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review 2018-02-14 15:44
Thoughts: That's Amore!
That's Amore!: Meet the ParentsI Do, Don't I?There Goes the Groom - Tori Carrington,Janelle Denison,Leslie Kelly

That's Amore! -- anthology
Authors include: Janelle Denison, Tori Carrington, and Leslie Kelly
Book 2 of Santori Stories

Average Rating:  3.1 Stars
(Includes personal rating:  3.0 Stars)



It's way too late to elope....

Meet the Parents by Janelle Denison

Like all dutiful Hawaiian daughters, Leila Malekala is expected to marry a Hawaiian groom handpicked by her parents.  But guess what, Mom and Dad?  Leila has wedding plans of her own.  The groom is California bad boy Jason Crofton... and the bride is pregnant.

I Do, Don't I? by Tori Carrington

Efi Panayotopoulou is about to marry her childhood sweetheart Nick Constantino.  Everything should be perfect.  But their families seem hell-bent on turning the wedding into a farce-or Greek tragedy.  And Efi is about a baklava flake away from running off... without her groom.

There Goes the Groom by Leslie Kelly

Luke Santori is engaged to "a nice Italian girl" from his Chicago neighborhood.  But wedding plans get tossed-like unbaked dough at his family's pizzeria-when Luke falls for blond-haired, blue-eyed Rachel Grant... the dressmaker designing his fiancee's bridal gown.

I'm really not a fan of the romantic Valentine's holiday, but I'm also a hopeless romantic and love to love some sweet, fluffy contemporary romances.  What better way to celebrate the holiday than an anthology of contemporary romances called That's Amore! that is based around three wedding novellas.  One of which was written by an author I like!

Meet the Parents by Janelle Denison
Rating:  3.5 Stars

This novella was cute, and I found a lot of the Hawaiian traditions quite interesting as well.  I liked that there wasn't a whole lot of angst in this sweet love story, even if there was a bit of a conflict involving the groom-to-be and his in-laws.  I wish I could say that I found Leila's parents a bit frustrating in their disapproval of her chosen husband... but the truth is, it doesn't surprise me, because I've seen more than my fair share of the same behavior among my own Asian relatives.

It's tiring, and yes, also frustrating.  But something that happens.  But we get a Happily Ever After in this novella, which is what counts.  That's probably more than I can say for other stories I've seen with the same, stubborn types of parental units who are more concerned with tradition than seeing how happy their children are.

A nice little read.  And while I'm a little reluctant to say that it was also a little boring... well, it kind of was.

I Do, Don't I? by Tori Carrington
Rating:  2.5 Stars

This novella was really full of crazy.  And while I loved seeing all the Greek wedding traditions, and reading about the loud, raucous actions of all of Efi's and Nick's relatives, and just overall witnessing a week full of partying and celebration... I couldn't help but feel extremely frustrated with both sides of the family.  This is why a lot of couples end up eloping...

And then maybe I was a bit frustrated with Nick as well.  It probably didn't help that we mostly followed Efi's point of view up until one small scene at the end of the novella.  I honestly would have liked to have seen more of the entire affair from Nick's point of view.  Because without his side of things, the story just felt like Efi was bearing all the stress of the wedding planning and the family crazy... while Nick just skated by and waited to get married.

Nonetheless, this story was a fun one, even if a little over-laden with angst, conflict, and made-for-television antics.

I would have liked to have seen a show down between Efi and Aphrodite, though I suppose it wouldn't really have been in good humor.  I would have liked to see more mature understanding from Nick--the fact that he seemed to be oblivious to everything, including cousin Aphrodite's attempts to seduce him made me cringe a little bit.  The fact that Nick had even entertained thoughts of doing anything with Aphrodite at all made me a little wary of how this marriage will be going forward; especially when Efi's confrontation didn't even seem to get through to his thick, ignorant head.

The fact that Nick has no idea that Efi had dreams of her own that shouldn't have been impeded by wedding vows felt a little immature.  In fact, neither of the two seemed to know what the other wanted, or had been expecting out of this marriage at all.  It got to a point where I was wondering if they were just getting married because it was expected for the two high school sweethearts--that they were in love with the idea of being in love and getting married, more than they were in love with each other.

Anyway... fun as fun was, this story turned out more like a family affair of crazy rather than a sweet romance.  It certainly DOES bring a realistic tone to all the crazy events that usually lead up to a wedding day.  Especially when family and relatives tend to get a little too involved.

There Goes the Groom by Leslie Kelly
Rating:  3.5 Stars

The premise of this novella could have gone in all sorts of bad directions--with an engaged man and his fiancee's dressmaker falling for one another, this could have been a disaster.  Fortunately, our lovely author managed to handle the events quite well, and we simply end up with a case of two people marrying for the wrong reasons.  Our hero sort of works through his own issues with the help of the heroine, as well as his brothers.

Simply put, this novella was a sweet one.

One of the things I DID NOT appreciate were the little comments here and there from our heroine that came off a little judgmental about random people in the story.  Some of those comments, honestly, I felt were uncalled for.

Meanwhile, this story also made me want a pizza...



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/02/thoughts-thats-amore.html
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review 2017-10-28 20:15
Her Sexiest Mistake by Janelle Denison
Her Sexiest Mistake (The Sexiest Series Book 1) - Janelle Denison


Time flies when reading Janelle Denison.  Grey and Mariah are an intoxicating blend of innocence and naughty, as seductive as it is flirtatious.  Her Sexiest Mistake is all for the pleasure but this one, two step also puts a spell on the heart.


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review 2017-10-28 19:55
Her Sexiest Fantasy by Janelle Denison
Her Sexiest Fantasy (The Sexiest Series Book 2) - Janelle Denison


Kyle means to claim his greatest desire. Jade is anything but an easy target.  Battle lines are drawn, let the dance of love begin.  Her Sexiest Fantasy is a battle of wills that targets the senses:  Heart, hormones and humor. With two overpowering characters, Ms. Denison never lets the naughty outshine the nice.  

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review 2017-01-29 00:00
How Sweet It Is
How Sweet It Is - Janelle Denison ARC Review: How Sweet It Is by Janelle Denison

How Sweet It Is originally appealed to me because of the eye catching cover and the length of the story. The fact that I was familiar with some of the author's past works was another point in it's favor. However, once I met Rebecca I needed to know more. Her responsible, often times predictable life needed some shaking up. And it was. In more ways than she could ever dream up. Playboy extraordinaire, Spencer is about to show her the sweet side of love, life and lust all in one weekend. Rebecca and Spencer were the stars of the show with their flirty antics and intoxicating, irritating and all out captivating foray into love. I have voluntarily read this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.
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review 2016-08-31 02:12
Very Brief Thoughts: Not Another Blind Date... (anthology)
Not Another Blind Date.. - Jo Leigh,Janelle Denison,Leslie Kelly

Not Another Blinde Date... anthology

Authors Include:  Janelle Denison, Leslie Kelly, Jo Leigh

Average Rating:  3.0 Stars
-- Personal Rating:  3.0 Stars



These Valentine's Day dates have all the markings of blind-date disaster! Or do they?

"Skin Deep" by Janelle Denison
Who says nice girls can't have fun?  And Jayne does--dirty dancing and a lot more!--with a hot bad boy one night.  Still, it was a onetime thing.  Really!  But when she's set up on a blind date with her sexy stranger, she realizes Cupid must have other ideas...

"Hold On" by Leslie Kelly
Shy Sarah Holt has a bad case of unrequited lust.  She's hopelessly enamored with a client--sexy Steve Wilshire.  So, when she gets the chance to impersonate the very kissable doctor's blind date, she takes it....and has the most torrid night of her sheltered life.  But will Steve still be "holding on" when the truth comes out?

"Ex Marks the Spot" by Jo Leigh
Oh, no.  Paige Callahan just got set up on a blind date--arranged by her ex-boyfriend!  But potential catastrophe turns into flirty fun--and then some!--when she meets sexy, very wealthy Noah Hastings.

-- Skin Deep by Janelle Denison | 3.0 Stars
-- Hold On by Leslie Kelly | 3.5 Stars
-- Ex Marks the Spot by Jo Leigh | 2.5 Stars

This was a cute little romance anthology to pass the time, especially when you're in a reading slump and you just need a fluff piece to keep you going.  Some of the ideals and scenes and dialogue in these novellas felt a little dated, but this IS a category romance from Harlequin Blaze, so I don't ever expect much from them aside from a cute little romance.  And that's exactly what I got, so I'm content.

Leslie Kelly's novella was my favorite of the three and showcased what I love so much about her writing.  It kind of reminds me of a romantic comedy movie, actually; especially the ending that's all giddy and cute and sweet, but not drawn out or cheesy.

Janelle Denison is a new author I've never read before, but I really DID enjoy Skin Deep, even if there were a few things I didn't quite care for, such as the drawn out angst.

I've read Jo Leigh before in another anthology, but I don't remember anything about what I'd read.  So she's still akin to a new-to-me author for me.  To be honest, her story felt boring.

Anyway...  Again, this is a nice romance collection to pass the time with, if you want so good fluff.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
COYER Summer Vacation 2016



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/08/very-brief-thoughts-not-another-blind.html
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