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.

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.