Oh, how I love a Mira Lyn Kelly romance! Dirty Secret does not disappoint. This hockey romance had me flipping the pages, smiling and burning up inside.
Yes, the book may have deepened the wrinkles on the corners of my eyes, but that’s why they created thick moisturizer.
This second-chance, big brother in-the-way romance had me lusting after Vaughn. Yum, yum, yum.
Personally, I’m the kind of gal who prefers to play the sport rather than spectate. And I’m extraordinarily wobbly on a pair of ice skates, so, there you go. But, the play by play action made me think dear Mira is one serious hockey fan. Mira could be a sports commentator. And, she makes me want to take the time, with a beer in hand, to watch a game.
I loved this book because it’s down to earth. My heart went out to Natalie. I’ve seen so many siblings get lost in the throes of one sibling’s sport success. And it starts so freaking young. To want a different life, a life away from whatever that sport is…….here it’s hockey, but you can substitute soccer, baseball, tennis…..if it has a ball, it’s game. That desire for a life away from said sport is real.
Vaughn proves himself swoon worthy to the tenth degree. He’s driven, focused, level headed and he knows how to love his woman. He’s a dream athlete. He pushes himself hard, doesn’t let the mind games off the rink play with his game on the rink, and he’s a genuinely good guy. He might be slightly behind the curve on social skills, but that’s only because of his deranged hockey fanatic Dad.
Dirty Secret also paves the way for Dirty Hookup. And, I’m kind of dying to hear about what went on with Quinn and George. Not that I personally have ever had too much to drink (there’s an evil twin I try to keep locked up who does all that), but my heart did go out to Quinn when it seemed he didn’t remember EVERYTHING…. So, in a nutshell, it’s the best kind of series. Warm, heart-melting HEA and I’m completely stoked for the next book.
Perfectly Adequate scores another home run for Jewel E. Ann. The story drives home the point that not all love has storybook perfection, but sometimes less than perfect is just as important and valid.
Dorothy, our heroine, is an Aspie, someone diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. She approaches situations and life differently than the average person. Not wrong, different. She falls on the rarer side of the human spectrum.
Certain aspects of her personality wouldn’t fulfill all of say, my needs, but somehow she’s exactly what Eli needs. Eli is a single Dad, dumped by his ex-wife, his first and only love. The whole story serves as a great reminder that we’re all different for a reason, and even the most unique of us can find someone out there that’s a perfect fit.
Perfectly Adequate serves as a love letter to those on the far end of the human spectrum. Those perceived as different or too unusual or weird. Different does not equal wrong. Bi-polar, depression, ADHD, autism, aspie – it’s all human.
There are a boatload of occurrences that feel Hollywood-contrived to keep the love story on course, such as perfectly timed stomach viruses and reunions in on-call rooms. Of course, the flip side is if a freak running accident didn’t occur, Dorothy and Eli’s story might have fallen together without the need for cosmic interventions. All told, Perfectly Adequate delivers plot twists that keep you turning the pages of this heartwarming rom-com.
The ending gave me pause. I have many divorced friends, and I can’t imagine any of them saying “oh yeah, I’m moving across the street from my ex and his girlfriend.” Or the flip side, a girlfriend saying, “oh yes, I’m thrilled your ex is moving across the street.” But, in a way, the ending wraps up hammering into our head the point that Dorothy sees only what the rest of us should see. And a person as wonderful as Dorothy can bring the best traits out in others.
Dorothy focuses on what’s best for the kid. She is full of light and love, and in so many ways, the best of humanity.
Touching, emotional, heartfelt journey with all the feels. Don’t let the cartoon cover fool you – this is an erotic romance that won’t leave you disappointed.
Joss loses her family at a young age, and then her BFF one year later. The sudden loss of those that matter most leave her putting up walls. Samantha Young paints a realistic portrait of a young woman crippled by tremendous, sudden loss.
Braden, her Scottish hero, might be too perfect for words, but he’s exactly what Joss deserves and needs.
The secondary characters in this book are well developed and lead you into the next books in this series. I read through all of them quickly, and when I finished the series, I was sad. It had that feel of saying goodbye to friends you’ve grown to love.
There’s actually a novella that follows up with On Dublin Street. It shows Braden and Joss years later, and I love it. Joss is a writer, and in this novella, she dreams up what life would have been like had she never met Braden. It’s a little version of sliding doors, but it also shows these two eons later into their marriage. Once you read On Dublin Street, I definitely recommend this novella because it’s a phenomenal epilogue.
On Dublin Street had me crying at the end. Don’t worry, it does pack a happily ever after. But this is one of those books where the plot has surprises and watching the relive painful experiences and grow hits home in unexpected ways.
Another little thing about this series that I love is that it takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland. Edinburgh happens to be one of those cities I’d move to in a flash if I could get my head around visas. Samantha Young brings her hometown to life in this series.
This gut-wrenching, page-turning sequel to the demented Filthy Rich Americans series by Nikki Sloane gripped me and had me twisting in anguish.
Rarely has an antagonist filled me with disgust and hate to the degree Macalister does. Minotaur? Zeus? Monster? I go with monster. Sick, twisted, depraved monster.
Marist plays the chess game on par with a naive, young guileless chess player joining the rank of seasoned experts. Bountiful mistakes and missteps befall her, but through her struggles, she holds onto herself to some degree. She recognizes the importance of not completely losing her soul. Maybe she’s the young Medusa who hasn’t yet come into all of her powers?
The father son dynamic between Royce and Macalister roils the stomach. The psychotic, unhealthy relationship borders disgusting. But, I kept turning the pages because I had to see what happened. Like a twisted reality TV show, I knew it was all kinds of wrong, but I couldn’t just turn it off.
About halfway through the book, I found myself thinking, “This is not a romance!”. I mean, really, just what the fuck? I read romance for joy and happiness, maybe to watch a character grow, but this?? Then I finally saw a more human side to Royce and I thought to myself, maybe. Maybe there is a romance story here. Maybe this is the ultimate fight against the all powerful ruthless heartless Gods.
And I guess we won’t know the answer to that – because The Obsession ends with a massive fucking cliffhanger. I’d be lying if I said I’m okay with that. I find massive cliffhangers to be painful – like physically PAINFUL. If I realize in advance that it’s a trilogy with a series of cliffhangers, I wait until all three are released so I can, well, read all three. That whole not knowing thing really doesn’t work for me. THAT said (whine), I’ll be ordering the pre-order for The Deception because the DAY it comes out I’ll be reading it.
Nikki Sloane delivers in this series. Yes, it’s twisted and demented. But Sloane is a master storyteller and I can’t wait to see how this story ends.
Jana Aston hit it out of the ballpark with this one, her first book by the way. Who does that? Her first book! I love this whole series, but Wrong. I’ve read it several times – and that’s just got to be Wrong.
Luke and Sophie have a 16 year age difference. He’s a gynecologist. He’s gorgeous. When they meet, she’s an undergrad serving him coffee. At the Grind Me coffee shop no less. The chemistry ricochets. Then, when she goes to the student health clinic, he’s her gyno.
It may sound cliche or silly or whatever. But I can promise you if you read this, you’ll LOVE it. It’s funny. It’s sexy. Like really sexy sex scenes. And the characters are well-developed. When I read Plan B and Luke makes an appearance, I squealed. And I read Wrong months ago. I even love her epilogue – because it’s just so true to the character and the book and it makes me happy.
Right, the second book in the Wrong series, shares the story of Sophie’s barista friend Everly. Everly, by the way, keeps you laughing in Wrong. She’s borderline hysterical. Not like as in insane, but as in laugh out loud funny.
Everly has crushed on Finn, her older brother’s friend, since she was six years old. She’s been bound and determined he’s her one. So determined than when he becomes a professor at Penn, that’s the only college she applies to. She hounds him so diligently it’s pretty clear the only reason he doesn’t call the cops is she’s a family friend.
Then she meets Finn’s older brother, Sawyer. And, for the record, I find Sawyer to be so much more than Finn. I can’t say more without giving away some plot twists in this book, but holy smokes. Sawyer’s hot. I’d choose Luke over Sawyer as my book boyfriend, but only because of Luke’s fingers.
This book is another one that’s worthy of reading twice. Funny and yummy and makes you happy.
Fling, a short novella, shares the story of Gabe, Sawyer’s business partner, and Sandra. Sandra is Sawyer’s assistant who befriends Everly. Sandra is much more like Sophie, but the three ladies become close friends.
Fling includes many nods to Sixteen Candles, with men leaning on car doors ala Jake Ryan. So right there, it’s got a lot going for it.
It’s a funny, quick and satisfying read. The only downside is it’s so short. You’ll wish you had more to read of their story.
Trust, the last book in the Wrong series, features Boyd, Sophie’s long lost brother from the first book, Wrong. Chloe is Everly’s roommate.
In earlier books, there are references to Chloe’s thing for law enforcement and crime shows. And, Boyd’s an FBI agent. So, Everly’s not the only one to have a feeling Boyd and Chloe should meet.
The thing is, Chloe has serious anxiety issues. The kind that at times pull your heart strings. Here’s where you fall in love with Boyd. He sees her for the amazing woman she is, overlooking horrid jokes that would make most normal folks stop the conversation and go the opposite direction. Boyd plays along, developing a relationship with Chloe without her even realizing what he’s doing.
Boyd sees the beauty within Chloe. In a way he rescues her and it’s swoon worthy. You still get all the Jana Aston laughs, but there’s a more serious topic at hand too.
Unforgettable, rock star steamy suspense. A Stone in the Sea by AL Jackson kicks off the Bleeding Stars Series about a rock band named Sunder. A Stone in the Sea and Drowning to Breathe, the first two books in the series, released in 2015. At this point, it’s an oldie, but Sebastian and Shea stayed with me and I just love the whole damn series.
Large parts of the series takes place in Tybee Island, Georgia and some in Los Angeles, California. The roots of the story belong to Nashville, Tennessee.
Single Mom Shea rocks smoldering chemistry with Sebastian “Baz”. They fall in love slowly and as they do, the story evolves into a bit of a page turning mystery and suspense. It’s a dual POV duet, which I personally love.
A Stone in the Sea ends with a big cliffhanger, so plan to continue reading Drowning to Breathe. The second book continues their story. More surprises, more page turning suspense and the characters both evolve and grow. You get to watch these two battle past demons, fall into each other, and transition into more mature, adult versions of themselves post rock star fame.
The remaining four books then cover the stories of each of the bandmates. So, like any good series, you still get to run into Sebastian and Shea. By the end of the series, all sorts of secrets and trials from the past are revealed and worked through. Any of these later four books could be read as standalones, but the stories do build on each other, so I’d recommend reading in order.
This book led me to JA Huss. It’s about a romance writer and her friends.
First off, JA Huss is a fucking rock star in the romance category. I thought about doing a Fave Author page, but she’s written so prolifically and so much of it is so damn good, I’ll have to do several posts. Her books are worth it.
So, The Dirty Ones. Unique plot. Twisted. At the end, you may have to sit back and think through it all and say “What the fuck happened?”. But, you’ll figure it out.
It’s a romance. But nothing at all typical or ordinary. It’s a mystery. Friends from college get drawn back together again. Crazy shit happened in college and someone wrote about it and it hit the NY Times Bestseller list! And they have to figure out which one did it. And then there’s a lot of other shit to figure out. Can I just add the word – ORGY! The books way more than just sex, but true to JA Huss style – this sex is HOT.
In To Her
Holy smokes! The cover pulled me in. Then, that first chapter. DAMN!
Love In To Her. Yes, it’s MMF. And it’s hot as FUCK. Flip page corners to re-read again kind of hot.
It’s also deep. There’s a lot going on in this story. I love these characters. The plot twists grab you. It’s dark, but not as dark as some of her books.
On bad days, I still think of this ending. Because it’s just kind of perfect. Perfect for these characters and this book.
She’s a strong woman and they walk into her bar on a very bad day. And I can’t really say more without spoiling shit, and you don’t want a spoiler. So just read it.
Three Two One
Here’s a fave quote from Three Two One‘s Blue: These guys… they are pulling me towards them somehow. JD and his charm. Ark and his distance. And despite the fact that they take advantage of girls for a living, they feel very… vulnerable. It feels precarious. Like the whole thing might come crashing down at any moment. Like they are held together by some invisible thread.
It’s a bit of a dark, twisty ride, but you get pulled in as the story unravels. Surprises hit you along the way. The story has the potential to make you think, maybe re-think stereotypes. Realize everyone has backstory.
The sex. Man oh man. So hot.
Two self-made wealthy men with a small-time porn business find and rescue a young woman. Everything is not exactly as it seems.
The plot, the writing, the characters, it all works. Highly recommend this book.
This author, Jewel Ann, inspires. I discovered her in 2018 and within a few weeks read all of her books. She writes a variety of different kinds of romance stories, but she doesn’t have a single weak book. The tagline on her book website: “Mindbending Romance”. She delivers.
In terms of the amount of sex, I’d say she’s a solid three. Solid, memorable, flip the corner to re-read sex scenes, but nothing over the top, no multiples, no books where it’s basically just sex. She does give solid plot.
The hero in this book, Lautner, is pretty much unforgettable. I’ve re-read this book because it’s THAT good. It is the kind of book you just have to let entertain you and not think too deeply while reading, but it’s still one of my faves. Sydney + Lautner 4VR
Vivian and Oliver’s love story brought tears to my eyes. Maybe it’s not so much the love story that does this, as Oliver’s backstory. It’s well told and emotional.
Sensitive topics: Postpartum depression, death
Scarlet Stone and Theodore Reed start off with a rocky, makes you laugh kind of friendship. To me, Scarlet’s journey takes centerplace in this story. On the believability scale, this one’s probably pretty low, but it’s a heartwarming entertaining journey. As long as no one reads this book and decides to follow Scarlet’s path over medical advice, it’ll all be okay.
Sensitive topics: cancer; illness
Oh, and let’s give a nod to the book cover on this one. The graphics catch your eye, but the heroine on the cover? She’s all Scarlet Stone.
When Life Happened
One of my favorites. One day I’d like to hang out with Parker because she’s just one cool chick. She’s not perfect but she’s smart and maybe being a perfectionist in high school bit her in the ass and made her stumble for a while, but I’m thinking she’d be one of those friends you could always count on and one you’d want to be around even if there was no alcohol around.
In most books of the romance genre, there isn’t really any evil character. And, her twin sister isn’t E-V-I-L per se, but I sure as hell would like to bitch slap her. I can’t say more without giving shit away.
The plot in this book – well, it’s solid. And the love story, well, it’s a read it more than once kind of book.
A Place Without You
Bodhi and Henna are possibly my favorite memory. And when you read this book, you’ll get that reference. I wish I could be Henna and I’d love life if I could just be Bodhi’s friend. Coachella was kind of off my radar, but this book placed it solidly on my “yeah I want to do that one day” list.
Sensitive topics covered include addiction and suicide.
May I add just one more note – how awesome is that cover art? I don’t think she could have found a more perfect model to be Bodhi. Yum, yum, yum.
This is her most recently published book, and while it’s not a part of a series, it is kind of because the characters from Undeniably You return – which means, yes, you get to see Lautner and Sydney again!
Avery (Sydney’s sister) hasn’t always made the best decisions. In Undeniably You she’s young so you kind of just shrug and know the day will come she’ll probably shift directions. Well, that day comes in Naked Love. Her journey is full of laugh out loud moments, pages where you want to shake her, maybe sometimes comfort her, and it ends with a heart warming love story.
Jewel writes great series. I’m listing these separately because these are truly series. When you finish the first book, you won’t feel like you’ve finished the book until you’ve finished the series. In some series, by some authors, you can read one book, maybe not in order, and it’s all fine. You may not read another one in the series for another year and it’s all good. That is not the case here.
Just go in knowing that each series is basically one book.
Jack and Jill Series: End of Day, Middle of Knight, Dawn of Forever: Romantic suspense. Up until 4am reading this series: could NOT put it down. Lost a tennis match the next day. Totally worth it. These books are THAT good. These fall so solidly in suspense that I recommended this series for my husband. His comment: “I don’t normally like female authors, but I like this one.”
One and Look the Part are kind of part of this series. Characters from Jack and Jill are seen again in these books, but these last two are just good old fashioned romance books. Great stories, characters that resonate and stay with you. I read both of these books twice, just because I loved them that much. These last two aren’t suspense, there’s no blood or gore. Just heart-warming romance.
Transcend Duet: Transcend, Epoch: I can’t say enough good things about these two books, which are really one book. The romance stories in these two books are epoch. The exploration of reincarnation touched my soul. This is one of those books that when I finished, I started sending notes out to my friends who don’t read erotic romance and telling them they MUST read this book.