Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

Review-All Night Long With A Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

Title: All Night Long With A Cowboy (Kittredge Ranch, book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Cowboy

Author: Caitlin Crewes

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s, August 24, 2021

Pages: 368

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

f you play with fire…

One of the most notorious cowboys in Cold River, Jensen Kittredge always has willing women with sweet smiles vying for a place in his bed. So when the prissy high school librarian sidles up to him in the most disreputable bar in town with a scowl on her face, he has no idea what to make of it. Much less the attraction he feels toward the bespectacled creature who wants something from him… but not that. Yet.

Someone gets burned…


Harriett Barnett doesn’t care for dens of iniquity— or the insolent cowboy she certainly shouldn’t find attractive. But one of her students needs her help, and if she needs to corral the infamous Jensen to save him, she will. Trouble is, the town’s favorite Kittredge brother is a lot more than she bargained for. Harriett’s happy little life is orderly and neat, just how she likes it—until Jensen blows it all apart with his particular brand of addictive passion. Can a modern-day schoolmarm really tame the wildest cowboy in town? Or is Harriet headed for a terrible fall?

**

Character development is top notch here even though it’s a cliche combination of uptight spinster and wild rogue. Harriett is a very mature, sensible woman who only wants Jensen’s help with a problem student. Although she finds him very attractive. Jensen is still carrying around guilt from a tragedy that happened years ago and is not ready to let it go, no matter how much little frumpy Harriett intrigue’s him.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I felt like I could step right into the town of Cold River and be one of the natives instantly. This is a town where everyone knows your name and all of your business. like it or not. Harriett had lived in the town for 3 years and was still not a part of the town. Not until she took up with Jensen and had everyone talking.

Well written and definitely a fun read. This is only one of a few books I have red in this genre and I must say it is certainly my favorite.

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Review-In The Unlikely Event by L.J. Shen

Title: In The Unlikely Event

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: L.J. Shen

Audio Narrators: Joe Arden, Shane East, Muffy Newton, Savannah Peachwood

Source: purchase

Publisher: L.J. Shen Nov. 18, 2021-print, Audible Studios-audiobook

Pages: 368-print, 11 hours 25 min-audiobook

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

A one-night stand born from vengeance in a foreign land.
An explosive chemistry neither of us could deny.
We signed a contract on the back of a Boar’s Head Pub napkin that said if we ever met again, we would drop everything and be together.
Eight years and thousands of miles later, he’s here.
In New York.
And he’s America’s music obsession.
The intangible Irish poet who brings record executives to their knees.
The blizzard in my perfect, unshaken snow globe.
Last time we spoke, he was a beggar with no intention of becoming a king.
But a king he became, and now I’m his servant.
I’m not the same broken princess Malachy Doherty put back together with his callused hands.
I have a career I love.
A boyfriend I adore.
An apartment, a roommate, a life.
I changed. He changed, too.
But Mal kept the napkin.
Question is, will I keep my word?

**

Mal and Rory, they fell in love at first sight. (sigh) Then the book lost me. Mal became an obnoxious lout and Rory became a doormat. I didn’t like either H or h. I kept on with the book thinking this accomplished author would miraculously redeem these two but the attempt fell flat for me. It got an “okay” rating from me because L.J. Shen can write some beautiful prose and she can plot a tale that kept me riveted to find out what would come next, so only 3-stars this time.

I did listen to the audiobook and found the multiple narrators did a fine job. However I’m starting to think that I prefer just one narrator. It takes me out of the book to change narrators back and forth.

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Audiobook Review- Just The Tip by LJ Shen and Helena Hunting

Just The Tip audio

It was supposed to be a temporary thing.

A gig in Paris while I tried to find my dad.

Then I met him. Ho.

The man.

The suit.

The professional escort…? I mean, he did go on two consecutive dates during one of my shifts – and I ended up being the third.

It was supposed to be a one-night stand, but it turned out to be forever.

Here was what I wasn’t ready for – Ho held more than just my destiny and my heart. He held the key to unravel the mystery of my dad, too.

**

This is a five star audiobook. It’s also short so you can listen to it in a day.

I loved this short (but not sweet) steamy?….. no it was scorching , audiobook. The narration was terrific. I am now a fan of Jason Clarke and that swoon worthy British accent. I will look for more from LJ Shen and Helena Hunting. If you want some fun, sexy, well written and performed entertainment then I highly recommend this audiobook.

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Audio Book Review- One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London

One To Watch

One to Watch

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Stayman-London
  • Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Audiobook
  •     

    4.5 out of 5 stars(23 ratings)

  • Overall

        

    4 out of 5 stars

  • Performance

        

    5 out of 5 stars

  • Story

        

    3 out of 5 stars

  • D. Salvagin, La Deetda Reads
  • 07-12-20

Like Behind the Scenes at The Bachelorette

This is the book for all the fans of the TV show The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. It follows our plus-size heroine through the trials and tribulations of being on a national TV show that just may exploit her or not. The bachelors that she gets to choose from are all flawed in one way or another but isn’t that just like real life? The author did a terrific job of taking me behind the scenes.

The naration by Kristen Sieh was spot-on. She did wonderful accents with all the various men. Especially the French accent of Luc.

The one thing that I didn’t like about the audio of the book was that there was quite a bit of texting between characters and I found that a bit difficult to listen to.

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Review- Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read

Title: Beach Read

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction

Author: Emily Henry

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Berkley, May 2020

Pages: 380

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

**
I am in the minority when it comes to liking this book. I felt it was just an exercise in Millennial melodrama and angst. The H/h were so immature it was difficult to understand how they were so successful in their respective genres. Their field trips were to expose the other to their genre, but there is nothing romantic about going to a carnival, riding rides and vomiting. There is nothing enlightening about going to a massacre sight and having sex. I kept shouting at this book “Just grow up.” Sorry but unless you can really relate to these characters I suggest you skip this one.

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Advance Review- Sex And Vanity by Kevin Kwan

Sex and Vanity

Title: Sex And Vanity

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kevin Kwan

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Doubleday, June 30, 2020

Pages: 336

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can’t stand him. She can’t stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can’t stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can’t stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin Charlotte. “Your mother is Chinese so it’s no surprise you’d be attracted to someone like him,” Charlotte teases. The daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton, where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, and ultimately herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world–and her heart. Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.

**
Supremely funny as Kevin Kwan skewers snobbish Blue bloods, the Neuvo Riche and billionaires everywhere. Lucie, George and their immediate families seem like the only characters who are not caricatures of the super wealthy, upper crust. How Lucie could have put up with the obnoxious Cecil for as long as she did is not really as surprising as one would think. Lucie has many issues with her duel WASP and Chinese background.

If you are looking for a snippy, sarcastic laugh out loud romp through the Upper Crust then this is it. I can highly recommend this book to all romance fans.

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Advance Review- Recipe For Persuasion by Sonali Dev

Recipe For Persuasion

Title: Recipe For Persuasion (The Raje’s book #2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Sonali Dev

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks, May 26, 2020

Pages: 448

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen?
Rico Silva, that’s what.
Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster.
FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn’t too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he’s definitely over her.
But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico.  Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…?
**
I enjoyed this take on a Food Network cooking show but was also a bit frustrated with how much cat and mouse went on between the protagonists. Ashna was an emotional mess and needed therapy, Rico seemed the most normal of all the characters. Ashna’s mother was tenacious and I think we were to admire her, although if she were my mother I (like Ashna) would have found her overbearing. Not being Indian, I found some of the references to Indian culture going over my head. I did like this book just not as much as Dev’s Bollywood Bride.

 

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Recent Release- The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

The Honey don't list

itle: The Honey Don’t List

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Christina Lauren

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Gallery Books, March 2020

Pages: 318

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

**
This is an okay read if you are big fans of these authors. I was a fan until I read this book. It is a really clumsy attempt to disguise a very famous, successful TV remodeling couple. And then to throw in a side romance between two people who don’t even seem attracted to each other. I read it all the way through and of course could not like Melly and Rusty Tripp, there was way too much of their childish antics. As for Carey and James-Jimbo-Jimbaliya I just didn’t get their attraction. These authors are really talented and this is not up to what they usually deliver. So if you are a big fan then go ahead and get this one but if you are not then maybe better wait for the next book.

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Recent Release- The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The two Lives of Lydia Bird

Title: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Contemporary Romance

Author: Josie Silver

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Ballentine, March 2020

Pages: 432

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants is to hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life—and perhaps even love—again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again through the doorway to her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.

**
This is a tearjerker. Be prepared with a full tissue box at your side. It is about grief and how it envelopes a life. Lydia is so distraught she cannot sleep. Her mother talks the doctor into giving Lydia a prescription for sleeping pills. Lydia takes the pink pill and finds herself asleep and waking in another dimension where Freddie is still alive and they are living their life together. But when she awakes from the sleep she is thrust back into the grief filled life without Freddie. This back and forth plays out over the next year. Lydia makes some independent strides and finds a way to live again. What didn’t ring true was Lydia’s job. She was away for months at a time and they still kept her on. Don’t we all want jobs like that.
I recommend this book only to those who won’t be pulled under by the sadness, it is a sad but eventually uplifting read.

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Recent Release Review- The Little Bookshop On The Seine by Rebecca Raisin

The Little Bookshop on the Seine

Title: The Little Bookshop On The Seine

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Rebecca Raisin

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: HQN Books, Jan. 7, 2020

Pages: 306

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating:4

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon:

When bookshop owner Sarah Smith is offered the opportunity for a job exchange with her Parisian friend Sophie, saying yes is a no-brainer—after all, what kind of romantic would turn down six months in Paris? Sarah is sure she’s in for the experience of a lifetime—days spent surrounded by literature in a gorgeous bookshop, and the chance to watch the snow fall on the Eiffel Tower. Plus, now she can meet up with her journalist boyfriend, Ridge, when his job takes him around the globe.

But her expectations cool faster than her café au lait soon after she lands in the City of Light—she’s a fish out of water in Paris. The customers are rude, her new coworkers suspicious and her relationship with Ridge has been reduced to a long-distance game of phone tag, leaving Sarah to wonder if he’ll ever put her first over his busy career. As Christmas approaches, Sarah is determined to get the shop—and her life—back in order…and make her dreams of a Parisian happily-ever-after come true.

**
Oh my goodness, is Sarah an immature teenager? No? Well that’s how she is written. On the other hand Ridge, the self-absorbed boyfriend is definitely portrayed true to himself. These characters are written like bad examples of Americans traveling in Europe. No longer the “Ugly American” now just the culturally obtuse American. I found it impossible to like Sarah and Ridge was not worth her time. The side characters were for the most part the bookshop employees. One was British, one American, one wealthy French. The rest of the part time workers were ignored except when they were busy trashing their boss, Sarah. She is in charge yet she lets everyone walk all over her. She has more of a workload than she can handle but does nothing to fix it. Ridge comes up with several explanations for his absence from her and although she questions their relationship she continually forgives the dirtbag. Sarah’s jaunts around Paris are designed to give the reader some atmospheric feels for the insiders Paris. But she keeps leaving the bookshop to wander alone or with a fellow employee which leaves me to wonder who is doing the work back at the shop?

I can’t recommend this book. It totally frustrated me. I did finish it but if it had been a paperback and not on my Kindle I would have thrown it across the room.

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