Love’s Verdict by Carsen Taite

Carsen Taite always delivers a great read. She is consistent in giving you a lot of legal drama with characters who are insightful, well thought out and noteworthy chemistry. You know when you pick up one of her books you are getting your money’s worth time and time again. Love’s Verdict is no exception! This story has a cloud of mystery, did he really do it, with a side of I think you’re so hot but I can’t date you.

Carly Prachett is a fifth-year associate at Sturges and Llyod, a boutique law firm in Dallas. She excels at negotiations but is has trouble loosening up and bringing in high-dollar clients. She wants to make partner more than anything. This driven young lawyer has put work before everything else.

Landon Holt is the daughter to one of the wealthiest families in Texas. While Landon is one of the heirs to the Holt dynasty she wants to make her own way without her father’s help or influence. When her law firm forces her to return to Dallas for a big case involving a Dallas Cowboy, Landon reluctantly agrees but it only the lure of being Sturges and Llyod next partner that she agrees.

Right from the bat Carly and Landon are pitted against each other. Their boss gives them the reins on this high-profile murder case with the caveat of working together but only one will come out as partner. The stress is high, the tension is high but so is the attraction.

This book has legal drama in spades, a developed love story, and charming characters. You can’t help but like this book, it’s solid on all fronts and well worth your time. My only complaint is that I wish we had just a dash more time between the two main characters. A few more down moments of them with dialogue would have been fantastic.

3 out of 5 stars

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The Shape of You by Georgia Beers

I loved Georgia Beers last book. Loved it! This one I was a little more skeptical of. Infidelity is a super duper hard subject for a romance novel. You know going into this book that one of our leading ladies is in a fitness class to prep for her walk down the aisle. Red flag, dangerous waters ahead! Ruh-Roh!

Spencer Thompson is just going through the motions of life. She is unhappy but unmotivated to do anything about it. Not endearing qualities, I must say. When her fiancée tells her she enrolled her in a 12 week, three times a week, bridal boot camp, Spencer is pissed, hurt and annoyed. She internalizes all of her emotion, buys a pair of sneakers and goes to class. Come on Spence, yell a little.

Rebecca McCall is the personal trainer who gets handed the 12-week bridal class after another trainer falls ill with mono. She loathes the creator of this program and is not a huge fan of the concept of the program. No matter what she is stuck with it and it’s five brides-to-be. Rebecca is headstrong, confident and it totally throws her for a loop when she finds out one of the brides, Spencer, was told to take the class by her future wife. Throws her for a loop so much, she asks like a jerk for a third of the book.

Needless to say, Spencer and Rebecca totally get off on the wrong foot. They both think the other is smoking hot but Rebecca cannot get past Spencer being a doormat on taking this class. Therefore, Rebecca is overtly hostile to Spencer and everyone notices. Another endearing quality by a leading lady, yeah not so much.

While the book is good and it holds your attention, there is a spark missing. At times you feel like you’re in Groundhog Day because the majority of the time the two leads interact in a fitness class. Lots of gym talk, lots of she’s off-limits, plank here, a plank there and off to do it again. Plus Spencer is engaged and she is too lethargic and apathetic to stop the train wreck of a marriage. I like Spencer but at times you as the reader wanted her to wake up. I needed more passion, more heat and more qualities to endear the two characters to my heart. It just wasn’t there this time. A good book, I enjoyed it, I am glad I read it, but it is not one I will come back to.

3 out of 5 stars

Worth the Wait by Karelia Stetz-Waters

Long lost loves is a trope I am always drawn to. I think because you always have that angstiness. I love angst. Totes adore it! I love that emotion of I miss you, I want you, what the hell did I do to F it up so badly. Roll that into some heartache and throw in past high school drama and you have me interested. Add that to it that one of our leading ladies is an actress, okay twist my arm, give it to me. Give me this book! So when Karelia Stetz-Waters reached out to me, I could not resist in giving this book a go. I am so glad I did. This was a fabulous read that kept me interested the whole time.

Avery Crown has been a reality television star for the past fifteen years. She has a good thing going with her home makeover show. She works with a great crew, her co-star is her best friend and she is adored by her fans. Avery loves what she does. Everything is perfect career-wise, but what eats her up is that one fateful day her senior year in high school that she turned her back on her best friend and her mega-crush. She chose a chance a stardom over her heart, and her heart has never forgiven her for it. When her tv show, King & Crown delivers her back to Portland to do a remodel and it coincides with her high school reunion, Avery crosses her fingers and toes that this will be her chance to reconnect with the girl that she let get away.

Merritt Lessing has zero intention of returning to Vale Academy for her fifteenth-year high school reunion. She doesn’t want to go back but at the insistence of her friend, Merritt agrees under duress. She wants to help her friend Lei-Ling get a cameo on King & Crown to jumpstart her food truck business. She knows that this opportunity could help her friend break out into this competitive industry. She agrees to aks Avery Crown, the girl that shattered her heart for help, but it takes all of her willpower to go back. Avery walked out on her and never looked back, those scars have stayed with Merritt for years and have defined every relationship she has attempted.

I totally loved Avery and Merritt. I thought they had a great chemistry together that just jumped off the page. This is a book where you know these two are meant to be together but like most star-crossed loves the universe is going to throw everything including the kitchen sink in their path. They are going to go through obstacle after obstacle including a lot of miscommunication to come to happily ever after. If you have patience I promise you will love this book. A lot of fun, some angstiness and a good romance.

3.5 out of 5 stars

  • To purchase: Link: http://a.co/4W12LhD

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Room Service by Fiona Riley

Room Service is a nice romance with a solid storyline, good dialogue and a lot of hot sexiness. I do not think this Is Riley’s best book though. Is it good? Yes, it is. In the acknowledgments portion of the book, the author writes that she wrote this book before Miss Match. From Miss Match through her Perfect Match Series you see each book get better and better. The writing goes from really good to freaking fantastic. With this book, I felt not quite there with the protagonists, the supporting characters add little to the story and were distracting. I felt like I was reading this story from afar rather than being in the moment. The ending dragged and seemed a bit overdramatic given the characters actions in two-thirds of the book. This book is super hot though. Riley cranks up the tension and the sexiness sizzles off the page.

3 out of 5 stars

Room Service

 

The Princess Deception by Nell Stark

Nell Stark is back with another book in her Princess series. Deception is the name of the game here. Based on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, we have a princess pretending to be her brother and a journalist trying to uncover the sordid tale.

Viola is the Princess of Belguim. An accomplished artist who prefers to stay out of the family’s limelight. Unfortunately for Viola, her twin brother Sebastian overdoses on heroin right before Belguim begins its rally to win the bid on the next FIFA men’s World Cup. As in the Twelfth Night, Viola takes on pretending to be Sebastian to fool everyone into believing everything is on the up and up. She doesn’t want to let her family or her country down.

Missy Duke was the face of USA women’s soccer. Her career was ended before she was ready with a catastrophic knee injury. Duk” doesn’t know what to do with herself, emotionally she is a mess and now she has settled for a job she really doesn’t want because she has no idea what to do not being on the pitch. Taken a job as a gift from a brother of a teammate, Duke sets off to cover Belguim’s bid for the cup.

Unlike in the Twelfth Night, Viola doesn’t totally sell her alternate identity as her twin. Duke picks up on it pretty quick by seeing little tells Viola has. Tucking her hear behind her ears, little things here and there. So a good portion of the story is the newbie journalist trying to figure out the why and see if it’s newsworthy. Of course, she is attracted to Viola so this makes her problem even larger.

Overall the book is q good read, Nell Stark always delivers a quality product. My only hangup is that I wish our two mains spent more time together. The reuse of pretending to be Sebastian takes up so much of the storyline that you don’t get enough Duke and Viola time. The relationship/romance portion of the book is smaller than I would have liked. Still a great read!

3 out of 5 stars

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Outside the Law (Lone Star Law Series #4) by Carsen Taite

I think this book is a fabulous closing to the Lone Star Law Series. I think Taite improved the series with each book and this one being the best overall. This book felt more romance than crime. Which I cannot say about the others. Of course, we had to wrap up the ongoing investigation, put those bad mofo’s in jail but I just felt more spark this time around. I think you will see that the characters are given more time in the book to explore that romance and as a romance junkie, that was much appreciated.

Tanner Cohen is one of the FBI agents you met in the previous books. Tanner has been very much an auxiliary character until she helped with the rescue, Bianca Cruz’s daughter. Tanner is your strong silent type. She is the job, 100%. What we didn’t know is that Tanner gave up the love of her life for this career and that former love just showed up in Dallas and is on the case as well.

Sydney Braswell is Tanner’s law school sweetheart. They had their lives planned, finish school, take a job at a high-powered law firm, big house and kids to finish it out. The only problem, Tanner wanted something else and that desire to join the FBI broke them. Sydney found out the high profile firm wasn’t all it was cracked up to be either and is now a special prosecutor for the Justice Department.

Tanner and Sydney’s journey back to each other is sweet, sexy and sure to keep you entertained. Overall this series has been delightful, I was thrilled that the book to finish out was this good.

3 out of 5 stars

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Berlin Hungers by Justine Saracen

When you pick up a Justine Saracen novel you know that you will undoubtedly finish the book with a respect for her historical detailedness and more knowledge than you had before. I love that her stories are so intricate and well, smart.

The Berlin Hunger takes us to the direct chaos that directly followed World War II. The horrors that took place in “peacetime” are tragic and hard to stomach. There is blatant brutality and at times it is hard to read.

Gillian Somerville was a pilot for the Air Transport Axillary during the war. She loved flying for her country but when the war ends Gillian suddenly finds herself with no work as a pilot. The women are not needed for that duty anymore. Unable to just go home, her whole family has passed, she decides to join the WAAF to become an air traffic controller.

Erika Brandt was a musician before the war. Now as the Russians have control of Berlin, she is scavaging for food to keep from starving to death. The Russians men portrayed in this book are animals and Erika faces unspeakable horrors to survive in this desperate time.

Erika and Gillian meet by chance a couple of times in the book and strike up a friendship born out of kindness. As the book progresses more feelings develop. This is a star-crossed lover romance though. These two have a lot going on and cannot see each other often for a multitude of reasons. So a lot of longing from afar.

Overall, I loved the historical aspect of the book. I felt as if Saracen dropped my in Berlin post-war and I was right there with the characters. The romance wasn’t my favorite. I loved the characters don’t get me wrong, and I was absolutely rooting for their happiness. I just felt like it dragged a bit. This is more historical fiction than your hot burning romance. Still a very good read!

3 out of 5 stars

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