First Star I See Tonight (Chicago Stars #8) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips Review

Review:

A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel—a long-awaited new entry in the beloved, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author’s fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.

Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.

Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. “The fact is…I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just…mildly unhinged.”

Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband.

And then there’s Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.

From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most

 

Review

I love me some Susan Elizabeth Phillips and this book is just great.

What happens here, that always happens in a Phillips’ boo, is the hero and heroine come to deeply respect and value each other. They like and admire each other. They are also really hot for one another but that seems to follow this deep connection the Phillips does like nobody else. Sigh.

The hero and heroine a difficult people. They are cranky. I love them. They are both very witty and so much themselves. They meet in a moment where they are both struggling.

They both kick ass and are loyal and brave. But not so much with the emotionial bravery which lingers for a little longer than I would like.

The secondary characters are grand. We have the old crew show up. The opera singer needs her own romance please.

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The Perfect Fit (Riley O’Brien & Co., #4) by Jenna Sutton Review

Review:

The Perfect Fit (a Riley O'Brien & Co. novella) - Jenna Sutton

What happens when an optimistic, young veterinarian and a battle-scarred Army veteran end up as roommates?

Zeke May has spent the past two years recovering from an IED attack and trying to adjust to life as a civilian. The veteran hiring program at denim empire Riley O’Brien & Co. offers a new beginning. The only problem is the high cost of housing in San Francisco, and Margo Lange could be the perfect solution.

Now that Margo has completed veterinary school, she’s ready to fulfill her dream of living in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, she’s drowning in student loan debt and the only places she can afford are dumps. Luckily, one of her uncle’s Army buddies needs a roommate.

Although Zeke’s place is a perfect fit for Margo’s budget, he is not what she expects. He’s much younger than her uncle, and he’s melt-your-panties hot. She doesn’t want to fall for him, but it doesn’t take her long to realize that Zeke is the perfect fit for her, regardless of their age gap. Too bad he’s so obviously still in love with his ex-wife…

Review

The romance was just just the right blend of funny, tender, sexy and real. I love low angst romance which is all about the couple.

 

Watching Zeke and Margo fall in love is a pure joy. I adore the Zeke is not a man whore. His not a man whoreness is beyond hot. They become great friends. There are things each needs to work through but in the end they are meant to be.

 

Love all the tropes are done so well but the writing is so crisp and the dialogue is lovely with all these little gems studded through the character development like the heroine’s thrift shopping.

 

The only thing that kept it from being a five star for me was that I wanted more of an epilogue though what I got was good, I just want more lushness in a final chapter or more epilogue.

 

I highly recommend. And it was free on Amazon as a gateway drug to this author. So, go get hooked!

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Once Upon a Rose By Laura Florand 99 cents! Excellent!

Once Upon a Rose (La Vie en Roses) (Volume 1) by Florand, Laura (2015) Paperback - Laura Florand

She stole his roses.

Fleeing the spotlight, burnt out rock star Layla—“Belle”—Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten heritage in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn’t expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.

He wants them back.

Matt didn’t mean to growl at her quite that loudly. But—his roses! She can’t have his roses. Even if she does have all those curls and green eyes and, and, and…what was he growling about again?

Or maybe he just wants her.

When an enemy invades his valley and threatens his home, heart, and livelihood, Matthieu Rosier really knows only one way to defend himself.

It might involve kissing.

And that might be just the start.

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northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1511247/once-upon-a-rose-by-laura-florand-99-cents-excellent

Confiscated Bride by Yamila Abraham Review

Review:

Confiscated Bride - BBW SciFi Romance - Yamila Abraham

Ambassador Janel is proud to have finally brokered an alliance with the powerful Haraden. What cinched the deal? The Haraden warriors want brides. Since war ravaged her planet’s male population they actually have a surplus of women looking for husbands. It seems like a win-win.

General Kordan, the austere Haraden negotiator Janel spent days wearing down, approaches her out of the blue. She’s not married—and the warrior general has his eyes on her. For some reason, she feels compelled to go to him.

Unfortunately her timing for a visit to a Haraden home world could not have been worse. Was she being courted or confiscated

 

Review

Sigh. Just when this romance was really going to take off and we were going to get couple time, cultural adjustments, and courting, the plot turns into betrayal on a global scale lameness.

 

Bummer.

 

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Marauder Cygnus (Mating Wars #1) by Aya Morningstar Review

Review:

Marauder Cygnus: Scifi Alien Invasion Romance (Mating Wars) - Aya Morningstar

War rages between Earth and Mars, and an alien fleet from a distant star barrels toward our solar system. I’m laying low in the asteroid belt, as far from the war as I can get, but so is one of the aliens. And I’m the first to find him.

Second to find him? Pirates. A whole lot of them. The alien kills every last one to protect me, and we barely escape before reinforcements arrive. Now my life is in the hands of this savage, purple-skinned killer.

Not all of his skin is purple though, his…thing…is teal. And it’s nearly as big as the rest of him. His shoulders are as wide as Valles Marineris, and he’s tall as Olympus Mons. His ego is way too big for my tiny ship, but one look from him with that insufferable grin, and my cheeks burn hotter than Venus.

He’s protected me fiercely and without question, but which side will he take when the rest of his race comes to destroy us all?

 

 

Review

Too many typos and the kind of first person point of view that gives me a headache.

 

I love me some Alien Science Fiction Romance but the jerky action and point of view made this one a no go for me.

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Under Locke by Mariana Zapata Review

Review:

Under Locke - Mariana Zapata

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.

But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club.

 

Review

If you are looking for a low angst motorcycle club romance, this is a good choice. I actually like that aspect of the book with a club that has gone clean so it is mainly the drama between the leads that drives the story but there is outside drama caused by the heroines father as well.

The hero is a jerk at times in that he needs and anger management class but the heroine while much more passive in general puts him in his place.

This is a nice read for the most part (with a few cringes here and there). But there really is a the kitchen sink in here in terms of clichés and much less friends to lovers in this slow burn that this writer usually delivers.

Not bad. Not great.

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Ice Runner (Tales of the Citadel Book 19) Viola Grace Review

 

Review:

Ice Runner - Viola Grace

Using heat to skim along ice delivers her into the arms of a botanist who has more than a casual interest in her and her talent.

Kescu has been raised under ice. Under the surface of Wanlio 6, the locals live and thrive with the Ice Runner moving emergency and experimental supplies from one city and base to the other. Her talent is heat, but she channels it through metal plates, and she skates along the frozen surface of her world.

Lorvik is a new botanist who is assisting a researcher at another base to develop fast-growing fruiting plants for starving populations. When the Ice Runner first arrives in his base, he knows she is more than she seems, but a kiss and genetic testing proves that his path has led him to the right woman. His woman.

Negotiations do not go too smoothly, but Kes knows she is meant for another world. Life in the ice is beginning to hurt. She agrees to his suit, and he only has one more hurdle to pass. Her mother.

 

Review 

The ice planet was an interesting place to visit. The mother daughter sister relationships were moving.

 

The romance was a bit cold but the plot was good.

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Mercy (Deridia #1) by Catherine Miller Review

Review:

Mercy (Deridia Book 1) - Catherine Miller

Dishonourable.
Unwanted.
Outsider.

Such are the slurs cast upon Rykkon, however undeserved. As the only village healer, his people cannot cast him out entirely, but there is little comfort in such a life when he has long known that no mate from his clan would willingly join with him. It is a lonely fate, but one Rykkon has learned to accept. That is, until one tense exchange between his people and the humans brings him an offer he simply cannot ignore.

The humans are not their slaves. Nor their property. Nor of any great concern. But neither are they free. It is by the provisions of the Arterians they scrape out a sorry existence in the Wastes, and by their goodwill alone that they continue to survive. Scavenging for hasart beetles under the two suns is the only life the desperate colonists have known since their ancestors first landed on the desolate planet. It was all they knew. It was all they hoped for.

Until one day, a young female dares to ask for more.

“Wait.”
The entire group stilled, staring at him as he continued to regard the female.
She glanced up sharply, her brow furrowed and her gaze cautious. As right it should be.
“I will take you for a mate.”

 

 

Review

 

This is a lovely slow paced, character driven science fiction romance.

 

The hero is a healer and an outcast. He is beta to his bones and exactly what the heroine needs to trust and heal. Hard choices are carefully explored making the internal conflicts engaging.

 

The heroine is resilient, practical, and brave. They are both a product of how they have been treated and the romance is sweet and real.

 

The hero keeps secrets a bit too long but that is my only complaint.

 

Good world building and they save each other in so many ways.

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Big Rock by Lauren Blakely 99 cents

Big Rock - Lauren Blakely

It’s not just the motion of the ocean, ladies. It’s definitely the SIZE of the boat too.
And I’ve got both firing on all cylinders. In fact, I have ALL the right assets. Looks, brains, my own money, and a big c&$k.
You might think I’m an as%*$le. I sound like one, don’t I? I’m hot as sin, rich as heaven, smart as hell and hung like a horse.
Guess what? You haven’t heard my story before. Sure, I might be a playboy, like the NY gossip rags call me. But I’m the playboy who’s actually a great guy. Which makes me one of a kind.
The only trouble is, my dad needs me to cool it for a bit. With conservative investors in town wanting to buy his flagship Fifth Avenue jewelry store, he needs me not only to zip it up, but to look the part of the committed guy. Fine. I can do this for Dad. After all, I’ve got him to thank for the family jewels. So I ask my best friend and business partner to be my fiancée for the next week. Charlotte’s up for it. She has her own reasons for saying yes to wearing this big rock.
And pretty soon all this playing pretend in public leads to no pretending whatsoever in the bedroom, because she just can’t fake the kind of toe-curling, window-shattering orgasmic cries she makes as I take her to new heights between the sheets.

But I can’t seem to fake that I might be feeling something real for her.

What the hell have I gotten myself into with this…big rock?

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The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon Review

Review:

The Bird and the Sword - Amy Harmon

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

 

Review

 

I am so happy to see Fantasy Romance having such a good year.

 

This is a lyrical love story with great world building and imagery. The way the details of the culture and magic systems are feed to us one by one and the mysteries solved is enchanting.

 

The very fabric of the language engages. I adore the heroine and her troll. Her magic and coming into her power is wonderful. The hero is less known and therefore less beloved to me. Better communication and couple time would have made the book more of a feast but I was very happy spending time here.

 

I can’t wait for the next book!

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