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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 2016-07-12 01:12
Suit Porn with a romantic-ish twist
Bespoke - Megan McFerren,Val Prozorova

3.25 Hearts--Suit porn.

*mutters filthy things*

*bites lip*

I lost my train of thought. This happens when I see a good looking man in a good looking suit.

So when I read the blurb of this new to me author duo, Megan McFerren and Val Prozorova, I just had to read! Suits, demanding customer paired with a possibly obnoxious tailor? I imagined high tensions and sexy smolders while measurements were taken. After reading, I can say both authors definitely love a good suit. This was the ultimate suit porn (and no I'm not talking sex).

In Bespoke, an arrogant neurosurgeon, Vance, is having a very bad day. He just arrived from London to stay for an extended neurosurgeons' conference in NYC, the airport lost his clothes and he just can't be seen wearing the only two suits he managed to bring as carry-on. Why, he'll be the laughingstock of the conference. While suffering from his very, bad, horrible day, he can't even check into his hotel suite. He needs a suit stat, so why he asks for the best tailor in the city, he's directed to a little shop that doesn't look like it houses the very best tailor.

The arrogant doctor meets super confident tailor: Louisiana bred Ethan Adler.

Ethan doesn't ask he tells. And the British doctor is flabbergasted.

Now this is when the setup climaxes, because the story spends more time describing the color and fabric of the suits and not building the relationship between the two men who got off on the wrong foot. Here was an opportunity to have the doctor cut Ethan down to size, he seems to have a pompous backbone to him. But he was quiet.

And while I love the entire process of creating clothes and had a Project Runway moment while reading and saw the ubiquitous fabric store, Mood mentioned, I didn't read this just for the clothes.

I liked both characters. I especially loved the distinct tone and voices of the main characters, and have to call out when the voice matches the person presented. Vance threw out $20 words like it was nothing to him. It's the little details that I enjoy. Ethan was a dedicated, geeky-ish, confident tailor who knows his skills.

But does one 'me-time' session and a shared passion for clothes really mean these men would hit it off so quickly?

For a time frame as tight as these two were under, I'd buy it more if there was any believable chemistry. The passion is there...for suits.

Ethan and Vance? Not so much.

I think this story should have been longer, I just can't buy someone as uptight as Vance who thinks so highly of himself he had to rush to buy a one of a kind suit, to going there with someone who isn't even on his level. If he had a change of heart, or came off his high horse (especially after his mean trick to Ethan), more time was needed.

For escapism? I guess it could work.
For lovers of crafting clothes? This is porn for your fabric loving selves.

Thank goodness for the epilogue.

A very short story that might work best when you don't want to bust your brain reading a quick romance with likeable characters, nice writing and instalust feels.

A copy provided for an honest review via Netgalley

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review 2016-07-10 23:42
An Autistic alpha lumbersexual hero? Why not!
His Pretend Baby: His Pretend Baby: 50 Loving States, Oregon - Theodora Taylor

The fact that the hero in "His Pretend Baby" is on the autism spectrum was a big draw for me. Probably because of the field I'm in. Reading this made me smile at parts. This isn't the first book I've seen that featured a hero on the spectrum (yay!) and there should be more romances featuring main characters on the spectrum.

This story is a solid 3.5 stars because I couldn't put it down.

The premise is a little soap opera-y and towards the end it got to be too soap opera-y that I can't round up.

"Go" or Rodrigo (the nickname Go threw me off a lot) is a billionaire tech geek, a product of Mexican immigrants who thinks different. He founded a company that he had tailored to his needs. He thinks differently, loves plans (don't deviate from his plans), has sensory issues and is a success story.

Nyla, his heroine, is a former foster kid, punk alternative "freak" with tattoos and multiple piercings that she uses as an armor. She also works in a domestic abuse shelter, doesn't trust from years of rejection from people she tried to trust but loves her job to help others.

One drunken mistake lands Nyla pregnant with her ex-boyfriend's baby. Sadly, her ex is killed soon after sharing her positive pregnancy test. But her ex's brother steps in with a crazy plan to marry and pretend it's his baby.

Don't deviate from the plan. :)

Go (I can't believe I'm referring to a human man as Go) is an alpha male all the way. Nyla, with a master's in psychology sees him, understands him and instead of trying to change him to fit her norms, she makes him comfortable in his skin. She meets his family and though they mean well with a teasing nickname (Berger for Asperger's), tries to show them in a few words that the nickname isn't nice.

The two start with a fake relationship, or that's what Nyla thinks as she agrees to Go's plans and marries. But...it wasn't fake on his end.

Go likes it rough. And prefers to do all the touch. That first sex scene...just that illusion of breath play. I wished it was... *moans* oh how I wished it was.

The have chemistry, the internal filters work differently but whoo boy...they were on even ground in their relationship.

*smh* The villain and their antics with added concentrated drama (past off page incest), the way the ending sort of baits the reader into thinking the worst possible happened, I wasn't a fan of. I liked the interactions between Nyla and Go up until the honeymoon. A lot happens afterward and I'm sort of sold on how it all went down, sort of not.

The execution? Eh...it's okay. *squints* Sometimes the main characters read like caricatures, Nyla always emphasizing her piercings and tatts, Go being like a robot. Instead of letting them be them, they were their descriptors. I wished there was less of that, I might have rated higher.

Overall, the story is good, the premise is awesome.

This story made me happy in a way.

We're all wired when we get down to basics, sometimes differently but it's perfect & unique all the same.

"His Pretend Baby" attempted to show how.

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review 2016-05-04 23:24
Erotic historical with a twist?
Sweet William - Dianne Hartsock

A Hearts On Fire Review

3.5 HEARTS--"Sweet William" by Dianne Hartsock does just as the blurb promises: former tutor/pupil lovers reunite in this erotic historical romance. Set in the late 1800's in Boston and told in alternating POV, "Sweet William" is a 19 year old shipping business heir who is very wealthy, a twink and also very popular among the men. We're talking a lot of erections in tight grips.Plan to stretch the reality rubber band a little with this story. Every guy pretty much had a stiff one between their legs. Good old PWP ;D

This sort story had a plot in between the horniness of all the male characters. The tutor, Frederick is only 22, an orphan and getting shafted (ha!) by life. He's broke and still carries a torch for his first and only (?) male lover, William. (That was the impression) In a day, they reunite,
everyone still wants a piece of William and his hot ass. All systems seem to be on board for massive shagging between the main players because of their reunion.


This is where the story isn't as tight as it could be - length. We go back and forth through rash decisions, a weird plot twist that mostly works itself out in the end and violence. Triggers: on page violence, attempted sexual assault and off page sexual assault. This is my second story in short period of time that had a rapey villain of sorts. It fit the plot device but I know if I look at this plot long enough I'll find holes and bumps.

A bump was the possibility a man can be captured twice by the same people, while on the run in a big town like Boston. Granted, the setting isn't in modern times, but I think maybe hiding in a bush in the dark or maybe not going to the scene of the crime again might have stopped the whole concern I had with that particular plot twist. I know it's just to move the plot along but it kept irking me. Also, what is up with authors using sexy times while critically ill? Why can't there be a healing period and then worrying about boners. This isn't the first author to do so and I'm sure it won't be the last. *squints*

The biggest issue with "Sweet William" was the length & the underplayed suspense angle. The story is short but it ends at a good enough spot. We get reunited lovers and drama thrown in. However, there is a kidnapping angle that is too subtle. It could have been mentioned earlier with more clues to let the reader get why certain 'clues' were important. And I wish I got to learn more about the main characters, they were interesting.

The story is quick. Sometimes a short story that gives just enough can work. I do think this would work for a reader who like hot reads, not too much time spent on world building and something that can be read in an hour or two.

Overall, porn with plot. And good plot too. It could be extended and it'd totally be stronger read.

As is, I liked it but with the issues I couldn't rate higher. I'll definitely check out more from this author though; the ideas were good.

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review 2016-04-09 23:36
A Saran Wrap Review
A Gentleman's Position - K.J. Charles

A Group Review with Adam and Cupcake

My two cents...

4.5 Hearts--aka A Saran Wrap Review

"Do you think it is possible?"
"Most things are possible, if you look at them the right way."


Why Saran Wrap? I was on top of this book the moment I read A Fashionable Indulgence. I was pressed against it so tight, I clung to it like Saran Wrap.

Why? Because boss/employee relationships are my balm, K.J. Charles is word porn for the mind and it featured the 'gingerest of all gingers', David Cyprian aka FOXY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I shall blurt out my feels while going through book withdrawal and applauding this magnificent series called Society of Gentlemen.

Could you read the series out of order? I wouldn't suggest it. David & Richard's story was a long time coming *coughs*months for me, over four years for them*coughs* You could see the seeds of sexual tension in book one, the sprouts of the forbidden aspect and Richard's mulish ideas on masters tupping the help in book #2 and the longing and finally...the sprouts bloom in "A Gentleman's Position".

David Cyprian, redheaded valet extraordinaire who strived hard to be the best valet in England, has his fingers in a lot of pies all around the country in the name of his master, Lord Richard Vale, a marquess' second son. David would do anything for Lord Richard; he's proved this the previous books of this series. Quiet and unassuming, the man was a mastermind in his own right. And the biggest motivator pushing him? His love for Lord Richard. Four and a half years of making his master the best dressed, especially for a man of his remarkable size and what does David get for it? Nothing other than being so close and yet so far from his love.

Because Lord Richard would never touch a servant.

Even if Richard wants to.

Even if they both want to touch each other.

You know what happens when long time feelings are denied, right? Especially in those quiet types? *grins*

"Quite right. I should learn my place."
"It's here, between my legs."
"God help me, I think it is."

Passion explosion!

Out of all of the books, this is the most romantic of the bunch. I was a little surprised how romantic it got. And it reminded me the most of past Regencies I've read. (I do love a good valet/master romance) But what K.J. Charles did with this novel, breaking down why it is wrong, why privilege can blind the eyes even when you're in love, why saying you'll put yourself in another person's shoes and not get it when one is privileged...listen, the book taught a lesson and told a story. I had to stop reading during some parts because it was just so good. And inclusive! In a Regency romance!!

I did want to kick Richard a few times because he had privileged foot in mouth syndrome. And David, the cunning owner of a pair of steel balls started off timid for me in this book. I didn't like what he was becoming....it must have been the soft and pink aka love haze. But my ginger remembered his spine and at the right time in the story - sometimes you don't know how strong you are until you've been brought low. And he hits a low point, but discovered some things about himself.

The tension was strong, the love even stronger. The words spoken between Richard and David were some of the sweetest. And Richard, like me, knows red hair is to be cherished, not ridiculed. I still don't get why gingers get teased. Ginger lovers? You will be redeemed in this.

"I want to take handfuls of that hair for myself, to follow it all the way down and find out if you are red all over. It is irresistible. You are irresistible."

Plus, there was even time for a little action - blackmailing within the ton, so to speak.

We got to see the couples from the Ricardians come back to do what they do best. It was great to read the men. Let me say, I am a Julius Norreys fangirl, vice president of the club. But this book made me realize how much I also fangirl for Mason and Dominic. I can't even say I like more than the other - they are a pair, so solid that they give David and Richard a run for their money. They made excellent secondary characters. All of the secondary characters from the previous books and prior lead characters helped move the blackmail angle along.

The book's 'villain' - he's really a disgusting piece of work. I think since his name started with Mal-, I just thought of putrid things. And weirdly enough Draco Malfoy came to mind. If "you filthy little mudblood" was ever uttered from this book's villain's lips, I wouldn't have been surprised. And the way the blackmail came together was nothing short of brilliant.

The plot was well thought out and crafted, like watching chips falling together to solve a puzzle. I literally have a third of this book highlighted and to share the best of my quotes will give away too much. The sexual tension still had a good burn to it, slow in spots but bombastic throughout. It culminated at the right spot and the ending was damn near perfect.

The Society of Gentlemen series ends on a high note and I'll miss these men something fierce. Regency lovers...seriously, get this series (and read in order).

Long live Foxy and his master!

A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.

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