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Archive for the category “3 Stars”

Review: American Queen by Sierra Simone

American Queen (American Queen, #1)

American Queen
(American Queen #1)
Author: Sierra Simone
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: October 25, 2016
Genre: Adult, Erotica, Romance, Contemporary, BDSM

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Synopsis new

It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.

My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

This is the story of an American Queen.

my thoughts new

Well, what can I say? This book is Fifty Shades of Grey, Mr. President, and A Table for Three rolled into one. I have to say this was so out of my comfort zone but I was able to successfully finish it because the story was a lot more interesting than I could have ever expected.

I knew what I was signing for when I started American Queen. Knew that it has some kind of strange and complicated love story about three characters and it has a menage and BDSM content. I have read quite a number of books with these themes but this was sure to be my first read that has M-M romance.

I loved the fact that the story centered around the political world. Our two heroes namely Mexen Ashley “Ash” Colchester and Embry Moore are best friends and they happen to be politicians (Maxen is the United States’ President while Embry is the Vice President). The heroine Greer Galloway also comes from Political roots as her grandfather is an ex-Vice President. In a way, I found the political aspect quite refreshing and full of sense which managed to fill the story with substance.

There were lots and lots of kinky scenes here (if you know what I mean) and my inner goddess rejoiced lol. I loved that the author didn’t shy away from making all those scenes a bit graphic for the readers. However, I didn’t like how the relationship between the three characters eventually appeared to be manipulative. Ash was manipulative and selfish. I didn’t like the way he made sure all things work in his favor. I mean, a relationship should have a give and take process on all sides. In this case, Ash was the one who always took but didn’t give. I couldn’t even get the reason why Greer and Embry allowed it. Was it because Ash is the President? And oh, don’t even get me started on his romance with Jenny.

I also have an issue with Greer. I understood her recklessness in her decisions when she was still 16. But as she grew, there was no character development that happened. She turned out to be such a weak heroine all throughout the book, easily forgiving Ash and letting him control her decisions.

description

Although this book suffered quite a number of flaws, this was still a well-written adult fiction erotica book. This was my first Sierra Simone read and I can say that her writing, her choice of words, and the way she delivered the plot and those toe-curling sexy scenes absolutely drew me in. For fans of erotica, MM romance, and menage, you might love this.

Rating:

3 Stars

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READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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Review: Heat Wave by Karina Halle

Heat Wave

Heat Wave
Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Karina Halle
Published: November 16, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

They say when life closes one door, another one opens.
This door happens to lead to paradise.
And a man I can never, ever have.

~~~

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:
Logan Shephard.
It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.
What does matter is that he’s a grump.
Kind of an asshole, too.
And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

There’s just one major catch.

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.

Forbidden, Illicit, off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.

Note: this is a standalone novel, unrelated to any previous books. It does NOT contain cheating of any kind.

my thoughts new

“Because I should have been with you, Ronnie. It’s always been you.”

Heat Wave is my second Karina Halle read. Although I loved some of its parts, it fell short of my expectations. It didn’t wow me as much as Smut did.

Veronica “Ronnie” Locke became attracted to Logan Shephard when they met at a fundraising event which was hosted by her mom. With their instant connection, they’re supposed to start going out and fall in love. It didn’t happen, though. Because Logan’s attention shifted to her sister Juliet right when he saw her for the first time. Eventually, Logan and Juliet dated and got married. Now seven years later, Juliet’s already dead and Ronnie and Logan reunited in Hawaii– the place where Logan’s hotel is located and where Ronnie is going to work as the hotel’s chef.

I loved that there was an angst. Angst is good. However, the forbidden love story didn’t quite amaze me because the characters lacked some depth. I wasn’t also convinced when it comes to Logan’s feelings to Ronnie. How come he married Juliet but deep down inside he’s in love with Ronnie? His reason was too shallow and I didn’t buy it.

The pacing of the book was also a let-down for me. It was too slow and too many scenes that are unnecessary should’ve never been included.

It’s good that the book promised a mild entertainment in the first few chapters but it kinda lost its momentum in the second half with Ronnie and Logan’s romantic development moving a little too fast.

The thing that somehow made this book redeemable was the writing of Karina Halle which was hands down beautiful and poetic. I loved how it was written with an air of melancholy. The setting was also beyond captivating. For me, this book is a really great summer read. You can read this when you’re staying on a tropical island, sipping a mojito or something. This was a good angsty romance book as a whole, but it wasn’t as spectacular as I expected. I believe there are a lot of Karina Halle’s books that are better than this. For now, Smut remains my favorite.

“There are moments in your life, people in your life, that when they cross your path and meet your eye, you know.”

Rating:

3 Stars

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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ARC Review: Crazy Pucking Love by Cindi Madsen

Crazy Pucking Love (Taking Shots, #3)

Crazy Pucking Love
(Taking Shots #3)
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Date of Publication: November 7, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

I just met the girl of my dreams.

Megan Davenport is funny and smart, and she’s as much of an insomniac as I am. She’s also my team captain’s little sister, which I only found out after our passionate kiss.

Megan is completely off-limits—her brother makes that very clear—and I know better than to think I can keep a relationship going during hockey season anyway. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be late-night friends, right?

The only problem is, love makes you do crazy things, like breaking all the rules.

my thoughts new

“I saw you, I wanted you, and I ignored everything else. I knew I was crossing a line I shouldn’t, but crossing it felt so damn good.”

Another potentially lovable NA sports romance that was well-written but unfortunately suffered a number of flaws.

We met Megan Davenport in Getting Lucky Number Seven as Beck’s little sister who was quite a rebel that time. Now she is already a freshman at Boston College and is about to have an exciting college life with the help of her “Fresh Start Checklist” that contains all her goals. In a college drunken party, she meets a gorgeous guy named Dane Kowalski and sort of forms an instant friendship with him. She doesn’t know that Dane is actually an ice hockey star and a co-player of her brother, which is quite a conflict since Beck is such a protective brother and she’s already attracted with Dane. Plus, Dane seems to feel the same way, too.

You know what’s the obvious similarity of this book to the previous books of this series? The characters, the storyline, the dramas.. same old same old. It’s the repetitive idea by which the male lead carries heavier baggage, thus he cannot give his “all” to the heroine because he’s not capable enough to give it. Ugh.

What’s with these hockey men and their never ending issues?

Now onto the good side.

I still found this book swoon-worthy despite my complaints. I felt the strong connection shared by the characters as well as the angst. Both characters were okay. I thought Dane was such a hot mess but he was a sweet person with a soft heart nonetheless. The sexy scenes, on the other hand, were burning hawt. There was certainly a chemistry between Dane and Megan and for that, I was at least happy. You just have to prepare for that cheesy ending though.

All in all, it was an okay read. Just another typical college sports romance with cliché tropes such as friends-to-lovers and friends-with-benefits. I wasn’t completely drawn but I think other readers may find this book enjoyable and may love it more than I did.

(An ARC was provided to me by Entangled: Embrace and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

3 Stars

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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Review: Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen

Anatomy of a Player (Taking Shots, #2)

Anatomy of a Player
(Taking Shots #2)
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Published: January 25, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

This bad boy is about to get played…

After getting her heart broken by a player again, Whitney Porter is done with men. She’s focusing on her future career and her first assignment at the college newspaper: Posing as a sports writer for an exposé on the extra perks jocks receive. But Hudson Decker, the bad boy of the hockey team, is about to test her resolve. To keep herself from breaking her no-sex rule with the temptingly tattooed athlete, she decides to use him for a side project: Anatomy of a Player, to help Whitney—and women everywhere—spot a player, learn what makes him tick, and how to avoid falling for one.

With his life spiraling out of control, Hudson Decker’s looking for a distraction. When his teammates bet him that he can’t land the gorgeous but prickly new reporter, he accepts the challenge, boasting he’ll have her in bed by the end of the semester. But Whitney is so much more than Hudson expected, and soon enough, he’s in too deep. The last thing he needs is another complication, but staying away isn’t an option. One thing’s for certain: this girl totally throws him off his game.

my thoughts new

Anatomy of a Player is much better compared to the first book of the series. However, it took me a while to warm up to the story.

The book follows journalism student Whitney Porter and ice hockey player Hudson Decker. After getting Whitney’s heart broken by her cheating ex, she swore to never fall in love again with guys– most especially athletes. When she met hockey star Hudson though, her plans to avoid athletes failed. It’s difficult to resist a sexy, tatted, and packed-with-abs guy who knows how to treat her right. When she knew she’s about to fall for him, that’s the time when conflict began. Dating him is not an option because she’s also secretly working for an article that may destroy Hudson’s hockey life.

The writing once again especially awed me. It was good! There was also an angst here which made me like it. However, Whitney turned me off. She was weak for a character. And she didn’t fail to annoy me most of the time. For once, she was so full of drama and the way she treated Hudson at the first few chapters was immature.

While I loved that there were also conflicts, I found the story packed with too many issues and problems and that’s just so frustrating.

1. Hudson has mommy issues.
2. Hudson is having academic problems.
3. Hudson has a bet with his teammates that he can get Whitney to sleep with him.
4. Whitney has relationship issues.
5. Whitney is secretly writing an article that may hurt Hudson.

Yep, too many issues.

description

As a whole, The Anatomy of a Player was just okay. It could have been a lovable NA romance book if there weren’t too many issues that ruined my enjoyment.

Rating:

3 Stars

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ARC Review: Beautiful Crazy by Kasey Lane

Beautiful Crazy (Rock 'n' Ink, #1)

Beautiful Crazy
(Rock ‘n’ Ink #1)
Author: Kasey Lane
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of Publication: November 1, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary

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Synopsis new

“Vibrant and sexy! The chemistry between Kevan and Mason is explosive and I was cheering for their happy ever after from page one.” -Stefanie London, USA Today bestselling author of the Dangerous Bachelors Club series

“You confound me. You’re all these maddening contradictions that don’t make any sense… And I can’t get enough of your special brand of beautiful crazy.”

She’s a rocker with attitude and ink…
He’s a sexy suit who gets what he wants

Kevan Landry is trying to keep her life on track and her brother in rehab. If her fledgling marketing firm can sign the hot new band, Manix Curse, it will make a world of difference. Mason Dillon heads the most successful music PR firm in Portland. He’s desperate to breathe new life into the company by signing Manix Curse.

The last thing either one needs is a one-night stand with a smoldering stranger…

The stakes are high when a battle for the band-in the bedroom and the boardroom-becomes a battle of the heart. But if these two can set aside their differences, they may find they’re the right mix of sexy savvy to conquer both their worlds.

“Get ready for your new auto-buy author! Kasey Lane’s debut hits all the high notes in this rock-infused love story! I loved it!” -Megan Crane, USA Today bestselling author of Edge of Control and Devil’s Honor

“Beautiful Crazy is like driving a vintage convertible in August-hot to the touch and sexy as hell!” -Kaylie Newell, author of the Wolfe Creek series

my thoughts new

If I could describe this book in one word, it would be “kick-ass”. Tatted and with punk personality, our heroine Kevan Landry is on a mission and that is to sign the coolest metal band known as “Manix Curse” as her first major entertainment marketing client. However, someone is ruining her chances and that is Mason Dillon— CEO of Global Entertainment Marketing who happens to also pursue Manix Curse for the same project. Worse, he also happens to be the guy she had a one-night-stand with at a club.

While Beautiful Crazy didn’t capture me like I wish it would, there were still parts that I enjoyed. Like Kevan and Mason’s push and pull romance. I loved that these two were able to bring out the best in them by simply having that tight competition they were up against each other. At first I thought I wouldn’t like Kevan’s street-smart personality (I envisioned her to be somewhat sarcastic) but I was wrong. She was indeed a likeable character. She’s responsible and success-driven– things that I like about a character.

The only thing that made this book quite a drawback was Mason. His character wasn’t that consistent. When he was introduced at the first chapter during their club scene, he appeared to be like all-Alpha and panty-dropping dominant but later on his character did change and as I went through the pages, I no longer saw any glimpse of his Alpha personality. Instead I saw a man with playful, carefree playboy personality. Where did that Mason-from-the-club go???

The romance was good. There were of course tons of hot and smexy scenes in places and the chemistry was also palpable. There was also a conflict but the resolution was fairly predictable. I found the writing also promising, although I wish this book was written in a 1st person POV. I don’t know but reading it in a 3rd person POV sounds a bit awkward. As a whole, it was a good romance book but it didn’t really knock my socks off. I would recommend it to fans of romance books with one-night-stand tropes.

(An ARC was provided to me by Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

Rating:

3 Stars

Buy this book at:

READ ALL MY REVIEWS HERE

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