Tag: Self-Published

Audiobook Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 19, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Shane East, Grace Grant
Series: Part Time Lover #2
Also in this series: Wanderlust
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 4, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 314
Length: 7 hours and 21 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

A sexy new standalone romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely!I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression.When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations. Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…

***Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…As long as no one gets hurt…As long as no one falls in love…


But our ending was one I never saw coming.

We first met Elise and Christian in Wanderlust. There were hints of a history/relationship with them and I was anxious for more. I’m so glad I discovered this book. Though they’re mentioned in Wanderlust, the book stands alone well.

Elise and Christian had a chance meeting in Denmark. They had an obvious connection, but it didn’t work out. A year later another chance meeting brings them together in Paris. This time, they both want to explore their chemistry, but neither is looking for something long-term. They settle on a casual fling, until Christian needs to produce a wife in order to help his brother save their family company. Elise sees this as an opportunity to offer help to a friend and suggests they get married. They know the score – this is a marriage of convenience only. Though convincing their hearts may prove difficult..

This was a sweet story. I enjoyed the slow-burn romance and the way Elise and Christian’s relationship developed. The witty banter had me laughing and I thought their friendship was believable. The narrators both did an excellent job. I was pulled into the story right away and couldn’t stop listening. I loved both Elise and Christian. They were well settled into their lives and careers and knew what they wanted from both. They were both a bit gun-shy about falling in love, but based on their pasts I felt it was believable. I loved how they worked together and were so open and honest with each other right from the start.

Another stellar novel from Blakely. I just can’t get enough.

4.25 out of 5

Part Time Lover

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Audiobook Review: For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove

Posted October 16, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: For the Love of English by A.M. HargroveReviewer: Holly
For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove
Narrator: Jason Clarke, Erin Mallon
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 377
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

From
USA Today
Bestselling Author, A.M. Hargrove, comes a New Adult, Single Dad, Sexy, Stand Alone Romance.

Single dad, Beckley Bridges, is sexy as hell. No, really, he’s the hottest thing since the sun was created. Honest to God, crack an egg on him and the thing will sizzle.So what’s the problem? He’s also a gigantic jerk. I hate the bastard. I try to avoid him at all costs. But for some reason, everywhere I go he seems to show up.

Only the real issue is his daughter, English.She’s an adorable quirky first-grader who’s the sweetest thing since iced tea.And she’s one of my students but also the love of his life.So I have to deal with him on a professional level. It’s not easy. On a scale of easy to hard, dealing with Beckley Bridges is like nails screeching across a blackboard.

But when English’s mother tries to gain custody after abandoning her on Beckley’s doorstep as an infant, he’ll do anything possible to keep English under his roof.

That’s how he ends up propositioning me.

And crazy as it sounds?


I find myself considering it.

This is a full-length novel that includes mature content not suitable younger readers.

I’m a total sucker for hot single dads. We could get into all the reasons why, but let’s just say these are my crack and leave it at that. Beck was a super hot single dad. He was intense and focused when it came to his daughter, English, and I loved how great he was when it came to being her parent. The chemistry between Beck and Sheridan was pretty thick. I liked that aspect of their relationship. I also liked how the relationship between Sheridan and English developed. I also really liked the narrators. Both did great voices and didn’t annoy me at all.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

1) The stupid contrived drama toward the middle of the book that separated the couple. It was just that, stupid and contrived. Both their reactions were over the top and the resolution was flat.
2) The even more stupid and contrived reason for them to get married in the first place. In the realm of reality, this charted somewhere around the Earth really just being a small glass ball some purple and orange alien is spinning on its finger.
3) The entire plot based around English’s bio mom. The.Entire.Plot.

Had this been a straight up contemporary romance about a grumpy hot single dad who accidentally falls in love with his daughter’s first grade teacher, I’d have been all over it. The writing was smooth and I liked the romance itself. As it is, the rest really marred my enjoyment. I’m surprised my eyes didn’t roll out of my head.

2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh

Posted October 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rebel Hard by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Rebel Hard (Hard Play, #2) by Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #2
Also in this series: Cherish Hard, Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1), Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published, Nalini Singh
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 409
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Hard Play series with a sweet, sexy romance featuring big, fat, OTT weddings, a meddling grandma, and a too-serious hero who needs to be unbuttoned…

Nayna Sharma agreed to an arranged marriage in the hope it would heal the fractures in her beloved family… only to realize too late that a traditional marriage is her personal nightmare. Panicked, she throws caution to the winds, puts on the tiniest dress she can find, and ends up in the arms of a tall, rough-edged hunk of a man who has abs of steel—and who she manages to mortally insult between one kiss and the next.

Abandoned as a child, then adopted into a loving family, Raj Sen believes in tradition, in continuity. Some might call him stiff and old-fashioned, but he knows what he wants—and it’s a life defined by rules… yet he can’t stop thinking about the infuriating and sexy woman who kissed him in the moonlight then disappeared. When his parents spring an introduction on him, the last woman he expects is her. Beautiful. Maddening. A rulebreaker in the making.

He’s all wrong for her. She’s all wrong for him. And love is about to make rebels of them both.

Rebel Hard is the second book in Nalini Singh’s Hard Play series and it follows the best friends of the couple in book 1 as they journey toward their own happily ever after with each other. We first meet them in Cherish Hard when they meet each other and kiss and kiss and kiss and then Nayna runs away. In Rebel Hard, we find out where Nayna went and what happened with Raj.

I didn’t think that I would like this book as much as I did because Nayna low key got on my nerves in the last book. I didn’t really connect with her running away after every encounter she had with Raj. It felt childish and I didn’t really want or care about reading her story. I’m glad that I changed my mind and read this book because I ended up really enjoying getting to know both Raj and Nayna. Raj was everything and even though Nayna frustrated me throughout this story, I ended up really liking her.

Raj Sen is a traditional man that wants to live a traditional Indian life. He wants a wife and a family to come home to every night and he thinks he found that partner in Nayna Sharma but Nayna is just realizing that living her life being the good and dutiful daughter to her parents has chipped away at her identity. She doesn’t want to be the dutiful daughter. She doesn’t want to live her life for her parents, so that her parents don’t hurt the way that they were hurt when Nayna’s older sister ran away and eloped but she also doesn’t know who she is without family obligations holding her down. So it’s really unlucky for her that she comes to this decision to strike out on her own when she meets the man that she does see a future with.

Getting both Raj and Nayna’s background, their backstory brought their relationship and their romance together for me. I connected with the ties that their culture binds them with. I saw a lot of the Polynesian culture in the Indian one (haha, even the whole kava stuff) and the sneaking around even though you’re a grown ass woman reminded me of the times that I did the exact same thing with my friends. The pressure to marry the right person for your parents, to be the perfect daughter, to not shame your father’s name, I connected with all of that and made Nayna’s story real for me.

I thought Nalini Singh did a great job of writing characters that understood and loved each other, supported each other enough to want them to chase their dreams. I thought Raj was the perfect hero for Nayna and I really, really loved him. Nalini Singh did her thing with this book and I can’t wait to read more of her stuff. She’s one of the good ones.

4 out of 5

Hard Play

four-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Light My Fire by Christie Ridgway

Posted October 15, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Light My Fire by Christie RidgwayReviewer: Holly
Light My Fire (Rock Royalty, #1) by Christie Ridgway
Series: Rock Royalty #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 258
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Years ago, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the nine collective children of the most famous band in the world “Rock Royalty.” Now all grown up, the princes and princesses are coming back to L.A.’s Laurel Canyon to discover if love can be found among the ruins of a childhood steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

One touch will start a fire…World-weary band tour manager Ren Colson leaves his London business behind for a stay in Southern California, never expecting to wake up beside Cilla Maddox. Cilla Maddox—who in the years since their last meeting has turned sexy as hell. But she deserves more than a man hardened by long nights, dark roads, and too many faceless women.

One night will change her world…Cilla Maddox not once imagined she’d see the bad boy of her dreams again. But then he’s sharing her air, her home, her bed. Though he claims he has no heart, she wants it to be hers. Can she convince him that the flames that leap between them might signify forever?

It’s been several years since I read anything by Ridgway. This was a free Kindle download. I’m a sucker for rock star romances, and the premise of this one intrigued me.

The children of rock band Velvet Lemon have been dubbed Rock Royalty by the media. They grew up surrounded by sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. None of them have really managed to form lasting connections, but youngest child Cilla craves family more than most. Since her latest relationship ended very badly, she’s home licking her wounds and mourning the loss of her surrogate mother, Gwen, a groupie who took all the kinds under her wing. Gwen left each kid something personal of hers and Cilla figure cataloging the collection of costumes she got is a great excuse to regroup. Only she didn’t expect Ren, another Lemon kid, to show up at the same time.

Ren has always been a loner. He isn’t looking to connect with his family or a romantic relationship, but he can’t deny he’s attracted to Cilla. When it becomes clear the attraction is mutual, he knows he can’t resist. As long as she knows the score, all will be well, right? What could possibly go wrong…

Light My Fire wasn’t a bad read, but the characters read as very young. Ren’s bad-boy persona was told more than shown, and I got frustrated with Cilla several times because she seemed so immature. I did like the other siblings and the way that part of the story was told. I also liked the connection between Ren and Cilla, and how their romance developed. There were a lot of unanswered questions, but I assume they’ll be cleared up in the following books, since there are 9 in the series.

Overall this was a quick read. Not a lot of substance, but entertaining.

3 out of 5

Rock Royalty

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , ,

Review: Say You’ll Stay by Corinne Michaels

Posted October 8, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Say You’ll Stay by Corinne MichaelsReviewer: Rowena
Say You'll Stay (Return to Me #1) by Corinne Michaels
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: Return to Me #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 19, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 310
Length: 9 Hours, 26 Minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

One word. Stay.

It was all he had to do. Instead, he got on that bus and took my heart with him.

That was seventeen years ago.

I moved on. Marriage. Kids. White picket fence. Everything I ever wanted, but my husband betrayed me and I was left once again.

Alone, penniless, and with two boys, I had no choice but to return to Tennessee. He wasn’t supposed to be there. I should’ve been safe. However, fate has a way of stepping in.

This time around, the tables are turned. It’s my decision. Second chances do exist, but I don’t know if we can repair what’s already been broken . . .

** This is a STANDALONE **

Well, it’s official. I am writing this review with no eyes in my head because they rolled right out of my head and down the street while I read this book. I don’t think I’ll be reading another book by this author again because the more I read this book, the more I realized, it wasn’t for me. I picked this book up because I’ve been hearing such great things about this author and I had high hopes but nope, there was nothing about this book that worked for me.

Say You’ll Stay is the first book in the Return to Me series by Corinne Michaels and it’s a second chance romance between Zack and Presley. Zack and Presley were high school sweethearts who had their future planned out. Graduate high school, go to college, Zack will make it to the Major League AFTER Presley was in college and they would live together happily ever after. But when Zack gets the call up to become a freaking Los Angeles Dodger, he took it without first clearing it with Presley and she got so pissed that she basically made him choose between her and the MLB. I’m sorry but I would have peaced out on her ass too. Because seriously? She expected him to walk away from that much money, from his dream to play Major League Baseball to stay in college with her?

If you can’t be excited for your man, can’t understand why he had to sign the contract and go then have fun with all of your little school girl fantasies. The thing about that whole thing was all these years later and she’s still pissed about it. He broke her heart because he had the audacity to choose baseball and in his head, providing for her and their future instead of staying with her. So damn stupid.

Anyway, so years later Presley is married with two kids and she comes home to find her husband killed himself and left her with a mountain of debt. A whole mountain range of debt. She has no choice but to pack up her kids and go home, to the place that she hasn’t called home in a long ass time.

Going back home brought her back into Zachary Hennington’s orbit again and though she’s single now, he’s not. It just goes to figure that the boy she loved with all of her teenage heart is with the girl she hated back then. And that’s not all, they both still love each other and a kiss is shared because Zack couldn’t help himself, Presley gets pissed because he has a girlfriend so of course Zack stays with the girlfriend even though he doesn’t want to be with her. He wants Presley and chooses Presley over and over again and ugh, the games that these two played with each other made me want to wring both of their necks.

They were so immature and for someone who came off as Mother of the Year, would do anything for her kids, she was just not likable at all. Same with Zack. He lost me when he stayed with the dumb ass girlfriend while lusting after his ex dumb ass girlfriend. My blood pressure threatened to go straight through the roof and I kept listening. I have no idea why, I kept hoping the book would turn around, that Zack and Presley would be redeemed in the end but nope. I didn’t like her or him in the end still so that didn’t happen.

I don’t think I’m going to continue this series because I’d be too scared to get more of the same of this book. This book didn’t do a hot damn thing for me so go into this book cautiously, if you decide to read it.

Grade: 1 out of 5

Return to Me


Tagged: , , , , , , ,