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Blog Tour/Review – Treasured by Thursday – Catherine Bybee

Treasured 400x600Treasured by Thursday
Author: Catherine Bybee
Series: #7 in the Weekday Brides
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by NetGalley

Description:
Gabriella Masini: She’s a woman haunted by her past, with the scars to prove it. She believes that fairy tales are for other people. An elite matchmaker at Alliance, she’s great at crunching numbers, but something doesn’t add up with her latest prospective client: a billionaire bad boy with his own secrets. When Gabi refuses to be his temporary wife, Hunter forces her hand with an offer she can’t refuse. But marriage to a man like that could never last…or could it?

Hunter Blackwell: Only his bank account is bigger than his ruthless ability to obtain anything he wants. These days, he has a secret reason to settle down, at least for a while—and he thinks the sensual and sassy Gabi will fit the bill perfectly. But when their marriage of convenience becomes downright dangerous, Hunter must decide how far to take his vow to honor and protect Gabi forever.

Review:
Ok, I’ll admit there might have been literal jumping up and down from excitement when I got the email from Catherine Bybee’s assistant wanting to know if I would participate in the upcoming blog tour for her newest book. I’ve been blogging for a while now and still get excited when authors (and their assistants) ask me if i’m interested in reviewing their books, because it lets me know that people do actually read my reviews/blog ;). Double bonus for this one was that I have been working my way through the series in the last couple of months – but I have been trying to savor the books, knowing that one day it would all end (and unfortunately, that day seems to be now (sad panda).

One of the things I like the most about this series was that I didn’t necessarily have to read the books in order (I mean my OCD makes me want to…but you don’t have to)…in fact, I jumped from reading books 1-3, to reading book 7 for the blog tour and while you see the HEA’s for some of the later couples in the series, there was nothing that occurred in those books that caused me to be confused in reading (which is always good, since i tend to get confused very easily at times!) But at the same time, I loved seeing the couples from the first 3 books (that I had read) and how they were still so much in love with each other (considering the fact that the books are all based on a marriage of convenience premise).

I will admit that now that i’ve finished Treasured by Thursday, I have a hard time picking which book (of the 4 I’ve read) feature my favorite couple. Up until yesterday, I would have said the first book, because I was a total Blake/Sam sucker (and love the fact that they renew their wedding vows every year) – but now, I think Gabriella and Hunter might try to push them out of the running (but it could be an interesting battle, that is for sure). Honestly, its hard to describe what i love about Catherine’s writing…she just seems to nail the emotion perfectly and I can rave all day about her (in fact, she is one of my go-to authors for contemporary romance recommendations). I also know that when I sit down to read one of her books that I need to block out at least several hours, because I find it really hard to stop once I start (nothing wrong with that right?)

But on to Hunter and Gabriella – I will admit that I don’t remember Gabriella from previous books, her name doesn’t ring a bell (it could be that she was there, but a minor character, or she could not have been introduced yet – i guess, I’ll find out when i jump back to book 4 in a little while). But when she was introduced and her horrible driving record was brought into the storyline I just laughed (I will admit mine isn’t as bad as hers, but i’ve had a few issues in my time, including a run-in with a deer) – so it was like we were made to be book friends. And as for Hunter, well, i couldn’t help but like him, i mean how many people are honest enough to say they don’t have a lot of close friends (I don’t know many)…

I will admit that i liked how the romance between Hunter and Gabriella was relatively slow to build – they had their ups and their downs and times when as a reader, i wanted to slap both of them upside the head (a la gibbs)…but i think for me that is why i like these books – they show how marriage (be it true love or one of convenience) isn’t necessarily going to the a smooth path, like many romances out there – makes them more believable (for lack of a better word) and shows the individuality that each person brings to the relationship.

It was bittersweet reading the last book in the series (or is it, since she is out of weekdays), knowing that there won’t be any more (as of right now), but i can always hope/dream that maybe a spin-off will occur because i would love to read more (and I’ll be going back to pick up the other 3 books in the series that I haven’t read yet)…Treasured by Thursday got 4 stars from me and I highly recommend it to someone who is looking for a contemporary romance that is sweet and yet sexy at the same time. Fans of Kimberly Kincaid and Tracy Brogan would enjoy.

Bybee PhotoAbout Catherine:
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her two teenage sons in Southern California.

CONTACT LINKS:
http://www.catherinebybee.com
catherinebybee@yahoo.com
catherinebybee.blogspot.com
facebook.com/AuthorCatherineBybee
twitter.com/catherinebybee
pinterest.com/catherinebybee
instagram.com/catherinebybee

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: Treasured by Thursday
B&N: Treasured by Thursday
BAM: Treasured by Thursday
BOOK DEPOSITORY: Treasured by Thursday

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2015 in Blog Hop, Book Review

 

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Review – Sweet Adventure – Penny Watson

sweet adventureSweet Adventure
Author: Penny Watson
Series: #3 in the Klaus Brothers series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Description:
Sven Klaus, Chief Toy Designer for Klaus Enterprises, will protect his family at any cost. He’s prepared to battle the most threatening adversaries to do it–frost flowers, snowstorms, Yeti. And beautiful tenacious tabloid journalists.

Andi De Luca’s reporting career is built on lies–about corrupt politicians, greedy Hollywood stars, and Bigfoot. Now she’s determined to uncover the truth about Klaus Enterprises, and she always gets her story. Even if it means revealing her own secret desires to Santa’s son.

After all the lies and deception are exposed, will Andi and Sven survive this North Pole adventure? Or will YETI MAKE THEM DEADY?

Review:
As a note, I started writing this review last year and just found it in my draft…I thought I had posted it…

I love it when I check my email in the morning and I get the notification that a book i’ve been waiting for is released – I do a total happy dance – virtual if in the car, real if I’m at home. So it made my day when I saw on twitter that Penny had released the 3rd book in the Klaus brothers series. This is a series I’ve been following for a couple of years now, ever since she released her first book. I will admit to having known Penny from the Amazon forums for several years where she is a frequent participant.

For those of us that had been reading the series, the first part of the book was well-known because it had been a teaser at the end of Sweet Magik (and i might have re-read it several times while waiting)…but Sven had me from the get go…he was the brother that we met in the first book and I immediately wanted to see him get his HEA. And I mean, seriously, a toy designer, can i please have one of those for Christmas? And Andi – well, she is kind of like that terrier who latches on and just won’t let go (which I guess is a good description of a journalist)…I will admit that I liked/related more to Sven than to Andi, who I found to be kind of annoying – but oh well…

Honestly, I will admit that since I’m looking back to a book I read last year and i’ve read about 270 books since then, my mind is a bit hazy on what I do and don’t remember (do you blame me?)…but on the bright side, Penny posted that book 4 is in progress – hehe! maybe i’ll try to squeeze a re-read of Sweet Adventure in before it releases (and the revise this review)…

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – Rescuing an Angel – Ann Jacobs

25570582Rescuing an Angel
Author: Ann Jacobs
Series: #4 in Oil Barons series
Rating: ☆ ½

Review copy provided via Publisher

Description:
One fateful misstep for Gayla Levine was all it took for her once-adoring fiancé to walk away and her demanding father to disown her. Determined to finally turn her life around and embrace her newfound independence, she wants nothing to do with men or relationships—until she meets Dan Newman, a sexy surgeon who sends a shock of electricity through her every time they touch.

Dan Newman has spent his life struggling to overcome his own crippling past by devoting himself to healing others who have suffered. Now a world-class surgeon, he’s confident in his ability to face anything life throws at him—until he meets a headstrong Texas beauty who has his pulse racing and fills his dreams with impossibly sensual visions.

As they fall into a passionate romance that takes them both to the burning edges of pleasure, these two damaged souls must both confront their darkest demons. Because Gayla is haunted by the echoes of being called a failure and torn by the fear that she’ll be rejected once again, and Dan, who has proved his worth to so many others, now must convince himself and Gayla that they deserve the powerful love they’ve found.

Review:
This is a hard review to write, because I’ve read and enjoyed the author in the past and this book didn’t even come close to what I expect of her. However, I did finish it – although there was some heavy griping during that time…however, before I was even done, I knew I needed to do some research into the history of the book, because the netgalley description mentioned that it was a previously published book (Dallas Heat).

From the get-go, I had issues with how the cover portrayed (or didn’t portray the story) and actually the same could be said for the series title. The cover of the book (guy in a cowboy hat) with a horse and oil rigs in the background meant that I expected those things to make a significant appearance in the book – so I was disappointed to find out, that there was only one brief mention of the main characters going horseback riding and only one very minor secondary character alluded to as being involved in oil. However, when I went and looked at the previous editions, there was only one of the four (that I saw) that actually looked like it was related to the book.

Aside from that, the writing just felt really chunky and didn’t flow well. I don’t know if it was because it had been revised several times, but something just didn’t click for me. Although I have to wonder how much my opinion of the book was based on my expectation of what I was going to get, compared to what I actually did. I did think the story itself had potential and I liked Gayla/Dan – but I just couldn’t get past my perception. That being said, I have enjoyed the author in the past and will try some of her more recent stuff to see if that is maybe where my disconnect with the author’s writing was. Unfortunately, I could only give Rescuing an Angel only 1.5 stars.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – Recipe for Temptation – Gina Gordon

19005702Recipe for Temptation
Author: Gina Gordon
Series: #4 in the Madewood Brothers series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
She’s the woman he loves to hate.

Penn Foster wants a lot of things. She wants a spot on the board of a charitable foundation. She wants to win the stupid, plastic family trophy. And more than anything, she wants her tall, hot, and brooding boss naked in her bed. Now, on a Hawaiian vacation with her family, she’s desperately trying not to think about how he’d sound whispering dirty things in her ear.

He’s the man she can’t have…or can she?

Cole Murphy keeps himself locked down, away from the press and out of the spotlight. Still haunted by a traumatic childhood, his ability to trust has been decimated. Penn, with her sexy body and confidence, is the only person able to drag him out of his shell. Which is why he crashes her vacation and accepts her proposition for no-strings sex. But is the inescapable heat building between them a delicious temptation, or will it end in total disaster?

Review:
I’m very much a mood reader when it comes to picking which books to read when (although I also do a lot of reading challenges, which make me get out of comfort zone). One of the reading challenge, I’m currently trying to finish up, required a book set in Hawaii and when I came across the description for Recipe for Temptation, I knew that I had to pick it up. And to say that I was quickly sucked in, would be an understatement…you know, how sometimes you pick a book up and it just doesn’t catch you immediately, so you put it down and start another one (or 5 or 6) and then there are other books, where you start reading and before you know, its 2am and you have to get up at 5am…yeah…Recipe for Temptation was definitely the latter of the two (although it wasn’t quite 2am, more like 12:30…haha!

I fell in love with Penn from almost the first minute I was introduced to her – I don’t know why, maybe because she was just so likable (and REAL) compared to her family who were…OMG, how to even describe them. It actually reminded me a lot of my extended family at times – how everyone seems to be perfect, except for me (although when all is said and done, I’m probably one of the more successful of my siblings/cousins – even if i’m not married/no kids). And as for Cole…any guy who is willing to drop what he is doing, to travel to another country (since the rest of the series is set in Canada) to help the woman he loves (even if he doesn’t want to admit it)…yeah, where can I line up to be issued one of them! haha!

I didn’t actually realize that this was #4 in a series, until after I started reading and was introduced to the Cole’s brothers, but that only made me want to read more (and in the week following me completing this, I read those other 3 books). Seeing Penn and Cole’s relationship develop through those books, only deepened how I felt about them in this one. I would recommend reading the previous 3 books in the series first, in nothing else to more understand Cole’s background and how important Penn really is to ALL of the brothers in the series (and bonus, all 4 books are hot and smexy!)

I know for sure that I will be checking out more books by Gina Gordon in the future – in fact, I could very easily see her being added to my auto-buy list, if the rest of her writing is as strong as the Madewood Brothers series. A solid 4 stars for Recipe for Temptation!

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Review – Homefront – Jessica Scott

homefrontHomefront
Author: Jessica Scott
Series: #1 in the Homefront series (spin-off from Coming Home series)
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publicist via Netgalley

Description:
He’s always loved her…
First Sergeant Gale Sorren waited a war and half a lifetime for a chance to get stationed near the ex-wife who left him years ago. When he finally musters the courage to see her, the life he imagined she was living was nothing close to the reality.
She’s never stopped loving him…
Melanie never stopped worrying about Gale each time he headed off to war. But he’s never been there when she needed him and she’s had fifteen years to steel her heart against him.
But when Gale moves to Fort Hood, he finally has a chance to make things right with Melanie and the daughter she raised without him.
Can Mel trust her heart to a man who has always let her down?

Review:
So in all honesty, I actually read this book a couple of months ago and planned to get my review written then, but things turned insane (like usual) and I found myself behind on reviews. So since this is ARC August, I’m taking the opportunity to catch up on a few ARC’s where I have read the books, but the reviews haven’t been posted, so please bear with me ;)

Homefront – oh where to start…(and no that’s not a bad thing)! This is the first book in Jessica Scott’s new series (also aptly named Homefront) and is a spin-off of her popular Coming Home series. I wanted to point this out up front, because a) if you haven’t read her coming home series, you need to high tail yourself to your nearest book dealer and purchase them and b) because you may encounter spoilers for couples in those books (so you have been warned!).

In Homefront, we meet FSG Gale Sorren (First Sergeant for those of you who don’t speak military) – who is returning to Ft Hood (the basis of most of Jessica’s books) as part of a Battalion reorganization/replacement that occurred in a previous book (It’s Always Been You – Ben/Olivia). I’ll admit that I fell for Gale the minute he was introduced – he reminded me a lot of several of the senior enlisted personnel I’ve worked with over the years – the ones who care more about their men/woman, than playing the political game. But you could also tell that he had demons (for lack of a better word in his background) which were soon revealed. I think one of my favorite things about Jessica’s writing is the amount of realism she brings to the stories – based on her experiences as an Army officer.

One of my other favorite things about Jessica’s writing is that her females, be they military or not, are kick-ass – one of the biggest issues I have with many romances is that the females need to guy to step in and save them, but that is not present in Jessica’s books – in fact, her heroine’s prove in every book that saying, anything you can do, I can do better – it is always a pleasure to read her books because of this and Homefront was no different. The heroine in Homefront, Melanie, is Gale’s estranged wife and I’ll admit that I ended up bawling as they reconnected through his daughter (who he has really never gotten to know all that well). So Homefront hit my happy reader button on some many things – a well-written military romance, a second chance/rekindled love romance, and where the child (or should I say young-adult) in the book was key to the storyline moving forward and not just in the story for added drama.

Homefront had Jessica’s typically witty humor that I love, and yet manages to tackle one of the issues of military life. I gave Homefront 4 stars and hope that some of you will pick it up and read it soon.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2015 in Book Review, 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

Description:
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?

Review:
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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Review – Just One Taste – Kimberly Kincaid

23433952Just One Taste
Author: Kimberly Kincaide
Series: #4.5 in the Pine Mountain series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
A little home improvement can go a long way…

Jesse Oliver was a medic in Afghanistan, but back home in Pine Mountain he’s happy to switch gears as the Double Shot bar’s new sous chef. When his apartment floods and his old Army buddy offers the family’s dilapidated lake house as temporary quarters, Jesse thinks a little remodeling on the creaky duplex sounds like a fair return favor. That’s before he sets eyes on the gorgeous woman moving into the other side of the cabin—and discovers she’s his buddy’s kid sister, a.k.a totally off limits.

Kat McMarrin has fought hard for her space, and she’s not too interested in sharing it. Of course, her job as a physical therapist means she won’t see much of Jesse, even if he’s a few thin floorboards away—unless she seeks him out. And with his sculpted body and slow-burn gaze, she might be tempted. Maybe the fixer-upper projects she has planned for the cabin will keep her mind off him. Or maybe her instincts to strip the place down will get out of hand…

Review:
Normally I glom Kimberly Kincaid’s books as soon as I get my hot little mitts on them, but for some reason, I didn’t jump into Just One Taste as soon as I got my copy. Looking back now, I am thankful for that, because one Sunday when I was stuck in bed feeling cruddy, I had a favorite author that I could read – which always makes you feel better. This was a cute/short entry into the Pine Mountain series and was just what I needed.

We previously meet Jesse in the last book of the series and knew that he had some secrets/background that he didn’t necessarily want to talk about and I remember after reading the last book, I was like, I want to know more about him. I will also admit that I’m a sucker for friend/sister (or friend/brother) type romances, mostly because there is that idea of the idea of a hands-off type approach (meaning does any brother want their friend dating little sister…). But Kat wasn’t the meek heroine that seems so present in many contemporary romances today – in fact she was uber-smart and not scared to show it (and you could tell that Kimberly had done her research into the educational background that Kat possessed because it rang true to me). The conflict between Kat and Jesse was intriguing and I totally sided with Kat on the need for own space (that’s why i’ve not had roommates since college). But seeing the relationship develop between the two of them was a fun ride and I enjoyed how they had multiple points of intersection in their lives before they ended up staying in the same cabin.

Just One Taste had Kimberly’s trade-mark sassy dialogue and witty humor, as well as steam resulting smexy scenes. I’m just disappointed to know that this series is wrapping up soon (even if I know she’ll have other books coming out). If you want a smexy handyman type romance, with an extremely smart heroine, then Just One Taste might be the book for you.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in Book Review

 

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