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.

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.