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Looking For Love by Stella Starling Review

    Looking For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful Series Book 2) by Stella Starling 3 Stars! 

Micah Finn Rawlings has lived most of his life blind, sheltered, and craving adventure. Now, at twenty-two, an operation has given him his sight back and he’s ready to take on the world.

Well, sort of.

His newly restored vision isn’t exactly all that he’d hoped it would be, but he’s definitely not going to let that stop him…. even if he does tend to trip over his own feet, have a slight problem with depth perception, and occasionally (okay, maybe a lot) get himself into situations that result in public embarrassment. Still, a few scrapes and bruises are a small price to pay for finally getting out there and living, and given that he has the best luck ever, even the most awkward moments tend to turn out pretty well in the end.

Proof? Tripping and falling at the feet of the hottest man he’s ever seen. A man who’s definitely interested in him, too.

Well… probably.

Maybe?

Actually, Micah has no experience whatsoever with such things and isn’t really sure, but a boy can hope, right?

HMC Zach Hunter, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy is many things. A patient man. An adrenaline junky. A bisexual serial dater going through an extended dry spell.

Losing a few good men to an IED inspired a come-to-Jesus moment of clarity for Zach, and ever since, he’s been looking for love. Dating any- and everyone who sparks his interest in the hope of finding something that, frankly, he’s not entirely sure exists.

At least, not for him.

The only problem? There hasn’t been a spark. At least, not the kind Zach’s holding out for. He’s not discouraged, though. Zach has no problem putting in some effort for the things that matter, and he knows that all good things are worth the wait.

Besides, it’s not like he can expect love to just fall at his feet… right?

Review

This romance is so sweet in places it might rot your teeth. But I am okay with that.

Micah is so sunny and I love him. I love Zach as well. I think the sex scenes later in the book could have been more exploratory but the sexy times are an important part of this book.

All the side characters are great. Reason tends to triumph drama and angst which is good. However, some of the conflict and lack of clear headedness for a while drags.

Overall, the heroes are so great, it is a lovely read.

Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell Review

   Hard Wired   by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell 3.5 Stars! 

My FallenCon agenda is simple: sit on a couple of panels and let people meet the real me. Jesse Garvy—mod of a famous Twitch channel and, if I ever come out of my shell, future vlogger. I definitely didn’t plan to sleep with a moody tattooed fan-artist, but he’s gorgeous and can’t keep his hands off me. There’s a first time for everything, and my first time with a guy turns out to be the hottest experience of my life.

But the next day, I find out my moody fan-artist is Ian Larsen AKA Cherry—someone I’ve known online for years. And he’d known exactly who I was while shoving me up against that wall. Before I figure out whether to be pissed or flattered, the con ends.

Now we’re back online, and he’s acting like nothing happened. But despite the distance between us, and the way he clings to the safety of his online persona, we made a real connection that night. I don’t plan to let him forget.

Review

This entry in the series is way more New Adult than the first two books. It handles the issues of breaking loose from young adulthood well and becoming yourself.

It also tackles the idea of online personas and being able to be your whole self.

The romance is all messed up and so are the lives of these two heroes but you root for them and are so happy when they each starting leading better lives together.

The really good parts of this book are in all the little details I don’t want to give away.

Out of Bounds by Lauren Blakely Review

Review:

Out of Bounds - Lauren Blakely

My career is finally looking up, and I’m leading a new pro team down the field every Sunday. No way will I mess with that. But when I meet the most stunning and captivating woman I’ve ever seen, I tell myself one night will have to be enough.

But it’s not. And now I can’t get her out of my mind. Even when I’m playing. Even when I need to focus. Even when I’m on the hottest streak of my life.

And it turns out, she’s not just some random woman I met. She works for the team. My team.

***

I only have one goal this season–do my part as the team’s lawyer to keep them out of trouble. Help rebuild their reputation on and off the field. There’s no room for error and certainly no room for a secret tryst with a player . . . even if he’s the quarterback.

Right?

 

Review

 

Lauren Blakely is a good writer and this book is well written.

However, its really pretty dull to me. The hero and heroine are just so pretty. In all always.

It isn’t a funny book so it doesn’t become charming and happy to me. I like that the heroine is so self fulfilled and confident. I like that there are details of her life revealed as the book moves on.

The conflict is not great and doesn’t really demand a change in the characters.

So, its not a bad book but doesn’t thrill on an emotionial level.

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Ripped Bodice Bingo Row 5 Recs!

The Ripped Bodice (A Amazing Romance Bookstore) is have a Summer Read Along Bingo!

We can play!  We can win Prizes.  Check out the site for all the details.

Here are my recommendations for Row 5! 4 and 5 Star Reads!

Broke AF Hero: (Homeless)

CRASH by Pepper Pace This multicultural romance begins when a young man is brutalized and raped. He finds an ally in Sophie Baxter, a reclusive writer of interracial fiction. When Sophie initially meets Lucas she believes he is a young teen and takes him under her wing. By the time she realizes her mistake it’s too late—this polite and sweet kid has found a way into her heart.

Lucas wants Sophie to see that he is no child even though he has an innocent baby face. And Sophie thinks that anyone looking at them together would mistake the older black woman for being some young white boy’s care giver. She can’t fathom breaching that trust…not with her history.

Pepper Pace has woven a tale of unpredictable circumstances and unlikely characters. This sweet romance deals with a difficult subject matter but is not a story about rape but about self-discovery.

Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer  On the eve of World War II, two people are brought together by fate and discover an unexpected passion Tall, dark and handsome Will Parker has served time for the killing of a Texas prostitute, but keeps losing jobs as his reputation becomes known. In the small town of Whitney, Ga., at the beginning of WW II, he answers the advertisement of a pregnant widow and mother of two, the abused and reclusive Eleanor Dinsmore, who is looking for a husband. Soon in love with ostensibly plain, bedraggled Ellie, Parker dotes on her two boys, and works to support the family. Fittingly for this sort of bucolic idyll, Will and Ellie, despite their rudimentary educations, love books and develop a special friendship with wise old Miss Beasley, the local librarian. Alas, brazen and rapacious Lula Peak, the town floozie, sets her sights on Will, waylaying him in the library; meantimes, Lula is blackmailing her lover, the cowardly Harley Overmire, who is no friend of Will. The clearly drawn characters fulfill their imperativesincluding Will, who becomes a war heroand all is neatly and pleasingly resolved.

Stuff  by  by Josephine Myles  Tobias “Mas” Maslin’s doesn’t need much. A place of his own, weekends spent clubbing, and a rich boyfriend for love and security. Pity his latest sugar daddy turns out to be married with kids. Mas wants to be special, not someone’s dirty little secret.

When he loses his job and his flat on the same day, Mas’s world starts unravelling… until he stumbles across a down-at-heel vintage clothes shop. Now he just needs to convince the delightfully shy owner he’s in need of a new salesman.

Perry Cavendish-Fiennes set up Cabbages and Kinks solely to annoy his controlling father. He’d much rather spend every spare moment on his true passion, art. That is until Mas comes flaming into his life, talking nineteen to the dozen and turning his world upside down.

Against his better judgment Perry offers Mas a job and a place to live, but it turns out he should have listened to his instincts. The shop is already financially on the brink, and Mas’s flirting makes him feel things he’s never felt for a man. Yet Mas seems convinced they can make a go of it—in the shop, and together. That is, until Mas’s past starts to catch up with him…

Character on the Run: 

Heart Fate  by Robin Owens  Wed to a wealthy older man when she was just a girl, Lahsin Yew runs away from her abusive home to find a new life. At seventeen, she?s about to enter her Second Passage, when her Flair?and perhaps her HeartMate?will be revealed.

Lahsin finds sanctuary in a secret garden, where she meets Tinne Holly. Though he is her HeartMate, he cannot tell her, and her troubled past prevents her from trusting any man. Pretending to find her by chance, Tinne helps her through her Second Passage. But when the truth is revealed, can she forgive his deception, and learn to trust in her destiny?

 

Night Magic by Karen Robards Romance writer Clara Winston dedicates her newest book to her cat, Puff, without knowing what havoc she is about to unloose on her placid (boring?) life. Because there’s a rogue CIA agent out there whose code name is Puff, and some very bad guys want to kill him. When the bad guys show up at mild-mannered Clara’s house, thinking that she can lead them to the man they’re hunting, she is rescued by that man, disgraced CIA agent Jack McClain. Jack is green-eyed, black-haired, infuriatingly macho—and every bit as sexy as the romantic heroes she’s always writing about. Clara hates him on sight, but if she wants to survive he is the only game in town. With Puff very reluctantly in tow, they go on the run for their lives, battling each other until the sizzling chemistry between them explodes into red-hot passion.

The Stolen Princess by Anne Gracie The younger son of an earl, Gabriel Fitzpaine earned glory and honor on the battlefield, but now, without purpose, he finds himself deliberately courting danger at every turn. Then one night he races his horse along a death-defying moonlit cliff-and stumbles upon a princess on the run.

Set on the Beach (Surfing)

Keeping Mr. Right Now by Robin Bielman Surfer Zane Hollander has always been lucky with the ladies. But if he’s to land a new sponsor, Zane needs to clean up his act, and fast. He might not have anything in common with brainy event planner Sophie Birch, but she’s sweet and respectable—exactly what he needs.

Sophie’s never set foot on a beach, let alone left her hometown…until now. What does a sex-on-a-surfboard celebrity like Zane see in a klutzy bookworm like her? Oh, right. Nothing. Their relationship is purely fictional. And Zane is supposed to be on his best behavior. Sigh.

But the more Sophie blossoms under the beachy sun, the more Zane fears he’ll just break her heart. And this time, he’s found a heart he isn’t willing to break…

Hot Island Nights by Sarah Mayberry Elizabeth Morgan didn’t intend to abandon her very proper life. But that’s the best way to find her true—and less proper—self. So here she is in Australia, standing in front of a man who’s clad only in a towel. Nathan Jones is so tempting he could be the ideal candidate to help this good girl be very bad!

Sure enough, thanks to Nathan’s talented hands, Elizabeth is living all her sensual fantasies. And while the sex is great, something more is developing. She trusts him, and wants to share her secrets with him, and… Suddenly this feels more like a real relationship than some fun in the sun. Luckily, there’s a cure for too much commitment—more wickedness!

Just Good Friends  by Rosalind James  Some bets were made to be lost.

Kate Lamonica isn’t Koti James’ type. Too small. Too dark. And heaps too much work. So it’s an easy bet that he can be her friend for six weeks without making a move on her, no matter what his mates would have said.

Kate can’t believe she’s made the bet at all. New Zealand had seemed like the perfect escape from the stalker who’d threatened first her peace of mind and then her life. She certainly doesn’t need any more trouble. Why on earth has she agreed to spend time with a Maori rugby player who’s far too handsome and charming for his own good – and knows it?

But there’s more than one game Koti’s good at playing.

Austen Retellings 

Definitely, Maybe in Love  by Ophelia London

Her theory of attraction is about to get a new angleSpring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.”Whatever it takes,” however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly.Henry is Spring’s only hope at publication, but he’s also the über-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite—though she can’t help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. Spring finds there’s more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in.Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice that proves true love is worth risking a little pride.

Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs  by Paula Marantz Cohen  Anne Ehrlich is a dedicated guidance counselor steering her high-school charges through the perils of college admission. Thirteen years ago, when she was graduating from Columbia University, her wealthy family—especially her dear grandmother Winnie—persuaded her to give up the love of her life, Ben Cutler, a penniless boy from Queens College. Anne has never married and hasn’t seen Ben since—until his nephew turns up in her high school and starts applying to college.

Now Ben is a successful writer, a world traveler, and a soon-to-be married man; and Winnie’s health is beginning to fail. All of these changes have Anne beginning to wonder…Can old love be rekindled, or are past mistakes too painful to forget?

Between the Lines  by Tammara Webber  Reid Alexander is used to getting what he wants – and what he wants next is his newest costar, Emma Pierce. The universe is lining up nicely to grant his wish, until he’s confronted with two unexpected obstacles on location: a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for Emma’s affections.

Emma Pierce just got her big break after years of filming commercials and made-for-TV movies. Winning the lead role in a wide-release film – opposite the very hot Reid Alexander – should be a dream come true. But Emma’s heart is hiding a secret fantasy: she wants to be a normal girl.

An Anthology:

Daughters of a Nation: A Black Suffragette Historical Romance Anthology by Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, Piper Huguley, and  Kianna Alexander

The fight for suffrage was long, hard, and carried out on many fronts.In Daughters of a Nation, a black suffragette historical romance anthology, Kianna Alexander, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, and Piper Huguley bring you four novellas full of spirit, hope, and, most importantly: LOVE.

IN THE MORNING SUN by Lena Hart

With the election of 1868 underway, Madeline Asher’s mission is clear: educate and enlist the freedmen of Nebraska to vote. But when Union veteran James Blakemore comes back into her life, Madeline must choose either him and the future they’ve always wanted–or the chance to shape a greater nation.

THE WASHERWOMAN’S WAR by Piper Huguley ​

1881: Mamie Harper, a new teacher at Atlanta Female Baptist Seminary, hears of mistreatment from her washerwomen students and tells them to strike. She re-encounters summer pastor Gabriel Harmon, who has other ideas to help the washerwomen. Will these combatants be able to win in the war of love?

A RADIANT SOUL by Kianna Alexander

In 1881, Sarah Webster returns home to Fayetteville, NC for her mother’s milestone birthday. Her suffrage work is unknown to her family. Carpenter Owen Markham is intrigued by Sarah, and her father is playing matchmaker. When Owen discovers Sarah’s suffrage work, he’s not sure a love match can be made.

LET US DREAM by Alyssa Cole

​Harlem – 1917. Cabaret owner Bertha Hines is focused on women winning the vote, but when ornery chef Amir Chowdhury shows up in her kitchen, he proves to be a delicious distraction. Sparks fly, but between the vice squad and unfair immigration laws, can they hold on to their growing love?
The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology by Kianna Alexander, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, Piper Huguley The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance Anthology, with a foreword by the inimitable Beverly Jenkins, brings you four novellas highlighting love, light, and hope set over a period of history that’s often left in the shadows.

Amazing Grace, by Lena Hart:
It’s the year 1866–the Civil War is over and slavery has ended. Life for 18-year-old Gracie Shaw takes an unexpected turn when she is “encouraged” to marry a man sight-unseen. Boarded on a train headed West–to lawless territory–she is faced with misfortune at every turn and must accept the help of former Confederate soldier, Logan Finley, while denying herself the one thing she wants most. Him.

Drifting to You, by Kianna Alexander:
During the sultry Carolina summer of 1875, baker Rosaline Rhodes boards a Juneteenth cruise down the Cape Fear River. She’s there to serve her famous cinnamon spice cake; shipbuilder Will Pruett is there for pleasure. They’ve denied their mutual attraction for months, but now the river won’t be the only thing ebbing and flowing.

A Sweet Way to Freedom, by Piper Huguley:
In 1910, schoolteacher Missouri Baxter refuses to return home with a big belly and no husband. She’s got nine months to teach juke joint owner Arlo Tucker–a most reluctant student–an important lesson about what marriage means to their people. With God on her side, she’ll show him “A Sweet Way to Freedom.”

Let It Shine, by Alyssa Cole:
Sofronia Wallis knows that proper Black women don’t court trouble by upending the status quo, and they most certainly don’t associate with roughneck Jewish boxers like Ivan Friedman. But it’s 1961 and the Civil Rights movement is in full swing. Change–and love–are coming whether Sofie is ready or not.

When He Was Bad by Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden Miss Congeniality

I’m young, good looking, and one day I’ll be Alpha Male of my family’s Pack. But Professor Irene Conridge acts like I don’t even exist. Now she’s got enemies coming out of the woodwork and I have to protect her. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that while I work to secure her safety, she’ll be hanging out at my house–right where I want her.
Wicked Ways
When I hear my sexy new neighbor scream one night, the absolute last thing I expect to see is Miranda Shaw–star of my hottest fantasies–being attacked by a vampire. Too bad for him I’m a badass shifter ready to fight for my fantasies. And Miranda, well, she’s so busy watching out for him that she won’t see me closing in on her. . .

That is all the rows! Have fun!