Tag Archive | contemporary romance

Book Review: Double Click by Lisa Becker

double_Fans 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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I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review/

Double Click is the second installment of the Click Trilogy and takes right up where Click leaves off. Written in the same format, as a series of emails shared between friends, I found Double Click much easier to follow along even though I continued to skip over each email heading which names the subject and addressee.

Like Click, Double Click is filled with the same witty correspondence and sometimes friendly, sometimes catty dialogue that Becker has a knack for writing. The friendships make this story. They are fun, light, but also touch on some heartfelt issues that bring a serious note to the storyline.

For me, I felt Click was mostly about Renee and her journey of finding love and I truly felt Double Click should have been Shelly’s story. I would have loved to have seen things mixed up a bit and the majority of the correspondence come from Shelly to the other’s. She’s by far been my favorite character and I think she had so much more to add this time than Renee did. As for Ashley, she grew on me a bit. I didn’t care much for her personality in the beginning, but we see her grow as a person and I really like that. Once again, I felt like Mark was on the sidelines. I really like him and always want him to play more of a role, but his interactions come across vague and standoffish. I have not yet read the blurb for Right Click, but I’m hoping we get more of Mark there. As for the newcomer to the group, I’m on the fence with Cassidy. I neither like nor dislike her and I’m curious to know what she might had to the next part of the story.

Overall, I didn’t get that same carefree feeling that I got from reading Click, but this story does not disappoint. Running along the lines of more chick-lit than romance, Double Click is an easy read that doesn’t take you through a gamut of emotions. Light and comical, it’s one that you’ll breeze right through. 3/5

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Book Review: Happiness in Jersey by Jacinta Howard

JerseyThe only thing in Jersey Kincaid’s world that she has time for are keeping her grades up so that she doesn’t lose her scholarship to South Texas University, playing the bass in her band, The Prototype, and satisfying her coffee addiction. Oh, and the occasional random hook-up she indulges in to pass the time.

Love? Eh, not so much. Save that crap for a Katherine Heigl or Natalie Portman movie.

Jersey’s seen enough in life (courtesy of her Pops) to realize that undying romance is nothing more than a myth used to sell books and movie tickets. As she knows too well, the only thing inevitable in life is death— love is definitely not promised.

That’s why when Jersey meets Isaiah “Zay” Broussard with his soulful gray eyes, quick wit and easy charm, she’s determined to remain aloof. She doesn’t have time to get sidetracked by fleeting fantasies, even if she does feel an unexplainable connection to Zay she’s never experienced before.

But when his interest in her only seems to intensify, despite her attempts to brush him off, she gets to see a side of him and herself she didn’t expect…

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A complimentary copy was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Finding that one person in life who makes you a better person is never easy. Love takes time and patience. It also takes two people willing to make it work. But when your soul has been trampled on and beaten down to the point that you don’t feel as if you deserve the happiness they can give you, it makes for a tough and rocky relationship, even if you know that relationship can be everything you want it to be. Such is the story of Jersey and Zay.

Emotionally broken and carrying around a ton of baggage, Jersey is a tough character to like in the beginning. Her past is truly heartbreaking and you so badly want to understand and sympathize with her, but at the same time, smack her upside the head for some of her actions. Living with an emotionally and verbally abusive father after losing her mother, hardened her in ways no one should have to be. Mentally she tries to come across tough, but we all know it’s those types who are usually hurting the worst and it’s only a matter of time until they fall apart.

Zay is perfect in every aspect. I mean, I totally fell in love with him. He’s beautiful, talented, flawed, tough and just about the sweetest damn man on earth. Dealing with his own issues, he’s been where Jersey’s at, so he understand where she’s coming from and through that understanding, he commits himself to helping her work through her past. But, please don’t take his sweetness and confuse it with being a mushy pushover, because he’s anything but. Jealous and opinionated, he has alpha tendencies without being severely dominating. He’s patient, kind, but also more than willing to call Jersey out on her actions and feelings. I honestly think he’s the most perfect hero that I have ever come across. There is just something about him you can’t help but love.

“That wall you have up? I’m patient and curious enough to find out what behind it.”

Full of emotions that literally drive this story home, Happiness in Jersey is an outstanding read, which I’d highly recommend. I teetered on the edge of 4 or 5 stars. Four only because it took me a while to get into it. The beginning is a bit slow and as I mentioned, Jersey isn’t one that you immediately fall in love with. Five because when it takes off, it drags you in and you won’t want to put it down. It’s one you’ll be thinking about when your away from the story and continue to care for and want to know about the characters even after it comes to an end. For me that is always deserving of a five star read.

Clear and beautiful writing with believable and attention grabbing dialogue, Ms. Howard delivers a heart-wrenching tale of finding that one person in life who makes you whole.

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Book Review: New York Minute by Melinda Dozier

NYMShy accountant Veronica Bass is determined to live it up a little before settling down with a perfectly respectable man to live a perfectly respectable life, just the way her mother wants.

So when rock star Diego Diaz flashes his bedroom eyes at her during a wedding reception, Veronica swallows her shyness and leads him to the nearest hotel room. Now this total sex god keeps popping up in her life, and she finds herself telling some not-so-little white lies to keep him interested.

Diego’s world revolves around music, women throwing themselves at him, and having fun. His lifestyle hasn’t allowed him to find the right girl to settle down with until now, but his own secret stands in the way of forming a lasting relationship with Veronica.

Is their love destined to last for only a New York minute?

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Weddings…the perfect place to forget who you are and be who you want to be. At least that’s how Veronica Bass sees it. She has a job that not everyone deems exciting,  a life that’s comfortable enough and an overbearing mother that wants her to find Mr. Right and settle down—which Veronica intends to do. First, Veronica will become Vero. One last hurrah before she settles down to be who she’s expected to be. One night of passion. One evening where she can forget who she is and be Vero—sultry sex bomb.

Diego is tired of the same old. Same old reaction from the people he meets. Same old relationships with women. Same old crazy lifestyle. It’s time to settle down and find the one. And the one he finds is Vero. One night with Vero just isn’t enough, Diego needs more, so when they bump into each other again, Diego is determined not to let her go. Problem is, Vero isn’t the super interesting woman she claims to be, she’s Veronica—accountant, ordinary, plain.

Thinking Diego is only after a quick fling, Veronica spins lie after lie to appear more interesting. As Diego’s intentions become clearer, Veronica has one heck of a mess to clear up.

The opening chapter of this book really sucked me in. Veronica was very easy to connect with. She’s a bit of a klutz and not quite sure what she’s doing. Diego made me drool, he’s smokin’ hot! The initial meet of these two I really enjoyed, and each time Vero came up with another lie I squirmed!

Vero, for all her little lies, is still a loveable character. She’s just feeling trapped by her mother’s expectations. Diego is a bit cheesy—I prefer my male characters to be a little more alpha, however he’s so darn sweet and oh so sexy.

The chemistry between the pair is so far beyond electric that if you touch it, you’ll burst into a ball of fire. However, as I continued to read I began to feel like I was being smothered. The constant touching, eyeballing, inward squirming and suggestive dialogue became a little much and slightly repetitive. That said, the story was still fabulous and very enjoyable. A delightful little read with a satisfying end. 4/5

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Book Review: Need Me by Shelley K. Wall

needmeAspiring journalist Caroline Sanders doesn’t have time for frat parties and college keggers – not even when the gorgeous Roger Freeman climbs into her car unexpectedly one night on campus. The two are inexplicably drawn together, but when Caroline’s offered a prestigious internship that could lead to a job at The New York Times, she leaves Roger behind for more serious prospects.

Six years later, back home and starting a new career as a florist, she’s shocked to run into Roger again. He’s never forgotten the girl who left him to find herself, though he’s certainly tried. No one compared to the adventurous and exciting Caroline. As the two begin seeing each other and grow closer, he finds it impossible to resist falling for her charms once more. What he doesn’t know is that Caroline’s life over the last few years has been filled with tragedy, and the adventurous and exciting woman he remembers is all but gone.

Is Roger ready to risk his heart again, and is Caroline ready to trust him with her story?

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

After pranking rival frat house, Roger Freeman needs to make a quick getaway. With a whole fraternity on his tail, he jumps into the most inconspicuous car he can find and straight into Caroline Sanders passenger seat. Her only alternative to get lynched by an angry frat mob, Caroline heeds to Rogers request and gets him away from the crime scene.

What should’ve been a quick ‘drop him off and get back to my life’ turns into a new friendship as Roger shows up at Caroline’s door again and again.

Caroline has taken college life seriously. With a clear goal in sight, it’s left her no time to partake in parties, relationships or anything else that sways from the smooth path Caroline has paved out for herself. As her friendship with Roger develops, she never does let her guard down long enough to find out where it could lead. When she lands a dream internship that could solidify her future, there is no doubt in her mind that she should take it, even if it means leaving Roger behind.

Six years later and off the back of a terrifying and tragic incident, Caroline’s now working at a florist, her dreams of journalism morphed into nightmares that refuse to leave her alone.

When Roger runs into the one that got away, he knows something about Caroline has inexplicably changed. Not exactly where he wanted life to take him either, Roger’s stuck in a relationship rut. He doesn’t want to get into anything with anyone and feels his life lacks purpose. One glance at Caroline and Roger finds himself drawn to her once more.

As the string that pulled the two together in the first place, winds up again, Roger and Caroline find themselves a fixture in each other’s lives and it’s up to Roger to show Caroline that not only does he need her in it, she also needs to confront the nightmares that are stunting her personal and professional growth—even if this does mean risking his own heart.

I really enjoyed the college parts of the book where the two main characters are carefree and happy. Though they do have normal life problems, this part of the book had a weightless and fun feel about it. Caroline is a happy and driven girl and Roger is….adorable. The chemistry between the two zaps off the page and I fell in love with both of the characters. Honestly, when Caroline left without Roger, my heart broke for him and I wanted to strangle Caroline—just a little bit.

The tone of the book shifts when we meet the two six years down the line. Roger has had to financially and emotionally support his family after his father walked out on them. Not particularly happy with where his life had taken him, Roger has found a kind of solace in photography—the very thing that reminds him of Caroline.

Caroline has walked away from her dream career after being in the center of a horrifying experience, one that she blames herself for. This tonal shift, though dark in places, brings a realism to the book that I appreciated. How easy it would’ve been for the author to glaze over the events that traumatized Caroline, but they were handled well and tackled with sensitivity.

As well as suffering through the emotional vestiges of her failed career, Caroline can’t help but feel that everyone in her life leaves her.

That was what people did. They left. They moved on with their lives, leaving her with the painful burden of their absence.

Roger, though abandoned by his father, is not so blighted by the people that leave him behind and instead will risk his heart to keep the woman that got away.

She’s annoyed me, angered me, humored me, and made my heart split in two. But the one thing I know with certainty, now that the years have passed, is that being with her and experiencing all those crazy emotions fills a void in my life. I NEED her more than I need to breathe.

Throughout the book Roger remained as sweet as he had always been, Caroline however has a big personality shift. Though I was sympathetic to her emotional plight, there were times where I felt that she was just being too stubborn and sometimes I wanted to shake her and tell her to stop being so mean. I also felt that her thoughts were a little disjointed from her actions, even in her college days. This disconnect left me scratching my head in places, though overall it didn’t have a negative impact on how I feel about the book.

Need Me is a beautiful tale of the emotional journey of two souls who, though on course to collide, missed each other by a fraction. A lover of the second chance romance trope, this book was a satisfying read that tugged at my heartstrings and fuelled the hope that every person should have simmering within them.

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Book Review: More Than Ever by Gretchen Tubbs

mte“I can’t. I’m sorry, and I appreciate everything you did for me today, but I just can’t.” I feel slightly sick as the words are coming out of my mouth. I don’t think I can open myself up to this. I want to, but I won’t do this to either of us. I can feel the chemistry. If we started something and it would end, it would be disastrous.
“Because of him?”
“No.” I get up from the table and start picking up my food. I don’t want to have this conversation. I walk to the trashcan and throw my leftovers away. When I reach the restaurant’s interior doors that lead back inside, I feel Bennett’s body pushed up against mine. It feels both safe and scary, all at the same time.
He leans over and whispers, “Why?”
In a voice that barely comes out, I reply, “Because of me.”

Lucy Brennan is fighting for her life.
Bennett Strickland feels alive for the first time.
Lives, friendships, family, and love are put to the test.

Everyone is fighting with everything they’ve got.
Will it be enough?

This is the first book in a series, but is a stand-alone novel.

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Lucy Brennan is like any ordinary girl…except she suffers from a genetic kidney disease and is going through life on dialysis three times a week and no kidneys.

Lucy is surrounded by a supportive family and her best friend Miller, whom she lives with, as well as her sister, Maggie. Miller is deeply in love with Lucy, but sadly, she doesn’t reciprocate.

On a scheduled trip to the hospital for dialysis, Lucy meets smoking hot nurse practitioner Bennett Strickland.
Lucy takes Bennet’s breath away the moment he lays eyes on her, despite her emptying the contents of her stomach onto him. Bennet wants nothing more to than to win Lucys’ heart, but Lucy is afraid of starting something with Bennet that she may be unable to finish.

More Than Ever is a beautiful story of love and loss. I really sympathized with Lucy’s situation and I loved how Bennett didn’t care about that at all. I did struggle with parts of the book as I really loved Miller and wanted so much for him to be happy. I felt at times that Lucy didn’t treat him fairly.

There are some truly heartbreaking moments in this book as well as times where I groaned and uttered ‘oh-no’. The emotion swirling within the pages was excellent and should be commended.

I think the differing points of view could have been expressed better. There were times, just after Bennett’s point of view, that we go back to Lucy’s point of view without clear direction. Also, I feel that we could have had more of Bennett’s point of view rather than snippets. There are also some errors that a good editor could weed out.
Overall I really liked More Than Ever. It is well told, and really pulled at my heartstrings. 4/5

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Book Review: Tall Tatted and Tempting by Tammy Falkner

tttLogan wants to know my name, but I can’t tell him. I can’t tell him anything. There are too many people looking for me. He’s pretty persuasive, though, and he convinces me to go home with him so he can keep me safe from this harsh city where I find myself. It’s not my home. It’s his. He belongs. I don’t.

Logan lives with four brothers in the inner city. Yet I’ve never felt more safe than I do when I’m with him. I want him. But he won’t let me have a darn thing, aside from his friendship, unless I’m willing to tell him my secrets. But they’re mine, and I can’t share them. Not unless I want them to come and get me.

Logan

She catches my eye because she’s so beautiful she takes my breath. But that’s not all that I love about her. I love the way she smells. The way she smiles. The way she plays the guitar is unlike anything I have ever seen. She sleeps in my bed every night, and drives me crazy with her touch. But I can’t take what she offers because I need all of her. I need for her to tell me her secrets. I need for her to trust me.
From the back of the book:

She’s locked up tight. But he might be the key.

Logan Reed is tall, tatted and tempting.
Kit’s a woman with a mean right hook and a secret.

Kit wants a tattoo, but Logan sees more than she intends to share in the drawing of the tat she wants. He sees her in ways no one ever has.

Logan’s not disabled; but he hasn’t spoken in eight years. He hasn’t needed to.
Until he meets Kit.

Logan doesn’t know everything about Kit. Kit doesn’t know anything about herself,
until she has to sacrifice all she ever wanted to save what’s most important to him.

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Kit (Emily Madison) is living on the streets. Homeless and hungry, she feels trapped and alone, until she meets Logan.

Logan has had his fair share of women. With his impressive build, inked body and beautiful eyes he can have any woman he desires. He never sticks with one woman for longer than one night, and even then, he won’t sleep in bed with them all night, preferring them to be gone by morning….until Kit walks into his life. With a mean right hook, Kit catches Logan’s attention immediately and before he knows it, he’s hooked. But Kit has a secret and because of that, she refuses to give away her real identity or stay in one place for too long.

As Logan and Kit fall hard for each other, Kit finds herself in a situation she never planned. When Logan’s brother is rushed to hospital, Kit sacrifices everything she wants from life to make sure Logan gets everything he needs.

I absolutely adored Logan—he is now my new book boyfriend. Sweet, loyal and hot as hell, the man has it all. His adoration for Kit took my breath away and the way he treats her – me, pick me! I want him. Logan is aware that Kit is running from something or someone and though he wants all of her, he refuses to give himself up to her until she trusts him enough to tell him about her past.

“This girl will shred me. I already know she will. And I’m jumping in with everything I am anyway.”

Kit is struggling to find her way in life. A bright young woman, she feels she’s stupid because she struggles to read. She is NOT stupid, she’s smart and kind, though a little wary of people. She knows she’s falling for Logan and it scares her. She doesn’t want to talk about who she really is and she really doesn’t want to hurt Logan. Kit is a very likeable character and I really rooted for her to get the things that she really wants in life, especially Logan!

All of the characters are well developed and the author did a wonderful job of ensuring that each character stands out as an individual. This book is so well written. It has everything I love in a book – a sexy inked love interest, a strong and sassy main female character and SMOLDERING chemistry between the two. I absolutely ADORED it. 5/5

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Book Review: From Fake to Forever by Kat Cantrell

ftfBride: Meredith, soon-to-be co-owner, wedding dress business

Marital Status: Victim, Vegas wedding mix-up

Action Required: Divorce, ASAP

After one night of tequila and sex, their impromptu Vegas wedding shouldn’t be valid. But Meredith Chandler-Harris just discovered she’s still tied to irresistible businessman Jason Lynhurst. She needs out of their marriage, but to become his company’s new CEO, he needs her as a bride. Let the newlywed games begin.

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Meredith has firm plans for her future—Invest in her sister’s bridal gown business so they can work equally toward making their small company a success. But to do that, Meredith first needs to ask her father to front her the money she so desperately need. This is where Meredith hits a snag. Two years earlier on a trip to Vegas, she met and married Jason, a sexy man who’d lost his way. They parted company after Vegas without filing the paperwork therefore not legitimizing their marriage. However – it seems as though some kind soul did that for them as Meredith receives news from her father’s lawyer that she is indeed married. This spells trouble for Meredith as her father will never trust Meredith with his money after such reckless behavior.

After hunting down Jason who is now a major player in the fashion world, Meredith feels certain she can get a quiet divorce and her family will be none the wiser, but Jason has other plans.

When Meredith turns up as Jason’s office, she jams a spanner in the works, losing Jason a key supplier. Jason has a plan to make sure that his business can still grow, but it involves staying married just a little longer.

I really enjoyed this book. The main characters were both likeable and charming. Meredith comes across as a little full on at times, but ultimately she is sweet and down to earth. Jason’s ideas about marriage at first did have me baffled, but as the book went on his opinions shift as his feelings for Meredith grow.

I did find, at times, that there was a little too much narrative between conversations, too much inner thought meaning by the time the conversation continued, I found myself flicking back to find out what the last line of dialogue was.

I really enjoyed Meredith’s undercover work at Jason’s sisters fashion house and I truly sympathized with her when she started her first day wearing the incorrect label.

All in all this is a really well written tale of two lovers finding their way back to each other and it snagged my attention right from the first chapter. There are sweet moments, hot moments, and times where I laughed out loud. A truly great book.

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