Category Archives: Romance

Book Review: ‘Eye on the Prize’ by Dmytro Holmes

Title: Eye on the Prize: A Novel

Published: 12th February 2017

Author: Dmytro Holmes

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/16371508.Dmytro_Holmes

 

Synopsis:

The story of Mikai, a talented young boxer, and Caitlyn, the beautiful woman he falls in love with. Full of action and passion, the fast-moving plot, with its twists and turns and cast of dramatic characters, all connected in intriguing and unexpected ways, keeps the reader guessing right to the end. The obstacles Mikai faces in the boxing ring mirror the difficulties he (and Caitlyn) have had to overcome in the past, and the continuing struggle that faces them in their desire to have a future together.

 

Review:

One, two, punch with this read. Hooks you in right from the start to see how it will play out. Dark gritty feel in parts but its needed to show you how far they’ve come out the other side.

Mikai has had a hard life growing up with not much outlook on life. That is until he stepped into a boxing gym and met Joe his soon to be trainer. Joe was like a father figure right from the start and soon took him under his wing. Seems he’s good at spotting someone with potential and that’s what he saw in Mikai. He took to boxing like a duck to water but to make big money off this sport you need to start at the bottom no matter how many times you win. On a winning streak but needing money his agent Miles (when you learn more about him you will agree with me that he is a piece of shit that deserves everything he gets) tells him to get a job, one that won’t interfere with his training. Seems his size and muscles help him land a security job. Easy enough to do for a couple months but turns into something harder and more tempting when he bumps into Caitlyn. From the moment he saw her something seemed to click (for her too if only she would admit it) and he knew he wanted her. Bit of a problem with wanting her though, that being the rock on her engagement finger.

Now to begin with you might think that she just wanted a bit of fun before settling down but the further in you go the more you understand her. She has had a very hard life and because of it has almost been programmed into having bad relationships because she doesn’t know what to do if someone is generally nice to her. She craves Mikai as much as he does her but won’t force something to happen. All it takes is one very nice dress and he all but pulls her to him. A few weeks of passion with a connection she never thought possible to keep her going down the path she set for herself with Patrick (a complete dick who got what he deserved).

You can see how much it pained Mikai to know she wouldn’t choose him no matter how much she wanted him. Seems this takes him to a very dark place for a long time with drinking, doing drugs and placing bets in the wrong places. All triggered with her wedding date. When something goes sideways he calls Miles to help. ‘Help’ is not what I’d call it but he doesn’t think he has a choice. He knows he needs to put Caitlyn behind him but time doesn’t seem to be helping at first. He needs to get his act together and the respect back off Joe to get his boxing life back on track. If only his love life was that simple. The woman he loves is married to another and he would do anything to change that. He might just get his chance when their paths cross again. She is in a loveless marriage where she is more property than person and it’s not till seeing Mikai again that she wishes she chose a different path.

Rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish with a group of characters interlinked more than they know. You are cheering when certain ones get what they deserved and hoping that these two damaged lost souls can find their way back to each other where they belong.

Side note: There is a name swap of fathers. Should be Michael but near beginning in flashback talk with Mikai it changes to Dave.

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: ‘Autumn Glimmer’ by Stacey Joy Netzel

Title: Autumn Glimmer (Romancing Wisconsin #6.5)

Published: 12th October 2015

Author: Stacey Joy Netzel

Facebook: www.facebook.com/StaceyJoyNetzelAuthor

Twitter: @StaceyJoyNetzel

 

Synopsis:

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Shea Riley walks out on her two-year relationship with Keller Maxwell in hopes of shocking him into realizing love can’t be taken for granted. Her glimmer of hope begins to fade as weeks pass without a word from him.

Problem is, she still loves him—and she’s pregnant with his child. She knows he deserves to know he’s going to be a father, but how will she ever know he truly loves her if they don’t fix their relationship before he knows about the baby?

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a colour in the title. Well autumn isn’t really a colour by itself but you can choose autumn colours so I’m going to count it.

This might be book 6 in the series but it can be read as standalone as focuses on their story alone and not a larger picture with lots of other multiple characters. Though you do get a glimpse into what Shea’s brother Nash is getting up to with his on/off girlfriend Josie, which is a fun side note.

Shea is feeling very under appreciated by her boyfriend Keller. Feeling more like a maid than his girlfriend from the moment she moved in. She needs him to wake up to what he has before he loses it. Her plan being to make a stand and leave to shock him into realising that what they have is worth something. Seems like a sound plan but like she says he really doesn’t listen so has no clue to what the reason could be to why she is leaving. He’s just hoping she will come back after having some time to cool off. She wants to know that he wants her for her more than ever because she has something she needs to tell him. Soon their two will be a three, well she’s hoping anyway.

Keller really has no clue why Shea left and all his brother/old wingman Dalton can come up with is that he is better off without her. Clearly saying that so he can get his wingman back. A night out with him might have better results than he expected though when he gets some much needed advice. Has he lost his chance by waiting too long though?

A short sweet romance showing the pitfalls of relationships when people stop appreciating each other. It’s just the start of their story and here’s hoping it continues with a few less bumps along the way. Well other than the one she’s growing! Nicely written short story that intrigues you enough to want to check out the rest of the series.

4 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: ‘Hot Bachelor’ by Katie McCoy

Title: Hot Bachelor

Published: 26th July 2017

Author: Katie McCoy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/katiemccoyauthor

 

Synopsis:

He’s off-limits… and we’re breaking all the rules!

I just landed my dream summer gig: working as a production assistant on TV’s smash-hit reality show, Ever After. Two months of sun and fun at the beach? Sign me up! Until the moment I come face to face with this season’s bachelor, racing’s bad boy Dash – aka, the mysterious hottie I just hooked up with at a creepy motel off the I-80.

Can you say, awkward?

Dash is sexy, charming – and totally off-limits. But the chemistry between us is way too hot to ignore. He’s playing to win, and he’s got his sights set on the prize: me!

Soon, the action is heating up off-screen. But between ratings-hungry producers, back-stage drama, and twelve of the most cutthroat glamazon contestants known to womankind, I’m in way over my head. Can I find my happily-ever-after, or will it be lights, camera, heartbreak?

The Bachelor gets a rom-com twist in Katie McCoy’s hilarious, sexy new read!
**HOT BACHELOR is a full-length standalone rom-com with HEA. This bonus edition also includes another full-length romance by Katie, GAME ON. **

 

Review:

Loved the book from start to finish. Comedy, banter, passion, romance and drama throughout, and that’s just off camera. What’s not to love when Dash and Paige get going with the back and forth? Ever After may be just a show but from the way things heat up between them the real happily ever after might be happening off screen.

Comical banter, frustration and passion are where we start from the plane to the car ride and then the motel room but it’s the ending that will make you swoon. Dash sure knows how to make up for his stupidity. Something I think we can all be very glad about. Spark from the start and both seem to be on a mission to get to the same place so it’s only right that they help each other out. No full names are given but with the chemistry building on the car ride when they get to the motel room – after she has been a bit freaked out by being by herself with what’s happening next door – she is all too happy to share for a bit. Seems sharing snacks isn’t all either of them want but it appears a phone call puts a stop to that with Dash having to dash off. Paige just thinks that the crazy trip with be a fun one to remember but she gets a bit of a shock when the suitor on the programme she has been hired to be a PA on is none other than her motel hook-up. Queue tension people this is about to get interesting.

You know reality shows are manufactured creations the producers want you to see but it doesn’t stop you craving them every now and then. Here we have a behind the scenes look at Ever After with Dash as the suitor with 12 women vying for his attention. Only problem is that it’s a red headed PA he wants but one who keeps trying to stay away no matter the pull they feel with each other. Well you know that won’t last.

The more they try to keep their distance the more fate and schedules seem to put them together. There’s only so much they can take before the tension makes them snap. A kiss is where it started and they sure go from 0 to 100 on the passion-o-metre. Which would be fine if they didn’t keep getting interrupted. Though every interruption is a bit funnier than the last when they try to stay a step ahead of being caught. Think they like the thrill of it to begin with but it’s hard for Paige to see where they might be going when she has to see him on the show. What’s real and what’s fake seem to be running through her mind. They were meant to be a bit of fun but the longer they spend together the closer they get. Telling each other things no one else knows. It’s like they have known each other forever but when the chips are down do they really know each other at all. With how quick one is to judge the other not so much. You just hope they will get their gear in order to correct their mistakes before its too late. We want a real happily ever after and not the shows ‘illusion’ version.

Side note: Patrick is a vial creepy producer that you wish Dash would just punch. His illusion for the show is all he cares about not anybody themselves. Well not completely true as he does care about himself.

Great characters that draw you in to a world of comical mishaps and there’s a lot of passion thrown into the mix too. First book I’ve read of Katie McCoy so would definitely want to check out any others.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Ruck Me’ by Rebecca Norinne

Title: Ruck Me (Dublin Rugby #2)

Published: 14th August 2017

Author: Rebecca Norinne

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RebeccaNorinne

Twitter: @rebecca_norinne

 

Synopsis:

She flies by the seat of her pants, and he’s a no nonsense kind of guy. When these two opposites attract … oh baby, it’s game on!

I’d called Aoife O’Shaughnessy a number of things, but dumb was never one of them. Through all the trouble she’d gotten into over the years, I never once thought she was actually stupid. Until now. Because I just heard her plan to lose her virginity to the biggest asshole we know.

My first thought? How the f*ck is Aoife still a virgin? The second? Over my dead body.

So I volunteered for the job instead.

It might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, but once the words were out of my mouth, I couldn’t take them back. I didn’t want to. Suddenly, I couldn’t stop wondering what it would be like to kiss the pink-haired sprite I’d known my whole life, to hear her moan my name when she comes.

And she’s wondering about me too.

It was only supposed to be about sex, but now I’m in deep. I never meant to fall in love with Aoife. And what happened next? Well, neither of us planned on that.

 

Review:

So when Eoin overhears Aoife tell Tanya her plan to lose her virginity his reaction is one of shock. First he can’t believe she is and second it would be over his dead body if she went through with it with whom she mentions. He all but drags her out of there to talk some sense into her without others around. Love how quick his mind goes from stopping her from making a mistake to being if she wants to lose it why not with him. Now right up until that moment neither had viewed the other in a romantic or lust filled light but it seems the moment his suggestion is out there a switch gets flipped and its now all either can think about.

Aoife knows the life of a rugby player and has known Eoin forever so feels comfortable around him. If she won’t take him up on his offer then she will counter it with another. One he’s not too pleased on as it involves him helping her understand what guys really like. The thing is with this approach it needs a bit of hands on action to work and once their lips touch its like game over for anyone else. Surprisingly its Eoin who wants to see how things go with dating and its Aoife who holds back, mainly due to what her brother might think. Man up girl and go get your man, he is there for the taking and you know it will be hot. They might be young but you hope they can make the distance. She may even start to wonder if she waited subconsciously for a reason. She’s 21 and had options but none who she really wanted. Seems that’s about to change now she’s looking at Eoin in a new light.

Chemistry is off the charts but Eoin has to take things slow, something he’s learning to really like. Only problem is that she wants to keep them a secret and there’s only so many times her brother can come first in her priorities with them. They have had a friendship forever so there’s always the fear that they would lose that if something happened and then went wrong. Make up break up make up again. A bit of a pattern forming I feel. Once it’s out in the open though they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. She’s making up for lost time and can see what others have been talking about. It means more if you care about the person. But things are never that simple when life throws you a curve ball. She may think she is making the right call for everyone involved but talking is always better. She really should have said ‘was meant to be’ instead of ‘was’. He might not have gone off the deep end. Bad times but can good come out of it too?

A couple of lines that stood out for me:

My head dropped back on a suppressed wail. “Please,” I begged like a child who’d had its favourite toy taken away. “I need your cock. Like, I physically need it. My hormones are out of control.” Aoife’s frustrations spoken out loud when she doesn’t get the one thing she has been craving most, Eoin’s cock.

“You know what Eoin McGrath? You’re a hapless fucking eejit.” Couldn’t say it better myself.

Now her mother was a bit of a pain, clearly not much love there as she views Declan as the golden child, relying on him for everything. Aoife definitely takes a back seat in her views, which you do feel for her. Seems she is about to get another family with her man as he comes packing with friends a plenty and family that adore her.

His flat mates and team mates Tadhg, Donal and Fergus seemed the classic bachelor pad home. Can’t wait to see those boys get tamed. Her brother Declan and Sophie make an appearance and seem to be doing ok so yay. Her friend Tanya who people really shouldn’t judge. There’s a dark past with her and nothing is what it seems with how people perceive her to act with members of the team. Aiden is the only one who knows her and here’s hoping she can over come what happened and move forward with him. Seems the rest of our boys are all going to get their own story. Can’t wait to check them out.

5 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Trying Sophie’ by Rebecca Norinne

Title: Trying Sophie (Dublin Rugby #1)

Published: 23rd November 2016

Author: Rebecca Norinne

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RebeccaNorinne

Twitter: @rebecca_norinne

 

Synopsis:

Sex and rugby are the only things I care about. I play hard and f*ck even harder.

Until my first love waltzes back into my life and I’m given a second chance to right the wrongs of my past.

She doesn’t want to forgive me, but I’ll use everything at my disposal to make her see I’ve changed. That I can be the man she wants me to be.

I’ve never pursued a woman the way I chase down opponents on the field, but this time I won’t back down. I won’t let her run away again.

Sophie was my first love. I want to be her last.

 

Review:

Fun, saucy read from start to finish with a bit of drama thrown in for good measure.

Love the line: “If my attraction to other men throughout my life had been a soft spring rain, what I felt when I was near him was a gale-force hurricane.” She was caught up in a hurricane from the moment she got back and I don’t think Declan really had any intention of ever letting her be free.

Sophie’s parents went through a bad divorce when was eight. Due to this she was sent to Ireland from America to live with her mothers’ parents to be kept away from the press. With her fathers’ parents owning a sports team they were considered royalty in the sport world, enough for the press to follow. She thought being there would be better as no-one would know who she was and she could be herself but a certain Declan “The Turd” O’Shaughnessy had other ideas on that front. A young boys infatuation at the age of eight turned into being a bit of a bully when that was the only way to get a certain young girls attention. Oh when you read young Sophie’s memories you feel for her. Declan was so mean in a way little boys can be but when you start to see things from his POV you view things a bit differently. Two years of torture and then the love of his life she was gone only to return when her grandfather had a heart attack eighteen years later.

When Sophie gets the call from her mother about her grandfather she knows she has to go back as her own mother refuses to. Found her mother a bit cold and you never really found why she refused to ever go back home to Ireland. A mystery to stay hidden it seems. She doesn’t have a time frame for being there but when a certain hottie picks her up from the airport she seems to think the trip could have a few perks along the way. Well that is until she figures out who he is.

Declan is one of the best rugby players his country has at the moment and he seems to have everything he wants. He can get any women that he wants and used to love it but things have started to feel a bit empty. When Colm, Sophie’s grandfather, starts to question him on this he starts to think about whether he wants something more. This comes to a head when he gets told that his first love is coming back to town. He can’t wait to see her again and I think on some level her grandparents have always seen him as someone for her as they saw his true feelings even when she didn’t. Small problem with wanting to be friends with someone you haven’t seen in years though and that problem being when the other person hates you. He needs to make up for his past mistakes and almost have a do over as adults but that doesn’t mean mistakes aren’t still going to play a part.

Sophie’s life, job and family in the US are non-existent really. She is drifting through life with her job as a travel blogger, never really putting down roots. Could she put them down in Ballycurra? Declan’s hoping, along with her grandparents, that it will change the longer she is back in Ballycurra and once he shows her more of his home of Dublin. From the moment she is back he knows that he wants to make her part of his life. She is certainly about to embrace her Irish routes with the help of a certain smoking hot rugby player. Chemistry between them is bubbling below the surface just waiting for a spark to set them off. OMG when it sparks it sparks big. He likes things a certain way in the bedroom and from her reaction – being dickmatized into getting a taxi to his there and then after he tells her what he wants to do to her – you can see they will just get hotter.

Other characters were interesting throughout. Cian, Declan’s best friend, definitely has some issues to sort through. Katie, Sophie’s best friend, makes quite the impression on him when she comes flying in to Dublin. Few stand out players from the rugby team that make fun cameos throughout. Soon to be the leads in their own stories perhaps?

Love the epilogue when you see how far everyone has come. Really like joint POVs from both leads as it gives you better insight into both their heads. Gives the story a more rounded feel. Another fun saucy read from Rebecca and can’t wait to read Ruck Me now.

4 out of 5 stars

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