Monthly Archives: December 2016

DREAM A LITTLE DREAM (Chicago Stars Series) by SUSAN ELIZABETH PHILIPS :: REVIEW


5 STAR REVIEW :: DREAM A LITTLE DREAM


Although the series is a sports romance series, this particular book does not have a sports them.
Familiar friends may appear in more than one book in the Chicago Stars Series, however each one stands alone and can be read in any order or as a complete standalone.

dream

SYNOPSIS

A Desperate Young Mother

Rachel Stone’s bad luck has taken a turn for the worse. With an empty wallet, a car’s that’s spilling smoke, and a five-year-old son to support, she’s come home to a town that hates her. But this determined young widow with a scandalous past has learned how to be a fighter. And she’ll do anything to keep her child safe—even take on. . .

A man With No Heart

Gabe Bonner wants to be left alone, especially by the beautiful outcast who’s invaded his property. She has a ton of attitude, a talent for trouble, and a child who brings back bad memories. Yet Rachel’s feisty spirit might just be heaven-sent to save a tough, stubborn man.

Dare To Dream

Welcome to Salvation, North Carolina—where a man who’s forgotten what tenderness means meets a woman with nothing to lose. here two endearing lovers will set off on a funny, touching journey of the heart. . .to a place where dreams just might come true.

Available to purchase below:

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Dream a Little Dream

Reviewed by Jenny

‘He wanted to protect her and fuck her and comfort her and destroy her all at once. The chaos of his emotions coiled around his pain, deepening the agony.’

Oh wow! *sniff, sniff* My heart…..I just fell deeply in love with this book and can’t recommend this incredibly beautiful story enough! It reminded me exactly why I adore and have missed this author so much! As equally heartbreaking as it was heart-warming, as funny as it was emotional…..arrgghhh reacquainting myself with this authors words was like coming home. SEP’s books just make me….happy!

“Chip, I know you don’t understand this, but I’d take it as a personal favor if you’d stop trying to marry your mother off to my brothers.”

I have no idea how it happened, but when I initially binged on the Chicago Stars Series by Susan Elizabeth Philips over 4 years I ago, I somehow missed reading this amazing book, so of course I had to remedy that and have to admit, a little part of me was excited because I was able to experience this story for the first time and wow! What had I missed? This book was everything I love in a romance story!

“If the way you’ve been treating me is a mark of fondness, maybe you’d better take a fresh look at your interpersonal communication skills.”

It’s easy to read this one as a standalone. It’s been a long time between books in this series and I had no problem reading it this way. We did get to catch up on Cal and Jane from Nobody’s Baby But Mine (Book #4) but that was more a bonus than a necessity however I would highly recommend this entire series if you get the chance, especially if you love sports romances (though this installment isn’t a sports romance), books with children or stories full of warmth, tenderness, emotion, humour, passion together with beautiful mesmerising storytelling. Susan Elizabeth Philips has a gorgeous writing style and it’s one I’ve missed!

‘He wasn’t gentle now. Gentleness had been burned out of him.’

In Dream a Little Dream experience not one but two love stories as there is also an unrequited love between two secondary characters simmering in the background… so you can imagine…..I was in romance book heaven! This had it all:  friends to lovers, second chance romance, intrigue and so many heartbreakingly stunning moments I hardly know where to start!

‘…..how could she hate a man whose greatest fault lay in his ability to love so absolutely?’

We meet single Mum, Rachel Stone when she is returning to Salvation North Carolina as the town pariah. She encounters immense animosity from the town folk  due to her ex-husband stealing the towns money and their faith.  There’s a lot of resentment and it’s all aimed at twenty seven year old Rachel who has returned on a mission of sorts to provide a better life for her and her adorable five year old son, Edward. Be prepared to have this little guy not only steal your hearts but pull at every single heartstring! Oh gosh…..Edward (Chip) had me in tears a few times!

Rachel shows such tenacity and resilience and meets her haters head on and how she tries to shield Edward from the hostility made my heart swell! Rachel lands upon Gabe Bonner, the towns favourite son who has lived through an inexplicable loss, a man haunted by his past merely existing and trying to get through one day at a time.  Gabe appears gruff and has retreated into himself, barely keeping it together in his grief and it’s only the fierce love and loyalty of his brothers Cal and Ethan who keep him somewhat grounded.

‘Gabriel Bonner, the man with no feelings, cried in his sleep that night.’

Gabe is fascinated by the smart mouthed, sassy Rachel; he admires the spark and fight she displays in the light of much adversity she has endured. He sees beneath her tough exterior, feeling an attraction to her. Not only is Rachel determined but she’s an amazing mother, there is nothing she wouldn’t sacrifice for her beautiful little man, Edward.

Oh this story was exactly what I needed! The romance of this story drew me in and kept me riveted, but I have to say, the relationship between little Edward and Gabe damn near broke me. It was so touching, so beautiful and yet so bloody sad at times delivering some of the most pivotal and tender and moving moments in this heart warming and engaging story. The exchanges between Gabe and Edward….Oh my heart…..This beautiful little soul who preferred nature over video games, who could reduce me to a melting wreck in seconds.  He had a heart bigger than himself.

“Couldn’t you even pretend to like me? It wouldn’t have to be real.”
“I do like you.”
“No.”
Edward shook his head. “But you could pretend. And I could pretend about you, too. If we pretended real good, my mommy would never know.”

This book is an absolute recommend, can’t you just feel how giddy I was reading it and how much I fell in love with it? I’d really  recommend every book in this single as I’ve loved every single book so far! Each book centres on different characters and each love story offers something different and wonderful…these are stories guaranteed to satisfy the romantic in us all!

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THE CHICAGO STARS SERIES
Sports Romance
Familiar friends may appear in more than one book in the Chicago Stars Series, however each one stands alone and can be read in any order.

IT HAD TO BE YOU
What if a woman who knows nothing about sports inherits a professional football team? The Windy City definitely isn’t ready for Phoebe Somerville, the outrageous York knockout who’s taking over their home town team. And Phoebe is definitely not prepared for the Stars’ head coach Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. This is the book that began it all. The Chicago Stars are about to take the field… and they’re not the only ones playing for keeps.

Available to purchase below:

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it had to be you 1


HEAVEN, TEXAS
Come heck or high water, Gracie Snow is determined to drag the legendary ex-jock Bobby Tom Denton back home to Heaven, Texas, to begin shooting his first motion picture. Despite his dazzling good looks and killer charm, Bobby Tom has reservations about being a movie star — and no plans to cooperate with a prim and bossy Ohio wallflower whom he can’t get off his mind or out of his life. Instead, the hell-raising playboy decides to make her over from plain Jane to Texas wildcat.

Available to purchase below:

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heaven texas 2


NOBODY’S BABY BUT MINE
Genius physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington desperately wants a baby. But finding a father won’t be easy. Jane’s super-intelligence made her feel like a freak when she was growing up, and she’s determined to spare her own child that suffering. Which means she must find someone very special to father her child. Someone who’s more comfortable working out his muscles than exercising his brain.
Cal Bonner, the Chicago Stars’ legendary quarterback, seems like the perfect choice. But his champion good looks and down-home ways are deceiving. Dr. Jane is about to learn a little too late that this good ol’ boy is a lot smarter than he lets on—and he’s not about to be used and abandoned by a brainy, baby-mad schemer.

Available to purchase below:

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nobody's baby but mine


DREAM A LITTLE DREAM
A Desperate Young Mother: Rachel Stone’s bad luck has taken a turn for the worse. With an empty wallet, a car’s that’s spilling smoke, and a five-year-old son to support, she’s come home to a town that hates her. But this determined young widow with a scandalous past has learned how to be a fighter. And she’ll do anything to keep her child safe—even take on. . .A man With No Heart. Welcome to Salvation, North Carolina—where a man who’s forgotten what tenderness means meets a woman with nothing to lose. here two endearing lovers will set off on a funny, touching journey of the heart. . .to a place where dreams just might come true.

Available to purchase below:

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dream


THIS HEART OF MINE
Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen-million-dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody’s perfect. Still, if anyone has an almost perfect life, it’s Molly. While her Daphne the Bunny children’s books could be selling better, she loves her cramped loft, her French poodle, and her career creating the fictional animals who live in Nightingale Woods. She even loves her sister, Phoebe.
One night Molly’s penchant for running into trouble runs right into Kevin himself, turning her world upside down. Heartbreak follows, and just when she’s certain things can’t get worse, Kevin forces his way back into her life. If only the overpaid, Ferrari-driving, poodle-hating jock was as shallow as she wants him to be, she could get on with her almost perfect life.

Available to purchase below:

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this heart of mine 5


MATCH ME IF YOU CAN
Heath is searching for the ultimate symbol of success — the perfect wife. And to make an extraordinary match, he needs an extraordinary matchmaker, right?When the determined matchmaker promised she’d do anything to keep her star client happy . . . did she meananything? If Annabelle isn’t careful, she just might find herself going heart-to-heart with the toughest negotiator in town.

Available to purchase below:

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match me if you can


NATURAL BORN CHARMER
In this follow-up to Match Me If You Can, quarterback Dean Robillard takes to the road during the off season and finds Blue walking along in a beaver costume. Blue is cautious when it comes to love, but her defenses are no match for a determined competitor like Dean.

Available to purchase below:

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natural born charmer


FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT
A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel—a long-awaited new entry in the beloved, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author’s fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.
From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.

Available to purchase below:

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first star I see tonight 23rd Aug


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Filed under 5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Jenny, Susan Elizabeth Phillips

THE PLAYER by CLAIRE CONTRERAS :: REVIEW

Standalone Sports romance

10th

SYNOPSIS

I’m naturally gifted on the field and between the sheets. With flashy cars and enough media attention to put the Royal Family to shame, I’m the definition of Most Eligible Bachelor.

I’ve never met a man who doesn’t want to be me or a woman who doesn’t want to tame me. Until I meet Camila.

From the moment I lay eyes on her, I know I have to have her.

She wants to keep me at arm’s length.
I want her naked in my bed.

She thinks our worlds are too different.
All I want her to think about is screaming my name.

She says I’m bad news.

I have three weeks to prove her wrong.

Available to purchase below:

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the-player

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“I’d give up my career to chase moments with the right woman.”

The Player was an entertaining, sexy and romantic read with a hot footie player and a strong down to earth heroine. We loved how we saw both sides of the socio economic divide and the realities that come with it as well as the effects it has on people and actions.

In terms of what we seek out of sports romances we didn’t really get the excitement or the thrill of the sport aspect nor the authenticity of the game. Despite this, however, we read The Player in one sitting and were caught up in ‘the chase’ and consequent addictive romance of Warren and Camila.

‘He was untamed perfection. That was what every inch of him screamed. And I was not about to be the one trying to tame him.’

Warren has grown up in quite a unique family setting and is now playing for Man Utd, He’s incredibly gorgeous and a blinding footie player, commanding the pitch and living the dream. Despite him being an American we really did feel his international demeanour and ‘flavour’ but we never felt that British factor of the story even though he was based in the UK.  He has his finger in a lot of pies and shows himself to be not only an accomplished sports man but also a savvy business man. The latter being the starting of a beautiful yet at times fraught relationship with the beautiful Camila.

Warren’s not got an easy ride in getting what he wants though, as Camila has a strong head on her shoulders and does not suffer fools gladly. She is definitely no WAG! It takes a lot for her to let someone in and to take a chance on the unknown. The building drama and angst added to the story and there were a few moments where we went back and forth discussing the antics and actions of our couple.

“Life is short. We’re only here to chase moments. I’d rather make those moments worthwhile.”

We loved getting inside the head of both characters in this dual POV which definitely enhanced the story for us. The Player was a fabulous well written romantic indulgence, what we call an easy satisfying read that warms your heart and sets your pulse racing. For that, we definitely recommend this standalone read.

‘She wasn’t my New York girl. She was my game changer.’

3.5 Stars

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ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING (Rock Chick #0.5) by KRISTEN ASHLEY


5 STAR SPOILER FREE REVIEW :: ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING

Based in Denver, the Rock Chick Series is eight books that take you on the wild ride of the courtships of the Rock Chicks and the Hot Bunch. We’ve loved every book and highly recommend this entire series.

rock-chick-3rd-jan

SYNOPSIS

From New York Times bestselling author, Kristen Ashley, comes the long-awaited story of Daisy and Marcus, Rock Chick Reawakening. A prequel to Kristen’s Rock Chick series, Rock Chick Reawakening shares the tale of the devastating event that nearly broke Daisy, an event that set Marcus Sloane—one of Denver’s most respected businessmen and one of the Denver underground’s most feared crime bosses—into finally making his move to win the heart of the woman who stole his.

You can Pre Order Rock Chick Reawakening below :
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rock-chick-reawakening

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“You are beautiful. You’re funny. You’re challenging, and by that I mean stubborn, and even if it can be aggravating, I still like it….I’d commit murder to hear you laugh again…But even with all that, darling, you are a serious pain in the ass.”

Be still our beating hearts. We just read the ONE story we’ve been waiting for over the last few years. The one we’ve always hoped and wished for. The Rock Chick book that in a way would bring us complete closure, because wow, we’ve always been wanting to hear Daisy and Marcus’ story. Well, let us tell you, their story was everything and more. It brought that warm fuzzy feeling of being back with  much loved friends, through the brilliance of Kristen Ashley. We swooned once more, we cried bucket loads of tears and we remembered all the craziness and passion. It was utterly perfect and so damn romantic and nostalgic.

“Stop turning me on,” I warned

“Stop being cute,” he fired back

I stuck my tongue out at him.

He watched it then looked in my eyes. “That didn’t work.”

“Whatever,” I muttered.

We’ve loved Daisy from the moment we met her, how could we not? She’s got style, sass and definitely her own brand of class. She’s the friend you wished you had and who could deny her anything, all she’d have to do is call us ‘Sugar’ and we’d be putty in her hands. There was always a melancholy though associated with her and in this book we find out exactly the why’s and how’s. It was heart-breaking and so emotional but this girl has an inner strength that’d slay men. The romance, support, respect and total adoration Marcus showed her….seriously we melted into puddles on the floor, our hearts pounding and swooning in equal measure.

“I handle you with care. I’ll always handle you with care. I will never, not ever, Daisy, give you reason to leave me. I won’t cheat on you. I won’t beat you…..To end, you’re safe with me. You’ll get from me only what you deserve, which is everything I can give you doing it handling you with care.”

Marcus Sloane is a formidable man and as we discovered his back story and heard of his journey we lost our hearts all over again to this amazing man. He’s quite literally the epitome of perfection. When Marcus loves he LOVES, and will do absolutely anything in his power to make it known and the way in which he shows it…well this man is quite simply amazing.

“A dream,” she murmured.

“Sorry?”

“You. You’re the dream a girl like me never thought she could dream.”

We inhaled Marcus and Daisy’s story, how could we not. It was everything to us and we cannot thank Kristen Ashley enough for writing it, in her much loved unique manner. The queen of epilogues struck once more and we smiled through copious tears of happiness, our hearts feeling full and complete. Whilst sad that it’s over we just can’t feel anything but happiness and love right now. It was Aces! Rock on…and be prepared to be swept off of your feet.

“You’re safe now.”

“I’ve never been safe.”

“Okay, darling, but you’re safe now.”

“I wanna believe that. I wanna believe in castles.”

“You’ll believe,” he whispered.

rc-teaser


ROCK CHICK READING ORDER
rock chicks series

US Purchase Links:

ROCK CHICK
ROCK CHICK RESCUE
ROCK CHICK REDEMPTION
ROCK CHICK RENEGADE
ROCK CHICK REVENGE
ROCK CHICK RECKONING
ROCK CHICK REGRET
ROCK CHICK REVOLUTION

UK Purchase Links:

ROCK CHICK RESCUE
ROCK CHICK REDEMPTION
ROCK CHICK RENEGADE
ROCK CHICK REVENGE
ROCK CHICK RECKONING
ROCK CHICK REGRET
ROCK CHICK REVOLUTION

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Filed under 5 Stars, Kristen Ashley, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL – AN EROTIC ANTHOLOGY :: REVIEW

Seven tales of sexual empowerment and erotic defiance, featuring the hottest storytellers of erotic fiction.
the devils

SYNOPSIS

A woman’s pleasure is a dangerous thing. A primal appetite that, once awakened, can never be sated. A secret that gives power to those who know it. A magic that, once unleashed, can never be contained.
Some say the clitoris is the devil’s doorbell, set to summon him forth at the merest touch…

It’s time to ring the bell.
With:
In the Garden
by Anne Calhoun

Exact Warm Unholy by Jeffe Kennedy
Red Leather by Delphine Dryden
Drowning on Dry Land by Megan Hart
Devil in the Dark by Christine d’Abo
London Calling by Megan Mulry
We Are All Found Things by Molly O’Keefe (writing as M. O’Keefe)

Available to purchase below:

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The Devil's Doorbell

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

 “I remind you of the bit of rough that got away.”

If you fancy short sharp thrills then The Devil’s Doorbell does exactly that. As always with an Anthology some stories are more entertaining than others and some you connect better with- the characters, theme and so forth. This was the case for us here. We really enjoyed a few and on the whole it was a good filler when you just need that quick hit during the day.

What we enjoyed about The Devil’s Doorbell was the variety of content. There’s something for everyone in here and there’s an abundance of thrills and kinks. There’s also a theme running through it which you’ll discover upon reading.

Exact Warm Unholy by Jeffe Kennedy was without question our favourite. It was so unique with a strong sexual empowerment theme and the female character had us riveted. We would’ve loved more of this one and can completely see it as a full length novel! Others to mention that stood out for us were: Anne Calhoun’s, In the Garden & M. O’Keefe’s, We are all Found Things. Again, we would love more from those!

“The thing about a one-time thing is that sometimes it happens twice. Or several times. Because you liked something far more than you anticipated, and want to do it again.”

3.5 Stars

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UNRIVALED – A BEAUTIFUL IDOLS NOVEL by ALYSON NOELL :: REVIEW

First book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares.

unrivaled cover

SYNOPSIS

Everyone wants to be someone.

Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

Available to purchase below:

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Unrivaled

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

“Just how far will you go, to get what you want?”

We absolutely love this Author and have a soft spot for her from our memory of inhaling her Evermore series years ago during our paranormal binge. So when we saw Alyson Noël had a new series out, we grabbed Unrivaled. This is book one in the Beautiful Idols series and it could not have been any more different to what we were expecting, whilst this deflated us a wee bit it did not mean we didn’t enjoy it for what it was. It was very in your face and almost like car crash TV. Unrivaled is one of those books you hate to love, in our opinion. It’s full of arrogant and unlikable characters and reads like a reality show full of arrogant and backstabbing people- some spoilt and rich, some bored and indulged, others chasing their dream. It was a bit of a hot mess but we could not look away. Think Gossip Girls and the childish, selfish dramatics of High School with a menacing twist and you’re there.

‘…the whole freaking world read it – it’s all anyone’s talking about.’

So, our main players are: Layla, Aster, and Tommy. Each have their own POV and backstory. Layla is a Blogger of celebrity gossip, but really she has aspirations of moving to NY and becoming a respected journalist. Her boyfriend Mateo was a star for putting up with her. He sounded lush and we would’ve gladly taken him off her hands. Aster is a self-indulgent cow. Sorry, but we disliked everything about her. There were no redeeming qualities and the woe is me act did not work with us. As for Tommy, he didn’t harbour those petty and ugly characteristics and he could have easily made revelations to change the game, however at times he was quite the weak character…

Where the contest was concerned, they were all puppets in his twisted theatre, with Ira yanking the strings.’

Now, for the game, basically these three characters find themselves invited, amongst other players, into the glamorous world of the Los Angeles’s nightlife. Each given the task of night club promoter for several of the enigmatic Ira Redman’s clubs. The aim is to make the assigned club the most successful and luring the famous Madison Brooks to frequent it.  A huge cash incentive is used as bait. However, is all as it seems??

“In the world of nightclubs, the younger, the hotter, and the more famous your gets, the more points they’re worth…Each week, the promoter with the least points will be eliminated, while the promoter with the most points will earn cash to spend on marketing and party planning for their clubs. The promoter with the most points at the end of the summer wins.”

The biggest mystery of them all; Madison Brooks, the latest IT Girl with her own secrets. Even though we got her POV we were only given snippets of secrets, power plays and hints of something sinister. It was all very clandestine and cloak and dagger so we are dying to find out what happens next….

“Impress me. Dazzle me. Wow me. But whatever you do, do not disappoint me.”

We can’t deny that this story intrigued us, especially as we came to realise how dark and creepy it was really turning out to be. The beginning thrilled us and the end had us riveted, so it was a shame that the middle let it down a bit by being quite slow and uneventfully repetitive. However, saying that – we will definitely continue with this trilogy as it had a delicious what the @%$£ ending!

3.5 Stars

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Alyson Noel, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny