Overruled by Emma Chase #Review

Overruled by Emma Chase #Review

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PJV Quickie: Is it possible to love a character while simultaneously wanting to throttle him?  Because that’s exactly what happened here!  In Overruled, Emma Chase is doing what she does best – writing characters you love to hate to love. (Yes, that’s exactly what I meant to say :) )

Review:
Stanton Shaw and Jenny Monroe have a ‘don’t ask/don’t tell’ arrangement: When he’s home in their tiny town of Sunshine, Mississippi, Stanton and Jenny are a couple – sex with Jenny is good and he loves being a dad to their 10-year-old daughter, Presley.  When he’s home in Washington, D.C., where he’s a criminal defense lawyer, Stanton and Jenny see other people, no strings attached.  
When Stanton gets a wedding invitation in the mail, to Jenny’s wedding, he’s determined to stop it – she’s his girl, even if he’s not always there, and there’s no way he’s going to let her marry someone else.

Stanton Shaw and Sophia Santos have a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement:  They work together and make a great criminal defense team.  When they’re not at work, they have incredible, no-strings attached sex. Neither has time to go bar-hopping for sex, plus, Stanton’s got Jenny at home in Sunshine and Sophia plans to make partner at the firm soon. Their arrangement is win/win for everyone.

When Stanton asks Sophia to go back to Sunshine with him to win back Jenny, Sophia starts to realize that maybe she doesn’t want Stanton to win back Jenny, and that maybe what he really wants is right in front of him -in the present, not back in the past.

~~~~~

When I saw Emma Chase had written a romance with a law theme, I could not wait to read it.  I loved Tangled, and I love romance in a law firm setting – this is totally my catnip.  The writing is fabulous and I was immediately pulled in to the story, from the pink lines on the pregnancy test while they were still in high school, to the high-powered courtroom in Washington D.C. where Stanton defended accused criminals, I could easily visualize it all. That being said, I really had a hard time figuring out my thoughts on this one:  While I liked Stanton as a hero, I was also frustrated that he seemed to think he could do his thing in DC and come home to Jenny like nothing had changed, as if he put her away in a box for future use and she ceased to have a life while he was gone.  And I loved his reactions when he realizes that’s not what happens.

On his journey to realization, there several scenes with laugh-out-loud humor (cue the obligatory Forrest Gump “I am not a smart man, Jenny” reference), and a nice cast of secondary characters who round out the story and add to the fun.   The sexy stuff between Stanton and Sophia was smokin’ hot and once he pulled his head out of his @ss, it was actually pretty sweet, too.

I wiggled between 3 1/2 and 4 stars, but ultimately went with 4 stars because I kept coming back to the story; I had no desire to switch to something else, which is something I do often.  Plus, I liked that Sophia stood up for herself, even when it hurt to do so.  And, I loved how Stanton and Jenny co-parented without using the daughter against each other.

Recommendations:
If you like Julie James’ books, I would recommend Overruled.  If you enjoy contemporary romance in a courtroom setting, small towns, and heroes that are simultaneously smart and idiotic, give Overruled a try.

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About the Book

Overruled by Emma Chase #Review

At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with the first installment of the Legal Briefs series!

A Washington, DC, defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing—with his southern drawl, disarming smile, and captivating green eyes, he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him, and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him.

Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan.

Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart, the mother of his beloved ten-year-old daughter. Jenny is getting married—to someone who isn’t him.

That's definitely not part of the plan.

***

Sofia Santos is a city-raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions.

But when Stanton, her "friend with mind-blowing benefits," begs her for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi, to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves. Her head tells her she's crazy...and her heart says something else entirely.

What happens when you mix a one-stop-light town, two professional arguers, a homecoming queen, four big brothers, some Jimmy Dean sausage, and a gun-toting Nana?

The Bourbon flows, passions rise, and even the best-laid plans get overruled by the desires of the heart.

Silver Bastard by Joanna Wylde #Review

Silver Bastard by Joanna Wylde #Review

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Silver Bastard by Joanna Wylde #Review

Silver Bastard by Joanna Wylde

four-stars
Silver Valley #1
Published by: Berkley, Penguin on April 7, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: Joanna Wylde writes riveting stories about tough outlaw alpha men and their women (old ladies) living in a biker society that plays by its own rules. Even though Silver Bastard is a new series, it’s still full of sexy, bad-ass bikers and the strong-willed women who love them.

Review:
Puck Redhouse has just finished 14 months in prison, protecting his motorcycle club (“MC”) with his silence.  On his first day out there’s a party in his honor, hosted by a local MC, one he’s not too familiar with but they’re friends of the Silver Bastards.  It’s also been 14 months since he’s had a woman, and he’s going to change that tonight – there’s a hot little number he’s had his eye on almost since he got to the party; she seems fresh and beautiful and is everything in a woman that he’s been thinking about while he was in prison.  After an amazing night with this girl, he finds out things aren’t what they appeared to be the night before, and in addition to violating his parole, he’s going to change her life forever.

Looking at her now, you’d never know that Becca Jones has had a hard life. She hasn’t stopped thinking about the man who ripped her away from a miserable, abusive existence five years ago. Five years of wanting someone she can never have again.  He saved her life but she still lives in fear of the monsters from her past.

When an incident at her job throws them together, Puck has decided he’s tired of waiting for her to decide she’s ready. Becca is thrilled but hesitant – their history together is not exactly rainbows and unicorns.  Becca doesn’t know if she’s ready for another controlling man in her life, and the baggage that comes with being Puck’s woman terrifies her.

~~~~~

The problem with reading a Joanna Wylde book is that when I’m done, I immediately want more MC romance, but most of what I’ve been able to find just doesn’t compare.  Silver Bastard was no exception.

Silver Bastard is a hard book to squee about because it starts rough and I was conflicted about my feelings for Puck. Seriously, it’s some messed up sh!t.  That being said, I did like him – he’s loyal and underneath the bad-ass biker persona there’s a genuinely good guy.  He’s wanted Becca for five years but knows she needs to recover and grow before he attempts to pursue her.  He cares about her and wants to protect her.  Don’t get me wrong, he also wants to sex her up six ways to Sunday! *winks*

There were two plots running through Silver Bastard – Puck’s club story, and Becca’s personal story.  I must admit I was a little confused by the club story – I didn’t understand the politics behind the silver mine and all the machinations regarding who was on who’s side in the battle to take control. Becca’s story, however, was perfectly clear to me. I was frustrated that it wasn’t perfectly clear to Becca, too.  Oh Becca… Becca, Becca, Becca. I liked her, really I did. But I couldn’t understand her refusal to cut her mother out of her life. Becca was a strong character, a smart girl, except where it came to her mother.

All in all, I enjoyed Silver Bastard – this was not a flat-out “oh I love it” but more of a slow build where I had to reconcile the characters intentions with their actions and I liked that I had to think about it.  Puck and Becca are pretty damn hot once they get going, and there is some action near the end of the book that made me go “Oh-Snap! I did not see that coming.”.  I’m looking forward to more Silver Bastards, or Reapers – there were plenty of Reapers MC characters making cameos in this story. I will read whatever Joanna Wylde decides to write.

(There was a bonus novella in the print version of Silver Bastard, I don’t know if it’s in the e-book, about Darcy and Boonie that was sooo good! From their childhood to their present – I loved it!)

Recommendations:
I highly recommend for readers who enjoy MC Romance, hot alpha males, and a good story that keeps you interested.  If you’re already a fan of Joanna Wylde, you’ll want to read this one.  If you haven’t read Joanna Wylde yet, definitely give Silver Bastard a read.  Fans of Kristen Ashley will probably also enjoy books by Joanna Wylde.

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The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston #Review

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston #Review

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The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston #Review

The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston

four-stars
Call of Crows #1
Published by: Kensington on March 31, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: I am a huge fan of Shelly Laurenston’s shifter books, so when I saw she was starting a new series, I jumped on it.  I wasn’t too thrilled about a series centered around Norse and Viking mythology, but figured if anyone could pull it off, it would be Shelly Laurenston.  And guess what?  She totally did.

Review:
Kera Watson is an ex marine who was managing a coffee house when she was killed trying to help someone else. She’s just woken up naked in a strange house – she doesn’t remember how she got there or why she’s naked.  Then she remembers she was killed – she can still feel where the blade entered her chest.  As she was dying, a strange woman offered her a second chance at life and she took it.

Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom is a Raven, his clan serves Odin, and his sister is a Valkyrie.  He’s been trying to work up the courage to ask out the manager at a local coffee house.  When he finds her dying in the alley behind the coffee house, he calls on Skuld to save her.

Now, Kera is a member of the Crows, a large clan of women in service to Skuld.  There are other clans in service to other gods, but the crows are the only group where the members are not born with a Norse/Viking heritage. Sometimes the clans get along, and sometimes they don’t, but each person is fiercely loyal to the other members of their own clan.

When the Crows are sent on a series of missions that point to a larger problem, the Crows and the Ravens must work together to defeat a common enemy.

~~~~~

I have two words for you:  Brodie Hawaii!!!  I really liked the story and the characters, but I have to be honest, Kera’s dog, Brodie Hawaii, stole the show!

Because The Unleashing is the first book in the series, it sets up for the rest of the books in the series and there are a lot of characters to keep track of at first.  I don’t know if it was because I had an e-arc or if the book will have the same issue, but sometimes I had a hard time figuring out who was speaking to whom or how relationships between some of the characters worked.  I do like the mythology and the way the world is set up.

I really liked Kera; she has a hard time letting go of her old life as a marine and when she tries to organize the Crows, it’s not pretty.  The other Crows are wild and wacky and over the top like  the characters in her other series.  And Brodie Hawaii – oh how I love that dog!  Brodie had me cheering several times throughout the book.

Vig was a great hero – he was big, strong, smart, grumpy, and cared deeply about Kera.  I wish that we could have gotten more back story on Vig though, we got that he was ‘feared by all’ but I didn’t really get that feeling about him from the story.  I loved how he was with Kera though – her sister Crows kind of just threw her into the lifestyle without much instruction, and Vig was there to teach her and offer advice.

I am assuming future books will focus on different couples and I am totally down for that!  The end is not a cliffhanger per se, but the main story arc is not complete at the end of The Unleashing.  I didn’t want the story to end where it did.

Recommendations:
If you already read and enjoy Shelly Laurenston books, I definitely recommend The Unleashing.  If you enjoy over-the-top, quirky characters or paranormal romance and Viking mythology, I would suggest giving The Unleashing a read.

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The Dangers of Dating A Rebound Vampire by Molly Harper #Review

The Dangers of Dating A Rebound Vampire by Molly Harper #Review

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Th e Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire by Molly Harper

four-stars
Half-Moon Hollow #3
Published by: Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster on March 24, 2015
Genres: Adult, Humorous Stories, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: I’m pretty sure Molly Harper is my spirit animal.  Seriously, I want to be her when I grow up.  Or at least be as funny as she is.  The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire has us back in Half-Moon Hollow and I am absolutely thrilled to be back!

Review:
Gladiola “Gigi” Scanlon is Iris Scanlon’s younger sister from The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires.  She’s home from college and has a summer job working for the Vampire Council doing computer programming.  Gigi lives with Iris and Iris’ husband, Cal, who are both vampires.  Actually, most of the friends in their circle are vampires. But Iris wants Gigi to live a normal human life…one that doesn’t include dating a vampire.  Problem is, the one guy she can’t get off her mind happens to be a mysterious hot blonde vampire with whom she shared a searing kiss while she was home for Christmas break.  When he shows up again on her first night on the job and tries to attack her, she doesn’t know what to think.

Nikolai “Nik” Dragomirov is an old friend of Cal’s, as in, they go back a loooooong time, and is in Half-Moon Hollow doing some work for the Council and Cal.  He’s surprised when Gigi identifies him as the vampire who attacked her outside of her job and also the vampire that kissed her over Christmas break, because he has no memory of either event.  While he’s working for the Council, he’s seeing a lot of Gigi, and he likes her. So why does he keep attacking her? And why can’t he remember doing it?

~~~~~

Molly Harper writes such entertaining books; she hooked me at Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs and I’ve been a fan ever since.  In the Half-Moon Hollow series, we’ve got a different group as the main focus but all the characters from her Nice Girls series are here, and it’s always fun to see how they’re doing.

I had a lot of fun reading The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire; the characters are hilarious and the snark runs high.  Sometimes when I’m reading a book, I’ll think “hurry up and get back to the good parts”, but that didn’t happen here:  the story transitions smoothly from Gigi’s job, to her home life, to investigating why Nik is having blackouts.  I enjoyed hanging out with Gigi’s co-workers and the characters from previous books, as well as reading alone-time with Nik and Gigi.  Seriously, there was no lag time here.  I would not recommend reading The Dangers of Dating a Rebound Vampire anywhere where you need to be quiet, you’re going to laugh out loud more than once. The next book, The Single Undead Moms Club, out in October, and I can’t wait!

Recommendations:
If you like your paranormal romance sexy and funny, I highly recommend Molly Harper’s books. If you’re already a fan, don’t miss this one.

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Deep by Kylie Scott #Review

Deep by Kylie Scott #Review

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Deep by Kylie Scott #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series has been a favorite of mine since the first book, Lick. I have loved meeting each band member and reading their HEA. With Deep, however, I had a hard time liking both the hero and the heroine. Even so, I’m really sad that this is the last book in the series.

Review:
Lizzy Rollins is pregnant.  No matter how hard she tries to convince herself otherwise, the pink lines on the test tell her the truth. The truth is that her one-night stand with the gorgeous bassist in her brother-in-law’s band has further-reaching consequences than she ever imagined it would; they used a condom, for pete’s sake!  She knows Ben loves the rock-n-roll lifestyle and all that goes with it and has no expectation of him settling down to play ‘happy family’.  She’s going to have to go it alone and rely on her sister for moral and emotional support.  But first, she has to tell Ben.

Ben Nicholson is the bassist for the popular rock band, Stage Dive.  He likes Lizzy, she’s sexy and smart and he can talk to her like a real person. He knows she wants him, but he knows he can’t have her: she’s his best friend’s kid sister-in-law and therefore untouchable.  Until one night in Vegas when he just can’t resist her any more.  But he’s the bassist in a wildly popular band and a family isn’t in his plans for his future…right?

~~~~~

I am a huge fan of Kylie Scott, both her NA series, Stage Dive, and her post-apocolyptic series, Flesh.  I have looked forward to each of her Stage Dive books with great anticipation and devoured them as soon as I could get my hands on them.  I dived right in to Deep, ready for Ben and Lizzy’s story.

I have mixed feelings about Deep – on the one hand, I loved the scenes with the Stage Dive women:  they’re strong, supportive, funny, and warm.  I love reading about women who have friendships like theirs.  The problem, though, is that I didn’t really care for Ben or Lizzy:  they both came off as immature and selfish.  Ben just wanted to live the band lifestyle – no attachments and no obligations other than to the band. I really couldn’t get past his poor treatment of Lizzy to wish these two a future together.  As for Lizzy, she was a frustrating character – she knew Ben didn’t want a relationship but continued to pursue him, and then when he didn’t want a relationship she was surprised. Really?

The scenes revolving around the rock-star lifestyle while the band was on tour were entertaining, and I did enjoy the story as it moved forward.  We got to see a lot of the previous couples – there were some funny scenes and some sweet scenes, and I love being back in the Stage Dive world.  A sexy new character from the opening band was introduced, and I hope this means that maybe there will be a spin-off series?  If so, I am totally on board.

Recommendations:
If you’re already a fan, you’ll appreciate the glimpses of the other couples. If you enjoy ‘rock star romance’, or angsty stories featuring stubborn characters, Deep is exactly what you’ve been looking for.  Fans of Olivia Cunning’s Backstage Pass series will probably love this series.

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Manwhore by Katy Evans #review

Manwhore by Katy Evans #review

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Manwhore by Katy Evans #review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: Oh. My. Gawd.  Manwhore was totally not what I expected, and I mean that in the best way.  I already knew and loved Katy Evans’ other series, Real, so I knew it would be good. I just didn’t realize I would get emotionally involved with these characters – I haven’t stopped thinking about them!

Review:
Rachel Livingston is a writer for Edge, a magazine that’s been slowly failing and is on the verge of collapse. She’s been with Edge since she graduated from college and loves it there. When her boss suggests an expose of one of Chicago’s most notorious bad boys, Malcolm Saint, she jumps on it: Malcolm Saint comes from a long line of old money. He’s privileged, sexy, relentless, and private. He works continuously, and doesn’t do relationships.  If she can just get in a little bit and see the ‘real’ Malcolm Saint, her story will save the magazine and advance her career.

The more time she spends with Saint and gets bits and pieces of the person behind the public image, the more she realizes she’s also giving him bits and pieces of herself.  And maybe she doesn’t want to share the bits and pieces Saint has given her, because their bits and pieces seem to fit each other – and not just for amazing sex.

~~~~~

I really enjoyed Real by Katy Evans, so when I received Manwhore for review, I was pretty excited.  When I read the blurb “reporter getting the scoop on playboy millionaire” – I figured that I had been there and done that, but since it was Katy Evans, I was going in anyway.  I should have known better; the story pulled me in and I felt myself falling for Malcolm Saint right along with Rachel, the heroine. I was getting anxious every time Rachel thought about telling Malcolm why they really met. I was dreading him eventually finding out, because I knew he would. And I was devastated, right along with our heroine after certain events unfolded.  I absolutely love it when a writer can pull me into the story and make me feel like I’m part of the story. The outside world fades away, and I am there.

Ms. Evans wrote such a wonderfully layered and engaging story in Manwhore – Saint is not a stereotypical alphahole who drags Rachel by her hair back to his mancave. He’s complex and interesting, and IMHO has the patience of a saint (pun intended). The reader is drawn towards his character right along with the heroine, and to be honest, I found him completely swoonworthy. If you keep a list of book boyfriends, you’d better clear a spot for Malcolm Saint on that list.  I was surprised that Rachel is (to me) a sympathetic character, because of her duplicity I wasn’t prepared to like her, but the complications of her taking the story then not coming clean are tangled and tortuous and I love that she learns more about herself through her relationship with Saint.  (In case you’re wondering, the sexytimes were pretty hot too.)

I always like to know a bit about the secondary characters, and honestly, when I saw that Rachel had two besties, and Saint had two besties, I thought that this would be a trilogy – one book for each couple.  That’s not happening here. There may or may not be some couplings (honestly, I’m not sure), but Manwhore does have a cliffhanger ending – we’ll have to read book 2 for their HEA (OMG it had better be an HEA!). I hate cliffies, really hate them, and this is why – because I need more NOW. Not July (when Manwhore +1 comes out), not tomorrow, NOW.  Why are you torturing me, Katy Evans and Gallery Books?

Recommendations:
I need to point out here that Manwhore is nothing like Real, so if you’re already a Katy Evans fan, don’t go in expecting a Remy and Brooke story. That being said, if you like Katy Evans, definitely give Manwhore a read.   If you like billionaire heroes, this is the book for you.  Fans of Sylvia Day, J. Kenner, and Christina Lauren will probably also enjoy Manwhore.

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