Tag Archives: 3.5 stars

Review – Dodging Temptation – Avery Flynn

25935349Dodging Temptation
Author: Avery Flynn
Series: #1 in the Retreat series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Dodge Loving wants revenge…and he’s about to get it. On the cusp of closing a multi-billion-dollar luxury resort deal, Dodge can’t afford for anything go wrong. But then a fiery redhead shows up, the paparazzi hot on her trail, and throws his world into chaos. He has to get rid of her. Immediately.

Harper Conner just wants to be left alone, but after slapping her cheating senator ex-husband during a televised press conference, she’s a hot commodity. The ultra exclusive resort in Wyoming seems like the ideal place to hide—and work—so there’s no way she’s letting the Type-A jerk who runs the place fire her.

Despite the animosity sparking between them, Dodge and Harper can’t keep their hands to themselves. This thing between them can’t happen. It won’t. But his mother has other ideas…and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Harper and Dodge fall in love.

It’s weird, I always seem to struggle writing reviews for books that I enjoyed, especially if the author is one of my go-to ones, like Avery Flynn is – I wish I could explain it. Case in point, I have had a draft of this review sitting in draft format on my blog page for about 3 weeks now (yes, you read right, three weeks)….I mean, this was an Avery Flynn book, so I knew it was going to be good, but at the same time, since it was kicking off a new series, I was kind of skeptical as well (since first books in series don’t always work for me)…but anyways…let’s talk about the Loving brothers and their HEA’s (or rather, just about Dodge)…

I’ve commented before that enemies to lovers is a favorite romance trope of mine, I love seeing these couples overcome their differences and hatred of each other to have a relationship and for me, Avery hit so many happy buttons with the Dodge/Harper romance. I mean, seriously, what wasn’t there to love about Harper, giving her ex what was due to him on national TV, even if it did turn her into a scandal and had the paparazzi chasing her. And what better place to try and escape said scandal than an exclusive resort…Dodge is the owner of said resort and to say sparks fly between the two of them is an understatement…

I’ll admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Dodge at first, he kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but as the book progressed he did grow on me. Of course, it helped that he had some awesome scenes as the relationship between him and Harper developed (and I can safely say, I don’t know if i’ll be able to look at pistachio ice cream the same way again…). Of course, he did exhibit typical dumbass male tendencies, including exceeding stubbornness (which is both a blessing and a curse it seems…). Dodging Temptation was full of Avery Flynn’s trademark sass and snark, as well as spicy love scenes and I’m intrigued to see how the rest of the series is going to turn out.

Purchase Links (Amazon):

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Posted by on September 29, 2015 in Book Review, Uncategorized


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Review – Delectable – Adrianne Lee

Author: Adrianne Lee
Series: #1 in Big Sky Pie series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Publisher via Netgalley

Montana real estate agent Quint McCoy will tell you that the most important thing is location, location, location. It’s a lesson he learns all too well when he goes incommunicado for a four-week fishing trip to Alaska. While he’s away, his mother Molly turns his office into the pie shop she has always dreamed of, Big Sky Pie. But that’s not the only surprise in store for him.

On her way out of town, Callee McCoy only wants to say a fond farewell to her beloved mother-in-law. But Molly soon persuades Callee to stay and lend a hand at the new shop, even if it means heating up the kitchen with her soon-to-be ex. As Callee and Quint rediscover their recipe for love, they realize that some couples are so sinfully good together that one delectable taste is never enough . . .

Delectable was one of the books that I identified as a to-read during ARC August and looking back, I have to wonder why I didn’t read it for so long. Honestly, I have no idea…I mean, the cover is gorgeous (and makes me hungry for pie…hmm) and the story included several of the romance tropes I love, including second chance/reunited romance and foodie romance (and trust me, I don’t know if i’ll be able to look at pie making the same way ever again)…so Delectable for me was a pleasant surprise. This is the first book that I had read by Adrianne Lee but after taking a look at her Goodreads profile, it looks like she has been writing for a while (which I always like, because it means i potentially have a backlist of books to dig into a read).

But anyways, back to Delectable – I’ll admit when I first started i was a bit skeptical, i mean Quint was (for lack of a better word) a jackass – he just up and leaves (in the very beginning) with no word – i mean, if I had been his wife, his ass would have been mine…just sayin’ And worse yet, he expected everything to remain the same after he pulled that stunt – i mean, sorry dude, the world does not revolve around you…but i did think the author did a good job in trying to balance the him groveling/trying to fix his mistakes and the acceptance of his wife/ex-wife…it wasn’t just a i’m sorry and she fell at his feet really to accept his apology and move on.

For me thought, the best part of the story was actually the foodie part, the pie making – i will say i def. felt my stomach growling a few times while reading and I had a craving for cherry pie (even though I’m not a huge fan of it). And of course, there were several smexy scenes involving pie making (which would likely be a lot messier than it was in the book…). In the end, I found Delectable to be a cute second chance romance novel and I gave it 3.5 stars – but I was intrigued enough by the other characters in the books, to add the rest of the series to Mt TBR. Hopefully I can get to them sometime in the next decade ;)

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Posted by on September 8, 2015 in Book Review


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Review – The Truth About Alice – Jennifer Mathieu

16068341The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.

But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?

It’s true. Ask ANYBODY.

Rumor has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It’s written all over the bathroom stall at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumors start to spiral out of control.

In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know.

But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.

So I actually read this book earlier this year and marked it off as being reviewed, when apparently I only actually imagined doing that…lol! So some of my thoughts on this may be a bit patchy but there are also parts that really stick out (even 6 months or so later). I’ll be the first to admit that one of my guilty pleasures are lifetime movies (you know the ones, my daughter ran away and became addicted to drugs; my daughter got pregnant as a teen; my son is going to be a teen father and adopt the child type movies). They are like cotton candy for me, I get emotionally invested in them, and by the end of the movie, I’m happy that my life isn’t screwed up like that and I just move on to other things. The Truth About Alice kind of reminded me of one of those movies (and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

The book itself is told in an alternating POV from 4 different students at the high school where the title character was also a student. I found it intriguing how the author didn’t actually include Alice as a POV – maybe to keep up the idea of the perceived “truth” about her, rather than the actual truth…It was also interesting seeing how the characters devolved into the gossips and then evolved into more responsible young adults as the book progressed – although it was the person that I kind of least expected to stand up to the gossip that did.

My biggest complaint, I think, was the everything tied up too quickly – it was like alice is a slut, she did xyz and then all of the sudden, everything seemed back to normal…maybe that was how it was supposed to be – indicative of how gossip is hot one day and then not the next…but it left me feeling kind of empty in the long run. I wanted a bit more closure at the end…Overall, I gave the Truth about Alice 3.5 stars because it was something different (or at least that I’ve read) in the YA writing world.

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Posted by on August 20, 2015 in Book Review


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Review – Playing with Temptation – Erika Wilde

21503708Playing with Temptation
Author: Erika Wilde
Series: #1 in the Players Club
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Author via Netgalley

When Raina Beck is given an invitation to The Players Club, all she wants is a night of decadence with a gorgeous, sexy stranger. The seductive, mysterious man she meets fulfills her deepest desires and most erotic fantasies, giving her a night she’ll never forget. But forgetting him isn’t quite so easy.

Logan Cruz prefers his women submissive and compliant in the bedroom . . . everything the independent Raina is not. Yet from the first moment he lays eyes on her, he’s determined to make Raina his. Despite her resistance.

When Logan is assigned to protect Raina from a stalker, everything between them changes. Sex becomes more than just physical, and emotions run deep. Falling in love was never on Raina’s agenda, but can she let go of the past and surrender the one thing he wants the most . . . her heart?

I’ve been reading romances for a long time (close to 18yrs) and as such, I am always on the lookout for new and intriguing ideas within the story. And while Erika Wilde’s first book in her Players Club series wasn’t completely different/unique, it was (at least for me) an improvement on most of the current books available out there. As I was reading, I could tell that she had done her research into the various facets of the story, including how a security company would approach a problem such as Raina’s, and how clubs may operate.

For the moment the book opened with a scene in the Club, I felt like I was there with Raina – seeing it for the first time and getting intrigued. There was something about Ms Wilde’s writing style that just sucked you in. And of course, when we were introduced to the mystery man, all bets were off…lol! Even once Logan was identified later on, there was just something about him that, that I just wanted more. I did find Logan’s sister to be a bitch at first and while she did grow on me, I never really liked her. I do love how we are seeing more and more books being released with women who are open to exploring their sexuality through the use of toys and that authors are including these stores (and owners) in their character line-up. I especially like how they are no longer being treated like someones dirty little secret – with toys needing to be hidden in a back room away from the public.

I found that the mystery was well-developed but didn’t over-take the whole romance angle of the book (as happens occasionally). Although I will admit, I figured out who the stalker was (or at least had a good idea) before it was revealed. But the ultimate ending was satisfying.

Overall, I gave Playing with Temptation 3.5 stars and a solid erotic romance read.

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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Book Review


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Audiobook Review – The Sweetheart Deal – Polly Dugan

the sweetheart dealThe Sweetheart Deal
Author: Polly Dugan
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Narrators: Kathleen McInerney, John Glouchevitch, Brad Abrell, Adam McArthur, Aaron Landon, John Salwin
Run Time: 9hrs 40min
Narration Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Hachette Audio

Leo has long joked that, in the event of his death, he wants his best friend Garrett, a lifelong bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey. One drunken night, he goes so far as to make Garrett promise to do so. Then, twelve years later, Leo, a veteran firefighter, dies in a skiing accident.

As Audrey navigates her new role as widow and single parent, Garrett quits his job in Boston and buys a one-way ticket out west. Before long, Audrey’s feelings for Garrett become more than platonic, and Garrett finds himself falling for Audrey, her boys, and their life together in Portland. When Audrey finds out about the drunken pact from years ago, though, the harmless promise that brought Garrett into her world becomes the obstacle to his remaining in it.

I’m not sure what it was about this audiobook that caught my eye when I was looking at the available list. I think because I am a sucker for romances (I mean, look at what this blog reviews most of the time), I was curious to see how the author would handle an issue like death of a husband and the potential romance between his widow and best friend. Yes, it felt kind of sketchy to me, but I was intrigued. This is the first book i’ve read by Ms Dugan, but taking a look at the descriptor of her other book, it seems as though she likes tackling these difficult themes and ideas (her other book looks at two women dating the same man and the outcomes).

From the get-go, I was glad (as bad as that maybe sounds) as to how she handled the death of the husband – it was sudden and unexpected, not prolonged. Having seen how both types of deaths have been handled in my family, I would take the sudden/unexpected over the prolonged any day of the week (if I was forced to chose…which I hope I never am). I also found that she did a good job of capturing the different cycles of grief that people go through – how Audrey handled the death of Leo, compared to Garrett (his best friend) compared to Leo and Audrey’s son’s – each was individual and you could see that the author had done research into different methods of coping, dealing with grief etc. I know that Garrett just up and quitting his life in Boston (where he was an established professor) was drastic but I could see it as his way of coping.

i think for me the most appealing (if that is the right word) of this was that it took place over a period of time – it wasn’t like there was the death and then wham bam, Audrey had moved on. You could see (most definitely in her) how she progressed through the stages until she could be in a relationship with someone again. That being said, I still found the time period to be too fast, Audrey and Leo had been together for close to 20 years and so to have her move on in less than a year, just seemed too quick.

For me, the most enjoyable parts (for lack of a better phrase) was seeing Garrett interact with Audrey and her family. Seeing him try to fit into an established role and navigate what were potentially rough seas. I found that the author did a good job of making all the voices of her characters unique – not only because the audiobook used multiple ones, but because they were different. That being said, maybe it was because I was listening to the audiobooks, but the dialogue tags drove me nuts. I know its a probably a personal peeve, but a few times, it got very he/Garrett said or she/Audrey said in their conversations and seemed almost redundant to me.

For me, the book itself was brought to life by the narration. Honestly, I don’t know looking back, if it is a) a book I would have picked up without it being an audiobook and b) if I would have stuck with it, if was I just reading it. I thought that the use of multiple narrators (a different one to narrate each POV) worked well – although looking now, it strikes me as funny that there was really only one female POV in the book, compared to the 5 men. Maybe it was because the majority of the book was alternating between Audrey and Garrett’s POV’s, with the other ones playing a more minor role. All of the narrators were new to me and I was intrigued enough that I want to check out more work they have done in the future.

I thought all of the narrators, especially Kathleen McInerney, who was the narrator for Audrey’s POV were able to convey the different emotions/feels that were tied to parts of the story. You could hear the grief in her voice early on in the narration, the desolation of realizing that the life she knew was gone – but at the same time, as she began to move on with her life, you could hear the strength returning to her and a sense of purpose.

While I liked both the book and the narration, I gave them 3.5 stars each. I would recommend The Sweetheart Deal with readers who like women’s lit and potentially new love later in life type books.

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Posted by on July 2, 2015 in Audiobook Review


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TBR Tuesday – 09 June 15

TBR TuesdayWicked
Author: Sasha White

Purchased: November 11, 2009
Date Finished: 14 May, 2015
Time on TBR: 2012 Days

I’m always amazed at the books that I find when I start digging through my kindle archives and what inspired me to buy a certain book at a certain time. Looking at my record for this one, I bought it while I was deployed to Iraq in 2009 and not long before I headed home – so I’m thinking it may have been a book that I bought to read on the flight and then likely got distracted (I mean, really, those flights SUCK for reading). And then forgot about it (like it seems I have for many books on my TBR). But I needed a book for a reading challenge that had a single word titled (and was at least 250pgs in length) and this was one of the first ones that I found while browsing my kindle archives that I have actually managed to catalogue on Goodreads so far. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize at the time that this was a book 3 in the series, and I didn’t really have time to go back and read the previous 2 books in the series, so I hoped that I could just jump on in and not be too lost.

Thankfully, while this is a “series” they are only loosely combined – in that they are part of the Dungeon series, which is the club that individuals visit, but that the stories are all separate and can be read by themselves. I thought that the basis of the characters for Wicked – a divorce lawyer and Lara (who is actually very hard to describe character wise) was a great combo – the idea of the guy who needs dominance in his nightlife, because of the dichotomy in his day (sometimes having power, other times not). I found the suspense element of the story to be a bit of a let down – it just felt like it wasn’t really needed and I would have preferred to have seen more of a story between Karl and Lara, rather than the additional storyline – IMHO it just wasn’t really needed.

I’m intrigued enough by the series that I want to go back and read the previous two in the series (and its highly likely that I have at least one of them in the TBR pile somewhere). I gave Wicked 3.5 stars and will be definitely checking out more books by the author in the future.

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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in TBR Tuesday


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Review – Claiming Their Royal Mate – Andie Devaux

claiming their royal mateClaiming Their Royal Mate
Author: Andie Devaux
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Author

Daniella Clark has lived blissfully unaware of her heritage, but as her true nature reveals itself, a need rises that she cannot control. Her sexy-as-sin neighbor, Owen, eases her carnal heat and introduces her to a world she never even suspected existed.

But the weretiger prime, Erick, wants her for his own. And he is more than willing to fight his second-in-command for the woman he claimed the moment he laid eyes on her luscious form. He will do anything to protect his people, and their future rests in Daniella’s hands.

Even as Daniella revels in the sensuality of the weretiger males, she fights to maintain her sense of self. But when old enemies arise, the battle for her heart isn’t the only fight they must face. And Daniella will have to decide how much she is willing to risk for the men who want her for their mate.

I’ll admit that I’m normally not a fan of serial type romances, but since this was the complete story, I decided to give it a try. I’ll even admit that I was kind of surprised with how much I enjoyed it and how well the story was constructed/written. Yes, I’ve been known to be very verbal about my dislike of the serial trend in general… I also appreciated how the author used different types of were- compared to current popular wolves/bears/lions (even if Tigers are big cats) ;) As this was a book that had been originally published in a serial format, each of the 4 sections had a satisfying beginning/middle/end – even if they were each only about 70pgs long. There were a few cliff-hangers between each of the sections where I just wanted to scream out loud – thankfully, I didn’t have to wait for a new installment to come along – I just don’t get how people can wait for story resolutions like this!

I found the authors writing style to be very engrossing and I found myself not wanting to put down the book once I started (and not just because of the cliff-hanger endings) – but because I was invested in the world that she created. And she wasn’t too shabby on the smexy scenes either, and since it was off the charts hot from the start, that doesn’t surprise me. Although, just so you are warned – this does feature a menage storyline – so stay clear if you don’t like those sorts of things. I liked how Ms Devaux developed the suspense element of the story – it was solidly written, but didn’t overwhelm the romance, which is always important to me. And most importantly, I was invested enough in the characters and the world building that I want to read more stuff written by the author in the future.

Overall, I gave Claiming Their Royal Mate 3.5 stars, mostly because I while I realized it was a serial, I wanted more to the storyline – it was solid, but there were a few places where there could have been some more development. But I’m intrigued enough that I want to read more by the author in the future.

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Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Book Review


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