Tag: Contemporary

Sunday Spotlight: The Accidental Fiancé by Christi Barth

Posted February 21, 2021 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: The Accidental Fiancé by Christi BarthThe Accidental Fiancé by Christi Barth
Series: Love Lottery #1
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Is it the chance of a lifetime or his biggest mistake?

When former hotel manager Alex Kirkland, his sister and their best friends pooled their money for an unusual lottery prize—a historic, dilapidated inn on the Maryland shore—as a last-ditch attempt to escape rotten circumstances, they never expected to win. But they’re all looking for a fresh start and a second chance, so Alex convinces everyone to move in and repair the building in time for the spring wedding season.

Sydney Darrow never planned to return to her hometown. But her family needs her and Sydney can endure anything for 90 days—including making sandwiches and serving coffee with a smile until she returns to her jet-setter career. When her grandma mistakes a handsome customer for the “fiancé” Sydney created when she thought her grandma was on death’s door, well...Sydney will do anything to keep her spirits up during treatment. She can persuade him to keep up the charade for a few months, right?

But when Alex agrees to play along, will they both fall for their own fiction?

Excerpt

Alex’s expression morphed into straight-up solemnity, like he’d slipped on a mask. “The four of us have no incoming income until we get this inn running. Damn straight I’m all about the bottom line.”

“I guess I can add practical to your list of traits.” Which she appreciated. It was the people who pretended not to care about money but pinched every penny in secret that were difficult. Hiding things—anything, big or small—never turned out well.

In a tone drier than Death Valley, Alex said, “That is just what every man longs to hear during a proposal. That practicality came in ahead of good looks and sex appeal.”

“I didn’t say that.” Did he truly not know that he smoldered with sex appeal? That he could be the man in a cologne/watch/champagne ad? It was actually endearing that he needed a bit of an ego stroke. “Alex, you’re suavely handsome. Your smiles are rare, and all the more potent because of it.”

Those icy eyes widened in…disbelief? Appreciation? Hard to tell. But then he dipped his chin. “Nice to hear. Was that so hard?”

“I didn’t realize you needed a bit of flirting to consider this favor. It seemed…forward to lead off with cataloging your physical traits.”

“Forward?” A huge belly laugh rolled out of him. It was warm and contagious, even though Sydney knew it was aimed at her. “You just proposed after a grand total of ten minutes of conversation, over two days.”

Men had a tendency to be so darned literal. “I’m not proposing for real. I’m asking for your help. You will, in no way, be obligated to follow through into a fake marriage.”

“Then where does the line get drawn?” Alex braced a hand on the back of the couch and leaned forward. He leaned in so close that his breath warmed her ear. “How interesting does this get?”

For a moment—okay, three—Sydney let herself enjoy the closeness. The heat pumping off him through the waffle-weave shirt onto her chest. The brush of his biceps against the back of her head. How their knees pressed together. It was all intimate and on the edge of…something. She just wasn’t sure what.

Love Lottery

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: February 2021

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Christi Barth

Christi Barth Author Photo

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.

A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.


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Review: Lucky Stars by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 19, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lucky Stars by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Lucky Stars by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #5
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Sommersgate House, Lacybourne Manor, Penmort Castle
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 20, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 520
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B008DDW4OQ

Belle Abbot is pathologically shy and because of this, she’s living a nightmare due to the fact that she’s also a national treasure hounded by the media. James Bennett is known the world over as the perfect catch, handsome, wealthy and the owner of an intimidating castle on a Cornish Cliff, Chy An Als Point.

Belle and James meet and in one night, they fall in love. The problem is, Belle’s dating James’s brother.

As quickly as they fall together, Belle and James are torn apart. Not long after, circumstances throw them back into each other’s lives and they find they were right that first romantic night, they were meant to be.

Even if their families want them together, James’s brother Miles does not. Dogged by a rabid media who are fascinated by their love triangle, as well as Belle’s hidden demons, James and Belle find they have yet another problem to solve. The Point is haunted by the ghosts of two children murdered in the castle. Their murderer will stop at nothing to keep their souls tethered to The Point instead of letting them live eternity with their mother and father.

Belle is determined to find her courage and help them and she enlists her loopy mother, loopier grandmother, James’s even loopier ex-girlfriend and the dubious (but talented) team of rock ‘n’ roll witch Cassandra McNabb and Scottish ghost hunter extraordinaire Angus McPherson to help the children find their way back home.

James “Jack” Bennett has always known his brother, Miles, has an unhealthy obsession with one-upping him. It’s something that has been going on since they were kids. When Jack and Belle first meet, Belle is seeing Miles. She knows it won’t work with Miles, but before she can do anything about it, she meets Jack. After one night together the two fall in love. They make plans. Then Belle overhears something about Jack trying to get one on Miles by sleeping with her. Belle is devastated and doesn’t give Jack time to explain.

Fast forward a few months…Belle is pregnant but insistent that she doesn’t want anything to do with Jack. Belle’s mother and grandmother take matters into their own hands and go to Jack’s office to tell him. Jack doesn’t want anything to do with Belle nor is he sure that the child she is carrying is his. He’s quickly disabused of that line of thinking. It seems that now he has a second chance with the woman that he hasn’t been able to forget. He moves Belle into his home, on Cornish Cliff, determined to make things right.

Belle is leery of Jack’s intentions, though it doesn’t take long for her to soften up. When she realizes what a horrible mistake she made by not believing Jack, she’s not sure she can make it right. She’s determined to try. Enter the ghosts. The ghost part of the book was, er, interesting. Each book in this series took the ghost angle a little further than the prior book. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns in this book. I really find the heroes in this series heroes of the “old”. Meaning that they are more alpha, less apologetic for what they want. Just more everything.

This is the fifth and final book in the series. I have to say that it doesn’t make me happy knowing that. There was a cliffhanger at the end of the book and KA has no intention of writing the story. So fucked up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Posted February 18, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 11 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: A Lot Like Love by Julie JamesReviewer: Rowena
A Lot Like Love by Julie James
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars

Previous edition for this ISBN found here

The FBI wants her cooperation. As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city's top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there's only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother's release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her. As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This "date" with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment— one they're both determined to pull off even if they can't be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick's investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they're a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more.

This review was originally posted on February 23, 2021.

Julie James has written another contemporary romance novel that I thought was fantastic. This book follows Special Agent Nick McCall and billionaire heiress Jordan Rhodes as they go undercover as a couple to try to bring down more of Roberto Martino’s minions who are trafficking his drug money through legit businesses and the guy that they’re targeting and going after is Xander Eckhart, a business friend of Jordan.

How did they get Jordan to take part? They offered her a deal that she couldn’t and wouldn’t walk away from.

Once again, James has written a heroine who is both strong, smart, and totally capable and I adored her. I thought Jordan was a great part of this book, her character might have been totally loaded but I connected with her dilemma and I connected with her as a person. Watching her fall in love with Nick was a delight to read about and she was a fun person to get to know.

Then there’s Nick. I’m a sucker for the name Nick. If you want me to love your hero, you’ll get off to a great start by naming him Nick because there’s something about that name that totally gets me. Nick McCall was a sexy beast that I enjoyed getting to know. I loved his manly man attitude and while some might find him a little over the edge (because of his refusal to drink anything pink, haha), I adored him. I loved his overt manliness and I adored that he called Jordan, Rhodes. The way that he said Rhodes, got me each and every single time.

Julie James does such a great job of making the reader feel like they’re apart of the stories she writes and this book was no exception. When everything is going down, I can see it all coming together like I’m apart of the action and I appreciated that. I loved that I could feel Jordan and Nick falling for each other. I was right there, anxious and nervous when Nick and Jordan arrived at Xander’s party. My heart was pounding when the shit hit the fan and I was annoyed as all get out Lisa came back into the picture.

Another thing that I absolutely loved about the story was the inclusion of Jack and Cameron. They were a part of the story but they didn’t take over the story and I liked that. It was so good to see them again and see how they’re doing so I loved that James included them.

I’m a blood-thirsty bitch and I wanted something to happen to Lisa. I wanted to see Nick tell her where to shove her love for him and I wanted to see Nick with his Mom. It would have been nice to see Nick with his family but aside from wanting those things, I still enjoyed the book quite a bit and am sure that fans of Julie James will not be disappointed with this new book. Julie James wrote another winner for me and it was such a fast read that I’m already anxious for more from Julie and I cannot freaking wait for Kyle’s book. Holy goodness, I was so excited to see that Kyle’s story is next. Woo hoo!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

FBI-US Attorney

four-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch

Posted February 4, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: A Touch of Minx by Suzanne EnochReviewer: Casee
A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch
Series: Samantha Jellicoe #5
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 380
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Who says crime doesn't pay?

A year ago, Samantha Jellicoe robbed from the rich and gave...to herself! Now, though, she's using her larcenous skills for good as a private security consultant, trying to walk the high road for her sexy billionaire boyfriend, Richard Addison, and asking herself if there's anything more torturous than tracking down priceless artifacts (only to give them back!).

So when the Metropolitan Museum of Art asks for her help, she's only too happy to leap into the fray again: If nothing else, this adventure will help her avoid that little (not!) sparkly item Rick's been hiding in his pocket, and postpone another kind of walk down the aisle. It's only when she's targeted by a deadly adversary after the same treasure that Sam starts to think that "till death do you part" is maybe the lesser of two evils...

This review was originally posted on October 1, 2007

Suzanne Enoch is one of the few historical-turned-contemp authors whose contemps I like more than her historicals. The characters of Samantha Jellicoe and Richard Addison have intrigued me from the beginning.

Though not many people in the world have more money than Rick Addison, Sam’s bank account is nothing to laugh about. It was really the difference in their lifestyles and the instant attraction between the two that just flew off the pages. Both of them being so used to going through life alone, to see them both have to compromise for the other was (and is) engrossing.

The 3rd installment finds Sam fighting boredom as the owner and operator of Jellicoe Security. Though she’s promised Rick that she’ll stay on the straight and narrow, Sam will take her adrenaline kicks where she can get them. When the Met again contacts her to find Japanese armor that went missing 10 years before, Sam knows that this will be her last chance to make a name for herself in the art world as something other than a cat-burglar. Given a mere week to find the armor, Sam must ask Rick for his help. With his contacts in Palm Beach, Sam soon narrows her search down to three people, one man and a married couple.

Determining who actually has the armor is another story entirely and will take a few of Sam’s “special skills” to figure out. Though she doesn’t want to outright lie to Rick, she doesn’t want him to worry, either. She also admits to herself that she doesn’t want him tagging along or trying to stop her. She’s sure that he’ll do one or the other. Breaking and Entering is harder when you have a novice tagging along.

In between Sam trying to find the armor, she’s also trying to help Tom Donner’s (Rick’s lawyer) daughter, Olivia, find something that went missing out of her 5th-grade classroom. Though it’s not her usual type of job, Sam finds that she can’t turn Livia down when she’s asked to locate “Anatomy Man”. A life-sized doll, Anatomy Man has removable organs and was going to be part of a class project that Livia’s class was really looking forward to. The interaction between Tom and Sam in this book is highly amusing, especially when Sam takes Tom’s Wife, Katie, on a little afternoon B&E.

All this going on and Sam can tell that there is something on Rick’s mind. Having just past their 1 year anniversary together, Sam can’t exactly figure out why Rick is so uptight. What she doesn’t know is that every day Rick still worries that Sam could easily take off. Though he’s sure of her feelings for him, she still has her emergency backpack in the closet so she can take off at a moment’s notice. When he decides to propose to Sam, he’s both elated and terrified. All he knows is that he’ll do anything to keep Samantha in his life.

What I love about these books is that I can laugh and find humor in them, but it doesn’t detract from the intensity of the emotion between the two characters. I also love the interaction between the secondary characters. Stoney and Sam’s relationship is at once heartwarming and humorous. Stoney’s reluctance to completely end his career as a fence is in direct contrast with Sam’s persistence to stay straight. When Stoney disappears, Sam can’t help but be worried, especially when shit starts hitting the fan with her armor deal. I think one of the funniest parts of the book was when Stoney kept referring to Rick as the “English muffin”. LOL. Sam’s receptionist, Audrey, also plays a more prominent role in this book. As an escort during the season, Audrey has ins into certain houses that Sam finds very useful.

The ending to the book was perfect. I highly anticipate the next book in the Sam/Rick series. Sam’s laid-back personality is a perfect compliment to Rick’s uptight British ways. I always know that I’ll be satisfied after I read about these two characters.

4 out of 5

Samantha Jellicoe

four-stars


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Review: The Roommate by Rosie Danan

Posted February 3, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Roommate by Rosie DananReviewer: Rowena
The Roommate by Rosie Danan
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars

House Rules:

Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online

The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too much to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.

After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet...

Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too.

The Roommate is Rosie Danan’s debut contemporary romance release from last year. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it so I was looking forward to reading it but the massive reading slump of 2020 got to me so I haven’t gotten around to it until now. I was really engaged from beginning to end in what was going on with both Clara and Josh. Sure, there were times when I wanted to smack them both upside their stubborn heads but overall, they were great characters with great chemistry and I was rooting for them.

So this book follows Clara Wheaton, a socialite from Connecticut who leaves her life of privilege, responsibility, and expectations for the freedom of living on her own clear across the country. She ran away from the responsibilities of being a Wheaton to figure some things out while she rooms with the love of her life and best friend, Everett. But when she shows up in Los Angeles, determined to make Everett fall in love with her, he delivers some bad news. His band got asked to do a last-minute multiple-city tour and he’s leaving…right now. But she’s not to worry because he rented his room to someone else so she won’t be alone and she can still have her summer of adventure. She just had to do it all without him.

Clara meets her new roommate, Josh Connors, when she gets home and while she had no intention of getting to know him, they talk and he convinces her to stick it out and find out what she’s all about. Before Clara knows what’s what, she’s reunited with her estranged Aunt, she’s got a job and she’s developed a strictly platonic friendship with her roommate that she really enjoys. Everything was going pretty great until she finds out that her new friend and roommate, Josh Connors, is actually Josh Darling, a sexy porn star and the exact opposite of what her parents would approve of.

Josh is used to people not approving of his job and in extension, approving of him. He enjoys his work, he’s free of strings and is living his life the way that he wants to but when he befriends his new roommate, Clara Wheaton, her opinion of him starts to matter, and then before he knows what is what, he’s got a giant crush on her that can only end with his heart being shattered because he just knows she doesn’t feel the same way. When they go into business together, things really heat up between the two of them but it doesn’t come without its fair share of complications.

Seeing these two battle their attraction to each other while trying to figure out their own individual issues made for a great romance. Rosie Danan’s writing style flowed well and was easy to follow along with and I thought she told a really engaging story with a charming cast of characters. I’m glad that I read this book and I’m looking forward to jumping into her next book that I have for review.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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