Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

Release Day Review- The Thing About Love by Julie James

The Thing About Love

Title: The Thing About Love

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Julie James

Publisher: Berkley, April 18, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 380

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer blows the covers of two FBI agents who can’t hide who they are from each other…   FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army Ranger clashed during their training at Quantico and gladly went their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to be assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.   For both of them, being paired with an old rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work together—a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a lot more complicated…

***

Everything you wanted to know about FBI Special Agents and Black Ops training.  Oh you wanted more romance, well you might have to wait a long while in this read but eventually the hero, John , and the heroine, Jessica, do get around to lusting after each other.  Of course their first meet, 6 years prior, was competitive smack-down, bullying sessions at their initial FBI Academy training. Not exactly conducive to romance although our hero insists that’s the way he rolls in attempts at generating romantic interest.  Yes, I do have issues with this book.  And, now don’t be surprised, I liked it even in spite of those issues.

I do like a book where I learn about a subject heretofore not in my wheel house, the FBI training. I liked the info about undercover work.  Since I am a newbie to this subject I can only assume the author has her facts straight. That these two people who hated each other fell in love was a stretch but at least we finally get some romance in this romance book.  I thought there were several missed opportunities for some action and crisis since we only get that at the very end of the book and then it is nothing much.

Do I recommend it? With reservations. If you are a fan of this author, yes. If you want to learn about the FBI, sure. If you want action and romance, not so much but it is steamy and sexy

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Romantic Suspense Review-King’s Captive by Amber Bardan

kings-captive

Title: King’s Captive

Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Author: Amber Bardan

Publisher: Carina Press, Feb. 2017

Source: Purchase, Kindle $3.99

Pages: 252

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

For three years, I’ve belonged to Julius King. Some people would think being stuck on a private island is heaven, but this is my hell.   Because I’m not here as a guest. Not even close. I’m a prisoner. I’m his. Julius King. Powerful. Wealthy. Dangerous. There are parts of me he wants that I can’t give him. When he looks at me, there are times I swear he sees someone else. And the scary part is that sometimes, when he touches me, I think he may be someone else, too. Though my body might be tempted, and he might control everything else, I can’t let him have any piece of my heart. I won’t. But every day, the fight gets harder, and Julius manages to slip past my defenses in the most unexpected ways.  I have to find out the truth about Julius King. Even if it destroys me.  

***

Wow! Hang on to your hat for a wild ride.  At the start this book seems to be a fairly adequate description of Stockholm Syndrome.  But that’s only the start.  We readers are privy to Sarah’s view of events and we learn along the way of Julius’ version which doesn’t always match. There are twists and surprises that I absolutely, positively guarantee will keep you from putting the book down. The sex is sizzling. Truly a very good read by an author who is new to me. I look forward to more adventures in her books.

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Advance Review- Madly by Ruthie Knox

madly

Title: Madly (The New York Trilogy Series, book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Ruthie Knox

Publisher: Loveswept, March 14, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: ?

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.

Allie Fredericks isn’t supposed to be in Manhattan, hiding in the darkest corner of a hip bar, spying on her own mother—who’s flirting with a man who’s definitely not Allie’s father. Allie’s supposed to be in Wisconsin, planning her parents’ milestone anniversary party. Then Winston Chamberlain walks through the door, with his tailored suit, British accent, and gorgeous eyes, and Allie’s strange mission goes truly sideways. Winston doesn’t do messy. But after a pretty stranger ropes him into her ridiculous family drama with a fake kiss that gets a little too real, he finds out that messy can be fun. Maybe even a little addicting. And as the night grows longer, Allie and Winston make a list of other wild things they could do together—and what seems like a mismatch leads to a genuine connection. But can their relationship survive as their real lives implode just outside the bedroom door?

**

This book had me laughing at Allie’s “Meet Cute” with Winston.  She is in a bar spying on her mother and she might be recognized so she ropes in a stranger, Winston, for a fake kiss as her mother passes on her way to the Ladies’ room.  From there Winston becomes her aide de camp in her spying mission when he discovers he may have a key to her quest.

This story starts off with lots of promise.  It is rather a convoluted plot that sometimes left me scratching my head wondering “Why” or “What” it was always interesting and very well written.  There are some sexy, steamy downright kinky bits. Allie’s sister May and her boyfriend Ben play important roles.  Their story was in the first book of this series, TRULY. Also Nev, Winston’s brother, and Cath show up which is a definite treat since they were the H/h of Knox’s ABOUT LAST NIGHT a 5-star joy of a book. Winston had a role in that book also which is not billed as part of this current trilogy but worth a read.  Back to this book; it slows down a bit in the middle and really has some over the top drama.  Can this many characters all have this much angst? Yes, yes they can, and it is a bit exhausting.

You don’t need to read any of the aforementioned books, in and out of this series, to enjoy this book. But I do encourage you to delve into a Ruthie Knox book.  She writes fun, intelligent, sensuous contemporary romance that can be topped by no other.

The New York Trilogy Series:

  1. Truly (May and Ben)
  2. Madly (Allie and Winston)

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Advance Review- Royal Affair by Parker Swift

royal-affair

Title: Royal Affair (Royal Scandal, book #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotic

Author: Parker Swift

Publisher: Forever Yours, Feb. 14, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 352

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

One seriously sexy son-of-a-duke . . .

Behind the posh British accent, Dylan Hale possesses a down-and-dirty sexiness. Off-the-charts gorgeous, a ruthless architect . . . and did I mention he’s a future duke? Every time we touch, it’s wildfire. All need and lust and heat. But Dylan has rules: just sex, no one can know, and in the bedroom he gets complete control. All I have to do is follow the rules, because falling in love with Dylan Hale is all it would take to screw everything up . . . royally. Dylan and Lydia’s story continues!

Royal Scandal Series Book 2: Royal Disaster Book 3: Royal Treatment

***

Lydia is a sweet college grad about to start her dream job when she meets Dylan.  At first she doesn’t know he’s 1) a Marquess, 2) a paparazzi magnet and 3) a world renowned architect.  All Lydia knows is that she is in instant lust with this super-hot man. Dylan is all about seducing Lydia but only on his terms; which means no public appearances and he calls the shots.

This is very Fifty Shades meets Sweet filthy boy.  The sex is hot and kinky.  The attraction and sexual tension is off the charts.  The main characters are very believable but the side characters are a bit sketchy.  We have an Alpha man and a naïve younger woman.  There is some BDSM and spanking. I enjoyed this book but couldn’t help comparing it to those other books I mentioned. There is little that is original.

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Advance Review-On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

on-second-thought

Title: On Second thought

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Romance

Author: Kristan Higgins

Publisher: HQN books, Feb. 1, 2017 (Preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 480

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5 behind closed doors

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley’s and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.

**

Does the description above make you think you’ve read this book before?  Well the description may lead you to that belief, but this is a fresh and fabulous book. Not one you are likely to have encountered before this. Kristan Higgins is a master of bringing on the readers tears as well as laughter.  I was so totally invested in these characters that I couldn’t put this book down. Kate is so close to 40 and to have her first chance at happiness stolen makes us want to take her hurt upon ourselves.  Ainsley is majorly clueless about Eric but she does come into her own. That they each have a chance of overcoming their sadness is beautiful.

Yes, you definitely need to read this book. You’re welcome.

 

 

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Advance Review- any time Any Place by Jennifer Probst

any-time-any-place

Title: Any Time, Any Place (The Billionaire Builders, book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance        

Author: Jennifer Probst

Publisher: Gallery Books, Jan. 24, 2017 (preorder available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 400

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

When she was a teen, Raven Bella Stratton’s father was killed in a horrible car crash. The bigger shock was the discovery of a woman with him—Diana Pierce—and their two fully packed suitcases with airline tickets to Paris. Devastated by her father’s betrayal, Raven went to live with her aunt, never truly overcoming the traumatic event. When she discovers that the mysterious woman had a family with a husband and three boys, Raven vows to leave the memory of her father behind. Until Dalton Pierce visits one night and suddenly her past challenges her future…

Leaving his life in California behind to run Pierce Construction with his two older brothers, Dalton Pierce has enjoyed returning home and studying his passion of woodworking. But when he visits the local bar with his brothers one evening, he’s immediately drawn to the smart-mouthed, badass, sexy bartender who sets his body on fire. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem as intrigued by him, and his multiple advances are met with rejection. When he offers to restore the bar back to its original glory, he begins to work with her on a daily basis, and falls harder. His plan of seduction slowly weaves a web around them both, until they are caught up in the spell. But Dalton doesn’t know the secret that can either destroy them both…or finally mend two broken hearts.

***

This is the book for all of us sexy, banter lovers. The sexual tension just sizzles as Raven and Dalton flirt and lust for each other.  This second book in the Billionaire Builders series is about the youngest, Pierce Construction brother Dalton and Raven the local owner of “My Place” bar and restaurant. Together they have off the chart chemistry which Dalton wants to pursue and which Raven has all kinds of reasons to avoid not the least of which is the fact that Dalton’s mother and Raven’s father died running away together ten years prior. But it seems Dalton is unaware of their connection and Raven can’t bring herself to tell him.

This is a yummy, page turning, super sizzling read. Dalton is absolutely a wonderful hero. Raven and Dalton have so much in common that we really pull for their happily-ever-after.  My only negative is that the description of Raven’s looks was more like a description of Disney’s Malevolent, hardly flattering, at least in my opinion.

“…Her eyes slanted up at the sides like a cat’s; they were the color of soot with a tinge of smoke grey around the rims.  Her face was long and lean, with a sharp chin and nose and heavy brows.  Her lower lip plumped out; her upper one was defined.  She was wicked tall, with small breasts, long arms and legs, and narrow hips…”

This is a standalone read with side characters that were presented in the first book of this series. It is not necessary to have read that book to enjoy this one.

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D.B. Reynolds’ Lucifer Releases Tomorrow, Sale on Raphael and Jabril Today

To celebrate LUCIFER’s release , tomorrow, Nov. 18, 2016, JABRIL (Book Two, Vampires in America) is ON SALE, e-book is only $0.99 from November 16th to November 30th. RAPHAEL is always on sale ($2.51), so this is a great time to pick up BOTH of the opening books of Cyn & Raphael’s love story, and the Vampires in America series.

luciferPreorder available, release on Nov. 18, 2016 (Deet’s rating: 4 stars, reviewed here on Nov. 9. Scroll down to read review.) Lucifer (Book #11, Vampires In America)- Lucifer Scuderi is a vampire handsome and charismatic, a powerful hunter of unusual skill—who arrives in Montreal to take on the most important hunt of his life. Someone has kidnapped the mate of Canada’s ruling vampire lord, and it’s up to Lucifer to find him before his death sets off a crisis that could engulf the entire continent. Eleanor Morel lost everything—including the love of her life—when she became a vampire. But now, twenty years later, she’s a trusted bodyguard to the Canadian lord, Sophia, and the only person Sophia can count on to lead the search for her endangered mate. But what Eleanor doesn’t know is that the special hunter she’ll be working with is none other than her long-lost love. And he’s demanding answers.

raphaelRAPHAEL (Book #1, Vampires In America)- Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he’d give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it’s too late. Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough, and sexy—a private investigator and former cop who’s tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn’s happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself.(Deet’s rating: 5 stars)

jabrilJabril (Book #2, Vampires In America)Jabril is the face of evil in the new world, a vampire who values no life but his own, who enslaves those he desires, steals whatever he covets, and destroys anyone who stands in his way. Running from L.A. and its seductive Vampire Lord, Raphael, Cyn sees the Houston job as a welcome refuge, a place to get away and heal her broken heart. But Texas will be no vacation. Cyn will confront a true enemy in Jabril, one who will go to any lengths to satisfy his lusts, enrich his coffers, and expand his power. Fighting for the lives of two young sisters, Cyn’s journey will take her through the streets of Houston and back to L.A., where the human police are determined to bring Raphael down for the murder of one of their own. But the danger doesn’t end there. Jabril has set his sights on Cyn, and he will stop at nothing to have her. (Deet’s rating: 5 stars)

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Review- Learning To ride by Erin Knightley

learning-to-ride

Title: Learning To Ride

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Western

Author: Erin Knightley

Publisher: BookShots, July 2016

Source: Free for review from the Amazon vine Program

Pages: 144

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

She never wanted to love a cowboy. . . . Rodeo king Tanner Callen doesn’t want to be tied down. When he sees Madeline Harper at a local honky-tonk and everything about her screams New York, he brings out every trick in his playbook to take her home. But soon he learns that he doesn’t just want her for a night and, instead, hopes for forever. . . .

**

This is a fun, fast read. The emotional/sensual tension is off the charts. Tanner is a retired rodeo champion helping his grandparents on their ranch. Madeline is a high powered executive in the Texas town to help in the acquisition of a local company. They meet in the local honky-tonk bar and sparks fly and they fall in lust. This is not exactly a new storyline but it is one with so much emotion that you will flip pages and breathe heavy. It is short so you can finish in an evening during this busy time of year. I’m now going to read Erin Knightly’s backlist.

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Advance Review- Lucifer by D.B. Reynolds

lucifer

Title: Lucifer (Vampires In America: The Vampire wars, book11)

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Suspense

Author: D.B. Reynolds

Publisher: ImaJinn, Nov. 18, 2016 (preorder available)

Source: Free For review from the publisher

Pages: 303

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating: 5+

Description from Amazon.com:

Montreal, Quebec . . . A charming city on the St. Lawrence River, historic, sophisticated, but beneath it all lies an extensive underground where treacherous vampires are plotting to seize the country. Lucifer Scuderi is a vampire—handsome and charismatic, a powerful hunter of unusual skill—who arrives in Montreal to take on the most important hunt of his life. Someone has kidnapped the mate of Canada’s ruling vampire lord, and it’s up to Lucifer to find him before his death sets off a crisis that could engulf the entire continent. Eleanor Morel lost everything—including the love of her life—when she became a vampire. But now, twenty years later, she’s a trusted bodyguard to the Canadian lord, Sophia, and the only person Sophia can count on to lead the search for her endangered mate. But what Eleanor doesn’t know is that the special hunter she’ll be working with is none other than her long-lost love. And he’s demanding answers. Lucifer’s love for Eleanor burns as hot as his anger towards her for leaving him. But they’ll have to find a way to set history aside and work together if they’re going to unravel the twisted betrayal that threatens not only Sophia and her mate, but the whole continent. Because the European vampires are on the move. And if Canada falls, the rest of North America could follow . . .

(D. B. Reynolds is the RT and EPIC Award-Winning author of the Vampires in America series of paranormal romance and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. She lives with her husband of many years in a flammable canyon near Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. Visit her blog at dbreynolds.com for details on all of her books, for free stories, and more.)

**

I’m always wondering how to classify the genre of the Vampires In America Series.  Yes, it is Paranormal Romance but it is also Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance.  It is romance in that the focus is always on the romantic involvement of the main characters but the running side story is all about vampire politics which is often violent and conniving.  In this installment we are treated to the most romantic of all of Reynolds’ vampires.  Lucifer Scuderi loved Eleanor before she was made a vampire and lost her twenty years ago. Now he finds her again as his aide in recovering the kidnapped Colin and he has no intentions of losing her again. Eleanor is still besotted with Lucifer but thinks that their relationship is doomed because she thinks two vampires cannot find happiness together. Together they make a formidable team in the search for Colin.

This series is still going strong after eleven books which is to the credit of terrific writing and an author not afraid to change things up. Always, Ms. Reynolds’ heroines are feisty and quite able to take care of themselves in this violent world. Eleanor is a vampire to be reckoned with. Humans, those not a love interest of the protagonists, are relegated to bit-part players, usually as daytime trusted guards of the vampires. I would like to see humans playing a more pivotal role in the series. There is a lot of sex in this book. A lot! I personally would have liked less because the story did not need this amount to carry the plot or theme. I even found myself skipping some sex scenes, which is far beyond what I usually do, so I could get back to the meat of the story. The action scenes are truly well choreographed and leave us biting our nails to wait for the end of the confrontation.  The suspense is riveting.

This is a superb addition to a superb series.  Yes, this is a standalone book but you would do well to enjoy the entire series starting with book #1 RAPHAEL. You can type in my search box Vampires In America to find my reviews for all of the books in the series.

 

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Recent Release Review- Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz

her-naughty-holiday

Title: Her Naughty Holiday (Men At Work)

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holiday

Author: Tiffany Reiz

Publisher: Harlequin, Oct. 18 2016 (Kindle-Nov. 1, 2016)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 234

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

A feast she wasn’t expecting! 

Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over “Clover’s Bad Life Choices.” This year, she needs to distract them all—with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind.

Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn’t expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade…or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal. If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them something to be really thankful for!

**

If you are like me then you really like a book full of funny bantering dialog.  This book fills the bill.  Clover is a hard working business owner whose personal life is really non-existent. Erick is raising a teenage daughter by himself and has not dated in a very long time.  These two have been acquainted for a year before Clover offers her invitation to be her fake boyfriend.  With Erick’s daughter visiting her mother for the Thanksgiving holiday he agrees.  But each of these play actors are harboring a true interest in the other.  From here it is just a matter of time(minutes) before fake becomes real.

Tiffany Reiz is a new-to-me author.  I just read her book THE HEADMASTER and loved it and I wanted to read more of this very accomplished author.  This book will put a smile on your face and it is truly sizzling with sexy times. You will be happy for Clover since she found a really terrific guy.

The holiday here is Thanksgiving and I highly recommend this book to all romance novel fans.

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