Tag: Marie Harte

Review: The Kissing Game by Marie Harte

Posted February 19, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Kissing Game by Marie HarteReviewer: Rowena
The Kissing Game by Marie Harte
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
one-half-stars

"I bet you a kiss you can't resist me."

Game on.

Rena Jackson is ready. She's worked her tail off to open up her own hair salon, and she's almost ready to quit her job at the dive bar. Rena's also a diehard romantic, and she's had her eye on bar regular Axel Heller for a while. He's got that tall-dark-and-handsome thing going big time. Problem is, he's got that buttoned-up Germanic ice man thing going as well. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Rena's about ready to give up on Axel and find her own Mr. Right.

At six foot six, Axel knows he intimidates most people. He's been crushing on the gorgeous waitress for months. But the muscled mechanic is no romantic, and his heart is buried so deep, he has no idea how to show Rena what he feels. He knows he's way out of his depth and she's slipping away. So, he makes one crazy, desperate play...

I’ve never read anything by Marie Harte before and I’ll admit that what initially piqued my interest with this book was that cartoon cover. I’m a fan of these cutesy, cartoon covers because they make me picture the cutesy story that I expect to get when I pick one up. I’m starting to think that these cartoony covers are the exact opposite of what I should expect to get. This one sounded like a super cute story that would be a light and fluffy read but right from the very beginning, what I thought I was getting, wasn’t what I felt was coming. I kept reading, thinking that maybe it’ll get better and unfortunately, it never did. Sure, there were some moments throughout the book that had me laughing and some characters that I was genuinely interested in but for the most part, I was like…nah.

Axel Heller has had a giant crush on Rena Jackson but he’s never made his move. She’s been patient with him but the longer he waits to get at her, the more sure Rena is that he’s never going to make his move so she needs to move on. She’s leaving her bartending job to open her own hair salon and when Axel gets into a bar fight at her going away party, she’s not surprised but she’s also determined to move on. When Axel receives some much-needed advice, he decides that it’s now or never. Now, a huge part of the reason that I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would is that I couldn’t connect with either the hero or the heroine. I thought that as the story progressed, I would understand their thought processes and I would start to connect with them but I don’t know if it was Harte’s writing style or if was the fact that the characters of color didn’t come off as authentic to me but whatever it was, I put this book down and just did feel much of anything and that bummed me out.

I love romance novels of all kinds. I love the light and fluffy ones, the dark and twisted ones, even the suspenseful ones but what I like about those stories is that I know what I’m getting when I go into them. The HEA is a given but you can tell by the covers just what you’re going to get and I thought the cover for this one didn’t fit with the kind of story that I was expecting. This wasn’t the light and fluffy romance that I was expecting. It was a diverse romance that was written by an author who was not diverse. I found myself frustrated with the characters, with the romance, and with the writing style. I kept reading to see if I’d ever warm up to Axel and to Rena and while I did end up liking Rena, I never warmed up to Axel. There was a lot of nothing going on. I couldn’t really tell what the conflict was because the conflict was pretty weak. I didn’t feel like there was anything to carry the characters or even develop them. So my enjoyment really suffered because of all of those things. On top of those things, I also thought that there were a lot of characters to keep track of. Sure, I enjoyed some of them but for the most part, not having read any of these characters books (I didn’t even know that this book was part of a series), I had no clue who they were and didn’t even know that I was supposed to care about them.

So yeah, I went into this book expecting one thing but didn’t get it and I didn’t really connect with the main characters or anything that they were going through so all in all, this book just wasn’t for me.

Final Grade

Grade: 1.5 out of 5

one-half-stars


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Guest Review: All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte

Posted September 28, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: All I Want for Halloween by Marie HarteReviewer: Tracy
All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

TONIGHT, SHE PLANS TO LET GO.

Dressed up and anonymous, Sadie Liberato feels powerful, sexy and free. Where better to lose herself than a masked party?

Gear Blackstone's cheating ex and scheming best friend have managed to spin his life into a serious downward spiral. At least with a mask on he can cut loose for one night. And cut loose he does-with the sexiest, snarkiest chick he's ever met.

After a scorching-hot encounter, Sadie and Gear are desperate to find each other in real life. But can the heat last when the masks come off?

Gear Blackstone started his own motorcycle business with his best friend.  It turned into a reality TV show and all was well until his fiancé and best friend slept together then trashed Gear on national TV.  They cut him off the show and out of the business he’s worked so hard for.  It’s been two months and Gear is a bit lost as to what he wants to do now.

Sadie is co-owner of Sofa’s Baker with her brother and sister.  She loves her work but other than that she really has no life.  She’s once caught Gear’s reality show briefly and wasn’t impressed with it or him.

Sadie’s at a Halloween party when she meets a guy dressed as a devil.  They hit it off and end up having sex behind some plants.  Bold or stupid?  I can’t decide.  Anyway, Gear figures out who Sadie is and heads to her bakery to see if he can get her on a date.  Sadie loved her recklessness at the party but she’s not interested in a relationship and is a bit put out when she finds out it was Gear she had sex with.  Despite her misgivings about Gear she ends up having sex regularly with the man.  She finds herself getting closer to him and she’s not sure she’s ok with that.  She’s been hurt in the past and isn’t interested in getting hurt again.

This was a really cute book.  I loved Sadie and Gear because they were so upfront about things. When Gear was irritating her she told him so.  When she wanted to have sex, she told him so.  No beating around the bush with either of them.  Some would say it was crass and too blunt but I found it refreshing.  Yes, Sadie hid her feelings for Gear for short time but everything was soon out in the open.

As I said, Sadie was a straight-shooter – well, Gear was as well.  He’d been so hurt by his best friend and fiancé – although he knew he didn’t love the fiancé so he wasn’t too torn up about it.  It was mostly his best friend.  Not only did they screw him over but then they liked about it to make it look like Gear was the bad guy and had cheated on his fiancé first.  I wanted to grab them both through the book and slap them silly.  It was just so hurtful.  Gear managed to get through this all with Sadie’s help an I was happy when he finally went after what he wanted professionally and gave his old friends the finger.

Overall a fun book that I really enjoyed.  If you want a sweet romance this isn’t the book for you.  IF you like gritty characters that are upfront and plain talking then pick this one up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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What I Read Last Week

Posted September 17, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 3 Comments

Hey there everyone! How are you? Life here is…interesting. I won’t get into details but I’ll say there’s never a dull moment. lol

Giveaways:

I currently have a few giveaways going on the blog…
A digital copy of Protector by Joanne Wadsworth – book 1 in the Magio-Earth series. (YA)
A print copy of Steam Bath: Sweaty Gay Erotica – an anthology of m/m short stories edited by Shane Allison. (this giveaway is US Only)
**My 2013 5 Star Read Giveaway – a list of my 5 star reads (so far) and you can win 1 of them in digital fro the book seller of your choice. 
**And…I’ll have another one coming up this week so check back!

Also, the winner of Blue Hydrangeas by Marianne Sciucco was Crystal C-B – Congratulations! Crystal I’ve already passed your email address off to Marianne so you should get your book soon if you haven’t already.

On to what I read last week:

First up was a novella in Elder Races series by Thea Harrison called The Wicked. The story was about an Owl shifter who was working on security while a group of magical librarians got ancient tomes off of Carling Severin’s island. It was a really good novella. 4 out of 5

Next was Steam Bath: Sweaty Gay Erotic edited by Shane Allison. This was an anthology of short stories all centered around bath houses. Lots of sweat, and lots of sex. 🙂 You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Rumors That Ruined a Lady by Marguerite Kaye was historical romance based around a woman, Caro, who is married and has left her husband. Her hubby then spread rumors about her that were NOT true. Her “friend” Sebastian helps her and saves her life and they end up falling in love. It was a much darker book than expected but really great. This one comes out next month and isn’t to be missed. 4 out of 5 (Is it just me or does the lady on the cover look like Annette Bening??)

My next read was one of the free reads that All Romance eBooks put out in their Fall in Love series giveaway called Tied and True by Marie Harte. The story is about a woman who hears her coworker spouting off that he has a “money shot” of her. She breaks into his house to get the pic but ends up tying him to the bed for most of the weekend to have her way with him. It was a decent short story – and it was free! lol 3 out of 5

The Volatile Amazon by Sandy James is book 4 in the Alliance of the Amazon series. This book follows Sarita the water amazon and her pretty much star crossed relationship with a highlander named Ian. It was a pretty great book and a great end to the series. I’ll post my review of this one next week. 4.25/4.5 out of 5

Edenbrooke (A Proper Romance) by Julianne Donaldson was a great little historical that follows Marianne Daventry as she heads off to Edenbrooke to visit with her sister who’s also visiting there. She meets Philip one of the sons of Edenbrooke but she has no idea that this is the man that her twin sister Cecily has her eye on. The romance is very sweet and I loved watching Philip and Marianne together. 4 out of 5 

(Never) Again by Theresa Paolo is a New Adult story about a girl who is in her first year of college when she meets up with her ex-boyfriend who broke her heart. The book is about her dealing with him, her current boyfriend, her virginity, her brother and others. It was a decent read but I did have some issues with Liz and her manic way of dealing with her life. 3 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Lycan’s Mate by Chandler Dee is a short story about a woman/alpha of her pack who is gearing up for the “chase” that will decide who her mate will be. The story is strange and short and kind of leaves you hanging. I was just feeling like it might be something I could get into and then it stopped. Odd, very odd. 1 out of 5

Last for the week was Runaway by Sandy James. This is book 2 in the Safe Havens series. The story is about heiress Cassie Shay who saves 2 men from death – death that her uncle ordered. Those two men, Ty Bishop and Jake Curtis then help Cassie escape from her family who wants her to marry a evil abusive man twice her age. Ty and Cassie fall in love on their way back to White Pines, Montana but the welcome they get in White Pines from Ty’s adopted family isn’t all hearts and butterflies when they find out that Cassie belongs to the Shay family.  I’ll post my review for this one this week.

 
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Fighting Fate by Linda Kage
Not Planning on You by Sydney Landon
The Untamed Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Happy Reading!


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What I Read Last Week

Posted September 9, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 2 Comments

Another week has gone by. We had a pretty quiet week with a fun weekend. Waterslide and potluck at church and my youngest especially had a wonderful time.then my oldest had some friends over for jumping on the trampoline, swimming and some LOUD games on the Wii. Fun…and exhausting. 🙂 Here’s my youngest doing a somersault on the waterslide.

How was your week? Do anything especially fun?

So I started out the week with Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille. I had a like/hate relationship with this book. The story is about Makayla who meets Torment, the owner of a gym where they have unsanctioned fights. She’s immediately attracted and he is as well. He’s just a regular guy who is very cool. She works at a hospital in admitting but has her EMT certificate. She’s incredibly low on cash and agrees to work at the gym doing first aid during fights to earn extra money. The two hit it off and I liked where it was all going. Torment however is actually a millionaire named Max who becomes…well, kind of an asshole with serious control issues. Yes, during the book we find out why he has those issues but still – wow. Makayla has an event from her past that haunts her and Max’s need for control in the bedroom sets her off and scares her. IDK, the story was decent but I really had problems with the characters at different times. Makayla at times was just TSTL and Max was at times nice and then a controlling bastard. I think this is one you have to read for yourself and decide how you feel. 3.25 out of 5

Next up was Foxy Lady by Marie Harte. Book 3 in the Cougar Falls series and this is about the town Sheriff, Ty, heading off to help Julia out of what he believes is a sticky situation. The problem is that some rednecks think they own the town and the oldest son wants Julia for his own. Julia and her family are also hiding a deep dark secret. This was a good one with lots of ins and out and action. 3.5 out of 5

Dear Rockstar by Emme Rollins. This is a New Adult story about a girl who is obsessed with a particular rock star so when his younger look alike walks into her school she’s floored. She decides that she likes him for him though, and not because of who he looks like. The book is about Sara dealing with her family, her issues with her obsession and her relationship with her boyfriend Dale. I really liked this story a lot. Dale had his own secrets that he never shared with Sara which I thought he should have shared but he had his reasons. I think there’s another book either out or due to be released that will follow up with them – I’m looking forward to it. 4 out of 5 

Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke by Suzanne Enoch is almost a year old. I bought it when it released and I’m ashamed to say it sat there for almost a year. (Of course I have many others that I’ve bought and ignored but we won’t get into that.) Anyway, this story is about Sophia who is the daughter of a lady’s maid and a duke. She has secured her independence by working at the Tantalus Club but her “father” got word of this and went to see her (for the first time in her life). He said that she was an embarrassment to him and she would go marry a vicar in Cornwall or he would use all of his power to shut down the Tantalus Club. Sophia agrees as she knows he’s powerful and she doesn’t want the club closed down. A lot of other women had found their independence there as well and she wanted that to continue. She accepts an invitation to a Christmas house party given by the Duke of Greaves. She knows she’s only invited as the shock factor but one thing leads to another and she finds herself with the duke for 2 weeks before any of the other guests arrive. Of course they fall in love. Ok, this was an awesome book. I loved Sophia so damned much. She was wonderful and I couldn’t get enough of her. I really liked Adam as well, even though he had his moments where I wanted to punch him to get his brain functioning properly. This is definitely a book that I recommend. I closed the book with a huge satisfied sigh and a big smile on my face. 5 out of 5

Last for the week was Tethered by Meljean Brook. This is book 2.5 in the Iron Seas series and follows, once again, Archimedes Fox and his now wife Yasmeen Corsair-Fox. The story is about the pair being forced into a dangerous rescue by Archimedes’ old partner, Miles Bilson. I really liked the way the book was set up and of course getting to read more about Yasmeen and Archimedes and their adventures. Good book. 4 out of 5

 

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
The Switched Baby Scandal by Theresa Meyers

Happy Reading! 


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What I Read Last Week

Posted September 2, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 0 Comments

Hey there!

Happy Labor Day! (to those in the US)  I hope you have the day off and are enjoying it in a relaxing way.

Giveaway Winner: Kris M. was the winner of the giveaway of Self’s Blossom by David Russell.  Congrats Kris!

This past week went by really fast. There were lots of things to do at work that I don’t normally do and that was keeping me on my toes.  Then there’s my oldest is still giving me fits.  I swear that child is making me age rapidly. sigh 🙂

On to what I read this past week:

I started off the week with Things Good Girls Don’t Do by Codi Gary.  This was a sweet story of two people coming together and finding love.  Sounds simple but when you have a whole town that thinks you’re “too good” for the guy when he’s a really nice guy it makes things difficult.  You can read my full review here. 4 out of 5

Next up was Ablaze by Morgana Black.  This is a very short story that has to do with a girl who is supposed to meet one guy and ends up stranded in a blizzard with another.  It read more like a very short first chapter of a book which made it ok but obviously an entire story doesn’t get told in a single chapter.  Hopefully the next part of this series have more to it and be longer than 26 pages.  2 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

My next read was Heavy Metal Heart by Nico Rosso.  The story is about a “man” who is both elemental and demon who is a rock star.  He meets one of his fans who is human but is his Muse – his other half.  Trevor never believed that his (or anyone else’s) Muse actually existed.  Trevor and Misty spend one night having sex, running from the bad guys and falling in love.  I had a few niggles with the story but it was good.  3 out of 5 

Your Wicked Heart by Meredith Duran was a great story about Amanda who was going to marry a man who is an viscount but he never showed up.  When she heads to his hotel she meets a man who says he’s the real viscount and that man thinks that Amanda is all part of the identity theft scheme.  He takes her with him when he sets sail to follow the imposter and the two end up falling in love.  Now Spence was a jerk at times but I really liked the story overall.  4 out of 5

Blue By You by Rachel Gibson is a standalone novella about a man and a woman meet after 22 years to find that their attraction hasn’t died.  I’ll post my review for this one later this week. 3.5 out of 5

Headfirst Falling by Melissa Guinn is the story of a couple who both have issues.  Jackson has come back from Iraq a changed man and has his demons, of course.  Then there’s Charlie who has been in love with Jackson for years and she’s not about to let him go now.  But Charlie has her own multitude of issues that have to be dealt with.  This was a good story but really quite dark emotionally.  I’ll post my review for this one later this month. 3.5 out of 5
On a side note I really like this cover but not as it pertains to this story. Jackson just got back from Iraq.  He’s supposedly buff and you know that he doesn’t have long hair after having been in the military.  sigh Bothersome.

Rachel’s Totem is a the first novella is the Cougar Falls series by Marie Harte.  The story is about a girl whose aunt dies and she is to take over her house, land, and totem guardian for the town.  Of course Rachel had no idea when she arrived in Cougar Falls what a totem was or that shifters existed.  It’s all a bit of a shock but she manages to get through with help from Burke who shows her the ropes – and a 4some with his brothers. 😉  Cute story. 3 out of 5

After that I re-read the next book in the Cougar Falls series, In Plain Sight, which is about Sarah who is thought to be the town whore but has gotten a bad rep and not done anything wrong. Cullen is an eagle shifter, like Sarah, who has been in love with Sarah for forever.  When he protects her from an attack and takes her home to recuperate they fall in love.  It was cute and I loved Cullen. I didn’t like it this time quite as much as I did the first and if fell half a rating point.  3 out of 5 

Last for the week was The Untamed Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley.  This is Lloyd Fellows’s story and I’m so glad we got one!  Lloyd is the illegitimate son on the former Duke of Kilmorgan.  His father never acknowledged him but after he died Lloyd’s brother, Hart, did.  He’s smitten with Louisa, the sister of Isabella who is married to his brother, Mac. When she’s thought to have murdered a bishop Lloyd will stop at nothing to clear her name.  It was a great story and I’m so happy that Ashley gave Lloyd his own.  Well done.  4.25 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
crickets


Happy Reading!


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