ARC Review: To Have and to Hold (Lauren Layne)

WARNING! SPOILERY REVIEW

Hmmm … this goes into my 2.5-stars collection because of one thing. I just didn’t get Brooke. At all. For someone who have been unknowingly involved with a con man for two years, a con man who was arrested on their wedding day, and had taken all of her family money, Brooke was either too naive (slash, stupid) or, like Seth said “quick to face her demons.”

Maybe I’m being too cynical, but I didn’t understand why Brooke couldn’t agree with Seth’s distrust towards Neil, his sister’s fiancé. If it was me, I would probably lend my hands and help Seth to research Neil, to ensure that the guy didn’t just want Maya’s money. Sure, Seth seemed controlling but at least to me, Seth was “what you see was what you get”. With Brooke’s background, I felt like she should at least be more careful.

And then Brooke had conniption after Seth hired the P.I. to investigate Neil? Especially turned out that Seth was right all along about Neil?? I felt that Brooke was the one who should be doing the grand gesture here. Again, with this kind of set-up, I understand Seth’s point-of-view. I just didn’t get Brooke’s logic that Maya should make her own mistakes. Brooke knew first and of being trapped by a con man. So why would she let another woman fall into the same trap? Seriously, I wouldn’t trust Brooke’s judgment either *shrugs*.

So yeah, I simply didn’t understand why everyone seemed to think that Seth was doing the wrong thing here. He saved his sister from that fake man, right?? Or maybe I truly can’t work in wedding planning industry, because clearly I would end up cajoling Maya to cancel this wedding plan *laugh*.

Anyway, throughout I just felt more and more frustrated and annoyed with Brooke. She wasn’t an inspiring heroine for me. I kind of wanted Seth to cut her loose altogether. Yes. I judged Brooke. Sue me.

On another note, I was feeling a bit cheated with the off-page secondary relationship that bloomed between Maya and Grant as well. I thought that could be a cute story by itself.

Conclusion: Wasn’t impressed mainly because of the heroine. BUT, despite this one and the prequel novella being failure, I am still going to give the series a try. Besides, Lauren Layne’s writing is still good. Maybe the next one will be better *cross fingers*.

RATING: 2.5 out of 5
25stars

 

11613309

 

 

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

27271035Title:
 To Have and To Hold
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: The Wedding Belles #1
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star
Release Date: July 26, 2016

ARC Review: Tough Luck Hero (Maisey Yates)

I wasn’t really happy with the previous book — Sierra and Ace in One Night Charmer — so I admit I was approaching this with lower expectation. Especially since I didn’t get enough impression of Colton in the last book.

Well, I’ll be damned … this is definitely my favorite of the series so far, and one of the most entertaining reads of the year!! Even after I slept on it, the only thing I could think about the next day, was how this book as well as the characters of Colton and Lydia amused the hell out of me throughout *hugs book, beaming happily*

Getting hitched under influence in Vegas is a cliché plot. Usually I have trouble in believing why the couple should together. However, I thought Maisey Yates gave a pretty plausible explanation on why Colton and Lydia should keep their marriage for now. Lydia is running as Mayor of Copper Ridge and she can’t go through a scandal (since she already told people she married Colton, while she was still drunk *haha*). And Colton also needed to take consideration of his mother’s health.

I LOVED Colton and Lydia — their banters, while sometimes full with barbs and wires, were sizzling and crackling!! Both were quick with their quips!! It was SO DELIGHTFUL reading it!! Especially because Colton and Lydia were actually share similar traits. They were both like to be in control, and it was fun to see when things didn’t really come their way.

I thought the progress from adversaries to lovers was believable. I could actually feel the difference in their attitudes and dialogs from the first chapter to the last. They had chemistry and in the end, I believed that they loved one another. Their passion was OFF THE CHART! I was so ready to read their first kiss and actual sex scenes, because the tension was so thick and crackling, I thought it was going to be explosive for sure *lol*

So yes, I really loved this one. I love it when a book can still surprise me, especially when I start it with low expectation. I guess now I’m pretty excited to read Gage’s story 🙂

RATING: 4.5 out of 5
4.5

 

11613309

 

 

 

The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:

28220051Title: Tough Luck Hero
Author: Maisey Yates
Series: Copper Ridge, #5
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: June 28, 2016

ARC Review: Once Was Lost (Matthew Iden)

*3.75 stars rounded up*

After experimenting with different style of writing for the previous book and short story (using multiple POVs to tell the plot), I was happy that Matthew Iden decided to go back to the ‘original’ style — with retired homicide detective, Marty Singer, completely taking the driver’s seat: being the only narrator. I loved Marty Singer’s dry humor so I wasn’t too fond of sharing his voice with other characters.

This book is structured with two parts, the first part was Marty helping Tommy Donlan and his son, Bobby, to disappear. The second part, due to sudden circumstance, Marty had to try finding Tommy again.

I enjoyed the first part! Tommy was that character you could easily dislike but at the same time, his love for his kid felt true, you couldn’t help to sympathize for him as well. So I could understand Marty’s reaction to Tommy. I loved the secondary character, Amar, who was rocking his skill with discovering people’s identity. The first part was pretty good.

The second part, though, was dragging a bit. I didn’t really liked the idea of Marty having to find Tommy and his son again, not after everything he had done to help Tommy and Bobby disappeared in the first place. I wasn’t fond of the appearance of two characters in the second part either. And one particular scene felt so out of place.

All in all, I loved it better than book #5 but the first half of the book was more engaging rather than the second part.

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

The book is provided by Thomas & Mercer publishing via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

 

BOOK INFO:
28348163Title: Once Was Lost
Author: Matthew Iden
Series: A Marty Singer Mystery, #6
Genre: Mystery
Length: 286 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (Amazon Publishing)
Release Date: May 31, 2016