Review: Don’t Go by Alexa Riley

Reviewed by Shelly

The duo of Alexa Riley have a niche that is – if you want HEA, plot-lite, and insta-everything then they have a story that you’ll enjoy. If I ever think about stating my expectations as anything but quick and I’m shocked because ‘that would never happen’ then that’s all my fault. I’ve enjoyed many of Riley’s stories and I’m sure I’ll continue to do so.

This is a novella with insta-love. The hero is a virgin. The heroine is a virgin. I mean real virgins, none of this new fangled back door action to save the vagina for later business. At 28 they knew what they were doing do – especially that Henry. So when the business (you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout) starts, there’re no worries because in this work the baby consequences are all the better. I’m telling ya folks – low expectations are the best. [Read more…]

Review: Single Malt by Layla Reyne

Reviewed by Jen

Feeling nostalgic for the Cut & Run books I loved so much, I asked Twitter to give me some recommendations of books with a similar feel and this one rose to the top. I can see the similarities for sure and they were close enough to scratch my itch, but there were enough differences that no one would confuse the two.

Like my beloved C&R books, this series centers around two FBI agents who are paired as unlikely partners. But these two guys are markedly different from Ty and Zane, who were always on the edge of spiraling out of control. Aidan is one of the FBI’s best agents, but he is just returning to work after an eight-month leave to recover from the accident that killed both his partner and his husband. His boss, Mel–his dead husband’s sister–assigns him to work with Jamie, a brilliant cyber-agent who is also a handsome former NCAA basketball star. Aidan is tasked with evaluating Jamie for field work. [Read more…]

Review: Unexpected Claim by Alexa Riley

Reviewed by Shelly

No no no. This was supposed to be a good story and I don’t like that it wasn’t. I don’t know why but I didn’t equate ‘adult club’ with sex club.

‘It’s a sex club. It just so happens to be orgy night.’

When that happened, I almost put this down. But I said nay nay and that’s how I ended up here writing a review about a non existent character development story line that in all honesty is a stroke piece.

Ivy, the very petite heroine who ‘probably only comes up to my stomach’ is a virgin. Ivy’s best friend talks her into going to the sex club because she’s a bit of a home body who’s been minding her Ps & Qs. Yeah, that’s the best way to get that v-card over with. Sure it is. [Read more…]

Review: Stay Close by Alexa Riley

Reviewed by Shelly

If you’ve not read anything from the duo that is Alexa Riley you’re missing out. Okay, well that might be a little strong but they’re a fun read. My only warning is make sure you keep your expectations low and here’s why. I think they have a plug and play template. I read this story after reading book 3 in their ‘For You’ series.

This is a novella with insta-love and is book one in the series. The heroine is a virgin. The hero is her bodyguard and is not a virgin. The ‘friend’s young daughter’ thing mentioned in the blurb should have deterred me because I find May/December romance to be…well, let’s just say I’m not a fan. Ivan, of the indeterminable age, grew up in the Russian mob. He was able to get out because of some snitching and ended up working for twins Penelope and Pandora Justice’s parents. [Read more…]

Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Reviewed by Joanna

This tale deals with the second chance romance of Liv and Finn—survivors of a high school massacre where two other kids took their deadly teenage angst out on their fellow pupils.

While the tragedy of that event frames this story, it isn’t the core focus, as the story picks up several years down the line when our protagonists reunite for a documentary being made on their experience.

Liv runs into Finn—her secret ex-boyfriend—at the filming, and the trauma of it all triggers her panic attacks and she flees. Later, in the bar with friends she’s drifted apart from, the women open a time capsule they buried after the shooting, and Liv reads the words teen-her wrote to herself. The full life she expected with passion and adventure is far from her overworked existence, and she realizes all she’s missing. Then she sees Finn again, and the two come together. [Read more…]

Review: Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid

Reviewed by Joanna

This is the wedding book that goes after the romance-getting of book one. It is not a standalone, so can’t be read as a complete story in its own right by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, it slots somewhat awkwardly between the first—Janie’s story of meeting Quinn—and the second, which charts the romance of one of her friends. But it spoils part of book two, so I don’t think it should be read in number order.

Do you like these point-five kind of stories? Infill bits that don’t make sense on their own but give extra scenes and carry on the love? For the right couple I love them, but this tale was fifty fifty. [Read more…]

Review: If the Fates Allow (An LGBTQ Romance Anthology)

Reviewed by Joanna

This anthology features Christmas shorts from a number of LGBTQ+ authors. All festive, romantic and in most cases super sweet.

Gracious Living Magazine Says It Must Be a Real Tree by Killian B. Brewer

Marcus works in a small-town diner. He loves his job, his boyfriend Hank, who’s the local mechanic, and he adores his deceased grandmother’s interfering friends. As Marcus never knew a traditional Christmas, he’s determined to make this year perfect. Suspecting Hank is going to propose, Marcus freaks out, and his grandmother’s friends only make it worse by giving him too much advice on exactly how to perfect his proposal scenario. [Read more…]

Review: Man Hands by Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

Reviewed by Joanna

As a long-term Sarina Bowen fan, I look forward to the author collaborations she does, and this story, co-written with Tanya Eby, featuring a sex tape, a TV Mr Fixit and a larger lady, is another winner. It’s heavy on the comedy to make you giggle-snort, alongside a sexy angst free romance that I’ve come to expect from this author. I needed the light relief this week, and it delivered.

Brynn is an unhappy divorcee. She’s glad to have left her passionless ex behind, but she lost her job in the process and feels like a failure. What better to do than go to a fancy party with your friends, and run and jump (literally) on the first handsome guy you see?

Tom is on a lady-hiatus after an unpleasant ending to his last relationship. He’s a big, tall, TV celebrity, with nine seasons of a house renovation show under his (tool) belt, and he’s very good with his sizeable hands. Helpful for when a woman flies through the air at him, and super useful for helping her take off her wrap dress when a kiss leads to explosive passion and a quickie in the boat house. [Read more…]

Review: Crazy in Love by Crystal B. Bright

Reviewed by Shelly

Oh how I wanted to like this story. The blurb read like a promise of good romance between the R&B world and the Country music world. Plus, it’s IR. Come on… doesn’t that sound like it would be awesome. The chemistry potential in such a fast driven industry with a very fickle audience just screams – YES, tell me all about it!

Sorry, I got excited for a second there.

So what really happened was…

I’ve read this author before and although I wasn’t thrilled with the story telling for what I previously read, I thought, heck it’s been two years surely there’s been some changes. So now I’m thinking it’s me because the writing didn’t change. [Read more…]

Review: Start With Me by J. Saman

Reviewed by Joanna

I have a confession. I was given this book aaaages ago, and managed to somehow misplace it, even though I like this author a lot and really enjoyed the first in this series of standalones. And I’m sorry it took me so long to read, as this is a tension-filled sexy romance.

Claire is an overqualified PA, and has been working for the same tech firm since college. Ryan is her boss (book one hero) and his younger brother Kyle is her super-duper dose of eye candy and text buddy. They only met once—at Ryan’s wedding—but their chemistry was off the chart. Shame Claire friend-zoned Kyle from the off. She doesn’t have boyfriends and even if she did, he’d be a bad choice. She considers her boss and his wife Kate as family, and doesn’t want to mess it up by screwing around with his brother. [Read more…]