Category Archives: Berkley Trade

True – Erin McCarthy – 4 stars

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The Blurb:

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

My Thoughts:

I was very lucky to meet Erin Galloway at an RT Convention unofficial Blogger event sponsored by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author.  We had a great time and as a part of this event Erin was nice enough to offer us a chance to read this title with no pressure for review.  I have to say I am looking forward to the next one as even though I didn’t like most of the “friends” that surround the main characters I did love his family and the next one is about his brother plus one of the “friends”.

Rory has always been an outsider when it comes to being a normal young woman.  She’s very smart and driven but when it comes to social interaction she’s lost.  An introvert by nature and shaped by life with her introverted father she skipped out on having dates, boyfriends and all the other drama that comes with getting older but in college she ends up being roommates with two women that are much wilder and willing to live life for fun than she has ever been.  When they find out she’s a virgin they decide pairing her up with someone her complete opposite from the outside would do the trick.  She finds out that love, sex and passion are not as easy as she would have hoped but that what people see on the outside is not necessarily the true version that exists if you look behind the facade. She grows up a lot during this story and I have to say I liked how much she was willing to push her family and the man who ended up stealing her heart.  She isn’t perfect and at times is overly dramatic but it never made me roll my eyes as the author does a good job making you see why the reactions fit Rory.

Tyler…  sigh… I have to say I adored Tyler once we got around his tough exterior.  He does things not because he wants to but out of a huge sense of honor that even though they are not always smooth or appropriate are truly heartfelt and moving.  He starts hanging out with Rory to get to know her better and as they start to develop a real relationship also tries to let her go knowing in his heart he is beneath her.  She’s smart, sweet and according to him worthy of someone that is more than the son of a druggie that is going to be lucky to get his EMT certification and then work to build a new life for his two younger brothers.  He’s very stoic about what he deals with from his mom but when the worst happens his only real thought is to protect Rory from being taken down with him.  I adored this tattooed, pierced bad boy with a heart of gold and do want to see more of him.  My hope is we will get to see him managing to get out from under the hole he is in when we see his brother’s story.

This was a wonderful read other than the secondary characters who managed to piss me off because of their behavior.  Neither set of them seemed worthy of the loyalty Rory and Tyler show them other than maybe Nathan but I just felt like slapping them all at times and saying grow the hell up!

Thanks again to Erin at Penguin/Berkeley Publishing for giving me the chance to read this one as I greatly enjoyed it.  Please keep me in mind if you want to send me the next one… 😉

Lush – Lauren Dane – 4 stars

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The Blurb:

USA Today bestselling author Lauren Dane delivers a second serving of sexy in her new Delicious novel, in which taste and temptation make up a sweet recipe…

Mary Whaley has her hands full running a successful catering company and overseeing her supper club. She has everything she ever wanted—or so she thought. When she meets ridiculously hot and very dirty rock star Damien Hurley at her friend’s engagement party, the attraction she feels is overpowering—and she isn’t about to deny herself.

Damien is used to a hard and fast life. He and two of his brothers started a band when they were fresh out of high school—then they hit the big time and stayed there. He’s also a legendary madman on the stage and in the bedroom. But when he meets Mary, something clicks, and the bad boy starts thinking he may have finally found something good.

What begins as a series of fleeting trysts soon gets much more complicated. Damien can’t figure out why Mary doesn’t want more from him. And before long, it’s Damien who wants more from Mary. But it turns out Mary is no stranger to celebrity news, and he’s got a very big job ahead of him: proving that he’s worth more than a one-night stand…

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this one once I got past the formatting issues in the ARC I received.  We have two very strong characters who are dealing with the realities of falling in love and merging two very different lives.

Mary meets Damien at a party for her friends and is instantly attracted to this bad boy musician.  She’s happy in her life as a caterer and supper club owner but this attraction is unlike any other she has experienced.  When they run in to one another at her friend’s wedding they act on this attraction.  She writes this up as a fling nothing else but as they keep spending time together and talking/texting while he is on the road she finds herself getting more and more involved with him.  She’s understandably wary of trusting her heart to this man and portrays their relationship as nothing more than a sexual one even as her heart tells her this could be more.  I liked how she didn’t drop everything to be with him but I also liked that she did work to spend time with him as she became more involved.  The pace the relationship took outside of their sexual one was realistic and the fears she faces as she comes to term with what being with him could mean to her life were well thought out.  I was a little pissed at her reaction to something late in the book but I understood it from a fundamental level.

Damien is shocked to find himself so drawn to this prickly woman.  She’s not afraid to call him on his behavior but she’s also so willing to do anything he asks in the bedroom but not smother him outside of it.  In fact she is unwilling to give him even the impression she wants him as much as he finds himself wanting her.  As he gets to know her better he finds himself wanting more from their relationship but is smart enough to know that if he pushes the issue she’ll leave.  He’s been there done that when it comes to nameless encounters and discovers what he wants is what this one woman has to give him.  The only thing is he wants it all from her and he knows he has one hell of a fight on his hands as his past reputation and his status as a rock star don’t help people believe that he really wants her.  Of course he makes a major mistake but he not only owns up to it he works very hard to fix it with her and her friends.  I’m happy he was strong enough to let her be herself and support anything she wanted to do as long as he could be a part of her life.  It made him incredibly sexy although his dirty talk definitely threw him over the edge for me.   He turned out to be such a sweet man hidden behind the rock star bad boy shell.

 

This was definitely a hot read and I am happy that NetGalley.com and Berkley Trade let me get an early copy of this in exchange for my honest review.

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