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WitandSin

Wit and Sin

My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).

Currently reading

Down for the Count (Dare Me Series, #1)
Christine Bell

Review: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Because of Miss Bridgerton - Julia Quinn

Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed.

 

Billie Bridgerton has long known she would likely marry a Rokesby brother.  After all, the Bridgertons and Rokesbys are more family than neighbors and she grew up running wild with Edward, Andrew, and Mary Rokesby.  But when a feral feline rescue goes wrong, it’s George Rokesby, the heir to the earldom, who Billie finds herself stranded with.  George is the one Rokesby Billie cannot abide.  And the feeling is mutual; the two of them are always sniping at each other.

 

Except…something strange seems to be happening.  Billie feels like she’s truly seeing George for the first time.  And he her.  She couldn’t possibly be falling in love with her favorite nemesis…could she?

 

Because of Miss Bridgerton is bright, engaging, and utterly charming.  As a longtime fan of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, I was delighted to get a chance to revisit the beloved family, even if in a prequel series.  The titular Miss Bridgerton in this tale is the aunt of the eight beloved siblings, and the clever, competitive, and endearing apples don’t fall too far from the tree.  Billie is the oldest of the Bridgerton siblings, and as there’s such an age gap between her and her younger brother, for a longtime she was raised almost like a boy.  At twenty-three she runs her family estate, taking an interest in agriculture that would surely scandalize society, and she has no interest in settling down.  Billie assumes she’ll one day marry Edward or Andrew Rokesby, and as they are more like brothers to her she’s in no rush to wed.  George is the one Rokesby who drives her mad.  He seems staid and serious and they constantly needle one another.  George complements Billie perfectly.  Yes, he’s quieter than the rest and has been raised never to forget he will inherit an earldom one day.  But George can match Billie jab-for-jab and when they’re not bickering things get surprisingly heated.

 

Billie and George have a wonderful slow-burn romance and it was fantastic to watch them unwittingly fall in love with one another.  I loved that George not only accepted Billie for the unusual woman that she was, but adored that about her.  And Billie never pressures George to change, but rather comes to admire and love him for his true nature.  They’re both fairly well-adjusted characters, but in falling in love they come fully into who they’re meant to be and it was lovely to watch.

 

As I previously mentioned, Because of Miss Bridgerton is a prequel of sorts to the beloved Bridgerton series.  It easily stands on its own, but there are some incredibly fun callbacks to the Bridgerton series.  From the Mallet of Death to the appearance of a couple of jovial (if slightly dim) Berbrookes to the behavior of the wonderful Bridgerton and Rokesby siblings, there’s enough in Because of Miss Bridgerton to satisfy Brigerton fans while not overtaking the story.  All in all, I had a blast reading Billie and George’s book – it’s bright, fun, and has all the charm I’ve come to expect from Ms. Quinn’s writing.  I devoured Because of Miss Bridgerton in one sitting and my only complaint is that I have to wait to read the next Rokesbys book, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband.

Review: The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

The Legendary Lord - Valerie Bowman

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-legendary-lord-by-valerie-bowman.html

 

Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, is always the groomsman, never the groom. After helping a number of his friends find happiness, Christian is determined that next season, he will be the one walking down the aisle. Imagine his shock when the belle of the season, Lady Sarah Highgate, practically falls into his lap… Or rather, his Scottish hunting lodge. Sarah’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, but for once Christian isn’t uneasy around a woman and it’s not too long before it’s all too easy for him to imagine Sarah as his. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to another man.

Sarah has been raised to do one thing: marry well. But the announcement of her betrothal a narcissistic marquess leaves her feeling like the walls are closing in around her. On impulse, Sarah flees to Scotland and winds up in the wrong house. Fortunately for her, Christian is a gentleman, and when he agrees to help save her reputation she offers to make him the most sought-after bachelor in London. But the longer she’s around Christian, the more Sarah regrets her decision… Because the new “catch of the season” has already caught her heart.

Valerie Bowman has a light, effervescent style that makes the pages of The Legendary Lord fly by. It’s a fast-paced, engaging story that I hated to put down, even when reading it a second time. I was so excited to see Christian get a book of his own. He’s long been a good friend to many a Playful Brides protagonist and it was time for him to find a love of his own. He and Sarah hit it off immediately, and the unconventional setting of the first part of the book means they get to know each other far better than they would have had they been in London. Both Christian and Sarah are kind, likeable people who charmed me from the start. They’ve got natural chemistry and the scenes with just the two of them (not including an adorable dog) in Scotland made it easy to fall into their burgeoning romance, which made me eager to see them end up happily married.

It wouldn’t be much of a story if there were no obstacles in Sarah and Christian’s path, and to me, this is where The Legendary Lord faltered slightly. The obstacles in and of themselves were understandable. Once they return to reality (aka London), there are the problems of Sarah’s engagement, her strong sense of duty, and the fact that Christian isn’t one to make waves. But my pet peeve in romance is a hero and heroine who are mostly passive when it comes to getting their happily ever after. It bothered me a bit that I felt like – if it weren’t for their friends (Lucy Hunt in particular) – Christian and Sarah would never have ended up together. On the one hand, their actions (or lack thereof) did give others a chance to repay Christian for the kindnesses he’s done them, and I appreciated that. On the other, I wanted to see Sarah and Christian fight a bit harder for each other because it was a bit unsatisfying to feel like things could have very easily gone a different way if not for Lucy and co.’s interference. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed The Legendary Lord. Ms. Bowman’s writing never fails to entertain me and I was thrilled to see Christian finally find love. I cannot wait to see what comes next in the Playful Brides series, for there are a few characters whose stories I am dying to read.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-legendary-lord-by-valerie-bowman.html

Review: The Librarian and the Spy by Susan Mann

The Librarian and the Spy (Librarian/Spy Escapade) - Susan Mann

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-librarian-and-spy-by-susan-mann.html

 

The Librarian and the Spy is a cute story with a fun premise that didn’t quite meet its potential. It’s a book I desperately wanted to like, mostly because author Susan Mann includes enough detail about Quinn’s job as a librarian to delight my bibliophile self. But while there’s a wonderful amount of trivia in this story, the actual plot dragged, the romance was missing spark, and the characters never came alive on the page. It took me a long time to get into this story, mostly because the plot took some time to find its footing. And while Quinn and James are certainly likeable, they never felt three-dimensional to me. Their romance is sweet, but again, was missing something. I felt a lot of the romance was a case of tell rather than show, which could have been part of the problem. As for the action, there was no real sense of danger or excitement when it came to the espionage work, and overall I was just left wanting more.

The Librarian and the Spy isn’t a bad book, only disappointing in that it could have been so much better had the characters and the world come to life. It had the potential to do so, for Ms. Mann’s writing definitely shines in any scene involving research. I absolutely loved those bits because I could feel Quinn’s excitement come through the page and I loved the way her mind worked. There’s also a fun twist at the end of the story that left me smiling and feeling optimistic about Quinn’s future. So while The Librarian and the Spy wasn’t quite my cup of tea, there is enough potential to the series that I’d like to read A Covert Affair.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-librarian-and-spy-by-susan-mann.html

Review: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Midnight Target (A Killer Instincts Novel) - Elle Kennedy

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-midnight-target-by-elle-kennedy.html

 

Midnight Target hits the ground running and never lets up. Emotions are high, sexual tension runs hot, and the action is top-notch. As the final book in the Killer Instincts series, the stakes are bigger than ever with the full force of Jim’s mercenaries and Noelle’s chameleons all out for blood when Jim is critically wounded. Elle Kennedy definitely knows how to send her badass heroes and heroines off in style, and this is one hell of a satisfying end to the series with almost all of our favorite characters getting a moment or two to shine and not one, but two sexy-as-sin romances taking center stage.

Cate Morgan grew up in a gilded cage, a prisoner of her maniac grandfather until she was found by her father, Jim. Cate’s cut from the same cloth as her father. She’s a thrill-seeker, someone who – even as a teenager – knew she wasn’t cut out for a normal life. But Jim wants her wrapped in cotton, and his overbearing protectiveness pushed her away. Now a photojournalist on assignment in South America, Cate’s life takes a turn when she snaps a photo of a supposedly dead drug dealer. With killers hot on her heels, she has no choice but to call her father. And when Jim’s wounded rescuing her, Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton – the one man she wants nothing to do with. Ash broke her heart, and nothing makes her madder than the fact that she’s still attracted to him.

Ash has had it bad for Cate for years, but he knows he can never have her. Their difference in ages and the fact that he’d never do anything to lose the respect of Jim, the man who gave him a chance, a job, and a home, makes her off-limits. But with blood running hot and danger around every corner, the sexual tension between them is about to boil over. Cate and Ash are two people clearly meant to be together, and I loved the flashbacks that showed their history, built up the tension, and had me rooting for these two to get together. It isn’t easy for them. Ash’s loyalty to Jim means he tries to push Cate away, and he hurts her in the process. But readers can see how completely head over heels he is for her, and the fact that he’s so totally in love with her just melted my heart. They come into their own both as individuals and as a couple in Midnight Target and their growth is fantastic to watch.

As previously mentioned, there’s a second romance in this book and it’s the one I’ve been waiting for: Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port. For the past few books Ms. Kennedy has been ramping up the tension between these two smokin’ hot mercs and I’ve been dying for their story. It’s been two years since Liam and Sully last saw each other and when they reconnect…holy smokes. Attraction, longing, anger, fear, and love are all intertwined and bottled up in each of the men. Their confrontations are insanely hot and you could power a whole village with the emotional charge from their scenes. Every minute Ms. Kennedy made us wait for their love story was absolutely worth it because Liam and Sully rocked. The angst, raw desire, and pure want between them packs one heck of a punch and I stayed up way too late reading Midnight Target because I could not put the book down until Liam and Sully got their happily ever after. Nobody can mix passion, anger, and love together quite like Elle Kennedy, and Liam and Sully are perfect examples of her talent.

I could spend pages going on about Liam and Sully because they rank right up there with Jim and Noelle when it comes to favorite couples of mine, but it’d be remiss of me not to mention the action outside the two romances. The mission is personal this time for all the characters and the upped stakes definitely kept me engaged. Ms. Kennedy isn’t afraid to make things dark and gritty, and with a drug lord targeting first Cate, then the entire team, the suspense is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The world these mercs and assassins live in is bloody and grim, but it makes the characters and romances shine all the brighter in contrast.

Midnight Target has raw passion, high stakes, boundless energy, and two powerful love stories. It’s a stellar read fans old and new of the Killer Instincts series are sure to enjoy. Every obstacle the protagonists face is worth it when there’s an ending as satisfying as the one in this book. I loved Midnight Target and I cannot wait to read it again and again!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-midnight-target-by-elle-kennedy.html

Review: A Teaspoon of Trouble by Shirley Jump

A Teaspoon of Trouble (Bachelor Bake-Off, #1) - Shirley Jump

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-teaspoon-of-trouble-by-shirley.html

 

Carolyn’s life was turned upside-down when her sister died. Now the successful New York City chef finds herself guardian to her four-year-old niece who comes with a disobedient dog, and that’s on top of grieving herself. In an attempt to sort out her life, Carolyn travels to her parents’ house in the small town of Marietta…a place Carolyn couldn’t get away from fast enough once upon a time. Coming home was never in Carolyn’s plan, and neither was getting knocked off her feet by her first love, the seriously handsome veterinarian Matthew West. Matthew’s got the skills to solve Carolyn’s easiest problem – the dog she can’t seem to control – and in turn she can help him learn to bake for the Bachelor Bake-Off. The only problem is, the longer Carolyn’s around Matthew, the more old feelings come to the surface. But she’s got a life in New York and a traumatized little girl on her hands who she has no idea how to mother. She simply doesn’t have time for falling in love with Matthew all over again. Too bad for Carolyn, her heart has different ideas than her brain…

A Teaspoon of Trouble is an interesting story. I loved that author Shirley Jump wasn’t afraid to deliver a struggling, flawed heroine. Carolyn was definitely my favorite thing about this book because she was so imperfect. She’s grieving, overwhelmed, and her whole life plan has just changed. She doesn’t automatically know how to become a mother to her niece, even though she loves the girl. She doesn’t want to give up the career she worked so hard for. She doesn’t want to stay in her idyllic hometown. In other words, she’s realistic and relatable, for better or worse. I could have read a whole book about Carolyn’s personal journey because there’s quite a bit of depth to her and she has a heck of a lot on her plate.

As much as I liked Carolyn, wanted to see her find love with Matthew, and for the two of them and her niece to become a family, the romance is where A Teaspoon of Trouble fell short for me. Matthew is a too-perfect hero who is definitely dreamy, but I would have loved more depth to him (or at least a flaw or two). He’s never fallen out of love with Carolyn and if the story hadn’t taken place directly after the death of Carolyn’s sister and the resulting upending of her entire life, I would have been more at ease with their fairly light romance. But the love story felt more like an afterthought to the beginnings of a much deeper book. Had the story been longer, perhaps the romance could have developed more organically. The bones of an entertaining romance were there (Matthew is a seriously hot guy who is good with kids and dogs, after all), but it just didn’t meet its potential. As it stands, I did enjoy Carolyn’s journey and the romance was sweet, if rushed, so I’d say I liked A Teaspoon of Trouble overall.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-teaspoon-of-trouble-by-shirley.html

Review: Emergency Attraction by Samanthe Beck

Emergency Attraction - Samanthe Beck

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-emergency-attraction-by-samanthe.html

 

Emergency Attraction is emotional, addictive, and seriously hot. I’m a sucker for second chance romances, and Samanthe Beck has delivered a wonderful one in Sinclair and Shane’s story.

Ms. Beck excels at penning swoon-worthy heroes and Shane is no exception. When he left Magnolia Grove ten years ago to join the Marines, he left his heart with Sinclair. Now that he’s back in town, he’s determined to win back her trust. I absolutely adored Shane. He’s kind, sexy as hell, and his biggest problem is that he tries too hard to protect people (to his own detriment). Shane isn’t perfect, but he’s a perfectly delicious hero and I was rooting for him to win Sinclair back. And speaking of Sinclair, she’s an independent heroine with a spine of steel. Not much can get under her skin, but Shane is the exception. And though she doesn’t want to give him a second chance, he has a way of slipping past all her barriers. But Shane broke her heart and the mistakes of youth, when combined with old wounds and misunderstandings make her wary of forgiving him. Normally I dread the “big misunderstanding” device, but in this case I didn’t mind. In Shane and Sinclair’s situation it was completely logical, organic to the characters, and was resolved in a satisfying way.

Emergency Attraction is fast-paced and feels light on its feet, but make no mistake, it’s an emotional story as well. I loved how well Ms. Beck balanced heartache and forgiveness with hope and trust. And when you add in the fact that Sinclair and Shane are insanely hot together? It’s easy to see why I hated having to put this book down.

Emergency Attraction is the third book in Ms. Beck’s Love Emergency series and – if you don’t mind major spoilers for the first book, Emergency Engagement, and minor spoilers for the second book, Emergency Delivery – it can be read as a standalone. That being said, this is a fantastic series and you’re missing out if you don’t read the first two books. Fans of the Love Emergency heroes and heroines will all be delighted to know that their favorite characters return for this story and add more humor and heart to the tale. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Shane and Sinclair’s story. It’s heartfelt and hot – an irresistible combination.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-emergency-attraction-by-samanthe.html

Review: A Recipe for Romance by Lara Van Hulzen

A Recipe for Romance - Lara Van Hulzen

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-recipe-for-romance-by-lara-van.html

 

A Recipe for Romance is a Hallmark movie-ready story. It’s sweet, has picture-perfect characters, and the story has a reliable, satisfying plot. It’s not the freshest story out there, but it has charm and is a cozy read.

Noelle is a former ballet dancer looking for a fresh start after a tragedy turned her life upside down. She’s sweet and caring, and I definitely liked her, but I wanted to delve more into her character, her past… I wanted something that made her stand out to me. As for Wes, he’s a bit too boilerplate billionaire for my personal preferences. He’s rich, handsome, is intrigued by Noelle because she’s not interested in his money, and he can be the knight in shining armor with the wealth and power to save the damsel in distress from losing her business. It’s a story I’ve read a dozen times before and unfortunately author Lara Van Hulzen doesn’t add a fresh twist to liven the story up. That being said, A Recipe for Romance isn’t a bad book – not in the slightest. There’s nothing to dislike about it and it’s a fast and sweet read when you’re looking for something light with a satisfying happily ever after.

A Recipe for Romance is the fifth book in the multi-author Bachelor Bake-Off series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. As relative newcomers to Marietta, neither Wes nor Noelle had much of a connection to the town, which was a bit of a bummer for a small town romance. Still, while this book wasn’t exactly my cup of tea I will say that it’s sweet and the romance is light and lovely. And if Ms. Van Hulzen writes a book for Wes’s widower brother, Mike, I will definitely be first in line for that tale. Mike stole the show for me every time he appeared on the page, and I hope Ms. Van Hulzen has a happily ever after waiting for him.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-recipe-for-romance-by-lara-van.html

Review: Gauntlet by Holly Jennings

Gauntlet (Arena) - Holly Jennings

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-gauntlet-by-holly-jennings.html

 

After falling in love with Holly Jennings’s intense, exciting world of virtual gaming in Arena, I had extremely high hopes for its sequel. Gauntlet was everything I’d hoped for and more. It’s imaginative, addictive, and tense. You never know what will be thrown at Kali and her team next, and that’s just the way I like it.

Kali Ling, the youngest team owner in the history of virtual games, is out to change the world of gaming. In a world where gamers are celebrities, their images managed, their moves dictated, and their addictions covered up, Kali is determined to have a team that’s clean, honest, and the players can be exactly who they are. But being a manager is a hell of a lot harder than being a captain. Kali’s drowning trying to be a manager, player, and friend, and that’s without the added problem that her actions have pissed off the Virtual Gaming League. Even with all that on her shoulders, Kali has another new challenge: her team has been invited to play in a new all-star tournament. But this game is unlike any anyone has ever seen. It learns, it adapts, and it will push Kali and her teammates to their very limits, both physically and psychologically.

Like Arena, Gauntlet is suspenseful, engaging, and just plain cool. The added twist of the new game that learns and adapts (plus a few other elements I can’t reveal without spoiling the story) upped the ante. The obstacles facing Kali, Rooke, Hannah, Lily, and Derek forces them to grow, and I loved watching them develop as characters and come together even closer as a team. While Kali is the heart and soul of the book, I cared about each member of team Defiance and loved seeing more of their true selves come out.

Compelling characters aside, I loved the new challenges thrown Kali, both in the game and outside of it. I enjoy not knowing what’s coming next, loved facing each new challenge alongside Kali. Her frustration, pain, and determination were palpable and had me reading late into the night, wanting to see what she would do next. I hated having to put Gauntlet down, and my only complaint is that the end of the book left me on the edge of my seat, eager to see what happens next.

It’s difficult to write about Gauntlet without revealing things that would spoil the story. The fun is in not knowing what obstacles Defiance faces and what internal and external challenges they will have to overcome. I’m not a gamer, but I loved all the detail Ms. Jennings has put into her elaborate world of virtual gaming. The Arena series is vivid and wonderfully entertaining. I can’t wait to see where Ms. Jennings takes Defiance next!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-gauntlet-by-holly-jennings.html

Review: Master Professor by Tara Sue Me

Master Professor - Tara Sue Me

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-master-professor-by-tara-sue-me.html

 

When Andie Lincoln learns that her best friend-turned-boyfriend Terrence Knight – the hottest actor in Hollywood – is a Dominant, it awakens something in her she never before thought of. Andie has no experience with submission, but she’s eager to learn. Since Terrence has no time to teach her, he manages to get her a spot in the exclusive RACK Academy. Andie’s got a free pass to explore her sexuality so long as she doesn’t lose her virginity, and she’s both nervous and eager to delve into the world of BDSM. What she doesn’t plan for is her unexpected attraction to Fulton Matthews, her new professor. Fulton doesn’t just awaken her submissive side, he tempts her like no man ever has. And though the attraction might be mutual, a relationship between teacher and student would be forbidden even if Andie were free. So there’s no way they could act on it…right?

Master Professor is fast-paced, sexy, and fun. I enjoyed watching Andie come into her own as she embraced her submissive side and found her place at the RACK Academy. Andie is sweet, uncertain, and curious, and she’s got a core of strength that stands out as she goes toe-to-toe with Fulton. Her feelings for him throw her off her stride repeatedly, not just because he’s the first man she’s ever submitted to, but because of Terrence. I don’t condone cheating and it’s a hot-button issue for me in romance, but author Tara Sue Me established Andie and Terrence’s understanding from the start and handled this delicate topic in such a way that it didn’t bother me, even when Andie and Fulton were pulled into greyer areas.

I was cheering for Andie all through Master Professor, wanting her to find happiness and a Dom who loves and appreciates her as he should. Fulton is a great match for her. He’s both caring and commanding; definitely a Dom, but one who is a bit more relaxed. He struggles with wanting Andie, knowing he can’t have her and yet falling for her both in the classroom where they’re trainer and student, and outside of it, where they’re two people who simply click. He and Andie have an easy chemistry that shows on the page and made it impossible not to enjoy their story. The BDSM aspects of Master Professor are moderate, which suited the characters and the story. That doesn’t mean the story lacks heat – the sexual tension is fantastic and when it boils over it’s hot as hell.

Master Professor is the first book in the Lessons from the RACK series and while I finished it well-satisfied with Andie and Fulton’s story, I’m hungry for more of the RACK Academy. I cannot wait to see what Tara Sue Me has in store for the mysterious Master MacLure!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/04/review-master-professor-by-tara-sue-me.html

Review: The Thing About Love by Julie James

The Thing About Love - Julie James

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-thing-about-love-by-julie-james.html

 

There’s simply nothing quite like a Julie James novel. The Thing About Love has everything I’ve come to love about Ms. James’s work: intelligent, interesting characters, crackling chemistry, an engaging romance, and sharp attention to detail. It’s a story that feels light on its feet but also has substance, and I loved every bit of it.

John and Jessica are irresistible characters who grabbed my attention from the first. Jessica is quite possibly my favorite of Ms. James’s heroines. Not only is she incredibly smart, she’s the best example I have ever seen in a contemporary romance of a woman working to build a successful career in a male-dominated field. From the moment she starts training at Quantico, Jessica is aware that her gender and height are working against her. Jessica doesn’t waste time feeling sorry for herself because she has a disadvantage. She works hard to overcome the obstacles in her path and I have an incredible amount of respect for her dedication, strength, and resourcefulness. Her nemesis at the Academy is John, a former Army Ranger for whom the more physical aspects of FBI training are a breeze. John is no slouch in the academic department, but there are areas where he has to work just as hard to succeed as Jessica does when it comes to the more athletic areas of their training. The two of them push each other constantly, their competitiveness bringing out the best agents in them – though they’d be loath to admit it.

The flashbacks to Quantico set the stage for John and Jessica’s reunion six years later when she transfers to the Chicago FBI office. When the two of them meet again, they pick up bickering right where they’d left off at the Academy. But having to work together undercover means they need to play nice, and I loved watching them work through their issues and come to understand one another. With that understanding comes increasingly strong sexual tension. Theirs is a slow-burn romance, and the payoff is worth it. John and Jessica have fantastic chemistry both as partners and as lovers. I honestly enjoyed watching them work together as much as I adored their romance. They complement one another perfectly, and there’s no false drama to detract from their story. The obstacles hampering John and Jessica’s romance feel realistic to the characters and their jobs and the resolution that gives these two their happily ever after left me with a huge smile on my face.

Every Julie James novel I’ve picked up features characters who feel whole and real, with fully developed personal and professional lives. The Thing About Love is no exception and it makes Jessica and John’s story all the better. When you combine Ms. James’s well-developed characters with her snappy dialogue and a romance that’s both spicy and sweet, it’s easy to see why I adored this book. I highly recommend The Thing About Love to any contemporary romance fan!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-thing-about-love-by-julie-james.html

Review: A Moment of Madness by Brooklyn Skye

A Moment of Madness - Brooklyn Skye

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-moment-of-madness-by-brooklyn.html

 

An awkward meet cute that involves a bar, a beard, a dying houseplant, and a drunk cousin is just the start of the fun in A Moment of Madness. Brooklyn Skye’s second Boston Alibi story is both hot and humorous, which made it a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Sailor is a former drug addict who has worked hard to get clean and put her life back together. As a teenager, she turned her back on her father, and now that he’s gone she’s looking for redemption by trying to make his bar a success. Sailor’s past made her a rather unique heroine and I liked and admired her for her strength and determination to make amends and be a better person. She’s a funny, caring woman who’s a bit goofy and a lot of fun to read about. When she walks into the Alibi, ready to make an offer on the bar, she’s stunned to learn that the current owner is her previous night’s one-night stand. She and Ryan hit it off from the start (even with the aforementioned pitiful plant and drunk cousin in the way), but Ryan doesn’t trust the woman who turned her back on the man who was like a father to him. Their mutual attraction (and the fact that the bar is short-staffed) means that Ryan can’t ignore her, no matter how much he may want to. Ryan is gruff, but he can also be sexy and interesting. He definitely has trust issues when it comes to Sailor, but when the two of them are on the same page they make an excellent pair, both in bed and out.

Where A Moment of Madness falters is the climax of the story. The dreaded “big misunderstanding” comes into play (a personal pet peeve which may not bother other readers) and it takes the shine off of Ryan. There was also a dropped thread, which was minor but bugged me a bit. Even with these quibbles, I thought Ryan and Sailor’s story was fun and I liked it enough that I will definitely pick up the first Boston Alibi book, A Moment of Weakness.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-moment-of-madness-by-brooklyn.html

Review: Make Me Beg by Rebecca Brooks

Make Me Beg - Rebecca Brooks

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-make-me-beg-by-rebecca-brooks.html

 

Rebecca Brooks proves that frenemies-to-lovers can be hot as hell in Make Me Beg. Connor and Mackenzie are two interesting, flawed characters with chemistry so appealing I devoured their story in one sitting.

Connor is a chef, a playboy, and a man who hasn’t ever committed to putting down roots. Gold Mountain was just supposed to be his stop onto bigger and better things, but there’s something about the town – and about Mack – that keeps him rooted to the spot. Connor is easy to like. Despite his love ’em and leave ’em ways and the way he frustrates Mack, he’s got a good heart and his character develops wonderfully. I loved watching him come into his own as he fell for Mack. And speaking of the woman who can bring Connor to his knees, Mack is equally stubborn and can be a bit combative, but she’s got a good heart, and a past that has scarred her and left her with mile-high walls to hide her vulnerability. It’s clear that she and Connor would make an excellent pair, but the way they make assumptions and don’t communicate threatens to derail them. Normally the lack of communication would be incredibly frustrating to me, but Ms. Brooks does an excellent job of making me see why Mack and Connor are the way they are. Sex both clarifies and complicates things for them, and the road to happily ever after definitely isn’t an easy one for these two. Surprisingly, what made Make Me Beg stand out for me was the downs rather than the ups. Mack in particular makes mistakes that hurt Connor, but he actually calls her on it – something that rarely happens in the books I’ve read lately – and I appreciated that both of them not only wholly accepted one another, but were willing to stand up for themselves when needed.

While it’s a rocky road for Mack and Connor, that doesn’t mean the story is missing out on red-hot moments. Make Me Beg is insanely sexy and when Mack and Connor are on the same page they make an incredible couple. I finished Make Me Beg wanting to explore the world of Gold Mountain more. While Mack and Connor’s story can be read as a standalone, I will definitely be picking up the first Men of Gold Mountain book, Make Me Stay!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-make-me-beg-by-rebecca-brooks.html

Review: Fair Chance by Josh Lanyon

Fair Chance - Josh Lanyon

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-fair-chance-by-josh-lanyon.html

 

The stakes are high, the mystery arresting, and the romance fantastic in Fair Chance. Josh Lanyon hits all the right notes in the third All’s Fair book. Fair Chance was impossible for me to put down, and it was likely a terrible idea to start it late at night because I was up until almost dawn finishing it. But a book hangover is totally worth it when you have characters like Elliot Mills and Tucker Lance keeping you awake.

It’s almost impossible for me to describe how much I enjoy reading about Elliot and Tucker, so I’ll put it this way: they’re right up there with Adrien English and Jake Riordan (if you’re a Lanyon fan, you know that’s high praise). In Fair Chance Elliot and Tucker have more or less settled into their lives, but the Sculptor case is still infringing on their happiness. The Sculptor (the villain from the first All’s Fair book, Fair Game) is fixated on Elliot and being behind bars won’t stop him from exacting his revenge. What no one knew was that the Sculptor had an accomplice, and the clock is ticking for Elliot to find out who that is…because Tucker has gone missing.

Elliot’s been in danger and has had a personal stake in some form in each of the All’s Fair stories, but there’s an added tension in Fair Chance. Tucker’s abduction (not a spoiler since it’s in the book blurb) ups the intensity and had me glued to the book. While the mysteries are always engaging in this series, Tucker and Elliot themselves are what made me fall in love with the books, so it’s no surprise I was wholly invested in this story. Elliot is our eyes and ears for this series and he’s an interesting, complex, and flawed protagonist. I’ve loved that he isn’t perfect and have enjoyed watching him grow as a character. As for Tucker…I think he might just be my favorite of Lanyon’s characters. Tucker is dominant, protective, and emotionally open and vulnerable in a way that grabs my heart. He isn’t perfect either, but he’s a fantastic hero I could read about all day. I’ve loved watching he and Elliot grow as a couple – it’s part of what makes this series shine – and seeing how far they’ve come makes the story all the more rewarding.

Fair Chance is the third book in the All’s Fair series, and I highly recommend reading Fair Game and Fair Play before jumping into this book. The mystery and the romance are both far more fulfilling if you’ve read all the books in order. This book reads like the final in the series, but there’s just enough of an opening that I can hope Lanyon returns to Elliot and Tucker one day. I absolutely loved Fair Chance and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s an intense, exciting, and wholly rewarding romantic suspense tale.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-fair-chance-by-josh-lanyon.html

Review: Sprinkled with Love by Jennifer Faye

Sprinkled with Love - Jennifer Faye

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/02/review-sprinkled-with-love-by-jennifer.html

 

Sprinkled with Love is a sweet story with a lot of potential. There’s a lot to like about Jennifer Faye’s Bachelor Bake-Off story. Jillian and Avery are good-hearted protagonists who are easy to root for, and when you add in a couple of hilarious cats, it’s clear that this story has the makings of a feel-good romance.

When Avery and Jillian are on the same page, Sprinkled with Love made me smile. They have an easy chemistry and a solid history that means their love story should have unfolded in an organic manner. However, while all the elements are there, the story is dragged down by general miscommunication, the dreaded “big misunderstanding,” a lot of unnecessary push-pull, waffling about big life decisions that didn’t always make sense, and an abrupt ending. I was never quite sure what Avery wanted, likely because a lot of the time he didn’t know what he wanted. As for Jillian, she fell for Avery when she worked for him before, but he never made a move on her (which made sense to me, given that she was a live-in babysitter and housekeeper in his employ). That her feelings were hurt made sense, but it felt wrong that she (and others) seemed to blame him because half the town assumed she was waiting for him to marry her back then. Little things like these picked away at my enjoyment of the story, which was a pity because I really wanted to love Sprinkled with Love. With a bit more fleshing out and a bit less back-and-forth and false drama, the story could have gone from ok to great. As it stands, Ms. Faye’s writing has enough charm to make the story entertaining even when I was frustrated with Jillian and Avery. And of course, the story is also buoyed by the antics of the lovelorn Romeo and Marshmallow, the previously mentioned scene-stealing cats. Overall, Sprinkled with Love was a bit hit-and-miss for me, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading more Bachelor Bake-Off books and I will be looking for more of Ms. Faye’s work in the future.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/02/review-sprinkled-with-love-by-jennifer.html

Review: A Spoonful of Sugar by Kate Hardy

A Spoonful of Sugar (The Bachelor Bake-Off Book 2) - Kate Hardy

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/02/review-spoonful-of-sugar-by-kate-hardy.html

 

A Spoonful of Sugar is as sweet as can be without ever entering saccharine territory. Kate Hardy has delivered the ultimate feel-good romance, with kind, endearing characters who will have you avidly turning the pages as you root for them to get together.

Stacey is a special needs teacher with a heart of gold. She’s hearing-impaired and having had her self-esteem constantly beaten as a child left its mark on her. Rather than breaking, she’s become a giving person who works tirelessly to help others and make sure that no one is ever made to feel like she was. Tyler, in turn, is a gym owner who carries a few internal scars of his own over a bad breakup. He’s focused on his gym, but when his team enters him in the Bachelor Bake-Off, he knows he’s in trouble. Tyler can’t make a grilled cheese without setting off the fire alarm, never mind cookies, cakes, and pies. When his first attempt at baking (predictably) sets off the fire alarm, it’s his neighbor, Stacey to the rescue. When she agrees to teach him to bake in exchange for boxing lessons from him, it’s the start of a friendship that will fast turn into something more. Tyler and Stacey made me smile more than once as they fell in love. She’s an amazing teacher and a genuinely kind soul, which made her easy to adore. And Tyler…wow. He spots early on that Stacey’s self-esteem isn’t the highest and the way he genuinely compliments her and helps her see how amazing she is just made me melt. As a pair, the two of them were excellent. They had lovely chemistry and were so sweet they warmed my heart.

A Spoonful of Sugar is the second book in the multi-author Bachelor Bake-Off series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. That being said, after finishing Tyler and Stacey’s book, I’m definitely intrigued and want to read the rest of the series as soon as possible. As for Stacey and Tyler, they’re a couple I’ll definitely be revisiting when I need a pick-me-up.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/02/review-spoonful-of-sugar-by-kate-hardy.html

Review: The Duke by Kerrigan Byrne

The Duke - Kerrigan Byrne

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/02/review-duke-by-kerrigan-byrne.html

 

The Duke is dark, intense, and completely addictive. Imogen and Cole captivated me from the very beginning and did not let go, no matter how rocky the road to happily ever after got. Kerrigan Byrne has a gift for penning intriguing, imperfect heroes and heroines, and Imogen and Cole are no exception.

I absolutely loved Imogen. She’s lived a hard life, has known starvation and violence, yet she doesn’t break. She looks for the sunshine in the clouds, and I loved her optimism almost as much as I loved her desire to help those less fortunate. At the beginning of the story, Imogen is a nurse who must spend her nights serving alcohol in a brothel in order to pay off her father’s debts. One night changes everything when Cole, the newly-minted Duke of Talmage, walks in and she finds herself seduced by the handsome, heartbreakingly sad man. Fast-forward to the present (so as to avoid giving spoilers) and Imogen is now a wealthy widowed countess who works hard to give others a second chance and a safe environment. She’s determined to make the world a better place, even though society may scorn her for it.

Surprisingly (for a romance), Cole is one of her detractors. He grew up privileged and was raised with the prejudices typical for his class, and on top of that war and imprisonment have shown him the uglier side of humanity. Even though he’s in the wrong, I liked that Ms. Byrne showed where he was coming from, how his upbringing and the trauma of war (and his PTSD in the aftermath) have affected him. Yes, Cole could be frustrating because he’s so scarred and angry that he can’t see what’s right in front of him. But even though Cole isn’t the perfect hero, I really liked watching him grow as a character and become the hero he should be.

Despite its sensual beginning, the romance between Cole and Imogen is slow to burn. He’s fixated on finding the woman he spent one night with, and it’s no spoiler to say that he doesn’t realize that “Ginny” is Imogen. Thus their love story is more of an enemies-to-lovers one, and it was nice to see them actually get to know one another as they (however reluctantly) fell in love. What took this story down a notch for me was the fact that I felt we didn’t get much time with Cole and Imogen as a couple. With Cole being such a harsh character, I would have loved a few more heartfelt moments between the two, something to give me the sense of tenderness or happiness from a couple in love that I’ve come to expect to see in a romance.

In addition to the love story, there’s a level of suspense in The Duke thanks to a plotline involving Imogen’s stalker. I liked the added element of danger, but as with the romance, I felt the resolution was rushed and I would have liked just a bit more to it to leave me fully satisfied. Even with these few issues, I thoroughly enjoyed The Duke overall. Ms. Byrne is a fantastic writer and I love the complex, interesting characters she creates. Every Victorian Rebels book has swept me away, and The Duke is no exception. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Byrne has in store for readers next!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/02/review-duke-by-kerrigan-byrne.html