Tag: 3.5 Reviews

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley

Posted August 16, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Kristen Ashley, how I love thee.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #2
Also in this series: Own the Wind (Chaos, #1), Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Free, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: March 25, 2014
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: First Person, Third Person
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

Lanie Heron isn't looking for love-no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club . . .

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She's too polished and too classy for his taste. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can't say no. And he doesn't regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that's ever happened to him-in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.

After almost dying trying to protect her fiancé, Lanie Heron is a shadow of her former self. Once upon a time she was the life of the party, now she just wants to be left alone. By everyone but one person.

When Lanie propositions Hop, he is floored. He’s always watched Lanie, but knew she wasn’t for him. Now he can’t turn her away.

Hop and Lanie’s story was sweet. I thought I would find Lanie more annoying than I did. She was just about unbearable in Motorcycle Man. She was just too much. While this book is not my favorite in the series, it was still a good read.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #3
Also in this series: Own the Wind (Chaos, #1), Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Free, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 640
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

Meet the intense and sexy bad boy bikers of the Chaos Motorcycle Club in Carissa and Joker's story from Kristen Ashley's New York Times bestselling series.
The ride of her life . . . Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . . In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .

I read this book ages ago, but didn’t review it. I don’t know why that is because I adored this book. Loved it. This book is my favorite in the Chaos MC series.

Carson “Joker” Steele loved Carissa Teodoro since he was a boy. She was untouchable. After rescuing her on the side of the road, Joker knows he won’t give her up. Ever.

Carissa doesn’t recognize Joker as the sweet boy from high school. It’s clear that he’s been through his fair share of trials since she last saw him. She’s also gone through more than any person should have to. Fighting for custody of her child, paying child support, all of it has taken it’s toll. Now she has the Chaos MC behind her and her life abruptly changes. She just has to convince Joker to take a chance on them.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #4
Also in this series: Own the Wind (Chaos, #1), Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Free, Own the Wind
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 624
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

The flame never dies . . .

Millie Cross knows what it's like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn't be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie's chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can't ignore. And this time, she won't let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan "High" Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she's just a ghost of her former self. High's intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn't want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie's betrayal, he'll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .

When Millie Cross sees Logan “High” Judd after twenty years, it slays her. He was the boy that she loved fiercely, then left. She had her reasons, but never told Logan what those were. She just broke his heart (and hers in the process) and walked away. Millie has been a shadow of herself since she left him. Seeing him again changes everything. She decides that it’s time to tell Logan why she left him. Then maybe she can move on from the hell she’s been living in. Close the door on the past for good.

Logan “High” Judd cannot believe his eyes when the former love of his life walks back into his life. Millie Cross destroyed him when she walked away. The last thing he wants is her back in his life. High sends her away in the cruelest of ways, not knowing the sacrifice that Millie made for him. When he finally finds out what she gave up, he’s devastated.

I really enjoyed High and Millie’s book. I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Lightning Reviews: Fire Inside, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Wild Like the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Wild Like the Wind by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #5
Also in this series: Own the Wind (Chaos, #1), Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Free, Own the Wind
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Format: eBook
Point-of-View: Multiple
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 438
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

The brother known as Hound has a reputation. He’s all about cracking heads, having a good time, and when the Chaos Motorcycle Club needs someone to do the tough job, they call on him.

But Hound has a secret. He fell in love with a woman years ago. She’s untouchable. Unattainable. And even when her status changes, for Hound, it remains the same.

Keely Black had it all early and lost it all not long after. Thrown into an abyss of loss and grief, she’s faced a life of raising two sons alone and battling the rage at all that had been ripped from them.

And why.

Words spoken in anger open Hound’s and Keely’s eyes. For Hound, he sees he’s wasted his life loving the wrong woman. Keely sees she’s wasting her life not opening herself to the love of a good man.

Keely Black has been living in the past for eighteen years. Her husband, Black, was murdered because he was part of the Chaos MC. Now her boys want to become prospects with the same club. she wants to support them but her fear is too great.

Hound has loved Keely since the first moment he saw her. After Black was murdered, Hound was there for Keely. As a friend and a stepfather to her boys. Now she wants him, but Club rules say she’s off limits. Hound can’t stay away from her and they start a steaming hot affair. The time comes when they have to pay the piper and Hound can only hope that he can keep the Club that is his life and the woman that has recently become his life.

I didn’t think I would like this book as much as I ended up liking it. I highly disliked Keely at first. I ended up really loving her. Loving both her and Hound individually and together as a couple.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Chaos


three-half-stars


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Joint Review: Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson

Posted July 29, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel GibsonReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
Series: Lovette Texas #1
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 312
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

When Daisy Monroe walked out of Lovett, Texas fifteen years ago, she thought she'd left troublemaker Jackson Lamott Parrish behind her. But some things you can't just leave in the past. Now she's back and she needs to clear the air by confessing to Jackson the reason she left him all those years ago. But Jackson doesn't want to know. When she walked out on him, he vowed he'd never let a woman get close enough to hurt him again.

As Daisy tries to pursue Jackson to tell him the truth, he tries just as hard to stay out of her way. Except, maybe, sometimes, not quite hard enough. One things for sure, the sparks are still flying between them. Will they ever be able to forget their troubled past for long enough to enjoy the present?

Daisy’s Back in Town is an older release by Rachel Gibson that kicks off the Lovette, Texas series. It’s a second chance romance that follows childhood best friends, Jack Parrish and Daisy Lee Brooks, as they find their way together again after fifteen years. Daisy is back in town visiting her family, but she’s also on a mission to fulfill her late husband’s final wish. Daisy has to make things right with Jack Parrish, the best friend that she and her husband left behind after shattering his already shattered world. To her dismay, Jack doesn’t want any part of her reconciliation but old feelings creep on the both of them anyway.

Holly: I’m pretty sure we can’t do this review without spoilers, so..fair warning. Here there be spoilers.

Rowena: I finished this book in a day so that’s a testament to Rachel Gibson’s writing style. It was easy to fall into what was going on in the story and I easily connected with all of the characters in Lovette, but I also really struggled with a lot of what happens in this story as well.

What about you? How did the story hold up for you?

Holly: It’s been years since I read this book. I remember struggling a lot with Daisy’s actions, hating Steven until the bitter end, and loving Jack. I can’t say much has changed. I agree, Gibson’s writing is smooth and easy to read. I fell right into this book.

Rowena: I struggled a lot while reading this book, too. I struggled with Daisy’s actions. I struggled with Steven’s letter that he left for Jack and I struggled with the way that Jack found out about why they left him all those years ago and yet, despite all of that, I didn’t hate this book. I really loved Jack Parrish. I loved seeing him with his family, especially his nieces and then, later on, I really enjoyed seeing him with Nathan.

Holly: I really loved the way Jack and Nathan came to have a relationship. Their sex talks had me cracking up. I loved that Nathan was comfortable going to Jack with things.

Rowena: I guess what I struggled with concerning Daisy’s action was how long it took her to tell Jack the truth. Then when she tells Jack that she loves him but told him that he basically needed to get over her and Steven’s betrayal or he’ll be all alone forever. I wanted to slap that bitch into next year after that. Like, I still want to slap that bitch for that…and I’m happy that Jack finally got his girl.

Holly: I honestly understood why Daisy didn’t tell Jack about his son for all those years. I don’t agree with or condone it, but I got why she didn’t at first, and how it just got harder the longer she waited. What I didn’t understand was why she waited so long to tell him once she came back to town. She had plenty of opportunity and I felt like she squandered it. I agree she was wrong to tell Jack to get over it. I mean, I get what she was trying to say, but she had no right considering how long she kept his son from him. Still, I was able to forgive her. Probably because Jack did.

Rowena: I think I could have gotten over Daisy’s actions if I didn’t feel like Jack was rushed into accepting and getting over the betrayal. He had just found out about Nathan, from Nathan and not Daisy so he’s reeling from the fact that he’s got a fifteen-year-old son that he never knew about, and his two best friends decided that they knew what was best for everyone…for him. So while he’s reeling from that fact, he’s trying to build a relationship with the son he just met, only to have to sit there and be nice to his Mom, who betrayed him and listen to this son call the other person that betrayed him, his father at every turn.

I didn’t feel like Jack was given enough time to really get over everything. Daisy and Nathan knew the truth for years but Jack just found out the truth and immediately had to decide if he was going to be mad or let it go.

Holly: I agree he wasn’t given a lot of time to process or come to terms with everything. Even though I got over it in the end, because I just wanted them all to be happy, a part of me is still really upset on his behalf. How is he supposed to just get over missing out on 15 years of his son’s life? Of listening to his son call another man “dad”? A man who willfully and purposely took that title away from him? I’m conflicted.

I don’t hate Daisy, which is strange. I feel like I SHOULD hate her, but I’ve never been able to.

Rowena: I don’t think I hate Daisy either. I really hate what Daisy did and I don’t even know if I forgive her. But hate her? I don’t think I hate her.

Holly: Steven is the one I wasn’t able to forgive, though. Daisy was young and scared, and easily convinced that Jack didn’t really love her, I think. But Steven knew exactly what he was doing when he took her away..and kept her away. And his letter made me so angry.

Rowena: I do hate Steven. I don’t even care that he was a good Dad to Nathan.

Holly: The difference, I think, is that Steven’s actions were willful. I believe Daisy thought she was doing the right thing for them all by not telling Jack. Steven, on the other hand, knew full well what he was about. He knew he was fucking Jack over.

Rowena: Steven saw a way for him to get what he wanted and he took it. Full stop. He didn’t stop to think of what he was taking from Jack and that is why his betrayal is so much worse. Or if he did stop to think of it…he still went through with it and that makes me hate him so much.

Holly: Exactly this. So much this. He betrayed his best friend because it suited his purposes, and that makes him a total douche. I don’t care how much he loved Nathan or how good a dad he was to him, because that should have been Jack’s job. Jack’s choice. And Steven took that away.

Rowena: Still, even with that drama, this wasn’t a book that I could easily put down. I was invested in these characters and what they were going through. I enjoyed how easy it was to slip into this story, to feel for these characters. Rachel Gibson is good at pulling at your emotions and this book was proof of that. In the end, I was able to be happy for Jack, and for Nathan, and even Daisy. So all in all, I enjoyed this book. I think I’m going to give this one 3.5 out of 5. You?

Holly: Reading this book reminded me why I used to love Gibson so much and why she’s on my keeper shelf. Despite being angry and frustrated with Daisy and Steven for most of the book, I was easily drawn into their story and really pulled for Jack to have his HEA in the end. I’m going to give it 4 out of 5, I think. Because even though Daisy made me angry, I can’t deny I was wrapped up in it from page one.

Final Grades

Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 3.5 out of 5

Lovette, Texas

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Posted July 24, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: Hot Asset by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Hot Asset by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Samantha Cook
Series: 21 Wall Street #1
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1), Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2), Huge Deal , Hot Asset , Hard Sell , Huge Deal , Hard Sell
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 266
Length: 7 hours and 39 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street’s hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Hot Asset is one of the books Rowena chose for me for our Summer Reading Challenge. For that reason alone I wanted to love this book. Truly. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Ian Bradley is a stockbroker on Wall Street. He works hard and plays hard. After being in multiple foster homes as a child, all Ian wants for himself is stability of the financial nature. He never had that growing up and he was determined that he would never go back. The shit hits the fan when the SEC gets a tip from an anonymous source saying that Ian has been involved in insider trading. Suddenly the life he’s worked so hard to cultivate and maintain is at risk. Ian knows he’s innocent, he just has to convince the SEC. Easy, right?

Lara McKenzie’s dream has always been to be a FBI agent like both her parents. She wants to work in the white collar crime division and she’s certain that working for the SEC will get her where she needs to go. She only needs a shining recommendation from her current boss. When she’s put on the Bradley case, Lara is sure that this is the case. Her golden ticket. Her way into the FBI. Then she meets Ian and realizes that it’s not going to be easy to prove that he had anything to do with insider trading.

Lara was almost a heroine that I could dislike. She took one look at Ian and decided he was guilty. End of story. She didn’t care what she had to do to prove it. Some of it was because she wanted to get into the FBI. The rest was that she wanted to teach him a lesson. Prove to him that he can’t get away with breaking the law. Ian was nothing but cooperative with her and she continued her investigation. My feelings for her did eventually change when she started investigating to help him. She also admitted to herself that she had become so jaded that she stopped thinking that the people she was sent into investigate could be innocent.

Ian and Lara’s romance was okay. Nothing great, but not horrible either. They were both instantly attracted to each other. Lara was determined not to let it interfere with her job while Ian was going to make it interfere. Ian is bewildered by his feelings for Lara. He’s never had a woman distract him before and Lara distracts him in more ways than one. I think Ian’s thoughts on being in a relationship with Lara were what made the book so good.

Lara really did get better in the end, but I was already invested in Ian so shrug.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

21 Wall Street

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Tightrope by Amanda Quick

Posted July 24, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Tightrope by Amanda QuickReviewer: Jen
Tightrope by Amanda Quick
Series: Burning Cove #3
Also in this series: The Other Lady Vanishes (Burning Cove #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 309
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

An unconventional woman and a man shrouded in mystery walk a tightrope of desire as they race against a killer to find a machine that could change the world.

Former trapeze artist Amalie Vaughn moved to Burning Cove to reinvent herself, but things are not going well. After spending her entire inheritance on a mansion with the intention of turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, she learns too late that the villa is said to be cursed. When the first guest, Dr. Norman Pickwell, is murdered by his robot invention during a sold-out demonstration, rumors circulate that the curse is real.

In the chaotic aftermath of the spectacle, Amalie watches as a stranger from the audience disappears behind the curtain. When Matthias Jones reappears, he is slipping a gun into a concealed holster. It looks like the gossip that is swirling around him is true—Matthias evidently does have connections to the criminal underworld.

Matthias is on the trail of a groundbreaking prototype cipher machine. He suspects that Pickwell stole the device and planned to sell it. But now Pickwell is dead and the machine has vanished. When Matthias’s investigation leads him to Amalie’s front door, the attraction between them is intense, but she knows it is also dangerous. Amalie and Matthias must decide if they can trust each other and the passion that binds them, because time is running out.

This book brings us back to Burning Cove, California, a vacation getaway for the rich and famous in 1930s Hollywood. Amalie Vaughn is a former trapeze artist who left her career under tragic and inauspicious circumstances. She has moved to Burning Cove to start a new life and open a bed and breakfast. When her first guest is unfortunately murdered, she gets tangled up in something nefarious. Matthias Jones is investigating in Burning Cove as well. At first he sticks close to Amalie because he is searching for information, but quickly he starts sticking close to her for more personal reasons. 

I recognize that this series is nothing ground breaking, but for me it is lots of fun. I really enjoy the world Quick has painted, and I enjoy revisiting Burning Cove in each book. This one in particular felt like a good old fashioned mystery. The murdered guest is a self proclaimed inventor of robots, and that added a fun flavor to the intrigue. Similarly, Amalie’s background as a trapeze artist is glamorous and unique, and I loved that she’s able to use some of her past skills to save herself in the end. 

Matthias and Amalie make a nice couple, although Mathias isn’t particularly interesting to me as a character. No one knows quite what he does, though the rumor is that he’s mixed up with criminals. It was all a little silly. I did like that he appreciates Amalie and her abilities, and like the other heroes in the series he respects and values the heroine’s independence. There’s also a whiff of the supernatural in his backstory, though it’s never really identified as such as nothing much comes of it. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a slight callback to Quick’s Arcane Society series or not, but I didn’t really think it added anything to the story.

This series has become a kind of comforting world for me to visit. It never knocks my socks off, but it’s romantic, unique, and interesting, and I like the characters Quick has created.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Burning Cove

three-half-stars


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Review: The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Posted July 5, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Right Swipe by Alisha RaiReviewer: Rowena
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
Series: Modern Love #1
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

- Nude pics are by invitation only

- If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

- Protect your heart

Only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night... and disappears.

Rhi thought she'd buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won't fumble their second chance, but she's wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

The Right Swipe is the first book in Alisha Rai’s Modern Love series but if you’ve read her Forbidden Hearts series then you’ll remember our heroine, Rhiannon, as she is the sister of the hero in Hurts to Love You.

Rhiannon Hunter is raking in the big bucks as founder and CEO of the dating app, Crush. She works really hard to stay on top and though she’s not all that interested in a relationship, she’s not above using her app to find hookups wherever she might be. When she hooks up with Samson Lima, she knows that it’s a night she’ll never forget. They have chemistry in spades and their night together was explosive so when he wants to see her again, she agrees even though she doesn’t usually go back for seconds. But then Samson ghosts her and her pride gets kicked in the teeth. She’s not expecting to see Samson ever again (and not willing to go there again with him anyway) but when she runs into him at a conference and finds out that he’s working for the company she’s hoping to purchase, her life gets all kinds of complicated.

Samson Lima can’t believe his luck when he comes across the woman that he spent a memorable night with. He didn’t mean to disappear on her and when he tried to fix things, she had already moved on and trying to find her proved to be impossible. Seeing Rhiannon again is a stroke of luck that Samson is not going to mess up again. After retiring from football in a most abrupt manner, Samson spent most of his time caring for his sick uncle and now he’s back at work, helping his Aunt with her dating company. Helping his Aunt by being the face of her company has brought Rhiannon back into his life and he’s happy about that but trying to get her to give him another chance is proving to be a tad bit difficult.

This book was a little slow to pick up for me. I wanted to like it from the jump but I found it hard to connect with both Rhiannon and Samson early on. I will say that I loved that they were both diverse characters without race being a plot point of their romance. I absolutely ADORED that Samson was Samoan because I haven’t had a bunch of luck finding romances featuring Polynesian characters. I’d love to see more of my peeps get their happily ever afters told. I’ve tried reading some and couldn’t really get into them so that’s been a bummer for me and I’m always on the lookout for more.

While I understood Rhiannon’s hesitance in giving Samson another shot, there were times when I wanted to hit her with the, “Either you’re in and you have to get over all of the other shit or you’re not and you need to let this guy go” speech because I felt like Samson kept paying for the same mistake over and over again. I also felt like he was paying for shit he had absolutely nothing to do with (mostly the shit with her ex) and though I know that’s not really something Rhiannon could control, I still wasn’t a big fan of it. Then on the flip side, I wanted to smack some sense into Samson too. I felt like he was far too passive where Rhiannon was concerned. I felt like far too often, he let Rhiannon get away with shit because he felt like he had to redeem himself for ghosting her. His character felt like a bit of a pushover and I wasn’t a fan of that.

Overall, I did enjoy the story and I see the promise that’s there for future books. I will definitely be reading more from Alisha Rai because I’m trying to read more diversely and she’s written some pretty solid romances so far but this one wasn’t one of my favorites by her. Still, I’d definitely recommend giving this one a try since most of the stuff that I didn’t care for are personal things. Alisha Rai is a promising talent and shouldn’t be missed.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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