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Search tags: contemporary-romance
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review 2018-08-20 17:07
Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek #3) by Brenda Novak
Home to Whiskey Creek - Brenda Novak

I previously described this story as "Reddit and 4chan had a baby" and after a few days of DNF'ing this book, I stand by that description. Novak showed she was out of her depth by having her heroine have a back story that included a gang rape. The hero and heroine were not up to the challenge of overcoming this (and other) obstacles; they were far too weak and the heroine needed a lot more therapy while she was back in her hometown. The additional storyline of the hero's best friend being gay and in love with the hero for years was already repetitive by the end of book two, and Baxter forcing a kiss from Noah came across as a sexual assault. I lost all respect for Baxter and the others in the friend gang were not anymore mature or level headed. 

 

I might try Novak's suspense novels because I do (for the most part) really like her writing and voice. I just can't take her shoe-horning serious topics into a light contemporary romance storylines - the two aren't meshing well and it comes off as sloppy or damaging writing.

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review 2018-08-19 04:42
A Queen from the North by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese - My Thoughts
A Queen from the North - Racheline Maltese,Erin McRae
I don't remember who recommended this book to me a couple of months ago, but am I ever glad they did.  It was delightful!

Set in an alternate universe... well, here's a blurb - In a United Kingdom where tensions between the houses of Lancaster and York did not end with the War of the Roses, Lady Amelia Kirkham, grad school reject and youngest daughter of a Northern earl agrees to enter into a marriage of convenience with Arthur, Prince of Wales, a 39-year-old widower with an ailing father. Together, they will either unite England’s North and South for the first time in centuries… or cause the kingdom’s fall.

So, in many ways, it felt like a positive rework of the Charles and Diana courtship (I have issues with the whole Chuck and Di thing.) and that might have bugged me more had I not fallen for the Prince of Wales myself within the first three chapters. *LOL* And in Amelia I actually found a young woman protagonist that I didn't want to throttle. And I liked the way their love story played out. I especially enjoyed the part about Canada, although it seemed to me that making Toronto appear the capital of my country was a bit much. 

What intrigued me the most, I must admit, is the alternate history of the story as well as the faint bits of magical mythology that surround the tale. I went hunting around and found out that the writing duo has begun work on the second book of the series and it seems like the myth and magic might take on a more prominent role. YAY!

So yes, I really enjoyed my read and am eagerly looking forward to the next book.
 
 
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review 2018-08-18 19:01
The Veranda (Lavender Shores, #3) by Rosalind Abel Review
The Veranda - Rosalind Abel

Donovan Carlisle helps countless people in Lavender Shores with his skills as a therapist. It seems, however, that his ability to enable others to live their happiest life only works outside of himself. Donovan truly loves his life, but isn’t able to find a relationship that satisfies his heart’s craving. Maybe the problem is that the only man he wants is off-limits. 


Spencer Epstein came to Lavender Shores to find himself. Instead, he married one of the local town beauties. He’d thought his prayers had finally been answered. Then, he met his pregnant fiancée’s brother. It turned out those answered prayers were just cruel twists of fate. 


A decade later, after a divorce and the crumbling of all Spencer thought was set in stone, he sees his brother-in-law at a masquerade sex party. He takes full advantage of the anonymity and acts on the desires he’s held at bay all those years. The problem is, those silent and frenzied moments didn’t satiate anything. The fire and heat between the two men only grows as secrets are uncovered and they must determine if the cost of their passion is too high...

 

Review

 

So.

I like the bind of this book where Donovan is in love with his brother in law. And I like that Spencer makes the move even though sex parties aren't really where I love to start a book but whatever.

I like how Donovan and Spencer work out their relationship. 

What grinds my nerves about this book is the at once simplistic and complex portral of Spencer's ex-wife (in this book and others) Some of her reactions were spot on but her cruelty in other aspects and her choice to seduce and marry Spencer make little sense. 

Spencer background was compelling and well done.

So, on to the next book in the series!

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review 2018-08-17 18:22
The Hideaway (Lavender Shores, #5) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Stars Review!

Lavender Shores’s resident tattoo artist, Connor Clark, looks the part—six foot six, musclebound, and covered in ink—and most definitely doesn’t blend in. Grafted into the Bryant family as a teenager to escape his abusive father, the Bryants saved his life, but Connor has never truly felt a part of the founding family royalty. And if his heart’s desire were revealed, it would betray everything the Bryants have done for him.

Micah Bryant was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s always had everything he ever wanted—save the one he desires most. Even moving to New York City for a few years didn’t dampen his passion. Not that Micah had expected it to. He’s known his destiny since he was nine years old, the moment it had walked through his door.

After years of longing, years of secrets and stolen moments of passion and love, Connor weakens enough to allow the town to see how he feels, and let the Bryants know his love for Micah is anything but brotherly. But no sooner had the decision been made than Connor’s biological family returns and shatters it all. Still, Micah holds on to the belief that their romance was written in the stars, but maybe he’d been wrong all those years...

 

Review

 

It took a good deal of trust in this writer to get me to read this book. I really can't stand forbidden romances of this nature with stepbrother or in this case adopted brother. I have an adopted brother so eww. But he was adopted when I was a toddler and he was just four and Connor comes into his adopted family as teen. I can squint my eyes and deal with this plot. 

Anyway, Connor is a wonderful hero. Micah is great too but privileged, naive, and reckless in places, I like that he grows and pays certain costs. 

Micah's mother's need for him to leave Lavender Shores to be a great musician is an out of tune beat in the story that is distracting or really not given the page time to make this aspect of the story work. 

Micah and Connor have a hot and cold, push and pull relationship that is painful to read at times but Abel does nice work with this dynamic.

The family piece is really well done but more time could have been spent with Connor's nephew.

I like this series a great deal and am happy for this HEA but there are always aspects of these books that need more craft to be truely wonderful and re readable. 

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review 2018-08-15 18:04
The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Stars!
The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) - Rosalind Abel

Adrian Rivera lives as he damn well pleases, defying his Lavender Shores family to spend his days farming the beautiful Northern California land. Not one to daydream of true love and romance, Adrian’s social life has always been filled with sex and plenty of good times. 

Harrison Getty went from NFL star quarterback to America’s gay heartthrob, to reality TV star—with his wedding day broadcast live on national television. But Harrison feels trapped in a Hollywood life dictated by others. To breathe again, he runs from it all… 



 

Adrian’s attraction to Harrison has been building for months—even as Harrison prepared to marry another man. Lightning strikes between them, stirring emotions and passions as Adrian finds “the one,” a love that’s meant to be. But can Harrison stop running long enough to know his own heart? 

Amid scandals and betrayals, Adrian and Harrison struggle to grow their new love even as life’s storms threaten to shatter it all…


 

Review

 

 

The Glasshouse is likely the most Soap Operay of the books I have read in this series with warring family, runaway grooms, sex tapes, and public throw downs. 

At the heart of the story though is Harrison's need to center himself. Harrison character is really well developed. Adrain is well done as well, even if I think he could have been more thoughtful about what was happening with Harrison at the start of their relationship. However, he redeems himself by waiting and supporting when Harrison gets to a point he is ready to really deal with his demons.

The outside conflicts could be much better written but the romance, setting and circle of friends are well done.

I hope Will gets his own book. :)
 
 

 

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