Minute Reviews [29]

Posted January 10, 2019 by Kim in 4 Stars, 5 Stars, In Review, Minute Reviews / 1 Comment

Minute Reviews

Stop me if you’ve heard this before — I’m behind on reviews and need to play catch-up. ? That calls for more Minute Reviews! This latest installment is all about the romance — and books I read towards my 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge. Shameless pitch: I’m hosting the 2019 Tackle My TBR Challenge and signups are still open! Looking to knock out some of your lingering TBR? Check it out.

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 [29]The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: October 17, 2016
Publisher: Recorded Books
Format: Audiobook, Length: 12 hours and 22 minutes
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
How I got it: Audible Romance Package
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London's most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry. And in all truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better...

--Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, April 1814

But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn't just decided to marry--he's even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended's older sister, Kate Sheffield--the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate's the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams...

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes to not make the best husbands--and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate's determined to protect her sister--but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony's lips touch hers, she's suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself...

In Review: My Thoughts

I’m totally in love with the Bridgertons. There’s no sense in even trying to deny it. One of my unofficial goals of 2018 was to tackle the entire Bridgertons series. As you might have guessed, I failed pretty spectacularly, reading only ONE Bridgerton book in 365 days. But the one I did read — The Viscount Who Loved Me — was absolutely delightful. It was swoony, funny and full of feels. I can understand why historical romance fans are quick to recommend this series.

The characters are definitely my favorite part of the Bridgertons series. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love the romance and all that comes with it, but this family is the best. They all just jump off the page (or out of my headphones) and they’ve come to feel like friends or family to me. I just adored Anthony and Kate. Their relationship was fun and their chemistry wonderful. Rosalyn Landor brought the characters to life and gave a great performance. I can’t wait to continue this series in 2019.

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About Julia Quinn

#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and several years back she did so in grand style, competing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code.

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Minute Reviews [29]Wicked Heart by Leisa Rayven
Series: Starcrossed #3
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: eARC, 304 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

The one guy she can’t have is the one she can’t forget.

Liam Quinn is one of the biggest movie stars in the world…and the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.

After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancée are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred. Now one moment of weakness is about to create a scandal that will echo around the world.

Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic knows, love doesn’t always follow the script.

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

Why oh why did I wait so freaking long to read Wicked Heart? Man, this was so damn good. Liss and Liam’s second chance gave me ALL THE FEELS. And when I say all of them, I mean it. I laughed, cried and wanted to throw my iPad a couple times because I was raging. What a rollercoaster of a book. I absolutely loved Liss and Liam. I’m still kicking myself for waiting so long to read this book.

Y’all know second chance romance is my jam. It’s one of my favorite tropes, when written well at least. Leisa Rayven gives good second chance. (And, well, everything else. I’d read her grocery list.) I love Leisa’s words so freaking much. I highlighted A LOT while reading this one. In fact, I had to reign myself in when it came to sharing favorite quotes with my review. Couldn’t have the quotes be longer than the review, after all. ? Just know you’re in for a beautifully-written treat with Wicked Heart.

Favorite Quotes:

My idea of working out involves yoga pants without the actual yoga. In fact, my yoga pants should be called “sitting around eating cheese pants.” A longer title, sure, but more accurate.

I once read an Oscar Wilde quote that said, “A kiss may ruin a human life.” It perplexed me, because up until now, I’d always thought kisses were sweet but unimportant. But this kiss? It’s ruined me. This is the type of kiss I never knew existed. It’s like falling and flying, all in the same moment.

Goddamnit. I hate this. Love. Longing. Attraction. Need. Everything he brings out in me.

“So now I say, screw it. I’m done waiting. Sometimes, fate is what you make it, and I’m making my life with you.”

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About Leisa Rayven

Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and Leisa’s debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014.

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three cats, and a kangaroo named Howard.

(Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.)

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Minute Reviews [29]Hard Compromise by Samanthe Beck
Series: Compromise Me #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: November 21, 206
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Format: eARC, 195 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Laurie Peterson assumes her impulsive one-night stand with sinfully sexy Sheriff Ethan Booker is the biggest surprise of the year…until her bakery burns down while she’s basking in the afterglow. It looks like her dreams are up in smoke, but then Ethan proposes a deal too tempting to resist.

Ethan has no intention of settling for a one-night stand with Laurie. Nor does he want anything to do with the women his wealthy family wants him to meet. Not when he’s waited ten years for his chance to make his move. His deal might have strings—and Laurie may not know the stakes—but nothing will stop this sexy cop from staking a real claim on her body and her heart.

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

When I picked up Hard Compromise, it’d been on my TBR for ages. It’d been a long time since I read a Brazen book OR a Samanthe Beck book. I forgot just how much I enjoyed both. They’re just perfect when I’m in the mood for a quick and sexy read.

Ethan and Laurie’s story was smoking hot. They had AMAZING chemistry, in and out of the bedroom. (Or, you know, anywhere else.) I thought the sexy times were balanced well with some very real feelings, too. You just can’t go wrong with that combination. Ethan and Laurie proved opposites definitely attract — and set my ereader on fire.

Favorite Quotes:

“Booker, don’t confuse me with one of your well-bred, easily-shocked, country-club girls. I’m not well-bred and nothing shocks me. My only rules are fast, hard, and so filthy dirty it leaves a stain on your soul.”

“You think you’re ruined? Jailbait, the fact you kept me waiting for six fucking days tells me I haven’t even begun to ruin you. But I will now.”

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About Samanthe Beck

Wine lover, sleep fanatic, and USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy contemporary romance novels, Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California, with her long-suffering but extremely adorable husband and their turbo-son, Hud. Throw in a furry ninja named Kitty and Bebe the trash talking Chihuahua and you get the whole, chaotic picture.

When not clinging to sanity by her fingernails or dreaming up fun, fan-your-cheeks sexy ways to get her characters to happily-ever-afters, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.

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Minute Reviews [29]Miss Christmas by Gigi Garrett
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Publication date: November 27, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 85 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne Flame

Holly Kuhn is on the hunt for The Tree, but could she possibly find The One along the way?

Next to Santa Claus, Holly Kuhn has one of the most important Christmas jobs out there. She’s the Director of Horticulture at Rockefeller Center, which means she’s in charge of finding the biggest and most perfect Norway spruce and transporting it to Manhattan. When she stumbles upon The Tree of her dreams on an idyllic Massachusetts dairy farm, Miss Christmas—as she’s called—is on seventh heaven. That is, until she meets the farm’s owner, handsome Sam McCary, and discovers he doesn’t share her holiday spirit.

Will Holly be able to convince him to share his tree with the world? Or will workaholic Holly learn that sometimes there’s something even more important than tinsel-trapped success?

Join Holly and Sam—along with a colorful supporting cast and charming small town—as they discover that Christmas miracles are all around us, if we’re only willing to see them in plain sight.

In Review: My Thoughts

In 2017, I fell face-first into the cheesy wonder of Hallmark Christmas movies. I couldn’t get enough of them. One of my favorites was called Miss Christmas. It was so cute. The hero and heroine had such fantastic chemistry. I watched it multiple times. Imagine my surprise when I was researching holiday romance novels in December 2018, I learned that very movie was based on a novella. Needless to say, I didn’t waste any time one-clicking it.

Miss Christmas was so stinking cute. If I’m being honest, I liked the movie better (I know, *gasp*) but the novella was a fun, sweet holiday story. I had the perfect visual to go along with it, too, as the characters were fresh in my brain after re-watching the movie. What happens when a grumpy farmer and a woman who lives for Christmas — and finding the perfect tree — come face-to-face? Magic. If you’re looking for a quick holiday read with a ton of heart, look no further.

Favorite Quotes:

I’ve learned there’s only one thing that’s harder than finding The Tree, and that’s finding The One. Except the perfect tree actually does exist. 

“I’m a farmer. I don’t live my life betting on miracles. I’m a fan of science and hard work.”

Just as there’s always a story behind a tree, there’s also always a story behind getting the tree. I only wish this one didn’t involve a guy who would be a great understudy for Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, whose appearance makes my palms sweat and heart race like I just took a shot of double espresso.

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About Gigi Garrett

Since childhood, Gigi Garrett loved playing with and rearranging the 26 letters of the alphabet. When she's not imagining and writing fictional lives, she's probably chasing a toddler or thinking about pizza.

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Minute Reviews [29]Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #19
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Holiday
Publication date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Format: eBook, 330 pages
How I got it: From the library
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Reading Challenges: 2018 Tackle My TBR Challenge
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne Flame

To bridal boutique owner Madeline Krug, organizing a Christmas wedding sounds like a joy—until she finds out she'll be working closely with the gorgeous brother of the bride, movie star Jonny Blaze. How will a small-town girl like her keep from falling for the world's sexiest guy? Especially with mistletoe lurking around every corner!

Jonny came to Fool's Gold looking for normal, not for love. Happily-ever-after only happens in the movies. Still, nothing about this quirky town is quite what he expected, and "ordinary" Madeline is the most extraordinary woman he's ever met. Refreshingly honest, disarmingly sweet. Achingly beautiful.

Planning the perfect wedding leads to candlelit dinners and strolls through snow-covered streets. And Madeline finds Jonny in real life even more captivating than her celebrity crush. But will the action star be brave enough to risk his heart and step into the role of a lifetime?

In Review: My Thoughts

Marry Me at Christmas was another of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies of 2017. Once I realized it was inspired by a book, I knew I had to read it. It was another cute and sweet holiday romance. There wasn’t a lot of steam with this one, but it didn’t even matter. I enjoyed it so very much.

I loved Madeline and Jonny. That’s Jonny Blaze, by the way. Yes, he has a total porn star name. I literally laughed out loud the first time I saw it. But, I digress. Famous person/regular person books are my jam. You know, just as long as the famous one isn’t a douche. Jonny was as far from that as you could imagine. He and Madeline had great chemistry and their love story was fun and swoony.

My first Susan Mallery book was a hit. I know I’ll read more from her when I’m in the mood for another sweet, if not sexy, romance. I’ve already bought several of her holiday books so I can binge next Christmas.

Favorite Quotes:

“Although if wanted to tie himself in red ribbon and be waiting under my Christmas tree, I wouldn’t say no.”

“Love is many things, but it’s not easy. It requires everything. Whatever you’re most afraid to give is exactly what it will demand of you. But it’s worth it. That’s the secret. It’s worth it.”

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About Susan Mallery

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women's lives--romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan's books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestseller list.

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Minute Reviews [29]The Governess Game by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: August 28, 2018
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: eARC, 373 pages
How I got it: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

The accidental governess.

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart... without risking her own.

The infamous rake.

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling... and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

In Review: My Thoughts

The Governess Game was at the top of my must-read list for 2018. After falling head over heels for everything about The Duchess Deal, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. I devoured it just about the minute I received it. It was one of only a handful of historical romance books I read last year, but it was one of my favorites.

Alex and Chase delivered all the swoons and all the laughs. Thus, they get all the stars. (And they’d get more than five if that was a thing.) I loved every single little thing about this book. Alex was wonderful. Chase drove me mad occasionally, but I loved him in spite of that. Rosamund and Daisy damn near stole the show. Tessa Dare gives great romance and this book was no exception. The Governess Game went in my to be reread pile immediately after I finished it. So, so good.

Favorite Quotes:

He made her feel like the only woman in the bookshop. Perhaps the only woman in the world. Or the universe.

“I don’t want you to kiss me now that I’ve thought it through. I think… I think I’d rather kiss you.”

“You are the worst example of false advertising. I was led to believe I was hiring a prim scold. Then I learn you’re remarkable and bold and interesting.”

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About Tessa Dare

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twelve historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance," and her books have been contracted for translation in a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a pair of cosmic kitties.

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Let’s Chat

Have you read any of these books?
What’d you think?

Kim Sig

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