Tag: Romance

Review: Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon

Posted July 24, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Eye Candy by Jessica LemmonReviewer: Rowena
Eye Candy by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Real Love #1
Published by Random House, Loveswept
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Jacqueline: As an adult woman--and the vice president of a marketing firm--I shouldn't be waiting by my office window to ogle the mystery man who jogs by every morning at 11:45. Sure, he's a gorgeous, perfect specimen of the human race, but I can't bring myself to hit on a total stranger. However, my best friend-slash-colleague Vince Carson thinks I should do more than talk to the guy. In fact, he's borderline obsessive about "getting me laid." (His words.) But the more time we spend together, the more it's clear: The one I'm falling for is Vince.

Vince: Jackie Butler's got it bad for some pompous, over-pumped A-hole who struts his stuff past her window. That doesn't bother me. I know she deserves nice things. What does bother me is that she friend-zoned me big-time last year, so I can't ask her out myself. But what if I set her up with Mr. Steroids? Then, when he breaks her heart, I can swoop in and save her like the nice guy I am. Everything's going according to plan . . . until we share a ridiculously epic kiss. And suddenly anything is possible.

Eye Candy is the first book in a new series by Jessica Lemmon called Real Love. It follows Vince Carson as he tries to win his best friend Jackie Butler over into his life and his..bed.

Vince has got it bad for his best friend, Jackie. She kind of snuck up on him because he wasn’t looking for feelings to creep up on him since he swore off love after his ex-wife left him because he wasn’t successful enough for her. Jackie and Vince work together, they share the VP status at their marketing firm and it was Jackie that helped Vince get his shit together after the divorce. He was an emotional mess and talking things out with Jackie, who showed up at his house with fried chicken and beer helped get his life back on track and he was doing well now. He was done being an emotional basket case and he was moving on with his life. He was ready to date again and he wanted to date Jackie but she wasn’t ready for him.

Jackie came into the picture when she started working at the marketing firm that Vince worked at. She was fresh off a divorce herself but her divorce did a number on her because her ex-husband cheating and fell in love with someone else while still married to Jackie and she hasn’t really recovered from the rejection and betrayal. Vince was off limits when Jackie first meets him and it’s probably for the best because they’re really good as friends. Best friends, even. She saw herself in him when he was struggling to get through the days following his divorce and so she shows up at his house and helps him through everything. She listened to him when he needed to get all of his emotions off his chest. She helped him figure out his next move.

Vince is under the impression that if he were to ask Jackie out, that he would be her rebound and he doesn’t want to be that so when she starts drooling over the hot guy that runs by their office every day at 11:45am, Vince thinks it’s a good idea to become her dating coach. She needs to get back out there so that when the hot guy breaks her heart, Vince will be there to comfort her through the heartbreak.

What a dumbass plan. The whole plan that Vince concocts to win Jackie over was just plain ol’ dumb but for some reason, I kept reading the book. I enjoyed Vince as a character and I enjoyed getting to know Jackie but I still thought that they had a lot of dumb moments throughout the book. I’m not a fan of dating games and these two played a lot of them. They’re best friends, so I didn’t think that the games were necessary but let them both slide some because they were young enough to make those stupid mistakes.

The romance was pretty steamy and I’m mighty curious about the next book in this series so I’m definitely going to be continuuing on. I liked Davis and want to see him get the bartender….I’m also very curious to know where Grace went toward the end of this book. Why wasn’t she at the bar when the boys would go in there? Hmmm…

Overall, I thought this book was good. The characters were funny, the dialogue had me cracking up and I liked the hero. Sure, Vince did some stupid shit but I still really liked him. I liked him more than I liked Jackie. I wasn’t a fan of the whole JT thing but it led Vince and Jackie to each other so I got over it. Jessica Lemmon created a fun little world for these characters and I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the gang in the next book. I’m in.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Dragon Home by Mell Eight

Posted July 18, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Dragon Home by Mell EightReviewer: Tracy
Dragon Home by Mell Eight
Series: Supernatural Consultant #5.2
Also in this series: Dragon Consultant, Dragon Deception, Dragon Dilemma, Dragon Detective, Dragon Soldier, Dragon Adventure
Published by Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: June 21st 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Romance
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four-stars

With Rios happily mated and planning an entire future, Aqua can't help but feeling left out. The brother that was always been his chief playmate and best friend is going to leave him behind, which isn't at all acceptable. The obvious answer is to leave first, so Aqua packs a bag to go on an adventure. But this adventure isn't anything like his last one and the chances of him returning home alive dwindle every moment.

Aqua’s brother, Rios, found his mate and now he’s off every day with Nixie and Aqua is left with no one.  He shouldn’t be jealous of Nixie because Rios is so happy, but he is.  When Aqua is moping around the house one morning his Uncle Willy told him that he needed to make friends and he wasn’t going to meet any if he stayed at home moping.  Aqua immediately packs a bag, turns into his water dragon form and heads off on an air current to seek adventure.

Aqua doesn’t know where he is when he realizes that he’s hungry.  He stops in a desert to eat but he gets ready to leave he’s conked on the head.  A family of fire salamanders – led by the oldest brother – ties him up thinking he’s a spy.  Aqua tries to tell them he’s not but they don’t believe him.  When he thinks everyone is gone he meets a silent member of the family.  Ash is an albino salamander.  He can’t create fire and can’t go out in the sun or he’ll burn.  Ash explains that his sister Safara had dated a nearby dragon but when their older brother went to meet the dragon he had brought Safara back with him and they were then at war with the local dragons.

Aqua decides that the only way to work things out is to talk it over with the local dragons.  He takes Ash with him and heads off to play peacemaker.  Unfortunately, what he discovers is something he can’t fix jut by talking.

This was such an adorable story.  I just loved it and would have given it 5 stars had it been a little longer.

Aqua was a good kid/dragon kit and had such a good heart.  He just wanted to be loved and feel like he was a part of something.  Yes, he had his brother and Uncle Willy but he needed more.  Finding Ash and his family situation was a huge turning point in his life and it warmed my heart to see him so happy.

I don’t want to tell you too much about the story because the revelations are worth reading. Now I did put this under M/M but Aqua and Ash are young and the only thing they do is hold hands – just FYI.

As much as I want to get the stories of the other dragon kits from the first few books this was a wonderful interlude and definitely worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Ancient Heat by Kira Shayde

Posted July 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Ancient Heat by Kira ShaydeReviewer: Tracy
Ancient Heat by Kira Shayde

Publication Date: June 10th 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 332
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three-stars

She's trapped in another woman’s body…and the other woman is a werelion.

Nicole Abramson gains more than razor-sharp claws and a taste for raw meat. With a latent telekinetic talent, she’s a weapon to be used in a millennia-long war, but will she serve or resist? Fighting for her life, Nicole rails against the thief who stole her ordinary and safe life, even as she seeks comfort from the woman’s intended mate, the gorgeous Sander Evans.

Although drawn to her outspokenness, Sander keeps Nicole at bay while he defends his clan. Werelions and humans don’t mix, yet he can’t deny the passion igniting between them, particularly with her body in heat. As the danger around them amplifies, they’ll need more than courage and strength to fight for their newfound attraction—and their lives.

Nicole wakes up in a strange room, in a strange bed, with a strange man in her room.  To say she’s freaked out is putting it mildly.  When she finds out that she’s in someone else’s body, all hell breaks loose.

Apparently her brain/soul was put into the body of a shapeshifter named Marseille who is “engaged” to the alpha of the Werelions, Sander.  When he finally believes that what Nicole is saying is true he’s pissed off, to say the least.  They head to Nicole’s house (about 3 hours away) and find Sander’s intended living quite happily in Nicole’s body.

It seems that Marseille never intended to mate with Sander – she was just there because the elders had a plan that involved Nicole helping their kind win a war against their enemy, the Followers.  Everyone is mad but despite that Nicole and Sander start getting closer.  Or do they? Every time Nicole thinks they’re on the same page, Sander pushes her away.  Nicole cries and then he feels bad and then the cycle happens again.

Nicole can definitely help the werelions with the enemy but when she starts to fall in love with Sander she’s confused.  What will happen when she gets back in to her human body – he’ll hate her.  Can they even be together if they survive an attack by the Followers?

There were a lot of good things about this book. I liked the premise, and the writing was definitely engaging.

Unfortunately there was just as much bad as good. The heroine of this story annoyed the ever-loving shit outta me with her whining and constant pity parties. While the hero was better he was still a bit of a bastard at times.

Werelions actually think that humans stink.  Like, they have an odor that can hardly be tolerated. Sander says he has feelings for Nicole but if she goes back to her human body what will happen?  When Nicole asks Sander if he had a choice of being with Marseille in Nicole’s body or Nicole in Marseille’s body, would he overcome his aversion to humans to be with his intended his reply is ridiculous.  He says – would you have sex with a dog?  Seriously?  He thinks humans are dogs but he’s falling in love with Nicole? Ugh.  My brain was just fried by that point.

Between Nicole’s ups and downs and her supposed telekinetic abilities that no one except the elders even knew about, including Nicole, it was all a bit much.  I do have to say that the author’s imagination is pretty darned creative.  Her Werelion/Follower war was inventive and that’s what kept me reading.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

Posted July 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda KenneallyReviewer: Rowena
Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #8
Also in this series: Defending Taylor
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

It’s pretty amazing that this book is the eighth book in the Hundred Oaks series and I’m just as invested in these characters, from that high school as I was in the beginning. Sure, I’ve liked some books more than others but I’m still excited to read these books as if I’d read them for the first time.

This book follows Maggie and Levi. Best friends turned more than best friends. They’re competitive swimmers that grew up together, are always in each other’s pockets and with their schedules as jam packed as they are, they don’t really have much time for friends and relationships and what not. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem because Levi finds the time to hook up with girls and Maggie is too tired for anything more than swim and her weekly night out with her best friends. All of that is enough for Maggie until she goes on a college visit trip and becomes curious. She doesn’t have any experience with boys and now that the idea is in her head, she wants to hook up with someone. She wants to kiss and fool around and really, she wants more than just swimming.

Once that is decided, Maggie tries it on her own with disastrous results so she figures that she needs someone she trusts to help her out and who better than her bestie, Levi?

Levi is not excited about delving into this because Maggie is important to him and he doesn’t have the time and doesn’t want to risk what they have over kissing and hooking up. He’s scared of all of the normal things that will happen with other girls, things he doesn’t want to risk with Maggie but because he can’t say no to her, he goes along. He helps her out. They kiss. They make out. They learn from each other until things start to really heat up.

Maggie and Levi were adorable on their own and I really loved their friendship. They had a solid foundation as friends and I was glad that they were able to get back to that friendship once the waters were tested and their bond was shaken a little. Kenneally does a great job of telling both of their sides and helping them figure their stuff out and she does it all so easily. Not once was I bored. Not once was I frustrated with either Maggie or Levi and I really enjoyed seeing them come into their own while not losing what was between them. Sure, it wasn’t easy and their relationship wasn’t perfect but it was still pretty awesome and I really enjoyed being along for their journey.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Friend (with Benefits) Zone by Laura Brown

Posted July 16, 2017 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 2 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. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Friend (with Benefits) Zone by Laura Brown caught my eye when I read that the hero and heroine met in a Deaf program when they were both in Kindergarten. That’s a new one for me so I’m definitely interested in this one.

Friend (with Benefits) Zone by Laura Brown
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon

I’m ridiculously attracted to my best friend.

Today is a bad day. The worst actually. After dealing with the constant manhandling that comes with being a cocktail waitress at a dive bar and surviving a date from hell, I see an eviction notice slapped on the door of my sketchy basement apartment. Great.

When my best friend Devon shows up at my door and uses his stubborn charm (emphasis on stubborn) to get me to move in with him, I give in. We’ve had about a million sleepovers since we met in the kindergarten Deaf program, but this time it’s different because I can’t stop thinking about his hard body covering mine, every single night.

I know Devon would do anything for me, but I’m afraid what I want to happen will ruin our friendship forever. And the more time we spend together in close quarters, the harder it’ll be to resist the spark of attraction I’ve always felt. But maybe it’s possible to have the best of both worlds: keep the one relationship I can’t live without and indulge in an attraction I can’t deny.

I guess the only thing we can do is try…

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

And now my box containing the only articles I had left from him, mainly random small items, a few pictures and recipes, was trapped in a place I no longer had access to. Yet another landlord held my belongings hostage.

Anger bubbled up inside, and I had no one to blame but myself. I banged on my wheel, signing profanities into the air. I should have listened to Dev. If I had showed him the letter, we could have packed up all my belongings and brought them back to his place. Then my box would be safe.

The light ahead turned red, and I braked, resisting the urge to put my head on the steering wheel. Once before, I’d set the horn off by doing that, having no clue I’d disturbed an entire apartment complex. Another day in the life of Jasmine Helmsman.

By the time I made it to Dev’s place, rage had taken over. Every time, every damn time I managed to get one foot in front of the other, life pushed me back.

I stomped up the stairs in Dev’s building, wishing he was hearing and I could bang the shit out of his door. I could, if his brother was home or if Dev had his hearing aids on. Neither were a sure bet. I settled for pressing my thumb into the doorbell and holding it down, imagining the strobe flash and flash and flash.

The door flung open. “What the hell?” Dev signed before grabbing my arm and drawing me in. “Are you OK?” He looked me up and down, as if my physical appearance would change simply because my lock did.

“I’m fine,” I signed with more force than necessary.

Without missing a beat, Dev pulled me into a tight hug.

My anger vanished. His arms wrapped around me—my own personal blanket—while his head tilted until it rested on top of mine. Like I belonged there. No one hugged like Devon Walker. I buried my head in his shoulder, not caring that my curls were caught in his whiskers. Only his comfort reminded me of all my troubles, hitting me like a brick. Here I was, held by a guy who had more stability than I ever had. He’d always have a place to call home. I was homeless.

I pulled back before his warmth caused me to shed a tear. I didn’t cry, hadn’t for over ten years. “You need anything?”

I dropped my purse on the floor. “Everything.”


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

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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 the Author

Laura Brown

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Laura Brown lives in Massachusetts with her quirky abnormal family. Her husband’s put up with her since high school, her young son keeps her on her toes, and her three cats think they deserve more scratches. Hearing loss is a big part of who she is, from her own Hard of Hearing ears, to the characters she creates.


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