‘You made the rules… But you forgot I’m really good at games.’
Casino mogul Alexa Lawson always keeps the lines between her and drop-dead gorgeous bestie Carter Hayes firmly drawn. That is until Alexa’s solution to all her problems is to make Carter her super-hot, fake fiancé! Now Carter’s changing the game—into one that’s white-hot and deliciously dirty. But what happens on one wild night in Vegas might just cost them their friendship… and their hearts.
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon in return for an honest review.
Friends to lovers trope romance with the added spice of the #Dare series.
Set in Las Vegas, the setting didn’t endear itself, neither did the gambling references. Similarly, the characters are hard to like because of their preoccupation with money, and one night stands.
Alexa, runs a casino and enjoys gambling and playing the romantic field, serially. Carter, her longtime best friend, is a technical genius, but again has made serious money by providing security devices for casinos and other organisations.
The chemistry between them is what makes this story readable. I like friends to lovers romances, but the fake engagement isn’t believable because it goes against both of the character’s independent, don’t care what anybody else thinks characteristics.
The romance is hot and sensual, but awkward in parts, maybe to illustrate the difficulties the characters had with their new relationship? The ending is happy.
A heart-warming Christmas story to put you in the mood for the festive season.
All I want for Christmas is you … or you? Eve Halligan is back in her hometown for Christmas after a whirlwind few years touring with her band, the Molotovs. A lot has changed since she left, but two things have stayed the same. One: Eve is head-over-heels in love with Lucien Malikov, the Molotovs’ bad boy lead singer. Two: Lucien is completely indifferent to her. Still, Eve dreams that this could be the Christmas where she convinces Lucien that they’re made for each other. But when childhood friend and local caterer Theo Wright comes back into her life bringing with him festive cupcake and sausage roll conundrums, Eve begins to question whether her Christmas dreams have been wasted on the wrong man…
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
A lot is going on this Christmastime for Eve, as she returns home after touring with a band. Eve has always loved Lucien, he has always used her. Will this Christmas see her finally shed her rose coloured glasses, or will she continue to play Cinderella, to this arrogant, deceitful Prince Charming? Theo, another friend from the past, who she let down to pursue Lucien, hopes so.
This is a lovely story of friends to lovers, and self-realisation, as Eve finally realises her how talented she is, and how fantasy often fails to live up to expectation.
The glitzy glamour of the boyband lifestyle and the importance of family and true friends at Christmas are in sharp contrast in this story. Eve knows she is the reason for the band’s success, for so many reasons, but still, she allows Lucien to put upon her. This makes her frustrating in the beginning, but her final realisation that she doesn’t need anyone but herself to succeed is gratifying.
The friend to lover trope is well written here, and the romance is slow-burning but worth the wait. The festive setting is lovely. There’s a good balance of humour, poignancy and romance in this short story, which delivers a Christmassy romantic tale with a contemporary twist.
Jackie Ladbury writes heartwarming contemporary and historical women’s fiction that is always guaranteed a happy ever after. From spending many years as an air-stewardess and seeing that it really is love that makes the world go around, she determined to put the same sparkle and emotion into her stories. Her life is no longer as exotic (or chaotic) as it was in those heady days of flying as she now lives a quiet life in Hertfordshire with her family and two cats, spending her days making up stories and finding excuses not to go to the gym.
Part of The Sinful Sinclairs. Samantha Sinclair was always Lord
Edgerton’s complete opposite. But as Edge meets Sam again in Egypt, it’s clear
the years have changed her as much as him. So when she blurts out an impulsive,
convenient proposal, Edge’s protective urge compels him to accept. Is it
possible for two such different people to be together and find the happiness
they both deserve?
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
The final part of the #SinfulSinclairs trilogy features Samantha (Sam) and Edward (Edge). Beginning in Egypt in 1814, when Sam and Edge acknowledge to themselves, if not each other there is an attraction deeper than friendship between them. Both are shocked and eight years and a great deal of emotional angst passes before they meet again, in a very dramatic way.
Both are irrevocably changed by their separate traumatic pasts, and this makes Sam brave enough to voice what she wants, but the conflict is just beginning as misunderstanding s and secrets threaten to keep the pair estranged.
The passion is undeniable in this exotically romantic story, and because of their emotional connection, you always know they will overcome the conflicts to their happiness.
Sam and Edge are likeable characters, and their romance is breathtakingly lovely. The perfect end to a memorable romantic trilogy.
Lara Temple writes regency
romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of
After moving around the world as a financial analyst she returned to her childhood love of making up stories and was surprised to discover that other people don’t mind reading them.
She lives with her husband, two
children, and Lord Oscar the pooch who are all very forgiving about her taking
over the kitchen table when she’s writing.
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It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is
rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on
her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss,
Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country
So together, they draft an unexpected
Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s
families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking
Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of
the mince pies have been eaten…?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols, something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!
I received a copy of this book from Aria in return for an honest review.
Mistletoe historically conjures up images of the festive season, and romance for me, and this story beginning and ending with Christmas has plenty of magical mistletoe and romantic kisses.
Leesa and Cary are returning to the UK from a business trip in Australia. Both are career-driven, but whilst Cary reels off his criticisms in the comfort of first-class, Leesa is struggling to survive amidst a boisterous toddler and a lady determined to sort out her cavernous handbag. Battered and a little bruised both mentally and physically she plots her revenge. Then he takes the wind out of her sails, by offering her much needed sustenance, and a surprisingly pleasant insight, into his closely guarded personality. Stranded by uncharacteristically festive weather, Leesa accepts an invitation that leads to something unexpected.
I always find Lucy’s books heartwarming, insightful and romantic, and this one is all of these, with a festive twist. There are lots of characters, and sub-plots, which add depth to the story, and provide clever insight into the emotional baggage Leesa and Cary carry around. There is a good use of the fake date trope and slow-burning passion building between the couple, who are so successful in their professional lives to the exclusion of their personal happiness.
Fate and festive magic play their part in this complex romance, which begins and ends at a magical time of year.
Guest Post – Inspiration for my stories – Lucy coleman
It’s so lovely to be back again, Jane – thank you so much
for the invite! As an author yourself, I’m sure this topic is one you
experience all the time, too!
One of the first questions people ask when they are
introduced to an author is ‘where do you find the inspiration for your
Mine usually come as a one-liner thought and I always carry
a notebook and pen as things will spring into my head when I’m in the car,
queuing in the supermarket and especially when out walking.
I have a folder full of jottings because that one-liner is just the initial spark. What usually happens, is that by the time I’m ready to pick it up and develop it, there will be a pile of little notes clipped together.
One such spark was triggered by a
photograph I saw of Lisbon. This time it was the setting that was going to
inspire the story and as my husband and I headed off for a four-day research
trip, the two main characters were already introducing themselves to me.
Now I’m not a plotter, so the story reveals itself to me as I
get to know the characters. It’s a fun way to write. But sitting on the plane
that day, I didn’t really know what this story was going to be about.
We dumped our suitcases with barely a glance at our gorgeous
hotel room and off we went to explore. We chose a hotel that was only a
ten-minute walk from Cristo Rei – the majestic statue of Christ, similar to the
ones in Brazil and Bolivia. Even though it was on the opposite side of the
river to the town and in a quieter setting, it was top of my must-see list.
That afternoon as we did the uphill climb, I was buzzing and
as I stood looking up at the statue the story was there, in my head. As my
husband went exploring, I sat in the little café making copious notes. We went
there every day after other sight-seeing trips, and it was the last place we
visited before it was time to leave for the airport.
For the first time ever, I have pages of conversation between the characters. On each visit, I saw my characters walking around as if they were really there and I took hundreds of photos so I will be able to spirit myself back to that time and place.
When I returned home, I simply wanted to sit down and write
the story, but other work in the pipeline had to be completed and two other
books edited, first. I’m currently writing my 2020 Christmas book, then one
more little project and Lisbon here I come.
I usually write about locations I know well from previous travels and it’s rare for a location to grab me as Lisbon did, simply from a shot, I saw on TV. Having said that… maybe there’s a pattern developing. In October I’m off to a monastery in Spain after a random idea popped into my head.
That’s the trouble with listening to your imagination – it
knows no bounds!
Lucy lives in the Forest of Dean in the UK with her lovely husband and Bengal cat, Ziggy. Her novels have been shortlisted in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Lucy won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.
Lucy Baudin’s ex did a number on her self-esteem, but it’s time for her to regain control. In her job as a lawyer, she’s bold, confident. But in the bedroom, she needs inspiration to reawaken her inner seductress. Asking her friend Gideon Novak for help seems wrong…yet so deliciously right!
‘Make Me Want’ is a friend to lover story with plenty of sizzle.
Lucy and Gideon are both successful career driven individuals. Gideon doesn’t do relationships, and Lucy doesn’t date since her sleazy ex-lover betrayed her. They have been friends for years, but when Lucy dumped her ex, she lost his friends including Gideon too. Gideon feels he owes her and so agrees to her first proposal, even though he thinks it’s crazy, but when she tells him, she needs a love teacher he should refuse, but can’t.
As her lessons progress, Lucy realises she wants Gideon as more than a friend but he shies away from commitment and she doesn’t want to risk the friendship they have just rekindled. Gideon has always wanted Lucy, and now he has her, can he hold onto her forever?
Dominated by sensual, hot love scenes, Lucy and Gideon’s emotional angst and engagement increases, as their physical relationship burns out of control. Plot twists are limited in a story that predominantly focuses on Lucy and Gideon’s internal conflict. They need to decide what they want from each other and whether they can risk their hearts. Well written love scenes and a fast-paced plot make this a book that’s addictive and easy to read in one sitting. The perfect afternoon delight.
I received a copy of this book from Mills & Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.