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review 2016-12-18 16:19
You Had Me At Christmas - Various Authors - My Thoughts
You Had Me At Christmas: A Holiday Anthology - Laura Florand,Jennifer Lohmann,Molly O'Keefe,Stephanie Doyle,Karina Bliss

You Had Me At Christmas is an anthology of 5 Christmas romance novellas.

The first one is Play by Karina Bliss and you know what?  I couldn't put it down!  *LOL*  I love me a good rock star story and this one was one.  But mostly told from the rock star wife's POV.  Yup, story about a married couple with two little kids.  He's a fresh made rockstar and she's his childhood sweetheart learning to cope with his newfound fame.

I found both characters believable and their insecurities and doubts worked for me.  As did their reconnection - especially the parts with their kids.  The sexy scenes were sexy and steamy, but it was the scenes where they were dealing with their kids and their rekindled desires at the same time that I really enjoyed.

A really good read!!

Now, on to the next one!

One Naughty Little Christmas was a lot of fun!  Starts off with a dating app and some sexy sexting between a business woman and an ex con on Christmas Day night, neither of them in the first blush of youth (Thank God!).  I found it an interesting pairing and their back and forth texting and sexting at the beginning of the story was well done and easy to follow.  I don't know that there was a lot of holiday in this one, other than the setting and the set up, but it left me with a smile on my face, so all was good!  :)

Twelve Kisses Until Christmas was ... well.. not my cup of tea.  Each time that I began to really enjoy the characters, they pulled some whiny bullcrap that made me go UGH.  It was really very much a New Adult type story and those I avoid like the plague.  The characters are never likable or sympathetic or not whining about something.  I think maybe the premise might have been better served with an actual novel where the characters could have been better fleshed out and maybe some positive sides shown?  Not much of Christmas or the holidays in this one either.  Anyway... the story wasn't great.

Snow-Kissed.  Well.  The first chapter left me so down and in despair that when the second chapter started the exact same way, it was fast forward time.  I want to read holiday stories that don't throw me into a pit of dark despair before maybe... MAYBE giving me my HEA or HFN ending.  I know miscarriages are devastating and tragic, but maybe not in a holiday romance novel?  Seeing as I DNFed this story, I have no idea if it actually held up the Christmas part of the bargain.

Let's hope the last one leaves me in a better frame of mind.

Christmas Eve: A Love Story.  It was an improvement, I'll give it that.  (Honestly, couldn't have been much worse than the DNF story.) I dunno. I wanted more joy, more happiness, more Christmassy feeling.  I wanted to finish the story with a smile and a happy sigh, but that didn't happen.  I think it could have.  The story of long-time friends to lovers is always an enjoyable trope for me, but this one was so - angst-laden? - that I found it hard to enjoy.  It was missing a sense of fun.

So, out of five novellas, I can honestly say that I enjoyed 2 of them.  Way too much 'woe is me' in the others.

What a shame.

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review 2016-07-10 01:06
Mostly a winner
Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology - Rose Lerner,Molly O'Keefe,Joanna Bourne,Jeannie Lin,Isabel Cooper

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

All or Nothing by Rose Lerner

This was easily my favorite short story in this anthology and not just because it had a Jewish character and a bi character. There is just something about Rose Lerner’s story-telling style that manages to sweep you off your feet and make you so invested in a story that not even extreme tiredness can stop you from finishing. Her stories are always engaging and rarely ever have dull moments. All or Nothing tells the story of struggling architect Simon Radcliffe-Gould who is starting to feel burned out because he really cannot seem to make a living off of his chosen career. He wins a bet that allows him to ‘have’ Maggie da Silva for the time period in which her best friend (and sexual partner) is gone taking care of business and instead of taking advantage, he basically takes her to his ex flame’s house party so he doesn’t have to deal with him and his advances. Basically, a slow burn kind of romance happens between Maggie and Simon as they learn more about each other and sparks fly. YAY.

The Liar’s Dice by Jeannie Lin

This short story was really fucking great. It wasn’t my favorite but it came really really close. It isn’t as romance oriented, focuses more on the mystery aspect, is set in China (AND NOT IN the UK/US where most HRs seem to be set) and has a wonderful, dark atmosphere. The subtle romance is just enough to get my heart beating and I REALLY REALLY want an entire novel with the two main characters of this short story. I need to know all the things about them. Either way, I know I have a new author to add to my TBR list.

Raising The Stakes by Isabel Cooper

I don’t really know how I felt about Raising the Stakes. I don’t usually mind magic in my HRs but the magical elements in this short don’t really work for me. Sam, the mc, is pretty darn awesome and badass in that she is a con artist but Talathan--who is fae (I think???)--does not work for me at all as a character. I have 0 emotional attachment to him and therefore care nothing about his presence and contribution to the story. I do think that is just a ‘me’ thing though.

Redeemed by Molly O’Keefe

If you like tortured heros and heroines, this short will 100% be for you. The best part about this short story is that just because the characters are ‘tortured’ doesn’t mean they are angsty. O’Keefe does a great job of characterizing them through and outside their torturedness. They have legit reasons to be the way they are given the horrors they have lived through but they also exist outside of those bad things. They can both be charming, sweet, courageous and awesome. The best thing about this short story is that even though is technically a short story, it is well plotted and well thought out. It functions like an entire novel instead of just a short novella that leaves you wanting more. Basically Redeemed is another winner for this anthology.

Gideon and the Den of Thieves by Joanna Bourne

In theory, I like a lot about this short story but really, I struggled with it because it almost seemed too lengthy. This short story is exciting, features a rescue and lots of other fun things but I literally did not connect with the MC and the love interest. They seemed very bland and more like plot devices than actual characters. It makes sense because the plot of this short is great but the characters made it so that I couldn’t actually enjoy this short in the ways I wanted to. That isn’t to see that all the characters sucked but the two that I should have liked, I couldn’t and that made it really hard to enjoy this story.


Overall, with me more than liking ⅗ of the short stories in this anthologies, I can safely say that Gambled Away is a winner. It features diversity of characters and locations and very well worth the read if you love your Historical Romance as much as I do!

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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review 2016-01-01 16:16
"That was my brave, I realized. Risking everything so I could feel something again."
Everything I Left Unsaid - Molly O'Keefe
The Truth About Him: A Novel - M. Timothy O'Keefe

Book Title:  Everything I Left Unsaid & The Truth About Him

Author:  Molly O'Keefe

Series:  Everything I Left Unsaid #1 & The Truth About Him #2

Genre:  New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publisher:  Random House Publishing

Source:  EILU-Kindle e-book (Library) TTAH-Netgalley Arc

 

ARC of The Truth About Him graciously provided via NETGALLEY in exchange for an honest review!

 

☏☏

Why I picked that quote:  I think it embodies how Annie ended up in the backwoods of NC.  Running from her abusive husband and trying to find a reason to love life.

☏☏

Overall Rating:  4.8/5 Stars

 

Breakdown of Rating

 

  • Plot: 4.8/5  I was pulled in right from the beginning…the story unfolds excellently.  This two book collection has a lot of elements to it, with a little of this, and a little of that, and a whole lot of sex thrown in.
  • Characters: 5/5  Endearingly damaged...and I was totally invested in their story.
  • The Feels: 5/5 
  • Theme: 5/5
  • Flow: 5/5
  • Originality: 4/5  This premise is definitely been done before, just not quite like this.
  • Book Cover: 3/5  If you’re going to put people on the cover, you should at least pick ones that resemble your characters descriptions.
  • Sex Factor: Well written and very sexually explicit, you have to be able to get in touch with your naughty side.
  • Ending: 4.5/5  For EILU--Intense, I’m surprised I didn’t see it coming.   For TTAH—MC books are not my thing. I'm glad it wasn't all about that.  Cliffhanger:  For EILU--Epic cliffy.  Seriously, your killing me with that ending.  Good thing I had the second book ready to go.  For TTAH—No Cliffhanger...with an awesome epilogue.

 

Will I read more from this Author?  For sure…

 

Synopsis For Everything I Left Unsaid:  (Only posting this books synopsis, just to avoid spoilers)

 

I didn’t think answering someone else’s cellphone would change my life. But the stranger with the low, deep voice on the other end of the line tempted me, awakened my body, set me on fire. He was looking for someone else. Instead he found me.
 
And I found a hot, secret world where I felt alive for the first time.
 
His name was Dylan, and, strangely, he made me feel safe. Desired. Compelled. Every dark thing he asked me to do, I did. Without question. I longed to meet him, but we were both keeping secrets. And mine were dangerous. If I took the first step, if I got closer to Dylan—emotionally, physically—then I wouldn’t be hiding anymore. I would be exposed, with nothing left to surrender but the truth. And my truth could hurt us both.

 

My Additional Thoughts:

 

Oh my gosh, this is so naughty, but I liked it. 

 

My only qualm…breaking this couples story into two books, it should have been one complete book.  This is why I’m reviewing the two books as one.  Although, part of the reason I’m doing that is because I’m really far behind on my reviews.

 

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text 2015-12-03 07:35
Blog Tour - THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM

 

 

 

 THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM BOOK BLURB:


For fans of Christina Lauren and Jodi Ellen Malpas comes the next novel in M. O’Keefe’s breathtakingly sexy series about a woman called into a journey of the heart, body, and soul.
 
We played our roles, told each other lies.
 
But now Dylan is no longer just a mysterious deep voice on the other end of the line. We’re face-to-face and our relationship is very, very real.
 
We still have secrets—but so much is crystal clear:
 
The thrilling danger.
 
The raw, naked desire.
 
The need to keep feeling the way he makes me feel. Forever.
 
Dylan is putting up walls, trying to keep me safe, but he can’t shut me out. He has seen my darkness and rescued me. Now it’s my turn, if only he will let me.
 
 

EXCERPT:
 

“She misses church,” Pops said. We both stared down at that engine like it was all that mattered.

 

“Yeah. She said.”

 

“So?”

 

“So what?”

 

“So you should take her.”

 

“Is this relationship advice?” I scoffed.

 

“It’s human advice. That’s all.”

 

“Yeah? Human advice?” I let the seething irritation out. I let it just pour right on out all over him. “You feel like an authority on that?”

 

“No,” he snapped back, no longer pretending to look at the motor. “I’m an authority on mistakes. On regrets. And I’m telling you, take her to church. Help her get right. Be the guy beside her instead of that fucking blond cop with the chin I’d like to break in half, or you’ll lose her. And you will regret that, son. For the rest of your life.”

 

I didn’t want to acknowledge that any of his words rang with an implacable truth. And I didn’t want to tell him that I was thinking of taking myself out of the race, because I couldn’t be the right guy for her.

 

Pops’s opinion, right or wrong, did not matter.

 

“Forget the car,” I told him, angry for some reason to see him working on that hopeless engine. I had every resource in the world. Money, people, time. But I could not give it to anyone here. “I’ll have someone bring her one of mine.”

 

“She asked me to fix it,” he said, not looking up from the beat-up four-cylinder engine. “I’m going to listen to what she wants. You might consider doing the same, son.”

 

“Oh, fuck you, Pops. You can’t fix the past by getting Annie to love you. And don’t call me ‘son,’” I said, and went back to my trailer.

 

But the ghosts only followed.

 




GIVEAWAY:
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 



PURCHASE LINKS:
 
 
Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1FKW4v6
LINKS FOR EVERYTHING I LEFT UNSAID (Everything I Left Unsaid, #1)

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1FKW4v6
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1N5ajxk


---------------

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

 

BIO:

Molly O'Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write.

She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn't looked back. She loves exploring every character's road towards happily ever after.

Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she's not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.


AUTHOR LINKS:

Site - http://www.molly-okeefe.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/MollyOKwrites
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MollyOKeefeBooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/223845.Molly_O_Keefe
 
 
 
 
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text 2015-11-24 08:35
Release Day Blitz - THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM

TTAH_BLITZ

Today we are celebrating the release of THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM by M. O'Keefe. This is the 2nd book in the Everything I Left Unsaid series. Be sure to enter to win the giveaway below!

 

 

okee_9781101884508_cvr_all_r1.indd

 

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM BOOK BLURB:

 

For fans of Christina Lauren and Jodi Ellen Malpas comes the next novel in M. O’Keefe’s breathtakingly sexy series about a woman called into a journey of the heart, body, and soul.

 

We played our roles, told each other lies.

 

But now Dylan is no longer just a mysterious deep voice on the other end of the line. We’re face-to-face and our relationship is very, very real.

 

We still have secrets—but so much is crystal clear:

 

The thrilling danger.

 

The raw, naked desire.

 

The need to keep feeling the way he makes me feel.

 

Forever.

 

Dylan is putting up walls, trying to keep me safe, but he can’t shut me out. He has seen my darkness and rescued me. Now it’s my turn, if only he will let me.

 

The Truth About Him is intended for mature audiences.

 

TTAH_AVAILABLE

The Truth About Him BUY LINKS:

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

   

 

PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS BOOK IN THE SERIES

 

Everything I Left U#2449548 (3)Purchase Everything I Left Unsaid:

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

  Praise for M. O’Keefe’s Everything I Left Unsaid

 

“Exquisite, thrilling, and toe-curlingly sensual . . . a delicious guilty pleasure I never wanted to end!”New York Times bestselling author Katy Evans

 

“I am head over heels in love with Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O’Keefe. Everything about this book hits the mark—the exceptional prose, the brilliantly defined characters, the delicious plot, and all the wonderful, dangerous secrets. It’s an absolute must-read keeper-shelf book!”New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner

 

“I couldn’t put this book down. Annie’s story is heartbreaking, liberating, sweet, and sexy—I want more!”New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy

 

“Sweet, sizzling, sexy, and heart-wrenching, Everything I Left Unsaid broke my heart and left me yearning for more.”New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart

 

“The mystery, the excitement, and not to mention the elusive and very demanding Dylan Daniels will leave you breathless!”New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones

 

“O’Keefe is one of the best contemporary romance authors writing today. . . . Elegantly sensual and blisteringly sexual, the story immediately hooks readers and keeps them captivated with help from beautiful writing, complex characters, and a healthy dose of secrets, while a cliffhanger ending will have them eagerly awaiting Book 2. Breathtaking and passionately intense—a must-read.”Kirkus Reviews

 

“[O’Keefe] moves skillfully into . . . romantic suspense with this excellent series launch. . . . [She] infuses the situation with distinctive life and absorbing detail. Captivating characters and a cliffhanger ending will keep readers coming back for more.”Publishers Weekly

 

“Beautifully written, this richly detailed storyline, coupled with beguiling and complex characters, takes us on an emotionally charged journey filled with lust, betrayal and secrets. Captivating secondary characters only add fuel to the fire as a chance meeting between two damaged souls opens the doorway to what could be their salvation or personal hell. An incredible cliffhanger only charges your appetite for the sequel.”RT Book Reviews

 

“Intense . . . O’Keefe has deftly penned a story of hope, growth and courage peopled with complex protagonists. It’s a smorgasbord of visceral emotions.”BookPage

 

 

OKEEFE_TruthAboutHim_ecard2

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

MollyOKeefeBIO: Molly O'Keefe has always known she wanted to be a writer (except when she wanted to be a florist or a chef and the brief period of time when she considered being a cowgirl). And once she got her hands on some romances, she knew exactly what she wanted to write. She published her first Harlequin romance at age 25 and hasn't looked back. She loves exploring every character's road towards happily ever after. Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, she went to university in St. Louis where she met and fell in love with the editor of her school newspaper. They followed each other around the world for several years and finally got married and settled down in Toronto, Ontario. They welcomed their son into their family in 2006, and their daughter in 2008. When she's not at the park or cleaning up the toy room, Molly is working hard on her next novel, trying to exercise, stalking Tina Fey on the internet and dreaming of the day she can finish a cup of coffee without interruption.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram

 

 

 

 

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