Naughty Stranger – Stacey Kennedy

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Author: Stacey Kennedy
Series: Dangerous Love #1
Release dayJune 11th 2019
Pages: 384

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After a sudden tragedy blew her world apart, Peyton Kerr fled her big city career and started over in Stoney Creek, Maine. So far, she’s loving small-town life–no one knows about her past, and her easy flirtation with Boone Knight gives her a reason to smile. But then someone is murdered in Peyton’s store, and her quiet, anonymous existence is instantly destroyed. To make matters worse, Boone–a police detective–is assigned to the case, and Peyton knows she can’t keep him at arm’s length any longer. She’s resisted the simmering heat between them–but now this gorgeous man is promising to keep her safe–and satisfied…

Boone Knight doesn’t want the complications of a relationship. But when he volunteers to protect his town’s newest–and sexiest–resident, he finally admits he’d like to explore their sizzling attraction. And after one incredible night, everything changes for Boone. Peyton is sweeter–and braver–than anyone he’s ever met, and with her in his arms, everything makes sense. He just needs to convince her to trust him enough to reveal her secrets, or risk losing her to a merciless killer who seems to grow bolder with each passing day.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book has been hard to rate. On one hand, it has been a nice surprise that the mystery part is an important part of the story. On the other hand… when there is not someone bleeding, the book gets boring pretty fast. At the end, it feels like a nice first step for a saga, but it could have been handle better.

Through the pages of the book we meet Peyton, a young widow who is desperate to have a fresh start and regain some kind of happiness. In order to achive that, she drops her job as a nurse and goes to live to a small town to be the owner of a lingerie shop. There (in the town, not in the shop) she meets Boone, the hot detective. To add some spice to a pretty basic plot, a murder takes place in Peyton’s new shop…

In my opinion, the best part of the book is the mystery surrounding the murder and its link with Peyton. Those parts are the most enjoyable and the ones that add a good pace to the story. They are fast, well-timed and packed with different levels of action. It is a big surprised, actually. Reading the blurb, I thought the murder was going to be something in the background barely touched, but its presence is much more meatier than that. I really like that and I hope the next books follow the same pattern. Being said that, the mystery is also pretty simple and way easy to solve. Not only the who, also the why. The author drops too many clues to the reader and few suspects, so it is easy to add 2 plus 2. It is actually a bit weird that four detectives and Peyton were incapable of solving it sooner…

Too bad the nice mystery plot is paired with a truly unremarkable romance. Why on the name of all that is holy did they have to kiss in the prologue? Yes, the prologue!! Something like that pisses me off so badly. I felt robbed of everything good of the first steps of a blossoming romance. Where are the banter, the flirting, the playfulness and the eagerness to meet each other before going all in? They kiss, they ignore each other, then talk again and… sex. With one rule: nothing serious. But, somehow, by the end of the book, that rule is ignored and we, the readers, are punished with one of the most absurd and unrealistic proposals I have ever read. Zero sense. It is starting to sicken me the concept of a wedding as the only possible happily ever after. At the same time I was reading that, my mind was writing its own What if? where Peyton was revealed as the true murderer to make the last pages bearable.

If to a bad romance you add uncharismatic characters you obtain a bunch of really boring pages that made me wish for another murder to stoke my interest in the story. Fair is fair. The characters work just fine, but they are a bit simple. There is barely any sense of humour or talks about simple things. All conversations are heavy weights for the soul and it is tiring. Not even when the hunky cops are united the atmosphere gets lighter. They are too serious for their age. So, I didn’t enjoy the love/sex scenes with the main couple. I can’t believe in their relationship. I challenge them to tell me just one hobby of the other one. Their favourite food, or colour, or book or something other than the tragedies of their lives. They DO NOT know each other. I can’t buy their love, sorry.

When my interest in the romance is low, I tend to get annoyed by other tiny details that have no importance, but it is how my mind cope with the boring parts. For example, it upsets me greatly the fact that in Maine is not mandatory to use helmet. The stupidity of that is not the author’s fault, but I was very surprised by the fact that Peyton doesn’t make any remarks about it. She was a ER nurse. She must have seen dozens of wounded bikers who saved their lives thanks to the helmet. And her first husband died in a car accident. I find pretty unbelievable that she is so nonchalant about the fact that Boone doesn’t use helmet while riding his bike. If she really cared…

I could point out more situations where I read too much into them due to my lack of interest for the romance. Like the slowest ambulances in the world to make the hero be the first or a sex scene in an abandoned greenhouse that was use by drug dealers… Very, very romantic… But that’s all on me.

Does the bad win over the good parts? I would say it has ended in a tie. I will read the second book and hope with all my might that the romance between Remy and Asher is better.

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2019 – Book Gallery

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Boy Toy – R.R. Banks

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Author: R.R. Banks
Pages: 338

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I have a secret…
I don’t want people to know me as Eleanor the billionaire.
Or Eleanor the crime boss’ ex-wife.
But Hunter’s crystal green eyes behind those glasses,
his hard body cut like diamonds,
makes me want to become Eleanor the cougar.
Purr… Hunter just became the hunted.
I will show him what a woman in her prime can really do.
But will my past and secrets catch up to me before I find my happiness?

I don’t usually like books with billionaries, because they tend to solve all they problems throwing money at them. And I don’t think I would like a Romance book were the characters are mobsters or part of a mafia family. So, the blurb of this book wasn’t really interesting. Then why I picked it? Damn cover…

In this book we follow Eleanor, the ex-wife of a crime boss who has sensible data about the criminal and her life is in danger. On the other hand we have Hunter, who is just a hunbky nerd who has to accept the role of the Knight in shinning armor. They have to scape danger from a boat and end stranded in a desserted island where they have more than enough time to get to know each other.

First of all I have to say I wasn’t expectiong at all what I have read in this book. The blurb is vague, very vague. It doesn’t represent the story at all. It fails to mention the characters are trapped on a deserted island, which is the body and soul of the whole book. Due to that, the action packed first chapters were a total and welcome surprised. I thought it was going to be a book with endless conversations about impossible relationships, but nothing like that at all. At least not at first. Once they are out of the island, the story gets boring pretty quickly. The last three or four chapters are a torture and I couldn’t wait to get rid of them…

My experience as a reader with this book is confusing. Sometimes, I had the feeling I wasn’t reading a standalone story. It felt like the ending of other book and I didn’t know what was going on. There are too much name dropping that doesn’t make any sense until the end, where the author explains there are several characters from a previous book. That wouldn’t have been the problem, except the story of those characters is almost as important as the story of the so-called main characters of Boy Toy. So, yeah. Sometimes I got lost. It doesn’t help that the story is told through the point of view of at least six characters. SIX!! Too many…

The main characters are not bad per se, but Eleanor and Hunter are totally underdeveloped. She at least has some kind of backstory, but Hunter is just a chunk of meat. His virginity (that is what it is…) could have been a nice plot element, but he must be a sex prodigy or something. It doesn’t make any sense how natural he seems pleasuring a woman when he has never done something like that. I would have never thought less of him for needing help traveling the woman body.

And then we have Gavin, the third person who get stranded on the island with them. Due to the fact that are several chapters from his point of view, I thought that I was in front of a love triangle or even a future threesome. I was kind of hopeful for that, because he is by far the most interesting character. But he is a just another piece of the story, one that is thorwn away once it has completed its task. I wonder if he will be used in another book or something. It would be a waste of a nice character otherwise.

As I said before, the ending is horrible. It’s not only too long, it also destroys the little faith I had in the romance between Eleanor and Hunter. You can’t just have a severe fight in one paragraph and a wedding in the next… It’s not right. And don’t make me start about the weird advice that makes Hunter change his mind about Eleanor. “You have to decide if the lie is more important than the person” or something like that. Edwin is way older than me and possibly wiser, but that is a huge pile of bullshit. If a person is lying about herself, how can you decide that? How can you choose the person when you know that you don’t really know that person? I think it was meant to be a pretty piece of wisdom, but in my opinion is openning the door to a long life of unhappiness.

Thankfully, most of the book is pretty entertaining with a nice couple of twists; so it’s a nice reading for a slow day.

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2019 – Book Gallery

Rough and Ready – Cathleen Ross

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Author: Cathleen Ross
Series: Outlaw Warriors #2
Release day:  April 15th 2019
Pages: 400

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Before special ops soldier Hugo Boudreaux can move on, he has one last thing to do–fulfill a wartime debt to the friend who saved his life. He must infiltrate a vicious Louisiana MC club to stop their next illegal weapons shipment and send the president to jail. What he didn’t plan on was ending up an unwilling bodyguard to the man’s daughter–innocent and attractive nurse Alice Kaintuck.

Alice wants a normal life with a nice guy. But her rough-edged bodyguard is the sexiest man she’s ever met. Suddenly she can’t stop thinking about just how hot he makes her. Before she knows it, she’s tumbling into his muscular arms…though she’ll be damned if she’ll fall in love with a man as dangerous as her father. Only Hugo doesn’t make love, he consumes her and turns her life upside down with his carnal, erotic sex. Dreams of nice guys vanish when her enemy becomes her obsession…

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I requested an ARC of this book I had no idea it was the second one in the saga Outlaw Warriors. I hate reading a saga out of order, so I was about to give it back (even though I think it is not possible), but I changed my mind an embraced the weird philosophy of a saga of stand-alones so common in the Romance genre. Yes, this second book can be read without feeling you are missing something. It is also true that this one hasn’t made me the least curious about the first book.

In this book we follow Hugo, a soldier who has just come back from war and wants to pay his friend Troy the favour he owes. He needs to go undercover into a rival biker gang in order to stop the delivery of some weapons to fight Troy’s gang. In the bar of their foes Hugo meets Alice, the innocent daughter of the leader of the gang he has to infiltrate. She becomes the perfect ticket to join the group and his first mission is to protect her…

I was honestly very hopeful for this book after reading the blurb. It looked like it had all the ingredients for a fun story and the perfect drama to rock the relationship. Add to that the undercover mission and the rivalry amongst bikers and the action should be served to keep the reader engaged. Sadly, none of it happens. The story has a weak first step with Hugo’s and Troy’s plan to infiltrate the other gang. They didn’t expect Alice to be at the bar, but without her there wouldn’t have been any chance of getting Glass’ attention. They were lucky. Very lucky. It’s a bit weird, but I could accept that as their lucky day and move on. But after that, the main mission is almost forgotten and the bodyguard job is practically uneventful. What should have been a huge part of the book is put aside and resolved lazily.

It is my fault for expecting more about the story in a book that falls into the Erotica genre. I knew that the romance wasn’t a priority, but I needed some kind of getting to know each other before dropping all their clothes. Zero flirting. Zero banter. Zero chemistry. The main focus is sex and more sex. I could be OK with that, but the sex scenes are just plain horrible. Hugo likes to feed his dominant side and Alice is willing to indulge him (so far, so good). The issue is in the “game” they like to play, where she has to pretend to be taken by force. I know it is just theater, but I found pretty sick that Hugo’s sexual fantasy is raping a woman… It totally made me lose interest about the intimate scenes pretty quickly and made the whole thing unbearable.

The main characters are also a mess. We are sold that Alice is a strong and independent woman, but as soon as a hunky soldier enters her door the whole world becomes about him. I aso dislike very deeply her constant “Momma” and “Daddy”. She sounds like a little kid whining about something she is denied. It was really unnerving. But the top on the worst list is for Hugo. What kind of unbalanced person carries a bag full of weapons everywhere? I think the overall goal for this character behaviour was to grant him a dark aura, but the pieces do not match together and I would try very, very hard to avoid a person like him in real life. He is not OK and I’m sorry for Alice.

When you have an overly unbelievable romance, it is way harder to shallow the classic ending in the Romance novels (you know the one). Yes, I know I have voiced many times my unhappiness about that cliché; but in cases like this one it is even more painful. I do understand the need for feeding the readers a HEA ending and I can go along with that. My problem lies in the blunt supposition that a fast wedding is the same as happiness. Sometimes I would like to read a Romance book where the HEA is something different… Surprise me a little bit, you know?

I don’t want to end this review (rant?) without saying at least one positive thing about the book. The cover is very pretty. It catches the eye easily and it willl make many readers curious about the story behind. That’s me saying the guy is hot.

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2019 – Book Gallery

You’re the One – Lia Jordan

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Author: Lia Jordan
Series: Reckoning on ice #1
Release day:  March 19th 2019
Pages: 208

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With just one puck, my life went from complicated to damn near perfect

I’ve had my fair share of bad nights and the anniversary of my sister’s murder is always one of them. Every year, I just pray for something to take the pain away and help me forget. This year, my prayer was answered.

It’s opening game night and the antidote to my pain just stepped onto the ice: An angel with long brunette locks and crystal blue eyes, picked from the crowd to try to score on me, the goalie. The second I lay eyes on her, I’m determined to have her. I’ll even let the puck pass me; let her score now just so I’ll be the one who ends up scoring later. Once that puck hits the net, I’m hooked. She shows me there’s more to life than I’ve ever known, but all good things come to an end and I never saw this one coming…

Can I let go of my past so I can have her and her daughter in my future?

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Here you have a little bit of information about myself that you haven’t requested: I hate roller coasters. I’m incapable of stomaching the constant ups and downs of that invention from Hell. With this book I have had the same feeling. One moment it was there, going strong for a 5-star review and suddenly it starts falling witthout any hope of getting up again.

In this book we follow Trevor, a famous hockey player who is nurturing a void in his heart since the death of his sister. And Lauren, a single mother going through a tough period where bills are getting too big for her income. The hand of Fate made the path of both of them to cross with an irregular first impression, but Trevor took up the quest of sliding a puck through Lauren’s goal and there is nothing stopping him… (I have no clue about hockey; so, sorry if my attempt of poetry was absurd)

I must admit that the first 60% or 70% of the book is very enjoyable. I was absolutely in love with the dance between the main characters. You can tell that Trevor is not used at all to deal with feelings deeper than a quicky in the back of a bar, so his extravgant attempts of courting Lauren are endearing. It was a pretty risky move the author took, because it could totally look like the hockey player was buying Lauren’s affection. I honestly think he is clueless and that is just his sloppy way of trying to show his love. The fact that she resists him every step of the way is a big plus for the well-being of the story. I love this kind of slow dances in Romance novels, where the main characters just take their time to get comfortable with each other before dropping their clothes.

Another detail I love about the book is Trevor’s cutish way of struggling with the demon in his shoulder. You know, the little fella in his head who just wanted to grab Lauren as a caveman and took her to his lair since day one. That little demon he has been listening to for far too long. So it was great to read how he made the effort to mute the demon in his shoulder to start taking advice from the angel in the other one. Always a pleasure for the reader when a bad boy gets smitten by love. His patience, his eagerness to be better, his relationship with Chloe, his constant grin and his fit body should have granted him a position on the book boyfriend list… But everything implodes dramatically.

I was devouring the book. Incapable of putting it down. Everyday after work I just wanted to get home to reunite with Trevot and Lauren. But then… Chapter 32 happens. That chapter is the equivalent of the Order 66 from Star Wars. It must have been some kind of hidden code to change the characters and story drastically. The beloved characters become very fast some of the most hideous ones. Trevor, who was perfectly charming until then, becomes a cold, mean, cruel, possessive, annoying guy who has no business in the story. Lauren’s behaviour also takes a turn for the worst seeking some really unhealthy exchanges with his so-called lover. It gets so bad, that the happy ending we get is pure smoke. I can’t believe in that couple any longer. I have the feeling they are jus pretending…

After that chapter, there are many details that unnerve me and made the reading a very unpleasant moment of my day. After that milestone, the book becomes something ugly with many dramas pretty bad handled. I couldn’t see any good way to end the torture; so, when everything is solved almost effortless, I couldn’t get along with it. The sex scenes are also affected by the before mentioned change in the storytelling. During the first chapters, the slow cooked meal was the perfect setting for really interesting and hot encounters. But after that infamous chapter… Plain horrible to read.

I have yet to decide if I will read the following books. Colt and Nathan are cool characters, but so was Trevor. Oh, well. I believe in second chances, so I guess I will take a look at them to test the waters.

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2019 – Book Gallery

Defective – Mel Teshco

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Author: Mel Teshco
Series: The Virgin Hunt Games #1
Release day:  March 18th 2019
Pages: 274

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Melody Simmons desperately needs to fill her bank accounts with credits that could help her family climb out of near poverty. And in the Virgin Hunt Games, that means enticing as many hunters as possible to bed her. The downside? Billions of viewers from all parts of the galaxy would be watching her fall from virtue with avid interest.

Alien Damon Banscott despises everything about the Virgin Hunt Games. Except the fact he can now legally destroy his enemy in the games. He is in this only for revenge. Then Damon sees one of the beautiful hunted and, for a moment, his heart stops beating. He’ll fight to the death before allowing another hunter to touch and deflower Melody.

But while the hunters get more credits by pleasing their captive mate sexually, the hunted women received more by finding their pleasure with any of the hunters who weren’t their assigned mate.

The hunt is on…

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

You won’t find me reading Erotica too often, but when I saw the cover of this book and read the interesting blurb; I knew I had to request an ARC in NetGalley. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a reviewer. So, first of all, thanks for the chance given.

In this book we follow Melody, a woman from Earth who needs money desperately. She has never been with a man intimately, so being picked as one of the virgins for the game wasn’t so far-fetched. Her suitor is not other than Damon, a soldier from an alien planet who is only taking part on the game to get his revenge against another of the participants. Is that particular setting the best place for starting a relationship? It seems, it could be…

It’s pretty obvious from almost the beginning that the author has translated the Hunger Games into an adult version in space where sex and violence are the main course. Which is nice if you take it as it is. Do not commit my mistake of overthinking the Game, because there are a bunch of holes that could be hard to fill. That wasn’t the best metaphor in the context of the book… What I want to say is that there are several rules or character behaviours that don’t make much sense. First of all: why virgins? It looks like a hard constraint for such little reward. Second: pretty unbalanaced for the participants. If you are male, your boost credit reward comes from catching their chosen hunted and just have their way sexually. Females must hide from their chosen hunter and seduce another one, which seems much harder (the hunters are not paper pushers…). And lastly: if most of them are taking part for the money, why don’t strategize to maximize the income through bouts of sex? Reading the book I thought most of them were a bunch of idiots who weren’t listening when the rules were stated. As I said, it’s better if you don’t think too much about the game and just read the book. That would enhance your enjoyment of the book.

When I read the blurb, my impression was that every participant was a willing one. But pretty soon the reader discovers that most of the women have been blackmailed into taking part. That adds a very uncomformatble feeling while reading. What I thought was going to be consent uninhibited sex was at risk of becoming plane and simple raping. That would have ruined the book without any hope of recovery. Thankfully, such kind of actions are not present. Sometimes they are hinted, but never narrated. And yet, the sex scenes are not enjoyable. There are several of them, but they lack spice (even though that would mean much more credits…) and I soon lost my interest in them. Luckily, there is also a heavy presence of action scenes that make up for the uneventful sexual encounters and grant the book a perfect pace.

I don’t have much to say about the characters. They fill their roles, but nothing else. I like Melody much more than Damon. He is sometimes too “macho male“. His annoying protective instincts and the way he avoids adult conversations overpowering Melody through sex don’t make him a good character on my book. It doesn’t help that we don’t get to know many of his qualities. The only one that is mentioned over and over again is the size of his manhood. Actually, that is probably the only thing that is described about the hunters. It’s not that I can’t handle the dirty talk… it’s more like, so what? They barely use it… By the way, the epilogue is pretty unbelievable (too fast!!) and make this couple much more likely to fail miserably. It’s the classic ending of a Romance book and I wasn’t expecting it in an Erotica book…

So, in few words: nice book to kill time. Fast pace and easy to read. Ideal for lazy days. If you ask more of it, you will de disappointed.

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2019 – Book Gallery

Undiscovered – Anna Hackett

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Author: Anna Hackett
Series: Treasure Hunter Security #1

Pages: 249

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Finding undiscovered treasures is always daring, dangerous, and deadly. Perfect for the men of Treasure Hunter Security. Former Navy SEAL Declan Ward is haunted by the demons of his past and throws everything he has into his security business–Treasure Hunter Security. Dangerous archeological digs – no problem. Daring expeditions – sure thing. Museum security for invaluable exhibits – easy. But on a simple dig in the Egyptian desert, he collides with a stubborn, smart archeologist, Dr. Layne Rush, and together they get swept into a deadly treasure hunt for a mythical lost oasis. When an evil from his past reappears, Declan vows to do anything to protect Layne.

Dr. Layne Rush is dedicated to building a successful career–a promise to the parents she lost far too young. But when her dig is plagued by strange accidents, targeted by a lethal black market antiquities ring, and artifacts are stolen, she is forced to turn to Treasure Hunter Security, and to the tough, sexy, and too-used-to-giving-orders Declan. Soon her organized dig morphs into a wild treasure hunt across the desert dunes. Danger is hunting them every step of the way, and Layne and Declan must find a way to work together…to not only find the treasure but to survive.

Anna Hackett has been on my radar for quite a long time, but there were always some other book that took precedence and her work was being constantly pushed to the lowest positions of my TBR list. One of the main reasons was that I thought her books were most of them about Sci-Fi Romance, a genre I don’t pick very often. But, not so long ago I discovered that she has a saga about treasure hunters. I read the blurb and I knew I had to get my hands on them. Yes, this book has been my particular “Undsicovered”.

This books tells the story of Dr. Layne Rush, an archeologist who is digging a new discovery in Egypt. Sadly, the dig site is hit by some mercenaries and several of the relics are stolen. The University she works for hires Treasure Hunter Security to take care of the security (the company name says it all). It’s a company formed mostly by former soldiers (young, tall, muscular… you know, the whole romance package) and the owner, Declan, is the one that takes charge of the security of Layne’s work. She is not happy at first, but some flirting and life or death situations make her a believer…

I love the book as a whole. It’s more or less what the author promises and then some: lots of action and fun exchanges. There is always something hapenning in the book, which is its main strength to keep the reader entertained. When I saw the length of the book, I was afraid that the action and adventure parts would be shortened to leave more room for the romance; but it’s actually the opposite. There are hand-to-hand fights, pursuits through the desert, riddle solving and treasure hunting in general. No rest means more fun.

But it’s not just mindless action and eye candiness galore. My greatest surprise with this book were the several facts the author teaches us about Zerzura and Egyptian mythology in general. I was an utter newbie in the lost oasis legend and this book has made me check the Internet to read more about Zerzura and the expeditions to find it. A book that makes me learn something will always be a special book on my shelf. I wasn’t expecting it at all (it didn’t look like the book to enhance my Trivial Pursuits skills), so that has been a huge help to make me enjoy the story. Don’t get me wrong, without the beginner class about Zerzura, the book would still have been a really fun ride.

The characters are nothing out of the ordinary, but they fulfill their roles quite nicely, even though there are certains details that felt more unnatural than others. Layne is presented to us as a very independent woman who takes no bullshit and is capable of defending herself at any moment. At least that must be true when Declan is not around. When the former soldier is on the scene, Layne is usually reduced to a damsel in distress, so the leader of Treasure Hunter Security can polish more often his White Knight armor. I would never hate on that too strongly, otherwise I would never read Romance books, but it is something that has always rub me the wrong way. They are fun together, so I can easily forgive that misstep.

The romance itself is the weakest link of the story. At first is being brewed very slowly, as I like it. But when Hell is broken loose, the relationship speeds up so drastically that I felt dizzy. We go from a passionate kiss to “I love you” in barely a couple of chapters. I’m having a hard time to believe they have developed such strong feelings in such a short time. They barely know each other!! I know that under duress stuff is intensified, but it was too much too soon. And don’t make me start about the places they pick to keep themelves warm in a very intimate way (or to have sex, if you are not feeling poetic today). Naked time in those waters doesn’t seem a wise decision. You never know what kind of leeches or bacteria could be on those undiscovered places… I guess I’m not the adventurous type…

Very happy for having decided to start this saga. If this is what I’m going to get with the rest of it, I’m going to be a very pleased reader this year!

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2019 – Book Gallery

King Consort – J.R. Gray

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Author: J.R. Gray
Pages: 279

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Avoiding sleeping with women was my specialty, an art form even. As the future King of England I couldn’t be caught sleeping with men. My whole life played out in front of the paparazzi, and they didn’t miss a thing.

I had a carefully crafted womanizing persona to maintain. My life came with rules, all of which I broke when I couldn’t resist a one night stand with the enemy: A beautiful paparazzo with a heart of gold. He may be the only person who doesn’t want me for my title, and he can never be anything more than my secret.

But secrets have a way of coming out and not only will they scare him away, but they’ll lose me the crown.

I was away from Romance books (and books in general) for several years and when I came back (2018) romance novels with Royals had become a huge deal. One of the current trends for a genre liable to have new ones every single year. Back then stepbrothers were all the rage!! This is my first taste of this flavour of the hour and I must say it wasn’t tasty enough…

In this book we meet Prince Louis of Britain, a womanizer who is going to inherit the Crown sooner or later. His misadventures with multiple women are well recorded in the media, but the truth is he is not the kind of guy who goes through female after female to quench his thirst. Actually, he doesn’t like women at all, but his hmosexuality must be a well kept secret due to the out of date rules of the monarchy. On the other hand; we have Xavier, a paparazzi who is not comfortable at all in his own skin. The attraction among them is very strong, but the relationship seems doomed before starting. Will they be able to make it work?

I’m going to focus first on the good part: the characters. Well, not all of them, but most. Louis has been a nice surprised. He seemed pompous with a stick through his… uuuhm… noble back parts? You get my meaning ;). But in reallity he is a really good guy who wants to make right to everyone surrounded him, especially his sister. The struggle of the Prince is the best part of the book and it makes the reader fall in love with the character quite easily. The guy has to deal with his secret, his troublemaker of a sister and the weight of the Crown. It’s a wonder he is able to keep a good humor most of the time.

With such a co-star, Xavier falls in the short side. It’s not a bad character, per se; but his constant insecurity bores me a little too much. I guess it can’t be easy to handle with the special life of Louis, but Xavier has too many demons that make him blind to what he has in front of him. It’s not all bad, though. His sense of honor and morals is remarkable in a profession that usually works in simple terms of prey and hunter. So, kudos for him!!

Too bad the rather good character are paired with a boring story that goes in circles over and over again and doesn’t even end. Yes, we knew since the beginning the difficult situation for their relationship. That’s chaprter 1. By charpetr 10 I expected the plot to have gone forward, but it was totally stuck. My hope gets renew when they travel to London, but it’s totally crushed with the most unemotional and sloppy ending I have read in a long time. The way everything ends makes me believe that the realtionship has no real future, just wishful thinking…

I can’t finish the review without mentioning the real star of the book and the main reason this book has got one more point in its mark than what it deserves: Doug. The bodyguards steals all the scenes when he has an appearance. His brotherly relationship with Louis and his peculiar way of dealing with Xavier bring always a simle to my face.

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