Tag: Short Stories

Guest Lightning Review: Midsummer Delights by Eloisa James

Posted April 4, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Lightning Review: Midsummer Delights by Eloisa JamesReviewer: Tracy
Midsummer Delights: A Short Story Collection by Eloisa James
Published by Avon Impulse
Publication Date: February 6th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 96
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three-stars

A Midsummer Night's Disgrace

​Eloisa revisits the ​scintillating world of the Essex Sisters with a story featuring a young lady, Cecilia Bellingworth, who has decided she would rather ruin her reputation than endure further speculation about whether her children will be "silly," like her brother, Billy.​ ​After two failed seasons, ​Cecilia ​decides she ​will dress as she likes​ (in a scandalous red dress!)​ and flirt outrageously​ (with a scandalous pianist!)​. Fortunately, a gorgeous musician at the Duchess of Ormond's house party presents the perfect candidate for scandal…

​Previously published in the Essex Sisters Official Companion Guide (e only).


At Midnight
​Elias Hempleworth-Gray has one thing and one thing only of value—his title, Earl of Leyton. Determined to leave England and the scandal of his gambler father behind, Elias hopes to turn his fortunes around and come back a respectable man to claim the only woman for him, Miss Penelope White. But Penny has other plans for the man she has loved all her life…plans that include a masquerade, a stolen kiss and a lost shoe.

Previously published in the Fairy Tale sampler (print only).


Ever After

When she was sixteen, Miss Violet Leighton spent one blissful month romping around her family estate with Rothwell Talcott…thirty days of shared kisses, culminating in a very illicit afternoon in a berry patch. As Rothwell leaves for his grand tour, he gives his word of honor that he will return for her. Four years and seven refused proposals later, Violet is about to give up and marry when he finally returns. Now the Duke of Cambridge, Rothwell wants to make her his duchess. But how can Violet trust the man who stole her virtue—and then broke her heart?

Previously published in The Ugly Duchess (print only).

I won’t go into detail as the blurbs give you more than a good idea of what each story is about. 

This is a grouping of three very short stories by Eloisa James.  They are very cute, and I enjoyed all of them, but they were so short that just when I was starting to get into the stories, they were over and done.

The stories were all reunion stories so the characters had known each other previously so they definitely weren’t insta-love stories, which I appreciated.   I think if you’re in the mood for short and sweet, and love Eloisa James, this would definitely be a book that you’d want to pick up.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Guest Review: All Bite, No Growl by Jenika Snow

Posted July 15, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: All Bite, No Growl by Jenika SnowReviewer: Tracy
All Bite, No Growl by Jenika Snow
Series: Out for You
Also in this series: The Changing Years
Published by All Romance eBooks
Publication Date: June 1, 2015
Genres: Erotica, M/M, Paranormal Romance
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two-half-stars

Forget the foreplay. For the truly committed, it’s all bite.

Willow has loved Devon and Case for as long as she can remember, but as lion shifters they will eventually find their mates. When she allows herself to be with her two lions after a drunken party, she fears she’s ruined a lifelong friendship and flees before morning.

Devon and Case have been inseparable since they could walk, but they can’t tell anyone that they are mates. The pride of shifters they belong to won’t accept a same-sex mating. There’s no way they’ll accept their love for Willow?

When a shocking revelation brings Willow’s world crashing down, she has no choice but to tell Devon and Case how she feels. Will they be able to accept what fate has thrown at them? Do they want to?

Tracy’s review of All Bite, No Growl (Out for You series) by Jenika Snow

Case, Devon and Willow have all been best friends since they were five years old. Now they’re 18 and life is changing. They are all lion shifters and can recognize their mate as early as age 16. With Case and Devon they found out really early but never told anyone. They act like best friends in public but never share their real feelings for each other.

One night after Willow had had too much alcohol at a party she spends the night at Case’s house (his parents are out of town) and wakes up in the middle of the night to get a drink. When she hears grunts and groans she investigates and finds Case and Devon making love. She knows it’s an invasion of their privacy but she’s so turned on by the two men she can’t pull herself away. The men, of course, know she’s there and soon invite her to join them. She’s been in love with the two men for years and as much as she wants to be in bed with them she knows it will change their friendship. She finally agrees and much sexin ensues. Case and Devon love her and want to be with her as well but after that night Willow feels like she’s intruding.

Willow’s family issues and Case and Devon’s decision to come out to their lion council take them away from each other. When they reunite they find that not only do they want to be together, fate wants them together as well.

This was a cute story but one that unfortunately I did have some issues with. The story itself was interesting and showed a lovely bond between the three main characters. Unfortunately, as the story was so short, we didn’t get to learn too much about any of them. With Case and Devon it was all about their being together (before Willow came into the picture) and coming out. With Willow we got to know her family a little bit but not much else. I wish we could have gotten just a touch more info on all of them.

There were also quite a few editing problems in this one and it threw me out of the story every time – especially when Case was, at one point, referred to as Sam. Crazy.

Overall a cute yet sexy short story.

Rating: 2.5/3 out of 5

This title is available from ARe. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

two-half-stars


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Guest Review: Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis

Posted December 11, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill ShalvisReviewer: Tracy
Merry Christmas, Baby by Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor #12.5
Also in this series: Simply Irresistible, Under the Mistletoe (Lucky Harbor, #6.5), Forever and a Day, Once in a Lifetime, It's In His Kiss, He's So Fine, One in a Million, At Last (Lucky Harbor, #5)
Published by Forever Yours
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
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four-stars

 

Wild child Chloe Thompson can’t believe how much things have changed. She still can’t get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to thinking about impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.

Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up . . . and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen.

It’s been 5 years since Chloe and Sawyer fell in love and got married. Now she’s 8 1/2 months pregnant and Sawyer if off on yet another DEA assignment.  The pair haven’t exactly been speaking to each other and when they do they argue about his jobs with the DEA.  She also has been sniping at Sawyer a lot because of pregnancy hormones.  The fact is she’s scared out of her mind to be a parent and she feels guilty that she’s put Sawyer in position of parenthood when he doesn’t really want to be there. Now Sawyer has gone off on yet another DEA job and Chloe is determined to get to the town Christmas party, even though everyone she knows tries to keep her home to rest.  Life has a way of throwing curve balls, however, and soon Chloe discovers that A) she’ll be getting an early Christmas present and B) Sawyer won’t stop loving her – ever.

This was a short but very sweet story about Chloe and Sawyer who we read about in Head Over Heels.  It was a kind of day-in-the-life type story and showed us that everyone has their ups and downs but that they never stop loving each other – no matter what.  There’s nothing that Chloe and Sawyer can’t get through – even if they lose their way for a while.

If you love the Lucky Harbor series you won’t want to miss this short addition.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Dead Boyfriends by John Dodds

Posted September 24, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Dead Boyfriends by John DoddsReviewer: Tracy
Dead Boyfriends by John Dodds
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 8th 2014
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three-stars

Some guys won't take “no” for an answer – even from beyond the grave.

Daisy Wentworth's life couldn't be better. For one thing she works as a gallery attendant who regularly has to deal with abusive visitors. For another, her opinion of herself as a “fat-arsed frump” pretty well summarises the state of her self-esteem. And not only has her latest boyfriend just died but now his ghost, and another three of her deceased lovers' ghosts, have taken up residence in her flat.

Things seem to be looking up when handsome businessman, Carl Simmons, falls for her. The only problem is that the jealous, vindictive, dead exes are determined that “Mr. Businessman” won't have their girl.

 

Tracy’s review of Dead Boyfriends by John Dodds

Daisy seems like she’s got it together but she’s certainly not a self-confident woman. She should be as it seems that she has no lack of attention by the opposite sex. Unfortunately she’s had 4 boyfriends die on her in the last 3 years and that’s put her a little off her game.

Along comes businessman Carl and she really likes him, though doesn’t want to get too close to him too quickly. When she finds out that her dead boyfriends (who are all haunting her) are having a hand in the deaths she’s not thrilled at the information. She’s even more horrified when she finds out that she might have unintentionally had a hand in it as well.

This story was incredibly short at only 28 pages so we didn’t get too in depth with any of the characters. It was a fun story and I really liked Daisy a lot. She was the kind of girl I would want as a friend (except for all the snot flying when she cries, of course) and I like reading characters who are so naturally and realistically portrayed. If you have a few minutes to spare and want to laugh a little then this would be a good story to read.

Rating: 3 out of 5

This title is self-published. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

three-stars


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Guest Review: Snowbound With The CEO by Shannon Stacey

Posted November 8, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

18471927Judith’s review of Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey

Adrian Blackstone built a million-dollar business with hard work and determination—and by remaining professional at all times. Denying his longtime attraction to his beautiful executive assistant hasn’t been easy but it’s necessary. She’s indispensable, and he can’t stand the thought of losing her if things didn’t work out.

For more than a year, Rachel Carter has been quietly dreaming of all the ways she’ll never seduce her sexy, buttoned-up boss. She’s worked too hard to get where she is to cross that line, no matter how badly she’d like to act on her fantasies. But then a wicked snowstorm leaves them stranded in a romantic winter wonderland…

What begins as a single kiss and a few bad Santa jokes turns into a weekend full of breathless passion and hopes for something more. But with Monday comes a return to their complicated reality—and Adrian must prove that promises made are promises kept, especially at Christmastime.

Well, it’s about time for the Christmas stories to begin showing up and I, for one, love the twists and turns and creativity so many authors manage with the Christmas season as a context.  This is a fun read involving two very professional people who have strong ethical standards for not mixing business with their personal lives.  But mutual attraction really doesn’t acknowledge the boundaries that individuals set and it is so in this case.  There’s also a long-time friendship and a working relationship that is prized, both of which are at stake if any romantic involvement blows up (and we all know that happens sometimes rather easily.)  So now they find themselves “stuck” in more ways than one–by the blizzard that snows them in, by time on their hands when their business meeting fell through because of the weather, and by their attraction that has simmered and gone unanswered for years.

This is a story that could easily be styled as a “fireside” read or as it is still warm, a poolside read.  It’s a short novel and one that will pass the time in an entertaining way without being heavy or complicated in nature.  Yet the characters are interesting and the love story has some heat to it.  Of course, there is the usual miscommunication that always seems to plague lovers and that is especially true when the two people in question are trying to keep their affair under wraps.  No matter how you plan it, this is romantic fiction and something is sure to go awry.  Most of all, I felt badly for these two people whose ideas of life were so wrapped up in their need to keep the lines between them straight.  Careers are important and in today’s world with its shifting financial foundations keeping everyone on edge, it is especially important to keep one’s professional life intact.  But it seems to me to be sadder than sad when the most fulfilling part of life, that relationship that brings verve and joy to all the other aspects of living must take a back seat.  Perhaps this story is really about two people who needed to be jolted out of a set of priorities that would definitely give them financial stability, but sleeping with a paycheck doesn’t promise much fun.

Ms Stacey definitely knows how to write an entertaining story and this short novel will not be a disappointment to those who have enjoyed her work in the past.  Both these main characters are crafted with a sense of reality that gives this story the feel of something that really happened rather than being a fictional tale.  Thus, it is the kind of romance that keeps the reader interested throughout the book.  I also liked the fact that even though they were each well aware of their urges and physical needs, they were mature enough to know that adult living is built on balance, especially if one wishes for a relationship to have staying power.

A fun read with lots of color and some considerable heat.  The kind I think most of us will really enjoy!  I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This title is available from Carina Press.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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