Geri’s Review: All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

ALL YOUR PERFECTS
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: July 17, 2018

Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart.

The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past.

This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

 

AMAZON

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

It’s been a while since I’ve truly sat down and read a Colleen Hoover book until I came across the blurb for this book.

One. It has a marriage-in-peril trope that I love in my books. Two, the blurb along with the first chapter the author shared on social media truly captured my interest. Three. The meet-cute was quite unique. The whole book itself, however, was disappointing.

Quinn and Graham are two married couple whose marriage is on the brink of collapse. There were many things that contributed to this collapse, which readers will slowly learn but the main contributor to their marriage’s demise was Quinn’s infertility.

This was handled well by Hoover. As the book is told by Quinn, we get to experience her pain and bitterness first hand. And a lot of the scenarios that she mentioned rang very true. We immediately understand that this is a woman who is depressed and is barely holding on. Quinn’s POV benefited a lot from Hoover’s sparse but emotional prose. She captured Quinn’s pain so well.

Unfortunately, the past and present storytelling ruined the momentum for me. I hated it. Just when the story starts to get really interesting, you get pulled into the past again. It was Ugly Love all over again! Maybe it was an attempt to make the story more suspenseful than it is or emotional, but whatever the reason was, it didn’t work for me. I found myself getting angry and frustrated having to go back and forth to get the whole story.

Another thing that didn’t work for me were the secondary characters. Quinn’s mother was also a piece of work. She wasn’t a very developed character. She’s just there to be terrible and make Quinn feel bad. And now that I think about it, this book didn’t have a lot of characters. We get to meet Quinn’s sister and her husband, Quinn and Graham’s exes, and Graham’s sister, but they’re not very well-developed characters. They’re there to either prop up (Quinn’s sister) or tear down (Quinn’s mother) the two main protagonists. But I digress.

I didn’t really like Graham either. He is, in my opinion, one of Hoover’s weakest heroes. And I don’t know if it’s because we didn’t get his POV or whatever but he was just boring. The whole cheating thing—yes, it was cheating and there was really no justification for it—made me dislike him even more. I’m not even going to touch on his asinine reason for doing so but yeah, I wasn’t a fan of Graham at all. Not even his letters could make me like him.

And that ending? Ehhh. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t spectacular or fleshed out either. It felt very rushed. They opened the box, they cried, and everything just smoothed itself out. However, it was worth mentioning that they apologized to each other and renewed their commitment. But overall, it felt, I don’t know, underwhelming and rushed after all that build up.

Ultimately, this was too heavy-handed for me. Like it’s not enough that Quinn is infertile, she has to suffer more tragedy, she has get cheated on. But that wasn’t enough apparently because she has to miscarry and get a hysterectomy. I mean, goodness, the option to adopt was even taken away from her. There has to be more! More suffering, more hopelessness until it becomes a never-ending cycle of suck.

I was reading this book and I couldn’t help but think “Wow, CoHo really loves to torture her heroines.” Some of her last few releases had been a torture-fest for her female characters. I should be happy, I guess, that at least they’d get HEA but my gosh, she has to torture them first. Which brings me to my last point. One thing I realized about myself as a reader is that the more an author makes the heroine suffer by letting her go through tragedy after tragedy, after the less I care. Other readers have said this was an emotional book and I can see that, but it was just lost on me. It felt manipulative. From the way the whole story was structured to the ungodly amount of tragedy that befell the heroine, it felt manipulative. That was the whole feeling I had while reading this book.

Review: ★Unseen Messages★ by Pepper Winters

Review-Unseen MessagesUNSEEN MESSAGES
Genre: Survival Romance
Author: Pepper Winters
Release Date: March 30, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

Unseen-Messages-by-Pepper-Winters-e1459309686786

“There is a message for everything. From handwritten to verbal, seen and unseen. Messages exist all around us.” 

But what if you don’t see?
What if you don’t understand?
What if, by ignoring the message, your life is never the same again?

Estelle Evermore morphed from nobody to somebody overnight.
Galloway Oak put his past behind him and endeavoured to make his fortune using his trade.

Two strangers.
One plane.
Multiple unseen messages.
From sky to island, they find neither fame nor skills can save them. Stripped from society and left alone to survive the elements, the very task of staying alive outweighs all other needs.
Until survival turns to desire.
And desire turns to danger.From New York Times Bestseller Pepper Winters comes a timeless love story answering the question of what happens when everything is stripped away.

Standalone.

SPOILER FREE UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT

Don’t you hate it when everyone loves a book but you? Le sigh. This review is actually painful for me to write. Why? Because I adore Pepper Winters. I’ve read the woman’s entire backlist, so when I saw she was coming out with a secret project and revealed the cover to this book, I was beyond thrilled. Heck, I couldn’t wait to get my grabby little hands on it.

When it landed on my kindle, I dropped everything and began reading…
And reading…
And reading…
And reading some more…
Then when 2 days later I looked down at my kindle and realized I was only at 15% I began to get a little twitchy.

Now look, I don’t mind a long book. I devour Kristen Ashley books in 2 days and those books are typically AT LEAST 450 pages on average. But the length of this book? Well, it didn’t work for me so much. As a matter of fact, it dragged…. painfully so. I will go so far as to say this may have been the most long winded book I have ever read in my entire reading history. But there’s a difference between development and filler, and unfortunately I found over 40% of this book to be pure filler. The descriptions, the events, a lot of it never really went anywhere.

The first 15% is one giant false red herring because after everything that happens in it, the characters’ actions afterward were almost mind-bogglingly ridiculous. I just couldn’t buy it for the life of me. The writing is another thing that never worked for me. While some may find it lyrical, I found it to be full or purple prose and mundane and redundant inner monologue.

There.
Was.
A.
Lot.
Of.
This.

And also there was a lot of t…h…i…s.

I think that for this reader, it was just too much. A book has to be well balanced with dialogue and development, and I didn’t find that to be the case here.

I skimmed almost the entire second half and found that I missed almost nothing. In my opinion, this book could have been 40% shorter and worked much better. While I liked some parts, other parts I was bored out of my skull. The characters spend so much time in their head, it made my eye tick.

Every feeling and thought is described…
And described….
And described some more.

But even while there’s a lot of description, I found it did nothing to endear or connect me to their actions. There was just too many pages to fill in the spaces and the actual story began to fade out somewhere between the prose and redundant details. Some of the actions and situations the characters found themselves in were too far beyond the scope of believability for me. I can suspend my disbelief for fiction, but there were parts where I found myself seriously scratching my head in confusion. The ending was cute if not a touch too cheesy for my tastes.

This was different, yes. But for me, while I loved the concept of the story, it fell flat on the delivery. I’m sure I’ll be in the minority in my opinion and clearly many a reader really loved this book. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those books you either get or don’t. Unfortunately for me, I fell into the later part. But I’m just one tiny opinion here, so read it and judge for yourself 😉

Review: ★The Rules★ by Elizabeth Brown

Review-The RulesThe Rules
Series: Off-Limits #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Elizabeth Brown
Release Date: February 2, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

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An older-brother’s-best-friend romance

When you’re a guy, the rules are simple. Live by the Bro Code:
Rule #1: Always have his back.
Rule #2: Don’t ever leave him stranded.
Rule #3: Never, ever, touch his sister.

Aw, hell. Two out of three ain’t bad.
———-
Warning: This story contains mature humor, a lot of cursing, and of course, sexual situations. It’s intended for adult readers who enjoy that kind of thing.

———-

Lambo and Ainsley’s story.
Dual POV with no cliffhanger.
Book 2 in The Off-Limits series. Standalone- but you’ll enjoy it more if you read Book 1.

Buy LinksAMAZON

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Review: ★Bad Romeo★ by Leisa Reyvan

Review-Bad RomeoBad Romeo
Series: Starcrossed #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Leisa Rayven
Release Date: December 23, 2014add-to-goodreads-button-2

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While performing the greatest love story of all time, they discovered one of their own…
Cassie Taylor was just another acting student with big dreams at her prestigious performing arts college, then she met Ethan Holt. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy on campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing on stage, Cassie and Ethan’s epic romance seemed destined. Until it ended in tragedy when he shattered her heart.

Now they’ve made it to Broadway where they’re reunited as romantic leads once again, and their passionate scenes force them to confront the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their intense college affair. For Ethan, losing Cassie was his biggest regret, and he’s determined to redeem himself. But for Cassie, even though Ethan was her first and only great love, he hurt her too much to ever be trusted again. The trouble is, working with him reminds her that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks. And when it comes to love, sometimes it’s the things that aren’t good for us that are the most irresistible.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N

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Review: ★The Final Move★ by Victoria Denault

Review-TFMThe Final Move
Series: Hometown Players #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Victoria Denault
Release Date: December 8, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

Denault_The Final Move_E-Book

Hockey legend Devin Garrison thought he blew his shot. But his relationship with Callie Caplan just went into overtime.

Sexy, rich, and one of the biggest stars in the NHL, Devin Garrison has always been the one who had it all. That is until his marriage falls apart and he realizes he has to start over. If he’s honest, there has only been one woman who ever really excited him-Callie Caplan. They shared a night that was hotter than the late-summer sun, but in an instant-Callie was gone, pretending it never happened.

Callie Caplan isn’t the wild child people think she is. It’s true she’s avoided relationships, but only because she’s seen how crazy love can be. And her messy, imperfect life is crazy enough without opening her heart to a man-even one as picture perfect as Devin. But when fate brings them back together-just as they need each other most-Devin is determined to convince Callie that what she’s feeling is real. And this final play may be their chance at forever . . . 

Buy LinksAmazon / B&N / iBooks / GooglePlay / Kobo / BAM

Review2 Stars

Minor spoilers to follow, please don’t read my review if you don’t want to know. I’ll spoiler tag the big stuff.

I’ve been a huge fan of this series since One More Shot. The mix of angst and swoony romance just did it for me. And ever since I first met Devin Garrison in that book I’v been not so patiently waiting for his story.

As the calmer and more settled of the Garrison brothers, Devin was refreshingly different. Being married and a daddy also made him even more appealing. But the reader also got a peek into his life and began to understand that not everything in his marriage is quite as perfect as he’d like to make it appear. At first I assumed that Devin’s story would be more of marital issues than reconciliation with his wife, but after the events of Making a Play I realized that he’d be ending up with the other Caplan. After reading the preview in book 2 I have to admit that I was curious as to how this would play out. After finishing it? Well I kind of wish I could unread it, because it made me absolutely hate Callie and strongly dislike Devin in the process. *sigh* Where are those men in black when you need them?
I get what the author was trying to do with this story and while I appreciate her effort, it just didn’t pan out for me. Not even a little. Why?

Issue 1

Villinaize the wife as the catalyst.

Was this really necessary? Couldn’t it just be an “issue” they were dealing with and have them just fall out of love as they clearly were already well on the road for. Did she have to (Highlight to view spoiler)cheat (end spoiler)? I just didn’t find it necessary for the story. Sure, it served as the catalyst for Devin’s decisions, but it just felt like an easy way out.

Issue 2

Devin’s regression.

Oh boy. Where do I even start. So your wife (Highlight to view spoiler)cheats(End spoiler) on you, what do you do? Proceed to drink yourself stupid and have a one-night stand because…why? It felt like revenge and punishment more so than anything else. Hey, I was the perfect husband for so long, I need to slut it out now just to see how the other half lives. It didn’t make sense. And yes, I understand that he was hurting. But what he also was, was still married. Sure, I also get that this is a common occurrence and I shouldn’t judge. But do two wrongs really make a right? Considering how Devin has been for the past two books and always being the voice of reason, I wanted him to take the high road.

Issue 3
Callie.
Now I hate to name call, so I won’t. I also hate slut shaming, so I won’t. What I will say, is I absolutely hated her decisions and treatment of Devin for basically the entire book. One, she’s dated and flirted with his teammates. She proceeds to go on a date after her and Devin finally sleep together. Then there was her decision to go down on him after she finds him in the middle of a drunk hookup and throwing the woman out of the house they’re currently sharing. Also knowing how Devin is, her decision to continuously sleep with him but refuse anything more was downright infuriating. Considering everything Devin’s been through it was almost callous.

Issue 4
Did I mention that Devin is still technically married (though separated and no longer living with his wife) through all of this?
Again, I understand that this happens, and if this was any other character, I could have looked past it. But with Devin? No. I felt like he regressed and just wasn’t the Devin that I ultimately fell in love with throughout the series. I did not like him for a good 75% of this book.

Issue 5
And this is ultimately what lowered my rating even more. I felt zero, no connection between Callie and Devin. There wasn’t an undercurrent of sexual tension or longing throughout the series between them. Not even in this book did that come into play. It felt like they just ended up together because it was convenient and not because it was meant to be. I couldn’t connect to them as a couple. Hell, I didn’t believe in them as a couple. And what’s more, I didn’t like them as a couple.

Le sigh.

To say that I’m disappointed would be an understatement. I love this author, and I will definitely read any of her future work without a second thought. But sadly this book didn’t work for me at all. Maybe because I had such high hopes? Who knows. It is what it is, and I have a feeling this is just one of those books you’ll either understand and enjoy, or you won’t. I don’t see much middle ground here. But that’s just my opinion. Clearly I’m in the minority with my opinion so read it and judge for yourself.

Review: ★Darkest Before Dawn★ by Maya Banks

Review-DBDDarkest Before Dawn
Series: KGI #10
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Maya Banks
Release Date: October 27, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

23506103-2

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

Buy LinksAmazon / B&N / iBooks / BAM / IndieBound / Google

Review2 Stars

I’ve been such a huge fan of Maya Banks, but I’m finding that most of her recent releases have been slightly less than lackluster for me lately. While I loved the first five books in the KGI series, since book six it’s been taking a significant decline for me. The story lines are just OTT out there, the characters not quite what they used to be. But still I was holding out hope for Hancock to finally bring this series back to what it used to be. I’ve been eagerly anticipating his book for years, so I was beyond excited to get my hands on Darkest Before Dawn….only to be disappointed.

The first 25% of the book I struggled to get into it. It was repetitive to the point of redundancy. Hancock’s internal musings of him being the bad guy but for good intentions was repeated ad nauseam. I suppose this is good for readers coming into the series without having read the previous books. But for fans of the series that have been up to date? Well, let’s just say you’ll get a bit of a refresher.

The story really took off after the 25% mark and I found I couldn’t put the book down. The action and suspense really picked up. The budding romance begin…and then it all crashed down after the 60% mark.

The heroine was idealistic and naive to the point of being OTT about it. It’s almost cheesy for me to say that Honor was just too honorable, but that’s what it is. While I really liked her in the beginning, her internal monologue and reasoning after the 60% mark was just beyond anything I could wrap my mind around. I don’t care how much you want the bad guys to get caught, no person in their right mind will reason with themselves that they’re OK with being betrayed and sacrificed for the greater good because it’s the “right” thing to do. She’s not a soldier. She’s a relief aid volunteer. When she finds out Hancock’s plans on using her, she’s not mad, crying, trying to escape. Nope. She accepts it all with the calmness of a woman that was just told that the purse she wanted isn’t in stock. Ah well, it is what it is. In Hancock’s defense, he never lies to her. Unless you consider lie by omission. He never confirms that he’s there to save her and doesn’t give her false hope. But he never point blank admits it either. This was just the beginning of the end for me. His epiphany came a little too late for me to sympathize with him or even like him.

Add into the mix that Honor is a (highlight to view spoiler)virgin (end spoiler), because it’s not enough with her personality fitting her name. Nope. You have to add the cherry on top. Pun intended.

But not only does she accept everything with an unbelievable sort of calm, she asks Hancock to (highlight to view spoiler)take her virginity (end spoiler). Why?(highlight to view spoiler) Because she doesn’t want her first time to be a rape, since that is inevitably what would happen to her once she’s handed over to the man that hired Hancock. Rape. Torture. Death. (end spoiler)
A man with the intentions of sacrificing me for the greater good does not exactly make me go all tingly in the nether regions. Add into the fact that she knows what she has in store for her and how horrific her (highlight to view spoiler) death(end spoiler) will be, and yet her line of thinking is (highlight to view spoiler)Oh, Hanckcock. You’re so brave and honorable for making such a hard decision. Please take my virginity. I want you to be the one. Yep. Not only does she forgive him, but she rationalizes it and praises him for it.  (end spoiler)

After 60% the book just spiraled down faster than a junky on a bender. Hancock flipped a switch and pulled a complete 180; going from badass to p*ssy in 0 to 6 seconds. It was great to finally get the entire KGI crew, but unfortunately it was a case of too little too late. For all the hopes I had for this book, sadly after finishing it, I think I’m done with this series. I kept hoping that it will come back to what it once was, but after 4 books in a row that left me underwhelmed, I just don’t have it in me to continue.

I know what Maya Banks is capable of, and her earlier books are a true testament to that. Her Sweet series was one of my favorites. But sadly the releases she’s had lately seem to be missing a certain edge that her earlier work had. I’m still holding out hope, but not with this series.

Read the rest of the series

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(KGI, #1)

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(KGI, #2)

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(KGI, #3)

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(KGI, #4)

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(KGI, #5)

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(KGI, #5.5)

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(KGI, #6)

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(KGI, #7)

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(KGI, #8)

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(KGI, #9)

Review: ★Filthy Rich★ by Virna DePaul

Review- Filthy RichFilthy Rich
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Virna DePaul
Release Date: October 27, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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High finance and a sizzling office affair raise desire and passion to the boiling point in Virna DePaul’s seductive new contemporary romance—perfect for fans of Carly Phillips, Lori Foster, and Molly O’Keefe.

Cara Michal has had to fight every step of the way to earn her place in the glittering seven-figure world of Wall Street. Years ago her hardworking father, a small-time investment adviser, was humiliated and wrongfully accused of fraud. Now Cara is at the top of her game, trying to support not only herself but her mother and brother. The occasional night out dancing soothes Cara’s soul, even as a bitter need for revenge against the man who destroyed her father makes inner peace elusive.

Then, in a moment of heat, Cara kisses a sexy stranger at a party—only later to discover that the man is Branden Duke, her new boss, an infamous operator with a wicked reputation in bed and on the Street. Branden is a man who seemingly has it all—except a woman who connects with him on a physical and emotional level. Now that he’s found Cara, he’s not sure he can let her go, even if he should.

In spite of herself, Cara is drawn to this charismatic guy. He is a challenge like none she has ever faced in her life. Their passion for each other is unquenchable, surprising them both with its ferocity. Even as Cara wonders if she can trust this man with her heart and soul, the ecstasy of their love cannot be denied. But when the past threatens the present, the two are faced with a truth from which they may never recover.

Buy LinksAmazon / iBooks / Barnes & Noble / Kobo  / Google Play

Review2 Stars

I’ve loved everything else I’ve ever read from this author, so I was excited to see she had a new book coming out. The synopsis intrigued me and it sounded like I’d be in for another steamy read from the fabulous Virna Depaul. Unfortunately, there were just too many things working against this book for me to ever truly enjoy it.

I struggled with my rating, but I figure per GR’s explanation; it was just OK, so 2 stars it is.

Cara Michal is a hard hitter on Wall Street. After her father’s death, she’s been the main bread winner for her family; supporting not only her mother but her brother as well. Her career is everything to her and she won’t let anything or any one jeopardize it. But then a sexy stranger she meets at a party tilts her carefully conducted life on it’s axis.

When it turns out that the stranger isn’t some stranger after all; but is in fact the new owner of the financial institution that Cara works for, their brewing sexual chemistry becomes even more inconvenient.

Now the premise for this book was great. I loved the set and where I though the story was going. My main issue is I found a good chunk of the book to be pure filler; unnecessary information that did nothing to drive the actual plot. It was draining to read and often took me completely out of the story. I think this could have easily been trimmed by almost 30-40% if I’m being perfectly honest.

My second issue was with Cara. Her indecisiveness drove me nuts. She wants him, but she can’t have him, she’ll cave in, but it won’t go further than that. Rinse, lather, and repeat ad nauseam. Ultimately though, here’s a woman that refuses to be “kept” and struggles to be seen as an equal in a mainly male dominated profession, yet she’s taking risks by having sexual encounters with her boss at work. It just seemed like she’d cave in too easily that all her internal arguments for her profession were moot.

Then there were the sex scenes. Perhaps I’m just desensitized to erotic books that I’ve become picky, but personally the word “penis” in a sex scene does absolutely nothing for me. Particularly in an explicit one.

When she felt his fingers there she sucked them into her mouth, making love to them the same way she’d made love to his penis just a little while ago.”

Making love to his penis? Are we actually waxing on poetic about a blow job here?

I want you inside me.”
“My fingers are inside you.”
“No! I want your penis inside me.”

Le sigh.

Then add in a random stalker to throw in some suspense and I was altogether underwhelmed.

I did love Braden’s intensity. Virna DePaul definitely knows how to write a super sexy alpha. Unfortunately while there were parts that I did enjoy, the negatives simply outweighed the enjoyment for me. I’m still a huge fan of this author and will gladly read any of her future releases. We simply can’t love them all, and this was just that case for me. I recommend you read it and judge for yourself. I tend to be a highly critical and picky reader; so you never know, it just may work for you.

Review: ★Broken Play★ by Samantha Kane

Review Broken Play Broken Play
Series: Birmingham Rebels #1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Author: Samantha Kane
Release Date: September 1, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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Perfect for fans of Shayla Black and Lexi Blake, the deeply sensual new Birmingham Rebels series introduces an unforgettable team of chiseled football gods—and the daring, provocative games they play behind closed doors.

Birmingham Rebels offensive linemen Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are inseparable, on and off the field. Cass, the captain with the cowboy swagger, is a loose cannon. Beau, the veteran tight end, is cool under pressure. And ever since they were caught on tape in a steamy threesome, their exploits have fueled more than a few tabloid headlines—and naughty fantasies.

Marian Treadwell knows all about the video. And now that she’s the Rebels’ new assistant offensive coach, she can’t look at Beau and Cass without picturing their hard, naked bodies—with her pressed in between. Marian would like nothing more than to indulge those impulses, but she knows better than to get too close to her players, a bunch of adrenaline-fueled alpha males who don’t always follow the rules.

Just the thought of sharing the gorgeous yet guarded Marian drives Cass wild. At first, Beau isn’t sure she’s right for them . . . and lately, all he desires is a little alone time with Cass to explore their new intimacy. But it’s only a matter of time before Cass breaks through both of their defenses. Because when seduction is the game plan, he always plays to win.

Broken Play is intended for mature audiences.

Buy LinksAmazon / iBooks

Review2 Stars

Well…this is what happens when I read a book based on the hot cover alone. Le sigh. At first I was excited because it reminded me a little of another series I love but with hockey players, The Dartmouth Cobras series by Bianca Sommerland; biggest difference being that that series is heavy on BDSM and this one wasn’t.

Unfortunately, I’m past the point where I can read a smutty book for the pure enjoyment of hot sex scenes. I need a plot driver, I need character development, I need something other than hot sex to keep me reading, and this book just didn’t have that.

I love the concept and the sex scenes were hot and aplenty, but I needed more depth. I felt like I was jumping into the book halfway. The main 2 characters clearly have a history but it’s only briefly mentioned and not really developed. They meet the heroine who happens to be their team’s new assistant offensive coach. Marian has a very bad history with football players in her past and sleeping with two men is crossing a boundary, but yet they it takes them absolutely no time before they’re groping each other
The rest of the book goes something the lines of this:
Something happens.
SEX
Something else happens.
SEX.
Some other stuff happens.
SEX SEX SEX.

I thought I was reading the screenplay for a porn most of the time.

Look guys,
I felt no connection to the characters or the plot. I felt like all of it was muted in the constant sex fog. I got to the point where I was skimming most of the sex scenes because honest to god, my vagina hurt for Mariam.

It had a very hot MMF threesome which I usually love, but again, I need more depth to the story to connect to it. Then that last 20% happened and….

Yeah. No.

Listen, I’m not against some hot gang bang action here, if I felt like it actually fit the plot. But while there was a “reason” for it, I just didn’t think it was good enough. It totally came out of left field for me (pun intended). Suffice it to say I think this book managed to out perve me. Hot sex is all fine and dandy as long as it’s wrapped around the plot and not the other way around.

Will I read the rest of the series? Probably not simply because I just didn’t connect to any of the MCs or the secondary characters. It was all over the place for me. The writing was good, it was the story that was lacking for me. If you’re looking for a super hot and smutty MMF read, this is definitely the book for you.

Review: ★HOT ALPHAS (Anthology)★

Authors: Lora Leigh, Laurelin McGee, Shiloh Walker, Kate Douglas
Genre: Erotic Romance (anthology)
Release Date: May 19, 2015

In Erin’s Kiss by Lora Leigh, ex-Marine Turk has become Erin’s sworn protector. The consistent target of her CIA-operative brother’s deadly foes, Turk is the only port Erin has to cling to in a storm. He promised her brother long ago never to touch her—but how can he resist a woman who aches to be with him as much as he burns for her?

In misTaken by Laurelin McGee, Jaylene Kim is a strong independent woman whose feminist values run deep. Even though attractive men are her weakness the last thing she wants is one telling her what to do. Until she meets her mysterious new neighbor. He makes her realize that you can still be strong and relinquish control . . . in the bedroom. But as their passion consumes them both Jaylene isn’t so sure he is who he says he is.

In Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker, Tate longs to spend his nights with Ali, a woman he’s loved for years. But while Ali’s heart pines to be with Tate, her head has reservations. Ali knows that Tate has never forgiven his father for the fight he had with his mother right before she left the house—and was never heard from again. Tate’s unresolved anger is a force to be reckoned with . . . but the heat that blazes between them is undeniable. Now both Tate and Ali are left to wonder: Can love really conquer all?

In Tangled by Kate Douglas, Nate shows up to work at Tangled Vineyards ready to do all the things he loves best—work with his hands, grow the grapes, and craft award-winning, full-bodied wines. But when something better comes along in the form of Cassie, the winemaker and former owner of the vineyard, Nate becomes completely love-drunk. Getting involved with Tangled’s number-one mixologist is a bad way to start off a new job, but with Cassie as a constant temptation, Nate doesn’t stand a chance…

I only read 3 of the 4 novellas in this book. So those are the 3 that I will be rating.

Erin’s Kiss by Lora Leigh– 2 Stars

I used to be a huge fan of this author. She was the one that first introduced me to erotic romance with Wild Card. But it’s like she just stopped trying lately. The stories have become regurgitated drivel. They all sound the same. You’ve read one, you’ve read them all. Change the characters’ names, rinse, lather and repeat. Another undercover operative with commitment issues and a sassy heroine that wakes him up? Been there. Read that. The writing? Made me roll my eyes so many times I thought they’d permanently get stuck that way…

That pleasure was immediately followed by a pulse of arousal so sharp it clenched her womb. The sensitive flesh between her thighs grew more sensitive…

and not 2 lines after

Her breasts pressed into the heated width of his chest, her nipples hardening to immediate, painful sensitivity as her breasts began to ache for touch.

Honest to gawd, if I read that his quivering member quivered, I may have thrown my kindle across the room.

I felt like I was starting this book from the middle of the series. The author sort of just throws you into things without much of a backstory. It was almost like starting a series from book 3 if you know what I mean. Having read most of this author’s backlist, I’ve also noticed every single one of her characters lately sounds the same. That same “Damn you. Damn you, you witch” line makes an appearance in practically each book. At this point, I’m just over it.

misTaken by Laurelin McGee-1 star

Never has a book infuriated me as much as this one did. And I consider myself a fairly laid back person. I don’t take my fiction too seriously, because it’s just that…fiction. Let’s look past the writing style that didn’t work for me at all. Let’s also forget that the dialogue between the characters read like something out of a YA novel. Let’s also overlook the fact that the hero is supposed to be an alpha, and yet he actually stumbles over his thoughts as to whether or not to hug the heroine after walking her home when he first meets her. YES, you read that right. HUG.

But then the nail on the coffin was this…

…you won’t catch me dead with a romance novel.” She shivered again, but this time in mock-horror.

“What’s wrong with romance novels?” He looked genuinely puzzled.

What the hell? It wasn’t obvious?

“They’re completely ridiculous. Hot alpha male with a broken past and massive bank account is healed by the golden vagina of a naive girl he meets under completely contrived circumstances. No thank you. That’s just smutty fairy tale for the Basic Bitch. It’s demeaning, and unrealistic. Besides, the sex in those books is always weirdly dominant and controlling.

I only have 2 questions here

This is a conversation between the hero and heroine within a ROMANCE NOVEL

Now to be fair, I understand what the author was trying to do here. The hero, after all, is an erotic romance writer. Mwuhahahaha. Get it? How fitting that this feminist heroine would fall for him. Unfortunately though, even if it was clearly satyrical, it turned me off completely. I was already struggling with reading about a heroine with strongly feminist views (it’s just not my cuppa). Add in her severe dislike for a genre that this Basic Bitch happens to be reading, and yeah…nope. It just didn’t work for me.

This was my first Laurelin McGee book, so this faux pas aside, I’d give her another try with a different book. Unfortunately if I hate a heroine it will almost always ruin the book for me, and that’s exactly what happened here and this didn’t work for me at all.

Burn for Me by Shiloh Walker– 3 stars

This was the saving grace of the anthology for me. I love Shiloh Walker. This is a novella that has been previously published, Burn For Me and is the first in what was 3 prequel novellas. The story gives a HEA for the couple introduced, but the story ARC continues throughout the next 2 books.

I read Erin’s Kiss, then Burn for Me, and misTaken next. Sadly misTaken managed to totally kill the vibe of the book for me and I just couldn’t find it in me to read the next novella, Tangled by Kate Douglas. I may come back to it on a later date.

On a side note, I really loved the previous 2 anthologies in this series, so maybe that’s why I was as disappointed as I was with this one? Who knows. Try it yourself and see. I know I tend to be picky with my books, so it may very well be a case of it’s just me.

Review: ★A Beautiful Kind of Love★ by Ellie Wade

A Beautiful Kind of Love (Choices #1)
Author: Ellie Wade
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Release Date: April 11, 2015

Every choice has a consequence.

I believe in soul mates. Why? Because I have one and his name is Jax Porter.

I have known Jax my whole life and I have loved him with every breath I’ve ever taken. The fact that we were born a mere month apart to mothers that are best friends has made us inseparable since birth.

What we have is so rare, one would think our story would be written, our fate sealed. But, unfortunately that’s not how life works. Life offers us many choices that can turn destiny into chance.

I now find myself heading toward a destination that I could have never imagined and I have to figure out where to go from here.
Will the choices that have been made change our path forever or will fate find its way?

Being the absolute angst whore that I am and after seeing many friends rave about this book and how emotional and angsty it was and seeing it all over my Goodreads feed, reading it was a no brainer for me. I was practically salivating after the synopsis alone.

Now that I finished?

And not for the reasons that you’d think. In all honesty, I found absolutely nothing angsty about this book. Nothing. Even when there was an “angsty” situation, there was just not enough backstory or development given with it to make me even slightly care about the character or their plight. None.

It started out great. There’s only one thing that I love more than a friends to lovers romance, and that’s a second chance romance. Unfortunately, I never clicked with either characters or their romance.

So what exactly didn’t work for me? Almost everything….

The writing
The lack of contractions in this book drove me up the wall crazy. I’m talking eye-twitching, hand itching to reach through my kindle and add an apostrophe myself sort of crazy. It got to the point that every time I saw it, I began to channel my inner Austin Powers.

I do not know of any teenagers that talk this way. It is highly annoying. I do not like it.

Weird timeline
The book starts off with both Jax and Lily at age twelve, but it doesn’t give a year. It refers to The Bodyguard as being one of Lily’s mom’s old movies. How old was her mom when she had her? Twelve? It was made in 1992. If this is based a number of years ago (considering at the end of the book Jax and Lily are 21 going on 22), then by method of deduction it would be 2005 when they’re 12 and a 1992 movie would NOT be old. Then when they’re 17, kindles and iPods are referenced. Then Katy Perry just a little later. It just didn’t add up. Perhaps if the author dated the time frames and put a year with the chapters it would have helped.

Miscommunication
Considering that these two are supposed to be best friends, they had so much miscommunication between them it was like they were playing a game of broken telephone. The amount of stupid decisions that were made that could have easily been avoided with a question or simple talk was ridiculous. Yes, I get that they’re teenagers but c’mon. They’re supposed to be BFFs. And it’s like they spent the entire book misreading this or assuming that…

Jax
Here’s an MC I’m supposed to be swooning over and falling for. Yet the only thing I felt for him was….rage. Pure frustrated rage.

There’s a decision that Jax makes that is the catalyst for all the fuckery that takes place in this book. But here’s the thing…I didn’t get it. Why? How? And most importantly, WHY? There was a reason given, but it was weak. Oh so weak. It was almost like it was thrown in there as a ‘by the way’ sort of thing, just to explain it. Or try to explain it anyway. But it didn’t explain it. At all. If anything, it just frustrated me more. Perhaps if there was more background, more backstory and more development with it, I could have understood. But as it was, I found the reason to be stupid. So stupid it actually made me dislike him as a character.

Secondary characters
You know what I love in my books? Unpredictability. Nothing better than a good plot twist. I found the set up with the secondary characters so predictable, it was eye roll inducing. I knew from the very second that a particular secondary character was introduced, what would happen. And I was right. I don’t think it could have been made any more obvious. Perhaps that was the point? But as it was…

Lily
I’m a picky bitch when it comes to my heroines, it’s true. But could Lily have been more of a wet blanket? Gawd. I really felt for her at first, but then her constant back and forth and forgiving of Jax’s douchebaggary made me completely lose respect for her. And then that ending? Are you freaking kidding me?!!! No really. Are you FREAKING kidding me? OMG!

I had to take a day to sleep on my thoughts after finishing this book because had I posted a review immediately after, it probably would have been a 2 page rant. I hate leaving bad reviews, especially when I seem to be one of the VERY few that doesn’t connect with the story, but I couldn’t think of one thing I liked about this book. Not one. And that seriously hurts my heart because I had such high hopes for it. Will I read the second book? Probably not. I just don’t care enough for the characters to want to know where the journey takes them. Unless I’m hit by some masochistic curious urge, I doubt I’ll continue.

I realize I’m in the extreme minority with my thoughts, but before you throw stones and rotten tomatoes, just remember

So don’t let my asshole opinion deter you from reading it. Try it yourself and see. Who knows? You just may love it.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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