Category Archives: 2/5

Review: Just One Touch by Maya Banks

About the book:

Raised in a strict religious cult since she was a young girl, Jenna has no connection to the outside world beyond vague flashes of memory that seem to be from another life. Memories she clings to when the cult leaders discover her extraordinary ability to heal—and punish her. Years held captive and forced to do the cults bidding have turned Jenna into a meek, timid woman…or so they think. In truth, she is merely biding her time, waiting for the perfect moment to escape.

When a terrified young woman tries to steal the SUV of Devereaux Security’s toughest recruit, Isaac’s anger quickly turns into a strange sort of protectiveness for the beautiful, bruised stranger. But when they are caught in a firestorm of bullets and Isaac is hit, he’s sure the end is near, until Jenna touches him and closes his wounds. As he tries to bring Jenna to safety, she refuses to tell him what danger haunts her or how she healed him, but Isaac vows to do whatever it takes to gain her trust…and her heart. Because with just one touch, Isaac knows he wants Jenna to be his—forever.

What I thought:

Just One Touch is the fifth book in the Slow Burn series. I have read the previous four and think that you should read the series in order to really get the full story.

Based off of my feelings for book 4 in this series, With Every Breath, I was a little weary of reading this book. However, Isaac’s story is one I’ve been interested in since his part in the previous books. The relationship between Jenna and Isaac seems out-of-place. I know that as readers we do a fair amount of suspending reality, but I can’t think of single instance where being hunted down would lead to sexy-times with a man who is practically a stranger. In addition to that she is badly malnourished and hurt, but he finds her the sexiest thing ever and wants her instantly. It just seemed too over-the-top to believe.

Another thing is the repetition of the characters thoughts. It seemed like every few pages we were once again finding out how Isaac or Jenna felt about something. This has been an issue the whole series and I was hoping that the inner dialogue would be less in this book.

I think it is time to break-up with this series and just enjoy the author’s other books.

Rating:

I give Just One Touch a 2/5

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Review: Last Chance Summer by Hope Ramsay

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About the book:

It wouldn’t be summer without the Watermelon Festival, and single mom Amanda Wright is looking forward to a carefree day eating funnel cakes and sipping sweet tea. But with her inquisitive son and elderly grandmother in tow, she’s not in the mood for carnival rides or the kissing booth, until she hears a charming, funny voice over the loudspeaker. 

Grant Trumbull is the new DJ at the local radio station, and his deep, booming cadence has all the ladies of the church auxillary atwitter. Even without seeing his face, Amanda can’t help but wonder if he’s the one for her. When she finally comes face to face with the man behind the mic, summer is about to get a whole lot hotter in little Last Chance, South Carolina. 

Approx. 10,000 words

 

**THIS REVIEW IS A LITTLE BIT SPOILER-ISH**

LAST CHANCE SUMMER is a very short story and doesn’t really have much of a romance. Amanda Wright is a widow with a young son and an elderly grandmother that is slowly slipping into dementia. Amanda has her hands full and doesn’t have time or energy to think about dating. Grant is new to town and would love to meet someone new. Amanda hears his voice and finds it attractive, but knows that a voice over the radio doesn’t mean that the actual man will match. I liked the lead up to this couple meeting – Grant gets advice from the local matchmaker and Amanda’s son and grandmother both try to fix her up with the new guy in town. But, the ending is very abrupt and there isn’t even a scene between Grant and Amanda were they actually speak to each other. They just lock eyes and “know”. I will admit that I wanted more and I felt cheated that it was all we got.

the book girl gives LAST CHANCE SUMMER a 2/5

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Review: The Ruin of a Rogue by Miranda Neville

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About the book:

Charm, wit, and nerves of steel have helped Marcus Lithgow gamble his way across the Continent. But when his heart is at stake, all bets are off for this most perfect rogue . . .

Anne Brotherton is sick and tired of being an heiress. She cannot bring herself to marry a fortune hunter. Why can’t men like her for her sharp mind and kind heart rather than her impressive dowry? Just when she is about to bow to her fate as a confirmed spinster, she meets the handsome and charming Marcus Lithgow.

It’s been years since Marcus set foot in England—why toy with the ton when he can fleece wealthy fools in Paris and Rome? Yet everything changes when he inherits a ramshackle estate. Marcus’s first and only chance at a respectable life needs funding . . . the kind Anne Brotherton can provide. Such a wallflower should be ripe for the picking. So why does Marcus feel like he’s the one hanging by a thread?

I loved the first book in this series (THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED), so I was really looking forward to Marcus and Anne’s story. I wish I had loved this book more, but there was something missing. Anne and Marcus didn’t have any chemistry between them. Anne tries so hard to be interesting for more than her money she actually comes across quite boring. Marcus is supposed to be a rogue, but there is never any evidence of this in his relationship with Anne. He is a perfect gentleman with her and never takes a step out of line. They spend the whole book trying to trick and deceive each other for various reasons and find themselves falling in love. The story moves at such a slow pace and with very little actually happening that by the end it didn’t matter to me whether they were truly in love or not I just wanted an ending. I hope that the next book in this series regains the sparkle that the first book had and this book was lacking.

the book girl gives THE RUIN OF A ROGUE a 2/5

to find the book:

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Review: Kiss The Bride by Jody Wallace

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About the book:

Herman Edward Heckley knows all about drywall, concrete, and nail guns. So what’s he doing fighting off taffeta in a bridal salon? He’s maid of honor for his best friend, Caroline Oakenfeld, in her wedding to a pencil-necked geek. But the closer he gets to the ceremony, the more he wonders if he’s been missing out all this time.

Caroline has been missing out, and she knows it. Shes been in love with Heck forever, but frittering her life away until Heck wises up isn’t part of her life plan. She’s agreed to marry her boyfriend so she can move on with her life. But the closer she gets to the ceremony, the more she realizes she has to resolve her feelings for Heck.

For better or for worse.

I loved the idea of this story, but the characters just didn’t work for me. Heck and Caroline have zero chemistry and a relationship between them feels forced. Caroline is marrying her boyfriend even though she is in love with Heck and has been for years. Her wedding seems more about getting him to notice her and see what he’s missing then about actually marrying the boyfriend. Heck has never looked at Caroline that way until the day that she is trying on her wedding dress and he is mesmerized by her boobs. Then he wants her for himself and he isn’t above trying to stop her wedding. There was just not any romance to the story and I didn’t care if the couple got together or not.

the book girl gives KISS THE BRIDE a 2/5

to find the book:

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Review: Extreme Love by Abby Niles

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About the book:

New body. New clothes. New men.

Used to the average Joe, Caitlyn Moore is overwhelmed when the supremely masculine Dante Jones walks into her life and expresses an interest in her. At first she pushes him away, refusing to encourage the attention of a cage fighter. Then she learns Dante has a love ‘em and leave ‘em reputation. What better way to fine-tune her non-existent flirting skills than with a male who won’t stick around? But Dante has no intention of being a practice dummy; he’s out for all or nothing. Now Caitlyn must accept Dante—violent career and all—or let him go.

Dante “Inferno” Jones has one goal: win the Welterweight Championship. At a time when focus is crucial, the last thing he needs is a distraction. Yet Caitlyn Moore becomes a challenge he can’t resist. When the light-hearted pursuit shifts to a battle to win her heart, his focus is shot. Faced with losing the biggest match of his career, Dante must decide if his extreme life also has room for Extreme Love.

I was excited to read Caitlyn and Dante’s story – especially because of Caitlyn. I thought that I would be able to connect with this character, because I too have recently lost a lot of weight. Instead I got irritated at her insecurities and her inability to accept the new her.  I delighted in every size I dropped and loved showing off my slimmer shape. She teaches a class at the Y about changing people’s assumptions about those who carry a few extra pounds and how just because you are overweight doesn’t mean you aren’t physically fit, but she can’t get past her own mental roadblocks to date an amazing guy who is into her. I know that everyone handles it differently, but it made me unable to connect to the character. Added to the fact that she kept pushing Dante away and then pulling him back also got on my nerves. She didn’t believe that someone “like him” could be attracted to her, but time after time he showed that he was. There just wasn’t that much chemistry between the couple, because Caitlyn was too focused on her own insecurities.

the book girl gives EXTREME LOVE a 2/5

to find the book:

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Review: Wife In Name Only by Hayson Manning

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About the book:

Trapped in a loveless marriage, Zoe Hughes escaped to make a new life for herself on the tiny island of Tonga. Now she runs a successful boutique honeymoon resort. Selling true love is easy. No one needs to know she’s married in name only. At least until America’s premier honeymoon magazine wants to publish a feature on her perfect marriage. Now she must convince her estranged husband to rip himself away from plotting corporate takeovers in LA to save her island paradise.
Rory agrees to come for forty-eight hours, but only because he needs the positive PR. To his surprise, the wife he finds in Tonga isn’t the same woman he married. Now she’s so much more… 
When a storm strands Rory in Tonga, will he win back his wife or leave paradise empty-handed?

This book just didn’t really work for me. The couple’s chemistry is off the charts, but emotionally I didn’t feel that they connected at all. I couldn’t get over what a jerk Rory was to Zoe most of the time and how hot and cold he ran while on the island. One minute he’s snuggling up to her and the next he’s barking about some work thing. It just didn’t fit when he does the one-eighty and realizes that he wants to be with Zoe forever. I loved Zoe! She took her unhappy life and found a way to be happy. She really worked through therapy, classes and finding her passion to carve out a life – without Rory – that fulfilled her. I just couldn’t believe that Rory was going to settle into her calm, island life and start putting Zoe before work.

the book girl gives WIFE IN NAME ONLY a 2.5/5

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Review: COVERT SEDUCTION by Callie Croix

9781426894923_p0_v2_s260x420About the book:

Navy SEAL Reid Galvin is back from hell and eager to find comfort in Becca Anderson’s arms. He knows he hurt her when he cut contact during his deployment, so when his call interrupts her date with another man, he has only himself to blame. But he can’t forget what she means to him—or the sexy email she sent him—and he won’t miss this chance to claim her as his own.

It’s been weeks since Becca heard from the man she thought she was involved with. So when Reid wants to take up where they left off as if nothing happened, she refuses. Then he rescues her from a first date gone very wrong, and she realizes she’s not quite ready to let him go.

Reid and Becca have a lot to talk about, but since she’s not listening, he’s going to have to regain her trust another way—by bringing her most erotic fantasies to life. Making her surrender to pleasure just might be his most important mission.

COVERT SEDUCTION is an erotic romantic suspense (is that a genre?). There are hot, hot sex scenes between Reid and Becca and lots of action packed scenes as the bad guys come after Becca. I enjoyed the romance between Reid and Becca. It’s sexy and sweet. However, to me the story felt disjointed. It didn’t move smoothly between the suspense and the romance. At times when the couple was being “romantic” there wasn’t a thought to what was happening around them. Becca is run off the road and almost drowns. Reid takes her home and they have some kinky sex. I couldn’t help but think that it would be hard to turn off my brain and stop wondering who wanted me dead like Becca was able to. The suspense part of the story just seemed to happen. There wasn’t a lead up to it or time for the reader to try to figure out what was happening. All of a sudden the reader is told who the bad guy is and it’s over – Becca’s safe. This story just didn’t really work for me.

the book girl gives COVERT SEDUCTION a 2/5

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Review: DOC HOLIDAY by Debra Dixon

About the book:

Drew Haywood needs a feminine touch to help give his young son a holiday to remember—and no one does Christmas better than Taylor Bishop. She knows how to transform a house into a home that sparkles. But when Drew lets his guard down, he finds that Taylor has much more to offer. Kissing her is like coming in out of the cold—and Drew doesn’t want to go back out.
 
Taylor has already raised one family—she grew up with six brothers, after all—and she doesn’t need another. She may have fallen for Drew as a teenager, but he’s asking for a Christmas miracle that would break all her rules. Still, the chemistry she shares with this sexy, single father has nothing to do with the past. Perhaps the gift of a young boy’s smile, not to mention stolen kisses beneath the mistletoe, will point the way to the one thing on Taylor’s wish list.

This story didn’t really work for me. I couldn’t connect with the heroine of the story. Taylor’s constant thoughts about her desire to live her “own” life after helping raise her brothers and the conflicting irritation when someone else stepped in to help and did the things that she had always done (and complained about) made her hard to like. She didn’t want to raise another family, but she jumps right in to make Noah’s Christmas her priority. The whole time she is making the little boy fall in love with her she is telling his father that she wants nothing to do with being part of another family. I know that part of the reason her attitude bothered me so much is the mother in me. If she really didn’t want to raise another child or be part of another family she should have stayed the away from Noah. So, obviously she wasn’t very firm in her convictions. However, it’s on just about every other page that she doesn’t want to be there and that she wants her own life. I got sick of it. Drew also irritated me since he was exposing his son to someone who might break his heart if she really did leave. The romance between the two of the seems more convenient for him and his need for a mother for Noah. I didn’t think that there was much chemistry between the two characters. Everything turns out happy in the end, but by then I didn’t care about either character.

the book girl gives DOC HOLIDAY a 2.5/5

to find the book:

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Review: A WINTER WONDERLAND

About the book:

“A Winter Wonderland” by Fern Michaels

Angelica Shepard left New York for Christmas in Colorado to relax and unwind—but an out-of-control snowboarder almost had her laid to rest. When she wakes up in the hospital, all she remembers is the handsome angel who saved her…

“The Joy of Christmas” by Holly Chamberlin

Not all happiness is good for you—or that’s what Iris Karr thinks when she decides to move away instead of marrying her sweetheart Ben. Even years later, living with that decision isn’t easy—until a familiar face comes to call her home for the holidays…

“The Christmas Thief” by Leslie Meier

Elizabeth Stone is ready for a white Christmas in Tinker’s Cove, Maine—until a fancy Yule ball at the Florida hotel where she works dumps snow on her plans. The sponsor’s jewels have gone missing and the police are asking about her ties to a cute mystery guest. Good thing Elizabeth’s mother, Lucy Stone, flew down to surprise her. ‘Tis the season for a little investigating…

“The Christmas Collector” by Kristina McMorris

Estate liquidator Jenna Matthews isn’t one for Christmas nostalgia. But when one grandmother’s keepsakes suggest a secret life, unwrapping the mystery leads Jenna—and her client’s handsome grandson—to the true heart of the holiday spirit…

This anthology just didn’t work for me. In fact I only read three of the stories all the way through. There isn’t any levity or cheer in these romances. In fact, there isn’t even all that much romance.

A thought or two about each story:

“A Winter Wonderland” – The characters aren’t fully fleshed out and  go from hating each other to being madly in love with nothing in between. I felt there was a huge chunk missing from the story.

“The Joy of Christmas” – I found this story depressing and had trouble finishing it. There is no connection between the characters and most of the story focuses on the death of the heroine’s mother and her inability to deal with it.

“The Christmas Thief” – I enjoyed this story the most. I’m sure it is because it featured established characters that I had some previous knowledge of.

“The Christmas Collector” – I didn’t finish this story. I couldn’t connect with the characters and by the time I got to the fourth story in this anthology I couldn’t make myself go any further.

the book girl gives A WINTER WONDERLAND a 2/5

to find the book:

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Review: HOT AND HAUNTED by Megan Hart, Lauren Hawkeye, and Saranna DeWylde

About the book:

True Halloween pleasures don’t come from sweets . . .

Indulge yourself with some tasty tricks and treats from three popular erotica authors as they serve up tales of chilling, thrilling passion.

Megan Hart’s Nothing Else Matters

After surviving the zombie apocalypse, Lira wants nothing more than the sense of life that only lust can bring. Suddenly torn between two irresistible lovers, Lira must choose: the one who brings her carnal fantasies to life? Or the one who sets her ablaze again and again?

Lauren Hawkeye’s Pick Me Up

Sure, hitchhiking is dangerous, but Holly just had to get away. Now soaking wet and stuck in a downpour with her roadside savior, she’s ready for a little window-steaming and some role-play. It’s all fun and games until Holly realizes she’s met her match . . .

Saranna DeWylde’s Little Red’s Big Bad

Hunting werewolves and being snowbound in a remote cabin with a sexy FBI agent are all in a day’s work for U.S. Marshal Miranda Garrick. But when business mixes with pleasure, can she stay in control? Or will she be tempted by unrestrained passion . . . and tantalizing danger?

HOT AND HAUNTED just didn’t work for me. I enjoyed Megan Hart’s story and went to find out if there was something more set in the same world, but the other two stories fell flat. All three stories are extremely hot and erotic, but missing a romantic element. If you are looking for something very sexy and short, this might work for you. It just wasn’t to my taste.

the book girl gives HOT AND HAUNTED a 2/5

to find the book:

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