Review: Drawn Into Love by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Reviewed by Sara

Drawn into Love, by Aurora Rose Reynolds, is the story of Courtney, a newly divorced paralegal who has recently moved to New York to start over. Thanks to a hefty settlement from her cheating ex husband she is able to purchase a house and an interior architect to design it. Her architect is Lucas Fremont, a sexy single dad. The two are instantly attracted to each other and through misadventures that involve vomit, Courtney and Lucas come together. With Lucas’ daughter Maddie they start building a life together until both their exes make a reappearance, Luckily, love conquers all in this story of love, romance and finding family.

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Review: Bartender With Benefits by Mickey Miller

Reviewed by Ericka

This is the fourth installment in the Blackwell After Dark Series. Out of all of them, this one is my favorite. One of my favorite tropes is when childhood friends become lovers.

Clarissa Hanks has returned home from Harvard to be with her mother after she was diagnosed with cancer. She is also they younger sister of Cole who was the main character in book one, Professor with Benefits. Clarissa doesn’t really know exactly what she wants in life or which direction to start. Mason is Cole’s best friend. He has always had feelings for Clarissa but for the sake of his friendship with Cole he doesn’t act on those feelings. Mason has always wanted to open his own bar. When he goes through the process of getting a business loan they are mistaken as a couple and as business partners and the only way to secure the loan they have to proceed with the fake relationship.

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Joint Review: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

Reviewed by Sara and Caitlin

Sara: A Princess in Theory was one of my favorite books of 2018 and yet, somehow I forgot to review it. Caitlin also listed it as one of her favorites and also didn’t review it. Luckily, there’s no expiration dates on great books. Enjoy our joint review below.

A fresh retelling of the classic Cinderella story, A Princess in Theory begins with our heroine Naledi “Ledi” Smith receiving some spam in her inbox. Ledi isn’t dumb enough to believe the email claiming she’s the long lost and Goddess ordained princess of Thesolo, a small African nation, but it brings up feelings and desires that she can’t ignore. Passed around in the foster care system after the death of her parents, stuck at two jobs in which she’s not appreciated and living out of a shoebox apartment while she completes her Epidemiology Masters degree, Ledi struggles with belonging and fitting in. Being a princess, even if it’s too good to be true, would be a vast improvement to the life Ledi’s been living.

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Review: Elijah’s Hope by S. Doyle

Reviewed by Sara

Elijah and the men in management at the Dyson International oil rig in Hope’s Point, Alaska are lonely. So, they concoct a plan to have women flown up to them. The men place a Facebook Ad and pick from the women who respond to it. The women fly up to Hope’s Point and get to spend two weeks of no strings attached fun experiencing the beauty of Alaska. Elijah’s pick is Shelby, a wholesome, girl next door from Baton Rouge, LA. He’s immediately taken with her and her squeaky clean persona that’s so different from the women he grew up with while his mother stripped to make ends meet. Elijah has baggage.

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Review: So Wild by Eve Dangerfield

Reviewed by Caitlin

I don’t think there’s a single book of Eve Dangerfield’s I’ve read that I didn’t find immensely re-readable. She writes romcoms that are funny without falling into some of the more frustrating pitfalls of the genre – playing it too glib, avoiding any real, serious, true-to-life issues in the name of keeping it light. She also has a great voice.

So it’s not surprising I loved So Wild. Dangerfield once again writes another book I’ll definitely be revisiting. She is an autobuy, no question.

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Review: Marriage Mistake by RS Lively

Reviewed by Debz

I’m always fascinated when I see books set in small town America. It’s has always been interesting to see the difference between them and how they always strive to keep the small town vibe going whilst still growing the economy. Also, the last couple years, it has been doubly fascinating to realize that most of these cutesy, nosy, southern charm small town people would have voted for Donald Trump….I digress guys.

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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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