Tag: Contemporary

Guest Review: If I Didn’t Know Better by Barbara Freethy

Posted April 20, 2017 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: If I Didn’t Know Better by Barbara FreethyReviewer: Tina
If I Didn't Know Better by Barbara Freethy
Series: Callaways #9
Published by Fog City Publishing LLC
Publication Date: August 26th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 323
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four-stars

The New York Times bestselling family series The Callaways continues with the first book in the Callaway Cousins Series, IF I DIDN’T KNOW BETTER, another heartwarming and page-turning romance by #1 NYT Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy.

Mia Callaway thought she had the perfect guy and the perfect job…until she didn’t. After a run of bad luck, Mia is looking for an escape, so she agrees to go to Angel’s Bay to clean out her aunt’s house. She has no idea that the wounded soldier next door and his adorable, but also wounded, daughter are about to change her definition of perfect. Add in stolen art, a family secret, and a town where miracles can happen, and Mia’s escape turns out to be the greatest adventure of her life.

Although I have read a couple of books by Barbara Freethy in the past, I don’t recall that any of them were part of The Callaways Series. To be completely honest, I usually don’t try to invest in series books as I find that I tend to get bored after awhile. But, of all the series books that HAVE captured my attention, I have read every single one in the series because they are just that good. After reading If I Didn’t Know Better, I feel like I need to start at the beginning and get to know the Callaways better!

I immediately found myself falling in love with Angel’s Bay. Barbara made this town so welcoming and real, and then filled it full of interesting and engaging people that I could only wish I had in my own town. There is nothing better than finding a story that is set in a charming locale and reading about characters that you wish could be your friends. These are the elements that make me want to tackle an entire series.

If I Didn’t Know Better, from my understanding, is the 9th book in The Callaways Series, and the 1st book of The Callaway Cousins. The book was a quick and enjoyable read that flowed seamlessly and had a good storyline that kept me interested.

I would like to thank The Barbara Freethy Review team and Melissa S. for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading light-hearted romances with likeable and realistic characters. My TBR stack is already increasing with many of Barbara’s books as I look forward to learning more about the Callaways!

I really enjoyed this sweet romance. I give this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

four-stars

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Guest Review: Twist by Kylie Scott

Posted April 19, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Twist by Kylie ScottReviewer: Tracy
Twist by Kylie Scott
Series: Dive Bar #2
Also in this series: Dirty, Dirty
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
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four-stars

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he's been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they're emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets... apart from the one that really matters.

And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.

Alex Parks works from home in Seattle.  She signed up on an online dating site and has been emailing back and forth with a super-hot guy named Eric.  She’s knows it’s his birthday and that he’ll have a get-together with friends and family at Dive Bar, where he is part owner.  Alex hadn’t heard from Eric for a few weeks so decides to fly to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to surprise him.  Eric’s incredibly surprised when she arrives because he has absolutely no idea who she is.  It turns out that Alex had been getting catfished by Eric’s brother, Joe.

Joe had helped Eric sign up for the dating site but Eric quickly lost interest.  Joe planned on shutting Eric’s account down but when he saw a message from Alex he answered her…as Eric.  Six months had gone by and Joe still hadn’t come clean about the fact that he wasn’t who he said he was.  When he sees Alex he’s more than freaked out that she’s in Dive Bar but truly wants to talk to he and get to know her.  She’s mad at both Joe for being an idiot and herself for falling for someone online.  Joe is persistent and doesn’t give up trying with Alex.  Eventually Alex decides to hear him out but instead of heading home to Seattle after their talk, she gets the flu.  She’s miserable but Joe is there to help her.  As the two get to know each other they become friends for real and then so much more.

This was a great book.  I really loved both Alex and Joe and together they made me laugh, a lot.  They worked together so well and played off each other’s strengths.  Alex was a snarky woman and I loved that.  The fact that Joe could not only keep up but give it back to her made me like them even more.

The friends to lovers aspect of the book was done well, I thought, especially in light of Joe’s catfishing.  Once they became lovers I thought nothing could break them apart but of course the author proved me wrong.  Fortunately they got their HEA and I was quite pleased with the outcome of the book.

If you haven’t read either Dirty or Twist, you really need to as they’re darned good books.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Oh, and this cover? Yum. 🙂

four-stars

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Review: The Thing about Love by Julie James

Posted April 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Thing about Love by Julie JamesReviewer: Rowena
The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
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four-stars

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

Julie James has been a favorite of mine since she was a newbie romance novelist with the release of her very first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive. Every year she has written a book that I absolutely loved and all these years later, she’s still writing books that I enjoy. As a reader, that makes me a happy camper because who doesn’t love enjoying book after book from their favorite authors?

Anyway, The Thing about Love is another fabulous addition to James’ backlist and it follows a couple of new to us FBI special agents who work for, wait for it….Nick McCall who is not a new to us character. 🙂 So while this book doesn’t follow our normal FBI Squad, we do see a bunch of them around and my inner FBI/US Attorney’s fangirl squeed with joy.

So the story starts out with John Shepherd walking in on some bad news at home so he throws himself into work. The best way to get over betrayal is is to drown yourself in work, right? Well, that’s what John does and he also decides that maybe a change would be good for him. He accepts the offer to join a huge task force in Virginia but he’s got one last undercover job that he has to do before he leaves and that job’s got him partnered up with a woman he went to FBI school with at Quantico. The girl that he had a huge crush on but didn’t return so instead of spending some happy time with each other, they spent the entire time trying to one up each other and that relationship follows them to their new undercover gig all these years later.

Jessica Harlow isn’t a fan of being partnered up with John Shepherd on this job but she’s a professional and she can handle him. She remembers John as being the douche canoe from class that was heaps better than everyone at everything and lorded his superior skills around, especially toward her. Especially when she was shooting guns and lagging behind everyone else in all of the physical aspects of the FBI. All these years later, she’s great at every part of being an FBI special agent and he can choke on all of his “encouragement”.

The chemistry between these two from the very beginning was sizzling. I ate every scene up and even when I wanted to pull Jess’ hair (because let’s face it, she’d beat my ass so that’s the extent of what I thought about doing to Jessica Harlow), I loved reading this book. It was fun and the romance was hot so I was entertained which makes the book a winner for me. It took me no time at all to dig into this book and I was invested in both John and Jess from the very beginning. There were times when a lot of the FBI jargon went over my head but mostly, it was just entertaining. I liked it a lot.

I definitely recommend this book if you enjoyed the other books by Julie James. It’s fun, it’s fresh and there’s lots of eye candy (old and new) so what’s not to love?

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Shade’s Lady by Joanna Wylde

Posted April 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Shade’s Lady by Joanna WyldeReviewer: Tracy
Shade's Lady (Reapers MC, #6.5) by Joanna Wylde
Series: Reapers MC #6.5
Also in this series: Devil's Game, Reaper's Stand, Reaper's Fall, Reaper's Fire

Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

Looking back, none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t dropped my phone in the toilet. I mean, I could’ve walked away from him if I’d had it with me.

Or maybe not.

Maybe it was all over the first time he saw me, and he would’ve found another way. Probably—if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Shade always gets what he wants, and apparently he wanted me.

Right from the first.

Mandy is a waitress in a bar that the Reapers MC hang out in when they’re in town. On one night they’re holding a meeting in the back room and Mandy is their waitress. She feels the National President of the Reapers eyes on her but ignores it. Shade’s made it perfectly clear that he wants her but she’s not interested. Her soon to be ex-husband turned up a bad boy and that had her ending up in jail and now on probation.

At the end of the night Mandy’s current boyfiend, who’s a total douche, states that he’s purchased Shade’s bike that he has for sale. He states that Mandy needs to ride on the back of Shade’s bike and he’ll follow in the truck as he doesn’t have room. She agrees but when she gets there finds out that her boyfriend had offered her up as a whore for Shade to pay for part of the bike. Mandy is pissed and wants to leave but has no way home and no way to call anyone. She thinks Shade is a dick but ends up spending the night talking to him anyway and finds he’s a pretty decent guy. She gets to know more about the club as well and ends up seeing them for more of the family they are than just a bunch of thugs.

Mandy lives with her sister while she’s on probation and helps take care of her nieces. Their father is a deadbeat and a drug dealer and Mandy will do anything to keep him away from her family. Unfortunately he doesn’t stay away for long and then the shit really hits the fan.

Mandy just wants her family to be safe and strangely enough it’s Shade that ends up helping her. Despite trying not to she ends up falling in love with Shade but where will the relationship go when he’s not even in town for long?

This was a great little novella. I love the way that Wylde writes the guys from the Reapers and makes them real. Yes, they’re one pecenters but she writes them so you actually want to get to know them.

In this story I really loved Mandy. The girl had had it rough but still carried on. She did what needed to get done and didn’t complain about it. She had a running conversation with Wonder Woman going on in her head that I found hilarious. Seriously. she even had an argument with Shade at one point about how Wonder Woman could take Batman. Too funny.

Shade was a good guy. Sure, he had his issues but he took care of his family and even though he tried to fight it, that included Mandy as well. He did a lot for her and I loved him for it.

Shade’s Lady ended up being a really great novella and one I’d recommend even if you haven’t read any of the other Reapers books.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells

Posted April 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa WellsReviewer: Tracy
The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells
Series: Off-the-Wall Proposal #2
Published by Entangled Publishing, Lovestruck
Publication Date: April 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars

The Proposal: Adeline Rigby will live with Accountant Jack Foster and pretend to be his fake fiancée for one month in order for him to seal a promotion to partner. In return, Accountant Jack Foster will intimately tutor Adeline Rigby in French before she leaves for Paris where she will fulfill her dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu.

The Terms:

1. Maintain distance. Three get-to-know-you dates before announcing their engagement will be tempting enough.

2. No kissing. Okay, fine. Three kisses. Maybe four. And neck kisses don’t count.

3. No touchy feely stuff. Or at least not too many public displays of touchy-feely stuff.

4. No sex.

5. All right, all right. One night of sex in order to be a believable engaged couple.

6. Two nights of mind-blowing sex to make sure first night wasn’t a fluke.

7. Absolutely, positively, no falling in love.

Adeline’s best friend introduces her to her brother, Jack.  Adeline falls and hits her head and has a mild concussion so Jack stays with her to make sure things are all good.  While they’re together they talk and Adeline finds out that Jack is up for a promotion. Jack says he probably won’t get it as his boss is really old-fashioned and believes that any partner needs to be married.  Jack is single so that counts him out.  Jack really wants that promotion as he’s a hard worker so he ends up asking Adeline to be his fake fiancé.  When her landlord decides to sell her condo she moves in with Jack and it’s the perfect time to try and sell their fake engagement to his boss and co-workers.

Adeline has agreed to be the fake fiancé but has no desire to go any further with it…at first. She immediately takes sex off of the table but is soon changing her tune.  Jack was left at the altar at one point in his life and has no desire to ever get married.  That’s until he gets to know Adeline better and ends up falling in love with her.  Soon Jack is saying things that are supposed to be fake but are he really means them.  Adeline thinks that Jack is incredibly hot but she has plans for her future and none of those include a man.

This book was part fun and funny and part heart-breaking.  The fun and funny part were when Jack and Adeline were together.  I loved that they could laugh at each other and have a good time.  Adeline was a bit of a stick in the mud but she was so fearful of getting off of her life track that she couldn’t bend.  The heart-breaking part was Adeline’s life.  She had been put into foster care at the age of 5 and had had 6 foster families until finally the 7th family stuck.  She loved her foster mother, Dottie, but Dottie not only had Alzheimers but breast cancer and was dying.  The cancer treatments were making her Alzheimers worse and she seemed to be stuck in one memory and unfortunately that memory of Adelilne was not a good one.  Adeline would go to Dottie’s house every Saturday night but Dottie wouldn’t let her in or even be nice to her.  In the end things were worked out between them but it was very sad and I definitely cried when Dottie was dying.

Overall I thought the book was a good one and will most likely pick up another Lisa Wells book in the future.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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