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.

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.