Genius

Romancing the Inventor (Supernatural Society #1) by Gail Carriger Review

 

  Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella by GAIL CARRIGER 4 Stars! 

Imogene Hale is a lowly parlourmaid with a soul-crushing secret. Seeking solace, she takes work at a local hive, only to fall desperately in love with the amazing lady inventor the vampires are keeping in the potting shed. Genevieve Lefoux is heartsick, lonely, and French. With culture, class, and the lady herself set against the match, can Imogene and her duster overcome all odds and win Genevieve’s heart, or will the vampires suck both of them dry?

Review

This is an achy novella about a maid who is too pretty and her crush on a French female inventor.

It is moving exploration expectations and class burdens taking place in an historical steampunk world with vampires and werewolves.

It is a cruel place and part of the pleasure of this little sexy book is the heroines finding a way with very little room to maneuver to get a happily ever after.

I might have enjoyed this book even more if I was a devoted reader of the series but it was a lovely read on its own.

All These Pieces of Me (The Stables, #1) by C.E. Kilgore Review

All These Pieces Of Me (The Stables Book 1) by C.E. Kilgore

Emma sees the world inside out and looks right past the physical scars that Brandon had begun to think would be the only thing the world would ever see. Set in Dallas, Texas, this is a mature adult Contemporary Romance series with BDSM elements and atypical themes, including physical disfigurement, Autism, and OCD. Each book will be a complete story, no cliffhangers.
Brandon
To say that I’m ugly is like saying a cemetery is quiet. Okay, maybe parts of me are attractive, sure. I’d gotten more than my share of second, hungry glances from women at clubs. Then I’d turn to the other side and they’d get a nice big glimpse of Quasimodo. Only the desperately drunk or the ‘I can fix you’ chicks took a third look. Not Emma, though. She looked right at my scars and didn’t miss a beat. The typical stares from folks noticing my face just blend into the background noise as I try to comprehend this odd little woman. She’s still and quiet, clutching her teddy bear like it’s nobody’s business. And maybe it’s not. Maybe least of all mine.

There’s more there, I’m sure. Way more. And for the first time, I think I’m going to actually put in the effort to find out what, because I think it may just completely blow my sorry world apart.

Emma
The guy walking in front of me is seriously massive. I’d heard that everything is bigger in Texas, but this is absolutely ridiculous. There’s also the matter of his face. He has me both ready to swoon and run screaming in the same crazy second. I’m still not sure which of those options my body has decided on. I think the jury is still out on a lot of things to do with my current state of affairs. I wish I could talk the way that I think instead of stammering through life like a little girl who holds onto a damn teddy bear and continues to obsess over the color pink. I can’t, though. My brain just doesn’t work that way. His gentle brown eyes put me at ease for some reason I haven’t quite worked out yet, and I really want to know his story.

Scars are just part of life and we all have them. Most of us are lucky, though, and have scars we can hide deep down inside. Most of us aren’t forced to wear them on our face.

Review

I like the parts of the book that are Contemporary Romance and the Erotic BDSM Romance parts are way less intersting.

The heroine and hero are pretty tortured in different ways and the heroine’s autism plus their backstory make enough of a conflict.

A crazy unrealistic BDSM club and interfering friends make what was an interesting romance about two people who need self acceptance and to trust tank for me.

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

For forty years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days–until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing. But while her fellow colonists grudgingly anticipate a difficult readjustment on some distant world, Ofelia savors the promise of a golden opportunity. Not starting over in the hurly-burly of a new community… but closing out her life in blissful solitude, in the place she has no intention of leaving. A population of one.

With everything she needs to sustain her, and her independent spirit to buoy her, Ofelia actually does start life over–for the first time on her own terms: free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others. But when a reconnaissance ship returns to her idyllic domain, and its crew is mysteriously slaughtered, Ofelia realizes she is not the sole inhabitant of her paradise after all. And, when the inevitable time of first contact finally arrives, she will find her life changed yet again–in ways she could never have imagined…

 

Review

This is a magnificent book which looks closely at issues of gender, aging, cultural norms, and selfhood.

Powerful in every way, it also has the fun of first contact, tech, colony, and aliens.

A must read particular for the heroine who is not a twenty something and has a an epic journey and her own Happily Ever After made of her own mind and hands.  While not a romance, it is a love story with the self.

Wake Up Married Serial, Episodes 1 – 6 by Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths

4.5 Stars!!!

Episode One: Will & Patrick Wake Up Married

After a drunken night of hot sex in Vegas, strangers Will Patterson and Dr. Patrick McCloud wake up married. A quickie divorce is the most obvious way out—unless you’re the heir of a staunchly Catholic mafia boss with a draconian position on the sanctity of marriage. Throw their simmering attraction into the mix and all bets are off!

Episode Two: Will & Patrick Meet the Family

Meeting the family is challenging for every new couple. But for Will and Patrick, the awkward family moments only grow more hilarious–and painful–when they must hide the truth of their predicament from the people they care about most. Throw in the sexual tension flaring between them and you’ve got a recipe for madcap laughs and surprisingly heartwarming feels.

Episode Three: Will & Patrick Do the Holidays

A couple’s first holiday season is always a special time. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are magical when you’re in love. Too bad Will and Patrick’s marriage is a sham and they’re only faking their affection for each other. Or are they? Sparks fly in this episode of the Wake Up Married serial. Will the sexual tension between Will and Patrick finally explode in a needy night of passion? Or will they continue to deny their feelings?

Episode Four: Will & Patrick Fight Their Feelings

Will and Patrick have embraced adding hot sexy-times to their fake marriage, but as their emotions deepen, they confront whether or not they want to be more than friends-with-benefits. The heat is high (and occasionally kinky) as Will and Patrick struggle to accept their mutual affection.

Episode Five: Will & Patrick Meet the Mob

Patrick has finally accepted that he’s in love with Will, but his newfound determination to do something about that runs up against his father-in-law’s mobster plans. Will must face the truth about his family before he can fully come to terms with his feelings for Patrick. And Patrick has to decide if this whackadoodle world is something he truly wants to be part of forever.

Episode Six: Will & Patrick’s Happy Ending

Sure, Will and Patrick are in love now, but they weren’t when they got married in Vegas. For Patrick, that’s no problem, but Will can’t shake his doubts that a relationship started through coercion can ever become the real deal. Since the Molinaro crime family has reversed their position on divorce, Will and Patrick have a chance to rectify their drunken mistake. But is divorce the right choice for them?

Review

This book has all the cat nip. It is a sheer joy to read as it plays with tropes through hyperbole and reversals while mixing in powerful psychological depth.

It is at once silly and moving with a grand love story at its heart.

It would have been a 5 Star read for me but its a Serial (I hate them with all my heart) and there is some sex aftermath body stuff that happens repeatedly and is just a bit ewww for me in the way that it is described.

There is a lot of silly here that makes it fun. We have a strangers marry Vegas while drunk fun with opposites attract joy through in. They have to stay married because of an inheritance clause from the Mob family of Will who is much younger than the Patrick. Fun!

And yet each of these standard (and great in my opinion) is explored at the same time with emotionial truths. Will was drunk that night because he was relapsing in his alcoholism after getting dumped by his long time boyfriend via a phone call. The book does a beautiful job with addiction, recovery, and family made more compelling because Patrick is a neurosurgeon and looks at addiction biologically.

The mob family stuff show layers of recklessness and disfunction of Will’s family. Will has diabetes and the book details the daily life of such a disease. Will’s last relationship was awful and Patrick’s gruff but steadfast treatment and care and eventual love of will is a wonderful display what love should be. He respects and treasures Will.

Patrick is his own gruff, arrogant, funny mess. I don’t want to give to many spoilers as to why but he has a hard time with so much feeling and yet…he is the very best. The friendships he develops are their own awesome love story.

There is a joy in this book too that while internalized homophobia does come up they fact that gay marriage is legal means that everyone in the book simply looks at their marriage as a marriage.  The end.

This is just such a wonderful read with so much healing and love. Read it.

Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6) by Penny Reid Review 4.5 Stars!

  Dating-ish (Knitting in the City Book 6) by Penny Reid  4.5 Stars!

There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She’s fed up with online dating, 2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.
After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:
Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?
But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different–and crazier–solution to her dilemma . . .
As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

 

 

Review 

This is a charmer of a romance. It is at once a Romantic Comedy and a compelling exploration of the human need for connection.

Marie is a wonderful heroine who has intellectual curiosity, great friends and family, talent, hard work, and perfect for her job as a journalist to keep her company. Yet, she is lonely. She wants her person. Reid write a lovely romance about accepting that we long for intimacy and puts a lot of fun in taking a risk to get it.

Matt is a genius grump who would rather not want connection or something. He is funny and steadfast and really likes Marie. Oh, Matt is a whole bunch of sexy too. Big brains do it for me.

Each Reid book brings us a deep dive into a nerdom and in this one we get the twining of social psychology and artificial intelligence. I am here. Give me my popcorn.

I love the romance. I could have used a bit more back story (Matt’s friends/co workers and some other details) in places but this is a bright happy light of a book I read quickly and will read again soon!

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

Overseer’s Chain (Brace for Humanity Book 3) by Viola Grace Review

3 Stars

Isabella is an excellent assessor, and she can put the right human in the right job without hesitation. When one of her little file manipulations gets the attention of the overseer, she is summoned to his offices and faces a harsh sentence.

Bound to the overseer by cuffs that keep her at his beck and call, Isabella gives him the details on human interaction while changing plans for her people with minuscule nudges.

Iktabi has been in charge of Imrahl since it became a viable outpost. Waiting for his own mate has been an exercise in patience. When Isabella ends up in his office, he knows his match when he sees it, but the paperwork is a nightmare.

 

Review

The world building in this series continues to be good and expanding. The heroine’s intelligence is a real pleasure but we know very little about the hero.

I have been looking forward to the romance between these two but it ends up feeling a bit cold without the details of character that would make the love story really good.

I liked learning more about the world but needed more romance.

Hanging by a Thread (Riley O’Brien & Co., #3) by Jenna Sutton Review

4 Stars!

Thirty-year-old Bebe Banerjee is desperate to get rid of two things: her fiancé and her virginity. Escaping her arranged marriage might be impossible, but she refuses to give her firsts to an entitled jerk who lives on another continent. Instead, she devises a plan that guarantees another man will get her momentous firsts. But she never imagined that man would be Cal O’Brien, the gorgeous heir to the Riley O’Brien & Co. denim empire…

Although Cal has always been fascinated by Bebe’s brilliant mind and beautiful eyes, he’s never pursued her. She can’t stand the sight of him, and every time they’re in the same room, they end up trading insults. Yet when he finds out about Bebe’s bold plan, he makes his move, unaware of her upcoming nuptials. He promises to make her firsts unforgettable, but he doesn’t know how hard it will be to forget her when their arrangement ends.

Review

I knew I was going to love this book and I did.

I loved the Bebe the heroine who is a super smart overachiever. I loved watching her come into her own.

The hero is lovely. They are great together.

The conflicts come from parts of themselves they need to work through as well as some external issues. She has to learn to esteem herself and he needs to come to terms with how careless (emotionially) he has been sex at times and taking for granted the love of his family.

There are all sorts of great details like his car and the book is a bit of a love letter to the San Fransico setting.

They adore each other and the sexy times are hot and do a great job developing the romance.

They were a bit more self deluded than I would have liked in terms of their relationship but that is a minor quibble.

A very good book! I really love Jenna Sutton’s writing.

Markon’s Claim (The Last Alphas of Thracos #2) by Marina Maddix Review .

Review:

Markon's Claim: A SciFi Alien Shifter Romance (The Last Alphas of Thracos Book 2) - Marina Maddix

She wants to do her job. He just wants her.

Ever since being taken in by the Wargs of the Valley, my sole focus has been on curing their fertility problem. I don’t care that everyone seems to think I should accept the bite that would transform me into a wolf-like shifter. I have more important things to think about.

Then I meet him — the dead-sexy new alpha of the Hill Wargs who can’t seem to get enough of my curves. Markon stirs something in me that I’ve never felt before, and that kind of distraction is the last thing I need. Unfortunately, it’s all I can think about.

And now he’s pressuring me to become a Warg, too. Something about finding out if I’m his fated mate. Nonsense! Fated mates don’t actually exist.

Do they?

Review

The genius heroine makes this wolf shifter romance set on another planet a lot of fun. The romance is really nice up until the moment it happens and then it goes super fast.

 

The series story develops more. The bad guys are cartoony but the research quest is intersting.

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1499543/markon-s-claim-the-last-alphas-of-thracos-2-by-marina-maddix-review

The Fix Up (First Impressions, #1) by Tawna Fenske Review

Review:

The Fix Up - Tawna Fenske

Uncovering this sexy geek’s charm is easy. Keeping her hands off of him is impossible.

While he may look like the love child of a movie starlet and an NFL linebacker, Ben Langley has the people skills of a half-drowned porcupine. Why socialize when there are chemistry labs and bad sci-fi flicks? If he has any hope of taking the helm as CEO of the family business, Ben needs an image makeover. Pronto.

 

Enter Holly Colvin, owner of First Impressions public relations and branding firm, and the woman who just saved Ben from the clutches of an over-attentive sales clerk. Holly’s rebranded hundreds of companies in her career, but she’s never rebranded a person. The guy clearly needs help, though, and she’s just the woman for the job.

 

With the clock ticking for them both, Holly and Ben face off over wardrobe malfunctions and business jargon that sounds a lot sexier than it should. But can Holly make Ben into the man he thinks he should be without losing the man she’s starting to love?

 

Review

 

l ove me a nerdy hero and Ben is grand.

The cute meet in this book is silly as is the fast dropping of pants but it manages to be a charming sexy read with some added depths as well.

Ben is great. He wants to change his company for the better and is a genius. He knows he needs to smooth his image but likes who he is and isn’t afraid to be who he is. Plus, he is sexually confidant but not it a jerk way.

The heroine clings a bit to self protection and rules she doesn’t obey in the magic of romance novel lust fog but I like her anyway. The turn around that caused her divorce is a bit contrived however, the issues she has that makes her take on Ben as a client is a real one and makes for a good conflict.

What I really loved about this book (beside nerdy dirty talk, sex, and flirting) is how much Ben respects the heroine and the direct address of sexism in corporate culture.

As usual with Fenske (who I like a lot as a writer for all the little details in her characters) the ending comes too soon and we don’t get enough time to enjoy the couple but it is a very good book

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

Original post:
northamericanwordcat.booklikes.com/post/1514384/the-fix-up-first-impressions-1-by-tawna-fenske-review

Gonzo (Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club Book 7) Candace Blevins Review

4 Stars!

Gonzo has not only had to come to terms with the loss of his entire family, but he also barely survived being shot in the chest multiple times while still a human, and was then later turned into a werewolf during a vicious attack while hiking as he tried to put his life back together.

Constance has had her own losses to deal with, and while nowhere near as bad as Gonzo’s, they’ve left a mark on her as well. She’s determined to live her life without a partner though, because her two sexual experiences in college convinced her she’s asexual.

Gonzo’s a biker people cross the road to avoid, while Constance has multiple doctorate degrees and works as a research scientist for a leading pharmaceutical firm. Gonzo doesn’t trust women, Constance has no use for men — and yet they’re going to find themselves working toward the same goals.

Can they form a team to do what needs to be done?

 

Review

At its heart, this is a sweet romance about grief and loss. But on top of that we have all sorts of other crazy themes–wolf shifter, aunt raising her sisters kids, secret baby, motorcycle club, opposites attract–all kinds of fun that make this a really good time.

Gonzo was really dead inside and kind of awful earlier in the series. He hates women and acts like it. We get to know why in this book and Blevins does a great job making him into a wonderful hero.

I like the quiet, fierce, practical heroine a lot. I love an opposites romance so this romance makes me happy.

I wasn’t really thrilled with the asexual angle in the book. Blevins does a great job through out the series presenting and developing a spectrum of sexualities as part of her characters. It turns out Constance wasn’t asexual but needed a bit more kink to get her going which is all good but the idea of asexuality gets a bit mishandled I think also the heroine is a genius. We should see much more of that part of her than we do. Also, Gonzo is a little too callus at times about custody issues.

However, couple time is grand in this book as Gonzo can’t help but fall in love and neither can Constance. They both grow and heal. It is a really lovely romance in that way.

I like kids and I like the kids in this romance and how parent is handled and discussing. Even though this is a erotic romance there is a lot of talking.

The series plot moves forward nicely and all the characters show up in great ways.

A very good read.