Thursday, January 19, 2017

something from the archives: say goodbye - part 3

parts 1 and 2 set the stage at the links, but part 3 takes us back to what happens after the end of departure. we'll see where things go after their one night, but it will be a while before we get there.

we pick up the story one month earlier then, after the jump...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

seriously romantic: first comes desire by tina donahue

i'm always up for a romance novel that takes place in an exotic locale, because nine times out of ten they take place in america or the british isles. first comes desire takes place in madagascar, so interesting location is definitely a box it checks.

unfortunately, it also checks the ridiculous purple prose box--actual phrases include "meaty balls" and "beefy rod," which, um, are not sexy. i personally prefer not to think of raw meat when sex is happening. and even more unfortunate, the way this love story develops is totally schizophrenic.

diana has hunted tristan down because she thinks he kidnapped her brother--he didn't. when he gets the better of her, he locks himself in her bedroom, and tells her she wants him, kisses her when she says no, and informs her that the children she will bear him will not be bastards because they are getting married.

then when his crew demands a turn with her, he seemingly acquiesces without a fight, lets her think his quartermaster is going to rape her, only haha, it turns out he wasn't actually going to do that. it's all a ruse to allow them to escape to tristan's private island. during the boat ride over diana suffers some sort of thought transplant because instead of being pissed at him for all of the above actions, she wants him to commit to her for love and not desire. and doesn't fight marrying him on the beach when they land on the island.

the push and pull between the leads continues this way until they solve their main issue with benedict bishop, our evil villain of the piece. and with diana spouting so many misogynistic ideas about being a wife that as a modern woman and a feminist it's all a bit hard to take. i don't mind an alpha hero, i don't mind a dominant either because usually behind the dominance and alpha-hole attitudes there is an underlying respect for women. but tristan wasn't written consistently for this to be true. and diana swings between badass and ninny too many times to count. and this is such a shame because i thought there was a good idea here. it just suffers terribly in the execution.

**first comes desire will publish on february 7, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/kensington books (lyrical press) in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

simply all about real good love by meghan march

A couple of weeks ago,  I talked up Real Good Man by Meghan March. The sequel, Real Good Love, is out today, so if you've been looking for some books to binge-read, have at it. see below for more information on both books, including places to order.

Real Good Love
Real Duet Book 2
Release Date: January 17

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes a sexy new duet with a hero you won't want to miss.
I’ve had my fair share of bad boys, but nothing prepared me for what it was like to be with a real good man.

Logan Brantley changed everything.

Somewhere along the way, what started as a fling became the best part of my life.

He makes me want all the things I’ve never had, like forever and happily ever after, but nothing worth having comes easily.

Everyone is betting on us to fail, but I’m ready to fight for this real good love.

Real Good Love is the conclusion of the Real Duet and should be read following Real Good Man.

iBooks |  Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU |  Amazon CA | BN | Kobo

 And if you haven't caught up with where it all started here, again, is the info on 

Real Good Man
Real Duet Book 1
Release Date: January 3

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes a sexy new duet. We've all had the bad boys, now it's time for a Real Good Man.

Fall for a woman over text messages? No way in hell.

Reality can never be as good at the fantasy, right?

Wrong. It’s better.

Banner Regent is smart, funny, and she’s so far out of my league, she might as well be royalty.

I’m a mechanic from Kentucky. She’s a New York City party girl.

We were never supposed to meet, but one text started something neither of us saw coming.

How do you seduce the woman who already has everything?

Show her what it’s like to be with a real good man.

About the Author:
Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She's also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she's ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at 
Facebook| Website | Instagram| Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest

Monday, January 16, 2017

superbly suspenseful: at close range by laura griffin

the tracers series by laura griffin revolves a specialized csi lab called the delphi center and the local austin, texas area. at close range follows daniele "dani" harper and scott black as they trace a serial killer in a connected series of murders that threatens them a little too directly.
precincts near the

when dani is first called into the double murder scene, she knows it's going to be a long night. and when she's made lead on the case because her senior partner is about to go out on paternity leave, her night gets longer. she's the only girl in a family of cops and lawmen, so she's psyched by the chance to prove herself and overwhelmed by the pressure. but she's tough and she sets things in motion in order to ensure that they get their guy.

except the evidence says that scott black, the delphi center's ballistics expert is their guy. dani has known scott her whole life, he's her brother's best friend. she's had a crush on him since she was fifteen, at least. as a cop she knows that sometimes you have to trust your gut instincts, and everything is telling her that scott has been framed. but rules and procedures exist to built airtight cases you can bring to court, so scott is placed on administrative leave and taken off the case.

this doesn't stop him from investigating on his own. he knows he's being framed. he knows dani knows this too. his pissed about the whole situation and doesn't trust anyone to get things right when it comes to the investigation. so he takes things into his own hands and goes rogue.

the whole case is going haywire because more and more dead bodies are piling up, and they all appear to be linked. and things between dani and scott are going haywire because the attraction that they've spent the last several months ignoring, ever since an ill-advised, drunken new year's kiss, has reached a boiling point.

at close range is fast-paced and keeps the twists coming and the tension between dani and scott at full throttle. i read untraceable ages ago and meant to keep up with the series, but hadn't. and i always enjoy a good romantic suspense novel, and this series is chock full of them.

**at close range will publish on january 31, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/gallery, threshold, pocket books (pocket books) in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

seriously romantic: ruthless by gina maxwell

in ruthless, the second book in gina maxwell's playboys in love series, we see roman and addison light up the boardroom and the dance floor with their explosive chemistry and crazy sexual tension.

addie has always been the girl who flouts the rules, she fights for what she wants, and works and plays hard. she wants roman as soon as she sees him, and even though he usually doesn't get tangled up with friends of friends sexually, she's going to make sure that he breaks that silly rule of his. there's a reason for this that addie isn't aware of. roman has certain needs that most girls he meets aren't up for. he enjoys sharing his partners, having another pair of hands on hand in order to increase his partner's pleasure.

addie is taken aback by these needs, but she's open-minded enough to try things. especially given how intense the connection is between roman and her. when she ends up working at roman's newly-launched law firm, at first they try to stay away from each other, but it's too late to stop their relationship, they are already too connected to keep things only professional. their relationship as it develops and grows is really lovely, and sweetly emotional.

but just when roman is ready to admit that he's ready to be intimate with only addison, and doesn't need the added buffer of a third, he's blindsided by a secret that addison has been keeping from him. now as you are reading, you totally know that this is coming, but at the same time, it's one of those things where the whole thing could have been avoided. i think the issue is that what causes the big blow up is such a stupid misunderstanding, and these characters are smarter than this. they should have been able to communicate better, we'd seen their relationship grow into something strong, even given their emotional baggage. so the level of obtuseness was a bit hard to swallow given that they had been behaving like normal human beings otherwise.

they figure themselves out, but i think i would have preferred something less dramatic happening to cause the drama or something with bigger stakes, because in the end, when they finally have the talk that resolves everything, they've been separated for three months, and a ten-minute conversation fixes things. and like of course i'm happy for a happily ever after, but at the same time, i struggled with the way everything ended up getting resolved.

**ruthless will publish on january 30, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (scorched) in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

seriously romantic: nine kinds of naughty by jeanette grey

lexie bellamy knows how to rule the boardroom. she's been at the top of her game since taking the reins at her family company and keeping the whole thing afloat while her brother figured himself out. in nine kinds of naughty now that he's back in charge, she has to fight even harder to stay on top, to lean in, because as a woman, no one is going to give her more than one chance to succeed.

and part of her success can be tracked back to her assistant, dane huntley. he knows what she wants before she even speaks the words. he's at her command, by her side every moment she needs him while he's on the clock. when he's not on the clock, well, she doesn't quite know what he does. his weekends are a mystery to her.

but dane isn't really that mysterious. he comes from a firefighting family, and his older brother died in a fire. and since then his mother has kept him in a bubble, and to please her, he's lived his life inside the lines. taking a temp job that becomes an assistant job. and keeping his weekends to be his true self, the dominant, risk-taker he is meant to be.

when lexie and dane are tasked with a work trip to spain to manage a merger negotiation, the sexual tension simmering between them hits a boiling point. dane knows that what lexie needs is for him to take control. he knows her like no one else, and he knows exactly what she needs. even if she isn't quite ready to accept it.

and once she does give in, she discovers exactly what she needs in dane's arms. but as they work through lexie's issues, dane is working through issues of his own. when lexie's brother is injured in a car accident and they spend time in the hospital with him, dane realizes that he can no longer take the stifling life inside the bubble. what he doesn't realize is that this is counter to lexie's plans of corporate domination with dane by her side. and so his need to be himself comes directly into conflict with lexie's fears of abandonment.

they get a little help from lexie's brother on figuring themselves out, but they do get there. and their story is sexy, emotional, and well-worth reading.

**nine kinds of naughty will publish on february 7, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/forever (grand central publishing) in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

strictly literary: my (not so) perfect llfe by sophie kinsella

can you keep a secret? and i've got your number are two of my all-time favorite comfort reads--they are laugh out loud funny, romantic, and after i read them i can't stop smiling. my (not so) perfect life hits all the right notes and joins the other two in my re-read pile for when life gets stressful or depressing. 

katie brenner is finally living the london life of her dreams. except her boss, demeter, is crazy demanding. and her flat is miles away from where she works and she's got terrible roommates. her salary barely covers her rent, and so mostly she pretends to herself and the world that her london life is perfect. doing so by instagramming picture-perfect moments that don't reflect the reality--filtering out imperfections and cropping out the reminders that, actually, if she sits down and takes stock, she's pretty miserable. 

so when she is unceremoniously fired, she retreats back to her family farm in somerset where her father and stepmother are setting up a glamping vacation business. still pretending that all things london are perfect and she's just on a sabbatical from the job in order to help them out things do haywire when her ex-boss ends up in a yurt with her kids. at first katie is intent on revenge, especially since demeter doesn't even recognize her. 

but as demeter withstands the humiliating customized retreat that katie puts her through, and katie realizes that all is not necessarily golden in demeter's world, they begin to come to terms. when alex, katie's crush from london, and demeter's rumored boy-toy shows up, demeter recruits katie in order to help her save her job.  

katie, demeter, and alex manage to untangle the very knotty web that has grouped them together, and they all grow as their relationships and understanding of one another deepen. katie is our delightful narrator, and her voice, her sense of the ridiculous, make the novel so charming while also ringing true about how we all have the moments of pretending life is perfect, when it is anything but.

**my (not so) perfect life will publish on february 7, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/random house publishing group (the dial press) in exchange for my honest review.