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Leader of the Pack - Roxanne St. Claire

I've adored each of the books in The Dogfather series so far. I honestly love each family member in the Kilcannon clan, but have extra special love for the Dogfather, Daniel. I love how he is set on finding mates for each of his children and was so glad to get Liam's story with The Leader of the Pack.

 

I loved every single thing about The Leader of the Pack. I loved that Liam is so much like his dad that he knew as soon as he met Andi three years ago, she was the woman for him. Andi and Liam had the best chemistry and I loved that Liam really had waited around for Andi. While the reason they started seeing each other again wasn't ideal, her house being broken into and needing protection, I loved that Liam stepped up in every way possible. He was so sweet to teach Andi's son Christian how to handle Jag, the guard dog Liam brings to help keep both Andi and Christian safe. I have to say I adored watching Christian come out of his shell the more time he trained with and was around Jag. 

 

I somewhat understood Andi's hesitancy to have a man in her life after her ex had left her life and his loss had been so huge for their son Christian. However, I also knew she was so attracted to Liam and I didn't get her not being happy just to protect her son. I love that Liam connected so well with Christian through Jag and loved watching Liam, Andi, and Christian move towards being a real family. I also loved seeing Liam and Andi connecting on every level and becoming a real couple. Seriously Liam and his love for Andi and Christian was so freaking sexy.

 

There were several twists and turns along the way in The Leader of the Pack. Some I saw coming, others I didn't. I loved how protective Liam was of both Andi and Christian. I also loved that Christian had Jag to protect him at all times. I felt so many emotions along with the characters as I read The Leader of the Pack and I loved every single minute of the story.

 

The Leader of the Pack is another winner in the Dogfather series from Roxanne St. Claire. The romance between Andi and Liam was beautiful to see grow into a real relationship. I also loved watching Andi, Christian, and Liam become a real family. I also loved all the time we got to spend with the Kilcannon clan. I fall more and more in love with this family with each new book in the series. Ms. St. Claire once again gives her readers an amazing romance that will keep her readers coming back for more.

 

Rating: 5 Stars (A+)

HOT Valor (Hostile Operations Team - Book 11) (Volume 11) - Lynn Raye Harris

HOT Valor is the book the fans of the Hostile Operations Team books have been waiting for. Colonel John Mendez finally got his book and it was absolute perfection. I loved every single minute of reading HOT Valor. I will be very vague in my review as I don't want to give away any important details to the story, so I'm just going with my feelings with this book.

First of all Mendez/Viper remains my absolute favorite character in this series. I love that even when he is set up to take the fall, he will do everything within his powers to protect both is country and the men and women in his command. Seriously reading HOT Valor only made me fall more in love with Mendez. I found myself experiencing so many emotions along with the characters. Seriously time with Mendez and Kat about ripped my heart out at times. As the back cover copy says Kat is really Valentina, and she had to fake her death to protect Mendez, it killed me when they would talk about the past and she couldn't tell him everything. 

I was pleasantly surprised to actually enjoy the amount of time Ian Black was featured in HOT Valor. I've always thought there was more to him than we knew, and really loved seeing him in a bit of a different light. I really do want him to get his story at some point in the future now. I will say I expected to be more surprised by the reveal of Phoenix than I was, but honestly it made perfect sense for this person to be Phoenix all along.

HOT Valor has all the action and adventure I've come to expect from the Hostile Operations Team series as well as a rip your heart out romance with a crying happy tears resolution. I've loved so many books in this series, but have to say HOT Valor is my absolute favorite. I highly recommend HOT Valor as well as the entire series.


Rating: 5 Stars (A+)
Review copy provided by publisher

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You - Bella Andre

I fell in love with Summer Lake when we first visited there with the Sullivans. I loved so many of the residents and was excited to see they would get their very own stories in a spin-off series. Christie Hayden was one of those characters I really wanted to know more about and I'm so glad to get her story in Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You.

 

When we first met Christie, she  had been engaged to her best friend Wesley Kane, but they have since called off the wedding and the next day Wesley disappeared to leave Christie to handle the inn and his family. He also make Christie promise not to share the real reason for them ending their engagement. I love that Christie is such a great friend to everyone she meets. Christie is such a strong person who is truly only loving to find her true love and happiness.

 

Enter Wesley's older brother Liam, who has sold his business, is only back in Summer Lake because he was coming home for Christie and Wesley's wedding. As he has been traveling out of the country he never received the letter Wesley sent him about the cancellation of the wedding. As Liam has a very stressful relationship with his parents, he tends to stay away from Summer Lake. However, once he meets Christie, there is no way he can leave, even if it means being around his parents again.

 

I loved seeing Liam change the more time his spent around Christie. She does as well, as Liam challenges Christie to face her fears along the way, but Liam finally seems to find the means to forgive his mom thanks to Christie. Liam and Christie had amazing chemistry and yet there was also a sweetness about them that totally made me sign when I thought of them as a couple.Yes mistakes between them are made, but they each went big in the end to show how much they loved one another.

 

Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You was another winner from Bella Andre. Once again Ms. Andre made me fall in love with the setting as well as the couple in the center of the story. I loved that Christie and Liam's romance was front and center, yet the entire Kane family was also the focus as we learned about three generations in Summer Lake. Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You gave me all the feels and I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary romance.

 

Rating: 5 stars (A-)

 

The Legend - Donna Grant

The Legend is the 3rd book in the Sons of Texas series from Donna Grant. I had somehow missed the first 2 books in the series, but felt like the author did a great job catching the reader up on the history of the Loughman family and the other characters in the series. 

 

I enjoyed The Legend. I really loved that Callie and Wyatt had something between them from their past that Wyatt's family didn't ever know for sure happened. The tension and banter between Callie and Wyatt with everything going on honestly made me laugh many times, which was welcome as this book had so many stressful situations. I absolutely loved that both Callie and Wyatt are so protective of the other. I also loved discovering that Wyatt was the reason Callie's family had stayed away for so long.

 

I do feel like since I picked up The Legend, and it is the third book in the series I missed out on some key elements to the other members of the Loughman family and other characters from the series. I was able to catch on pretty quickly to the various bad guy characters, but it took me a minute each time a new person was mentioned. I loved the romantic suspense elements to the story and felt like Ms. Grant did a great job keeping her readers wanting more. So much so, that I plan to go back and read the first 2 books in the series to better understand all the choices made to date.

 

I adored Callie and Wyatt as a couple and even with all the turmoil around them. They had super hot chemistry and I was honestly surprised they waited so long to act upon that chemistry. They also truly loved each other and it showed in all the little and big things they did for one another. I enjoyed watching them both finally admit to their feelings and move towards a future together.

 

I'll say it now. I felt like this book had a bit of a cliffhanger ending. I honestly thought this book would wrap up the series, so imagine my surprise when everything wasn't tied up with a bow at the end. Yes I understood as the book ended we need at least one more story to get the whole Loughman family story, but I was expecting it to wrap up with The Legend, so it put me off a little at the end. That being said, I really enjoyed Ms. Grant's voice and look forward to reading more books from her in the future.

 

Rating: 3.5 Stars (B)

Review copy provided by publisher

Cold Memory (Extrasensory Agents) - Leslie A. A. Kelly

I've loved Leslie Kelly's books since I first discovered her writing. I adore her sexy romances, but truly believe she found her voice when she started writing her darker paranormal romance/romantic suspense books. Seriously her Black CATs and Extrasensory Agents books keep me on the edge of my seat while reading and even awake at night as I don't want to stop reading until I know everything that has happened. Cold Memory is absolutely another winner in the Extrasensory Agents series.

 

First let me just say finding out Mick's history with his grandfather had me crying like a freaking baby. It's not very often I want to throat-punch a character, but I wanted to throat-punch his grandfather. His abuse of an innocent child had me ready to kill a fictional character, and I can only remember that happening with one character before in another series. 

 

I love that Mick and Gypsy had known each other as kids. No they really weren't friends growing up, but because they had both been around the carnival, they understood the lifestyle and how to work to solve the mystery before someone they both love is a victim. I liked that Gypsy and Mick both gave each other crap from childhood even as adults. However, I absolutely loved how Gypsy went out of her way to be in Mick's environment without causing him issues later. Mick's touch ability has always kept him from letting too many people into his home and his life. I loved that Gypsy thought of ways to keep Mick's home safe from her presences as much as possible. I absolutely loved seeing Mick and Gypsy grow closer and finally act on the attraction that had been building between them from the moment they saw each other again.

 

I'm usually pretty good about figuring out the who-done-it in a romantic suspense. I will say I figured out the why long before I figured out the who. With each new murder it was easier and easier to see a connection between the characters. I was very surprised with the death of a character that had nothing to do with the other murders occurred. I understood it needed to happen, but I had really come to like this character, so it broke my heart to witness that death.

 

Ms. Kelly kept me on the edge of my seat pretty much from the start of Cold Memory. It had all the elements of a great romance, with the addition of paranormal elements and suspense, which I absolutely adore. I'm so glad to see we will get more books in the Extrasensory Agents series in the future and am still hoping for one particular character's story. I highly recommend Cold Memory to all readers who love romances with strong paranormal and suspenseful elements.

 

Rating: 5 Stars (A)

Scored - Marquita Valentine

Marquita Valentine has been an auto-buy author for me from the moment I found my first book by her. Not sure if it is a Southern thing or what, but I get her voice in every single book and each one becomes my new favorite release. Scored was another winner from Ms. Valentine. Let me just say I fell for Dallas Drake from the moment he appeared on the page. I love a sexy football player, and add in a football player who actually wants to help others, and you had me at hello. I also loved that Paige didn't immediately jump to be with Dallas, which obviously was something new for the football stud. I think part of it was because her older sister Finley had always told Paige to stay away from sports guys, but part of it was just who Paige was. I love that she is all about the romantic hero thanks to all the romance books she has read. I loved that Dallas accepted that Paige needed to take thinks somewhat slow. No it wasn't his usual style with women, but it was different with Paige from the very beginning. Paige makes Dallas keep their relationship under wraps, which is so not the norm for him. I fell in love with Paige and Dallas as a couple long before either one of them admitted to being a couple. They had amazing chemistry and their lovemaking steamed up my kindle screen. I also love that Dallas puts the final decision about them being a couple in Paige's hands. She had to be strong enough to be open with their relationship with her family and friends. I loved Paige visits her mama to talk things over and she finally asked Finley for help with everything. While everything didn't happen exactly how Dallas wanted it to, it was perfect the way Paige found her voice and courage to own their relationship. Scored is a stand-alone book from Marquita Valentine, though I really want books from a few of the characters we met. Scored was a fun, sexy and fast read and I highly recommend it to readers who love contemporary romance. Rating: 5 Stars (A) Review copy provided by publisher

New Leash on Life - Roxanne St. Claire

New Leash on Life is the second book in Roxanne St. Claire's wonderful new Dogfather series. I loved that Shane Kilcannon was the second sibling to get his story. Shane Kilcannon and Chloe Somerset are pretty much as different as night and day. He works as a dog trainer, and doesn't care about getting dirty on the job. Chloe is a marketing expert who seriously hates to have a hair out of place. However, those differences made me absolutely love them as a couple long before they actually became one.

Neither Shane nor Chloe are looking for anything more than a temporary arrangement, as Chloe is only in Bitter Bark to help her aunt, who is the mayor, find a great marketing plan to put Bitter Bark on the map. Shane isn't looking for more than a temporary arrangement because he doesn't believe in love lasting forever. Both Shane and Chloe have issues from their past that color their present. I have to say I found Chloe stepping outside of her comfort zone way faster than I expected when we first met her. I have to say I was pretty shocked when she agreed to dog sit Daisy, but loved watching her truly fall in love with a pet and get past her need to always be perfectly put together.

Shane was very instrumental in getting Chloe to get past so many of her issues, and I loved the more time they spent together, the more they both wanted to be together. Shane and Chloe's chemistry was pretty obvious from their first kiss the day they met, and it only grew the more time they spent together. I fell in love with them as a couple right along with each of them.

I also love that Shane's dad Daniel made an appearance once again. I love the wisdom he shares with his children when it comes to both life and love. I honestly love getting to spend time with the entire Kilcannon clan, but Daniel has wormed his way into a special place in my heart pretty quickly. Gramma Finnie and her humor add to each experience with the Kilcannon's, and honestly makes me want to spend time with this family.

New Leash On Life was a wonderful addition to the Dogfather series. It was filled with all the emotions one expects from a romance but to the next level. Rocki gives her readers a story filled with love and laughter that makes you want to read this story over and over again.

Rating: 5 Stars (A)

COLD SIGHT: Extrasensory Agents Book 1 - Leslie A. Kelly

I am a huge fan when it comes to books by Leslie Kelly, and I’m proud to admit it. I originally read all the Black CATs and Extrasensory Agents books when they were first released under the pen name Leslie Parrish and fell in love with both series. Ms. Kelly has since re-edited and added additional content to all of the books and re-released them under her own name, Leslie A. Kelly. Cold Sight is the first book in Leslie Kelly’s exciting Extrasensory Agents series. I try not to put spoilers in my reviews, but there are a few semi-spoilers to come. I can say with totally honesty that I loved this book. It pushed me emotionally on every level and kept me thinking about the story long after I’d finished reading. Lexie Nolan feels in her gut there is a serial killer targeting teen girls in her town. Since the girls who have been targeted so far are all from the “wrong side of the tracks” no one believes her. When Vonnie Jackson turns up missing, Lexie seeks help in a somewhat unusual source. Aidan McConnell has psychic abilities and Lexie hopes he can help her find Vonnie before another teen girl disappears forever. Aidan is the first person to actually believe Lexie about the missing girls. Aidan had actually met Vonnie before and had been having visions of a young woman, but had not put it together yet. As Aidan helps Lexie investigate, they grow closer each day. Lexie and Aidan discover a group of affluent men in the small town are behind a very distasteful practice. They would “borrow” many young girls from the wrong side of the tracks to use at will for their carnal pleasure and entertainment. Ms. Kelly doesn’t actually show us the flashbacks, but since Vonnie was one of the young girls, she has memories, and luckily we just don’t have to see them just know they existed. The adults in the small town of Granville want to shove the missing girls under the mat, with the exception of Lexie and Aidan. Only after the students of the two town schools push for their friend Vonnie, do the adults have to admit something is going on. At this point in the story, Ms. Kelly throws a curve ball at the reader that made me cry my eyes out. A principle supporting character, which I didn’t see on the chopping block, is murdered by our villain. As this young girl is from the “right side of the tracks”, the police immediately rush into action. I totally understand why this character had to die, since it was extremely pivotal to the outcome of the book. But it didn’t make it any easier for me to read. I will say I loved reading about the strength of Vonnie. Even at one of the most horrific times in her life, she is still trying to figure out a way to take down the person who kidnapped her and get away. Such strength in a time of terror was inspiring to read. I had trouble figuring out the “bad guy” in the Black CATs series, until the last book. I’m happy to say I had the actual villain within my 3 suspects. Although Cold Sight has paranormal elements, I would say it is more a story of psychological suspense than a paranormal. The romance between Aidan and Lexie was filled with sexual tension and banter and I couldn’t wait for them to finally give in to their attraction. Leslie Kelly gives her readers a roller coaster ride with Cold Sight. Even with the bumps and surprises, I totally enjoyed the ride. I look forward to more books in the Extrasensory Agents series in the future. Rating: 5 Stars (A)

Blade Bound - Chloe Neill

I absolutely couldn't wait to read Blade Bound and was full of dread at the same time. Seriously love the Chicagoland Vampire series, so I was both excited and sad to read the final book in the series. This review will be full of spoilers about the series, so if you are behind on reading the series, you have been warned.

 

Chloe Neill gave her readers everything they could have ever wanted with Blade Bound in my opinion. We had the romance between Ethan and Merit I've come to love. Their wedding was everything I had wanted and was so perfect for them. We had the action packed fighting we have come to expect from Ethan and Merit, along with help from all their friends. Cadogan House and friends were as usual the only ones who could come up with the solution needed to solve the problems in Chicago. We even had a few prophecies from Gideon that came to fruition, though I have to say I had not figured out how it would happen. I seriously had all the feels for every single thing that happened in this book. I listened to the audiobook and wanted to pull out my kindle and re-read this story as soon as I finished listening to the book. 

 

I've loved the Chicagoland Vampire series since I read the very first book. Yes, I totally had issue with a few things that happened along the way, but I trusted Ms. Neill to fix the situation and she always has to my satisfaction. I will miss my time with Ethan, Merit and all their friends, but Ms. Neill gave her readers the perfect going away gift. Well done Ms. Neill, well done.

 

Rating: 5 Stars (A)

Digital review copy provided by publisher 

Going In Deep - Carly Phillips

I've loved each of the Billionaire Bad Boys books along the way. I'll be honest and say when I saw Ms. Phillips was going to write a redemption book for Julian Dane, I honestly didn't see how she could do it based upon what he had done to Kendall. I'm so very happy to say not only was I wrong, and Ms. Phillips gave her readers her very best book I've read to date.

 

I really hated Julian for using Kendall in the way he did in Going Down Easy, and have to say the first way he started redeeming himself to me was by owning his past choices rather than saying they were mistakes. I also started to take into consideration he was unaware of Kendall's illness when they were together, as Kendall had never shared the fact she was bipolar, though that still didn't give Julian the right to use Kendall. As Julian started to share his background and his family's background with Kendall, it gave me more insight into why he became and addict and made the choice he made along the way.  Julian truly had been through hell and back and while I didn't agree with many of his actions, I did finally understand why he made the choices from his past.

 

Kendall had been through hell thanks to her mental illness. Now that she is finally able to stay on a solid therapy plan, medicine plan, and has found an outlet and a job she loves working with rescue dogs. She is just starting to feel like her life is on a firm footing when Julian shows back up in her life. I loved that Kendall was super wary of Julian when he first showed up, even as she was still completely drawn to him. I found myself loving that while Kendall didn't fall right back in with Julian, she did listen to him explain his past and finally shared her medical issues as well. 

 

Kendall and Julian totally had an uphill battle to be in a long-term relationship with Kendall's family. While I felt like Kendall and Julian both made mistakes in the present with regards to their future, I loved they both came out strong once each got their heads back on straight. The chemistry between Kendall and Julian was every bit as strong as it was in the past. I actually felt it was even stronger now, as they both were being honest with one another.

 

Going in Deep gave me all the feels. I laughed, sighed, got angry a few times, and cried both sad and happy tears. I love when a story makes me feel a myriad of emotions, and Ms. Phillips did it in spades with Going in Deep. Julian and Kendall's redemption story was everything and more than I expected, and is hands down one of the best stories Carly Phillips has ever written.

 

Rating: 5 Stars (A+) 

Review copy provided by publisher

Snared (Elemental Assassin) - Jennifer Estep

I've been a fan of the Elemental Assassin series from the very first book. Honestly it is one of those series I generally read and listen to the audiobook later because I love the series so much. I'm really enjoying the mystery of the members of The Circle and the leader of The Circle. 

 

Snared was a good addition to the Elemental Assassin series. I will say I wish we had a bit more focus on discovering more of the members and the leader of The Circle, rather than suddenly having a serial killer in Ashland. I'll just say, I find it hard to believe Gin, especially with Silvio as her assistant, had no idea there was a potential serial killer in Ashland. Yes she had been busy, but she is normally better about keeping up with everything in Ashland. I did enjoy the Dollmaker storyline, especially as we learned the motive behind the killer's mindset. 

 

I did want more from the Circle, especially as Gin was going after Damien Rivera as the weakest link of the members. I have to say I'm totally and completely intrigued by the vampire Tucker and the fact that while a member of the Circle, he seems to keep saving Gin. I do think he has probably done so for the last time without having issues with the leader of the Circle.

 

I had a couple of other issues with Snared, but honestly they are issues that have popped up before in books, so it isn't something that will keep me from reading and enjoying each book. Gin has an innate sense to go with her gut instinct and yet there were several times in Snared she ignored her gut and there were issues because of it. I get because of childhood trauma she could have blocked out memories about people from her past. However, it seems like her dreams that give her back those memories always pop up after she has met the person from her past without recognition. I get it a time or two, but it seems to be a running issue for Gin. She is such a smart and kick-ass character, I find it hard to believe her memory could be that bad. 

 

I will say even with the issues I mentioned, it didn't take away from my overall enjoyment of Snared nor would it ever keep me from continuing to read the series. I love seeing Gin continue to work to clean up Ashland and work with her friends to solve each problem as it happens. Honestly, Snared made me even more excited about Gin's future battle with the members of the Circle. 

 

Rating: 4 Stars (B) 

Review copy provided by publisher

Feels Like the First Time - Marina Adair

I absolutely adore a friends to lovers romance. Honestly it is one of my absolute favorite romance troupes. Marina Adair hit all the right buttons for me in Feels Like the First Time.

 

I love every single thing about Ali Marshall. She is a strong woman who runs her own business and is always there to take care of friends and family. She also knows her own mind and puts her own needs on the back burner to help others out at times, so much so that even though she is insanely attracted to Bradly Hawk, she remains only friends with him since he is her sister's ex-husband.

 

I have to say the chemistry between Ali and Hawk was pretty awesome from their very first encounter. Even their playful banter was so flirtatious. I seriously bought into them as a couple long before Ali created her fauxmance with Hawk. They had amazing passion and I especially loved that Hawk accepted Ali just as she was and didn't expect her to change at all. 

 

I did worry how much pressure Ali put on herself to always be there for everyone else while putting many of her needs last. I think her family especially had come to expect her to take up the slack, and it was refreshing to finally see her sister Bridget offer to help, even if she stumbled a bit along the way.

 

I really enjoyed Feels Like the First Time, which is the 2nd book in the Destiny Bay series. As I missed reading the first book in the series, I can say with certainty that Feels Like the First Time reads very well as a stand alone story. I will also say I have already bought the first book to go back and read, as I hate reading books in a series out of order. I found Feels Like the First Time to be a sexy and emotional romance and a really super fast read, as I couldn't put the book down.

 

Rating: 4 Stars (B)

Review copy provided by publisher

Sit...Stay...Beg - Roxanne St. Claire

Roxanne St. Claire introduces us to the Kilcannon clan in The Dogfather series. I absolutely fell in love with the members of the Kilcannon clan we met in Sit...Stay...Beg and have a special love for the patriarch Daniel and his plans for his family. Sit...Stay...Beg is Garrett Kilcannon's book and I quickly fell for this amazing man.

 

I loved that the Kilcannon clan ran a dog rescue and training facility at their home on Waterford Farm. I loved that each member of the family had their own special skills when working with the rescue dogs. Garrett Kilcannon is pretty much a dog whisperer when it comes to rescues. However, it seems the only person their latest rescue Lola connects with is journalist Jessica Jane Curtis. Jessie grew up as Garrett's little sister's best friend and loved being at Waterford Farm and with the Kilcannon family when she was growing up. She now has the chance of a lifetime to job waiting if she can only get an in depth expose on Garrett Kilcannon, who hates the media with a passion. 

 

Jessie and Garrett also have a bit of history and the attraction they had a teenagers has only intensified as adults. I especially loved that Garrett needed Jessie's help with their new rescue Lola. Lola was the sweetest dog on the face of the planet and instantly fell in love with Jessie and the feeling was completely mutual. I felt like Lola was an important part of Garrett and Jessie's relationship. She was the reason they initial reason they spent more time together, as Jessie was the only one to get Lola to eat at first. I loved the more time Garrett spent with Jessie, the easier it was for him to open up about the secrets from his past. While Garrett and Jessie's romance had some bumps along the way, I loved watching them find happiness together.

 

Sit...Stay...Beg was an amazing start to a new series from Roxanne St. Claire. I loved the fact the Kilcannon clan is so large and honestly fell in love with each and every member of the family we met. I'm a big fan of big families and add in the rescue dog element, and I was in heaven while I read. I'm so excited that each member of the Kilcannon family will get their own book in The Dogfather series. Ms. St. Claire has once again delivered an amazing series for her readers and old fans and new fans will be completely enchanted by the family. 

 

 

Rating: 5 Stars (A)

Review copy provided by publisher

Faking It - Carly Phillips, Erika Wilde

Faking It is the 2nd book in the Book Boyfriend series from Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde. Seriously two of my absolute favorite authors teaming up to give me book heaven once again. I loved everything about Max and Hailey's story.

 

I absolutely fell in love with Max Sterling as I read more and more of Faking It. He is such a sexy and strong hero. He actually looks at people and sees them for more than what is on the outside. I loved how much he cared for and wanted Hailey pretty much from the moment they met. I also loved how attracted Hailey was to Max from the moment they met. So much so that he was on her mind when they were away from one another. I adored Hailey and Max as a couple. Their attractions was off the charts hot and Max helped Hailey see herself the way he saw her. 

 

The fake engagement between Max and Hailey was destined to be real pretty much from the moment they agreed to it. Max and Hailey both liked each other as individuals, but needed help for personal reasons and business reasons. Max wanted to get away from stalker Addison, who was a family friend who wouldn't take no for an answer and Hailey is a successful matchmaker with no boyfriend. Max and Hailey worked on every level as a couple for me. Max took things slowly to earn Hailey's trust and Hailey became so much happier and stronger for having Max in her life first as a friend and then a lover.

 

Faking It was one of those books I wanted to re-read as soon as I finished reading it the first time. In fact, I've already read it twice and loved it just as much on the second reading. Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde give their readers characters to fall in love with and feel like you could be friends with as well. I highly recommend Faking It to all lovers of contemporary romances.

 

Rating: 5 Stars (A)

Review copy provided by publisher

The Chosen: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood - J.R. Ward

JR Ward books from the Black Dagger Brotherhood have been my crack since I read the very first book years ago. I pre-order each book as soon as it is available and devour it as fast as possible knowing I have a year to wait for my next fix. The Chosen is the latest book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it. I will warn now, there are spoilers in this review. I usually try not to put spoilers in a review, but there were just a few things that happened that I cannot not mention to get my thoughts across.

 

I really haven't been the biggest fan of the whole Layla/Xcor pairing in the past. I have to say that even after reading their book, I still am not the biggest fan of the pairing. I honestly didn’t feel like the chemistry between Xcor and Layla was anywhere as hot as I’ve come to expect and love from the BDB series. Yes they had lots of sex, but it just didn’t feel hot to me. I will say I have way more respect for both characters after reading The Chosen. I actually ended up really liking Xcor as a character. He showed over and over again that he was a good man and based upon his past, it had to come from something inside him. Seriously his back-story made me just want to hug him. Again, I've never been a huge fan of Layla as she has always been way to whiny for my taste. I did love how she stood up to Qhuinn to protect her children and her rights to her children. I do think she messed up by seeing Xcor without telling anyone while she was pregnant, even while I understood her justification in her mind. She truly never believed Xcor would do anything to hurt her or her babies as she saw something in him other didn't see.

 

Let me just go ahead and say both Tohr and Qhuinn both lost their minds for a bit in The Chosen. Qhuinn absolutely made me want to kick him in the junk when he opened fire in the room with Layla and their children. OMG it was like someone had taken over his body and mind because he was completely out of control. He was an ass to both Layla and Blay and really just made me dislike him on a level I've never felt before. I also had major issues with how he wouldn't go near his daughter Lyric because she looked so much like Layla. I've always loved me some Blay, and when he stood up to Qhuinn and sold him off after Qhuinn lost it, I only loved Blay more than ever. Tohr was also not in a good place during The Chosen. So much so that he directly violated orders from Wrath. Honestly Tohr has been off the rails before, so it really didn't surprise me him going against Wrath's orders. I will say he made up for his mistakes by the end of the book.

 

We had more time than we usually get with Wrath as the King in The Chosen. I've loved Wrath since Dark Lover, and loved getting to see him as King in The Chosen. Seriously, Wrath was large and in charge and he cracked me up so many times. His humor absolutely made this book more enjoyable. 

 

There was also the start of some issues between V and Jane in The Chosen. They really haven't been all that close over the last couple books, so the distance didn't come as a huge shock. However, the fact that V absolutely at one point said he was considering cheating on Jane really bothered me to no end. While at the Q&A in Cincinnati over the weekend, Ward said that she doesn't really write a true happily ever after but more of a happy for now story. While I'm not a huge fan of that with a committed couple, I will read on to see what she does with their relationship.

 

So The Chosen absolutely is not my favorite book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but there were things about it I did like. At the Q&A, Ward announced the next book in the series is The Thief, which will be Sola and Assail's book. I have never been a fan of Assail, and am honestly not looking forward to this story, but will read it as I think we will get the resolution between Jane and V in The Thief. 

 

Rating: 3.5 Stars (B-)

Sweeter than Ever - Bella Andre

Sweeter Than Ever gave me all the feels as I was reading it. My love for Smith and Valentina is great and getting their honeymoon story was one of the best gifts ever from Bella Andre.

 

I adored every single thing about Sweeter Than Ever. Yes there were so many sweet moments, but there were just as many sexy moments between Smith and Valentina. Honestly there is just something about Smith and Valentina as a couple that I absolutely adore, and I loved getting to spend more time with them. Seriously if something could happen on a honeymoon, it happened to Smith and Valentina.

 

Sweeter Than Ever had me sighing happy sighs and laughing out loud unexpectedly.  I adore all of the Sullivans we have met to date and always enjoy getting to spend time with couples after they have found their happily ever after. Sweeter Than Ever is the absolute perfect story for every fan of the Sullivans and especially Smith and Valentina.

 

Rating: 5 Stars (A+)

Review copy provided by publisher