Jasmyn's Reviews

This includes all my reading reviews starting in 2014 - from both sites that I write for. Hot Off the Shelves and Bitten by Romance. Hot Off the Shelves is a catch-all (minus the super spicy stuff) of young adult, new adult, and adult books from a variety of genres. Bitten by Romance is an adult review blog for, well, anything romance.

The Edge by Fleur Camacho

The Edge: (Ignite, Book 1) (Ignite Series) - Fleur Camcho

This book had a great set-up. We start with a hunky guy walking out of a burning field, rushed to the hospital, and Laura needs to know what happened. Somehow, he's not hurt nearly as bad as he should have been. But he's being hunted, and it puts Laura and the ones she's closest to at great risk.

Definitely an eye-catching story, but it wasn't executed as well as it should have been. There are too many things that just "happen" with no explanation. Like when he runs from the hospital - without unhooking the machines or IVs, without any alarms of any sort going off, that there wasn't a police officer waiting to talk to him about the accident..... It was something that really stood out to me. There are enough of these little mistakes that I really started to get distracted.

I really wanted to like this one, but I don't think I'll be continuing the series.

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/the-edge-ignite-1-by-fleur-camacho.html

The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken

The Bachelor Auction (The Bachelors of Arizona) - Rachel Van Dyken

This was an adorable spin on a Cinderella romance. Jane was the perfect mix of Cinderalla and modern woman. She was introverted enough that I could easily relate to her hatred of going out on the town, but not so shy that she didn't stand up for herself when push came to shove. She even owns a cleaning company - a great modern twist on the theme - and loses a shoe along the way. The downside was Brock (I think). The hero was great. I loved him and his family, although they got a bit over the to towards the end. It was the names that did this book in for me. Even by the end I couldn't keep the brothers apart. All with similar names that start with B, and we meet them within pages of each other. The similar names just sort of merged into one giant Wellington son instead of one older brother and two younger twins. I made a cheat sheet half way through so I could keep them straight. I didn't like it. The story was a lot of fun. There were some sad moments as both Brock and Jane deal with their past and how it has changed the way they cope with the present. There are happy and laughing moments that I didn't want to see end. But the whole brother name thing just hung over it all. I'm hoping that book two helps to separate the brothers a little more for me because they were all a lot of fun and I really want to see how their separate lives all intertwine as they find their love. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/the-bachelor-auction-bachelors-of.html

An Address in Amsterdam by Mary Dingee Fillmore

An Address in Amsterdam: A Novel - Mary Dingee Fillmore
I have read quite a few stories about World War II, but most were about events that took place in Germany or England. This was a very different one for me, taking place in Amsterdam. A place where the Jewish population was almost wiped out by the end of WWII. The people of Amsterdam never thought the war would come to them. They had lived peacefully for years and hadn't gotten involved in WWII. They thought it was pass them by.
 
But as we know, it did not just pass them by. Rachel Klein, a young Jewish woman, finds herself caught up in all of it. As she watches the Nazi's take over her city and country, she knows she can't stand by and watch it happen. When her friends and neighbors are hauled away to placed unknown to never be heard from again, she turns from an innocent girl without many cares, into one of the best messengers with the resistance. 
 
Putting her life on the line countless times to help fellow Jews and those that support them, the time comes where it's too dangerous for her to continue and she goes into hiding with her family.
 
This was an incredibly uplifting story of how one person can make a difference in other's lives. But it was also an incredibly sad tale of one of the worst times in human history. Well written, and from what I can tell, well researched, An Address in Amsterdam was a chilling look into human nature and history that we should never forget.
Source: http://www.hotofftheshelves.com/2016/11/an-address-in-amsterdam-by-mary-dingee.html

Do It Yourself by Nikky Kaye

Do It Yourself: (A Hot Starting Over Romance Novella) - Nikky Kaye This is the ultimate handyman romance come to life. There is just so much hot goodness in the little novella that I read it twice - back to back - which is unheard of for me! The witty and pun filled dialog was too good for me to walk away after the first time. And, like a good meatloaf, the seconds were just as good as the firsts. But this book isn't all fluff and sexiness. Somehow, Nikky Kaye threw a couple little life lessons in there without me even noticing them at first. Sarah has a lot on her plate, and her way of dealing with things is to do them all on her own. I was rather impressed with her home improvement abilities and skill with tools. But she does run into a project that's just too far beyond her skills and youtube tutorials. So she hires a handyman to show her how to do it. Which I love! He isn't doing it all for her, but teaches her along the way. And he's such a great teacher too! But handyman Chris isn't exactly what Sarah thinks at first. She jumps to conclusions, feelings get hurt, and everyone comes out of the experience having learned a little lesson. So pick an afternoon and just curl up with Do It Yourself. Tell everyone you're furthering your home improvement methods and tune them out for a couple hours. You won't regret it!
Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/do-it-yourself-by-nikky-kaye-review.html

Do You Hear What I Hear? By Margaret Brownley

Do You Hear What I Hear? (Second Chance at Star Inn) - Margaret Brownley

The best in this little collection so far! I loved Sally, and the one that got away theme is always a favorite of mine. Sally is spunky and has a mission in her life. Life just may not agree with it. I loved her go-get-em attitude and would love to be bestfriends with her.

Rick was a tad cliche. But I've come to expect a little bit of that in a Christmas romance. He's always regretted letting Sally walk out of his life, but he still doesn't see any other choice. Their life goals were just too far apart. But what if all that changed? What if they could align their views and goals and find a way to make it stick this time?

A great second change romance with some really fun characters.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/do-you-hear-what-i-hear-by-margaret.html

Silent Night, Star-Lit Night by Ruth Logan Herne

Silent Night, Star-Lit Night (Second Chance at Star Inn) - Ruth Logan Herne

Another sweet glimpse into the Star Inn and Christmastime. Once again, plans go wrong and a very pregnant Mia finds herself stranded at the Star Inn with her friend, Jed. The set up for this was cute, but a bit cliche. With Mia's husband having died, Jed seems to swoop in to rescue her from all of the things. Yes, all of them. It was a bit much.

But Mia does her own fair share of saving while stranded in the little town. When a blizzard keeping the electricity out, her Red Cross training comes in handy in a very unusual way - and two little kids will never forget this Christmas.

I enjoyed the story, but it justs didn't stick to me. It wasn't as memorable or sigh-inducing as I had hoped it would be.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/silent-night-star-lit-night-by-ruthe.html

Room at the Inn for Christmas by Mary Connealy

Room at the Inn for Christmas (Second Chance at Star Inn) - Mary Connealy

This is one book in a series that are all centered around the Star Inn. This one seemed like the perfect place to start with an introduction to the Inn, it's family, and the town of Heywood. And it was a great place to kick off.

This story starts off on a roll with Amanda returning to clear up her father's estate after his death. She's a big city girl that's always on the go. When she runs into her old crush, Anthony, she's in for quite a surprise. Not just because he's hot as all get out and seems genuinely happy to see her (at least at first), but his appearance is the first in a string of lies that begin to unfold.

Now, I won't be giving too much away when I say that Amanda is about to find out that pretty much everything she heard after she moved to the city about her hometown and family was all lies. Really big lies. She is perfectly devastated and confused, her reaction was everything it should have been. But Anthony doesn't really buy it. Why didn't she come see for herself, or call, or something.

Eventually the two find their way through the sea of lies and come up with a reason for why they were told to her. I really really really didn't buy the reason. None of it felt right, and they even admitted that they were just guessing. But it threw a hole into the story that I had a hard time getting out of. I kept going back to "why?" And I never got an answer that seemed even remotely believable to me.

I've already dove in to the next books in the collection. I'm excited to see what happens at the Star Inn this holiday season.

**This book was received in exchange for an honest review**

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/room-at-inn-for-christmas-by-mary.html

Hometown Holiday Reunion

Hometown Holiday Reunion (Oaks Crossing) - Mia Ross

Another great story from Mia Ross - she is the ultimate queen of Contemporary Inspirational Romance. Returning to Oaks Crossing to visit the girl of the Kinley family, Erin is setting off on her own to set up a new pet shot in town. When she goes to see the space she might be buying she's surprised to find out it's owned by Cam (he's equally surprised). They haven't really seen much of each other since they tormented each other in school.

But life has changed both of them, although it does take them a little bit of time to realize this, but old impressions can be hard to change. Gradually, their lives begin to intertwine more and more. The best thing about Mia Ross's romances, is that I could see them happening to anyone, anywhere. The couples come together so naturally that that you just sit back and enjoy a very pleasurable ride.

Now, things aren't all sun and roses. Every relationship will have its bumps, misunderstandings, and differences. Those are all present as Cam and Erin discover their new feelings for each other and learn their way with each other.

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/hometown-holiday-reunion-oaks-crossing.html

A Vampire for Christmas by Felicty Heaton

Vampire for Christmas - Felicity E. Heaton

Demons, vampires, and hunters are collide in Vampire for Christmas. This was an interesting combination of light-hearted with a bit of humor mixed with a darker paranormal element. Rafe and Shannon have been partners, hunting down random baddies - usually demons - for several years together, but now Shannon is being transferred and Rafe may never see her again. He's determined to show her his true feelings before she leaves - hoping he can convince her to stay with him.

Enter demon. And not just any demon. This one reminded of Slimer from Ghostbusters - only with a much worse attitude. While dangerous, the demon was a bit comical with his ooze and overall grossness. Heaton was able to use this to set up some really great scenes for Rafe and Shannon to interact and give them a chance to really open up to each other.

The biggest thing standing in their way is Shannon's past and her prejudice against vampires in general. She has a good reason, but she still isn't sure about bringing her guard down around Rafe even though they have been partners for years.

I enjoyed this story a lot - especially the demon, he's going to stick with me for awhile. I had a hard time really getting into Shannon's mind though. She ws closed off to the point that even as a reader it was hard to see into her, and I wanted a little more of that.

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/vampire-for-christmas-by-felicity-heaton.html

How to Impress a Marquess by Susanna Ives

How To Impress A Marquess - Susanna Ives

These two really cracked me up. They are such opposites, and you can see the opposites attract coming from a mile away, but it was done quite well. Again, the characters were all a little too extreme, but there were immediate consequences from Society which made the situations a little more believable.

Lillith is an artist, and she's proud of it. She supports other artists and writes a popular serial under a pen name. This is very important, I loved how this serial played a part in the story. At first I thought it was just another aspect to Lillith's character, but it's the way it all plays out that made it almost another character itself. Lillith is not your traditional lady by any means. She's quirky and honest, she's bursting with energy and sweeps everyone up along with her.

George is quite the opposite. He's calm and respectful, making sure his duty comes before anything and everything else - including his own happiness. But Lillith breathes life back into him and his family when Society insists she joins in at a highly-attended house party.

This house party is also another character unto itself. It's the perfect backdrop for the antics and adventures that Lillith and George find themselves caught up in. There was a good dose of humor and some very memorable moments - but then we got a little out of control. From the tail end of the house party through the very end of the book, things went too far for my taste. It was no longer a light humor, but something more forced and not as much fun.

Once the ending hits, it made up for the previous craziness a little. The way it all seems to wrap back up around itself and put the right finishing touches to the story were great.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/11/how-to-impress-marquess-by-susanna-ives.html

A Present for Christmas by Shiloh Walker

A Present for Christmas - Shiloh Walker

These two really cracked me up. They are such opposites, and you can see the opposites attract coming from a mile away, but it was done quite well. Again, the characters were all a little too extreme, but there were immediate consequences from Society which made the situations a little more believable.

Lillith is an artist, and she's proud of it. She supports other artists and writes a popular serial under a pen name. This is very important, I loved how this serial played a part in the story. At first I thought it was just another aspect to Lillith's character, but it's the way it all plays out that made it almost another character itself. Lillith is not your traditional lady by any means. She's quirky and honest, she's bursting with energy and sweeps everyone up along with her.

George is quite the opposite. He's calm and respectful, making sure his duty comes before anything and everything else - including his own happiness. But Lillith breathes life back into him and his family when Society insists she joins in at a highly-attended house party.

This house party is also another character unto itself. It's the perfect backdrop for the antics and adventures that Lillith and George find themselves caught up in. There was a good dose of humor and some very memorable moments - but then we got a little out of control. From the tail end of the house party through the very end of the book, things went too far for my taste. It was no longer a light humor, but something more forced and not as much fun.

Once the ending hits, it made up for the previous craziness a little. The way it all seems to wrap back up around itself and put the right finishing touches to the story were great.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/10/a-present-for-christmas-by-shihoh-walker.html

If Santa Were a Cowboy by Melissa Cutler

If Santa Were a Cowboy (One and Only Texas) - Melissa Cutler

If Santa Were a Cowboy got off to a bit of a slow start - but by the end I was in love. Paul and Kelly have a history, and it's one full of hurt and rejection - this gets mentioned a bit too much sometimes. I knew what happened and it just kept being said over and over. Both characters are running in their own way - running from their past. Paul just did it a lot sooner than Kelly.

But now Kelly is hoping that Paul will consider taking a bit of his past back - specifically her. She doesn't go about this in the best way, and Paul isn't afraid to let her know. There's some really great dialog and I love how into being Santa Paul gets - you can tell he really loved the tradition.

The character that stole the show though - the dog. I want her. She's just too adorable and is eventually the reason for the HEa - but I won't say too much on that. Overall, a cute Christmas story.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/10/if-santa-were-cowboy-by-melissa-cutler.html

We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly

We Are Unprepared - Meg Little Reilly
A book based on the storm of the century, a story that has been in the making for months, a storm that is set to change the very geography of the East Coast. I really wanted to see what this storm had in store and how our characters and their small town would weather the storm. I love survival stories, and this one seemed like it would be especially good.
 
Unfortunately, the storm never seemed to arrive. Well, it did eventually, but it took far longer than I expected. Instead we had a story about a couple that really shouldn't have been together, and the way they come together and then fall apart all over again. I found it difficult to like Ash or Pia, so relating to their struggle. But we still had the storm (the anticipation of which was doing a number on everyone).
 
But it kept taking so long for it to get here! Only the last third of the book was about the storm itself and its aftermath. Once we get to this part, I started to enjoy the story much more. There was excitement, some coming together, and some tearing apart. It really was the story of the century, with a perfect combo of devastation. It seemed to last forever, and the recovery was still ongoing. I loved this part, I really needed it to come sooner though.
Source: http://www.hotofftheshelves.com/2016/10/we-are-unprepared-by-meg-little-reilly.html

Big Package by Opal Carew

Big Package - Opal Carew

This was just downright sexy and hilarious, in all the most perfect ways. It starts with a bang - with a "big package" that is dropped off by the ex-boyfriend. This package is just the best thing ever - in all the wrong ways. I was cracking up every time it was brought back into the story.

Full of great opportunities for our characters to re-connect, a snowstorm and a cabin are the perfect place to get it (and I mean all of it) done. There's some fun toys and lots of great one-liners. But in the end, it's still a really great romance. Just enough comflict to make it a worthwhile read, but lots of hot smexiness to make it all better.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/10/big-package-by-opal-carew.html

Once Should Be Enough by Nikky Kaye

Once Should Be Enough - Nikky Kaye

This was a super-hot, one night read, novella. I loved it! It gets the standard "I want to know more" ding that most novellas get because I get too attached and want to see what happens with the rest of their lives. I'm so glad that I picked it up though because I found a new author to stalk!

Once Should Be Enough looks deep (surprisingly deep for its length) look into what turns us on. Cass is about to get a lesson in kind and that everyone isn't the same. As Will convinces her to open up and let him show her how to "enjoy herself", she really starts to come out of her shell.

There are just enough tense moments where I wondered if it was going to work out to balance the sexy scenes and really give the story some depth. Nikky Kaye did a great job of putting a lot of story, romance, and emotion into such a small package.

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/10/once-should-be-enough-by-nikky-kaye.html

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4) by J.R. Ward (2009-09-09) - J.R. Ward

I wasn't a fan of this one. There were just so many things that didn't quite add up to me and it still bothers me. Butch seems to have been given part of the Omega - but the Omega can't find him? Thinks he's dead? Doesn't add up - especially as we find out more about how souls return and Lessers are created. I couldn't find a way to believe any of ti.

The part I did like was Vishous and learning more about his character and abilities. He's really quite fascinating. A lot of this book was taken up with characters that weren't our main couple. I still struggle with John. I just don't see him as an adult, but more of a 13 year old boy. Learning more about Rehv was amazing. I hope he gets his own story down the line - I think he deserves it.

All in all, this just wasn't the one for me. I'm going to move on and get started on the next because I think it's going to be much better, and I still want to see what happens in everyone's lives.

Source: http://www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/10/lover-revealed-by-jr-ward.html

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