The Duke Who Ravished Me (Rebellious Brides: Book 4) by Diana Quincy

The Duke Who Ravished Me (Rebellious Brides, #4)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 17th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Rebellious Brides

Spy Fall – Book 1

A License to Wed – Book 2 (review here)

From London with Love – Book 3 (review here)

The Duke Who Ravished Me – Book 4

Where you can find The Duke Who Ravished Me: Amazon | Barnes, and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

An impulsive kiss between a libertine duke and a mysterious governess sparks a blaze of desire—and intrigue—in this breathtaking Regency romance from the award-winning author of Spy Fall.

Adam Fairfax, the Duke of Sunderford, happily enjoys a different woman (or two) every night—or he did, until his wards landed on his doorstep. Ever since Sunny took in the seven-year-old twin girls and their prim and proper governess, Isabel Finch, his love life has been a shambles. But, as time goes by, Sunny catches himself getting lost in Isabel’s haughty blue eyes, or following the curves beneath her unbecoming dress. An unexpected kiss ignites a passion that shocks him into realizing how thin the line between love and hate can be.

If Isabel’s hidden past were revealed, she could lose everything. Oddly enough, only when “Sinful Sunny” is near does she feel safe—or safe enough to speak up in defense of the girls. The duke’s decadent lifestyle is a disgrace, and clearly he considers Isabel a nuisance. Still, she can’t help admiring his sculpted cheekbones, strong-cut jaw, and tousled chestnut hair. When their lips meet, it’s almost as if he could kiss the secrets right out of her. Worse, she’s tempted to let him. . . .

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Marek (Cold Fury Hockey: Book 11) by Sawyer Bennett

Marek (Cold Fury Hockey, #11)

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: May 22nd, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Cold Fury Hockey

Alex – Book 1

Garrett – Book 2

Zack – Book 3

Ryker – Book 4

Hawke – Book 5

Max – Book 6

Roman – Book 7

Lucas – Book 8 (review here)

Van – Book 9 (review here)

Reed – Book 10

Marek – Book 11

Where you can find Marek: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When the Carolina Cold Fury’s hottest young star gets blindsided by an ex with a scandalous secret, it’s game on.

“One of the best voices in contemporary romance.”—New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne

Marek Fabritis is used to delivering blows, not receiving them. But when he gets tipped off by an anonymous email about his ex-girlfriend, the news leaves him ice cold—and it’s not because Gracen Moore is getting married to a total jerk. It’s the fact that Marek has a three-year-old daughter he never knew about. Now he’s going back home, not to play knight in shining armor but to make damn sure that no man takes what’s his. For the first time, there might be something more important than hockey.

Gracen Moore has always loved Marek. That’s why she let him go, so he could pursue a career in the NHL. And that’s why she never told him about Lilly. Only now does Gracen realize that she made an unforgivable mistake. But is that any reason for Marek to crash her wedding and make an epic scene? If the spark that still smolders between them is to be trusted, maybe. Still, Gracen’s not getting her hopes up. Because she knows better than anyone that appearances aren’t always what they seem. . . .

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The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers: Book 1) by Erin McCarthy

The Hookup (The Jordan Brothers, #1)

3.5 Stars (rounded down to 3 stars for all outlets that need a star rating)

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of Publication: May 8th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Series: The Jordan Brothers

The Hookup – Book 1

The Breakup – Book 2 (expected publication date: August 14th, 2018)

Where you can find The Hookup: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Is there an equation for the perfect hookup? Turns out it’s a lot more complicated than one plus one. . . .

Sophie: Numbers are my comfort zone, which explains why my sex life is a big fat zero. Then again, if I’m smart enough to earn a PhD, why can’t I calculate a way to get a guy into bed, just to see what all the fuss is about? With my prima donna sister, Bella, getting married in Maine, I figure her wedding is the perfect opportunity for my little experiment. And Cain Jordan seems hot enough—he’s certainly drunk enough—to show me what I’ve been missing. Judging by the body of evidence, it’s a lot. . . .

Cain: Being stuck in the same town as my lying SOB twin brother, Christian—who may or may not be the father of the son I’m not allowed to see—is a hell of a reason to drink myself silly after the lobster boat docks each day. Any port in a storm. . . . But Sophie’s different. She doesn’t play around. And she’s becoming a habit I don’t want to break. Because the smartest woman I’ve ever met is also the sexiest—and the only one who makes me want to change.

Don’t miss Bella and Christian’s story in The Breakup!

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The Schoharie by Diane M. Johnson

The Schoharie

3 Stars

Publisher: BookBaby, Independent Book Publishers Association, Members’ Titles

Date of publication: October 5th, 2017

Genre: General Fiction, Horror

Trigger Warning: Talk of Rape, Domestic Abuse

Where you can find The Schoharie: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Thirty years ago a major Thruway bridge was built across a small creek near the town of Fort Hunter, New York. It had its problems with construction delays and local protests, but it was built and it was strong.

Thirty years later the bridge collapses when spring floods transform the meager creek into a raging torrent. The collapse takes several lives and almost includes the life of Aaron Bonner, volunteer firefighter, who swears he saw a vengeful Indian spirit take the bridge down. He just needs to convince Sheriff Ben Harrigan that the same Indian spirit seeks more vengeance. But the sheriff knows that Aaron is just like his father, who tried to sabotage the bridge when it was first built, while in the throes of a mental breakdown. Has Aaron gone crazy? Or does the sheriff have something to hide?

A near death experience triggers Aaron’s sensitivity to supernatural forces at work in the town of Fort Hunter. But his father’s history of mental instability makes Aaron doubt his own sanity. He confides in Sheriff Harrigan, the father of his girlfriend, in a moment of desperation– but memories are long in small towns like Fort Hunter, and the sheriff remembers well Joe Bonner’s attempt to sabotage the original construction of the bridge. He was there. And it was his fault.

Harrigan knows the town isn’t being attacked by an Indian spirit seeking revenge. He knows Aaron is suffering from the same mental illness as his father. But when other things begin to happen– things that can’t be explained by a man experiencing a nervous breakdown– the sheriff must come to terms with his own role in Joe Bonner’s mental collapse in order to save himself, his daughter’s boyfriend and the rest of the town.

My review:

I shouldn’t be allowed to read NetGalley’s Read Now emails after a certain time of night. Because I end up requesting books that I would not read. I wake up the next day with buyer’s remorse and a bad feeling about the book. In a lot of those cases, my bad feelings and/or buyer’s remorse aren’t warranted. But in this case, my feelings were right. I could not get into this book. I wanted to but there was a disconnect. I couldn’t get into the plot or connect with any of the main characters. The only one I connected with was the villain and even then, my connection wasn’t strong.

The Schoharie is loosely based on a real-life event. On April 5th, 1987, The Schoharie Creek Bridge collapsed, killing 10 people. The author nailed it with the description of the bridge collapse and the vehicles that went over. But, my fault with the story wasn’t with that. It was with the story intertwined with the collapse and the events that happened afterward.

Aaron Bonner fell flat in my eyes. I did feel pity for him when his backstory was explained. He had to deal with what his father did. When he started having the same mental issues that his father did, I wasn’t surprised when people started whispering behind his back. The only ones that wanted to help him were Will and Barbara. They knew that more was going on than Aaron having a mental breakdown.

I didn’t like Sheriff Ben Harrigan. His dislike for Aaron was obvious. I was led to believe he didn’t like Aaron because Aaron was dating Ben’s daughter, Sara…who was still married. Instead, it was revealed, later in the book, that Ben felt guilty for Aaron’s father’s death. I wish that it had been stated clearly in the beginning. I also didn’t like him because he refused to see that his daughter was married to an abusive man. Up until the middle of the book, he kept pushing for her to stay with him. WTF? He did redeem himself slightly at the end of the book when he set things in motion to help Aaron but still. Too much harm had been done.

I did think that the author did a great job with the paranormal aspect of the book. I liked that Aaron’s being able to hear dead people (Six Sense anyone???) was used in a way that helped. I liked that Will Cuddy decided to help Aaron prepare for a battle with the Indian sorcerer/warrior.

I figured out who was controlling the Indian sorcerer pretty early in the book. I also wasn’t surprised to see that this person was responsible for what happened to Aaron’s parents. What got me, was that all this started because Aaron’s father was walking across this person’s land. Made me shake my head in disbelief.

The end of The Schoharie was pretty typical for a book like this. The author did do a great job of wrapping up all the storylines. But it was the end of the book that gave me the chills.

What I liked about The Schoharie:

A) loosely based on a real-life event.

B) paranormal aspect of the book was fantastic

C) Native American mysticism was great

What I disliked about The Schoharie:

A) Aaron Bonner’s flat character

B) Ben Harrigan. Just didn’t like him

C) The bad guy. He came across as a petty man

I would give The Schoharie an Adult rating. While there is no sex (just kissing), there is graphic violence and language. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in The Schoharie. They are domestic violence and talk of rape. If you are triggered by any of these, then I suggest not to read the book.

I am on the fence about recommending The Schoharie to family and friends. If I did, I would let them know about the triggers. I am also on the fence about rereading this book. I would be willing to read other books by the author, though.

I would like to thank BookBaby, Independent Book Publisher’s Association, Member’s Titles and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Schoharie

All opinions stated in this review of The Schoharie are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, and Kate Baxter

The Big Alpha in Town

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: May 15th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

Where you can find The Big Alpha in Town: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Three hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today’s hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!

Bearing His Name
Meeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.

Owned by the Lion
Keir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.

No Need Fur Love
Moving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…
Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head. …

My review:

I have gotten a little bored with shifter romances. They all seemed to follow the same storyline. So when the publishers approached me to review The Big Alpha in Town, I hesitated. I almost declined. But, since I like reviewing for this publisher, I gave this book a try. I am glad that I did because these stories were great!! Only one followed the typical storyline but it was written in such a way that I couldn’t help but like it.

Seeing that this book is made up of 3 full-length books, I am going to give a short review of the stories instead of my usual review. If I did this review my usual way, y’all would be sitting at your computers/phones for a while. So here goes nothing:

Bearing His Name:

I started off the book not liking it. I thought that Ark was stuck in the Stone Age with his attitude towards women. I couldn’t believe that he kept saying “Well I’m Greek“. Like that is supposed to excuse it. Jade was a raging witch with a B. I mean, she threw things when mad. Hello, can we say toddler? I also thought the storyline was a bit too much. But the more I read the book, the more I could see the snarky humor behind the characters. Ark’s obsession with food and honey was an underlying theme in the book. All that man wanted to do is eat….and not all of it was food. Speaking of that, the sex was great. Explicit but great. I loved the end of the book. Everyone got their happy ending.

Owned by the Lion:

I thought that this was a sweet book. Keir was a manwhore who was told by his father to settle down and marry. His mate? A prickly woman named Ally that he has known for years. The spark between Keir and Ally was red hot. I liked that the author kept if sparked through the book. Even after they had sex for the first time. Ally, I wasn’t a fan of. I could understand why she was so reluctant to give Keir a chance, but really? She took witchiness with a b to new heights. Of course, Keir having so many exes’s didn’t help. I would have had little faith in my man if his ex’s kept popping out of the woodwork. The end of the book was great. I love happy endings!!

No Need Fur Love:

I adored this book. Mia knew what she wanted when she went to town. She wanted a baby daddy and Owen was her top choice. I didn’t like the Instalove on Owen’s end. He came across as needy and stalkerish. Other than that, I loved the book. I thought the end of the book was fantastic. I also thought that Mia’s father got what he deserved. Just saying.

What I liked about all 3 books:

A) the humor in Bearing His Name

B) Keir’s sweetness to Ally in Owned by the Lion

C) Mia in No Need Fur Love. She was not someone you wanted to mess with.

What I disliked about all 3 books:

A) Ark’s chauvinism

B) Ally’s attitude towards Keir at the beginning of the book

C) Owen coming across as too needy

I would give The Big Alpha in Town an Adult rating. There is graphic (often inventive) sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in The Big Alpha in Town.

I would recommend The Big Alpha in Town to family and friends. I would reread this book.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Griffin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Big Alpha in Town.

All opinions stated in this review of A Big Alpha in Town are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Rumor Has It (Real Love: Book 4) by Jessica Lemmon

Rumor Has It (Real Love, #4)

2 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: May 15th, 2018

Genre: Humor, Romance

Series: Real Love

Eye Candy – Book 1 (review here)

Arm Candy – Book 2 (review here)

Man Candy – Book 3 (review here)

Rumor Has It – Book 4

America’s Sweetheart – Book 5 (expected publication date: October 2nd, 2018)

Where you can find Rumor Has It: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

This is one bad boy who’s fit to print. A notorious jock tackles life—and love—after football with a type-A journalist in this sexy standalone from the author of Eye Candy.

Barrett: As a former pro football star, I’m used to playing the field. After injuries cut my NFL career short, my second act as a broadcaster ended on live television when a hot mic picked up a little verbal . . . indiscretion. But this latest publicity stunt might just land me back on top—much to the chagrin of Catarina Everhart, the prissy, beautiful journalist who’s been assigned to date a bad boy (i.e., me) and write about it. Catarina swears I’ll never touch her, let alone kiss those full lips of hers. Based on our chemistry, I’m not buying it. . . .
 
Catarina: Barrett Fox seems to be doing everything in his power to make me hate him. The cocky egomaniac is infamous for his bad behavior, and now, thanks to my boss’s harebrained schemes, he’s apparently my problem. As one fake date leads to another, I start to see a different side of Barrett. He’s close with his family. He does volunteer work. And, okay, he kisses like a dream. Am I really dating Barrett Fox? Or is he playing me? Because suddenly I’m risking my reputation—and my heart.

My review:

 Before I say what I am going to say, I like the series…a lot. Even the first book, where the female main character drove me nuts, I liked. This one….not so much. Both of the main characters were unlikable. The romance seemed forced and flat. Their interactions with each other were either hot and heavy or cold and icy….no inbetween. I did like the storyline. I love a storyline with a good girl falling for a bad boy.

Rumor Has It is a sporty take on the old and often used storyline where a good girl falls in love with a bad boy. Except the good girl is a journalist who is roped into pretend dating the bad boy. Only the pretend dating soon turns real. But the good girl doesn’t believe that the bad boy can change. Or can he?

I couldn’t stand Catarina. I thought that she was the most stuck up, self-absorbed character that I have ever read. I didn’t blame her for her reaction to working with Barrett but she took it to the extreme. She couldn’t even pick up on the hint that her ex-boyfriend wasn’t interested in her. I couldn’t even tell that she was having feelings for Barrett until almost the end of the book. Even then, I doubted it.

I didn’t like Barrett either. But not as much as Catarina. Barrett made some crappy decisions that influenced everything he did in the book. Like yelling at the female ref and then trying to say “Well, if it was a guy it would be OK.” No, no it wouldn’t be. My dislike did temper when I realized that he was sorry for what he did. It also lessened when his childhood was discussed.

I did not like Barrett or Catarina together. I felt that their interactions were forced. They did not come across as genuine to me. For characters to run hot/cold as much as they did was a turn off for me. As was Catarina’s blatant disdain for Barrett. Which in turn caused Barrett to treat her badly. It was like a freaking merry-go-round and I couldn’t get off.

The romance part of Rumor Has It came across as forced and fake. In turn, the sex was the same way. Forced with no emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I thought that the sex scenes were hot. But because of how I felt about Barrett and Catarina, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Like I mentioned above, I liked the storyline. I wish that I had a connection with either of the main characters.

The end of Rumor Has It was your typical romance ending. All hearts and rainbows.

While I didn’t like this book, I am looking forward to reading book 5. Like I said above, I enjoyed reading the series.

What I liked about Rumor Has It:

A) Good storyline

B) Hot sex scenes

C) Ummm…that’s it??

What I disliked about Rumor Has It:

A) Unlikable main characters

B) Forced and flat romance/relationship

C) No connection to characters

I would give Rumor Has It an Adult rating. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. There is explicit sex, language, and mild violence

There are no trigger warnings for Rumor Has It.

I would not recommend Rumor Has It to family and friends. I would recommend the other books in the series, but not this one. I would not read this book again but I would read other books in the series.

I would like to thank Loveswept, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Rumor Has It.

All opinions stated in this review of Rumor Has It are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

How to Walk Away

5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: May 15th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Where you can find How to Walk Away: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment. 

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect. 

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.

 

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