Tag: Loveswept

Guest Review: Drawn to the Marquess by Bronwen Evans

Posted August 30, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Drawn to the Marquess by Bronwen EvansReviewer: Tracy
Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords #2) by Bronwen Evans
Series: Imperfect Lords #2
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Destined to go blind, a rake sets his sights on the toast of society, lighting a fire of passion that scorches the night, in this captivating novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.

Stephen Hornsby, the Marquess of Clevedon, has one goal: to see every exquisite thing he can before he goes blind. His greatest joy, watching a woman shuddering in the throes of passion, will be gone. But before the darkness descends, he is determined to seduce a magnificent widow, Lady Penelope Fisherton. Unfortunately, his rakish reputation has preceded him; Lady Penelope spurns his advances. Being a man who relishes a challenge, however, her reluctance adds only luster to his desire for the last beautiful sight he’ll ever see.

Considered the belle of London society, Lady Penelope was married to a scoundrel who cared for no one but himself. Now that she’s free, she wants nothing to do with love, passion, or desire—emotions that abandoned her with a cruel husband. So why does her body react when Stephen smiles? As much as she’d like to avoid the rogue, her brother-in-law wants her fortune, and he’ll kill to get it. Stephen is willing to help, but he’ll take only one thing in return: Her. In his bed.

Penelope Fisherton’s husband died under suspicious circumstances.  His brother, the one who will inherit the title, is saying that Penelope had a hand in it.  He’s mostly saying that because if Penelope is found guilty, he will inherit all the money that was left to her and not him.  Penelope enlists the assistance of Stephen Hornsby to investigate.

Stephen is a man who is tormented.  He is slowly going blind and hates it.  He wants to appreciate all of the beauty he can before he can’t see any longer.  When he sees Penelope he’s intrigued by her.  When he finds out that she’s bidding on a painting that he wants, he’s even more intrigued.  When they finally meet Stephen is besotted with her beauty.  He agrees to help her investigate her husband’s death if she will allow him the opportunity to seduce her.  She feels that she can never be seduced but she’s wrong.

I was pretty excited to read this book because, flawed hero, right? Sadly, I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.  There were many things about the book that I didn’t care for, but the main issue was that I felt nothing for the heroine and the hero together.  There was no spark, not emotion – even when they were supposedly falling for each other.  I have a big problem with emotionless romance books – it can’t be just me.  I also had issue with the fact that the big conflict in the story was that Stephen knew that Penelope was keeping something from him and lying to him, but when he gets proof that she lied he’s totally upset and pissed off.  Why was he so shocked? He knew she was lying all along.  Sure, you probably hoped she wasn’t but come on, you kept thinking it, why would you be so pissed off when you get proof positive?  It was ridiculous.

The story took a turn that I wasn’t expecting, and I didn’t care for it.  I’ve read a string of books lately where the previous husband was a control freak and/or an abuser of some sort – emotional/verbal as well as physical.  One of the parts of this book was that Penelope was set on having her independence and therefore didn’t want to get caught up with Stephen.  She wanted her independence because her dead husband was such a shit.  Makes sense, but I felt that the author made the dead husband way worse than he needed to be only to justify the heroine wanting her independence.  There are lots of ways to make a heroine a strong, independent woman without making her an abuse victim.  Maybe it’s just me who thinks that.

In the end I just didn’t care for the book.  It dragged at times and I couldn’t like it in the end.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Imperfect Lords

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Down with Love by Kate Meader

Posted August 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Down with Love by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
Down with Love (Laws of Attraction, #1) by Kate Meader
Series: Laws of Attraction #1
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: August 7, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 237
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Sparks fly when the hot-shot divorce lawyer meets the high-powered wedding planner. The only question is, what kind?

If you ever get married, remember my name: Max Henderson. In my line of work, you acquire a certain perspective on supposedly everlasting unions. . . .

1. Pre-nups are your friend. 2. The person you married is not the person you’re divorcing. 3. And I hope you didn’t spend much on the wedding because that was one helluva waste of hard-earned cash, wasn’t it?

But some guys are willing to take a chance. Like my brother, who thinks he’s going to ride off into the sunset with the woman of his dreams in a haze of glitter on unicorns. And the wedding planner—the green-eyed beauty who makes a living convincing suckers to shell out thousands of dollars on centerpieces—is raking it in on this matrimonial monstrosity.

The thing is, Charlie Love is not unlike me. We’re both cogs in the wedding-industrial complex. As the best man, I know her game—and I can play it better than her. But after one scorching, unexpected kiss, I’m thinking I might just want to get played.

Down with Love kicks off Kate Meaders brand-spankin’ new series, the Laws of Attraction series and the first book features a divorce attorney and a wedding planner. Should be fun, right?

Right.

Max Henderson sees the aftermath of love at work so he’s learned that for himself, he wants nothing to do with it. He’ll take the sex and the fun but the feelings and all of that madness are not for him. So when his younger brother announces his engagement, Max wants to be happy but he also wants to make sure that his younger brother isn’t taken for a ride. So he starts going on and on about prenups and everything his younger brother wants no part in and Max struggles with keeping his opinions to himself and that’s made even harder when he finds himself attracted to the wedding planner.

Charlie Love believes in love and she believes in creating memories for the happy couples that come to her for help in planning their big day. She’s good at what she does and she believes in happy endings, no matter how much shit her latest client’s brother throws in her face. He’s the most irritating person and she’s not at all happy that he’s attracted to her and she’s attracted right back. It’s going to be an interesting few months and no matter what, she’s stuck with Max Henderson underfoot at every turn.

Max and Charlie were a fun couple though Charlie was super extra in her interactions with Max throughout most of the book. I kept wanting to tell her to relax because, damn girl??? And then once I’m over her extra-ness then it was Max’s turn to get on my nerves and I wanted to smack some sense into both of them.

Overall, the story isn’t my favorite from Meader but it was still enjoyable. I did like getting to know Max and his family, seeing them embrace Charlie right from the beginning was fun and I really liked the friendships on both sides with Max and his partners and then Charlie and her best friends. They had a good support system but their romance kept making me roll my eyes but the sex was hot though. 🙂

Grade: 3.25 out of 5

Laws of Attraction

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

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)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: August 14th 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
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


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne

Posted July 18, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Trouble with Love by Lauren LayneReviewer: Holly
The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #4) by Lauren Layne
Series: Sex Love and Stiletto #4
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 237
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.

As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

For our Summer Reading Challenge, Rowena and Casee chose 5 books for me to read. This was one of Rowena’s picks. It’s been awhile since I read a straight contemporary and I’ve never read a Lauren Layne novel before. I’m glad Rowena chose this one. It was really good.

Emma and Cassidy have a pretty messed up past. They were once engaged, but he left her at the alter. Despite the murky details, however, they’ve managed to exist in the same social circle for years by mostly ignoring each other. Now, Cassidy is suddenly the acting editor-in-chief at Stiletto, the magazine where Emma works. As her direct boss, he’s in charge. His first assignment for her? Write about all her exes, himself included. Emma accepts the job, but she’s not too happy to be revisiting the ghost of relationships past. As she looks back at old relationships and explores her deeper feelings, she can’t deny things aren’t finished yet with Cassidy.

This was a really well-written, fun contemporary. I enjoyed getting to know Emma, Cassidy and their circle of friends. I felt their leftover pain from their past, and cheered for them to find a way to come together in the present. I struggled a bit with the pacing toward the end, and I thought Emma and Cassidy both acted the fool on occasion, but overall I really enjoyed their romance. I may go back and read the rest of the series now.

4 out of 5

Sex, Love and Stilettos

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne

Posted July 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5) by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #5
Publisher: Random House, Loveswept
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 200
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A game of seduction between two best friends goes deliciously wrong in an irresistible Oxford Novel that brims with wit and sexual tension. Library Journal hails Layne’s work as exemplary contemporary romance.”

Brit Robbins knows that dating in New York City is hard—she just hoped to have it mastered by age thirty. But after yet another promising suitor says they have no sparks, Brit decides it’s time to torch her dating game and try a new plan. And who better to coach Brit through the art of seduction than the guy who first gave her the “let’s be friends” card?

Hunter Cross has always figured there’s nothing his best friend Brit can do to surprise him. But Brit’s request is a surprise he doesn’t see coming—and one he’s definitely not prepared for. Hunter and Brit have always been careful to keep things perfectly platonic, but the fake dates and faux flirting are starting to feel like the real deal. And soon Hunter realizes he has taught Brit too well. Not only has she become an expert at seduction, the man becoming thoroughly seduced is him.

I Think I Love You is the final book in the Oxford series by Lauren Layne. It feels like the end of an era. I’m super sad that we won’t be getting any new books in this series because I’ve enjoyed every single book and have come to care about all of these characters that I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with my life now.

I Think I Love You follows Brit Robbins and Hunter Cross as they make that emotional love journey from best friends to more than best friends.

Brit has once again been dumped by her boyfriend because he thought they were better suited in the friend zone and Brit is tired of always being friend zoned so she concocts a plan to get her best friend Hunter to show her how to seduce men into wanting to be more than her friend.

Hunter hasn’t gotten into a long-term relationship because he always thought that he’d move back home to Kansas City and settle down there. Starting something with someone in New York just didn’t seem like a good idea to him and he’s never thought about Brit in that light since they’ve always been such good friends but with this whole love coach business, Hunter is seeing Brit in a different light and he has no idea what to do with these thoughts, these feelings and the more time he spends with Brit, the more he realizes that maybe she doesn’t see him like that.

Lauren Layne writes my favorite kind of contemporary romances. The big city romances with strong, big city characters that you can’t help but cheer for because her writing style is so engaging. Brit and Hunter wormed their way into my heart and I enjoyed getting to know them and seeing them fall in love with each other. The other thing that this book had going for it was everyone else from the Sex, Love and Stilettos and Oxford books. I enjoyed the heck out of the previous books in both of those series so seeing everyone come together in friendship and support in this book made me happy. This series ended on a high note and though I’ll miss everyone, I thought this book was a great send off. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Oxford

four-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,