Archives for March 2019

Review: My Not So Wicked Stepbrother by Jennifer Peel

Reviewed by Ericka

“Always the bridesmaid and never the bride” phrase seems to fit Emma’s lifestyle. She feels as if she is cursed especially with her last name being Loveless. She is constantly being set up on blind dates by her matchmaker mom. Emma swears off relationships until her mom feels like she truly has found the “one” for Emma.

Emma gets a text from an unknown number and thinking that it is her best friend messing with her she says things that are definitely embarrassing. She then realized that it wasn’t her best friend texting her but her so called “the one” that her mom tried to set her up with. To make matters worse, it was the love of her life that she claimed a long time ago when they were in school. Emma’s life starts to unravel in a good and bad way.

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Review: Fixed on You by Laurelin Paige

Reviewed by Caitlin

Alayna Withers works at a nightclub. She just graduated from her NYU MBA program and plans to use it to work her way up the ladder at The Sky Launch. She has a lot of great marketing ideas and loves her job.

But Alayna has a past. She has an obsessive disorder that most recently ended up with her stalking someone and getting a restraining order against her. She’s humiliated to have this in her history, and so she’s wary about any guy that might feed into her obsessive instincts.

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Review: Destiny’s Embrace by Beverly Jenkins

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve really struggled with how to write this review. Embarrassingly, this is my first read from Beverly Jenkins, who is a much beloved and prolific author of African-American romance. And I absolutely love how she has created such a wide backlist of love stories, all focused on men and women of color.

It is awesome to see such an underrepresented culture explored in historical romance. Specifically, this book takes us to California in the late 1800s. The heroine, Maria, is a light-skinned black woman who is escaping a terrible life and abusive mother in Philadelphia. The hero is a black man who runs a successful ranch with his Spanish stepmother. The book is filled with fascinating tidbits of information about historical figures and I really got a taste of what life was like in the California of this time.

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Review: The Takeover Effect by Nisha Sharma

Reviewed by Olive

The Takeover Effect is the first book in Nisha Sharma’s Singh Family trilogy. It tells the story of the eldest Singh brother, Hemdeep, who broke his father’s heart when he left the family multinational corporation to create his own legacy. At the start of our tale, sales and profits are down far enough that a buyout offer is made and Daddy Singh has a heart attack. As the Singh brothers scramble to respond without disclosing the health issues, lawyer Mina Kohli shows up to lead the Board committee reviewing the offer.

Mina is trying to rebuild her mother’s legacy, tarnished by her younger brothers when they kicked her out of the firm she started. To accomplish her planned coup, Mina needs to make partner and her uncle dangles that cheery in front of her on the condition that her recommendation aligns with his interests. She can smell a rat but what other option does she have?

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Review: Tomboy by Avery Flynn

Reviewed by Sara

I have been thoroughly enjoying Avery Flynn’s Hartigan series and was thrilled when the most recent book in the series, Tomboy was released in February.

ER nurse Fallon Hartigan loves her friends and would do just about anything for them, but when her friend Lucy needs her to help a sick client, she thinks twice. It’s not that Fallon doesn’t want to help, it’s just that Lucy’s client is the most hated man in Harbor City, Zach Blackburn. The newly acquired defenseman for the Harbor City Ice Knights cost Fallon’s team a mint to bring on and then has not only turned out to be a dud on the ice, but he’s also got a major attitude problem. Fallon puts aside her love of the Ice Knights and her dislike of Zach to help, but ends up way over her head as a paparazzi takes her picture leaving Zach’s and that, plus Zach’s sudden upswing in hockey abilities has her thrust into the spotlight as Zach’s lucky charm. While Fallon is able to work her newfound fame to her advantage, what’s not advantageous are her feelings that seems to be changing where the bad boy hockey player is concerned.

Zach Blackburn never started out to be the bad boy of hockey, he just wanted to play. Unfortunately, he learned the hard way that it’s best not to trust and that sometimes the people that care for us the most can hurt us the worst. When Fallon comes into his life, he does everything he can to push her away, but her resilience, her wit and her indomitable spirit make it difficult for him to keep away. As their attraction grows, Zach has to decide if he’s willing to trust Fallon or if he’s going to let the his past get in the way of what could be a fantastic future.

The Hartigan’s series has been a complete joy for me to read and Tomboy is no exception. Avery Flynn does such a great job taking female characters who are outside the norm. They aren’t traditionally pretty, they’re plus size, or, in Fallon’s case, a tomboy, and gives them the role of heroine. This in itself is great, but what Avery Flynn does that is extra special is that she avoids the make-over cliche and doesn’t pit her characters against the traditional heroines. Fallon isn’t special because she’s, “not like other girls.” She’s special because she’s unique, funny, smart and kind. I love that Fallon, like Lucy and Gina from the first two books in the Hartigan series, doesn’t have to change and that she isn’t competing in some imaginary competition with other female characters.

It would have been pretty easy for Flynn to have mentioned Fallon’s looks and limited how they affected the story to simply Fallon’s relationship with Zach, but thankfully she doesn’t. Love may be blind, but it’s easy to see how a person’s appearance that’s considered outside of the traditional standards of beauty is often fodder for ridicule and derision. In Tomboy,  Flynn takes into account Zach’s celebrity and includes the backlash Fallon faces at the hands of the Harbor City media and Internet trolls. This adds a level of genuineness to the book that takes it from a fun and sexy read to something thoughtful and more than a little uplifting.

Along with what I’ve mentioned above there were so many other elements that I loved. As a Canadian, I know what it’s like to live in or near a town obsessed with hockey/a specific hockey team (Go Leafs!), and Flynn has brilliantly captured what that’s like in Tomboy. I love that Fallon has actual work responsibilities just like a real person. My only real complaint, which isn’t much of a complaint, is that I wanted Tomboy to be a bit longer. I would have loved to have seen Tomboy’s villains get their comeuppance and a bit more of the romance between Fallon and Zach.

Tomboy is a fun, sexy and thoughtful Romance. I look forward to the next book in this great series.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

Tomboy
by Avery Flynn
Release Date: February 18, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Amara

Review: Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan

Reviewed by Olive

Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure, a novella in Milan’s Worth Saga series, tells the story of the seventy-three years young widow Bertrice Martin, the bad behaviour of her Terrible Nephew, and how she finally decided to do something about it & him. She’s inspired to take action by Violetta Beauchamps, the manager of the boarding house where Terrible Nephew has his rooms.

Violetta is looking for a little boost to her financials, now that she’s been forcibly retired, and she’s not above a little fraud to get it. Cut off without her promised pension, exhausted at the idea of looking for more work at sixty-nine, and fed up with the Terrible Nephew and the two years of arrears he owes, she’s determined to get the needed funds from Mrs. Martin.

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Blood Oath by Raye Wagner and Kelly St. Clare

Reviewed by Ericka

I loved this book more that I thought I would. It is labeled as Y.A. but not once did I think that I was reading a Y.A. book. It was dark, gritty, and on much deeper level than you would expect.

Ryn is a peasant that is lives in a kingdom that is under the rule of a ruthless king that has the people living in harsh and devastating situations. Irrik is the King’s Drae (dragon)and was bound to the King years before. His only duty is to carry out whatever ruthless order that the king gives without giving any thought to it. Ryn gets caught up and is mistaken as a rebel. Irrik notices Ryn and sees something special in her. Something that makes him question everything he was sworn to destroy.

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Review: Wild Country by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

When Ann Bishop kicked off The Others series, I was so blown away by how much I loved Written in Red. As new installments published, I enjoyed some more than others. Generally, the earlier books were my favorites. While I think I liked this book more than I expected, it didn’t enthrall me quite so much as this series is capable of. Don’t get me wrong. It was good. It was just missing the kind of connection you get from a strong central main character.

I would say all of the Bishop of books I have read were ensemble pieces. But, I still felt like I knew who the story was mainly about. Generally, the first part of the series was about Meg. Lake Silence was primarily about Vicki. Here, I couldn’t tell you who the lead is. Maybe Jana (?) the new police officer who has come to the town of Bennett to serve under a wolf Sheriff. She’s probably the closest, although her POV scenes only make up a fraction of the book. The characters are interesting and eclectic, and they all weave together for a cohesive story, but I was missing some of my emotional investment.

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Review: Tempest by Beverly Jenkins

Reviewed by Sara

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I love Historical Romances. The majority of the Historicals I read and have read are set in Western Europe. In the past, I’ve found North American Historicals, which, let’s be honest, are more often than not Westerns, to be problematic or even a complete whitewash of history, emphasis on the “white.” However, when I saw a sale on the much esteemed Beverly Jenkins’  highly praised novel Tempest, it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.

This the third book in Jenkins’ Old West Series, follows Regan Carmichael as she arrives in Wyoming Territory to be the mail order bride to town doctor and widower Colton Lee. Regan is excited for an opportunity for adventure as much as she is the prospect of marriage and family. However, her first first impression leaves something to be desired. Thinking Dr. Lee is a bandit, her first interaction with the doctor comes through the barrel of her Winchester in the form of a bullet to the shoulder.

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Review: The Wolf at the Door by Charlie Adhara

Reviewed by Olive

The Wolf at the Door is the debut romance from Charlie Adhara and the start of her Big Bad Wolf series. The books follow a single relationship ARC and, unlike many urban fantasies with romantic elements, each instalment has hot sex and the critical HFN.

FBI Agent Cooper Dayton was attacked by …something… that left him only 70% of his intestine and stuck in the hospital for ages. In order to discover more, he took what he thought would be a lateral career move to the BSI (Bureau of Special Investigations) where he found out werewolves were real and living among us. That was six months ago.

Since then, he’s been partnered with a long standing BSI agent teaching him all about recognising wolf involvement in crime and tracking down the guilty wolves to remand them into local LEO custody. He’s learning that when there’s violent crime with wolf connections, the closest wolf you can find is probably the guilty one. Cooper is bummed at becoming a glorified bounty hunter but still glad to be doing his part. Until he gets called into his boss’s office on his day off to discover he’s been partnered with one of …them…

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