Review: Mister O by Lauren Blakely

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After coming from a series of 1-star rated books (IMO), I am beyond extremely happy to have chosen to read this “Mister O.” Reasons why:
1. It’s funny. One of the LOL scenes I loved here was when Nick Hammer was having an internal monologue about his competition for Harper Holiday’s love. Nick thought to himself, “Nope, I don’t want to swap out his deodorant for cream cheese.” You HAVE to read it to understand why I snorted in laughter at this scene.

2. Lauren Blakely’s story is like meringue. It’s light, airy, easy to read, fun, but can be “whipped stiff” at times with those hot sexy scenes thrown in for great measure. There’s no angst. No tattooed asshole of a bad boy, no girl with a troubled abused past, no unnecessary drama, and definitely, no roll-of-the-eyes moments.

mister o lauren blakely

3.  love that this was written from Nick Hammer’s POV. It’s a refreshing change. Quite different from the last 4 romance heroes I’ve read, Nick is a laid-back kind of dude. Sure, he’s got tattoos, but his favorite one is of Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes. If Nick Hammer is NOT your next book boyfriend, too, I think there’s something seriously wrong with you.

Can’t think of a single thing why anyone would hate on this. I LOVE IT. More, please, Lauren Blakely. More. Oh, and, brava!


Review: Throttle Me by Chelle Bliss

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Part II – 10:30pm, day 2 of reading Chelle Bliss’ “Throttle Me”

That’s me after finishing this book. Part one got me wanting to tear my hair out with the freakish portrayal of a woman in her late-20s. She’s blonde, beautiful, and apparently, really dirty in between the sheets. So, essentially, all the cliches wrapped up in one. There were plenty of cringe-worthy scenes in the book, aside from the one I described in Part I of my review. Suzy is so attractive that she is a class A creep-magnet, e.g., Derek, her creepy & sadistic co-worker at school (they’re both teachers), the drunk a$$hole in the SAME BAR Joe took her, too, on the first night they met, etc. Joey Gallo saves her time and again. Le sigh.

The ending is pretty straightforward. No surprises. And, thankfully, no additional drama, except for the fact that Suzy got physically assaulted in the bar after she thought she was getting her “kidnap-me” sex fantasy fulfilled. Mmmhmmm, Chelle Bliss made that happen.

If I were Ludacris, who likes a lady in the street, but a freak in the bed, I ain’t be saying “Yeah.”

no just no

Lady in the street, but a freak in the bed

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Ludacris woulda been proud

Part I – 8:30pm, day 1 of reading Chelle Bliss’ “Throttle Me”

Okay, I get it now. A pattern is emerging. Chelle Bliss seems to be specializing in insta-love type of stories. Her main character in the novella-prologue to “Throttle Me,” Maria, who’s a 50-ish year old mother, used the term “insta-love” in one of her inner monologues in “The Gallos: The Beginning.” It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me that THAT would be the common theme throughout the family’s kids’ individual romantic tales.

As I sit here scratching my head, I have to wonder: where do I stand, really? I consider myself a staunch feminist. In my mind, a woman, who’s of legal age and sound mind, can and should take hold of her sexuality; she can and should steadfastly pursue her own romantic intents, without causing physical, psychological, and/or emotional harm to herself or others. In “Throttle Me,” however, I couldn’t help but think of Suzy, the heroine, as a slut.

Sorry, but there it is. Suzy the Slut. I mean, come on, the way Ms. Bliss wrote about Suzy? It’s just sleazy, not sexy. For a woman who’s living in what seems to be an urbanized city (Ms. Bliss didn’t mention what the setting is), would one consider her to be a sane person if she flags down a strange man, in the middle of a deserted road, at night, while he rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle? She then immediately ogles his body after he steps down to help. Suzy proceeds to have inner monologues while mentally slurping up City, a.k.a. Joe Gallo, her hero, and spazzing out while he’s asking her safety-related questions after he saw her on the side of the road. Oh, and did I mention? Ms. Bliss made Suzy not just a slut, but a modern day stupid damsel in distress. Suzy knew her car was in the last legs of its life, and yet, she blatantly continues to drive it around without a plan B in case the said car fails on the road. (Honey, saving money doesn’t mean you disrespect your car.) Plus, she let her cellphone die during the same car fail incident. She’s also in a lacy, white tank top and fuck-me heels. She rides on City’s bike, BEFORE she knew his name, lets him buy 2 drinks in a strange biker bar, and then, finally, has sex with her savior that same weird night. Jeeeeeyyyyyzus H. Christ. I so don’t want to finish now.

But I have to. I bought the damned book.

BTW, I also don’t think it’s cool for decent men, regardless if they’re tatted up, muscled bikers, to bring strange women to their own homes on the first night they met, just to have sex. Hello?! Have they ever seen Crime & Investigation? #stupid I regret buying this book.

Review: The Gallos by Chelle Bliss

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Excited. That’s what I am. I’m feeling, like, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship-in-books with Chelle Bliss, i.e., I follow every book she authors. Upon reading her short story on the “Night Shift” Anthology, I just thought: well, how come I only found out about Ms. Bliss now? The first installment in her “Men of Inked” series was published in 2014, and I just finished reading “The Gallos” today. Sheesh.

When I grow up…

At least I’ve started. “The Gallos: The Beginning” features the 5 Gallos siblings’ parents, Salvatore and Maria. The book cover is… well, let’s just say, misleading. Sal and Mar are in their 50s, and this short tale is told at a time before the actual first full novel in the series, “Throttle Me,” took place. The cover is, obviously, not of a couple in their fifties, so referring back to it while reading the story is a bit awkward. Funny, but awkward. I don’t think anyone thinks of their parents THAT way. Regardless, in “The Gallos,” there are hot sexy scenes, funny ones, and romantic ones. It sure as hell makes me wish that when I grow up (that’ll be in 15 years), I get to be Maria and “Sal” would make my dreams come true.

Now that I’ve been properly introduced to the Gallos family, I am henceforth diving deep into book #1 in 3, 2…

Review: The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Please let me be candid. When I first read this book’s blurb, I thought “this eerily sounds like Abbi Glines’ Until Friday Night.” And, then, I thought, does Ms. Glines know? She should! But before I went up in arms for Ms. Glines’ sake, I read another reader’s review on “TPWF” where she wrote, “if you like UFN, you’ll like this one.” So, I took her advice.

I didn’t expect to like it, but I did. The last Jennifer Armentrout (a.k.a. J. Lynn) book I read, “Tempting the Best Man,” made me want to roll my eyes, hurl, and die. That was incredibly ironic, because I really liked her “Wait for You” series. Most of it anyway. While I was extremely wary at first when I got a hold of “The Problem with Forever,” it took me 2 days to change my mind. That’s how long it took me to finish the book – with minimal skipping.

“The Problem with Forever” is a Young Adult contemporary novel, published by Harlequin Teen. Obviously, I’m not its targeted audience/reader, but if you’re like me and just want to read a good book, then you won’t find a problem with Armentrout’s “Forever,” especially if she echoes your oft-cynical sentiments: “Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it rally didn’t exist.” With a line like that, say hello to Armentrout’s hook, line, and sinker.

This is the story of Mallory Dodge and Rider Stark. Both were the foster care system; both were treated badly. Mallory was lucky – she had Rider to protect her while they were both being abused, and she eventually got adopted by a couple of married doctors. Rider was just as lucky. While he didn’t get adopted by rich folks, he still managed to get in a home where the family actually loved him as one of their own. Where Rider helped Mallory cope with their childhood trials, at the age of eighteen, Mallory returned the favor to her best friend turned boyfriend. She also battles, and seemingly overcomes, her fear of speaking during her first public high school semester.

There are, indeed, echoes of Glines’ “Until Friday Night” in the book. Moreover, there were glimpses into the plots from “Step Up” (the Channing Tatum movie where his adopted little brother was murdered in a drive-by) and from “Ten Things I Hate About You” (where the heroine reads a heart-felt soliloquy in front of her romantic hero during class) in this book. While I didn’t quite like the subtle copying done (regardless of whether or not it was a conscious act), it’s tolerable. This is, after all, a story about teenage angst and first love. There’s not much to high school drama, as anyone who’s went there would attest. Grin and bear it, and you, too, shall prevail. Eventually.

Speaking of eventualities, I, for one, would like to see Mallory and Rider in a future setting. Don’t get me wrong: the ending in “TPWF” is not a cliff-hanger. It just ends while they were still in high school, which, while okay, could be pushed a bit more. I mean, doesn’t anyone else want to know? What did Rider eventually end up doing? How about Mallory? I’m thinking there may be follow-up high school Harlequin Teen stories on their friends, Ainsley and Hector, and maybe also on Paige. If so, um, I’ll read other people’s reviews and opinions first before I buy them.

Review: Wednesday by Kendall Ryan

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Pardon me for the drool. But, Jeeeyyyzus, would you look at that cover? Couldn’t resist buying it soon as I saw it was available on Amazon. After I finished reading “Wednesday” today, which is, ironically, a Wednesday, Kendall Ryan became a new favorite.

I’ve read Ms. Ryan’s book, “Screwed,” before, and why I rated it only a 2 on Goodreads, I cannot remember. This one, though, is better than “Screwed” – that much, I can recall. “Wednesday” is a short story – only about 200 pages long when its e-book version is laid out on landscape form on my e-reader. It’s also formatted with 1.5 spaces in between the lines, so you can imagine how long this took me to read. (TBH, it took me a lot longer than it should’ve because I liked the sexy scenes. Sue me.)

Anyhow, the story’s pretty predictable. But Ms. Ryan’s fast-paced, easy-to-read-and-lose-yourself writing style made the short journey worth the $3 I spent. If she had prolonged the agony of describing the characters’ inner angst, this woulda been another eye-roller of a book for me. Thankfully, I only had a short amount of time to read about Chloe’s inner push-and-pull tendencies towards relating with Shaw. That same amount of time was spent reading about Shaw’s emotional struggle. Albeit being an asshole of epic proportions (i.e., when you find out what Wednesdays originally signified for him, you’ll think him a douche, too), Shaw made a 180-degree personality change after a come-to-Jesus moment. He also magically loses his appetite for binge-drinking, after doing it consistently for 8 months, following his first wife’s accidental death. Fictional, but okay, that’s what Ms. Ryan writes. We, after all, want our happy ever after.

Would I read another book by Ms. Ryan: Yes.

Would I read “Wednesday” again?: Probably not. But I’m keeping it on my e-reader, just so I can see that cover over and over again.