Category Archives: Contemporary Romance

Felony Ever After – A collaboration between: Helena Hunting, Debra Anastasia, Nina Bocci, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Leisa Rayven, Liv Morris, Tijan, JM Darhower, Belle Aurora, KA Robinson, SM Lumetta, and Katherine Stevens

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Contemporary romantic comedy, one story told by 13 authors

Blurb:

***13 Authors put their brains together to write ONE story***

Verity Michaels is new to New York City, but even she knows riding in a stolen cab is not a normal way to meet someone. Damn it if that tattoo-covered would-be felon isn’t everywhere now, and lighting everything on fire under her skirt.

His name is Hudson Fenn, and he’s frustratingly impossible to pin down. He works as a bike messenger, but has the manners of a prince—along with a strange tendency toward breaking and entering. As much as Verity knows he’s not her type, and likely to land her in jail, she can’t help but find her truest self when they’re together.

Can she be brave enough to give Hudson a real chance? Will he be bold enough to reveal the man beneath the ink, or will his secrecy doom their connection? Also, WTF is the deal with Verity’s boss? No less than thirteen of your favorite romance writers have teamed up to tell this sexy, wacky, snort-inducing tale. With them you’ll visit the world’s most irritating office, a VIP room of questionable cleanliness, and the fanciest apartment a bike messenger has ever inhabited, but you’ll still never see this ending coming.


This was hilarious and cute. A lot of laugh out loud moments. I liked both Verity and Hudson, and they were great together.

I’ve read many collections of short stories from different authors and boxed sets of novels, but this is completely different. I was surprised not to feel any disconnect or distracting differences in style moving from one author to another. It was a great idea getting one or two chapters from each author and stringing them together. It was executed very well. It was also very well edited. I only found 3 errors in the whole book! The overarching plot with the mystery of the boxes was interesting and funny. Definitely not something I have seen before!

Contains several graphic sex scenes that were also very hot.

Occasional foul language.

3rd person past tense, all from Verity.

Currently free on Amazon.


Favorite Quotes:

“You’re the only Verity Michaels in the United States. It wasn’t that hard. And I wasn’t stalking you. I looked your name up once, and bam—your Twitter account popped up, along with the hashtag ‘pound Hudson’.”

The cats silently judged her. “What?” she asked. “Like you’ve never had a sex marathon with a hottie in an alley and then binged on kibble. Please.”

SEAL the Deal (Special Ops: Homefront Book 1) – Kate Aster

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sweet contemporary military romance, currently free on Amazon

Blurb:

In the postcard-perfect seaside town of Annapolis, Maryland, the bestselling romance series begins…

Lieutenant Commander Mick Riley, a member of the fabled SEAL Team Six, can’t pull his eyes from Lacey Owens . Yet she is the type of woman he wants to avoid – the kind that gets him thinking about settling down, spawning kids, and finding lower-mortality employment.

Lacey has her own reasons for avoiding Mick. Tired of living in the shadow of her financial mogul sister, this real estate agent has tossed ethics aside to succeed, putting the tempting SEAL well out of her reach.

But when their circles of friends collide, Lacey can’t avoid Mick’s rock-hard abs and a smile that melts her into a pool of hot wax. Friendship blossoms and passion simmers… even as she struggles to conceal the unethical business plan that brought him into her life.

SEAL the Deal is a full-length novel about the fine line that divides friendship and love, and the unexpected joy of crossing it.


This was sweet. A nice, quick-paced read. There isn’t anything heavy here, no action, suspense, or mystery, no other overarching plot, just the romance. I liked the characters, though Lacey seemed a little down on herself, which I didn’t like. Mick was hot and honorable. But there just wasn’t anything very special or memorable about them. The sex scenes were kinda hot but not smoking. So just 3 stars from me, average. At least it is well edited. Only 3 errors found!

I have way more to say when I love or hate something.

3rd person past tense from Lacey and Mick.

Contains some graphic sex scenes, but not until halfway through.

352 pages.

Currently free on Amazon. Book 5 and Book 7 (a novella) are free. The others in the series are about $2.99 each.

Brady Remington Landed Me in Jail – Tijan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Best friends to lovers with great small-town drama

Blurb:

Rayna would do anything for Brady and she has. She’s bailed him out of jail. She’s healed his bruises and picked him up from parties. She’s always been there for him regardless if he had asked or not. But when a potential love interest for Rayna returns to town, their relationship is threatened. Brady has to decide if he’s going to make her his or let her go. And when he tries to do the right thing by both of them, neither could’ve foreseen what secrets their decisions would’ve exposed. Their small town is soon rocked by controversy and in the midst of it, Rayna and Brady try to figure out if they can be together or not.


I love this book. I originally read it back in 2014. Even after all those years, I remembered a few things. “Get off!” – “I just did.” was my favorite. I thought of that recently and wanted to re-read this. I’m not going to put the quote here. It’s at the start of Chapter 2, which you can see in the Sneak Peek on Amazon. Tijan’s Fallen Crest series seems more popular, but this is my favorite of her books.

There is a lot of great humor here. It’s a fast read, quick paced. Tijan does soap opera drama very well. Whose father is whose and who slept with who and when, absentee parents, good surrogate parents to replace them, that sort of thing. I loved Rayna’s grandparents and other secondary characters.

Both Rayna and Brady grow during the story. I love both of these characters and how they interact. I don’t like that Brady has been having casual sex. It doesn’t seem like he was a real slut as I don’t know how many girls he has been with. But I don’t think he is a man-whore (doesn’t make the girls pay emotionally, doesn’t lie to get it).

All sex is off camera.

Occasional foul language.

1st person past tense, all from Rayna.

286 pages.

$3.99 on Amazon.

Standalone.

Errors: 33 (wrong words, extra words, missing words, misspelled words, wrong punctuation marks,  laughing/groaning/smirking/etc as dialogue tags, alright is not a word – it’s all right)

There is a never published start to a sequel called “Brady Remington Is My Boyfriend” that was abandoned. I have it and read it. It just stops with no resolution to the story but does have some actual sex scenes in it. I think Tijan posted the chapters to Facebook at one time, and I copied them into a Word doc. I feels like Tijan didn’t like where the story was going, and I would agree. Rayna was acting wish-washy and vague, not the great character that was in the actual book.


Favorite Quotes:

A tingle shot through my toes from his soft tone, but I clamped down on it. I didn’t need to be getting hot and bothered by him, not tonight. Not ever.

“You… you upheavaled my night. I wanted to stay in. I wanted to be boring. I like being boring, Brady”

I looked away when Clarissa sent a scorching glare at me. I wasn’t going to bend to her will and go against my grandmother. Viola had spoken.

Western Dreams – Becky Barker

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Sweet, sensual, second-chance contemporary western romance. Currently free on Amazon.

Blurb:

A fun, sexy second chance romance. Bree Conley is back at the Blackstone ranch and Reece Blackstone is at the end of his rope. Maybe he loved her once but that’s in the past, and now she’s a total distraction. How can he get any work done when Bree’s so beautiful, so sassy and so tempting?

Bree has no intention of rekindling their romance even though he’s a perfect specimen of drool-worthy male. She has new dreams to fulfill, which includes turning the neighboring ranch into a wildlife sanctuary. Maybe, if he’s lucky, she’ll take Reece for a walk on the wild side…


This is sweet, sensual, and emotional rather than erotic. There is only one real sex scene. It’s about two people’s insecurities and not communicating the truth until it’s almost too late. I liked it and would give it four stars if the grammar and formatting weren’t so terrible. The same issues that were in the first book from the 80’s are still here.

Sort of camera obscura descriptions in the sex scenes. Language isn’t “flowery” but along those lines without being over the top. It is much more subtle.

3rd person past tense from both Bree and Reece. Head-hopping within the same chapter or sections.

There are many extra spaces at the start of paragraphs, extra spaces or tabs between words, and weird unintended carriage return (starts a new paragraph) in the middle of sentences. Beyond that, I found 23 errors.

130 pages.

Currently free on Amazon – June 2021.


Her Reluctant Rancher (Return to Stone Creek Book 1) – Anne Marie Novark

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sweet western contemporary romance – Currently free on Amazon

Blurb:

Trevor Callahan’s grandfather is dead. As a kid, living with the stern old man had been a pure living hell. Trev returns to Stone Creek for one reason and one reason only: To sell the Rocking C Ranch. Maybe then he can put his past behind him and move on.

Beth Evans once confused lust for love and vows never to let it happen again. The bookmobile driver is trying to raise funds to build a new library. The late Hank Callahan bequeathed one million dollars for the project, but he attached one stipulation: Do not let his grandson sell the ranch.

HER RELUCTANT RANCHER

Contemporary Western Romance Novel

65,000 words/204 pp

Heat Index: Hot and Steamy

Listed on Amazon as 301 pages.

Currently free – May 2021


Beth is 24, so Trevor is 36.

Beth has a 5-year-old daughter.

Several detailed sex scenes, but they aren’t truly graphic. Sensual language is used (I wouldn’t call it flowery) instead of slang for body parts. The F word is never used.

It’s sweet, a good, fast-paced read. The characters are likeable. Both Trevor and Beth grow emotionally, which they have to do to really let someone in. HEA. SAFE. Very good grammar.

3rd person past tense from Trevor and Beth.

Head-hopping within the same chapter/section.

Errors: 9


Captured By A Cowboy – Becky Barker

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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

Blurb:

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.


SAVE (SAVE Me-Series Book 1) – Ella Col

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Good story about love after abuse but horrible grammar!

Blurb:

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.


Going Too Far – Jennifer Echols

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A delinquent and a young police officer – clean romance

Blurb:

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.

Errors: 10


Favorite Quote:

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.


Crew Series – Tijan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

High school to college romance with drama and violence

Crew – Book 1

Blurb:

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.


Favorite Quotes:

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

Blurb:

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

Blurb:

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.


Favorite Quote:

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.


Down London Road (On Dublin Street Book 2) – Samantha Young

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Contemporary romance set in Scotland. Book 2 in a series of standalones.

Blurb:

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.

1st person past tense all from Jo.

I found 4 errors, which is excellent.

384 pages. $7.99 on Amazon.