Review: Ruin You by Molly O’Keefe

Reviewed by Joanna

A journalist tries to take revenge on a chef for the sins of her father, but falls for her instead in the middle of a beautiful countryside farm setting. City grit meets tranquil, carefully put together love. Where this story didn’t break me, as I’d expected, it gently settled around me, and I read it in one shot, thriving on the feel of it alone.

Simon Malik was a resident of St Judes—a foster home for young people who found themselves in trouble. In books 0.5, 1 and 2 (which follow a different couple) we see the same scene played out a number of times. The abusive foster parents attack the kids, the husband gets stabbed, and the children get offered a deal by the mysterious Bates who keeps them from jail. Then the debts get called in, which causes the protagonists to tussle with their loves. Like Bates is some sort of HEA fairy godfather. [Read more…]

Review: The Fire Between High and Lo by Brittainy C. Cherry

Reviewed by Joanna

Here’s another offering of big love from the author who charmed me with book one’s tale of love after spouse loss. And though I leapt on this with excitement, this is grittier, and not quite as enjoyable, despite many great ingredients.

Logan and Alyssa were best friends as kids. They did everything together despite coming from different backgrounds and having little in common besides unhappiness. She’s a musician, with wealthy parents, one of whom is a controlling nutcase and the other of whom runs off and abandons her. He’s got a drug addict mother and a violent drug dealer father, and lives hand to mouth with little by way of love. Together they create a pocket of happiness, constantly reassuring one another that they’re okay and they’re surviving, and they make each other’s lives better. [Read more…]

Review: Take Down by Harper St George and Tara Wyatt

Reviewed by Elle

Take Down takes us back into Harper St. George and Tara Wyatt’s dirty hot MMA world, this time following Gabe and Megan, who we first met in Dirty Boxing. Gabe was a bit of a mysterious figure in the first book, so I loved getting inside his head in Take Down, and seeing him get his girl.

Though Gabe Maddox holds the championship belt, he fights not to hold onto it, but because exhausting himself in cage is the only way for him to find peace. He has more scars than just those on his skin. Gabe is a lone wolf, keeping everyone at bay, and living in fear that another loss of someone he loves will be his undoing. Better to just not love at all right? After all, there’s plenty of women out there who are happy to have just one night with Gabe ‘The Sandman’ Maddox. [Read more…]

Review: The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry

Reviewed by Joanna

Fancy a good dose of angst today? This novel of love after loss comes souped-up to the gills with Big Emotion. I just so happened to be in the mood to see two people mangled so this was right up my street.

Lizzie lost her husband, and father of her five-year-old daughter, in a car crash, and for the past year since his death, she’s been away from home, mourning and generally trying to hold it together for her child. Disillusioned by her mother’s constant stream of boyfriends, she returns to her own house, where she and her husband lived together. On the way, she runs over a dog and takes the creature to the vet, it’s angry and wild-looking owner in tow. [Read more…]

Review: On Fire by Ann Christopher

Reviewed by Shelly

This read a lot like the last book in Ann Christopher’s ‘Journey’s End’ series. The only difference is that in this one, the heroine is the one I like… okay, couldn’t stand. Sofia Abbate was introduced in the last book when we met her best friend Reeve (such an awesome name) and she was a flighty then as she is in this one. Be warned – there will be spoilers from book 2.

Christopher seems to run this series with a slight overlap at the end and beginning, if you’re reading them in order. During Reeve and Edward’s story (Book 2), Sofia comes over to Reeve’s apartment to have a ‘I just broke up with my NFL player boyfriend’ meltdown moment. I’ve got to give it to her, as far as meltdown goes it was pretty good. [Read more…]

Review: Hideaway by Penelope Douglas

Reviewed by Joanna

This book has been eagerly anticipated by yours truly for two years, since the first in the dark romantic suspense series—Corrupt—knocked my socks off. So first, I should start with my standard Penelope Douglas warning. This is not a sweet and kind lovely story. It’s mean and brutish, with guys being horrible to girls, physical threats, rape threats, slut shaming and worse. The theme of these books is around the psyche and its link to the inner animal, with pursuit and aggression a key part of the route to love (for both the hero and heroine). If you can handle that you’ll happily drown in the oodles of tension and sexy atmosphere.

Now buckle up and I’ll tell you all about Kai and Banks. [Read more…]

Review: Let’s Do It by Ann Christopher

Reviewed by Shelly

I read a few of Ann Christopher’s novellas and I really liked her writing style. I liked it enough to try a novel. Let’s Do It is the 2nd in her Journey’s End series and continues the story of the Harper brothers. The oldest, James, was the hero to Miranda in “A Journey’s End.” That was an adorable story of a divorced woman with twin boys meeting the man of her dreams in small town USA. I recommend that one. [Read more…]

Review: Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

Reviewed by Joanna

Back to beautiful Vermont we go, with a new couple ready to apple-pick their way to a gentle HEA. Zara Rossi tends the bar at the Mountain Goat, and in previous books she was the ex-lover of Griff and new bestie of Audrey (book one hero and heroine). While this couple was off finding its way to happiness, rejected Zara was enjoying a hot, hot, hot affair of her own, with a handsome red headed stranger who came to her bar. Hurting from Griff Shipley’s rejection, Zara rebounds right onto this new guy, making a rule that it’s all physical, with no personal details shared. He is tall and gorgeous, only in town for a month and up for her game. Perfect.

And boy do they make the most of it. [Read more…]

Review: Dirty Boxing by Harper St George and Tara Wyatt

Reviewed by Elle

Jules and Nick had a hot fling for a few weeks in Chicago, but just as Nick began wanting more, Jules left without explanation.

A year later, Nick, an MMA fighter, has joined a new club and has his eye on the championship belt that will make his career. He thought he’d moved on from the intense feelings he’d developed for Jules during their short time together. That is, until he realises Jules is the new marketing manager, assigned to work on promoting the club. And to make matters worse? She’s the boss’s daughter. [Read more…]

Review: Claiming Janna by Siera London

Reviewed by Shelly

Gah! I’m so glad I’m done with this series. I wanted it to get better. I expected it to get better when I saw that the publisher change from book 2 to 3. But that’s not what I got. If anything, the plot in book 4 of London’s ‘Bachelor(s) of Shell Cove’ is basically a repetition of the first 3 books in the series. The hero seems to be the only one truly in love and the heroine came across as a fantastically unlikable shrew. [Read more…]