Review: Matched to a Billionaire by Kat Cantrell

matched to a billionaireHero: Leo Reynolds is your typical venture capitalist married to his work. He can’t seem to keep a girlfriend… not that he tries too hard to keep one. His ideal match would be a woman who can stay in the background, never nag him about not paying enough attention to her, and can host stellar parties to help him woo clients. He’d be willing to pay a matchmaking service to hook him up with such a female.

Heroine: The matchmaker pairs him with Daniella White. She’s willing to marry for security and finances to pay for her mother’s medical care. Learning from her mother’s poor taste in men, Daniella believes it will be easy to be a convenient wife and let all expectation of a passionate romance go.

Review: Daniella doesn’t want to mess this up. She wants to be the perfect wife and tries to mind-read Leo as to what that is. She tries very hard to please him and succeeds… and fails… because she’s not a background kind of girl. Leo very much notices Daniella and he doesn’t like it. Leo is a passionate man disguised as an ice cold billionaire. His obsessive personality is not the flaw he thinks it is… he just needs to learn balance. I do love how it comes into play at the end when he draws and draws and draws for Daniella. That was incredibly sweet.
Final thoughts: A salty sweet romance – a perfect weekend snack.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Matched to a Billionaire (Happily Ever After, Inc.)

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Review: Marriage Made on Paper by Maisey Yates

marriage made on paperHeroine: Lily Ford runs her own public relations business. When a new deal demands exclusivity, she dumps the competition in a hot minute. Who knew the exclusivity also meant sacrificing her personal life? Being at a tycoon’s beck and call may sound sexy, but it means early mornings, late nights, and plenty of firefighting to keep the press at bay… and it also involves marriage? Not something easily palpable to a woman who’s resistant to love (at least her mother’s version of it).

Hero: Gage Forrester made his millions in property development. He’s a tough man to work for and demands every employee go above and beyond the call of duty… including his PR contractor. When an unexpected family fiasco erupts, Gage is determined to suppress the gossip and press by generating positive PR. His solution? Marriage. He proposes to Lily in the name of business, but Gage is determined to also make the marriage real.

Review: Gage is an interesting hero – he’s already been a father to his younger sister and did it well. He’s not ready to put his hat in the ring again for kids. It doesn’t appeal to him. Neither does marriage, well okay, maybe marriage to the right woman. Both Gage and Lily are aware of each other and their effect. They have great dialogue and great chemistry. What’s nice about this book is that Lily is not helpless. She’s a go-getter and at the top of her game, just like Gage. They’re equals. The paper marriage was a farce from the beginning though and not at all necessary other than to force the leads into matrimony.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Marriage Made on Paper

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Review: His Most Exquisite Conquest by Emma Darcy

His Most Exquisite Conquest by Emma DarcyReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Lucy Flippance has gone through life with a bad opinion of men. Whenever she has dated them in the past, they have started out as princes, with charm and handsome looks, then several months into the relationship, their love had waned and he had turned into a frog. It didn’t help that Lucy’s mother had gone through hell with her husband when he had got her pregnant, then left her when it came to light she had cancer. That made her adamant that she would be very cautious around men, no matter how promising or handsome they were.

Michael Finn is a man used to getting what he wants in the boardroom and out of it. Where women are concerned, he can have his pick and choose of them. He, like Lucy has split up from his ex girlfriend, Fiona Redman who was into female power games and was intent to rule his head, heart – and possibly his entire life if he let her. He said he would never let another woman do that to him after he had split up with her. Not when he had made Finn’s Franchises a top business when he took over from his late father. Michael seeks to enjoy the romance of any female encounter, but sooner or late, he tires of the woman no matter the beauty, the abilities as he always finds a floor in their make-up and it puts him off them for life.

Good bits:

  • Lucy trying to keep her secret hidden.
  • Harry’s relationship with her sister.
  • Michael in two minds as to continue his relationship with Lucy when one of her conquests dishes the dirt on her to him.

Bad bits:

  • Michael’s cheesy chat up-lines about what she was doing as a cemetery admin when she could be a model.
  • Michael’s insistence at not using a condom on their first night together – what a cad!

Review: The chemistry is there between the two of them, but Lucy doesn’t want him to turn from prince to frog, while Michael hopes that his interest in her will last the distance. Her only problem is her awful secret as it’s one that could put him off her if he ever discovers it. Lucy brings out the good in him, the needy part also, and he sometimes feels uncomfortable about a recent revelation that happened when they were in a crowded restaurant. He wants to enjoy his time with her, but at the same time he hopes she could be the one woman he has been looking for all his life. Harry and Michael are two brothers, the Finns while Lucy and Ellie are sisters and are both dating each other, making things more complicated than they should be.

Summary: The story is enjoyable, and the characters feel right for the situations they are all put in. If it’s raining outside, pick this book up, it won’t disappoint you – you won’t want to put it down!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: His Most Exquisite Conquest (The Legendary Finn Brothers)

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Review: Not Quite Dating (Not Quite, Book 1) by Catherine Bybee

not quite datingHero: Jack Morrison is ready to find a woman who will like him for himself and not for the family hotel chain. The point is made especially clear to him when he runs into an ex who is clearly delusional and thinks they will get married and mouths off when he informs her otherwise. He’s decided that the perfect woman for him will love his preference to be laid back – beat-up truck, cowboy hat, and all.

Heroine: Jessica “Jessie” Mann is a single parent trying to make ends meet while helping put her younger sister through college. No easy feat on a waitress’s tips. She’s decided to finally take her mother’s advice on love, namely that “loving a rich guy is as easy as loving a poor guy.” So while Jack is cute, his seasonal job at a fancy hotel and his dreams and goals combine to make him entirely unsuitable.

Review: A cute story that is light and fluffy and goes down easy. I enjoyed the big misunderstanding plot twists, yes plural. Good thing these two both had busybody sisters to step in and get their heads on straight. More sexy time would have been great.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Not Quite Dating (Not Quite series)

The Top 10 Hero Types:

genre1

Who is the ultimate hero in your books?

  1. Bad Boy Hero:

The Bad Boy hero is in a league of his own. More heroines and readers/viewers have fallen for the Bad Boy than any other hero. He is the ultimate rebel: mysterious, seemingly indifferent, and hard to get. He starts off behaving badly and unrepentant. His inner good is revealed however by the end of the novel due to actions of the heroine or circumstances that force the Bad Boy to become the knight in shining armor.

  1. Alpha Hero:

Oh the Alpha Hero… how we love to hate and adore him. The innate leader in any situation, all look up to him and want to be him. He’s cool, confident, steady, strong, and sure. His ultimate role, I’ve noticed, is to take care of the heroine.

  1. Brooding Hero:

Our poor tortured lonely Brooding Hero, how we love to torment him! Aloof, angry, wounded, and ultimately one of the most vulnerable heroes out there, the Brooding Hero has captured the most hearts in very recent history with Angel and Edward Cullen. (The Brooding Hero is a perfect foil for the Paranormal Hero.)

  1. Rogue Hero:

The Rogue, who by any other time period outside of Regency, is a promiscuous cad in need of a physical. Utterly charming, completely dashing, and carelessly carefree about life and love, the Rogue is ready to live life to the fullest. Commitment is not a word in his vocabulary until the heroine sweeps into his sphere of influence.

  1. Nerd Hero:

Another name for the Nerd Hero is the Beta Hero. He’s kind, sweet, and decent. He’s the best friend or the slightly awkward gentleman. The Nerd Hero almost always meets his full potential because of the heroine. He rises to the occasion… in more ways than one!

  1. Tycoon Hero:

This hero type literally litters Harlequin presents. He can be a millionaire, billionaire, prince, sheik, or wealthy boss. Ninety percent of the time the Tycoon starts out isolated and jaded in the novel only to wind up happy and easygoing by the end.

  1. Protector Hero:

The Protector Hero comes in many disguises and professions, most are obvious, but some not so much. You can find him playing the role of a cop, firefighter, spy, detective, bodyguard, part of the military, etc. The plot behind many Protector Hero stories involves a mystery where he almost loses the heroine while trying to save her.

  1. Daredevil Hero:

Pirates and superheroes compose the majority of the Daredevil Heroes. They love action, they love fights, and they love thrills. Give them a damsel in distress and they’re all over that like white on rice.

  1. Warrior Hero:

The Warrior Hero, funnily enough is a very reluctant hero. He thinks himself above it all. His mission in life is to fight and protect his home, his country, and his men. Then a woman gets thrown into the mix all kinds of chaos and havoc ensure and he fights it every step of the way only to get conquered by the heroine.

  1. Paranormal Hero:

Oh yes, the Paranormal Hero, when a normal man just won’t cut it the Paranormal Hero steps in prepared to win hearts and steal our very souls. He oozes sex with his otherworldly good looks and quickens our imagination with images of the extraordinary. Call him a vampire, a wizard, a lycanthrope, or any other kind of superhuman being it’s all the same to him.

Which Hero Wins Your Heart? (You can pick two!)

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Review: Exchanging Grooms by Terry Spear

Story: Peter Crawford first spies Lisa Robbins as she’s attempting to return an unused wedding gown. The groom? His arch rival Pembrooke Hastings. Peter is determined to take her out on a date to see what kind of gal could rope in the state’s most confirm bachelor. Finding out she jilted Pembrooke is just icing on the cake. Little does Peter know that Lisa’s going to get the state’s second most confirmed bachelor down on bended knee faster than he can get out his proposal!!!

Favorite Scenes: I really enjoyed how the two originally agree to go out to make Pembrooke jealous, but end up trying to avoid him on these beginning dates… especially the double date with Peter’s brother and his girlfriend. I also liked when Peter takes care of Lisa and makes her food, his proposal, and when they first make love.

Least Favorite Scene: Lisa is a strong heroine and can handle her own, but on the eve of her wedding to Peter, his ex shows up at her apartment and because her best friend and Peter’s brother’s girlfriend invited the ex in, Lisa lets her… and she lets the trio bash on men and Peter too. I had a huge problem with that, because who in their right mind would allow that? Even drunk I wouldn’t allow that. It made me mad, but Peter handled it all with aplomb.

Review: You’ll love what Terry Spear has whipped up! Exchanging Grooms is a cute contemporary romance that’s fast to read and will give you a tooth ache, it’s so sweet! I heard about this book from following Terry Spear’s blog. I thought the title was extremely clever and catchy and I had to read it. I even made fanart for it:

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Exchanging Grooms

Review: A Daring Proposition by Jennifer Greene

The story: Leigh Sexton wants to have a baby—a child of her own to love and nurture, a child to keep away the loneliness creeping into her life. As a trust fund baby, Leigh has plenty of money to raise a child and can’t quit her job as a CPA to focus on raising the baby. What Leigh doesn’t have is a man to father that baby. She’s not interested in the usual method of begetting children. She wants something clinical as a way to draw barriers. An article she read leads her to the perfect man… Brian Hathaway.

Brian is intrigued by the idea and by Leigh, but he won’t give Leigh his sperm unless they’re married. If he’s married he can keep his playboy lifestyle without the girlfriend on the side thinking he’ll marry her… or at least that was his plan until Leigh creeps into his heart and then all he wants to do is possess her and make their marriage of convenience a real one.

Review: I loved A Daring Proposition! I just couldn’t put it down.

This alone was surprising after I learned that the heroine had a traumatic near-rape like experience in her past followed by a horrible first-time sexual encounter. I tend to avoid books with this background just because it’s something that’s too real and too horrible to contemplate.

However, I was hooked by the time any suspicions were confirmed. Greene handled Leigh’s fear of men and sex really well I thought. I liked how Brian came across – very alpha and demanding. He’s unintentionally callous making remarks to Leigh like how a kiss isn’t a rape, but he’s far too sensitive to have done anything like that had he known her true background. He assumed she lost the love of her life and didn’t want to tarnish the memories with another man.

The first time they have sex?  WOW!

The only thing I didn’t really like was the creepy house party Leigh and Brian went to, mostly because I was afraid Leigh was going to be put into another horrible sexual experience by the married host of the party. Luckily that didn’t happen…

I think some readers will wonder why she put up with Brian’s demands or why she went to him in the first place. It’s more inferred than directly stated in the book, but I think it’s because of her past and knowing on some level that the process is intimate even if you go through in vitro fertilization.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: A Daring Proposition

How to Get a Harlequin Tycoon to Share His Feelings

Are you in love with an impossibly closed-minded and secretive millionaire? Are you incredibly frustrated with his lack of emotional disclosure? Follow the following 10 steps on the yellow-brick road to ‘emerald’ city.

  1. Cultivate Your Alluring Innocence. A Tycoon is a much jaded and cynical man. He’s seen much of the world and of the various types of women in it. He’s boiled his experiences down and has lumped women into different shades of gold diggers. Your innocence will be your first step in breaking through his shielded heart.
  2. Tell the Truth; Keep Nothing Hidden. Painful pasts and old hurts are the exception because he doesn’t need to know them at this point. Everything else though is considered fair and open game and you should disclose it all so that he sees you as honest and heartfelt.
  3. Persist or Perish. For every step you gain, your Tycoon will force you two steps back because you are too close to making him feel something. Take heart in every instance he pushes you away. You’re getting to him.
  4. Share His Bed. A Tycoon is far more comfortable with sex than love. This will be the only way you can share your growing feelings with him without them being thoroughly rebuffed. You should take advantage of this drop in his guard and use it to wiggle your way further into his heart.
  5. Talk with Someone Close to Him for Insight. Preferably someone male to invoke your Tycoon’s jealousy. This is very important.
  6. Explain When Possible. Your Tycoon will surely ostracize you from his very presence when he finds out what you’ve done, without giving you the benefit of the doubt or a chance to explain, but be ready with your perfectly logical and understandable explanation. He might not let you get that far, but you should have it at the ready.
  7. If All Else Fails, Leave Him. If your Tycoon did not allow you to explain but didn’t send you from his presence, be prepared for things to be very awkward and strange. Your relationship will feel like it is disintegrating and it is, but you want total annihilation. When you get to that point you need to leave. Disappear into the night and go back to your old life.
  8. Act Surprised When He Shows at Your Doorstep. When your Tycoon finally caves to as he calls it “his inexplicable need” for you, and is willing to take you back no matter what supposed infraction you have committed, you are very close to getting him to share his feelings.
  9. Keep Quiet. By not speaking you will force him to talk first and invariably he will tell you everything that’s in his heart from all his pains to all his hopes and his love for you.
  10. Smile and Run into His Arms. Congratulations you have successfully extracted your Tycoon’s feelings from him and now the two of you can have that glorious globetrotting, baby filled, happily ever after. Don’t forget to tell him you love him too. *wink*

Photo Credits: Bolivar Trindade