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.

Sunday, 29 August 2010


Enjoyable Valentine’s anthology
5 stars

This is the annual Blaze anthology for Valentine’s Day with three connecting stories of three friends who are determined not to spend another Valentine’s Day alone.

THE CHASE by Betina Krahn
Samantha Drexel has always loved Nick Stack’s music but when the pair finally meet, the sparks that are flying are more from anger than anything else. But those sparks soon turn into sparks of lust but will their one night together turn into forever?

This was a fun story with likeable characters that had great chemistry and a lot of spark.

THE TAKEDOWN by Joanne Rock
Tori Halsey has been in love with her brother’s best friend for most of her life. Now she’s all grown up, she decides that it’s about time she finds out whether they’ve got the kind of chemistry that can last a lifetime.

I do like a story where the couple have known each other forever and especially enjoyed this one as both Tori and Luke realised perhaps they didn’t know everything about each other. Good chemistry and a well-written story.

Sweet Kitty Colburn is determined not to be the only one without a date on Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, the man she’s picked out is a little, well, boring. So, before she commits to a staid and dull existence, she plans to have some wild times with sexy chef, Josh Beeker.

This was my favourite story of the three as Josh discovers another side to his sweet and shy neighbour. I liked the development of the relationship and it was nicely sexy too.

It’s unusual for me to enjoy all the stories in an anthology but I really enjoyed all three of these. The Valentine’s content is limited so the stories can be enjoyed all year and if you’re looking for some light, fun and romantic stories to take your mind off things for a while then I would recommend this book to you. 5 stars.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Mills and Boon Christmas Treasury of Romance

Disappointing Christmas collection
2 Stars

This is the first Mills and Boon Christmas Treasury although I’m sure it follows on from the Christmas Annuals they published in 2007 and 2008. It takes authors from all different Mills and Boon lines and gives you eleven stories promising romance for over the Christmas season.

Authors featured are: Lucy Munroe, Heidi Rice, Liz Fielding, Alison Kent, Julia James, Margaret Moore, Pamela Toth, Debra Webb, Karen Martyn, Natasha Oakley and Susan Mallery.

My biggest complaint about this book is that only three Christmas or festive stories out of the entire eleven. Why bother compiling a Christmas Treasury only to have most stories have not one drop of Christmas content? I just don’t get it. If I buy a Christmas anthology, I’m looking for 100% Christmas stories.

Having said that the lack of Christmas themes was the biggest issue with this book, I probably would have still been satisfied with the book if I had enjoyed the stories. But, the majority of the stories were bad, with some terrible ones thrown into the mix. Formulaic, highly depressing, lacking depth and emotion, boring and dull were just some of the words that sprang to mind about a lot of the stories. At least one of the stories was also previously offered for free on the e-harlequin website which was rather annoying.

Having said that – there were three good and very enjoyable stories, too. The Christmas Crush by Pamela Toth, Evidence of Desire by Debra Webb and Fool for Love by Susan Mallery were by far the best stories of the book. They alone stopped me from giving this collection only 1 star.

The stories ranged from 6 pages long up to 52 pages long. I tended to prefer the longer ones as they had more depth but that wasn’t always the case. For those who like a particular series of Mills and Boon, there were 2 Modern stories, 3 Romance stories and 1 each of Blaze, Historical, Intrigue, Special Edition. There was also the Woman’s Weekly Competition winning story and a single title author.

I have to say that I did love the retro cover. It really stood out and made me laugh at the same time.

Overall, this book was a huge disappointment to me and I’m afraid that I can’t recommend it. If you’re a Mills and Boon fan then you’re probably going to be much more satisfied buying a full length book. 2 stars.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Blazing Bedtime Stories: Volume 5

One great story, one mediocre
4 Stars

This is the fifth book in Blaze’s Bedtime Stories collection which gives fairy stories a romantic and sexy twist.

A PRINCE OF A GUY by Leslie Kelly
Olivia Vanderbrook has been sent on a very important mission. Journey from her home in the fairytale land of Elatyria to the mystical, magical world called San Fransisco to find and return the kingdom’s errant prince. But it’s not the prince she goes looking for that she ultimately finds.

I am really beginning to enjoy sexy fairy tales and this one is definitely that. Somehow, it’s a believable story with great characters, an interesting plot and some nicely sexy moments. Highly enjoyable and a story that I couldn’t put down.

Finding a guy and getting married is Goldie Dawkins’ biggest desire. That is until she lays eyes on Jake Malone. But Jake is 100% against marriage and although he feels the same desire, he won’t risk his freedom. But then they’re trapped together in a cabin in the woods during a storm and they have to deal with their attraction.

I found this story a bit hit or miss. I couldn’t see how two people with such opposing views (and seemingly understandable reasons for these views) could find a way to be together. When they did it was such a turnaround and so quick that I didn’t believe it for a minute. This isn’t a fairy tale and while easy to read and somewhat entertaining – it didn’t do it for me.

This was a book of two halves with the first story one I enjoyed a lot and the other that I could take or leave. Still, for a quick, romantic read with just a touch of fantasy – this is a fine book to choose. 4 stars – 5 for the first story and 3 for the second.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Hot for Him by Sarah Mayberry

Slightly depressing romance
2 stars

Daytime soap producer, Claudia Dostis, is always in control. So she feels like her world is rocked on its axis when she has to deal with rival producer, - the sexy and infuriating Leandro Mandalor.

Leandro is looking for a wife but he can’t help but be distracted by feisty Claudia. He knows she’s not the marriage and family type but he’s determined to change her mind.

This is the third in Mayberry’s Secret Lives of Daytime Divas trilogy (after Take On Me and All Over You) but stands completely alone if you haven’t read the first two books in the series.

Both Claudia and Leandro are nice enough characters but neither inspired much feeling in me – good or bad. While I completely understood the conflict in the story and even sympathised with the characters, on the whole the subject of alcoholism was really quite depressing as I’m sure it was written with a great deal of authenticity. This probably wouldn’t normally be a problem but when you’re looking for a light, sexy read then it’s not really what you’re looking for.

Plus, I’ll admit that I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more of Grace and Sadie’s romances from the first two books in the trilogy. I always think it’s nice to wrap up a series with a little reunion and ‘where are they now’.

Overall, the book is very readable and I like Sarah Mayberry’s writing style. But this story was too focussed on the conflict and not enough on the romance for me to enjoy overly much. Only 2 stars.

All Over You by Sarah Mayberry

Enjoyable, easy read romance
4 stars

Millions of women drool over hunky soap star, Mac Harrison. And scriptwriter Grace Wellington is no different as Mac has a starring role in every single one of her fantasies. But she’s got no room in her life for a man and especially someone she works with.

When Grace and Mac are thrown together on a project, the lines between fantasy and reality become blissfully blurred. Grace is determined to enjoy her fling with Mac but has Mac got something more permanent on his mind?

This is the second in the Secret Lives of Daytime Divas trilogy (after Take on Me and before Hot for Him) but it stands on its own just fine so reading the other two or in order isn’t necessary to understand and enjoy this book.

Both Grace and Mac are likeable characters that have good chemistry together starting off antagonistic and moving onto romance and love. Grace’s problems were slightly out of proportion to her strong, sassy character but probably realistic none-the-less.

The plot is fairly light but fun at the same time. In the end, the focus on the romance left some of Grace’s family issues left as loose ends. But that wasn’t too much of a problem for me as I always like to focus on the romance.

This is essentially a fun, enjoyable and romantic read that I would recommend to those who enjoy a Blaze romance or are just looking for a book to take them away for a couple of hours. 4 stars.