Tag Archives: contemporary romance

Sinner’s Steel by Sarah Castille

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I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review and I am not disappointed. I love the newest installment in the Sinners Tribe series. O.K. so I may be a little biased here because there isn’t a book by Sarah Castille that I haven’t liked. Whatever she puts on paper I instantly adore. This book is no exception.

Zane is VP in the Sinner’s Tribe MC. He’s good at his job and has no regrets, except one….Evie. She is the proverbial “one that got away”. Having grown up with Evie, Zane has loved her for most of his life. She has always been in the back of his mind, never forgotten. Circumstances beyond his control forced Zane to leave Evie many years ago. But fate brings them together once more.

Evie has built a life for herself and her son. She has a successful business and his dating a local biker. That is until Zane walks back in her life. While they both care for each other, is there too much water under the bridge to begin again?

I really enjoyed this book. While this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the previous books and I was able to follow and keep up with things happening. I highly recommend this book

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Hard to Break by Bella Jewel

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Oh Tazen…..Tazen….Tazen… Tazen Watts is a celebrity in the car building world and has always been an unobtainable God until the day he walks into Quinn’s auto repair shop. Quinn has been working on cars for as long as she can remember. She works hard to prove herself as an accomplished mechanic, in a male dominated field. She also works tirelessly running her father’s shop. She is doing the best she can but the shop is failing anyway. The mortgage is overdue and the bills have pilled up, which causes Tazen Watts to take notice.

Tazen wants to buy Quinn’s shop and turn it into a custom build shop. He values the location and sees a great business opportunity. The only problem is, Quinn has absolutely no interest in selling. She has poured her life’s blood into the shop and isn’t going to let it go without a fight. Let the sparks fly!!!

Hard to Break is a definite enemies to lovers story. Quinn hates the arrogant nature of Tazen and his blantant come-ons. Tazen is drawn to Quinn’s fiery nature and loves how she doesn’t fall down at his feet, but he needs Quinn’s shop and she is standing in his way.

I love the story’s progression. At different times throughout the book I found myself disliking each character. Tazen comes across as an arrogant jerk and indifferent to Quinn’s plight. Quinn starts out as a strong-willed woman but can be somewhat bratty. But, in my opinion, these flaws only highlight their character and relationship evolvement.

While Hard to Break is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. There are no cliffhangers and you get a definite resolution. I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review, and I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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Primal Force by D.D. Ayres

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This is the third installment in K-9 Rescue series by D.D Ayres. True to style, Ayres delivers a heartwarming story about a troubled vet and his service dog. I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review.

Lauray “Law” Battise is an veteran that lost his K-9, Scud, while wounded in action. While trying to deal with the pain of losing his leg and his faithful companion, Law is not doing well. He frequently has nightmares and has withdrawn from friends and his career in law enforcement. Trying to put the pieces of his life back together hasn’t been easy for Law. So, after agreeing to his sister’s demands, Law seeks out a service dog.

At Warrior Wolf Pack Law meets Jori Garrison. Jori is an ex-con that is trying to get her life on track. Jori has always proclaimed her innocence, however, her life was completely ruined the day she was convicted.

I really liked the characters in this book. Jori was strong and likable. She didn’t do the wilting flower too much but, when she did, it was understandable. The one aspect I really enjoyed was the focus on the developing relationship between Law and his service dog, Sam. Law, still grieving the loss of Scud, is sometimes mean toward Sam and a bit cold. He always keeps Sam at a distance until a pivotal moment in the book when he realizes how important the dog becomes.

This is the second book I have read by Ayres and I am not disappointed. Although the books are in a series they can be read as a stand alone. There are no cliffhangers. But I will say Ayres definitely left things open for Law’s sister to have a book of her own. I am really hoping that is in the works, because Law’s sister is a force unto herself and would make a great heroine.

Overall, I enjoyed the story and would recommend giving it a try.

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Full Contact by Sarah Castille

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OH Sarah Castille you have done it again. I can’t help but love everything I have read by this woman. I can say now and truly I am Sarah Castille’s bitch. I will line up to buy whatever she puts to paper and shamelessly beg for an ARC. Which I did. I am little biased since I am such a fan but I will endeavour to give you a honest review.

This newest installment in the Redemption series focuses on Sia, a talented artist and Ray, the P.I. we saw in the previous book. This is the third book in this series and I will say you need to read the other books first. Yes, you may be able to follow it but you will miss some of the significance of these characters. So suck it up buttercup and buy the other books. You will not be disappointed.
I love the way Sarah Castille writes. Her books have a very good flow and move along quickly. The only thing that bothered me was Ray’s patois. He began his sentences in a almost philosophical manner. “A man needs to….” “When a man finds…” All the ” a man” crap got annoying. Speak English!!  Also, his vernacular didn’t quite match who he is.  He’s not some bumpkin.  He is a somewhat educated and well-traveled man. The stunted speech seemed to me as a way to make him seem more basic.  Which didn’t work for me.  He is somewhat complex and not that simple at all.

These characters have a dark past. Sia has suffered a traumatic event and has since given up a part of who she was once. Ray is equally tortured and has a secret that serves as a big turning point in the book. I found myself liking the characters very much. They were well-written and they developed and evolved nicely. While this book is the third in a series it is a stand alone story and you do get your HEA.

Overall, I gave the book four solid stars and would highly recommend this book and author to anyone.

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Garrett by Sawyer Bennett a Cold Fury Hockey Novel

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I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review.  Sawyer Bennett brings back the Cold Fury boys in this second installment. While the book is a bit formulaic, it is an enjoyable read. You don’t need to have read the first book in the series to enjoy this book. Bennett does a great job of filling in the blanks a first time reader may face, without becoming repetitive.

Garrett is a player that leaves a string of women in his wake. Hockey is the number one priority in his life and he makes no apologies for that fact. That is until Olivia enters his life. With a little bit of lust at first sight, Olivia quickly becomes a major part of Garrett’s life.

Olivia is somewhat of a free spirit. She is very self-assured and strong. She is instantly taken with Garrett but she has a secret and isn’t sure Garrett is something she should take on at this point in her life.

I enjoyed how we see Garrett lose his man-whore ways and become a committed partner. His character becomes more dimensional and evolves throughout the book. I wish I could say the same for Olivia. She began kind of flat and that’s how she ended. Don’t get me wrong, she was a great character. She was independent and went after what she wanted. But maybe that’s the way she needed to be in order to illuminate Garrett’s complete turn around.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It flowed nicely and you get both characters’ POV. While the book is the second in a series, it is a stand-alone story that wraps up nicely in the end. If you enjoyed her first book then I recommend you check out Garrett. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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Too Hot to Handle by Katie Rose

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“Just happy to be here and hope I can help the ball club.”

——-Bull Durham

Imagine the movie Major League mixed with the sexiness of Bull Durham, but in print, and you have the latest installment by Katie Rose.  Too Hot to Handle by Katie Rose is the second book in the Boys of Summer Series.  While this is the second book, you need not fear.  You do not need to read the first book in order to follow the happenings these hot baseball players.

Jake Baldwin is a major player in more way than one.  He’s the heart of the team and has a different woman in his bed every night.  But Jake and his fellow teammates have been very, very bad little boys. Drunken brawls, womanizing, and bad press has caused management to hire some outside help to clean up the boys’ image. Enter Nikki Case.

Nikki is a PR guru and determined to whip these boys into shape.  However, the new team is not so accepting of her new rules.  In addition to blatant disregard of her rules and numerous practical jokes, the boys make playboy Jake Baldwin a bet. He has to get Nikki Case to fall in love with him or forfeit his coveted jersey number.

I won’t elaborate any further, I’m sure you can guess what happens next. While the story is a bit predictable I did enjoy the book.  The baseball setting was nice.  Something about pretty boys in tight stretchy pants makes me a happy girl.  Also, it gave you a chance to see the depth of one of the main characters.  I found Rose’s writing style flowed nicely and was easy to read.  If you are looking for a fun read with sports kicker then I definitely recommend Too Hot to Handle.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and will check out the next book in the series.  

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Dark Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow

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Dark Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow is the first book of the Watcher Series.  The story comes to an ending per say, there are no cliffhangers, but things are left open for the next installment.

In a modern world where witches are hunted, the watchers are their guardians.  Theo is a rare witch called a Lightbringer.  Unfortunately for Theo, her ability brings unwanted attention from mean ugly things that are meant to hunt her down.  Enter Dante.  Dante’s sole purpose in life is to watch over witches.  He is supposed to protect them from the aforementioned mean ugly things.  Dante is a tortured sole whose suffering will not be eased until he finds the one special witch that is meant to be his and his alone.  In other words, he hurts until he finds The One.  You know, the yin to his yang, the peanut butter to his jelly, the cheese to his crackers.  As it just so happens, Theo is the one for Dante.  The story involves them dancing around each other while trying to find a way to fight the evil forces that be.

The world Saintcrow has created is somewhat original.  Consisting of witches, demons, and crusaders a group of women and their watchers have to stave off the evil that is after them.  The plot isn’t bad, it is a pretty simple and straightforward one of good vs. evil.  Saintcrow’s writing is smooth, and is easily read.  It is just the characters and the action of the story that I had some problems with. I hate to criticize any writer’s body of work.  But I was given this ARC in exchange for an honest review so honest I must be.  That being said, I will be as respectful as I possibly can.

The characters seemed a little flat to me.  They didn’t seem very deep and didn’t evolve very much, if it all, throughout the story.  They very much are at the end who they were in the beginning.  In a novel such as this, I would have liked to see a little development.  Also, the action seemed a little stagnant.  Nothing every really seemed to happen.  Sure you had a few fights between Dante and the creepy crawlies, but I felt like the characters were going around in circles most of the time.

The choice of dialogue was somewhat nice.  It was clean and lacked some of the more unfavorable descriptive terms often found in romance novels.  Just to be clear there are no naughty scenes in this book.  It is PG rated. For example, words like slurp, juices, etc. were not to be found. However, the dialogue was a bit repetitive.  Everyone just kept saying the same things over and over.  Nothing ever seemed to get accomplished really, just voicing the same thoughts again and again.

Overall, the book wasn’t bad (trust me I’ve read worse), just a little boring to me.  The events and dialogue of the story just didn’t hold my attention.

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Wild Nights by Tina Wainscott

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Wild Nights by Tina Wainscott is the third book in the Justice Alliance Series.  I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review.

I haven’t read the other two books in the Justice Alliance Series but I was able to follow the book just fine.  The book focuses on Saxby Cole, an ex Navy SEAL who is assigned to go undercover at a sex resort.  Someone is drugging women and selling them to willing buyers so they can be date raped with no memory of the night’s events.  His assignment is to ferret out culprit and shut down the operation.  Saxby is someone who does not make commitments to women.  The typical love ’em and leave ’em bad boy.

Now enter Jennessy Shaw, recently jilted girlfriend who is determined to have a good time.    Jennessy travels to the resort to let her freak flag fly so to speak and prove to herself that she can let loose.  Saxby and Jennessy are hit instantly by insta-lust but Saxby cannot cave to his desire to rip her clothes off while he is on assignment.  So you have the back and forth of my job….but she is so pretty…..must focus on my job……but she is so hot.   I think you can guess which one wins out.

I wouldn’t exactly call this book innovative or groundbreaking, but it has a good story line and likable characters.  Saxby has issues with monogamy due to his horn dog father.  He feels like it is in his genes to be unfaithful so he never commits to a woman.  However, he is very loyal to his friends and cannot tolerate women being abused.  He is wonderfully alpha without being disrespectful or coming across as an asshole.   Jennessy is sensible and strong.  Not once did I have the overwhelming desire to want to shake her, pull my hair in frustration, scream at or throw my Nook. She knows when to listen and follow directions and she is very smart about her actions.

Saxby and Jennessy are true partners in this book.  They rely on each other and use each other’s best skills in order to solve the case.  There is no I am strong man.  You weak woman.  You listen to strong man.    The major conflict is Saxby’s resistance to accept his feelings for Jennessy.  He constantly fights against the little love bug that is burrowing into his cold heart.

If you are looking for a fun read that has some action and a few naughty scenes then I recommend checking out Wild Nights. You won’t be disappointed.  I give this book three solid I like it stars.

Happy Reading

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Alex a Cold Fury Hockey Novel

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I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Alex Crossman is hockey’s hottest bad boy. He’s rude, aloof, and utterly dismissive. Often voted hockey’s MVP (Most Valuable Prick), his bosses are tired of his attitude and antics. In an effort to improve his image, he is ordered to help set up a drug program that targets teens or forget his career.

Sutton Price is a counselor/social worker that gives her all to help those in need. Her main goal is to help those struggling with drug addiction. So, needless to say, she is thrilled when she is told she will be working with a star athlete to set up her cherished program. What she didn’t count on was the attraction.

I really liked the way this book was written. Yes there was instant lust, but the more mushy parts took some time. Both Alex and Sutton had less than happy childhoods. But that is where the similarities end. Sutton has found a way to make her childhood give her strength and purpose. Whereas Alex, poor pitiful Alex, is burdened with anger and apathy.

The story is somewhat predictable but still enjoyable. Alex is definitely someone you want to take for a ride on the Zamboni machine. Sutton is strong and forgiving. Sometimes a little too forgiving, need to make him grovel a little girl!

I recommend this if you are looking for a easy romance. The story line reads smoothly and I really enjoyed the characters, plot, and setting.

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An Indecent Proposal….the Only Way I Like Them

Indecent Proposal (Boys of Bishop, #4)

 

Indecent Proposal is number 4 in the Boys of Bishop series. But I had absolutely no clue of this before I read the book. I received this ARC in exchange for a honest review. I have to say I really enjoyed this book. O’Keefe does a great job of showing how these damaged and struggling individuals find themselves in each other.

Ryan is a model whose life has not turned out according to plan. After a less then stellar modeling career and a failed marriage, she finds herself in New York tending bar. It is here she meets Harry. A little bit of flirty chat later, Ryan ends up spending the night in Harry’s hotel room. While Ryan, may not know Harry’s last name there is also one other key piece of information she doesn’t know about her fabulous one night stand; that he is actually Harrison Montgomery a political hopeful running for office.

In the style of the Kennedy’s the Montgomery family only knows one thing..politics. Harrison Montgomery was groomed for office since the day he was born. It is all he knows. So needless to say his life has been lacking an element of warmth and honest. That is what he finds in Ryan.

I really liked how this story was written. You get a semi-HEA because life isn’t perfect. The perfection lies in what you make of it. That is what you get. Two people finding themselves and how to make their lives better while opening themselves to the possibility of happiness with another person. I highly recommend this book and I will be looking into O’Keefe’s other works

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