Author: Brenda Rothert
Published: December 6, 2016
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
From the author of the On the Line and Fire on Ice hockey romance series comes a sultry novel featuring a brooding NHL player who’s hell on skates—and the no-nonsense woman who forces him to clean up his act.
Miranda: Even though I’m broke, putting myself through college, and working two jobs, I’m trying to make the best of it. Meanwhile, Jake Birch, hockey’s hottest bad boy, lives in a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago—and still complains about every little thing in his penthouse. But after I tell him off, instead of getting me fired, Jake requests me as his personal housekeeper. Then he starts flirting with me. Only I’m not flirting back . . . at least, I’m trying not to. Did I mention that he’s hockey’s hottest bad boy?
Jake: I’ve met the best woman at the worst possible time. Miranda is the fire to my ice—a sexy, charmingly candid spark who breaks down my walls and reminds me what it’s like to feel again. But I’m being forced to date my team owner’s daughter to keep my job, so I can’t be caught with Miranda. Still, we’re getting closer—until Miranda finds out about my “girlfriend.” And that’s not the only secret I’ve been keeping. But Miranda’s the one I want . . . even if she doesn’t believe me.
> Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s just say Hooked really hooked me. It was cute, sexy, and angsty in equal measure.
Miranda Carr and Jake Birch‘s story is one that you can categorize as a fairytale kind of love story. Miranda is unlike any other girl. She’s hardworking and goal-driven. Working in housekeeping at Dupont Tower as well as at Lucky’s nightclub while studying at the same time to pursue a business degree is such a tough thing to do. For her, her dreams and ambitions are more important than relationships. Until she met the super hot but grumpy ice hockey player Jake Birch. She wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him, but their connection was too strong to deny so it wasn’t easy for her to resist him.
I totally loved the chemistry between these two. It was too apparent and strong. There was no moment in this book where I didn’t find myself swooning over how cute they are as a couple. Both Jake and Miranda were likable characters and despite some of their flaws, it wasn’t difficult for me to connect with them. Jake had issues and personal baggage but he was easily redeemable which I really loved. I also loved the way Miranda cared about Jake and supported him all the way until he was emotionally healed.
The story was well-balanced in a way and the sports aspect was also on-point. Although the romantic development between the characters moved a little faster than I anticipated, it was understandable since the story’s pacing was also fast. I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves New Adult sports romance!
(An ARC was provided by Loveswept publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
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(American Queen #1)
Author: Sierra Simone
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: October 25, 2016
Genre: Adult, Erotica, Romance, Contemporary, BDSM
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.
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.
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.
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Author: Karina Halle
Publisher: Karina Halle
Published: November 16, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary
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:
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.
“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.”
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Color Me Yours
(Half of Me #3)
Author: Diana T. Scott
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published: August 8, 2016
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
What happens if you wake up one morning and you don’t recognize the person staring back at you in the mirror? When you throw yourself into a relationship so deeply, it swallows you whole and spits you out a totally different person? A person you don’t particularly like… For Paige, it takes ten minutes to decide she needs to go back to Chicago, the first place she ever called home and the last she felt like herself in. The place where she’ll find a purpose and friends she never knew she needed.
But what if her best friend starts to see her before she sees herself? Can she trust him to search between scattered pieces and handpick the ones that belong only to her?
The medical residents of Half of Me series are back and this time the story focuses on the adorable couple Miles and Paige. I’ve been a fan of these lovebirds ever since Our Demons, Best Friends and Love Me While I’m Gone so you could imagine how happy I was when Diana announced that they’re going to have their own story.
Paige and Miles meet at the hospital where they’re training as medical residents. They both came from different cities and they both have something in common… a hope that the new environment will change their lives for the better. What started off as friendship turned to something else when they became not just workmates but also roommates at their rented apartment. How can they resist each other when the attraction is mutual and they seem to have a real connection?
First of all, I loved Miles. He’s one of the sweetest male leads I’ve read about. I couldn’t help but swoon every time he does some sweet gestures to Paige. And Paige is one funny woman. I loved her guts and her determination to follow her dreams. These characters are so perfect for each other and that’s also because of their chemistry which was off the charts.
Although Ava and Sebastian remain my favorite couple in this series, I adored Paige and Miles and how cute they were all throughout the book. The relationship development– from being friends, to best friends, to lovers –was amazing. *sigh I also loved how their story was written in an easy and carefree way. Sure, there was a conflict but I loved how it was resolved immediately without getting into lots of drama.
Color Me Yours is the final book of this series and I’m sure I’m going to miss these characters. I feel like they’re already part of my life. If you want to read light romance books with less drama and more swoon-worthy moments, then I highly recommend this series! 🙂
(Thank you to Diana T. Scott for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 🙂 )
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Pull Me Close
Author: Sidney Halston
Date of Publication: October 25, 2016
Genre: Romance, Adult, Contemporary
Welcome to Panic, a sultry Miami nightclub where bodies and hearts move to a beat that doesn’t stop at sunrise—the setting for “a magnificent story full of deep emotion” (Sawyer Bennett).
Katherine: I thought I could enjoy a night out like a normal person. I thought I could handle the flashing lights, the pulsing music, the crowded dance floor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After having an anxiety attack and passing out during my sister’s engagement party at Panic, I wake up in the arms of the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. Nick Moreno’s no gentleman. But he might just be the man I need to help me take control of my life.
Nick: When I hear there’s some random girl passed out in the back room of my family’s South Beach nightclub, I’m pissed. My dad’s already behind bars and we can’t afford any more bad press. But after giving her a lift—literally—back to her apartment, I stop seeing Katherine Wilson as some random girl. She’s gorgeous, vulnerable, and braver than she knows. And when we kiss, all I want to do is pull her close and promise that she’ll always be safe in my arms.
Advance praise for Pull Me Close
“Pull Me Close is a heart-gripping story about one of the most beautiful things in the world: the power of love.”—New York Times bestselling author Aurora Rose Reynolds
“Pull Me Close is a magnificent story full of deep emotion that will get you straight in the feels. Sidney Halston nailed it with this one.”—New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett
“An intriguing tale of anxiety and depression so authentic that readers will feel as if they are in the story with the characters. The plot is fresh and tackles a fascinating topic. The relationship between the main characters is very intense and consuming. . . . A great read!”—RT Book Reviews
Praise for Sidney Halston’s Worth the Fight series
“Against the Cage is funny, steamy, scorching—and holy hot MMA fighter, I wanted more. Five stars all the way!”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Toni Aleo
“A steamy and fun romance that will leave readers begging for more. Sidney Halston is an author to watch!”—New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair, on Against the Cage
“Halston’s new series opener creates an organic and sensual dynamic between Jack and Chrissy that makes an easy buy-in for readers.”—Library Journal (starred review), on Against the Cage
“Sidney Halston has another knockout with her latest release in the Worth the Fight series. Full Contact is a heavyweight contender in the world of MMA romances.”—Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews
“If you love cracktastic drama and sexy times, this is for you!”—RT Book Reviews, on Fighting Dirty
“I’m falling in love with the man who saved me from myself.”
What a real surprise. This book is a gem!
There are so many reasons to love Pull Me Close. One of these is the writing which was absolutely good! It’s my first time to read a Sidney Halston book and wow, I was hooked. I loved how she nicely delivered a story that has a very challenging theme which is battling the mental illness known as PTSD.
The story started when Katherine “Katie” Wilson woke up in the arms of Nico “Nick” Moreno, the owner of the popular Miami Beach Night Club named Panic. She lost consciousness after having a panic attack right when she stepped into the club. Katie is claustrophobic. In her younger years, she experienced a traumatic experience that changed her life and made her became scared to face the outside world. While her friendship with Nico developed and her feelings toward him progressed, her fears also became stronger. But she has no choice but to conquer those fears in order to have a normal relationship with Nico and in order to give herself a chance to live a normal life again.
“You pull me close and hold me tight, and I’ll be okay.”
What impressed me most was how the PTSD aspect was well-researched. The details were so accurate. This issue actually hits home because I, myself, am one of the people who experienced panic attacks in the past. This is not an easy condition to carry. I still can remember the nerves, the fast heartbeats, the feeling of not being able to control the situation, the feeling of helplessness, and the anticipation that something worst is about to happen at any moment. All these were experienced by Katie in this book and I can say that they really do happen to someone who has panic attacks.
The book was powerful not only because of its realistic storyline but also because of the sincere and believable romance between Katie and Nico. I found myself unable to resist these characters– especially Nico because of his assertiveness and willingness to help Katie get over her condition and face her fears. Their story was not only about falling in love with each other but also about building mutual trust, understanding each other’s differences, and overcoming bad situations by simply being there for each other.
Pull Me Close was as deep and rich as it was emotional and romantic. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to read a romance book that has enough substance to move and melt your heart in the end.
“You’re my kind of crazy.”
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