Tag: Contemporary

Movie Review: Hollywood Dirt

Posted October 20, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Starring: Emma Rigby, Johann Urb, Marco Dapper, Mindy Cohn, Feraz Ozel
Director: Tosca Musk
Release Date: September 20, 2017
Category: Romance

Hollywood arrives en force to Quincy, the small town where the secret Crown Cola billionaires live. They want to film about the billionaires and how they made their fortunes.. Summer Jenkins, who was the town pariah, joins forces with the scout, Ben, and finds filming locations, extras, liasons with the town officials and house owners, etc. When Cole Masten arrives, they hate each other, but sparks fly. Cole is running from a nasty divorce, yet is captivated by Summer. Summer is dying to leave town to get away from the gossip. This is a great story about Southern customs, a Southern girl, and a Hollywood star who finds his lady.

When we first found out that Passionflix was becoming a thing and that they were turning our favorite romance novels into movies, Holly and I became founding members. We paid our $100 for a 2 year membership because we’re nosy and wanted to know everything there was to know about what the plan was and we wanted the exclusive behind the scenes scoops. I was pretty excited before I found out that the first movie they were working on was a book that I actually read not too long ago. It was also a book that I enjoyed so woo hoo for me.

I followed along with Alessandra Torre on Instagram as she posted about their progression on the set and I was thrilled with the casting for both Cole and Summer even though I hadn’t a clue who they were.

When September 20th hit, it took me a couple of days before I could muster enough courage to watch the movie. Even though I had high hopes, a little part of me was expecting another Rose Hill and you guys….Hollywood Dirt is no Rose Hill. It’s way better. You can read my thoughts on the book here.

So this movie is about Cole Masters. The A-list actor who finds his wife cheating on him. To get through the hurt and divorce proceedings, Cole throws himself into the movie that is supposed to be all his but of course, his wife wants in on that action too. Cole heads to Quincy to get as far away from L.A. as he can and there he meets the girl who will become his female lead and the girl that will claw her way into Cole’s heart…the heart that Cole has no plans of ever feeling again.

Summer Jenkins has no plans of falling in love again after the last time. She lives in a town where she doesn’t have any friends and where she’s whispered about everywhere she goes. When Ben comes into town to scout possible film locations for Cole’s film, Summer becomes Ben’s hometown helper and they become friends and before Summer knows what’s what, her southern charm has wormed its way to Cole Masters and he approaches her about starring alongside him in the film.

Cole and Summer are like oil and water at first. They do not get along. Cole is an entitled dickhead to Summer and Summer is having none of it. Seeing them fall in love on the screen of my iPhone 7 was fun though I wish I could have watched the movie on my TV via my Amazon Fire Stick or even just on my smart TV. I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll get that soon but anyway, back to the movie review.

Watching the movie was like reading the book. Everything that I remember from the book happened in the movie. So that part of the whole books to movie bit was pretty spot on, for me. I thought the tone of the movie was the same as the tone from the book so I was a happy camper where that was concerned.

The acting on this movie was good. There were some characters where I thought the delivery of their lines were a bit cheesy (Ben is one, off the top of my head) but for the most part, I enjoyed every one.

The guy that played Cole looked the part but his American accent wasn’t completely believable. I could tell straight off that he worked to sound like an American. It was in the way that he delivered some of his lines. It was, I don’t know, too slow? I’m from California and we talk really fast and Cole…didn’t. A lot of lines from the book were delivered at a much faster pace in my head while I was reading it then when Cole was saying them in the movie. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy what he brought to Cole’s character on the small screen.

Then there was Summer. The girl that played Summer was gorgeous. She totally pulled off Summer’s look with ease. She looked like a Southern belle but holy cow, she sounded like she was on the verge of orgasm every time she opened her mouth to deliver a line. About halfway through the movie, I was like, dude, knock it off! Haha. Aside from that, I really had no gripes about her portrayal of Summer Jenkins. She did good.

This movie was reminiscent of a Hallmark movie with bad words and sex scenes. That completely worked for me because I love Hallmark movies, bad words and sex scenes. I can really get behind watching more of these as Passionflix releases them.

I’m glad that I read the book and watched the movie. It was a great effort for a first movie though I did notice that they spelled Alessandra Torre’s name wrong in the movie. It’s spelled with two L’s instead of the 1 L that’s on all of her books. It’s not a big deal, I guess but if I wrote a book and it was turned into a movie, I would be annoyed that my name is wrong.

So I’ve got one movie down and am anxiously waiting for the release of the next one. Keep up the good work, Passionflix.

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Guest Review: Say No More by Liliana Hart

Posted October 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Say No More by Liliana HartReviewer: Tracy
Say No More by Liliana Hart
Series: Gravediggers Series #3
Also in this series: Gone to Dust
Published by Pocket Books
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

Sometimes the dead do rise...

Dante Malcolm is a man of refined tastes. He was once a part of Britain's Elite Intelligence Force, but there was a reason he'd never been able to capture Simon Locke, the notorious thief who always seemed to be one step ahead. That's because Dante and Simon were one and the same, until Dante's double life eventually caught up with him and now he belongs to the Gravediggers.

Liv Rothschild is a Detective Inspector with Interpol and is the one responsible for catching MI-6's most notorious agent in his final heist--except the heist killed him. But something has never felt right about his death, and it's haunted her for months. It was too easy, and Dante Malcolm was too smart to go down that way.

Dante might belong to the Gravediggers in body, but his heart and soul will always belong to the next job. The rest of the team doesn't know about his alter ego because he made sure the information went missing from his file. So when the job he's always waited for seems like a possibility, he sneaks out of the country like a thief in the night, only to run into the only woman who's ever been able to match him in wit--and passion--for the job. Except they're standing on opposite sides of the law--and only one of them can walk away with the prize.

Dante was born as Lord Dante Malcolm but when he was recruited into MI6 he was thrilled.  When he had the chance to become an international thief he took that position as well.  He did this with a clear conscience as he would only take things that had already been stolen from someone else.  He’d just take something else for himself while he was doing the job.  Strange, I know. He was then recruited into the Gravediggers and for all intents and purposes he was dead.

Dante hasn’t been thrilled in his time with the Gravediggers.  He is loyal to the other members and would die for them but their boss, Eve Winters, constantly has him doing side jobs that the other members don’t know about.  This story has him going after Russian nuclear missile launch codes in Dubai.  When he gets there he doesn’t expect to run into the woman he was in a relationship with at the time of his death.

Liv works for Interpol, or she did until recently.  She was working with Dante trying to catch the international thief, Simon Locke, and she had no idea that Dante was Simon.  When he died she was devastated by not only his death but the betrayal she felt at finding out that he’d lied to her about Simon Locke.  Liv is in Dubai looking for 10 girls who are in the middle of a sex trafficking ring.  She quit her job at Interpol when they wouldn’t give her authorization to go after the girls.  The last thing she expects is to see her dead ex-boyfriend breaking into the vault that she’s trying to break into.

To say that Liv is mad at Dante’s deception is a bit of an understatement.  To say that when Dante’s fellow Gravediggers are enraged and feeling betrayed when they find out the truth about Dante and his side work for Eve is putting it mildly.  Everyone was pissed at Dante but when the heads cooled they knew they had to work together to get not only the launch codes into the right hands, but also save the 10 little girls.

Another good book in the Gravediggers series.  I liked both Dante and Liv in this story even though Dante was a bit of an ass at times.  He was still charming and good-hearted and I couldn’t help but like him.

Liv had personal reasons for getting into the fight against sex-trafficking.  Her twin sister had been kidnapped when they were six and had never been found.  Liv had lived her life trying to find Elizabeth with no luck.  She wanted to save as many little girls as she possibly could.  She was a good person and frankly at times I thought she was a bit too good for Dante when he was acting the ass, but they ended up fitting nicely.  The romance in this book definitely took a back seat to the launch codes and sex trafficking issues but that was as it should be. This was who Liv and Dante were and how they lived their lives so it was nice to see the relationship grown within the job.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Going Up! by Safyre Starr

Posted October 13, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Going Up! by Safyre StarrReviewer: Tracy
Going Up! by Safyre Starr
Published by Purple Prose Press
Publication Date: June 15th 2017
Genres: Erotica
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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two-stars

All Rachel wants to do is get to work on time. And coffee. She wants coffee. All Jamie wants to do is get out of this moving box quickly before his claustrophobia kicks in. Unfortunately for both of them, a stopped elevator traps them between floors in their office building. Will Rachel survive without caffeine? Will Jamie keep it together? Or will their enforced togetherness lead to a sensual encounter that neither of them expected?

Jamie and Rachel get stuck in an elevator together after an earthquake and that’s not good for either of them.  Rachel is a bear without her coffee (which she hasn’t had yet) and Jamie is claustrophobic.  If the building wasn’t so tall he’d have taken the stairs.

Rachel knows that James is the son of the founder of the law firm she works at and had recently been brought in as a full partner. He had worked at J.A.G. and though had never seen any combat he had still had a harrowing experience having to do with a bomber and had PTSD.  Rachel tries to soothe him in the elevator as much as possible and soon that comfort turns into the two are having an incredibly erotic experience together.

After they get out they talk and decide that they need closure because things were left unfinished. They decide to meet at a hotel to finish what they started. What this means for the future of their relationship – if there even is one – neither one knows.

This was a short, simple erotic story of lust in an elevator.  There wasn’t a whole lot of depth to it or the characters and I didn’t actually find it that erotic.  Once James and Rachel were in the hotel “finishing up” I found things awkward and stilted.  The story ended with them deciding to try to work things out but that was unsatisfying for me.  I guess it was good they didn’t fall instantly in love but I would have liked to have a least a little bit of romance involved.

The story was ok but not one I would recommend.

Rating: 2 out of 5

two-stars


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Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.

Posted October 11, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.Reviewer: Rowena
A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #2
Published by Pocket Star
Publication Date: April 1st 2006
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 356
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Acclaimed author Kresley Cole introduces a sizzling new series with this tale of a fierce werewolf and a bewitching vampire—unlikely soul mates whose passion will test the boundaries of life and death.

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents—until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on June 4, 2007.

So I took a break from the Crazy series because I left the next book at home and I had this one with me so I started reading it and man, I’ve got to publicly thank Lori for pimping this book to me a couple of weeks ago, because man did I devour this book on Saturday. This is the first book in the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole.

The book is about the Lykae King who was captured and held captive by these mean bad ass vampires and tortured like you can’t even imagine and his never-ending quest to find his true mate. He’s searched high and low for this woman for the last roughly like 1100 years, to no avail until one day, he’s in chains and he scents her, above him and the guy goes a little crazy. He breaks his chains and rushes to find her, only to find out that his mate, his beloved mate is one of the things he detests most in this world…a vampire.

So you can only imagine how pissed off he was. I mean, he’s caught and held captive and then tortured within an inch of his life and then the one thing that gets him out of this mess, his mate turns out to be one of …them.

It’s been hundreds of years that he’s searched for her and he’s not going to let one little thing like her being a vampire stand in the way of him and his mate. Although he’s pissed to high heaven about this turn of events, he still kidnaps Emma and forces her to his will. He’s consumed with hatred for vampires and everything they’ve done to him and his family. He vows to never let her go back to her family and even though he hates everything she turned out to be, timid, shy and well, vampire …he still catches himself before actually hurting her because, there’s something about her…

He askes her to drive him to his family home, where he can finally get back to his own people and on the way, he softens toward her like it was no thang, by the time they’re home, she becomes so much more than just his mate. So now, he’s got to convince her to stay with him because she loves him and not because she’s too scared to leave. He’s got to convince her to stay before her Aunts come calling on them for a war, since he refuses to give her up.

Tempers flair and people change, but will it be enough for this Lykae King to finally be at peace with the mate he’s searched his whole life for?

You bet your bottom dollar it is, this is romance of course. =)

Man, this book was really good. I liked the passion with which Lachlain did everything. He never did anything by half measure, if he hated your guts, he hated you with everything that he was and made no move to hide his displeasure or hatred. If he loved you, he did all he could to keep you around and went to any lengths to make you see things his way. He was very demanding at the same time he was very patient. He was a man of his word and he was not to be taken lightly…ever. Lachlain was passionate and just so hot damn hot even with his regenerating leg, he was yum yum yum…even when he was being an ass. He did a lot of stupid things that I hated in the beginning but as he got to know Emma and care for her, I started to forgive him for all his wrongdoings in the beginning of the book.

Emma learned that Lachlain was a man who wasn’t above lying, cheating and using whatever was at his disposal to get what he wants and though she softened toward him at the end, he still had a lot to prove to her and I was so happy that she grew a pair to finally tell him where to shove his crap. I loved that each time she drank from him, she got so strong and she would smack the shit out of him and be all like, “Thats for pissing me off” and whatever else she would say, I loved it!

I loved how she stood up for herself and did the one thing that would unite her with the people she knows and loves. I loved that she took it upon herself to do that thing and it endeared her to me greatly.

The world that Kresley Cole created with all these demons and vampires, Lykae and Valkyrie intrigued me right from the very beginning, I couldn’t help but be pulled into the world with each word that I read in the beginning, I felt Lachlain’s hatred and I felt his haunted past trying to ruin everything he had with Emma and I love love loved how he fought to keep Emma by his side, regardless of who and what she was.

It was a true romance in every sense of the word and I just ate it all up. There were things in the beginning that I didn’t really care for but other than the way Lachlain and Emma meet and the way he treated her in the beginning, I really enjoyed this story. It was smooth reading and Kresley Cole’s voice in this story makes me look forward to more from her, this was a definite delight!

Read it!

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Guest Review: The Jingle Bell Bride by Scarlet Wilson

Posted October 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: The Jingle Bell Bride by Scarlet WilsonReviewer: Tracy
The Jingle Bell Bride by Scarlet Wilson
Series: Christmas Brides #2
Published by Tule Publishing
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

New York wedding planner Jessica Christie always goes above and beyond for her clients. So, stopping in Alaska to pick up the famed Jingle Bell flower for her famous client's bouquet doesn't seem too outrageous–until she ends up stranded there.

Matt Holden has spent the last five years since his fiancée died, living in a virtual bubble in Alaska. His research work as a botanist and assistant at the local reindeer farm keep him busy during the holidays.

But when Jessica Christie bursts into his life, all bets are off. Her stay is definitely temporary, but the feelings she ignites aren't. Could Ms. Oh-So-Wrong actually be Mrs. Right?

Jessica is a New York wedding planner and does a lot of celebrity weddings.  She has an amazing attention to detail and likes what she does.  She doesn’t absolutely love it though, and her true dream is to open a bookstore, maybe multiple bookstores, that are focused on literacy for both children and adults.  She’s never told anyone about her dream and she’s not sure it will ever come true.

Jessica is currently working for an incredibly demanding pop star, Renee, and will head over to England right before Christmas to make sure that the wedding goes off without a hitch.  Six days before the wedding Jessica is set to leave for the UK when Renee calls and says that she’s heard that there is a flower called the Jingle Bell Flower and she wants it in her wedding bouquet. (Insert whining and foot stomping.) Jessica doesn’t have a problem with that news until Renee tells her that the flower is only available in Alaska and that Jessica must go personally get it.  What????

Being the great wedding planner she is, Jessica heads to Corona Creek, Alaska to get the flower.  Unfortunately for her she flies in right before a snow storm hits and she has no way of flying back out.  The botanist who is to give her the flower reluctantly lets her stay at his house until she can leave.

Matt has been in Alaska for three years…hiding.  He was engaged and his fiancé died.  The place he was living in Montana had too many memories so he took a job in Alaska and has been hiding from his previous life and feelings ever since.  When Jessica arrives he has no plans to break the ice around his heart but she ends up getting to him in ways he didn’t think possible.  He soon finds himself in love but how can he make it work when he’s in Alaska and she’s from New York?

The Jingle Bell Bride was a cute story.  Jessica was a great character and I liked her devotion to her clients.  She was a strong woman for the most part and that played well with Matt and his equally strong personality.

Matt could have easily been dismissed as meek in the story because of his emotionally charged state of mind due to the death of his fiancé.  Despite that he didn’t let the past dictate his future and when he found himself in love with Jessica he went for it.  I loved that!  Good for him.  He did do something a bit sneaky that I didn’t agree with and of course Jessica hated. It was done from a place of love, however, and I hated that Jessica blew it out of proportion.  Despite that the two got their HEA and I had a smile on my face by the end of the book.

Oh, and this book is clean.  When I say clean I mean that they only kissed and that’s it.  They didn’t ever even kiss in a bedroom.  No clothing came off but fit the story and timeline so it was all good.

This is a cute, sweet romance that was a fun holiday read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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