Fat Girl Begone! by D.E. Haggerty

A female lead with a 38E bra size, weighs 160 pounds, wears a size 16 shirt and thinks dieting suuuuucks? Well that’s the most refreshing thing I’ve ever seen.

What’s it About? 


I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it. Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business. Just call me Ms. Drama.

Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed. Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila.

First Impressions

When this novel first started I had a plethora of assumptions of how the story would progress, which was influenced by not only the synopsis of the story, but also the title. I figured we’d be dealing with a slightly overweight female lead who starts a diet and gets in shape with the help of a personal trainer. She must proceed to slim down considerably which causes her to become irresistibly beautiful to said personal trainer, and they end up with a fairy tale-like happily ever after. Well, I have never been so happy to be wrong on so many different accounts in my life!


Although our female lead does proceed to get a bit more physically fit throughout the novel, the main focus is really so much more on how she gains confidence, and that is what draws men to her like a moth to a flame.  It was just so empowering to know that you don’t have to dramatically drop from a size 16 to a size 6 in order to find love. You don’t need to starve yourself, or lose all of the junk in your trunk in order for a man to think you’re beautiful. You just need to be happy with yourself, happy with your life, happy with those around you, and it’s just a matter of time before you’re happy in love. And sure, a few trips to the gym won’t hurt, but they aren’t required. Who knows though, you might also just happen to find the future love of your life waiting for you at the smoothie bar!

sexy nerd

The Dreaded Gym

Another one of the first things I assumed about this book was that it would all be about dieting, exercise, and in general making me feel guilty for baking a double chocolate chip fudge cake when I live by myself. But lo and behold this book really doesn’t lay on the guilt trip about how you should hit the gym 5 days a week, or anything like that. Instead we see how our female lead, Everly, has been having  a pretty bad week after her boyfriend of many years dumped her unexpectedly after complaining about her continually giving up on her many attempts to diet and lose weight. In a drunken blackout, she signs up for an entire year of private training sessions at her local gym and vows to get in shape so that she’ll make her ex, Josh, unbelievably jealous and beg to get her back.


Now I know what you’re thinking, why doesn’t she just say to hell with it once she sobers up from her binge night and just drown her sorrows in a vat of ice cream? Simple. Not only does Everly’s best friend kick her butt to the gym with her sexy as sin trainer, but she comes to grow an incredible support network of sassy gal pals, the aforementioned sexy trainer, and a geeky guy friend with incredible abs. I must say in addition to our lovable lead, I 100% fell in love with all of her incredible friends who try their hardest to show Everly that she’s beautiful on the inside and out. They let her know that she doesn’t need to lose 50 pounds to be beautiful, but instead encourage her to get fit to the point where she finally feels comfortable in her own skin, while also being there for her when she needs to break her diet by indulging in some tequila.


Looking Beneath the Glasses

I couldn’t help but identify with Everly’s character, from her relationship woes to her stresses at work, and especially her lack of confidence in her body image. But that’s why her support network is everything and more, especially Carter, her geeky guy friend who might just be on the verge of becoming something more. These two are the epitome of relationship goals, and are so freakin’ adorable you can’t help but fall in love. At the start we just assume that Everly is the one lacking confidence in their relationship, for Carter is ripped with sexy abs, not to mention a millionaire.


What could a guy like him ever see in a girl like her? But although Carter seems like the perfect male, we see that he too lacks confidence, and holds Everly up on a pedestal where he also wonders what she could ever see in him. Awwww, swoon worthy. Lastly, he’s unbelievably supportive of her goals to lose weight, yet continually lets her know that she’s beautiful just the way she is, and her continuing diet is totally up to her rather than something she should feel pressure to maintain. Mkay, Everly girl I love ya, but not gonna lie I might need to kick your ass to steal Carter for myself.


A Tequila or Two

One feature of the novel that I must admit I wasn’t a huge fan of was Everly’s propensity to get blackout drunk to the point where she couldn’t remember crazy antics from the night before. It sort of indicates her inability to know her own limits, as well as highlight a concern that when unable to deal with the pressures of life with food she instead turns to alcohol as a crutch. However, this was never really addressed as a concern in the novel, but instead was almost featured as a comedic character trait. And I will admit, Everly did get into some pretty funny hi-jinks while intoxicated.


Personally I thought it was kind of disappointing we could never really experience those moments as they happened though. Instead we get the short abbreviated version the next morning from one of her friends who happened to witness it all since Everly herself couldn’t remember. I think it would have made the story all the more enjoyable if Everly had just gotten a bit tipsy which made her loosen up rather than drinking to the point where she couldn’t remember anything. Just goes to show that when you limit your calorie intake, getting drunk happens a bit more quickly than you might be used to!


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: I think this is just a stand-alone, but I think it would be hilarious if we could either get a series, or maybe just one novel of short stories featuring the romantic exploits of Everly’s hilarious gal pals from her Zumba class. They were a riot!

Should you read it? This is definitely a fun and comedic read all about being happy and confident with yourself. Whether that entails losing weight, trying new things, dating someone new, or venturing out for a new job opportunity, this book highlights that sometimes it’s worth taking the risk. You might be terrified at first, but as long as you give it a solid effort, and maybe have a few close friends who have your back, you can do anything. A cute beach read that’ll make you giggle, and empathize with someone who hates dieting and going to the gym just as much as you do.

Smut Level: We have flirtations galore, but no detailed sex scenes in this one. We just get one brief build up to sex at the very end of the novel.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.49 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 208 Pages.


Can’t Help Falling in Love by Bella Andre

Megan won’t date someone with a dangerous job. Firefighter Gabe won’t date a victim he rescues from a fire. Sounds like a match made in Heaven!

What’s it About?


Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart to his fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire…and can’t stop thinking about.

Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving – and losing – a man with a dangerous job again.

Only, when Gabe and Megan meet again and uncontrollable flames of desire ignite between them, how can he possibly ignore her courage, determination, and beauty? And how can she deny not only his strong bond with her daughter…but the way his sweetly sensual kisses are challenging her to risk everything she’s been guarding for so long? If one – or both – of them aren’t careful, they just might end up falling in love.

First Impressions

I’m starting to notice a funny theme with all of these Sullivan romances. With this plethora of male siblings we see that they’re all ungodly handsome, as well as bursting with sexual magnetism. In each novel, our female lead can admit that while each brother is undoubtedly a fine specimen of male hotness, only the lead man featured can make her “tingle”. Seriously, I think every female lead in this series so far has mentioned how they appreciate the looks of every Sullivan male, but there’s a tingling sensation that only one can give them. Must be a Sullivan family trait/magical ability. It really helps address the question of how she could possibly choose just one when all seem like they just stepped off the cover of Men’s Health. Apparently this third novel in the series is no exception to the Sullivan tingle rule. The fact that Gabe is a tough-as-nails firefighter with a sensitive side means that he doesn’t just cause Megan to tingle, she burns under his sexy gaze and cat-that-ate-the-canary grin.


Blazing Inferno

This novel definitely starts with a bang. Or with a burning apartment fire anyway. For Gabe, it’s just another day on the job where he’s willing to risk his life to save others. And in doing so he comes to rescue single mother Megan and her daughter Summer. Gabe is inured in the process, and when mom and daughter go to thank him in the hospital, Megan is shocked by her immediate attraction to Gabe, not to mention the…tingle she feels for him. Her daughter seems hell bent on playing matchmaker, and it doesn’t take long before Gabe and Megan find themselves alone in a ski lodge hotel room. Bow chica wow wow.


Both Megan and Gabe have been trying to stay away from each other as much as possible. After the death of her fighter pilot husband, Megan isn’t willing to fall in love again with a man who has a life-threatening job. As for Gabe, he had a terrible previous experience dating a woman he rescued from a fire, and he’s not willing to go through that again. Once they find themselves alone at the ski lodge however, they’re done saying no to their desires. Megan was married and widowed young. She never really had the chance to explore some of her wilder sexual fantasies, and Gabe…well he’s more than happy to help her in this sexploration. This night together is phenomenal, orgasmic, climactic, they feel the earth move under their feet! After that? Well that’s when things start to slow down a bit plot-wise.


Standing Still

The first quarter or so of this book was simply delightful. You have an intense and dramatic opening meet cute scene, as well as the suspense of wondering when and how Gabe and Megan will eventually go for a tumble between the sheets. But once they do the fun of the story kind of comes to a standstill. They go back and forth and back again over whether or not to take their relationship further. Honestly, it got kind of boring just waiting for them to see that a relationship is the logical next step. Gabe is dead-set on convincing her that their connection is worth exploring. She’s initially hesitant, but soon comes around…after coming a few more times that is 🙂


Gabe acknowledges that with Megan comes Summer, and she’s grateful to have finally found a man who doesn’t shy away from the fact she has a daughter. Personally, I think Summer was a feature that could have been incorporated even more, as it might have made the second half of the novel more dynamic by figuring out how all three fit into each other’s lives. Instead, we are met with a remarkably smooth transition, which again sort of adds to the dull nature of the plot after they agree to give things a go.

Waiting for the Blaze

From the minute Gabe and Megan both decide to explore this relationship outside of the bedroom we’re just waiting for something to go wrong. After all, excluding the opening fire scene, not a whole lot of drama has taken place. Gabe, Megan and Summer all get along fine. While Gabe has openly declared his love for Megan without hearing it back in return, he never tries to pressure her into saying it before she’s ready. He’s just happy to be with her and Summer at all, and can wait for her to say those three words he knows she feels on the inside.


So we wait and wait and wait for something to happen. Let’s face it, we’re all just waiting around for another fire that we know must be coming to remind Megan why she was so hesitant to start something with Gabe in the first place. When it does I literally exclaimed out loud, “oh…come…on!” Just when Megan is about to confess her love (finally!) what should happen but Gabe gets a phone call to go fight a dangerous blaze. Like, his phone literally rings mid-sentence during her declaration to the point where he runs off without hearing her say it all. COME ON! Could we get any more cliché?


Series: San Francisco Sullivans, book 3. Book one is still my favorite, but I’m excited to see what comes next when we finally deal with a Sullivan sister rather than another brother.

Should you read it? While the middle half or so of this novel was a bit of a bore, I must say it started and ended strong. Gabe vowed to never date another fire victim, but as he spends more time with Megan he discovers that she was never a victim, but instead the epitome of courage. After the death of her fighter pilot husband who went on a reckless joy ride one night, Megan declared that if she ever settled down with another man it’d be one with a safe job. However, she soon can’t imagine her life without Gabe, and sees that while her husband was an adrenaline junkie, and Gabe might thrill on the job as a firefighter, the two couldn’t be more different. He’s careful, calculated, and seeks to help people. He doesn’t foolishly put himself in danger. That makes Gabe worth all the risk.

Smut Level: Rooftop sex (with pillows and blankets for comfort), under fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Followed by a bathtub scene. And then a blindfold! Yaaaassss.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Oak Press, LLC. 200 Pages.



Come Undone by Jessica Hawkins

For those of you who, like me, aren’t a huge fan of romance novels where our lead character is contemplating adultery, this might not be the book for you. The fact this lead eventually chooses to indulge in that temptation? Uggggggh.

What’s it About? 

come undone

Olivia Germaine has already found love. Devoted wife, loyal friend, determined career woman–she’s created the life she always envisioned. But when Olivia locks eyes with a handsome stranger across a crowded room, he peers a little too closely and sees emotions she thought she’d buried long ago. David Dylan, alleged playboy and eternal bachelor, challenges Olivia to confront the life she’s built and to make decisions that could either lead to happiness…or regret. Will Olivia be able to draw the line between lust and love? And can David respect that line?

First Impressions

For the first half or so of this book I just thought, good God this is mind-numbingly dull. It mainly focuses on Olivia agonizing over her attraction to David, and having a multitude of minor arguments with her husband. It wasn’t until about halfway through that something kind of exciting happens regarding a gang case her husband was involved with, but unfortunately it never really comes full circle and is left totally unfinished. I think the goal here in drawing out Olivia’s contemplation of pursuing a physical relationship with David was for us to almost sympathize with the fact that she didn’t rush into this affair lightly. However, if anything that made me dislike this character even more, as it showed that she not only knew exactly what she was doing by the time sex came into the picture with David, but in all that time she never really tried to have a conversation with her husband about it. Seek out counseling. Nothing. Sure, none of us are perfect, but I found it exceedingly difficult to respect Olivia as an adult.

nobody's perfect.gif

Gimme an “A” for Adultery!

We have a married woman here people! Now look, I get it, sometimes you’re already in a relationship when somebody else catches your eye. It happens. But! There were some serious issues here with how the entire situation was handled. Firstly, Olivia attempts to place a large portion of the blame on David without taking any responsibility for her own actions. We all know the saying, it takes two to tango. For example, at one point she judgingly berates David’s pursuit of her by saying that, “he’s a willing participant in destroying a marriage”. Dude, so are you!


You didn’t exactly try to stay away. Hell, when he asks her to dinner she naively tells herself that the only reason she accepts his invitation is to tell him to stop flirting with her; stop pursuing her because she’s a married woman and she doesn’t want anything to do with him. Or…you know…you could just not go out to dinner with him? Such a simple idea, I know. Let’s put it this way, Olivia knew exactly what she was doing in continuing her communication with David. She can’t really be surprised he continued his flirting with her, when she had no problem reciprocating his flirtatious behavior.

Couple flirting

Far From a Saint

Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that David is some innocent little bunny. Although his words may have said he didn’t go after another man’s woman, his actions certainly said differently. David had no problem pursuing her in the beginning, in spite of her numerous protests. What really pissed me off when it came to David though is that right when Olivia started to come around, and seemed to entertain the idea of something physical happening between them, that’s when David chose to withdraw and give her the cold shoulder. This of course results in Olivia obsessing over the situation even more, wondering why he pushed her away and didn’t want anything to do with her anymore. There was just so much back and forth with them playing this game I couldn’t handle it.

back and forth

His most egregious mistake though came at the very very end when Olivia and David FINALLY have sex. Not that I was rooting for them or anything, but after a while it was just like, jeez get on with it already. So Olivia and David find themselves alone in his apartment, with David pushing her up against a wall. He proceeds to capture both her wrists behind her back in his hand, and an intense make out session begins. But then reality sinks in and Olivia tells him to stop and that she wants to leave. Instead he grips her harder and says if she wants to get away she should get away. She pulls and thrashes before finally succumbing to lust and indulges in releasing all this built up sexual tension. Sorry folks, no means no, don’t try to convince a married woman (or any woman for that matter) she actually wants it. Just…no.


The Third Side of the Triangle

And this brings us to the one missing piece of our adulterous discussion here: Olivia’s husband, Bill. At the beginning of the novel they seem quite happily married, but once David enters the picture and the sexual pheromones start flying, Bill suddenly starts to have his annoying moments. Let’s face it, the author has to show a dark side to Bill in order for us to even entertain the idea of Olivia having an affair with another man. But here’s my problem with the execution of it. Most of these arguments that Olivia and Bill start to have surrounding their marriage seemingly come out of left field.


Not that we know much about Bill’s character to begin with, especially considering he’s pretty absent from the last half of the novel, but I still couldn’t help but feel that his sudden pissy attitude and pressuring of Olivia about various aspects of their lives together seemed pretty out of character for him. Why did he so suddenly go from being a supportive and understanding spouse at the start to a dick who refuses to listen to his wife by the end of it? Does he suspect Olivia might be considering some naked alone time with another man? It so, it needed to be incorporated more into the story.


So we can sort of see how the author attempts to use Bill’s suddenly less than stellar presence as a reason to drive Olivia into considering an affair. Again though, here’s the problem with the execution of this. When one of Olivia’s friends discovers her attraction to David she asks if she and Bill are really that unhappy, Olivia responds: “I’m happy with Bill. It has nothing to do with him”. Well then, what the hell is going on here?!?!?!?! If she is happy in her relationship with Bill, then her attraction to David must therefore be purely sexual. Once she and David eventually have sex she even comments how David is the only man who has ever succeeded in giving her an orgasm. So she’s either lying to herself about her happiness with her husband, or she chose to give up that happiness for a decent roll in the sack. Either way, how exactly am I supposed to like this character?


Series: The Cityscape, book 1. I can’t see myself continuing with this one.

Should you read it? I found it really hard to connect with any of the characters in this novel on a personal level, which in turn makes it almost impossible to ever enjoy the book as a whole. I think there were some interesting emotional components of Olivia’s character, but for some reason the author chose to keep these details a secret from us as the audience, instead having a big reveal towards the end of the novel. I think this was meant to be an “ohhhhh, that’s what that was about” moment, but I just thought, “yeah, that’s what I figured. Still would’ve been nice to know about 15 chapters ago”. It also seemed that the main draw for Olivia to David was physical, in which case this affair is nothing to celebrate.

Smut Level: There really isn’t anything spectacular until David and Olivia come together at the 90% point of the novel. At which point, good God they go all out. And in. And out. You get the idea.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Kinshaw Press. 366 Pages.


Beyond the Mist by Casi McLean

Traveling through time with the determination to save one, but the temptation to save thousands.

What’s it About? 


Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes. The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams. Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond the Mist?

First Impressions

We all remember the date. We all remember where we were. For me, it was the end of my 9th grade English class, September 11, 2001 when our class learned that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I remember not knowing what the World Trade Center was, having never heard of it before in my small suburban Ohio town. I remember watching the news on TV during my 3rd period History class, with my classmates talking incessantly behind me as they reveled in the fact that we were skipping the day’s lesson, when the second plane hit. Everyone realized in that moment that history was happening. It’s been over 16 years, and yet this novel made me realize how raw that moment still is.


In this novel we see Nick travel through time to save his former girlfriend, Carly, who was at the Marriott Hotel at ground zero when the towers came crashing down. He feels guilty for fighting with her the day before her death, and never understood why she was there in the end. He’s determined to save her, yet also realizes he can’t save the countless others, or else risk a massive butterfly effect by changing history so dramatically. But once he goes back Nick wonders if he can simply sit by and do nothing. As I became more entrenched in this story I must admit it became increasingly difficult to want to pick up and read. It’s not that the story wasn’t interesting, far from it! It’s just that eventually you realize, whether or not Nick is successful in his quest to save Carly, whether or not he warns the government of events about to unfold, it doesn’t change anything. There’s no way for us to go back and save just one, let alone all. We root for Nick to succeed, yet also must acknowledge the sad truth that it’s something we can never hope for in real life.


Time Traveling from Book One to Two

This is the second book in the Lake Lanier series, and when push comes to shove I’d have to say I enjoyed book one a bit more. It was a less anxiety-induced read than transporting back to the days preceding 9/11, and was all about an accidental trip through time rather than one which was premeditated. I remember enjoying the first book, from the plot to the characters involved, but my goodness did I need a refresher course when it came to the start of book two. It’s been so long since I read it, and seeing as this novel picks up literally where book one finishes off, I’ll admit I was kind of lost. Eventually I could sort of put together all the pieces of the puzzle to remember exactly how book one ended, and understand the dynamics of all the characters. A brief summary of what went down, or maybe a character list at the beginning would have been much appreciated though. You know, for those of us who have an embarrassingly terrible memory!


When comparing the time travel elements of books one and two, I preferred the serendipitousness of Lacey’s fall through time to the 1950s. She not only had to find a way to quickly adapt all on her own, but also try to find a way back home. All while falling in love with a man from the past. The time travel element in this second book was much more orchestrated, and therefore dealt so much more with all the possible consequences of altering the past. Let me put it to you this way, whenever we have a time travel novel which mentions having vast repercussions to the space time continuum, my head kind of starts to hurt. We have the risk of running into a past self, the confusion of alternate realities and changed memories that bring the anxiety level through the roof. Add to the fact that we learn one of the characters introduced in book one has a plethora of powers from telekinesis to teleportation, and it was a lot to keep straight.


A Lost Love and an Uncertain Future

There were two different aspects of this novel which surprised me, dealing with not only the past, but also the future. First, Nick’s motivations for going back in time. You initially assume it must be because Carly was the love of his life, and he’s willing to go to hell and back to try and save her. Well, kind of…but not really. Whilst planning this trip back in time, he falls deeply in love with Piper, and quickly realizes he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. And yet his deep love for Piper doesn’t prevent him from going back for Carly. When he travels back and runs into Carly for the first time, he even admits to himself that being in her presence again doesn’t evoke anywhere near the same feelings he had for Piper. So why does he continue with this mission even though he knows the risks to the space time continuum could be catastrophic, and his feelings for Carly have obviously diminished with time?


Turns out, his determination to save Carly has more to do with feelings of guilt rather than love. Nick feels guilty that his last words with Carly were exchanged in anger, and is convinced their fight drove her to stay at the World Trade Center Marriott at the worst possible moment in history. So what drives Piper to get involved? She initially goes after Nick to, in a word, babysit him and ensure he doesn’t do anything stupid to possibly alter history. As 9/11 approaches though, Piper starts to wonder if maybe Nick’s drive to save Carly, and Piper’s own journey to follow Nick to the past had more to do with fate and destiny than simply wanting to save an ex-girlfriend. Phew, mental mind game right there!!


Another aspect of this novel which I wasn’t expecting was that we don’t merely encounter a trip to the past, but we get one to the future as well. This part of the story was probably the most surprising, as well as intriguing. It becomes a cautionary tale of what could be in store for our future if we don’t change the path we’re currently on. My one complaint though is that we are only given a very brief, cursory introduction to this world. This results in it feeling slightly out of place in the overall scope of the story. At the same time though, it’s practically a guarantee we’re in store for more in the next novel. It’ll be interesting to see how the series might switch gears when dealing with how to possibly change the present to impact the future rather than wondering how an alteration to the past could influence the present.


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Lake Lanier Mysteries, book 2. All in all I’d have to say I preferred the first novel in the series, but it’ll be interesting to see where things go in book 3!

Should you read it? Not gonna lie, this was a tough book to read at times. We’re dealing with such a momentously tragic event in history, and it’s kind of depressing to see how characters re-live it knowing they can’t do anything to save everyone. Overall still an intriguing read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I may have fallen off mine a few times.

Smut Level: You had to wait awhile to get it, but eventually we’re privy to a pretty spicy sex scene between Piper and Nick in the doomed World Trade Center Marriott.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 282 Pages.


The Law of Attraction by N.M. Silber

The courtroom antics of our lead characters are like foreplay. Constantly going toe-to-toe certainly heats things up a bit!

What’s it About? 


Gabrielle Ginsberg is a public defender with plenty of nerve and Braden Pierce is an assistant district attorney with a whole lot of swagger. Together Gabrielle and Braden discover that the path to true love is not always smooth, and is sometimes tread upon by some really wacky people like crazy ex-girlfriends, kinky politicians and a gentleman who throws a wine and cheese party in his pants. Can true love overcome a lack of privacy, interference by jealous rivals and the insanity of the criminal court system? Find out in the book that reviewers called a “Stand-out Romantic Comedy.”

First Impressions

Overall this was a light and fun read with a steamy side to boot. When this novel first started I’ll admit I was slightly worried about what it would entail. Our lead characters start off with fun courtroom banter as opposing counsels for the Public Defenders office. Braden represents the prosecution; Gabrielle the defense. I was immediately put on edge with the worry that eventually these two must get involved in a courtroom drama, have a misunderstanding about a case, or somehow or other become enemies at some point in the game.


However, I must say it was delightfully refreshing that for the most part this novel remains a funny comedy, with these two facing off in some of the silliest cases imaginable. You can’t help but giggle aloud at the ridiculousness of the grandma in her 80s caught with a pound of marijuana, the 75 year old man found guilty of reckless driving as he sped to get to his woman while his erection was still good to go, or the frat boy in trouble for going through a drive-through window naked and asking the cashier to get a load of his “whopper”. All in all, these courtroom scenes provided nothing but laughs, and drama was nowhere to be found.


Lack of Substance

I would also have to say that this is one of the main detractors from the book being perfect, which is there’s really no drama. Or evena major plot point until really late in the game. The first half or so primarily focuses on the development of our lovebird’s relationship, as well as the aforementioned courtroom fun. But I’ll never forget reading this in bed one night and thinking, soooooo is anything of substance actually going to happen here, or is this just going to be a continual blend of fun-loving crazy antics and their sexual relationship building a solid foundation? Eventually we do get what is supposed to be the main crux of the novel, and that is the fact that Gabrielle receives two anonymous letters warning her off of our perfect male specimen, Braden. That’s when my attention definitely perked up as I thought, ahhhhh, are we going to have a twist from comedic chick-lit to romantic suspense????


Mystery Letters

The answer to that previous question is hell to-the-ever-loving no. Gabrielle’s approach to these mystery letters was by far my least favorite aspect of the book. As most of you would probably expect in this situation, she downplays the threat entirely and doesn’t tell Braden or the police that she’s been receiving them. Such a familiar and frustrating romance novel trope. Now, I will say her reason for not going to the police was probably the best explanation I’ve ever seen in a romance novel.


She explains that technically the letters aren’t threatening her, but rather just warning her away from Braden. She suspects that three different people could possibly be responsible for sending the letters. However, she doesn’t want to go around falsely accusing people who are pretty prominent members of society, and could potentially have very negative repercussions for these people’s interactions with Braden’s politician father. All in all, a pretty logical explanation. But I feel like my first gut reaction in such a situation would be to immediately rush to Braden and be like, yo who the hell could this be from? She doesn’t want to unnecessarily worry him for fear that he’d overreact and get uber protective. Well, then open your mouth and at least have a conversation about it. He is your lover after all.

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The most ridiculous aspect though was how Gabrielle goes about trying to find out the identity of the letter writer. She employs the help of her friends to try and get handwriting samples from each of her three suspects which she can then take to a handwriting expert. The shenanigans that these people get into were so over-the-top my head hurt. From scrounging around in one suspect’s trash, to dressing up in costumes and attending a secret sex club, to having her one friend convince a suspect to write down every way he’s been a naughty boy. I mean…come on now. Let’s try and keep some sense of reality to the situation. You’re telling me doing all of that shit was less troublesome than just having a frank conversation with your boyfriend?


Series: Lawyers in Love, book 1. This book shockingly kind of ends on a cliffhanger, as we don’t actually discover the identity of our mystery writer. I must find out!

Should you read it? Overall a very funny read, although pretty lacking in plot. I loved the courtroom scenes, many of which had me giggling out loud. The sexual chemistry between our two leads will leave you panting. The letter storyline just didn’t come together for me, especially considering the identity of the writer is never disclosed. Plus the cray cray shenanigans Gabrielle and her friends get into were over-the-top, and really detracted from the flow of the book.

Smut Level: If it pleases the court, I must say this book had all kinds of pleasurable sexiness in it. As Gabrielle’s outspoken grandmother says, you can’t neglect your oral skills when trying to make your relationship last. Based on this sentiment, Gabrielle and Braden will be pleasantly happy for years and years to come.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE Kindle Price. Mendelssohn Levy Publishing. 242 Pages.

Always Mine by Ruth Cardello

Passion for art. Passion for business. Passion for each other. When push comes to shove, which one will prove the strongest?

What’s it About? 26064429

When it comes to getting what he wants, Asher Barrington is a hammer who is known for crushing his opponents. From the moment Emily walks into his office and challenges him, winning takes on a whole new meaning. The only thing standing between Emily Harris and her goal to open a museum for the blind is an arrogant, sexy as hell billionaire, who thinks sleeping with her will not complicate the situation. He won’t change. She won’t back down. But together they sizzle.

First Impressions

Meh. Blarg. Blerg. Blaginfeffer. This book was just ok. There were definitely some very interesting aspects which kept me engaged as a reader, but overall there were just too many different storylines and dramatic plot points at play which never really came full circle for me. Not to mention a romantic couple that was constantly engaged in a dynamic power struggle, with a lacking ability to communicate or even act like adults at times. Sounds like a fun one to jump right on into doesn’t it?? Follow me!


Emotion vs. Physical Connection

Alright, first off, their emotional relationship seemed completely unbelievable, and even one-sided to me. Their physical relationship is certainly ready and raring to go, but also borders on physical manipulation at times. I seriously lost track of the number of times Emily told Asher no, but then he just kisses her into agreeing to sleep with him. It seems like their entire physical connection is based on them being pissed at each other, and then working off their frustration in the bedroom. While this can work in some situations, the fact it was the driving force behind their coupling just left a bad taste in my mouth. As for the emotional side of things, this was all over the freaking place, and is so catty wompus it’s tricky to verbalize in a coherent way.


When it comes to Emily, I honestly felt she was more passionate about her art than Asher. But there’s actually a very good reason for that. Asher basically treats her like shit! He’s closed off to her about his life, constantly keeps her in the dark, and apparently uses sex as a way to distract her. When he f*cks something up in their relationship, he can never use his words to say how he messed up. Instead he turns to making a big gesture, which I think is supposed to show how deeply he cares for Emily that he’s willing to go all out to remedy the situation. However, instead I couldn’t help but feel that he was just throwing money at her in the hopes of wooing her to his side. I mean, hell, I’d swoon over a private plane ride to Paris with a sex God. But then you have to ask yourself what you’re left with when the Paris vacation is over and you fly back home.


The Sex God

And this leads me to the underlying reason I didn’t really care for this book. When you stripped away all of Asher’s money, power, and sexual prowess, what do you have remaining? He’s kind of a dick. Sure, he loves Emily, but she has some clear-cut lovable qualities. She cares about her family, she’s passionate about her mother’s art and sharing it with the world. She herself is a loving person. As for why Emily falls in love with Asher? Other than him being talented with his penis I’m kind of at a loss.


He does show a brief interest in her art, and while he does have a final big gesture which shows he’s been paying attention to how important her art is to her, I couldn’t help but feel Asher merely saw it as a way to get Emily back into his life and his bed. When they’re in Paris he basically abandons her to go solve a work problem. Not only does he leave with zero explanation, but he remains radio silent for about two weeks. No calls, no texts, no carrier pigeons. And then he’s shocked upon returning to Paris and discovering that she’s returned to the States without him. Seriously, what did you expect ya ass?


A Plethora of Plots

Another big deterrent of this novel was that there were way too many plot points introduced, and they didn’t really mesh well. There’s an interesting start for sure, as Asher’s company is buying up all the land around Emily’s home and museum site for some kind of fancy facility that needs to be in rural New Hampshire for some reason. Then you have their love/hate/anger relationship and sexual explorations. But then there’s this weird side-plot involving Asher’s business exploits in some kind of war-torn country with guerrillas, and for me it was the most unnecessary aspect of the book. Back in the States Emily is working closely with Asher’s mother on an art auction to spread the word about Emily’s new museum. But! As if that wasn’t enough Emily’s museum burns down and we have to deal with the drama of who was responsible, and Asher trying to win her back after being absent for so long. By that point it was just kind of like, alright what else can we plop on here?! Sometimes less is more!!


Series: The Barrington Billionaires, book 1. Meh.

Should you read it? I wanted more from this book, but also less at the same time. I know, sounds disfunctional. First, I wanted more reasons to like Asher as a person, not to mention love him as a romantic lead. Second, there needed to be at least one less story point, as it was just an overwhelming amount to the point where some couldn’t be fully fleshed out to come full circle. Overdone for sure. And to throw another wrench into the mix, while Emily was a passionate character she could be over-the-top at times, and almost too idealistic. Tone it down girl. All in all, it was hard to fall in love with the characters.

Smut Level: Hot damn! The physical connection between these two was one of the only things they had going for ’em. Naughty, dirty, and angry. But…almost too angry.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE Kindle. RCardello LLC. 220 Pages.

Way Too Deep by Andrea K. Stein, Sawyer Stone

The flirtations between our lead couple are sometimes too hot to handle! I had a ridiculous laughing smirk on my face throughout most of this read.

What’s it About? 


Captain Lindsay Fisher has committed the unthinkable in the tight little world of super yachting. She takes chances, she’s a little too abrasive, and oh yeah, she’s taken swearing like a sailor to a whole new level. Celebrity Chef Alton Maura earned the acclaimed “Kitchen God” title and basked in the international limelight for years until his affairs with his kitchen staff landed him in a poisonous stew. When Lindsay and Alton are thrown together on an uneasy cruise through the Grenadines, sparks fly. She doesn’t like his shoes, or his attitude. He can’t believe a woman who looks that good in a captain’s uniform can be such a hard ass. This is their last chance to prove themselves, but the worst thing you can do when trying to save your career is to fall in love…WAY TOO DEEP.

First Impressions

Good God this novel blasts off with a suspenseful start! We have a storm at sea, a sinking yacht, and a couple of sailors flung overboard. This is why we mere humans don’t belong out on the open ocean people! Phew, ok mini rant over. Lindsay and Alton are both at the ultimate low points in their careers. She has now lost two ships at sea, and he gave an entire room full of uppity socialites food poisoning. They see this next cruise as their one last chance to prove themselves. Problem is, they pretty much hate each other at the start. Lindsay is a strict captain who expects everyone to follow her every word, and Alton is the artistic chef who’s not used to living on a boat and working in a galley kitchen. He’s used to giving orders, not taking them. While initially at odds, they quickly come to realize they’ll need to rely on each other to make this trip a success. As well as an outlet to let off some…sexual tension.

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From One to the Next

If I had to summarize this book in one word it would be: fun! I was expecting the relationship between captain and chef to be the main focus of this book, but something I didn’t see coming was the plethora of supporting characters who really made this story such a comedic and fun read. With the introduction of every new character we get another crazy personality, and I just loved it. In particular I adored Lindsay’s uncle, Tommy, who starts off so rough and gruff, but also has such a sweet side to him. He provides the words of wisdom to both Lindsay and Alton regarding how they should approach a relationship with each other. He has read pretty much every issue of Cosmopolitan magazine in the Caribbean after all.


In addition to our captain, chef and first mate, we have a smarmy Russian, a music mogul and his vegan-organic-gluten free girlfriend who is enthralled with herbal medical remedies. There’s the spoiled wife of the yacht owner who always has a wine glass in her hand, not to mention Alton in her sights. Lastly, the trip simply wouldn’t be complete without also having the mistress of the yacht owner on board, as well as his business partner who is a James Bond uber spy wannabe. And that’s just everyone staying on the yacht! It doesn’t include some of the other delightful people we meet on various islands and other vessels. While this motley crew of characters is slightly over-the-top, it never got to the point of being just plain ridiculous. It was just the right blend for me of silliness, sexiness, and even some suspense thrown in as well. There’s eventually an inkling of intrigue and espionage, seeing as our yacht owner is the one noticeable key player missing on this crazy cruise. The ending does sort of cross over into outlandish territory, yet considering this blend of characters and build-up of suspense it also does feel like an inevitable climactic end.


Crullers and Eclairs

As I alluded to earlier, Lindsay and Alton don’t have the best first impression of each other. He thinks she’s a hard-ass bitch, and she sees him as a goody-two shoes chef who’s clearly in love with himself. That being said, they are both clearly attracted to the other, but they’re adamant that they shouldn’t make a move. For one, there’s too much at stake with this entire trip. In order for their careers to rebound, there can’t be any distractions. In addition, it’s funny how long it takes before they realize the other isn’t gay. To quote one of Alton’s thoughts, “…he had the feeling she might be more interested in thick-lipped crullers than cream-filled éclairs.” Not gonna lie, I chuckled like an idiot with every culinary sexual innuendo that Alton could think of, and believe me there were many to enjoy. As their trip through the Caribbean progresses, their sexual chemistry becomes more and more difficult to ignore. With so many small and cramped places on this yacht to get down and dirty, it’s not long before they can’t say no anymore.


*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Love Overboard, book 1. I definitely want to continue with this series!

Should you read it? This pretty much checks off every point of a good beach read. It’s fun, kind of silly, but full of unique characters. The flirtatiousness of Lindsay and Alton had me giggling, yet their scenes in the bedroom had me fanning myself from all the heat. The intrigue surrounding the yacht owner was a bit much, and I wish he had been featured more throughout the novel. Also, be sure to have some appetizers on hand while you read this one, as the descriptions of Alton’s culinary creations will keep you hungry!

Smut Level: Romantic comedies aren’t always the sexiest of reads, but this one definitely stands out! We don’t just have a handful of passionate kisses which fade to black. Oh no, we get every delectable sexy detail!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Muirgen Publishing, LLC. 219 Pages.