Irresistible Force by D.D Ayres

Irresistible Force

By D.D Ayres

Book 1 in the K-9 Rescue Series

Genre: Thriller romance

Expected publication: August 26th 2014 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

320 pages

A free copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.

Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?

Irresistible Force by D.D Ayres is the first book in the K-9 Rescue series and is D.D Ayres first full length novel. I wasn’t expecting much from it, I never do with debuts, but the story looked good and I really like dogs so I was quite looking forward to this. Overall it wasn’t a bad book but I did have some problems with it, the most notable being that it went a little over the top and didn’t quite know when to stop.

The writing was good and I noticed no major issues or mistakes. It wasn’t the most detailed or beautiful prose of all time but I had no problem following it or envisioning the world the author built.

It was the plot where things went a little wrong for me. It started as a misunderstanding between the two main characters James and Shay over a dog and the issues Shay was having with her ex-boyfriend who was abusive. The growing relationship between the two of them and the problem of the ex would have been enough. Instead it spiralled into madness and I couldn’t keep up with it. It was all a little bit far-fetched especially where Shay was concerned. There were numerous sexual assaults, numerous threats of sexual assault, numerous stalkers (how many stalkers can one person have?), and numerous issues with the police. It was just all over the place and I quickly lost interest as it become more and more unbelievable.

The characters weren’t much better. Shay was all over the place, one minute she was strong and stood up for herself, the next she wouldn’t say boo to a goose and was emotional. It was almost as though the author couldn’t make up her mind if she wanted someone to save Shay or for Shay to save herself. James was a little more stable but I wasn’t overly fond of him either. He was alright, I didn’t like him in the beginning and that bad feeling lingered.

I didn’t get much from the romance either, it moved a little quickly and I wasn’t sure about Shay and James as an item. What I did love was the relationship they each shared with Bogart the dog. He was a great character and his interactions were some of the best in the book.

Irresistible Force is not a bad book and there are sure to be many who enjoy its drama but it was all a little too much for me.

2 stars

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Breaking Point by Lindsay Mckenna

Breaking Point

by Lindsay Mckenna

Shadow Warriors book 5

Genre: Military romance

Published: 29th April 2014 by Harlequin HQN

352 Pages

A free copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In the line of fire…

OPERATION SHADOW WARRIORS

An ongoing U.S. military experiment to test the integration of trained female military operatives in live combat scenarios…

The Alpha Platoon. A unit of Navy SEALs stationed in the unforgiving dryness of Afghanistan…who just learned that their newest team member is a woman. But Bay Thorn has a spine of steel—and the chops to prove it. Without a team to back her up, however, she’s dead in the water. And her only ally is Gabe Griffin, a lone SEAL who is lethal, dangerous and unbearably attractive….

Between the open hostility from her team and the harsh Al Qaeda territory, Gabe is a lifeline for Bay. But mutual respect quickly grows into mutual attraction. And with each day and every assignment, the longing only deepens.

They mustn’t speak of it. Mustn’t act on it. Because in this line of work, falling in love can get you killed.

I have a lot to say about this book so this might get a little long. Also in order to get my point across there may also be a few spoilers too so consider yourself warned.

I firmly believe that woman in the military should be able to fight on the front line. I believe passionately that they would as good as men in a war situation. (I am in the process of joining the military so I know a little about it). For that reason I wanted to read this book, the blurb made it sound like Bay Thorn (The main character) would be on the front line in Afghanistan fighting not only against the bad guys but against a sexist system that believes woman are not capable of handling combat situations. I wanted to see her struggles, I wanted to see her be strong. Apparently I wanted too much.

In the end I didn’t get what I wanted. If I am honest I felt this was a bit of a mess and it was impossible to take seriously.

Firstly the writing was not up to par for a modern day romance. I felt the military talk was great but when it came to the romance it got cheesy and beyond old fashioned. The way the two main characters spoke about their feelings to one another was enough to make me laugh out loud. They couldn’t just sit down like a normal couple instead that had to explain how they made each other feel all the time. It was horrible and it sounded like it belonged in a 1980s mills and boons book.

Secondly the main character was irritating. Bay Thorn is perfection personified she can do no wrong and everyone loves her. In fact I think everyone was put on Earth just to gush about how glorious she is. I loved the way she just strolled into the Navy SEALs and was better than everyone else at everything. She can even out shoot a trained sniper in a shooting competition because her daddy taught her how to hunt. It isn’t always plain sailing, some of the men have some reservations about her being there which to be honest is understandable. But everything turns out ok because Bay gives them cookies, thank god for baked goods. I am surprised she didn’t hand them out in gun fights to tame the enemy. Bay is a fighter, a healer, a natural nurturer. She is hot and down to earth and loyal and everyone thinks the sun shines out of her behind. It was just too much for me I needed her to be tough, to be a dirty fighter and prove to everyone that she had as much right to be there as anyone else. I wanted the journey to be harder than what it was because that is realistic. Instead I got fluff.

The romance suffered because of Bay’s Mary Sue-ness. How Gabe was able to form a sentence in her presence is beyond me. He is so besotted with her I am surprised he could function around her. His only purpose in the whole book was to remind all the readers how fantastic she is. He didn’t do much else to be honest and because of that I couldn’t connect to him at all.

It isn’t all bad news the action scenes were great and I wish there had been more of them. Lindsay McKenna is really good at creating pulse pounding action scenes. There was a helicopter crash that was just fantastic and proved that beneath the cheesy dialogue and Mary Sue characters McKenna is capable of producing some high class writing. The problem is there wasn’t enough moments like these to really make an impact for me.

Although it has nothing to do with the review for this book I have to talk briefly about its follow up. I have heard that the next book in the series is going to feature the same characters again and that Bay will be taken hostage, raped, tortured and then lose her memory. I think this is the worse idea ever not because it’s hard but because I don’t think it is needed. These books would have been great if they had been about the struggle woman face on the front line in the military, isn’t that enough? I get fed up of author’s resorting to rape and violence when they want their female characters to go through a hard time or for a romance to be tested. There was an opportunity to do a lot more with a story like this and I am sad that rape is the way the author has chosen to go.

Breaking Point had some good and bad moments but overall it wasn’t for me.

 2 stars

 

Confessions of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson

 

Confessions of a Chalet Girl

by lorraine Wilson

Ski Season book 1

Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Confessions of a Chalet Girl is a fun and flirty contemporary romance novella from the fabulous Lorraine Wilson.

The slopes seriously start to heat up when chalet girl Holly is propositioned by her sexy new boss!

Published June 27th 2013 by Harper Impulse

Confessions of a Chalet Girl started out fun but quickly lost its way for me. I liked the concept, it was a nice idea but I was not completely convinced that the author knew what she wanted this to be. At times it was light hearted and funny, then it was angst and dramatic. It seemed a little all over the place.

The characters had the same problem especially Holly. One minute she was so shy she could barely talk right in front of Scott and the next she was acting all seductive. The first time the two have sex I found her to be completely out of character. She also over reacted a lot and was generally a little bit over the top.

Another thing was that nearly every other woman in the book was made out to be mean, over pruned air heads with vindictive personalities and loose morals. This made Holly seem like a virtuous angel but to be honest I am not sure she was all that much better.

I can’t say all that much about Scott because I didn’t really get to know him all that well. He seemed alright but I would have liked to know a little more about him. He kept going on about his past and family but I wanted more characters.

The romance was alright. Like the book it started off well but dissolved into insta-love. I wanted a little more chemistry and character between them but it wasn’t to be.

Confessions of a Chalet Girl was a short and fairly entertaining read but in the end it wasn’t for me.

2 stars

Find out more:

Goodreads, Amazon UK

The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker

The Booby Trap

by Anne Browning Walker

Genre: Romance, contemporary

Expected publication: June 1st 2012 by Pixel Entertainment/Butler Books    

  *The publisher provided  me with this book for review, via Netgalley*

 Welcome to The Booby Trap, a seedy bar where waitresses’ skirts are high, necklines are low and customers show up for the eye candy.
When brainy, beautiful, Harvard Ph.D. candidate Bambi Benson wants to study the women of the the Booby Trap for her dissertation, she goes undercover and joins them.  All is going well for Bambi until handsome local celebrity Trip Whitley enters the scene.
Hoping to shock his high-society family by dating a bimbo, Trip offers to pay Bambi to pretend to be his girlfriend.  She accepts his offer and bides her time, waiting for the right moment to reveal her true identity and teach Trip not to judge based on appearances.
After a series of dates carefully orchestrated for their publicity value, Bambi’s trap is set.  But there’s one problem: the predator might have fallen in love with her prey.

  

I had problems with this book from beginning to end.  It started when I realised the main character was called Bambi Benson (I’m sorry but every time I read her name I cringed, I couldn’t help it) and it continued from there.  The Booby Trap is not a bad book, it has a lot to like about it and I think that some people will really like it, but the goodness couldn’t override the issues I had with it.  All in all this book is alright; it is a quick read and had moments of fun but was just too unrealistic for me.

Another problem I had was the characters.  Bambi is ok but she seems to change her mind a lot and I never felt any connection with her.  She does have moments of greatness but again it is not enough to cover for the weaker parts of her character, I just wanted her to have more personality and substance.   I found Tripp to be pretty unlikable.  For about seventy percent of the book he came across as a spoilt brat he was stroppy and selfish.  I just couldn’t get behind him as a main character or love interest.

I also found the relationship between them to be unbelievable.  I felt like half the book she was completely uninterested in him and he was interested in someone else.  Then suddenly they were falling into bed/love with one another.  Their feelings took quite a long time to manifest and when they did it seemed to all happen too quickly.

By far the biggest problem with this book was that it was completely predictable.  There are a million other books and movies out there that are about the same thing.  This is a plot that has been overdone and there seems to be no more originality in it.

I liked the messages in this book; it has some strong themes about feminism and the different forms that takes.  It is also about not judging a book by its cover.  I have a lot of time for books that have positive messages in them and so I applaud Walker for adding a little substance.

My rating 2.5 out of 5

Want to find out more? Visit these links: Goodreads

Agree or disagree with this review? Let me know in the comments.

The Wrangler by Lindsay McKenna

The Wrangler

by  

Lindsay McKenna

Genre: Romance, Adult, Western, Thriller

Expected publication: June 19th 2012 by HQN Books

 *The publisher provided  me with this book for review, via Netgalley*

Can a city boy make good in the Wild West? After Wall Street collapses, investment banker Griff McPherson trades in his suits and ties for Stetsons and cowboy boots. He returns to the Wyoming ranch he co-owns with his brother, but it’s not exactly a happy homecoming. So to prove to everyone, including himself, that he belongs back in Jackson Hole, he takes a post as a wrangler on another ranch.  Air force lieutenant Val Hunter has just returned to the Bar H ranch to help her ailing grandmother run the property. While it is full of unhappy memories, Val is determined to do right by her home. Her new hire is easy on the eyes and a tough wrangler to boot, yet her instincts make it hard for her to trust him. When a nefarious neighbour endangers her land, Val is forced to accept Griff’s help-but will she finally be able to open her heart?

I really, really wanted to like The Wrangler.  I liked the premise and I like cowboys.  Western ranch romances tend to get under my skin, there is just something about them I love.  So you can imagine how excited I was to be given a copy of this book to read and review. I was over the moon.  But I am afraid the excitement was for nothing and I ended up coming away disappointed.

I felt like the story started too quickly, you were instantly thrown very matter of factly into Val’s bleak history.  I know you have to get to these points in books I just wasn’t expecting it right on at the beginning.  It would have helped if the information was delivered in an interesting and engaging way, but it wasn’t. Instead I got a bland and very structured conversation that felt unnatural, something that happens a lot in this book.  The way the conversation is put together says a lot about the writing to be found here. Technically it is fine, it is understandable it flows…but there is just nothing to it.  Everything felt a little sparse, a little empty.  There is a lot of unnecessary talking, a lot of long-winded conversations that were not needed.  The characters tell us how they are feeling by the way they act and by their thoughts, we do not need them to then talk about their feelings with one another.  All of this leads (partly) to there being a lot of repetition.  The characters seem to say the same things a lot, not only that but there it a lot of repetition of phrases as well.

I felt like there was a good story here.  If everything was scaled back a bit and focused more on the romance between Griff and Val then this review would be totally different.  Instead, there are a lot of subplots involving drugs, FBI agents and feuding brothers that were not totally needed.  The brothers were a nice touch, and ties into another book in the series which is fine.  But the other sub plots were not interesting enough and were not tied up at the end. The romance takes a back seat to a lot of this and only really kicks off around the 80% mark.  It was as though the writer couldn’t make up her mind what kind of book she wanted to write and so tried to do both.  This lead to everything feeling half-done which, in turn, made a boring book.  I hate it when I see unused potential and this had it in spades, I just wish more was made of it.

The best thing about this book is the characters.  For the most part they are strong in their roles.  Gus is a great-grandmother she is a complete cheese ball.  Honestly, the things this old lady says! But she gets away with it because she is sweet and has the most amazingly strong backbone. Another good character was Curt.  He was awful and filled the villain role perfectly.  He really was a snivelling weasel and there was nothing likable about him at all.

Unfortunately, the weakest character was the main one.  Val is really quite bizarre.  I liked that she started off standoffish and untrusting but then grew to love and live again, her journey was great but it was the way she thought about things that bothered me.  Firstly she acts as though Griff being attractive is a real inconvenience and problem. Sure a good-looking guy can be a distraction but a burden?  Never! Also Val feels like she cannot trust Gus or any other man because her dad used to beat her, I get it, I have no problem with that.  Apart from the fact that she used to be engaged and in love with a guy who was lovely to her and never hurt her.  She was happy with him and trusted him…so why does she find it nearly impossible with other men especially one that treats her as well as Griff does.

The main selling point of this book is Griff.  He is not just attractive he is also charming, kind and sweet.  Sure, he is strong and big and manly but he also has a shyness about him that is endearing and a softness that is refreshing.  He is not pushy; or broody instead he is head and heart smart.  He is just a genuinely good guy.

At the end of the day the biggest problem with The Wrangler is that I feel like I have read it a million times before, there are hundreds of books out there just like this one and unfortunately for The Wrangler some of them are better.  The romance in this is lacking, getting to it is like pulling teeth and in the end I lost my patience.  I like a slow burner but I also like a story to move forward, at times this felt so slow it almost stopped. 

This book had a lot of potential but unfortunately I found it lacking.

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.

Want to find out more? Goodreads, AmazonUK, Amazon.com, Authors Website

Where There’s Smoke by Karen Kelley

Title: Where There’s Smoke

Author: Karen Kelley

Genre: Adult, Paranormal romance, Supernatural, Erotica

Expected Publication May 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

My Rating 2.5/5

*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*

Blurb: When sexy wannabe-demon, Destiny Carter, is kicked out of Hell, she lands in Ft. Worth, Texas with one week to corrupt a soul. Or else. She slips into a slinky red dress, and heads straight for the delicious, corruptible looking cowboy at the bar.  But Chance Bellew has his own agenda-saving souls. He’s not your typical angel. He’s a nephilim, to be exact. Centuries ago, angels came down from Heaven and mated with mortal women. When the women bore children, a new race was created. Immortals with powers—demigods, nephilim.  But the children don’t live by the same rules as mortals, or that of the typical, robe-wearing, bright light-surrounding-them angels. Hell, most of the time the nephilim are breaking the rules, and making up new ones as they go. As long as they don’t cross over to the dark side, everyone pretty much stays out of their way.
But sometimes a demon-in-training, who looks like Destiny, comes along and all Hell breaks loose.

Where there’s smoke by Karen Kelley is one of those weird ones to review.  I really, really struggled with it; I lost interest I found myself skimming a lot but not because the book was bad.

This book had everything that a book like this should have.  It had an ok story line, a female lead character that you could relate to and a male character that makes you a little weak in the knees.

The sex scenes are just right, they are not overdone and they are not under done.  In fact some of them are top-notch.

So why did I struggle so much? I did find it a little far-fetched and a little repetitive but that is something I am used to when reading Paranormal Romance.

At the end of the day I think that this book just wasn’t for me.  For some reason I just didn’t connect with it.  I just found it all a little flat.  There was just something missing.

Despite the sex I think this is supposed to be a love story more than anything else and I didn’t feel the burning romance as much as I think I should have.  I think that is where my problems came from.  I wanted more.

Despite that I would recommend this book to fans of the genre.  I think people will like it.

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Authors Website

 

 

Consent to Love by Abby Wood

Title: Consent to Love

Author: Abby Wood

Genre: Adult, romance, drama, erotica

Average Goodreads rating: 3.08/5

My rating: 2/5

(Arc, Published April 2nd 2012 by Carina Press)

*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*

Blurb: Twenty-four-year-old small-town girl Ana Reynold serves beer at the local bar, tries to keep her beater car running, and dreams of a better life as a painter. If she can learn to make a decent steak, she might get promoted to cook—and earn enough for her real heart’s desire. Right now, that doesn’t include romance.  But when she meets a tall, dark and sexy Native American man named Kane, Ana can’t take her eyes off him—or stop thinking about him. But she’d better. Everyone knows the proud Lakota who raises horses wants nothing to do with a townie barmaid who’ll bring shame to his people.  Except Kane can’t get Ana off his mind. He proposes a red-hot weekend in bed, a no-strings affair to end Monday morning. Yet once Kane brings the outsider onto Lakota land, everything changes.

Consent to Love by Abby Wood is just one of those books that seemed to never get going.  It just went through the motions, moving from one scene to another without lingering to flesh anything out.

Unfortunately the characters are no better; there is no depth to them.  No real personality or story behind them.  They just are.  Ana spends most her time acting like a teenager or a porn star.  Kane seems sulky and at times pervy.

There is a lot of sex in this book but it was too overdone.  I never got the sense that these two people cared about one another, but instead just liked having sex in as many dirty ways as they could imagine.  What I really disliked about the sex was the ‘dirty talk’.  Ana, who came across as shy suddenly develops a potty mouth whenever Kane is within 5 feet of her and starts shouting ‘f*ck me’ and saying the word ‘pussy’ as though it is part of her regular vocabulary.

There was a lot that could have been done here.  It could have gone into more depth about race in relationships, culture and discrimination.  It touches on these subjects extremely lightly and doesn’t really linger there at all.  Instead it focuses on sex scenes.

There are moments where this could have been something but it never turns into anything.  It is a quick read if you like erotica but to be honest there is better stuff out there.

Goodreads / AmazonUK / B&N / Author Website