Category: romance with comedy thrown in

Bossman by Vi Keeland

Book: Bossman

Series: A Dirty Office Romance #1

Author: Vi Keeland

Release date: 16 July, 2016

Main characters: Chase Parker (the self-assured hero), Reese Annesley (the sassy heroine)

Plot: Reese Annesley is in need of a new start. She needs a new job and her love life is in dire need of resuscitation. While on a date disastrous date, Reese is put in the path of Chase – a cocky, inappropriate fantasist who doesn’t think twice about crashing her date and telling a bunch of stories and pushing all of her buttons. He seems to have no boundaries and is completely infuriating, arrogant and sexy as all get out.

Despite Chase’s lack of propriety, Reese finds herself enjoying his company. He’s definitely worth a little cyber-stalking. After another ‘chance’ encounter at the local gym, Reese has to accept that there is something compelling about him. She likes him but is seeing someone else. Just friends it is. Although…when Chase ends up as Reese’s new boss, he makes one thing clear: all bets are off. Chase wants Reese – and he’s not accustomed to not getting what he wants…

Why you should read it: OMG – I love Vi Keeland. Each book gets better and better. This was totally feel-good and fun. The banter between Reese and Chase was entertaining and made me laugh out loud. There were lots of cute touches, like Reese’s hairless cat that made me smile. If you’re in need of a laugh, you should consider this one. At the same time, it’s not just a laugh fest. There’s some pain in both characters’ pasts, but it’s not over the top on angst. Just read it!

What you may not like: The dialogue is super sexy and you may not like heroes who speak their dirty minds (course you do!) but I honestly don’t see what there is not to like. The heroine is smart, fun and sensible – mostly. The hero doesn’t play games and gets to the point. I loved them and was rooting for them.

Rating: 5/5 – it was super, duper fun. I loved every minute. The banter, the sexiness, the slow burn. Love, love, loved it! A truly romantic read.

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

beauty

Book: Beauty and the Mustache – a philosophical romance

Series: Knitting in the City #4 and Winston brothers 0.5

Author: Penny Reid

Main characters: Ashley Winston and Drew Runous

 

Basic story: Ashley Winston has a great life in Chicago – she was desperate to get away from her native Tennessee, and her band of idiotic brothers eight years ago. Settled in a good job with a close-knit circle of friends (excuse the pun – it wasn’t intentional), her life takes an uncertain turn when she gets the call that her mother is ill.

Returning to Tennessee to look after her mother forces her to reconnect with her six brothers – at one time her biggest tormentors. She also has to deal with family friend Dr. Drew Ruinous, an intense, poet and bearded park ranger, whom she can’t figure out. He seems to hate her on sight – at least, at the times when he isn’t looking at her like she’s a glass of water and he’s a VERY thirsty man. What’s up with that?

As Ashley learns about herself and absorbs her mother’s enigmatic advice, she comes to realise that Chicago may be where her life is, but life in Tennessee could also hold some exciting possibilities – if only Drew would finally lay his cards on the table and use those words he’s so good at capturing on paper…

Why you should read it: Because. Penny Reid. She’s fabulous and funny and whose poetry ‘will melt your butter.’ (A phrase that I will now be using constantly!) Her characters are well-rounded, complex and feature some familiar faces that you may have read about in earlier books. Good news is if you love Ashley’s brothers, they have their own spin-off series – they all have beards and are super silly and sweet! The chemistry between Ash and Drew was HAWT – he is a deep and old soul and Ashley is the right balance for him. I loved their dynamic and swooned many a time.

What you might not like: Erm…hot mountain men with lots of facial hair? Didn’t think it was my thing, but I confess I’m a convert! Especially if the dude’s a poet. I honestly can’t criticise this book – it was superb – so fun and a great study in family dynamics, with some drama thrown in.

Rating: 5/5 for me – thoroughly entertaining, sexy and smart – which is something you can rely on with Penny Reid books.

 

Love, Chloe by Alessandra Torre

LoveChloe_FrontCover_LoResBook: Love, Chloe

Author: Alessandra Torre

Review by: Onnica

Release date: March 14th, 2016

Basic story: Chloe Madison’s life changed overnight with a visit from the Feds telling her all of her parents’ assets had been seized and as a result, she would have to vacate her apartment forthwith. Forced to sleep on her friend’s couch and NYU refusing to award her her degree until she pays her fees, Chloe’s pampered world comes crashing down around her. She has to find an apartment, a job and withstand her cheating exes advances.

Chloe’s parents are nowhere to be found for support – they’re too worried about saving their Prada skins. Her previously charmed life has given her few skills to face the real world or face her new boss from hell, Nicole Brantley, New York socialite.

Chloe now has to navigate New York life, no longer the cream of the crop. When she meets Carter, her building’s super, she begins to question her values – can she embrace life’s new lessons, or will she run back to the comfort and vapidity of her former existence?

Why you should read it: This book was so much fun! Adapted from Alessandra’s Cosmo series last year, Love, Chloe is the culmination of her adventures throughout a very challenging year. Despite being a spoilt brat in the beginning, Chloe is incredibly lovable and I was immediately in her corner. Imagine being left penniless in an unforgiving city like New York, with limited skills? No thanks! I admired her moxie, her lack of self-pity and really enjoyed the ride. Her ex, Vic is a cad and a bounder, but he provides plenty of steamy moments. Carter, her potential boyfriend is equally sexy and a great hero. Her adventures in work are also hilarious – I loved the world that Alessandra built – it was so vivid. The book has pathos, humour, sexy times and lots of romance.

What you might not like: Perhaps because the book was adapted from blog posts, at times the action moved so swiftly that it was confusing how much time had passed (or in some passages, who was speaking) – that’s the only thing I struggled with occasionally, but probably because I was inhaling the words too quickly!

Rating: 4.5/5 for a truly enjoyable read about a lost woman who has to rise to the occasion if she’s going to succeed in her new life. I hate the word ‘journey’ but Chloe’s journey of self-discovery is a very interesting one.

Love, Chloe is out now.

About the author

Author PhotoAlessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense, all with a strong undercurrent of sexuality. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She was also the Bedroom Blogger for Cosmopolitan.com.

You can learn more about Alessandra on her website at www.alessandratorre.com, find her on Twitter (@ReadAlessandra) or Facebook.

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

ninjaBook: Happily Ever Ninja

Series: Knitting in the City, #5

Author: Penny Reid

Release date: 19 January, 2016

Review by: Onnica

 

Blurb:

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband – the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer – is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone – Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except…not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

Why you should read it: I have been waiting ever so patiently for a new Penny Reid release and wasn’t disappointed. Her books are always quirky, well-observed and downright funny, but this one really took me on a journey I did not see coming! I was expecting a domestic story about a heroine who is in danger of fading away under the daily grind of drudgery. Instead, I got taken on a mission to another continent, which included danger and adventure along the way. At the same time, we got a clear picture of a marriage in trouble – the fact that marriage can’t thrive on love alone. It takes WORK. It was smart and I found myself identifying with some of the issues in the book.

What you might not enjoy: Greg is hard work – he is so convinced that he’s right all the time that I wanted to thump him! For such an intelligent man, he can’t see what’s in front of him. His wife is struggling and he isn’t helping the situation. That’s the point of the story: he’s partly to blame, but so is Fiona – the two of them need to make changes if their relationship is to survive. It was a very thought-provoking read.

Rating: 4/5 – for a smart, real look at a marriage under the microscope – it kept me guessing and by the end of all the drama, I felt an immense sense of relief!

Love was never enough, not without mutual respect and a great deal of drudgery and effort. And even then, it wasn’t enough. Wanting each other, being open to change, pushing each other to improve and grow – for the better – working to deserve each other, was the key.

The Allure of Julian Lefray by R. S. Grey

The Allure book cover

Book: The Allure of Julian LeFray

Series: The Allure #1

Author: R.S. Grey

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Josephine Keller has recently moved to New York from Podunk Texas. A fashion blogger on the rise, she needs to find  a job quickly in order to a) not starve to death and b) not default on her student loans. Her protective parents already think she’s made a huge mistake in leaving, so she’s determined to prove them wrong. When she scores an invitation to the illustrious New York fashion gala, she’s terrified but resolved to make some contacts and find herself a job.

Despite a rocky start to the evening, Jo is stunned when she receives a job offer as personal assistant at Lorena Lefray designs. The only problem? Lorena’s stuck in rehab, so she has to work closely with Lorena’s brother Julian. He’s tall, successful, refined and fun and everything Jo could ever want. However, with her future stability hanging in the balance, she’ll be damned if she acts on the attraction. Even if it appears to be mutual.

The pair strike up a friendly and productive rapport that soon turns to flirtation and desire. Will Jo be able to keep the professionalism her top priority? Or will the chance at true happiness trump all?

Why you should read it: What a fun book! I received this as a recommendation from  an author friend and it was spot on! It was exactly what I wanted to read at the end of a tiring and tough work week. Jo was super-fun and witty and the way she faced her issues with style and humour was refreshing. She didn’t over-share and certainly didn’t expect Julian to sort out her problems for her. I loved her. Julian was a sweet hero – not an alpha, not a controlling character. Just a fun-loving guy who is completely bowled over by Jo and doesn’t know what to do about it.

 What you might hate: I don’t think there was anything to hate about this – it was the right blend of humour, romance and even the grand gesture at the end wasn’t over-egged. I loved it!

Rating: easy – 5/5 for a fun read (I feel like I’ve used the word ‘fun waaaay too much). I’m off to read The Allure of Dean Harper (book 2) right now!

Blog Tour – Unsaid by Avery Aster

We’re so excited to be one of the first stops on the Unsaid tour! When Avery asked whether I’d like to be part of the tour – how could I refuse? She’s so much fun and writes a vivid and glitzy world of love, lust, friendship and sex. Lots and lots of sex. Did I mention the sex? Anyway, here’s what I thought of the book…


Unsaid_highres1Book: Unsaid

Series: The Manhattanites (Book #3)

Author: Avery Aster

Review by: Onnica

Blurb

Chelsea’s hottie Blake Morgan III has reemerged from a nasty breakup. His marriage was a frigid disaster beyond repair, and he vows to be single—forever. Bruised, but still hot in Prada, he creates his Seven Desires wish list, his sexiest imaginings. Blake soon realizes there’s only one man he may trust to make these uninhibited intentions come to fruition: his best friend Miguel Santana.

Lower East Side multimedia artist extraordinaire Miguel Santana may be known as the cocky Latin stud in the city, but all he’s wanted since college was Blake’s hand in marriage. He was livid when Blake walked down the aisle with the wrong guy. Miguel has his own list titled the Seven Needs, which are quite contrary to Blake’s dirty-boy deeds. They involve serious commitments, which may leave his new-to-the-singles-scene buddy sprinting for the door, destroying any hopes Miguel has for happiness.
Can these two hunks conquer their intimate fears and love one another as only best friends can?

Why you should read it: The Manhattanites are a super-wealthy, well-connected and good looking bunch. The world is their oyster and that alone should make you hate them – but somehow, with the complexity of their lives and the effort Avery has put into her characters, we have complicated, likeable people whom you’ll come to care about. Blake and Miguel have been circling each other for years. The will-they-won’t-they storyline was dealt with well and the suspense built at a steady pace. The chemistry between them was off the charts hot and without giving too much away, the scene at the spa?  Lordy! The book was also quite educational for innocent lil’ old me (ahem) – I felt as though I really got an insight into how some people live. Plus, you owe it to yourself to read a book that has a chapter called ‘Sugaring Blake’s Cookie.’

What you might hate: Ok. Maybe this should have come first. If you dislike profanity, same-sex relationships, explicit scenes of a sexual nature, brash and horny characters, then AVOID THIS BOOK AT ALL COSTS! It’s not for you. Ms Aster is unapologetic in her directness – so be warned. At first I worried that the humour would overshadow the plot – but it didn’t, it complemented it totally. I would advise reading either book 1 (Undressed) or 2 (Unscrupulous) first to get a feel for the characters – as there are a lot of them and you might get a wee bit lost if you dive straight into Unsaid.

Rating: 4/5 I thoroughly enjoyed Unsaid. Parts made me laugh out loud, while others made me read faster to discover all their secrets. The sex was  really graphic and really hot and now when I hear Cole Porter’s ‘You’re the Top, I have a whole new appreciation for the song!

Unsaid is out September 1st.

The Hit and Run Bride by Nana Malone

hit and runBook: The Hit and Run Bride

Series: Hit & Run Bride (Contemporary Romance Series #1)

Author: Nana Malone

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Life for Becca Daniels seems to be coming together. A new promotion has landed in her lap; her dashing boyfriend has proposed to her and decided to whisk her away to Hawaii for a wedding that involves the Ironman competition, mini-marathons and who knows what else. The fact that she’s more of a treadmill girl and can’t swim a stroke – well, how hard can it be?

Determined to face her fears and be able to at least doggy paddle on her honeymoon, she decides to attend an adult swim class. The terror of stepping into the pool is nothing when faced with her teacher. The guy she rear-ended in the parking lot earlier!

Liam Caldwell is dedicated to helping teach children and adults reach their full potential in swimming. Putting aside his personal goals to care for his ailing mother, he enjoys the coaching of others. When he sees Becca, he realises that the professional boundaries of teacher and pupil will be tested to the limit. And when she takes him up on his offer of private lessons? It’s game over.

Why you should read this: I really really enjoyed this story! It’s light on drama, but has enough to make you look forward to the HEA. Becca and Liam are hot together. She’s clearly with a guy who doesn’t know the first thing about her and once she meets Liam she’s able to be herself and he likes her just fine! The chemistry was off the charts hot and the banter and dialogue was totally realistic – I was swept up in the action and read it quickly. You know that feeling when you finish a good romance and let out a satisfied sigh? Yep, that was me.

What you might hate: Honestly, you may feel a little annoyed about Becca’s indecision towards the end, but it doesn’t last long – she’s a pretty sorted heroine who generally does the right thing and it adds to the dramatic tension. This isn’t a story about cheating. (Her fiancé-to-be is kind of a douche and frankly deserves it.)

Rating: 4/5 for a light, touching and very very sexy read. Likeable and engaging characters would know how to generate some heat. Read it!

It Happened One Night by Phillipa Ashley

it-happened-one-nightBook: It Happened One Night

Author: Phillipa Ashley

Format: Kindle

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Sophie McBride has loved Adam Templar for as long as she can remember. Friends since childhood, their relationship grew from her awkward admiration for him to their first heart-breaking, all-encompassing love. Despite their youthful vow to stay together, family tragedy succeeded in breaking the two up. Ten years later, Sophie has remained in the village, despite having wanted to move away to university. She has a budding business of her own and life continues peacefully. Until Adam returns…

Adam Templar has not returned to the village of Langmere since Sophie turned him away. Now a director, he is filming a biopic of a famous local poet in the village. He knows he’ll see Sophie sooner or later but nothing can prepare him for when they do come face-to-face again. Add an insecure girlfriend, a rakish co-star and a village full of gossips into the mix, life for Sophie and Adam is about to change forever.

Why you should read this: I loved this book from start to finish! It was so down to earth, so sweet and had real humour to it. There was also quite a moving back-story too, which will tug at your heart strings. I couldn’t wait to find out all of the family secrets – they are juicy! The action takes place amid the filming of a costume drama and the descriptions are so authentic and rich, I felt as though I was right there in with the action.

Sophie is a great heroine. She’s making the best of her situation and doesn’t dwell overly on the past. She isn’t bitter about the past, but she is torn between family loyalty and her feelings for Adam. Adam is a cool customer – we don’t know what happened between the pair straightaway and he keeps his feelings close to his chest throughout the book, until the end. For me, it was more what he didn’t say, that made me take notice.

What you might hate: The only thing I hated about this book was Adam’s evil girlfriend Victoria! Ok, so she isn’t evil but she’s a cow. A truly horrid character that provided drama, some great scenes between her and Sophie and I couldn’t wait for her to get her just desserts.

Rating: 4/5 for me. I will definitely be re-reading this book. Loved it hard. So nice to read something set not very far from me in the world. Thoroughly satisfying.

It Happened One Night is out now.

Release day review: Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton

I don’t know about you but I think we’ve all been pretty damned patient waiting for our next fix of Wallbanger goodness! Well, the wait is finally over and I was so happy to receive a copy of Rusty Nailed in order to share it with you. Wallbanger was so much fun: Simon the sex-god who always ‘stood to attention’ (if you take my meaning) and Caroline, such a fun character – someone you’d definitely want to be friends with. And Clive – how could you fail to love a cat with such attitude?

Here’s a quick review – enjoy.

9781476766669

Book: Rusty Nailed

Series: The Cocktail series #2

Author: Alice Clayton

Format: Uncorrected arc

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Caroline and Simon have been together for a whole, perfect, sex-filled year. They maintain their separate residences, although Simon can mostly be found with Caroline and Clive. When Caroline’s boss gets married and decides to take an extended break for her honeymoon, Caroline has to rise to the occasion and take on the running of the company. Scared and overwhelmed? You bet! But it’s the chance of a lifetime and she’s determined to make it work. With Simon gone a lot of the time on work assignments it won’t make much difference, will it?

Except, Simon has been getting ‘that look’ lately and is accepting less and less work. Throw in an invitation to his class reunion and he’s forced to face some issues in his past that he’d successfully buried. With Simon home more, the pair are getting to know each other better and Caroline feels that she should be rejoicing. That’s what any sane woman would do who had the Wallbanger all to herself, right? Then why isn’t she happy? With the demands of adulthood bearing down on her, Caroline must decide what she wants out of life and whether she can have it all and still stay sane.

Why you should read this: Hellooooo, it’s Alice Clayton – of course you have to read it! I don’t know anyone out there who didn’t like Wallbanger, so I’m thinking if you want more Caroline, more Simon (seriously – swoon) and of course more Clive, then it’s a no-brainer. The couple are SERIOUSLY hot for each other. They never stop – and that’s cool, because the scenes are always delivered with humour and style. I still love Caroline for her self-confidence and her non-shrewish behaviour. We really got a better look at these two characters, we find out more about Simon – who he was and why he was the way he was. He’s not just the hunky, cocky next door neighbour, he’s also a devastatingly sweet boyfriend and human being. (Okay, okay I’m going overboard, but I’m in love with a fictional character – like you haven’t been there?!)

What you might hate: You won’t! But to play devil’s advocate for a moment, Caroline goes through some stuff that she needs to work through – you may find her perhaps a little bit exasperating – but it’ll all be fine! Don’t panic! Some readers weren’t taken with Clive and perhaps there was a bit too much cat pov in the book!

Rating: 4/5 for a sexy, satisfying read and a very welcome return to two beloved characters. Makes me want to find my copy of Wallbanger and delve in all over again…

Rusty Nailed is out today! (24 June)