Book Review: Waking Up With a Billionaire by Katie Lane

This NetGalley request was kind of spontaneous and stemmed from the fact that I’m a fan of billionaire novels…or at least I’ll give anything billionaire a try. Plus, I found the cover to be pretty, and yes, I do sometimes judge a book by its cover.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A billionaire known for his painting is blocked until the woman he helped save from an abusive relationship agrees to pose for him. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Prologue to the Plot
Grayson and Chloe met when he helped save her from a violent domestic situation. Chloe hadn’t been very friendly to Grayson, and since coming back from that encounter, Grayson hasn’t been able to paint the beautiful nudes he’s known for. Now, his work is needed for a benefit gala, but he’s blocked, so much so that he can’t even paint a bowl of fruit.

Like One of Your French Girls
Chloe needs money. She wants to run away to Europe to avoid some big secret she’s hiding and someone she’s hiding from, but she can’t afford it. So when she decides to offer herself up as a model for Grayson’s painting, she’s surprised when he turns her down and says he can’t paint. Chloe figures she’s going to have to find another way, but when Grayson “kidnaps” her to keep her from leaving until his new sister-in-law gets back from her honeymoon, Chloe ends up realizing how safe she feels in his home. She also decides she’s going to help him get his painting mojo back.


Get It Together
The story was enjoyable and fun. Apparently, Grayson was sweet and shy in previous books, but he has a bit of a stiff edge in this one. Chloe is sarcastic and damaged, and her mystery unfolds slowly as the book progresses. We find out fairly early what she’s running from. I won’t spoil what it is, but I found it to be fairly anticlimactic. It seems Chloe is a fan of self-made drama and lets her mind and her assumptions get away from her.

The two characters work well together, and I loved the pre-existing angst they share for each other that carries over into their current relationship.

Men and Their Ways
Maybe I was in the mood for some more fighting, or maybe I’m just irritated when people do things they’re expressly asked not to, but I got super annoyed when Chloe said she didn’t want or photos shared or she didn’t want to become a model, and Grayson and his brothers were like, “Too bad, so sorry.” I mean, she rolled with it, but seriously, guys. Have a little respect.


The Romance Factor
There’s a sense that Grayson and Chloe connected from the start, and possibly that Grayson may have fallen quickly, but I thought the progression of their relationship and the way they sorted out their feelings was sweet. Chloe pulls the whole “I have to leave to save you” BS that annoys me, but it does up the angst quotient, so it was okay for what it was. 4/5

The Steam Factor
While maybe not as steamy as some things, there is one scene in particular that turned on every single heat sensor in my brain. When painting meets sensuality, things explode in the best way ever. 5/5

Final Thoughts
This book can be read as a standalone, though admittedly, I had a hard time keeping members of the family and aspects of the Beaumont family tree straight. Overall, though, I liked the story and how everything played out. I’d definitely recommend it, and I’d be interested in going back and reading the stories of the other two brothers as well.

Book Review: Saving a Legend by Sarah Robinson

One of my favorite parts of the first book in this series was the family. I was hooked by the Kavanagh family dynamic and wanted more. This second book didn’t disappoint.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
After he gets out of jail, a fighter falls in love with a struggling flower shop owner. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Bad Boy Comes Home
Kieran got into some trouble a few years ago that landed him in jail. Now he’s out, and though he’s committed to staying out of trouble, he also has no idea what he wants to do with his life. He takes a construction job for his brother, but in the scheme of things, he feels lost. It doesn’t help that he’s also dealing with having missed out on a big chunk of time he could have spent with his family.


Kids as Love Catalysts
While doing court-ordered community service, he meets Shea, an autistic girl being raised by her sister Fiona, who also happens to be the flower shop owner that Kieran is attracted to at first sight. Fiona can only focus on making ends meet and taking care of her sister, so she doesn’t have time to date. But the attraction is mutual, and she’s able to let her guard down when she sees how good Kieran is with Shea.

Like Real Life
Everything about this book felt real, including the fact that nothing felt easy. Fiona’s struggles with her sister were genuine, and I appreciated that the author did her research into the subject of autism. Kieran’s struggles are also real, and at one point, he gets into trouble again while on probation (though his intentions are good), and there was no deus ex machina that magically appeared to save him from the consequences.

Irish Families
The Kavanagh family makes me happy. They have struggles and arguments and life isn’t perfect, but they’re strong and know they can rely on each other, even when things get rough. I loved how welcoming the mother was and how open the family was to Fiona and Shea. Some of the subject matter was rough, but the solidarity and support of the family was part of what made the story one of hope.


The Romance Factor
I’m all about that strong alpha male who doesn’t want to see the woman he loves upset, and Kieran and Fiona’s relationship was pretty much that. He’s supportive of her and wants to help her in any way he can. Okay, so he doesn’t tell her from the beginning he was in jail, but that plays more into him trying to get his life back on track than him trying to hurt her. 4/5

The Steam Factor
Though not overly frequent, the sexy times were pretty explicit, including some dirty talk. 4/5

Final Thoughts
There are still a couple brothers to get through, including Kieran’s twin, who seems a little over the top when it comes to women. I’m so excited to read more about this family. If I was on the fence to start with, I’m definitely all in after reading this one.

Book Review: Wicked Lust by Sawyer Bennett

I’d been waiting for this one on NetGalley, so I was psyched when I found it was up for request. Also, the disclaimer cracked me up, as it made sure the reader knew, without a doubt, that the book contained a lot of sex. And, much as the first one in the series did, it definitely delivered on that warning. (Note: This was supposed to publish on January 1, but it’s not showing up on my feed, so if this is a double post, my apologies. Otherwise, my apologies that it’s late).


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A reporter goes undercover to find something scandalous linking a governor to an underground sex club, but she doesn’t expect to fall for the club’s head of security or be drawn in by the kinks she didn’t know existed. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Going Deep
Sloane is all about doing her job and doing it well, so when she’s told she has to find a connection between a politician and a secret sex club, she figures she’ll do what she has to do…even if that means getting close to Cain, the head of security. Sloan’s own development makes her likable, even if one were to question her motives at the beginning. We don’t get her whole backstory at the beginning, but instead it unfolds over the story. This is one of the techniques Sawyer Bennett uses in all her books, and she does it well.

Hard to Take
Cain doesn’t usually stick around for a second night, but when it comes to Sloan, he can’t seem to stay away. Of course, he doesn’t know of her ulterior motives and she doesn’t know what he does for a living (besides security, he’s also one of the Fantasy Makers for the club). So he promises he’ll be with only her during the duration of her relationship, figuring he’ll have broken up with her by the time he has to service a client. No joke. At one point, he actually tells her that. Men in these books are so clueless sometimes. Cain is the typical alpha male who won’t listen to reason when it’s presented to him. I can’t say I didn’t like him, because I did, but he’s not someone I would want to deal with in real life.


Can We Get Some Crazy Up in Here?
My only issue with the plot in general was that when Cain is requested as a fantasy maker for one of their normal patrons while her husband, who usually joins her, is out of town, he makes it a point to say that it seemed weird, but nothing ever came of that. Maybe this will be picked up in a future book? Or maybe nothing will happen, but it seemed like it was definitely a lead-in to some crazy client shenanigans.

The Romance Factor
This series is definitely one where for most of the book, the sex outdoes the romance. But the relationship’s natural progression is believable, and when the sex is set aside for the angsty feels, it’s really powerful. Sloan ad Cain have that explosive, angry conflict that, while I’m not always sold on alpha males, is amazing and can usually only be gleaned from them and their strong, heated emotions. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The disclaimer doesn’t lie, folks. There is a ton of sex in this book. It is dirty, it is graphic, it goes places that many romances don’t. It is full out erotic romance that may make you blush. At the same time, it’s also sex positive. Like in the first one, the characters explore with complete consent, practice safe sex (mostly), and talk through the emotional implications of what they do, and there is the general vibe that none of this is wrong and that it’s okay to explore kinks of a legal, consenting nature. Thumbs up for that sentiment! 6/5

Hot Hiddleston

Final Thoughts
The epilogue again treats us to a hint at what’s coming for the next book, and I’m already hooked. This series! I know this level of sexy times isn’t for everyone, but it’s a lot of fun and it definitely shows that sex can be healthy, even if it takes on non-traditional forms.