Monday, August 27, 2018

Four Adult Contemporary Romance Mini-Reviews

So, trying to get all my reviews finished up before the end of August, would love to go into September with only one or two needing reviews that aren't scheduled.  Plus, one of these reviews I'm going to do today was supposed to be part of a blog tour, but my disappointment in the book kept me from posting it then.

Beautiful (Beautiful Bastard #5) by Christina Lauren:
Narrators:  Grace Grant and Sebastion York (epilogues by Jonathan Cole and Jeremy York)
Genre:  Adult contemporary romance
Published:  October 4th, 2016
Source:  Borrowed digital audiobook from library. 
My rating:  5 stars

This was the final book in the series, and I loved it.  Jensen was one we'd met in the other stories, and so it was nice to see him finally get his true love. I couldn't remember at first who Pippa was, for some reason I was thinking she was Niall's ex-wife, but then realized that she just was best friends with his current wife,  Ruby, and we did meet her before, in their book, Beautiful Secret.  I fell in love with Pippa right away, the confidence she had in herself, man, did I love that about her!  The way she felt about a casual relationship, I've said those very things to myself in past situations.  So I really connected with her in that way.  Although I would never be able to pull of the cool way she caught Jensen talking about her and how she turned it around and didn't let it make her cry or feel horrible.  I'd have been humiliated, and everyone would have known it.  Jensen and Pippa had some of the best interactions, so kooky and sarcastic, and just perfect!  I would love a relationship like that.  I also wish I had some friends to go on a fun road trip like this with.  Of course I'd hope they had a single guy for me to be a 5th wheel with.  I did get a little cranky when the chapters stopped being alternate between both characters.  I know when that happens that the one we are now hearing from more is about to get something major dropped on them.  My connection to Hanna was totally reinforced in this story when they talked about just throwing out the Tupperware instead of cleaning it, partly because they don't care for leftovers that much.  I'll end up having to just throw leftovers away that family sends home with me.  No matter how good it was when I had it at their place, I often just can't make myself want to eat the leftovers.  Anyway, since this was the final book in the series, we got several short epilogues from all the characters, even George, although his was a little bit shocking at first.  And then Chloe having the baby, that part was perfect.  A great ending, to a great series!

Synopsis from Amazon:
Featuring the entire BEAUTIFUL series cast for one final hurrah!


After walking in on her boyfriend shagging another girl in their place, Pippa Bay Cox ditches London for the States to go on a drunken road trip with Ruby Miller and some of her Beautiful friends.

Scaling the career ladder is the default way to deal with heartbreak—and to just deal—for Jensen Bergstrom. Absolutely buried by his drive and workload, he rarely takes time for himself. But when his sister Hanna convinces him to join the gang on a two-week wine tour, he has a rare moment of cutting loose. Of course, it’s only once he’s committed that he realizes the strange girl he met briefly on the plane is coming along, too. She might be too much for him…or he might realize his life has become too small and needs her to make it bigger, crazier.

With this circle of friends there’s always something going on: from Chloe and Sara’s unexpected personality swaps to Will’s new domestic side to Bennett’s text message barrage and George’s own happily-ever-after. In short, their adventures in love, friendship, and hilarity are nothing short of Beautiful.

Rock F*ck Club #3 by Michelle Mankin:
Genre:  Adult rock star romance
Published:  September 6th, 2018
Source:  E-galley from author which did not influence my opinion 
My rating:  4 stars

So, I had a little trouble with this, with Ivan, the guy we all hate from Raven's book, Rock F*ck Club #1, being our love interest in the end.  Yes, we got to know him better, and yes the author definitely made us like him.  But I think my feeling of him from the first book just made it impossible for me to be completely happy with that, and it is probably part of why I am at 4 stars instead of 5.   And then there was the way that Marsha started off her whole season, I totally get it, she was hurt and wanting to hurt back, or at least just show everyone that she was what they were thinking about her.  At least what she assumed they were thinking about her.  As I mentioned though, Ivan did win her over, bit by bit, sweet gesture by sweet gesture, and he won me over in the end as well with all of that.  The sex scenes were definitely sexy in this one.  However there were times when Marsha did irritate me with how she felt she had to be, but I know again, that is part of the drama of the story, and what makes her who she is.  There is an opening for a next book in the series, and I'll be interested to see who will take on the next season.  While I want Sky to get her true love, I don't know that I want her to go through this type of thing.  But I will be reading on to the next one, as long as there is one. And I will be picking up more books by this author!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

The Gods of Rock Tour. 
4 summer concert venues. 10 famous rock stars to f*ck.
Two at a time. Maybe even three. 
I know what I like and how to get it.
I’m Marsha West. Raven Winter’s best friend. A sidekick no longer, I’m in the starring role. 
I’m going to f*ck whoever I want. However I want. Whenever I want. I have my reasons for being the way I am and doing the things I do. I’ve warned WMO they might have to stretch the rules to keep their TV-MA rating for me.
It’s Rock F*ck Club. Season Two.
What could go wrong?

Have to share my picture with the author at Book Bonanza this past July again!


The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting:
Narrators:  Stella Bloom and Lance Greenfield
Genre:  Adult sports romance
Published:  August 7th, 2018
Source:  Purchased audiobook from
My rating:  4 stars

Okay, now I need to go back and see if I can find mention of our male lead in this book, Ethan, because it says that he played in Chicago with our favorite hockey boys in the Pucked series.  But anyway, he's a bit older, and so it was a nice second chance type of romance.  It started out great, I loved how we got two chapters from each character in a row, but then it soon moved to mostly Delilah.  With a short chapter from Ethan thrown in when it was necessary to get his side of the story.  I loved all the characters in the book though.  Loved Ethan's dad talking about being a grower rather than a shower.  We got a very slow burn between Ethan and Delilah, once she finally decided to let him have a second chance.  I identified a lot with the whole second chance part of the story, being older myself, I'd love to have certain guys from my past show back up and try something again with them.  Not all of them, just a few that I'd be willing to try with.  But then again, I'm at a stage in my life and career that I could be okay with devoting a lot of my time to the other person.  Unlike Delilah who was just now starting to work on moving her career forward with grad school.  Some other things I really liked were how mature Ethan was when Delilah needed to call a "break" or pause as the chapter title says.  I was very impressed with that.  It shows that the author was taking into consideration the age of the characters and being realistic as opposed to just adding drama for drama's sake.  I liked the twist at the end.  Didn't see it coming, although I had been guessing at what that person could possibly be adding to the story enough to have such a big part.  While this isn't a series, as far as I know, I would definitely love a book for Delilah's sister Carmen and  Dr. Lovely.  I  need to go hint to the author on social media that she should do that.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Experience the hilarity and heartache of first love and second chances in a sexy new romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series.

Lilah isn't sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she's no longer that same girl and never wants to be again. 

Ethan wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that. 

Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let Ethan in, though, she finds out their reunion might have nothing to do with love and everything to do with improving his game. But Ethan's already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he'll do anything to keep from losing her again.

And because I want to, here is my picture with this author back in July at Book Bonanza:

As Dust Dances (Play On #2) by Samantha Young:
Genre:  Adult rock star romance
Published:  July 16th, 2018
Source:  E-galley from author which did not influence my opinion 
My rating:  3 stars

Maybe 3.5 stars. This is a really hard review for me to write. I have loved every other book I've read by Samantha Young. I mean, those were books that I couldn't put down, I laughed, cried, gushed over them to everyone everywhere as I read it and after I finished it. And I did really enjoy the first one in this series, Play On

It's not that this wasn't a good story. It had a lot of great things about it. There was the end that definitely had me crying in a way that only this author can make me cry. I think that these were characters that maybe I just didn't connect with? I also was never quite sure how these characters connected to the characters in the first book, which I loved. The reason that probably bothered me is that as I read each book in the On Dublin Street series, I had an idea who that character was, or I got to see the characters that I'd already met and fit them into the story. I also don't feel like maybe there was the humor in this one that I feel was in the other books? 

Honestly, it wasn't a bad book. It just wasn't that great for me. However, I'll still be eagerly awaiting the next book from this author, I have no doubt in my mind about that.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Once upon a time Skylar Finch was the lead singer of a hugely successful American pop-rock band. But fame made her miserable. When years of living a lie suddenly ended in tragedy, Skylar fell off the map.

Eighteen months later she’s sleeping in a tent in a cemetery in Glasgow, making just enough money to eat by busking on the streets. She manages to avoid recognition, but not the attention of one of Glasgow’s ambitious A&R executives.
Killian O’Dea works at Skyscraper Records, Scotland’s most successful record label. Raised by his uncle and owner of the label, Killian’s upbringing would have been devoid of affection entirely if it wasn’t for his loving sister. Killian is unflinchingly determined to bring the label more success than ever, and the young homeless woman who busks on Buchanan Street is going to help him do that. Her music speaks to him in a way he refuses to over-analyze. All he knows is that if it can touch his dark soul, it’ll set everyone else’s alight.
Skylar makes it clear that she doesn’t want to sign with him. But when she experiences the dangerous reality of a woman sleeping rough, Skylar has no one else but Killian to turn to. An undeniable connection forms between them. But Skylar doesn’t want the career Killian is trying to forge for her, and when her past comes back to haunt her Killian will be faced with a decision that could ruin him. He must either free Skylar from his selfish machinations and destroy everything he’s ever worked for, or lose a woman who has come to mean more to him than he ever thought possible…