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Search tags: Barks-Romance-Reviews
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review 2018-11-19 18:26
Kilty As Charged by Amy Vansant
Kilty As Charged - Amy Vansant

I read this book for my local reading group. There are seven of us. Three of us finished this book and none of us are reading the sequel.

Now I’ll be fair here. This is a book featuring a time-travelling, kilt wearing Scottish Highlander who says things like, “Dinnae ye want to see mah wizard’s wand?”and I bored of these suckers about a decade ago. I didn’t have good thoughts going in but once I was in I decided to stick with it because it was only mildly irritating and, at times, slightly entertaining and I thought I was going to have to converse about its plot intricacies or lack thereof (turns out the other 2 had nothing at all to say).

Catriona is a “fixer” for wealthy movie people. She’s used to dealing with odd requests and weirdos so when she discovers a man wearing a kilt on set, with nothing on underneath, she gives that naked bum a smack to get it and his “twigs and berries”moving. 

Well, wouldn’t you?

Catriona thinks, “She made it a point to know everyone on the lot who was someone. This guy was no one.”

Ugh.

Turns out he isn’t your average, everyday nobody, of course. He’s a time-travelling Scottish mercenary and they have an adventure to go on. Or something like that.

There is a lot of time spent ogling his bod but there’s some other stuff happening too. Just don’t ask me what it is because I read this last week and the details have already fled in terror from my head. I do remember that there is a villain and his two inept sidekicks who belong in a remake of Home Alone instead of inside a novel written in 2016. 

To wrap this up, silliness happens, sexual encounters almost happen, and they insult each other and pretend they don’t find each other attractive and there’s tons of awkward dialogue there to stumble over. I honestly believe that I am too grouchy for this book. I am totally, 100% the wrong audience and will not deny that. I found it contrived and not funny. I think it tried way too hard to be cutesy and ended up annoying the heck out of me. But even more annoying was the fact that NONE of my questions were answered when I turned the last page because there is a sequel. There is no real character depth or relationship development either but if you’re looking for a read so light and free of substance that it may fly away, this might be the thing for you.

 

But don't trust me as the final word. Apparently, I am in the minority, as usual.

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review 2018-05-17 19:54
The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry
The Air He Breathes - Brittainy C. Cherry,Brian Pallino,Erin Mallon

I’ve had this sucker downloaded to my phone for over a year so figured it was about time to get it done. Note to all: I knew nothing of the plot before going into it because I bought it a year ago and my memory is crap. The guy on the cover looked promising though. So what follows is likely ALL my fault. Or mostly my fault. I will not accept the blame for all of this. Namely the last ¼ when something I anticipated in the first hour comes true. This is the rare case that I will admit that it sucks to be right.


Tristan and Elizabeth do not meet cute. They meet when she hits his golden retriever (which is later described as a “small/med dog” so I am confused. My golden’s have both been large/x-large but maybe I fed them too many treats!). I will admit that I almost deleted the thing off my phone when this happened because I was not up for this, would never be up for this, truth be told. Elizabeth does the right thing and drives him to the vet since he’s running around town without shoes and the vet is a mile away. He verbally abuses her for most of the ride in front of her five year old daughter. Apparently she just ran into the town asshole. Of all the luck. He’s scared and I felt for him but he was being a real dick all the same. Fortunately the poor dog only has a fracture but what a completely crappy way to start out a romance! Tristan is so emotionally fragile that he breaks down into big heaving sobs when he hears that his dog is ok. Yikes. My heart was not ready for this level of heartbreaking sorrow and it only gets more crushing from there.


These two are so broken and so emotionally raw that it is painful to read their stories. Both have lost their spouses in a car accident. Tristan actually lost his 8 year old son and his wife. Neither are dealing with their grief very well. He has channeled his into anger and she is a walking zombie. The first half is so grief laden it is almost physically painful to read. They forge an unhealthy relationship based on sadness and sex. It’s frankly creepy and very freaking sad and it continues to hurt to read about these two. They eventually realize what they’ve been doing is not a good idea and forge a real friendship that turns into something more and I LOVED this. I was ready to give it 4 ½ stars. It was gorgeous and heartfelt and full of healing goodness. The book should’ve ended right here but sadly it didn’t.


Someone mistakenly thought that adding in some crazy plot twists, suspense and loads of unneeded drama were needed and turned the lovely ending into a shitshow of epic proportions before finally giving us a HEA in the epilogue. I’m bumping off a full point for all of this nonsense.


So anyway, if you want some drama in your reading life and need to shed a few tears then read this. The characters are very well written, well matched and the romance believably developed. The little girl, Emma, was the kind of child that I actually enjoy reading about in romance. She’s funny and loves scary movies and monsters and dogs. She is awesome and I want to read her book someday. There’s also an ongoing thread featuring feathers that will gut you every time they appear. It’s all worth reading. Just be warned that the first third, as my notes say, and my notes do not lie, is “so fucking depressing I may as well be reading a bleak horror novel.” The next bit is five star material and so beautifully cleansing after all of the pain but argh that last bit before the very end needed to be exorcised right out of the book!

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review 2018-05-09 19:57
Five Dares by Eli Easton
Five Dares - Bret Easton Ellis

I needed a little change of pace from all of the darkness and smart-stuff I’ve been reading lately and this book was just the thing. It was also about 6 months late over @ Netgalley. Oops. I don't know why they give me stuff. 

So, the setup is completely ridiculous but you know what? I don’t even care! 

Here it is:

Andy and Jake have been best friends for years. The pair are known for doing stupid stunts but the latest is the stupidest of all. While drunk, Andy decides that holding lit firecrackers will impress their college buds so Jake goes along with it. Andy says he’s tested this out, so why not? The stunt predictably leaves them both with badly burned hands that will take months to heal. They decide to heal together at Andy’s family cottage (his family is wealthy) where two kind souls come in daily to help them shower, provide nursing care and prepare their meals. Soon they tire of Netflix and the inability to, ahem, pleasure themselves (kind of tough without hands) and they start experimenting with each other. Andy, previously straight, starts getting feelings for his bisexual friend who has loved him forever and you just know this is going to get messy.

I told you the setup was ridiculous but hey, I still don’t care. It’s sexy and fun and sometimes you just need a little frivolity in your reading life.




These two were best friends and that came across in their thoughts and actions. Neither wanted to step over a line and lose the other and neither could come right out and express their true feelings fearing they’d lose their best friend. It’s a sticky situation, to be sure. The relationship started out as simply a means to ease their sexual pain but it soon morphed into something that had been simmering below the surface for years.

I really enjoyed this story for all of its sweet sexiness. The only thing I wasn’t too thrilled about were all of the flashbacks to their silly stunts in the past. Those kept throwing me out of the current story. One or two would’ve done the trick, if anyone were asking me. Other than that this story was exactly what I hoped it would be. There was plenty of time spent developing both characters which would’ve been a complete disaster done wrong as they were pretty much the only two in story! There’s a little angst but it was never unbearable. I actually enjoyed Andy’s struggles to figure basically everything out; his future, his sexual preferences, his career path. Argh, so stressful! But when the light finally turns on it feels genuine. That isn’t something I can say about a lot of romances. I really loved these two and almost finished this book in one sitting because I just didn’t want to put it down. They were both sweet and slightly goofy and acted their age without being obnoxious. If you’re ever looking for a fun romance this is a pretty good one. 

Now back to the horror . . .

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review 2018-01-11 18:11
Hard Core by Tess Oliver
Hard Core - Tess Oliver

I haven’t a clue why this book is called Hard core because it’s not hard core at all and that’s not a terrible thing. Just don’t be misled by the title thinking you’re going into some gritty, taboo, murder filled read. You might be disappointed if that’s the case.

Hard Core is a sweet, slightly saucy little love story. Ledger has recently been released from prison for a stupid but rather harmless offense. He’s covered in tattoos but he’s nothing but sweetness on the inside.

He did not murder or harm anyone, if you were still wondering.

Jacy runs a coffee shop and is recovering from an abusive relationship and a devastating secret she doesn’t share with anyone when she meets Ledger. They soon fall in love but Ledger has a secret of his own. A secret which will come back to bite him in his perfect butt and possibly ruin everything he’s been living for the past few years.

This was a straight-forward, slightly predicable but pleasant romance with a likable, if sometimes misguided, hero and a heroine who didn’t get on my last nerve. I’d recommend reading it in paper as I wasn’t overly thrilled with either narrator. I love the idea of two narrators for this type of story but have to admit it threw me at first and took some getting used to. Lauren Sweet voices Jacy and her voice was so nasally at times that it made me cringe. Marcio Catalano does his best with Ledger but I felt his voice was too cultured and smooth for a man like Ledger. A little roughness would’ve made it work better for me. I’m not sure either narrator was the best choice for these two characters but they weren’t abominable so if audio is your only thing give it a go.

 

 

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review 2017-08-25 16:46
Pound of Flesh by Jessa Kane
Pound of Flesh - Jessa Kane

This little story is about a recently released, bulldog faced convict, built like an ogre who takes a young (but not too young) beauty hostage to get back at her brother for some reason or another (but mostly it's the sex he wants, if you're wondering).

 

She's pretty cool with it. Guess she likes monstrous men who take what they want. Hey, we all have our things . . .

 

This is "ravage me, I love it" soft porn. My brain was tired and I needed something slightly offensive and silly to take my mind off my real life woes and this one did the trick.

 

Sorta recommended, I guess?

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