Category Archives: Adult fiction (characters in late 20s+)

Review: Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett (Star Harbor #2)

Summary: In the second book of the Star Harbor Series, Seb’s twin brother, Theo, returns to Star Harbor in an effort to shake his writer’s block.  Theo is a widely successful author of fiction and his editor has been breathing down his neck.  Feeling stifled by his life in San Fransisco, he decides some time in his hometown might be just what he needs to gain some perspective and refocus on his work.  After a tragedy at work, social worker Avery takes a leave from her job in Boston to travel to Star Harbor to help her aunt run the Inn.  She meets Theo when he takes a room at the Inn and sparks fly from their first meeting.  Theo is immediately intrigued by Avery and pursues her relentlessly, convinced that if Avery would just open up that they could have something magical.  But, despite her deep attraction to him, Avery refuses to let Theo in, which might cause her to lose him forever.  Add some bumps in the night (is the Inn haunted?) and the return of the hilarious cast of characters from the first book in the series (including 3 more hot Grayson brothers) and you get a fast-pased and entertaining contemorary romance novel.

Rating: 4/5

Reasons: I really liked this book! The second book in the Star Harbor series, this book picks right up where the last one left off.  And if you liked Seb Grayson, you will LOVE his twin brother Theo!  He was such a great guy – honest, direct, romantic and a really sweet guy.  But, like all “alpha males” he knew what he wanted and went for it – Avery.  I also really enjoyed Avery’s character.  She was strongwilled, dedicated to her job and her clients, and focussed on helping her aunt through a difficult time.  She was awesome.

I really enjoyed the return of all of our favourite characters, including the last 2 Grayson brothers.  The author was already setting us up for the next installment, which I will definitely read. 

The author added in some “action” to keep things moving, and I found that this helped with the pacing of the book.

Overall, it was a great read and I would definitely recommend this book (and series) to anyone looking for a good contemporary romance.

*This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Advertisements

Review: Deep Autumn Heat (Star Harbor #1) by Elisabeth Barrett

Summary: In order to escape an abusive ex-boyfriend, Lexie Meyers moves across the country from California to Star Harbor, Massachusetts.  An amazing chef and baker, Lexie opens her own restaurant and begins to build a new life for herself.  Sebastian Grayson, celebrity chef and major player, returns to Star Harbor from New York City for a long weekend to reconnect with his 3 brothers.  When the two meet, Seb decides to extend his trip, claiming that he wants to focus on his new restaurant and television show.  In his heart, though, he knows that he wants more time getting to know the intriguing Lexie.  But, Lexie has been burned in the past, and she’s not willing to give her heart away a second time.  As Lexie’s past comes back to haunt her, will she allow Seb close enough to reveal his true feelings for her?  Is she strong enough to admit that she has feelings for him too?

Rating: 4/5

Reasons:  This was an easy, light, romantic read.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I was in the mood for something “fluffy” and this book hit the spot.  I enjoyed the author’s description of the small town and the people living in it.  Lexie was a great female lead – strong, determined, a survivor definitely.  She was so afraid to get hurt again that she tried to bury the feelings she was developing for Seb.  Oh, Seb.  You were kind of obnoxious but I loved you anyways.  Not afraid to tell Lexie what you were feeling, you captured her (and my) heart.  I mean, a tall, dark, handsome, sexy man on a motorcycle who can cook you an amazing breakfast in the morning – what else could a woman need or want?

I know this book is part of a series, so it was interesting to see how the author introduced the other Grayson brothers in this first installment.  The next book is about Seb’s twin, Theo, and I will read that soon.  I really liked how the brothers were such a tight family unit.  I also really loved how they were such troublemakers as children, and all their pranks were hilarious.

My only negative, which isn’t really a negative at all, is that this book reminded me of Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbour Series, which I have already read and absolutely LOVED.  So, I guess compared to those books, this book fell a little flat – BUT I still really, really enjoyed Deep Autumn Heat and plan on reading the next book in the series.

**NOTE: This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Double Time by Olivia Cunning (Sinners on Tour #3)

NOTE: This book is listed as the third book in the Sinners Series, but it’s really book 5.  I don’t know why, but the publishers released the books out of order.  Although there were some points when I knew I missed something that was probably explained in either book 3 or 4 (the intended books 3 and 4), I was still able to follow the story well.  I definitely think you can read this book before the other two are released.   I do highly recommend that you read books 1 and 2 in the series (Backstage Pass (#1) and Rock Hard (#2)) before Double Time – they were both great erotic reads and provide much needed back story.

Summary:  This book focusses on Trey, Sinners’  lovable/sexy/bi-sexual guitarist.  If you’ve read the previous book in the series, you will already be well acquainted with Trey’s sexual magnetism, heat and naughty side.  But, underneath all of that, Trey is a total sweetheart. 

In this book, Trey has decided to swear off men, and try to focus on a serious relationship with a woman.  He meets Reagan when she auditions to be a guitarist for Exodus End (Trey’s brother, Dare’s, band).  There is an instant connection between the two, and they begin a relationship.  Enter Reagan’s roommate/best friend/ex-lover Ethan.  Ethan and Reagan’s relationship ended when she caught him in their shower with a man .  Despite her hearbreak, the two remained close friends and Reagan assumed that Ethan was gay.  But, Ethan continued to harbor some intense feelings for (and attraction to) Reagan.  When Trey and Ethan meet, there is a connection there too.  Trey begins to wonder if his feelings for Reagan are enough, and whether he can ignore his attraction to men forever.  When Reagans makes Trey an offer he can’t refuse, the three embark on a new path, full of sexual awakenings and love.

Rating: 4/5

Reasons: This book is extremely steamy.  The scenes between Trey and Reagan were very. very, very hot.  If you want a sexy read, you will NOT be dissapointed.  The threesome scenes were scorching.  The only thing that didn’t do it for me was the m/m stuff.  It’s just not my thing, but if you are into it, omg will you be blown away (pun intended). 

Reagan was a great character – she was tough, but caring and sweet.  Definitely a strong female lead.  I liked that she could hold her own with all the guys.  If you love Trey, you will love him even more after reading this book.  I really enjoyed that this book focussed more on character and relationship building than the first book in the series.  In addition to the incredible steam you can expect from Cunning, we got a glimpse at who Trey is as a person.  And, trust, you will not be dissapointed.

As a side note, I really liked that Trey’s brother Dare was in this book more.  He is such a great character.  I have heard that Cunning will write a series about Exodus End – I’m already crossing my fingers hoping for that!

*This is an erotic/romance book and contains some graphic sexual scenes.  If you like that sort of thing – you will LOVE this book.  If not, then it’s probably not for you.

**This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: About Last Night by Ruthie Knox

Summary: Mary Catherine (but her friends call her Cath), is a reformed bad-girl from Chicago now living in London.  Since she was 14, Cath lived a wild life filled with drinking, drugs, and lots of boys.  She was a wild-child into her twenties, but after her mother’s death two years ago, she decides to change her ways and “New Cath” was born.   New Cath doesn’t drink, doesn’t date (in fact, doesn’t even flirt), certainly doesn’t have sex, and works herself to the bone as an assistant to the curator at a museum.  New Cath is doing just fine until one morning she wakes up, hungover, in a stranger’s bed.  Uh oh.

After finding a very drunk Cath late at night, Nev brings her home to keep her out of trouble.  What he doesn’t expect is to feel an instant connection with her.  He can’t get her out of his head.  The two start a heated romance, but Cath won’t open up to him.  She won’t tell him about herself, her past, nothing.  Nev tries to break through, and just when he begins to get a glimpse past Cath’s tough exterior something happens to tear them apart. 

This is a lovely story about love, loss, finding who you are and acceptance.

Rating: 3.5-4/5 stars

Reasons:  I didn’t expect to like this story as much as I did.  Primarily, I really enjoyed the characters.  I thought Cath was a great character – she was strong, determined, definitely flawed, but also lovable.  But, oh Nev! What a great guy.  Sure he had some family issues, but he was just so honest, and strong, and sweet and totally devoted to Cath from the beginning.  I loved the scenes when he was pursuing her.  And I loved that Cath tried so hard to deny her feelings, but then ended up showing up on his doorstep night after night. 

The passion between the two characters was well described, and I totally fell for it.  Hook.  Line.  Sinker.  The romance aspect didn’t feel contrived to me.  I felt that their relationship developed organically – from their instant attraction, to the gradual development of their relationship. 

My only negative (and which brought by rating down from a solid 4/5) was that the book was a little short – I would have liked to see the ending developed a little bit more.  It seemed a bit trite to me how everything worked out (I won’t say more because I don’t want to give it away). 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an adult fiction romance.  There is a ton of romance, enough steam, and a male character you will definitely have a crush on by the end of the book!

**A copy of the manuscript was provided to me for free by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Enslaved (Eternal Guardians #5) by Elisabeth Naughton

Summary: I first read this book not realizing that it was the fifth book in a series.  There was enough background information that you could read it as a stand alone, but I have to admit that after reading Enslaved, I went back and read the first four books in the series.  I loved them all. 

Enslaved is the story of Gryphon, an Argonaut (warrior/protector/hottie), who is trying to adjust to life on Earth after spending several months locked in Tarturus being tortured by Hades.   In book four, his brother, Orpheus, went into the Underworld to rescue him, and brought him to a half-breed colony in Montana to try to help Gryphon recover from his time in Tartarus.  But, although his body and soul are technically free, Gryphon cannot escape the voice in his head, calling to him.  He knows that the voice is that of Atalanta, the Goddess who has over the years amassed an army of daemons in her quest to take over the Human Realm and destroy the Argonauts.  As he tries to resist the unnatural connection he now has with Atalanta, and ignore her voice in his head, Gryphon has never felt more alone. 

Maelea is also staying at the colony.  She can sense changes in energy, and because of her “gift” was approached by Orpheus to help him get the tools he needed to enter the Underworld to save Gryphon.  But, by involving her, Orpheus unknowingly put Maelea’s lift in danger, so he is forcing her to stay with the colony to try to keep her safe.  But Maelea has been on her own for a very long time, and she has her own secrets, and she does not want to put anyone’s life in jeopardy because of her.  So, she  plots her escape and one night she acts…

Only, Gryphon has also been planning his escape from the colony.  And the two collide in the middle of both trying to get free.  Circumstances and threats keep them together, but Gryphon cannot ignore the fact that the voice in his head dims whenever Maelea is around.  Oh, and there’s this crazy sexual heat between them that neither can ignore, no matter how hard they try. 

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Reasons:  Okay, so you can tell by the summary that this book is not a contemporary romance.  It’s pure fantasy, based on Greek mythology but set in modern times.  It’s the best of both worlds.  The Argonauts are warriors of the highest order, with rock-hard bodies and honor ingrained in them, but they wear faded jeans and talk like any modern bad-boy.  Ummmm, yes please!  There were great steamy scenes, but also tons of romance, angst, love and emotion.

The story is full of action.  Because it’s all based on mythology, the reader gets to just accept what’s happening (as opposed to with a contemporary novel where I tend to judge the characters’ reactions as believable or not).  Because I hadn’t read the earlier novels, I was a little bit lost in the beginning, but after catching up it all comes together.   As I mentioned earlier, you could read this one as a standalone, but it obviously makes more sense to read the earlier books (or at least book 4) to get the full backstory.  And the other books are GOOD!

I loved the world-building in the book.  I could really picture what was happening – the author was descriptive, but didn’t overdo it with descriptions the reader didn’t need.  There were a lot of characters to keep track of, but it wasn’t confusing once you get into the book.  If you have any recollection of greek mythology, that knowledge will help you through the beginning.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone looking for a great action novel filled with romance, angst and steam!  There were a number of sex scenes and a lot of cursing, so I would only recommend this book for older readers. 

**I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review