Tag: Contemporary

Guest Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

Posted June 22, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca ZanettiReviewer: Jen
Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Blood Brothers #2
Also in this series: Deadly Silence, Deadly Silence, Lethal Lies
Published by Hachette Books, Forever
Publication Date: May 16th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 416
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three-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti brings us the second book in a thrilling romantic suspense series.

A deadly secret can't stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

With twists and turns that will take your breath away, LETHAL LIES is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

In this next Blood Brothers book, we meet Anya Best, who’s out for revenge against her sister’s killer. She decides to use herself as bait to catch the killer, but unfortunately she entangles Heath Jones in her plot. Heath is a PI already investigating the killer so he’s game, plus he’s majorly drawn to Anya, but the ploy puts Heath and his brothers at risk. Can they stop the killer and get justice for Anya’s sister before the other people after the Jones brothers catch up?

I love Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series (loooooove it), and I was pretty into the first Blood Brothers book, but I felt like Lethal Lies was a bit less exciting for me. I enjoyed it and had a good time while reading it, but it didn’t really stick with me.

Anya in particular got on my nerves. She concocts a half-assed plan to catch her sister’s killer, but she never thinks through the ramifications, and doesn’t really have any serious plan for how she will stop this horrific killer that even her FBI-trained sister couldn’t handle. She doesn’t know anything about self-defense or catching a criminal. I just…couldn’t get behind her. Even worse, she barely knows Heath but involves him in her dangerous public plot. I get that she didn’t fully understand the risk she put Heath and his brothers in. She didn’t know their history and couldn’t know how her throwaway comment naming him in the press could literally kill him and his brothers. Fair enough! But she never really deals with that fact, even once she does know the truth. It felt glossed over but never explored. Her selfish need for “justice” could have killed them all! I definitely wanted some remorse or at least clear understanding from her, but we never got that, and Heath never holds her accountable either. I didn’t like it.

I did like Heath and Anya together, though. Heath is so damaged, so unhappy. All the Jones Brothers (and all the Gray Brothers, for that matter), feel such love and responsibility for their family that it just melts your heart. Even though Heath thinks he’s a lone wolf, Anya shows him what it means to truly be alone, and I liked his own newfound appreciation for his family after he is reminded of all the support he does have. He is also a great support for Anya, and he backs her up no matter what. Their relationship was super steamy, too, and the sexual tension was great.

I loved seeing the Gray Brothers a bit, though I admittedly didn’t understand why they didn’t jump in all the way when the Jones Brothers were clearly in a pickle. Still, I always enjoy being in this world, and I look forward to more installments from Zanetti.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

Guest Review: Sworn to Protect by Diana Gardin

Posted June 22, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Sworn to Protect by Diana GardinReviewer: Tracy
Sworn to Protect by Diana Gardin
Series: Rescue Ops #1
Published by Forever Yours
Publication Date: June 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

To keep her safe, he'll have to uncover all her secrets...

Rayne Alexander. A face I never thought I'd see again, and one I never could forget. Nine years ago, she left town-and me--without a backward glance. But now she's back, with a haunted look in her eyes and a feisty attitude that didn't exist when we were teenagers. Seeing this grown-up--and sexy--Rayne is something I wasn't prepared for... and it's bringing up feelings I'd thought I'd buried years ago.

Although I want to demand answers from Rayne, working on black ops at Night Eagle Security has taught me that it's sometimes better to keep my mouth shut. So when I catch her hiding a photo of a little boy, I'm curious. When I see her jump as her phone rings, I'm concerned. But the second I notice a car following her home, I know she's hiding something. Something dangerous. And while I may not know why she left or why she's back, if there's someone out there Rayne is afraid of, I'll make damn sure that threat is eliminated.

Rayne was working late at her job in Phoenix, AZ one night when she came across some info on her boss’s desk that she shouldn’t have. The kind of information that could ruin him and put him in prison. He doesn’t catch up with her as she runs from the building but she knows that she needs to get the hell out of Dodge.  She takes her eight-year-old son, Decker, and runs back to her hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.  When she had first moved to Phoenix she had changed her name so she figures going back to her old name will hide her sufficiently. Not the case.

Rayne moves into her sister’s house as her sister is out of town and gets a job at Night Eagle Security.  She never planned on seeing her high school boyfriend, Jeremy Teague, ever again but the minute he walks into NES – cuz he works there – all of the old feelings start to come back.  Rayne had gotten pregnant by Jeremy when she was a teen and then was cast aside by Jeremy, his grandparents who raised him and then her own parents.  She knows she shouldn’t have any feelings toward Jeremy except disdain but that’s not what happens.  When Jeremy finds out that Decker is his (because he never knew she was pregnant) he’s so excited and wants nothing more than to be with Rayne and Decker and make them a family.

Rayne’s old boss, however, wants her captured and brought to him so that he can take care of her the way he wants.  Jeremy will do anything to keep Rayne and Decker safe but will he be able to in the end?

Sworn to Protect is a good little second chance at love romance/suspense story.  It had a lot of ins and outs and things going on.

Rayne is back in her hometown.  She loved Jeremy when she was younger but his grandparents told her that he wanted nothing to do with the baby when in fact they never told him she was pregnant.  Then her parents took to a clinic to get the baby aborted and she ran.  She’d been living the last 9 years thinking that Jeremy betrayed their love but that wasn’t the case at all.  Once Rayne and Jeremy are together again things fall into place and all is good.  Except for her old boss that’s threatening her.  I was a little confused about the boss, quite frankly.  He was at first after her because of the things she knew about him but then it turned to the fact that he didn’t want her dead he wanted to keep her and tame her sexually – ew.  It was more than a little creepy, to say the least and kind of a weird, expected twist.  Then Jeremy’s grandfather got involved and it was a bit too much.

Of course NES gets involved as that’s what they do but it all seemed a little too easy.  IDK, there was just some aspect of the story that was missing that made this a good book, but not great.  The elements were there but there was something in the execution that was lacking, imho.  The characters were good, the story was a decent one but I definitely didn’t end the book thinking, “Wow, that was really good!”

So in the end a decent read but it wasn’t something that grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

Review: Revenge by Lexi Blake

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

Review: Revenge by Lexi BlakeReviewer: Rowena
Revenge by Lexi Blake
Series: Lawless Series #3
Also in this series: Ruthless, Satisfaction, Satisfaction, Revenge
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

Passion and danger collide in the latest contemporary romance featuring the Lawless siblings—from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

When Drew Lawless discovers a fatal flaw in his plan to avenge his parents’ deaths, he turns to the one woman he'd promised he wouldn't touch. He offers her a deal, one that will bring her into his investigation, his life, and his bed.

Investigative reporter Shelby Gates never dreamed how twisted the case would become—or how fascinated she would be with Drew. Every day they spend together binds them. And every night brings her closer to realizing he might be the man for her.

As Drew's feelings for Shelby grow, so does the danger. From the streets of Dallas to Austin’s high-tech business world, Drew and Shelby play a game begun twenty years before—a game they will win, or die trying.

Revenge is the third book in the Lawless series and it follows the eldest of the Lawless siblings, Andrew. Andrew Lawless is a super geek with vengeance in his heart. Nothing will stop him from protecting his siblings and when a new threat (introduced in the last book, Satisfaction) arises, he sets about trying to take the bad guy down.

Drews got a plan to bring the bad guy down without including his siblings. They’re happy and moving on with their lives so he feels that keeping them out of everything is for their own good. His plan brings Shelby Gates into his life and she changes everything. She was hired to do a job by Drew and that job included pretending to be his girlfriend. Drew, Drew, Drew…you know fake relationships never work out the way that they’re supposed to.

So the plan is to do as much undercover research on their target as possible and the only way that Drew can keep Shelby safe is by moving her into his home and watching over her himself, even though including her, puts her life in danger. None of that matters to Drew Lawless because he’s so focused on keeping his family safe that everyone else is collateral damage.

Drew was a punk ass jerk face for his original plan. He’s always been a freaking jerk but the amount of love he had for his family kind of mitigated my frustration with him. At his core, he’s a good guy but he didn’t know how to act around people. He could only focus on the problem at hand, not understanding all of the shit he was stirring everywhere else. He’s intentions were good and his heart was in the right place but he did some shady shit to get things done.

Shelby is probably my favorite heroine in this series. She is strong and independent but she was also caring. She cared and she loved deeply. She was also loyal to a fault because even when Drew didn’t deserve her loyalty, he had it.

Seeing these two come together and then be split apart and then come together again was fun. I loved that Drew’s outlook on certain things changed but he didn’t change too much that he was a stranger. I loved that Shelby fell in love with asshole Drew and made him want to be a better person for her and the family. Their romance was hot and sweet and everything that a romance should be. They were great characters apart who went through fire for each other. Their story wasn’t an easy story but it was action packed and fun to read.

It was good to see the Lawless siblings and meet a very unexpected and new character that I hope to see more of in a future book. I really liked the way that this story wrapped up and I loved seeing Drew meet his match in Shelby. She didn’t let him get away with being a shithead and he became such an awesome hero in the end. I always liked him, despite him being a total dick but it was good to see his character really grow and change. There’s a lot going on in this book, lots of stuff that blew up Drew’s world but I loved seeing the family gather round and help bring the bad guy down. I love that stuff.

Overall, this was a great addition to this series and Lexi Blake did a great job of wrapping things up. I was a happy camper and I definitely recommend this one.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: Lip Action by Virna DePaul

Posted June 19, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Lip Action by Virna DePaulReviewer: Tracy
Lip Action by Virna DePaul
Series: Kiss Talent Agency #1
Published by Virna DePaul
Publication Date: April 23rd, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 195
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-half-stars


Marissa

Appearance is everything to my upper-crust mother, but when she insists I take back my pedigreed-but-cheating ex? I’d rather stab myself with a salad fork. So I blurt out I’m dating someone new. Someone like…that smoking-hot, vaguely familiar guy across the restaurant, who could be the next James Bond.

Turns out he’s the star of my favorite, cheesy, sci-fi soap opera. (Don’t judge me.) One minute I’m fantasizing about Borg and his green-hued abs. The next, Simon Dale is making me an offer my sex-starved body can’t refuse.


Simon

I’m up for a breakout movie role that’ll launch me off the B-list, but I don’t need a script to read the scene between Marissa and her mum. Even though I’m a London gutter rat who never rubbed elbows with a Royal, I easily slip into the role of Marissa’s doting boyfriend. Why? I need a favor in return— a steady girlfriend, just long enough to convince the producers I’ve changed my wild ways.

Trouble is, I’m going all Method on this relationship—and close to losing the one thing that could break me. My heart.

Marissa is kind of Hollywood royalty because of her family’s money.  She doesn’t feel that way and just wants to live her life as a normal person.  Her mother, however, has very different ideas.  When Marissa tells her mother that she broke up with her long-time boyfriend because she found out he’d been cheating on her for 6 months her mother freaks out like it’s the end of the world.  Not that he’d been cheating on Marissa but that she broke it off.  Nice mom.  Not.  Marissa’s mom is insisting that she get back together with her boyfriend but Marissa refuses.  She sees a guy in the country club they’re at and makes up a story saying that she’s already seeing someone new.  Due to a set of circumstances she actually meets the guy and it turns out that he needs a fake girlfriend as well.

Simon is an actor on a TV show where he’s an alien.  He really needs a big break doing some serious film work but no one believes he can do it.  He’s got a playboy reputation and the producers of the one big film he’s being considered for think his reputation will be bad for publicity.  Simon’s not the person they think he is.  He grew up in the streets of London but he got him and his sister out.  He lives simply and saves his money as he doesn’t feel he deserves better.  When he meets Marissa he tells her that it’s all fake but the more time he spends with her the more he can’t get her out of his head.  Unfortunately they’re ruse depends on the producers believing them as well as Marissa’s parents never finding out who he really is.

This was a cute story.  It was a pretty simple fake relationship story but I like the way the author threw some curve balls in there for us.  Having Simon grow up as a London gutter rat was an interesting aspect of the story and of course that effected almost all of his decisions.  He was a good guy and not an actor that made some money and then lived lavishly.  He lived above a bar and saved his money.

Marissa was a woman who had lived under her mother’s thumb for so long she truly didn’t know how to get out from under it.  Being with Simon made her look at her life differently and want to stand up to her mother and do what she wanted with her life.  She grew a lot during the course of the book and I liked who she was at the end.

The relationship with Marissa and Simon started out as just playing a part, then just sex and then more.  Of course neither admitted it which is always frustrating when that happens with characters but I liked that they worked it all out in the end.  Overall it was a fun book and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

Review: Revenge by Lexi Blake

Posted June 19, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Revenge by Lexi BlakeReviewer: Casee
Revenge by Lexi Blake
Series: Lawless Series #3
Also in this series: Ruthless, Satisfaction, Satisfaction, Revenge
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Passion and danger collide in the latest contemporary romance featuring the Lawless siblings--from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake.

When Drew Lawless discovers a fatal flaw in his plan to avenge his parents' deaths, he turns to the one woman he promised he wouldn't touch. He offers her a deal, one that will bring her into his investigation, his life, and his bed.

Investigative reporter Shelby Gates never dreamed how twisted the case would become--or how fascinated she would be with Drew. Every day they spend together binds them. And every night brings her closer to realizing he might be the man for her.

As Drew's feelings for Shelby grow, so does the danger. From the streets of Dallas to Austin's high-tech business world, Drew and Shelby play a game begun twenty years before--a game they will win, or die trying.

Drew Lawless. Hot geek. Total nerd. Hotness. Secret keeper. Falls for a reporter of all people. Rowena said she knew he would fall for a reporter. Me? I had no clue, but I’m clueless most of the time.

When he was fourteen years old, Drew saved his siblings from certain death. His parents were murdered then he and his brothers and sister were locked in their childhood home after someone started a fire. Drew got everyone out and made it his mission in life to get revenge on the people responsible for killing his parents and almost killing his siblings. It was only at the end of Satisfaction that he realized that he would be going after his own mother.

Drew brings in investigative reporter Shelby Gates. It was Shelby that uncovered that the woman they all thought died in the fire was his mother was in fact the woman his father was having an affair with. Drew is determined to keep the fact that his mother is alive from his siblings and is going to use Shelby to do it. By pretending to be his girlfriend, Drew is certain they can pull anything off. Drew promises to let her write a tell-all book, but never intends to let it see the light of day.

Shelby has been attracted to Drew since she first met him. There is a vulnerability about him that only she seems to see. She’s attracted to the geekiness that surrounds him and totally turned on by his sexiness. It’s a contrast that she can’t turn away from. In addition to all that, he needs her.

Drew and Shelby are perfect for each other. I adored them together. Shelby keeps Drew human. He so often goes into robot mode when he’s not dealing with his family. She also reminds him that he has needs too. He can’t give and give, he has to take as well. And she makes him realize that he can be selfish when it comes to her. But, oh boy. When he shuts down, he shuts down hard. Even Shelby has a hard time facing a closed-off Drew. Drew is used to betrayal and when he thinks someone betrays him, well, run.

I really loved the abrupt change in the story where the mom was alive. I thought it added a fresh new edge to the series. There was more blood (literally) added in this book and I thought it was a good way to go. My favorite book in this series is still Satisfaction, but Drew Lawless could never disappoint.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

four-stars