Review: Heat Wave by Karina Halle

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Heatwave

Author: Karina Halle

Publication Date: 11/16/2016

They say when life closes one door, another one opens.
This door happens to lead to paradise.
And a man I can never, ever have.

~~~

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:
Logan Shephard.
It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.
What does matter is that he’s a grump.
Kind of an asshole, too.
And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

There’s just one major catch.

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.

Forbidden, Illicit, off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.

romance steamy secondchances maturecontent

My Thoughts

A quick read full of drama, family expectations, and sexual tension. Heatwave is the ultimate romance, perfect for a casual read. It has the most amazing location being that it takes place in Hawaii so it really combats the cold weather that we’re experiencing currently.

I really felt for Veronica, not only do her parents look down on her but she also has the shadow of her sister constantly hanging over her. A shadow that doesn’t vanish after Juliette’s early death. But that doesn’t deter Ronnie, even though she’s disappointed that she never seems to please her parents, she still finds a way to follow her dreams of becoming a chef.

Veronica and Logan’s story centers around the fact that they meet first at a party for Veronica’s mother. But before they even get a chance to test the waters Juliette comes in and steals Logan away. It’s not till after Juliette’s death that Ronnie and Logan get their second chance.

Honestly I had a hard time forgiving Logan for doing the same thing to Veronica that everyone in her life has done to her. Choosing Juliette first. Even if he does say he realized his mistake early on, it’s not like he did anything to change the situation. I also didn’t understand everyone’s big deal with Veronica and Logan’s relationship.  Obviously it’s a little weird for a sister to fall in love with her sister’s widower but it’s really no different than someone’s best friend growing closer to the best friend’s widower. Because of my feelings on that I didn’t really consider Heatwave to be a “forbidden romance”.

A classic Karina Halle romance, Heatwave proved to be just the right amount of steam to keep the winter chill away.  It felt like a tropical getaway on my couch.  Definitely worth the read!

4star

Review: Broken by Willow Winters

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Broken (A Dark Romance)

Author: Willow Winters

Publication Date: 10/7/2016

 

Heartless. Ruthless. Stone Cold Killer.

That’s me. I destroy anything in my path to get what I want.

Then she showed up. Olivia Bell. She’s sweet and innocent, and in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Now she’s mine. My property. I own her. Given to me as a bargaining chip.

She’s not a part of my plans, but plans change. Her pouty lips and gorgeous curves beg me to break her.

Taking her lush curvy body, and ravaging it for all its worth would be easy, but I want to earn her submission. It’s addictive. I want it. I want her.

They wanted me to break her. I am. And I’m enjoying it. Now they want to take her from me.

Over my dead body.

Let them come for us. I’ll kill them all.

By the time I’m done, everyone will know. She belongs to me.

 

trigger steamy romance maturecontent

My Thoughts

BDSM. I just don’t get it.

The relationship between Olivia and Kade is what drove me crazy the most.  The book starts with Kade kidnapping Olivia.  I mean, he has reasons… technically good ones… but yet he breaks her anyways. Against her will obviously.  At least with Fifty it was a mutual understanding so I could get behind it.

Olivia has a lot of internal monologue about whether or not she’s broken for finding herself enjoying what Kade puts her through, but the story takes place over three months and while he isn’t a complete animal to her, she is still his prisoner… meaning she has no choice but to do what he wants her to do.  But he is also her protector from all the other men around her, so it’s really no wonder that she starts to feel the need to please him and love him.  That’s the very definition of Stockholm syndrome.

Overall the writing and delivery was well done.  And I did enjoy reading Broken as long as I kept myself from thinking about the logistics of it.  Sometimes you just need to suspend reality to enjoy fiction.  So go into this and try to keep yourself from judging Kade as harshly as I did… If I look at it from Olivia’s pov I really can see why she would love him.  But I still consider it Stockholm’s and have a hard time accepting the ending.

3star

Merry Christmas Bookworms!!!

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Merry Christmas Friends!!! Hope you all are having a blessed day full of love and laughter!

I just wanted to hop on here and spread some cheer by doing a giveaway!

It will go through till next Saturday at midnight to help spread a little New Year fun as well!

Open internationally so everyone can have a chance, I will be giving away THREE $10 Amazon eGift Cards.

Be sure to enter below and as always Happy Reading!

ENTER HERE

Review: True Born by L.E. Sterling

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True Born

Author: L.E. Sterling

Publication Date: 5/3/2016

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.

 

cover dnf5 follow jerk

 

My Thoughts

 

Why is it more often than not the books with the stunning covers end up being so mediocre? Is it that the people know the inside isn’t that great so in order to sell the product they know they have to create a must have look?

Whatever the case is, I fell for it when it came to True Born.  But in my defense the summary made it sound amazing too! I feel like I’ve been played!  The writing seemed very choppy and hard to follow in parts, in some instances it just plain didn’t make sense.  And then there was Jared.  Asshole, jerkface, Jared.  The guy our MC “hates” right from Chapter One but makes clear by Chapter Two that she is going to throw all reason to the wind and crush on him anyways.  Never mind the fact that he doesn’t treat her good at all.  Like all the girls who came before her, all it takes is one nice gesture from the guy in order for her to forget all the dick things he has done prior.

My time is precious, I am not wasting it on a love interest that I would rather kick in the gonads than watch our MC throw herself at.  I’m out.

dnf2

Review: Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

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Afterward

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Publication Date: 9/20/2016

When Caroline’s little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can’t help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can’t see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend–and their best option just might be each other.

 

 

 

 

trigger secondchances realworld life-lessons

 

My Thoughts

Afterward is the amazing story of two families that are given a second chance with loved ones they feared were lost for good.  It’s the dream ending for families who have had to experience their own abduction story. And while the return of Ethan and Dylan seems like the perfect ending, it’s just the beginning for this story. The road Ethan and Caroline travel, each with their own trials, is not a smooth one.  Yet, they are quite lucky to have each other, even if it seems like their pairing would cause more problems than good.

Mathieu does an excellent job weaving the before and afters together.  We don’t spend a lot of time in the past, aside from watching as Ethan heals through vivid flashbacks, but it’s enough to paint an unhappy picture of what the two boys had to go through before their rescue. Mathieu keeps the subject matter PG for the most part but the story itself could serve as a trigger for some so use your own judgement before reading.

I was sucked into the story and invested in Ethan’s healing and for the most part as the story drew to an end I felt the satisfaction in knowing that our characters would be okay.  I do wish that we could have had a more definitive answer for Dylan but I know that the book was too short to really dive in deep with his healing journey. This is definitely the type of book that has me holding my babies a little tighter as I tuck them in at night.

4star

The Sunday Post

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Check out what you missed last week:

  • Monday Goals – Technically I only read 2/4 of my goal books but I read two books that I hadn’t planned on reading so I actually read four books this week.
  • Review – Punk 57
  • Review – The Lovely Reckless
  • ARC Review – A Promise Kept

 

Book Haul

Purchased

This week it was all about the guilty pleasures…or so I thought…

I was in waaaay over my head with Whispers and the Roars….

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No new ARCs this week but I’m really ok with that because I want to get ahead on the ones I already have!

Currently the husband and I are out of town for the weekend.  We dropped the littles off at their grandparents and drove a couple of hours away for his company Christmas party.  While it’s not the most exciting vacation I am glad to get away, just the two of us, for a little while… plus I’m looking forward to sleeping in!  I’m hoping to hit up a Barnes & Noble and possibly a Homegoods while we are in “the big city”.

What’s your ideal weekend getaway?

ARC Review: A Promise Kept by Anissa Garcia

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A Promise Kept

Author: Anissa Garcia

Publication Date: 6/6/2016

Closing her heart a long time ago, Grace Clark made a promise she’s vowed to keep. Having Hollywood heartthrob Evan Matthews move in next door with his alluring good looks, charisma, wit, and sexy smile is a temptation that runs the risk of compromising the importance of that promise.

Evan is drawn to his new neighbor. Grace is the exact opposite of the women he normally encounters. Enticing, down-to- earth, and confident, she captivates him. She has no problems facing off with Evan, and he soon realizes Grace is much more than just a challenge. He wants to prove himself to her.

Grace can see the man beyond the actor, and with more than just her pride at stake, she needs to hold tight to her promise before Evan breaks through all her walls, exposing her heart.

romance maturecontent secondchances steamy

*I received a copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

My Thoughts

Sorry Promise, you’re the third romance book I’ve read in a row that has mentioned this description so unfortunately I’m bringing it up during your review..  What the hell is up with all these women smelling like strawberries?!  Am I the only female on planet Earth that doesn’t smell like a fruit??  I’m starting to develop a complex… Should I go out and purchase some strawberry shower gel?!  But seriously, am I the only person who thinks strawberry scent smells gross?  There are so many other things that would be better scent wise.  But anyways…end rant.

A Promise Kept is your basic Hollywood romance, only it’s set in Texas.  But other than that it’s everything you would expect from a HEA romance.  That’s not to say it was boring, it just was nothing original.  The romance was good, the sex was good, the emotional healing was okay.  Mostly it was just really predictable.  I kept hoping things would go one way even when I knew they would go the other.  And I really was hoping that Grace’s parents would actually be assholes to prove a point to Evan but alas, it was not meant to be.

As a debut novel Garcia’s first book was extremely well done, it’s not often that I can read a first work and lose myself in the story without judging the author’s writing.  So not the case here, A Promise Kept reads like a veteran author has wrote it, which is fantastic! I have no doubt that Garcia will find a place amongst well known and well loved authors. I look forward to seeing what she works up next.

3star