Book Review: Professor Next Door

cover-review-professor next doorTitle: Professor Next Door

Author: Summer Cooper

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

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At the time of this review, Professor Next Door is FREE on Amazon.

Description/Synopsis:

I f@ck my students… I just can’t seem to keep it in my pants when these young sexy women throw themselves at me!

But now, I must stop behaving like such a d**k, not that my dead wife would care…

If I get caught sleeping with my students, I’ll lose my job.

And if I don’t get my s**t together, they’ll come for the only good thing in my life… my daughter.

But I have a plan to fix all that. I have a plan for the girl next door…

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Professor Next Door by Summer Cooper was NOT what I expected. Given the blurb and the straight-forward title, I figured this was going to be your regular dime-a-dozen raunchy romance – a barely veiled erotic novel. That wasn’t what this was. Not at all.

Instead, I found Professor Next Door to be a heart-warming read about a young widowed professor trying everything in his power to keep his parental rights to his 2-year-old daughter, even if that meant striking a bargain with his mousey next-door-neighbor. Don’t get me wrong, there was still some pretty sexy scenes, but there were also some brief thrills and a whole lot of heart-touching romance and friendship.

Although there were a few moments where the author was a little on-the-nose with pushing a formulated romance upon us, for the most part, I found the book a fun, sweet read, with a little bit of danger mixed in just to make it spicy. It was a quick read that was easy to sink into, and if you’re looking for a fun little romance to sink into, I have no problem recommending it.

Book Review: Forgiving Keven

cover-review-forgiving kevenTitle: Forgiving Keven [The Kennedy Boys 7]

Author: Siobhan Davis

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 1 Star (DNF)

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Description/Synopsis:

Cheryl

They say you never forget your first love, but I’m determined to prove Keven Kennedy is just a random boy from my past.

It’s not like I still think about him after all this time. Or daydream about how hot his kisses were and what it felt like to have his hands on my skin.

Nope, that’s not me. I’m in a happy place in my life. Engaged to a great man and finishing the last year of my photography degree.
But since I returned to Massachusetts, everything reminds me of the boy who ripped my heart to shreds. Especially when my fiancé’s constant business trips, and dwindling attention, raises old fears to the surface.

And then the unthinkable happens—Keven saunters back into my life, turning it upside down once more.

It’s ironic he thinks he’s protecting me when the only one I need protecting from is him.

Keven

They say you never forget your first love. In my case, it’s true. Most everyone in high school thought Cheryl and I were a match made in heaven and that nothing could tear us apart. Until I messed up spectacularly and lost the best thing to ever happen to me.

Years have passed, girls have come and gone, but no one has laid claim to my heart in the way Cheryl did.

I thought she was lost to me forever when an unexpected encounter with an uptight FBI agent, and an intriguing proposition, brings the beautiful blonde back into my life.

I didn’t hesitate to sign on the dotted line.

I let Cheryl down once before. I’m not going to fail her this time.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I wanted to like Forgiving Keven by Siobhan Davis. The writing was clear and easy to follow, and it was a contemporary romance, which, in my eyes, is hard to screw up. The story had a fully developed world and complicated plot. It should have been an easy win…. but at 23% in, I set it aside.

The narrative voice ruined this book for me. The author’s voice was so clear and ever-present that it overtook the characters. All of them, male and female alike, sounded the same – a definitively female voice. The narrative was constantly explaining backstory and what was going on in the character’s heads – to the point that it felt like I was having the story explained to me, rather than sinking into the narrative and living in it. There were a multitude of time jumps as if the author couldn’t be bothered to let the scene play out. I even spotted a writer’s term or two being used by the characters who had no business knowing what that term meant.

There came a point when I was bored, and I realized that what really bothered me about the story, was that the book lacked depth or texture. It didn’t feel real to me. The characters conveniently spewed out all their feelings. There was no tension to it. The author gave away all the story’s information before I even knew I needed it, and it became predictable.

There will be readers out there that will enjoy this book – if I could have gotten through it, it probably would have gotten three stars, because… well, it was okay – but as an avid reader, I think the writing lacked that spark that makes a great book. I found it bland.

Book Review: Nothing Stays In Vegas

cover-review-nothing stays in vegasTitle: Nothing Stays In Vegas [Vegas Series 1]

Author: Elena Aitken

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Lexi Titan has mastered the art of pretending everything’s fine. After all, how else could she ignore the fact that her husband is never home, her son barely knows him and the last time she had sex, well, who can remember? With her life crumbling, the last thing she wants to do is go on a trip, especially back to Vegas; a city full of glitz, excess, and Leo, the man she’s spent the last six years trying to forget. But when her best friend announces she’s getting married, Lexi doesn’t have a choice. Besides, it’s ridiculous to avoid an entire city because of one guy. Even if he is the father of your child. Face to face with memories of the past and the gorgeous man who started it all, Lexi can no longer deny the truth to anyone, especially Leo. But honesty will come at a price, and Lexi must decide if she’s willing to take that risk. And what exactly will she tell her husband? Because as she now knows, NOTHING STAYS IN VEGAS.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

Nothing Stays In Vegas by Elena Aitken is a delicious contemporary romance filled with brazen attraction, misunderstandings, and the gaudy lights of Las Vegas. The story is both sexy, heartwarming, and filled with spunk. I loved the characters, the clear, fast-paced narrative, and the heart-wrenching romance.

On the technical side of things, there were very few typos or editing errors, and the few that I spotted were not enough to detract from the story. If you like contemporary romances with a bit of sizzle to them, I highly recommend you give this book a try. I will definitely be looking for more books by this author in the future.

Book Review: American Queen

review-cover-american queenTitle: American Queen [New Camelot Trilogy 1]

Author: Sierra Simone

Genre: Romance, Erotica, BDSM, Ménage, Contemporary

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

It starts with a stolen kiss under an English sky, and it ends with a walk down the aisle. It starts with the President sending his best friend to woo me on his behalf, and it ends with my heart split in two. It starts with buried secrets and dangerous desires…and ends with the three of us bound together with a hateful love sharper than any barbed wire.

My name is Greer Galloway, and I serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

This is the story of an American Queen.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I need to learn to read book descriptions—I rarely do. It’s just one of those things as a book reviewer and avid reader, that I just don’t bother. So obviously, I didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked up American Queen by Sierra Simone. All that being said, I still enjoyed this book.

BDSM isn’t my thing. I’m not a huge fan of Ménage’s, and I rather read Romance than Erotica, so when I say that I enjoyed the book, take that as high praise. This book was exceedingly well written. The narrative voice was clear and easy to read. I liked the characters, the world building was rich without being overbearing, and even if the complicated relationship between Maxen, Embry, and Greer wasn’t my cup of tea—I could still appreciate it. I was drawn into the story by the subtly crafted narrative, and I wholeheartedly believed in their love for one another. I rarely run into books so well written that I forget that their subject matter isn’t something I enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for an erotica, something with BDSM, Ménage’s, or you simply want a well-crafted book, I’d recommend you pick this one up. It’s not going to be for everyone—but it’s still a good book. You might be surprised.

Book Review: The Girl Who Talks To Ghosts

reivew-cover-the girl who talks to ghostsTitle:  The Girl Who Talks to Ghosts [GhostWriters 2]

Author: J.H. Moncrieff

Genre: Contemporary, Horror, Paranormal, Mystery

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Would you risk everything to save a stranger?

Off the coast of Venice lurks Poveglia, the world’s most haunted isle, steeped in centuries of innocent blood. A deranged doctor who took great joy in torturing his patients in life continues to rule his abandoned asylum after death.

Few go to Poveglia willingly, but medium Kate Carlsson has no choice. It’s her job.

While struggling to retrieve a young girl’s soul, Kate uncovers some shocking truths about the evil on the island that challenges her own convictions and morals—and even her life.

Is saving Lily worth making a deal with the infamous Doctor of Death, or is the price too high to pay?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

It took me awhile to decide how I was going to rate The Girl Who Talks to Ghosts by J.H. Moncrieff—the second book in the GhostWriters series. I honestly can’t decide if I liked it more than the first book or not. Personally, the ghost story and surrounding aspects of the plotline were a lot more interesting for me than those of the first book. I liked Lily’s POV as well as Kate’s much better than I liked Jackson’s (even though I didn’t know it at the time). It was fun following Kate around as she delved further into the paranormal than the author had been willing to in the first book.

Unfortunately, not all was hugs and puppies. I think an unfortunate consequence of Kate and Lily’s POVs being so interesting, was that Jackson fell a bit by the wayside. He was definitely more of a supporting character in this story, and honestly, kind of a useless one. He seemed to be around mostly to illustrate his ignorance about the paranormal, and to fail at being diplomatic. I don’t think he was necessarily as integral to the plot as he was intended to be, and so his character fell a bit flat.

As a smaller note, there were also a few plot holes. Most were minor, and they didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story as a whole, so I’ll leave it at that.  If you’re looking for a solid paranormal ghost story, I highly recommend you check out this author and the various books in this series.

Book Review: City of Ghosts

reivew-cover-city of ghostsTitle: City of Ghosts [GhostWriters 1]

Author: J.H. Moncrieff

Genre: Contemporary, Horror, Paranormal, Mystery

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

On the day the villagers were forced to flee Hensu, not everyone got out alive.

Jackson Stone is touring the abandoned Chinese city when he slips away from the group to spend the night, determined to publish an account of his ghostly experiences there.

Then he meets Yuèhai, a strange, soft-spoken woman who can tell him the city’s secrets—secrets the Chinese government would kill to keep hidden.

As Jackson uncovers the truth about Yuèhai and the ghost city, he’s drawn into a web of conspiracy, betrayal, and murder. He must risk everything to save himself and bring honor back to Yuèhai and her family.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, but wow, did I. City of Ghosts by J.H. Moncrieff succeeded at not only being a creepy ghost story, but a fascinating assay into another culture, and an action-packed adventure all in one. I’m a huge horror fan, but books don’t usually creep me out—and this one did. I was up till 2 am reading, and I couldn’t stop myself from checking out the dark corners of my house—just to be sure. My attempts to pronounce Yuehai out loud to myself during my read-through made me feel as if I were conjuring her ghost into my house.

This story was well written. I didn’t run into any obvious typos, grammatical errors, or formatting mistakes. The narrative voice was both detailed and easy-to-follow without being overbearing or poetic. The characters were interesting and although not terribly complex, I couldn’t help but like them—even the ones I grew to hate. (I’m looking at you, Meghan & Harold).

Overall—this was just a fantastic book. I read through it in a matter of hours, and I almost hated to stop and sleep (but I was only halfway in at that point, so I figured I better!) It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a ghost story that I’ve liked as much as I did this one. There were elements of the Chinese culture, a ghost story, action/adventure, human rights, and even a tad bit of a romance within its pages. If you’re looking for a good all around read, I’d highly recommend picking up this book. I’m excited to read on into the rest of the series!

Book Review: My Soul To Give

review-cover-my soul to giveTitle: My Soul To Give [A Demon’s Love 1]

Author: Magali A. Frechette

Genre: Dark Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

When Celina Leviet escapes the brutal home invasion that kills her husband, she’s left with a bullet in her gut and vengeance in her heart. An alluring demon, Mekaisto, offers an irresistible deal—in exchange for her soul, he’ll let her live long enough to get her revenge, but she must hunt and kill the murderers herself.

After sealing the contract, Celina digs into her husband’s past for clues about his murder, and what she uncovers makes her question everything she thought she knew about him.

His company never existed.

His family history was a lie.

And he was involved with The Lumen, a shadowy religious order whose members know too much about demons. As the life she thought she knew crumbles around her, Mekaisto’s charms become harder to resist. Forced to face a horrible truth, Celina struggles against her late husband’s betrayal and the dark seduction of the devil she knows.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I’ll admit it. I have a thing about demons in my romance fiction—I love the danger of the forbidden relationship they represent, and the tension in trying to figure out if they can truly be trusted at their word… so it should be no surprise that I enjoyed My Soul To Give by Magali A. Frechette. There was certainly an aspect of danger and the forbidden to its characters and plotline, even crossing over the line a little too far at times. This was definitely not your conventional romance.

The characters were interesting, complex, and compelling. Their romance was steamy, a bit taboo, and sweet at the same time. The mystery and aspects of the murder plotline kept the story jaunting along, and I couldn’t help but get sucked into the narrative.

I don’t think this story is going to work for everyone though. There are definitely a lot of questionable aspects of the characters and plot that aren’t going to sit well with some readers, especially those who are firmly religious. If you’re one of those people, this book is not going to be for you—and it’s not meant to be.

If you’re into dark fantasy, I highly recommend you pick this one up. It was certainly a captivating read, and the ending was one I didn’t see coming!