Over the Moon by Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra & Sunny

Overview

Title: Over the Moon
Author: Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra & Sunny
In: Over the Moon (Angela Knight, MaryJanice Davidson, Virginia Kantra & Sunny)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Erotica, Paranormal romance, Short story collections
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology, eBook
Year: 2007

Thoughts

Everything about this anthology made me happy. Although one novella wasn’t in a series that I’ve read before, they’re all by authors on my shelves that I genuinely enjoy. All four tales were steamy and yummy. They had great aspects of the paranormal in them. And, most importantly, each and every one of these tales can easily be read alone, even if you have no idea about the rest of the series.

Reading this was like a great walk through a familiar neighbourhood. Knight, Davidson, and Sunny’s series represented in this anthology are in my shelves, ready to go. In fact, reading these novellas bumped those books up my TBR. And even Kantra’s tale has another novella sitting on my shelves ready to go. And it acted as a reminder to finish another series by her that I’ve begun.

I seriously adored this collection of four novellas. They were perfect read on my kobo late at night when I wasn’t really ready to do the whole going to sleep thing. Long enough to enthral me, but short enough that I could start and finish them right before falling asleep. A great anthology, one that I will most definitely look forward to reading again and again.

<- Mona Lisa ThreeMoon Dance ->

Image source: Penguin Random House

Reading List

It’s been a while since I scheduled anything, because, well, I’ve been crazy busy with a baby on the move. I’ve read a lot since last time, but I haven’t actually had the chance to sit down at my computer yet…

Series

Short story collections

Standalones – Novels

Standalones – Novellas

Standalones – Short stories

Wilde One by Janelle Denison

Overview

Title: The Wilde One
Author: Janelle Denison
Series: Wilde #1.2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novella
Year: 2003

Thoughts

This was just a yummy, yummy novella. Nice and steamy. Completely predictable and a whole lot of fun. Adrian and Chayse are a fun couple. I like that they’re both damaged, but find a way to deal with their crap. I am reading this series a little out of whack, so some of the mentions of the established relationships were confusing. But it was still fun.

The photography angle and artistry provided me with a lot of entertainment. I love when Chayse shows Adrian her profile, like all art, the insights it gives into her character are phenomenal. I also love how her very passion is the very vessel through which she is able to accept her own flaws.

The Wilde One was a fun and easy read. One that I seriously enjoyed. I look forward to reading more romances in the Wilde family in the future…

<- All She Wants for ChristmasThe Wilde Side ->

Image source: Goodreads

Not Fooling Anyone by Allie Winters

Overview

Title: Not Fooling Anyone
Author: Allie Winters, SmartyPants Romance
Series: Lessons Learned #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2022

Thoughts

I’m not going to lie. I was looking forward to reading this just because of the boxing connection. Although my chosen sport isn’t boxing, that atmosphere and level of testosterone in a room is seriously familiar. And for whatever reason, it made me feel completely at home from the very first page. Plus, Ethan is just too damn cute in Under Pressure. Such a happy go lucky character who just rolls with the moody people in his life.

Like Under Pressure, Not Fooling Anyone partners someone with a pretty big grudge with someone who is cheerful. That perfect ying yang balance in a relationship. But that’s really where the similarities end. Ethan is this completely happy, cheerful, go with the flow kind of character. He’s kind of got the calmness in the world that I wish I had in fact. He just stubborn through everything and finds the light wherever he looks. Lexis on the other hand has more walls than you can count. For good reasons of course. But still, a very prickly porcupine.

I’ve had a few books come across my shelves lately with the fake relationship trope. And they’re honestly always fun. I particularly liked that this one was set up because of a psychology experiment. And, as completely predicted, their growing feelings for each other actually worked really well into the study. Plus, Lexie’s acknowledgement of her pettiness in using their “relationship” to stoke the jealousy in a girl who was horrible in the past… not going to lie, I think we’ve all imagined a similar level of petty revenge.

Not Fooling Anyone does come with a warning at the beginning. If there’s issues with drug abuse or even sexualising assault, it may not be the best contemporary romance to grace your shelves. Having said that, even though Winters deals with some pretty heavy issues, the amount of pure cuteness and emotion throughout this story stop it from being dark in any way, shape or form. A beautiful story and I can’t wait to read more by Allie Winters.

<- Under PressureMore Allie Winters ->

Image source: Goodreads

Under Pressure by Allie Winters

Overview

Title: Under Pressure
Author: Allie Winters, SmartyPants Romance
Series: Lessons Learned #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Year: 2021

Thoughts

I’m learning that any book in the SmartyPants Romance world is going to be a huge hit for me. But the fact that Under Pressure includes psychology (which I’m currently studying) and boxing (I love martial arts) just made me all that much happier. I love how Tyler and Mia both have stress issues, and choose to study stress. But both deal with it in such different ways, although both ways were completely legit and relatable.

Tyler’s back story was kind of difficult and hard to read. It was kind of heartbreaking to read actually. Yet, even with the hard lumps he’d been dealt, he was also kind of an idiot. There were many moments throughout that I just wanted to reach through the pages of the book and give him a smack. But, unlike some of the other more annoying male leads I’ve read, I still kind of adored Tyler, in spite of his stupidity.

Mia is in contrast is an incredibly sweet and endearing lead. I loved the way that she is able to balance out Tyler’s rougher edges. That, and when she finally learns to stand up for herself, my heart kind of melted a little bit. Mia might be the perfect balance to Tyler’s rough edges, but Tyler is able to balance put Mia’s sweet nature and encourage her to be herself. In fact, the romance aside, one of my favourite parts of this is when Mia takes a stand and starts to fight for herself.

The constant mention of Hogwarts houses made me fall in love with this book even more. The fact that it’s a Hufflepuff and Slytherin? That just made me so much, much, much more happy. It’s a brilliant trope that I don’t come across super often, but definitely need more of in my life. Then there are the yummy, steamy set scenes to round out my enjoyment and happiness in this book.

<- More SmartyPants RomanceNot Fooling Anyone ->

Image source: Goodreads

Tempting Taste by Sara Whitney

Overview

Title: Tempting Taste
Author: Sara Whitney
Series: Cinnamon Roll Alphas #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2020

Thoughts

There is something disgustingly delicious about Erik the lumbersexual baker. I ha e pretty major images of a Viking-type God man who is shy, adorable, and bakes amazing cakes. Perfect for the imaginary boyfriend, but in reality? I’d probably go up like 3 clothes sizes…

In life and in literature, I’m not a huge fan of drama queens. They always seem like way too much work. But there is something about Josie that it’s just impossible not to love. In fact, I love the scene where Erik’s best friend laughs hysterically at him for falling for a drama queen. Her high passions and his steadfast patience are the perfect match. And probably a little too similar to my own relationship for my comfort. So let’s not pull too closely at that thread…

The match of marketing and baking works perfectly in this tale. Its that perfect business partnership made in heaven that really doesn’t happen in real life. I love how Josie starts out trying to prove how amazing she is at marketing, and ultimately decides that she wants to keep at it because she believes in Erik. Erik’s willingness to go with the insanity that Josie throws at him just makes it all that much better.

I picked up this book because it fit prompt for a reading challenge. And I was a bit Leary. I mean, the series is called Cinnamon Roll Alphas. It felt like it could be a little bit on the nose. But it was actually perfectly named. Erik is truly a cinnamon roll. Plus there’s actual baking of cinnamon rolls… all of which made this story beautiful, yummy and delicious.

<- Tempting HeatTempting Talk ->

Image source: Goodreads

Tempting Heat by Sara Whitney

Overview

Title: Tempting Heat
Author: Sara Whitney
Series: Cinnamon Roll Alphas #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novella
Year: 2019

Thoughts

Tempting Heat was an absolutely too cute novella. Admittedly, I read Tempting Taste first, so I knew exactly what was going to happen. Even more so than the usual boy meets girl knowing. Ut that didn’t detract from the fact that this was just way too damn cute.

I love stories which don’t feature an instalove, but a reuniting of past loves. The fact that it’s fixing up mistakes and miscommunications of the past? Yeah, this most definitely hit all of my happy points. Again, way too damn cute. It didn’t necessarily paint Josie in the best light though. So I’m glad I read this second.

I love that although there’s instant attraction in this, there’s a whole lot of time spent on the relationship building. Romances that build on a foundation of friendship and mutual understanding make me way too happy. As is probably obvious from this review… I got all the cute and happy feels from this novella.

Having already read about Josie, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the story of Finn’s brother, Jake. He makes just enough of an appearance in Tempting Heat and Tempting Taste to colour me intrigued…

<- More Sara WhitneyTempting Taste ->

Image source: Goodreads

Hidden Prey by Cheyenne McCray

Overview

Title: Hidden Prey
Author: Cheyenne McCray
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Crime, Romantic suspense
Pace: Fast
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2014

Thoughts

I didn’t mind this novel, but it most definitely wasn’t a favourite. Honestly, it was just a hit too instalove for me. I mean, it starts with a man who is not recovered from his fiancé’s death, and then he’s suddenly lying attracted with no guilt? That just felt… no character development. Let alone the woman who has just escaped an abusive relationship, to fall straight into the arms of someone else? Neither had any development to get to that point.

I also didn’t love the control that the Big Evil exerted over his granddaughter. I mean, I get that it’s important in his characterisation and a great way to villainise him, but ultimately I just felt icky. Then there were just multiple moments of discomfort with the Big Evil. Again, I understand why they are there, but I already knew he was evil…

Admittedly, I didn’t actually get to the end of this story. I stopped about three quarters of the way through. I figured if by that point I’m not all that invested, and don’t really get excited about what’s going to happen next… then, I don’t need to finish it. So maybe the conclusion would have made everything about this story so much better. I’ll never know.

All in all, this wasn’t a bad story. It’s just that I have so many amazing stories on my shelves that I didn’t feel invested in finishing a “not bad” tale.

<- More Cheyenne McCrayMore romantic suspense ->

Image source: Goodreads

Code of Conduct by April White

Overview

Title: Code of Conduct
Author: April White, SmartyPants Romance
Series: Cipher Security #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2019

Thoughts

Sadly, it’s rare that I have the pleasure of reading a book about someone with a prosthetic. Actually, I think that this is the first ever book I’ve read that HAS someone with a prosthetic in it. So of course, Shane is a total badass from that very first moment. I mean, she literally has different legs for her different activities. I may have also fallen totally in love with her engineer friend who BUILT and designed these limbs…

But I digress, I could completely write this review about how amazing and wonderful Shane is. But she’s not the only lead in this. And Gabe is just as phenomenal. Not to mention the show stealing dog. I mean, a Bernese Mountain Dog is pretty amazing straight off the bat. But the way he is so adorable floofy and loyal? At least in my head. Total show stealer. I also love that it’s a jog late at night and a bicycle accident instigated by the pup which causes that first meeting.

Game is a great match for Shane. He is also a minority, which is absolutely brilliant for representation. But honestly, my favourite thing about picturing him in my minds eye was the accent. Big, buff, dark, British man. Yum, yum, yum. I do love how White is able to highlight the racist challenges that Gabe experiences though. I can’t imagine having to deal with the sheer fullers that both these leads go through, but White does a great job of providing some insight.

Alongside the amazing characters (dog included) and sweet as all romance, there’s a great amount of action. In fact, this novel has had the MOST action of any of the SmartyPants Romance stories. I definitely felt my heart rate accelerate a few times throughout reading this, accelerations which had nothing to do with the steamy, yummy romance.

<- More SmartyPants RomanceCode of Honor ->

Image source: Amazon

Stroke of Midnight by K Webster

Overview

Title: Stroke of Midnight
Author: K Webster
Rating Out of 5: 2 (Managed to read it… just)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary
Pace: Slow
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2020

Thoughts

This review will be kind of short. Because this story was just not my thing. I gave it the required 150 pages. I loved the idea, but it just wasn’t my thing.

I’m not into the creepy, sleazy, way older man with young innocent. I mean, some of my romances fit that trope. But the older man is seriously and beautifully protective. That’s not the case in this story. He’s a bit of a creepy dick. And he gets off on her embarrassment.

Way too many Fifty Shades of Grey vibes for me in this story. But I did love the writing, so maybe if K W2ebster writes something a little less pervy lead…

<- More contemporaryMore contemporary ->

Image source: Amazon