#BookReview Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason

Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason is a lovely romance novel filled with suspense, a sexy firefighter and one headstrong female lead.

I honestly wish I had read the full series before I got to this book. Even though it works as a stand alone, I felt like I wanted to know more of the background story. For one, there’s a ghost in this story that made me really want to know how the supernatural made it into this book. There’s also so many other romances that are hinted at that I would have love to see come together. Either way, the book is still good but I highly suggest reading the full series to make it to this book.

Theia and Marco are the two leads – a headstrong pilot who finds out more about herself in this journey and a sexy firefighter who does not want to have his family play matchmaker for him. Well, turns out that whole matchmaking idea is thrown out of the window when he meets Theia. We learn a fair bit about Marco’s ex in this story too, which had me wondering if there was a previous book about her.

The duo definitely have a sexy, slow burn romance story. When we do get to the romance, it’s pretty darn hot and suggestive. It honestly felt like the best of both worlds for me – I like slow burn where their relationship builds over time but I also love the sexy and steamy romances. Also, they weren’t the “typical” couple (let’s be honest though, this type of couple is becoming more common…) where he doesn’t want a relationship and she is headstrong, secure with her life and doesn’t need no man. Well, until they meet each other and spend a lot of time with each other. But who doesn’t want a sexy firefighter/paramedic with rock hard abs, amazing cooking skills and a sweet heart?

There’s also this fun “side story” with Theia being related to one of the major families of this series. I’m sure there’s a lot more to this story line throughout the series, especially with the whole ghost thing, but I found it interesting. It’s something I would have loved to know the back story for. The book does give you enough information to get along though.

Overall, this book is full of fun banter and witty comments. I really enjoyed this novel and hope to read more in this series. Debbie knows how to make an entertaining romance book that moves fast enough to keep you interested but slow (burn) enough to leave you grasping onto the novel.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo

 

Here’s some other books you might enjoy if you love Barefoot Beach:
Book Review: Happy Ever After in Christmas by Debbie Mason
#BookReview More Than a Feeling by Sara Richardson
#BookReview For Her Own Good by Tamsen Parker

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#BookReview Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt

If you’re looking for a slow burn romance with action and suspense woven throughout, Tara Wyatt’s Chain Reaction is the book for you!

Why didn’t I read this book sooner? Romance, a Canadian author, and a sexy man on the cover are three awesome traits of this book that make it a must have in my collection. This book has it all – drama, suspense, thrills, romance and some incredibly sexy scenes. Zack is mega hot, Alexa is a Hollywood star looking for something different and they are a match made in heaven! It helps that they’ve been pining after each other in secret for the past year.

This Bodyguard series seems to be centered on, you guessed it, bodyguards protecting a woman and then falling in love with them. It’s kind of the damsel in distress narrative, but with a little more ‘umph’. The duo seem to fall in love way too quickly, but it’s a romance novel so it’s easy to suspend reality on that front. But, the falling in love fast story line makes this book feel passionate and sexy. While it won’t work for all readers, it sure worked for me!

I liked Tara’s writing style – it was fast enough to keep me hooked, it was descriptive enough to make me feel like I’d been whisked away from reality, and it was easy to read. I found myself binging the whole book because I felt for Zack and Alexa and needed to know how it ended. She also wrote Alexa, a character with obvious flaws, really well. I honestly wanted her to have the happy ending she deserves. Buuuuut… yep, a but, I would have loved to have seen her past fleshed out a bit more. She’s a really interesting character who I want to follow more of. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be getting anymore epic side stories about Alexa and Zack (at least… not yet!).

The plot itself is exciting and full of soap opera like turns. Alexa’s Dad is a bad guy, and there’s many more reveals to come. Alexa and Zack decide to ‘fake’ a relationship to not tip off any of the bad guys, but we all know how well that goes in romance novels.

On a side note: This book was easily read as a stand alone. I had no idea what happened in the past books, even though the novel hinted at them along the way, but that didn’t affect the quality of this book. As a reader, I was able to nod along and follow the plot without needing to search up the prequels. I absolutely want to read the two previous books now because this book was just so darn good!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I can easily recommend this to romance lovers who like a little action mixed in with their story.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
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Barnes & Noble

 

Check out Tara Wyatt on:
http://www.tara-wyatt.com/
Twitter – @taradwyatt

 

Looking for more romance books? Check out some others you might enjoy!
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy
#BookReview The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

 

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#BookReview The Cinderella Princess by Melissa McClone

The Cinderella Princess by Melissa McClone is an absolutely cute adaption of the “Cinderella” tale.

Oh gosh – a prince falling for a marketing genius/television producer?! I am in! Seriously, I love marketing and love seeing a story that I relate to. I just… uh… need to find the prince now, right guys? Emily loves her job and wants to move towards being a partner, but that darn glass ceiling keeps hitting her in the face. But now, she has created a Bachelor styled show to find Prince Luc a wife! It reminded me of that fake Prince Harry Bachelor styled show to be honest!

Throw in that handsome prince who has a heart of gold (despite being a supposed “bad boy”) and has his own foundation to help kids! Seriously, Melissa knows how to play to my heart! Luc is the dream prince every girl has dreamed of! He seems to lack some real big flaws, but he does let his family throw some dirt on his name.

To literally quote the book: “Sweet. Tender. Oh my.” That was what I felt about this book – it is seriously the perfect quote. It’s a romantic love story that makes your toes curl AND it’s only about PG/PG-13. There’s no erotica, no sex scenes – just some sweet kisses that will make your heart sing.

My biggest complaint about this book was that it was too short. I would have loved a couple of more chapters to flesh out some of the scenes we didn’t see, but it was still good! Melissa McClone is a remarkable romance author and I definitely want to read more by her ASAP!

Side note: BEAUTIFUL cover. Ugh. She looks like a princess!

This book is apart of a series but each book is by a different author. So in my mind, while it is a series… this book totally stands on it’s own. I hope Melissa carries this book out as her own series too, though!

Overall, I think this is a lovely book! It is soft, sweet and all around lovely! If you’re looking for a contemporary read with the right amount of romance then I’d recommend this book.

Four out of five stars!

I found this book for free through Bookbub or iBooks. I can’t quite remember which one I saw it on, but it was a freebie!

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Indigo
Amazon.ca
Kobo

 

If you love romance, fill out your TBR with some of these books:
#BookReview Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted

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#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker

Mary Jayne Baker’s hit The Perfect Fit is an amazingly British story that brightened up my day!

Mary Jayne is one of my newest, most favourite authors around. Her stories are full of romance and comedy, as well as so much British slang and jokes that I can’t help but be addicted to them! My childhood was full of family members from England, so I absolutely dig all of the British-ness packed tight into this story. Let alone, the fact that this story has an awesome plot and continues the story started in A Bicycle Made for Two.

This time around, Becky Finn is putting on a pantomime for charity! She came up with the idea after taking a special little girl to a special little production of Peter Pan (“Why are pirates called pirates? Because they arrrrrrre.” Seriously, this book is a gem, people!). Becky is engaged to a wonderful man but is feeling left out. She wants kids but he wants to get married first and he is always away. In walks Marcus – a friend who she may have some feelings for. Who will she end up with?! Will the pantomime be successful? Will there be more cheesey jokes? You will have to read to find out.

Although, I promise there are LOTS of cheesey jokes. Lots of innuendos too! My gosh, the innuendos were amazing…

This book definitely far exceeded my expectations. I find that most sequels are hit and miss, but this book did the impossible! It grew the story and made me love it just as much as the first one! I definitely want to continue picking up books by Ms. Baker (Mrs. Baker? Dr. Baker? Whatever). I feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside after reading books like this.

You definitely don’t need to read the first book to understand this one. Yes, there are some characters present from the other book in this series, but it doesn’t affect the story. As a reader, you are given all of the information you need to understand and read your little heart out! That being said, I would highly recommend reading the first book because it’s funny and romantic like this one!

But… you may be thinking… this review is way too positive! There must be some negatives! And there absolutely are. While I think this book is definitely amazing and worth reading, it falls flat with some of the character development. It felt very stereotypical, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I didn’t come for an Oscar-winning movie-esque book. I came for funny jokes, a splash of romance and lots of British slang. If you’re looking for the next Notebook, you’ve come to the wrong place. This book is all about fun! I was smirking most of my way through it because it was such a treat.

On a side note: I did enjoy that there was a lot of realism in this book despite all of the comedy. This book features a gay couple who adopts a beautiful, little girl named Pip and it felt very fitting. It wasn’t used as a joke or a gag, it just fit right in. Throw in the parenting struggles about adopting to begin with (since a straight couple is also trying to adopt) and having life pass adults by. All of those struggles are super real but addressed very well in this book. I applaud Mary Jayne for adding these. It felt really good to see them.

Overall, this book gets five inflatable boobs out of five inflatable boobs.

If you don’t understand the reference, read the book to find out!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

Find out more about the amazing Mary Jayne Baker on:
http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/
Twitter – @maryjaynebaker
Goodreads – Author Page

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#BookReview Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies

Before the Rains by Dinah Jefferies is a lovely romance set in the 1930s.

I love historical romance novels, but I just have a hard time finding ones I enjoy. Lucky for me, Dinah Jefferie’s book swept me off my feet after prancing into my life.

Eliza, a newly minted widow, is sent to India by the British government to take many lovely pictures of the Indian royal family. She’s a photographer, so it is only fitting that she be one of the few to see inside the royal family’s lives. She meets Jay, an Indian prince who takes her eye, and they begin a dramatic love affair. Along the way, there’s an old (creepy) friend named Clifford who also sees Eliza as the apple of his eyes. Chaos then ensues. And to top it all off, somehow, because fate is cruel and interesting, she seems to know more people than she realizes.

This little book holds so much emotion in it. My heart went on a roller coaster as I tried to figure out how this book was going to end. I was connected to this book by the hip – I needed to know how it ended and I was totally obsessed with it. It’s a medium-paced book but it’s packed full of tears, heart ache, romance, and drama.

The plot does get predictable half way through the novel, but it’s not a major con for me.

If I had a negative for this book, it would be the historical accuracy. I’m not a historian, but I feel like this love affair would have been a much bigger deal in the grand scheme of things. It was definitely a cause of strife in the book, but it seemed to go over pretty well at other times. It was… strange? Either way, the book was still a great romance/dramatic read. I would highly recommend it if you love historical romances, romances set in other geographic locations (not just the good ol’ US of A), or soap opera-esque books. This book felt VERY soap opera-y (in a good way, of course).

On top of the amazing-ness of this book, the cover is absolutely stunning. If you were going to judge a book by it’s cover, pick this one! All of Dinah’s books have truly marvelous covers.

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Kobo

 

You can find out more about Dinah Jefferies on:
https://www.dinahjefferies.com/
Twitter – @DinahJefferies

 

If you enjoyed this review (or book!) here’s some other novels you might enjoy:
#BookReview Sex and Death Edited by Sarah Hall and Peter Hobbs
#BookReview The Age of the Child by Kristen J. Tsetsi
#BookReview I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

 

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#BookReview A Bicycle Made for Two by Mary Jayne Baker

Oh, Mary Jayne Baker. It’s like you wrote this book just for me! It’s 100% British and took me back to my youth when my Dad used every British slang word and saying he could all day, everyday. Meanwhile, it’s a cute, comedic romance that reminds me I’m an adult. It’s safe to say, this book was a nostalgia trip for me and a half!

If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be quirky! It doesn’t totally fit into one category for me, and that’s totally okay. It has a lot of comedy, a pinch of romance, some epic drama and lots of fictional heists to follow. Just labelling it one of those words (or genres) would be a tragedy! This book is just too good to be put into one little corner.

So, down to the meat of it: Lana Donati is our lead, but her brother Tom, friends Yolanda, Gerry, and Sue, a sexy television star named Hunter, and the love interest/former pro cyclist Stewart all take part in this story too. This book starts out seeming like it’ll be your typical romance: Lana and Stewart have a date but then… oh yes… the date goes sour. Stewart doesn’t call Lana and life goes to the pits. Her Father passes away and leaves the siblings his restaurant and the Tour de France is coming to town! Big things are coming Lana’s way…

For reference, I’m Canadian (half British, but good ol’ Canada is my home) so I don’t have many British references to give you. If I had to pick one that the masses from North America and the U.K. would understand, I’d relate this book to Coronation Street. It has the fun and quirky characters, the dramatic plot and British-ness I love about the show. But, sometimes that show can get depressing so imagine the funny and romantic storylines.

The banter itself is golden. I started highlighting all of the hilarious comments on my ecopy and I almost highlighted half the book (whoops!).

Since I don’t want to deal with too much copyright, here’s two excellent comments that made me laugh hysterically and giggle and chuckle and all of the fun laugh terms:

“Scott Spen, 26. Looks like a sheep, sounds like a sheep, may actually be part sheep.” Like, dude, who doesn’t look at dating profiles and think stuff like that?! Just me? Cool.

“A honking good pair.” Without context, sounds brutal. Read the book and you’ll be giggling along with me.

Comedy like THIS is what gets me laughing. Witty sarcasm is the best kind of humour, so I absolutely loved this novel.

Did I have negative? Of course I did! No book is perfect.

In some places online, this book was marketed more like a romance, and it’s not a pure romance. It’s more comedic romance, not Hallmark or Harlequin style romance at all. If a reader comes specifically for that romance, they will be let down. But… does that ruin the book? Heck no! That’s just my point of view.

Overall, this book is an absolute delight and totally fits into my wheelhouse! I love Mary Jayne Baker’s writing and will definitely be sticking around for the long haul. This book was marvelous!

Five out of five stars!

I received a book for free from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

Find out more about the amazing Mary Jayne Baker on:
http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/
Twitter – @maryjaynebaker
Goodreads – Author Page

 

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#BookReview China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Oh man, oh man, oh man!

I was SO PUMPED to find the last two books in this series at a local discount book store. I cannot tell you how exciting it was for that kind of find! I absolutely LOVED the first book and I adored the movie, so of course I would want to continue reading this series! Unfortunately, as a student I wasn’t in a place where I could get this book as quickly as I wanted… UNTIL THAT BOOK STORE!

So here I am! A couple weeks after my purchase since I totally binged this book. It was such a pleasant delight and I am happy to say I liked it! Buuuuut… (yep, there’s a but) it didn’t hit me like the first book did. It’s that funny little problem with middle books. It continues the story but doesn’t hit you with all of the good content until the last book. I’m almost certain the last book is going to knock my socks off, but this book just warmed my heart (and not much more!).

To start my review, I have to say that I LOVE Rachel and Astrid but I wasn’t as interested in Kitty’s story (although, she was quite the interesting character). I also have to say I now hate Michael and wish ill of him (what a jerk bag…), I have a strong fondness for Nick, Carlton seems pretty cool and I have a lot of sympathy for Charlie. NOW HURRY UP AND GET SOME OF THESE CHARACTERS TOGETHER KEVIN.

This story has a lot of interesting (and dramatic) plot points. Rachel’s Father is found by Eleanor (because of COURSE she found him) and he’s CHINA RICH. That’s really rich for those of you who haven’t dipped their toes into this magical universe. Rachel’s Father’s wife is not too impressed with his bastard child and wants her GONE… meanwhile Rachel’s half-brother Carlton got into a major accident but becomes quick friends with Rachel. Jumping ship to the next character, Astrid and Michael’s relationship is on the rocks while her former relationship with Charlie is blossoming. Also, Kitty tries to fit into more with society while giving some absolutely hilarious insight into her life.

AND IT KINDA ENDS IN A CLIFFHANGER BUT KINDA DOESN’T.

I found the first quarter and last quarter of this book to be fast and exciting, but the middle was a little slow and boring (as boring as a soap opera could be, obviously). That’s what is making me excited for the last book. You can tell something is brewing and coming down the pipeline but Kevin couldn’t give it to us yet.

I have so many good things to say about this book, so I’ll put some points down to contain my thoughts:

1. I like Kevin Kwan’s references. I am a Canadian with British and French roots, so I don’t know much about Asian culture. The languages, the social cues, and all the other information he gave was awesome! I felt like I was welcomed into this world and could enjoy this book so much more. It also made me really happy to know diverse books like this are being welcomed into the reading space and actually read by people!

2. This book is a crazy soap opera full of romance and drama. AND I LOVE IT.

3. I love these covers. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book based on it’s cover… but come on! It’s gorgeous!

Things I didn’t like:

1. Now that Awkwafina has cemented herself as Peik Lin in the movie universe… I WANT MORE OF THAT CHARACTER. She wasn’t in this book as much and that made me so sad!

2. The middle was too slow.

Overall, this book is FABULOUS and EXTRAVAGENT. I’m absolutely reading the next book soon (especially since I physically have it! I’m so pumped!). I would recommend this book if you love soap operas, books that have movie adaptions (seriously, I LOVE reading a book and then seeing the movie regardless of the genre… it’s fun!), or a book that will keep you hooked and is a lot of fun!

Side note: WHERE IS THIS BOOK AS A MOVIE?! OMG I WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL OUTFITS.

Three out of five stars.

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Indigo

Check out my review of the first book in this seires:
#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

 

If you enjoyed this book (or review!) here’s some others you might enjoy too!
#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade

 

Why not give me a shout out if you read this review?!
Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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#BookReview Prisoner of the Highlander by Kate Robbins

Oh lordie, this book was one delightful read!

Prisoner of the Highlander by Kate Robbins is a truly remarkable romance novel centered in Scotland! Annabella Beaufort and Alexander MacDonald find themselves in a very interesting situation. Alexander has kidnapped Annabelle and is keeping her captive so he can try to get his Father back. His Father, a great King and leader, has been taken by Annabella’s cousin’s husband (who is also royalty). The Highlanders keep Annabella captive, but maybe… just maybe… there’s a spark between Alexander and Annabella.

Call me crazy, but these Stockholm syndrome stories seem to be this strange trope I actually enjoy! I don’t know why I find these stories seductive, because it can be downright weird. Luckily, Kate has made this story not feel creepy (like it could of) but seductive instead! I found myself hooked to every word and I could barely put it down. I ended up binging the final 3/4 of the book because I really needed to know what happened to the lovebirds Annabella and Alexander!

I didn’t need to read any previous novels in this series to understand the story. Honestly, I felt like this was a standalone – but I’m sure there’s a good backstory hidden somewhere. Either way, it’s an easy story to jump into and as a reader, you won’t be confused in the slightest! That being said, I absolutely want to continue reading this series! Kate’s a marvelous romance writer, and I love a good Scottish tale!

This novel has some erotic scenes in it, so it’s not for the faint of heart. The sex scenes alone make this an adult novel. So, reader beware! If you’re looking for a soft, conservative novel then you’re looking in the wrong place. The sex was hot, intense and breaks a few of the traditional rules back in the day.

I’d absolutely recommend this book if you love romance, a splash of erotica, or Highlander and similar stories. It’s a great addition to your library!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo

 

Find out more about Kate Robbins on:
Goodreads – Kate Robbins
http://katerobbinsauthor.com/
Twitter – @KateRobWriter

 

If you enjoyed this book (or review!) check out another book you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Rainbow Vintner by Geza Tatrallyay
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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