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, 31 December 2009

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Witty and entertaining debut
4 stars

Lucy Waltham has been in love with her brother’s friend Toby for most of her life. When she realises that he’s about to propose to another, she decides that it’s time to put her husband hunting skills to the test in order to win her man. But first she needs to make sure her kisses are up to scratch.

Jeremy Trescott, Earl of Kendall is appalled that Lucy seems determined to practice her seductive wiles on him. But when the innocent game sparks a smouldering passion neither can imagine what scandals the pair can create or what they will risk in order to win the others heart.

This was Tessa Dare’s debut novel and I was totally enchanted by it from beginning to end. Lucy was a headstrong, hoyden of a girl but she was charming and likeable and it was nice to watch her grow throughout the novel. Jeremy was, for me, the perfect hero: deep, mysterious and brooding while also being passionate and in need of the love of a good woman. I felt the pair were perfect for each other and I loved their interactions.

The conflict was real and interesting but it was the emotions and sensuality that made the novel for me. The sexual tension was built splendidly and the overall love story gave me wonderful butterflies in my stomach from beginning to end. The writing was very well done and there were plenty of witty moments that made me laugh out loud on some occasions. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Surrender of a Siren, but do hope that the covers get a little better because they’re not to my taste at all! I would definitely recommend this book if you like Regency historical romances.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Fallen Angel by Mary Jo Putney

Sensual and intelligent Regency romance
5 Stars

It has been years since Nicholas Davies the half gypsy Earl of Aberdare last stepped foot at his country estate, driven out by a scandal that rocked his life and the lives of many others.

When he reluctantly returns, he finds many changes at the estate and in the village but the biggest change is in Clare Morgan, the little preacher’s daughter who insists he fulfil his obligations. In order to get her to leave, Nicholas offers Clare a scandalous bargain, totally shocked when she actually agrees.

From then on, neither can anticipate the problems the pair will face as they battle killers, mysteries, dark secrets and their growing feelings for each other.

I have never read Mary Jo Putney before but this book has really opened my eyes to this wonderful writer. I will definitely be on the look out for other books by her, especially the other books in the rest of the Fallen Angel series of which this is the first.

The depth of the characters of both Clare and Nicholas was wonderful to read and I loved that neither were stereotypical but had very real flaws. This made watching their relationship a delight and watching them fall in love was all the better for it.

I got totally absorbed in the book and couldn’t bear to put it down. The storyline was engrossing, interesting and brimming with intelligence while also being incredibly sensual and romantic.

If you like a sensual, well-written and intelligent historical romance similar to Lisa Kleypas or Sabrina Jeffries then I would definitely recommend this to you. It’s a real page turner and will take your mind off things for a while. 5 stars.

* This book was originally published in the 90s as Thunder and Roses. *

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Caught in the Act by Samantha Hunter

No redeeming features
1 star

Gina Thomas can’t believe the lengths she’s going to to help her sister. That’s how she finds herself dressed in the sexiest, skimpiest Hallowe’en costume and breaking into sexy lawyer, Mason Scott’s house to steal incriminating photos.

Mason can’t take his eyes off the sexy siren that walked through his door so when she offers him a fantasy, he can’t say no. But when Gina’s sister leads them both into serious trouble, Mason begins to realise that fantasy isn’t nearly as good as reality.

Goodness me this was a bad book. I liked the premise and the idea that by dressing in a costume you can turn yourself into someone you’ve always wanted to be but that was honestly about it.

There was zero sexual tension or chemistry between any of the characters and I’m not sure how we were supposed to care about them as they were so lifeless and flat. Gina was a dull character, Mason was stereotypical and the secondary characters were just pointlessly bland.

I am also happy to suspend reality in a story but when the gangsters showed up and people started putting themselves in totally ridiculous situations simply to create some drama in the story, I knew that this book definitely wasn’t a keeper for me. I honestly don’t feel that I can recommend this book to anyone, unfortunately. If you’re reading the Dressed to Thrill mini-series then you might want to give it a read to see how it fits with the other stories but other than that I would give it a miss. 1 star.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Better Naughty Than Nice

Slightly sizzling Christmas romance
4 stars

Blaze brings together it’s annual collection of short stories to keep you heated during the cold nights through the Christmas season. In this selection, Damon Claus, Santa’s naughty brother, decides to help some people have the ultimate naughty Christmas treats.

NO MISTLETOE REQUIRED – Vicki Lewis Thompson
Ten years ago Riley Kincaid broke Hayden Manchester’s heart but a little Christmas competition could be just the thing needed to get this pair back on track and enjoying every second under the mistletoe.

This was a fun, hot romance with a likeable couple that were likeable and relatable.

Ally Dauer is in charge of this year’s toy drive but to her mortification, someone keeps sending her adult toys. Firefighter Eddie Weston is out to convince Ally that maybe the best gifts can be shared this Christmas.

I really enjoyed this story and especially Ally. It was sweet, hot and enjoyable all round.

SNUG IN HIS BED – Rhonda Nelson
Viv Foster hates Christmas. Hank Bailey owns a Christmas tree farm. When they’re forced into each other’s company they realise it’s more than sizzling chemistry they have in common.

This story was a little slow with little excitement. It was fine but nothing special.

Overall this was a nice anthology and one that is worth a read over the Christmas holidays. The stories were all linked by Damon Claus, a storyline that lacked any real direction or purpose but it’s still a fun collection if you love Christmas and like your romance with a bit of heat. 4 stars.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Soldier by Rhonda Nelson

Entertaining and sexy romance
4 Stars

Being a soldier is in Adam McPherson’s blood until a horrific roadside bomb takes away part of his leg and his career. At home and injured, Adam knows he wants to get back into the army but doubts and fears haunt him.

Winnie Templeman has been in love with Adam for years and she’s determined to make sure he heals and she knows just how to go about it. Her sexual healing method is guaranteed to get Adam back on track but will it be enough to keep them together?

This book follows on from Letters From Home which dealt with Adam’s brother and Winnie’s best friend. It’s probably okay not to have read the first book but I do think that it might give you more background into the story if you have.

This story is very focussed on the developing relationship and love between Adam and Winnie. The pair are perfect for each other and I loved the relationship between them. There is plenty of heat in the story and it’s interesting, exciting and sexy.

Although the book deals with some real and serious issues, it never feels heavy or bogged down in melodrama. Rather it is a page turning, romantic story that will leave you with a smile on your face. 4 stars.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Power Play by Nancy Warren

Good, basic romance
3 Stars

For Emily Saunders being single is one thing. Being single at a family wedding is quite another – especially since her family are trying to set her up with the disgusting Buddy. As if that wasn’t enough, a hotel mishap means she has to share a room for the duration of the wedding.

Luckily for Emily, her roommate is hunky cop, Jonah Bett who’s in town for a hockey tournament. Despite all the other dramas (including an on the loose murderer), Emily can only think of one thing she’d like to do and it doesn’t involve leaving the hotel room.

This book is part of the Forbidden Fantasies series although if I’m honest there was little that was overly exciting or sexy about the story as a whole. It tries hard but doesn’t quite get there.

The characters were fine enough although I didn’t feel we ever really got to know them. Plus, I’m not really turned on by hairy men and Jonah is described as “hairier than necessary” which for me was a little off-putting. I gave him a mental shave and luckily it wasn’t mentioned overly much so I managed to live with it!

About half way through the book a second love story between Sadhu and Kirsten was introduced. These characters had little to do with the main plot and were, to my mind, completely pointless and unnecessary. It felt like complete filler and I just didn’t care about the pair.

Overall, I read this book with ease and it did hold my attention from beginning to end. Despite some faults, and the inclusion of the secondary love story, this was still a fun read that manages to take your mind off things for a while.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

More Blazing Bedtime Stories

Magical and sexy short stories
5 Stars

Following on from the success of the first collection of Blazing Bedtime Stories, this second book features two longer length short stories both featuring fairy tales for grown ups.

INTO THE WOODS by Julie Leto

Tatiana Starlingham is a frustrated fairy godmother, granting pampered princesses their deepest desires. Unfortunately, Tatiana’s own desires have never been fulfilled. That all changes when she meets delicious Jack St Cloud and finally has mind-blowing sex. But if Tatiana wants to keep her new, sexy life, she has to grant an impossible wish but may end up losing Jack in the process.

I really enjoyed this story and found it exciting, interesting and very sexy. It had the magic of a fairy tale with plenty of heat, romance and sex to make it good enough for the grown ups. I loved both Tatiana and Jack and they felt real despite the fantasy of the story. Overall a perfectly romantic bedtime read.

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not long lost princess Penelope Mayfair especially since the wolf in question is Lucas Wolf – the darkest, sexiest man Penny has ever laid eyes on. Not only that but he’s giving her better sex than she could ever even have dreamed of! What Lucas hasn’t told her is that he’s there to bring her back to the fairytale land of her birth where she’s betrothed to another man. But Lucas is determined to keep her all for himself…

For those who read the first Blazing Bedtime Stories collection, this story features Lucas from Kelly’s ‘My, What A Big... You Have!’ but easily stands alone. It’s not a werewolf story but wild and dangerous enough to make it exciting with plenty of delightful sex. A fun plot and great characters make this another great read.

If you like some magical, sexy stories with plenty of romance then this book is definitely one I would recommend. The stories are long enough to get really into the stories which are both perfect to snuggle up with in the cold, dark, winter nights. 5 stars.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Kissing Santa Claus

Pretty standard Christmas romance anthology
3 Stars

Holly Berry hates everything to do with Christmas. So it’s no great joy to her when she inherits her mother’s Christmas shop in the small town where she grew up in and then left as soon as she was able. But her childhood crush Sean Gallagher is determined to make sure this is a Christmas season that Holly won’t soon forget.

This story lacked any sparkle, Christmas or otherwise. The plot was quite plodding, the characters lacking depth and the main focus of the story, a diary of secrets, was seemingly the prelude to another story by Kauffman. Disappointing.

BAH, HANDSOME! – Jill Shalvis
Hope O’Brien is struggling to keep her Colorado B&B in the black. She can’t afford to turn down any paying customers but when accountant Danny Shaw (who just happens to be the man who’s trying to put her out of business) turns up she might just change her mind. But the sparks that are flying aren’t out of anger so the B&B staff attempt a little holiday matchmaking.

This was an adorable story that kept my interest from beginning to end. I do love a sexy geek as a hero and Danny definitely was that. The couple had chemistry, there was humour and there was lots of snow. Not terribly Christmassy but it doesn’t matter when the story is as good as this one is.

Marissa just can’t believe her luck – all she wants is to leave Hawaii and head home to Philadelphia to enjoy some snow at Christmas yet she’s been the victim of two thefts and now can’t get a flight. The only person that can help her is police deputy Ted who is determined to show Marissa that Christmas doesn’t need snow to be perfect.

While I did enjoy this story, it didn’t really have any real excitement. The plot was predictable and quite unrealistic and the characters weren’t particularly endearing. It’s not a horrible story but not one I can really remember despite only finishing it a couple of days ago.

If you’re looking for some light, festive, sexy reads then this might be the book for you. For me, the Jill Shalvis story is excellent but I could take or leave the other two. 3 stars.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

All I Want by Isabel Sharpe

Readable if uninspiring story
3 Stars

Krista Marlow only wants two things for Christmas – a sexy man and a relationship that lasts longer than 30 days. She manages to get the first when, due to a reservation mix-up, she finds herself shacked up in a cosy cabin with her dream man.

Seth Wellington can’t believe his luck when he meets Krista. But he knows that should she discover his real identity then their affair will be over. So will this be the best Christmas present both have ever received or just another holiday fling?

This was, overall, an entertaining story if a little thin on excitement and drama. Both Krista and Seth were likeable enough characters if not ones I could either really relate to or wholly admire.

Like Krista, I did wonder at Seth keeping his identity a secret for such a long time. It just seemed like something that could have been worked out with a simple conversation and that kind of conflict in a story always bothers me a little.

Not hugely festive but a nice story to pass away an afternoon. 3 stars.

Santa, Honey

One great story and two stinkers
2 Stars

HO, HUMBUG, HO – Kate Angell
As community service for speeding in a school zone, hotshot baseball player Alex Boxer is stuck playing a mall Santa right before Christmas. It’s lucky he’s got cute little elf Holly McIntyre to keep him company.

I have read Kate Angell before and thought she was okay but this story read like a proposal rather than a finished story. There was absolutely zero emotional depth to the characters and I neither believed nor cared in their love.

Luke Carter thinks his luck is out when he’s taken hostage by a gun-wielding Santa on Christmas Eve. But when the Santa turns out to be desperate Jessie Jones, he realises his luck might be in after all.

This story was originally published in 1996 (in The Night Before Christmas) and it really doesn’t stand the test of time. The hero is said to be a Brad Pitt wannabe – only older and with a long ponytail. Not my kind of hero at all! The storyline was far fetched but when Janet Jackson showed up in the story I knew it was just too ridiculous for my tastes.

The only thing Casey is worried about over Christmas is the deadline for her newest interactive marketing campaign. That’s until her sister drags her up to a snowy lodge in the middle of nowhere that doesn’t have anything – not even electricity. Luckily for Casey there’s a sexy outdoorsman who’s happy to keep her warm for the holidays.

This is, hands down, the best story in this book and one that I actually very much enjoyed. Casey is such a likeable, realistic character and could barely put the book down as she and Matt fell in love. Sexy and sweet – a perfect, quick Christmas read.

Overall, this really isn’t an anthology I can recommend. The third story is a definite winner but the two quite terrible first stories really bring this book down. There are some much better Christmas romantic anthologies out there and I would think any of those would be a much more satisfying read. 2 stars and both of them are for the Joy Nash story.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Christmas Love Child by Jennie Lucas

Light, winter romance
4 Stars

American secretary Grace Cannon is determined to save enough money to ensure her family don’t lose their house. Working in London at Christmastime should be fun but instead she’s buying lingerie for her boss’s fiancé and being paid very little for her trouble.

But then she is swept into the glamorous world of Russian Prince Maksim Rostov. He treats her like a queen and teaches the unworldly Grace all the secrets of seduction.

When Grace realises Maksim took her innocence for a business deal, she flees but not before discovering she’s pregnant with his child. When Maksim finds out, he steals her away, keeping her captive in his snowy mansion in Moscow. Both are determined to keep the other at bay but they can’t help their hearts from thawing despite the weather outside.

I actually really enjoyed this story which has a wintry, if not really Christmassy feel throughout. The characters were likeable, realistic and although you never did delve completely into their motives and thoughts, you still root for the couple to get together.

The only thing that annoyed me about the story was Grace’s lack of faith in Maksim. It irked me quite a lot and I would have preferred to see the pair’s time in Russia drawn out a bit more rather than just getting conflict from the characters inability to have a conversation with one another or believe each other when they did speak.

Regardless, this is a light, fun romance with a touch of winter sparkle. If you’re looking for something to take your mind off things for a while then this book is recommended.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

50 Ways To Find A Lover by Lucy Anne Holmes

Entertaining and readable chick-lit
4 stars

Sarah Sargeant is nearly thirty and still doesn’t have much luck with either dating or acting! However, rather than giving up hope, and with the encouragement of friends and family, Sarah embarks on a mission to find herself a good man.

This book is based on Lucy-Anne Holmes’ own blog which is actually just an account of her own life with a number of exaggerations and additions to make it more interesting.

I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, witty and a good, entertaining read throughout. Although I can understand the comparisons to Bridget Jones, I felt that the character of Sarah was much more relatable and someone that I would like as a friend. Some times I find chick-lit a little too depressing and true to life so I personally loved the fact that this story followed a tried and tested formula. Some may find it predictable but I just can’t resist a happy ending!

Overall this is an enjoyable read and something light that will entertain you and keep you engrossed. If you like a fun, romantic read about the modern dating game then I would recommend this book to you. 4 stars.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Addicted to Love by Lori Wilde

A slow paced but enjoyable romance
4 Stars

Rachael Henderson has always believed in true love, dashing heroes, romance and happily ever afters – after all she grew up in Valentine, Texas. But that all changes when she’s dumped at the alter for the second time and decides to make a statement loud and clear that love stinks. She feels greatly liberated by her act of rebellion until she’s arrested by Sheriff Brody Carlton.

Rachael’s determined to bring her anti-romance feelings to a larger audience and so starts up Romanceaholics Anonymous which is an instant hit. It also divides the town of Valentine as die hard romantics clash with cynics. But when Rachael starts spinning romantic fantasies about Brody she begins to realise it’s not going to be easy to resist true love.

This is the third book in Lori Wilde’s Wedding Veil Wishes series. It doesn’t rely on the other books and stands completely on its own. I even found that in this book the ‘wishing on the veil’ part of the story wasn’t too important either!

Overall I enjoyed this story and I always enjoyed picking it up and reading a chapter or two. I thought Rachael was an excellent character – someone who loved romance but without becoming a stereotype. Brody was the epitome of a great hero as he was sexy and strong while also being vulnerable along with it – perfect!

My main problem with the story was the fact that it seemed to plod along. There was no great urgency and no huge story to tell. Many chapters started with ‘weeks had passed’ which made the pace of the story quite slow. There was also a few back stories going on alongside Rachael and Brody’s story and I for one would have preferred to focus on the main love story.

Having said all that, I did really enjoy this book. It’s not wildly exciting but it’s a fun, sweet and romantic story that is a good addition to the previous books in the series. 4 stars.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Once Smitten, Twice Shy by Lori Wilde

Sexy Second Chance at Love Story
4 Stars

Wedding videographer Tish Gallagher is in dire straights. Her business is about to go bust and she’s down to her last few dollars in her bank account. So she makes a wish on the lucky wedding veil to get herself out of debt but instead sees the man she never stopped loving – her ex-husband, secret service agent Shane Tremont.

In a sudden reversal of fortune, Tish lands herself the biggest job of her life – videoing the wedding of the president’s daughter. The job is the answer to her prayers and the way to save her business and her bank balance. There’s just one problem – Shane is the groom. The magic is still there but with so much baggage, him promised to another and a few dark secrets, will they ever be able to find each other again?

This is the second book in Wilde’s Wedding Veil Wishes series after There Goes the Bride. The couple from that book do make a brief appearance but I would say that this book stands nicely alone as the only recurring storyline is that of the magic veil.

I adore second chance love stories and so I was looking forward to this book. It didn’t disappoint and the chemistry between Shane and Tish was emotional and gave that little hitch in your tummy during their scenes together.

The book was very much about Tish and Shane and how they overcame their issues and managed to work things out between them. There was some action but I did feel the book was lot about the emotion and the main character’s connection. I still really enjoyed the book and couldn’t put it down, reading it in a very short time. It’s an excellent addition to the series or a fun stand alone book and definitely one I would recommend.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Indulge Me by Isabel Sharpe

Fast, indulgent romance
5 stars

After years of taking care of everyone else, Darcy Wolf is suddenly free to do what she wants. And what she wants is to ditch her good girl persona and indulge in some of her most decadent fantasies. Afterwards she plans to leave her home town and never come back.

Her first fantasy is to have a one night stand with a hot, willing man and her housepainter Tyler Houston seems like the perfect candidate. Their amazing chemistry takes Darcy and Tyler by surprise and suddenly Darcy isn’t sure whether she wants fantasy or reality.

This book is pretty much about Darcy and her desire to get out into the world and fulfil all her fantasies. She could easily have come across as annoyingly clueless but instead her determination to find out about herself after years of being tied down seems real and her worry understandable. Tyler was a wonderful hero – strong but with a caring, emotional side. The pair had great chemistry and they scorched the pages as they fulfilled Darcy’s fantasies together.

This is really a fun book. It’s sexy, funny, sweet and overall a really enjoyable read. 5 stars.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Two Hot by Cara Summers

A fun and engaging romance
4 Stars

Academic Zoë McNamara is able to analyse and figure out everything – except her no holds barred attraction to the mysterious and sexy Jed Calhoun. All she can think about is Jed, which is seriously affecting her work. So she decides the best plan of action is to sleep with him and get him out of her system once and for all.

But then she meets sexy, sophisticated Ethan Blair and she can’t help but want him too. But getting mixed up with two men in the space of days might not be the best thing for Zoë as she soon finds herself embroiled in a world she only imagined happened in James Bond films. Yet even that’s not as confusing as which of the two men she wants to be with so what will she do when she realises she can have both?!

If I’m honest, I didn’t think I would much like this novel as although I can suspend reality, I assumed it would be too far fetched to be enjoyable. I am glad to say that I was wrong about it and although it’s in no way realistic – that simply made the novel a fun and engaging romantic romp!

The story seems to follow on from a previous Cara Summers novel (The Favour) and although the main characters from that story appear, and at times it is assumed we know the back story of Jed and Zoë (which I assume featured in the first book in the series), this actually doesn’t detract from the story as a whole and I don’t see a need to have read the first book to enjoy and understand this one.

Obviously this is a romance story and despite the premise and the anticipation of having two men to choose from, apart from a steamy fantasy scene, the story is a lot more tame than they would have you believe. That’s not to say the love scenes were hot and plentiful as they were both!

I enjoyed the characters within the book and their chemistry worked well together. I did feel at the end that the mystery/suspense plot overtook the romance for a while but I still didn’t want to put the book down so that’s definitely a point in the books favour. There also appears to be another story set up in this book but I can’t seem to find Gage and Bailey’s story yet.

Overall this was fun, interesting and really kept me hooked. If you’re looking for a light, romantic romp with some hot sex and fun thrown in then I would recommend this book to you.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Before I Melt Away by Isabel Sharpe

A festive Christmas romance
4 Stars

It’s Christmas time and personal chef Annabel Brightman isn’t really in the festive mood. This is the busiest time for her fledgling business and she doesn’t have time for fun or Christmas cheer. But that’s until Quinn Garrett shows up on her doorstep one snowy night.

Quinn has never forgotten Annabel from school but now that they’re both grown up, Quinn is determined to add some fire to the cold, winter nights. The heat the pair generate is enough to thaw Annabel’s icy demeanour but is this just a steamy Christmas fling or could it possibly be the real thing?

This is a cute, fun and sexy Christmas romance that takes Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as its inspiration. It was subtle but was a nice quirk and gave the book a great festive edge.

At first I struggled to get into this book as the characters seemed quite one-dimensional and emotionless. However, as I continued to read I realised that the author was trying to take the reader on the same emotional ride as the characters and by the end I have to admit that the emotions were intense and really brought a lump to my throat!

The book was nicely hot, the couple had great chemistry and without being cheesy, it really captured the Christmas spirit. If you’re looking for a good read for a winter’s night then I would recommend this book to you. 4 stars.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

How To Engage an Earl by Kathryn Caskie

Unexciting and basic romance
2 Stars

The last thing Laird Allen, Earl of MacLaren wants is a wife. So he’s quite surprised when he awakens in his bed chamber to find a beautiful blonde there with him, claiming to be his betrothed.

All Anne Royle wanted was to find the truth about her heritage – so she’s none too happy that she’s managed to snag herself the biggest rake of the ton. But as time, and the ruse, goes on, she finds herself wishing that their charade was real.

This is the second in a trilogy of books regarding the Royle sisters, purported to be the “secret” daughters of the Prince Regent. There were quite a lot of characters that weren’t introduced and situations that weren’t explained so I’m assuming it would be beneficial to have read the first book in the trilogy, How To Seduce a Duke, before reading this story. This story then leads on to the final book in the series, How To Propose To A Prince.

I’m sorry to say that this story just didn’t excite me or interest me at all. I read romance for the romance between the main characters and that seemed to take a back seat to solving the mystery of the triplets parentage in this particular book. There was one tepid, lacklustre love scene and little else to make me believe that Anne and Laird were really falling in love. The characters felt paper thin and could have been from any time period not to mention the fact that they weren’t particularly likeable.

I’m also really not a fan of creative names in romance novels and while it’s not the most idiotic name I’ve heard, ‘Laird’ as a first name for a supposedly Scottish Earl is still quite ridiculous. There’s also Constance Henceforth, a butler called Festidious and of course the actual ‘Royle’ sisters – which is about as subtle as a brick considering the trio are supposedly secret princesses.

The writing was fair but not very thrilling and I personally didn’t find any of the wit that was supposedly sparkling through the novel.

Perhaps if you’ve read the first book of the three then you will want to read this one however, apart from that it’s really not a book I can recommend. There are much better romance novels out there that combine some action/mystery with romance so I can unfortunately only give this story 2 stars.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The Wedding Trap by Tracy Anne Warren

Entertaining and engaging romance
4 Stars

Bluestocking Eliza Hammond has been in love with Kit Winter forever. Unfortunately, he only sees her as his sister in law’s mousy, shy, bookish friend. After 4 seasons without a sniff of an offer, it would appear that every other man thinks the same. But now Eliza has come into a fortune and is determined that this season will be her best yet – she just needs some help.

So she enlists the help of Kit to transform her into a stunning society belle that will be worthy of catching a great husband. But as their lessons continue, the sparks between Kit and Eliza begin to fly. Kit soon finds himself floored by his desire for Eliza, but will he realise his true feelings before he loses her to another man?

This is the third book in Warren’s ‘Trap Trilogy’ after The Husband Trap and The Wife Trap. The book features the couples from both previous stories but apart from this stands nicely on its own.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The writing was entertaining and engaging and the characters likeable. My main problem with the story was that there was a distinct lack of passion. It was a good read but lacked any great emotional depth so it was hard to develop a great feeling for Kit, Eliza or their emerging love story.

Another great annoyance was the huge number of Americanisms that popped up quite frequently in the book. This really pulled me out of the story and seriously grated after a while.

Despite all its faults, this is still a story that I would recommend. It may not be the deepest or most involved story but it’s still an entertaining and readable story. 4 stars.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Off Limits by Jordan Summers

Unrealistic but enjoyable romance
3 stars

ATF Special Agent Delaney Carter must go undercover if she wants to keep her job and land herself a big promotion. Unfortunately her undercover gig is as a flight attendant and she is scared to death of flying.

Luckily for Delaney, she has gorgeous Jack Gordon to keep her distracted in the air and on the ground. Too bad that he also happens to be an ex arms dealer and the very man she has been assigned to get close to. She’s sure that falling into bed wasn’t in her mission brief but Delaney just can’t help herself.

So long as you suspend reality, this is actually quite an enjoyable book to read on a lazy afternoon. Despite being an ex arms dealer, Jack is a great hero – sexy and masculine while still being caring and kind. Delaney was a harder character to get to know and although she was sweet but feisty, I found it much too hard to believe she had the experience (and guts) to be a federal agent.

This book would have got more stars from me except that I felt it took far too long to actually get into the story and for it to get going. Once it did, you could escape reality and just enjoy the fun, fairly sexy romance. 3 stars.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

The Naked Truth by Shannon Hollis

Entertaining, well-written romance
4 stars

Eve Best’s life is going really well. She’s just won the lottery, has great friends and her talk show is the hottest thing on TV. But when deliciously sexy executive Mitch Hayes comes into her office, the only thing she can think of is how to have her wicked way with him.

Mitch has been given orders to get Eve to sign with his network or else. One look at Eve and Mitch knows that he has the best job in the world and spending time with her to change her mind will definitely be no hardship.

This book is the third in the Million Dollar Secrets mini-series (after She Did a Bad, Bad Thing and Underneath it All) but stands easily alone despite the common characters and underlying storyline of the big lottery win.

Both Eve and Mitch were great, likeable characters and the excellent writing made their romance feel real and exciting. The book wasn’t as scorching as many other Blaze novels but when it did happen it was hot with great chemistry.

If I had to have one complaint it was that the secondary plot line of Eve’s family almost overtook the romance at the end and so I felt that there was no huge romantic conclusion, especially since the epilogue featured two characters that were superfluous to the story and that I didn’t care about at all.

Despite that, this is still an entertaining, well-written romance with good characters and an interesting plot – perfect if you’re looking for a quick read. 4 stars.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Pleasure to the Max by Cami Dalton

Entertaining Romantic Romp
4 stars

Cassie Parker's life hasn't been going so well since she was dumped by her cheating fiancé. Maybe the gypsy "lover's box" that her globe trotting great aunt has sent her will get her out of her funk. It is said that all you have to do is write down your deepest sexual fantasies, lock them in the box and the fantasies will come true. Cassie's sceptical so her shock is genuine when her own personal sex god turns up at her door.

Treasure hunter Max Stone isn't amused. His newest acquisition has been stolen and he's had to track it all the way to some little town in the US. But the woman he encounters claims that the box is hers. He'll just have to steal it back. Once he's finished fulfilling Cassie's fantasies that is.

This was my first book by Cami Dalton and all in all I have to say I really enjoyed the read. It was fantastical, entertaining and a bit of a romp but the storyline kept me hooked, the sex scenes were hot and the romance was satisfying.

Cassie was feisty and fun - a girl you could really identify with. She did start to get a little annoying towards the end but not so much that I stopped liking her. Max was your usual mysterious, sexy man who is brought down by love. I loved the chemistry between the pair and their interactions were good fun.

If I had one complaint about the book it was that I was never really sure where the gypsy magic stopped and the real feelings started. But it was hardly enough to ruin what is, essentially, a fun, interesting and entertaining romantic romp. 4 stars.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Sand, Sun...Seduction

Sexy and sultry summer romance
5 Stars

ENTICED by Stephanie Bond
Attorney Kimber Karlton is having a stressful time. She’s missed her flight to her romantic getaway and now she has to take a chartered plane with rugged rogue and sex god, Finn Meyers.

This was a fun, likeable story with great characters and some real emotion. It really made me smile and was the perfect summer read.

After her messy divorce from her cheating ex, Liz Talbot finds herself tending bar in gorgeous St Lucia and loving it. That is until millionaire Jack Beaumont tracks her down and tempts her with a proposition she isn’t sure she can refuse.

Like the first story, this was a summery, sweet and exciting read with great characters, hot sex and the perfect ending.

FEVERED by Lori Wilde
Journalist Macy Gatwick is determined to get a promotion by getting the story of the year. She just needs to find Armando Cutler and find out why the corporate whiz suddenly left his job and exiled himself in Costa Rica. But getting stuck with the gorgeous man in a cabin during a tropical storm makes her change her priorities.

This was the weakest story of the three, for me, yet it was still a good read with interesting characters, good dialogue and a sultry setting.

You rarely get a romance anthology where all the stories are strong and enjoyable but they definitely are both in this book. The settings will transport you to hot, sensuous places while the romance will make you sigh. This is the perfect book for a summer read and one I would recommend. 5 stars.

Monday, 13 July 2009

For Blackmail... or Pleasure by Robyn Grady

Unlikeable characters ruin romance
2 stars

Multimillionaire Tate Bridges isn't about to let his younger brother go to jail for a crime he's convinced he didn't commit. So he does the only thing he can think of to stop that happening - blackmail psychologist Donna Wilks into giving his brother a good court psychology assessment.

As it happens, Donna is his ex-fiance and the only woman Tate has ever loved and he's desperate to rekindle the passion that still simmers between them. But have things changed since they broke up or are they destined to keep repeating their previous mistakes?

I really enjoy second-time-round love stories so I was looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, despite the good premise, the characters really let the book down. Tate was controlling, arrogant and his domination of the heroine and everyone else in his life made for some quite uncomfortable reading at times. Donna was the complete opposite and despite being packaged as a strong, successful business-woman she was pathetically wimpy and never once stood up to Tate or said no to his demands and manipulations.

All in all, this is a simple story that would do if it's the only thing you have to read but other than that I really can't recommend this book. 2 stars.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Four Dukes and a Devil

Slightly lacklustre romance anthology
3 Stars

THE IRISH DUKE by Cathy Maxwell
Pretty Susan Rogers is a 26 year old spinster who helps the young ladies of the ton find suitable husbands – so long as they are not Irish Dukes. So who should appear at the beginning of the season to find a wife but an Irish Duke, Roan Gillray, who seems to have set his sights on Susan herself.

This was a sweet story but lacked believability due to the short length. It was still an enjoyable, well-written story that will make you smile.

Gray Gilliam has come to sleepy Wellfleet, Massachusetts to spend a summer changing her life. But that’s before she goes skinny dipping, a dog called Duke steals her clothes and her hot neighbour, Sam Gregory, sees her stark naked!

This was a good, fun-loving story with good characters and a cute dog. I couldn’t really decide the purpose of the ghost in the story but apart from that I enjoyed it.

DEVIL TO PAY by Jeaniene Frost
Blake Turner has been possessed by an evil demon and the only way to get rid of it is to die. But now he’s met gorgeous vampire Elise, he suddenly realises he desperately wants to live.

I am really not into vampire/demon stories and this one didn’t change my mind. It was interesting with a good ending but it really wasn’t a romance story.

When John Varick, Duke of Beaufort nearly runs down Miss Victoria Givan in the middle of a country road, he has no idea that by offering her and her teenage charges a lift to their destination, he might be risking his bachelor status.

I enjoyed this story and the characters in it but towards the end the story started to brim with characters from previous Nash books. Having never read her before, I found this annoying and spoiled the story for me somewhat.

CHARMED BY HER SMILE by Tracy Anne Warren
Miss India Byron is being plagued by the unwanted attentions of a rather insipid suitor. So she enlists the help of Quentin Marlowe, Duke of Weybridge to pretend to pursue her in the hopes of deterring the love-struck lad. But is it really pretend after all?

I could have lived with the tried and true plot if it had a little magic but it was actually quite bland and boring. I also didn’t believe that it was anything more than infatuation and lust between the couple. Disappointing.

The good thing about this anthology is that it has a wide selection of very different types of story. Unfortunately, personally I didn’t find any of the stories particularly thrilling and although a few of them were fairly interesting, I don’t think I’ll be going out of my way to read any of the stories again in a hurry. 3 stars.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Bending The Rules by Susan Andersen

Another fabulous romance
5 stars

Tall, dark and sinfully delicious Detective Jason de Sanges is Poppy Calloway’s sheik fantasy come to life. Unfortunately, he’s also the man who’s been told to help out with Poppy’s programme to help some delinquent teens who’ve been caught spray-painting their Seattle neighbourhood. He’s not happy about it and boy does it show.

The men in Jase’s family were always on the wrong side of the law and he is determined not to give in to his baser instincts. However he can’t seem to stay away from sexy, free-spirited Poppy and she’s wearing him down with every step he takes.

This is the second in Susan Andersen’s Sisterhood Diaries trilogy that follows three friends, Jane, Poppy and Ava. This book does stand alone although I would still recommend Jane’s story in the first book in the series Cutting Loose.

There are lots of characters in the book and although we do focus on more than just the main couple, it’s definitely Poppy and Jase that capture your attention. Jase is such a man’s man – sexy, dangerous and tough but with a real need for the love of a good woman. Poppy is a real woman to aspire to. She’s sweet, feisty, loyal and perfect for Jason. The pair had chemistry to make your stomach flip over and the whole book was sexy, fun and upbeat.

There is a slight suspense element to this book but it isn’t the whole point to the story and it’s not scary or violent.

Susan Anderson always manages to write books that really make you feel good. There are wonderful characters, hot sex and a great plot and this book is no exception. Definitely recommended and worth 5 stars.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Disappointing summer anthology
2 Stars

THE GUY DIET by Thea Devine
Food columnist Lo Cavallera has decided that it’s time to give up men. Unfortunately newspaper editor Jed Costigan has plans to change her mind.

Written in first person and also third person, this is a terribly written, pretentious and cringe-worthy story with a shallow, distasteful heroine and a lackluster hero. It wasn’t hot – just juvenile and crude. Embarrassingly bad.

LIGHT MY FIRE by Debbi Rawlins
Marketing guru Jordan Samms has been ordered to take a break from her hectic life. She decides to take a wilderness vacation where hunky tour guide Zach Wilde might just take her mind off her work.

A pretty stereotypical story of high flying city girl stuck in the wilderness. While being fairly well written – unfortunately the heroine was sarcastic, spoiled and deserved a good slap of reality. The hero could do so much better which isn’t ideal in a romance.

NO RESERVATIONS by Samantha Hunter
Edie Stevens is shocked when she gets to her holiday cottage by the ocean only to find it occupied by gorgeous Joel Roberts because of a mix-up with the dates. They plan to steer clear of each other but they didn’t count on their sizzling chemistry.

It isn’t the most interesting story I have ever read but this was still a sweet, enjoyable tale with likeable characters and a good, solid romance. Easily the best story of the bunch.

This is supposed to be an anthology of stories that are hot and perfect for summertime reading. Unfortunately, the first two stories are mind-numbingly bad and despite the sweet warmth of Samantha Hunter’s tale, it just isn’t good enough to make this book one I would recommend. There are much better anthologies out there that I think would be a more satisfying read. 2 stars.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Wed Him Before You Bed Him by Sabrina Jeffries

Exciting and Entertaining Regency Romp
5 stars

When she was eighteen years of age, Charlotte Page made a rash mistake that changed the course of her life and made her live with a guilt that has never really gone away.

However she managed to start her life over as the respectable Mrs Charlotte Harris opening a prestigious school for girls with the help of an anonymous benefactor, "Cousin Michael".

Unbeknownst to her, "Cousin Michael" is the man from her past that she wronged so badly. To save her school, she now needs his help again - but will he be able to give it without revealing his identity and revealing all the ugly secret behind his charade?

This is the final book in Jeffries' School For Heiresses series coming after: (Never Seduce A Scoundrel, Only a Duke Will Do, Beware a Scot's Revenge, Let Sleeping Rogues Lie and Don't Bargain With the Devil. (There is also a short novella within the series in The School for Heiresses anthology). While it might be more satisfying if you have read the other books in the series, this story does stand alone quite nicely.

I really enjoyed this story - it was filled with excitement, love, sex, rogues, secrets, betrayals, murder and everything else you need to make a fantastic story. Both Charlotte and "Cousin Michael" are great characters, have fabulous chemistry but have enough problems and obstacles to overcome to keep the pages turning and make you not want to put the book down.

I have really enjoyed every book in the School For Heiresses series but this is definitely one of my favourites. It's lively, entertaining and really encompasses you in the Regency era and the love story. If you enjoy a good, satisfying Regency romance then I would definitely recommend this book to you. 5 stars.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sinfully Sweet

Romance and chocolate
4 Stars

Harlequin Blaze puts together a collection of three Valentine’s stories that all centre around decadent chocolate.

Sensible Rebecca Moore decides to shake off her sensible image and let loose at her sister’s wedding. With the help of some chocolate from a local shop, Rebecca decides it’s time to give in to her desires for millionaire playboy, Connor Bassett.

This was a fine story although I’m really not a fan of older woman – younger man stories. However it was still sweet, romantic and a good read for an anthology.

CONSTANT CRAVING by Jacquie D’Alessandro
Daniel Montgomery likes order in his life. Unfortunately his neighbour, Carlie Pratt is the complete opposite and constantly manages to disrupt his life. Just before he moves out of town, Daniel decides it might be time to see whether opposites do attract.

This was a sweet, uncomplicated story about two likeable characters. There was enough heat to keep it interesting and the ending made me sigh in happiness!

Hotel manager, Darcy Scott is stunned when she literally bumps into baseball star Kel Martin at the local sweet shop. The pair had a steamy one-night stand five years before and soon they are picking up right where they left off all those years ago.

While easily readable and ultimately enjoyable, this story was light on the emotion and realism. Having said that, it was still a good read and rounded off the anthology nicely.

Overall this was an enjoyable and interesting anthology. If you’re looking for some fun, short stories that are full of love, romance and chocolate – I would definitely recommend this Blaze anthology to you.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Going Down Hard by Tawny Weber

Fun and well-written romance
4 stars

Sierra Donovan has managed to shake off her troubled past and is now a successful, straight talking business woman. If only she could rid herself of herself of the annoying yet undeniably sexy cowboy, Reece Carter – the same man she had a delicious and hot encounter with a couple of months ago.

But when Sierra finds herself with a stalker and blackmailer – she has to give in to pressure and hire herself a twenty-four-hour bodyguard. Who better than skilled security specialist Reece?

Soon Reece is watching Sierra’s every move and they seem to be moving towards the bedroom.

This book is the follow on to Weber’s previous book Coming On Strong. The characters from the previous book also appear in this on and although they talk about events that occurred in the previous story, the books really do stand alone.

The characters in this book were definitely likeable. Sierra was feisty and straight talking without ever coming across as hard or a stereotype while Reece was a lovely, rugged cowboy with a soft side.

The chemistry between the pair was hot and I only didn’t give the book the full five stars because I would have liked some more conversations between Reece and Sierra rather than just their teasing/banter.

Despite that, it was a fun, easy book to read and one that I would recommend for anyone who likes a good romance. 4 stars.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Just Wicked Enough by Lorraine Heath

Tender and sweet Victorian romance
5 Stars

In desperate need of money, Michael Treymayne, Marquess of Falconridge takes the only option open to him and auctions himself, and his title, to the highest bidder.

Headstrong, independent and alluring American Kate Rose was the last person that Michael would have picked as his bride and now he is stuck with her as his wife. Unfortunately for Michael, Kate only wants one thing from the marriage. Love.

Michael is just as stubborn as Kate and as the pair battle to see who will gain the upper hand in their marriage, they both realise that perhaps they are a match after all.

This book is set in 1888 and starts off roughly where the first book in the Rogues and Roses series (A Duke of Her Own) left off. Despite this, there is no real reason to read the books in order as this book stands alone quite nicely.

I just love a man who is strong and brave yet so vulnerable and lonely on the inside. Michael deserves love more than most heroes and it was lovely to see him find happiness with Kate. The book had some lovely, tender moments and some great chemistry between Kate and Michael despite having few love scenes.

I’m really starting to enjoy Lorraine Heath’s books. She always manages to deliver great emotion and romance that will make you smile. If you enjoy books by Sabrina Jeffries and Cathy Maxwell then I would recommend this book to you. 5 stars.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Letters from Home by Rhonda Nelson

Sexy and romantic
5 Stars

Levi McPherson’s tour of duty in Iraq has one serious benefit – the sexy, x-rated love letters he’s getting from home. If only he knew which person from home was sending him these red-hot, explicit fantasies in her letters.

When he gets leave, he heads home determined to discover the author of the letters only to find it’s his brother’s best friend – Natalie Rowland – the very girl who stars in every one of his own fantasies.

Soon the pair are working through each one of their fantasies. But with Levi’s leave set to end in a few days and Natalie tied to her home town routes – can this ever be anything other than a fling?

This was a strong, romantic and sexy book despite the fact that the letter plot wasn’t really the main source of conflict and really didn’t feature too highly (apart from the snippets at the beginning of each chapter).

Levi was the all-male, all-American hero with a big heart while Natalie was a likeable, real girl you could really root for. Together the pair had sizzling chemistry and the book was deliciously hot and sexy.

Overall, this was a really well-written, romantic and at times emotional read. The characters and the plot were strong and the ending satisfying and realistic. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series (The Solider) and would recommend this book to those who enjoy a good, sexy romance.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Stripped by Julie Leto

Gimmicky supernatural romance
2 Stars

Detective Mac Mancusi cannot seem to forget Lilith St Lyon – despite the fact that they broke up months ago. Now she’s back in his life and he’s fallen under her spell once again.

Teaming up to solve a tough drugs case, Mac needs Lilith’s psychic abilities even though they were the reason for the pair’s fiery break up. But Lilith’s gift has been removed from her and so the pair must now work together with no barriers between them.

With demons, warlocks, witches and a higher council, this book is very reminiscent of an episode of Charmed. Unfortunately it lacked the fun and attention-grabbing nature of the show.

Lilith wasn’t a particularly engaging character and while Mac was a fair hero, neither were particularly well-rounded or developed enough to care about them or their relationship. There were sparks of chemistry but not enough to carry the book.

The supernatural element of the story wasn’t in the least bit scary but I did find it really gimmicky and the romance really suffered as a result. The story was a little predictable and the final outcome in the story was a fairly obvious from early on.

This is not the kind of story that I would be looking for in a Blaze romance. It’s a little predictable, gimmicky and not really a book that I can recommend. It’s not badly written and isn’t the worst story I’ve read but otherwise I’m sorry to say I just didn’t like it. 2 stars.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Don't Bargain With The Devil by Sabrina Jeffries

Interesting and passionate romance
5 Stars

Beautiful but outspoken Lucinda Seton is distraught when she learns that the gorgeous Spaniard from the neighboring estate intends to turn his land into a pleasure garden thus ruining the School for Girls where Lucy works. Determined to stop him, she agrees to show him around and hopefully change his mind.

Diego Montalvo hasn’t really come to open a pleasure garden but rather to find the long lost granddaughter of a rich Spanish count and bring her back to Spain. If he is to succeed and gain his reward he only has to follow one rule – Lucy must be returned untouched. Easier said than done when the only reward he wants is Lucy herself.

This is the fifth book in the School for Heiresses series (after Never Seduce A Scoundrel, Only A Duke Will Do, Beware a Scot’s Revenge and Let Sleeping Rogues Lie). While the books do all tie together, there is no reason to have read the previous books to enjoy and understand this one.

I am a huge fan of Sabrina Jeffries and this latest book definitely lived up to my expectations. From the start, both Diego and Lucy were likeable characters that you can identify with and really get behind. I liked their chemistry together and the fact that both were passionate and fiery. Lucy was feisty without being a stereotype and Diego was a gorgeous, intense Spaniard – a perfect combination.

The back story of what really happened to Lucy was interesting and intriguing without ever being overly complicated. All the loose ends were tied up well making for a satisfying ending even if it did make you desperate to read the next book in the series, Wed Him Before You Bed Him which wraps up Charlotte’s story.

Overall, this was a well written, fun, lively and exciting romance novel that I would recommend to anyone. 5 stars.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Coming on Strong by Tawny Weber

Sexy and likeable Blaze romance
4 stars

Mitch Carter really needs an event planner to oversee the opening of his luxury resort and only the best will do. Unfortunately for Mitch, the best happens to be sexy, seductive Belle Forsham – the women who left him at the altar six years ago.

The sparks between the pair burn as hot as ever and some red-hot sexual revenge has never been so much fun. But it seems someone is out to sabotage Mitch’s hotel and Belle’s event planning business and they have to be in it together to stop them.

Being a story about a second chance at love – I was looking forward to this book and I found that I really enjoyed it. It did take a while for the story to get going and for me to identify with the characters, especially Belle, but once it got going it kept the pages turning.

The chemistry between Belle and Mitch was hot and the sex scenes were plentiful and scorching. Having said that, they felt like they were part of the story and not just dropped in for the sake of it which is always a good thing.

The writing was fun and readable, the characters likeable and engaging and the story line kept my interest. There was a mystery element to the story but it’s not pivotal to the story so it doesn’t matter that the mystery is very easy to solve!

Overall, this is a fun, light and sexy read that fans of Blaze romances will enjoy and a book that I would recommend. I’m also looking forward to reading the related book about Sierra and Reece in Going Down Hard. 4 stars.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Naked Attraction by Jule McBride

Contrived and disappointing romance
2 stars

Ellie Lee and Robby Robriquet have always had amazing chemistry so it's no surprise when the pair finally get together. Robby is everything Ellie has always wanted - smart, sexy, sophisticated and a real man's man. But then everything goes wrong.

When Ellie's dad promotes Robby over Ellie, the betrayal makes Ellie leave Mississippi and start a new, wild life in New York. But it's not long before Robby barges back into Ellie's life and demands that the pair make up for lost time. And in bed seems like a good place to start.

I love a storyline where a couple get a second chance at love but this one just didn't do it for me at all. Ellie wasn't a particularly sympathetic heroine and was described as selfish, hard and unyielding. Robby was slightly better but hardly the "man's man" he was supposed to be as he didn't once go after what he really wanted. The pair had chemistry and there were some hot love scenes but they weren't enough to carry the book.

Unfortunately the plot was contrived and, towards the end, downright ridiculous. You could see the "twist" coming a mile off and it had me shaking my head in disbelief. The secondary characters sounded so stereotypical that I still have no idea why they were even included. And the fact that everyone called Ellie's dad 'Daddy Eddie' really made me cringe. The clincher for me was the fact that the entire conflict could have been avoided by a simple conversation between the two main characters.

The good point of this book was that it was fairly easy to read and wasn't offensive in any way. If you're a fan of Jule McBride then you might enjoy this but I can't say I would recommend this book to anyone else. 2 stars.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

The Magnate's Indecent Proposal by Ally Blake

Sweet Yet Slow-Paced Romance
4 stars

After three nuisance calls, Chelsea London finally realises that she's accidentally swapped phones with someone in the restaurant that same morning. Knowing her luck, she'll go all the way back to town to have it belong to a middle aged man with paunch.

Luckily for her, the person with her phone is deliciously handsome and super rich. What a shame that he's so ridiculously out of her league. But Damien Halliburton always gets what he wants, and happily for Chelsea - he wants her!

Set in Melbourne, Australia, this was an enjoyable and sweet tale if a little slow paced. Chelsea and Damien were likeable and real characters and you really feel their chemistry with each other. The writing was wonderful, especially the dialogue which was witty and fun at all times.

The premise was amusing and believable but with the whole story taking place in under a week, you really have to suspend reality to believe in the happily ever after. I also found that some scenes dragged out quite a lot and I felt that, at times, there could have been less talk and more action.

Overall, this was a fun, well-written story that was easy to read and perfect for a quiet afternoon if you enjoy the Modern Heat line. 4 stars.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

No Holding Back by Isabel Sharpe

Love in 24 hours
4 stars

Reporter Hannah O'Reilly is determined to make the New Year count so she starts by sneaking into the estate of reclusive millionaire Jack Brattle on a stormy New Year's Eve. Finding herself stranded in his luxurious house is just a perk of her job especially since he's got champagne, gorgeous food and a delicious body that he's willing to share with her.

Hannah has always been known as the impulsive type but she might just have landed a career and life changing scoop with the sexy millionaire. Or maybe things aren't quite as perfect as they seem!

This was an enjoyable read from Blaze although you really have to escape reality to believe in the everlasting love after only 24 hours. Having said that, as a pure escapism fairy-tale, this was perfect!

Mysterious, brooding heroes with a boyish charm are my favourite kind and Hannah was someone I could definitely identify with. The pair had some good sizzle but it wasn't ever totally scorching.

Overall, this is a good book to make you forget your troubles for a while. It's fun, romantic and great if you enjoy a quick yet satisfying read. 4 stars.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress by Elizabeth Boyle

Emotional and romantic read
4 stars

Prim and proper Philippa, Lady Gossett has vivid memories of a dashing pirate, the kisses he stole and the love the pair shared together. Now, twenty years after she made the decision to marry another to save his life, she finds herself back in the company of Captain Thomas Dashwell.

The twenty years have not been kind to Captain Dashwell and he is embittered by the woman that broke his heart and betrayed him. Yet she has haunted his dreams since they were together and since he can't forget her, he'll just have to try and win her back!

This is, I believe, the final book in the Bachelor Chronicles series (after Something About Emmaline, This Rake of Mine, Love Letters from a Duke and Confessions of a Little Black Gown). This book does mention things that happened in the previous books in the series but probably does stand alone well enough.

The book is told with the use of flashbacks but this doesn't stop the story from flowing nicely. The flashbacks were beautifully written and you really felt the emotions from Dash and Pippin as they desperately tried to stay together. Despite changing over the twenty years, I also liked the 'present day' scenes and both Dash and Pippin didn't lose their sparkle with age!

I have to admit I was torn between giving this book 4 or 5 stars. It really was an excellent book but the ending just didn't have the same emotional impact as the rest of the book for me and so I decided to go with 4 stars. Despite that, it's still an excellent book and one that I really couldn't put down. It's emotional, romantic and a really good read. Definitely recommended.