Tag Archives: Kindle Unlimited/Paperback

Dirty Score (Rough Riders Hockey # 3)

By Skye Jordan

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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

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Rough Riders Hockey Series

The Pool Boy

By Penny Wylder

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Synopsis

The second I saw her, I had to have her.
When my friend asked me to cover for him at his pool cleaning job, I figured I’d make some extra cash. I didn’t expect to find myself face to face with a sweet set of curves named Vera.
Then she started strutting around in her bikini.
I guess her goal is to piss her rich dad off. I’m clearly not the kind of guy he wants her near.
But if she thinks I’ll let her toy with me and not follow through… I’ve got a surprise for her.
A huge surprise that wants to rip through my pants.
I’ll screw her in the pool shed, the garden, and right in her room while her parents sleep down the hall.
I don’t care if her dad finds out or not—this girl is MINE.

Review

THE POOL BOY is a hot and quick read, and is the first book I’ve read from Penny Wylder.

James and Vera are very likeable characters and you could feel the chemistry between them right from the start.  Vera is not your typical rich girl.  She cares about those less fortunate than her and it’s her dream to work for a company that designs and builds homes for those that need them.  James is not the kind of man her father would ever pick for her.  He’s not from a wealthy family and is filling in as caretaker for their estate.  Vera is attracted to him at first sight, and if it pisses off her father that she’s sleeping with the help, well that’s just a bonus.

The sex between James and Vera dominates this story and it is hot.  Scorching hot.  That scene involving the garden hose?  Yowza.  The entire story (except the epilogue) takes place in the span of a week, so it is an insta-love.  Vera’s father’s involvement in her job-hunting endeavours was easy to spot right from the start and by the end of the book, the status of her relationship with her parents is left unresolved.  THE POOL BOY is told in dual POVs and is a stand-alone novella that comes with a nice HEA.  There is an option to read another epilogue that takes place a year later, but to access that you need to sign up to the author’s newsletter, which I think is sneaky.  I mean no offence to the author, but I’m not going to sign up to a newsletter just to find out how the story really ends.

The Pool Boy

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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Hope Flames (Hope # 1)

By Jaci Burton

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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

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Hope Series

Hot Puck (Rough Riders Hockey # 2)

By Skye Jordan

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Synopsis

The pressure has never been more intense for Rough Riders’ star defenseman Beckett Croft. With his contact expiring, Beckett has to live up to his badass reputation every minute of every game to earn the next big deal. A deal that will secure a stable home for his five-year-old daughter. So when an injury on the ice threatens to send him to the ER, he fights protocol—until the feisty EMT refuses to take no for an answer. Beckett likes his women assertive, and the spark between them is nothing short of scorching. Her indifference to his fame and money only intrigues him more. And by the time he peeks beneath her tightly sealed edges to see her beautiful but deeply wounded soul, he’s in way too deep to pull back.

After years of shutting herself off from men, Eden is tempted by the heat that blazes when she is around the NHL’s most notorious bad boy—even toying with an inkling of “what if”. But life has taught her how painfully that kind of fire burns. And how deeply it scars. So Eden denies the spark room to grow, the same way she shut out the violence from her past, focusing instead on her career and finishing paramedic school. She’ll never rely on a man for money or security again.

But when the heat between them becomes too hot to ignore, one night isn’t enough. Soon, Beckett and Eden find themselves caught between desire and fear—with painful pasts pulling them in one direction and a fragile new love pulling them in another. All while the family and careers that matter most hang in the balance.

Review

HOT PUCK is book 2 in the Rough Riders Hockey series and a great read, even if you’re not a hockey fan.

I liked Beckett and Eden and thought they made an amazing couple.  Their chemistry was off-the-charts hot, as was their naughty little bar scene.  Yowza!  Eden has had a rough few years which has left her a little fragile, but at the same time, has made her a much stronger woman.  She’s a woman who has chosen to live life instead of wallowing in the past, and I loved that about her.  She’s smart, kind and honest, and is not at all interested in fame or fortune, which makes her a perfect match for Beckett.  On to Beckett, who is cocky, charming, sweet and loveable.  He’s the team’s captain and a single dad to his adorable five year old daughter, Lily.  He’s under a lot of stress in this story, trying to secure another contract with the team while also trying to gain sole custody of Lily from her gold-digging mother, but not once does he direct that stress at Eden or Lily.  He senses Eden’s fragility, so he’s gentle and patient with her, but he also knows when it’s time to push her out of her comfort zone.  Did I mention he’s cocky and charming?

“I don’t know any hockey players.”
“You do now.”
“Hardly.  We met thirty minutes ago.”
“Not only did we meet, but we’ve had our first fight and made up⎯all in half an hour.  The next step is always makeup sex.  Imagine where we could take this given a couple of uninterrupted hours.”

I think it could use a bit more editing because there were a few times where I noticed some repetition.  I also felt the whole Kim issue was not finalised very well.  I would have loved to have seen Beckett defend himself through the media and was deeply disappointed when it was all resolved in a single paragraph without really telling us anything.  Other than that, I enjoyed HOT PUCK and thought it was a great read.  HOT PUCK is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  As with QUICK TRICK⎯book 1 in the series⎯the conflict towards the end was believable, before ending with a wonderfully sweet HEA for Beckett, Eden and Lily.

Hot Puck (Rough Riders Hockey # 2)

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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Rough Riders Hockey Series

Bind Me Before You Go (Serve # 8)

By Harper Kincaid

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Synopsis

His heart is bound tighter than the bondage he craves…

Determined to put her past behind her, Cassidy Peyton moves to the Big Apple. But New York has a few dark secrets of its own, including Serve, an exclusive BDSM club. It’s a place she isn’t sure she’s ready for, until she sees him watching her. Hot. Intent. Knowing. With eyes that leave her stomach tied in knots, because the loneliness he’s trying to hide matches her own.

Security expert David Cavill has more secrets than any man should. Secrets that forever shut down any possibility of love, marriage, or family. Yet Cassidy draws him in, an intoxicating combination of strength, candor, and sensuality that David can’t resist. But as their bond deepens, Cassidy must decide if she can love a man whose heart is bound tighter than the form of bondage he craves…

Review

BIND ME BEFORE YOU GO is a quick little BDSM-ish read.  I say BDSM-ish because while there are a couple of scenes in a BDSM club, there’s not a whole lot of BDSM going on, apart from the Shibari rope bondage.  I’m not familiar with Shibari, but it sounded like the author did her homework and she explained it fairly well.  When David was explaining the purpose behind it, about how it binds you to your partner which in turn binds them to you, I found it interesting and sweet.

Because of how quickly the story moves and the gaps in time, I didn’t really feel a connection between David and Cassidy.  Both of them have their issues, but where Cassidy is open to the possibility of love, David has closed himself off.  He insisted she trust him and open up about her past, but he never offered her the same courtesy.  Because of all his past relationships, when Cassidy declared her love for him, he rejected it and hurt her in the process.

BIND ME BEFORE YOU GO is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of the Serve series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  It comes with a nice HEA for David and Cassidy, and I’d classify it as an insta-love given the story’s short time frame.

Bind Me Before You Go (Serve # 8)

My Rating:  3 Hearts

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Serve Series

Quick Trick (Rough Riders Hockey # 1)

By Skye Jordan

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Synopsis

Infamous Rough Riders’ playboy Grant Saber has been sidelined for a bum shoulder. If he has to be off the ice for three weeks of recovery, he‘ll do it on his back—breaking in a new wanna-be cowgirl every night. But pressure from the team’s owner and Grant’s parents land him in his hometown of Holly, North Carolina instead. Things look up when he learns the hometown beauty who was once so out of his league is now single, and sexier than ever. Determined to slip in a night with her while he’s in town, Grant is shocked to discover one will never be enough.

Faith Nicholas has no interest in the newest Saber-son gossip. After losing her father just months before, she is now on the verge of losing their family hardware store—which is also her home. She couldn’t care less about the Saber’s big money or flashy toys. But she can’t seem to keep Grant out of her store–or her dreams. His magnetic charisma is impossible to ignore, and the longer he stays in town, the more she finds to love about a man who isn’t as superficial as he’d like others to believe.

With a struggling store, four-hundred miles and a rigorous hockey season looming between them, Grant will have to pull out his very best moves if he’s going to make this quick trick last forever.

Review

QUICK TRICK is the story of Faith, home town sweetheart, and Grant, NHL superstar reluctantly home for the first time in eight years.

I liked Faith, who was feisty and didn’t take crap from anyone, especially from Grant.  She’s very well liked in her home town, even more so after she gave up college to come home and care for her dying father, a man who was very respected.  I liked Grant as well, who’s your typical sports star manwhore, so used to women falling at his feet that he had no idea how to win over a woman of substance.  He’s cocky and arrogant, but he’s also a nice guy to those he truly cares about.  I liked the buildup to their romance and thought Grant’s attempts at getting a date were cute and sweet.  I felt the conflict between them at the end was believable and I liked how it was resolved.

QUICK TRICK is told in dual POVs and is the first book in the Rough Riders Hockey series.  While I wouldn’t call it a novella, it is a fairly quick read, although I never felt like the story was moving too fast, so that’s good.  However I did have a couple of issues with this story.  Firstly, there was no real resolution between Grant and his family; instead that situation felt like a loose end, and I’m not a fan of loose ends.  Secondly, if you’re expecting to read about Grant playing NHL games and bonding with his teammates, you’ll be disappointed because apart from Grant helping out with the town’s junior hockey teams, there’s no hockey in this story at all.  Despite that, I thought this was a nice, easy and enjoyable read that left me wanting to read the next book in the series.

Quick Trick (Rough Riders Hockey # 1)

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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Rough Riders Hockey Series

The Sapphire Heist (Jewel # 2)

By Lauren Blakely

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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

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Jewel Series

The Sapphire Affair (Jewel # 1)

By Lauren Blakely

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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

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Jewel Series

Until We Collide

By Charlotte Fallowfield

BR Until We Collide

Synopsis

What do you do when the guy you’re in love with is seeing someone else?

That’s the dilemma facing Paige Taylor. All of her life she’s only ever had eyes for the gorgeous Alec Wright, but despite their undeniable chemistry, their timing has always been off. Fast approaching her thirtieth birthday, Paige despairs of ever finding love and a happy ever after. Her best friend Poppie tells her that she can either watch life pass her by, or grab it with both hands. She convinces Paige to throw herself back into the dating pool, or she could be waiting for Alec forever.

What Paige didn’t expect was the catalogue of dating disasters to follow. A neck brace, jelly fish, stitches, flashing and an encounter with a gorilla were some of the most memorable. Despite some downright hilarious, humiliating and cringe worthy dates, her biological clock is ticking and Paige is determined to keep trying until she finds the one. Was Alec Wright always her Mr. Right, or is he still out there waiting to be found?

Join Paige in her quest to find the ultimate prize. Love.

Review

First off, I want to say that I did enjoy this book.  I really did.  However, I would not classify UNTIL WE COLLIDE as a romantic comedy.  Was there comedy?  Yes.  Paige is a walking disaster who ends up dating the worst kind of men imaginable and finds herself in some highly embarrassing situations.  Her best friend, Poppie, is an absolute delight and a great source of laughs as well.  That being said, take out those few scenes and I found this book to be sad and depressing.  Why?  Because it took Paige and Alec thirteen years to finally come together.  Yep, you read that right…thirteen years.  It’s lust at first sight when they meet when Paige was just seventeen and Alec was twenty-one.  But from that moment on, they’re separated by boyfriends, girlfriends, work, miscommunications and a shitload of bad luck and bad timing.

I liked Paige, who I think tried really hard to move on from Alec.  She’s a wonderful woman with an amazing career, who simply wants to fall in love, get married and have a family.  It’s a simple dream, which makes it all the more heartbreaking that she spends all those years chasing it.  Since this story is only told in Paige’s POV, it’s hard to get a read on Alec, especially since we don’t really see a great deal of him.  He annoyed me when he made Paige wait six years before telling her he wanted her again.  Paige spent those six years completely single while he slept around with a huge number of women.  When she finally decides to quit waiting for him and starts getting serious with another guy, that’s when he decides to make his move.  I also felt bad for the woman he strung along for years while waiting and hoping for another chance with Paige.

As I mentioned above, UNTIL WE COLLIDE is told only in Paige’s POV and is a stand-alone.  The story takes place over thirteen years, with the epilogue taking place about seventeen years later.  I’m trying to remember if there was any sex, but I don’t think there was.  I think it was all done behind closed doors.  It does come with a HEA for Paige and Alec, and if you can handle reading about years of missed opportunities, then I’d recommend picking this one up.

Until We Collide

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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Barely Yours

By Charlotte Eve

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Synopsis

This is strictly professional … right?

William – I’m a serious businessman. A devoted father. And right now I’m at breaking point. I’m all my daughter has in the world, since her mother was so cruelly taken from us – just three years ago. I thought I didn’t want Tabitha raised by a nanny. But then I met Chrissie – young, passionate, and full of life. She captured Tabby’s heart in an instant, but now I must be on my guard. Because it seems like she’s melting mine, too …

Chrissie – Whoa! I did not expect the most gorgeous guy I’d ever seen in my life to offer me a job looking after his daughter. My new boss is a real English gentleman: charming and handsome. But there’s something cold about him, too. What happened to make him so distant, so reserved? And how the hell do I stay professional, now that I’m starting to develop feelings for him?

Please note: this book ends on a cliffhanger.

Review

BARELY YOURS is the story of William, a thirty year old English single dad to his adorable daughter, and Chrissie, a twenty-two year old U.S. college student living in London on a twelve month work visa.

I liked William, who truly loves his daughter, but at times he was a bit hard to take.  He would lead Chrissie on and then slam on the brakes, leaving her hurt and confused in the process.  But when he finally realised what the problem was, he admitted it, he accepted it and he was ready to move on and give all he had to Chrissie.  I liked Chrissie too, mostly because I thought she acted her age.  She’s a young woman who’s smart and loving, and she has a good head on her shoulders.  That being said, the ending is all her fault because she makes a rash decision without thinking.  If she were a thirty year old woman behaving that way, this review would not be so kind.  But because she’s only twenty-two and, in what I assume is her first real relationship, I can forgive her stupidity.

BARELY YOURS is told in dual POVs and is the first book in a trilogy about this couple.  I must warn you, it does end in a cliffhanger, which I didn’t realise until the story ended on said cliffhanger at the 87% mark.  Clearly I need to read the ENTIRE blurb before starting on a book, only so I know what I’m getting myself into.  That being said, I enjoyed the story and I would read the next book, but I may wait until all three books have been released.  The story will continue in NEARLY YOURS, but I don’t have a release date on that one at the time of this review.

Barely Yours

My Rating:  3 Hearts

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