Welcome to Cozy Jo's Romance Review blog. This is where you'll find reviews and discussions on historical or contemporary romance books and maybe a few other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure.
So come on in, sit down and find yourself a good romance book to read.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Christmas Fantasy by Janelle Denison

Hot, romantic read
4 stars

Austin McBride's business was fulfilling women's fantasies but the gorgeous Teddy Spencer had him doing some fantasising of his own.

Independent Teddy was too focused on her career for any sort of commitment but she did need someone to pose as her boyfriend at her company Christmas party and Austin was the man for the job.

But would one incredible night convince Teddy to hire Austin full-time?

This was a fine, hot romance set over the Christmas period. Despite the festive setting there really isn't much in the way of Christmassy references so if you're looking for that warm, winter glow then you might be disappointed.

Teddy and Austin are both enjoyable characters and the pair work well together. Austin is technically a stripper but it is never portrayed as seedy and I can't imagine many having a problem with his line of work as it is written so well. The pages heat up with the sex scenes and there are plenty of them which is never a bad thing.

The story is enjoyable and although not terribly fast paced - it keeps you turning the pages and has all the romance that you should require.

While maybe not a great book - it is nevertheless fun and sexy and is worth a read if you get a chance.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Daring in the Dark by Jennifer LaBrecque

A Deliciously Daring Read
5 stars

If there hadn't been a 24 black-out in the city then Tawny Edwards would never have felt the need to confess to Simon that he was starring in her delightfully naughty, and very explicit dreams. After all, Simon was the best friend of her fiancé Elliot. And he despised her. Didn't he?

Simon had been in love with Tawny from the moment he met her and now he was trapped with her in her apartment with no rescue in sight. If only he didn't have to break the news of her fiancé's indiscretion to her. But Tawny didn't seem too heartbroken and Simon was quite happy to kiss away her hurts.

One wild night to live out each and every one of your wildest fantasies. But what will happen when daybreak - and Elliot - arrive the next morning?

This book is an excellent choice if you're into hot, sexy Blaze novels. Tawny is a strong, bossy woman but has a sweet vulnerable side that most people can identify with and she truly feels like a 'real' woman. Simon is an excellent character too. He is seen as being quite a jerk to Tawny but underneath he's just a big softie. Together the pair steam up the pages and the sex scenes are very hot and delicious. And because it's a Blaze - there are a lot!

Despite the fact that Tawny is technically engaged, this book never comes across as seedy and everyone's motivations and reasons seem true and unselfish. Although personally I would have liked to see Elliot get a little more comeuppance and would cheerfully have pushed him off a cliff if I were Tawny!

A definite page-turner with excellent characters and hot sex - if you're looking for a fun, romantic read then I can't recommend this book enough. 5 stars.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Three Guys You'll Never Date

Three Stories You’ll Love
5 Stars

This collection of stories all revolve around three friends who have had some bad luck trying to find a decent man. So together they make a pact – no more losers, geeks, used-car salesmen, ditch-diggers or unsuitable men of any type. From now on they are only going to date the very best that the male species has to offer. But will they stick to it?

You Can Leave Your Hard Hat On – Stephanie Bond
Successful architect Samantha Stone is set to make her mark on the building world with an innovative new design. But the only person who can help her realise her goal is construction worker Teague Brownlee – with whom she once had a one night stand then cruelly dumped when they were younger. But as the sparks fly on and off the construction site – can they both put aside their prejudices of the other?

Stephanie Bond’s story was packed with sexual tension, chemistry and sex. Teague and Sam are fun characters who have very real emotions and feelings – you can see why they act the way they do. I did feel that the ending was emotionally quite raw and personally I’m not sure if I could have forgiven Teague quite so easily for what he did to Sam! But it was still a sexy, enjoyable story.

The Total Package – Jennifer LaBrecque
Software genius and self-certified geek, Deke Foster wants a wife. And he wants marketing whiz Abby Carmicheal to fix his image so that he can get one. But as Abby starts to change Deke she realises that perhaps he was perfect already – pocket protector and all.

This story was absolutely adorable. I loved how Abby and Deke interacted and how their relationship progressed. This wasn’t written as a typical 'make him over and suddenly she finds him attractive’ type story which made it all the more believable and enjoyable. And the love scenes were enough to scorch the pages which is always a bonus!

Her Hero? – Rhonda Nelson
When prestigious clothing store owner Carley DeLuna’s vintage car breaks down she is quite shocked to see her devastatingly sexy, yet less than ambitious high-school sweetheart Jackson Harper stop to give her a tow. 10 years has changed a lot of things but not the passion that the pair felt for one another. But can Carley get over the fact that Jackson is a perfectly content used-car salesman and will she finally follow her heart?

This was the shortest story of the three but it still was a very satisfying story. Carley and Jackson’s chemistry sparkles and the pair are perfect for each other. Despite Carley’s opposition to Jackson’s career, you never feel that she is snobbish or shallow as she has valid reasons for the way she feels. The story was well-written, very sexy and highly enjoyable.

It is often a surprise when you find an anthology with three very strong, enjoyable stories but this book is certainly one of them. Sexy, fun and romantic – if you’re looking for a book to escape with for a while then you really can’t go wrong with this one. Highly recommended.

Friday, 17 August 2007

The Christmas Visit

Enjoyable Christmas romance
4 stars

As the title suggests - this collection of three Mills and Boon stories all revolve around a Christmas visit which result in some lovely festive romance!

Comfort and Joy by Margaret Moore (Wales, 1860)
Griffin Branwynne, Earl of Cym Rhyss has hidden himself away from society after a terrible accident left him scarred and bitter. But then the feisty Gwendolyn Davies, matron of the local orphanage, shows up on his doorstep asking for a donation for the children and turns his quiet life upside down.

This is a very enjoyable, sweet Christmas story that really gets you in the Christmas mood with the snowstorms, candles and good cheer. The chemistry between the two main characters is engaging and their interactions are amusing and very enjoyable.

Love at First Step by Terri Brisbin (England, 1199)
While visiting friends in England for the holidays, Lord Gavin MacLeod cannot help but find the serving wench Elizabeth attractive. But she has secrets that Gavin vows to uncover at any cost.

This story was the only bad one of this anthology in my opinion. The language was false and very stilted as the author clearly attempted to have her characters talk as if from medieval times. And personally, Christmas or not, the idea of a lord and a prostitute (or anyone and a prostitute for that matter!) is not my idea of romance.

A Christmas Secret by Gail Ranstrom (Oxfordshire, 1819)
Miss Charity Wardlow was expecting a proposal from her beau while attending her friend's Christmas wedding. But when she overhears some potentially scandalous gossip, she realises she must try and get to the bottom of all the secrets of the wedding guests. But what is she to do when the roguish Scotsman Sir Andrew MacGregor is determined to find out all of her secrets?

This was an absolutely delightful story. The two main characters were wonderful and their interactions so much fun. This story was slightly more sensual than the first which was also an added bonus. A definite keeper for Christmas.

Overall, despite the terrible middle story - I would still recommend this book as the first and last stories really do make up for it. They alone are worth the price of the book and give you that warm festive feeling when you read them.