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, 12 February 2012

Borrowing a Bachelor by Karen Kendall

A truly terrible book
1 star

To tide her over between jobs, Nikki Fine takes a gig as an exotic dancer. Her first gig involves her popping out of a cake at a bachelor party but what she wasn’t employed to do was fall face-first into groomsman, Adam Burke.

Adam doesn’t mind the gorgeous girl who falls into his arms and one satisfying encounter leads to another. But with Adam studying for exams and Nikki trying desperately to keep her day job - can they overcome the obstacles and find a way to discover the passion between them?


I’m always happy to read a Blaze romance and wasn’t put off by the unusual premise or how the characters meet in the beginning. Unfortunately, after reading the book I feel that these are the only positive things I can say about it.

Firstly - the characters. Adam was far too immature for my tastes right off the bat and not just because he was only 25. I prefer the male lead to be a strong, confident man but Adam was a juvenile, college boy. Nikki, however, just left me shaking my head in disgust. She too was young, immature and so whiney that I actually couldn’t stand her. The pair had no chemistry and the sex scenes were embarrassing to say the least. I want to read about men I want for my own and women that can inspire me.

The plot was flimsy and ridiculous and just didn’t interest me at all, I’m afraid. The language used was unbelievably unsophisticated and I just couldn’t believe how the characters acted and interacted.

Whenever I put this book down, which was often, I started thinking that perhaps I was being too harsh and that it couldn’t have been that bad. So I would pick it up to read again and find out that yes, it really was that bad.

Some books are so bad they are funny. This book didn’t even reach those heights. I’m actually flabbergasted that this was a Blaze book and will be avoiding this author from now on. I’m still shaking my head that I wasted so much of my time reading this book and I can’t recommend it by any stretch of the imagination. 1 star.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Once Upon a Valentine by Various

A fun, fairy tale anthology
4 stars

Every year around Valentine’s Day, Harlequin Blaze publish an anthology filled with themed stories. This year, they’ve gone for the fairytale theme where each story is based around a favourite childhood tale.

“All Tangled Up” - Stephanie Bond
Andrew is back in his small town after the death of his estranged father. He finds his father’s estate in turmoil but can gorgeous neighbour, Summer, with long flowing hair, lead him back to find a happily ever after.

I swear I’ve read this story a hundred times before - man back in home town, estranged father, girl who loved him when younger etc etc etc. This really didn’t excite or interest me and apart from Summer’s hair I could see little resemblance to the fairy tale.

“Sleeping with a Beauty” - Leslie Kelly
Historian, Ashlynn is searching for Sleeping Beauty’s castle when she finds herself accosted by rogue adventurer, Raine. With one kiss Ashlynn realises that even though she hasn’t found her castle perhaps she has found her Prince Charming.

In this cute and unique story we travel back to the fairytale land of Elatyria which featured in a few of Kelly’s previous short stories. Both Raine and Ashlynn are lovely characters and their love story is cute and satisfying.

“Catch Me” - Michelle Rowen
All Ginger wants for Valentine’s Day is for men to want her so that she can have her pick rather than being stood up on the most romantic night of the year. But when a magic cookie makes her dream come true she takes refuge in the arms of her best friend, Stephen, the one man she dreams of having a happily ever after with.

I couldn’t remember much about the tale of the Gingerbread Man but when I read this story I definitely saw the clever similarities. I loved both Ginger and Stephen and their relationship was so sweet. I’ve never read Michelle Rowen before but I’ll look out for other Blaze books by her in the future. Good fun.


I didn’t like the first story at all but the other two certainly made up for it. If you’re looking for light, sweet and romantic stories then even with the bad apple at the start I would still recommend this book to you. 4 stars.