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Sleepless Nights Romance Reviews

"Staying up late for the next happily ever after!" I love my romance novels and I like reviewing them. I also like studying politics and history.

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Waking Up Pregnant by Mira Lyn Kelly

Waking Up Pregnant - Mira Lyn Kelly

http://eveille.net/books/2014/03/waking-up-pregant-by-mira-lyn-kelly-a-review/

 

 

What a refreshing take on the accidental pregnancy trope/theme!

 

While Waking Up Pregnant‘s plot is pretty predictable, it does have the wonderful quality of having its hero and heroine communicate their problems to each other and deal with the Sudden Life Changer like fully grown adults. I’m not trying to be snarky here, and admittedly I have been reading older Harlequin releases lately, but it’s just so nice when the two leads in romance novels are communicating! I felt like because of this, I managed to concentrate more on Darcy and Jeff’s feelings and emotions towards each other. Seriously, because there was no unnecessary angst, no Big Misunderstanding, no family feuds or whatever, Waking Up Pregnant is a surprisingly fun,light and really romantic read for a book dealing with accidental pregnancies.

 

What I Liked:

 

I really liked both Jeff and Darcy. They weren’t perfect but I felt like they were written beautifully and that their personal issues were dealt with beautifully. Jeff is your modern day reformed rake but that reforming part wasn’t exactly hinged on his being with Darcy. Darcy had some childhood issues which made her want independence but she wasn’t portrayed as someone too cold or too off putting. Really, they just seemed like realistic characters you know? Even with Jeff being super rich and one-night-stand accidental pregnancies.

 

No seriously, I think I’d like to hang out with them because they just seem like really cool, approachable people you know?

 

I also liked the way they finally realized they loved each other. I can’t really say much because of spoilers and all, but yeah there was just something about it that made me grin?

 

What I Didn’t Like:

I’m going to have to reread this to look for something I didn’t like, but I don’t know, it caught me right from the start and made me smile that didn’t stop until after I finished reading the book. So I guess I didn’t dislike anything?

 

Final Thoughts:

Waking Up Pregnant is such a fun and happy and wonderful read you should do it right now. If you’ve never read anything from Harlequin KISS or by Mira Lyn Kelly, you should read Waking Up Married, which coincidentally is free as a sampler for the Harlequin KISS line. (That book is also great. In fact, I think I’ll reread it as soon as I finish this review.)

ARC Review: One Taste of Scandal

One Taste of Scandal - Heather Hiestand

Note: I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange of an honest review.

I thought One Taste of Scandal was an adorable and heartwarming love story for the holidays. I also thought that it deeply conveyed the message that no matter how much unpleasantness is going in your life, once love has come in to your life and decided to stay there, you really have no choice but to follow along with it. I thought Heather Hiestand’s characters and conflicts were realistically written and that overall, it was a pretty great and heartwarming story to read. Especially on a cold winter’s day. And as a parting note, don’t read this book when you’re craving cake. Seriously, it does not help and not only am I now craving cake but I could also do with someone like Lord Judah Shield, honestly.

Read the full review over at Sleepless Nights Romance Reviews.

Abibliophobia

 

Definitely something I have.

Reblogged from Susana "Lost in Fantasy Land"

ARC/Tour Review + Giveaway: The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn

I really think that The Sum of All Kisses is the best book in this series so far because it just hit the right spots for me. It was funny, it was romantic, it was thoughtful and most importantly it made me believe in happily ever afters again. (I remember this every so often when I read a good book. I tend to reread a lot of my favourites.) Also, because it has Hugh. And Sarah. And Frances. And a lavender wedding cake that I want to taste. Seriously, if this book was a person I would hug it very tightly because I finished reading it with a fuzzy and happy feeling that I think is a trademark of JQ books.

 

One of my favourite scenes between Hugh and Sarah (this happens early in their acquaintance):

 

He didn’t move. She’d piqued his curiosity, and there was little in this world more tenacious than Hugh Prentice with an unanswered question.

“You have just spent the last hour ordering me out of your way,” she ground out.

“Five minutes,” he corrected, “and while I do long for the serenity of my own home, I find myself curious about your fourteen men.”

“They were not my fourteen men,” she snapped.

“I should hope not,” he murmured, then added, “not that I would judge.”

Her mouth fell open.

“Tell me about the fourteen men,” he prodded.

“I told you,” she insisted, her cheeks flushing a satisfactory shade of pink, “it was nothing.”

“But I’m curious. Fourteen men for supper? For tea? It’s too many for a team of cricket, but—­”

“Stop!” she burst out.

He did. Quirked a brow, even.

 

Read the full review over at Sleepless Nights Romance Reviews! (There's a giveaway!)

Source: http://eveille.net/books/2013/11/the-sum-of-all-kisses-by-julia-quinn-a-review

"How do I love thee, let me count the ways..."

The Sum of All Kisses - Julia Quinn

Thank you to Edelweiss and Avon and Tasty Book Tours for giving me access to this wonderful book in exchange for a review.

 

No review yet as my stop is on the 12th of November, BUT if you have been thinking about buying The Sum of All Kisses don't think, just do. Pre-order the stockings out of this book because it is adorable and you will not regret it!

Friends Without Benefits - Penny Reid

This was adorable! I'll write a full review when it's not 2 AM, but this is currently free on Amazon! I suggest you go pick it up because this was hilarious, romantic and I just love this book.

 

 

Unscrupulous (The Manhattanites, #2) - Avery Aster **eARC provided for by author/publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4.5/5
Steam: 5/5 ++++

Read the full review here!

Avery Aster’s second installment for her The Manhattanites series, Unscrupulous, is a very engaging and very steamy read that doesn’t skip on the emotion and the romance. If you’re a fan of having strong characters looking for someone to depend on when they’re emotionally tired, or want to read about two gorgeous people coming together (heh), or if you’re looking for a steamy read during these last days of the summer, I highly suggest you pick this up! Pick up Undressed too! I swear, you’ll have the most fun time reading both books!
His Mistress by Christmas - Victoria Alexander Widows? Check. Rakes? Check. Rake needs to marry to become respectable? Check. Widow loves her independence so no to marriage? Check. Angst? Ch– wait. There is absolutely no angst in this book. Huh. And this angst-lover loved every word of this book! I still can’t believe it but hey, I actually really liked this one.

This is my first Victoria Alexander book and I found it to be very enjoyable. This had me laughing a couple of pages in! Brilliant writing, awesome characters! I think I was a couple of pages in and I already had a huge-a** grin on my face. As a holiday-themed read, I think this would be a very fitting Christmas read since the book uses the Hadley-Attwater Christmas traditions as a backdrop to the budding and much denied romance between Veronica and Sebastian. (It also gets you curious about the other characters — I’m waiting for Portia’s book! I like the uptight heroines and I really want to know who she’s going to be paired with, but I digress.)

Click here to read the full review!
Rapunzel (Erotic Bedtime Stories, #1) - Lisa Valdez Rating: 3.5/5
Steam: Just off the charts. I gave it an 8 out of 5.

Rapunzel, An Erotic Bedtime Story is a new novella from Liza Valdez and it is very much a smuttified version of Rapunzel. It’s not a historical romance inspired by the fairytale but an actual retelling of it. While a historical romance inspired by the tale would’ve been more interesting, Lisa Valdez’s Rapunzel is definitely very entertaining and fun to read.

Check out the rest of the review (and a liveblog!) here.
The Bridegroom Wore Plaid - Grace Burrowes The Bridegroom Wore Plaid is my first Grace Burrowes book and I absolutely loved it! I thought it was a smartly written love story between two people who deserve love the most but are willing to sacrifice happiness together to do what is needed from them. A word of caution though, if you are not a fan of multiple romance lines that are all connected to the plot, you might not like this one very much. With that being said, I have a lot of things I liked about this one!

Click here to read the review!
The Marquess of Cake - Heather Hiestand Rating: 3.5/5
Steam: 3/5

Although The Marquess of Cake uses a lot of the common tropes in historical fiction, I thought that this was a refreshing read. Both Michael and Alys were interesting but not annoyingly so. They were both pretty believable characters and even their fairytale-esque (not really, but they do meet with Michael being the rich, handsome lord and Alys being a serving girl) meeting was something that wasn’t totally out of the realm of possibility.

Read the rest of the review here
Stranded with a Billionaire - Jessica Clare Rating: 4/5
Steam: 5/5

Stranded with a Billionaire is Jessica Clare’s first book off her Billionaire Boys Club series and what a sizzling way to start it! We’re taken to the beautiful island of the Bahamas and whisked into posh parties in New York City. To top that off, there’s a wonderful love story with a pretty intense chemistry between the hot hero and heroine.

Read the rest of the review at Sleepless Nights Reviews
Untie My Heart - Judith Ivory
Rating: 4/5
Steam: 5/5

What I Liked:

This is my first Judith Ivory book and aside from the reviews on Goodreads, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m actually pleasantly surprised at how much I liked Untie My Heart. The premise of the story was incredibly amusing and quite interesting. Who knew a wayward lamb could cause so many things?

I enjoyed Emma Hotchkiss a lot. She’s incredibly funny and resilient and knows exactly what it is that she wants from life. Emma definitely takes the initiative in reaching her goals regardless of whether her actions might be questionable. She also knows what she wants when it comes to love. She wants a marriage and isn’t shy about telling Stuart about it.

Often, we see novels where the general consensus is that love is foolish, naive, and rare thing and this is often done to set up the main romance relationship as true and everlasting. It was refreshing to focus on how each of the characters got around to realizing their feelings for each rather than battling the cynical ton mentality about love and happiness.

I also really liked Stuart. The man was hot and charming and sweet and sighh. I think he counts as an alpha male, so if they’re not your cup of tea, you might not like Untie My Heart very much. I liked how loyal he was to his mother and I liked the fact that underneath his crankiness (and who wouldn’t be in his position), he was generally a pretty good guy.

My favourite thing about Untie My Heart was the sexual tension… and just the tension in general. The sexual tension was palpable and honestly, Emma and Stuart being in the same room was enough for the tension to come alive. Both Emma and Stuart are both headstrong characters used to being in control of the situation, so when one asserts dominance over the other, sparks usually happen.Then there was the actual tension about where their relationship was going and how it was going to get to the happy ending that also made the story more interesting.

What I Disliked:

The point of view shifts at some parts of the book were confusing. I got lost at times, especially when the ‘he’ and ‘she’ were thrown around left, right and centre. I had to go back a couple of times to figure out who was talking.

I liked the chair scene. I liked that entire chair scene except for the actual sex part. I have read some reluctant seductions or whatever you want to call them, but Emma’s acquiescence about wanting it as much as Stuart did felt forced. And they kept bringing it up throughout the book that it made me feel uncomfortable. That scene by the clock did resolve some issues, but still something was seriously off about the chair scene so it bothered me throughout.

Overall:

Judith Ivory’s Untie My Heart is a wonderful and refreshing historical read that is perfect for anyone looking for a more substantial story. If you’re a fan of Judith McNaught or Julie Garwood but are looking for a slightly fluffier read with some oomph, Judith Ivory might just be the thing.(Cross-posted on Sleepless Nights Reviews)

What I Liked:

This is my first Judith Ivory book and aside from the reviews on Goodreads, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m actually pleasantly surprised at how much I liked Untie My Heart. The premise of the story was incredibly amusing and quite interesting. Who knew a wayward lamb could cause so many things?

I enjoyed Emma Hotchkiss a lot. She’s incredibly funny and resilient and knows exactly what it is that she wants from life. Emma definitely takes the initiative in reaching her goals regardless of whether her actions might be questionable. She also knows what she wants when it comes to love. She wants a marriage and isn’t shy about telling Stuart about it.

Often, we see novels where the general consensus is that love is foolish, naive, and rare thing and this is often done to set up the main romance relationship as true and everlasting. It was refreshing to focus on how each of the characters got around to realizing their feelings for each rather than battling the cynical ton mentality about love and happiness.

I also really liked Stuart. The man was hot and charming and sweet and sighh. I think he counts as an alpha male, so if they’re not your cup of tea, you might not like Untie My Heart very much. I liked how loyal he was to his mother and I liked the fact that underneath his crankiness (and who wouldn’t be in his position), he was generally a pretty good guy.

My favourite thing about Untie My Heart was the sexual tension… and just the tension in general. The sexual tension was palpable and honestly, Emma and Stuart being in the same room was enough for the tension to come alive. Both Emma and Stuart are both headstrong characters used to being in control of the situation, so when one asserts dominance over the other, sparks usually happen.Then there was the actual tension about where their relationship was going and how it was going to get to the happy ending that also made the story more interesting.

What I Disliked:

The point of view shifts at some parts of the book were confusing. I got lost at times, especially when the ‘he’ and ‘she’ were thrown around left, right and centre. I had to go back a couple of times to figure out who was talking.

I liked the chair scene. I liked that entire chair scene except for the actual sex part. I have read some reluctant seductions or whatever you want to call them, but Emma’s acquiescence about wanting it as much as Stuart did felt forced. And they kept bringing it up throughout the book that it made me feel uncomfortable. That scene by the clock did resolve some issues, but still something was seriously off about the chair scene so it bothered me throughout.

Overall:

Judith Ivory’s Untie My Heart is a wonderful and refreshing historical read that is perfect for anyone looking for a more substantial story. If you’re a fan of Judith McNaught or Julie Garwood but are looking for a slightly fluffier read with some oomph, Judith Ivory might just be the thing.

Full Review over at Sleepless Nights Reviews
What Once Was Perfect  - Zoe York Rating: 4/5
Steam: 4/5

I have a received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review!

What Once Was Perfect is Zoe York's debut novel and the start of her Wardham series. Man what a great way to start a new series and an exciting new career! This book was a delightful read about two people in dire need of a second chance with each other.

Summary:

Laney Calhoun is a successful Canadian doctor living in Chicago and for the last ten years, she has banned love from her life. The reason? A messy break-up with the love of her life, Kyle Nixon. Ever since, her relationship with men has been distant if not utilitarian. She's even avoided spending time at home with her family in Wardham, Ontario because of the painful memories.

Unbeknownst to her, Kyle Nixon has also been having a rough time dealing with losing Laney. It's taken him a long time to realize who really was to blame for most of the breakup and now he's come to terms with it. He also wants to see Laney again.

Thankfully for both of them, there are meddling mothers and a too-concerned small town-ers there to point both of them towards the right path.

What I Liked:

I'm glad Miss York followed her calling to write romance novels, because she is excellent at it! What Once Was Perfect is a shorter read, but the characters were introduced and fleshed out masterfully. Even the secondary characters, who only had a couple of lines and mentions in the book, stood out because they weren't your generic stock characters. I'm actually really excited to see more of the good people of Wardham in her next three books because of this.

I really loved the first chapter where Lacey was remembering all the painful memories of her relationship with Kyle. I'm a big fan of angst in my romance novels and this, for me, was just the right amount. I got to see and understand where Lacey was coming from with her whole stand about banning love from her life 5ever. This made me more excited to see how she was going to be reunited with Kyle! Actually, the first chapter, despite being sad, also had its funny moments. Zoe York has given Lacey such a funny, warm and captivating voice that it made me enjoy that little trip down memory lane.

If you're looking for something with a little bit more steam, What Once Was Perfect does not disappoint. Doesn't matter that this is a shorter read. Every time Lacey and Kyle got together, the air just sizzled and there was so much tension and chemistry between those two!

Mentions of suicidal deer and that little exchange between Lacey and the border guard were also wonderfully funny.

What I Disliked:

Not a dislike, but I actually wanted to learn more about Wardham, just to get a feel for it. I have never lived in a small town (the smallest town I've set foot in for a couple of hours is Stavely, AB) so I always like to read a little bit about what the town is about.

This is a funny thing to not like but I can't figure out who the next story is going to be about! I guess this means I have to stay tuned and see what Ms. York is going to publish next! Aaaah!

Final Thoughts:

I thought this was an excellent debut book! It showcases Ms. York's storytelling strengths and is overall a very enjoyable book. It makes me excited to see what she's going to release next. If you are a fan of small town contemporary romances about second chances with a good dose of steam, What Once Was Perfect should definitely be on your "to read" list this summer!

Huge thanks to Zoe York for giving me a copy of this wonderful book!

This review is a part of my Canadian Authors Review-A-Thon. Click here to see more reviews!
Taken By the Duke (The Pleasure Wars, #1) - Jess Michaels Review to come :)