arc · review · romance

ARC Review | The Earl of London by Louise Bay

The Earl of London

by Louise Bay

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SYNOPSIS

I believe in love. It just doesn’t believe in me.

I date. I’m all for giving guys a chance. I’ve just never met the one.

Until on a spring morning in the English countryside, a tall, dark stranger emerges from the mist. Logan Steele is all tousled hair, hard chest and lips so perfect I want to reach out and touch them just to check they’re real. I’m sure that’s a thunderclap of chemistry I feel between us.

Did I mention he’s an Earl with a self-made fortune?

A billionaire who works tirelessly for charity?

And he’s so hot, watching him is like staring at the sun.

But like I said, love isn’t rooting for me.

When I find out Logan Steele is out to destroy everything I’ve dedicated my life to protect, the chemistry disappears and the hope that had blossomed my chest turns to rage.

It no longer matters that he quickens my pulse just saying my name, weakens my knees with a single touch and that he might just be the greatest kisser that ever lived.

I might believe in love but Logan Steele is definitely not the one.


REVIEW

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Whenever I’m finished reading this author’s most recent release, I fall in love with England, over and over again. In unique ways, this story provides an intriguing historical romance meets modern England vibe, with an enemies to lovers theme weaved throughout, an antagonistic hero and passionate heroine reminiscent of Jane Austen’s novels.

I knew who I was and what I was capable of. I understood that however amazing tonight had been, this was where it ended. Because it was all I had to give.

During my trip to England, I also fell in love with its countryside. From green endless forests and rolling hills, to the beautifully crafted quaint houses, it is difficult to find fault with it.

I totally understand Darcy Westbury’s irrevocable love for her hometown and the strong, childhood memories she associates with it. However, whenever she was questioned as to why she wanted to preserve her home’s natural state, words seemed to escape her. I couldn’t understand her obsession with keeping everything as is.

Darcy’s personality became tolerable maybe halfway through, when her strong, admirable characteristics started to shine. But, the only reason her character became easy to like is because she changed her opinions on Logan Steele. Prior to changing, she comes across as awfully immature and condescending, turning everything into some kind of debate or pettish game simply because she cannot accept change.

She was all fire on the outside and cool breeze on the inside, and I wanted to dive in and experience it all.

Logan is someone you’ll either love or hate. In some aspects, he comes across as unfeeling and disinterested, especially within business, as his childhood has transformed him into someone determined, arrogant and self-centred. He isn’t difficult to understand. Rather he is difficult to love because, similar to Darcy, he doesn’t change until halfway. Before that, he is crass. An awfully cliche wealthy businessman.

Thankfully, I haven’t been reading many cliche stories, so my patience for this was high. I don’t mind a manwhore anyway; I do mind reading what he does with others in explicit detail though. And this was almost borderline.

Personalities aside, Darcy and Logan transform as individuals, as well as together. They have interesting chemistry that’s quite tantalizing (ignoring Logan’s constant usage of “good girl”).

arc · review · romance

ARC Review | Dirty Headlines by L.J. Shen

Dirty Headlines

by L.J. Shen

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SYNOPSIS

Célian Laurent.
Manhattan royalty.
Notorious playboy.
Heir to a media empire.
…And my new boss.

I could have impressed him, if not for last month’s unforgettable one-night stand.
I left it with more than orgasms and a pleasant memory–namely, his wallet.
Now he’s staring me down like I’m the dirt under his Italian loafers, and I’m supposed to take it.
But the thing about being Judith “Jude” Humphry is I have nothing to lose.
Brooklyn girl.
Infamously quirky.
Heir to a stack of medical bills and a tattered couch.
When he looks at me from across the room, I see the glint in his eyes, and that makes us rivals.
He knows it.
So do I.
Every day in the newsroom is a battle.
Every night in his bed, war.
But it’s my heart at stake, and I fear I’ll be raising the white flag.


REVIEW

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First she got into my bed, then under my skin, then into my heart.

I have a confession to make: I’m cheating on Vicious with Celian.

I’ve said it before: L.J. Shen is my Queen of Asshole Heroes.

First, Vicious. Now, Celian. I know, I shouldn’t compare these two ruthless men because fundamentally they’re both very different, yet at the same time they’re eerily similar. They both share an obsession, a deep-rooted love for the women they want. They’re cold and mean. Assholes, inside and outside the boardroom. I could continue comparing these two wonderfully amazing fictional personas, but that would ruin the reading experience.

In short, if you loved Vicious, you’ll love Dirty Headlines.

Célian Laurent was the biggest jerk to ever walk on planet earth, and he carried that title like a badge of honor.

Dirty Headlines is flourishing with signature asshole personas, a unique heroine who doesn’t bend over backwards (I’m staring at you, Indigo Bellamy), an insane amount of titillating chemistry, tantalizing drama, unexpected storyline turns and comedic value. It is lighter, less angst-driven than any of her previous novels, but that doesn’t deteriorate this upcoming release’s value. It only furthers it.

Where to begin?

Celian Laurent is perfect. I know, how does an asshole be perfect? Guess what, L.J. Shen has the answers. Underneath his no-nonsense attitude and imposing personality is someone intelligent, brutally honest, ruthless and oftentimes humorous. He is rude, crude and has the filthiest mouth imaginable that’ll leave you blushing and fanning yourself vigorously. Beyond this persona though is someone with integrity, honorability and vulnerability. Celian Laurent is complex and somewhat damaged.

My heart is not a lonely hunter. My heart feels. It beats. It loves. It breaks.

Judith Humphry is going to become my next favourite heroine. I’m inspired by her ambition and determination to succeed in journalism. Enamoured by her fierce loyalty and incredible amounts of carefree love. She isn’t shy, or awkward or terrified to stand up against Celian, making her impressive as she doesn’t bend over backwards for his possessive and demanding attitude. I adored her witty and quirky sense of humour, her strong-willed manners.

First she got into my bed, then under my skin, then into my heart.

Some authors are meant to write.

And the amazing Leigh Shen is one of those. She’s established this reputation as someone capable of writing beautifully constructed sentences that are both concise and poetic. She’s also mastered the ability to transform cold-hearted bastard heroes into loveable characters, who are the perfect matching piece to the sassy, usually quirky heroines she writes.

She’s capable of changing writing styles and genres without disrupting the quality. It is indisputable proof that she’s a gifted storyteller and character creator; her future stories will continue to become better and better.

Dirty Headlines is rife with burning hatred and fierce passion and all-consuming obsession. It is the perfect enemies to lovers story, as it begins with delicious smut goodness before thrusting is into love-hate scenes, creating mouth-watering tension. It is light, filled with comedic value, humorous situations and references to various films and shows.

The girl was a lioness at work and a lamb in bed, the perfect combination for a predator like me.

Within the office environment, Celian and Judith are equal, but inside the bedroom Celian’s dominance and commanding presence, along with that sinfully filthy mouth, shined. They have intense chemistry, a captivating romance that is both dirty and romantic. They’re a complicated, but entertaining mess of emotions and passion.

Despite the missing angst-ridden story lines we’re used to, Dirty Headlines is still an enrapturing and addicting read. A perfect enemies to lovers office romance with a hint of slow burn.

arc · review · romance

ARC Review | Wicked Gentleman by Christy Pastore

Wicked Gentleman

by Christy Pastore

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SYNOPSIS

Stevie

My Fairy Godmother had a wicked sense of humor, of that I was certain.

The first time I met Jackson Hart, I was on all fours with my ass in the air.

At the time of our meet not so cute, I didn’t know that the handsome man with the most captivating blue eyes was the wealthy, charismatic, and hot as sin hotelier, oh and my new boss.

Well, technically he is my boss’s boss. Just skimming the company manual was maybe not the best idea.

But, I digress. Working at Hart Hotels & Spa was a temporary plan.

Now, that plan has changed. Jackson Hart not only wanted me in his bed and in his life, he wanted me working alongside him.

Some offers are too good to pass up.

Jackson

Premium scotch aged to perfection, making money before sunrise, nine holes of golf and interesting conversation. Those are the things most known about me. Toss in a leggy brunette or a stunning redhead at a society event for good measure and there’s a story to amuse the public. But, my story goes deeper—to the past that I left behind.

Sooner or later past and present collide. I never dreamed Stevie Brockman would be part of both.


REVIEW

You can also read this review on Goodreads!

Wicked Gentleman is my first read by Christy Pastore.

I found myself drawn towards the cover. Even that blurb captured my attention, despite the wealthy businessman trope becoming an overused concept in romance. Sadly, the middle became flat, almost repetitive, slowly losing my interest in Jax and Stevie.

She was innocence and sin wrapped together and I had the desire to explore every facet of her being.

Jackson Hart is reinventing himself years after being driven away from Miami. With Hart Hotels & Spa, he has succeeded, with multiple expansions organised and wealth pouring in as testament to his determination and ambitions.

I didn’t find myself drawn towards Jax. While he is charming and romantic, he isn’t enigmatic or mysterious. Paired with a dirty mouth and suggestive words, Jax is wicked (sometimes), but it did not make me swoon. Not even once.

Despite her young age, Stevie isn’t a brat that whinges and whines, proclaiming “woe is me!” every chance she receives, because she carries deep-seated daddy issues. However, her personality was two-dimensional, awfully flat and hard to connect to in memorable ways.

He had the lips of the devil. And with one kiss, he melted every part of me—setting my soul on fire.

Oh the romance…

I couldn’t find enjoyment in it. Everything seemed to move quickly, but at the same time, not at all. Jax and Stevie could be passionate, with every encounter filled with steam, but it was the ordinary steam. No fanning and drowning myself in water happened here.

It seems my taste in romance keeps morphing and changing, because I cannot handle fluffy romance that appears to fall into a tiny, neat package. Give me intense sexual tension, grittiness, romance that burns steadily and beautifully.

In saying that, I appreciated the witty banter, Stevie’s independence and the first few introductory chapters really gripped me. But the cliche and common trope of wealthy businessman using his influence for poorer love interest died on me. I’m in a, “it’s not you, it’s me” situation.

review · romance

Review | Dirty Little Promise by Kendall Ryan

Dirty Little Promise

by Kendall Ryan


SYNOPSIS

The secret I’d discovered about sexy billionaire Gavin Kingsley was so big, so haunting wasn’t something I could overcome. I had a decision to make—hear him out and see where things went, or turn to his brother Cooper, who I was fairly certain was in love with me. But something dark inside of Gavin called to something dark inside of me. And I wasn’t willing to just walk away—not yet anyway.

This is the conclusion to Emma Bell’s epic love affair with the alpha and enigmatic Kingsley brothers. Secrets will be exposed, sides will be chosen, and nothing will ever be the same.


REVIEW

★★★★

Dirty Little Promise is the conclusion to Gavin Kingsley and Emma Bell’s intense and heated romance. If you thought the precursor Dirty Little Secret was fierce in its passion and excitement, Dirty Little Promise is more fervent, the chemistry stronger and its impact more emotionally charged.

Once again, Kendall Ryan delivers an epic love story with more delicious angst and fulfilling suspense, and every scene is hotter and bolder and sexier.

My heart was so full, so full of her, of her love, I felt like anything was possible. She made me strong and brave and whole. And I knew with certainty I’d love her until my dying breath.

Emma Bell, modest, quiet and respectable, is reeling in shock after learning Gavin Kingsley’s dark and dirty secrets. She finds herself longing for the enigmatic billionaire, but she’s also torn and uncertain whether she can trust the man she continues falling for.

In every aspect, Gavin Kingsley is dominant; he is demanding and controlling, while also being fair within reason. When he is certain about wanting something or someone, he is determined to have it. And what he wants is Emma Bell, his sensual and seductive librarian.

While Gavin manages to clear some of Emma’s unease by answering her difficult questions about Ashley, Emma is still cautious. Her experience with relationships is limited, her ex-boyfriend having been physically and verbally abusive. With Gavin’s domineering personality and incessant need for rough sex, Emma is understandably concerned if she is about to enter a similar relationship.

Even though Emma knows she wants Gavin, there’s still Cooper, the youngest Kingsley to consider. She’s caught between two equally handsome and persistent figures, but she can only have one. Cooper is sweet and gentle, soft compared to Gavin’s rough edges. And while my heart broke for Cooper, I’m keen to have him meet his match in Torrid Little Affair.

Emma’s more confident, assertive and self-assured. She’s shifted from quiet librarian to someone more seductive and submissive who brings out Gavin’s softer, more attentive and tender side. It takes someone with patience and determination to overcome the horrifying experiences she’s been through, making her awe-inspiring and brave.

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Forbidden Desires
Dirty Little Secret

Dirty Little Promise

Torrid Little Affair

Tempting Little Tease

Naughty Little Scandal