Category Archives: Romance

Jasmine by Kris Michaels

Join the romances at Guardian Security as Jasmine finds the love of her life.  Number 6 in the series – don’t miss it!

JasmineTitleJasmine
Author: Kris Michaels
Series: Kings of Guardian #6
Publish Date: January 27, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  Purchased ebook from Amazon.com

Publisher’s Description: Jasmine King loved her chosen profession until she was assigned as Chad Nelson’s personal security officer.

The sex-fueled country superstar was either a stone cold killer or the target of a deranged psychopath. Regardless, the self-absorbed bad boy was now hers to protect, and she’d be damned if she’d fail—despite the singer’s best efforts to make things difficult.

One minute Chad Nelson was the reigning king of country music and in the next, an FBI murder suspect in not one, but two murders. As if that’s not bad enough, he’s in the cross-hairs of someone who wants him dead. He’s got a front row seat to the destruction of his wildly successful and carefully constructed life.

Jasmine and Chad are plunged into a deadly situation when the race to get him to safety reveals pursuit by not only Chad’s enemies but worse, Guardian’s. Now, positions are reversed as the country star reaches back to a military past to help free Jasmine from a bloody confrontation. Thankfully, Chad’s not the shallow performer Jasmine originally suspected, and she’ll use any advantage to protect her man as Guardian scrambles to find the killer.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…Nervous_Nellie_100

Another stellar story from the world Guardian Security. I haven’t seen much of Jasmine in any of the previous books, so to read her story was a treat. Jasmine is tough and don’t forget it. She can hold her own against anyone but that goes against every chivalrous bone in Chad’s body. He’s a down home country boy that was taught to respect his elders and open doors for ladies.

Jasmine and Chad fell together fairly quickly, but there is a lot of stressful situations that presented themselves so they had to bond fast. The mystery whodunnit was fairly easy to figure out, but that’s not the point of the book. The point is to join the King family and welcome another member to their ever extending family.

badge5v5Jared makes the most appearances since he’s head of the domestic side of Guardian security, but Drake, Dixon, Doc, Amanda, Frank, Joseph, Ember, Jason and some extent Reece and Faith all made it out to the ranch to meet the singer that their sister hooked her star to.

I love this King family. It’s hard to pick a favorite because they all have their own unique situations. I’ll be interested to see more of the family in the next book. I’ll even be more interested to see WHO is in the next book!

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Since I Fell for You by Bella Andre

Need a sexy bodyguard?  Hell, no says Suzanne.  Then she gets a look at him.  Whoa.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

30340087Title: Since I Fell For You
Author: Bella Andre
Series: New York Sullivans #2
Publish Date: January 10, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator Eva Kaminsky
Source: Audible

Publisher’s Description: Suzanne Sullivan doesn’t need a bodyguard. After all, she’s one of the most successful digital security specialists in the world―so she can most certainly take care of herself despite the problems she’s been running into lately. Unfortunately, her three brothers don’t agree. So when Mr. Way-Too-Handsome shows up bound and determined to protect her, whether she wants him there or not, sparks definitely start to fly. Because she has absolutely no intention of falling for the bodyguard she never wanted in the first place…

Roman Huson has vowed to do whatever it takes to protect Suzanne Sullivan from harm. And her brothers would kill him for so much as looking at her the wrong way. The only problem is that he’s never been hired to work for anyone so beautiful, or brilliant, before. Between trying to keep up with her―and working like hell to keep from kissing her breathless―he’s up against the most difficult challenge of his life. Especially when it turns out that the passion, and connection, between them is hotter than anything he’s ever known…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…Nervous_Nellie_100

This is a contemporary romance that I received from Audible to try out the series.  I started with this book, but it certainly can be a stand alone with no problem.  There is plenty of moony eyes and sappy sentiment, but no graphic sex.  Plenty of thinking about it, a couple of hot scenes, but no erotica.

Eva Kaminsky’s performance was good. Her voice range distinguished each character, male/female, each had their own voice.

badge3v4I like romances as a book choice. This book seemed to belabor the fact that the hero was damaged. However, I have read/heard about heroes much more damaged who were not so blind. His past wasn’t as bad as he made it out to be, and the heroine was wordy about her attraction and love for the hero, which made me roll my eyes on more than one occasion. The story was good. The narrator was very good. I would listen to another book by this author, but these characters were a little over the top in my limited world experience.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Lost It by Kristen Tracy

This is a cutesy YA romance with an adorable narrator who’s got a lot going on in her life. It was written in a way that you knew what was going to happen at the very beginning, then the following chapters built up to that point, then continued until the end. It was a different vibe than the fantasy I normally read, so I went in with a clear head and contemporary feels. I really enjoyed it.

lost-itTitleLost It
AuthorKristen Tracy
Series: stand-alone
Publish Date: June 20, 2008
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionWhat would you do…

…if your best friend were plotting the annihilation of a small, furry neighborhood poodle? Or if your parents up and moved to an Outward Bound-type survival camp in the middle of the desert? How about if your grandmother bought you new bras and underwear and you actually thought they were a teensy bit, umm, sexy?

Most people would not react well.

Tess Whistle’s junior year of high school is off to a fairly bizarre start. One might even say her life is spiraling out of control. But with her sense of humor firmly intact and her first real boyfriend on her arm, Tess is dealing with the ridiculous twists quite well, thankyouverymuch.

Just wait until her shoes explode.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

Tess is a bit of a spaz, especially more so when she falls in love. But like I said, she’s got a lot going on. Her mother decides to redefine herself by going to a survival camp hosted by a guy whom she compares to Jesus. Her father eventually follows her mother, leaving Tess alone until her rich grandmother shows up. The grandma is funny, buying Tess nice bras and buying her a new car that she eventually totals because she doesn’t have an actual license. Then her best friend is building a bomb that will blow up a toy poodle (which belongs to her father’s “girlfriend’s” daughter, who we can only assume the poor girl hates due to what happens) and also gets sent away for “therapy.”

And then there’s Ben, a kind and sweet boy who Tess manages to drive crazy very quickly. She doesn’t mean to, but she does. She also tells him she’s a diabetic – and since he knows a friend who was diabetic and he’s had health issues himself, he takes her very seriously. Only she’s not diabetic and when he finds out, the whole thing blows up.

The whole meaning behind Lost It is pretty double-sided. On one hand, Tess takes it to mean that she eventually loses her virginity to Ben. But readers know that Tess, being the crazy spas that she is, has pretty much “lost it” in a crazy way. This theme kinda comes up as Tess goes through the ups and downs of becoming a woman, dealing with her family and friends, and discovering that she doesn’t have to be afraid of everything.

I really love the scene at the end with the sled. It was sweet.

badge4v5Tess really kind of reminded me of this female version of Jack Grammar from Alex Bradley’s 24 Girls In 7 Days. Sweet, awkward, kind of dependent on others, and oh so adorable. I think that’s really what pulled me in since I enjoyed that other book so much. It didn’t leave the same lasting effect on me, nor did it keep my attention the entire time (which is why the four-star rating) but I really loved it regardless.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl is an excellent contemporary that hit the spot with me. It has its own unique premise, but one that isn’t overly unique to the world we live in today. I don’t read many transgender contemporaries, so I was eager to get my hands on this one.

if-i-was-your-girlTitle: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Series: stand-alone
Publish Date: May 3, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionAmanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

Meredith Russo’s If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different—and a love story that everyone will root for.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

Besides the lead character, Amanda, getting used to walking around in her own skin, this story really has a pretense of “everyone has secrets.” Not just the narrator—everyone. It doesn’t guarantee that she’s going to be the highlight of everything because she’s got this huge secret. It just means that she understands that everyone else may have something deep to hide and therefore, seems to have a better understanding of the way things should work, even if they don’t always work out the way she plans.

I really love the characters that come into play, especially all the girls and their unique personalities. These aren’t just popular clones that want to bully those they feel inferior. They’re actually quite nice girls, one with a very religious background, and one with a secret (she’s a lesbian). Even the love interest, Grant, seems to have his own issues, trying to juggle school, a few jobs, and taking care of his family as he comes off as poor.

I really wish it wouldn’t have been a dance as the main focus of the end because that’s when it became very predictable. It seems like a lot of YA have a dance and that’s where all the scandals and climaxes come rushing out. For once, I’d like to see something different.

That being said, I didn’t dislike the dance scene. I mean, it was the turning point near the end where a lot of those secrets came out to play and changed the changed the future course (dramatically for quite a few) for most of the characters. But I like how it ended and I liked the relationships between all her friends, her maybe-boyfriend, and Amanda’s father.

badge4v5There are a lot of different reactions that Amanda has to deal with. Grant, finding out that she’s really a man and having to question his own sexuality; her father, who has always tried to convince Amanda she’s really just “Andrew” and needs to get over it; and her friends, who have mixed reactions. I like how each one is given a new take and is explored to the full extent.

Overall, this gets four stars from me.

Other recommendations…

Recommended for fans of Adam Silvera, Jaye Robin Brown, and Alison Cherry.

Waiting for an Earl Like You by Alexandra Hawkins

Arrogant and ego driven Earl of Kempthorn doesn’t want his brother involved with the neighbor’s daughter, Olivia.  His brilliant idea is to pretend to be his twin brother, sweep Olivia off her feet and then all the other Lords of the ton will want her and she’ll be away from his brother.  That’s all there is to that…or is it?

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

waitingTitle Waiting for an Earl Like You
AuthorAlexandra Hawkins
Series: Masters of Seduction #3
Publish Date: January 3, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionLOVE ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT IT SEEMS.
Justin Reeve Netherwood, Earl of Kempthorn—a.k.a. Thorn—has never cared much for his neighbor’s daughter. But his twin brother, Gideon, befriended the wild, reckless, and wholly inappropriate Miss Olivia Lydall in youth, and two have been close ever since. So when Olivia finds herself in a state of romantic conflict and seeks out Gideon for advice, he’s only too pleased to oblige. Only problem: The man Olivia is speaking to is Thorn. And now it’s too late for him to tell Olivia the truth…

Thorn always believed that Olivia was too smitten with Gideon for her own good. So what’s the harm in steering her away from him? But Thorn’s charade turns out to be anything but harmless once he begins to see Olivia for who she really is: A woman full of spirit and passion…and someone he can’t live without. But how can Thorn claim Olivia’s heart when their deepening connection—and burning desire—is built on lies and deceit?

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…Nervous_Nellie_100

This is part of a series but I read it as a stand alone and I did just fine.  This is obviously a romance and there is two particularly hot scenes, but other than that there is no sex.  This is not a gore filled story, but there is a couple of scenes where punches are thrown and some blood is lost.

At first I really rooted for Gideon.  He was the carefree twin. He was the one that wasn’t so full of pompous hot air, but I guess he has his own story to tell.  The author wrote Justin a/k/a Thorn in such a way that my affection was transferred to him away from Gideon rather seamlessly.  She also easily shifted my attitude towards Thorn from “not so keen” to “I guess he’s all right”.

Olivia is a great heroine.  She has embarrassing moments just like all of us and she brazens them out with fabulous spirit.  She isn’t a swoony, angst ridden female which is a super plus for me as a reader.  She is a balanced character full of life, who badge4v5is deemed beneath those snarky, viperous members of the ton.

The situation that Olivia and Thorn find themselves in has probably happened countless times in history.  It’s not so unbelievable, but it is a tough spot to be made to endure especially when one of the participants is not willing.

I enjoyed the story and although I probably would have kicked Thorn really hard more than once, it was a good book.  I still like Gideon better.

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Amy Corwin’s books Fencing For Ladies or The Bricklayer’s Helper.  Actually, any of Amy’s books are a delight.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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