Tag: Contemporary Romance

Review: Free by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 15, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Free by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Free by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #6
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
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 570
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Through good times, bad times and times of war, Cole “Rush” Allen grew up in the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Along this journey, he watched his father, Tack, and his MC brothers fight, sweat, bleed and die to steer the Club to legitimacy.

And they’ve got one more battle on their hands.

A battle they have to win.

But when Rush meets the woman who put herself right in the thick of it, he knows he has to stop at nothing to get her out.

Rebel Stapleton has lost someone she loves to murder and she’s the kind of woman who’s going to do something about it. She puts her career on the line, and her life, to bring the man who did it to justice.

That is, she does this until Rush Allen intervenes.

Chaos is at war and they’re about to face the ultimate showdown. They’ll have to negotiate skeletons from the past, enemies becoming allies, and loved ones in the line of fire on their ride to be…

Free.

Free is the 6th and final book in the Chaos MC series by Kristen Ashley. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Rush’s book, since 1) I wanted to see how things were cleared up with their long-time rivals and 2) I loved Rush in earlier books and wanted to see where he was going to take things. We hadn’t met his heroine prior to this book, so she was an unknown.

Cole “Rush” Allen is a member of the Chaos MC. His dad, Tack, is the current president. Tack really cleaned the club up and mostly brought them into the light, but Rush wants to finish the job and get them completely away from anything even remotely illegal. With several old enemies and a couple new ones making themselves known, that’s harder than it seems. Especially since bodies keep piling up – and literal skeletons are floating around. When he meets Rebel Singleton, he knows immediately that he wants her. But Rebel is playing a dangerous game – going undercover in a porn op to find dirt on a mobster – and Rush doesn’t want her wrapped up in that mess. Convincing her to walk away and keeping her safe may be more than he can handle…

It took me forever to read this book. There were so many point-of-view changes and unnecessary content, it didn’t hold my attention. I don’t know why we needed to see so much from so many different characters. We had chapters from 3 villains, 2 extra characters who ended up dying, several characters from previous books and a couple surprise ones at the end. At 570 pages, this novel was already a beast. If half of that had been cut back, it would have been better for it.

I haven’t cared much for Benito Valenzuela’s (the mobster guy) storyline throughout this series. He’s a pretty ridiculous villain and I had little interest in seeing how things played out with him. Nothing we saw about him or from him in this book changed my mind. I don’t even know why the final bit from his POV was included in the epilogue. It was ridiculous.

I enjoyed Rush and Rebel as a couple, and I actually really liked the secondary storyline with Beck, but the rest was pretty ridiculous. I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed this is how the series ended.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Chaos


two-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted February 13, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Long Shot by Kennedy RyanReviewer: Casee
Long Shot (Hoops, #1) by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Also in this series: Hoops Holiday
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 22, 2018
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 451
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

A Standalone FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...

Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl?You don't.My fairy tale is upside down.A happily never after.I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold.

Now there's a new player in the game, August West. One of the NBA's brightest stars.Fine. Forbidden. He wants me. I want him.But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go.

*Some aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

Wowza. This book. It has all the feels. It gave me all the feels. I wanted to sit down and read it from cover-to-cover, but it was such an emotional read that I had to take breaks. One of my favorite things about this book was that it spanned over years. As did Iris and August’ relationship. This book was real because there was no easy fix to the situation they were both in.

When Iris and August first met, August was the shining star of college basketball. They connected that night in a way that most people don’t. They share their dreams with each other, their fears, and their hopes. It was likely the fact that they thought they would never see each other again. When they go to part ways, August decides he can’t just let her go. That’s when Iris tells him she has a boyfriend. He soon finds out that it’s not just any man she’s with, but his biggest enemy on and off the court.

The next few years pass. August is building up his NBA career as is Iris’ boyfriend, Caleb. What he doesn’t know is the sheer hell that Iris is living in. After meeting August, Iris realizes that she doesn’t want the future that Caleb wants and she intends to break up with him. Then she finds out she’s pregnant. While it’s certainly not in her plans, she’s not going to let it deter her from being independent. That all changes when she is put on bedrest and becomes completely dependent on Caleb.

It’s after their daughter is born that she learns of the monster that lives behind the boy-next-door persona that Caleb presents to the world. Holy hell, the parts of the book where Caleb abuses Iris is fucking hard to read. Kennedy Ryan doesn’t sugar coat Iris’ abuse nor does she shy away from the affect that it has on a woman. I really applaud her for putting this out there is such a spectacular fashion. She also touched on an important issue in professional sports: domestic abuse and the protection of athletes. It’s inexcusable whether it is a male of female dishing out the abuse.

Moving on…it takes years, but August and Iris eventually find their way back to each other. Their love is one that doesn’t disappear. It was just a matter of the right time and the right place. They question that remains is if Iris can find it in herself to trust again. Does she realize the epic love she has with August West or is she going to let Caleb ruin the life she could have with the man she loves but may never trust?

Wowza.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Hoops

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Vengeance Road by Christine Feehan

Posted February 4, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Vengeance Road by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2) by Christine Feehan
Series: Torpedo Ink #2
Also in this series: Judgment Road (Torpedo Ink #1), Judgment Road
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 448
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Go zero to sixty in this dangerously sexy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.

Breezy Simmons was born into a ruthless motorcycle club—and now that she’s out, she’s never going to be that girl again. But when her past catches up with her, Breezy must go to Sea Haven to seek out the man who almost destroyed her. The man who chose his club over her and left her feeling used and alone.

As vice president of Torpedo Ink, Steele is ride or die for the brothers he lived through hell with. He never thought he’d find something as pure as his feelings for Breezy, or that keeping her safe would mean driving her away with cruel words that turned her love for him to ash.

Now, Steele won’t let her walk away twice. He’ll do whatever it takes to make Breezy his woman again—especially when he learns the real reason she came to him for help, and that the stakes are higher than he ever could have imagined…

This is the second book in Feehan’s Torpedo Ink series. This is a spin-off of her Sisters of the Heart series. In Bound Together (the fifth and final book), Viktor Prakenskii brings his motorcycle club to Caspar, which neighbors Sea Haven. All Viktor (Czar) and his club want is to make a home. A home that Czar has been promising them since they were children in Russian forced into “schools” that almost destroyed them.

Steele is the Vice President of Torpedo Ink. Steele doesn’t regret much in his life. There isn’t time for regret. There is one person he will never forget: Breezy Simmons. While undercover at the most dangerous motorcycle club in the country, Steele met the only woman that would ever be meant for him. It seriously fucked with his head when he found out that she was only 17. When it was time to bring down the club, Steele didn’t want her caught in the crossfire so he did the only thing he could. He chased her away with words he would never be able to take back.

Now Breezy is back and she has a message for Steele. Walking into Torpedo Ink is one of the hardest things she’s ever done, but she has no other choice. Her own father and brother has abducted her son. Steele’s son. Their son. She will do anything to get Zane back, even walk back into the life she has left and never wants to be a part of again. However, she doesn’t count on Steele’s feelings for her. Or that he would even have any feelings for her after the things he said to her when he dumped her.

Now that Breezy is back, Steele will never let her go again. He’s angry that she didn’t find him when she was pregnant, but he forgives her. He forgives her for a lot of things. WTAF? He’s the one that left her. He’s the one that ran her off. Sure, he gave her money, but still. WTAF. Steele drove me batshit at first. Literally I wanted to strangle him. When they were going to meet someone at the beginning of the book to get some information on Zane, Breezy walked out and saw everyone on their motorcycles. She never wanted to get on a motorcycle again so she just sort of froze. This was Steele’s reaction.

“What’s the hold up? Get a move on, woman. We’re going to be late.”

He got better toward the end of the book. It soon became apparent that Steele has severe PTSD stemming from his time in Russia. It was heartbreaking to read. Simply heartbreaking. Breezy (I really disliked this name. A lot), was always there for Steele. She simply let him be. She never asked more than he could give. She was just a calming presence in his life.

I really did end up enjoying this book when I started to understand Steele. Breezy had her own past to deal with and Steele was with her through every moment. These two needed each other. They just had to find a way that was right for both of them. In the end, it’s really about compromise and knowing that relationships are perfect. It’s life.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Torpedo Ink

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Filthy English by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Posted January 24, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Filthy English by Ilsa Madden-MillsReviewer: Casee
Filthy English (English, #2) by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Narrator: Paul Berton, Kitty Bang
Series: English #2
Also in this series: Dirty English (English, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 22, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 258
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
two-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

From Wall Street Journal best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills comes a new, full-length STANDALONE novel about HOT British alphas.

A smokin’ hot British player…A jilted girl…One night of mistaken identity…

Two weeks before her wedding, Remi Montague’s fiancé drops her faster than a drunken sorority girl in stilettos. Armed with her best friend and a bottle of tequila, she hops a plane to London to drown her sorrows before fall semester begins at Whitman University.

She didn't plan on attending a masquerade party. She sure didn’t plan on waking up next to the British bad boy who broke her heart three years ago—the devastatingly handsome and naked Dax Blay. Furthermore, she has no clue how they acquired matching tattoos.

Once back at Whitman together, they endeavor to pretend they never had their night of unbridled passion in London.

But that’s damn hard to do when you live in the same house…

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.

*A modern love story inspired by Romeo and Juliet***no one dies in the writing of this novel**

This book. I can’t even with this book. I tried to like it, I really did. I stayed with it like a champ. I should have DNF’ed it, I really should have. I just don’t like not finishing something that I started. So I stuck with this book until the bitter end.

Two weeks before her wedding, Remi Montague’s fiancée dumps her. Calls off the wedding. The $10K Remi put down? Gone in an instant. So she does what any self-respecting woman would do. She grabs her best friend and goes on her honeymoon. Remi and her best friend Lulu are in London and are supposed to be having the time of their lives. They’re thousands of miles away from home and their lives. What could go wrong? Well, only everything.

One night, Remi and Lulu dress up to attend a masquerade party and she runs into the very last person she ever wants to see. Like ever. Dax Blay. First of all, he is not supposed to be in England. Sure, he is English, but he has no ties to England. Or so she thought. Second, what’s wrong with the universe that she would run into the guy that broke her heart three years ago?

When Dax kisses the masked woman that literally trips and falls into his lap, he immediately knows that it’s Remi. It doesn’t matter that three years have passed. He would know her anywhere. He has no idea why she is where she is, or why she isn’t with her fiancée, but he will take it. Unfortunately Dax doesn’t know exactly what their three day affair cost Remi and what it meant to her.

Okay, so my problem? Remi. Remi, Remi, Remi. She was such a wishy-washy heroine. Holy hell. I wanted to strangle her. I understand that she went through some serious shit after her affair with Dax. Sure. Where did the death defying love come in? The love that just about destroyed her? I didn’t get that. Another problem is that RIGHT AFTER sleeping with Dax in London (in the present), she gets a call from her fiancée. She tells him to fuck off. Then he knocks on the door of her hotel room. The room she was just in with Dax. And forgives him. WTAF.

Of course there is more to this book. They end up going home where they’re both attending the same school. Remi and Dax end up being roommates, but I’m just over this book. Remi legit made me want to scream. I couldn’t stand her. She went back and forth between two men, she strung them both along. It was just so maddening. I didn’t get why either of them wanted her so much. I know I didn’t.

Of course I’ll read the third (and last) book in the series. I doubt that I’ll read anything else by this author. Which bums me out because I like finding new authors.

Rating: 2 out of 5. (the 2 is for Dax)

two-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Posted January 22, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-MillsReviewer: Casee
Dirty English (English, #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Narrator: Summer Morton, John Hartley
Series: English #1
Also in this series: Filthy English (English, #2)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 9, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 272
Length: 7 hours, 46 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

A scarred fighter.A girl with rules.One night of unbridled passion.

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end.

But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex.

A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window.

She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.

With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever.

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.


*A modern love story inspired by Pride and Prejudice*

Dirty English is the first book that I’ve read by this author. I don’t even remember how I found this book. I just thought the summary sounded pretty good. A tattooed British street fighter? Come to mama. Unfortunately, there was something missing from this book. I can’t put my finger on what it was. It started out interesting, albeit heartbreaking. I really liked the hero and the heroine was too bad. Nonetheless, I was left with wanting more at the end. Or maybe I just didn’t feel like there was closure.

When Elizabeth Bennett was a high school senior, she went through what no woman should ever have to go through. She was violated in the worst possible way by someone she trusted completely. She is barely able to pull herself from the abyss she finds herself in, but she won’t let Colby win. She knows that she will never get justice because he’s the son of a state Senator. All she can do is move on with her life and protect herself. Protect her heart, her body, and life. Elizabeth thinks she’s moved on. She can have sex. Even if she only has one-night stands, she’s not broken. Then she meets Declan Blay, her next door neighbor. Everything that she thought about herself goes out the window.

Declan first meets Elizabeth at a frat party from his twin brother no less. When Dax steals a kiss, he can tell she’s terrified. It’s not like anything he’s ever witnessed. When he learns that the girl he can’t take his eyes off is his next door neighbor, he couldn’t be more thrilled. Then he hears about her “rules”. A guy only gets one night with her, then they get dumped. He’s determined to have more than one night with her, no matter what it takes.

So here’s what I didn’t really care for. It was Elizabeth. It was clear that she had feelings for Declan. She just held onto the fury she felt over the night she lost her innocence so tight, she never wanted to let it go. She always thought about how strong she was. She was a strong woman who could overcome anything. The thing was that she never got over that night. I’m not saying whether that was right or wrong. Just that she was living in a bubble of her own making. She was lying to herself and it really got old. Just like how she was stringing Declan along. That got really old, really fast.

In the end, I really did like Declan, but I didn’t care about Elizabeth one way or another. I felt bad for her, yes, but take her or leave her. I didn’t really care.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

English

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,