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review 2017-09-14 07:27
Simple
The Cinderella Fantasy - Sara Jane Stone

Lucy plays a princess by day and is looking for her prince charming by night.  While having her brother and his best friend and business partner watch over her.  Too bad his partner pushes all her buttons, since he is not even in her league.

 

Jared stopped thinking of Lucy as a little sister when he got a good look at her legs.  She attracts him on several levels, but he does not want to mess up a good friendship with her brother by acting on that attraction.  Still, he cannot help the way he feels.

 

This is an amazingly sexy and fun story.  It puts so many elements together in a terrifically sweet package.  The characters banter, the ocean views, well... let's just say if it were a movie opening weekend would blow the critics away.  I loved the simple and strong characters and all that they are to one another.  I cannot wait to see more with this theme.  In my opinion, this is the author's best work to date.  I give this book a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-17 14:11
REVIEW BY MERISSA - The Carpenter and the Actor (Ellery Mountain #3) by R.J. Scott
The Carpenter and the Actor - R.J. Scott
The Carpenter & The Actor is the third book in the Ellery Mountain series, and it's Kieran's turn to spotlight! This 5'9" bundle of joy has seen his two best friends find love, but he has no inclination to follow them. However, that choice is taken away from him when Jason turns up in Ellery, looking for a time out from his brother's death.
 
The thing that I am thoroughly enjoying with this series, is that every story is different! You might not get a HEA, but you will definitely get a HFN. This works so well considering that these are novellas, but you still get a little epilogue to tease you with.
 
Finn, Max, Daniel, and Luke, all make an appearance (as you would expect), and help Kieran out when he needs it. Very well written, with no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow, this book is a great addition to the series, and definitely recommended by me.
 
 *A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2017/05/retro-review-tour-giveaway-ellery.html
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review 2017-04-06 05:55
Sometimes easy breezy and sweet is all you need.
Rainbow Sprinkles - Anna Martin
3.5 HEARTS--In the mood for something cute, light, easy and breezy? Anna Martin's Rainbow Sprinkles fits that description to a T.




Set in California, Cooper Reed is perfectly content working two jobs, one as a bartender, the other as worker/ ice cream creator at the Dreamery Creamery. He makes enough to get by and he also gets to fawn over his weekly customer with questionable ice cream tastes, Drew. Drew will combine some crazy flavors but never, ever forgets the rainbow sprinkles.

Is it a little pathetic that Mr. Rainbow Sprinkles has been delegated to wank fodder? Maybe, but Cooper's happy to keep his man of his dreams as just that in his dreams. Until one day, Drew shows a little interest.

Then dream man becomes real man. *smile*

Drew is a real live Disney prince! Okay, okay, he acts as one in nearby Disneyland. And he shows behind the Disney scenes in this book. I enjoyed the glimpses. Drew's sweetness and romantic side draws the more sarcastic Cooper in.



Both men are in mid twenties and they read their age. They fall for one another kind of quickly, kind of not, since they shared the employee/customer relationship for sometime prior to the start of the book. And like some twenty-somethings, they don't have it all figured out as of yet. The story has zero angst. We get meet cute into budding relationship into first fights and learning that when it matters, you have to communicate.

The boys drag their feet into resolving the internal conflict. That part kinda pissed me off a little. We go from one of them sending texts over and over on a daily basis (loved that) to just dropping off the face of the Earth when the going got a little tough.

I hope they work on it. I think they could.

The side characters are great and compliment Cooper and Drew. Their BFF's are cute and I was super happy with their development as well at the end.

It's my first foray into Dreamspinner Press' States of Love collection. I'd definitely return. The setting read authentic - down to the temperature, the traffic, the laid-backness. I never been to Cali but I imagine it to be something like this from what I've seen through media. There were tiny spots when the dialogue read British here and there if I had to nitpick.

I think this would work best for Anna Martin fans who like the quieter romance, fans of light, no angst reads and of course, Disney-stans.






Overall, pretty sweet.



A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-03-30 06:36
Sweet daddy kink. It's a thing. ;D
Exposed - Bey Deckard

It's a Unicorn Bang Review! Chelsea, Sara and I get into the sweet daddy kink that is Exposed.



4.5 Hearts--Seduction by photo shoot.



A sweet love story with a side of daddy kink. Not what I expected prior to going in...


"It's like I want to crush him up into a little ball and tuck him directly into my heart..."


...but it works.

Exposed is foremost a romance between two damaged souls who happen to meet by chance one rainy night in London, of all places. Emyr is a Welsh twenty year old rising rock star. His innocent looks and provocative lyrics have a following. Greg, forty two year old Canadian web designer and photographer, couldn't imagine his luck bucking into the crying man. Emyr's face begs to be captured on camera, Greg's camera. But even more so Greg notices someone who is cracking at the seams, he's been there, is still there. So he invites a stranger to his hotel room, just to talk. And Emyr accepts.

Thus begins their connection and their path to more.

"I am, you know," he said after a moment.
"Are what?"
"Yours. Completely."
"Ha... When did I ask you that?"
"You didn't have to."



Greg is a dominant who is still reeling from his last sub and the aftermath of what he thought was a scene. It's been five years and his self imposed celibacy has never been tested as it is with Emyr. There's an innocence that is alluring. But once he sees how obedient Emyr is, well it just calls to him. From the moment these two men meet, their connection is palpable. I kept reading along, saying to myself, this couldn't really happen, could it? Meeting a rock star and tumbling into their world?




But it's Greg and Emyr's connection, their ease with one another, the way they exposed their inner workings to each other. (Not without hesitation from one of the men) That's what I bought. It's what sold me anytime I questioned an initial response.

Greg tries to back away from the celebrity. Emyr is too young, probably straight. The impromptu photo shoot/ session didn't break his celibacy. But Greg's subconscious and feelings won't be denied. The boy got under his skin.


You get sort of numb after a while when you cut off human contact, and you end up telling yourself all sorts of bullshit--like, that you don't actually need it, that it's not so bad going without--and then you carry on building a shell around yourself with these lies. But, what you don't realize is that shell is brittle and thin and made of denial, barely containing the visceral need growing in your guts like some formless, ravenous, single-minded creature.

 




Though the story is told from Greg's POV, we get a good sense of Emyr. He might be young and inexperienced, but he was mature in a lot aspects. He was persistent and willing to try new things. I loved that as the daddy kink was presented on the table, he researched! And discovered a part of himself he didn't knew existed. Greg is his first real relationship, and in a way, it's Greg's first real relationship too.


"Trust me, Daddy."
Daddy. I smiled, and he gave me a coy grin in return. "You're determined to wear me down."
"I am that."
"You're incorrigible."
"That too."


I'm a fan of age gaps, damaged protagonists with internal baggage, heroes who aren't the best at communicating their emotions. Exposed definitely has that. The angst is more internal struggles than external. Greg and Emyr have to trust, communicate. And I think it was my most favorite thing about this novel, (besides the daddy kink, duh). It was that the two communicated, even when it hurt. It was equal footing where it counted.

Now let's get to the daddy kink shall we?




Daddy kink is fairly tamer on the BDSM scale. And this story is not necessarily a formalized, contract bound pairing. It read more natural. And if you're a reader who clutches their pearl at the mention of daddy kink, this is a romance first. The daddy kink if I had to rate it on a 1 to 5 of extremes, 5 being the most hardcore, it's a 1. There was role playing, a few spankings, D/s. Bonus for the bare backing, (semi)public sex, size difference and big guy bottoming scene. I like it when daddies get breached too. ;D

If you're going in expecting hardcore scenes, you might not enjoy this as much. The sex is melting hot (hello it's a Deckard), there are definitely re-read worthy chapters. What I enjoyed about it is that it wasn't overly long drawn out scenes. Every sexual encounter read organic and fit the main characters. I did slowly grow to love the main characters, separately and as a pair. I think they're perfect for each other.

It's no surprise I enjoy this author's work and his back list varies in taste. This was the most romantic, most sweet I've ever read from him.


"You've nothing to worry about, silly--I'm yours... And you're mine, and I'll take care of that poor, neglected heart of yours just as well as I take care of that poor, neglected cock."
"Well, it's not so neglected anymore," I said, making as if to mull it over what he had said. "You do take good care of it--that bodes well for my heart, I suppose."



I'm not surprised he wrote it, the tell tale signs of his writing are all there. Vivid settings, it's a road trip for a large chunk of Exposed, I felt like I was there with the pair and the cast of side characters at each location, an interesting cast of characters (Owain, Barrie, Rose and the nain dominatrix!) that you can't help to enjoy. His side characters have a tendency to enrich his stories without overtaking the shine from the main characters. There was a little suspense-ful twist, that wasn't over dramatic. It ended a little tamer than introduced.

Overall, a great read that I'm happy to add to my favorites of 2017 list.



This is sweet for this author, not necessarily your run of the mill schmoop. So if you're looking to finally delve into this author's work, Exposed is a great place to start. (His Actor's Circle series is also on the tamer side of the Deckard spectrum)

I don't know if the author will ever return to this couple. I think their HEA is pretty solid. But maybe a possible dabble into one of their scenes? I think I'm going to miss Daddy and his boy.

Who knew photo shoots could be so seductive?

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review 2017-03-15 07:13
The writing, the characters....oh this book is too great! *hugs*
Private Truths - C.B. Lewis
Tag Team Review w/ Sara

FIVE HEARTS
--I love reading romance.

I love reading about all types of protagonists: the socially awkward, the ultra-suave, the shy, the grumpy, etc. Hell even the super possessive 'alpha' has a place and time. Call it fantasy, guilty pleasure, whatever, just give me a good romance where the main characters have to work for a happy ending, and you will have a fan in me.




Private Truths by C.B. Lewis did this for me, hooked me with layered main characters who didn't expect love to be the final order....and were so happy that it happened to them.

A publicly closeted aristocrat and a war damaged veteran, who at the core of what matters, are great people who totally deserve each other. That's what you can find in Private Truths. This is my first 2017 fave for a reason, it's getting harder and harder I'm finding to read a book I actively want to re-read and bask in. I took joy in starting my day reading about Jack and Edward and seeing what the world threw at them next.

Set in present day London, the book starts with ginger haired vet Jack McCall being sort of forced into promoting his charity for vets in need, Those Returned, at a dress up event. His boss put him on the trail of wealthy Edward Marsden, Viscount Routhsley. Jack awkwardly places a bid for Those Returned, doesn't make much small talk and hightails it out of there as soon as he could. What he doesn't expect is really capturing the attention of the presumed ladies man viscount Routhsley.

I knew this book was going to be a winner from 4%. Jack and Edward have a chemistry that slow burned and simmered from that event and it carried itself all the way to the final page.

"I had no notion I would grow so attached to you, Mr. McCall."
"I'll second that." He leaned sideways until his shoulder rested against Edward's hip. Edward's fingers stroked through his hair and brushed down his neck. There was something comforting about the casual intimacy of that touch. "I'm glad it happened, though."
Edward kneaded his neck gently. "And I," he murmured, "shall second that."


Class differences? Yes. But Lewis didn't make it be the leading difference. Edward is smooth but he cares for people. And he takes a shine on Jack. However his public life is fodder for the gossip rags and ruthless paparazzi. So in the closet Edward remains. He and a reluctant Jack start of as men with a shared passion to help others in need, to friends, to lovers.

Jack gets swept into Edward's world. But Jack's had a taste of the limelight via harassing paparazzi. and for a man on edge and has PTSD, the results weren't favorable.

The story shines a light on those who suffer PTSD without going to extremes or brushing the aftereffects for a far fetched plot line. It's realistic. The relationship between the men doesn't happen overnight, the author wonderfully gives them time. Slow burn is the aim, over saturated sex-fests that drown out the plot won't be found here.

"Why the hell do you care?"
Edward's hand was warm against his cheek, and he had to fight the urge to tilt his head into Edward's touch.
"Why wouldn't I?" Edward asked quietly.

The passion is abundant as is the romance. The author (yes I nerded out to find out more about this author after reading) calls this book an "old fashioned romance", I couldn't agree more. At times, it gave me historical romance in present day feels. I could have easily put two men in a different time period and the story would still work.

The story mainly from Jack's POV. The reader gets to share in his wide range of emotion. The lust (yes, there is a good amount of sex, though not overly graphic), the fear and the uncertainty of falling for someone. Plus, the paparazzi/villainous angle also helped move the story along.

And the humor!

"Jesus Christ!" he exclaimed, rushing around the table to hug her, her round belly knocking against his ribs. "What's that big clown been doing to you?"
"Same thing you lads just done," Tommy said smugly, "with a hundred percent more fanny."

The humor was wonderfully mixed in throughout the book. Edward was a dashing leading man. I could buy why Jack was enamored. And Edward's parents are a hilarious delight. Even when times got rough, the humor peeked though, Great mix.

Another facet of this story is that it's on the quieter side of romance but their chemistry spoke volumes. I do enjoy a well written quieter romance, where the little moments tell a lot about the main characters' feelings. A touch can say so much.

I'm a quote-nista. I love a good quote. The more I love a story, the more quotes I save like a mad woman. Sara has 5 pages of quotes. (I'm pretty close w/ # pages of quotes from Private Truths) After my first time reading C.B. Lewis, I am a fan. I loved her words, pacing, the moments & in-between and all of her characters (even the arsehole ones)

Good persevered, an important light on veterans was portrayed with respect and a romance that definitely left a lasting impression was written. This ends with a solid HEA for me.

I'll be looking for more C.B. Lewis with bells on.

Recommended to readers who love romance between layered characters and enjoy reading slow burn.



A copy provided for an honest review.
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