Sunday, March 26, 2017

Review: It Started with a Kiss Ella Quinn


Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Zebra Shout (March 28, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: What is a young Worthington woman to do when the man of her dreams is not who she thinks he is?

This season, all eyes are on the Earl of Worthington’s spirited, beautiful sister, Lady Louisa Vivers. Many gentlemen are vying for her attention in and around the ton. Yet, Louisa longs for someone who can take her beyond the ballroom—a man who is worldly, adventurous, and passionate. She won’t settle for just any suitor. She wants her true soul mate—and she’ll know him when she sees him.

Is Gideon, the Duke of Rothwell, him? The moment he and Louisa meet, they share a powerful attraction. Rides at sunrise and waltzes at dusk follow. Finally, Gideon can no longer resist the urge to embrace her, and Louisa is sure he will ask for her hand. But Gideon believes he is in no position to marry. The Rothwell estate has gone bankrupt, a scandal simmers in its wake, and he has nothing left to offer. Now, he must decide if he will let pride stand in the way of true love—or if he will risk everything, and let the lady decide for herself…


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This was a charming read! I have loved the Worthington family since the first book featuring them, and I am pleased to say that these books just keep getting better and better! If you haven't yet been introduced to this family, you needn't worry, this story can be read as a stand alone. You do not need to have read the others in order to enjoy this one. I found Louisa to be a very strong-willed character who knows her own mind and heart very well, which made her one of the most endearing characters I have read about in awhile. 

I loved the build-up within this story. From Gideon and Louisa trying to ignore their feelings for one another, to the scandal that is lurking just beyond the shadows, everything was perfectly blended into a truly enthralling story that builds up to a very pleasing conclusion. 

Overall, I am sure this story will still appeal to those who enjoy a well written historical romance. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                            It Started With a Kiss 
is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: Romancing the Rogue by Erica Ridley


Print Length: 
Publisher: WebMotion (March 21, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: When the new earl inherits, poor relation Miss Rebecca Bond must wed immediately or be out on her ear. The only man she’s ever loved is summoned to hear the will—but he already rejected her so soundly that they haven’t spoken in years. Yet who better than a rakish Viscount to teach her how to snare a gentleman who appreciates her charms? 

Daniel Goodenham, Lord North Barrows, regrets nothing more than the lost friendship with the one woman who treated him like a man, not a title. Fate has given him the perfect pretext to win her forgiveness—even if it means having to match make her to someone else. But now that she's back in his life, he’ll do anything to convince her to choose him instead...


This story was first featured in the Vexed anthology.                     '

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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This was such a cute, clean read that I have nothing but good things to say about it! I loved seeing Daniel and Rebecca interact. Especially considering the fact that he had hurt her in the past deeply in the past, it was a real treat to watch them find their way back to each other . I loved the way they would do things from their past (such as play a game of billiards), that helped their romance bloom anew. 

I do wish that this story had been longer, but that is simply me being selfish and wanting to spend more time with these characters. 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy a well written historical romance novel. I can't wait to read more from this author! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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Romancing the Rogue is available from Amazon.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: So Wrong It Must Be Right (Gallagher & Ivy) by Nicole Helm


Print Length:
Publisher: Lyrical Press (March 21, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: It’s all fun and games until fantasy gets real . . .
 
At twenty-seven, Dinah Gallagher thought she’d have it all figured out. Instead, she’s having mind-blowing online sex with a man she knows nothing about and fighting for her rightful place in the family business. Part of that battle means expanding their century-old restaurant by getting the stubborn urban farmer next door to sell them his lot.
 
But Carter Trask is tired of being pushed around—especially by rich families like the Gallaghers. All he has left is the little farm he’s scratched out of his grandmother’s yard. At least he can blow off steam with the anonymous woman he’s been emailing for the past eight months, who makes his every sexual fantasy come alive—even if it’s only online.
 
When Dinah suddenly realizes that Carter’s gardens look just like some of her mystery man’s photos, she can’t resist trying to turn her dreams into reality. Against his better judgment, Carter joins in the game. But in real life, passion has a way of becoming very complicated, very quickly. And sometimes the wrong choice can turn out to be oh so right . . .
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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5
This is one of those stories that I like to call "erotica with a plot". Meaning there is a lot of sex taking place throughout the novel, however while the sex is a (big) part of the plot, there are other stories happening at the same time which overshadow the sexy scenes. 

I very much enjoyed the chemistry between Dinah and Carter, and watching them find a balance between their "online personas" and their "real lives". I found it interesting that they could have such an open dislike for each other as Dinah and Carter, but found such an intense passion as "D & C". The Gallagher Tap House angle was also interesting and added another layer to this story.

Unfortunately, what kept me from ultimately rating this story at a higher level is the ending. It felt very rushed to me, and I wish there had been more closure between Dinah and her family. As it was, things were left very open and unfinished and that took away from my overall enjoyment of the story. 

Overall, I am sure this story may still appeal to those who enjoy erotica with a plot novels. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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So Wrong It Must Be Right is available from Amazon.com

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review: Honor before Heart by Heather McCorkle


Print Length:
Publisher: Lyrical Press (March 21, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: Risking it all for love and valor . . .

When Corporal Sean MacBranian awakens after being injured in battle, he is sure the luck o’ the Irish has run out on him. Or that he’s died and gone to Heaven. There can be no other explanation for the blond-haired, blue-eyed angel standing before him. But his “angel” is a truehearted lass named Ashlinn, and she wears a nurse’s uniform. Her tender ministrations have brought him back from the brink of death—and have given him a new reason for living.

Ashlinn knows their parting is inevitable; her handsome hero must return to the 69th infantry of the Union army, and there are no guarantees of his safe return. With most of her family already destroyed by the war ravaging America, she is sure she cannot survive another loss. Yet she feels powerless against the draw of Sean’s strong and steady heart. Neither time nor distance nor the danger of battle seems to lessen their bond. But when their secret letters are intercepted, the devoted nurse’s love will face the ultimate test . . .


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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let me begin by talking about something I don't usually discuss in my reviews. Mostly due to the fact that they can always be changed, however, I do not feel as though the cover of this story does it any kind of justice. In fact, there is only one time Ashlinn even wears a green dress, and it is certainly nothing like that. In fact, she spends most of the story in either a nurses uniform or in breeches and a shirt like a man. And I will admit, had Ia just looked at the title and cover and not read the description? I probably would have passed it over myself. 

That being said, I'm glad I didn't! I very much enjoyed Sean and Ashlinn's story, and I felt the author did a good job at bringing to light a very real (and often overlooked) aspect of war-time stories. It is war. It isn't pretty, and there is always that fear that your loved one won't make it back to you. I also felt that giving Ashlinn an Irish Wolfhound for a "companion" was a wonderful addition, it isn't often you read about a dog period, much less one that was so vital to the story as this one was. 

I do feel like the ending of this story was a little too rushed feeling for my tastes, but overall, this was a well-written and romantic story that I feel will appeal to those who enjoy historical romance. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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Honor Before Heart is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Review: No Hitter by Donna Marsh


Print Length: 354 pages
Publisher: Donna Marsh (November 30, 2015)

From Goodreads.com: For Atlee, every day is about flying under the radar of his father who flies Apache helicopters. When a chance to pitch for the high school baseball team makes crossing the mine field of interaction with Chief Warrant Officer Jackson necessary, Atlee has no option but to "soldier up" and ask permission. The result of that simple question sends Atlee's world into a vicious spiral of simply trying to survive and ultimately embracing the very thing that has made his world violent. 

High school freshman Corey Cooper knows something is going on with her new friend, the quiet kid from Mississippi, but she can't figure it out. When she discovers what Atlee is experiencing at home and offers help, Corey does not understand why he refuses her efforts to keep him safe. Worse yet, Corey sees her friend changing and knows he is well on his way to becoming the thing he despises. She is tough enough to be a high school catcher, but is she strong enough to help her friend? 

Told in first person through Atlee's point of view, this dark novel explores family, friendship, survival, and the effects of family dysfunction. 


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My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

No Hitter is one of those rare stories that grips you by the heartstrings, pulls you in and takes you on one heck of a ride. The subject matter isn't easy, but the author manages to handle it in a way that is beautifully (if tragically) realistic. You find yourself pitched straight into Atlee's world, into the anger that lurks around every corner, and into the fight not only to survive, but to protect those you love as well. 

One of the things I most enjoyed was the way the author was able to blend the truth about the cycle of abuse in a way that makes sense (and brings to light the harsh reality of abuse). As you watch Atlee's world collapse around him, you realize that he begins to show mannerisms and other "signs" of becoming the thing he hates the most, and he doesn't even realize it. Thankfully, Atlee has Corey, the only person who seems to be able to pull him back from the dark places his mind sometimes goes to. 

Speaking of Corey, she was my favorite in the story next to Atlee. She stood up to him, and in some ways, for him when she didn't have to. She could have just as easily given up and walked away. Yet, she tried to help. All of the characters in this story were wonderfully complex, whether you loved them or hated them - they were as real as they come.  No Hitter also makes you realize that sometimes people are fighting battles we know nothing about, which should make you more aware of how you personally treat the people you interact with. 

No Hitter does end on a bit of a cliff-hanger, and I would very much like to see more of Atlee's story. Does he mange to break the cycle? 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy a gripping, edge of your seat story. I would definitely read more from this author!

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                     No Hitter 
is available from Amazon.com

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sins of the Father by Sheryl Browne


Print Length: 
Publisher: Death by Choc Lit (February 28, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?

Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget – and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come. 

But the past is the past – or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruelest way possible.

When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is the second book in the DI Matthew Addams series, and while you do not need to have read the first for this one to make sense, it definitely does help you understand some elements in this one. 

Let me begin by saying that I liked this story a whole lot. What kept me from giving it a 5 star review like the first? It was too much too soon. Unfortunately, I can't say too much without spoiling it, but if the author wants to make this a series, then this book should not have been the second. One further down the road after he had closed some other cases and had a chance to move on would have been better. As it was, it was obvious who was behind everything (granted the reader will also know this to a point), but with the first story fresh in my mind it was obvious. 

What was also obvious (and I'll admit a bit repetitive), is how it pretty much played out. Once again DI Addams goes against protocol (and common sense) and runs head first into something and ends up in trouble. After having just read the first one, I kept having flashbacks to it when the story (and dialogue) became too familiar. 

However, the author's writing style and the book as a whole was still strong enough that it fell solidly as a well written novel, and didn't fall into the dreaded "three star it was ok, but not memorable" category. 

Overall, I am sure this story will appeal to those who enjoy a well written thriller novel. I can't wait to read more from this author! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: Cheater (Curious Liaisons #1) by Rachel Van Dyken


Print Length:
Publisher: Skyscape (February 28, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions.

But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell.

Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women.

Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This story was OK. It wasn't wonderful, but it wasn't horrible. It had its moments of good, and its moment's of bad. There were a couple of major sticking points for me that kept me from becoming truly involved with this story. 

To begin with, Lucas comes across as much older than Avery. So much so that even he alludes to the fact that when last he saw her he kept commenting on how she was only 17. Then why, when they reconnect years later does he often act like a teenager? I expected immaturity from Avery to an extent, but Lucas should have known better. And he definitely should have not kept putting off the important conversations they needed to have, and yes, perhaps he should have thought with his "big head" and not slept with her in the first place until they had clearly defined how they felt. 

I also found it very, very, hard to believe that their families were not only ok with what happened, but thrilled about it. Sure, I can understand his family being happy that he is settling down and with a girl they know and like, but speaking as a mother myself, I cannot understand how her family more or less welcomes him with open arms. Sure date my oldest daughter, become engaged to her, be found drunk in bed with my middle child, and now you tell me you're with my youngest? I would have been more ok with Lucas' story if he had not been "keeping it in the family". 

And seriously? Avery felt absolutely NO "ick" factor at sleeping with a man that had also slept with her sister? Speaking of an "ick" factor, you know he has a different girl every day of the week, you've even met some of them. And yet, the only mention of a condom being used is the first time you sleep with someone? Real smart there. 

HOWEVER.

I did very much enjoy the banter between Lucas and Avery. It was obvious by the way he was able to get under her skin, and she his, so easily that they had a pre-existing friendship. I also found some of their jokes to literally make me laugh out loud. It was also nice to get a bit of an insight into the mind of a "cheater", the how and the why if you will, of what makes them what they are.

Overall, I am sure this story may still appeal to those who enjoy a different take on the romantic comedy. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


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                                  Cheater 
is available from Amazon.com