Author: Karina Bliss

Guest Review: Fall by Karina Bliss

Posted November 25, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Fall by Karina BlissReviewer: Tracy
Fall by Karina Bliss
Series: Rock Solid #2
Also in this series: Rise

Publication Date: November 15th 2016
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Keep Rage together at all costs...

Powerhouse PA Dimity Graham is off her game. Her career is everything to her and she never lets anything personal mess that up. So how can she explain getting busy between the sheets with Rage's nice-guy drummer Seth Curran? She's supposed to be keeping this band out of trouble, not getting into it. But before she can put everything back where it belongs, Seth needs her help.

Faking a relationship seemed like a good idea that night, right before they fell into bed together. But standing on New Zealand soil, facing the people he disappointed to pursue his dream, Seth doubts he and Dimity will convince anyone they're hot and crazy for each other. To his surprise, Dimity is working her magic on everyone and they're all convinced this is the real deal. The problem is, he's almost convinced, too.

Dimity is out and about with Rage drummer, Seth Curran.  She’s looking to get laid but he’s drowning himself in alcohol because his childhood sweetheart, who had recently broken up with him, told him that she’s already engaged.  Dimity is trying to help him when she sends some texts to his ex – with the thought that she will help him get her back.  Seth is all for it.  Of course they both drink a lot and then end up sleeping together which brings up feelings Dimity didn’t know she had for Seth.  He’s determined to get back with his ex, however, so Dimity shoves her growing feelings for Seth to the side.

Once the pair arrives in New Zealand – Seth’s home country – he’s excited to see his family again and try to reconcile with his father who wasn’t happy when he left his family business to become a rock star.  Dimity is anxious to hear the result of her boss Zander’s surgery.  As it turns out, Seth ends up helping Dimity as much as she ends up helping him by being his fake girlfriend.  In the process Seth realizes that it’s not his ex that he wants in his life.

I was looking forward to this book because I really liked both Seth and Dimity in the first book, Rise.  That was a great story and I had high hopes for the second book in the series.  Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed.  Not that this book was bad, it wasn’t, I just had some issues with it.

My biggest issue with the story was Dimity.  On the one had I really liked her and what she was trying to do with Seth and helping him get back with his ex.  I liked her dedication to the band as well.  Overall she wasn’t a bad person at all.  What I didn’t like was her temper and her selfishness in some instances.  At one point in the book she just goes off on some people and it brought my respect for her down a few notches.  I don’t care if the people you went off on forgive you – you should have never said some of those things in the first place.  Rude, disrespectful and self-serving is what she was– and to people who were her friends!  I get the reasons behind why she felt justified in acting that way but it didn’t excuse the actual act. Then she sneakily went around trying to sabotage their relationship.  Gah!  Don’t get me started.  I was so annoyed at her I had a hard time continuing to read.

Seth was a great guy, really.  He pretty much saved the book for me because he was so wonderful.  I wanted his dad to see what a good guy he was too but he was stubborn. I wish that we could have seen a bit more development in his relationship to Dimity after his epiphany about his ex and their life together.  Despite that I thought he was the glue that held the story together.

In the end a good story but definitely one I had issues with.  Even though I had issues with it I’m still looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Woo Me by Karina Bliss

Posted November 4, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Woo Me by Karina BlissReviewer: Tracy
Woo Me by Karina Bliss
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Format: eARC
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four-stars

 

Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australia life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…

Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after. Forty-eight hours can change your life.

 

Can true love overcome a bad hide day and a series of unfortunate events?

Disillusioned in love, Jen Tremaine is done with men. So when her best friends dare her to wear a cow costume to their reunion at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball, she’s all over it. Who would have thought dressing as a heifer would make her irresistible to a bunch of lasso-twirling, drunken cowboys?
Maybe you should have thought this through, says the sexy security guard who keeps finding her at the center of trouble. Even though Jen’s always dismissed soul mates as a load of bull, the sizzle between them is making her wonder: What if you met The One while wandering lonely as a cow? Would you find the courage to become a believer?

When ex-Special Forces soldier Logan Turner is roped into helping out with security at the B&S ball, he isn’t expecting to find love – but after months in all-male company he sure is hoping for lust. He certainly isn’t expecting to fall for a feisty, funny, trouble-making Cowderella. Only problem is, she’s leaving Australia tomorrow. Convincing Jen they can still have a future together may wind up being the toughest mission of his life.

Jen and her friends Ellie and Beth have decided to attend the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball. The last time that they went, which was many years before, Ellie had worn a cow costume just to be funny. As the three friends are drinking and planning their fun Jen is dared to wear the cow costume to this years event. Jen agrees because she wants nothing to do with men.

Jen had been dating her boss and thought things were moving along. She thought they would get married eventually and she was good with that. She wasn’t looking for a passionate love she just needed to be settled and organized. When her boss went back to his ex-wife Jen was determined to stay at her job but seeing his children involved made up her mind to move on. The Ball will be a fun thing before she starts her new temporary job in New Zealand.

Jen is having an ok time at the ball when she ends up needing help from one of the security guys, Logan, who was roped into doing security by his sister, one of the Ball’s planners. Logan thinks that Cowderella is hilarious and he loves her sense of humor which he keeps seeing as he keeps having to save her in different situations. When he finally sees her face he likes her even more but it’s really her personality that cinches the deal. They end up together that night and though Jen had no plan to get involved the connection between her and Logan is something that can’t be ignored. She decides to go for it with him but when he doesn’t show it just proves her thoughts about men – not worth it.

I really enjoyed this story a lot. I loved Jen and her friends and their fun together. They played off of each other’s wit perfectly. Jen in her cow costume made me laugh. The situations that she got into were funny and I loved the sparks between her and Logan. I was extremely happy that she decided to go for it with him but sad when she ended up leaving hurt. It all worked out in the end and it was done really well too. I loved how Bliss got the two together and then showed us a little bit in the future. Very romantic and a perfect way to end their story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Woo Me by Karina Bliss

Posted October 20, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Woo Me by Karina BlissReviewer: Holly
Woo Me by Joan Kilby, Karina Bliss, Sarah Mayberry
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #2
Also in this series: Win Me, Wait for Me, Win Me, Woo Me, Wait for Me
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 10/20/15
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Can true love overcome a bad hide day and a series of unfortunate events?

Disillusioned in love, Jen Tremaine is done with men. So when her best friends dare her to wear a cow costume to their reunion at an Outback Bachelor and Spinster Ball, she's all over it. Who would have thought dressing as a heifer would make her irresistible to a bunch of lasso-twirling, drunken cowboys?
Maybe you should have thought this through, says the sexy security guard who keeps finding her at the center of trouble. Even though Jen's always dismissed soul mates as a load of bull, the sizzle between them is making her wonder: What if you met The One while wandering lonely as a cow? Would you find the courage to become a believer?
When ex-Special Forces soldier Logan Turner is roped into helping out with security at the B&S ball, he isn't expecting to find love - but after months in all-male company he sure is hoping for lust. He certainly isn't expecting to fall for a feisty, funny, trouble-making Cowderella. Only problem is, she's leaving Australia tomorrow. Convincing Jen they can still have a future together may wind up being the toughest mission of his life.

Woo Me is Book 2 in The Outback Bachelor Ball Series. Don't miss out on Book 1 - Win Me by Joan Kilby and Book 3 – Wait For Me by Sarah Mayberry.

Jen thought she had a good thing with her long-time boyfriend, until he suddenly announced his desire to get back with his ex-wife. Hurt and confused, Jen decides what she needs is a change of pace and takes a job with a former company that starts right away. But first she plans to meet up with her best friends at The Outback Bachelor Ball. In protest of bad relationships and philandering men, she decides to wear a cow costume. She expects to suffer through a torturous night then move on with her new life. What she never could have predicted was that she’d meet a sexy soldier who sees past her cow costume to the woman beneath – and makes her want things she swore off for good.

Logan just resigned his commission in the military and got suckered into working security at the Ball by his sister. He keeps having to rescue “Cowderella” from strange situations. Her sense of humor and dry wit intrigue him, and it isn’t long before he’s trying to get to know her better. They end up spending the night together, but she’s upfront that she isn’t interested in anything long-term. She’s been burned one time too many. He thinks they’re worth fighting for and he urges her to consider getting to know him better. Due to a misunderstanding, he misses it when she shows up at their designated meeting place, which just proves to her, once again, that love isn’t worth the risk.

To be perfectly honest, I expected Bliss to write the book featuring the country music star. I was surprised to see Bliss author this novel instead. She did really well with it, though. I really enjoyed Jen’s character. She was tough and a bit cynical, but also had a good heart and a lot of moxie. I cracked up while she was in the cow suit. She was quick witted and sharp. I liked her a lot. Her issues with love and her desire to protect herself made perfect sense. I was glad to see Logan push to break down her barriers.

Logan wasn’t as well fleshed out as Jen was, but I still really enjoyed him. He was strong and steady, and just what Jen needed. His determination to do the right thing and his strong values really came through. I liked that he was willing to take a chance on Jen and push for a future.

I was very satisfied with the ending, both in terms of their relationship and in the way it advanced the next story. This series is really working for me.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Win Me by Joan Kilby

Posted October 19, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Win Me by Joan KilbyWin Me by Joan Kilby
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball #1
Also in this series: Woo Me, Wait for Me, Win Me, Woo Me, Wait for Me
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: 10/20/15
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She’ll do anything to get him to see her as a woman...

Feisty, fearless Ellie McFarlane has tried forever to get cattle station manager, Rick Drummond, to notice she’s not another cowhand. So when her gal pals talk her into glamming up for an Outback Bachelor and Spinster ball she’s eager to prove she’s all woman, all the time, and leave her boneheaded cowboy eating dust.

Sexy wrangler Rick is crazy about Ellie just as she is but her father – his boss – told him long ago that his daughter was off limits. Even though she’s all grown up now, Rick still feels it’s his job is to protect her, not seduce her. Plus, he’s finally got an opportunity to buy back his family farm, which means moving far away.

Ellie’s transformation from Cinder-Ellie to belle of the ball has Rick’s jaw dropping – and all the other cowboys falling at her feet. Ellie tries to revel in her new-found sex-pot status but without Rick it’s a hollow victory. Has Rick left it too late to claim the only woman he’ll ever truly love....

 

The Outback Bachelor Ball trilogy follows three best friends who went to boarding school together. All three have been unlucky in love and decide to meet up at this years Outback Bachelor Ball in New Zealand, which is essentially a huge get together for the single ranchers of the area.

A cow, a cowgirl and a divorcee walk into a bar…

Three unlucky-in-love girlfriends make a road trip to the Outback Bachelor & Spinster Ball, a highlight of rural Australian life. One’s looking to move on, one’s thumbing her nose at romance, and one’s looking to slip away and hide. None of them are looking for love…

Three women are about to meet their match in a cowboy, a soldier and a country rock star. One magical night. One less than magical morning after.

Forty-eight hours can change your life

Book one features Ellie McFarlane, the daughter of a rancher who grew up to become a ranch foreman herself. She’s always been a tomboy and “one of the guys” and the one man she wants above all has never noticed her the way she wants him to. She’s been pining for Rick Drummond, her father’s right-hand man, since she was a teenager. She made one awkward pass at him when she was 18, which he rebuffed. Since then she’s spent six years away from home, working and pining for him. The three friends make a vow not to let their current circumstances control their lives: Ellie will let her friends give  her a complete makeover; Jen will wear a cow costume in protest of love; Beth will dance with every non-creep who asks.

For Ellie this trip to the Ball is a chance for her to finally get him out of her system. She doesn’t expect to see Rick there, however, or have him start acting like he wants to explore things with her. Confused and frustrated she confronts Rick, but he’s just as confused and frustrated. Eventually they end up in bed together and Rick thinks they’re on the same page…until Ellie disappears in the morning. He realizes they haven’t resolved anything after all.

I struggled a bit with Ellie’s seeming lack of maturity when it came to Rick. She was a worldly woman who had traveled extensively and advanced well in her career. Yet she chooses to quit her job just as she lands the position she wants. Then, rather than communicating to her crush – a man she’s close with and has known her whole life – her feelings, she sets out to make him jealous and then blows hot and cold. When he hurts her, she doesn’t explain that or call him on it, just runs away and internalizes all her feelings.

What saved her for me was the way she was away from Rick. She was who she was and, aside from a few moments of self-consciousness about her lack of style, that was that.

For Rick’s part, he was such a bonehead sometimes. His saving grace was that he was quick to realize when he stuck his foot in his mouth and correct the mistake. Which was good, since there was no way Ellie was telling him what was going on in her head.

I absolutely loved the relationship between the women. They were friends in the truest sense of the word. I also enjoyed the romance. Despite my frustrations with their lack of communication,  I was pulling for them as a couple. They were friends first and foremost, which came across well.

This was a great start to the trilogy. I loved the premise and the romance. I can’t wait to find out what happens with the other two women.

3.5 out of 5

 

three-half-stars


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Guest Review (+ Giveaway): Rise by Karina Bliss

Posted February 10, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review (+ Giveaway): Rise by Karina BlissReviewer: Tracy
Rise by Karina Bliss
Series: Rock Solid #1
Also in this series: Fall

Publication Date: January 17th 2015
Format: eARC
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Even rock stars deserve redemption... Acclaimed literary biographer Elizabeth Winston writes about long-dead heroes. So bad-boy rock icon Zander Freedman couldn't possibly tempt her to write his memoir. Except the man is a mass of fascinating contradictions-manipulative, honest, gifted, charismatic and morally ambiguous. In short, everything she seeks in a biography subject. When in her life will she get another chance to work with a living legend? But saying yes to one temptation soon leads to another. Suddenly she's having heated fantasies about her subject, fantasies this blue-eyed devil is only too willing to stoke. She thought self-control was in her DNA; after all, she grew up a minister's daughter. She thought wrong. Rock star Zander Freedman has been an outlier-many would say an outcast-for most of his life. But there's no disaster he can't overcome, from the breakup of his band to the inevitable damage to his reputation. His Resurrection Tour is shaping up to be his greatest triumph-if his golden voice holds out. Contracting a respected biographer is simply about creating more buzz. Elizabeth's integrity is the key to consolidating his legacy as one of rock's greats. All the damn woman has to do is write down what he tells her. Not force him to think. Or encourage the good guy struggling to get out. And certainly not make him fall in love for the first time in his life. Turns out he "is" scared of something: being known.

Tracy’s review of Rise (Rock Solid #1) by Karina Bliss

Zander Freedman has one person he wants to be the writer of his memoir – Elizabeth Winston. He will do and say anything to get her on the project because he not only loves her work but she has integrity and he feels that’s what he needs to back this project. The problem is that he promises her a lot and then doesn’t come through on most of it. He certainly doesn’t tell her everything about his life that needs to be told and doesn’t plan on changing that. Elizabeth starts to get under his skin, however, and he finds himself falling for her. This causes him to want to protect her even more from what he feels are his dark secrets.

Elizabeth meets Zander before a show and she’s practically mesmerized by his charm and charisma. She agrees the project but makes sure that she keeps it professional at all times. That doesn’t stop her from lusting after him in private. Once Zander makes a move on Elizabeth it’s all she can do to keep her head around him and work on the book. Of course life isn’t easy and things in Elizabeth’s personal life back home cause her to have to leave the tour temporarily. With Elizabeth gone Zander has to make some decisions about his life, his future in the music business and some decisions about Elizabeth as well.

This wasn’t the book I thought it would be when I read the blurb as I thought we’d see more of Zander’s asshole-ishness throughout the book. While he wasn’t exactly perfect I didn’t seem him as someone who needed complete redemption. He did prove himself quite a vocal and mean drunk later in the book but by that time I’d definitely warmed up to him. He cared deeply for those in his employ and didn’t want to see anyone truly hurt by his actions.

Elizabeth wasn’t a prude but wasn’t anyone I would have picked for Zander in the long run. She was brilliant and saw through his bullshit, sure, but she just didn’t strike me as the woman for him. That being said I thought the author did a good job of trying to convince me that these two were meant for each other. Though I didn’t feel the attraction between them I did see the love at the end of the book.

The story follows not only Zander and Elizabeth but the other band members as well as Zander’s ex-girlfriend, Stormy, and his PA, Dimity. I loved that these secondary characters played a major roll in the story as it gave it all more substance in the end.

Overall a good story. I didn’t read the books that Bliss wrote that previously included Zander but I didn’t feel that I needed to to enjoy this book.

Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5

GIVEAWAY: 1 Digital Copy of Rise by Karina Bliss

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

four-stars


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