Book Review: My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly

Confession: I’ve never actually seen My Fair Lady, but I love the concept of it, which was why I requested to read this book. I wasn’t disappointed.


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

One-Sentence Synopsis
A proper duke is enlisted to help a scandalous young woman learn social graces so she can find a husband. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Highly Independent
Gillian could care less about being socially proper. She says what she wants, does what she wants, and has no fear when it comes to getting into situations others would avoid, like facing down and shooting smugglers. But she’s also fiercely loyal and loves her family, and so when she sees how much it means to her mother to marry well, she agrees to allow the Duke of Leverton to turn her into a proper lady.

Breaking Through Propriety
Charles is definitely known as the most proper of dukes, but that doesn’t stop him from being amused by Gillian’s exploits. Because while she tries to be proper, it doesn’t always work out. She’s fearless ad hates injustice. As they get to know each other and Gillian learns more how to be a lady, Charles realizes that he’s drawn to her wild side and is falling for who she is, not who he’s teaching her to be.


Properly Paced
This was such a delightful read. I thought it was going to go a little slow, but it found its pace quickly and kept me engaged. The love wasn’t instant. Though there was an appreciation for each other’s good looks, their attraction and feelings for each other developed slowly. I enjoyed that as confident as Gillian was, she found herself unsure of how such a proper man would want to be with her.

Send the Rescue Squad Home
As much as I like a damsel-in-distress storyline, I also like a storyline where the damsel needs no rescuing…even if the hero thinks otherwise Gillian was fearless and able to take care of herself through the whole novel, which made me like her even more.

The Romance Factor
The slow burn love story totally hit the spot. Gillian never gives up her true personality and Charles ends up loving her for it. In fact, if anything, she changes him, infusing a little bit of impropriety into his life They were sweet with each other, and when the feelings start blossoming, the sexual and romantic tension goes sky high. 4/5


The Steam Factor
There’s a pretty titillating beach scene, but there aren’t a lot of sexy times. Those few were quality, though, and fit right in with the feel of the rest of the story. 3/5

Final Thoughts
I finished the book realizing I really need to watch My Fair Lady and probably read some more by this author. I liked the writing and the characters, and enjoyed the story and the fact that the author stayed true to Gillian’s character through the whole thing.

Book Review: Cutter by Ashley Suzanne

Life advice I’ve picked up from reading romance: if you think not telling the father of your child that he’s the father of your child is a good idea, you’re probably wrong.


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

One-Sentence Synopsis
When a fighter comes back to town a few years after his girlfriend broke it off with him, he finds a secret that she’s kept from him for three years. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Friends First
Cutter is a homeless teen until he’s taken in by a couple who own a gym. He starts as a custodian, then becomes a fighter when he wants to impress a pretty girl who works there. Josette is determined to get through school, get her degree, and make something of herself. Which means no time for a relationship, except that she enjoys hanging out with Cutter and the attraction between them is very real. The obvious solution? A friends with benefits agreement.

There It Is…There It Isn’t
It’s not until Cutter is ready to leave for Vegas to further his fighting career that he and Josette decide to try to be an actual couple, long distance and all. But when Josette finds out she’s pregnant, everything changes. She tells him that she’s going to “take care of it” because with him leaving and her plans for the future, there’s no way she can be a mother. And Cutter, being of the mind that it’s her choice, lets her do what she thinks is best, even though he wants her to have the baby. The whole thing leaves Josette with the feeling that they can’t be together, and so she breaks up with him right before he leaves, refusing to answer his emails and leaving him heartbroken.


Then and Now
Fast forward a couple years later and Cutter is returning home to visit the couple who took him in. He’s had a good career and hasn’t been home since he left, and the last thing he wants to do is run into Josette. But when he sees her at a social gathering, not only do old feelings rear up, but he also finds that she’s not alone. She has a daughter.

Character Conflict
I liked Cutter and Josette as characters, and this was one of the stories I’ve read lately where the conflict is completely between the two main characters (no outside danger in this one). Cutter is severely pissed that Josette never told him about having the baby and even more pissed when he finds that she’s seeing an old enemy of his from the gym. Josette thinks she did what was right in not ruining his career by telling him about the baby. However, she’d recently had some conscience issues and had been trying to figure out how to drop the bombshell. Unfortunately, she didn’t do it in time, and Cutter is left angry and hurt but sure he wants to be part of his daughter’s life.

Realistic Feels
The struggle between these two is so real. There were a lot of emotions and parts of the story that totally broke my heart. I also had a lot of anger at Josette. She was a good character, but she was also flawed in that her way of thinking was so selfish. Good intentions or not, how the heck is not telling the father of your kid what’s up a good thing? I especially liked that Cutter’s friends, who’d always liked Josette, called her out on her BS and told her how dumb she’d been.


Kid Alert
The parts with the little girl were well written and I didn’t find them annoying as I sometimes do in novels. I thought that Josette’s single mother journey seemed a little easy. She’d finished school and got a good job all while raising a baby, and though there seemed to be a few people who helped her out, it felt way too easy. I know she was super prepared and organized and had laid a lot of groundwork for her future early, but babies seem way more complicated and difficult than that.

The Romance Factor
The secret child trope is not my standard heartstring stuff, but I enjoyed how much Cutter and Josette really loved each other even when they were fighting. I thought the things they had to work through were genuinely difficult, and I liked that Cutter had to come to terms with his hurt and anger towards her to be able to move on. 3/5

The Steam Factor
There aren’t many sexy times, but there a few that are fairly spicy. 4/5

Final Thoughts
There’s a lot of the redemption theme in this book, and the story is a classic case of good intentions gone wrong. I enjoyed the emotion and the overall plot and thought the narrative and characters were strong. I haven’t read the first book in the series, but that didn’t matter. I got the jist of things and it’s fine to read this one as a standalone.

Book Review: Spy Fall by Diana Quincy

I read this book on an overnight trip to Kansas City in which I forced myself to catch up on writing and reading while recovering from a nasty cold/allergy thing. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but once it found its feet, it was adorable.

Spy Fall

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

One-Sentence Synopsis
An aeronaut spy crash lands into the son of the marquess she’s supposed to be spying on. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Well, Hello There…
One of the best parts of a romance is the meet-cute. It’s why I prefer the first chance romances to the second chance ones, because there’s more of a chance that we’re going to get to see the meet-cute happen. This story gives one of the more unique ones I’ve ever seen. Mari and her brothers are aeronauts who parachute out of hot air balloons (full disclosure: I read to get the feel and point of the story and I got a little lost in the details). During a jump that goes a little awry, Mari falls right into Cosmo (love that name).

Spy Meets Rake
Mari is feisty and independent and quirky (she has no problem jumping out of the sky but she’s afraid of horses). She also has a secret: she’s a spy.  Her main reason for not wanting to be tied down is that she figures a man would make her give up her hobby and she’s not all about that. There’s also that spy thing, but I didn’t really get that that was an issue.


Cosmo is somewhat of a man-ho who lives a life of excess because he feels guilty about the death of his sister and the fact that had he not been out carousing, he might have been able to save her. His first impression of Mari is that she’s attractive, but mouthy. Her first impression of him is that he’s kind of a jerk. But as happens, they find out quickly that they may want to, you know, get to know each other intimately. Like most rakish heroes, Cosmo doesn’t want a relationship, but he falls in love with Mari despite the fact that her lifestyle scares him.

Quirky Plot Points
I got a kick out of the banter between the two and had some laugh out loud moments. I also thought the side characters and mystery were interesting. I spent most of the book being wrong about who I suspected was the secret villain. I also enjoyed the fact that Cosmo’s house had all sorts of hidden doors and passages. It was a fun detail and of course made for some interesting interactions between him and Mari.

The Romance Factor
Cosmo and Mari have a fun relationship, and though there are definitely some romantic vibes, it doesn’t get too cheesy or sappy. There are a few poignant moments between them, especially when Cosmo freaks out because he thinks Mari is hurt, and I really liked that even though Cosmo is scared of Mari’s sky jumping, he promises not to curtail it since he knows it’s what she loves. 3/5

The Steam Factor
Not only are there some hot scenes, the settings and situations Cosmo and Mari find themselves in lead to the eroticism (and sometimes humor) of the situation. There’s one scene when they’re up in the air in a balloon and another where Cosmo is trying to have a conversation with his father while Mari is under the desk distracting him. That one was kind of awkward, but it also cracked me up. 4/5


Final Thoughts
I loved the unique premise and I thought the mystery and the romance came together well to create a fun and entertaining story. Though it had some more serious themes, it still managed to feel lighthearted. I’m hoping the other books in the series are just as entertaining and well written.

Book Review: His Deception by Patricia Rosemoor

Maybe it’s because I watched The Bodyguard at an impressionable age, but I love this trope. I just don’t get enough of these types of stories, so I was excited to read this one. I especially liked the twist of her not knowing he’s guarding her body.

His Deception

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

One-Sentence Synopsis
A man is hired to bodyguard a millionaire’s daughter without her knowing about it, which makes things even more complicated when he falls for her. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

I Guess He Meant Well
Katelyn grew up in a weird situation, her mother having left her father when she was young, but her father doing what he could to make her a part of his other family, despite the poor treatment she received from his wife and her half siblings. As an adult, she still loves her father, but she wants to make it on her own and has made it a point to distance herself from his name. By opening a cafe in a small town in Wisconsin, she thinks she’s found her dream.

When a school shooting happens and her father receives threatening emails as the manufacturer of the assault weapon used, he begs Katelyn to get a bodyguard. She doesn’t think she’s in danger, believing that only a few people know she’s his daughter, so she refuses. But her father is a control freak, so he hires one anyway. Enter Thorne Hudson.


More Than a Job
Thorne pretends to be just another traveler passing through the area and Katelyn feels drawn to him instantly. He’s attractive and mysterious and he offers to bartend for her when her normal guy disappears. Thorne starts to have feelings for Katelyn, and his feelings war with his duty and his sense of guilt. But he also realizes she needs to protecting, and eventually it becomes less about doing the job her father hired him for and more about him knowing he would die for her if need be.

A Little Too Stubborn
Katelyn knows something’s up, but though she doesn’t trust her father, she never believes that Thorne is anything other than who he seems to be. Which makes it that more exciting when she does find out. At one point though, she starts to understand that she probably is in danger, yet it takes her awhile to come around and actually be thankful for Thorne’s protection.


Love and Mystery
I liked the mystery and the danger of this story and thought it blended well with the romance. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I dig a story where the culprit could be any of a group of suspects. There’s also some other issues going on, like Katelyn’s trust issues and the return of her ex after several months. Thorne also has issues that stem from his childhood.

The Romance Factor
If The Bodyguard made me enjoy this type of love story, I think it was probably Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves that made me love the hero who would die for the woman he loves. When Katelyn gets emo over the fact that she didn’t know he was guarding her, he still holds on to hope that she’ll come around and his feelings only get stronger. 4/5

The Steam Factor
To be completely honest, I though things were going to be a lot hotter than they were. The sexy times started out really promising, but they usually didn’t last long. It felt like there was a lack of foreplay before Thorne slid into home base (if you know what I’m saying). I’m thinking it was less of a series of quickies and more of a lack of detail, which is cool. I mean, they both seemed to enjoy it, even if we didn’t see everything. 3/5

Final Thoughts
Despite the lack of foreplay, I really liked this book. I thought the emotion between Thorne and Katelyn was solid and I liked the tension of waiting to see who was targeting Katelyn. This seems to be a standalone novel, which makes me a little sad because I liked the setting and thought some of the other characters were interesting. I would definitely read more by this author.

Book Review: Possession by Violetta Rand

I enjoyed the first book in this series, Persuasion, but I had some issues with the way it ended. I was a little unsure about this one, but I was hooked from the beginning, finding that I related to Tina and enjoyed the romance between her and Vincent to a much higher degree.


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

One-Sentence Synopsis
A defense attorney tries to seduce a biker, despite his intentions of not getting involved with another woman after a previously failed marriage. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Unlikely Wedding Planners
The story picks up after Lang and Lily from the first book have gotten married and are on their honeymoon. Tina and Vincent haven’t seen each other in a few months, their last interaction being a hot makeout session after the wedding which they’d worked together to help plan. Though we saw a glimpse of their relationship before, there’s apparently a time frame where they spend a lot of time together, during which their attraction just grows stronger.

Destiny Via Creepy Guys
Tina is a confident career woman who does everything she can to get Vincent in bed, but he’s not having it. She decides to let it go, until a client starts creeping on her and she goes to the bike club’s clubhouse to be somewhere safe. This rekindles the spark between them, pushing Tina to try to jump Vincent while he continues to resist her. The woman is nothing if not persistent, and I got a kick out of all her innuendos when she was trying to goad him into bed.


Once Bitten
Vincent has baggage, and he doesn’t think he wants another relationship. He has an ex-wife, two boys he doesn’t see very often, and club responsibilities, and he’s made it a point to keep his life ordered. Tina introduces a bit of wildness into his life that he doesn’t want to take her up on, and a huge part of that is he already has feelings for her. He knows that if he steps over that line into a physical relationship, he’s only one more step away from falling in love with her.

Vincent cracked me up as the ordered biker who was pretty rough and tough when it come to his job as club treasurer and president fill-in, yet he had this side of him that knew he’d fall in love with Tina way too easily. He wasn’t super scary, but he didn’t shy away from beating someone who deserved it either, and I really enjoyed the scenes where he handled club business like a boss.

Even Smart Women Have Dumb Moments
I liked Tina too, but she made me mad. I liked that she was independent and driven to get what she wanted, which in the context of the story was a promotion at her job and Vincent. But when she started being stalked by the creeper and his threats and actions became more serious, it drove me nuts that she wouldn’t do more about it, putting her chance at a higher career position before her own personal safety. She even knew she was doing it too, knew that she wasn’t doing what she’d tell any other woman to do (go to the police, stay safe, etc). Though I think that’s realistic in many women, I still wanted to rage at her.


I liked that the stalking plot gave the story a bit of suspense, and even though Strong Tina was great, I enjoyed the dash of damsel-in-distress trope that emerged.

We Don’t Need a (Full) Resolution
One of the things I didn’t like about the first one was that things seem to resolve way to easily and completely. I didn’t have that problem with this one. While things for Tina still worked out well, it doesn’t come out of left field and feel forced. There’s also still a bit of conflict that hasn’t been resolved regarding Vincent’s family, and it felt more realistic to have things hanging than to have a full HEA for the characters.

The Romance Factor
Though not overly mushy, the romance between Vincent and Tina was solid. Vincent doesn’t pull too much alpha male with her, and when he does, it’s apparent that he just wants to keep her safe. There was a feel of reality and subtlety to the way their relationships developed that I found appealing. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The heat is high in this one. Between the foreplay that starts out between then and them and sexy times they have when they finally give in to each other, the story is a good blend of sweet and spicy. 4/5

Final Thoughts
I continue with my trend of liking the second in the series better than the first in the series, which is why unless I really hate the first, I know to give the second one a try regardless. This is a case where I’m really glad I did. I enjoyed the characters and even though the Sons of Odin is tamer than a lot of other motorcycle clubs I’ve read, it still has a nice rough edge.

Book Review: All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue by Sophie Jordan

January has been a crazy month. It kicked off with a big overtime project at work that kind of sidetracked my reading and hasn’t let up since. I’m trying to fit reading in with some other projects, including the revision of my own novel that’s about to come out of the beta reading phase. If January is setting the precedent for the whole year, it’s going to be insane.

In fact, I’m writing this a few weeks after I actually read this book, so some of my memories have faded. I considered not blogging about it, just throwing it on Goodreads and calling it good, but I really did enjoy it and wanted to give it some blog love.


One-Sentence Synopsis
Once friends, now enemies, a lady and a viscount fight the the sexual tension building between them to maintain their animosity. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Don’t Want No Short Man
Aurelia and Max follow a friends to enemies to lovers trope, giving us a lot of conflict foreplay and banter, though at times the banter gets intense and turns into some hateful dialogue. As a young girl, Aurelia was in love with Max…until she caught him getting down with another woman. Her anger and hurt took the form of a caricature that ended up haunting Max into adulthood, hence the mutual hate (and by haunting, I mean calling into the question the size of a certain male-only appendage).

Put a Ring On It
Aurelia values her independence, but when her mother decides to go to Scotland due to financial and family issues, Aurelia has no choice but to either go with her or find a husband locally. This doesn’t sit well with her, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Max, of course, doesn’t want her…until he realizes that omg, someone else might have her. Then it’s game on. Sort of. Because while he doesn’t want to marry her (or so he says), he feels he needs to screw up her chances of marrying anyone else.

Such Anticipation
Aurelia and Max spend a lot of time warring with themselves over what they want. There is a lot of great foreplay, the kind that kept me on edge and made me happily frustrated with the waiting, going into each scene with a “Will they or won’t they this time?” mindset. I enjoyed Aurelia as a character, and I related to her ability to hold a grudge. There were times I liked Max, and then times I wanted to tell him to suck it up. There were also times he was downright mean to her, so douche alert, though he ends up being an okay guy at the end.

Emo Hero
Though I enjoyed the book, towards the end I thought the characters drew things out and parts of it felt depressing, what with Max not wanting to love and all that jazz due to past hurts, blah blah blah.


The Romance Factor
I really did love the foreplay that happened through most of the book and the fact that Aurelia and Max tried so hard to hold on to their dislike for one another. But there were also sweet moments that helped develop the relationship. 4/5

The Steam Factor
I’m embarrassed to say that due to the time lag between when I read this and when I wrote this review, I forgot how steamy this book was. I’m pretty sure it was open door and detailed, so I’m giving it a 4/5, but there is a chance it wasn’t quite that saucy.  Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Final Thoughts
This was my first Sophie Jordan novel and I really enjoyed it. Though I thought some of the pacing was a little slow at the end and the random meanness of Max annoyed me, overall it was fun and I liked the heroine. I’ll definitely be adding more of her books to my TBR list.

Stranded With a Billionaire by Jessica Clare

When Fifty Shades of Grey came out…and I was less than thrilled with it…I was kind of put off of billionaire books. Sure, I know that not all billionaires are douche canoes like Christian Grey, but it just didn’t seem like my thing.

Then I heard a conversation on Dear Bitches, Smart Authors podcast about Jessica Clare’s billionaire books. The thing that stood out to me was that the second in the series was a Beauty and the Beast trope. Which pretty much trumps any dislike of billionaires I may have had. However, I decided I would read the whole series. There are 6 books in the Billionaire Boys Club series and it kicks off with this one.


One-Sentence Synopsis
A waitress and a billionaire find themselves stranded, alone, and mostly naked at an island resort after it’s hit by a hurricane. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
This was such a fun read. Clare is on my list of top authors and I’m now crediting her with making me look at billionaires in a whole new way. Being stranded on an island with a good looking rich man? You know this someone’s fantasy…even if the heroine doesn’t know he’s rich until later. There was some Blue Lagoon nostalgia, though Logan and Bronte are adults and I wasn’t super uncomfortable.

blue lagoon

I loved that even though Bronte was attracted to Logan, she still wanted to be her own person and demanded that she be treated with respect.

The story is paced well, and even though one might argue the premise is fantastical, it’s actually believable. There’s angst, there’s feels, and there are hints of the other books in the series. I love when you get glimpses of future main characters. It leaves me wanting more.

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
Even though I’m really good at suspending disbelief, I was slightly distracted by the fact that when they’re on the island and getting intimate that they’re doing it without having showered or brushed their teeth. It was like they were immune to body odor and morning breath.


Even though I liked both characters, there were times when Logan made me facepalm. There’s one scene in particular where Bronte has made it clear she needs to be wooed, so they have a nice date, some really nice sexy times…and then he’s like “Well, guess you’re moving in with me!” Dude, seriously? It cracked me up, so much so that in the 2nd book, when the hero of that story goes to Logan for advice, I was like “No! Don’t ask him for advice. He’ll lead you astray!”

The Romance Factor
Though he had his moments, there was something romantic about Logan going to extremes to have Bronte with him, and though the potential was there for some of his actions to be creepy, I completely bought into the fact that he just wanted to be with her. They definitely had chemistry and conflict. 3/5.

The Steam Factor
I appreciate a book that brings the erotica, brings it frequently, and yet doesn’t detract from the story itself. This is a good example of that. There were so many full detailed sexy times, but they fit perfectly with the story and contained some sweet moments. 5/5

Hot Hiddleston

Final Thoughts
Island breath aside, I really enjoyed this book, especially when it started the story in book 2. For not being a fan of billionaire stories previously, this one sucked me in and now I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.