Monday, September 18, 2017

Help Wanted by Allison B Hanson

I’ll admit I was intrigued by the cover on this book. It looked like a sweet summer romance and I was definitely in the mood for a sexy HEA. Well, Hanson delivered with her great story. This book was funny, clever, empowering, had some great elements of friendship and was just an overall enjoyable read. I had never read anything else by Allison Hanson, but she is now on my list of authors to watch. I have not read a lot of virgin tropes and I wasn’t sure what to expect. By the time I was done reading the explanation, I was like, yes...this could happen :) It hooks you from the beginning because how does a virgin get fired for sleeping with her boss’s husband? (gotta read it to find out).

Kenley Carmichael and Zane Jackson can barely keep their hands off each other. But Zane is her boss and they both decide that it needs to stay professional. Kenley needs her job and Zane needs an assistant to run his business. Zane felt like he was a dork in high school and he still has some unresolved issues from back then. Should he be over them? Yes...but then there would be no drama. His sister works to set him straight and she is hilarious. I also liked that there was a secondary romance going on. Brady was an interesting character and while their back story was not the focus, I think it complemented the main story.

The story is not explicit. I tend to like a little more heat to my sex scenes...but the author did the couple justice. It’s a good weekend read when you are looking for a romantic book escape.

A Covert Affair by Susan Mann

I had been looking forward to this book ever since I read the first one. I love the premise of this series. It’s seriously like my own spy/librarian fantasies come true. Add to that a super hot spy boyfriend and I just can’t even stop reading this book! Just like the first book, this one is unique and you can totally tell the author’s ideas were heard and left in the book. To top it off, it was a bit of historical fiction woven into this romance/suspense genre. There really is nothing else to compare it to that I’ve read in contemporary romance.

The setting is uniquely set in India, tracking down historical clues (that will eventually lead to missing library books….my inner dork sings). I find that most HEA romance books will not take place in India, exploring a sensitive topic. This is Mann working her super-librarian skills into her writing.

This is truly a must read for every librarian (or anyone who just loves a good librarian story) out there looking for a reading adventure and a book boyfriend. While not explicit, the sex is hot and the chemistry between Quinn and James remains off the charts. *fans self* This series has been my guilty pleasure escape and I will recommend it to anyone who listens!

Protection Detail by Julie Miller

I have really been enjoying Harlequin Intrigue books lately and this one did not disappoint. This one could be a stand alone book because I really liked it and I did not know it was the last book in the series. This book was unique because both of the characters are a bit older. They have both lost a spouse and just have a little bit of that life experience that comes out in the details of the story. There is not a lot of over the top romance drama. The drama comes in the form of the mystery suspense woven into the plot.

If you are looking for a hot cop story, then you have found your book. Thomas, the main character, and his whole family are involved in law enforcement. Jane, our heroine, is a nurse who is in WITSEC and she is trying to protect herself and those around her. Clearly, she has experienced a tragedy or she would not be in WITSEC. It’s a sweet, flirty romance. Thomas and Jane want each other, but they are mature enough not to jump into anything and they both carry some baggage. Thomas is afraid that he is too old for Jane, but she does not even consider the age difference.

 I just think a hot romance is what most readers are looking for (I definitely am!) I like the setting. I don’t really know much about Kansas City, so I feel like the details in the setting made me a bit more familiar with areas that I have never been too. This book is a fast paced suspense story with a bit of romance.

Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins

I wish I would have read the first book! This 2nd one in the series was so much fun. Lady Daphne Forsyth is a pretty, but odd woman. Her social interactions are a bit awkward because she has spent her life studying mathematics. She is a brilliant mathematician and we are introduced to her quirkiness as she has just inherited part of an estate and she has a cipher to solve. For the first time in her life, she is getting to know other women. These women also have just inherited a piece of the estate that they find themselves at. Each woman has a particular skill that is needed to solve the cipher.

 The Duke of Maitland, Dalton, also finds himself at the manor home and he is intrigued by Daphne. They really do have some funny conversations and find themselves in awkward situations. The dialogue makes for a fun read. The main premise of the book is the murder mystery that everyone is there to solve. Things get a little tense when the dead body is found in the house, but at that point, you will not be able to put the book down. I enjoyed the unique characters, the fun setting, the intrigue and the humor that was part of this happily ever after story. It’s not often that you find women deemed “bluestockings” as the main character of a historical romance. I think the pieces of the puzzle reveal themselves at the right points in the book to keep the action going. The chemistry and sex is definitely off the charts between these two characters.

 You can’t help but fall in love a little bit with the Duke of Maitland. This was my first Manda Collins and it won’t be my last. I love the author’s style of writing and I feel like she is one of my people ;) #librariansunite

Monday, August 28, 2017

All I want for Halloween by Marie Harte book review

Ready for Halloween?  If you want to get in the mood in October, I recommend this book.  It will get you in the mood for Halloween and give you a funny, sassy, somewhat reality-tv based contemporary romance.  It seems to be a stand alone book, which is nice if you are not looking for a new series.

The two main characters Sadie Liberato and your (soon to be) book boyfriend, Gear Blackstone are a treat to read about.  They are not perfect and both have some emotional baggage to overcome before committing to a new relationship.  The author makes it fun throughout the book by throwing out tidbits about what Gear's real name is and  what Sadie's family is like.  I liked all the nuances of stable family lives from both of the main characters. Those details really add to the fun of the story.

I think it's a bit refreshing that Sadie is a woman who knows what she wants.  There is no shame in the story (nor should their be), but after the first few chapters will know what I mean.  I like that Sadie is a successful business woman who is doing what she enjoys.  It's not quite what her dad had in mind for her, but it makes her happy.   That is a message we can all take away from the story.  It also throws in a new perspective about staring in a reality-tv series.  Since I have no experience in that area, I can only assume that Harte did her research because it all seemed plausible to me.  So, the sign of good fiction writing?

I think this is my first book that I read by Marie Harte and I really enjoyed it.  A perfect fall read!

Friday, July 28, 2017

On the Chase by Katie Ruggle book review

This was the first time I read anything by Katie Ruggle and I would like to read more! I did not read the first book of this series, so I think it can be a standalone because I was not confused by the characters. On the Chase is book #2 in this series. We are introduced to Kaylee, who is at a fancy dinner with a new guy she has been dating. She feels that she is lucky to have landed such a great guy. However, Kaylee witnesses something she was not supposed to see and is now forced to flee. She lets her best friend know she is leaving, and takes off to a small Colorado town. She has some help in setting up and new identity and from that point on, she is known as Grace. Hugh, who is a K9 cop that has been injured and currently on desk duty, shows up with his friend at the house that Grace is staying at. He notices her right away and starts to question who she is and where she came from. Needless to say, Grace is quite flustered. However, as her past threatens to catch up with her, she finds that she can trust Hugh. One of the secondary characters, Lexi, Hugh's K9 partner, really likes Grace. She story has a lot of suspense, action, intrigue and definitely some scorching romance. Huge and Grace make a good couple. The story is not particularly explicit, it's more of a slow burn romance and it's sweet. Hugh is definitely an alpha male - in and out of the bedroom. There are some humorous parts that will have you laughing out loud. The dialogue flows well. The author did a nice job with the setting, characters and action. I really enjoyed it and definitely recommend it. The ending is satisfying, mystery resolved and readers can look forward to another book by Katie Ruggle.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Fit for You by Cynthia Tennent book review

This book is the 4th book the the Truhart series, but it can be read as a standalone.  I jumped into the 4th book and then proceeded to buy the previous ones. Lily Shue arrives in a small town in Michigan because of a government grant to get the town moving towards better fitness.  It is a little bit awkward because Lily arrives injured and on crutches and it feels like she is being judged because she can't exercise -- and she is supposed to run exercise classes.  Lily is from California and adjusting to live in a small Michigan town will take some getting used to.  Things are made more difficult because the terms of the grant were not completely truthful and when Edge shows up to pick her up, he puts her up as his mom's house.  She was promised her own apartment. So now Lily is stuck in a house full of strangers and a hot guy she does not want to be interested in.

Edge Callaghan is a former skier and Olympic hopeful.  His skiing career ended and he has been living in a small town doing all sorts of odd jobs.  He is close to his family, which Lily finds endearing but he also frustrates her at every turn.  The readers are introduced to Edge while he has a full on beard going, so Lily can't really tell what he looks like.  She prefers to ignore him, but as she gets to know him, his personality grows on her.

This book is more of a slow burn.  There is a lot of character development going on and the plot is quite detailed.  I think the setting is unusual, the characters don't quite hit it off right away and there is a lot of humor.  It turned out to be a pleasantly surprising, quirky book.  The romance is still there, but it just took a different path to get to the HEA.  I love the competitive nature of both of the characters.  I love the setting and I might be somewhat biased towards stories that take place in Michigan ;)  The writing is good, the plot/setting is unique, the dialogue and characters are fun and unusual. I think this book will appeal to contemporary romance readers.  Perfect to take with you "up north" and disconnect from reality for a bit.