Review: Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Reviewed by Joanna

A friend recommended this to me as a lighthearted and fun romance, and just occasionally I like to put down the angst and enjoy a little sweetness. Georgiana Watkins is a party girl and socialite. Her family is moneyed so she wants for nothing and has never worked, unless you consider the tiring strain of bringing home doughnuts for the concierge at her building at 5am every day when she’s done with clubbing.

There’s little to her life apart from having fun, dressing up prettily and being good natured. You’d think the author would be setting her up to be despised, wouldn’t you? Well, she isn’t. And what’s more, I liked Georgie. She’s friend to everyone and though she doesn’t add much value to the world otherwise, she’s happy with her lot. [Read more…]

Review: Hickey by Cora Brent

Reviewed by Shelly

My first from Cora Brent and while I usually stay away from college themed stories, I’m a fan of the married couple theme. There was a lot in this that should have worked, but I thought it fell short. Cecily and Branson married when they were 18. They weren’t the typical high school sweethearts; instead it was a whirlwind romance that lasted a few months before marrying. As with many marriages in that age-group, these two didn’t last.

Seven years later, Branson’s discarded from the Army and Cecily is in her final stretch of college. A unbeknownst to most, including Cecily, Branson’s been keeping tabs on his ex-wife all these years. Branson’s decided its time for a reunion and heads west. Cecily, having left from Ohio by way of Pennsylvania, is an RA for freshmen at her college (she needs the free rent). Finding out that her ex-husband also attends the same college and lives in the same dorm comes as a surprise, to say the least. [Read more…]

Review: Sparrow by LJ Shen

Reviewed by Joanna

You may have noticed my fangirling over this author, and when I heard she had an arranged marriage tale, I leapt on it. I love her Sinners of Saint series, and she has a talent for writing guys who are so bad, so awful to their heroines, that you want to beat them with their own shoes for being so despicable.

Well, this guy takes the biscuit. Troy Brennan is a mobster. Mr Fixer, as he’s known, and where his father was a Boston big shot, after his death his son is a feared and respected replacement. Troy doesn’t run gangs or drugs, instead he works for other mobsters and cleans up problems they have.

Sparrow Reynes is problem for him. For spoilerish reasons he has to marry her, and the book kicks off at the preparations for their wedding. Sparrow has no idea what’s going on. All she knows is Troy has picked her as his bride, despite them having zero conversation or knowledge of each other, and she had to go through with it because her father is under his control. Truth is, their lives are more intertwined than she knows, and that all comes out in the wash. [Read more…]

Review: Level Up by Cathy Yardley

Reviewed by Joanna

This novella tells the tale of Tessa, an audio programmer working for a games company in Southern California, and Adam, a colleague who also happens to be her housemate. Tessa wants two things in life – promotion to a fully-fledged game engineer – a job she is well qualified to do, and to get laid to help her reduce her stress levels. Problem is she ain’t exactly the most social person in the world. A dedicated introvert, Tessa needs to put herself out there to achieve both objectives.

Adam (think Ben from Parks and Rec) has been single a year and is still hung up over his ex. He’s comfortable in his job, in his home, and hasn’t really looked twice at his housemate. He’s got Casey’s (the ex) stuff still scattered around his house, but wants to get laid just as much as Tessa does. His work buddies bet him he can’t get a girlfriend before they fill the engineering spot in the team. And dating his housemate is cheating. [Read more…]

Review: Seized by Seduction by Brenda Jackson

Reviewed by Shelly

This, book 2 of Brenda Jackson’s ‘The Protectors’ series is so much better than book 1. The writing is better, more fluid and the dialogue actually uses contractions – thanks for that. I still think there’re some word choices that puts pretentious on an entire new level, but overall – way better.

I liked Quasar a whole lot better than I liked Lamar ‘Striker’ from the first book. There’s a significant amount of interaction between the three friends and co-workers. I think it would be okay to read as a stand alone, but you might be a little confused about who’s who. There’s quite a bit of that. I think the Fuller family might have been in another series because of the dynamics and plethora of members, but to be honest I don’t know nor did I research it. But just know that there’s a lot of people on Randi’s side of the family – a lot and they were not in book one. [Read more…]

Review: Wicked Intentions by JT Geissinger

Reviewed by Joanna

This book is just so slick, it slid into my hands when I wanted to read it, and so heartfelt I didn’t let it go. The Wicked Games series is hot stuff. Alpha heroes and seriously skilled heroines abound.

In this standalone tale, Mariana is an internationally renowned thief. She’s on a tropical island in the Caribbean to steal a valuable necklace, and needs access to a hotel guest’s bedroom in order to get the job done. Easy – she just needs to seduce and dope the mark and get on her way. The problem is, she doesn’t expect the all-American blond to have quite such a devastating effect on her. [Read more…]

Review: A Strange Affair by Brienne Dubh

Reviewed by Shelly

This is my first story by this author and I thought the concept of a ‘strange affair’ hinted at in the blurb was interesting. I didn’t find that the story itself was much so.

As this story takes place in a different country from the one I live in there were a couple of things that I didn’t understand. The employer and building in which Ellie and Aaron worked has a bar in on the first floor that’s a frequent watering hole for the workers. Is that a thing in the UK? Drinking where you work? [Read more…]

Review: Table for Three by Zoey Thames

Reviewed by Shelly

Josie Smith waits tables at a diner where Lucas Pearce and Dan Jackson (both billionaires) started frequenting every Friday night for the last six months. I’m not sure when Lucas and Dan realized that their interest in Josie went beyond than friendship. When the story starts, the time span has already happened so there’s a tremendous amount of story that’s told not shown.

The only thing about this story that I thought was interesting was that it was told from Josie and Lucas’s perspective. But even including Josie’s side of things she was more into the visual stimuli of Dan and Lucas together. So this read more as an m/m with a bit of ‘f’ thrown in for whatever reason. [Read more…]

Review: Something Sparked by Mari Carr

Reviewed by Shelly

I started finding errors (articles and syntax) early in this purchased book and just couldn’t help but start to judge the quality of the story. Jeannette’s from a big family but she’s chosen the life of a social recluse. I found her to be a nice person, but I didn’t understand why she chose to keep herself apart from these admittedly wonderful and loving people. They’d not hurt her in any way. I didn’t understood her pushing them away, and by the end of the book, I wasn’t made to understand either.

Jeannette doesn’t date, I don’t mean she hasn’t dated in a couple months or years – she just doesn’t date. So when a couple of firefighters, who moved to town a few years ago, flirt, tease and basically cajole her into going out with them she finally succumbs to their persuasiveness. I wouldn’t even call it charming because they weren’t. The scene when Jeannette accepted their offer of a date seemed off – I didn’t think that she’d accept based on what happened. I had a hard time believing her character changed that much in a few minutes because she’s not an impulsive person. [Read more…]

Review: The Baby by S. Doyle

Reviewed by Joanna

This novella is the fourth in The Bride series, and Ellie and Jake are still going strong. You can guess from the title what this latest insight into their lives and relationship tackles. So if you like seeing the HEA from your romance novels turn into babies and happy families, this will be a treat for you. But it isn’t an easy journey for Ellie and Jake, which is par for the course for them.

Our young couple, living on their ranch in Montana, grew up together, with their fathers owning neighboring land. Events left them both parentless, and sixteen-year-old Ellie was about to lose her ranch and be taken into care. Older Jake stepped in and they married – in name only – to enable her to keep her home. If you want to know how an arranged marriage turned into a real one, go and start this series here. [Read more…]