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In Love with Romance

Reader of romance and sometimes writer. Lover of many things including music, wine, and chocolate.

Learning to Ride

Learning to Ride - Erin Knightley, James Patterson I loved this book!

It's a feel good romance. It reminds me of why I fell in love reading romance.

Madeline is a hard worker and wants nothing more than to climb the corporate ladder, and now she has the perfect opportunity to do so, and do it well. Only, she has to move from New York to Sunnybell, Texas. That's asking a lot of her, but she can do it. After all, if her calculations are right her stay will last no more than two years top.

After a few days of being holed up in a motel, she misses the city noise and so she decides to visit the only place open after 8pm on a Thursday. There she meets a cowboy, who she's got no clue is somewhat of a celebrity in town.

Tanner is a former Rodeo star. He never dallies with women from town and thinks Madeline is just passing by. After spending one night together, he doesn't imagine he'd ever see her again and is shocked when he stumbles upon her at a store.

It bothers him that despite their chemistry Madeline acts like their one-night stand didn't mean anything. This becomes a challenge for him because no one's ever rejected him in such a way. He offers to help her clean her front yard. This isn't out of the goodness of his heart, he does this to get closer to her so that it is she who comes begging him later. But she doesn't. LOL!

Madeline seems a little snotty at times. She's the girl from a big city in a little town. She dreams big, and wants to make her place in Corporate America, she's always planning for the future--retirement.

Tanner is more let's live in the moment kind of guy. He wants to enjoy life to its fullest and doesn't want to be tied down to rules and the like. He's super funny, and so sexy I could almost hear his Texan drawl.

They couldn't be any more opposites than they are, but when they get together sparks fly. Their banter is sexy and a bit comical. I really loved this book by Erin.

The McCullagh Inn in Maine

The McCullagh Inn in Maine - Jen McLaughlin This is a short story packed with action and suspense. There is romance in to but I think Chelsea's secret overshadows her relationship with Jeremy, and so the romance kind of takes a seat in the back.

Chelsea is running away from her ex. It's only a matter of time before the cartel guys or law enforcement catches up to her. Well, that's if they ever find her. She decides to retreat to a town somewhere in Maine, and enlists her brother to help her change her identity. She thinks if she can use a different name she'll be able to hide in plain sight. She doesn't count on stumbling upon Jeremy, the man of her life.

Jeremy is back home and with an agenda of his own. First he wants to help Chelsea get out of the mess she's in, then he wants to keep her forever. She's the woman he's always loved and won't ever lose her again. Under false pretenses he does everything he can to keep her out of harm's way. Keeping her alive proves harder than he thought.

When she discovers Jeremy's deception he wants him out of her life, only her past knocks on her door and she has to choose between ending it all for good or trust law enforcement will take care of things.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the story. By chapter 8 I was a bit annoyed because Chelsea kept referring to something she'd done, but still hadn't revealed what it was that was so bad for her to try and hide. It takes a long while before she finally spills out her secret. I don't know about other readers but to me that secret slowed down the story and made it kind of boring at times. I found myself skipping to the later chapters to find out what her secret was, then went back to the earlier ones and finished reading.

I guess the story continues with their wedding (book 2).

Before the Fall

Before the Fall - Noah Hawley Well, this was great until it wasn't. Seriously who does this?

A wealthy family and their friends are on their way back from Martha's Vineyard to New Jersey. Maggie, the wife of a TV network magnate invites Scott, a painter who's seen better times.

Even though everyone onboard seems as if everything's right with the world they all have a story. And not a very good one at that.

Maggie loves her family but wishes her husband, the TV network magnate, spent more time with them. Their happiness is shadowed by the kidnapping of their daughter 3 years ago. Although they found her safe and sound, the reminder that they're not safe is ever present, especially with their bodyguards.

The Kiplings live in their own little world. Same as Maggie, Sarah wishes her husband didn't work as much. She often reminisces of the times they didn't have much and how happy they were. But her husband is a working machine, and he can make millions out of a $1 bill. The problem is he's played the system, taking money from nonfriendlies and now he's about to be indicted.

Scott is just an acquaintance of Maggie and can't believe he's flying to New Jersey in such luxury. He hopes his meetings turn out the way he expects them. Maybe this time he'll finally be a known painter.

Then there's the bodyguard and the flight crew. Emma, the flight attendant, has some history with the copilot. She wants nothing to do with him. Charles tried to choke her once and ever since she's been terrified of him. Her ex.

Charles feels horrible about how mean he was to Emma and in his head he loves her and wants her back at all costs. But her rejections only upset him and he's so angry he does the unthinkable.

Last, there's Bill. The most annoying, infuriating character of all, along with Doug, Eleanor's husband. Bill wants to find out what really happened the night of the crash and how did Scott and the 4 year old survived it. He doesn't care what is true and not, he wants a good story.

I liked the story until I hated it. The tragedy is devastating, but the fact that Bill does illegal things and doesn't get in trouble gets me. And then Doug, I wanted to pull his beard because he made me so mad.

It's a good book, but don't expect much of the end because you'd be dissappointed.

Seduced (Kith & Kynn Book 1)

Seduced (Kith & Kynn Book 1) - Devyn Quinn I don't read a lot of paranormal and when I do I'm a bit picky. This was a pretty good read for an erotic paranormal romance. It was super hot.

Devon has been roaming this earth for almost two centuries. His sire, the woman he loved, was killed by a man who hates vampires and since Devon hasn't been happy. He's never gotten over Ariel, that's of course until he meets Rachel.

Rachel looks a lot like Ariel, and from the moment she meets Devon she can't get him out of her mind anymore than he can get her out of his. Rachel tries her best to keep away, but the attraction is stronger than her and his will. Devon knows she'll be his, and gives her time but not too much that she'll get away. When the time comes he introduces her to his world, then it's up to her to stay or leave.

I enjoyed this book a bit more than I thought I would. Though I think Rachel's realization of what Devon is and how she handles it isn't great. I can see why she runs away and doesn't want anything to do with him. But the bit about cutting her losses and how she plays with the thought about suing him and going to the police kind of bothered me. It didn't seem to fit with the story and how I would've expected her to handle it. Especially when she quickly changes her mind and decides his world isn't maybe too bad.

Overall it was a good read. I'll definitely read book 2.

Those Summer Nights

Those Summer Nights - Mandy Baggot

This was a funny read, not exactly what I'd expected.

Imogen is a waitress at some diner in the UK. Her dream is to get a job with the same company her dad used to work for. Her cooking skills are for the most part okay, except for her pastries. She's busy trying to figure out what to do with her life, thought the truth is she spends most of her time trying to keep her brother out of trouble, and now she's worried about her mom's emotional health.

Her brother bought a restaurant in Corfu, Greece and her mom and sister in law look to Imogen to help talk him out this deal. Apparently HIS mental health isn't all that great. Ever since an accident at work, Harry, seems not to be good at making decisions--especially when he's depressed.

Hoping to persuade him to sell the restaurant, she follows him to Corfu. They find the restaurant needs a lot of work, and when Panos offers to buy it from her she almost gives in but then seeing how happy her brother, Harry, is she declines to tell Harry about the offer and decides to help him get it cleaned and ready to open again.

Panos is from Corfu but let when he was young, and is now a millionaire. Corfu brings sad memories and he wants nothing to do with it. Instead. His pride makes him want to buy all the restaurants at the beachfront and his plan is to convert it into a party area.

He bumps heads with Imogen when she discovers what he wants to do, and she won't let Panos get to Harry. Panos grandma, family, and friends join her efforts, which doesn't bode well with Panos.

Panos likes Imogen but has inner demons to find. He does t think he's capable of love. Imogen is divorced, and the last thing she's looking for is a man, but spending time with Panos is tempting her.

Again this was an entertaining read, a little too long for the type of story if you ask me. The chemistry between Panos and Imogen felt forced. I didn't feel it, not even when they danced the dance of love. Then, the one other thing that bothered me was that all of this happens within two weeks, though it seems longer. Panos has just broken up with a woman, who he's left in Crete, and once he gets together with Imogen and have sex, there's no reference to safe sex. Hello? It's a contemporary romance. There's such a thing as safe sex even if it's fiction.

And...I guess what bothered me the most was Imogen finally gets a chance to make her dream come true. She gets an email from the hotel chain she wants work for. It is true her family is now in Greece, and she's got no one in the UK, and she's fallen in love. But why would anyone consider giving up a dream career just to be with a man you've just met?

Again, this was a fun read--except for those tidbits.

For 100 Days

For 100 Days - Lara Adrian Beautifully written, still the storyline sucks.

I'm dissappointed with this book. I knew it'd be erotic romance, which I love, but I didn't expect it to be yet another version of: the self-made billionaire who's an A+ Alpha and wants nothing more than the girl whose world is crumbling and doesn't have a penny to her name. Did I mention the heroine is an artist (she paints) and the hero owns the art gallery that no longer wants to showcase her paintings?

This is a 3 book series, clearly I'll be passing on books 2 and 3.

Anyone who's read the following series (and is bored to death from reading the same trope over and over again) may want to take a rain check on this one: Inside Out Series, Crossfire Series, FSoG.

Angel in Scarlet: A Bound and Determined Novel

Angel in Scarlet: A Bound and Determined Novel - Lavinia Kent I liked how this book started. Like any other erotic romance, it caught my attention with the first few chapters. I found it intriguing when Angela went to see Madame Rouge to learn how to get Colton to ask her to marry her, so she could have her revenge.

But then it sort of went down hill. Angela became boring as did Colton, but I think he turned boring because of Angela's actions and dialogue. Angela started with a clear goal in kind and I thought she'd be a great heroine, but soon she seemed confused and unsure of what she wanted, which made her a bit annoying as it did Colton.

Duke of My Heart (A Season for Scandal)

Duke of My Heart (A Season for Scandal) - Kelly Bowen I really liked this book, though the end left me craving for a bit more. Maybe it's just me but it kind of seemed as though it ended abruptly.

Miss Ivory More used to be a Duchess but since her husband passed and given that his family weren't a fan of hers, she hides in a business both she and her deceased husband created. They'd known once he was gone his family would refuse to give Ivory her place as a Duchess.

Everyone in the ton knows who Chegarre & Associates is, but no one will admit it aloud. It's one of those society's best kept secrets. Chegarre & Associates has built a good reputation in getting people out of trouble and keeping their good name in society's eyes. Ivory works hard to make sure it stays that way.

For the past five years she's been able to manage all her clients just fine, until she meets Max Harcourt. He's a Duke by accident and doesn't want the title. He's back from his sea travels and is shocked when he finds Ivory in his house, trying to figure out what excuse to use to explain the dead, naked man in Max's sister's bed. As if that weren't enough, his sister is nowhere to be found.

Max has a hard time taking orders from Ivory, a woman he doesn't know. He doesn't trust her, yet has no other option than to do as she says.

They work together to find his sister, and as they find clues to his sister's whereabouts they realize there's an attraction they cannot ignore.

Overall, this was a good read, though I wish Max had been a bit more determined. There were a couple of times where I thought he'd been too naive for someone who's supposed to be worldly, and doesn't accept no for an answer. I liked Ivory's character. I thought she was the perfect heroine.

The Beauty of the End

The Beauty of the End - Debbie Howells This book made me angry, broke my heart, and left me in tears.

What an emotional rollercoaster!

The first chapter had me confused as I wasn't sure whose POV it was, there seem to be a mix of two. Then the author revealed it was Noah speaking, and soon Ella is introduced.

The story evolves around the mystery surrounding April Moon's life. She's the woman Noah fell in love with when he was only 16 yrs old. She was a goddess to him and there never was another woman like her for Noah. Talk about undying, unconditional love.

Noah meets April when he moves to a new town with his family. He also becomes friends with Will. At 16 Noah feels pretty good about his life and everything he's got going for him, until things start to change, though he refuses to see things for what they are.

The story is full of flashbacks between the present and past. As details are uncovered regarding April and the events that sent her to ICU in a hospital, Noah recalls the various times he'd crossed paths with April. How destiny seemed to keep bringing them back together, and how closed he'd been to having it all. As he searches through his memories he starts seeing people he'd considered friend for who they really are, including April. The effect these people have and had on his life is upsetting. Seriously, who needs enemies when your friends are the worst of the worst, or when the love of your life doesn't trust you enough to tell you truths?

April had a terrible childhood (more like she didn't have one). Will is a conniving [fill in the blank]. Bea ... I don't know what to think of her other than she's sort of an enabler. Then there's Theo...my heart broke for him. I wanted to cry, then smash my device against the wall because he's a casualty in this mess, and Ella is a victim, who sounds so much like her mom.

Overall, this book messed with my head. I think I'll need therapy to recoup from this great read. Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers will LOVE this story.

Untitled Novella

Untitled Novella - Juliana  Gray This wasn't for me. The blurb seemed intriguing, and made me want to read this book. But I stopped at the 21% mark because I couldn't connect with the hero (who's in his seventies) and the heroine (who's in her fifties). I still think it's a good story and other readers will enjoy it.

Kiss Me Darkly

Kiss Me Darkly - Cecilia Gray This is a clean historical romance. It almost read like a virgin version of FSoG.
Dinah is intent on "curing" Graham from his "love" disease. She thinks there's a cure for everything and decides he'd be her test subject. Graham doesn't believe he can be cured and believes her notions are kind of out there, but he does it anyway. He's so hung up on the woman he thought was the one, he'd do anything to make the feeling go away.

As Dinah begins her experiments, which include a bit of pinching as he tells her how he met the woman of his life, they agree on a "safe word" though they don't call it that. Dinah explains its got to be something he wouldn't normally say, and how she'd cease her pinching and pulling of hair immediately when/if he says it [eye roll].

They part ways and only see each other again every year at the Belles' birthday bash, but they mail each other letters, and Graham talks her into reading more Shakespeare.

Tragedy strikes in his family. They accept their feelings for each other and just when they're ready to tell everyone about it they have to wait. It turns out others have the same announcement. Then the woman Graham thought he loved shows up again, and Dinah doesn't trust his feelings for her.

The Charmers: A Novel

The Charmers: A Novel - Elizabeth Adler The Charmers is an intriguing read only if the reader is okay with reading in first POV for multiple characters.

Mirabella inherits a beautiful Villa from an aunt whose mom had quite the story. There's a man who goes by The Boss and who's not accustomed to "no" for an answer. He wants Mirabella's Villa at all costs, even if it means he has to get rid of her.

Of course Mirabella's doesn't have a clue of what future awaits her and she sells her flat in London to relocate to her newly inherited Villa in France. On her way to the Villa she meets a young woman named Verity, who's running away from her cheating husband. Even though Mirabella's didn't want to talk to her at first, when she does she can't help herself and offers Verity a place to stay. The last high either one of them expects is to have an life threatening accident on their way to the Villa.

Then Chad shows up. He's a known surgeon and is on vacation. He's ready to claim the Villa next to his as his. Chad makes all these great plans on how he'll fix certain things, until he realizes the Villa next door to his isn't really his and instead he finds himself in the middle of a life threatening problem, and falling in love with the rightful owner of the Villa.

The Villa comes is tainted with a tragic, romantic history attached to it. It's original owner was a famous woman, who had many lovers but loved only one of them. There's a good portion of the story that's focused on her, I think that's maybe the best part of this book.

When her story is finished and you're back to the present day there are quite a things that are confusing. For instance when Verity is already at the Boss' Villa and the Colonel visits, but several chapters later Chad and the Colonel are looking for her at the hospitL and they are told the Boss took her. That seems out of order, given the Colonel had already visited her at the Villa, and the Boss kicked him out. Also there are some loose ends like the Boss' fate and Iron Man's painting.

Overall it was an okay read.

I'll See You in Paris: A Novel

I'll See You in Paris: A Novel - Michelle Gable I don't know what I expected when I first picked this book, certainly not how much I'd enjoy it. This isn't exactly a romance book, per se. Don't get me wrong, there's a romantic twist in it but not the kind you'd find in a regular romance novel.

I'm a bit confused as to who was supposed to be the main character, because at first it seemed Annie would be. Why wouldn't she? She's always wondered who's her dad and why her mom is always secretive about it. Then during an unexpected trip to Banbury she has the chance to learn about her mom's past, and how she and her mom ended up where they are.

It is then that Gladys Deacon comes into the picture and everything is like, "Forget about Annie, I like this old 90-year old lady better." Gladys Deacon holds the story together from the second chapter and forward.

Slowly, Annie discovers how Pru (Gladys' companion) and Win (an Earl who wants to be a writer) came to meet and live with Gladys, who refuses to admit she's the lost Duchess of Marlborough, and insists they call her Mrs. Spencer.

Gladys is a force to reckon with. She waves her pistol to scare people away from The Grange, her depilatory home. She assures everyone her help, Tom, lives in the barn but no one ever sees him so everyone thinks he doesn't exist but it turns out he does exist.

Gladys is seen as a menace in the small town, and she relishes it. She runs into town with her top off or naked, people are scandalized and she shrugs it off like its normal.

I laughed so hard with her antics, I kid you not. There's no better way to describe her other than "unique." She was friends with every famous person of her time and would call people of their bluff.

I loved how she gave Win and Pru the round 'bout her true identity. THAT made the story.

As for Annie, I didn't care much for her. She got on my nerves with how she demanded her mom tell her the true. I don't know. She came across almost like a whiny teenager to the point I was annoyed by her attitude. Or it could be I just wanted to know more about Glady aka Mrs. Spencer, the Duchess.

I loved this story. It's full of laughs, filled with quite a bit of true historical facts. A perfect beach read if you ask me.

Nine Women, One Dress: A Novel

Nine Women, One Dress: A Novel - Jane L Rosen This is the BEST book I've read in years. It's fantastic!

It's the perfect summer read. I promise.

It's written in first POV, and it's not your regular romance story. There are several protagonists, each with their own story and all are somehow connected to the "little black dress" of the season. Each character is unique in their own way and super funny. There were times I couldn't stop laughing, as there were other times when it had me at "aaw".

This story reminds me of my favorite Spanish TV series called "Velvet". I can say it's all because of the famous dress, the pattern maker, and the crew at Bloomingdale's.

Now I wish this could be made into a movie. It'd be my favorite.

Break In Two

Break In Two - M.J. Summers This was like a Spanish soap opera, except I like those better. Um, yeah. It's a contemporary romance and the author forgot the condoms and never addresses the unprotected sex.

~May contain spoilers~

The beginning hooked me. Claire is broken-hearted her boyfriend cheated on her. She thinks adding distance with her ex is the best thing to do and takes a job at a ranch in Colorado. The convo she has with her sister about her ex is hilarious and the scene when she first meets Cole makes you want to read more.

Then it goes down hill.

It turns out she's full of insecurities. She thinks she's overweight, not pretty, and she's super jealous, her excuse is how she was betrayed by her ex, which gets boring really quick. She goes from throwing insecurity/jealousy tantrums to being the "adult" later. It's almost as if she's bipolar and a grown up version of her surfaces.

Cole, the hero, is a different Cole at the beginning of the book to the one after he sleeps with Claire. He's got an ex that shows up with a secret baby, that turns out isn't his. But while they figure that out Claire breaks up with him.

They get into their dating history and sex, sex, sex, and more unprotected sex. My eyes might have bled a little.

Night Sins

Night Sins - Lisa Renee Jones Super sexy❣

Readers of paranormal romance will love his short story. I wanted Ethan (the vamp) to bite me heh heh. There's a scene at a nightclub that reminded me of Percy Jackson & The Olimpians: The Lightning Thief, where they can't leave the casino. There's some action and suspense.

The ending wasn't anything like I expected. I was disappointed because it wasn't predictable, what's wrong with me? I should've been delighted because it wasn't. Oh well.

Anyone looking for a bed time read, this story is it.