Tag Archive | 4 stars

Hothead by Stella Rhys–Review

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Evie has had a recent run of bad times. Five weeks prior she was happy, engaged and looking forward to moving into a glorious apartment that she picked out for her and her fiancée. Now, she is continuously leaking tears, calling her ex just to hear his voice and find out what went wrong, and inquiring if they could get back together. Leave it to her ex, Mike, to give her false hope on that topic.

‘We could get back together, Evie. I mean that’s the plan. We’re soul mates. But I need some time apart first.’

Let me just preface this by saying, Mike is a total scumbag (as you will soon see when you read the book). There, now we can move on to the next topic.

Drew, Drew, Drew. (insert sigh) Drew is the cocky a-hole that you love to hate AND hate to love. Oh man, he was one delicious character and written so well. Drew is a pitcher in the MLB and in recent years, hasn’t had the best reputation. There is only one person that knows what makes him tick and what went on when certain names/topics are brought up and that is his agent, Iain. It is only recently that Drew finds out that the word ‘trade’ has been linked with him. He is upset and furious, because his best friend, Emmett is his agent’s partner and younger brother of the owner of his team. Iain has told him that he needs to clean up his act.

Drew ends up at a bar, where he is sitting in the corner sulking about this recent news. While sitting there he overhears a woman on the phone crying and begging to talk to whomever was on the other end (Evie was leaving a message for Mike). He interrupts her and they get into a heated argument which ends in a kiss. This very public scene turns into the latest headlines, ‘Drew Maddox publicly grovels with girlfriend.’ This turns into a plan initiated by his agent, to restore Drew’s wild ways and party lifestyle. Insert Evie. The plan is for her to play the part of girlfriend to fiancée who moves in with Drew, to give off the appearance of a solid, steady and stable relationship.

I loved Evie and Drew together. Each displayed their own character tics, but what was pleasant to read was the many layers to each character. Evie may have appeared to be a whiny, sniveling doormat, but she truly had an enormous amount of inner strength and eventually a positive self-esteem. As I said earlier, Drew was cocky and an a-hole on the surface, but when pulling those layers back, he was a big teddy bear.

This couple experiences ups and downs, rough times, good times, emotional times, but where does this lead to? Do they get their happily ever after? I completely recommend this book!

Cheeky Prince/Cheeky Royal by Nana Malone–Review

4 ‘Cheeky’ stars

There is a small prequel to Cheeky Royal named Cheeky Prince. It gives the reader a slight insight into Sebastian and Penny’s backgrounds.

The real story begins in Cheeky Royal where Prince Sebastian has left his island and has been gone for about six months. As a special request from the king, Penny is tasked to try and find Sebastian and bring him home. Hilarity and adventure ensues.

I enjoyed the main characters. Penny is a ‘Calamity Jane’ type girl, where what can go wrong, usually will. Then there is Prince Sebastian. He is a beast unto himself.  As progression to the throne goes, he is the next in line, but his real passion lies elsewhere. Unfortunately, he has been told by his father (the King) that when he takes the throne, it would be impossible to continue to pursue his true passion of photography. This is unacceptable to Sebastian and has his own plan in the making to get out of being king.

Besides Sebastian and Penny, there are few secondary characters that also bring this story to light. Penny’s best friend, Ariel, brings a lot of fun to the storyline, while pushing Penny out of her comfort zone. Sebastian’s cousin though, is an a-hole and not a good brooding a-hole that we love to read about. I loved some of the tension between the security team that works with Sebastian and Ariel. Do I see fireworks on the horizon for the best friend?

Cheeky Royal is a sweet, fun and easy read with no major plot twists, but there are episodes of mystery and intrigue. This does end on a cliffhanger to be continued in Cheeky King. Now hold your horses before you think, ‘a cliffhanger, aww man.’ Cheeky King is expected to be released the end of April, so we don’t have long to wait.

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Glam Squad & Groomsmen by Samantha Chase–Review

 

Glam Squad & Groomsmen is the fourth book in the Enchanted Bridal series.  This is the first book that I have read in the series and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything, because I didn’t read the others.

This is about Penny and Spencer. I have to admit when I read the blurb, I was picturing all sorts of drama or salacious history. That wasn’t part of the story, but that was ok. What I got was so much better.

“He had always been her ideal man. Sandy brown hair, clear blue eyes and he still wore those wire-rimmed glasses that just totally worked for him.”

Penny and Spencer have a long history with each other. Penny’s longtime friend, Eva, also happens to be the sister to Spencer (Penny’s ex-boyfriend). They have gone out and due to wrong time and immaturity, they have broken up twice.

“It was during one of those games of dress up that Spencer had first kissed her. She was six, he was eight and Eva had conned him into being the groom for their pretend wedding game. And ever since then, she’d been hooked. On Spencer, not playing dress up.”

Spencer and Penny have had an on again/off again type relationship over the years and haven’t seen each other for a while. Currently, Penny is working at Enchanted Bridal as an assistant manager during the week and on Friday nights, she models bridal gowns for them. On one such Friday night, this is where she is caught by one of her bosses trying to escape, because Eva and Spencer are there for the fashion show. Eva is getting married and Spencer drew the short end of the straw when it came to be tagging along.

Spencer Buchanan is living life in Atlanta as an in-demand and up and coming architect. His father has an architect design firm in Raleigh (where Penny and Enchanted Bridal are located). Spencer’s dad has been aggressively trying to get Spencer to take over the company, but he has other plans.

Penny has plans for her life as well. She loves working at Enchanted, but she wants more out of life. She has a business plan drawn up for her Glam Squad. Penny is a certified cosmetologist that allows her to do hair and makeup. She wants to make this her permanent business, she currently helps in this fashion for the Friday night bridal shows, but desperately wants her own business.

Penny and Spencer have obviously matured since their college days, but has time put enough distance between that history and now? Will old hurts and feelings prevent them from making another run at a relationship? Penny and Spencer are great together, but they have many issues and hurdles to get over, before they can see their HEA.

“Spencer Buchanan was the one who got away. They just weren’t meant to be.”

Glam Squad & Groomsmen will take you on a journey that includes friendship, love, a love that includes distance, as well as highs and difficult lows.

 

Whiskey Lullaby by Stevie J. Cole–Review

So, who here doesn’t want a bad boy? At least, entertained the idea of a bad boy? What makes a boy/man a bad boy? Officially speaking, a bad boy is ‘a man who does not conform to approved standards of behavior, especially in a particular sphere of activity.’

Let me introduce you to Noah. Considered a bad boy, but what people don’t know about him is his heart that he hides way down deep. He is a grandma’s boy, who owes a lot to her, since she was the one who raised him.

Hannah, the quintessential good girl in this story. She is a preacher’s daughter, who also happens to be a virgin (no shade here, just elevating her good girl standing) and is a nurse. She is a recent college graduate who moves home to help her family during a time of utter crisis. She never does anything for herself and is always thinking of others.

Hannah’s unlikely best friend is a wild child named, Meg. All three happened to grow up in a tiny little town in the south, where gossip runs rampant. Meg urges Hannah to go out with her and her father agrees that she needs to live her life a little. This is how they end up at a tiny little bar (which is the only hangout around). There is a man singing, that has captivated Hannah, just from his voice only. Hannah meet Noah, Noah meet Hannah. Despite Meg’s objections, they are immediately attracted to each other.

Noah has gotten a bad rap due to his situation.  He grew up poor with no parents, with gossip about him drinking and sleeping around, all the way to how many condoms he buys and how many different girls he has been seen around town with (got to love only having one store in town). He already has a low self-esteem and feels that he is no good for Hannah. He isn’t sure how to handle ‘wanting more’ with her, but he does know he just wants to see her smile. This is where Hannah steps in with her inner strength. Despite being of strong character, she is also a little insecure where they stand and doesn’t know how to ‘speak up’.

Whiskey Lullaby was a fantastic story with great storyline, flow and characters (BTW, I want Noah’s grandma. She is so darn cute)! If I HAD to write a negative, it would be the timing/flashbacks of the story in the beginning. It was sometimes difficult to know if we were reading about summer 2015 or late 2016. Other than that, I really liked this sweet story.

4-stars

 

Enterrador by Ambere Sabo–Review

Entebook1023[18283]This was such a unique book.  I find it’s uncommon to read about the anti-hero and get their background story.  I loved this perspective, knowing the end before reading about the past. It allowed us to see how the ‘Enterrador’ persona was born, because there was a man, Adan, before there was an Enterrador.

The Silent Sons series, is listed as standalone novels. However, Enterrador has been brought up in the earlier books. This book gives a nice, concise explanation of who Adan/Enterrador is, where he came from and a small glimpse into where he is going. Who truly is/was the man behind the monster.

My head is so confused though. It’s telling me, ‘he’s the villain and shouldn’t be liked’, however, my heart is a bitch and has a different mind of its own. She’s telling me, ‘how can you really hate him after reading what he’s been through’. The thing is, I don’t know if I can ‘hate’ him after this. I felt so many emotions for him, that I fear when it comes to the next Silent Sons book (book 3, Lilly, Gunner and Enterrador), I may actually like him. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still rooting for Lilly and Gunner, but it will be interesting to read book 3 with this newfound (semi) appreciation for the villain.

As usual with Ambere Sabo’s books, this was well written with wonderfully in-depth and complex characters. The story of Adan and Alex was so full of emotions and ups and downs. Happiness, sorrow, pain, love, absolute joy, along with a multitude of bad decisions and darkness all encompass this Silent Sons novella.

Ambere’s books continue to get better and I can’t wait for more!!

 

Marx Girl by TL Swan–Review

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I must admit that TL Swan is a new to me author, so I was unsure as to what I should expect. What I got was a truly possessive alpha male, a secret love affair and mystery like you wouldn’t believe.

Before going into the characters, I must say that there were quite a few, but they were described well that if you hadn’t read anything prior you could still follow along. With that said, Ben Statham is a bodyguard to Bridget Marx’s brother-in-law. Ben and Bridget, along with Natasha and Joshua were often coupled off as Tash is Bridget’s sister. They have a secret romance that is brewing during this time, until one day, Ben breaks it off and leaves. He doesn’t want his past catching up to him and affecting Bridget.

Fast forward to five years later, Ben has returned to Australia to claim his love. Unfortunately, she has a boyfriend, Eric. The whole Marx clan and friends are at a wedding when Ben approaches Bridget claiming he wants a second chance. Things become complicated from this point on as individuals begin to analyze their own feelings as well as explore emerging feelings towards coupledom.

‘I had to come back and give myself a chance at happiness.’

The chemistry and heat between Ben and Bridget is off the charts. They definitely know only one speed/type of sex😉. They have a lot of drama and angst that surround them.

‘I will love him to infinity and beyond’… ‘Her love is my lifeline’

Here are some things that I liked about the story:
• Ben. I don’t need to say more, but I will, because holy torpedoes is he a man!! He is alpha to the extreme and knows what he wants. He is willing to do whatever he needs to get it. Ben is also sex on a stick, aka. a walking corn dog. Ben is also much deeper than what is portrayed on the outside. He has gone through A LOT, yet nobody seems to know the true Ben deep inside.
‘It’s crazy. He is so experienced sexually, but emotionally he’s so green.’
• I flipping loved the cover. Man, 🔥😈🔥, you may need some water to cool yourself off or a towel to wipe yourself down, because he was a good representation of what ‘Ben’ should be.
• I loved the ending. Let me just say, that emotions were running high, due to all the feels that were written. It was good.
• The descriptive writing was very good. I could picture exactly where these characters were and what their surroundings looked like.

Here are some of the things I didn’t like:
• I felt like I was reading two different stories at times. One that’s a romance and the second a military mystery. I didn’t really feel the flow or intertwining of the stories.
• Bridget…🤔!? I liked her. I didn’t completely hate her, but I didn’t love her either. She just seemed as part of the story, rather than being the story. Towards the end, she appeared to get her head on straight and became the heroine that she should be.
• This leads me to Ben and Bridget as a couple. Yes, they were hot. Yes, they had amazing chemistry. Yes, they had love. What they didn’t have was…. FREAKING COMMUNICATION!! There was a lot of back and forth that was dizzying at times. They both were I love you, I hate you, I miss you, go away. It was infuriating, because I just wanted to yell, ‘grow up’. Bridget also had a lot of guilt over being with Ben, yet hurting Eric. Too much emotion not clearly defined.
• Lastly, is Eric. I was shocked and disappointed at his brief appearance in this book. There was a time, where I thought his storyline would develop further, but nope he was in and out in the blink of an eye. I felt like he was placed just to create a storyline for Ben and Bridget. It was weird.

Despite all this, I was pulled into the story and read it from beginning to end. I didn’t feel compelled enough at any time to not finish. I really hope that we get to see more of some of the side characters, as their interaction with the leads made the whole book.

‘We can do anything as long as we have each other.’

Royal Ruin by Jessica Peterson–Review

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I am a HUGE sucker for royalty type books. When I came across a blurb of Royal Ruin, I knew this one had to be mine. Royal Ruin is the first book that I’ve read from Jessica Peterson and I wasn’t disappointed.

This is the royal romance book that encompasses the relationship of Emily and Price Christopher (aka. Kit). In a way, this is a second chance romance, however, it was only briefly touched upon. Emily and Kit knew each other back in college, when Kit was her TA (teaching assistant) for a course. There were some sparks formed, but it was more of a mutual respect. meaning Emily enjoyed Kit the man, not necessarily Kit the prince. Due to an incidence, things became H-O-T very quickly, however, it was proven that now was not the time for them.

‘Emily had been the only girl who’d ever made me reckless.’

Fast forward ten years and MANY things have happened during their separation. Now, of course, I can’t tell you everything, but I will give you the gist of it. Emily owns her own design company and has an interview with Princess Jane (Kit’s sister) to redo a school that is funded through the royal foundation. Historical things are Emily’s specialty and what she loves to work on. However, during her interview something happens that has her seeing a blast from the past. She is brought face to face with Kit. Both are reliving those sparks that had been formed, but keep in mind, they are totally different people now due to their ten-year gap. This history (which neither one knows about) makes them leery of investigating those feelings.

Now we get to the good stuff!! Princess Jane has had some negative press and the Queen makes a suggestion to Kit to get some positive press. Needless to say, he realizes that his grandmother is right, but is cautious with who she suggests as to take his potential consort. The Queen wants Kit to propose to Emily and look like they are deeply in love for the next few months to gain some positivity towards the royals. As you can imagine this could lead to humorous, fun, emotional and sexy times.

Emily is very jaded when it comes to love/relationships and anything that represents intimacy. As it is necessary for the two of them to look like they are in love this could pose a problem. The last decade Kit has had to lock down his feelings, emotions, body language, etc., so you can imagine that this is a difficult task for him. However, it doesn’t take long for him to have fully rekindled those feelings for Emily that he had ten years prior. Ms. Emily is a different story. She had a back and forth relationship with Kit. The concept of one step forward and two steps back fits her.

Despite this emotional back and forth, there were some extremely tender moments, along with steamy/hot scenes, displays of alpha male-ness and humor (OMG, his brothers were a riot). Jessica Peterson wrote an incredibly well-rounded book, that is easy to fall in love with. Fingers crossed that there is another book and possibly about one of the brothers?!

‘You’re my person, Emily. You always have been. It’s just taken me awhile to figure it out.’

4-stars