Review: Full Package

Review: Full PackageFull Package by Lauren Blakely
Series: Holiday/Hammer #6
Published by Lauren Blakely Books on January 9th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 300

FINAL DECISION:  Enjoyable, sweet and funny friends to lovers romance.  I really liked these characters as people and their concerns and fears about losing their friendship felt real and I liked that they had problems but were not stupid.  Made me smile and sigh.

STORY:  Chase and Josie have been friends for years.  Chase has also had a thing for Josie for years but refuses to act upon it because he doesn’t want to destroy their friendship.  When Chase is looking for an apartment and Josie is looking for a roommate, the two decide to share an apartment.  The close quarters bring the two together, but how do friends become lovers and still remain friends at the end?

OPINION:  I found this story very enjoyable. For me, it is central that the characters maintain my interest.  Chase is a doctor and a genuine good guy.  But not too good a guy!  A doctor, he likes to entertain Josie with funny cases that come to him. I liked his humor, his good nature and his real desire to keep a relationship with Josie.

Josie is a baker who concentrates on desserts. As the book begins, she is online dating — even though she has been burned before.  She is quirky and very physical and just adorable (especially to Chase).

I appreciated that Chase and Josie were not stupid in their problems with one another.  I felt their real desire to keep their friendship. Their deep feelings for one another send them astray as they fear trying for something more because they risk the friendship that they have.  Their genuineness and honest deep feelings for one another made me accept even when these characters needed to talk to one another.  Fear of losing one another makes them both afraid to confess their feelings.

This book is about these characters.  There is not real external plot.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The book has a number of Josie’s recipes included.  Not only are they actual recipes, but Blakely uses them in a creative way to further the storyline of the book.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  FULL PACKAGE is the sixth book in the series of books (unnamed by Blakely) that I’ve called the Holiday/Hammer series.  Each book can be read on its own, but there are connecting characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: Well Hung

Review: Well HungWell Hung by Lauren Blakely
Series: Holiday/Hammer #3
Published by Lauren Blakely Books on September 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 300

“The woman I want is the woman I married.  Just a few days ago I thought we shouldn’t be tied like this, that we should have a fresh start. But now that I’m certain of how I feel, I don’t want the two of us to end. I want us to keep going. The only problem is she desperately wants me to be her ex-husband by tomorrow at noon.”

FINAL DECISION:  Funny and light, this is a classic romantic comedy with a hero who doesn’t know what he wants, a heroine determined to give him what he says he wants, sexy public sex and two people for whom what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there.

THE STORY:  Wyatt Hammer has a problem.  He falls for women involved in his business and lives to regret it.  When he and his sexy and adorable assistant Natalie travel to Vegas, what starts as a great business opportunity goes south.  The two decide to have a classic Vegas evening with drinking, gambling and quickly becomes sexual escapades on a roller coaster, public sex and getting married by a bad Elvis impersonator.  When the two wake in the morning, they also have to get a quickie annulment.  As they return home to New York, Wyatt finds that he has a problem.  He can’t keep his hands off his soon to be ex-wife.

OPINION:  This book made me laugh out loud.  It was funny and sexy and crazy.  Wyatt and Natalie have quite a night in Vegas.  Anyone who has imagined what it would be like to throw all caution to the wind and live the Vegas promise of excess.  I loved the scenes in Vegas which might be one of my favorite oops wedding ever.

Wyatt is sweet and a bit silly after his bad experiences with women.  He makes some irrational decisions and lets his fears overcome him, and yet is is adorable.  One of my favorite part of Blakely’s heroes is that they are naughty talking (and doing) men and yet they have a deep emotional core that makes them good men.  Wyatt is a good guy at heart and he made me smile.

Natalie is a good match for Wyatt.  Adventurous like Wyatt, she is a stabilizing influence for Wyatt.  He likes that she takes care of him in various ways.  You also have to like a heroine who knows martial arts and tossing the hero easily!  She is determined to give Wyatt what he claims he wants even if she knows that they are good together.

This is a great book if you are looking for a funny read that keeps it light and amusing.  I liked the emotional connection with these characters but there is more humor than angst.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is almost completely from the hero’s point of view.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  WELL HUNG is the third book in the Holiday/Hammer series.  It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.


Review: Mister O

Review: Mister OMister O by Lauren Blakely
Series: Holiday/Hammer #2
Published by Lauren Blakely Books on May 2nd 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 306

“I’m like a superhero of pleasure, a good-deed doer, the once-upon-a-shy-guy-now-a-stud, and my mission is to dispense as many climaxes to my lovers as possible.”

FINAL DECISION:  A funny contemporary romance, this is a friends to lovers story where these two just seem inevitable.  I loved the tone and humor of the story along with the confusion and uncertainty the hero experiences as he falls in love.

THE STORY:  This is the story of Nick Hammer, former shy geeky guy who now is a stud who writes dirty cartoons.  His childhood friend Harper Holiday decides that she needs a little help in the love department and Nick offers to help.  The only problem is that he really has a thing for Harper and she is the sister of his best friend.

OPINION:  Things have been simmering between Nick and Harper for a while.  Nick has overcome all his shy geekiness and is a now a master with women.  When he recognizes that his friend Harper is having trouble with the men that she is interested in, he agrees to help her “practice” so that she can feel confident.  What starts out as talking and sexy texting become kissing and then much more.  Nick has been fighting his attraction to Harper because they are friends and also because her brother (who is also Nick’s best friend) has threatened to shave and dye his hair if Nick touches Harper.

This story is really about two people liking and caring for one another and yet being afraid of losing their friendship by wanting more.  The book is funny and sweet and really sexy.

The book is told from Nick’s point of view so Harper’s feelings remain a secret until she tells Nick.  At the same time, Nick’s fears and anxieties are on display.  This is a different view than most romance novels and the difference in tone might not be every reader’s type of book.  I enjoyed the change of pace.

The book is light and amusing and the situations that the two get into are not ones that demand deep emotional angst.  Those looking for a funny contemporary will enjoy this one.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is told from the male point of view.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  This book is connected by characters but can be read as standalone.  The hero and heroine are, respectively, the best friend and sister of the hero of BIG ROCK.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.