Tag Archives: ARC

Marek (Cold Fury Hockey # 11)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

Marek Fabritis is used to delivering blows, not receiving them. But when he gets tipped off by an anonymous email about his ex-girlfriend, the news leaves him ice cold—and it’s not because Gracen Moore is getting married to a total jerk. It’s the fact that Marek has a three-year-old daughter he never knew about. Now he’s going back home, not to play knight in shining armor but to make damn sure that no man takes what’s his. For the first time, there might be something more important than hockey.

Gracen Moore has always loved Marek. That’s why she let him go, so he could pursue a career in the NHL. And that’s why she never told him about Lilly. Only now does Gracen realize that she made an unforgivable mistake. But is that any reason for Marek to crash her wedding and make an epic scene? If the spark that still smolders between them is to be trusted, maybe. Still, Gracen’s not getting her hopes up. Because she knows better than anyone that appearances aren’t always what they seem. . . .

Review

MAREK is a second chance, secret child romance, which for the most part was a very enjoyable read and a good addition to the Cold Fury Hockey series. The story was entertaining, kept me turning the pages and brought out a wide range of emotions from me.

I loved Gracen, who apologized several times for keeping her daughter a secret and she meant each and every one of those apologies. She was willing to accept Marek’s anger towards her, but she was not afraid to stand up for herself and put him in his place when he went too far. Given how their breakup went down, I don’t blame Gracen one bit for what she did, especially when she believed she was simply honoring Marek’s wishes.

I also loved her daughter, Lilly, who was a gorgeous and sweet little girl.

I wish I could say I liked Marek, but I just can’t. While he became a good father to Lilly, I didn’t like how he kept playing the victim or how badly he treated Gracen throughout most of the book. From memory, he never apologized to Gracen for the cruel way he broke up with her, or take into account her feelings or try to understand why she kept Lilly a secret.

While MAREK can technically be read as a stand-alone, the scene where Marek rushes to stop Gracen from getting married⏤and learns about his daughter⏤only appears in the previous book. So if you haven’t read REED, you will miss that particular heated and emotional scene that sets up this story.

I also have to say that the synopsis does not match the story at all, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a glaring disparity between the two. The synopsis says that Gracen let Marek go so he could pursue his NHL dreams, and that Marek rushes to stop her from getting married after learning he has a daughter. That is not even close to what happened. Instead, Marek dumped Gracen when he reached the NHL because he didn’t want to be tied down to her, and only learned of his daughter after he turned up to stop Gracen from getting married.

There’s not a great deal of hockey in this book, as the story mostly takes place during the off-season. But despite that, and as I said above, the story is a page turner and I devoured it quickly. MAREK is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Marek and Gracen.

Marek (Cold Fury Hockey # 11)

My Rating:  

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Cold Fury Hockey Series

Hooked On You (Chicago Rebels # 3)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

Violet Vasquez never met her biological father, so learning he left his beloved hockey franchise—the Chicago Rebels—to her is, well, unexpected. Flat broke and close to homeless, Violet is determined to make the most of this sudden opportunity. Except dear old dad set conditions that require she takes part in actually running the team with the half-sisters she barely knows. Working with these two strangers and overseeing a band of hockey-playing lugs is not on her agenda…until she lays eyes on the Rebels captain and knows she has to have him.

Bren St. James has been labeled a lot of things: the Puck Prince, Lord of the Ice, Hell’s Highlander…but it’s the latest tag that’s making headlines: washed-up alcoholic has-been. This season, getting his life back on track and winning the Cup are his only goals. With no time for relationships—except the fractured ones he needs to rebuild with his beautiful daughters—he’s finding it increasingly hard to ignore sexy, all-up-in-his-beard Violet Vasquez. And when he finds himself in need of a nanny just as the playoffs are starting, he’s faced with a temptation he could so easily get hooked on.

For two lost souls, there’s more on the line than just making the best of a bad situation… there might also be a shot at the biggest prize of all: love.

Review

HOOKED ON YOU is the final book in the Chicago Rebels series, and it is a little sad to say goodbye to the three Chase sisters who did what nobody thought they could: take control of the worst hockey team in the league and lead it to success.

While I liked Bren, Violet and Bren’s two daughters, and that we got to see more bonding between the Chase sisters, this book didn’t engage me as much as I was hoping it would, and it did take me a few days to finish it. I found myself frustrated by the number of times Bren alluded to something terrible he did in his past before it was finally revealed towards the end of the book. There were also a couple of hockey related mistakes, like the name of the opposing team changing in the middle of the game, and the away team having home ice advantage for game seven of a playoff series. These aren’t huge mistakes and maybe most readers wouldn’t notice, but they were big enough for this hockey fan to notice.

HOOKED ON 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 Bren and Violet, and an ending for the team that I think fans of the series will be happy with.

Hooked On You (Chicago Rebels # 3)

My Rating:  

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Chicago Rebels Series

Bad Boy Brody

By Tijan

Synopsis

One punch took him from Hollywood’s Golden Boy to Bad Boy Brody.

The media didn’t care he was grieving his brother’s death. They descended on him, but to change his reputation, his manager got him a deal.

Act in an indie film, one that already had Oscar buzz, and he’d get the movie roles he needed to secure his future.

He took the deal.

Yet he wasn’t prepared for the real-life people behind the script.

He wasn’t prepared for the murder the movie was based on.

And he really wasn’t prepared for her, the biggest secret of all.

She was wild. She was beautiful. She defied gravity.

But was she the leading role that would tame him? 

Review

Brody was a great character and I felt connected to him within the first few chapters  You could feel his emotions and inner battles.  He was dynamic, strong and passionate and very easy to like.

At times I admit I struggled with Morgan as a character because she frustrated me.  I found her too aloof and some of her actions were strange.  However in saying that, she did at times reflect great fragility yet such fierceness, I so wanted to love her.

Matthew and Morgan’s scenes gave me hope she would return to her family. Unfortunately, they were too in infrequent and I lost my interest in her as a character and became more invested in others.

Now I loved the siblings, they to me created mystery and drama and kept me wanting to find out all the family secrets and they were worth the wait.  The second half of this story was more enjoyable to me as Brody and Morgan’s step-siblings interactions really developed and moved the story forward.

Bad Boy Brody is a slow burn novel and you have to be patient.  It is a lovely story with some great supporting characters with mystery and drama.

Bad Boy Brody

My Rating:  

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Stronger Than This

By Abby McCarthy

Synopsis

Marie:
I married a monster — a member of a motorcycle club. I was okay with him blurring the lines until the lines he crossed turned against me. He wasn’t always a monster, or he hid it well. I wouldn’t have married him if I’d known. By the time his true colors showed, I was pregnant with no way out. Until one day, years of planning paid off, and I was able to run away with my daughter.
I found my footing in the foothills of Pennsylvania, thinking I would be far from any MC. I was wrong.

Mickey:
As a member of The Devil’s Crusaders, not much escapes me in Wakeman. Especially not the tiny, fiery redhead who strolled into town, so obviously hiding from something. She made my blood boil in the best way possible. I’d avoided taking an old lady, instead, choosing to spend my years raising my daughter. Not anymore. Not since Marie. I was ready, and she was it for me. I just had to find out what she was hiding from before it finally catches up to her

Review

Stronger Than This started perfectly and drew me in from the first few chapters.  After knowing where we are headed you have a continual feeling of waiting for Marie’s future and past to collide.

Mickey was just a perfect male character and once I got used to his accent it flowed well.  I had not read any other books by this author and could easily follow the supporting characters.  The sense of family amongst these characters provide light and laughter to an at times dark and sad story.

There was no unnecessary drama in this story and considering some of the topics covered it was welcomed as a reader to just follow Marie’s journey.  The beautiful way other women were woven into becoming Marie’s tribe was refreshing.

Talon was a realistic character in her honest expression of changing her life.  It was lovely to follow this mother and daughter rebuild their connection to each other after living in lies and deceit.  Drake was a frightening character and towards the end, I was beside myself with fear.

The last few chapters of this story are at times hard to read as I had forged such a strong connection to Marie and Talon.  The journey is worth it as we are given a wonderful happy ever after.

Stronger Than This

My Rating:  

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Sweet Redemption (Sweet Duet #2)

By Ellie Jean

Synopsis

Powerfully romantic, sexually charged and full of emotional angst, the sequel to Sweet Deception will enrapture your heart.

Dreaming of a future with Alex Raven was foolish and dangerous… For us both.

My past defined who I was until Alex Raven found me that fateful night. The hot chemistry, passion and protective love he showed me made me want things I could never have. Risking everything, purging my sins, determined to free myself from the clutches of Dimitri Sokolov, I had to accept the ultimate consequence: my life without Alex.

But no one saw what was coming.

How could I have known?

Will I be able to save myself from my past errors? Will redemption ever happen for me with the one man who made me want to risk everything?

Review

 

Sweet Redemption was a frantic and soul-destroying yet also stunning completion of this riveting mob suspense romance duet.  My heart was shattered for Isla but I also held such hope that Alex would be her savior and we are given a wonderful ending, it was so worth the journey.

Their story picks up right where Sweep Deception ended and I found it very easy to immerse myself back into this sinister world.  Isla is so fragile yet incredibly strong and in the first few chapters has to find her inner strength again as she battles for freedom.

Alex and his friends again provided so many favourite moments for me. The story flows well, family secrets are revealed and plot twists change that will leave you relieved and also distraught at points in time.

Alex and Isla’s connection is beautiful and passionate however I would have loved more tender moments especially as we reached the end of this story.    There is one moment where I personally believe a more soft and sensual interaction would have healed both their hearts and injuries.

All in all, I love this mafia romance, it had drama, deceit, secrets and ultimately unsuspecting hero’s who returns to save the day.

Sweet Redemption (Sweet Duet #2)

My Rating:  

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Love At Last

By Claudia Connor

Synopsis

How many times can you be unlucky in love before you decide it’s not luck, it’s you?

I’m in love with someone else. With her ex-groom’s words still ringing in her ears, Clare Franklin flies off alone to her would-be honeymoon. Forced to accept not everyone gets that happily ever after she’s always dreamed of, she’s done with men. Until she gets tangled up, quite literally, with one sexy veterinarian.

The only thing Dr Deacon Montgomery wants is to share his surgical expertise and get back to his two year old twin daughters. But, the connection he feels with Clare highlights just how alone he really is and makes him wonder if he can be more than doctor and daddy.

Long talks and moonlit walks under the rustle of palms has Clare thinking maybe she gave up on love too soon. Until one phone call from home changes everything.

Review

If you’re a fan of sweet, single-parent, second-chance romances, LOVE AT LAST is for you.

I liked Clare and how she took a chance on Deacon after being dumped at her own wedding. It also takes guts to go on your honeymoon alone, knowing you’ll be surrounded by happy couples everywhere you look, and not let it get you down. I loved Deacon. Absolutely loved him. He was honest and sincere, and what you see is really what you get. I loved his relationship with his twin daughters, as well as the effort he went to to reconnect with Clare. He felt they had something special, and he was not afraid to put himself out there for her.

So why only 3❤? Well, because while I liked it, I didn’t love it. I felt that certain parts of the story dragged on, while other parts of the story felt rushed and therefore anti-climactic. But mostly I think my issue was that I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be reading this particular story when I did. I believe that if I had been in a better mood, I would have found LOVE AT LAST more enjoyable.

Love At Last

My Rating:  

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Sergio

By Natasha Knight

Synopsis

Dark Mafia Romance

I’m the first born son of the mafia king. The favorite. Destined to rule, I’m a dangerous man, a ruthless one. But in my world, you have to be.

Then Natalie stumbles into my life. Wrong place. Wrong time.

Twice, fate put her in my path.
Twice, fate placed the innocent lamb at the mercy of the monster.

I gave her a chance to walk away. Told her it would be better for her if she did.
But she didn’t listen.
And now it’s too late.
Because I’m not good. I never wanted to be. And I won’t let her go anymore. See, I’m not the hero. When I touch her, it’s with dirty hands.

I know my reckoning is coming though. I know I’ll burn for the things I’ve done, the sins I’ve committed. And I don’t deny hell is where I belong, but I want my time first. I want my time with her.

She’s mine.
Forever.
No matter what.

Review

Sergio has blown my mind, I knew going in it was going to be intense, dangerous and an emotional read.  This is my fourth book by this author and again she delivers such a diverse and decadent path for the reader.

Sergio and Natalie’s story is mentioned in both Salvatore and Dominic’s story from the Benedetti Brothers Series.  Both these stories were 5 Heart Reads for me and I could not wait to go back and learn about the oldest Benedetti.

Natasha Knight knows how to write great Mob Romance stories that are dark and gritty but also honest and hopeful.  She can make you love and then forgive the character.  She will make you want to have his babies, fall in love with the brutal man and yet want to stand alongside him and face the darkness and enemies.

Natalie is an amazing and strong female character who has a strength that radiates throughout this entire love story.  She was a favourite character for me in Salvatore so I was thrilled to learn her history.

Enjoyed having both characters thoughts reflected throughout this story and it has made me want to pick up Salvatore and return to this mob family again.

Sergio is brutal for your heart however it ends perfectly in time just before Salvatore’s life is about to change.

Quote:  She is breath. She is life. She is everything.

Sergio

My Rating:  

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The Pecker Briefs (Legal Affairs # 7)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

I never thought a pecker would get me in so much trouble.

I mean, sure… if you’re talking about a certain anatomical feature of mine that the ladies just love. Given my bachelor status and appreciation for all things curvy and feminine, I could absolutely see that. But a different pecker is making my life much harder than it needs to be.

My name is Ford Daniels, partner at the law firm of Knight & Payne, and my latest case has me wading through the finer points of peckers—woodpeckers that is. Specifically, the red-cockaded woodpecker. I swear, I can’t make this stuff up but that’s what the sexy-as-hell blonde chained to a tree told me this morning.

Her name is Viveka Jones and she is so much more than a pretty face. She’s got wit, charm, and razor-sharp smarts. Turns out my client is looking to bulldoze the red-cockaded woodpecker’s natural habitat in favor of a multimillion-dollar subdivision and the sexy attorney with legs for days (and days), just happens to be counsel for an animal rights group looking to put a halt to construction.

My client’s pissed, but all I can think about is getting Viveka across the table from me. And then on the table underneath me. Perhaps up against the wall. And then—

Well, let’s just say when it’s all said and done, I’m hoping the red-cockaded woodpecker isn’t the only pecker that gets some attention from Miss Viveka Jones.

Review

I liked everything about THE PECKER BRIEFS, from its characters to its story, from its beginning to its end.

I liked the chemistry between Ford and Viveka and that neither of them was afraid of following wherever that chemistry took them. I liked that they were both honest and up front about their intentions and expectations—from their case to their relationship—and that what they said was truly what they meant. I also liked that they were both older than what I’m used to reading, with Ford being forty-three and Viveka being thirty-six. The case was an enjoyable element to the story for sure, but it will be Ford and Viveka that I remember most about this story.

THE PECKER BRIEFS is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. I’ve read a few of the other books in this series and though I can’t remember much about the previous characters/couples, I never felt like I was missing something.

The Pecker Briefs (Legal Affairs # 7)

My Rating:  

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Blood Veil (Mission # 2)

By Megan Erickson

Synopsis

In the midst of supernatural chaos, worlds and hearts collide.

Celia: Having never known my parents, I’ve always felt like an orphan. All I want is a normal life. But after I’m attacked in my bedroom by one vampire—and rescued by another—it’s about time to give up on “normal” once and for all. Idris, the second in command of the Gregorie vampire clan, has come to my aid, but his motives for saving me are unclear. And what surprises me most is my attraction to his heated gaze. . . .

Idris: Terror. Curiosity. Arousal. These are the natural impulses of a human female, not the spawn of the ruthless Valarian king. Is it possible that Celia is unaware of her bloodline—and the power coursing through her veins? As the daughter of my archenemy, she was supposed to be my ransom. But how quickly the heat of desire changes everything. Now the family Celia has always craved is trying to kill her, and it’s up to me to save her again—when all I really want to do is make her mine.

Review

I enjoyed BLOOD VEIL, but not as much as I was hoping to, or as much as I enjoyed the first book in the Mission series, BLOOD GUARD.

BLOOD VEIL takes place over just a few days, so I’d definitely classify this as an insta-love. Usually this doesn’t bother me too much, but in this case, it did. I remember being very surprised when they declared their love for each other, because up until that point, I hadn’t felt any love between them. Idris was focused on getting revenge against the Valarian king, and Celia—as his captive and bait—was simply a means to an end. Was there chemistry? Yes. Love? Not so much.

There are a couple of scenes where secrets are revealed and people are killed, but there’s hardly any shock or emotion exhibited by the characters when these things happened, especially on Celia’s part. It’s hard to get emotionally invested in a story when the characters themselves show very little emotion.

Finally, I’m confused about how this story ended for Celia. As a half vampire with a blood disorder, she can never be turned, but I don’t remember reading anything about what will happen to her. Will she be immortal like a vampire, or will she grow old and die like a human? What about her nightmares that will make her crazy if she isn’t turned? Will she still have those, or will they mysteriously disappear?

BLOOD VEIL is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Idris and Celia. I finished the story quickly, so it easily held my attention, but there were just too many things that kept me from loving it. Despite that, if there is to be a third book written in this series, I would read it because this world intrigues me.

Blood Veil (Mission # 2)

My Rating:  

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Mission Series

Breech’s Fall (Devil’s Wind MC #2)

By D. D. Galvani

Synopsis

From the moment Jiji steps foot inside the Devil’s Wind clubhouse, Breech can’t get her out of his head. She’s beautiful, smart and sassy-all things that drive Breech’s need to it’s breaking point. But she’s not for him. She’s his best friend Fighter’s little sister. He can’t hit it and quit it with Jiji, like he does the others. Either he’s all in or Fighter will have his balls.

Jiji knows exactly what kind of man Breech is and no matter what kind of fire he sets off in her lady parts, she has no intentions of getting mixed up with him and becoming another one, of the many women, he leaves in his wake. She has goals she’s working towards and the world of bikers doesn’t fit in with what she has planned.

But when trouble comes knocking and Jiji finds herself in a terrifying situation, it’s Breech and the Devil’s Wind that must step in to save her. She just hopes they make it in time.

Review

When picking up Breech’s Fall, I had not read book 1 and honestly, this is a standalone and I could easily follow the story and other characters as introduced.  This story centers around Breech and Jiji, they have great chemistry and real friendship.

The first half of Breech’s Fall is their story about moving from friendship to acknowledging their attraction and building a romance as they travel together.  I did find the pace in the first half a bit slow personally.  However, Just want to say the author wrote truthfully about traveling the road together, Jiji’s uncomfortable moments were funny.

We then move to the second half of the story and it has such action, drama and does not stop, I kept turning the pages at this point.  There are dark and dangerous moments they build to a fantastic ending that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Breech’s Fall (Devil’s Wind MC #2)

My Rating:  

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