Review: Hot and Heavy by Elle Kennedy

36540106

Genre: Adult, Romance, Erotica
Pages: 246
Series: Out of Uniform #2
Release Date: November 3, 2017
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.

Note: This was previously released in 2013, and before that as three novellas in 2010 and 2011.

3.5 Stars

4c9zr74Ki

As promised, this is the review for the next three novellas (previous three here). Lets get straight to it. Also, just so I don’t have to write it every time, all the men are Navy SEALs.

 

1. Heat It Up

Becker and Jane get stuck in an elevator, and I’m totally fine with it. What started off with elevator sex, then continued into a fling. Except both liked each other too much for it to stop there. And I could totally see why they liked each other. Becker was a great guy, if a little confused about what he wanted with his future romantic relationships.

Jane was awesome. I kinda love Jane. She was fun and bold and knew exactly what she was doing and what she wanted. This was one of those special cases where the romance was driven not by the guy chasing the girl, but by equal contribution on both parts. Well, maybe Jane contributed more, which just makes me love her more because girls who take initiative are awesome.

Overall, a very fun read which a great female protagonist.

Rating: 3.75 Stars

 

2. Heat of the Night

Annabelle’s fiance breaks off their engagement because he thinks she’s a prude. So naturally, she makes a list of things she’s interested in doing to prove him wrong. Except the list lands with Ryan after he lands in her bed, thinking she’s someone else.

Annabelle is beyond embarrassed but Ryan is very interested. He offers his help in completing the things off the list. There are a lot of them and they’re all very hot. And between completing their fun tasks, they get to know each other. They know their time is limited because Annabelle is only in town for a few weeks but the time they do have is great. Their relationship is very sweet, and funny. Ryan is a care-free guy. Not much can bring him down. Annie is also great. She’s hella sassy and I love her. The two of them together are very entertaining.

I do wish we could’ve seen them spend a little more time together because honestly, the phrase “I’m in love with you” is starting to lose meaning at this point, with how quick everyone seems to say it. Overall though, great story.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

 

3. The Heat is On

Matt and Savannah meet during a bank robbery, both making fun of the robbers. Matt likes her and since neither of them seem to be interested in a relationship, things are good. A short fling and then they go their own ways. But Matt starts to want more and things get complicated.

This was not my favourite of the stories. Not my least favourite either. I enjoyed Matt and Savannah’s conversations. They have chemistry and Matt’s resilience when it came to getting Savannah to go out with him, that was cute. I also liked the ending. It’s just, Savannah was a little too insensitive for my taste. She said that not everyone understood her sense of humour, and I didn’t. Also, there was something she did near the end that bothered me. It felt douche-y.

It was a good read overall, I just liked the previous two better.

Rating: 3.25 Stars
4c9zr74Ki
That’s the end of the novellas of the series. There are four more book and they’re all full-length novels featuring one couple per story. I’ll review them when I read them. And I am reading them, even if they’re erotic romance novels, because I’m on a mission to read everything Elle Kennedy has ever written. Wish me luck!

Advertisements

Review: Hot and Bothered by Elle Kennedy

36040399

Genre: New Adult, Romance, Erotica
Pages: 233
Series: Out of Uniform #1
Release Date: August 17, 2017
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.

Note: This was originally published in 2012 and, before that, as three different novellas in 2008 and 2009. This is an edited compilation of the three novellas.

2.50 Stars

4c9zr74Ki

So a few days ago, I said that erotic romances weren’t really my thing, with a few exceptions. Elle Kennedy is an exception. Not just because her erotic fictions books are usually novellas, which I can totally handle, but also because I love Elle Kennedy. I know it might not seem like it from the rating of this book, but we all have our ups and downs.

This collection has three stories. I’m going to review and rate them individually.

 

1. Heat of the Moment

This one follows Shelby, who has lusted after Navy SEAL John for over a year but he seems to show no interest in her. Then she overhears him talking to his friends and finds out it’s because he thinks she’s too vanilla. And she sets her mind to showing him how wrong he is.

This was a very quick and easy read. The point was basically sex (a threesome) and potentially setting up a happily ever after. And for such a short book, it did a fairly good job of giving us that story. It’s wasn’t great but it also wasn’t that bad. Elle Kennedy is a lot better with her current work and you can only do so much in 60 pages which have to include a sex scene (it’s an erotic romance, after all). I do wish the conversations between the two protagonist had indicated that they were friends, because their friendship played an important part in the novel. But since they didn’t seem friends, that plot point fell flat.

Overall though, if you have an hour and want to read something quick, this is a good choice.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

 

2. Heat of Passion

Carson is the king of one-night-stands. And it isn’t until he meets Holly that he thinks that maybe he wants more. But Holly has too much on her plate, with her family and her catering business, and doesn’t have time for a relationship. And it’s up to Carson to convince her to give him a chance.

This one was quite a step up from the previous novella. The page count hasn’t increased much but we got to know Holly’s family history and what the problem she’s facing with them is. We also got some good moments between Holly and Carson. We got a reason for the change in Carson’s ways and a fairly good romance, which is more than you’d expect from an erotic romance novella.

I do wish people would stop falling in love so freaking quickly but I’m not too bothered. The book is well-written, hot, fun and again, very short. Took less than two hours. I’m quite happy with it.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

 

3. Heat of the Storm

Was kinda tempted to give this story one star but I love Elle Kennedy and the writing wasn’t the problem. The problem was with the story and the characters.

Will has been in love with Mackenzie for fifteen years. The entire time, Mackenzie knew and returned his affection, but continued to friend-zone him and throw other men in his face because she was afraid that if something went wrong with their relationship, she would love her “friend”. Honestly, I’m not sure how she can claim to be his friend after blatantly using him as her support system for fifteen years.

She wanted someone to lean on so she hurt him for so long. That is beyond unhealthy for a relationship. I understand that she had problems with other romantic relationships due to her profession, but that’s no excuse. The entire time, Mackenzie though about no one but herself.

Then there was the whole thing with visions. Yes, Mackenzie is a psychic. She sees visions about people’s futures. I don’t know about y’all, but I prefer to keep my fantasy away from my real-world stuff. Basically, the two stars are solely for Elle Kennedy. I don’t approve of the relationship at all. Mackenzie did nothing to deserve to be with Will, and Will simply needed to grow a pair and ditch the bitch.

Rating: 2 Stars

4c9zr74Ki

So as you can see, if it weren’t for the total misfire with the third story, the overall rating would’ve been higher. I’ve already read the next three stories (meaning the second collection) and I’ll post those reviews tomorrow. There are only two story collections. The rest of the novels in the series are full length and I haven’t read ’em yet.

Review: The Nature of Cruelty by L.H. Cosway

17873919

Genre: New-Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 366
Series: None
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Smashwords
Date Read: February 10 , 2016

Note: I now get why authors rewrite whole chapters. There were so many things wrong with this review, editing was not gonna cut it.

2 Stars

4c9zr74Ki

Lana used to be completely in love with her best friend’s brother when she was younger. But he was a royal ass who bullied her relentlessly and the day he moved away was probably the best of her life. Now, years later, he’s coming back. He’s going to be living in their house for a while and Lana is worried. But Robert regrets the actions of his younger self and wants to fix things. He’s determined to be her friend this time.

And that sounds like such a great redemption story, right? It’s not. This is really not a good book and the only things it’s really got going for it is that it’s written by L.H. Cosway, whose work (later work, that is) I really like.

The start was promising enough. Though maybe the word I should use is ‘mediocre’. It seems so thoughtful at times, like with its name and addressing cruelty, how it affects you and why people are cruel. But in the end, the entire novel is mediocre. The kind you read and think is just ‘meh’. Then you give it three stars and move on. The problem arised when it went from ‘okay’ to horrible, with moments that made me go, “Oh come on! This is bullshit!”

There were plenty of things that weren’t good. Lets start with the characters. I didn’t like either of them. Lana was okay usually but she was shown as such a damsel. She has an illness (I won’t reveal what it is, in case it’s a spoiler). It’s not a fatal one but it complicates her life. In the book, she was treated like an invalid because of it.

Robert is definitely the worse of the two though. Not only does he have a history of being really cruel to Lana, even the new him isn’t okay. He’s pushy, can’t seem to take ‘no’ for an answer and has no respect for personal space. He’s also a total creep. And what’s worse is that the author acknowledges that he has a problem. Lana even told him that he needed help. But after that, his ‘fucked up’ state is pretty much ignored and no one does anything about it. This is the second time a character’s issues have been mentioned and glossed over (first was in Hearts of Fire) by L.H. Cosway. It’s infuriating and, next time, there will be a rant.

Next, we have the writing. Here’s how it went: “I did that and then I did that and then he did that and then…” No very good, is it? You can tell that the author needs more practice. And I’ll leave it at that.

The relationship between Lana and Robert didn’t work for me. Between Lana being little more than ‘good girl damsel’ and Robert being a creep, things were already bad enough. Then we got to revisit a popular romance novel trope. In which one half of the couple (usually the guy) wants the relationship more than the other. He tries everything in his power to convince the other person, until the other person agrees to be with him/her. I hate that. It ruins the balance.

When it comes to relationships, I wants both the people to be equally invested. With tropes like the one mentioned above, it’s like the other person goes, “I’ll be chore but since he’s so insistent and begging so hard, I’ll be with him.” That’s so not how it’s supposed to go!

Both parties must be equally willing to fight to be with the other. You might as well break up otherwise.

Last but not least, I didn’t like the conflict near the end. It it were done differently, maybe it could have worked but it just seemed very stupid to me. It’s yet another reason why I don’t recommend this novel. It was a disappointment. But you should check out the author’s other (later) works. Those are good.

Review: Her Private Avenger by Elle Kennedy

8507379

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 217
Series: None
(Original) Release Date: January 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin

3 Stars

4c9zr74Ki

I almost decided not to review this one It’s been over a week since I read it and it wasn’t an entirely memorable read and I just didn’t feel like reviewing it. But I’m doing it anyway. You’re welcome.

The premise (aka my least favourite part of writing a review) is that Morgan and Adam used to be in love. But Morgan’s asshole of a father was always trying to interfere and Morgan always let him. She always chose him over the guy she was supposed to marry. Finally Adam had enough and left her. That was two years ago. Now, Morgan is following the case of her friend who went missing, a cold case she’s been trying to solve for ten years. But when someone tries to kill her, it means she may finally be getting close to a breakthrough. And since Adam is a mercenary, she enlists his protection while she investigates.

Now first of all, how terrible an idea is it to (selfishly) enlist the help of the guy whose heart you broke? On top of that, her approach to getting him to help her didn’t really involve apologies and requests. It was more along the lines of, “I’m going into danger and if I get killed, you’ll hate yourself.” Safe to say, I didn’t like her methods.

Morgan was a little self-absorbed most of the time. It was more about what she was trying to do. But she understood that if Adam was giving her the cold shoulder, then it was her own fault. She also cared about him and did try to make amends. Just… not enough. She felt bad, but she didn’t act like she did. Adam, understandably, had trouble trusting her again and I wish the novel had spent a little more time on reestablishing that trust. I wanted Morgan to choose to not let her father ruin her relationship. Instead, she hated her father for reasons that affected her. That left the reader (i.e. me) wanting when it came to being assured that she wouldn’t take Adam for granted again.

But enough about Adam and Morgan. Let’s talk about the other plot. Finding out what happened to Morgan’s friend. It was a pretty big part of the novel. It was the reason Morgan was being attacked, why she and Adam met again, and it was a mystery.

It was Morgan’s case. She’s supposed to be a journalist who knows how to get to the bottom of things. But from what I can tell, she’s not very good at her job. I don’t know why, but we didn’t see her figure much stuff out. She came to the wrong conclusions and she wasn’t good at reading people. Adam on the other hand, was much better at his, and her, job. The case was interesting, but it was a bummer that I suspected only two people (one more than the other) and the result was pretty much as expected.

I did like the climax but the book was, overall, pretty ‘meh’. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. It was a short read and not bad. I still love Elle Kennedy. But if you want to read something by her, I recommend starting with either Midnight Rescue (romantic suspense) or The Deal (contemporary romance).

Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

8909152

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 323
Series: None
Release Date: April 14, 2011
Publisher: Dutton
Read Date: January 17, 2016

3 Stars

4c9zr74Ki

This novel is set in 1999. There are three main characters (no love triangle, don’t worry). All three work at the same office. We have Beth and Jennifer, two friends who often use their office e-mail to message each other back and forth, something all employees have been told not to do. Then we have Lincoln, the IT guy whose job it is to inspect all the e-mails to make sure rules are being followed.

At first, Lincoln reads the work emails as a fun distraction from his boring job. But slowly, he starts to fall for one of the girls. Now all he has to do is go introduce himself …as the guy who’s been reading her e-mails.

Interesting premise, right? And a really fun book too. That’s why it was hard to rate. I had problems with it, but I also really like it. There were many good things. The writing, as expected from Rainbow Rowell, was great, with the right amount of emotion and humour. The format of the book was great too. I was so upset when the e-mails finally stopped.

I liked all the characters and getting to know them. Lincoln, for example; even though I knew what he was doing was wrong, I couldn’t not like him. He was such a cute, likable and relatable character. So were both Beth and Jennifer. I adored their conversations. They were funny and completely trivial at times. Other times they were meaningful and sweet. Beth and Jennifer’s relationship with each other was precious. We don’t get to see female friendships like this, often.

I also liked getting to know Lincoln’s mom and his sister. They were entertaining. Though I’m surprised Lincoln hasn’t going crazy with the two of them constantly being pushy and trying to shove their opinions down his throat.

Honestly, the only drawback of this book, for me, was the romance. And that’s why it was a book I found hard to rate. Because while I want to say that it was just one thing and, therefore, not a big deal; it was a big deal.

This a contemporary romance novel. Saying it’s okay for the romantic aspect to be lacking is like coming from watching a horror movie and going, “It was a great movie but it wasn’t scary.” It’s the key aspect. And the reason it didn’t work was because I didn’t see it. I didn’t see Lincoln falling for Beth. Yeah, he said she was kind and funny and stuff, but those are such general things. I just couldn’t feel it with them. I could see him liking her, but love? Yeah, I didn’t buy that.

Another thing, that also comes under romance, was the ending. I didn’t like it. And it’s not that I didn’t like where they were in the end, I just dislike how they got there. It felt wrong because it came out of nowhere. The series of events was all wrong and very rushed. I kind of wrote an alternate ending for it in my head. An ending I like better. They still end up where they do, but in a different way. No offence to anyone who likes the original ending, but it didn’t work for me.

And that’s all I have to say about the book. I do recommend it because it was a very enjoyable read. But I think it’ll work better for romantics and, while I read a lot of romance novels, I would definitely not consider me a romantic.

Review: Nights with Him by Lauren Blakely

22423795

This cover isn’t exactly better than a random shirtless dude.

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 350
Series: Seductive Nights #4 (Can be read as Standalone)
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Publisher:  Lauren Blakely Books

3 Stars

4c9zr74Ki

I was so glad when this book finally ended, and the sad things is, that’s (almost) totally on me. You see, I’m not an ‘erotic romance’ person. I can’t deal with more than two or three sex scenes at a time and, with romances, I read the book in one sitting. And since erotic romances have way too many sex scenes, I try to steer clear (with some exceptions).

What happened with this novel is that there was a novella (One Night With Her). I didn’t check anything about it, just started reading. Turns out, the novella was a prequel to a full-length novel and I was already invested enough that I wanted to read the whole story. I mean, you have a guy, Jack, whose fiancée died a year ago but is still struggling to move on with his life (as the CEO of a company that makes sex toys), and we have a girl, Michelle, who’s trying to move on from an urequited, decade long, crush on her best friend. They meet, there’s a one night stand and then, at the end of the novella, he goes to meet his new therapist and it’s the girl he had sex with just over twelve hours ago. Like, at the end, they’re standing there on either side of the (open) door of her office. What else was I supposed to do, than read the freaking novel?

So I started reading. She refused to be his therapist and hooked him up with a different one. But they were very attracted to each other so they decided to help each other out (with sex) for a month; no strings. We all know how well that works out, especially since both have issues they need to deal with. More Jack though. Michelle is pretty well-organised. She’s self-aware, she’s smart and she has a good idea of how far she’s willing to go and when to walk away. I really liked her.

And the plot of the book was so interesting. I wanted to know these characters and read about how they deal with their problems. Only… their problems took a back seat to all the sex. I feel like they got lost a bit. We’d be having some serious-time and the next second, they’d be fucking each other’s brains out again. And it wasn’t just the sex — I can skip those scenes. What made things really exhausting was that they were constantly horny! I swear to God, the guy couldn’t eat a fucking sandwich with getting a boner. And I don’t even wanna think about how uncomfortable Michelle would’ve been in her panties.

I get sexual attraction, but unless someone’s been putting some kind of drug in their water supply, I don’t buy it.

Other that the sex problem, things were good. I like Lauren Blakely and I like her writing. The few moments we did get with the characters (when they weren’t horny, that is) were really good. Also, like I said, I really liked Michelle. There was a political sub-plot that was good and I liked the main conflict near the end. This isn’t a bad novel. It just could’ve done with a little more realistic portrayal of sexual attraction. Read at your own risk, I guess.

Review: About That Night by Julie James

11235783

Genre: New-Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 284
Series: FBI/US Attorney #3 (Can be read as standalone)
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Berkley Sensation

Star

4c9zr74Ki

Here we have another book that’s difficult to review. But here, the reason is that I just reviewed the previous book of the series. Which means we have the same author, the same series and lot of similarities (because, you know, same author, same series). And I feel like I won’t have anything new to say. But let’s go for it anyway.

About That Night is about Kyle Rhodes. He’s a computer genius and the son of a billionaire. He’s just gotten out of prison after he hacked into twitter and shut it down for two days after his girlfriend dumped in the worst way, on twitter. He got a longer sentence than he deserved because the US attorney, at the time, was an opportunist asshole. Now that he’s out, he wants to get his life back on track. And that does not include helping someone from the same office that called him a terrorist.

But a blast from the past — the ‘one that got away’, you could say — changes his mind. He met Rylann almost a decade ago. They were both interested but, due of reasons, nothing happened. Now, after many years, even with him as an ex-con and her as an attorney, he can’t help but wonder if maybe they could finally act on their attraction.

Rylann isn’t on board with his flirtation. Not at first. Yes, she finds him attractive and he’s a likable guy, but she can’t see things working between them. Not with his status as the infamous “twitter terrorist” and her being new at the office. But they still give things a (casual) shot and I gotta say, they had a lot of chemistry. A lot of things have changed over the years for them, but not that. They still get along and their relationship, filled with plenty of flirting and banter, is so sweet. I was definitely rooting for them. For me, Kyle and Rylann are tied with Jack and Cameron (from Something About You).

Other than the romance, the case Rylann was working on played a small-but-crucial part. There were many small sub-plots, when I think about it. There was Rylann dealing with her own breakup, lots of fun time with Kyle’s sister, Kyle getting his life back together after being in prison for four months, and other seemingly small things that really fleshed out the novel. Seeing both Kyle and Rylann’s life outside of one another was great for getting to know them.

Both the protagonists were great. The book was well-written, funny, cute and I really liked it. I think it’s my favourite, so far, by Julie James (though Something About You kinda has a special place, maybe because it was the first in the series). So if you’re looking for a good, lighthearted read, this is definitely one I recommend.