Begin Again by R.C. Matthews

Title: Begin Again
Author: 
R.C. Matthews
Series:
Wish Come True – #3
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Release date: August 4, 2014
Pages:
125
Synopsis:

22876801When Tyler Johnson spends the evening at a bar celebrating her cousin’s pseudo bachelorette party, she boldly takes on Jordan’s bet. A note on a napkin, placed provocatively in their waiter’s back pocket, and two minutes later he’s calling Tyler’s cell phone…asking her for a date. Bet won! It was all in good fun. So when things start to heat up on their first date, she suddenly has cold feet. He works at a strip club and picks up babes on a regular basis. No thanks.

That is until college resumes in the fall and Mr. Hottie shares her English class and turns out to be everything she has ever wanted in a boyfriend…but can’t have now…because she judged the book by its cover. Unless she can convince Chase Bronson to begin again.

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Empty
Reviewer: Kat

Steam, romance and angst. Sounds like any typical New Adult Romance, right? Perhaps, perhaps not. I can’t believe R.C. Matthews played with my emotions back and forwards in a matter of 100 or so pages. I ended up loving Tyler and Chase as much as I loved JT and Jordan (and those two I reaaaaally adored)! This was a really fast read so if I told more about the book I might reveal the plot. I’m just really that excited about the story. 😉

This is the last installment of Wish Come True series. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, I highly recommend that you do so RIGHT NOW. As a non-fan of New Adult, I really enjoyed this series! That’s saying a lot for me. R.C. Matthews is one of the very few authors that made New Adult work for me. 🙂

About this author

I was born and raised by deaf parents in the Metro-Detroit area along with four siblings. Growing up in a house full of children, there was never a dull moment! We all inherited the reading gene from our father, who is a voracious reader. And the reading gene continues strong in my own two sons. I’m happily married (second time is a charm) to a patient and loving man who always cheers me on from the side-line to pursue my dreams. What more can a girl want?

rcmatthews.com

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Playing for Fun by Tracey Alvarez

Title: Playing for Fun
Author:
Tracey Alvarez
Series:
Due South – #6
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Release date: December 15, 2015
Pages:
290
Synopsis:

27160277

PLAYING FOR FUN is the sixth story in Tracey Alvarez’s best-selling Due South books set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like Jill Shalvis, Marie Force, or Bella Andre, then you’ll enjoy diving into these heart-warming, sexy & seductive small-town romances with authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone.

Wanted: A woman for Ford.
Ford Komeke can’t deny he could use an up-skill in the dating arena. It’s a local in-joke that his game, as far as women go, sucks. Thanks to the meddling of New Zealand’s worst octogenarian matchmaker, he’s got an online dating profile, a new wardrobe, and a haircut from Stewart Island’s sexy hairdresser, Holly Parker. But since he’s well and truly mired in the friendzone with Holly, what’s the harm in exploring his options? A little jealousy could work wonders.

Offered: Dream job with a catch.
What do you say when you’re offered an un-turn-downable career opportunity? You say, hell-to-the-yeah! Only there’s a problem. To get the dream job Holly must leave Stewart Island and her two best friends, Shaye and Ford. But if Holly can distract Shaye with wedding planning and set Ford up with a nice girl so she can stop imagining him naked, neither will notice if she exits stage right. Neither will notice if her feelings for Ford stop being strictly platonic.

Warning: One kiss is never enough.
As addictive as the chocolate stash Holly hides in her fridge, one kiss forces them out of the friendzone—way out of the friendzone. Heat and hunger explode, but the ugliness in Ford’s past hold his heart hostage. Playing for fun or playing for keeps? Holly and Ford must decide because the consequences of falling in love means that someone’s heart or someone’s dream will ultimately end up shattered.

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Empty
Reviewer: Kat

Every time I read a small town romance novel, I feel like it’s Christmas time for me! While I’ve read my fair share of them, I’ve never read one that is set in New Zealand which I found pretty exciting because I’ve always wanted to go there. Aotearoa, as the Maori called it. Before we get to the romance part of the story, I really would like to say first that I appreciated the glimpse of the Maori culture in this novel. I have always been intrigued by them and had always meant to do read a little more about them but I never found the time. Anyway, if you are not familiar with the Maori, you might find yourself a little confused with how much the author threw around terms and practices of the culture, etc., but I can assure you that you’ll fall in love with them as a whole as I have had by the time I finished this book.

Now onto the review! This was a crazy friends-to-lovers story. Really, I’m not even using the word ‘crazy’ lightly, but I actually mean that in the good way. It’s a little quirky, gives you a ‘familiar’ feeling (I don’t quite know how to explain it), and it’s definitely a book that stands out! Holly and Ford had been friends for as long as they could ever remember, but what they don’t know is that they’re attracted to the other but are also both so deep into the friendzone. It was back and forwards with Holly and Ford, that you’ll find yourself annoyed and frustrated–especially when it came to Ford!

A charming (exasperating) group of ladies have decided that it was high time for Ford to have a woman of his own. Holly didn’t agree, because she herself had always liked Ford more than she ever let on but that didn’t really matter now because if Ford did end up getting the woman of his dreams (via an online dating site) or not, she’ll be away for the job that she had had always wanted.

Overall, I really really really enjoyed this book. It was fun and charming and the sex scenes are hot. While the plot is considerably familiar, the way it is executed is impeccable. Steamy contemporary romance lovers shouldn’t miss out on this book!

While this book is the sixth in a series, this can be read as a standalone. I have a mind to read the series from the start to get the full experience of Due South. After all, it was easy for me to fall in love with these characters.

This copy was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

About this author

Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand). Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found with her nose in her e-reader, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

traceyalvarez.com

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Twin Flames by Cassandra L. Shaw

Title: Twin Flames
Author:
Cassandra L. Shaw
Series:
Katoom – #1
Genre:
Sci Fi Romance
Release date: July 25, 2015
Pages:
330
Synopsis:

25953986She’s in grave danger, but she doesn’t want his protection…

After a long and bitter world-war for pure human supremacy, humans and two sub-species the Eli and Crea reside on Earth in an uneasy harmony. One morning on a jog, Bliss Jacobs finds a murdered fellow Eli. She scents the killer on the body, but other evidence is washed away by a savage storm, leaving Bliss as the sole witness and the target of an assassin—and forcing her back into the world of the man who shattered her heart.

He believes she is his destined mate, but he knows there are no second chances…

Kaid Sinclair is chasing more than his best friend’s murderer. He wants Bliss in his bed and in his life, but after their relationship went south several years ago, he knows he has to tread carefully. So how can he keep her safe, while still proving to her that they are destined to be mates, and he doesn’t just want to control her? All he wants is for her to be safe—but with a killer who sees her as Kaid bait, Kaid may have to choose… his life or hers?

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Half-FullStar-Empty
Reviewer: Rachel

Twin Flames is a unique romance read. Ms. Shaw has created an unquestionably Sci-Fi world, but within it are the shifter/were-type pack dynamics that would be familiar to any PNR fan. While my actual rating is three and a half stars, this review has been rounded up to four stars on Goodreads and Amazon since neither offers half-star options.

Our heroine, Bliss, is an Eli. She possesses preternatural strength, the ability to shift to the form of her Eli beast, and liquid silver runs through her veins–displaying every heightened emotion despite her best efforts to conceal them. Along with the Crea, Eli are one of the two sub-species living uneasily among humans on an alternate history future earth. Subs typically live with others of their kind on Clan land, but many years ago Bliss chose to leave the Clan and live on her own. Away from Clan rules and the dominant leader of the Eli whom she loved and left as a young adult.

Kaid is our hero and the uber-alpha leader of the Eli. Bliss wants to distance herself from her former love instead of working with him to solve a murder, and I can understand why. Kaid is a self-proclaimed womanizer and is unnecessarily crass to Bliss. Though he provides an explanation for his actions later on, it wasn’t enough to move me to Team Kaid. Throughout the book, even after he and Bliss are together, he comes off as somewhat misogynistic. Early on he describes Bliss as having “a body belonging in porn magazines” and toward the end he refers to a woman who came on to him with a low-cut blouse as a “whore”. Admittedly, I don’t go for the most alpha-y of heroes anyway, and this is just my personal opinion.

The copy I received for review was an ARC, so hopefully the copy editing errors I noticed will be corrected for future editions. I gave this around a four star rating because despite my negative opinion of the hero, it was a well-woven story and I’ve never read a Science Fiction Romance which managed to blend the pack elements of Paranormal Romance to create something brand new.

This copy was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

About this author

Shaw writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, & Contemporary Romance. She lives in a small farm on the Sunshine Coast of Australia with her family and a mix bag of much loved animals. Her eclectic past includes fashion design, environmental science and years of drudgery as an office worker where she dreamed of NOT being an office worker.  She discovered writing a few years ago and has decided that with its mix of art, writing craft, and study she’s at last found the ultimate career.

cassandralshaw.com

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Get Your Shift Together by Ruby Dixon

Title: Get Your Shift Together
Author: 
Ruby Dixon
Series:
Bear Bites – #2
Genre:
Paranormal Romance
Release date: December 31, 2015
Pages:
98
Synopsis:

28177730I’ve been looking for a mate in all the wrong places. When the right one shows up in Pine Falls with a man in tow, I almost miss her. Caroline Abbott is a sweetheart of a city girl who is making one last stab at keeping her (dead) relationship together. When her fool of an ex takes off and leaves her alone in the forest, I’m more than happy to step into his abandoned shoes.

While I can make her shout with pleasure, I worry those screams will turn to fear when she realizes that my hidden half is a bear.

I can’t keep the secret much longer, but telling her might scare her off for good.

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Full
Reviewer: Arys

Get Your Shift Together by Ruby Dixon is book two in her Bear Bites series and I was happy to see it was about playboy bear shifter, Leo Prufuchs.

Leo is best friends with the hero from book one, Cole Braxton. A playboy, who never really sees a woman past one night, he isn’t expecting to find his mate and nearly misses her especially when she comes into town with her boyfriend in tow.

Caroline Abbott comes to Pine Falls on a last ditch effort to save her dead-end relationship with her boyfriend, Bill. Unknowing, that she’d be the one ditched in the middle of the woods by the jerk. Luckily for her, Leo finds out about her being stranded and goes into the woods to check on her.

Once alone in the woods, the story really picks up as Leo realizes Caroline is his mate and luckily for us we don’t have to wait long for him to go after his girl or make her his.

What I really like about book two is that there is no reluctance in the hero in regards to being with a human like there was in book one. Once the boyfriend is out of the picture and he realizes that she is his mate, he goes for it. And boy is he charming and sexy.

This was a short read, but really sweet and enjoyable. Leo and Caroline are great characters. I very much recommend and can’t wait to read more from Ms. Dixon.

About this author

Ruby Dixon is the secret penname of a NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author.

Home Again by Lisa Emme

Title: Home Again
Author:
Lisa Emme
Series:

Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Release date: February 29, 2016
Pages:
352
Synopsis:

27886200They say you can’t go home again. Allie Daniels hopes they are wrong, whoever they are. After a series of misfortunes, she and her small son have come home to the town she thought she had left behind. She’s just looking for a safe place to raise her son. The last thing she wants is any more complications.

Mike Finn didn’t roll into town on his Harley looking for love; he just wants to find a place to call home. Hoping to escape the fast-paced, anonymous life in the city, he’s bought a partnership in the local veterinarian practice. The small town has a lot to offer – especially after a chance encounter with Allie.

When Mike first sets eyes on Allie, sparks fly. He knows there’s something there, but the reluctant, single mom is going to take some convincing. Good thing Mike is a persistent man. When strange things start to happen around town, his protective instinct is sent into high gear. It’s just as well, because when Allie starts playing detective, she may find herself in over her head.

Don’t let the sweet cover fool you. This book brings the heat as well. Intended for a mature audience. Graphic sexual content and language.

Button - AmazonRating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Empty
Reviewer: Kat

First of all, I LOVE SMALL TOWN ROMANCE! I don’t know why I love them so much, especially when it comes to romance. It’s just so homey and cozy to read, and it makes me want to just up and leave the city every time I read one. So heartwarming.

Lisa Emme is a new-to-me author. I have heard nothing but praises for her Urban Fantasy series (which have been previously reviewed by Veronica in the blog) so I really looked forward to reading Home Again. Can I just say that I really enjoyed this story? To be honest though I can’t really count this as Romantic Suspense as this was more romance focused than on the mystery/suspense part, or that element was not that strong to be counted as Romantic Suspense but this is my own perspective. Other readers might think otherwise.

Highly recommend reading this book for contemporary small town romance lovers like me, especially if you like a bit of suspense in it. You’ll definitely enjoy this book! The characters were endearing, Mike and Allie and their cozy family. This book is more than just romance. This is a story of second chances (family) and taking a risk (love). It’s also about facing the past and overcoming it.

This ARC was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

About this author

Lisa Emme is a Canadian who proudly ends her ABC’s with ‘zed’. A self-professed book-a-holic, she has spent the last few years trying to stem her book hoarding tendencies by writing her own stories and by avoiding the bargain table at the bookstore like the plague.

A bit of a thrill seeker, Lisa has tried such death defying activities as bungy jumping off a bridge and rappelling down the side of a 17 storey building. She’s also single-handedly raising a teenager.

Lisa has worked as a veterinary assistant, playground instructor, bank teller, store clerk, waitress, telephone solicitor, research writer for an environmental think tank, computer programmer, and systems analyst. Her passion however, is writing. What else is she going to do during the long, cold prairie winter?

lisaemme.com

Shift Out of Luck by Ruby Dixon

Title: Shift Out of Luck
Author:
Ruby Dixon
Series:
Bear Bites – #1
Genre:
Paranormal Romance
Release date: December 31, 2015
Pages:
99
Synopsis:

28177739There are few things that are off limits to the were-bears of Pine Falls, but humans are one of them. Which is a real pain, because I’ve had it bad for curvy Adelaide Laurent ever since she sashayed into town. The fact that she’s forbidden fruit just makes my fantasies all the sweeter.

But when she signs up to go on a weekend camping trip with the town’s biggest player, it’s time for a bear to step in and claim his mate.

I don’t care if it breaks the rules. She’s mine, and it’s time she knew it.

Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Full
Reviewer: Arys

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Shift Out of Luck by Ruby Dixon is a fun short erotic romance story and book one in her brand-new shifter series, Bear Bites, and I am happy to say it is off to a hot and sexy start.

Cole Braxton has been obsessed with Adelaide Laurent for three years since she first came to Pine Falls. A bear-shifter who has found his mate, Cole wants no other woman but Adelaide. However, because he’s afraid of physically hurting her since she’s human, he’s kept his distance.

However, when Adelaide decides to go on a camping tour into the woods with the town’s biggest player, he’s not willing to let her go.

Things then begin to heat up between the two main characters and the story takes off from there (though Cole does make things harder than they need to be especially with his worries, but he makes up for it in the end).

As a reader, I love how Ms. Dixon includes both characters POVs, so we get not only the heat from the detailed lovemaking, but also the emotion. Furthermore, I really liked Adelaide as a heroine. She’s confident, bold and not afraid to take charge, even sexually, especially when it means getting her man.

Also, another thing I enjoy about Ms. Dixon’s books is how well-written her stories are and how her supporting characters always have as much personality as the main characters. Leo Prufuchs is charming (albeit a playboy) and funny. He really stood out even for the little bits he appeared. I hope he gets his own story.

If you’re a fan of Dixon’s Bedlam Butchers MC and Ice Planet Barbarians, you’ll enjoy her new series. Shift Out of Luck is definitely a must read.

About this author

Ruby Dixon is the secret penname of a NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author.

The Lost Slipper by Alexa Riley

Title: The Lost Slipper
Author:
Alexa Riley
Series:
Fairytale Shifter – #3
Genre:
Erotic Paranormal Romance
Release date: January 3, 2016
Pages:
100
Synopsis:

28250395The first time Stone saw Winnie, she was alone in the woods with no memory of where she came from.

With one look, he knew something was different. When she finally came of age and her mating heat kicked in, he realized that she had always been the one.

Sent to live with a strange family, Winnie was forced to deal with the hateful treatment of her stepmother and stepsisters.

Mating the alpha changed that.

But when her past comes back to find her, will the heat last after the clock strikes midnight?

Warning: This shifter fairy tale is meant to be enjoyed by only those who love this kind of adorable stuff. Think you’ve got what it takes? Then come on in!

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Rating: Star-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-FullStar-Full
Reviewer: Arys

The Lost Slipper by Alexa Riley is book three in her fairytale shifter series and all I can say is…perfect! From the very beginning with the prologues from Winnie and Stone’s POVs, Ms. Riley had me at “Please.”

Out of the three books (each can be read as a standalone, though why would you want to miss out on the others?), Winnie and Stone’s has now become my favorite! Ms. Riley’s stories just keep getting better and better with her signature sexy love scenes that I’ve come to love mixed with an absorbing character-driven plot that had me glued to my kindle the whole way through.

From the first book, Stone has come across as the very strong alpha, controlled, and at times indifferent, but underneath his big wolf exterior he’s completely just as obsessed, possessive, emotional, and in love as the rest of his brethren who have found their mates before him.

Winnie is a bear shifter who was found lost in the woods with no memory of her family or who she was before Gray Ridge. From the start she’s felt a connection with Stone and over the years she has wanted him to notice her and want her like she’s wanted him, even if as just friends. However, he’s kept her at a distance, as if she were a stray and not worthy enough for his attention asking her to go to Gwen instead. A notion her mean stepmother and two stepsisters, the family Stone asked to take her in, continually remind her as they verbally abuse her and treat her as their own personal servant (I really wanted Winnie to go all bear on her stepsisters and teach them a lesson).

The Lost Slipper picks up where Book 2 ended, with Stone bursting in and announcing Winnie is his. In an instant, Stone claims Winnie as his mate. However, instead of everything falling into place and being all hearts and roses, Winnie does not feel the pull of being Stone’s fated mate like he does. Rather, it is hard for her to easily accept him as her mate even though she’s loved him for so long. He’s spent years pushing her away and now all of a sudden, he wants her?

I love that Winnie’s willing to push back and ask for what she wants. To not fall in line because Stone is alpha and her mate. She wants Stone’s love, but only if it’s real, and not because nature tells him that he has to love her. My heart went out for Winnie and for Stone. This story brought out a lot of emotions and I couldn’t get enough of these two.

So Stone sets out to prove to Winnie that he loves her and that it has always been her since the first day he brought her home after they found her. He’s so sweet in this story while still being his dominant alpha self.

Besides the romance and very hot scenes between Stone and Winnie, Ms. Riley even adds in a little bit of mystery with a rogue shifter prowling Gray Ridge.

My favorite quote from the book is, “Cinderella wishes she had it this good.” And I wholeheartedly agree, Winnie completely has it better than Cinderella especially with her wolf-charming, Stone.

Overall, the Lost Slipper is a must read and I eagerly recommend it to anyone who loves a great shifter romance with a fairytale twist. Another great edition to the series and I can’t wait for the next story.

About this author

I’m Alexa Riley! Mom, wife, and business woman by day and smut writer by night. I specialize in the Dirty Date Night reading. I wrote my first book, Owning Her Innocence, because well, I just couldn’t find any daddy books to my liking. So I sat down and just started writing, bringing the fantasies I find myself often dancing to in the dark of night to life, one page at a time.

Alexa Riley is my alter ego. I can’t let the other soccer moms know what I’m up to or the guys at work for that matter. Little do they know that they’ve got nothing on my dirty talk.

I’m here to give you a quick fix of filthy dirty smut. Got a few hours to kill? Then I’m what you’re looking for.

alexariley.com

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