Tag: Tracy’s Reviews

Guest Review: The Way Back to Us by Jamie Howard

Posted January 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Way Back to Us by Jamie HowardReviewer: Tracy
The Way Back to Us (Love Unplugged #3) by Jamie Howard
Series: Love Unplugged #3
Also in this series: All The Ways You Saved Me
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 350
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four-stars

Gavin MacCormack found the one. He fell in love. Hard. Until one night he ran out for some ice cream and came back to an empty dorm room, closets bare and nothing but a quick hand-written note saying, I’m sorry. Those two words taught Gavin the meaning of heartbreak. A feeling he never wants to encounter again. And as the lead singer of a Grammy award-winning band he's had plenty of opportunities for casual, no-strings fun, which is just the way he likes it.

Dani Winters has had more names than birthdays. On the run with her father for nearly as long as she can remember, she’s lived her life by three rules—always plan for the worst, maintain a low profile at all costs, and never let anyone get too close. Except she broke that last rule once and her heart has never forgiven her.

One chance encounter changes everything. Seeing Dani resurrects feelings in Gavin he thought were long buried, and this time he’s not letting her disappear without getting some answers. But Dani’s life is the definition of complicated and she’s playing with fire by letting Gavin back in. When the time comes to run again, Dani needs to decide if a life without love is worth living, or if it’s time to stop running and fight.

Gavin has been heartbroken for years.  He thought he was over his one true love, who suddenly left him without a word when he was in college.  When he sees her again he thinks he’s angry but really he just can’t believe that she’s back in his life.

Dani Winters has been running most of her life.  When she was in college the last thing she wanted to do was leave Gavin, as she loved him so much, but her life is unpredictable.  When she reappears in Gavin’s life she lets him know that it’s only for a short time.  He agrees they’ll be together as long as they can and when they have to part it will be fine.  They’re each lying to the other, however, because they both know that when they part the last thing it will be is “fine”.

The Way Back to Us was a wonderful reunion story.  With Dani coming back into Gavin’s life we didn’t quite know what to think.  The author was pretty closed-mouthed about what was going on with Dani until further along in the book.  We knew that Dani had been on the run for years but we didn’t know why until near the end of the book.  Because I didn’t know the facts it was hard for me to get too attached to Dani.  Sure, I knew that all would work out in the end (I mean, come on, it’s a romance novel!) but while I felt for her and her situation I felt more attached to Gavin and didn’t want him to get hurt.

I loved Gavin to pieces.  He was an incredible anchor for his (all female) family and a great friend.  The last think I wanted for him was to lose Dani again.  I was happy when he made the decision he did in the end I was truly happy when all worked out.  Howard had me on the edge of my seat there for a while – good on her as normally figure those things out ahead of time.  I never would have guessed the ending of this book.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed the Love Unplugged series and I’m looking forward to Ben’s story. If you haven’t picked up the series yet, you should do that as the books are wonderful.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Love Unplugged Series

four-stars


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Guest Review: Nikan Rebuilt by Scarlett Cole

Posted January 16, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Nikan Rebuilt by Scarlett ColeReviewer: Tracy
Nikan Rebuilt by Scarlett Cole
Series: Preload Series #3
Also in this series: Jordan Reclaimed, Elliott Redeemed
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
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four-stars

Does the past ever really stay in the past?

Nikan can never be complete. He's got a rock group made up of the family he built for himself, more money than he knows what to do with, and a stream of groupies falling over themselves to date him. But none of them are her. The one regret that still plagues him, still taunts him with what he could have had.

Jenny is a survivor. Now running a group home after overcoming life in a cult lead by her manipulative father and watching her mother drink the poison he fed his followers, she fights to keep the light in the eyes of every boy who walks through her doors. Far from simple young love, Nik taught her to trust, showed her how good life could be. Before he formed the band. Before he became a famous rock star. Before he destroyed it all.

A chance meeting after years of no contact shows the connection still blazes between them. But will they have their second chance at love? Or will the weight of their past crush their future together?

If you’ve read any of the other books in the Preload series you know that Nikan grew up in a group home, met his best friends – his family – and they formed a metal band called Preload.  Nik’s girlfriend while growing up was Jenny, who also lived in a group home (not the same one).  They moved out of the home and Preload started on their journey to stardom. They fell in love and planned on being together forever.  That is until Preload went on their first tour and Nik slept with someone else.  Jenny was brokenhearted and ended up disappearing before Preload got back from their tour, never to see Nik again.

Jenny ended up going to school and becoming a social worker and worked in a group home.  When the opportunity to run the same group home that Nik and the boys had grown up in, she takes it because it would be her first opportunity to be in charge – her dream.  She knows there’s a possibility of running into Nik but she doesn’t expect it to happen so quickly and when it happens she’s wasn’t prepared for how the meeting affected her.

Nik never stopped thinking about Jenny.  He knows he fucked up all those years ago and has never stopped looking for Jenny or regretting what he did.  When he sees Jenny again he tells her exactly how he’s feeling about her and that he wants her back.  Jenny wants nothing to do with Nik but he’s persistent and soon Jenny is falling under his spell once again.

This was another great book in the Preload series.  This book showed us a different side of Preload than what we’ve seen before and I liked that we got down to the nitty gritty with the boys and their issues.  Nik had always been the glue that kept it all together but that was stressful for him and he didn’t want everyone relying on him constantly.  He also really didn’t like playing metal even though that’s what the band played.  He wanted to make his own music but didn’t want to give up on Preload either.  It was a tough thing to be caught in the middle of and hard for Nik to bring it up to the guys and actually have them understand.  On top of those issues he was trying to get Jenny back and he was trying to focus solely on her.  I felt for this guy.  Yes, it was a complete asshole move to sleep with a freaking groupie when he had the love of his life back home, but I think that Cole really showed us how he had changed, grown, matured over the years.  I honestly believed that he would never do that again.

Jenny’s situation was crazy.  Her father had been a cult leader and had eventually tried to poison his followers – when that happened he made Jenny’s mother go first and she died before the authorities stepped in and saved a lot of lives.  She’d arrived in the group home when she was about 13 years old and Nik had been her rock.  When he betrayed her, she didn’t know what to do with herself, but it didn’t stop her from making her own dreams come true. She was also dealing with getting letters from her father who was trying to get her to visit him in prison telling her he’d changed (yeah, right).  I admired Jenny’s strength with all she was going through with her dad and Nik as well as her dedication to the kids in the homes.  I also liked that she didn’t give in to Nik right away.  Yes, they ended up together, but she didn’t make it an easy road for him.

Overall the book was a really great one and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Preload Series

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna Bennett

Posted January 15, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Rogue is Back in Town by Anna BennettReviewer: Tracy
The Rogue Is Back in Town by Anna Bennett
Series: The Wayward Wallflowers #3
Also in this series: My Brown-Eyed Earl
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
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three-half-stars

Hide your daughters and your maiden aunts…Lord Samuel Travis is back.―The London Hearsay, special society edition

Equal parts scoundrel and seducer, he’s returned to London determined to mend the rift with his older brother. All Sam must do is take possession of a tumbledown town house. A seemingly simple task, except the house is occupied—by an infuriating, whip-smart beauty who refuses to do his bidding.

Miss Juliette Lacey’s wallflower days are over. She has a plan to turn her eccentric family into the toast of the ton—but the devilishly handsome rake trying to oust them from their home thwarts her at every turn. How can one man be so vexing and make her simmer with desire?

As her attraction to Sam deepens, Julie’s problems grow—she may have, once upon a time, secretly shared a kiss with his honorable older brother. Suddenly, Julie’s caught between a rogue and a marquess, between passion and respectability. Torn between two brothers, what’s a girl to do?

Lord Samuel Travis has been on the continent trying to deal with his father’s death the only way he knows how – get drunk constantly and bed women.  That didn’t exactly work but he’s now back in London and not doing a whole lot better.  His older brother, Nigel, has had enough of Sam’s antics and kicks him out of the house.  In order to get back into his brother’s good graces he must kick people out of a town home that apparently belongs to the estate.  Sam’s determined to do this right except when he gets to the house he finds not only an old man but his young, beautiful and fierce niece.

Juliette Lacey has been taking care of her aging uncle for years but now that her two sisters have married and moved out she’s the only one there to keep him on the straight and narrow.  When Samuel Travis shows up and demands they move NOW Juliette puts her foot down.  She knows that the house belongs to her uncle she just needs time to prove it.  In the meantime, she’s dealing with Sam’s brother Nigel who is trying to blackmail her into being his mistress by holding the house over her head.  Yeah, he’s a real bastard.

Sam agrees to stay in the house so that Juliette can look for the deed to the townhouse but the more time he spends with Juliette and her uncle Alistair, and the no time drinking, he sees the type of man he could be.  One who’s not only cut out to be a lazy sod, but someone who can make his own way and be someone that Juliette could be proud of, if she’ll have him.

I can’t say that this was a love at first sight story, but it was pretty darned close.  That was love for Samuel at first sight.  For Juliette it was pretty much loathing at first sight.  Sure, she thought he was attractive but the minute she found out what he was there for she put her guard up.  Of course Samuel eventually wooed her into his bed but that was actually ok in my book.  I was just happy that it kept Juliette away from the evil brother, Nigel.

The story moved quickly in all ways.  I thought that some of it could have been slowed down a bit (the romance) as it would have given us time to truly get involved in the characters and the feelings they started to share.  That didn’t happen however, so I dealt with it. 🙂  Overall it was a good book with a cute story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Wayward Wallflowers Series

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Beautiful Lawman by Sophie Jordan

Posted January 12, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Beautiful Lawman by Sophie JordanReviewer: Tracy
Beautiful Lawman by Sophie Jordan
Series: Devil's Rock #4
Also in this series: All Chained Up (Devil's Rock #1), Fury on Fire
Published by Avon
Publication Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
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three-half-stars

From the wrong side of the tracks and with most of her family in jail or dead, Piper Walsh is used to everyone in town thinking the worst about her. It doesn’t seem to matter that she’s worked hard to build a good life for herself. So she isn’t surprised that when she comes into contact with Sweet Hill’s wildly irresistible, arrogant sheriff, Hale Walters, they’re instant adversaries. Piper has nothing in common with the town golden-boy-turned-lawman—and she refuses to be a notch on his bedpost.

Despite rumors, Hale avoids fooling around with the women of Sweet Hill, many of whom are hoping to get him to the altar. But staying out of Piper’s path is proving near impossible. The infuriating troublemaker clearly has no respect for his badge. As she continues to push his buttons, it becomes clear to Hale that he must either arrest Piper—or claim her as his own.

Piper Walsh is working as a waitress in strip club.  She doesn’t dance, just serves drinks.  She hates it, but she has to provide for her younger sister who she is guardian of while her brother is in prison.  When Piper’s sister gets into trouble and Piper is called in to the Sheriff station to pick her up she’s not happy.  She’s even more unhappy when she loses her job because of it and can’t find another one.  She finally bites the bullet and tells the owner of the strip club that she’ll do lap dances but nothing else.  When Hale Walters, the know-it-all-but-incredibly-hot sheriff walks in and gets a lap dance it goes way farther than Piper or Hale expect it to.

Hale is hot for Piper and doesn’t understand why everyone treats her like crap.  Sure, he’s done his fair share of being judgmental, but the more he gets to know her the more he sees that she’s not a bad person.  He saves her bacon in the job department and eventually Hale and Piper start a hot and intense relationship.  But will everyone else’s opinions end up tearing them apart?

This was a good book – very hot with a good story.  I liked the mystery of why Piper’s brother was in prison – they kept alluding to it but not actually coming out and telling us why he was in Devil’s Rock.  Piper was amazing.  She would do what it took to take care of her younger sister and loved her brother so much that she refused to move away even when she couldn’t find a job better than lap-dancing. I loved that about her.  She had grit and wasn’t afraid to live a hard life.  She hated it, but she did it.

Hale was a great character as well and while at first I thought he was an ass, he definitely grew on me as the pages were turned.

My issues with the book really stemmed from the lack of romance in this one.  Yes, they were hot in bed together but I needed more in their relationship to take this book up a few notches in the “like” department.  I definitely liked it enough to look into reading the other Devil’s Rock books – this was my first intro into the series.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

Devils Rock Series

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Posted January 11, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni LorenReviewer: Tracy
The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
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five-stars

Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.

It's been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she'd never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs...

Liv has been living her life day by day since she survived a mass murder at her high school – the night of the prom.  She thought she was happy with her life but when the survivors of the shooting get together at the HS to give interviews 12 years after it happened, she finds that maybe she’s not as happy as she thought.  She gets together with the friends that got her through the year following the shooting and they dig up the time capsule that they planted.  In it are letters that say what they will do with their lives.  When Liv reads her letter she realizes she’s done nothing she planned and that makes her stop and think about how she’s been living her life.  The other thing that makes her stop and take notice is Finn Dorsey.  She hasn’t seen him since the night of the shooting.  They had secretly dated in HS but since his family was rich and her family wasn’t he tried to hide it from his father.  Their teenage love didn’t survive the massacre but now that they’re adults, things have definitely changed.

Finn is an FBI agent who has been undercover for the past 2 years.  He agreed to the interview (off camera) but he’s not thrilled about being back in his hometown.  When he sees Liv, all of the feelings that he thought were gone come crashing to the surface.  He can’t seem to stop thinking about her and events manage to push the two together.  Instead of spending the summer isolated in a lake house trying to readjust to society, Finn spends the summer with Liv and they both figure out what real living is all about.

This book was awesome.  It was so very sad because of the whole premise of the story but I love the way Loren handled the transitioning from HS to the present.  The hero and heroine in this book were facing their fears in so many different ways and they ended up finding love while doing it.  The book was incredibly relatable (even though I’ve never been involved in a tragedy like this) because the plans we made when we were in HS didn’t necessarily come to fruition.  It even made me take a look at life and see how things have changed from HS to now.

I loved Finn and Liv together and how they worked out their issues.  They hadn’t talked since the night of the shooting and needed to clear the air.  On top of that the sexual tension between them was explosive and Loren wrote some extremely hot scenes, let me tell ya!

The secondary characters in this story play a huge role and the book wouldn’t have been the same without them.  I’m very much looking forward to reading their stories as well.

Roni Loren has written a wonderful book that I highly recommend.  It’s definitely highly emotional but so worth reading – even if that’s not normally your type of romance.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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