Review: Heartless King by Maya Hughes

hk - cover

Title: Heartless King
Author: Maya Hughes
Series: Kings of Rittenhouse #5
Publisher: Self-published by Maya Hughes
Publication Date: April 23, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 3 stars

Two blue lines. That means not pregnant, right? Right? Oh, sh*t.

Five years ago, Colm Frost asked me to marry him and I ran. I ran from my painful past too raw and fresh to escape. He was the only one who looked at me like I wasn’t broken and made me believe it. He made me feel it.

Now, he’s the hot, angry, hockey player on the mend. 

I’m the physiotherapist who’s supposed to get him back on his feet. 

I don’t think our night together was what his doctor prescribed, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dreamt of him every time I close my eyes. I woke up beside him with my body still singing from the way he fanned the flames of my desire, but I couldn’t stay.

His lips on my neck. His hands wrapped around my waist. His impressive…ahem, touch leaving me breathless.

One moment of wild inhibition and it’s come back to bite me in the butt. Kind of like he did that night.

But a baby? Our night was supposed to be a one time thing, closing a door on the future I couldn’t handle. 

Will this new bump in the road be everything we needed to find our forever?

Review:

The beginning of the story started off strong for me. I liked the dynamic of slight hostility between Colm and Imogen. Sometimes he was a little much, but he had been through a lot so he had the right to be upset. I liked the start of them together. Imogen didn’t take any of his crap and pushed him to get back on his feet.

However, a word of warning: do yourself a favour and don’t read the synopsis. What is supposed to be the major issue of the book doesn’t happen until 60% of the way through. For a while I thought I was confusing this book with another one because nothing had happened. Maybe it’s just me, but if something that big happens that late in the book, mentioning it in the synopsis kind of feels like a spoiler. Also the whole “five years ago” thing in the synopsis really isn’t as dramatic as it sounds.

Because of how late the big reveal happened, it felt like everything else in the story was rushed. Especially their romance. I don’t know why, but I never felt like Imogen was fully invested the further the relationship went and despite what Colm says, I’m convinced he’s still following the same patterns of every woman he’s been with before Imogen came along. Imogen was spooked as heck and needed way more time to figure things out. I was just never convinced she was on the same page, but made a choice because time was running out.

About Maya Hughes:

Maya Hughes, that’s me!, can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.

I love writing stories that capture the possibilities of the paths less travelled and enjoy experiencing life through my characters’ eyes.

I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe, traveling with my family, and Jeff Goldblum.

Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Review: Scoring Off the Ice by Stacey Lynn

soti - banner

soti - cover

Title: Scoring Off the Ice
Author: Stacey Lynn
Series: Ice Kings #2
Publisher: Self-published by Stacey Lynn
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads
Amazon | Apple | Nook
Kobo | Google Play

Rating: 3.5 stars

There is no playbook for situations like this.

Sometimes scoring off the ice leads to the greatest rewards.

I’ve had only one goal in life since I first strapped on a pair of skates—make America’s pro hockey league.

I left Denmark. I made it to the top. Now, I’m determined to be the best. No distractions. I eat, sleep, and breathe hockey.

Until my birthday when my teammates convince me to live a little.

But living a little takes on a whole new meaning when less than a year later I’m confronted with a crying baby on my doorstep, drooling on a note that declares he’s mine.

Suddenly, I’m a single dad in way over my head.

There is no playbook for situations like this.

Luckily, I have Paisley.

My gorgeous neighbor, my long-time crush, and now—my savior.

She’s there any time I need her.

Helping. Guiding. Gazing at me with those green eyes that make me feel capable of this after all.

With her at my side, I’m quickly learning there’s more to life than winning a hockey game.

Review:

I enjoyed this book. It was a lighthearted sports romance with two characters who knew they were meant for each other the first time they had an actual conversation with one another. Even if that conversation was Paisley knocking on Mikah’s door to say “hey there’s a baby in our hallway that I’m pretty sure is yours.”

Paisley and Mikah were cute. They weren’t my OTP or anything like that, but I didn’t hate them. They had some clear chemistry and because of Angelo we got to see their relationship develop in a real way. It wasn’t just about their physical connection. We got to see the emotional connection between them as well.

My one big issue is that the ending felt super rushed. The conflict between Paisley and Mikah was solved way too easily. We didn’t even get to see them discuss it. It was just mentioned in passing after they made up that they talked about what happened. I was so looking forward to reading about Mikah explaining everything to Paisley.

Overall, this was a cute sports romance. I enjoyed it enough and if the third book in the series is about the player I think it’s about, then I’ll most likely pick it up.

About Stacey Lynn:

soti - author photo

Stacey Lynn likes her coffee with a dash of sugar, her heroes with a side of bossy, and her wine a deep shade of red.

The author of over thirty romance novels, many of which have been best-selling titles on Amazon, AppleBooks, and Barnes & Noble, she loves being able to turn her vivid imagination into a career that brings entertainment and joy to her readers. Focused on sports romance and emotional, small-town romance, she also loves stretching herself in different genres.

Born in Texas and raised in the Midwest, she now makes her home in North Carolina and loves all things Southern. Together with her ultimate tall, dark, and handsome hero, she has four children. Her life is a chaotic mess that fights with her Type-A, list-making, neurotically organized preferences and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
Amazon | Bookbub | Subscribe to Newsletter

 

 

 

DNF Review: Wicked Liars by Laura Lee

wl - cover

Title: Wicked Liars
Author: Laura Lee
Series: Windsor Academy #1
Publisher: Lovestruck Publishing
Publication Date: April 3, 2020
Genre: Dark Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: DNF/1 star

Liars.
Every last one of them.
The kings and queens of my new high school.
The father and stepmother I never knew. 
Each has more wealth and privilege than I could’ve ever imagined.
Each has a pile of wicked dirty secrets they’d do anything to protect.
 
These people have grown accustomed to getting what they want, and what they want is to make my life a living hell.
 
Too bad for them, you can’t break someone who’s already broken.
Too bad for them, I won’t give up without a fight.
Too bad for them, I’m going to make them pay…even if  it’s the last thing I do.

Review:

Warning: will contain spoilers because I’ll be explaining why I chose to DNF at 62%

Well. This was so not the book for me.

This book was as if Gossip Girl was rated R instead of 14+. The private school. The insane riches. The spoiled kids who get away with whatever they want. The parents who don’t give two shits about their kids but still want to control their lives anyway so they don’t make a mockery of the family’s name. Just add in a whole bunch of swearing and sexual activities. That’s not the problem though. I loved Gossip Girl. It was totally a guilty pleasure of mine when I was growing up. Give me a book like Gossip Girl with a whole bunch of swearing? Yes please. I swear like a sailor anyway.

I mean, the caricatures of what rich people and mean girls are may have been a little over the top, but I’ll survive that. It won’t get me to abandon a book.

My issue with this was the romance. The goddamn romance.

At around 30% is where shit went down. Jazz was at a party. She was going to get a drink with a guy and decided to ask him to watch her drink while she went to the washroom. First of all. Honey, no. NO. You know disaster is coming. Anyway, she gets back and has her drink and dances with him. He asks her to go somewhere private and in the book she says something along the lines of not remembering if she said yes but he’s leading her there anyway. Then he hands her off to Kingston and Bentley. Like here you go guys, got her all nice and roofied up for ya like you asked me too!!!!

Kingston and Bentley start making out with her and touching her upper body while the third member of their group (I don’t remember his name) films. They keep going until she passes out. Then they take of her pants to make it look like they had sex and take some compromising pictures. And it’s all around school on Monday morning.

But the drugging and sexual assault isn’t even what got me the most riled up. IT’S THAT SHE STARTS A ROMANCE WITH KINGSTON. THE GUY WHO DRUGGED HER AND ASSAULTED HER AND THEN SPREAD THE VIDEOS AND PICS TO THE WHOLE DAMN SCHOOL. AND SHE KNOWS IT WAS HIM. The same day after school he comes over and she kisses him. And then they start kind of dating because he needs to control her and get her to trust him in his big plan to take his dad and her dad down for some shit they’re doing that’s illegal or whatever. GIRL WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCK. Get your shit together. You don’t date the man who drugged you. Who assaulted you. My god.

Not even the fact that the prologue started with Jazz sounding like she was ready to die after being killed was enough to make me continue. She’s surrounded by 800 psychos. Clearly one of them killed her or put out a hit or something equally as insane, but I really couldn’t even be bothered to keep reading to find out. Everything about this was one big hell no for me.

 

 

 

Review: Let’s Get Physical by Cassie Cross

lgp - banner

lgp - cover

Title: Let’s Get Physical
Author: Cassie Cross
Series: Love Is… #2
Publisher: Self-published by Cassie Cross
Publication Date: March 26, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 5 stars

Corinna McKnight is a chronically single girl in need of toned abs and a hot date for a wedding that her highly successful, deliriously happy lifelong frenemy will be attending. The weddings is only six weeks away and she doesn’t have much time to make it look like she has her life together. Luckily, her best friend’s boyfriend owns the hottest gym in town and sets he up with Noah, the best personal trainer he has on staff.

Noah Cartier is at a pretty good place in his life. He has a job and he loves working for his best friend, Hinter. Noah is in high demand, mostly for his talent, but sometimes for his body and Hunter has one very firm rule: no fooling around with the clients.

It’s an easy rule to follow until he meets Corinna, who makes him want more out of life and leaves him straddling the line between breaking a promise and betraying his heart.

Review:

Corinna is going to be attending a wedding in six weeks, one that her frenemy/rival will be attending as well. She might not have the heart surgeon husband and the perfect instgram feed, but she is determined to have the hottest body. She decides to find a personal trainer and her best friend’s husband (who owns a gym) sets her up with his best personal trainer on staff.

Turns out, Corinna and Noah know each other from when they were young teens and she used to stay at her grandparents house during the summer, while Noah lived next door. The moment they lay eyes on each other, romance ensues.

Usually I’m not the biggest fan of novellas because everything develops so quickly. Characters fall in love in the blink of an eye or the turn of a page. However, this was such a feel-good novella. I flew through it and loved it.

This was the cutest novella. If you’re looking for an adorable romance read that you can easily get through in a day and is likely to boost your mood, then definitely check this one out!

About Cassie Cross:

Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

 

 

Review: His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey

48255872._sy475_

Title: His Royal Highness
Author: R.S. Grey
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by R.S. Grey
Publication Date: November 14, 2019
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 2.5 stars

I’ve spent eight years wishing I’d fall out of love with Derek Knightley. Blowing out birthday candles, chasing after shooting stars, making it rain spare change into mall fountains—every time it’s the same wish: forget about Derek.

But the day he walks back into my life, I realize there are two things time has yet to soften: my feelings for him and his chiseled jawline.

It’s infuriating that my heart still races when he walks into a room. I refuse to fall prey to old unrequited love, so I decide the less I’m around him, the better. Avoidance is key.

Unfortunately, Derek isn’t going to make it easy. As a teenager, I would have crawled on my hands and knees to attract his attention. Now I can’t seem to escape it.

I’m not sure why he’s bothering. He’s not just out of my league—he’s out of my tax bracket. As the sole heir to the Knightley Company, he’s as close to American royalty as you can get. As for me, I’m just a part-time princess at Knightley’s flagship magical theme park.

I spend my days playing make-believe, but Derek has no use for fairytales. His unwavering confidence makes it clear he thinks I’ll surrender in the end.

He’s just biding his time.
Making me sweat.

His Royal Highness always gets what he wants.
And he wants me.

Review:

It physically pains me to rate an R.S. Grey book at 2.5 stars, but here we are. In my eyes she is the queen of writing laugh out loud romantic comedies with heroines that are adorably relatable and heroes that make you swoon. Unfortunately, His Royal Highness just didn’t vibe with me.

The two things that bothered me most about this book with the main female character and the romance. Whitney and Derek first met 8 years ago when she was interning at the park. She was 18 and he was 28. He was her mentor. Doesn’t that sound like the beginning of a great age gap romance? Yes. Was it the beginning of a great age gap romance? No. Basically she had a crush on him and he then left to go work at the theme park in London.

Fast forward 8 years later and Derek comes back to the Unites States and is back working at the park. Has Whitney gotten over her school girl crush on Derek? No. Is she dramatic and acts immature? Yes. Does she overreact in thinking that he basically abandoned her when all there was between them was her crush and it’s not like he left her in the middle of a relationship? You bet your ass she did.

Listen. Age gap romances are my weakness. Sign me the fuck up for one of those any damn day of the week. But even though she’s now 26 and he’s 36, she somehow reverted back to 16 with her attitude and immaturity and that just wasn’t for me. Nothing grinds my gears more than adults who act like children.

I’m sorry. This one just wasn’t for me. Over 10 R.S. Grey books under my belt with mostly 5 stars, but I just couldn’t hop on board for this.

About R.S. Grey:

Image result for r.s. grey

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughter, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga!

Newsletter | RS Grey’s Little Reds Facebook Group
Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter