Tag: Contemporary

Guest Review: One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi Betts

Posted August 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi BettsReviewer: Tracy
One Wedding, Two Brides (Fairy Tale Bride #1) by Heidi Betts
Series: Fairy Tale Bride #1
Published by Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: Judy 23rd 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 263
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three-stars

Jilted bride Monica Blair can’t believe it when she wakes up next to a blue-eyed, smooth-talking cowboy in the middle of nowhere and with a ring on her finger. It had sounded like a great plan at the time. Get married, get revenge, and get her money back. So why is she cleaning out stables and trying to keep her hands off the hot cowboy helping her?

Ryder Nash would have bet his best Stetson that you’d never see him walk down the aisle. But when the city girl with pink-streaked hair and a frog tattoo hatches a plan to expose the conman who married his sister, no idea is too crazy. And even though Monica might be the worst rancher’s wife he’s ever seen, he can’t stop thinking about the wedding night they never had.

What was supposed to be a temporary marriage for revenge is starting to feel a little too real...

Monica is devastated when she opens her Chicago paper and reads a wedding announcement for her fiancé, Matt.  But she’s not the bride in the announcement!  She hops on a plane and while she knows that she won’t make it to stop the wedding, she knows that she has to do something to let Matt know that she found out about the deception.  While on the way to Nevada she ends up getting drunk and crashes the reception and starts spouting off.  She’s hauled out by the bride’s brother, Ryder.

Monica tells Ryder that she needs to get back at Matt and let him know the huge mistake he made by marrying someone else.  The only way, according to her drunken mind, to do that is to get married as well. This will supposedly infuriate Matt because she’ll be the perfect wife.  (Yeah, it makes no sense to me either.)  She says she’ll pay Ryder $50,000 to marry her – a marriage of convenience, of course – and then they’ll get it annulled when she feels Matt has been bested (as he’s so competitive).  So, Ryder’s farm is failing and he needs money, desperately, so while he knows that marrying Monica isn’t smart he needs that money.

The next morning Monica wakes up and can’t remember anything.  She’s horrified that she married this man she didn’t know and then lets him know that she doesn’t have $50,000 because Matt stole it from her before he married Ryder’s sister. Ryder is shocked but determined to get the money back from Matt, so they decide to stay married and work together.

While I enjoyed this story at times, there were plenty of parts that annoyed me.  Ryder was one of them.  He was very concerned for his farm, I get that, but it made him seem pretty self-centered in the way he acted.  He went along with Monica’s schemes but never graciously.  Monica and I had a love/hate relationship as well.  I thought she was an idiot at the beginning, but she made up for it by the end of the book.

This is intended to be an overall light-hearted book and that’s what it is – there’s not a lot of depth.  It was cute and funny at times so that kind of made up for the parts where I found myself rolling my eyes.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G

Posted August 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney GReviewer: Rowena
Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G.
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 2, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 228
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three-half-stars

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

I've hated Rachel Dawson since I was seven years old. My next door neighbor and number one sworn enemy, she's the reason why almost all of our childhood fights ended with me setting something of hers on fire. (Or, vice versa.)

She snitched on me when I broke curfew.

I snitched on her when she lied about having a boyfriend.

We went back and forth like this throughout high school, both vowing to never talk to each other again when we went off to college.

But that was until she showed up at my apartment during my senior year and asked me for a temporary place to stay. Until I realized just how much between us had changed, and the line I thought we'd never cross became harder and harder to ignore...

**This is a standalone friends (to enemies) to lovers romance**

I feel like I’ve been waiting on this book for forever but boy was I glad to jump right into it right when I got it for review. I really enjoyed the last NA book that I read by Whitney G (Sincerely, Carter) so I knew that I had to get this one as soon as I could. This was super fast to read and while it was enjoyable, it was too much like Sincerely Carter IMO.

I mean sure, there are slight differences in that Ethan and Rachel hate each other growing up. They seem to really hate each other still but I didn’t completely buy it because why would they continue their letter writing for so long if they really hated each other? They were hate best friends and that was that. When Rachel goes away to college on board a ship, she and Ethan stay in touch through letters written by hand and Ethan kept track of where Rachel’s ship was in port so that he can send his letters to the right places. So, hate each other? Yeah right. I don’t think anyone goes to that much trouble for someone they hate.

Anyway, so it’s the start of their senior year in college and Rachel is done with college abroad. She’s going to finish up her college career on land and far, far away from a ship. When her housing situation falls through, she needs to find a new place to stay and that’s when she’s brought into Ethan’s vicinity again. Ethan, the boy next door that used to torment her throughout elementary, middle and high school. The boy that got on her nerves so much that she jumped at the chance to move far away from him and board a ship for college.

Ethan isn’t happy about the situation either. He comes home to find out that his roommate burned their house down so they have to move and the house that they’re moving into is bigger and cost more so they need a roommate and this is where the worst blast from his past shows up in the form of Rachel Dawson.

So, of course, they become roommates and of course, things get interesting and I found that while I enjoyed this book, it didn’t have the magic that Sincerely Carter had for me. Sure, I enjoyed Ethan and Rachel finding common ground with each other and I really enjoyed when they finally got together but something was missing to make me completely love it. Maybe it was how much they reminded me of Carter and Arizona (being best friends who didn’t see each other like that until they do) but with a lot more fighting?? I don’t know.

Whitney G did write an engaging book for them though. It didn’t take me long to read, the story was really easy to fall into but I guess because I kept comparing this one to Sincerely Carter, my enjoyment of the book as a whole suffered some. Still, it was a solid read.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Posted August 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa ColeReviewer: Rowena
A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2) by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 374
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Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

I finally read my first Alyssa Cole book and it did not disappoint. I’ve been hearing such great things about her writing so I’ve been meaning to try her out for a while but I kept getting distracted by other books and other authors but I will not overlook another Alyssa Cole book because I really enjoyed Tavish McKenzie and Portia Hobbs romance.

I’m not going to lie, what drew my attention to this book was the cover and the dress that Portia is wearing. That’s a gorgeous dress so I immediately wanted to read this one because of that alone. Alyssa Cole was blessed by the cover Gods and I’m happy to report that she is also blessed with the gift of writing. I had a blast with this book. I didn’t read the first book but my enjoyment of this book didn’t suffer because of that. I do have plans to go back and read the first book because I liked Ledi and Thabiso in this one enough to want to read their love story.

So this story follows Portia Hobbs as she travels from New York to Scotland to be the apprentice of a swordmaker. She’s trying to get her life together because she needs to and she is through being irresponsible and the party girl. She’s cleaning up her act and the first step to her new and improved life is to be the best damn apprentice that Tavish McKenzie has ever had. She’s low key excited to learn all that she can and isn’t going to let her grumpy ass boss get in the way of her growing as a person.

Tav McKenzie is trying to stay afloat. His business isn’t doing as well as usual and he’s stretched thin trying to be everything and do everything for everyone. His brother Jamie thinks he needs help and help comes in the form of a young woman that he’s very attracted to and doesn’t have the time or inclination to act on that attraction. The desire doesn’t go away and the more time that he spends with Portia, the more he realizes that there is more than meets the eye and he likes her more and more. When they stumble on the fact that Tav is the rightful Duke of Edinburgh, Tav is thrown. He’s a small town lad who has no business trying to be a fancy duke but with Portia’s help, he realizes that he can make good things happen for everyone who is struggling in his town and everywhere else. That’s not something that Tav can exactly walk away from.

Tav and Portia’s romance was a good one. It was fun, it was sweet and I really enjoyed Cole’s writing style. She wrote characters that charmed the socks right off of me and I’m super glad that I read this. There were times when I wanted to smack both Tav and Portia upside their head for being boneheads about small things but overall, this was an enjoyable romance and I recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a fun and sweet romance.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Reluctant Royals


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Guest Review: The Breakup by Erin McCarthy

Posted August 9, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Breakup by Erin McCarthyReviewer: Tracy
The Breakup by Erin McCarthy
Series: The Jordan Brothers #2
Also in this series: The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers #1), The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers, #1)
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: August 14th 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars

Can two wrongs feel oh-so-right? This bride is about to find out—with the bad boy who makes an epic breakup worth her while.

Bella: I know I’m a princess. I’m used to getting what I want. But all I ever really wanted was a husband and a family. Unlike my sister, Sophie, I’ll never have a brilliant career to fall back on. So what’s a bride to do when she learns that Prince Charming is a cheating snake just a few days before her fairy-tale wedding? With my fiancé begging for another chance, the only way to save the wedding is to even things out with a little revenge sex—and local bartender Christian Jordan seems like the right man for the job.

Christian: If gorgeous Bella Bigelow thinks sleeping with me will somehow lead to happily ever after, I’m not going to turn her down. The guy she wants to marry is a jerk, and her sister is fooling around with my estranged twin brother, Cain. So what’s the problem? Besides falling for a woman who doesn’t know what she wants out of life? All I want to do is whisk her away from that church, take her to a cabin in the woods, and act out all our naughtiest fantasies. And I may just get the chance. . . .

Bella is pretty sure that her fiancé is cheating on her.  She’s one week out from her wedding and she’s an emotional wreck. When she finds texts on her fiancé’s phone confirming the cheating Bella confronts Brad about it.  He, of course, being the ass he is, turns it around to make it look like Bella is the cause of his cheating.  She knows she’s being manipulated but still can’t bring herself to end it.  She talks to her parents who push her to marry Brad anyway.  She’s SO confused!

Bella recently became friends with Christian, a bartender in the coastal Maine town that she’s getting married in.  She gets drunk and asks him to teach how to be good in bed but he refuses.  Though Christian doesn’t normally have problems sleeping with women in relationships, because they’re emotionally unavailable, there’s something about Bella that makes him want to treat her well.

When Bella decides right before the wedding ceremony that she absolutely can’t marry Brad she calls Christian and he whisks her off to a family cabin to hide her from her family, Brad and his family and anyone else trying to talk to her.  With Bella now single and free, Christian has no problem showing her exactly how good in bed she is.  The two spend a couple of days together but soon they have to face reality.  Bella has to decide what she’s going to do now that she quit her job, sold her furniture and has nowhere to go, and Christian has to decide if wanting Bella in his life will be a good thing or just make his crazy life even crazier.

After book one in this series I can’t say that I liked Christian all that much.  Book one was about Bella’s sister and Christian’s twin brother getting together.  It seems that Christian slept with his twin’s girlfriend and was caught.  Of course it comes out in this book that the girlfriend, Ali, had told Christian that they had broken up and since Christian had had a thing for Ali all through school he took her up on her off of some bed-play.  Little did he know it would change his life forever.  Turns out he wasn’t a bad person after all – he just didn’t make the best judgment calls about people.  He knew this about himself so that’s why he hesitated when Bella approached him about going to bed with her.  I was happy that he finally saw that it would be a bad idea.  I actually ended up liking Christian a lot in this book, thank heavens. 🙂

Bella was a strong character but sometimes she made me a bit crazy. She knew deep down she was never going to marry Brad but then ended up waiting until the last possible moment to run. That bothered me a lot.  I guess I have not idea what I would have done in that situation so I can’t be too judgy.  I liked how she handled things with Christian, her family and Brad after the wedding fiasco and was happy that she didn’t settle.

I was annoyed at the alternating first person POV.  Not that I mind that POV so much, but there was no clear delineation of when one POV stopped and another started, like a new chapter.  There was just a break in the story and then we’d get another POV – sometimes it was hard to figure out if I was reading Bella’s POV or Christians.  🙁  Not to my liking.

The book was good and I really liked it. It was a fun, easy read and was perfect for just sitting in the back yard with no worries.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Jordan Brothers

three-half-stars


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Joint Review: Hot Single Dad by Claire Kingsley

Posted August 8, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Hot Single Dad by Claire KingsleyReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Hot Single Dad (Book Boyfriends 3) by Claire Kingsley
Series: Book Boyfriends #3
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2017
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 268
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Reasons I need to stop fantasizing about Linnea:

1. She’s too young for me.

2. She’s my daughter’s nanny.

I could stop there, couldn’t I? I’m already a cliché. The single dad who’s hot for the nanny. But it gets worse.

3. She’s my sister-in-law.

My wife died when our daughter was a baby, and Linnea was just a quiet teenager. I barely knew her. When my in-laws insist she move to Seattle to be my live-in nanny—after a string of caregivers who didn’t work out—I reluctantly agree.

I wasn’t counting on the smoking hot blonde with sinful curves, kissable lips, and shy smile.

Linnea is perfect for my daughter—fun, patient, and kind. She might be perfect for me too, but I can’t think that way. She needs to live her own life, not be saddled with my insta-family.

Being around her is a special kind of torture, but I have to keep this infatuation to myself. I can’t fall for my daughter’s nanny.

But it might be too late.

Rowena: Holly and I have been digging the Single Dad romances lately so when Hot Single Dad came on to our radar, we knew that we were going to read it and read it together. Claire Kingsley is a new to us author and we were happy to dive right in.

Caleb is a single Dad who works long hours at the hospital and needs a little help caring for his young daughter. When his late wife’s parents offer the services of their other daughter, Linnea, Caleb isn’t wild about the idea but he doesn’t turn them down. He figured he would get the help he needed and his young daughter Charlotte would get to know her Aunt Linnea. He didn’t figure that Linnea would turn his world upside down and that he would be so attracted to her. When Linnea returns that attraction, things get really interesting.

What a cute story this turned out to be. What did you think, Holly?

Holly: I was a little hesitant about going into this book because the blurb mentions an age gap and I hate when that’s the main focus of a story. That ended up being a small part of it, however, and I thought the story was really cute.

Rowena: Not me. I jumped right in and was super excited about it. While I didn’t LOVE it and want to shout about my love from the rooftops, I still really enjoyed the book. Caleb and Linnea’s romance was sweet and I liked how it unfolded. I loved seeing both of their relationships with Charlotte and gah, this book was just oozing sweetness.

Holly: I liked what a great dad Caleb was. He wasn’t some inept fool who needed a woman to do everything for him. He had it all handled, he just needed a babysitter for when he was at work.

Rowena: I agree with you about Caleb. He was a great father to Charlotte and I really liked that he loved spending time with her and treasured the time he had with her. He didn’t let Linnea take care of Charlotte while he was home. He didn’t lean on Linnea for anything. He took being a Dad seriously and he tried the best he could. What’s not to love about that?

What did you think about Linnea’s parents and that whole thing?

Holly: I didn’t like her parents at all, and that the aspect of the book that left me the least satisfied. The resolution with them left a lot to be desired.

Rowena: Same. I thought the Mom was really dumb and that part of the book was so small that it didn’t feel necessary.

Their awkwardness with each other when their feelings are first brought out into the light was cute. It could have easily been super cheesy and not fun but I enjoyed that. I really enjoyed how they became a team where Charlotte was concerned and I liked the relationship that Linnea formed with Charlotte.

Were you at all itchy about Linnea being Caleb’s sister in law?

Holly: I expected to feel kind of skeevy about the sister-in-law thing, but I didn’t. Maybe it was the way it was written, but the focus wasn’t on it so much that I felt like it was a huge deal. You?

Rowena: It didn’t bother me any. I enjoyed Caleb and Linnea together and the way that they were with Charlotte. They were two good people who fell in love with each other and I dug their story.

I give this book a 4 out of 5. You?

Holly: I’m giving it 3.5. As sweet as the story was, I felt a little disconnected from it somehow. I enjoyed it, but I had to reread it before we began our discussion.

Holly’s Grade: 3.5 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4 out of 5

Book Boyfriends


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