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Search tags: Enemies-To-Lovers
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review 2017-02-17 23:39
Pressure Head
Pressure Head - J.L. Merrow

It took me awhile to get into this one because the snipping-at-each-other form of enemies to lovers is just not that entertaining to me. I also couldn't understand why Tom was allowing Phil to drag him along on his investigation, when he really shouldn't be giving him the time of day. Also, Tom has a day job he was constantly neglecting and Phil wasn't pay him. Though to his credit, Phil did make an attempt.

 

Here's the deal: Phil had bullied Tom back in high school, which resulted in an accident that permanently injured Tom and altered his life in significant ways. Even if that was 13 years ago, I just don't get the "fancying the guy who bullied you" trope, and Phil kind of quasi-stalking Tom didn't help. Nor do I get Tom just going along with Phil's demands for help before anything was really resolved between them. Thankfully, things do eventually get resolved and in satisfying enough ways to make me forgive the slow, awkward, weird start.

 

The mystery was well done and there was no obvious villain, though I do admit I wasn't paying as much attention to the details and clues as I usually do since I was getting hung up on trying to figure out Tom. Still, there were enough red herrings and everyone had possible motives, so it wasn't easy to pick any one character out as the whodunit. 

 

Gary and Darren were the standouts here. They're only side characters, but they steal the show every time they're on page, and they're a hoot and a half. Then there are Merlin and Arthur, Tom's cats, who are very catty and fluffy. :D And even though there were a lot of Britishisms, there was only one I couldn't figure out. The humor is very dry though, so might not be to everyone's taste.

 

 

Actually, that's a good way to sum up Tom and Phil, innit?

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review 2017-02-14 05:20
Had to pull out my rarely used DNF card for this one
Casto - Xenia Melzer
Had to pull out my rarely used DNF card for this one

RATED BROKEN HEART -DNF-33%


So...

Casto...



This was a disaster for me from page 1.

*clears throat*

Not the first time I've read books that don't work for me. I try to see if I can attempt to catch the plot the author tries to deliver, look for something positive about any story I read.

First time author Xenia Melzer's fantasy/mythology Master/slave based debut efforts does show that she is very interested in the world she created in Casto. So much so, that there is centuries of history, math lessons and hundreds of characters introduced. The author was indulgent with new plot thread and tangent written. You can literally read pages and pages of mythology before getting to the premise of Casto.

Meaning a bogged down info dump in the form of a base...



Then we get through millenia of history and convolution to get to two gods who was reduced to a demigod to teach the humans of the new world a lesson, Renaldo and his older brother Canubis (which I kept reading as cannabis). I questioned how all the other mythological beings could have fantasy-ish names and then we get Renaldo as the main character.

Anyway... Renaldo is thousands of years old and he sees 16 year old virgin warrior, Casto, do some impossible feat and take down Renaldo's top warriors. He takes Casto as his slave. And there is fighting and infighting with too many warriors/slaves/people/witches? to count nor care about.

Casto hates Renaldo. Renaldo wants to bed Casto. Doesn't for awhile because he wants Casto to want it. But then we're told there is chemistry. After months/days/years, they fight and a cherry is taken.

 Then an orgy pops up as a spring ritual.



I got off the Casto ride after that. The sex was too forced. The chemistry was the same. And the story telling was all over the place. I don't know why a five year old pops up in between Casto's slavery. Maybe a metaphor? Or flashback?

What the story needed - a clear plot, editing, and reorganization of a lot of paragraphs.

When there are more than 10 characters to keep up with, I think index of all of the characters might be necessary. We go from 2 to 4 then 6 gods, then there are 8 demigods on top of the 6 to keep track of.

Too much.

The Master/slave relationship? I wish there was a different way the entire Casto/Renaldo pairing was written. It read awkward and weird. I've read better stories with this semblance of a plot - war prize/ owner pairing - too much convolution to let the characters come to life in Casto.

Maybe the story got better by the end. (Though I doubt it as more characters kept getting added as I progressed) I'm not interested in finding out or even reading more of this series.

I do not recommend this to fantasy lovers.





A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-02-14 05:15
Fake relationship cracky fluff? Consider me all over it!
Marriage of Inconvenience - M.J. O'Shea

A Hearts On Fire Review

THREE HEARTS--A lot of Dreamspun Desires have the fake-to-real relationship tropes.

I'm not mad at it.

You can find this in M.J. O'Shea's "Marriage of Inconvenience". What's this book's take on the classic trope?

Jericho Knox is a Hollywood actor that is trying to break from the teenbopper mold. He's thirty, handsome and is a decent enough actor. Just one thing, his public person as a womanizer is a lie, a carefully constructed lie to hide the fact that he's gay. He doesn't want to remain in the closet any more, and one night's foolish indiscretion causes him to finally come out to all. That's where our other protagonist steps in, 25 year old public relations assistant, Kerry.

A sweet guy who is starting to see how much of these celebs are merely puppets and his company are the ones pulling the strings. When he's called in to save Jericho's job, sparks fly between both men...and not in a sexy way. Jericho is an asshat and goes out of his way to be one. Kerry obviously has his work cut out for him. When Kerry and his company concocts a fake relationship and engagement to provide stability for the public, Kerry is forced to be the fake love interest.

What I've come to realize, M.J. O'Shea excels well asshole characters. I think all of my fave stories from her feature a jerk main character.

The story is readable. The ingredients are there to make a decent enough story. I think my contention is with the rougher first and last third. I'm #teamgrump all day every day, but any grump in a romance needs to have either believable turnover or at least show that they fully care about the person they care about.

Jericho Knox....I'm finding it difficult to buy his story and his HEA. He told the reader more than showed any redeemable qualities. He's a jerk but on a scale of despicable things to do to a person, he's not downright cruel. He's just spineless, a privileged weak person who takes and doesn't really give.

If there were ever a story that needed an epilogue, I think Marriage of Inconvenience does. This is my first time ever question the HEA of a Dreamspun Desire title.

Kerry despite his publicist job isn't as worldly, doesn't use vices as a crutch to self care and doesn't go out of his way to be bitter. I can easily see Jericho splitting because he gets triggered or he gets mad enough that he reverts right back to that bitter man we see for the majority of the book when he showed something.

I think Kerry deserved better, despite having a few things in common with Jericho. Kerry read more genuine. Jericho had the jerk part down but his growth or rush into a love that is told but I'm not co-signing on. I loved the secondary characters. They provided a nice cushion in this fluffy-ish mix. The story has a few love scenes (it read a little one sided since it meant more to one guy than the other)

Overall, it fits the Dreamspun mold. If Jericho gave an inkling of growth, I'd have totally rated the story higher.

An easy enough read with a fun trope. I do like the Hollywood spin on it, just not feeling Jericho. (Even though the guy on the cover is drool-worthy - it's one of my favorites so far from the house line)

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review 2017-01-23 14:00
Uncensored (The Manhattanites Book 7) by Avery Aster
Uncensored (The Manhattanites Book 7) - Avery Aster
Uncensored (The Manhattanites Book 7)Uncensored by Avery Aster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As with all of the other books by Avery Aster that I have read, this is one HOT story! If you enjoy the Enemies to Lovers trope this is a perfect book for you.

You can see my entire review for this book as well as others on my blog: http://nadineisobsessedwithbooks.blog...

 

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review 2017-01-22 02:20
In Enemy Hands by M.A. Church
In Enemy Hands - M.A. Church

Seriously missing an mpreg element, what with nesting and googly eyes and the whole nine yards.

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