Category Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Book Review: ‘Split Ends’ by Taylor Dawn

Title: Split Ends (Magnolia Series Book 2)

Published: 4th May 2016

Publisher: Princess Press

Author: Taylor Dawn

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTaylorDawn

Twitter: @TAYLORDAWNBOOKS

 

Synopsis:

Biloxi Mississippi wasn’t where Cole Matthews expected to end up, but duty called and he answered. Life seemed to be going at a normal pace until a letter fell into his hands. One that would send him into a frenzied spiral, causing him to doubt the decisions he’d made years ago. Now Cole must choose between what he wants and what he needs. Gracie Callahan made a choice at the age of 19. She told herself what she was doing was for the best. But now, twelve years later, she’s trapped in a decision that can only be undone by the signature of the man she pushed away years ago. Upon arrival in Mississippi, Gracie must decide between protecting someone she loves, taking back the life she once had, while still holding out hope that she might attain both. Follow Cole and Gracie in Split Ends, the second installment of the Magnolia Series. International Bestselling Author Taylor Dawn steams up the south once more as Cole and Gracie take you on a journey of romantic entanglement, passion and suspense.

 

Review:

So when Cole finds out he’s still technically marriage his first impression is pretty much ‘fuck’. Even more so when she informs him she’s coming to town to get him to sign the divorce papers. This girl now a woman is the definition of the one that got away. Crazy in love at 19 they could have had a future but one lie changed all that. Now she’s back and she has a daughter – three guesses for who the father is people? She makes up a one-night stand being the dad and it’s amazing how he doesn’t see through it. This is the woman you haven’t seen for 13 years and she has a 12-year-old daughter. Do the math Cole! I think he didn’t see it because he couldn’t believe she’d do something like that. But that’s the least of their problems. Seems she’s in trouble and thinks she only has one way out of it by getting a divorce. Cole has other plans, from the moment he sees her again he is thrown straight back to the past and he’s going to make it his mission to get her to fall in love with him again. Shouldn’t be too hard for either of them, as it never really went away to begin with.

The chemistry and passion is so high between Cole and Gracie you may need to fan yourself down in places but I think the suspense was lacking in places. Not as much intrigue with it as the first but more like a subtle note running along at the same time they are reconnecting. No matter how many times she tries to tell herself what she needs to do for those she loves (get a divorce to somehow keep Dash safe) it just happens to contradict with her emotions when confronted with Cole again. Secrets aren’t kept for long with Cole’s inquisitive nature – he’s FBI so he will figure things out, just might take him a little time. She kept a rather big secret from him in the past but even finding out about that won’t make him hate her. It has always been her for him and nothing and no one is getting in his way of getting her back. He wants his family – Gracie and Cora – so he will do anything to keep it and them safe. He is definitely her missing puzzle piece and she’s only just now trying to figure out how she managed without him for so long. Good job he plans on keeping her and Cora around for a while to come. Well if he can sort out her little issue she’s got herself caught up in. Danger for her family drove her to Cole to try and sort it out one way but really I think she knew deep down that he’d sort it out his way to keep all of them safe.

Great that you get to catch up with Ava and Luke. They play quite a big part throughout in helping Gracie and Cole reconnect while keeping Cora, her daughter, occupied at their house. Not a hardship as she loves the house and thinks Ava’s great.

Loved Brandi in the first and was wondering where she was for a while. Her cameo does kind of help Cole see what’s been right in front of him the whole time. Had to do a quick check with book 3 and I’m pleased to say it’s her book next. She was such a character in the first can’t wait for her to get centre stage.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this copy of the book from Nell’s PR and Marketing for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Rock F*ck Club’ by Michelle Mankin

Title: Rock F*ck Club

Published: 24th April 2015

Author: Michelle Mankin

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Michelle-Mankin

Twitter: @MichelleMankin

 

Synopsis:

10 cities in two weeks 10 famous rockstars. On my knees. Against the wall. On my tits

I don’t care. As long as I get the evidence to prove it. Why? Because I caught my former prick of a boyfriend from Heavy Metal Enthusiasts doing a groupie doggie style backstage on the night we were supposed to be celebrating our 1 year anniversary.

He told me I was too uptight. Too vanilla. Too boring. So I got drunk with my bestie, Marsha West, the aspiring videographer. I ranted. I raved. I came up with a crazy idea. What I didn’t know was that my best friend recorded me. Marsha put the video up on YouTube. It went viral with 10 million hits. Now I’ve got fans and sponsors offering me big bucks.

Rockstars are volunteering to be my f*ck buddy.

Hollywood is calling.

I get to choose which rockstars I want.

The stakes are high.

This sh*t just got real.

What could go wrong?

 

Review:

Walking in on your rock star boyfriend while he’s doing a roadie definitely means venting to your bestie and drinking tequila is needed, stat. The hypocrisy of it all is all Ravens’ thinking. How come it’s only men (specifically rockstars) who can choose when, where and with whom and not get judged? Why not women too? So in her drunken state she declares that she will create a rock f*ck club. Her plan is simple, 10 cities in two weeks with 10 different famous rockstars. She decides who and when to show the power of female embodiment. Rating the men as she goes to help others who might want to follow. What she doesn’t realize at the time is that said bestie was filming her rant, uploaded it to her YouTube channel and now it has 10 million views. Talk about a boost to the system when rockers are starting to volunteer to be one of her 10. So her and Marsha think why not and just go for it. What could possibly go wrong?

Her journey might have started out one way but what happens when you find the real thing before your journeys done? Falling at Lucky’s feet might have been the best thing that happened to her but is she ready to open herself up again? No, not really. She is suffering from pain in her past and until she deals with it she can’t move forward. Besides it soon becomes a bit difficult to back out when a production company offers a very large sum of money to create the RFC as a reality series. Raven is always thinking about others before herself and with the money she knows it will help those she cares for, but how far is she really willing to go. I liked that it wasn’t always an easy ride along the way. Showing sometimes you need to listen to those warning bells with some men and trust your friends. Raven was very much a lost soul at the beginning but finding Lucky and going on the journey for the RFC actually helped her get back to who she really is.

Lucky is your classic sexy rock star, British accent to boot, but had a hidden side too that not many see. Fiercely loyal to his family and from the moment he meets Raven you could see he wanted protect her too, even from herself at times. Man alive there was so much chemistry between them. You could cut the sexual build up tension with a knife. Intense doesn’t cover it but with the road she finds herself on she doesn’t know how to start something until it’s over. Will he be waiting at the end? He’s the only one who really sees her, not like the others. It’s starting to be all about perception near the end. Give just enough to be seen but hold back on what’s really real. She is becoming more aware of herself and yes she does get a little frisky with some badass rockers but its all part of reconnecting with herself again.

Loved the rest of the band – Rocky, Alec and Cody. Had a feeling about two of them being ‘closer’ than the publics’ impression. Sky was innocent in the way she acts and was a gentle presence throughout. You can see her feelings for a certain someone clear enough, lets see if he’s man enough to take and keep her. No messing with her my man or there will be trouble. Marsha was a fun character who has clearly been Ravens partner in crime for years and will continue to do so. Hopefully she will find what she’s looking for too along the way. I liked the Navajo influences throughout on her journey of rediscovery back to herself. Its like she came full circle back to her roots to see who she really was and who she really wanted to be with. Three guesses people?

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Give Me Books for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Sweet Temptations’ by L. M. Mountford

Title: Sweet Temptations: The Babysitter

Published: 25th November 2016

Publisher: Excessica

Author: L. M. Mountford

Twitter: @realdarkinferno

 

Synopsis:

There were times Richard Martin loved his life. He had everything most men nearing middle age could want. A beautiful wife. A young son. All his hair.

He still has his hair, but not all is at it seems. His idyllic life was turned upside down when he and his family were forced to move from their home in Bristol to a small Gloucester flat because of Richard’s new job and now he finds himself beset on all sides. However that is not the sum of his problems. When his new supervisor, a promiscuous bombshell more than ten years his junior, sets her sights on him, she is by no means subtle about her interest in him, no matter who might be watching.

But temptation comes in many forms, and Richard has recently found his eyes lingering on the woman from downstairs who babysits for them. Was it his imagination, or were her skirts getting shorter?

In this first volume in L.M. Mountford’s sizzling debut series: Sweet Temptations, a naughty babysitter sets out to seduce her man. No matter what his wife might think, this tempting little wench is determined to rock his world…

 

Review:

Richard seems to have a happy loving marriage but temptation it seems is sometimes just too strong. Especially if you are turned on first before being put in the situation to begin with.

The intriguing fun starts with the early Christmas party at his firm when his boss corners him. She is young, tempting, a bit scary in a dominating way and clearly wants him to submit. Too bad for her that his wife Alice comes to take him away. He is more than glad as she scares him a little but it makes you intrigued as to how she would act if Alice hadn’t.

Back at home its time to deal with the babysitter. Seems she has a problem she needs his help with – though I think we all know what game she is playing. I think Alice knows she has a crush on him but until she mentioned it Richard never really thought about it. A passionate kiss ignites his mind to wonder to places it shouldn’t. Seems his fantasy might soon become a reality. Is he about to fall? Will he even feel guilty if he does? He likes the excitement of what he is doing but how long before reality sets in?

Well we know how this one will play out and yes they are very heated together after just one kiss. A spark to set them off but its putting them down a dangerous path that will only end in heartbreak for all involved. Not too sure I liked the fact he didn’t really feel guilty, just kind of detached from the situation. Kind of letting the body take over and the mind switch off. I’m thinking the mind will come back on with a force though once he gets back home though.

Good flow with the story even with it being a short but some parts where a bit too descriptive. Like the journey home almost describing everything they passed rather than the characters talking. But that could be showing that even though they think they are happy they have started to become detached from each other without realizing it. A fun short read all the same though.

3 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Loose Ends’ by Taylor Dawn

Published: 4th February 2016

Publisher: Princess Press

Author: Taylor Dawn

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTaylorDawn

Twitter: @TAYLORDAWNBOOKS

 

Synopsis:

***Can be read as a stand alone novel***

Ava Greenwood never dreamed she’d be standing at the bus station in Chicago running away from the counterfeit life she’d thought was perfect. On a whim backed by fear, Ava chooses Biloxi Mississippi. Now, the sweet hairstylist must assume a new identity and hope her old life doesn’t catch up with her.

Luke Daughtry has been sent to track Ava down. He has one mission…find the petite blonde and make sure she doesn’t leave the Magnolia State…alive. Everything changes when sparks fly between the two and Luke has doubts about the job he’s been paid to do.

Follow Ava and Luke as they scorch the south and tie up loose ends, in this sweltering romantic suspense from International Bestselling Author, Taylor Dawn.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A contemporary romance. Well a bit more like a contemporary suspense romance but good all the same.

So we know that Ava is on the run from Chicago but we don’t really know why. Just that she’s scared and is trying to disappear. Grabbing a bag and high tailing it to a bus station to get a ticket to anywhere it seems. Anywhere turning out to be Biloxi, Mississippi where she has stayed hidden for two years working as a hairdresser. Hidden but never feeling completely safe. Always looking over her shoulder waiting for the moment she will have to run again. Seems her past is catching up with her though with Luke somehow being front and centre in the game that’s just started. Is he playing both sides? Are either of those sides going to keep her safe?

So Luke has been tasked to find Ava but by whom we do not know. It seems that their might be two ‘who’s’ as well so you can never get a feel on him right away. He comes across as a bit of confident jerk to begin with. Ava certainly puts him in his place. He should have been weary as she was holding shears at the time. When he walks into her hairdressing salon she wastes no time checking him out. It goes for him as well as I don’t think he was really expecting someone so stunning. Seems he has caught her attention from the get go, like she has caught his, more than he would care to admit. He is meant to keep an eye on her, she is a target, and to do that he needs to get close. Seems his lines are about to be blurred as after a bit of banter back and forth at a bar later that night Ava clearly wants the last word. Namely by jumping in his truck and kissing him senseless, then hoping back out. If he thought this job was going to be easy that just went right out the window. He can’t deny his attraction to her and decides to go down the date route to stay close. He just didn’t except the chemistry to be so strong so fast. She’s bold, sassy and brave and draws to him like no other. A weekend date at his and all bets are off. Love the sound of his old two-story plantation house, mental picture very good. They sure have fun on that porch don’t they? Good job the railings are strong enough to hold on to. But danger and trouble are never too far behind. He has a job to do and you can clearly see how torn he is about it. Do what he has to or what he wants to? Is she safe in the arms of the one who holds/controls her passion or is he the one putting her in harms way?

Great chemistry and back and forth banter between not only Ava and Luke but also her friend Brandi and his ‘cousin’ Cole. Love how at the BBQ she just goes right up to him to ask a certain question. She more than likes the answer she gets. Great start to the series that will keep you hooked to see what might happen next.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this copy of this book from Nell’s PR and Marketing for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Lucky Star’ by Rebecca Norinne

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Title: Lucky Star: A Hollywood Love Story

Published: 1st July 2016

Author: Rebecca Norinne

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RebeccaNorinne

Twitter: @rebecca_norinne

Synopsis:

He said nothing would come between them, but then Hollywood did. Can their love survive his fame?

The only thing actor Cameron Scott wants more than fame is Sarah Travers, the sassy director’s assistant who’s been his best friend since his days as an unknown. One night and one too many shots of tequila later, he and Sarah wind up in bed together, pushing their relationship in a whole new direction. Things couldn’t be more perfect … until Cameron lands the coveted lead in Hollywood’s latest blockbuster and the studio sets up a fauxmance with his gorgeous new co-star. With Cameron’s fame on the rise, can Sarah handle being his best-kept secret or will the temptation of superstardom cost them their love?

NOTE: There are no shifters, alphas, or billionaire CEOs in this book. Just a man who loves a woman and is willing to give up everything to be with her. If you love a smart and sassy heroine who can bring a sexy, completely devoted man to his knees, this book is for you.

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set somewhere you have travelled to. L.A. Hollywood to be specific. Holy hell, how hot are they when they get together! Talk about scorching, you may need to fan yourself down in places when these two get frisky.

So Sarah has only recently realised that she has fallen completely in love with her best friend Cameron. Being too scared to say anything she tries her best to hide those feelings thinking nothing could ever come of them. She, at first, doesn’t seem that confident in herself (especially in regards to her looks/weight) and can’t see why or how he could ever want her. Living in L.A. has taken its toll on her a bit. She’s healthy with curves that most women wish for, living in a world of stick thin women. A drunken night back at hers and Cameron’s soon starts to change her mind. She’s almost in that dozy sleep stage right up to he’s holding her face, gazing in her eyes. The look he gives her is pure lust and something snaps. He may have held back to see if she would make a move but when she does all bets are off. Talk about zero to fifty – strike that a hundred – in the passion-o-meter. Shame a its like a bucket of ice falls over them when she mentions a condom. You feel just as crushed as she does when he walks out without looking at her. To then ignore her for a month and all you want to do is smack him upside the head, well until you find out his reasons. Seems she’s not the only one keeping her true feelings a secret.

Cameron has been in love with Sarah from pretty much the moment they met after she was a shoulder to lean on after a brutal audition. Since then she’s been all he think about. He might want to make it as a movie star, never knowing when his break might come, but he needs her like his next breath. Which is why he takes a certain trip to get something that might help him grovel his way out of their drunken night together. He didn’t want that to be the reason they got together, only thinking of his own feelings. Not even twigging what she might have thought with his vanishing act but trust me when he does he more than makes up for it. Seems when he gets an idea he runs with it and that idea now is getting Sarah. Seems she’s more than agreeable to that plan and their whirlwind romance is off with a bang.

Well that’s until he gets his big break with the movie ‘The Ties That Bind’ her boss is directing. Monday morning comes round and it seems the powers that be think the two leading stars need to have an appearance of an off-screen romance as well as on. Sarah is pretty much told she’s not “Hollywood pretty” enough to make it work so they think its a good idea for Cameron and Jillian his co-star to have a fauxmance. He is not happy about being told, not really asked, about this by Sarah. She’s doing it all for him and his big break but he can’t see it, his big head getting in the way. Seems when he’s hurt and angry he likes to fight back, blindsiding her in the process. Oh I wanted to beat the crap out of him from that moment on with how he treats her. More so as she has my name so I was taking it personally. Their relationship has to stay a secret but when his “public” one gets to feel a little too real you have to wonder how they will get back to each other.

So much anger is between them at that point that something needs to give. A trip before filming officially starts is a great idea and I loved the location. Eagle Harbour is a very romantic setting and where you hope everything might fall back into place for them after the craziness they’ve been through. The outside world (and even some of his so called friends) might not see it but they are perfect for each other and theirs is the true Hollywood style romance people would want to go watch. Chemistry between them is off the charts – even when they are fighting. They are fighting to be together and playing by others rules. Once they let go of all that they will find their way back to each other.

Steamy, steamy, steamy with what they get up to at times. Loved all the naughty things they got up to while away. Lets just say that heated fights lead to some epic make-ups. Well mainly when Cameron gets his head out of his ass and realises what she’s been going through too. When he realises he’s been played for no good reason (I’m thinking of a certain female here, you know who you are!) he’ll do anything to put it right. Being best friends first seems to have worked out just fine for them in the end. Great characters and engaging storyline your can relate to. Fun read to devour on a rainy day. Will definitely want to check out what else the author has done now.

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4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from the author for my honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts, Romance