BOOKSHELF

4 STAR BOOKSHELF REVIEW

REVIEW : #1 Muse (#1 Series #5) by T. Gephart

 

 

#1 Muse (#1 Series, #5)

  

 #1 Muse
 #1 Series #5
 T. Gephart
 October 4th 2018

 

Landing a writing gig in Hollywood was just as difficult as becoming an actor, and something Claire Becker had learned the hard way.

Sure, she didn’t have to conform to ridiculous beauty standards and give up her love for raw cookie dough, but the sting of rejection burned all the same. The only things that kept her sane were her two amazing roommates and her guilty pleasure—writing fan-fiction.

Getting lost in her own world, she’d forget that she had yet to land her dream job, and instead spent time with her dream man—Nick Larsson. Well, at least in the literary sense. Too bad he wasn’t aware or an active participant—her fictional love life, outstanding.

Tall, good-looking and sexy beyond comprehension, Nick Larsson not only had a famous last name—and four equally smoldering brothers—but was talented beyond belief. A star on the rise with a critically acclaimed series, his body and face were what fantasy scripts—and dreams—were made of. Made for some pretty steamy writing opportunities too.

And yes, it was probably “wrong” for Claire to objectify him, but it wasn’t like anyone knew about it. Just her, and her two amazing, supportive roommates.
Or at least they were amazing and supportive, and bound to be missed after Claire killed them.

In a moment of unexplained insanity, one of them —or both, each as bad as the other—sent her latest installments to the man himself.

Cue panic of epic proportions.

All Claire needed to do was sneak into his apartment and retrieve the misappropriated story before Nick, or anyone else, read it and mistook her for a creepy stalker. Although, breaking and entering probably wouldn’t convince anyone to the contrary either.

Claire was going to get the best material of her life, or end up with a restraining order. Either way, the story was getting a hell of lot more interesting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Black by Aria Cole

Title:Black
Author :Aria Cole
Series:N/A
Release date:8 May 2016
Rating : 3 Stars
Blurb :

A beast, alone with the horrors of his past, the scar on his face a constant reminder of the man he’s become.A beauty, on the run with her life in a tailspin, finds herself on his doorstep seeking protection.Deeply misunderstood and dedicated to his life of brooding solitude, Maxwell Black is hesitant to let Elle McKellan into his home where his hideous secrets hide. But he’s unable to resist the allure of this desperate stranger. Soon the magnetism between them is undeniable, the temptation unbearable. Elle, reluctant to risk losing her heart to this dark and broken man, struggles against the sexual tension, only to surrender to the combustable heat between them. When Elle’s life catches up to her and threatens to tear them apart, Maxwell will protect the precious love he’s found by any brutal means necessary. Black is a sexy, modern spin on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and is intended for mature audiences.

Review :

I understand if you think I am spoiled – when I read a comparison in a blurb calling itself a “modern spin on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale” that raises certain expectations in me.

While it is an instant “Must Read” in my eyes (that I devoured in one session) it is also has to follow very specific “laws”. And while “Black” by Aria Cole itself basically only suffers from its Insta-love and is otherwise a nice romance.
I also struggled the most with the comparison to Beauty and the Beast.
For a book to live up to this comparison there has to be not only a slow growing romance (that is so NOT given in this book) but also an intense chemistry between the two leading characters.
Also there are certain characteristics the reader expects to find at specific points of the plot.
As I said this is a nice romance with interesting characters but the use of a Tag like Beauty and the Beast is a double edged sword – that on one side might be drawing readers of a certain kind – but on the other it is raising an expectation that this book cannot meet – which might result in less positve reviews.
I believe the prospects of this story would be better without this comparison. Maxwell and Belle are strong yet vulnerable characters – dominant yet insecure so, if the Tag had been erased and the plot had given them more time to fall in love this could have been a beautiful story.
But HEY – this is only my very personal opinion and it might be the next person feels totally different – and as it is not a bad book by all means – you should give it a try.
reviewed by

3 STAR BOOKSHELF REVIEW

REVIEW : Rescued Heart (Combat Hearts #2) by Tarina Deaton

 

 

Rescued Heart (Titan World; Combat Hearts #2)

  

Rescued Heart
Combat Hearts #2
Tarina Deaton
January 24th 2017

 

From New York Times best-selling author Cristin Harber and Tarina Deaton comes an exciting collaboration…

Please, Jordan. It’s Emme.”

The last thing Major Jordan Grant expected was to be pulled off his unit’s deployment for a civilian mission. But when Titan calls, you answer — especially when the mission is to rescue the younger sister of your childhood best friend.

Moments away from death, NGO nurse Emme France could only pray for a miracle. The last person she expected to see in the smoke and dust was Jordan Grant, her teenage crush and litmus test of all the men she’d dated ever since.

Lying low at Titan’s exotic Abu Dhabi headquarters while the media furor around her rescue settles, Emme and Jordan explore a mutual attraction that is no longer young and innocent. Days in the desert paradise ignite desire and blur reality…until they return home, where Jordan rejoins his deployed unit and Emme is left alone to reevaluate her life and priorities.

Their passion was forged in the fires of combat. Will the home fires be enough to keep the burn alive?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Spinning Out (The Blackhawk Boys #1) by Lexi Ryan

Title:Spinning Out
Author :Lexi Ryan
Series:The Blackhawk Boys #1
Release date:May 3rd 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :

Once, the only thing that mattered to me was football—training, playing, and earning my place on the best team at every level. I had it all, and I threw it away with a semester of drugs, alcohol, and pissing off anyone who tried to stop me. Now I’m suspended from the team, on house arrest, and forced to spend a semester at home to get my shit together. The cherry on my fuckup sundae? Sleeping in the room next to mine is my best friend’s girl, Mia Mendez—the only woman I’ve ever loved and a reminder of everything I regret.I’m not sure if having Mia so close will be heaven or hell. She’s off-limits—and not just because she’s working for my dad. Her heart belongs to someone else. But since the accident that killed her brother and changed everything, she walks around like a zombie, shutting out her friends and ignoring her dreams. We’re both broken, numb, and stuck in limbo.Until I break my own rules and touch her. Until she saves me from my nightmares by climbing into my bed. Until the only thing I want more than having Mia for myself is to protect her from the truth. I can’t rewrite the past, but I refuse to leave her heart in the hands of fate. For this girl, I’d climb into the sky and rearrange the stars.

SPINNING OUT is a sexy, emotional novel of 100,000 words.
It is first in the Blackhawk Boys, a series of standalone novels.
—THE BLACKHAWK BOYS. Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?
Book 1 – SPINNING OUT – Coming May 3rd (Arrow’s story)
Book 2 – RUSHING IN – Coming Summer 2016 (Christopher’s story)
Book 3 – GOING UNDER – Coming late 2016 (Sebastian’s story)
Review :

Spinning Out (The Blackhawk Boys #1) by Lexi Ryan was a good start into a new series. It was my first book by this author and I liked it.

The author makes drawing complicated relationship strings amongst the characters look easy and I can easily see some of the content of the next books.
But some of the characters are very deeply developed – others not so much – unfortunately just some of the more important ones were less developed than some of the secondary. So the balance felt a little of for me.
The basic plot twist is quite easy to guess when you think about it for a minute – drawing the conclusion though might take you a minute or so.
There are quite a lot of clichés hiding under the surface of the plot but they are worked nicely into the story. But some things you should better not wonder about – like the reasons for some of the stuff that is happening.
Just like with some movies – sometimes is better to not dig to deep into the story and simply take stuff at face value. And doing that – this book works out nicely.
It was easy to understand the dynamics of the group and feel with the leading characters.
And there were really some wise text passages in some of the chapters that deserve to be quoted – but would give away to much of the plot so I refrain from doing so.
I am looking forward to reading the next books of this series as I see some interesting plots in the future.
reviewed by

3 STAR BOOKSHELF REVIEW

REVIEW : Target: BillionBear (Upson Downs #1) by Zoe Chant

 

 

Target: BillionBear (Upson Downs, #1)

  

Target: BillionBear
 Upson Downs #1
Zoe Chant
 December 4th 2015

 

A BBW artist + a billionaire bear shifter who’s lost his memory + a mysterious murder plot = an explosive romance!

Curvy small-town painter Kesley Enkel loves her meddling family and her close-knit town of secret shifters, but is unlucky in love—until handsome billionaire Jameson walks into her life.

After the mysterious crash of his private plane, Jameson Dandridge III has no memory of his previous life. All the amnesiac bear shifter knows is that someone is trying to kill him. He plans to lie low in a peaceful small town while he figures out who he is and who wants him dead. Then he spots Kelsey. And while Jameson isn’t sure of anything else, his bear is certain that the curvy artist is his mate.

From heart-pounding battles to sizzling encounters under the stars, Jameson and Kesley fall headfirst into passion when they team up to fight Jameson’s enemies. Together they struggle to recover his memory and find out who is trying to kill him before the entire town goes up in flames. Which will win: danger or love?

This is a sizzling hot, standalone BBW bear shifter romance. No cliffhangers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : European Tour (Rocking The Pop Star, #1) by L.V. Lewis

Title :

European Tour

Author :

L.V. Lewis

Series :

Rocking The Pop Star, #1

Release date : May 16th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :
Broken. Guilt-ridden. Ready to start over.
Brody Kent walked away from the pinnacle of rock superstardom and never looked back. Financially, he never has to work again, but takes jobs as a personal assistant to keep his mind—and other things—busy. The women he works for always want something, and he’s more than willing to help. But when he’s sent to work for a pop princess, Brody will do anything to make her happy—even if it means admitting the ugly truth about his past.
Smothered. Talented. Ready to start her life.
Successful pop star, Skylar Samuelson is about to embark upon the turning point of her career—a summer tour in Europe. Her manager mother has promised to pull back and allow her full reign of the overseas tour. When Brody Kent becomes her new assistant, Skylar can’t deny the attraction. He’s perfect. Everything she’s ever wanted. But Brody’s hiding something and the truth may break her. If someone else doesn’t break her first…Lies. Betrayal. And the truth that could ruin them all.
Review :
If you are looking for a pleasant and easy “digestible” read ?
If you like Rock Stars ?
I just might have read the right novel for you then.
European Tour (Rocking The Pop Star, #1) by L.V. Lewis was my first novel by this author and I am pleasantly surprised. While there were no gut wrenching reveals or heart stopping moments in the story it was still an interesting plotline.
The authors writing is solid and the characters are well developed. For me it was a fast read that I truly enjoyed – especially after I had some very heavy books lately.
Also I enjoyed the fact that the author took her time to select a cover that truly reflects the persons that we find described in the book. As this gets more and more rare lately I feel that it deserves a special mention here.
Skylar was an interesting character – at first the reader might think she is too young. But it will be only a short time until the reader will be convinced that she is acting older than she appears. The kind of business she is in only leaves you two ways – grow up fast or loose.
And that is where we find Brody – years ago he was where Skylar is now – and he knows what can happen. He has no intention going anywhere near to where he was before… but – for Skylar ….
The hidden ugly truth’s are not really that hidden to the reader so the story flow was steady with no ups or downs in the characters emotions – at least none that I could feel. I was missing a little bit of angst – but that might also be because of all the high level heavy books I digested lately.
A really recommendable read for your summer holiday – ENJOY
reviewed by

3 STAR BOOKSHELF REVIEW

REVIEW : Fated for the Dragon (Lost Dragons #2) by Zoe Chant

 

 

Fated for the Dragon (Lost Dragons, #2)

  

Fated for the Dragon
Lost Dragons #2
Zoe Chant
February 18th 2018

 

A curvy scientist on a mission + a reclusive billionaire dragon shifter + a powerful enemy bent on revenge = one heart-pounding romance!

All his life, Isaak Vallas has been tormented by the beast that lives inside him. Desperate, he retreats to his private island, hiding away from the world in fear that his dragon will slip his control and hurt someone. But when a curvy beauty breaks into his self-imposed isolation, Isaak just might have found the one person who can calm his beast and heal the conflict inside his tortured soul.

Bird scientist Josie Torres isn’t sure what to expect when her search for the world’s rarest bird leads her to a seemingly idyllic Greek island, especially when the locals try to warn her away. Sun, sand, and surf tempt her to let her hair down, but the greatest temptation of all comes in the form of a sexy mystery man with blazing green eyes, an athlete’s body, and a family secret that could threaten them both.

Is Isaak truly the island’s monster, or merely the victim of a much greater evil? As an implacable enemy closes in on them both, Josie and Isaak must work together to untangle the secrets of Isaak’s past before he loses his mind – and his life.

Combining romance, action and a whole world of discovery, Fated for the Dragon will delight fans of TS Joyce, Terry Bolryder, and Harmony Raines. Pick up this steamy, action-packed standalone BBW interracial romance today! No cliffhangers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Play Your Heart Out (Sinful Serenade #4) by Crystal Kaswell

Title:Play Your Heart Out
Author :Crystal Kaswell
Series:Sinful Serenade #4
Release date:May 30th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :
Four Months Playing a Rock Star’s Girlfriend? Easy peasy.
Doing it without falling in love with him… Not as easy.
Jess James is starting a new life in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from everyone expects her to cover up their bad behavior with white lies. She’s devoted to two things: law school and honesty. Only she hasn’t got the money to pay her tuition. Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has a reputation to maintain. The rock star is known as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that his ex-girlfriend tore his heart out by sleeping with his best friend. Screwing his way through Los Angeles is getting him the wrong kind of attention.
He needs to clean up his newly acquired bad boy image and Jess is just the woman for the job. Their arrangement is simple: she plays his girlfriend, he pays her tuition. It’s four months, no strings attached. They’ll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they’re alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her groaning his name. Jess is used to keeping up appearances. She can play the tall, dark, handsome rock star’s girlfriend no problem. But can she really do it without falling in love with him?
Review :

There are books that can be read as standalone – those that should be read as standalone (yes even in a series those exist) and than there are books like “Play Your Heart Out” by Crystal Kaswell.

You will be perfectly able to read it as a standalone. I mean I did it – it was my first in that series. BUT … to be honest – I regret it
Why ?
easy answer – because I spoilered myself right in the middle of this amazing series and I know now already too much of what I missed out – because I did not read the first books. Sure – I can still read the first books (and I probably will given the time) but still there is nothing like the first impression – and this is now spoilered – unfortunately.
So – coming back to the book. Jess and Pete’s story is a great one. Clearly I have no idea how the first books went – except that I know their endings but Pete is a really interesting character.
The plotline expects Pete to be the opposite of what he is – or so it looks at the beginning when Jess first meets him.
But there is much more to that guy than the first impression she has of him and the more Jess finds out the more the story gets intriguing – because I can not remember ever reading a plot that turns into the same direction as this one.
In parts readers might have read similar things but nothing where those parts are combined like this. It was refreshing.
At times I had a little problem following Pete’s reasons for being hot and cold as they seemed random – but it could be explained by him being simply human, so it was ok.
I really liked this book and it went just short of the 5 stars because of my unbreakable rule that 5 stars will only be given if I get emotional – and as I did not cry or had a laughing fit – it just missed this 5th star by an inch …
reviewed by

3 STAR BOOKSHELF REVIEW

REVIEW : The Christmas Dragon’s Mate (Christmas Valley Shifters #1) by Zoe Chant

 

 

The Christmas Dragon's Mate (Christmas Valley Shifters #1)

  

The Christmas Dragon’s Mate
 Christmas Valley Shifters #1
Zoe Chant
November 26th 2016

 

A lonely bookkeeper in search of Christmas + a mysterious dragon shifter with a past full of pain + a beautiful snow castle hiding a ruthless enemy = one glittering Christmas romance!

All her life, curvy Dara Jenkins has dreamed of a White Christmas. But when she drives into the mountains for the holidays, what she finds instead is a snow storm that threatens to claim her life. To Dara’s amazement, she’s rescued by an ice dragon – who turns into a sexy, charismatic man who hasn’t left his snow castle in twenty years.

Henrik Drakeson is a dragon shifter who lost his parents long ago in a terrible accident. For most of his life, he has carried that burden with him, choosing loneliness over the happy visitors that once came to the family’s snow castle every winter. He’s promised himself he’d stay forever alone, so he’d never hurt anyone again – until his mate suddenly appears on his doorstep in a snow storm, bringing all the joy and cheerfulness of Christmas to his lonely home.

Can Dara heal the pain of his wounded heart? And can they uncover the truth about his past – and defend each other against the ruthless enemy behind the old tragedy?

This is a sizzling hot, standalone BBW dragon shifter holiday romance. No cliffhangers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOOKSHELF RAMBLINGS REVIEW

REVIEW : Recovery Road by Danielle Donaldson

Title :

Recovery Road

Author :

Danielle Donaldson

Series :

n/a

Release date : April 29th 2016
Rating : 4 Stars
Blurb :
Catalina Montgomery has survived an explosion. She is burned, battered and, suddenly, a widow. Now Catalina is left to wrestle with her grief and depression while raising her young daughter on her own. Only with the help of her friends, including her late husband’s best friend, can she walk back into the sun.
Evan Bowers has shamefully been in love with his best friend’s girl for his whole life. Now that Hudson is gone and Catalina is on her own, his feelings bubble to the surface once again. His haunting past and the shadow of his best friend’s death hangs heavy on his heart. Will he manage to help Catalina through her grief or will he let his own turmoil destroy them both?
Ghosts linger in the shadows but there’s always a chance for love to win in this angst-filled contemporary romance novel.
Review :

Recovery Road is a shorter novel by Danielle Donaldson that introduces us to a young family enjoying their lives just deeply enough to make the reader feel the loss when it happens. Reading the Blurb it was obvious that something was going to happen but the way it did felt surreal so it was kind of like one would imagine it to happen for real.

Trying to get her life back on track Catalina is facing all the obstacles you could imagine in her place. But she can rely on her friends who do not shy away from drastic measures to help her – cleverly also involving Hudson’s friend – who is feeling almost as bad as she does.
During the journey of this book the reader gets to notice that Evan was clearly more involved in Catalina’s life than she realized. And while working through her grief she also helps Evan to bring a focus into his life that was already full of obstacles before Hudson died.
The reader would think from its Blurb that the focus is on question if Catalina can work through her grief to open herself to Evan. But I believe the question is also if Evan is able to let Catalina in because he loved her for so long that now even with his best friend being gone it still feels wrong to him.
The stages of grief as described in the story felt real and the story was well developed – therefore I can recommend this book to everybody that considers the Blurb interesting.
reviewed by

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