Tag: Contemporary Romance

Review: Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Posted May 30, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rafe by Rebekah WeatherspoonReviewer: Holly
RAFE: A Buff Male Nanny by Rebekah Weatherspoon
Series: Loose Ends #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 26, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 259
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
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

All Dr. Sloan Copeland needed was someone to watch her kids. What she found was the man of her dreams…

After a nasty divorce and a thousand mile move, Dr. Sloan Copeland and her twin daughters are finally getting the hang of their new life in Los Angeles. When their live-in nanny bails with no warning, Sloan is left scrambling to find a competent caretaker to wrangle her smart, sensitive girls. Nothing less will do.

Enter Rafe Whitcomb. He's all of those things, not to mention good-natured and one heck of a whiz in the kitchen. He's also tall, and handsome, and bearded, and ripped, and tatted, wrist to neck.

It doesn't take long for the Copelands to invite Rafe into their home. Just as quickly, both Sloan and Rafe find themselves succumbing to a heady mutual attraction, neither of them wants to deny. With every minute they spend under the same roof, this working mom can't help but wonder if Rafe can handle all her needs...

**This stand-alone romance is fluffy. So fluffy. It’s fluff. Low. Angst. Fluff. featuring a large tatted, motorcycle riding ginger man, who bakes a mean bacon quiche and knows exactly how to wrangle clever six year olds while making their mom feel loved, loved, loved.**

While RAFE is a stand-alone novel here's a suggested reading order to get you to this point SATED (Fit #3) (Meegan) SO SWEET (Daniella and Duke origin story) HAVEN (Meegan) WRAPPED (Meegan, Shae, Sarah) RAFE

Rafe is the start of the Loose Ends series by Rebekah Weatherspoon. It’s the first book I’ve read of hers. This was a cute, contemporary romance without a lot of drama. I really enjoyed it.

Rafe is hired as a male nanny for Dr. Sloan Copeland when her current nanny bails in the worst possible way. He’s been a nanny to a family for the past six years, and decided to take a break from that when they moved to Australia. But he can’t really say no since Sloan is in such a bind. He’s surprised at how attracted he is to her. She’s smart, funny and smoking hot. Sloan is immediately attracted to Rafe, but she’s still smarting from the way her ex treated her, and she’s a little gun shy. They have major chemistry and end up hitting it off.

I really liked the way Rafe and Sloan interacted with each other. They talked things out and were honest with one another. I also loved that Rafe’s position as the nanny didn’t ever become a problem. Aside from the concern that if things didn’t work out it could impact the girls, there was no angst over him working for her, or making less than she did. I loved that there was no sign of inadequacy on Rafe’s part because he’s a male nanny. He was good with kids and enjoyed his work. The end.

I really liked the twins and how both Sloan and Rafe dealt with them. They were smart and precocious, but not annoying the way some kids can be in novels. Sloan had a great best friend and Rafe had people, too, so this ended up feeling like a really well-rounded couple.

There wasn’t a lot of conflict, just two people meeting and falling for each other. Sweet, sexy and tender, plus a hot male nanny? So much yes.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Loose Ends

four-stars


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Review: Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted May 9, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Mystery Man by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 528
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away.

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book. On one hand, I knew Hawke was a right bastard after reading Own the Wind and Ride Steady. OTOH, Holly warned me this book would be hard to take because Hawke wasn’t just a bastard. He was a downright ass. Holly was right. Hawke was pretty hard to stomach. He went beyond alpha into alpha asshole. He didn’t basically tell Gwen what to do and expect her to do it. He did exactly that.

Moving onto Gwen. Are you fucking kidding me? Who on God’s green earth would take a stranger home and let him keep coming back without even asking his name? For a year and a half. Hawke threw that in her face a number of times. It wasn’t very sensitive, but very apropos. Gwen was a fucking moron. Which begged the question…why did every man in her radius want her? Not just get into her pants. No, they actually wanted Gwen herself. I really think she called to the protective instinct that men have in them because honestly, if Gwen kept living on her own? She would nothing more than a dead body.

I have to admit, when I first finished the book, I really liked Gwen. Then Holly and I started discussing and I started questioning everything I thought. Which was, frankly, annoying as hell. I already knew what I knew and thought what I thought. Even if my feelings might have aligned with hers a little bit here and there as I was reading, I didn’t completely feel that way when I finished the book. Like I said…annoying. The saying “The truth hurts” really applies here.

The book is so cliché. Hawke didn’t intend to fall for Gwen like he did. He was only obsessed with her and her safety. Then shit hit the fan with Gwen’s sister Ginger (enter the awful KA mystery plot) and Hawke had to step in to protect Gwen. Seeing her outside the bedroom at night made Hawke want Gwen more, of course. When he realizes how much she is starting to mean to him, he doesn’t want that so he pushes her way. Like I said…cliché. And predictable.

Why did I still like this book? Because of Hawke. And Tack. And Mitch. And Gwen’s dad. And her stepmom Meredith. And how Gwen treated Meredith. All those things above really bugged the crap out of me, but as I was reading the book, I really loved it all. It just works. I can sum up why in two words: Kristen Ashley. That is really a thing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dream Man

four-stars


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Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake

Posted May 7, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black and Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
At the Pleasure of the President by Shayla Black, Lexi Blake
Series: The Perfect Gentlemen #5
Also in this series: Scandal Never Sleeps (The Perfect Gentlemen, #1), Seduction in Session (The Perfect Gentlemen, #2), Big Easy Temptation (The Perfect Gentlemen, #3), Smoke and Sin (The Perfect Gentlemen, #4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 474
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The thrilling conclusion of the twisting, page-turning Perfect Gentlemen series!

When a dangerous conspiracy threatens to tear them apart, he’ll have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

Decades ago, ambitious Zack Hayes set his sights on the White House. He’s worked his whole life to become the leader of the free world—attending the right schools, marrying the perfect bride—all to aid his campaign. He didn’t realize someone behind the scenes has been pulling the strings to manipulate Zack and the country he loves into a dangerous position—one he will risk his life to wrench free from. The one thing he can’t risk is Elizabeth Matthews.

From the moment she met Zack Hayes, Liz felt the connection. Serving as his campaign manager and then his press secretary, she accepted that her love for him would remain unrequited. Still, she’d thought they were friends, so when he pushed her aside, she felt the stab in her heart. And when she realizes he’s done it to protect her, nothing will stop Liz from standing by his side—not even the men who would use her as a weapon against him.

As shocking secrets are revealed, Zack and Liz find succor and passion in each other’s arms. When the ultimate villain shows his face, Zack may have to choose between his country and the woman he loves…

This is the conclusion to The Perfect Gentlemen series. And holy hell, View Spoiler » Honestly, this isn’t really a spoiler because even I figured it out. If I knew it, anyone reading this book knew it two books before. No joke.

Zack Hayes has been groomed from birth to be the President of the United States. One of my favorite passages of this series was from the prologue of Scandal Never Sleeps, which is book one of the series. The Perfect Gentlemen had been called to the counselor’s office at their boarding school. Zack threatened him when it because clear that the man was out to get the five of them. He was still a teenager at the time.

“You don’t have that kind of power,” Ogilvie blustered.

“You think I don’t? My father was the ambassador to Russia for years. He’s been close friends with the last three presidents, including the current commander-in-chief. My father wants one thing and one thing only from me. Everyone who’s met him knows that he gets what he wants. My future is mapped out. If I do the right things—get the grades, remain class president, go to the appropriate college—then I accomplish everything I should. If you derail me from this path, I’ll get my ass kicked in ways that would make your head spin. But it will end even worse for you. I recently got my SATs back. I had a perfect score. I’m getting into Yale, and Skull and Bones will be waiting for me senior year because they know what my father’s friends have already figured out: I will be the president of the United States one day. Now, you can be my friend or my enemy. You decide.”

Yep, Zack was badass from the beginning.

Moving on, Zack did become president, but how it happened was beyond sad. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great one. Through the last four books a conspiracy has been unraveling that makes it apparent to Zack that he might have to step down. Although it was his father that wanted him to be President of the United States, it is Zack that has made the office and policies his own. Zack will not allow himself to be blackmailed or let the integrity of the office be brought into question.

Elizabeth Matthews is the Press Secretary. She is a ball buster where and when she needs to be. She’s also a good friend to Zack. They know where they stand with each other. They’re in love, but unable to do anything about it. Elizabeth is not on the inside of Zack’s circle. Although it hurts, she knows that he doesn’t completely trust her. She thought she could live with that until she couldn’t.

Zack thinks Elizabeth is a Russian spy, which is understandable. What’s not understandable is how Zack doesn’t see who the real spy is. Come on, Zack. You’re supposed to be the smartest person in the country, if not the world and you can’t figure it out? When there is an assassination attempt on Zack, it is obvious Elizabeth is the spy they all thought her to be (seriously?). Or is it?

Roman Calder drove me bonkers in this book. I know it was his responsibility to protect Zack, but I wanted to brain him. He just went completely overboard.

Still, I was so happy with this book because I loved Zack throughout this entire series and I really loved Elizabeth. She was perfect for Zack because she knew exactly what sort of pressure he was under so she didn’t except things from him that she knew he couldn’t give. She knew that being the President of the United States came before all things.

This was a perfect conclusion to this series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Perfect Gentlemen

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted April 28, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 7 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Repeat by Kylie Scott is the first 5 star read I’ve had of 2019 – and possibly of 2017 and 2018 as well. It follows the journey of Clementine Johns as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together after a viscous attack leaves her with amnesia. I first listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Andi Ardnt, is amazing. I was drawn in from the first. When the ebook dropped, I immediately read the story and it was just as good as the audio. She reconnects with her ex, Ed Larson, though of course he’s shocked to see her – and not very happy about it. She broke his heart, though she has no idea why.

“Who are you when all of your formative moments are gone?”

The romance is stellar and I loved the secondary characters, but it was Clem’s personal journey that really got me.

Sunday Spotlight: Repeat by Kylie ScottRepeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 7, 2019
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

"A page-turning romantic feast that will have you desperate for more. I was immediately hooked." -#1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken

From New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance.

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again. Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

Clem wasn’t focused on her past so much as learning how to live in the present. “Previous Me” was a stranger, and her choices made little sense to “Current Me”, who was dropped into this life without explanation or context. Her strength and resilience really spoke to me. I’ve read the book several times since that first listen, and I know I’ll read it many more times in the future.

Favorite Lines

“Also, apparently the part of my brain in charge of inhibitions and social restrictors, et cetera, is a bit messed up, so I don’t always react right, or at least not necessarily how you’d expect me to behave based on previous me.”

“Previous you?”

I shrug. “It’s as good a label for her as any.”

“She’s you. You’re her.”

“Maybe. But she’s still a complete stranger to me.”

“You know, you didn’t used to swear so much.”

I snort. “No? I wore pastels and spoke nicely, huh?”

Being someone’s ex is strange, all of the history such a title involves. It’s hard to be the villain of the story when I don’t even remember why I left him and apparently broke both our hearts.

“When we’re together like this, sometimes I forget.”

I snort. “You forget? Try being me.”

At this, he laughs, shaking his head. “How can you make jokes about it?”

“Dark humor has its place. God knows, being depressed all the damn time would just be boring.”

Frances laughs so hard when I tell her about the showdown with Ed that she nearly falls off the kitchen chair. “It’s like you’re an evil twin of your former self or something.”

“Now tell me something good about when we were together.”

“Hmm.” He tosses the teaspoon into the sink. “I got to wake up to your face every morning. I used to like that.”

Although the book isn’t perfect – the mystery plot is pretty weak – I really loved Clem and her journey to discover who she was and who she wanted to be.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: April 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Kylie Scott

Author Kylie Scott headshot

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.


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Joint Review: Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley

Posted April 10, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Own the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee and Holly
Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #1
Also in this series: Own the Wind (Chaos, #1), Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Free
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 389
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

Tabitha Allen has a not-so-secret crush on Parker "Shy" Cage. Shy thinks he knows the path Tabby's on and it isn't a good one. So he decides to teach her a lesson to lead her to the right path. Unfortunately, he was wrong and his actions wound Tabby, breaking her heart. It's Tabby who then teaches Shy a lesson about casting judgment and Shy Cage learns what it feels like to be invisible. But when tragedy strikes and Tabby's heart is broken again, Shy does what he can in the background to help. Trying to forget her heartbreak, Tabby finds herself in danger. To keep it secret from her biker family, the Chaos Motorcycle Club, she calls Shy to rescue her. But when she lets him back in, she gets much more than she bargained for.

Own the Wind is book one in Kristen Ashley’s Chaos MC series. It follows Tabitha Allen and Shy Cage. After tragedy struck Tabby’s life, Shy was there to pick up the pieces. The crush she had on him when she was a teenager is nothing compared to the feelings she finds herself starting to have for him. Shy has had his eye on Tabby for years, but she’s the daughter of the MC’s President. Which equals off-limits. Even knowing that, Shy can’t stop what is happening between them and he doesn’t want it to stop.

Tabby and Shy’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, but eventually they realize they were made for each other. That realization doesn’t come easily to either of them. They both have faults and trying to mesh their lives isn’t as easy as they thought it would be. There are ups and downs, but in the end, they preserved.

Casee: This book. I don’t even know where to start. Seriously I have so many feels. My biggest feel is confusion. Confusion as to why I loved this book. Absolutely and completely loved it. Shy was such a jerk, but I adored him. Adored every single part of him. Why? I’m reading the second book in the series right now and I still don’t understand it. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you tell me.

Holly: Welcome to the dark side. KA is so hard to pin down for me. She’s overly descriptive and her grammar often kills me, but I get so wrapped up in her stories I can’t stop reading her.

Own the Wind is the first book released with Forever, and I think it’s one of her better books in terms of editing. When I first read it I remember thinking it had all the things I love, but a lot of what bothers me about her writing was cleaned up. She’ll always be KA, and that’s okay since what she does works so well, but this book is more polished than some of her others.

Casee: More polished? That scares me since I plan to read her backlist. But it won’t stop me.

What threw me about KA is how I could be thrown from one side to the other so quickly. For example…When Tab was telling Shy that he had to start helping around the house because she wasn’t going to do everything for him. I mean, come on. Man up. I was like, “You go, girl. Tell him how it is,”. Shy wasn’t having any of it and I started getting so mad, like WTAF. Then Shy told Tab why he wouldn’t be doing certain things around the house and I was all “Awww”. My emotions can’t handle that. It literally happened in five seconds. Who else can write like that?

Holly: No one I know. She’s a master at tugging my emotions in all different directions.

Speaking of Shy and Tabby..I adored them together. They were such a wonderful couple. I was concerned when the book first started since Tabby was so young, but I thought Ashley did a good job of advancing the timeline. I really felt for Tabby the first few chapters. Watching her come back from her grief with Shy’s help was lovely. I also loved how loyal to him she was. When she stood up to her step-mom, dad and the entire club for him? My heart melted.

Casee: I loved reading about how their relationship evolved. They were friends first. Shy helped her through such a difficult time in her life without expecting anything in return. That’s one of the reason he was such an incredible hero. The entire time they had a platonic relationship, he had no clue if there would ever be anything between them. He was just a good person in general (even though he could be an ass).

Even with all the dropping of the “g’s”, which drove me insane at first, I give this a 4.25. What about you?

Holly: Their progression from enemies to friends to lovers was wonderful. I loved how it was them against the world. When Shy gave her his speech about (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Shit is going to get bad out there, but we’ll be fine as long as we’re together” I got all melty.

There are definitely issues with the characters, the story and the writing, but they’re overshadowed by all the good. KA never fails to pull me in and I adore Shy and Tabby. I’m giving it 4.25 as well.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4.25 out of 5

Chaos


four-stars


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