Category Archives: 4/5

Review: The Hot One by Lauren Blakely

About the book:

Ever notice that sometimes a guy will do something really stupid, like let the love of his life slip through his fingers? Yeah. I’m that guy. But the moment I run into the woman I once loved madly, I’ve got one goal and one goal only–a second chance. The plan? Go big or go home.
Fine, at first glance, stripping naked at my ex-girlfriend’s place of work might not seem like the brightest way to win her heart again. But trust me on this count–she always liked me best without any clothes on. And you’ve got to play to your strengths when you’re fighting an uphill battle. As a lawyer, I know how to fight, and I’m prepared to fight hard for her. Because sometimes you need a second chance at first love.

He’s the one who got away . . . 
The nerve of Tyler Nichols to reappear like that at my job, showing off his rock-hard body that drove me wild far too many nights. That man with his knowing grin and mischievous eyes is nothing but a cocky jerk to saunter back into my life. Except, what if he’s not . . .? I’ve tried like hell to forget him, but maybe I’m cursed to remember the guy I fell madly in love with eight years ago. Lord knows I’m not over him, so what’s the harm in giving him a week to prove he’s changed in the ways that matter? 

After all, how do you resist the hot one . . .?

My thoughts:

I loved this book! It is romantic, funny, and sexy.

Tyler regrets how he treated Delaney in the past. It wasn’t what he really wanted to do, but he broke-up with her in a terrible way. Eight years later, he wants a second chance. I loved Tyler’s determination to get Delaney back, but also to really apologize for the way he treated her. In trying to win her love again, they are both able to really move on from their break-up.

Delaney doesn’t let Tyler in easily. Even when he shows up at her work and literally bares himself. She hasn’t been able to forget him and isn’t sure if she can forgive him.

I loved the way these two reconnect. They don’t immediately jump into bed together. Delaney wants to make sure that he can’t hurt her again and Tyler wants to show that he has grown as an adult.  Of course, when they do make love it is hot, hot, hot!

Rating:

I give this book a 4/5

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Review: The House Mate by Kendall Ryan

About the book:

What’s sexier than a bad boy? A bad ass man who’s got his shit together.

Max Alexander is nearing thirty-five. He’s built a successful company, and he’s conquered the professional world, but he’s never been lucky in love. Focusing so much time on his business and raising his daughter, adulting has come at the expense of his personal life.

His social skills are shit, his patience is shot, and at times, his temper runs hot.

The last thing he has time for is the recently single, too gorgeous for her own good young woman he hires to take care of his little girl. She’s a distraction he doesn’t need, and besides, there’s no way she’d be interested. But you know what they say about assumptions?

This is book 3 in the Roommates series, but each book can be read as a complete standalone as they all feature new couples to fall in love with.

What I thought:

When you start a Kendall Ryan book, you know that you are in for a sexy, scorching romance. The House Mate is just that. There is instant chemistry between Max and Addison.

Max has just had his life turned upside down. After living a carefree bachelor life and planning on continuing everything changes with one word – baby. I love how Max doesn’t act like Dylan couldn’t be his daughter. He doesn’t question his ex-girlfriend about what happened for the last year plus. (Although I feel at some point he should have asked Jen about the important stuff.) Max instantly connects to the baby and sets out to protect her and provide for her.

Then comes Addison. Addison is looking for a change after her world blew up. She answers the ad for a nanny, but she isn’t prepared for how hot the baby’s father is. Addison is the perfect nanny. She falls in love with Dylan instantly and puts her first. When Max tries to make a move, Addison knows that it could ruin their relationship and the relationship that she has with Dylan.

I loved that in this romance, Addison is the more level-headed of the two. Max wants to jump in with both feet and jump her. Addison is scared that her life could be thrown into chaos again and wants to make sure the decisions she makes are the right ones.

My only quibble with the book is Max’s attitude toward marriage and love change almost overnight. There is almost no way a man who has lived his entire existence making sure his relationships are only contemporary and superficial would suddenly want to be a married family man. The story would have rung more true if there was at least a little resistance to his life changing so much.

Rating:

I give this book a 3.5/5

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Review: The Attraction of Adeline by Lisa Wells

About the book: 

Adeline Rigby will live with Accountant Jack Foster and pretend to be his fake fiancée for one month in order for him to seal a promotion to partner. In return, Accountant Jack Foster will intimately tutor Adeline Rigby in French before she leaves for Paris where she will fulfill her dream of attending Le Cordon Bleu.

The Terms:

1. Maintain distance. Three get-to-know-you dates before announcing their engagement will be tempting enough.

2. No kissing. Okay, fine. Three kisses. Maybe four. And neck kisses don’t count.

3. No touchy feely stuff. Or at least not too many public displays of touchy-feely stuff.

4. No sex.

5. All right, all right. One night of sex in order to be a believable engaged couple.

6. Two nights of mind-blowing sex to make sure first night wasn’t a fluke.

7. Absolutely, positively, no falling in love.

What I thought:

THE ATTRACTION OF ADELINE is a funny, sweet romance. I really loved the relationship that develops between Adeline and Jack. There is a lot of chemistry between them from their first meeting and it grows as they get to know one another.

At first, this story seemed like just a lighthearted read, but there was a lot more to the characters. Adeline is trying to fulfill promises made to a loved one and doesn’t believe that she has the time or the right to fall in love with Jack. Jack is trying to make a good impression at work and can’t see that his personal life is more important than his professional one. I enjoyed the character development that both Adeline and Jack go through to get their happily ever after.

I would recommend this book for anyone who wants just a little more depth within a really cute, contemporary romance.

Rating:

I give THE ATTRACTION OF ADELINE a 4/5

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Review: The Cowboy’s Christmas Baby by Carolyn Brown

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About the book:

‘Tis the season for…

A pistol-totin’ woman who’s no angel
A tough rancher who doesn’t believe in miracles
Love that warms the coldest nights

After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can’t wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person.

When he pulls in, there’s Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol in her hand and a dead coyote at her feet.

Lucas is unfazed. But wait…is that a BABY in her arms?

I really enjoyed this story. It took a little while for me to like the characters – I think because it took a little while for them to warm up to each other – but once I did I couldn’t wait to see how the romance would play out. Natalie doesn’t take anything from anybody. When Lucas returns and is shocked to find Joshua in her arms, she basically tells him to accept the baby or watch her backside as she walks away. Lucas was looking forward to moving his internet relationship with Natalie forward when he came home from Kuwait, but her having Joshua changed his plans in a big way. Lucas doesn’t want for things to be any way but how he pictures them, but as he gets to know the real Natalie and baby Joshua he realizes that he wants both of them to be part of his life forever. I loved Natalie and Lucas both. They are both such strong-willed characters that don’t put up with any nonsense. However, I think that my favorite part of THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY are the secondary characters – especially Lucas’s grandpa, father, and surrogate uncle. These men add so much to the story and help move the romance along with the matchmaking efforts. This story is a sweet and sexy holiday read.

the book girl gives THE COWBOY’S CHRISTMAS BABY a 4/5

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Review: Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait by Grace Burrowes

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About the book:

A freshly wrapped Regency Christmas romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes.

What Lady Jenny wants for Christmas…

For Christmas, soft-spoken Lady Jenny Windham craves the freedom to pursue her artistic ambitions, though it will mean scandalizing her ducal parents and abandoning all hope of a family of her own. She confides her plans to successful artist Elijah Harrison when he’s commissioned to paint a portrait of her small nephews, because assisting Elijah will bring Jenny that much closer to her heart’s desire–won’t it?

…Will break both their hearts

Elijah Harrison finds in his unlikely assistant not only an inspiring muse and unappreciated talent, but also a lovely and passionate woman. If Elijah supports Jenny’s career, his own professional interests will suffer, but more significantly, he will lose Jenny forever. Both Jenny and Elijah must choose between true love and a lifelong dream.

Lady Jenny is lonely in a family full of people. She is the “maiden-aunt” and shuttled around from sibling to sibling to dote and love on all of her various nieces and nephews. Everyone assumes that she is happy and doesn’t pay much attention to her true love – art. I really liked Jenny. She puts on a brave face and really does love her family, but inside she is dying a little each day. Then she makes a decision, thanks to Elijah, that changes the course of her life. Elijah Harrison is the perfect partner for Jenny. He sees right into her heart and wants everyone to know how important her art is to her and just how good at it she really is. I love how he sticks up for her to her family and how he tells her that she must make them see how important it is to her. Their relationship is a wonderful partnership and they have great chemistry. This is the last book in the Windham family series and I love how we were able to see little glimpses into each of the siblings lives and how they are still as happily in love as they were at the end of their books.

the book girl gives LADY JENNY’S CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT a 4/5

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Review: The Scandal Before Christmas by Elizabeth Essex

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About the book:

’Tis the season for a new holiday novella from acclaimed author Elizabeth Essex! The Scandal Before Christmas is romance so good it’s scandalous…

Lieutenant Ian Worth needs a wife by Christmas, and he can’t afford to be choosy. He has to find her, woo her, and wed her before he goes back to sea—all within a matter of days.  

Anne Lesley is a shy spinster with no prospects, and nothing and no one to recommend her but her own self. She accepts the lieutenant’s hasty offer only for the comfort and security it will bring. But when a midwinter storm snows her and Ian in, they both find they got much more than they bargained for—laughter, light, and a Christmas filled with honest to goodness true love…

Ian needs a wife, but he doesn’t want one. Anne doesn’t want a husband, but marrying a man who will be at sea for a good part of the year – leaving her alone – seems about as good as it can get for a plain girl with nothing to recommend her. I loved how these two meet and think one thing about each other and then quickly change their opinion. Ian didn’t expect to be attracted to the plain Anne, but he quickly sees her as beautiful. Anne overcomes her shyness and learns to assert her true self. I loved these two as a couple. Their romance is both sexy and sweet.

the book girl gives THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS a 4/5

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Review: Santa to the Rescue by Adele Downs

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About the book:

Firefighter Jamey Tucker knows three things in life to be true: an honorable man doesn’t go back on his word; never hurt a woman; and lasting love isn’t a myth. But with his recent move to a new job at Appleton Fire Station, the long hours don’t offer hope of finding the love he’s looking for.

When Jamey meets beautiful pediatric nurse Heather Longhurst after hearing her sing Santa Baby in a supermarket aisle, he offers her a promise he discovers he can’t keep. Heather has been betrayed by men in the past, making it hard for Jamey to gain her trust. Determined to find a way to win her heart, Jamey uses firefighter engine-uity and Heather’s favorite song to prove he’s got Christmas spirit she can believe in all year.

SANTA TO THE RESCUE is a cute, romantic short story. Jamey and Heather have great chemistry when they meet. The story is short, but the author does a great job of building a believable relationship between two strangers. Heather has trust issues and Jamey is able to overcome them by being honest with her and working to make sure he doesn’t let her down. SANTA TO THE RESCUE is the perfect read when you want something quick and sweet.

the book girl gives SANTA TO THE RESCUE a 4/5

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Review: Once A Rake by Eileen Dreyer

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About the book:

All he wants is her help . . .

Colonel Ian Ferguson may be a rake, but he’s no traitor. Accused of trying to kill the Duke of Wellington, the disgraced Scotsman is now a fugitive-from the law, the army, and the cunning assassin who hunts him. Wounded and miles from his allies, Ian finds himself at the mercy of an impoverished country wife. The spirited woman is achingly beautiful . . . and hiding some dangerous secrets of her own.

All she needs is his heart . . .

She was a child nobody wanted. Now for Lady Sarah Clarke, holding on to her vanished husband’s crumbling estate is her final chance to earn respectability. She knows that hiding the devastatingly handsome Ferguson will jeopardize her home. Common sense demands that she turn him in. But a single, delirious kiss shatters her resolve . . . and awakens a passion that neither of them can escape.

Ian Ferguson is a fantastic hero, but what made this book so wonderful was Sarah. She has had a less than wonderful life (born on the wrong side of the blanket, married to a man she didn’t love), but she still pushes forward and tries to find contentment. When faced with Ian she isn’t sure what to do with him, but she does know that she can’t turn him in to the authorities. I loved how strong she is and how willing she is to do what’s needed to get Ian to the right people. Ian is just as strong. He knows that he has to get away from Sarah’s home so that she can be safe, but as his feelings for her start to change he struggles between leaving Sarah’s to save the Duke of Wellington or staying with her to protect her from her cousin-in-law. I love the connection between Sarah and Ian. There are some serious sparks despite his injury and the threat of discovery. I really enjoyed the tension between Ian and Sarah, but also the tension in the plot. Ian has to clear his name, but there are many different forces trying to stop him. The story moves quickly and there isn’t a boring moment. There are appearances by characters from past books and a great set-up for the upcoming book. I cannot wait for the next book in the series – I have to find out what happens to Ian’s sisters.

the book girl gives ONCE A RAKE a 4/5

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Review: Once She Was Tempted by Anne Burton

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About the book:

A PORTRAIT OF A LADY

. . . or is it? The risqué painting owned by Benjamin Elliot, the earl of Foxburn, features a stunning beauty with sapphire eyes, golden hair, and creamy skin. Ben recognizes this particular English rose the instant he meets her-though she’s wearing considerably more clothing. In person, the demure debutante is even more irresistible . . .

In desperate need of money for her sick mother, Daphne Honeycote had posed for two scandalous portraits. Now she must hide her secret to save the Honeycote family name. Ben’s possession of one painting makes him an insufferable thorn in her side-and yet he may be her best chance at finding the canvas’s companion. As she becomes drawn to the dark-tempered earl, can Daphne risk laying bare the secrets of her heart?

I’ve been on a historical romance reading binge lately and it seems that a lot of them have featured injured heroes. ONCE SHE WAS TEMPTED has an injured hero and he is delicious. Ben, the earl of Foxburn, was shot in the leg during the war and suffered a great injury in his leg. The pain makes him grumpy, but Daphne Honeycote brings out something in him that he didn’t thing he would ever feel again…hope. Daphne has lived in a small apartment in St. Giles and now she resides in a beautiful home thanks to her sisters advantageous marriage. She wouldn’t do anything to put her family’s reputation in danger, now, but once upon a time she had been winning to do anything to keep their heads above water. Daphne is drawn to Ben and asks him to help her find the other painting. Ben can’t say no to Daphne and knows that helping her will also give him more time alone with her. I really love this couple. They don’t seem like they should work at first glance. Daphne is kind, sweet, and a little naive. Ben is grumpy and cynical. I think that they really balance each other out. I love how Daphne takes care of Ben and works to make him feel better. She finds ways to ease the pain of his injury and makes sure that he is taking care of himself even when he doesn’t want her help. Ben also takes care of Daphne, although he struggles at times with not being able to physically protect her the way he thinks he should. Their romance is slow to build – they become friends first. I really enjoyed the secondary characters in the story and can’t wait for Rose and Olivia’s happily ever after.

the book girl gives ONCE SHE WAS TEMPTED a 4/5

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Review: The Billionaire’s Matchmaker: An Indulgence Anthlology

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About the book:

An Anthology by Shirley Jump, Susan Meier, Jackie Braun and Barbara Wallace

 Can a feisty four-legged matchmaker help four best friends find the romance of their dreams?

When a handsome man from Gabby’s past agrees to a cross-country road trip, her master plan to re-launch her art career quickly morphs into an unexpected, romantic reunion.

Marney’s 9-1-1 emergency help arrives in the form of a rugged, blue-eyed cop. Now she has the perfect bodyguard to keep her safe during those dark, steamy nights…

The last thing Mia wants is a relationship…yet the headstrong florist can’t keep her hands off her sexy-as-sin ex-boyfriend.  Will she open her heart before he leaves town for good?

Jenny is a woman on a mission – she’ll even resort to dognapping to make her point! But can she teach a reclusive, emotionally-wounded tycoon that love heals all things?

THE BILLIONAIRE’S MATCHMAKER is a very cute anthology with one very cute dog at the center of all four stories. I really enjoyed the first three stories. They had great romances and felt like complete stories with happily ever afters. The fourth story, Jenny’s story, didn’t feel as complete. Her story doesn’t end with a fully realized happily ever after just a promise of one and I felt a little cheated after the previous three stories. Even without the happily ever after it is still a sweet story like the other three. THE BILLIONAIRE’S MATCHMAKER is the perfect book when you are looking for something quick, sexy, and sweet.

the book girl gives THE BILLIONAIRE’S MATCHMAKER a 4/5

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