Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

Review- In Bed With The Beast by Tara Sivec

In Bed With the Beast

Title: In Bed With The Beast (Naughty Princess Club, book#2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tara Sivec
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, June 5, 2018
Pages: 239
Rating: 3.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

tale as old as time: she needs a place to stay, he’s a grump with a secret and an extra room…can love find a way?
Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.
Living in her overprotective dad’s basement, shy Belle lives her life through books. Being a part of the Naughty Princess Club is the first adventure she’s ever had, plus she desperately needs the money to save one of her favorite places – the local library.
But when her new friends and new business gets her kicked out of her dad’s house, Belle is rescued by the surly Vincent “Beast” Adams who invites her to be his house guest until she gets back on her feet. Despite his attitude problem and long list of rules, Belle finds herself warming to the muscled man with a penchant for growling and starts seeing a gentle side to him that wasn’t there before.
Yet there’s a room that Beast keeps locked and Belle keeps getting hints that Beast is hiding something…can a nerdy librarian tame the beast or will their romance be over before it has a chance to blossom?

**
This book just missed the mark for me. I did like Belle and all her nerdy, little trivia. Vincent (Beast) was a bit difficult to figure out but Belle was initially attracted because he is a handsome hunk. He does evolve into someone with whom Belle can relate. Why this intelligent librarian wants to save her library by becoming a stripper was a bit too over the top for me. Couldn’t she have pursued fundraisers or even a more acceptable job? That her overprotective father just accepted and attended her first stripper show was too much to believe. The writing is good; Ms. Sivec can turn a phrase and give us some funny witty scenes. I give it a 3.5–star rating. It was a bit better than “okay” but I really think this one wasn’t in my wheelhouse.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

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Recent Release Review- I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting

I Flipping love you

Title: I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up Series, book #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, May 29, 2018
Pages: 320
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:
From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting comes I Flipping Love You, a love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready.
Rian Sutter doesn’t usually get hit on in the grocery store, but when she notices a sexy man in a suit checking her out, she thinks maybe it’s her lucky day. Either that or the suit has a thing for sweaty, yoga-pant wearing women with excellent price matching skills.
Turns out it’s neither.
Pierce Whitfield can’t believe his luck when he’s able to track down the woman who scratched up the paint job on his car at the scene of the crime. But when he confronts the hit and run hottie, he discovers there’s not just one, but two of them, and he’s been throwing accusations at the wrong twin.
As repair costs are negotiated, and the chemistry between them flares, Rian and Pierce find out they have more than mutual attraction in common. They’re both vying for the same pieces of prime real estate in The Hamptons and neither one plans to give up without a fight.
Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance—without burning down the house?

**
The answer to that last question is absolutely “No”. Another sexy, smoldering book from the talented Helena Hunting. Rian Sutter and her twin sister, Marley, are real-estate agents looking to flip some beachfront property so they can earn enough to purchase the ramshackle Mission Mansion and turn it into a B&B. But coincidentally, Pierce and his brother Lawson are also doing the same beachfront flipping in the same area as the Sutter sisters. I really enjoyed the back and forth of these two lovers. They had many tiffs but still couldn’t keep their hands off each other with Rian always afraid Pierce would find out the family secret.

Totally a standalone book in the series with cameos by previous characters.

This is a perfect beach read. Not much angst but loads of steam and humor.

 

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Advance Review- Matchmaking For Beginners: A Novel by Maddie Dawson

Matchmaking for beginners

Title: Matchmaking For Beginners: a novel
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Author: Maddie Dawson
Source: Free from “Amazon First Reads” for Prime members, otherwise $4.99 on Kindle
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing, June 1, 2018
Pages: 378
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5 (behind closed doors)
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Marnie MacGraw wants an ordinary life—a husband, kids, and a minivan in the suburbs. Now that she’s marrying the man of her dreams, she’s sure this is the life she’ll get. Then Marnie meets Blix Holliday, her fiancé’s irascible matchmaking great-aunt who’s dying, and everything changes—just as Blix told her it would.
When her marriage ends after two miserable weeks, Marnie is understandably shocked. She’s even more astonished to find that she’s inherited Blix’s Brooklyn brownstone along with all of Blix’s unfinished “projects”: the heartbroken, oddball friends and neighbors running from happiness. Marnie doesn’t believe she’s anything special, but Blix somehow knew she was the perfect person to follow in her matchmaker footsteps.
And Blix was also right about some things Marnie must learn the hard way: love is hard to recognize, and the ones who push love away often are the ones who need it most.

**
There is a bit of magic in the way Blix and Marnie can see auras and “sparkles” that lets them know what couples belong together and those that should get out of the relationship. Maneuvering those that should be together has been elderly Blix’s life work and now that she is at the end of her life she wants to pass on her “projects” to the only person she has ever met who is qualified for the task, Marnie. Reluctant Marnie finds that she is manipulated into a life that she didn’t expect.

Oh my! This is a gem of a book and an absolute delight to read. I was smiling most of the way through, unable to put it down and so sorry to see it end. If you are an Amazon Prime member you can read this book for free now. If you are not a Prime member, at $4.99 it is still a steal but you will have to wait for its release on June 1st. Don’t wait! Go ahead and preorder if you must, I’m guaranteeing one of your best reads of 2018.

 

 

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Release Day Review- Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Love and Other Words

Title: Love And Other Words
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Christina Lauren
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Gallery Books, April 10, 2018
Pages: 432
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Love, loss, friendship, and the betrayals of the past all collide in this first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

The story of the heart can never be unwritten.

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco devouring books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

**
This novel keeps you turning pages to discover what the life altering break-up was all about. These two, Macy and Elliot, are so made for each other that we can’t imagine them coming apart. But come apart they do and they separate for eleven years.

Delve into the minds and hearts of adolescents then teens and finally adults. It took them a long time to come together, needing to put past mistakes and misunderstandings to rest.

This book was somewhat depressing. There was little in the way of humor or light-heartedness. The two protagonists did little more than read together for most of their teen years. Macy did confide her feelings to Elliot and he was there for a shoulder to support her but she didn’t seem to return the favor. But then, Elliot didn’t seem to need support. There is a surprise that I didn’t see coming. It was an engrossing read and very well written.

 

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5-Star Review- Hot In Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long

Hot in Hellcat Canyon

Title: Hot in Hellcat Canyon ( A Hellcat Canyon Novel, Book #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Julie Anne Long
Source: Purchase, currently $1.99 for Kindle at Amazon
Publisher: Avon, 2016
Pages: 387
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

A broken truck, a broken career, and a breakup heard around the world land superstar John Tennessee McCord in Hellcat Canyon. Legend has it that hearts come in two colors there: gold or black. And that you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s love . . . or trouble. JT may have found both in waitress Britt Langley.
His looks might cause whiplash and weak knees, but Britt sees past JT’s rough edge and sexy drawl to a person a lot like her: in need of the kind of comfort best given hot and quick, with clothes off and the lights out.
Her wit is sharp but her eyes and heart—not to mention the rest of her—are soft, and JT is falling hard. But Britt has a secret as dark as the hills, and JT’s past is poised to invade their present. It’s up to the people of Hellcat Canyon to help make sure their future includes a happily ever after .
**
This book has everything I want in a Contemporary Romance; witty banter, realistic dialog, superbly nuanced characters, laugh out loud moments and sizzling sexual tension. The H/h are so well drawn that they become real people who we get to know and care about. If you have ever lived in a small town then the Misty Cat Cavern restaurant, where side character, Glenn, makes the best burgers, will be immediately recognizable. Shy Glory and Sheriff Eli will have their romance in the next book in the series. There is some stubbornness by Britt that tears apart J.T.’s heart and threatens their romance. I guarantee you will fall in love with this book and probably J.T. will be your forever book boyfriend.
This is not a recent book but it has been recently on sale at Amazon, the next two in the series are also on sale. I am a huge fan of this author’s Historical Romance, Pennyroyal Green Series and was reluctant to jump ship into this Contemporary Romance genre but now I’m hooked on this Hellcat Canyon Series and cannot wait to read the rest of the books. Lucky for us, there are 3 books already published with another coming very soon. These prices may not last long.
The Hellcat Canyon Series:
1. Hot In Hellcat Canyon (right now $1.99, Kindle)
2. Wild At Whiskey Creek ($1.99)
3. Dirty Dancing At Devil’s Leap ($2.99)
4. The First Time At Firelight Falls (preorder,$6.99)

 

 

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Audiobook Review- The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

The Matchmaker's Playbook

Title: The Matchmaker’s Playbook
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Narration: Jeremy York (rating-4)
Source: Audible purchase
Publisher: Skyscape, Apr. 2016
Pages: 306
Rating: 2
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.
After a career-ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word-of-mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.
From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule…

**
This book has over 750 reviews on Amazon and 63% of them are 5 stars. This disturbs me because I wonder where I missed the whole “wonderful” of this book. As I see it this is a book about a dirtbag (Ian) and his sidekick dirtbag (Lex) running a matchmaking service between quickies. Ah, but the quickies are only with “stupid” girls, the matchmaking service is for the “sad” girls. There is a girl who is a long time friend to the hero but cooks for him and his sidekick (Lex). She and Lex have a violent relationship with frequent verbal altercations. You gotta know that this will be the romance in the next book. Now as to Blake, the girl who Ian falls in love with, well she would have been better off running for the hills.

Yes, I did finish listening to this entire book. Why? It was like a car accident along the highway where you can’t help but look and rubberneck. I kept longing for some kind of redemption for these poor excuses for men.

Since I am an Amazon Prime member I got to borrow this book for my Kindle with an option to get the audiobook for $1.99. I listened and did not read. The narration, by Jeremy York was well done especially considering the material he was working with.

 

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Advance Review- Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Still Me

Title: Still Me: A Novel
Genre: General Fiction
Author: Jojo Moyes
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books, Jan. 30, 2018
Pages: 400
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 4
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She is thrown into the world of the superrich Gopniks: Leonard and his much younger second wife, Agnes, and a never-ending array of household staff and hangers-on. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her job and New York life within this privileged world.

Before she knows what’s happening, Lou is mixing in New York high society, where she meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. In Still Me, as Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets–not all her own–that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

**

This is the third book in a series that started with Me Before You and then After You. Louisa is the heroine in all three books starting with her ill-fated romance with quadriplegic Will Treynor and then finding love with Sam the Ambulance man and in this book she throws herself into the NYC scene by taking a job as an assistant to a very wealthy NY socialite. She is finding it difficult to maintain her own identity when there are so many forces that seem to want her to reinvent herself. Through the ups and downs can her love affair with Sam survive?

Another page turner from Jojo Moyes. Louisa is every woman who has suffered tragedy and the determination to move forward. You will laugh and cry at the curves life throws at her but you will admire her fortitude. I highly recommend this standalone book but you will enjoy it more if you read the previous two books first.

 

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Heads Up- Audible limited time sale

Deal Audible

Go to http://audible.com  for a year’s worth of audio books on sale now and ending on the 28th of January.

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Filed under Audio books, Book review, Contemporary Romance, General Fiction & Literature, Gothic, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Best Books of 2017 in Romance Novels Compilied by Deet

I could not choose just ten “Best Books of 2017” so this is a very long list of fabulous reads of 2017. Most are Historical Romance/Regency but there are some other genres which I indicate. If you would like my reviews just plug in the title or author’s name in the search box to the left. (The book covers are at the bottom of the post, scroll down.)

Jan:
Between the Devil and the Duke by Kelly Bowen

The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

On Second Thought by Kristin Higgins (Contemporary Romance)

Feb:
If The Duke demands by Anna Harrington

Mar:
Bridgerton Series by Julia Quinn
Let me get this out of the way; I am in love with the Bridgerton Series. There, now you know so that is why I am totally biased about each of the books. Every time I read one I think “Oh, this is the best one.” And then I read another and think the same thing again. Start with the first and read through, even a re-read is so satisfying.

A Ladies Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran

May:
Shacking Up by Helena Hunting (Contemporary Romance)

Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane (Romantic Suspense)

June:
Say Yes to the Scot (Anthology) by Cornwall, Harrington, York, McGoldrick
This Anthology is really a cut above the usual in that every novella was a winner. I’m used to finding stories in anthologies that are good and not so good and in this one they are all better than good. They are excellent. There is beautiful romance, suspense and sexy times. This is one for the keeper shelf.

Kato by d.B. Reynolds (Paranormal Romance)

A Fallen Lady by Elizabeth Kingston

July:
The Red by Tiffany Reisz (Fantasy Erotic Romance)

The Importance of Being Scandalous by Kimberly Bell

Aug:
Traitor In Her Arms by Shana Galen

Dec:
Temptations of a Wallflower by Eva Leigh

His Mistletoe Wager by Virgina Heath

The Christmas Stranger (Novella) by Anna Campbell

Deadly Engagement by Lucinda Brant (Kindle and Audio)

 

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Release Day Review- Completely by Ruthie Knox

Completly

Title: Completely (The New York Trilogy, book #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Ruthie Knox
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Loveswept
Pages: e-book
Rating: 3
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

Everest. If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. Maybe even New York, where Ruthie Knox takes her charming rom-com style to new heights.

Beneath her whole “classic English beauty” appearance is an indomitable spirit that has turned Rosemary Chamberlain into something of a celebrity mountain climber. But after an Everest excursion takes a deadly turn, Rosemary is rescued by her quick-thinking guide, New York native Kal Beckett. Rosemary’s brush with death brings out a primal need to celebrate life—and inspires a night of steamy sex with the rather gorgeous man who saved her.

The son of a famous female climber with a scandalous past, Kal Beckett is still trying to find himself. In the Zen state of mind where Kal spends most of his time, anything can happen—like making love to a fascinating stranger and setting off across the world with her the next morning. But as their lives collide in the whirlwind of passion that is New York City, the real adventure is clearly just beginning. . . .

**
I’m a fan of Ruthie Knox and this series, but this offering is one I didn’t like as well as the others. Completely is more depressing than either book that went before. I didn’t really like Rosemary. I thought her selfish and self centered. Kal was a nice guy but really not hero material in the romance area. He seemed unfocused in his life and was in love with a woman who bounced from one focus to another. Of course this was well written and the characters drawn very well because Ruthie Knox is a terrific author. You will learn a lot about Sherpas in Nepal and New York City and some about Mt. Everest. I just never could get behind this romantic couple.

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