Book Review: Playing by Her Rules (Sydney Smoke Rugby, #1) by Amy Andrews

4 gems

playing by her rules

I’ve read a couple of book by Amy Andrews, but so far Playing by Her Rules is my favorite. It shows one of my favorite tropes in the romance genre: second chance romance.

Matilda Kent is a style columnist at Standard, but that’s not where she wants to remain. When she accidentally lets it slip that she was involved with the Rugby God; Tanner Stone, she gets tasked with writing a six part feature on him. Being part of the “elite” feature team is what Matilda wanted, but she is not happy with the strings that are attached to the promotion, namely Tanner Stone, the man who broke her heart back in the day. Despite everything, Matilda is determined to be a professional and do the piece, and in the process extract her revenge from the man who broke her heart.

Tanner ‘Slick’ Stone is the captain of the Sydney Smoke rugby team. The man every man envies and every woman wants in her bed. All he wants to do is play rugby, but when the suits from above decree that Tanner has to do a six part feature series for a journo, he is not so happy. But when he finds out the journo is Matilda Kent, a.k.a. his Tilly, he is more than happy to do it, even if it is under the pretext of apologizing to her for his dickish move in the past.

Tanner is one of my favorite heroes of the year. He made a mistake when he was younger, and like Matilda even I wasn’t willing to forgive him, but with each passing page, he won me over. Tanner is the kind of guy who is innately good from the inside and has a strong moral compass. His is quite a rag to riches story. The boy who came from very little to the man who owns the world. Despite his success, Tanner never appears to be snobbish or arrogant, which I loved the most about him. He is proud of his success and all that he has achieved and even enjoys it, but he does not rub it in your face. The various things that you learn about Tanner in the book will definitely make you fall in love with him. Initially I was very wary of him due to his past actions, but the man he became overshadowed his one mistake and I found myself forgiving the man and begging Tilly to do the same.

Tilly too was a great character. She is a strong, independent woman who wants to go far in her career but unfortunately couldn’t. When she is offered a chance, even though hesitant at first, she takes up the project with panache. Her history with Tanner changed her a lot. His actions highly affected her life and not in a good way. She is aware of her shortcomings, but she doesn’t cry and moan about them. She does not want to see Tanner and remember all the good things about him, but he is a force to be reckoned with.

I loved the banter between Tilly and Tanner. They were so good together. Tilly had a big fat wall built around her heart, but Tanner methodically keeps breaking it down. You could see the chemistry between them oozing from the pages. Their dates / interviews were so fun, especially the soup kitchen date. The playful side of their relationship comes forth in that particular episode. There are tiny things that are the most fun in the book. Like the twitter chats of Tanner, his fans and sometimes Matilda, the story behind how Tanner got the name “Slick”, their past despite the big bad ending. The most fun characters in the book are Hannah Kent, Matilda’s grandmother and Lincoln, Tanner’s teammate.

Tilly’s gran was the best side character in the book. She loves her granddaughter, but does not spoil her. She gives you a shoulder to cry on, but she doesn’t give you pity, only the truth and the facts. She is the catalyst that finally brings Tilly and Tanner together, so I love her even more for that.

Lincoln was the quintessential funny guy , who is an unapologetic playboy who loves to make double entendre jokes. I can’t wait to read his story. The man is gonna fall hard and I already love the woman who will bring him to his knees.

While the majority of the book was enjoyable, one thing that irritated me was the constant reference to Tanner’s “ouzo essence”. It was mentioned so many times that it just got on my nerves. Other than that the book and I had a #definitelylove situation.

If you need another reason to love Tanner, I just loved, loved, loved what he says to his Tilly.

This isn’t maybe love or probably love or even definitely love anymore. This is forever love, and I want that to start right here, right now. Today

This review was first published on The Ever Romantic Arts

ARC Review: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay #1) by Jill Shalvis

4.5 gems

sweet little lies

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Jill Shalvis book. Sweet Little Lies was a good book to start reading her again. I do love a book with strong characters and zero unnecessary drama, and Sweet Little Lieswas exactly that. Sweet Little Lies is a gem of a book. Beautifully written, with strong lead as well as side characters.

Pru is one of the strongest and best heroines I’ve read recently. As a captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru is used to handling the rough seas and having lived through tough times in the past, she is also used to a rough life. Now all she wants is to do right by the people she believes were wronged and live a content if not happy life. But she finds herself drawn to a man who isn’t exactly right for her, a man she believes will hate her when he learns of his past.

Finn O’Riley is six-foot something, hardworking man who always has his bar and is arms open for his friends. When Pru becomes one of his friends, he extends the same behaviour to her too. Finn too has had a rough past. Early on he had to abandon his dreams to take care of his brother Sean, who by the way still hasn’t grown up. Pru enters into his life as a breath of fresh air.

The chemistry between Finn and Pru is perceptible and hot as hell. They share a great rapport and the banter between them is fun-filled and sexy. I love how their relationship progresses. They start as friends and go on to become lovers. They learn new things about each other with each passing page. You can actually see how their relationship develops and grows. As individuals too Pru and Finn grow a lot over the course of the book.

Pru has easily become one of my favorite heroines. She is innately good, with a big heart and only love to give, with no expectations of any returns. She made me fall in love with her. She is the kind of woman you need in your life, the best friend who will stay with you through your thick and thin. Her past and her guilt also broke my heart. For a woman so pure and good, her circumstances were not so good. I loved how easily Finn’s group of friends accepted her. Even a tough cookie like Elle was won over by Pru. Pru’s chemistry wih Elle and Willa is exactly the kind I feel I have with my friends, which made it all the more relatable.

Finn too was a great character. He had no controlling or dominating tendencies and that made him love him. In the era of hard-core alpha males, Finn came in as a breath of fresh air. That’s not to say that he wasn’t alpha, he was, just not in the overbearing way. He helped Pru open up and grow as an individual. He made her want happiness and life and love, and I absolutely loved him for it. Pru and Finn were the perfect couple.

Like in any romance novel, in Sweet Little Lies too there was an anger induced break-up. But the way Finn comes back to Pru and everything that hew says, I just fell in love with him and that epilogue was just beautiful.

Sweet Little Lies was a mixture of love and heartbreak, laughter and cries, sexy times and honest love-making. It was beautifully written in a way that would win your heart and make you believe in love. I can’t wait to read the stories of the rest of the gang.

This review was first published in The Ever Romantic Arts

The Millionaire Makeover (Bachelor Auction #2) by Naima Simone

4 gems

The Millionaire Makeover

When you think of a fairy tale retelling, you imagine a fantasy with probably monsters and fairies and all sorts of paranormal shenanigans. Well, at least I did. That was before I read Naima Simone’s Bachelor Auction series. Thanks to her I know that fairy tale re-tellings can worm their way into contemporary romances too. By the wayThe Millionaire Makeover, if you haven’t guessed yet, is a rendition of The Ugly Duckling.

Plain-Jane Khloe Richardson, a.k.a the ugly duckling (at least she seems to think so, I don’t know why!) is in love with her boss. Except she doesn’t know how to approach him, and he definitely doesn’t see her. So what’s a girl to do? Make him jealous of course. Now how do you go about doing that, you ask? Easy peasy, you bid on a bachelor at the Bachelor Auction. Now if that bachelor turns out to be your brother’s best friend, who slept with you and then took off? You stay far away from him. And then after a few days of him wearing you down, ask him for a makeover. Well Khloe never wanted to do all that. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And when you have a best friend like Morgan pushing you into the arms of the love of your life, there’s not much one can do.

I love the brother’s best friend trope. The genre and I are the bestest of friends. And this book is exactly that. To make things interesting, Naima Simone decides to off the brother. Now hold your horses, before you start thinking, “with the brother gone things are going to be so easy” Because they are not going to be easy at all. The brother, Michael has to give a hard time to the man who is trying to shag his sister, even if it from the grave, a la P.S. I Love You style, with a letter. Or rather a couple of them. Read on for the rest.. the story isn’t disappointing. When you’ve a brooding, alpha male with an Irish accent, things can never be boring.

For Niall Hunter, Michael Richardson is his brother, his best friend and his family. His death completely shatters Niall. Dealing with the loss of the only person who accepted him warts and all is not going to be easy. Michael’s sister Khloe has a hard time dealing with the loss of her brother. So, she goes to the only person who really knows what she is going through, her brother’s best friend Niall. Neither of them expected to end up in bed together. And Khloe definitely wasn’t prepared for Niall to disappear from her life after an amazing night together.

Fast forward three years, Khloe has moved on, or so she thinks until Niall appears in front of her. It’s like seeing a ghost from the past. For the past three years there has been no communication between Khloe and Niall, and not for her lack of trying. Niall has stayed away from Khloe for three years. She used to be one of her closest friend. But after “deflowering” her, he receives a letter from Michael. Which explicitly states that Khloe deserves a better man than him. So Niall does what any man who loves his best friend and has some decency and honor do. He leaves her in bed. Naked. Then doesn’t talk to her for three years.

Now that Niall is back in town, he wants to be Khloe’s friend. Just like old times. What Niall doesn’t know yet,  is that the penance for sleeping with your best-friend’s little sister is…. transforming her into a beautiful swan from an ugly duckling. All this would be cool, if only, and only if, he could stop imagining her naked and stop touching her, and stop trying to be her everything.

I loved reading this book. Because even though the trope is clichéd, Naima Simone brings her own flavor into the novel. Her characters are quite real and very well fleshed out. Be it the guilt-ridden and heart-broken Niall or the sweet and shy Khole. You could even understand Khole’s parents and their reactions, even if you don’t agree with them. And I don’t agree with them. I wanted to slap them around for a bit, and then I realized it’ll take more than a few love-taps to make them open their eyes and see what’s in front of them.

For those of you, who are not familiar with Naima’s work, this book is as good as any to start with. I guarantee, you will not be disappointed. The Millionaire Makeover is full  of good humor and great  characters. The story itself won’t let you leave disappointed either.

Other books in this series:

Beauty and the Bachelor

This review was first published in The Ever Romantic Arts

Beauty and the Bachelor (Bachelor Auction #1) by Naima Simone

3.5 gems

the beauty and the bachelor

Lucas Oliver is all set to avenge his father. And he will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Even if it involves blackmailing the innocent daughter of his sworn enemy into marrying him. All her life Sydney Blake was controlled by her family. She was nothing more than a disappointment to her fickle, indifferent mother and her driven, controlling and absent father. She was a mere pawn in her father’s games. The only good thing she did to please her parents was agreeing to marry the son of her father’s business associate. And even that appreciation is short-lived, when she decides to give in to Lucas’s blackmail and marry him to save her father.

At first when I saw that the people around Sydney, including her family was treating her like garbage, I was enraged. Not just at her family, but also Sydney herself. What person just stands and looks around while they are being beaten to an inch of their lives. But as I kept reading, I realized, Sydney is far stronger than she looks. She has the kind of inner strength that inspires. The kind of strength one can’t guess just by looking at her. Her actions are mainly driven by the guilt of an old tragedy, a tragedy even her father blamed her for. But the growth you see in Sydney with each passing page is commendable.

Lucas Oliver. I have mixed feelings about the guy. When I first finished this book, I was leaning towards the ‘I-hate-him’ tip of the scale. But now that I have had some time to think and process the book, I am more in the middle. The best thing I loved about Lucas was that he is the reason Sydney found herself. He encouraged her, made her feel special, made her more confident. I think without Lucas, Sydney wouldn’t have grown as much as she did in this book. He made her more independent and strong enough to stand up for herself.

Now as much as I loved Lucas for all the good he did to Sydney, I hated all the bad he did to her too. He was always clear about his agenda. Revenge. No matter what the cost. And that’s what he does till almost the end of the book. More times than not, Sydney had to pay for her father’s sins in some way or the other. He may not have physically hurt her, but he hurt her plenty emotionally. At every stage of their relationship he kept secrets, his actions would say something and his words something else. Like Sydney, I too was frustrated with his back and forth. And when he accuses her of doing something she wouldn’t dream of, all bets are off.

Lucas does come to his senses and realizes what an ass he was for treating Sydney the way he did. And he does promise to keep her happy and love her for the rest of his life. But I would have loved to see some more grovelling on his part.

What was irrefutable was Lucas and Sydney’s chemistry. Oh boy did they have chemistry. Oozing hot was what they were. Since the moment their eyes met across the stage, they were sizzling. The sex was hot and even when they were angry with each bother they were burning up the pages. Their attraction to each other through all the ups and downs was so palpable, it was undeniable. Their kind of passion is one of the reasons that I think their relationship made it.

The only secondary character I liked was Aiden, Lucas’s best friend. He was a fun guy who could clearly see that what Lucas was doing was not right. He tried to talk him out of it too. And when Lucas inevitably messes up his relationship with Sydney, it’s Aiden who gives him the much-needed kick in the ass. Tyler, Sydney’s ex-fiance too was a guy that I really liked. As we find out in the book, he has his own mess to clean up and I can’t wait to read more about him. I hope Naima Simone decides to write his story, because that’s one that I definitely want to read.

The people I hated most in this book were Sydney’s parents. There are no two parents worse than Jason and Charlene Blake. The way they chipped at their daughter was just despicable. They reminded me of vultures picking at a carrion. I am really surprised though that Sydney turned out the way she did with the kind of parents she had. But I guess, when you have the worst kind of parents, you are determined to be the best kind of person. And Sydney was definitely the best kind of person. Though Jason too realizes his mistakes and apologizes to Sydney, for e it was too little, too late. Twenty years of indifference and hurtful attitude can’t be overcome by one apology. But Jason was still better than Charlene, because that woman never even bothers to apologize to her daughter for all the agony she has caused.

Overall it was a really good book with an emotional roller coaster ride and an amazing lead heroine. Sydney is the kind of woman one would like to emulate. Her innate goodness, her strength, her kindness and courage are the best part of her. I have a total girl-crush on her, because let’s be honest, she may not wield a sword, but she is totally bad-ass.

This review was first published in The Ever Romantic Arts

3 Breaths by L.K. Collins

3 gems

3 breaths

Pssst.. The review is kinda spoilery. Proceed at your own risk.

3 Breaths definitely had a lot of feels, but unfortunately the feels weren’t enough for me.

The book starts with Zoe and Krane celebrating their engagement with friends. but on their way home, Zoe has a seizure attack and passes away. Fast forward 5 months, Krane is still reeling from the loss of his beloved. He has let himself go; surviving solely on booze and underground fights. The only light in his dark tunnel is Ivy, Zoe’s sister. While neither his family nor friends understand his pain, Ivy surely does. She is the only one who does.

Ivy too has trouble dealing with her sister’s death, especially since they had grown apart in the last few months of Zoe’s life. With her death, Ivy is reeling with guilt and pain. Her only solace is her sister’s fiancee, Krane.

The pain of both Ivy and Krane is very palpable. You can actually feel their hearts breaking, you can feel them spiraling down. This is one of the most emotionally draining book that I’ve read. But on the flip side, while both Ivy and Krane work as individuals, they didn’t work as a couple for me.

Since Zoe’s death, Krane has not even looked at anyone else. But when one fine day he notices Ivy’s ass, he feels guilty, because well he is checking out a woman who is not Zoe and just to spice things up a bit, he is ogling his dead fiancee’s sister. That was all well and good, until the same night he sleeps with a woman, in part to get back at his high-school girlfriend who cheated on him, but didn’t feel an ounce of guilt.

Now mind you, I have no problems with men who sleep around, as long as they stay faithful and monogamous when they are with a particular woman. But hypocrisy doesn’t work for me. So if Krane felt guilty for ogling a woman who was not his fiancee, then he should have felt guilty for sleeping with someone else too. And he sleeps with two someone else’s, with no guilt whatsoever.

What I didn’t like was that Ivy was no different than the other two women Krane slept with. When he first notices Ivy, Krane says that Ivy is making him feel things (including lust). But he is just as turned on when he meets Casey and Shannon. How does that make Ivy special? I could get over this tiny issue, if only I felt some chemistry of the true love kinds, between Krane and Ivy. They work as best friends, they even work as friends with benefits, but I am not convinced that they are in love with each other.

One thing that L.K.Collins surprised me with was that Zoe was not an issue with Ivy and Krane. They both knew that Krane really loved Zoe, but Ivy was never insecure about that fact, which I absolutely loved. But I also didn’t appreciate the over-dependence that Krane and Ivy have on each other. They stop talking for a week and in that week they both spiral so far down the drain. They were way too dependent on each other, which in my opinion is unhealthy in a relationship.

I also never understood how they came together. One fine day Ivy asks what they were doing and Krane says he doesn’t want to hurt her. A fight, and a one-night stand later, Krane and Ivy make up and poof, they are together. I was never a fan of intsa-love, but here I didn’t even see it coming. All I could see was Ivy and Krane having a lot of sex together, but no love, even if it was there. Add to that the ending that came out of nowhere. If I didn’t see Ivy and Krane in a relationship, I definitely didn’t see the wedding coming. I find it hard to believe that a man would mourn for months after her looses his beloved fiancee, but within a month of dating another woman, he is ready to marry her. Ivy and Krane’s relationship has been on the fast track since Zoe’s death.

The secondary characters were also mostly a likable bunch. I adored Logan. He was a really good friend to Krane and a good man to have in his corner. L.K. Collins has a flair for writing complex characters and a heart-wrenching story.

3 Breaths is a good book. The author has beautifully portrayed the pain and anguish the characters go through, but there were way too many things that didn’t work me for.

This review first appeared in The Ever Romantic Arts. 

Betting On The Wrong Brother (What Happens in Vegas #12) by Cathryn Fox

4 gems

betting on the wrong brother

I love the whole falling for the brother’s best friend trope. And Betting on the Wrong Brother is kinda like that with a twist.

When Andi Palmer imagined running into her childhood crush, Nolan Wheeler, the man who crushed her heart and humiliated her, she did not think she would be half-naked in the hotel elevator. And she definitely didn’t think that he wouldn’t recognize her or that he’d give her a false name. Except, the man’s not Nolan and Andi doesn’t know that.

Ryan Grayson did not expect to meet a devil in an angel’s body, half-naked in the hotel elevator. But that’s exactly what happens. Any woman who seduces him without trying, and then drags him to the male model contest, to participate, has to be a devil, right? Andi with her sharp tongue and quick wit, captures his attention and he can’t stay away. When Ryan realizes that Andi mistakes him for his brother, he is unable to tell her the truth.

Andi’s plan for revenge goes awry when she sees the genuinely good guy Ryan is. He understands her like no one else , he gets her. And he is far from the heartless man who broke her heart. If anything, he’s the complete opposite. But when the truth comes out, Andi just might not forgive him.

Ryan is a successful horror writer and a dyslexic. I loved the way Ms. Fox treated the issue. She didn’t belittle it, but she did not make it into a paralyzing disability either. Ryan learns to get over his shortcomings. He is also an absolutely adorable, sexy and swoon-worthy man. He treats Andi like a princess, even when he knows that she thinks he is Nolan. But Andi sees him too. Despite the past, she comes to learn that the man she sees in front of her his way different from the cocky teenager who broke her heart.

Betting on the Wrong Brother was such a fun and flirty read. You’ll absolutely fall in love with the characters. The author also gave little insights into the nuances of an author’s life, which I loved. This is the second book that I’ve read in the What Happens in Vegasseries, and so far I loved them both. I can’t wait to delve into the rest of the series.

This review first appeared in The Ever Romantic Arts. 

Stealing the Groom (Stealing the Heart #1) by Sonya Weiss

3.5 gems

stealing the groom

Stealing the Groom was a very fun and entertaining read, not to mention a feel good novel. It was well written, it was humorous. The only problem I had, was with a bit in the end.

Amelia Snyder and Chad Walker have been best friends since they were kids. Their grandparents were best friends long before they were born, so they were practically born into this friendship. And Amelia takes her friendship very seriously. There is no way she will let her best friend marry a gold-digging “barracuda.” So she devises a plan. To groomnap her friend.

Chad Walker does not believe in love. Not since his mother left his father and his father squandered all their money trying to win back his ex-wife and subsequently drank himself to death. Chad believes that love can only bring pain and heartbreak, so there is no way he is marrying for love. But for his business, he’ll do pretty much anything. Even marry a woman he doesn’t love. His marriage to Claire is nothing but a business deal mutually beneficial to the both of them. But with is best friend groomnapping him, without any further plans, let me just add, his wedding looks like a no go.

As Amelia and Chad spend a couple of nights together, they start feeling things they have never felt for each other. And when with a twist of fate, Amelia ends up being Chad’s bride, they touch the fine line of friends and lovers. Chad is determined to not cross that line, because there is no way he is willing to lose Amelia. And Amelia is on a mission to loosen Chad up, teach him a little spontaneity and maybe even make him acknowledge that they could be more than friends and still be good together.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Amelia and Chad. They obviously had feelings for each other that neither of them recognized but the rest of the world did. So, it was really nice to watch them both figure it out too. I do wish there was a little hot action between the two, because I loved them together.

Stealing the Groom was a fun and flirty read. This book shows you that opposite do attract and they are on fire together. Amelia was always the flinty, spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment woman, whereas our dear old Chad was a strict, by-the-book control freak with a planner and a to-do list in hand. He did need to loosen up and Amelia was the perfect person to teach him that.

But I do have a bit of an issue with the ending. The author just finished of it off with no bang. I wanted the making up part to go on just a bit more. The author has also paved the way for two more books featuring Amelia’s sisters and Chad’s best friends. I look forward to those books.

If you want a good, humorous, fun, feel good book, do not hesitate to pick up Stealing the Groom . It is worth your time.

Stealing the Heart series

  1. Stealing the Groom
  2. Resisting Her Rival
  3. Stealing the Bachelor

This review first appeared on The Ever Romantic Arts.

Book Review: Running Wilde (Wilde Security #4) by Tonya Burrows

4 gems

running wilde

Let me tell you, when you start a Tonya Burrows series, don’t ever think that the first book is the best or the second or the third is the best. Because this woman writes nothing but the best. Each book in the series is better than the previous one. And that holds true for Running Wilde too. Vaughn may just be my favorite Wilde brother, but I have a feeling Tonya is going to change that with the eldest Wilde brother, Greer (don’t tell Reece. He still believes he is my favorite. Don’t worry Reece, I still love you).

The protagonists of this novel, Vaughn Wilde and Lark Warren are characters we have met already. Vaughn being part of the ever-naughty twin duo Cam-Vaughn and Lark as Libby’s best friend in Wilde For Her. In Wilde for Her, Lark and Vaughn hook up and have a short-lived, intense relationship before Lark disappears. This book starts with Vaughn finding her.

While Vaughn and Lark’s story starts in Wilde For Her, there is enough back story in Running Wilde that one can read it as a stand-alone. But to exploit the book to its optimum, it’s better to read the whole series. There are certain nuances that you miss out on otherwise.

Vaughn Wilde has been looking for Lark Warren for months now. After an explosion nearly killed him, Lark disappeared. While they had a good thing going, Vaughn can’t figure out why she would leave without any news. But as he starts to search for her, he realizes that there is a lot more of Lark than a hot body and a sarcastic sense of humor. That woman has secrets a mile long.

Lark Warren has been running for five years. Every few months, she picks a new place and a new name. The horrors of her past can’t be farther enough. She never stays in one place for too long, never forms any everlasting relationships. After all it’s only going to hurt once she leaves without a word. And she always leaves. Except with Vaughn Wilde, she forgets her rules and falls head over heels in lust and maybe even a little bit in love with him. But the moment she thinks, she can be happy, her fears and her past drive her away from him.

Vaughn is determined to find Lark and surrender her to the authorities for identity theft. Except he can’t forget the three amazing weeks he spent with her before her disappearance. Not to the mention the ever-present palpable chemistry between them.  But Vaughn has also brought with him the very people Lark is running from. She is determined to run away, he is determined to keep her close.

There was nothing predictable about this book. Which is one of the things that I love about Tonya Burrows. Till the end I couldn’t figure out who Lark was or what her past was like. But it unravels slowly and steadily through the novel. Lark and Vaughn had a love-hate relationship going with  sarcastic banter thrown in. I just loved it. Vaughn and Lark and right up there with Shelby and Reece as my favorite couples. They had great chemistry and their back and forth was too much fun.

I really felt for both Lark and Vaughn. Lark’s past really was a horrible one and I could understand why she did what she did. But I did get a little annoyed when she just plain refused to trust Vaughn and share her problems with him. No matter how understanding Vaughn was. That man went all out for her. He would have given her the world and then some. There was such passion and longing inside Vaughn. He may have had a hard exterior, but the man was just a sweet little teddy bear. He really was a sweetheart. He is the kind of man who would have carved his heart out for the woman he loves. After the first time, I really felt like Lark didn’t deserve him, but she redeemed herself in the end.

Tonya being the sneaky woman that she is, also threw into the mix our very own Marc D’Angelo from the HORNET series. We find out something totally unexpected about him. So listen up HORNET readers, make sure you pick up Running Wilde, or else you might just miss Marc’s secret.

Of course, Tonya being Tonya left us in suspense about Greer. I can’t wait to read about him. I have a feeling he is going to trump all the Wilde brothers to become my ultimate favorite. Hurry up Tonya!! I’m waiting.

Other books in the Wilde Security series:

Wilde Nights in Paradise

Wilde for Her

Wilde at Heart

This review first appeared in The Ever Romantic Arts 

Happy New Year 2016!!



Amethyst, Garnet and Sapphire wish you all a very Happy New Year!! Cheers!


Book Review: Love on a Summer Night (Pine Harbour#4) by Zoe York

5 gems

love on a summer night

Oh boy… This was by far. The. Best. Book in the series. #TheZanderEffect was in full swing in this book.

Zander Minelli has found his way back home to Pine Harbor after dedicating 20 years of his life to the army. In six months he’ll be out and needs to figure out what his future will be. What better place to do that than home sweet home. While on this two-week leave from the army, he meets the most delicious kind of woman, Ponytail Girl. She is beautiful, smart and has lots of questions on how to use deadly weapons and kill people. Fortunately for Zander, she also shares  his love for apple pie.

Faith Davidson is a widowed, single mother and a full-time author. She is ready to dip her feet back into the dating pool. Her only conditions: no tattoos and no bad boys. Only stable, boring men. While spending her time writing at the neighborhood diner, Greta’s, Faith encounters a tall, dark and handsome biker dude, who has her blood boiling and thinking dirty thoughts. He also happens to speak the language of weapons quite fluently, so she racks his brain for all the available knowledge. There’s just one catch. The hot as hell guy is the exact type of man Faith did not want; tattooed-bad boy. Except the attraction is strong and somehow they end up bumping into each other everywhere they go.

Zander and Faith were such amazing characters. Both strong in their own rights. Though they had instant attraction, there’s was by no means an insta-love story. Their relationship developed over the two-weeks Zander was in town and then later, when he was away. I loved seeing the way in which Zoe York dealt with the long distance relationship. A long-distance relationship is not easy, and Ms. York made sure that she included the difficulties that come with it, rather than making it all hunky dory. She also didn’t make Faith and Zander’s relationship full of fights, which I must say is very well done.

Faith was no meek woman, but after the death of husband in a skiing accident she has grown a lot more reserved and overprotective about her son Eric. She dulled her life, suppressed her desires, so that Eric wouldn’t have to grow up without either of his parents. She got a lot of help from her mother too. Faith, Eric and Faith’s mother shared  a very good relationship. Her mother too is a widow and knows how Faith feels.

Zander is indeed a tough, responsible guy. He loved his family, but the army is his life. He is in a dilemma when the book starts as to what to do with his life after his army stint comes to an end. But when Faith enters the picture, his priorities shift. He wants to stay with her and Eric, rather than being gone for months at a time. The six months they spent apart from each other while Zander was gone was difficult for both of them. The best thing about Zander was that he never took Faith for granted. He knew what her insecurities were, dealt with them in the best away possible. He never rubbished her fears, but rather coaxed her out in the open.

As expected from a typical Zoe York book, the chemistry was sizzling between Faith and Zander. They made a really good couple who shared a certain ease with each other. Every time they came together, sparks were flying. It was beautiful to see how caring Zander was towards Faith. He took care of the minutest details. He made her feel special and loved.

while Zander and Faith’s relationship was amazing, what was even better was Zander and Eric’s relationship. Now that took the cake. That man was meant to be a father. #ZanderEffect. Oh man!! The way Zander dealt with Eric, such love and care, I doubt even his biological father would have been capable of that. Zander was friend, a mentor, a comrade, a father, everything humanly possible to Eric. And the relationship all three of them shared together, Faith, Eric and Zander, a perfect family.

A special mention should also be given to Jake and Dani. They finally got married and man, oh man, their wedding vows…. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t shed a few tears. It was just PERFECT!! Everything about this book was just plain amazing. There was nothing wrong that I could find about this book. Since it was an ARC, there were a few typos, but even those were disregarded in favor of the awesome story-line and beautiful characters. I know that every time a new book by Zoe comes out, I say it’s my favorite, but THIS BOOKS WAS PERFECT! This was absolutely mesmerizing in the beauty of the relationships depicted and the story touched my heart.

I’m crossing my fingers that the next book in the series, which is Dean’s book was will as amazing as this, if not better.

This review was first published on The Ever Romantic Arts.