Wednesday, 27 March 2019

The Feel Good Factor by Lauren Blakely




The Feel Good FactorThe Feel Good Factor by Lauren Blakely
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Feel Good Factor by Lauren Blakely

Bad boy? Check. Tattoos galore? Check. Motorbike? Check. Dirty-talker to rival any of Blakely’s previous boys? Check and check again. There you go! I’ve just given you all the reasons to get your hands on Derek. I mean, The Feel Good Factor.

But really, when we had a brief intro to Perri and Derek’s first meeting in Best Laid Plans, I knew (because I’m psychic) that the sparks would fly off the page when it came to their story and it’s so nice to know I’m right! Derek is the quintessential bad boy with a heart of gold who has come to help his sister with her children while her husband is overseas and Perri is the cop who pulls him over for driving too fast on the aforementioned motorbike. Circumstances force them into close proximity and they realize how much they have in common: namely their lack of interest in a relationship and also their passion for helping the community - which leads them to entering what else but a kissing contest!

This book was full of deliciously dirty banter and a wicked slow-burn. The characters complemented each other in that they knew when to give and take, push and pull. Their relationship was full of all the things that make it a Lauren Blakely novel and it’s one I devoured with a smile on my face and a fan cooling me down. I am so so so very looking forward Nobody Does It Better - Shaw and Vanessa’s story!

*I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

**Reviewed by Melinda for Joandisalovebooks Blog.

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Torrid Throne by Julie Johnson


REVIEWED BY
Melinda Lazar 


Torrid Throne (The Forbidden Royals Trilogy, #2)Torrid Throne by Julie Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Torrid Throne by Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson is the devil. Yep, I said it and I’m sticking by it. I’m betting she sits in her pretty little house plotting all the evil things to give her her readers aaaall of the WTF moments and oh yes, she succeeded.

First of all, this review is going to be short and boring AF because I cannot and will not give anything away. Second, this book is NOT a standalone and you MUST read Dirty Halo first. Third, this book delivers on every tone and expectation set in Dirty Halo and then some. The book continues with Emilia really growing up in so many ways and slowly becoming the princess Germania needs. Of course, this is served with a big side of drama and a hefty slice of that same burning attraction between her and the deliciously swoony Carter. This series is killing me in the best possible way and I am dyyyyying for Sordid Empire!

*I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

**Reviewed by Melinda for Joandisalovebooks Blog.


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Friday, 22 March 2019

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones


REVIEWED BY
Micky Barnard 



An American MarriageAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

AN AMERICAN MARRAIGE has been on my radar for a while, I knew it was going to be a tough read so I had to be ready to go in. This isn’t a love story, it is a life story. It was a tough read but I am all the richer for having read this story and the world of literature is richer for this realistic representation of hell raining down on an innocent black man.

Celestine and Roy didn’t have the perfect marriage but it was real, they argued, they communicated and they worked on it; they were happy. All that was stolen from them in an instant in a cruel and unjust way. What plays out is the passing of years and their experiences and those of their families and friends.

The trials Roy existed through were brutally tough to read but I felt transported to his lived experience and I was willing his position to a place of improvement. Celestine was a feminist, I admired her tenacity and ability to exist and continue...until I didn’t. What happened with these characters that I became so very invested in, made me feel very conflicted. Their decisions, their journeys were painful but real and I felt crushed at various junctures.

Sometimes love just isn’t enough, sometimes there isn’t enough love. My mind is still knotted, wondering about the what-ifs and the maybe if... One thing is for sure, this injustice happens, most likely on a daily basis and so this was an important story to tell.

I’ve come out of this read not feeling in love with these characters because, guess what, they were flawed. I have come out of this read incredibly impressed by the narrative voice of Tayari Jones and her ability to tell the tough tale with heart, passion and grit.

“Much of life is timing and circumstance, I see that now. Roy came into my life at the time when I needed a man like him...But how you feel love and understand love are two very different things.”

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

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AMAZON

Contract Signed by Marie Harte


REVIEWED BY
Tina Shobe


Contract Signed (Triggerman Inc. Book 1)Contract Signed by Marie Harte
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This new series of Marie Harte's is off to a great start!

School teacher Abby Rose has lusted for her aloof, unapproachable, neighbor, Noel Cavanaugh for the past couple years. But when a baby is left on his doorstep when he's not home she steps in to help and things take off from there. Noel finally starts giving in to his attraction to his next door neighbor.

When attempts are being taken on his life Noel calls in two other agents to help, Hunter and Deacon. The intrigue had me being an investigator right along with the guys trying to help them out to figure out who was behind the attacks and what was going to happen next. The suspense was killing me.

I think the secondary characters really add to this story. Deacon's play by play with the baby is hilarious. Abby's, best friend, Solene is so full of attitude that you can't help but love her.

I absolutely love romance books that have suspense and this one does not disappoint. It has quite a bit of action, too and a surprise baby. I did not find this book lacking in anything except maybe more.....I just wanted more of it because I loved it so much. By the banter of the other characters, I get a feeling we are going to see more of all of them.....plus who is the baby's daddy....




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The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

REVIEWED BY
Micky Barnard 



The Near Witch (The Near Witch, #1)The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eerie and atmospheric.

THE NEAR WITCH lulled and enticed me in with its engaging small village and big characters. Lexi was the protagonist on the cusp of adulthood but without the freedom. The village of Near was a curiosity, small and tightly-knit. There was a history of strange goings-on in Near for decades or centuries, who knows, but there was some grudging acceptance of witches alongside out-right fear.

When the stranger came to town, this book just started to light up and I was tentatively interested in this person. The story revolves around Lexi, this stranger, disappearing children and a cast of strong secondary characters. It is literally a haunting tale and those that know me are aware I am not one for scary. This book had eerie and suspenseful angst that unsettled me quite a lot but no way could I let go of this tale. I needed to know what happened; I needed completion.

There was a gentle romantic element in this book and it enhanced the tale, giving Lexi a purpose and commitment. I felt the wrap up of this element to be a little weak.

THE NEAR WITCH in physical form is a beautiful and compact hardback with its own ribbon bookmark; I’m literally in love with it. It contains THE ASH-BORN BOY (The Near Witch 0.5) at the end which is a short novella. I imagine the ebook is packaged the same but I’m not sure.

I highly recommend this read and the lyrical narrative. Considering this is my first Schwab book (yes, I know), I’ll be back for more from her.

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book, thank you Titan Books.

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Friday, 15 March 2019

Space by Penny Reid

REVIEWED BY
Micky Barnard 

Space (Laws of Physics, #2; Hypothesis, #2.2)Space by Penny Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Woah, lots to surprise the reader in this second instalment of Laws of Physics from Penny Reid. I couldn't get comfortable with where things were because balls kept dropping but this was clever crafting.

SPACE brought a better sense of who Mona was and a renewed idea of who Abram was. He returned a little more complicated and Mona a bit more straight forward. These two had chemistry for days and I was a little breathless and a little impatient for things. This was a read of slow-burn proportions and it was pretty delicious.

"With her, I never had to force the wonder, and being soft hadn't seemed so hard."

What I've loved about both the first two books was that each instalment took place over just a number of days, but there was power in the story and strength in the emotional connection that had me a believer.

Penny finished this book in what I can only call a 'power punch'. Thank you, no really...you slay in all the best ways!

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.

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AMAZON

This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan

REVIEWED BY
Micky Barnard


This Scot of Mine (The Rogue Files, #4)This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a quick and satisfying historical romance read. I feel like I know what I am getting with a Sophie Jordan book and she delivers the story with a feel-good factor. The story was a twist on the normal Scottish Laird with a bunch of chemistry and superstitions thrown in to meddle.

Clara was in disgrace and sent to her brother, the Duke in the highlands. Except her disgrace wasn't what it seemed and somewhat of her own making. Lies turn into deceit with some hoodwinking on the way and what you get is a big mess. Hunt was a pleasant character, rough-hewn, a little broody but loyal and a straight talker. Clara seemed a bit superior at first but I could see their chemistry and their slow burn towards a deep affection was a great read.

The story isn't unique, I've read something similar before but that did not quash my enjoyment and escapism reading about these two. In fact, it was a perfect distraction.

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

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AMAZON

Space by Penny Reid

REVIEWED BY
Melinda Lazar 



Space (Laws of Physics, #2; Hypothesis, #2.2)Space by Penny Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Law of Physics Book 2: Space by Penny Reid

This second instalment of Mona and Abram’s story picks up right where we left of in Motion, then fast-forwards two and a half years to present day. By this point Abram has worked out Mona was pretending to be her sister and Mona has worked out that she’s never stopped loving Abram. Sigh. To say that Abram is furious with Mona is like calling the Pope just a teensy bit catholic but they manage to work those pesky details out.

I feel that we got to know soooo much more of Abram in Space and I was thrilled about that. Even though he was so angry at being lied to, he couldn’t switch off his feelings and desire for Mona. And Mona... I don’t know. She makes my heart ache and I just want to smother her with hugs. Her family and their selfishness frustrated me to no end and I really felt for her but at the same time, I wanted to shake her and tell her not to judge Abram by everyone else’s standards. I can’t wait to see how their story concludes.

*I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

**Reviewed by Melinda for Joandisalovebooks Blog.

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Monday, 4 March 2019

Tinsel by Devney Perry

REVIEWED BY
Ann Meemken


Tinsel (Lark Cove, #4)Tinsel by Devney Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great story.

Sofia is the youngest daughter of wealthy family and is pined the princess of the family. Her reputation was smeared by magazine so she goes on holiday in montana, to see her brother. She gets roped into helping Dakota at her sister in laws bar.

They have some life lessons to teach each other.

At first, I did not like Sophia she seemed that everything revolved around her. I like a heroine to be strong, independent and hard working. As the story got going you realize that there is more to her than meets the eye. I really enjoyed her character through out the rest of the book. Dakota, I liked from the get go. I liked that he was a hard worker and did what he wanted not what people expected of him. I enjoyed the banter between Sophia and Dakota. Their chemistry sizzled. The scenes are very descriptive, which I enjoyed. I look forward to reading more books in this series.

**Reviewed for JoandIsaLoveBooksBlog**

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Tinsel by Devney Perry

REVIEWED BY 
Tina Shobe


Tinsel (Lark Cove, #4)Tinsel by Devney Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great story.

Sofia is the youngest daughter of a wealthy family and is pined the princess of the family. Her reputation was smeared by the magazine so she goes on holiday in Montana, to see her brother. She gets roped into helping Dakota at her sister in laws bar.

They have some life lessons to teach each other.

At first, I did not like Sophia she seemed that everything revolved around her. I like a heroine to be strong, independent and hard working. As the story got going you realize that there is more to her than meets the eye. I really enjoyed her character throughout the rest of the book. Dakota, I liked from the get-go. I liked that he was a hard worker and did what he wanted not what people expected of him. I enjoyed the banter between Sophia and Dakota. Their chemistry sizzled. The scenes are very descriptive, which I enjoyed. I look forward to reading more books of this series.

**Reviewed for JoandIsaLoveBooksBlog**

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Best Laid Plans by Lauren Blakely


REVIEWED BY
Melinda Lazar 


Best Laid PlansBest Laid Plans by Lauren Blakely
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best Laid Plans by Lauren Blakely

Ahh this book had me smiling from ear to ear from Gabe and Arden’s very first meeting through to the very sweet end. They meet in the park where Arden is left broken-hearted by her boyfriend who dumps her, claiming that she’s just too nice for him. Gorgeous Gabe spends the next bit of time with her, reassuring Arden that there’s not a damn thing wrong with being nice and the two strike up a close friendship. While Arden is happy with the friendship, Gabe develops romantic feelings and decides that he’s going to lay it all on the line. Unfortunately, before he’s able to share his feelings with Arden, she approaches him with a detailed list of sexual items she’d like his help with in order for her to embrace her naughty side. The only catch is Arden’s stipulation of these ‘lessons’ being very much hands-off in order to preserve the very important friendship - or as Gabe puts it, they get to play sex charades.

Sigh. Best Laid Plans has all the swoon and banter to keep me fully invested in this couple. The slow-burn was delicious and did not feel at all dragged out. Gabe and Arden were wonderful characters and so easy to relate to. Arden was just LOVELY! She cracked me up so much and I think that was partly due to her genuine cluelessness. Gabe is a reformed player with the hugest heart and his relationships with his own family members absolutely warmed mine.
I can’t wait to get glimpses of Arden and Gabe in the next few books and omg I will be on tenterhooks until The Feel Good Factor is released!

*I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

**Reviewed by Melinda for Joandisalovebooks Blog

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AMAZON UK

Tomboy by Avery Flynn


REVIEWED BY 
Tina Shobe



Tomboy (The Hartigans, #3)Tomboy by Avery Flynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tomboy is book 3 is The Hartigans series. It definitely can be a stand alone. In fact, this is the first book I read in this series and by this author and I became very connected to this story from the start. I actually read this book in one sitting. That doesn't happen to me very often. I just didn't want to put it down.

Poor Fallon she gets talked into helping her best friend, PR Manager for Zach Blackburn, defense-man for Ice Knights Hockey Team with her nursing skills to help nurse him back to health.

From the moment she presses the buzzer on his gate their banter starts and it continues throughout the whole book. Fallon does not take any crap from anyone but on the other hand, she'll have their back 110% too.

Zach comes off as a typical arrogant jock at first until you realize there is a lot more to him. He's carrying a pretty heavy load. Through his connection with Fallon he allows himself to open up not only with her for with his teammates as well. That pretty awesome to see unfold.

These two together is combustible. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read another one by this author.



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Enemies With Benefits by Roxie Noir

REVIEWED BY Ann Meemken  Enemies With Benefits by Roxie Noir My rating: 4 of 5 stars Eli and Violet were nemesis since Kinderga...