Archive | March 2015

Book Review: Hot Secrets by Lisa Renee Jones

hsRoyce Walker, a former FBI Agent, who’s opened a private security firm with his brothers, has always had the hots for the prim, proper Assistant District Attorney, but considered her hand’s off because of a family connection. However, when danger threatens Lauren, he isn’t willing to stand by and watch her get hurt. Now the passion for survival is only rivaled by the passion burning between them. And that passion, might just be the death of them both.

 

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A complimentary copy was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Assistant DA, Lauren Reynolds, is used to getting hate mail. It comes with the job of putting hardened criminal behind bars, but with an upcoming death penalty case, she’s feeling a little more on edge than usual.

As soon as former FBI agent, Royce Walker, lays eyes on his newest security detail, he knows he’s in trouble. Hired by the State Senator to investigate threats to his daughter, Lauren, Royce feels uneasy keeping that bit of information a secret when he realizes there is much more between them than work.

Former military/law enforcement turned security operant is an old storyline and maybe I’m just a sap for them, but they never get old. I love the alpha male who sweeps in to protect a woman in distress. Royce portrays everything a good alpha represents. He’s bossy, possessive, jealous and overbearing. And while Lauren is rattled with the threats she’s receiving, she does have a bit of spunk to her. The two are fun together. Their chemistry is smooth and realistic with witty dialogue that keeps you entertained.

I found it a bit predictable in places, but loved the addition of the other Walker brothers into the story.

Filled with everything a good romantic suspense entails; highly attractive characters, action and sweet romance, Hot Secrets, is a excellent start to the Tall Dark and Deadly series.

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Book Review: Gone for You by Jayne Frost

GFYAs the guitarist for the rock band Caged, I know the rules: no relationships. No complications. Leave ‘em smiling when you go, but always go. Besides, it’s not like I’m ever in one place for more than a few days at a time. As the next hottest thing out of Austin, the band and me are riding the wave, and the music is all that matters.

Until her…

Lily Tennison has “complication” written across her beautiful face. But I can’t get involved. The timing’s all wrong. But she’s under my skin, and I can’t resist her troubled eyes and sweet smile. And I do have a little time to kill. Not much, just a few days in Dallas.

So I’ll scratch the itch and move on, like I always do.

Simple, right?

Note: You won’t need to turn up the heat—Sixth Street Bands Romances have plenty of steamy fun. This story can be read as a stand-alone but is part of the Sixth Street Bands music scene.

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A copy of this book was received in exchange for an honest review

Cameron Knight, lead guitarist for the band Caged, lives the good life. Caged’s fame is on the rise, his pick of the ladies is endless, and his bandmates are his best friends. When the bassist for Caged is involved in an accident in Dallas, the news spreads like wildfire, and the hotel where the band is staying is swamped with fans willing to make all their “troubles” disappear. Luckily, Caged has connections, and desperate to have a few peaceful moments in Dallas before their big show, they are set up at a high-end resort, The Mansion.

With the promise to be sheltered from the press and fans, the remaining Caged members hole up in The Mansion. Cameron’s expectations are low: maybe a few random hook-ups with waitresses, or maybe he’ll pull back some beers while soaking in the resort hot tub. But after setting foot on the premises, his hopes to have a few uncomplicated days are pushed to the wayside by a pair of creamy thighs and the face of an angel. From the moment he sees Lily Tennison, he has a sinking feeling his playboy days are fleeting.

Lily Tennison, The Mansion’s Event Coordinator, is cool as ice when Caged first arrives. She’s aware of their reputation with women, and their inclination for one night stands.  At first, she puts up a good fight and ignores Cameron’s flirting, but soon she lowers her guard and gives in to his many charms.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with this read. The story was told entirely from Cameron’s point of view, which I felt was a good call on the author’s part. I found that his confidence, mixed with witty dialogue and sarcastic inner voice, really drew me into the plot. Using inner thoughts sparingly, the author successfully conveys Cameron’s feelings for Lily without overanalyzing, which I find is the norm in stories where the narrator is the female. In the case of Lily, her background eventually rears its ugly head, and you find she is steeped with insecurity. Her self-doubt is pivotal to the story, but if it had been told from her point of view I’m not sure it would have worked as well.

I particularly love the humor in this book, especially between Cameron and his bandmates. The writing is light, and the author chooses words thoughtfully, which improves the reading experience. The steamy scenes were plentiful, which never hurts. If I had to nit-pick, I would have wished the author offered a few more glimpses at Lily’s family life. That would have made their struggle, and the eventual win between Cameron and Lily more satisfying for me.

Overall, this is a charming short read which encompasses all the elements I seek in a romance, and the qualities I love in main characters—sexy and funny. It also has a healthy dose of conflict involving malicious side characters and shaky childhood experiences, but not so much it bogs down the story. If you are a lover of funny (who isn’t?) and enjoy well-drawn characters (who doesn’t?) this is the romance for you.

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Book Review: Highlander Bride Taken by Lynda Belle

highbrideWill a new bride go through with her wedding night? Even if the groom is 81 years old?

Or will someone else save her from this fate?

A highlander bride knows her duty. She is the bride price for peace. But after she notices her new nephew-in-law, she wishes her bridal night were with the other lord of the house. Will her wish come true?

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A copy of this book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This novelette takes place in 18th century Scotland. On the day of her wedding, eighteen-year-old Lady McPherson travels to her betrothed’s castle to meet Lord McFarris (fiancé) for the first time. The virginal Lady McPherson knows she will not have a magical first encounter with her husband. Why? Because he is an eighty-one-year-old Lord who is described as frail and decrepit.

Lady McPherson’s hand in marriage, given as a peace offering between clans, was intended to strengthen allegiances and inevitably avoid a blood bath between the two rivaling families. With her spirits running low, Lady McPherson resigns to marry the elder Lord McFarris, and stop the impending bloodshed thus saving her loved ones. She is acutely aware of her place in this twisted game and must do her duty.

Upon arrival, she is pleasantly surprised when she sets eyes on the younger Lord McFarris (her future nephew-in-law). And she’s not alone in her desires. He has been mentally devouring her since the moment she stepped off the carriage. 

Her first night of wedlock does not go the way she assumed. The crippled elder Lord McFarris can barely hold his shoulders straight let alone the most important male organ required to consummate a marriage. Fast asleep without so much as an advance, it seems his bedding years have long since passed. Fortunately, the younger McFarris is determined to keep the family line strong, and he makes sure the new bride is “well-received” and properly acquainted to her new role and purpose. 

 Highlander Bride Taken is a short twenty-minute read with a steamy ending, as one can imagine given the title. The author gives an admirable effort to place the reader in the shoes of Lady McPherson through 18th-style prose with only a smattering of contemporary phrases. The idea of being with an older man with tissue paper skin and wiry grey hair in undesirable places does cause one to read the beginning of this story with thighs clenched tight. When the author equates the elder Lord McFarris to the narrator’s “grandfather” my first reaction was to gouge my eyes out, but I like to drive and enjoy watching television, so I went with it. I believe this was the reaction the author was after. So well done.To top it all off, the elder McFarris has a penchant for falling asleep at inopportune moments, specifically at the wedding celebration and the ever-so-important moment she is to be “taken”.

Luckily, the younger McFarris, a tartan-clad stud whose bagpipe is always full of wind, enters the scene. His concern over her reproductive organs is endearing. He would have made an excellent 18th century OB/GYN. But alas, the younger and chiseled Scotsman, does his duty by taking what his uncle could not. And take it he does. 

This no nonsense erotic story gets right down to business within ten or so minutes of reading. It’s well written, and has an intriguing yet simultaneously disturbing premise, which I applaud the author for devising—give me interesting, I will read it! Alas, my obstinate brain seeks closure, and for me, I would have liked to have seen the aftermath for their seemingly reckless actions. Maybe a good old-fashioned dungeon whipping or the like? Overall, I believe the story accomplished what the author set out to do … deliver a sexy short tale of forbidden lust.

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Book Review: The Millionaire’s Forever by Sonya Weiss

tmfSign: Gemini

There are two sides to every Gemini guy…and one of them is red-hot.

Olivia Carter has a handsome, millionaire boyfriend. She’s madly in love with him. The hitch? He doesn’t actually exist. She told the lie to save Forever, her wedding design shop. And it worked-almost too well. As the media attention increases, so do the demands for Olivia to produce her “boyfriend.” With both her reputation and career in jeopardy, Olivia is desperate enough to do almost anything…

Which is exactly what millionaire Mason Parker wants. Thanks to Olivia and her father, Mason went through hell during his teen years, and now it’s time for a little payback-starting with the announcement that he’s her one and only. Now the sexy Olivia has no choice but to do what Mason wants. But none of his plans for vengeance included falling in love with the woman he planned to ruin…

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A copy of this book was received from Entangled via Netgalley.

Olivia Carter business is rocketing to success. The media have sat up and paid attention, orders are coming in from big Hollywood stars, and she’s even appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show. And the reason for her success is…true love, of course! Olivia has painted herself as one half of an ideal couple—the other is her childhood friend and now self-made millionaire who swept her off her feet and showers her in affection. They are head over heals in love with each other.

Their love story has captivated the public. Everything should be perfect…except, Olivia’s millionaire boyfriend doesn’t exist, and as the media insist for information on his identity, she’s about to be exposed.

Mason Parker is a cold and ruthless business man. He gets what he wants, when he wants and no one can stand in his way…except, he’s really not all that ruthless or cold. What he is is scarred, both inside and out.  After being wrongfully convicted and sentenced to a juvenile correctional facility by Olivia’s father, there’s only one thing on Mason’s mind—to get revenge on the family that wronged him.

Seeing Olivia’s predicament as the perfect opportunity, Mason announces to the media that he is her secret boyfriend. When he sweeps into Olivia’s shop and threatens to expose her, she finds herself in quite a predicament. Mason wants a piece of land that Olivia owns….the piece of land that the correctional facility he spent time in is situated on. The deal is straightforward enough—he’ll pose as her boyfriend for six weeks, thereby saving her business and by the end of their time together, he’ll convince Olivia to part with her treasured land. Though he finds Olivia as beautiful as he did all those years ago, he can’t let his deep rooted feelings stand in his way.

Olivia has big plans for the piece of land she owns. Her late mother wanted to do something to help the community, and Olivia is determined to see those dreams come true. With Mason dead set on acquiring the land on which his nightmares began, and Olivia determined not to part with it, things are about to get messy.

I love a book that can drop me straight into the conflict, yet still build up the characters enough to make me care about them. This is the case here, and it was done very well. I found Olivia’s predicament comical at first, but as the books goes on and the reasons behind why she did it start to come to light, it became much more serious thereby raising the stakes. My heart pained for her and I couldn’t see any way she could get out of the mess she’d created.

Mason seems like a complete jerk at first, but very quickly his reasons come to light and his story pulled at my heartstrings more than anything else. I felt pulled in opposite directions—rooting for both these characters to get what they wanted, even if that didn’t seem possible.

Little doubt is left that these two are drawn toward each other, and have been from a young age. Olivia was the one that got away, despite giving Mason the opportunity to have something more with her in their younger years. This again serves a knife to the chest when more is revealed about their past, and how one night that should’ve made them, broke him.

Make no mistake, this book will tie you in knots. As the two grow closer and the energy between them surges, resolving their issues looks almost impossible. Someone has to lose.

There were times when I felt as though the spark between them could’ve been conveyed in a way that really drove home their attraction to each other, but in too many places it felt as though their closeness was almost mechanical. Their chemistry could’ve popped from the pages, but it lacked that all consuming fire. That said, these characters will still bring you along on their journey, immersing you into their lives and making you love, laugh and hurt.

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Crossing Abby Road by Ophelia London

abbyroadTodd Camford went from Marine sniper to owning a beachfront surf shop in Florida, and he couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately, the programming from his training hasn’t quite been eliminated. His ex called him an unfeeling cyborg, but he’s a free-flying, unfettered hawk, damn it. Relationships are out of the question…

And then she comes into his shop.

Everyone knows who Abigail Kelly is—mega rockstar, tabloid fixture. Still, nothing prepares Todd for Abby’s smoky gray eyes or the swift breathlessness of their instant chemistry. He’d be an ass (or possibly insane) to think he can resist her. Just for today, maybe he’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t get mobbed. Because really, how much damage could one day with a super-hot, kick-ass celebrity really do?

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A copy of this book was recieved from Entangled via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Former Marine, Todd Camford is just finding his way in life. He’s bought a beachfront surf shop and so far, business has been okay. His personal life, however, is another matter. Recently dumped by his fiancé because he doesn’t show his emotions very well, Todd is just trying to cope with a life outside of the military.

Abbigail Kelly is a hot commodity. Lead singer of a hugely famous band, she’s always in the public eye. For one day, she just wants to get away from it all—be independent and do normal things.

After ducking into Todd’s shop to escape some fans, Abby and Todd’s chemistry is pretty instant. Todd is very much drawn to the famous beauty and she to him. When Abby leaves the shop, Todd feels the loss immediately, so when he bumps into her later…and saves her from a screaming five year old, he’s elated and takes the opportunity to spend some time with her. Crossing Abby Road takes place all in one day as we follow the two to see where their few hours together takes them.

This book is told entirely through Todd’s point of view. I did wonder how that would work, given that his fiancé accused him of being a robot, but actually his thoughts are quite animated—it’s displaying his feelings that he has problems with. So that is entirely plausible and I did enjoy the time I spent in his head.

Abby is a lot of fun and I found the two together a really sweet coupling. I think Abby came into Todd’s life when he really needed something spontaneous and good, which is exactly what he got. It was nice following their day together, and though this book is slow, it’s more of a personal journey for Todd than anything else.

I felt the writing was quite choppy at times, sometimes moving from one thing to the next was quite abrupt. The same can be said for the dialogue between the two. I found myself reading over several areas a couple of times to see how one thing led to the next and still felt slightly puzzled when I had.

The premise is interesting, captivating even, but for me it didn’t quite hit the mark. It lacked the sizzle and though Todd felt the chemistry between Abby and himself, this was not extended to the reader. The ending left me bemused, my initial reaction was ‘what was the point’, but the more I thought about it the more I understood that Todd was dealing with a lot and for a short time Abby helped take him away from it all. He really needed some time away from the complications in his life and she helped him to sort through everything.

I’m really torn—on the one hand, it was a lovely journey, but on the other, it is not what I expected and I still can’t shake the feeling that I needed more from it. Even so, the writing, though choppy as I mentioned, is still good. The characters are fun and interesting. The small interpersonal journey that Todd unwittingly embarks on is thoughtfully executed. The location is lovely, and it is a really sweet book regardless of my personal tastes.

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Click: An Online Love Story

Recently, Michelle read and reviewed Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker. When Lisa contacted Eat Sleep Read Review, she offered the whole trilogy for review, so you can expect to read more reviews from Michelle regarding this series, and if you like Sex and the City, you’ll love Click.

The amount of review requests that we get are astronomical. So much so that we’ve recently added more reviewers to Eat Sleep Read Review. All the authors are so kind, but usually, it’s rare that we can accept a whole series for review without reading book one first, but the premise of these books were so unique and interesting, that Michelle could not resist. So, to give you a taste of what’s to come and to point you in the direction of this fun, sassy and witty series, here’s a look at each book and a great book trailer at the end. Also, check back with us soon as we have an interview with Lisa Becker coming up!

Book One: Click: An Online Love Story

 

clickFast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds entirely through emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with “My buddies and I were out drinking one night,” to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee wades into the shallow end of the dating (cess)pool and endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to “click” with the right man.

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Book Two: Double Click

Fadcns of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley’s judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.

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Book Three: Right Click

rcLove. Marriage.  Infidelity. Parenthood. Crises of identity. Death. Cupcakes. The themes in Right Click, the third and final installment in the Click series, couldn’t be more pressing for this group of friends as they navigate through their 30’s. Another six months have passed since we last eavesdropped on the hilarious, poignant and often times inappropriate email adventures of Renee and friends. As the light-hearted, slice of life story continues to unfold, relationships are tested and some need to be set “right” before everyone can find their “happily ever after.

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Book Trailer!

About the Author

Headshot 2.jpgLisa had endured her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates, many of which inspired Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series has now been optioned for a major motion picture.

She’s written bylined articles about writing and online dating for Chick Lit Central, Cupid’s Pulse and numerous book blogs. Her books and story have also been featured in Single Edition, Career 2.0 and The Perfect Soulmate among other websites.

A former public relations professional, Lisa has worked with some of the biggest consumer companies in the world including McDonald’s, Ford, Sony and Gatorade. She’s also a former college professor, teaching public relations and communications classes at University of Southern California and Oglethorpe University.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “for every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

You can find Lisa on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Pinterest  | Web

Book Review: Click: An Online Love Story by Lisa Becker

clickFast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with “My buddies and I were out drinking one night,” to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will root for Renee to “click” with the right man.

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A copy of this book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

A fascinating and unique concept, Click: An Online Love Story, is a tale told through a sequence of emails between four friends.

Renee, the main character, joins the online dating service, choosejews.com, at the insistence of her friend, Mark. She shares her sometimes outlandish inquiries with her friends and then follows-up with them about each of the disastrous dates she encounters. They dynamics of these friendships is what makes the story. Shelly is crass and flirty, Ashley comes across as a prude and judgmental, and while Mark is the one who initially talked Renee into joining the service, we learn the least about him.

I absolutely loved the interactions between the friends and found them completely believable. I could easily see myself sharing emails back and forth with friends like these. The only drawback I would note, is that each email starts with the heading of who it’s to or from along with the subject line. I did find myself skimming over these only to have to go back a time or two and read them so I would understand who was talking.

A mixture of chick-lit and romance, this is a fun and easy read about friendship with a love story that develops on the sideline. If your looking for something light that isn’t too deep or meaningful, this would be perfect.

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