ARC Review: The Bridesmaid and the Bachelor (Kris Fletcher)

Dismissing the huge coincidence that put Kyrie and Ben on the same event after they spent a week together couple of years back — so apparently Kyrie’s twin sister is a friend of the bride while Ben is the brother of the groom — what I missed from this novella is the emotion. See, I picked up this ARC because it had my catnip of theme, “the one who got away“. However, the delivery lacked that something which makes me root for the couple.

I thought Kyrie’s reason to leave Ben back then was rather flimsy. I also felt that Ben might be more invested in the promise of the relationship more than Kyrie. The change of heart came rather rushed for Kyrie — which supported the whole ‘flimsy’ reason of her leaving in the first place.

Maybe if I get flashback of that first time of them together, I can feel everything better. Instead, I just have to take their words that one week is life-changing for them (especially for Kyrie, because it pushed her to reach for her dream).

In addition, the writing style felt rather off for me. Not sure if I’m curious enough to read about the rest of the sisters. I just have to wait and see.

 

RATING: 2.5 out of 5
25stars

 

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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:

9781101989258Title: 
The Bridesmaid and the Bachelor
Author: Kris Fletcher
Series: Calypso Falls #0.5
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 91 pages
Publisher: Intermix
Release Date: November 15, 2016

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ARC Review: Snowbound with Mr. Wrong (Barbara White Daille)

I was interested with the blurb for this one because I am a sucker for the one who got away theme. Plus it is a holiday book. Unfortunately, this book failed to made me believe in the couple or to root for them to get back together.

The story didn’t immediately told readers about the reason why Lyssa and Nick didn’t work. However, after a while, I could conclude that it was because they were too different. Apparently Lyssa loved her small-town, her family, her traditions, while Nick cared more about his job as a troubleshooter (huh, I almost never heard this job description in romance before). He often put his job ahead of her.

And as I further read it, I could feel that … I mean, I didn’t feel the chemistry, the emotional connection between them. It felt as cold as winter snow. This was one relationship in which I thought that the couple was probably better apart because of their differences.

The biggest problem for me was the hero, Nick. From the beginning, from his answers towards the kids as he was roped into being Santa, I thought he was rather rude. It was difficult for me to understand what Lyssa saw in him, that made them involved in a relationship in the first place. I mean, read Nick reaction to when Lyssa was trying to help him with his boot (he hurt his ankle)

“What, having a madwoman trying to amputate my foot with a dull shoestring? Yeah, it hurts like hell.”

You should see my face! What the hell wrong with this guy! Usually, with rude/jerk characters in a romance, we will be presented with ‘layers’, so we could see what shaped the hero (or heroine) to act like so. But I didn’t get this from the book.

The only thing that I loved in this book was the kids. Tommy, most especially, was so adorable. Mollie was sweet, and Brent was a good teenager. Lyssa was rather plain as a heroine, and she didn’t have strong enough personality to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth for Nick’s attitude.

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:
28644551Title: Snowbound with Mr. Wrong
Author: Barbara White Daille
Series: Snowflake Valley, #1
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 193 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Release Date: November 7, 2016

ARC Review: Elemental Ride (Mell Eight)

The biggest problem with short stories / novellas is that some of them feels undeveloped because of the length limitation. Unfortunately, Mell Eight’s upcoming Elemental Ride — it is part of LT3P’s Roughhouse Raiders but I think can be read as stand-alone — is one of them.

Eight has three plots that I thought brimming with potential. However, because it only clocks in around 21k, I felt like none of them were deeply explored.

First we have a Mayor (of some unnamed city; it isn’t clear where) wanting to fix up the bad parts of his city by cleaning up the gangs. One of our MCs, Rawley, is a member of Elementalist Motorcycle Chapter, and the gang has been monitored by the cops. Then one of the ex-member of Rawley’s motorcycle gang turns up dead.

Then we have the second plot, of urban fantasy element, because apparently Elementalist club means accepting bikers with elemental sprites under their skin. Elemental what? Elemental sprite. See, this is the world where humans allowed sprites to live in a symbiotic relationship by giving sprites an access to their body, and the humans can use the sprites’ power.

On top of that, we have a love interest for Rawley, who apparently has not one, not two, but four separate personalities.

I would be a happy reader if the story focused on one plot — love story with a person who has separate personalities sounds unique and refreshing, right? I can deal without the added urban fantasy element or the mystery. Instead, I thought the story was rather all over the place, and I was left unsatisfied 😦

I gave extra stars for the idea — even if the execution was lacking — and that gorgeous cover (Natasha Snow’s work, I presume)?

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:

elementalride400Title: Elemental Ride
Author: Mell Eight
Series: Roughhouse Raiders (but can be read as stand-alone)
Genre: MM Urban Fantasy
Length: 21,000 words
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: November 9, 2016

ARC Review: Take Me Home (Lorelie Brown)

I fell in love with Brown’s writing when I read Far from Home so I decided to also give this one a try.

It’s shorter than the previous book, clocked in around 30,000 words. In that sense, I felt this one was rushed in terms of the relationship progress. Plus I couldn’t help it, I still squeaked when I read the sex scenes! There were pretty long scenes, considering that this was only a novella-length). I wasn’t comfortable with some of the words used, and I guess I prefer reading sex involving men rather than two women *sheepish smile*

However, I was still entranced with Brown’s words — simply put: they were charming. Her characters were wonderful to read, and I enjoyed her humor. The disaster at the Thanksgiving dinner was funny, and I loved the dialog exchanges between Keighley and Brooke.

“There’s something about girls. About women. We’re amazing. Beautiful and special and different and something altogether made of miracles.”

“I like that. Lesbians, made of miracles.”

“Like girl juices are the Gatorade of the sex world.”

Plus there was a CUTE dog here that just took my heart away (I am so easy *lol*). So despite the rushed story, despite my skimming the sex scenes altogether … I guess I still loved this novella for the writing and the characters. It made me smile a lot, it made me happy, and I guess that was all that matters ^^

 

RATING: 4 out of 5
4stars

 

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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:

30848832Title: Take Me Home
Author: Lorelie Brown
Genre: FF Contemporary Novella
Word Count: 29,100 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: November 7, 2016

ARC Review: Hotline (Quinn Anderson)

I was literally groaning out loud when this story fell into what I would like to describe as stupid and juvenile misunderstanding between the two young men. Zack said it himself … “It’s like one of those bad teenage dramas where the whole plot could be fixed with two minutes’ worth of honest dialogue”, he said to his neighbor.

Up to that point, I thought Hotline was pretty good. New-to-me author, Quinn Anderson, offered a different take of an MC working in sex industry. Actually the words “phone sex operator” in the blurb were what drew me in to request the ARC from Riptide … and I’ve enjoyed what Ms. Anderson wrote about Zack’s job. It was pretty detailed — and even if the whole role plays and phone sex didn’t do anything to me, I thought the fact that these operators could whip out scenarios and acting on them on the spot was pretty awesome.

Since the book was solely told from Zack’s point of view, as a character, I found him to be ‘alive‘ on pages. I loved his personality, and I loved reading about his friends. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the same impression about John. John as a character was still a bit mysterious to me. So yeah, he was a law student, and he was rich … but that was it. To me he was flat and rather undeveloped. I felt that I got more connection with Zack’s friends and neighbors compared to John.

Which was why I thought that latter conflict was stupid and it ruined my overall reading experience. I already wasn’t impressed with John and the budding romance, so when faced with what John did as well as how they got to that conflict, I was ready to bang my head on the table (but I don’t want to injure myself *lol*).

Oh, one more thing … I thought that Anderson didn’t follow up the problem that Zack had with his parents. His parents appeared once, they had painful dinner conversation, and they were just gone. I would love to get some kind of resolution for that particular matter.

The good thing though, I thought Anderson’s writing style fit me :). This book was long, but I wasn’t really bored. I’ll keep eyes on her future titles. I heard that she would have a second “Murmur Inc.” book; I’m going to check that one for sure.

RATING: 3 out of 5
3-stars

 

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:

30828044Title: Hotline
Author: Quinn Anderson
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 94,700 words
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 31, 2016