Search

MyBookAddictionReviews

Reviews of Great and Not so Great Books.

Author

kadiyaarwen

Review: SWEET NOTHINGS by Natasha Lake

SWEET NOTHINGS

NATASHA LAKE

Publisher:  Natasha Lake

Published Date: September 27, 2016

ASIN:   B01KDGR8FA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Amazon)

Ivy Gibson has a way with chocolate and sugar that makes angels weep. But this baking genius knows, from long experience, when she lets her gypsy heart settle, she’s the one crying. At loose ends after a disastrous catering partnership with her dirty, rotten ex-boyfriend, Ivy finds herself helping out at her cousin’s start-up Nashville bakery. One year is what she plans for, but before her time is up, things get complicated.

Burke Wentworth is the definition of complicated. The hotelier and real estate developer is juggling the reopening of his family hotel and the recent left-at-the-altar scandal when his bride literally ran away. Though he hates being the focus of speculation, when an old nemesis declares social media war on Burke, it’s time to come out blazing.

A mutually beneficial relationship. That’s what Burke proposes to Ivy. He’ll help her find a worthy replacement for Sugar Babies Sweet Shop and she’ll offer him a no-strings-attached cover while he finalizes the reopening of the Wentworth Hotel. But when head-in-the-clouds Ivy spends time with feet-on-the-ground Burke, neither is prepared for the way their sweet-nothing relationship just might turn into everything.

MY THOUGHTS:

Sweet Nothings by Natasha Lake is the third Hale Street book and is a great opposites-attract story.  Burke, who almost married Violet’s sister Daisy is trying to finish the remodel of his hotel and revitalize Hale Street.  He’s not one for drama, messy emotions, or having a fun time.  He’s all business.  Ivy is the baker at Sugar Babies, a free spirit who can’t stay long in any one place.  So what are they doing being attracted to each other?

Just as Ivy’s starting to itch to hit the road again, Burke ends up with  a dilemma.  Once again, the forces are against Hale Street and this time Burke is in the crosshairs.  Ivy needs a replacement for Sugar Babies; Burke needs a cover to keep him out of the gossip column.  Neither are looking for a relationship.  It should work, right?

But the more they spend time with each other, the more Burke loosens up and the more Ivy wishes she were different and could stay.  But she knows from bitter experience that’s a bad idea.  Now Burke has to fight for a future together.

The Hale Street cast opens up even more in this sweetly funny installment.  Burke needs a little mess in his life and Ivy teaches him how to let go.  Ivy gets some good advice from the most unlikely of places, and finds that sometimes staying is the best thing after all.  This story is the most frothy of the three: more sweet, less angst, and a little lighter on the deep emotion.  It’s a lot like Ivy really: a little quirky, a little sweet, a little funny, with plenty of frosting on top.

I can’t wait to read the rest of the Hale Street series.

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Mild

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

Review: SWEET SPOT by Amy Knupp

SWEET SPOT

AMY KNUPP

Publisher:  Lake House Books

Published Date: September 27, 2016

ASIN:   B01KE64YWO

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Amazon)

Former marketing whiz Kennedy Lowell knows bartending isn’t her destiny. After derailing her life to epic proportions in one fell swoop, though, she’s content with the easy refuge of pouring drinks and keeping to herself. But the arrival of her sexy new boss and two wannabe friends who won’t take no for an answer throws Kennedy into a tailspin. Add the temptation of a homey new bakery desperately in need of a marketing genius and Kennedy begins to wonder if easy is all it’s cracked up to be.

Easy is Hunter Clayborne’s middle name. Uncomplicated is what he expects when he moves home to Nashville to take over the family business. What he finds, though, is the polar opposite of easy—a bar losing money, a family entrenched in doing things the old-fashioned way, and an irresistible redheaded bartender who keeps him at a cool distance in spite of their sizzling mutual attraction.

There’s nothing simple about the chemistry between Kennedy and Hunter. But sometimes, if you can work your way out of your comfort zone, that’s when you just might find your sweet spot.

MY THOUGHTS:

Sweet Spot by Amy Knupp is the second book of the Hale Street series and it is just as sweet as the first.  Kennedy, one third of Sugar Babies, has some serious trust issues.  She’s doing just fine on her own, thank you very much.  But Violet and Ivy won’t take no for an answer and drag her into their sphere of influence.  

Hunter Clayborne, Kennedy’s boss and secret interest, isn’t interested in taking no for an answer either.  He has issues of his own – namely taking over the family bar on Hale Street and turning it around.  His Dad’s not on board, but Hunter knows something has to change.  He’s sure that he can get Kennedy to the right place, just like the bar, if only he could get past all her roadblocks.

Outside forces are working against both Kennedy and Hunter.  But they both find strength from their circle of friends and then each other.  Each tentative step forward on Kennedy’s part is huge, and when trouble strikes Hunter is there just as much as Ivy and Violet.

Kennedy is a great character with her struggles and fears.  Hunter’s patience and understanding matches her and is exactly what she needs.  The chemistry is so there and the adversity they both go through only brings them closer together.  Sweet Spot is a bit more angsty than Sweet Thing which I really liked.  It also introduces us to a wider set of characters.  I especially liked seeing how Hale Street is shaping up and the growth of the characters and their venture.

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Mild

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

Review: SWEET THING by Emily Leigh

SWEET THING

EMILY LEIGH

Publisher:  Emily Leigh

Published Date: September 27, 2016

ASIN:   B01KEKA9BA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Amazon)

As the oldest daughter of one of Nashville’s elite families, Violet Calloway strives to live up to the family name. Her discerning mother taught her to choose the right clothes, the right career, and the right men. But when her father dies and leaves Violet a ramshackle building on a lifeless street, Violet starts to question whether her choices are really her own. Building Sugar Babies Sweet Shop seems like the right thing for her and Violet thinks she may have her new life all figured out until Nick Morello steps through her doors and rocks the world beneath her feet. Too bad for her, he has a huge chip on his shoulder and the kind of swagger her mother disapproves of.

Nick Morello knows he has a lot of mistakes to make up for. His best shot at becoming a partner in the family construction business lies in the successful completion of Violet Calloway’s Sugar Babies. Get the bakery done and the rest of the business on Hale Street just might fall in line. He’s got this, he’s so got this, until he comes face to face with Violet and realizes that she may be his biggest mistake yet.

MY THOUGHTS:

Sweet Thing is the first book in the brand new Hale Street series, a collaboration by three authors.  The series certainly opens up with a bang!  Violet’s father has recently passed away and he has left a legacy, in the form of Hale Street properties to his daughters Violet and Daisy.  Daisy is soon to be married to their father’s partner in the Hale Street venture and Violet is wondering what to do with her inheritance.  It isn’t long before she embarks on an adventurous enterprise with her cousin Ivy and new friend Kennedy – Sugar Babies.  Opening a bakery on a mostly deserted street isn’t easy, especially since the building has to be remodeled.

Enter Nick.  Nick is hoping to get the job and get into the Hale Street rebuild not just because he really wants it – he does – but also to prove to his brother he can do this and redeem himself.  It’s a tough spot to be in, but he is determined to make things right.

In swift order, we are introduced to Kennedy and Ivy who make up the triumvirate with Violet at Sugar Babies and then Hunter and Burke, who round out the men’s side.  Just as the three women come together into a tight unit, so too do the men.  Their shared vision of what Hale Street can be draws them all together.

I really enjoyed Violet’s story – a story about growing up, overcoming adversity, strong sisterhood, and accepting love.  I liked seeing Violet grow and become strong, and seeing her help others to become strong as well.  There was great chemistry between Nick and Violet and plenty of ups and downs as they work on their relationship.  They both had something to prove and found that together, they were better.  Violet, Ivy, and Kennedy also grow into a strong group, with excellent sisterhood dynamics (which remind me a little of Lauren Dane’s strong sisterhoods).  Seeing the men bond as well is a bonus.  This is a great start to the series!

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Mild

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

Review: The Angels’ Share by J.R. Ward

THE ANGELS’ SHARE

J.R. WARD

Publisher:  Berkley Publishing

Published Date: July 26, 2016

ISBN:   9780451475282

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description 

In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…

No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior…or the worst of all the sinners?

MY THOUGHTS:

The Angels’ Share is the second book of J.R. Ward’s new series, The Bourbon Kings.  Picking up where the first book left off, The Angels’ Share both deepens the mystery and deepens the melodrama.  This series may be talked about as a romance, but it is much closer in form and function to a soap opera with its cast and type of characters.  

I’m enjoying the series and I enjoyed the book a great deal.  But the trick to that is to abandon any ideas about this series being a romance and just enjoy it as it is.  It’s easy to see the evolution of Ward’s writing style in these books.  For those used to her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, this large cast with many points of view will be familiar.  What may not be is the language.  This book and it’s predecessor is undeniably Southern.  The language, the names (how can I not love Lane being a short form of Tulane?), the charm and clothing (Samuel T. is a clotheshorse!), the manners and mannerisms are all so very Southern.  While there are tiny breaks in language where the cadence and feel is more BDB, they are very few and very far between.  This is not an urban environment and that language wouldn’t work well within this world.  

Like the first book, The Angels’ Share jumps among a number of points of view, though the focal points seem to remain the same in Lane and Lizzie.  Around them swirl family and friends, dependents and servants, and the ever-present law enforcement.  The dance among the groups and the individuals is deep and fraught with pain more than anything else.  If I had only one line to describe this book it would be this: “This is the equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back.”  

Lane and Lizzie continue to deal with everything hitting the family together, with Lane taking point on the business and Lizzie taking point on the house.  Edward is further revealed and is one character I want to know a lot more about.  Gin continues to not make good choices.  Samuel T. simultaneously makes me want to smack him upside the head and thank him.  Miss Aurora is a mystery I long to unravel.  

But underneath the melodrama of it all, there is a deep well of emotion.  I was moved to tears by a scene between Edward and his drug-addled mother in which she fails to recognize him and then introduces him to “her son Edward” showing him Lane.  As heartbreaking as that moment is, Edward’s concern when he accidentally leaves the room by the wrong door with his mother thinking he is a servant and how that would upset her just tore me apart.  It just illuminates the beauty and love in Edward’s character.  In a world where no one is good, Edward is one of two characters who are undeniably saints, and I’m not 100% sure of the other one.  

I know I am dying to uncover the mysteries of the Bradfords and Baldwines and that I can’t wait for the next book.  

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

REVIEW: A CHRISTMAS CODE by Jacki Delecki

A CHRISTMAS CODE

JACKI DELECKI

Publisher:  Doe Bay Publishing

Published Date: November 10, 2014

ISBN:   9780989939188

Genre: Historical Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description 

Lady Gwyneth Beaumont has long awaited the opportunity to show Viscount James Ashworth that she is no longer the impetuous child who dogged his footsteps. Now a much sought-after debutante, she is determined to prove to the hard-headed rake that she is a grown woman and a worthy participant in both the spy game and the game of love.

Ash, recently returned from three years undercover in France in His Majesty’s service, wants nothing more than to complete his final mission and retire to his bucolic country estate. However, what seemed a simple assignment to protect the Prince Regent at a Christmas party turns into a maze of intrigue, desire, and treachery.

Adding to the perilous secret operation is one problem Ash never anticipated: The appearance of the reckless, enticing Gwyneth, who has blossomed into a gorgeous woman and self-appointed spy. When a snooping Gwyneth uncovers a shocking secret, she puts herself in mortal danger.

Can Ash protect Gwyneth and the Prince from French assailants and, at the same time, win the passionate lady’s heart?  Can Ash and Gwyneth both triumph as winners in the game of spies and love?

MY THOUGHTS:

A Christmas Code by Jacki Delecki is the second book in her Code Breakers series and can be read as a standalone without any issues.  Ash is a British agent, working to foil the assassination plot against the Prince Regent at a Christmas house party.  His love, Gwyneth just happens to think she would make a good spy herself and tries to assist.  Amid the plotting and intrigue, declarations are made, new romances blossom.  Gwyneth and Ash aren’t the most subtle of spies but they get the job done.

Though they grew up together and Ash loves Gwyneth, he is a spy and can’t easily reconcile his love with the fact that any relationship would put her in danger.  Gwyneth just wants Ash to hurry up and propose already.  Christmas is a magic time of year so maybe she’ll get her wish.  Ash has an assassination plot to uncover and a love to keep safe, not only from his work but from other gentlemen who might propose before he can.  Neither expect the hijinks and danger of the house party.

As they work through the clues and work through their love, will this Christmas be merry for Ash and Gwyneth? The star seems to point the way to yes.

This book has a very sweet romance and the holiday timing adds to that.  At times, the dialogue between Ash and Gwyneth feels stilted and sometimes it feels over the top, especially for the time frame.  Ash is a little hard to believe as a top spy because he doesn’t seem very good at it.  Despite these issues, the story is a fun read.

 RATING: 3

Heat Rating:  Mild

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

REVIEW: LOVE ME TO DEATH by Marissa Clarke

LOVE ME TO DEATH

MARISSA CLARKE

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: October 28, 2014

ISBN:   978-1-62266-391-0

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

Medical research scientist Elena Arcos has always lived her life under the radar. When she is shot in a convenience store robbery, she finds herself rocketed into supernatural insanity courtesy of a sexy immortal law enforcer. He’s convinced she’s some kind of freaky half vampire thing and that her deceased dad was the real deal: a blood sucking monster. Yeah, right.

As a Slayer, an elite law enforcer descended from Azrael himself, Nikolai Itzov’s orders from the Underveil General are clear: Kill Elena Arcos or die. The only thing holding him back from that directive is the overwhelming urge to protect her. Too bad she’s also the offspring of his father’s murderer. Kissing Elena, let along being with her body and soul, can never happen.

Nikolai and Elena find themselves in a life and death battle to stop a plot designed to lift the Underveil and enslave humans. With her analytical mind and his centuries of training, they might be able to foil the plot with their lives, and maybe even with their hearts intact. But in order to succeed, he must help her become the very thing he hates the most: an Undead.

MY THOUGHTS:

Love Me to Death by Marissa Clarke is a wonderful start to a new series.  With a dash of urban fantasy, some high fantasy, some straight up science fiction, and a lot of romance, it twists and turns in all sorts of interesting ways.

Elena is your average, everyday woman until she gets killed in a robbery. Or rather, killed but not dead because along comes Nikolai and suddenly she isn’t an average, everyday woman anymore. She’s more, a lot more.  And it’s up to Nikolai to figure out exactly who she is and why he is supposed to kill her when that is the last thing he wants to do.

Enter a crazy aunt who isn’t an aunt, a secret sister, a rather interesting time warp man (who I want to read more about), a couple of very interesting vampire allies, even more interesting fey allies, and some power hungry villains, and you end up romping all over the place.

Love Me to Death is quite an interesting blend with a little bit tossed in for everyone’s taste and a wonderful read.

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

REVIEW: FALLING FOR THE PIRATE by Amber Lin

FALLING FOR THE PIRATE

AMBER LIN

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: July 21, 2014

ISBN:  978-1-62266-747-5

Genre: Historical Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

London, 1820

After the deaths of his parents and a dark, troubled childhood, Captain Nate Bowen vowed he would have his revenge. But he never expected to have the tool of his revenge dropped so neatly into his lap. Juliana Hargate is not only the daughter of his enemy, but is destitute, very much alone – and exquisitely desirable.

And now that Nate has saved her life, she’s at his complete mercy…

Captive. All Juliana wanted was to clear her father’s name. Instead, she’s been struck with amnesia – unable to recall even her name – and imprisoned by a tall, imposing, and entirely unscrupulous pirate. A pirate whose eyes seem to look past her skirts and many petticoats, and whose touch sends delicious ripples of desire through her. With every passing day, she finds herself tempted to give him the very thing he’s determined to take…

MY THOUGHTS:

Falling for the Pirate by Amber Lin is the second book in the Men of Fortune series and an unusual Regency romance in that it is not spent in drawing rooms, ballrooms, and salons.  Juliana Hargate has lived her life in luxury, though not at the top of Society.  When her father loses his company after accusations of embezzlement, she is left confused, alone, friendless, destitute, and rather helpless.  Her one hope is to prove her father’s innocence.  She hatches an ill-conceived plan to sneak into the shipping company’s warehouse to find papers to prove his innocence.  She is foiled by the arrival of Nate Bowen, one of the new owners, and soon finds herself at his mercy, even more alone and helpless than before.

What I especially liked about Juliana was her understanding of how Society worked.  She understood that being alone with Nate was a problem and accepted that she wasn’t going to be making a good marriage.  She was pragmatic without the drama.  More than enough drama was provided by her father.  Juliana isn’t some society miss without a clue as to how the world works and she is willing to accept a good enough rather than a perfect.

Nate is broken.  His lack of trust in the humanity and his hatred for Juliana’s father lead him to make choices he might otherwise not have made.  His friends (and other investors in the company) are tempering agents in his quest for revenge and help him to make better choices.

The best thing about this book is that it is not a traditional historical populated by endless dukes, earls, balls, drives in the park, etc.  It was interesting and felt much more real.  While the book deals with people just one step lower than the aristocracy, it also shows the lives of people far removed from the aristocracy in a realistic and gritty way.  With all that, it never felt preachy or screamed “look how awful they had it”.  There was no unbelievable “save the puppies” campaign, just people trying to make better lives for themselves and others like them.

RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

REVIEW: RESISTING THE MUSICIAN by Ally Blake

RESISTING THE MUSICIAN

ALLY BLAKE

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: July 28, 2014

ISBN:   978-1-62266-578-5

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

Bridal shoe company owner Lori Hanover is in way over her head. First, her designer sister has fallen head over heels for the rock star fiancé of a client – talk about bad PR! Now her business is falling apart. Lori’s only hope in saving her company is making the world believe it was true love, even if she’s not so sure herself. Her best bet? A song. For this she turns to the most frustrating musical recluse in America, Dash Mills, a man who could pass for Thor’s sexier brother. And even though this former rock superstar agrees to help, it comes at a price…

When Lori agrees to Dash’s terms, he thinks she’s the one in for a challenge. But the more time he spends with this spitfire bombshell, the more tempted he is to play her—in more ways than one. But Dash left behind the rock and roll life for a reason. And seductive as Lori may be, if she drags him back into that world, this time he won’t forgive himself…or her.

MY THOUGHTS:

Resisting the Musician by Ally Blake is a mix of fun romp and brooding deliciousness.  Lori’s not equipped to deal with Dash and Dash isn’t ready to deal with any woman when they meet.  They are a fun couple: silly at times, sweet at times, and then like quicksilver, become moody, angry, frustrated, and cruel.

Lori loves her sister.  Everything in her life has been focused on caring for and protecting her sister so when she is tasked with getting a song out of Dash, Lori doesn’t accept a no.  But to get what she wants, she’ll have to play by Dash’s rules.  And Dash, he cares about solitude, about being left alone, about not having emotional entanglements.  He’d be happy scaring her off but the sexual chemistry just isn’t going away.

Between guitar lessons, relaxing lessons, and the struggles to make Lori’s sister happy, Dash and Lori play off each other very well.  But when things look bad, will the chemistry and budding relationship hold up?  Dash and Lori are a great couple and this is a wonderful start to a new series.

 RATING: 4

Heat Rating:  Hot

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

REVIEW: HONOR RECLAIMED by Tonya Burrows

HONOR RECLAIMED

TONYA BURROWS

Publisher:  Entangled

Published Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN:  9781622662548

Genre: Romance

Source: Received for an honest review

Book Description (from Entangled)

Former Marine sniper Seth Harlan is determined to prove that he can still do his job despite his ongoing battle with PTSD. When an old friend contacts HORNET to rescue a black ops soldier, Seth’s stability is strained. He knows all too well what it’s like to rot inside an enemy camp, praying for rescue and waiting for death. And he’s not about to leave a man behind.

Photojournalist Phoebe Leighton just stumbled into the middle of an arms deal. Teaming up with a ragtag team of mercenaries is the last thing she wants to do—especially when she realizes Seth Harlan is assigned to the mission. He may ignite a passion in her she thought long dead, but Phoebe’s hiding a secret that could destroy him.

With a bomb in the mix, HORNET’s mission is suddenly about a lot more than an abandoned soldier. Racing against the clock, Seth, Phoebe, and the rest of the team struggle to stop a ruthless warlord bent on power, revenge…and death.

MY THOUGHTS:

Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows is one of those books you just can’t get out of your head long after you’ve finished reading it.  It’s not just the slow burning romance or the amazing action sequences, or even the unbelievably heartbreaking event near the end.  It’s the whole package; and especially the emotional intensity that pulls the reader through it all, kicking, screaming, begging for mercy and being given no quarter.  Let’s be really honest here:  Honor Reclaimed is not for the faint of heart.  It has a number of potential triggers including PTSD, brain damage, wartime scenarios, spousal, child and animal abuse, psychological and physical torture and their effects.

This is a take no prisoners story from beginning to end.  From the moment Zak makes his decision, this book is off and running full speed.  Then Seth comes along and accelerates it all.  Seth isn’t really part of his HORNET team.  He’s broken, struggling with PTSD, on probation, and really shouldn’t be anywhere near this mission when his own team doesn’t trust him.  The author lays it all out there in all its gory, painful, emotionally distressing beauty.

Phoebe ups the ante with her own story, another broken wing, desperate to make things right again.  Her shame, her desire, her fear: all plastered to the front pages of the news, broadcast through whispers and silent actions, through tears and promises.

As Seth and Phoebe struggle against each other and against their target (who is targeting them in return), so too are the rest of the HORNET team struggling.  Each and every member of the team needs help and each of them show it in subtle and not so subtle ways.  Quinn with his head wound that has left physical limitations; Ian with his attitude.

And as Phoebe and Seth struggle to come together despite the secrets between them, another man lurks in the shadows, a silent wild card waiting to tear your heart out.  The danger of the mission keeps getting worse; the problems of the team members keep interfering; the number of actors growing until everything goes boom and tears the whole structure down.  Only to be rebuilt.

I can’t recommend this book enough.  This book’s rating was dropped from a 5 to a 4.5 because it needs to be read in conjunction with the Wilde Security series (also Tonya Burrows) and should not be read as a standalone in the HORNET series.

 RATING: 4.5

Heat Rating:  Hot, Blood Thirsty

REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves

Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑