Category Archives: Read by Vicki

Sexy Bad Neighbor (Sexy Bad # 1)

By Misti Murphy & Tami Lund

Synopsis

What happens when your neighbor hires you a stripper? 

It starts one hell of a prank war. A war that involves goats, phallic chandeliers, stolen kisses in the rain, strawgasms, and eating out on the kitchen counter. 

A war that could damn well involve two hearts and a plan. Her plan doesn’t involve falling in love. His life doesn’t involve plans.

This could be a problem.

Review

SEXY BAD NEIGHBOR has been on my TBR list since it was released, because the cover looks fun and the blurb sounds fun.  It’s dislike-at-first-sight for Chloe and Paynter, who spend about one third of the story playing pranks against each other as they try to get the upper hand.  Their pranks are certainly inventive and ultimately hilarious, and it’s not long before dislike turns into lust.

Chloe took a long time to warm up to because of her attitude.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s a nice woman who I liked by the end, but she did come across as shallow and judgemental the first few times she interacted with Paynter.  She has tunnel vision when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder and is fixated on not trusting any man because her last boyfriend was a douchebag who stole her promotion.  Paynter, on the other hand, was very easy to like with his friendly and laid-back personality.  He was also very adorable when he was drunk.

SEXY BAD NEIGHBOR is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Chloe and Paynter.  It is part of a series, but as each book will be about a different couple, they can be read as stand-alones.  Overall, I found this to be a fun and light-hearted read, and I would gladly read the next book in the series.

Sexy Bad Neighbor (Sexy Bad # 1)

My Rating:  

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Sexy Bad Series

Stay (WAGs # 2)

By Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Synopsis

Can you fall for someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch–an anonymous virtual assistant service–is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson. 

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting…until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth–that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

Review

STAY is book 2 in the WAGs series and once again, Sarina and Elle did not disappoint.  The story.  The main characters.  The secondary characters.  I loved it all.

“I was thinking about what you said yesterday at the store.  About how you’ve never really dated?”
“Oh. That.”
“I don’t know, it seems kind of unfair that you’ve never been on a real date.  I thought I’d change that.”

I don’t know how they manage to do it, but Sarina and Elle have an amazing way of writing male leads that are so easy to love, and Matt is no exception.  He’s funny, sweet and a great father to his two daughters.  He’s also good husband material, despite his ex-wife’s claims and the emotional abuse she dumped on him throughout⎯and after⎯their marriage.  Hailey, having recently gone through a divorce herself, was a great match for Matt.  They both lost confidence in themselves when their spouses left, so I felt they were on equal footing when it came to their relationship, and both knew they had to tread lightly.  I loved their online flirting in the beginning, but my favourite scene was when Matt texted Hailey during their dinner date because she was so nervous.  It was the perfect blend of sweet, endearing and hot.

We got a couple of scenes with the hockey WAGs, who are loyal and supportive, and just a great group of women all around.  A special shout out has to go to Hailey’s best friend, Jenny, as well as Mr Dick.  In fact, if Sarina and Elle are reading this review, I’d like to put in a request for Jenny and Mr Dick to get their own story.

STAY is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  I get the feeling that Matt’s teammate, O’Connor, will get the next book and, judging by his reaction to a certain woman in this story, it should be interesting.  I’m looking forward to it and it can’t come soon enough.

Stay (WAGs # 2)

My Rating:  

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WAGs Series

Him Duet (Connected Series)

Steel Beauty (Halle Pumas # 4)

By Dana Marie Bell

Synopsis

Coping with a devastating injury is hard enough for Belinda “Belle” Campbell. Forced separation from her destined mate while she heals is almost more than she can endure. Until she is strong enough to take up her duties as Luna of the Poconos Wolf Pack, however, the safest place for her is Halle. Now, after months of being alone, she is more than ready to be claimed. But is the pack ready for a Puma Luna?

Rick Lowell has waited long enough to bring Belle home where she belongs. He’s aware of the danger, as well—and it isn’t long before a bitch with an eye on Belle’s position issues a challenge. The only way to put down the threat is for Belle to defeat the usurper in combat.

There’s only one problem. Thanks to the pins in her broken hip, Belle can’t shift. Without that tactical advantage, it won’t be a fair fight. With his new mate’s life on the line, Rick is forced to make a decision that will change everything.

That is, if Belle gives him the chance to make it.

Review

STEEL BEAUTY is the fourth book in the Halle Pumas series⎯as well the prequel to the Poconos Pack series⎯and takes place from where the previous book ended.  We’ve seen a little bit of Belle (puma) throughout this series, and we met Rick (Poconos wolf alpha) in the previous book when he came down to help the Pride deal with a rogue wolf.

Belle was seriously injured in the previous book protecting a pride mate and, at the beginning of this story, Rick was forced to leave her⎯unclaimed and with her pride⎯for several months until she had healed enough to defend herself.  This was done in order to protect her from his pack’s dominant female, Gina, who wanted Rick⎯and the alpha female title that goes with him⎯for herself.  While every female we’ve met before has been strong in their own way, Belle was the first one we saw that actually kicked some arse…and it was good.

STEEL BEAUTY is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Rick and Belle.  While each novella could technically be read as a stand-alone⎯as each one focuses on a different couple⎯it is best to read the series in order.  As with the previous novellas, there’s plenty of humour and animalistic sex to go around.

Steel Beauty (Halle Pumas # 4)

My Rating:  

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Falling For Her Brother’s Best Friend (Tea For Two # 1)

By Noelle Adams

Synopsis

After too many bad decisions in romance, Emma is going on a man-fast. For the next six months, she’s fasting from men. No sex. No dating. No soulful gazes. No fond memories of her first crush. She’s going to spend the time focusing on her career, getting in touch with herself, and helping her two best friends with the launch of their new tea room. No men.

And that includes her brother’s best friend, Noah Hart, who has just returned to their hometown.

She doesn’t want Noah anyway. He might be even hotter than he was before, but he’s not a nice guy anymore. He’s made a fortune by acting ruthless in business, and the last thing he’s looking for is small-town domestic life. He doesn’t even want to be in town again, but a sick grandmother guilted him into it. Then he has nerve to not even recognize Emma when he sees her again. Maybe it’s been seven years, but a decent guy would remember his best friend’s little sister.

Noah is not a decent guy. Anyway, Emma is on a man-fast. And she doesn’t want Noah.

At all.

Fifteen years ago, three girls were thrown together because their brothers were best friends. Now they’re all grown up, and their brothers are grown up too. The Tea for Two series tells their stories.

Review

FALLING FOR HER BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND is the beginning of a new trilogy; a trilogy that is about three male best friends who fall in love with each other’s younger sisters.  I hope that makes sense, because it’s surprisingly hard to explain quickly and that’s the best I could come up with.

Emma had a huge⎯and unrequited⎯crush on Noah growing up, one that was obvious to everyone.  Several years later and just as she decides to go on a six-month man-fast, Noah arrives back in town and seriously tests her resolve.  I liked Emma, but there wasn’t much depth to her character.  She’s nice, smart and very loving of her friends, but by the end of the book, that’s all we know about her.  One could say that she was too nice, given that Noah hurt her feelings twice and she never called him out on it.

Noah, on the other hand, had a bit more depth to his character thanks to some issues surrounding his father.  I thought we’d see some resolution between him and his father, but we didn’t, so perhaps we’ll see it in his sister’s story.  To be honest, I don’t agree with how he is described in the synopsis.  Sure, his handling of Emma made me want to beat him over the head, but I wouldn’t say he was ruthless, or that he wasn’t a nice or decent guy.  He just had to stop being an idiot and face his demons.

FALLING FOR HER BROTHER’S BEST FRIEND is told in dual POVs and overall it’s a quick, light and easy read.  I’d be interested in reading the next book to see who the couple is and what happens between them.

Falling For Her Brother’s Best Friend (Tea For Two # 1)

My Rating:  

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Reckless Kiss (Endless Kiss # 1)

By Amelia Wilde

Synopsis

The one thing that obsesses, captivates, and seduces me? Money.

I’m a self-made billionaire, and running my business empire means I’ve got better things to do than bother with women. They can throw themselves at me all they want—I can’t be tempted.

Until my newest executive secretary’s first day on the job.

One glance at her and I forget about spreadsheets and quarterly earnings, because her curves are pure sin. Her mouth is the wickedest distraction I’ve ever seen.

And I swear she’s begging me to f*ck her with those huge, green, innocent eyes.

I’m not just her boss—I’m the CEO of the whole company. I shouldn’t touch her, let alone bend her over my desk and make her moan my name.

And I absolutely can’t possess Vivienne the way I really want to, letting her slake my dark desires.

But I also can’t stay away…

I’m not about to fall for my boss.

Dominic Wilder thinks he can take whatever he wants just because he’s rich and successful…not to mention his chiseled body and intense, dominating glare. Just because he makes me want to climb into his private jet and let him have his way with me right now doesn’t mean I will.

Here’s the thing: I’m not just one of his secretaries…

I’m an undercover FBI agent investigating him, and I’m on the verge of a breakthrough. This mission could make my entire career—there’s no way I’m jeopardizing it for some nice abs and a little whispered dirty talk.

Or even a lot of whispered dirty talk, not to mention his hands all over me, making me feel things I’ve never felt before.

Even one kiss would be too reckless…

Review

RECKLESS KISS sounded like a read that I’d really enjoy, but sadly it fell short of my expectations.  I felt no chemistry between Dominic or Vivienne at all, and to be honest, neither of them won me over, though Vivienne didn’t annoy me as much as Dominic did.

I felt as though Dominic spent the entire story doing two things:
1 – being bitter about how his father became a laughing stock in the business world after he almost ran his business into the ground; and
2 – trying to figure out how he could balance running his business and loving Vivienne at the same time, because apparently doing both is impossible.

I liked Vivienne better, but even she disappointed me.  I was hoping she’d be a kick-arse FBI agent, one who we’d see investigating the case and leading us through twists and turns before uncovering the identity of the person selling the company’s secrets.  Instead, we see her perform secretarial work for most of the story until she figures out who the traitor is at the end, after what feels like five minutes of investigation.

RECKLESS KISS is told in dual POVs and, considering how little time Dominic and Vivienne spent together before declaring their love for each other, I’d classify this as an insta-love.  Apart from my issues with the characters, the story didn’t hold my attention and in a couple of spots I had issues with the timeline.  Going by all the positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, clearly a lot of people have loved this story.  Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.

Reckless Kiss (Endless Kiss # 1)

My Rating:  

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Endless Kiss Series

Battle Of The Sexes

By Adriana Locke

Synopsis

Carver Jones’ partner at Jones + Gallum had to step down for medical reasons. He’s absolutely devastated. He swears. Just ignore his cheeky grin, okay?

When word reaches his fancy corner office that Gallum is replacing himself with his daughter, Amity, Carver is ecstatic. 

For real this time. 

Jones squashes men in the business industry flat. A woman? Pfst. He’ll be completely in charge in no time, doing whatever he wants. He’s so ready for this. 

But is he ready to fight the hardest fight of his life? No, not the one to maintain control of his company. The one to keep control of his heart.

The battle may begin in the boardroom, but the war will definitely be won in the bedroom. May the best sex win.

Review

BATTLE OF THE SEXES was a quick and lighthearted read about two ex-childhood friends, thrown back into each others lives and forced to compete for the same CEO position in their families business.

It took me a while to warm up to Carver, mostly because the sexual innuendos he laid on Amity at the beginning were laid on way too thick.  Can you say “Sexual Harrassment”?  That being said, he has very fond memories of Amity and you could tell that despite a few idiotic choices, he genuinely liked her…then and now.  I liked Amity’s tenacity and that she gave as good as she got from Carver.  I also liked how she had to guts to tell Carver exactly how that one night all those years ago affected her, and still affects her to this day.  Don’t worry, she’s not a “woe is me/I’ve never been able to love” person; she’s too strong for that.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, though I will say that I was disappointed with how the battle for the CEO role was won.  Yes, it was sweet and I could understand the reason behind it, but I was disappointed nonetheless.  BATTLE OF THE SEXES is told in dual POVs and at this time, it appears to be a stand-alone.  It’s also a novella, so it’s a fairly quick read.  From memory, we see a bit of foreplay but no sex, so if you’re looking for a read that’s steamy, you won’t find it here.  But if you’re after an ex-friends-to-lovers story with witty banter and a HEA, this one is for you.

Battle Of The Sexes

My Rating:  

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In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels # 0.5)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

He’ll give her what she needs . . .

Addison Williams isn’t looking for romance, but when she encounters an eavesdropping stranger on an adjoining hotel balcony, she figures she’s due a little fun. She just hadn’t reckoned on the “fun” escalating so quickly to “out of control.” One minute she’s flirting with a whiskey-graveled voice in the dark, the next that same voice is telling her to do things. Hot, wicked things.

Cup-winning hockey player Ford “Killer” Callaghan can’t believe he let the anonymous woman who blew his mind slip away into the night. He’ll track her down because once could never be enough–even if discovering her identity places her strictly out of bounds.

Stolen kisses. Secret hook-ups. Deliciously forbidden in every way. Can a passion that started in the dark find a lifetime of love in the light?

Originally published in Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, this sexy prequel to the Chicago Rebels hockey series features an older, curvy woman, a younger, driven hero, and a happily-ever-after you’ll swoon over. Bonus: Includes the first chapter of Irresistible You, the first full-length book in the Chicago Rebels series.

Review

IN SKATES TROUBLE is the prequel novella of the Chicago Rebels series.  Here we are introduced to Ford and Addy, whose first sexual encounter was definitely…unique.  I loved the fact that they never had sex in a bed.  Not.  Once.

I liked Addy, but she’s still trying to come to terms with the fact that she “allowed” her ex-husband to control her every move while they were married.  Because of this, she got upset (overly, in my opinion) when Ford tried to pave the way for them to be together, out in the open.  I loved Ford.  He’s six years younger than Addy, but he knew he wanted to know her before he’d even laid eyes on her.  Her voice and boldness made him want her.  There’s something to be said about a man who is not afraid of his feelings for a woman; one who is willing to jeopardise everything to be with her.

“You like him. I could tell at the dinner table before you sullied my first-floor guest bathroom with your hot ‘n’ heavy fuckfest.”

IN SKATES TROUBLE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Ford and Addy.  The other “main” character we were introduced to was Harper, the daughter of the Chicago Rebels owner, and she’ll get the next book.  This story isn’t all sunshine and roses, but for the most part I found it to be a light and enjoyable read.

In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels # 0.5)

My Rating:  

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Chicago Rebels Series

Cat Of A Different Color (Halle Pumas # 3)

By Dana Marie Bell

Synopsis

Dr. Adrian Giordano is quite happy with the way his life is going. His two best friends are happily mated, and he’s still sanely single. He has friends, a thriving business, and the occasional Saturday night date. Then Sheridan Montgomery comes to town. His inner Puma responds to the husky-voiced snow princess in a way that tells him his life is about to be turned upside down.

Sheri can’t believe her luck could be this bad. Instinct tells her Adrian is her mate, but the last thing she wants to do is drag him into her messy life. She’s on the run from a big bad wolf—an ex who won’t take no for an answer. Worse, if he catches her, he’s got the teeth (and the Pack!) to take what he wants. 

She doesn’t stand a chance alone, but with her friends—and the persistent Adrian—by her side, she might just survive. 

If her ex doesn’t eat the yummy Dr. Giordano for lunch, that is…

Review

CAT OF A DIFFERENT COLOR is the third book in the Halle Pumas series, and as with the previous two books, it was a light, fun and quick read.  We’ve met Adrian very briefly before (he is Max’s business partner), but we haven’t met Sheri until now.  She was turned by Max in college to protect her from a stalker ex-boyfriend, who happens to be a wolf shifter.  His harassment has become so serious that she has finally requested to become a member of the pride for extra protection.

CAT OF A DIFFERENT COLOR is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Adrian and Sheri.  While each novella could technically be read as a stand-alone, I think it’s best to read the series in order, to fully understand how the pride works.  The usual amount of humour⎯and animalistic sex⎯is present in this story as well, but thanks to the stalker ex, there is a darker scene that could be a trigger for some readers.

Cat Of A Different Color (Halle Pumas # 3)

My Rating:  

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In The Heir (Westerly Billionaires # 1)

By Ruth Cardello

Synopsis

Brett Westerly is his father’s golden child, but it’s come at a cost. As head of the family corporation, he throws himself into his work—hiding in his office is easier than confronting the reality of his broken family.

After a bitter divorce that split the family and divided loyalties, the wealthy Westerly matriarch offers an early inheritance to any grandchild who marries and invites the entire family to the wedding. Brett’s brother Spencer rashly gets engaged, and Brett knows it’s his duty to intervene. But he never imagined the unwelcome desire Spencer’s fiery fiancée would spark in him. Now the man who’s used to getting everything he could want has met the one woman he can’t have.

Ever since she was a girl, Alisha Coventry considered Spencer and his sister Rachelle the family she didn’t have. When Spencer asks for her help, Alisha has no problem becoming his fake fiancée—until she meets Spencer’s sexy older brother Brett. The chemistry between them is undeniable—forbidden—but as their relationship deepens, Brett is determined to have her.

Alisha only wanted to help the family make amends. Now she’s falling for the wrong Westerly.

Review

IN THE HEIR is the first book I’ve read from Ruth Cardello, and to be honest, I’m a little up in the air with how I feel about it, which is why I’ve given it three hearts.  Despite being under 250 pages, it did take me a couple of days to finish because it didn’t hold my attention.  There’s a lot of conflict within the story, but most of it surrounds Brett’s divided family and the twenty-year-old secrets that are now being revealed.

For every one thing I liked about Brett and Alisha, there was one thing I didn’t like about them.  Alisha was strong and fierce enough to stand up to people and put them in their place, but then she let her best friends treat her with disrespect and tell her what she could and couldn’t do, at the expense of her own happiness.  Brett was supposed to be a take-charge billionaire, but his stalkerish behaviour came across as less alpha and more creeper.  He had jaded views about marriage (which is understandable) and he didn’t think too highly of women in the beginning, but that changed after just one or two interactions with Alisha.  Despite his strained relationship with his family, he claimed they were the most important thing to him; yet when they were in the middle of a crisis, he went on vacation, leaving them to sort it out themselves.  In short, they would say one thing or behave a certain way, and then they would say or do something that went against what they just said or did.

IN THE HEIR is told in dual POVs, with the prologue and epilogue being told in Delinda’s (the Westerly grandmother’s) POV, as she schemes to bring her broken family back together.  Brett and Alisha’s inner thoughts were presented in a way that I’m not sure I liked.  I don’t recall seeing it done like that before and it had an erratic and choppy feel to it.  I really liked the small family tree displayed at the front of the book, which helped me out a lot.  Overall, it’s a simple story about a divided family that just needs love (and honesty) to come back together.

In The Heir (Westerly Billionaires # 1)

My Rating:  

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Westerly Billionaire Series

Shacking Up

By Helena Hunting

Synopsis

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

Review

SHACKING UP is the first Helena Hunting book I’ve read, and it left me wondering why I hadn’t read the other one of her books that’s just been sitting on my Kindle…for the past twelve months.  I enjoyed the romantic buildup between Bancroft and Ruby: they meet, fall in lust and then seperate for five weeks while Bancroft is out of the country.  They get to know each other better⎯and flirt outrageously⎯by talking on the phone and video-chatting almost every day while he was away.  It was an interesting way to build a relationship.

I liked Ruby, who comes from money but wants to be financially independent from her father.  She’s a little jaded about relationships and she’s a bit stubborn when it comes to people offering financial assistance, and while I could understand her reasons, it did become tiresome after a while.  I looooved Bancroft.  He also comes from money, but just like Ruby, he’s down-to-earth despite his upbringing.  He is polite, affectionate and generous, but he’s also a little rough around the edges and when the situation calls for it, he can be quite the dirty talker.

“I’m sorry.”
“For What?”
“For thinking the worst.”
“No need for apologies, but if you still feel bad about it later you can let me fuck your mouth.”

SHACKING UP is told in dual POVs, and while right now it appears to be a stand-alone, I get the feeling this will turn into a series of stand-alones with different couples.  I’m hoping Ruby’s best friend Amie will get her own book considering her fiancé is a total douchebag.  When preparing this review, I was shocked to learn that the print length is 480 pages, because it honestly didn’t feel that long.  Which, for me, is a sign that the story doesn’t drag despite the high number of pages.  That being said, the chapters are very long, and I found myself putting the book down in the middle of a chapter here and there because I just couldn’t make it to the end.

Shacking Up

My Rating:  

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