Contemporary Romance

A Flirty Dozen Box Set by JL Merrow Review

    A Flirty Dozen Box Set  by JL Merrow 3 Stars! 

 

Read about boys from the wrong side of town, boys from the right side of town, and boys from a town you really wouldn’t want to live in. Meet a rent boy with a secret, a very earthly version of Cupid, and men with a definite tinge of the supernatural. Opposites attract, wishes come true, and old enemies find forgiveness in this variety pack of eight contemporary stories and four paranormal tales that’s a perfect introduction to the writing of a very British author.

Contains the stories: Love Found on Lindisfarne, Free Ride, Light the Fire, Dead Shot, Stronger Where it Counts, Jack in the Green, A Ghoul Like You, Batteries Not Included, Making it Pay, Trick or Treat, Good Breeding, and A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips, and Thou.

 

Review

Love Found on Lindisfarne is my favorite of the bunch with a Viking re enactor and and single father Funny and sweet.

I like the paranormal ones the least but they are all good and make for a lovely read.

This Guy Kills Me by Anlyn Hansell Review

  This Guy Kills Me  by Anlyn Hansell 3.5 Stars!

She has the face that could launch a thousand ships.

And the personality to sink every last one of them.

He sells his own special brand of life insurance, as in…death.

What happens when the one person you find you can’t live without is the same person that is eventually going to kill you?

Jane Hamilton is one hot mess until she meets the World’s most well-adjusted killer. He needs her help and he’s not above kidnapping her to get it. What he doesn’t expect is a woman who isn’t at all what she seems. Except crazy, that is.
She’s definitely crazy.
But then again, in his world? Crazy is the norm.

Review

This book is a great deal of fun. If I took it seriously, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. I didn’t and it was wonderful.

The heroine is living in utter poverty and has a psychic gift that makes her blurt out the awful things she see about people.

The hero is a hitman.

This is a mad cap romp with tons of humor and great characters all around. The romance is very sweet as they fall in love with each other despite each other.

It would have had a higher score if had resolved a few issues around the hero’s work and the heroine’s family but it really a hoot.

The Red Scot (A Curvy Girls Club Novel, #1) by Twyla Turner Review

The Red Scot (A Curvy Girls Club Novel Book 1) by Twyla Turner  2.5 Stars! 

She’ll be the greatest fight of his life…

Bradyn ‘The Red Scot’ MacTavish is the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world, despite his humble beginnings as the fat kid growing up. A tragedy that befell his life changed him and made sure that he never felt helpless again. He spent years making a name for himself in the octagon as an alpha beast, but when it comes to the ladies he is a fumbling mess. Always feeling like the unpopular kid. The day that Payton Bailey walks into his gym changes everything.

When it comes to men, Payton is as clueless as she is with social cues. She prefers to stick with what she knows: Sci-Fi, comic books, video games and web design. After a heartbreaking incident her freshman year of college, she was never able to look at big muscular men the same way again. So imagine her surprise and absolute fright when she catches the eye of the massive, hulking MMA fighter, who she secretly nicknames The Red Giant.

The computer geek has done her best to avoid, ignore, and even maim Bradyn but the stubborn Scot has no intentions of letting the skittish lass slip through his fingers. And with the help of her three friends, he just might win the fight of his life.

Review

I enjoyed this book a lot but there are writing errors and almost all the tropes of the book are heavy handed.

What saved it was fun dialogue, a great circle of friends, a wonderful sweet hero, and a geeky heroine.

Our hero and heroine are both shy which is fun. The hero is very self aware and kind. The heroine has PTSD from a past attempted rape.

The hero’s lovely wooing of the heroine plus the fact that that he is a super hot Scot let me enjoy the book despite the telling passages, lack of complexity, and typos.

Trust Me (Paris Nights, #3) by Laura Florand Review

 Trust Me (Paris Nights Book 3) by Laura Florand 4 Stars!!

She’s nobody’s damsel in distress…
Top Parisian pastry chef Lina Farah is used to fighting for her success. But when a violent attack shatters her security, she needs a new tactic to battle her dragons. What better way to banish the monsters under her bed than by inviting a sexy SEAL to tangle the sheets?

He’s a professional dragon slayer…
Elite operative Jake Adams has never stayed in one place long enough to form a lasting relationship. Lina’s fire and beauty tempt him to give her the hot affair she craves. But her spirit and courage make him long for more. Can he convince a woman seeking forgetfulness to dream of ever after…with him?

 

Review

Our heroine Lina is recovering  from a terrorist attack which she foiled in the kitchen of her restaurant where she is an acclaimed pastry chef.

Our hero is an American on a black ops team working with the French to prevent such things from happening.

He fell in love with Lina when he witnessed her bravery and her deep caring for her friends oh and she is hot and fierce as well.

The wonderfulness of this book is all the little details like a flower opening that I don’t want to ruin. It is a quiet book that charts the coming to turns with a new reality, two career driven people falling and love, and emotionial healing.

There are moving and complex exploration of war, politics impact of each life, racism, sexism, gender relation all with a deft and gentle hand.

Lina just wants Jake for sex at first and he rightly resents it and I adore that start but I also adore how Lina knows mistakes can be corrected and we all can begin again.

A really lovely read!

PS Jake and his freckles are hella hot

I was given this book for my honest review. So there you have it!

Her Pregnancy Bombshell (Summer at Villa Rosa #1) by Liz Fielding Review

 Her Pregnancy Bombshell (Summer at Villa Rosa)  by Liz Fielding  2.5 Stars

Expecting her boss’s baby! 

Pilot Miranda Marlowe is too sick to fly her plane, and she must face the truth: she’s pregnant! She knows well enough that her boss, Cleve Finch, is still grieving for his late wife, so to think, she heads to her sister’s new inheritance, Villa Rosa.

Despite the spiders and dust, the Mediterranean palazzo is as gorgeous as ever. Until Cleve turns up with a dramatic offer: a convenient marriage as soon as it can be arranged! It may be the sensible answer…but is it enough for Miranda?

 

Review

I was enjoying this romance with its look at grief and comfort between two pilots.

The heroine has been in love with the hero since she was 18. He married another. The book opens with him in deep grief and the heroine comforting him physically.

She gets pregnant. I like very much what a respected pilot and airplane designer the heroine is. I like the setting of the the crumbling Italian Villa the heroine flees to (and the hero follows) to sort out what do to with her life now.

Then, for me the book goes south. The secondary characters don’t work well for me and worse the mystery of why the hero and heroine weren’t together misses the details I want and the details I get make me dislike almost everyone in the book.

Well written but it lost me. I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it.

Shade’s Lady (Reapers MC, #6.5) by Joanna Wylde Review

 Shade’s Lady: A Reapers MC Novella by Joanna Wylde 

Looking back, none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t dropped my phone in the toilet. I mean, I could’ve walked away from him if I’d had it with me.
Or maybe not.
Maybe it was all over the first time he saw me, and he would’ve found another way. Probably—if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Shade always gets what he wants, and apparently he wanted me.
Right from the first.

 

Review

Wylde always writes solid books. The basic story and events are intersting as is the hero and the heroine.

It is over the top lust and moves into a possible love.

However, even in this short space, we don’t get enough (excecpt for one great geeky Wonder Woman Bat Man conversation) of either character or the love story to make this great.

A nice quick read. It does make me want to check out the longer books in the series I have not read and I would like Dopey’s story.

A Seal Upon Your Heart by Pepper Pace Review

  A Seal Upon Your Heart  by Pepper Pace 4.5 Stars!!

Jane used to have a different name, a different life—but that was before she was rescued from the refugee camp after the Rwandan genocide and brought to the convent to be raised. Now she is being dismissed, told to go out into the world. But how does she do that when all she knows is the convent?
Sometimes she wants to scream, I am a child of Africa! And sometimes she wants to dream about a love that will save her from her loneliness…but mostly she wants to fit in.

Tim Singleton lost his wife to breast cancer less than a year ago and yet the pain and anger is still fresh in his mind. He hates the sympathetic looks from his colleagues and tolerates the invitations from friends with their good intentions. When Corrine died, so did Tim’s faith…so when he received the call from the convent that his wife had focused her charitable endeavors, Tim isn’t quite sure why he agreed to help the young African girl with a job.

She didn’t quite fit in with the others at the law firm that wore thousand dollar Chanel suits while her clothes were picked with care from the donation bin at the church. At nearly six feet tall, the shy girl tried to become invisible in the hectic world around her. But if her ill-fitting clothes didn’t draw attention to her, then it was a beauty that couldn’t be hidden so easily.

Soon Jane sees Tim as not only her benefactor, but her one true love. But can Tim finally open up and allow someone else to touch his heart? Can he forget their difference in race and age? And more importantly, would being with him mean the loss of her innocence?

Review

This is the kind of book that lingers with you long after you have put it down.

It starts with seemingly trite themes that one might find in an old Mills and Boon: a much older man (a grieving widower) and a his new personal assistant (naive and convent raised).

Then, the layers build. We are in Ohio. She is black and he is white. She is a Catholic and devout and he is non religious He drinks from grief. She has PTSD. She survived the Rwandan genocide as a young child and witnessed its horrors.

It is a powerful book and a powerful romance where they don’t heal each other but themselves.

The heroine isn’t perfect. She is young and struggles to find her full and complex self. The power issues bsased on age, money, race, gender and class are sometimes so intersting handled and sometimes clumsy.  She resilient and kind.

The hero too falters and errs and then becomes more. He contradicts himself and  doesn’t always do what he knows he should

There are no cookie cutter characters here and nothing is simple. The heroine is smart and so is the hero in terms of common sense, knowledge of profession, and emotionial intelligence.  Its glorious.

Racism and sexism are a large part of this tale.

I wish the sexism of the law firm and the hero’s privilege in it (he is never the issue but while he takes on a role protector and punisher, he doesn’t attack the issue at the systematic level that would be much more satisfying) had been more closely examined.

This romance is moving and a wonderful piece of writing as usual from Pepper Pace.

Pansies (Spires Book 4) by Alexis Hall Review

 Pansies (Spires Book 4) by Alexis Hall 4 Stars!

Alfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.

It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie hasn’t met anyone like Fen before.

Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.

Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.

Review

This is my first Alexis Hall book and I was impressed.

The writing is lyrical and such a pleasure to sink into. I love the detail of the North of England Contemporary setting geographically, historically, culturally and in the dialect.

The romance is compelling. I have a great discomfort with the falling in love with my former bully theme but Hall does a good job of dealing with all the layers though even more self reflection and therapy on both their parts would not have hurt.

The grief and depression of Fen’s character and yet solid internal adulthood paired with Alfie’s outward adulthood with the seeking of a full recognition of self and needs and wants make for a compelling love story.

They are both great wounded loving. people and the cast is wonderfully complex as well. They have friends and family and jobs. Those things all evolve as they fall in love and choose a life together.

The main thing that keeps this from being an smashing success of a romance for me is that Alfie’s character is given more light than Fen’s so that when Fen makes some decisions, we are left a little uncomfortable as to if that his best self because we need to see more of Fen’s healing than we do,

Overall, I highly recommend this book for a lush and engrossing romance.

Shacking Up by Helena Hunting Review

    Shacking Up by Helena Hunting 4 Stars! 

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

Review

This romance made me smile.

It isn’t complicated but its fun. There are a lot of things that could have been more developed but it remains a feel good romance with dirty talk, banter and a couple that really likes each other.

I really like them too and the pets. Oh, I love the pets.

I don’t care for many of the side characters even the heroine’s best friends who is closed off to a good smack in the head for being in an icky relationship.

The heroine is charming and hero is a good guy if built on over the top sexy scale.

A great way to spend an afternoon.

I was given this book for my honest review. So there you have it!

Perv (Filth, #1) by Dakota Gray Review

 Perv (Filth Book 1)  by Dakota Gray 3 Stars!

I’m honest about what I am. You want to screw until you can’t see straight? I’m your guy. You want to experience the best oral orgasm of your life, don’t pass go and collect two-hundred dollars. Eating you for dessert is my specialty. I live for that. Skinny, average or meat on your bones, I don’t care. Blonde, brunette…white, Asian, black…
Are you pink where it counts? Then you’re my type.
I’m your guy.
For the duration of our affair, I will call you Sugar because I can’t bother to retain your name.
That’s the kind of man I am, and you will know that going in. I make sure of it.
So it’s not my fault her friend loved me, but She is going to make me pay for that.
And I’m too addicted to her taste to walk away.

Review

Hmmm.

The most intersting part of me about this book isn’t the fetish that Nate has for downtown, rather it is the more quiet discussion of connection and objectification and grief.

Those parts of the romance were powerful for me, however, Robyn’s and Nate’s working stuff out should have been on the page and in the book. Instead, we get melodrama, angst, and don’t get the well deserved falling in love.

Revenge plot, jerk heroes and deep 1 person are not my favorites so this book was climbing a steep hill with me.

The sexy stuff is sexy (though opening a romance with him with someone not the heroine makes me cringe a bit).

So, didn’t work that great for me and the author’s note at the end of the book annoyed me as a reader who is happy to see something different.

However, I will try the next book in the series as Nate’s friends are intersting.