Showing posts with label Contemporary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contemporary. Show all posts

Chasing Harlow by Jay McLean

July 19, 2024

Chasing Harlow by Jay McLean

Pain is the price we pay for love, he once told me. But Jace... he has so much love in his heart that I fear the people he offers that love to aren't worthy of it. Most days, I'm certain that I was one of them.

Chasing Harlow by Jay McLean

Chasing Harlow by Jay McLean

Rating -
Genre - New Adult Contemporary Romance / sports
POV - Dual 1st person
Heat - a couple of descriptive scenes, the rest closed door
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Length - 426 pages

Moving to the middle of nowhere right before my senior year wasn’t ideal.
Then again, neither was my brother dying.
The move was supposed to be a fresh start.
A new town, a new school, a new mindset.
Too bad my past indiscretions followed me.
Enter Jace Rivera, the literal boy next door.
Jace is loved by the town. Admired by his peers. Worshipped by his teammates.
On the basketball court, he’s a god amongst men.
Off the court, he’s… nothing at all like I expected.
He’s profound and pure and… devastatingly tortured.
Yet somehow, he offers me light while I offer him hope.
In the end, we’ll either hurt or heal each other.
There’s no in between.
“Pain is the price we pay for love,” he once told me.
And a broken heart is the consequence of it.

Chasing Harlow by Jay McLean

Thank you, Kat @Kitty Kats Crazy About Books, for putting this book on my radar.

There is something to be said about Jay McLean's writing that I can't capture properly with the right words.
I can laugh and cry and bite the shit out of my nails to get through her stories and enjoy the heck out of it.
I can absolutely HATE one of the main characters... looking at you, Harlow... and still love the story SO. MUCH!

For me, Chasing Harlow was all about Jace. He was this young man on the verge of greatness and his life was a mess. He was a mess. And he had this great support network he had no idea how to use. These people were basically throwing themselves at him, wanting to help, and he was blind to it until it was almost too late.

The author captures such strong emotions with her characters. These broken, bruised, incredible characters.

Can I just say that I freaking loved Jonah so much? He was the friend that Jace deserved.

Writer. Reader. Mom. Wife. Master of awkward Sarcasm.

Jay McLean is a full-time reader, writer of New Adult and Young Adult romance, and skilled procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her three boys, investing way too much time on True Crime Documentaries and binge-watching reality TV.

She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in her dream home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

The Mad Tatter, The Confessions of a True Womanizer, and Coveted

June 26, 2024

Hello and Happy Wednesday. I hope your week is off to a great start!
I'm sharing three books I read and quite enjoyed and maybe you'll find something here to read too!

The Mad Tatter by JM Darhower

The Mad Tatter by J.M. Darhower

Contemporary Romance, hero pov

Reece Hatfield has just one rule when it comes to falling in don't fucking do it. There's no room in his life for another person. He can barely keep a handle on things as it is. A shadow of the man he used to be, Reece spends his days tattooing, the artist inside of him longing for the chance to do something different. Avery Moore is all dance, all the time. Ballet is all she's ever known, and she's damn good at it. Her body is her art, a living canvas that captivates Reece the first time he lays his eyes on her. He yearns to leave his mark on her body... in more ways than one. The tattooed degenerate with a shady past. The beautiful ballerina with a bright future. They live in different worlds, yet somehow, they fit. But just because they fit doesn't mean they belong together. Cracks sometimes form. Two pieces don't always make a whole. The course of love never did run smoothly. Things get messy. And Reece doesn't do messy. Not anymore.

Rating -

Can't say I was blown away by this book. It had some good elements, but for my first read of this author, I'm not extremely impressed. Maybe it's because I'm ignorant of the NY laws on trespassing and graffiti but Rhys seems to be comparable to a thief or something equally heinous. I understand that a felony was committed multiple times, but it seemed so dramatically serious in this book. It just didn't seem realistic to me and threw me off from really enjoying the story. He's a great dad. A fantastic artist. A good guy who wants to be more than. So why the emphasis that he is the equivalent of trailer trash? Because he has tattoos? Loves graffiti and other means of art? Had a child out of wedlock? I'm not getting it. Dude went to Columbia. Even I know that means something. Ah well. I don't regret reading this book. I really liked Litle Miss. Too cute!

The Confessions of a True Womanizer by Rod Ballard

The Confessions of a True Womanizer by Rod Ballard

Contemporary Romance, hero pov, cheating

Romeo Roosevelt was raised in a household where he witnessed his father abuse and cheat on his mother. After Romeo’s mother left his father—Romeo grew up taking on one characteristic of his father—being a “Womanizer!” Blessed with his father’s good looks and deceiving ways—Romeo’s sexy swagger and enticing demeanor makes him irresistible to women. Jumping from woman to woman was all Romeo knew. When Romeo reunites with his first love—he finds himself wanting to change for the better. Can Romeo’s first love make him give up his lust for women or will she just be another Confession of a True Womanizer?

Rating -

This was an intriguing look into the heart and mind of a "womanizer", told through the eyes and voice of one.

Romeo was his name. How apropos. Seems like his parents knew what he would try to be when they named him. He was a playa like his daddy and learned the hard way that some games shouldn't be played.

Honestly, the premise of this story was really good. I always enjoy a book with the male POV, especially when he's a reforming manwhore. I really liked how Romeo's family dynamic was described. They obviously believed that it takes a village to raise a child. Romeo had not only his mother and brother, but also solid grandparents, a fun and protective uncle in Pretty Ricky, and a best friend in his cousin Brian. This was definitely a close-knit family.

I'm not going to get into the plot because I would like to encourage everyone to read the book themselves. However, I am going to give my honest opinion on certain things.

- overall idea for the story
- the authenticity of the characters
- the glimpses given to illustrate character development
- the balance of humour and levity throughout the dialogue and narration
- the descriptive chapter headings

- I'm not sure if it's just my copy, but the dialogue between characters was hard to follow. Each line was written and included as part of the narrative and it was difficult to differentiate between who was saying what
- not all sequence changes were seamless
- to me, the pacing was a little bit too fast

In the end, there was a very short and sweet HEA, which I really appreciated. This is the first published work from this author and based on what I've rad, I can see a promising future for him. He's got some serious writing chops and I think lovers of romance should absolutely give this book a chance.

Coveted by Naomi Wyatt

Coveted by Naomi Wyatt

Contemporary Romance

Roc knew that Yanna E. Hill was his the moment that he laid eyes on her. Yet, it was not until five years ago that he claimed her, and, ever since, she has been under his love and protection. He is obsessed with her. She is addicted to him. This passionate couple has been living in enduring and undying love... until now. Suddenly, chaos erupts. Roc has no idea which crime family could be behind these sudden attacks, but he is desperate to find out, while he protects his precious jewel, Yanna. Meanwhile, Yanna is fighting to protect her own precious jewel; her heart. Beyond the present threat of danger, Yanna sees Roc's closest loved ones as yet another threat to their relationship, and she doesn't know how long she can continue this fight that she has been battling for decades.

With a past that can destroy their future, and a present that can take them from one another forever, will this loving couple last to see happily ever after?

Rating -

This was my first time reading an inter-racial romance novel... And I loved it. I told my daughter I need some Roc in my life lol. I just wish some of the scenes were more detailed and that the "bad guy's" comeuppance was more thorough or more harsh I guess. Otherwise a very enjoyable read for me.

A Dark Billionaire Romance Series by Aubrey Dark

June 24, 2024

I'm back with a series of books that I read a long time ago (2016), but I remember enjoying them.
The Dark Billionaire Series is a contemporary romance with a BDSM theme.
Hopefully my reviews inspire someone to give this series a chance.

His Gift: Part One

Lacey Miller is two days away from being kicked out of her apartment when her best friend offers her a job for some quick cash. Easy as cake, right? Wrong. Billionaire playboy Jake Carville has been looking for years for the perfect submissive. On his birthday, he's looking forward to a special a girl who can satisfy his every dark craving. But when Lacey walks through the wrong door and into Jake’s arms, she’s everything he’d hoped for... and nothing he ever expected. How can he lose himself, heart and soul, to a girl he was never supposed to meet?

Rating -

This was not what I expected. It was better. I'm grateful to the author for not rushing straight to sex between the main characters (sorry to those who were expecting some). This allows us to see some type of buildup, some form of chemistry. I'm not completely sold on the chemistry but I'm intrigued enough to read book 2.

Surprisingly, despite her tomboy virginal ways, Lacey is not an annoying female lead. She had spunk and enough qualities to make her likeable. Jake on the other hand is still a mystery. Sexy. Green-eyed. Dark hair. Rich. Appreciates art. Dominant. Into bondage. And??? Does anyone else think he's the tag artist Kage that Lacey admires and respects?

His Gift: Part Two

He's going to punish me, I know it.

I was just delivering a cake for a friend - I sure as hell wasn’t a birthday gift to a billionaire. But now that I was here, I didn’t dare leave.

Even if I wanted to, he wouldn’t let me.

Rating -

Maybe Lacey's not as cool as I thought. For such an innocent, she allows Jake too many liberties. He seems charming one minute and rude the next. And what is his problem with being called by his name? And as per Lucas, what secrets surround his family? Well I'm going to read book 3 to hopefully find some answers. Maybe some sex even lol. This series isn't very sexy or erotic so far.

His Gift: Part Three

I'm tied up, blindfolded... and aching for his touch.

When Lacey walks through the wrong door and into Jake’s arms, she’s everything he’d hoped for... and nothing he ever expected.

How can he lose himself, heart and soul, to a girl he was never supposed to meet?

Rating -

Not bad. What threw me though was when Jake finally talked about his past, revealing the secret of his family. He said the problem was that he didn't want to take over the business but... Everything happened when he was 4 years old. Not a lot of 4yo CEOs nowadays.

So that contradiction made the rest of the story blah for me. At least there was finally sex!! LMAO!!

His Ransom: Part One

Some secrets are darker than others...

I knew that there was more to billionaire Jake Carville than what he showed the world. But I didn’t know that Jake’s past was so dark... and so dangerous.

… and that’s why she’s the perfect hostage.

Rating -

This was pretty good.

I completely got why Lacey felt inferior but she needs to stop comparing herself to Jake. He's a friggin billionaire. A successful business man. And he's 10 years older than her. That's 10 years more life experience. She should just be grateful he's willing to guide her art career and stop bitching at him before he decides to guide someone else.

His Ransom: Part Two

Lacey Miller is just a curvy girl, a tomboy, a street artist. When she steps into Jake Carville’s life, his obsession with her will lead her into a world like she’s never seen. A world of wealth and power. A world of unquenchable passion and unspeakable cruelty.

Jake Carville, billionaire playboy, has never found a woman he can open up to. Not until Lacey. She’s the only woman he cares about. His gift. His love.

Rating -

Wow! This one was better than the rest! I finally got to see some action (not just the sexual kind).

Lacey put herself in quite the predicament because she allowed her insecurities to get the best of her. I'm not saying she's wrong for having doubts. They've only been together for about a month. However, instead of letting these doubts fester into a real problem, she should have talked to Jake about them. Now she's stuck and the story just got interesting!

Raise the Blood, Twenty One, and Unruly

June 12, 2024

Hello and Happy Wednesday. I hope your week is off to a great start!
I'm sharing three books I read and quite enjoyed and maybe you'll find something here to read too!

Raise the Blood by Nenia Campbell

primarily heroine pov 3rd person, descriptive heat, dark romance, 448 pages



Shy and anxious Nadine Harnois has spent her whole life living in the shadow of her older, prettier sister, Noelle. But when Noelle mysteriously vanishes just months after her fairytale wedding, Nadine gathers her courage to go to her brother-in-law's home in Argentum to seek answers.

Caledon Cullraven, the family's youngest son, takes an immediate interest in her, becoming both her tormentor and her ally. But beneath his playful demeanor lurks something twisted and depraved, and as her reluctant attraction to him grows, so, too, does the potential for real danger.

The Cullraven family legacy goes back for generations, with secrets that run as deep and as dark as the town's abandoned silver mines. The people of Argentum are suspicious and fearful of their town's reclusive benefactors, and possibly with good reason: because the more time Nadine spends with this family, the more she suspects that they're hiding something truly terrible.

“You want to run, Nadine? Run to me.”

Rating - 1/2

I feel so guilty for thinking of this as a romance of any kind, but there's no denying that as horrifying and terrifying as this story turned out to be, a love story was building there the entire time.

Nadine was a naive fool and I guess I was supposed to care that she was only 21 with limited life experiences, but she tried to make herself appear mature and so I made the effort to give her the benefit of the doubt. I get loving your sister. I get worrying when there is cause for worry. But when ALL OF THE CLUES HINT TO DANGER, maybe do the smart thing. If everyone seems to be against you, if there are people out to get you, maybe get yourself gone. Get some outside help. Figure something else out. You know, take rational, intelligent steps.

"I don't—are you saying you're dangerous?"
Yes. It seemed to echo in the otherwise silent car. "To me?"
"Especially to you, little sparrow."

Then again, if Nadine was as reasonable as I wanted her to be, this story wouldn't have worked as well as it did. Her naivete worked in this book's favor. If she was a bit more clever, she would have picked up on the innuendos far too soon and it was fun to see her floundering around, turned about, and completely discombobulated like a newborn deer.

I was very entertained. I know I shouldn't have laughed as much as I did, but Nadine made keeping a straight face impossible.

Then there's Cal, who I couldn't get a real handle on and honestly... I still don't get this man and the story is over. He was friend and foe. He was savior and tormentor. And he was the only person who seemed to want Nadine to live, even if we didn't know his reasons.

In the end, I was thankful that there weren't any loose ends and I got the answers I needed. The truth of this story is rough, but it was well worth the read.

Twenty One by Clarissa Wild

dual pov, dark romance, explicit heat, 346 pages
Originally read in 2018

21 years
On her 21st birthday she’s taken. Collected by a rich family as an unpaid debt. Her body sold. Her mind his.

21 weeks
For 21 weeks she carried a burden no girl should ever have to carry. Now she loses her freedom to a man born to destroy her.

21 days
His name: Angel DeLuca. His mission: To break her in 21 days before she sees through his lies. But she won’t give up without a fight.

21 minutes
It takes only 21 minutes for their lives to be forever entwined.

21 seconds
21 seconds to spill. Time is running out.

Secrets ruin them … but not all truths are worth the price.

Rating -

I'm currently going through a dark phase and when I asked a fellow avid reader for a recommendation, this is what I got. Not bad. There were several elements of this story that I liked, such as the existing connection between Angel and Sky (their names couldn't be more original), the contentious relationship between Angel and his father, the betrayal, the deceit, and ultimately what Sky is willing to sacrifice her life for.

I'm a fan of descriptive torture scenes. Not particularly gory but evocative. It helps me build a connection to the captive and/or the captor. Yes, I'm that weird!

There were elements I didn't like, such as the timeline. I kept getting confused! I eventually caught on but listing "yesterday" and "past" became a bit much for me. Also, Sky was one of those captives who think that the more you mouth off and cause problems, the safer you will be. It was pretty unbelievable because in a true captive/captor relationship, she would have been dead already. If I would have killed her, I suspect a vicious captor would as well. I'm just saying.

Overall, a good dark read that I would recommend to anyone who likes a good dark read.

Unruly by Cora Brent

Originally read in 2016
Contemporary Romance

After a humiliating betrayal, Claudia Giordano heads home only long enough to watch her irresponsible father, Jack, marry her old high school nemesis.
Claudia doesn’t believe in love stories anymore.
But she never planned on connecting with a wild young baseball player named Easton Malone. She tells herself Easton is cocky, careless and a bad choice on every level. The only option is to forget the hot, reckless week they shared, no matter what her heart says.


Jack Giordano thinks that after all the mistakes he’s made since becoming a teenage father he’s finally found his happily ever after with sweet Anya.
Jack believes love can conquer anything.
But he didn’t understand how the joy of building the perfect family would dissolve into agony as he watches the girl of his dreams fade away.


In the midst of one couple’s tragic ending, another will find a new beginning.

And it turns out the most unruly collision of two hearts might have been fated all along…

Rating -

Easton was your typical cocky, arrogant hotboy. No surprise there. But at his core he was such a sweetheart. The way he felt towards Claudia made me empathize with him, especially when he described his crush and the lengths he went to to gain her attention lol. He was just too cute with the skateboard incident.

Claudia was confusing and I think it was more because of the fact that she kept harping about the age difference. To me, age really ain't nothin but a number. Her father Jack proved that in spades.

As for Jack. I'm glad he found love finally. Reading about him and Anya was a treat. We get to see him come into not only adulthood but also fatherhood, and it wasn't too late.

This story is a tale of love and loss. Please don't be confused. There are two love stories involved and they are extremely touching. I enjoyed it.