Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Guest Review: It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe by L.P. Dover

Posted March 23, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: It Must’ve Been the Mistletoe by L.P. DoverReviewer: Tracy
It Must've Been the Mistletoe by L.P. Dover
Published by L.P. Dover
Publication Date: December 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Finding your soul mate is a dream Adeline Hamilton thought was just that … a dream. After several failed relationships, she realizes she’s not capable of falling in love. The only passion she’s ever had is teaching U.S. History at the local high school.

A week before Christmas, Adeline is all set for her best friend’s wedding, even though she dreads having to go to it alone. But when she’s given a Christmas wish that could change her future forever, she’s whisked away to the past, to a completely different place and time. It’s also when she meets him, William Blair, the man who steals her heart.

As their relationship grows, Adeline realizes that true love does exist. What she doesn’t know is that her wish can’t last forever, that soon she’ll have to leave the past behind. Will Adeline and William find their way back to each other? Or will their love have to stay where it all began . . . in 1865? With mistletoe and Christmas magic, anything’s possible.

Adeline is a bit frustrated with her family and friends.  They keep wanting to set her up on dates and so far nothing has panned out.  Sure, she wants to get married and have a family but striking out time and again gets frustrating after a while. Her best friend Jessica (who is getting married) now wants to set her up with her fiancé’s brother, Will, who is moving back to Asheville from California. She agrees but he ends up missing his flight so she doesn’t meet him at the wedding rehearsal dinner.

During the rehearsal dinner she speaks with the wedding planner, Margaret, who gives her her wedding gift from Jessica.  It’s an antique locket with mistletoe inside.  Adeline thinks it’s odd but Margaret assures her that mistletoe is magical.

When Adeline falls asleep that night she wakes up and is in 1865.  Everyone thinks that she is Adeline-Jane.  Since Adeline is a history buff she’s fascinated with everything but knows it’s all a dream.  She meets William Blair while in 1865 and they fall in love.  When Adeline awakens the next morning and meets Will, she finds he’s the same guy – only he doesn’t remember the “dream”.

This was a cute story.  I liked the semi-magical aspect of it as we really didn’t know if Adeline was dreaming or if she had really been transported into 1865.  Since she was supposed to be Adeline-Jane she met her (fifth) great-grandparents and she was thrilled.  (In real life Adeline -Jane had died in a carriage accident on the way to visit.)  The history part of the story, for Adeline was wonderful.  I thought that Dover did a great job of showing us the time period and the lovely family traditions that the Hamilton family had.

Adeline and William’s relationship grew quickly which I thought was a bit strange, but Dover made it work.  William loved that Adeline was different from the other women of 1865.  When Adeline returns to present day and meets Will it’s hard for her as she fell in love with William and Will has no idea who she is.  She also has no idea if he was the will in her “dream” or not.  I liked how Dover worked things out between Will and Adeline and in the end they got their HEA.

Now my mind started going all over the place once I finished the book because of questions.  In the dream that Adeline had she had given money to one of her great-grandmother’s servants to start her own dress shop.  Of course the real Adeline-Jane never made it to the house for the visit so there would have been no one to give the servant money in real life.  Of course when Adeline looked up the servant to see if she was real a newspaper showed her in front of the dress shop she purchased.  If it was all a shared dream, and not real, how did the servant get the money?  Gah!  Things like this make me crazy! Lol

Despite that odd question I enjoyed the book and thought it was a lovely Christmas romance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5



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Guest Review: The Pretender by HelenKay Dimon

Posted March 21, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Pretender by HelenKay DimonReviewer: Jen
The Pretender (Games People Play #3) by HelenKay Dimon
Series: Games People Play #3
Also in this series: The Fixer, The Enforcer (Games People Play #2), The Negotiator (Games People Play #2.5)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
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“Sexy, emotional, funny . . . Dimon gives it all to her readers.” New York Times Bestselling Author Jill Shalvis

They say it takes a thief to catch a thief, and Harrison Tate is proof. Once a professional burglar, he now makes a lawful living tracking down stolen art. No one needs to know about his secret sideline, “liberating” artifacts acquired through underhanded methods. At least until one of those jobs sees him walking in on a murder.

Gabrielle Wright has long been estranged from her wealthy family, but she didn’t kill her sister. Trouble is, the only person who can prove it is the sexy, elusive criminal who shouldn’t have been at the island estate on that terrible night. She’s not expecting honor among thieves—or for their mutual attraction to spark into an intense inferno of desire.

Under the guise of evaluating her family’s art, Harris comes back to the estate hoping to clear Gabby’s name. But returning to the scene of the crime has never been riskier, with their hearts and lives on the line.

The Games People Play series is all about a group of men with traumatic, messed up childhoods who create a found family and go on to become extremely successful (of course). Book 3 is about brother Harrison Tate. Harrison is what might be termed a cat burglar. Apparently in the past he was more indiscriminate in his thieving, but now he’s a “good” thief who only steals from people who deserve it…supposedly. When the book opens, he is in the middle of a job and happens upon a recent murder. He runs out, but not before the victim’s sister catches an unidentifiable glimpse of him. Fast forward to the present, when Harrison, with the help of Wren, has returned to the scene of the crime posing as an art appraiser. His main objective is to help the sister, Gabrielle Wright, who was never charged but has fallen under suspicion for having killed her sister. Harrison knows she didn’t do it, and he’s been wracked with guilt that he didn’t do more to help before. He’s back to protect Gabrielle and see justice done. Gabrielle is hiding some pretty big secrets herself, and Harrison is lying about who he is. When they start falling for each other, it adds a complication neither one particularly welcomes.

I liked Harrison, in a way. He is very sweet and gentle in a way I think some of the other brothers aren’t. I enjoyed the verbal dance he and Gabrielle do as they circle each other. They both know they are attracted but that it’s a bad idea to get involved. I really felt for Gabrielle, too. She has a lot of unfair shit happen to her, and it made me so sad to see. She gives so much to protect the people she loves, and she really deserved her happy ending.

It’s a bit hard to get around the fact that Harrison is a thief. “But he steals for good reasons” was kind of a cop out, in my mind. Hell, the whole catalyst for this book is that he was stealing from Gabrielle’s sister–there were “good” reasons involved but she certainly wasn’t a villain. I didn’t quite love that. An even bigger issue is the lying, my own personal hot button. I sound like a broken record about lying, I know, but Dimon keeps including these major lies in her books and it keeps yanking me out of the stories! (Clearly this series is based around characters lying and hiding secrets and I am a glutton for punishment for continuing to read them.) Unlike the lies in Book 2, which come out in the middle, Harrison doesn’t ever fess up to Gabrielle until the very end. I totally understand why he kept lying, but there is no way it was not going to go badly when the truth finally came out. Gabrielle never got a chance to know him or come to terms with what happened. There are all kinds of meager justifications for why he kept silent and how he was trying to protect Gabrielle behind the scenes, but I was just not liking it. Still, I felt awfully sorry for Harrison when he realizes he fucked it all up. I was actually tearing up at the end when he comes into a work meeting and realizes Gabrielle’s there…ack, he is so heartbroken it pained me! If he had confessed earlier on, I would have been a happier reader.

I think you could easily begin this series at this book, although Book 1 was my favorite and I’d absolutely suggest you start there. I know I enjoyed, but didn’t love, Book 3. If you have an easier time overlooking the hero lying than I do, this may appeal even more.

Games People Play Series

Grade: 3.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: Faking it by Christina Ross

Posted March 7, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Faking it by Christina RossReviewer: Tracy
Faking It by Christina Ross
Series: The Making It series #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: December 2nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 230
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Jackson Cruise is super hot, super successful, and his movies have made billions at the box office. But when the paparazzi photograph him kissing another man, Jackson’s true sexuality quickly comes into question in ways that might destroy his career.

Start the damage control now.

Enter emerging actress Sienna Jones, who is offered millions to become Jackson’s new girlfriend. Sienna decides to take the job and fake it, and before long, her star starts to rise as her and Jackson’s fake relationship begins to trend on Twitter.

All while the actor’s hunky security guard, Austin Black, looks on at Sienna in lust.

As Sienna and Austin become friends—and then a whole lot more after one steamy night of passion—the question is simple: How long can Sienna continue to fake it when she realizes that she’s falling in love.

Sienna Jones is about to make it big.  She just won a coveted award at the Cannes Film Festival but before anything else can happen she has a meeting with her agent who has another part for her to play.  Jackson Cruise is gay and in the closet.  He’s an action star and doesn’t want his sexuality known but was just captured on film kissing another man.  In order to turn the tide of the public Jackson and his agent are proposing that Sienna pose as his girlfriend for 8 months and then break it off.  They feel that’s good amount of time and Sienna will be paid 10 million dollars. Sienna feels for Jackson and agrees.

Almost the minute that Sienna signs on the dotted line she meets Austin Black, Jackson’s head of security.  The man is amazing and Sienna can’t manage to keep her eyes off of him.  The sexual tension continues to build on both Sienna’s and Austin’s part but they can’t be together.  If they are seen together or even there’s even a hint of them together then Sienna loses the money.  After being poor her whole life she’s not about to let that happen.  Sienna’s determined to make Austin see that they can’t be together for another few months but instead she ends up in bed with him.

Will they be able to wait 7 more months to be together?  Austin says he’ll wait but anything could happen.

Faking It has an interesting premise that immediately caught my eye.  I was excited to read about these two and how they would handle everything.  The book was well written and I liked a lot of the book but Austin and Sienna spent so much time apart in the book it was hard to feel they were falling in love – it felt more like lust to me.

Sienna was a great character.  I liked her a lot and I loved that she wasn’t letting her insta-fame go to her head.  She was a smart girl and her word was her bond.  Except she did accept Austin’s dinner invitation which of course was a huge mistake (as I knew it would be).

The thing I really didn’t understand is that supposedly the only people who knew about the fake relationship is just few people but as the book went on there were so many people that would have had to have known what was going on in order to do their work that I was a bit baffled by it all.  For a “secret” relationship it really wasn’t that much of a secret.  SO many people could have easily ratted on them – it was a little disconcerting.

Jackson was a good guy and I liked him (except for their first date when he was a mess).  Austin was a good man too but honestly I hardly got to know him so it was hard for me to want him and Sienna to get together.

Despite my issues I thought it was cute story and will definitely read the next book in the series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: Straight Up Irish by Magan Vernon

Posted February 22, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Straight Up Irish by Magan VernonReviewer: Tracy
Straight Up Irish by Magan Vernon
Series: Murphy Brothers #1
Published by Entangled Embrace
Publication Date: February 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 309
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

I need a wife if I want to help save my family’s billion-dollar pub empire. There’s just one problem: I never plan on marrying. So, I need someone who understands that this is just another business deal. I don’t do commitments. And my brother’s executive assistant, Fallon Smith, fits that bill.

Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.

A fake wedding and a whole lot of whiskey. What could go wrong?

Fallon finishes her MBA and is looking for a job.  She needs a good one so that she can pay for her grandmother’s nursing home and of course her student loans.  She ends up taking a job in Dublin for the Murphy Pub Franchise.  For the past six months she’s been keeping Connor, her bosses brother, in order.  Calling him to make sure he got to his meetings, etc.  She loves the sound of his voice but when she sees him in person she’s amazed at how good-looking he is.

Connor is a total playboy and not about to settle down any time soon.  This is until his father dies in the will dictates that all three brothers, Connor, Jack and Sean must marry and be married for at least 6 months in order to keep the company.  Also, this must all happen within the next year.  All the men are floored but none more than Connor.  He quickly comes up with a scheme that has him getting quickly engaged to Fallon, getting married and staying that way for a little more than six months.  When that time is through she’ll have her student loans paid off and enough money in the bank to take care of her Nana’s nursing home for the next ten years.\

Fallon isn’t sure about this whole plan but decides to go along with it.  The problem is that if anyone suspects that it’s a farce Connor loses it all.  The more time that Fallon spends with Connor the more she likes him and she’s soon falling in love with the man.  He is so nice to her but she knows that love isn’t something that will ever be on his radar.

Nice book.  I liked Fallon ok and definitely liked Connor both by the end of the book.  I must admit that Fallon was a bit wishy-washy and that bothered me throughout most of the book.  She was just so indecisive and I just wanted her to stand her ground with everyone in her life.

Connor was a bit of a bastard at first but we didn’t get to see too much of his playboy ways before he was “dating” Fallon.  You could tell from the start that he really liked her and that he was falling in love with her, even though he tried to hide it.  I liked seeing the playboy fall. 😉

Overall it was a cute contemporary novel and I look forward to reading about Sean and Jack in the future.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: The Scot’s Bride by Paula Quinn

Posted February 9, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Scot’s Bride by Paula QuinnReviewer: Tracy
The Scot's Bride by Paula Quinn
Series: The MacGregors: Highland Heirs #6
Also in this series: The Taming of Malcolm Grant, A Highlander's Christmas Kiss
Published by Forever
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Highlander Patrick MacGregor likes his life just the way it is. Fighting for his coin, enjoying a woman's charms, and bearing no responsibility at all. Aye, that's the life for him. That is, until Patrick sees her-a raven-haired beauty with eyes as dark as midnight. Patrick swore never to fall in love. Not even with a lass as wild as he...especially when she's from a rival clan.


Charlotte Cunningham knows Patrick is trouble the moment she sets eyes on him. Her only goal is to escape the possibility of marriage. Any marriage. But as the summer days turn into sultry nights, enticing her beyond reason, Charlie is forced to choose between the freedom she craves and the reckless rogue she can't forget.

Patrick MacGregor is a man who’s a bit bored with life.  He sees beautiful, available women and can’t seem to find interest in them.  He thinks there might be something wrong with him. Lol  He sees Charlotte, however, and his interest is piqued.  He follows her and ends up being captured by her father and brothers while on their land.  Charlotte secretly warns Patrick to say that he’s not a Ferguson as her family has a feud with them.  Patrick isn’t a Ferguson but he’s related to them through his mother.  He decides to make himself a Campbell as the MacGregor name is proscribed and being a Campbell, the Cunningham’s welcome him in.  Especially as Charlotte’s father sees a marriage between Charlotte and a Campbell a very good thing.

Patrick is more and more enamored with Charlotte aka Charlie every day.  The more he gets to know her the more besotted he becomes.  Unfortunately when he finds out that her brothers killed his cousin he wants nothing more than revenge.  He has to play his cards right, however, and find out exactly what happened to his cousin Kendrick.

Charlie is a woman on a mission.  She wants out of her father’s house, away from his rule and her brother’s high-handedness.  She‘s trying to find a cure/relief  for her sister’s asthma and as soon as she does she’ll leave town.  She had been in love with her neighbor, Kendrick Ferguson, but her father had ordered her brothers to kill him when he was 15-years-old  just to keep him away from Charlie – she had never forgiven any of them.  She still loves Kendrick and had never looked at another man until Patrick showed up.

Charlie knows that Patrick can change her whole life and she’s not sure she wants that.  As much as Charlie tries to stay away from Patrick his love for her soon has her thinking of a very different future for herself.

This was a good Scottish romance.  I liked Patrick and Charlie a great deal and the story was definitely one that kept my interest throughout.

Patrick fell hard and fast for Charlie which was nice (even though he kept denying it to himself).  Charlie took a bit longer to admit her feelings for Patrick since she’d loved no one but Kendrick for so long.  Of course when true decisions needed to be made I was a bit surprised that Charlie chose Patrick.  Quinn almost did too good of a job telling us of Charlie’s love for Kendrick and it made me doubt her fast-growing feelings for Patrick.

The story had a few plot holes in it but overall it was a decent read.  It wasn’t overly exciting but sometimes that’s a good thing.

The MacGregor’s: Highland Heirs

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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