Tag Archives: Stand Alone

Roomies

By Christina Lauren

Synopsis

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Review

Roomies is a standalone romance about two people with different passions. Calvin who only wants to make music and Holland who wants to find her muse again.

Calvin, who is here on an expired visa, is given the opportunity of his lifetime.  He has to turn it down because of his immigration status.  But Holland believes Calvin is the best for her uncle’s show and will do anything to make sure he will join it.

I found that the story started a little slow but I realized quickly that the pace of the story reflected the pace of Holland’s life at the moment.  She was not moving through life very quickly.  She earned her degree in writing but after graduating the words didn’t come to her very easily so she started working for her uncle selling merchandise for his show.

Holland keep herself busy stalking Calvin until she was attacked on the subway where he was busking.  But it wasn’t until this crazy idea of how to get Calvin a legal status to work in this country did this story really start moving for me.  And it is at that point that Holland’s life started to move.  Her creative side started to come to the surface.

I really liked the way the story went.  Strangers that needed something from each other to two people who were passionate about each other.  It was obvious that Calvin was unique and cared very deeply for Holland. And Holland obsession turned into a relationship. Both had to get over hurdles to finally get to a good place in their lives.

This story was very touching and fun to see how these two found their way through this crazy arrangement.

Roomies

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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The Charmer’s Gambit (Mershano Empire #2)

By Lexi C Foss

Synopsis

He set his sights on the wrong girl.
Me.

Law school taught me a lot of things, but nothing prepared me to deal with this determined, hotter-than-Hell millionaire. Don’t get me wrong, I’m flattered. But resisting Will Mershano is harder than passing the bar. He’s everything: sexy, confident, intelligent. And he wants me.

When he hires my firm to represent Mershano Vineyards, I’m left with no choice but to work right alongside him—or forfeit my job. There’s only one problem. He doesn’t know about my past or how it stalks me at every turn. All he wants is a little flirtatious fun, but Will’s playing a dangerous game.

And there’s more at stake than just my heart. . .

**Although this book is part of a series, it is a standalone novel that can be enjoyed without reading the other Mershano Empire books**

Review

I have not read the first book and you do not need to, this is standalone. Will Mershano hooked me from the first chapter. He has this remarkable strength and integrity and when you meet Rachel you know he will be her warrior in the end.

The build-up with Ryan playing his games is intense and I was simply so stressed as each chapter progresses as you know there is going to be some explosive moments in this story.

Chapter 16 is a standout when the dynamic changes between Will and Rachel and his perceptiveness that something is amiss in Rachel’s life.

The author wove a tale of taking a chance on new love despite barriers no woman wants to endure.  The first half of this book I was on tenterhooks waiting for the past to collide with her future.

Will was perfect for her, his ability to read her body language and slowly bring her to the belief she could face her demons with his trust was brilliant.

So many moments of happiness in this book but also despair that made you appreciate the light.  Rachel was so intelligent and her banter with Will in the professional sense was integral to this story and their growth as a couple.

Towards the end when her brother and his friend join the story it definitely made me want to continue the journey with all these characters. Upon finishing I immediately went and added the next two books in this series along with a new story on Kincaid.

Charmer’s Gambit (Mershano Emire #2)

My Rating:  

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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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Castle of Kings

By Betty Shreffler

Synopsis

Jake F*cking Castle
When he walks into a room, he owns it. He consumes my very breath and melts my delicate little panties. From the moment he set eyes on me, he decided I was his. No one – not even my brother, Nix – was going to tell him otherwise. It doesn’t matter that Nix is President of the Kings MC Club. Jake wants what he wants, and he’ll set out to get it, whatever the cost.
Jake may be an arrogant asshole, but there’s no denying the hold he has over me. His fierce, carnal need to make me his, and his alone, is a snare I can’t escape. And truth be told, I don’t want to.
But when my life becomes threatened, Jake Castle is the only man my brother trusts to protect me. He knows Jake will do anything to keep me safe.

Review

Castle of Kings is the first MC Romance for Betty Shreffler and the first one for me to read.  Liz is the sister of Nix who leader of The Kings MC Club. She just got back from school and her bother has some of the club bothers that he thinks she should meet.  One of those bothers does not include Jake Castle. As soon as Jake saw Liz he knew that she was special. Throw in trouble for a rival club and you have a mixture for an intense relationship.

I instantly fell for Jake.  He is arrogant and possessive. And you can’t help but want to make him the center of your world.  Jake understands the dangers of his world and his only desire is to make sure that Liz is safe.  I also love his nickname for her.

I loved Liz.  She is tough but she understood this MC lifestyle having grown up in it.  She has great friends around her.  She also has a great brother who only wants to see her safe and happy.

I have to say that this was a very quick read for me.  I couldn’t put this book down and I really wish that I had a Jake to take me for a ride on his bike. This relationship is intense. They understand each other.  Even though Nix doesn’t like it, he knows that Jake will keep her safe.  I can’t wait to see what Betty has in store for us next.

Castle of Kings

My Rating: 

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Daddy’s Home

By Zoe Blake

Synopsis

No one escapes their past.
Two years ago she ran, but now he has found her.
He will make her pay for her past mistakes.
Trapped alone in a cabin with him, there is no hope for rescue or redemption.
He wants information and refuses to believe she doesn’t have the answers he seeks.
He’s willing to do anything…anything…to break her.
And he will get what he wants.

Review

Daddy’s Home is a quick and very decadent read, a bit longer than a normal novella.  By saying that it means we got much more of a story along with the instant attraction.

Logan manipulates and controls Chloe in a dark and very sensual way.  It definitely hits all the right spots.

Due to having a hard life growing up, Chloe is very young at heart.  Despite her love of all things youthful, she had a darkness and strong sensuality.

Chloe’s past connections in her short life have been dangerous and they provide the drama and mystery.

Also, I really connected to Chloe from the first few pages, she was a loner for so long she needed to be cared for and Logan was perfect.

Finally, Daddy’s Home is finished off nicely and I was satisfied and could have read so much more on this couple.

Daddy’s Home

My Rating:  

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Complicated

By Kristen Ashley

Synopsis

When small town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn’t be stronger, but the timing couldn’t be worse.
Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids, and himself, is his only priority.
Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that’s perfect for them—a sleepy little town in Nebraska. She’s learned from life that there are no hopes and dreams. The only thing to look forward to is peace. And that’s what she works hard to build for herself and her brother. Right up until Hix walks into her life.
Hix can’t fight the pull and stay away from Greta for long. And Greta’s finding it hard not to hope for something more with all the promise that is Hix.
But when the first murder that’s happened in over five decades rocks his small, sleepy county, Hix has got to learn to trust again, convince Greta to take a shot with him, and at the same time catch a killer.
In other words, things are definitely…Complicated.
 

Review

Complicated was definitely full of many different scenarios in life that make you ask if they are worth the risk.

Whilst not my favourite story by this author, it was still enjoyable.  My favourite parts involved Hix’s children along with Andy and Greta who was simply beautiful.

I admit I struggled to connect with Hix.  It was probably his first few interactions with Greta that shattered me.  I kept waiting for him to do it again however after Greta’s incident in her kitchen well he began to grow on me slowly.

One character Hope was simply childish and a pain in this story. She simply created so much drama it just wore me down.

Greta’s ex-husband was a character that I would have loved to have seen more of.  He would have filled in more gaps for Greta and my understanding of how she ticked.  It was not until she spoke of Andy and her life growing up that her desire for no children made sense.

My main complaint in this story is actually about Greta and her mother.  As their final moments as mother and daughter were being played out it left me unfulfilled and still upset.   Not making entire sense was the murder story. Perhaps if it was somehow linked to other characters in this story and not the way it was portrayed it would have made sense.

Finally, I was praying for a life-changing moment for Greta to happen to give her a wonderful complication but alas no.

Quote:  I’d finally found it. Something worth fighting for. And if I had to, I was going to fight for it. Because I was falling in love with complicated. 

Complicated

My Rating:  

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Time Out

By Jill Shalvis

Synopsis

NHL coach Mark Diego’s plan to spend his offseason volunteering in his hometown goes awry when he learns that not only is he coaching teenage girls, but that the program is coordinated by energetic (and five feet two inches of trouble) coordinator Rainey Saunders, his childhood friend—and the woman he could never stand to see dating any other guy…

When their tempers flare, Mark and Rainey discover their fireworks don’t just burn angry— they burn very, very hot! But that’ll just sweeten the victory. Because Mark always plays to win. And with Rainey, he’s planning on playing very dirty, too…

Review

Sadly, TIME OUT was a DNF for me.  I don’t like starting a book and not finishing it, but I found I just couldn’t continue on after chapter seven.  I tried to get into it, but I wasn’t feeling the characters, their chemistry or their story.  Despite that, I would try reading from this author again.

Time Out

My Rating:  

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Misadventures of a Virgin

By Meredith Wild

Synopsis

It’s been years since June Bell shared a stolen moment with her girlhood crush, Kase McCasker. It’s been just as long since Kase’s father nixed the sale of the McCasker farm to expand the grounds of the Bell’s grand hotel. Now that Kase is back home for good, June might be the only person who can persuade him to reconsider the abandoned plan. But how can she face him again after he left her without a word?

Four years ago, unexpected news shook the foundation of Kase McCasker’s world. Escaping Falls Edge for college was the perfect excuse to chase his demons and bury his pain. Now, with a degree in hand and a void he can’t fill, he’s back in the little mountain town he thought he’d never call home again. Searching for purpose, he’s determined to put down roots and take over the struggling farm that’s been in his family for generations.

Time and distance haven’t taken the edge off his preoccupation with June, the spitfire daughter of his father’s rival. He hasn’t forgotten their time together and all the things they did and didn’t do. One look at her has him reconsidering the future and making a dangerous deal to win her over. Is a chance at her heart worth risking everything else?

Review

Misadventures of a Virgin is a mix of new adult meets second chance.  I just love Meredith Wild’s style of writing.  It really makes me never want to put the book down.  Kase and June are so perfect for each other.  They both have difficult family histories that need to come out before they can move forward.

I really loved Kase.  He is so complicated but he has only had eyes for June.  Unfortunately the timing was off when they first tried to get together and that left June confused.  Fast forward four years and Kase is back and he has a plan.

June was a fantastic mix of innocence and driven determination. She believes in her father’s vision for the hotel and wants to see it through so she agrees to Kase’s plan.

There is almost a story within this story that revolves around their fathers. It really got the kids to this point in their lives were the could start thinking about the future. I really love how Meredith put this story together.  She definitely put the right blend of emotion into this story.  The pacing was perfect.  I didn’t want to put this book down.  The last few chapters were the best.  And the sex scenes were hot with the right amount of kink.

Misadventures of a Virgin

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

Visit author: Meredith Wild

Blind Magic

By Natalina Reis

Synopsis

Will her promise to heal the man who’s captured her heart put him in danger? In Natalina Reis’s whimsical novel of spells, desire, and unwavering determination, a hot detective with a painful past and an impulsive witch armed with potent tea are linked by an instant connection and the promise of possibility.

Marcy has never been in love. But when Oliver Dawson walks into her store, she falls head over heels. Unable to shake the feeling that she and Oliver were made for each other, for the first time in her life, the quirky witch considers casting a love spell for herself.

Oliver’s life is turned upside down when he’s shot and almost killed. Even though events haven’t been kind to the sexy police detective, he’s determined to make the best of his situation. But still, nothing could have prepared him for feisty Marcy breaking down his defenses, nor the healing tea that leaves him gagging.

Unconventional and hell-bent on getting her man, the little witch soon weaves her magic and captures his heart. He’s more than willing to give it to her, but when faced with his painful and turbulent past, neither are sure they’ll get their happily ever after.

Review

Blind Magic is a sweet romantic comedy.  Oliver is a detective that lost his sight on a protection detail and is having hallucinations.  Marcy is a white witch that helped one of Oliver’s friends and Oliver is hoping that she can cure him of his hallucinations.

From the moment Oliver met Marcy he found her intriguing and different.  He wants to get to know her better.  Marcy doesn’t know why Oliver is interested in her but she is completely smitten by him.

I really liked Marcy.  She was different and awkward at times.  Marcy knew who she was and totally embraced it.  She wasn’t going to change herself for anyone. Oliver is great.  He doesn’t want Marcy to change even though she is nothing like what his family had in mind for him.  He already had what had what his family had in mind for him and it didn’t work out.  In fact that part of his life is still haunting him.

This is the first time I have read Natalina Reis and this story is cute and adorable.  I love all the little insecurities that play out in this story.  These two characters make each other stronger. I really had fun getting to know both Marcy and Oliver.

Blind Magic

My Rating:  

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Savage

By L.A. Fiore

Synopsis

They call him a monster.
Pale blue eyes as cold as ice that see right through you.
He’s hard.
He’s damaged.
He’s dangerous.
He lives in a castle fit for a fairy tale, but he’s no prince.
He’s savage.
He’s brutal.
He’s a killer.
By an act of fate, our worlds collide.
They call him a monster, but he is my salvation.

Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18. 

Review

Firstly, I loved Savage, it was a fantastic story of romance, darkness, traumatic events and redemption.  It was imperative to know both characters history as their connection made total sense.

Savage has a strong and solid mystery element to it’s story which I loved along with all the connections that are revealed at the end. Consequently, I could not stop turning the pages of this story, the pacing for me was good.

Lizzie was simply an amazing character.  The storyline around her painting and how it provided her source of strength and beauty in her life was soothing. She had an ability to break down barriers and she did that with Brogan. As a result, she gave him love and he became the wolf at her door.

A favourite supporting character who became a warrior was Lizzie’s father. Further, when her father and Brogan joined forces to stand strong for her, he redeemed himself in my eyes.

Brogan was perfection in my eyes, alpha protective and so smart. While Brogan was dominant, his interactions with supporting characters showed he had empathy and love to give.

Finally, this story has it all, romance, mystery, suspense and passionate scenes. I was not ready to leave these characters and the author’s epilogue allows us to see their happy ever after.

Quote:  “You’re scary, intimidating too, but I know a kindred spirit when I see one. Life hasn’t been very kind to either of us.”

Savage

My Rating:  

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