Tag: Contemporary Romance

Audiobook Review: For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove

Posted October 16, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: For the Love of English by A.M. HargroveReviewer: Holly
For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove
Narrator: Jason Clarke, Erin Mallon
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 377
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Goodreads
two-half-stars

From
USA Today
Bestselling Author, A.M. Hargrove, comes a New Adult, Single Dad, Sexy, Stand Alone Romance.

Single dad, Beckley Bridges, is sexy as hell. No, really, he’s the hottest thing since the sun was created. Honest to God, crack an egg on him and the thing will sizzle.So what’s the problem? He’s also a gigantic jerk. I hate the bastard. I try to avoid him at all costs. But for some reason, everywhere I go he seems to show up.

Only the real issue is his daughter, English.She’s an adorable quirky first-grader who’s the sweetest thing since iced tea.And she’s one of my students but also the love of his life.So I have to deal with him on a professional level. It’s not easy. On a scale of easy to hard, dealing with Beckley Bridges is like nails screeching across a blackboard.

But when English’s mother tries to gain custody after abandoning her on Beckley’s doorstep as an infant, he’ll do anything possible to keep English under his roof.

That’s how he ends up propositioning me.

And crazy as it sounds?


I find myself considering it.

This is a full-length novel that includes mature content not suitable younger readers.

I’m a total sucker for hot single dads. We could get into all the reasons why, but let’s just say these are my crack and leave it at that. Beck was a super hot single dad. He was intense and focused when it came to his daughter, English, and I loved how great he was when it came to being her parent. The chemistry between Beck and Sheridan was pretty thick. I liked that aspect of their relationship. I also liked how the relationship between Sheridan and English developed. I also really liked the narrators. Both did great voices and didn’t annoy me at all.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

1) The stupid contrived drama toward the middle of the book that separated the couple. It was just that, stupid and contrived. Both their reactions were over the top and the resolution was flat.
2) The even more stupid and contrived reason for them to get married in the first place. In the realm of reality, this charted somewhere around the Earth really just being a small glass ball some purple and orange alien is spinning on its finger.
3) The entire plot based around English’s bio mom. The.Entire.Plot.

Had this been a straight up contemporary romance about a grumpy hot single dad who accidentally falls in love with his daughter’s first grade teacher, I’d have been all over it. The writing was smooth and I liked the romance itself. As it is, the rest really marred my enjoyment. I’m surprised my eyes didn’t roll out of my head.

2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Light My Fire by Christie Ridgway

Posted October 15, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Light My Fire by Christie RidgwayReviewer: Holly
Light My Fire (Rock Royalty, #1) by Christie Ridgway
Series: Rock Royalty #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 258
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Goodreads
three-stars

Years ago, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the nine collective children of the most famous band in the world “Rock Royalty.” Now all grown up, the princes and princesses are coming back to L.A.’s Laurel Canyon to discover if love can be found among the ruins of a childhood steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

One touch will start a fire…World-weary band tour manager Ren Colson leaves his London business behind for a stay in Southern California, never expecting to wake up beside Cilla Maddox. Cilla Maddox—who in the years since their last meeting has turned sexy as hell. But she deserves more than a man hardened by long nights, dark roads, and too many faceless women.

One night will change her world…Cilla Maddox not once imagined she’d see the bad boy of her dreams again. But then he’s sharing her air, her home, her bed. Though he claims he has no heart, she wants it to be hers. Can she convince him that the flames that leap between them might signify forever?

It’s been several years since I read anything by Ridgway. This was a free Kindle download. I’m a sucker for rock star romances, and the premise of this one intrigued me.

The children of rock band Velvet Lemon have been dubbed Rock Royalty by the media. They grew up surrounded by sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. None of them have really managed to form lasting connections, but youngest child Cilla craves family more than most. Since her latest relationship ended very badly, she’s home licking her wounds and mourning the loss of her surrogate mother, Gwen, a groupie who took all the kinds under her wing. Gwen left each kid something personal of hers and Cilla figure cataloging the collection of costumes she got is a great excuse to regroup. Only she didn’t expect Ren, another Lemon kid, to show up at the same time.

Ren has always been a loner. He isn’t looking to connect with his family or a romantic relationship, but he can’t deny he’s attracted to Cilla. When it becomes clear the attraction is mutual, he knows he can’t resist. As long as she knows the score, all will be well, right? What could possibly go wrong…

Light My Fire wasn’t a bad read, but the characters read as very young. Ren’s bad-boy persona was told more than shown, and I got frustrated with Cilla several times because she seemed so immature. I did like the other siblings and the way that part of the story was told. I also liked the connection between Ren and Cilla, and how their romance developed. There were a lot of unanswered questions, but I assume they’ll be cleared up in the following books, since there are 9 in the series.

Overall this was a quick read. Not a lot of substance, but entertaining.

3 out of 5

Rock Royalty

three-stars


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Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

Posted October 2, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Consumed by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Consumed (Firefighters, #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: Firefighters #1
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
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Goodreads
two-half-stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family's scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.


Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed...

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn't believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again--until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm . . .

Holy crap. This book was NOT for me. From the beginning to the end, it was just not. I loved The Bourbon Kings series. It was far outside the purview of the BDB. I thought that this new series would be much of the same. Especially after I skimmed (I don’t like spoilers) some of the reviews on GoodReads. I was hopeful. Too hopeful. Bad on me.

I didn’t like Anne Ashburn from the beginning. Not from page one. You could tell she was the type of person that didn’t like following rules, orders, or anything in between. Which usually wouldn’t be a problem one way or the other. The problem in this book is that she’s a firefighter. A firefighter for the love of…ugh. Firefighters have to follow orders or they get dead. If they don’t get themselves dead, they’ll get someone else dead. It’s blatantly obvious that Anne goes against authority when she tells her partner they need to separate during a warehouse fire. After being explicitly told not to split up.

That decision ends up costing her. Big time. It almost costs her her own life and the life of the man she loves. Who rushes into save her after being ordered not to go in after her. Yep, folks. There’s two of them. And they’ve found each other.

Danny McGuire loves Anne and he won’t leave her in the warehouse to burn. What happens between the time he goes in after her and the time he brings her out is something that is seared into his brain. Ten months later he can barely look at himself in the mirror. He takes up drinking, smoking, and sleeping with any woman that will have him. Then one night he gets in a fight at a local bar and his best friend calls in the big guns. Anne.

Anne thought she was done with Danny. Except she’s never done with Danny. The two are literally made for each other. You couldn’t find two more damaged people than the two of them. I understood Danny’s demons. I truly did. He lost his twin brother in a fire, he lost a good friend in a fire, he lost his parents. He has a lot of loss in his life. Anne? I seriously don’t know what her issue was. She had serious hangups from her childhood and she hated her mother, but she let that affect every aspect of her life. It was ludicrous.

A couple of the interesting parts should be mentioned. The mystery was fairly mysterious. So was Anne’s brother Tom. Talk about siblings. They both rather redeemed themselves in the end (when it came to each other and their mother), so that was all right. It was Danny that changed by leaps and bounds though. It was quite the thing to read.

One thing I could not get over, hence my low grade, is that Anne wasn’t just stupid, she was TSTL. Yup. Too Stupid To Live. While investigating the warehouse fires, she figures out who did it. Instead of calling her SWAT friend or her brother or even Danny, what does she do? You guessed it…she goes after the guy herself. Why? Because she’s no mere woman. She doesn’t need a stinking man. Then, she’s so sure she’s right that she decides that she’s going to compromise evidence because she has to prove something to herself. That’s what ultimately threw me over the edge. I can deal with many things. TSTL heroines are not one of them.

I do hate to admit that I might read Tom’s book. I think I hate myself for that.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

two-half-stars


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Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Posted September 24, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Sustained by Emma ChaseReviewer: Holly
Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2) by Emma Chase
Series: Legal Briefs #2
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 267
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

This book was recommended to me by several people ages ago, but it was Rowena who finally forced me to read it. I’m so sorry I waited. This was such a fabulous story. The story is told strictly from the hero’s point of view and it worked so well for me.

Jake is a successful defense attorney who spends his days in court and his nights banging whatever random chick he can send packing in the morning…until an STD scare forces him to take a break from his nightly activities. In the meantime he snags a boy who tries to steal his wallet. Jake takes him home only to fall into immediate lust with his sexy aunt. The problem? She’s just become guardian to six kids..and Jake is allergic to commitment. Except he can’t stop from thinking about her.. or the kids. Before he knows it he’s taking kids to dance and going to Justin Bieber concerts and changing diapers….and falling in love with not just Chelsea, but all 6 kids, too.

You guys. This was such a stellar romance. I loved it. I loved Jake, the kids, Chelsea…all of it. I couldn’t get enough of Jake and his interactions with the kids. Teenage girls, babies, and everyone in between. He was so great with them all. He also showed incredible insight when it came to Chelsea and how quick she was to drop everything to take care of her family. My favorite parts were the ones where Jake acknowledged her sacrifice and stepped up to help her.

There were times he frustrated me with his pigheadedness, but I couldn’t stay mad at him when it was clear he was falling hard and fast. This was such a fabulous read. I highly recommend it.

4.5 out of 5

The Legal Briefs

four-half-stars


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Review: Order of Protection by Lexi Blake

Posted September 14, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Order of Protection by Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
Order of Protection (Courting Justice #1) by Lexi Blake
Series: Courting Justice #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
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Goodreads
three-stars

A sexy and suspenseful new contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake where love and law entwine for a conviction of the heart.

To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She's soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She's actually Taylor Winston-Hughes—born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win's charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry.

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can't reject the case. This trial could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he's not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together.

As the case takes a wild turn and Win's entire life is upended, she must look to the people she's closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves...

I really wanted to love this book because I adore Lexi Blake. Have I said that before? I adore Lexi Blake. She only has two series that I haven’t read and I need to rectify that. Stat. So I was really excited when this book came out. I loved the Lawless series so I thought this would be along the same lines. It was and wasn’t. It started out super, super slow. It had promise in the beginning, it really did.

Henry Garrison (I totally just drew a blank on his name and had to look it up on GR) is at his grandfather’s beach house on Martha’s Vineyard getting it ready to sell. After an acrimonious split from his now ex-wife, Henry has to sell his grandfather’s beach house to pay her off. Henry has been on the wagon for six months or so, but packing up the house has him ready to hit the bottle. Then he sees woman take a spill right outside the house. He heads to her rescue, which is laughable considering he can’t even rescue himself. She is Win Hughes and Henry is immediately intrigued although she is substantially younger than him. The problem is that Henry doesn’t know who she really is. If he did, he would have never let her through the front door.

Known as the Billion Dollar Baby, Taylor Winston-Hughes can’t get away from the spotlight. She can’t deny that she put herself in it when she went on a reality show. That went badly when she ended up in rehab for anorexia. When she meets Henry she’s not in the best place she’s ever been, but she is drawn to him nonetheless. She can tell he feels the same. Conveniently a bad storm hits and they are stuck at Henry’s.

So what ends up happening is Win and Henry end up spending two glorious weeks together and then they go their separate way with Henry not knowing Win’s true identity. Win texts Henry a few times, but he doesn’t return the texts. He finally decides to return her texts and he gets a bomb dropped on him. Win is the Billion Dollar Baby. She travels in the same world as his ex-wife. The world that nearly destroyed him. The world he will not return to for anyone or anything in the world. The problem is that Win has been arrested for murder. A case like this could make Henry’s new firm.

Henry was so annoying. He just couldn’t get over who Win was. It’s not like it was her fault. She couldn’t help who she was or who her parents were. He would not let her forget that he would never forgive her. He just wouldn’t let up on her. It got really old. I really liked how Win handled it. She didn’t cry or beg. She just let him feel the way he felt. Of course when push came to shove, Henry couldn’t leave her alone. Still, he didn’t think it could work out in the end so he would sleep with her while she was a suspect but as soon as she was cleared and moved out of his house, he was going to cut her loose. What an ASS. Seriously. Ugh.

I’m honestly not in a rush to read the second book. It’s about one of Henry’s partner. I don’t even know if I’m intrigued. I will read it eventually, but probably not right when it comes out. I’m sad that this book disappointed me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Courting Justice

three-stars


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