Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Virgin Territory by Lia Riley (Hellion Angels #3)

 Rating: ★★★ +.5 | 149 pages  | Avon Impulse | Contemporary Romance | 03/06/18

I’m a sucker for the virgin hero trope, it’s a rare one and I really like it in M/F romance because it subverts the typical gender expectations and adds an interesting power dynamic to the relationship.

After getting into a bar fight with a scummy lawyer, hot-headed pro hockey goalie Patrick “Patch” Donnelly is assigned to take meditation classes from the high-spirited yoga teacher Margot Kowalski. She’s supposed to show him how to find peace of mind, but after a few weeks together she may have found a piece of his heart.

The lust between the characters is sparked on their first meeting and they take care of the whole virgin hero thing real quick, it's not much of a conflict in the story. The hero and heroine complement each other well as they navigate their budding relationship. There are some fun antics and even a B-story about Patch being sued for something he didn’t do, that was like a mini legal drama embedded in the romance.

Perfect for a one sitting read, Virgin Territory is a shortie but a goodie!

I was kind of annoyed that in the opening scene where Margot is in one of those cafes that doesn’t allow patrons to use their screens. I would never go into one of these. No coffee shop can tell me if I can have a phone or laptop out.

Received as part of the Avon Addicts program! 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Blood Guard by Megan Erickson (Mission #1)

Note:  I started this book before all the Santino Hassell revelations came out. I’m not sure what Erickson's involvement was in any of it and how much she knew, but I do think I’ll be taking a break from reviewing her titles after this one.

Rating: ★★ | 213 pages  | Loveswept (Random House) | Paranormal Romance | 9/12/17 

Tendra Parrish thought she had a pretty normal life until it's turned upside down by the appearance of Athan Gregorie--a 7 foot vampire who informs her that her blood is part of an ancient vampire prophecy and if she doesn't get her blood to the vampire prince all of humanity will be enslaved by evil vampires. As you do. It's Athan's sacred duty to guard her on the journey to the vampire prince but along the way, she finds herself more attracted to her guard than her fated prince.

Okay, so I’m going to use the T-word.

I haven’t actually read any vampire romance except Twilight and it turns out...I’m just not that into it. I just can’t get into the blood thing. Every time Athan came near her body with his fanged mouth I was just like:

Also, the conflict felt kind of cartoon-y. Tendra is basically a McGuffin and I never understood why the bad vampires wanted to enslave humanity. The good and bad vampires have managed to live literally thousands of years without enslaving humans. The humans who know about vampires willingly give their blood and take pleasure from it so it's not like they are in danger of losing their supply. Also, these vampires can't go out in the daytime which I think would make it pretty hard to control humans.

 I’m already a hard sell on paranormal elements and could just never fully engage with this one.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

No Earls Allowed By Shana Galen

Rating: ★★★★ | 354 pages | Sourcebooks Casablanca | Historical | 3/6/2018

In his nightmares, Major Neil Wraxall is still battling the violent war that took the lives of his men and his only brother.  He may have come home a war hero but as an illegitimate son, he is at the beck and call of his father; who assigns Neil the impossible task of bringing the headstrong Lady Juliana back home from the rundown Sunnybrooke Home For Wayward Boys and the twelve rambunctious orphans she is trying to keep in order. Juliana isn't going anywhere . . . so neither is Neil, who soon finds himself whipping the motley crew of boys into shape.

(In other news, I  just got the title of this book...Get it? It's about a home for boys?  No girls allowed. Also, I don't think there are any Earls in this book...Wraxall's father is a Marquess. . . )

No Earls Allowed sort of had the feel of a fun 80's rompy comedy as Neil uses his military know how to get the wayward boys in order . . .while also foiling a corruption plot? I don't usually go for books with kids in them, but there is something endearing about the flurry of chaos that erupts with everyone under one roof.

This series is all about self-assured war heroes meeting their match with plucky headstrong heroines and Lady Juliana is no exception.  Lady Juliana is determined to turn Sunnybrooke into a real home and while she accepts Neil's help, she refuses to let any of the boys slip out of her protection.

Did I mention that this book has a virgin hero? I don't think it's that big of a spoiler because it doesn't have anything to do with the plot and is revealed early on. Knowing the difficulties of being an illegitimate child Neil never wanted to risk having one of his own. His choice to abstain is because of social constraints, something we usually only think about with women and I think it's worth noting Galen applies this to the hero.

 A heartwarming romance that isn't afraid to bring the heat.

This isn't the first virgin hero I've read from Galen. The Making of A Gentlemen also features one but he was like. . . locked up in prison since he was a child.