Minute Reviews [11]

Posted June 19, 2016 by Kim in 3 Stars, 4 Stars, 5 Stars, In Review, Minute Reviews / 9 Comments

Minute Reviews

As I try to catch up on some of the reviews I failed at writing sooner, I decided I might as well go ahead and schedule another Minute Reviews post for today.

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 [11]The Wedding Pact by Katee Robert
Series: The O'Malleys #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Format: eARC, 352 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Carrigan O'Malley has always known her arranged marriage would be more about power and prestige than passion. But after one taste of the hard-bodied, whiskey-voiced James Halloran, she's ruined for anyone else. Too bad James and his family are enemy number 1.

Hallorans vs. O'Malleys—that's how it's always been. James should be thinking more about how to expand his family's empire instead of how silky Carrigan's skin is against his and how he can next get her into his bed. Those are dangerous thoughts. But not nearly as dangerous as he'll be if he can't get what he wants: Carrigan by his side for the rest of their lives.

In Review: My Thoughts

After falling hard for the O’Malley family in The Marriage Contract, I was dying to get my hands on the second book in the series. And, you know what? I wasn’t at all disappointed. The Wedding Pact lived up to all of my expectations!

Carrigan and James were wonderful. If you read The Marriage Contract, you know they had a bit of liaison during that book. They had TONS of chemistry and I couldn’t wait to see what happened when they were the stars. They were nothing short of magical together. Not only did they have AMAZING chemistry, but they understood each other. Their relationship was also forbidden because of the whole rival crime family thing, which I’ve really come to love since reading this series. I loved Carrigan and James. It was really easy to root for them.

There’s more than just romance to The O’Malleys series. Sure, there’s plenty of romance and smokin’ hot sexy times. It’s about family and the mafia connections and what happens when all these things combine. There’s even a bit of action and suspense in these books, though not as much in this second book as in the first. I just got a review copy of the third book, An Indecent Proposal, and I can’t wait to read Cillian’s story!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

FAVORITE QUOTES

Once upon a time there’d been a right and a wrong and a clear line between them. Now everything was upside-down and backward.

“Someone’s going to come looking for you before too long, so you need to be good and quiet so they don’t walk in and see you taking my cock like you can’t live without it.”

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About Katee Robert

Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.

Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published.

Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?

She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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Minute Reviews [11]Everywhere and Every Way by Jennifer Probst
Series: Billionaire Builders #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: eARC, 384 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Ever the responsible eldest brother, Caleb Pierce started working for his father’s luxury contracting business at a young age, dreaming of one day sitting in the boss’s chair. But his father’s will throws a wrench in his plans by stipulating that Caleb share control of the family business with his two estranged brothers.

Things only get more complicated when demanding high-end home designer Morgan hires Caleb to build her a customized dream house that matches her specifications to a T—or she’ll use her powerful connections to poison the Pierce brothers’ reputation. Not one to ignore a challenge, Caleb vows to get the job done—if only he can stop getting distracted by his new client’s perfect…amenities.

But there’s more to icy Morgan than meets the eye. And Caleb’s not the only one who knows how to use a stud-finder. In fact, Morgan is pretty sure she’s found hers—and he looks quite enticing in a hard hat. As sparks fly between Morgan and Caleb despite his best intentions not to mix business and pleasure, will she finally warm up and help him lay the foundation for everlasting love?

In Review: My Thoughts

Everywhere and Every Way is probably more of a 3.5 than a 3, but since half stars are no bueno, I’ll go with 3. I enjoyed it, but I just can’t round it up to 4 stars.

This book was good, but it was a little bit of a slow starter for me. It definitely picked up though. I really liked Morgan and went back and forth with Caleb at times during the story, but ended up liking him in the end. As much as (or maybe even more than) the romance, I enjoyed the dynamic between the brothers. It was tenuous for sure, but you could also tell they cared for each other, no matter what’d happened in the past. Or even what was happening during the book. I’m certainly intrigued by Tristan and Dalton and will be eagerly anticipating their stories.

All in all, I thought this was a really solid start to a new series that I’m looking forward to continuing.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

FAVORITE QUOTES

She tasted like all the things he loved in his past—sugar cookies and bourbon-infused chocolate. Freshly squeezed orange juice and key lime pie. Deliciously sweet and tart and tasty. Everything he craved and couldn’t get enough of, wrapped up in this one gorgeous female.

“I don’t intermingle with my business partners. Ever. It’s bad for me, you, and business.”
“Intermingle, huh? I like that word. Very proper. Problem is, I’m not thinking very proper thoughts when I look at you. I keep thinking about messing you up. Getting dirty. Making you scream. Stuff like that.”

“I want more of you. I don’t want to push or have a big analytical discussion that freaks you out. I don’t want promises of what happens after the house is built. I just want to spend time with you. We have four months. Will you give me that and see what happens?”

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About Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She is the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Marriage Bargain. She is published both erotic and sexy contemporary romance with Entangled, Decadent, Red Sage and TWRP. She has also written a children's book, Buffy and the Carrot, co-written with her twelve year old niece, along with a short story, "A Life Worth Living."

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Minute Reviews [11]Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 390 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

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!

Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

In Review: My Thoughts

This book? I loved this freaking book. So. Damn. Much. I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s Penny Reid after all… plus it’s about hot, bearded southern men. If that doesn’t have my name written all over it, I don’t know what does.

The Winstons just might be my new favorite bookish family. I loved Ashley in Beauty and the Mustache and I was excited to find out her brothers would be getting books of their own, because each of them intrigued me in different ways. I pretty much fell in love with Duane and Jessica as soon as I started the book. They had fantastic chemistry and I liked the bit of mistaken identity that set their story off and running. I felt like I understood Jessica and her desire for adventure in the great wide somewhere. But, I also got Duane and his desire to be close to home with his family. As things developed between them – even after they put the one year expiration date on their relationship – I just couldn’t see them coming to an end. They were too perfectly matched, had too much passion and too many real feelings for me to be willing to accept they had an expiration date.

I loved every single thing about this book. The romance was steamy and swoony. The characters were amazing – and even the secondary characters drove the story in their own ways – and I loved the way both Duane and Jessica grew. I laughed and smiled my way through the majority of this book, but I also had a few teary eyed moments.

Truth or Beard was laugh out loud funny and a wonderful start to a new series I just know I’m going to love as much as I’ve loved Penny’s previous series. Read this.

FAVORITE QUOTES

How some pre-teens lose their minds for boy bands, rock stars, and hot celebrities, I always lost my marbles for Beau. It all started when he climbed a tree to save my cat. I was eight. He was ten. He’d kissed me on the cheek. He’d wiped my tears. He’d held my hand. He’d hugged me close. He was my hero. He’d saved my cat.

I loved the feel of him. In truth I was in danger of climbing him. I just wanted to be near him, touch him, snuggle against him. He was so epically enticing.

My companion was most definitely not Beau Winston—hero, world’s nicest guy. No, no, no. This man was not Beau. This man was Duane. And this man had just done fantastic things to my nipples.

I’d always been a big fan of kissing when done right. I loved the accompanying hot pooling and heaviness in my belly, the anticipation of more, the whole experience of eyes closed, mouth open, and hot hands. 

Did I want to kiss the hell out of him? Yes, I did. Did I want to wrap his banana and let him have his way with my coconuts? Yes. I wanted that to happen.

“And, if we do this, you’re not to bring up the possibility of an extension again. You don’t even ask about it. It’s just understood. One year from today we’d be over and done and that’s it.”

“Stay with me tonight, don’t leave. Stay with me, and not just for twelve months. Stay with me always.”

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About Penny Reid

Penny Reid is a part time author of romantic fiction. When she's not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to two diminutive adults (boy-8 and girl-5), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Minute Reviews [11]Undecided by Julianna Keyes
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 4, 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 300 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

Nora Kincaid has one goal for her second year of college: be invisible. Last year’s all-party-no-study strategy resulted in three failed classes and two criminal charges, and if she messes up again she’ll lose her scholarship. But there’s one problem with her plan for invisibility, and his name is Crosbie Lucas: infamous party king, general hellraiser…and her new roommate’s best friend.

Crosbie’s reckless reputation and well-known sexcapades aren’t part of Nora’s studious new strategy, but as she’s quickly learning, her new plan is also really boring. When Crosbie’s unexpected gestures of friendship pull her head out of her books long enough to see past his cocky veneer, she’s surprised to find a flawed and funny guy beneath it all. The muscles don’t hurt, either.

But as Nora starts to fall for Crosbie, the weight of one of last year’s bad decisions grows even heavier. Because three failing grades and two misdemeanors are nothing compared to the one big secret she’s hiding…

In Review: My Thoughts

When I first saw this book a few months ago, I dismissed it because the cover (and even the synopsis, to a certain degree) led me to believe it would be another new adult book with a love triangle. I don’t always mind that, but I just wasn’t in the mood. After seeing pretty much every single one of my blogger friends posting about how much they LOVED THIS BOOK, I started paying a little more attention to it and read a couple reviews. After being reassured it was NOT a love triangle, I put it on my wish list. I bought it on a whim and read it in just a little over a day. Hyped books don’t always live up to my expectations but this one did more than that – it exceeded them.

If you’re looking for a new adult book that will stand out from the pack, this is the one you want. The characters were flawed and real. It’s like reading about people that could’ve been me or my friends in college. It was so easy to relate to Nora. I started crushing on Crosbie almost immediately. There was so much more to him than met the eye – or the rumor mill. I enjoyed reading along as they got to know each other, fell for each other and ultimately battled their own choices from the past. Everything wasn’t always rosy, but it was so very good and realistic that I didn’t even want to stop reading. I was totally hooked on these characters and their story. It almost makes me wish this book was a series, because I was sad when it was over. I wanted more. This’ll be one of those books that I reread over and over again just to get a fix. (Now if only it would come out in audiobook format…)

Undecided is the first of Julianna’s books that I’ve read, but since finishing this one I’ve picked up a couple of her backlist titles from Amazon. I’ve not read any of them yet, but I’m sure I’ll be doing it soon. I really enjoyed her writing and look forward to reading more from her.

FAVORITE QUOTES

Forget about handsome. I’m looking for serious. Responsible. Didn’t-have-sex-with-and0-then-forget-me.

I know things are bad for me, but I do them anyway. And letting those stray shoots of feelings for Crosbie stay when I should have gotten down on my hands and knees and torn them up before they could take root–that was a mistake.

I chose one end of the spectrum and I stayed there. Confront my demons or ignore them? Hello, denial. I’m Nora.

Kellan is the crush everybody has. Crosbie is the sidekick. He’s the Nora to Kellan’s Marcela. He’s the one you forget. 

“Maybe it’s a big deal for them. Maybe they loved it. Maybe they hated it. Maybe they regret it. But maybe it’s more than some stupid game or some bathroom wall or some list in my living room.”

“Sometimes you mess around and you can’t stop thinking about it. And then you’re not messing around at all. We’re not just messing around, Nora. At least I’m not. And I’m not sleeping around. From the day I saw you until now, there hasn’t been anybody else. I can’t say it any better.” 

“And you helped me paint over that bathroom wall. Like the choices I made last year, the ones I regret, were okay. Because that’s what happens in college. You make mistakes. And you learn from them.” 

“You see what you want to see, and sometimes you see what I want you to see.”

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About Julianna Keyes

Julianna Keyes is a Canadian writer who has lived on both coasts and several places in between. She's been skydiving, bungee jumping and white water rafting, but nothing thrills - or terrifies - her as much as the blank page. She loves Chinese food, foreign languages, baseball and television, not necessarily in that order, and will go to her grave swearing that "ain't" is not a word. She has volunteered in Zambia, taught English in China, and dreams of seeing pink dolphins in the Amazon. It'll happen.

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What’d you think?

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9 responses to “Minute Reviews [11]

  1. Yay Undecided! So happy you liked it — I want to re-read that one too! I’ve been curious about that Penny Reid series so glad you loved that too!! The Wedding Pact wast just ok for me but I hope to read something else by her!

    • Kim

      I loved it so much! I hope it’ll come out in audio so I can reread it that way. That’s my favorite way to reread. I do love the Penny Reid series (and everything she’s written) and I really like Katee’s books. This isn’t my favorite series by her, but I love some of her Brazens.