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/

Macarons at Midnight (Just Desserts, #1) by M.J. O'Shea and Anna Martin Review

Macarons at Midnight - M.J. O'Shea, Anna  Martin

Tristan Green left his small English town for Manhattan and a job at a high profile ad agency, but can’t seem to find his bearings. He spends a lot of time working late at night, eating and sleeping alone, and even more time meandering around his neighborhood staring into the darkened windows of shops. One night when he’s feeling really low, he wanders by a beautiful little bakery with the lights still on. The baker invites him in, and some time during that night Tristan realizes it’s the first time he’s really smiled in months.

Henry Livingston has always been the odd duck, the black sheep, the baker in an old money family where pedigree is everything and quirky personalities are hidden behind dry martinis and thick upper east side townhouse facades. Henry is drawn to Tristan’s easy country charm, dry English wit, and everything that is so different from Henry’s world.

Their new romance is all buttercream frosting and sugared violets until Tristan's need to fit in at work makes him do something he desperately wishes he could undo. Tristan has to prove to Henry that he can be trusted again before they can indulge in the sweet stuff they're both craving.

 

Review

 

The baking in this romance was amazing and comes with recipes. 

The book also showcases New York City. 

The love story between Tristen is sweet and tender. The loneliness Tristen feels so far from England and Henry's choice to not be part of the New York elite is nicely detailed.

Because the connection between the heroes charms, the conflicts in the book between Tristen and his awful work environment and then the over reaction of Henry of something that happens feels too heavy handed and made me want to skip around and took away from the pleasure of the book.

Bonded (Bonded to the Alpha #1) by Robin Moray Review

Bonded to the Alpha - Robin Moray

Bonded mates are rare, and every wolf knows that the killing of a bond-mate is punishable by death. But nineteen-year-old Callum is fully human, woefully ignorant of Pack Law, and when an accidental encounter with a frenzied beta leaves the wolf dead and Callum battered but alive, he finds himself facing the wrath of the pack -- until the dead wolf’s mate invokes the right to claim Callum as his own.

With his life on the line, Callum’s only choice is to bond with the troubled alpha, and carve a place for himself in the pack by any means necessary. 

Taking the bond was the worst mistake Nero ever made. But now, with his bond-mate dead, the clock is ticking. He needs to bond again by the full moon, or his next transformation will kill him. That’s all he needs the human for, just a means to an end. At least that’s what he tells himself, but as the bond takes hold he finds himself falling deeper into something he swore he would never do again.

 

Review

 

This wolf shifter romance moving along pretty nicely and then it did that thing where it just ended. Like the author was going to write a serial. Bleh.

The next book in the series feature the same couple, the third one 1/4 features them and in the 4th they just some up. I have read the 4th book and its much better.

There is good writing here but so many threads that lead to no where that I am not inclined to read the rest of the books.

Love Has No Expiration by C.S. Poe Review

Love Has No Expiration - C.S. Poe

There's more to life than work, and love has no expiration, even for those approaching their forty-fifth birthday.

Daniel Richards is a private chef in New York City who has committed over a decade to his skills and passion. He has carved out a name for himself in the industry and has bookings for parties and dinners months in advance. Now that he's in his midforties, however, he's come to the realization that he's lonely and desperate for companionship. Two days before Valentine's Day, he meets Keith Maxwell at a farmer's market and can't keep the much younger man out of his thoughts. Keith is eager and willing to take a chance with someone older, but Daniel's reluctance stops Keith's every attempt. Worried his career will suffer if he dedicates time to a serious romance, or that Keith won't be satisfied with someone so much older, Daniel nearly thwarts his own attempts at finding happiness.

 

Review

 

I like C.S. Poe's writing a great deal and this is a lovely age difference romance which starts at a Farmer's Market.

This love story between Keith and Daniel explores adjusting one's life to make room for love. 

Well written.

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley $2.99

The Geek Feminist Revolution - Kameron Hurley

A powerful collection of essays on feminism, geek culture, and a writer's journey, from one of the most important new voices in genre.

The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of essays by double Hugo Award-winning essayist and science fiction and fantasy novelist Kameron Hurley.

The book collects dozens of Hurley's essays on feminism, geek culture, and her experiences and insights as a genre writer, including "We Have Always Fought," which won the 2014 Hugo for Best Related Work. The Geek Feminist Revolution will also feature several entirely new essays written specifically for this volume.

Diving in by Bru Baker Review

Diving In - Bru Baker

Being the pool boy makes it easy for Max Jansen to ogle his long-time crush, water polo player Everett Caldwell. Never mind the fact that Max owns the company and is overqualified for the task of monitoring chlorine and cleaning skimmers. He’s just happy to watch his unattainable dream play—until one day Everett invites him over and suddenly Max is his platonic plus-one for everything from movie nights to racy industry parties. Then Max learns the one-time Olympian isn’t as straight as everyone assumes, and he isn’t sure how long he can hold out before his crush grows much deeper.

 

Review

 

This is a lovely short story between Max and Everett;

It is fun crush romance with the added bonus of water polo. 

Good stuff.

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy › Terry Brooks $2.99!!

The Sword of Shannara Trilogy - Terry Brooks

he Sword of Shannara
Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races. 

The Elfstones of Shannara
The magical Ellcrys tree is dying, loosening the spell that bars the Demons from enacting vengeance upon the land. Now Wil Ohmsford must guard the Elven girl Amberle on a perilous quest as she carries one of the Ellcrys’ seeds to a mysterious place where it can be quickened into a powerful new force. But dark on their trail comes the Reaper, most fearsome of all Demons, aiming to crush their mission at any cost. 

The Wishsong of Shannara 
An ancient Evil is stirring to new life, sending its ghastly Mord Wraiths to destroy Mankind. To win through the vile growth that protects this dark force, the Druid Allanon needs Brin Ohmsford—for she alone holds the magic power of the wishsong. Reluctantly Brin joins the Druid on his dangerous journey. But a prophecy foretells doom, as Evil nurses its plans to trap the unsuspecting Brin into a fate far more horrible than death. 

A Little Side of Geek (Geek Life, #1) by Marguerite Labbe 4 Star Review!!

A Little Side Of Geek - Marguerite Labbe

When opposite worlds collide, it’s anyone’s game.

Proud geek and comic book artist Morris Proctor wants nothing more than to live in semiseclusion with his devil cat and gamer friends. Despite what his well-meaning family thinks, he’s perfectly content with his status quo. The last thing he needs is to date another nongeek hell-bent on changing him.

Then he meets his adorkable new neighbor, Theo Boarman, who doesn’t know Star Trek from Star Wars, but who tempts him like no other.

Theo has spent the last year recovering from the loss of his parents and trying to play both roles for his teenage brother, while working to keep the family restaurant afloat. Dating is the last thing on the menu, especially with a man who thinks the height of dining is shoving a packaged meal into the microwave.

But if Morris gives him one more shy smile or flaunts that kilt he wears so well, Theo will be forced to convince him that a hot summer fling is just the recipe to let off a little steam.

When that fling gets serious fast, Morris has to decide if he’s willing to give his heart to Theo on the chance that they’re a perfect mix.

 

Review

 

I love the want between Morris and Theo.

 

All that geekiness and cooking also does it for me in this character driven romance between neighbors.

 

This is the kind of romance where you want to read it again and again just to be with the characters.

 

Left me smiling for days!

The Immortal Circus by A.R. Kahler #1.99 or KU!

The Immortal Circus: Act One - A.R. Kahler

Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can't quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—because forever means something quite different at the Cirque des Immortels.

 

Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his sarcastic assistant Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargains for.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata $1.49 or KU Loved it!!

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me - Mariana Zapata

Vanessa Mazur knows she's doing the right thing. She shouldn't feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she's beyond shocked. 

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn't find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He's asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

----

His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane 4 Star Review!

His Leading Man - Ashlyn Kane

He wrote a comedy. Fate directed a romance. 

Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.

Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now one of Hollywood’s hottest properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing—and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable—on and offscreen.

Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherishes. Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset?

 

Review

 

This is a charming romance about fame, expectations, and Hollywood's portrayal of queer characters.

I like these light romance in the Dreamspun Desire line and this is a especially good one with well drawn characters, a quick moving plot, and plenty of chemistry. 

We get to know Drew and Steve at the same pace they get to know each other. Its fun, moving. and a delight. 

Good stuff. 

A Little Bit Wild By Victoria Dahl $1.99

A Little Bit Wild - Victoria Dahl

He Is Not What She Had In Mind. 

Jude Bertrand is not an excellent dancer. Nor does he wear the most fashionable coats. But when Marissa York's brother approaches him, desperate to preserve Marissa's tenuous reputation, Jude does prove heroic enough to offer to marry the girl. In fact, the union should more than make up for his lack of social graces--and his own scandalous past. . .


But Minds Change. . .

Marissa knows that betrothal to the son of a duke--even one as raw and masculine as Jude--will save her from ruin, but that doesn't mean she's happy about it. Soon, though, she finds that Jude has a surprisingly gentle touch--and plans to use it to persuade Marissa that their wedding day cannot come soon enough. . .

Tempted by Fire By Erin Kellison Free!

Tempted by Fire: Dragons of Bloodfire - Erin Kellison

Dragon shifter Thane Ealdian has waited six hundred years to avenge the loss of his family, and finally a clue has surfaced that implicates an old adversary. Thane will stop at nothing to seek his revenge, but to prevent violence between the clans, the Bloodkin Triad has forced a mediator on him. Some upstart named Emerson Clark…

Emerson is fed up with all Bloodkin and how they’ve managed to control every aspect of her life. While she doesn’t believe that Bloodkin can shift into dragons—because, really?—she has to admit, they are exceptionally nice to look at. But once the mediation is over, she wants nothing to do with them ever again.

When Thane discovers that the clever and beautiful Emerson is the key to uncovering the truth, he has no intention of letting her go. Although she wants to run, she can’t turn her back on Thane or her intense feelings for him. His quest pulls at her heart, just as his nearness sparks something dangerous inside her. With evil in hot pursuit, sooner or later everything will ignite—the mediation, the shifter within her… and their passions.

Scorpio Hates Virgo By Anyta Sunday Free!

Scorpio Hates Virgo - Anyta Sunday

Percy Freedman is not grieving. Absolutely not, take that back at once. No, he’s entirely sure that selling his dead aunt’s home and leaving the neighbors he’s known for years is the sane thing to do. Who in their right mind would keep the house that smells like all the hugs he’ll never have again?

Nobody, that’s who.

Well, except his cul-de-sac neighbors. They all seem to think some paint and new furniture will clean the emotional slate. They all want him to stay.

Even his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Especially his nemesis, Callaghan Glover.

Lured into a game of Sherlock Gnomes, Percy finds himself hanging out with his neighbors more than might be considered healthy. Along with juggling new and surprising verbal grenades from Cal, and his burgeoning friendship with Gnomber9, Percy is starting to wonder if selling might have been the grief talking after all . . .

Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson 4.5 Star Review!!!

Know Not Why - Hannah  Johnson

Howie gets a job at Artie Kraft's Arts 'N Crafts hoping to score with his lady coworkers. After all, girls love a sensitive guy, and what's more sensitive than dedicating your life to selling yarn and ... stuff? (Okay, so maybe it'd be a good idea to actually learn what one sells at an arts 'n crafts store.) But things don't go exactly according to plan. Coworker #1 is Kristy: blonde, bubbly, unattainable perfection. Coworker #2 is Cora: tiny, much-pierced, and way too fierce to screw with in any sense. And Coworker #3 is, well, Arthur. It goes without saying that he’s not an option. Right?

… Right?

Yeah, Howie’s life just got straight up confusing.

Pun intended.

 

Review

 

This book made me happy. I smiled and I laughed. We are in Howie's first person present tense as he discovers that maybe his problems with getting laid is that he doesn't really want to have sex with women.

 

The narrative here is snark, mixed with reflection and freak out and self deprecation. There is a large cast and a great deal going on and Johnson takes the time to craft each element and moment.

 

At first Howie, isn't very likable as he avoids himself because of grief and other rambles of young adulthood.

 

I love that he is at community college. I love his mom and that he has friends. His friends aren't perfect and the working out of new dynamics as they age and Howie incorporates more into his life (new job, friends, and love interest) are really well done.

 

Howie doesn't like Artie, his new boss, at first. He doesn't like much of anyone really. This is a slow burn and behind closed doors romance. Because we are so stuck in Howie's head, I would have liked those doors to be open so that we could get a better view of Arthur's interaction on an intimate level but there is good chemistry between them.

 

Artie is a bit of saint to put up with the hither and yon, dither and bolt, behavior that is Howie processing that is is gay despite all the internal time Howie has spent not thinking about who he is attracted too and trying to wedge himself into likely the opposite sex.

Artie grows as well and the joy these too find in each other is a delight.

 

I love the pacing of this book and the banter. The integrated life and all the dynamics of each characters is so well done. I like especially that a really kind and sweet character in Howie co worker Kristy instead of being made fun of is treasured and the same for Howie's brother's socially awkward girlfriend brought home for the holidays. And this valuing of all these different kinds of people (even a really bro dude) is what makes this book special.

 

I know I will reread this one!

Time Out by Jill Shalvis 99 cents!

Time Out - Jill Shalvis

Sign up for recreational adult programs now!
Class: How to Drive Him Crazy
Instructional program for women unexpectedly facing the totally dishy guy from their past. Everyone welcome!


NHL coach Mark Diego's plan to spend his off-season volunteering in his hometown goes awry when he learns that not only is he coaching teenage girls, but that the program is coordinated by energetic (and five feet two inches of trouble) coordinator Rainey Saunders, his childhood friend—and the woman he could never stand to see dating any other guy….

When their tempers flare, Mark and Rainey discover their fireworks don't just burn angry—they burn very, very hot! But that'll just sweeten the victory. Because Mark always plays to win. And with Rainey, he's planning on playing very dirty, too…

Double Up (Lake Lovelace Book 1) by Vanessa North 99 cents!

Double Up - Vanessa North

Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.

Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.

Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.

Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.