Siren in the City by Sophie Oak

9670017[Menage Amour: Erotic Cowboy Menage a Trois Romance, M/M/F, BDSM, public exhibition] When the Dom’s away…the subs will play! Jack and Sam married Abby. It was supposed to be for forever, but lately Abby wonders where her alpha male has gone. Jack has retreated, and life has become decidedly vanilla. It isn’t the true threesome she and Sam wanted. Sam and Abby know the time has come to fight for what they need. A call from his mentor forces Jack to revisit the club where he discovered his sexuality. Jack’s half-brother is in the city and interested in a little blackmail. Can Jack handle two defiant subs and a brother in need of tough love? Sometimes all it takes to find the way home is a little love and a lot of bondage. ** A Siren Erotic Romance

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ORIGINAL REVIEW: 4 stars — I enjoyed it….I loved the characters from the first one and it was neat to catch up with them and not just assume a happily ever after…

ON REREAD: 4 stars — OK, this is going to sound funny, but I laughed a lot…and you guessed it, it was because of incorrigible Sam.  Seriously, that man is just…awesomesauce.  I laughed so much at the tiny side conversation about them being a line…oh Abby, you are so right.  I really enjoyed that while we got a bit of a HEA in the previous book, this one showed us that life always brings more struggles, and that some traumas can be felt more deeply than we thought.  What Jack struggles through is intriguing.  Again with that shame thing.

I thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to the Club, and all the colourful characters who are going to get their own stories as the series continues.  What makes a great series for me is great secondary characters that intrigue you, and make you *wish* for their stories.  And there were so many, from Julian and Leo to Lucas and even Abby’s daughter.  And what becomes great as the series goes on is glimpses back to characters whose stories have already been told.  You fall in love with Jack, Sam, and Abby, and you know you’ll see them in the future, even if it’s just glimpses.

I will reiterate one thing though — I know NOTHING about BDSM.  So the accuracy of its portrayal in these books is not something I can comment on.  But since I’m not actually interested in the lifestyle in real life, it was thoroughly entertaining for me in a fictional sense.  But if it is something that you participate in in real life, I have a feeling this might not be super accurate, and I could see that pissing people off.  So take these books with a grain of salt.


Falling for Fitz (Blueberry Lane 1 – The English Brothers #2) by Katy Regnery

faling-for-fitzBlurb:  Fitz English and Daisy Edwards fell in love during one magical summer when they were teenagers. When something tragic happens at the end of the summer, Daisy tells Fitz she never wants to see him again. Despite his feelings for her, he respects her wishes and for almost a decade Fitz and Daisy go their separate ways.

Almost ten years later, when Daisy moves home to Philadelphia, they meet again, and both are shocked to discover that the feelings they had that summer are just as deep and real today. There’s a little snag, however. It seems that Daisy is engaged to someone else, and she’s come home to get married.

Can Fitz get Daisy to fall for him all over again before it’s too late? Only if Daisy can learn to trust the man who shattered her heart once upon a time.



4 Stars

I really liked the background of this couple.  It was so different that the first one and I was worried that this book would just be more of the same ya know? The had that summer love thing going on, reminded me of Grease.  Fun fact about me, I FLOVE musicals, so that really struck a chord with me.

Daisy is so funny but sometimes she irritated me.  One of the things I continually tell my husband is, “I’m not a mind-reader!  Don’t assume I know what you’re thinking!”  Which is what I caught Daisy doing a lot of.  You can’t say one thing, want them to not listen to you, then get mad when they do listen to you.  That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works.  :) I enjoyed how she was ‘engaged’ though.  Even if I felt that was a bit over dramatic.

And Fitz was so cute when he threw his hat in the ring.  Once he decided he wanted to be a part of her life.  He went all in.  Like it was almost over the top how he far in he went.  His devotion was endearing.  And I loved how Daisy brought out his playful side.  He is generally a stuffy white collar guy but her presence seemed to awaken him a bit.

It all went very fast after that though and I was hoping for a more lengthy romance, but hey, what do you expect when they have been pining for each other for almost ten years?

Curly Carla_small



How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You by Tara Eglington

30528623Executor of the Find a Prince Program™ and future author, sixteen-year-old Aurora Skye is dedicated to helping others navigate the minefield that is teenage dating. Counsellor-in-residence at home, where her post-divorce ad-agency father has transformed into a NAD (New Age Dad) intent on stripping his life bare of ‘the illusionary’ (i.e. the removal of home furnishings to the point where all after-hours work must be done in lotus position on a hemp cushion) Aurora literally lives and breathes Self-Help.

When the beginning of the school year heralds the arrival of two Potential Princes™ who seem perfect for her best friends Cassie (lighthouse beacon for emotionally fragile boys suffering from traumatic breakups) and Jelena (eye-catching, elegant and intent on implementing systems of serfdom at their school) it seems as if Aurora’s fast on her way to becoming the next Dr Phil.

As Aurora discovers, however, Self-Help is far from simple. Aurora’s mother arrives home from her extended ‘holiday’ (four years solo in Spain following the infamous ‘Answering Machine Incident’) throwing the NAD into further existential crisis. With Valentine’s Day drawing closer and the new Potential Princes not stepping up to the mark, Aurora is literally forced to take to the stage to throw two couples together. However, being cast opposite Hayden Paris (boy next door and bane-of-Aurora’s life) in the school production of Much Ado about Nothing brings challenges of its own. Not only does Hayden doubt that Cupid is understaffed and thus in dire need of Aurora’s help, but playing Beatrice to his Benedict throws her carefully preserved first kiss for a Prince into jeopardy. As Aurora races to save love’s first kiss and put a stop to the NAD’s increasingly intimate relationship with her Interpretive dance teacher (guilty of putting Aurora on detention for a ‘black aura’) she is left wondering who can a self help guru turn to for help? Can she practice what she preaches? And can long-assumed frogs become Potential Princes?

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Wow, this one is a hard one to review.  To start with, when I first picked up this book and started reading, I had an intense desire to DNF it.  For realz.  I’m not sure if I just wasn’t in the right mood (I was extremely tired and nodding off), but Aurora bugged the crap out of me at the beginning, and I just didn’t know if I could read a whole book where the protagonist was sooooo…not me.  It wasn’t that I thought the book was badly written or anything, but the characters just didn’t seem to display a lot of qualities that I could relate to.  In fact, they’re kind of the popular crowd, and I wondered if they were gonna get a bit Mean Girl-ish at times.  Quite frankly, I looked at the blurb on Goodreads, and it did NOT ring a bell and seemed consistent with what I was reading and so I was baffled as to why I would request this book.  But I went back to NetGalley, and the blurb there is completely different, so it made more sense.  So then I went and read some reviews, and they mentioned Much Ado About Nothing, and since I adored the movie adaptation with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Brannagh (and my love of my high school years, Robert Sean Leonard), I thought maybe I should give this book some more time.

And then I kind of got sucked in.  Aurora started to display a lot more depth than I had initially given her credit for.  Hayden became kind of swoon-worthy.  Some of her friends became really intriguing characters in their own right.  And they started the play, and I thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing about that play.

And darnit, it kind of started to remind me of Clueless, so I didn’t even mind the popular crowd because Aurora was so Cher sometimes…wanting the people she loved to be happy, and trying, with the best intentions, to make that happen.  The problem is, while I do LOVE Clueless, the meddling got a bit over the top in this book.  Some parts were endearing, and some parts made me want to cringe.  Aurora was just so freaking VEXING!  She was the epitome of overdramatic.  But she had some really sweet spots.  GAH!  Love or hate?  Or neither?  She had great intentions, and she was a quirky one, but in the end she was a bit too much for me.

And quite frankly, that’s because of her obliviousness and over the top reactions to Hayden.  I just never got it.  He was frustrating, no doubt about it, but her reactions were an 11 (you’re welcome for the This is Spinal Tap reference).  And because it’s so obvious how Hayden feels right from the beginning, this was just ridiculously frustrating.  He was so sweet, and so genuine, and sure…brash and annoying at times.  But I honestly don’t know how he held out hope.  I would have dropped her like a Hot Pocket way earlier.  At least the ending was really really satisfying, even if I had to wait until the VERY END *to* be satisfied.

So while I thoroughly parts of this book in the end, there were just too many pet peeves for me to round up.  More minor pet peeves: Ms. Deforest and the unbelievability of her character and that ridiculous class; her way-too-mean Mom and my dissatisfaction with how that resolved; Jelena never getting her comeuppance for the mean Claire things, but I suppose everyone has that friend who isn’t as nice, but you don’t give up on because of history; the setting was confusing b/c it’s probably Australia, what with the January start to the school year, but they would make some references that felt like the US, almost like they changed the book for the re-release, but didn’t do a consistent job of it; and OMG WHO GOES INTO A PLAY AND DOESN’T READ THE WHOLE THING WHEN THEY GET THE FREAKING LEAD ROLE!!!  I mean seriously, you start readthroughs and you don’t know how it ends??  A week later and you still don’t know how it ENDS???  No.  Just no.

Now I need to go watch me some Much Ado About Nothing.  And maybe watch that Romeo + Juliet scene again too.


Small Town Siren by Sophie Oak

8550873[Menage Amour: Erotic Cowboy Menage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, BDSM, sex toys] Jack Barnes and Sam Fleetwood have been best friends since they met in foster care. They share a business as cattle ranchers and a house. All they need now is a woman to share. The men are sure they’ve found that woman when Abigail Moore returns to Willow Fork, Texas. Abby left her hometown twenty years before under a cloud of scandal. She’s raised a daughter, forged a new life for herself, and is ready for the next phase when she meets the handsome cowboys. They’re a dream come true; Jack is the sexy Dom, and Sam the playful lover. It’s everything she’s ever fantasized about. There’s only one problem. She’s still not welcome in Willow Fork, and someone is willing to kill to keep her away. ** A Siren Erotic Romance

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My Review:
ORIGINAL REVIEW: 4.5 stars — BDSM isn’t high on my list of fantasies, but the characters and interactions in this book were just so delicious. Seriously sweet and vulnerable characters. Nice side plot….

ON REREAD: 4.5 stars — Yeah, you know what?  I’ve learned through the years that I apparently enjoy reading about BDSM.  And maybe that’s because of the way that authors like Ms. Oak portray it.  I still don’t get the impulses personally, but it is hella hot to read about regardless.  And Sam and Jack, well they could sell me anything.  :P  There’s just something so enjoyable about their already established relationship, how they looked out for each other, and how they basically get the green light on Abby and MOVE IN for the strike!  Poor Abby didn’t know what hit her.  And she was a delight in her own right.  Sassy, but so damaged, but still very strong.

It’s got a lot of stretch the imaginations parts — like would a guy like Jack Barnes really rule that town?  And the ruthlessness…damn the ruthlessness.  I mean, I’m not actually a girl who is into revenge and making people pay and all that jazz, but for some reason I enjoy reading about it.  Or maybe Jack just makes it palatable.  He’s so…intriguing.

Alas, I will admit, it is Samuel that stole the show for me.  He’s just so damn incorrigible.  Seriously.  And I loved how Abby helped Sam and Jack move forward themselves.  This one doesn’t get too in to the BDSM stuff, just a taster really.  But again, it’s got some good intrigue going on, and a bit of suspense/action.  All in all, not bad for an erotica.  A great start to a series that I really ended up thoroughly enjoying.


Siren Enslaved by Sophie Oak

10861836[#336 Siren Menage Everlasting: Erotic Cowboy Menage a Trois Romance, M/M/F, BDSM, sex toys] Julian Lodge has everything a man could want. He’s rich, successful and owns the most exclusive BDSM club in Dallas. But something is missing. Finn Taylor has worked his way up in the world from humble beginnings in Willow Fork, Texas. The only thing he still loves in his hometown is Danielle Bay. He never told her he was actually bisexual, and he never confessed his love for her. Now she’s getting married, and Finn is sure he’s lost his chance with the only person he’ll ever love. Julian’s vacation to the Barnes-Fleetwood ranch brings them all together. After Dani jumps into Julian’s car while fleeing her wedding, Julian knows he has to have her. But nothing is easy in Willow Fork. A danger from Julian’s past threatens them all. Julian will have to convince both Dani and Finn that being his will be the best decision they ever made. ** A Siren Erotic Romance

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My Review:
ORIGINAL REVIEW: 4 stars — OK, seriously fun to get glimpses back in the Barnes household. Loved this story of Julian….didn’t think I would end up liking him. I mean…I like plots in Erotica, but I don’t expect much. I really did enjoy his transition though… Entertaining and arousing.

ON REREAD: 4 stars — I’m in the middle of rereading this series (and the Bliss series) and I figured why not throw my reviews up on the blog!  I pretty much agree with my original review.  Obviously it’s awesome to catch glimpses of so many characters I’ve grown to really love and enjoy…and to see glimpses of stories to come (even though I’ve already read them, seeing the teasers and knowing what is coming can be fun sometimes).  While I thoroughly enjoy reading ménage (particularly M/M/F) erotica, as well as BDSM, it’s more like a reading fantasy than a real one.  What I find, personally, is that these books have made me a bit fascinated with the culture.  Not enough to explore it, but it’s like understanding different kinds of people.  And I’m not naive enough to assume that the author got it all right, but I do enjoy the way it is portrayed.  I love that all the characters have backstory and depth, and that you get to see some of what makes the big bad Dom need his control so badly.

One of the other things I love about this series, and had entirely forgotten, is the element of suspense and…action?  Thriller?  There’s always a bad guy, and a desperate (sometimes life or death) situation.  So I not only get some fabulous steam, I get a dose of (sometimes unrealistic) action too.

But my favourite part in this book comes when Julian chastises Finn for letting his own shame bring Dani down and make her question her desires.  He says ,”You are only on the outside because you’re trying to fit into your idea of the normal world.  The world is what you make it, Finn.  There are as many worlds as there are people.  This is your world.  You are the only one who can force yourself out of it.”  Deep.

Now I need to try to remember how I felt about the previous books so I can write better reviews for them too.  I’m all backwards.


Top Ten Books That Get Me Into A Halloween-y Mood

Top Ten Tuesday
(Images link to Goodreads, Titles link to Amazon)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in which you make a list of ten to do with a certain topic.  This week’s topic is “Halloween related freebie: ten scary books, favorite horror novels, non-scary books to get you in the Halloween/fall mood, bookish halloween costumes, scariest covers), scary books on my TBR, etc..”  I decided to do Top Ten Books That Get Me Into A Halloween-y Mood!

Lenoreo’s Top TenSixteen?:

All right, so I had a hard time deciding how to pick my theme, much less the books, so I kind of went overboard.  Gonna try to break it into sections…we’ll see how that goes.

Books that had an element of Horror/Thriller (ie. kind of out of my wheelhouse):


  1. Darkhouse (The Experiment in Terror series) by Karina Halle — I haven’t finished this series, I’ve only read the first 6.5 books (including the novellas in between).  But I thoroughly enjoyed the books I did read, with my favourites being Lying Season and And With Madness Comes the Light (a novella).  But this is definitely a series where you need to read from the beginning, so start with Darkhouse, and fall in love with Dex and Perry.
  2. Extinction Point (The Extinction Point series) by Paul Antony Jones — I don’t even know how I came across this one, but it sort of blew me away.  I get scared very easily and this one did a number on me.  I’ve only read book one, but I have the rest of the series, and I’m kind of thinking I should finish it now…
  3. Autumn (The Season Where Everything Dies) by Alex Tuttle — Super creepy and disturbing short story…
  4. Hushed by Kelley York — I will admit, this book seriously disturbed me and was a bit of a mind fuck, what with the disturbing characters…but I loved it anyways.

Vampires, Vampires, and sort of Vampires:


  1. What Kills Me (What Kills Me series) by Wynne Channing — Damnit, I’m discovering a bunch of series I haven’t finished.  This one ended super weird until I discovered it was a series…and then I haven’t gotten to the next book.  But book one was amazeballs (amazing characters all the way), and I do believe after I finish this TTT I’m going to pick one of these unfinished series and finish them this week.  That is all.  (ALSO: currently free!!!)
  2. Nocturnal (The Noctalis Chronicles) by Chelsea M. Cameron — Look!  Another series I didn’t read all of!  Well, at least I’ve read 3 out of 4 this time.  And thoroughly enjoyed it, I even have the first 3 books in signed paperbacks!!  Damn, I need to go reread this, I hate having unfinished series…
  3. Mortal Obligation (The Dark Betrayal Trilogy) by Nichole Chase — Wait for it…ANOTHER series I haven’t finished!!  This book was up and down for me, had some great stuff and some less than great stuff.  But I still can’t believe I haven’t finished it.  Seriously.  What is wrong with me?  The thing I like about Vampire books is that so often we get some really unique mythos surrounding them.  I’m not always for traditional vampire stories, I like ones with their own origins and stuff, and this series is a great example of that.  (ALSO: also currently free!)
  4. For the Love of a Vampire (Blood Like Poison series) by M. Leighton — BOOM!!  A series I actually finished!!  And it was solid 4 stars throughout.  Had some annoying points, but in general really enjoyable.  (ALSO: also also currently free!)
  5. Underdead (Underdead Mysteries) by Liz Jasper — OK, so another unfinished series, but I kind of forgot to keep track of this one…it was almost 2 years since I finished book 2 that book 3 even came out, so I can’t be blamed for forgetting.  But I do remember really enjoying this one, it was very unusual style for me.
  6. Samson’s Lovely Mortal (Scanguards Vampires series) by Tina Folsom — Ahhhh vampire erotica…good stuff.  This series just keeps going and going, and I’ve only read the first 4 so far (and apparently I have the 5th)…  Very enjoyable erotica, I really should get back to them.  But I’m kind of a cheap bastard, and while this first book is free, the rest are $5 each, and with an 11 book series that adds up…can a girl get a sale?  Or a cheaper boxed set?  Help a cheap girl out!
  7. Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians series) by Dianne Duvall — Not quite erotica in this one, but definitely steamier vampire romance.  This is another ongoing series that I’m thoroughly enjoying, but in this case I’m keeping up (I’ve read all available including novellas).  You know why I’m keeping up?  B/C the books are $2 or $3 each.  That’s totally within my cheap threshold apparently.  :P  Seriously though, if you love a series about interconnected characters, with individual book plots as well as an overarching plot, I definitely recommend it.

Witches, Wendigos, a Ghost Story, Zombies and a Halloween Mash-up:


  1. Family Secrets (Secret Societies Collection) by Kat Nichols — This is the group read in one of the fan clubs I belong to!  I’ve already read it twice (BETA READ BITCHES!) and this is a fabulous YA paranormal with a side of sweet romance.  Has an intriguing take on magic/witches, and in the 2nd book we get to see vampires and fae too!
  2. Lunar Light by Penelope Fletcher — I’d never heard of Wendigos before this book, but I loved this book about them!  And this was a racy one from what I remember, you have been warned (or enticed).
  3. Losing Logan by Sherry D. Ficklin — OMG, this book fucking KILLED me.  SO GOOD.  So heartbreaking, but so good.  And because things like ghosts scare me, even in this context I got the scared tears (as well as the bawling heartbreak tears).
  4. Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey — This was a strange zombie book…had a bit of magic in it, and wasn’t about an epidemic.  But I really enjoyed it, even as heartbreaking as it was.  I actually won this book through Goodreads, and I think it’s actually part of a series, but I haven’t investigated the next books so far.
  5. Magic & Decay by Rachel Higginson — And THIS is my absolute ultimate Halloween-y read!!  One of my favourite authors took 3 of her bestselling series, and put all the MCs into one Epic Mash-Up novella.  I’m pretty sure this book would be accessible to folks new to Ms. Higginson’s work, but I really couldn’t tell you since I’m an uber fan.  And for us uber fans, let me tell you — this is the ultimate fan-service.  It is FILLED with inside jokes, META jokes, and everything I love about all of those serieses, and this author.  I should read it again.  It’s snarky deliciousness.

All right peeps!!  Hit me with them!  What books get you in a Halloween-y mood?  Leave your TTT links below and I’ll come check out your take on this week’s topic!

Déjà Revu October 23, 2016

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.












Woman’s Fiction

To Love and To Cherish by Lauren Layne

28552677Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Alexis Morgan has spent the past six years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable…until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

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My Review:
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

I was super weirdly reluctant to read this last installment to the series.  While I’ve enjoyed the series as a whole, I had some reservations about Alexis and how her story was going to play out.  And shit, after book 2 was so amazing, it’s hard not to wonder how this book would live up to my expectations.  So I started this one with a bit of hesitancy I guess you could say.  And then the prologue kind of blew me away.  There was so much going on in that one little chapter — I ADORED this first meeting of Alexis and Logan!  Oh dear me, Logan was just…so sweet and perfect.  And I really had a lot of hope.  Seriously, they had great bantering chemistry, and I saw so much potential.  I even saw hints at a vulnerable side to Alexis.  It was a FANTASTIC and PERFECT start to the book.

And in general, I really did enjoy their story.  I would not have anticipated Alexis’s backstory, and it kind of broke my heart you know?  I couldn’t imagine dealing with that, it was strangely unique b/c it wasn’t all scandal, it was just a strange cataclysm of life, and poor Alexis got the short end of the stick.  It was hard to hate her sister, or even blame her.  I liked that.  And at the same time, I still got Alexis’s reactions.  So I really enjoyed that aspect of Alexis’s character, and it did give you a bit of insight into who she was, and why she was the way she was…part of it was just innately part of her character, but part of it was exacerbated by these events.

I didn’t always enjoy some other aspects of Alexis’s character though.  She could be ridiculously obtuse sometimes, and I’m still not sure if that was deliberate, or if she was really just that clueless.  I never did figure out why she couldn’t see Logan’s feelings.  I mean, I guess she didn’t *want* to see them, but she really seemed genuinely clueless, and that didn’t always work for me.

Logan was a bit of a strange contradiction.  I really loved a lot of who he was, but I couldn’t always pin down who he was.  I saw someone else’s review say he was a bit of an alpha and a beta, and that was a bit strange, and I kind of agree.  But at the same time, I really loved the parts that I could figure out about him.  I actually enjoyed that he was so…observant?  That he got Alexis so much, and was patiently waiting for her.  And he could be really sassy when he wanted to be, and I really enjoyed that.  My problem is that I wasn’t always cool with his choices in how he stepped up his game.  He made some mistakes that I felt like he shouldn’t have made and it didn’t really fit all the time.

I definitely enjoyed their chemistry, though I will say I felt more of the friendship chemistry than the more chemistry with these two…not that the more wasn’t there, but it took a while to get there in the book, and I just personally wasn’t swept away in that part.

All in all it was enjoyable to see this series come to its conclusion.  Since I kind of had low expectations for this couple b/c I couldn’t figure Alexis out, I was actually pleasantly surprised in general.  It was no Heather and Josh, but it was a solid Ms. Layne showing.  And seeing the other characters make appearances was awesome.  I especially enjoyed Logan hanging out with Seth and Josh…those boys can make me laugh.  Good stuff all around.


Hard to Fall by Marquita Valentine

30052610Wedding bells are ringing—and tempers are flaring—as the Take the Fall series continues in this sweet, sexy novel from the bestselling author of After We Fall (“This beautiful story kept me transfixed until the very end.”—Krista Lakes).

As a hardworking, hard-partying firefighter, Hayden Walker values his career and his freedom. But as the eldest son of a U.S. senator, he agreed long ago to follow in his father’s footsteps and run for office, and that means settling down and marrying the picture-perfect wife. Hayden just isn’t ready for that sort of commitment . . . not with women like beautiful, curvy Saylor Dean—the naughty bridesmaid he recognizes the morning after his buddy’s wedding—tempting Hayden to stay single forever.

The unwanted love child of a well-known politician, Saylor has always felt isolated and alone, her only solace the animal shelter she runs in Forrestville. Then she meets Hayden at her best friend’s wedding. During their impulsive and unforgettable night together, Saylor feels desired like never before—only to wake up and find that Hayden doesn’t remember his drunken proposal, or their hasty marriage, or her. But when the truth comes out, Saylor finds it’s a lot harder to fall out of love than in love.

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My Review:
3 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Hmmm…  It was an up and down book.  It would have occasional moments where I was like “YES!” and thinking that maybe it was going to start going awesome…and then it would just fizzle for me.  Kind of a bummer.

Honestly?  It didn’t start off really great and I was kind of turned off.  The hero has a sexual encounter with another woman in the first chapter, and it’s kind of explicit (not long, but not fade to black or just mentioned either).  I don’t mind if my hero is a former playboy/rogue, but I don’t want to read about it, you know?  Just a personal preference.  It really didn’t endear me to him.  I’m not a huge cocky jerk kind of girl, and in that first chapter Hayden was not really a swoonworthy guy.  And you know what?  Quite honestly he kind of changed for the rest of the book…he was more sweet and adorable and loyal to Saylor.  So then it just made me confused why you would give him that kind of beginning?  It didn’t really seem like a believable transition to me.  And I guess because of this, I didn’t really fall for him.  Wow, apparently first impressions are more important to me than I thought.  I mean, it doesn’t help that he drinks so much he NEVER remembers the whole wedding thing (not a spoiler, it’s in the blurb).  I don’t know.

The heroine, on the other hand, had soooooo much potential.  There were moments I just adored her.  She was my kind of insecure and my heart broke for her with how unloved she felt growing up.  But then it was like I didn’t really feel a consistency with her character all the time…or maybe I just couldn’t pin her down.  I loved that she was quirky and geeky, but honestly?  She was also nonsensical.  There are still parts of the book where I’m scratching my head over things she says and does.  I get that she’s sort of trying to push people away, but I guess it just didn’t work for me.  So she had the potential to be a book girl crush, but in the end I was just too confused.

The chemistry was OK.  It might be just me, but I wasn’t over the moon for it.  I guess I just didn’t connect with them as a couple that much.

The final straw for me in this book not succeeding (and heck, maybe it should be a 2.5 star, but there were parts I enjoyed so screw it): COMMUNICATION ISSUES!!!  This is a freaking pet peeve of mine, and this book was RIDDLED with them.  First with the whole not telling the hero about the marriage thing (again, kind of in the blurb, not a spoiler).  That went on FOREVER.  Seriously, why drag it out so long?  And it was so cliche too, just when she’s going to tell him he’d get a phone call or something…*sigh*  Felt contrived.  And if that wasn’t enough, there were at least 3 other plot points that happened where she should have told him something and didn’t.  No.  Just no.  So if you’re like me and really dislike that plot device, then this is your warning that this one may be too much for you.

So the theme for me was potential that wasn’t met.  Ah well.  At least the good moments were really good, saved it from a lower rating…


See No Evil by Jordan Ford

32308922All Christiana wanted was a little flirty fun.
What she got was a one-way ticket to her own personal nightmare.

Her friend is dead…and she knows who did it. Now a key witness in a murder trial, she’s been hidden away in the one place no one will think to look for her: Eton Preparatory School for Boys.

It’s a stupid move. Insane. But she doesn’t have a choice.
Instead of completing her senior year with the popular crowd, she’s being forced to hide in a school with exactly zero XX chromosomes. Even worse, she’s somehow supposed to act like the Neanderthals walking the halls.

But then she meets the guys next door—the smoking-hot ones. And it doesn’t help that one in particular could unravel her in a heartbeat… and potentially blow her cover. How’s she supposed to resist Trey Calloway, the star hockey player who never backs down from a fight…and who never takes no for an answer?

She’s supposed to be focused on staying safe, not on the guy who’s getting under her skin. Her chilling past isn’t going to suddenly disappear.
In fact, it might just be catching up with her.

images     scr2557-proj697-a-kindle-logo-w-rgb-lg(OK, this doesn’t have a link yet b/c it’s not on Amazon yet.  Will update the button after release day)

My Review:
4.5 stars — I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

OMG, this book had so many layers of goodness!!  I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense…which is kind of weird, b/c I actually really enjoy it.  I used to read the Harlequin line, but perhaps it’s that I’m kind of picky and really need to get sucked in to this genre, so I guess I don’t trust just anyone to give me what I want.  Well Ms. Ford has definitely succeeded for me.  It’s not the whole believability aspect…because I think in romantic suspense you often have to suspend some of your disbelief.  It’s more that I want to *want* to suspend my disbelief if that makes sense.  I want to read it like I’d watch a good action movie, and that’s what happened for me in this book.

When I first saw the teaser video for this book, and learned about its premise, all I could think about was the movie She’s the Man, and that made me excited (b/c I’m a fan).  But while it may have a similar setting, the set up for this story is ENTIRELY different, and so has a very different feel.  My heart was taken through the ringer at times with our characters.  They all have some heartbreaking backstories, and the struggle that Chris goes through over what is the right thing to do, and having the strength to stick it out and do that right thing is very well executed.  I will say that I was SUPER surprised with some of the twists to her side of the story!  I did not see them coming, but I felt like they really added.

I occasionally wish we saw a bit more from Trey and his backstory…I’m not sure why, but it kind of came out of left field for me (even though I think I saw it in character profile teasers), and I just…wanted something more for some reason.  I really loved Trey, but sometimes I felt like what we saw of him was mostly surrounding Chris and her storyline…but you know what?  That’s not even true.  So I have no idea why I feel this way.  Hmmm…  Anyways, Trey was an intriguing character for me, b/c he had some very real Alpha tendencies, but he was really sweet and caring and protective too.  I loved that he was drawn in by Chris, even when Chris was a “boy”.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Trey and Chris, though I think I had a hard time getting into the romantic part at the beginning…I was totally sucked in by their friendship chemistry, but it was hard to feel the passion for that first kiss (at least for me).

I LOVED the whole dynamic of the Brotherhood.  I loved their friendship, and what they would do for each other.

I honestly had no idea how the other stories in this series were going to work, but then Ms. Ford just threw me for a freaking loop with that ending!!  I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!  She went in a whole new direction from what my boring mind had predicted, and now I’m clamouring for more!!  I also find it interesting that I still have some questions about certain aspects of Chris and Trey’s story…so I’m curious to see if they come into play in the future.

So yeah, thoroughly enjoyed this one.  Occasionally I wanted a bit more romance, but that’s just because I’m a romance junkie and not because we didn’t get enough.  Sooooo looking forward to the next book and finding out what happens with Kade!!!