Tag: Contemporary

Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles

Posted November 17, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine CowlesReviewer: Casee
Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Wrecked #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
Length: 8 hours and 38 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

I loved him before I knew what the word meant. From skinned knees to first dates and everything in between. But he was never mine to love. I settled for friendship, even though I always wanted more.
That was before. Before he ripped my world apart and didn’t bother sticking around to help me pick up the pieces. I knit every last shred back together all on my own. And I’ve all but forgotten his name.
Now, he’s back, and everything is torn apart once more. But he’s not the only one doing the tearing this time. And there might be no stopping the person who has it out for us both.

Ford, Bell, and Violet were like the Three Musketeers. They did everything together. Bell tagged along with them most of the time. When Violet died in a horrible accident, Ford fled Anchor Island. All he could think about what that it was his fault. His fault that he killed his girlfriend. His fault that his best friend is in the hospital. Never mind that a deer ran into the road. He’s at fault.

When Ford left after Violet died, Bell was destroyed. Devastation doesn’t even begin to cover what she felt when she found out that her sister died and she lost Ford. It’s taken her a long time to find peace with the situation, but she does find it. When Hunter calls Ford to tell him he needs to return to Anchor to help the family business, Bell is once again torn apart. It’s taken her a long time and much soul searching to find her happiness.

I don’t generally care for the dead girlfriend’s little sister trope. I think it’s pretty cliché. Catherine Cowles definitely made it work in this case. Ford and Bell weren’t just best friends; they shared the same soul. It’s all very Megan Fox/MGK minus the blood. Their relationship began when Bell was so young. To Ford, she was a part of him.

These characters were just so well-rounded. When Ford arrives back on Anchor, he is forced to confront how his decisions back then how it wrecked Bell. He’s determined to win her back (friendship at this point) which means he needs to look inward to finally figure out why he left everyone he loved.

This was my first book by this author and I’m really looking forward to reading the series. Yay for new-to-me authors!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Wrecked

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Dirty Deal by Mira Lyn Kelly

Posted November 7, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Mira Lyn Kelly is a new-to-me author. I’m such a sucker for Single Dad romances, I had to add this to my list after reading the blurb.

Sunday Spotlight: Dirty Deal by Mira Lyn KellyDirty Deal by Mira Lyn Kelly
Series: Slayers Hockey #5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 19, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 190
Add It: Goodreads
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Fatherhood blindsided me.

There I am, working to get a rise out of my cranky little rule-following, fun-wrecking, soon-to-be ex-neighbor when my one-night stand from last season shows up… in labor.

Next thing, I’m a single-dad begging for a crash course in caring for this tiny miracle from the neighbor who loves to hate me.

Turns out, Nora raised half her siblings.

She knows things.

And I know my son needs her.

Unfortunately, she’s not impressed by my NHL career, my legendary charm, or the rumors surrounding the size of my stick (all true btw).

But I’m not trying to impress her. Not anymore. I can’t.

I’m asking her to help me out, because my son deserves better than some player who hasn’t even had a chance to read the manual yet.

Which means no matter how hot I find her spitfire mouth and those rules she doesn’t break… Nora is off-limits.

Excerpt

©Mira Lyn Kelly

Dirty Deal Excerpt

I know I should knock my shit off and hit the sack. With back-to-back games the last two days and not enough sleep before early skate this morning, I’m wiped.

But this is more than Nora’s said to me at one time since… Well, since she stopped talking to me except to tell me to turn the volume down— easier said than done when you’ve got five hockey players over watching a game. Or to wake me at the crack of dawn when I didn’t even get off a plane until two a.m. to let me know that my mailbox is overflowing, or tell me I parked in the wrong spot, or that I can’t hold the elevator with my gear when I need to run back to my apartment for three damn seconds because I left my keys in the door.

I’m a child. I know. But only with Nora. And only because those hot, red splotches on her cheekbones are so much better than that nothing look I get from her when I’m behaving. That bland, disinterested glance sucks. Especially after the way she used to look at me.

Yeah, it was only a week, nearly five months ago when she moved into Diane’s. But from the first time our paths crossed, that wide smile and quick laugh had me looking closer, lingering to chat with her when I’d normally keep moving. I found myself drawn into conversations with her I’d still be thinking about when I hit the ice or the weight room, or when I was supposed to be paying attention to a trainer, reporter, or my brother. And the way she looked at me? I’d be thinking about those shy glances and warm blushes when I crawled into bed at night. Wondering why I hadn’t made a move already.

But then it was too late. Everything changed in a blink, and Nora wasn’t interested in me at all. Not even as friends, and I’m friends with everybody.

I should have let it go and forgotten about her, given her a nod when we passed in the hall, and stopped looking for something in her eyes that said the connection was still there. But I didn’t. Instead, I started trying to get something else.

A reaction.

Damn, Nora gives good reaction. Hot and sharp. Whip quick with a sting you’re not likely to forget.

“I’ve got more important things to do than watch you standing around in a towel.”

“Nice as the scenery may be, though, right?” I ask, wondering if I can get a laugh out of her. A smile. Get her into bed. Nah, zero chance of that. But maybe another scowl, at the very least.

She looks me over from top to bottom and back up again. Jesus, the feel of her eyes on me is—

“Whatever.”

And that flat, bored tone? Color me impressed. Because I know for a fact, this body— in a suit, in running gear, in beat-up jeans and a T-shirt —trips her up. Five months ago, it made her blush and stammer. Three, I’d still catch her eyes where they weren’t supposed to be.

Now, in a towel? Yeah, she’s a little liar.

But I like it. Even if she can’t stand me.

 

Slayers Hockey

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: November 2021

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Mira Lyn Kelly

Author Photo

Mira Lyn Kelly is a USA Today bestselling author who writes sizzling love stories with hot, possessive heroes and heroines who give as good as they get. A hardcore romantic, stress baker, and housekeeper non-extraordinaire, she met the love of her life while studying abroad in Rome...only to find out he lived right around the corner from her back home. She now resides with her husband in Minnesota.


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Review: Tin Queen by Devney Perry

Posted October 18, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Tin Queen by Devney PerryReviewer: Casee
Tin Queen by Devney Perry
Narrator: Lucy Rivers, Jason Clarke
Series: Tin Gypsy #6
Also in this series: Gypsy King
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 351
Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

No promises. No expectations. No names. That’s what Emmett Stone agreed to with the woman who caught his eye two months ago. After years of drama following the end of his motorcycle club, a no-strings fling with a mystery woman is exactly what he needs. Except as they find themselves together more and more, it’s impossible for him to keep his feelings at bay. She’s clever and sassy. She’s gracious and kind. She loves riding on the back of his bike every Saturday afternoon and lazing in his bed every Sunday morning. She’s the perfect woman.
Except she’s Nova Talbot, the daughter of his archenemy—the man who murdered his father.
Her identity will cost her the man who’s captured her heart unless she can convince Emmett her feelings are true.
Before he learns the reason she proposed their fling in the first place.

Tin Queen is the sixth and final book in Devney Perry’s Tin Gypsy series. This book brings the Tin Gypsies full circle and they have to decide if they want to hold onto the past or look forward to the future.

The thing that Nova Talbot wants most in life is for her father to be proud of her. She has done everything he’s ever asked for her. Now she’s volunteering to avenge her brother. Her plan is easy. She’s going to get her way into Emmett Stone’s bed, then she’s going to ruin him. That doesn’t go according to plan. What Nova thought about keeping her feelings separate from her body, it all went up in smoke the night she was first in Emmett’s bed. Emmett is nothing like she thought he would be. Nova knows he is special but that is not going sway her from her plan.

Emmett has never met anyone like her. What started out as a no-names, no-talking fling ended up turning into a need that couldn’t be denied. When he wasn’t with her, he thought about her. When he was with her, he had never felt as content. Emmett knows that they still have to worry about the Warriors, the rival club they were at war with. Still, he finds himself reluctant to run plates and dig into her life. That ends up being a mistake in a big way.

Nova’s internal struggle was real and very raw. Her father had always been her hero. She’d known that he wasn’t innocent; that he killed people even. But that didn’t change her undying devotion and loyalty to him. All Nova has wanted since her brother was killed by a Tin Gypsy was revenge. She wanted to put them all in jail. She thought she could and would do anything to do so, but that changes each day as she gets to really know Emmett.

When it all hits the fan it is horrible. A nightmare. Both Emmett and Nova have to decide if it’s worth it to face to the future or if they should say goodbye. Emmett damn near broke my heart when he said this.

“I can’t do this.”

I truly felt the devastation coming off the pages. It was heartbreaking and it was horrible. Their love was tangible, but neither of them know if they could let go of the past; let go of the family they both lost. When they did come together in the end? It was also desperate. But it was desperation to love, desperation to hope. It was just beautiful.

I’m really happy about how this series ended. Although I would rather have an open ended Tin Gypsy series, I respect Devney Perry for knowing when it’s time to end it. That doesn’t happen much anymore these days.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Tin Gypsy

four-half-stars


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Review: Eli by Jessica Gadziala

Posted October 13, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Eli by Jessica GadzialaReviewer: Casee
Eli by Jessica Gadziala
Series: Mallick Brothers #4
Also in this series: Shane, Ryan
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 31, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 232
Add It: Goodreads
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five-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Six years on the inside gave a man a lot of time to think. And a lot of time to plan. When I got out, I was determined for things to go a different way. I never wanted to lose control and rage out again.
The only way to accomplish that, though, was to shut it all down. Complete disconnect.
That meant no family, no friends, no links to anything attached to the man I was before.
Of course the problem was, I never factored HER into my plans. And try as I might, I couldn’t find a way to shut it down, to disconnect from her.
I had a sneaking suspicion she was going to take all my carefully constructed plans and toss them out the window, was going to force me to face up the demons inside and confront the ghosts from my past.
Those ghosts? They wore the faces of my family.
And a confrontation with them, yeah, I had a feeling it was going to show me that I had spent six years taking action on beliefs about the demons inside. Demons that had never actually existed in the first place…

This book was my absolute favorite in the Mallick Brothers series. Which says a lot because the first four books were really well written & I was completely hooked when I was reading them. Eli continues Eli Mallick’s story. At the end of Mark, Eli was arrested for assault in front of Autumn. When he was taken away, Autumn couldn’t leave his ugly dog at the pound. She was sure that no one would want him. He was so sad when his owner was taken away that Autumn decided to take him.

Fast forward…Autumn found out who the man with the dog was. Once she tracked him down, she wrote him a letter to let him know that she had Coop & enclosed a picture. Eli didn’t respond. A few years later Autumn sent a picture of Coop in his Halloween costume. After that they communicated sporadically. Although it wasn’t very often, Autumn found herself really drawn to Eli & she wasn’t sure why. She didn’t know him. She didn’t know his family. She didn’t know his circumstances. All she knew was that he assaulted a man that almost killed his wife then got railroaded because said man had a powerful father that pulled strings to get Eli convicted.

For the six years that he was behind bars, Eli made a decision to shut out his emotions. He was determined to get his rage fits under control. Which meant cutting off his family. When he felt real emotions, he couldn’t stay away. Eli doesn’t want back into the family business. He wants to continue his art & get to know Autumn. He doesn’t know why he’s so drawn to her, but he can’t turn his emotions off when it comes to her.

Eli’s situation was just heartbreaking. He was never meant to be an enforcer for the family’s loanshark business, but that’s what happened. When all else failed, Eli was sent to collect the debt that was owed to his family. He would rage out though he always had one of his brothers there to pull him back. What was so sad was that he was such a gentle soul. The fact that he would rage out, he had no outlet to control it except for the physical.

Autumn was such a great heroine. You could tell that she loved Eli from the moment he got out of prison though she hadn’t admitted it to herself. There was something about her that draws him & makes Eli feel that he needs her in his life. With Autumn he has an outlet from the rage that comes over him, in the form of sex. The first time Eli raged out after getting out of prison was after he saw one of his brothers. Just heartbreaking.

Eventually the family reunited and holy shit, but I was an emotional mess. His poor mother. Still, I thought they brought it on themselves by forcing Eli to be something he was never meant to be. Violent. The epilogue of this book just gutted me. If I was something that cried while reading, this one would have made me cry. I am so happy with the Mallick Brothers series & I can’t wait to read Gadziala’s other books.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Mallick Brothers

five-stars


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Review: Rise by Cassandra Robbins

Posted October 4, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rise by Cassandra RobbinsReviewer: Casee
Rise by Cassandra Robbins
Series: Rock God #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 9, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 357
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

USA Today bestselling author Cassandra Robbins returns with a scorching second chance, age-gap love story about a Rock God and his muse.
I know what I want.

So when opportunity knocked, I took it. I grabbed my shot, willing to do anything to make it happen.
From the beginning, I knew I was destined to be with the six-foot-four, bourbon-eyed Rock God. Only back in the early days he wasn’t a god.
Rhys Granger was my brother’s friend, the boy next door who wrote verses and played his guitar in our garage. He was talented. Exciting. Damaged. The kind of guy who made all the girls cry…
Except for me. I thought I was special. Turns out I’m not.
And now… I despise him.
He’s the lead singer of the Stuffed Muffins, one of the biggest bands in the world, with dark hair, full lips, and a body to die for.
Unfortunately, he’s a dick.
Not that I care anymore. I have my own career. I’m successful in my own right. So, when offered another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I turn it down.
But the universe has other plans, and I’m forced back into the savagely glamorous world of rock ‘n’ roll. Thrust into battling his seductive smile, his dangerous kisses, and my own addictive needs.
He might be a Rock God, but he’s also a man. And I’m the woman he never saw coming.
----
Get your VIP pass to the hottest world tour this year. Rise is a complete standalone in the Rock God series. Stage dive straight into Rhys and Gia’s uncontrollable attraction. With appearances from beloved past characters, this is my most scorching book yet.
*Not responsible for broken or spontaneous combustion of your e-reader.*

You’re not the boss of me, and I’ll never be like those girls, crying because you don’t love them. When I grow up, I know you’re gonna love me the best,” she announces, spins around, and walks back to the girls.

Gia was seven when she told Rhys she was going to marry him. He was seventeen, but age never mattered to her. Now she’s eighteen and she has a single-minded determination to show Rhys that they are made for each other. In her wildest dreams she could never imagine that he wouldn’t recognize her when he saw her. It works to her advantage in this case as she realizes that Rhys would never agree to be with her if he knew who she was. Now that they’ve been together, Gia is going to do everything to show Rhys that they’re meant to be together.

When Rhys figures out who Gia is after the night they spent together, he’s pretty much dumbfounded. The seven year old girl that was such a nuisance. The woman she has become is someone that Rhys doesn’t want to let go. He doesn’t care about her brother wanting to kill him; he will do anything to keep his muse and the woman that has come to mean everything to him in such a short amount of time.

Gia wasn’t ready for Rhys when she was eighteen. I believe that she needed to grow up a little. She was very much like an eighteen year old with her feelings about Rhys and what he should & should not be doing. She wasn’t ready for the Rock God lifestyle & it really showed. When they run into each other again about ten years later, she’s a woman, not the naive girl she once was.

The book had all the feels. You could feel the desperation that these two felt toward each other. It was an obsession; it was a love that was timeless. It was messy and chaotic. It was something that would be a difficult situation for any eighteen year old to be in. I think it was necessary for her to grow up before she & Rhys could be together. I really loved this book.

Rating 4.25 out of 5.

Rock God

four-half-stars


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