04 May 2017

Bite Sized Books // Some Romance of All Kinds

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I have a nice collection of romance reads to look at in this post. I have been drifting back to more romance because I have missed it and so you may see a bit more romance around here lately… but then I might get stuck in a fantasy binge and you won’t. We’ll see.

It Happened on Love Street (Everland, Georgia #1) – Lia Riley
Published: 25th April 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
My Rating:
The most romantic place she never wanted to be . . .

Pepper Knight moved to Everland, Georgia, as step one in her plan for a successful legal career. But after this big-city gal's plans go awry, going home with her tail between her legs isn't an option. So when the town vet-and her sexy new neighbor-offers Pepper a temporary dog-walking job, she jumps at the chance. No one needs to know that man's best friend is her worst nightmare . . . or that Everland's hot animal whisperer leaves her panting.

The last thing Rhett Valentine wants is to be the center of small-town gossip. After his first love left him at the altar, he's been there, done that. These days, life is simple, just the way he likes it. But sultry southern nights get complicated once sparks fly between him and the knockout next door. When she proposes a sexy, secret fling-all the deliciousness and none of the prying neighbors-it seems too good to be true. And it is. Because Pepper's determined to leave Love Street, and when she goes, she just might take his heart with her . . .
Gah, I've mixed feelings. On the one hand, cute romance which makes me happy and makes me smile with adorable animals and cuteness. On the other hand, it didn't make me fall head over heels. It was cute and sweet and definitely and intriguing start to a new romance series but it left me reserving judgment. I will have to read a second book I. The series to really voice my opinion on things.

It's a strange feeling not loving a romance but instead liking. I normally dive head first into love and have no regrets but not so this time. I was left waiting to like Pepper and Rhett may have seemed swoon-worthy (really, a southern gent? Don't mind if I do) but he didn't make me swoon straight away. I think my reservations over these 2 characters are what made me a bit wary. I'm used to liking at least one of the MCs straight away and then the rest will fall into place but not so this time. They both had to work on me. Maybe it was Peppers fear of dogs which made me wary? Maybe Rhett's long-term single status and meddling town life made me wary? I don't know what but something left me uncertain.

I did really enjoy it though. Like I said, it's hella cute and it did make me smile with the crazy gossip of Everland. I think one of my favourite things was that Scrabble game at the start where Pepper was trying to hustle folk. I can easily confirm that as the moment I began to like Pepper. Got to respect a girl who is good with words.

If you're looking for a cute romance with some utterly adorable pets as secondary characters (they are though really) then this is the book for you. It's sweet and fun and I see the potential for the next book.

The One Real Thing
Published: 1st September 2016
Source: Library
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
My Rating:
Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for…
I borrowed this from the library not long after reading a good review by Nick about the second book (I have a thing about order, ok) so I knew I needed to get reading this. It may have taken me 6 weeks to get around to reading it, but once I started I could hardly put it down.

This is the kind of romance read which is a bit angsty and dramatic (which could have been off-putting) but it was written so well that nothing could have put me off really. And the angsty and dramatic things were past events which stayed with Jess so really does that count as angst?

It was this brilliant read about Jess fighting past demons and finding love when all she was really looking for is what she wanted in life. I think I loved the strength of Jess. She was a brilliant character who seemed to get overly emotional about some letters she found but was still totally bad ass with making a decision and going with it. Sure, she was scared often but she was so brave and I loved her.
And Cooper! That man would make any girl swoon. I really loved his character and although I didn't totally believe he'd gone through a lot of women after his divorce I did believe he was a man who went for what he wanted and stuck with those he loved. I adored him, he was perfect for Jess and their path together was just brilliant. And the chemistry! Let me tell you, they have chemistry in buckets.

What really made the book was the town it was set in, though. Hartwell (or Hart's Boardwalk for some) was brilliant. Filled with plenty of folks I wanted to get to know better and who made this book so good. I wanted to know more about Cat, Cooper's sister who is a tad over protective, and about Iris and Ira and their daughter Ivy who doesn't even feature in the book but simply from the small amount mentioned of her I wanted more. And then there was Bailey who I loved her sexual tension with Vaughn. Don't even get me started on Jack who comes across as a bad guy but there is totally more story there. And how could I forget Emery. She has a whole heap of story too and I love that she's shy so she better get her own damn book because I can relate to blushing when you speak to people you don't know well (I do it all the time and I am not continually embarrassed) so yeah. I need her story.

Basically, it was love and I am making grabby hands for the second. I am glad I visited Hart's Boardwalk and you most definitely will too if you want a brilliant romance.

Never Trust A Pirate (Playful Brides #1) – Valerie Bowman
Published: 2nd May 2017
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating:
The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .
A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…
Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?
Never Trust a Pirate is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman

This was an insanely fun book. It begins with a thief sneaking into a captain's cabin to steal the map to be used to help Napoleon escape his prison and then moves on to a rake living with his brother his brother's new wife meeting the new French ladies maid and it all goes a bit crazy from there.

This is not a book to be taken too seriously. It's meant to be a fun romance with adventure and intrigue and a little bit of mystery as well. I knew it was going to be a fun read as soon as I saw the word Pirate in the title. I mean, pirates are always fun. The great thing about this book is you're continually kept guessing about why people are doing what they're doing because there are pirates and spies and neither always tells the whole truth!

I thought I might not like this book, especially as when you first meet Danielle she's interviewing to be a ladies maid but you can tell she doesn't really know much about the job. I began to question why she was there (I was suspicious from the start) but she ends up being a really great character who was strong and her own motives for her slightly duplicitous behavior but you'll find that out as you read.

Then there was Cade, I'm still not fully convinced I 100% liked him. I mean, he was a great black sheep and rake and the perfect opposite to Rafe (his twin) but whilst his rake-ish ways are frequently mentioned I wasn't fully convinced he was the bad guy everyone believed him to be. The fact I didn't believe it meant I didn't like him as much as I might. That being said, he did have some fun banter with Danielle and them together was fun,

I did notice one of the later plot twists early on and the ending was a little rushed for my tastes but if you're looking for a romance which is a little ridiculous then this is the book for you.

And that is it for my romance reviews. Have you read any of these? And please give me some good historical romance recs because every time I read I remember how much I love that genre and need to read more.

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