Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

Review: Montana Heat – Protected by Love by Jennifer Ryan

About the book:

It was more than another blind date . . .

It was DEA Agent Caden Cooke’s third chance to impress beautiful chef Mia Martin. He’d already stood her up twice, and was shocked she was even giving him another chance. For Caden, taking down the bad guys is important, but Mia’s made it clear there’s no excuse for his bad behavior. So he’s vowed to make it worth her while with an apology he’s cooked up just for her.

From the moment they meet, it’s clear this isn’t just another fix up. The sparks flying between them are undeniable; the tension is electric. Then, suddenly, the best moments of their lives turn treacherous when a drug dealer set on revenge puts their lives in danger. And Mia and Caden quickly realize they will do anything to protect the other—and live for the love neither of them expected.

My thoughts:

Jennifer Ryan is one of my favorite authors. I have loved all of her books and read several of them more than once. I was excited that there was a new series coming that had characters already introduced in a previous book.

I loved Caden and Mia. Caden knows that missing his dates with Mia is bad. Mostly because he doesn’t want a lecture from his aunt, but also because it is a very ungentlemanly thing to do. For her part, Mia is understanding about Caden’s job. That doesn’t mean she is going to give him another chance if he stands her up a third time.

Their date takes many unexpected turns – some a little funny, but mostly very serious. Caden wants to protect Mia, but Mia is a kick ass heroine who does a lot of the saving herself. I loved that Mia wasn’t a wilting flower when faced with adversity. She plans to protect Caden while he’s protecting her.

With this being a novella, everything moves at a very fast pace. They go from not knowing each other to madly in love very quickly. The chemistry between the characters is evident from the beginning of their third-attempt at a first date.

Montana Heat: Protected by Love will definitely go in my re-read collection on my kindle.

Rating:

I give Montana Heat: Protected by Love a 5/5

To find the book:

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Review: Falling for the Fake Fiance by Jennifer Blackwood

About the book:

Jill Michaels prides herself on one thing: being independent. That is until her daughter gets into an elite school, and she needs money more than ever. It seems her fairy godmother—aka her deceased Grammy—has granted that wish in the form of one-fourth of her estate. The only catch? She must be married by her thirtieth birthday. In two months.

Aaron Collins is fresh out of the army and back in town to help his father’s failing business. When he runs into Jill at a hotel where she’s attending a single’s mixer, he makes sure she doesn’t make it past his room and into another guy’s arms. When he hears about her predicament, he has a plan: they’ll get married and keep it a secret. And maybe have a little sexy fun until he leave towns for his new job.

But letting go of the woman of his dreams may be harder than Aaron could have ever imagined.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! Jill is just trying to keep it all together and Aaron seems like the answer to her prayers. Aaron doesn’t want to be part of an “us”, but he can’t stand the tired, hopeless look he sees in Jill’s eyes when she doesn’t think anyone is looking. Aaron is the ultimate sexy, alpha male. He sees a problem and instantly wants to fix it. Jill is an independent single mom who has done just fine on her own, but the cracks in the foundation are starting to show. She doesn’t want her daughter to miss out on anything that is available to her, but between her private school and extra-curricular activities she is breaking the bank.

The chemistry between Jill and Aaron is off the charts. I loved the way he slid so easily into her life and fell in love with Jill and her daughter. FALLING FOR THE FAKE FIANCE is a sweet, sexy romance.

Rating:

the book girl gives FALLING FOR THE FAKE FIANCE a 4/5

To find the book:

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Review: Royal Player by Katie McCoy

About the book:

Charlie Davenport is the bad boy of British sports – and third in line to the throne. He’s a beast on the courts, and a wild animal in bed (according to all the tabloids). Girls are lining up for chance at his crown jewels, and when I stumble into the wrong Wimbledon dressing room and catch a glimpse of his game, set, AND match, I can see why.

So what’s a little good luck kiss between f̶r̶i̶e̶n̶d̶s̶ strangers?

I know better than to get involved with a bad boy like Charlie. But now he’s on a winning streak, he thinks I’m his lucky charm – and you know what’s luckier than a kiss?

Everything.

Suddenly, I’ve got paparazzi on my trail, exes coming out of the woodwork — and you don’t know ‘cutthroat’ until you’ve seen a pack of hungry socialites set loose near the Royal Family.

I’m in way over my head, and even worse – I’m falling in love. Can this American girl win her Prince Charming? Or will we both crash out of the championships in flames?

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. It is funny, sweet and sexy as hell. Charlie is the black sheep member of a royal family. He doesn’t care about much of anything except having a good time. His tennis career is good enough to get him to Wimbledon, but he doesn’t actually expect to win anything. Emmy is on an adventure and being a refreshment girl at Wimbledon is just the beginning.

This story reminded me a bit of the movie, Wimbledon, starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst. Emmy becomes Charlie’s lucky charm – both on the tennis court and in his personal life. I liked the way Emmy is able to get Charlie to think differently about his future and his relationship with his family. Emmy is also able to get others to take Charlie seriously.

If I had one complaint about the book, it is that Charlie gains a lot from his relationship with Emmy, but Emmy doesn’t. Of course she is having lots of hot sex with a bad boy, but her relationship with Charlie actually causes more problems for her – paparazzi and Charlie’s discarded women. I felt that this relationship wasn’t such a quite equal and I wanted Emmy to get more and be more than just Charlie’s arm candy.

Rating:

the book girl gives ROYAL PLAYER a 3.5/5

To find the book:

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Review: The Nanny Arrangement by Rachel Harris

About the book:

Soft-spoken and shy Hannah Fisher is determined to make the man she’s loved her entire life finally see her as a woman. With the help of a makeover, a new mission—Operation Find My Happy—and the convenient forced proximity of a tour bus, she vows to win her best friend Deacon’s heart.

Former bad boy and current fiddle player Deacon Latrell has the world at his fingertips: a new gig with a famous band, plus his best friend on tour as his son’s nanny. Life couldn’t get much sweeter. Now if only he could stop imagining kissing the daylights out of his childhood BFF…

With one friend set on pushing the boundaries and the other afraid to rock the boat, one thing’s for certain—their story would make one heck of a country song.

Each book in the Country Blues series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1: You’re Still the One
Book #2: The Nanny Arrangement

My thoughts:

I’m a sucker for the best friends to lovers story. The love between Deacon and Hannah is obvious from the very beginning of the book, but Deacon doesn’t notice Hannah in that way. Or does he? I loved Deacon’s slow realization that he feels more than just platonic love for Hannah.

I loved the connection between Deacon and Hannah. Their friendship that had evolved through their teenage years to their mid-twenties.

The secondary characters, including Deacon’s sweet son Max, are an important part of the story.  Deacon is worried about being a good father to Max and a good member of his new band. He knows that Hannah is necessary to both working out. His son is in love with her and his band mates and their wives instantly bring her into the group. Deacon is afraid that if he crosses a line with Hannah, that is getting harder and harder not to cross, then everything in his world could go to hell.

The Nanny Arrangement is the perfect book to read while sitting out by the pool.

Rating: 

the book girl gives The Nanny Arrangement a 5/5

To find the book:

Amazon

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Review: One Little Kiss by Maggie Kelley

About the book:

Love blogger Kate Bell is finished with men—especially the hot ones. Of course her only chance to save her career requires snagging an interview with the man who literally wrote the book on love, reclusive and super-sexy relationship expert Jake Wright. Who happens to be her boss’s brother.

The last thing Jake Wright wants is to be dragged back into the spotlight as a bachelor for his sister’s dating website. But when a sweet and sexy blogger crashes onto his island in the middle of a storm worse than his love life, keeping his hands off proves to be a challenge—especially when they’re stuck sharing the same bungalow.

Each book in the Smart Cupid series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Breaking the Bachelor
Book #2 Unexpectedly His
Book #3 One Little Kiss

What I thought:

I loved this book! The characters are brilliant and sexy.

Kate is really bad at picking men, so she has given them up. New Kate is going to focus on her career and not having to return to Ohio and run the family business. It is imperative that she gets the interview with Jake (who happens to be her boss’s brother).

Jake wants nothing to do with being a Smart Cupid stud or being interviewed by Kate. Weather, a sexy bikini, and a meddling sister/boss bring these two together and the sparks immediately fly.

I really liked the way that Kate is able to change Jake’s perception of romance and the way Jake restores Kate’s faith in true love. One Little Kiss is sexy, sweet and has a perfect happily ever after ending.

Rating:

the book girl gives One Little Kiss a 5/5

To find the book:

Amazon

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Review: Positively Pippa by Sarah Hegger

About the book:

For Pippa Turner there’s only one place to go when her life self-destructs on national TV—home to Ghost Falls, and her heavily perfumed, overly dramatic, but supremely loving grandmother, Philomene. If anyone will understand how Pippa’s hit makeover show was sabotaged by her vengeful ex, it’s Phi. But she’s not the only one who’s happy to see her—and Pippa can’t help but wonder if Matt Evans, her gorgeous high-school crush turned Phi’s contractor, is game for a steamy close-up…

Matt owes his whole career to Phi and her constant demands to embellish the gothically ridiculous house he built for her. Getting to see red-headed, red-hot Pippa is a bonus, especially now that she’s no longer the troublesome teenager he remembers. He’s willing to stay behind the scenes while she gives her own life a much-needed makeover, but not forever. As far as he’s concerned, their connection is too electric to ignore. And the chance to build something lasting between them—before she can high-tail it back to Hollywood—is going to the top of his to-do list…

My thoughts:

Positively Pippa is a cute book, but I just couldn’t connect to the main character. Pippa comes home after her ex-boyfriend sets her up and she looses her job. Throughout the whole book she is trying to get her show back and doesn’t seem to care about the effect her leaving would on her grandmother, Phi, or Matt. Although Matt tells her that their relationship is short-term and he’s okay with her regaining her previous life, it kinda felt to me like she was using him and his long-time crush to make herself feel better. I did love the character of Pippa’s grandmother, Phi. Phi is fabulous. The relationship between Matt and Phi is sweet. Matt is sexy as hell – a man who takes care of his family (no matter how crazy they drive him) and Phi, a diva past her prime who loves him and helped him in a time when he really needed it.

The writing is funny and sexy. I liked the plot and the relationship that grows between Pippa and Matt. I just wish that I could have connected to Pippa more.

How I rate it:

I give Positively Pippa a 3/5

To find the book:

Amazon

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Review: The Irish Prince by Virginia Nelson

About the book:

CEO Aiden Kelley’s life of billionaire extravagance is flipped upside down when his ex shows up with a ten-year-old she claims is his. Totally out of his element and losing the control so integral to his success, he needs help. To top it all off, the only constant woman in his life, his executive assistant, has given notice just when he needs her help to survive his newfound fatherhood.

Chelsea Houston is an executive assistant, not a nanny. The only person more clueless about kids is her boss. Helping him on a daddy-daughter road trip is her last task before he’ll accept her two weeks’ notice and she can be free of the infuriating man she’s had a crush on for longer than she’d admit.

Aiden’s carefully ordered life has never been so disorganized, and he’s suddenly tempted by the things he thought he could never have. Things like love and family. Who knew chaos could be so damn fun?

Each book in the The Billionaire Dynasties series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 The Penthouse Prince
Book #2 The Irish Prince

My Thoughts:

The Irish Prince takes the reader on an emotional journey with both the romance and the relationship between Aiden and his daughter.

Aiden is unsure of himself as a parent and it has thrown him for loop. He has worked his whole life to be in complete control of every situation and when he struggles with that control he has Chelsea to help him. She is the one person he can count on in any situation, but Chelsea is tired of being his executive assistant. She wants more than finding random women’s underwear in her office and having to field calls and visits from those same women when they are inevitably pushed aside. This trip to the Grand Canyon with Waverly is the end of her working relationship with Aiden. She is done! Only Aiden isn’t ready to let her go and her wanting to leave him is making him see Chelsea in a new light.

The relationship between Aiden and Chelsea develops quickly once there is a timer on her leaving his employment. They both find themselves wondering “what if” and wanting to explore the chemistry between them. I liked that although they had worked very closely to each other for years, that Aiden and Chelsea had never taken their relationship in another direction. That it was professional between them and stayed that way until the trip to the Grand Canyon.

I also loved the humor of Chelsea and the awkwardness of Aiden as he explores his feelings for Chelsea and at becoming a parent to Waverly. It is the perfect balance.

How I Rate This Book:

I give The Irish Prince a 4/5

To find the book:

Amazon

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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

To find the book:

Amazon

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iBooks

 

Review: Going Nowhere Fast by Kati Wilde

About the book:

One promise.
Two hearts.
Three rules.
Four weeks to break them all.
 
When Aspen Phillips’ best friend invites her on a month-long road trip, she has serious mixed feelings. Sharing their tight quarters will be Bramwell Gage, overprotective brother and all-around jerk. Bram may be ridiculously sexy, but he’s made no effort to hide how he feels about Aspen—that she’s trash who’s no good for his sister. But Aspen is determined to get along with the uptight millionaire—and to keep her promise, concealing a secret about his sister that Bram can never know.

But after a scorching kiss reveals that Bram’s feelings toward her run much hotter than she believed, Aspen’s emotions swerve into a complete 180. Suddenly the girl who has nothing has everything—but only as long as the truth about his sister remains hidden. Because when all the secrets and promises unravel, she risks losing it all…

My thoughts:

I’m a little torn about this book. I loved the end of the book, but the journey there was up and down.

I liked Aspen – most of the time. She is a tough character and has a very big chip on her shoulder. She doesn’t seem like the type of girl who falls as fast as she does in the book. I know that her tough exterior was supposed to be just a facade, but I couldn’t see how in two weeks Aspen and Bram go from hate to love.  Bram is an ass. Most of the time he doesn’t treat Aspen very well. It was hard to like the character, even though it’s obvious the reason he “hates” her is because he really finds her attractive. Again, I just don’t see this kind of character falling head over heels in love in such a short amount of time.

I did love the intensity of their physical relationship. There was a bit of madness to it that was very well written. I definitely felt that although these characters didn’t like each other very much that they were very attracted to each other.

The subplot with Bram’s sister felt lacking. The sister is used as a plot device several times, but didn’t seem like a fully realized character.

Rating:

I give Going Nowhere Fast a 3/5

To find the book:

Amazon

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iBooks

 

 

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

To find the book:

Amazon

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iBooks