Review – The Neighborhood (Twin Estates #2) by Stylo Fantome

The Neighborhood (Twin Estates #2) by Stylo Fantome

BLURB

Things a bad neighbor can do to you:

1. Have loud parties late at night

2. Refuse to mow his lawn

3. Steal your newspapers

4. Rip your heart out and walk all over it

Katya Tocci is willing to admit that she may have bitten off more than she could chew.

Liam Edenhoff showed her a side of life she’d been missing out on – sex and friendship and tacos. But then he betrayed her.

Wulfric Stone taught her that big surprises can come from unexpected places – like from a surly, aggressive, withdrawn bastard. But then he broke her heart.

Now one of them wants forgiveness, and the other wants forever. And Katya? She just wants to forget.

Who knew neighbors could be so difficult?

This story contains scenes of a graphic sexual nature, multiple uses of coarse language, and quite possibly enough confusion to drive a normal person insane. Reader discretion is advised.

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Love Triangle
  • Second In A Series
  • Heat Level 3

After I read “Neighbors”, book one of the Twin Estates series, I was wholly consumed by its brilliance. I told anyone who would listen that they should read it…like yesterday! It was in my top five reads of 2016, and I have been bouncing on the edge of my seat for months waiting on the release of The Neighborhood. So it is with a heavy heart that I now write this review.

First of all, this book felt overly long, but maybe that’s because what made the first book so addictive was missing completely from this installment. “Neighbors” was fun, with moments of quirky cuteness and loads of sexual chemistry and tension between the characters. I was expecting that dynamic to progress in the second book, but it stalled completely.

This is my honest review of a series that I adore, and I’m likely in the minority, but here are a few of the dynamics that were problematic for me.

Katya: I really liked Katya in book one. She was feeling her way through the very real and difficult world of dating, and she was doing that honestly and with an enviable maturity. She begins book two with the plan of getting even with these men who she thinks have destroyed her. I was all for that, and I had totally whipped out my Pom Pom’s to cheer in her little corner. However, she failed at this miserably by being wishy washy, and basically just running around in circles completely unsure of herself and of them for the first HALF (maybe more) of the book. She was indecisive and immature, and she had turned bitter and resentful toward them. While her bitterness was certainly justified, she wielded that as a weapon against them for far too long. Therefore, the romantic dynamic never really progressed.

Liam: I will admit that I was #TeamWulf from fairly early on in book one, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like Liam. I actually LOVED Liam. He is a large part of the reason book one was so successful. It was filled with fun and light moments of cuteness by Liam. I would love to have Tacos and Margaritas with Liam on the Roof! However, I didn’t enjoy the direction in which his character was taken in this book. It felt forced in order to provide justification and blame. Frankly, it was very disappointing, and it kind of sullied the entire series for me.

Wulf: Wulf is a domineering egomaniac, but it works well for him. Katya was bespelled by him and so was I. There’s just something sexy about a man who knows exactly what he wants and will stop and nothing to get it. However, would it kill these people to have an adult conversation? He spent three quarters of this book loving Katya, but never actually telling her that he felt ANYTHING for her. We could have cut 2 hours of reading time with one honest conversation, but that didn’t happen until the last couple of chapters of the book. There were just too many long expanses of reading time when nothing was actually happening. The romantic dynamic never progressed…nothing really at all progressed.

Basically, I felt that the book was overly long with too many moments of inactivity and filler. I would have liked to have seen more of the witty and fun banter and definitely more romantic chemistry. It felt as if the storyline just fizzled out. I am still a huge Stylo Fantome fan. Her work is pure brilliance. “The Neighborhood” just missed the mark for me and that truly pains me.

My Rating –

rating3

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ARC Provided in exchange for an Honest Review

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Review – Jail House Rock by Liberty Laine

Jail House Rock by Liberty Laine

“I get the strangest feeling that maybe Millie knows she is a little crazy and has absolutely no fucks to give about it. And that thought only makes me like her more.” – Jake Blackwood

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Bounty Hunter/Aspiring Popstar
  • Novella
  • Heat Level 3

Jail House Rock was a short, over-the-top novella about bounty hunter Jake Blackwood and aspiring popstar Millie Coletrain. The blurb warns that this book is “laught out loud ridiculousness, insta-love” and it definitely was. The novella starts with us meeting Millie right before she is about to perform at the local bar. She is quirky, witty and crazy. Just before she is about to take the stage to entertain her 10’s of fans, Jake Blackwoood, a new local bounty hunter, shows up and cuffs her.

“I need a shower and something to sleep in. You got any spare shirts lying around? Or have you Hulk-ripped them all apart in fits of rage whenever criminal masterminds slip away into the night?” -Millie Coletrain

Jake and Mille ended up in the fastest insta-love relationship I have ever read. I’m honestly not against books that have insta-love stories. I believe in love at first sight and believe you can recognize the other half of your soul in a short period of time. When it’s right, it’s right. This was a little more than that, it was pretty much ridiculous. I feel like a lot of people might say that I was fairly warned, so my review and rating shouldn’t reflect my feelings on the speed that their relationship developed. Maybe that’s true, but it still affected my overall feelings on the novella.

Jail House Rock was a quick, funny, escape from reality novella. There were some really good things about it. I highlighted quite a few passages throughout it because of their cleverness. I would recommend it if you are looking for this kind of read in between some heavier titles. I will give this author duo another shot.

“No, Jake Blackwood. Never Christina. Never! It’s Britney, bitch,” – Millie Coletrain. Millie, I completely agree. It’s ALWAYS Britney, bitch. 

My Rating –

rating3

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I was provided a copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review.

Review – Bossman by Vi Keeland

Bossman by Vi Keeland

“If you don’t change direction, you may end up where you’re heading.”

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Suit/CEO
  • Standalone
  • Top Book Boyfriend
  • Heat Level 3

Holy, swoon worthy read! I loved this book! There is a reason it was on my Top Dirty Dozen Books of 2016 list.  It has everything I love: the perfect hero, the strong, quirky heroine and a story that is outside the normal romance box.

The story begins with Reese struggling to escape a terrible date when Chase, a complete stranger, swoops in to save the date. He effortlessly creates an elaborate backstory of how Reese and himself dated in grade school. He then invites himself and his date to join Reese and her date. The hilarity and ridiculous stories take off from there and continue throughout the book.

The chemistry between Reese and Chase is sizzling. Chase Parker is hot, ridiculously smart and rich. His wit and personality put him on my list of Top Book Boyfriends. Besides being all of the things I love about normal suits, he has heart and a deeper story underneath it all.

This book is about love, forgiveness, understanding and finding the strength to go on with life after tragedy. The cover, title and blurb don’t accurately express the beauty of this story. It’s so much more than the superficial rich guy, reticent girl, sex, break up and makeup plot we are used to.

I would definitely recommend Bossman. If you are looking for a standalone romance with heart, laughs and a swoony hero, pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed!

My Rating –

rating5

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Grab A Copy: Amazon, B&N

Review – Naughty Boss by Whitney G.

Naughty Boss by Whitney G.

The blurb is too good not to share…

He definitely wasn’t supposed to get that email…

Subject: My Boss.
Have I already told you that I hate my boss today?
Sexy as hell or not, this pompous, arrogant, ASSHOLE asked me to pick up his dry cleaning the second I walked through the door. Then he told me that I needed to take his Jaguar to a car wash that was ten miles outside of the city, but only after I needed to stand in a never-ending line to buy some type of limited, hundred-dollar watch.
I honestly can’t wait to see the look on his face two months from now when I tell him that I’m quitting his company and that he can kiss my ass. KISS. MY. ASS.
All those former fantasies about him kissing me with his “mouth of perfection” or bending me over my desk and filling me with his cock are long over. OVER.
Your bestie,
Mya
PS–Please tell me your day is going better than mine…

Subject: Re: My Boss.
No, you haven’t already told me that you hate your boss today, but seeing as though you’ve sent me this email directly, I know now…
Yes, I did ask you to pick up my dry cleaning the second you arrived to work to day. (Where is it?) And I did tell you to take my Jaguar to the car wash and pick up my thousand-dollar watch. (Thank you for taking five hours to do something that could be accomplished in two.)
You don’t have to wait two months from now to see the look on my face when you tell me you’re quitting. I’m standing outside your office at this very moment. ( Open the door. )
No comment on your “fantasies,” although I highly doubt they’re “long over.”
Your boss,
Michael
PS—Yes. My day is definitely going far better than yours…

  • 3.5 Stars
  • Contemporary Romance
  • Suit/CEO
  • Standalone Novella
  • Heat Level 3

Whitney G. is queen of the novella. I’ve read another of her novella series and enjoyed 2 out of the 3 of those. When I saw the blurb for this novella, I HAD to give it a shot. I love suit romances to an unhealthy degree. Powerful men in suits are my undoing. Naughty Boss was a good read.

The story is about a demanding publishing house CEO, Michael. He has driven off one executive assistant after another. He has a reputation for being a complete playboy outside of work and a complete asshole at work. Mya see a posting for an executive assistant position with his company and jumps on the chance to work for the famed “Naughty Boss.” It doesn’t take long for her to find out that while he is easy on the eyes, that’s the only thing easy about him.

Mya and Michael’s story continues on as they dance around their growing attraction to each other. I enjoyed the novella, I just wish the ending was more developed. There were a few scenes and exchanges of feelings that felt rushed or like the author didn’t take them quite seriously. I just felt some of it was flippantly written. I’m not sure why the author didn’t make this a full length novel. I think it would have benefitted the story immensely. I’m unsure if I will continue to read this author.

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Decide For Yourself: Amazon, B&N

 

Review – Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank

Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank

“But who, he wondered in a moment’s panic as her nearing heat began to assault him, who enforces the Enforcer?” -Jacob

  • 4 Stars
  • Paranormal Romance
  • Demons
  • First In A Series
  • Heat Level 3

Jacob is the first book of Frank’s Nightwalkers series. In this book we are introduced to a race of elemental demons that live a peaceful existence, except their sometimes uncontrollable lust for humans. It is Jacob the Enforcer’s job to make sure no demon hurts a human while overcome with the temporary madness of their lust.

Jacob has lived a solitary existence because of his duties as Enforcer. He isn’t exactly a crowd favorite because he’s the one that shows up when your urges cannot be controlled. There isn’t a single demon family that has not met with his punishment. This solitary existence is his duty and he carries the burden heavily on his shoulders.

Isabella is just a librarian who is drawn to the moonlight and knowledge. One night, while leaning out of her apartment window, she falls out and ends up in the safety Jacob’s arms. Their meeting goes beyond serendipity, it’s as if the universe literally forced them together. The story and their forbidden relationship builds from this point on.

I loved Jacob. He was strong, kind, intelligent, serious and sexy. He took duty to an extreme level of commitment, and I appreciated him even more for it. Him and Isabella were kind of an opposites attract couple. She liked to joke around with him to try and crack away a little bit of his serious nature. They complimented each other well. I did, at times, find Bella to be a little childish.

The story flowed easily and was quite enjoyable. I loved the different types of elemental demons presented and their unique abilities. I want to be a fire demon so I can travel as smoke! The author wove an addictive tale of love and suspense. I wanted more and more. The detail and thought that was put into building the world and back story was flawless.

This is paranormal romance at its finest, with just the right amount of mystery, action and heat. I think anyone would be able to find something they loved about this well crafted book. I will definitely continue on with this series. The next book is Gideon, and I love him already!

 

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Grab Yourself A Copy: AmazonB&N

Review – Bend (Vegas Heat #1) by Molly McLain

Bend (Vegas Heat #1) by Molly McLain

  • 4 Stars
  • Contemporary Romance
  • Police Officer
  • First In A Series
  • Heat Level 3

This was my first book by Molly McLain. It kept popping up, and I just wasn’t sure what to think about it. New author, a cop hero, takes place in Las Vegas (I used to live there. I’m always afraid authors are going to misrepresent the REAL Las Vegas, ya know, where people actually live). I finally decided I had to give it a go. The blurb sounded so good! I was not disappointed.  

Kinsey is the tourism police chief’s daughter. She has a healthy respect and distaste for police officers, except for Sergeant Hardass. Could he stop pulling her over and looking so good doing it!? This is how the book begins, with our couple meeting at a “routine” traffic stop. Trent just can’t help himself. Kinsey should know better because she’s the chief’s daughter and that does not make her above the law. Their banter and the enemies to lovers plot kept me smiling.

The story unfolds in a very low angst and easy to follow story. It has heat, romance and a little mystery. I would have like a little bit more development at the end of the story, which is why I gave it 4 stars. It seemed to end a little abruptly, just as the story was getting really good. That being said, I would definitely recommend reading it. It was a fun and easy to read book. I will continue with the series because there are a lot of hot men in this book, and I need to know their stories.

A copy of Bend was given to me by the publisher for an honest review.

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Snag a copy from Amazon – Bend

 

Review – Managed (Idol #2) by Kristen Callihan

Managed (Idol #2) by Kristen Callihan

  • 4.5 Stars
  • Contemporary Romance
  • Suit/Rockstar
  • Recent Release
  • Heat Level 3

First let me start by saying, I’m a Kristen Callihan fan. I’ve read a few of her books this year and loved them all. Managed was no exception. There is something incredibly satisfying about seeing a strong, powerful, intensely self-contained man crumble. Oh, how I love to watch the mighty fall. That’s probably why I love suit romance books so much.

Gabriel “Scottie” Scott keeps the world at arms length, even his best friends, who are also his chosen family. He is stern and all business all the time, until Sophie ends up as his seatmate on an international flight. Sophie is vivacious, witty and extremely hard to ignore. Her charisma and charm lure Gabriel in from takeoff.

The banter in this book is some of the best ever. It’s fun, clever and hilarious. I spent most of this book with a smile on my face. I loved watching the connection grow between Sophie and Gabriel. It was a slow burn romance, which was exactly perfect for these two. It was in the little, relationship building details that the author’s talent really shined through.

The members of Kill John, the band Gabriel manages, were amazing, just as before in Idol. I’m glad we got to know them a little better in this installment. I cannot WAIT for Jax’s book. I love him and call dibs. I will be pre-ordering book 3 as soon as there’s a link. I love this group of characters and look forward to reading each of their love stories.

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Grab yourself copies of Idol (VIP Book 1) and Managed (VIP Book 2) and meet the guys!