Review: In Rides Trouble by Julie Ann Walker

Women love a man with scars. With scars come stories, and women are suckers for a good scar story. Ladies, am I right? In this sequel to Julie Ann Walker’s Hell on Wheels, not only does our hero, Frank, have the most rugged of scars, but also he’s grouchy with a capital “G”. Since grouchy heroes are often the most redeeming, this makes Frank what I like to call a supreme alpha hero. However, his ‘tude doesn’t stop our heroine, Becky, from using all her tricks and wiles to go after him. In this case, her tricks happen to be in the form of lollipops and accidental kidnapping, which seems a bit unorthodox when read out of context, but trust me, it all makes sense when you read the book.

So you’ve got a scarred hero, a lollipop-loving heroine, and a whole team of Black Knights ready to kick ass and take names. Sounds like a good time to me… So what are you waiting for? Click! Buy! Read!

 

Review: Craving Perfect by Liz Fichera

Everyone has something they wish they could change about themselves. I’d be lying if I said I never peeked over the fence and longed for the grass on the other side because it looked greener. However, like the great Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Why try to be like someone else when you can instead strive to be the best you instead? This is a lesson that the main character in Liz Fichera’s Craving Perfect learns the hard way. If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you could be someone else — or a cooler/fitter/more exciting version of yourself — this book will speak to you.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken — Oscar Wilde.

 

Review: Sweet Kiss of Summer by Sophie Gunn

Everyone knows that a good book has the power to take you places — whether it be a sandy beach or grassy picnic in the park (both places I’d love to be right now). For those of you still in the throes of winter chill and dreaming of warmer temps, I recommend Sophie Gunn’s Sweet Kiss of Summer. A cute, heartwarming read, this book is sure to keep you toasty while waiting for spring to make its debut.

"Sweet Kiss of Summer" by Sophie Gunn

Review: Savannah’s Ghost Tale by Kali Willows

Savannah's Ghost Tale (1 Night Stand, #45)Savannah’s Ghost Tale by Kali Willows

1 Night Stand // 38 pp. // Paranormal Romance // Decadent Publishing // Oct. 2011

GOODREADS SUMMARY: Savannah Teale has an obsession with the supernatural—to disprove it. An unorthodox Ghost Hunter with a dark secret, she doesn’t believe in life after death. Not anymore. Being romantically challenged since the traumatic death of her fiancé, she has no interest in dating, but her sister’s loving interference has led her to accept a date for a 1Night Stand.

Cameron Evans is one of Savannah’s most handsome, charismatic, and sexy bachelors. He’s an exceptionally gifted tour guide, and a psychic, but hasn’t learned how to turn off his gifts. Since his conversations with the dead are a turn-off for most women—to put it mildly—Cameron has turned to Madame Eve to find a woman who can accept him for himself and all he has to give.

They may be a great match—if a certain, lingering ghost would just step out of the picture. Continue reading

Review: Wishing for Grace by Inez Kelley

Wishing for GraceWishing for Grace by Inez Kelley

Turn It Up sequel // 28 pp. // Contemp. Romance // self-pub e-book // 2011

SUMMARY: Caz Talbot is a reformed rock ‘n roll bad boy who’s still fighting demons from his past. Although he’s straight-laced and sober now, he’s still suffering the consequences from things he’s done in his past. Though it gives him great material to write soul-searching ballads, it also gives him nightmares as well. He’s made a lot of mistakes but his biggest regret involves his daughter, who he’s never met. He’d move heaven and earth to see her just once and his heart nearly explodes when he gets the chance. Is he lucky enough to also get a second chance at love? Continue reading

Review: Turn It Up by Inez Kelley

Turn It UpTurn It Up by Inez Kelley

230 pp. // Contemp. Romance // Carina Press // August 2011

SUMMARY: Charlie and Bastian, aka Honeypot and Dr. Hot, are sex-pert radio hosts whose show covers any and everything under the sun regarding relationships and sex. Off-air, Charlie is a bombshell who’s open and upfront with her sexuality, while Bastian is a good-boy doctor. The two have been friends for years and Bastian has been secretly in love with Charlie for almost just as long.

When Bastian finally admits his feelings to Charlie, Charlie’s intrigued by the thought of sex with Bastian but she refuses to commit to more for fear of losing her best friend to a doomed relationship. Bastian is desperate to show Charlie that they can be great together and proposes a bet: can he get Charlie to agree to marriage before she can seduce him to bed? It’s a battle of willpower as they both try to get the other to crumble first, and in this case, all’s fair in love and sex. Continue reading

Review: Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl

Real Men Will (Donovan Brothers Brewery, #3)Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl

Donovan Brothers Brewery #3 // 336 pp. // Contemp. Romance // HQN // Oct. 2011

GOODREADS SUMMARY: It was meant to be a one-night stand. One night of passion. Scorching hot. Then Beth Cantrell and Eric Donovan were supposed to go their separate ways. That’s the only reason he lied about his name, telling her he was really his wild younger brother. Hiding his own identity as the conservative Donovan. The “good” one.

But passion has its own logic, and Eric finds he cannot forget the sable-haired beauty with whom he shared one night of passion. When Beth discovers that Eric has lied, however, she knows he cannot be trusted. Her mind tells her to forget the blue-eyed charmer. If only every fiber of her being did not burn to call him back.

Continue reading

Review: Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson

Nothing But Trouble (Chinooks Hockey Team, #5)Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson

Chinooks Hockey Team #5 // 354 pp. // Contemp. Romance // Avon // Apr. 2010

GOODREADS SUMMARY: Trouble… Chelsea Ross’ acting career has been a total bust. The closest she ever came to stardom was her brilliant performance as “Pretty Dead Girl #1.” But leaving Hollywood to become the personal assistant to a famous hockey player could be her stupidest career move ever.

More Trouble… Injured superstar Mark Bressler’s glory days are over. The bad-boy ex-jock could at least be civil to the pint-sized, pink-haired bombshell who the Seattle Chinooks hired to be his P.A. If Chelsea didn’t need the money, she’d be running from the world’s biggest jerk as fast as her feet could carry her.

Big Trouble! Chelsea can deal with Mark’s rotten attitude and dark moods. The problem is those biceps and that red-hot bod! And when the bad boy starts to put the moves on her, Chelsea knows it’s time she banished him to the penalty box…if only she could resist the kind of trouble he has in mind.

I gobbled this book up in less than two days! I have read all but one of the Chinooks Hockey Team books and they always make me laugh out loud. This was definitely the case here, as Chelsea and her “cell phone antics” had me giggling while reading on the subway.

As much as I wanted to give this book 4 stars like I did with all the previous Chinooks titles, it started a bit slow and the relationship between Chelsea and her twin sister, Bo, kind of irritated me. Bo came across as judgmental and condescending and Chelsea just sort of took it laying down simply because they were sisters. I did like Chelsea’s character and her witty attitude, but for someone who could talk back so easily, it seemed far-fetched that she would let her sister get away with treating her like that.

I was also a bit disappointed with the sex scenes in the book. They were very watered down and took forever to get to. I understand that in contemporary romances there must be tension built between the characters, but the steamy scenes (if you can call them that) between the two characters doesn’t even occur until about 200 pages into the book – when you’re more than halfway done with the story!

The saving grace of it all was the characters. Chelsea is a smart ass with a love for ostentatious clothes, while Mark is a gruff, broken-down (ex) hockey player who is brought to life by her. Plus, Gibson glosses over a few of the other players on the team and they make great side characters because they’re so believable and their personalities make you smile (Vlad, anyone?).

Review: Power Play by Nancy Warren

Power Play (Harlequin Blaze, #502)Power Play by Nancy Warren

212 pp. // Contemp. Romance // Harlequin Blaze // Nov. 2009

GOODREADS SUMMARY: Keep her hands to herself?

Not easy for Emily Saunders, who’s in Elk Crossing, Idaho, for a family wedding. She’s double booked in the same hotel room with a sexy cop attending–of all things!–a hockey tournament. As a massage therapist, Emily’s soon itching to soothe Jonah Bett’s gorgeous muscles–both on and off the ice.
Jonah can’t believe his luck–a sexy single woman sharing his cozy room, albeit temporarily. Okay, her orange bridsemaid dress is a disaster and her family is convinced he’s actually her boyfriend. He’s ready to go along with it even as he makes his play…

Until Emily is suddenly calling for a TIME-OUT! Will Jonah’s fantasies be permanently iced?

I’m finding that the more I like a book, the quicker I gobble it up. Seems like an obvious cause/effect, but it really hit home when I finished Power Play in THREE HOURS!

The only things that stood out more than the steamy bedroom scenes were the unexpected and hilarious laugh-til-you-cry scenes. It’s been a while since I’ve literally laughed out loud when reading a book and there were multiple moments where I not only smiled and giggled, but I bellowed out full-on laughs during this book.

Good-girl Emily returns to her hometown as a bridesmaid in her cousin’s wedding. Since she’s single, she always been labeled the ‘reliable one,’ and constantly bends over backward for her family’s requests. Dependable as she may be, Emily refuses to bunk at home and books a hotel room (far away from her family) for the week. As luck would have it, the hotel experiences a bedbug infestation the first night during her stay and she is booted from her room.

Jonah is staying across the hall from Emily when the infestation occurs and the evacuation definitely throws a wrench into his week-long hockey tournament. Because of a hotel mix-up — and because they’re both stubborn — Jonah and Emily become roommates for the week. There is one up side to Emily’s new roommate, however — an excuse to get her family off her back, as she pretends Jonah is her boyfriend. The sheets sizzle between these two and their banter is absolutely hilarious!

Emily is quick-witted and multifaceted, enjoying a cold beer as much as painting her nails, while Jonah is as big (in a sexy, hover-over-you kind of way) and lovable as a teddy bear. The author also adds a secondary romance to the mix which at first seems confusing, but soon becomes a charming touch that adds another dimension to the story. Rounding things out is a climax with an unexpected clinch, and in the end I was left with a chuckling grin on my face.