Note: this would be 4 stars if it were ever properly edited!
Contemporary western romance that has aged well since 1987 but needs an editor
Raquel was never sure why she surrendered to a total stranger. Naive impulse, primal instinct or feminine intuition? By morning she was no longer a truck stop waitress but a woman on the way to an isolated Wyoming ranch with Holt Tyler — and he wanted to know all the secrets she’d guarded so carefully these past months.
Was he kidnapping her for his own selfish reasons or trying to rescue her from a deplorable situation? Did he really want to protect her or just take advantage of her? Had she fled a wealthy, powerful father only to fall into the arms of a passionate, possessive stranger? Time would tell how much of her heart had been captured by a cowboy. This is a very sensual romance set on an isolated Wyoming ranch.
Captured By A Cowboy was originally published in 1987. It has aged very well! The story is still relevant. It’s sweet, emotional, hot, and entertaining. It is fast paced and would be more so if it weren’t for all the errors. I loved the characters, Raquel’s growth, and Holt’s decision to let her go find her independence, trusting that she would return.
Unfortunately, this has clearly been digitized using text recognition, and it has not been proofread since. If you’ve been reading my reviews, you know that my brain edits what I read even when I’m only trying to read for pleasure. There was hardly a page that I did not make a correction on, and many needed several corrections. I love that we can get old books as ebooks now. But if you are going to charge for it, you must engage the services of a proofreader. And it clearly needed a better editor to begin with as all the errors cannot be blamed on a computer!
3rd person past tense. It has a head-hopping problem, jumping from Raquel to Holt and even to some secondary characters occasionally.
There were too many errors to count or even detail their types. It was hugely distracting from the story! It’s a testament to how good the story is that I made it to the end without giving up. I’d like to read more of Becky Barker’s novels, but I don’t think I can take it right away. She is still writing, so I hope her recent novels don’t have so many errors! – Update: The latest novel Barker has written does have loads of errors.
Good story about love after abuse but horrible grammar!
Twenty-two year old, Bree Jensen is a survivor who managed to break free from her abuser and start a new life.
Bree fights to live a normal life. She does not want to be a victim or survivor. Bree just wants to forget.
Falling in love is the last thing on her mind, now that Bree has the chance to start over.
That is…until she meets her neighbor, Josh. Josh oozes sexual charm. He’s confident, talented, and he adores her. Bree finds everything about Josh hard to resist right down to his decorated body of tattoos, piercings and shag haircut. Don’t forget about those damn green eyes.
Josh has endured his own personal hell and meeting Bree has triggered emotions he thought were buried deep.
Will they SAVE each other from their chilling pasts and begin the fairytale both so desperately want?
The story is very good if predictable. That is the only reason I made it past all the grammar and formatting errors. They were driving me batty! But at least I didn’t get a headache.
I really liked both Bree and Josh. After her abuse, she got therapy and began to love herself again. Then she met Josh who is a reformed manwhore. I never like manwhores, but I at least understand it more when they have been using sex as a drug to numb pain. And once he met Bree, he was done. There was no cheating. There is some OW drama, but Josh handled it correctly, and Bree’s reaction was very mature. 3 stars. It would be 4 if it were ever well edited.
Bree and Josh both fall in insta-love with each other. There are several hot graphic sex scenes. Occasional foul language. There is no abuse within this relationship, the abuse is in both character’s pasts.
1st person present tense from Bree and Josh.
This is a novella, just 76 pages.
This seriously needs an editor. I marked too many errors to count. There were extra words, missing words, and wrong words, wrong or missing punctuation, formatting errors like extra spaces or tabs. Laughing and smiling and such were used as dialogue tags. You can’t smile a sentence! I swear! If the story were longer, I don’t think I could have made it.
A delinquent and a young police officer – clean romance
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO?
All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far…and almost doesn’t make it back.
John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge — and over….
This is about two teenagers 17/19 who face fears, grow, and heal. It’s clean – there is only making out on camera. It’s funny, sweet, and has a great, dramatic story. It is very well written and fast paced. I read it all in one go. 5 stars – this is the second time I have read it.
The book ends at 75%. The last 25% is a sneak peek at two other novels.
1st person past tense all from Meg.
I didn’t quite dare, because I didn’t want him to tell me no. But I got very close to touching The Place Prisoners Should Not Touch Policemen.
High school to college romance with drama and violence
Crew – Book 1
To survive where I live, you have two options.
You can be a Normal—a cheerleader, jock, member of the debate team, or on the yearbook committee. You pretend everything is normal.
Or you can be crew. You insult us? We hurt you. You hurt us? We really hurt you. And if you f*ck with us, we will end you.
My name is Bren. I’m the only female in the Wolf Crew—the best, fiercest, and most dangerous crew there is—and we have a rule: There’s no falling in love.
Well… too late.
This series is loosely related to the Fallen Crest series and set after it. You should read the Fallen Crest series first if you don’t want to encounter spoilers here. Rousseau is a poorer, neighboring town to Fallen Crest. If you have read the Fallen Crest series, you will have heard the term “Crew” as it was mentioned there. Crews are a little like gangs but nowhere near as rough and criminal-leaning. They are more like tight friend groups with people who will always back each other up. Loyalty is number one. They aren’t cliques because their members do socialize with people outside their crew. People who don’t join crews are called Normals.
Bren is one of only two females in the crew system. She is in a four-member crew called the Wolf Crew. This novel is really about how Bren grows and evolves, becoming emotionally stronger, finally speaking about her past and accepting the love that has always been waiting for her.
I liked it a lot. It was fast paced, interesting, and enjoyable. There wasn’t too much violence for my tastes. I liked being in Bren’s head and how things were slowly revealed. Bren is a strong character but not maxed out unrealistically. She had learned to stuff things down to survive, but she wasn’t happy. Her growth was in starting to unpack and deal with things. I also liked the secondary characters and felt I got to know them even though we get everything from Bren’s point of view. All the characters are complex with both good and evil inside them.
There are some sex scenes, but they aren’t long or very graphic.
Lots of good humor, which I loved. Zellman cracked me up.
No cheating or Other People drama.
There are a bunch of catty Normal girls. I liked how Bren dealt with them.
Lots of foul language.
1st person past tense, all from Bren.
This is well edited. I found only 10 errors.
372 pages. $2.99 on Amazon.
Zellman: Good head is like an animal on the endangered list.
Cross chuckled. “My point still stands. Zellman has no taste in women. He’d bang a door if it had a hole his prick wouldn’t get a sliver from.
Bren: “…There should be a rule where teachers and staff can’t leave the school. When you enter, you deal with them there and only there. It’s too much, thinking of all of them having their own lives.”
Cross: Walking backward, he winked as his back hit the screen door. “And just so we’re clear, I’m intending to grab your tits someday. I’ve been intending for a long time.”
Zellman: “You’re like my sister now. Crew family. But no lie, I’m hoping to see your tits someday. And it’s probably going to happen, since we all scrap.”
Crew Princess – Book 2
Being crew is walking between two worlds. One world is normal: Prom. Parties. College. Those are the concerns they worry about.
In our world, we deal with other situations. Cops. Drugs. Brawling. That’s a typical day for us.
But what if it wasn’t?
What if there came a day when you stopped? When you considered letting your enemies win? When you didn’t fight back? When you chose a different path?
First I lost my family. Then I got the Wolf Crew. I couldn’t lose them too.
But what happens when Cross, Zellman, and Jordan keep going… …and I don’t?
In Crew Princess, the adults are after the Crew system again, and Bren grows up emotionally, getting ready to face her future. There is more drama, parents divorcing, surprise family members, and a conspiracy to be solved. Bren and Cross are going strong, and Jordan has a girlfriend. Zellman is still funny, but we don’t get as much of him in this one.
1st person past tense, all from Bren.
This is well edited. I found only 5 errors.
304 pages. $3.99 on Amazon.
Always Crew – Book 3
For the longest time, I was Bren Monroe. I lived in Roussou, California. I had no parents, no brother, but I had a crew.
Then things started to change. I never planned for any of it. I didn’t think I’d fall in love. I didn’t think I’d have a relationship with my brother again. I didn’t think that he’d come back.
Now I’m in Cain. My crew is in college. They’re growing, going through their own things. And here I am, figuring out my life.
There’s always hurdles and obstacles to overcome. That was never my hardship. That was my regular. But living? Being content? Being happy? Those were my challenges now.
Everything was going well… Until it wasn’t. Again.
This one is about Bren finding her career path, drama between Cross and his surprise family member, and romantic relationship drama for Jordan and Kellman.
In this, Blaise and Aspen are together. They have their own book. So I think that one should be read before the Crew series. Maybe? I haven’t read it yet to know. But we always assume there is going to be a HEA, so it’s not that much of a spoiler.
We get several chapters and sections from Cross and a chapter each from Zellman and Jordan.
This one had a bad problem with two different speakers in the same paragraph. The paragraph break was just weirdly missing 12 times! I only found 2 other errors.
364 pages. $4.99 on Amazon.
Zellman: Each person should get their rocks off as many times as they could. I felt it was a worthy mission for the world’s population.
Contemporary romance set in Scotland. Book 2 in a series of standalones.
A woman used to taking charge is about to meet a man who’ll make her lose control in this novel from the New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street.
It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.
But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.
Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets…even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.
Johanna “Jo” has been dating men looking for financial security rather than attraction. She takes care of her drunk mother and her 14-year-old brother, Cole. As she does with her family, she puts the men’s needs ahead of her own, showing them a personality she thinks they want instead of the real Jo. She is immediately physically attracted to Cameron, the tattooed graphic artist out of a job, but tries to ignore it.
This is a slow burn, friends first type of romance, as both of them are in relationships at the start of the novel. We have to endure a somewhat graphic but short sex scene with Jo’s current man at the start of the book. This is not the man she ends up with I surmise. It isn’t cheating, but I’m never a fan. And also, it’s bad sex. 😂
This was very good. 5 stars as I would read it again. I’m not sure I will like the next one because the guy is a slut, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’m going back to Tijan’s Crew series for a bit though.
I loved Jo’s character – snarky and strong but weak inside, growing throughout the novel. It made sense for her, and I never hated her. I loved seeing her tackling that damn inner voice that said she was nothing that her abusive parents gifted her.
Cam was very good as well. We don’t get to hear his inner thoughts, but we can see him fighting his own demons.
Cole, the 14-year-old brother, was so cute. He was very believable, with his grunts, but you could tell he really loved his sister.
The pacing was very good. It’s a fast, enjoyable read, and the sex scenes were very hot.
Contains many graphic sex scenes, foul language, flashbacks to physical abuse, and current verbal abuse from the drunk mother.
A women hiding from her past has all of her secrets laid bare in this New York Times and USA Today bestselling sensation that enraptured readers everywhere…
Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. He knows she has a past, one that has made her skittish about getting into a relationship, so he proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.
But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, Braden decides he won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her…down to the very soul.
Jocelyn “Joss” doesn’t do relationships. She doesn’t talk about her past with even her best friend and never lets anyone get too close. Braden and Joss have immediate sexual chemistry, but Joss won’t do a relationship. Braden agrees to a friends with benefits deal… or does he?
I liked this a lot. I do like bossy caveman alpha males, especially when they are sweet and treat their woman right. So I was very happy with Braden. I liked Jocelyn too. She was complex, strong, and weak at the same time. But her weakness was understandable. She had stuffed down the grief from losing her family when she was 14 and never dealt with it. It takes amazing strength of will to compartmentalize like that and even more to unpack it later. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to survive. And sometimes you need a bossy person to push you into dealing with your baggage and overcoming it.
We get Joss’ backstory in little hints along the way, making us curious. The novel was fast paced, an easy, enjoyable read. There was a good amount of humor throughout. I loved how snarky Joss could be.
This is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’ve been there a few times and loved all the details about the city that were sprinkled throughout.
This contains many graphic sex scenes, which were hot. No complaints
Frequent foul language. I thought it was hilarious when Joss cursed in her mind.
The first review on Goodreads was from October 2012. I believe it shows up first because it has the most likes. It talks about the terrible grammar in this. Since I can’t read books with grammar that bad, I read part of the sample on Amazon. This book has clearly been edited and proofread since 2012. It looks like it was originally self-published but was picked up by Berkley and reprinted in 2019. This is the version I am reviewing.
1st person past tense from Joss (Jocelyn).
“Alright” is not a word. This has become a pet peeve of mine. It’s “all right” – two words!
Mom/Dad should be capitalized like a proper name when not her mom, his mom, and so on.
When the dialogue continues from the same person into a new paragraph, you need an open quotation mark on that second paragraph to indicate they are still speaking but not a closing quotation mark at the end of the first paragraph. The open quote is often missing here.
There should be a comma before, right? This is just like yes, no, yeah, and others. Yes, I get that. No, that’s not it. Yeah, okay. And when you end with a question, it needs a question mark, okay?
Text messages were not consistently formatted. The first set was in italics, but later sets weren’t.
Other than these issues, I found 15 errors, which isn’t bad.
A high school to college soap opera romance series
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Fallen Crest High – Book 1
This is a guilty pleasure read. It’s a soap opera, a group of characters that Jerry Springer would jump at. The parents in this are terrible! They go from outright abusive to just not there. The teenagers are always having raging parties, setting things on fire, and fighting. Someone is always out to get them. These novels are mostly about catty, backstabbing, jealous people trying to hurt the three main characters – Sam, Mason, and Logan. Tons of teen angst. It’s so much drama that I have to forcibly suspend my disbelief and just let the telenovela happen. Embrace the crazy, and it is very amusing. There is a lot of humor in this, most of it coming from Logan.
I do like that Mason is a good guy to Sam. He is a complex character, good to her but can be manipulative and a jerk. But at least he is honest about it.
Sam’s character starts off numb. Sam doesn’t care about anything. She seems to take everything in stride, being bored by all the teenage angst and drama around her. She is angry with her parents about their split and says so to both of them, but she doesn’t lash out. She just goes running to escape. I didn’t like that Sam’s character changed in the second book. She got weak for a while.
Logan is a slut, but he is also honest about that and so funny that I can’t hate him for it.
This series is complete now and ends in a HEA.
This contains sex scenes, but they aren’t graphic. We know what happened, but it’s not as detailed as I usually see. The C and P words are not used. Instead, it is something like, “He was in me.” The scenes get a bit more descriptive in the latter books when the characters are in college.
The entire series is in 1st person past tense. The first two books are all from Sam. In the rest of the series, we get some chapters from Mason too. We get a chapter from Logan in Book 5 (University). Logan Kade has chapters from both Logan and Taylor.
There are a ton of errors in the first book including wrong words and missing words. It’s not often enough to give me headaches but stretching it. The grammar gets better as the series goes on. I also felt that the plots got better as Tijan matured as an author over the series.
Fallen Crest Family – Book 2
Another soap opera. I didn’t think this was as good as the first. The abuse stuff was brought up out of nowhere, and I didn’t like how Sam’s character got weak.
In the second book, Sam is suddenly suffering PTSD from something her mom did when Sam was eleven. It never came up in the first book. It seems like Sam’s character was changed to conform to the desired plot. Because she stood up to her mother in the first book. Sam told her mother that their relationship was over, done, that she wished she hadn’t been born to her mother. She also said she would move out as soon as she turned 18. And Sam does have the option of going to live with David, who fought for shared custody. It also seems very strange that Becky and Lydia would have suddenly abandoned Sam in the intervening time period when they had sworn loyalty to her at the end of the last book. I’m not buying it. Then the stuff about Sam being arrested as a runaway weeks before her 18th birthday and Mason possibly being charged with statutory rape was far from the legal facts. The changes are too stark, and I felt they were done to facilitate the desired plot here.
Fallen Crest Public – Book 3
The soap opera continues… This story is all about the mean girls and the queen bee going down, just like getting hit by a bus. But again, it’s a guilty pleasure. Very cliche story line about a spurned girl who launches attacks on Sam because she wants Mason.
…Malinda. She always had a quick retort for Logan, and when there was a lull in conversation, she’d grill Mark on his love life. He was mortified when she suggested getting a vibrator for his girl. “Mom!” he cried out. She shrugged. “You’re not a virgin, and I’m promoting her pleasure as well. The girl will enjoy it a lot more. They don’t always, you know.” She scanned the rest of the table. “I’m sure you two bucks think you’re the stud for all those does,” she remembered me and amended, “well maybe just you and Logan, but I’m telling you. Girls fake it eighty percent of the time.” That opened a whole new channel of adoration from Logan. He wanted to know it all. The rest of the conversation was a question and answer forum from Logan while Mark looked ready to throw up. I even caught Mason listening intently to her. He told me later that he’d be stupid to pass up information like that.
Fallen Fourth Down – Book 4
There would be so much less drama if they communicated with each other. Can’t have that!
I like the screenshot of the texts.
I’m glad Sam has grown more of a backbone. In Fallen Crest Family, she got too weak for me.
Wow. I know this is a soap opera, but I keep getting shocked when it goes to that level. Hahaha There was a huge error in that near the start, Sam thought, “Maybe it was time I tried drinking. Everyone else seemed to enjoy it.” But she had been drunk so many times in the first three books! This was ridiculous. Alcohol was not new to her!
Fallen Crest University – Book 5
Mason is keeping secrets from Sam. Sam is keeping secrets from Mason. They are both trying to protect each other. If there aren’t any secrets, there can’t be any drama! 😂
Fallen Crest Christmas
This is a Fallen Crest extra set right after University and before Logan Kade.
It is in 3rd person past tense.
Logan Kade – Book 5.5
We all know Logan is a slut and sometimes a man-whore, but I read this because of how funny he is! Oh yeah, do you know the difference? Sluts are just promiscuous, lacking respect for their own bodies. Man-whores make the women pay in some way, hurting them. I don’t slut-shame. I’m not a fan of it, but whatever floats your boat. I just don’t like reading about characters who are so casual about sex because it’s a turn off for me. I really hate man-whores. They are bad people.
This was good, more fun, less of a soap opera. I really liked it until what happened near the end. Then I was disgusted! I have to knock at least a star off for Logan being far too much of a slut / manwhore.
“I’m Logan Motherfucking Kade. I’d switch classes, too. I mean, shit. If I were a chick? I’d be all over me. I couldn’t keep myself away from me.” He let out a whistle. “Bring out the handcuffs and bullwhips. We’re going the BDSM route.”
Fallen Crest Home – Book 6
Near the beginning, everyone is worried about Sam and Mason being at a Roussou event, and they are always surrounded by people acting as bodyguards. Then the group lets Mason and Sam walk off alone to leave. It makes no sense that everyone would be worried at the beginning of the night and then let them leave alone. Stupid characters! 🙁
Home ends on a cliffhanger that is so soap opera.
“Good thing I’m Logan Kade. I mean, come on. If I wasn’t the #sexmachine, I might’ve felt a little self-conscious.” His eyes grew thoughtful. “I’d never noticed how ripped he is. I think he needs to cut back on some of his training. He’s lean cuisine now. Does it hurt? When you’re bumping and grinding against him? Do all those hard muscles give you road rash or something?”
He smirked. “You’re calling me the dumbass when you’re the one who needs to be reminded how to eat. Put it in and chew—unless it’s Mason’s dick. Don’t chew then. Please, don’t chew. I don’t want to take my brother to the emergency room for that.”
Bullied damsel in distress gets rescued by hot guy
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Harlow’s parents were murdered, and she has to move to her grandmother’s house in a new town. The five Carter brothers live with their grandfather, next door to Harlow’s grandma. On the first day of school, Harlow makes an enemy of Davis, a bully. Malik Carter and his brothers protect Harlow from this creep. Harlow is also bullied by a girl in school.
I thought this was a bully romance at first, but it’s not. The bully is a bad guy that Harlow is definitely not going to fall in love with.
I was disappointed with how weak Harlow was. I know she had just lost her parents, but she had been bullied at her old school before they died. I really wish Harlow would have stood up and fought back more against Davis. She is bit too damsel in distress for me. Knee him in the balls, scream, scratch, tear his eyes out, anything! I wanted her to stand up to the girls more as well. She is also down on herself, thinking she is plain, when it becomes clear that she is actually beautiful. I loved the secondary characters of the girls, Denny and Charlie. They were much stronger and fought back against bullying.
Malik was great! No complaints there.
Harlow’s grandma is hilarious. She loves to pull pranks and make the grandkids feel uncomfortable. She was a big part of the humor in this book.
The pacing was good. It was a fast read. So one star for story/writing, one for Malik, and one for Harlow’s grandma!
Two of Malik’s brothers, Max and Mason, are man-whores. They each have books in this series, and I’m not excited about reading theirs. I was cautious, so I started reading the sample on Amazon of next book, Mason. There are many more errors in that one! Just reading the first few pages, I saw several issues. Malik needed another proofread, but it looks like Mason didn’t get any. A quick peek at the next one, Myles, revealed the same issues. So I won’t be continuing with this series.
Trigger warning – there is a rape scene.
There are a few graphic sex scenes.
Contains foul language.
1st person present tense, from Harlow except for one chapter from Malik.
This is written in British English.
Errors: 27 (missing periods, extra commas, missing/wrong words, the first letter of a sentence not being capitalized)
(Harlow walks in on one of Malik’s brothers taking a shower, and Malik runs in to see why she screamed…) I want to roll my eyes at him, but I’m too embarrassed to move or to reopen my eyes. His penis was there; right there, in full view. My first live penis and it’s a complete stranger’s. I never wanted my first penis sighting to be like this. Just thinking about it has my cheeks heating. “Come on, Harlow,” Malik orders, snapping me out of my penis trance. I let him drag me quietly out of the bathroom and into his room before I whirl around on him, my anger finally surfacing now that I’m safely away from the penis. “How could you!’’ we say at the same time, both of us glaring at each other.“ “No, how could you? How dare you remove my clothes while I’m unconscious. How could you do that to me? Did you get a good look?” I snap sarcastically as I move myself closer to him. “Did you? I can’t believe this. Not only does a boy see me naked—half-naked anyway—for the first time, but I’m also unconscious through it. Then, to top that shit list, I see my very first penis. A very fucking frightening one. They’re big, Malik. Fucking big,” I cry out, feeling hysterical.
Malik: “My first thought in the morning is no longer about an upcoming race, or my boner, but you. It’s always about you—and my boner.”
Malik (Joan is Harlow’s grandma): “Joan warned—okay, threatened me, that if I got dirt on her carpet, she was going to castrate me. I love my dick, babe, and Joan keeps threatening it.”
Joan: “Don’t go,” she groans. “I need some advice on other things too. Like, do you think I should get some Viagra? I’m known to go all night.”
(Joan and Mark, Malik’s grandfather, get caught making out on the sofa…) I mumble, before turning to Grams. “Say goodnight, then get to bed. If I don’t hear the door shut—with Mark on the other side—I won’t be pleased, Grams.” “Shush, child. It’s not like you haven’t got Malik upstairs,” she tells me like a sulking teenager. She does have a point. “Yes, but we’re kids. You’re adults. You shouldn’t be fondling on the sofa at your age,” I defend. “Say goodnight, then go to sleep.” Walking up the stairs, I can’t help but grimace when I hear Grams asking when they can fondle again. Jesus, pass me a bucket.
Natalie is hired on as the assistant pitching coach for a major league baseball team. Raphael and Joel are pitchers. Darryl plays first base and is a star hitter.
I actually like baseball, so this was much more my speed. The many baseball details and the suspense in the game descriptions were terrific. It was a great story about baseball as well as a romance. The sex scenes were hot, and there was a good amount of humor in this.
The only thing I didn’t like was how quickly Natalie fell into bed with Raphael. This happens early on, so it’s not a spoiler. It felt like a cheesy porno set up like the hot guy delivering a pizza and suddenly they are having sex. I wasn’t a fan. I definitely wanted more chemistry in their interactions and getting to know one another before they had sex. But the novel got much better from there!
There is a cute little bonus epilogue chapter online set 15 years later.
SAFE – no cheating, Other People drama, love triangles, or non or dubious consent.
Graphic sex scenes both one-on-one and group. No touching between the men.
Occasional foul language.
1st person past tense from Natalie and all three guys.
There are some unnecessary dialogue tags, but not so many as to detract from the pacing.
Alright is not a word, it’s all right. Mom/Dad should be capitalized like a proper name. Aside from that, I only found 8 errors, so this is very well edited.
If you need a break from overused cliches, angst, evil villains, or tearjerkers, dip into this series!
Rating: 5 out of 5.
I read the first book, Trucker, a long time ago. I remember at the time thinking I would save these for when I needed a break from angst and difficult reads. I really needed that break after The Sainthood series! I’d been in gangland with murder and raunchy sex for too long. I needed something nice and sweet. So I binged the rest of the series. It was just what I needed. They are all so cute! I had plenty of laugh out loud moments.
They are feel-good reads without being over the top or sugary. They are like real vanilla, not the cheap imitation stuff, with deep notes of true flavor. When I’ve been having a lot of Rocky Road and other complicated or sour flavors, it’s just so refreshing to savor something so genuine and real. If you need a break from overused cliches, angst, evil villains, or tearjerkers, dip into this series!
They are all SAFE – NO: cheating, sex scenes with Other People, love triangles, abuse, non or dubious consent, or cliffhangers! They do contain occasional foul language and graphic sex scenes, which are very hot. These are emotional. People make love in these books.
I especially love that the author turns cliches around. A familiar situation comes up, but the characters react to it in a different, usually saner, way.
Each book is written in 1st person past tense with about half the chapters from each of the two main characters.
They are all very well edited. I only found a few errors in each.
Alright is not a word! It’s all right. I swear!
Travis picks Angel up when she starts to hitchhike across the country.
This was so frigging cute. It’s a light-hearted, feel-good read. I loved that both the leads are virgins. Travis’ horror date stories were hilarious. I laughed out loud several times while reading this.
The only thing I didn’t like was the OW drama. It was just another woman that wanted Travis, mean girl stuff, no touching at all between H and OW. Very cliche, but at least it was over quickly!
Angel was naive and far too trusting, but she’s very young (17/18). It’s nice to see that life hadn’t beaten that out of her already.
Brielle “Ellie” and Colton were best friends as children until Colton moved away when they were seven years old. Now in their early twenties, Brielle is a cage dancer in a nightclub. Her clothes stay on. She is a single mother, having gotten pregnant as a senior in high school. We met Colton in Trucker. He is Travis’ roommate and also a mechanic like Travis. Colton has been having erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety. But that magically clears up when he sees a certain cage dancer performing, and he has to meet her.
They aren’t virgins in this one, but they haven’t been promiscuous either.
Colton’s autocorrect texts are hilarious! I’ve been to webpages that list these things and laughed so much, so it’s like having one of those sprinkled throughout. He talked about wanting to get his phone fixed, and I yelled, “No! No fixing Colton’s phone!” And Brielle’s kid is fabulously funny as well.
“Did you ever think maybe you just didn’t like her? I mean, maybe your dick knew better than you,” he joked, making light of the situation.
Me: My dad is a nympho gopher. Travis: Hahaha. Me: Dammit! A nosy gossip.
Me: Where spank tits tomorrow? Ellie: Are you talking dirty to me?
Unfortunately, I got mixed results. Apparently when your internet search contains ‘giant balls’ you need to be prepared for anything.
Mackenna is a reclusive song writer who recently moved next door to Beverly, the fantastic old lady that we first met in Trucker. Beverly is Jimmy’s grandmother. He moves in with her for the summer after failing his first year of college.
If I have to choose, this is my favorite. There is so much humor in this. We have Beverly, where all my favorite quotes below come from. Then there is Sweet Pea, the cussing parrot who poops everywhere. And finally we have Jimmy himself with his tightie camouflage underwear.
Mackenna had an abusive boyfriend in high school and stayed away from men after that. She isn’t interested in dating anyone, but Jimmy is hard to resist. I loved how their relationship slowly progressed, starting with just holding hands. It was very realistic and just what Mackenna needed. So sweet!
Beverly Louise Johnson was the coolest motherfucking lady in the entire world. She was brutally honest, didn’t take anyone’s crap, and swore like a sailor. On more than one occasion, my parents had said they thought I inherited my wild streak from her.
“Rule number two,” she continued. “No hanky panky in the hot tub. I’ve never broken that rule and neither will you.” I made a face. “Grandma. No offense, but gross.”
“Well I’ll be damned, Jimmy,” she said, looking misty-eyed. Then she motioned toward my chest again. “What about the piercings? Did that hurt?” Looking down at her housecoat, she added, “Maybe I should get some.” A rude sound escaped at the awful suggestion. “Grandma… no. God, no.” “Seriously. I think Ernie might like it.” Mortified, I ran a hand over my face. “Please stop talking.”
Jimmy, I’m shacking up at Ernie’s for the night. Be nice to Sweet Pea and give him a peanut. There’s a bag in the pantry. P.S. Don’t you dare tease me about doing the walk of shame in the morning. -Grandma
Ezra is Jimmy’s little brother, whom we met in Dropout, and Kayla is his classmate. The story starts at the end of their senior year in high school. Ezra is a little overweight and walks with a limp. He has been bullied and teased his entire life. Kayla is very interestingly mixed race and always gets asked, “What are you?” It turns out they have both been crushing on each other for a long time.
They are both virgins in this.
I loved Ezra’s service dog, Pierre. He wasn’t comic relief. He’s a very serious fellow with a job to do! There is still a lot of humor in this. Kayla was adopted by a gay couple, and they are hilarious.
Clearly, she’d been both afraid and impressed by my size. I knew I wasn’t small down there. It wasn’t something I ever flaunted, because my dick wasn’t anyone’s business. Except Kayla’s. It could be her business anytime she wanted it to be.
5. Magic Man
We met Jay and Casey briefly in Dropout. Casey was 16 and knocked up by Mackenna’s psycho ex. Jay got busted for meth dealing that night of the fight. Jay is just recently out of jail and doesn’t think he is worthy of Casey and her son, Gus. Casey is an adult now and concentrating on taking care of her son.
This one had more angst and sadness in it but not too much. It’s not a tearjerker. Still a feel-good story with a HEA. We have a case of a character being an idiot, but it at least it didn’t go on too long, and there was no cheating or OP involved.
Gus was a very cute and funny toddler. I loved that they let him play with jewelry and wear princess dresses since that’s what he wanted. They didn’t judge or worry, even in their thoughts. Kids want they want, and it doesn’t have to be traditionally gender-assigned toys and clothes. Gus might change his tastes as he gets older, and he might not. Either is fine. He might grow up to up be straight, gay, or anything in between, and all of that is fine. They are letting him be who he is and not worrying about it, which is very refreshing in a novel.
I had a lot of nicknames for my little dude. Buddy. Bud. Bubbie goo. Mister buddy goo goobie goo man. Sometimes I got a little obnoxious with it—I even had made-up theme songs just for him.
Jay: Not having anything to contribute to a conversation about birthing large objects, I stuffed my hands in my pockets while they went into some of the nitty gritty details of labor.
“I brought you a funnel cake,” he announced, clearly pleased with himself. As he should be. If I hadn’t already been planning to jump his bones, I certainly would’ve been now.