Before the Blog: My True Love Gave to Me

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

20309175My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Publication Date: October 1, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads Synopsis:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

We’re getting closer to the holiday season and this YA anthology is a really fun way to get into the spirit. Also, when I read this book I hadn’t read any of the authors except for Rainbow Rowell. It was a great way to find some great new authors.

 When did you read this book? 

December 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

YA readers

ARC Review: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

25058352Steal Me (New York’s Finest #2) by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: November 24, 2015

Publisher: Forever

Synopsis:

Captain Anthony Moretti has chosen his path in life. He wants to be the police commissioner one day. Anth knows that becoming commissioner means giving up some of his other dreams: a wife and kids. He’s fine with that until Maggie Walker shows up in his family’s favorite diner.

Maggie didn’t always dream of being a waitress in a diner, but it pays the bills while she writes her first novel. Another added benefit to waitressing at the diner is getting to spend Sundays with the Moretti family — specifically Anthony Moretti. Too bad he hates her.

When Maggie unexpectedly becomes an informant in the toughest case of Anth’s career, he can’t help but throw professionalism out the door.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Steal Me was a light and fun contemporary romance. The chemistry between the characters was great and I liked each character’s backstory. Their separate histories added a lot to the story — especially Maggie’s. I also enjoyed the hunt for the criminal, which turned out to be her ex-husband. (Don’t worry, that’s not a spoiler. It’s in the book blurb.)

It was fun to meet another Moretti cop. Anthony was a little uptight, but it was easy to understand why with his previous relationship history. The frustration he felt when making choices was interesting and understandable.

My favorite thing about Steal Me was Maggie, though. I thought her attraction to the grumpy Captain was cute. I loved the way she reacted to everything he did. I also liked her family history and the way she ended up dealing with them.

Steal Me is the second book in the New York’s Finest series. It can be read as a standalone novel or after reading Frisk Me. You can find my review for Frisk Me by clicking here.

**I received an electronic copy of Steal Me from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

23507713 25862018

Release Day Blitz & Review: Red Hot Holidays Anthology

Forget shopping. Forget wrapping. Spend the holidays with these 17 gorgeous alpha males.

They have something they’d like to put in your stockings, because they’re definitely on Santa’s naughty list in these 17 all-new stories.

red hot holidays COVER

AVAILABLE NOW

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About the Book:

NYT, USA Today, and top-selling authors have banded together to bring you 17 all-new, sweet to sexy books about love, romance, and the holidays.

Take a break and rip open this boxed set to cuddle up with these romantic comedy, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance books. These authors have pulled out all the stops, bringing back some of your favorite characters from their bestselling series for one more bite at the fruitcake or penning stories about new characters and new love!

For a limited time, you can pick up all 17 of these naughty men for a really great price! Over 1000 pages of love, laughter, and romance! From billionaires and filthy rich rock stars to undercover police and bear shifters, we’ve gathered all 17 passionate stories in one big box with a bow on top. This heart-pounding collection is filled with confident, sexy, and romantic men you’ll want to spend the holidays with.

AVAILABLE NOW

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My Review: 5 out of 5 stars!

The Red Hot Holidays Anthology is a hot and steamy set of books to get you into the holiday spirit. There is a little something for everyone: contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, second chance romance and more.

One of my favorite stories in the Red Hot Holidays Anthology was Noel by J.C. Valentine. Noel was a nurse trying to avoid falling for her patient, hot cop Hunter. His hot body has her in a tizzy, but she’s going to stick with her oath of not dating patients…or she thinks she is until Hunter convinces her otherwise. Noel was a really fun, steamy read.

My other favorite was Winter Tryst by Mira Bailee. It was a short and sweet second chance romance where a man realizes the mistakes he’s made over the past year with his soon-to-be ex-wife.

Those two were my favorites in the anthology, but all of the others were really good as well! A Cub for Christmas by Ella Dominguez was a fun story about an older woman falling for a younger man. Give and Take by Daisy Prescott was a cute story taking place on Whidbey Island that gives a look at the exciting Christmas happenings of several friends. Black Christmas by JC Andrijeski was an interesting Christmas tale about a couple that is apart but that can read each others minds to communicate and be intimate.

Those are just some of the incredibly fun Christmas-time stories that make up this anthology. I would highly suggest reading the Red Hot Holidays Anthology to put you in the holiday spirit! It’s only $0.99!

Stories Included Are:

Perfectly Kissed ~ Lacey Silks Mistletoes, sneaky best friend and an old lady, coerce best friends and former lovers, Millie and Dave, to reunite for Christmas Holidays.

Montreux ~ Blair Babylon Wulf von Hannover and Rae Stone are about to marry in Montreux, but Wulf’s aristocratic father makes one last attempt to derail the wedding.

Home Bound ~ Olivia Rigal and Shannon Macallan Trapped by a storm, a voluptuous architect and a sexy TV news reporter melt the ice by a roaring fire.

A Band of Heather ~ Sarah M. Cradit Colleen and Noah belong to two very different worlds, but a band of heather changes their lives forever.

Christmas on the Run ~ Daizie Draper Wannabe rock star Tristan runs from a dangerous bookie and falls for the girl he’s only using as his perfect escape.

Noel: A Blue Collar Christmas ~ J.C. Valentine Nurse Noel Walker doesn’t date patients, but Officer Hunter Davis won’t give up until he slaps the cuffs on.

Black Christmas ~ JC Andrijeski Quintin Black vanishes, leaving Miri alone after a harrowing ordeal in Thailand. Will she forgive him in time for Christmas?

Winter Tryst ~ Mira Bailee One destroyed marriage. Two broken hearts. When Sean visits Lyla to say goodbye, winter’s magic forces the lovers to face the painful truth.

Give and Take ~ Daisy Prescott You never know who will show up at the Sip ’n Stroll in Langley. Someone’s pregnant. Someone’s engaged. And someone’s getting a puppy.

Slow and Steady ~ V. J. Chambers When danger interrupts Christmas shopping, Leigh and her husband Griffin sizzle.

Take Me Home ~ Alison Foster All my Christmas wishes were snatched away by an evil brute. What can you do when the man you hate most makes your mouth water?

Bearfield Snowed In ~ Jacqueline Sweet A hunter tracking her prey finds herself snowed in with a sexy shifter. Is he her mortal enemy or her fated mate?

My Cowboy Soldier ~ Gillian Cherry Holidays draw lovers and families together, except when war tears them apart.

A Cub for Christmas ~ Ella Dominguez This May-December romance burns up the pages when Aricelli realizes that unwrapping her Christmas package is only half the fun.

Rosy Cheeks ~ Amity Wilde Good things sometimes come in unlikely packages. When an online flirt stumbles into Karen’s very real life, he might be just what she needs.

A Beary Merry Christmas ~ Jazzmyn Wolfe After a season of frustration and pain, will curvy Kassandra and Brendan finally have a beary merry Christmas?

Alec’s First Christmas ~ Felicia Tatum Daphne and Zander welcomed their baby Alec, and his first Christmas has magical surprises.

Order Now and Start Your Celebration Early

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Review: Trouble by Elle Casey

Trouble (Rebel Wheels #3)  by Elle Casey

Publication Date: January 23, 2014

Synopsis:

Alissa Benson knows she’s a burden to her new roommates. She has no money, no job, no family, no boyfriend, no place to go…and she’s pregnant. Alissa knows she should be more thankful, but her nosy roommates won’t leave her alone. They’re pushy, swear like sailors and they have enough trouble of their own to deal with. All she wants is to escape in her books and not think about the future that is quickly coming.

If all that wasn’t enough, she has to deal with her roommate’s brother. One minute, Colin seems to despise her so much he can’t even look at her. The next, he won’t leave her alone. Colin’s super sexy and surprising sweet. Alissa knows she should just ignore him. He’s trouble and she has more important things to deal with.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Trouble was a really great ending to a fun series. I liked Alissa as the narrator for this one. Her perspective was so different from Teagan and Quin’s in the first two books. She was no where near as snarky and she didn’t use (much) foul language. I loved watching Alissa’s secrets unravel and learning more about her baby daddy situation.

My favorite thing about Trouble, though; was Colin. He was presented as such a trouble maker in the previous books. It was nice to find out even more why he was one and to see another side of him. I loved the way he wanted to take care of Alissa. I also adored his fascination with her pregnancy. It was really cute.

As for the rest of the Rebel Wheels cast and their storylines, I thought they were wrapped up nicely in Trouble. I loved the way everything worked out in the end. It was a lot of fun to read.

My only complaint about Trouble is that I would have loved to have read about what was going on in Colin’s head from his point of view. I wanted to know more about him. But all of the books in the series were written from the female point of view, so I understand why I didn’t get that.

If you’re looking for a fun, steamy New Adult romance with a bit of mystery, you should try the Rebel Wheels series. It’s a lot of fun to read. You can find my review for Rebel here and Hellion here.

Other books in this series:

Rebel  

Review: Dare to Seduce by Carly Phillips

26055768Dare to Seduce (Dare to Love #8) by Carly Phillips

Publication Date: November 17, 2015

Synopsis:

Max Savage has wanted Lucy Dare for as long as he can remember. Age and Lucy’s older brothers have kept Max from making a move until now. Max has a chance to make Lucy his and he’s not going to let anything stop him from making her his. He has the perfect plan to seduce her.


 

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Dare to Seduce jumped right into the seduction immediately. Max wanted (to do brazen things to) Lucy. He didn’t hesitate making his move and desires known. Lucy didn’t seem to have a problem with that since they both had harbored secret feelings for each other for years and through other relationships.

Lucy may not have had a problem with the immediate seduction, but I kind of did. I get they had pent up sexual frustration from years of longing but it felt too quick to me. It’s not because I’m against jumping into the sack immediately in books. It happens all the time. But Lucy and Max were supposed to have this amazing connection based on past history. I was told they had this connection, but I didn’t feel the connection. I’m pretty sure it was because I didn’t get to read about their previous interactions except for from their thoughts. I would have liked a flashback or two to make me feel and believe it.

I started to like the story better once I got to know Max and Lucy better and they transitioned into a relationship. It was fun watching Max’s jealous side come out. And the sex scenes…Dang! They were hot.

I wish I would have connected as well with the characters in the first half of the book as I did in the second half of the book. The book was well written, but that initial missing connection made a book that could have been great good.

Dare to Seduce is part of the Dare to Love series but can be read as a standalone novel.

Other books in this series:

           

 

Before the Blog: Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

828713Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve

Publication Date: November 21, 1999

Publisher: Abacus Software

Goodreads Synopsis:

On a beach in New Hampshire at the turn of the last century, a young woman is drawn into a rocky, disastrous passage to adulthood. Olympia Biddeford is the only child of a prominent Boston couple—a precocious and well-educated daughter, alive with ideas and flush with the first stirrings of maturity. Her summer at the family’s vacation home in Fortune’s Rocks is transformed by the arrival of a doctor, a friend of her father’s, whose new book about mill-town labourers has caused a sensation. Olympia is captivated by his thinking, his stature, and his drive to do right—even as she is overwhelmed for the first time by irresistible sexual desire. She and the doctor—a married man, a father, and nearly three times her age—come together in an unthinkable, torturous, hopelessly passionate affair. Throwing aside propriety and self-preservation, Olympia plunges forward with cataclysmic results that are the price of straying in an unforgiving era. Olympia is cast out of the world she knows, and Fortune’s Rocks is the story of her determination to reinvent her broken life—and claim the one thing she finds she cannot live without.

A meditation on the erotic life of women, an exploration of class prejudices, and most of all a portrayal of the thoughts and actions of an unforgettable young woman, Fortune’s Rocks is a masterpiece of narrative drama, beautifully written by one of the most accomplished novelists of our time.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

Fortune’s Rocks was one of the first audio books I ever listened to. My boss had checked it out from the library and lent it to me when she was done with it. I was fascinated by the story and loved listening to it.

 When did you read this book? 

My best guess is around 2005-2006.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Anyone that likes a good historical novel.

Review: Hellion by Elle Casey

Hellion (Rebel Wheels #2) by Elle Casey

Publication Date: November 30, 2015

Publisher: Elle Casey

Synopsis:

Quinlan Torres is planning ahead for her future. She needs to finish college and get out on her own. She also has a lot of responsibilities: school work, her younger brother Jersey, and helping her best friend win back her deceased father’s company. The last thing Quin has time for is a guy.

If only Quin’s best friend didn’t have a boyfriend with a smoking hot brother. Maybe then she could actually stick to her plan. But each time they see each other, they get closer and closer to combusting…


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Last week I read Rebel, the first book in the Rebel Wheels series. I loved it. It was a fun NA romantic suspense. There were so many great one liners in it. It didn’t quite end in a cliffhanger, but there were still some unanswered questions. So, of course, I had to read Hellion.

Hellion was just as much fun to read as Rebel. Quin was just as snarky and hilarious as Teagan. She has such a potty mouth! I loved getting to know her and her family better. Her family — Jersey especially — was so cool. It was also fun to see her get all flustered by Rebel’s brother(s).

In keeping with the book description, I won’t tell you which brother Quin falls for. I’ll just say the tension between them was incredible. So were their hot and heavy moments.

I really enjoyed reading Hellion. It was almost as amazing as Rebel. My only big complaint was how quickly the story wrapped up. There was a huge build up to Quin and her hellion getting together, but once they were their relationship moved too quickly for me. I can’t explain it without giving too much away. It didn’t ruin the story, I just found it a little unbelievable. That being said, it didn’t ruin the book for me or keep me from wanting to read the next book in the series.

Other books in this series:

Rebel

ARC Review: Reckless in Love by Bella Andre & Jennifer Skully

Reckless in Love (The Maverick Billionaires #2) by Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully

Publication Date: November 11, 2015

Publisher: Maverick Oak Press, LLC 

Synopsis:

Media mogul and billionaire Sebastian wants Charlie, a local junk artist, to create a statue for the lobby of his new office building. Her work enchants him and he knows she will create something as amazing as his building.

When Sebastian stops by Charlie’s garage to commission a statue for his lobby, he can’t help but be attracted to the woman who creates such masterpieces. She’s a masterpiece herself. He desperately wants to get to know her. He’ll do everything in his power to make her see he’s not just interested in her for her art.

Junk artist Charlie is happy with her life. Sure, it would be nice to make it big with her art but she’s perfectly happy teaching art at the community college and creating in her free time. She knows her art isn’t anything special. That’s why she can’t believe it when Sebastian shows up in her garage with a huge check.

As Sebastian and Charlie get to know each other, their differences in lifestyle start to overpower their connection. Can Sebastian and Charlie let go of their differences and get a chance at true love?


My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully are back with The Maverick Billionaires series! If you have followed my blog from the beginning, the first book in this series was one of my first reviews! You can read my review for Breathless in Love here. The second book, Reckless in Love, picks up where Breathless in Love left off but with a new Maverick brother. It can be read after the first book or as a standalone novel.

To be completely honest, Reckless in Love started off a little rocky for me. While I loved Charlie and Sebastian’s first meeting, there was something that bugged me a little bit. It was Sebastian’s thoughts.  His insta-love for Charlie kind of weirded me out for a minute. Actually, insta-love isn’t the best way to describe it. He knew he wasn’t in love with her yet. It was more like an insta-I-think-this-is-the-woman-I-could-fall-in-love-with-just-from-seeing-her-once thing. I just wanted to shout, “You don’t even know her! She could be crazy!” at him. But I know it’s a romance novel and things usually move quickly for characters, so it didn’t bother me enough to ruin the story.

From there on, I truly enjoyed reading Reckless in Love. It was a sweet love story filled with real life relationship issues. Both Sebastian and Charlie doubted themselves a lot.

Despite being a billionaire, Sebastian had a lot of past hurt he was dealing with. It affected all of his decisions — especially ones he made about or for Charlie. Poor Charlie knew she was falling for Sebastian but she wasn’t sure if she was enough or if she could be the person he wanted.

I found these parts of the storyline very refreshing and real. I think most people have moments in relationships where they doubt themselves or wonder if they’re enough for the person they love. It was fulfilling to watch them really get to know each other and grow from what they learned about themselves and each other.

Reckless in Love was also filled with gorgeous descriptions. The authors described Charlie and Sebastian’s artwork so thoroughly that I could imagine exactly what it looked like.

If you’re looking for a sweet billionaire love story, this Reckless in Love is for you.

**I received an electronic copy of Restless in Love from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2) by Emma Chase

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Gallery

Synopsis:

Jake Becker is a hot-shot Washington D.C. defense lawyer on his way to making partner. His cold demeanor helps him win cases. It also helps deter women that think he could be more than a one-night stand.

Jake’s not interested in having a wife or family. Having a girlfriend isn’t even on his radar. He’s content with a revolving door of women and his busy work life. Or so he thinks until Chelsea McQuaid and her seven nieces and nephews bump into his life.

All of a sudden, Jake finds himself involved in the McQuaid’s family life. If he’s not saving one kid from trouble, he’s taking one to a class. And it’s all worth it to see Chelsea McQuaid smile.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Sustained was so much fun to read. I absolutely adored it. I loved that the story was told from Jake’s POV. His thoughts were hilarious! I loved how cocky and sure of himself he was. I also loved the sweet side of him that wanted to help Chelsea and the rest of the McQuaid family. I would have fallen in love with him too, if I was Chelsea.

I also loved each and every one of the McQuaid kids. Emma Chase created an amazing and fun bunch of kids. I don’t think I could pick a favorite if I tried. Their interactions with Jake were so much fun to read.

This book was just so sweet! I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a contemporary romance that will leave them in a happy mood.

ARC Review: S.O.B by J.C. Valentine

S.O.B by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: November 10, 2015

Publisher: J.C. Valentine

Note: **This novel is for MATURE ADULT READERS only. It contains explicit sexual content and alcohol use.**

Synopsis:

If there’s one person Vista Marquis never wants to see again, it’s Levi Black. It’s been years since she’s seen Levi, but she still isn’t over the way he broke her heart. Vista thought they had a special connection, but all Levi wanted was to add her name to the list of notches on his bedpost.

It might have been easier to move on if Levi wasn’t a famous soccer player — and her stepbrother. Not only does Vista have to hear all about him from her mother, she gets to see and hear about him and his woman of the moment in every celebrity gossip report.

Now, in order to establish her own physical therapy business, Vista is being forced to return home to Chicago and face the one man who has broken her heart. It’s going to be her job to make sure Levi recovers from his most current soccer injury. She plans on keeping things strictly professional. All she has to do is avoid Levi’s womanizing charms.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I’m going to have to admit that I wasn’t so sure what I was going to think of S.O.B prior to reading it. I love J.C. Valentine’s writing and the creative situations she comes up with, but I was curious to see how she was going to set this one up. I had never read a step-brother/step-sister romance before. I was worried it might be too taboo, too pseudo-incestuous for my tastes.

S.O.B was neither of those two things. Levi and Vista were not blood related. They were not even raised together. They lived in the same house for a short period of time before their parents married. That was shortly before Vista left for college. Basically, they were “brother and sister” through their parents marriage alone. They didn’t even share the same last name.

S.O.B felt more like a second chance erotic romance than a taboo love story. Levi was a cocky, famous athlete who walked away from the one girl he really wanted. Vista was a strong, independent female determined to make her own way. She wasn’t going to fall for the one man who shattered her heart at eighteen.

Levi and Vista’s reconnection was sexy and steamy. The chemistry between these two was off the charts! Levi was just the right amount of cocky and exactly what I would expect a sports star to be. He also had a sweet softer side when it came to Vista that I adored. I loved how strong Vista was. It was really cool that J.C. Valentine didn’t let her back down from standing up to Levi. Her backbone was one of my favorite thing about her.

The book wasn’t just filled with steamy moments, though. S.O.B had a great storyline. It was a lot of fun and cute at times.There were even a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed watching the entire story unfold.

If you’re looking for an erotic romance with a fun storyline, I would recommend S.O.B. It’s a fun, steamy read.

**I received an electronic copy of S.O.B from the author in exchange for an honest review.