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

Hotter After Midnight by Cynthia Eden

Hotter After Midnight

By Cynthia Eden

Midnight book 1

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Shifter, Mystery

Release Date: 1st May 2008

Published by Brava

272 pages

A Seductive Nighttime World. . . Dr. Emily Drake’s psychotherapy patients tend to be a little unusual. Instead of midlife crises and mother fixations, Emily treats vampires with blood phobias and sex-demons looking for meaningful relationships. But healing these powerful beings requires an important rule: Never trust a shifter. Especially not one like Detective Colin Gyth, whose gold-flecked eyes and predatory air make Emily realize how much she longs to lose control. . .

A Dark And Dangerous Hunger. . .

Colin can’t believe the doctor he has to work with on the Night Butcher murder case is the one person who could expose his true identity as a wolf shifter. Smart and sexy, Emily brings out the alpha male in Colin, unleashing a wild desire that takes them both over the edge. . . But in the shadows, the Night Butcher waits, eager to spill Emily’s blood and taste her terror. And he’ll use any means to destroy her, including the one person she has grown to trust. . .

Generally speaking I quite like Cynthia Eden books so I was expecting quite a lot from Hotter After Midnight. I did enjoy this book and finished it in a couple of afternoons but for me this wasn’t as good as some of the authors other work.

In terms of writing this was good. I have always liked Eden’s style and that didn’t change here. Like her other books this is an easy read to get into and I found the hours sliding away without really noticing.

The story itself was good and I liked the mix of the murder mystery and paranormal romance genres. What let this book down was the fact that it didn’t always make sense. There were a dew plot holes and some moments that didn’t seem necessary. For example the introduction of Emily’s mother and the implication (which comes from both the mother and other places) that Emily is evil served no real purpose. I thought it might be an attempt to implicate Emily as a suspect and make Colin second guess his feelings for her but in the end nothing came of it. Another example is mating which at the mid-way point seemed like a big deal but again it eventually came to nothing.

The characters were likeable but typical for this kind of book. Emily was a little too stubborn and Colin a little too alpha. Together they were good and there was no shortage of chemistry but it lacked any emotional impact.

This book wasn’t perfect and is not the best I have read from this author but I did enjoy it and I will read more from this series.

3 stars

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

Claiming His Mate by Savannah Stuart

 

Saving His Mate

By Savannah Stuart

Cresent Moon book 4

Genre: Novella, Paranormal Romance, Shifter, Vampire

Published May 5th 2014

144 Pages

From the moment vampire bounty-hunter Rex Serano meets sexy shifter Margery, he’s smitten. When the alpha of the Kincaid pack asks him to join with them, he’s stunned by the offer, but the real draw is the beautiful, caring female who seems to want nothing to do with him.

Margery is the driving maternal force for her pack and she has one rule: she doesn’t date vampires. Years ago she was nearly killed by rogue vamps and she has no interest in getting involved with one now. No matter how sexy a certain, persistent bounty hunter might be.

When one of Rex’s hunts gets messy, Margery gets caught in the crossfire and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her. They might be different species but the mating call is undeniable and too strong to ignore. Now they must find a way to reach common ground and trust their instincts if they’re going to fight for a future together.

 

Generally speaking I like novella’s, they are nice, short reads that are great if you have just finished something a little heavy. Despite liking novellas I will be the first to admit there are often problems with them. Sometimes they feel rushed or something may seem missing, writing a novella of decent quality is hard work because you have such little room to play with.

For the most part Savannah Stuart gets it right with Saving his Mate. The story is well constructed and well written and I felt there was a good beginning, middle and end. Plot is something that can get lost in a romantic novella but Stuart managed to get a nice balance of the two.

Something had to give and unfortunately that ended up being the characters. They were a little bland and lacked any real personality. Stuart has expertly managed to squeeze everything into 144 pages but that meant there was no room to really explore what made Rex and Margery tick. Despite that this is a still an enjoyable novella that Paranormal romance fans will probably enjoy. It is enough to make sure I check out the other books in the series and other, hopefully longer, books from this author.

3 Stars

 

Find out more:

Goodreads, Author’s Website

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

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!