Minute Reviews [15]

Posted May 24, 2017 by Kim in 3 Stars, 4 Stars, In Review, Minute Reviews / 1 Comment

Minute Reviews

Whyyyyyy do I let myself put off writing reviews once I’ve finished a book? I really need to be better about that. Anywho, that’s what I’m trying to do today with my latest edition of Minute Reviews! Check out short and sweet reviews for five books I’ve read (semi-)recently. It’s not quite as much of a mixed bag today, but if romance is your thing, you might find your next favorite below.

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 [15]Too Wild to Tame by Tessa Bailey
Series: Romancing the Clarksons #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Format: eARC, 336 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Sometimes you just can't resist playing with fire...

By day, Aaron Clarkson suits up, shakes hands, and acts the perfect gentleman. But at night, behind bedroom doors, the tie comes off and the real Aaron comes out to play. Mixing business with pleasure got him fired, so Aaron knows that if he wants to work for the country's most powerful senator, he'll have to keep his eye on the prize. That's easier said than done when he meets the senator's daughter, who's wild, gorgeous, and 100 percent trouble.

Grace Pendleton is the black sheep of her conservative family. Yet while Aaron's presence reminds her of a past she'd rather forget, something in his eyes keeps drawing her in. Maybe it's the way his voice turns her molten. Or maybe it's because deep down inside, the ultra-smooth, polished Aaron Clarkson might be more than even Grace can handle...

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

It pains me to say that I did not love this book. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. I’ve never NOT enjoyed a Tessa Bailey book. But, whether it was my mood or something else, I just never fully connected with either Aaron or Grace. It even took me two tries to get into this book, which is so odd for me. The worst part is, aside from the lack of connection to Aaron or Grace, I can’t pinpoint why exactly this book didn’t grab me or what it was that was missing.

I really enjoyed the first and third Romancing the Clarksons books. I loved the complexity of the relationships between the Clarkson kids and I really enjoyed the road trip aspect. The romance in Too Hot to Handle and Too Hard to Forget worked for me. I fell for the characters and loved how the stories fit together. This one didn’t grab me the same way. It was super hot and had a lot of the elements I enjoyed in Tessa’s books and the forbidden aspect of the romance ticked those boxes. It was enjoyable and there wasn’t anything WRONG with it. Let’s just blame my moody reader-ness.

FAVORITE QUOTES

If she wanted one night with him, he would grasp on to it with both hands and be grateful she’d found him worthy of even a short space of her time. 

“I guess I’m a selfish bastard in every way, except when it comes to fucking you. I won’t be selfish with your body.” 

“I like breakfast. I like John Wayne movies. I want to build a fucking shrine to your pussy. There’s a big difference.”

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About Tessa Bailey

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of nine years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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Minute Reviews [15]Called up by Jen Doyle
Series: Calling It #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: August 29, 2016
Publisher: Carina Press
Format: eARC, 242 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

There's one thing Max "Deke" Deacon can always count on besides his old high school teammates: Angelica "Fitz" Hawkins. But no matter how much Deke might secretly fantasize otherwise, a relationship with his best friend's sister is off limits. Until one unexpectedly smoldering encounter has Deke and Fitz giving in to the feelings they've both been fighting for far too long.

Fitz knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she'd rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.

But with Deke, Fitz feels dangerously close to falling in love. She can't risk another broken heart—especially if it means losing one of her best friends for good. Now it's up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.

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 absolutely adored Calling It when I read it over a year ago. Jen’s writing was a breath of fresh air and I loved her take on baseball romance. (Which isn’t always my favorite because baseball isn’t my favorite sport.) I blew through the first book and was so excited to learn it was not, in fact, a standalone, but the first in a new series. I couldn’t wait to read this one when I got my hands on it. Unfortunately, I struggled a bit when I first tried, so it got reshelved for a few months. I’m glad I gave it a second chance, however, because I did wind up thoroughly enjoying Deke and Fitz’s story.

With it’s mix of friends to lovers and best friend’s sister tropes, this pretty much had my name written all over it from the moment I read the blurb. Both Deke and Fitz were wonderful. I especially liked that Fitz was the one who was more locked down and less interested in a relationship, regardless of how attracted she was to Deke. Of course, she has a good reason to keep her walls up high and tight… especially with Deke. Fortunately, he’s persistent and their chemistry and attraction is no match for her reservations. I smiled and swooned my way through this one, enjoying the humor, romance and sexy times.

FAVORITE QUOTES

“You’d be amazed at all the bits and pieces I can warm up with my tongue.” 

“Sometimes I want you so much I can’t even breathe.” 

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About Jen Doyle

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England Chapter, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the "some").

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Minute Reviews [15]The Best Man by Barbie Bohrman
Series: Allen Brothers #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eARC, 251 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Veronica Webber is single again after being in a loveless marriage way past its expiration date. For the first time in a very long time, she feels free and after being burned so badly by love in the past, any thought of romance is the last thing on her mind.

In walks a man from her past, Trevor Allen, a tall, dark, and handsome womanizer who is usually all about the bottom line. For Trevor that bottom line has always been made up of the countless notches on his bedpost. But when he sees Veronica after so many years, he can’t help but be drawn to her and know her again… even if that means being friend-zoned from the start.

As this unlikely pair spends more and more time together, they quickly realize that there might be something between them that goes past "just friends." But there’s just one tiny detail that makes this situation slightly more complicated… Trevor was Veronica’s ex-husband’s best man at their wedding nine years ago.

So when past mistakes and indiscretions come back to haunt them, will their happily ever after end before it even gets started?

Or will the best man win this time.

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

It’s hard to believe that The Best Man is my first Barbie Bohrman book! I’ve listened to my friends talk about how great her books are for ages and now that I’ve discovered it for myself, I’ll be looking for the chance to binge her backlist. I already own quite a few of them, in fact.

Trevor and Veronica’s story is another friends first. (Boy, I went on quite the friends to lovers binge, eh?) They knew each other through Veronica’s now ex husband, but they really weren’t much more than acquaintances. What Veronica didn’t know is that she made quite an impression on him way back when he first laid eyes on her. But, since she was marrying his friend, she was totally off limits. When they run into each other again, they begin a friendship that comes with a delicious slow burn and oodles of chemistry.

I liked Veronica from the start. Trevor did take a little time to grow on me. It’s the playboy thing. I just can’t help it. But, he was a good guy, for the most part. The secret he was keeping from Veronica, on the other hand, was just flat-out gross. It did take me some time to get past it. But, they were great together and I was definitely in their corner. Their story was sexy, but also had some real feels and a bit of angst.

FAVORITE QUOTES

“Because all I see is you. All I want is you. All I need is you.”

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About Barbie Bohrman

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Barbie Bohrman dreamed of becoming an author. Long after she had given up, a book club’s prologue contest enticed her to give it one more go. What emerged were the beginnings of her debut novel, Promise Me. Now she’s living her dream and writing stories that entice readers to escape and break away from reality. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to get through the books on her Kindle (more than a thousand at last count) or watching Sherlock or Seinfeld. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

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Minute Reviews [15]Royal Scandal by Marquita Valentine
Series: Royals in Exile #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept
Format: eARC, 218 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Forced to flee to the United States with his siblings after their parents’ assassination, Crown Prince Colin Sinclair takes it upon himself to become the caretaker of his family while hiding out near Charlotte, North Carolina. But after a decade in hiding, the secret’s out and Parliament demands that Colin wed a princess of their choosing. Unwilling to play their game, Colin decides to marry an American instead, and he has the perfect candidate in mind.

As a home-service professional, Della Hughes doesn’t believe in storybook endings. But when her best friend and secret crush reveals that he’s a flesh-and-blood prince, she doesn’t know what to think. Still, she’ll do anything for Colin, including becoming his wife—in name only, of course. But when their plans to stay purely platonic go by the wayside, their fake honeymoon turns all too real. After a week of white-hot nights, Della can no longer deny her feelings—not with a happily ever after so tantalizingly close.

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’m not sure where the crush of royals books has come from recently, but I like it. I’ll read ’em all. I mean, they’re like the ultimate fairy tale and who doesn’t love those?

Royal Scandal was a great start to a new series by an author whose books I’ve really enjoyed since I discovered her. Not only did this one have the whole royalty thing going on, but it also had friends to lovers and y’all know that’s my jam. There wasn’t anything really new about this story, but I didn’t care. Colin and Della were likable and their story was fun to read. There are some great secondary characters in this book, too, so I’m definitely looking forward to continuing on with this new series!

FAVORITE QUOTES

“Prepare yourself, love, because this Sinclair keeps what’s his.” 

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About Marquita Valentine

New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

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Minute Reviews [15]So Twisted by Melissa Marino
Series: Bad Behavior #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Forever Yours
Format: eARC, 384 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Sometimes it feels good to be a little bad.

Callie has found the perfect job. As nanny for a single dad and his adorable daughter, she can pay off her student loans and live in a nice house in the heart of Chicago. There's just one problem-her new boss. Definitely no dad bod here. Just six-plus feet of raw, sexual energy. Whoever heard of a dad being so hot?

From the sparkle in his daughter's eyes, Aaron can see that hiring Callie was a good decision. But Callie's breathtaking smile and long legs have him thinking about his own needs. Aaron knows it's a bad idea to get involved with the nanny, but it's been years since anyone has captivated him like Callie.

When living under the same roof proves too tempting to resist, Callie and Aaron discover a mind-blowing passion unlike anything either has experienced. But with a curious child and a nosy family in the mix, their secret, no-strings fling soon turns into a twisted, tangled knot...

In Review: My Thoughts

Melissa Marino is another new-to-me author for 2017! And y’all know I can’t pass up the chance to read a new author… or a book that features a sexy single dad lusting after his nanny. Another trope I’ve read several different takes on in the last couple months. And I’ll keep right on reading them as long as authors write them, too.

So Twisted was a super quick read. It had some absolutely hilarious, literally laugh out loud moments, too. (The toy cucumber. I didn’t think I’d ever recover from all the awkward.) It was sexy and sweet and I really liked both of the characters. Callie was a great heroine and a wonderful nanny. Aaron was sexy and totally swoon-worthy. His little girl, Delilah, was adorable. I was all-in on their storyline, but I really disliked the direction the conflict went. It was a little too much of a reaction and, honestly, it turned me off to Aaron pretty hard. He really had to work to get back in my good graces after all the angst he caused.

This was a good start to a new series by a new-to-me author. I definitely plan to continue on reading the Bad Behavior series. I’ve heard the second book is even better than the first, so I’m looking forward to finding out for myself. Soon.

FAVORITE QUOTES

For your own safety, please do not kneel down in front of me like that unless you want me to knock you down and ride you like a jockey at the Kentucky derby. 

“But, Daddy, I don’t have one of these. Callie has a toy cucumber, and I don’t have one this big for my play kitchen. Plus, it has buttons to do stuff.” 

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About Melissa Marino

Melissa Marino is a full-time writer and part-time Storm Trooper collector. When she's not writing, you can find her watching Friends reruns, mastering her cupcake frosting swirl and hunting for the perfect red lipstick. Melissa lives in Chicago with her husband, son and very opinionated dachshund.

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