Tag Archives: Contemporary Romance

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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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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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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Leave The Night On

Title: Leave The Night On (Cottonbloom Series #4)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Laura Trentham
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martin‘s Press, Aug. 2017
Pages: 331
Rating: 4
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating:
Description from Amazon:
Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .
Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .
Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?
**
A most enjoyable contemporary romance. Right from the first pages we want Sutton and Wyatt to get together. Sutton’s former fiancé is a cad and we delight that she is getting rid of him. Sutton’s BFF is so double-crossing that we have trouble with Sutton wanting to forgive her. There are steamy moments and villainous doings.This is a well written page turner perfect for all contemporary romance fans. I do wonder about the title, still can’t figure how one leaves the night on.

 

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Review- Little White Lies by R.C.Matthews

Little White Lies

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Light

Author: RC Matthews

Source: Purchase for Kindle, $.99

Publisher: Crimson Romance, March 2014

Pages: 276

Rating: 3

Sexy rating: 5

Violence rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

When attorney Madalyn Russell dumps her fiancé at the altar, she temporarily escapes the scrutiny of her friends and family on her honeymoon cruise. Too bad she forgot she is assigned to dine at the “newlywed” table on the fully booked cruise. Goodbye exquisite cuisine, hello standard buffet fare. Nothing will tempt her to enter that lion’s den. Or so she thinks.

When the board of directors orders devilishly handsome Royce Spencer to seek rest alone on a cruise, he sets his sights on Madalyn and offers a deliciously indecent proposal to her dining room dilemma. He’ll pose as her husband in exchange for companionship during the cruise. Royce is a gifted liar with a great sense of humor that has everyone at the newlywed table laughing and no one suspecting the truth.

Is the opportunity to enjoy all the ship has to offer worth the little white lies they’ll have to tell? What is it about Royce that makes Madalyn want to engage in a fling at the age of thirty for the first time in her life and toss her tightly held beliefs overboard? The whirlwind love affair catches them both by surprise. Is it possible that in the midst of all the little white lies, they will each discover their soul mate? And when Royce is accused of white-collar crime with Madalyn as his key witness, will Madalyn finally learn that life is not always as black and white as it seems?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

**

If you want a light, humorous, sexy romance this is it.  But be prepared for some head scratching disbelief along the way.  It is rather predictable but that’s okay, once in awhile we can handle a book that we know where it is headed. If when you get to the end and the predictability becomes overwhelming then you should take my advice and read this only for the fun of what is transpiring on the page and set aside deep thoughts for some other reads.

 Yes the title is accurate for this book; there are lots of lies, some of them not so little. Royce seems adept at spinning yarns and Madelyn, when she’s not gasping with anxiety over those lies, goes along for the ride. They do have very hot compatibility in the stateroom, lots of chemistry between the H & h.

 

 

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Advance Review- Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

Shacking Up

Title: Shacking Up

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

Author: Helena Hunting

Publisher: Swerve, May 30, 2017(pre-order available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: N/A (Kindle)

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

***

You will turn pages and not put this book down until you can see how the author unravels the issues, the many issues that are hampering Bane & Ruby’s HEA. The sexual tension is off the charts but circumstances just keep ratcheting up the heat. Yes, this book kept me laughing and swooning all night long.  If you are a fan of movie romantic comedies, as I am, then I guarantee you will love this book.  The characters seemed like real people you might know.  We have Bancroft, Bane, who is a born protector/caregiver/caretaker/hot-as-hell former pro athlete and Ruby, an aspiring actress with a serious cash flow problem.  They meet in a rather awkward way but there is an instant attraction

This is my first reading of a book by Ms. Hunting and I am so impressed with her wit and character development.  This is going on my list of Best-of-2017. Terrific writing and dialog.

 

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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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