Category Archives: Reading Challenges

Book Review: ‘Blood Moon – Part 1’ by S. Yurvati

Title: Blood Moon – Part 1 (Chroma Crossing Chronicles Book 1)

Published: 15th February 2016

Author: S. Yurvati

 

Synopsis:

Hunky pheromone-laden-man meets pretty accident-prone female—it should have been a love story with a happy ever after ending.

However, when the bored deities choose Candy and Thorne for an amusing game, the gods/goddesses put forth sets of circumstances that can tear the couple apart and wound them deep within their human souls.

City girl, Candy wanted to become a successful artist and maybe someday find a man who would make her feel loved and valued, a feeling she’d never known while growing up. However, with a name like ‘Candy Cane’, males never failed to remind her with a wink and snicker, how it sounded like she was a ‘professional’. And ‘professional’ held so many connotations, none of which she had in mind regarding relationships with men.

With her father’s sudden demise, Candy finds she’s inherited funds and a carriage house in beautiful historic Savannah. Not only can she now afford to go to SCAD, her future as an artist looks promising. Unfortunately her step-mom (and her disturbing son Todd) resides in the main house. When Candy gets her first commission for a life-sized portrait of a beautiful woman from a rather unsettling man, she soon questions what had seemed coincidental.

Candy is a modest female who has always found solace in her artwork, whereas her widowed step-mom, Cherry Ann, considers physical pleasure and money as her measures of worth. And as Candy pursues her art, Cherry Ann pursues a new lover who expands her world of sexual gratifications far beyond past parameters. Cherry Ann finds her new risqué sex life to be addictive and doesn’t recognize the danger of the man she’s invited into her life.

After surviving a couple of ‘accidents’, Candy realizes someone apparently wishes her harm. When she’s chased (by the one thing she fears most) Candy accidentally, or so it seems, crosses into a new dimension, land or whatever. She finds herself in an unknown wilderness without resources, let alone a map, or GPS, plus she left her cell phone at home—again. Looking around she sees a curious terrain that is void of color, thus leaving the landscape looking like an old sepia photograph, hardly the Savannah spring day she’d left behind.

The artist in her wants to understand how primary colors could disappear to leave a land so colorless . . . so entirely beige-ish. How could such a phenomenal occurrence come about? A land without modern conveniences—almost as though she’d stepped into a time past, yet that wasn’t quite accurate either.

As Candy literally stumbles through the wild terrain, an intriguing hunter comes upon her. His presence makes her girlie parts beg to become ill behaved, and before she knows it, her hormones are arguing with her strict moral compass.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a tree on the cover.

So this story starts with a bit of a fantasy vibe with a God and Goddesses coming together seemingly to cause a bit of trouble for some unsuspecting people from different realms. You have the Moon Goddess Luna, Mother Earth Em and Sol the Sun God. They meet every few centuries perhaps to play a game because they are bored and wish to be amused. The game this year is to pit a mundane human from the techno-plane against one from the mystica-plane and then choosing the season and realm they will meet on. Luna knows how the others can be cruel so needs to be the one to pick the season and realm so she can keep measure of the rules. Spring on mystica realm in Ky-Portus, where the techno guy is from. Sol picks a guy from techno and Em picks a girl from mystica, Savannah. Let the games begin, even if it does take a little while to get there that is.

We first meet Candy at her father’s funeral along with her step-mom number two Cherry-Ann and her son Todd – who is a little on the creepy side for with how much he clings to his mother’s side. Always there, always watching. The funeral happens to be a fiasco right from the start. Let’s just say that the man of the hour makes a bit of a talking point. It’s at the wake that Candy meets Mark, someone who makes her feel a little uneasy but she doesn’t know why just yet. When you find out more you will understand why she would get those kinds of vibes from him.

Candy is an artist; she likes the clean, white, blank sheet that has possibilities attached to it with what can be drawn. Look forward, never back. A comfort blanket of sorts as it’s something within her control that she can look after. A coping mechanism as no-one ever really looked after her as a child. This is the skill that Mark wants her for by requesting she does a portrait for a historic home renovation. He has a photo of a woman, Rebecca, from around 1874 and thinks it is the perfect choice for her to paint. The money is good and so is the challenge to paint her, but is there more to the deal than meets the eye. For reasons unknown he feels like she might be a threat to him. Could it because of a secret he holds about who, or maybe what, he really is?

Candy might be a bit of a loner but when she clicks with someone you know that there are good vibes flowing. This goes without saying for her new tenant Liam, who is renting the apartment in the carriage house, which her father left her. Doesn’t take long for a friendship to be formed or for him to get her to go out on ghost tours that he guides. Good to find out fun interesting facts about Savannah but not so good to have strange accidents occur. Stones falling from buildings are one thing but a hit and run might just be the start of what is to come. He might have just met her but feels very protect and close to his friend. One lovely thing he does is getting her a kitten for her birthday. Seems this little kitten has a story to tell all of her own – even gets her own POV. Coco is on her ninth life and this time round has a mission to accomplish. Protect Candy at all costs, though that might be easier after they fall into another realm. What have they got themselves into?

Now at times I did feel like there were just too many POV’s going on, with some not really being that relevant to the story at all. I was fine with the God and Goddesses at the beginning as they set the scene for what’s to come. The pirate ghosts made for interesting reading as you are left wondering where they might fit in and how they knew what game might be being played on Candy. I also liked the introduction of Rebecca through her diary, which shows just what certain characters are really like. The thing is you then had POV’s from Candy, Liam, Mark, Joe, Cherry-Ann, Todd, the cat Coco, and then finally Thorne. Joe the good Samaritan wasn’t really needed at all and even Cherry-Ann and Todd could have just been left as characters within either Candy, Liam, Mark, or even Coco’s, POV’s. Cutting it down might have got the story flowing quicker to get to the part where Candy finally meets Thorne – which isn’t until the end of the book. Lot’s of crazy, creepy, disturbing things happen before getting to that point so hold on for the ride.

Candy getting to Thorne though is where the story picks up a bit and gets a little more interesting. She just happens to meet him after being chased by dogs and then falling into another realm, one that happens to be devoid of any colour at all. Leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger with the hint of what might be to come. With cutting everything down though the blurb would make a bit more sense as it talks about Candy and Thorne being together but it takes a while before they meet. Everything might make a bit more sense in part two as it might show how all the characters are needed or not. Questions are left unanswered but it does leave you wanting more to see how the game plays out.

Note: I do think the book should have a trigger warning on it due to abuse, gang rape, incest story line and anxiety featuring high throughout.

3 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 Bargain in Silver’ by Josie Jaffrey

Title: A Bargain in Silver (Solis Invicti Book 1)

Published: 3rd January 2015

Author: Josie Jaffrey

Facebook: www.facebook.com/josiejaffrey

Twitter: @josiejaffrey

 

Synopsis:

If the price of safety were slavery, would you bargain your life?

A deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience. It’s not a deal that Emmy’s willing to make, but as her world burns around her she finds herself in the arms of the enemy and the line between oppressor and saviour begins to blur.

After an attack by the infected, Emmy is rescued by the handsome Drew who introduces her to the world of the Silver. Desperate to escape subjugation and confused by her attraction to him, she gathers what remains of her surrogate family and plans to make a break for freedom.

But despite her efforts to resist, she is drawn further into the intrigues of the mysterious Silver through the agency of their ruler, the Primus: Solomon. Emmy refuses to submit to the cold and detached Primus and an attempt on her life makes it clear that he is unable to protect her from the political machinations of his race.
As the connection between them deepens she must choose between her desire and her will to rebel, but can she trust his intentions when everyone is after her blood?

A Bargain in Silver is book one of Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with zombies. In this book they call them Weepers but you are still going to want to run away from them all the same!

A lot can happen when no one really pays attention. When the strange and unbelievable becomes believable you have to wonder what else could happen in such a short amount of time. Everything changes and soon when you thought you were the top of the food chain you realise that you are no more than lunch. When this happens it helps to have someone on your side, you just have to be careful of who you trust. Something that Emmy is finding out when she, along with the rest of the world, finds out that zombie like creatures called Weepers are hunting them and only vampire like creatures called the Silver can help. Help doesn’t come free though so you have to make a choice. You live to serve and donate or you die – not much of a choice but it’s all human’s have.

After leaving her bar shift at Parker’s Emmy finds herself in a bit of trouble. Streets are dark and creepy at the best of times but when three strangers come at her it goes from bad to worse. Especially when she notices the amount of blood and gore on them. Good job someone happens to be out to help. Her would be saviour Drew might have a few things to explain though as there’s more than meets the eye. Eye being the right word as his seem to be threaded with silver.

Time to get off the streets and back to the safety of his penthouse flat. She might be freaking out a bit by what is happening but that doesn’t stop the strange connection she feels with him. In the safety of his home he shows her what she clearly has missed. A message was broadcast out for all to see from Soloman, for all intents and purposes the new man in charge. The world is under attack by something humans just can’t fight, luckily for them the Silver can. For people of both kinds to survive in the wake of the Weepers humans had to come to an agreement. The Silver will protect them and rebuild around the destruction the Weepers have caused and in return they will work where assigned and donate blood monthly. Not much of a choice but the only one that will mean survival. Hearing this just makes Emmy want to get away the first chance she can get. A bit tricky when she finds out Drew is Solomon’s right hand man.

When her moment arrives she wastes no time in getting away, heading for the only place she feels safe, Parkers. She’s glad to find her friends Jeff, Sarah and Danny inside and so together they create a plan to try and get out of town before they are found. From the messages broadcast across all channels they know the Silver are going to be looking for people to round up and go to the ‘safe’ houses but they don’t partially feel safe about that. They just don’t know what to fear most, the Silver or the Weepers. Comply or die seems to be the moto for the Silver and it’s something Emmy and her friends don’t want to do. How long before they are found and what fate beholds them when they are?

She should have known that they couldn’t stay hidden for long and that her role in this new world was about to change. Caught and not given much of a choice she is asked by Drew and Sol to give them a week to see how she fits in. I’m thinking if she still wants to get away then death will be coming for her, she just won’t know from what side. With being caught she gets protection, not just from Drew who is overly protective of her, but also from Sol. Seems he finds her intriguing enough to claim her as his own, not that she knows this right away. With his mark on her she is untouchable. She won’t need to donate and anyone who tries to feed from her will answer to him. Protection always comes at a price, so what are his true motives?

So Emmy finds herself caught in the middle of an intense triangle. She isn’t sure of her own feelings as a Silvers touch or kiss can create certain reactions. Fitting into this new world is tricking, more so when she finds herself between the two most powerful players, both vying for her attention. Drew I think has more true feelings towards her at the beginning, whereas Sol is more intrigued by her, a breath of fresh air for both. This just causes a bit of tension and trouble and not just from those directly involved. Others are trying for a power play and seems Emmy is in the middle of a plan to see it through. Dangers at most doors but who is she going to turn to when she needs to feel safe? Which choice is the better one?

An interesting start to a series that manages to create an intriguing dystopian, post-apocalyptic London now that the Silver and Weepers are out in the open. Well drawn out characters but did find Emmy a bit annoying at times with how easy she could be manipulated into thinking differently. Ask a dam question and things might have worked out differently! Interesting side characters that are part of the Solis Invicti and friends – well most are – of Drew. Ben, Cam and Thomas are all members of the Solis Invicti, top men in Solomon’s leadership. Cam is a sweetie just wanting to make everyone happy, Thomas is loyal to Drew but Ben I fear has an ulterior motive so not to be trusted. Either way will be interesting to see how things play out from there on and who she will end up with, it might not be who you think.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Troublemaker’ by Katie McCoy

Title: Troublemaker (Rascals Book 5)

Published: 10th December 2018

Author: Katie McCoy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/katiemccoyauthor

 

Synopsis:

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

Dante Delgado is arrogant, mysterious… and sexy as hell. He’s also my brother’s best friend, which makes him seriously off-limits — until one of our infuriating fights turns into a steamy make-out session.

Now, all bets are off.

I know he’s trouble, but I can’t stay away. The chemistry between us is burning out of control, but Dante’s hiding something behind that bad boy smile, and his secrets could destroy us both.

Am I heading straight for heartbreak? Or can this troublemaker open his heart for the right woman?

Find out in the sizzling conclusion to the Rascals series!

#1 Rascal
#2 Wingman
#3 Heartbreaker
#4 Soulmate
#5 Troublemaker

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a one word title.

So we finally get the story that has been hinted at right from the start. You could see a mile off that Hayley was into Dante but he always kept everything so close to his chest that you could never be sure what he was thinking. Something that Hayley is adamant is about to change after getting a taste of what she has been dreaming about.

Hayley might be casually seeing Mike but it really isn’t going to go anywhere. He is the type of boyfriend her parents want for her but not really someone who she thinks she should be with. His kisses are nice but she wants spectacular – mainly she wants Dante as she’s sure his kisses are going to be in the spectacular spectram. The fact her words are soon to be ‘from the most epic, sexy, explosive kiss in my life’ you’d say yes to that. She’s wanted him forever and it seems the feelings mutual, so what’s holding him back.

Dante is our man of mystery that she really wants to solve. Her thoughts always seem to go to naughty places when she sees him. Well right before she wants to hit him over the head for being his normal asshole self. Now it seems said mystery man holds a poker game for a select few, not completely on the up and up though. So when Hayley walks in with her date Mike he’s none too happy she’s there. Unless he wants a scene though she’s staying to get some answers. In the end she just gets kissed the lovely hell out of which leads to more questions running round her head, mainly to him ghosting her for a while after the fact.

Dante has a reason for everything but he keeps it all close to his chest. Good intentions and motives to help others but he doesn’t always act the part. He helps out at his old gym with mentor Bull. As he’s getting on in years Dante wants to continue his work at the gym with young kids that are like he was at that age – angry with the world and needing some guidance, discipline, stability and support. Bull’s still good to give Dante advice to get his head on straight it’s just a shame it didn’t work with his foster brother Nicky. He was in and out of foster care, like Dante, but always has a way to find trouble, blaming Dante for all of it too. It’s this trouble that Dante thinks he has which makes him think that he doesn’t deserve someone like Hayley as she’s too good for him. That is about to change though if she’s got anything to do with it.

These two getting together was never going to be straight-forward, they were going to have some fun, or maybe chaos, along the way. Its like they are feeling each other out to see what next step should – more him than her – when really they want to just pounce on each other. She just needs to find a way to spend more time together – self defence training anyone? Getting all hot and sweaty in the gym is sure to lead to getting hot and sweaty somewhere else right? Though I’d say it might have more to do with a certain little black dress she wears just for him. One Dante is dying to rip off her – well unless she beats him to it. Let’s just say she won’t look at a poker table the same way ever again.

On a lighter note it turns out that Hayley is now the lead singer of a band called Purple Sunday. When she decides to make the next move and ask him on a date she gets him to meet her at their first gig. Its like she wanted something to connect them together with no-one else involved. I also liked that when she finally needed to talk to someone about Dante she picked Juliet. Funny for her as she always thought something was going on between them. To quote ‘You guys are always staring at each other.’

Their group get together’s just get more fun with each book. The rest of the couples together for a movie night where Dante and Hayley have to pretend they haven’t seen each other naked. That sounds like fun. More so when hot texts turn into sneaking away for a stolen moment where anyone could walk in, talk about heat rising. Yeah they weren’t going to stay long when they really needed to be alone together. Hot as hell comes to mind and with each encounter they just burn hotter.

Funny how its Dante that wants to tell Emerson and the others about them first, doesn’t want to lie and hide. Hayley knows how protective they all are and how they will butt in so wants it just between them for a little while. Fall out won’t be good though. The women will be all for it as they’ve figured out the chemistry long ago, the guys are just all oblivious. How long can they stay in their heated inferno before someone gets burnt?

Loved how all the couples are interlinked in each story. Emerson and Alex, Chase and Kelsey, Liam and Juliet, and Sawyer and Gabi. Took Dante and Hayley a little longer than most but worth the wait. Now that’s the way to make a good apology. Swoon worthy is all I’ll say. Seems these five rascals got more than they bargained for when they opened the bar. One by one taken down by love and, in the end, none of them minding in the slightest.

Great series from start to finish, lots of interesting, unique characters and couple pairings throughout. Also love how each series has a few characters that cross over into each other. Lets see what series comes next.

5 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘The Girl of His Dreams’ by Janet Nissenson

Title: The Girl of His Dreams (Bachelor Book1)

Published: 21st May 2018

Publisher: BookBaby

Author: Janet Nissenson

Facebook: www.facebook.com/janetnissensonauthor

Twitter: @JNissenson

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7375780.Janet_Nissenson

 

Synopsis:

He was convinced he’d be a bachelor for life. And then he met the girl of his dreams.

Jordan Reeves has fully embraced the carefree, uncomplicated bachelor life, figuring that the poor example he’d been provided by his parents of so-called marital bliss was reason enough to remain single. He’s more than content to date one woman after another and never even consider settling down, especially since the only female who’s ever seriously caught his attention belongs to another man.

But during a vacation in Hawaii, Jordan unexpectedly meets a woman who could very easily change his mind about the joys of bachelorhood. Aubrey Larson is young, gorgeous, fun-loving, and has a wicked sense of humor to match his own. She’s also a dead ringer for the woman Jordan’s had an admitted crush on for the past few years, enough to be mistaken for her twin.

Aubrey recognizes the handsome Doctor Reeves as a player of epic proportions the first time they meet, but even her usual disdain for that type of male can’t diminish the overwhelming attraction she feels for him. But as their relationship deepens, Aubrey has no idea that becoming involved with Jordan will lead to a startling discovery about her own past, and cause her to question his true feelings for her.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book set somewhere you have travelled to. That being San Francisco a few years back which I loved.

Jordan is an OB/GYN who has a bit of an unhealthy infatuation with one of his patients, Tessa. Not good when she has just had her second child with her husband Ian Gregson – sorry mate but she is not even going to glance your way as we all know they are the perfect couple (from the book Splendor which I really loved, if you haven’t read check it out). Jordan’s good friends with Ian too, as they seemed to go to the same type of swanky functions, so all round it is a bit of a mess.

He is a bachelor supreme along with his mates Max and Finn who are all players to the ninth degree. Max seems nice enough so far but Finn is quite obnoxious. Their plan to help Jordan get over said infatuation is to take a holiday to Hawaii. They are thinking sun, sea and sex. Not necessarily in that order. It might help but he is starting to get tired of the game. That said the thought of long term almost gives him a panic attack. He might change his mind after two weeks in paradise.

When perusing the beach for possible bedmates Jordan has to do a double take when a new contender comes out of the water. Tessa 2.0 in looks so you know who he will pick. Yeah you know this is going to get messy. Loved that his ‘you’re my dream girl’ pick up line crashed and burned, well to start with anyway. Persistence is key with how he works to charm Aubrey into having lunch with him; can that charm work on dinner too?

Aubrey’s worked on the island for year and a half as a tour operator but her contract is soon to be up. After a great lunch and pending dinner date you can see her start to second-guess her decision. Well that’s something her two friends aren’t likely to let her get away with. She might want to cancel but they out-maneuver her by hiding her phone. Date with the hot doctor here we come.

The only problem with this date is that to begin with Jordan keeps thinking in lines of how similar she is to Tessa in looks. Personality wise they are completely different but looks they could be twins. The age difference between them is also playing on his mind. He might have ribbed Ian for the 15years between him and Tessa but there are 14 between him and Aubrey – 25 to his 39. Copycat romance might be on the cards?

Jordan might start out thinking he needs to spoil her but all she wants is him and not the flashy gifts or meals, showing the connection between them is strong. With him being a ladies man he is very experienced in the bedroom but even he was close to losing his mind when she got her hands on him. Explosive match that are surely to burn hotter the more time they spend together. Aubrey just has to push to the back of her mind about ‘how’ he would have gotten so good over the years. Either way it’s going to be two weeks in paradise where the heat is surely to be rising with these two. But what happens when he wants to continue off the island back home in San Francisco. With the ever-high chance of bumping into Tessa, or Ian for that matter, growing by the day can they hold on to paradise or will it burst around them?

I did like this start to the new series but not quite as much as the Inevitable one. I think it’s because it took me longer to like Jordan. Got my back up that he would even think he had a chance with Tessa. Crush from afar but because I loved her and Ian’s story so much I was already hating on him a bit. He does redeem himself with Aubrey after he realises that their looks are the only thing that’s the same. Also that after spending a short time with her Tessa was out of his mind. His and Aubrey’s connection from then on was magnetic. Aside from mind-blowing sex he could be quite the romantic. Drawn to each other more than they would have thought. Which is why they try to take their island bubble romance to the mainland. Ticking time bomb to find out why they look so similar and why he kept it from them. When the bubble bursts can he fix it?

Now I’m not overly keen on Finn at the moment so a bit unsure of how his book will play out but interesting to see how his priorities might change. Max is a mystery that needs looking into though.

Loved that we got to see Ian and Tessa again and that they have two little kiddies now. Amazing family unit and great couple. Aubrey is right about feeling an electric energy around them because if you’ve read Splendor (which you should as it’s great) you will know full well just what they get up to behind closed doors.

Not quite Inevitable standard because I absolutely loved all the characters in that series but not too far off. His ‘dream girl’ come to life.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Mr Casanova’ by Lila Monroe

Title: Mr Casanova (Billionaire Bachelors Book 5)

Published: 29th October 2018

Publisher: Lila Monroe Books

Author: Lila Monroe

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lilamonroebooks

Twitters: @lilawrites

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

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

 

Synopsis:

Fall in love with the new hot and hilarious romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author, Lila Monroe!

Dashing TV star Luke Rafferty is Hollywood’s newest bad boy… at least, according to the tabloids. He’s been steaming up the screens as Dr. Casanova for ten years, but thanks to his ex-wife, some tricky contract negotiations, and that incident with the stethoscope (don’t ask), he’s suddenly on an extended vacation – with his heartthrob career on the line.

Enter Stella Hartwick.

A Hamptons local, she’s trying to get her home renovation company off the ground; winning the job for Luke’s new beachfront retreat would be her big break. And when she just happens to overhear his agent suggesting a fake relationship to give his reputation a swoon-worthy makeover, Stella sees the perfect solution to both their problems.

What’s a little fake smooching between friend(ly professionals)?

Stella is determined to keep her eyes on the prize renovation and her hands OFF the hunky actor wandering shirtless through her construction site. But Luke has other ideas. Midnight skinny-dipping ideas.

If only he wasn’t so heart-stompingly, panty-twistingly handsome…

Soon, sparks are flying, and they’re both forgetting their kisses are just for show. But can this fake relationship weather a very real tabloid storm? Or will past betrayals and the Hollywood spotlight drive them apart before their romance has even begun?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book from a ‘one click buy’ author. What is it about going out on boat trips and getting stuck on islands? Sure leads to fun times to be had in the sun. If you are looking for fun, flirty, hot reads then this is the author for you.

So it seems that when someone needs a little helping hand in the ‘fake’ relationship area for good publicity Olivia always seems to be in just the right place at the right time. Case in point with how she meets Stella through some friends while visiting the Hamptons and suggests that she could help her out financially if she wished. She might say no at the time but the offer seemed to stick in her mind and made her suggest something she wouldn’t have thought when going in to bid on a new house renovation project.

Stella has her own contracting business to renovate houses but seems to be constantly outbid on projects. Wouldn’t be so bad if the person was actually good at what they did or that they were her cheating ex fiancé. She originally started a company with her ex – but after finding his head between another woman’s legs – that fell apart as well as their relationship. She now has her own business, Hartwick Constructions, but is having trouble getting steady work. The latest dream job project she is really gunning for is the Sandy Lane house; she just has to convince the new owner that she is the person for the job. That is if she can stop drooling over him first.

Luke is in a bit of hot water publicity wise with all the fake stories his ex wife Avery is spreading. His role as Dr Casanova in a TV series called Heartbreak Hospital is the main area that has been hit. The papers report he went off the deep end after his divorce from Avery but as we know with would be clients of the Agency not everything is as it seems. His manager Quinn wants him to set up a meeting to help with his image by way of a fake relationship but he is reluctant to agree.

This conversation just happens to be over heard by Stella. Who after picking her jaw off the floor when she realises Luke, aka Dr Casanova himself, is even sexier off the screen. Sees that they could help each other out in another quid pro quo situation. She could be the pretend girlfriend to make him seem reformed in the public eye with a sweet new love interest and in return her firm could handle the renovation. A contract to dream about, the house not the man of course – well that’s what she keeps telling herself anyway.

With these books it always comes down to the first ‘pretend’ kiss. That first small spark that ignites something neither were expecting but both soon start to really want. Mixing business and pleasure is most definitely on the cards from that point onwards. But with him being an actor is it all real or fake? Something I’m sure will be running through Stella’s head at times.

The tension and chemistry between them started slower, as this was all happening while Stella was renovating the house. It was there just below the surface waiting to be pulled forward. They seem electric when they are close to each other, drawn together like magnets. They just have to be careful of what, or who, might pull them apart.

The difference this time with the couple involved is that the press is going to follow their ‘love story’ at every opportunity. Is Stella going to be able to cope with the stories told? I have a feeling that not all will be good ones – or even real ones – when ex’s are involved. The thing is Luke knows to take those stories with a pinch of salt but can’t seem to do it. Sees red and then turns into an asshole. He needs to do a big gesture to fix the mess he’s created. If his bachelor friend Fitz and sister Zoey can see things clearly why can’t he? Words of wisdom need to be listened to.

Now Fitz is going to be an interesting one to follow next. All this time it seemed that The Agency only helped men but it does have some female clients too. Seems Fitz might be about to change his mind about signing up.

Another fun, heated read with interesting characters that all interlink in different ways. What’s not to love? I’d expect nothing less from Lila Monroe’s books.

5 out of 5 stars

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

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