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/

Rise by Karina Bliss 99 cents!

Rise - Karina Bliss

Acclaimed literary biographer Elizabeth Winston writes about long-dead heroes. 
So bad-boy rock icon Zander Freedman couldn’t possibly tempt her to write his memoir. 
Except the man is a mass of fascinating contradictions–manipulative, honest, gifted, charismatic and morally ambiguous.
In short, everything she seeks in a biography subject. 
When in her life will she get another chance to work with a living legend? But saying yes to one temptation soon leads to another.
Suddenly she’s having heated fantasies about her subject, fantasies this blue-eyed devil is only too willing to stoke. 
She thought self-control was in her DNA; after all, she grew up a minister’s daughter. 
She thought wrong.


Rock star Zander Freedman has been an outlier–many would say an outcast–for most of his life. 
But there’s no disaster he can’t overcome, from the breakup of his band to the inevitable damage to his reputation. 
His Resurrection Tour is shaping up to be his greatest triumph–if his golden voice holds out. 
Contracting a respected biographer is simply about creating more buzz. Elizabeth’s integrity is the key to consolidating his legacy as one of rock’s greats.
All the damn woman has to do is write down what he tells her. Not force him to think.
Or encourage the good guy struggling to get out. 
And certainly not make him fall in love for the first time in his life.
Turns out he is scared of something: losing his heart.

 

Reconstructing Jackson By Holly Bush 99 cents!

Reconstructing Jackson Paperback June 25, 2014 - Holly Bush

1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.

Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.

Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle's courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer $3.99!

Less - Andrew Sean Greer

Who says you can't run away from your problems? You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes--it would be too awkward--and you can't say no--it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, Less is, above all, a love story.

A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as "inspired, lyrical," "elegiac," "ingenious," as well as "too sappy by half," Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.

Horn Gate (Scratch #1) by Damon Suede Review

Horn Gate - Damon Suede

ORN GATE: Open at your own risk.

 

Librarian Isaac Stein spends his lumpy, lonely days restoring forgotten books, until the night he steals an invitation to a scandalous club steeped in sin. Descending into its bowels, he accidentally discovers Scratch, a wounded demon who feeds on lust.

 

Consorting with a mortal is a bad idea, but Scratch can't resist the man who knows how to open the portal that will free him and his kind. After centuries of possessing mortals, he finds himself longing to surrender.

 

To be together, Isaac and Scratch must flirt with damnation and escape an inhuman trafficking ring—and they have to open their hearts or they will never unlock the Horn Gate.

 

Review

 

There is a lot of to be had in this dense smoke and mirrors paranormal story. 

I really love a plain Joe hero but he gets transformed here and while that worked with the plot we didn't get enough time in the story to think about this process.

The mythology is great as we take a deep dive into Jewish folklore but sometimes the smoke is a bit too thick in these aspects of the tale even though the prose and is fun.

Overall, I needed more romance with Scratch and more detail.

Lover Eternal By J. R. Ward $1.99 My favorite of the series!

Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward

Within the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Rhage is the warrior vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the deadliest fighter, the most voracious lover, the quickest to act on his impulses. He’s also been cursed with two hundred years of hell. Possessed by a beast, he lives in fear of the times when his inner dragon comes out and he’s a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce has unwittingly found herself in the vampire world, and under Rhage’s protection. With her own life-threatening curse to bear, she’s not looking for love. Besides, she’s stopped believing in saving grace and miracles long ago. But when Rhage’s intense sexual attraction turns into emotional bonding, he knows he must have her for his mate. As their enemies close in, Mary finds herself praying for something she fears she’ll never have: life eternal with the one she loves.

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century By Rachel Harris 99 cents!

My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century - Rachel  Harris

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family's trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

 

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

 

At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec $1.99

At the Stroke of Midnight - Tara Sivec

Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.

 

Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.

 

But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnightis a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos.

The Duchess Deal By Tessa Dare $1.99

The Duchess Deal - Tessa Dare

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

 

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

 

His terms are simple:

- They will be husband and wife by night only.

- No lights, no kissing. 

- No questions about his battle scars.

- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

 

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:

- They will have dinner together every evening.

- With conversation.

- And unlimited teasing.

- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

The Score (Off-Campus Book 3) by Elle Kennedy 99 cents!

The Score - Elle Kennedy

He knows how to score, on and off the ice

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

Bear Among the Books by T.J. Masters 3.5 Stars!

Bear Among the Books - T.J. Masters

Forty-eight-year-old Ben Thompson is a librarian, a passionate book lover, and a man who embodies the definition of a bear. He’s also lonely after the loss of his long-term partner. Young ex-gymnast Jason Barnes piques his interest, but Ben quickly realizes there’s more to Jason than his good looks. While Jason visits the library almost every day, he never checks out a book.

With gentle persistence, Ben befriends Jason and learns the nineteen-year-old’s tragic secrets. After years of abuse at his father’s hands, Jason was kicked out of his family home for being gay. And despite his apparent love of books, Jason never learned to read. Ben offers to teach him, and the two men bond over their lessons. Ben can’t deny his attraction to Jason, but he wonders if Jason is too young and too handsome to return his interest. With the help of the close-knit library team and Jason’s growing self-confidence, they move beyond the books and into the bedroom, where their own story is just beginning.

 

Review

 

This is a sweet age gap romance where widower Ben has to take a chance to love again and Jason to work through his low self esteem stemming from terrible abuse as a young teen.

I love these two together when Ben is shy about his attraction and Jason is in pursuit. Ben is very kind and Jason is hard working and filled with intellectual curiosity. 

We get a great setting for any bookworm in the library and the cast is really delightful especially Jason's grandmother.

The abuse aspects aren't handled that realistically in terms of the fact that Jason would need therapy and would likely have some issues that interfere with his sexuality more than is shown here but its a gentle and warm romance that is worth reading.
 
 

 

Urgent Care By DJ Jamison Free!

Urgent Care (Hearts and Health Book 3) - D.J.  Jamison

Twelve years too late ...
Xavier James is shocked when he runs into the first man who ever broke his heart. His ex-boyfriend has only gotten sexier over the past decade, but Xavier isn't about to go down that road again. When they cross paths at the hospital's urgent care clinic, where Xavier is doing a student nursing rotation, it's more difficult to dismiss the man. Thrown together by work and forced into close quarters, a visit to memory lane is incredibly tempting.

It's never too late to start over ...
Dr. Trent Cavendish made a huge mistake when he walked away from the love of his life at age 18. When his best friend suddenly dies 12 years later, it rattles Trent into seeing just how empty his life has become. Determined to go back to the moment he put himself on the path to ambition over happiness, he walks away from the OR and takes a temporary position in his hometown. It's time to make amends to the man he left behind.

Oh, how things have changed ...
Instead of the sweet but tame guy he left behind, Trent runs into a smoking-hot Xavier James dressed in bits of lace and silk at a gay nightclub. He never knew he had a fetish for a man in delicate clothing until now. His plan to earn Xavier's forgiveness immediately shifts to lust, and love's not far behind. But Xavier is wary of this new Trent Cavendish. The villain of his memories is considerate and kind, but Xavier wants to be more than a new goal to chase.

Wolfsong (Green Creek Book 1) by TJ Klune 99 cents!c

Wolfsong - T.J. Klune

Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

 

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road, the boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

 

Ox was seventeen when he found out the boy’s secret, and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

 

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

 

It’s been three years since that fateful day—and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.

The Soldier's Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian $1.99!

The Soldier's Scoundrel - Cat Sebastian

A scoundrel who lives in the shadows
 
Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London's slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.  
 
A soldier untarnished by vice 
 
After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman's life-one that doesn't include sparring with a ne'er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack's pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they're together.  
 
Two men only meant for each other

The Girl Who Drank the Moon By Kelly Barnhill $1.20!

The Girl Who Drank the Moon - Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.

Wes and Toren by J.M. Colail 3.5 Star Review!

Wes and Toren - J.M. Colail

It's not so easy being young, gay, and in love for the first time at the average high school. Senior Toren Grey cares more about his family and his grades than what brand of clothes he wears. He agrees with the majority consensus that he's a nerd. So he's quite surprised when resident bad boy Wesley Carroll speaks to him in the hall, stirring feelings that Toren has to hide.

Disconcerted by Wes's free and easy ways, Toren can't deny the attraction between them. As he relaxes and gets to know Wes better, he finds there's more to the sexy rebel than his public image. Before long the young men are exploring new territory and falling in love, but life just isn't that simple. After they graduate, obstacles block their relationship at every turn: Wes working versus Toren in college, the virulent disapproval of parents, and everyday trials faced by any struggling young couple. Wes and Toren have to believe in each other... and never doubt that their love can conquer all.

 

Review

I picked up this book because it was on someone's comfort read list and I can totally see why.

It is a sweet and hot (we are talking two young heroes under 20 so a ton of sex). We get the fun of a nerd and bad boy. There is really nice work thinking about entering the world of college and work wand staying with your first love. 

There is a great mom and sisters and while some of the finer details are missing, it is a good read that will make you smile.

The Soldier's Scoundrel (The Turner Series, #1) by Cat Sebastian 4 Star Review!

The Soldier's Scoundrel - Cat Sebastian

A scoundrel who lives in the shadows
 
Jack Turner grew up in the darkness of London's slums, born into a life of crime and willing to do anything to keep his belly full and his siblings safe. Now he uses the tricks and schemes of the underworld to help those who need the kind of assistance only a scoundrel can provide. His distrust of the nobility runs deep and his services do not extend to the gorgeous high-born soldier who personifies everything Jack will never be.  
 
A soldier untarnished by vice 
 
After the chaos of war, Oliver Rivington craves the safe predictability of a gentleman's life-one that doesn't include sparring with a ne'er-do-well who flouts the law at every turn. But Jack tempts Oliver like no other man has before. Soon his yearning for the unapologetic criminal is only matched by Jack's pleasure in watching his genteel polish crumble every time they're together.  
 
Two men only meant for each other

 

Review

 

I loved every moment of this historical romance between Jack and Oliver. 

With a great plot and wonderful characters this romance is charming and moving.

I love a good opposites attract romance and this is great one. 

I adored watching Jack and Oliver fall in love and find a way to make it work.

The rest of the cast is wonderful as well.

Very good!