Category Archives: Read by Vicki

Royally Raised (Royally # 2.5)

By Emma Chase

Synopsis

“He’s a joy to us. They all are. When they’re not busy giving us migraines.” ~King Henry

No one ever said raising children was easy…but raising a future monarch? That’s another story all-together. Get a glimpse into the happily-ever-after of Wessco’s irresistible royals in Royally Raised – a sweet, sexy, heartwarming short story set twenty years after Royally Matched.

Review

ROYALLY RAISED is a very quick read, one that is told in Henry and Sarah’s POV and takes place twenty years after their ROYALLY MATCHED story ended.  And when I say it was a very quick read, I really mean it.  It took me about thirty minutes to read, which made it the perfect book to pick up just before going to bed.  It was nice to get a glimpse of Henry and Sarah’s future, but it did have an unfinished feel to it and was certainly left open for more.  As a fan of this series, I really hope there will be more to come.

Royally Raised (Royally # 2.5)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Visit Emma Chase:  Click Here


Royally Series

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers # 4)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

Review

Like every other Sarina Bowen fan out there, I have been waiting for Nate and Becca’s story since we met them in the very first Brooklyn Bruisers book, ROOKIE MOVE back in September 2016.

Nate and Becca are both very easy characters to like. Becca is sweet, loyal, friendly, fun-loving, outgoing, giving and hardworking. She’s very well respected by everyone in the Bruisers organization, from the players to the office staff. Nate is intelligent and generous, but also a little socially awkward, which is absolutely adorable. Although, I will say he seemed more take-charge and less socially awkward in this book than I remember him being in the previous books.

The sound of her voice occasionally gives him goosebumps. When she laughs, he feels it in his chest.

After trying to ignore their attraction to each other for the past seven years, you will definitely be rooting for them to finally get their happily ever after.  But therein also lies some frustration, because a lot of this book involves watching them circle around each other as they try not to cross that line, and then circle around each other again after they do finally cross that line.  Which I understand. I really do. Because Nate is Becca’s boss, so not only does she have to deal with a power imbalance, she also has to worry about how her co-workers will see her if she starts sleeping with the boss.

BROOKLYNAIRE is told in dual POVs and while some of the events in this story take place in PIPE DREAMS—the previous book in the series—it can be read as a stand-alone.  It also includes flashback chapters that give us glimpses into how Becca came to work for Nate, and how they became friends before he was rich and famous, which I really enjoyed. I especially liked the way those chapters were written, as though the characters were speaking in a slightly medieval tongue. Overall, Nate and Becca’s story is a slow build, friends-to-lovers romance, that is a wonderful addition to the Brooklyn Bruisers series.

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers # 4)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Visit Sarina Bowen:  Click Here


Brooklyn Bruisers Series

The Manny (Dirty Truth # 1)

By Piper Rayne

Synopsis

She needed a nanny.
I needed a lead actress.
Somehow I became The Manny.

Secrets and lies are a killer way to start any partnership—especially a horizontal one.

Now, I’m a glass half full kinda of guy, so, after the ‘you’re fired’ speech was directed at me, I figure now’s the time to be the screenwriter I came to sunny California to be. Unfortunately, there are about as many people trying to sell a script in L.A. as there are vegans in the pacific northwest.

But lucky for me, a few weeks ago my agent found an investor for my script. Hooray, all my problems are solved! NOT.

Because the investor will only agree to fund my film if I use one specific actress. And that one specific actress? Well of course, it just has to be the same actress I screwed over only months before. But she doesn’t need to know about that one tiny detail, does she? All that matters is getting her to agree to do the film and I’ll do whatever it takes. We can leave the past, in the past, right?

I thought my charm would win her over. Never would I have been prepared for the terms she laid out on the table.

Review

I quite enjoyed THE MANNY, so much so that I already have the second book in the series, DOGGIE STYLE, ready to go on my Kindle.

I am in way over my head. Changing my first diaper is one thing. Changing my first diaper full of shit and dealing with a biological disaster is another entirely.

I liked Vance, who was really a good guy. Did he screw Layla out of a job because he was too busy thinking with his dick? Well, yeah, but he knows that was wrong and hates that he did it. Did Karma pay him back? Yep, and rightly so. For a man intent on staying a bachelor, he took to Layla’s kids pretty damn well. I really enjoyed the scenes where he was interacting with them, because they were all really sweet with just the right amount of humor thrown in.

“But right now I have to go check to make sure a four-year-old little boy isn’t cooking meth or something in his bedroom. It’s too quiet in there.”

Layla was a very easy character to like. She’s a single mother to two kids, and her ex-husband is more interested in sleeping around and maintaining his career than being a responsible and helpful parent. Because of all the people in her life that have let her down, placing her trust in someone is a big deal, so you really felt her devastation and anger when she found out the secret Vance was keeping from her. That anger was good for her though, because it gave her the strength to stand up to both Vance and her ex, and it was good.

“I’m at a crossroads with my career and I need people who will help me push my self-doubt to the side and who will believe in me. I thought you were one of those people, but it turns out you didn’t believe in me either.”

I only have two complaints with this story, but I consider them to be fairly minor. The conflict was predictable right from the start, and I thought the Kimmel scene was a little cheesy.

THE MANNY is told in dual POVs and is the first book in the Dirty Truth trilogy. Vance’s two best friends, Jagger and Leo, will get their own books and all three can be read as stand-alones. THE MANNY comes with a lovely HEA for Vance and Layla, and I hope we see more of them in the next two books, because I want to know if Vance’s film is a huge success.

The Manny (Dirty Truth # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Piper Rayne:  Click Here


Dirty Truth Series

Reed (Cold Fury Hockey # 10)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

The offseason is heating up for one Carolina Cold Fury heartbreaker who’s eager to make nice with the girl next door.

No one plays like Reed Olson, whether it’s hockey season or not. After back-to-back NHL championships, he’s craving a little R&R. Reed leans to a specific type—blond, busty, and interested—and fortunately he has a little black book full of options. So why is it he can’t stop dreaming about the new girl who just moved in next door? A certified brainiac, she seems to want nothing to do with the hard-bodied athlete.

Josie Ives desperately needs something her celebrity neighbor obviously doesn’t: solitude. Reed is everything she imagined—a little too good-looking, with a body that puts Greek gods to shame. But she didn’t expect he would also be funny and charming. Josie knows she’s the opposite of his type, and that’s fine with her. Still, the chemistry between them is undeniable. Their newfound friendship certainly has its benefits, but she’s starting to wonder if opposites really do attract.

Review

REED is the Cold Fury story I’ve been waiting for since reading MAX, book 6 in the series.

“We’re friends, Josie. The benefits are very good. So good I don’t need benefits from anyone else. Your benefits are the only ones I’m interested in.”

Reed comes across as a bit of a jerk in the beginning. He has a revolving door of blonde models warming his bed, and other than making sure they get off, he doesn’t care about them at all. He doesn’t even want them talking to him. He wants to get off and then get gone. But then he met Josie and slowly became a man I could very easily fall in love with. Considering he’s never had a meaningful relationship before, he did an amazing job of wooing Josie. He was sweet and romantic, and because he had no experience in dating before Josie, it made all his attempts even more special. My favorite scene was when he was upset about burning dinner, because all he wanted to do was make her a nice meal. It was very swoon worthy.

“Why do you want to slow it down?”
“Because I like you, Josie, and you’re not a notch in my bedpost.”

I can’t say much about Josie other than I thought she was smart, level-headed and the exact opposite of the women Reed usually surrounds himself with. She does battle with some insecurities about being with Reed, because she’s been hurt before and she knows she’s not his normal type, but she doesn’t shove her insecurities in your face every five minutes, which I greatly appreciated.

“I don’t know if I can be everything to you, Josie. But I want to be everything that I can possibly be. I want to be exactly what you need.”

I know there are quite a lot of readers out there who are avoiding this book because they’ve heard that Josie has sex with Reed after hearing him have sex with other women. I’ll admit, I was a little worried about that too when I heard about it, but it ended up not bothering me at all. It’s not like Josie hopped straight into Reed’s bed after hearing him; it’s weeks into their growing friendship before they become physical. Besides, they’re both grown ups and are fully aware that the other has had sex with other people before. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to read it, I’d say give it a go, because I don’t think it’s as bad as people are making it out to be.

REED is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Though they didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the story, I did have two minor issues: the conflict is a bit weak and the story ends abruptly. I turned the page—after the previous chapter ended on a sex scene—only to discover that I was at the end of the book. That being said, I really enjoyed watching Reed and Josie get to know each other and become friends, before finally becoming more.

Reed (Cold Fury Hockey # 10)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Visit Sawyer Bennett:  Click Here


Cold Fury Hockey Series

Justice (New Species # 4)

By Laurann Dohner

Synopsis

Justice North is the face of New Species. Seeing him up close makes Jessie’s heart race. He’s the ultimate alpha male—big, muscular, exotically beautiful…and dangerous. Of course he’s off limits. But then the sexy man purrs and all bets are off.

Jessie Dupree is a mouthy, fiery human female who brings out the animal in Justice. She wants to show him how to relax, and he’s all for anything she wants to do, but Justice has sworn to protect his people and to take a Species mate. He’s torn between the woman he wants and the oath he’s taken.

Jessie knows a relationship between them probably won’t end well, heartbreak is inevitable. But that won’t stop her from freeing the wildness inside Justice and spending every moment she can steal wrapped around his hot body, making him roar with passion.

Review

JUSTICE is the fourth book in the New Species series, and I’ve been waiting for Justice’s story since meeting him in the first book.  It’s also one of the final books that includes—what I call—an original; a character introduced in the first or second book.  Almost all the characters that get their own books from here on out are only introduced in the book that comes before theirs.  Sometimes, their own book is their introduction.

“You make me happy, Jessie.  I’m so glad you came into my life.  You’re a breath of sunshine in the dark stillness my life has become.”

Justice is the ultimate alpha male; he is the New Species leader and is in charge of them all.  Chosen for his strength and amazing control, it was exciting to watch him lose complete control when it came to Jessie.  His desire to take her as his mate was off-the-charts, but he fought it at almost every turn for several reasons, all of which were self-sacrificing for the good of his people.

Jessie was a good match for Justice because she was very strong and could kick some serious ass.  She’s had some military training, which came in handy after Justice was gravely injured in an attack.  She was able to protect and defend him, showing every New Species that she was the perfect mate for their leader.

As much as I enjoyed this book, there were two things that annoyed me.  First, Jessie told anyone who would listen that she was part of the task force that rescued Gift Females, and she brought it up so many times that it felt like she was bragging.  Secondly, I didn’t like how her superior kept threatening to put her over his knee and spank her ass, or haul her ass in front of the men and whip it, if she didn’t follow his orders.  I couldn’t stop myself from cringing every time he did it.

JUSTICE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Justice and Jessie.  I think every book within this series can be read as a stand-alone, but I think you’ll get more enjoyment if you read the series in order.

Justice (New Species # 4)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Visit Lauren Dohner:  Click Here


New Species Series

Sexy Jerk (Sexy Jerk World # 1)

By Kim Karr

Synopsis

My best friend is married.
Everyone I know is married. It doesn’t bother me. I like my life the way it is.

Since I’m single though, when my best friend and her husband finally decide to go on their dream honeymoon, she asks me to watch their three-year-old son.

Of course I say yes.

What my best friend neglects to tell me is that I won’t be babysitting alone.

Feeling Max might be too much for me to handle, her husband asks his only single friend to help.

Nick Carrington and I have met a couple of dozen times. I’ve never really given him a second thought—other than to say he’s kind of a jerk. Out loud. So he can hear. Sure, he’s tall, dark, and handsome. And yes, he has the best ass I’ve ever seen, and I mean ever seen quite literally. You see he mooned me at last year’s Fourth of July barbecue because, like I said, he’s a jerk.

He always has to be the life of the party.
He’s also arrogant.
Imposing.
Rich.
And a playboy.
I’d even go as far as to say he’s a manwhore.

Yet somehow before I know it, this manwhore and I are co-parenting. Living under the same roof. Eating meals together and yes, talking.

Don’t look at me like that—it’s not like I had a choice. Even though I knew every minute would be hell, I had to say yes.

But after two weeks what I didn’t expect is that I’d been wrong about him.
That under his smart-ass exterior, he’s quite charming.
That his arrogance is actually confidence.
And that the sight of his naked body would do really bad things to me.

So yes, I’ve misjudged him. And yes, I like him. Really like him. Although there are times I still think he’s a jerk…I now think he’s a sexy jerk.

And I want more of him.

The question is—does he want more of me?

Review

I’ve been struggling for days with what to rate SEXY JERK, and in the end I’ve decided to give it just 2❤️, because days after finishing the book, all I can think about are the issues I had with this story.

Character wise, I liked Nick, but I didn’t like Tess.  She was irrational and very easy to anger and upset.  Tess has hated Nick since the first time they met because he was a jerk, which makes no sense because we learn about their first meeting, and Nick was really nice.  He asked if he could buy her a drink, she said yes, he went to get it, then her boyfriend comes over and takes her away.  But somehow he’s a jerk?  Personally, I think she’s a bitch for accepting a drink from another man when she has a boyfriend.

Speaking of jerk, I get that Nick is supposed to be a jerk (he’s not), but I got annoyed at how many times he was called one throughout this story.  At my count, he was called a jerk twenty-two times.

There are two threesome scenes that didn’t work for me, and I’m wondering if they were added purely to increase the kink factor.  The first scene was when Tess reminisces about her first sexual experience, which was with twin brothers when she was just seventeen.  That scene came out of nowhere and really threw the story off.  It seemed to make sense a few chapters later when Tess thinks to herself that Nick brings out her kinky side, a side she’s been suppressing since her time with the twins.  The second scene involved their friends: Fiona, Ethan and Jace.  Fiona and Ethan are happily married with a child, but one day they just decide they want to bring Jace into their bed.  Why?  Because he and Ethan used to share women in college, and since Ethan’s wife died, he’s been lonely and they don’t want him to feel lonely anymore.  Again, it came out of nowhere, did not fit with the story and I thought it was weird and icky.

I like sex with my romance, but there was a lot of sex in this story.  A lot.  I started skimming through them because I had reached my limit and just wanted to get back to the story.  Even the epilogue had a sex scene that spanned several pages.

There’s a suspense element that involved Nick’s biggest real estate rival, which I thought was promising.  But after watching the suspense build throughout the story, it was anticlimactic to see it quickly tidied up in the epilogue.  There was even another person close to Nick who was involved, but you never hear about him again once Nick realizes what the “double agent” has been doing.  So even though the rival issue was resolved, it had an unfinished feel to it.  Almost like the author hit a wall and just decided to throw on the ending.

SEXY JERK is told in dual POVs and does come with a HEA for Nick and Tess.  While I didn’t enjoy this book, I would give this author another go, but I won’t be continuing on with this series.

Sexy Jerk (Sexy Jerk World # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Visit Kim Karr:  Click Here


Sexy Jerk World Series

Royally Matched (Royally # 2)

By Emma Chase

Synopsis

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

Review

Wow!  I can’t remember the last time I thoroughly enjoyed watching two people get to know each other.  It was honestly a delight watching Henry and Sarah fall in love.

“When I put Mum’s ring on her finger, I want the world to know it’s because I’ve chosen her. Not because she fits the bill or checks the boxes, but because she’s magnificent. And I’m lucky enough that she’s willing to put up with me.”

I really liked Sarah.  She might be a little shy, but I loved that she had no problem standing up to Henry when it was called for.  Her shy and serious personality was a perfect match for Henry’s outgoing and playful personality.  I also loved her best friends, Willard and Annie, who added to the humor every time they appeared and who truly loved Sarah for who she was.

“You’ve become . . . important to me, Sarah. I mess up a lot; I always have. I don’t want to mess this up.”

I loved, loved, loved Henry.  He certainly grew up in this story, and I enjoyed watching him struggle with his new role while trying to keep his easy-going nature intact.  I loved the scenes where he was trying to get back in Sarah’s good graces after upsetting her.  Both scenes really highlighted his thoughtful and sweet sides, making it so very easy to love him.

“Didn’t you know that? Can’t you see it, Sarah? I’m absolutely gone for you.”

ROYALLY MATCHED is told in dual POVs and comes with a lovely ending for Henry and Sarah.  While it is part of the Royally series, and does take place where ROYALLY SCREWED finished, it can be read as a stand-alone.  Though I think you would understand Henry better if you read the previous book first.  I loved ROYALLY MATCHED and I will definitely be reading the next book in this series.

Royally Matched (Royally # 2)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Visit Emma Chase:  Click Here


Royally Series

Forbidden Desire (Lee County Wolves # 3)

By Teresa Gabelman

Synopsis

From the moment Marcus Foster saw Roxy Patel, he knew she was his mate. Remaining patient because of her troubled past, he was determined to build her trust. She was his and nothing would change that, not even time.

Leaving her past behind, Roxy refused to remain a broken shell of a woman. Determined to start afresh, moving to a new town was just what she needed. With the help of her new friends, and a wolf shifter wanting to make her his own, all Roxy needed was the chance to thrive again.

Review

FORBIDDEN DESIRE is the third book in the Lee County Wolves series, and while the last Foster brother has now been mated off, the series has been left open for more books.  More wolves have been brought into the pack for protection, and their alpha—Garrett—has come to a decision that will greatly affect the pack.  I am interested in seeing where the author will go from here.

I liked Marcus, but Roxy was definitely the stand-out character.  Garrett rescued her from her abusive husband, and she’s been living in hiding with the pack ever since.  She’s been using that time well; building up her confidence and breaking free from the conditioning her husband instilled in her.

We got to see the previous two couples, but more of Garrett and Janna because Janna’s pregnant and Garrett’s still being challenged for his alpha position.  Hunter was his usual playful self and really brought in the humor.

“Why don’t you claim her, bro?”
“Because she’s still married.”
“Okay, well let’s kill the son of a bitch and then she won’t be married anymore. Easy fix.”

FORBIDDEN DESIRE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Marcus and Roxy.

Forbidden Desire (Lee County Wolves # 3)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Teresa Gabelman:  Click Here


Lee County Wolves Series

Man Card (Man Hands # 2)

By Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Synopsis

Nothing ventured, nothing banged.

Ash
I still don’t know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor—our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down…
It can never happen again. I don’t even like Braht. He’s too slick. He’s a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.
So why can’t I get him out of my head?

Braht
There are two things I know without question.
One: Ash and I are destined for each other.
Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.
Ash is my missing my piece. She’s the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don’t call her the Ashkicker for nothing.
Eventually I’ll win her over…if my past doesn’t ruin everything first.

Review

I really liked MAN CARD.  It was a fun read from the very first page to the very last, and it was a great way to spend a few hours.

I liked Ash.  She’s determined, she gives as good as she gets, and she’s a great friend to her two besties: Brynn and Sadie.  But I can’t say much more about Ash because in my opinion, Braht stole the show.  I loved his boudoir photo shoot scene, as well as his pedicure scene with his octogenarian friends.  Both scenes were hilarious and really highlighted his playful and sweet sides.  But while he might be a prankster who likes his skin to be as soft as a baby’s bottom, he’s strong and smart enough to take care of what’s his.  He’s been looking after his little brother since he was seventeen, and when Ash was being harassed by an ex, Braht came up with ways to help keep her safe.  Together, their banter was always witty and fun.

MAN CARD is told in dual POVs and while it is part of the Man Hands series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  We did see a little of the previous couple, Brynn and Tom, and it was nice to see how they were doing and what was new with them.  I’m assuming—and hoping—Sadie will get her own book next, given that her husband is a dick who doesn’t deserve her.  MAN CARD comes with a sweet and humorous epilogue that was oh so Braht and Ash, and just perfect.

Man Card (Man Hands # 2)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Visit Sarina Bowen:  Click Here
Visit Tanya Eby:  Click Here


Man Hands Series

Michael: A Scrooged Christmas

By F.G. Adams

Synopsis

Do holiday wishes really come true?

For kindergarten teacher, Holly Mary Edwards, she’s banking on a miracle when the man of her dreams returns from duty abroad.

Decorated army doctor, Michael Barnes, is not ready to face the holiday season after his fiancé leaves him for another man. Michael is convinced it’s time to put happiness in a tight little box and ship it back to the North Pole.

He wasn’t expecting Holly. And when the sexy Holly-jolly nymph takes it upon herself to divest him of his Mr. Scrooged attitude, she’ll do anything to bring him into the jingle bell jolly.

Can Holly convince him ‘tis the season for love?

Review

Unfortunately, MICHAEL: A SCROOGED CHRISTMAS was a DNF for me at the 18% mark.  I usually try to last a little longer than that, but I just couldn’t continue on when a flashback scene appeared out of nowhere and had no connection to the scene I was reading.  At least, I think it was a flashback scene.  I honestly can’t be certain.  It appeared so randomly and without notice that I thought I’d missed an entire page, so I went back two pages and re-read everything, but the result was still the same: great confusion about what I was reading.  So I made the decision to stop reading and move on to another book.  I researched the author’s work and found out that the two people Michael was angry at⏤Grayson and Ella⏤had their own story already, and I wonder if the flashback would have made more sense if I had read that other book first.

Michael: A Scrooged Christmas

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit F.G. Adams:  Click Here