Tag Archives: 2 Hearts

Wasted Words

By Staci Hart

Synopsis

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

Review

WASTED WORDS is the first book I’ve read from Staci Hart, and I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it like I hoped I would.  Which is a shame, because the blurb sounded like something I’d really be into: Hot Jock (Tyler) falls in love with Geeky Girl (Cam) who doesn’t know how beautiful she really is.

While I liked Tyler a lot, I found Cam completely unlikeable and it was her behaviour that proved too much to overcome.  She was supposed to be smart and funny, but I found her to be childish, too insecure and downright bitchy when something didn’t go her way.  She thought she knew what was best for everyone, so when they threw a wrench in her plans, she threw a tantrum.  Literally.

Unfortunately, my issues with WASTED WORDS didn’t end with Cam.  It was a slow moving book that became a struggle for me to finish, so much so that I ended up skipping sections without feeling like I missed anything important.  I noticed some thoughts and comments were repeated, as well as several spelling mistakes and missing words throughout.

WASTED WORDS is told in dual POVs and comes with a HFN ending for Tyler and Cam.  It does appear to be a stand-alone, but I know at least one other couple have had a book written about them.

Wasted Words

My Rating:  

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Royal Games (The Royals Of Monterra # 3)

By Sariah Wilson

Synopsis

Genesis Kelley didn’t just get her heart broken. The aspiring veterinarian had it crushed in front of millions of viewers on the dating reality show Marry Me. Now, just as she’s getting her life and dignity back together, her royal heartbreaker, Prince Rafael of Monterra, has landed in Frog Hollow, Iowa. And he’s renting out her aunt’s guest cottage.

Deceiving TV audiences for his brother’s sake cost Rafe the girl of his dreams. But he’s going to fix it, even if it means moving from his mountain-kingdom home to small-town Iowa. A prince doesn’t give up on his rightful princess—especially once he realizes Genesis is in deeper danger than she knows.

Between fixing her truck, whisking her off to Monterra for a whirlwind date, and charming the entire town, Rafe is thawing the ice around Genesis’s heart. Will it be enough to earn back her trust, protect her from her past—and sweep her into a real-life fairy tale?

Review

ROYAL GAMES is the third book in The Royals Of Monterra series and after meeting Genesis in the previous book, I was really looking forward to reading her story because she was so nice and sweet.  Sadly, I did not enjoy her story and it was all because of her.

I understand that she was embarrassed at being tricked by Rafe on Marry Me, but I felt she was too fixated on how Rafe “deceived” and “lied” to her during the filming, especially when she knows he was under contract to keep his real identity a secret.  She flat out refused to hear his apology and spent almost the entire book treating him like crap.  I also felt, and I hate to say this, that she was just too stupid to live.  Her life was being threatened, but she refused Rafe’s protection and security because she had pepper spray and had taken self-defence classes.  But then she had a panic attack when a stranger sat down for a meal at her diner, which kind of threw her whole “I can protect myself” claim out the window.  When she was kidnapped and learnt that Rafe was only able to save her life because of a secret tracking device he had planted on her, she got angry.  When he left after she got in a fit and told him to leave, she got angry. When she found out that he paid for her hospital bills, she got angry.  Seriously, there was absolutely no pleasing this woman.  I was frustrated with her by the 30% mark, and her constant whining, complaining and stupid choices did nothing to win me over.

I liked Rafe, who did so many things trying to earn Genesis’ forgiveness and win her heart, but to be honest, I lost a little respect for him because of how much crap he was willing to put up with.  Her behaviour showed that she didn’t deserve him and I wouldn’t have shed a tear if he had just said “screw it” and walked away.

ROYAL GAMES is told only in Genesis’ POV and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  As with the previous two books in this series, there is no sex, not even the behind-the-closed-door stuff.  It includes the occasional flashback to their alone time on Marry Me⎯which was sweet⎯and it comes with a HEA.

Royal Games (The Royals Of Monterra # 3)

My Rating:  

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The Royals Of Monterra Series

Twist (Dive Bar # 2)

By Kylie Scott

Synopsis

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot bearded bartender Joe Collins only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.

Alex Parks is funny, fascinating, and pretty much everything he’s been looking for in a woman—except that she lives across the country. Soon they’re emailing up a storm and telling each other their deepest, darkest secrets…except the one that really matters.

When Alex pays Joe a surprise visit, however, they both discover that when it comes to love, it’s always better with a twist.

Review

I have been a fan of Kylie Scott’s since I first read LICK from her Stage Dive series several years ago and because of that, it pains me to say that I’m not feeling much love for TWIST.

Story-wise, I felt like it didn’t flow very well.  I often found myself thinking, “I don’t remember that.”, or “What are they talking about?”, or “How did the conversation shift from this to that?”.  I’d go back several pages to see if I missed a paragraph or something, but I never found anything that would explain my confusion.

Character-wise, not only did I not connect with Joe and Alex, but I also didn’t feel a connection between them.  There was nothing in their email communications that would explain why Alex would hop on a plane to surprise her “beloved”.  They had no chemistry and their relationship ran hot and cold from beginning to end.  There were things I liked about them, but for every one thing I liked, there was another thing I didn’t like.

TWIST is told only in Alex’s POV, but it also includes their email communications as flashback scenes.  While it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone and it does come with a HFN ending for Joe and Alex.  Joe’s brother, Eric, gets the next book, but I disliked his man-child attitude so much that I have no interest in reading it.

Twist (Dive Bar # 2)

My Rating:  

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Dive Bar Series

Bossed

By Sloane Howell

Synopsis

He’s the boss. But she’s ready to take charge.

Jenny: Job interviews are a bitch under the best of circumstances, but when your potential boss is the world’s biggest prick, that’s when you should simply walk away. It’s just that I need this job so badly—and I’m mesmerized by Ethan Mason’s piercing gaze. Men like him aren’t supposed to exist in real life. But under the tailored suits and GQ looks, Ethan simmers with barely restrained ambition. And no matter how hard I work to fight the attraction, I’m going to get burned.

Ethan: You don’t become a top agent without learning how to close a deal. I always get what—or who—I want, by staying cool and in command. Then Jenny Jackson walks into my office with her lush curves and “screw you” attitude and blows away my intentions of keeping things professional. All I can think about is exploring the perfect body hidden beneath those conservative clothes or shutting her saucy mouth with one hot kiss. Jenny’s worth breaking the rules over—if I can convince her to break the rules for me.

Review

BOSSED is the first book I’ve read from Sloane Howell and I’m sad to say that I struggled with it.  I even considered not finishing it a couple of times, but I pushed through.  It started out okay, but it quickly became boring and repetitive.  I think the biggest issue for me was that Jenny and Ethan’s behaviour was extremely childish.  They would scream, shout and storm away instead of having an actual conversation to sort the problem out.  For the first half of the book, all they wanted to do was push each other’s buttons to see what kind of reaction they would get.  Good or bad, they didn’t care; they just wanted a reaction.  The second half of the book was mostly sex mingled with break-ups and make-ups.  Ethan’s rude attitude right from the start made him hard to like, and Jenny’s over-the-top reaction to everything had me shaking my head.  BOSSED is told in dual POVs, comes with a HEA and can be read as a stand-alone.

Bossed

My Rating:  

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Series

Filthy Coach

By Amy Brent

Synopsis

What do you do when the sexiest bastard to walk on to a football field happens to need your personal services?

Sam Carson is a washed-up ex-quarterback who’s more famous for his drunken brawls and internet sex tapes than throwing touchdowns. So why did my father, the owner of the Atlanta Trojans, hire Sam to be the new head coach? And what part does he expect me to play in this dangerous game? 

ALLIE WINSTON:  I’m a tough chick playing in a tough man’s game.  I’m a sports image consultant.  It’s my job to make undisciplined football players and unfriendly coaches heroes in the public eye.  But when I’m assigned to make Sam Carson look good, I know that I have my work cut out for me.  Especially when he catches me in the shower diddling myself and moaning his name.  I can’t deny my feelings for Sam, but I can’t deny that I’m also part of a game that’s using Sam as a pawn. I can only hope that he never discovers my treachery, because I can’t imagine my life without Sam in my bed.      

SAM CARSON:  I’ll be the first to admit it.  I’m a baaaad boy.  I drink hard, play hard, and screw hard.  And when I drive my Lambo into the back of a truck, my career as one of the hottest quarterbacks in pro football comes to an end.  For the last few years I’ve been a coach.  When I get an offer to be the head coach of the Atlanta Trojans, I know something is fishy.  Then I meet Allie Winston, the smoking hot daughter of the team owner.  I want her and I know she wants me, but I get the feeling that there’s more than just sexual attraction at play.  Allie seems to be playing a dangerous game, and I won’t stop until I find out exactly what – and who – is going down. 

Review

FILTHY COACH is a very quick read, and the first I’ve read from Amy Brent.  Unfortunately, it was a read that didn’t win me over.

Sam was extremely hard to like in the beginning.  There are manwhores, and then there’s Sam, who really doesn’t seem to think very highly of women.  Here are two examples of his thoughts:
1 – Hers was not the tightest twat I’d ever stuck it in, but it did the trick.
2 – I have noticed an increase in age and a degradation of hotness of the groupies who approach me now.
He certainly does not sound like a charmer.  Women aside, he does seem to want to turn his life around, at least career wise.  Did I feel bad for how he was played by Allie’s father?  Yes, I did.

What can I say about Allie?  Not much because compared to Sam, she was pretty forgettable.

In regards to the story and writing, I noticed a few spelling mistakes, and I didn’t like some of the words used for the sexual scenes (c*nt, squirting and oozing, for example).  I wasn’t a fan of the short sentence clusters or the step-by-step descriptions of what the characters were doing.  I was also deeply disturbed that condoms were non-existent, not only because they’ve only known each other for a day, but also because Sam has been a manwhore for almost thirty years.  If these things don’t bother you, then I’m sure you’d enjoy this short story.

FILTHY COACH is told in dual POVs and appears to be a stand-alone insta-love novella.

Filthy Coach

My Rating:  

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King’s Captive

By Amber Bardan

Synopsis

For three years, I’ve belonged to Julius King. 

Some people would think being stuck on a private island is heaven, but this is my hell.  

Because I’m not here as a guest. Not even close. I’m a prisoner. I’m his. 

Julius King. Powerful. Wealthy. Dangerous. 

There are parts of me he wants that I can’t give him. When he looks at me, there are times I swear he sees someone else. And the scary part is that sometimes, when he touches me, I think he may be someone else, too. 

Though my body might be tempted, and he might control everything else, I can’t let him have any piece of my heart. I won’t. But every day, the fight gets harder, and Julius manages to slip past my defenses in the most unexpected ways.  

I have to find out the truth about Julius King. Even if it destroys me. 

Review

This is going to be a fairly short review, because KING’S CAPTIVE is practically one giant plot twist in the making, and to talk about any of it could be considered a spoiler.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get this one.  It is told mostly in the present, but also includes flashbacks to an event three years ago, aptly called Bloody Birthday.  That is the day Julius arrived at Sarah’s family home and took her for himself.  Each flashback is designed to give us a piece of the puzzle, but trying to keep track of those pieces was hard given that they were provided out of order.  By that I mean the first flashback takes place at 3.00pm, then 3.15 pm, then 1.20 pm, then 1.40 pm, then 3.30 pm, then 1.56 pm, etc.  Trying to keep track of what happened in the past, and how it related to what was happening in the present, became too much for me and ultimately affected my enjoyment of this story.

You know how you sometimes watch a movie, but when you watch it a second time and know how it ends, everything suddenly makes sense?  I think this is one of those books that would make more sense the second time around.  Maybe then I wouldn’t be left with so many questions.

KING’S CAPTIVE is told in dual POVs, but mostly in Sarah’s.  It is a stand-alone and it comes with a HEA.  While I didn’t enjoy it, I’m sure there are plenty of others who will love it.

King’s Captive

My Rating:  

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With A Twist (Last Call # 4)

By Sawyer Bennett

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Synopsis

Wyatt Banks is ready to give one woman the world. Unfortunately, his job as a cop tends to interfere with other goals. When Wyatt is sent deep undercover to investigate a sex slave ring, he doesn’t have time to do anything but focus on staying alive in a dark and dangerous underworld.

Wyatt isn’t alone though in his quest to save the women that are being sold into sexual slavery.

His partner, FBI Agent Andrea Somerville, is immersed just as deeply as he is, and she’s the bait to lure the sex slavers out into the open, as she poses as an erotic dancer in an attempt to snare the enemy. But danger runs as high as the sparks between them, and now Wyatt is caught between the job he loves and the woman he wants.

Review

WITH A TWIST is the fourth book in the Last Call series and is about Wyatt (Hunter’s best friend) and Andrea.

As I write this review, I realise that I can’t remember much about Wyatt or Andrea, and I find that interesting given I only finished their story less than a week ago.  The only thing that stands out is that it was Andrea who had the courage to track Wyatt down to see if they could forge a relationship.  I liked that she wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted, but I was disappointed that Wyatt was.  They’re both in law enforcement and they’re both nice, but other than that, I’m drawing a blank.

Sadly, WITH A TWIST is my least favourite book in this series.  Not only were the characters unmemorable, but there was no conflict between them and the conclusion of the undercover assignment seemed unrealistic.  I could be wrong but I don’t think undercover agents would blow their cover when it wasn’t a matter of life or death, especially when they’ve got a whole FBI team waiting just down the road.  I would think the team would come in and arrest everyone⎯including Wyatt and Andrea to keep their cover safe⎯and that by blowing their cover, the criminals would know exactly who put them in prison and would most likely organise to have them killed as payback.  In fact, that’s what I kept expecting to happen as the story progressed, but as it turns out, when the bad guys were arrested, that part of the story was put to bed.

WITH A TWIST is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.

With A Twist (Last Call # 4)

My Rating:  

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Last Call Series

Dirty Score (Rough Riders Hockey # 3)

By Skye Jordan

br-dirty-score

Synopsis

Rafe “Savage” lives up to his name on the ice and in the bedroom. Forging a legacy as the Rough Riders’ most notorious playboy is easy when the woman he really wants is off limits. Mia’s brother isn’t just Rafe’s best friend, he’s also a teammate. With the Cup in site, Rafe won’t screw with anything that threatens the team’s winning streak. But when Mia comes to town on a mission of her own, one little woman may turn out to be the toughest opponent Rafe’s ever faced.

When it comes to men, Mia is everyone’s best friend. But when it comes to romance, her relationships are destined for failure. With a new job awaiting her on the other side of the country, she’s determined to start fresh. To do that, she needs to let go of this stupid crush once and for all.

Seducing Rafe isn’t just the best option; it’s her only option. Until she discovers he’s been harboring the same feelings. And with his team weeks away from the biggest game of their career, and Mia’s new life waiting, their no strings affair threatens to tear both their worlds apart.

Review

DIRTY SCORE is the third book in the Rough Riders Hockey series and while I enjoyed the first two books in the series, this one was quite the letdown.

As I write this review, I’m trying to think of something nice to say, especially about the characters, but I’m coming up blank.  Rafe and Mia spend almost the entire book pushing and pulling against each other, and it got old real fast.  Tate (Mia’s half-brother and Rafe’s best friend) was bossy, domineering, disrespectful and ultimately unlikeable.  Kilbourne (Rafe’s teammate) was a total dick to everyone and I’m still trying to figure out why he was even in the story or why his teammates never sorted him out.  In regards to the family ties, spending 40% of the story confused as to who Rafe, Mia, Tate and Joe were to each other made my head hurt, until the family tree was finally explained at the 42% mark.

DIRTY SCORE does come with a HEA, but even with an epilogue, I was left without any real resolution as to how Rafe and Mia ended.  Did Mia stay in LA for her job or did she move to DC to be with Rafe?  Did she do the jersey designs on the side of her LA job, or is the jersey gig her sole source of income?  I’m assuming she gave up her LA job to live with Rafe and design her jerseys, but it’s not clarified.  DIRTY SCORE is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  Will I read the fourth book in the series?  That will depend on who it’s about.  If it’s about Tate or Kilbourne, I’ll probably end up skipping it.

Dirty Score (Rough Riders Hockey # 3)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Rough Riders Hockey Series

Rush (Austin Arrows # 1)

By Nicole Edwards

br-rush

Synopsis

Kingston Rush
Becoming a goaltender in the NHL is the only thing I ever wanted for myself. 
Goal accomplished.
Two years ago, I was the best goalie in the league, for the third time. With our Stanley Cup win, the Austin Arrows were on top of the world. Nothing could possibly bring us down.
Wrong.

Turns out, even when you’re at the top, you can find yourself back at rock bottom. 
But it gets worse.
Not only did the team fall from grace, then I did too. I was accused of something I didn’t do. And now I’m being forced to repair my tarnished reputation.
Only I don’t know how to do that.

When the suggestion is made for me to pull off this ruse for the media, I know what I’m getting into. I also know there’s only one right answer.
But it’s complicated, and I’m not the only one who could get hurt. 
There’s only one major problem.
I can’t say no.

Review

RUSH is the first book in the Austin Arrows series, and the first book I’ve read by Nicole Edwards.  Unfortunately, I found myself struggling to get through this one.  I usually like to read a book fast, but this one took me about three days because it wasn’t keeping my attention and I kept putting it down.  There was a lot of repetition throughout the entire book, which was frustrating.  I also felt the way the characters behaved was not appropriate for their age.  Most of the characters are in their mid-thirties, but the sometimes childish, petty and bitchy way they acted was what I’d expect to see in a YA or NA novel.  Overall, there just seemed to be too much drama.

There were times I liked Kingston and Ellie, and there were times I didn’t.  My favourite parts of the entire story are when Kingston and Ellie text each other.  It was cute, flirty, a little sexy, and most of all, no overthinking.  Just simple conversation.  I think what got me frustrated the most was that they were so afraid to tell the other how they really felt.  Ellie never believed any of the nice things Kingston said about her and thought he was just sleeping with her to kill time.  No way would he risk his friendship with her or her brother just to get some action, but she never thought of it that way.  In regards to Kingston, I thought it was a little creepy that he kept calling Ellie a little girl, especially when they were having sex.  There’s also a good portion of the story dedicated to Ellie’s twelve year old daughter, Bianca, as she searches for her father.  As with Kingston and Ellie, there were times I liked her and times I didn’t.

RUSH is told mostly in Kingston and Ellie’s POV, with a few chapters being told in other characters POVs.  It is a series, but I’m assuming each book could be read as a stand-alone.  Sadly, this one didn’t win me over enough to give the rest of the series a try.

Rush (Austin Arrows # 1)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Austin Arrows Series

Hope Flames (Hope # 1)

By Jaci Burton

br-hope-flames

Synopsis

When it comes to love, they already know the rules…by heart.
 
Thirty-two and finally setting up her veterinary practice in the town she once called home, Emma Burnett is on her own and loving it. Independent and driven, she’s not letting any man get in the way of her dreams. Not again.
 
That’s fine with Luke McCormack. Divorced and hardly lacking in female company when he needs it, he’s devoted to the only faithful companion in his life—his police dog. Still, there’s something about Emma he can’t shake.
 
When a series of local break-ins leaves Emma vulnerable, she seeks help from the first man to spark her desire in years. And now they’re giving each other something they thought they’d lost forever…hope.

Review

Both Emma and Luke haven’t had successful relationships, so neither of them is looking for a partner when they meet for the first time.  It’s not long until Luke is suggesting a friends-with-benefits arrangement.  Their dogs get on really well together, so why can’t they?

I found it extremely difficult to like Emma, who seems to spend most of the book thinking about Vaughn⎯her dangerous ex-boyfriend⎯and then comparing him to Luke, trying to find reasons to keep him at arms length.  She thinks about Vaughn several times just in the first 25% of the story, before we finally hear exactly what he did to her at the 54% mark.  Given that Vaughn was mentioned so many times, I predicted that he would make an appearance at some point, even though it wouldn’t fit with the story.  When Luke comes in to save the day, Emma gets upset because she wanted to save herself…so she dumps him.  Apart from her love of animals, I can’t think of anything else I liked about her.  To be honest, I can’t say a lot about Luke because I didn’t find him memorable.  Unfortunately, my dislike of Emma overshadowed his character.

HOPE FLAMES is told in dual POVs, but sometimes the POV would change in the middle of a chapter without any notice, so I’d suddenly find myself confused before I realised the POV had changed.  There is no epilogue, and the HEA comes in the form of a two-page conflict resolution, which was a let down.  When I started reading HOPE FLAMES, I was really into it, but at some point the story slowed down and really started to drag.  For a book that stated out so well, I was left so disappointed by the end that I don’t think I’ll continue on with the series.

Hope Flames (Hope # 1)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Hope Series