Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review: The Love Coupon by Ainslie Paton

Publication Date: April 9th 2018 by Carina Press
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

How many coupons does it take to fall in love?

Flick Dalgetty knows what she wants and how to get it, which is why she’s about to start her dream job in Washington. Until then, she needs somewhere to crash, and Tom O’Connell’s place is her sole option. He’s a repressed, antisocial ogre…but man can he kiss.

For Tom, being around Flick is like being too close to the sun. Her untamed energy is overwhelming, and he’d spontaneously combust if he had to live with her long-term. Housemates with benefits—and an expiration date—suits him just fine.

Then Flick gives Tom thirty coupons, each entitling him to one obligation-free activity, from bowling and bubble-bathing to morning delight, removing all the guesswork from being incompatible partners and shifting their fling into high gear.

Now the problem is their arrangement is drawing to a close, and they might be falling in love—and there wasn’t a coupon for that.

My Thoughts:
Flick is full of energy and her life appears to be a little chaotic, but really, she’s a determined woman when it comes to her goals. Flick rose above her circumstances and exceled despite having no help from her family (a family that fully pissed me off!). Now she’s finally landed her dream job, helping less fortunate ones to succeed with education and opportunities, but she needs a place to stay for three months before she moves. This is where Tom comes in.

Tom has a room to rent, but he’s used to living a regimented life and everything about Flick is out of his comfort zone.  They end up together, and she annoys him, but there’s something refreshing, and intriguing about her, too.  They push each other’s buttons, but Tom and Flick are definitely attracted to each other.  

The Love Coupon was very much an opposites attract/antagonistic romance with a lot of witty banter back and forth.  Ainslie Paton’s writing is clever and sharp.  Tom and Flick were at odds and I loved seeing them gradually get on the same page.  Surreptitious glances, and lusty thoughts finally gave way to some hot encounters!  Those tightly wound guys are all kinds of hot when they finally let lose! The love coupons didn’t come into play until well after the 50% mark, but oh my!

This was a little more angsty than I usually read because Flick’s stay had an expiration date, and neither one wanted to admit they were getting more and more serious.  Still, this is a romance, so I knew things would probably work out, lol.

4 Suns

Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Publication Date: April 3rd by Simon Pulse
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

In this romantic dramedy from the author of Alex, Approximately, a teen girl’s way-too-ordinary life is driven off the beaten path when she’s abandoned in the wilderness with her worst adversary—the boy who broke her heart.
Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.
But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.
What could go wrong?
With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.
And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

My Thoughts:
I usually don’t post reviews here for Young Adult romances because first of all I don’t read many, and because this is primarily and adult blog.  But there were so many things to love about Starry Eyes I knew I had to post a review!

The setting! A locale I’m pretty familiar with was like another character in the story, and Jenn Bennett’s beautiful descriptions made it come alive! I could almost smell the pines and picture wading through the ferns while reading.

Backpacking! I used to be and avid backpacker so I loved that a good portion of Lennon and Zorie's story takes place while backpacking through the big redwoods. Trying to survive in the wilderness is a great way to be forced together again, and all those quite nights spent by the fire or in a little tent, set the stage for steamy encounters! Makes me want to rough it all over again!

Second chance romance! Zorie and Lennon are at odds, but circumstances throw them together again and I was thrilled with every step they took to get it right this time. I adore Jenn Bennett’s romances! So swoony!

I couldn’t stand Zorie’s dad! Ack! He was such a total dick! Judgmental and prejudice with he had ABSOLUTELY no right! What a hypocrite! Jenn Bennett creates characters you can’t help but care for so my emotions tend get a little high, lol. Especially when it’s in defense of another character.

 If you haven’t read one of Jenn Bennett’s Young Adult romances Starry Eyes is an excellent place to start, but I’ve also adored Alex, Approximately and The Anatomical Shape of a Heart. All are guaranteed to melt your heart!

4.5 Suns

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Review: Claim Me Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Publication Date: April 3rd 2018 by Harlequin Desire
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Wanted: fake fiancée for a wealthy rancher

Benefits: all your dreams come true

#1 Rule: don’t fall in love

The woman on his doorstep is brash, independent and holding a baby! His father won’t approve, which makes her perfect for Joshua Grayson’s scheme. He’ll pretend he’s marrying unsuitable Danielle Kelly to keep his father from meddling. He won’t be tempted to touch her, to claim her…or to fall in love.

My Thoughts:
Joshua is a grown man and isn’t looking for love much less a wife.  Something his father can’t seem to grasp. So, Joshua is supremely annoyed when his meddling father places an ad for a wife for him, and decides to place one of his own for a completely unsuitable woman to play the part of his fiancée to teach dad a lesson.  

Enter Danielle and baby Riley. Danielle is hard on her luck, barely scraping by when she happens upon Joshua’s ad.  She’s worried about what kind of weirdo would place such an ad, but Joshua seems like a dream come true, good looking and rich, even if he is a bit of an ass.  Danielle doesn’t care, as long as she gets the money promised after their charade.  She needs the money to get by and give Riley a chance she never had.  There’s more to the story of Danielle ending up with Riley, but I won’t spoil it and Danielle doesn’t clear up the situation regarding her circumstances right away with Joshua either.  It’s not as if he’s entitled to her life story and at first, he makes it clear he’s not interested.

Joshua has his own story, why he’s not interested in settling down, and I could understand.  However, being with Danielle and Riley and realizing making a difference in their lives brings him satisfaction and purpose changes his views.  Joshua and Danielle draw closer, confide in each other and even though Joshua was convinced he could never love again life has other plans for him. The more time Danielle and Joshua spend together the more their attraction grows, and it was only a matter of time before they gave into the mutual pull.

Things may have progressed a bit quickly, but that’s to be expected since this was only 224 pages, and I thought it felt right.  There was a surprising amount of emotional depth here as well.  Claim Me Cowboy was short, hot and sweet; just my kind of read!  Maisey Yates continues to delight me with her hot and sexy cowboy romances!

4 Suns