Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Book Review: ‘Man Candy’ by Lila Monroe

Title: Man Candy (Billionaire Bachelors Book 4)

Published: 13th August 2018

Publisher: Lila Monroe Books

Author: Lila Monroe

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lilamonroebooks

Twitter: @lilawrites

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7109533.Lila_Monroe

Amazon page: www.amazon.com/Lila-Monroe/e/B00SRZKWN0

 

Synopsis:

What’s hotter than a sexy man and unlimited chocolate? Indulge in the delicious new rom-com from Lila Monroe!

Private investigator Nick Cameron is six foot two of chiseled, hunky trouble. He needs a fake fiancée to help him go undercover at the hottest candy company around, and he picks… me?!

OK, he thinks I’m the safe, reliable choice. But what he doesn’t know is that I’ve been waiting for the chance to get out from behind my desk and indulge my Bond girl fantasies. Goodbye, Moneypenny. Hello, femme fatale!

It’s my chance to take a risk and prove I’m more than just a secretary… but I didn’t bank on the sizzlin’ hot chemistry and Nick’s lick-able abs. And between our wild cover stories, after-hours investigation, and not-so-fake romps, the line between fiction and reality is melting faster than a Hershey’s kiss in the summer sun.

Can our delicious fake relationship turn into something real? Or will my sexy sugar rush crash before we can unravel the chocolate conspiracy? Find out in the latest BILLIONAIRE BACHELOR romance from Lila Monroe!

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with food in the title. Alice is about to see what all the fuss was about when she finally gets out from behind that desk. Doesn’t take her long though to realise that with fantasy and reality the lines can cross in the blink of an eye.

So Alice has been working The Agency for a while as the office manager / researcher for perspective clients – finding out all their secrets to see if they should work with them or not in the first place. She has longed to get out from behind the desk and take on a job by herself but has never really pushed hard enough for Olivia to take her serious. Seems her luck is about to change when a new client asks for her to be his ‘fake fiancé’. Only problem that could arise is that this new client isn’t a complete stranger.

The night before while out with her sister, after watching a Bond classic, she spots a mystery man at the bar. Someone she marks as a kind of Bond 2.0, acting all smooth and suave. After her sister leaves, and she finishes some work, she can’t help but be drawn to him. Especially when another man appears and they do a briefcase swap. Now caught in the mystery she can’t help but get closer, helps she was about to pay her bill. Her mystery man is even better close up and takes no time in talking to her. When talk about the Bond movie she just watched comes up so does Bonds women and how easy they fall for a kiss. Which leads Bond 2.0 to do just that, kiss her senseless, stating that she clearly looked like a women who longed to be kissed – true. It’s not until he leaves, calling her by her name, that she realises she never gave it. Our mystery guy is the new client who just happens to be a private investigator. Hello Bond mystery of her own. What could possibly go wrong?

Sweet as candy? It seems not with some secrets potentially being stolen from Lainey’s company – an old friend of Nick’s. It’s what Nick is investigating and to do so he needs a nice reliable fake fiancé who can help him infiltrate the CandyShack business. He thinks that from the start but soon starts to realise that Alice has a lot more to offer and he is only just scratching the surface. When Alice is told what the ‘stolen secret’ is, and how the competition could be about to launch it first, I think I’m on board with her reaction to the idea. A chocolate bar with a hollowed out centre filled with milk, coffee or champagne, to name but a few options. Messy while eating comes to mind. But is this really as cut and dry as Nick thinks? Seems Alice is quicker off the mark with thinking something just doesn’t add up with Lainey’s story. Whether Nick will listen is another matter entirely.

Now to get closer to the CandyShack people in the know they need to go to all the right parties, Alice being the arm candy to distract the wives while Nick gets talking to the higher ups. Seems Alice might need a little help in this regard when she says the wrong thing to someone and ends up making a bit of a mess. Good job Tiffany Trout – great name – comes to the rescue after her chocolate fountain stain disaster. She also just so happens to be the assistant to the CEO of CandyShack, Mr. Janssen. Bumping into her again ends up coming with a job offer. Looks like Alice is going further undercover to help, whether Nick likes it or not. Bond 2.0 might have met his match with how much fun Alice is having with this case. Snooping can be fun and you can find out all sorts of things, just not all candy related.

Catching Nick out when he is slinking around wearing black was always going to make Alice want to follow. A little snooping around the CEOs mansion and it looks like he has a partner this time. Almost getting caught has its perks is all I’ll say when they get trapped in a closet. This soon leads to thoughts going in new, hot, interesting directions for the both of them. One in particular is that Nick seems to really like her bunny sleepers. Mainly with thinking about them bouncing in the air while they … well he never finishes the thought but you get the drift. Thoughts are nothing compared to the real thing though, sparks are definitely flying around these two.

Interesting capers these two manage to get themselves into. Great chemistry right from the start, that just got hotter the more the lines blurred. There are only so many hot as hell kisses you can take before fantasy and reality collide. Sweet as candy in places too! Another great read from a fun hot series.

5 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘How to Choose a Guy in 10 Days’ by Lila Monroe

Title: How to Choose a Guy in 10 Days (Chick Flick Club Book 1)

Published: 24th September 2018

Publisher: Lila Monroe Books

Author: Lila Monroe

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lilamonroebooks

Twitter: @lilawrites

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7109533.Lila_Monroe

Amazon page: www.amazon.com/Lila-Monroe/e/B00SRZKWN0

 

Synopsis:

The only thing more hilarious than the movies is… real life?! Fall in love with the hot new romantic comedy series from USA Today bestselling author, Lila Monroe!

Stylist Gemma Jones is competing for a once-in-a-lifetime promotion. All she has to do is take some fashion-backward guy from geek to GQ-worthy. The only problem? The man in question is her hairy manwhore of a next-door neighbor. AKA Bigfoot.

Zach Morrison has zero interest in being Gemma’s makeover mannequin. Sure, it’s fun getting his smart-mouthed neighbor all riled up, but after cashing out of his tech start-up and going through an ugly break-up, he’s taking a permanent vacation. If he wants to wear sweatpants and sleep on a mattress in the corner of an empty apartment—

OK. Maybe he needs a little push in the right direction. But as Gemma races the clock to win her bet, she finds that Bigfoot’s been hiding a few things under his baggy flannel shirts. Like abs of steel, and a surprisingly big…

Heart. He has a big heart.

Soon, sparks are flying between this unlikely couple, but can Zach embrace a fresh start – however manscaped it might be? And will Gemma beat out her Instabitch rival for the top spot – and keep the truth about their bet from Zach?

Find out in the hot and hilarious new romance from “the reigning queen of rom-com”, USA Today bestselling author Lila Monroe.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book from a series new to you. Might be a new series, spin-off from Billionaire Bachelors series, but I knew I would love it as it’s from one of my favourite authors. I wasn’t wrong!

So Gemma has a bit of a problem with her nightmare neighbour Zach – aka ‘Bigfoot’ – keeping her up at night, and not in a fun way for her. She sees him as a bit of an out of work slacker who just wants to drift through life and a lot of different women. She is someone who really likes her sleep so when she doesn’t get it she gets cranky. Not good when there appears to be a new job promotion on the line. Seems her boss wants to expand her business out from just fashion advice to the whole lifestyle makeover. She needs someone to head this new franchise and it’s either going to be Gemma or her rival Arielle. So they both need to show her what they can really do. This is where the bet comes into play. Whoever wins will get the promotion because the other will drop out of the running. They each have to find someone to give a complete makeover to – clothes, lifestyle, house, everything. Well when I say find, I mean for the other person. Gemma picks a random (rude to Arielle) delivery guy they bump into and by pot luck (or disaster in Gemma’s case) when ‘Bigfoot’ appears at her office, upon seeing her reaction to him and his lack of style, you just knew that was who Arielle would pick. Cue nightmare about to happen when things get interesting with Bigfoot.

You shouldn’t really judge by face value, this is what comes to mind with Zach. Because what at first would make him seem like a video game playing slacker is actually someone who has taken early retirement. His friend Martin and him created an app that, once brought out, made them a lot of money. So he sees this time as an excuse to take an extended holiday while living on the basics and generally having fun with like-minded women. He also likes every opportunity he can take to annoy his neighbour. Which seems to be going in a new direction when she keeps showing up trying to get him to help with a project she is working on. She tells him that she needs someone new for her portfolio and would really like him to help her. She only has ten days to get this done so she really needs a yes to get started. A few days in and he might start to see the easiest way to get her off his back is to let her have the rains for a while. Let the fun begin.

Now the whole ‘Bigfoot’ nickname is because of Zach’s very unruly hair – head and face. He might agree to a haircut but it’s that beard that needs to come off. A battle of wills perhaps to see who will win that fight, though when Gemma sees him for the first time after said beard is vacant she realizes just what a gorgeous face it was hiding. That’s not all he was hiding when she helps him out with the correct clothes sizes too, hello muscles! With it starting out as just a job, even a bet, it didn’t seem to matter about him not knowing the real reason behind her needing his help but the more time they spend together the harder Gemma is taking it. Things are starting to heat up with lines getting crossed after finding more out about each other. Dig deeper to find out what really matters. A camping trip of sorts takes this couple to a whole new level. Caught outside in the rain, which in turn gets you very muddy after falling over in it, would of course see them wanting to jump in a lake to wash it off. Wearing a white t-shirt is also a sure fire way to turn up the heat when they are within touching distance too. Hello hot times to follow with a lot of orgasmic unicorns, because chemistry wow!

With the countdown for the bet being over and the job on the line Gemma is wanting it just to be over to she can tell Zach everything, hoping he will just laugh it off. But well if you have seen ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ well you will have a pretty good idea on how that might turn out. She just has to figure out what matters more and what is really on the line. Plus this new job might not be everything she thought it would be. Especially with what it might cost her.

Really liked Gemma’s friends, Eve and Zoey, and their whole ‘Chick Flick Club’ where they watch all the rom-com classics. Can’t wait for their stories next and where the series will go from here. Another fun, romantic, heated, read from a great author.

5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘A Fair Swap’ by Ava Sterling

Title: A Fair Swap: A Swingers Story

Published: 24th November 2018

Publisher: Red Lace Publishing

Author: Ava Sterling

Twitter: @ava_sterling

 

Synopsis:

They have an arrangement with another couple. Swap once a month.

Alexis and Richard have been married a long time–long enough to know what it’s like to be stuck in a rut. The same thing, the same night of the week, the same position…just everything the same. They sorely needed something to spice up their marriage. Then Aaron and Rhea walked into their lives.

Being a successful venture capitalist, Aaron has more than enough wealth and gravitas to impress, but Alexis soon finds out he has equally impressive moves in the bedroom. Once they start swapping regularly, Alexis can’t wait to see him again.

Now in a fancy Italian restaurant, Alexis finds herself in a familiar predicament: wanting Aaron but having to wait until they arrive at one of their houses for the fun to begin. Fortunately for Alexis, Aaron intends on enjoying her even before that point.

If you enjoy steamy stories of swingers, married couples, sharing wives, and sharing husbands, you’ll love A Fair Swap.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – An erotica romance. Another fun, sexually charged, short erotica read. This one has a more complex feel to it as we are clearly coming into the dynamics of the wife swap a few months in. So everything is still new but there is no longer the nervous energy around them all. More like getting totally adsorb in the swapped partner they are each with.

Alexis and her husband Richard were clearly in a bit of a rut and wanted to spice things up. It is never said how they came about with this unconventional, but fun, arrangement, more that you are taken right into it while they are waiting for their friends to appear at the restaurant. The sexual tension is almost building at that point and when Rhea and Aaron make an appearance it just keeps getting higher. As soon as they arrive, after the hellos, it’s like a straight swap happens then and there before even getting to the table. Luckily they are in a booth, as neither couple can seem to keep their eyes, hands and minds off the other. With the tension building you know that dessert won’t be had at the restaurant but more like an extra treat with their swapped mate.

Aaron seems to have a way of making Alexis’s heart rate increase with the mere suggestion of what he wants to do to her. More talk like that and she might have mounted him right there in the restaurant. Talk about putting on a show. Dinner over but can they make it back to his place before things get too heated? Well you know the answer to that pretty quickly. The moment that they got into Aaron’s car it was like a ticking time bomb for when something was going to come to a head. A parking lot seems to be the best place to stop to take the edge off. They sure can work up a sweat and steam up those windows. Also seems that giving Alexis the idea of what her husband and Rhea might be up to takes her own pleasure to the max. She almost wants to out do them. I wonder whether they compare notes?

Both partners seem very in tune with each other but we follow the exploits of just Alexis and Aaron. Though from the vibe at the restaurant you are probably thinking that both couples are up to the same thing without being able to wait a moment longer. Seems only meeting once a month builds a lot of sexual tension and wanton need that needs to be released. I wonder how long it will take them to change that system to a few more times or maybe even have a swap and watch one. With something that Alexis comes out with Aaron might take her up on that – a ménage soon on the cards perhaps?

You get some heated action within this one and you can clearly see that this monthly swap is going to continue for a while to come. Maybe next time Rhea could be the one that is followed so we can see just what Richard is like when he takes charge. Interesting group dynamics with this lot and one that would be fun to follow up on.

5 out of 5 stars

I am a Beta reader for the author and received this ARC for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Heartbreaker’ by Katie McCoy

Title: Heartbreaker (Rascals Book 3)

Published: 20th August 2018

Author: Katie McCoy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/katiemccoyauthor

 

Synopsis:

Five guys. One bar. And a whole heap of sexy trouble…

Liam Callahan is devastatingly handsome, infuriatingly aloof and… my new boss? Put that at the top of the list of ‘Things I Wish I’d Known (Before I Was Panting in His Arms During a Sizzling Midnight Make-out Session.)’

My bartending gig at Rascals was supposed to be a fresh start for me. Now I’m juggling drink orders AND red-hot sexual tension – but I refuse to let Liam’s smoldering stares throw me off my game…

Until one late night leads to another. And another. Liam has a reputation as Mr Heartbreaker, but he’s revealing a whole new side of himself: funny, playful, and most definitely NSFW. But this rascal has made a rule of never getting in too deep, and despite the real connection between us, something’s holding him back.

Can we find a way to put the past behind us and move on? Or will my new beginning end in heartbreak before it’s even begun?

 

Review:

Goes down as the first off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – The third book in a series. And what a series it is, great lines like this are to follow when the heat turns up with Liam and Juliet:

“This dress is gorgeous,” he murmured, his fingers teasing the neckline. “I’ll buy you another one.” Then, he ripped it straight down the middle.

Now our Liam is a very regimented man. He plans everything in his life to get out what he thinks is going to be the best option in everything – job, house, women, marriage. You may be thinking he just has a stick up his backside and needs to chill out and go with the flow, but he does have his reasons. When you learn a little more about his childhood you start to understand why he feels the need to control what he can as he knows first hand what happens when things get out of control. So you can see how meeting Juliet might be throwing him through a loop a bit with her being a little more impulsive and spontaneous these days. More so after the year she’s had.

Juliet was a renowned ballet dancer, but after an accident at a rehearsal a year before, that part of her life ended. She may be back on her feet, quite literally, but needs to be able to find who she really is again. Or more so, to find out who she is without dancing. She feels the need to try something new or just be impulsive for a change. This leads to going up to a very handsome stranger at a cool new bar – Rascals – to ask him to dance. Now dancing with a stranger is one thing but on her way out, while spotting him again, she ends up doing something even bolder – kissing him. This may have startled our mystery guy for a moment but that soon passes. Things may heat up to the point of dragging each other into the alleyway but hearing voices form the street stops that cold. Juliet thinks she will never see the guy again, or find out his name, but fate has other ideas. Seems leaving her card at Rascals leads her to a new job and maybe a new man!

When Liam walks into Rascals as sees that Juliet is working there you can almost see his mind trying to calculate how it happened and what he should do. He knows she isn’t really the right fit for him (he has a list!) but can’t seem to make himself stay away from her. Bumping into her while on a run is one thing but turning up to a cooking class she happened to mention is something else. Seems these two can’t really keep their minds, hands, lips – well you get the picture – off each other so you know it won’t take long for things to escalate.

Well that would go a lot faster if Liam weren’t the King of Mr. Hot and Cold with how he acts around Juliet. Let’s see how fast she can get rid of the cold part because when they get together it’s all about the heat. But when Liam’s ever loving ‘plan’ comes together in new ways you just hope he won’t take too long to see what, or who, should really be in the picture. If he can’t see it right away lets hope Sawyer can give him some much-needed advice to kick him in the right direction. Seriously at some points you will feel like smacking Liam over the head.

Rest of the gang is there too, which is good, so we get a bit of a catch up with how our first two sets of couples are going, Alex and Emerson, and Chase and Kelsey. This one also saw a bit more of Hayley while linking into what the other guys, Sawyer and Dante, are up to too. Let’s just say you can have a lot of fun on a boat out in the ocean – though Liam and Juliet almost have a bit too much in the water when no one was watching. There are lots of things to appreciate view wise – sea, sun, rippling muscles – you know the usual. Roof top movie night cool was cool too. Sawyer’s story is next which should be fun but I think I’m looking forward to Hayley and Dante’s the most. Clocked that pair would get together right from the start of the series.


5 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Book Review: ‘Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir’ by Michael Anthony

Title: Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir

Published: 27th December 2016

Publisher: Pulp

Author: Michael Anthony

 

Synopsis:

After twelve months of military service in Iraq, Michael Anthony stepped off a plane, seemingly happy to be home – or at least back on US soil. He was twenty-one years old, a bit of a nerd, and carrying a pack of cigarettes that he thought would be his last. Two months later, Michael was stoned on Vicodin, drinking way too much, and picking a fight with a very large Hell’s Angel. At his wit’s end, he came to an agreement with himself: If things didn’t improve in three months, he was going to kill himself. Civilianized is a memoir chronicling Michael’s search for meaning in a suddenly destabilized world.

 

Review:

Review might be late but this still goes down as another off my 2018 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A memoir. A biography memoir bringing to life what can happen when you get back home after war. You might physically be back but mentally and emotionally are two other matters entirely.

Michael was clearly struggling, like so many I’m sure, and this seems to be an almost therapeutic way of putting everything out there for people to see. The darker side of how people cope (or don’t cope) with when they get back. Drinking, smoking, drugs, sex, everything to the excess. It seems to be a way to drown out memories or feelings so you can just get through the day.

There was an interesting mix of people throughout that Michael met along the way in the first three months after getting back. The dating guru of sorts was funny in his methods, along with the others from the class. Finally going to PTSD and drug addiction meetings was a step in the right direction but maybe not the right kind of meeting with the other people that were there. With the meetings anyway you have to want to be there to see any benefit or else you are just going through the motions and not getting anything back from it.

I feel the abrupt ending worked well because in life nothing is tied up with a happy big bow on it to finish things off. This isn’t the end anyway but more like a true beginning. With fiction you can create the ending you want. With fact it’s real life and nothing in life that’s worth having is easy.

I did feel at times that the timeline jumped around a little. It’s only taking place within three months to begin with but at points days seemed to jump around. There was a good pace throughout though and it does keep you hooked to see how everything plays out.

The struggles shown throughout are hard at times to read but real in a way to show you what can really happen. But also that there is help out there to help you try and find a way back to the other side. Dark and gritty too but that’s needed to show the true perils of dealing with PTSD, depression and addiction. An interesting read all the same though that is worth checking out.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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