Burned by Sarah Morgan

Burned

By Sarah Morgan

Miller Sisters book 2

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published May 27th 2014 by Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin

83 pages

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

Trainer and martial artist Rosie Miller’s zen is seriously compromised when Hunter Black—her former coach and lover—becomes her new boss. And with all the sexual energy still crackling between them, her poor little zen doesn’t stand a chance. So this time, Rosie is determined to play by her rules….

I am a big romance reader but I am the first to admit that they are not always very relatable or believable. But then just occasionally a romance book comes along that is those things and Burned is one of them. It could have been about me, or you, or any of us really. It is a book about two adults struggling to figure out their feelings for one another. No drama. No angst. Just a romance that could happen to any of us.

Burned works because of its characters. Hunter and Rosie are pretty normal in comparison to many other romantic leads out there. They were in a relationship when they were teens that fell apart, there was no torrid affairs, interfering families, or dramatic misunderstandings to blame. Instead it was the characters fears and insecurities that drove the relationship to end. Years later they find each other again and realise the chemistry is still there but are unsure if a relationship would ever work.

I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to read about two normal, average human beings. It was just so nice not to have all the drama but instead read about how their feels change and adapt to what is happening between them. It was sweet, cute and true, I really enjoyed the change of pace and the normality of it all.

Both characters are lovely but Rosie is particularly great. She is funny and cute but lets her insecurities get the better of her sometimes. Normally that is something that annoys me in a female character but Rosie is aware it’s a problem and she works around it. I also really liked Hunter but because there was no POV from him I felt like I didn’t know him all that well. Normally I don’t mind a single POV but in this book I think it would have worked better if both of them had a say.

Burned is a great book that I would recommend to Romance lovers. I don’t think you will be disappointed in this little jem.

3 stars

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The Fiancee Caper by Maureen Child

The Fiancee Caper

By Maureen Child

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published August 5th 2014 by Harlequin

192 pages

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

To Catch a Thief, It Will Take a Thief

He comes from a long line of charismatic jewel thieves. But Gianni Coretti made a deal to save his family and now walks the straight and narrow. When Marie O’Hara, a beautiful security expert, asks him to steal for her as part of a sting, his interest is definitely piqued. The fact that she’ll be pretending to be his fiancée is an added bonus. But as their fierce attraction blurs the line between ruse and reality, Gianni has to wonder: does a man with such a dubious past deserve a glorious future with this woman?

The Fiancée Caper is the kind of book I like to sit down and waste a few hours with. It is not the type of book I expect to think hard about or to invest a lot of emotional energy in. That being said I do expect great characters and heart stopping romance, both of which didn’t quite work for me here.

I have only read one of Maureen Child’s books before (Gilded Secrets) but I appeared to have the same problem with both that and The Fiancée Caper. There was just not enough development for me in terms of the characters and the romance for me to truly fall in love with this one. The writing was fairly solid and there is nothing wrong with the way Childs puts words on the page.

The story was interesting and fun but I couldn’t really relate to any of the characters. Gianni was a little too arrogant for my taste and Marie was borderline annoying. She was guilty of one of my pet peeves in romances. She is too scared to tell Gianni he loves him and instead of thinking he might have the same fears dramatically flounces off because he hasn’t told her he loves her. Despite that there was definitely chemistry between them which I enjoyed. I could see the attraction and desire but not the love which was a shame.

I didn’t hate The Fiancée Caper, it was a good enough read but I ended up wanting a little more.

 3 stars

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

 

Nailed by Christine d’Ado

Nailed

by Christine d’Ado

Warning: This show contains scenes of sexual tension.

Hosting a new TV show is a fantasy-turned-reality for diva decorator Sophia Holbrook. But concentrating on color swatches is hard when all she can think of is her studly cohost, contractor Fynn Babineau. These two may clash over blueprints and budgets on-screen, but with the lust palpable between them, rumor has it they have been putting more than just their heads together behind the scenes…. What secrets will the cameras expose? Tune in tonight to find out.

This review is really difficult for me to write because I am finding it really hard to think of anything substantial to say about Nailed. I actually really enjoyed this book I found it sweet, sexy and humorous. I liked the story, writing and characters but beyond that there is not much for me to say about it.

I think the reason for that is because Christine D’abo has managed to tick all the boxes in order to make this an enjoyable novella. Nothing upset or annoyed me, I found it engaging and entertaining. But at the same time I didn’t fall so head over heels in love with it that I feel the need to shout about it to anyone who will listen.

There are some great characters and a nice romance to be found here. Sophia is smart and sassy with an entertaining inner voice that often made me laugh. Fynn is a real sweetheart that doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. The chemistry between them was awesome but the romance was an easy one. There was no drama, no will they won’t they. It was plain sailing for the both of them. The conflict came from other aspects of the story instead of the romance which made a nice change.

Nailed is a short, sweet and steamy romance that I really enjoyed.

3 stars

Find out more:

Goodreads, Amazon

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

Blazing Midsummer Nights by Leslie Kelly

Blazing Midsummer Nights

by Leslie Kelly

Genre: Romance, Erotica, contemporary.

Published May 22nd 2012 by Harlequin

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

Anything can happen on a magical midsummer’s eve Marketing director/workaholic Mimi Burdette has The Plan-work for her father and date his right-hand man. Problem is, there’s no heat in the relationship. Not even a spark. And worse still, Mimi is having some seriously sexy, panties-ablaze dreams-and the star looks a lot like  Xander McKinley, the hunky firefighter next door. Mimi’s dreams might be due to the strange tea she drank. Or the predictions from the fortune cookie she ate. Or they could be due to Xander’s smokin’ hotness. But whether it’s magic or just old-fashioned fireworks, Mimi is about to break all of the rules-including her own!

This was a very sweet and very quick read.  It has all the elements you want to see in a romance.  The characters are likable, the romance is sometimes hot and sometimes cute, it has funny moments, has a touch of a love triangle and just a little bit of magic…it is also a little weird in places which kind of comes with the territory.

At times it is not particularly realistic, but let’s be honest we don’t read these types of books for realism.

The main characters are good.  Xander is a fireman (need I say more.) I found him to be a little judgemental at the beginning but he snapped out of that pretty quickly.  He is effortlessly likeable and sensual.  Mimi has a lot of fight and spirit but sometimes she uses that in the wrong way, but like Xander she snaps out of it quickly.

The romance between them is nice, it is predictable but sweet.  There wasn’t any dragged out dramatics it all moved along nicely and was easy to get behind.

Blazing Midsummer Nights is one of those ‘nice’ books.  It is not going to annoy you, it is also not going to blow your mind.  It is a nice way to spend a few hours.  Sometimes you want to read something that you don’t have to think about.  That is what this book it.

My Rating 3 out of 5 stars

Check out the links: Goodreads, Amazon, AmazonUK, The Book Depository, Author Website.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Unleashed by Cherrie Lynn

Unleashed

by Cherrie Lynn

Book one of The Ross Siblings series

Genre: Romance, Erotica, contemporary

Paperback, 216 pages.  Published February 2nd 2010 by Samhain Publishing, LTD

It’s not enough that Kelsey’s husband left her for another woman. Oh, no. The “other woman” had to be her best friend Evan’s fiancée. Not only has she lost her marriage, she fears losing Evan to the lingering awkwardness and humiliation that hangs between them.

Evan has no intention of letting that happen. He’s got plans…namely, an extra plane ticket to Hawaii now his future wife is out of the picture. There’s only one person he wants on the trip with him, the one who’s always been there for him. The one he should never have let slip away into the arms of a traitorous friend who shattered her heart.

Kelsey is anticipating a week of fun in the sun with the man who’s always treated her like a little sister. No one’s more surprised when she discovers that Evan has seduction on his mind—and that she’s more than ready for it.

Love is the most powerful healing force of all. But past demons have a way of ripping open old wounds, and threatening the survival of even the strongest friendship…

Unleashed is one of those books where everything is ‘nice.’ The plot is nice, the characters are nice and the writing is nice.  It is a perfectly good read not meant to annoy nor blow your mind.  It is just nice and sometimes nice is just what you need.

I had very little problem with the book as a whole.  Kelsey can be a little irritating with her lack of self-worth, but mostly she is funny, especially when she is around her best friend Lisa (who was a pretty amazing character.)  Evan is nice to.  He is sweet and charming, he too has a few annoying moments but mostly he is just what you are looking for in a romantic lead.

The other characters do not have a strong presence in the book.  They have a massive effect on the main characters but do not appear often, it was more about Kelsey and Evan which I liked.

The romance between Evan and Kelsey is sweet.  It moves fast but it isn’t a problem because they have known each other for a long time so they are already familiar with one another.  There was some drama between them but it was ironed out quickly which I thought was great.

All in all Unleashed is a light and enjoyable read.  It was a perfect way to spend an afternoon.  I will be checking out the next book in the series as I have heard it is even better than the first.

 My Rating 3 out of 5 stars

Check out the links: Goodreads, Amazon, AmazonUK, The Book Depoitory, Authors Website

Let me know what you think in the comments!