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/

Spice and Secrets (Bollywood Confidential Book 2) by Suleikha Snyder 99 cents

Spice and Secrets - Suleikha Snyder

When fear writes the past, only love can direct the future.

Priya Roy is back in Bollywood with a rock-hard body, a precious gem of a secret and a heart of ice. Producer/director Rahul Anand won’t waste this second chance at his first love. He’ll melt Priya’s resistance at any cost—even if it means returning to acting and negotiating his way onto her next project. Hell, if she’d give him half a chance, he’d write himself into every scene of her life.

Talk show host Sunita “Sunny” Khanna and her brand-new producer, Davey Shaw, are determined to get Rahul and Priya on her show for a ratings-boosting reunion episode. She and Davey strike instant sparks, but Sunny, burned after her disastrous marriage to a Bollywood bad boy, is determined not to fall into the fire.

Lurking on the edges of the frame is Rahul’s stepmother, trouble-making man-eater Nina Manjrekar. And when she hijacks the script, only honesty can turn a first draft into the romantic superhit it’s meant to be.

Shame on You by Tara Sivec $1.99!

Shame on You - Tara Sivec

War veteran Kennedy O’Brien is in the business of sticking it to the man—or at least any man who tries to cross a woman. After she returned home from Afghanistan and caught her husband in bed with the nanny, Kennedy lost her faith in men and started Fool Me Once Investigations with her two best friends. After all, there’s no better bounty hunter than a woman scorned.

 

When Kennedy takes a case to slap cuffs on a bail jumper turned dog-napper, she figures it’ll be an easy paycheck. But trouble has a way of finding Kennedy. Enter the last man on the planet she’d willingly choose as a partner: her cheating ex-husband’s best friend, Griffin Crawford.

 

As gorgeous as he is unwelcome, Griffin has always had a thing for Kennedy, and after keeping quiet about her ex’s cheating, he’ll do anything to earn back her trust. Whether or not she wants to admit it, Kennedy will need help as the case of the Chihuahua thief spirals out of control. Griffin may be just her man—in more ways than one.

Dragon on Top by G.A. Aiken $2.99!

Dragon on Top - G.A. Aiken


I am Ghleanna the Decimator. I am a warrior. A soldier. I know no fear. No pain. No mercy. I do, however, know acute embarrassment! How could I not after getting dumped by a bastard dragon in front of my own troops? So I tuck tail and return to my cave, drowning my sorrows in ale—as is my family’s way. But instead of leaving me to my misery, I’ve been summoned to the Dragon Queen’s court.
 
As if my life wasn’t pathetic enough, Her Majesty now has me escorting the highborn Bram the Merciful through dangerous territories—not exactly the best use of my military training. And just so he can negotiate with enemy dragons instead of battling them? Honestly, what has my world come to? Then again…Bram is quite easy on the eyes. And the perfect distraction for what ails me. Perhaps I’m looking at all this the wrong way. Maybe there is a place for a little “mercy” in my life…

My Reckless Valentine by Olivia Dade 99 cents!

My Reckless Valentine - Olivia Dade

Library manager Angie Burrowes is in trouble again. Her superiors have never approved of her unconventional methods, but the latest warning is serious--another complaint from the administration or a patron, and she's fired. With a steamy Valentine's Day contest to conceal and her career on the line, the last thing Angie needs is a near-accident while driving home. At least, until she meets the tall, dark, and sexy stranger responsible for her very own spicy plot twist...
 
Straight-laced Grant Peterson has only one thing on his mind: making a good impression as the new Director of Branch Services at the Nice County Public Library. On the eve of his first day, however, a lusty encounter with Angie unleashes a desire unlike any he's ever known. Their tryst may be one for the record books, but when he learns he's Angie's new boss, will Grant need to check out on love?

Second Chance by Audra North Free!

Second Chance - Audra North

 A tricky ghost treats a lonely librarian to another chance at love…

Wilford town librarian Marnie Thomas has had too much loss to risk her heart ever again. She buries her hurt in books and finds her friends in stories, even though she longs for love and a family of her own.

Real estate developer Collin Morgan is back in town on Halloween to help his sister, but the last person he expected to see at his niece’s story hour is Marnie Thomas. The shy, awkward girl he remembered from high school has turned into a beautiful—but still shy—woman, and Collin can’t help the desire that rises up when he sees her.
But this year, the magic of Halloween conjures a wisecracking, cigar-smoking ghost named Bill in the library archives, frightening Marnie out from behind her books. Bill does everything in his power to bring Marnie and Collin together…but he can’t make them fall in love. Before the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, will Marnie finally open up to a second chance at happiness, or will she be forever haunted by the past?

Spice and Smoke (Bollywood Confidential Book 1) by Suleikha Snyder 99 cents!

Spice and Smoke - Suleikha Snyder

When the cameras stop rolling, the real scene begins.

To their adoring public, Avi Kumar and Trishna Chaudhury are Bollywood's sweethearts. Behind closed doors, their open marriage lets them freely indulge in all manner of forbidden passions. The arrangement suits them both, but as they begin filming on the set of their new movie, the heat of new and rekindled flames singes the pages of what they thought would be a fresh script. When costars Michael Gill and Harsh Mathur arrive on set, the sexual temperature goes up exponentially--at least for Trish. She can't take her eyes of Harsh, for whom she's carried a torch for years. Avi's instant attraction to Michael, however, bounces off Michael's solid wall of resistance.

Meanwhile, ex-boyfriends Vikram Malhotra and Sam Khanna, cast as fictional enemies, are finding it harder and harder to control the very real demons that once cost them the love of a lifetime. 


Once the music starts, though, they all have no choice but to dance . And pray the fallout doesn't ruin all their careers...and destroy their love.

Ex-Boyfriend Material by Sean Ashcroft Review

Ex-Boyfriend Material - Sean Ashcroft

Alex is smart, charming, and attractive. Good at approaching people and getting them to sleep with him, his talents fall down when it comes to maintaining a relationship. His last boyfriend left him with a broken heart and without half the rent, so now he needs a new roommate. This time, he wants someone mature, sensible, and not even a little bit attractive to him.

What he gets is Liam--funny, gorgeous, and surprisingly put-together for a man who doesn’t own a single shirt without a stain on it and has an incurable oral fixation. 

After months of feeling as though he can never move on while he lives in London, America is Liam’s fresh start. His breakup with his girlfriend left him heartbroken, and home only reminds him of everything he’s lost. With a twelve-month contract on offer, the chance to take a break is too good to pass up. All he needs now is a roommate, since his company-organised apartment has fallen through.

He runs across Alex’s Craigslist posting and thinks the other man seems perfect--little does he know that his new roommate is also nursing a broken heart, and coping with it by sleeping his way through the entire population of New York.


Both of them know the dangers of getting into a relationship with their roommates. Alex spent months stuck in a relationship that made him increasingly unhappy, Liam had to move away from his home to give himself a chance to heal.

They seem to soften each other’s rough edges, fill the gaps in each other’s lives. But love is risky, and their hearts are fragile--can they learn to trust one another and take the chance to have a home in each other’s arms? Or will their pasts and their fears get in the way of their happiness?

 

Review

 

This is a slow burn romance with one demisexual hero and one introvert hero with self esteem issues.

It is slow going and there is a nice exploration of demisexuality as well as bisexuality. 

The heroes become roommates, then friends and then finally lovers. 

I would have liked to spend more time with them as lovers and see them bloom a little more but it was an enjoyable read.

 

Mixed Signals by Alyssa Cole $2.99

Mixed Signals (Off the Grid) - Alyssa Cole

Four years after the Flare, the world is finally starting to rebuild

For Maggie Seong, that means leaving the safety of her family's cabin for college. She won't be alone, though—hunky former military cadet Edwin Hernandez, family friend and self-appointed Protector of Maggie's Virtue, will be there. Maggie would much prefer that Edwin himself dispose of her "innocence," but he's already rejected her advances once, and a girl has her pride.


Things look pretty bleak romance-wise until Maggie discovers that Devon, the pre-Flare internet boyfriend she'd assumed was dead, is not only alive but on campus. Despite the passage of time, their bond is strong, and they quickly pick up where they left off. Even as Devon aims for a chance at love IRL—everything Maggie thought she'd wanted—Edwin's desire to protect her makes her question her heart.


Maggie's torn between the future she didn't dare to hope for and the past she can't let go of. And when a group of neo-Luddite terrorists threaten the campus, everyone's loyalties will be tested. To ensure that the world doesn't go back to the dark days following the Flare, Maggie might have to sacrifice it all.

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley $1.99

The Blue Sword  - Robin McKinley

The Blue Sword introduces the desert kingdom of Damar, where magic weaves through the blood and weaves together destinies. New York Times–bestselling and award-winning author Robin McKinley sets the standard for epic fantasy and compelling, complex heroines. Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo, and Rae Carson will delight in discovering the rich world of Damar.

 

Harry Crewe is a Homelander orphan girl, come to live in Damar from over the seas. She is drawn to the bleak landscape, so unlike the green hills of her Homeland. She wishes she might cross the sands and climb the dark mountains where no Homelander has ever set foot, where the last of the old Damarians, the Free Hillfolk, live.

 

Corlath is the golden-eyed king of the Free Hillfolk, son of the sons of the legendary Lady Aerin. When he arrives in Harry’s town to ally with the Homelanders against a common enemy, he never expects to set Harry’s destiny in motion: She will ride into battle as a King’s Rider, bearing the Blue Sword, the great mythical treasure, which no one has wielded since Lady Aerin herself.

 

Legends and myths, no matter how epic, no matter how magical, all begin somewhere.

Slam! by J.L. Merrow

Slam! - J.L. Merrow

Limericks, lies and puppy-dog eyes


Amateur poet Jude is a carnivore working in a vegan cafe. His little dog, Bubbles, is the only man in the Anglo-Japanese graduate’s life—but Jude yearns from afar for “Karate Crumpet”, a man who runs past the cafe window every Saturday night leading a martial arts class. Jude’s swept off his feet when he’s rescued from muggers by the object of his affections—and when Jude finds out the calm, competent, hunk of muscle is also gay, he’s in seventh heaven. 


Trouble is, the universe seems to be conspiring to stop them getting together. While Jude’s ready to jump straight into bed with his saviour, David’s still got one foot in the closet and wants to take things slowly. Then there’s Jude’s best friend, who has a dangerous secret, and his mother, who’s desperately trying to keep her own love life on track by lying about her age—meaning Jude has to pretend to be a schoolboy!


With a maze of different stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather to keep happy, and ex boyfriends who keep turning up on dates, Jude’s getting increasingly confused. Poetry in motion, it’s not!

 

Review

 

This romance is a lot of madcap fun. With dog and really bad poetry and all kinds of other hijinks.

This is trademark Merrow with the Small Village feel. However, we get a lot more couple time than usual and that makes for an even better read.

This is an engaging love story between two very different heroes.

The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies Book 1) by KJ Charles $1.99!

The Magpie Lord - K.J. Charles

A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.

Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry.

Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude... and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.

Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn't the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.

Perdition (The Dred Chronicles Book 1) by Anne Aguirre $2.99

Perdition  - Ann Aguirre

WELCOME TO HELL
 
The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.  
 
Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.
 
Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn't betray her first. Unfortunately, that's what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death…

His Quiet Agent by Ada Maria Soto 4 Star Review

His Quiet Agent - Ada Maria Soto

Arthur Drams works for a secret government security agency, but all he really does is spend his days in a cubical writing reports no one reads. After getting another “lateral promotion” by a supervisor who barely remembers his name, it’s suggested that Arthur try to ‘make friends’ and ‘get noticed’ in order to move up the ladder. It’s like high school all over again: his attempts to be friendly come across as awkward and creepy, and no one wants to sit at the same table with him at lunch. In a last-ditch attempt to be seen as friendly and outgoing, he decides to make friends with The Alien, aka Agent Martin Grove, known for his strange eating habits, unusual reading choices, and the fact that no one has spoken to him in three years.

Starting with a short, surprisingly interesting conversation on sociology books, Arthur slowly begins to chip away at The Alien’s walls using home-cooked meals to lure the secretive agent out of his abrasive shell. Except Martin just might be something closer to an actual secret agent than paper-pusher Arthur is, and it might be more than hearts at risk when something more than friendship begins to develop.

 

Review

 

I loved this romance with its complex heroes and slow build. I don't want to give anything away but the perfectly paced unveiling of each character and watching the romance bloom was great.

Each hero is complex and so interesting.

However, the payoff in this book is disappointing. One of the heroes is asexual so it wasn't a sexual connection I was looking for...but an emotionial intimacy is faded to black as well and some mysteries about the characters are hinted at but not revealed. 

I will for sure read more by this writer but I hope for a more fulfilling closing.

A Queer Trade KJ Charles 99 cents!

A Queer Trade - K.J. Charles

Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Crispin needs to get them back before anyone finds out what he's been doing, or what his magic can do.

Crispin tracks his quarry down to waste paper dealer Ned Hall. He needs help, and Ned can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the waste-man and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?

Charade by Nyrae Dawn $2.99!

Charade - Nyrae Dawn

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection. 

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom's dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it's what he wants too. 

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

Jane Austen Made Me Do It $1.99

Jane Austen Made Me Do It: Original Stories Inspired by Literature's Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart - Laurel Ann Nattress, Lauren Willig, Adriana Trigiani, Jo Beverley, Alexandra Potter, Laurie Viera Rigler, Frank Delaney, Diane Meier, Syrie James, Stephanie Barron, Amanda Grange, Pamela Aidan, Elizabeth Aston, Carrie Bebris, Diana Birchall, Monica Fairview, Janet Mullan

tories by: Lauren Willig • Adriana Trigiani • Jo Beverley • Alexandra Potter • Laurie Viera Rigler • Frank Delaney & Diane Meier • Syrie James • Stephanie Barron • Amanda Grange • Pamela Aidan • Elizabeth Aston • Carrie Bebris • Diana Birchall • Monica Fairview • Janet Mullany • Jane Odiwe • Beth Pattillo • Myretta Robens • Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway • Maya Slater • Margaret C. Sullivan • and Brenna Aubrey, the winner of a story contest hosted by the Republic of Pemberley
 
“My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” If you just heaved a contented sigh at Mr. Darcy’s heartfelt words, then you, dear reader, are in good company. Here is a delightful collection of never-before-published stories inspired by Jane Austen—her novels, her life, her wit, her world. 

In Lauren Willig’s “A Night at Northanger,” a young woman who doesn’t believe in ghosts meets a familiar specter at the infamous abbey; Jane Odiwe’s “Waiting” captures the exquisite uncertainty of Persuasion’s Wentworth and Anne as they await her family’s approval of their betrothal; Adriana Trigiani’s “Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Jane” imagines a modern-day Austen giving her niece advice upon her engagement; in Diana Birchall’s “Jane Austen’s Cat,” our beloved Jane tells her nieces “cat tales” based on her novels; Laurie Viera Rigler’s “Intolerable Stupidity” finds Mr. Darcy bringing charges against all the writers of Pride and Prejudice sequels, spin-offs, and retellings; in Janet Mullany’s “Jane Austen, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!” a teacher at an all-girls school invokes the Beatles to help her students understand Sense and Sensibility; and in Jo Beverley’s “Jane and the Mistletoe Kiss,” a widow doesn’t believe she’ll have a second chance at love . . . until a Miss Austen suggests otherwise.

Regency or contemporary, romantic or fantastical, each of these marvelous stories reaffirms the incomparable influence of one of history’s most cherished authors.