Belong to You by Vi Keeland

Blurb:
17936062My honeymoon was almost everything I dreamed it would be, a tropical paradise, turquoise water, romantic walks on the beach, and loads and loads of mind shattering sex. The only thing missing was the groom.

After seven years of coasting through a relationship with Michael, my senses were numb. A week of passion with a stranger was just what I needed to clear my head and take back control of my life. But how do you move on when the man that was only supposed to be a fling somehow seeps into your soul and steals your heart?

 

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My Review:
2.5 stars — I read this book in an anthology (inTENse), and I’m thinking it wasn’t the best introduction to Ms. Keeland’s works.  From what I can vibe from reviews, it’s got a bit of a different feel, and besides that, earlier works are never the best representations.

This book was just very meh for me.  The characters were OK.  Not horrible, but not super endearing.  I kept getting glimpses of potential sweetness/vulnerability in Jack, and that intrigued me, but it was usually glossed over in favour of the stereotypical alpha behavior.  And I’ll get this out of the way right now, I’m one of those rare readers who’s not actually that big of a fan of alphas.  Weird right?  *shrugs* What are you gonna do.  It’s not that I hate them or anything, I just tend not to gravitate towards them.  There are always exceptions to that rule, but Jack wasn’t an exception for me.  Every time he practically peed on Sydney to mark her, I just kind of rolled my eyes.  It can be sexy, but it wasn’t for me in this case.

This book just felt very much like a lot of books that I’ve seen out there, and I’m not sure what I was expecting…in fact, looking back on the anthology, it states it’s 10 books about 10 alphas, so I wasn’t very bright in my choice eh?

So yeah.  Super rich hero.  Playboy who’s very experienced but has never really had a relationship.  Heroine has a LOT less experience.  Supposed to be a short fling, but of course they fall in love (ish — no words, just deep connection, neither has ever felt that way about another person).  Secrets, shameful past of hero.  He’s kind of a jerk pushing her away because of it.  Heroine feels insecure b/c of other women in his life.  You know, the usual.

Steamy scenes were pretty good.  I liked that Sydney wasn’t too much of a pushover.  Her BFF Sienna was pretty sassy and funny.

In the end it wasn’t a bad story, it just didn’t stand out.  And in fact it kind of dragged on longer than I expected, so I got a bit bored.  If you love these kinds of stories though, I think you’ll enjoy this one…they’re just not really for me.  And I have no interest in finding out what happens in the next book with Jack and Sydney.  Oh well, it was mostly my own fault for not understanding what kind of story this was going to be…

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Temporary by Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry

Blurb:
36123044The most beautiful man I’ve ever seen is the same one who can ruin everything.

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful — pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works–if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can’t afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo…

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I won an ARC of this book through a contest, but this does not affect my honest and unbiased opinion.

I am a HUGE fan of both of these authors, and in a stroke of luck I threw out the wild guess that they were collaborating in a contest that probably didn’t expect winners, I managed to…well…win.  So I had really high hopes for this book, and can I just say that it lived up to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM??  This book was everything I loved about both authors, so if you’re a fan of either one, you won’t be disappointed.

The thing that has always sucked me in with both authors writing was their focus on fantastic, relatable characters.  Characters that you root for, characters that you fall in love with.  And Callan and Grace were no exceptions.

I felt the desperation and struggles that Grace faced, trying to provide for her sister and give her a stable home.  I felt her wariness of starting relationships when she’d had such a bad track record of being left behind.  And OMG, she had such a smart, sassy mouth on her…what I loved is that it was kind of subtle, not in your face sassiness.  She was strong, independent, with a big heart and a beautiful soul.

And Callan surprised the crap out of me.  My heart ACHED for his grief over his beloved uncle…so much so that *I* mourned for Uncle Jack.  I wish I’d known him.  The situations he faced at the hands of his mother, both in the past and in the book, just made me want to throw down with him and punch her in the throat.  I really understood how his experiences shaped him, and I loved getting to see that there was a LOT more there than met the eye.  And his humour and his own brand of sassiness were just infectious.  I can’t even tell you how many times he made me laugh.

And Grace and Callan together made my heart happy.  I followed them from flirting to more, and their chemistry was palpable.  I desperately wanted them to work, regardless of the odds they were facing.  Even when mistakes were made, I waited patiently for them to make it better (and they did).

I even adored Olivia, despite her teenage sauciness.  I thought the balance between teenage snark, bad attitude, vulnerability, and sassiness was perfect.  I appreciated that she wasn’t forgotten about.

So yeah.  I got “stuck in” and now I want to go listen to some Aussie accents.  And dare I hope that this is the start of a series??  Please please please please please….

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Hook by Elisabeth Grace

Blurb:
29379163From USA Today Bestselling Author, Elisabeth Grace, comes her most suspenseful, sexy, and thrilling book yet!

Women loathed me without even knowing my name. Men coveted the very idea of me.

Escort. Call girl. Prostitute. Hooker. Wh*re.

I’d heard it all. Done it all.

Over the years I’d felt a lot of things about my occupation…but not regret–never regret. I had my reasons for doing what I did and nothing and no one had ever made me question them.

UNTIL MARCO VALENTI.

He’d changed me and I’d naively fed into the fairy tale.

But Marco wasn’t my Prince Charming. He had secrets of his own. Secrets that would eventually rip away everything I held dear.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — OK, so I will admit that I tend to shy away from mob/mafia feeling books, and with a name like Marco Valenti and a guy with secrets, I had a hunch something like that would appear.  It’s the same as I shy away from Motorcycle Club books, I just have a hard time falling in love with a hero who does questionable things.  But the hooker part intrigued me.  And since the author is going to be at a signing event I’m attending, and gave away this book for free, I figured I’d give it a shot.  And I must say, I was actually pleasantly surprised for the first more than half!!

For one, it was nice to have a woman in a questionable profession who isn’t some virginal girl, but who owns the choices she’s made to get where she’s at.  And who doesn’t regret them.  And when you learn why she’s chosen this path for her life, I could buy it.  A son with MD can NOT be an easy financial burden, especially as a young single mother.  And I think that’s particularly where our heroine shines, in her love for her son Daniel.  I really felt her love for him, her worry, and you could see the different choices she was making to truly give him the best life possible.  And I LOVED that she had goals outside of that too.  Like, with the amount of money she was making, she could have just coasted, but she was going to school, and she had dreams of something more.  It really made her a more interesting and 3 dimensional character.  That caught me by surprise, and I was impressed with that.

Marco was a bit harder to love, but I also didn’t hate him.  He had some spectacular moments (such as how he handles Daniel), and I loved how forceful he was about reminding our heroine that she is not just her profession.  I thought the balance was good.  He could be a bit…emotionally volatile?  Or something.  That wasn’t really a turn on for me.  But he had lots of sweet moments as well.

Honestly, I almost rated this one a full 4 stars because I really enjoyed the first part, even despite some reservations…  But I started to get a bit impatient/bored near the end of the book, b/c I had forgotten that it was a duet, and so I was wondering when we were going to get some resolution.  Answer?  We weren’t.  Cliffhanger.  Which is fine.  It was my fault for forgetting.  And so it just lost a bit of the good steam it had going.

So what were my reservations?  Well, what exactly drew Marco to her in the first place?  He was quite infatuated.  That was mitigated in that at least we got to see them get to know each other, so I could accept the development of the relationship past that point.  The name thing was a bit weird too…it went on longer than I was anticipating.  And it did pull a few things directly from Pretty Woman, which I didn’t feel like it had to be so close (the kissing thing, the opera).

And then we get to the ending.  Well, I’m a bit of a skeptical girl, so I don’t buy it all.  It felt a bit like a cheap play on emotions.  And I REALLY don’t like where that takes our heroine and hero.  In fact, the ending didn’t make me super keen on continuing on (despite the fact that having a cliffhanger is supposed to do the exact opposite).  So I read a few bad reviews for the next book, and I know darned well that my personal tastes are going to run towards that end of the spectrum, so I think I’ll just leave it at this.  Once that decision was made, I read some spoilers so I could at least have a question answered.  No regrets.  Enjoyable book, just not quite in my wheelhouse enough to continue on.

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Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Blurb:
32491187Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

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

This book was so much of what I love about Lauren Layne.  It gave me butterfly tummy tingles, it made me LAUGH OUT LOUD, it made me giggle quietly, and it gave the mouth hurts from grinning too wide.  And not only that, it gave me frowny faces, and tummy hurts, and chest tightening too.  So basically all the good things for a great book.

I wasn’t sure how I would like Georgie, but it turns out a lot.  She’s nothing like I’m usually familiar, a wealthy socialite whose life involves brand names and high end shopping and perfect makeup and being seen in the best restaurants and partying most nights until the early hours.  And I’m SOOOO not that kind of girl.  But here’s the thing: she’s also really sweet and kind and big-hearted and a lover of the HEA.  And *that* I can relate to.  Her vulnerability and sensitivity really hit me hard too.  I reacted pretty much the same to everything that she encountered in this book.  But she was also strong, and not willing to bend for the wrong reasons.  Sometimes I wish we could have seen more development of her character, and seen what happened with her restlessness with her current lifestyle.  Did she look into a job?

Andrew surprised me in a good way too!!  Having an enemies to lovers story, I was worried that he was going to be a dick or something.  But he wasn’t!  Or at least not intentionally.  He was so much deeper than I had been anticipating, and I hadn’t quite realized where his animosity…well, not quite animosity, but his rigidness came from.  I really appreciated that.  The problem honestly is that I wanted MORE from Andrew.  We get a lot of hints, but because we only got maybe a third of the book in his head, I felt like I didn’t really get him as much, and I ended the book with questions.  We get hints, and I can make up my own answers, but I’d much rather know, you know?  Like why a divorce lawyer?  Why his rejection of marriage?  Was it just the logical stuff?  Was there more?  I really really really wanted more.  Because his vulnerability and desperation and confusion with Georgiana was just freaking adorable and made me want to hug him.  But I am pretty greedy with my heroes, so even without all the questions I had, I still would have liked more in his head, b/c I love equal time if I’m given dual POVs.

I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope, but one thing it does bring you is a lot of sexual tension and fun banter at times.  And it was done so well in this book.  And when they finally collide, DAMN girl!!  Just, woosh.

And I even enjoyed the secondary characters in this one, though none of them really got a lot of screen time.  But they were diverse and I enjoyed their interactions with our MCs.

So yeah, total hit for me.  Honestly the only reason I’m rounding down is because I’m a greedy SOB and wanted more from Andrew.  😛

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Stripped Bare by Heidi McLaughlin

Blurb:

31358845They don’t call it the Strip for nothing. . . .

In this sinfully sexy Las Vegas romance from bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, a man who has it all reunites with a woman who takes it all off.

Living in Sin City, Finn McCormick is no stranger to one-night stands, but the last person he expects to find losing big on the casino floor is a former high school fling. Even though Macey Webster’s clearly down on her luck, she’s still a knockout, and she’s dressed like a stripper—because she is one. Drunk off an unfamiliar cocktail of lust, pity, and compassion, Finn offers to pay Macey’s debts if she cuddles up to him around town . . . and does whatever he wants between the sheets.

Macey came to Vegas for one reason only: money. She’s got a young daughter to support, and the tips really are bigger in Vegas. But when she blows her earnings on blackjack, her guardian angel is the rich boy who once stole her heart and never called her back. Although Macey would love to turn the tables on Finn, she can’t afford to refuse his proposition—and soon she’s enjoying herself much more than she cares to admit. Macey’s used to baring her flesh, but baring her soul will take far more courage.

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

OK, this one was a hard one to rate for me.  Because there was a lot that just rubbed me the wrong way entirely and made me grimace when I ended the book…but at the same time, I read this all in one afternoon and couldn’t put it down.  I’m not sure if it was like a bad car accident, or if I was just sucked in enough despite the things that didn’t work for me, or if I just needed something with a familiar plotline and was curious enough to find out where it was going and if it would get better.  So I’m rounding up to 3 stars…I just can’t deny that I was enraptured regardless of the reasons.

So…what were my problems?  *sigh*  I didn’t particularly like the characters, ESPECIALLY our hero Finn.  He was, quite frankly, a self-absorbed dick.  I mean seriously, he looked into a mirror and thought about what woman wouldn’t want him.  I know some people like those alpha guys, and I can sometimes, but they have to have some likable qualities, and I just didn’t see enough of it from him…he just wasn’t redeeming in my opinion.  I don’t mind a guy who is confident in himself, but like I said he came across more as just self-absorbed and self-important.

And Macey wasn’t terrible, I just didn’t really get much of a feel for who she was.  I know her daughter is really important to her, and I was intrigued with the storyline of a woman willing to strip to get her and her daughter out of the slums and away from her alcoholic mother (that has some sort of unsafe house).  But other than that, what interested her?  I did get some sparks of sass to her on occasion, but then they would be missing at other times with weak excuses for why she was allowing Finn to treat her a certain way.  I guess I was just confused.

And then there was the romance.  Am I the only one who wants there to be more than sex in a relationship?  I mean, if this was an erotica maybe (though even then some eroticas have more to their romance than this did).  But seriously, what drew these two people together?  What in the world did they love about each other?  Every time I saw a glimmer of something more, it would come back to sex.  I mean, I guess I know that there are couples out there where their relationship is mostly based on sex, but that’s just not as interesting for me.  I want to see friendship, and just some activities together that are outside that.  Heck, even Macey said on more than one occasion, there’s more to love than sex.  But then why didn’t I see that?

And am I the only one that felt like their relationship was kind of unhealthy?  Finn was downright mean to Macey on occasion, and she would excuse it.  The whore thing came up I don’t know how many times.  And I wasn’t even taken in by what Finn was thinking about Macey in his own head.  And every time they had an argument or something, he would like command her to strip and start trying to get busy, and then that would be that.

So yeah.  I was curious how the daughter thing was going to play out, and I was fairly ok with that aspect of the story.  Morgan really didn’t feel 10, but the author did occasionally say she acted young for her age…but I guess I don’t know why.  And otherwise it kind of played out like a mediocre Harlequin, which was probably why I was entertained.  It also had really strong Pretty Woman tones, but occasionally too strong…like I might as well just put on the movie and actually get some magic and conversations between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

The one bright spot for me was Lamar.  That guy was awesome.  But since the series is about billionaires, I doubt he’s going to get his own book.  A shame, he was the only character I really ended up loving.  Ah well.  I have other books by this author on my Kindle, so hopefully this was just a one-off, and not indicative of her characterizations in general.  Cause if it is, then we’re just not a good fit.

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Right Billionaire, Wrong Wedding by Victoria Davies

Blurb:
31930326Darian King has never met a challenge he couldn’t handle. Running a billion-dollar corporation? Piece of cake. Hostile takeovers? A walk in the park. But when his little sister begs him to plan her wedding, Darian finds himself less than prepared for the task. Luckily, he knows just who to ask for help.

Allison Reed wants nothing more than to leave King Enterprises behind. Being the personal assistant to a man like Darian is a 24/7 job. Asking her to help plan a wedding is simply the icing on the stress-filled cake but to leave she needs a glowing reference and will do anything to get it. Even plan a wedding with the man of her dreams.

Stepping outside the office has unexpected consequences. Darian doesn’t believe in relationships, yet he’s starting to see Allison in a whole new light. But he doesn’t know her secret, and she fears that by the time the vows are exchanged, she won’t just be leaving her job behind but her heart as well.

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

I enjoy this line from this publisher, b/c they remind me of the Harlequins I used to read a lot of.  It’s enjoyable to just kick back with something fairly light, a little unbelievable, but something with very few surprises in terms of plot.  I know that sounds like it could be a negative, but sometimes I just want to get what I’m expecting.  And this book fit that mold for me.  Strangely enough I kept expecting something crazier to happen, but this one was fairly mild.  No strange machinations from outside characters, just the issues that the main characters bring to their relationship — not being honest, misunderstandings, fear of commitment….you know, that kind of shiznit.  Pretty standard.

So this one started out pretty solid, I was enjoying the dynamic between the hero and heroine.  I really enjoyed the way the chemistry started building between them as their relationship started to shift.  And then we got to the first sexy times, and I don’t know if it was me, but the bantering didn’t feel genuine to who I thought the characters were.  I mean, I enjoy playful banter, but Ali just seemed extra saucy and confident all of a sudden and it threw me.

And then, I don’t know, I just lost a bit of interest.  I found that I kept rereading sentences and…yeah.  I just lost my verve for the story.

But then it ended pretty strong.  I got the butterflies at the end.

So….good, but didn’t blow me away.  *shrugs*

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Pretending With the Greek Billionaire by Kira Archer

Blurb:
30741416.jpgAlways the life of the party, Luca Vasilakis needs to prove he’s capable of taking over his father’s billion-dollar corporation. The perfect opportunity falls in his arms in the form of the reserved but sexy social worker Constance McMurty. What better way to improve his reputation than to get engaged to a do-gooder who is raising six orphans?

Constance wants nothing to do with Luca. But a poorly timed paparazzi photo lands her in the middle of a media nightmare, and Luca is her only way out. He proposes an idea that will help them both—be his fiancée to gain him some respectability and he’ll make a huge donation to her organization…and save her reputation.

But when their lie starts feeling like the truth, and the chemistry just won’t stop, they have a hard time separating what’s real and what’s fantasy…

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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.

I am a self-confessed Harlequin book lover.  Before the days of my Kindle and my discovery of Indie authors (b/c I’ve always been an underdog kind of girl, so Indie books are right up my alley), I used to consume Harlequin books at an ALARMING rate.  Cheap books individually, but with the number of books I read it was an expensive habit.  And one of my favourite lines was the Harlequin Presents line…so this is a LONG introduction paragraph to say that this book reminded me so much of the books I used to read in that line — European Billionaire Playboy?  Check.  And so I totally requested this book with that kind of nostalgia in mind.  And it definitely fulfilled what I was looking for from that.

I loved the chemistry between Luca and Constance.  It was a very sexy book, and they definitely had a palpable connection.  And the progression of the romance was exactly what I was expecting, and I’m ok with that.  It definitely followed a pattern that I’m used to, so there weren’t any surprises, but again, sometimes I want a book that gives me exactly what I’m expecting…  A bit tropey, definitely, but I wanted that push and pull between a hero and heroine that don’t really fit together, but somehow bring out the best in one another.

It would have been a full 4 stars if it weren’t for the completely useless children characters.  I honestly don’t know why Ms. Archer even bothered with 6 foster children in this story, they really only focused on the one girl throughout the story, and it was like they barely interacted with the other girls…they had the other people taking care of them.  It just felt like a plot device, but it didn’t really add anything of substance to the story.  The author really could have done a bit more with that storyline, or else just had the one orphan girl or something.  I was disappointed.

So all in all, a great light romance read.  Definitely what I was needing in this moment.

To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne

Blurb:
27271035.jpgUSA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne is the “queen of witty dialogue and sexy scenes” (Rachel Van Dyken)! Now, Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true… but their own.

Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning… is theirs?

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

So I will admit that while I love watching the P&P films, I have not actually read the book…yes, I know, for shame…take away my romance loving card, etc.  So I wasn’t sure what I was going to get when I saw people comparing Seth to Mr. Darcy, unsure if my movie watching fandom was enough to give me a good idea.  But I totally get where people are coming from with the comparison.  Seth alone is what bumped this up from a solid 4 stars to a 4.5 stars (rounded down).  He gets that extra half star all to himself.  I adored him.  Did he make mistakes and frustrate me on occasion?  Sure.  But seriously, he was just swoontastic.  He had the whole buttoned up personality down pat, but you could totally feel his vulnerability underneath it, and I just wanted to hug him and maybe squeeze his toosh at the same time.  Mmmm…

I will admit that I also think Seth got the short shrift from both Grant and Brooke in their over the top admonishment of a certain decision of his.  While I can sort of see where they were coming from, I ended up more on Seth’s side of things and was a little disappointed that no one got where he was coming from.  Hence why it was a round down instead of up.  I especially expected Brooke to have a bit more compassion given what she’d been through in the past, but she really only saw it from the one angle.

Brooke was pretty adorable as well.  I wasn’t mad in love with her, but I thought she matched up well with Seth for the most part.  For some reason she didn’t tug on my heartstrings to the degree that Seth did.  And so when she’d flip out and say mean things, I ended up being more mad at her mistakes than I was at Seth’s insensitive remarks.  But I think that happens sometimes, we end up being harder on the heroine…maybe b/c we’re girls, and we fall in love with the boys?  I don’t know.

They really did have some great chemistry, I was all on board for that.  And I really enjoyed the friendship chemistries we saw as well — the ones developing between Brooke and the Belles, as well as the one developing with Maya.  I think that’s part of why I was disappointed in Brooke for not wanting to stop potential Maya heartbreak in the end.  And I loved Grant and Seth together.  In fact, I’m almost sad we don’t get a little novella about Grant and Maya, b/c I would love to see more of their love story.  Grant was just adorable as all hell.

All in all it was what I was looking for in a Lauren Layne novel…and since I hadn’t enjoyed her most recent books as much this year, I was super happy that this one fit the bill for me.  It was pretty predictable, I called most of the little things right down to the final grand gesture scene.  But I’m ok with that, the execution was perfect.  I’m super looking forward to Heather’s book next.  I’m still on the fence with Alexis, though Logan looks super promising!

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Beauty from Pain by Georgia Cates

Synopsis:
17337340They agreed on three months…but their love knew no boundaries.

Jack McLachlan is a winemaking magnate and easily one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors. His success and wealth make him no stranger to the complications of romantic relationships and that’s why he goes to extreme measures to avoid the hassle. He prefers simplicity in the form of a beautiful female companion with no strings attached. He arranges relationships like business deals and they’re always the same. No long term relationships. No real names.

It’s his game and his rules. He’s content to play as usual, but when Laurelyn Prescott enters his life, his strategy must change because this player is like none he’s ever encountered. His world is turned on its head after he begins a three month affair with the beautiful American musician. Nothing goes according to plan and as he breaks more and more of his own rules for her, she’s exceptionally close to becoming something he never thought possible. His ultimate game changer.

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My Review:
3 stars — This one’s going to be hard to review.  I wasn’t particularly sucked into this one, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pinpoint why.  I guess I just wasn’t that enamoured with the characters to start.  Laurelyn had some funny moments, I enjoyed her playfulness.  But I just didn’t feel much depth to either her or Jack.  There was a backstory to Laurelyn, and I felt a bit for her past and the way she grew up, but I guess I wanted more…  And we didn’t really get to explore Jack’s past at all — I mean, mostly just why does he feel the way he does about relationships?  It just felt a little glossed over.

Didn’t care for the secondary characters at all.  Which is not a necessity, but it’s nice to have a supporting cast.  But this book was really the Jack and Laurelyn show.  Maybe it’s that I didn’t buy into the arrangement and why she would accept it in the first place.  Particularly b/c we’re told that she’s not sure she can do a casual affair, but it seems like she fell into this one pretty fast.

I wasn’t even all that engaged in the sex scenes.  Again, not sure why — they were just lacking that extra magic and chemistry for me.

I guess all in all I was a bit bored.  I had noticed this was a series, and so I can’t say I was too surprised with the cliffhanger…I practically saw it coming from the beginning of the story.  I’m mildly curious about how this romance will play out, b/c it was getting a bit better towards the end, but definitely not curious enough for the price of the next book.  (not that I’m saying it should be cheaper, just my own personal threshold of interest — if it had been cheaper, I might have said screw it and continued on, but now I don’t feel too bad about quitting after this one)

Basically there wasn’t a lot I could point out as bad about the book, but I just didn’t personally connect with it.

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