Tag Archives: 2 Hearts

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

Buy LinksAmazon

Visit Skye Jordan:  Click Here


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

Buy LinksAmazon | iBooks

Visit Nicole Edwards:  Click Here


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

Buy LinksAmazon | iBooks

Visit Jaci Burton:  Click Here


Hope Series

The Sapphire Heist (Jewel # 2)

By Lauren Blakely

br-the-sapphire-heist

Synopsis

Keep your lover close and your enemy closer…

After giving in to a fiery night of passion, island adventurer Steph Anderson and bounty hunter Jake Harlowe are back to square one. With millions in stolen jewels at stake, it’s hard for Steph not to question her new partner’s true motives—no matter how sexy he might be. Jake is hungry for more of Steph, but he can sense her growing mistrust, which only fuels his own doubts. Worse, there’s undeniable evidence that someone else is now after the jewels—and that they are both in real danger.

Fighting against their magnetic attraction is a distraction these two can’t afford. In order to survive, they’ll have to pull off one more heist—and trust each other with something even more precious than jewels: their hearts.

Review

THE SAPPHIRE HEIST continues on from where THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR finished, with Steph believing Jake stole from her after they spent the night together.  As with the first book, a lot of the story revolves around their trust issues; Steph doesn’t trust Jake, which upsets him and then Jake doesn’t trust Steph, which upsets her.  It’s hard to connect with characters or believe their chemistry when they’re always doubting each other.  Steph is still struggling to accept that her stepfather could be a criminal, despite all the evidence that’s right in front of her.  Ultimately, this book was pretty much the same as the first book, just with a bit more mystery, a few more bad guys and some scuba tours thrown in.

THE SAPPHIRE HEIST is told in dual POVs and cannot be read as a stand-alone; if you’re going to read this book, you need to read THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR first.  As with book 1, I wouldn’t call this a novella, but it is a fairly quick read and again I found myself skipping sections of the inner monologue.  As I got towards the end, I was worried that we’d be going into a third book because the end was rapidly approaching and we didn’t have a conclusion yet.  But the stolen jewels were recovered and the ending moves extremely quick after that.  Overall, I thought these two stories were ok, but not great, and I probably won’t be reading any more of this series, should there end up being more books.

The Sapphire Heist (Jewel # 2)

My Rating:  2 Hearts 1/2

Buy LinksAmazon

Visit Lauren Blakely:  Click Here


Jewel Series

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

Buy LinksAmazon | iBooks

Visit Mimi Jean Pamfiloff:  Click Here


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

Buy LinksAmazon | iBooks

Visit Michelle Lynn:  Click Here

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

Buy LinksAmazon | iBooks

Visit Samanthe Beck:  Click Here


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

Buy LinksAmazon | iBooks

Visit Meghan March:  Click Here


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

Buy LinksAmazon

Visit Aubrey Parker:  Click Here


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

Buy LinksAmazon | iBooks

Visit Kat Martin:  Click Here