Tag: Romance (page 1 of 27)

BOOK REVIEW: It Started with a Cowboy (Cowboys of Creedence #3) by Jennie Marts

BOOK REVIEW: It Started with a Cowboy (Cowboys of Creedence #3) by Jennie MartsIt Started with a Cowboy (Cowboys of Creedence #3)
by Jennie Marts
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

What will this cowboy risk for love?

Colt James is back home on the family ranch, and he's done taking risks. A car accident ruined his shot at a professional hockey career and messed up his love life, and he's not taking a chance on anything that seems too good to be true. Especially not on Chloe Bishop, his nephew's irresistibly charming teacher and the one woman he can't stop thinking about.

Chloe Bishop liked her life the way it was—orderly, structured and safe. Life goes from managed to messy when Colt talks her into helping him coach a hockey team of rowdy eight-year-olds. Being this close to the cowboy she's crushing on is dangerous territory. But when a real enemy threatens Chloe, Colt will do anything to protect her. Even if it means risking himself—and his heart.

Review:

It Started With a Cowboy was smile inducing, absolutely adorable and oh so hot.  If you aren’t familiar with Jennie Marts, she writes romance stories that pull at your heart and make you feel like you’re watching a new favorite movie.  The story always flows so smoothly and even the side characters are well thought out. And while I have fallen in love with this series, about brothers who are hockey playing cowboys, I have a confession.  This easily became my favorite Jennie Marts book!

“What is your type?” He leaned in, just the slightest, the fishing line drawing him closer.
She gazed up at him, her eyes wide. Her lips parted as she inhaled another soft breath, and he imagined how her mouth would taste, how her body would feel if he pulled her against him and crushed her lips with his.

This can definitely be read as a standalone, but if you haven’t read Caught Up in a Cowboy or You Had Me at Cowboy, I recommend you do.  Each book is about one of the brothers, and you fall more in love with this family as the series progresses.  This time around we got to hear from the youngest brother, Colt James. He not only helps out at his family’s ranch, but also around town too.  And in the last book, we saw him flirting with Chloe Bishop, who is his nephew’s teacher.

Something about Chloe Bishop was poking the edges of his heart, as if looking for a soft place to sneak in. And he could feel those rough edges giving in— not breaking, but bending a little each time she offered him a bashful smile.

Ladies, you have to meet Colt James.  He was swoon worthy, sexy, charming and I just wanted to steal him out of this book.  I loved his friendly, easy-going nature but his past made him cautious.  Colt lost the chance to be in the NHL and the girl he loved because of a bad decision.  It hurt my heart to see how he viewed himself because of his past actions. Especially since he was one of the good guys.  Colt always helped others out and his actions showed how sweet, thoughtful and kind-hearted he was. He deserved someone who would see how wonderful he was and I kept hope that Chloe would be that woman.

He’d picked her up like she weighed nothing , and she’d wanted to cuddle against him, wanted to bury her face in his neck and inhale the scent of his aftershave. Heck, she’d wanted to lick him and claim him as hers.

Chloe Bishop was a sweetheart who lived a quiet life that was filled with teaching, her cat and knitting while binge watching Netflix.  She went above and beyond with her students and you could tell she had a heart of gold.  But just like Colt, her past made her doubt her worth. I wanted to reach into this story and give her the hugest hug ever and tell her she was enough and deserved love.  Especially when she thought Colt was helping her out, just because he was nice, and that was how he treated everyone.g

“But I don’t know anything about the rules or how to play. I don’t even know how to score.”
A playful grin covered his face. “I can teach you how to score.”

Life ended up pushing Colt and Chloe together right from the start.  And when Chloe agreed to help Colt coach a hockey team of 8 year olds, they were around each other even more.  Yet Chloe could be so awkward, since she didn’t have a lot of experience with guys. But that didn’t matter because Chloe and Colt could be so funny together.  The banter between them felt effortless, even if Chloe had to work at it. But then those funny and sweet moments would shift and I’d find myself smiling for an entirely different reason or sighing out loud.  Like when they baked cupcakes, who knew that could become so hot! *fans face*

She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, as heat and want surged through her veins. It had been so long since a man had touched her lips, and the soft pressure of his thumb against her chin felt more delicious than a thousand tastes of chocolate.

While this is a love story, it also has a strong family feel.  I absolutely adored the James family and their dinners or get togethers had me laughing so hard.  Plus I heart Aunt Sassy, that woman is so much fun! So yes, I absolutely loved this book. It Started with a Cowboy is perfect for those who love swoon worthy romance that will make you smile and laugh.  And even if cowboys aren’t your thing, this is the best book to dip your toes into their world.  I can’t recommend it enough!

“What if I fall?” she whispered.
“It’s okay to fall.” He gazed down at her, his expression sincere, and it felt like he was talking about something else, something deeper.

PS I’m totally going to beg on my knees, can Logan please get a story?  I know he’s not a James brother, but he’s close enough. I’d love to watch him get his HEA.  Please?  Pretty please?

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: Pan (Neverland #1) by Gina L. Maxwell

BOOK REVIEW: Pan (Neverland #1) by Gina L. MaxwellPan (Neverland #1)
by Gina L. Maxwell
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Gina L. Maxwell, comes a brand-new series with a fresh twist on an old classic.

Once upon a time, in Neverland, North Carolina--I fell in love.

I was twelve when Peter first climbed up to my balcony.
Thirteen when I sneaked out to see him at the School for Lost Boys.
Seventeen when his touch made me fly,
And eighteen when his words made me cry.

We were magnetic, drawn to each other from that very first night, and what I thought would be forever. But when it came time for me to leave, he wouldn't come with, soI left town with a map for my future and a shattered heart.

Ten years later, I've returned to Neverland, hoping to find a man in place of the boy.

Peter was partially right, growing up is no fun. After quitting my fancy career that sucked the magic out of life, I'm now organizing the fundraiser of the year. In a move that could make or break the event and my new company, I've hired Peter, master mechanic and owner of LB Automotive, to help me pull this off--trusting him to rebuild a classic car for the auction that could help hundreds of foster kids in need.

I thought I was prepared, but the boy who refused to leave is now a man hell-bent on getting me to stay, and as sparks fly between us, that undeniable fire flares back to life, deeper and hotter than ever.

But that ripped body doesn't mean Peter's matured enough to make us or this event work, and not everyone in Neverland is happy about my return.

Not every wound heals.
Not every heart can be fixed.
Not every boy grows up.

And after all this time, the love we found might be lost to us again...this time, forever.

Pan is an adult contemporary romance retelling of Peter Pan, complete with Wendy, Hook, Tink, and all the Lost Boys. There are no fantasy elements in this world, other than the "magic" that happens between the sheets. 😉

Review:
I stare into his blue eyes sparkling in the lamplight, promising unexpected adventures and stories untold.

Pan was a fun and whimsical adventure!  It had so many references to the Peter Pan I fell in love with as a child.  But this time around, everything I craved as an adult was there too.  And while this book is contemporary, just know that you will need to stretch what is believable.  For me that was effortless to do, and I loved how the story unfolded.  So if you’re looking for a romance novel, that is also a retelling, then definitely give this one a chance.  I’m so glad I did!

“Okay,” I whisper.
Hope and excitement flash in his eyes. “Okay?”
“Yeah, okay.” Taking a deep breath, I utter the words that will begin our story. “I’ll go with you to Neverland, Peter Pan.”

We started the story off when Wendy and Peter were just kids.  From there, we alternated between Wendy and Peter, while they were in the past and the present.  It was all done so seamlessly and I loved seeing every aspect of them.  I loved watching them forge a friendship so easily and then becoming the best of friends.  Their younger years felt so innocent, and you couldn’t knock the smile off of my face.  Especially when there were scenes like the thimble, oh my heart!  But slowly they evolved into something more.  Well, until Wendy moved away and Peter was left in Neverland.

Then I claim her lips like I once claimed her heart—fully, almost desperately. Even growing up as I did, I’d never needed anyone. Not until Wendy. Not until I asked her for a kiss, and she gave me a thimble. From that moment on, I needed her like I needed air.

While I absolutely loved peeking into their past, the present would sweep me off of my feet too.  Wendy has returned, ten years later, and I loved seeing where their lives had taken them.  Even though years had passed, their deep and beautiful friendship was still there. Plus there was also this amazing sexual tension between them!  While Peter and Wendy definitely had a lot of stuff to work through, I had hope since Wendy had a huge heart and I loved how Peter saw her.  They were both each others biggest champions and their love felt eternal.

With a smile on my face, I follow Peter into oblivion and dream of our happily ever after. It’s perfect and amazing, and everything I ever hoped for…except for that tinkling bell that won’t stop echoing in the distance.

But the story wasn’t just about Peter and Wendy.  All of our other favorites were there too, and my favorites so far…..besides Wendy and Peter……were Tink and Hook.  Tink was as feisty as ever.  That girl has so much fire in her.  And Hook broke my heart and I may just be rooting for his happily ever after the hardest.  I love that there are so many fabulous stories this series can tell!  Pan was one of the most creative and unique retelling I’ve ever read, so I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Reaching up, he cups the sides of my face, his fingers slipping into my hair as his blue eyes stare into mine. “I’m yours, Wen. Always have been. Take what you want, and I swear, I’ll give you all that I am.”

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

BOOK REVIEW: Sunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1) by S.M. McEachern

BOOK REVIEW: Sunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1) by S.M. McEachernSunset Rising (Sunset Rising #1)
by S.M. McEachern
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Deep inside a mountain in what used to be North America dwells the last of humanity. Welcome to the Biodome, where steel, rock and armed guards separate the privileged from the slaves.

Born and raised a slave in the Pit, Sunny O’Donnell has always accepted that she'll spend her life working to keep the Dome running and, if she lives long enough, willingly meet her end in the annual Cull when she reaches the age of thirty-five. This was the price her ancestors paid for their place inside the Biodome, the only safe haven from the global nuclear war of 2024.

But when Sunny’s mother is killed in the Cull, the hopeless reality of her future becomes painfully clear. Bereft and disillusioned, she heads down a reckless path that sets off a deadly riot in the Pit and leaves her accused of treason. Her only way of escaping public execution is to make a truce with her prison mate, who happens to be the heir to the dictatorship and hated enemy of the Pit.

Now caught between two worlds on the brink of war, Sunny must weigh her own survival against risking everything to save the Pit.

S.M. McEachern delivers the action and adventure of The Hunger Games, the intrigue of The City of Ember, and the romantic notes of Les Misérables in her debut novel set in a future that is disturbingly plausible.

Review:

Sunset Rising was an exhilarating, action pack ride that kept me on the edge of my seat.  If you’re a fan of dystopian and slow burn romance that is forbidden, then you definitely need this book in your life!  Just from the prologue alone, I knew this series was going to be a favorite.  The end of the world was coming and the horror of a worldwide nuclear war held me in a death grip.  We then jumped almost 300 years in the future and the current way of life had me in absolute shock.

My voice caught on hitch as tears stung my eyes, and I shook my head and silently admonished myself because crying was such a weak thing to do. And there was no room for weakness in the Pit.

Sunny O’Donnell was born as a slave in the Pit.  Her ancestors had bargained for their safety in the Dome, and in exchange they were to be slaves.  The rules in their world were harsh and just when I thought their conditions couldn’t get any worse, I learned more and was horrified.  Like the Cull that happened when one turned 35. Sunny had just lost her mother to the Cull, and from that huge loss, it set Sunny on a path that would completely change her life.

“Sunny, I don’t know —”
“Tell me!” I yelled.
But he didn’t tell me. He just looked at me with a defeated expression, and I wasn’t ready to be defeated. In only a few months my entire life had been shattered beyond recognition.

I loved Sunny right away!  She was fierce, brave and extremely loyal.  Plus I loved her endurance, strength and how she always worked at making herself better.  She was someone people could look up to and respect, so I instantly connected with her.  And since I connected so easily with her, I felt every single tiny emotion she did.  It made this book an extremely emotional ride that I loved!  I can’t even count how many times my heart beat faster or I had sweaty palms because of the situations Sunny found herself in.  There were even a few moments where I had chills racing down my spine.  

He picked up my hands from the table, held them in his, and looked at me with his intense blue eyes. “I’ll do everything in my power to keep you safe.”

Part way into this story, Sunny found herself being accused of treason.  And her only hope for survival, from a public execution, was teaming up with Jack Kenner.  When Sunny met Jack, I wasn’t exactly sure what to think.  Jack was from the Dome and even though he lived an extremely privileged life, I liked him.  Jack was protective, smart, fierce, loving and seemed so honest.  I had so much hope for him and before I knew it, I loved Jack with my whole heart and soul.  So I kept my fingers crossed that he was one of the good guys and wouldn’t let Sunny or I down.

He opened the door and held out his hand for mine. I took it, lacing my fingers between his. As we walked down the hall together toward the common room, I felt stronger than I ever had in my life.

I loved watching Sunny and Jack figure out how to work together to survive.  Yes there were intense and emotional moments, but there were also moments that had me smiling and laughing.  They were so much fun together and their chemistry was undeniable.  But she was a slave from the Pits, and he was training to be the next President from the Dome.  Nothing romantic could ever come to be, it was forbidden.  So I found myself glued to every single word and gesture there was between Sunny and Jack.  It was absolutely addicting.

“I’ve always known we’ll be caught eventually, but now that it might be real, I’m scared.”
I didn’t want to die now that I had found a reason to live.

Hope, despair, friendship, love, freedom, slavery and political intrigue filled the pages and made Sunset Rising easily landed on my favorites list.  But there was so much I didn’t even talk about.  There were side characters I absolutely adored. The twists and turns completely consumed me.  And there was also a few moments that made me cry.  When I got near the end of the book, I found myself clapping, screaming and cheering because this story ended with a bang and an epic cliffhanger.  Thank goodness this trilogy is complete lol!  So yes, I definitely recommend Sunset Rising, and I can’t wait to devour the next book!

BOOK REVIEW: Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross

BOOK REVIEW: Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie CrossOff the Ice (Juniper Falls #1)
by Julie Cross
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

Review:

Off the Ice was my first book from Julie Cross and I was completely enraptured.  I loved how it was sweet and adorable, while also being deep and emotional.  It was the best of both worlds.  So if you’re a fan of young adult, or sports romances, then definitely check this one out.  I’m so glad I did!

All the threads of my life, my future, have changed or been pulled away from me, but this… This bridge between Tate and me somehow emerged in the midst of everything falling apart.

I knew that I was going to like this book, just from the prologue.  We got taken back in time, right before Claire O’Connor left for college.  We watched Claire hang out with her friend Jody at a party. And even Jody’s younger brother, Tate Tanley, was there.  It was such a normal, relatable scene and I loved how comfortable they all were with each other. You could tell they had been friends since they were kids.  But what felt like a cute YA romance, quickly took a turn into something so much more.  Watching Tate deal with his drunken dad pulled on my heart.  And that one night ended up connecting Claire and Tate in a way neither one of them saw coming.  After that we jumped ahead one year, and I was shocked by how much their lives had changed.

I used to think all of this wasn’t real and Juniper Falls was just my life before it got real. Now everything I wanted before, it’s all just unicorns. Shiny, gratuitous unicorns. – Claire

I absolutely adored Claire.  While she had been deemed as different than her classmates, she was always sweet and endearing in my eyes.  Plus she had this innocence to her that made me want to protect her from the world. Especially when her father got cancer.  Claire ended up pausing her college career and coming back home. She wanted to help take care of her family and their business.  Watching Claire with her dad broke my heart. Cancer is such a horrific disease and it was portrayed in such an accurate manner.  We saw how it affected  Claire and her whole family.  Nothing was glossed over and it was extremely emotional.

“I hate him. I hate him so much it makes me hate myself.” He whispers the words with his eyes still closed, like it’s wrong for him to say them but yet he needs to.

While Claire’s world changed, Tate’s did too in an entirely different way.  Tate ended up becoming the school’s starting hockey goalie a year earlier than he planned.  But it felt like the weight of the world was on his shoulders. I never realized how intense hockey games were and I caught myself holding my breath.  But Tate’s life wasn’t just about winning and losing games. His dad was always in the background. While his dad was seen as the town’s hockey hero, to Tate he was a mean and manipulative drunk.  My heart hurt for Tate. Tate was one of the good guys who deserved his HEA!  He was sexy, took control and I loved how he easily made others feel safe, loved and secure.  Sigh.

I don’t know why I thought this would be hard. It’s not. But it’s not easy, either.
It’s…
inevitable.
How long have we been walking toward this very moment without knowing? Years, I bet.

While they were both drowning in their own worlds, Tate and Claire kept running into each other.  And while they had a familiar friendship that spanned years, there was also something else there. Butterflies, flirting, stolen looks and touches kept happening.  And we watched as they found solace in each other.  They had no problem talking about the hardships in their lives and being honest with each other.  They had a true and beautiful friendship. But they were friends and he was her friend’s younger brother.  Nothing should happen between them. Right?

Something twists inside my chest. My own heart is breaking. No, it’s gluing back together. It’s doing both. I don’t know…
I just know that I got my wish. I got the kiss I’ve been dreaming about for years.

As we alternated between Claire and Tate and I found myself with tears in my eyes.  For Claire’s heartfelt and also gut wrenching moments with her dad. To Tate and Claire being completely honest with each other.  This book was extremely emotional. But there was also sweet moments like watching Tate’s relationship with his stepfather unfold.  Plus I loved when Tate spent time with his friends, Leo and Jamie. I could easily read a book about each of them! So yes, I definitely recommend this book!  It was filled with life lessons of going after what you want, forming relationships and having faith in yourself.  I absolutely adored Off the Ice and I’m definitely looking forward to picking up the next book in this series!

BOOK REVIEW: Yard Sale by Charleigh Rose

BOOK REVIEW: Yard Sale by Charleigh RoseYard Sale by Charleigh Rose
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Mollie
I was freshly fired from my job and betrayed by my boyfriend.
It was a new low for me.
A one-night stand with an arrogant stranger was just what I needed.
I didn’t know that he was a famous snowboarder, or that he’d give me the best sex of my life.
I wasn’t ever supposed to see him again.
Fate had other plans.

Cam
I was young and rich with the whole world at my fingertips.
I was in my prime.
A one-night stand with a hot little tourist on the rebound was the perfect way to spend my weekend.
I didn’t know she’d leave in the middle of the night, or that I’d wake up wanting more.
I never thought I’d see her again.
Now she’s back.
She’s been keeping a secret.
One that will change everything.

Review:

Yard Sale was a quick and sexy story about Cam and Molly, who we met in Bad Intentions.  I had wondered what their back story was and I’m so happy that we got to hear it!  And while this was a novella, it sure didn’t feel like one. There was so much emotion and story packed into the pages that it showed me again why I have fallen so hard for this author.  Charleigh Rose creates stories that become entrenched in my heart and I love every minute of it!

“You said I had to let you leave, but, you didn’t say anything about not following you.”
I spin around and pin him with an impassive stare as I walk backwards.
“I can be tricky, too,” he says, wiggling his brows.

Cam aka Camden Hess was a professional snowboarder doing his own thing.  One night stands, riding hard and hanging with his buddies was his world. He had never wanted more from a woman than just a night, until he met Mollie Mabey.  They met in a bar and I loved the games they played with each other. There was attraction, lust and while Mollie felt it too, she didn’t make it easy for Cam.  I loved how she made him work for her!  

He’s gorgeous. And intimidating. And, I can only assume, a player. He’s everything I don’t need in a boyfriend, but he’s exactly what I need tonight.

I liked Mollie right away.  She had sass and didn’t fall all over Cam, like every other female seemed to do.  And when Mollie quoted Cher Horowitz from Clueless, she became an instant favorite of mine.  Plus, I adored her family and I knew she was good people since Sutton was her friend.  If you haven’t read Bad Intentions, Sutton was one of the friends in that book and she was kick ass, just like Mollie.

“Is this okay?” he asks, his voice thick and gravelly.
“Do whatever you want with me,” I whisper. And I want him to. I want more of this feeling, and I’ll chase it until the very last drop.

Cam and Mollie ended up having a one night stand and it was hot but also oh so dirty and kinky.  After that night, she left.  They didn’t think they would ever see each other again, but fate had other plans.  That’s all I can say there, but I have to gush about Cam. You’re going to love him!  Cam warmed my heart and quickly stole it. He was genuine and fierce. He loved so strongly and he went after what he wanted.    And when he was with Mollie, together they made me smile and laugh.

My heart says be careful, my head says impossible, but my body…my body is screaming at me to let Cam show it magic again. Because that night with him was pure magic.

Yard Sale can easily be read as a standalone, but there were epilogues in the back for the couples in Bad Habit and Bad Intentions.  So definitely don’t read that part of the story, if you haven’t read those books first.  There were huge spoilers. So of course I recommend this book and I’m so happy I have found another author that goes on my I will buy every single book they ever release list!

Love doesn’t wait until you have your shit together. It just happens. It’s up to you to decide how badly you want it.

PS The shops, the ice arena, the gondola, the lake, oh my gosh she was describing right by where I live.  Not only do the descriptions make the scenery leap off the pages, but it makes me so happy reading about places that hold such a special place in my heart.

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