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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

Facebook Jennifer Lyon/Apodaca: http://www.facebook.com/jenniferlyonbooks?fref=ts

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 The Lonely By Tara Brown

The Lonely

The Lonely by Tara Brown

Genre: Dark, NA-College, Erotica, BDSM, Romance, Adult Fiction 18+.

Published: February 2013

Length: 356 pages

Book Format:  Amazon Kindle

4.5 out of 5 Stars (I loved everything about this one)

When I bought The Lonely, I thought I was going to read a book about a nice girl, who struggles with her OCD that goes away to college with her best friend.  At college, she was going to meet a hot guy, date him and fall in love with maybe a little bit of drama here and there.   Yeah, maybe it started that way, but it did not continue that way.  About 33%, the book took a 180 degree turn and my brain had to  “adjust” to what was happening.  How did we go from a nice contemporary romance to THIS?

That is what made this book awesome. The author did not wait until the typical 51% to get to the main plot of the story. It happens when you least expect it.

If you want to know what the story is about, here is what I think I can give you.

We meet Emalyn Spicer who lives with “the lonely.”

“It’s what I call the lonely. It creeps up whenever I’m uncomfortable. It freezes me up. I feel it enter new places with me, like it’s in the bag I packed.”

She wants to be “normal” and decides to go away to college with her best friend, Shell, for a New Leaf. Emalyn has a Mr. Uncle Daddy Benefactor that takes care of her. He pays for her school, he hires a driver to take her anywhere and everywhere, he texts and calls her anytime she makes a move without letting him know first. He knows where she is day and night, BUT she has never met him in person.

“Maybe he is Big Brother and I am in 1984.”

While at college, Emalyn meets Sebastian.  Sebastian is kind, loving and everything “normal” she is looking for. However, then all the darkness that she has been hiding inside her brain comes out to the surface and again the unthinkable happens to her.

“All of this has been planned to free you. You were never going to get better.”

FOUR words….this book was AWESOME!!!!!

I didn’t know what was going to happen even though I read several reviews. However, I was captured by Emalyn’s emotions and what she was going through.

“I can’t help but wonder if there was ever love and peace inside of me? Was I always so filled with fear and pain? Was there ever a time when someone held me in their arms and made me feel safe?”

I loved the writing style. I loved that even though it was written in first person, there was NO unnecessary inner dialogue.  There are so many wonderful quotes, I wish I could share more, but it would give away the story and I do not want to do that.

The author took me on an amazing ride.  I laughed, I cried, I held my breath.  Not a dull moment in this book.

To Tara Brown: Thank you for writing this amazing story and I cannot wait for the companion/sequel.

  • Did I skim? No.  I took my time reading this book. I did not want to miss one word.
  • Did I feel connected to the characters? Yes. Many times, my heart broke into a thousand pieces.
  • Will I reread? Yes, probably before the sequel comes out.
  • Pace of the story? Perfect.
  • Positives: I did not know where the story was going.  With so many twists and turns, I had no idea how it was going to end. I love that in a book.
  • Negatives: I didn’t understand why certain things happened the way they did, but I am hoping a lot will be answered in the sequel. I can’t say what they are since I do not want to give anything away. 
  • Do I recommend?  Drop what you are reading and start reading this book!

The sequel, The Lost Boy, comes out this Summer 2013.  I. CAN. NOT. WAIT!!!!

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Tara Brown Website: http://tarbrow.wix.com/tara-brown-author

Tara Brown Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TaraBrownAuthor

Tara Brown Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TaraBrown22

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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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Comfort Food By Kitty Thomas

Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Genre: Sociology/Abuse, Erotica, Adult Fiction, BDSM.

Published: March 2010

Length: 138 Pages

5 out of 5 Stars (I am still thinking about this story)

I can’t believe I almost did not read this book.  This was an amazing read.

Synopsis: Emily Vargas, who is a successful self-help author and speaker.  While on one of her speaking engagements, something is slipped into her drink and she wakes up in a small dark room, held captive.  Emily does not know why she was kidnapped.  She does not even know who her captor is. In this story, we go through this journey of mental “abuse” where her captor conditions her to be what he wants her to be.

“That’s the thing about conditioning. You can know it’s happening all you want; it doesn’t change the results.”

The minute you start reading, you are immediately involved in what is happening to Emily.

Is there an HEA? Is there romance? Is this a love story?  These are questions that you will ask yourself and answer when you finish reading this book.

I do not want to give away much more.  I do not want to spoil the story for you since I want you to experience the events with fresh eyes.

The ending left me speechless.  The epilogue was brilliant.  Many times when I read the ending of the book, I thought how I could have written that better or thought of a better ending.  This ending could NOT have been more perfect. It left me thinking and I love when a book does that.

The author, Kitty Thomas, did an amazing job.

  • Did I skim? No.
  • Did I feel connected to the characters? Yes
  • Did I think about the book when I finished? Yes.  I finished the book at night and woke up in the morning thinking about the characters. This book has stuck with me.
  • Will I reread?  Not sure if this is a story I will want to experience again. I think it was an excellent book. Maybe it is still too fresh in my mind to think if I will ever reread it.  I am still shaken by all the events.
  • Positives: I wasn’t expecting a lot of what happened in the story and I love that in the book.  The writing was amazing.
  • Negatives:  Don’t know.  Can’t think of any. I have seen reviews that said that the story was too short, but I disagree.  I think it ended at the right time.

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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in BDSM, Erotica, Stand Alone

 

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Review of Fight or Flight By Vanessa North


Fight or Flight

Genre: Sci-Fi, Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction.

Published: December 2012

4 out of 5 Stars (I am glad I found this one)

I love when I come across an author I have never heard of and end up reading one of their books and loving it.  I can’t recall how I came across Vanessa North’s website and read the description to Fight or Flight and became curious.

I used to read sci-fi in college, but not the Star Trek kind of sci-fi.  I used to read a lot of Ben Bova. Not sure if anyone has ever heard of him, but he writes about human expansion through the solar system.

Anyway, I would not consider sci-fi my favorite genre or one that I seek when I go through my Kindle wish-list. However, after reading Fight or Flight, I will be putting more sci-fi books on my wish-list, especially Vanessa North’s books.  She has opened a door to sci-fi that had been closed for a while.

The story starts with Tirzah Simonian, while trying to escape from her estranged husband, kills him and is arrested for his murder. Advacate-Commender, Zeke Lucassen, is assigned as the prosecutor in Tirzah’s case.  Zeke is pressured to win the case and make sure that Tirzah is stripped of her pilot wings and placed in work camps (jail). Zeke, has no problem prosecuting Tirzah since he has no love for women especially ones who abandon their husbands.  However, as more and more is discovered during the court proceedings, Zeke is not so sure that everything that is being said about Tirzah as being a ruthless woman and killer is true.

First, I love the characters. Tirzah is a strong woman even after her abusive husband ripped away most of her self-esteem.  Zeke, is a strong and kind man, who went through a very difficult experience in his marriage and is now leery to have any woman in his life.

I enjoyed reading how these two people who both gave up hope on ever finding love and happiness find each other.  However, some of their experiences in their past relationship does hunt them.

  • Did I skim? No.  The pages are filled with the story.  Not meaningless inner monologue.
  • Do I recommend? Yes
  • Did I feel connected to the characters? Yes. The story is written through Tirzah and Zeke’s POV.
  • Pace of the story? Good. It kept my interest the whole time.
  • Steamy: Yes.
  • Did I look forward to returning to the book when I had to stop reading? Yes.
  • My Positives:  I liked the flow of the story.  I was not bored.
  • My Negatives:  I did not really find any. My only thought is I would have liked the court proceedings to be extended.  I liked the way Vanessa North wrote those scenes, so I was disappointed when they came to a close.

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