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Search tags: contemporary-romance
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review 2018-06-18 06:53
Deadly Intent by Pamela Clare
Deadly Intent - Pamela Clare

Joaquin Ramirez, I-Team's resident photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner, arrives at a supposed-homicide-with-body-disappearance scene, only to be met with anger by a bystander. Turns out, the woman knows the victim and is the last one to have seen the man alive.
Mia Starr dislikes photojournalists. She's seen first hand, what an unscrupulous photo bug can do to get a story, but Joaquin seems to be different, and quickly turns out to be different, since he puts her first instead of the story.

Someone is killing former soldiers and trying to pin it to Mia, and Joaquin is there to help her out. And when the killer with the grudge turns on her, it's Joaquin to stand there, between her and a bullet.


A month after the hostage situation at a Christmas party, the I-Team is back in the thick of it. This time it's Joaquin's turn to shine, and to save the day.

I never really thought about Joaquin as a main protagonist. He had sidekick and friend written all over him in the other books. I'm glad, though, I got to see this other side of him. Looks like I underestimated him, and let's face it, side by side with Julian, Marc or Zach, he didn't stand a chance.
But in his story, the hero side of him came out, alongside the salsa-dancing, and yeah, I could understand Mia perfectly. ;) He was tender and gentle when he needed to be, determinedly protective, and definitely heroic there toward the end of the book. A truly wonderful hero.
His heroine, Mia, was an acquired taste, with her idiosyncrasies and all her contradictions and insecurities. It took a special kind of man to show her just who and what she truly was.
I didn't really buy their rushed romance, but I'm glad they found each other in the end.

The villain also had much to be desired, although the big reveal as to his identity came as a surprise (I certainly didn't see it coming); his motive left me scratching my head&mdas;why go after all those people, instead of just focusing on Mia?
But the suspense was gripping and served as a nice little catalyst for the two protagonists to meet and for the "romance" to bloom.

The characters were great as always (I loved all the "cameos", and it's always a pleasure seeing Julian and Marc in action, complete with marital spats and bickering), the pacing spot-on, the writing superb...This one is definitely one of my favorite series.

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review 2018-06-17 11:12
The One You Can't Forget by Roni Loren
The One You Can't Forget (The Ones Who Got Away) - Roni Loren

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

Rebecca Lindt, Long Acre survivor, and Wesley Garrett, former chef and recovering alcoholic after his nasty divorce, meet (again) in a stressful situation. She's about to get mugged and panicking, having flashbacks, as he runs to her rescue. The attraction is instantaneous, but there's just one little problem—she's the divorce attorney who helped his ex ruin him...Plus, there are both their issues, her demons, his addictive personality...So what should the two do? Give it a shot, of course.


Like its predecessor, this one was a straight-up romance. There were no dead bodies, no villains (well, maybe her dad for a second toward the end), and no mysteries or investigations. Just two regular people, albeit with loads and loads of problems, issues, and inner demons, experiencing regular human drama and emotions.
And I liked it. I liked that I didn't have to "think" much during the story. It was straightforward, poignant, realistic and normal.

The characters were wonderful, well-developed, and nicely layered, the plot itself had some pretty heavy pondering moments, the romance might've felt a bit rushed, but it somehow worked giving both characters, and the conflicts were (thankfully) pretty quickly and easily resolved.
Though I found the heroine somewhat annoying in her rather self-centered guilt and her nobody-loves-me-and-those-who-might-don't-really-know-me-so-I-better-push-them-away-just-to-be-safe mentality. It started to really get old as the story progressed, but lucky for her (and the reader) there was her hero, Wes, to set her straight and make her see reason.

The pacing wasn't perfect, yet the story flew nicely, the writing was great, and the humor provided that needed levity.

This was a story of regular people going through normal human stuff and emotions, a story of (self)forgiveness, (self)discovery and growth, showing us everything clicks into place when the time is right and (if) you let it.

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review 2018-06-17 03:42
Unf;nished by J.R. Barten 3.5 Star Review
Unf;nished - J.R. Barten,LA Dimmett

Could a pair of tattoos ignite a passionate romance?

Technical analyst Garrett Jones lives a solitary life. Occasionally, he must venture into the outside world to get what he needs. On one such occasion, he finds himself at a local tattoo shop getting inked for the first time with a semi-colon as a reminder of his past--a past he cannot allow himself to forget.

Fun-loving and outspoken Dev Hemingway is a social worker for a local LGBTQ shelter. He’s covered in tatts, has long hair, and though most people think he belongs on a Harley, he prefers his Venom electric scooter. He’s adding a semi-colon to his tattoo repertoire to mark eight years since his mental health diagnosis. 

Though they start seeing each other casually, Garrett and Dev’s relationship soon deepens into something more than either one could have prepared for. But will the illness that brought them together ultimately be the one to tear them apart? Could this be the end of their story, or is there still too much left unfinished?

 

Review

 

A well told love story where opposites attract. Garret, the introvert and Dev, the extrovert. I like how this difference between got as much time and Dev's mental health and the trigger it is for Garret given his history.

This book takes takes it time and we get to see a loving relationship bloom and a lot of personal healing and growth.

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review 2018-06-14 20:47
Harmony Cabins (Finding Home #2) by Regina Hart
Harmony Cabins (Finding Home Series Book 2) - Regina Hart

Another good installment in the small town contemporary series. This time we find Jackson Sansbury, the last living member of Trinity Falls, OH founding family, owning and running a cabin resort at the edge of town. Jackson has had a rough couple of years; his wife cheated on him while he was at the hospital with their daughter who was fighting (and ultimately lost her battle with) cancer. With the towns 150th birthday celebration just weeks away, the citizens of Trinity Falls hope that he can come around to celebrating with them; but for now he is just dealing with his grief in his own way by being a grumpy recluse.

 

Until Audra "Penny" Lane comes to spend a summer in the one renovated cabin at the resort. Her manager is a native of Trinity Falls and thinks that getting Audra away from the pressure cooker that is Los Angeles will help her get over her writer's block (Audra is a songwriter who just won a Grammy) and help with her insomnia. She finds the small town life very liberating and begins to find her muse again. 

 

Jackson and Audra make a sweet, wonderful couple and both their exes can die in a fiery mosh pit. Doreen amps up her mayoral campaign and gets caught in a sort of love triangle (but let's face it, anyone is better than that asshole Coach Leo). I kind of knew what secret woman Darius was seeing in the next town over and was proven right. The secret coming to light was a nice bit of fireworks to end Trinity Falls celebration.

 

Plot wise, this book moves slow in the first half and then layer upon layer of revelations begin to emerge and makes the story so engrossing. There are other plotlines that are a continuation from the previous book and are left hanging somewhat to be continued in the next book, but these plotlines give the reader a fuller sense of the world building and help set up the next book. Darius really shines in this book and I can't wait to read his story.

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review 2018-06-14 20:13
He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11) by Jill Shalvis
He's So Fine - Jill Shalvis

I liked this one better than the previous book in the trilogy within a series. I really wanted to know Olivia's story and didn't care which of Sam's co-workers she ended up with, but in the end I glad she was coupled with Cole. Her story was interesting but realistic, as seen by the lives of several Disney channel child stars; her starting over and how she went about doing it showed maturity. Cole's family was a little OTT but luckily their scenes were kept to a minimum. Lucille is just too creepy to bring comedic relief. 

 

Looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.

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