Monday, October 5, 2015

Skip Trace by Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen

Title: Skip Trace
Author: Jenn Burke and Kelly Jensen
My Rating: A

Genre: SciFi Romance (m/m)
Series: Chaos Station #3
Main Characters: Zander and Felix
Release Date: October 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Book three of Chaos Station

Zander Anatolius has been revived from the fatal effects of the super-soldier program, but now he has to face his estranged family and tell a story few would believe. With his lover and the crew of the Chaos at his side, Zander returns home to a media frenzy, threats from the military and pressure to join the family business.

Felix Ingesson still struggles with the horror of believing Zander dead. And no matter how strong their emotional connection is, Felix feels out of place in the glittery world of Zander's rich family. His lover would be better off without a broken, low-class ship's engineer holding him back.

When the crew receives word that another of Zander’s former teammates needs rescue, Felix travels with the Chaos...setting Zander free. But when Zander is arrested for treason, the men realize they need each other as much as ever—not only to survive, but to make their lives worth living.

Don't miss the start of the series—Chaos Station and Lonely Shore
 are available now!

My Review:
These two guys...someday everything is going to be good in their lives and they're going to stop breaking my heart. Right? RIGHT? *Staring at these two authors who love to torture these two men.*

Seriously, Zander and Felix just cannot catch a break. Yes, part of that is their circumstances they are in, but part of it is just because they are both so broken. In this one we see the extent of that through Felix. For a few pages there in the center, I wasn't sure he would make it through this story. And this, right here, is why these books are so darn good. These characters are so rich, and so deep, and so well-written, I cannot separate fiction from reality. To me, these guys are real. Their trauma and drama affects me...on a personal level. I LOVE THEM! And I need them to eventually find that place where they are at peace and happy...just the two of them. Eventually...because right now, I DON'T want to give up reading about them and I know for that to happen, there needs to be drama. 

Okay, so this book...Zander is finally home where things should be calm. You know that's not going to happen. A lot of the initial problems are because Zander's father is one of the most powerful, richest men in the cosmos. Felix is a ship's mechanic...not quite the level of person who should be involved with an Anatolius. Add in that...he's had some serious traumas over the last few years, and things aren't quite where they should be for him mentally. Zander is having his own issues too. 

Like I said, I loved this book. 


I cannot wait to see where these two authors take these two next. Although, there is a moment in this story where something happens with Zander that if it happens with Felix around, it will absolutely traumatize him. I know that will come out again, and it scares me...even when I cannot wait to read more. 

I ADORE this series!!

And if you aren't reading it, you need to be! These books need to be read as a series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for this book. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sugar's Twice As Sweet by Marina Adair (audiobook)

Title: Sugar's Twice As Sweet
Author: Marina Adair
My Rating: A
Narrator: Chelsea Hatfield

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Sugar, Georgia #1
Main Characters: Joey and Brett
Release Date: November 2014
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
He's trouble she doesn't need . . .

Thanks to a cheating fiancé, Josephina Harrington's perfect life just crashed and burned. Moving in with her overbearing parents is definitely not an option. No, she needs to prove she can make it on her own. And she will-by turning her great-aunt's old plantation house into a destination getaway. She's just not expecting her contractor to be so hands-on-and so totally irresistible.

. . . but everything she wants

Bad-boy golf champion Brett McGraw figured his hometown of Sugar, Georgia was the perfect place to lay low and get his life back up to par. The leggy blonde with a pint-sized pup is the kind of sweet 'n sassy trouble he never saw coming. She doesn't know a nut from a bolt and before long, he's renovating her house . . . as she steals his heart. Can he convince Josephina that his womanizing ways are in the past and he's ready for forever?

My Review:
Overall.... 4.5
Performance... 4.5

Story.... 4.5

I think this is a first for me...a golf pro hero and I really liked that...even with all the corny golf catch-phrases and puns that the author threw into the book because of his career. 

Brett's home in the middle of his golf season because of a leaked sex tape that he made two years ago. It's the final straw after years of playboy ways and his main sponsor has told him to get his act together. So he's home...supposedly to lay low. What doesn't factor into that plan is Joey, the girl he knew once upon a time and who's also back in town. 

Josephine's life has not gone according to plan after she discovers her fiancee isn't quite as committed to them as she thought he was or should be. So now she's home, to reinvent the inn she inherited used to dream about with her aunt. I loved that aspect of this story. Joey is a society girl, always expected to act a certain way, unless she was with her aunt...who taught her to dream and expect great things from herself...she has the ability to fly. She wants to embrace that now and bring all the things that she and her aunt discussed about the inn to fruition. 

I loved that Brett sees her vulnerability. Joey is a strong, outspoken, awesome character, and no one ever gets to see her tender underbelly besides him. He sees her and loves her despite all that...and despite all the concerns his family has about her. And that brings me to the only downside I found to this book...Brett's grandmother. She was evil...and not in the "bless your heart" kind of way. I hated this bitter, vindictive woman, and her rabble of lackey's. I thought they were mean, and vindictive and cruel. No matter what happened there, their friend shared her dreams with Joey and Joey was trying to honor that. I could NOT handle this aspect of the story and really wish it hadn't been there. 

But I did love the book despite that. I liked Brett and how he simply can't stay away from Joey. I love Joey and her dreams for a better world thanks to her aunt. And I need to say...I loved this narrator. This is the first book I've heard narrated by her and I'm a fan now. I loved her inflections and voices. 

This audiobook also had the first chapter plus for book #2 and I had to get online immediately to download it because I cannot wait to "read" it. I already am in love with Glory and Cal and cannot wait to hear more!

Tempted by Mr. Write by Sara Hantz

Title: Tempted by Mr. Write
Author: Sara Hantz
My Rating: C-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: What Happens in Vegas #7
Main Characters:Mac and Sheridan
Release Date: September 2015
Publisher: Entangled 
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
After losing out on a plum assignment, a romance book conference is the last place journalist Sheridan Farlow wants to be. Love is a myth—like flattering changing room mirrors—and she has the past relationships to prove it. Her editor wants a story? Fine. She’ll write an entire exposé...only it doesn't go quite according plan. 

Bernard “Mac” Mackenzie is something of an anomaly in the romance-writing world—a man who writes romance and believes in it. And until he met Sheridan, Mac’s never felt anything close to the love he writes about. He needs more of her. In his arms, and in his bed.  

Their attraction is explosive; even as Sheridan’s cynical side battles her growing feelings for Mac. But can she handle writing a biting exposé with an exposed heart on the line?

My Review:'m kind of at a loss for what to say about this book. I really did not like it. The thing is, I rarely review books that I don't like because I simply don't finish them. This one wasn't even long enough for me to get to the point of dnf'ing it. It's really super short. As a result, the events fly by at supersonic speed. Literally the book takes place over basically 48 hours and the main characters are well on their way to insta-love within just a few hours. Way too fast, way too underdeveloped. 

The thing is, I could probably get over that if there weren't other issues. The premise is great...a male romance writer who meets a jaded, cynical reporter at a convention. But, but, but...does this author (Sara Hantz) even like romance novels herself? I don't think so, because the way things play out with Mac's just didn't sit right with me.  This could have been good, but the author in the story (Mac) takes actions at the end that just made me question everything about this book. In fact, both characters at the end had me going, "huh? really?" 48 hours and both characters completely uprooted their lives. That's just too far-fetched for me.

So, yeah, I don't think I can recommend this one. The premise had promise, but it just fell flat. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Playing Dirty by Tiffany Snow

Title: Playing Dirty
Author: Tiffany Snow
My Rating: A+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Risky Business #2
Main Characters: Ryker, Parker, and Sage
Release Date: September 2015
Publisher:  Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


Faced with a choice between bad-boy detective Dean Ryker and sexy power player Parker Anderson, Sage Reece fought the law--and the law won. But while Ryker's sizzling touch may rule her nights, Sage's days belong to Parker's cool, calculating intensity. . . .

Both Ryker and Parker are determined to protect Sage from a brutal enemy who'd use her to pay for their mistakes. Yet when the usually on-point Ryker is distracted by ghosts from his past, Parker seizes his opportunity to get Sage's attention--and keep it in ways beyond her wildest dreams.

Now, caught between a mobster out for revenge and two men who were once best friends, Sage must play to win--even if it means getting dirty. . . 
My Review:
I'll make this simple for need to read this book!

OMG, I have never read Tiffany Snow before. None. No other books. You should also note that this is the second book in a series that probably should be read in order because it's a single continuing story. I didn't read book #1 and I'm still saying you should read this book (I would just recommend reading that one first. I have my copy on order, so I'll be going back and reading it as soon as it comes in.) Yes, this book was just that good. I loved it!!

This ongoing story is a love triangle. Normally I'm not a fan. Tiffany Snow just changed my mind about that. This book is brilliantly done and even after finishing the book, I still have no idea who Sage should go with. I love all three of these characters and want them all to be happy and I just don't see how that's going to happen. Bring on book #3. 

So, let me explain. Ryker and Parker were friends in high school and joined the Marines together. A woman came between them, shattering them both, and destroying their friendship. Sage is Parker's assistant. Somehow in the last book he fascilitated Sage meeting Ryker, who happens to be a cop. They started dating. Parker and Sage have never dated because of their working relationship although they're both attracted to one another. They have a 2 year working relationship they don't want to screw with. But when this book begins, Sage and Ryker have been dating for 4 months and things are heating up. Ryker is a forever kind of guy...the kind of guy Sage needs in her life, but it's killing Parker. 

Okay, that's the setup, but what plays out is brilliant and twisted and heartbreaking. Parker and Ryker used to be best friends and no longer can even stand to speak to one another, but now they both have Sage in common. Sage, who they both love. Even if they manage to work through their differences, that love for her is going to tear them apart again. It's heartbreaking. Seriously. But honestly it's some of the most riveting reading I've read all year. I cannot express how much I loved this book. I can't wait to get my print copy in so I can re-read it. But first, I'm DYING to read book #1 because I need to know how they all got to this place. It's just so good. And it should be noted that I've already pre-ordered book #3, too. Yes, this book is that good. 

I highly recommend it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Unwrapped by Katie Lane

Title: Unwrapped
Author: Katie Lane
My Rating: B-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series:Hunks for the Holidays #3
Main Characters: Patrick and Jacqueline
Release Date: September 2015
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Good things come in sexy packages...

Jacqueline Maguire has a problem tying the knot. After fleeing the altar (again), the runaway bride drives off with no particular destination in mind. Which is how Jac finds herself stranded in a snowstorm with a hot, hard-bodied stranger who treats her to the naughtiest night of her life... but come morning, he's long gone.

Contractor Patrick McPherson is deeply committed to his bachelor lifestyle. No strings, no rings. As the Christmas season approaches, however, Patrick still can't quite forget his curvalicious one-night stand. Then Jac shows up unexpectedly, and all holiday hell breaks loose. Because this year, Patrick is getting the biggest Christmas surprise of his life...

My Review:
I really enjoyed the start to this book which takes place on Halloween. It's also the day that Jacqueline abandoned her second groom at the altar in Colorado. She ends up in the mountains, on a snowy road where she wrecks to avoid Big Foot...or maybe it was just a deer. 

See, Jacqueline is a character...very open to flights of least in the beginning of the book. In fact after their night together, she's sure that Patrick is a Highland's vampire (it was Halloween). She also has to get married in order to inherit her billions from her aunt.

Patrick has his own stuff going on. He works construction for the family firm, but isn't quite happy with what he's doing there. But he has other offers on the table.

There's a LOT going on in this book, and it just seemed like too much because it gave the book a disjointed feel. 

In the beginning, Jacqueline seems like a ditzy blonde who is completely shallow and only wants money and to go shopping. This just didn't seem to fit her background, which was pretty rough. But she's also the perfect homemaker and decorator. On one hand she's supposed to be completely loyal and protective, but she left two poor men at the altar and is willing to do the same to Patrick, too. Her character just didn't make sense to me. 

Then there's Patrick's HUGE family which had several different side-story lines. His niece looking for her bio-dad (honestly, this story line should have been completely was distracting and didn't affect the story at all.) Aunt Wheezie who's a modern-day matchmaker, but I was worried she was going to drop dead at any moment. Then there are his parents who don't seem able to communicate with one another although they've been married for forty-some years...again, why was I supposed to care? There's the drama with the company and an old college friend who just happened to have the perfect job for Patrick. Oh, and in the climax, he just conveniently ran into the same guy in the HUGE Denver airport...yeah, that's believable. 

So, yeah, there were a few things I had issues with in this book. But all of it was told with Katie Lane's distinctive sarcastic voice. I'm thinking maybe I've just moved past her books, because I just haven't enjoyed the last two as much as I used to enjoy her stories. But regardless of all that, it is a very read-able book and is filled with scenes of Christmas...and a bare-chested, kilted Scotsman who's a Thor look-alike. (I did happen to really LOVE that part.)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Bad Boy for Christmas by Jessica Lemmon

Title: A Bad Boy for Christmas
Author: Jessica Lemmon
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Second Chance #3
Main Characters: Connor and Faith
Release Date: September 2015
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Tis the Season to Be Naughty 

Connor McClain knows what he wants. And after four harrowing years in Afghanistan, that's a quiet life in the lakeside town of Evergreen Cove. But coming home has land mines of its own-the most dangerous of them being long-legged bombshell Faith Garrett. Now getting her into his arms this holiday is going to require more than mistletoe . . . 

With a cheating ex behind her, all Faith wants is a relaxing holiday free from man drama. And even though every moment with gorgeous Connor is a sweet temptation, Faith is determined not to give in. But Jack Frost has other plans, and soon Faith and Connor are snowbound in a winter wonderland with only the sparks flying between them to keep them warm. As one hot kiss leads to another, they'll have to decide if they're ready to give each other the best gift of all-love. 

My Review:
This is just one of those series that's been really enjoyable. This book was no exception to the rule, but I did feel like this particular installment had a lot more than normal going on with the characters...and I liked that. 

These are two people who've both been burned by love, but for Faith, it goes deeper than that. She truly thinks that she's cursed with love and never plans to ever get that deep again. As a result, she really tries to keep Connor at a distance...something he simply doesn't allow. I love that about him. 

Connor is a driven guy, and he wants Faith. I love how upfront he is. He doesn't allow her to think, to doubt, to question what they have going on. He seems to really get her and her issues...which are many. The best scene is with her breasts. I seriously fell even deeper in love with this guy after that. He's just incredible and so perfect for Faith.

But he has his haunting issues too. He has PTSD after 4 tours in Afghanistan. But I love how he works through that with his landscaping company. There's some great symbolism in the book with plants in winter and what he gets out of that. And I really love that he smells like lavender because of it...just one of those little details that makes him even more lovable. 

And then if that's all not enough, there's an age difference. I don't think it was ever settle exactly how much of a difference there is between them, but for Faith, whose mother is an unapologetic cougar, this is definitely an issue...even if Connor is more mature than she is. Honestly, Faith is a hot mess, but Connor doesn't care. He handles her beautifully. I loved them together and how he calmed and soothed her. It's a great story about how the perfect mate can make a person every way. This is what happens with these two. 

And then it's set in the middle of a snowy Christmas season with decorating, snowbound, romantic scenes in front of the fireplace...all really good things. I just plain liked the book and think you will, too.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Storytime by K. Lynn

Title: Storytime
Author: K. Lynn
My Rating: B-

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m) 
Series: -
Main Characters: James and David
Release Date: September 2015
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Since the death of his partner a year ago, sci-fi writer James Murphy has lived a quiet, secluded life. But at the urging of his agent, he finally makes an effort to rejoin society. His first step is volunteering for a weekly storytime at the local library. The decision seems like a good one when he meets the children's librarian, David.

Bright and engaging, David somehow manages to make James feel like everything will be okay. But when mutual friendship leads to a budding romance, the move forward could be too much for James. Leaving his past love behind once and for all might be a step he'll never be ready to take.

My Review:
On the surface, this book was fine. The writing worked and the story kept my attention. BUT it's super, super short...and what's missing from the story is the emotion. While I somewhat enjoyed reading James and David's story, I never did emotionally engage with them. It was like reading a narrative where I could clap and say, "well done", but five minutes later, just not care. All the surface story telling is there, but there's nothing deep in the story to let the reader connect and root for the characters. Which is kind of sad, because the surface story is decent. It just needed more. I wanted to care for these characters...and I just didn't.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.