Review: His True Queen (Smoke & Mirrors #2) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Title: His True Queen
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year:  EverafterRomance 8/7/18
Length:   400 Pages
Series:  Smoke & Mirrors #2

Overview

A beautiful, defiant princess. A renowned, sinfully gorgeous Hollywood actor.

A love affair that is sure to rock the British Monarchy…and the world.

Their love affair began intensely and passionately. Princess Adeline and Josh Jameson knew any future together was impossible—her status as a princess and his standing as a Hollywood heartthrob dictated that. But the heights of pleasure they could take each other to were wildly unanticipated by them both. Josh’s absolute disregard for Adeline’s status quickly drew her into his hedonistic world. And her perfectly worn mask and false façade captivated Josh to the point of obsession. The boundaries became blurred. The physical became emotional. Their hearts became entwined.

But a cruel turn of events rips their worlds apart and Adeline is more bound than ever by the protocol and expectations her title commands. The army of royal advisors who guard the secrets and scandals of the Monarchy will go to unthinkable lengths to keep the smoke and mirrors in place…and Josh away from Adeline. She knows the power she possesses comes with agonizing sacrifices. Walking away from Josh devastates her…but it keeps him safe from the corrupt institution that has ruled her life.

Yet Josh refuses to lose the woman who has consumed him so completely, distorted his boundaries, and stripped him of all sensibility.

Will the power of the British Monarchy triumph? Or will their fierce love for each other change the course of history?

My Thoughts

I don’t know how she does it – our amazing author.  As if the story wasn’t complicated enough coming out of the tragedy at the end of the first installment, there’s a twist that i never even fathomed.  and i pride myself on being able to figure out the hook fairly consistently.

In this 2nd (and final) installment to the series, Adeline finds herself bound to her country – the Queen who not mourns the loss of her family, but mourns the loss of her love since that’s really what’s at stake here.  She cannot be with the one person that makes her feel free, and that’s more painful than anything that she’s forced to deal with.

Throughout this story, we see quite a few things happening here.  Outside of Adeline and Josh, there are so many more players that are trying to fight their way to the top.

Queen Mother for one – her secret is out but not – with her husband’s passing, the secret revealed that Eddie isn’t the King’s true son, and his father is Davenport.  A man who worked for Kings for generations.  While we had zero warm and fuzzy feelings for him in the first book, he turns out to be quite the human being in the 2nd.  Someone that we rely on as a voice of reason, until he chooses to remove himself from the mix

Then there are Sir Don, and David Sampson, men who have their own agendas in the royal realm and agendas that take very malicious turns.  I think that it’s safe to say that there are no redeeming qualities for these two.  or are there?

Then there’s Haydon Sampson – the man who everyone has chosen to wed Adeline, yet she’s not even remotely inclined to hear that.  She does all in her power and in her despair to be gentle with him – to put him down gently, but he shows another side that is shocking and unexpected.

And poor Prince Eddie – he’s gone off the deep end now that his life is not at all what he thought it was and he’s forced to maintain a party line in order to save face and have Adeline take the thrown.

Then we get to our amazing couple.  A pair that will do whatever it takes to be together, sacrificing everything for just those few stolen moments here and there.  Even with so many people trying to set them up for failure, trying to keep them apart, the love and passion that they share is something that there’s no chance of breaking.  Until something comes between them and causes a rift that is impossible to rebound from.

So as expected, we get such a romantic story – one that has depth and momentum, with all the customary bits of heat, passion, chemistry and spark that our author is known for.  Add to that family drama, tradition and heritage and people who are out for ‘blood’ so to speak, and we get an amazing culmination of sots to this story.  As you read it, you must consider that however you think/hope it will end, you will be surprised!  Enjoy!

Review: The Controversial Princess (Smoke & Mirrors #1) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Title: The Controversial Princess
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher/Year:  EverafterRomance 5/22/18
Length:   340 Pages
Series:  Smoke & Mirrors #1

Overview

Her father is The King of England.

She is The Controversial Princess.

Regarded as down to earth by the press and rebellious by The King, Princess Adeline refuses to bow to the royal expectations her title carries. She knows better than anyone that the united front of the royal family is nothing but smoke and mirrors – lies and secrets masked by power and privilege. She wants no part of it, and she will never surrender to The King’s demand to marry a man she does not love. But despite Adeline’s determination to retain her free will, she remains deeply unfulfilled, feeling caged and suffocated.

That is until she meets Josh Jameson. Drawn in by his confidence, Adeline is soon captivated by the scandalously sexy American actor. His ability to penetrate her defences overwhelms her – his touch is pure fire, and his allure overpowering. Nothing has ever made her feel so alive in a world where she’s otherwise slowly drowning. However, while Josh may be Hollywood royalty, he’s not actual royalty, and Adeline knows The King and his advisors will do everything in their power to keep them apart.

But Josh Jameson becomes the princess’s ultimate vice.

And although she bows to no one, she bows to him.

My Thoughts

I love getting the monthly updates from Goodreads on ‘new releases from authors you’ve read’ since i wouldn’t have found this one for a bit at least without it.  So in this story, we get the introduction to a new series of sorts – featuring our main character – Adeline, a princess who has been forced into so many constraints by her family, yet as she’s grown up, she’s really having trouble coping with the lack of freedom.  You can’t blame the girl at all for that – she’s thirty, the youngest of three, she knows that she won’t ever have the thrown and she’s an utter disappointment to her father the King.

There are so many ties from this story to pop-culture if i have to admit it.  We have the duke and duchess of Sussex as characters (although not Harry and Megan), and we have Adeline who reminds me exactly of a character from the show on E! the Royals.  But other than that, we have what’s a really sweet story.

Adeline manages to make due with her station in life, trying to be happy with a friendship with her cousin Matilda, and the most amazing security lead – Damon.  Both are able to read her like no one else, and they do their best to make things a bit more manageable.  Upon her thirtieth birthday, she finds herself at a party thrown in her honor, with one surprise guest being her middle brother Eddie whom she adores, and the other, a hollywood superstar named Josh who affects her like no other man ever has.

That’s where this crazy rollercoaster romance begins.  They can’t stay away from each other yet they can’t be together since he’s American and she’s Royal.  Adeline knows that if her family catches wind of him, he will be taken from her, yet they have such strong feelings for one another that they will do whatever they can to be together.

There’s a great nuance here that Ms Malpas writes in – the D/s relationship between these two.  Josh is the one person in the world who has recognized that while Adeline is strong willed in everything that she does, she truly bends to the one person that can control her in a specific situation, a hot and steamy situation and that gives her even more freedom and release than ever imagined.  It’s something that makes their chemistry even hotter and a bond that really can’t be broken. Factor in another gentleman that the king seems to believe is better for Adeline, and you get to watch how these two make an impossible situation less so.

So the challenges that we see throughout this first installment of the series are layered in this hidden romance yes, but there’s so much more.  You know that there have to be several secrets because these are Royals, and it’s not until the end that they all spill out because of a catastrophic event.  Life as they knew it is over, and we are left wondering what comes next.  We find that so many people that we have grown to appreciate and love (or not) in this first book have died, and that means that everything is up in the air.

There are some of the hottest scenes that you can imagine, giving us a glimpse into the submissive world that Adeline is finding herself in.  This falls true to form of our amazing author – getting such detailed and sexy scenes amid a story that is strong enough to keep us interested.  Knowing where we left off at the end of this first book, it makes you wonder what will come next since the impossible just became even more so.  So on that note – i’m sad that i have to wait 4 days for the next book, but at least it’s just 4 days.  Enjoy!

Review: Royal Match (Royal Scandal #3.5) by Parker Smith

Title: Royal Match
Author: Parker Smith
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 5/8/18
Length:   104 Pages
Series:  Royal Scandal #3.5

Overview

What to expect when you’re royally expecting
In five years of marriage to Dylan Hale – the hottest (not to mention most deliciously insatiable) duke in England – I’ve learned one cardinal rule: Never say “no” to the Queen. Her orders? I’m to be the matron of honor at the royal wedding of the century… which is, coincidentally, my due date. Dylan’s plan is to seduce me into an early labor to avoid this royal ruckus. So now I’m caught between the Queen’s command… and my sexy duke’s desire.

My Thoughts

when i thought that we had resolution at the end of book 3, seeing that everyone was living happily ever after (even if we never learned who Lydia’s mother was), we didn’t know that there was a novella on the horizon.  a chance to see what life would become years down the line.  that’s what we get in this sweet continuation of sorts.

2 children and 5 years shows us that the love that Dylan and Lydia have for one another hasn’t dwindled at all.  Friendships blossomed even more, family grew closer (i mean, Dylan’s mother truly turned a corner when Lydia stood up for her in the last book and we see that they have a camaraderie of sorts now).  Emily and Will are enjoying their lives together, Fiona, Daph and Josh are doing the same.  So that means that in order to get an additional story, we have to bring an old favorite back.  Princess Caroline.  Dylan’s ex.

It’s weeks before her wedding to an American (i mean, hello Harry and Megan) and Lyda’s 9 months pregnant with baby #3, and she finds herself being asked to step in as matron of honor.  (hello Kate).  Our author seems to have taken cues from real life for this one, but i won’t judge.  Anyway, poor lydia has to suffer through all the royal wedding fanfare even knowing that she can go into labor at any moment.

and that’s a challenge that Dylan’s willing to try his hand at making happen.  Ultimately, the dr said that he can’t really ‘touch’ lyd at all, and he’s not a man to be swayed.  We spend every chapter, every page wondering if this is the moment that Lydia will go into labor and what that will mean for the royal wedding.  Timing is everything right?

And to add to that, we get a sweet nod to Daphne in this story.  She’s been the friend beside Lydia for the entire series so far, and it’s about time that we get to see her come into her own.  what was potentially a one night stand back in NY turns into something unexpected with a great twist and i think that it makes the story that much more entertaining.

Now, i think that we’re finally at the end of the journey with these guys, and i’m happy with all the ends that have been tied.  ASIDE from not knowing who Lydia’s mother is.  i honestly think that she could have been / should have been a royal and that would have made for a really interesting story.  Anyhow – i hope you guys read this one too once you’re done with the main series.  Enjoy!

Review: Royal Treatment (Royal Scandal #3) by Parker Smith

Title: Royal Treatment
Author: Parker Smith
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 6/13/17
Length:   250 Pages
Series:  Royal Scandal #3

Overview

All this duke needs is his duchess…


For five blissful months I’ve been engaged to Dylan Hale, the most handsome, commanding, and wickedly sexy duke in England. For five months I’ve woken up next to the man I love, indulged in secret trysts, and submitted to every delicious desire. Even better? We’ve managed to keep it hidden from everyone. That means no paparazzi scandals, no snide comments from Dylan’s mother, and no harsh public scrutiny. It’s been heaven, but with Dylan’s royal responsibilities looming, our time alone is running out. And while I can’t wait to be Dylan’s wife, I’m terrified that becoming Dylan’s duchess might mean losing myself.

My Thoughts

The romance and stress that comes along with it continues for Lydia and Dylan in this third installment.  They’ve come out with their romance, and that’s clearly not enough because everyone wants a piece of them.  Their lives are no longer theirs and that’s stressful.

Lydia is coming into her stride with her job – she’s managed to secure the funding and backing for Hannah to open a flagship store, and has parlayed that into a promotion.  Of course that causes strain on her friendship with Fiona, and that’s something new that she has to navigate.  She also finds that her new status of being with Dylan in the spotlight means that Hannah wants certain things from her – namely wearing her clothes to be photographed over and over again.

Dylan also has the stress of his father expecting him to take over Hale Shipping which has a lot of messes accompanying it, all while trying to live his dream of being an architect.

When Dylan’s father passes away and Lydia finds herself being sent to New York, there are more and more wedges coming between this couple that makes it seem impossible.  Add a secret mission with MI-6 that Dylan has to be a part of in the hopes of freeing Hale Shipping from less than savory folks, and well, there’s really no hope for a happy ending here.

What’s nice about this third book is that there are no longer any airs with the folks involved.  We see the real people, the ones who have passion and chemistry and the ones that aren’t willing to compromise their beliefs for anyone else.

We see the true person behind Dylan’s parents. We see what Emily (his sister) is truly about and we see what Lydia and Dylan are like when they are able to live their best lives alone.  So what does that mean for DYLy?  well – not so sure – and that’s why you have to read the story.  I think that there are great bits here and some that are still leaving us with loose ends.  I’ve said it before, i’m beyond curious about who Lydia’s mother is and i hope that it’s something that comes out.  you have to read in order to find out that answer.  There are also all the questions about whether they will be able to make a relationship work, and when it seems like they can’t – then what their lives become apart.  It’s really nice to see how the author imagines all that, and then hints at the future in an epilogue.  I can’t wait to see what’s resolved in Royal Match.  on that note – Enjoy!

Review: Royal Disaster (Royal Scandal #2) by Parker Smith

Title: Royal Disaster
Author: Parker Smith
Publisher/Year:  Grand Central Publishing 4/4/17
Length:   268 Pages
Series:  Royal Scandal #2

Overview

“He’s not who you think he is . . .

Meeting Dylan Hale has turned my life upside down. I’m dating an actual duke who’s devastatingly handsome and deliciously naughty. On the surface, I’m living the high life. But this surreal world of royalty and paparazzi is getting out of control.

Someone knows way too much about Dylan and me-about the moments when we’re alone, about how his hands leave a trail of fire over my skin . . . about the complete control he has over me between the sheets. And worse, it’s starting to become clear that Dylan’s keeping secrets from me, too . . .

My Thoughts

So to be completely honest here, it’s been quite some time since i read the first installment, that i couldn’t quite remember what the story was all about.  Thankfully i went back and read my review and remembered all over again how great of a series this was off to becoming and was happy to jump into book number 2.

So here we are, in london with Lydia and Dylan who are trying to make their no longer private romance work all while living up to the expectations of everyone around them.

Lydia is coming to terms with the idea that she’s with a man who’s as in demand as Dylan, while also trying to understand what his life is all about and how she can fit into it while she’s just a commoner.  It’s not easy, but the upside to it all is that she’s now seeing doors open for her that never were before.  Professionally she’s coming into her own, convincing her boss Hannah that she can help take them to the next level by opening a store for her designs.  The fact that Lydia will be constantly photographed in Hannah’s designs doesn’t hurt either.

Dylan on the other hand seems to be biting off more than he can chew in life.  He still wants to be able to do what he loves – design buildings while being with Hannah even though he knows that his family won’t accept her.

The journey for this couple is quite the roller coaster since there are so many forces trying to pull them apart.  If that weren’t enough, there’s also the fact that there’s someone who’s trying to scare and blackmail them – sending Lydia threatening emails and videos.  We spend so much of the story wondering who’s behind it that you know that it will be a wild goose chase.

Similar in nature to the first book, we see that there’s a high chance that love just isn’t enough.  Because Lydia is ‘American’ – she’ll never be accepted and that means that their relationship isn’t destined to be a long lasting one.  You have to wonder if all the chemistry in the world (which they seem to have) will be even enough to make what time they have worth it.

What we get in this 2nd book is a death, a betrayal, a blackmail, friendships torn apart, and a big question mark of whether Lydia should even be in London anymore.

Where we are left off in this story is bittersweet.  We know what we want to see happen, but it seems unlikely based on the path we’re on.  I still wonder who Lydia’s mother is – that’s one fact that i keep hoping will pop up and surprise us, but still nope.  not happening.  maybe in book 3.  As for Dylan – we know what he wants out of his life but it seems like he’s just not able to fight forces to get there – so i’m hopeful that we’ll see him turn a corner in book 3.  and on that note – enjoy!

Review: Bar Bites: A Man of the Month Cookbook (Man of the Month) by J Kenner

Title: Bar Bites
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 5/15/18
Length:   120 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month

Overview

Before Austin’s hotspot, The Fix on Sixth, became known for its sexy and fun Man of the Month calendar contest, the fictional downtown bar had already developed a reputation for fabulous drinks and mouthwatering bar bites–exactly the kind of venue to take a date and strike up a romance. Now it’s your chance to see exactly what’s on the menu … and to get a peek at the private lives of the men and women who not only work at The Fix, but who’ve made it the place to be in Austin, Texas. Join Man of the Month creator, New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner, and USA Today bestselling Southern food expert Suzanne Johnson as they guide you through their favorite bar bite and drink recipes served at The Fix on Sixth. Learn how to make the delicious bar bites that Tyree’s bar has become famous for. Whip up your favorite cocktail with the same flare as Cameron or Eric. And don’t forget to spend some time learning a little bit more about the private lives of your favorite characters in all new snippets and short stories! Most of all, come share a drink, a bite, and a laugh with us! We’re so glad you’re here. So pull up a chair, raise a glass, and dig in with your favorite Man of the Month characters, and meet a few new ones, too! Cheers!

My Thoughts

While not as fulfilling as the main installments to the series, this was a sweet way to end things since there were a few loose ends to be tied up.  That and well, it’s always nice to know how to make the food and drinks that i’ve read about for months now .

In this interesting version of a book, we get 4 novellas, one about Reece/Jenna, one about Spencer/Brooke, one about Nolan/Shelby and one about Eric/Tiffany.  Each gives us a glimpse into their story that we didn’t have already (a continuation of sorts) except for Eric/Tiffany where we got an abbreviated version of their entire story.

There’s something interesting though to call out here.  Our author tends to lean on the side of steam and heat in her other series, but in this case, there was more ‘sweet romance’ and storytelling than raunch.  nice change up sure, but in this book, she turns on the heat for sure and we get a bit more of what she’s known for.  It’s a nice change to be frank since we get the sweetness of the romances, yet the passion of Ms Kenner.

I love that we got to see a bit further into the future for Reece and Jenna – the birth of their daughter which was a main point throughout the installments.  It’s a bit of a stressful path that they go on, but it’s sweet none the less.   we get to see the happy couple become a happy family

then there’s nolan / shelby.  the couple that seemed to be totally different from one another but so well suited – but does that mean that they get their happily ever after?  and at what cost?

Onto Brooke and Spencer, the couple that had it all, lost it all and found it again.  Now however is the spotlight coming in between them?  putting on too much pressure and taking all that was great and amazing between them and turning it against each other?  i feel like we all want their happy ending – for their first show to be the success that we saw it become, and for them to get the mansion renovated and perfect since it was the stage for where their initial relationship really flourished.  the cameras though, and the constant attention makes things hard that there’s a breaking point, and we can only hope that love keeps it from falling apart too far.

And lastly, the romance that we never got in a full size story – Eric and Tiffany.  the bartender and the friend.  It’s sweet to see the crush become something more, even if there’s the taboo piece that Tiffany used to date Eric’s brother.  It’s when said brother comes back into town that we see things get dicey.

So….all in all, an even nicer way to close out the series – even though i know that Walk the Line was a really good piece of closure.  Now i really have to find something else to read.  Sad!  but enjoy!!!

Review : Walk the Line (Man of the Month #12) by J Kenner

Title: Walk the Line
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 7/10/18
Length:   130 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #12

Overview

Elena is too young for me, not to mention she’s my boss’s daughter and my babysitter.
That’s beyond complicated. And I’m not even looking for a relationship–but I can’t deny the attraction that sizzles between us.
I need to ignore it. A single dad, all I want is to take care of my little girl, do my job, and enjoy my friends. Anything more is asking for complications I can’t afford. Asking to be hurt again.
Trouble is, I want her, too. And when our flirty sparks turn to flames, I give in to temptation. Our secret fling is scorching hot, better than I’d even imagined.
But secrets get out, and I could lose my job and my reputation.
And I’m starting to realize she’s the one thing I’m not willing to lose.

My Thoughts

I’m really bummed that this is the last installment to the series.  I feel like there could be so much more to continue the story line. 😦  The good thing though is that Ms Kenner saved Brent for last.  He was a big role in the first book so it’s nice that it came full circle to him in this finale.

The Brent we knew before was the best friend in a triangle of Reece and Jenna.  He’s a single father to Faith, an adorable 5 (now 6) year old who’s mother walked out the day she was born.  Brent’s had a lot of trouble trusting people to stick around and he’s beyond devoted to his daughter.

Then there’s Elena, Tyree’s daughter – a child that he only learned about a few books back.  She’s 23, finding her way in life while finishing Grad School.  She’s sure of who she is, but she also knows what she wants and who she wants.

Of course, there’s a mutual attraction that neither will act on.  Brent is afraid to commit to anyone and he’s afraid of Tyree getting mad, and Elena is afraid to be rejected and is also afraid of what her father will think.  It’s only when she becomes his babysitter and they find themselves together at all hours that things start to bubble up.

The journey that they go on is a fast one.  They finally admit that they can’t deny how they feel about one another but they have to be careful about how open they are since there are so many factors against them.  And of course when things start to settle in, there are various wrenches thrown in.  One being a job opportunity that Elena gets in California.

Add to that story line that we are at the end of the series – with the point being that they needed to raise enough money to keep The Fix from being foreclosed on.  Add to that the fact that someone’s been vandalizing the place, and now the historical committee has decided that they want to take over the property because of it’s significance in Austin, and all the hard work may have been for nothing .

So as i said, our journey comes to a close, and while we see endless couples have been formed, we also don’t know what the outcome will be – if their home will be taken away and if that happens, what that will mean for everyone.  So on that note, i suggest you read it to see what happens and how they manage in the outcome.  Enjoy!

Review: Light my Fire (Man of the Month #11) by J Kenner

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Title: Light my Fire
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 6/26/18
Length:   125 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #11

Overview

Overview

I don’t do relationships.
I’ve lived my life hiding my scars, revealing myself only the in the scripts I write and the characters I voice.
Few people know the real me. I’m too careful. Too afraid of getting burned all over again.
Enter Beverly Martin. A movie star. A woman so beautiful and caring she makes my heart ache. She says she wants me–and her touch almost makes me believe that a girl like her could love a man like me.
But being with her would mean letting the spotlight of fame shine on me, too. And I’m not sure I can do that–even if walking away means losing the woman I love.

My Thoughts

Well it’s about time that we got to Griffin’s story – he’s been a staple throughout the series, and while we only knew a bit about him, we finally get to see him come into his own.  Then there’s Beverly, the girl who’s on the brink of major stardom, doing the Fix a solid by emceeing their contest, and of course that means that we get to see something else go over the edge.

This 11th installment takes us to a point in the series where we’re just about at the end, we’ve seen most of the characters couple off, and there are fewer and fewer bits to the story that we don’t know.  The reality show that was at the beginning of it all has now launched, and we might get to see how it all pays off in the end.

But then there’s Griffin, bar regular and web series star.  His script has just been sold and is about to be made into a major movie in Hollywood, with Beverly starring in it.  It pays to have an actress as a co-writer and best friend.  Or is it more?

Beverly sees people for who they are, and if she’s able to get Griff to see what she sees, then maybe they have a chance at happiness.  The challenge of course is that as an actress, her life is in the spotlight and that’s something that he doesn’t want.  Their journey as a couple is one of secrecy and self doubt- and fear of what gets to be out of their own control.

The nice thing about this book is that our amazing author J Kenner brings us a link to the Stark series, Kelsey and Wyatt play a part in making Griff realize the error in his ways, and becomes a voice of reason.  It’s nice to have those characters woven in, especially since i think another stark novel is coming out.

There’s also the introduction of Jessie who’s got a similar story to Griff’s and who thankfully helps him realize what he needs to do to be happy.

Romantic in all the right ways, steamy enough in others to remind us who the author is. She has a knack for giving us the sweet bits that make you root for a couple at a deeper emotional level, and then the heat and chemistry that keeps a romance alive.

So all in all, we get a nice follow up and 11th book of the series – we see the Man of the Month contest come to almost a close and i think that while it’s bitter sweet, we get to see happy endings for almost everyone.  or do we?  that’s the million dollar question.  Anyhow – on to the wait for the next installment.  Enjoy!

Review: In Too Deep (Man of the Month #10) by J Kenner

Title: In Too Deep
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 6/9/18
Length:   132 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #10

Overview

Hannah Donovan is not my type.

Intellectual and career-focused, she’s a lawyer, and an intimidatingly beautiful one, at that. I’d rather pump iron than open a book, and the only reason I’d go to court would be for a traffic ticket.

She’s the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. So how can I turn down her plea that I pretend to be her fiancé for one weekend?

But I never expected our pretend kisses to feel so real … or for it to lead to a wild night in bed that will forever stand out as the highlight of my sex life.

Our performance convinces everyone, but it was never meant to be more than a fantasy. A short term gig before reality sets back in.

I can’t imagine ever being good enough for her, but I’m hooked. And now I’m determined to do whatever it takes to make this fake engagement real.

My Thoughts

I really do enjoy the story here even though the whole idea of why they have the contest and what it’s going to accomplish has fallen to the wayside.  What’s nice though is that our amazing author has managed to keep the story lines interwoven while also keeping the plot standalone so you don’t really feel like you’ve missed out should you have not read all the installments

In this 10th book (wow 10 right?) we have the story of Hannah and Mathew.  Hannah is a lead that we really didn’t get much of in the other stories.  she was peripheral at best with some of the stories tied to the others, but i think that it’s about time that she gets to come into her own.  She’s a successful lawyer who’s been stuck in jobs that were making her brain rot.  now that she’s got the potential to break out on her own with Easton, she’s found herself in a situation where she’s without the funding and when she knows how she can get her hands on it from her mom, it means stretching the truth a bit of her life.

Then there’s Matthew, a guy that we know as a friend of some of the other characters and the brother of Selma from the last story.  He like a lot of the others had a rough upbringing, but made something quite amazing of himself, starting a gym, opening several locations and even looking to franchise.

These two know each other and yet won’t admit that there’s a spark until they are forced to put on an act and the chemistry is something that can’t be stopped.  What Ms Kenner does well is give us female leads that are strong and successful but maybe a bit ignorant in all things tied to the heart.  They all seem to put up walls around romance and play more of the ‘guy’ role, and find that the male leads are the ones who are romantic and looking for ways to complete their lives.  This is the exact same instance, but the way that the plot flows is one that’s quite nice – we get to see how both of these characters grow and become something great together.

The questions that we are thinking about here though are to what lengths they have to go in order for Hannah to get her money, and will her parents ever accept her for who she is.  What’s matthews’ thought in all this.  He seems to be so willing to become something that he’s not, yet wants to stay true to himself.  Lastly, when we find that forces pull them apart because appearances are more important to some, well, what will it take to overlook that and maybe find happiness.

So all in all, a story that flows in the same way that the others have, but with enough originality to keep it interesting.  The tease as well for the next installment when we FINALLY get Griffin’s story is a great one and i can’t wait to see where it goes.  Enjoy!

Review: All Night Long (Man of the Month #9) by J Kenner

Title: All Night Long
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Martini & Olive 5/30/18
Length:   128 Pages
Series:  Man of the Month #9

Overview

I wear designer suits on my body by day and gorgeous women on my arm at night. Some might call me arrogant, with my chiseled jaw and my dark blue eyes. Add in my money and I can get any woman I want.

Now, I want her.

The night I spent with Selma has lived in my most erotic dreams. And ever since she swept back into my life, with her flashing eyes and delicious body, I want nothing more than to make sultry new memories.

But with an election coming up, and an office I want to fill, it isn’t the right time to get involved with a free-spirited girl with a wild streak. A girl who doesn’t abide by the rules. A girl who could get me noticed in all the wrong ways.

A girl who makes me crazy … in all the right ones.

Now I’m going to have to decide: Walk the straight and narrow? Or have the hottest, wildest affair of my life with the sexiest woman I’ve ever known?

Meet Mr. September –
He’s got the moves to make a woman blush.

My Thoughts

I really do enjoy this series.  While Ms Kenner tells us every time that these are standalone stories, you really do get a well planned series here – seeing how each of the stories fold into one another, and how as we meet each character, we know that there’s something bigger on the horizon for them.

We’ve met Easton in several installments before and it’s nice that we get to see more of him here.  While we know him as the lawyer that everyone defers to in the series, there’s got to be more to the man and what his aspirations are.  He’s a guy who comes from a past that’s not ideal, his family lost everything and he’s fought his way to be what he is.  He’s also a man that won’t settle until he has achieved everything that hopes for, being successful in his field isn’t enough, being elected to the judiciary sector is really his hope for his next step, or is it?  It takes a woman with a free spirit to make him question it all.

That woman is Selma – a woman who’s become successful with her own distillery, and yet, she’s running from the world, from herself.  We learn that her past is even more troubled than Easton’s.  She and her brother Matthew were abandoned when they were pre-teens, in a mall by their mother.  Being in the system is something that’s really made her a bit scared of losing all those who are close to her, and potentially has caused her to be even more wild and unsettled than normal.  When she’s got the chance to have her business bought out, she crosses paths with Easton again to help with the deal.  Again because they had a torrid one night stand 10 years ago, and clearly it’s something that neither of them have gotten out of their system.

What’s interesting with this series is that Ms Kenner, our esteemed author does something as a semi repeat if you think about it.  We have another couple that’s known each other in previous lives if you think about it.  They were a couple of sorts even if it was a night, 10 years ago and when they are pushed together now, we see that there could be steamy hot results, just like we saw for brooke.

Anyhow, we have a sweet story here – one of a girl who’s afraid to put down roots, but who sees something lasting with a guy.  And a guy who’s doing his best to keep up appearances to push his career forward, while knowing that maybe he needs to color outside the lines.  Their chemistry is hot, they can’t keep their hands off each other and that’s what keeps this installment going.  Will their relationship challenge everything that Easton has worked for, and when it does come to be in the forefront will there be too much to keep them together?  Are there other men and women at play with these two that makes things complicated?  well, it wouldn’t be a romance if we didn’t have people getting in the middle of things.

There’s one thing that’s bugging me a bit now that we have gotten to the 9th installment.  We’ve kind of lost the point of the whole story and contest/calendar to begin with.  There’s almost no mention of it at all anymore, and i think that it’s a miss.  We also have zero mention of the reality show that’s being filmed as well, something that was core to the story in the first place.  I can only hope that we get some of that back in the final book.  I mean, if we don’t get to see it come full circle, see that Tyree is maybe able to keep things afloat, then all we have are a bunch of engaging and interesting stories that are bound by a family of characters but no thread pulling through any more.

So, all i can say is that i enjoyed this story, but i’m missing a bit of the commonality.  We’ll see what book 10 brings.  Enjoy!