Tag: Bella Andre

Guest Review: The Way You Look Tonight by Bella Andre

Posted September 21, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Way You Look Tonight by Bella AndreReviewer: Tracy
The Way You Look Tonight: The Sullivans by Bella Andre
Series: The Sullivans #9
Also in this series: The Look of Love, Always on My Mind: The Sullivans
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: January 1st 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

As a very successful private investigator who has caught most of the cheaters in Seattle with their pants down, Rafe Sullivan believes true, lasting love only happens once in a blue moon. Needing to get away from the city to clear his head, he finds the lake house where he spent the best summers of his life is now a wreck...but the sweet girl next door is all grown up and prettier than anything he's ever seen.

While Brooke Jansen is happy making and selling chocolate truffles in her small Pacific Northwest lake town, she secretly longs to experience something wild. So when her favorite “Wild Sullivan” moves in again next door after more than a decade away, and sparks fly between them, she can't stop wondering if being bad is really as good as it always seemed...and just how long it will be before she can find out?

But when their summer fling quickly spirals into deeper emotions than either of them were expecting, can they survive the heat between them? Or will Rafe make the biggest mistake of his life and end up losing the best thing that's ever happened to him?

 

Tracy’s review of The Way You Look Tonight (The Sullivans #9) by Bella Andre

While Brooke Jansen is happy with her quiet, small-town life, she secretly longs to experience something wild. So when her favorite “Wild Sullivan” moves back after more than a decade away, she can’t stop wondering if being bad is really as good as it always seemed…and just how long it will be before she can find out.

It’s not long before a summer fling spirals into something much deeper. Can Rafe put his faith in love for once, or will he end up losing the best thing that’s ever happened to him?

Rafe was once a cop who eventually started his own PI firm and it has been a good move for him. Unfortunately a huge part of his business is catching cheaters. It makes him a bit crazy and he’s starting to not enjoy his job at all. It makes him cynical about the world in general and that’s having a negative effect on his whole life. His sister Mia wants him to buy a lake home so that he can get away from it all but he’s not sure that’s what he needs. He changes his mind when Mia finds the perfect home – the house that his parents had to give up when he was a teen. The Sullivan’s used to spend every summer there and Rafe loved it almost more than anyone else. He buys the house and within a day he’s back at the lake. The house is a mess and practically torn apart inside but he’s determined to make it right.

Next door to Rafe lives Brooke Jansen. She had spent summers at her grandparents’ house on the lake and had been great friends with the Sullivan’s until they stopped showing up. When her grandparents died they willed the home to Brooke and she has been living in it full time making chocolate truffles and doing a great business.

Rafe and Brooke see each other again and have an instant connection. It’s not long before they are finding every available surface to have sex on and becoming emotionally attached. Rafe, however, isn’t ready to give up his cynical ways and when he makes a huge error in judgment he finds that he may lose the Brooke and everything they’ve built in one fell swoop.

This book had all the charm and goodness that I’ve come to expect in a Sullivan’s novel. I really liked Rafe and Brooke a lot and it was wonderful getting to know the characters in this side of the Sullivan’s family better.

That being said I did have a couple of issues with the book – the biggest one being the central conflict. I could see where it all could go wrong but how the characters reacted really seemed a bit overblown. I guess I could see things from both points of view and if one of the characters hadn’t gone off half-cocked (can you tell I’m trying not to give anything away?) then the pair could have sat and talked and all would have been well. I think this is kind of an on-going theme in Andre’s books, though, with the conflict happening and then the characters spending time away from each other and then realizing their mistakes, etc., so I wasn’t too surprised.

The other issue I had was the speed with which the characters fell in love. I could totally see the lust and growing emotions happening and I loved that, but the “I love you” (for both of them) came so quickly I was almost surprised when it happened. One week just isn’t long enough to fall in love with a person imho, although I’m sure there are couples out there that would naysay that.

So, while I really liked so many different parts of the story and overall had a smile on my face when it ended, I did have a couple of issues with it. This certainly won’t stop me from reading the next book in the series. 🙂

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

This title is available from Harlequin MIRA. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

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Review: Always On My Mind by Bella Andre

Posted April 16, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Always On My Mind by Bella AndreReviewer: Tracy
Always on My Mind: The Sullivans by Bella Andre
Series: The Sullivans #8
Also in this series: The Look of Love, The Way You Look Tonight: The Sullivans
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: April 29th 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

In ALWAYS ON MY MIND, after a tragic loss three years ago, Grayson Tyler left his life in New York City behind and started over in the rolling hills of the California coast. He's convinced himself that all he'll ever need again is the blue sky, a thousand acres of pasture, and the crashing waves of the ocean. Until one day, Lori Sullivan barges into his life and promptly blows his emotionless and solitary world to shreds, driving him crazy as only a woman nicknamed “Naughty” can. But will Lori be able to convince him that it's safe to love her...and that forever isn't actually out of reach?

Lori is a dancer – it’s what she does and what she loves…except her no good boyfriend has made her doubt not only herself but her reason for dancing. After leaving a show in Chicago she flies home and instead of alerting her family or even heading home she rents a car and just drives. The car rental attendant had told her that Pescadero was beautiful so there she heads. During a stop at a Pescadero deli/general store she sees an ad on their bulletin board that says that Grayson Tyler is looking for a ranch hand. Lori believes she can do anything she puts her mind to so she heads out to see Grayson.

Grayson’s quiet day is interrupted when Lori comes barreling down his driveway and promptly crashes into a fence. When a gorgeous woman in spiked heels pops out of the car he’s momentarily speechless. When she says she’s his new ranch hand he’s baffled, and definitely not happy. He tries everything he can think of to get rid of her but he soon sees that she’s just as stubborn as he is.

Lori was expecting Grayson to be an old farmer but he’s the exact opposite. He’s not only young but incredibly handsome and built. She’s decided she’s off men so she tries not to look but sometimes it’s hard. She knows Grayson doesn’t want her around but she’s determined to make herself useful. She annoys him with her mistakes and her constant talk but she can’t help it, she’s friendly and social. He’s gruff and mean and pushes her away at every turn. But Lori can be just as mulish and after living with 7 siblings she knows how to give as much as she gets. Fate steps in, of course, and their soon realizing that even though they’re exact opposites they can’t live without the other in their life.

Such a good end to the stories of the 8 Sullivan siblings (I know there are more books in the series but this was the end of this particular family’s stories). I really liked Lori a lot. I thought it odd that she would ever want to be a farmhand but I guess that is almost the furthest away from dancing as she could possibly get. Though she made mistakes I loved her affinity for the land and the animals. They seemed to take to her just as much as she took to them.

Grayson was a bit of a butthead at first. Wow, he could be MEAN as mean could be but he always felt bad about it afterward. Doesn’t make it right but when we got all of the background on him we could see that it was all a defense mechanism and a desperate attempt to keep Lori out of his heart. I loved that even at the end he continued to be gruff (not mean) but Lori embraced it and actually enjoyed it.

The story was sweet, fun and sexy and I loved finally reading about Lori and what she’d been going through while all of her siblings had been finding love. Both Lori and Grayson found themselves in this story and it was definitely satisfying.  It was worth the wait and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the Sullivan series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Bella Andre

(Kindle version available now, MMPB version out on 4/29/14)

four-stars

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Review: Come a Little Bit Closer by Bella Andre

Posted February 28, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Movie star Smith Sullivan can’t afford any distractions. He’s staking his entire reputation on his new film…but he can’t stop thinking about Valentina Landon and the fire he sees smoldering just beneath the surface of her cool exterior.

Valentina isn’t averse to sensual pleasure, or even to the idea of finding true love, but as a Hollywood business manager she’s watched too many smart women fall for actors…only to be torn apart when the fairy tale comes to its inevitable end.

But when intense weeks together on set turn their heated attraction into red-hot flames of passion, Smith knows he has to find a way to convince Valentina to let him get a little bit closer. Close enough to completely steal her heart…the way she’s stolen his from the start.

Valentina is on the set of Smith Sullivan’s movie with her sister who is his co-star.  From the moment that Smith saw Valentina he knew that she was different from other women he’d met and/or bedded, and that she may even be the one.  The problem is that she won’t let him in.  She refuses dates and tries to push him away at every turn.
Valentina’s mother started dating actors after her father died and after seeing the slew of actors go through her house and dealt with the ones who came on to her as well she wants nothing to do with them. She just wants to get through the filming of this movie with her sister and then move on.  She doesn’t plan on Smith being pretty much relentless in his pursuit and she certainly didn’t plan on giving in.
This is book 7 in The Sullivans series.  I liked getting to see a little bit more about Smith, I have to admit that I didn’t really get into this one as much as I have books 2-6.  
For me the best part of this book was Smith.  He was just all that was wonderful.  He was kind, loving, caring, and giving, all wrapped up in one beautiful package.  He was the sort of man that I love reading about and I loved that he was so single-minded in his plan to get Valentina.  He did all the right things (well except for that one time when he caved to pressure but I’ll forgive him for that!) and he really made the book for me.
Valentina, while a good character, really didn’t shine for me.  She was definitely better when she was with Smith but there was something missing in the way she was written, imho.  I loved her relationship with her sister, I must say, but that’s kind of where it ended.  Not that she wasn’t a nice person, but she just didn’t have that something special that I think most of the other heroines in Andre’s books have had.
I loved the parts of the book that contained Smith’s siblings.  The wonderful family camaraderie and love that you feel flowing from all of them is amazing and I love it when they’re all together.  This one was great as we got to see Sophie’s babies born and Gabe’s wedding.  Awesome! 🙂
So while I liked this one for many reasons I didn’t care for it quite as much as previous books.  I have to say that I am really looking forward to reading about the last Sullivan, Lori, and seeing what’s been up with her throughout the series.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted February 24, 2014 by Tracy in Features | 0 Comments

Hidee ho neighbor!

Wassup? Did you all have a wonderful week last week and a great weekend? Last week was pretty good but then I was down for the count with headaches all weekend. It was beautiful here, too, so not getting out of the house sucked.

Nothing much happening around here so I’ll get right to what I read last week:

My first read was Before You Break by Christina Lee. This was a wonderful story about a guy who is dealing with guilt over a car accident that killed his best friend – when he was driving –  and the woman is dealing with her own guilt over her brother’s suicide. Together they deal with their emotions and fall in love. It was oh, so good. I’ll post my review this week. 4.25 out of 5

Next up was Have You Any Rogues by Elizabeth Boyle. The novella is about Crispin and Henrietta who are members of rival families. They fall in love but then different events occur that keeps them apart for years. The story takes place while the pair are locked in a wine cellar and is told mostly in flashbacks but it’s like the characters are telling the story to each other. I really liked it but admit that I wanted more of the current time period but unfortunately there wasn’t much. I also thought Henrietta was way to impulsive over the years and was surprised that A) Crispin still wanted her after all of her rash decisions and B) she was even available after getting married so many times! 4 out of 5

Scent of a Mate by Milly Taiden was the story about a girl who is writing a book, per request, on the history of werewolf traditions…or maybe history. Anyway, she and her friends stake out a scenting ceremony but she gets a bit distracted when her mate, who is her best friends’ brother, decides to claim her that night. The book was cute although the heroine kept getting hurt which was annoying. This was definitely more erotic romance than straight paranormal with sex added – just fyi. 3.5 out of 5

The Bancroft Affairs: The Beginning by Liberty Valens. This short was free from Amazon and I’m really glad I didn’t spend money on it. The story is basically about Jillian who is blackmailed and forced to work as a call girl/prostitute. She is looking for a way out of her situation and trying to help her friends who are in the same sitch. I didn’t care for the story all that much (although there were parts that were ok), or the way the story was set up. It kind of felt like 2 stories in one which was amazing since it was so short and there was no conclusion. 2 out of 5

Stranger Delight by Tabitha Levin is a short erotic romance (also free on Amazon) about a woman who is at a party and is watching through a window as her friend has sex with her boyfriend. While watching a man comes up and has sex with her but she has no idea who it is – when she looks he’s gone. It was an ok story but was just too convoluted for me. 2 out of 5

Best Gay romance 2014 edited by R.D. Cochrane & Timothy J. Lambert was an anthology of short gay romance stories. I wouldn’t call this the BEST gay romance but there were definitely some good ones in there. I’ll post my review of this one later this week. 3.25 out of 5

Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye is book 2 in the Hard Ink series and it was really good! This is Shane and Crystal’s story. My review will post tomorrow to tell you my thoughts. 4 out of 5

My next read was a short novella called A Countess by Chance by Kate McKinley. This is mostly the reconciliation of a couple who had once been engaged but she had broken it off two years prior. There is a wager involved while they’re at a house party and erotic hijinks ensue. It was a cute story I just wanted more background. 3 out of 5 

In the Service of the King by Laura Kaye is a novella dealing with King of the Vampires (I thought he was THE king but since the series is Vampire Warrior Kings I’m guessing he’s A king. :)). He needs to feed every so often from either his mate or a virgin (called Proffereds) in order to hold on to his immortality and his humanity. His mate died 300 years ago so he feeds from virgins. He hates the ritual until he meets Shayla, one of the Proffered, who ends up being his mate as well. It was a cute story that was sexy and not too deep at all. 3 out of 5  

Come a Little Bit Closer by Bella Andre was last for the week – book 7 in The Sullivans series. This is Smith’s story and has him falling in love with the sister of one of his co-stars. I’ll post my review of this one later this week. 3.5 out of 5

 

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Fall For Me by Sydney Landon
Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid

Happy Reading! 

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Review: Let Me Be The One by Bella Andre

Posted January 1, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

How far would you go for a friend?

Back in San Francisco preparing for her big art show, Vicki Bennett needs help protecting herself and her career from the unwelcome advances of one of the judges. She knows that her longtime friend and baseball star, Ryan Sullivan, will know just how to handle things, and he’s the only person she can imagine asking for help.

Ryan is thrilled to have Vicki back in his life, and he will do anything to protect her from harm, including playing the role of pretend boyfriend. But when their staged kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night, they both worry that they may have damaged their friendship forever.

Have they made the worst mistake possible? Or is the perfect combination of friendship and love finally within reach?

Ryan Sullivan and Vicki Bennett were great friends in high school.  Even back then they had a thing for each other but neither wanted to take the chance that admitting their feelings would ruin their friendship.
Now it’s 15 years later and Vicki is back in San Francisco.  She’s trying to get rewarded a fellowship so that she can work on her career.  When one of the men on the board gets her alone and starts trying to make advances Vicki immediately texts Ryan to come help her.  He would do anything for her so he comes running and ends up playing her fake boyfriend.
Despite not wanting to run the friendship eventually Ryan makes his move and the pair end up in bed together.  Ryan means it to be forever but Vicki tries to make it seem like a one time thing.  Ryan has to try to make her see that he’s loved her forever and he’s not about to stop anytime soon.  He’s not letting her get away from him again.
What a heart warming story.  I’ve really fallen in love with the Sullivan family and their partners.  This book was no different.  We got to see another side of Ryan other than his professional baseball persona and Vicki was just perfect for him.
I loved how Ryan admitted to himself that he loved Vicki long before they ever got into bed together.  He was all in before he could get her on board.  He was very convincing with Vicki and making her see how great they would be together.  The final stretch for Vicki, when she finally “got it” was wonderful and I loved the way she described how it looked like they wouldn’t work but that they were just two halves that made up a whole.  Good stuff. lol
I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Sullivan family – especially as it’s Smith Sullivan – famous actor – who has a story up next.  I’m sure Andre won’t let me down and will give me another fabulous romance – just like she did in this book.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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