Cat's Books: Romance

This is a companion blog on the Romance genre to my theme and troupe list making madness. North American Wordcat: Romance Reader Reviewer, Romance List Maker.Twitter @Catsbookrom, Cat's Books Romance Novel Theme Park catsbooks.net Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cats-Books-Romance/

The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Stars!

The Glasshouse (Lavender Shores #6) - Rosalind Abel

Adrian Rivera lives as he damn well pleases, defying his Lavender Shores family to spend his days farming the beautiful Northern California land. Not one to daydream of true love and romance, Adrian’s social life has always been filled with sex and plenty of good times. 

Harrison Getty went from NFL star quarterback to America’s gay heartthrob, to reality TV star—with his wedding day broadcast live on national television. But Harrison feels trapped in a Hollywood life dictated by others. To breathe again, he runs from it all… 



 

Adrian’s attraction to Harrison has been building for months—even as Harrison prepared to marry another man. Lightning strikes between them, stirring emotions and passions as Adrian finds “the one,” a love that’s meant to be. But can Harrison stop running long enough to know his own heart? 

Amid scandals and betrayals, Adrian and Harrison struggle to grow their new love even as life’s storms threaten to shatter it all…


 

Review

 

 

The Glasshouse is likely the most Soap Operay of the books I have read in this series with warring family, runaway grooms, sex tapes, and public throw downs. 

At the heart of the story though is Harrison's need to center himself. Harrison character is really well developed. Adrain is well done as well, even if I think he could have been more thoughtful about what was happening with Harrison at the start of their relationship. However, he redeems himself by waiting and supporting when Harrison gets to a point he is ready to really deal with his demons.

The outside conflicts could be much better written but the romance, setting and circle of friends are well done.

I hope Will gets his own book. :)
 
 

 

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan $1.99

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael Pollan

In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant—though this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?

In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings—and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?

Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.

Mackenzie’s Mountain By Linda Howard $1.99 A Favorite!!

Mackenzie's Mountain - Linda Howard

Mary Elizabeth Potter is a self-appointed spinster with no illusions about love. When she meets Wolf Mackenzie, a man with a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming, she sets out to convince the whole town he's a man worth loving. But Wolf's not sure he's for the taming of Wolf Mackenzie.

Bad Company By K.A. Mitchell 99 cents!

Bad Company - K.A. Mitchell

Some things are sweeter than revenge.

“I need a boyfriend.”

Hearing those words from his very straight, very ex-best friend doesn’t put Nate in a helpful mood. Not only did Kellan Brooks’s father destroy Nate’s family in his quest for power, but Kellan broke Nate’s heart back in high school. Nate thought he could trust his best friend with the revelation that he might be gay, only to find out he was horribly wrong and become the laughingstock of the whole school. Kellan must be truly desperate if he’s turning to Nate now.

Kellan’s through letting his father run his life, and he wants to make the man pay for cutting him off. What better way to stick it to the bigot than to come out as gay himself—especially with the son of the very man his father crushed on his quest for money and power. Kellan can’t blame Nate for wanting nothing to do with him, though. Kellan will have to convince him to play along, but it’s even harder to convince himself that the heat between them is only an act....

The Chase (Briar U, #1) by Elle Kennedy $2.99!

The Chase - Elle Kennedy

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

Heat Exchange By Shannon Stacey Free!!

Heat Exchange (Boston Fire) - Shannon Stacey

Lydia Kincaid’s shipping back to Boston, but she’s not happy about it. She left to get away from the firefighting community—her father was a firefighter, her brother’s a firefighter and, more importantly, her ex is a firefighter. But family is number one and her father needs her help running the pub he bought when he retired. Soon, Lydia finds it hard to resist the familiar comfort and routine, and even harder to resist her brother’s handsome friend Aidan.

Aidan Hunt is a firefighter because of the Kincaid family. He’s had the hots for Lydia for years, but if ever a woman was off-limits to him it’s her. Aside from being his mentor’s daughter, she’s his best friend’s sister. The ex-wife of a fellow firefighter. But his plan to play it cool until she leaves town again fails, and soon he and Lydia have crossed a line they can’t un-cross.

As Aidan and Lydia’s flirtation turns into something more serious, Lydia knows she should be planning her escape. Being a firefighter’s wife was the hardest thing she’s ever done and she doesn’t know if she has the strength to do it again. Aidan can’t imagine walking away from Boston Fire—even for Lydia. The job and the brotherhood are his life; but if he wants Lydia in it, he’ll have to decide who’s first in his heart.

RECOMMENDED: Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn $1.99!

Heroine Complex - Sarah Kuhn

Being a superheroine is hard. Working for one is even harder.

Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.

Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.

But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest secret comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right...or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.

How To Marry A Werewolf by Gail Carriger $1.99

How To Marry A Werewolf : A Claw & Courtship Novella - Gail Carriger

WEREWOLVES 

The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they're her only option. Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be. 

AMERICANS 

Backward heathens with no culture, Major Channing has never had time for any of them. But there's something special about Faith. Channing finds himself fighting to prove himself and defend his species. But this werewolf has good reason not to trust human women. 

Even if they learn to love, can either of them forgive? 

From the bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series. Look out for appearances from favorite characters and the serious consequences of unwarranted geology. 

A Note On Chronology 

The Claw & Courtship novellas can be read in any order. This book can be enjoyed without having read any of Gail's other works. Set in the spring of 1896 this story occurs after events chronicled in Romancing the Werewolf.

Anything But Sweet by Candis Terry $1.99

Anything But Sweet  - Candis Terry

War and the deaths of loved ones have changed Ex-marine Reno Wilder’s attitude. Now this military man is ready to settle down into a calmer life. So when Sweet is chosen as a destination for a makeover TV show, he’s less than pleased about the potential disruption to his routine.
 
Headstrong show host and designer Charlotte Brooks arrives in Sweet ready to change everything, including Reno. Locked in a face-off neither saw coming, will they be able to find common ground and realize that a life together could be sexy…and also very sweet?

Once Upon a Wolf (The Wayward Wolves Series Book 1)by Rhys Ford $1.99

Once Upon a Wolf - Rhys Ford

Gibson Keller’s days are fairly routine: wake up early, get some work done, drink lots of coffee, and take care of Ellis, his older brother, stuck in wolf form after coming home from the war. It’s a simple life made up of long runs on two legs—or four—and quiet evenings…. Until Ellis chases a handsome man off a cliff and into the frozen waters beside their cabin, changing Gibson’s life forever.

 

For Zach Thomas, buying an old B&B is a new start. Leaving behind his city life, he longs to find peace and quiet, and hiking the trails behind his property seems safe enough—right up to the moment an enormous black wolf chases him into a lake, nearly drowning him. Discovering werewolves are real astounds him, but not as much as the man who rescues him from the icy water, then walks into Zach’s heart as if he owns it.

 

Loving a werewolf—loving Gibson with all his secrets—has its challenges, but Zach believes their love is worth fighting for, especially since his heart knows the big bad wolf is really a prince in disguise.

It Takes Two to Tumble (Seducing the Sedgwicks, #1) by Cat Sebastian 4 Star Review!

It Takes Two to Tumble: Seducing the Sedgwicks - Cat Sebastian

Some of Ben Sedgwick’s favorite things:

  • Helping his poor parishioners
  • Baby animals
  • Shamelessly flirting with the handsome Captain Phillip Dacre

 

After an unconventional upbringing, Ben is perfectly content with the quiet, predictable life of a country vicar, free of strife or turmoil. When he’s asked to look after an absent naval captain’s three wild children, he reluctantly agrees, but instantly falls for the hellions. And when their stern but gloriously handsome father arrives, Ben is tempted in ways that make him doubt everything.

 

Some of Phillip Dacre’s favorite things:

  • His ship
  • People doing precisely as they're told
  • Touching the irresistible vicar at every opportunity

 

Phillip can’t wait to leave England’s shores and be back on his ship, away from the grief that haunts him. But his children have driven off a succession of governesses and tutors and he must set things right. The unexpected presence of the cheerful, adorable vicar sets his world on its head and now he can’t seem to live without Ben’s winning smiles or devastating kisses.

 

In the midst of runaway children, a plot to blackmail Ben’s family, and torturous nights of pleasure, Ben and Phillip must decide if a safe life is worth losing the one thing that makes them come alive.  

 

Review

 

hilip and Ben's romance reminds me of early Amanda Quick Regency's with a bit of mad cap, country joy.

Cat Sebastian writes with wit and depth. Philip's grief and guilt are particularly well done as is Ben's curvy relationship with faith.

I love his family and the kids.

A good romp.

Bittersweet (True North, #1) by Sarina Bowen 5 Star Review!!

Bittersweet (True North Book 1) - Sarina Bowen

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago. 

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Warning: Contains sexual situations, gourmet yumminess, a steamy outdoor shower and proof that farmers don't mind getting dirty.

 

 

Review

Sarina Bowen writing at the top of her game. 

We get a lush second chance romance between Griffin and Aubrey. Farm and Orchard fun without the dirt and sweat. A really great family dynamic. Banter. A well paced plot.

This one just shimmers on the page. Really on point. The rest of the series is great too!

The Alcove (Lavender Shores, #7) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Star Review!

The Alcove (Lavender Shores #7) - Rosalind Abel

Jasper Getty is living his dream as the owner of the charming bookshop, Lavender Pages. For seven years, he’s enjoyed the safety and freedom to be himself, selling books by day and curling up and getting lost in novels by night. But a dark page from the past comes back to haunt Jasper as his ex begins stalking him.
Russell Wallace hit reset on his life in Nashville and became a bodyguard after decades of living according to family expectations. But even years later, he doesn’t believe he deserves happiness. When

 

Russell is asked to travel to the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Shores to protect a friend’s brother, he expects nothing more than a job and a paycheck.
But Lavender Shores reveals a world Russell never imagined, and his immediate attraction to the adorably geeky

 

Jasper complicates an already difficult job. Jolted by the memory of a shared moment and paths that crossed years ago intensifies the sparks into a bonfire of passion and hope. 
When danger comes pounding at the door, Jasper is in danger of losing his life… and his heart.

 

Review

 

We get the bodyguard theme in this romance with fun nods to the Houston/Costner film. The other great fun of this book is we have a ginger bookworm hero. Yea! And he loves romance and cozy mysteries so there is all kinds of great allusions, romance conferences, and book club joy.

Jasper gives books to Russell which we all know much better than flowers. The stalker aspect of the book is of less interest to me but Jasper does end up saving his self. 

Able/Witt always does a wonderful job with sex positive love stories and we get this here along with the lingering impact of domestic abuse and internalized homophobia. I wish we have a bit more unknotting of Russell's issues and more time after the heroes commit to each other but this book is a bookworm's delight overall.

Barely Breathing By Pamela Clare Free! A very good romance!

Barely Breathing: A Colorado High Country Novel - Pamela Clare

Lexi Jewell left Scarlet Springs twelve years ago, vowing never to return to the small Colorado mountain town where she grew up. Now, here she is—over thirty, out of a job and with little choice but to move back in with her eccentric father. Lexi knows it’s just a matter of time before she runs into Austin Taylor, her first boyfriend and her first heartbreak. She’s determined to show him she’s over him—until he steps out of a pickup truck and back into her life, looking sexy as hell in his mountain ranger uniform.



As far as Austin is concerned, Lexi can turn her snazzy little convertible around and drive back to Chicago. After all, she ripped his teenage heart to pieces and turned her back on the town he loves. But from the moment he sees her again, he can’t get her out of his mind. Even her smile messes with his head.



When an evening of conversation turns into something else, Lexi and Austin agree to be friends—with benefits. But as Lexi starts making plans to return to the big city, Austin realizes he’ll lose her a second time unless he can show her that what she’s searching for has been right here all along.

 

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher $1.99!

The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a teenager with an all-consuming crush on her costar, Harrison Ford. 

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candor and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

The Shipwreck (Lavender Shores, #4) by Rosalind Abel 3.5 Star Review!

The Shipwreck - Rosalind Abel

Lamont Price’s romance novels have been a hit for the past few years. With his gorgeous looks, kind heart, and tender disposition, Lamont is the darling of Lavender Shores. He’s the guy everyone wants to be their best friend, the guy everyone wants to protect. But even with his success and the love of his family, Lamont feels hidden from those around him. Maybe the first step is attending a writing conference and revealing the man behind his pen name....

Tyler Dixon survives off his beauty and charm. From cover model to runway fashion to weekend arm candy, Tyler’s prices aren’t cheap. While his appearance is taking him places, his life as an artist has little more than flatlined. When an author hires him to appear as the face of her brand, Tyler thinks it’s just one more job. Little does he know another writer is going to steal all of his attention.

Escaping the conference to find some breathing room, Lamont runs into Tyler at a bar. Casual conversation leads to Lamont revealing his family’s obsession with helping him find love. It’s not a big deal to Tyler, who has played the role of boyfriend for other people in the past. Before either of them can rethink the situation, Tyler is in Lavender Shores meeting Lamont’s family. Though they’re only pretending to be in a relationship, the chemistry that ignites between them is anything but imaginary…

 

Review

 

I finally started reading the very tropey Lavender Shores series set in a very queer friendly fictionial beachside town in Northern California. 

These are fun reads with a great cast and setting. Here we get love lorn and shy Lamont a romance writer from one of the town's founding families and Tyler, cover model, photographer, and porn star.

So, opposite attract with one hero needing emotionial connection for sex (though not demi) and the other shutting down emotions and sex after a cheating and mentally abusive ex. 

The chemistry between these too is solar and we get a little pretend relationship thrown in. 

The drama comes from Tyler not sharing his adult film work in due time as you might guess. But this conflict is handled really well as really being an internal conflict for each hero and the book remains very sex positive and non shaming.

There are some cool aspects of the book I really liked such has both Tyler and Lamont have great parents though very different from each other, Tyler is very well endowed and Lamont doesn't just take him, and these two talk for the most part. Lamont get therapy. Tyler evaluates his choices with great self reflection and honesty. 

Some parts of the book go a bit fast at the end but a nice read overall.