I didn’t think this would become so frequent but I guess it’s all about the year ending, my holiday week and me reading almost four books everyday. I knew I’m a fast reader but it seems like the past few days have been great for me as a reader. Mostly because the books are a great way to not feel homesick amidst the celebrations around me. Anyway, most of those I’m reading are quick, light books so that does justify my high reading pace at the moment.
Title: One And Done
Author: Melynda Price
Genre: Adult Romance
“Surfs up! Hop on my board and I’ll give you the ride of your life…”
~Balen Kroft, International Surfing Champion
“If you kiss enough frogs, eventually you’re going to get a fungus.”
When Autumn’s best friend surprises her with a girls’ getaway in Cyprus for her 30th birthday, she makes up her mind that now is her time to shine. This is exactly the fresh start she needs to put the past and a messy divorce behind her. She might have bought into the ideology of Mr. Right once, but that myth was long busted—been there, done that—and she has the broken heart to prove it.
When a family emergency causes her bestie to bail on her minutes before their flight takes off, Autumn finds herself alone and bound for the “Island of Love.” Her friend had an itinerary chock-full of girlfriend goodies planned—massages, salsa lessons, parasailing… Okay, maybe not parasailing, but this was going to be a week of fun, and now it’s a week for one. Armed with her Best Friends Guide Book for Having Fun—and no best friend—Autumn plans to check into her beachside villa with her new BFF, Captain Morgan.
Being ranked one of the top surfers in the world does have its perks, but discovering your sex-tape was released on social media? Definitely not one of them. On the heels of a scandal that has sponsors threatening to cancel his contracts, Balen Kroft has strict instructions from his publicist to lie low for the next week while this whole fiasco blows over. Seven days of incognito before hitting the surf again at the Titans of Mavericks Invitational might not be such a bad thing—rest, relaxation, and fun in the sun… Until he comes face-to-face with his own personal riptide. If he’s not careful, Autumn Harris may just pull him under.
The fiery ginger has no idea who Balen is and he’s determined to keep it that way. After the last eight months and a series of self-destructive behaviors, he’s content to let her believe he’s a homeless, beach-bumming surfer, living a carefree life one day at a time.
Autumn’s sexy vagabond is just charming enough to convince her to let him crash in the spare room of her villa. In exchange, he offers to be her new bestie for the week, taking her on all the excursions her friend had planned. It’s a tempting offer… Her own personal tour guide and the possibility of some hot, no-strings, surfer-guy sex? What woman in her right mind would turn that down? She’s a big girl who knows the score. What can possibly go wrong?
One and Done is the perfect heated vacation romance with feelings being dealt with in a progressive manner.
I really liked this. The plot is interesting with Balen, an international surfing champion who just had his sex tape surface the internet, going under the covers for a while till the tape can go low and his sponsor would be back on board. Autumn, who has recently broken up a relationship, is on her way to a get-away vacation. And both are headed to the same place. Things definitely heat up when Autumn decides to share her residence with Balen. The overall story line is quite different and I liked it for that. There isn’t an instant love track; Balen is a jerk when they both first meet and Autumn is vocal about him being a jerk, so yay!
The love-blossoming track is well drawn and it’s great to read about characters who own up to their establishing feelings and work to get their relationship working. The chemistry between the two, right from the heated scenes to the emotionally draining ones, is on-point and as a reader, it’s satisfying enough to agree that both are meant for each other.
Moving on, there were quite a few things I didn’t like. For instance, the peaks in the plot curve were predictable twists and they made the story look ordinary, nothing too exciting. At times, there were unneeded over-reactions that were merely added for a drama sequence—it drew me out of the story almost instantly. The whole vow that Balen takes when he ditches his fiance after finding her cheating on him, is too stereotypical for my taste and I can’t help but roll my eyes. I would’ve preferred a simply trust-issue for his non-committal nature. Anyway, as a big picture, this was a good read.
I would recommend it to those looking for a developing romance plot with characters who are meant to be together, and bits of humor and sexiness to top it off.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley but that in no way influences my rating and/or my opinions about it. Thank you Melynda Price!
Title: The Billionaire’s Sexy Rival
Author: Leslie North
Genre: Adult Romance
He wants to beat out the competition. But he never imagined the competition would be so tempting…
William Jameson is a born leader. Strong, efficient, and with a special talent for knowing exactly what turns people on—it’s no surprise that he’s the CEO of the billion-dollar Jameson Ad Agency. He’s always had his choice of client—that is until a boutique agency called Wildflower sprouts up like a weed in his perfectly manicured world, stealing the last three jobs out from under him. It’s hard not to be attracted to the free-spirited owner. Her mind and body are exactly what his heart wants…it’s too bad his goal is to crush her as competition.
Poppy Hanniford, CEO of the Wildflower Agency, has always been unique and as colorful as her business’s name. A fan of communal collaboration and out of the box ideas, Poppy and William come together in the perfect storm when a rogue romance publisher decides that two is sometimes better than one: challenging Poppy and William to work together on a trial project. The person who performs best, wins their future business.
Forced by the client into teaming up, William and Poppy are about to find that while their leadership styles don’t mix, romance is one subject they agree on. A smoldering kiss for the cover of a book kicks off an affair that’s hotter than the bestsellers they want to advertise. When it’s made clear that only one of them can walk away with the contract, they’ll need to decide what’s more important: the job or their love.
The Billionaire’s Sexy Rival is a fun, sexy romance with hints of both intentional and unintentional humor.
This was fine. The main plot line is different from the usual billionaire stories and it’s evident how much effort is taken to give this a non-cliche premise. This is the third installment in the Jameson Brothers’ series but I found this novel sufficient as a stand-alone. The concept of an ad agency and how a project weaves the check-posts for William and Poppy’s romantic journey is interesting and I liked the scenes where both the main characters were firm on thier decisions, trying their best to be the right one of the two. It added the hilarity occurrences, whether it was meant to for that purpose or not, I can’t tell.
The characters were too stereotypical for my liking; I was expecting a billionaire who’s grounded and not so stern about anything, but I guess I’ll have to keep waiting for such a character. The chemistry between the two was actually good, for one who was stubborn man and the other a perfect woman. Though both weren’t compatible, they did understand how to get there and worked their way up. The exciting scenes were okay but most of the time they were an interruption to a good scene and just jarred me out of the story. Having said that, I liked the pacing of the story; despite being a novella, it did well to end the story (or the series for that matter) with a good enough conclusion.
I would recommend this to those looking for a short, predictable billionaire romance with characters that have a good chemistry.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley but that in no way, influences my rating and/or opinions about this book. Thank you Relay Publishing and Leslie North!
Title: The Culling
Author: Ramona Finn
Genre: Dystopian Sci-Fi
What happens to a girl trained as a executioner, who finds out her life is a lie?
In a solar system where The Authority decides who lives and who dies, only one of their own executioners can stop them.
Glade Io is a trained killer. Marked at a young age as an individual with violent tendencies, she was taken from her family and groomed to be a Datapoint—a biotech-enabled analyst who carries out the Culling. She is designed to identify and destroy any potential humans that threaten the colonies: those marked as lawbreakers, unproductive or sick. But when she’s kidnapped by rogue colonists known as the Ferrymen, everything Glade thinks she knows about the colonies, and The Authority that runs them, collapses into doubt.
Pulled between two opposing sides, and with her family’s lives hanging in the balance, Glade is unsure of who to trust—and time is running out.
This wasn’t bad but it wasn’t something too good, either. I guess, it was like any other dystopian book out there, except for a few things that did stand out. For one, the romance is really good. The main character, Glade, doesn’t fall for the guy instantly, neither does he for her. Their relationship is developed quite steadily, and while both were majority of the times at extreme opposite poles in terms of opinions, their views gradually become one and they develop a trust for each other, that I liked.
Another thing I liked best is the writing. The prose is detailed, well descriptive and builds up a scene quite well, even when the scene is predictable. This made the action scenes pop out, and made up for the cliche scenes, for me. Though at times, the details became too much and I had to skim over to reach to the main point that’s being told.
While the overall story didn’t impress me much, because come on, which dystopian has a group going behind the authority because they believe in freedom and all that jazz? Yeah, pretty much all. Though, I won’t be too firm on that point I mentioned because the way the story line would be perceived depends entirely on the reader, so there’s a possibility that others might love this plot…which evidently many have liked.
I would recommend this to those who like a good ol’ dystopian story with a romance that takes a spotlight subtly and writing that certainly engages you.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley but that in no way influences my rating and/or opinions about it. Thank you Relay Publishing and Ramona Finn!