Tag Archives: Contemporary Romance

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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Releasing tomorrow- Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Love Lettering

Title: Love Lettering

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kate Clayborn

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Kensington, Dec. 31, 2019

Pages: 320

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:

Description from Amazon:

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing custom journals for her New York City clientele. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Knowing the upcoming marriage of Reid Sutherland and his polished fiancée was doomed to fail is one thing, but weaving a secret word of warning into their wedding program is another. Meg may have thought no one would spot it, but she hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other, both try to ignore a deepening connection between them. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .

**
Okay, I struggled a bit with this book. I had moments of confusion about all the walks to view lettering on signs. Yes, I got that it was to give Meg inspiration for her big corporate presentation and yes, she was attracted to Reid and this was a way to see him. But I wondered why Reid was always so secretive, and why wasn’t this a red flag for Meg? Well the answers to the former become evident but not the later. Yes, I kept turning pages to find out if these two very different people would actually get together. Reid’s long, long explanation was…well…too long. So now you think I didn’t like this book. You are wrong, I did like it I just have a few issues.

 

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Advance Review- Would Like To Meet by Rachel Winters

Would Like To Meet

Title: Would Like To Meet

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Rachel Winters

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Dec. 3, 2019

Pages: 368

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 3

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Can you fall in love like they do in the movies?

It’s Evie Summers’s job to find out. Because if she can’t convince her film agency’s biggest client, Ezra Chester, to write the romantic-comedy screenplay he owes producers, her career will be over. The catch? He thinks rom-coms are unrealistic–and he’ll only put pen to paper if Evie shows him that it’s possible to meet a man in real life the way it happens on the big screen.

Cynical Evie might not believe in happily ever after, but she’ll do what it takes to save the job that’s been her lifeline . . . even if it means reenacting iconic rom-com scenes in public. Spilling orange juice on a cute stranger? No problem. Leaving her number in books all over London to see who calls? Done. With a little help from her well-meaning friends–and Ben and Anette, the adorable father-daughter duo who keep witnessing her humiliations–Evie is determined to prove she can meet a man the way Sally met Harry. But can a workaholic who’s given up on love find a meet-cute of her very own?

**
This book is a breath of fresh Contemporary Romance air. An original plot that we all crave in the genre. If Evie seems to be a bit dense about what is going on with Ezra then we forgive her because her Rom-Con , meet cute, antics are so funny and adorable. She has the obligatory two girlfriends and one gay guy BFF’s (Bridget Jones Diary, anyone?) but they sort of fit with the theme. Ezra and Monty(her boss) are real creeps but Annette and her Dad save the day for all Evie’s mess-ups. If you love Rom-Con movies you will love this book. I bet yiou will love it even if you don’t like those movies.

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Review- Take It Off The Menu by Christina Hovland

Take It Off The Menu

Title: Take It Off The Menu: A Sizzling, Accidentally Married Rom Con!
(Mile High Matched, book#3)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Christina Hovland

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Amazon Digital, August, 2019

Pages: 296

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Saying “I Do” has never been such a mess.

Marlee Medford just got dumped. Yes, things have become ho-hum in her longtime relationship, but she was two days away from walking down the aisle with the man she thought was her forever when he called it off. Convincing herself that they’d be able to reignite their spark once the wedding craziness settled? That was easy. Suddenly finding herself without a fiancé? Not so much. Marlee needs to regain control of her life, and a weekend away with her friends is a solid first step.

One of Denver’s best up-and-coming chefs, perpetual bachelor Eli Howard, isn’t into serious relationships—especially the kind that ends in marriage. As if to prove his point that they aren’t worth the trouble, the wedding he was supposed to be catering just fell apart. Feeling oddly protective of the jilted bride—his little sister’s best friend—his weekend plans now involve a trip to Sin City with her group of friends. But it looks like he had a bit too much fun in Vegas when he wakes up married…wedding night included.

Marlee’s attempts at getting her life back together are failing miserably. Her ex-fiancé is taking the house, her chihuahua is intent on a love affair with Eli’s sneakers, and she’s now accidentally hitched to the guy who can’t even say the word marriage. With their quickie annulment denied, Eli and Marlee just have to hang tight until the divorce goes through. It’s just a little divorce amongst friends, what’s the worst that could happen?

Take It Off the Menu is book three of the Mile High Matched series, but stands alone and can be read in any order.

**
This is book three of the Mile High Matched Series. I haven’t read the first two but They are going on my TBR pile. Christina Hovland is a welcome find in the ever expanding Contemporary Romance genre. This was a rollicking ride from page one and when I got to the part with Babushka, it was even better. Yes, there is a stretch where Marlee is TSTL but she over comes and grows up. Eli is a commitment phobe but with good reasons. He also grows up. You won’t be able to put this book down. Fun Read!!

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Release Day Review- Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon

Title: Twice In A Blue Moon

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Christina Lauren

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Gallery books, Oct. 22, 2019

Pages: 368

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.
**
This book has the romance that I expect from this writing duo but it just missed the mark somehow. I missed the usual humor of the authors’ other books. It centers around a Hollywood father, Ian, and his estranged daughter, Tate. To keep Tate out of the spotlight her mother has kept her in a small town under an assumed name. This anonymity is shattered when her secret life is leaked by her boyfriend, Sam, while in London. Tate is devastated but goes on to become an actress. Not hearing from Sam until they meet on the set of her “big break” film ,that she is sharing with her father fourteen years later.

Why is he there? Will this affect her performance? Will her father finally be close to her? Should she even think about reconciling with Sam?

Those questions kept me turning pages. Christina Lauren can write fascinating characters set in interesting scenarios. But I still wasn’t satisfied with this book like I had been with previous books by these authors. Still not a bad book so I can recommend it to those who like Hollywood stories.

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Recent Release Review- Contracted As His Cinderella Bride

Contracted as his cinderella bride

Title: Contracted As His Cinderella Bride ( Conveniently Wed)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Heidi Rice

Source: Free for Review from the publisher

Publisher: Harlequin, July 16, 2019

Pages: 225

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

From penniless delivery girl…

To billionaire’s bride?

The perfect summer Ally Jones spent with gorgeous French billionaire Dominic LeGrand was unforgettable, despite her unrequited feelings. Now Ally’s a struggling courier and is stunned when her latest delivery brings her to Dominic’s door. Yet what’s even more shocking is his proposal! Dominic needs a temporary wife, but with the enticing promise of his expert seduction teasing Ally to her limits, can she really just play the role?

**
Heidi Rice is a new to me author and she delivers a very good read. Ally is trying to finish her fashion designing course and working as a courier. She is overwhelmed and tired when she finds herself at Dominic’s door. So when he offers her a marriage of convenience along with picking up her tuition and giving her a million pounds she finds it hard to refuse so she jumps all-in. But Heidi loved him once a long time ago and she finds herself falling again. The big question is will Dominic ever be able to love.

If you are looking for a well written, quick, escapist read then this might be in your wheelhouse. It didn’t quite push all the right buttons for me but I think that is just because my taste doesn’t run to these billionaire stories. I can recommend this one to CR readers who don’t have billionaire prejudices.

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Release Day Review- Badly Done, Emma Lee by Leah Marie Brown

Badly Done Emma Lee

Title: Badly Done, Emma Lee (Riches to Romance book #3)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Leah Marie Brown
Publisher: Lyrical Press, October 30, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 352
Rating: 4
Sexy Rating: 5-behind closed doors
Violence Rating: 0
Description from Amazon.com:
All seemed lost—until this Southern belle embraced a new beginning in the unlikeliest of places . . .

Spoiled, stylish, socially connected Emma Lee Maxwell has spent her life in the idlest of pursuits—attending debutante balls, organizing sorority mixers, and acting as Charleston’s unofficial Gossip Queen. But when her family’s fortune suddenly dwindles, Emma Lee realizes her days as a Lowcountry Princess are numbered.

When she discovers that she’s inherited her aunt’s cottage in the Cotswolds, she hightails it to England, nurturing fantasies of polo matches and jaunts to London. All that social organizing is going to come in handy—Emma Lee plans to take after her namesake and put her people-pleasing ways to good use by becoming the village’s very own matchmaker! And she’ll start with three local brothers . . .

There’s just one skeptical, handsome, charming challenge: the oldest brother, Knightley, is stubbornly insisting Emma Lee abandon her well-meaning ways and focus on making a match of her own—with
him . . .

**
This is a modern mash up of Jane Austen’s EMMA. It feels more like the movie CLUELESS, in that Emma Lee is very naïve, but intelligent and also very kind and generous. Emma Lee is certain that her matchmaking skills are a calling; after all she matched her BFF with her true love. She makes friends easily in her new home in England and immediately starts to plan matches for them. Knightly Nickerson is the son of Emma’s Aunt’s friend who picks her up at the airport and there is an immediate attraction that they both work to deny.
This is a fun easy read from an author who sustains Emma’s personality throughout the pages. This book follows the basic Austen story with all modern twists. I enjoyed this light escapist read. Well done, Leah Marie Brown.

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Advance Review- A Timeless Christmas by Alexis Stanton

A Timeless Christmas

Title: A Timeless Christmas
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Time Travel
Author: Alexis Stanton
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing, Oct. 23, 2018
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Pages: 296
Rating: N/A
Sexy Rating: N/A
Violence Rating: N/ A
Christmassy Feeling: 5
Description from Amazon.com:

They’re from two different centuries,
but they’re perfect for each other.

Megan Turner is in love with the past. As a tour guide at a beautiful historic mansion, she tells visitors about its original owner, Charles Whitley. An inventor and businessman in the early 1900s, he rose from poverty to wealth…only to disappear without a trace.
Charles was always intrigued by the future. He just never expected to go there. But when he repairs a mysterious clock he bought on his travels, he’s transported to the twenty-first century, with his home decorated for Christmas and overrun by strangers.
Charles is determined to find a way back to his own era, especially when he learns about what happened after he left. But as Megan introduces him to the wonders of smartphones, pizza, and modern holiday traditions, they both feel a once-in-a-lifetime connection. Could it be that, somewhere in time, they belong together?
This magical holiday romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Stuffed Crust Italian Pizza.

**
I think this would make a good Hallmark Christmas movie but I just could not get interested in reading it. The dialog was not well written and it felt amateurish to me. I only got halfway through it and could not finish. It is very full of Christmas spirit.

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Review- A Man of Character by Margaret Locke

A Man of Character

Title: A Man of Character: A Magical Romantic Comedy (book #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Fantasy
Author: Margaret Locke
Source: Purchase, Kindle $.99
Publisher: Locked On Love Publishing, May 2015
Pages: 336
Rating: 4.5
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 0
Description from Amazon:

What would you do if you discovered the men you were dating were fictional characters you’d created long ago?

Thirty-five-year-old Catherine Schreiber has shelved love for good. Keeping her ailing bookstore afloat takes all her time, and she’s perfectly fine with that. So when several men ask her out in short order, she’s not sure what to do … especially since something about them seems eerily familiar.

A startling revelation — that these men are fictional characters she’d created and forgotten years ago — forces Cat to reevaluate her world and the people in it. Because these characters are alive. Here. Now. And most definitely in the flesh.

Her best friend, Eliza, a romance novel junkie craving her own Happily Ever After, is thrilled by the possibilities. The power to create Mr. Perfect — who could pass that up? But can a relationship be real if it’s fiction? Caught between fantasy and reality, Cat must decide which — or whom — she wants more.

**
This one will keep you up turning pages into the wee hours. All of Cat Schreiber’s conjured boyfriends are swoon worthy but are they for real? Do they want Cat because THEY want her or because she has made them to want her? Then there is Ben, another swoon worthy man who Cat didn’t invent. Is he the ONE or is the One really another?

I really enjoyed all the men that Cat conjured from her stories of years past. I also liked her interaction with her best friend Eliza (Lizzie). The premise was delightful and the execution was good. My only complaint was that Cat should not have complained about her failing business when most days she was closing the bookstore to go have coffee at the café across the street. She and roommate Eliza seemed unable to make coffee or hot Chocolate for themselves.

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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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