Review: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

The Hook Up (Game On, #1)
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Unfortunately, as I could not relate in any way whatsoever with the characters or their lives, this was just not my cup of tea. It was not a book I could get swept away in, fall in love with the hero or fantasize myself as the heroine. Its about young, young 20 somethings in college. And it's a loooooong book about young, young 20 somethings in college. There is nothing wrong with the writing, however, the subject is just of no interest to me and the plot itself was a little bit predictable. On the bright side it was sufficiently steamy! So enjoy that! Needless to say I will not be picking up the next book in the series, however, should this author write something more relate-able to me, I will definitely be open to checking it out.

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Review: Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt

Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The fifth book in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series brings us the story of Godric St. John and his wife of 2 years Lady Margaret Reading. Megs found herself single and with child recovering through the death of her lover at the hands of the Ghost of St. Giles. With the help of her brother Griffin Reading, Megs marries Godric St. John in a numbing fog and retreats to his country estate. The marriage though not entirely wanted by Godric works for the pair as Godric is a widow still mourning the loss of his wife Clara. That is until Megs descends upon Godric's London home and upsets his lonely existence and his activities as the mysterious Ghost of St. Giles, whom she's also vowed to kill to avenge her lover. Megs also intends to seduce her supposed elderly husband to give her a child to love. However, everything comes to a halt once Megs discovers her husband is the very man she's vowed to kill, he's not so elderly and there is a definite spark sizzling between them...

I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that I am very tired of the Ghost of St. Giles plot device. We're five books into this series that I actually love, with characters that are as wonderful as we all have come to expect from Ms. Hoyt, but the regurgitation of the Ghost of St. Giles has worn on me drastically.

That being said, I loved Godric and Meg's relationship and the progression of love and passion. Theirs was an intense and intensely passionate love. With a man like Godric who had the huge capacity to love and Megs to be the light in his life, the romance was heartbreaking and the steam out of this world hot. I loved them as a couple, I loved their love and I'm so happy I picked up this series again just for the simple fact that I got to take part in their love story.

I have high hopes for Duke of Midnight, despite the fact that it's still about the blasted Ghost of St. Giles, because who doesn't love a duke and Maximus seems like a man who needs some major ruffling and Artemis is just the woman to do it.

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Review: Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost

Home for the Holidays (Night Huntress #6.5)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Its been awhile since I read a Cat and Bones book, and this one was a nice reintroduction to the Night Huntress world. In this book we find out that Bones has a long lost brother and a bit more about his family lineage. The usual exciting and interesting plot exists with plenty of action and a nice bit of steam. I read it in a day and am eagerly, as well as dreadfully, awaiting the last book in the series. I'm hoping that its an amazing end to an amazing series and that I'll find just as much joy out of the next series Jeaniene Frost puts out.

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Review: Always On My Mind by Jill Shalvis

Always On My Mind (Lucky Harbor, #8)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed Jack and Leah's story, more than expected. Their relationship felt realistic and the progression natural. Further I really feel I need to praise Jill Shalvis for her talent in writing an intense, steamy and romantic friends to lovers story! Friends to lovers has always been my least favorite plot but Leah, and in particular Jack were so easy to fall in love with and cheer on. Though an obvious HEA was in store for them, the road there was not predictable. The choices and decisions not clear. I liked that I was continuously engaged and eager to get back to their story. Personally Jack is one of my favorite Lucky Harbor heroes. Much like my all time favorite Jax, he was super hot, intense, head over heels for, and laser focused on Leah. Finally, because of how intense and hot Jack was, I found their chemistry off the charts and everything he did sexy as hell. You won't be disappointed with this story, its a solid and consistently enjoyable example of why Jill Shalvis will always be a must read for me.

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Review: It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis

It Had to Be You (Lucky Harbor, #7)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is Luke and Ali's story. I really liked their relationship, though I found their beginning happened super fast. They meet and sort of instantly Luke starts having really strong feelings for Ali that didn't quite feel genuine or realistic to me. With that said, I did find the progression of their relationship natural and for some people it is that fast and strong. Luke fought his feelings for Ali pretty hard, but as is often the case with good men, he couldn't hide from his feelings forever and he stepped up to the plate in a big way. I found this book easy and enjoyable to read and breezed along nicely. The ending of course was happy if a bit super sweet and gooey to my taste. BUT it's Jill Shalvis, I love it and pretty much anything she writes. Very excited to move on to Leah and Jack's story. Keeep em coming Jill!

Review: Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis

Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jill Shalvis brings us back to Lucky Harbor and introduces us to the quiet, sexy and grieving Ben McDaniel and former bad girl Aubrey Wellington. Two people who shouldn't have any trouble avoiding each other but who just can't keep their hands to themselves. You will find Once in a Lifetime to be a solid addition to the couples we've all come to know and love in the addictive Lucky Harbor series.

Our hero Ben is back in town after years spent away escaping to distant destinations in order to run from his grief. He's Lucky Harbor's golden child who can do no wrong. However, he's just sort of drifting and not committing to any one thing. Then he takes a fix-it job from Aubrey's uncle and the sparks start to fly. I loved how Aubrey and Ben worked so hard to convince the other that their affair was casual, when everyone but they could see how deeply they were involved with each other. Ben is a signature Jill Shalvis hero; hot, sexy, sweet and hoooooottt! Her heroes always make me drool.

Aubrey is the bad girl in town who no one thinks is good enough for perfect Ben. But Aubrey has been dealt some pretty unfortunate circumstances throughout her life that she's not always reacted well to. However, the wonderful thing about Aubrey is she's decided to take control of her life and works diligently to make amends for past wrongs. The transformation we get to watch really makes you fall in love with Aubrey and respect her dearly. In the end, the tables are turned and it's our bad girl who just might be too good for our golden boy hero Ben.

You'll find Once in a Lifetime to be the quintessential Jill Shalvis book in that it is full of funny and sexy characters, steaaaaaaammmmmy scenes and a touching and meaningful happily ever after.

Oh, and one last thing...if this book does nothing else for you, it WILL make you pine heavily for Jill's next hero Sam! I cannot wait!

**Thanks to Jill for providing the ARC to me!

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Review: Too Hot to Handle
by Victoria Dahl

Too Hot to Handle (Jackson, #2)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

ctoria Dahl has a real talent for funny and spice and I always love it. She created one of my all time favorite heroes ever: Jax Cullen! Totally worth your time checking out.

In Too Hot to Handle, we meet Merry Kade who doesn’t really have any roots, but it desperately looking for a place to call her own. She’s currently living on her best friend’s couch and working on restoring a ghost town into a thriving tourist’s attraction. However she soon finds her dreams of settling down and finally proving herself impeded by an incredibly hot cowboy and a pending lawsuit.

Shane Harcourt is our hunky cowboy who comes to light up Merry’s very celibate life. Shane makes it clear he’s good for any girl on a temporary lease, but you can’t tie him down long-term. It’s what’s in his blood, passed down from his grandfather to his father to his brother. But then he meets Merry she blows him away when he’s not looking. With Merry infiltrating into his life, Shane finds himself questioning everything he’s believed about his family and himself. He turns into a completely lovable hero who makes an incredible grand gesture.

Victoria Dahl delivers with the super steam in Too Hot to Handle, but I found the story a little empty, with very little depth. I didn’t get sucked into the town or the characters all that much, but I definitely will still be checking out her books in the future. Any author who can create the great Jax Cullen is an author I’ll be following for life.

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