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Search tags: 2018-2-priority
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review 2018-03-11 18:35
In Harmony - Emma Scott
And thus concludes my February reading list. WHEW. Take a breath.

That book was...*eyes search brain for words* long?

Yes, long. It was long, okay? I really loved Full Tilt but part of me wonders if it was just kind of fresh teenaged crush of mine or if it was real, everlasting love.

Emma Scott does angsty plot lines better IMO opinion than a Mia Sheridan or similar. And I was rooting for these two. Really. Broken girl meets broken boy. Both shit families. Different sides of the track. A tale as old as time. It was very sweet, and I did like Isaac as a hero. (And Willow as a heroine) The secondary characters were pretty kick-ass, though I would've loved a decent nice guy vying for Willow as well instead of just douches. I thought the date rape background was actually very excellently done, though maybe at times too much of a focus. So all that said, it was too heavy-handed at times. And at times, it was nicely subtle (if Hamlet talks too fucking much & his fatal flaw was inaction, well, Isaac is the opposite for example). Though that is true, the play off Hamlet (or any other play) became too conveniently parallel, and frankly kind of annoying. Give these guys their own story.

I think you get the picture. I enjoyed the angst-fest, but not too much because some of it was just simply too much. Overall, it was a sweet, diverting read.
 
 

 

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review 2018-03-01 15:54
Claiming Her - Kris Kennedy

Sigh. 

 

I am a sucker for a book of political intrigue and the like-not just in romance but I am finding it especially fun in romance. 

 

This book was set in the 1580s and it was so lovely and frankly exciting. This was one of those best types of couples, well-matched, lovely, funny, and let's not forget, lusty.  The secondary characters in this were equally compelling and lively. One of the things I really enjoy in characters is an element of loyalty and it was lovely to see how it played out here in a somewhat complicated, yet wonderful way.

 

I guess I don't have much to say other than I really enjoyed this and look forward to rereading.  

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review 2018-02-27 05:35
Love Over Lattes - Diana Hicks

Well...what seemed promising led me to...
checks notes...

eyes blur, sighs.

This book was engaging. Valentina is a down-on-her-luck 24 year old mother trying to finish school and get her and her son into a home with stability. Woman in tech? Check. She works her ass off, starting everyday at a little coffee shop where she sees Derek (or Cole) daily. They don't acknowledge each other until Valentina clearly receives bad news, which Cole tries not to interfere. He sees her crying, melts, knowing he's - as a recent divorcee and currently unemployed day drinker - needs to stay away, but he can't help himself. The tears are just too much to ignore. 

Guess what, Cole is like a gazillionaire. While I kind of loved the premise of this book, down-on-his-luck gazillionaire meets self-made almost graduate, its execution failed spectacularly for me. 
Below spoiler tags, I will list the reasons for this:

 


Valentina, upon needing a place to stay, agrees to see Cole's cottage. Cole, however, doesn't reveal it is on his property. Creepy. Valentina, it is later revealed, suffered through domestic abuse when revealing her pregnancy to her ex. So when she rolls up to Cole's home, quickly realizing it's his, she agrees to look at the cottage because she just has this great feeling about him. The cottage is destroyed. Cole admits it was him, when he found his soon to be ex-wife in here with her boyfriend. He punched a hole in the wall, tore the place apart, ripped off the shower head. Valentina cries for him, reaches for him, but you know what I'm thinking? GET THE FUCK OUT. You are on the property of a man who didn't tell you the rental was within his property, who destroyed said property, and you have a son. Just.no.

Their sexual chemistry is off the charts and I honestly kept reading because I wondered how they'd address his rage (I've seen books do it so well!) - they didn't, even when it turned on her. I wondered how they'd address his manipulation of looking up an employee on the system to learn about her. Never done. It's all so flattering when someone's hot and rich, you know. When she tried to leave cause it looked like he was cheating, lots of arm grabbing dramatics but she was forced to listen to him. What about his day drinking? A big FAT NOPE.

 

 

 

(spoiler show)

 

Look, this book had issues that were intolerable for me. I wouldn't root for this couple. I was rooting for the characters in a sense, and I thought that could be really interesting. But all the major issues and minor ones were glossed over with orgasms and lust turned love. I thought Cole was impossibly interesting as a character, but this was just a book that moved a plot along and the character magically resolved the major conflict and somehow, though we'll never know how, got over all the big issues he was facing. There was real potential here, and it was squandered by relying on the plot marching on and not having the characters face their own demons. And I don't buy the Love Conquers All. (Nor did I particularly buy their relationship development, horror of all horrors)

 

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me the review copy of this book. 

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review 2018-02-25 19:59
Pipe Dreams - Sarina Bowen Pipe Dreams - Sarina Bowen

So, according to the...err...data among my friends, I'm a bit of an outlier here. 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this second chance. It was a total mess of a real life-type second chance. None of the characters were perfect, and the story itself was crafted well enough to wrap around me like a hug. It's isn't the best romance, but in terms of Bowen, this hits a higher note on my scale. 

 

The solidly mature hero, who made a huge mistake, but was open, honest and loving was a huge selling point. The prickly heroine who had a heart of gold and worked her ass off wasn't too shabby either. 

 

Sure, a couple of points pissed me off. And yes, at times I felt Mike was out-of-bounds in his pursuit. Just like I felt Lauren looked a bit unreasonably reluctant. What do I like though?

+Lauren makes friends. Yay for gal pals

+Lauren and Mike are reasonably open and adult with each other

+There was no malicious feelings toward the "others" in their complicated relationship. And each person seemed to own up to their failures and take responsibility. 

+I really did feel for Lauren; her hurt was deep and didn't just disappear upon further explanation.

 

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review 2018-02-24 05:45
Another Incredible Meredith Duran romance
Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules for the Reckless) - Meredith Duran

First and foremost, I'd like to thank the many fans who apparently asked for this book. I can't believe it wasn't all part of the plan. Since I have only been reading Meredith Duran and historical romance for a very short time, I'm so thankful she listened to your pleas!

 

I was absolutely riveted by Lockwood from the first introduction in The Duke of Shadows.  A strange, dark charm...I actually didn't realize till late in the book that her new release was to be about him, and I was so happy to hear it. 

 

Now onto the review of this book....

 

It's almost not fair. What kind of brilliance does it take for an author to understand the human condition, make us understand and empathize with both characters nearly in equal measure, hurt and hope with them, and fall in love with them? A Meredith Duran level of brilliance. I know I haven't been reading romance long, but having read #1, #5,#6 from this series I unreservedly say that she is the one of the best that romance has to offer. Her books are instant classics with their meaty plots, incredible but not miraculous character development, and beautiful words. (Which I'll share upon a second reading).

 

 

I am realizing my reviews of her books are far less than adequate. I intend to reread and more heavily review this rich examples of romance. I can tell you in so many ways this book pushes you to the edges of your capacity to understand and creates a little fissure that eventually becomes something you can identify with. Though I still favor Duke of Shadows, this is equally poignant. She's taken flawed characters and made us love them more for it. 

 

I shall stop with the gushing...well through writing, I still have a lot going on my up in my brain over this stunner of a book.

 

Thanks to Netgalley/publisher for the advanced copy of this book. 

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