Tag Archives: 2-stars

Advance Review- The Pisces by Melissa Broder

The Pisces

Title: The Pisces
Genre: General Literature/Fantasy
Author: Melissa Broder
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: Hogarth, May 1, 2018
Pages: 288
Rating: 2
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 4
Description from Amazon:

Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety — not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection.

Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.

“Obsessive love”? I think it was more like obsessive lust. Okay, maybe some love but for the most part this is the story of a woman who went off the rails and searched for love in all the wrong places. The worst place was the ocean. That’s where she met the merman, Theo, whose siren call (his charm and attention to her) she could not resist.

I did not like this book and I think the reason is that I didn’t like any of the women and I did like Theo and he disappointed me. Besides, this is a very depressing book. I’m on a personal campaign to read books that are uplifting and the blurb led me to believe this would be one of those. Unfortunately it isn’t. The author is accomplished at turning a phrase but what comes across is someone who is very unhappy. This is just another man-bashing tirade. Not once did I find anything “hilarious”.


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Filed under Book review, Books, Fantasy, General Fiction & Literature

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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Filed under Audio books, Book review, Contemporary Romance

Recent Release Review- Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet


Title: Breath of fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles, book /32)

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Author: Amanda Bouchet

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Jan. 3, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 448

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:


“Cat” Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat’s tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what’s a warrior queen to do when she knows it’s her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world—for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin risk sacrificing everything they’ve fought for. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom…or die trying.

The Kingmaker Chronicles: A Promise of Fire (Book 1) Breath of Fire (Book 2) Heart on Fire (Book 3, coming Fall 2017)


I could not wrap my mind around the disjointed way this book was written.  It starts off with Griffin trashing his bedroom with Cat there and stalking off.  Then she leaves to heal her broken heart in another room.  He comes back and says she got it all wrong.  I don’t think so. From there we go on one action packed adventure scene to the next full of violence and thrills. But it felt like just scenes linked together.  Certainly scenes that were interesting but really didn’t feel like a cohesive story. I kept setting this book aside because it just wasn’t holding my interest.  It took me forever to finish.

This book got a rating of 3 from me because if you are really into the Greek myths and like Game of Thrones then this book is “okay”.  But for me personally it rated a 2 “disappointing”.


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Recent Release Review-The Untouchable Earl by Amy Sandas


Title: The Untouchable Earl (Fallen Ladies, book #2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Amy Sandas

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Nov. 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 416

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon.com:

He’s a reclusive Earl with a painful secret that’s kept him from knowing a lover’s touch. She’s a sheltered debutante tired of living by society’s rules. But when she’s forced from the ballroom to the brothel, Lily discovers the dark thrill of falling from grace…and into the arms of a man who could destroy her as easily as he saved her.

Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing the respectable debutante. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who fills her with breathless terror and impossible yearning.

Though the Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret—one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arm’s length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to heal his troubled heart.

“Are you afraid?” “Yes,” she replied in a soft voice. “But I love the way you frighten me.”


That description sounds intriguing, right? Well, I thought so, that’s why after reading book #1 (Luck Is No Lady) in this series and giving it 4 stars I thought this one would be just as good if not better.  I was wrong.  Although it has a terrific premise the execution was downright repetitive. The book starts out good, but then it becomes the same scene done a slightly different way over and over.  I didn’t like the characters and although they “talked” attraction, I never got the feeling that there was very much emotional attachment. Yes, he saved her, yes, he stares into her eyes forever and she his, yes, he acts mysterious…wait, that’s not mysterious, that’s just boredom.

Okay, you get it, this one I can’t recommend.  




Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance

Review- The Opposite of Wild by Kylie Gilmore

Title: The Opposite of Wild (Clover Park Series, book #1)

The Opposite of Wild

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kylie Gilmore

Publisher: Extra Fancy books, Jan. 2014

Source: purchase

Pages: 266

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Ex-cop Ryan O’Hare takes one look at buttoned-up control freak Liz Garner and just itches to loosen the woman up. Not that he’s into her. Because a woman like that comes with way too many expectations. Not to mention, she practically works for him, and he didn’t hire Liz to watch after his beloved Harley-stealing Gran so he could turn Liz loose in his bed. Still, there’s something about her, a hidden wild side, that makes him wonder what it would take. Liz must be crazy to work for the insensitive, arrogant, horribly…hot man she’s avoided for years. Unfortunately, she needs the money and Ryan’s grandmother needs a keeper. (Midnight tango lessons and ziplines with Gran, anyone?) Ryan’s rare smile and swaggering confidence have Liz torn between throwing her favorite pinot grigio at his head or throwing herself at him. Can this control freak find a way to let loose with the tough, no-strings guy who once broke her heart?


First let me say the writing was good here.  But…Liz was really over the top annoying and I really don’t know what kept me into this book.  I did like the feisty granny although she was a bit dramatic also. Ryan must have really been hard up to keep trying to date the wacky Liz. Daisy did the right thing running away to Arizona. This definitely was not my cup of tea.


AUTHOR’S NOTE: Each book in the Clover Park Series can be read as a stand-alone novel, or for more fun read them in order. Characters you’ve loved from past books frequently pop up in other books. The Clover Park Series Book 1: The Opposite of Wild Book 2: Daisy Does It All Book 3: Bad Taste in Men Book 4: Kissing Santa (a Novella) Book 5: Restless Harmony Book 6: Not My Romeo Book 7: Rev Me Up Book 8: An Ambitious Engagement Book 9: Clutch Player


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Recent Release Review-Never Resist A Rake by Mia Marlowe

Title: Never Resist A Rake (Somerfield Park, book #2)

Never Resist A Rake

Genre: Historical Romance, Regency

Author: Mia Marlowe

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, June 2, 2015

Pages: 384

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Can he fool his new family? John Fitzhugh Barrett, surprised to learn he is heir to a marquessate, is determined his new status won’t mean giving up his freedom. But as families from all over England descend upon Somerfield Park for the shooting season, their unmarried daughters are lining up to bag the newest trophy buck-him.

Or is he only fooling himself? John’s instinct for self-preservation inspires him to divide his attentions between a scandalous young widow, and the safely ineligible Rebecca Kearsey, daughter of a destitute baron.

The charade gives John the illusion of controlling the game but when he loses his heart to the beautiful Rebecca, all bets are off.


I cannot tell a lie! I really liked the first book in this series. I found it near impossible to finish this one. Not a bit of it felt like the regency era except maybe the carriage rides. The heroine was supposed to be a proper young lady but continually delved into compromising situations. She was to instruct the hero in properly comporting himself when she continued to be improper. Although I can look away when there are some discrepancies in the manners of the time period, there were so many that they ruined the story for me.



Filed under Book review, Books, Books Historical Romance, Historical Romance

Recent Release Review + Giveaway- When A Rake Falls by Sally Orr

Title: When a Rake Falls (The Rakes Handbook, book #2)

When a Rake Falls

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Sally Orr

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, April 7, 2015

Source: Free for Review from the publisher

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: ? some kissing

Description from Amazon.com:

He’s racing to win back his reputation Having hired a balloon to get him to Paris in a daring race, Lord Boyce Parker is simultaneously exhilarated and unnerved by the wonders and dangers of flight, and most of all by the beautiful, stubborn, intelligent lady operating the balloon.

She’s curious about the science of love Eve Mountfloy is in the process of conducting weather experiments when she finds herself spirited away to France by a notorious rake. She’s only slightly dismayed-the rake seems to respect her work-but she is frequently distracted by his windblown physical magnificence and buoyant spirits.

What happens when they descend from the clouds? As risky as aeronautics may be, once their feet touch the ground, Eve and Boyce learn the real danger of a very different type of falling…


This is the second book in The Rakes Handbook series.  I enjoyed book one, the first written by this author.  However this book really did not set well with me at all.  The hero was silly beyond my endurance.  He broke into song if he was happy and even if it was an inappropriate time.  The writing was choppy with the sort of writing that involved he-did this-then-they-did-that-then-she-did-this. I felt the author was trying for humor but it was silly instead of funny.  I gave this book a good try to the 70% mark on my Kindle and then just gave up.

I’m not recommending this book but if you want to read the first book there is a rafflecopter giveaway for that one.



Filed under Book review, Chick Lit, Historical Romance

Recent Release Review- Just In Time For A Highlander by Gwyn Cready

Title: Just in Time for a Highlander (Sirens of The Scottish Borderlands, book#1)

just in Time

Genre: Historical Romance/Time Travel

Author: Gwyn Cready

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Feb. 3, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

For Duncan MacHarg, things just got real… Battle reenactor and financier Duncan MacHarg thinks he has it made-until he lands in the middle of a real Clan Kerr battle and comes face to face with their beautiful, spirited leader. Out of time and out of place, Duncan must use every skill he can muster to earn his position among the clansmen and in the heart of the devastatingly intriguing woman to whom he must pledge his oath.

Abby needs a hero and she needs him now When Abigail Ailich Kerr sees a handsome, mysterious stranger materialize in the midst of her clan’s skirmish with the English, she’s stunned to discover he’s the strong arm she’s been praying for. Instead of a tested fighter, the fierce young chieftess has been given a man with no measurable battle skills and a damnably distracting smile. And the only way to get rid of him is to turn him into a Scots warrior herself-one demanding and intimate lesson at a time.

**In this time-travel historical romance it is Duncan who is plucked from the 21st century and deposited in 1706 Scotland in the midst of a skirmish between the Scots and the English. There is an immediate attraction between him and the Scottish clan Chieftess, Abby. Abby is told by her friend and confidant, Undine, that Duncan’s presence is the result of the magic Undine has performed and he is there to help Abby by being her “strong arm”.

I was immediately put-off by the opening scene with a modern day historical reenactment battle being performed in the midst of a city or town’s streets. These are usually held in wide open, park like settings not city streets. People walking around carrying their Macy shopping bags would not be part of the historical scene.

There is plenty of action and sexual tension. The scenes are vivid and the side characters are more developed than the protagonists. I never got on board with the manipulations that Abby was fond of. They were always termed jokes but at Duncan’s expense and they were not funny just humiliating for him. The enemy English Colonel seemed smarter than both Abby and Duncan, which made them look foolish.

Too get involved in a book I have to either like or understand the characters. That did not happen for me in this novel.

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Filed under Book review, Books, Historical Romance, Time Travel Novel

Review-The Look of Love by Bella Andre

Title: The Look of Love (The Sullivans, book #1)

The Look of Love

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Bella Andre

Publisher: Harlequin Mira, 2013

Source: Free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he? As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is–until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love–and protect–her, but will she let him? Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her–and every sinfully sweet caress–as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.


I had heard so many good things about Bella Andre that I thought it was about time I read a book from The Sullivans Series since they must be good because she was up to writing book #13. Starting with book #1 seemed like a very good idea. I’m sorry to say it was not an enjoyable idea. I never really connected with these characters. They were so superficial, plastic, a caricature of real people. All were movie star gorgeous and wealthy. The two main characters’ actions seemed odd in that Chloe was traumatized by an abusive relationship and she had just had a car accident so why was she even thinking of hooking up with this stranger (Chase). The plot was thin and only seemed to connect the overwhelming amount of sex scenes. I read this entire book and I can never get back those hours.


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Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance

Recent Release Review- Hello From The Gillespies by Monica McInerney

Title: Hello From The Gillespies

Hello from the Gillespies

Genre: General Fiction

Author: Monica McInerney

Publisher: Penquin/Berkley, Nov 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself she tells the truth…. The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.

Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when Angela is taken away from them in a most unexpected manner, the Gillespies pull together and pull themselves together in wonderfully surprising ways.



Perhaps if I could have liked one of these main characters I would have liked the book more than I did. I never felt a connection to any of the Gillespies. Angela, the mother, was trying to cope with a demanding family and an inattentive husband. She doesn’t do the obvious and do some demanding of her own she just plods along. Nick, the husband, is a real loser. I mean he nearly loses the family estate. And to cope he has a Skype, non-affair with a genealogist in Ireland instead of working out the problems with his wife. The twins Genevieve and Victoria are making huge personal mistakes that both should have known better about at their age of 33. Lindy is 30 and acts like a 15 year old and Ig the 10 yearold is the most mature of the entire family. Joan the friend of Angela is also the only adult who seems to have her head on straight. With this family making so many stupid mistakes all the time, I was about ready to toss in the reading. In the end I didn’t care if any of them had a happily ever after I was just ready to be done with the book.

Amnesia? Really? Pages and pages and pages of will she come out of it or not. Actually total pages of over 600 count and way too many. Hand embroidered pillow making as a career move? Really? Bringing the crotchety old Aunt, who has nothing good to say about Angela, to stay with Angela while Nick is out of the country. Really?

I wish I could say there was something that I truly liked about this book and the only thing that comes to mind is Ig. He was always a welcome relief from the rest of his family.


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Filed under Book review, Books, General Fiction & Literature, Kindle