The Boy Next Door by Lolli Powell

Summary

When Laney Mitchell was fifteen, she babysat the cute four-year old who lived next door. His family moved away when he was five. Twenty-six years later, he’s all grown up, but he still wants to cuddle with his babysitter!

Laney’s daughter has other plans for him, while a hunky friend of a friend and Laney’s ex-husband both have other plans for her. By avoiding romance in the three years since her divorce, Laney has kept things simple. Now life has suddenly become very complicated!

Characters

This is a tricky one. For one I liked Laney…most of the time. She grew in the book and I liked her much more by the end of the book than I did at the middle. I don’t feel like I every really knew Bryce other than the details of his body. This novel really needed a second point of view because the entire time I second guessed Bryce’s interest in her. Which means I never invested in their relationship. It was only made worse by Laney’s crazy ex, Greg—who was over the top and the cause of most of the drama. Rex felt like a mirror in which Laney could reflect on if she should go to Bryce or follow societies standards of being with an older man versus a younger one. I liked how straight forward he was.

Plot

This book is supposed to be a romance but it feels more like an imaged fancy. As though we’ve slipped into a dream that turns into a sexual fantasy. Which is about when it stopped feeling less like a romance and more like an erotica. It was already very lust focused but I was surprised at the absolute lack of detail. I wouldn’t say the sensual scenes were very hot at all which was surprising considering how focused Laney is on Bryce’s body.  In the end it felt like a mellow erotica.

As an aside there was the side story of Laney’s business. She has this workout business she is trying to sell that she co-owns with her ex. The book built up to this big reveal but the twist isn’t much of a twist and it was a huge cliche.

Overall

The writing was very straight forward, almost technically written, but would go down rabbit holes. Almost like everything was an understatement. In a romance it really comes down to characters and I struggled with them in this book. Bryce’s persistence and Laney’s mostly sexual attraction to him really made their romance feel thin. It really didn’t take root until the end and by then it was a little late for me. That being said the ending was very sweet and it was nice to see a couple who defied societies standards. Despite the turbulence of the book I was glad to see Bryce and Laney give it a go. It was a dream ending for both of them.

Rating

2.5 Stars (rounded to 3 stars)

I was very split on this book – I liked parts of it but struggled to get through it during lulls. It also toed the line between sweet and erotica.

This is a voluntary review.

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Beautiful Potential by J. Saman

Summary

I met Dr. Finn Banner on the worst day of my life.

It was supposed to be one of the best. The day you graduate and become a midwife shouldn’t end in heart wrenching tragedy. One year later, I ran into him again. Only this time, he saved my life. Turns out my gorgeous savior and I now work together in the same hospital. And he can be as sweet and charming as they come. When he’s not brooding, short-tempered and arrogant that is. Neither of us can fight our attraction. It’s strong enough to cause a cardiac arrest in the ER where he rules with an iron fist.

But he’s hiding something. A secret that runs deep.

I should stay away from him. Far away. There’s just one problem with that. How do you stay away from the man you think you’re falling for?

Characters

Gia is like the cutest person ever but also tough. I love how often she wipes out on seemingly nothing. But she is also tough and charming. Plus I respect her for sticking to her guns and not settling – big brownie points! Finn by contrast is the nicest person ever wrapped in bitter and assholery. Basically he is a sour patch gummy. Which makes for a hilariously contradictory character because he is a jerk, but Gia brings out the best in him, who he used to be before…life happened. Gia’s friends are a bunch of fun, and I love their dynamic. I’d love to see a book on Ophelia on a side note, I love that girl!

Plot

To be completely honest I didn’t like the start of this book. I knew it was a romance. However, I really struggled with Gia being attracted to anyone when she JUST found out her dad was dead. It was a rocky start that didn’t last, after I got over the first chapter I sprinted over a very short time to the end – because I JUST HAD TO KNOW!

This is more than a romance, it is a story of second changes for Finn. I won’t give anything away as all is revealed through a series of flashbacks that will rip your guts out. You will get sucked in and not be able to put it down until Gia and Finn get their happy ending! It is about potential of something amazing that was almost lost because Finn was stuck in the past.

Overall

Just wow! The writing was enjoyable and evenly balanced. The setting of the medical field was a huge bonus and helped give the book another dimension.  As a reader I was invested in them getting to their ending and I’d recommend for those who want an emotionally charged romance. To the point that I wanted to yell at Finn and tell him to get his butt in gear. To take a chance! When the tug of war between Finn and Gia is just starting to get old, they take steps forward, showing excellent pacing. In conclusion, it was awesome to read another of Saman’s books and see such growth!

As a side note, this cover does not do the book justice!

Rating

4.5 stars (rounded up)

A gut wrenching romance that you’ll get sucked into and have to know both Finn’s truth and how it is going to end! Fantastic romance read!

This is a voluntary review.

Cupid’s Chance by Tina Creek

Summary

Carter Lockhart has everything going for her; a job she excels at, a wonderful home, a dog she adores, and a cat she tolerates. Everything except for someone to share it with her. She’s given up on love after a painful break-up, but love hasn’t given up on her.

Carter Lockhart. Just another name on the list of a Cupid, Archer Valentine. His job is to find Carter true love. He promises to find her perfect match. A Cupid can’t always keep his promise, but he can sure as hell try.

Characters

Although Carter started off really dull and stubborn, she did grow on me by the end of the book. I was a little disappointed in her decision making a few times but overall she really grew with the book. Archer was like a child in many ways, but he does some growing of his own. Evony felt a little silly and over the top more than once, but she did create some good definition for Archer. The rest of the supporting character were a little flat at times, but grew with the book which was nice.

Plot

It was a romance with other things happened, circling around the central theme. Absolutely unique idea wrapped around a familiar plot. I appreciated that most of the cupid lore was brought up and hinted on. I did appreciate that Carter had friends (Troy) and there was more going on in her life than falling in love. It brought another dimension to the book that is sometimes missing in romances.

It didn’t take long for Archer and Carter to just become so cute! That being said I did struggled with a few of the scenes being necessary. I remember thinking ‘I wonder when this is going to come up later’ and then it never did. (Side note I thought the epilogue was unnecessary – I would have preferred an entire book dedicated to that last little quip.)

Overall

If I had picked this up off the shelf for fun reading, I probably would have quit about 15% in because it was VERY slow and uninteresting. The author took too long to get to the starting point. That being said after that point the book really picked up steam and got better and better. By the end I was a little sad to see it end and a little frustrated that more wasn’t revealed—showing how much the book sucked me in!

Fair warning that although there is chemistry between the main characters, the sex scenes aren’t detailed. I can usually take it or leave it on these, but with how much the author built up to it, not having it was both surprising and somewhat disappointing. Also I don’t normally like to mention this in the review, but this book needs a thorough editing job—badly.

Rating

4 stars

I like it! Between the shaky start, massive amount of editing errors, and questionable filler, I just couldn’t give this book a resounding 5 stars. It was a little silly, but absolutely adorable!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review

Zendar #Giveaway – #Fantasy #romance #book TODAY ONLY

Update 12/10/2017: Winner was Brandee! Congrats!

If you love romantic fantasies, this is a must enter for you. You’ll get a kindle copy of Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand just in time for the holiday season! The giveaway is today only so act fast!

Zendar Giveaway

Summary:

Can enemies become something more? Find out in the steamy romantic tale on the sandy planet of Zendar. 

Blood is how it all began, and only by blood can it end. Chaos has reigned in Zendar for years since the rise of the seven Bloodlines. The Liege Aleron Corvinus ruthlessly seeks revenge for the mistreatment of his ancestors. His ambitions will only be sated when he claims the world under his family’s name; he will only stop when all of Zendar is his and the other six Bloodlines pay their weight in blood.

Azel Undel was born into this world of blood and sand. She is of a dying Bloodline, a feared one, but most coveted. Promised, in exchange for money, to a man she had never known; Azel travels across Zendar. Her ship is attacked and she alone survives, setting the wheels of fate in motion. She did not expect to become her enemy’s captive or that he would demand her submission to him.

Loyalties are tested, secrets are uncovered, and Azel will have to make a choice: remain loyal to her family and everything she ever stood for or be loyal to her own heart.

Also, for the next three months Zendar: A Tale of Blood and Sand will be on Kindle Unlimited! Check it out here: Amazon.

Happy Holidays!

 

Asael’s Nature (A Series of Angels #3) by Joel Crofoot

Summary

When the fallen angel Asael returns to earth, he slips back into his old ways as the angel of punishment by performing in night clubs until he gets an interesting new client – a demon who enjoys his punishment shows.

Isda, a young healer, gets dragged into the ongoing war for her research into a new drug and attracts the attention of demons. Asael is assigned to protect her and the relationship begins to bloom, but her feelings are at odds with everything she has been told about how to behave, and can she compete with the demon that shares a passion of his?

Characters

Asael is adorable. I don’t know any other word that describes him perfectly. Yes he is sexy and dominating but for some reason he just was too cute! Isda was a great balance for him. It was really nice to have such a smart female lead. Then there was Heather and Audrey. Audrey is a demon that is starting to rise like Jahi did—I was impressed with her and I hope to see her in future romances. Not to mention her super cute friendship with Heather.

Plot

There was more going on here then just the romance, but I’ll talk about it first. Asael and Isda have this attraction that sizzled off the page. If you like a little dom and sub, this had it in a tasteful way. Asael There was Audrey’s story and the demon’s plan. Not to mention Heather and one of the angels…I won’t ruin it for you. It was very enjoyable.

Overall

If you loved the last two books, this one is a for sure great read. If you haven’t read them, they bring so much more to this third book so go and get them so you can read this one! I can’t wait to see where the author is going with this story but I’m in suspense about the next book!

Wonderful writing that is easy to follow. Interesting characters who are starting to feel like your friends that you get to visit with every new book. Even the few inconsistencies from book 1 & 2 to book 3 were easy to overlook because of how good this is. I was a little disappointed by that, but it was so minor.

Rating

5 Stars

I loved it! Another amazing book in the series that I’m looking forward to the next one.  If you love you Paranormal Romances, this is a must read!

I received this book for a free and voluntarily review.

Seasons of Love and War by Brenda Ashworth Barry

Summary

SEASONS OF LOVE AND WAR is a historical family saga and epic love story. Childhood sweethearts Beth Ann Rose and Kaylob Shawn O’Brien just want to get married and pursue their dream careers, but the Vietnam War changes everything when Kaylob is drafted into the Army and declared dead. Beth Ann has a complete emotional melt down and starts to have visions of him in the jungles of Vietnam. Is he alive or has she completely lost her mind?

Characters

Kaylob, Beth Ann, and Blake are the three main characters. Although I liked both Kaylob and Blake to certain extents, I couldn’t bring myself to like Beth Ann. She reminded me as a lead in a trashy soap opera. By the end of the book I absolutely loathed her – to the point that I didn’t think she deserved anyone and I wished very much that things end poorly for her. She was not what I would define as a strong woman. Her reaction when Kaylob first goes missing was absolutely over the top. Most of her actions, in one way or another, were understandable  in some regard, but it was the way she handled them that was STUPID. She was a spineless selfish little creature that I hope ends up dying in a horrible way to match her horrible little personality – very similar to my emotions toward Catherine of Wuthering Heights. The supporting characters were fine, I actually liked Jake and Carol. I won’t even mention her long term friend because I’ll just start another rant on how much I disliked Beth Ann. Plus I don’t want to ruin any of the story.

Plot

Very interesting plot. The historical aspects of this book seemed to spot on. Anything I wasn’t 100 sure of, I actually googled really quickly and was impressed that the author did their homework. A hurrah because this was presented as a more historical novel. Wanting to find out what happened to Kaylob was hands down the number one reason I went through the book. I didn’t realize when I picked this book that it couldn’t stand alone. That was very disappointing because more than once I thought “was that really necessary?” Though that may have been due more to my dislike of the main character.

The war zone pieces were great…but they were entirely centered on Kaylob’s love for Beth Ann. I get that it was their connection – but for a historical novel I thought we’d see a little more of what was happening to him and his fellow soldiers. What we did see were some of the best parts of the novel and I absolutely love Kaylob for them. Where the author failed with Beth Ann in my eyes, Kaylob was wonderful. Not perfect, but wonderful. Plus I’m not 100% sure where the author was going with the more supernatural part of the book with Beth Ann’s visions. You’ll see what I mean.

Overall

The writing was well done and easy to follow. The plot wasn’t perfect but did keep me engaged. I would point out that a few parts felt a little convenient – like when John Patterson calls Beth Ann. I also felt there were a few logical fallacies that were overlooked, but most of them were minor and had to do with Beth Ann’s decision making in general. The historical references were spot on as far as I could tell – which was a huge win in my mind. I truly thought that my general dislike of Beth Ann would fade as the author built the character up and made her stronger. Instead she kept her a pouting selfish brat, who I could never sympathize with because she always seemed to be using those who were good-natured.

Rating

2.5 stars (rounded up to 3)

If you like Wuthering Heights or soap operas you will love this book – it just wasn’t my favorite. As a historical novel this was a win, but as a romance for me it was an epic fail.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. More reviews at creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com.