Seducing Her Rival by Seleste deLaney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When Jaime asked me if I wanted to read and review some Brazen books, I jumped at the chance. Mostly because I love a hot, sweet story, and Brazen always delivers that.
I started Seducing Her Rival first, simply because of the setting. I love to cruise. It is, in fact, one of my favorite ways to vacation. With that being said, I have never met any man on my vacations like Lucas Bellamy – all hot and sweet and wealthy to boot.
Now, if you know me, you know I don’t generally go for a millionaire-type hero. But there was something about Lucas that I liked. He was driven by his need to do something good because he was inspired by his grandmother. (Related: How can you not love that about a man?)
But I really liked Mercedes in this. Our hot, Latina heroine is the polar opposite of Lucas in almost every way. She’s not wealthy. In fact, the only reason she’s on this cruise is to garner donations for the charity she works for so they can buy a plot of land in Queens to build a playground for underprivileged children. And she’s so driven in this endeavor. It’s charming, really.
But here’s the catch – she and Lucas both want the same land for their respective projects.
There’s a lot of back and forth in this, miscommunication, witty banter and hot, steamy encounters. They rile each other up to the point of explosion. It was a fun read, even though I was frustrated with both of them at points. Especially waiting for them to put all the pieces together and figure out who the other one really is.
Overall, I enjoyed this updated Cinderella story with a philanthropic twist.
Lacey and Galen are just around the corner from their wedding day. Both excited to start their lives together. Lacey wants to start on the big family they’ve both been dreaming about, but problems arise in the form of fertility issues.
Galen doesn’t care how many children they have and if it’s not meant to be they will find another way… but he can’t wait to start married life with Lacey.
When bad news arrives just a week before the big day, Lacey struggles with the idea that she can never give Galen the life he imagined and Galen does everything he can to show her that she is who she wants.
It was really wonderful to revisit Galen and Lacey. I really enjoyed their book in this series. Bell does a wonderful job of bringing us back to their story and these two were as hot as ever.
But there are some heavier issues in this short novella. Lacey is struggling with fertility issues and it’s causing a rift between her and Galen. Her focus has been on doing what she can to get pregnant and start a family rather than on Galen and their relationship and in turn it’s suffering. They feel disconnected from each other… and Bell does an amazing job of capturing the feelings that not only Lacey, but Galen is going through during it all.
I love that we got peeks at some of my favorite secondary characters, but also I’m kind of hoping that this leads into a story for Rafe and maybe Courtney… because I’m as intrigued by him as she is!
If you’re looking for something short with a lot of emotion definitely pick up Down the Aisle! I’ll be looking for more in the Dare Me series … soon I hope!
Thanks to Entangled and Christine for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Game for Trouble by Karen Erickson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
ARC provided by Entangled
I love a romance with a history. And Game for Trouble delivers just that – A history of a summer affair filled with young love that ended abruptly. Too abruptly for our heroine Willow.
You’ll have to excuse me while Love is a Many Splendored Thing plays in my mind. Because all summer love stories bring back vivid memories of this…
Willow was only nineteen years old when she fell in love with Nick. *sigh* Everything is so much more when we’re that age, isn’t it? We feel things to their fullest; we jump in without regards to the possible implications that it is just that – young love. But the truth is, for most of us, we never forget our first loves. And that’s definitely the case for Willow.
And while she’s never forgotten Nick and how wonderful their summer together was, she’s also never forgotten how devastated she was when he just left her. And she’s not a happy woman at all.
I liked the premise of this. Even though, if I’m being honest, sports heroes never really do it for me. I don’t swoon over the all-American man. However, I really did (end up) liking Nick. And mostly, I liked him because he’s aware. He knows what he did, but of course, there’s always another side to every story. Including Nick’s story from that summer and what forced him to walk away.
I loved the little twist the author used to bring them back together. And I adored how aggressive Nick was in his pursuit of her. He knows what he wants, and he definitely wants Willow back. He just doesn’t get her the way he thinks he will.
This was definitely steamy.
“Ride me,” he whispered, gripping her hips and lifting her up. She slid down slowly, too damn slowly for his tastes, and he pushed her until her ass met his thighs and the both of them were groaning. “Yeah, just like that.”
And even though there’s a lot of push and pull that can sometimes be tedious to read, their ending was a happy one, and I found that I was definitely invested in them together.
Contemporary Romance readers will enjoy this, and there’s enough heat to keep erotica readers interested. If you’re a sucker for stories about ‘the one who got away,’ then this is the book for you.