Tag Archives: Island Getaway

Hooking Up

By Helena Hunting

Synopsis

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Review

After meeting Amie and her fiancé, Armstrong, in SHACKING UP, I was really looking forward to Amie’s story, because I knew Armstrong was a cheating douchebag and I wanted to see Amie find a man worthy of her.  While I don’t remember Lex from the previous book, in this book he proves he is definitely that man.

Helena Hunting has a great way of writing characters that you’ll love, and characters that you’ll love to hate.  I really liked Amie, who was strong and comfortable with her sexuality, but she also had just the right amount of insecurity that made her relatable.  I loved that she stood her ground against Armstrong, physically and mentally.  Speaking of Armstrong, he’s a huge douchebag.  Yes, I know I’ve called him that twice already, but he’s such a big one that it deserves being mentioned more than once.  Finally, I loved Lex, who is definitely a keeper with his playful personality and kind heart, and I’m very glad that he got the girl.

“Why’re you being so nice to me?”
“Because I want to.  Because you don’t deserve what’s happened to you.”

I enjoyed HOOKING UP, but it didn’t have the same amount of humour that SHACKING UP did.  Sure, there were scenes that had me smiling and laughing, but they were few and far between, and thanks to Armstrong’s disturbing and delusional behaviour, it was quite a bit more serious than the previous book.  I liked reading how Lex and Amie met in the proglogue, and how Chapter One really draws you into the story by making you feel a wide range of emotions.  Unfortunately, I did feel that the story dragged a little after Lex and Amie left Bora Bora, and it didn’t really pick up again until towards the end.

HOOKING UP is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Lex and Amie.  While it is listed as a stand-alone—and it can be read as such—its characters are connected to SHACKING UP.  If you haven’t read SHACKING UP yet, I highly recommend it.  Will there be another book after this one?  Maybe.  There’s a little scene at the end that involved a much-hated female character that got my spidey senses tingling.  Time will tell.

Hooking Up

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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The Series

Lovestruck

By Lila Monroe

Synopsis

Will Cassidy is hot, infuriating, and the guy behind the biggest heart-stomping humiliation of my life. He’s also hosting my BFF’s destination wedding at his super-luxe tropical resort, so short of a hurricane or outbreak of the plague (here’s hoping), I’m stuck within t̶o̶n̶g̶u̶e̶’s̶ arm’s reach of him for the next seven days.

But I’m not a naive college girl anymore, and there’s no way I’m falling for his (many) charms again. I just have to ignore the romantic wedding shenanigans, his miraculous abs, all those intimate beach sunsets… And did I mention those abs?

Maybe a wild vacation fling is exactly what I need to even the score… But between the scorching chemistry and all-inclusive margaritas, I’m getting drunk on love. Which definitely isn’t part of the plan.

Can I keep my heart zipped – even if my bikini bottoms are lost somewhere on that nude beach? And how do you let go of the past when you’re holding on tight to the past’s (very ripped) torso?

Review

LOVESTRUCK was a fun and lighthearted read, and a second-chance romance between Will and Ruby.  I say it’s a second-chance romance, though technically, the pair never dated while they were in college.  Instead, Ruby had a huge crush on her good friend, but cut him out of her life after he hurt her feelings and crushed her heart.  They’re thrown together again five years later at the airport as they fly out to attend the same wedding.

I really liked Ruby and I felt her conflicting emotions towards Will were realistic.  She hates him and wants him with equal measure.  She was smart and feisty, and she had me cheering and laughing out loud in the skinny dipping scene.  You go girl!  Will’s a nice guy who had no idea why Ruby cut off all contact, and when you find out what really happened back in college, you’re rooting for him to get the girl.  But he’s also a cliché.  He really likes Ruby but hides how he feels, tells her it can never be more than sex, and then gets upset when he thinks she doesn’t return his secret feelings.  Sigh.

In the digital version I read, Will and Ruby’s story ends at the 38% mark, followed by excerpts from other books and another one of Lila’s full-length novels for you to read if you want to.  So when it says it’ll take you over ten hours to finish, it will take less than half that.  LOVESTRUCK is told only in Ruby’s POV and comes with a nice ending for Will and Ruby.

Lovestruck

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Worth The Wait (St. James # 1)

By Jamie Beck

Synopsis

Thirteen years ago, Vivi LeBrun was sketching a rooster and eating Oreos when she first met—and fell for—her friend’s brother, David St. James. Since then, her love for David has only intensified thanks to years of friendship with his family, who rescued her from a lonely, tumultuous childhood. As she travels to Block Island to vacation with the St. James siblings, Vivi daydreams about reuniting with David, hoping he’ll finally see her as his soul mate.

After his mother’s death, David distanced himself from his siblings, determined to hide a devastating family secret. Now, he’s brought a new girlfriend along to his homecoming—one who’s pushing for a serious commitment. The last thing he needs on his growing list of problems is his budding attraction to Vivi.

With tensions running high, David’s behavior triggers a series of events that might cost him the love he’s always taken for granted and Vivi the only real family she’s ever known.

Review

WORTH THE WAIT is the first book I’ve read from Jamie Beck, and I found it to be an enjoyable read.

I quite liked Vivi, who is fun, friendly and just a really nice person.  She lost her mother and brother when she was just a child and her father became a drunk to escape.  But despite all that, she remains positive and upbeat.  She has been in love with David since she was thirteen and even at that young age, she never hid her feelings from him.  That takes courage and I admired her for it.  But after waiting in vain for half of her life, she decides it’s time to move on from David and, as is her way, she’s not afraid to tell him exactly what she thinks and feels.

“Vivi, your friendship means everything to me.  I don’t want to lose it.”
“Of course you don’t.  Who would willingly let go of someone who gives everything and asks for nothing in return?”

David is a nice guy, but he’s also a little selfish and I spent a large portion of the story not liking him very much.  He’s dealing with his own personal demons which have caused him to recently push away not only his family, but also Vivi.  He’s always been aware of Vivi’s feelings for him but in all honesty, he never led her on…at least up until now.  His character is a cliché though, in that he didn’t realise exactly how he wanted Vivi until her affection wasn’t available to him anymore.

She’d always been an all-or-nothing girl.  He should have guessed she would treat him likewise.  For years she’d given him her all, and now she had nothing left.

WORTH THE WAIT is told in dual POVs and comes with a very nice HEA.  The story is told in present time but also includes the occasional flashback to events that took place over the past thirteen years.  I found this to be an easy and enjoyable read, and I would read the next book in the series.

Worth The Wait (St. James # 1)

My Rating:  

Buy LinksAmazon

Visit Jamie Beck:  Click Here


St. James 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

The Sapphire Affair (Jewel # 1)

By Lauren Blakely

br-the-sapphire-affair

Synopsis

Bounty hunter Jake Harlowe knows how to track a criminal. So when a group of swindled shareholders hire him to trail their former CEO, Jake expects a quick trip to the Cayman Islands to close another case. Until a devastatingly beautiful woman gets in the way.

Steph Anderson is visiting the Caymans for a rock climbing and dive trip—or so she tells Jake. She’s really trying to find out whether or not her stepfather embezzled money from his company. The last thing Steph needs is the distraction of a sexy, charming man whose kisses drive her wild.

Soon, the pair discover they’re after the same target—and millions in jewels. While Jake can’t be certain Steph isn’t working for her stepfather, and Steph can’t be certain Jake isn’t after the diamonds for himself, they can agree the heat between them is intense, and neither can deny the passion for long.

But the morning after, Steph discovers that she just might have slept with the enemy, and now she’ll have to outwit him to get everything she needs…

Review

I’m going to start by saying that I didn’t realise this would end in a cliffhanger.  The blurb doesn’t say anything about it ending on a cliffhanger or that their story will continue on in book 2.  I saw there was a second book in the series available and assumed that it would be about a different couple.  I was wrong.

Both Jake and Steph have trust issues when it comes to the opposite sex.  Steph is distrustful because of what her last boyfriend did to her after their relationship ended, and Jake is distrustful because he once partnered up with a woman (in bed and on the job) and she betrayed him.  Because of their trust issues, most of the book is spent with them dancing around each other, wondering if they can trust the other.  Steph also spends a lot of time struggling with the possibility that her stepfather is a criminal.  Other than that, not a great deal happens.

THE SAPPHIRE AFFAIR is told in dual POVs and cannot be read as a stand-alone as their story continues on in THE SAPPHIRE HEIST.  It’s not a novella, but it is a fairly quick read and I did find myself skipping paragraphs because of the huge amount of inner monologue.  This book didn’t blow me away, but I am curious as to how their story will end, so I will be reading the second book.

The Sapphire Affair (Jewel # 1)

My Rating:  3 Hearts

Buy LinksAmazon

Visit Lauren Blakely:  Click Here


Jewel Series

Compromising Her Position (Compromise Me # 1)

By Samanthe Beck

BR Compromising Her Position

Synopsis

He’s not who she expected, but he’s exactly the man she needs…

When Chelsea Wayne drags Santa into a supply closet for a little office party nookie, she assumes the man in the suit is her on-again/off-again coworker boyfriend. Instead, it’s Rafe St. Sebastian, a man known for his hard-driving ways in business as well as the bedroom—and, kill her now, the brand spanking new owner of Las Ventanas—who grants her naughtiest Christmas wishes. 

So much for her reputation, not to mention her career.

Rafe needs to close three acquisitions to prove to his father he’s ready to take the helm of St. Sebastian Enterprises. A hot interlude in a supply closet after deal number two seems like the perfect illicit Christmas bonus. Unfortunately, when that “bonus” becomes the key to the final deal, he finds himself back in bed—so to speak—with Chelsea, and after their steamy tryst, he’s not interested in keeping things professional…

Review

When Chelsea sees her boyfriend and boss, Paul, dressed in the Santa costume she wanted him to wear at their hotel’s Christmas party, she pushes him into a closet and has the best sex of her life.  But soon after she realises that Santa wasn’t Paul, but was in fact Rafe St. Sebastian, the hotel’s new owner and her new boss.  Awkward.  Before she gets a chance to confess to Paul what she unknowingly did, he drops his own bombshell, causing her to quit on the spot and move away to get a fresh start.  Rafe’s dream is to take over the St. Sebastian empire from his father; a dream that will only come true after he completes three successful hotel acquisitions.  His dream is almost derailed when he learns that Chelsea, the woman he slept with and who was instrumental in the running of his second acquisition, has quit.  He tracks her down at her new hotel and figures he can kill two birds with one stone⎯complete the third and final acquisition and get Chelsea in his bed and out of his head.  For him, it’s a win-win situation.

Apart from fucking Santa in a closet, I thought Chelsea was a smart and level-headed woman as well as a loyal friend.  When Paul was cruel to her during their breakup, she didn’t take what he said to heart.  Rather she saw his words for what they were – a deflection of guilt and blame from a man who didn’t deserve her.  Rafe was hot, cheeky, flirty and confident, but I also thought he was a little callous with Chelsea’s feelings.  He didn’t want to hurt her and he was very upfront about what he was after, but he didn’t seem to care about her professional hesitations or that she’d just been shafted by her boyfriend.

I’ve seen some reviews that complain about the first sex scene between Chelsea and Rafe in the supply closet.  She assumes it’s Paul, but Rafe isn’t aware of that.  He just gets jumped by a hot woman and goes along with it.  Smart?  No.  It’s not until they’re finished and she calls him “Paul” that he realises what has just happened.  While it could be considered a gray area, it’s certainly not rape and that scene didn’t bother me at all.  I really enjoyed reading COMPROMISING HER POSITION.  I thought it was funny, that Chelsea and Rafe had amazing chemistry and that everyone got exactly what they deserved.  And the sex scenes?  Hot!  Hot!  HOT!!!!!  Seriously, the scenes between Chelsea and Rafe were some of the hottest I’ve read in a long while.  A change of panties may be required prior to reading this book.  You’ve been warned.

Chelsea:  Holy career suicide.  I accidentally had sex with one of the most powerful players in the industry.

Compromising Her Position (Compromise Me # 1)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

Visit Samanthe Beck:  Click Here


Compromise Me Series

Only Tonight

By Elizabeth Miller

BR Only Tonight

Synopsis

I have nothing. I’ve lost everything. The man I loved stole it from me. The woman I was days ago no longer exists. What I believed to be true love is dead and buried. I’m leaving. Abandoning every reminder of the life I once had. I won’t need anything but shorts and flip-flops where I’m going. Alone.

Faith Owens ran away from life two years ago, losing herself in easy living on a small private island. Preferring carefree days as a bartender to the stressful haunting of her past, Faith chooses a life of isolation. A night like every other, she expects tips but she finds the one thing she isn’t looking for–Kyle.

Kyle Sommerton walks through life alone, a traveling soldier protecting others. Physically exhausted from the pitfalls of his career, he seeks a night of solace on a small private island off of the Florida Keys. A night of solitude at a beach bar, he expects a beer but he finds the one thing he isn’t looking for–Faith.

What happens when rules are broken and two hearts collide for only one night?

Review

I’m just going to jump right in here with my review.  ONLY TONIGHT started off strong, but the best word I can use to describe how I felt by the end would be ‘confused’.  I won’t go into detail, but most of that confusion relates to the scam Faith’s fiancé, James, was running, and how she was left to deal with it on her own.  I’m not sure if the author was going for a suspense feel to it, or if it’s just written in a way that confused only me.  Not having a clear picture of exactly what happened and when frustrates me.  And what exactly is Kyle’s job?  He’s in protection of some sort with the government, but I don’t think his actual job was ever revealed.  Is Kyle a character from another series by this author?  Is this a spin-off?  I just don’t know.

Sadly, ONLY TONIGHT was not what I expected it to be.  I know the title suggests they’ll only have a single night, but it’s a romance novel, so I assumed their love would conquer all and they’d end up together.  Spoiler Alert, that’s not the case,  In fact, there’s not really a HEA when you get to the end.  Their relationship is left hanging, so I’m not sure if this is a standalone or if it’s the start to a new series.  Again, I just don’t know.

But I thought the chemistry between Faith and Kyle was hot and their dialogue was really well written, fun to read and quite amusing at times.

Kyle:  “I said naked and wet.  After a thorough inspection, I’ve verified naked, but I’ll need to complete a full systems check before proceeding.”
Faith:  “Take your time.  Quality assurance is important for customer satisfaction.”

Only Tonight

My Rating:  3 Hearts

Buy Links:
Amazon.US:  Only Tonight
Amazon.CA:  Only Tonight
Amazon.UK:  Only Tonight
Amazon.AU:  Only Tonight
B&N:  Only Tonight

Visit Elizabeth Miller:  Click Here

Nine Days In Greece

katie

By Kristie Dickinson

I was give a copy of this book by author Kristie Dickinson and this is her first book of the series and first up I have to be totally honest – I do not like the colour & picture of the cover.

There are some fantastic one liners in this book and I bet many women will read this and will go, OMG that is so me!  Like for instance when on the island and Katie has a date and decides to exercise for the two days before to get sex ready – like that makes us more supple, toned and ready for a vigorous night!

The supporting characters on her single holiday tour are actually what kept me reading through the first half of the book as I honestly felt like it was a little too long describing all her daily activities.  I mean I felt as sexually frustrated as she was by the time she was taken by the greek god.  Thank god for the prologue as I knew she was going to get something eventually I just had to keep reading until he had her up against that dam wall.  Thank god for Anthony, he provided some great moments on the holiday trip and was real sweet.

I think I found it hard to connect with Costas for the first part of this story as he really was not in it much and was cold to me, I really thought there was going to be some other random man pop out and provide the hot sex I was waiting for.

The story I think turned the corner from my perspective when she returned home after her second visit to the island and Costas and Katie parted ways, its when I finally felt emotion from Katie in the written words.  I actually  wished we had read more about her relationship with John and then also much more after the engagement and subsequent events leading up to when we fast forward two years later.  I kind of felt robbed as that is what I wanted to read about and also I wanted to perhaps hear from Johns perspective on the relationship as he definitely was more invested and I felt sorry for him in many parts of the book.

Can I say the sex scenes were great and her emotional wrangling within the relationship to who she needed to be with was interesting.  I actually had hoped the age difference would have been settled after her second visit to the island.  I also found the language differences a bit tiresome at some points.  I actually wanted her to be interested in the other guy on the plane?

So if you are looking for a romance story that takes you to the Greek Isles to follow a woman figuring out who she is and what she wants in life then you will enjoy this.

Nine Days in Greece

My rating: 2 Hearts

Buy Links:

www.amazon.com: Nine Days in Greece
www.amazon.com.au: Nine Days in Greece

Acquiesce

By Cory Cyr

I’m going to start this review with one very important piece of information.  Are you ready?  Here it comes.  THIS COVER IS SO DAMN SEXY!  I mean, seriously, just look at it.  You can’t help but stare at it, can you?  The open crisp white business shirt.  The abs.  The handcuffs.  The pecs.  The nipples that are just begging for my teeth.  Sigh.

Alright, fantasy time over.

Acquiesce is the name of a male brothel located on the Caribbean island of Venir.  This brothel is very exclusive and only caters to the older wealthy woman, where they will spend 21 days being “loved” by a large selection of handsome, virile young men.  (Lulu, want to hit this place up with me in a few years? -VDub).

Nicola (Nic) is a 40 year old widow, having spent the past 11 years mourning the death of her husband Chris, her only sexual partner and soulmate.  After living in isolation since his death, her only friends (Pru and Dee) trick her into a stay at the luxury resort, hoping that some sexual contact is just what she needs to move on with her life.  Nic is furious at the deception.  Her connection with Chris was so strong she believes she will never love another.  As for her thoughts on sex, it and love go hand in hand and since she’ll never love another, her sexual desire has been non-existent.

Caspian (Cass) is 26 years old, a genius professor who for the past 10 years has been studying, teaching and actively participating in human sexuality.  He believes that love and sex are two separate things: Sex is a basic, primal need; and Love is an unstable, emotional complication that manifests in women during sex.  He’s already written two books on the subject and is taking a six month sabbatical on Venir Island to compile research for his third book.  Sadly, due to his genius and upbringing, he has all the emotion of a Vulcan.

Soon after Nic arrives on the island, she stumbles across Cass and her immediate sexual reactions to him excite and upset her.  After learning about her sexual history (or lack thereof) he’s intrigued and tells her he will become her sexual mentor, to teach her that she can have sex without love in order to help her finally move on with her life.  Of course, he doesn’t do this purely for her, he’s going to use this in his next book.

However, things don’t work out for Cass as planned when something strange happens.  He starts to “feel things”: Things he’s never experienced before; Things he can’t categorise; Things he doesn’t understand.  For all his genius he ends up totally confused and a little bit angry, unsure how to handle these new emotions.

Can opposites truly attract?  Can Nic and Cass both get over the age difference?  Will Cass ever get a fucking clue???

I really liked Nic.  Cass was very upfront with what he was unwilling to give, and even though his actions went against every one of his own rules and confused the hell out of her (and him), she loved him anyway but didn’t wallow in misery when he left her.  You’d think she’d be a weak woman, but she had absolutely no problem putting Cass in his place.

Nic:  “Just leave, Cass.  That’s what you do best.  I wasn’t asking you to romance me, just some human interaction…but I guess you’d have to be human to understand that.”

Cass.  Cass.  Cass.  He pissed me off more often than not, and to be honest, he’s the reason this isn’t a 5 hearts review.  His ideas regarding love were ridiculous.  How can he know what love is if he has never experienced it?  And don’t even get me started on his studies.  So.  Many.  Flaws.  But I think he annoyed me most when he kept using Nic’s feelings for him to get what he wanted.

Nic:  He rested all his research on believing that making love to a woman along with kissing causes a chemical response in the brain, producing an emotional reaction.  How did I inform him that he was one hundred percent wrong, that he did everything right with me and denied me what I wanted only to get the same result: love?

But I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on Cass.  It’s not his fault he’s an emotional cripple.  He shined when he stopped overthinking and overanalysing, so I guess I hated the Professor but loved the man.  The sex scenes were hot and I thought it was amusing that he was basically a walking erection because of Nic.  Convincing Nic to open herself up to sex again and adding some kink was fun to read.  Despite his flaws, he did succeed in getting Nic to move on with her life, so that’s another win in his column.  And he really was too cute when he kept getting confused by his feelings.

Cass:  She has beautiful toes.  Fuck, what was wrong with me?

As you get closer to the end, you might think this book will be a cliffhanger, but it isn’t.  The ending is just really abrupt.  I’m glad Nic and Cass got their HEA but I would have liked more.  Perhaps a scene a year or two down the track???  Selfish of me I know, but it’s true.

The storyline for Acquiesce is both unique and interesting.  The book is very well written and the characters really draw you in.  You’ll feel happy, sad, horny, angry, frustrated, horny and shocked.  Did I mention horny???

Cass:  “But the one thing I am certain of is love, for me, never existed until I met you.”

Acquiesce

My rating:  

Buy Links:
Amazon.com:  Acquiesce
Amazon.ca:  Acquiesce
Amazon UK:  Acquiesce
Amazon AU:  Acquiesce
B&N:  Acquiesce
Createspace:  Acquiesce

Visit Cory Cyr:  Click Here