Tag Archives: 2 Hearts

Happy Pants Cafe (Happy Pants # 0.5)

By Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

BR Happy Pants Cafe

Synopsis

The Happy Pants Café has no public information—no website, no address, no phone number—and it doesn’t show up on any map, either. Yet, there’s a line of single women around the block, waiting to get inside. And when they come out, their smiling faces don’t look like coffee buzzes. (Or afterglows.)

So what could they possibly be doing inside?

Harper Branton thinks she knows their dirty little secret, and it’s just the story to save her mess of a journalistic career. There’s just one problem: her competition. He’s sexy, he’s arrogant, and he’s about turn Harper’s life upside down with a few secrets of his own.

Review

HAPPY PANTS CAFE was an OK read, but at times I found it to be a little too much, like it was trying too hard to be funny.  I don’t remember much about Austin or Harper, other than they spent most of the book behaving like children and trying to one-up the other.  Harper doesn’t believe in love because Austin broke her heart when she was nine and she’s carried around that thinking for the past nineteen years.  Harper broke Austin’s heart when he was eleven, but he still believes in love and marriage and thinks that Harper is the one he’s been waiting for, despite the fact that all they’ve done since they were reunited is fight.  Throw in some humour, misunderstandings, meddling friends and potential love rivals, and you have yourself a story that’s cute and quirky, but also cheesy and over-the-top.

There were times I did laugh, but after a while the jokes stopped being funny and instead became silly, or in the case of the sexist farmhands, just plain gross.  Sometimes I was distracted by the huge amount of inner monologue in the middle of conversations that, by the time a question was answered, I’d forgotten that a question had even been asked.  HAPPY PANTS CAFE is the prequel to the Happy Pants series and is told in dual POVs, with a few sections told in the cafe owner’s POV.  Sadly, this one didn’t win me over and ultimately didn’t make me want to read the next book in the series.

Happy Pants Cafe (Happy Pants # 0.5)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Happy Pants Series

Rounding Third

By Michelle Lynn

BR Rounding Third

Synopsis

I was destined for stardom. 
From the age of seven, I was an all-star. 
Parents praised me, coaches worshipped me. 
As I got older, girls begged for me. 
I was Beltline’s baseball God, guaranteed to put this small town on the map. 

Then, after one night, that future vanished. 

The legend was laid to rest. 
I gave up my scholarship. 
I fled from Beltline. 
I left the girl behind. 

Now, I’m back.

Review

ROUNDING THIRD was the first novel I’ve read from Michelle Lynn, and I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy it.  I didn’t realise this was going to be a college/young adult romance when I read the synopsis, and for me, college romances can be really hit and miss.  I did finish the story, but I struggled to get into it for a few reasons.  I often found the behaviour of the characters to be a bit childish and petty; there was a lot of drama, a lot of pushing and pulling, catfights over boys, bitchiness between teammates, and games played by Crosby and Ella to make the other jealous.  Sometimes I couldn’t make sense of the conversations and sometimes I felt the conversations were choppy.  The details about “that night” aren’t explained until the 44% mark, but up until then it felt like it was alluded to in every second thought Crosby and Ella had, and that became annoying pretty fast.  Finally, I was quite disturbed by the scene where the baseball team uses a cutout of a naked woman, throwing balls at her breasts and vagina to settle bets.  I could be wrong, but I just can’t see a coach or team getting away with that kind of thing in this day and age.

ROUNDING THIRD is told in dual POVs and appears to be a stand-alone, although I do feel that the story was left open for some of Crosby’s teammates to get their own stories.  The story is a second-chance romance that  finished with forgiveness and a HEA for Crosby and Ella.

Rounding Third

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Private Practice (Private Pleasures # 1)

By Samanthe Beck

BR Private Practice

Synopsis

He’ll teach her how to bring a man to his knees…

Dr. Ellie Swan has a plan: open her practice in tiny Bluelick, Kentucky, so she can keep an eye on her diabetic father, and make hometown golden-boy Roger Reynolds fall in love with her. But Ellie has a problem. Roger seeks a skilled, sexually adventurous partner, and bookish Ellie doesn’t qualify. 

Tyler Longfoot only cares about three things: shaking his bad boy image, qualifying for the loan his company needs to rehab a piece of Bluelick’s history, and convincing Ellie to keep quiet about the “incident” that lands him on her doorstep at two a.m. with a bullet in his behind. 

The adorable Dr. Swan drives a mean bargain, though. If sex-on-a-stick Tyler will teach Ellie how to bring a man to his knees, she’ll forget about the bullet. Armed with The Wild Woman’s Guide to Sex and Tyler’s lessons, Ellie is confident she can become what Roger needs…if she doesn’t fall for Tyler first.

Review

I’m going to start by saying that for a novella, this one took me a long time to finish.  I had trouble engaging with the story and while I liked Tyler, I couldn’t connect with Ellie, who I found to be too clinical and naive.  I was confused as to why I wasn’t enjoying this book because I’ve read books from this author before and loved them.  My confusion lifted when I read the acknowledgment at the end which states that this was the author’s debut novel.  Because this debut novel dates back to 2013, I’m not going to go into great detail with my review.  I will say that PRIVATE PRACTICE is told in dual POVs and is the first book in the Private Pleasures series.  I will also say that despite not enjoying this book, I know for a fact that her stories have improved, so I would gladly read from this author again.

Private Practice (Private Pleasures # 1)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Private Pleasures Series

Dirty Girl (Dirty Girl Duet # 1)

By Meghan March

BR Dirty Girl

Synopsis

Desperately seeking rich, famous, single guy with a giant cock to make my lying, cheating, should’ve-been-born-dickless ex-boyfriend realize what he’s just lost. 
Oh, and I give great head. Just sayin’.

No man in his right mind would answer that ad. 
Except thousands did. 

My name is Greer Karas, and I should never be allowed near another bottle of booze again. Because when I drink, my friend and I do stupid things. Like take a page out of my older brother Creighton’s playbook and post something completely asinine on the Internet. Waking up with a giant hangover to find my humiliating personal ad has gone viral is not my finest moment.

Cue my look of shock when one of Hollywood’s hottest new bad boys, Cavanaugh Westman, comes knocking at my door and drops his pants to prove that he does indeed have a giant cock. 
What he doesn’t have is an explanation for why he disappeared from my life without a word three years ago, only to show up on the big screen two years later, killing bad guys in action flicks.

Now he wants me again.
What the hell do I do now?

Review

After reading the synopsis for DIRTY GIRL, it was quickly added to my TBR list.  It sounded like it was going to be a witty, funny, sexy and entertaining read, and while the story starts out that way, it quickly turns into something that’s just sex, sex and more sex with a smidgeon of a story thrown in.  While that might be perfect for some people, it was a disappointment for me.

I couldn’t connect with Greer, who throughout the entire story tries and fails to stand up for herself.  Her lack of strength was evident early on when she slept with Cav within minutes of seeing him for the first time since he left her abruptly, and without a word, three years beforehand.  As for Cav, well, it’s hard to like Cav, who thinks that being dominant means treating a woman like a child throwing a tantrum.  Thinking and saying things like “she’s begging to be taken in hand”, “she needs a keeper”, and “If your brother isn’t going to keep a leash on you to keep you safe, then I will.” doesn’t come across as dominant in my opinion, but rather controlling and demeaning.  I was also not a fan of him calling her a slut or that he turned everything into a threat of sexual punishment.  The dom and dirty talk felt cheesy and don’t even get me started on that anal sex scene.

DIRTY GIRL is told in dual POVs, is the beginning of a new series and ends in a cliffhanger.  It’s clear that Greer’s brother, Creighton, has had a series written about him before, and if you haven’t read his series you’ll feel like you’re out of the loop in a couple of scenes.  DIRTY GIRL is a novella so the story moves at a fairly quick pace, with some of the chapters being only a couple of pages long.  It also includes some flashback scenes which I felt weren’t worked into the story in a seamless way.  If you like stories that involve bullying men and an abundance of sex, then you’ll enjoy this one. Sadly, it wasn’t for me, and I was really looking forward to enjoying this one.

Dirty Girl (Dirty Girl Duet # 1)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Dirty Girl Series

Burning Ultimatum (Trevor’s Harem # 4)

By Aubrey Parker

BR Burning Ultimatum

Synopsis

With Trevor’s contest at its end, it’d be easy to say we’re three against one. And yet I’ve never felt so alone. 

My heart is torn, twisted, ripped. I’m alternately hot and cold. I dream vivid dreams, no longer sure if they’re fantasy or reality. 

There’s a new player in the game. He’s tall, broad, beautiful, and intimidating. Everyone is afraid of him, even the company. I’m told he has a secret, and that I’m its subject. And someone else has a secret, too — from our mystery man, and god help us if he learns it. 

Everyone is loyal to something or someone in this place — though it’s seldom what it seems. 

I don’t know who’s with me and who’s against me — if I’ll go home with my new protector … or be kept here forever. 

I couldn’t possibly be what Eros has combed the world for … can I?

Review

BURNING ULTIMATUM is the final novella in a four-part serial that I read back to back.  I really wanted to like this series and I kept giving it the benefit of the doubt, but the only emotion I’m feeling two weeks after finishing it is frustrated.

Starting with BURNING OFFER, I didn’t understand what was going on but I was intrigued enough to continue with the series.  BURNING RIVALRY and BURNING CHOICE were similar, in that I still didn’t understand anything, but I was still intrigued even as I was getting frustrated.  I truly hoped that BURNING ULTIMATUM would explain everything.  That there’d be this lightbulb moment where suddenly everything from the first three books would make sense.  Either I missed a chapter or two that explained everything, or I’m just too stupid to understand, but I still don’t get what the point of this story was.  Right from the start I felt as though I was missing something, and that feeling never went away for me.

This entire series has amazing ratings and reviews on both Amazon and Goodreads, so obviously a lot of people are loving it, but unfortunately I just can’t give it the same love.  If you love books with hidden agendas, backstabbing, ulterior motives, mind games and corporate takeovers, this one will be right up your alley.

Burning Ultimatum (Trevor’s Harem # 4)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Trevor’s Harem Series

Into The Whirlwind (BOSS Inc. # 2)

By Kat Martin

BR Into The Whirlwind

Synopsis

A bodyguard, a bounty hunter, a private investigator, no one can handle the heat like the men of BOSS, Inc. 

Megan O’Brien is at her wit’s end. Her three-year-old son has been kidnapped. No police, says the ransom demand. Fearing for her son’s life, Meg has no choice but to turn to her former bodyguard, Dirk Reynolds. 

Dirk’s never forgiven Meg for the way she left him after their brief affair. But with bounty hunter Luke Brodie on his side, Dirk knows he’s got to help Meg rescue her son. 

The few clues they’ve gathered send them spiraling into a murky world of big banking and international crime. Meg may be way out of her depths, but she’s seeing a side of Dirk she never suspected—one no woman could possibly resist.

Review

I was quite looking forward to reading INTO THE WHIRLWIND, but I have to admit that it left me a little disappointed.  At one point I considered not finishing it because I just wasn’t feeling it; the story was sounding old and I wondered if it was a reboot of an older book.  But I persisted and I felt the story improved as it went along.

So why only 2 hearts?  I know it shouldn’t bother me, but it’s hard to fall in love with a guy named Dirk because that is not a name I would consider sexy.  I think the author was trying to make Meg seem strong by insisting she could play with the big boys when they went out on their recon missions, but all she did was sit in the car and wait for them to come back.  She could have done that at home.  After she’s reunited with her kidnapped three year old son, twice in the next two days she leaves him at home alone with the nanny.  As a mother, if my son had been kidnapped, I wouldn’t leave his side ever again until he went to college.  Maybe not even then.  It would ruin his social life, but hey, at least I’d know he was safe.  I also couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that without any evidence whatsoever, they were certain they knew who one of the kidnappers were.  It turns out they were right, but nothing pointed to that person other than a hunch.

INTO THE WHIRLWIND is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  That being said, I get the impression you’d learn more about the start of Dirk and Meg’s relationship if you’d read INTO THE FURY first.  If you like books with a lot of action involving kidnappings, boat chases, drownings and international criminals, this book just might be for you.

Into The Whirlwind (BOSS Inc. # 2)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Worth The Shot (The Bannister Brothers # 2)

By Jennie Marts

BR Worth The Shot

Synopsis

Addison Cavanaugh had one rule: Do not date hockey players. So kissing the newest trade to her dad’s team should have been off-limits–even if he is hot enough to melt the ice. 
After being traded in the middle of the season, Bane Bannister wasn’t looking for trouble. In fact, he’d been strictly instructed by his new coach to stay out of trouble and away from women. Too bad the only woman he’s interested in happens to be the coach’s daughter. 
Is the hunky hockey player enough to make Addison break her only rule? Is the new player worth the shot or is she risking her heart in a game she can’t possibly win?

Review

After reading and enjoying ICING ON THE DATE, I was really looking forward to reading Bane’s story in WORTH THE SHOT; unfortunately, I did not find this one as enjoyable as the first.  Both books are novellas, but WORTH THE SHOT is just half the size of the previous book, so the story is very rushed.  In under two days, Bane and Addison meet, have sex, fall in love, break up and make up.  It moves so quickly that, as a reader, we’re not given the chance to get to know the characters or even to find out what happens to Bane’s hockey career.  I also think Ms Marts needs to research sports a lot more if she plans on continuing with sports romances.  The way Bane is “traded” to another team is not how it’s done in real life, nor does a coach have the power to fire a player without the approval of the team’s management and/or its owners.  Ultimately, the lack of both depth and realism ruin what could have been a good story.  WORTH THE SHOT is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.

Worth The Shot (The Bannister Brothers # 2)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Pitching My Heart (Love, Laughter & Baseball # 1)

By Karly Morgan & Samantha Long

BR Pitching My Heart 2

Synopsis

After a disastrous date in college, Katryn Winters never wants to come face to face with hot pitcher Weston Dukes again. When she’s assigned the interview of a lifetime by her magazine with the elusive Weston Dukes, what is she to do? 

Weston jumps from girl to girl with no desire to settle down. A previous relationship has left him bitter and cynical. When he’s approached for the interview with Katryn, he can’t help but remember how horribly things ended with their date. What happens when he accepts the interview and sparks begin to fly between them? Will they catch the pitch love has thrown at them or will they both strike out?

Review

I’m saddened to say that I wasn’t a fan of PITCHING MY HEART.  I just couldn’t get into it no matter how hard I tried or how many times I put it down thinking that maybe it was me and I just wasn’t in the mood.  After more than a week of trying and skipping large chunks just to get to the end, I have to accept that I don’t think I was the problem.

I felt like everything was too over-the-top.  The characters were really rude, mean, bitchy, crazy and childish.  These are people who are in their mid-twenties but are instead acting like they’re in high school.  The women seem to enjoy getting into fights and are often threatening physical violence.  I think this was meant to be funny, but it fell flat for me.  There’s a lot of drama revolving around Weston’s ex-girlfriend, as well as a lot of pushing and pulling between Weston and Katryn.  The sex scenes are over so quickly that you’ll miss them if you blink⎯either expand them or get rid of them entirely.  I did like one part of the story, and that was when Weston stepped up and took responsibility for something that happened in his past.

Pitching My Heart (Love, Laughter & Baseball # 1)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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Earning A Ring (More Than A Game # 4)

By Kristina Mathews

Portrait of baseball player with bare chest holding bat --- Image by © Tetra Images/Corbis

Synopsis

For Rachel Parker, covering the San Francisco Goliaths is the perfect opportunity to launch her career as a serious reporter. But she didn’t bargain on Bryce Baxter, the team’s star shortstop, tempting her more non-professional aspirations. After tearing up the base paths with him, she finds herself with a little problem, and Bryce might be the only man who can save the game. 

Bryce Baxter should be living the dream. His team just won the World Series and he just signed the multi-year contract of his career. But his field of dreams has been overtaken by a fiery redheaded reporter, who’s bearing a news flash that will change both of their lives forever…

Review

The idea of Bryce⎯a baseball player⎯having a secret fling with Rachel⎯the team’s sports reporter⎯was a good one, and I was hoping for an exciting read about two people breaking the rules and dealing with the consequences.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed with EARNING A RING, which is a shame because I quite liked MAKING A COMEBACK, book 3 in the series.  I felt no chemistry between Bryce and Rachel at all, and quite honestly, I can’t think of a single thing I liked about either of them.  They spend most of the book questioning their decisions, doubting their relationship and changing their minds about what they want.  When Bryce wants the relationship to work, Rachel is pulling away.  When Rachel wants the relationship to work, Bryce is pulling away.  It was just too much pushing and pulling for my liking.

Earning A Ring (More Than A Game # 4)

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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More Than A Game Series

Coach Maddie and the Marine

By Blaire Edens

BR Coach Maddie and the Marine

Synopsis

He’s the one man she refuses to fall for…

After the combat death of her Marine husband, grief counselor Maddie Westerfield has thrown herself into helping other families—leaving no time for dating. Which is just fine with Maddie since falling in love again, especially with another man in uniform, is out of the question. No matter how gorgeous he is. Plus, she’s busy looking after her eight-year-old nephew for her deployed sister. 

For the last eight years, Lieutenant David Sterling has lived with the guilt of losing one of his soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan. So when the opportunity presents itself, he jumps at the chance to help the beautiful widow coach her nephew’s football team. But keeping things strictly professional between them is harder than he expected. And even though he knows a relationship with Maddie will only lead to heartbreak, he can’t help falling for her.

Review

Unfortunately, COACH MADDIE AND THE MARINE was a book I just couldn’t get in to.  Both Maddie and David ran too hot and cold for my liking and I didn’t feel any chemistry between them at all.  Even for an insta-love, everything seemed to move way too fast and felt more like a teen romance read.  After just one date⎯that didn’t involve sex⎯both Maddie and David talk about marriage and being together forever.  Maddie⎯who is almost 30⎯even starts doodling her future new name in a notebook and planning her wedding, again, after just the first date.  And in a move that takes women back about 50+ years, Maddie has been without a man in her life for eight years, but as soon as David enters the picture, she’s suddenly unable to stand up for herself and confesses that it’s nice to have a man do it for her.  I was expecting a sweet read that might make me cry a little, but that’s not what I got.

Coach Maddie and the Marine

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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