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Currently Browsing: contemporary romance
May
15

Review: Merger to Marriage by Addison Fox

Review: Merger to Marriage by Addison Fox Merger to Marriage Author: Addison Fox  Release Date: May 13, 2013 Publisher: Entangled  Boardrooms and Billionaires #2 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): e-book  Book Source: Publisher About the book: One night of passion… Mayson McBride has spent the last decade restoring her family’s magazine empire with her two sisters. She loves what she does, but she can’t shake the feeling something’s missing. Which is why she jumps at the chance–incognito–for a single night of no-strings-attached sex with Holt Turner. A once in a lifetime connection… Holt’s been unable to forget the woman he shared one night of explosive passion, and he’s thrilled to get reacquainted with her at a weekend house party. What he doesn’t expect are the immediate feelings of need and desire–emotions he keeps firmly in check–upon their reunion. A forever commitment… When Mayson and Holt’s single night together leads to unexpected consequences, both must decide what matters most. Especially when a threat from Holt’s past promises to ruin their relationship before it’s barely begun. What Nima’s talking about: At under 150 pages, Merger to Marriage, the second book in Addison Fox’s Boardrooms and Billionaires series is better classified as a novella.  It’s the perfect happy ending for an afternoon at the pool, two taekwondo classes, or three when-are-they-ever-going-to-let-them-out-of-this-show-choir-rehearsal’s?!  Unfortunately, it also means that there isn’t a whole lot here to review. The Boardrooms and Billionaires series follows the three McBride sisters.  Merger to Marriage focuses on the youngest sister, Mayson McBride whose natural instincts for visual composition make her the perfect person to lead the design department of their family magazine empire.  The story starts with instant chemistry between Mayson and Holt Turner at the wedding of Mayson’s oldest sister Keira to one time business rival Nathan Cooper.  While this can be hold its own as a stand-alone book, I was missing some of the McBride family background I suspect was in book one, Tempting Acquisitions (which I did not read).  Mayson often justifies keeping Holt at arm’s length based on this background and even though we are aware of it, I felt very little connection to it. I wanted more connection.  I liked these characters.  They were genuine and real to me, especially Holt who had some significant mommy issues.  Even if the resolution of the problems she caused was a little predictable, it was fun to see it come to fruition. Something I found odd was the lack of power and wealth displayed as assumed by the...
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May
10

Guest Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young

Guest Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young Today we welcome back Nena from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly review blog. She brings you today’s Guest Review of…    Down London Road Author: Samantha Young  Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: NAL Trade On Dublin Street #2 ISBN: #978-0451419712 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.       But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.       Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece. What Nema is talking about:       Samantha Young delivers a great stand -alone romance novel that is part of the On Dublin Street Series. Even though this book was a spin off her best-selling novel On Dublin Street, this novel stands on its own and will appeal to all Young’s fans and new readers.       The Good: As a fan of On Dublin Street, I had great expectations for this book. Even though I loved the first book and I would have loved a sequel for it, I was very pleased with a spin-off of a minor character in book one. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised when a character that I had no connection to, developed into a strong character with an interesting story to tell. Down London Road is a well written, character-driven novel. The romance is central to the plot but you are in for an emotional struggle. I even shed a tear or two.       The Bad: The plot is not complex but...
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May
8

Review: Whisper’s Edge by LuAnn McLane

Review: Whisper’s Edge by LuAnn McLane Whisper’s Edge Author: LuAnn McLane  Release Date: May 7, 2013 Publisher: Signet Cricket Creek #4 ISBN: #978-0451415578 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Cricket Creek, Kentucky, is a sweet river town known for its theater, shopping, and cuisine. But tough times are affecting the residents of the local retirement community—until a handsome hero shows up         Savannah Perry loves her job as social director of Whisper’s Edge, a retirement community on the picturesque waterfront of Cricket Creek. Raised in foster care, twenty-nine-year-old Savannah feels treasured and loved by the retired residents, who treat her as their adopted granddaughter and rotate having her over for dinner. But the community is struggling to stay afloat financially—until Tristan McMillan swoops into town, rescues a dog, and, well, saves the day          Business-minded Tristan bought Whisper’s Edge from his estranged grandfather to prove his worth to the curmudgeon and to turn a quick profit. He never expected to fall for the charms of a village of crafty retirees—or to fall hard for a small town girl like Savannah. Suddenly the man who knows all about making money finds himself needing lessons in love and what really matters in life What Ang is talking about:       Whisper’s Edge is part of the Cricket Creek Series, and although I was completely unfamiliar with the series it didn’t keep this novel from being fun and engaging. The back stories of the other characters weren’t overwhelming or distracting from the main storyline, always a plus when one comes in in the middle of something.       The synopsis tells us this story is about Savannah and Tristan; however, I felt like Kate and Ben’s tale was just as strong of a storyline, which was why I was disappointed when Kate and Ben’s story stopped so suddenly, and why I found it frustrating that we never really deal with their story completely. Maybe Ms. McLane is planning to save them for her next novel, but if that’s the case then they should have been introduced and given the role of secondary characters rather then having so much of the novel focus on them.       Another issue I had with the book is the lack of in-depth background for many of the characters. For example, we never really understand Tristan’s issues with his grandfather or his lack of...
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May
2

Review: Still by Ann Mayburn

Review: Still by Ann Mayburn Still Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: April 9, 2013 Publisher: Honey Mountain Publishing Long Slow Tease Book 1 Genre: BDSM Contemporary Romance, FemDom elements Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       Dr. Michelle Sapphire and Gunnery Sergeant Wyatt Callahan formed an unbreakable bond and an unacknowledged, forbidden attraction to each other while serving together in Afghanistan. Their lives are forever changed when a mortar attack grievously wounds Wyatt and Michelle brings him back from the brink of death. But when they both return to the civilian world, Michelle discovers that her rock-solid Marine is suffering from severe PTSD and may even be suicidal.       Wyatt Callahan fell hard for the aristocratic blonde doctor the moment he laid eyes on her. After reentering civilian life in his hometown near Austin, Texas, Wyatt is plagued by nightmares of the death and suffering he witnessed during the war. He’d love to reach out to Michelle, but — Michelle is a Dominatrix, and she has made it very clear to Wyatt she isn’t interested in a relationship with anyone who doesn’t accept her lifestyle. An Alpha male to the core, he can’t imagine the appeal of being submissive. At the same time, the idea of serving Michelle, of being everything she wants and needs, rings true in his wounded soul.       Michelle has dark secrets of her own, and together with Wyatt she will have to battle her personal demons during their emotional journey of healing, redemption, and love. What B is talking about:       Firstly, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this new novel by Ms. Mayburn, as I’ve read quite a few of her stories and have yet to find one I didn’t like. Secondly, this story encompasses two topics I tend to be very greedy about reading, in no small part because both deserve far more attention than they generally get: the effects of PTSD in the brave men and women in uniform who fight for our country, and the BDSM lifestyle, which certainly hasn’t always gotten a fair shake in popular media and literature. I think it’s wonderful that Ms. Mayburn is tackling these subjects, and I was pleased to see both in such good hands.       One of the things that works best about this story is that both of the main characters’ PTSD appears as independent problems which are established on opposite...
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Apr
24

Review: Flawless by Cat Grant

Review: Flawless by Cat Grant Flawless Author: Cat Grant  Release Date: April 22, 2013 Publisher: Riptide Publishing Irresistible Attraction #4 ISBN: # 978-1626490123 Genre: LGBTQ, M/M, Contemporary Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book: Steve Campbell used to be a player, until a mid-life crisis opened his eyes to his long-repressed love for Connor, his soon-to-be-married best friend and business partner. Coming out at thirty-eight means learning how to date all over again, and this time, Steve’s not willing to settle for empty one-night stands. He wants the real thing. Gil Alvarez has never had it easy, struggling through childhood and rejected by his family for a body that didn’t match who he was inside. A skilled driver and mechanic, he’s working hard to make his auto shop a success. The last thing he needs is a rich white guy in a candy-apple-red Ferrari tempting him, but Steve’s ready smile and easygoing manner prove irresistible. One brief, intimate encounter leaves them both hungry for more. Gil’s not ashamed of who he is, but he’s terrified that Steve will reject him—or worse—when he discovers what Gil can’t find the courage to tell him.  What B is talking about: Having lived a seemingly sheltered existence until coming out at the age of thirty-eight, Steve Campbell has a lot to learn about his new life as a bisexual. Tired of one-night stands and the disappointment of looking for more in all the wrong places, what he wants most is to find someone special he can commit to. But, just when he’s almost ready to give up, he gets a helping hand from an attractive stranger, and realizes he has a chance at a love he never anticipated, and one that may never come along again.  Passionate, talented, and determined, Gil Alvarez works hard to keep his auto repair shop afloat and his dreams alive. After the assistance he offers the poor, hapless car owner he met at the beach comes back to bite him, he’s determined not to let the man get under his skin. He’s got enough problems already, thanks. But, even though he knows it’s going to end in disaster, he can’t stay away from Steve, realizing too late that the secret he’s kept hidden could cost him the only real happiness he’s ever had.  While Flawless works well as a standalone, I do wish I’d been able to read the other stories in the series in order to better understand Steve’s origins...
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Apr
15

Review: Blizzard by Taryn Kincaid

Review: Blizzard by Taryn Kincaid Blizzard Author: Taryn Kincaid  Release Date: Feb. 20, 2013 Publisher: Decadent Decadent’s Edge Series Genre: Short Story, Contemporary Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:      Mandy Malone ditches her pharmaceutical convention and the married male colleagues hitting on her to hurry home to her waiting family. But she doesn’t bank on the blizzard that forces her off the road and into a deserted rest stop. When she meets another road refugee, their attraction is immediate and molten hot. Suddenly, getting stranded doesn’t seem like such bad luck after all.      Although totally unprepared for Mandy’s unvarnished proposition, Jack is intrigued by the erotic offer of a promising night of no-questions-asked sex. But when he notices the wedding band on Mandy’s finger, will he forego the lure of a torrid clandestine affair, or give in to the fantasy of blazing hot sex on a wintry night? What I’m talking about:      Blizzard is a wonderful vignette from Taryn Kincaid, author of the Sleepy Hollow series. The story is part of Decadent Publishing’s Edge Series, a line of short stories covering different types of romance, all from various authors. Each story is usually a single scene or at most a few scenes over a very short time period, highlighting a sexy encounter.      Being married with kids is a tough and tiring place to be. Add to it a demanding full-time job, and the idea of sex becomes almost a foreign concept. So when Mandy Malone finds herself alone with a handsome man stranded in a rest stop – she wants to get some satisfaction in her unfulfilling sex life. Jack is more than willing to help fill the bill and give Mandy the time of her life.      There is instant chemistry between Mandy and Jack. Lets face it… Most of us married with kids (or even those who are not!) probably have experienced some sort of sexual frustration and the desire to have a passionate encounter. In Blizzard, the reader lives vicariously through Mandy and Jack and their intense meeting. It’s enjoyable; it’s hot; it’s crazy and needy!      This really is a great little story – lots of fun, well-written and entertaining. At first I was wondering how the whole rendez-vous and situation presented would be resolved in such a short space. However, about halfway through the book I figured out where the story was going, and it totally...
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Apr
11

Review: My Wicked Nanny by Ann Mayburn

Review: My Wicked Nanny by Ann Mayburn My Wicked Nanny Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Loose ID Club Wicked #2 Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, BDSM Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       Young nanny Anya Kozlov takes a job at the elite BDSM club, Wicked, in order to pay for her upcoming trip to Paris. Donning a mask to disguise herself she uses the fake name of Dove. On her first night she is shocked when she finds out that the man she is a nanny for and has an enormous crush on, Jesse Shaw, is also a member of Wicked. When Jesse expresses his interest in teaching her about the dark pleasures of Dominance and submission Anya is helpless to resist, even though she is lying to him about who she is.       Jesse can’t seem to get Dove, out of his mind. It’s been five years since his wife passed and for the first time he feels something beyond physical lust or friendship for a woman. He is angry and hurt when he finds out that Dove is really Anya, his meek and mousy nanny. With only a few weeks left before Anya leaves for Paris, Jesse is determined to get her to not only tell the truth, but also mark her heart and soul so that she doesn’t forget him when they are an ocean apart. What I’m talking about:       Anya Kozlov has dreams to travel to Paris to become a fashion designer, and her salary as a nanny isn’t going to get her there soon enough. Her design mentor recommended Anya take a job as a server at a private, exclusive BDSM club so she can earn the cash needed to get to Paris. After passing their extensive background checks and training, Anya is ready to start her new job. She takes the name Dove and dons a mask, keeping the “real” Anya private. However, on her first night when she sees her boss (father of the children she cares for), she’s worried her cover will be blown.       Anya has had a crush on Jesse ever since he hired her. So when he doesn’t realize who Dove truly is, Anya takes up his offer of pleasure. Although Anya wants to come clean about who Dove is, she is too afraid he’ll fire her and hate her. She struggles between her growing feelings and her desire...
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Apr
10

Review: Love Irresistibly by Julie James

Review: Love Irresistibly by Julie James Love Irresistibly Author: Julie James  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley FBI/U.S. Attorney Series #4 ISBN: #978-0425251195 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:      HE’S USED TO GETTING WHAT HE WANTS…  A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.      AND WHAT HE WANTS IS HER A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love…   What Nima’s talking about:      I am new to Julie James’ books, although she has earned a loyal and enthusiastic following among contemporary romance readers.  Like Kathy Reichs and Jessica Scott, I appreciate authors who have professional knowledge of their characters’ world.  James didn’t just plunk hunky Cade Morgan into the U.S. Attorney’s office; James is an attorney and brings her experience with the legal system to her FBI/U.S. Attorney series giving it a unique authenticity.      Love Irresistibly is book four in the series. While characters from previous books do make appearances, it is a book that can stand on its own.  Don’t avoid it because it’s number four.  There are a lot of things about this book that could have made it cliché, but James’ writing rises above that.  Her main characters are genuinely clever people.  The resulting banter is smart, something that can be difficult to achieve in dialog alone.  The predominant obstacle in this novel is that these two are workaholics.  Their careers are on the rise and they’re not about to slow the assent for something as distracting as a romance.      As their paths...
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Apr
9

Review: Fever by Maya Banks

Review: Fever by Maya Banks Fever Author: Maya Banks      Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Trade Breathless Trilogy #2 ISBN: 978-0425267066 Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance Format(s): paperback (416 pages), e-book Book Source: Publisher / NetGalley About the book: Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise…  Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.  When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control.  Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.  What VampBard’s talking about: Maya Banks certainly left me Breathless whilst reading the second title in that trilogy!  LOL.  Couldn’t resist… but, seriously.  Fever certainly ratchets up the heat index with the turn of each page. When we left the Breathless hunks, Gabe had proposed to Mia, Jace’s sister.  Jace & Ash were OK with the idea, and neither were threatening beat his ass any longer.  We pick up the story, rather seamlessly, at Gabe and Mia’s engagement party.  The focus has shifted from Gabe and Mia to Jace and Ash, as well as the beauty in their sights for the night.  I have to say, I was really surprised that we had a menage at the beginning.  Yeah.  Starts hot, stays hot!  HEAT INDEX:  4 out of 5.  (I need to blush to issue a 5!) I knew that this story was about either Jace or Ash after reading the first chapter at the end of Rush.  It was obvious from the beginning that Jace would be our focus, however.  I’m not quite sure what drew me to Jace as a hero.  It could be his intent focus, his selflessness, or his compulsion to ‘possess’ Bethany.  Over time, I think that as we grow and we have to control so much in our environment, it’s important to have someone that will simply take over and make sure that everything is ‘taken care of’.  Don’t think I’m...
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Apr
3

Review: Too Hot to Handle by Victoria Dahl

Review: Too Hot to Handle by Victoria Dahl Too Hot to Handle Author: Victoria Dahl Release Date: March 26, 2013 Publisher: Harlequin Jackson Series #2 ISBN: 978-0373777464 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pages), e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book:       This good girl’s going bad….       Merry Kade has always been the good girl. The best friend. The one who patiently waits for the guy to notice her. Well, no more. Merry has just scored her dream job, and it’s time for her life to change. As the new curator of a museum in Wyoming, she’ll supervise a lot of restoration work. Luckily she’s found the perfect contractor for the job.       Shane Harcourt can’t believe that someone wants to turn a beat-up ghost town into a museum attraction. After all, the last thing he needs is the site of his dream ranch turning into a tourist trap. He’ll work on the project, if only to hasten its failure…until the beautiful, quirky woman in charge starts to change his mind.       For the first time ever, Merry has a gorgeous stud hot on her heels. But can she trust this strong, silent man, even if he is a force of nature in bed? When Shane’s ulterior motives come out, he’ll need to prove to Merry that a love like theirs may be too hot to handle, but it’s impossible to resist. What VampBard’s talking about:       Why hasn’t anyone insisted that I read something by Victoria Dahl before?!?!  Her writing is smart, sassy and sultry.  Definitely hot, and it doesn’t insult my intelligence.  I picked up Too Hot to Handle, the second title (with a novella tossed between) in her Jackson series via NetGalley.  I’d always been curious, because Ms. Dahl is so wonderfully outspoken and passionate on Twitter, as to how her books would communicate her passion.  O. M. G.!  Happiness.       I think I clearly identified with the heroine, Merry, in Too Hot to Handle.  I saw her as someone that every woman on the planet should aspire to become.  Ultimately, as a mom and a teacher and just one of those general people that like to be nice, etc., Merry exemplifies everything I’d like my daughters to be – pretty confident, predominantly OK with who they are, and accepting.  As a mom, that’s one of the reasons I adored Merry.       Shane treated women – and Merry especially...
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