Tag: Contemporary

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
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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
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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 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

Guest Review: Graffiti in Love by G.G. Andrew

Posted June 15, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Graffiti in Love by G.G. AndrewReviewer: Tracy
Graffiti Love by G.G. Andrew
Series: Love and Lawbreakers #1
Published by G.G. Andrews
Publication Date: February 11th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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four-stars

KaveMan is a London graffiti artist--world famous, wealthy, brilliantly creative. And Laurel Xavier hates him.

Laurel, a laid-off city planner, is bitter from compromising her dreams and still losing her sensible job. So when she gets a glimpse of the mysterious KaveMan, whose dream is apparently painting others' property in her hometown of New Haven, she's determined to find him, unmask him, and ruin his so-called career--even if it means losing some shoes and self-respect in the process.

But why does chasing KaveMan make her feel more alive than she's felt in years?

KaveMan isn't used to sharing his real self, let alone his real name. But when he's caught by Laurel Xavier, he starts to realize the one woman he yearns to whisper his secrets to is someone who would scream his identity from the highest rooftop. That would mean the end of his work, his passion. It can't ever happen.

Unfortunately, he bloody well can't seem to stay away from her.

Laurel is a frustrated city planner who’s been laid off.  She hates graffiti and doesn’t approve of KaveMan and his “art tours” that he does around the world.  When he ends up in New Haven, where Laurel lives, she appalled that he’s defacing her city.  She almost catches him at one point when she’s lecturing at Yale but he evades her. From then on she’s determined to catch him and turn him in.  No one knows who he really is and she wants to bring him out into the open.

KaveMan aka Jamie manages to stay away from Laurel until she writes an editorial piece in the local paper.  She basically tells him that if he wants something to paint, he can paint her yard fence.  When she wakes up one morning and finds her fence painted white – along with fairies and elves – she’s shocked.  When the man himself actually knocks on her door and introduces himself as KaveMan she’s not sure what to do.  She’s incredibly attracted to him but how can that be when she doesn’t like what he does?

Despite her feelings on his art Laurel eventually finds herself in bed with Jamie and falling for him.  Their relationship is complicated by so many things – the least of which is that he’ll be leaving a couple of weeks.  Both Jamie and Laurel have to learn to trust – not only in each other but in their feelings.

This was such a sweet story.  I truly didn’t think that it would be because of the whole graffiti aspect of the story.  I guess I thought it would be a bit grittier but I was pleasantly surprised at the romance in the book.  I loved watching Laurel and Jamie come together and fall in love.  GG Andrew has a lovely sense of romance and that has come through in  all of her books that I’ve read.

The story also involved Laurel’s sister, Kim, who is a kleptomaniac.  She’s gotten in trouble with the law more than a few times but she’s trying to be better.  When a new cop moves into town he has no idea about Kim’s “issues” and they’re incredibly attracted to each other.  Unfortunately when Scott finds out who Kim is he’s probably not be so attracted any longer.  This part of the story was a bit sad.  Kim truly had a problem  – as well as a criminal record – but wanted Scott to see her as someone else.  Since this says that it’s book 1 in the Love and Lawbreakers series I can only hope that we get to read Kim’s story in an upcoming book.  I look forward to it.

The story was sweet and funny with a good portion of sexy to top it all off. I definitely recommend this book.  I know I’ll be re-reading it sometime in the near future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

Guest Review: Whiteout by Sarah Benson – part of the Snow anthology

Posted May 26, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Whiteout by Sarah Benson – part of the Snow anthologyReviewer: Tracy
Whiteout by Sarah Benson - part of the Snow anthology by Sarah Benson
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
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three-stars

SNOW is an anthology composed of sixteen novellas and novelettes featuring tales of forbidden love from some of your favorite Wattpad authors.

This is the review of just one of the stories...

Alicia wakes up in a deserted cabin, handcuffed to a bed.  She manages to get herself free and makes her way to a gas station. It turns out she’s been missing for 8 months.  She has no idea who she is or what’s happened in the last 8 months.  She’s introduced to her father who she has no recollection of and tries to start living some sort of life.  She has sessions with a doctor who tries to help her with recollection and they end up falling in love.  The truth finally comes out and it’s not what anyone expected.

This was a story of a girl who had been kidnapped.  The reason she was taken and kept was kind of weak in my opinion and when things were explained it left me with more questions than answers.  The romance in the story was also a bit on the anemic side as I never felt the love between Alicia and the doctor.  I was happy that Alicia started getting her life back in the end and came to terms with everything that had happened.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars

Guest Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 24, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Tracy
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
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four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Lauren Williams works for a multi-million dollar technology company and loves it.  Her boss also owns the Brooklyn Bruisers, an NHL hockey team.  Lauren grew up with hockey and used to love it.  She loved it up until the Bruiser that she was planning on marrying suddenly up and left her for his ex-wife with very little explanation.  Lauren’s not willing to put herself out there again when Mike Beacon, the man who broke her heart, starts to show signs that he’s interested in her once again.  She’s moving ahead with her life and her plans for single motherhood and Mike has no place in her plans. Unfortunately for Lauren’s plans, Mike is determined to get back the woman he never stopped loving no matter what he has to do.

I have to tell you that when I read about why Lauren and Mike broke up in the first place I didn’t want to have Lauren and Mike get back together.  Seriously, I was that mad at him for being an insensitive ass.  True, his motivations were honorable but the way he handled it was horrible and I wasn’t sure I could forgive him.

By the middle of the book I still wasn’t sure how he was going to win Lauren back but by that point I was on his side.  He was a good guy who had made a gigantic mistake.  I couldn’t condone how he handled things with his ex-wife, and of course there were plenty of ways he could have helped his ex and stayed with Lauren (but then we wouldn’t have a book, would we?) but that’s not what happened.  Now that time has passed since his ex-wife died he knew that he couldn’t live any longer without Lauren by his side but he not only had Lauren to contend with but also his extremely sassy 13-year-old daughter, Elsa.

Elsa was a piece of work and I truly wanted to climb into the book and give her a good talking to but I could understand why her emotions were all over the place. Her mother had died, her dad is gone a lot because of his hockey schedule, she had to move away from her friends and now he’s gonna date a woman that everyone tells her stole her father away from her mother?  Yeah, I’d be an emotional wreck too.  Despite her sassiness, however, I liked the kid.  She had her moments of goodness and I thought she was a good addition to the story.

The romance in this book was extremely emotional but oh, so good.  Lauren and Mike were so good together but it was definitely hard for me to see how they’d work things out and let the hurt of the past go.  I was happy that they were able to move on and that Lauren was able to trust Mike again.  The story was fabulous and of course I loved the hockey talk as well.  😊

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars