Tag: Contemporary Romance

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley

Posted August 16, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Kristen Ashley, how I love thee.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #2
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, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: First Person, Third Person
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

Lanie Heron isn't looking for love-no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club . . .

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She's too polished and too classy for his taste. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can't say no. And he doesn't regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that's ever happened to him-in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.

After almost dying trying to protect her fiancé, Lanie Heron is a shadow of her former self. Once upon a time she was the life of the party, now she just wants to be left alone. By everyone but one person.

When Lanie propositions Hop, he is floored. He’s always watched Lanie, but knew she wasn’t for him. Now he can’t turn her away.

Hop and Lanie’s story was sweet. I thought I would find Lanie more annoying than I did. She was just about unbearable in Motorcycle Man. She was just too much. While this book is not my favorite in the series, it was still a good read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #3
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, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 640
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

Meet the intense and sexy bad boy bikers of the Chaos Motorcycle Club in Carissa and Joker's story from Kristen Ashley's New York Times bestselling series.
The ride of her life . . . Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . . In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .

I read this book ages ago, but didn’t review it. I don’t know why that is because I adored this book. Loved it. This book is my favorite in the Chaos MC series.

Carson “Joker” Steele loved Carissa Teodoro since he was a boy. She was untouchable. After rescuing her on the side of the road, Joker knows he won’t give her up. Ever.

Carissa doesn’t recognize Joker as the sweet boy from high school. It’s clear that he’s been through his fair share of trials since she last saw him. She’s also gone through more than any person should have to. Fighting for custody of her child, paying child support, all of it has taken it’s toll. Now she has the Chaos MC behind her and her life abruptly changes. She just has to convince Joker to take a chance on them.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #4
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, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 624
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

The flame never dies . . .

Millie Cross knows what it's like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn't be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie's chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can't ignore. And this time, she won't let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan "High" Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she's just a ghost of her former self. High's intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn't want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie's betrayal, he'll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .

When Millie Cross sees Logan “High” Judd after twenty years, it slays her. He was the boy that she loved fiercely, then left. She had her reasons, but never told Logan what those were. She just broke his heart (and hers in the process) and walked away. Millie has been a shadow of herself since she left him. Seeing him again changes everything. She decides that it’s time to tell Logan why she left him. Then maybe she can move on from the hell she’s been living in. Close the door on the past for good.

Logan “High” Judd cannot believe his eyes when the former love of his life walks back into his life. Millie Cross destroyed him when she walked away. The last thing he wants is her back in his life. High sends her away in the cruelest of ways, not knowing the sacrifice that Millie made for him. When he finally finds out what she gave up, he’s devastated.

I really enjoyed High and Millie’s book. I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #5
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, Own the Wind
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 438
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

The brother known as Hound has a reputation. He’s all about cracking heads, having a good time, and when the Chaos Motorcycle Club needs someone to do the tough job, they call on him.

But Hound has a secret. He fell in love with a woman years ago. She’s untouchable. Unattainable. And even when her status changes, for Hound, it remains the same.

Keely Black had it all early and lost it all not long after. Thrown into an abyss of loss and grief, she’s faced a life of raising two sons alone and battling the rage at all that had been ripped from them.

And why.

Words spoken in anger open Hound’s and Keely’s eyes. For Hound, he sees he’s wasted his life loving the wrong woman. Keely sees she’s wasting her life not opening herself to the love of a good man.

Keely Black has been living in the past for eighteen years. Her husband, Black, was murdered because he was part of the Chaos MC. Now her boys want to become prospects with the same club. she wants to support them but her fear is too great.

Hound has loved Keely since the first moment he saw her. After Black was murdered, Hound was there for Keely. As a friend and a stepfather to her boys. Now she wants him, but Club rules say she’s off limits. Hound can’t stay away from her and they start a steaming hot affair. The time comes when they have to pay the piper and Hound can only hope that he can keep the Club that is his life and the woman that has recently become his life.

I didn’t think I would like this book as much as I ended up liking it. I highly disliked Keely at first. I ended up really loving her. Loving both her and Hound individually and together as a couple.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Chaos


three-half-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

Posted August 14, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hard Sell by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Hard Sell by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook, Zachary Webber
Series: 21 Wall Street #2
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hot Asset
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 243
Length: 7 hours and 8 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

He’s a Wall Street wolf. She’s been hired to tame him. From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes a wildly sexy novel of business and pleasure.

Twenty-eight and filthy rich, Matt Cannon is the youngest broker on Wall Street. He may be a “boy wonder,” but he’s every inch a man. Ask any woman—any night. But when Matt’s latest fling makes scandalous headlines, his clients get anxious, and his bosses at Wolfe Investments level an ultimatum: keep his assets zipped, get a “real” girlfriend, and clean up his act. Only one woman can help Matt with something this hard.

For PR genius Sabrina Cross, the best fixer in Manhattan, playing Matt’s steady is going to be a challenge, even if it’s just for show. They already have an explosive history, she can’t stand the cocky party boy, and worse—she can’t stop thinking about him. So who’ll dare to break her “no touching” rule first? Because when that happens, Matt and Sabrina’s game of let’s pretend will get so hot it could set both their reputations on fire.

Matt Cannon and Sabrina Cross have a non-conventional relationship. The day they met, Matt took Sabrina to bed. Then he said something to her that cut deep. Since that night they have a love-hate relationship. They love to hate each other, but they can’t quit each other. They both know that their unhealthy relationship has to end, but neither is willing to put an end to it. Their relationship changes when Matt is photographed at a party in Vegas. His image at Wolfe Investments takes a dive. His bosses want him to “change”. The only person that he can go to for help is Sabrina.

Sabrina is a fixer. She fixes problems for people. She’s in the know for just about everything in New York. If you want something done, Sabrina is your girl. When Matt comes to her telling her that he needs to change his image in order to keep his job, she doesn’t want to help. Matt isn’t asking her to help him from the sidelines. He’s asking her to be his pretend girlfriend for a month. Sabrina has long been in love with Matt even though he destroyed her with his words during their first night together.

Both Matt and Sabrina find it too easy being a couple. They just have something together. Matt decides he’s not going to let it go. Until, like an idiot, he fucks it up. He thought that they wanted the same thing, but the woman who seemed so grounded in reality now wants to marry for love instead of a simple partnership. After growing up with unhappy parents, Matt wants nothing to do with “love”.

I loved this book. It was my favorite in the series. Matt and Sabrina were fire. I loved their banter, I loved how they both pretended like they only wanted their relationship to be pretend. Their relationship wasn’t easy for sure, but it was a pleasure to read. The only thing that confused me was when Jarod Lanham, Matt’s potential client showed up. I didn’t understand why he wanted to be involved in their situation. He stirred shit up and I still don’t understand why he was even a character. It was strange and it took me out of the story a little bit.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Posted August 12, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Caution: This book may include potentially sensitive content, including but not limited to: Sexual Violence or Abuse.
Summer Reading Challenge Review: Long Shot by Kennedy RyanReviewer: Holly
Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Also in this series: Hoops Holiday, Long Shot (Hoops, #1), Hook Shot
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 22, 2018
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 460
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Holly's Summer Reading Challenge, New to Me Challenge, Summer Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A 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

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

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan is the first book in the Hoops series. It won a RITA in 2019. This was a very difficult book to read. I understand why it won. This is an emotionally charged novel. It left me feeling emotionally wrung out.

Trigger Warning: There was a lot of abuse on page, including repeated sexual assault.

I started this book several times, but kept setting it aside in favor of other books. Part of it is the basketball angle. I’m not a fan and books that focus on the sport don’t appeal to me. More than that, though, is I’d heard this was a dark, difficult read and I wasn’t really in the mood to take that on. I eventually pushed through, however, and I’m glad I did.

Iris and August meet one night in a bar and have an instant connection. They keep crossing paths. Every time they do, they seem to fall in deeper with each other. He’s about to head into the draft and she’s dating someone else, so the timing isn’t right. Just when Iris decides she’s ready to leave her boyfriend, things happen and she ends up stuck. Then things turn bad and he started abusing her, and she’s stuck in a different way.

Iris’ personal journey, her strength and the way she pulled herself out of a bad place, was really inspiring. There’s an Author’s Note in the back that talks about domestic abuse and the women who suffer because our system is so flawed, and I really felt that. I felt Iris’ desperation, her pain, her lack of options. It hit me in ways I didn’t expect. This is a novel I’ll think about long after it’s done.

I really and truly loved August. He was wonderful from day one. His faith in Iris, the way he championed her, was so wonderful to read about. I loved that he wanted Iris to live her dreams, to become what she wanted.

I really enjoyed the family August was born into, as well as the one he made in San Diego. I also loved Iris’ cousin. I’m looking forward to her book.

Still, for all that, Iris made a lot a questionable decision at the end, and it kind of killed things for me. Just when I thought she’d come out of her situation stronger, she did something so ridiculous I can’t even think about it without getting angry. I wanted to love this book the way everyone else seems to, but honestly, I didn’t understand a lot of the decisions Iris made, so I didn’t connect with her the way I should have.

View Spoiler »

Still, I can’t deny this was an emotional, gripping read. I was fully invested in Iris and August finding their happily ever after.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Hoops

three-half-stars


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Review: Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted August 8, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Motorcycle Man by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #4
Also in this series: Mystery Man, Wild Man, Law Man
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 489
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Get ready to ride . . .


Tyra Masters has had enough drama to last a lifetime. Now, she's back on track and looking forward to her new, quiet life. Until she meets the man of her dreams. The tattooed, muscled biker plies her with tequila-and the best sex of her life. She knows it isn't the tequila and hot sex talking. He's the kind of man she's always wanted. Unfortunately, he's also her new boss . . .

Kane "Tack" Allen has a rule. He doesn't employ someone he's slept with. So when he learns he spent last night in bed with his new office manager, he quickly fires Tyra. Yet when Tyra stands up to him and fights for her job, Tack is intrigued. He tells her she can keep her job on one condition: no more sex. Ever. But as things heat up between them, Tack finds that he'll be the one breaking all the rules...

136,000 words

His hand left my skin to smack my ass lightly before he said, “Time to get to your own bed, darlin’.” I blinked but the rest of my body froze. He moved. He exited the bed, grabbed his jeans and yanked them on. Then he sauntered to a door off the room, not even so much as glancing back as he said, “Leave your number and close the door on your way out, would you, Red?” Then he disappeared behind the door and shut it behind him.

Thus ends the first meeting between Tyra Masters and Kane “Tack” Allen. While Tyra fell in love with Tack at first sight, girls like Tyra are a dime a dozen to Tack. What Tack doesn’t know is that Tyra is the new office manager of Chaos’ body shop, Ride. If there is one rule that Tack follows, it’s not to get involved with his employees. When he comes face-to-face with Tyra the morning after their tryst, he assumes that she’s there to cling to him. What he doesn’t expect is the fiery attitude that Tyra gives him. When he tries to fire her (I mean he still wants to fuck her when the mood strikes), he surprised by her reaction. This is nothing like the woman who fell all over him the night before.

Tyra Masters fell in love with Tack the moment she saw him.. Then he crushed her. She never meant to sleep with her new boss, but she thought he was the one for her. When he sees her at the body shop the next day, she knows that she has to stand up to him. And stand up she does. Tyra is not going to let Tack make her feel cheap like the night before. Or less than she truly is. Unexpectedly, Tack pushes and pushes Tyra until she can’t help but start an affair with him.

I didn’t like Tack at the beginning of this book, tbh. He was not very likable (see above). He was a complete ass and he treated Tyra like shit. Tack does redeem himself, imo. He realizes he was wrong about Tyra and sets out to win her. When she’s caught up and badly hurt in the fight Chaos is in, Tack realizes that she’s the one for him. He can’t imagine losing her. How he came to realize this was actually pretty sweet. Then chaos ensues à la Kristen Ashley. It was great.

This is the book where Tabby and Shy were introduced as were most of the characters that move on to have books in the Chaos MC series. I highly enjoyed this book. I loved finally reading Tack and Tyra’s story. I didn’t expect to like it that much, so it was more than a pleasant surprise that I loved it so much.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Dream Man

four-half-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Posted July 24, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hot Asset by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Hot Asset by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook
Series: 21 Wall Street #1
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hard Sell
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 266
Length: 7 hours and 39 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street’s hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Hot Asset is one of the books Rowena chose for me for our Summer Reading Challenge. For that reason alone I wanted to love this book. Truly. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Ian Bradley is a stockbroker on Wall Street. He works hard and plays hard. After being in multiple foster homes as a child, all Ian wants for himself is stability of the financial nature. He never had that growing up and he was determined that he would never go back. The shit hits the fan when the SEC gets a tip from an anonymous source saying that Ian has been involved in insider trading. Suddenly the life he’s worked so hard to cultivate and maintain is at risk. Ian knows he’s innocent, he just has to convince the SEC. Easy, right?

Lara McKenzie’s dream has always been to be a FBI agent like both her parents. She wants to work in the white collar crime division and she’s certain that working for the SEC will get her where she needs to go. She only needs a shining recommendation from her current boss. When she’s put on the Bradley case, Lara is sure that this is the case. Her golden ticket. Her way into the FBI. Then she meets Ian and realizes that it’s not going to be easy to prove that he had anything to do with insider trading.

Lara was almost a heroine that I could dislike. She took one look at Ian and decided he was guilty. End of story. She didn’t care what she had to do to prove it. Some of it was because she wanted to get into the FBI. The rest was that she wanted to teach him a lesson. Prove to him that he can’t get away with breaking the law. Ian was nothing but cooperative with her and she continued her investigation. My feelings for her did eventually change when she started investigating to help him. She also admitted to herself that she had become so jaded that she stopped thinking that the people she was sent into investigate could be innocent.

Ian and Lara’s romance was okay. Nothing great, but not horrible either. They were both instantly attracted to each other. Lara was determined not to let it interfere with her job while Ian was going to make it interfere. Ian is bewildered by his feelings for Lara. He’s never had a woman distract him before and Lara distracts him in more ways than one. I think Ian’s thoughts on being in a relationship with Lara were what made the book so good.

Lara really did get better in the end, but I was already invested in Ian so shrug.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

three-half-stars


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