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Thursday, July 24, 2014

ARC Review: Lady Windermere's Lover by Miranda Neville

This was my first time reading Miranda Neville so I was not sure what to expect. I had some issues with the plot and the story. I found her writing to be engaging and it flowed. There were times that I really enjoyed the book and times I struggled with it. I made my peace with a three star rating.

So when the story begins, our hero, Damian, Earl of Windermere, is out partying with this friends celebrating his twenty-first birthday. In the mist of all this partying he gambles away his mother’s home which was a part of his inheritance. So right off we are starting off with a hero that is very questionable. The story continues as he has to tell his father the news but Damian eventually ends up gaining it back… So one way that he wins back his mother’s home was by marrying Lady Cynthia. Although Lady Cynthia is not a peer of the ton her uncle set up a nice inheritance for her making it very appealing for Damian.

Lady Cynthia is very simple. Her dresses are picked by her aunt and she is not a reigning beauty. Also, because she lives in the country she does not have polished manners of London society. These are traits that apparently bother Damien. He is not in the least bit interested in his new bride. Damien is such a snob and really a right down jerk to Lady Cynthia. After a short time married he goes off to serve in the Foreign Service, but not before making it clear to Lady Cynthia that she is to turn herself into the proper wife for a diplomat. I felt so horrible for Lady Cynthia… she went into the marriage knowing that it was not for love but it didn’t stop her from trying to be the best wife. All this takes place in the past… In the present, Lady Cynthia is a London society lady. She is beautiful, elegant and knows the proper manners for London society. She is no longer the young bride that she was a year ago. Damien returns to London from his assignment and finds Lady Cynthia at the theatre with his once friend now enemy- Julian Fortesque, the Duke of Denford, Julian is after Lady Cynthia but has really provided her only with the company that she lacked.

Ok, in the mist of all this Julian is said to have some priced paintings in his possession. Although Damien still bares a grudge against Damien for things that happened that fateful night he has a duty to the Foreign Office to uncover if he really has these paintings. This means that he has to start up an acquaintance again with him after their falling out and even after he believes that he is Cynthia’s lover. Julian was a fascinating character in this story, and I really enjoyed reading about him. So Damien is back and tries to make amends with his wife. He realizes that he treated her very poorly and is making amends for his past.

Some issues I had… One besides the incredibly irritating hero, the jumping around from past to present. It made the story choppy. First it’s the past then it’s the present then it’s the past… It was hard to figure out where we were. Also, a HUGE part of the drive of this story was miscommunication or lack of communication. There was a lack of communication with his wife/ new bride and a miscommunication with Julian. I don’t want to give away what that was since it also was a driving force in the storyline. If all these characters sat down and had a conversation much would have been resolved earlier. These miscommunication/lack of were a little irritating. Even after Lady Cynthia and Damian are living together again they have very poor communication skills. Lady Cynthia was fantastic. She was a great heroine and I really enjoyed her. Overall, I enjoyed this story. I would have liked there to be more of drive in the plot then the above mentioned. I do recommend this story and will read more by this author.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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ARC Review: Payoff Pitch by V.K. Sykes

Payoff Pitch is the fifth book in the Philadelphia Patriots series written by the husband and wife writing duo going by the name V.K. Sykes (Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes). This book immediately drew me in because I am a huge sports romance fan, and I also was really intrigued by the idea of a husband and wife writing together. While I did like Noah and Teddy and I liked several portions of this story, I did have a few issues overall though. The first half of this book was promising and I was really enjoying the way things were going, but then it started to go downhill for me and I found myself wanting to skip ahead or skim large portions of this book.

Noah Cade is a pitcher for the Philadelphia Patriots and is still recovering from a career threatening injury. After having surgery, he has been working to get back in the game. When his aunt's health condition gets worse, he finds himself not only balancing his career but also two standard poodles that she has entrusted him to take care of. When Noah sees the pretty dog walker from the next door neighbors chasing their dog, he immediately seeks her out to help her and also get her professional services for the dogs. Teddy agrees to come and work for him and also live with him and the dogs to ease their transition while he is away so much. The attraction between Noah and Teddy is strong, but they agree to put their feelings aside in order to maintain their professional relationship. Soon things being to escalate though, and both find the chemistry to be inevitable and give in to their feelings. With the uncertainty of Noah's career, and his family pushing for him to take a place in their company things soon get complicated. When Teddy finds out about his family's business, she quickly realizes that they are on opposite sides of an important issue to her and her family. Can they work through their differences and learn to keep those things out of their relationship? Or will it be too much for them to overcome?

Noah was really easy to like, and I loved how sweet and loyal he was. He really cared about his family, and I loved how dedicated he was to his aunt and her dogs. He was really struggling with his injury and the thought of his career ending, and yet he went out of his way to not only put his aunt's mind at ease but to also make sure that the dogs had the proper care and love that they deserved. I thought that Teddy was great as well, and it was nice to see how much she loved what she did. It wasn't just a job for her and she really gave it her all while also studying to become a lawyer. I thought that she was really great for Noah as well, and it was good to see her supporting him and showing him that someone worried about him and cared what was going on in his life. I thought that the chemistry between them was great, but I do think that they circled around each other a bit too much. They needed to be more open with each other and communicate better. I also wish that they wouldn't have let outside forces interfere with their relationship as much as they did.

My main issue with this story though was that about halfway through, it suddenly became very political and turned into a debate on environmental issues. I can understand that that would definitely cause friction between the hero and heroine, but I honestly felt like it was taken way too far in this. The second half of this book felt less like a romance, and more like an environmental PSA. I got tired of the constant talk about fracking and why it was bad or why it wasn't proven to have conclusive evidence against it. It just really distracted me from the story and cause me to lose interest quick. I honestly would have put the book down and not finished if it weren't for the fact that I wanted to see if Teddy and Noah would end up together. I really wish that this book wouldn't have gone there. I read to get away from the real world and for enjoyment, and this pretty much killed that for me. I would say that if you ar fans of this series, you will probably enjoy this story and that you will appreciate seeing familiar characters. I also think that some contemporary fans will enjoy this one if they can get past the environmental stuff as well. But if you are looking for a romance that focuses mainly on the relationship and development of feelings between the hero and the heroine, I think this might not be what you are looking for. This being the first book that I have read by V.K. Sykes, I am not sure if this is common in their books or just happened to be this story. I would be interested to read another one of their books though to see if they worked better for me.

**ARC Provided by Author**

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Feature and Giveaway: Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris

One ring plus one wild night equals one crazy love

Sherry Robicheaux loves men. She loves love. And she loves an adventure. So when she meets a mysterious man while working backstage at a country music concert in Vegas, she’s all about what happens in Vegas staying there.

Country music superstar Tyler Blue just wants a weekend of anonymity…though there’s something about the spunky waitress with the streaks of purple hair that tempts him like no other. Until the next morning, when they both wake up with fuzzy memories…and rings on their fingers.

Convincing Sherry to maintain the ruse for his public image isn’t the hardest part—it’s reminding himself that their time spent playing husband and wife in her small town of Magnolia Springs can’t last. Tyler’s first love will always be music—and the road is no place for a sweet downhome girl.

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ARC Review: Fated for Love by Melissa Foster

Fated for Love is the most recent addition to the Love in Bloom series by Melissa Foster, and is the eighth Bradens book as well as book number sixteen in the series. I have really enjoyed all the books I have read in the series so far, and Fated for Love was no exception. I relly liked both Wes and Callie, and Callie's friends were so much fun. This book was enjoyable and sweet, but it also had its sexy moments as well. I highly recommend this series and the great thing about these books are that you can really start with any of them since they are standalones. I do think that they are great when read in order though and it adds so much to the experience by seeing how the characters and their lives progress with each book.

Callie Barnes moved away from Denver and her best friends in order to start her dream job of being a librarian in the small town of Trusty, Colorado. She looks forward to Thursdays when the sexy Wes Braden comes in to pick up her latest recommendations for him. Wes is the kind of guy that all the girls in town are after, and Callie finds it hard for her to even speak when he is around. She never thought that someone like him would be interested in her. When her friends take her away for the weekend she is expecting the spa retreat that they promised her, but when they arrive they have actually brought her to a dude ranch. When Callie finds out that it is actually owned by Wes and that he will be their wrangler for the weekend, she immediately regrets allowing her friends to talk her into staying. Callie struggles with her fears while Wes helps to guide her through many physically demanding activities all while supporting her and encouraging her. Soon Callie realizes that Wes wasn't so oblivious to her after all, and actually has been feeling the same thing for her as she was for him. As Callie and Wes confront their fears together, they learn to lean on each other and their new relationship while looking forward to their future together.

I really loved Wes. He was seriously one of the sweetest if not the sweetest book boyfriends I have ever read about. He was thoughtful and romantic, and I could not believe how great he was. He embraced his feelings with Callie, and didn't struggle with the changes that brought to his life at all. He was pretty much perfect in every way, and I really loved how great he was helping her through the week at the ranch. He was supportive and understanding, and you couldn't help but fall in love with him right along with Callie. Callie was brave and sweet, and I really liked seeing her outside her comfort zone. I loved her from the start, and felt like she was really easy to relate to. But it was so nice to see her trying new things and never giving up. She was great with Wes, and I thought that they were the perfect match together. They had a lot of chemistry, but they also had such a strong connection and you could see how emotionally tied to each other they were. They might have fallen for each other quickly, but it was so real and believable and I never questioned it for a second.

Overall, I thought that this book was really good. It was so much fun to read, and I adored Callie and her friends along with Wes. I also loved Wes's puppy Sweets. They were so cute together, and I loved how dedicated he was to taking care of her and loving her. I will say that this book was beyond sweet and romantic. While it was good, at times it felt like it was a little too good to be true. While there was passion and sexy times, it was for the most part overly sweet and adorable. I found it enjoyable, but I think that for some it might be too much. Callie and Wes were definitely the lovey type of couple that in real life you would love to see happy but also make you a little sick with how happy they are. I still would recommend this story and the rest of the series, especially to contemporary fans and fans of Melissa Foster and the Love in Bloom series. I think that these books never disappoint, and always leave you feeling happy and satisfied. I look forward to reading more about the Bradens and can't wait for the next book.

**ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours**

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ARC Review: One Night With Her Ex by Lucy King

I was really excited to read this book after reading the blurb. I couldn't wait to start this second chance love story and see Lily and Kit get their HEA. I was a little bit apprehensive because I had never read anything by Lucy King before, but figured it was worth a shot. While I did enjoy the first bit of this book, after about half way through this one really went down hill for me. I have to say that this wasn't at all what I had been expecting and I had some pretty big problems with this book. Beware that there will be spoilers in this review, because I can't possibly give you my opinion without stating a few things that happened.

After a bad ending to a date on New Year's Eve, Lily is shocked when her ex-husband shows up at her door wanting to talk. After their marriage fell apart and Kit cheated on her five years ago, they haven't spoken at all. Things start off bad between them, but after they start talking they both realize that they are different people than they were when they were married. After a bit of talking, they also realize that the attraction is still between them and things heat up between them. Kit starts to think that maybe it is time that they gave things another chance and see if they could make a go of it together. But Lily has her doubts, and doesn't know if she can let herself trust him again. Can Kit convince her that they are meant to be together and that things will be different the second time?

I really wanted to like Kit and Lily, but every time that I would start to like them they would do something that drove me nuts. Kit and Lily were both at fault for the failure of their marriage. They didn't communicate well, Lily ran rather than face what was going on, but I don't think that any of that excuses Kit's cheating. He made a horrible decision, and I felt like it was pretty much unforgivable. Every time it was brought up it almost seemed to be attributed to Lily rather than Kit, and I really wanted him to take responsibility for his mistake. I felt like Lily was constantly apologizing when she wasn't the one who had screwed up the most. Yes she had things to apologize for and that she had done wrong, but for some reason it seemed to be her that was blamed every time. Lily had absolutely no back bone and I just felt like she was so weak. It was hard to relate to her, and honestly I didn't really have any sympathy for her when she couldn't even face her problems or stand up for herself. Because when she wasn't running and avoiding, she was saying she was sorry. I did think that Kit and Lily had chemistry, but honestly I just couldn't get past everything that had happened between them.

I also had a huge problem with the fact that Lily let a huge thing go later on in the book as well. After finding out that Kit still works with the woman he cheated on her with, Lily gives him an ultimatum and demands that he either fire her PR firm, have the woman fired, or have her transferred to another team. Kit flat out refuses and Lily waits all of a few hours before she is calling him to try and apologize for being unfair and demanding too much. Are you kidding me? If I was her, the cheating would be bad enough but for him to still be working with her would be game over. Especially when he didn't even clue her in until she found out herself. For someone trying to prove that they love you and never stopped and that they are worth a second shot, he sure was bad at regaining her trust and being completely upfront. If all that wasn't bad enough, Lily's sister then starts telling Lily what a huge mistake she is making and that she needs to apologize more and that she has no reason not to trust him again because he hasn't done anything wrong recently. I just couldn't stop rolling my eyes and face-palming, and honestly it just went from bad to worse. Not really sure why I finished, except at that point I felt like I had to see it through. I have to say that this is not a book that I would recommend, and I think that a lot of people will have the exact same problems with this story that I did. It just didn't work for me and I couldn't get behind anything in this story.

**ARC Provided by Harlequin**

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