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Friday, February 5, 2016

ARC Review: The One For Me by Sydney Landon

I truly hate to waste my time so if I start a book and don't finish it, we can all conclude that there were some serious issues. I persevered through this book as long as I could because I like this author and I had faith that the ship would change course at some point during the journey. Around the 55% mark, I lost hope, we hit a iceberg, the ship went dooooown.

The background story seemed interesting. Crystal wants to walk on the wild side, Mark is trying to get off the wild side and on to the slow and easy side. I wanted to see where things would go. The answer is nowhere, things went nowhere. I knew we were in trouble in the first 10% of the book. The book starts when Crystal vomits on Mark and then faints on him. As he is holding her unconscious body in his arms, he decides that he is intrigued by her and she is "different." I'm thinking that was because he was used to women who were, oh I don't know, conscious. It gets worse though because Mark decides that instead of calling a doctor or like one of Crystal's friend, he will take the unconscious stranger home with him and care for her for 2 days. I was completely baffled by this.

I can suspend disbelief with the best romance readers but for goodness sake, how do you take a grown woman home with you like a stray cat? Did no one miss Crystal or wonder why she disappeared off the street. I mean seriously, after 2 days, he was only referring to her as "Angel because he didn't know her name.

Speaking of the word "Angel," OMG, it was used way too much. I actually did a word count because it was driving me crazy. My Kindle says the word is used 197 times throughout the book. That means the word was on more than every other page. It was just too much.

As for the actual relationship between Mark and Crystal, I have no idea how or why it happened. It just comes out of nowhere. One second Crystal is puking and unconscious. The next she and Mark are in love and there is almost no substantive conversation in between those events. The sexual relationship between the two characters also did nothing for me. Mark is supposed to be this kinky dominant guy but we never actually see that side of him once things move into the bedroom. Mark was sweet to the point of annoying me.

I like this author and I hope this book is not a sign of things to come in the future. If this is your first Sydney Landon book, first, read something else. If it's too late for that, don't hold this one against her, read some of the earlier books.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

Sealed With a Kiss Event with Elizabeth Essex

Elizabeth Essex is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed historical romance, including Reckless Brides, and her new Highland Brides series. Her books have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and Seal of Excellence Award, and RWA’s prestigious RITA Award. The Reckless Brides Series has also made Top-Ten lists from Romantic Times, The Romance Reviews and Affaire de Coeur Magazine, and Desert Isle Keeper status at All About Romance. Her fifth book, A BREATH OF SCANDAL, was awarded Best Historical in the Reader’s Crown 2013.

When not rereading Jane Austen, mucking about in her garden, or simply messing about with boats, Elizabeth can be always be found with her laptop, making up stories about heroes and heroines who live far more exciting lives than she.  It wasn’t always so.  Long before she ever set pen to paper, Elizabeth graduated from Hollins College with a BA in Classics and Art History, and then earned her MA in Nautical Archaeology from Texas A&M University.  While she loved the life of an underwater archaeologist, she has found her true calling writing lush, lyrical historical romance full of passion, daring and adventure. 

Elizabeth lives in Texas with her husband, the indispensable Mr. Essex, and her active and exuberant family in an old house filled to the brim with books. 

ARC Review: Dark Room by L.P. Dover and Heidi McLaughlin

I was so excited when I found out that two of my favorite authors were writing a book together! Collaborations can be really great, but they are also sometimes risky because you don't know how well two writing styles will mix. I have to say that with Dark Room, Heidi McLaughlin and L.P. Dover did an amazing job of meshing their styles together in a cohesive way that I really loved. The story and set of characters were fantastic and I honestly could not get enough! I loved this book and couldn't put it down! I cannot wait to get more from these two and this series!

I really have to be careful here with what I reveal, so I am not going to summarize much of the story with here. This is really one book to go into blind without having all the details. While I was excited to begin with, when I quickly figured out what was going on here I couldn't believe how much better this book got for me. It was already promising enough with some of my favorite authors writing it, but it also ended up being my specific crack when it comes to tropes and trust me when I tell you it was amazing!

Society X is an exclusive club that serves it's patrons their every desire. Those hand selected get the chance to be a part of a different membership within the club itself, in which there are a strict set of rules that each person must follow. No names, no numbers, and everything must remain completely anonymous. With each room in the club having a specific purpose, the Dark Room allows members to experience their fantasies without anyone knowing who you are. Completely in the dark, members must rely on their other senses to experience a passion unlike anything they have ever done before. For Parker, it started as a business venture and quickly turned into an addiction that consumed his every thought. For Mia, it was an opportunity for her to move on from her ex and find the girl she had lost along the way. But soon both Parker and Mia find that they want more than just the Dark Room. But how can it be anything more when they don't know anything about each other, including the other's name? 

I loved Mia and Parker. These two were so sexy, and I loved their scenes together. While you might question how there could be much steam here when they weren't allowed to see one another or speak to each other, I have to say just trust me. The sex between these two could not have been hotter! I love me some dirty talkers and when a man gets vocal with his girl, but these two had every bit as much chemistry and heat as you would expect in a story like this. What Parker and Mia had went beyond words, and I really enjoyed seeing how well they connected without ever even saying a single thing. These two were the perfect match for each other, and I loved them. 

I really loved this story and without going into details, this book surprised me in a lot of ways. I didn't know much of what to expect beyond what the blurb mentioned of the club, but it was so much more than I could have imagined! I expected this book to be good, but L.P. Dover and Heidi McLaughlin absolutely blew me away! I honestly cannot wait for more from these two, and I think that the characters we met here are so interesting that I hope each of them gets a story. I will definitely be waiting for the next Society X book, and I think that this series could very well end up being one of my all time favorites! If you like some steamy romance with a unique and well written story, this book is an absolute must read!

**ARC Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes | 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

ARC Review: Play Hardest by J.T. Fox

Play Hardest is the third and final installment in the Hot for Him series from J.T. Fox. This installment picks up after the events of the first two books and needs to be read in order as it is the continuation of Jordan and Eric's story. After how the last installment ended, I couldn't wait to get more of these two. I needed to know what happened, and I enjoyed seeing more of these two sexy guys. 

Jordan and Eric have been trying to figure out who is blackmailing them, but so far they have been unable to. At the end of Play Harder, it appeared that the blackmailer had escalated things when Eric's helmet was tampered with and he wound up in the hospital. Though Jordan and Eric didn't want to go public and fought their feelings for one another, Jordan knew he would do whatever it took to get to the bottom of who was behind the blackmail. But will they be able to catch the person responsible and find a way to have successful careers if the truth about them is revealed? 

I was really torn about how to feel after the ending of the last installment. I really enjoyed the heat and chemistry between these two and was glad to see them finally exploring that. But I was also very frustrated with Jordan's actions. I really loved how he made up for that here though, and it was good to see these two finally working towards a future together. They seemed to really be on the same page and I was glad that they were able to see what was really important here. Their chemistry was never in question, but I will admit that their connection was a bit of a harder sell for me. While it was clear that these two were developing something, I felt like it was a bit too insta-love for me to really believe in the intensity of their feelings at that stage. Not that I didn't believe it would get there, I just didn't think that it was possible for these two to really be in love with how hot and cold they had both been running. There was so much running and push and pull, that we didn't really get to see them actually together for any length of time before they were full steam ahead. 

Overall, this was a good sexy series and I enjoyed Jordan and Eric's story. I do think that things felt a bit rushed here, and I would have liked to have seen more of Jordan and Eric together. I think had we experienced this as one novel rather than three short installments, it might have seemed a bit more cohesive and possibly more realistic. But I really just wanted to see more development and emotional connection between Jordan and Eric and I don't feel like we ever fully got that. If you like short and sexy M/M stories and hot football players, I recommend giving this series a shot. Jordan and Eric were very steamy together and I liked their characters a lot.

**ARC Provided by Gossip Girls PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes

ARC Review: Will's True Wish by Grace Burrowes

Right off I have to confess that Grace Burrowes is not an author I love but she is an author I always want to read. I know that might sound like a contradiction, but I’m always curious to see what story she has come up with and what new situation her characters will face. When I first read her I thought that she was boring. Now I’ve come to realize that she takes her time with her hero and heroine and that she never rushes a plot.

In true Burrowes fashion, her hero is very unique. Although a peer of the ton, Will Dorning, is a dog trainer. He has a big appreciation and understanding of canines and his peers pay him to help them deal with their pets. Susannah Haddonfield is not really a dog person but in order to help her sisters’ marriage prospects, she has decided to go to Will for help. Susannah believes that if she can seem like she likes dogs her sister will have better opportunities to marry. Will and Susannah have known each other since they were both young and coming out into society. When Susannah was making her debate she was terribly bullied and Will often came to her rescue. Now that Susannah is on the shelf she acts more like a chaperone. This is a role that she takes to gladly. She is must happier seating around and reading Shakespeare than she was trying to find a husband.

Will and Susannah develop a mature friendship as they renew their friendship. I really liked the way Burrowes took her time with the story and with the plot. In the mist of their budding friendship a problem is occurring in society. Dogs are disappearing and pet owners are losing their loving companions. Will’s brothers are also involved and a great addition to the story. The secondary characters, many from the previous books, were fun and entertaining. I do have some hang ups about the story. I wish Will had had a better reason for not wanting to marry Susannah. At the beginning it was because he didn’t think he could support her financially but as his dog training business became more and more successful this was no longer an issue. Also, I like Susannah but sometimes it was hard to figure out her character.

I did enjoy the funny banter and the witty scenes. I thought this was a classic Burrowes book and I am confident that her fans will enjoy it. I plan to read more stories by her and am intrigued by the other books in the series.

**ARC provided by Pubslsher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |