Friday, February 17, 2023

Book Review: Breaking All the Rules

TGIF, folks. TGIF. It feels like a long week but also not really at all. I don't have much in the way of plans for this weekend and I'm OK with that. Matt is going to bring me grocery shopping, because oh yes, I can't do that by myself. Love the loss of independence, it's really so much fun. 

Breaking All the Rules - Amy Andrews

Sometimes you gotta toss your whole life into a burning dumpster to find what’s most important...

Beatrice Archer has always done everything she’s supposed to —worked her ass off, ignored her non-existent personal life, and kept her mouth shut. Now she’s over it. The rat race, respectability…the underwire bras. She’s taking her life back. Starting with moving to Nowhere, Colorado to live life on her own terms.

Now Bea gives exactly zero forks. Beer for breakfast. Sugar for everything else. Baggy sweats and soft cotton undies FTW. Then a much younger and delightfully attractive cop is called to deal with her flagrant disregard for appropriate clothing outside the local diner (some folks just don’t appreciate bunny slippers) and Bea realizes there’s something missing from her little decathlon of decadence…and he might be the guy to help her out.

When it comes to breaking rules, Officer Austin Cooper is surprisingly eager to assist. He’s charming, a little bit cowboy, and a whole lot sexy. But Bea’s about to discover that breaking the rules has consequences. And all of the cherry pies in Colorado can’t save her from what’s coming…
I loved this book!! I didn't realize this was going to be a reverse age gap (Bea is older than Austin) romance, but I was here for it because I'm trying to read things I haven't seen a lot of and reverse age gap is just that. I loved Bea's character, I feel like if I were a literary character, I also would give zero forks, if you will. Austin really is charming, and their chemistry is FIRE. For all of that alone, you need to add this to your TBR for 2023, hands down. What sealed the deal for me though is the humor, I love romance with some good humor, and the author balanced it perfectly. I really liked that Bea is going on a limb and asking for exactly what she wants and Austin is eager to please. If I had to offer a critique, I would say I wished the epilogue wasn't mostly Bea, and not them as a couple/their future. This is a series though, so I'm assuming we'll see more from them in future books so I can't be mad about that. This was my first one from Amy Andrews but it definitely isn't going to be my last, I loved her writing style and the personality in her characters. 

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and TLC Book Tours for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review! 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Book Review: Pirate's Paradox

It is Wednesday...but I am so screwed up on which day of the week it is since my kids were off of school Monday and Tuesday. Then I decided to keep Lucy home today because she threw up in th emiddle of the night. I'm pretty sure it was just the pizza she ate for dinner that didn't sit well in her tummy but still, better to be safe than sorry. So she's home today, Jackson has a doctor appointment, I have a bunch of emails to catch up on and a book to read. Lots to do. 

Pirate's Paradox - Lisa Kessler

Pirate Caleb Graves may be an immortal, but he’s also a navigator and a man of science. And yet he can’t explain the erratic tides threatening Savannah. Nor the terrible dreams of sailing through a vicious, supernatural storm that he keeps having. But when fascinating, petite dynamo Diana Williams marches up to his ship and demands to speak to the captain, Caleb is caught up in a wave of unexpected fear…and an electric frisson of longing for this captivating woman.

Diana wouldn’t be a true psychic if she didn’t listen to her spirit guide. So when dream after dream compels her to visit specific coordinates in the Atlantic, she can’t ignore it. Now, she just needs a ship. Good thing she knows about a particular pirate ship that’s in tip-top shape. Complete with a surly, albeit hot, navigator who doesn’t immediately believe in her visions. But no matter how much Caleb objects, she’ll risk sending the entire crew—including herself—to the uncharted ocean.

But both their dreams could be the key to saving Savannah and may even be a clue about the fabled lost city of Atlantis. Or it could damn them all to an unforgiving, watery grave.
Right off the bat I'm going to tell you if this synopsis does it for you, read the books in the series that come before this one. Technically each book is a standalone, but I feel like I would have enjoyed this even more had I read the others. There is quite a bit of backstory that I had no idea about, and while the author did a good job doing really fast summary, I wish I had read the others. With that said, I enjoyed thhis. It was a fast read, it centers around pirates, immortal ones at that, and I can honestly say I don't remember reading a book with immortal pirates. 

Let's talk about some of the things I enjoyed: 
  • The romance! Caleb and Diana are a great couple and I loved their arc. I so appreciated communication between the two and the trust! FINALLY a romance that makes it work!
  • I liked the dynamic between the pirate crew, I need to read the other books before this in the series, I want those stories. 
  • The book also features a.... being that I've never read about but I can't tell you more because it kind of ruins it. I do hope they are featured again, and I think they will be given some of the things that happened in this one. 
  • I really liked the diversity! I appreciate authors taking more chances on diversity in their books, it can only make them stronger and more interesting. 
  • Diana is a great character on her own and I love that she's strong and confident in herself but truthful enough to be uncertain and be OK with that. Caleb is great, too, he is so old fashioned and I thought it was charming. 
If you're looking for something out of the box, something that there aren't multiple of on the shelf, this is a solid option. Thank you to Entangled Publishing for having me on this tour and providing a copy for review! 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Book Review: My Three Men

Happy Valentine's Day, lovers! Do you have any plans? We don't plan on doing anything because we are bro-kay, but that's OK. I always do a little something for my kids, nothing big, but it's just fun. If you're not busy and need a little somethin', somethin', I've got a read for you! 

My Three Men - Petra Sharpe

No job. No money. No prospects. When I get the offer of a lifetime from a hot stranger, what choice do I have but to take it?

When I shared a hot hook-up with a stranger at a bar to get my mind off my recent job loss, the last thing I expected was for it to turn into something more.

But it turns out that stranger was a high-flying CEO named Tyler, who runs a major company alongside his best friends, Will and Nate. And he needs a favor. His father won’t sign off on Tyler’s ownership of the company until he shows up with a wife on his arm.

Which is where I come in. Tyler’s paying me an insane amount of cash to play at being his fiancee on a vacation with his family. When it’s over, my money troubles will be done with and the company will be his.

But once we leave the city, I realize it’s not going to be so easy to play at romance with someone I’m so attracted to. And, with Will and Nate joining us, he’s not the only one I’m having to fight off feelings for…

When was the last time you read a MMMF romance? I honestly could not tell you when the last romance I read that wasn't just your standard MF, so I jumped at the chance for this when it popped up. In My Three Men, we begin with Anna, fresh off of being fired and out of options, she reluctantly decides to go for a night out on the town with her friend/roommate Suruthi, and that's where we meet Tyler. He's clearly got money, but he's handsome and listens to her woes as she drinks the night away. One steamy rendezvous later, and Anna is back to worrying about her next step because rent is due whether you have a job or not. 

Tyler then has an interesting proposal...literally for Anna, pretend to be his fiance on an upcoming family vacation to dupe his dad. Tyler won't be left control of the family company unless he can show his dad that he's responsible and has "plans for his future", which in his dad's eyes, includes a wife....and maybe kids eventually. Tyler has no interest in getting married, he quite enjoys the lifestyle he currently enjoys. Anna, for her part, is quite reluctant, but when she sees the dollar amount Tyler is offering her, she really would be an idiot to say no. Also, who is really going to say no to an all-expense paid vacation to Hawaii?? Anna soon learns that this technically isn't a family only trip as Tyler's business partners Nate and Will are also coming, both of which Anna is attracted to, and all three men have wildly different personalities, so Anna begins to feel confused over feelings she seems to be developing. 

I won't go over more than that since it's the bulk of the story, but let's talk about some hits and misses for me with this book. I am a fan of books that aren't dragging a story out, though I do wish this one gave us a little more. It felt like we never really got a full ending, some things were mentioned and that was that. I never got a clear explanation of how this MMMF was supposed to work long-term, and maybe that was the point, but I would have liked to have more, at least in that area. It almost felt like the author had more ideas and literally ran out of time so had to tie it up quickly. I also was really tired of hearing Anna's inner thoughts on being fired, how she's getting paid well for this, how she needs money, etc. At first it was fine because it's story development, but we don't need to be reminded of this every few pages, we get it. It makes it seem like her situation is far more dire than it probably is, I mean, go work at McDonald's or something, you'll find a job, calm down. 

I did really like the development of her relationship (is that what it is?) with Tyler. I really wished that we had gotten more from that because it felt like the author was exploring it and then just dropped the idea towards the end. He seemed like a really good guy at heart, and he was capable of the kind of relationship his dad wanted for him, he just didn't want to go there (for reasons never made clear). Also, for the premise of this being a MMMF story, the author also focused on the MF relationships (all three of them) equally and it felt like Anna had something distinct and special with each one, but collectively it was great, too. The steam of level is pretty high, and the book is short, so if you're in the mood for a quick read that will uh.... get the job done, this is definitely one to consider. 

Thank you to Red Clover Digital and author Petra Sharpe for having me on this tour and sending me a copy for review!