Tag Archives: Contemporary Romance

Book Review: ‘A Different Kind of Lovely’ by Petra March

Title: A Different Kind of Lovely: A Novel

Published: 23rd May 2017

Author: Petra March

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorPetraMarch

 

Synopsis:

A man with a damaged soul fell in love with a ballerina with a broken body.”

When Neal Medwin glimpses Mina Automne for the first time, he’s a man whose soul is darkened with memories of a painful past, whereas Mina is a vibrant, strong, young woman. She’s a determined ballerina who’s carefully planning and painting her life.
Neal steps into her existence and threatens to shatter Mina’s plans with an impossible request.

Mina can’t help the fragile man who’s invading her home, even though their parents used to be close friends and she knows of Neal’s hurtful background. She allows him to linger within her lovely and artistic world, however, hoping he might find some peace and solace.

Slowly, their conflict turns into friendship, and eventually into love, until a terrible discovery ruins Mina’s projects and forces her to let go of all her dreams, and of her sweet, damaged man.

Neal is unable to fight for Mina and for the unripe love they share, because he’s not ready to leave his past behind. He’s not strong enough – not yet.

(Ages 18+)

Publisher’s Note: This stand-alone Novel is a spinoff of Petra March’s award winning series, A Touch of Cinnamon.

 

Review:

Goes down as another off my 2017 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book about dancing or dancers. Another beautifully descriptive novel written by Petra March, one that takes the reader on a journey through a wealth of emotions from start to finish. A little repetitive at times but a good read all the same.

After the death of David everyone connected with him – family and friends alike – have all found it hard to move on passed their grief. All grieve in very different ways but all slowly need to find another/new reason to move forward and not live in the nightmares of the past. Something that Neal is slowly starting to learn after meeting Mina.

Neal is a broken soul of a man still struggling – like the rest of his family – with the sudden death of his brother David years before. His coping mechanism is to just shut down all his emotions, put on a mask and take care of his parents and sister. They call, ask him to do something, and its like he is powerless to refuse them. The latest task his mother sends him on is to purchase the cottage David stayed at before he died. One of the roads that lead to it being the one the accident happened on. A weird way to grieve on the anniversary but its what they do, buy something new to help push away their emotions. He thinks he’s just going to have a look as he thinks they are already selling but he gets a shock when the owner very much says she is not.

Mina is a ballet dancer with a passion to perform and live life to the full with her dream but it all comes crashing down when her body starts to betray her. Neal first spots her in a field dancing. Gliding across the land and through the air like a butterfly caught on the wind, soon to be his Butterfly. She caught his attention and drew him to her swiftly. When he follows her to the cottage and she finds out he wants to buy it it’s a push and pull feeling she has to deal with. He intrigues her so she wants him to stay but at the same time angers her with his intensions to buy her home making her want him to go. Seems their parents were friends once upon a time and hers thought to sell when they asked to buy without letting her know, even though the cottage is hers. Her dream being to build a dance studio out on the land and teach, after she has had a career with her ballet that is.

Seems to be heart and head, or should that be body and mind, are feeling very conflicted about what they are doing. Chemistry is a bit of a slow build between them as they try to get a feel for the other. The cottage and Mina’s memories of David help Neal to start to open up to his own. She knows his pain, can see it clearly in his face as his mask is slowly falling away. The cottage and Neal’s subconscious might hold nightmares to start with but soon they will turn around with the presence of Mina. Just as she can see his pain he can see hers, though hers might be more physical. They need each other to hold onto and build something new from their broken souls but his need to help his family pulls them apart. Can they find their way back to each other to help heal their pain, both physical and mental?

Cameos with Eagan and Brina give the story a rounder depth as it’s showing how others have come through the other side of their grief. Felia, Neal’s sister, needed to find her own way through it, which Neal is slowly figuring out. To move on you have to face the past and until they do that they will be stuck in a dark loop repeating their mistakes. Push past it and they will finally be happy again, just like David would have wanted.

To get a proper feel for the story and how certain characters may show their emotions, or lack their of by keeping them locked up, I would recommend reading the other books in the series. This can be read as a stand-alone but I feel you would benefit from reading the others. Plus they are good anyway, so why not.

4 out of 5 stars

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

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Book Review: ‘Wildest Dreams’ by Savannah Kade

Title: Wildest Dreams (Hollywood Nights Book 1)

Published: 4th May 2017

Publisher: Griffyn Ink Publishing

Author: Savannah Kade

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ReadSavannahKade

Twitter: @SavannahKade

 

Synopsis:

~~ Sexy, emotional, often funny, always messy, true love romance ~~

Jenn Lesley isn’t finding the man of her dreams, so a friends-with-benefits situation suits her just fine in the meantime. She’s a smart woman—a lawyer—with her feet solidly on the ground. She’s pretty sure she knows what she needs, and Walker isn’t it.

Walker Booth knows that he and Jenn have simply hooked up, not fallen in love or anything like that. He’s committed to chasing his dream, and he’s carved out a great, if unconventional, life for himself. So why do his paintings all start to have Jenn’s face?

When fate throws them a curve, Jenn may be too busy trying to right the trouble of her past to see that Walker is full of surprises.

Follow Jenn, Bree, Zoe and Jessica as they navigate the glitz and shine of Hollywood. Can be read as a standalone. This series has real emotion, hard won happy endings, and smoking hot romance.

 

Review:

A romance with a bit of a difference when you get to this one as it has two people who at first had no intention of making anything of what they had. A friends-with-benefits thing was all they wanted but that’s about to change when a certain test result comes back positive.

Jenn is clearly one of those people who loved to jump to conclusions right from get go with whomever she’s meeting. She had her mind set with how she thought things would go or how certain people should act and a good 9 times out of 10 she was wrong. Seems the dream guy and life she thought she wanted was nothing more than a fantasy. Reality turned out to be a whole lot better. A few times how she acts and thinks annoyed me but you have to go through those parts to get through to the real her. The one Walker is slowly helping her find.

Loved Walker from the start with his calmer carefree outlook on life. He is always trying to look out for Jenn even when she insists she doesn’t need him to. There’s more to him than meets the eye, which I liked. It just takes Jenn a while longer to see it but you know she will get there in the end. Seems she gets under his skin more than he would like to begin with and soon turns into a muse for his work. One he hopes to turn into reality though is yet to be seen. Loved his neighbours thought they were a good example of what real life looked like. A life Jenn soon starts to crave.

Thought her ‘friend’ Lissa was a right selfish bitch that definitely owed Jenn an apology for the ice queen she turned into. Melt the bitch I say. The friend she thought she had turned out to be one she’s better off without and the others she thought of as more acquaintances turned into the true friends she really needed.

Clark ‘dream guy’ was a tool of epic proportions and you really hope karma comes back to teach him a lesson. Lissa too really with how she acts. He was such a plank and how he acts after his major faux par is just laughable. Hello stalker in training, he’s getting close to it. Let’s just say when you are looking for ‘wife’ material it shouldn’t just be a job role to fill. Having your cake and eating will not just fly with our Jenn.

The dream man you think you are looking for can turn into a nightmare and that’s when the real thing sneaks up on you. The things Jenn might have put on her perfect partner list soon become obsolete. She gets what and whom she really wants when she starts looking with her heart not her lawyer business mind. Jenn may not have looked in Walkers direction for her future but it seems fate had other plans. She soon becomes the painting he longs her to be and he turns into the man of her wildest dreams.

Side note: A few times I spotted a name swap where Clark was used and it should have been Walker but nothing else that major.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Griffyn Ink Publishing for my honest review.

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Release Blitz: ‘Blue’ by S. M. West

Title: Blue
Author: S.M. West
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 12, 2017
Blurb

Blue. The color of devotion.

 

CARYS WOLFE is my heart.

Mine, always. Leaving her nearly killed me.

I thought it was the only way to keep her safe.

She’s moved on, and I want her back.

 

***

 

EVAN HART is my heart.

Loving him is my destiny. I waited my entire life for our time,

for us to finally be together, only to have him leave.

Now he’s back.

Though my mind can’t forgive him, my heart can’t forget.

 

Purchase Links
99c for a VERY limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Excerpt

“Evan, I want to know what happened, but I have a life now and you need to know…” She trails off, her eyes darting away from mine.

“What?”

Gazing up at me, she continues, “Whatever you have to say, it’s not going to change a thing. We’re over.”

My heart twists and breathing becomes difficult. Mother fuck, her words cut deep, hurting even though they aren’t true. Sure, she believes them on some level—she had to, in order to get through what I did. Yet, along with the hurt and disappointment swimming in her eyes, there’s also tenderness and love.            

“Tell me you’re happy and I’ll walk away.”

We always pushed each other, challenged the other to face our fears, to be honest with ourselves, with each other. I need to hear her say it. I don’t believe it, but if she is over me, I need to hear it in her voice and see it in her face—not because I want to, but because it’s the only way I can even begin to accept that we’re over. Even then, it’s not possible.

“I’m happy.” Her tone is laden with bravado, but no true emotion. Even her gaze, which never wavers from mine, is flat.

Shaking my head, I briefly cast my eyes downward to suppress my smile. “No, you’re not.”

“Van.” I flinch at that fucking name.

As a child, I thought it was so fucking cool to have a nickname that only my best friends would call me. Now, hearing “Van” from her pretty lips, I want to obliterate the word from her vocabulary, fucking kiss the word out of her.

“You can call me asshole for all I care, you’re not happy,” I retort in frustration. Catching my tone, I breathe deeply and loosen my fists to relax. “Don’t lie to me, and most of all, don’t lie to yourself.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about. You want to see what you want. I’m with Greg, and we’re happy.”

She grimaces infinitesimally, then averts her eyes from me. Unable to read her, I’m not sure if it’s because she means it and doesn’t want to hurt my feelings or if the lie tastes nasty in her mouth.

“Sweetness, I know everything there is to know about you, without apology. You can’t lie to me.”

 

Author Bio

S.M. West is an indie author who writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotica and whatever her heart desires. 

She spends her time juggling ay day job, being a mom and wife, and writing. On top of that, she’s a self-professed junkie of many things including a voracious fan of music, a born wanderer, a wine aficionado and chocolate connoisseur. 

Author Links
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Cover Reveal: ‘Blue’ by S.M. West

 
Title: Blue
Author: S.M. West
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Cover Couture Design
Release Date: July 12, 2017
Blurb

Blue. The color of devotion.

 

CARYS WOLFE is my heart.

Mine, always. Leaving her nearly killed me.

I thought it was the only way to keep her safe.

She’s moved on, and I want her back.

 

***

 

EVAN HART is my heart.

Loving him is my destiny. I waited my entire life for our time,

for us to finally be together, only to have him leave.

Now he’s back.

Though my mind can’t forgive him, my heart can’t forget.

 

 

Excerpt

“Evan, I want to know what happened, but I have a life now and you need to know…” She trails off, her eyes darting away from mine.

“What?”

Gazing up at me, she continues, “Whatever you have to say, it’s not going to change a thing. We’re over.”

My heart twists and breathing becomes difficult. Mother fuck, her words cut deep, hurting even though they aren’t true. Sure, she believes them on some level—she had to, in order to get through what I did. Yet, along with the hurt and disappointment swimming in her eyes, there’s also tenderness and love.            

“Tell me you’re happy and I’ll walk away.”

We always pushed each other, challenged the other to face our fears, to be honest with ourselves, with each other. I need to hear her say it. I don’t believe it, but if she is over me, I need to hear it in her voice and see it in her face—not because I want to, but because it’s the only way I can even begin to accept that we’re over. Even then, it’s not possible.

“I’m happy.” Her tone is laden with bravado, but no true emotion. Even her gaze, which never wavers from mine, is flat.

Shaking my head, I briefly cast my eyes downward to suppress my smile. “No, you’re not.”

“Van.” I flinch at that fucking name.

As a child, I thought it was so fucking cool to have a nickname that only my best friends would call me. Now, hearing “Van” from her pretty lips, I want to obliterate the word from her vocabulary, fucking kiss the word out of her.

“You can call me asshole for all I care, you’re not happy,” I retort in frustration. Catching my tone, I breathe deeply and loosen my fists to relax. “Don’t lie to me, and most of all, don’t lie to yourself.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about. You want to see what you want. I’m with Greg, and we’re happy.”

She grimaces infinitesimally, then averts her eyes from me. Unable to read her, I’m not sure if it’s because she means it and doesn’t want to hurt my feelings or if the lie tastes nasty in her mouth.

“Sweetness, I know everything there is to know about you, without apology. You can’t lie to me.”

 

Author Bio

S.M. West is an indie author who writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, erotica and whatever her heart desires. 

 She spends her time juggling ay day job, being a mom and wife, and writing. On top of that, she’s a self-professed junkie of many things including a voracious fan of music, a born wanderer, a wine aficionado and chocolate connoisseur. 

Author Links
Giveaway

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Book Review: ‘Jagged Ends’ by Taylor Dawn

Title: Jagged Ends (Magnolia Series Book 4)

Published: 26th February 2017

Publisher: Princess Press

Author: Taylor Dawn

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorTaylorDawn

Twitter: @TAYLORDAWNBOOKS

 

Synopsis:

Agent Ryan Madden always had a tough time fitting in at the Washington D.C. FBI field office. As the daughter of a fallen agent, Ryan had the determination to make her father proud and uphold his legacy. Unfortunately her anger management issues and jagged demeanor caused more problems than she’d expected. Hoping to teach her a lesson, Ryan’s superiors sent her and her tacky pant suits to the Biloxi, Mississippi field office for a change of scenery. FBI agent Remington (Remy) Archer was anxious to meet his new partner…that was until she walked into his office. He’d been expecting a man, not a sexy female with bright hazel eyes and a trendy bobbed haircut. His instant attraction to Ryan was alarming but he was resolute in his decision to make things work. That was, until they were assigned their first case together. How was he supposed to go undercover at a BDSM club with a strong willed woman who refused to submit to anyone? Get covert with Ryan and Remy as they brave the danger of the human trafficking and drug trade in the fourth installment of Taylor Dawn’s best-selling Magnolia Series.

 

Review:

First day on the job got very interesting very fast for Ryan and its full steam ahead from that point onwards. Talk about zero to fifty in the passion-o-metre when Ryan walks in to her new office, shocking Remy in the process with the fact his new partner is female. With the reaction his body is giving her that shock quickly wears off to something else entirely. Sexual tension aside – neither can really explain their reaction to the other – it seems like things are going to take a turn for the naughty with a case that’s dropped into their office. One only a couple can do, as they need to start investigating a possible drug ring at a BDSM sex club run by Alastair Bordeaux.

To be members it seems you have to go through a bit of an induction and then give a showcase performance. But I’m getting ahead of myself, as these guys have no idea about anything that might go on in one of those clubs. A bit of one on one lessons are needed and Dash just happens to be the teacher. Talk about insecurities for Ryan though. After having to strip to her underwear and then make out with Remy – again – she can’t understand why he would want/need to leave the room so quickly saying he can’t do it. Her first thought is that she’s so repulsive he couldn’t even pretend with her. But as Dash so helpfully points out Remy wouldn’t have had such a hard on if that was the case.

To get on with the case they need to work round what the attraction really is with them. His reasoning that things at the club could get physical for real with others around so they might think about getting rid of the mystery beforehand so they can focus on the case. Focus umm yeah-right Remy. The moment they are near each other its like everything else switches off. Well until someone says the wrong thing and then fireworks soon start. Seems Remy has had a painful past that he still is trying to come to terms with. Ryan as well on a professional/personal level with what she had to do to someone she loved. Secrets from their pasts haunt them but to move forward they have to come to terms with them.

Tensions and passions run high and that’s before the case officially starts, as soon as it does things get a little crazy. Seems being at the club she may not be pretending as much as Remy and that scares her a little. She doesn’t need to let feelings get in the way of the case and she has to ask herself what she is really prepared to do to get the bad guy. As the case unfolds though who the real bad guy is may come into question. Bad vibes coming from certain people but its not till the end that all the cards start falling into place. A drug ring might soon become the least of their problems. Danger is coming and you may not know from what side. Love the ending though, you clearly know who is the better one at surveillance is.

Cameo performances throughout with the men this time. Luke and Cole do make an interesting duo love their banter. Kat the hacker informant from book two making an appearance was interesting. She may be a good hacker but not as good as Caden. With the clubs security system the team need the best and that just happens to be Ryan’s brother Caden. Let’s see how helpful he is going to be. Thought he was cool though and loved how he came through for his sister in the end, family through and through. Had a feeling Kat’s might be the next story and love that it’s with Liam. Should be a very interesting ride.

4 out of 5 stars

I received this ARC from Nell’s PR and Marketing for my honest review.

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