Review: Half Truths by Claire Contreras 

HALF TRUTHS
Series: Secret Society #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author:
Claire Contreras 
Release Date:
October 21, 2019

You’ve heard of these groups – the secretive ones that only the crème de la crème are invited into, the ones outsiders speculate about for centuries – I’m the second in my family invited to attend, but to them, I’m fresh meat. New blood. New money, too.

They think they’ll elbow past me, that I’m here for their amusement, for them to walk all over, they’ll find out soon enough that I’m not.

I may look like one of them, with my designer bags and clothes straight from the Parisian runways, but I’m not. I’m here for answers, to take revenge for blood spilled on their centuries-old Persian rugs.

I transferred here in search for answers about what happened to my older brother, who hightailed out of here, and my friend who seemingly disappeared into thin air. I certainly wasn’t here for the attention of the star hockey player, regardless of how much he willed my eyes his way. I wasn’t here for his scrutiny or his judgment or to read into his mysterious aura. I was here for the society, because only they held the answers I needed. That was, until I found out that in order to get those answers, I needed to to go through him. He’s saying if I want in, I have to play by their rules, follow their lead.

It’s a game I’m willing to play.

I may be the second person I know of to be invited into their society, but I’ll be the first to make it out intact.

AMAZON 


I adore Claire Contreras books and the second I read the blurb for this book, I was itching to get my grabby little hands on it. Secret society, deadly secrets, and plenty of twists and turns? Sign. Me. Up.

Claire doesn’t wait to get the reader immediately drawn in with the jaw dropper of a prologue. I was immediately enraptured in this world and these characters.

Amelia Baston is a young woman that’s used to the world of privilege. But even her family’s money won’t get her the answers she desperately craves. A woman disappeared and presumed dead and her brother’s life changed forever. Amelia is left to pick up the pieces and determined to get answers. She transfers to a new school in the hopes of getting to the secret society that she believes hold the answers. There’s just one problem, you don’t find them, they find you.

Logan is one of the most popular guys at school and a star hockey player. Logan and Amelia immediately clash and form an antagonistic sort of relationship with an undercurrent of sexual tension that utterly sizzle. The relationship between them was a slow burn and a delicious one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the first half of this book, but then somewhere around the second half, that enjoyment began to sizzle. The biggest selling point of the story for me was the secret society, but we barely graze the surface of it here. I get that it’s a series, but I still felt a bit underwhelmed with it here. It just felt like we were taken in circles and then inevitably taken nowhere. That would have still been fine until the ending. That ending was just entirely too cliched for me. It completely killed the enjoyment of the book I had and entirely took away from the rest of the story elements that were building up to it. Would I read the next book? Absolutely. The hook that we get for the series is ridiculously enticing. So while I didn’t quite love this book, it still hooked me on a new series. Hopefully the next one will get me the answers I’m dying for.

Review: Butterfly In The Frost by Sylvia Day

BUTTERFLY IN FROST
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sylvia Day
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.

Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.

He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.

And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

 

We don’t talk about next week. We exist only in the now and tomorrow, right here.


I’ve missed Sylvia Day’s writing immensely. So when I saw she has a book coming out, I jumped on it quicker than you can blink. I barely spared the blurb a glimpse, if I’m being perfectly honest here.

I was immediately enraptured in Day’s words and the quick paced story line. This is tied in the Crossfire world, and you get come cameos of Eva here. I don’t remember much of the series beyond the first book, and I didn’t read 3-5, so I can’t say how much of this heroine is introduced in those books. I will say, with the way the heroine and some of the secondary characters are introduced and written, it felt like we should already know who they are.

Unfortunately, right around the 40% mark I began to find myself disengaging more and more. The character development felt lacking. I struggled to truly connect to the heroine. There were also just one too many plot holes. And then the plot twist hits you right over the head I was at a complete loss. Granted, the plot twist is what saved the story for me. I was fairly bored right up until that point and the twist revived it for me. But, and this is a big BUT, it simply wasn’t fleshed out enough to truly pack the punch it was meant to.

This should have been a full length novel. As it was, with the page count, there just wasn’t enough to truly give that amazing twist justice. The ending was too sudden and completely glossed over. This was a story meant for a full length novel. As a novella, it felt lackluster and unfinished.

Review: Have Mercy by N.E. Henderson

HAVE MERCY
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dark
Author: N.E. Henderson
Release Date: May 2, 2019

I never saw it coming.

It’s hard to get over that kind of betrayal. It leaves a mark on the heart. A slow bleed that never goes away. She was my girl. We were supposed to be partners. She was going to be the mother of my children down the road. The only girl to warm my bed. She was my forever girl.

Until she ran away.

I thought she felt the same. But if she did she wouldn’t have ditched me like I didn’t matter. All the plans we made meant nothing to her. She disappeared without so much as a goodbye. Those cuts are the deepest. A gaping hole that can’t be sealed. I could’ve stomached anything else—a meaningless one-night stand, drifting apart, vanishing love. But abandonment is a deadly strike that can’t be forgotten. It sticks with you forever.

Three months later she showed up, expecting me to welcome her back with open arms. Excuses, lies, not even her crying eyes could make me believe the manipulative bullshit coming out of her mouth. For months I felt like I was burning alive. She shattered my heart and stole my soul.

I moved on.

Now, eighteen years later, a nightmare unfolds. Every detail makes my stomach churn. Lies come to the light. The truth is uncovered. And the people I thought I knew become strangers. The heartbreak I felt was only a scratch compared to the sliced open heart in my chest.

Winning her back seems like an impossible feat. She may never forgive me, because the thing about mercy—you have to give to receive.

***Have Mercy is a 107K word standalone, second chance love story.***

AMAZON

Eighteen years have gone by and Elise Thomas still owns me like no other woman ever has—or ever will.

This review is extremely difficult for me to write. I have sat on my rating for it for a solid week and I’m still struggling with it. Why? Because I binge read this story. I’m talking glued to the pages, completely incapable of setting it down for even a second sort of binge here, people. It was like a rockstar soap opera. No lie. If OTT drama, angst, and alphahole heroes aren’t your jam, I’d say this book won’t be for you. But this reader? I froth at the mouth for it. Don’t you judge me either. I yam what I yam.

I think that had it been for different execution on a few plot devices and elements of this book, it would have been a no brainer 5 star. As it was, there were things in this story that I really hoped would be better wrapped up then they were at the end. But I’ll get to those in a minute.

First let me start with what I loved; the set up. DELICIOUS. A second chance romance 18 years in the making. Jamie and Jenna were each other’s world as teenagers. They loved and they loved hard, until they fell apart even harder. Eighteen years later and neither of them is much closer to any sort of closure from each other. Jamie is now divorced and still as bitter as he was back when he though Jenna betrayed him. Jenna has tried to move on from Jamie, but how do you forget the love of your life? But how do you ultimately pick up the pieces when you realize that everything you thought you knew was wrong. And the person you’ve hated for years is not at all who you thought they were and that you’re ultimately responsible for breaking you apart? That’s the premise of the book.

The story unravels in alternating flashbacks. These were cleverly written to give the reader the whole story crumble by crumble, until you’re utterly desperate for the whole picture. I loved the over the top angst and drama of this book. The antagonistic sort of back and forth between Jamie and Jenna was book crack. Jamie made a terrible decision those years ago that essentially got all the dominoes to fall. A decision made by a young and immature boy that didn’t yet have his head out of his own ego long enough to dig deeper. I didn’t hate him for it, but I can see a lot of readers having an issue with it. This reader, however, did not. I loved to hate Jamie. What can I say? I live for some book drama every now and then.

Jenna struck me a great and strong willed heroine at first. I loved her spark and the added edge of what she keeps hidden below the surface with the scars of her past. This is also where the story began to lose me. I wanted Jenna to keep holding on to that edge, but I couldn’t help but feel that she began to lose most of it with Jamie. She gives in so easily to his every whim. After the betrayal that lies between them, I just couldn’t wrap my head around this, no matter how much she still loves him. I wanted her to make him work for it. Make him beg, crawl on his knees! But she does none of those things. The only thing she does do is keep him on the edge by not sharing the full capacity of the truth with him. This ultimately drove me crazy. It just seemed like an unnecessary way to drive the plot forward where there were plenty of other moving wheels in the story to do so. It dragged on for way too long. I also absolutely hate when a heroine is celibate for years while the hero is anything but when they’re not together and have no hopes of being together.  It’s unrealistic and it’s a huge pet peeve of mine so unfortunately this played a big part in my rating.

There is a very heavy element of suspense around the mystery of what happened those years ago. Though to be fair, it’s only a mystery to the reader for a short part of the book. It continues to be a mystery to Jamie for longer. I also really disliked that Jamie continually kept jumping to the wrong conclusion of Jenna no matter how much evidence he had to the contrary. I wanted this man to GROVEL, and I do mean GROVEL. And all he continues to do is jump to conclusions and think the worst of her.

I liked the inclusion of the secondary characters and the kids, however, I didn’t feel it necessary to have their POVs. While it didn’t take away from the story, it did convolute it a bit with the continuous flashbacks.

I wanted Jenna to be as strong of a heroine with Jamie as she is with every other aspect of her life, and unfortunately for me, she just wasn’t. A betrayal of that caliber needs a huge grovel, and that didn’t happen either. I wanted to 5 star this book so much. It took me out of a huge book funk and kept me glued to the pages. Unfortunately I just couldn’t look past the many issues that I also had with it.

I’m definitely a huge fan of the author and will definitely read her future books. This one may not have been perfect, but it still hit the spot, so give it a shot and see for yourself.

Review: Arranged by RK Lilley

ARRANGED
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: RK Lilley
Release Date: April 22, 2019

There were rules in the cash-for-beauty game. The money held the power. The beauty followed the rules and jumped through the hoops.

THE BRIDE
I knew what everyone would think if they knew the truth about my marriage. They’d be shocked and appalled. And rightly so. I was a young, modern, independent woman, and I’d done the unthinkable. I’d sold my virginity to a spoiled, rich boy. To a stranger who didn’t love me.

And yes, I’d done it all for money.

THE GROOM
My bride was as gorgeous as she was unwelcome. As desirable as she was unwanted. I wanted nothing to do with her, but that didn’t seem to matter exactly the second she got close enough to touch. I wanted her to hate me more than she loved the millions she’d sold herself for.

I wanted to spurn her, but unfortunately, I wanted to fuck her more.

ARRANGED is a standalone erotic romance.

AMAZON


He hated me on principle, and he fascinated me in spite of myself.

I love RK Lilley’s brand of angst. So of course the second I saw she has a new book coming out, I jumped on it with a rabidness of a starving squirrel. That analogy made sense, right? No? Whatever. Just go with me here.

Arranged marriages are my jam and bullheaded, broody, and brokenly mean heroes are my crack. So of course the blurb to this book hooked me, line and sinker. The irony of my rating is that I DEVOURED this book. I’m talking straight up binge read here, people. But I also couldn’t help but feel that something was missing for me. I’m thinking this was likely the heroine’s balls up until the bitter end. Le sigh.

The set up is delicious. A bride that sells herself and her virginity to a cold and unwilling husband who only marries her to get his inheritance from his father. She agrees to be his perfect trophy wife and obedient doll. He makes it apparent she will never be anything more to him. Enter a game of push and pull the likes of which will make you want to rip your hair out. And this was the beginning of the end for me here. Because while the set up was my catnip, the heroine was my kryptonite.

Now look, I get it. She sold herself for millions of dollars and knew full well what she was walking into. She agrees to take it all in stride and be the perfect little wife. She HAS to take all of her husband’s vile and hot and cold behavior. But at the same time, I didn’t get her either. He treats her like trash, and yet she still trembles because of their sexual chemistry. She’s so up and down with this that I started to get dizzy. He rips her to shreds and she barely walks away without gaping wounds, but the second he gives her the sex eyes, she’s all over it, because…magic penis.

Now you may have seen a HUGE spoiler floating around in some reviews. And I want to make myself very clear that this didn’t bother me. In context, I got it. But I get how this may be a huge no for some people. I’m not one of them, though. For me, this was staying true to this character and I wouldn’t buy it if he was the perfect little husband if I’m being perfectly honest. Where it went wrong for me with Calder is his sudden 180. The man goes from bitter and cold to suddenly the exact opposite and I simply didn’t buy the total and complete turnaround.

Does he grovel at the end, absolutely. But I couldn’t help but feel I needed something a little more. The heroine also finally grows a pair and lets him have it, which was satisfying. But again, it didn’t take long for her to succumb to his sex voodoo.

I loved the premise of this book and as I already mentioned, I totally binged on it. But something in the execution just felt lacking for me. I will say that I’m thrilled to have RK Lilley back in action and can’t wait for more books from her. This one, while falling short in some of my personal preferences, was still an entertaining read. So if you’re looking for a sexy arranged marriage trope with a real alphahole of a hero, definitely give this a go!

Review: Twisted Pride by Cora Reilly

TWISTED PRIDE
Series: The Camorra Chronicles #3
Genre: Dark Romance, Mafia
Author: Cora Reilly
Release Date: April 16, 2019

Remo Falcone is beyond redemption.

As Capo of the Camorra he rules with a brutal hand over his territory – a territory the Chicago Outfit breached.

Now Remo is out for retribution.
A wedding is sacred, stealing a bride sacrilegious.

Serafina is the niece of the Boss of the Outfit, and her hand has been promised in marriage for years, but kidnapped in her wedding dress on her way to church by Remo, Serafina quickly realizes that she can’t hope for saving. Yet, even in the hands of the cruelest man she knows, she is determined to cling to her pride, and Remo soon understands that the woman at his mercy might not be as easy to break as he thought.

A ruthless man on a quest to destroy the Outfit by breaking someone they are supposed to protect.

A woman intent on bringing a monster to his knees.
Two families that will never be the same.

AMAZON

Pride was the only weapon I had, and I would hold on to it until the very end.

Mafia romance is my jam. The darker, the better. And when I first saw the blurb to this story, I knew this had to be my first Cora Reilly book.

After finishing, I’ll admit I have very conflicting emotions about how I feel about it. On the one hand, I struggled to connect to the heroine and the way she was painted to be so naive and complacent in the beginning. On the other hand, the more I read, the more connected I felt to the story.

What begins as a twisted game of revenge soon begins to turn into something more. Remo and Serafina both come from the same world but they live on opposite sides of it. Where Serafina has been sheltered, Remo has seem the depths of human depravity and violence. So much so, that it’s twisted and tainted him into the Capo that he is today. The dynamic between them was a delicious one, however. I loved the push and pull of their unwanted attraction. Serbian should be a means to an end to a man like Remo. He doesn’t care about anything but his family. But there’s something about her that reaches into the hidden depths of him. It’s not instant. It’s a slow burn of realization as he discovers that Serafina isn’t the sheltered and soft beauty that she seems. That she’s got a core of strength and a pride beneath that delicate exterior. That he yearns to break her in all ways possible.

Now here is also where I struggled with the book; the characterization. It soon became apparent that I did myself a great disservice by reading this book without reading the others. There’s clearly a continuing story arc that follows the brothers, and even though the author attempts to give the reader bits and pieces, it still felt like I was missing huge chunks of their backstory. The incredible amount of redundant descriptions of Remo were a huge irritant for me. I lost count of the amount of times that I read about his cruel smile, cold voice and brutal acts. I’m not even kidding. The word cruel is used over 60 times in the book to describe either his smile, his eyes, or his general being. And yes, I counted.

Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed Remo’s dark depravity. But I also got tired of constantly being reminded of it. It felt like being slapped in the face with his personality. I get it! He’s cruel and brutal. Let his actions and behavior be the reminder. Not his description.

Aside from that, I really did enjoy the story. It was action-packed, gritty, and after the 30% mark, a complete page turner for me. And while I struggled with some parts, I still liked it enough to know I want to read the rest of this series. I definitely need Adamo’s story soon! That was a secondary character that I couldn’t get enough of.

Review: The Duke Buys A Bride by Sophie Jordan

THE DUKE BUYS A BRIDE
Series: The Rogue Files #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Sophie Jordan
Release Date: July 24, 2018

A bride wasn’t in his plans . . .

The last thing Marcus, the Duke of Autenberry, expects to see after sleeping off a night’s drunken shenanigans is a woman being auctioned in the village square. Before he can think about the ramifications, he buys her, thinking he’s winning the girl her freedom. Instead, he discovers he’s bought a wife.

A duke wasn’t in hers . . .

Alyse Bell is almost rid of the shackles that bound her in a name-only marriage, but the day her friend promised to purchase her in a wife auction, he vanishes, leaving her to face a mob of unsavory bachelors intent on owning her body and soul. But the appearance of a wicked, wealthy stranger changes her path forever.

The road to ruin . . .

Marcus doesn’t know what to do with the impertinent chit who clearly isn’t duchess material! Insisting their marriage isn’t legitimate, they leave for his estate in Scotland, hoping to devise a plan to get rid of each other. However, on a journey fraught with misadventure, their attraction grows and Marcus realizes he’ll do anything to keep this fiery woman for his own.

AMAZON

You’re a witch,” he muttered. “From the moment I saw you, I’ve been doing things entirely out of my character.”

After the way things left off with Marcus in The Scandal of It All, I was more than a little eager to get my hands on his book to see just how this man will redeem himself. While a lot of his behavior shows him to be almost a spoiled and entitled brat at times, still waters run deep, and you just know there’s something underneath the appearance that he initially gives off.

After finding out his stepmother is in love with one of his best friends, he leaves everything behind and leaves his home. Waking up after a blackout bender in a town he doesn’t remember arriving in isn’t exactly in his plans. But then again, neither is rescuing a women from being sold like cattle for marriage in the town square. He can’t resist purchasing her when he sees the look of abject horror on her face. But he never intends to truly hold up his end of the deal and be anyone’s husband; merely purchase her freedom.

Alyse Bell has been stuck in a name-only “marriage” for years after the passing of her father when she was way too young. As his last deed before his passing, he arranged her contract with the man she’s been living with in name only. She’s essentially been his care-taker and nanny. The deal has always been that he will then sell at a wife auction to be purchased by her best friend. Only her friend is nowhere to be found when she needs him the most, leaving her to the mercy of the fates.

Marcus and Alyse are certainly an odd pair. Marcus refuses to acknowledge any chemistry between them. He runs hot and cold at the best of times, though his direct setting seems to be on cold. He passes off their “contract” as her being his housekeeper and nothing more, while fighting their connection at every turn. Admittedly, as much as I was looking forward to this book, it felt a little lackluster for me. Yes, the chemistry was there, but I also found the pacing to work against it. I enjoyed Alyse’s spark and backbone, but Marcus left me feeling underwhelmed. I wanted to love him, but sadly I just didn’t. His turnaround was too little too late for me, and while still satisfying, I couldn’t help feeling like I needed more from this story to bring it to a 4 star read.

I still enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it either. It was that middle of the road sort of feeling that had me feeling both satisfied…and not. I liked that we got a bit of closure with Marcus and his stepmother at the end, though I would have loved more of that as well.

Review: Escort by Skye Warren

ESCORT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: March 20, 2018

I’m an escort, which means this date is nothing more than a mutually enjoyable transaction. There shouldn’t be any surprises, not for one as jaded as me, but when I walk into the penthouse suite of L’Etoile, everything changes.

1) For one thing, Bea is heartstoppingly gorgeous. Pale green eyes and endless freckles. Curves I want to spend all night exploring, as if her body was made for me.

2) Her innocence makes me want to use my entire inventory of bedroom tricks on her and then invent a few more.

3) Except that… she’s a virgin.

I can initiate her into the world of desire without letting her get attached, can’t I? A few hours of tutoring, and at the end of the night a small fortune will be deposited into my bank account.

But once I realize one night with her won’t be enough, I’m the one who’s screwed.

AMAZON

It’s been a few weeks since I read this book, and I still struggle with how to rate it. It’s turned out to be those middle of the road books for me that I simply don’t know how I feel about. Did I love it? No. Did I hate it? No. Did I like it? Almost, but not quite. So how do I even rate something like that? The struggle was definitely real here, y’all. But ultimately, with it being a middle of the road read, I’m going with a middle of the road rating. I didn’t love it, nor did I hate it. While it kept me engaged enough to finish, it will be one of those books that I’ll likely forget about.

I adore Skye’s writing and while this had her usual lyrical flow, it wasn’t quite what I expected being used to her spine tingly sort of dark romance. Hugo Bellmont may be a sexy hero, he’s also not the intense alpha male that I’ve come to expect from Skye. Perhaps it was my expectations that got the best of me here, but if you’re expecting a dark read with an intense alpha, this book isn’t quite that. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Hugo. He had this unassuming intensiveness to him that came from his caring and protective side, it just wasn’t enough for me to fall in love with him like I have with most of Skye’s other heroes.

I loved that it was loosely tied into Skye’s Engame Trilogy and Masterpiece Duet world. But it was nothing like those books. I struggled to really feel the connection between the two MCs. It didn’t feel forced, but it was a little too quick for me to truly buy into it. The story, while engaging, wasn’t one that kept me riveted to the pages. And just when I was finally started to get truly invested in things, it ended.

I will say that while this book didn’t quite do it for me, it certainly was a good hook if we’ll be getting more in this world. There were a few other secondary characters that were introduced that I’m definitely intrigued with. While I still love Skye Warren, you just can’t love every book, and this book unfortunately was that for me. I’m clearly the odd man out with my opinion, so read it and judge for yourself.

Review: The Best Man by Natasha Anders

THE BEST MAN
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Alpha Men #2
Author: Natasha Anders
Release Date: April 10, 2018

It has all the makings of a picture-perfect wedding. There’s just one detail that could have used a little more planning…

Hulking ex–rugby player Spencer Carlisle has crushed on Daffodil McGregor since high school. On the field he knew the moves. Off, he was a clueless clod who never gained an advantage. Rejected and rebuffed, his infatuation finally cooled—like ice.

Now, it’s impossible not to feel the chill—since he’s the best man and she’s the maid of honor at their siblings’ wedding. For the sake of harmony, they’re calling a truce.

Daff has her reasons for being a cynic when it comes to romance. And twice as many for not letting on that she finds Spencer attractive—although she’d rather gnaw off her thumb than admit it. Still, there’s more to the sweet and sexy lug than meets the eye. Maybe he is the one who can heal her emotional scars. Maybe he’ll give her a second chance. Because Spencer could be Daff’s own best man—if it’s not too late to come to terms with the past.

AMAZON

As a long time fan of all things Natasha Anders, I don’t even bother to read the blurb before adding her books. But when I saw that this book will featured Daisy’s sister and Mason’s older brother from The Wingman, I was that much more excited.

If you haven’t read this series yet and are expecting it to be on the same level of angst as some of Natasha’s previous books, you’re in for some disappointment. While there’s definitely emotion brimming from the pages of these stories, it’s not that angsty overload the likes of The Unwanted Wife or A Husband’s Regret. I love a little variety from authors, so this didn’t bother me one bit.

With a delicious unrequited love setup in the previous book, The Best Man was sure to deliver some feels, and it certainly did. I’ll admit, I struggled quite a bit to stay engaged to the story in the beginning. This is a character driven story and was entirely too slow paced for my particular taste. Having said that, the pacing fit the story and anything more than that would have ruined the effect.

Spencer Carlisle was a bit of a bumbling alpha in the previous book, I fell head over heels for him in this one. You truly get to know the heart of this incredible man, and it was full of love and depth. He’s been in love with Daffodil McGregor since high school only to get her scorn and be ignored time and time again, almost cruelly. This is ultimately where my rating lowered. I’m a reader that has to love the heroine in my book, and if I don’t, it will color my entire reading experience. And truth be told, I struggled hard with Daffodil. The author did a wonderful job with her character development and peeling back her true self layer by layer to reveal the scared and somewhat insecure woman beneath the boastful and sassy exterior. And even though I wanted so badly to connect with it and empathize, most of the time I just wanted to throttle her. Her constant hot and cold personality with Spencer drove me out of my ever loving mind. I adored how understanding and patient Spencer was with her and even though Daffodil tried to wrong her rights, most of the time it just didn’t feel like enough.

Because of this, I really struggled to completely buy into their romance. That’s not to say I didn’t still enjoy the story, because I did. While it was frustrating at times, it was still satisfying. And the set up for the third McGregor sister is nothing short of delicious so of course I can’t wait for that.


THE SERIES

THE WINGMAN | THE BEST MAN | THE WRONG MAN

Review: More Than Memories by N.E. Henderson

MORE THAN MEMORIES
Series: More Than #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: N.E. Henderson
Release Date: July 27, 2017

 

A heartbreaking second chance contemporary romance that’ll leave you reeling with emotion overload.

Memories are never forgotten.

Or so it’s said, but she did.

She forgot herself, me—us.

She forgot everything.

One day I woke up and there was only pain.

This pain so fierce that I can’t overcome it alone.

My heart was ripped out of my chest.

I’m surviving, but barely.

Not even the physical outlet I seek, to purge the torment of remembering the one I can’t let go, helps anymore.

In all of his agony, what if the worst of his pain has yet to be expelled? A secret that could have changed everything . . . had he known.

AMAZON

She was mine longer than she’s ever known. She was mine from the start. I’ve just never told her that until a few minutes ago.

Truth be told, this book has been on my radar for a while. It first caught my attention with the beautiful cover, and then it completely hooked me with the blurb. I’m a sucker for an angsty read, and More Than Memories certainly delivered on that end.

There’s nothing I love better than a good amnesia plot, and as far as memory loss stories go, this one packed a heck of a punch. Ten years ago, Shane lost the love of his life in the most tragic of ways. They may have been total opposites, but they’ve always shared one heart. One night rips everything apart, and Shane hasn’t been the same since.

Ten years have passed, and Whitney re-enters his life in the most unexpected of ways. She looks like the love of his life, she talks like her, but she has none of her memories. She doesn’t remember him and she doesn’t remember their friends. She’s married. Has a family. She’s a stranger. But the invisible pull that’s always existed between them is still there.

I was instantly hooked on their story and fully invested from the prologue alone. This was a powerful and highly emotional second chance romance.

He’s mine. He has always been mine. And he will always be mine.

Unfortunately, minor issues throughout the story began to wane my enjoyment. While I’m not usually a stickler for grammar, I have to admit that the highly noticeable ones in this book were distracting enough to take me out of the story at times. An extra comma where there shouldn’t be, misspelled words and the like weren’t glaring, but their were noticeable. It wasn’t many, but it was enough to be distracting to the flow of the story. This was more of a minor inconvenience than anything else, however. What ultimately lowered my rating was something that I may be at fault for myself. Since I dove right into More Than Memories without having read More Than Lies first, I struggled on wrapping my mind around most of the secondary characters. While this focuses on a completely different couple than book one, there are clearly a lot of interconnections, the major one being the group of friends. It felt almost overwhelming at times getting all of their backstories as quickly as we did, and I’d forget who was who and how they tied into things. There’s a lot of backstory here, and even though the author does explain it, for a reader just being introduced to this world, it felt confusing. Perhaps if there were just one or two, but there were quite a few, and it took me almost the entire book to really understand the full dynamics of it.

The romance was a slow burn, and deliciously angsty. I really loved Shane and Whitney together. They were memorable and highly developed characters with plenty of layers. Admittedly, while I love angst, there were some twists that were thrown in that felt a little OTT on the drama department and read almost like a soap. Don’t get me wrong, I typically gobble that shit up with a spoon and beg for more. But with the way things unravel at the end, it just felt like a bit much. A little less drama and a little more angst and emotion would have sufficed for me. But obviously you can’t please every reader.

Did I enjoy More Than Memories? Abso-freaking-lutely. It may not have been a perfect read, but it was still perfectly entertaining. I’m definitely a fan of this author and will happily read her books in the future. If you’re looking for a unique and memorable second chance romance with plenty of feels and angst, this will do the trick nicely.

Review: Wish You Were Mine by Tara Sivec


WISH YOU WERE MINE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Tara Sivec
Release Date:  November 14, 2017

Five years. I would’ve stayed away longer if I hadn’t received the letter. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about her, haven’t missed her smile, haven’t wished that things were different.

The last time I saw my two best friends, I vowed to not stand in the way of their happiness, even if that meant I couldn’t be a part of their lives.

Cameron James and her emerald-green eyes were too much of a temptation and I couldn’t stay and watch them together.

Cameron deserved better than me.

She deserved him.

But now that I am back, things are different. I’m not going to stand by and watch the woman I’ve always loved slip away again. I’m done living my life with regrets and I’m ready to tell her the truth. And I’ll do whatever it takes to show her that I always wished she was mine.

AMAZON

I hate that I’ve missed Everett so much, that a part of me wants to forgive him for everything. I hate that seeing him again gave me butterflies and made me remember all of the feelings I used to have for him. I hate that he’ll never understand how much his disappearance from my life broke my heart, because I can never tell him. I can never tell him that he always had my heart, and he took it with him when he left, because it will just make me look like a fool. A fool who waited around for years, hoping her best friend would someday fall in love with her.

After absolutely LOVING The Story of Us, I was thrilled that I’d be getting more of that world with this book. Cameron James is the daughter of Shelby and Eli, and I was beyond excited when I realized this. I’m a huge fan of Tara’s emotional second chance romances, and Wish You Were Mine certainly packed a good angsty punch.

Everett and Cameron grew up as best friends, and unbeknownst to each other, in love. But then life happened, teenage insecurities and family dynamics came into play and they drifted. Now Everett is back in the small town he grew up in, reeling from the death of his best friend and the letter he left him after his death, determined to finally make things right.

This was a slow paced, character driven story that was told in present and flash backs. And while I wanted to love both of these characters, I struggled. I simply couldn’t connect to them or their plight. I couldn’t even put my finger on what or why, but I couldn’t help feeling like something was just…missing for me. Because of that, I struggled to stay connected to the story. Everett and Cameron have a slow paved road to their HEA and I found myself getting easily distracted and disengaged from the story.

The writing was wonderful, the set up was there. I think this was just a case of me and not the book. I adore Tara Sivec and can’t wait for more of these stories from her, but sadly this one just didn’t blow me away like her others.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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