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Search tags: contemporary-romance
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text 2018-11-14 14:52
ARC REVIEW Big Bad Cowboy by Carly Bloom

 

Big Bad Cowboy (Once Upon a Time in Texas, #1)

 

Once Upon a Time in Texas #1, A good Autumn read that takes place just before Halloween and ends with a Christmas epilogue. I adored this book! Maggie and Travis meet at a Halloween costume party, Maggie dressed as slutty Red Riding Hood and Travis as a Wolf. Instant sexual chemistry sparked between them they snuck off together not knowing each others real names and for Maggie not knowing what her Big Bad Wolf actually looked like only to part quickly after but not before Maggie's best friend slipped Maggies's number on to his phone. Travis is fresh out of the military and stuck in his hometown taking care of his nephew, Henry, whose mother just died of cancer and Travis' worthless brother is in jail, again. He's trying to earn money the best way he knows how, especially since the property taxes on his Dad's, now his, ranch are overdue. Maggie is the owner and operator of her own business, Petal Pushers, with her landscaping degree she made a name for herself, now she views Travis as competition, and really annoying, and too sexy for his own good. They wind up getting hired for the same job but for different reasons and the more time Maggie spends with Travis she realises how wrong she was about him. 

Travis recognizes Maggie as Red Riding Hood right away but because he was the one wearing the mask Maggie doesn't recognize him. With her number in his phone he makes contact. Through text messages they flirt and sext and Travis falls in love. Maggie is torn between the her Big Bad Wolf and Travis, and what will she do when she realizes they are one in the same. Between the adorable Henry, the loveable Mrs. Garza (I want one of her) and Maggie's two best friends Claire and JD the secondary cast of characters is just as entertaining as Maggie and Travis. I really did like everything about his book. Overall, it ends up being such a heartwarming story with an endearing cast of characters.   

 

 

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review 2018-11-13 14:39
ARC REVIEW Whiskey Undone by Carrie Ann Ryan

Whiskey Undone (Whiskey and Lies, #3)

Whiskey and Lies #3, YAY!!! Ainsley and Loch finally! This can be read as a standalone as with most of her Contemporary Romance. Loch and Ainsley have been best friends for over ten years, she's helped take care of Loch's daughter when Misty's mother abandoned her and she has always been there content to be his best friend always hoping she could be more. Loch has kept Ainsley in the friend zone because he always feared he never deserved a happy ending, always assuming that sex would ruin everything and she'd not only leave him but Misty too. But Loch can't stand the thought of her with anyone else and one night changes their entire relationship the night they give in to their desire. Unfortunately sex fries their brains, especially Loch's, and they became unable to communicate with each other and they start fighting. It wasn't the only life changing event to happen that night a dead body was discovered behind Loch's gym and now his past is coming back to get  him. 

Overall, another outstanding book by Carrie Ann Ryan. I love the Collins and the town of Whiskey. The book had a great epilogue, very nice HEA wrap up for the family. Third person perspective that switches between Ainsley and Loch so you do learn what Loch's deal is and understand where he's coming from. This is a very emotional story it does deal mostly with Ainsley and Loch's relationship and Loch's emotional issues. The external conflict is a doozie it was really intense there at the end, wow. As sad as I am to see this series end I am anxious for the upcoming series Ryan has planned.                                                                                                                                                                        

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review 2018-11-13 12:53
Crave the Heat by Marnee Blake
Crave the Heat - Marnee Blake

***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Dak Parrish has family issues. That's what he'd jumped at the opportunity to come back to Oregon to fight fires—his father, mother and little brother live on the reservation nearby. While his mother appears not to want to have anything to do with him, his father makes an impromptu visit, blackmailing Dak into helping an arsonist investigator look into suspicious fires...A prickly female investigator that quickly gets under Dak's skin...


Like its predecessor this story also didn't bring much to the table. The characters were bland (although the heroine was slightly too bitchy for my taste), the suspense had its moments, but the final reveal (without much motive behind it, or a worthy resolution) left everything to be desired, the pacing was plodding...

Another puffed-rice-cake equivalent.

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text 2018-11-12 06:28
Tempt the Flames by Marnee Blake
Tempt the Flames - Marnee Blake

Ten years ago, the lives of two families imploded. Two men died in a fire, one was blamed for both deaths and friendships crumbled.

Lance Roberts is back in Redmond, Oregon. First, to get his father's old job and second, to uncover the truth about the death of his and his best friend's father, his father was also blamed for. He doesn't really expect a warm welcome, but he also doesn't expect threats and sabotage...Or falling (again) for his ex-best friend's sister who also happens to be his trainer.


I liked the blurb of this book...But that's pretty much all I liked. Let me put it this way. This book was the reading equivalent of puffed rice cakes. Bland, tasteless and odorless.

The characters were bland, the story was bland, the pacing was poor, the suspense lacked any oomph, the villains were one too many, the romance was lackluster at best (I preferred the angst before they got together)...

It failed to capture my attention and I was bored by the time I got to chapter 4. I admit to only skimming the rest of it, because I kept hoping something would click.

It didn't.

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review 2018-11-11 19:06
Just....No. Things Fall Apart, the Center Does Not Hold
The One You Really Want - Jill Mansell

I want to kick something. This book didn't work at all, and the ending just cobbles together happy endings, that make zero sense when you read what has come before. I am all for happy endings in my romance books, but not with partners who come out of nowhere and or partners that have zero chemistry with the objects of their affection. I kept hoping Mansell would switch things up a bit and have Carmen and Nancy not do what is typical for these types of books, it just doesn't work. 

 

"The One You Really Want" has best friends Nancy and Carmen dealing with Christmas and changes to their lives. Nancy expected that her husband was buying her some fancy jewelry, instead she gets the surprise of her life when she finds out he has been having an affair. Carmen is still grieving the death of her rock star husband, three years later. When her brother-in-law comes to visit (and stay) for the holidays, she finds she is not going to be able to shut the world away anymore. 

 

I wish that Mansell had actually shown Nancy and Carmen hanging out solo more than she did. Instead we have Nancy working, dealing with her mother Rose, and crushing on Carmen's next door neighbor. I wish I had gotten a better sense of her character. She doesn't even care that her husband is cheating on her. She just pops smoke from Edinburgh to go and live with Carmen in her mansion in Chelsea. I don't know if I wanted her sobbing throughout the book, but she's not even grief stricken. And her mother and Carmen tell her how they never liked her husband anyway. 


Carmen's story jumped all over the place. She has three love interests in this book and the first one fails miserably and the second is ruined because she lies about her history and how much money she has. It made no sense to me, and I felt annoyed about it. The worst for me is that Mansell has you rooting on one of these guys for most of the book, and throws a third person in the ring for her and it didn't work at all. 

 

Carmen's brother-in-law Reenie did not read as realistic to me at all. He's a rockstar and has a new girl every day it seems, but it stretched realism that he was living with Carmen, Nancy, and Nancy's mom Rose and has zero friends it seems. 

 

Nancy's mother Rose was okay, but not that exciting a character.

We also get the next door neighbor Conner and his 16 year old daughter Mia. I didn't really like Conner and thought him not actually standing up for his daughter more due to his BS relationship was eye-roll inducing. I didn't get why Nancy even liked this guy. 

 

The setting of this book take place over Christmas. What's weird though is it doesn't read like a typical Christmas romance book. Also the book jumps ahead a few months here and there so I don't even know what month things ended on. It was summer I think. 

 

The ending was a bit of a mess. We have Carmen deciding to start a relationship I didn't root for at all and then she fades away from the book. We switch to Nancy and she gets her totally not realistic happy ending too. 

 

Winter Solstice / Yuletide (December 21): Read any book that takes place in December OR with ice or snow on the cover OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox OR a collection of poetry by Hafez.

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