Category: 4/5 Stars

Teasing the Princess by Nana Malone

Teasing-the-Princess-web

Book: Teasing the Princess

Series: Royals United #2

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 8 January 2019

Main characters: Roone Ainsley, best friend to the king and sent to protect Jessa McLean, the ‘lost’ princess. Jessa McLean, successful and savvy PR guru, who’s unfortunately used to having her life turned upside down.

Plot: Jessa is once again fleeing the only home she knows. This time however, she’s determined to get some answers and to find out once and for all who her enemies and who her allies are.  She won’t think about Roone and his deception – it hurts too much. She resolves to head straight into the eye of the storm – she’s heading for the Winston Isles and the source of all her trouble.

Roone knows he’s blown his chance with Jessa – but he couldn’t disobey a direct order from the king. He’s resolved to find Jessa, make her see sense and maybe one day she’ll be able to forgive him for his deception. He just has to find her first and keep her safe…

Why you should read it: if you read and enjoyed (and you should have read it first)  Royal Tease, you’ll know what a doozy of a cliffhanger it ended on. I was dying to read what would happen next – Jessa was such a badass! If you felt for Roone, then you need to read on to see what happens to him. The dialogue was punchy and the plot didn’t drag – it moved along nicely and each page was exciting and a delight. I also enjoyed the peripheral characters who appeared in the other Royals series – I love them and their realness and the multiple points of view weren’t at all jarring.

What you may not like: I’m not sure really. There was A LOT going on in the book and with so many characters involved, you may need to jog your memory a bit on past plots and character references – it wasn’t a big deal though. I thoroughly got caught up in the action and went with it! I was rewarded with an exciting and satisfying read. I totally recommend it.

Rating: 4/5 for a truly enjoyable read for the holidays – it was just what I needed.

 

Blog tour: The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen

IMG_4637Book: The Kiss Thief

Author: L.J. Shen

Series: a standalone

Release date: 9th January 2019

Main characters: Francesca Rossi, a mob princess used as a political pawn by the men in her life. Wolfe Keaton, a senator and perhaps the devil himself. Angelo Badini, the man who hopes to make Francesca his wife.

 

Blurb:

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

Why you should read it: Oh my! Where to start? I’m a fairly recent fan of LJ Shen, so there’s a ton of books of hers that I’ve yet to read. I’ve read Dirty Headlines, Sparrow – which I adored, and now The Kiss Thief. The latter book reminds me in many ways of Sparrow – we have a spunky young heroine who finds herself in an impossible situation, due to the machinations of the men in her life. The lack of control over their own lives and the adversity both Sparrow and Francesca have to face, spoke to me and kept me reading. The anti-heroes of both books had similar character evolutions too – at first they’re surly, verging on sadistic, but little-by-little, they learn to let their guards down and show a more humane side towards the object of their desire.

The Kiss Thief is full of action, suspense and twisted sexual desire. You’ll either love it or hate it. The male characters in LJ’s back catalogue are not loveable rogues – they’re difficult, cruel but always redeemable.

What you may not like: It really depends on what you like a) in a romance and b) in a hero. As mentioned before, it you don’t like twisted, then you may struggle with this warped fairy tale. I found it engaging and thoroughly enjoyed it, however, there was a plot line towards the end which suddenly made Francesca, a hitherto sorted and sensible character (despite her age) act completely out of character. Her actions were stupid and seemed to have been engineered to cause drama. Despite this, I loved the story and couldn’t put the book down.

Rating: 4/5 for a truly heart-stoppingly good read. It was sexy, wrong in many ways, right in others! I would highly recommend it.

 

Buy links:

AMAZON US |AMAZON UK |AMAZON CA |AMAZON AU |AUDIO |

Royal Tease by Nana Malone

Book: Royal Tease

Series: Royals United #1

Author: Nana Malone

Release date: 13 November 2018

Main characters: Jessa McLean, PR guru and secret Princess. Roone Ainsley, sent to protect her by infiltrating her world.

Plot: Roone Ainsley is a trusted friend of the newly-crowned King. Who better then, to be given the mission to protect his half-sister, Jessa?

The mission is secret. Roone must get close to her, gain her trust but at no point must he reveal the truth about who he is. Simple right? Roone hates lies and when he meets Jessa and begins to enjoy her company, he likes his brief even less. How will she react when the truth comes out? And the truth must always out…
Jessa is where she wants to be professionally. She’s respected and damn good at her job. When Roone Ainsley shows up to mess with her head and her job, she has no intention of letting him jeopardise all that. The more time the pair spend together, the more confused she becomes about him – one minute he’s a thorn in her side, the next he’s her biggest advocate. Who exactly is Roone Ainsley?

Why you should read it: I really enjoy these Royal books – and I’m not usually a fan of royal-themed anything. The books are smart, the settings are vivid and the action is constant. I really liked Roone and Jessa’s characters. He’s strong and full of fun and himself – but he’s not overbearing. Jessa is stubborn stubborn stubborn – but she has good reason to dig in her heels. She’s been through a lot in life and she really doesn’t do the self-pitying thing, she just gets on with it.

The chemistry between the pair was enough to make me fan myself. It was definitely a slow but steady burn. I also loved that Nana name checked some of my favourite characters from the Chase brothers books – Abie and Alexis. I feel like I need to re-read those books now!

What you may not like: this is a duet and yes it does end on a cliffhanger. And yes – I want to know what happened right now!

Rating: 4/5 for successfully making a book set in the world of royalty realistic. There’s so much intrigue and mystery it’ll keep you turning those pages.

Her pupils dilated even as her gaze narrowed. When she spoke, her words were biting. “Since we’re on the subject, I don’t like being man-handled.” I narrowed my gaze in return. “When I man-handle you Jessa, you’ll know.” I turned and left her standing at the lift.

Blog tour: Ache For You by J.T. Geissinger

Bcover picook: Ache For You

Author: JT Geissinger

Series: Slow Burn #3

Release date: 6 November 2018

Main characters: Kimber DiSanto, struggling designer, who’s facing the worst month of her life. Matteo Moretti, a Marquis no less, who’s about to make things worse.

Plot: Kimber DiSanto has had a lot of mortifying things happen to her lately. Her wedding descended into a lesson in public humiliation; her father and only family member is suddenly ill and her whole life in San Francisco is about to go up in flames. She can’t even get out of the country to be with her father – until a fellow passenger offers her the last seat on the flight. That’s when things get even more insane.

Matteo Moretti is known wherever he goes. People are always bending over backward to please him and the word ‘no’ has never been used against him. Until now. Kimber has Matteo intrigued and interested from the start, but it’s clear she wants nothing to do with him. Ever. Matteo isn’t sure what to make of her, but he knows one thing: he’s never one to back down from a challenge…

Why you should read it: How I enjoyed this book! It was very funny, very sexy and also very touching. I may have teared up a time of two while reading it. Poor Kimber has been through the mill! She can’t feasibly take much more. Then Matteo, his family baggage and two very spoilt dogs come crashing into her life! This book is the definition of a slow burn – it really worked for me. I loved the push-pull between Matteo and Kimber. The heat was palpable and hoo boy, was it hot?! They have so many ups and downs it will make your head spin – but it never stopped being entertaining or a darn good read.

What you may not like: Was the characterisation of the gay, fabulous  bff a little formulaic? Perhaps… I don’t know. We only got a small glimpse at Jenner, and it would have been nice to have seen another dimension to him – but…I think, on the whole, it was done well.

Rating: I whizzed through this book, willing Kimber to get her happily ever after and I wasn’t disappointed. At all. I wanted to re-read it from the start. For this reason, I give it 4/5.

Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon|Amazon Worldwide|GoodReads|

Start the standalone series today!
Burn For You
Amazon|Amazon Worldwide|GoodReads|

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So Wild by Eve Dangerfield

cover picBook: So Wild

Series: Silver Daughters Ink #1

Author: Eve Dangerfield

Release date: 23 October 2018

Main characters: Samantha DaSilva, pranker supreme, tattoo artist, Johnny Depp hater. Scott Sanderson, her childhood neighbour, former nemesis, and owner of the longest crush in history.

Plot: Sam DaSilva has been left with a ton of responsibilities she didn’t  necessary want when her father decides to take off to give his daughters ‘room to grow’.  Left with a tattoo business that’s circling the drain, a fractured family she needs to somehow reunite, the odds are stacked against her.

Life becomes even more complicated when she bumps into Scott Sanderson. The unhappy boy who lived next door to her years ago, and with whom she had a complicated, love-hate situation going on. Scott’s sudden appearance brings back all sorts of memories, both happy and sad. Whatever was between them 10 years ago is not about to go away overnight, so they better figure out what it all means. If ever they can put their adolescent heartbreaks behind them, can they move forward with a clean slate?

Why you should read it: Wow! I was so excited to read this book – I love this author for her narratives, her complex characters and the kink factor of her books. This one featured spanking – sign me up! It was a no-brainer to read! I was not disappointed either. I got a heart-warming tale featuring references to my favourite 90s shows, a mutual hatred for Johnny Depp, and my favourite books growing up. (Sweet Valley High and the Babysitters Club, anyone?)

The relationship between Scott and Sam was tempestuous without being too over the top. Sure, Sam is not a fully formed adult – not by a long shot, but nor does she pretend to be. She’s a bit of a mess, but she grows throughout the story. Scott was patient, posh and… can’t think of another word starting with ‘p’, but he was adorable. I was rooting for them so much, and I love how they were from completely different worlds but somehow managed to find common ground.

What you may not like: I lapped this book up because it was funny as hell, sexy in a slow-burning kind of way and full of heart.  The writing was strong and made me laugh out loud several times. I think the British and Australian senses of humour are quite similar and I really did love this book! If I have to think of a negative… maybe there could have been more spanking. I’ll always want more spanking in a book. But I digress…

Rating: 4/5 for a fun, sexy and smart story. Now I don’t regret fangirling shamelessly to the author and requesting (read begging) in order to read this story. Check it out!

Blog tour: Dirty Headlines by L.J. Shen

FDC4D612-D980-4347-AC8E-5818BA78EFC7Book: Dirty Headlines

Author: LJ Shen

Series: a standalone

Release date: 7 September 2018

Main characters: Judith Humphry, plucky would-be reporter with 99 problems; Célian Laurent, successful, infuriating, rude and a thorn in Jude’s side.

Blurb:

Célian Laurent.
Manhattan royalty.

Notorious playboy.

Heir to a media empire.

…And my new boss.

I could have impressed him, if not for last month’s unforgettable one-night stand.

I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory–namely, his wallet.

Now he’s staring me down like I’m the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I’m supposed to take it.

But the thing about being Judith “Jude” Humphry is I have nothing to lose.

Brooklyn girl.

Infamously quirky.

Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch.

When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals.

He knows it.

So do I.

Every day in the newsroom is a battle.

Every night in his bed, war.

But it’s my heart at stake, and I fear I’ll be raising the white flag.

Why you should read it: Well! This book was hot. And rude – extremely graphic! If you like your romances sweet and gentle, this read is not for you! I enjoyed the premise – very much so. I liked Jude a lot. The poor woman has a lot of worries and luck is not on her side. Despite her desperate situation, she still manages to stay upbeat and optimistic and she has a wicked turn of phrase – not many of which I can repeat here! Her imagined conversations with Jesus are hilarious and made me laugh out loud. Her quirky obsession with her Chucks also warmed my heart. I adore Converse and would also wear them everyday if I could! The book has it all – simmering tension between the hero and heroine, family intrigue and secrets that makes the Carringtons from Dynasty look like a happy family!

What you may not like: Dare I say Célian? We all love a rogue, an ass and a jerky hero from time to time, but he really made me work at liking him. He was a total anti-hero for a good three quarters of the book. He does redeem himself by the end I think, while staying true to his surly character – so I’d say if you hang in there, you will be rewarded. The main characters are not perfect – nor did I want them to be.

Rating: 4/5 for an engaging and adult read – it’ll make you blush, fan yourself and laugh a lot. It’s definitely worth a look!

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Sleepover by Serena Bell

Book: Sleepover

Series: a standalone

Author: Serena Bell

Release date: 13 November 2018

Main characters: Elle Dunning, newly-divorced mother of one who is still adjusting to life as a single mother. Sawyer Paulson, her new enigmatic neighbour.

Plot: Elle has been through the mill this past year. Her cheating husband has returned to his former high school girlfriend, leaving her adjusting to single life with her son Madden. Trying to make the best out of a painful situation, she has her work and a good network of friends to keep her sane.

When Sawyer Dunning moves in next door, that sanity is about to be tested. Elle knows Sawyer – quite well already. It’s it everyday that a former one night stand moves in next door. She could ignore him – but that option is soon made impossible when her son becomes fast friends with Sawyer’s son, Jonah.

Sawyer is struggling with single parenthood and the spectre of grief. It’s been two years since his wife died, but her presence lingers and moving on seems impossible. Sawyer allows himself the odd meaningless encounter – always the one time, never to be repeated with nameless women. Until Elle. Something about her reaches out to him and he’s terrified of what that could mean for his life, his family and his piece of mind…

Why you should read it: I really enjoyed this down to earth story. Elle was so relatable and had been treated shabbily. You can’t help but feel for her. Her ex and his fiancée are shameless. I felt a lot of righteous indignation about her situation, but she dealt with it all with such grace, it was admirable. I enjoyed the slow-burning chemistry between Elle and Sawyer. Their kids bring them together and in many ways force them to confront their situation head on. Sawyer was a well drawn male character. He was a mixture of private and vulnerable and strong and he was in a very familiar situation to many.

What you may not like: Not a great deal to dislike in this book. It’s fresh, entertaining and a story of personal growth. What’s not to like?

Rating: 4/5 for a very sexy and page-turning story. I love the characters and the premise. I think you might, too.

Dirty, Reckless Love by Lexi Ryan

img_4268Book: Dirty Reckless Love

Series: The Boys of Jackson Harbor #3

Author: Lexi Ryan

Release date: 14th August 2018

Main characters: Ellie Coudrey, currently suffering from retrograde amnesia, Levi Jackson, the man who wants to be there for her. Always.

 

Blurb:

I’m in love with a man who tried to kill me. At least that’s what they tell me . . .

Six weeks ago, paramedics found me unconscious in my apartment. Beaten. Bruised. Hardly breathing. When I woke up, I couldn’t remember the last three years or anything about my life in Jackson Harbor. They tell me my fiancé, Colton McKinley, is on the run for what he did to me. They tell me I’m safer if I stay away.

I don’t care if my memories ever come back. I want nothing to do with those missing years . . . until a sexy stranger with angry eyes shows up on my doorstep and demands I stop ignoring him.

Levi Jackson is my fiancé’s best friend, but seeing him sparks something inside me. As the truth unravels in my mind, I know they’re wrong about Colton. My own secrets are far more dangerous than the man I was engaged to.

I return to Jackson Harbor to search for answers and find myself running from a faceless boogeyman and seeking refuge in Levi’s arms. And in his bed.

I can’t deny my feelings for Levi. But as the pile of lies between us grows, I realize that sometimes the truth can’t set us free. Sometimes, it’s the very thing that can destroy us.

Why you should read it: I am a huge fan of Lexi Ryan, and I really enjoy a good amnesia trope, so this book did not disappoint! We last met Ellie in Ava and James’s story, Straight Up Love, and we were tantalised by all the clues and plot breadcrumbs that were left behind. Dirty, Reckless Love picks up some time after that, and the reader has to keep up with all the action, the flashbacks and the secrets, quite quickly. The story unfolds steadily and I kept reading, desperate to get to the bottom of all the family intrigue. The chemistry between Ellie and Levi was palpable. His love for her is no secret and he wears his heart on his sleeve. Ellie? Poor Ellie doesn’t know whether she’s coming or going. She’s not sure who to trust or which memories she can actually rely on. Her journey is an interesting one and I felt for her. I did. However, at times, I did think she treated Levi as a crutch and really could have been a bit more considerate of his feelings.

What you may not like: The book, like its predecessors, deals with some pretty heavy subject matter, which you may or may not like. There are some themes (such as abuse and drug taking) that may disturb some readers. As I mentioned before, Ellie is a little bit naive and thoughtless in her reliance on Levi at times, that made me think she was taking advantage a wee bit.

Rating: 4/5 for a truly exciting, sexy and intriguing story. I particularly enjoyed Jackson Harbor’s connections to New Hope. It felt right revisiting some loved characters!

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Blog tour: Wounded Hearts by Julia Sykes

F81F1D1E-8D67-4A06-8FEE-32286ECCF0D8Book: Wounded Hearts

Series: Wounded series #1

Author: Julia Sykes

Release date: 31 July 2018

Main characters: Addison Burke, successful author, dealing with life’s challenges. ‘Scott’ the enigmatic man who keeps entering and exiting her life.

Blurb:

It was supposed to be one wild night in Nashville. Another night flirting with strangers; another night pretending I wasn’t desperately lonely. I met a man with pain in his eyes and lies on his lips. A man even more isolated and damaged than I was. For one passionate night, we held together the broken pieces of each other’s souls.

When he shows up in my life months later, it can’t be coincidence. I don’t even know if he gave me his real name, but I crave to learn more about the enigmatic man who set my body on fire. He told me he does things that haunt him to keep people like me safe. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and terrible secrets in his heart.

Indulging in our intense connection could leave me more broken than ever, but I can’t help hoping we might find a way to heal each other.

I thought I no longer believed in soulmates, but this damaged, scarred man could be my happily-ever-after.

Why you should read it: I read Wounded Hero, this story’s prequel and it may have been short, but it made maximum impact! I was drawn to Addison and Scott’s personalities – I liked that they were both imperfect and sad and lonely. It made me want to know more. In Wounded Hearts, we get to know plenty more about Addison – we’re given clues as to why she’s constantly on the move, why she can’t settle. I felt that I understood her loneliness much better. Scott remains an enigma – he is masterful at deflecting, so we don’t know why he keeps blowing hot and cold. I was desperate to find out – I didn’t realise there’s another book to come – so I was a little miffed to get to the end and still have more unanswered questions. Guess I’ll just have to be patient until Mended Hearts comes out! There was a lot I enjoyed about this book – I loved how the author evoked the atmosphere of York – if you’ve ever been (it’s one of my favourite cities on earth) then you’ll understand how accurate a depiction it was. It was an intelligent story – one I’m keen to stick with.

What you may not like: Not sure – I mean, I was hoping to get some closure at the end of this book – but that didn’t happen. I’ll wait, because it’s so well written, and I’ll overlook the slight cliffhanger. If you’re not a fan of messy characters, then this one may pose a few problems for you – but it intrigued me.

Rating: 4/5 for an engaging, sexy and sensitive read. I loved it.

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The Tycoon by M. O’Keefe

The TycoonBook: The Tycoon

Series: King Family #1

Author: M. O’Keefe

Release date: 12 July 2018

Main characters: Clayton Rorick, successful businessman determined to make his mark. Veronica King, daughter of the not-so-great magnate Hank King, and unwitting pawn in his games.

Blurb:

The cruel and beautiful man who ruined my life has everything he wants—everything except me. 

Five years ago, Clayton Rorick loved me. Or so I thought. Turned out he only wanted to get his hands on my daddy’s company. Heartbroken, I ran away with nothing but the clothes on my back. Like a twisted Cinderella. When my father dies, leaving my sisters in a desperate situation, it’s up to me to help them. 

I’ll have to beg the man who broke my heart to save us. 

But Clayton hasn’t forgotten me and what he wants in exchange for his help is…my body, my heart and my soul. 

Why you should read it: Oh My goodness! I freaking loved this book –  I really will read anything by Molly O’Keefe, because she never disappoints. I loved Ronnie so much – the way she keeps what’s left of her family together, how she picked herself up and wasn’t a victim, and how she protects her heart from the man who destroyed it. Her attitude and her moxie were pitch perfect – she knew when to run and when to stay and fight.

Clayton made me go awwwww. He’s a powerful man, but deep down he’s still got a lot of growing up to do. I don’t mean he was immature, I just mean that he needed to fully develop his heart and his capacity for relationships. He started off enigmatic and you’re not quite sure of his motivations, but then we get to know him, and I admit that I fell for him – just a little bit! I loved the gentle humour in the book – for example:

“Listen to me,” she begged. “Please. You’re forgetting what it was like because you’re drunk on sex. But this guy lied to you. Over and over again. I’m telling you as a person who’s had way too much experience with liars—he won’t stop.”

“He had his reasons and they were complicated.” I said. I hadn’t explained Clayton’s relationship with his father except to tell her that Dale made our father look like Mr. Rogers. “He’s kind of like a feral cat. I’m just trying to get him up on the porch.”

“You’re comparing your fiancé to a feral cat in an effort to convince me to approve?” she asked.

“Well, you’re a little feral yourself.”

What you might not like: Not sure – it’s short – it left me wanting more. There are two more books in the series written by S. Doyle and Julie Kriss – just look at those beautiful covers! I think it’s a great concept for each author to take a different story, focusing on a different family member – it will be interesting to see how those stories mesh together.

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Rating: 4/5 for an intriguing, page-turning, sexy read! A great series to get into on your holidays.