Review of “Bully” by Penelope Douglas

Can I PUHLEASE have more stars for this book!

This book was phenomenal.  I loved it from beginning to end and every word in between.

This is a story of emotions and overcoming things that happen to you to see the beauty in people.  The book starts with Tate as a high school student and the horrible things that this boy Jared instigates at her expense.  She was once friends with Jared – good friends- until one summer when at the age of 14 he went to visit his previously non-existent dad.  Everything changed after that visit and he came back with hatred for Tate in his eyes.  Jared torments this poor girl and gets his friends to do the same.  She escapes for a year to France then she is back to begin her senior year.  

Tate hopes that Jared has moved on and she can live out her senior year in peace and without incident. She is not so lucky and Jared begins again although does he really mean it or was he just jealous.  Tate tries to stay under the radar but quickly gets fed up and begins to fight back and “this is how bullies are made” she keeps repeating in her head when she retaliates.  

What a great story and so well written.  The love story was exceptional as it started out as what everyone thought was hatred but really was true and intense love.  The love scenes were tastefully written for this type of book and very well placed.  I CANNOT wait for Rival!  Penelope if you are reading this PLEASE hurry…I need this book!

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Review of “Exotica” by Eden Bradley

First let me mention…I love love love Eden Bradley books!!!

This is really a couple of stories in one book with a common theme of the Exotica resort.  It begins when two college girlfriends reconnect after one of them goes through a divorce.  Lilli has been recently divorced and her friend invites her to come to a resort that she manages saying it is the perfect ticket to get her back in the game.  Lilli’s companion for the week long stay is hot and hunky Rajan who happens to be very knowledgeable about Kama Sutra – Lucky Lilli.  Lilli tries for the whole week to convince herself that this is just sex and fun; that there is nothing meaningful going on between her and Rajan.  She believes that the only reason that Rajan is saying the things he says to her is because of his job when in fact Rajan is falling just as hard for Lilli.  And so the wonderful story begins.

Lilli’s college friend Caroline manages the Exotica resort including the hiring of new “companions”.  Caroline is feeling down and out lately and Lilli convinces her that taking advantage of her new themed suite – Arabian Nights – and the new companion hired for that theme is just the thing that Caroline needs.  Caroline is apprehensive about this but takes a leap of faith and decides to heed her friends advice.  Kian is the new companion about to rock Caroline’s world but he has some secrets of his own which may threaten to tear these two apart before they even get started.

I loved this book.  Absolutely fascinating storyline and concept.  I love how Eden creates broken women characters who are really strong underneath and they just need a little encouragement from the right man to bring it out.  Personally, I liked Lilli’s story the best but both were superbly written.  The emotions were heartfelt, the sex scenes were hotter than all get out and the male characters were exotic and hunky.

Definitely worth the read!  4 super steamy stars!

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Review of “Breaking” by Claire Kent

This is a continuation of her “Escorted” book which I did not read yet but I don’t think that detracted from this book.

In this book Ander comes home from a long work trip troubled and sad.  He doesn’t want to worry Lori with what is bother him but she knows something is wrong.  He is falling into old habits that he had when he was an escort which is not like he has been with her since they became a couple.  

Lori is so happy to have him home and allows him to wallow for a while but then changes tactics and demands that he open up to her and tell her what is wrong. 

This was a quick read and the author did a good job providing the back story so that folks like me that did not read book one before reading this one could get the jest of what happened in book one. 

Ander – awesome name by the way – is sexy to the nth degree.  Bald head and beautiful beyond description. 

 

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Lori is soft and loving and a romance novelist.  She is head over heals for Ander and you can feel the insecurity she feels that Ander is moving on or doesn’t want her anymore. 

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One of the things I love most about .5 books is that you see what happens after the main event.  It’s clear to me after reading this book that Lori and Ander had a hard time finding each other and convincing themselves that they belonged together.  Even with the spoiler of learning what happened in book one, I still want to read it now. 

I believe in rating novellas differently than I would rate a full story book and here is my criteria for this book.

Does it give you a good back story?  Check

Does it add some element that needs to be overcome?  Check Check

Does it keep you interested in the couple even after the original story?  Check Check Check

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My recommendation…Read “Escorted” then “Breaking.”  I think you will get more out of it if you do.  I plan to go back and read “Escorted” now.

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Review of “Complete Me” by J. Kenner

This third installment begins where book two left off.  Damien is facing a trial in Germany for the murder of his Tennis coach and abuser.  At the end of book two, Nikki had left for Germany and showed up at Damien’s door to tell him she loved him. In this book Damien and Nikki try to remain in the bubble of their love but they are continuously thrown back into reality with a resounding force that tests their resilience and ability to overcome the issues that come up in book three.  In this book, we see how well Nikki can deal with Damien’s past and whether or not their love will survive.

What I loved about this book was the intensity of the love and attraction between Damien and Nikki.  Neither of them can get enough of the other and with that comes an urgency that the reader feels to see these two happy and eventually married (hopefully).  There was some predictability to the book but even though you could predict what happened, it was different because these characters are so different than what we would read in FSOG or the Crossfire series or the like.  I also like that Nikki continuously battles her cutting demons and to me that humanizes her immensely.  She is beautiful but inside she thinks that she is not worthy.

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I also liked the continued display of vulnerability of Damien. He is such a strong businessman but he is lovestruck and foolish over Nikki.  This is how any man should be for the love of is life.  Not that their relationship is entirely a healthy one but I for one find myself daydreaming for a love like that.  To know that a man would go to the ends of the earth and put himself in the line of fire for you.  What woman would not swoon over that.  Besides, he’s hotter than hell and so masculine that you can feel the testosterone seeping from each page.

Did I mention he is HOT.

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My last severe like for this book and series is that the love scenes are sexy as all get out and made me fan myself several times just to cool down enough to keep reading.

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I say a solid 5 steaming hot stars!  I have and will continue to root for this couple to find the sheer bliss that they deserve.  Can’t wait for book four…is there a book four…golly, I sure hope so!

Review of “This Girl” by Colleen Hoover

In this last bookImage of the series,  we are on Will and Lake’s honeymoon.  During the honeymoon, they talk about their relationship and what has happened to them to get them where they are.  We are retold a lot of the story given to us in books 1 and 2 but with additional insight from Will as the story is told from his perspective.  We learn a lot of the whys that we were left questioning in the first two books.  Between the flashbacks, we read about how Will and Lake are enjoying their honeymoon and how much they love each other.  

Since this is the end of the series I have to say that I am extremely happy and sad after reading this book.  This is a book couple that I will remember for quite some time.  In addition to the amazing couple that Colleen has created in this series, she also created some really great key phrases and take aways.  I love the theory of discussing the “sweets” and “sucks” of the day with your family and think a lot of families could benefit from this.  And who could not love her use of the word “butterfly,” how creative and absolutely fantastic.

Colleen Hoover, I will forever be a fan of your work and will gladly read and shout about how amazing your writing is.  Thank you for giving the world Will and Lake Cooper!

 

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To see what a great author looks like scroll

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