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Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

Review of The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca

The Baby Bargain

The Baby Bargain by Jennifer Apodaca

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense, Marine, Adult Fiction.

Published: March 2013

Length: 184 pages (e-book)

3 out of 5 Stars (It was a cute read)

I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about this one, but the plot was interesting and kept my attention.

Megan is a veterinarian who is being accused for stealing a show dog by an influential man in her town. She seeks the help of an old love, Adam. Adam does not know that Megan has been keeping the fact that they have a 2 year old son. Once Adam finds out the child, he wants to protect his family, but he is not sure if he can be a father especially with the secret he has been holding.

I was a little nervous that we would not find out about the child, Cole, until closer to the end of the book, but that did not happen. As soon as Adam found out about his “C-Man” (I loved that nickname that Adam gave his son) the story took off.

Megan was a great heroine. She was sweet and understanding, but strong at the same time.  I was upset with the fact that she did not tell Adam about Cole until he was 2 years-old.  I think a man should always know. However, we learn what happened in her life with her father so I kind-of understood her fear.  That whole story line about Megan’s father was believable.  Usually when an author tries to write a story to make the readers understand the character’s angst, it is not so believable.  This, I was able to understand and see how that could truly make her feel that Adam would  do the same.

I thought the scenes between Megan and Adam were enduring and passionate. They were pretty hot. The author did a good job allowing me to experience their passion and love for one another.

I liked the suspense part of the story.  I loved that Adam was the protector, but then I was disappointed because he seemed to “run” every time anything got hard.  The miscommunication of him “thinking” what he thought Megan was thinking or feeling about him got on my nerves in the end.  I want a man to act like a man and not be afraid to confront the issues.

  • Did I skim? No
  • Did I connect to the characters? Yes. It was easy to.
  • Pace of story: Pretty. I have to be honest I thought it was going to drag, but I liked how the author took us and made the reader understand Megan and Adam’s love before Cole was introduced to the story.
  • Positives: It was written well.
  • Negatives: I hated that Adam basically waited until the last minute to tell Megan about why he was having those bad dreams.  It honestly pissed me off.  I liked Adam, but wanted to throw an apple or something at him so he would wake up and see him holding stuff in was only making things worse.
  • Do I recommend? Overall, if you are looking for a simple cute love story with a bit of suspense, I recommend. It was a cute story even though the story got a little too sappy for me towards the end. However, I did not feel like I wasted my reading time.

Happy Reading

Book/Format: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review.

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Follow Jennifer Apodaca on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jenniferlyon

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Jennifer Apodaca Website: http://jenniferlyonbooks.com/jennifer-apodaca/

The Baby Bargain on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Baby-Bargain-ebook/dp/B00BQMKC5O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1363630712&sr=1-1&keywords=the+baby+bargain+jennifer+apodaca

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Review of Second Chance by Carla Caruso

Second Chance

Second Chance by Carla Caruso

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Adult Fiction.

4 out of 5 Stars (Made me think what would I do?)

How many of us have thought if only we could back in time we would tell an old sweetheart exactly what we feel?

Flora feels that the “love of her life”, Ruben, got away 15 years prior on her 21st birthday.  On her 36th birthday she walks into a bar only to see him propose to another woman.  She reflects on her life, wishing she could go back and change that day 15 years ago. Flora feels she would not be lonely and she would still have the love of her life.  Only Flora, gets her wish and goes back 15 years, but in the end, was everything as she remembered?

I felt a lot of what Flora was experiencing.  If only, I could go back in time, I would change this and that.  If only I had a second chance.

Half of the book was highlighted in my Kindle.  The author did an amazing job going back in time and bringing us to the mid-90s.  Spice Girls, Vanilla Ice, the slang “NOT”, saying “bodacious” or “eat my shorts”, P. Diddy (previously known as Puffy Daddy),  seeing Titanic for the first time” I loved all of them.

But that is not the only thing I appreciated in the story. I loved how the Flora thought if she could go back in time and change certain things that her life would be better.  However, when she did, there were only so many things she could change.  Maybe what happened, happened for the best.  I think the saying “all things happen for a reason” is the perfect theme for this book.

The inner dialogue was needed since the reader had to understand what Flora was reflecting on when she went back in time. I thought about the book after I was finished it. I questioned “what I would do in Flora’s situation?” I will recommend this book to my followers.

  • Did I skim? No
  • Did I feel connected to the characters? Yes. Flora is a very likeable character.
  • Pace of the story: Good
  • Positives: Great character development.
  • Negatives: I was getting a little annoyed by how she was just “not getting” certain things until it was almost closer to the end. It was a little frustrating.
  • Do I recommend? Yes

Happy Reading

Book/Format: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review.

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Second Chances can be purchased at http://www.destinyromance.com/

Carla Caruso’s Website:  http://rbpp-carlacaruso.blogspot.com/

Follow Carla Caruso on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarlaCaruso79

Carla Caruso on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6541142.Carla_Caruso

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Review of Fighting for Flight By Jamie Salsbury

Fighting for Flight

Fighting for Flight (Fighting #1)  by Jamie Salsbury

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, UFL Fighter, Erotica, Suspense.

Published: February 2013

Book Format: Amazon Kindle

3.5 out of 5 Stars (The series has a lot of potential)

I started by loving the Prologue, it sucked me in, but then somewhere along the way the story lost me.

UFL fighter falls for a cute, sweet girl who mechanic.  Jonah Slade, a famous UFL fighter slash playboy, hires Raven Morretti to help him fix up an old car. Jonah finds out that Raven’s mother is a prostitute and a daughter of a well-known pimp, Dominick Moretti, in Vegas.  However, Jonah can’t seem to stay away or fall in love with Raven.   Jonah has to make big decisions about his career when Dominick tells Raven’s his plans for her when she turns 21.  Will Jonah risk everything to save Raven?

First let me start by saying I love these types of stories, but I had a few problems.

The love story between the characters was too inst-love for me, too much…too soon.  The minute they saw each other they fell in love hard and fast.  I don’t mind when the couple find immediate attraction to each other, but it should not be the first minute that they see each other.  However, saying that though, I want to add that the first initial love scene between Raven and Jonah were beautiful and hot.  It was VERY well written.  And don’t get me wrong, I loved how Jonah loved Raven.  She deserved it, but I wished it wasn’t so sudden.

Raven best friend, Eve, I had a huge problem with her.  In the story, Eve, finds herself a boyfriend.  Later Raven finds out that Eve was telling this boyfriend all of Raven’s personal information. I mean everything. I won’t tell you more about who the boyfriend was and all the circumstances that followed Eve’s big mouth, but I have a problem with that. Desperate or not to have or keep a boyfriend, your friends should not be telling the guys they are having sex with your personal business. And what a “dumb” girl Eve was not to question why her “boyfriend” was asking about her friend.

I loved Blake, Jonah’s best friend. LOVED that playboy! I want him to have his own story.  However, here is my plea to the author…I DO NOT want the story to be between Blake and Eve.  Blake was “smooth” talking playboy in the book.  He made me laugh out loud. I loved all his one liners and I loved that he had a huge heart when it came to people he cared about.  However, Blake’s big thing was he never slept with women who had kids.  SO I am hoping that the author, in Blake’s book *hint, hint* meets a girl who is strong, but is having a hard time but also has a child.  She could be waitress or do some other legitimate job in the casino. BUT this girl for Blake has to be independent and not take his crap but sees what the good person he is. I want this relationship to be about friendship and love.

  • Did I skim? A little. Some of the dialogue needed to be smoothed out.
  • Did I feel connected to the characters? Yes
  • Pace of story? Okay
  • Positives:  I loved the concept of the story.  I think this author has a lot of potential. If she writes another book and especially if it is about Blake, I will probably be the first one to buy it.  I think I loved Blake a little bit more than Jonah. Jeez, I really do have a thing for bad boys…Blake was HOT!!
  • Negatives: I did enjoy the story overall, it did lack “something” in certain scenes.
  • Would I recommend?  Bottom line, I am giving this book 3.5 stars, but I do RECOMMEND IT. Overall, it was a cute story, AND if hear that the next story if about Blake, I want to be the first one to read it.

NOTE: I see that since I wrote my review that Jamie Salsbury is having a sequel about Blake!! *squee*

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Series Reading Order:

Fighting for Flight (Fighting #1)

Fighting to Forgive (Fighting #2)

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Jamie Salsbury on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JbSalsbury?fref=ts 

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Review of Truth and Author Interview Aleatha Romig

Truth2

 

Review

Truth (Consequences #2) by Aleatha Romig

Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Dark, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction.

Published: October 2012

Length: 468 pages

5 out of 5 Stars (It was a really good sequel…loved!)

I am always so leery of sequels.  Many are just “fillers” until the third book in the trilogy comes out.  I hate that.  However, that was not in the case with Truth the sequel to Consequences.

Synopsis: When Claire finally is released from jail and from Anthony Rawlings, she makes it a mission to rebuild her life.  After being under the control of Tony for so long, she knows it will be a struggle, but one she cannot fail at. How easy will that be when she knows that Tony likes to control everything in his life and even though she is no longer “in” his life, she knows that Tony will not give her up that easily.   However, what Claire begins to learn is not everyone is fooled in the façade that Anthony Rawlings put out for people to see.

The second book in the Consequences series was so well written, so original; I loved the twists and turns.  Just when I thought I had everything figured there was an unexpected twist.

I am emotionally invested in the lives of Claire and Tony.  I don’t know if I will regret saying this, but I started to like Tony. Yes, I know!!!  I saw him as a different man, but not sure if I am blinded by all his “everything.”   Readers, you know what I mean!!!!

And what an amazing job the author did by having me change my opinion about certain characters.  I can’t believe I started hating some and loving others. Maybe I am suffering Stockholm syndrome??!!  Can I get that as a reader????

My favorite… favorite scene in the whole book is the scene when Claire meets Tony at the restaurant for the first time after she has been released from jail. I read Truth twice already and that is still my favorite scene in the entire book.  That scene was just so…Tony.  I don’t want to give away specifics but from the minute Claire walked into the restaurant to the end it was everything I could see Tony do.  I seriously love and hate that man.  I need help!!

Hours after finishing the book, I was thinking about the characters.  I rarely say this about a book, but I am not sure if I want an HEA with this series.  The ending had me asking “what just happened???” And this is why I loved the book.  I love that I am not sure which way I want the story to go.

  • Did I skim? No. So much happens in this book, you can not skim.
  • Did I feel connected to the characters? Yes!
  • Will I reread? Already have and probably will again before Convicted comes out.
  • Positives:  Well paced. The sequel did not disappoint.
  • Negatives: My only gripe is that we have to wait for the release until the end of 2013/beginning of 2014.
  • Do I recommend? Yes. I loved it!!!!

 

Author Interview (Part II)

Aleatha-Pic

Aleatha Romig

What was the hardest part about writing Consequences and Truth?

The hardest part was writing a trilogy and not knowing I was writing a trilogy! I wrote Consequences as a standalone book.  I left it “open”.  However, I had no idea where it would go. Then with Truth and now with Convicted, I have to check dates and work diligently to be sure everything fits together.

How long did it take you to write Consequences and Truth?

I wrote Consequences slower, it was all trial and error.  Truth, once it started flowing, which was about 5 – 6 months into it, I wrote the entire manuscript in four months.

Did you learn anything from writing Consequences and Truth? If yes, what was it?

OMG! I’ve learned SO much.  I’ve gone to seminars and workshops. I’ve talked with talented amazing authors. I’ve listened to readers and reviewers.  The entire process has been one big education. I’ve learned to know the rules and know when to break them.  Value others opinions but write for me.  If I don’t love what I write, no one else will.

Did any parts or scenes of Consequences and/or Truth come from personal experiences or of experiences of other people? 

There are a few snippets here and there.  However, most of the material is from fiction, books, TV shows, and movies… all woven together.

Did your husband and children read your books? If yes, what were their reactions to the story?

My husband is my “sounding board”.  I often read scenes to him. My children have not read, but they know the story. We’ve had many dinner discussions regarding Claire and Tony.

Is there a meaning behind the cover of Consequences and Truth?

Yes, at the end of Consequences, the note in the box says, “You’re just a piece of the puzzle”.   The entire book is a puzzle for the reader to put together. Remember, things are not always as they appear.  And Truth, I wanted to stay with the “game” theme.  The entire book is like a chess match.  I also like the inclusion of Claire’s pearl necklace.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Follow your heart and get a good editor!

Do you have anything that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you! I could never have imagined how loving and outgoing readers could be.  I’m enjoying every minute of this fantastic ride.  Please continue to tell others about my books.  Word of mouth is still the best recommendation.

What is your favorite movie? Favorite book?

One of my favorite movies, I’ve watched so many times I know by heart is: Overboard with Goldie Hawn.   Favorite book, I always say: Gone With the Wind.   Truly, there are too many to pick one!

What is the most shocking thing a fan has asked you since Consequences and Truth have been published?

That! lol   Nothing comes to mind.  Maybe I’m not easily shocked.

Will Convicted be the last book in the series?

Yes, it’s time to move on.  However, no matter how many more books or series’ I write, Tony and Claire will always be special – they’re my first.  You always remember your first!

When will Convicted be coming out?

The release date isn’t set.  I’m hoping for late 2013 / early 2014.  We’ll see!

Thank you for this interview. I cannot tell you how excited I am for the release of Convicted.

Thank you so much for having me here! And thank you for telling people about my books! I’m very excited about Convicted too… I promise more twists and turns! I have a reputation to maintain.

Follow Aleatha Romig on:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AleathaRomig

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aleatha.romig.7

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Series Reading Order:

Consequences (Consequences #1)

Truth (Consequences #2)

Convicted (Consequences #3)

 

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Review of Painted Faces By L.H. Cosway

Painted Faces

Painted Faces

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction.

Published: December 2012

Length: 358 Pages (Kindle Edition)

5 out of 5 Stars (LOVED!)

Where do I start so I give this book an awesome review like it deserves?  So many fond thoughts I have after finishing this awesome book. Days after finishing, I still can’t get my thoughts in order.

Quick Synopsis:  Nicholas Turner moves to Dublin, Ireland and across the hall from Freda Wilson (or as she prefers to be called “Fred”). Nicholas gets a job to perform as the main act at his friend’s drag queen bar. Nicholas dresses up as the drag queen, Vivica Blue. Now Nicholas is all man. He is tall, handsome and confident. He is not gay or bi.  At first, Fred is not sure what to make of Nicholas, as the drag queen, Vivica Blue, but she is later hired to work as his assistant and begins to see and understand Nicholas.

“We all paint a face to show the world. For some of us, that’s quite literal.”

Nicholas he is just *sigh* I am a grown woman and yes that was just a *sigh* over a fictional character.

I loved how Nicholas loved Fred for being Fred.  Fred knows she will never be the prettiest or thinnest girl at the party or bar, but she is sweet, confident and strong.

“I might not have a boyfriend, but I have cupcakes, and those tasty bastards haven’t let me down yet.”

I cried. I laughed. I sighed. I held my breath.  Beautiful from beginning to end.

I am asking (well begging) the author, L.H. Cosway, to write more with these characters.  I would love to read some of the scenes in Nicholas’s POVs.  I would also love to see this book on the big screen.

The author did an amazing job putting the music together with the scenes. While reading, I would go on YouTube, find the song listed in the book and have it play in the background.   The music fit perfectly with what was happening in the story.  Even the scenes that made me hold my breath or shed a tear.

The loves scenes in this book are among the most beautiful that I have ever read. The intimacy between these characters just melted my heart.  Nicholas melted my heart.

Now my favorite part in the entire book…hands down…is the scene that Elbow sings “ONE DAY LIKE THIS”.  I will not tell you more about that scene.  I do not want to ruin that moment for you. However, I will leave you with this…that scene was one of my all-time favorite scene in any book I have ever read.

I hope you read this book. Please do not let the drag queen aspect of the story turn you off.  This is a beautiful, well written story.

  • Did I skim? No.
  • Will I reread? Yes.
  • Pace of the story? Perfect.
  • Did I think about this book after I was done? Yes. I still think about certain scenes in the book.
  • Did I feel connected to the characters? Yes.
  • Positives: Excellent story, great characters.
  • Negatives: It ended and I wanted the story to go on and on.
  • Do I recommend? Drop what you are reading and pick up this book!

I leave you with the awesome song from Elbow “ONE DAY LIKE THIS”

 

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Review of Escorted By Claire Kent

escorted

Escorted by Claire Kent

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica,  Adult Fiction (18+),

Published: December 2012

Length: 326 Pages

4 out of 5 Stars (It was worth my time to read)

Synopsis: The main character, Lori, is a 26 year old successful romance writer who is also a virgin. Lori has become frustrated with all her previous attempts at losing her virginity so she looks into hiring an escort just for one night. Who Lori “hires” is a highly paid escort by the name of Ander. Lori’s one night with Ander turns to a regular weekly appointment and before she realizes it she can’t stay away from him even though she knows it is foolish for her to develop any types of feelings for him.

When I picked this one up, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a “relationship” between a woman and a male gigolo. The whole prostitution factor bothered me.  I wasn’t sure of I was going to buy anything more than “sex” between Lori and Ander. There was obviously steam in the story, but more than it being descriptive sex, it was emotional. Yeah, I can’t believe I just said that about a relationship between a woman and a male prostitute, but there was growth that you saw in the characters.

So I understand if you started rolling your eyes and thinking “so predictable.” If you are having those thoughts, stop them. It was worth my reading time which is precious to me as I know it is too many of you. Yes, some things are predictable, like any contemporary romance novel, but this one was written so well that I got lost in the story.

  • Did I skim? No.
  • Did I feel connected to the characters? Yes.
  • Would I reread? Yes.
  • Did I look forward to returning to the book when I had to stop reading? Yes.
  • Positives:  Just enough of “everything” for the story to flow nicely.
  • Negatives: I was skeptical as to how a 26 year old can’t just find a date and get the issue of her virginity over with. The author discusses that in the book, but that is the one thing that I questioned even when I finished. I guess that is one thing I did not “buy” in the book.
  • Do I recommend? Yes. It was a great read.

Happy Reading!

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Review of Paradise Hops By Liz Crowe

Paradise Hops

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Stand Alone, Erotica, Adult Fiction.

Published: October 2012

4 out 5 Stars (This was a great read.)

 Lori Brockton survives a brutal attack and comes out of hiding two years later, ready to run her family’s famous Brockton Brewery Company.  Since the attack she trusts and relies on no one. All her energy is to learn every aspect of her family’s brewery.  Garrett Hunter, is handsome, successful and stable and is hired as the new Brockton business manager, who takes one look at Lori and can’t help but try to win her trust and heart.  Standing between Garrett and Lori is hot, bad boy, Eli Buchannan, who has just been hired by Brockton Brewery.  Eli is the complete opposite of Garrett. Eli has been burned by a previous relationship is not looking for any type of love.  But then something drastic and life changing occurs.

Days after reading this I had to put my thoughts together before I was able to write this review.

First let me start by saying I loved the story.  I also loved the author’s writing style.  I know I will be reading more books by Liz Crowe.

Before I started this book, I knew that there was going to be an angsty part.  I did not know where in the book it was going to fall or what it was going to be.  What I have to say is that the tragedy took me by surprise.  It came out of left field and hit me right in the head.  I had to go back and reread a few chapters.  After I realized what happened, I had to stop for a few minutes.  “No way did that just happen” were my thoughts.  Those scenes were written perfectly.

My only problem with the story was Lori.  I liked her in the beginning, but then I did not care for her. I had some problems with her “thought” process.  I felt like she never knew what she wanted.  She frustrated and angered me.

I do not want to say much more.  I want you to go into this book not knowing too much.  One last thing I would like to say is that I craved an ice cold beer and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata when I was done.

  • Did I skim? No.
  • Did I feel connected to characters?  Yes.
  • Would I reread?  Yes. I had to reread certain chapters to wrap my head around what happened.
  • Pace of the story? Excellent
  • Positives?  I loved the plot.  It was very interesting.  Kept my interest throughout the book.
  • Negatives? Can’t think of anything except I did not care for Lori, but I guess when you dislike a character, it makes for a more interesting story.  This book would make a GOOD  book club read. There are so many things I would love to discuss concerning the characters and certain scenes in this book.
  • Do I recommend? Yes. Read it. 

 A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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