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Cherry Pie (Mercury Rising, #1) by Samantha Kane Review

      Cherry Pie (Mercury Rising Book 1) by Samantha Kane 4.5 Stars!!

You can go home again—if you can get a foot in the door.

A year after packing and moving from L.A. to Mercury, North Carolina, John Ford still hasn’t adjusted to the heat. Or to life without his long-time partner. As he fixes up the old house he bought, the quiet becomes his only companion, and he’s content with that—until a deep-voiced stranger plants himself under a tree across the street.

Eight years ago, Connor Meecham left someone behind in that house—himself. Now he’s back to find the man he used to be, before drugs and prison sent his life careening off the tracks. But it’s not his mother’s face peering through the window any more. It’s a man who seems as lost as Conn himself.

When John learns what the house—and the dying town—mean to Conn, he finds himself opening the door to his heart. Just a crack. But it’s enough to get mixed up in a world of emotions as complicated as the recipe for the perfect cherry pie. Where one misstep can turn something sweet and juicy into one hot mess.

Review

Given the iffy title, I wasn’t expecting a great deal out of this book and was really pleasantly surprised.

I knew the love story would hot because Samantha Kane is an excellent erotic writer who uses sexy times to deepen the connection between characters. And the book has that loveliness for sure but this romance is also emotionial rich and sexy.

Many themes are at play here but the one I think is exceptionally well down is returning to your Hometown. Connor as been in recovery for two years and out of prison for more than a year. He decides to go home (its been the the better part of a decade) to reclaim the parts of himself, heal others, and build himself anew. He has to deal with the fact that someone has bought his family home, his mom has passed while he was serving time for possession and selling sex (though the charge was changed to vagrancy), reckon with how the town has changed, pick up old connection, forge new ones and find work. He left town as a golden football star in a small Southern town. He returns as a much better man in recovery, mindful, out about his sexuality and his past.

John is new to town and healing from the grief of losing his partner.

Class, age , and power difference play out in this romance is a powerful and healing way. They are emotionial equals and the joy of this book is in watching John and Connor fall in love and become partners.

The small town stuff is great and there are some wonderful secondary characters.

The writing is superb. Emotionially compelling, realistic (with the fantasy of less homophobia than there might be and John being really rich), and sexy.

Can’t wait for the next in the series.

Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw Review

    Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride Stories Book 2) by Pat Henshaw 2 Stars

Renowned interior designer Fredi Zimmer is surprised when outdoorsman Max Greene, owner of Greene’s Outdoors, hires Fredi to revamp his rustic cabin in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Fredi is an out-and-proud Metro male whose contact with the outdoors is from his car to the doorway of the million-dollar homes he remodels, and Max is just too hunky for words.

When Max comes on to Fredi, the designer can’t imagine why. But he’s game to put a little spice into Max’s life, even if it’s just in the colors and fixtures he’ll use to turn Max’s dilapidated cabin into a showplace. Who can blame a guy for adding a little sensual pleasure as he retools Max’s life visually?

Max, for his part, is grateful when Fredi takes him in hand, both metaphorically and literally. Coming out is the most exciting and wonderful time in his life, despite the conservative former friends who think they’re saving him from sliding into hell.

Review

This is my second time trying this writer and like the first time, this book didn’t work for me, It isn’t awful and I like the basic writing but it is too shallow and doesn’t do the work needed to make it a love story to believe in.

Again, I like the heroes. Max has inherited wealth for outdoor rec stores and some hidden talents, Fredi is at the top of his profession (a little young for that but okay).

Max had realized he is gay and pursues Fredi. This is very sweet and up front. And again if the characters where developed and the story driven by the characters it would be a good book. I like the slow burn dating. I like the Fredi protects himself. There is cool stuff in both books about recording and reporting hate crimes.

Max and Fredi both have awful pasts and we don’t really get to see that. We are told that.

Again the love scene are off page and this hurts the development of the connection between them and the love story.

Then there is crazy homophobia that is resolved but takes up the place of better character work. And then saccharine stuff that isn’t earned.

So. Not great.

 

PS The “droopy mustache” on Max…ewww.

Unscripted (Heartsville) by Nico Jaye Review

Review:

Unscripted (Heartsville) - Nico Jaye

Theater manager Teddy Carbone’s life has gone pretty much according to script… until now.

To his surprise, Teddy finds himself co-owner of the Oasis Theater with Carter Monroe, a corporate shark who’s looking at him like he’s chum in the water. Being in charge of the theater is one thing, but having to deal with Carter and his demands is another. With Carter’s proposed plan to sell the Oasis looming, Teddy must convince Carter the theater is worth saving. When Teddy introduces the bright, bold world of the stage to Carter’s cold, all-business lifestyle, though, he soon comes to recognize that the Oasis might not be the only thing he has a chance to save.

 

Review

 

Unscripted is by far the sexiest entry into the series. I love the details of the theater and Teddy is wonderful.,

Carter is not. He changes and that is good but because we are only in Teddy’s head we don’t get to really see his arc and he doesn’t talk much.

So, for me, he stays pretty cold. We get a HEA but I am not attached to Carter though it is clear he adores Teddy.

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Managed (VIP Book 2) by Kristen Callihan Review

4 Stars!

It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big…ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool façade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

Review

The opening for this romance is amazing. It might be the best “I met you sitting next to you on the plane” ever.

The heroine is great and the uptight hero is such fun to soften.

This is a slow burn romance where we are so lucky to see the couple become friends, then emotionial intimates, and then lovers (though they are hot for each other the whole time).

There are perfect character surprises tucked here and there that add depth to this love story. The heroine has done something really not good in the past that she is moving past and the hero is very closed off but loving. They are utterly human and the love they have for each other and like powerful.

There is great banter to make me happy and yummy sexual tension and since they are on the road oodles of couple time.

I adored this book right up until there is a silly conflict a few chapters from the end or it would have been a 5 star read. As it is, the book is very good and has such wonderful moments to relish.

Experienced (A Real Man, #4) by Jenika Snow Review

2 Stars

He’ll show her how a real man treats a woman…

SABINE

I’d never known how good it could feel to be taken care of by a man who knew what he was doing.

Until I was with Hugo…

HUGO

I was older than she was.

She was innocent, hadn’t experienced all that life had to offer.

I could give her that experience.

Sabine consumed my thoughts, made me desire nothing else but her. No other woman compared to her, and because of that, I hadn’t been with a woman for four years, which was also the last time I saw Sabine.

But I was done feeling guilty for what I desired. I wanted Sabine in my life, by my side, and I was about to make that a reality.

I didn’t know if she’d ever been treated the way a female should … but I was going to show her how a real man takes care of a woman.

Review

Despite the lovely cover, this addition to Snow’s contemporary erotic short stories with Happily Ever Afters didn’t work for me.

The much older hero is fine with me and in a larger space with room to explore that conflict it would have worked. It just seemed an add on here.

Snow is a great writer and the love story is sweet and hot but these books are a lot about a quick look into a fantasy with the love mixed in and the really rich guy isn’t my thing–though the Russian was nice.

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.

Along Came Love Kindle Edition by Tracey Livesay Review

3 Stars

When a silly, impulsive decision lands free-spirited India Shaw behind bars in San Francisco, she has no choice but to call the only person she knows in the unfamiliar city—the very man she abandoned after a steamy two-day fling. The fact that she’s pregnant with his child is something she’d rather not divulge.

Tech executive Michael Black never thought he’d hear from the quirky beauty after she left his bed four months ago, much less be called upon to post bail. He’s got his hands full with a corporate merger that could make or break his career, but his honorable nature—and an overwhelming need to see her again—means he can’t just leave her in jail. And when India reveals the truth about her pregnancy, Mike insists she stay with him until the baby is born.

India doesn’t want to depend on him for anything, but their constant proximity stirs up feelings she can’t ignore. She’s never desired a family before and she knows a future with Mike isn’t possible . . . but then along came love to shake up all her plans.

 

Review

I liked this opposites attract opps I am preggers romance.

I loved the frank look at white privilege and “color blindness” from several perspectives in the book.
I liked that the hero and the heroine saw life and the choice before them with this baby very differently. The surrounding cast was great though the hero’s father jerkhood crossed lines.

The hero and the heroine really loved each other and that made the book a good read.

I like that they were imperfect and had flaws but some of those flaws too a bit too long to deal with from characters as self aware as these two and some of their choices were thus annoying as heck.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Bossman by Vi Keeland Review

3 Stars!

The first time I met Chase Parker, I didn’t exactly make a good impression.
I was hiding in the bathroom hallway of a restaurant, leaving a message for my best friend to save me from my awful date.

He overheard and told me I was a bitch, then proceeded to offer me some dating advice.

So I told him to mind his own damn business―his own tall, gorgeous, full-of-himself damn business―and went back to my miserable date.

When he walked by my table, he smirked, and I watched his arrogant, sexy ass walk back to his date.

I couldn’t help but sneak hidden glances at the condescending jerk on the other side of the room. Of course, he caught me on more than one occasion, and winked.

When the gorgeous stranger and his equally hot date suddenly appeared at our table, I thought he was going to rat me out.

But instead, he pretended we knew each other and joined us―telling elaborate, embarrassing stories about our fake childhood.

My date suddenly went from boring to bizarrely exciting.

When it was over and we parted ways, I thought about him more than I would ever admit, even though I knew I’d never see him again.

I mean, what were the chances I’d run into him again in a city with eight million people?Then again…

What were the chances a month later he’d wind up being my new sexy boss?

 

Review

Vi Keeland gives the best opening scenes and she does great work unpeeling jerk heroes.

The first person point of view gets a bit grinding and the push me/pull me angst last a bit too long for me as I would like to spend more time with the couple together but this is a sweet funny romance with lots of heat and quips.

The List (The List, #1) by Tawna Fenske Review

Review:

The List - Tawna Fenske

As the millionaire owner of a chain of computer shops, Simon Traxel isn’t normally hands-on with mundane repairs. But when a fretful brunette shows up with her fried laptop and killer green eyes, he makes an exception. And as it turns out, she needs more hands-on help than Simon imagined.

Brainy soil scientist Cassie Michaels has spent her whole life feeling like a grungy tree trunk beside her delicate flower sisters. To make herself more interesting, Cassie invented stories about her wild sex life—stories she’s expected to retell in vivid detail at a bachelorette party. Cassie’s attempt to catalog her biggest whoppers goes awry when she spills wine on her laptop and lands in Simon’s shop with her sexy list frozen on the screen.

But Simon’s interest is piqued, and the two strike a deal to make Cassie’s make-believe sexploits a reality. From steamy public romps gone hilariously awry, to sexy antics with kitchen utensils, their quest to conquer The List is equal parts scorching hot and adorably awkward.

As they near the end of The List though, Cassie and Simon second guess their pledge to shake hands and say goodbye when they cross off the last item. But will Simon’s big secret make that the one fantasy that can never come true?

 

Review

 

This is a fun sexy romance with really likable characters.

The premise is silly but a good time anyway. The hero and heroine have a lot of fun together and that made for a good romance.

I really like the heroine working out her relationship with her sisters and herself.

This would have been a stronger romance with we had more time after they have to begin a relationship as their full real selves.

Simon’s protectiveness of himself gets old and prevents his character development but again the banter and adventures made it a good read.

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

 
 

 

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