Thursday, November 5, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Hot Ghost by Annika Martin

4 Stars

Cassie Nolan is an aspiring screenwriter sidelined in her hometown to help with her family’s seaside pub and ghost tour. Their business and the town’s livelihood depend on the legend of “Old Salt,” whose nightly appearance in search of a lost love captivates tourists and annoys Cassie.  

Captain William “Old Salt” McHenry, 26— over a hundred years ago, can’t stop reliving his ship wreck or escape the coastal town where he went down.  And the lonely sea captain doesn’t appreciate Cassie’s attitude, but if he gets to know her and see her up close, he might just change his mind.   

Full disclosure, I picked this up as a ‘distraction read’ while waiting for election results. It worked as it kept me engaged, and I read it in one sitting. I’m also not a PNR reader nor a fan of third person romance so bonus points as I usually won’t get past the first page under those two criteria. Lastly, it’s a short story/novella, and I always crave a little more from those lengths in romance and this one was no exception. I do wish it would have been fleshed out a little bit more— more story, more build up/sexual tension, and more sex!

“He pressed at her thighs, urging them open with the hook hand, positioning  her the way he wanted. It was exciting and dirty.”

There’s plenty of potential for it to be fuller.

Thankfully, the tale never felt sad as the tone is lighthearted, and I really enjoyed the ending. I also liked a few modern spins on the typical ghost tale. Old Salt’s long lost love was a ONS and he’s not a fan of bar band music. It would have been fun though if she’d have shown him her e-reader.

“Cassie furrowed her brow. This guy had a difficult time getting dates? Cassie found it hard to believe. He was a hot guy with a badass hook hand!”

That all being said, I think this would be a fun and fitting few hours for romance readers on Halloween night. As a fan of that holiday I wish I’d had the pleasure so I’d recommend it for anyone getting a head start on next year’s TBR or for fans of a romance ghost story any time of the year.

Safety Recap:

*Title purchased  from Amazon on a freebie sale in November 2020 

 
AMAZON     B&N     GOOGLE

Thursday, October 8, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Tofu Cowboy by Lola Wes

 3 Stars

Luke Morgan is a rancher more interested in drawing than cattle—both raising them and eating them.  Feeling like an outcast amongst his family, he takes a college art class in secret. Maddie Richards, the newbie in town, is also part of the class. Except she’s the nude model, in an attempt to forge a better self image of her body after overcoming an eating disorder.

The opening was engaging. The characters had some interesting angles, and the early scenes fleshed out sufficiently to set the tone and feel. Luke was a good guy, pursing his own interests and wrangling his own identity issues in a culture he wasn’t quite at home in, despite it being his upbringing.  It made sense that Luke would gravitate to the blue haired outsider. And Maddie does break some typical romance heroine molds. With so many virgin heroines in romance, I was pleased that she was more realistically described as neither “a wallflower [n]or a saint.”

The pacing, however, made me start to lose interest.  I think this is often a common problem with novella length books in general. Specifically here though, readers get the first date but then it skips ahead a few weeks (and later a few months) and sometimes there are places where conversations they had in that time are summed up in monologue rather than unfolding in scenes of their own when it happened.  And along these same lines the “tell” rather than “show” vibe cropped up.  I’m not sure I ever really felt what they were supposed to be feeling for each other. Mostly, due to pacing that either ‘rushed’ or ‘glossed over’ rather than ‘built up’ their connection and the story. For example, I liked their plan to not just give in to lust; I already felt that Maddie was just scratching an itch during their first encounter.  But their ‘take it slower and get to know you’ plan is often tossed into a summation after the fact rather than developed into scenes occurring chronologically. This was a lost opportunity for chemistry and sexual tension.  

Personally, I also wasn’t a fan of the infertility conflict. The way Maddie handled it didn’t endear me to her. It was also a heavy, complicated topic for a shorter book.  

But if you gravitate to quicker reads and ones that are safe, this might be a title to check out. It’s thankfully void of any OW/OM drama and the couple is only focused on each other.  This is the premier book in the new Big Sky Cowboys series. Future releases will feature Luke’s siblings.

Safety Recap:  


 *I volunteered to review this ARC. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating. To the best of my knowledge, this title was presented to the blog without any conditions or stipulations.

GOODREADS    AMAZON


Lola West writes short, sweet, smart, silly, sexy romance. With a PhD in women's studies and a flair for the dramatic, Lola likes to keep it real.  Her loves are cotton candy, astronomy, kitten heels and small-town hunks. Lola writes heroes that make you swoon and heroines that talk back. And, she believes that consent is always sexy, even in books.  

Follow her HERE!


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Inked by Sarah Darlington

~Synopsis~
AMANDA

Men like Nick should come with a warning label... don’t touch. He walked into the shop, smelling like heaven, wanting his first tattoo, and I should have refused his business. Because I knew the moment I set eyes on him, I didn’t stand a chance. Still, I fell down the rabbit-hole with him.

Now, he’s gone, moved on, and the result of our one-night stand is left growing inside me. I’ll probably never see this man again.

NICK

It was only supposed to be a little ink. A parting gift to myself from myself. Because when your girlfriend dumps you for a famous rockstar, you leave. You move on. You get the hell out of town and forget all about her. But I never counted on meeting Amanda before I left. Or the night we shared. Or the mark she left when she put her ink on my skin.

I have to go back. For her.

*INKED is a full-length standalone with a HEA.

GOODREADS
~Review~
3 Stars

Marine biologist Nick Jasmine, 23, is still reeling after his girlfriend left him for a rockstar (see Never Trust a Rockstar). Amanda, 25, is the tattoo artist who leaves a reminder of Kill Devil Hills on his skin before he kisses the beach town good-bye. Except he inadvertently leaves Amanda with a little memento as well.

I liked both Nick and Amanda in the opening chapters.  The turtle thing was cute. It was off to a good start.  But when Nick returns from Maine, both characters went downhill.

For Amanda, it was her lie about him not being the father.  I don’t really get why she did that. I’m not sure Amanda even got why she did that. 
“I knew that I should have been honest with him from the start. I should have told him the baby was his.”
It not only was a lousy and immature thing to do, but it was just the beginning of crappy communication and wishy-washy behavior on both of their parts.

Then there’s Nick. His character, like often times their romantic connection, seemed to suffer from tell vs. show.  Amanda describes him as cool, confident, and gorgeous, which I suppose was how he was supposed to come off to others, but then in his POV the reader gets the real Nick, the insecure one who suffers from a panic disorder. Or was this just another facet of Nick’s personality?  It was hard to tell, and I struggled to envision a clear picture of him. It didn’t help that he too flip-flopped so much on what he wanted.
 “…I don’t want kids of my own.”
Okay, he might have even had a valid reason, but then why not be super diligent about protection!?

Their lack of safe sex practices and lack of safe sex discussions made them seem immature and irresponsible.  So did the fact that he ditched a good job he loved in his career and fled town to avoid his previous girlfriend. His acceptance of raising someone else’s baby with a stranger he barely knew just made him seem desperate. Nick was all over the place. Which brings me to the dinner scene...

The fake “social” story that Nick tells just made him seem….well fake. And the lack of condemnation over it was bothering.  That scene didn’t help make Nick more likable, and it was a big miss in terms of interweaving John and Dani (whose voice was noticeably absent) from the previous books/sister series (see Never Kiss a Rockstar).

All in all, the story just fell a little flat (as did their love scenes). It had tons of potential, but the execution left their chemistry hard to feel alongside so many issues that could have been resolved with basic communication and simple conversation. And given that they were going to be parents together, I really needed them to display the foundations of a solid, lasting relationship.

Told via Amanda and Nick’s alternating first person POV, the safety angle is good which I always appreciate, but the characters just left me feeling kinda meh. I didn’t love it; I didn’t hate it. My recommendation—if the items mentioned above don’t bother you, give it a whirl. If communication is key, you might want to sit this one out or check out other titles in the Kill Devil Hills universe.


Safety Recap: 



*I volunteered to review this ARC. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating. To the best of my knowledge, this title was presented to the blog without any conditions or stipulations.

Get your copy now!
Available on Amazon or *FREE* to read in Kindle Unlimited.


Sarah Darlington was born in Colorado and grew up all over the United States. These days, she calls Virginia home, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and large dog. The best word to describe Sarah is 'creative.' She's passionate about designing, crafting, and photography. But most of all... she loves creating stories through her writing. Her romance books are sexy and heart-gripping at their core, guaranteed to make you swoon. Any of them can be read as a stand-alone, but all are connected within the same world. 


~Giveaway~

Monday, June 29, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Shatter by Charisse Moritz

4 Stars

Tia West, 17, isn’t your ordinary high school senior. For one, she has six siblings, five of which she’s just as much a mother figure to as a big sister. Then there’s the stray pets adding to the chaos of the West abode, and it doesn’t seem like she could possibly take on another project or responsibility when Tia tackles the mother of them all in the form of a fellow classmate and juvenile delinquent.
“I am the Titanic, carrying way too many people, not nearly enough life rafts, and the iceberg is inevitable and right up ahead.”
Gibson Tazmerek, 17, wears his facial scars as a warning, and most of his classmates have gotten the stay-away message loud and clear. His reputation precedes him.  But Tia doesn’t scare that easily. In fact, it seems she hasn’t met a challenge that she doesn’t want to nurture, and Taz is no exception.
“Ever since steamrolling my ass this morning, she has steadily ramped up the level of torture until I’m somewhere between homicidal and a hardon at all times.”
Though listed as YA romance, which I don’t normally dip into, the sample pulled me in and then the characters just kept tugging. Like to the point where I couldn’t put it down till I finished it. They were unique. They were engaging. And coupled with their witty narration and entertaining banter/dialogue, they kept me turning pages to find out everything from what makes them tick to what antics the West tribe would stir up next.

In fact, the characters are one of the strengths of the novel. From the main characters to the side characters, there was depth and there was distinction. One of the things that stood out was something the adult romance market is often short on—a strong heroine. I was incredibly pleased to find Tia as someone who not only didn’t break down, didn’t back down, and wasn’t about to be walked over, whether from potty mouth ten year old boys or surly seventeen year old ones. Simply put, the absence of doormat female characters was refreshing.

Though Taz is broken and has plenty of frustrating moments, my heart did break for him. He was an underdog to root for, and I was rooting for him to find his voice.

Told via their dual alternating first person POV, the story was strong and engaging. While there are some heavier issues woven in, for the most part it didn’t drag it down and the tone kept it largely lighthearted. However, towards the end there was just one angst too many for me and a reveal I felt that took away from the romance.

And on the romantic end of things, the romance is largely slow burn. As an adult romance reader, I did crave more steam, but the scenes that are there are well written and avoid the cheesy dialogue that befalls certain adult romances.
“…every swirl of my tongue, every slide of my fingers seems a little bit selfish because there’s no way she’s getting as much out of this as I am.”
This is the first book in The Choosy Beggars Series. The next story will feature Taz's bandmate. 

Safety Recap:


*I volunteered to review this ARC. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating. To the best of my knowledge, this title was presented to the blog without any conditions or stipulations.




Monday, June 22, 2020

COVER REVEAL: Inked by Sarah Darlington

~BLURB~
It all starts with a one-night stand...

AMANDA

Men like Nick should come with a warning label... don’t touch. He walked into the shop, smelling like heaven, wanting his first tattoo, and I should have refused his business. Because I knew the moment I set eyes on him, I didn’t stand a chance. Still, I fell down the rabbit-hole with him.

Now, he’s gone, moved on, and the result of our one-night stand is left growing inside me. I’ll probably never see this man again.

NICK

It was only supposed to be a little ink. A parting gift to myself from myself. Because when your girlfriend dumps you for a famous rockstar, you leave. You move on. You get the hell out of town and forget all about her. But I never counted on meeting Amanda before I left. Or the night we shared. Or the mark she left when she put her ink on my skin.

I have to go back. For her.

*INKED is a full-length standalone with a HEA.
GOODREADS


Sarah Darlington was born in Colorado and grew up all over the United States. These days, she calls Virginia home, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and large dog. The best word to describe Sarah is 'creative.' She's passionate about designing, crafting, and photography. But most of all... she loves creating stories through her writing. Her romance books are sexy and heart-gripping at their core, guaranteed to make you swoon. Any of them can be read as a stand-alone, but all are connected within the same world.

~GIVEAWAY~

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Baby Daddy Wanted by Hazel Kelly

4 Stars

Maeve Mason has accomplished many things, but the one box she hasn’t checked is motherhood. When she finds out ‘capable’ isn’t a compliment, she seeks solace at the nearest bar.

Of all the bars in town, Finn isn’t expecting to find a girlfriend at his own. He doesn’t even want one. A laid back musician, he’s perfectly content with his life till meeting Maeve makes him want more.

Told via their dual alternating first person POV, I found Maeve and Finn both likeable, mature adults. Their flirting was fun to read, and it was easy to see that Finn was a keeper with his relaxed demeanor and witty personality.
“‘It’s my new deodorant. Makes me smell great and sound cleverer than I am.’”
I would let my hair down for Finn too cause when that happens things heat up. Finn didn’t disappoint when it comes to his moves and their sexy times.
“She looked at me from under heavy eyelids like I had her heart in my hands instead of her thighs, and my lower body began to boil.”
Their encounters were well written, and I craved a little more of them.
“...her every shallow breath was all the melodies I’d failed to write, beautiful and mysterious and just beyond my grasp.”
These two opposites complimented each other well, and were exactly what the other needed. I only wish Finn’s realization would have come with a little more epic moment.  But otherwise, I appreciated the low-angst nature of the romance for a relaxing afternoon read.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Otis. He was a cute addition to the story.

Safety Recap:


*I volunteered to review this ARC. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating. To the best of my knowledge, this title was presented to the blog without any conditions or stipulations.


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Quarantine Burning Questions

I hope this fun little post find all the blog’s followers healthy and safe during the COVID19 global pandemic. 

While I’ve largely been preoccupied with life outside the romance world, every now and then I need a little escape. So as I looked around the blog's shelves today, I pondered the current activities of certain memorable characters from a handful of my favorite reads.  The below list includes some fabulous titles and series, and if you're finding a little extra time on your hands right now or simply need a romantic reading escape during these stressful days, I can't recommend the following enough. 

In the meantime, I present...
Book-Bosomed Book Blog's 
 ðŸ”¥ Burning Questions of the Quarantine

Did the God Pack take a selfie of themselves in their ‘You Wish We Were Dead Motherfuckers’ masks 😷 and text it to Denko to taunt him? 

   
 

Does Naz have a mask to match his nefarious black gloves? And does the mob consider his job essential???
 

Are Nora and Julian sheltering-in-place on the island? Is Julian still dealing illegal arms or has he switched to toilet paper? 🚽
  

Did Fozzie put his chemistry skills to use to make his own hand sanitizer or is he too busy playing periodic table drinking games with EJ?
 

Did Nina and Carter panic buy M&Ms? 

Does the saggin’wagon have a dead battery yet or has Beverly been using it to make those life sustaining trips to the liquor store? And what does Sweetpea🐦 have to say about everyone being home all day? 

Does hot recluse John Michaels think social distancing is the best idea ever?

What kind of racy Zoom calls 💻 are Petyon and Simon holding these days? 

What's the 411 on the Pussy Tamer's quarantine emergencies?

How in the world are Wes and Nicole managing social distancing during orgies with their friends??? ðŸ˜œ

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Stepbrother with Benefits by Hazel Kelly

4 Stars

Feeling like the third wheel at his own apartment where his sister and best friend have gotten together (see book #1 My Best Friend’s Sister), James Mason has bought a house with issues almost as big as his family issues. And James’s family situation is only getting dicier when he temporarily moves into his dad’s house, still occupied by his step-sister.
Brie, 25, is a graduate student working on her MFA and trying to get published.  She doesn’t want any distractions, but it’s hard to ignore the step-brother who she’s always had a crush on.
“She’d never uttered my name like that before, as if she were pleading with me and surrendering at the same time. The sound made me harden on the outside and soften within. I sank my fingers into her hips and sucked a slip of her neck between my teeth, eliciting a whimper from her that made me forget everything: who we were, why it took me so long to do this, why it shouldn’t continue.”
I took an interest in James during the first book so I was pleased that he got his own story. Told via his and Brie’s alternating first person POV, James is a solid, reliable guy, trying to hold his family together and get the girl he always had a thing for. His advice and assessment about their parents was spot on.  

I had mixed feelings on Brie. On one hand, I high fived her for comments such as:
“‘Don’t infect me with your offensively dated views on gender roles.’”
At other times, I found her a little cool (not cold though) and detached. Now this was probably fitting for her character who’d gotten the short end of the stick when it came to her family, but it made it harder to feel warm and fuzzy about her.
“I was a headcase lately, swinging like a pendulum from blanket impersonator one minute to manic queen of vengeance the next, my moods as hard to predict as the fall weather.”
I was frustrated with her at times, especially when she pushed James away or didn’t even let him in. She didn’t have the spunk that Maddy did in the previous book.

In fact, that low angst steamy feel from book one seemed missing, right along with the actual Scrabble scene. It was such a motif and yet was only referenced rather than depicted. I kinda felt like it mistakenly ended up on the cutting room floor and needed reinserted. No pun intended….okay maybe a little one.  

Now what I ate up (I swear no pun this time) was the appearances of Quinn and Maddy. Quinn especially stole some of the scenes and made me want to re-read their story.

Now I’m hoping Maeve Mason gets her own book and her man before she makes a trip to the sperm bank.  

Safety Recap: 




*I volunteered to review this ARC from the author. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating. To the best of my knowledge, this title was presented to the blog without any conditions or stipulations.

COVER REVEAL/BOOK REVIEW: Sweet Dreams by Jamie Schlosser

~Blurb~
Jeff and Ashlyn are stuck in the virgin zone. What’s that? Well, it’s when two people have been dating for several months, but they have yet to make it past first base. The longer it takes for one of them to make a move, the harder it is to just do it already.

But things are about to change.

Jeff has plans. So does Ashlyn. Mission: Drive each other crazy.

If it works, they’ll both get what they want this Valentine’s Day.

Release Date: February 10, 2020
GOODREADS    BOOKBUB
~BOOK REVIEW~
3.75/4 Stars


Jeff and Ashlyn are both nineteen year old college students who were introduced in Outcast. If you haven’t read that one, I’d definitely recommend it as it provides added glimpses of their characters. (Plus it’s a good story!)  

“Sweet Dreams” is a short story that tells of of Jeff and Ashlyn’s hook-up after months of dating. On one hand, I’m a little bummed that this wasn’t expanded into a novella so we could have gotten more build-up.  I would have definitely liked to read more about their dating days.
“‘Five seconds after you’re out this door, I’ve got my cock in my hand. I think about you naked. On your back. Bent over. On top of me. In the shower. In the pool. Name any scenario, and I’ve jerked off to it.’”
Never the less, their hook-up is pretty hot—one of those nice blends of dirty and steamy but without being cheesy.

Told via their dual alternating first person POV, both Ashlyn and Jeff are both likable characters. I especially appreciated that Ashlyn was confident, and she wasn’t insecure about her body.

I kinda wish Jeff would have reveled in showing her off though rather than covering/hiding her. That’s so much more empowering. But all in all, they were a sweet pair.

Now I have to admit, I had some trouble with the epilogue. While it had a “realness” factor to it, for someone with emetophobia like myself it didn’t leave me with feel-good vibes. Truth be told, I would have far preferred more of the beginning of their relationship and less of the later years.

Safety Recap:


*Title purchased in February 2020. All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of transparency and providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating.


~Part of the Sweet Enough to Eat Series!~

Thursday, January 23, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: Yes Daddy by B.B. Hamel

3 Stars

Hazel Cook is a recent college graduate with a degree in art/painting. With student loans to pay for, Hazel takes a well paying but eccentric job as a personal assistant for the elusive Mason Ward, 40. But Mason’s request for his assistant quickly becomes more and more personal.

Hazel starts out with some spunk and backbone, but by about the halfway point, after an orgasm or two, she becomes compliant and naïve. I liked her better in the beginning.
Mason has some intrigue to him. I wasn’t always sure how to take him. On one hand, his office duties are demeaning. At the same time, there are definitely hints of Mason’s troubled circumstances—he’s a bit dark and brooding, clearly struggling with personal guilt.  I suppose I would call it a semi-dark romance.  None the less, I would have liked to have seen both characters developed a little deeper.

I kinda felt like the ‘daddy’ thing was just thrown in there to check a few more kink boxes, but I suppose there could be some underlying psychological component to it. I’m not sure if readers are supposed to read into that or not. Again more development would have helped here.

Told via Hazel and Mason’s dual alternating first person POV, there’s an obvious villain who creates a brief conflict, but otherwise it’s fairly low angst.

Safety Recap:





* Title purchased from Amazon (freebie only at time of purchase).  All reviews written by Book-Bosomed Book Blog are honest opinions. In the interest of transparency and providing unbiased book reviews and to avoid misleading other readers, it is the blog’s policy not to withhold or delay any reviews no matter the star rating.