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, 16 October 2011

In the Line of Fire by Jennifer LaBrecque

Simple yet enjoyable story
4 stars

When sweet and sexy Andi asks for his help in fleeing from her groom on her wedding day, army officer Colton Sawyer is on hand to help her escape. Unfortunately Andi is his best friend’s little sister and that, coupled with her recently ruined wedding means she’s off limits no matter how much he wants her. How much he’s always wanted her.

But that’s hard to remember now that they’re sharing a hotel room with each other and being in such close contact. No battle was ever as hard as keeping his hands off Andi and she’s ready to wage a war for his heart that he’s not sure if he would mind losing.

This was a fairly simple story of a couple who have always liked each other but have never found the right time to take it to the next level. Other than running away from the wedding nothing overly exciting happened with the plot but it was still an enjoyable story that I wanted to keep reading.

Despite running out on her wedding and subsequently running off with Colton, the story was written in a way that made you still root for them as a couple and you could really understand and believe in the ultimate love story. I also liked the fact that Andi didn’t shirk her responsibilities and dealt with the practical side of running away with nothing but a huge wedding gown!

Overall this was a sweet story to pass away a couple of hours and one that I would recommend if you like stories of strong, army men falling in love. 4 stars.

By Invitation Only by Lori Wilde, Wendy Etherington & Jillian Burns

Short, fun and sexy reads
4 Stars

A wedding between famous actress Holly Addison and Texas Tycoon J.D. Maynard on exotic Rapture Island is the celebrity event of the season. Everyone wants an invitation which is the basis for these three short stories.

Exclusively Yours by Lori Wilde
In order to get the story of the year, journalist Olivia Carmichael must fake an engagement with infuriating writer, Nick Greer. The pair have always been at odds but being in such close quarters with each other might make them change their minds.

This was a fun story with great characters. I was able to suspend belief and just enjoy the story although the editing mistakes were quite irritating. Overall a good story that I enjoyed reading!

Private Party by Wendy Etherington
Tara Lindsey wants to know why she wasn’t chosen as the caterer for the wedding of the season. So she decides to crash the party. Unfortunately for her, chief of security, Wade Cooper, catches her in the act. But who will actually end up caught?

For being a short story this was surprisingly sweet and you really felt the relationship build. I liked the characters and was happy for them together as a pair.

Secret Encounter by Jillian Burns
Dr Peyton Monahan has come to the wedding to find the elusive philanthropist she wants to fund her latest research project. What she does find is a really hot guy. Shame that Quinn Smith has been keeping some secrets of his own…

I liked this story but if I’m honest it didn’t completely entertain me. I couldn’t understand why Peyton was so angry at Quinn’s “deception” and their whole relationship was a little unbelievable. But I did still enjoy the story and the characters were likeable enough.

Overall this is a good collection of short stories all centred around a theme but without much connection other than that. They are short, fun and sexy and worth a read if you enjoy Blaze romances. 4 stars.

You Don't Know Jack by Erin McCarthy

A meandering romantic story
3 stars

Jamie Peters is fed up of looking for true love when all she finds are liars, cheats and scumbags. But she can’t help but be a little intrigued when her cross dressing psychic tells her that an accident involving food will bring her a tall, dark and sexy man who is her soul mate.

And then it happens. Jack is the kind of man Jamie has been searching for her whole life – smart, sexy, normal and best of all, honest. But what Jack’s not telling her is that he is really her roommate’s brother, he’s investigating her for fraud and he’s actually a millionaire. But soon the pair are in too deep and the lies just keep piling up. Will they be able to make it work or is destiny ready to be proven wrong?

This book has been sitting on my 'to be read' pile for a long time so by the time I got round to it I was really looking forward to reading it. For some reason, it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

The first part of the book focuses solely on Jamie and Jack as they meet and then get naked. I’m all for sexiness is a story but the long, drawn out foreplay and initial sex scene got pretty tiresome after a while, especially since it drew on for chapter after chapter.

The rest of the book is basically about Jack trying to redeem himself for the lies that he has told. When we got to this bit the book definitely picked up and I enjoyed Jack’s cute little conversations with Jamie as he tried to win her back.

The whole book then took on this fashion of really slow bits punctuated by the more interesting so it did feel a bit disjointed. The story was okay but I did feel Jamie was a little immature and Jack was a little bit wet at times. I just wanted him to get a bit more spark and take charge of what he wanted.

Other than that this was a nice enough story that was okay for a meandering read. I wouldn’t recommend you rush out and buy it but if you’re a fan of Erin McCarthy then it’s probably worth a look. 3 stars.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

3 Brides for 3 Bad Boys by Lucy Monroe

Readable and inoffensive set of stories
3 stars

This is a set of three stories about three brothers and the women that finally manage to tame them.

Rand Alexander always has a gorgeous woman on his arm but since his wife died 6 years ago, he’s never again given away his heart. Innocent Phoebe Garrison has always felt like the unnoticed wallflower on the edge of Rand’s life but now she has a plan – the deed for the property his company needs in exchange for a week in her bed.

This was an okay story but Rand never really came out of his shell and remained from beginning to end a little bit of an enigma. I also didn’t really like the fact that Phoebe was the ex-fiancĂ©e of Rand’s brother – it just made her seem a little fickle.

Carter Sloane needs a bride quickly to ensure he fulfils the terms of his late father’s will and he has just the girl in mind. Daisy Jackson works for his company and has always had a little crush on her boss but she is more than stunned when suddenly he’s proposing marriage. But does he want a bride of convenience or a wife in truth?

This was a sweet little story and would have worked well if the author hadn’t tried to convince the readers that this was rational behaviour and something that would happen in everyday life. That, for me, meant I couldn’t really enjoy it for a fun little escape from reality that it should have been.

When straight-laced Colton Denning wakes up in Vegas next to a showgirl after a scorching night of passion he’s shocked and high tails it out of town. When the lovely lady in question, Fayre Cranston, turns up in Mexico where he’s working, Colton is quite keen to pick up where they left off. Until he discovers that she’s his wife.

Again, a fairly standard story that suffers largely due to its short length. It’s not hugely believable and for some reason I had huge issues with the name ‘Fayre’ although both she and Colton were reasonable enough characters if nothing overly exceptional.

Overall, if you have this book then it’s worth a read but certainly not one that I would recommend you rush out and buy. As with many short stories, these suffer a lack of character development and believability due to the story length. They are readable, a little sexy and inoffensive. 3 stars.

Making A Splash by Joanne Rock

Fairly sub-standard Blaze romance
2 stars

Alicia LeBlanc is ready to set sail for her new life running a B&B in Maine. She’s hitching a lift on a friend’s catamaran to take her to her destination. But she must be dreaming because once the boat reaches open sea she realises that her still delectable ex has stowed away on the boat along with her.

Although it was a mistake ending up in Alicia’s bed after all these years, Navy Lieutenant Jack Murphy isn’t one to let an opportunity pass him by. But as their chemistry heats up on the water, will it all fizzle out when they reach dry land?

I’ve always enjoyed a ‘second chance at love’ story and I was excited by the premise of this one as the pair would be stranded together and have to deal with each other and their feelings. Unfortunately, the book just didn’t live up to my expectations.

Alicia was a likeable enough character but, to tell the truth, she came across as a little bland. Jack, surprisingly, didn’t do much for me either. I think the problem was that Jack’s initial reasons for dumping Alicia and joining the Navy seemed a little flimsy and weak. After that, I couldn’t help but feel that every complaint that Alicia had about him (being too controlling etc) was actually true. And since Jack had thought Alicia too young previously, I think she was written as quite bland to ensure she didn’t come across as too immature.

Another surprising complaint about the book was that there was too much sex! Being a Blaze book you’re obviously going to get a hot and sexy read and that’s what I want but it just got a little boring in this particular book. It was as if there wasn’t enough plot so a sex scene was thrown in to try and make it more interesting.

I just couldn’t get into this book, unfortunately. I kept picking it up and planning to read it but I could only manage a few pages each time before I got bored. So it’s not one I would recommend and only 2 stars from me.