Review: Wrong Turn, Right Direction by Elle Casey

Wrong Turn, Right Direction
Series: The Bourbon Street Boys, #4
Author: Elle Casey
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Tamika Cleary takes a wrong turn up a one-way street—and straight into Thibault Delacroix’s leg as he steps into the road. But Mika’s in a hurry, and she certainly doesn’t have time for a guy who can’t even look both ways before crossing, even if he does have a cute face, a body to die for, and the darkest, thickest eyelashes she’s ever seen.

Unfortunately for Mika, fate has other ideas. When she’s threatened by her employer, a Russian mafia boss known as “The Thief”, she’s forced to accept Thibault’s help. As the co-owner of the Bourbon Street Boys security firm, he believes he can keep her safe. But Mika has a whole load of trust issues—and the pushier Thibault is about helping, the more stubbornly she tries to resist.

Mika may have taken a wrong turn the day they met, but will she finally let someone steer her in the right direction?


I love Elle Casey’s writing, but The Bourbon Street Boys series has been a little hit or miss for me. Wrong Turn, Right Direction was in the miss category. I wouldn’t say that it was horrible or that I didn’t enjoy reading it, it was just missing something major.

Wrong Turn, Right Direction started out strong.Tamika is trying to get out from under her horribly corrupt boss and ends up in a medical situation that has her turning the wrong way and into Thibault. Thibault wants to do anything he can to help the beautiful and tentative Tamika get on the right side of the law, but first he has to get her to trust him. Tamika’s background and current situation were very interesting and I wanted to know more about them. They made the plot of this story entertaining. I liked how Tamika’s involvement with her boss worked meshed with the Bourbon Street gang.

Where the story lost me was the romance between Tamika and Thibault. I didn’t feel any sort of connection between them at all. I know Thibault was there for Tamika during the most personal experience of her life, but I didn’t feel an emotional connection made at that moment. Nor did I feel one later on as they got to know each other. Tamika was too reserved and kept too much from Thibault. I didn’t understand how he could fall for someone he knew was constantly hiding something. She was so standoff-ish. Their relationship just didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t believe it. That was where this story failed for me. I wanted a stronger relationship for Thibault.

Despite not falling in love with Thibault and Tamika’s relationship, I did enjoy the twists and turns of the story. I also loved seeing the rest of the Bourbon Street gang and hearing what they were up to. So, overall, Wrong Turn, Right Direction was a good read.

Release Day Review: Girl in the Mirror by Elizabeth Reyes

Girl in the Mirror
Series: Looking Glass, #1

Author: Elizabeth Reyes
Publication Date: March 10, 2017
Publisher: Elizabeth Reyes
Genre: New Adult, Mystery, Romantic Suspense
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A girl without a past.

Margaret Hellman wakes in a hospital with no memory of the horrific accident that claimed the lives of her sister and their best friend.

After years of struggling to regain a fraction of her memories, Maggie is left with no choice but to accept her past is gone. Despite the tormenting void in her heart.

Then the triggers start.

Tiny indiscernible but profoundly emotional glimpses of her past. The day she meets him, at her sister’s graveside sets off the most explosive trigger to date. It’s so overwhelming Maggie’s convinced she’s supposed to remember—she needs to.

As the puzzling pieces of her past start to come together, it’s clear something’s amiss. But nothing can prepare her for the shocking reality of what really happened that fateful day seven years ago.

Girl in the Mirror is a psychological romantic suspense with a twist you’ll NEVER see coming!


I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Reyes’ writing since I stumbled across her Moreno Brothers series. I love her independent women, alpha males, and the little twists she adds to her romances. I’m not a big romantic suspense fan because they aren’t always as entertaining as I want them to be. I usually avoid them, but I knew if anyone could craft a good one it would be Elizabeth Reyes.

I have to admit I was thrown off a little by the writing style of Girl in the Mirror at first. It didn’t really have the same feel to it as Reyes’ prior novels. So much of the beginning of this book is told to the reader by Maggie, the first person narrator. There wasn’t a whole lot of character interaction. It made more sense to me as the story went on, it just threw me off a bit at first. Maggie’s story did pull my in from the beginning, though. I was caught up in the mystery of her situation.

As the book went on, I was enthralled with the story. There was more to Maggie’s past than the blurb hints at. I loved trying to figure out what was going on and who was involved. Some of the answers were easier to guess than the others. Plus, as the romance and drama began to appear, that Elizabeth Reyes feel that I was talking about finally makes an appearance.

Another thing that surprised me about The Girl in the Mirror was the way the book wrapped up. I wasn’t expecting to move so quickly into where Maggie was now. I would have loved to see the period that wasn’t included. I wanted more of the romance of the story!

Girl in the Mirror was a great romantic suspense novel. It had fun twists, amazing characters, and kept me guessing. I’m really hoping some of the characters that were introduced get a book of their own.

Release Day Blitz Review: Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Tara Wyatt
Series: Bodyguard #3
On Sale: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Formats: Mass Market
Price: $7.99 (mass market)
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SYNOPSIS

Blonde. Beautiful. Talented. Alexa Fairfax is practically Hollywood royalty. But growing up in a family of legendary movie stars also puts her in the spotlight for danger. And after she discovers a plot more deadly than any movie script, Alexa desperately needs a bodyguard. A man like Zack De Luca. A true friend with a good heart, a protective nature-and the hard, chiseled muscles to back it up.

Zack has always been wildly attracted to Alexa. But since he’s training day and night to be an MMA fighter, he’s afraid his gorgeous friend will only distract him from his goal. Indescribably sweet and irresistibly sexy, Alexa needs Zack to pretend to be her boyfriend after her life is threatened. Now this fighter-in-training will have to fight his own intense feelings-to keep their little charade from turning into a major disaster . . .

BODYGUARD SERIES
Bodyguard #3
Series Page on Goodreads

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REVIEW

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Romantic suspense is one of those tricky genres for me. I either find myself deeply involved in the storyline or completely bored with it. In the case of Chain Reaction, it was deeply involved.

Tara Wyatt’s writing quickly pulled me into the story. It was fast-paced and moved the story along quickly. Nothing was too drawn out or boring. The story contained just the right amount of suspense, and was entertaining. I found myself easily connecting to the characters.

Alexa and Zach were so adorable! I loved how the author set up their back story. It turned what could have felt like insta-love into a believable romance. They way they tried to avoid a romantic relationship but couldn’t was cute. And once they acted on their feelings for each other — dang! The story took a super steamy turn. The last third of the book was over the top sexy times. I loved it!

The only slight issue I had with Chain Reaction was that it was written in third person dual points of view. This isn’t my favorite style of narration, but it worked for the most part in this story. The only problem I had with it was at the beginning when Zack is introduced. His character is presented in the middle of a party and his name kind of got lost in the mix of other male characters to me. It took me a while to remember who he was. That could be related to the fact I hadn’t read the previous two books in the series and had no idea who all of the other characters I was being quickly introduced to were. Had the story been told in first person, it might have been easier for me to navigate.

Overall, Chain Reaction was a great romantic suspense novel. It kept my attention the entire time, and had me invested in the characters’ lives. I highly recommend it to readers who like a series with interconnected characters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tara Wyatt has been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys almost twenty years ago. Winner of the Unpublished Winter Rose Award, Linda Howard Award of Excellence and the Heart of the West Award, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the cutest dog in the world and a husband that makes all of her heroes look like chumps.

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Review: Lauren by Leigh James

Lauren
Series: Silicon Valley Billionaires, #1
Author: Leigh James
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Publisher: Jack’s House Publishing, LLC
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Two Headstrong, Driven CEOs. One Undeniable, Scorching Attraction.

Being a scientist gives Lauren Taylor a purpose in life. At twenty-five, she’s the CEO of a billion-dollar biomedical company, Paragon Laboratories. On the brink of a major discovery, Lauren lets nothing interfere with her work. Until she meets Gabriel Betts, the gorgeous and brilliant CEO of another Silicon Valley startup, and is forced to face her inconvenient and overwhelming attraction to him.

Billionaire Gabriel Betts is a successful scientist in his own right. He’s made his way in the world by being an early adopter and never losing focus. Captivated by Lauren’s brilliance and unselfconscious beauty, he’s determined to win the reclusive female CEO over at any cost.

But what neither Gabe nor Lauren are prepared for is the white-collar danger that’s lurking in Silicon Valley… The danger that threatens not only their companies, but their very existence.

* This is an update to the previously released High Interest and contains significant edits.


I’m not sure if it’s the mood I’ve been in lately or what, but romantic suspense novels haven’t really been my thing. Unless they’re super fast-paced and have a storyline that really pulls me in, they all end just being okay.

I had that experience with Lauren. It was fast-paced and eventful, but I wasn’t into the danger Lauren faced. I felt like it was lacking a little suspense. I’m not sure if that was because I knew how smart Lauren was supposed to be and could get herself out of a jam, or if I just didn’t fall for the storyline.

I didn’t connect well with Lauren. She was immature, and all I could blame it on was her devotion to her job at such a young age. While I really love the idea of a brilliantly smart woman CEO as a main character, I didn’t like that Lauren had to be reclusive. Her inexperience with people and the way she communicated was unattractive. I wasn’t sure what, besides her looks, held Gabe’s interest.

Gabe was your typical alpha male. He took charge from the minute he met Lauren. Gabe forced her to believe in him and give him her trust. That worked well for them as a couple, and brought out a sexy side I wasn’t quite expecting from Lauren.

This review sounds a bit negative, but overall it was a good read. I just wasn’t as into the storyline as I could have been. I think a lot of romantic suspense readers will probably really enjoy Lauren. It just wasn’t for me.

Review: Taking Care of the Target by Cindi Madsen

Taking Care of the Target
Author: Cindi Madsen
Publication Date: January 23, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Vince DaMarco always liked Cassie, the shy waitress who works at the restaurant that serves as a front for his mob boss uncle. Unfortunately, she witnesses a back alley hit, and while fleeing, she’s struck by a truck. Now she’s at the top of the hit list. Desperate to stop anyone who’d draw out Cassie’s death, Vince volunteers to take care of it.

Cassie Dalton has no recollection of her accident, but she’s told she’s lucky to be alive. A few years are missing from her memory, and the unsettling feeling that something isn’t right—along with the creepy sensation that she’s being watched—won’t go away.

Vince shows up right when Cassie needs him most. In a world of confusion, the rugged stranger is the one thing that makes sense. But little does she know, she’s found refuge in the arms of the very man who’s been sent to kill her.


This is a difficult review to write. I wanted to love Cindi Madsen’s new release, Taking Care of the Target, but I had a hard time reading it. The writing was good — I just never connected with the characters or the mob-related story. I tried several times. I would put it down, and then come back later to see if it was a mood I was in or something. Sadly, I just wasn’t pulled in enough by a third of the way through to care about what was going on or to have a desire to finish reading it. I wish that wasn’t true. I have no doubt Taking Care of the Target will speak to other romantic suspense reader, but it just wasn’t for me.

Review: Lila by Elizabeth Reyes

Lila
Series: Boyle Heights, #1
Author: Elizabeth Reyes
Publication Date: January 26, 2017
Publisher: Elizabeth Reyes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

When two unlikely paths cross . . . compatibility seems improbable.

Adrift in a foul-mouthed world of ass kicking to survive life on the tough streets of Boyle Heights, Lila is anything but a refined girlie girl. Fighting tooth and nail for those she loves has left her with a chip on her shoulder as big as the gloves on her fists.

After years of being surrounded by glamorous glitzy women, Sonny didn’t even realize how much he’s yearned for someone of real substance. So, when he meets the unapologetic, sexy-as-hell Lila, her in-your-face candor awakens something in him he’s never felt before.

Despite Lila’s suspicions about Sonny’s intentions, the two begin a seemingly innocent, yet deliciously dangerous, online flirtation as his business keeps him away a lot.

The more their rapidly growing connection intensifies, the more Lila feels Sonny is too perfect to be true. But when she’s blindsided by the truth about who Sonny really is . . .

Compatibility suddenly feels impossible.

The first in my new series “Boyle Heights.” A spin-off of 5th Street. Will feature character crossings from other series’. Stay tuned to find out who Lila’s love interest will be. 😉


Elizabeth Reyes was one of the first new adult authors I fell in love with. Her stories are filled with a diverse group of characters who are all mentally tough and willing to fight for what they believe in. I always appreciate the little connections she weaves in between her series, and the incredibly alpha males she creates.

Lila is a sports romance with a little romantic suspense woven in. It’s told in dual points of view. Lila is a badass fighter just trying to get by. Sonny is the guy who sees past her tough exterior to the woman she really is. I have to warn readers, Lila and Sonny kind of have an insta-love thing going on. That didn’t bug me, though. Their relationship might appear a little rushed, but it felt natural. I can see a lot of relationships being formed the way Lila and Sonny’s was with technology being what it is these days.

Lila was one tough chick. I loved how fierce she was and how she stood up for those she cared about. Her determination was amazing. I also liked that she was the fighter in this one. What I loved even more about her was her ability to get a little soft when it came to Sonny. It made her seem like a real human with insecurities like the rest of us.

Sonny was a surprise. I won’t give away who he is or how he’s connected to Reyes’ other books, but fans of hers are going to freak when they figure out who he is! I did. It made me happy that Sonny finally got the girl. He was a lot sweeter than I remembered him, but maybe that’s because he found his perfect match in Lila.

Sonny isn’t the only character making an appearance from Reyes’ series. The entire cast of the 5th Street novels are involved in this story because Lila trains in their gym. It was fun to see some favorites again. I’m hoping more of her characters will continue to pop up in the Boyle Heights series.

The only thing that kept me from giving Lila 5 stars was the ending. Things got a little crazy, and it wasn’t what I was hoping for the story. I did like the character growth shown by Lila. I just didn’t like how she was able to prove herself. I also felt things were sped through at the end with Lila and Sonny. I didn’t feel their relationship got the focus it should have at the end. Instead, the time was spent on Lila’s sister Ali and setting up the next book — which I can tell is going to be suspenseful! I liked the little preview, but would have liked more Lila and Sonny time.

That being said, I still really enjoyed Lila. I loved that Elizabeth Reyes created a character like Lila, who was both physically and mentally tough, and also gave her a soft side. It showed off her talent as a writer. I’m looking forward to finding out what’s up next in the series.

Review: Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis

Accidentally on Purpose
Series: Heartbreaker Bay, #3
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

There’s no such thing as a little in love…

Elle Wheaton’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer… which should only take a lifetime…

There’s no such thing as a little in lust…

Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco earthquake and he craves her 24/7, but Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him…

There is such a thing as…

As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along…


Accidentally on Purpose is hands down my favorite book in the Heartbreaker Bay series so far. It was filled with Jill Shalvis’ trademark humor, diverse characters, and a romance I had to root for.

In Accidentally on Purpose, Elle and Archer have carefully constructed a working relationship and friendship. They’ve silently put their shared past behind them and set about being the best at their jobs. Neither is willing to address the elephant in the room: their crazy chemistry. But when Elle decides it’s time to put her feelings behind her and dive into the dating world, Archer will decide there is only one man good enough for her.

As always, Jill Shalvis’ writing was amazing. There was something exciting going on in this story every moment. I didn’t want to put the book down because I wanted to know what was coming next, whether it be for the main characters or what was going on around them. I really liked the way Shalvis crafted this story sp that all of the characters from the entire Heartbreaker Bay series were involved in it, but it still felt like it could be enjoyed as a standalone novel.

I loved Elle and Archer so much. Elle was this badass chick in a business suit and heels. She knew what she wanted in life and went for it. The only person able to bring out the softer side in Elle was Archer. Archer was the man no one wants to mess with. He exuded strength and seriousness when it came to everything around him. He was never one to show his feelings, especially when it came to Elle.

Elle and Archer’s relationship was perfectly volatile. There was just the right amount of push and pull between their characters. The frustration between them brought out the ideal amount of heat and sexual tension. It made giving into their true desires so much fun to read. I loved every minute of Elle and Archer’s romance.

Another thing Accidentally on Purpose had going for it was a little suspense. It didn’t take over the entire story, but added to the tension between Elle and Archer. I liked how it helped make their story complete.

Accidentally on Purpose was everything I love in a contemporary romance. It’s my one of my most favorite Jill Shalvis romance novels yet. It’s a must read for contemporary romance fans.