Genre: Romance

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Oct 21

Beast’s Beauty – sci-fi alien abduction romance

Book Reviews 0

Beast’s Beauty – sci-fi alien abduction romanceBeast's Beauty by Laney Kaye, Christina Wilder
Published by CrossWorlds on September 20, 2019
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

A beauty stolen from Earth.Gifted to an alien Beast.Can love set them both free?

Amelia: Abducted by aliens and taken to their ship, my best friend and I are desperate to escape and return to Earth. I'm tossed into a cell with a reptilian alien and told I must satisfy him or they'll hurt my friend. I never thought giving in to his needs might satisfy my own...

Then they put me with a new beast and say we're going to compete in a deadly game called the Rampage. Alien Hunger Games anyone?

The beast is snarly and ferocious, and he could rip me apart with his tusks and claws. Yet in his eyes, I sense something vulnerable. Lonely. With hints of something I found with the other alien.

I'll do whatever I can to soothe the beast and convince him to help me win the Rampage. Because losing means death.

Jrecatoa: I was once a man, a Krakarian warrior.

That's all gone now. Hidden beneath this abominable exterior, far more Beast than man. Not only in appearance, either; because the scent and the sight of this female does things to me. Things that surely no man would ever feel.

Of course, I've wanted women before. Had women before.

But I've never needed them like this.

She's awoken my Hunger.

But maybe that's just as well--without the fury of the Hunger, neither of us has any chance of surviving the Rampage.

***Beast's Beauty is book one in our new Scifi Alien Abduction Romance Series, Fractured Fairytales & Mangled Myths. Look for Book two, Minotaur's Mate, releasing soon!

Our alien romance series guarantees hot males, fierce women, steamy, on-the-page romance, and a satisfying happily-ever-after. Each book features new characters and can be read as a standalone though they may be more fun if read in order.

Say WHAT?!? I was skimming through some book titles and came screeching to a halt at the tagline on this one. I’m a complete sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, but…alien abduction romance?? I’ve never been much of a sci-fi reader, but I did pick Garrus as the romantic interest when I played through Mass Effect years ago so I thought why not, I can give anything a try once.

Garrus was just so sweet and awkward, and he was awesome backup in a firefight.

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“Act with honor, integrity, and respect, lest the Beast control you and destroy all that you are.”

Things I Liked

  • The action never stopped – if they weren’t in mortal danger and running from aliens of ever-varying and ever-weirder shapes and sizes, they were making the pages sizzle. I love books where you never have time to sit and twiddle your thumbs. A moving plot will cover many sins, and it did in this case.
  • I was very interested in the world the authors were creating, with so many different races of aliens and cultures. There just needed to be more of it! More detail, more time spent showing the world, not just the little patch of ground the characters happened to be standing on at the time.
  • I really liked Jrec. He’s the typical alpha-male hero type, military, super sexy and fit and with a penchant for protecting those weaker than himself (which is pretty much everyone). He has a darker side to his past that is only hinted at, maybe that will show up more in future books. He really seems to get the short end of the stick as the Beast in this story, but he still tries to hold onto the better part of himself.
  • The sex scenes were actually pretty well done – at least as well done as I could imagine for sex with an alien, albeit a very human-like one.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Okay, as I feared/thought when I read the description…the cheese is strong with this one. I got a very strong original-series-Star-Trek vibe, with all the grimacing and eye-rolling that usually comes with watching one of those old shows. I haven’t seen much Star Trek, so I’m not entirely sure if part of this book was supposed to be a spoof on it or not. But yes…much cheese.
  • The whole reason Jrec and Amelia “fall in love” so quickly is because of some idea of “one true love” in the Krakarian culture. If you like that sort of thing, great, you’ll be right on board with this. I despise the idea that we’re fated to have one true “mate” and if we miss that one person we’ll never experience true love…bullshit. I know it’s just a story and sort of a plot device here but ARGH. On top of the insta-love…it was just super annoying.
  • Amelia has no back story! Her friend Lily has even less, and even Jrec’s is barely hinted at. It’s like they just dropped onto the highway at the beginning of the story, fully formed, but with no parents or family…because they definitely never spare THEM a second thought.

2.5/5 stars

Rounded up to 3 stars. I might continue with the series. I like a little more substance to my books even if they are focused mainly on the romance, but I did enjoy aspects of the story.

 

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Oct 18

How to Capture a Duke – Giveaway and Review!

Book Reviews, Book Tours 0 ★★★★

How to Capture a Duke – Giveaway and Review!How to Capture a Duke by Tina Gabrielle
on October 14, 2019
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 150
Buy on Amazon
Goodreadsfour-stars
four-flames

Lady Olivia, the youngest sister of the Earl of Castleton, has no patience for the boring gentlemen of aristocratic society. She longs for a more adventurous life like the ladies who visit the Raven Club. But her plans are thwarted when her family drags her to a country house party to meet the elusive Duke of Keswick.

Tristan Cameron, the Duke of Keswick, finds Olivia in his stables. She believes him to be the stable master, and he doesn’t dissuade her of the notion. He has no interest in entertaining one of the spoiled, self-indulgent ladies who’ve invaded his home. Except, Olivia is neither of those things, and their shared kiss during a ride results in combustible passion.

And a potential scandal.

Olivia is relieved when the handsome stable master comes to her aid as her alibi, but that relief fades to anger when she suddenly finds herself betrothed to the harsh, foul-tempered duke.

Tristan believes he’s been trapped by a scheming, title-seeking lady. To make matters worse, she’s utterly captivating. He plans on leaving her behind in the country immediately after their vows, but Tristan soon finds himself battling temptation and Olivia’s stubborn determination to be the Duchess he doesn’t believe he deserves...

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Regency romances aren’t really my thing, but I was drawn in by the synopsis of this one. When the request for extended blog coverage came out I jumped on it. I’m very excited to say that I really loved it!! Totally surprised myself, and well done to the author! How to Capture a Duke is the third book in the Raven Club series, but it can completely be read as a standalone. The other two books are based around Lady Olivia’s brother and sister, and after reading this one I really want to read their stories – but it is definitely not necessary to have done so before diving into this one!

I loved Olivia’s spunk and the way she continually made the best of a bad situation, and my heart absolutely ached for Tristan. Despite his privilege as a duke, his heart and soul have been badly trampled by society. It’s really a wonder he didn’t turn out to be a complete ass! Oh, and they’re completely hot for each other. There are a couple of SIZZLING sex scenes. You have been warned! Also, Tristan’s grandmama is the bomb. I love her so much. She is absolutely amazing and I want to be her when I grow up.

I have a lovely excerpt to share, so I’m keeping my review short and sweet. You really don’t want to miss the excerpt so be sure to keep reading! There’s also a giveaway at the end of the post, so be sure to enter that as well. 🙂

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HOW TO CAPTURE A DUKE
A Raven Club Novel

Copyright © 2019 by Tina Gabrielle

 

“I don’t want my drunken duchess to cause a scene in a casino,” Tristan said.

Olivia felt her temper rise. “Your duchess!” she screeched. “You do not want a duchess.”

He leaned forward, his face inches from hers. “Now that I have one, I’ve decided to keep her.”

“Keep me? What on earth does that mean?”

“It means I expect my wife to behave like a lady, not a tavern doxy.”

He caught her hand before it made contact with his cheek. His dark gaze narrowed. “I suppose I deserve your outrage, but do not seek to strike me again.”

Perhaps if the world didn’t spin, Olivia would be afraid. But she had never feared physical harm from him. Other things, yes, but not physical harm.

She licked suddenly dry lips. His gaze lowered to her mouth, and she felt as if he’d touched her there, his stare had turned so heated. The air shifted in the carriage, like a storm that blew away. She was left with a heightened awareness of lightning about to strike. She felt warm all over, as if he’d hauled her against his chest. She should be furious. What was wrong with her?  

“You drive me mad.” He released her wrist but didn’t move, and neither did she. They stayed suspended in their seats, inches apart, eyes connecting.

“Why do you care? If you refuse to consummate our marriage, am I to stay untouched forever?” 

“No,” he said, his voice rough. “You are young and lovely and should experience passion.”

It must be the whisky that was making her bold, but she didn’t care. “Do you prefer I seek a lover, then?”

“No. The thought of you with another does not sit well with me.”

Olivia’s pulse leaped. Oh. She’d never expected him to say such things. Never expected him to make such an admission. “Why?”

“It’s my right to bed you and your right to be with me. For me to make love to my wife. To make you cry out with passion.”

Oh my.

She could get lost in the longing in his eyes. For a brief moment, she imagined things had been different between them. He wasn’t a duke, they weren’t forced to marry, and their pasts had no consequence. They were simply two strangers ensconced in the intimacy of a carriage. 

“I’d start here.” Tristan reached for her hand and drew back her glove to place a kiss on the pulse point of her wrist. She stifled a gasp at his gentleness and the brush of his lips on the sensitive spot. Then, slowly, he peeled off her glove and kissed the center of her palm. 

She watched the top of his head, and she longed to bury her fingers in the dark locks, to see if they were as soft as they appeared. Then he lifted his head and met her eyes. He was close, so close, and she wanted to kiss him so badly she ached. 

“And then?” she asked.

“Then I’d kiss your lips.”

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Tour Wide Giveaway

To celebrate the release of HOW TO CAPTURE A DUKE by Tina Gabrielle, we’re giving away a paperback copy of How to Best a Marquess by Tina Gabrielle to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to internationally. One winner will receive a paperback copy of How to Best a Marquess by Tina Gabrielle. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Entangled Publishing.  Giveaway ends 11/6/2019 @ 11:59pm EST.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

About Tina Gabrielle

Best-selling author TINA GABRIELLE is an attorney and mechanical engineer whose love of reading for pleasure helped her get through years of academia. She often picked up a romance and let her fantasies of knights in shining armor and lords and ladies carry her away. She is the author of adventurous Regency historical romances for Entangled Publishing and Kensington Books. Tina also writes best-selling cozy mysteries as Tina Kashian for Kensington Books.

Publisher’s Weekly calls her Regency Barrister’s series, “Well-matched lovers…witty comradely repartee.” Tina’s books have been Barnes & Noble top picks, and her first book, Lady Of Scandal, was nominated as best first historical by Romantic Times Book Reviews. Tina lives in New Jersey and is married to her own hero and is blessed with two daughters. She loves to hear from readers. Visit her website to learn about upcoming releases, join her newsletter, and enter free monthly contests at www.tinagabrielle.com

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality

four-stars

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Oct 14

He’s a Brute (Tough Love #1)

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

He’s a Brute (Tough Love #1)He's a Brute (Tough Love, #1) by Chloe Liese
on May 6, 2019
Genres: Romance
Buy on Amazon
Goodreadsfour-stars
five-flames

Every good scientist knows the second law of thermodynamics: the universe's disorder, entropy, is always increasing. Professionally and personally speaking, Nairne’s familiar with the principle. After a streak of costly fame, now she’s set on saving the world, microscope in hand, and there’s no time for romance. Problem is, when a rude, despicably sexy Adonis shows up to run their board meeting, chemistry and its ensuing chaos become more than a formula—now they’re a burning hot reality.

Mafia prince. Professional footballer. Bad boy demeanor and a reputation for being as talented between the sheets as he is on the pitch. Rumors are the man's an absolute brute. And he turns out to be just as demanding, controlling and vicious in person as he is on paper. The Law of Attraction’s proven true, as Nairne finds herself accepting Zed’s proposal: rough, wild stress release, more orgasms than she can count, and most importantly—no falling in love.

Agreement in place. End date secured.

No attachments. No forever.What could possibly go wrong?Book One in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, bedroom negotiations, feisty heroines, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!

**CONTAINS SEXUAL CONTENT & EXPLICIT LANGUAGE 18+**

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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He’s a Brute was Chloe Liese’s debut novel, and wow did it pack a punch! I did admittedly read these books out of order (read She’s a Spitfire, which is Tough Love #2, first), and while technically that’s fine I would definitely recommend starting with the first book. This is a three book series involving the same couple. I enjoyed the first two books so much that I bought hard copies of all three, even though I had eARCs of the first two!

A lot of reviews said this was a 50 Shades-esque novel. I’ve never read 50 Shades, so I can’t say either way. There is dominant/submissive kinky sex between Zed and Nairne, but it is completely consensual. Zed is rough around the edges, arrogant, and emotionally closed off, but he makes sure Nairne is 100% okay with whatever he does before he does it. There’s a contract and everything.

Things I Liked

  • Consent! Consent! Consent! For this type of kink to sit well with me consent has to figure in immediately, not as an afterthought, and it totally did. Made the steamy scenes even hotter. And they were HOT. Phew!
  • Zed! I like alpha males, what can I say. Muscles and confidence. Mmmhm yes please. Besides being a pro soccer player, he’s also in the ruling levels of the Italian Mafia. Realistic? No. But romances around pro sports players AREN’T realistic, in my opinion, because they are so rare. So it didn’t bother me.
  • NAIRNE. I love Nairne so so much. She’s turned on by Zed’s dominance but she doesn’t let him push her around outside of the bedroom and I am HERE for it. My girl!! Also, she is such a strong person. As a star football (soccer) player herself, she suffered a traumatic injury that left her in a wheelchair. While this understandably caused her a great deal of mental and emotional anguish, she doesn’t let it completely consume her. She struggles – who wouldn’t – but she keeps fighting.
  • The relationship between Nairne and her best friend, Elodie! They have each other’s backs, no matter what. I loved them together so much. It was good to see a book with positive female friendships.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • There was a LOT going on in this book. I think it was because the author is introducing all of this crap that Nairne and Zed have to go through in the series of three books, but it was just like…whoa, Nellie, slow down!!
  • Zed’s older, female mentor/lover. Yick. I know things like that happen, because bad people do bad things…which would have been fine, but I didn’t feel like it was dealt with well. Zed never really did deal with it, and I feel like he needs to because that’s really messed up. Maybe in the later books? I hope so.
  • The whole thing with Nairne’s father was a little too wrapped-up-in-a-bow. It felt completely out of place and unnecessary and unlikely. I was glad it occurred at the end of the book instead of the beginning because I’m honestly not sure I would have finished it!

4/5 stars overall.

I love Zed and Nairne and if you enjoy romance with lots of steamy sex, a little danger, and a lot of banter, this one is for you!

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four-stars

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Oct 07

Magnetic by Anya J. Cosgrove

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

Magnetic by Anya J. CosgroveMagnetic by Anya J. Cosgrove
on August 8, 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 209
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreadsfour-stars
five-flames

Who said life was a fairy tale? Because I’d gladly slice that jerk’s head off.

I’m Vicky, though that’s not really my name.

I never expected to end up half-naked in the woods with my guts hanging out. I didn’t plan to stumble upon the most powerful shifter clan in North America and three of the sexiest men I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Dominic, the fun and reckless new wolf. 

Sam, the hot doctor with glacial-blue eyes.

And Gabriel, the intense, secretive alpha who wants nothing to do with me.

My real name is a one-way ticket back to hell, and my secrets need to stay buried like the girl I used to be.

Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Red Riding Hood—I can be all three.  I can use my powers to earn a place in their werewolf town, away from the bite of my past mistakes. I can use them—and their bodies—to survive.

The only thing I can’t do is fall for them.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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So, I was on the blog tour for this a couple of months ago, but when I went back to copy the review and add it to GoodReads…apparently the review part of my post wasn’t actually there?!? *cue much embarrassment* I’m not sure what happened, but….here it is.

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“I play the cool cucumber, but I’m more of a distraught apple.”

Magnetic is Vicky’s story, a spinoff from the Bloody Hearts series. Vicky is a vandella – a supernatural creature that needs sex to survive. And lots of it. She’s phenomenally attractive (to both sexes, though only M/F relationships are in this book), and amazing in bed…but her heart is bruised and broken from constant rejection of herself. People either at worst call her a slut and a whore, or at best only want her for sex and status. She presents a hard, brittle front, but inside she wants to love and be loved.  I’ll be honest, I thought she was awful when I read her brief part in Shadow Walker, but seeing her entire story was pretty awesome and it totally changed my mind. I’m hoping for a sequel or two!

Things I Liked

  • This book was a HUGE improvement over the only other reverse harem novel I’ve read (which was so horrible I’m not even linking it). The way the author made having multiple lovers acceptable was interesting (i.e., Vicky needs a LOT of sex just to maintain a normal life, one person shouldn’t have to fulfill ALL of her needs).
  • The guys are all different. They’re not identical except for their hair color or height. They have different personalities, different styles, different needs of their own. Oh, and yes, they’re all hot. Which one you like best will depend on your own preferences. 😉
  • There was a plot! This wasn’t just a sex-fest, even though there was A LOT of sex. The whole reason Vicky meets the three guys is because she’s running from a group of vampires that wants to control her and use her.
  • Vicky goes through hell, and yet doesn’t let it break her. She puts up with SO MUCH SHIT, emotionally (especially this), mentally, and physically, and yet she never gives up. She WILL rise, and she WILL get vengeance on the one who most cruelly used her. Yessssss.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • There’s one BIG secret that stays a secret until almost the end, and it just didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to me. Can’t say what exactly without giving a lot away, so I’m just saying it kind of jolted me out of the story and made me sit there and frown for a bit while I tried to figure out exactly how this could have been such a THING…

Overall

4/5 stars. Thoroughly enjoyable, recommended if you’re a RH fan or looking to try the genre.

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four-stars

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Sep 19

The Necromancer’s Bride – Tour + Review!

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

First of all, a huge apology to Xpresso Book Tours – this post is VERY late, as I’ve been sick for over a week and I forgot everything except (possibly) my name.



The Necromancer’s Bride – Tour + Review!The Necromancer's Bride (Gaslamp Gothic, #4) by Kat Ross
Published by Acorn on September 6, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Pages: 350
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreadsfour-stars
three-flames

Forgiveness is not Gabriel D’Ange’s strong suit.

A self-appointed soldier of God with a penchant for ruthlessly punishing his enemies, he vanished after Anne Lawrence stabbed him with his own dagger.

The smart thing would be to let him go.

Unfortunately, Anne’s life isn’t just lonely without Gabriel. It’s insufferably boring.

Determined to heal the rift between them, she goes in search of her tempestuous former lover, black parasol in hand and daeva magic crackling at her fingertips. But Gabriel has his own plans afoot and Anne finds herself drawn into one of his tangled webs, much against her better judgment.

Gabriel’s nemesis has reappeared in Brussels, a vile slaver who’s plundering the Congo Free State with the blessing of King Leopold. Gabriel might be willing to give Anne a second chance, but not until Jorin Bekker’s head is lying at his feet.

Back in London, the quasi-reformed necromancer Balthazar sets his sights on the same quarry. He holds a very personal grudge against Bekker — and killing him might be the only way to keep Gabriel D’Ange from Balthazar’s own throat.

When the hunters collide at a lavish gala thrown by the king, Anne learns just how far she’ll go to save the man she loves.

Note: The Necromancer’s Bride is the sequel to A Bad Breed, which should be read first.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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The Necromancer’s Bride is an excellent continuation of the story begun in A Bad Breed, and as the fourth installment in the Gaslamp Gothic series! I was so excited to read more about Anne and Gabriel and the whole scheme of everything that’s going on. I still need to go back and read the first two books in the series (which you do NOT have to read to start with A Bad Breed, but you DO need to read A Bad Breed before reading The Necromancer’s Bride…yes, I know, slightly confusing). Also there’s a 5th novel coming!! It’s not on GoodReads yet but was named in the end notes for Necromancer, and it’s called The Dead Ringer.

Favorite Things

“You won’t be laughing so hard when my wife gets here,” Gabriel said. 
The guards exchanged a solemn look.
“His wife,” Daan echoed in a quaking voice. “Well, now I’m truly terrified.”…
“Will she bring her rolling pin?” 
“No, no, it’ll be knitting needles,” Daan put in. “She’ll poke us and tell us we’re very naughty boys.”

  • This exchange. Because if they only knew…and then they are properly educated and it’s both awesome and hilarious.
  • Besides the romance, which I found much more believable in this book than the last – if you read my review of A Bad Breed, due to the whole Belle and the Beast thing felt kind of forced – there was intrigue and evilness going on that was awesome and kept me reading.
  • Balthazar! Can someone please give me some more of Balthazar’s story? He’s such a morally grey character and yet he seems to be an actual teddy bear inside.
  • Anne continues to be a total badass, and in this book she is the BADDEST of the badasses. Gabriel, of course, and Balthazar also kickass, but they get themselves into PROBLEMS and have to be rescued by the tiny little lady. It’s awesome. YES PLEASE.

She was barefoot and painted head to toe in dried blood. With her wild auburn hair, she reminded Balthazar of the Celtic queen who had burned Londinium to ashes and whipped the Romans so badly they almost fled Britain. 

Less Favorite Things
  • There is still so much unexplained about the magic of this world, and the daevas and necromancers in general. Where did this come from? Why are they immortal? I need details. This might have been explained in the first books of the series, but I feel like if the later books are to be read as standalones there needs to be some kind of refresher course in them as well. I found myself a bit frustrated by the lack of info and occasionally confused.

Overall 4/5 stars, and I’m eagerly waiting for the next one!

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Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

 

Author Bio:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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four-stars

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Aug 05

The Unhoneymooners

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books on May 14, 2019
Genres: Romance
Pages: 400
Goodreadsfour-stars
three-flames

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.

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“I saw that.”

“Saw what?”

“You checked out my chest.”

“Of course I did. It’s like having two other people up here with us. I don’t want to be rude.”

The Unhoneymooners took a very unlikely scenario and made it mostly believable, funny, and incredibly full of sexual tension. It was hysterical and moved along quickly – I finished it in one sitting on a Sunday! Olive is a very likable and spunky character. I especially loved how comfortable she was with her body, even though she mentions it not being to everyone’s standard of beauty. She and Ethan have clear chemistry and it was hilarious watching them dance around it while having to pretend they were madly in love.

I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. The banter is 100% on point! I kind of wished the incident that incited their intense “dislike” of each other had been handled differently, but you can’t have everything. View Spoiler »

4/5 stars. This is a great read for the beach or any summer vacation. It’s lighthearted and breezy and fun. On the same note, don’t expect depth from it…it’s cute and sweet and left me with warm fuzzies, but no real lasting connection to Olive and Ethan. That’s okay! It did what it was designed to do – entertain, and it did it extremely well. All the unlikely coincidences started to build up after awhile and made me roll my eyes a bit, and Ami (Olive’s sister) seemed more like a caricature than a character in a lot of ways. That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed it! This was my first Christina Lauren book but it won’t be my last!

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four-stars

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Aug 01

Rock Bottom Girl

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Rock Bottom GirlRock Bottom Girl: A Small Town Romantic Comedy by Lucy Score
on March 8, 2019
Genres: Romance
Buy on Amazon
Goodreadsfive-stars
four-flames

“You may be faking the relationship, but you’re not faking the orgasms.”

Downsized, broke, and dumped, 38-year-old Marley sneaks home to her childhood bedroom in the town she couldn’t wait to escape twenty years ago. Not much has changed in Culpepper. The cool kids are still cool. Now they just own car dealerships and live in McMansions next door. Oh, and the whole town is still talking about that Homecoming she ruined her senior year. Desperate for a new start, Marley accepts a temporary teaching position. Can the girl banned from all future Culpepper High Homecomings keep the losing-est girls soccer team in school history from killing each other and prevent carpal tunnel in a bunch of phone-clutching gym class students?

Maybe with the help of Jake Weston, high school bad boy turned sexy good guy. When the school rumor mill sends Marley to the principal’s office to sign an ethics contract, the tattooed track coach, dog dad, and teacher of the year becomes her new fake boyfriend and alibi—for a price. The Deal: He’ll teach her how to coach if she teaches him how to be in a relationship. Who knew a fake boyfriend could deliver such real orgasms? But it’s all temporary. The guy. The job. The team. There’s too much history. Rock bottom can’t turn into a foundation for happily ever after. Can it?

Warning: Story also includes a meet-puke, a bouffanted nemesis, a yard swan and donkey basketball, a teenage-orchestrated makeover, and a fake relationship that gets a little too real between the sheets.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I’ve been branching out and reading more romance lately. Partially because I’ve needed fluffy books to soothe my increasingly exhausted brain, and partially because I’m not as cynical about love as I used to be. 😀 I have two absolute musts when it comes to romance –

  • The characters MUST be likable. Not perfect – no one wants perfectly manicured heroes and heroines (or if you do, that’s fine, but not my type of book), we want to be able to relate on some level to the characters! Even in fantasy books, I want to relate to the characters emotions if I can’t relate to the setting or their position in life.
  • It has to be written well – not an overabundance of plot holes, if it’s set in a historical time it needs to be at least SOMEWHAT accurate, if it’s modern day make it relevant and believable.

Rock Bottom Girl knocked it out of the freakin’ park. I am a Lucy Score convert. This book warmed my heart, tickled my funny bone, and gave me all the warm fuzzies (how’s that for using ALL the expressions).

I adore Marley and Jake together. ADORE. And Marley is to date THE most relatable heroine in a romance novel that I’ve ever come across. I got teary at several points because YES GIRL I get you, I’ve been there. Life knocks you down and sometimes it sucks. And then it might just throw you a Jake Weston.

Reasons to Like Jake Weston:
  • Marley never fell out-of-like with him from high school
  • He’s a sexy MF who has actually done something legitimate with his life
  • He cares about the kids he coaches
  • He’s great in bed
  • He’s a dog dad
  • Did I mention he’s a dog dad?
Reasons Marley is THE MOST RELATABLE:
  • She’s in her 30s and to her shock, finds herself crash landing at her parents’ after the end of a long term relationship
  • She’s mildly depressed (see above) and has stopped giving a shit about herself
  • She’s having a slight identity crisis involving her career
  • She loves wine and pizza
  • She loves dogs
  • She has a sex drive!! And isn’t ashamed of it!!
  • She’s also just as clumsy as myself and it makes for some HILARIOUS moments

Also, there’s a goth foster kid, and an entire soccer team of teenage girls. And Jake’s dog. Oh, and there are some STEAMY times. Get the cold shower ready!

Rock Bottom Girl is just so real. I loved it so much. The small town, the work drama, the lovable family. I loved how Marley slowly – with the help of her family, friends, the girls on her soccer team, and yes, Jake – pulls herself up and realizes what she really wants from life, and where she can make a difference. So. Freaking. Relatable.

5/5 glowing stars. This is a stand-alone, but I’ll be looking for more similar books from Lucy Score!

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five-stars

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Jul 01

A Bad Breed – Tour + Review!

Book Reviews, Book Tours 1 ★★★★



A Bad Breed – Tour + Review!A Bad Breed (Gaslamp Gothic, #3) by Kat Ross
Published by Acorn on May 31, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 292
Buy on Amazon
Goodreadsfour-stars

Pricolici.

A creature out of folklore. And nightmare.

January 1889. When a Romanian village suffers a series of brutal attacks, occult investigator Anne Lawrence is dispatched to the forests of the Old Country to hunt the killer – only to vanish without a trace.

The trail leads her mentor Vivienne Cumberland deep into the Carpathians to a remote monastery. As a blizzard rages outside, trapping them all with the pricolici, Vivienne risks sharing the fate of the woman she came to find. But is the culprit truly a werewolf … or something even more dangerous?

A man bent on revenge. And a love that was never meant to be.

Imprisoned in a decaying castle, Anne finds herself ensnared in a web of dark enchantment, at the mercy of a mysterious captor with a beast inside – and a memory as old as the ancient legends.

As the weeks pass, Anne learns his real identity, and slowly uncovers a complex and deeply passionate man. But is she willing to pay the price for falling under his spell?

Author’s Note: This darkly magical reimagining of Beauty and the Beast is the third book in the Gaslamp Gothic series, but can be read as a standalone with no need to start with Book #1, The Daemoniac.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

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A Bad Breed is a hugely atmospheric read, dropping you into a gothic Victorian world from the first page. I really wished it was longer, to delve more into the background of Anne and Vivienne – but I guess that’s what the other books are for! This is the first book I’ve read by Kat Ross, so I took the description at its word, that A Bad Breed could be read as a standalone despite being the third novel in the series. It worked out just fine, and I’ve already downloaded The Daemoniac to read soon as well. 😉

Favorite Things

  • Vivienne and her fake marriage. It was fun and lighthearted, if sad that it was necessary for both the parties involved. Accurate to the time though, I think.
  • The way the paranormal was brought into the story. I wanted more details, but I think (hope) that all that is delved into more in the other books of the series.
  • Anne using her small stature and feminine wiles to get what she wants – hurrah for our girl not being afraid to use what nature gave her!
  • The dark, sinister atmosphere. This was done so, so well and just sucked me in completely!

Less Favorite Things

  • To be honest, the romance between Anne and the “beast.” It felt kind of contrived, and due to the whole captivity thing, I found it hard not to be a little uncomfortable. He never outright abuses her (is quite the gentleman, outside of the whole OH HEY YOU CAN’T LEAVE thing), and she is clearly a woman experienced and in full control of her own desires…just, Stockholm syndrome? I did THOROUGHLY approve of the way it ended, and I’m glad to see that the fourth book will continue Anne’s story!

4/5 stars overall, and I’ll definitely be reading more by Kat Ross!

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Author Bio:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

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four-stars

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Feb 11

Comics Will Break Your Heart

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

Comics Will Break Your HeartComics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Published by Roaring Brook Press on February 12, 2019
Genres: Modern, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreadsfour-stars

Miriam's family should be rich. After all, her grandfather was the co-creator of smash-hit comics series The TomorrowMen. But he sold his rights to the series to his co-creator in the 1960s for practically nothing, and now that's what Miriam has: practically nothing. And practically nothing to look forward to either-how can she afford college when her family can barely keep a roof above their heads? As if she didn't have enough to worry about, Miriam's life gets much more complicated when a cute boy shows up in town . . . and turns out to be the grandson of the man who defrauded Miriam's grandfather, and heir to the TomorrowMen fortune.

In her endearing debut novel, cartoonist Faith Erin Hicks pens a sensitive and funny Romeo and Juliet tale about modern romance, geek royalty, and what it takes to heal the long-festering scars of the past (Spoiler Alert: love).

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Comics Will Break Your Heart was an adorable story with hattips to geeks of all kinds – from the greats of British literature to, obviously, comic book fans! The plot is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, only the two families in question are descendents of patriarchs who together birthed one of the greatest comic book franchises of all time, only to have a bitter falling out.

Mir and Weldon are both likable characters, young people approaching the end of high school with the usual amount of trepidation and flailing about as they try to figure out their place in the world and what they want to do with their lives. They meet by sheer accident, when Weldon’s misbehavior prompts his high-powered, fame and fortune focused father to send him away for the summer, to his aunt and uncle’s house in the small town he has rarely seen. Despite his undercurrent of resentment and propensity for lying, Weldon is charismatic and charms just about everyone he meets. Mir has a work ethic to rival most adults, desperate to rise above her family’s extreme economy of existence. I liked that she didn’t seem embarrassed by her admittedly rather eccentric parents, but she knew that their choices were not going to be hers. I could understand her resentment of being forced to the extremes of frugal living – such as buying a second hand Monopoly and painting rocks to replace the missing pieces.

The cast of side characters was endearing too, even if I felt that their stories were left unfinished. I loved Mir’s friends Evan and Raleigh, and I hope maybe the author plans to write more about them at some point. Evan especially! He was just so sweet and kind and clearly cared so much about Mir. I really liked that even though he wanted to care about her in a more-than-friends way, when she said made it clear she wasn’t interested he completely dropped it, but remained a great friend. A lot of guys could take a lesson! 😛

The Romeo/Juliet plot was a little weak, mostly because of its predictability. The adults of the two families have had some hard feelings in the past, but their reasons for estrangement sound weak, especially the way Weldon’s aunt presents her case.

4/5 stars. I loved the descriptions of fandoms and comics, and Comic Con. It definitely appeals to the inner (and not so inner) nerd!

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four-stars

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Jan 14

How to Marry a Werewolf

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

How to Marry a WerewolfHow To Marry A Werewolf (Claw & Courtship, #1) by Gail Carriger
on May 13, 2018
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 196
Buy on Amazon
Goodreadsfive-stars

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

WEREWOLVES

The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they’re her only option. Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge.

But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

AMERICANS

Backward heathens with no culture, Major Channing has never had time for any of them. But there’s something special about Faith. Channing finds himself fighting to prove himself and defend his species. But this werewolf has good reason not to trust human women.

Even if they learn to love, can either of them forgive?

How to Marry a Werewolf is an adorable novella set in the Parasol Protectorate universe (the Parasolverse). I was in desperate need of a good paranormal book fix after the catastrophe that was my last foray into paranormal books, and as usual Gail Carriger did not disappoint! I giggled and swooned my way through this little story and my only complaint is that it IS little.

Note: You can read this even if you haven’t read any of the other Parasolverse books, but it is much, MUCH more enjoyable if you’re already familiar with the world and some of the characters. Recommend starting with Soulless.

Now, I have absolutely LOATHED Channing ever since he first appeared in I think it was the second Parasol Protectorate book. I hated how he treated Alexia and his general airs of superiority towards the entire world. I was more than willing to see him get his icy little heart crushed and broken in this book. Faith is an entirely new character and I loved her! I love that she totally disdains societal expectations of her interests and hobbies (she’s an amateur geologist).

“Are the British opposed to the immigration of foreign rocks in principle or just in theory?…I assure you, sir, these rocks are mostly harmless. Your virtue is safe from nefarious rock infiltration.”

Also, the narrative voice is hysterical, as is usual for Gail’s books (yes, I might be fangirling just a little bit here). There are some amazing quotes, especially near the end, but I’ll leave most of them out so you can discover them for yourself. Please just go read this story. It’s so worth it and really doesn’t take long!

Short, sweet, a little bit sexy – but much less actual sex than Poison or Protect, another of the novellas. 5/5 stars, highly enjoyable and highly recommend, and can we please have more Channing and Faith?!?

“I’ve looked all my life for family…now I know it is you…this is what you and I will do now. We will hold these broken parts of ourselves dear because they brought us to this point, and we will love each other wholly and completely.”

five-stars

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