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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.

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.

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.

A Rational Arrangement (Arranging Paradise Book 1) in by L. Rowyn Review

  A Rational Arrangement (Arranging Paradise Book 1) by L. Rowyn

But these are vital aspects of marriage. If one cannot discuss them, what’s the use in meeting at all? It’s like trying to decide what you’ll have for dinner without mentioning food.”

Wisteria Vasilver does wish to marry. Truly. But though she lives in Paradise, arranging a match is full of traps and pitfalls for the unwary … or perhaps just for her.

Nikola Striker, Lord of Fireholt, expects he’ll wed — someday. But not now, and never to a rich icicle of a woman like Miss Vasilver. No matter how much his parents might want the match, or his house might need her dowry. Besides, he has his own problems — most of them people who need his help as a mind-healer.

Lord Justin Comfrey, Viscount of Comfrey, would be more than happy to help Striker with his financial troubles, and not just to ensure that Miss Vasilver’s dowry doesn’t tempt Striker into marriage. If only he could find some way to make his proud, stubborn friend accept the money!

Can three people of such different temperaments ever find their way to a more perfect Paradise?

 

Review 

This book is such a pleasure of a romance. In a Regency flavored culture set after the fall of another world in a new “Paradise,”  Rowyn meticulously builds cultures, history, religions,  a wider world, and a magic systems with as much beauty as the plot, characters, and love story.

I stayed up all night reading.

The heroine, Wisteria, is going right on my favorite heroines list. Wisteria brave, kind, moral, and with the keenest of minds. She falters and is big hearted.  She is somewhere on the  autism spectrum and thus able to see past cultural norms and mores and be baffled by them. Thus, she is socially awkward and misread as cold.  The hero/s come to adore her because of who she is and this romance explores the range of what is “normal” on so many levels and compellingly.

The hero, Nik, is burdened with responsibilities and in love with someone else that he can’t have publicly and thinks doesn’t really want him out of the bedroom.   Nik is a Blessed with gift of mind healing.  As he sees Wisteria more clearly, he comes to see himself more fully as well.  Their love story is one of honesty and have a safe place. It is sexy as all get out as well.

Our third lead is Justin. He is a charmer who really has to learn to trust, risk and talk to get his HEA with both the heroine and the hero and release old ideas about himself as well as the world.  He is loyal and brave.

This is a polyamorous romance that does a wonderful job thinking about the cultural aspects of marriage and sex and human nature. The writer makes you believe in the Happily Ever After because she doesn’t pretend it isn’t complicated.

The book takes on sex, religion, faith, ability gender roles, and marriage  from a global anthropological point of view as well as a biological one (though magic based as Nik can see minds). Wisteria’s analytical nature, Justin’s realism and Nik’s humanitarianism  all come together in a moving exploration of all these topics.

All all the while, we have sexy times, conflicts of all kinds, sexual tension, banter, carriage and Great Cats who talk!

Excellent.

I so hope there are more books in this world.

Dirty (A Real Man, #8) by Jenika Snow Review

3 Stars

I’m going to show her how good it can be to get dirty…
JOSEPHINE

Moving to a small town for a new job was the only thing I should be focused on. But the first time I see Gabe, all of that goes out the window. He’s the owner of a garage in the town I now call home, and picturing the filthy things he’d do to me with those grease-stained hands fills my head.

The way he looks at me makes me feel like a woman, like he’s undressing me with his eyes … like he could teach me a thing or two about what a real man does with a woman in his bed.

I don’t care if being with him is fast or sudden. I want him to devour me.

GABE

The first time I lay eyes on Josephine, I know she’ll be mine.

I won’t stop until she is.

I want to get my dirty hands all over her. I want to make that creamy pale skin of hers dark from grease, and red from holding onto her.

And I’ll do all of that, because there’s no way I’m backing off, not until I know I have her.

Review

Very fast little erotic short story about a mechanic with a sweet HEA. A nice super sexy morsel. And on Kindle Unlimited!

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.

Reaper’s Stand (Reapers MC, #4) by Joanna Wylde Review

 Reaper’s Stand (Reapers Motorcycle Club Book 4) by Joanna Wylde

As Reapers Motorcycle Club president, Reese “Picnic” Hayes has
given his entire life to the club. After losing his wife, he knew he’d
never love another woman. And with two daughters to raise and a
club to manage, that was just fine with him. These days, Reese keeps his
relationships free and easy–he definitely doesn’t want to waste his
time on a glorified cleaning lady like London Armstrong

Too bad he’s completely obsessed with her.

Besides running her own business, London’s got her junkie cousin’s
daughter to look after–a more reckless than average eighteen-year-old.
Sure she’s attracted to the Reapers’ president, but she’s not stupid.
Reese Hayes is a criminal and a thug. But when her young cousin gets
caught up with a ruthless drug cartel, Reese might be the only man who
can help her. Now London has to make the hardest decision of her
life–how far will she go to save her family?

 

 

Review 

I like the fact that this couple is over 35 and in his 40’s in the case of the hero. This is nice.

However, they don’t always act grown which is weird because they both have a lot of responsibilities

They need to talk to each other way more and trust each other.

The angst in the book makes me a bit nuts. So, likley this isn’t a great series for me as I am having trouble enjoying the world.

Blacksmith (A Real Man #10) by Jenika Snow Review

3 Stars!

 

MADDIE

Deacon was older than me, but I wanted him regardless. He had this raw edge to him, this primal aura surrounding him that made me feel wholly feminine. He was the epitome of a man…a real man. Even his profession was masculine: a blacksmith. I had no doubt he knew how to work his hands over a woman, how to use them to make her feel the soft and hard sides of him.

What I wanted was for him to be my first…my only.

DEACON

She thought I didn’t see her watching me, that I didn’t know she wanted me.

I knew, and I wanted her with a fierceness that rivaled anything else.

What Maddie didn’t know was I’d already claimed her. There was no other woman for me but her. I was a possessive bastard, territorial when it came to her. The time had finally come to make her mine. I’d show her how primal I really was, how rough I liked it, how much I wanted to make her scream my name. I’d show her how a man took care of his woman in all the ways that counted.

She’d be mine. Only mine.

Review

Well, then. The covers for this series are the best!

This addition feature a great alpha hero who is really sweet and steadfast. I love that the heroes of this series aren’t man whores. So, refreshing.

They are really into the heroines and this book is particular hot. There is a virgin fetish that I don’t like much but overall this is perfect bite of erotic romance with longing, dating, and a wonderful HEA in the epilogue. Yea, Epilogues!

The Dragon King (Chattanooga Supernaturals, #1) by Candace Blevins Review

4 Stars

Aaron Drake is nine thousand years old and one of the last remaining European were-dragons. With no female Dragons, his only hope of children lies in his grandmother’s dying words. “The Swan Princesses may be the Dragons’ only hope.”

Sophia Siyanko is the first Swan Princess without at least one brother to take the throne in Aaron’s long memory. However, her father chooses her husband when she’s twelve, and sets the date for her twenty-fifth birthday. She is sequestered in her father’s mansion, raised by governesses and tutors to be the future King’s arm candy, and Aaron’s options are limited.

But then Sophia escapes her father’s compound a few weeks before her twenty-fifth birthday. Determined to escape or die trying, she comes to Aaron for help.

To protect her, he’ll have to fight every Swan and Eagle on the planet, most of the Wolves, and all of Faerie.

Review

This is a pretty epic romance and book. It twists and turns and tells the whole tale which is refreshing when too many romances end to soon.

What I love about it is that we know almost from the start that they want to be together. No messing around. So, we get oodles of couple time and lots of real conflicts internal and external that they need to overcome to make a love story that can last.

This world is rough. We have a cast of others and this book is gory as hell and the punishments for crossing the lines of power are violently detailed that uses sexual cruelty. This book may not be your gig. It manages to stay just this side of I can handle it for me because the world building is good enough that I accept that the torture is cultural and there wasn’t an arousal expected to come from it on the part of the reader. However, I would have liked the book better if these sections were far less graphic and gleeful on the part on the punisher.

The character development of the heroine and heroine are as good as the world building. The struggle to become equals is well done and the love between them true.

Very good and compelling read.