Thursday, July 18, 2013

Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly

Waking Up Married
Kindle Edition, Harlequin KISS, 275 pages
Published December 1st 2012 by Harlequin KISS
Setting: Las Vegas, Nevada (United States)

Summary from Goodreads:
Her first thought: "Who are you?"
It's the morning after her cousin's bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she's in a stranger's penthouse having woken up with something else as well - a funny, arrogant, sexy...husband!
Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible - been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with, Connor Reed and she's gone from first meet to marriage in one night!
Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor's shocking bombshell?
"I don't want a divorce."

My Thoughts:
I figured this would be a light, romantic read, but I didn't expect the emotions I got from the dialogue. The story was a bit predictable and drawn out, but at the same time it wasn't. I found myself thinking "Make up your minds!" more than once, in a good way. I also like that the book gives multiple points-of-view from the characters.
Megan is an independent woman who is tired of dealing with men and the hurt they can cause. She decides to take matters into her own hands and have a baby herself. She just needs the right guy to provide the good stuff. But right now, she must deal with going to Vegas for her cousin's wedding.
Connor is a controlling businessman who is used to getting what he wants. He and a few of his buddies decide to take a trip to Vegas. Connor and Megan had  rough childhoods, resulting in both of them having trouble in their romantic relationships
After drinking way to much, Megan and Connor wake up together the next morning. She can't remember a thing, but he remembers everything. Megan wants a divorce, knowing that this isn't part of her plan. Connor remembers what they talked about the night before, and he just can't let her go. He wants to give the marriage a try. Megan isn't so sure. So, they decide on a trial period. After that, she is free to go if she wants to.
Connor spends the next few weeks trying to show her how great they are together. Megan tries to get him to see the things that may not be so great about the relationship, like him coming home to find her wearing a stinky face mask. After a while, it gets to be too much for her, so she heads back home. Connor doesn't want to give her up that easily.
In the end he learns not to be so controlling and I have to admit that he pissed me off a few times. It was also hard to stay mad at him when he was doing it in a caring way just trying to get her to see that the marriage could work. Megan learns how to open up and allow him to be a part of her life and that not all men make promises that they don't keep.
The ending itself was really sweet. I would say more about why, but I don't want to give it away. So, this is your typical Vegas wedding story, with a twist. I think it is something a bit different and refreshing.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Taken By Him (The Billionaire's Club #2) by Red Garnier

Taken by Him (The Billionaire's Club #2)
Photo from Goodreads
ebook, 112 pages
Published May 28th 2013 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN:  1466833459 (ISBN13: 9781466833456)                                
Series: The Billionaire's Club

Summary from Goodreads:
   The Billionaire’s Club: The wealthiest, most powerful men, not only in Chicago, but in the world.  They are used to having whatever they want, whenever they want it.
   Luke Preston is the ultimate playboy among his billionaire friends.  Every bad girl in Chicago has surrendered in his bed.  Some good girls, too.  But when he ends up in the hospital after an assassination attempt, his friends suggest he take a long vacation to recoup, regroup and lay off the women until the man is caught.  However, when Luke lays eyes on the stunning brunette across the beach, she inspires every dark, erotic thought his mind can conjure.
   Peyton Lane has always been serious and responsible and she’s determined to have some fun for once in her life.  And that means a deliciously, sexy affair with a stranger while she’s on vacation.  So when a blond Adonis named Luke crosses her path at the Cancun resort, she’s determined that he will be the one. But Peyton gets more than she bargained for when Luke introduces her to a passion unlike any she has ever experienced and she discovers that behind that charming smile are secrets and a beautiful, damaged soul.
   Red Garnier takes readers deep into a world of incredible emotion and undeniable power and possession.
   Also, don’t miss CLAIMED BY HIM, the first unforgettable story in The Billionaire’s Club, available now.

 My Thoughts:
First off, this is a hot, erotic quick read.
Luke Preston is a billionaire from Chicago who is smart, charming, and quite the playboy. He was shot while sleeping with a woman. After recovering, his friends think he needs to lay off on and manage to talk him into going out of town for a while because they are afraid the shooter will try again. It would give the police a chance to find the guy.
Peyton Lane is a businesswoman who hasn't had many relationships. Her personal life is non-existent. She takes pride in being a perfectionist but realizes she needs some time away from the office. She decides to go to the beach for a break.
Peyton gets her first glance at Luke when he is tossing a football with a young boy on the beach. Of course, the ball ends up flying in her direction and Luke runs over. Peyton realizes that being here is the perfect time for a one-night fling and this guy would be perfect.
They end up spending the next few days together and know that it has to come to an end when she leaves. The fling is supposed to be just that, a fling. A one time thing and then move on. But, it doesn't happen like that. They begin talking about their lives back home, only he keeps his info pretty vague.
The time comes when she must go back home and return to the real world. Later, Peyton finds out who Luke really is and agrees to go to a party with her coworker who happens to be neighbors with Luke.
Luke just can't get into the party he is throwing to help him get over her...and then she walks in.
I really liked the story. In the beginning I hated Luke's arrogance, but as I got further into the story, I found myself liking him. Some of the dialogue had me giggling and threatening to wake up my hubby. In the end, I do think Luke could have done a better job explaining himself and his actions after lying to her. The reader gets to see both of their points-of-view along the way. I think this story shows that love can be based on something other than money. Especially if you are a hot billionaire. This is a stand-alone book that can be read separately or as part of the series. It is quick, so a short afternoon reading in a hammock would be the perfect setting. I can't wait to read more from Red Garnier. I also plan to pick up book #1 of the series soon.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Relatively Dead by Sheila Connolly

Relatively Dead
Photo from Goodreads
Kindle Edition
Published May 16th 2013 by Beyond the Page

Summary from Amazon:
From New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly!

Abby Kimball has just moved to New England with her boyfriend and is trying to settle in, but the experience is proving to be quite unsettling, to say the least. While on a tour of local historic homes, Abby witnesses a family scene that leaves her gasping for breath—because the family has been dead for nearly a century. Another haunting episode follows, and another, until it seems to Abby that everything she touches is drawing her in, calling to her from the past.

Abby would doubt her sanity if it weren’t for Ned Newhall, the kind and knowledgeable guide on that disturbing house tour. Rather than telling her she’s hallucinating, Ned takes an interest in Abby’s strange encounters and encourages her to figure out what’s going on, starting with investigating the story of the family she saw . . . and exploring her own past.

But as Abby begins to piece together a history that’s as moving as it is shocking and unravels a long-ago mystery that nearly tore her family apart, she also begins to suspect that Ned’s got secrets of his own, and that his interest may be driven as much by a taste for romance as a love for history.

My Thoughts:
     I would describe Relatively Dead as a bit historical, romantic, and paranormal.
Abby Kimball moved to Massachusetts with Brad, her boyfriend of two years. He is constantly pestering her to get out of the house to meet new people and find a job. Abby finally decides to take a tour of some historical homes around town. At the last house, she suddenly finds herself "seeing" things that are not there. Ned Newhall is there and helps her calm down. He asks her about what happened and encourages her to look into the house's past, but doesn't pressure her to do so.
     Abby starts doing research on the people who owned the house years ago. At the same time, things with Brad seem a little awkward. He's either in a good mood or a bad one, depending on how work went that day, and he takes it out on her. She tries to be the nice girlfriend and listen to his ranting, but it has started to get old. She also tries to share her family history with him, but after a few minutes he gets distracted by work or a game on television. He is hardly home on the weekends, so this gives her the chance to share her findings with Ned because she doesn't want to mention the "visions" to Brad. She knows he would just call her crazy and say she needs to see a doctor...or a shrink.
     After a while, Abby manages to find a decent job, which ends up taking a lot of time away from her research. She becomes too tired to make sure Brad's dinner is on the table when he gets home. She figures he is an adult and can take on more of his share of the household chores now that she isn't sitting around at home all day. As the story progresses, Abby discovers more about her family history and how she may be connected to the people she saw in her "vision". She also learns why she feels these strong emotions along with them and what they mean.

I liked how Abby seemed to grow up over the course of the story. She went from a quiet person who wanted to please everyone, to a woman that was tired of being trampled over. I think there was a lot of foreshadowing in the story...Brad, family ties, etc. I picked up on a few things before Abby put them together herself, making it a bit predictable. Although, I think Abby and Ned being together kind of came out of nowhere for me. I also felt that the ending snuck up on me. I just turned the page and there was nothing else. I wish they would have figured out more about why and how they both came to see these "visions". What was special about their ancestors to be able to pass down the ability and to leave the visions only when there were such strong emotions. I wish there was a epilogue or maybe even part of a series so that I could find out more.

About the Author:
Sheila Connolly began writing mysteries in 2001, and has since been nominated for an Agatha Award twice. Her most recent book is the nationally bestselling Buried in a Bog, the first book in the County Cork Mystery Series. Sheila is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Sour Apples (Orchard Mystery Series) and Fire Engine Dead (Museum Mystery Series). She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and three cats.
Relatively Dead can be purchased here on Amazon.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Carnally Ever After by Jackie Barbosa

Carnally Ever After (Ever After Novellas #1)
Cover from Goodreads
Published September 18th 2011 by Circe Press (first published February 18th 2011)
ISBN: 0013419668 (ISBN13: 2940013419667)
Series: Ever After Novellas #1

Summary from Goodreads:
This ebook includes CARNALLY EVER AFTER, a short story (15,000 words/50 pages), EPIPHANY, a bonus epilogue (3,400 words/11 pages) and an excerpt from Jackie's upcoming release, THE LESSON PLAN (6400 words/21 pages).
Jilted at the altar, Lady Louisa Bennett seeks the solace of a quiet, empty chapel and instead finds Alistair de Roche, her fiancĂ©’s best man and the subject of her fantasies from the moment she met him. Alistair knows bedding his best friend’s betrothed is well beyond the pale, but Louisa has haunted his dreams for months. Soon, Louisa and Alistair are caught up in a consuming love affair that threatens their families’ plans and their own hearts. Can they find a way to live happily, and carnally, ever after?
CARNALLY EVER AFTER was previously released under the same title by Cobblestone Press. The bonus epilogue, EPIPHANY, is available for free in the anthology TWELFTH NIGHT

My Thoughts:
Louisa Bennett was left at the altar by Greenville, a man she doesn't care to marry in the first place. His best man, Alistair de Roche, is there to comfort her. They want each other, but know that no one can find out. Louisa knows she is still going to have to marry Greenville, and Alistair is set to be wed very soon himself. After their first time together, she decides to defy her family's wishes, even if it is just to be his mistress. 

Carnally Ever After was a quick, hot historical read about learning not to settle for who others think you should. They may not approve, but everyone deserves to be happy with the person they love.

The epilogue to the story was very sweet. I think it made me enjoy the story as a whole a lot better. I liked the story itself, but I could really relate to the epilogue.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Just This Once by Trish Jensen

Just This Once
Photo from Goodreads
Paperback, 200 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Bell Bridge Books (first published November 1st 1998)
ISBN: 1611942942 (ISBN13: 9781611942941)

Summary from Goodreads:
"Just This Once is a must-read for lovers of well-written, sensual, contemporary romance." - Connie Ramsdell, Bookbug on the Web
Will she say Yes, just this once?
As a minister's daughter, Shannon Walsh was raised to say No to a lot of temptations with men at the top of that list. She's an adult now, making her own choices, but until Mr. Right comes along, she plans to keep resisting the call of the wild.
Then Rick Hardison moves in next door. The handsome rascal doesn't appear to have spent many hours inside a church, and he doesn't waste any time drawing Shannon inside his wickedly sexy arms. What's a good girl to do when the man of her dreams is a very bad boy? She decides to take a chance. But just this once.

My Thoughts:
Loved the story! I was up until 3am because I NEEDED to finish it.

Just This Once is a story of apprehension. Of both sides being scared to take chances. Her, falling for the bad boy. Him, falling for a woman in general. Lots of times we are afraid to do something because we don't want to disappoint someone (like our parents). Ultimately it is our decision as an adult and we have to live with the consequences of those choices. We have to open our eyes, and realize that what we may be trying to run away from really is exactly what we have been looking for. It is what is on the inside that matters. Their heart. A person's actions can tell you more about them than their appearance ever could.

I loved Bert. We also have a lovable, goofy GSD, so this appealed to me right from the beginning.

Shannon grew up as a sheltered minister's daughter and now that she is away from home, she wants to walk on the wild side just once. One afternoon, that temptation ends up on her doorstep. A gorgeous bad boy and he just so happens to be her neighbor. She makes it clear that anything between them would happen only once because she knows that she could never fall for some one like him. He is the bad boy that her parents warned her about. But, he makes her feel so wild, so free. She has never felt like this before. Never experienced things like this...until him.

Rick is a cop that takes his job very seriously. His only love is his spoiled, silly GSD. He has always been the love 'em and leave 'em type and knows that anything between him and Shannon would be strictly sexual, nothing more. No feelings. No late night conversations about their lives outside of the bedroom. But now he doesn't know what has come over himself. He doesn't understand how he can have these feelings he has developed for her...even when she's not around.

They had both agreed that anything between them will be a one time deal...but it turns out they can't stay away from each other. Shannon is getting the chance to explore new things with him. Things she has only dreamed of doing, just once in her life, before she settles down and finds some respectable guy out there and marries him. But, she cant get enough of Rick. She has never felt what she feels when she is with him. His body. His smile. Her time here is almost up. She just doesn't know how she is going to be able to leave him without feeling torn apart inside. Like she would be leaving part of herself behind. Rick is learning that he can open up and have real conversations, not just having fun for a week before he gets bored and moves on. And that deep down, he can care. He tries to understand that her parents wouldn't think very highly of him. So what can he do? She's set on leaving. He doesn't know if he can change her mind, but he is definitely going to try, whatever he has to do, to keep her.

Just This Once can be purchased here on Amazon.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Liar, Liar (Sexy Southerners #1) by Julianne Floyd

Liar Liar  (Sexy Southerners, #1)
Photo from Goodreads
Kindle Edition, 161 pages
Published June 30th 2013
Series: Sexy Southerners series, #1
Summary from Goodreads:
Have you found your perfect match?
Certified fraud examiner Jessica Barlow catches liars for a living. After a sexless first year of divorce, she decides to branch out of the traditional dating scene to find romance at LoveLines, an upscale online dating service with a guaranteed success rate. But just when things get interesting, she’s assigned to snoop on the very company that might show her a good time.
Texan horse rancher Matteo Brandt is secretly the corporate owner and mastermind of LoveLines’ thirty-one point matching system. He suspects Jess might be a plant for a pending court case. She just can’t be as good as she looks. He’s determined to save both his company and his reputation-- even if it means seducing Jess himself.
Will it be all work and no play? It’s all clothes barred in this battle for truth and love.
My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this story. Liar, Liar is a sizzling read. It can be a stand-alone book, or can be read as part of the Sexy Southerners series. The story is from both of their points of view and I really liked being able to know what each of them was thinking. Everyone knows that online dating can be difficult and this story just shows that being honest up front is always the best.

Jessica Barlow is a fraud examiner who doesn't have much of a love life, so she turns to an online site called LoveLines to help. LoveLines has a guarantee that they will find a match and to date they haven't failed. That is, until a female client decided to sue them because she hasn't been successfully matched. Jessica is informed that she has to investigate the claim and coincidentally will be attending a get-together of LoveLines singles in Montana. She regretfully decides to go but knows it will be a big help into her investigation, and maybe she could find someone special along the way.

Matteo Brandt is the owner of LoveLines, and doesn't understand why his system didn't find a match for his client. Fearing what it could mean for his company, he decides to make sure Jessica finds the perfect match for her while she is here. He isn't sure if she is coming because she genuinely wants to find love, or if she has been sent to uncover fuel for the investigation.

The two hit it off and things are going really well...until the truth comes out. The deception on both parts is hurtful, but they must both go on with their lives and that includes seeing each other again in mediation for the client who is suing LoveLines. The ending really surprised me. I can't wait to read more of this series in the future as well as other titles by Julianne Floyd.

Liar, Liar can be purchased on Amazon:  
LIAR LIAR (Sexy Southerners series)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Save the Date by Susan Hatler

Save the Date (Better Date than Never, #4)
Photo from Goodreads

ebook, 165 pages
Published July 1st 2013 by Hatco, Inc.
ASIN: 2940016715     
Series: Better Date than Never series, book 4
Summary from Goodreads:
Kristen knows men hide things. Case in point, her last boyfriend turned out to be married. Just like anyone else, Kristen is devastated. However, since Kristen evaluates people for a living, her ex’s duplicity has her searching for a new career as well as swearing off men.
Touring history museums with her sexy friend Ethan doesn’t count, because he has a girlfriend, and has only shown friendly interest in Kristen. He even helps with her career counseling tasks. Although Kristen has a secret crush on Ethan, spending time with him is safe. Until she discovers he’s actually single. Gasp. And now he’s flirting with her, too.
Suddenly, Ethan is way too dangerous. Not to mention tempting. Sure, he seems like sixty shades of perfect, but how’s a girl with bad judgment supposed to detect what skeletons he has in his closet?
My Thoughts:
Save the Date is a quick read that reminds the reader that communication is a major part of a relationship. If a relationship doesn't work, you can't just give up and assume the problems with that one person will also be a problem with a new relationship. You have to get back out there and give the next guy a fighting chance, because he may just be exactly what you are looking for. Things go wrong in our lives and there is nothing we can do about it, so we just need to move on and let everything be a lesson for the future. We just have to remember not to dwell on it and bring us down.

Kristen grew up in a troubled home. As a way to prevent other kids from going though the same things she did as a child, Kristen became a counselor. She may have been a very good one, but she still couldn't see that her boyfriend, Jake, was already taken. Kristen decided to write off all men for good...along with her counseling career. She just can't get over the clues that she missed about Jake. She has always been a woman that went after what she wants and needs to find the courage to be that woman again.

Her friends try to get her out of the house and manage to find her a temp job while she decides what to do with her life. And then there's her guy friend, Ethan. He's nice, handsome and shares a love of history. They spend time here and there strolling through exhibits together, but Kristen doesn't see him as someone she could date. He probably has a girlfriend or isn't attracted to her. Plus, there's the whole thing with swearing off guys forever. Ethan is a nice guy who tries to be a good friend and give Kristen time to work through her troubles and doesn't approve of how Jake treated her. He knows he would never do something like that to her. He just needs to find a way to make her realize that he isn't another Jake out to break her heart all over again.
Favorite Quotes:
 "I'll show you. But only when you finally admit you're dying to see it."

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

On My To-Read List

Truth or Date (Better Date Than Never #2)His Every Whim  (His Every Whim, #1)Surrender Your Love (Surrender Your Love, #1) Conquer Your Love (Surrender Your Love, #2) Inked Destiny (Inked Magic World, #2) The Queen of Minor Disasters Going Home: A Novel of Survival

Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel, #1)Hardcover, 313 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN#: 0312652917 (ISBN13: 9780312652913)
Series: Lizzy & Diesel #1

Summary from Goodreads:
Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.
With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more.

My Thoughts:
I received Wicked Appetite in the TrueBlood swap on Ravelry. I am just now getting a chance to read it. This is my first time reading anything by Janet Evanovich and let me just start by saying that I don't think I have laughed this much while reading a book in a long time.
Lizzy is a cupcake artist at a local bakery, living her life day to day doing what she loves. One day her view of the world is expanded when Diesel and Wulf show up wanting her assistance to find some long lost stones relating to the seven deadly sins, specifically gluttony. Diesel informs Lizzy that she is an Unmentionable, meaning that she has special abilities to find these stones. She reluctantly decides to help, not that she really even had a choice. Of course, one of the men wants the stones for evil and the other just wants to protect them. In the quest for the stones the reader is also introduced to a wanna-be witch that messes up most of her spells, a ninja cat, and a monkey that loves to flip people off. The ending...I didn't necessarily see coming, but it definitely sets up for future run-ins with Wulf.

Some of my favorite quotes:
Diesel: "Sweetheart, you wish a cupcake could make you feel that good."
 Shirley: "Candle, Piss Pot, Queen Elizabeth" and "Maggie, Booger Slammer, Ice Cream"..."