St-st-stuffed (Enemies to Lovers #2) by Anyta Sunday

29241027Blurb: Other than his most prized Lamborghini, Karl Andrews has nothing to his name. He’s down on his luck and his dollar, and his dream of becoming a professional chef is looking more and more like a pipe-dream. Even less than a pipe-dream when restaurants won’t even take him on as a waiter.
And he won’t ever, no not ever, consider selling his one possession. No matter how much he could make from it. Just wasn’t going to happen.
He’d rather . . . rather . . .
Hell, he’d rather apply for that position to be a Girl Friday.

Other than the title, the job sounds all right. Bit of cooking, cleaning—nothing he can’t handle.
Really.
Until he goes to the interview and discovers the man looking for the help is the same man he’d bullied, mocked, terrified as a boy. But Paul Hyte is obviously a better man, gracious and forgiving. And trusting—as the biggest part of the job requires looking after his son.

Despite the initial forgiveness, things are tentative between Karl and Paul, and they’ve both got to reconcile their pasts if they want any type of proper closure. As the two men learn more about each other an undeniable attraction grows between them—but can the two manage to forge a future together on such a rocky past and complicated present?
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4 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I don’t know that I could be the better person in a situation like this one, allowing an old school enemy to help take care of my son, it’s incredibly forgiving.  I thought Paul was pretty awesome for that.  It was what drew me into this story.  At first I thought that Paul was straight and this was gonna be a repeat of the first book but I’m glad that is not the case because I remember not liking that one as much. Paul has a hard time with his feelings (this happened in the last book as well so its a recurring) but the addition of a child added more to this book. Paul’s struggle with his sexuality is wonderfully written and helps Karl come to terms with his past relationship as well.  I though that was a nice parallel in the story.

The child was not a prop either.  He was an integral part of the story.  Children have a way of changing our entire view on the world and what we want from it.  I loved how Charley was the catalyst that brought such happiness into their lives.  Especially after they each had so much heartbreak.

Karl for the most part was exactly how I expected him to be.  I enjoyed his growth as a character.  He starts out a bit jaded IMO.  And I think the fact that his old enemy was willing to start over with a clean slate really helped his pettiness and/or bitterness towards other people.  And it knocked him down a peg.  The Lambo holding sentimental value was a nice touch and I could relate to that so hard.  My husband’s last parting gift from his father was to pay off his truck so he could continue working.  He will NEVER get rid of that truck.  The sentimental value is priceless.  I think I could have benefited from knowing more of Karl’s family background, we just really get a peek-a-boo into it.

All in all a great follow-up and I plan on finishing this series this year. Heck, I’ve already read the next one.

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Alphas on the Prowl Shifter Paranormal Boxed Set by Catherine Vale, Lashell Collins, Gina Kincade, Bethany Shaw , Phoenix Johnson, Annie Nicholas, Jami Brumfield, Sarah Mäkelä , Amy Lee Burgess, Anna Lowe

Alphas on the prowl

Blurb: All new stories!

Alpha shifters are on the prowl, and they’re used to getting what they want. But there’s more to claiming a destined mate than raw power, and they’ll have to prove themselves worthy – in more ways than one.

Alphas on the Prowl offers page after page of passion and pleasure in this box set featuring eleven NEW tantalizing shapeshifter tales from NY Times and USA Today best selling authors.

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NOT AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

3.5 stars

Well, I finally finished another anthology. This one took me about nine months to finish and I gotta say I wasn’t really impressed with them that much.  Obviously if I took my sweet ass time with them.

One thing that is standing out to me is the fact that there is NO FRICKING TABLE OF CONTENTS!! So if I wanted to…IDK, REVIEW EACH BOOK INDIVIDUALLY, I would have to go through the anthology page by page to find the title and author of each book.

No fucking way am I doing that.  Call me lazy,  IDC, that’s a whole lot of effort for some books I barely remember.

So I can only go based on my most recent memory of these stories, which is sad to say, mediocre.  This will be the shortest review of an anthology ever because of my laziness.

That’s…that’s about it really.  They had alphas and they were on the prowl, but none really stuck to me as super awesome.

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The Collectors’ Society (The Collectors’ Society #1) by Heather Lyons

22735431Blurb: After years in Wonderland, Alice has returned to England as an adult, desperate to reclaim sanity and control over her life. An enigmatic gentleman with an intriguing job offer too tempting to resist changes her plans for a calm existence, though. Soon, she’s whisked to New York and initiated into the Collectors’ Society, a secret organization whose members confirm that famous stories are anything but straightforward and that what she knows about the world is only a fraction of the truth.

It’s there she discovers villains are afoot—ones who want to shelve the lives of countless beings. Assigned to work with the mysterious and alluring Finn, Alice and the rest of the Collectors’ Society race against a doomsday clock in order to prevent further destruction . . . but will they make it before all their endings are erased?

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Favorite Quotes: 

“Sometimes,” he told me, “you can have something, hold it in your hands or feel it in your bones, and still never understand the working mechanisms behind it.” Isn’t that the brutal truth.

“No creature is completely selfless. Not even those whose hearts are more gold than tin.”

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5 stars

The title and the cover are what drew me in, and the fact that it was on sale for free back in November last year.  But then I just left it in my kindle queue.  Every time I scrolled past it I read the blurb but then got disinterested with it.  I would say the blurb does this book NO JUSTICE. Finally I just opened it and started reading it one day.

I was absolutely sucked in right from the very start. This story was so great! The writing was deep and the world building was fantastic!   It took a bit of a dark take on a classic re-telling.

Alice (Yes, from THAT classic) was analytical, whip-smart and practical. Her madness was contained so flawlessly but you could see how she constantly struggled with it under the surface.  I loved how the author took a pretty benign character from a classic and gave her so much depth and personality!

And she didn’t stop there, all of the characters in this book had a dark depth to them that really made me care about them.  I enjoy classics, I read them regularly I would say, but I never really thought of them as ‘real’.  Probably because the timeline they are generally in I clearly can’t relate too.  Heather Lyons made them more real to me. And as a bibliophile, that holds great value to me.

I’m absolutely going to read the rest of this series.  By the by, its only .99 pennies if you want to check it put yourself, which I highly recommend.

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Happily Ever Kissed by Vicky Holt

happily ever kissedBlurb: Starry-eyed Ava Simmons, co-owner of the ramshackle Heartbeat Inn, needs to steal her first kiss on the historic Heartland Cove Bridge before the Mayor has it torn down. Then she can join the ranks of her entire family tree in having her first kiss on the second longest covered bridge in North America. In a race against the Mayor’s bulldozer, she sees every hot and available guest of her B&B as First Kiss Potential.
If only she could escape the judging eyes of her omnipresent handyman, Sebastian Haddock. He’s too busy, too dusty, and too local for Ava’s tastes. She likes her heroes straight off the covers of the romance novels she devours like her guests eat her amazing baked goods. Yep, her First Kiss recipient needs to be strong yet sensitive, handsome but modest, hard-working but relaxed, and dreamy yet grounded.
Basically, she needs one of her Book Boyfriends to step out of a love story and kiss her! Because convincing her guests to visit the bridge with her turns out to be as tricky as baking the perfect cupcake in a broken oven. How do the romance novels make it look so easy? And how come Sebastian keeps catching her with her nose in a book? And when one of her guests turns out to be a kissable romance novel cover model-why isn’t she ready for her First Kiss after all?

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5 stars

Oh my gosh I loved the little details in this story!  All the romance cliché references were so dang hilarious.  And while I got a bit annoyed with Ava’s stubbornness, I was equally enamored by her naivety. She was so oblivious and it was cute as hell to see her attempt to re-create her favorite scenes from her romance novels. She just kept picking the wrong people!

I loved the little tid bits thrown in, her love of cooking and reading gave her character layers that I enjoyed learning about.  And she had a great family support system with her grandma.   This side character was such a delight! She exuded the “you are only as young as you feel” adage and I hope to be half as cool as her when I get older!

And Sebastion!  Hmmm, he was yummy.  It might have something to do with the fact that my husband is a carpenter so I’m a bit bias when it comes to those characters.  But he was just perfect for Ava! He helped to balance out her romantic side. He was stoic and practical.  I’m a bit practical myself so I was really attracted to that.  And I found his simple thoughtfulness to be romantic. He didn’t swagger or exude confidence. He let his actions speak for themselves and boy did I hear them loud and clear.

I really enjoyed the world of Heartland cove that Ms. Holt took me too. and I would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys romance.

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Destiny Binds (Timber Wolves Trilogy #1) by Tammy Blackwell

destiny bindsBlurb: Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in rules, logic, and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan. Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout. When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 stars

First off, this cover is fantastic yeah? It’s what initially convinced me to stop and read the blurb.  And the title was the second thing that pulled me in, it’s mysterious, no?

However, this story was pretty average as far a YA paranormal romances go.

I mean, I liked the book. It sucked me in right away; even with  the typical love triangle. The twist with regards to the love triangle was refreshing. And I thought it was done tastefully.

One thing that stood out for me was the fact that Jase isn’t a blood brother and the author made it clear to the reader many times.  It seemed a bit of overkill to me with that bit of foreshadowing.  But, hey, I can overlook it. I was almost hoping they had some chemistry but in the end the love interest did end up making sense.  The writing was solid, clear and concise. It was a quick read.

I’m looking forward to the next one.

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Beckoned: Heartland Cove County Romance by Vicky Holt

beckonedBlurb: Sandrine Crossman, former Sergeant First Class in the Canadian Coast Guard, has a couple little problems. The first one is Mayor Jeffries. The villain wants to get Cove Light in his evil clutches so he can turn it into a tourist trap. She won’t let him win, come hell or high tide. The lighthouse has been in her family for generations.

The second problem is a lot less straightforward, in a tall, muscular and unforgettable way. Unfortunately, the so-called Charles is, well, forgetful. Once Sandrine rescues him from the storm, she realizes he has amnesia. He doesn’t know who he is, where he came from, or where he’s going. She’d like to wash her hands of this hunky landlubber, but then again, maybe he could help her out with the mayor. Especially when mysterious vandalism and physical danger turn into real threats.

Sandrine knows how to deal with touchy motors, perilous weather, and even the mayor. But where matters of the heart are concerned, she tends to flounder. In moments of emotional distress, she turns to her pen-pal, Zeb. But he’s thousands of miles away, and some problems require a more personal touch. Maybe Charles could help with that too. If only he could remember who he was, and if only Sandrine could forget. Because there’s a reason she won’t get too close, and the memories threaten to drown her in a sorrow so deep, her only choices are to sink or swim. And right now? She’s treading water.

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5 stars

I really liked this one. It may be in the running for my favorite book by her.  I enjoyed how unique their meeting was.  I’ve always liked original love interest meetings in stories and this one was perfect.  I also loved her home.  I mean, how often do you get to visit a lighthouse?  That’s what it felt like when I read the book.  Like I was visiting a historical lighthouse.  And I must say that was never on my bucket list before but it is now! I really enjoyed their communication about how inexperienced she was in the romance area.  It brought a level of maturity to the story that really enhanced it for me.

Sandrine backstory really stuck out for me. After all the heartbreak she suffered I was surprised she wasn’t more jaded. She seemed to be a self aware person, a fact which I love.  At first I wasn’t to sure about her personality but once I really got in to the story she grew on me and I felt compassion for her and her past.

And Charles was super cute as a water logged rescuee.   He wanted to protect her but at the same time didn’t want to make her think she wasn’t capable.  The fact that he even took that into consideration gave him a depth and attractiveness that appealed to me.  I also liked how he was able to anticipate her wants and needs.  He waited for her to come to terms with her feelings before moving forward. And he wasn’t afraid to show his displeasure about something. All great characteristics I admire in a partner. So yeah, you could say I liked him. 🙂

I mean the whole story was pretty creative.  Not that I expected any less from Miss Holt.  She has a gift for writing, truly.  I’ve read almost all her works and I don’t plan on missing any if I can help it.

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Her Book Boyfriend (The Awkward Duckling #1) by K.R. Grace

Her book boyfriendBlurb: She believes the secret to love is in the tropes of her favorite romance novels. He’s the best friend prepared to prove her wrong.

Then comes the bet.

If she can’t land a boyfriend for prom by recreating the ten popular tropes in her favorite romance author’s books, she has to go to the prom with her.

The glitch?

They’ve been close their entire lives. He’s the rock god and school legend, while she’s the brainy sidekick who does all his dirty breakups. Thus, finding a guy who doesn’t think they’re already an item is going to be a lot harder than she thinks.

Will she land the book boyfriend of her dreams? Or will she be forced to go to prom with her best friend?

The truth is in the pages.

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Netgalley

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5 stars

I loved this book!  Very entertaining.  It was a refreshing spin on the geek and jock romance.  Macey wasn’t meek and she wasn’t bullied.  She stood up for herself and didn’t take crap from her jock guy friend, Cam.  It seemed like a role reversal in the best way.

Cam was super sleazy when it came to girls.  A fact that was made pretty clear early on.  It didn’t bother me as much as I expected it would.  I don’t know why, maybe it was because he was such a good guy to Macey.  At any rate, I enjoyed their chemistry and easy dialogue.  Actually, I floved their dialogue.  It was fantastic.

Macey’s headstrong, smart and funny.  Cam is smart, horny and holds some things close to his chest which I realized early on.  It made him vulnerable and mysterious, two things I find attractive in a male MC.  You should really just go read the book.  I will be looking forward to more by this author.

I got this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

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Return (Coming Home, #1), by Meli Raine

returnBlurb: MY HEART WANTS A KIND OF JUSTICE THE LAW CAN’T GIVE.
On a dark, rainy night I drove my overstuffed junker car back to a town I never expected to see again.
And when I needed a rescue by the side of the road, a six-foot tall piece of hot, unfinished business named Mark was what the universe sent me.
Three years earlier I’d fled town (and Mark) to follow my wrongly-convicted father to his federal prison, working crappy jobs to stay afloat and visit him every second I could. But now Dad’s dead and I’m mysteriously offered the best job of my life at the college where his life blew up when he was accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
Someone wants me here. Desperately.
I’m hoping it’s Mark.
Because if it’s not, I’m in more danger than I ever imagined.
And if it is?
Mark may be the most dangerous choice of all.

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Favorite Quote: 

There’s a certain class of people in this world who take a deep joy in watching other people suffer. Sometimes they’re the same people who teach Sunday School, who volunteer to run school groups, and who are pillars of the community. Not all of them, of course. But all it takes is one.

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4 stars

This book is perma free.

This was a quick suspenseful read.  It had lots of sensual steaminess as well.  The plot was a bit hard to follow and I felt the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more but with it being such a short book I forgave that.

I was a little upset how the book ended with no real closure. I get that authors want to entice the reader to purchase the next book but I have a rule that if SOME of the plot isn’t resolved in the end then I won’t read the next one.  And that was the case with this one.

However, I had to know what happened in the subplot romance so I purchased the next one for JUST that purpose.  Call it cheating or whatever but the steamy scenes were well written and I needed closure!  LOL, I honestly don’t predict I will be reading anymore by this author because I was so disappointed with the ending but who knows..

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First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

FGOTRBlurb: A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.
Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life… and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

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3 stars

I listened to this audio book free through my Overdrive app.  This book was funny to me at first.  The MC was witty, sarcastic and clairvoyant.  I laughed quite a bit.  But, then her growth started to stagnate and her sarcasm started to get annoying.

The plot started out pretty easy to understand, which was good considering the story itself was meant to be a quick read.  About halfway through the book though, the author seemed to change her mind and added a bunch of stuff that I felt was unnecessary to the story.  I got a bit confused as to the whys of some of it, thereby losing interest even more.

I hated the ending because I didn’t get any kind of closure that I felt was needed.  The minor plot was tied up but the major one was left hanging.  When I went to see how long the series was, I realized I didn’t have the stamina or the patience to get any deeper into this series so I could find out what happens.  Which is a shame.

If you want a long series to savor, this is for you. If you are like me and crave near instant gratification, I’d pass.

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The Ring (Cursed #1) by Mantissa Creed

cursed the ringBlurb: Alexandra is determined to know her true nature.
However, with the truth, comes love, intertwined with lust, infatuation and unfulfilled desires. Knowing her inescapable past, Alexandra realizes that her existence is not only uncertain, but is also bound by a curse that threatens her existence. Not only does she need The Ring to stay alive, she also must kill The Vangel. Soon she’s tangled in a love triangle if not quadrangle of which one of her close companions is The Vangel.
One lifeline. One true love. And a Curse.

 

 

 

 

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DNF

I got about three percent in and couldn’t take the tropey-ness anymore.  Honestly, I think I strained my eye muscles.  Its a shame too because I really liked the cover and the title. Geez, I’m having some serious bad luck with my backlist of books.

This book is currently unavailable to purchase.  Darn, I was gonna ask you all to read it and compare notes.

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