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/

Solace by Sierra Riley Review

Solace - Sierra Riley

"I feel safe with you."



“It’s not safe for anyone to be around me.”

Shane Carter couldn’t wait to see his daughter after returning home from Afghanistan. Even though the scars he collected overseas ran deep, her light always brought him through the darkness. But when his ex-wife denies him the chance, those scars bleed into every part of his life and Shane is forced to admit he needs help.

“You can’t fool me. I know who you really are.”

Aaron Hayes thought he’d found the perfect career as a service dog trainer. Until he realized speaking to crowds was part of the job description. He’s never felt safe in a crowd, but one-on-one? That’s a different story. And when a handsome and troubled veteran needs his help training a service dog, Aaron doesn’t hesitate.

“You’re the only one who sees me.”

Shane tries his best to keep Aaron at a distance, even though his attraction to the man is undeniable. Convinced a quick fling will get it out of his system, he seduces Aaron. But he soon realizes he’s the one falling under Aaron’s spell. As Aaron starts to become his light in the darkness, Shane fears their future together--or lack thereof. If he can't even win back his own daughter, how is he ever going to fend off his demons long enough to find solace with Aaron?

 

Review

 

Because there are multiple authors in the writing here, it is hard to know exactly what you are going to get in terms of voice.

I like that this book looks hard at PTSD and how scary it can be for loved ones. Aaron's ex wife isn't painted as a demon and I really value that aspect of the book.

Shane's and Aaron's romance is a bit off as their motives are rough and tumble and love elements are late coming though they are here.

Buttercup the dog is amazing, of course.

Orderly Affair (Hearts and Health #6) by D.J. Jamison 3.5 Star Review!

Orderly Affair - D.J.  Jamison

A hospital orderly explores his bisexuality with an adorably geeky lab tech, but can their sparks lead to love outside the closet? 

When Ian Connolly installs a hookup app to explore his long-suppressed attraction to men, he doesn't expect to connect with anyone he knows, especially not lab tech Callum Price. But from their first scorching encounter, he's hooked.

Callum hasn't had the best luck with love, and he's suffocating under a pile of responsibilities. But when he sees an opportunity to blow off steam with Ian, he takes it. The man is smoking hot, big all over, and sweet as pie.

Their chemistry is off the charts, but a relationship is more challenging. Callum remains stubbornly self-reliant, while Ian tries too hard to be his rock. But if Ian can be honest with his family about loving a man, maybe Callum can admit his own truth: He wants a man he can count on, a man just like Ian.

 

Review

Ian and Callum first hook up is hot and funny. 

Callum's life is complicated and his connection with Ian brings much need support, light and eventually love.

Ian is exploring the same sex attraction part of his bisexuality and this aspect of the book is lovely. 

Callum's struggle to support his mother and get his ex boyfriend out of the house. Callum's family issues really inform who he is as a person and shape his ability to love. 

I love the resolution of the ex boyfriend which manages not to make him a crazy villain. 

There is a bit of drama at the end that I didn't need but didn't mind. Ian and Callum make a great couple. 

 

 

New York Christmas by R.J. Scott Review

New York Christmas - R.J. Scott

It's been far too long since Christian Matthews has seen Daniel Bailey. In fact the last time they met Chris was a senior in college and he was the TA tasked with helping Daniel who was a way too confident freshman.

 

Seven years down the road, Chris is licking his wounds after being asked to leave the private school where he was teaching. He has no job, no money, and has to rely on his friend Amelia for the job and a room to live in. He needs a freaking Christmas miracle to make this Season anything other than a total loss.

 

Then Daniel comes back into his life and suddenly everything seems possible. Not only is Daniel still the man Christian wants more than anything, but this time Chris may well actually tell Daniel how he feels.

 

Review

 

This books deals with an unfair firing and the aftermath for one of our heros,

 

The romance here is warm and lovely and having someone on your side make all the difference and Merry Christmas.

 

A nice read.

 

Surprise Delivery (Hearts and Health #5) by D.J. Jamison 3.5 Star Review!

Surprise Delivery  - D.J.  Jamison

Dr. Casper Rollins knows how to have fun. The love of his life, Kage Myers, lived every moment to the fullest before he died. Now, Casper goes skydiving, mountain-climbing or on other adrenaline-soaked adventures when he wants to feel closer to his lost love.

Medical director Eric Holtz is married to his work -- so much so his husband left him. But when his niece shows up, pregnant and in need of an ally, Eric suddenly has family again. Unfortunately, her obstetrician, Casper Rollins, is sexy enough to turn Eric into a blushing adolescent.

What begins as a game to break Eric of his workaholic tendencies escalates into scorching sex and feelings that can't be ignored. Casper never planned to give his heart to anyone other than Kage, and Eric won't accept anything less.

If these two want a future, they'll have to embrace the lesson Kage taught Casper long ago: You only live once.

 

Review

 

This is a nice romance about Eric and Casper readjusting their lives to make room for love. I like both heroes a great deal and how they treated each other, 

The sub plot with Eric's niece is nice balance and Jamison does a good job creating a resolution that is true to the characters. 

A lovely romance.

Future Fake Husband by Kate Hawthorne and E.M. Denning Review

Future Fake Husband - Kate Hawthorne, E.M. Denning

Cole Mallory is on the brink of losing everything.

For the past seven years, Cole has dedicated himself to managing Mallory Vineyard, the winery his family owns. It’s not that he hasn’t had time for a relationship so much as he’s never found anyone he wanted to devote time to beyond the initial getting to know you stage. But that all needs to change--and fast--because if Cole wants to inherit the vineyard, he needs to be married.

Rhett Kingston is about to have a new life dropped into his lap.

What started out as a night of lonely drinking in a local bar ends with Rhett agreeing to "fake marry" his twin brother’s best friend. Rhett will act as the perfect future fake husband for Cole and, in turn, Cole will help Rhett launch the event planning business he’s always dreamed of owning.

Before they know it, their totally fake relationship is tangled up with completely mutual desire. After a destination wedding forces Cole and Rhett into the same bed, sparks fly and fictional feelings escalate and threaten to turn into something very, very real and more than either of them bargained for.

 

Review

 

A enjoyable but largely forgettable pretend relationship romance. I liked the heroes a good bit but didn't care much for the side characters. 

It was a pleasant read.

The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt 3.5 Star Review!

The Husband Gambit - L.A. Witt

Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $1.2 million.

Hayden Somerset is convinced the ad is a joke, but he responds anyway because, hello, $1.2 million. He’s broke, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates, and exhausted from praying his ancient car survives just one more week. His skyrocketing rent and crushing student loans aren’t helping either. At this point, there isn’t much Hayden wouldn’t do for that kind of cash.

The ad isn’t a joke. Jesse Ambrose is absolutely serious. His father, the charismatic patriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty, has his eye on politics, and he’s counting on California’s liberals and progressives to elect him. But Jesse knows what his father believes when cameras and voters aren’t around. As the election looms, he’ll do anything to force the man’s hand and show the public who Isaac Ambrose really is.

Anything, including marrying a stranger so his father will make good on his promise to disown Jesse if he ever takes a husband.

Now he just has to wait for his father to take the bait… and try not to accidentally fall in love with his fake husband.

 

Review

 

I love a good Marriage of Con plot and this book delivers. 

Hayden and Jesse are a good match and the reasons for the marriage are intersting. 

There is a bit of repeating of ideas (Hayden's poverty) that take up space which could have been used for better elements but I did enjoy the look at what the true impact of such a set of action might be.

I liked that Hayden had a support network and it was good to see Jesse's character grow. 

There are some plot strings that dangle but overall an enjoyable read.

Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn 99 cents!

Beginner's Luck - Kate Clayborn

When three friends impulsively buy a lottery ticket, they never suspect the many ways their lives will change—or that for each of them, love will be the biggest win of all.  
 
Kit Averin is anything but a gambler. A scientist with a quiet, steady job at a university, Kit’s focus has always been maintaining the acceptable status quo. A sudden windfall doesn’t change that, with one exception: the fixer-upper she plans to buy, her first and only real home. It’s more than enough to keep her busy, until an unsettlingly handsome, charming, and determined corporate recruiter shows up in her lab—and manages to work his way into her heart . . .
 
Ben Tucker is surprised to find that the scientist he wants for Beaumont Materials is a young woman—and a beautiful, sharp-witted one at that. Talking her into a big-money position with his firm is harder than he expects, but he’s willing to put in the time, especially when sticking around for the summer gives him a chance to reconnect with his dad. But the longer he stays, the more questions he has about his own future—and who might be in it. 
 
What begins as a chilly rebuff soon heats up into an attraction neither Kit nor Ben can deny—and finding themselves lucky in love might just be priceless . . .

Bishop Ridge (Sawyer's Ferry, #2) by Cate Ashwood 3.5 Star Review!

Bishop Ridge (Sawyer's Ferry #2) - Cate Ashwood

They found exactly what they weren’t looking for.

Logan:
I had almost everything I’d ever wanted—career, friends, my own easy life in Sawyer’s Ferry, Alaska. I’d given up on filling in the missing pieces long ago. Now, I was more than satisfied with the perfectly practiced, perfectly predictable routine I’d created for myself. At least until Jackson Daley walked into my clinic. 

Jackson: 
Working the rigs is temporary. Everything in my life is. Jobs, cities, and the guys I take home—nothing sticks, and that’s exactly the way I like it. After four years in Alaska, I’m itching to pick up and leave. I’m ready to move on and start over someplace new, until a one-night stand I can’t seem to shake has me breaking all my own rules. 
Now as I get closer to walking away, my reasons for leaving seem blurrier than ever, and for the first time in my life, there could be something worth staying for.

 

Review

 

This is a romance between two men who really don't want to fall in love and have relationship but do. It is a place and character driven story which I am always a fan of.

Jackson and Logan come off as a bit cold emotionally but as the story moves forward they thaw a bit. A nice read but I did want to like each man more.

Trust the Connection by Brigham Vaughn Review

Trust (Connection Book 2) - Brigham Vaughn

Scars run deep but run loves even deeper.
---
After a lifetime of being told he’s worthless, Evan Harris is forced out of the closet and the only home he’s ever known. Jobless and homeless, he makes a desperate call to a couple he barely knows. They give him a place to stay at their place in Atlanta while he gets back on his feet. But he’s too shy to explore the big city and go after what he wants: a relationship.

Physically and emotionally scarred from a devastating car accident, Jeremy Lewis struggles to reconcile the brash, outgoing man he used to be with the social recluse he’s become. He’s resigned himself to being alone, but an encounter with an ex-boyfriend shakes up his dull existence and brings Evan into his life.

Loneliness draws Evan and Jeremy to each other, but a strong mutual attraction isn’t enough. At thirty-six, Jeremy is convinced a relationship would be holding twenty-one-year-old Evan back. 

Evan must be strong enough to fight for what he wants and Jeremy must let someone close enough to see his scars. Otherwise, they’ll miss out on the love of a lifetime.

 

Review

 

A hopeful tale where two lonely kind men find love. Jeremy and Evan need to mind the age gap and each others self esteem issues but it is a lovely romance with a chosen family.

Abel's Omega (Mercy Hills Pack #2) by Ann-Katrin Byrde Review

Abel's Omega(Gay Paranomal MM Mpreg Romance) (Mercy Hills Pack Book 2) - Ann-Katrin Byrde

Bax is desperate.

Recently widowed, he takes his pups and flees his pack to avoid a new mate who wants him—but not his babies. At Mercy Hills, he finds the help he’d hoped for, but also a man who both attracts and unnerves him. He doesn’t want another alpha mate, or even any mate, though he knows that an omega has to have one. But Abel is unlike any other alpha he’s ever met, and the hope that had been crushed out of him begins to grow again in the warmth of Abel’s kindness and strength.

Bax is a dream come true for Abel—smart, loyal, strong, and loving. Everything Abel’s ever looked for in a mate. Except the independent omega has no reason to trust an alpha and Abel’s going to have to work his way through layers of hurt if he wants to convince Bax he’s safe opening his heart.

But to keep him, he’ll have to fight for him.

 

 

 

 

Review

While I long for an omegaverse romance where omega's have equity and the conflicts are based around character and relationships, this was a really well written world of shifters and omegas.

 

Bax is a wonderful father and hero of his own life. Able is lovely and his attention to who Bax as well as Bax's childern is awesome.

 

The plot drags for me as a romance because it takes a while for this element of the story to start and when it does the outside conflicts drive the plot a bit too much for me.

 

I love forward to reading more by this writer.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole $1.99!

A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals - Alyssa Cole

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

 

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

 

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

Fake Out (Fake Boyfriend Book 1) by Eden Finley Free!

Fake Out - Eden Finley

Maddox

The reason I rarely go home is three simple words: I’m a liar.

When the pressure to marry my childhood sweetheart became too much, I told her I was gay and then fled to New York like my ass was on fire.

Now, five years later and after a drunken encounter, I find myself invited to her wedding. And I have to bring my boyfriend—the boyfriend who doesn’t exist because I’m straight.

At least, I think I am. Meeting the guy I’m bribing to be my boyfriend for the weekend makes me question everything about myself.


Damon

When my sister asks me to pretend to be some straight guy’s boyfriend, my automatic response is to say no. It’s because of guys like him people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m gay.

But Maddox has something I need.

After an injury that cost me my baseball career, I’m trying to leave my playing days behind and focus on being the best sports agent I can be. Forty-eight hours with my sister’s best friend in exchange for a meeting with a possible client. I can do this.

I just wish he wasn’t so hot. Or that he didn’t kiss like he means it.

Wait … why is the straight guy kissing me?

The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter $1.99!

The Most Dangerous Duke in London (Decadent Dukes Society) - Madeline Hunter

NOTORIOUS NOBLEMAN SEEKS REVENGE
Name and title: Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton. Affiliation: London’s elite Society of Decadent Dukes. Family history: Scandalous. Personality traits: Dark and brooding, with a thirst for revenge. Ideal romantic partner: A woman of means, with beauty and brains, willing to live with reckless abandon. Desire: Clara Cheswick, gorgeous daughter of his family’s sworn enemy.

FAINT OF HEART NEED NOT APPLY
Clara may be the woman Adam wants, but there’s one problem: she’s far more interested in publishing her women’s journal than getting married—especially to a man said to be dead-set on vengeance. Though, with her nose for a story, Clara wonders if his desire for justice is sincere—along with his incredibly unnerving intention to be her husband. If her weak-kneed response to his kiss is any indication, falling for Adam clearly comes with a cost. But who knew courting danger could be such exhilarating fun?

Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert 3.5 Star Review!

Better Not Pout - Annabeth Albert

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand. 

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.

 

Review

 

As usual, Annabeth Albert delivers well developed heros in Nick and Teddy all wrapped up in a Christmas blanket. 

I like each hero's individual journey but especially Nick's as he resees his life as he get ready to retire.

It is a sweet romance and quiet. The love story itself could be more compelling but I am charmed. 

I was given this book for an honest review. So, there you have it!

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs 1.99!!

Iron Kissed  - Patricia Briggs

Though Mercy can shift her shape into that of a coyote, her loyalty never wavers. So when her former boss and mentor, Zee, asks for her help, she’s there for him. A series of murders has rocked a fae reservation, and Zee needs her unique gifts, namely her coyote sense of smell, to sniff out the killer. 
 
But when Zee is accused of murdering the suspect Mercy outed, he’s left to rot behind bars by his own kind. Now it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not. 
 
Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her...

Saving the CEO By Jenny Holiday 99 cents!

Saving the CEO (Entangled Indulgence) (49th Floor Novels) - Jenny Holiday

He's making a list...and breaking every rule on it...

Real estate mogul Jack Winter has rules. Lots of rules. After all, a man doesn't build an empire without a little discipline. And on page one of the rulebook? Don't sleep with your employees. Especially when there's a multimillion dollar real estate deal at stake...
 
Luckily for Jack, Cassie James isn't really his employee. She's a hot bartender who just happens to be the math genius he needs, and if they share a wicked chemistry? Well, that's just a sexy little perk. So they strike a deal: Cassie helps Jack with the merger. And until the deal goes through at Christmas, they can indulge every impulse they desire.
 
But the more rules Jack makes, the more he seems to break...