Tag Archives: 3 Hearts

Behind the Bars

By Brittany C. Cherry

Synopsis

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.

I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.
The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.

Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.
Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.
And in a flash, she was gone.

Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.
She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.

Caged.

Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.
Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
When we met again, I became her darkest storm. 

Review

Behind the Bars is an extremely intense emotional read that revolves around two people being bullied in different ways.  Jasmine by her mother and then Elliott by students at their school.  They have a bond through music and singing.

This is my first book by this author and I have struggled with the pace and to me, there was so much darkness and not enough hope or lightness.  I admit I really struggle with stories around bullying and this was extreme with severe outcomes that broke my heart.  This story brought tears to my eyes and at times I didn’t  know if I was strong enough to finish with these characters.  I admit if I had not been given an ARC I may have put it down as it upset me so much.

One character they gave me hope and helped me was Ray, he was a shining angel in this story for me.

I also loved the Epilogue, it does give you the happy ever after which I desperately needed for Elliott and Jasmine.

Quote:  “You are the lyrics, the harmony, and the melody. You were, are, and always will be my favorite song.”

Behind the Bars

My Rating:  

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So Over You (Chicago Rebels # 2)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then… let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…

Review

SO OVER YOU is the second book in the Chicago Rebels series—third if you include the prequel novella—and I was really looking forward to this second-chance romance between Vadim and Isobel.  After getting a taste of their story at the end of the previous book, I was certainly intrigued.

Sadly, I didn’t feel much of a connection between Vadim and Isobel and, to be honest, the anger they both felt towards the other was unwarranted.  Isobel is angry at Vadim because he now has a reputation of pleasing the ladies, but he didn’t give her an orgasm the one time they had sex when they were teens and she was a virgin.  Vadim is angry at Isobel because her father kept him from playing in the NHL for years after he caught them together, even though he knows she had absolutely nothing to do with her father’s actions.  Both of them are also guilty of unapologetically interfering in the other’s life without discussion or consideration…for their own good.  They act out of love, but both situations could have been handled so much better and in a much less controlling way.

So it might sound like I didn’t enjoy SO OVER YOU, but I actually did, though my favourite parts of the story didn’t have anything to do with Vadim and Isobel as a couple.  I enjoyed watching the sisters interact and continue to forge their relationships, although we didn’t see as much of it in this book as we did the previous book.  I hope we’ll see more in Violet’s book.  I enjoyed how we were set up for the next story, which will be about Dante (the team’s GM) and Cade (one of the players).  A M/M boss/employee hockey romance?  Yes please!  I enjoyed the side story about Vadim and his mother, who have been separated for fifteen years.  Their interactions were heartbreaking and the most emotional part of this story.

SO OVER YOU is told in dual POVs, and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  It comes with a HEA for Vadim and Isobel, as well as a HFN ending for the Chicago Rebels.

So Over You (Chicago Rebels # 2)

My Rating:  

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Chicago Rebels Series

Strip Me Bare

By M. Never

Synopsis

“I may have had more lovers than you, and I may take my clothes off for countless women, but you are the only one who can strip me bare.”

Do you ever stop loving someone just because they’re gone?

Five years ago, Ryan Pierce disappeared from Alana Remington’s life without a trace. He was the one she gave her heart to, her soul to — and her virginity to. So, imagine her surprise when she finds him dancing at one of NYC’s hottest male revues as ‘Jack the Stripper.’

Ryan never stopped loving Alana, and now that she has serendipitously dropped back into his life, he’s vowed never to lose her again. But being together has its costs, and challenges Alana isn’t sure she can handle. She finally has Ryan back. But how in the world is she supposed to share the love of her life with half of the women in New York City?

Strip Me Bare is a second chance, standalone romance. It contains angst, heat, humor, heartbreak, and one seductive male stripper who will not only have you handing over your panties, but also your heart.

You’ve been warned.

Review

I’ve been wondering how to rate STRIP ME BARE for a few days now, and in the end I decided to give it 3❤️, because while I liked the story and its characters, there were some things I didn’t like.

I’ll start with Ryan and Alana, who I did like and I thought they fit as a couple.  What I didn’t like about Ryan was how he sacrificed his freedom for someone who didn’t deserve it the first time, let alone a second time.  What I didn’t like about Alana was how she folded to her father’s demands because she wanted his money to pay for her education and lifestyle.  It made her seem like she was a doormat and a user.  I also didn’t like that Alana never slept with anyone else in the five years they were apart, but of course Ryan had no problem sleeping with dozens of women while still being in love with Alana.

Moving on to the story, it took me a while to get into it because it was a little slow.  So slow that I considered not finish it.  But I’m very glad I kept with it, because it did pick up towards the end and became a more enjoyable read.  Despite being slow, there’s quite a bit happening throughout the story, and as I got closer to the end, I thought for sure the author was going to leave a few of these things unresolved.  So colour me pleasantly surprised when she tidied everything up, and did so in believable ways.

One other issue I had with the story were the skips in time; the story takes place over several years, with the epilogue taking place another six years later.  I don’t think the gaps took away anything from the story, rather my frustration stemmed from not knowing that time had elapsed because it wasn’t a header at the beginning of the chapter.  I’d get this sense that something wasn’t right, that I felt like I was missing something, and it would be several paragraphs into a chapter that Alana would say or think about how much time had passed.

I know I seem to have only listed the bad stuff, and it may sound like I didn’t enjoy STRIP ME BARE, but I did.  It comes with a lovely HEA that brings the story together and left me feeling very happy.  It is told only in Alana’s POV and is a stand-alone.

Strip Me Bare

My Rating:  

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Van (Cold Fury Hockey # 9)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

Score one for the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team as a stone-cold badass melts for a woman who makes his blood run hot.

As one of the league’s toughest enforcers, Van Turner is ruthless on the ice. He plays hard because it’s the only way to channel the rage boiling inside, and a reputation as an A-hole is better than everyone knowing the truth. Van has spent his entire life running from a secret that’s kept him from getting involved in relationships—or accepting lucrative deals with East Coast teams. Then the Carolina Cold Fury makes him an offer he can’t refuse . . . and Van meets a woman he can’t resist.

Simone Fournier is the stubborn one in her family—and that’s saying something, considering her brothers are two of the Cold Fury’s biggest stars. Simone gets what she wants, and what she wants is Van. Still, there’s a part of him Simone can’t reach, no matter how hard she tries. In private, he’s all fire and passion. In public, he freezes her out. Van may want to push her away, but Simone won’t let him go that easily. Because this time, she’s playing for keeps.

Review

After meeting Van in LUCAS, I was very curious about him and wanted to read his story.  Though I’m not sure why, because he was rude and not likeable at all, but something about him caught my attention.  Spoiler alert, he’s still rude in this book, but overall I liked him.  When you hear about what happened in his past and the demons that still follow him today, it’s no wonder he is the way he is.

While I liked Van, I can’t say the same for Simone, and for two main reasons.  Firstly, she’s very sexually aggressive towards Van.  I’m all for women owning their sexuality and going after what they want, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer and her behaviour honestly made me uncomfortable.  Secondly, I found her to be contradictory on a few occasions, the biggest example is when it came to her relationship with Van.  She says she’ll be patient, that she’ll happily take whatever he can give her and that she’ll always be there, but just a few hours later she’s doubting him and then leaves him the very next day.  Her only saving grace is that she did stand by Van when she learnt of his past, when most people probably would have walked—or run—away.

VAN is told in dual POVs, comes with a HEA for Van and Simone, and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  I am disappointed that this is the second Cold Fury story in a row where I haven’t liked the lead female character, and I hope this isn’t a theme that will continue.  That being said, despite not liking Simone—and thinking the blowjob scene with a sweaty Van right after he finished mowing the lawn was gross—I did like VAN.  I enjoyed reading it and it easily held my attention, which lately has been a hard thing to do.

Van (Cold Fury Hockey # 9)

My Rating:  

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Cold Fury Hockey Series

Bound by Shadows (McAllister Justice Series #2)

By Reily Garrett

Synopsis

The architect of fear employs many forms.

Kidnapping and murder never crossed Kaylee’s mind when seeking a fresh start in Portland, a new beginning to shed the remnants of tragedy dogging her steps. After escaping from an underground cage, she fights to stay one step ahead of the killer bent on silencing his only witness. Kaylee.

Two months after dodging a sociopathic murderer’s best efforts, Caden McAllister flounders within a social sink hole, unable to move forward, too stubborn to step back. Guarded and wary, the private investigator’s stagnant lifestyle detonates into chaos when a battered and bloody young waif stumbles into his care.

Framed for a murdering a past lover, Caden must clear his name and overcome his charge’s doubts while keeping her out of the sex-slave trade. When betrayal ends with Kaylee’s re-capture, Caden must conquer his past and risk all or lose the one he has come to love.

Murder, mystery, underground tunnels, and romance are intertwined in this standalone romantic thriller, the second installment of the McAllister Justice Series.

Review

Bound by Shadows is book 2 in the McAllister Justice Series. This story centers around Caden, who is one of the McAllister bothers, and Kaylee.

Kaylee was kidnapped but managed to escape the people who took her.  But she left behind another woman vowing to send help.  She makes it to the police station and who does she find there but one of the boys she grew up with.

I have to say that I was really looking for to this book.  I really liked Caden in Digital Velocity.  This book was just a little flat for me.  The beginning was extremely strong and suspenseful.  But after the beginning the story slowed down and it wasn’t until seventy percent in that it picked back up again.  I also felt that Kaylee should have been seeing a therapist to help her deal with her brother’s death because she was far from having dealt with it.  Her brother Reese was mentioned a lot without adding a lot to the story.  I almost wish that he was wasn’t mentioned as much.

Caden still has a great relationship with his brothers and Lexi.  He is having trouble from the encounter that he had with Lexi in book 1.  But this did help him become closer to Kaylee.  Again, I think that his issues were another character in the book that was mentioned a lot but did not add a lot to the story.

I will read this book again because I really did wanted to know Caden’s story and to see where Reily Garrett was taking the bothers.

Bound by Shadows

My Rating:  

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Touch of Red (Tracers # 12)

By Laura Griffin

Synopsis

When crime scene investigator Brooke Porter arrives at the home of a murdered woman, the only thing more shocking than the carnage is the evidence that someone escaped the scene. But where is this witness now? A thorough search of the area yields more questions than answers, and before Brooke even packs up her evidence kit, she’s made it her goal to find the witness and get them out of harm’s way.

Homicide detective Sean Byrne has seen his share of bloody crime scenes, but this one is particularly disturbing, especially because Brooke Porter is smack in the middle of it. Sean has had his eye on the sexy CSI for months, and he’s determined to help her with her current case—even if it means putting his attraction on hold so he and Brooke can track down a murderer. But as the investigation—and their relationship—heats up, Sean realizes that keeping his work and his personal life separate is more complicated than he ever imagined; especially when the killer sets his sights on Brooke.

Review

I can’t say too much about TOUCH OF RED because I didn’t take a lot of notes while I was reading it.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not a good thing either, because it means there wasn’t a great deal about the book that I considered noteworthy, good or bad.

I thought the case was very interesting; it was my favorite part of the story and I really enjoyed reading about it.  I liked Sean, but at the same time, nothing about him stood out to me.  I liked Brooke, but she also annoyed me.  She’s intelligent and very devoted to her job, but at times she made decisions that left me thinking she was too stupid to live.  Under the guise of helping, she would put herself in situations that had a high chance of not ending well for her.  This was a woman who needed saving from herself.

TOUCH OF RED is told in dual POVs, but also in the POV of at least one other character.  It is part of a series, but it can be read as a stand-alone, and it does come with a happy ending for Sean and Brooke.

Touch of Red (Tracers # 12)

My Rating:  

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Tracers Series

Steel Ridge: The Beginning (Steel Ridge #1)

By Kelsey Browning

Synopsis

PREQUEL

Four Determined Brothers ~ One Broken Town ~ A Mountain of Secrets

The Steele brothers have a problem.

A big one.

In his own way, each is slowly dying inside.

Grif is jaded.

Reid is unsettled.

Britt is restless.

Jonah is bored.

But what none of them realize is their loyalty to their hometown will force them to decide between the life they each thought they wanted and a love they can’t live without.

In The Beginning, the Steele brothers go all-in to save their small-town from bankruptcy, and readers will catch their first glimpse of Grif and Carlie Beth, Reid and Brynne, and Britt and Miranda. And let’s not forget the baby brother billionaire, Jonah, who has secrets of his own.

The Beginning is a 10,000-word prequel to the Steele Ridge series, including full-length titles Going Hard, Living Fast, and Loving Deep. 

Review

Steele Ridge  is a prequel novel for the entire Steel Ridge series.

The story is very fast flowing and at times I became a little confused.   You get to quickly meet a few of the women who are going to form romantic relationships with the brothers.

The Steele brothers also have two sisters and one is a twin and I  am very intrigued with their secrets.  It must have been interesting growing up with four overbearing brothers.  Their mother made an immediate impact on me with her love of her sons.

Griff is the first brother to have a story and I am looking forward to reading his romantic reunion story.

One of the brothers I really loved was Jonah and how he wanted to save the town.  It is going to be interesting to following the whole story of Steele Ridge.

This prequel just gives you enough to want to buy the next book in the Steele Ridge series being  Going Hard.

Steele Ridge: The Beginning

My Rating:  

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Wicked Envy (Wicked Horse Vegas # 3)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

The best of friends.
Two men. One woman.
A sinful playground called The Wicked Horse.

Entrepreneur turned millionaire, Dane Hawthorne, has been known to get his kicks at The Wicked Horse Vegas, and he has no shortage of beautiful women waiting for a shot at him. Driven to succeed, no matter if he’s in the boardroom or the bedroom, Dane never backs down from a challenge.

Avril Carrigan isn’t the type of woman to take risks in her personal life but after a broken heart and too much liquid courage, Avril decides to best way to get over one man, is to get under another. Looking to experience all the debauchery she’s heard about from her best friend and business partner, Dane, she requests one thing of him—take her to The Wicked Horse.

The request seems simple. One friend helping another in her time of need. But now that they’ve crossed the threshold, things aren’t as easy as they once seemed. Not only is Dane looking at Avril in a new light, but so is their other business partner and best friend, Andrew Collings. As Dane’s envy blooms, he wonders if he made the right decision when he agreed to show Avril his wicked world.

What happens when the lines of friendship are blurred and boundaries are crossed? Will their relationships survive or will jealousy tear them all apart?

Review

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I couldn’t really get into WICKED ENVY.

I love a good threesome as much as the next girl, and the sex between Avril, Dane and Andrew was some of the hottest sex I’ve read in a long time.  As in it’ll give you tingles and make you want to reach for your husband/boyfriend/B.O.B. hot.  That being said, I did find it a little unbelievable that Avril’s first time trying anal was during a DP and that she was able to handle it like a pro.

What I couldn’t get my head around, and what ultimately affected my enjoyment of this story, was the sudden sexual relationship between Avril, Dane and Andrew after seventeen years of friendship.  Why?  Because in all that time, they’d never really had any sexual thoughts about one another, nor had any of them been secretly in love with one of the others, but one day they all just decide to start sleeping together.  All the while promising that it wouldn’t affect their friendship, while at the same time believing that their bond (a word that was overused throughout this book) would be even stronger because of the sex-without-emotions they were now sharing.  It was just so out of the blue and I wasn’t feeling it at all.

WICKED ENVY is told in the POV of all three friends and does come with a HEA, though it wasn’t the ending I was expecting.  I blame myself for that, because if I’d taken a better look at the cover and synopsis, I would have known in advance how this was going to end.  WICKED ENVY is the third book in the Wicked Horse Vegas series, but it can be read as a stand-alone without any problem at all.  While I may not have enjoyed this story as much as the others, that’s not going to stop me from reading the next book in the series.

Wicked Envy (Wicked Horse Vegas # 3)

My Rating:  

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Wicked Horse Vegas Series

Puck Love

By Carmen Jenner

Synopsis

Stella Hart is the hottest thing in country music. For ten years, she’s been Nashville’s darling. She’s pure, sweet, and a positive role model in an industry rife with scandals, sex, and sequins. Men want to own her, women want to be her—everyone wants a piece of her, and Stella? Well, she wants out.

As the center for the Calgary Crushers, Van Ross isn’t afraid of the spotlight, but he doesn’t much like it either. Despite his reputation as a player, the NHL’s bad boy lives for only two things: the game, and his younger brother. That’s why when he comes across a country music superstar seeking refuge at his home in the Canadian Rockies, he’s not too happy with the media shitstorm this surprise houseguest brings.

With a nationwide manhunt, paparazzi dogging their every move, producers of a reality TV show baying for blood, and a record label desperate to see their “good girl” returned safely home, Van and Stella’s lives are snowballing out of control.

While Van would like nothing more than to show the purest of them all how well he handles his er … stick, Stella is no puck bunny. Nor is she as innocent as she’d have the world believe.

With chemistry like theirs, tension runs high on and off the ice, but the end game is the same for both players: line up the puck, take the shot, and score. If only their hearts understood the play.

Puck fame and fortune.
Puck right and wrong.
Puck love.

Review

PUCK LOVE is the first book I’ve read from Carmen Jenner, and overall I found it an enjoyable read.

“Van, what happened to my panties?”
“I took one look at them and they just disintegrated into thin air. That happens quite a bit when I’m around.”

I liked Van.  Yes, he could sometimes be a bit of a pig, especially to Stella before they started sleeping together, and he came on to her pretty damn strong, but I did find humour in some of his comments.  I loved watching him with his little brother, Emmett, who has Downs Syndrome and who he clearly loved very much and would do anything for.  I know there are a few readers who hated him because he “cheated”, but since he and Stella were broken up at the time and he put a stop to it very quickly, I don’t consider what he did cheating, so I’m not going to hold that one scene against him.

I liked Stella, but I don’t really have much to say about her other than she suffered from severe panic attacks when performing, but was suddenly cured after starting a relationship with Van.  This was a woman who was questioning her entire career and life choices, but when the time came to return said career, she did so very easily and was suddenly loving it.  I guess I just don’t understand how getting a boyfriend can change how you feel about your job.

I thought PUCK LOVE was written well.  I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar mistakes, or any inconsistencies, and it did hold my attention pretty well.  That being said, there were a few things that slightly bothered me.  We never found out how the paparazzi discovered where Stella was hiding.  The first half (ish) of the story takes place in the span of a few weeks, but after that the story takes huge skips in time, ranging from one month to four months.  After feeling their connection build in those first few weeks, it was hard trying to feel that connection continue when they were apart for months at a time.  Lastly, Van and Stella had a huge conflict around the middle of the story, so I thought it was odd to add another conflict at the 90% mark, especially when it was just a misunderstanding and was resolved within a couple of pages.  It felt a bit pointless to me.

PUCK LOVE is told in dual POVs and is currently a stand-alone.  However, that could change as Van’s friend and Stella’s manager seemed to have a little something going on in this story, but in regards to Van and Stella, they got their HEA.

Puck Love

My Rating:  

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Hurricane (Heaven Hill Generations #1)

By Laramie Briscoe

Synopsis

We finally get our happily ever after…..

Remington “Remy” Sawyer

For most of my life I’ve been the person who lived with the hand he was dealt. Not much in my life have I had a say in. Birthed by parents I don’t talk to, I was raised by the only person who ever cared for me – my brother, Cash. Under his guidance, I’ve become the person I am today.

Productive member of society, and patched brother in the Heaven Hill MC.

I don’t want for anything, other than Tatum Walker.

We had a shot, and we both screwed it up……massively.

Tatum “Tate” Walker

Being the daughter of the President of the Heaven Hill MC is a burden, but one I’ll face every day with pride. It’s hard for me to know what people like me for. Is it my personality, my looks, or are they trying to get close to the Club? There’s one person I’ve never doubted.

Remington Sawyer.

A year ago we had one night of almost passion – that ended with me walking away in tears – and him walking away in anger.

Some time away from each other has given us perspective. Now, instead of the storm of chaos that was our one attempt at a relationship, we’re both ready for calm.

And nothing, they say, is as calm – as the eye of a Hurricane.

Review

I have not read any Heaven Hill books but I could easily follow all the characters introduced and did not get confused.  Although perhaps I would have connected easier if I had?

I admit I liked Remy as a character more than Tate, he was definitely more mature however Tate slowly grew on me by the end.

This is a romance around two young people who after a misunderstanding reconnect and move forward together for a second chance at having a relationship.  The moments at the cabin were my favourite and they really do talk to each other and admit mistakes.

It was at times a bit too slow for me and I was waiting for some action which we did get from Remy’s parents.  The build-up of waiting for them to finally admit their enduring love for each other was satisfying at the end.

I really loved how all the adults supported these two young characters.  There is not much MC drama in this and it purely centers around these two young people.

This had a very different feel from other books by the author I have read.

Hurricane is an easy read without any unnecessary drama and is a sweet romance.

Quote:  “I didn’t know lonely until I had you and lost you”

Hurricane (Heaven Hill Generations #1)

My Rating:  

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