Tag Archives: books: contemporary romance

Holiday in the Hamptons (From Manhattan with Love #5) by @SarahMorgan_

Holiday in the Hamptons  (From Manhattan with Love #5)“Long story. Come to think of it, everything in my life is a long story. I don’t seem to manage the short, simple version. Forget novellas, I’m War and Peace meets Game of Thrones, without the dragons and dead people.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Reconciliation Romance

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Broken hearts learn to heal at the beach

Review: Ahhh this was everything I hoped it would be ever since we first met Fliss in New York, Actually.

Seth and Fliss gave me all the FEELS and the build-up and UST between them was borderline overwhelming. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of their story so that’s all I’m going to say about their relationship for now.

Other things I loved was the beach setting and the relationships between Fliss and Grandma and Fliss and Harriet (hope we get to enjoy more of that in the next book) – I love the contrast between Fliss the impulsive feisty one and Harriet the quiet reliable one. I thought it was a nice idea bringing back Chase/Matilda from the novella that started the whole series and cameo appearances from the three heroines from the first trilogy in the series.

If all that wasn’t enough to win me over then the abundance of cute dogs sure did.

I am looking forward to Harriet’s story but can’t help but feel that the series has peaked with this book as writing reconciliation romances definitely seems to be Morgan’s forte.

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology by Various

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology (Chicago Rebels, #.5; Station Seventeen, #1.5)ARC received from: the authors

Rating: 2.5*

Review:

The rating reflects the average rating for the anthology as a whole. Individual ratings given below.

This book almost defeated me but I was determined to get through it all so I could give it a fair review, even if it meant speed-reading and skimming a few of the stories which really didn’t work for me.

Overall, this anthology is worth buying just for the 4* reads given that a percentage of the profits are going to charity and you never know, you might discover a new favourite author.

Kimberly Kincaid – Deep Check
4*
Love this author and the firehouse series.

Katie Kenyhercz – Bear Naked
4*
An interesting introduction for me to the native American world and the juggling of cultures

Desiree Holt – Body Check
1*
No consistency with the absence of the “Keeper of the Cup” and a hotshot hockey guy thinks he can get his old love back now that he is injured and finally has time for her? Ugh.

Angi Morgan – Breakaway Brook
1*
Paranormal super powers in a contemporary romance? No thanks.

Kim Golden – Under A Midnight Sun
1*
I am sensing a repetitive theme here ….. cocky hockey guys who, once they’ve won the cup, think they can go back to their hometown and reunite with an ex-girlfriend.

Kate Meader – In Skates Trouble
4*
This was what I really tried this anthology for and it didn’t disappoint!
I am really looking forward to Harper’s book, the first full length novel in a new series from one of my favourite contemporary romance authors!

Misty D. Waters – Checking Yes
1*
I’m pretty sure I read this before in this anthology ….. hockey star abandoned his childhood sweetheart when he went off to play hockey and now he wants her back …. This one just has additional family and Southern drama thrown in for good measure.

Robin Kaye – Penalty Box Blues
2*
The hockey star who can’t even remember the girl who used to tutor him every day

Robin Covington – Free Agent
2.5*
I’m usually not a fan of 1st Person POV but I enjoyed this one more than I expected to

Avery Flynn – Blade
4*
Interesting set-up with two old acquaintances having to work together to stop the cup being stolen

Susan Scott Shelley – Making His Move
3*
Coffee addict hooks up with a sweet girl from his childhood whilst spending more time with his sporty family.

Christi Barth – Check My Heart
4*
Really liked the background of she being his brother’s hospice nurse and loved the chemistry between these two

Heather Long – Blocked
3*
Hockey star helps pop princess avoid the press.

Andie J.Christopher – Full Contact
3*
A virginity story with a difference. Really weird to see Eddie turned into some kind of bad guy though

Lena Hart – Courage
2*
Not really interested in a story about a marriage in trouble especially when the guy is so self-involved

Nana Malone – Ransom (The Player)
3*
A story around the size of a hockey player’s dick and the geeky classmate he lusted for from afar.

Virginia Nelson – Caged
1*
A desperate small town girl tries very hard to get a hockey star to realise he’s in love with her by making him a plastic trophy

Xio Axelrod – The Warm Up
3*
Flirtation on the cancer ward.

Hot for the Fireman (Boston Heat #1) by Gina L. Maxwell

Hot for the FiremanARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Firefighter

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: Firefighter Versus Therapist

Review: It’s been awhile since I’ve read a romance that gave me all sorts of tingly feels but this one certainly did it!

I loved the set up of Erik and Olivia meeting each other and not knowing that they were going to have to work together in “real life”. Erik’s persistence at getting her to go out with him was nicely mirrored in the latter half with Olivia refusing to give up on him.

Whilst I spent the first half wondering when Erik’s PTSD, the whole reason for them meeting, would come into play when it finally did, it did so in a big way. It felt so raw and real and I really felt for him.

Erik’s condition keeps him off work for the duration of the book so for those of you looking forward to a book full of sexy firefighting action, you may be a little disappointed but I am sure Maxwell has plenty of time to explore that side of things in the rest of the series

One of my favourite things about the book was undoubtedly the introduction of Dozer and Angie. I am guessing their book is up next and I, for one, absolutely can’t wait to read it. I love a good reconciliation romance.

PS. Loved the shout-out to Kate Meader’s awesome Chicago firefighting series!

New York, Actually (From Manhattan with Love #4) by Sarah Morgan

New York, Actually (From Manhattan with Love, #4)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 3*

Chemistry: Low Boil

One-Sentence Summary: “Must Love Dogs” with secrets

Review: This was a bit of a schizophrenic read for me:

+ I love dogs
– I frown upon dogs being used as props

+ Using a dog as a Meet Cute is cute
– Using someone else’s dog to stalk a woman is frankly scary

+ Dogs are cute
– Molly have erotic thoughts whilst watching Daniel stroke a dog made me want to throw up
Molly watched, transfixed, as those long, strong fingers caressed her dog. Her pulse sped forward. Her insides tumbled and turned. And still she stared at those hands, watching as he seduced her dog with easy, comfortable strokes

+ I like New York
– The first few chapters with the repetitious stalking in Central Park made me want to stop reading

+ I loved it when Molly turned up at Daniel’s office to call him on his lie
– There were just so many lies/hidden truths between them

+ I LOVED Daniel’s sisters and Molly’s gay best friends
– I liked Daniel/Molly

+ I love Sarah Morgan
– This book didn’t completely win me over

Overall, what I took away from this book was that it was a bridge to Fliss and Harriet’s stories that I am really looking forward to, especially Seth/Fliss’s.

A Millionaire at Midnight by Naima Simone

A Millionaire at Midnight“The prince slid the glass slipper on Cinderella’s foot, and of course it was a perfect fit. So then he carried Cinderella to his waiting carriage and his castle where they wed. But the prince ended up being a cheating asshat, and Cinderella, who really wasn’t all that sweet in the first place, moved out, taking the prince for half his kingdom and his entire fleet of carriages. Which served him right because he should’ve kept his dick in his damn pants in the first place. The End.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4*

Trope: Fake Relationship

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Bachelor auction prize -> Boss -> Fake fiance

Review: This was my first introduction to Naima Simone and what an introduction it was!

I loved Morgan, the sassy heroine who always seemed to have a quick-witted reply on the top of her tongue and Alexander the hero with a love of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings was broodingly delicious.

Mentions of fandoms like Criminal Minds and Gilmore Girls made me smile. The only thing that I didn’t really like was the overly sugary sweet ending – scrap gooey baby stuff I say!

If like me you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading the previous books in the series then do not fear as I am pleased to say that you don’t need to in order to enjoy this one.

“So you’re trying to convince us you don’t care about Cynthia and Troy?” Angela scoffed.
Morgan shrugged. “Sorry to disappoint you. Sure, I was upset for a minute. I mean, I’d just sent in the check to have the Backstreet Boys perform at our reception.” Again, she lifted a shoulder. “But what’re you going to do? Besides, this city is full of CEOs and millionaires. Where there’s one, there’s another, and most are ready and willing to get laid… and agree to have Nick Carter sing “As Long as You Love Me” for our first dance. As a matter of fact, there are ten of those ready and willing men here tonight. What can I say? We can’t all marry for love like you did, Angela.” Cocking her head to the side, she pointedly glanced in the direction of Angela’s husband, who resembled Hugh Hefner’s older brother. “Can we?”

Crossing Hearts (Cross Creek #1) by @KimberlyKincaid

Crossing HeartsARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 5*

Trope: Reconciliation romance

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Small town reconciliation romance

Review: When I first saw a that there was a new release for Kimberly Kincaid I was filled with a mix of emotions – excitement and then disappointment that it wasn’t a new addition in her Rescue Squad series and then excitement again as I realised that hopefully this means that she has two series on the go and therefore multiple books for me to look forward to this year!

Well, this new venture into the world of small town living and farming definitely did not disappoint. This is a reconciliation romance at heart but it was nicely paced and the two characters didn’t just fall into bed and pick up where they left off immediately. Additionally, the addition of Emerson’s illness added a unique layer absent from most romance – can the hot sexy guy really be perfect enough to be willing to commit to someone with a debilitating illness (*spoiler alert* Yes he can!).

Add in some family drama on both sides (Emerson trying to avoid her controlling parents and Hunter trying to referee his two brothers) and you’ve got all the makings of a perfect small town romance.

Now I’m eager to get my paws on Eli and Owen’s stories and more importantly find out what the hell is going on between those two brothers!

2016 Love Is … Book Awards

What better way to celebrate my birthday and kick off the flood of end-of-year posts then picking out my favourite books of 2016:

2016 Crime – Procedural
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Crime – Thriller
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Non-Fiction
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Non-Fiction – Biography
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Cop
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Enemies To Lovers
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Fake Relationship
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Festive
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Firefighter
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Friends To Lovers
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Friend Of Sibling
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Novella
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Reconciliation
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Sport
Winner & Runner-Up

2016 Romance – Suspense
Winner & Runner-Up

In order to qualify all books have to have been published in 2016

Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay #3) by @JillShalvis

Accidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3)ARC received from: Edelweiss

Rating: 4*

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Elle’s past comes back to haunt her and Archer

Review: Archer/Elle’s story is the one I’ve most been looking forward to in this series but I have to say that it didn’t play out quite how I thought it would.

Given their tension in previous books, I thought Shalvis would focus on that and the repressed feelings. As it turns out Archer and Elle didn’t wait long to act on their feelings and the majority of the story is concentrated on who is less likely to want to commit to giving their relationship a real go.jill-shalvis-archer

Archer/Elle have an interesting history together which is brought to the forefront when Elle’s sister Morgan makes an appearance. The history that Archer/Elle shares is probably the most interesting thing about their story and gives a unique foundation to their relationship.

I am hoping that other characters in this book will get a chance to have their stories told but fear that this is another trilogy-based series which comes to an end with this book. Poor Spencer!

Someone like You (Oxford #3) by Lauren Layne

Someone like You (Oxford, #3)ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Friend-of-sibling

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: Two troubled souls find love with each other

Review: It’s been a long old wait for those of us eager to get our mitts on Lincoln’s story but, like the underlying theme of this story, sometimes the wait is worth it.

Daisy and Lincoln first meet at Cassidy/Emma’s wedding; they are lauren-layne-lincolnboth hiding secrets from their friends but find unexpected solace in their friendship. Needless to say this leads to love – eventually – but not until they both find a way to deal with their baggage and move on with their lives.

This book starts as the sort of fun, flirty book that you would expect from Lauren Layne and the Stiletto/Oxford series but by the end you will have experienced a whole new layer to Layne’s storytelling.

Now that my rollercoaster ride with Lincoln and Daisy is over, all I can say is that I can’t wait until Nick/Taylor’s story.

Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love #3) by @SarahMorgan_

Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love, #3)“Here lies Eva, whose Christmas wish was to find herself up close and personal with a man, but didn’t specify the circumstances.”

ARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4*

Trope: Festive romance

Chemistry: Simmering

One-Sentence Summary: Opposites attract in a NYC penthouse apartment at Christmas

Review: No one quite writes a festive romance like Sarah Morgan!

This book had an unusual setup in that I don’t think I have ever read a book where the “Meet-Cute” goes quite like that or that the Heroine gets paid to be a crime writer’s inspiration! Bonus points for originality.

Lucas Blade is an anti-Christmas, anti-love, brooding hero whilst Eva sarah-morgan-lucasis the overly optimistic, ridiculously nice heroine. It really is a case of opposites attract and watching these two dance around each other was magical.

As well as the romance, this book deals with grief and loss and follows two people trying to move past that grief-rutt they’ve been stuck in. I love how Lucas and Eva founded what they needed in each other to close those chapters of their lives.

My one gripe was that I was so sure that when Lucas proposed the abandoned puppy would be there waiting, or at the very least when they got back to his apartment. I feel robbed of a secondary happy ending!

I thought there were hints in this book as to what Morgan’s next series is going to be about and I’m glad that my suspicions were confirmed. Can’t wait to start reading the spinoff from this series.

“To friendship,” Frankie continued. “Because true friendship transcends differences. I’d rather read a thriller, you’d rather read a romance. It’s okay. I forgive you for having weird taste.”