Review: Up In Flames by Abbi Glines

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I’ve been expecting Abbi Glines’ new book for forever! Her last book was released more than six months ago, which, to an avid reader’s point of view, is waaaayyyy too long. *Just kidding (well, not really). At one point, I read her entire Rosemary Beach series in a span of one week. That was (is?) how obsessed I was (am) with these books.

According to Goodreads, right after the release of “The Best Goodbye,” I was anticipating Dean Finlay’s book/backstory, but, alas, I was thwarted. Instead, Ms. Glines chose to tell Nan Dillon’s story – the villain that I, like anyone else who’s ever read all of the Rosemary Beach books, loved to hate.

A word of warning to all my fellow book nerds: if you’re planning to buy “Up In Flames,” then you HAVE to read all the 12.5 books that come before it, just so you can understand what’s going on. This book starts off quite abruptly, with Nan having an initial “oh, woah is me” moment. The poor, little rich girl act is typical of Nan’s character, and I braced myself to hate “Up In Flames.” Moreover, Ms. Glines threw Major back at us. Major was a minor character (pun very much intended) in previous Rosemary books. One would think he’s Nan’s love-interest in this book, but… aha! Surprise twist, people. SURPRISE. TWIST. Major was a major ass. Nan grew up, somewhat. And, then, holy cow. I wasn’t expecting that ending and her Copeland Roth. Just goes to show you what I knew, self-proclaimed avid reader that I am, huh?

nuh uh uh

I was also really surprised with the entire plot. You see, about a year ago, someone had published a completely different blurb on Goodreads for Nan’s book. I was expecting Nan to slink out of Rosemary Beach in shame, as her only former allies, Rush and Grant, were already married and have had it with her shite. I was also expecting her father, Kiro, to finally disown her and force her to fend for herself, as “punishment” for her poor treatment of Harlow. She was supposed to be working as a lowly waitress somewhere else, then meet the man of her dreams (one who can handle her drama-ridden life), and, finally, go back home to Rosemary Beach in style and in peace-keeping harmony. Who woulda thunk that this whole thing would be so freakin’ DIFFERENT? I sure as hell didn’t.

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Review: One Night of Trouble by Elle Kennedy

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As much as I absolutely hated One Night of Scandal, it’s the complete opposite for One Night of Trouble. I liked both its hero and heroine. AJ and Brett cloaked themselves in personas that are a sham of their true inner beings. While this case is truer for AJ than for his lady-love, Brett has had her share of career-related troubles due to the bad choices she’s made in the past. It’s never more apparent how family-owned businesses run in real life than in this fictional work. Brett’s family has more pre-conceived notions about her than anyone else in her life, unfortunately. AJ, on the other hand, perpetuates a good-boy-next-door picture of himself that is just martyrdom personified.

All-in-all, I’m glad I decided to finish off this series, despite how it started for me and how the second book almost ruined it for me. I got lost in the story and couldn’t wait to see how AJ and Brett find their HEA.

P.S. I am hereby decreeing that Darcy the Bitch be eradicated from my mind. Reed, in my head (as he’s an imaginary person), will marry someone else who’s better and has more loyalty and truth in her very essence, when compared to Darcy the Bitch’s character.

One Night of Sin by Elle Kennedy VS. *ANYTHING* by Alexa Riley

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I bought Elle Kennedy’s “One Night of Sin” because I like short stories that are fast to read and are as hotchacha as peppers.

Big Mistake.

I had to really think why I didn’t like this. I just finished Alexa Riley’s “Lassoing the Virgin Mail Order Bride,” and despite the derogatory title, I liked that one just fine. So, here’s the result of my self-analysis:

  1. I’m weird. I don’t like it when the girl does the chasing or begging in my romance novels. I’m a STAUNCH feminist, but I dunno… I just think that if the guy is not into you, he is NOT into you, so stop chasing. It’s neither romantic nor sexy, in my opinion. And, if he comes crawling back? MAKE HIM CRAWL. Sheesh. A little self-respect, please. Women CAN control sexual urges. If you can’t, take a pill. #SorryNotSorry
  2. I like alpha heroes with sad backgrounds, but I don’t like it when they’re portrayed as wussies who change their minds constantly (i.e., he loves her, he loves her not). Alexa Riley’s heroes? They know what they want, and they go after it. Or rather, who they want. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Wait. Okay, maybe a little but(t). Teehee!
  3. I like smutty yet romantic books. Elle Kennedy and Alexa Riley both got that part right. OTT BDSM (e.g., girls who like being debased while getting their sexy on) is not my cuppa.
  4. Alexa’s my go-to whenever I just need a break from all the crap I’ve been reading. I wonder if I’ll ever win anything from her give-aways. I always enter, but so far, it’s looking more like I’ll win the national lotto first before I get anything free from Alexa.
  5. I’ll keep reading Elle Kennedy’s books. What can I say? Even though I hated “One Night of Sin” (and I’m feeling the same regarding “One Night of Scandal”), I still like her other books (e.g., The Score, The Mistake, The Deal, etc.) and am looking forward to book #2 of her Outlaws series!
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Chaps… sigh

Oh, and I like chaps-wearing men.

Review: Wicked Lust by Sawyer Bennett

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This was okay. Just that – okay. As forewarned, there’s a lot of sex. Plenty enough to keep things interesting. However, the denouement was disappointing.

Sawyer Bennett and her Wicked Horse series take a bit of getting used to, especially if you were an fan during her early Cold Fury Hockey phase (N.B.: Personally, I hated Hawke’s book, but I’m still optimistic that Max will be better), her Off series, and Last Chance series. The reason I fell in love with Ms. Bennett’s books, however, was due to “Uncivilized.” In that book, erotic romance mixed with a get-suspended-in-disbelief story, strong characters, and a more than satisfactory ending… sigh… all these elements added together equal “money well spent.”

Wicked Lust” started off with a bang, i.e., wow. While I really liked the premise of the story, it’s not an original one. There are many “undercover reporter turned into lover” type of stories out there – one of my favorites happens to be “The Baller.” Despite my insta-like for the book, it turned a bit sour for me, especially during the end. Oh, sure, there was a happily-ever-after, but it just felt forced.

  1. Why would such a strong and proud woman such as Sloane, literally, beg for Cain’s forgiveness? I felt that a woman like her would let her cards fall onto the table, and if Cain forgives her, great; if he doesn’t, well, que sera sera. She can make HIM beg when he realizes his so-called mistake.
  2. Why would a man who’s been burned once, such as Cain was, forgive Sloane? If I were in his shoes, and I was screwed over like that? I’ll eventually forgive, but never forget. The offender will be dead to me, regardless of his/her excuses. Why would Cain feel sorry or empathize with Sloane, even if she was being blackmailed by her sleazy editor? Plus, she’s begging. That ain’t sexy. Sorry, but I don’t understand it.

I really wanted to like this. I truly did. Unfortunately… well, que sera sera.

Coming Soon! L.H. Cosway + Thief of Hearts

OhmigodOhmigodOhmigod.

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L.H. Cosway, I am super excited!!! Stu Cross is one of the most memorable characters in the “Hearts” series. While his ex-girlfriend, Alexis, thought him stupid, and his younger brother, Lee, was his “leader,” I thought his heart was always in the right place, especially after his sacrifice in “Hearts of Blue.”

Celebrate good times, c’mon!

excited-baby

 

 

Review: Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers

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Sweet, dramatic, and without any teenage angst (e.g., he loves me, he loves me not type of crap). That’s how I’d describe Olivia Rivers Tone DeafIt’s accurately described as a Young Adult romance – which surprises me, because aside from Abbi Glines’ books, I don’t typically like YA (the angst, people, the angst!).

This is not one of my usual books, insofar as there aren’t any sexy scenes. Gasp. I know. I shocked myself when I kept turning the pages, and then suddenly realizing… ey, I’ve reached the end. Despite the lack of hotchachaness, Ms. Rivers made this a page-turner for me, as she put her heroine, Ali, in such an admirable and brave light. Ali lost everything: her mom, her hearing, her confidence, and her trust in her birth father. Her only option was to escape. It could’ve turned out really bad for her, but I really liked the way Ms. Rivers ended Ali’s plight. It was simple, straightforward, and justified. Thus, I end my night while floating in my fictional characters’ HEA.

Why did I rate this a 4 instead of a 5, then? It’s because I didn’t like the scene where the hero, Jace, was inexplicably roofied/drugged to the point of him being clinically dead for a few moments. I was left confused, and thinking “It must be Tony (Jace’s band’s manager) who did that.” The scene just came straight out of left field; Ms. Rivers left the issue hanging. I understand Jace is a guy, but if that had happened to a book heroine (I don’t even want to think about it happening in real-life), people would be screaming “foul!” Regardless of his gender, being roofied shouldn’t be so easily explained away. I don’t care that this is fiction. People might start thinking, well, guys can be roofied and they’re all right. Um. NO, IT’S NOT. That’s all. Thanks. 

Sawyer Bennett’s on a Blog Tour… and she’s stopping here!

I love Sawyer Bennett. From the minute I read “Uncivilized,” I just knew it was the start of a beautiful (yet weird) friendship. Weird, because Sawyer Bennett doesn’t know me personally, but I’ll follow her anywhere. Hence, I signed up to be part of her blog tour to promote her latest release under her “Wicked Horse” series!

If you like your romance books a little raunchy, a lot naughty, a bit fun, and waaaaay too hot and sexy, and you haven’t read any of Ms. Bennett’s books yet……. then there’s something wrong with you. Ha! JK. Seriously, though, she’s a must read if you’re ticking off the same boxes I just listed.

Wicked Ride will be the fourth book in her “Wicked Horse” series. Whet your appetite, ladies (and gents), by casting your eyes on the book’s official synopsis:

I think this woman may be the death of me. A dire prediction, but probably true.
Probably true because she’s not mine to have and I’ll probably take her, even at the risk to my own safety. So many men slobbering to get a taste of her and only one, sweet, virginal girl to go around.
That’s right.
She’s a virgin.
Looking like a porcelain china doll that would break if not handled carefully. But I also know she’s stronger than she looks.
She’s a contradiction.
She’s most likely my downfall.
Like I said, she’ll probably be the death of me, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

**Warning: this book has sex in it. Lots of sex. Dirty sex. The Wicked Horse Series is a bit different than what Sawyer Bennett normally writes. While you’ll still enjoy fabulous characters, a suspenseful story, some witty banter and an epic romance, there’s just… a lot of sex. You’ve been warned.

Whew! Sounds… kinky, yes, but intriguing, noh? I’ve got it on my TBR list already on Goodreads. Please say you do, too. I need someone to talk to about this when I’m done.

Set aside some moolah to buy it, too:

B&N: http://bit.ly/1sxUc3i
iBooks: http://apple.co/1RME4Ei
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1U4lWss
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RZpeWm

I’m waiting for the Amazon link to be up on release day: June, 28, 2016. CAN’T WAIT!

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Find it on Goodreads!