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Pucked
Pucked
by Helena Hunting
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is crude, it is raunchy, it is messed up but it is freakin' hilarious, May 14, 2015
This review is from: Pucked (Paperback)
Okay...so this isn't a typical romance, not at all, not one little bit. This book is crude, it is raunchy, it is messed up but it is freakin' hilarious and it made me laugh so hard unlike any book has done in a long damn time, yet underneath all of that there was also a pretty amazing romance. Seriously, go figure?! But, it was there and honestly the romance was pretty sweet behind all the really hot banging and man there was a lot of that and I'm not complaining but I'm warning in case that's not your thing.

The heroine is kind of young (early 20's) and the hero is about 5 years older than her and I kept that in mind as I read this book which was told in 1st person from both points of view. I'm not even sure how to describe Violet; she's smart, a wee bit crazy, slightly geeky, bold and brash. She speaks her mind and often crude things fly out of it especially when she is nervous which in my opinion just makes me like her even more. She lives in a renovated pool house at the home of her mother and step-father that she has a good relationship with. Her NHL hockey playing step-brother is around from time to time and more so since he was traded after making a very public spectacle of himself with his last coach's niece. I like that even though her step-dad is well off she's self sufficient and has a good job. She also has a best friend who isn't quite as crazy as she is but still a lot of fun. Alex Waters is the team captain for the Hawks and has been playing hockey in the NHL since he was recruited at age 18. He has the reputation as a lady's man and at one time he lived up to that but he's settled down over the year not that anyone believes it and when he meets Violet, his new teammate's step-sister, he's not sure his life will ever be the same. The thing is there is so much more to Alex than the world sees and he is truly an amazing guy with a reputation that isn't really at all like the publicity he's gotten especially in the last few years, but try telling that to the woman you are trying to impress especially one who has been hurt before.

These two get off to a super spectacular start with one crazy night followed by a couple of week's separation as the team is traveling. Alex however woos the crap out of Violet, seriously Alex gives really good woo. Violet is trying to remain unaffected by it but even she admits she's flattered and a little overwhelmed by his attention. They have some truly amazing times together, a whole lot of them sexy but they also have some not so great times where big mistakes are made on both sides. These are the times I had to remind myself of their ages and in Violet's case her experience with relationships. What I really appreciated was there wasn't this magic overnight fix to their issues; that they both had to feel the hurt and live with the consequences of the actions before they figured things out and this really endeared me to this author because it felt real and believable and I appreciated that so much.

Every once in awhile an author comes along and just jumps up and hits me over the head and that's exactly how I feel about Helena Hunting. Author Avery Flynn was singing her praises about this book so I decided to take a chance and I'm glad I did. Like I told my friends Helena Hunting writes like Alice Clayton and Tara Sivec had a love child...it's in your face like Alice and funny as hell like Tara making Pucked just all kinds of perfectly awesome.


Destroyed (Rockstar Romance) (Lost in Oblivion Book 3)
Destroyed (Rockstar Romance) (Lost in Oblivion Book 3)
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next one!!, May 13, 2015
Destroyed is exactly how I feel after finishing the latest installment in Cari Quinn and Taryn Elliott’s Lost in Oblivion series. This has been an ongoing series and while each book as left us with pretty much a HFN ending, I didn’t get that feeling from this book and it wrecked me. As the band is reaching new heights in their careers, changes are happening all around them; new tour, new stage, new busses, a guest artist who has a history with their lead singer, said lead singer having an issue with his voice and a former band member making trouble. Not unlike anything you might expect from an up and coming band that basically has crawled out of oblivion and into the limelight but I’ll be flat out honest this book has me way more nervous than any previous books and I’m not liking that feeling too much right now.

As one of the original band members Simon Kagan has been through a lot in his life and while he’s enjoying the spoils of everything his new found fame has gotten him he’s also trying to forget the one woman he can’t seem to have. On top of that he’s noticed that his voice isn’t holding up quite like it use to and he’s not sure how to handle it or what to do other than self medicate with the vodka he loves so much and loosing himself in women. Discovering that their label and their manager Lila have decided to bring in a guest artist to sit in for some pre-tour warm up shows really throws him and she is the last person he needs around, the one he wants with abandon, and the one that’s made it perfectly clear he doesn’t fit into her nice, neat world.

Being let go from her position with the Boston Philharmonic should have been more of a crippling blow but if Margo Reece was being honest she is ready for a change; she just hopes she can get enough work to make up for her loss of salary. Being asked to do a few pre tour shows with Oblivion will help and will raise her exposure and hopefully lead to some more studio work but for now she has to concentrate on getting through these shows and seeing Simon again; the one man who is never far from her mind.

This is the first book in this series where while there was no denying the intensity of the heat between these two and the absolute sexual abandon they found in each other, I really didn’t see a relationship forming between them. Sure there was some general concern for each other and at times they had each other’s backs for various reasons but so much of their time together was strictly physical and they didn’t spend a whole hell of a lot of time getting to know one another on a non sexual level. There’s no doubt they harbor some feelings but I really would have liked to see a few more heart to heart talks between them like we’ve seen with the couples in the other books. Individually I loved both Simon and Margo. Simon is just crazy fun, a complete showman yet there is also a serious side to him that most don’t see; the one that remembers the pain from the past and tries to drown it with alcohol and women. The metamorphosis of Margo was brilliantly written and I loved watching her layers be peeled back and her finding her true self under everything that had been forced upon her for so many years. I loved her sassiness, her professionalism and her talent and most of all I love the way she stood up for herself and the music when she needed to.

This was a very intense and busy book with the group promoting their new work, gearing up for a tour and the start of the tour and the romance between Margo and Simon kind of got lost in all of that, however it is still an amazing story. From beginning to end Destroyed had me on the edge of my seat; I felt every note they played, sang every lyric right along with them and I wept at the possibility of what might come next and despite being unsettled by this turn of events I will be the first one jumping up and down and cheering when Consumed is released because I am that much of a fan of this series and these authors.

Review copy provided for an honest review.


Wanderlust
Wanderlust
Offered by Audible, Inc. (US)

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, full of longing and sorrow and redemption and I fell immediately under its spell., May 13, 2015
This review is from: Wanderlust (Audible Audio Edition)
4.5 Stars - Audio Book

A virtual hermit, growing up held prisoner in her own home by a mother that feared to let her out into the world, Evie escapes to wander and explore a world she had only read about. Armed with a book and destination of seeing Niagara Falls, Evie’s journey is immediately sidetracked by Hunter.

A truck driver she met on the first night of her journey, Hunter sees an innocence in Evie that he longs to possess. When his first advances are rejected, Hunter abducts Evie and steals her for his own, sparking a cross-country journey for the two of them as Evie battles first Hunter, and then herself.

Evie was an interesting mix. Innocent and naÔve in her interactions with other people, her destiny seemed to be a self-fulfilling one. Her mother kept her secreted away from a world she felt was too cruel and dangerous. But keeping her so naÔve only made her easy prey to those that were evil and had ill intentions. She seemed to attract the bad in the world, yet was able to maintain an outlook that enabled her to keep going.

While I should have been appalled by this story of a woman who is kidnapped by a stranger and forced to stay with him as his companion as they traveled, I found myself slowly slipping under the spell of the author and the tale she spun. I think I experienced Stockholm Syndrome as much as Evie, because somewhere along the way, I started to care about Hunter. He was a man that did bad things, but he was not a bad man. He had been forged by society, as much as Evie had been molded by its absence, and I found him to be an enigma: he did things that were wrong, but he had a sense of values. He hurt people, but had the ability to also be hurt.

I knew that Ms. Warren had written a wonderful story when I realized that I didn’t want Evie to escape. I wanted her to stay with Hunter and understand what had made him into the sort of man he had become. I wanted her to keep him as much as he wanted to keep her. I was rooting for the “bad guy” that showed glimpses of the caring and moral person he once was and could still become.

Listening to this as an audiobook was actually an interesting experience for me. The narrator read this story at a lot slower of a pace than I would have, and at first I found myself frustrated. I wanted her to go faster. But once I got used to it, the cadence and the tempo, I feel that I appreciated the story more than I would have if I breezed through it on my own. I was able to savor the descriptiveness of the story and let the prose wash over me. This book was beautifully told, and I was forced to slow down and experience it as Evie did, taking in the horrors and beauty that unfolded around her.

Wanderlust is not a book for everyone. It was dark and meandered down the illicit back roads of what would be considered acceptable. But it was beautifully written, full of longing and sorrow and redemption and I fell immediately under its spell.

Audio Book provided for an honest review.


Center Mass (Code 11- KPD SWAT)
Center Mass (Code 11- KPD SWAT)
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to a new series., May 11, 2015
4.5 Stars

So happy to have started this series from the beginning. Center Mass is a great introduction to these new characters and The Hereos of Dixie Warden MC series. Luke is a single dad of a little girl who is on the SWAT team. The interaction between him and his daughter was super sweet. Reese is a single parent as well and the school nurse at his daughter’s school. These two both put their attraction to each other aside to concentrate on their kids but it doesn’t last very long. Reese is very wary of being a relationship after what happened with her daughter’s father. Luke acts like he can take a leave or relationship until Reese decides to leave it. Only then and the danger that follows Reese does he realized he needs to get his act together. I was glad when Reese made the decision of either all or nothing with Luke. She was looking out for herself and her daughter.

I like the first book in a series because it introduces you to secondary characters that you look forward to seeing again. Center Mass does this with the other police officers on the SWAT team.

They are all yummy! I can’t wait to see more from this group.

Overall, a purest delight from a great author whose voice gets better with each series.

Review copy provided for an honest review.


His Forbidden Princess (Royal Holiday Book 4)
His Forbidden Princess (Royal Holiday Book 4)
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Put a smile on my face. Brought tears to my eyes. Enjoy!, May 11, 2015
A love story … just what I needed. As all hell breaks lose in our world, I found the most beautiful way to escape. I read a book. But, not just any book. A book about love – losing and finding it only to lose it again. Sound depressing? A little bit. But, remember … only HEA’s here. And, what a beautiful one Jeannie Moon wrote for His Forbidden Princess.

After finding out the truth about his Sofia, Ian moves on with his life … not with another woman, because there will be no other than her, but by throwing himself into his chosen profession. An FBI Special Agent. He’s always kept an eye on Sofia, knew of the threats against her family and country and knew that, no matter what, he would protect her. From afar. She could never know how much breaking her heart broke his as well. But, circumstances, threats and a special request has secluded them at his families house on an island. He has to stay professional, he has to separate his heart from his head, he cannot give in to his obsession to hold her, with comforting her, loving her, again.

Sofia cannot move on with her life. It doesn’t matter that she is next in line to the throne after her brother’s murder. It doesn’t matter that she is being pursued by Princes, Counts. Her heart beats for the one person that broke it 8 years ago. Ian Stuart. Even being surrounded by bodyguards, the FBI, she’s still not safe and finds out just how big a threat the insurgents are as she is whisked out of her hotel into a waiting car, taken into protective custody by none other than the man that holds her heart, has been the bane of her existence and that she has never fallen out of love with.

Duty, obligations, a country in need of strong leadership … all of this is against them. But, when the threats literally knock on their door, as a storm brews outside, Ian can do nothing but give his Princess what she needs the most. Love.

I have so enjoyed this series. No, it’s not filled with explicit sex but with hope, love, understanding, forgiveness. Something we are all sadly lacking these days. But, Jeannie Moon took what could have been a tragic love story and, with her writing style, made it one of my favorites in the Royal Holiday series. I loved Ian with his strong, protective personality and Sofia with her sense of obligation. But, it was the love that I loved the most. How two people could go on with their lives, face the dangers and tragedies that life has thrown at them and then come out in the end stronger and more sure of their place in the world, gave me hope. Put a smile on my face. Brought tears to my eyes. Enjoy!

Review copy provided for an honest review.


The Hottest Ticket in Town (The Wrong Bed)
The Hottest Ticket in Town (The Wrong Bed)
Offered by Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quick, enjoyable read, May 11, 2015
Kimberly Van Meter’s first venture into the Harlequin Blaze line actually set the pages on fire. Laci and Kane, once the shock of finding the other one in their bed, made damn sure that the old mattress got the work-out of it’s life.

First love’s have a way of finding you again. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. But, with two pig-headed, stubborn people, working your way back to each other could be both fun and frustrating. Believe me, Laci was frustrated and wanted answers as to why he walked away. Kane is brutally honest and tells her exactly why, even though it would hurt her and tarnish the memory of her father. Kane was frustrated with the way Laci was being treated by her Manager and couldn’t understand why she put up with him. No matter what he said, she just kept insisting he was a good person. That is, until he finally shows his true colors. All bets are off and Laci finally realizes what is more important than fame – Kane.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Kane rubbed me the wrong way a few times. He is one stubborn country boy and just refused to let go of what he thought was best for Laci. And, in reality, that was the problem. Everyone thought they knew what was best for Laci and everyone refused to listen to her. It took betrayal, a death, a night in the pump house and finally, a productive conversation for both of them to find the middle ground and solve their problems.

I really enjoyed “The Hottest Ticket in Town”. It was a quick, enjoyable read. You can tell it was also written by a seasoned author even though I haven’t read her before. Everything kept moving. You would just get used to Laci and Kane being in bed together, making love – sometimes raunchy, hard and fast and sometimes slow and sweet and the next thing you know, their fighting. Just like any normal relationship. I loved Kane’s protectiveness and Laci’s in your face attitude. The story was steamy, sweet and heart-breaking. Ms. Van Meter has me totally looking forward to Rian’s story. He’s described as a man-whore in this book so I am looking forward to seeing the kind of woman who brings him down.

Review copy provided for an honest review.


Finding the One (Meadowview Heat Book 5)
Finding the One (Meadowview Heat Book 5)
Price: $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good read!, May 11, 2015
This was my first book by author Rochelle French and I enjoyed it very much; a sensuous romance between a model and a photographer but it’s not even a little bit what you are thinking, I promise because I thought the same thing and this book is so much more. A model with a body image problem, a photographer whose muse refuses to pose for him, quite a bit of misunderstanding, and a love neither one thought they’d find made Finding the One and entertaining and interesting love story.

Trudy Prendergast’s life had had its ups and downs and if she were to look closely she’d say way more downs and than ups. She needs the contract for a famous sculptor so she doesn’t lose her loft and so she can continue to pay her huge medical bills. The last thing on her mind is a sexy man but somehow she finds herself in the company of one at the party she’d hoped to meet the sculptor.

Mac Johns can’t help but watch the woman with the fiery red hair as she tries to get out of a most interesting situation. He is drawn to her and he knows that she is the muse he’s been looking for but first he must meet her and hopefully talk her into other things before he gets her to pose for him. He hasn’t been this interested in anything in a long time and even he can admit she might just be what he needs to get his career back on track.

I enjoyed watching these two bounce off each other and their many, many miscues. There was something in the way they related to each other that was special and even at the start there was a deep connection between them. That’s not to say they didn’t have some issues because they had plenty and some of their issues had issues but when it was just them together without the world or their pasts rearing up they were quite magical together. Mac appreciated every bit of Trudy’s body and let her know it but Trudy didn’t believe it and was so hung up on everything that had caused not only her scars but her weight gain that it sometimes overtook the story and weighed it down. I hated that she carried her secrets and burdens all alone and didn’t even share them with her sister who was also her best friend but more than that as she and Mac got closer she didn’t trust him enough to tell him and subsequently pushed him away.

Overall I did enjoy Finding The One and found the town of Meadowview to be quaint and of course its residents intrusive because that’s what small towns are all about but most of all I loved that these two people were both willing to sacrifice their careers to make the other one happy and that my friends is what love is all about.

Review copy provided for an honest review.


The Mistake (Off-Campus Book 2)
The Mistake (Off-Campus Book 2)
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sign me up for the Off Campus experience please!, May 11, 2015
I hope by now you’ve seen Elle Kennedy’s independently published title, The Deal. It’s an excellent (hot) New Adult read with a hockey romance theme. The Mistake is the second installment to the Off Campus series. John Logan is a defensive player on Briar University’s Hockey team, and Garrett Graham’s best friend/ teammate/roommate. During book one he seems a bit fascinated by Garrett’s love interest Hannah. I honestly was a little worried at the beginning of The Mistake when I realized Logan was still harboring feelings towards Hannah. Elle dealt with this conflict in the most amazing way, kudos to her for creativity and plausible resolutions!

In all the ways Garrett was serious and dedicated to hockey, Logan is easygoing and fun, always out for a good time. He’s got a mess waiting for him after college so he’s making the most of his time at Briar. Grace is a bit inexperienced and studious in the girl next door fashion, paired with hefty dose of awkwardness she’s a very interesting and relatable girl. After a chance meeting with Logan in her dorm things seem to be a disaster waiting to happen.

They both leave for summer break on less than stellar terms. Grace enjoys her summer in Paris visiting her mom while Logan is stuck in the ‘real world’ of his post college future. Logan is determined to win back Grace’s interest when he returns to Briar, and he pulls out all the stops to get her attention. He’s a loveable and sweet guy and I felt like I wanted to take him home and keep him for myself. Elle has the college athletes banter and and good natured teasing down to an art form and feel like I’m sitting on the sofa having a beer watching the fun. That’s the true litmus test for romance lover, do I want to hang out with these characters in real life? Absolutely, sign me up for the Off Campus experience please!

Review copy provided for an honest review.


Final Surrender (The Surrender Series)
Final Surrender (The Surrender Series)
Price: $4.24

5.0 out of 5 stars This book had me on pins and needles., May 11, 2015
This book just seriously took hold of me, and did not let go! It is one of those where the life around you doesn’t exist, and you have to get to the end before you can put it down. I just couldn’t leave these two in limbo. Admitting love isn’t always easy for everyone. When we are young it is even harder to admit that you want this one person over every other person in the world, even if there is a part of you screaming to do just that. The other part with doubts and fears often wins, and for Clay that is just what happened. He allowed them one night of the passion, only to let all the fears of a being the product of a bad marriage and the possibility of loosing his best friend run off the one girl that love him for so long.

Angela has lived with the heartache that his regret brought on both of them for so long. She kept her traumas secret from everyone in her life, and when she moved away from home she never came back not even for a visit. It was easier on her heart and emotions to have her family and friends come to visit her in New York where she is now a powerhouse in the fashion industry. Clay isn’t the only dark cloud in Angela’s world though. She has had a stalker for quite some time. Although she would like nothing more than to ignore the threats this stalker sends her, but the trips to the hospital are starting to add up. Her brother is at the end of his rope with this situation, and gets the one person he would trust to guard her, his best friend Clay. The sudden appearance of Clay in her life again flips her world upside down. Can she let him in again without loosing the little bit of her she has left? And can she forgive him for her breaking her more than he even knows??

This book had me on pins and needles. These two characters are so real, and you just want to see them healed and get their HEA. They really put me through the emotional ringer. The chemistry between them is hard to deny, and it is smoking hot. I highly recommend reading this one with a box of Kleenex if you are a softy like I am. If I wasn’t already a huge fan of Jennifer Kasey, this book would have made me a life long fan!

Review copy provided for an honest review.


Crashing the Net: Seattle Sockeyes Hockey (Game On in Seattle Book 3)
Crashing the Net: Seattle Sockeyes Hockey (Game On in Seattle Book 3)
Price: $3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting story, May 11, 2015
I have a love/hate relationship with Crashing the Net by Jami Davenport; on one hand I appreciate the intricate plot and the ending was pretty damn wonderful. On the other hand I honestly disliked the hero for the majority of the story and wanted to slap the heroine upside the head for her stubbornness that went beyond her need for independence and for how easily she let the hero manipulate her on more than one occasion. That being said there was no denying the chemistry between the hero and heroine despite their volatile relationship, the entertaining secondary characters including a teenage boy who both broke and stole my heart, and two people finally learning to let go of their past so they can move forward into a future together all made Crashing The Net an interesting story.

Sometimes a hero is hard to connect with and that's the case with Cooper Black; I found him to be obstinate, self centered, and selfish and with very few redeeming qualities. I get that events in his childhood scarred him and left him unable to trust easily and made it hard for him to give and accept affection and love but he had means to get help for his issues and instead of doing that he just became a prick. Yes there were brief moments where he was likeable but throughout most of the story and until a life threatening event turned his world upside down he just didn't have a clue on how to relate to people in his life and thus it was really hard to care about what happened to him.

From the first scene I really liked Izzy Maxwell and while she is not without her faults including her being way too stubborn for her own good, her overbearing nature, and letting her hormones rule her where Cooper was concerned even when she should have stayed away it was obvious she tried hard to be everything to everyone in her life. I admire her for stepping up and figuring out a way to keep her sisters safe and a way for them to earn a living and stay together. Just the fact that she did everything in her power to help Cooper when his nephew appeared on his doorstep showed how deeply she felt about family.

This couple spent so much time at odds and or telling each other they weren't going to be a long term thing that it was hard to really feel the connection between them emotionally. Physically it was there and it was very good, but emotionally they were both somewhat stunted. In addition they never really talked about things that were important always giving in and having sex instead of talking which to be honest worries me about their ability to sustain a long term relationship.

There were many subplots in this book and at times they overshadowed the romance and made it hard to focus on the ones that were important including the situation with Riley, Cooper's nephew, Cooper's inability to trust and form connections due to his past, and Izzy's problems with her sisters. I get that this is a series based on a hockey player and his life, and the team should be included in the book when you add in all of what was going on with the team in addition to everything else it really just seemed like too much in this one book. While I had some issues with this book there was enough I did enjoy that I will be checking out the next book in this series as I am curious to see what happens to the other Sockeye players.

Review copy provided for an honest review.


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