones sees Noni, the memories come rushing back. The fire in her eyes. The determination in her voice. The danger of having her in his life. Denver had to push her away once, but now with vicious criminals threatening Noni and her niece, he'll do whatever it takes to protect them. But enemies from his past are circling, and they'll use anything--and anyone--to get to Denver.

With twists and turns that will blow you away, TWISTED TRUTHS is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

We finally got the conclusion to the Blood Brothers trilogy and really, to the Sin Brothers trilogy as well. We knew Denver was pining for the one who got away basically since Book 1, and when he finds out that woman has plastered his picture all over the internet in an attempt to find him, he has no choice but to go to her. He still has feelings for her, but even more urgently she’s endangered him and his brothers. Noni only put the picture up because she was desperate. Her niece was kidnapped, and with the child’s mother dead Noni, and Denver, are the baby’s only hope. Denver and Noni have to get the baby back from the gang who is holding her as well as avoid getting trapped by Sheriff Cobb and Dr. Madison.

I still love the brother dynamic. The absolute best parts of this book are Ryker and Heath watching out for Denver and showing him that they love him no matter what. And this book has some really lovely scenes with the Gray brothers (I am now and forever Team Jory!), who consider everyone they love to be part of their extended family. I just adore that aspect of these books. I also liked the fast-paced action. This story is seriously nonstop, and it made me want to keep turning pages.

I definitely feel like this series ran out of momentum a bit with each book, though. The pattern just didn’t change. Denver makes The Rules for Safety. Noni refuses to follow Denver’s rules. There’s an attack by the bad guys (probably because of Noni’s reckless flaunting of the rules) and superhero antics by Denver. They have sex so emotionally stunted Denver can express how he feels with his penis. Then the cycle repeats. It’s the same pattern that was in the other books, too. I also didn’t feel like I understood Noni. She never really talks about herself–she’s just there to be the desperate caregiver searching for the baby and to be a source of angst and boners for Denver. What does Noni care about or want besides the baby and Denver? Why are she and Denver in love? None of that is filled out, just assumed.

I’m happy the story arcs are resolved, and I’m glad the villains got their comeuppance, but even there I was left a bit disappointed. Dr. Madison and Sheriff Cobb were more nuanced in past books, but here I felt they were pretty one-dimensionally “crazy.” It was fine I guess, just a missed opportunity to add some depth. (Plus, what happened to the young brothers we met at the end of the Sin Brothers series? We didn’t heard a peep from them here. Even though I didn’t exactly love this book, I’m kind of curious to see if Zanetti might continue their thread in the future.)

If you’ve read other books in the Sin Brothers or Blood Brothers series, you could certainly jump in with this book, but don’t bother with this one if you’re new to the world or if you didn’t enjoy any of the other books.

Blood Brothers Series

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: The Negotiator by HelenKay Dimon

Posted March 19, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Negotiator by HelenKay DimonReviewer: Jen
The Negotiator (Games People Play #2.5) by HelenKay Dimon
Series: Games People Play #2.5
Also in this series: The Fixer, The Enforcer (Games People Play #2), The Pretender (Games People Play #3)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon Impulse
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 128
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Goodreads

Lauren Gallagher’s life changed almost three years ago. After her husband disappeared at sea, she was left with a failing pleasure boat company and more than a few secrets. Now, after years spent rebuilding the business and paying off the pile of debts, she finally feels in control. But when she finds her husband, actually dead, on the floor, she becomes the leading suspect in his murder investigation.

Garrett McGrath wants Lauren in his bed, not his heart. He doesn’t do emotions, but every time he sees her, holding himself back gets harder and harder. When Lauren comes under suspicion for killing her previously presumed-dead husband, he knows he has to help her, any way he can.

But as the danger becomes more intense and Garret and Lauren grow closer than either planned, they’re in danger of losing everything…including their hearts.

Did you read any of the other books in the Games People Play series? If so, you encountered Garrett McGrath. He works for the hero from book 1, Wren. Garrett is…Wren’s assistant? Right hand man? I’ve never been entirely clear on his exact role, but he’s kind of the go-to guy who helps Wren with all manner of tasks. He’s also very funny, snarky, and kind, which is what made me fall in love with him in book 1. Unfortunately, his book 2.5 story wasn’t as good as he deserved.

When the story opens, Garrett has apparently been getting friendly (actually friends, no friends-with-benefits!) with Lauren, the best friend of the heroine from book 1. He really likes Lauren and wants something more than friendship, but that’s all she’s comfortable with so he takes it. When it turns out her supposedly dead husband shows up very much alive, but then is murdered in her house, Lauren turns to Garrett for help. He works for The Fixer, remember, so fixing is literally his business. He has to help Lauren figure out why her husband disappeared in the first place, why he returned, and who murdered him for real. And of course, he’s hoping along the way Lauren is willing to take a chance on a relationship with him.

I got frustrated with Lauren’s standoffishness at times, but I didn’t think it was unreasonable given what happened with her awful ex. It made sense that she would be cautious and not trust easily. I enjoyed that she wasn’t perfect but that her choices were a product of the messed up lessons she’d learned from her past. The problem was, I never felt like I understood why Garrett loved her. This story was just too short. We are told that Garrett and Lauren have been hanging out, but we missed all that. Instead, we see them at this crisis point and have to trust that they did indeed have a friendship going beforehand. I wanted to see a bit more of their relationship growing. It was difficult to step into a story that felt like it was ⅓ of the way through already.

I really wish Garrett had gotten a full-length story. He’s hilarious and sweet, and I wanted to see more. Still, the dialog and humor in this series are wonderful, and it’s sexy. I enjoyed getting to know Garrett and Lauren, and I was happy to read it.

Games People Play Series

Grade: 3 out of 5


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