Review of “So Over You” (Chicago Rebels #2) by Kate Meader

4 Solid Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

ARC kindly provided by publisher through NetGalley for a fair review. Thank you!

No denying that Kate Meader writes awesome romances centred around the world of hockey and this book, the second in her Chicago Rebels series, was no exception of course.

This one stars a sexy, brooding Russian hero and Isobel – the sister who was meant to fulfil the “hockey-stardom” aspirations of her father – but, she was a) born the wrong gender (in the eyes of her douchebag dad) and b) suffered a life-threatening injury that put her out of the game for good.

Although the romance here has got the sweet essence of young love, Remy and Harper somehow has remained my favourite couple (so far). I think it’s because Remy somehow appealed to me more. That tidbit when he espouses his knowledge of “Pride and Prejudice” felled me! Not to mention his cooking skills (yes, I love my food)…

In the case of Vadim, despite how he fell for Isobel as a teen, and how that love ran deep, I just couldn’t take some of his …as Katy Perry puts it so well..

… “hot then cold, yes then no, in then out, up then down, wrong when it’s right, black and white” attitude..

Isobel was a feisty heroine (I loved her passion and dedication!) but oh so darn stubborn sometimes. I kept rolling my eyes at times, going “No, Isobel.. don’t!”

The story, besides having familiar faces from the past, also has some family dynamics happening in Vadim’s life, all of which I loved…

All in all an awesome read, which I would of course, recommend to others without hesitation .. ☺️

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Review of “Irresistible You” (Chicago Rebels #1) by Kate Meader

5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

ARC kindly provided by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

— SPOILERS AHEAD —

Help! Panties going up in flames 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

This was such an amazing read! I loved every single sizzling and witty moment between Remy and Harper. And oh my god, just reading about his Cajun accent and the words he used with Harper melted my panties.. And he is a phenomenal cook and enjoys reading about Darcy and Elizabeth, then uses the context to tell Harper that they’ve been doing the same thing.. pre-conceived notions and all that jazz! Woah!

This was a great book with lots of secondary characters that kept the story interesting and fast-paced. I cannot WAIT to read about Isobel and Vadim! Not to mention Violet and her “Nessie”… but I digress.

Remy’s POV melted my heart – the parts where he is slowly coming to appreciate Harper for the woman she is and realising how she is THE women for him. And the part in the interview where he says he plays for HER.. oooo my heart melted into a mushy puddle.

I am not even a hockey fan (born and raised in Bangladesh and currently residing in Australia, cricket and football is what I know best) but you really don’t have to be one to enjoy the book. But if you are, I can safely surmise that you will definitely enjoy all the “lingo” and technical details associated with the sports that’s been depicted in the book.

And did I mention how hawt I found Remy?? I did?? Oh. But I think it’s worth repeating. Melted. My. Panties.

All in all, a truly awesome read!

Review of “What A Difference A Duke Makes” by Lenora Bell

4.5 Stars 🌟 🌟🌟🌟

Thanks to AVON Books (and Lenora Bell!!) for providing me with an ARC via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

Ms. Bell’s novels have always been close to my heart and I enjoyed this one as well.

This was a thoroughly adorable love story with lots of laughs and witty/sassy banter. The heroine, Mari (rhymes-with-starry ❤️) and the hero, Edgar were both likeable characters. Come to think of it, everyone in this story was likeable, except of course for the dour-faced Mrs. Trilby. Somehow, I kept envisioning all the terrible fictional teachers I’ve ever encountered in my life, be it Miss Trunchbull or Dolores Umbridge – although mind you, Mrs. Trilby is not really as horrible as them, honestly speaking.

Getting back to my point – the secondary characters, from the housekeeper to the twins to the hero’s sister, to her love interest – ALL likeable. I don’t really want to elaborate further on any of them and give half the story away.

Finally, the CUTEST part inside the book – to me at least – was not even within the story itself, but in the “Acknowledgements” where Ms. Bell wrote, “My mother recommended my last steamy historical romance to the bishop, as mothers do.” This made me laugh out loud. Such personal glimpses into an author’s life somehow makes them much more dearer.

I think because of the fact that Mari and Edgar liked/loved/lusted after one another from the start and made no effort to hide their feelings from one another, I actually felt a bit put out, leading me to give it the rating I finally settled on. Somehow I have always been an addict of the romance trope where there is a healthy amount of friction or angst between the two protagonists. Which is why I believe I am very much intrigued by the couple who is featuring in the next book in this series.

All in all a fun romance that I would recommend to others..

Review of “The Rogue Is Back In Town” by Anna Bennet

2 Stars 🌟 🌟

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Right. Where to start. I have not previously read any books bu this author and looked forward to getting to know her work, even though this is the third book in a series. I personally don’t have any issue in regards to reading books out of order, especially if they’re a stand-alone story on their own.

Unfortunately nothing about this book worked for me. But, maybe, it’s because it’s more about me than the book itself?

For the past few months, when it comes to historicals, I have been drawn to dark romances filled with angst and imperfect heroines and heroes. Perhaps, THAT is what is working for me right now. This romance felt too light-hearted for my personal taste. I just could not get into the story though I did try.

Please do not make a decision on my review alone. What didn’t work for me may very well work for you, so do read a several reviews to reach a conclusion.

Review of “Wallflower Most Wanted” by Manda Collins

3 Stars 🌟 🌟🌟

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This was my very first book by the author and I must admit, it just did not gel with my personal taste. Usually, even if I am sick or I’m busy during a family holiday, I will MAKE the time to finish a book if the plot, the characters and the narrative style has managed to sink their hooks into me.

This is a nice enough romance – no doubt about it – with what appears to be an interesting heroine and hero.. the former is an artist whose paintings are considered taboo by some, while the later is a vicar. However, at times, I felt my attention wandering off the story. I cannot for the life of me put my finger on it, but somehow the flow of words just seemed a tad monotonous to me. In the end, I had to struggle to finish the book, which I felt I needed to, to write an honest review.

The story has your customary HEA of course, and readers who enjoyed the previous two instalments in the series, will most likely enjoy this one as well. For me unfortunately the spark was missing..

Review of “A Devil In Scotland (No Ordinary Hero #3)” by Suzanne Enoch

Four Solid Stars 🌟 🌟🌟🌟

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Our story begins in 1806, where our hero, Callum, is rather a boorish drunkard, who.. unfortunately stays that way most of his waking hours, thanks to making the local taverns his second home. He does NOT handle a rather delicate situation with the tact and diplomacy required – that is, when confronting his best-friend.. Rebecca, our heroine… about agreeing to marry his older brother Ian. There are also other parties involved whom he distrusts with a zeal.. but is this lack of trust warranted? Emotions run high and hurtful words are shared that leads to Callum leaving Scotland for nearly a decade.

Ian’s death – by drowning – is finally what draws Callum home. His distrust and suspicion has never waned and he is adamant in investigating the matter and having justice met. I loved how much he had changed and matured as a person. Rebecca, as Ian’s widow, does not trust Callum either and her stance is strengthened when Callum refuses to let Ian and Becca’s daughter, Margaret, as his ward, leave the property with her. Their relationship – Callum and Margaret’s – I must say, is what endeared me to him more than his interactions with Rebecca. But don’t worry. You do get to learn both our hero and heroine as the individuals that they are, through well-fleshed out character development and the build-up to how they fall in love and trust each other again.

There is also another love story happening in this book which I adored, but it’s not in the realm of the humankind… 😉

All in all, a fast-paced read with great characters that I would recommend to others.

Review of “Third Son’s A Charm” by Shana Galen

3 Stars 🌟🌟🌟

ARC kindly provided by publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I read and loved quite a few of Galen’s historicals and so wasted no time in requesting this ARC, which the publisher kindly answered.

With this particular story, I loved the whole “Bodyguard” premise. And I really liked how the H was dyslexic and how it made him so reticent with people. He is the epitome of the strong silent type. This rather endeared me to him. It also did not hurt to imagine a Chris Hemsworth look-alike here – quite adorable how the h thought of him as “The Viking”.

Without giving too much away, I would say the plot was also good, and secondary characters well fleshed-out..

Galen always writes love scenes quite well and this book was no exception, and she ends the story by giving us a glimpse into the mind of the H of the next book in the series.

And then to negate all these positive aspects – came the h.. 😦

I understood the h’s need to be loved and cherished and “seen” as an independent, individual human being. As a woman who can boast an intelligent and mature mind. But I found her antics, to draw attention to herself, quite immature. For someone purported to be clever or intelligent, I found her schemes and arguments to prove her love (for the villain) falling rather short.

Also, I came away feeling bereft when nothing came out of the h trying to help the H with his learning difficulty. I thought rather than having an additional love story taking the focus away from the main characters, Galen could have spent a bit more time on this, with conversations helping them to bond further and fall deeper in love.

I REALLY wanted to enjoy this book, but I came away feeling just a tad bit disappointed..

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