Blog Tour: Fearless (Less Than Zero: Book 3) by Kaylene Winter

Fearless (Less Than Zero, #3)

Publisher: Rockstar Romance LLC

Date of Publication: March 17th, 2021

Genre: Romance

Series: Less Than Zero

Restless—Book 0.5

Endless: Ty & Zoey—Book 1

Limitless: Jace & Alex—Book 2

Fearless: Connor & Ronni—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon

Format Read: Unedited ARC

Received: For Blog Tour from coordinator

Trigger Warning: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault (implied in one case), Alcoholism, Drug Use (talked about)


Goodreads Synopsis:

Family is everything, I protect mine with my life..

Connor McGloughlin had it all, a great family, a college scholarship and music.
Tragedy forced him to grow up too fast.
When his life finally is on track, Ronni Miller appears like a dream.
Kindred spirits in the most unlikely of circumstances.
There’s only one thing in the way—
Her dark past he’s determined to protect her from.

When your innocence is stolen, trust is a precious gift..

Actress Ronni Miller tasted fame at a young age.
But her path to stardom was riddled with tragedy.
She never imagined falling for Connor McGloughlin, a rogue, Irish rock star.
The thing is? Ronni’s got revenge on her mind.
Regardless of the risk or the consequences—
Or losing the one thing in her life that makes her feel alive.

Connor has only ever asked Ronni for one thing: her heart.
But when her bravery is couched in lies?
She risks losing the man who would do anything for her.
Will she realize being fearless means trusting true love?


First Line:

“Fuck my life!” Byron Angel, the pampered second-bit actor screeched just before shoving his chips over to me.

Fearless by Kaylene Winters

Review

When I read the blurb for Fearless, I knew that this was a book that I wanted to read. I decided that I would look past that it was book 3 in the Less Than Zero series. That is how much the blurb hooked me into reading the book. I figured that if I liked Fearless, I can go back and read the first two books (actually three because of the prequel). And I was right on all counts!!

Fearless is a medium-paced book in both storyline and pacing. With these types of books, I have come to expect a fast-paced plotline/storyline. So, I was surprised when Fearless started at a medium pace and kept it up for the entire book. I enjoyed it. It allowed me to digest what was going on (and a lot was going on initially).

Fearless has dual storylines (Connor and Ronni’s). Usually, I’m not too fond of it when there is more than one storyline. But in this case, and considering what Ronni was doing/had gone through, it was needed. To try and condense everything to one storyline wouldn’t have had the impact it did.

I thought the author did a fantastic job showing how toxic Hollywood was (and still is). I got chills when I read about Ronni’s time on the TV show and how it affected her. I also liked that the author showed that men could be forced into the same #MeToo situations as women. I never gave that much thought until I read this book. Then I remembered Corey Feldman and his claims about the same things happening in Fearless, and I began to wonder. How many times is the “casting couch” used for men and women to get parts? How many times are teenagers (and adults) forced to do things they usually wouldn’t do with producers/directors to get juicier parts? And how many of those people are forced out of the business/blackballed/labeled difficult because they refused or had parents that said: “No Fucking Way?” (like Ronni’s mom). Just food for thought.

The author also highlighted something else that I have rarely heard of—being a beard. Being a beard means that a straight woman will date a closeted gay man to convince people/keep up the appearance that the man is straight. Ronni was a beard, and she was a beard with a mission. She was collecting evidence against one of the TV producers whose show she was in when she was a teenager. The men she dated were victims of him. It was very compelling to read.

Connor’s backstory wasn’t as traumatic as Ronni’s, but it was pretty sad. His father had a horrible car crash when Connor was in high school and soon spiraled into alcoholism with a side of gambling addiction. Connor ended up dropping out of high school to run the family business. He also learned how to play poker to recover the money his father lost. His outlet was the band. The road to fame was gradual for him (it was several years before the band hit it big), and he dealt with a lot of verbal abuse from his father. It was sad to read, and I could emphasize Connor’s frustration.

Connor and Ronni’s love story didn’t get off to a great start. They met at a concert, there were sparks, and then he took off (thinking she would follow). She didn’t and thought he was a player. It wasn’t until she and her friend hitched a ride to Australia with the band that they got to know each other. That is where their relationship began. The author didn’t end the book after their initial hook-up. Nope, instead, the book kept going for several years before everything blew up. Ronni and Connor were together for 3-4 (maybe more) years by the time things went down.

For those of you who like hot sex scenes, Connor and Ronni’s were insanely hot. I loved it!! They were like bunnies every time they got together—days and days of sex. My only complaint was that Connor and Ronni were going bareback very soon into their relationship. And they didn’t get tested. Why would I be bothered? Because Connor turned into a man whore after his longtime girlfriend dumped him. He slept his way across Europe (implied). Other than that, I was all in!!

The author wonderfully wrote the main storyline (see above). Saying that I wouldn’t have been as patient as Connor was with Ronni while she was bearding. I also understood why he did what he did. But, saying that, I was surprised at the turn that the storyline took.

I will say that the secondary characters were terrific in Fearless. Ronni had such a great support group, and Connor’s bandmates were incredible. They made this book so much more interesting to read.

Fearless can be read as a stand-alone book, even though it is book 3 in the series. There are references to previous books and characters, but nothing made me go “Uh” or “WTF.” It made me want to read the previous books and see what their stories were.

There were a couple of things that I didn’t like about Fearless. First, I wouldn’t say I liked how the book began. I was left lost in the first couple of chapters. It isn’t until almost the end of the book that the first couple of chapters make sense. Secondly, I thought the ending was typical, which was disappointing. Ronni and Connor were anything but ordinary and to have that sort of conclusion was “eh.


Fearless was an emotional, well-written romance. The romance was excellent, and I loved that the author jumped into current events. The medium-paced storyline complemented the story.

I would recommend Fearless for anyone over the age of 21. There is graphic sex. There is violence. There are scenes of the aftermath of sexual abuse. There is talk of a suicide. There is talk of drug use. There are graphic examples of alcohol abuse.


AUTHOR BIO:

When she was only 15, Kaylene Winter wrote her first rocker romance novel starring a fictionalized version of herself, her friends and their gorgeous rocker boyfriends. After living her own rockstar life as a band manager, music promoter and mover and shaker in Seattle during the early 1990’s, Kaylene became a digital media legal strategist helping bring movies, television and music online. Throughout her busy career, Kaylene lost herself in romance novels across all genres inspiring her to realize her life-long dream to be a published author. She lives in Seattle with her amazing husband and dog. She loves to travel, throw lavish dinner parties and support charitable causes supporting arts and animals.


March 15th
Sunny Shelly Reads >> Excerpt
Crazykalm >> Review
Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored >> Top 10 List
Njkinny’s Blog >> Review

March 16th
Adventures in Writing >> Excerpt
Ingrid´s Book Blog >> Review
Viviana MacKade  >> Top 10 List

March 17th
underneath the covers  >> Excerpt
Iron Canuck Reviews & More >> Excerpt
obsessed book reviews >> Review

March 18th
Hawthorn Book Reviews  >> Review
Rockin; Book Reviews  >> Top 10 List
Read With Me  >> Review

March 19th
Sadie’s Spotlight  >> Excerpt
The Bouncing Tigger Reads  >> Interview
My Fiction Nook  >> Guest post

March 22nd
Syllables of Swathi >> Excerpt
Jenerated Reviews >> Review
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm >> Excerpt
Books a Plenty Book Reviews >> Review

March 23rd
Drunk On Pop >> Excerpt
The Avid Reader >> Interview

March 24th
Barbara’s Booknalysis  >> Review
breen.rb  >> Review

March 25th
Westveil Publishing >> Guest post
Books We Love >> Review
Sinfonia dos Livros  >> Review

March 26th
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author >> Excerpt
Teatime and Books  >> Excerpt
Books A-Brewin’  >> Excerpt
BookishKelly2020 >> Excerpt


Hidden Fury (Annie Fitch Mysteries: Book 2) by Marie Flanigan

Hidden Fury (Annie Fitch Mysteries Book 2)
Hidden Fury by Marie Flanigan

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

March 2nd, 2021

Genre: Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Series: Annie Fitch Mysteries

Exposed Fury—Book 1 (Review Here)

Hidden Fury—Book 2

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Format Read: unedited ARC

Received: from Author for honest review

Trigger Warnings: Mild violence, talk of past child abuse, speculation of incest/rape


Amazon Synopsis:

As a former cop turned private investigator, Annie Fitch hopes to never be in the line of fire again, so she’s expanded her business to include installing security systems. She’s thrilled to be hired by Preston Farr, a farmer with a vandalism problem on his family’s historic apple orchard and farm.

Preston’s roots in the community run deep. His family has held the same property in Leesburg, Virginia, since the 1700s. The two get to know each other over the course of the job. When Preston asks her out after the work is done, she accepts. After all, Annie’s on-again, off-again love affair with her childhood best friend, Ford, is currently off. Why should she mope until he decides it’s on again?

What she intended to be a fun, casual romp with Preston turns serious quickly when Annie’s newly installed security cameras record startling footage. Family secrets begin to unravel, echoing over two hundred years of heartache and violence.


First Line:

They say when you’re dying, you see a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel, but when I was dying, I didn’t see that.

Hidden Fury by Marie Flanigan

My Review:

I like a good mystery. I like it when the mystery I am reading sucks me in and keeps me on edge for the entire book. I also like it when the characters are relatable. Sometimes, when I read a mystery, the characters are a little over the top. While in some cases, it is what the book needs, in other cases, it is a distraction. Fortunately, for Hidden Fury, I was kept on edge, and the characters were relatable.

Hidden Fury is the 2nd book in the Annie Fitch Mystery series. It takes place several months after the events of Exposed Fury. Annie, a PI, has expanded her business to include installing security systems. One of her first customers is Preston Farr, the owner of a historic orchard. His business is being vandalized, and he wants to find out who it is. Annie and Preston have an immediate connection and start a romantic relationship shortly after the system is installed. But, there is more going on at Preston’s orchard than just vandalism. After a skeleton is found in an abandoned, historic church on Preston’s property, Annie is compelled to solve the mystery of who it was. Will she solve the mystery? Will her relationship with Preston survive the truth?

The plotline for Hidden Fury was medium-paced which was fine with me. I like medium-paced plotlines with mysteries. It gives the plotline time to evolve (and in this case, it did) and for me to become engrossed in the book.

There is one main storyline with several secondary storylines in Hidden Fury. The primary and secondary storylines were well written. What I enjoyed is when the main storyline ended (when Annie caught who was vandalizing Preston’s farm and why), the author then had the storyline for the church become the main storyline. I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed how the author did it!!

There were a couple of twists in the plotlines. One was revealed in the middle of the book. I can safely say with that twist; I saw it coming. The other twist I saw coming but was stilled surprised (and saddened) when it was revealed.

The characters in Hidden Fury were well written and had a depth to them. Annie, by far, was my favorite. I was a little disappointed that her brother and Ford weren’t featured in this book.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Preston. He came across as a very indecisive man. I also wouldn’t have doubted the story that my great-uncle was telling. But, I can understand why he acted the way he acted. He was a decent person outside of the drama. I hope that Annie and his relationship are still ongoing in book 3 (if there is one).

As I mentioned above, I thought the mystery was well written. The author did throw some red herrings out to try, and they did distract me, but in the end, I figured out both. I still enjoyed the lead-up to both reveals.

The end of Hidden Fury was terrific. The author wrapped up the storyline and plotline. She also left some wiggle room for a book 3.


Hidden Fury is a well-written mystery. Even though I was able to figure out both mysteries, I enjoyed the lead-up to the reveals. It had an excellent medium-paced storyline.

I would recommend Hidden Fury to anyone over the age of 21. There are flashbacks to how Annie got her brain injury. There is also a mention of child abuse, insect, rape resulting in pregnancy, murder, racism, and a church’s desecration. There are sex scenes but nothing explicit.

Once Removed (Blackhawk Security: Book 1) by Margaret Watson

Once Removed (Blackhawk Security Book 1) by [Margaret Watson]

Publisher: Dragonfly Press

Date of publication: January 15th, 2021

Genre: Romance

Series: Blackhawk Security

Once Removed—Book 1

Once Burned—Book 2

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Indigo | Kobo

Format Read: eBook

Got book from: Author via BookFunnel

Trigger Warning: Child Abuse (not graphic but talked about), Domestic Violence (not graphic, talked about), mild violence

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Lainey becomes trapped in a burning building with her almost-divorced husband’s body, Brody rescues her just in time. And when she realizes the killer is now after her, she takes refuge at Brody’s Montana ranch.

Lainey and Brody have been fighting their attraction for years. But as the barriers between them fall, Lainey rescues Phoebe, a runaway teen, from the compound where her husband died. Now they’re forced to focus on Phoebe and an invisible threat.

Whoever murdered her husband has eyes on Lainey. Will their fragile new family survive a desperate predator? Can they protect Phoebe, identify the killer and find their happily ever after?


Synopsis Overview:

Lainey is looking for her ex-husband to serve him divorce papers. Knowing that he was working as a security guard at a compound, she heads there. Instead of finding him, giving him the forms, and leavingLainey finds his body. She is then assaulted and left to die in a burning building. Lainey is saved by Brody, a rancher who happened to be in the area.

Under suspicion of her ex-husband’s death, Lainey is forced to move in with Brody when someone tries to break into her house, and the police don’t do anything about it. Deciding to stop at the compound to see if any clues could clear her name, Brody and Lainey find a tween scavenging for food. Deciding to take Phoebe in, Lainey and Brody realize that even a well-fortified ranch can’t protect Lainey from whoever is after her.

Brody and Lainey also have to deal with their growing feelings for each other. Both of them have good reasons for wanting to take it slow. Lainey, it is because her husband physically abused her. Brody, it’s because his ex-wife played games with him. Also, Brody has a secret, and he is afraid that if Lainey finds out what it is, she will reject him.

Will Lainey find out who is after her and why? Will Brody trust Lainey with his secret? And will Phoebe be safe?


Once Removed is the love story of Lainey and Brody. What I liked about Once Removed is that it wasn’t an InstaLove story. Lainey and Brody had known each other for a couple of years before anything happened. Lainey was Brody’s accountant, and their attraction grew over the years instead of over a couple of weeks. Now, saying that, the book did move fast when it came to the relationship. Lainey and Brody were living together for a couple of days. But the author allowed their romantic relationship to grow.

The mystery/thriller angle of Once Removed was well written. The author kept me guessing who was going after Lainey and why that person was doing it. I did have a small suspicion, but that was proven wrong when the bad guy was revealed.

Phoebe’s storyline was well written, and I loved how the author merged them towards the end of the book. It also pulled on my heartstrings. The pain that Phoebe was feeling was transparent. Her gradual acceptance of Brody (and more immediate acceptance of Lainey) was heartwarming. I liked that the author didn’t get into graphic detail about the abuse and neglect that Phoebe endured. The little snippets that were shared were enough to make me go teary-eyed.

I also liked that the author chose not to go into details about the abuse Lainey endured. Yes, she talked about it, but it wasn’t graphic. I also liked that the author chose to tackle a problem regarding law enforcement and domestic violence. Instead of her ex being reprimanded, the sheriff’s office closed rank around him. They ignored what he was doing until they couldn’t. Sadly, this is more common than what we think, and I am glad that the author chose to showcase it.

While Brody’s secret wasn’t necessarily a bad one, it was still significant. I won’t go into what it was, but I could understand why he was hesitant to call DCF about Phoebe.

There is sex in Once Removed. It was tastefully written, and nothing was graphic. I did have to laugh in the events leading up to Brody and Lainey having sex. There were a couple of near misses with Phoebe that made me go, “Yeah, I can relate. “

The end of Once Removed was your typical mystery/romance. The reveal of the bad guy did surprise me. Only because it wasn’t who I thought it was going to be. The author also set up the next book in the series perfectly. And the epilogue was PERFECT!! I loved it!!


Once Removed was a fantastic romance/mystery. It was fast-paced with a mystery that the author kept me guessing until the end of the book. I cannot wait to read book 2!!

I am going to recommend that no one under the age of 21 read Once Removed. There is talk of spousal and child abuse (not graphic). There is an attempted murder at the beginning of the book and an attempted kidnapping at the end. There is sex, but nothing explicit.

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy: Book 1) by Laura Sebastian

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy, #1)

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Date of Publication: April 24th 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Series: Ash Princess Trilogy

Ash Princess-Book 1

Lady Smoke-Book 2

Ember Queen-Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBoooks | Alibris | Powells | IndieBound | Indigo | Audible

Format read: eBook

Got Book From: Library (via OverDrive)

Trigger Warning: Violence, child abuse (one very graphic scene towards the end of the book)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.


First Line:

The last person who called me by my true name was my mother, with her dying breath.

Ash Princess by laura sebastian

My Initial First Impressions of Ash Princess

Ash Princess has been on my radar for a while. I had requested it from NetGalley before it was published and got declined. I was pretty irritated by that since I had been reading posts from other bloggers about how good it was. Then, a couple of months ago, a lightbulb went off in my head. Why don’t I use the LIBRARY and see if they have it through Overdrive? So, that’s what I did, and after a month’s hold, I was able to get my digital fingers on Ash Princess.

I started Ash Princess by crying. Yes, crying. I sobbed my way through the prologue and the first few chapters. What Theodosia was forced to go through broke my heart. It also made me want to jump into the book and beat the living out of the Theryn and the Kaiser. When Theodosia was forced to kill her father while he was singing her a freaking lullaby, I lost it. I had to put my Kindle down and let myself cry it out.

I was suspect at Cress and Theo’s friendship from the beginning. Yes, I was that cynical person who couldn’t quite believe that the Kaiser’s executioner allowed his daughter to be besties with the deposed Queen of the land they had just taken over. My suspicions were somewhat confirmed when Cress became jealous when the Prinz started paying attention to Theodosia.

Speaking of the Prinz (or Soren), I couldn’t help but be cynical over his and Theo’s relationship evolved. He watched her being abused (whipped and beaten). He must have known of his father’s plans for Theodosia. Heck, I knew about them from the beginning. The Kaiser wasn’t subtle. Even the Kaiserina knew….smh. To have a romance, all of a sudden blossom between Soren and Theodosia, didn’t feel right to me. I mean, I knew it had to happen, just like I knew that there was going to be a triangle (Blaise, Theodosia, and Soren). It doesn’t mean that I had to like it.

Blaise, Heron, and Art showing up towards the end of the first half of the book was interesting. I say interesting because they were all escaped slaves they were all marked by the mines in some way. They were also dedicated to overthrowing the Kaiser and restoring Theo to her rightful place as Queen. I wouldn’t say I liked Art’s attitude towards Theo during this part of the book. She seemed to think that Theo lived this pampered life while her countrymen toiled. It annoyed me that Art would talk to her Queen that way.

The first half of Ash Princess flew by for me. The author did a great job of keeping my attention to the plot. There was no needless subplots or secondary characters cluttering things up, which I enjoyed.


Mid-book Impressions

As much as I loved the first half of Ash Princess, I thought the middle of the book was a little boring. I understand that the groundwork had to be laid for Theo and her group’s plan to work. It still bored me. I stopped reading the book for a couple of days because I got bored. But, once I got over that small bump, the book did pick up speed.

Theo and her group had a well thought out plan that Theo kept waffling on. Kill the Theryn, Cress, and Soren. Theo was OK with killing the Theryn. I mean, he was the one who slit her mother’s throat while her six-year-old self watched. But killing Cress, who was innocent, and Soren, who she was falling for, seemed like overkill.

Cress and Theo’s friendship did falter in the middle of the book. I was expecting it, primarily since Theo was tasked with killing the Theryn and Cress. But it still hurt to read. Cress was an innocent, and in Theo’s mind, shouldn’t be touched. I will say, though, I liked the 180 that Cress did towards the end of the book’s middle. But even then, Cress was looking out for Theo.

I was a little iffy on Soren and Theo’s romance. It was too sudden (like I said above). To go from him being apathetic to loving her within a couple of weeks made me go “meh.” It screamed of Instalove. Honestly, I thought that Theo was too emotionally damaged (from the abuse) even to form those kinds of attachments. But she did. That night on Soren’s boat was sweet, and it did show a different side of Soren then what I expected.

Blaise, Heron, and Art’s characters became a little more fleshed out. I loved Heron. He was a gentle giant who was a badass. I did feel bad when he explained his backstory. To lose his love to mine madness made my heart hurt. Art was still a raving bitch, but even that was explained. I felt that there was more to her character than what the author was letting on.


End of Book Impressions:

The end of Ash Princess was not what I thought it was going to be. A couple of twists in the plotline made me go “Huh” and “No way.” The author did an excellent job of wrapping up plotlines and setting new ones in motion.

I will warn you all that there is a very graphic scene where the Theryn whips Theo in front of the Kaiser and his court. It was a brutal scene to read. I was crying by the end of it. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Theo was ready to do whatever she could to free her people.

Cress and Theo’s friendship took a sudden and drastic turn at the end of the book. I did not blame Cress or Theo for how they felt. I mean, Theo did try to kill Cress, and instead, something else happened. I do think that if Theo acted differently instead of rubbing what happened in Cress’s face, maybe things would have been different? Who knows. All I know is that Theo’s actions created Cress, and Theo will have to do something about her.

I will say that Soren did come through for Theo after she was imprisoned. I figured that Blaise, Heron, and Art would be the ones to rescue her. So when Soren appeared, I was surprised. I wasn’t surprised at who Theo let loose in the dungeons, nor was I surprised at what was said to her. And I wasn’t surprised when Theo did what she did after the escape.

There was one twist in the plot that was left for last. I was taken by surprise, as was Theo. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it was like for her to have that surprise sprung on her. Poor Art did try to tell her but was always cut off.

Like I said above, individual storylines were wrapped up, and new ones were started at the end of the book. There was enough not written for me to want to read book 2. I need to see what will happen to Theo, Soren, and everyone else in the book.


My Overall Thoughts on Ash Princess

I enjoyed reading Ash Princess. It was a fast read with complex characters. Theo was incredibly strong, and she was lucky to have people who were willing to help her. Some scenes made me uncomfortable (the implied rape of Art and the death of her younger brother was one of them). I didn’t get Theo and Soren’s sudden romantic relationship, but I got why the author had it happen so suddenly.

I would recommend Ash Princess to anyone over the age of 21. There is violence, implied rape, slavery, and child abuse (implied and otherwise).

Hidden Hollywood (Happy Endings Book Club: Book 1) by Kylie Gilmore

Hidden Hollywood (Happy Endings Book Club, #1)

Publisher: Extra Fancy Books

Date of publication: October 18th, 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: Happy Endings Book Club

Hidden Hollywood—Book 1

Inviting Trouble—Book 2

So Revealing—Book 3

Formal Arrangement—Book 4

Bad Boy Done Wrong—Book 5

Mess with Me—Book 6

Resisting Fate—Book 7

Chance of Romance—Book 8

Wicked Flirt—Book 9

An Inconvenient Plan—Book 10

A Happy Endings Wedding—Book 11

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | IndieBound | Indigo | Kobo | Better World Books

Format Read: eBook

Purchase From: Amazon as Free eBook (currently free on Amazon, B&N and Kobo)

Trigger Warning: Very Mild Violence

Goodreads synopsis:

A new standalone series from USA Today bestselling author Kylie Gilmore about the irresistibly sexy Campbell brothers (and a tomboy sister) who find love with the help of the matchmaking leader of the Happy Endings Book Club. Get your happy ending!

She’s on top…
When superstar actress Claire Jordan researched her role for the Fierce Trilogy movies, she never expected the bond she feels with the author and her romance book club aka The Happy Endings Book Club. Soon Claire finds herself confessing her secret longing for a regular guy—no more egocentric wealthy players—and the book club is all too ready to help. In disguise as a regular girl, she’s all set for a date with book-club-approved Josh Campbell.

He’s on top…
Billionaire tech CEO Jake Campbell is weary of gold-digging women, especially the glamorous superficial types. So when his identical twin Josh calls in a favor asking Jake to step in as him on a date, Jake figures one of Josh’s cute girl-next-door types might be just what he needs. One night of passion with the sweet girl-next-door leaves Jake wanting more, except she seems to have vanished.

Sometimes a Happy Ending is just the beginning.


First Line:

Claire Jordan went by a lot of names—hottest actress under thirty, sexiest woman alive, Duck Lips (that was her brother)–buy she’d yet to be called, um, slut.

HIdden Hollywood by Kylie Gilmore

Beginning of Book Impressions:

I was excited to read Hidden Hollywood for several reasons. First, I love contemporary romance. Second, the blurb for the book had me wanting to read it. And, the last reason, I needed a book that I didn’t have to concentrate on. The last couple of books I have read had complicated plotlines and characters. So, I needed a book that would refresh my brain.

What also attracted me to the book was the cover. I thought it was sweet and straightforward. I also figured that the book would reflect that. Let’s say that it did, and it didn’t.

Hidden Hollywood starts with Claire Jordan, America’s hottest actress, meeting with her book club. Claire is producing and starring in a movie based on the book written by one of the book club (which is why she got invited). At this point, I liked Claire. She was funny and sweet. She was also kind of desperate. She refused to date within Hollywood’s A list, and because of that, she hasn’t dated in a year. Add that the books she is making a movie out of having a cult following, and people believe that she and the leading man have a thing. Madison and Hailey come up with a great plan. Hailey has a single man friend, Madison’s brother, who will take Claire out on a date. All Claire has to do is show up in disguise and enjoy herself. Sounds so simple, right. Yeah.

Then the book introduces Jake Campbell, the billionaire owner of a tech company. He is disillusioned with dating women because, drumroll please, all they want is either his money or sperm (yup, I just said that!!). I should mention that Jake is the brother of the man going on the blind date with Claire. His identical twin brother. His brother, Josh, wants Jake to do a twin switch with him. Jake goes on the blind date with Claire and Josh goes on a friend date with Hailey (Hailey is blackmailing Josh into escorting her to weddings but that is another story). As I read that, I thought: “Well, this could go well.

Surprisingly it did. Jake and Claire hit it off. Claire was in disguise the entire time. I was surprised by that because they went paddleboarding. I mean, what if she fell off and got wet? Her cover would have been blown. Honestly, I was waiting for that to happen, but it didn’t. I enjoyed seeing Jake and Claire interact in those scenes. They were themselves and not the people that they had to become.

After Jake and Claire had sex, everything started to fall apart (in my eyes). Claire booked it, and Jake was left feeling used. He tried to find Claire, but because she used a fake name, he had no luck. Both Hailey and Madison were not talking either. On the other hand, Claire felt awful for leaving Jake but thought she had no other choice.


Mid-Book Impressions:

I wasn’t happy with how the middle of the book started. Claire and Jake find out that they both lied to each other. After that, it was like the characters had a personality shift. It was bewildering to read. Claire was this lovely, shy person in the first half of the book. To see her morph into someone self-centered and egocentric messed with my head. I felt the same way about Jake. It took me most of the book’s middle to get used to the “newClaire and Jake.

I did like that the rest of Jake’s family (biological and otherwise) were introduced. I could see the other ten books in the series being written when Jake talked about his brothers and friends. I got very excited to read the other books.

Jake and Claire’s relationship was rocky during this part of the book. Mainly because neither of them was willing to bend. I eye-rolled a lot during this part of the book. I also kept muttering, “Gonna lose him/her if you keep acting this way.

I did like seeing how a movie set was run. The addition of Blake as Claire’s evil co-star was perfect. He tried his best to undermine the movie’s production and acted like a man-child whenever he was in the picture. The only time he crossed the line was when he tried to bum rush, Claire. Thankfully, her bodyguard did his job.

The romance between Claire and Jake did seem nonexistent. I do think it was because they had to sneak around to go on dates. That took some of the oomph out of the romance for me.


End of Book Impressions:

The end of Hidden Hollywood seemed rushed. I say that because everything happened so fast. My head was spinning, and I had to go back and reread specific passages to make sure that I got everything right in my head.

Claire turned into a red carpet fairy godmother. Seriously, she did. She invited the book club to the premiere of her movie and handed dresses and shoes over to them. I giggled while reading those scenes. They were also super sweet, but they made me laugh. Why? Because no woman would give up a pair of shoes that are worth $3k. Just saying.

I wasn’t thrilled with how Claire and Jake’s relationship went from casual to serious within a few chapters. That just screamed Instalove to me. Plus, the way they went about saying “I love you” irked me. There was no passion. It was like, “Oh, BTW, I love you.” and they went on with their lives. I don’t know why it irked me, but it did.

The end of Hidden Hollywood was cute. I loved how the author wrapped up Claire and Jake’s love story. I’m not sure who the next book is going to be about. Either it is Hailey or Madi. Either way, I am sure it is going to be a cute story.


My Overall Thoughts on Hidden Hollywood:

I went back and forth with Hidden Hollywood. I loved the romance and thought the writing was excellent. Several humorous scenes made me laugh. At the same time, Jake was “meh,” and Claire rubbed me the wrong way. But, I was able to overlook those two things and enjoy the story. What I also liked is that the book didn’t go into graphic detail with the sex. There was detail, but nothing that would make someone uncomfortable.

I would recommend Hidden Hollywood for anyone over 21. There is sex, very mild violence, and some mild language.

Through a Dragon’s Eyes (Chronicles of the Four: Book 1) by Marissa Farrar

Through A Dragon's Eyes: A Reverse Harem Fantasy (Chronicles of the Four Book 1) by [Marissa Farrar]

Publisher: Warwick House Press

Date of publication: April 24th, 2018

Genre: Fantasy, Reverse Harem, Romance

Series: Chronicles of the Four

Through a Dragon’s Eyes—Book 1

With a Dragon’s Heart—Book 2

Into a Dragon’s Soul—Book 3

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | AbeBooks | Alibris | IndieBound| Walmart eBooks

Format Read: eBook

Purchased from: Amazon as a free Kindle book

Trigger Warning: None

Goodreads Synopsis:

A magic long forgotten.Four races divided.An epic journey.

She lost her brother, now will she lose her life?

Ever since the Treaty was signed after the Great War, one hundred and fifty years earlier, the separate races of Xantearos have been divided. Only every six months do a select group come together for the Passover—a time to trade much needed produce.

In the human city of Anthoinia, Dela Stonebridge has already lost her brother to The Choosing, and now it is her turn. The grueling journey across the mountains, through the Southern Pass, is always dangerous, but when magic and madness descends, she discovers herself exiled with the leaders of the three other races—the Elvish, Moerians and Norcs.

With the Treaty broken, they learn the secret to the unity of Xantearos lies in a magic long thought dead… that of the Dragonstone and the Dragonsayer.

Can they put their differences aside and work together to make their way back to their homelands? Or will they be walking into a war between each of their races?Get the first book in this brand new, fantasy, reverse harem series!


First Line:

Dela Stonebridge couldn’t take any more of her mother’s tears.

Through a Dragon’s Eyes by Marissa Farrar

Beginning of Book Impressions:

Through a Dragon’s Eyes starts with Dela (the female main character) chosen to be part of an expedition that takes place twice a year. This expedition helps restate a peace treaty with the other three races that humans share their lands with. It also helps give much-needed resources that the other races might need. The Treaty has been ongoing for 150 years and is required to keep The Treaty in place. Also, part of The Treaty is that magic is outlawed. It would help if you kept this in mind as you read the first half of the book. It is important.

I liked that the author chose to highlight each race before continuing the story with Dela. The races were the Norcs, the Moerians, the Elves, and the Humans. Each race was different. The Norcs lived high in the mountains, were massive, wore little clothing, rode mountain goats, and had bison pulling their carts of coal. The Moerians lived on the plains, were smaller than the Norcs and but bigger than the Elves, and rode their horses bareback. The Elves were slight, aged very slowly, were magic users, and rode stags. And then there were the humans. The humans walked, had oxen pulling their carts, and were smaller than the Elves and were weak. Another thing that set the other races apart was that the Norcs, Moerians, and Elves sent their leaders on these twice-yearly missions while the sent humans were varied (but no leaders). So, it would help if you also kept this in mind while reading the book.

The end of the beginning of the book is when Dela and her group set off to the meeting place. Several things happen to the group before they arrive. Put it this way, people were dropping like flies, and it was making the group nervous. Dela was also having lucid dreams about flying. Those dreams were getting more and more vivid the more time she spent on the road.


Mid-Book Impressions:

The middle of the book is when it started getting interesting. See, once the humans arrived at the meeting place, the shit hit the fan. I am going to use bullet points for this because writing would take forever.

  1. Warsga (the Norc) hears the humans coming. He openly and silently mocks them. Once he sees Dela, he is impressed with her. He is also the first one to see the danger in The Long White Cloud and urges everyone to get moving.
  2. Orergon (the Moerian) is the quiet one of the group. I really couldn’t get a feel for him except that he was somewhat of a badass. I mean, he was the ruler of ALL the tribes, and you don’t get there by being soft. He also saved Dela when they were running from The Long White Cloud.
  3. Vehel (the Elf) was the youngest (or oldest…depends on how you look at it) of the group. His own family hated him (didn’t say why but I figured it was because of him being able to use magic). He used magic to shield Warsga, Orergon, Dela, and himself from The Long White Cloud. Doing so broke The Treaty.
  4. The Long White Cloud battle. Ok, so I had a WTF was that moment while reading this part. This whole group didn’t stand a chance against it. Put it this way, it was like a blizzard on steroids, and that had demons things that couldn’t be killed living inside it. Yeah, frightening. I didn’t blame Warsga urging everyone to run. He knew what it was. Once it overtook the group, it was carnage except for our main characters. Vehel used magic to shield them, and when Warsga tried to cut his way out, he teleported everyone across the continent!!

The end of the middle of the book is when the group wakes up in the middle of nowhere. After taking some time to recover, the group decides to start walking to well; they don’t know where. That is when a…….murder hornet takes Dela. There was a name for it in the book, but I am calling it a murder hornet. She is paralyzed by it and brought to the burrow, leaving the boys frantic.

Surprisingly, for a reverse harem book, there is no sex. Zero. There was some flirting between Warsga (and a memorable scene where he wondered if he would fit inside Dela, which made me giggle a little). There was sexual tension all over the place, but no one acted on it. Honestly, with everything going sideways, there wasn’t time for Dela to have sex with anyone. It was a refreshing change of pace.


End of Book Impressions:

The end of the book starts with Dela’s dramatic rescue from the murder hornets. Vehel risked his life to get Dela out of there. But there was a small, teeny-tiny problem. Dela was paralyzed. So, the boys decided to continue their trek and try to find help.

They did find help. They found a Fae village surrounded by a protective barrier. The author’s version of the Fae was horrifying. They had tiny wings and sharp pointed teeth. The only reason the Fae decided to help Dela was because of her ring. I am not going to get into it was an exciting twist. The Fae also suggested Dela go to a mountain and see what is there. I wasn’t surprised by what was revealed. I figured it out when Dela was dreaming. But it was still exciting to read!!

The end of the book was a cliffhanger. I’m not too fond of cliffhangers, and this one wasn’t any different in my eyes. But it did its job and made me want to read the next book!!


My Overall Thoughts on Through a Dragon’s Eyes:

I enjoyed reading Through a Dragon’s Eyes. The story kept my attention, and I loved the lore. The author did a great job of not adding any unnecessary details to the book. The book was a fast read. What I enjoyed was that there was NO SEX!!!!

I would recommend Through a Dragon’s Eyes to anyone over 16. But that is this book only!!! I have a feeling the other books are 21+. It is a clean book with minimal violence. There is one kissing scene with Vehel and one scene where Dela and Warsga eye fuck each other.

Fairytale by Danielle Steel

Fairytale: A Novel by [Danielle Steel]

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Date of publication: October 10th 2017

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance, Drama

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Alibris | IndieBound | Indigo |Audible | Walmart eBook

Format Read In: eBook

Where Did I Get Fairytale: Library via Overdrive

Trigger Warning: Mild violence, attempted sexual assault, death of a parent, grief, cancer

Goodreads Synopsis:

Camille Lammenais has grown up in the beauty of the Napa Valley, surrounded by acres of her family’s vineyards. Her parents, Christophe and Joy, still deeply in love after two decades of marriage, have built a renowned winery and château modeled after Christophe’s ancient family estate in his native Bordeaux. Camille has had a perfect childhood, safe in her parents’ love. After graduating from Stanford, she returns to help manage Château Joy, her lifetime goal. But their fairytale ends suddenly with her mother’s death from cancer.

Six months after losing his wife, the devastated Christophe is easy prey for a mysterious, charming Frenchwoman visiting the valley. The Countess de Pantin is the essence of Parisian seductiveness and sophistication. Within weeks they are a clandestine couple, making love like teenagers, glowing with their secret. Camille, still grieving for her mother, is shocked by the news that her father intends to remarry. Then she begins to see past the alluring looks, designer clothes, and elegant manners of the countess, while her innocent father is trapped in her web.

When tragedy strikes again, Camille is at her stepmother’s mercy, and that of the two evil stepbrothers who appear. Camille needs to fight—first for her legacy, and then for her very life. But as she grapples with the plots being carried out against her, the countess’s elderly, kind, clever mother becomes her only ally, and a childhood friend emerges as a prince worthy of any fairytale.


First Impressions:

When I was browsing my library (virtually, of course) and saw that Fairytale was available for takeout, I was excited. My grandmother introduced me to Danielle Steel when I was a tween. She had a vast collection of her early works and was more than happy to share them with me. So, I had to take this book out and read it.

I was a little taken aback by the lack of dialogue in the first half of the book. While it was beautifully written, I wanted to see some verbal interactions between Camille, Christophe, and Joy.

The characters came across as flat. I couldn’t connect to Joy, Christophe, or Camille. That frustrated me because I wanted to connect but couldn’t.

Going into the middle of the book, I got bored and put the book down for 2-3 days. I debated on continuing. I decided since I had already read 1/2 the book, then I will continue reading it.


Mid-Book Impressions:

The middle of the books starts with Christophe meeting Maxine. I knew what she was the minute she came into the picture. A gold digger and I knew her true colors would come out as soon as they got married.

They did, oh boy, did they. Maxine dropped her act with Camille as soon as she said her vows. She was trying to separate and alienate Christophe from Camille, and it almost worked.

I will say that the book did get better when Maxine brought her mother over from France. I loved her!! She brought much-needed laughter and light to an otherwise depressing part of the book.

I wish that Camille had more of a backbone. She let her stepbrothers, Maxine and Cesar, run rampant all over her. There were parts of the book where I was shaking my head in disbelief. Of course, it only amped up after Christophe died and left Camille his sole heir.

There was a lag in the middle of the book, and it almost derailed it. I also found that there was a lot of unnecessary repeating of events. I wouldn’t say I liked that there was an emphasis on how evil and bad Maxine’s sons were. It kept being driven home. After the 4th or 5th time, I was like, “Stop; I get it. They’re evil jerks.


End of Book Impressions:

The last half of Fairytale was challenging for me to finish. I will admit, I skimmed over some parts. I couldn’t wrap my head around a woman being pushed around the way Camille was. I mean, she was forced out of her house and into a freaking horse barn, and she allowed it!!!! I wanted to reach through the book, shake her, and tell her to be assertive. Uggh.

The Cinderella angle of the book came into play during the last half of the book. I was looking forward to seeing how that played out. I was sorely disappointed. There were 3-4 (maybe a couple of more) chapters with Camille in the Cinderella role. Such a disappointment!!

The end of Fairytale was predictable and boring. The minute that Camille decided to go to the Harvest Ball, I figured something would happen. I also figured who was involved. But I didn’t figure the surprise twist. That took me by surprise because it came out of nowhere.


My Overall Thoughts on Fairytale:

While I am a fan of Danielle Steel, I was not too fond of this book. The book seemed hastily written with a lot of repeating of unnecessary scenes/dialogue. The characters came across as flat and two-dimensional. They got into predictable situations that had predictable outcomes. The Cinderella angle of the book was short and kept to only a few chapters.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. There is sex but it isn’t graphic. There is an attempted sexual assault (not graphic) and talk of elder abuse.

Beautifully Wounded (The Beaumont Brothers: Book 1) by Susan Griscom

Beautifully Wounded (The Beaumont Brothers Book 1) by [Susan Griscom]
Beautifully Wounded By Susan Griscom

Publisher: Amber Glow Books

Date of publication: April 9th, 2014

Genre: Romance

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Audible

Series: The Beaumont Brothers

Beautifully Wounded—Book 1 (Previously published under The Fawn)

Beautifully Used—Book 2

Beautifully Undone—Book 3

Format read in: eBook

Trigger Warning: Spousal Abuse and Rape

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sometimes the only way to salvation… is to take a leap of faith.

What would you do if you had no place to go and no one you could trust?

“The lyrics are about you, Lena,” he confessed, and I watched his mouth as the tip of his tongue moistened his lips before he leaned his head down. Then those beautiful lips were on mine, soft, tender at first, then his tongue glided over my lips, breaking the seal. My pulse throbbed and quickened as his tongue swirled around mine. Taking and controlling, and… and I wanted this, needed his touch. I went limp in his embrace, and the heat rose under my skin, my body vibrated against his strong powerful one. Was this really happening?”

Jackson Beaumont prides himself on being a nature-loving, guitar-strumming, carefree sort of guy. When the mysterious Lena Benton walks into his bar looking scared and defeated, it’s not something he can ignore. He’s immediately consumed by concern for her and driven by his desire to help. She’s just so beautiful. So wounded.

After being shuffled from one foster home to another growing up, Lena Benton dreamt of finding her prince charming. When the captivating Troy Harington sweeps her off her feet shortly after high school graduation, she’s certain she’s found her happiness. Unfortunately, Troy’s true colors surface shortly after their marriage and things turn ugly. Lena only has one choice. She has to leave him. She has to run…

Lena’s escape has brought her to Jackson, and he clearly wants to be there for her, but can she trust anyone again after what she’s gone through? And will Jackson be able to help her heal without losing his heart?

18+ due to sexual content and mature subject matter.


First Line:

He opened the front door.

Beautifully Wounded by Susan Griscom

First Impressions:

I am going to start with the trigger warning to start this review. Usually, I will touch upon TW’s at the end of the book. But, because of how this book begins, I feel that it is appropriate to put it at the beginning.

I am not going to mince words. Beautifully Wounded starts with Lena being raped and beaten by her husband when the rape fails (because he loses his erection halfway through the rape). I won’t lie, it is very graphic. But, it set the pace and the mood for the first half of the book.

Lena’s flight from Troy was heartbreaking but empowering. I felt her terror and urgency as she fled. She was terrified that he would find her. She was terrified of what he would do. She did everything to throw him off her trail. She cut up credit cards, abandoned her car, used a fake ID that her best guy friend gave her, used cash to buy a new car, and drove as far as she could with her injuries. It was breathtaking and made my heart pound. I was on the edge of my seat that first couple of chapters because of the unknown.

Then Jackson was introduced. Not a lot was said about him except that he owned a local bar with his brother, Brodie. That was fine with me because all of my attention was on Lena and her flight from Troy. When Lena walked into the bar, her appearance caught Jackson (and eventually Brodie’s) attention. Jackson, who had a soft heart of injured animals and people, took one look at her and decided that she needed his help. He brought in an ex-Army medic/current firefighter to look at her. That is when the extent of her injuries was shown. Broken ribs, a concussion, bruises everywhere, and one eye was swollen completely shut. Even Doc (the firefighter) was horrified. I was fighting back the tears during that scene. I made these weird snuffly noises that my husband took notice of and asked if I needed a tissue.

I liked that Lena was learning to trust Jackson. What I loved was her instant connection to Rufus (his hound). She spilled her secret to him, unaware that Jackson was listening outside her door. It was a heartwarming scene that again made me fight back the tears. That poor girl.

By the middle of the book, though, Jackson did start to creep me out. He began to become obsessed with Lena. I understand wanting to help. He helped so much and in so many ways. He set it up so Lena could file for divorce without disclosing her location. He helped file for a restraining order (including taking her pictures). He got her clothing and someone to dye her hair. He. Was. Always. There. When he started falling for her, I was like, “Oh no honey, please. Wait until she’s healed.” But he didn’t.


Mid-Book Impressions:

The middle of Beautifully Wounded focused on Lena’s healing process and her emerging relationship with Jackson. I liked seeing her regain her self confidence and self-worth. The little tidbits of her life with Troy left me shaking my head. What made me shake my head, even more, was that she witnessed her mother being abused and then killed by her abuser while she was growing up. Lena thought she knew what she was looking out for, but instead, she got blindsided. I truly felt awful for her.

I liked seeing her and Jackson connect on a deeper level. Seeing her fall for Jackson was sweet, but at the same time, I felt that she didn’t need to fall into another relationship. But, thankfully, Jackson took it super slow and allowed Lena to call the shots.

Their relationship did heat up during this part of the book. But nothing happened until after Lena received her divorce papers.

Jackson was still acting creepy. He had this whole “I’ll let her come to me” vibe, but he moved her into his and Brodie’s house and spent all of his time with Lena. And, again, I didn’t blame Brodie for blowing up at Jackson. I did feel bad that Lena had to overhear it, though. Brodie did apologize, and Lena did tell Brodie that she was sorry, even though it was Jackson’s fault.

There was an undercurrent of anticipation regarding Troy. And it wasn’t the right kind. I kept wondering when he would turn up. I didn’t blame Lena for wanting to run. She was terrified that Troy would hunt her down and kill her.


End of Book Impressions:

The last half of Beautifully Wounded was insane. So much went on in a few short chapters. I couldn’t read it fast enough.

Jackson and Lena’s relationship went to the next step, which wasn’t awful in the grand scheme of things. In book time, two months had gone by, and they spent everyday together. So, when they had sex, I wasn’t grossed out. I was still a little skeeved by Jackson, but even that went away. You could tell that he cherished Lena.

Lena’s worse nightmares were realized when one of her best friends (pre-Troy) came to the bar and let her know that Troy knew where she was. Then it was a waiting game as to when he would show up.

And yes, Troy did show up. My heart was pounding for Lena during those scenes because of what he was saying to her, where he was taking her and what he would do to her (implied). I will say that Rufus was the real MVP during this part of the book. That nice, sweet dog lost his SHIT when Lena was taken. And I ugly cried when Jackson caught up to Lena and Troy, and he saw what happened to Rufus.

Of course, there was a confrontation between Jackson and Troy. In my mind, I called it the battle between Good and Evil (because it was). There was a point where I was concerned for Jackson and a little WTF. Jackson was an ex-cop. He should have known how to take someone down. Yet, he didn’t, and it frustrated me. It was who took Troy down that took me by surprise. It also took Brodie by surprise (he was way too late).

The epilogue was fantastic. I liked seeing where Lena and Jackson were a year later. Oh, and Rufus’s fate was disclosed!! I also loved the lead into Brodie/Gabby’s story.


My Overall Thoughts on Beautifully Wounded:

I enjoyed reading Beautifully Wounded. It had a fast plotline with characters that will stay with you after the book is finished. I will warn that there are parts of the book that are hard to swallow. Some parts are unrealistic. But, it didn’t affect me. Instead, it made the book more enjoyable to read.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. There is graphic violence. There is a rape scene at the beginning of the book that is graphic. There is sex, but that is not graphic.

a noble affair by jennie goutet

A Noble Affair by [Jennie Goutet]
A Noble Affair by Jennie Goutet

Publisher:

Date of publication: April 28th, 2016

Genre: Romance

Purchase Links: Kindle | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound |

Format read in: eBook

Goodreads synopsis:

Is there such a thing as Prince Charming?

Chastity didn’t take a teaching job in France to find hers, but a woman can dream, n’est ce pas?

If the father of one of her students—the Viscount Charles Jean Anne Monorie de Brase—is the best local example of princes, Charming or Otherwise, Chastity is ready to put aside any thought of falling in love again.

As much as she would prefer him to keep his distance, it seems there is no avoiding each other. With the ongoing pressure of a repentant ex-boyfriend, a nefarious drug dealer, and an art heist that spans the decades, Chastity and the viscount are thrown together by circumstances she would soon rather forget.

As the intimacy between Charles and Chastity deepens, they must decide if their love is enough to bridge the gap between their disparate worlds, and if happily ever after can exist outside of fairy tales.


First Impressions:

I was pretty excited to start reading A Noble Affair. I have had it sitting on my TBR since October 2018, and I figured that it was time to read it. Plus, the blurb got my interest. Well, I have to say I wasn’t impressed by the first half of the book. There were zero sparks of romance between Charles and Chastity. Instead, it went the exact opposite direction. There was so much animosity between the two that I was taken aback by it.

Chastity’s job as a school teacher was fascinating, but there was little focus on it. Instead, there were a couple of student/teacher meetings, where she accused Charles’s son of doing drugs. Her proof, a whiff of marijuana here and there. I hardcore eye-rolled at that. Frankly, I found her annoying that first half of the book. She led her baby daddy on about being in a relationship. The only thing that I remotely agreed with was that she allowed him to meet their son.

I didn’t care for Charles either. He was an absent parent who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) talk to his son about his slipping grades. Instead, he was focused on his work, appeasing his mother and his girlfriend. There was no mention of what he did for work during the first half of the book. This is important come the middle of the book.

Louis, Charles’s son, was also introduced. I was “meh” about him. I understood why he acted the way he did, but at the same time, I wanted to shake some sense into him. Things got a bit dicey towards the end of the first half of the book.

There were a bunch of secondary characters thrown in during the first half of the book also. I had issues keeping track of them because of how the chapters were written. There was no lead in the next character. Just, bam, here it is. At times, it made no sense. Also, clue in that secondary storyline was introduced while this all happened, and my head was spinning.


Mid-Book Impressions

Chastity and Charles’s romance (or lack of one) was still going strong by the book’s middle. She thought he was an uptight idiot, and he returned the favor. It was kind of amusing to read, though. Their interactions were painful to read. I kept thinking to myself, “And where is this romance?” because there was ZERO.

Instead of the book picking up speed, it faltered, big time. I kept waiting for something to get the book moving. It did happen, but it took forever for it to happen. There were points where I was going to put the book down.

Louis’s storyline because more interesting. There was some intrigue about his dealing, his schoolwork, and him owing the dealer money. I did feel bad for the poor kid because he was in over his head. He was willing to do anything to pay back the money.

The storyline about the art heist was interesting too, but there were some flaws in it. Add in that Louis’s dealer is also the person behind the new heist, which made me go “Hmmm.” Only a couple of chapters sprinkled in the middle of the book explained what happened there.


End of Book Impressions

Chastity and Charles’s romance finally picked up. But weirdly, it was after her son was hit by a car and put in a coma. Guess who his neurosurgeon was? Charles. I was just as surprised as Chastity was when that was revealed. Like I mentioned above, I thought he lived off a trust fund or something like that.

There was still no sparks between Chastity and Charles. The author did try, but their romance didn’t come across as believable. Even the kiss that they shared was “meh.”

The storyline with Louis and his drug use finally came to ahead. Charles finally talked to him about it. I don’t know who was more relieved, Louis or me. It took an entire book for Charles to get around to doing it. It was a lovely scene but long overdue in coming.

The secondary storyline about the art heist ended excitingly. There was a neat twist to that plotline that made me go “No way.


My Overall Thoughts on A Royal Affair

I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. As a romance, there should have been at least some sort of spark between the main characters. There wasn’t, and it felt fake at the end of the book. It wasn’t believable.

The book’s drug use angle was ridiculous, but I liked how the author chose to show Louis battling through the situation he got himself in. When Louis found himself getting in too deep, he turned to his father. The same father should have been more present in his life.

I loved the art heist storyline. I was shocked at who was behind the heist. I knew that it was the same person supplying Louis his drugs, but I didn’t know his identity. I had a holy crap moment when that happened. Talk about a surprise.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read A Noble Affair. It is a clean book. There is no sex and a couple of brief kissing scenes. Several scenes got violent, and a couple where Louis is high. But nothing explicit.

The Recruit: Book One (The Recruit Series: Book 1) by Elizabeth Kelly


The Recruit: Book One (The Recruit Series 1) by [Elizabeth Kelly]

Publisher:

Date of publication: February 19th, 2014

Series: The Recruit

The Recruit: Book One

The Recruit: Book Two

The Recruit: Book Three

The Recruit: Book Four

The Recruit: Book Five

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy

Purchase Links: Walmart eBooks | Amazon

Format Read in: ebook

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hannah Torrington lives a perfectly normal and ordinary life until the night her sister is murdered by vampires.

Saved by a Lycan named Will and thrust into a world she never knew existed, Hannah is taken to a secret facility that trains men and women to hunt vampires.

Determined to take her revenge for her sister’s death, Hannah joins the recruit program. As she is pushed to the brink of physical and mental exhaustion by the intense training, she fights her forbidden attraction to her instructor Will and struggles to adjust to her new life.

Please Note: This is book one of a trilogy and contains a cliff-hanger ending.


First Impressions:

I wasn’t very impressed with The Recruit when I first started reading it. That first chapter made me think that this was going to be a hot and heavy romance between Will and Hannah with the hunter recruit program somewhat in the background. I did the one thing that I try not to do when reading books. I judged by the first chapter….sigh.

The feelers for the romance between Hannah and Will were laid out there too. Nothing happened though. A couple encounters that raised their sexual tension by almost 100%. But no sex. I was almost glad that they didn’t do anything that first half of the book and I am glad that the author deliberately kept Will being a Lycan a secret (well not exactly a secret, its kind of hard to explain).


Mid Book Impressions:

Remember how I mentioned that I thought that The Recruit was going to be hot and heavy supernatural romance with a secondary plotline about the hunter recruit program? Well, it wasn’t quite like that. The hunter recruit program became the focal point of the book after Hannah joined it. What I liked is that the author didn’t gloss over the training. Instead, she made Hannah suffer through it. My body ached for her during certain scenes. But, Hannah held on and I was happy about that.

Will and Hannah do have sex a few times. Each time was insanely hot. The first time in the training room took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting it to be so emotional and caring. They were found out after an encounter during a full moon and they were forced to seperate. That is when the author revealed the full scope of both Will and Hannah’s feelings. My heart broke for the both of them.

There was a storyline added late in the book that evolved around the mole in the facility. It started after the “babies” (the recruits) were attacked at a bar. What I liked is that the mole was mentioned a few times but no real details were given.

Also, and I found this was interesting, was the amount of hate that Lycans got in this book. The “babies” were horrified to learn that Will was a Lycan. When it was found out that Hannah was sleeping with him, she was shunned. Even the instructors carried that hate with them. And it wasn’t just a human versus Lycan type deal. It was Lycan versus human too.


End of Book Impressions

If I wasn’t a fan of the beginning of the book, I absolutely loved the end. I loved Hannah’s character development. She went from being a loner who didn’t like anyone in her personal space to this kick ass warrior who wasn’t afraid to get into other people’s personal spaces. I was 100% Team Hannah at the end of the book. I do wish that more of her training with Chen was highlighted but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

Will and Hannah’s relationship ran into a huge wall by the end of the book. I am not going to say what but I will say that I wasn’t surprised. I did think that Will approaching Chen in wolf form was a bit much, though. But I understood why what happened happened. My heart broke for Hannah, though. She was truly the loser in that situation. But, I am rooting for them.

OMG, the fight scenes were out of this world!!! If you don’t like blood and gore, than this isn’t the book for you. Because it is bloody and violent.

The book does end on a cliffhanger. I am not a fan of cliffhangers. I would rather my books end resolved than have everything up in the air. But, they do make me want to read the next book. Will I read book 2? Probably.


My Overall Thoughts on The Recruit: Book One

This is a book that I would reread and a series that I could easily get lost in. It has everything that I liked in these types of books: sex, action and danger. The book didn’t truly get started until after Hannah joined the training facility and it gained momentum from there. Will and Hannah’s sexual tension and sex scenes were fantastic, as were the action scenes. I did figure out who the mole was about halfway through (it was obvious). This was a book that I enjoyed reading and, like I said in the first paragraph, one that I badly misjudged.

I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book. The sex scenes and the fight scenes were graphic.