logo
Currently Browsing: contemporary romance
Jul
5

Review: Carolina Home by Virginia Kantra

Review: Carolina Home by Virginia Kantra Please welcome Ang, who brings you today’s Guest Review of…  Carolina Home Author: Virginia Kantra  Release Date: July 3, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Dare Island #1 ISBN: #978-0425250938 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Home to the Fletcher family for generations, Dare Island is a fishing village rocked by changing times—its traditions slipping away like the sands of the North Carolina coast. Single dad and fishing boat captain Matt Fletcher deferred his own dreams to support his innkeeper parents and build a future for his sixteen-year-old son. Matt has learned to weather life’s storms by steering a steady emotional course…and keeping a commitment-free approach to love.      Newcomer Allison Carter came to Dare Island to escape the emotional demands of her wealthy family. The young teacher aims to build a life here, to make a lasting place for herself. She doesn’t want to be another in the long line of Women Who Once Dated Matt Fletcher. It’s both tempting and dangerous to believe she can be something more.      Then Matt’s brother Luke makes a sudden return home, with a child of his own—and a request that will change all their lives. With a child’s welfare at stake, Matt must turn to Allison to teach him to let go of the past, open his eyes…and follow his heart. What Ang is talking about:       Anyone who has read my earlier reviews knows that I value a good story, even in a romance novel. I want good characters and a sold plot line. Steamy sex scenes are a bonus but can’t carry the book. Carolina Home has the bones to be a really great novel and the opening to a great series but it missed the mark in a few areas for me. For starters we are introduced to so many characters and given so much information on these characters that I had a difficult time remembering who’s story I was reading. For example, I became so involved in Dawn’s back story and Tess’s story that when I went to tell a friend about the book I couldn’t even remember the main character’s name. He became Josh’s dad and Allison’s love interest but I couldn’t for the life of me remember that his name was Matt.      I can tell you about Matt’s Dad and Mom, Tess and Tom and what they do and the struggles...
Read More
Jul
2

Review: The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

Review: The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher Please welcome Mags, who brings you today’s Guest Review of…  The Opportunist Author: Tarryn Fisher Release Date: Nov. 14, 2011 Publisher: Self-published ISBN: 978-1469982786 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (426 pgs), e-book Book Source: purchased myself (e-book) About the book: Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex -boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With a bad reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah. It’s a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption. What Mags is talking about: The Opportunist starts with an innocent enough question: What would you do if you had a second chance with your first love? It sounds like a story about second chances and what people will do to get it right the second time but that is where the safety of a predictable story line crashes into the wall at 100 mph.  Enter Olivia Kaspen; she just cannot get out of her own way. She has panache for keeping people at arms length and if they happen to get too close, she does everything she can to run them off. She is a control freak in a slightly maniacal and completely obsessive way. Still, there is an air of vulnerability about her that is heartbreakingly endearing. I cannot help but love Olivia and all her stubbornness. On a fateful afternoon she runs into to her ex, Caleb only to discover that he has lost his memory in an accident.  Enter Caleb Drake, he is gorgeous, enigmatic and is used to getting whatever he wants. I adore Caleb, I completely understand Olivia’s attraction. I could eat that boy up with a spoon! However, when Olivia challenges his theory of self, he becomes infatuated and obsessed with possessing her. The toxic mixture of damaged and obsessed lay waste to their relationship in the worst possible ways. 3 years later he is a blank slate standing in a music store ready to explore the heady chemistry he feels with a beautiful “stranger.”   What I liked: The start of every great book is a great storyline and Ms....
Read More
Jun
27

Review: For Your Eyes Only by Ann Mayburn

Review: For Your Eyes Only by Ann Mayburn For Your Eyes Only Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: May 24, 2012 Publisher: Honey Mountain Publishing Tales From the IWSS Book 1 ISBN: #978-1476097404 Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       Amanda accepts an invite by the prestigious Institute for Women’s Sexual Satisfaction. Volunteering for their study means she must divulge her deepest, naughtiest fantasies and then act on them. But one wicked fantasy involves watching her boyfriend do something so intimate, so forbidden that she’s afraid he will refuse and may even break off their relationship.       Jared can’t believe his gorgeous girlfriend wants to see another woman take his anal virginity. But he wants to make her wildest fantasies come true, and maybe finally engage in some secret fantasies of his own…       Warning: This story contains a loving couple indulging in some very steamy fantasies including F/F kissing and light touching along with a deliciously naughty F/M/F pegging scene. What B is talking about:       What would it be like to make your hottest sexual fantasy come true in a safe environment, with no risks, and without hurting anyone? What if, even better, that fantasy was part of an experiment that would benefit women everywhere? Welcome to the Institute for Women’s Sexual Satisfaction, or the IWSS, for short.       The IWSS is an interesting home for these fantasies, mostly because its objective is so basic: to help a significant portion of the female population achieve sexual fulfillment through the exploration of individual fantasies. I think it’s much like the benefit the genre as a whole has the potential to provide, depending on the reader’s response.       Amanda and Jared are already devoted to one another, but she wants to push the edges of Jared’s comfort zone to include one particular fantasy she can’t let go of. He’s everything she could possibly want in a man, and definitely a “keeper,” but she’s convinced there’s room in their sexual relationship for more. Although, technically, For Your Eyes Only is about Amanda’s fantasy, both she and Jared get what they want from the endeavor.       The enactment of the fantasy itself is brief but extremely steamy, and Amanda ends up pushing her own boundaries, as well as putting Jared’s to the test. Ms. Mayburn doesn’t try to make the story more complicated than the exploration of a fantasy, leaving...
Read More
Jun
21

Review: Colters’ Promise by Maya Banks

Review: Colters’ Promise by Maya Banks Colters’ Promise Author: Maya Banks  Release Date: June 5, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Colters’ Legacy Book #3 ISBN: 978-0425258620 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s):  Paperback (256 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: When it came to overcoming the odds of a tragic past, Lily was determined to move on. The three Colter brothers helped her do it. They taught her new ways to love, new dreams to share, and offered her a new life that she never thought possible. Now is a time for celebration, and what better way than with a long-awaited family reunion, a homecoming that will bring together the entire Colter family and a few surprises no one anticipated. But first, there’s still something from Lily’s past she still needs to reconcile–even when all the while she is holding close to her heart a newfound secret that will change her future, forever enrich the Colter legacy, and make every promise come true. What VampBard’s talking about: While I haven’t read the first two books in Ms. Banks’ Colters’ Legacy series, I must admit that Ms. Banks did a pretty decent job filling in the blanks for readers new to her series.  I didn’t feel too lost, but there are some remaining questions.   I **really** liked Holly, Lily and Callie.  The appear to be strong female characters, and y’all know how I like the strong women!  Seems as though each of them have struggled through a rough time in their lives, they’ve come out no worse for wear on the other side.  Looks like they’re pretty competent at pulling others through rough times, as well.  It also looks as though they really like to take care of their men.  That’s where it gets a bit non-traditional.   The Colter brothers – senior – appear to completely dote on Holly.    They seem to be totally OK with the lifestyle they’ve chosen, which happens to be three brothers sharing one wife.  Hrm.  OK.  Interestingly enough, their SONS share one wife as well.  The Colter brothers – junior – also dote on their wife, Lily.  These husbands seem to be very intuitive and nurturing when it comes to their wives.   So.  The plot.  The conflict seemed to center around Lily finding out she was pregnant, Holly’s appendicitis, and Callie dealing with her sister-in-law’s abuse at the hands of someone she loved.  Nothing earth-shattering.  Nothing that isn’t normal, every-day life.    I can relate to every one of...
Read More
Jun
11

Review: Beauty and the Best by Judi Fennell

Review: Beauty and the Best by Judi Fennell Beauty and the Best Author: Judi Fennell  Release Date: April 6, 2012 Publisher: self-published ISBN: #978-0985453411 Genre: Contemporary Romance, angels Format(s): paperback (296 pgs), e-book Book Source: Author About the book: Jolie Gardener, personal chef by day, aspiring romance writer by night, likes to talk and does it a lot. She has to because if she stops, all the pain, disillusionment, and abandonment of her AWOL mother, question-mark father, and foster-care childhood will rise up like a chocolate soufflé on steroids, sweeping away the fragile infrastructure of her life. But she’s fine. Really. She is. Or so she thinks. Todd Best isn’t fine. He knows it. And doesn’t care. After his wife died—the woman who believed in him when he was a struggling artist—he put painting aside, moved from their home, and lost himself in the minutiae of daily life. Alone. Private. The way he likes it. The last thing he needs is some chatty cook seeping into the perfectly bland canvas of his life. Or so he thinks. So when Jonathan, a guardian-angel-in-training, turns himself into a kitten to help these two lonely souls find a happily ever after together, it ought to be a piece of cake. Or so he thinks…   What I’m talking about: What a wonderful, refreshing, happy story! Right from the start I was in love with the hero, Todd Best. A lonely, depressed man who lost his wife two years ago, he has all but given up on life and the will to continue his work (a famous artist) and even to feed himself. His concerned family has hired different personal chefs to help him over the past two years, and now Jolie is starting the task. On her first morning, Todd stumbles into the kitchen, hungover and naked. Instead of being arrogant and cocky as we would expect a famous man to be, we learn from Todd’s inner monologue that he is embarrassed by his actions.  Jolie has had a tough life – alcoholic mom, never knew her dad, in and out of foster homes. She’s seen it all, but she has managed to make the most of her life and to rise above the circumstances. Yet there is a price to her success – she has shut out almost everyone, scare to be hurt and let down again. She won’t let her emotions get hold and allow herself to hope. Early on we learn of Jolie’s plans to author a romance...
Read More
Jun
1

Review: About Last Night by Ruthie Knox

Review: About Last Night by Ruthie Knox About Last Night Author:  Ruthie Knox   Release Date: June 11, 2012 Publisher: Random House – Loveswept ISBN: #978-034553516 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it and God knows she’s made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go… in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her. Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine — even her name turns him on — with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies. When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a little luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime? What Nima’s talking about: Like Ruthie Knox’s last novel, Ride with Me, I sat down to just “start” reading her latest, About Last Night.  It was one the busiest days I’ve had in months and the first chapter was going to be my reward for meeting a major deadline.  I was a full quarter into the book before real life came pounding down the door, and I had to pull myself out of the relationship quickly evolving between main characters Nev and Cath.  I came back to it later that night after fixing dinner and told myself I was going to “just get comfortable at the computer” before starting the next project on my list.  Naturally, I read the rest of the whole darn thing in that one sitting.  I had no business blowing off so much work, but I was consumed.  Three lousy hours of sleep was worth it to go to bed knowing how it all resolved. The overall story arc is not overly complicated with subplots, and in this case, that’s a good thing.  The narrowness and simplicity of the story serve to make it an intense experience.  You have everything invested in the characters and what happens to this unlikely couple.  Cath is a chronic mistake-maker. She...
Read More
May
31

Review: Public Display of Affection by Emily Cale

Review: Public Display of Affection by Emily Cale Public Display of Affection Author: Emily Cale  Release Date: Jan. 18, 2012 Publisher: Decadent 1 Night Stand Series Genre: Contemporary Romance, Lesbian, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: After a heartbreaking end to her relationship with her girlfriend, Lucy Stark is looking to try something more adventurous. She turns to Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service to help her find the perfect woman to push her boundaries and introduce her to the more daring side of a sexual encounter. Samantha Taylor’s helped more than one woman explore her sexuality, but Lucy’s the first to really get to her. Keeping her walls up and the women she dates from getting inside is a skill she’s managed to master. After one night of unbridled passion, she has to decide whether to give up her hard exterior or let the woman of her dreams slip away. What I’m talking about: Once again I find myself drawn to Decadent Publishing’s 1 Night Stand Series. In this go around, we meet Lucy, a woman feeling a bit down on her luck and waiting for the other shoe to drop. She was dumped by her girlfriend for another and lost her job. Deciding to try and do something about it, Lucy hires Madame Eve’s service to help her find a woman who will break her out of her vanilla world. And as always, Madame Eve delivers more than Lucy expected. I was immediately drawn into the story from the beginning. Ms. Cale is able to capture Lucy’s raw emotions on page so that I too was nervous and second guessing Lucy’s decision to utilize the services Madame Eve offered. Although Lucy tells herself that she wants to move beyond her vanilla nature, I think she really wants to break free of her ex, Kristen. After a short while, Sam shows up at Lucy’s hotel room and takes charge right away. She orders Lucy to put on a butterfly vibrator under her clothing and then takes her out for dessert at the hotel restaurant. What happens next is delicious! Using a remote control, Sam stimulates Lucy off and on while engaging in polite dinner conversation. I enjoyed equal parts of Sam’s excitement to control the situation and Lucy’s mixed emotions over wanting to orgasm and fear of doing so in public. The well comprised scene was extremely enjoyable for all! Although I felt the first part of the story was well written and exciting, the...
Read More
May
24

Guest Review: Larkspur Road by Jill Gregory

Guest Review: Larkspur Road by Jill Gregory Please welcome Angela, who brings you today’s Guest Review of… Larkspur Road Author: Jill Gregory  Release Date: May 1, 2012 Publisher: Berkeley Sensation Lonesome Way #2 ISBN: #978-0425250891 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Fifth grade teacher Mia Quinn expected a tranquil summer in her hometown of Lonesome Way, Montana, sewing for her quilting group’s exhibition fundraiser and caring for her rescued dog, Samson. But all her plans for a relaxing break are thrown out the window when Travis Tanner—the boy who broke her heart in high school—returns to town with his ten year old adopted step-son. A former FBI agent, the boy Mia once knew is now well over six feet of male muscle—and he still has the power to make Mia lose her train of thought with just a glance. When Travis asks her to tutor his troubled son, Mia quickly discovers that the sparks between them are hotter than ever. As danger comes to Lonesome Way and family secrets come to light, will Travis and Mia realize that love can be even better the second time around? What Ang’s talking about: I had some concerns going into this novel, the first being that it was part of a series.  Despite having read the first book in the series, Sage Creek, I was worried that I would be distracted or worse yet, frustrated trying to remember enough details from the last book to make sense of this one. Fortunately, neither proved to be an issue.  Although both novels are connected by place and characters, Gregory does a wonderful job of giving us just enough back ground that if you have not read Sage Creek, you won’t be lost. In fact, if I hadn’t known and already read the first novel, I still would have enjoyed this one and in my opinion, so will any other reader. Larkspur Road is a delightful distraction and perfect read as we come into summer. It is a fantastic fit for your beach or pool bag with just enough meat that you will want to continue to the end. When I first sat down and opened the book, I was concerned there wouldn’t be enough story to carry it the full length of the book. I mean how much can happen when we are told at the outset about the history between Mia and Travis and the level of pinning both have been doing for the other?...
Read More
Apr
11

Review: Want

Review: Want Want Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: Jan. 16, 2012 Publisher: Decadent Publishing 1 Night Stand Series ISBN: #978-1613331966 Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, M/M Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Construction foreman Cody McPherson always considered himself as straight as they come. That is until he finds himself falling for the handsome stonemason, Sam Denham, who constantly occupies his thoughts. He wants Sam, badly, and can’t get the man out of his mind. Worse yet, he isn’t even sure if Sam is gay. When he finds out that Sam has signed up with a dating service searching for a guy who looks exactly like him Cody is even more eager, and confused than before.      Sam can’t believe that he’s developed a huge crush on his obviously straight co-worker. Even worse, the job that allowed him to see Cody on an almost daily basis has ended and he desperately misses his buddy in a way that goes far beyond just friendship. In an effort to soothe his aching heart and body, he tries to get a blind date with someone like Cody so he can pretend for just one night that he holds Cody in his arms.      When Cody himself shows up as Sam’s blind date, he is at once elated and afraid of having his heart broken by just another straight guy looking to sample the gay life. He wants to be so much more than Cody’s 1Night Stand and if he’s given the chance, Sam will do anything to prove that love doesn’t discriminate based on gender. What B is talking about:      Want is a sweet, delightfully erotic short story that is a perfect addition to the 1 Night Stand series. I absolutely adored reading about Sam and Cody. Both are grown, successful, down-to-earth men who are strong enough to pursue what they want, yet have lived enough to doubt that they will find it. While both have had experiences with the opposite sex (to vastly different degrees), they want each other and no one else.      Sexually, Sam and Cody are hot. Despite a somewhat awkward walk to the elevator in the beginning, Mayburn doesn’t waste much time with a drawn out learning curve for these men. Instead, she gives their mutual desire, curiosity, and enthusiasm free reign. They are well matched and willing, the attraction they feel for one another having already built to roar during...
Read More
Mar
29

Review: Arrow to the Heart

Review: Arrow to the Heart Arrow to the Heart Author: Arlene Webb  Release Date: Feb. 8, 2012 Publisher: Decadent Publishing Genre: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Dr. Cu has no doubt that love at first sight happens only in fairytales. He knows intimately that it takes a unique blend of chemicals to force two hearts to beat as one. A world-renowned player, he’s accepted his fate. As a God of Love, he’s doomed to remain lonely. But when he opens his eyes and his gaze takes in a woman in need of assistance, he’s shocked to find himself falling, exactly like his many victims. Naturally, when an arrogant legend is smitten, happiness comes at a price. Cu must fight the powerful Goddess of Love, his controlling mother, in order to protect the mortal who’s captured his fancy. When his love betrays him, Cu learns how hard a God can hit rock bottom. If he can’t put down the bow and wrap his hand around humility and forgiveness, his destined love will remain a myth. What I’m talking about: Dr. Cu is an renowned psychologist with an uncanny knack for bringing two people together and finding love. The story opens with Dr. Cu interviewing a female police officer who has killed off one too many bad guys when not necessary. It is evident from her reactions upon seeing his identity that not only is Dr. Cu infamous, but so is his socialite mother. What no one seems to know is that Dr. Cu is also apparently Cupid, and he uses a bow and arrow to make his perfect matches. However, the one perfect match he can never make is his own. The premise of Cupid as a psychologist and matchmaker in the real world is fun. His parents – Goddess of Love and God of War, are equality notorious, but for what I’m not entirely certain. What is unclear (and I guess not that important) is if the humans around them know there are “fallen” gods, or if they just think these people are wealthy, famous celebrities. The story was a take-it-or-leave-it for me. Since it is a novella, I read the whole thing; however, had it been a full-length novel, I probably would have DNF. The premise of the story is entertaining – Cupid sets up couples all of the time, but is destined to never have a love for himself. Of course, he finally finds the...
Read More
Page 36 of 38« First...102030...3435363738
logo
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes