Opposites Attract

Rise (Rock Solid, #1) by Karina Bliss Review

4 Stars!

Acclaimed literary biographer Elizabeth Winston writes about long-dead heroes.
So bad-boy rock icon Zander Freedman couldn’t possibly tempt her to write his memoir.
Except the man is a mass of fascinating contradictions–manipulative, honest, gifted, charismatic and morally ambiguous.
In short, everything she seeks in a biography subject.
When in her life will she get another chance to work with a living legend? But saying yes to one temptation soon leads to another.
Suddenly she’s having heated fantasies about her subject, fantasies this blue-eyed devil is only too willing to stoke.
She thought self-control was in her DNA; after all, she grew up a minister’s daughter.
She thought wrong.

Rock star Zander Freedman has been an outlier–many would say an outcast–for most of his life.
But there’s no disaster he can’t overcome, from the breakup of his band to the inevitable damage to his reputation.
His Resurrection Tour is shaping up to be his greatest triumph–if his golden voice holds out.
Contracting a respected biographer is simply about creating more buzz. Elizabeth’s integrity is the key to consolidating his legacy as one of rock’s greats.
All the damn woman has to do is write down what he tells her. Not force him to think.
Or encourage the good guy struggling to get out.
And certainly not make him fall in love for the first time in his life.
Turns out he is scared of something: being known.

 

Review

If you like watching a rake reform Rock Star style, you will really adore this book.

Karina Bliss is a great write who creates complex characters and engaging plots.

The hero, Zander, is not thoughtful. He is driven and single minded. However, he changes and it is as he changes that the heroine falls in love with him.

There is the couple that center of the storm of this book with wonderful developing characters surrounding them.

The heroine and heroine are full adults with all the baggage and layers that entails. This makes the love story and sexual tension delicious.

The unlikeable characters become likable and the seemingly simple ones complex. Good stuff!

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.

Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions (Talking Nerdy #1) by Six de los Reyes Review

 

4 Stars!

 

Falling in love is a chemical reaction.

Just ask Kaya Rubio, twenty-five year-old Molecular Genetics graduate student and research assistant. Fed up with her spinster aunts’ relentless reminders and unsolicited advice regarding her Single Since Birth status, she designs a scientific, evidence-based methodology to find her a suitable partner in time for her cousin’s wedding. As any good scientist knows, any valid experimental design requires a negative control. Enter the most unsuitable candidate for a potential boyfriend: the messy, easygoing, café owner Nero Sison. Her null hypothesis? Going out with Nero would establish her baseline data without catalyzing the chemical reaction she seeks.

But when Kaya’s recorded results refuse to make sense, she is forced to come to the conclusion that there are some things in life that are simply, by nature, irrational and illogical. And that sometimes, chemistry doesn’t always happen inside a lab.

 

Review

 

I really enjoyed this love story.

The writing style takes a while to get use to because it is so internal to the heroine’s way of processing the world which is very scientific. Also, she knows where she is and who people are so she rarely signals these things to the reader. It took me forever to figure out she was in Manila.

This worldview is the joy of the book (and sometimes a drawback) as the reader is sitting in a room with a limited perspective and as her perspective grows so does the reader.

The is an extra pleasure for me here because this book is written with a full Filipino cast and location like a map with your own country at the center. I love reading books written by writers from other countries like this and feel so lucky this one is in English so I can sneak in.

The hero and the heroine are opposites which is always fun but it turns out the have lots in common which is why they fall in love. All the family and work backdrop make this a very special book with extra nerdy STEM and Arts love.

I wish there was a bit more steam and couple time at the end but overall the book was a pleasure.

Can’t wait for the rest of the series!

Melting Mr Frosty’s Heart: A little more ice cream… by Liz Fielding Review

Life is like ice cream: you have to take it one lick at a time…

Those of you who’ve been with me for a while will know I have a bit of a thing for ice cream. Three books – Tempted By Trouble, Anything But Vanilla and Vettori’s Damsel in Distress – have charted the romances of the three Amery sisters who founded the ice cream events business “Scoop!”.

Often one book will lead to a spin-off – great characters cannot be left dangling while the main event sweeps on to its inevitable conclusion.

Two such characters were that magician with ice cream, Ria (Knickerbocker Gloria, herself) and uptight millionaire with a passion for opera, Graeme Laing.

Sorrel Amery’s parting gift to him was to tell him that Ria loved the opera. Great Uncle Basil’s response was that she would “shake the creases out of his pants”.

Melting Mr Frosty’s Heart is a short story that catches up with the moment when Graeme, much against his better judgement, decides to ask Ria to join him in his box at Covent Garden.

Will she say yes? Do opposites ever attract? And what does happen to his pants?

Review

Fielding’s writing is spot on in this opposite attract short story than shows us the heat between the uptight hero and the non uptight heroine.

I loved everything that was here but want more time for falling in love and blending. Just a few more chapters

Horse (Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club #6) by Candace Blevins Review

Review:

Horse (Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club Book 6) - Candace Blevins

Horse is one of the first non-wolf shifters to be patched into the RTMC after the rule change. He’s a Grizzly Bear, and his old pawnshop has become the MC’s new gun store in a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Gabby is a rabbit shifter with a complicated history. Rabbits live in Faerie, but her parents chose to escape to the human realm so they could be together. Tragedy struck twice though, and she was taken to The Summerlands at fourteen to be raised by extended family. She’s grown now and has chosen to come back, even though it means she’s alone in this world.

Bears are loners who are used to getting their way. Rabbits are sexual, social creatures who need a wide variety of partners in their lives if they go outside their own species.

And Gabby’s past is on a trajectory to keep her from the future she wants.

 

Review

 

I really didn’t need to discover a new author to read but I did. Bear shift catnip. Also, rabbit shifter. I love me an odd pairing. 

 

In some ways, I want to resist this book because it seems to formulaic and taking advantage of trends rather than be written out of imagination or love of the genre.

We have a motorcycle club. Its erotic. The hero is a bear shifter. He fights.

 

However, even though I think its fair to say there is too much going on in this book and more time could have been spent with the leads, its a great story of crazy sauce that works and is good.

 

The writing is very good and distinct. The characters are will developed with interesting backstories (the heroine more than the hero). The hero is kind and awesome. The heroine comes into her own and we have a wonderful opposites attract trope.

The world and culture building is excellent with a great cast. The plot walks the perfect line of conflict and twists without overstepping.

 

I love the ownership of the rabbit and bear sexuality and the complete comfort with a non monogamous (rooted in DNA and culture) soul mate kind of love.

 

They are wonderful couple and the love story was a super hot and tender delight.

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A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses #3) by Laura Florand 5 Star Review!

Review:

A Crown of Bitter Orange (La Vie en Roses Book 3) - Laura Florand

Childhood friends.
Tristan Rosier might have asked Malorie Monsard to marry him when he was five years old, but things had only gone downhill from there. She’d spent the rest of their lives ignoring him, abandoning him, and destroying his perfumes. Now she was back, to wreak who knew what havoc on his life.

Lifelong enemies.
Tristan might choose to dismiss the generations-long enmity between their two families, but Malorie didn’t have that privilege. Like all the other privileges wealthy, gorgeous Tristan took for granted that she couldn’t. But if she was going to restore her family company to glory, she might just need his help.

Or the perfect match?
They’d known each other all their lives. Could these childhood friends and lifelong enemies ever uncross their stars and find happily ever after?

 

Review

One of my best moments of the year is when Laura Florand published a new book.

Her world building combine with wholly realized and oh so human romantic leads that fall in love before my eyes can not be beat.

She has a gift for setting and seeding details of history, fairy tale, place, and skill. Her books are feasts for the emotional as well as physical senses.

This romance is so good. Taking place in France within the perfume industry in a the long history between two families in the shadow of World War II, we get an opposites attract romance with fun twists and turns. Each detail revealed about the hero builds the heroines love even through they have known and cared for each other their whole lives. The heroine is reseen through her and the heroes eyes.

It doesn’t matter what the plot is of the book, though it is a good one with a nice pace of before, during and after that so many love stories lack, you just want to be with this couple in this place and with the cast of characters.

The marriage proposal scene is the best I have ever read. The best. The tenderness, the embodiment of who they each are and so so sexy. It is the best scene I have read in a long time. I reread it. Alot. I want to go and reread it now.

A great book that I will be reading from comfort and joy for a long time to come.

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

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Wasted Words by Staci Hart Review

Review:

 

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

Review

 

 

I loved the setting of this book in a bookstore/bar/comic shop. Heaven.

 

The literary reference were a great deal of fun as well. The hero was a sweetheart and while I adore roommate and opposites attracts themes this one did not work for me.

 

I am okay with the heroine being hurt by a past experience and I actually rather like that she was the jerk in this book and needed to check herself. But, it was a one trick pony in terms of character development. All of her development seems to stem from this one thing. We were told more about how great she was as well than seen it. I ended up not liking her because the issue lingered to long. I would have just liked to seen them in a relationship. I didn’t see her grow as a character and get to spend anytime with the better her.

 

I because one million times more interested in the secondary romance which happened off stage.

 

This book also had a romance interferer which I don’t love as a plot device and he was too flat a character as well.

 

I might pick up another book by this writer because there was something fun here.

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First Step Forward (Grand Valley, #1) by Liora Blake 5 Star Review!!

Review:

First Step Forward (The Grand Valley Series) - Liora Blake

Pro-football player Cooper Lowry is off the field and into some trouble—in the form of a very alluring, very free-spirited apple orchard owner named Whitney Reed—in the first installment in Liora Blake’s all new Grand Valley series.

After eight seasons playing pro-football, Cooper Lowry knows all the right answers.

Is he stubborn, short-tempered, and impatient? Yes. Are jersey chasers more trouble than they’re worth? Absolutely. Has he ever imagined a life beyond the game? Nope.

Cooper has built an enviable career—the result of staying focused, working hard, and keeping his head on straight—even as his body takes the brunt. So when a hard hit during a Sunday home game leaves him in a dazed heap on the field, it’s nothing more than another day at the office. The only thing that’s different about this Sunday is a chance encounter with a certain fascinating, beautiful free-spirited woman. And some sternly-worded instructions from his coach to take a little time off and give his body the TLC it craves—before he does lasting damage.

Whitney Reed is a few months away from losing the organic fruit orchard she bought three years ago in the tiny town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the time, she was just looking for a place to get lost. Instead, she found a home, somewhere she could finally put down roots. Now foreclosure is knocking on her door—along with a grumpy, gorgeous football player who might be just what she never knew she needed.

Review

 

Ah, the joy of an opposites attract romance. Gruff, grumpy football player with organic whimsical farmer. Works for me.

 

Blake is an exceptional writer. This book has excellent dialogue both external and internal. The settings are vivid and the character development spot on. The hero and the heroine like and then love each other with a huge dose of believable sexual chemistry.

 

It is a great romance. While they are different in many ways, as their falling in love occurs, we get to see all the wonderful connections they action do have below the surface.

 

It is a funny, charming love story that makes you feel good. They are both grow ups with individual issues, lives, friends, and talents, who are fine apart and glorious together.

 

This will go on my comfort read shelf for sure!

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