Minute Reviews [8]

Posted January 24, 2016 by Kim in 4 Stars, 5 Stars, In Review, Minute Reviews / 1 Comment

Minute Reviews

It’s time for another installment of Minute Reviews! Once again, I am ridiculously behind on reviews, so expect a couple more of these posts while I try to get caught up. I’m afraid there’s no real theme for today’s post – just some romances I’ve read (relatively) recently. 🙂

And some of these might be a little longer than my average bite-sized reviews, but, well… just go with it. 😉

And if you want to do reviews like this REALLY easily, check out the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin! It’s amazing. Seriously.

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Minute Reviews [8]Carry Me Home by Lia Riley
Series: Off the Map #3.1
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Forever Yours
Format: eARC, 135 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Love doesn’t have to be perfect to be true…

Years ago, Tanner Green loved Sunny Letman. She was meant to be his first kiss, first love, first everything. Then their world spun upside-down and out of control.

Free-spirited Sunny doesn’t do commitment. Sure, guys are great for a night or a week, but she always leaves first. That is, until professional skateboarder and town golden boy, Tanner Green, unexpectedly walks back into her life.

Despite their broken history, a fragile and undeniably electric connection still holds them together. Now Tanner has to convince Sunny that even though love isn’t always perfect, it’s worth sticking around for...

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In Review: My Thoughts

I loved Lia Riley’s Off the Map series – Bran and Talia totally stole my heart. Now why, exactly, I didn’t read the two accompanying novellas featuring some of my favorite secondary characters before now I’ll never be able to explain. Too many books, too little time?I want to kick myself for waiting this long to read Carry Me Home. Even though I’m months late getting to it, I loved it. I only wish I’d read it sooner, because now all I want to do is binge the hell out of the entire series so I can see how all the pieces fit together with the story fresh in my mind.

Carry Me Home is the story of Sunny and Tanner and I absolutely adored both of them. I loved that Sunny was the more experienced one of the two and how she embraced her sexuality. Tanner was a great guy and I just wanted to cuddle him. Theirs is a second chance romance of sorts, as they were close friends who felt a great deal for each other when they were younger. But, as it often happens, they found themselves split by circumstances mostly out of their control… and some questionable choices by Sunny.

I loved watching them come together in this book. Their chemistry was off the charts. It was obvious there were some very real feelings between them, no matter how hard Sunny was trying to hide them. Tanner wore his heart on his sleeve and that gave me all the warm fuzzies. I love watching walls crumble and characters grow and I got both of those things in Carry Me Home. Oh, and with it all came some hot sexy scenes and quite a few feels.

This was a short novella and a really quick read and, if I’m honest, I’d still love more of these two. Not because it didn’t feel complete, but because I’m greedy and I’d love to know what happens to them next.

FAVORITE QUOTES

Tanner Green is turning me into something impossibly fragile, a line of moonlight slashing across the water.

My entire body is one furious clench as we gasp each other’s names. We’ll never be the same again. We each carry a piece of the other. The way he watches me, I know he’s in this for a long time, not just a good time. And that idea doesn’t seem so scary anymore. In fact, I can’t wait.

Sunny is like her name. You can’t hope to hold sunshine. You can only bask in it for as long as it’s there. But the weather changes. There are storms. Night always follows day.

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About Lia Riley

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn't mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.

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Minute Reviews [8]Into My Arms by Lia Riley
Series: Off the Map #3.2
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: September 8, 2015
Publisher: Forever Yours
Format: eARC, 93 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

"You’re here because I want to touch you.”

Beth Jacobs spends her days slogging away in a corporate “fish bowl,” as the hard-working assistant for one of North America’s youngest dot-com billionaires. Aleksander “Z” Zavtra is the definition of dark and dangerous with a sexy Eastern European snarl. He’s also ruthless. Curt. Exacting. An infuriating man she loves to hate. While Beth hardly sees him, it’s as if he’s always watching her . . .

Z doesn’t do romance. But he never expected to be captivated by a whip-smart, fiery assistant who just so happens to share an uncanny resemblance to the beautiful face that haunts his dreams. He craves Beth. He wants to stroke her skin, to feel her heat beneath him. And what Z wants, he gets. And for one weekend, the lines between employer and employee are blurred as Z and Beth give themselves completely to the dark pleasures they’ve both been dreaming about.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In Review: My Thoughts

As I said in my review for Carry Me Home, I’m sad I didn’t read this Off the Map novella sooner. But, I’m still glad I read it now. It was nice to get more from the four major secondary characters in the series all at one time between the two novellas. But again… now I really want to go back and reread the entire series. I miss Bran and Talia.

Into My Arms, however, is the story of “Z” and Beth. Theirs is an unconventional pairing for sure, as he is her boss and barely looks at her, yet pines for her. He’s calm, cool and collected and Beth wants nothing more than to get a reaction from him. Little does she know, she already does… he just hides it. I love a good office romance and that’s part of what drew me into Z and Beth’s story. This one went pedal to the metal from the first page and I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to know Z’s secrets. I wanted him and Beth to get together. I couldn’t wait for the seriously intense sexual tension to explode. And when it did? Wowza. Hot times.

This novella was short, but sweet and sexy and thoroughly enjoyable. While it can be read as a standalone, I don’t think I would recommend it that way. I think you definitely need to read the series and have some knowledge of the characters, some connection to them, to fully enjoy the experience here. Plus, you know, the Off the Map series is wonderful and you should read it anyhow. Just don’t be like me and push the novellas to the side. 🙂

FAVORITE QUOTES

“You kiss me with your eyes every time you look at me.”

“Who knows when our chapters will end? None of us know how long our stories will last. All we can do is make sure the pages are filled with life.”
“And you think we can write a happy ending?”
“I don’t know, but I’d rather try than not.”

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About Lia Riley

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn't mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.

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Minute Reviews [8]Body Check by Elle Kennedy
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: January 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Format: eBook, 224 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Hayden Houston is breaking out of her good-girl mode. It's time for a one-night stand--and she's found just the man for the job! She spent her childhood being dragged from rink to rink by her hockey-coach father. Now Hayden craves stability. And she's determined to get it--after this one night...

When hockey star Brody Croft sees the sexy brunette at the bar, he's riveted. He's ready to shed his bad-boy ways and settle down. And after a mind-blowing night in bed with Hayden, he knows she's the one. Now all he has to do is convince her...

In Review: My Thoughts

I found myself in the mood for a sports romance and when I came across this one on my iPad I hoped it would be just what I was looking for. It was! But then I shouldn’t be too terribly surprised. Elle Kennedy hasn’t disappointed me yet!

Hayden might not’ve been looking for anything more than a quick fling when she first met Brody, but there was a lot more than that there between them… even if she didn’t want to admit to it at first. I enjoyed both Hayden and Brody and their chemistry was off the charts. I have this thing for books where the guy relentlessly pursues the woman (as long as it’s not in a creepy way) so this one definitely worked for me. The hot sexy times didn’t hurt either.

Body Check was a great, quick read with likable characters and sexy romance. While I’m not exactly a hockey fan, I am a sports fan, so I found myself enjoying the secondary storyline with the team and the fixing scandal in addition to the romance.

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About Elle Kennedy

A RITA-award nominated author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently publishes with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Harlequin Blaze, Samhain Publishing, and NAL. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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Minute Reviews [8]A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
Series: Wallflowers #5
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: October 14, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: Hardcover, 213 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

It’s Christmastime in London and Rafe Bowman has arrived from America for his arranged meeting with Natalie Blandford, the very proper and beautiful daughter of Lady and Lord Blandford. His chiseled good looks and imposing physique are sure to impress the lady in waiting and, if it weren’t for his shocking American ways and wild reputation, her hand would already be guaranteed. Before the courtship can begin, Rafe realizes he must learn the rules of London society. But when four former Wallflowers try their hand at matchmaking, no one knows what will happen. And winning a bride turns out to be more complicated than Rafe Bowman anticipated, especially for a man accustomed to getting anything he wants. However, Christmas works in the most unexpected ways, changing a cynic to a romantic and inspiring passion in the most timid of hearts.

A Wallflower Christmas takes a trip to Victorian London, under the mistletoe, and on a journey of the heart. With her trademark charm, sensuality, and unforgettable characters, there’s no one like Lisa Kleypas to make you believe in the magic of Christmas.

In Review: My Thoughts

If I’m being totally honest, it feels a little weird to be reviewing a holiday romance novel this long after Christmas, but I’m just gonna go with it. Despite devouring the other Wallflowers books earlier in the year, I held onto this book to read over the holidays because it seemed like the right thing to do. It wasn’t easy, either. I loved these ladies and their men and it was tough to wait out getting another dose. Had I known that not only would I get a NEW romance, but I would get the chance to catch up with my favorites from earlier books in the series, I probably wouldn’t have waited. Though there was definitely something charming about reading this one curled up near my Christmas tree.

Anyone who reads historical romance knows Lisa Kleypas is a freaking genius. Her stories are some of the best I’ve ever read and this book, while shorter than the others in the Wallflowers series was no exception. I loved Hannah and Rafe. Their story gave me all the feels and a pretty good dose of sexiness. This was a wonderful HR version of Cinderella and I loved absolutely every single minute of it. And, of course, it was amazing to get a chance to see how life was treating Annabelle and Simon, Lillian and Marcus, Evie and Simon and Daisy and Matthew again. These characters have a special place in my heart and I loved getting a chance to be reunited with them again.

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About Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She is a RITA award winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women's fiction. Her novels are published in fourteen different languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

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Minute Reviews [8]The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: December 29, 2015
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: eBook, 432 pages
How I got it: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Lady Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin... it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!

Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive...

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In Review: My Thoughts

After bingeing not one, but TWO of Sarah MacLean’s historical romance series late last year, I fell in love with her writing. She’s definitely one of my top three historical romance authors. I love her characters – particularly the women who are always just a bit different and unlike most other heroines out there – and the writing. The banter and chemistry between the heroes and heroines are perfection. They’re smart and funny, but romantic and all kinds of swoony. When I learned she was writing a new series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and find out if I’d love it as much as I did her other books. You know what? I did. It might be my favorite of all her books. Maybe. It’s a tough competition. Really, I just adore all her books.

Sophie and King were fantastic together. Opposites truly attract in this book, even if it takes them a little time to get there. King isn’t used to women who are resistant to his charms, so I really loved how Sophie was able to put him in his place. They had tons of chemistry, but it was really their banter in the first part of the book that made me smile. The Rogue Not Taken was sexy and romantic and it also gave a fair dose of feels. At one point I found myself with tears streaming down my face without even realizing I was crying. I was so engrossed in the book and the emotions that I didn’t realize how hard it was hitting me. This was a fantastic start to a new historical romance series by MacLean and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I need it now!

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About Sarah MacLean

Sarah MacLean is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of YA and adult romance. She grew up in Rhode Island, where she spent much of her free time bemoaning the fact that she was more than a century too late for own Season. Her unabashed addiction to historical fiction helped to earn her a degree in European History from Smith College before she moved to New York City to pursue a career in publishing. After receiving a Masters in Education from Harvard University, Sarah returned to New York, where she lives with her husband, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels.

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Kim Sig

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One response to “Minute Reviews [8]

  1. STOP THE PRESSES. What is this Elle Kennedy book and WHY DO I NOT KNOW IT EXISTS?!?!!?!? I need to go buy this right now. OMG.

    I just read another glowing review of The Rogue Not Taken, so I will be getting that one as well! Damn. I wish I had looked to see if it was on my grandmother’s shelf. I need to start LK’s Wallflower books too. After I read the Bridgertons, I think I’ll get those.