Joint Review: Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid

Reviewed by Caitlin & Sara

Caitlin: I’m a Penny Reid fan, and her last several books have been, in my opinion, her best. Marriage of Inconvenience and Dating-ish were the two best books in the Knitting in the City series by a mile (thanks to a complete lack of slut-shaming that plagued the earlier books), and I’m very much enjoying her Winston Brothers series.

Sara: I’m also a Penny Reid fan and I agree. It’s great when you can see an author grow. Gone is the problematic slut shaming and completely monochromatic cast of characters and in their place are thought provoking commentary on current events and more diversity. I’m really happy with the way Reid’s writing and this series in particular is going. [Read more…]

Review: A Taste of Pleasure by Chloe Blake

Reviewed by Sara

Danica (Dani) Nilsson loses her boyfriend and her job as a chef in one day. With her reputation in tatters, she leaves to visit her aging supermodel mother in Italy where she runs into her one night stand from over a year ago. Antoni (Toni) Lorenzetti, Dani’s fling, is also the nephew of her mentor, Chef Marcello. Both Dani and Toni are present when a tragedy occurs in Marcello’s kitchen and Dani steps up to save the whole evening service.

Toni wants Dani in his bed, but he’s not sure about having her in his kitchen. Begrudgingly, he asks Dani to help at his secluded farm to table restaurant in the countryside outside of Milan. Throw in a conniving ex-wife, a distraught teenage daughter, a meddling mother and the idyllic Italian scenery and the recipe for a tumultuous romance is set. [Read more…]

Review: A Royal Secret by V. Vee

Reviewed by Debz

My second Royal Romance; forgive me guys. The internet suggests books based on what I’ve already read. This is not fully on purpose (I think).

Here we meet Valerie Hall on a girls trip with her besties in Europe. They are about to run with bulls and have a fun holiday. She meets a fellow adventure seeker who then asks her out for a date and drinks. Turns out, he is Prince Algerone, the Crown Prince of Malvidence and an international playboy. Her friends try to warn her to tread, lightly but she is in love. It seems he is as well.

This seems like a normal fluffy romance until you read on and find out that Valerie and Algerone get married within about 3 months and have been married for 14 years by the time Chapter 1 begins. This is not a normal marriage, however, because Algerone has not told any member of his family about his marriage. Even with FIVE (5) children with Valerie in America, he still insists on keeping them a secret for their protection. [Read more…]

Review: Making Up by Lucy Parker

Reviewed by Caitlin

I’ve been putting off this review because I couldn’t figure out what to write about it. This is the third book in Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series and it has my two favorite leads so far. The book was funny and endearing, and I really enjoyed getting to know Trix and Leo. I’m a sucker for the strong, silent type who isn’t also a dick, and Leo fills that role nicely.

Trix Lane is a performer in The Festival of Masks, a Cirque-du-Soleil type show enjoying a good run in London. She is incredibly talented, but her verbally abusive and controlling ex-boyfriend Dan has done a number on her, and her confidence is in the gutter. When the lead injures herself bad enough that she won’t be able to perform anymore, Trix is next in line to fill in. [Read more…]

Review: Wanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert

Reviewed by Sara

I’ve been in a bit of a book slump lately, but I came across Wanna Bet? while scrolling through Twitter. Another blogger was live tweeting quotes from the book and it looked just different enough that I decided to give it a try.

Jasmine and Rahul have known each other since university. Jasmine is now a lawyer (solicitor really, because this story takes place in England) working with low income families to resolve housing disputes. A leak in her apartment has her calling her friend Rahul. Rahul is a very successful and well off accountant with a spare bedroom. Based on what I’ve just written, you probably think that the conclusion of Wanna Bet? is, well, a foregone conclusion. However, while Jas and Rahul do get together in the end (not a spoiler, it’s a Romance after all) the circumstances around their eventual coming together are what makes this book different enough that I completely fell in love with it. [Read more…]

Review: After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

Reviewed by Jen

Let me be honest. When I started this book I had absolutely no recollection of the first installment in the series. I wasn’t even sure if I had read it until I went back and looked on Goodreads. No wonder I had forgotten. It’s been three years since Courtney Milan wrote the beginning of this series. But don’t worry, you don’t need to remember of have even read that book in order to jump right into this one.

This is an interracial historical romance, which is a bit of a rarity. But one of the things I like best about it was how low key the race element was. Yes, the hero and heroine are of different ethnicities, but this love story isn’t about their race. It was about love and acceptance. About choosing someone to love and who chooses to love you in return. [Read more…]

Review: Friends and Lovers: At Last by Denise Riley

Reviewed by Shelly

I’ve read another story by the same author. It was actually a very good story and was published more recently. Going by the publication date, this was prior to the story I actually enjoyed. I really did not like this story. For one, the heroine is a cheater. And by a cheater, I mean that she had sexual relations with the hero at a time when she had a boyfriend who was not the hero. I don’t like cheaters.

Jaylyn Marks and Dominick Reynolds have lived together for a number of years. They’re best friends and that friendship inspired them to buy a house together. During their time as best friends they’ve dated other people and had no problems. Maybe a spot of jealousy here and there but not anything to make them move forward with going from friends to lovers. One day, Dominick comes home to find Jay curled up in his bed weeping and mourning after finding out about the death of her favorite parent, Mr. B. Her dad. [Read more…]

Review: Love Me Harder by Camille Mackenzie

Reviewed by Shelly

The first book in Camille MacKenzie’s Love Never Fails series was one that I really enjoyed. The writing was fresh, especially for a debut novel. This one felt rambly and unfocused. The heroine was one of the more immature ones I’ve read in a while and there were story lines that were introduced and left without resolutions. I had the same problem I had in book one with the errors, except this one is littered with them. This is book three – simple syntax errors and sentence structure errors shouldn’t happen this much. The editing for line repetition and character consistency was lacking. This time I chose not to overlook the lack of strong editing because they were distracting and plentiful. [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: Convincing Lina by Siera London

Reviewed by Shelly

The second book in Siera London’s ‘Bachelor’s of Shell Cove’ series is Lina James’s story. Lina’s the best friend to Ava Walters from Chasing Ava – Book 1. I liked book 1 better and I didn’t like that one all that much.

The storyline in this is similar to book 1, both of the main characters are in medical. Gideon, a former Marine, is now a psychiatrist at Shell Cove Medical Center and Lina is one of the psych nurses on staff. These two has a brief meeting of the lips in the first book and while I saw the potential of something special in their story, the telling didn’t work for me. [Read more…]