Category Archives: Read by Vicki

The Cinderella Fantasy (Playing The Princess # 1)

By Sara Jane Stone

Synopsis

A princess who has lost her faith in love . . .

Lucy Linden’s prince charming (a.k.a. her fiancé) disappeared three months before the Big Day. Determined to pick up the pieces, she dives into the world of online dating. But the only men interested in a woman whose day job involves playing Cinderella leave Lucy looking for an exit strategy before the main course. And the man rushing to her rescue isn’t the solution to her problems. Jared is a walking, talking fantasy—if Lucy’s daydreams began and ended in the bedroom. No one would ever mistake South Florida’s bored billionaire bachelor for a long-term prince.

A man willing to risk everything to prove he’s her prince . . .

Jared Mitchell pushes the limits, in the boardroom and in bed. When his best friend and business partner’s little sister sends up red distress flares, he’s thrust into the role of pseudo-big brother. He’s never had a thing for Cinderella. But now he’s fighting his desire to make the princess his—even if he has to risk his empire to deliver her happy-ever-after ending.

Review

I picked up THE CINDERELLA FANTASY because I was after a quick and lighthearted read, and that’s exactly what I got.  I liked it enough, but after I finish this review, I will probably never think about it again.

My biggest dislikes were the excessive number of fairytale/fireworks/magic references made throughout the story, and that the ending comes up on you really fast.

My biggest likes were that Jared was upfront with Lucy’s brother about his feelings for her, and her brother was supportive of their relationship.  Usually these relationships are kept hidden from the brother and it never ends well, so it was refreshing to see it play out this way and that everyone could be a grown up about it.

THE CINDERELLA FANTASY is told in dual POVs and comes with a happy ending for Jared and Lucy.  It appears to be the beginning of a new series, one that sounds like it will follow Lucy and her two princess-playing best friends as they find love.  If you like sibling’s-best-friend romances and novellas, THE CINDERELLA FANTASY will be right up your alley.

The Cinderella Fantasy (Playing The Princess # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Royal Pain (His Royal Hotness # 1)

By Tracy Wolff

Synopsis

Being rich opens a lot of doors. When you’re rich and royal, those doors lead to a new bedroom every night. I should know. The tabloids call me His Royal Hotness, Prince Kian of Wildemar. Women across the world see me as a naughty fairy tale, an image I’m happy to indulge. As the spare to the heir, I’m the prince with none of the power . . . and all of the perks.

Then my twin brother is kidnapped, and suddenly I’m the one who could be king. The crown chasers start circling—and yet it’s a luscious waitress who catches my eye. With a smart mouth and the curves to back it up, Savannah Breslin is as brazen as I’d expect an American commoner to be.

But Savvy’s not interested in playing Cinderella. As sexy as she is, she’s no stranger to heartbreak. Besides, a nice guy wouldn’t drag her into all the drama that comes along with royalty. Lucky I’m not a nice guy. And, as it turns out, I might not even be her first prince. . . .

Review

I’ve read and enjoyed some of Tracy Wolff’s work before, so when I saw ROYAL PAIN on NetGalley, I quickly requested it because it sounded so good.  Sadly, ROYAL PAIN was not an enjoyable read for me.

What did I like about it?  That’s easy: the characters.  I can’t say much about Savvy other than she’s nice and down-to-earth, but I can say a lot about Kian.  He’s happy to be the spare heir, but when the situation calls for him to step up, he does.  I liked his security detail and how he treats them like friends and not like servants who are beneath him.  We didn’t see much of it, but he also has a great relationship with his brother and future king, Garrett.

What didn’t I like about it?  Unfortunately, pretty much everything else.

It could be repetitive at times, and it was so wordy and full of inner monologue that I started skipping paragraphs just to get to the conversations, of which there weren’t a lot of.

While I liked Kian and Savvy, I didn’t feel the connection they were feeling because of how little time they spent together.  I also thought it was strange that after just two brief encounters, he got angry with her because she hadn’t told him about a previous relationship she had with someone he knows.  Considering they had spent—at most—an hour together at this point, I couldn’t understand why he insisted she should have told him already.

Finally, the sex scenes didn’t win me over.  The first scene was thirty-one Kindle pages long, with their foreplay taking up twenty-eight of those pages, which was too long to keep me interested.  I also couldn’t get my head around some of the mistakes I found.  One example is when Savvy’s hands are pinned above her head, but on the next page she digs her nails into Kian’s shoulders and other places, but then on the next page Kian tightens his hold on her wrists…that he never let go of.  This sort of thing might not be a big deal for some, but for me, it’s hard to visualize a scene with those kind of careless mistakes in it.

ROYAL PAIN is told in dual POVs and comes with a happy ending for Kian and Savvy.  The next book, ROYAL TREATMENT, will be about Garrett and while I liked him, I don’t think I’ll be reading it.

Royal Pain (His Royal Hotness # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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His Royal Hotness Series

Fatal Identity (Fatal Series # 10)

By Marie Force

Synopsis

Every family has its secrets… 

As the first anniversary of her marriage to Vice President Nick Cappuano approaches, Lieutenant Sam Holland is dreaming of Bora Bora—sun, sand and a desperately needed break from the DC grind. But real life has a way of intervening, and Sam soon finds herself taking on one of the most perplexing cases of her career.  

Government worker Josh Hamilton begs Sam to investigate his shocking claim that his parents stole him from another family thirty years ago. More complicated still, his “father” is none other than the FBI director. When a member of Josh’s family is brutally murdered, Sam begins to question how deep this cover-up goes. Is it possible the revered director was part of a baby-napping ring and that others involved are also targets? 

With a killer intent on deadly revenge and her team still reeling from a devastating loss, Sam’s plate is full—and when Nick and their son, Scotty, take ill, is her dream of a tropical anniversary celebration in peril too?

Review

FATAL IDENTITY is another great addition to the Fatal series.

When I started writing this review, I was shocked to realise that it had been two years since I’d read my last Fatal book, FATAL FRENZY.  It was good to reconnect not just with Sam and Nick, but with all the other characters from this series.  I like that with the initial reappearance of each character, we get a quick rundown of their history from the previous books.  That little refresher comes in handy because after four years and eleven books, it’s difficult trying to remember everything that’s happened to everyone.  That being said, I am getting sick of hearing about the Sam/Avery connection and the Sam/Archie fling.  Ms Force, if you’re not going to make something of these two things, please stop bringing them up.

I’ve read all the books in this series up to and including this one, and as with all the previous Fatal books, FATAL IDENTITY was an enjoyable read and one that was hard to put down.  The case Sam works on was certainly interesting, although when the truth came out at the end, it was a little far-fetched.  That’s not going to stop me from reading the next book though.

FATAL IDENTITY is told in the POV of multiple characters, but it is mostly told in Sam’s.  It can technically be read as a stand-alone, but I think understanding the characters and their relationships would be easier if you’ve read the entire series.

Fatal Identity (Fatal Series # 10)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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Fatal Series

Lucas (Cold Fury Hockey # 8)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

Lucas Fournier is only serious about one thing: hockey. The league’s fun-loving charmer, Luc is always up for a good prank or a great lay, and he has no intention of settling down. But being traded to the Carolina Cold Fury—and to play alongside his big brother, Max—is no joke. With another title in sight, the last thing Luc wants is to let his new teammates down. To succeed, Luc will need to keep his head in the game and the most . . . er, demanding member of his anatomy in check. But when temptation hits, Luc hits back harder.

Museum curator Stephanie Frazier has always put business before pleasure, which just about explains her nonexistent sex life. But when Stephanie meets Luc at a champagne-fueled gala, she finds herself flirting like crazy—and going home with the uninhibited athlete. For one night, she learns what passion is all about. She just never counted on the little surprise Luc leaves behind. And that’s when things really start to get . . . interesting.

Review

I’m going to start my review by saying that I love Sawyer Bennett, so it sucks to give her a low rating, but I just can’t rate LUCAS any higher than 3❤️.  Apart from the scorching hot sex, I just didn’t feel the connection between Lucas and Stephanie, and I couldn’t get my head around the type of sexual non-relationship they were trying to have.

I really liked Lucas and he’s the reason I rated this as high as I did.  There were a couple of times where he was a dick, but for the most part he was a level-headed guy with an amazing personality.  He’s nice, friendly and caring, and he’s a monster in bed.  Who can’t get down with that combination?

Stephanie, on the other hand, frustrated me to tears.  No doubt she’s a survivor, but that’s the only thing about her I liked and respected.  I was clearly not in the mood to listen to her constantly complain about how her shitty childhood affects her ability to connect with people to this day.  But what really annoyed me was that Lucas, being the great guy he is, spent the entire book trying to boost her up and showing her that he cared about her…and she never believed him.  But when a fairly new acquaintance tells her just once that she’s good enough, she suddenly believes it and is grateful that she finally has someone who believes in her.  That was a serious WTF moment for me and really cemented my dislike of her.

LUCAS is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The epilogue is told in Van’s POV and it sets us up for his book, which will be next.  Like Lucas, he’s new to the team and while we didn’t see a lot of him in this story, what we did see was a guy who was very rude, keeps to himself and who doesn’t seem very likeable.  That being said, he has me intrigued so I will be definitely be reading his book.

Lucas (Cold Fury Hockey # 8)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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Cold Fury Hockey Series

The Playbook

By Kelly Elliott

Synopsis

My life revolved around two things. Football and my cock. And not necessarily in that order.

Being the head football coach for a top university in Texas had its ups and its downs.

The ups? Endless women to f*ck.

The downs? The politics that came with the job.

From the moment Aubrey Cain walked into my office, she turned my world upside down. Being forced to have her follow me around for a month was going to be a pain in the ass. Especially since I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her.

The best I’d hoped to come out of this was a few nights with her in my bed. I never imagined she’d be the game changer.

Brett Owens was my assignment.

Head football coach for a top college, bad boy reputation, short temper, and handsome good looks should have scared me off. But I was tougher than that.

From the first words out of his obnoxious, dirty-talking mouth, I knew it was going to be a long month. It wasn’t five minutes after meeting him, he hit on me. If only I had known his blue eyes would haunt my dreams and awaken a desire inside of me I never knew existed.

This was business. There was no way I would be tempted by him no matter how good looking he was or how many things he whispered in my ear.

He was only supposed to be my assignment. Not the man who threatened to destroy both my heart and my career. I would follow along with his playbook for now. But who would end up winning was anyone’s guess.

Review

I’ve read a couple of books from Kelly Elliott before and I really liked them, so it’s disappointing to say that I struggled to get into THE PLAYBOOK.  So much so that it ended up taking me a few days to finish it.

I’m just going to put this out there: I didn’t like any of the characters, and that includes the main ones.  In the beginning, Brett comes on so strong with women it’s actually disturbing and a huge turn off.  The worst example is when he was first trying to seduce Aubrey and he bragged that he f*cked another woman three times earlier that same day.  While Aubrey was disgusted by this, she still found him attractive, and this is just the first time she comes off as indecisive.  Other times include when she pushes Brett away but then feels disappointed that she’s successful, and that even though she’s not ready for kids yet, she gets upset when Brett wears a condom.  Desperate is another word I’d use to describe her.  After dating Brett for just a few weeks, she pressures him about marriage and kids and then breaks up with him when he says he’s not ready yet.  I found them both to be just too much, and that’s all I can remember about them.

THE PLAYBOOK is a stand-alone, is told in dual POVs, and comes with a HEA for Brett and Aubrey.  As I said at the beginning, I’ve enjoyed other books by this author, so while I didn’t like this one, I would read this author again.

The Playbook

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Kelly Elliott:  Click Here

Her Billionaire Bosses: A Menage Romance

By Samantha Twinn

Synopsis

My bosses like to share everything and now they’ve set their sights on me…

I love my job and am good at what I do. I’m on the cusp of reaching my dreams, but when my path literally collides with my bosses, everything changes.

Leo and Asher are titans of industry, but I have something they need.

When they offer me a job to work on a special project, I know it’s the break I’ve been waiting for, but I’m nervous. I’ve heard the rumors about them. They do everything together…in the office and in the bedroom.

They’re magnetic; gorgeous, intelligent, powerful. Everything I’ve ever wanted in a man, times two.

I’ve worked hard to build what I have so I’m determined to keep things strictly professional, but with every look, every stray touch, I fall a deeper under their spell.

And I know if I give them everything they want I’m going to risk everything I have.

Review

HER BILLIONAIRE BOSSES is a quick read that involves Leo and Asher, two long-time friends and business partners, who like to share women and the next woman they set their sights on is Rose, their employee.

HER BILLIONAIRE BOSSES was an ok read, but not one I’d feel inclined to read again.  The threesome scenes were definitely hot, but there were only a handful of them, if that.  The relationship, from beginning to conflict to resolution to end, was predictable and has been done before.  However, the suspense side of the story towards the end was unexpected.

HER BILLIONAIRE BOSSES is told in the POV of all three main characters and is a stand-alone.

Her Billionaire Bosses: A Menage Romance

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Temporary

By Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Synopsis

The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the same one who can ruin everything.

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…

Review

TEMPORARY was an enjoyable read that held my attention from beginning to end.  I’ve read several books by Sarina Bowen, but Sarah Mayberry is a new author for me, and given how much I enjoyed this book, I may have to check out more of her work.

I liked Grace, who has not had an easy life.  She sacrificed her dreams to take care of her teenaged sister, and she works very hard trying to create a better life for them.  Sometimes her sister would act like a spoiled brat and she certainly pushed Grace to her limits, but it was nice to see she could act like a grown up when push came to shove.

I loved Callan, who comes across as a careless playboy at first, but he’s quite the opposite when you really get to know him.  You will like him so much you’ll want to punch in the face all the people he’s loved and trusted for how they’ve betrayed him.  After the death of his uncle—the only family member he liked and respected—he took a good hard look at his life and didn’t like what he saw, so he changed who he was and I enjoyed watching him grow.

And what, exactly, was I a part of?
The silence pressed in on me as I considered the question.  I’d left Australia because I didn’t want to waste my life being Vicky’s lackey.  Instead, I’d wasted it in a dozen other insubstantial ways.
What a rebel.

TEMPORARY is told in dual POVs and while it’s currently listed as a stand-alone, it ended in a bombshell discover that left us open for a second book.  Don’t worry, we get a happy ending for Callan and Grace.  With the information uncovered at the end, if there is a second book it sounds like it would be about Callan’s sister, Claire.  If there is a second book, I will be happy to read it.

Temporary

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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Visit Sarah Mayberry:  Click Here

Blood Guard (Mission # 1)

By Megan Erickson

Synopsis

Enter a world of immortal danger and desire—and discover an incredible fate borne of blood.

Tendra: One minute, I’m a bartender in gritty Mission City; the next, I’m whisked away by a vampire named Athan who tells me that I’m the lifeblood of his clan. It sounds unbelievable, but he’s got evidence I can’t deny. Turns out, Athan belongs to an underground society of vampires who feed only on humans with their consent. Their enemies have no such qualms, and they want me dead. The only thing standing in their way is strong, sexy Athan. And the closer we get, the more tempted I am to let Athan feed. . . .

Athan: How could I have known when I snatched this snarky, beautiful human off the streets that she would change my destiny? As a loyal soldier, I must deliver Tendra to our future king—my brother. Empowered with the blood of ten generations of the Gregorie breed, she is fated to rule as our queen. But there’s something between us that’s so intoxicating, so carnal, I can’t help wanting Tendra for myself . . . even if it’s treason.

Review

BLOOD GUARD is the first book from Megan Erickson I’ve read, and I can honestly say that it will not be the last.  I don’t read too many paranormal books any more, so it’s always good when I pick one up and enjoy it.  This one includes one fierce and protective vampire, some scorching hot cave sex, a dash of conspiracy and a dose of betrayal.  What’s not to like?

In BLOOD GUARD we are introduced to three warring vampire clans, and it really is a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.  You have the Gregorie clan (good), the Valarian clan (bad) and the Quellen clan (ugly), and all three have their different beliefs on how vampires and humans should interact.  Hence why they’re at war.  As it’s the first book in a new series, I felt the story was more focused on giving us the lay of the land instead of the romance between Athan and Tendra.  Don’t get me wrong, there is chemistry and romance, but for me it wasn’t what stood out in this story.  That’s not a bad thing, just something I thought worth mentioning.

BLOOD GUARD is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Athan and Tendra.  It’s the first book in the Mission series and the ending did set us up for book 2, BLOOD VEIL, which will be about Athan’s brother, Idris.  BLOOD VEIL is currently scheduled to come out in April 2018.

Blood Guard (Mission # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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Mission Series

UnPlanned

By M. Piper

Synopsis

I’m Lincoln West.

First sibling of three, and the other two couldn’t be any more opposite of me.
Single father extraordinaire to the coolest kid on the face of the earth, and I have parents that think the world of my son.
I’m a family guy. At twenty-two, I’ve embraced my fate as a lifetime member of the uncool single dad club. It’s the Lincoln and Carter show…until I meet Wren. That’s when everything changes. And I mean everything. More laundry in the machine, a third toothbrush at the bathroom sink, Cosmopolitan magazine next to the bed. More importantly, a home that feels full.

Complete.

Wren’s the beauty in my ugly days. She’s full of life, and talent, and she’s the exact mother figure my son needs. It’s surprising because she’s the daughter of two very shitty people. Pardon my French. Two people who taught her to hate herself because she didn’t follow their plan for her. Two people that drop a hell of a bomb on us. Right when we think the world’s stopped pitting against us, her family proves us wrong.

Now we’re out to prove that even though unplanned, our unconventional life is absolutely perfect.

Review

I stumbled across UNPLANNED because of its hot cover and, after reading the blurb, I quickly added it to my Kindle.

I liked Lincoln; he’s a great father to Carter, a good brother to his siblings, and a good son to his parents.  He’s a hard worker and cares deeply about the family business.  The only time I didn’t like him was when he confessed to sleeping with dozens of women in college without protection.  There’s a big difference between being wild and being grossly irresponsible.  I also liked Wren; she’s is a nice girl who has been dealt with the most awful family.  What they’ve put her through is truly terrible and your heart will break for her with how far they’re willing to go to protect their way of life.

I liked the characters and the story, but the telling of the story was a bit of a letdown.  I came across quite a few mistakes and inconsistencies that I can’t believe were missed by the editor and beta readers.  Several scenes didn’t flow very well and/or weren’t descriptive enough to explain how a character got from Point A to Point B.  Instead of ending the story with the HEA for Lincoln and Wren, it ended with Wren having an important discussion with her sister, which I thought was not the best place to put that scene.  I predicted the twist very early on in the story, and I’m not sure if it was supposed to be that way or if it was supposed to be a big surprise.  However, I must say that it was a very interesting twist and that the author did a great job in making that particular scenario believable.

UNPLANNED is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Lincoln and Wren.  Their siblings are all single, so maybe they’ll get stories at some point, but at this stage, UNPLANNED is a stand-alone.

UnPlanned

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Forbidden Bite (Bite # 1)

By Cynthia Eden

Synopsis

“Don’t look into her eyes. If you do, she’ll take your soul.”

Werewolf Griffin Romeo has new prey—a sexy female vamp named Isabella has been hunting in Sin City, and it’s Griffin’s job to stop her. Tracking Isabella is easy work for an alpha wolf, but once he gets close to gorgeous Isabella…Griffin’s careful plans go straight to hell. Because with one bite, he’s absolutely hooked on her, lost…mated.

Vamps and werewolves are supposed to be sworn enemies. They aren’t supposed to feel a white-hot attraction that burns soul deep. Now that he’s found his mate, Griffin isn’t about to let Isabella go, especially not when he learns that Isabella isn’t the killer who is attacking humans in Vegas. Griffin’s mate has been set-up, and he’ll fight with a wolf’s fury to find the enemy who is working against them both. Someone wants Isabella to be judged guilty by the wolves in Vegas, but Griffin won’t let that happen.

Their mating may be forbidden, but Griffin and Isabella are about to show the paranormal world just how fiercely a vamp and werewolf can fight for each other—because mates bond forever. And nothing will come between them.

Review

I’ve read over a dozen Cynthia Eden books over the years, but it has been a few years since I last read one of her books.  So when I saw she had a new series available through Kindle Unlimited, I thought it was a good time to re-introduce myself to her work.

FORBIDDEN BITE was a quick and enjoyable read, and I’ve already got the second book sitting on my Kindle.  I liked that the reason behind why werewolves and vampires are enemies was explained quickly yet thoroughly.  I think the only thing that disappointed me was that Isabella had a truly interesting past that wasn’t delved into at all.  Griffin and Isabella were very likeable characters and they made a powerful couple, even though their first meeting didn’t go well.

“You wanted to kill me tonight. You had a stake.”
True. “So we didn’t have the most romantic start.”

FORBIDDEN BITE is told mostly in dual POVs, but is also told in the POV of other characters.  It’s the first book in a new series, and while I assume each book can be read as a stand-alone, I think readers will get more enjoyment—and understanding of the series’ world—if they read every book in order.

Forbidden Bite (Bite # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit Cynthia Eden:  Click Here


Bite Series