Review: Cherish Hard

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Cherish HardCherish Hard (Hard Play, #1) by Nalini Singh
Published by Tka Distribution on November 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“He was no Prince Charming. But he was a man who would love Isa forever if she just gave him a chance. Because she was it for him. For now and always.”

FINAL DECISION: Adorable sexy gardener approached by woman who wants to claim something for herself. Sweet, adult working out of issues. Loved this one.

THE STORY: Sailor Bishop is only a teenager when he sees a college girl getting her heart stomped on by her boyfriend. Sailor tries to track her down but is unsuccessful. Years later, Sailor sees her again when he is doing landscaping at a school. The redhead approaches him and kisses him and then runs off again. Now Sailor is determined to find out her identity. Isa Rain is ready to settle down, find a husband and have children. What she doesn’t want is a sexy younger man who is determined to build his own business. When her mother blackmails her into working for her for the summer, Isa finds herself in charge of the sexy landscaper and having to decide what to do with him.

OPINION: I love books where the true conflict is a difference in outlooks that have to be resolved in an adult manner. There are no easy solutions here. Isa and Sailor must determine not whether or not they can love one another, but whether it is possible for their lives to merge together.

In the process, both Ina and Sailor must confront their pasts and the impact their parents have made on them. Ina and Sailor are both nice people and I loved their interactions.

Sailor is a caring and determined man. He has built his own landscape business but has plans for much bigger things. He has a plan for what he wants to do with his life driven by the ghosts of his past. But he is not mindless or willing to hurt people as he goes through his life. In fact, he is entirely normal. He has a plan for his life until something makes him question his plans.

Isa is trying to build her own life apart from her parents’ expectations of her. She is good at the business her mother wants to draw her into, but it isn’t Isa’s dream. I liked that it isn’t a matter of talent, but a matter of choice for Isa. She has her own past to deal with. Two parents who prioritized their work over their family. That makes her wary of a man who has his own empire to create.

What is wonderful is that these characters work out their problems. The book begins on a gimmick as Ina wants to avoid Sailor, but develops into a mature and adult story of two adults figuring out if the attraction they feel can be something to last a lifetime. I loved the maturing and adult manner in which they characters operate in the world.

There is also something beautiful about how these two characters interact with their families. I loved that these characters are grounded and real. The story is also pretty sexy between these two but always grounded in relationship.

WORTH MENTIONING: Hero is about five years younger than heroine.

CONNECTED BOOKS: CHERISH HARD is the first book in the Hard Play series. CHERISH HARD is also a prequel to ROCK HARD from the Rock Kiss series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: Misadventures on the Night Shift

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Misadventures on the Night ShiftMisadventures on the Night Shift (Misadventures, #6) by Lauren Rowe
Series: Misadventures #6
Published by Waterhouse Press on November 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 280
Goodreads
two-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: This book was a disappointment. I really loved this book until we got to the conclusion. I just didn’t buy the resolution at all. Too fast, too much left unresolved and there needed to be something more for the book to work for me.

THE STORY: Abby Medford is working as a night clerk in a hotel when she thinks her teenage fantasies have come true. Rock star Lucas Ford checks into the penthouse and notices her. After a rough start, the two find erotic playtime together combined with an emotional connection for two people searching for meaning in their lives.

OPINION: I liked so much of this book that I was really let down by the ending. Abby and Lucas are a hot lusty pair and their interactions range from intense fighting to emotional connection. I thought the connection between them was strong and I really enjoyed the heat in this book.

Abby is a woman who likes the bad boys but is trying to be good and build a life — even if it isn’t the one she actually wants. She works hard and goes to school but can’t get excited by a future that might be outwardly successful but doesn’t call to her.

Lucas is a rockstar who just doesn’t have the passion for what he does any more.

When the two meet, they bring something exciting and hopeful to one another. I loved that part of the story.

Ultimately, however, this book just didn’t work for me as a romance. I didn’t buy the resolution of the story between the hero and heroine. Too fast, too many complications, too much time apart and too many people involved. The resolution seemed more like an accident that might change in time rather than a happy ending.

WORTH MENTIONING: Warning for those who don’t like their hero and heroine having sex with other people after their supposed life changing “connection.” There is a also a menage scene.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MISADVENTURES ON THE NIGHT SHIFT is the sixth book in the Misadventures series, but each book is a complete standalone with no overlapping storyline, characters or content.

STAR RATING: I give this book 2.5 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

two-half-stars

Review: American King

Review: American KingAmerican King (New Camelot Trilogy, #3) by Sierra Simone
Series: New Camelot Trilogy #3
Published by Amazon Digital Services on October 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 456
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: I love the characters in this book and the crazy stuff that gets worked out, but honestly, I felt the series went down since the first book in the series. The ending was too contrived and completely without any possibility of reality that I felt a letdown for the entire series.

THE STORY: This book continues the story of Ash, Embry and Greer. As the book begins, Embry has broken from the trio as he has unwillingly impregnated Greer’s evil cousin and has decided that Ash is not doing enough to protect Greer. Embry intends to run against Ash for president. This book, as might be expected, focuses on Ash’s view of the events.

OPINION:  There was so much I loved about this book, but the ending was not among them. There is something really crazy and beautiful about this series just going for the most salacious romance — the President, Vice-President and the First Lady. There are so many mixes and measures that I couldn’t wait to see what incredible plot twist was next. The whole thing just felt so unreal and big. Using the mythology of King Arthur as the basis for the story allows this story to have its own mythic quality. Yes, the story is unreal on almost every page, but I loved that the spirit of the story embraced all the crazy plot twists that felt like a modern erotic soap opera. This book begins to unwind all the plots that were introduced in the first two books. Mostly, I enjoyed the possibilities. I also have always liked how this book uses love and passion and lust and jealousy and guilt in bigger than life ways.

But the ending just disappointed me. Too small, too neat, too implausible.  I expected everything to be blown wide open, but instead, the book ends in secrets and hiding. I just felt disappointed and once that happened, all the veneers of big drama just fell apart. Instead, I just kept asking questions about how things would actually work in reality and the entirety of the relationships just fell apart for me. Perhaps one day I will re-read this crazy adventure and see it differently, but I was sad that today I couldn’t walk away excited about the entire journey.

WORTH MENTIONING: I recommend this series because I think that people’s reaction to the ending will be personal and doesn’t diminish the wonderful crazy series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: AMERICAN KING is the third and final book in the New Camelot Trilogy. These books are meant to be read together in order.

STAR RATING I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Seducing Ethan

Review: Seducing EthanSeducing Ethan (Knight Security, #6) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Knight Security #6
Published by Carole Mortimer on May 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 302
Goodreads
three-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable end to the series, characters that I enjoyed reading about and enough sex and action to keep it interesting.

THE STORY: Ethan is hiding out from a murderous criminal father when a woman steps from the shadows. Talia and Ethan knew one another three years ago when his family’s business was hired to protect Talia. It was revealed, however, that Talia’s father was a corrupt Russian and the two went into hiding. Now Talia has returned seeking Ethan’s help. The two join forces as danger surrounds them.

OPINION: This is a short novella, but I enjoyed the interaction between Ethan and Talia. I was quite surprised how much story was packed into this little novel. The book has more dramatic action than I expected, but the story is hot as well. The book isn’t particularly deep and the relationship between the hero and heroine happens really quickly (picking up on their interactions three years ago). Therefore, reading it like a quick novella worked really well.

WORTH MENTIONING: I loved that there is a character reunion and updates for those of us who have followed the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SEDUCING ETHAN is the sixth and final book in the Knight Security series. This book can be read as a standalone although there are overlapping characters with the other books in the series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

three-half-stars

Review: Wyoming Winter

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Wyoming WinterWyoming Winter (Wyoming Men, #7) by Diana Palmer
Series: Wyoming Men #7
Published by Harlequin Books on October 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 416
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: A more complex version of Palmer’s standard formula which I enjoyed with the exception of the too quick resolution of the problems between the hero and heroine.

THE STORY: Colie Jackson falls hard for her brother’s friend J.C. Calhoun. Colie ignores, however, J.C.’s differing values and his distrust of women. While the two get close, J.C.’s past keeps him waiting to be betrayed. When he is told that Colie has been cheating on him and is pregnant, J.C. rejects Colie. Years later, Colie returns to town and again sees J.C. The two have to work through their past while Colie is in danger from a criminal gang because of secrets only she knows.

OPINION: This book has Palmer’s standard formula: innocent woman misjudged by man angry and mistrusting because of lies and a past woman’s actions; he breaks her heart and then realizes he was wrong and they reconcile. One thing I really liked about his book was the time it took in J.C. in reforming himself. That was different than what I have seen in Palmer’s books in the past.

Longtime readers of Palmer will recognize one of her enduring formulas. These characters are what you might expect except that Colie has more determination and self-reliance than I expected.  J.C. is the expected jerk as the book begins, but he also goes through a three year struggle to change himself.

I am also a big fan of how the story works out through both J.C. and Colie working through their own faith struggles. (Readers who don’t want to read about characters who have religious backgrounds and struggle through life and try and connect it to their faith and God should probably skip this one).

The problem that kept this book from being rated higher was that, for me, the resolution between J.C. and Colie was too quick. There needed to be more time or more discussion or more groveling. Everything between them seemed to be fixed within only a few pages and I needed more to resolve the years that these two spent apart and the magnitude of what occurred.

Despite this, I enjoyed this book as a whole.

WORTH MENTIONING: I enjoyed seeing characters from prior books.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WYOMING WINTER is the seventh book in the Wyoming Men series but can be read as a standalone. The book is also connected with the Long, Tall Texans series if you have read the series otherwise the connection is slight.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-stars

Review: Right Where We Belong

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Right Where We BelongRight Where We Belong (Silver Springs, #4) by Brenda Novak
Series: Silver Springs #4
Published by Mira Books on October 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: This story was okay, but I thought it was too complicated by other relationships so that the main romance suffered. I liked the suspense aspect, but wanted more between the hero and heroine.

THE STORY: Savanna Gray has come to Silver Springs with her two young children running from her discovery that her husband was actually a rapist. He’s in jail claiming he is innocent, her mother in law blames Savanna for failing to support him, and the towns people blame Savanna for not recognizing his criminality sooner. Savanna comes to live in a house owned by her deceased father, but doesn’t realize that it needs more work than she expected. When she meets her neighbor, Gavin Turner, Savanna wants to keep her distance, but the sexy helpful man touches her heart. Gavin has his own struggles — his abandonment as a child, an ex who still wants a claim on him, and his attraction to Savanna despite her conflicts.

OPINION: There was much to like in this book. I really liked the suspense aspect of the story. The characters were good people and they had a nice connection with one another. My problem with the story was that there was just too much going on. Too many complications and side stories. As such, I thought that too much time was spent away from the central relationship and thus this book was just okay for me.

I thought that Gavin was a very nice man who was put in a difficult situation. I really disliked his conflict because it gave an additional level of complication to the relationship that really bothered me. Combined with Savanna still being married and having only months since discovering that her husband was a criminal, I couldn’t help but think that these characters really needed to stay apart for a year or so to deal with their own baggage.

I finished this book with no problem and I liked much of the conflict, but it wasn’t my favorite of the series.

WORTH MENTIONING: Readers of the series will get to see more of Eli.

CONNECTED BOOKS: RIGHT WHERE WE BELONG is the fourth book in the Silver Springs series. This book, however, can be read as a standalone as while it has some overlapping characters, the story is completely separate.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

three-stars

Review: Misadventures of the First Daughter

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Misadventures of the First DaughterMisadventures of the First Daughter (Misadventures, #5) by Meredith Wild, Mia Michelle
Series: Misadventures #5
Published by Waterhouse Press on October 30th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 280
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: I liked the story between Charlotte and Zane, but really did not like the surrounding storyline. Charlotte’s parents are abusive and I don’t like how she is when she is around them. That annoyance was too much for me to overcome so I liked the book but didn’t love it.

THE STORY: Charlotte Daley is the wild daughter of the newly elected President. Her parents either ignore her completely or treat her as a doll that they can manipulate as they will. Charlotte is determined to express her freedom in any way that she can. Zane Parker’s job is protecting Charlotte, but when things heat up between them, he makes a deal with Charlotte. He will dominate her completely if she behaves while she is in Washington.

OPINION: Charlotte is a woman who is acting like a spoiled child. Her parents are complete jerks, but I really never believed that Charlotte had to kowtow to their demands. That made me think less of her. Much of the drama of the story is about Charlotte’s parents manipulating her life. Because the resolution seemed obvious to me for the entire story, I just didn’t get why we had to accept all the drama.

Zane and Charlotte are hot together and I liked how he controls her wayward tendencies. I just wish there was more about them and less of the drama with Charlotte’s parents. There just wasn’t enough to overcome my dislike for the parents and the plot. I liked the characters and the story was good, but just not great.

WORTH MENTIONING: There was a secondary romance that I wish had been more developed.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MISADVENTURES OF THE FIRST DAUGHTER is the fifth book in the Misadventures series. This series is composed of complete standalone stories so each can be read on its own.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to prepare a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

three-stars

Review: American Prince

Review: American PrinceAmerican Prince (New Camelot Trilogy, #2) by Sierra Simone
Series: New Camelot Trilogy #2
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on March 7th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 330
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: Still super crazy and compelling, I thought this one suffered from the “middle book” syndrome where too much is being set up for the ending and thus while really good, it’s wasn’t quite as compelling as the first book.

THE STORY: This book begins where AMERICAN QUEEN ended. After the marriage of the President Ash to his wife Greer and the formalization of their menage relationship with Vice President Embry, Greer has been kidnapped. The remainder of the book is about the continuing threats the three face both from external factors, but also from the jealousies, fears, and history which threatens to tear them apart.

OPINION: This book is filled with drama and angst and so many unfinished issues that it was painful to read at parts. The book is clearly setting up the final book in the series and as such, it doesn’t read as well as a separate story. There is a real sense that this is one of the low points in the relationship as this book ends. That is expected and I suspect that once the final book is out this book will blend in perfectly. But it certainly leaves things in a bad spot that is hard to enjoy.

This story is so big and crazy and I am just compelled to read it. The relationship between these three characters is not restrained by any means. There are deep jealousies and anger and lust and love. Despite the love between these three characters, their relationship is not easy. There are past pains and deceit and fears between these characters. They are struggling not only against those issues but those who want to destroy them.

This book, as one might guess from the title, focuses primarily on Embry’s point of view (although not exclusively) and his past with Ash. We learn more about the love and pain that is part of the history of their relationship.

One of the best parts of this book is how seriously it takes the relationship between Ash, Greer and Embry. One might expect that if two people in a relationship is complicated, those issues are multiplied with the addition of one person. This book doesn’t shy away from those issues which makes this book compelling as to their interactions.

Now I just need to read what is going to happen with Ash’s book.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book ends on a cliffhanger.

CONNECTED BOOKS: AMERICAN PRINCE is the second book in the New Camelot Trilogy. This book continues from the cliffhanger in the first book and the books should be read together in order. The series follows the menage relationship between The President, Vice-President and the President’s wife.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-stars

Review: Misadventures of a Backup Bride

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Misadventures of a Backup BrideMisadventures of a Backup Bride (Misadventures, #4) by Shayla Black
Series: Misadventures #4
Published by Waterhouse Press on October 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: This story had an interesting premise and I enjoyed the intrigue of the characters competing against the “villain” dad. A reader who can accept insta-love stories can enjoy this one.

THE STORY: Carson Frost inherits a company from his biological father that is in financial trouble. In seeking a loan, he turns in desperation to the company’s rival. The rival agrees to a loan on the condition that Carson marry his daughter.  Two weeks before the wedding, Carson recognizes that this is going to be a disaster and tries to get out of the wedding by making up another woman who he is love with. The father calls his bluff and demands that Carson produce the woman. Carson can only think of one possible woman to call — Ella Hope, and actress who he met six months ago when she dated one of his friends. Ella agrees to take the job, but the passion explodes between the two when they meet again in person. When the father meets Ella, he agrees that Carson doesn’t have to marry his daughter — but only if Carson and Ella marry in two weeks.

OPINION: This short novel sets up an interesting conflict. What happens when the woman hired to pretend to be the love of a man’s life becomes the love of his life? I enjoyed this story and the characters. This is my favorite of the series because the characters are well drawn even in the short space allowed for them in this story. Plus, there is a tremendous amount of conflict. It’s also really interesting that there are no terrible “evil” characters in the end. Plus, the story is really sexy. What I didn’t expect was the turn towards a more traditional and emotional romance story towards the end. I thought the twist on the events of a romance story worked really well here.

WORTH MENTIONING: Much of the relationship development between Carson and Ella takes place around of during sexual escapades because of the nature of the book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: MISADVENTURES OF A BACKUP BRIDE is the fourth book in the Misadventures series. The books in the series are all standalone stories without any connections or overlapping characters.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-stars

Review: Misadventures with a Super Hero

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Misadventures with a Super HeroMisadventures with a Super Hero (Misadventures, #3) by Angel Payne
Series: Misadventures #3
Published by Waterhouse Press on October 10th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Paranormal
Goodreads
three-stars

FINAL DECISION: Great premise. uneven execution. Parts of this story I really enjoyed, but parts were a bit confusing and uneven. Overall, I enjoyed the story because it was a fun ride.

THE STORY: Emmalina Crist needs her job working at a hotel because she is trying to make something of herself. Her new boss, Reece Richards, is a longtime playboy, and Emma knows that he is bad news, but can’t resist him anyway. But Emma is also intrigued by Bolt, LA’s newest superhero. Of course, Reece is actually Bolt and he has issues because he was given “super powers” against his will. The two have to navigate Reece finding out who and what he is.

OPINION: I really liked the premise of this story and it is really hot with Emma and Reece circling around one another in various locations in his hotel. I liked the characters and I really believed Reece’s improving his life because of his “changes”. I thought parts of the story were really funny and really sweet. This story is really an erotic journey as for the relationship between Emma and Reece (lots of insta-love/lust) with some superhero danger tossed in.

I did think that the writing was a bit uneven at times and the alternating points of view meant some confusion in the voice of the story. (There were not enough differences in the voices of the two characters to justify the different points of view).

This was a fun story and I would love to read more about these characters, but I think that a reader has to make a commitment to the story to really enjoy it.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a novella that is told in alternating points of view.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  MISADVENTURES WITH A SUPER HERO is the third book in the Misadventures series. This series, however, are completely separate standalone books with no connections at all.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

three-stars