Romance Books

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

the kiss quotient

Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Rating: 5 million stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Public library

Goodreads Summary

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Review

This book has had a lot of hype, so I’ll admit that I was a little worried when I started reading this book. But let me tell you – this book EXCEEDS the hype. So much so that I may have found my new favorite book of the year.

Stella Lane is a math genius. She’s an Econometrician, and she has made a lot of money doing that. She is also special – she has Asperger’s and struggles in social situations. Her mother is pressuring her to find a man and settle down, so Stella decides to hire a male escort to help make her “good at sex”.

Stella is paired with Michael Phan, a man of Vietnamese and Swedish decent.

Image result for daniel henney

Michael is said to look like Daniel Henney (above), but hotter. Michael and Stella have an instant connection. Stella makes Michael an offer for one month of “love lessons” for a very large sum of money – which Michael desperately needs, because his mother has cancer and he’s taking care of her medical expenses.

I cannot describe how amazing Michael is. He is one of the best male characters I have ever read. He became an escort to make money to take care of his family. He had to give up his dream of being a fashion designer when his mother got sick, and he has 5 sisters. Michael’s father is a bad guy – a con artist, and Michael is convinced he’s going to end up like him.

Stella gets Michael from the beginning. She doesn’t want him for his body. She appreciates that he is kind and thoughtful. His family was quite funny. I especially loved his mother and grandmother. His sisters were funny as well.

The best thing about this story, however, is the way the author handled Stella’s autism. It felt very authentic. I really loved Stella – she was a very real character.

My only complaint is I wish this book was told in the first person. Especially Michael’s story. But the third person telling didn’t take away.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s so good. Please read it.

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Romance Books

Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

irresistably yours

Title: Irresistibly Yours
Author: Lauren Layne
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Public library

Goodreads Summary

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

Review

A book about two sports reports sounds amazing, given that I’m a huge sports fan. Add to that that they are both big baseball fans, I’m in.

Penelope Pope has moved to New York because her dream job was stolen out from under her by a man she thought she was in love with. While at a Yankees game, she meets Cole Sharpe – and realizes that they are going for the same job – co-editor at Oxford Magazine.

Penelope considers herself “the girl next door” and in the friend-zone with every guy she meets. She doesn’t believe she’s worthy. I have to say off the bat – I hated that aspect of the book. She was SO self-deprecating. It got really old, really fast, and honestly went on through almost the entire book.

Anyway, I did like Cole. He took care of his older brother, and we didn’t realize right away why, but it really made the story so much sweeter. I loved Bobby, Cole’s brother. He was a great character.

I loved the side characters in this story as well, but it was hard to really love this story, given Penelope’s constant self-bashing. If she’d had a little more confidence, I would have given this book another star.

I will continue to read this series for sure. Overall, this was a cute story and I would recommend.

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Romance Books

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

the hating game

Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Library

 

 

Goodreads Summary

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Review

I checked this book out of library sometime last year, read a little and returned it. Now I’m wondering why I did that, because this is a delightful book.

Josh and Lucy are both assistants to the CEO and after a merger of their two companies, the have to work together. Josh is a tough guy to like – he’s scary, short with people and a little socially awkward. Lucy is the polar opposite – Lucy is a people pleasing delight and everyone who meets her, loves her.

That’s not where their differences lie. Josh is 6 foot 4 and Lucy is five whole feet tall. He calls her Shortcake and Tiny. He pushes every single one of her buttons – all the time.

A promotion at works opens up, and both Lucy and Josh want to go for it. They are both qualified, and both of their bosses think they are the ideal candidate. So the competition between the two of them reaches a breaking point – ending up in a kiss to end all kisses.

The first thing you need to know is this is a SLOW burn. I would say it’s more chick lit than romance, but that’s just my opinion. The banter between Josh and Lucy is really funny. You learn why Josh is the way he is, and it makes him even more likable.

Yes, despite being a hard ass, Josh is a great character. It’s so obvious (to everyone but Lucy) how he feels about her. He was so sweet to her when she ended up sick and he nursed her back to health. He did a lot of things that were swoon-worthy and he didn’t even know it. He was a very well-written character.

I really liked Lucy too. She was funny and spunky and LOVED Smurfs (yes, the little blue creatures). She and Josh had such great chemistry throughout the entire book.

What I didn’t like was:

  • The story was told entirely from Lucy’s POV. I love first person POV, but I really wanted to hear this story from Josh’s side. That would have made it a five star read.
  • Josh’s dad.
  • NO EPILOGUE! Everyone who reads this blog knows I hate that. And there were a few storylines that needed to be wrapped up and weren’t. I found that disappointing.

This was a very cute story and I’m glad I gave it a second chance. I would recommend it.

Happy reading.

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Romance Books

Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan

cowboy up

Title: Cowboy Up
Author: Harper Sloan
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Library

 

 

Goodreads Summary

As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there’s a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with disastrous end to his last relationship, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

Most of the time.

What he hadn’t counted on was cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She’s the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn’t lived an easy life, but after escaping an abusive ex, she’s finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis, a night she can’t stop thinking about.

So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it’ll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little…

Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?

 

Review

This is my second Harper Sloan book this week, but unlike the first, this is the finale in a series.

Clay Davis is the oldest of the Davis siblings and runs the family ranch. He’s a workaholic and hasn’t been in a serious relationship for a while. One night, he’s in Hazel’s, a local bar, and he meets a woman who “wants to be bad”. They end up going to a motel for a night of passion, but the woman doesn’t know who he is. The whole night was spent in darkness.

Caroline Michaels can’t get her “dark cowboy” out of her mind. Imagine her surprise when she realizes it Clay, someone she had a crush on when she was younger. Once Clay sets his eyes on Caroline, he’s not letting her out of his sight again.

Caroline was in an abusive relationship and had a really shitty childhood. She has some real insecurities, and can’t understand what a man like Clay sees in someone as “plain” as her. But Clay is hearing none of that. He’s decided he wants her “bad” all the time.

Clay has taken care of his brother and sister forever, but they are both married and on their own, so he has no one to take care of. When Caroline starts having problems in her life, Clay of course steps in and offers to help her out. Caroline resists at first, because she’s stubborn and proud.

Caroline became a much stronger woman over the course of this book, thanks to Clay’s love and affection. Clay was the ONLY alpha male in this series and took charge when it came to Caroline. Clay also changes – he becomes less focused on work and more focused on his happiness, which involves Caroline.

The drama at the end was a little over the top in my opinion, but it didn’t take away from the story.

I loved the epilogue – it was the perfect ending to the series. I would recommend the series to anyone.

Happy reading.

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Romance Books

Dr. ER by Max Monroe

dr. er

 

Title: Dr. ERotic
Author: Max Monroe
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Loaned to me by a blogging friend (thanks Deanna)

 

Goodreads Summary

Dr. Erotic.
That’s what they’ve decided to call me, Scott Shepard, the head of St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department.
Just thinking about it makes me smile.
As the new face of the reality docuseries, The Doctor Is In, I plan to take his power and recognition right to the streets of New York City and into the pants of willing women.

Well, that was my plan.

Until her—feisty, beautiful, and addictively sexy Harlow Paige.
A gossip columnist that just loves writing about yours truly, she’s everything I thought I never wanted and then some.
She drives me crazy.
Problem is, she doesn’t want to be anything when it comes to me—not friends, not lovers, not even adversaries.
God, I love a good challenge.
Get ready, Harlow. Love is contagious.

Review

I have read several of Max Monroe’s books and LOVE her male characters – this book was no exception. Unfortunately, I had a hard time connecting to the female character in this book.

Harlow is a columnist at Gossip, a smut rag.  She writes about celebrities and local folks in NY, and has found that her newest topic, Scott Shepard, AKA Dr. Erotic, is very interesting.

Scott Shepard is the head of the ER at St. Luke’s hospital in New York. He is a fun guy and has fun at work. He has a ritual before he starts each shift where he sings (which I found adorable). He’s also appearing (along with Will from book 1) in The Doctor is In, a docu-series airing about three doctors at St. Luke’s. Will didn’t love being in the spotlight, but Scott is LOVING it.

One night at the ER, Scott meets a woman who comes in with a head injury. Turns out she was injured during coitus and cut her head. Turns out the woman is Harlow – though when Scott sees her file, he sees her name as Frances (her first name, which she hates). He doesn’t know who she is, so imagine his surprise when he runs into her while at the theater with his mother (Harlow was with her father). Thus begins their friendship.

Scott makes it known early on he’s interested in Harlow. This is where I kind of lost her. In my opinion, she was kind of a bitch to Scott and made him work REALLY hard for her affection. Harlow had a bad relationship where she “lost herself” and gave up too much (her fault) and was afraid to love again (also her fault). She had been in medical school when everything went down with her ex and she gave that up (her fault). I felt that Harlow used her past relationship to blame the problems in her present, which I didn’t care for. I have to say that Harlow is my least favorite of the women I’ve read by Ms. Monroe so far.

Where I didn’t really like Harlow, I LOVED Scott. He was so fun and funny. He was good to his momma even though she was kind of crazy. He had a great bedside manner and was so incredibly thoughtful (he planned a really amazing date for Harlow, and it was one of the sweetest things I’ve read in a long time). He was much more patient than I think a real guy would have been.

I enjoyed the epilogue in this book and will absolutely read the next book in the series. I would recommend this book – maybe you’ll feel different about Harlow.

Happy reading.

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Romance Books

Personal Delivery by Ainsley Booth

personal delivery

Title: Personal Delivery
Author: Ainsley Booth
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Free on Amazon

 

Goodreads Summary

I recognize the sound of his truck turning off in front of my building.
Not only do I recognize it, but my pulse picks up and I get all hot and bothered. Then I hear the low growl cutting out, followed by the clank of metal as he pulls up the back door to grab my package….
Grab my package?
That sounds so dirty.
Which is probably appropriate given some of the fantasies I’ve had about him.
My obsession with the new, mysterious delivery driver is crazy. Intense. Distracting.
The last thing I need is to be crushing on a six-foot-something distraction with a dirty grin.
But my friends have other plans.

Review

I finally had a break in between ARC’s, and this book has been on my kindle for a while now, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I was instantly sucked into this story and got so lost in it. Jake Aston is a billionaire and his company just purchased SwiftEx (think FedEx) and it’s a mess. Jake decides to pull an “undercover boss” to see where the issues lie. While making deliveries,  he meets Jana, who works from home full time as a greeting card designer. Jake and Jana are instantly attracted to each other, and Jake starts making multiple deliveries to Jana, thanks to her friends.

Turns out that Jake is not a delivery guy but a billionaire. When Jana finds out, she doesn’t go running. She accepts it. There was zero drama in this book, which was surprisingly refreshing. It was just a story about two people who meet and fall and love. There is one problem – Jana lives in Baltimore and Jake lives in New York.

Jana’s friends were very funny, and the banter between Jake and Jana was great. Steamy sex scenes as well.

Overall, this was a fun read (I read this in one day) and I would recommend it.

Happy Friday!

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Romance Books

Savor You by Kristen Proby

savor you

Title: Savor You
Author: Kristen Proby
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Genre: Romance
Where I got it: Public library

Goodreads Summary

Cooking isn’t what Mia Palazzo does, it’s who she is. Food is her passion . . . her pride . . . her true love. She’s built a stellar menu full of delicious and sexy meals for her restaurant, Seduction. Now, after being open for only a few short years, Mia’s restaurant is being featured on Best Bites TV. To say Seduction is a wild success is an understatement. All the blood, sweat, tears, and endless hours of work Mia has put into the restaurant has finally paid off.

Then Camden Sawyer, the biggest mistake of her life, walks into her kitchen . . .

Camden’s celebrity chef status is world-renowned. He’s the best there is, and the kitchen is where he’s most at home. He can’t resist the invitation to Portland for a showdown against Mia for a new television show. Mia was in his life years ago, and just like before, he’s met his match in the beautiful Italian spitfire. The way she commands the kitchen is mesmerizing, and her recipes are clever and delicious. He’s never had qualms about competition, and this is no different. He can’t wait to go head to head with Mia. But can he convince her the chemistry they share in the kitchen would be just as great in the bedroom as well?

As Mia and Camden face off, neither realizes how high the stakes are as their reputations are put on the line and their hearts are put to the ultimate test.

Review

 

The last book in the Fusion series focuses on Chef Mia Palazzo, who has quite honestly been my least favorite of the five owners of Seduction since the beginning. Mia comes off as rude and crass and as someone who needs to get laid. Not much changes at the beginning of this novel – we get that same Mia.

Mia has agreed to do a cooking competition with a celebrity chef named Camden Sawyer. Turns out Mia knows Camden – they dated in culinary school. Their relationship ended badly because of Mia, so she’s not too excited to hear that Camden is the person she’ll be sharing screen time with.

Camden is a celebrity chef with his own show, cookware line and cookbooks. He’s done well for himself. He doesn’t expect that he will still be so attracted to Mia. Especially given how their relationship ended. But he is. He’s so kind and sweet, and in the beginning, Mia is kind of a rude bitch to him. But things quickly change.

Mia has a lot of insecurities, mostly about her weight. It kind of bothered me (and I love Kristen Proby, so I’m not knocking her as an author) that the woman on the cover of the book looked like a supermodel and not like a woman with weight issues. It could have been that these were in Mia’s head but several people in the book made comments about her weight. It would have been nice to have the cover model reflect what the character was supposed to look like.

But back to Mia’s insecurities – they got old. She couldn’t understand why Camden was attracted to her. When you love someone, it’s not all about looks.  As a person with weight issues and a husband who loves me, I had a problem with this. I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t just accept his love and adoration and move on.

The ending of the book was good, and believable, but there wasn’t closure on an incident that happened between Mia and Camden’s sister, Steph. Would have been nice for that to be resolved.

There was a nice epilogue that wrapped up everyone, and I really appreciated it. I really loved this series overall, and would recommend it.

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