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/

Player by Sean Ashcroft Review

Player - Sean Ashcroft

Tennis player Isaac Hudson isn’t gay, but when a photograph of him kissing another man makes its way to social media, he doesn’t have the heart to correct the speculation and disappoint all the people it means so much to. Still recovering from a shoulder injury, he decides to play the part and enlists the help of his childhood best friend to be his temporary boyfriend.

Julian has been in love with Isaac since they were kids. Knowing his friend was off-limits helped him keep his feelings hidden, but now that he’s supposed to pretend to date him…

Well, things are getting a little tricky in the feelings department. 

After a few surprisingly intimate dates, it becomes obvious that Isaac is less interested in faking it and more interested in trying it.

Throw in a few steamy moments, and soon enough, Isaac finds himself falling into bed with his best friend.

But can Isaac figure out his feelings in time to see what’s right in front of him? Or will his player past come back to haunt him and take away his best chance at happiness?

 

Review

As a sucker for both friends to lover and pretend dating, I picked this right up.

And its a nice quick read. Julian is wonderful and Isaac...well he isn't very self reflective. 

He is also a kind of crap friend but he does evolve and come to understandings about himself and what matters.

Julian is too good for him though but Isaac is what he wants so I am happy for him.

Phoenix Blood by Jenny Schwartz 99 cents

Phoenix Blood (Old School Book 1) - Jenny Schwartz

In a grim biker bar with wizard mercenaries on her tail and a “found” amulet around her neck, Sadie Howard needs a miracle. What she gets is the man who broke her heart nine years ago.

Marcus Aurelius is a changed man, in more ways than one. The preppy, confident medical school student is now a hard-bitten, magic-wielding assassin. He’s also a man on a mission. He has debts to pay and old wrongs to right before he dies—sometime this week.

As the secrets of Marcus’s heart are revealed, Sadie learns that nothing is as it seems and that the man who broke her heart also saved her life and paid in agony for her freedom.

With wizards trying to kill her, phoenix blood burning in Marcus’s veins, and a villain who’ll stop at nothing to acquire the amulet Sadie has promised to a friend, their roadtrip is a one-way ticket to extraordinary adventures. The question is, who will survive?

THE GRINDER $1.99

The Grinder (Redtails Hockey Book 2) - Stephanie Julian

He goes in deep and makes the plays...



Riley Hatch is a fast-talking minor-league hockey player with a reputation as a grinder. He goes in deep, hits hard and comes out with the puck. He’s not known for giving up and, when he meets a cool blonde who trips all his switches, he’s not about to take no for an answer.



She's not going to fall for his game...



Aly Martin’s aversion to professional athletes falters when faced with the six-foot-four hockey god towering over her. He’s everything she never wanted in a man…overtly sexy, rough around the edges and pushy. And absolutely irresistible.



Riley falls hard and fast but he knows he’s going to need more than determination to break down Aly’s reservations. But will his lifelong dream of making it to the NHL cost him the woman of his dreams?

Ocean Light by Nalini Singh 4 Star Review!

Ocean Light  - Nalini Singh

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment--taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling...

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine...

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back--even if it means striking a devil's bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy...

 

Review

Unlike others who were sad we weren't getting more bear shifters in this long running series, I was dancey dance thrilled that we got a Blacksea heroine. Yea! Sea Shifter,

Kaia is a .... well she hides it from Bowen for a while so I won't tell you. but its fun. All the sea shifters we get to hang out with in the underwater city are uber cool. 

The cast and setting might be my favorite part of the book. There are parts though where Singh is clearly pairing off characters so we won't demand their books later. 

The romance is good as Bowen and Kaia have a lot to overcome and a ticking time bomb to see if Bowen will make it (but we know he must HEA needed so it doesn't ever feel crazy tense)

There is a great deal about what family is, what societies responsibilities to its members as well as prejudices and phobias to make this book engaging along with moving the series plot forward as to what is happening to Blacksea shifters.

Singh is a great writer. I enjoyed this dip into the world she makes. Now, excuse me, while I go figure out what kind of sea shifter I would be!
 
 

 

The Little Things by Jay Northcote Review

The Little Things - Jay Northcote

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you appreciate what you have.

There are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter Evie is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.
Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.
Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?

 

Review

 

This is lovely book in so many ways especially how it address how hard parenting really is especially by yourself. 

For me, the book started in the wrong place or it needed to keep going. We get Dan and the shared custody for a long time. And then when things change, we get a middle section and then Liam coming in but we don't get enough time in the romance. 

So, not my favorite of Northcote's but a tender tale.

Single Malt by Layla Reyn 99 cents!

Single Malt - Layla Reyne

Eight months after the car crash that changed everything, FBI agent Aidan Talley is back at work. New department, new case and a new partner. Smart, athletic and handsome, Jameson Walker is twelve years his junior. Even if Aidan was ready to move on—and he's not—Jamie is off-limits. 

 

Jamie's lusted after Aidan for three years, and the chance to work with San Francisco's top agent directly is too good to pass up. Aidan is prickly—to put it mildly—but a growing cyber threat soon proves Jamie's skills invaluable.  

 

Jamie's talents paint a target on his back, and Aidan is determined to protect him. But with hack after hack threatening a high-security biocontainment facility, time is running out to thwart a deadly terrorist attack. They'll have to filter out distractions, on the case and in their partnership, to identify the real enemy, solve the case and save thousands of lives, including their own. 

 

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews $1.99

Magic Bites -  Ilona Andrews

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.
 
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.
 
The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way...

The Random Series Box Set: Books 1–3 By Julia Kent Free!

The Random Series Boxed Set (Books 1-3) - Julia Kent

A random meeting between a rural Ohio chick and a rich Boston musician kickstarted all sorts of random acts of love and lust -- and got even more complicated when his bandmate entered the picture. 

And never left.

From unconventional love to second-chance romance to your wildest desires, The Random Series Boxed Set will have you giggling, swooning, and fanning yourself to the heart-pounding beat of the sexiest, most daring and irresistible musicians to come out of Boston. 

Five band members form the up-and-coming group Random Acts of Crazy--each with a story of his own in this long-running series.

Hard For My Boss by Daryl Banner 4 Stars!

Hard For My Boss - Daryl Banner

Trevor, the young summer intern, is totally SCREWED.
Working at Gage Communications is an opportunity of a lifetime.
But will Trevor be able to handle it? Or will he succumb to the tension?
The tension is in his pants, by the way.
Between a heavy workload and a hunky, controlling boss, Trevor's summer just got a lot hotter and harder than he bargained for.

 

Review

 

Turns out I am a huge Daryl Banner fan, I love the wit, rom com, and character driven romances between great heroes. Oh and sexy times that while pretty frequent are always written out the personalities of the couple and the nature of the relationship and therefore never feel rote.

I tend to dislike his titles a lot and what more exact settings. This is true for Hard for My Boss which is a porn written in a day tile. And really doesn't give this gem of a love story the launch it deserves. 

This is another great romance with an age difference and a class difference. It has the oh dang you are my boss conflict as well. Ben and Trevor are lust dazed and while it is a bit over the top we can really see that they adore each other and that is what makes this book so special. 

There is a lot of rich suitor fantasy in this book but it is balanced with Trevor who just doesn't take any crap and is so charming and Ben who, well, worships and values Trevor. 

We have a great best friend for Trevor (the jabs between them are so funny!) and easy to sneer at "villain."

This book is a very very good time! Pick it up! 
 
 

 

Huge Annabeth Albert Sale! 99 cents most books.

At Attention (Out of Uniform #2) - Annabeth Albert Status Update (#gaymers Series, Book 1) - Annabeth Albert Bundled Up (Portland Heat) - Annabeth Albert

Love all of these! 

Dirty Sexy Inked By Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde Free!

Dirty Sexy Inked - Carly Phillips, Erika Wilde

Breaking hearts is what wild and rebellious Mason Kincaid does best. Hit it and quit it is his motto, and with his bad boy reputation and tattoos, he doesn't lack for female companionship. Until one hot night with the one woman he swore he'd never touch becomes an all consuming addiction he can't kick. Katrina Sands has been his best friend for years, but now that he knows what she feels like, and tastes like, there is no going back to being just friends. Hot, dirty sex has never felt so good...or so right.

Unf;nished by J.R. Barten 3.5 Star Review

Unf;nished - J.R. Barten, LA Dimmett

Could a pair of tattoos ignite a passionate romance?

Technical analyst Garrett Jones lives a solitary life. Occasionally, he must venture into the outside world to get what he needs. On one such occasion, he finds himself at a local tattoo shop getting inked for the first time with a semi-colon as a reminder of his past--a past he cannot allow himself to forget.

Fun-loving and outspoken Dev Hemingway is a social worker for a local LGBTQ shelter. He’s covered in tatts, has long hair, and though most people think he belongs on a Harley, he prefers his Venom electric scooter. He’s adding a semi-colon to his tattoo repertoire to mark eight years since his mental health diagnosis. 

Though they start seeing each other casually, Garrett and Dev’s relationship soon deepens into something more than either one could have prepared for. But will the illness that brought them together ultimately be the one to tear them apart? Could this be the end of their story, or is there still too much left unfinished?

 

Review

 

A well told love story where opposites attract. Garret, the introvert and Dev, the extrovert. I like how this difference between got as much time and Dev's mental health and the trigger it is for Garret given his history.

This book takes takes it time and we get to see a loving relationship bloom and a lot of personal healing and growth.

Augusta by Carolyn Brown $1.99

Augusta - Carolyn Brown

Augusta "Gussie" Dulan is the only Dulan sister to make it all the way to California on the wagon train for brides. Each of her four sisters has taken off along the trail to marry up with a man they fell in love with and now Gussie is hoping to find a man to love here at the end of the trail.


Dressing in her fabulous red satin dancing dress, complete with black lace and feathered headdress, Gussie lines up with the other potential brides to see whom it is that they will marry.


Gideon Jefferson, the town preacher, takes one look at Gussie and is horrified at her saloon girl outfit, but things turn even worse when his number is called and he "wins" Gussie's hand in marriage. Gussie is less that pleased to be stuck with this wretched, assuming man. Neither wants to be married, so they make a pact that she will be on the first wagon train out after the winter. In the meantime, Gussie will come home with him and tend to his four young daughters and run his unruly house. It seems like a good arrangement.


But Gussie is much more than Gideon could have imagined. She not only keeps the house immaculate, the table filled with delicious food, the girls clean and happy, she has the women of the town following her example and turning Gideon's and the rest of the men's lives upside down.


Neither Gussie nor Gideon will admit they actually have feelings for one another. It takes a lot of courage, four little girls, and a whole town to bring them both to their senses.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne $1,99

The Hating Game: A Novel - Sally Thorne

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

                       2) A person’s undoing

                       3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

 

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Off Base By Annabeth Albert $1.99 Love this series! Adore this book!

Off Base (Out of Uniform #1) - Annabeth Albert

After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike's flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike's arrival would spark from Zack's teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can't refuse. 

Pike Reynolds knows there won't be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He's an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he's had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can't risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack. 

Living with Pike crumbles Zack's restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn't know how to be the man Pike deserves. 

Giving Chase By Lauren Dane 99 cents!

Giving Chase - Lauren Dane

When landscaper Kyle Chase takes notice of Maggie Wright, all of Petal, Georgia, wonders what the quiet schoolteacher is hiding underneath her tight bun and boring blouses. Even Maggie doesn’t quite get it, but after a failed relationship and a disastrous attempt to get back out there, she’s no match against the famous Chase charm, and Kyle has it in spades. 

Kyle wants Maggie in his life—and in his bed—and he doesn’t mind getting down and dirty to prove it. For years he’s avoided the kind of trouble that comes with “good girls” like her, but Maggie’s the best trouble he’s ever been in. He craves more of it. And more of her.

But even as their love grows into thoughts of forever, a hidden danger from Maggie’s past threatens to tear them apart. And when Maggie suddenly disappears, Kyle must put his faith in his family and race to save the love of his life before he loses her forever.

The Chase is on. One small town. Four hot brothers. And enough heat to burn up anyone who dares to get close. Don’t miss the next books: Taking ChaseChased and Making Chase.