March 2017 Romance Summary

Summary Review for March 2017

I’ve just been reading faster than I can review lately, so I am going to drop six short summary reviews for books that I have burned through in the last two weeks.  They range from paranormal romance (PNR) to historical and contemporary m/m, and they were all amusing reads with ratings that were no lower than three stars.  Some of the books I grabbed off a top 20 list, but others are from my go-to authors.  Let me know if you have checked them out or if you add them to your to-be-read (TBR) list!

Paranormal Romance

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The Single Undead Mom’s Club by Molly Harper – Half Moon Hollow series

I nodded.  “So just you and me.  In a tobacco-torture-cult barn.”  “Can’t say I don’t know how to show a girl a good time.” – The Single Undead Mom’s Club

I thoroughly enjoy Molly Harper’s writing voice.  I find her work to be fun and entertaining, and I think that she manages to make these paranormal characters easily relatable for her human readers.  This is a tale about a desperate mom who goes all vampy to stay with her young son, and somehow attracts the interest of another parent (a studly motorcycle-riding dad).  Former parent-teacher association heavyweight, Libby is doing her best to reconcile the life changes that come with being newly turned.  Aside from all that, she has normal problems like parental obligations, romantic interests, psycho former in-laws, territorial school moms, and…murder attempts?  The male romantic interest in this work is a delightfully tatted up redneck-ish mechanic and single dad, and the two characters go through a heavy hate period before it starts turning into something more.  Check out the series, for sure.  Four funny stars!

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How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper – Naked Werewolf series

Werewolves hit a lot of different points on the spectrum between “awesome guy who is occasionally an apex predator” and “furry Lord Voldemort.” – How to Run with a Naked Werewolf

Yeah, you are seeing a trend here.  Don’t judge me!  Molly Harper is a delight to read.  This was another funny (and steamy) story, with an educated girl on the run from her abusive ex who meets up with a bounty hunter wolf.  Wires definitely get crossed, and the two manage to work as a team for a time before life intrudes again, disrupting the careful balance and pulling them apart.  If you haven’t checked out the series yet and you enjoy funny PNR, give it a go!  Four furry stars.

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Were Me Out by Robyn Peterman – Shift Happens book four

“I think you’re sayin’ that it would be better to remove our clothes in public after lunch instead of during lunch.  Meal times and peckers are not a good match.” – Were Me Out

Robyn Peterman is another great comedic paranormal romance author.  I like to switch around between my fun reads and my dark or historical romance reads, which tend to have less humor.  The Shift Happens series is full of ridiculous things, such as deadly cow shifters and homicidal dragons, but I feel like readers would benefit more by starting with book one and working their way to this read.  In this story the smart, geeky, and ladylike sheriff’s secretary gives in to temptation and pairs up with the Hung, Georgia pack leader.  Junior is a strange character who appears to be driven by base instinct, while somehow making the MENSA rankings.  This was a good read.  Four cow-cloudy stars.

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The Dragon Finds Forever by Kristen Painter – Nocturne Falls book seven

He put the super in supernatural. – The Dragon Finds Forever

What do you get when you cross an MMA fighting dragon and an enslaved Will-o-the-wisp?  Insanity.  I really love the worldbuilding Painter has worked into her Nocturne Falls series.  She has so many different types of paranormal creatures in this series, and within those creatures are several different hierarchies, but what matters in the end are the citizens of Nocturne Falls.  After breaking his winning streak and losing the title of champion, Ivan retreats to the hollow to recover from painful injuries sustained during the fight.  When Monalisa Devlin shows up on his doorstep masquerading as a therapist, he begrudgingly accepts her help.  The only problem is, she isn’t really a therapist, and while she doesn’t want to use her powers to make him fight again…in the end she won’t have any choice.  The Leprechaun King is forcing Monalisa’s hand to get what he wants from the former champion, and it’s going to take a dragon-sized solution to save the budding romance and their futures.  It stands alone well, but read the rest of the series because it is made of awesome.  Despite the lack of steamy hanky panky, I rated this four freaky stars!

Contemporary Romance

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Hot Head by Damon Suede – Head series book one

“No one deserves to be punished for loving with an open heart.” – Hot Head

Damon Suede is a hilariously funny author who is not only very approachable but also a great conversationalist.  There was little resistance when my friend Susan recommended Hot Head.  This award-winning read male/male firefighter romance was outside my normal reading fare but romance is romance, and this was definitely a heart-wrenching, interesting, and steamy read.  The tale touches on 9/11 and its impact on the firefighting brotherhood in Brooklyn and struggles gay men confront in the big city as well as among their firefighting subculture.  Griff Muir has been quietly struggling with his feelings for ladies’ man and best friend Dante Anastagio for a long time, while Dante remains thankfully oblivious.  Griff is willing to do just about anything he can to help Dante out, and when his best friend comes up with a harebrained gay porn scheme to save his house…how can he turn him down?  The threat of discovery for both men is very real, and they stand to lose all they know and love.  Definitely an interesting and eye-opening read, I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys firefighter-themed stories, and the best friend trope.  Four fired-up stars.

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Slave to Love by Julie A. Richman

I have a feeling resisting falling in love with you is a senseless waste of my energy. – Slave to Love

Another billionaire romance!  Ah, I love me some tropes, they are my reading weakness.  Did you say there was a surprise baby?  Highschool sweetheart?  Secret wedding?  I’m so there.  This was my first Julie Richman read, and it was a pleasing read but also a trying read.  I really appreciate the strong female lead as it is a requirement in most of the books I enjoy, and Sierra delivers as a cutthroat Fortune 100 businesswoman.  Hale is an intelligent alpha male CEO who hires Sierra’s company to manage certain aspects of his growing successful business, and likes what he sees immediately.  Unfortunately, they have the stereotype of women sleeping their way to the top and sexism to deal with before they can try to carve out a place for themselves.  Throw in social media nightmares and attempted murder, and things get sideways really fast.  I felt like the lead characters spent a good bit of the book at odds, which I did not like, but I also felt this was a fairly real read.  Three desk-surfing stars.

Historical Romance

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Duke of Secrets by Gaelen Foley – Moonlight Square book two

“So you’re really going to leave me in the dark?” “We are all in the dark, my lady. ’Tis the human condition.” – Duke of Secrets

I have not read the first book in Foley’s Moonlight Square series, but I found this read to be entertaining.  The author has built up a fairly dark story for the hero and heroine, with cult skeletons in their familial closets.  The beautiful Lady Serena Parker is determined to find out about secrets in her family’s past, even if it means risking her reputation by tangling with the only man who may have answers.  Azrael, Duke of Rivenwood, can hardly believe it when his former betrothed makes an appearance at his masked ball, but she is forbidden fruit.  He manages to send her packing, but ends up coming around to assist the lady in need.  Old shadows from the past rise up to threaten everything they hold dear, and could cost either of the lovers their lives.  I felt that despite the 347 page length, we were a little short on connectivity between the leading male and female, and the antagonist structure is something I have seen in other historical romance series.  By “missing connectivity,” I do not mean they did not seem attracted, but instead am talking to the level of attraction – instead of the work you typically see between the two characters, these seem to fit together rather easily.  Three dark stars.

 

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