Posted in book reviews

Crushed: A Hockey Love Story – Brit DeMille (Vegas Crush #1)

“No-fraternization policies were made to be broken.” Evan Kazmeirowicz, VEGAS CRUSH

This may sound reasonable coming from the star winger for the VEGAS CRUSH the day he lays eyes on the new social media manager for the team, but for Holly Laurent it’s a whole different story. Dating a “player” is a risky business, especially if she wants to keep the job she just landed with the hottest team in the NHL.

Holly loves her independence and her career. She’s doing just fine on her own, thank you very much. Allowing her head to be turned by a hot hockey player and putting her job at risk?

Not. Happening. Ever.

Not even if he looks like a god. Not even if he possesses enough charm to tempt the panties from a nun. Not even if she has to cross her fingers behind her back every time she tells him she’s not interested.

Policies exist for a reason. Rules are not meant to be broken and sexy players are not to be trusted. Right?

*CRUSHED is a full-length stand-alone novel of 60,000 plus words.
You’ll also receive the first chapters of SIN SHOT, another book in the VEGAS CRUSH HOCKEY SERIES.

‘She looks back at me as she leaves and I legit want to jump the barrier, skate to the glass, and beg her to let me sink my biscuit into her net.’

Like…page 4.

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I bought this. I ACTUALLY SPENT MONEY ON THIS AND I WOULD LIKE A REFUND.

I’m finding it hard to rate this any more than one star. It feels harsh in one way, because I’ve definitely read texts that were more offensive and badly written then this . . . but wow.

I mean, where was the editor for this? At one point the MC remarks that ‘he kissed from my belly to by public bone.’ Her PUBLIC bone???? P U B L I C BONE? Do not get me started on the amount of issues with the speech marks. How did they manage to miss it like FOURTEEN TIMES???? So, a character would start talking, “Hi my name is Gabby,” she said, I think this is a badly edited book,” she finished. DO YOU SEE WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT SENTENCE? I am no grammatical wizard but when this is meant to a published book (that I spent money on!!!!) it’s unacceptable for this ‘mistake’ to happen SO FREAKING OFTEN.

Sometimes insta-love stories can work out but this one was a right lol.
The characters were just . . . wow. They were alright I guess, but where was the character development? Evan stopped sleeping with multiple girls and Holly slept with one? Cool cool cool cool.

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Not every character has to be likeable/perfectly/politically correct, but I did not like the discourse surrounding womanly bodies. I’m not sure if the author was trying to do some sort of subverting to the typical norms of what we as a society deem attractive, but the phrase “skinny bitches” is used, and later on Holly (the mc) remarks that she isn’t as “womanly as her” friend because she is too skinny and athletic (where her friend is curvy) Just . . . next.

Not to mention the usual slut thing (oh haha you slut, the character will exclaim. It’s meant to be in a joking way but you can tell the standards for the female characters and the male characters on sex are different.)

(Also this book would not past the Bechdel test AT ALL).

What also annoyed me – in relation to the woman/slut thing – is that men are being presented and promoted as sex craved monsters that are starved without it???? Evans (the MC) manager suggests he sleeps with the reporter to give her what she wants and implies that because he is a man he should just do it . . . and that’s so wrong. Like what the heck. We shame women for having ‘too much sex’ and then we shame men for ‘not having enough sex’ and we value people based on their sexual experience and ???? NO.

(Evan expresses how he feels ‘personally victimised by this statement’ but haha yeah let’s just laugh it off…UGH. DEMILLE I AM FRUSTRATED WITH YOU.)

I think this could’ve been very sexually liberating for Holly (personal pleasure, sexual experiences) and for Evan, challenging the tropes surrounding sex and the stigma…but no. It went one step forward, and then just jumped ten steps backwards. AND FOR WHAT?

Like look, I shamelessly love my steamy NA hockey player romances . . .
But not like this.

Not when it is just shady all the way through, lacks any sort of plot (will they ‘bone’ or won’t they?!?! Will the married female boss lady to Holly fire her for her relationship with Evan???? Because she’s jealous as her ‘hard nipples’ in a convo with Evan indicate!!!! Wait no???? It’s because her husband and her are having issues and a bunch of other thrown in backstory which is all to influence and inspire Holly to GO AND GET HER MAN!!!!)

I think the decent relationship in this is probably Holly and her Uncle Troy.

But yeah, this book was badly edited, not greatly written, shaming to multiple different groups of people (like, it didn’t even have a point to work on body image – beautiful comes in all shapes and sizes, or to talk about the double standards of sex, etc. It was just like hah I think I’m doing something clever but really I’m kind of an arsehole).

ONE LAST POINT!!!! Could the author make up what type of character they wanted Evan to be???? Sure characters are multi-faceted and come from diverse backgrounds but WOW. Here he is, showing off his fancy sport car (I think he even says how much it is lmao) but then oh no he lives in a humble apartment…and guess what. He’s Russian, but he’s American, BUT HE HAS A BRITISH ACCENT? WAIT – EUROPEAN. WAIT – SLIGHTLY RUSSIAN. I don’t know. I’m confused. His mums from Boston I think, his dad from Russia, and his mum wanted him to go to school in Britain. I don’t know. There wasn’t much about his family but a couple of throw away comments to layer his character but they were so brief in passing that it did jackshit but make me like ????

Yeah…I think the one star suits this and I want my money back.

Posted in book reviews

Brother’s Best Friend for Christmas – Amy Brent

He was my first. My everything. My brother’s best friend.
Filthy-mouthed, tattooed, arrogant, womanizer.
Tyler knew how to melt my panties… and my heart.
But he disappeared when I needed him.

Now years later, he’s back for Christmas as my brother’s friend and business partner.
Sitting at my parents’ dining room table,
Undressing me with his eyes.
I can’t forget the night he took my V-card.
And I wonder what harm would it be to replay that scene now…

It’ll be just one more night.
Hit-it-and-quit-it.
I’ll finally get over him and move on with my life – once and for all, right?

Now that Santa’s making my wish come true,
I can see my whole world turning upside down.
Turns out this is the hottest mistake of my life.
And screwed has never felt so good!

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I don’t know where to start really??? Maybe with I can’t believe that I actually read this?? I mean, I should’ve expected it really. The cover art basically says it all . . .

But look. There was hardly any real plot other than the fact her family is completely nuts and needs to go to family counselling. They hired a PI to follow her!!! NOT OKAY. Her brother was so freaking controlling and possessive over her and a complete and upper hypocrite. Tyler and whatever the main characters name was, I think it’s Amber, had hardly any plot development. Just !! I must all of a sudden believe that they’re in LUURVEEE. But??? I wonder if these two sat down for more than two hours and talked if they would still like each other then.

To suggest that all books in this genre have no substance to them but the spicey spicey stuff (#mature 19 year old) to them would be rude af. Because books can have the heat and have good plot and good, well developed characters.

This just wasn’t one of them.

In my book group we have a “trashtastic” saying coined by Emer, meaning that you know books are trashy but enjoyable anyway despite their glaring faults (See Lux series for reference) but are enjoyable af that you don’t give a shit anyways.

This just wasn’t one of those.

Let’s not tell anyone I read this. I’m trying to forget that I read it.

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Posted in book reviews

This is One Moment – Mila Gray (Come Back to Me, #2)

A forbidden romance.
A wounded Marine who thinks he’s beyond saving.
A girl who’s determined to prove him wrong.
 

Didi Monroe’s waited her whole life for the type of romance you see in the movies, so when Hollywood heartthrob Zac Ridgemont sweeps her off her feet, Didi believes she might finally have met the one.

While Zac’s away filming for the summer, Didi begins her internship at a military hospital in California. There, she meets wounded Marine Noel Walker. Frustrated on the outside and broken on the inside, Walker’s a pain-in-the-ass patient who refuses all help.

Yet Didi can’t help but be drawn to him, and though he’s strictly out of bounds it soon becomes impossible to ignore the sparks flying between them.

As the attraction simmers into dangerous territory, Didi finds herself falling hard for a man she knows is going to break her heart. Because Walker doesn’t believe in love or happy ever afters. So what possible future can there be?

Then tragedy hits, shattering both their worlds, and Didi is forced to choose between fighting for love or merely falling for the illusion of it.

From Mila Gray, author of the bestselling romance Come Back To Me, comes a devastatingly beautiful, compelling and sexy story about the meaning of love and the heartbreak of loss.

What did I think? To sum it up: wild. This book was well and truly wild. I was torn between giving this book a high four stars, and this low rating of two. After talking it out with Emer , relaying all the moments of this book, I knew I couldn’t justify giving it a four.

Be warned, this review will contain spoilers. 

– Didi is supposedly a trained psychology student about to go on to study her masters/PhD or whatever, but can’t pick up on the signs of someone committing suicide. Neither can any of the professionally trained workers of the institute either, even though they were pretty much spelt out in black and white
– The fact that after the funeral she catches her mother sleeping with a random man in another patients bedroom
– It wasn’t all “love fixes all” because it was stated in the beginning that the blindness wasn’t permanent, but it still had that wisp of “Didi came along and loved Walker and Walker then got his sight back”. So . . . love kind of does fix all I guess?? Even if Walker then realised even without Didi he needs to start opening up / healing / living his life (note that this enlightenment came at the funeral of the man who committed suicide)
– Disability was sometimes handled well. Just not enough to make me want to give this more than two stars.
– Also don’t say your characters are so smart / or so grumpy. Like they laid on that Walker was so rude and never talked to anyone EVER but he literally always did. Like okay. Sure. I believe you.
– Sometimes cute and awww but the more I reflect the more these issues that I had become an issue where I’m like !! wow !! not !! ok !!

So yep, two stars for this one.

Posted in book reviews

Chasing Red – Isabelle Ronin (Red, #1)

They said she was going to be my ruin…
Then let her ruin me.

Caleb Lockhart has everything—wealth, adoration, a brilliant future. Until a chance encounter with a siren in a red dress changes everything. Until he meets the woman he dubs Red.

Veronica Strafford’s past makes it hard for her to trust anyone. Now, kicked out of her apartment, she reluctantly accepts Caleb’s offer for a place to stay.

Caleb feels intensely drawn to Veronica. And, for the first time in his life, he really wants something—someone. Too bad Veronica’s heart might just be the one thing Caleb can’t win.

Thank you Netgalley/Sourcebooks for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I do like Chasing Red, don’t get me wrong. I first red it on Wattpad, and this published version has changes/differences to do with Veronica’s past – I do like these changes, as in the Wattpad version they were just – far fetched? Yeah. A bit out there and confusing.

Anyways, the writing is good but the problems lie more within the plot line. There isn’t really much plot or action at all? And I in no way mean that as a sort of pun towards Caleb/Veronica but really?? Most of the book just revolved around them trying to resist sleeping with each other and their other various relationship issues. I mean…it was okay, but wasn’t really entertaining enough. And then, about 83% of the way into the book the drama and plot begins to unfold with the “fork in the road” conflict with Beatrice-Rose and Veronica realising it’s time for her to stop running and fight.

This no doubt leads into the sequel. However, I feel like a lot of this book could have been cut down and Chasing Red/Always Red could’ve remained together as one book. This one really just felt like a really looooooooong lead up to the sequel.

Caleb was probably the most developed character. Where as with Veronica, it really took until about the 98% mark for her to have some sort of development. I just feel like throughout this all there was too much back and fourth on the personality. Yes, this goes with Veronica and her uncertainty, but as a reader it can get boring reading about someone for like 300 pages going “should I? Shouldn’t I?” Then the whole *drama* happened and this all worsened and ugh!

I did also quite like the female friendships. They were there for each other and didn’t put each other down and that was cool. But their friendship just mainly seemed to revolve around the men in their lives and not about them??? I think every conversation they had was about Cameron / Theo / Caleb or being interrupted by a man. So yeah. It’s nice to see friends being supportive, but maybe show that women can talk about other things apart from clothes and boys??? For example – Kara is a boss. And that’s kick ass. She came into this book as a fiery business woman but that quickly went downhill, soon enough she was just another girl with *boy drama* and it was sad to see her reduced to ONLY that. So yeah. These girls and their friendship had their strengths but I’m only hoping this can also be developed in the second novel.

So I overall give this 2 stars. I’m tempted by 3, but I can’t really see enough reasons for that much of a high rating.