Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

Review: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

9780373778553_p0_v2_s260x420

About the book:

Once upon a time, Christmas was Kayla Green’s favorite time of year. Now all the workaholic wants for Christmas is for it to be over—as fast as possible! So when duty calls her to snowy Vermont to close a deal with a new client, Kayla is grateful for an excuse to avoid the holidays for another year.

Jackson O’Neil left a thriving business behind to return home and salvage his family’s resort—it’s in his blood, and he can’t let it fail. Now that he’s got marketing whiz Kayla Green working with him to put Snow Crystal on the map, success is on the horizon. The fact they strike enough sparks off each other to power all the Christmas lights in Vermont is just an added bonus.

Kayla might be an expert at her job, but she’s out of her depth with Jackson—he makes her crave the happy-ever-after she once dreamed of, and it’s terrifying. As the snowflakes continue to swirl, will the woman who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas finally fall under its spell?

I loved the characters in this book. Jackson is a swoon-worthy hero. He leaves his lucrative business to come home and help the family business after his father’s death – even though his Grandfather does everything to make him feel unwelcome. I love how honorable he is and how he does what’s right for his family even though he doesn’t necessarily want to be there. Kayla is a tougher character to love, but I did come to love her. She hates the holidays. She thinks going to Snow Crystal will keep her away from all of the trapping associated with the holidays, but it lands her right in the middle of a real family Christmas. The chemistry between Jackson and Kayla is instant and off the charts. They both try to deny it, but it is inevitable that they give in to the pull. Kayla changes a lot through the story – she learns to open up and really share herself with someone else. Jackson teaches her that not everyone is going to let her down. Kayla is also able to give insight into what other people around Jackson might be feeling and help him deal with his family better. I love how their relationship was a partnership. I can’t wait for the next two books in the O’Neil brothers series!

the book girl gives SLEIGH BELLS IN THE SNOW a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Review: Slow Ride Home by Leah Braemel

9781426897351_p0_v5_s260x420

About the book:

Book one of The Grady Legacy

Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family’s legacy, he’s forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O’Keefe. Ben’s never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago—or forgiven himself for letting her go.

Allie thought she’d moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she’s become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben’s sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories…

Allie has every intention of leaving Bull’s Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie’s lost her heart.

SLOW RIDE HOME is a sexy contemporary romance. Ben and Allie share a past that ended on a bad note and seeing each other again has brought those feelings – both good and bad – back. I really liked both of the characters in this book. In the past they really loved each other and it is obvious from the very beginning that they are still insanely attracted to each other. Their relationship quickly heats back up, but they find themselves wondering if they are only together for the sex or if they could build something more. I loved their relationship and how it moves from sex to so much more without either Ben or Allie really realizing it. They come to mean so much to each other. They are able to help each other get passed the past and deal with the upsets of the present as a unit. The sex in the story is a little on the kinky side and it fits Allie and Ben’s relationship perfectly. SLOW RIDE HOME is the perfect read to heat up a cold winter night.

the book girl gives SLOW RIDE HOME a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review: ‘Tis the Season to Kiss Santa by Kate Hardy

9781622662944_p0_v5_s260x420

About the book:

With the help of a sprig of mistletoe and some snow angels, a recently single pastry chef teaches a highly successful and sexy Scrooge the true meaning of the holidays on a snowy Christmas Eve that quickly heats up.

I enjoyed this holiday novella. Ellie and Mitch share a connection that isn’t instantaneous, but strengthens as they get to know each other. Ellie is spending her first holiday in the US to help her Godmother recover from surgery. Mitch hates the holidays, but knows that he must put on the Santa suit if he wants to impress his boss. I liked Mitch, but didn’t find his Grinch-like turn around about the holidays very believable. He changed his attitude almost completely in the course of one afternoon. ‘TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA is a cute, quick read.

the book girl gives ‘TIS THE SEASON TO KISS SANTA a 3/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review: Santa to the Rescue by Adele Downs

9781622663811_p0_v4_s260x420

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

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Review: Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey

9781426897344_p0_v4_s260x420

About the book:

Adrian Blackstone built a million-dollar business with hard work and determination—and by remaining professional at all times. Denying his longtime attraction to his beautiful executive assistant hasn’t been easy but it’s necessary. She’s indispensable, and he can’t stand the thought of losing her if things didn’t work out.

For more than a year, Rachel Carter has been quietly dreaming of all the ways she’ll never seduce her sexy, buttoned-up boss. She’s worked too hard to get where she is to cross that line, no matter how badly she’d like to act on her fantasies. But then a wicked snowstorm leaves them stranded in a romantic winter wonderland…

What begins as a single kiss and a few bad Santa jokes turns into a weekend full of breathless passion and hopes for something more. But with Monday comes a return to their complicated reality—and Adrian must prove that promises made are promises kept, especially at Christmastime.

20,000 words

I adored this book. The story jumps right in and never slows down. Even though the story is short, it doesn’t feel incomplete or like it is missing anything. (When I saw the word count I was surprised it was that short!) The chemistry between Adrian and Rachel is evident from the very beginning of the story. I really enjoyed how they both worried about what their relationship would be like when they got back to the real world and had let that fear keep them from acting on that attraction for so long. It made their weekend fling seem like so much more than a three night stand. Their problems with reconciling their romantic relationship and their work relationship take a little time, but work themselves out quickly. The writing is excellent. SNOWBOUND WITH THE CEO is the perfect book for a cold winter night.

the book girl gives SNOWBOUND WITH THE CEO a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Blog Tour Giveaway, Excerpt and Review! Barefoot by the Sea by Roxanne St. Claire

BarefootbytheSea9781455508235_p0_v1_s260x420About the book:

A Barefoot Bay Novel

When you think you know your heart’s desire . . .

Tessa Galloway is a gifted nurturer-her verdant garden at Barefoot Bay’s new resort is living proof. If only the woman who can grow anything could grow what she wants most: a baby. Her friends think the right guy will come along, but Tessa doesn’t want to wait. All she needs is the perfect donor to make her dream come true. Then John Brown is hired at the resort. If anyone could make beautiful babies, it’s this gorgeous, mysterious man. So why does Tessa suddenly find herself wanting so much more?

Can you give up all your dreams for love?

It’s been three long years since John Brown had to leave his old life. Forced into the witness protection program, he’s desperate to be reunited with his toddler twins. When he gets that chance, there’s a catch-he must prove he’s got a steady job and a new wife. Landing a gig as a chef in Barefoot Bay is easy enough. And falling for lovely Tessa is even easier. The hard part? Can he win the heart of a woman who prizes honesty-when the truth may shatter it?

Review:

I have loved this series from the very beginning and patiently waited for Tessa’s story. I loved every word. Tessa has supported her friends and stood on the sidelines while they have fallen in love, had babies, and moved on with their lives. All she wants is a baby, but she doesn’t want to wait for Mr. Right to comes along. Tessa has come across cold sometimes in the previous books, but in BAREFOOT BY THE SEA we really get to see just how hurt she has been in the past and how she is just trying to protect herself. John is wonderful, except for the lies he has to tell. I just wanted him to open up and tell Tessa the truth so much earlier than he does. With her belief in honestly above all else I knew that she would be devastated by his lies even if they were for a legitimate reason. BAREFOOT BY THE SEA is the perfect ending to this series.

the book girl gives BAREFOOT BY THE SEA a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

To order a signed copy: Click Here

Excerpt:

“Prosciutto eggs Benedict?” she asked, finally tearing her gaze from him to Lacey Walker, who’d been interviewing him while he cooked in the kitchen for the last

hour. “That’s not on our menu.”

“It could be. John, this is Tessa Galloway, but…I be- lieve you two have already met.” Lacey could barely hide the amusement in her voice, but Tessa didn’t look too amused.

“Hello again, Tessa.”

“Hi.” She gave him a not-too-friendly smile, brushing some hair off her face that revealed a smudge of dirt on her cheekbone. She crossed her arms as if she didn’t want to be forced to shake his hand. Or maybe she was covering up more dirt on her shirt. Woman needed a shower. And just the thought of that made him need one, too. Ice-cold.

“Um, Tess.” Lacey gave a quick brush to her own cheek to silently tell her friend about the dirt.

“Oh, oh.” Tessa wiped her face, then glanced down self-consciously, giving him a chance to check out her long, tanned legs and clunky work boots. Damn if they weren’t cute as hell on her. “I didn’t know we were interviewing.”

He shrugged. “No big deal.”

An unreadable response crossed her face as she took a step closer, the light of the kitchen hall catching the golden threads woven into her chestnut-colored hair and highlighting the rise of color under her sun-warmed complexion.

“No, it’s not,” she agreed quickly. “Absolutely no big deal.”

Except, by the look on her face, it was a huge fucking deal and no doubt his disappearing act in the bar would cost him the job. Damn it.

“Tessa runs our on-site farmette,” Lacey said quickly, trying to fill the gaping silence between them. “So she’s always involved with what goes on in the kitchen.”

Which meant she could put a freeze on his hire right this minute. Unless he won her over,

which might take some doing, but he needed this job.

Lacey nudged her closer, and he silently thanked this enabler who was on his side.

“So you can consider me a supplier,” Tessa said, her color returning to normal and her voice finally finding some volume. “For the kitchen. And food. And…stuff.”

More nervous than normal, then, which he’d use to his advantage. As she came closer, he dipped his head slightly. “I love working directly with a supplier.”

“Good, that’s good.” Lacey put a hand on her friend’s shoulder and urged her even closer. “That’s why I’ve asked Tessa to be part of this hiring decision.”

“I don’t remember you saying you were a chef,” she said.

“I didn’t,” he admitted. “But I can cook.”

“He’s being modest,” Lacey said. “He can more than cook and you’ll never guess who sent him our way.”

Tessa raised an eyebrow that said she had lots of ideas—the devil, perhaps?—but didn’t answer.

“Charity Grambling,” Lacey said.

“Really?” Tessa seemed surprised, a smile pulling.

“Then maybe you’re a spy or planning to poison our guests.”

He shook his head. “Neither. Is the local shopkeep an enemy of the state?”

“She didn’t want me to build this resort,” Lacey said as they all walked toward the kitchen. “She thought it was competition for her daughter’s motel, the Fourway.”

He snorted. “Hardly. And I say that as a paying guest.”

“You’re at the Fourway?” Tessa asked.

“We’ll have to do something about that,” Lacey said confidently.

He turned in time to catch Tessa give a wide-eyed “What the hell” look to Lacey, who shook her head quickly.

Screw it, he didn’t have time to dick around. If he couldn’t work here, he needed to move on. “Excuse me, ladies,” he said, pausing at the kitchen door. “But if you’re going to kick me to the curb, then let’s not waste anyone’s time.”

“Okay,” Tessa said.

“No way,” Lacey countered.

Giveaway:

GiveawayV1The publisher has given me a full set of the Barefoot Bay books to give away!

TO ENTER:

Leave a comment on this post answering this question: Which Barefoot Bay cover is your favorite? (I like BAREFOOT IN THE RAIN best)

US addresses only, please. Make sure to check to see if your name is chosen.

Contest runs through 11/10/13 at 5pm cst. Winners have 7 days to claim prize and you must check back to see if you are a winner :)

 

 

 

Review: Baiting the Boss by Coleen Kwan

9781622661886_p0_v4_s260x420

About the book:

For years Grace Owens harbored a secret crush on her boss, Jack Macintyre, the heir to the Macintyre Corporation. But Jack relocates to a remote tropical island after tragedy upends his life, cutting off all contact. Now Grace’s new boss issues an ultimatum: return Jack to the family fold or pack her briefcase and move on.

When she turns up at Jack’s bungalow, he can’t deny his attraction to the fiery woman determined to lure him out of his tropical paradise. Little does she know that returning is the last thing he wants—he’s nobody’s boss, and he likes it that way.

If he stays, she’ll lose her job. If he goes, she’ll lose her heart.

BAITING THE BOSS is a sexy and sweet romance. Grace is sent to bring Jack back to civilization and the family business, but when she gets to really know the sexy ex-businessman she realizes that he is where he needs to be. I love how flawed Grace is – she lets her boss walk all over her and it takes getting to know Jack and falling in love with him for her to come into her own. She realizes what she does and doesn’t want from life and goes for it! Jack also changes through getting to know Grace. I really love the passion between Jack and Grace – they share some very steamy moments together. My only problem with the story was the ending felt abrupt. The flow of the story had been flawless until the ending. The story needed an epilogue or one more chapter to tell us what happens next.

the book girl gives BAITING THE BOSS a 3/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review: The Wrong Billionaire’s Bed by Jessica Clare

9781101623558_p0_v2_s260x420

About the book:

The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society of six men who have vowed success—at any cost. Not all of them are old money, but all of them are incredibly wealthy. They’re just not always as successful when it comes to love…

Audrey Petty’s always been the responsible one. The good twin.  Successful, dependable, and trustworthy—that’s Audrey. She’d be the perfect girlfriend for her childhood crush, billionaire Cade Archer…except that she’s pretty sure she’s not even on his radar. But when fate (and her chaotic twin) come together, Audrey finds out that she’ll be spending the next month with Cade at his remote cabin retreat. It’s a dream come true…

Until she meets her worst nightmare.

Billionaire playboy Reese Durham is used to seducing women to get what he wants. But when stiff, too-proper Audrey bursts into the private mountain lodge and scares his companion out the door, it’s time for a little revenge. It’s clear that Audrey’s in love with his buddy, Cade…and it’s clear to Reese that blackmailing Audrey with this information can get her to agree to just about anything. Like furtive kisses in the dark, or a secret rendezvous in the woods. Audrey may think she knows what she wants, but Reese is determined to show her what she needs.

And as Reese discovers the volatile minx behind the buttoned-up exterior, he starts to think maybe she’s just what he needs, too.

THE WRONG BILLIONAIRE’S BED is the third book in the Billionaire Boys Club series. Audrey is responsible, uptight, and dependable. When her twin sister needs her she will do anything to make sure that Daphne gets the help she needs – especially if it means she gets to spend time with Cade. Her feelings for Cade have been around for a long time and she sees the time at the cabin with him as a way to start a romantic relationship, but she doesn’t count on Reese Durham being there getting in the way. I love the way Reese pushes Audrey’s buttons. There is so much tension between the two of them. I love how their relationship changes from one of frustration, blackmail, and angry words to hot encounters in the woods and bets with the loser being the others love slave. There are a lot of emotional moments in THE WRONG BILLIONAIRE’S BED between Audrey and her sister and between Audrey and Reese. The author does a fantastic job writing the emotional scenes. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

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

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Harlequin Flash Reviews – October

9781460321423_p0_v4_s260x420

HIS UNTIL MIDNIGHT by Nikki Logan

About the book:

He could look …and this time he can touch!

Each year, Hong Kong’s most kissable businessman Oliver Harmer allows himself one Christmas present: a lavish meal with off-limits Audrey Devaney. Keeping her at arm’s length—quite literally!—is a battle of epic proportions for Oliver, but also an irresistible temptation. Until the year she doesn’t come.

Now the rules have changed! Because, this Christmas, Audrey is single, and Oliver must decide if he will let her run away at midnight for good, or fight for her to stay until morning!

I enjoyed 75% of this story. I loved the idea of a couple, meeting year after year in friendship and that friendship evolving into something else. My problem with the story is that it felt like it went on forever and ever. The pace of the story is very slow. I liked the characters and the idea of the story, but the pacing just didn’t work for me.

the book girl gives HIS UNTIL MIDNIGHT a 3/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

9780373732722_p0_v3_s260x420

A BEAUTY UNCOVERED by Andrea Laurence

A beastly boss is tamed in this Secrets of Eden book from Andrea Laurence…

CEO Brody Eden is a loner. The brooding billionaire has secrets that he refuses to unveil to anyone…until he meets his new assistant, Samantha Davis. She’s temptation personified, and she’s sitting right outside his door.

Samantha’s never met a man as guarded—and gorgeous—as Brody. She doesn’t want to fall for her boss, but there’s something about Brody…. Beneath his gruff manner, Sam senses tenderness—and an intense passion waiting to be unleashed. And she’ll make it her mission to enter his lair …and his bed.

I enjoyed this book. Brody is gruff, grumpy, and immediately attracted to his temporary secretary. Samantha has been burned once before by being attracted to her boss and doesn’t plan on falling into that trap again, but when she finally sees the reclusive Brody Eden she can’t help herself. I loved Brody and Samantha together. She doesn’t care about his scars and shows him that there is so much more to him that his outer appearance. Brody undergoes a huge transformation through the story. There is a subplot between his brothers and an old murder that doesn’t get resolved (it carries into the next book in the series).

the book girl gives A BEAUTY UNCOVERED a 4/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

9780373131938_p0_v3_s260x420

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT NIGHT by Jennie Lucas

About the book:

An indecent indiscretion!

Emma Hayes has gone from making hotel magnate Cesare Falconeri’s bed to running his household, including handing out expensive parting gifts to his numerous conquests! But each time, it’s chipped away at her heart. Until one night, inhibitions lowered, she reaches for what she’s always wanted….

With one disastrous marriage behind him Cesare vows never to go there again. But when his indiscretion with Emma has consequences, Cesare must break his own vow—and say I do for the sake of his heir. Now he’ll expect his new bride to share his bed, instead of making it!

I had a hard time liking the main characters in this book. Cesare was a jerk to Emma over and over, yet she forgives him. She doesn’t hold him responsible for his actions on many occasions. It is almost the end of the book before Emma comes into her own and gets stronger. At the same time Cesare realizes what he’s giving up by not letting himself truly love Emma. The happily ever after is wonderful it just takes a while to get there.

the book girl gives THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE NIGHT a 4/5

to find the book:

Amazon 

Barnes & Noble

 

Review: Everything You Need To Know by HelenKay Dimon

9781459245983_p0_v12_s260x420

About the book:

Welcome to Need to Know—Because a Woman Can’t Be Too Informed

Dating in D.C. is like navigating an apocalyptic wasteland populated by men in expensive suits with zero mating potential. Need to Know provides all the information a savvy single woman like you needs to avoid dating disasters.

By night, Jordan McAdam is the proprietor of a popular website that rates D.C.’s hottest bachelors—everything from how quick they are to email you back, to their skills in the sack. She’s been burned once too often to accept any man at face value. By day, her job as an office temp puts her in the perfect position to do a little fact-checking on her rich and powerful subjects. When her latest assignment brings her face-to-face with the sexy but mysterious Forest Redder, Jordan decides to do a little “hands-on” research of her own. To Jordan, he seems like the perfect man—but she knows there is no such thing. Moreover, there’s a big problem: Forest knows Jordan’s the woman behind the scandalous site—and Jordan knows he knows. Will he expose her secret—or find his own posted on Need to Know?

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW is one smoking hot novella! The tension between Jordan and Forest is off the charts. I loved the amount of character development in such a short story. The reader really gets to know Jordan and what makes her tick and why she started Need to Know. Forest’s reasons for wanting to in control of most situations is also revealed. I really liked this couple together – they complimented each other perfectly. The writing is sexy, fast-paced and witty. I also really liked the supporting characters and really hope that we get a story for Forest’s friend, Wen. There was something about him that I really, really liked!

the book girl gives EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW a 4/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble