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.

Review: The Pretender by HelenKay Dimon

THE PRETENDER
Series: Games People Play #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: HelenKay Dimon
Release Date: December 26, 2017

“Sexy, emotional, funny . . . Dimon gives it all to her readers.” —New York Times Bestselling Author Jill Shalvis

They say it takes a thief to catch a thief, and Harrison Tate is proof. Once a professional burglar, he now makes a lawful living tracking down stolen art. No one needs to know about his secret sideline, “liberating” artifacts acquired through underhanded methods. At least until one of those jobs sees him walking in on a murder.

Gabrielle Wright has long been estranged from her wealthy family, but she didn’t kill her sister. Trouble is, the only person who can prove it is the sexy, elusive criminal who shouldn’t have been at the island estate on that terrible night. She’s not expecting honor among thieves—or for their mutual attraction to spark into an intense inferno of desire.

Under the guise of evaluating her family’s art, Harris comes back to the estate hoping to clear Gabby’s name. But returning to the scene of the crime has never been riskier, with their hearts and lives on the line.

AMAZON

He had changed everything.

HelenKay Dimon was one of the very first contemporary romance authors I read back in the day, right after Lori Foster and Jill Shalvis. But it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read one of her books and I couldn’t even tell you why. The synopsis for The Pretender caught my eye right away, and felt like just the right book to dive back into my love affair with this author.

While I haven’t read the first two books in this series, I had no trouble jumping into the third. I felt there was a lot of history with the characters that I missed out on, but everything I needed to know for this story was carefully laid out and explained.

If you like your romance with a dash of mystery and suspense, The Pretender will surely do the trick. As a matter of fact, it’s the one thing that kept me reading. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel a connection the main characters or their romance. It felt rushed and sudden, like it came out of nowhere. Though Harrison actually knows the heroine from a job went wrong over a year ago, they had no other connection. When he comes back to the island to help clear her name of a murder he has proof she didn’t commit, the sparks fly. Where I struggled is believing those sparks. Yes, they had chemistry, but it was just too sudden considering everything else going on.

There’s quite a bit of intrigue and red herrings thrown into the mix to truly throw the reader for a loop and it certainly did the job for me. The identity of the bad guy kept me guessing right until the very end. When I thought I knew who it was there was a heck of a plot twist thrown in that certainly livened things up a bit from what seemed to be a predictable end.

Even though the romance left something to be desired for me, I enjoyed the mystery and suspense quite a bit. It was definitely enough to hook me to want to read the rest of the series.

Review: Headmaster by Tara Sue Me

HEADMASTER
Series: Lessons from the Rack #2
Genre: Contemporary BDSM Romance
Author: Tara Sue Me
Release Date: January 16, 2018

The New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive novels delivers a scintillating new erotic romance, where two instructors redefine the phrase “teacher’s pet” . . . .

Lennox MacLure, owner of the RACK Academy, has sworn off the Dominant/submissive lifestyle.

Years ago, his submissive, Winnie, died in a car accident following a heated argument for which he blames himself.

Guilt-ridden and emotionally closed off, Lennox sees the academy as both his punishment and penance for her death.

Mariela, a dance instructor and a natural submissive, was Winnie’s best friend and longs to help Lennox move past his grief. She’s accepted that he will never see her as anything more than a friend, but she still wants to help him acknowledge what he needs.

Mariela comes up with a plan of seduction, guaranteed to unleash the Dominant he’s willfully buried—but the passion they unleash could prove to be stronger than they are ready to handle.

 

AMAZON | KOBO | B&N

Admittedly, this author is a hit-or-miss for me. He last few books have been misses but the moment I saw the blurb for Headmaster, I just couldn’t help but read it. For one, I couldn’t resist the good old unrequited love trope. Second, I also couldn’t resist a dead ex trope. This book had both.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Headmaster falls smack dab in the middle of my like-dislike scale. There are certain things that I really didn’t care much for while there are a few that I really, really liked.

Number one of my ‘Really, really liked’ list is the heroine, Mariela. She’s hired by Lennox to teach in his BDSM academy, RACK. She’s a submissive who’s in love with the hero for a long time. And she also happens to be the best friend of Winnie, the hero’s dead ex.

While she has been carrying a torch for the hero since the beginning, she wasn’t a pushover. Her being a submissive is a choice. She’s not timid or easily intimidated by the hero. She could hold her own. I liked how she admits her feelings for the hero without losing her independence or pitying herself, etc.

Mariela also made Lennox likable. I didn’t like Lennox much but I love his banter with Mariela. I also liked the BDSM aspect to the book. It’s there and it’s a big part of the hero and heroine but it doesn’t overwhelm the reader with the ins and outs of BDSM.

The plot was okay. There were high emotional points which I really enjoyed, while there are some stuff which I’m meh about. And that brings me to Lennox.

I’m torn about him. He’s a tortured individual, so full of guilt because he chose the wrong girl and she died. His “I’m so tortured, I can’t be a Dom and fall in love again” got tiring after a while. And if it hadn’t been for Mariela, who I adored, I would’ve DNF’d this book. But to be fair, he did grow as a character.

That said there were moments where I’m not quite sure whether he fell in love with Mariela because she was more compatible than Winnie ever was. And I would totally understand if other readers would take issue with the fact that Lennox did choose Winnie over Mariela. She wasn’t in his radar at all. He knew her as his girl Winnie’s best friend for years. And I missed the moment where he starts to fall in love with her because at the start of the book, they already have this ‘will they, won’t they succumb to their feelings’ thing going on.

Despite that, I still enjoyed this overall. I loved Mariela and liked their romance overall.

Review: Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

LETHAL LIES
Series: Blood Brothers #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Release Date: May 16, 2017

A deadly secret can’t stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It’s the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can’t do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones’s job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it’s personal. He knew the Copper Killer’s latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he’s all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath’s identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath’s every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they’ll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

With twists and turns that will take your breath away, LETHAL LIES is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Oh, their timing sucked, that was for sure. But he’d take this night. Before everything went to sh*t again, he’d take this night.”

I loved and I mean I LOVED Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series. So when I saw there’s a spin off series with the Blood Brothers, I was sold. I was immediately hooked on the story with Deadly Silence. I was intrigued by the three men that forged a bond that was beyond blood and genetics. They have a brotherhood that’s all theirs. On the run from Sheriff Cobb and his seeking revenge for the death of his cruel brother that made their life at the boy’s home a living hell, they refuse to form any bonds…especially a woman. With the doctor that’s responsible for their genetic makeup determined to bring them to heel, they have all the more reason to avoid any entanglements…until Ryker falls in love.

Heath is envious of his brother but knows that will never be him. He’s a protector but he refuses to let go of his heart and give in to his baser urges when it comes to women. When their investigation agency brings them in the center of the investigation of a deranged serial killer, Heath finds himself the protector of Anya. Anya is determined to bring the man that murdered her FBI sister to justice, with or without Heath’s help. Anya tempts Heath like no other woman ever have, but can he outrun his past without it bringing Anya down and protector from the serial killer that’s obsessed with her without losing his heart along the way?

I wanted to love this book. I wanted to so bad…but it lost me more and more with every chapter. Heath’s mommy issues managed to overshadow any semblance of romance that developed between him and Anya.

Her soft lips had nearly pushed him over the edge, but he’d been able to keep his mind. Yet the moment hurt had flared in her soft green eyes, he’d been lost.

He’s so hell bent on protecting her like she’s this delicate flower, he completely misses the strong woman in front of him. It drove me out of my ever loving mind. I thought it would get better as the story progressed, but it never did. Everything came back to this issue and it overshadowed everything. I never truly felt a connection with this couple beyond Heath’s fierce need to protect her. I wanted to feel their chemistry, and while it was there, it was lackluster at best. He treats her like cracked crystal and no matter how often she showed him that she’s strong and knows what she wants, he refused to see it. This dynamic lasted too long for my taste and it totally killed the enjoyment of this book for me. Everything read very…dry. I liked the mystery and I loved the action at the end, but unfortunately it still wasn’t enough to save the book for me. While I enjoyed the suspense, I never clicked with the romance. I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t love it either. It was those middle of the road books that I don’t regret reading but would easily forget once I finished.

I don’t recommend reading this as a standalone because I feel a lot of context would be missed. I also would recommend reading it if you’re a fan of the series because it does have a pivotal event to the overall story arc.


TWISTED TRUTHS is releasing November 17, and available for pre-order now! Read the series in order

DEADLY SILENCE | LETHAL LIES | TWISTED TRUTHS

Review: Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

LOST RIDER
Series: Coming Home #1
Genre: Western Romance
Author: Harper Sloan
Release Date: April 25, 2017

In Lost Rider, the first Western romance in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Harper Sloan’s Coming Home series, an injured rodeo star encounters an old flame but will she be just what he needs to get back in the saddle?

Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?

Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?

Written in the vein of Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, this Texas-set series is filled with sizzle, heart, and plenty of cowboys!

AMAZON | iBOOKS

 

She was my compass when I was lost without direction. She was the pull I always felt to come home but never had the balls to try, knowing that it might be too late.

It’s been a long while since I read a Harper Sloan book. While I enjoyed several of her Corps Security books, her others just didn’t jive with me. But being a sucker for Western Romance, I simply couldn’t pass up the chance to give this a shot, and I’m glad I did. There’s a distinct difference in the writing style that I really enjoyed. Besides that, the blurb for the book instantly hooked me

Leighton James isn’t a woman that you can have and let go.

Leighton James has been in love with Maverick Davis for as long as she can remember. But when she finally grew enough strength to admit to her feelings, he broke her heart and left it shattered beneath his cowboy boots as he ran as fast as he can from the town he grew up in. Now ten years later, after a career ending injury and his father’s death, he’s begrudgingly back. But many things have changed since he left and Leighton is no longer the little girl with stars in her eyes that he left behind. She’s now a woman that’s not afraid to tell him exactly what she thinks of him and she certainly doesn’t mince words.

All she had to do was walk into a room and I forgot it all. I forgot because she became the only thing I wanted more than my need to chase my dreams. The only thing I craved more than escaping.

The first 35% of the story had me completely hooked. I loved the unresolved tension between Leigh and Maverick. I loved their angst and I seriously loved their banter. Leigh is a firecracker and it was entertaining as hell watching her tell Maverick exactly what she thinks of him. Maverick is determined to right the wrongs of his past mistakes, the biggest being pushing Leigh away and never telling her his feelings. He’s not letting her go a second time and he’s prepared to fight for her this time around.

Then somewhere around the 35% mark, my interest began to slowly wane, and somewhere around the 50% mark I found myself almost disengaged from the story completely. I felt like the we got so much in that first 30% that everything following that was almost…dare I say…filler. There was a lot of conversations about the past. Numerous and repetitive. You get Maverick explaining why he left and the secrets he’s been hiding. But because you get that revelation so early in the story, there’s nothing really hooking you anymore. Yes, you get the development of their relationship, but it’s already fairly obvious of where it’ll go, so the rest of it kind of started to feel like mundane detail. All of the excitement is packed in the first quarter of the story and the rest is Leigh and Maverick talking, living their lives, and interacting with the locals and Maverick’s brother and sister. I really felt like the last 70% could have easily been cut down and the reader wouldn’t have lost out on much.

Did I enjoy it? Yes. For the most part. The first quarter was enough to tide me over and while I did have to push myself to finish, it was still a sweet read. The steam factor was just enough and didn’t feel like it was overshadowing the romance.

Head over boots, cowboy. Head. Over. Boots.”

And I’m hooked enough that I’d be curious to check out the next book in the series.


PRE-ORDER BOOK 2 IN THE SERIES, RELEASING JULY 18, 2017

KISS MY BOOTS

AMAZON

Review: Split by JB Salsbury

split-reviewSPLIT
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Author: JB Salsbury
Release Date: November 15, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

split9_rgb300

JB Salsbury is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has captivated readers around the world. Her unforgettable new novel is a story of romance and suspense, with a twist no one will see coming . . .

What do you do when you wake up with no memory of what you did last night?

Lucas spent the first half of his life protecting himself from others, but now his own mind is his biggest enemy. He doesn’t know what happens when the blackouts overtake him, but he can recall the feelings–the rage, the confusion, the fear. Thankfully the quiet life he’s found in Payson, Arizona has kept the darkness at bay. Until his boss’s estranged daughter shows up in town, asking questions she shouldn’t and sparking a desire Lucas can’t control. Getting close to Shyann is the best thing that’s ever happened to him, but when his blackouts return, unleashing the truth he’s battled so long to hide, he may just lose her forever . . .

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKSReview-DGR3 stars

 SPOILER FREE

I was meant for this. To love the unlovable.

If there’s one thing I can tell you is that Split is one of the most unconventional and unique romances I’ve read in a long while. It’s not going to a be a book or story I’ll soon forget, and that certainly deserves some praise. The writing is engaging, the characters multi layered, and there’s enough twists and turns to keep you glued to the book from cover to cover.

What we have isn’t conventional, it wouldn’t be considered ideal, but it’s perfect for us. Because love never discriminates. Even when you’re split.

I was riveted to the pages from the very beginning. There’s enough mystery worked in to guarantee your kept interest.

Shyann Jennings couldn’t leave her small town fast enough to pursue her dream career and to put the pain of her past behind her. Now after her career that she put her blood and sweat and tears into has gone up in spectacular flames and she’s back into the small town she ran from to lick her wounds. While she dreads everything about coming home, what she doesn’t expect is the quiet, unassuming and beautiful stranger that works for her father and draws her in for a reason she can’t understand. Lucas is different from any man she’s ever been with. He’s shy, quiet, keeps to himself, but yet there’s also something beneath the surface that may be much more than meets the eye.

People hate what they don’t understand, shun those who are different.”

While I loved both characters, I have to admit that I never did understand the draw that Shy had towards Lucas. This is especially true when all the secrets came out. While I get the lust and romance, the love was tough to swallow. I had a hard time buying into it. This was more so on Shy’s side than Lucas’s. I adored Lucas and his character is what kept me turning the pages.

That’s not what I want with her. What I want is to freeze time. I want to record how she feels in my hands, the longing in her eyes, the heat of her breath. I want to slow every single moment with her down so seconds last hours until her touch is branded into my memory.

Ultimately what brought my rating down was the ending. I had a really tough time swallowing all of that. I couldn’t wrap my mind around some of the choices the characters made and especially the way they dealt with them. It just wasn’t believable. And yes, I get that I’m reading a psychological thriller and fiction, but at the same time, I want some believability in the story and it just wasn’t there.

I hated a particular decision that Lucas made but I found a way to look past it. What I couldn’t look past was the way Shyann deals with everything. It was just too much.

Would I still recommend this romance? Absolutely. It’s unique and original and worth the read for that alone. It could have easily been a 5 star for me if not for that ending. But different folks and all that, and you may not have the same issue with it that I did. So read it and judge for yourself.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

%d bloggers like this: