Category Archives: Read by Lulu

Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas

By Carolyn Brown

Synopsis

A heartwarming holiday read from USA Today bestselling author Carolyn Brown

Nash Lamont is a man about as solitary as they come. That’s exactly why ranch life in middle-of-nowhere Happy, Texas suits him. So what the heck is he doing letting a beautiful widow and her three rambunctious children temporarily move in? Before he knows it, they’re stringing Christmas lights and decorating the tree… and he’s having the time of his life. But after everything he’s been through, Nash knows this kind of happiness doesn’t last.
Kasey Dawson thought she’d never get over the death of her husband. Nash, with his strong hands and infinite patience, is stirring something she hasn’t felt in a long time. Kasey knows the sexy cowboy isn’t telling her everything about this past, though. And she refuses to risk heartbreak all over again. But her kids have a plan of their own: Nothing will keep them from having a real family again-even if it takes a little help from Santa himself.

The Happy, Texas series: Toughest Cowboy in TexasLong, Tall Cowboy ChristmasThe Luckiest Cowboy of AlL

Review

Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas is a sweet romance however for me was really slow at the beginning.  I probably enjoyed the last 30% of the book more and at times found myself pushing through the filler stories in the middle.

Kasey was a great mother character and her interactions with her children helped develop the story.   I do admit I found it hard to connect Nash and her romantically as he was so closed off.  As their relationship was progressing both emotionally and physically the story would all of a sudden stop and turn elsewhere.  I did become frustrated at times with their about-face with each other and it wore me down in the end.

Nash was wonderful and nurturing with Kasey’s children and I suppose I needed him to be that for her.  The children were my favourite part of this whole story and kept me reading till the end.

Onto the other family, I am sorry but some of them just rubbed me the wrong way with their small town gossip and judgment.  There are a number of religious references in this story so if that is not your thing you probably will not enjoy this.

I had not read book 1 of this series and could easily follow the characters referencing past memories and moments that happened in the first book.

Long, Tall Cowboy Christmas

My Rating:  

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Ruckus (Sinners of Saint #2)

By L.J. Shen

Synopsis

Rosie

They say that life is a beautiful lie and death a painful truth. They’re right.
No one has ever made me feel more alive than the guy who serves as a constant reminder that my clock is ticking.
He is my forbidden, shiny apple.
The striking fallacy to my blunt, raw, truth.
He is also my sister’s ex-boyfriend.
One thing you should know before you judge me;
I saw him first. I craved him first. I loved him first.
Eleven years later, he waltzed into my life, demanding a second chance.
Dean Cole wants to be my bronze horseman. My white knight has finally arrived. Hopefully, he isn’t too late.

Dean

They say the brightest stars burn out the fastest. They’re right.
She sets my mind on fire.
All smart mouth, snarky attitude and a huge heart.
In a world where everything is dull, she shines like fucking Sirius.
Eleven years ago, fate tore us apart.
This time, I dare it to try.
Getting to her is a battlefield, but man, that’s why they call me Ruckus.
Rosie LeBlanc is about to find out how hard I can fight.
And conquering her will be the sweetest victory.

Review

First of all, I did not think I could love a couple more than Vicious and Emilia.  Dean and Rosie have matched them in their own unique way and their sex was insanely hot.  Their love story is full of time lost and a desire to rewrite their expected future.

Rosie had my heart in Vicious and again I had immediate compassion for her and her condition.  The author portrays her health in an honest and thought-provoking manner.  This certainly kept me guessing whilst reading the last few chapters of this book.  Which way was she going to take the love affair of Rosie & Ruckus?

Throughout Ruckus,  we do return to when they were all teenagers and I found this especially relevant in understanding Rosie and Deans underlying love for each other.

The humour and banter between Dean and Rosie is perfect and gave lightness to some dark moments in both their stories.

The girls parents were awful and the smothering of Rosie, it drove me insane.  Emilia also was not being entirely honest with her sister and then also judging Dean.

It was great to see more of all the HotHoles and how their lives were changing with new influences.  I am very intrigued to read Trent’s story which is next and called Scandalous.

Vicious stood up for his friend in the end and the role he played showed he has a soft centre under all that fierce and ruthless businessman facade.

Vicious and Emilia were an integral part of this love story and it was beautiful to see them moving forward together.  The ending was just perfect for me and gave me tingles and tears.  Dean stood up and became such a strong man for Rosie.  The author gave these two characters a possible dream and it shone like the stars in the sky.

Quote:  “I don’t want to make you forget.  I want to make you remember” 

Ruckus (Sinners of Saint #2)

My Rating:  

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Mercy

By Lindsay Marie Miller

Synopsis

I fell in love with a hitman.
The one hired to kill me.
I just hope he doesn’t break my heart.

 

Nineteen-year-old Anna James is an Ex-President’s daughter with a bounty on her head. A sudden thirst for teenage rebellion lands her in a crowded night club, where she locks eyes with a beautiful stranger across the room.

Ten years her senior, elusive and brooding Julian rescues Anna and then whisks her away to an undisclosed location in the wilderness. But Julian is like a force of nature—cold as ice one minute, warm and tender the next. Frightened and distressed, Anna is reluctant to trust her hero.

Especially when she discovers that Julian is the man hired to kill her.

Mercy is a full-length Dark Romantic Thriller Novel—approximately 87,000 words.
This love story can be read as a Stand Alone.

Review

Mercy is a fast paced romantic read that will have you on the edge of your seat.  One moment you will be cursing Julian and the next will be wanting to be in his arms like Anna.

Firstly I do have to say the cover although good looking to me does not reflect who Anna is. To me, she is 19, protected daughter and a virgin.  Once I consumed myself within the walls of Julian and Anna’s world the cover picture faded away thankfully.

Mercy is a standalone however at the end of this I could have read so many more chapters on Anna and her journey.  Although at the start she is very vulnerable the way the author matured Anna throughout this story was beautiful.  The story takes an incredible heart wrenching turn and I was not prepared and was beside myself.  I had so many questions and hopes and be prepared for an emotional roller coaster.

I fell in love with Julian once he rescued Anna and every chapter thereafter, I knew he had an agenda and then the way this story evolved was perfection.

The sexual scenes between Julian and Anna are enjoyable and provide a roller coaster of emotions.  There are some violent scenes in this story but were relevant and kept the suspense to the story ongoing.

Mercy

My Rating:  

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The Queen

By Skye Warren

Synopsis

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE MASTERPIECE DUET!

I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood’s dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.

Then I get a phone call from home.

Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I’ve always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.

Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.

This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.

And a love strong enough to break the city apart.

THE QUEEN is the final novel in the bestselling Masterpiece duet, about a game of lies and loyalty, of betrayal and power, and ascension to the city’s throne.

Review

I really enjoyed reading the conclusion to their story.  The Queen has emotion and plenty of twists that kept me guessing until the end.

Damon has always intrigued me from the beginning in The Pawn. A puzzle I wanted to complete and understand his mechanics. Their love story is not all hearts and roses, there is sadness, loneliness.

I loved following the way Damon protects Penny at the Den, in that room, especially when she puts the pieces of the puzzle together.  Her mathematical mind is such a wonderful part of her personality that I have loved from the first moment we met her.

Penny’s relationship with her professor was intriguing and I thought he would play more of a part and I kind of wanted to see Damon meet him.  We also get to learn more history from Damon’s upbringing.

I know this was Damon & Penny’s story but some of the Avery storyline was not fully disclosed in my opinion and I have questions.

This story ended in a lovely moment that showed not only Damon & Penny but also Gabriel & Avery and what their future holds.

The Queen

My Rating:  

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Vigor

By J C Valentine

Synopsis

USA Today and International bestselling author J.C. Valentine is back with the latest in her electrifying, dangerous, and provocative world of the Spartan Riders MC…

After escaping an abusive marriage, Spartan Riders bartender Ginger “Red” Mercury is determined to live life on her own terms. When the club’s VP declares her untouchable and stakes his own claim on her, she finds herself ready to wage war.

A year after inoculating the threat from notorious cartel leader Ricky Cruiz, Garrick “Repo” Stone, the last-standing original member of the Spartan Riders MC, has his focus on something else: monogamy. Having decided to settle down and take an ol’ lady, he has his sights set on Red…and he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to win her.

When a new threat makes itself known, threatening everything the brothers stand for and care about, they’re left scrambling to find out who’s behind it before it’s too late. With the high-stakes game of war looming over them, will Red be able to open her heart to love before outside forces pull her and Repo apart?

Review

Vigor is my first book by this author.  I could easily follow the characters and basic storyline.  I happily read this in a day as it was easy to follow.  However, in saying that I did feel the overall story could have had a bit more emotional depth for the main two characters as at times they left me frustrated.  Their relationship took a back seat during the story as we followed the drama around the MC.  I did sit back at one point and ask where are Repo and Ginger?  When they returned it took awhile for me to believe they would have a future.

Their stubbornness matched as a couple with Repo and Ginger.  At the beginning, their connection was hard to emotionally connect to. They were both holding so much back and it felt very hot and cold.

One section in the hospital if expanded would have been brilliant and solidified their underlying emotional attachment and opening up to each other.  It would have helped to have had a few scenes between these two main characters in those first few days in the hospital.  I really wanted Ginger to open up to Repo and to acknowledge her past trauma that is still affecting her.  I  then wanted Repo to be that older man that she ultimately needed and provide her stability and security.  The age difference for me worked well between these two and provided some great moments.

I do admit I was unhappy with the ending as it was so abrupt after such an emotional and dangerous time for both Gabby and Ginger.   I wanted to see the recognition between Ginger and Repo in a more emotional and in-depth manner than just getting on the back of the bike so to speak.

Vigor

My Rating:  

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Blemished

By Juliet Braddock

Synopsis

A tragic accident in the middle of an immobilizing blizzard joins Gavin Fletcher and Chloe Cabot, uniting two tarnished souls on a life-changing journey that defies the odds of their haunting pasts.

Beautiful and imaginative, Chloe struggles to survive the daily grind of life in Chicago. An artist who never dared to explore her dreams, she takes pride in her independence and fends for herself at all costs.

A young advertising executive who’s rising fast within the industry, Gavin has built an ordered and precise life, but he’s much more lonesome than he’ll ever admit.

Both exist in worlds veiled in secrecy.

On the surface, Gavin’s life exudes perfection. He’s building his own thriving business, but beneath that slick exterior, he’s hiding the truth about his enigmatic lifestyle.

Chloe, on the other hand, has been dealt a rough hand in life. As details of her heart-wrenching past emerge, she fears she might lose Gavin for good.

Together, though, they discover solace in each other’s arms. While Chloe blossoms as Gavin’s submissive under his tough but tender tutelage, she wonders if he might just be the one to break the façade of fear that surrounded her heart.

Just as emotion transforms Gavin and Chloe from reluctant strangers into unlikely but enduring lovers, heartbreak strikes their relationship again, forcing an unforeseen reversal of roles.

Review

Firstly, I love the cover of Blemished and it fits with this story.

I loved the beginning when Chloe and Gavin first meet and he provides her a safe haven.  Gavin cares for Chloe but also opens her heart to passionate possibilities.  This part of the story I loved and then following their building sexual chemistry was fantastic.  I loved seeing Gavin help Chloe recover and start to build her future with her artistic aspirations.

Blemished’s flow slowed for me during the middle and I found myself pushing through. Gavin to me lost some of his edginess and it felt bogged down.  Surprised is an understatement with the turn of events for Gavin after the Island holiday.  To be truthful I actually did not like this part of the story and also I have to mention the turtles annoyed me somewhat.

Chloe, I loved from the first chapter to the last, she had such strength and her personal story was tragic but inspiring.  I really did think her past would provide a more suspenseful outcome than what it did, it kind of fizzled out for me.  I found the whole scene in Gavin’s office lacking somewhat.  Chloe to me owned this story, she made me want to turn those pages when I felt let down by Gavin.

In conclusion, loved the ending, it brought me back into the love story of Chloe and Gavin,  I felt hopefulness for this couple.

Quote:  “We’re all blemished in some way” “Gives us character. Makes us human”

Blemished

My Rating:  

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Sweet Deception

By Ellie Jean

Synopsis

I can’t let any man get too close to me…ever. But he’s the only man who has made me want to risk everything.

On my knees, looking up at Alex Raven changed my life irrevocably. Self-assured and powerful, his presence commanded attention…especially that of women. Intoxicated by what I wasn’t allowed, I entangled Alex in my web of lies and deceit…better known as my past and present. Shouldering his own secrets, he freely gave me his trust and protection. But would pulling him into my world be the future I so craved? Or mean the end for us both?

Review

Firstly, cannot believe this is a debut novel, Sweet Deception had me twisted in knots from the beginning.  Isla’s story is full of heartache but yet hope and I immediately connected to her.

Around the middle, I was beside myself with fear of the unknown and I had so many questions and ideas.

When Isla takes a trip in this story I literally had to put the book down and take some deep breaths and calm my nerves.   I had to stop for 15 minutes and put on my big girl panties and travel this road with her.

There is a cliffhanger of sorts but it actually completes this section of Alex & Isla’s romantic journey.  For me it ended perfectly and then were are given a sneak peak of Sweet Redemption any how the characters are moving forward.

Alex was a stunning alpha mob character and then throw in his hot three friends  – tingles in all the right places.  It was great to see new friendships form and alliances take place.

This story flowed perfectly, it has the right amount of highs but also some incredible lows that you experience.  At times I too like Isla was trying to control my breathing and not panic.   Her anxiety attacks and the way she has the ability to compartmentalize her life is incredIble and shows her inner strength.

The secrets and revelations are amazing and I cannot believe right until the end we are still learning about Isla and her family history.  This is riveting reading and I so wish it was a standalone as I could not put this down.

Sweet Deception has all the ingredients of a Mob romance, it is dark, deceitful but also sensual and hopeful – I want so much more of Isla and Alex.

Sweet Deception

My Rating:  

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The Road Back (Limelight Series #2)

By Piper & Jack Davenport

Synopsis

18+ for language and sexual situations…

Hadley Simon risked everything to earn her spot as the manager for America’s fastest rising band. They have been invited to open for rock royalty in a once in a lifetime summer tour, and it means she finally gets to do what she loves. She is the consummate professional and knows how to keep her emotions in check…until a sexy as hell drummer enters her life and turns her world upside down.

Jack Henry is living with his demons in relative seclusion…until he’s convinced to go back out on the road with his old band. The death of his wife ruined him, and he has fought his way out from under a pile of easy women, booze, and blow, but doesn’t know if he can resist the old temptations that nearly killed him. When he meets the beautiful and sassy manager of his opening act, he feels things he hasn’t in a very long time, bringing to the surface ghosts he thought were exorcised long ago.

But she is his new drug of choice, and he doesn’t know what scares him more…pursuing a life with her or the thought of one without her.

Review

What a fantastic read The Road Back was for me.  I loved the beginning, middle and ending, I feel so satisfied.

A favourite character for me was Hadley from the first book of this series.  There was something about this woman that just clicked.  The age difference between her and Jack was perfect for me and provided great moments of him stepping up for Hadley.  The way he cares for her during the road trip and ultimately stands up and claims her was pure hearts & roses.

The Road Back has humour, suspense and flows perfectly.  I could not put this down. It is just such a great rocker romance about being on the road and amongst family.  Rex & Roxie return as do Bam & Lucy and they definitely influence some of the storyline and provide some wonderful moments along the way.

Hadley & Jack’s connection both physical and emotional soothed my soul and sung to my heart, this was pure romance with an edge.

Finally, I was so happy with the way this story ended for Hadley & Jack.  I loved this rocking romantic tale and I could have read so much more on these two soulmates.

Quote:  You’re the dream I thought was lost

The Road Back (Limelight Series #2)

My Rating:  

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Long For Me (Luminous #3)

By Stacey Lynn

Synopsis

I’ve seen what happens when you give everything to a man. That’s not what I want. I won’t have my heart crushed in anyone’s fist.

Then he changed everything.

Him. Bennett Ashby. My boss.

Seeing him at Luminous, dressed in leather pants and wielding a whip…

Do I crave this?

My mind says no, but my body is starting to have very different ideas.

Bennett

I knew Rebecca Morales would be the perfect assistant. That’s why I hired her.

I didn’t know that working with her every day would lead to temptation—to own her, to possess her.

When she walked into Luminous, I knew I was screwed. Dipping your pen in the company ink is never smart, but we both agreed what happens at the club stays there.

One night and then it’s back to business tomorrow.

Except I don’t want just one night with Rebecca. I want them all.

Review

Long For Me had all the magical components of an intense and erotic romance.  Bennett and Rebecca had perfect chemistry and their story kept me engaged.

Whilst I have not read the other two Luminous stories you can read Long For Me as a standalone. Meeting both previous couples from the Luminous series it will make you want to read those two stories.  Rebecca’s neighbors were wonderful and this friendship circle continued to strengthen by supporting and guiding her, the dinner party was interesting!

The physical scenes between Bennett and Rebecca covered the whole range from erotic to sensual.  Bennett cared for Rebecca and it was interesting to see him break down her deeply seated walls from her upbringing.  Bennett had an amazing ability to read Rebecca and bring out her inhibitions.

A favorite part for me was their business relationship and how Rebeccas shone in that area and that Bennett did acknowledge her skills.  Long For Me was more than just a BDSM story, personally, for me, I savored Rebecca and her growth as a woman making her own decisions.

Long For Me (Luminous #3)

My Rating:  

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Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain #3)

By Kristen Ashely

Synopsis

“I adore Kristen Ashley’s books!”—Maya Banks, New York Times bestselling author

Is love in the cards?

Since birth, Lexie Berry has had nothing but bad luck. Orphaned at an early age, she had a rough childhood and a boyfriend who was murdered. Now the beautiful, stylish Lexie is determined to change her luck and her life. But first, she’s got to make good on a promise: to pick up Ty Walker from prison. One look at the gorgeous ex-convict and Lexie knows she’s in trouble-and already thinking about taking a walk on the wild side . . .

For five years, Ty was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he wants revenge on the people who framed him. Yet when the high-stakes poker player sees the leggy Lexie, he suddenly has other desires on his mind. Realizing that Ty is innocent, Lexie tries to stop his plan for vengeance and help him become a better man. But as Ty battles his inner demons, dirty cops and criminals plot to take him out. Can he and Lexie find a way to escape the past?

Review

Lady luck was simply a fantastic read and it is all because of Lexie and Ty as they are simply wonderful characters.

Ty has so many male friends who have his back every step of the way in his getting justice which was great to follow. There is a male camaraderie with this story about men and their deep friendships. Throughout Lady Luck, we see time and time again how men from different walks of life help Ty.

A big part of this story is also Lexie and her finding her own home and place in life. Lexie provided humor but also some incredibly emotional moments. The first was meeting Ty’s friends in his house. The second one that made my throat constrict and eyes water was on the beach with Ty. This scene also provided my favorite quote:

“Your nightmare, mama, was my dream.”

I never liked Fuller in Sweet Dreams and I was glad to see there are some good cops in Carnal. I loved Angel Pena who was a wonderful character. All the Colorado Mountain characters band together for Ty – even Nina from The Gamble Book 1 played a part – so cool!

I look forward to reading Breathe which is Detective Chase Keaton’s story.

Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain #3)

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