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I love reading and as of now that is fiction only. Love all genres except horror and for the past few years, been gorging on romance. Thrillers are my first love and add some romance to it then all the more better.
For the First Time - Stephanie Doyle I think this might just be my most favourite book by this author yet, it just had such great characters. We met Mark the former CIA turned PI in the last book, where we saw him struggle to be a father to his almost-fifteen year old child prodigy daughter. Mark never had a relationship with his daughter beyond sending gifts and awkward chats over the internet, his college girlfriend deliberately got pregnant. His daughter Sophie lost her mother and then because of her elderly grandparent's health had to go live with a man she didn't know, so life is a struggle.

The book opens with the heroine JoJo though, when she is fourteen and is recounting to the police the kidnapping of her twin sister, we also are witness to what would come later in her life, her father's violence and disregard.

When we see JoJo again she is all spiked hair and tats and an investigator, who comes to Mark for a job and he turns her away. It's not just her neck that has barbed wires, it's her, what happened to her sister, how her parents failed her, she just doesn't do ties or trust and especially men.

But Mark ends up hiring her because he is getting letters threatening his daughter and JoJo is different. Honestly, both Mark and JoJo were so different yet the same, when it came to being open. Both of them were loners but we saw them change, Mark coming to accept the love he had for his daughter and JoJo opening up with Sophie and then later Mark.

I loved the book, it was emotional and sexy as well. We see Sophie struggle with her first crush and her relationship with her father. The moment when JoJo confessed to Mark what happened with her father was so poignant and then Mark proclaiming that he would take her virginity was all kinds of sweet and offensive.

For me this book was perfect, filled with emotions, romance and characters that deserved a HEA.


Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell Rating 3.5 stars
Why did this book end? I felt it had so much more potential. I wanted to read more about Cath, her working through her issues, her and the wonderful Levi. I wouldn't classify this book as a romance, fiction with romantic elements I guess but I really liked this book and wanted an epilogue so bad.
High Passion - Vivian Arend Rating 3.25 stars
H/h work together and have had the hots for each other for years, they finally give in. Both love their rescue work and have difficult families. The book had plenty of sex but plot-wise was filled with holes, the villain was so over the top that it was creepy and hilarious at the same time. What I did like was the rescue missions and how these two didn't fight their feelings when it started getting all serious between them.
The Texas Way - Jan Freed Rating 3.5 stars
I've actually read and enjoyed the hero's sister's book and this one after a shaky start was pretty good. The heroine has never been happy in life, disapproving parents and a teenage mistake and then a bad marriage but she is ready to start living her dream, of training horses and even if she has to approach the hero to do it, she will.

The hero's best friend was someone the heroine was involved with and he died because of the heroine so there is no love lost between them. I found the hero very hard at first, he had to grow up fast, his dad was sick and his ranch failing. He was unnecessarily harsh to the heroine at first but he improved and so did the heroine, her confidence level and all.

I didn't like the suspense aspect and it was weird from not liking the heroine to thinking he is not good enough, overall decent.
Uncommon Passion - Anne Calhoun Rating 3.25 stars
Though smoking when it came to sex scenes this book lacked a distinct emotional connection as well as any romance between the hero/heroine. Honestly, the hero came across as an ass, something the heroine called him on. I wish she would have moved on with someone else. The heroine is 25 and grew up in a strict religious community, escaping a few months back and getting used to the real world and doing things without restrictions. She is working at a farm and hoping to get into vet school when at an auction she bets on the cop hero, Ben.

Ben is the definition of cold and emotionless. The heroine goes home and divests with her virginity and then they continue their sexual encounters, with no emotion, no talking, just have sex and the heroine leaves. This bothered me because the heroine later said that she could fall for him but there was nothing worth falling for.

We are made aware of the hero's tragic history that made him the way he is but I didn't like his treatment of the heroine and how she too put up with it. Of course in the end he courts her but I still wasn't convinced of the HEA.
Love in Disguise - Rachel Lindsay Rating 3.5 stars
Thanks Leona for this recommendation. I so like reading about a heroine who can bring out her claws and strike back. The heroine has always lived at home, taking care of her father and she took a year off university to help her sick father. Now things have changed, her dad comes back home married and there is friction with her new step-mom which makes the heroine start searching for a place to live. I think the book straddled a fine line between showing the step-mom as being selfish and not that bad, same with the heroine, she came off as self-sacrificing at few moments and very strong and assertive the next.

The heroine finds a temporary job as a house-keeper standing in for a friend. She of course doesn't tell her family what the job is and because she is so young dresses like a woman, a decade older. She mistakes the very rich hero to be a driver at first and questions him at every turn, his working so hard, not eating, his army of servants and more.

Honestly, the romance here is okay, we have a few kisses and the heroine's belief that the hero is having an affair with a married woman and then bam we get a HEA. Nevertheless, despite some shortcomings I liked the book.
Flirting with Destiny - Christyne Butler Rating 3.25 stars

Sterling Advice

Sterling Advice (Silhouette Intimate Moments #545) - Sandy Steen Rating 3.25 stars
If there is one thing I hate is a stupid and stubborn heroine. I mean even when she is almost hit by a truck she still persists on being cavalier about her security. The hero is a cop and he was helped by the heroine's father when he was a mixed up kid, so he agrees to protect the heroine without her knowing. The heroine has a thing against cops, her dad was one a fact that took a toll on her mom, who died and her brother a cop too died. So, later when she learns the hero is a cop she tries to keep her distance but to no avail. Honestly, I was quite neutral towards the book, it wasn't great and not that bad.

Romeo In The Rain (Harlequin Silhouette Romance)

Romeo In The Rain (Harlequin Silhouette Romance) - Kasey Michaels Rating 3.5 stars
Heroine an author with a teenage daughter and undergoing writer's block so goes away for a while where she meets the hero. She thinks the hero is a trust fund brat who doesn't work, a fact she cannot believe because her life has been tough, growing up in foster homes, widowed at 19 with a small baby too feed, she slogged and has made her own way. The hero had amazing restraint I must admit with the heroine. Her daughter was awesome too, while the heroine could blow, hot and cold. Overall I think the hero was more into the heroine than her.


Unbuttoned - Maisey Yates This was a short and cute book. Carly is a bit uptight and pays too much heed to what other people say and think while Lucas doesn't. Lucas and Carly share the same background and Carly has been hiding her attraction to him for years and then it comes to the forefront. A very quick read.
Her Favorite Rival (Harlequin Superromance) - Sarah Mayberry I've never hidden the fact that Sarah Mayberry is one of my favourite authors, she just does emotions so well and her characters are great, flawed, hurt and yet so lovable that you root for them.

Audrey and Zach are rivals at work, Zach a recent hire but a threat to a promotion Audrey is looking for. To Audrey Zach is a rich designer-wear guy who drives an expensive car while she is the messed up teenager whose parents don't approve of her and she started right at the bottom in the company and seems to be still trying to make up for her run-away years.

But Zach's clothes are a facade and is far away from the truth, the truth being he grew up poor with a messed up mother, taking care of himself and his mom. He likes dressing up, it reminds him of how far he has come.

The book initially establishes their rivalry, they have a new boss and both are trying to show off and then they are paired up together and get to know each other blowing away their pre-conceived notions.

Honestly, I loved the gradual progression of the romance, Audrey leaning on Zach when she felt really broken and then Zach slowly leaning on her, trusting her about the truth of his mother.

Her Favorite Rival is another excellent book from this talented author. I would recommend reading it when you are in the mood for something meaty and with substance.

ARC provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

Free Fall - Karen Foley Rating 3.25 stars
Heart of Obsidian - Nalini Singh
Drool, this may be the best book yet and so damn romantic. Nalini strikes again after an average 2012. I have actually re-read my favourite bits 3 times already. Psy-Psy pairings are perfect. I modified this to 5 stars. Loved Kaleb, he was dark, he was tortured and so damn possessive that you had to love him. Sahara was great too, her love never ending and I can't believe the ending. So.damn.good!
Meant to Be - Terri Osburn Rating 4.5 stars
LOVED IT!!This was amazing. Beth she had been raised in a stifling manner and to please others and she almost married a man because of that but then Joe came along and he was so wrong for her on so many levels especially since he was the half brother of her fiancee. I loved the conflict, loved the feelings that gradually developed between them. I am looking forward to Sid's book, she is gonna kick-ass!
One Night with the Sheikh (Harlequin Desire) - Kristi Gold Rating 3.5 stars
I had a problem with the hero, who was so focused on duty that he broke the heroine's heart first when they were teens which led her to marry a man older than her and who abused her and now almost a decade later when the woman he married under contract is dead, he goes to her again. He hasn't contacted her in a decade, knows that she is pariah because of her divorce and even when he learns what she went through, hides what she is to him because she is not suitable as a queen. I honestly felt the heroine was too welcoming and forgiving when it came to the hero.
One Night Heir - Lucy Monroe I don't know what happened to Lucy Monroe, I used to love her HP's and many of her old works are ones I re-read but sadly the new one's have been dull and bland and so is this one. The whole time I read this book it felt that the hero/heroine were having the same discussion/argument. Hero/heroine have been involved for some time when he learns she can't have kids and that is bad for his kingdom so of course they have to break up. Hero of course doesn't do love, heroine is devastated by hero's actions, then viola magic pregnancy and the hero comes calling. I wish the heroine had had a bit of a spine, despite growing up with parents who ignored her, she is happy marrying a guy who says he doesn't do love. Her agreeing to his proposal reeked of desperation and that is not an attractive trait in any book.