Review: Fatal Invasion by Marie Force

Reviewed by Debz

I had to give myself a week to calm down after reading this book. Otherwise, all you would have gotten was the delusional ravings to an avid fan girl. After a week of introspection and rereading, I have to say I still love it. 

This might be the best Fatal book yet. It had everything I wanted; action, police procedural, witty banter, stable family life and it just felt very well rounded. You can tell the author is very comfortable in the story now. That does not mean that the story has become boring and repetitive, but on the other hand, the characters have become more well rounded and lovely. 

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Review: Mouth to Mouth by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Caitlin

I’ve read a handful of Tessa Bailey books. They’re easy to read and mostly fun. I do believe if you think too hard about them, they can get problematic — and since there is so much fun, easy romance out there that isn’t problematic, there isn’t really an excuse for it — but the ones of hers I like manage to avoid my worst triggers. I especially enjoyed The Major’s Welcome Home and Getaway Girl. Her collaboration with Eve Dangerfield in Captivated is lovely (but then again, I love Eve Dangerfield).

Mouth to Mouth‘s blurb should have been a warning to me. It’s just that I’d had a tough day, and it was on Kindle Unlimited, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Rory Prince is 24 years old and from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s got tattoos. He has a motorcycle. He’s got an anger problem. He beat someone so bad once that the police had to pull him off, and he did time for that crime. He works at the bar his family owns and he lifeguards as well. He’s a townie in a beach town that is full of rich people in the summer. And he is a total ladies’ man. He is a walking bundle of Bad Boy Tropes.

Olive Cunningham is rich. She is 18, a virgin, and book smart. She was homeschooled and unbelievably sheltered. She is young and naive and vulnerably sexy and wears glasses and sundresses and white shorts. She likes milkshakes for breakfast. She came to Long Beach for the summer to take a class for her psychology major before the school year started.

When Olive almost gets hit by a bus because she’s too engrossed in the book she’s reading, Rory saves her life. And he saves her life again in the ocean. And again when she’s near where a fight breaks out. They each fall in love at first sight. He calls her sunbeam. She thinks he’s the most handsome man who doesn’t understand how good his own heart is.

Sunbeam. He calls her sunbeam. The whole book.

Sunbeam.

Sunbeam.

Fine, we’re leaning into tropes. Fine. I can work with that.

Rory has a brother named Jamie. Jamie is gay. We find out Jamie is gay because when Jamie cleans up a cut Olive sustains, they’re interrupted by Marcus, who decides that Jamie being alone with a woman means he “change[d his] mind about liking dudes.” I almost wish we had Jamie introduce himself to Olive as “Rory’s super gay brother,” because it would have been the same level of awkward expository clunk.

Some authors think the hero telling the heroine she’s wearing something too revealing is romantic. I’ve also seen over-the-top jealousy used as proof that this love is so real. I hate both of those tropes, but Bailey obviously does not share my disdain for them. Seriously, boyfriend wouldn’t care if I walked out the house naked as long as I came home to him, and I’d much prefer seeing heroes view women’s bodies and choices that way.

Bailey LOVES a possessive, jealous alphahole. Some books it works okay, like when the heroine is older and already sexually and romantically experienced. Olive literally just graduated high school. 

Oh! If you’re wondering whether Rory’s jail time and all-consuming guilt is warranted, well, it’s not. 

Jamie was being attacked by five men for being gay and Rory beat the shit out of one of them until the cops came.

This jail time was the reason he stayed away from his mother for years. He was ashamed for being a hothead. Look, if you’re going to have a hero being violent like that and trying to be a better man after the fact, at least make the reason he feels shame be somewhat ambiguous. Rory’s Big Mistake was so obviously justified that it makes all his worries about not being good enough for Olive seem like an eye-rollingly obvious plot contrivance.

At the end of the novel, after some silly obligatory made-up road block from Olive due to some very-quickly-overcome insecurities, Rory promises to never leave her again, even if she breaks up with him. Some light stalking is treated as very romantic, despite their love story taking place over the course of a month, and the fact that Rory is possessive and jealous and so full-on, and keeps making a big deal about how young and innocent Olive is, means that the only feeling I’m left with when I finish this novel is the idea that this relationship is toxic. Get out, Olive, he’s seriously bad news.

If you want something light, fluffy, and fun, there are some very cute romances out there that have a lot of fun with romance tropes. I would not recommend this one.

Rating: D+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Mouth to Mouth
by Tessa Bailey
Release Date: November 12, 2018

Review: Mechanic with Benefits by Mickey Miller

Reviewed by Ericka

This is the second book in the Blackwell stand alone series. It begins being steamy, hot, and a lot of adult sexy time.

Haley is on her way to her sister’s wedding and has to travel alone since she recently broke off her engagement. Her car breaks down in the small town of Blackwell where everything closes early and her options are limited. She is heart broken and desperate. She walks in the rain and stumbles upon a mechanic shop and there she meets the town’s all around jerk, Liam. He is extremely rude and is reluctant to help her. She also puts him in another predicament of being her fake boyfriend for the wedding. After much arguing he agrees but only with one condition. He gets to have her whenever and however he wants her.

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Review: The Player Gets Coached by Janet Nissenson

Reviewed by Debz

I like Janet Nissenson’s work. I’ve read two or three other pieces of her work and I really liked them so I picked this book up without doing too much research. So, I place myself firmly in the wrong for that. 

There is nothing weirder than a middle aged man who refuses to act his age and just relieves his glory days over and over to anyone who would care to listen. It’s weird in real life and comes off weird in prose too. The hero is a glorified manchild. Honestly, if you didn’t calculate his age from clues and timelines the author gave, I would not be surprised if you thought he was in his 20s. This is a 40 year old man. WOW. 

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Review: Tikka Chance On Me by Suleikha Snyder

Reviewed by Sara

Suleikha Snyder’s novella, “Tikka Chance On Me” is a lot of things; it’s a small town romance, a Motorcycle Club romance, an interracial romance and most of all a fan-freaking-tastic Romance.

University of Chicago student, Pinky Grover, has come back to small town Eastville, Indiana, to help with her family’s Indian restaurant when her mother gets sick. Eastville hasn’t changed since she was in high school, except the local motorcycle club has recruited a new enforcer and it’s none other than local bad boy legend, Trucker Carrigan. Pinky is smart, but there’s something about Trucker that makes all reason leave her head. She knows Trucker is a bad bet, but there’s something about him, something she can’t quite put her finger on that makes her think that maybe a walk on the wild side might not be such a bad idea.

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Review: Misadventures with a Professor by Sierra Simone

Reviewed by Caitlin

I’m a big Sierra Simone fan. I think she’s a fantastic writer, even in her stories I don’t love quite as much, and she’s one of the great erotic romances putting out work today. I was floored that I had missed this book when this came out.

The first two-thirds of the story are lovely, but I’m still disappointed in the final third. While I will likely revisit this book in the future (seriously, she writes some really great sex scenes), I’m bummed this book’s ending didn’t fulfill its promising beginning.

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Ericka’s Favorites of 2018

by Ericka

It seemed that this year all of the books that I read consisted of Dominant Alpha males. I must have a soft spot for the ones that have dark gruesome past or the Doms that are into some really hardcore mess. These are authors that were all new to me with the exception of one that I recommend.

The Stolen Duet Duology by BB Reid which consists of book one being The Bandit and book two being The Knight. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this duology because it has some tropes that are definitely on my “Most Hated Tropes” list. After two recommendations from friends I decided to give it a try. Mostly what got me hooked on them is because they are about the Mafia. I love a good book about the Mafia. These two books are lengthy but because of the pace of the books they can be finished within one sitting. I finished them both in two days and I would recommend to read them back to back if you decided to read them.

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Review: Best of Luck by Kate Clayborn

Reviewed by Caitlin

Best of Luck is the third novel in Kate Clayborn’s Chance of a Lifetime trilogy. The series centers around three best friends friends – Kit, Zoe, and Greer – who drunkenly decide to play the lottery one night and win. Best of Luck is Greer’s story, and it’s my favorite of the series.

Greer Garson Hawthorne (her mother is an actress and a BIG personality) sees her portion of the winnings as her opportunity to finally go to college and get her degree so she can become a social worker. She’s never had much freedom because she was sick for so much of her teen years, and her family still worries about her health and safety. The money they spent on surgeries drained the family’s savings account, so two of Greer’s siblings and Greer herself were unable to go to college. Now that she won the lottery, college is her opportunity to gain independence. Unfortunately, she made a mistake on her courses and won’t be able to graduate without an art credit. She already has a job lined up, but she needs the degree and she can’t afford to wait a few more months. [Read more…]

Review: Resisting the Boss by Whitney G

Reviewed by Debz

There’s nothing more gross than your spouse cheating on you with your best friend. I always wonder, don’t the cheaters feel like common clichés cheating??? There are more than 7 billion people in the world and you decide to cheat with your spouse’s best friend?? LAME

Anyway, our heroine, Claire, is forced into a seniors single cruise on New Years Eve, and she’s obviously hating it. One, she is too young to be a senior, so all the men at the cruise are super older than her and it’s weird, while the men closer to her age would all prefer a younger woman with no children. After a frustrating couple disastrous introductions, she decides to leave.

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Review: Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Reviewed by Ericka

This story reminds me of those cute cozy little Hallmark romance movies. Charlotte has just broken her engagement off after finding her ex-fiance cheating on her. She goes to the bridal shop to return her dress to get a refund but can only get an exchange or store credit. While she is there, she finds a gown that is absolutely beautiful, and inside the gown is sewn a hand written note stitched in from the groom. She has no idea who the couple is but finds the gesture romantic. She gets the dress and conducts some drunk research. [Read more…]