Review: ★The Closer You Come★ by Gena Showalter

The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: March 31, 2015

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.

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Review
2.5 stars


Once wasn’t going to be enough. He realized that now. He wanted her countless times in countless ways. Underneath him. On top of him. Beside him…

When I saw that Gena was coming out with a brand new contemporary romance series, I was thrilled! I loved Catch a Mate and I’ve been dying for her to write more in this genre. Having read both of her PNR series, I already knew I love the snarky and humor characters she creates and the synopsis sounded right up my alley. Three bad boys, one small town, a guaranteed recipe for enjoyment, right? Well…kind of.

Unfortunately the book managed to start off on the wrong foot with me. See I’m one of those ridiculously picky readers that when something bothers me enough in the very beginning, it will set the tone for the entire book. It’s terrible really, but something I can’t change. And the fact that when Brook Lynn first meets Jase is when she walks in on him as he’s getting dressed after sleeping with her sister?

Yeah, not exactly the best way to start. Now it’s very clear that he’s not interested in Brook Lynn’s sister from the beginning and their night together was anything but spellbinding, but still. I just kept thinking in my head, ‘her sister? really?’. Suffice to say that I had a tough time moving on from that.

I’m a big fan of the small town settings in books, and this was definitely no exception. Strawberry Valley had this really endearing quality to it that I really loved. Brook Lynn was also a fantastic heroine. She grew up in the small souther town, and it’s all she’s ever known. Having lost her parents at a young age and then a conman uncle leaving them broke and alone, she’s come to rely on herself. With a dream of one day owning the town’s small jewelry store, Brook Lynn works her butt off on two jobs, trying to support herself and her party loving sister. This brings me to another thing that didn’t quire work for me; Jessie Kay. I’m pretty sure I spent the majority of the book wanting to hit her in both ovaries. Her constant irresponsible behavior constantly leaves Brook Lynn paying the price, while she’s off either partying or sleeping with another man. It does give the reader a little insight later on about the why’s of her behavior, but it just wasn’t enough for me. That, along with her penchant for the word “dude” pretty much made me want to throttle her. The girl straight up drove me batty.

Now Jase was a character I was equal intrigued with and slightly put off (see my sleeping with the sister comment above). Intrigued, because this is clearly a tortured man. Having spent the last 9 years in prison because he also covered for his 2 best friends has left him with plenty of scars; externally and even more internal. He’s no longer the young boy that he went to prison as. He’s harder, more jaded, but he’s trying to move on. A gorgeous and bubbly blonde that tempts him beyond reason is the very last thing he needs.


Feel nothing. Want nothing. Need nothing.

But there’s just something about Brook Lynn that draws him in, and the chemistry between them soon proves too strong to resist.

As much as I loved Jase and Brook Lynn together, there was always something that nagged me about them too. There was the ghost of sister’s past. Then there was the annoying overuse of the “angel” endearment. But that aside I was really enjoying this book still. It had a little of Gena’s signature snark and humor, or what I’ve come to refer to as Gena-isms. Though at times you can definitely see a little of a mix between her contemporary and PNR voice. I doubt this is something most would spot unless you’ve read her other work. Or maybe I was just nitpicking since I was already starting on the wrong foot? I’m not sure. But I can’t say that it still wasn’t good.

What ultimately ruined it for me was the last 30%. Until then, I found the book to be moving at a fairly slow pace. It wasn’t boring by any means, but just slow. Then the last 30% you get one drama after another. First with [su_spoiler title=”Click to view spoiler” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]Jase’s ex girlfriend showing up together with the daughter he never knew.[/su_spoiler] Say what? Maybe it was just me, but I really felt the book could have done without that. It added nothing to the story for me. Then there was a whole different drama that actually fit the story. But the combination of the two in the last 30%? Meh. It just felt too much.

I thought Strawberry Valley had become my home,” he said. “But it’s you, You are my home, angel. You’re where I’ve put down roots.

I really wanted to love this book, but sadly it was just OK.

On a positive note, I absolutely loved Jase’s two best friends; West and Beck. Beck with his manwhorish ways and hilarious come-ons completely sucked me in. I can’t wait for his book, especially after getting that small peak into the heroine that will be bringing him to his knees. The polar opposites definitely have all the ingredients for an amazing read. I also really loved the broken and tortured West. As much as I want to read his book, I am a little afraid since it looks like he’s going to be with Jessie Kay. Hopefully the girl will do a 180 in the next book and manage to endear me to her, because that certainly didn’t happen in this book.

This was a light contemporary romance with quite a bit of steam, and quite a bit of cheese. While I could have done with less cheese and the last 30%, I’m definitely hooked on the series and can’t wait to see what the next book brings.

★Ask Me Nicely★ by Amy Andrews

Ask Me Nicely 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Amy Andrews
Release Date: March 3, 2015

She craves what only he can give her. But he’s not giving in without a fight… Veterinarian Sal Kennedy’s lost her mojo and is desperate to get it back. In fact, as the anniversary of the tragedy that destroyed her life looms large, she’ll do anything to erase the painful memories, including overdoing the tequila and making a pass at the most annoyingly inappropriate man on the planet.

Fellow veterinarian Doyle Jackson is her flatmate and her employee and therefore strictly off-limits. Unfortunately, Doyle knows how to bring the goods and make her mojo sit up and beg. Doyle is only too happy to oblige Sal in her hour of need, but then she demands more, and she’s perfectly happy playing dirty to get it. He wants more, too—more than just sex, that is, and it’s something Sal’s not willing to give.

But Doyle is in this for the long haul now, and he’s prepared to fight even dirtier to get what he wants. Even if that means they both keep losing all their clothes in the process…

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Review

2.5 stars


Either kill each other or just get naked and do the wild thing already. You’re scaring the animals.”

As much as I loved No More Mr. Nice Guy, I was really looking forward to Mack’s sister and Josie’s best friend getting her own book. She was such a fun and sassy secondary character in their book that she just HAD to be even better in her own one, right? Sadly that wasn’t the case here


There was something very broken about Sal Kennedy…

I am all for a heroine that owns her sexuality and makes no bones about it. Unfortunately there is that very delicate line between owning it and being brash, and for me, Sal kind of crossed that line. She was just too much in her own book. Clearly she’s hiding a deep rooted issue that causes her to be as detached as she is with men now.


She kissed like the devil, she came like a nymphomaniac who’d been celibate for a decade, and she shattered like a little girl who’d lost her best friend.

I think because the reader wasn’t privy to what her issues are until the last 15% of the book it made it really difficult to connect to Sal. I spent most of the book frustrated with her constant back and forth with Doyle. Especially since Doyle was such a nice guy and extremely tolerant and understanding of Sal’s behavior.
While Sal has no problem sleeping around, Doyle doesn’t want to be just another one-night stand. Living with Sal, he’s come to know her routine and he’s not enabling it. Of course he wants to have sex with her, but he just wants one thing first; a date.

Sal is having none of it. With over five years of using no strings sex as her form of therapy, she’s not looking to get tied down. But ever since the sexy vet moved into her apartment, he’s also seemed to have stolen her orgasms. Easy fix to that, right? Just have HIM give them to her. If only he didn’t want that damn date…


Fine. Let’s do it your way, then. Let’s go on a bloody date. Satisfied?”
“Ah…you want to try that again? NICELY?”
Sal almost chocked. “I beg your pardon?”
“Ask me nicely.”
“You want me to ask you nicely?”
“Sure. A guy likes to feel like he’s being romanced.”

While I get that the author wanted to leave the reason for Sal’s detachment for the big reveal towards the end, unfortunately it had a backfiring effect for me. This could have been a great emotional and sexy read, and it turned into an exercise in frustration. I never connected and Sal, and Doyle, no matter how sexy he was, just kind of fizzled out in the background of all her “issues”. I’m still a fan of this author and look forward to her next installment of this series. Sadly this book just didn’t quite do it for me.

Review: Tied With Me (With Me in Seattle, # 6) by Kristen Proby

“At once wildly sensual and heart-clutchingly tender, this series gets better with every book.” – Christina Lauren, New York Times Bestselling authors of BEAUTIFUL BASTARD 

A man whose lifestyle is so different from her own… 

Nic Dalton’s cupcake bakery is thriving. She serves both rock stars and locals alike, content with her growing business. But one adventurous night out with her best friend, Bailey, turns her life upside down. She meets a handsome stranger who makes her skin sizzle and her heart race. Their one night together is explosive and unexpected, but when he has to suddenly leave without taking her phone number, Nic resigns herself to never seeing him again. 

…What will it take to trust and submit to his every desire? 

Matt Montgomery is one of Seattle’s finest. He works hard, loves and protects his family fiercely, and is loyal almost to a fault. 

And he has a penchant for bondage. 

Matt enjoys the way a woman looks wrapped up in his ropes, and makes no apologies for his preferences. When he meets Nic at a fetish festival, the small, beautiful woman catches his eye, drawing him to her. His one night with her was everything he’s ever looked for in a partner, but is cut short because of a family emergency. Even before he sees her again weeks later, he knows he’ll never get her out of his system. 
And he’ll do whatever it takes to make her his. 

“Give in to this, Nic. Let me prove to you that I will be one of the best decisions you ever make.” –Matt Montgomery 

2.25 Underwhelming Stars
What I expected:
What I got:
Moral of the story?

This series has been hit or miss for me. While I loved
Rock with Me (With Me in Seattle, #4)
, I wasn’t particularly fond of the rest of the books. I suppose I need to be in the mood for a fluffy read and sometimes it works…and other times it doesn’t. But here’s the thing; BDSM and Fluffy? NOT a good mix.

I originally DNF’d this at 50%, but then some newly formed OCD (I blame you Mirjana and Crystal!!!) and a hint of masochism forced me to finish this.

Here’s the thing, just because BDSM has been mainstreamed doesn’t mean that every author is able to write it. And if you are going to write it? Don’t gloss it over or tip toe around it, do the genre some justice. Now maybe I’m a kinky bitch, maybe I’m a picky bitch. Whatever the case may be, as much as I was anticipating this book after the sneak peek in the last one, I was left grossly disappointed.

WARNING: Rage-y spoilers below

So we have Nic. Nic is a straight laced vanilla girl. Nic doesn’t do kinky. Nic is certainly not submissive. But Nic goes to an Erotic Ball (of the BDSM variety) with her friend. And within a few minutes, straight laced Nic allows a total stranger to tie her up in a demonstration. Said stranger then tells her he’d like to fuck the shit out of her. So she lets him take her home still tied up in the ropes!! Oh, but it’s OK, because he tells her he’s not an ax murderer.

In case you’re curious, said stranger is good old kinky Matt. He likes his sex dirty with a bit of bondage mixed in. Oh and Matt is a Master Dom. A TRAINED Master Dom. Matt also says this


In clubs, safe words are mandatory, so if we ever go to one together, your word will be ‘red.’ The second you say ‘red,’ everything stops, no questions asked. But, honestly, the way I feel about safe words is, you shouldn’t need one with me. It’s my job to learn what you can handle and what you can’t, and I’m a firm believer in ‘no means no.’”

No shit? Really?

Apparently Master Matt is also a mind reader on top of his Shibari skills. Oh and of course, scening only happens in BDSM clubs. No need for a safe word when you’re doing a scene outside of one…

Now Matt is not exactly a hearts and flowers forever type of guy. His other family members may have married off, but he’s not planning on changing his status any time soon.

But then a few short days and some awesome sex later…BAM! The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and the hills are alive with the L-words. Does he really know her? Not really. So I just have 2 questions here

As for Nic. Nic was the most contradictory character I’ve ever read about. She says that she’s vanilla and straight laced, but lets a total stranger tie her up and then take her home. She says she’s shy, but then on another occasion lets Matt strip her in front of strangers at a BDSM club and then tie her up again.

All the while Master Matt decides he’s too possessive of her to have others see her naked or touch her, so no more BDSM club for them. He’ll still tie her up and shit and maybe throw in a spanking here or there.

Matt was not a Dom in my opinion. He was a man with a kink for bondage. I think had this book not brought the whole BDSM factor into it, it would have worked much better. The character’s actions did not match the way they’re described.

Nic is brooding away because for some mysterious reason she doesn’t think she’s good enough for Matt. Little by little we find out what that reason is. But does she tell Matt? Fuck no. She loves him too much to hurt him and doesn’t think she’s good enough for him. So what does she do? Leaves him without saying one word.

Of course they work it out in the end and there’s flowers and rainbows shooting out of unicorn asses all that jazz. As for my thoughts at this point?

I can tell you I will very likely be in the minority with my opinion. I know a lot of my Goodreads friends really loved this one. But this particular kinky bitch has been spoiled by the Cherise Sinclair’s, Lexi Blake’s, Kallypso Masters’ and the likes. So suffice it to say, this book did not do it for me.

If you like fluffy romances with a little kink thrown in, you’d really enjoy this one. As for me, I think I’m done with this series.

Review: Carnal Secrets by Suzanne Wright

A pack Alpha and his estranged, true mate wrestle with painful secrets, ruthless enemies, and their own irresistible attraction, in the sexy third book of the Phoenix Pack series.

Half-shifter Shaya Critchley may hold a submissive role in her pack, but she’s done taking orders. After her Alpha wolf mate refused to claim her—but committed to interfering in her life—she took off. Now she hides from him, posing as a human in a town full of anti-shifter extremist groups. She thinks he’ll never find her again, and that suits her just fine. But she’s wrong.

Nick Axton can barely control his feelings for Shaya, but he could never claim her—not if he truly cares for her. The degenerative brain condition he keeps secret would ultimately leave her with a burden rather than a mate. But when Shaya runs away, Nick can’t bear the thought of never seeing her again. After tracking her down, he discovers Shaya’s feisty and passionate side in the process…a side he’d never seen before.

Under the menacing gazes of territorial local packs and violent human extremists, Nick vows to finally claim the spirited Shaya…and despite her initial resistance, Shaya just might find his fiery determination to be the ultimate aphrodisiac

2.5 Nothing Carnal about these Secrets Stars

Dear book title,

Because there was nothing carnal about this book. You were barely somewhat steamy. To put it bluntly,

Because I expected some hot sex, some smut, some domineering alpha goodness. And I got some mediocre loving and a few fade to blacks. For serious? I expected

and instead what I got was

I’d say it’s safe to say that this book was a huge disappointment for me. I have been waiting for what feels like forever for Nick and Shaya’s book. Maybe this was the case of setting me hopes too high? Who knows? What I do know, is this was nothing like the first 2 books. It felt like I was reading an entirely different series altogether.

I absolutely loved the first book. The second book was really good, though not as good as the first. This one?

The first half was a whole lot of angst. I was happy to see that Nick was not claiming Shaya not only due to her being a submissive wolf. I was also looking forward to him groveling when he finally got his head out of his ass and went after her. But I did’t expect him to be as mushy as he was. What happened to the domineering, super alpha from the previous books? It was sweet at first, but then I found myself growing tired with his constant “baby” this and “baby” that.

I also really liked Shaya at first. She was sassy, and feisty, exactly the type of heroine I like reading about. But sadly this didn’t last long either. I was tired of the constant push and pull of their relationship. Enough already! She wasn’t sassy anymore, but plain bitchy. Then she does something around the 40% mark and

I was over it!

Luckily around the half way mark, Shaya gets her shit together. But by that time I was just done. The second half of the book dragged. I skimmed pretty much at every chapter. The only highlight was getting more of Taryn, Trey, the grandma, and their snarky bickering.

The suspense and mystery of the second half of the book didn’t do much for me either. At that point I was so bored with the story that it was a whole lot of skimming.

But more than anything, where the hell was the super hot sex scenes? The smut that I’ve come to expect with this series? I’d barely call the 3 sex scenes we get here lukewarm.

There was a twist at the end. It should have been interesting?

I hope to get Dominick’s book next, and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that this series will go back to what it once was with the next installment. Because this one left a lot to be desired, at least for me. Hopefully you all will enjoy it more than I did.

I really love this author, so I definitely plan to continue with the series. But I guess you can’t love them all…

Review: Hell’s Knights (MC Sinners #1) by Bella Jewel

Hell's Knights (The MC Sinners, #1)Hell’s Knights by Bella Jewel

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Book Synopsis

Sex. Who really knows sex? I mean, we’ve all had sex, great sex even but when you get down to the details, how many of us actually see sex for the raw, primal act that it is?
I thought I knew sex. I’ve had sex. Heck, I’ve felt lust. Once, I’ve even felt love. I thought I knew exactly what sex was. 
Until I met Cade.
He’s the meaning of sex. 
He’s a biker.
He’s dangerous.
He’s powerful.
He’s dominant.
He wants me.
My world is about to change, for the better? I don’t know. But here’s my story, I hope you’re ready for it because it’s not the beautiful, heart wrenching story most people have to tell. It’s passionate, forbidden, morally incorrect and downright, fucking beautiful
2.5 Meh stars

One day, a man is going to come along and sweep you away. He’s going to give you that feeling you can’t go back on, that feeling that will change your world.

Damn my clicker finger. She sees the words MC and a markdown to $.99 and she just HAS to one click. The compulsive bitch! Last time I allow her to make a decision for me.

I believe that the author had all the right ingredients for a fantastic book. But unfortunately I don’t think she mixed them right, and the end result was a bit…well…meh. At least it was for me. The book didn’t work for me for a number of reason. What are the reasons you ask? Well I’ll tell you.

100
The amount of times that Cade called Addison “sugar”. Yes I fucking counted. It drove me out of my ever loving mind. I was willing to overlook the “babe” and the overused “yeah” ending sentences, yeah? But the sugar thing. Gah! It was every other sentence. C’mon. Switch it up a bit here, Cade. There’s honey, baby, sweetheart, twat. Freaking anything but sugar!! I’m pretty sure I got to a point where every time I read “sugar” I just wanted to

20
Number of eye rolls I had over the at times juvenile dialogue. Addison was only 21 years old, so I can excuse some instances. But her behavior really didn’t endear me to her. She’s been through hell, and I wanted to feel for her. I truly did. But she just drove me crazy at times with her childish tantrums and behavior.

3
Number of times I almost DNF’d this book. As much as I wanted to like this book, the negatives definitely outweighed the positives for me. The story flow seemed choppy at times. The jumping between Past and Present would have worked if it was just with Addison. But when it had the same thing of an event from Cade’s past, it didn’t really work. The progression of the relationships between Cade and Addison, and Addison and Jackson weren’t believable. At least not in the time frames it happened in.

What worked for me


Cade. Well aside from the “sugar” business, he was sexy as hell. I seem to have a soft spot for the dirty talkers, and he really delivered on that end.


Sugar, if I wanted my dick wet, I could get it wet anywhere, with anyone. I             don’t want my dick wet. I want it fuckin’ drenched, drippin’ and surrounded           in you.”

Spike
I love me an asshole. The only thing better than an asshole, is a tatted and pierced asshole. And Spike is rumored to have some interesting “spikes” in some VERY interesting areas.

The sex
At least I think it was. Maybe? I got so frustrated with so many parts of this book that I skimmed through a lot of it. Sex included.

While the book didn’t quite work for me, I will gladly pick up Bella Jewel’s next book because I think this may have been the case of a debut novel and working out the “new book” kinks.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get intimately acquainted with Spike’s spikes. Well, maybe not intimately intimately. But I have a VERY good imagination. I’ll make do. And I thank you

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