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review 2016-11-19 09:28
Just for me
Undercover Boyfriend (Dreamspun Desires Book 12) - Jacob Z. Flores

Marty meets Luke outside a local bar, where he later finds out a man is dead.  Luke is undercover and cannot tell him the whole truth.  Not without getting him involved or bringing danger to his family.

 

Everyone knows Luke as Tim, Marty's imaginary boyfriend.  Except that kiss did not feel fake.  This is getting to be more real than either of them imagined.  But danger lurks near.

 

Such a fun and sexy book!  I loved every page and devoured it as quick as I could!  The chemistry between the main characters was top notch.  The story moved at a good pace, and there were surprises for the reader too!  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2016-10-17 05:14
Suddenly Yours (Jacob Z. Flores)
Suddenly Yours (Dreamspun Desires Book 20) - Jacob Z. Flores

3.5 stars

When I still read a lot of category M/F romance from Harlequin, accidental marriage (usually involves waking up in Vegas with hangover) is one of my favorite tropes. What draws me to this trope is how the couple might be forced by a situation to stay married, but over time, realize that they are actually falling in love with one another and it’s more than just a good sex experience, of course. It’s a ‘backward’ tale of falling in love and to me, that’s interesting.

Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly find that kind of conflict in this book. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it … but I just didn’t find the ‘progress’ from not feeling anything to falling in love with these guys. Why? Because I felt that it was clear from the beginning how Julian and Cody are a perfect fit for each other; they have a great amount of chemistry… I was having difficulty believing that they weren’t on their way to falling in love right from the start.

It was easier to see that Julian might not feel the same towards his ex … but to Cody? Hell, Julian is romantic to Cody, he is protective, he wants Cody to have everything, and he tries to make sure that Cody is happy. Julian keeps saying how Cody is different than any other man for him. To me, Julian is already there … in love with his husband.

I might understand that Jacob Flores tries to separate affection and love, and that one can be married with affection but without love … but here, I felt that Julian and Cody have both already! So the conflict wasn’t there to begin with.

Having said that … I was still fabulously entertained! Flores’ brand of humor fits me. I found myself smiling and all-in-all overjoyed. Both men are likable, although Cody is definitely the sunshine of this book. His carefree attitude, his witty one-liners, his determination to make Julian less of an ass-tight man … it is all a gorgeous package that made me fall in love with Cody. Julian might be a little clueless when it comes to his own feelings but I must admit that his love declaration is GRAND. Kudos Julian.

Verdict: cute, light angst, low steam level (Cody wants to have six months marriage trial without sex! *lol*), and delightful read. It makes me happy for sure.



A Guest Review for The Blogger Girls



The ARC is provided by the publisher for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

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review 2016-10-16 20:26
Release Day ARC Review: Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores
Suddenly Yours (Dreamspun Desires Book 20) - Jacob Z. Flores

I had high expectations for this book, because of its author, and while he didn't let me down, I did end up disliking Julian to the point of it costing this book that extra half star.

This book is at its core about two men whose expectations of love and relationships have been set by the examples they had in their parents. They don't believe in love. Overrated. Love is a useless emotion. Right.

Fundamentally, Cody and Julian are rather well-suited to each other, their personalities meshing nicely, but because of their belief systems, their oopsie-on-a-dare marriage appears to be doomed from the start.

Julian is adamant that he's not going to fall in love. While he's openly gay and won his senate seat while openly gay, and while he supports same-sex marriage and equality, he has no intention of ever getting married or being in love. His parents' marriage is Exhibit A, and no, sirree, it's not for him. Besides, he almost got married once, but that didn't work out, so here's Exhibit B. No love for Julian, thanks.

Cody too has a lot of reservations about love and marriage. He's in Vegas for a bachelor party weekend, seeing one of his frat brothers tying the knot. He feels the pressure of taking the next step in adulthood, meaning finding The One and getting hitched, but his mother's bad luck in love has warned him off that path. He's perfectly happy not being in love and finding his meat-du-jour.

Except, they are both looking for the same thing - companionship, friendship, having someone to come home to. Sex. Someone who supports you. More sex. Everything a relationship offers, except the love part. Because, you know, love is overrated. And love can hurt you.

So their agreement after their hasty Vegas marriage is a six-month trial period of living together and seeing whether this works for them both. Sex is off the table, because neither wants the holy hot boysecks they had the night before to distract them from making the right decision. And they agree that they will not fall in love.

Famous last words.

Jacob easy writing style always draws me right in, and this book is no exception. What carried it for me, and what kept me glued to the pages, is Cody. He was adorable and sweet and kind, even if he's a bit of a rake early on, but he seemed committed to making things work and help Julian retain his senate seat. He works within Julian's rigid rules (borne out of a need to control all things), but also tries to pull him out of his head and enjoy life.

Love always finds a way, though, no matter how oblivious or dead-set against it the characters may be. When things come to a head, because love does happen as it's wont to do, and Julian does a stupid thing that hurts Cody, I was so upset that I nearly didn't finish the book. He really ticked me off, and I think because I so adored Cody, it made me even more angry how Julian treated him.

The book has plenty of humorous moments though, and I did enjoy reading it. I especially liked Cody's Days Of Our Lives soap opera obsession, and thought that the author cleverly used that theme with tongue-in-cheek. And while we get a tentative HEA, as expected because this is a romance after all, I would have liked to see an epilogue to really cement it. I wasn't quite as ready to forgive Julian as Cody was, and would have preferred a bit more begging.

By design, this book is low on steam on-page, but high on UST, which was highly entertaining.

While is is a Dreamspun Desires title and certainly has a Harlequin-type feeling to it, it's also the 2nd book in the One Fine Day series. In that it too fits well within the overall theme.

Nicely done, Jacob, even if Julian made me mad.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2016-10-10 00:00
Suddenly Yours (Dreamspun Desires Book 20)
Suddenly Yours (Dreamspun Desires Book 20) - Jacob Z. Flores Review originally posted at Sinfully.

This is another mostly light, sweet story from the Dreamspun Desires line. This one highlighting the “accidentally married” trope, drunken Las Vegas nuptials and all.

Senator Julian Canales lives a strictly ordered life. As an out US Senator for the State of California, he can’t afford any mistakes, so his rules serve him well. While Julian has no intention of ever falling in love or getting married after growing up watching his parents’ disastrous relationship, he is all for family and marriage equality. He almost got married once, but things didn’t quite work out and he has never looked back.

Cody Hayes is in Vegas for the wedding of one of his college frat buddies. They’re all settling down and think he needs to do the same. Cody disagrees. Seeing his mother go through the pain of falling in love with, getting married to and then losing man after man has soured Cody on love. Love is not for him. His free spirit lifestyle is working great and there’s no shortage of willing men for a one off when he wants it. Besides, he’s been in love once before and it will never happen again.

Cody and Julian seemingly have nothing in common, but a night of alcohol-fueled truth or dare uncovers that they just might be perfect together. Neither is looking for love, but both would like some of what marriage entails: a partnership based on affection, mutual respect and support and, of course, the sex. The ultimate dare leads to a morning of panic when they wake up married. After initial thoughts of divorce and screaming from Julian’s campaign adviser, they realize that their marriage could work out perfectly for both of them, giving them each just what they want… as long as they don't fall in love.

Although this is the second One Fine Day novel from Jacob Z. Flores, the two storylines are standalones with no connections other than a marriage theme. Like [b:Undercover Boyfriend|30094338|Undercover Boyfriend (One Fine Day, #1)|Jacob Z. Flores|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1462301822s/30094338.jpg|50517179] this is another opposites making unlikely bedfellows while falling in love during a stressful situation and I enjoyed this one just as much, maybe even a bit more as I felt more of an emotional investment with Cody and what he goes through. The story isn’t just a matter of them seeing the love between them that everyone else can, but it’s what will happen once they do and realize that the cardinal rule of their marriage plan has been broken.

After the two come to an agreement that divorce won’t be necessary, Cody proposes a six month, sex-free trial period (PG-13) so they can logically decide whether to stay married without the hot monkey sex clouding their judgment. Julian reluctantly agrees and Cody moves into Julian’s home. The two spend time getting to know each other, fighting the sexual tension and Cody provides some of the more humorous moments in the story as he tries to get Julian to open up like he did in Vegas. Cody’s Days of Our Lives obsession (I had one of those once as well so I enjoyed the little throwbacks) seemed a bit of a wink to the soap opera stylings of the plot, though it never gets that over-the-top.

Julian and Cody are possibly the two most oblivious characters I’ve read when it comes to their feelings for each other. Both are so anti-love they can’t see it when it happens to them even when everyone around them is pointing it out. When things ultimately come to a head Cody goes into self-preservation mode and Julian goes back to all-business. This was actually painful to read as Julian fights his feelings tooth and nail leaving Cody hurt and shouldering the blame.

Even with the heavier feelings here, Jacob Z. Flores has a light touch with his writing, injecting humor where necessary yet not trivializing Cody’s pain. Julian verged on the edge of frustrating at times but managed to fall short of driving me mad. The story is light on the sex scenes but full of sexual tension as Julian and Cody try to keep things platonic. I enjoyed the ups and downs of this unlikely romance and hope that we get more in this completely entertaining marriage series.

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review 2016-09-02 08:40
Please Remember Me - Jacob Z. Flores
Please Remember Me - Jacob Z. Flores

What I liked:
- Some scenes were so beautiful and/or painful they made me cry.
- Hank! Big, sweet teddy bear of a man.
- It took a while for the story to get a grip on me, but when it did - oh boy! I couldn't put it down until I finished.  

What I didn't like:
- The writing was overly descriptive in places and that distracted me from the story. In fact, the first 20% of the book I was convinced I would dnf.
- Being introverted does not equal being shy. As a very introverted and very much not a shy person, I would know.
- They were constantly "clawing" and "chewing" on each other. While I'm used to that kind of expressions in shifter books, in contemporary romance it invokes some very unpleasant images.


"I had to slowly pull my lip from his jaws and take deep breaths to calm down."


"Whenever Hank rimmed my ass, he grunted and turned into an animal rooting around in his favorite spot."


- And then, there was this gem also:


"Touching him was like sticking my tongue in an electrical socket."


What, potentially deadly and you need a two-digit IQ to do it?

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