Tag Archive | 3 stars

Review: Gotcha! (Tall, Hot & Texan #1) by Christie Craig

Gotcha!

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Macy Tucker was five years old when her beloved grandfather dropped dead in his spaghetti. At twelve, her father left his family in the dust. At twenty-five, her husband gave his secretary a pre-Christmas bonus in bed, and Macy gave him the boot. To put things lightly, men have been undependable.

That’s why dating’s off the menu. Macy is focused on law school, and putting herself through—which means being the delivery girl for Papa’s Pizza. But cheesier than her job is her pie-eyed brother, who just recently escaped from prison to protect his new girlfriend. And hotter than Texas toast is the investigating detective. Proud, sexy…inflexible—he’s a man who would kiss her just to shut her up. But Jake Baldwin’s a protector as much as a dish. And when he gets his man—or his woman—Macy knows it’s for life.

Gotcha! is the second Christie Craig book that I’ve read, the first being Divorced, Desperate and Delicious. I enjoyed both Divorced, Desperate and Delicious and Gotcha! – but they are both rather similar books. Both books have a police officer hero and a divorced 30-40 something heroine. Both books have the hero being forced to stay with the heroine (almost 24/7) due to some type of police/murder case and both books have the heroine do something so incredibly stupid (in the name of plot humor?) that it made me want to rage.

I really liked the hero, Jake, in Gotcha! but I wasn’t that big a fan of the heroine Macy. Macy was…a little TSTL and a little too stubborn about her police protection. She almost gets killed several times but refuses to take the necessary precautions to keep herself safe. I’m never a fan of that.
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Review: Cat’s First Kiss (Forgotten Goddesses #2.5) by Stephanie Julian

Cat's First Kiss

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A short visit with Cat

Since taking on the powers of the Etruscan Goddess of the Moon, Catene’s life has been upended. Her parents don’t know how to help her. And Tivr, Etruscan God of the Moon, has seemingly deserted her. Amazing what a first kiss can do.

This story takes place after HOW TO WORSHIP A GODDESS and before GODDESS IN THE MIDDLE

 

 

This is a short (very short!) interlude in the Forgotten Goddesses series. I purchased this one myself as it was not available via Scribd.

I was not too happy about this short. I was expecting short but I wasn’t expecting what I got: 14 pages and atrocious formatting.

Cat’s First Kiss takes place after How to Worship a Goddess where Cat takes over the mantle of Goddess of the Moon. During How to Worship a Goddess the reader learns that Cat is destined to become the new Goddess of the Moon as well as the fated mate of the God of the Moon (Lucy’s son from How to Worship a Goddess). During that book the reader also learns that Tivr was avoiding Cat because she was so young and he is a couple hundred years older. Of course, none of this was explained to Cat. She was simply hurt that someone she loved so much was actively avoiding her.

The story is a total of about 14 pages. My book was so badly formatted that it shows up as 130+ pages: there was about 1 paragraph per page. 😦 The constant need to flip pages made me want more story. Which I did not get.

Other things I did not get in this story: any real discussion between Tivr and Cat. No, let me back track that a bit. NO real discussion between Tivr and Cat. He asks her to forgive him for being an ass, they kiss and it was over. That’s it. So yeah, I was expecting at least a little more – especially with all the loose ends left dangling around from How to Worship a Goddess.

Another thing I want to rant about: the cover. OMFG. I am so sick to death of this same freaking couple on every freaking NA romance that has ever NA’d (the books Easy, Reckless, the entire Devoured series, Walking Disaster, etc). Enough! The guy on the cover is turning into the Fabio of NA romance. And it’s driving me batty.

Review: Enticed (Pregnancy & Passion, #1) by Maya Banks

Enticed

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Bryony Morgan has come to New York for answers–and she won’t accept a brush-off from the father of her unborn child. She fell for wealthy hotelier Rafael de Luca when he courted her for her beachfront real estate. Then he disappeared. That’s because a crash has left Rafe with selective amnesia. But how could he ever forget a combustible beauty like Bryony? His solution to their stalemate: return to the island where they met, and relive the unforgettable nights in question–until he remembers everything….

“Top Pick! […] An extraordinarily moving romance with wonderfully charismatic protagonists.”
–RT Book Reviews on The Tycoon’s Secret Affair

ENTICED was originally published as Enticed by His Forgotten Lover

 
Enticed is the first category romance that I have read by Maya Banks. Strangely enough, Maya Banks wrote the very first menage book that I read. I guess you can say that she helped to break me into reading erotica. So when I saw Maya Banks’ name on a HQN category romance, I had to grab it.

Enticed is – at first glance – a pretty typical Harlequin Presents story: ruthless business tycoon hero and innocent, financially needy heroine. At first glance.

The biggest differences – to me – was the general lack of angst, lack of conflict and the hero’s grovelling. Which greatly changed the tone of the book for me.

Enticed begins with the hero, Luca, at a public event and suffering from amnesia. He sees a woman glaring at him so he goes to speak to her and she informs him that not only had the two been in a relationship but that he’s going to be a father. The rest of the majority of the book revolves around Luca and Bryony trying to recover Luca’s memory.

There is very little angst in Enticed until the end of the book. There is little to no conflict in the book. I have to admit that the lack of angst and conflict really…made the book slow and boring for me. I was never emotionally invested in Enticed and I can barely remember the MCs names.

Although I found Enticed boring and slow, Maya Banks’s writing is still very polished and a pleasure to read.

Review: What a Goddess Wants (Forgotten Goddesses #1) by Stephanie Julian

What a Goddess Wants

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Tessa, Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, is desperately fighting off a malicious god, but her powers are weakening. She needs a hero and fast, because only sexual energy can give her strength. So she seeks out Caligo, whose sexual prowess is legendary.

Caligo is a fabled Cimmerian warrior determined to stay away from spoiled goddesses who trample hearts after they’ve had their fun. But there’s something irresistibly hot and inviting about Tessa, and he knows he’s her only chance to escape the encroaching darkness.

 

 
What a Goddess Wants is the sixth book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Forgotten Goddesses series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $10.09. Stephanie Julian is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

I’m not sure what made me decide to read What a Goddess Wants – it surely wasn’t on my radar. Once I cracked open the book I was a little hooked! There are a lot of things to enjoy about the Forgotten Goddesses series and I have a special soft spot for mythological people/creatures pulled into the modern era.

What a Goddess Wants starts with Caligo catching a beat-down of epic proportions. We learn that Caligo is one of the famed Cimmerian warriors (i.e. Robert E. Howard’s Conan) and he is experiencing the rewards of those who deal with the Roman gods: betrayal. The experience hardens Caligo toward gods and goddesses so he was decidedly upset to arrive home one day to find a sleeping goddess – Tessa – on his couch.
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Book Review: Parlor Games Anthology – Border Lord by Julia Templeton

Parlor Games

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Fleeing an unfaithful fiancé, a nubile young lovely finds herself the prisoner of a lustful Scottish laird and must bow to his every erotic whim.

 
Parlor Games is the third book I’ve read using my Scribd trial. Scribd introduced me to Jess Michaels via the book Everything Forbidden – and suggested this title since I read Everything Forbidden. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99.

Border Lord reminds me a lot of the book Warlord by Jaid Black. Both stories are situated in Scotland and both books contain unsuspecting time traveling heroines from the future. Strangely enough, I find that I prefer Warlord to Border Lord even though Warlord is much older and is a little more corny. There’s another time-traveling Scottish Lord story I read that was similar to this one as well but I can’t remember the title. That one also starred a cheating fiance, IIRC.

With that being said….there’s not a lot to Border Lord. It’s ok. It’s entertaining-ish. I enjoyed it for the most part but since I’ve read better with this same set up…I wasn’t as impressed as I expected to be. Border Lord is short and to the point without much more to recommend it.

2.5 Stars

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Mastered Anthology Review: Juicy (Twilight Teahouse #1) by T.J. Michaels

Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender

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Twilight Teahouse ~ Choose something decadent from our menu…

Solie Shaw is a brilliant self-made woman. After managing a corporation by day, at night, all she wants is to not be in charge. The last man she’d gifted her heart to had smashed it to smithereens and then did the mambo on top of the pieces. Now, along comes the chance to get exactly what she needs. All Solie has to do…is choose.

 
 
This was a really cute story that I sorta enjoyed. I say “sorta” because too much of the story was taken up by the mental angst of the heroine, Solie, and her issues with her horrible ex. Time and time again – no matter what was happening – the ex-bf would pop up in Solie’s head and she’d do the “woe is me” dance of angst. It got old pretty fast – even though I realize that she only broke up with the ex-bf six weeks ago.juicy

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Mastered Anthology Review: Ink Reunited (Montgomery Ink 0.6) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender

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From the streets of New Orleans and the heat of Midnight Ink, comes the happy ever after for a character whose story was begged to be told.

Sassy Bordeaux is the Midnight Ink receptionist, honorary godmother, best friend to many, and matchmaker expert. In the past two months, she’s watched eight couples fall in love, make mistakes, and find their happy endings. Though she might have had hand in each of those, she’s yet to find the peace she’s desired. When the men from her past come into Midnight Ink, she’s forced to face what she left behind and what could happen if she lets go of her pain and finds a future she deserves.Ink Reunited

Rafe Chavez and Ian Steele remember their time with Sassy like it was yesterday, yet have worked hard to move on. Or at least try to. Now they’re both back in New Orleans for the woman they loved and for the connection they shared with each other. It will take more than the usual groveling, pleading and begging for these three to overcome their history, but once they take that step, the streets of New Orleans will never be the same.

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. Ink Reunited is the second or third book I read in the Mastered anthology and…I feel two ways about it. I enjoyed it but…it wasn’t emotionally satisfying.

When reading Ink Reunited…I had this feeling that…I had been dropped in medias res. I didn’t…feel like I was getting the full story. Everything in the book sorta reminded me that there was a lot of information about the heroine, Sassy, that I just didn’t have access to. I realize that Ink Reunited is a part of a series but it felt like a part of a series that could not stand alone. Other reviews talk about how excited they are about reading Sassy’s story…so I’m almost positive that I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the other stories set in the Midnight Ink world.
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Mastered Anthology Review: His Secret by Portia Da Costa

Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender

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Note: This story has also been published under the title The Retreat.

Ben Chambers is the perfect boyfriend, the perfect lover, the perfect man. Sarah adores him, but she knows that despite the deliciousness of their lovemaking, their shared interests, and the fun they have together, there’s a certain special something missing in their relationship. And then, arriving for a hedonistic weekend of luxury at an English country house hotel, something happens that changes everything between them. A momentary, inconsequential pat on the bottom opens the door to a breathtaking world of daring and transgressive sexual pleasure…and forges a bond that’s both profoundly physical and a melding of their souls.

 
This was a cute and quick story – very short but extremely cute. I’ve read it previously as The Retreat and it was nice to re-read. Not too much to say about this one, to be honest – it’s a spanking (only) super short.

My favorite part of this story was the fact that it was obvious that Ben truly loves Sarah: he tells her that he wants to be with her even if she will not indulge him in his kinks. That’s love, folks. And even sweeter that she loves him (and his kinks), too.

Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology Review: Unbreakable SEAL by J.M. Madden

Hot Alpha SEALs

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Maxwell Tate fights against a psychotic dream world, until he no longer knows what’s real. Lacey Adams knows she can’t save all of her cases, but can she salvage the unbreakable SEAL?

I both really enjoyed and was really irritated by Unbreakable SEAL.

Unbreakable SEAL deals with emotional trauma and recovery – and this aspect is where I was both intrigued and uncomfortable. The heroine meets the hero for the first time as he is having a hallucination (about spiders, I almost died). As a former Walter Reed nurse, Lacey could tell immediately that the hero was military and in serious trouble.

I loved the fact that J.M. Madden did NOT utilize the magical vajayjay. The hero’s issues needed real professional help and the author showed him doing just that. Max had to deal with flashbacks, hallucinations and the “minor” issues of being prescribed a shitton of psychotropic, addictive drugs. Unbreakable SEAL had another draw for me – one of my family members is currently experiencing flashbacks of his military days. The flashbacks have become overwhelming and he had to be hospitalized. Of course, being forced to go to the hospital has aggravated the condition – he’s now terrified that his wife will leave him due to his issues (she’s not, he’s just panicking). This family member was on my mind throughout my reading of Unbreakable SEAL.

What bothered me was the…quick relationship that developed between the hero and heroine. They really didn’t know each other well and most of the time the hero was a drugged out psychotic mess. It was difficult for me to understand the strong attraction heroine felt for the hero. It was so difficult that it pulled me out of the story quite a bit. Lacey is a major Mary Sue but the hero was such a mess…I could understand seeing that he was worth effort but the emotions between the main characters didn’t quite ring true.

The final chapters of the book showed some real growth in Lacey and Max’s relationship and I really appreciated that portion of the novel.

Sp, it’s a quick read but it’s not cute and it’s not really sexy. There’s a bit more emotion in this book than the ones I previously read – the author does not shy away from the very real and debilitating issues the hero has – but the shortness of the book left some plot holes and forced the relationship a little.

Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology Review: NIGHT WITH A SEAL (Hot SEALS #1) by Cat Johnson

Hot Alpha SEALs

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Ten years of dedication to the Navy taught SEAL Jon Rudnick one thing—he’s not afraid to risk life and limb for his country. But when navigating military red tape begins to present more challenges than the enemy it makes Jon question his future. So does Alison Cressly, the woman he can’t get out of his head.

When Ali’s life is threatened and military rules won’t allow him to intervene, Jon decides it’s time to take back control.

A team of sexy SEALs, a terrorist threat, and an attraction that can’t be denied . . . it all comes together in this launch of the new Hot SEALs romantic suspense series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author Cat Johnson.

Note: This book is a part of the Hot Alpha SEALs: Military Romance Megaset which is a 10 book Anthology. I have decided to review and rate each entry in the anthology separately since it is so large.

Night with a SEAL is the first book in the Hot SEALs series by Cat Johnson as well as an entry in the Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology.Night with a SEAL

Night with a SEAL was a pretty quick read. I really liked the couple together but…they really didn’t know each other. The book was so quick with the couple spending such a short amount of time together…I can’t say I quite believe in their HEA. Mostly, I felt Night with a SEAL ended in a way that allows for an HEA…so, HFN?