Sunday, August 31, 2014

Take Me, Cowboy

Jane Porter's Take Me, Cowboy is a sweet story about finding love after not believing in it anymore. Jenny Wright was left at the alter by her fiancee/boss and when she stepped outside instead of telling everyone that the wedding was off, she ran into her childhood crush Colton. Sparks fly between the two when Colton gives her a ride home from the church. They run into each other a few more times in their small town, and start getting to know each other again. Both have been burned by love, so neither one was looking for it, but they did find it. I thought this story was a sweet, quick read. It could have easily been a full length novel instead of a novella, and I feel it would've been a little better as a novel. The ending seemed a little bit rushed and I would have liked a little more build up before the ultimate happy ending. Overall, it was good and I'd give it 4 stars. It works as a standalone novel, but is part of the Copper Mountain Rodeo series. I will most likely go back and read the previous 3 books. Definitely recommend it to romance readers who want something short and sweet.

His Game, Her Rules

I'm one of those people who almost always finishes a book and will only quit if I just can't seem to get through for some reason. This is one that I had to stop reading. First off, the story was written in third person present, which caused the story to come across as choppy. On top of that, I felt like I was reading about middle school students instead of adults. Ty was cocky and whiny at the same time.He couldn't seem to get it through his mind that Eileen didn't want to go out with him. He kept saying things like you know you want to and you look like you want to go out with me? I just couldn't get to a point where I liked him. Eileen was supposed to be this strong character who knew that her job was going to be hard, but was strong enough to manage it. I felt that she couldn't handle Ty off the ice, so I was wondering how she handled the team on the ice (there had been no interactions with the players on the ice when I stopped reading). I only made it 19% (approx 6 chapters) into the book, before deciding the rest of the story wasn't worth reading. This is the first and probably the last book I read by Charlene Groom.

In Still Darkness, Immortal Guardian's 3.5

I absolutely loved this novella! It takes place during books 2 & 3 of the Immortal Guardians series by Dianne Duvall. Immortal Guardian Richart d Alencon saves Jenna, a single mother, from vampires one evening (saving people from vampires is what he does nightly) and after that he can't seem to get her out of his head. He ends up meeting her and falling for her. The night he plans on telling her exactly what he is, something goes wrong and she finds out for herself. I'm not going to ruin the story and say how she reacted. This story is one that makes sense on its own, but I feel the reader would get so much more out of it if they read the other Immortal Guardians books first because there are some fight scenes that were described in the other books (as well as the reasons behind those fights) in the other two novels. This book is a novella, and while it flows nicely and wraps everything up like it should, I still wish Richart's story had been a full length novel. I give this book a 5 star rating and hope everyone reads it and the other Immortal Guardians books.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Under His Protection

I finished Under His Protection by Katie Reus today. It is the 9th book of her Red Stone Security series, but the first one I've read. I enjoyed reading about Julieta and Ivan and getting to know a little about some of the characters from previous stories. The premise of this story is Julieta & Ivan met via a friend of Julieta's, whom Ivan protects (part of his job at Red Stone Security), and neither can get the other out of their heads. Julieta is being targeted by a stalker and Ivan takes it upon himself to help protect her and find the stalker. During this process they fall for each other. While I enjoyed the story, it didn't hit a point for me where I absolutely couldn't put it down. I wanted to know who the stalker was and how that story line would play out, but I wasn't as hooked as some of the other books I've read recently. After having read this story, I would like to go back and read the other 8 books before it but this story worked completely as a standalone. Overall I'd rate this as a 3 1/2-4 star book. It had a strong plot and moved along at a good pace. Definitely one for anyone who likes a little mystery with their romance.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Marriage Reinvented

I loved this book and was pleasantly surprised at how hard it was to put down. I'd read a couple of books by Kat Cantrell in the past, but none have grabbed me so quickly and held me to the point where I didn't want to stop to do basic things such as eating or sleeping. The opening grabbed me in the first few lines and the next thing I knew I was hooked. This is the opening, "The offices of Outlaw Manufacturing, Inc. epitomized a two-page glossy ad for a soulless, spawn-of-the-devil corporation, missing only the devil himself. A hulking shadow slid across the frosted window beside the door marked President and CEO. Nope. He was in residence after all." The story is about Alexia and Jesse Hennessy, a couple who are divorced except for one thing...Alexia didn't file the paperwork. Jesse used the fact that they weren't divorced to his favor and held the patent Alexia wanted for something they created together hostage. His terms were she had to live with him for three months, go on a date with him once a week, and at the end of the three months he would walk away and Alexia would get to be the sole name on their patent. Both blame the other for the demise of their marriage, but both are to blame. There was an event that created a Before and After Jesse in Alexia's mind, so she tries to keep her heart from getting broken and just ride out the three months. What she doesn't count on is seeing more of Before Jesse than she anticipated. Jesse admits to himself that he still loves his wife and knows he has a long fight ahead of him to try and get her back. He goes into it very cocky that he can accomplish his goals quickly, but realizes fast that Alexia has built up more walls than he thought.
One of the reasons I found this book so captivating was there were curveballs thrown in. I'd think that the book was wrapping up and then something else would happen that kept the story going. I've had this happen in some stories and just wondered if the author had a page or word quota that they had to meet, but that wasn't the case here. The curveballs that were thrown always contributed to the story and kept me reading. This book deserves a 5 star rating and is one I will be revisiting again.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Billionaire Unleashed

I have been anticipating the release of Billionaire Unleashed ever since I read Billionaire Undone. In some ways I was really pleased with the book and in others I was a bit disappointed. I think there was some letdown after all of the anticipation that was built up about this book. That being said, Jason & Hope make a great couple. She has had a thing for Jason since her high school graduation, and he has been into her for just as long. Hope tells her family that she's engaged and Jason decides to put a stop to her marriage. His methods for preventing her marriage are completely crazy, but very effective (you'll have to read to find out his crazy scheme). Hope has a couple of secrets that she is keeping from her family, one of which is that she was raped at one point. When Jason finds out, he feels guilty for not claiming Hope as his own years ago. He feels that if he had she wouldn't have been in the situation to be raped in the first place. Hope still has major scars from the rape & Jason helps her work through them. The story is sweet at times, passionate quite a bit, and an all around good read. I'd give this 4 stars and recommend this to anyone who likes romance.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

One in a Million, the final Lucky Harbor novel

One in a Million is a good book and a strong finish to the Lucky Harbor series. This book was bitter sweet for me because I have absolutely loved this series and don't want it to end. We met both the hero and heroine, Tanner & Callie, in the previous book, we weren't told however, that Callie is Lucille's granddaughter. Tanner & Callie are another couple who agree that while there is an attraction, they won't fall for each other. Callie was left at the alter, which is why she is disillusioned when it comes to love. Tanner went through a divorce at a young age, so he also doesn't want love. One of the big phrases in this book is "This changes nothing," and it is said most often after Callie & Tanner have sex. Both of them want to keep it casual, but Tanner is the first to acknowledge that it is becoming more for him. Lucille plays a larger part in this book because of her relationship with Callie and is still up to her social media antics. It was nice getting a more in-depth look at Lucille.

One thing I love about this series is the uniqueness of each character, but the consistency of how the town is described. In each book there's some form of this quote, " 'It's Lucky Harbor,' she said. 'You know how it works. You can leave your front door unlocked and no one would ever touch your stuff, but you can't keep a secret.' " (Note: I got an advanced copy of the book so the quote may change or get taken out of the book). Some of the characters from previous books get mentioned & a few make appearances (Sawyer pulls Callie over at one point).

This book was engaging and I had a hard time putting it down. The first night I started to read I told myself that I was going to read only a couple of chapters and the next thing I know it was almost midnight (and I had work the next day) and I'd completed 50% of the book. The next night was the same story, I started with the intent of reading only for an hour but ended up finishing the book and staying up waaaayyyy later than planned. I'd rate it 4.5 stars and suggest everyone read it. I'm not sure what Jill Shalvis will come up with next, but I can't wait to read it.

Friday, August 22, 2014

He's So Fine, Lucky Harbor #11

He's So Fine is the story of Cole & Olivia, both of whom we met in the previous Lucky Harbor book. While we were introduced to these characters in the last story, they never did officially meet. How did they meet? Cole fell off his boat while doing repairs and Olivia jumped into the water to save him. Well, her jumping in made the situation worse and Cole ended up having to save her. This is the first glimpse the reader gets of how caring Olivia really is and why Cole gives her the nickname of Supergirl.
Olivia is a secretive person who tends to keep to herself, but does become friends with Becca and Callie, the two women who live on either side of her. The reader learns quickly what Olivia's secret is and that she feels guilty for not sharing it with Cole as they grow closer. Cole is sexy and knows how to fix almost anything. If he sees something wrong he'll start fixing it without being asked, at times despite Olivia's protests. His big flaw is he sees everything as black and white. He was screwed over by a woman and that still haunts him, so it bleeds into his other relationships. 
This group of books has a slightly different dynamic between the groups friends than past books. The men are still really close, but the relationship between the women are slower to develop. Becca and Olivia became friends in the previous book, but Callie wasn't introduced until this book. Also, there were plenty of interactions between the men, which is true to past books in the series; however, there were far fewer between the women. I enjoyed the interactions they had, but I would've liked to see the friendships develop more. 
Overall this book was great and true to the rest of the Lucky Harbor stories. It had Lucille and the rest of the Geriatric Gang, social media posts from Lucille, and lots of laugh out loud moments (I was getting weird looks from those sitting around me while I was reading in public). This wasn't my favorite of the series, but I still enjoyed it. I'd give it 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good, light story and to all Lucky Harbor fans. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Troublemaker Next Door

Wow! Marie Harte's The Troublemaker Next Door (The McCauley Brothers) is hot, Hot, HOT! This is the first book I've read by Marie and I couldn't put it down. Flynn and Maddie make a great pair. Neither one wanted a relationship, but you could feel them falling for each other before either one was willing to admit it. The first time they had sex, they agreed to be exclusive but as FWB and no telling their friends. Well, that didn't work out too well because both character's best friends could tell that their friend got laid. The sex scenes were hotter than I was expecting and I absolutely loved them. Flynn was a little more open to falling for Maddie than she was to falling for him. The story moved along at the perfect pace. I was never bored and at the same time I was never worried that the story was going to end too rapidly. Everything seemed to wrap up nicely and the basic story was set for the next story in the series. Will I move on to the next book in the series? Absolutely. The only reason I'm not reading it right now is I've got the next two Lucky Harbor books and I can't wait to read those. Overall I'd rate this book as a must read for anyone who likes romance and especially for those who enjoy their romance hot.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The latest Lucky Harbor novel is great

I have been in love with Lucky Harbor, WA ever since I picked up Simply Irresistible and I have been following the series ever since. I was lucky enough to be chosen for Jill Shalvis' Bookaholics club and get advanced copies in exchange for honest reviews starting with Lucky In Love. I finished reading the latest installment in the Lucky Harbor series and I absolutely love Sam and Becca. Sam is grumpy and likes to keep to himself, and Becca is the perfect person to bring Sam out of his grumpy moods and challenge him on a day to day basis. Sam knows Becca is hiding something and eventually gets told that secret. I felt for Becca when she had to tell Sam what happened to her, and love that Sam supported her. We got introduced to the three heroes in this book, but not all three heroines. I was surprised about that, but it didn't take anything away from the story.  Like all of the other Lucky Harbor novels, I found myself laughing out loud at certain parts and getting funny looks from those around me. This is a book I will read more than once and can't wait to get the next installment.