Tag Archives: Contemporary Romance

Doing It For Love by Cassie Mae Reviewed

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Doing It For Love by Cassie Mae Reviewed

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Title: Doing It For Love
Author: Cassie Mae
Publication Date: September 29, 2015

my thoughts

Elizabeth Fanning’s life looks pretty perfect, judging by the diamond ring on her finger. Her fiancé, Landon, is sweet, handsome, and hilarious. The trouble is, before they’ve even tied the knot, their sex life has gone from mind-blowing to “meh”—and Liz isn’t ready to be part of an old married couple. After a cathartic call to her best friend, Liz comes up with a brilliant idea. She and Landon may never be able to re-create the magic of their first time, but how amazing would their wedding night be if everything below the neck was off-limits until then?

Liz thinks it’ll bring them closer together. Landon’s convinced she’ll cave first. So they raise the stakes: Whoever lasts longer gets to pick their honeymoon destination. With her heart set on the Bahamas and Landon fighting for snowbound Utah, Liz simply has to win. But pretty soon, her body is screaming for attention, and Landon’s never seemed so far away. Has Liz’s experiment backfired? Losing their little competition would be frustrating—but the one thing she can’t afford to lose is him.

my thoughts

I decided to read this book when I was looking for something funny and light to read and this author was highly recommended so I thought, why not?

I was on my road to a reading slump when I read this book and I am glad I chose this. This was like a breather for all the books I’ve read recently which were mostly heavy and dark stuff.

At first I didn’t set any expectations because it doesn’t really sound like anything special or different. The first couple of chapters were pretty ordinary too. However, I found myself enjoying it more and more as I read along.

The two characters were hilarious as they tried to best each other and win the bet. And I loved how they both ended up giving way for each other, simply because that was how much they love one another. What I like most about this novel was the fact that the story started with the two main character already a couple and working their way to tying the knot as husband and wife. It’s also nice that they’ve been several years into the relationship before the talk of marriage came.

It almost sound like the marriage was going to be nothing but a formality given the circumstance that they were in but it was nice to see that instead of that, the characters ended up getting to know each other a lot more and realizing how much they really loved each other throughout the process.

This novel was endearing with the right mix of humor, romance and even a little drama. I enjoyed this novel so much I adding this author to my list of to look out for and maybe check out her other novels too once I have the means.

four star

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

All Bets Off (Betting on You Series #5) by Jeannette Winters Reviewed

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All Bets Off (Betting on You Series #5) by Jeannette Winters Reviewed

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Title: All Bets Off
Author: Jeannette Winters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 22, 2o16

blurb

Beckett Davis served in the Marine Corp and has the scars inside and out as a constant reminder. They say he’s a hero, but he wishes he’d died along with those he lost from his platoon. It’ll take a special kind of woman to heal this wounded warrior.

Danielle McKesson understands survivor’s guilt. She’s raising her nephew after he witnessed the death of his parents.

Beckett says he doesn’t want her love. All he can offer is a week together.
What started as a passionate indulgence that neither wanted to deny, becomes something that changes them both.

my thoughts

I think Ross finally have competition. Beckett will surely give him a run for his money for being my favorite hero in this series. And I think his connection with Jaime is another reason that makes this book and Beckett so lovable and sweet.

I’m still not for whirlwind romances or love at first sight but the way Danielle and Beckett went around this one was a little different from what I expected. Just reading the blurb, I felt like it will be just another book with the cliche plot of ‘a week of romping on the beach then the goodbye because I’m not ready to offer you anything more because of my past’ kind of thing but it was simply not like that.

Beckett had more depth in him than what the blurb says about him. I also like how he did stuff for Danielle and even did stuff for himself because it was what he needs to have a relationship with Danielle.

I feel for Danielle a lot and how hard she must have went through for Jaime.And I felt happy when she does every time Jaime had a breakthrough.

The best part of the story was seeing the characters grow and evolved to becoming better persons that they were during the start of the story.

Jeannette Winters did a great job with writing Beckett and Danielle’s story. If you’re looking for a sweet, romantic weekend read, I highly recommend this one.

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Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited

Unlucky in Love by Jill Sanders Reviewed

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Title: Unlucky in Love
Author: Jill Sanders
Publication Date: March 8, 2016

blurb

Kristen Collins is cursed. It’s the only explanation for this recent run of catastrophes. She’s lost her brand-new car and a winning lottery ticket, and her ex-boyfriend just drove off with all her possessions. She’s even lost the empty office that’s been her lunchtime sanctuary. Plus, the new hire who’s taken it over is precisely the kind of impending heartache she knows to avoid, from his intense gaze to that irresistible crooked smile.

Developer Aiden Scott plans to stay at the Denver architecture firm just long enough to prime it for takeover. A job like his can’t get personal. Yet from the moment he collides with Kristen, he’s smitten. He wants to save the stunning interior designer from every crazy scenario she winds up in. But who’s going to save him when his business agenda shatters Kristen’s trust?

Turns out, love’s a lot like luck. You don’t know just how good you have it until you stand to lose it all.

my thoughts

After reading the first three chapters of this book, I thought I won’t like it. I don’t like the main character – Kristen. I felt like she’s too gullible, weak and stupid and I just hate female characters like that. However, I liked the hero’s character instantly even if he was not introduced immediately.

But I was wrong. Soon enough, my perception of this book has changed. At least, I’m glad to see this character growing up and learning from her mistakes. I eve found her adorable at the end.

Although I didn’t expect to like this book with that kind of introduction, I find that I really enjoyed myself reading it. It was short (well, at least it felt short), sweet, romantic, even funny at times. This is very light to read which is exactly what I need after reading all the dark and heavy stuffs before this one.

I even like the other minor characters. They add to the fun of the story. And I felt like it wouldn’t be the same if you take out any of them.

This is my first time to read this author and I’m really glad bumping through it at Netgalley. This will surely not be the last time I’ll read this author.

four star

Buy Links to follow

#IABBAddict: Here to Stay by Suanne Laqueur Reviewed

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Author: Suanne Laqueur
Title: Here to Stay (Book 3 of The Fish Tales)

Pages: 350
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Date published: January 14, 2016


Synopsis:
Suanne Laqueur’s Fish Tales series follows the extraordinary romance of Erik Fiskare and Daisy Bianco. When they meet in college, she is an aspiring ballet dancer and he is learning the behind-the-scenes art of stagecraft. Quickly they are drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a world of creativity and artistry until it is changed forever by a shocking act of violence on their campus.


Laqueur has chosen a unique slant on an issue sadly prevalent in today’s world, by focusing on the victims of violence and the effect of trauma on human connection. The first book in the series, The Man I Love, won a gold medal for realistic fiction in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Awards. Told from Erik’s point of view, it follows his emotional journey to salvage the relationships he destroyed, including his estrangement from Daisy which never ceased to haunt him. He equated the end of a love affair with desertion, but now he sees leaving isn’t the end of loving. He must go back and finish, or he will never be free to go forward and start again.


The second book, Give Me Your Answer True, inverts the narrative and tells Daisy’s side of the story, as she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. The loss of Erik’s love weighing heavy on her heart, she must learn to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. To find and give her answers true.
 
 

 

The third book, Here to Stay, is a continuation of Daisy and Erik’s remarkable love story, as they begin a new phase of life together, knowing now that happily ever afters are built, not found. Though separated for twelve years, the extraordinary bond forged in their youth has endured. But when your soulmate has caused you indescribable pain, how easy is it to forgive? How much trust is needed to place your heart back into the hands that once broke it? How much faith does it take to ask the question, “Do you still want me?” and believe in the reply: “I still want us.”


 
This gripping series has been hailed as a new kind of “emotionally intelligent romance.” The books explore themes of love and sexuality, the effects of trauma, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik and Daisy’s experiences, we reflect on what it means to be a soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to be a hero, not a victim, and fight for what you love. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel.



Excerpt from Here to Stay

 

It’s a strange thing to find a lost lover in your hands again. Like finding your childhood baseball glove in an attic box of memories. You’re sure it won’t fit. But the heat of your palm, a flex and a bend. A cautious knead of the leather and a tentative reach into the furthest recesses… It knows you. It remembers you.
It fits you.
“Do I feel the same?” Daisy asked, her voice a silken caress.
After twelve years, Erik thought, of course not. He had loved a girl. It was a woman’s body up against him now, with the heft of wisdom and the weight of experience. He ran his fingers up her backbone and felt all the bits of new fused steel, overlaid with the strong assurance in her muscles and the soft aplomb of her skin. She was a hundred times more beautiful. A thousand times more thrilling.
And as her blue-green eyes stared into his, he was keenly aware of her vulnerability.
“You feel more,” he said, his hands moving along her body, trying to remember how she felt when he last touched her. Thin. Beyond ballerina thin—she was drugged thin at the end of their days in college. Yet beautiful to him. Never anything but stunningly easy on his eyes and liquid in his embrace and sweet in his mouth.
“You feel right,” she said, her own hands gliding along his limbs, in and out of him. “Maybe a little thinner.”
“I probably am. I lost and gained weight over and over. Depending on how I was feeling at the time. When the dark times came around, I’d stop eating.”
“I know, but…” Her delicate, arched eyebrows flickered in her brow. “I think over the years, in my head, I made you bigger than you were. Or maybe I beat myself down into something smaller. But now I remember your body. I remember mine with it.”
She was kissing him, pulling him to roll on top of her again. The digital clock on her bedside table read 2:06 in the morning. They had been going at it like possessed demons for hours now and no matter how tight he held or how hard he clung, Erik could not get both arms around making love to her. Too much feeling grabbed at him, clamoring for attention and precedence. Euphoria, lust, guilt and sadness were four wild stallions chained to each limb, intent on tearing him apart. Yet at the center of the jerking, pulling emotion, his heart was calm and accepting. Quietly riding out the storm, safe in the knowledge he was living his truth, living the life he was born to live.
“Don’t leave me,” she whispered under him.

“I can’t,” he said. “I’d never breathe again.”


My Thoughts

Suanne Laqueur did it again. I don’t really know what to expect when I first heard about book 3. Basically, book 1 and 2 are the same story under different point of views. Book 3 is what came after that. One of my favorite authors said, “The story does not end when the book does.” and book 3is that story after the book ended.

In my writing workshop several years ago, we where thought the difference between a love story and a romance story. As I was reading Here to Stay, I realized it was no romance story. Rather, The Fish tales is a love story in it’s finest. It’s not about a hero and heroine going through a life in a bed of roses with a few throns. For me it was like the characters where the roses going through life in a bed of torns. And it’s because of these torns that you can appreciate the beauty of the roses that Suanne has brought to life.

What I love about this third installment is that it gave answers to the questions I didn’t even realized I wanted to ask. And I have always been fascinated of great stories of family and friendship. More than the love and the romance friendship and family intricately woven in a good story makes me hooked on them more. And with here to stay, we can that happening. And it’s even more beautiful because you know where they were coming from and you appreciate how what happened to them made these bonds of friendship and family even more stronger. Will and Lucky are the spice that made Erik and Daisy’s life more colorful and meaningful.

I truly feel it would not be as great a story as it was if you take out one single character that was there. All of them played a part not just a filler to meet word counts. Every scene matter and every one of them will get you to feel.

I think I said in the man I love that going through Daisy and Erik’s story is not like reading a story but rather it feels like going through the journey with them. That still remains true in Here to Stay. There are good and bad stuff that happened after the book end and you will find yourself feeling happy and devastated along with the characters. It feels so real. Like it did happened. Not just another story from the book. And you know it because you where there too. I don’t know if you get what I mean. But if you read this book, I know you will. It’s so real it make sense. It feels so real because it make sense.

Once again, Suanne Laqueur put me in a roller coaster of emotion and it’s because of this that I love her and her writing more.

Favorite quotes:
“I never fell out of love, Dais. I just fell out of touch. I’m here now. I’m back and I’m here to stay.”

“Let it go. You’re here now. The past will just give you cancer.”

“Love makes us do amazing things. And if love drives us away, love is what brings us back.”

About the Author


Suanne Laqueur’s first novel, The Man I Love won a gold medal in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. Its other 2015 accolades include the Beverly Hills Book Award, a gold medal from the eLit Book Awards and a current finalist with the Kindle Book Awards.Suanne graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two chil-dren. An avid reader, cook and gardener.

Author Links:
 
Giveaway – 1 Signed Copy of Here to Stay


 

Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur Reviewed

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Author: Suanne Laqueur
Length: 491 Pages
Release Date: June 20, 2015

blurb
Suanne Laqueur’s award-winning debut novel The Man I Love thrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare’s journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story.

It’s been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.

Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.

In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

my thoughts

 

Apologies… if you hate spoilers you might not want to read this. I don’t know if I can help myself in not spoiling it because I’m still emotional about the book. Now that I got that out of the way… here I go…

First of all, I want to give the author my applause. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a retelling of a story the way I did with GMYT. I already know what happened base on Erik. I know what’s waiting for me at the end. Still, felt like I was ‘knowing’ the story for the first time. It didn’t feel like I was reading a retelling of a story in a different point of view. I guess it’s the way it was told. Like Erik, I felt I was in a journey with Daisy.

You know, I feel like I haven’t been this emotional about a book in ages. I actually cried. In fact, I cried a lot. When I read Erik, I told myself I would have probably reacted the way he did with with what Daisy did to him. Reading Daisy, I was hoping Erik reacted differently. Hearing everything from her made the pain deeper. And I almost hated Erik for being so cold, distant and hard on Daisy. I’ve read about why he did it but still, reading Daisy, I wished he didn’t. You know those phone calls? I know from Erik that he never bothered to answer. But as I read Daisy relive those phone calls she made, I could hear the voice inside my head saying, “come on, pick up the stupid phone”. And it crushed me the way it crushed Daisy every time he didn’t.

As Daisy went to therapy I felt like I was in the journey of healing along with her. It almost felt like I was among those people who was part of the Lancaster shootout and I needed to heal too. Every time the therapist asked her a question, I would mull it over my head and try to answer it too. I was really emotionally invested into the story. And for Suanne to pull that off, hands down. I’ve read tons of books but very few have been able to do that to me. In fact, my tears are starting to flow again just trying to remember what I just finished reading and writing this review.

Then came John. You know, I hate his character when I first read him in Erik’s. But in this book I seriously loved him. I was like, come on Daisy let’s just forget Erik. John is here. He’s better. And he will treat you better. Yet I also felt the barrier Daisy felt when she couldn’t talk about Erik with him. Yet I hoped. Even if I know already it’s not happening.

The letter to Lucky containing all of Daisy’s feelings, that was were I first shed a tear. There were more people that came along the way but seeing Lucky and Will in the scenes were a relief. Like someone is telling me, it’s okay. You’re not alone. You have friends.

I told in my review of “The Man I Love” that reading Erik’s story made opened feelings I thought I have buried a long time ago. Reading Daisy made me understand why did they happened. Why I buried those memories and why it opened. With Daisy, I learned an important lesson. Some things are meant to be forgiven. I still don’t agree with it but this time I do understand it well. And I can say that I also healed along with her.

I cried again when I got to the happy ending part. But this time around it was because I was happy as well. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy for book people reaching their happy endings.

And before I totally forgot the real purpose of reviews, it didn’t escape me that the questions I had from book one got answered. And it was given an answer true.

If you haven’t read this or book one, please do. It’s an emotionally captivating novel. A very well-crafted intelligent romance. It was an amazing journey. Not easy but still an amazing one. Kudos to Suanne Laqueur for writing this novel.

here’s a few favorite quote that I can’t resist sharing:

“I changed one word and changed my life. But is a restriction. But is either-or. And means you can do both things at the same time. I can give back the physical things that belongs to you and keep the things I feel about you.”

“I’m sorry, I will always be sorry. I love you, I will always love you. And I’m forgiving myself.”

 

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purchase links

AMAZON | Google Play  | Barnes and Noble | KOBO

One White Lie by Jeannette Winters Reviewed

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Title: One White Lie
Author: Jeannette Winters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2015

blurb

Brice Henderson traded everything for power and success. His company was closing a deal that would cement his spot at the top. The last thing he needed was a distraction from the past.

Lena Razzi had spent years trying to forget Brice Henderson. When offered the opportunity of a lifetime, would she take the risk even if the price would be another broken heart?

my thoughts

I’m at lost as how to write this review without spoilers but I’ll try my best not to. So….

One White Lie, the title alone makes you think of possibilities of what that title was about. Honestly though, I’ve read quite a lot of novels with the same premise of story. When I got a hit after a few chapters what the one white lie is, I kind of wonder how the author will take such a plot that will make it different than the others. Not comparing authors, but one of the stories with almost the same story line that I loved was written by Melody Anne and deep inside I wished it wouldn’t go the same way. And it did not. That part of the story was given justice very well and I’d say the author was able to make the plot her own even though it’s been commonly used and almost a cliché.

I was just a little disappointed with the lack of dialogues. I know narrations shape up the story. It’s what give foundation and backbone to take a story where you want to lead it to. It’s how you move forward. But for me, dialogues are the soul. It’s what gives life to a good plot. And I even tried to scroll through out the whole book after I was done reading to make sure I didn’t just imagine it and I noticed there are chapters without a single dialogue in it. Thoughts by the characters narrated are good, it gives clarifications as to how a character is feeling at a certain point and gives justice to their actions. But I felt like there are a lot of scenes that would have gone better if the characters were at least talking to somebody even if they do not want to talk with each other.

I have grown to love Jeannette Winter’s novels but I cannot say that I enjoyed this one as much as I did her previous novels. But don’t get me wrong, the story as a whole was still good even if I don’t like the way it was written. And I’d still definitely look forward to the next book in the series.

3.5-stars

purchase links

AMAZON

http://www.amazon.com/One-White-Lie-Barrington-Billionaires-ebook/dp/B016J9AWXK/

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur Reviewed

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blurb

One look brought them together. One bullet tore them apart.

Winner of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for romance, Suanne Laqueur’s astonishing debut novel follows a young man’s emotional journey to salvage relationships destroyed in the wake of a school shooting.

As a college freshman, Erik Fiskare is drawn to the world of theater but prefers backstage to center stage. The moment he lays eyes on a beautiful, accomplished dancer named Daisy Bianco, his atoms rearrange themselves and he is drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a tight-knit circle of friends, all bound by creativity and artistry. A newcomer arrives–a brilliant but erratic dancer with an unquenchable thirst for connection. And when this disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, the story is forever changed. Daisy is shot and left seriously injured. And Erik finds himself alone in the aisle, looking down the muzzle of a pistol and trying to stop the madness. He succeeds, but with tremendous repercussions to his well-being and that of his loved ones.

Traumatized by the experience, Erik and Daisy spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, Erik must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes.

As he moves into adulthood, Erik comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for Daisy continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a Gershwin song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving?

Spanning fifteen years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma–physical and mental–and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik’s experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love.

my thoughts

You don’t want just another “contemporary romance.” You don’t want a genre. You want a story that mirrors your longing. “You want to see the unspoken words in your heart on the page. You want to be touched and validated. You want to be swept up in a love that erases the universe and sets you at the center of a new galaxy. But you’re no fool… You want it to be believable.

I want that, too. I want to write passionate but thoughtful love stories. I made up my own genre: I call it emotionally intelligent romance.” – Suanne Laqueur

Those words quoted above where part of the words from the author under the book’s description at amazon. I don’t really know where to start. I’m literally lost for words. For the first time in a long while, I am afraid I’ll mess this up and not give justice to what I’ve read through my review. The last time I felt like this was when I read I Love That About Her . They are not the same book. Not even the same genre. But I’d say there are books that will leave you silent after you read them, making you mull over what you just read, going through some bits and parts of what you read inside your head. Then you sigh. And both of these books made me feel that way.

I don’t know how to write this review without spoiling it for those who haven’t read it and at the same time pour all the thoughts and emotions that this book made me felt. And that’s when I remembered the words quoted above that I have read before accepting to review this book. This is not just another book, this is an emotionally intelligent romance. And it was also an emotionally intelligent written book.

So let me start where it is easy… the Point of View (POV) at which it was written. As oppose to most people saying books written in first POV are better because it made them feel like they were the character, I love books written in third person because they let me as part of the story. First POVs makes me feel like reading a diary, an outsider invading someone’s privacy. Third person POVs let’s me see the story like I’m there. I was a personal witness watching everything unfold. And reading ‘The Man I Love’ made me feel like I was one of the people in Erik’s circle. Watching his life unfold, at times having this urge to smack him in the face and at times wanting to cuddle him in an embrace and tell him everything will soon be better. I was not being told the story. I was part of the adventure as I turn on every page.

Reading ‘The Man I Love’ was not just another ride to a happy ever after novel. It’s not about the fairy tale but more importantly it tells a story of a life. A journey. Life that includes real emotions and not just the fairy tale – anger, happiness, hurting, all those ups and downs. This book had me confuse at some point. There are things that I don’t agree with but I do understand. I have this notion that ‘just because I understand it meant I agree with it’, this book though had me in reverse, I don’t agree with it but I understand.’ I don’t know if that make sense to you. I can’t articulate it myself. I just don’t know that there were points where Erik’s reactions and decision were the exact opposite of what I believe in, or what I would have done but then I know where he’s coming from. I can clearly see why he reacted the way he did. And I understand him. And that understanding had me continue finding out what he’ll be up to when otherwise I would have close the book and walk away.

The same thing with Daisy. There was a point that I don’t agree with the way she dealt with her life. I may have never been there but I felt her pain. And having those feelings connected I was able to accept her and the things she did.

Reading this book was an amazing experience. It made me feel a lot of emotion. It even opened feelings I thought I have buried deep long ago. But that’s not all. it also opened my eyes a little more. Gave me a better understanding of why some people do the things they do. Why they react the way they did. The characters’ flaws made it so beautiful it left me speechless after reading it. I just wanted to be left alone and bask on it a little more. And the funny and fun moments were not lost on me either. What’s funnier is that I didn’t shed a tear even after all the emotions I went through reading it but I am now as I look back at everything that happened between its pages.

It’s really hard to find the right words to describe the experience of reading this book. It would probably wiser to leave it a day or two until I can collect my thoughts properly and write something more coherent but then I think having all those feelings I felt reading it is important to be fresh and intact on me as I write my review.

If you’re tired of reading almost the same plot, I suggest you read this. It’s no fairy tale. But it’s magnificent. It’s a new kind of romance that is definitely well-crafted and intelligently written.

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purchase links

AMAZON | B&N | iBooks

author

Suanne Laqueur’s debut novel The Man I Love won the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award for romance and took a gold medal at the 2015 eLit Awards. It also won an Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival. Laqueur graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. An avid reader, cook and gardener, she started her blog EatsReadsThinks in 2010 and now blogs at suannelaqueur.com. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two children.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | AMAZON

Blackjack and Moonlight by Magdalen Braden : Reviewed + Giveaway

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Blackjack & Moonlight by Magdalen Braden
Series: The Blackjack Quartet, #3
Publication Date: May 25, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Sex v. Love—a battle in the courtroom and the bedroom!

Hotshot litigator Elise Carroll doesn’t have time for romance—she wants to make partner at her Philadelphia law firm. Despite her mother’s urging, Elise avoids settling down by keeping her relationships short and sexy. Her idea of a perfect date? Beer and pretzels at a Phillies game.

When Jack “Blackjack” McIntyre—Philly’s super-sexy new judge—falls for Elise in court, she’s horrified. He “claims” to be in love with her—but that can’t possibly be true. He doesn’t give up trying to wine and dine her, though, so she devises a new scheme. Like all men, surely he’ll leave after a short and sexy fling.

Only problem—Blackjack refuses to sleep with her! They compromise—she’ll go on his romantic dates if he’ll alternate them with her “just sex” dates. Their contract works surprisingly well—until Elise can no longer find the line between love and sex.

Can Elise get her life back where she wants it—in a partner’s office? Or will Jack McIntyre use his superpowers to win their contest of wits?

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“Hey, it’s my favorite client.” Elise Carroll grinned and dropped her briefcase so she could scoop DeeDee, her secretary’s four-year-old, into her arms.

Kim looked up from a file open on her desk, her cheeks striped by dried tears. “Can you play with her for a couple minutes?”

Uh-oh. More domestic drama—the last thing Kim needed. “Okay, but I cannot be late for that man.” Elise walked into her office. With the door open, Kim would be able to watch her daughter from across the hall.

“What man, Auntie Leese?” DeeDee asked, her corn-silk hair glinting under the office lights.

Elise pointed at the magazine on her desk. “Him.”

DeeDee reached for Philadelphia Magazine, the cover showing a handsome man in a black robe. The headline read, “Philadelphia’s Newest—and Sexiest—Judge” and beneath that, in smaller letters, “Blackjack McIntyre moves from the US Attorney’s office to his own district court.”

“Who’s dat?” DeeDee inspected the photo.

Elise laughed. “Just the latest guy to think a black robe makes him right all the time.” She set DeeDee down on the carpeted floor. “You want to color, sweetheart?”

“Sure!”

Elise pulled some paper out of the recycling bin, and after checking what was printed on it, spread it out on the floor, blank sides up. She found the crayons she kept in her desk for DeeDee’s visits.

She checked her watch. “Oh, lord, look at the time. If I don’t leave immediately I’ll be late for him.” She pointed at Blackjack McIntyre, scowling at her from the cover of the magazine.

Kim grinned. “I can’t wait to hear all about it. Details, I want all the details. Is he as good-looking as in his press conferences?”

“Not you too.” Elise threw the magazine onto Kim’s desk. Jack McIntyre’s blue-black hair and chiseled jaw mocked her from the cover. Superman in a judicial robe. “I don’t plan to be there long enough to look at him. Five minutes, tops. He grants my motion, and I’m out of there.”

“Oh, please. You know he’s seriously hunky. And the article says he’s not dating anyone at the moment.”

“Well, based on the women he’s been seen with, I’m not his type. Good thing because I have no interest in dating him or anyone else right now. I want to focus on making partner. And you’d better focus on getting your daughter to day care.”

Another check of the watch. Shit. There’d better be a cab downstairs or she’d be late.

On her way back into her office, Elise looked at the papers on the floor. DeeDee had drawn a figure in black. Either it was the Honorable Jack McIntyre or a vampire bat. Hard to tell.

 

my thoughts

 

Blackjack and Moonlight’s story was heart touching romantic read. Blackjack made me think of a gallant knight in a judge’s robe. The way the two of them met was hilarious and funny. I’m sure it’s met to be romantic too but as cynic as I am like Elise, I found it a little bothering that he fell in love with her at first sight. But then, there’s no proof that it’s not possible in real life so I don’t really know what to feel about it. For a hero though, Jack was bemusing. It’s as though he was born in the wrong era but that alone made him swoon worthy and lovable.

Elise on the other hand was a force to reckon with. Brilliant lawyer and love cynic, I actually found myself excited on what Jack will do to turn the tables around. Though I must say that the pace was a little bit slow for me. Or maybe I’m just dying to know how Jack will make Elise fall in love with him that I felt that the story was going a bit slow.

The plot itself however was really good. For once, it’s nice to see a man doing all the effort to actually have the woman fell for him. It’s almost always, ‘I’m into the sex not romance kind of guy’ heroes that heroine needed to tame and change their mind so now that the wheel is reversed, I must say I really enjoyed reading the book.  I don’t think that the courtroom will ever be the same again for me after reading Jack and Elise’ story.

four star

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about author

MagdalenBraden

After pairing up lawyers romantically in her head for fifteen years, Magdalen Braden traded in her job as an attorney to set her inner matchmaker free. Today she draws on her past adventures in a Philadelphia law office to write her sexy contemporary romance series, The Blackjack Quartet.

Blackjack & Moonlight, the third installment in the series, was a finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest in 2012. All four books contain love, romance, and a solid dose of legal humor.

Magdalen connects with readers at her local satellite of the Lady Jane’s Salon® reading series, and with fellow writers at her Romance Writers of America® chapter.

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her crossword-loving husband, their Rhody-mix dog, and two omnipresent cats in the Endless Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania.

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