Friday, March 31, 2017

Mini Reviews ~ March 2017

Sometimes, I don't have the time or inclination to do a full review for a title. This will typically apply to books that are short stories, part of a mini-series, some novellas, etc. Instead of abandoning these reviews, I will be giving mini reviews. Check them out!


Title: Bet Me
Author: Lila Monroe
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance
Series: None
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via KindleUnlimited
Rating: ✺✺✺
LinksGoodreads
Review: The premise of this book was really good. A woman with a bad track record with men has a moment of weakness when she declares herself to be celibate until men remember that romance is part of the intimate equation.

I loved another of Lila Monroe's books and hoped this one would be a five star read, too. Alas, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Yes, there was plenty of shenanigans and some humor but I had two problems. One: even though this is a dual POV, we barely get Jake's side of things. This made it harder to connect with him because every important moment was from Lizzie's eyes.

And two: I think there were many missed moments in this book where the author could have given several characters some enlightenment. The whole idea is that romance is dead and it shouldn't be accepted to stay that way. The secondary characters were very selfish and never really learned from their behavior. And Jake, himself, could have benefited from a moment of "zen" when he realized he was unknowingly being romantic in order to win Lizzie's heart. 

It fell flat in the end. It was all about sex and hardly nothing more substantial. I mean the characters were all going crazy without sex after what? A few weeks? I'm a military wife and can go without it for months. No sympathy found here.

I also couldn't understand Lizzie's consistent use of Tinder. It's common knowledge that the app is only used for hookups and not serious relationships. So an online dating site would have been better and made the story more believable for me.



Title: The Last Empress
Author: C.K. Brooke
Genre/Age: Fantasy Romance/Adult
Series: Jordinia Series (Book 0.5)
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺
LinksGoodreads
Review: This novella is a prequel to the Jordinia series that I love. Here, we are reading the diary entries of the young woman who will become the mother of Dainy (from The Duchess Inheritance).

The diary entries span many years and tell the story from before Neandra becomes an Empress and up to the relative time period that The Duchess Inheritance begins. We see the struggles Neandra faces with her new husband, the births of her children, and her attempts to connect with the people that she rules over. 

I loved getting a sneak peek into the mind of Neandra during a hostile time in Jordinia history. Her tale was sad at times, but it added another layer to the story since we don't get to see much of her in the other books. However, her legacy lives on through her daughter.




Title: The Boxer
Author: Piper Rayne
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance/Adult
Series: Modern Love Series (Book Two)
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via KindleUnlimited
Rating: ✺✺✺✺.5
LinksGoodreads
Review: Hilarious, sweet, and steamy!

This book was a nearly perfect romance story involving a woman scorned by a cheating ex and a boxer with a slight identity crisis on the way. The fun takes no time at all to get started and doesn't really slow down until the final page. I laughed and swooned quite a bit throughout this story.

The romance was incredibly hot and the chemistry between our couple was instant and realistic. There were a few moments of foreshadowing that got my super sleuth mind churning. Not bragging (sure, I am) but I totally called it, including the first boxing match, too.

My only complaint is the lack of communication by the two usually quite mature characters. It seemed a bit forced for there to be so much secrecy when both characters were pretty genuine people. Also, Whitney really annoyed me a few times with her pessimism.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment of this series and seeing what trouble Lennon can get into!




Title: Her Forbidden Crush
Author: Ash Harlow
Genre/Age: Contemporary Romance/Erotica
Series: None
Publisher: Self-published
Format: ebook via Author
Rating: ✺✺✺
LinksGoodreads
Review: This was a really steamy read.

The novella starts out with a bit of history between our couple, who knew each other years before and their families had a huge falling out. I can't say that I've ever read a book set in New Zealand before, so that was new.

Then the story jumps right into the naughty action, without delay, and the sexy time continues right up until the end. I must say that this was a bit on the raunchier side than I was expecting. No complaints, here. Our hero is more dominating and kinky than I predicted he would be, but our heroine is up for the challenge. In all, this was a good read with lots of dirty talk and sexy time.