-Letter W – Never Kiss a Stranger @AprilAtoZ #atozchallenge #stepsiblingromance

W is for Winter (Winter Renshaw)

Never Kiss a Stranger (Never Say Never)

Addison and Wilder meet using a dating app (similar to Tinder) and agree to one night. No questions asked. No last names.

The next day, Wilder decides that he has not had enough of Addison and they keep hooking up.

Then, they find out their parents are getting married and they will be step-siblings.

When I read the book blurb, I imagined the characters differently. While I appreciated the explosive between-the-sheets chemistry, that is not enough to base an entire relationship.

I thought that Wilder seemed immature. He was too much of a dominating alpha male and super needy at the same time.

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Even with that, I was planning on rating the story 3 hearts ♥♥♥.

THEN, the whole plotline where their parents were getting married emerged. Up until now, I was only slightly annoyed with Wilder’s erratic emo tendencies.

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Addison and her sister freak out as if being step-siblings would make them appear to be hillbilly. Ridiculous!

By this time, she is in love with Wilder.

She is going to throw it all way FOR WHAT?

Nothing that made sense to me. Hence the story lost another heart ♥.

Step-sibling romances are not taboo if they did not live/grow up together. They met as ADULTS! It was not that serious. A good PR person could have been able to spin any possible fallout if there had been negative publicity.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BORROW. The story is okay, but the attempt at conflict was overly dramatic and fell short of its intended purpose in my opinion.

Book details
Print length: 274 page
Series: Never Series Book 1
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥


-Letter P – REKINDLED @AprilAtoZ #atozchallenge #firefighterromance

P is for Paige (Paige Tyler)

REKINDLED (Dallas Fire & Rescue)

Jax is a firefighter who just saves his best friend’s sister from a hotel fire. He thinks Skye is sexy but did not make a move because he fears what his best friend would do to him.

Skye is trying to start a new business in her hometown while trying to steer clear of her overbearing brother. She convinces Jax to help her when she needs a place to stay. While in close proximity, their emotions reveal feelings that they have had for each other for years but never before acted on them.

This is my kind of book! My favorite trope is friends to lovers!
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Jax and Skye were not besties, but friendly to each other. I still count this as a friends-to-lovers story because they knew each other for a long time before they got together. Plus they knew each other on a level outside of the romance. I believe this will contribute to a higher level of relationship success.

While I don’t mind violence (not gratuitous) in the story, I did not want Jax and Skye to have any conflict. The stalker aspect of the story was a bit over the top for me considering how sweet their love story was. I felt traumatized, like I had been the one kidnapped.
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Other than that, the story flowed well. Skye’s brother Dane was super protective, but knew when to back off. Once they got together, he was pretty accepting of their whole romance. I hope the author has plans to write his story in a future book. It will be on my TBR list.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BUY. Jax is a HOTTIE FIREFIGHTER. Need I say anything else?

Book details
Print Length: 167 pages
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
Series: Dallas Fire & Rescue
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥


-Letter G- Geek Bear (Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance) #bearshifter #paranormal #romance @aprilAtoZ #atozchallenge

G is for Grove (Scarlett Grove)

Geek Bear (Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance)

Geek Bear (Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance) (Rescue Bears Book 6) by [Grove, Scarlett]

Corey decided that he was not going to fall in love or marry his fated mate because he thought it was “just a bunch of heartache and drama”. He was fine for others to find love and happiness, but not in the cards for him.
Willow is an author who signed up for as a way to do research for a book she was writing. Months later, she received a message saying that she was matched with her fated mate. She was intrigued enough to travel to check him out.

I do not know exactly how to describe this story. It was cute enough. While I understand Corey was annoyed with his friends for setting him up, he was such a jerk to Willow in the beginning. It was only after he realized she was in danger that his protective instincts were awakened.

I know I am supposed go along with the idea that the “fated mates” theory makes up for any way the hero treats the heroine in the past, but in this instance I felt that his negative attitude just rubbed me the wrong way. He was hot and then cold and then hot again.
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To Willow’s credit, she did try distance herself from him since he could not figure out what he wanted.
In the end, I think I would have not forgiven him for how he treated her in the beginning.

YES! I know this is fiction, but as I have said before, I get really involved in the characters’ lives. I don’t care if the author has her heroine forgiving the hero, I am petty enough to still be holding a grudge against an imaginary character. He does try to redeem himself in the end, but I was done with him by then.
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TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
If you like books about bear shifters, then you might find this book enjoyable. This is part of series and I think if I had read the previous books, I would have enjoyed this better. As it was, I did not really connect with Corey as a hero and book boyfriend. The secondary characters seemed interesting enough that I want to read their stories though.

Book details
Series: Rescue Bears Book
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 126 pages


-Letter E- Protection – Shifters Forever Worlds #review #bearshifterromance  #romance @aprilAtoZ #atozchallenge

E is for Elle (Elle Thorne)

Protection: Shifters Forever Worlds
Protection: Shifters Forever Worlds by [Thorne, Elle]

Grant is a grizzly bear shifter living in Bear Canyon Valley. His bear thinks that Chelsea should be his mate but he is worried that she will not accept his bear.

Chelsea has the hots for her client Grant. He gets his hair cut religiously by her every few weeks even though it does not really need it. She would like to have more than just a crush, but decides her secrets make it too dangerous to risk getting involved.

I liked the story, but I had issue with a few things (had to deduct a heart ❤ for it).

During the first physical encounter between Grant and Chelsea, she was still recovering from roofie drugs given to her by one of the book’s bad guys. My ick flag was raised because at first I thought she was unconscious.
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I don’t care if his bear was telling him that she is his mate, unconscious means unable to consent. Actually being under the influence of anything (including drugs and alcohol) mean no ability to adequately consent. He and his bear needed to wait until she sobered up before making any moves.
Chelsea made too many assumptions. I guess the author was trying to get the reader to sympathize with her because she was a victim of domestic abuse, but it backfired in my case.
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Even though they have been semi-flirting for months, I still felt this was an insta-love story. She barely talked to him before and now in a matter of days, she loves him and wants to be his forever mate. It was too soon for me especially since she was not emotionally healed from her previous abusive relationship. I wish there was some indication that she was ready for a relationship instead of feeling like she was just looking for someone to protect her from the bad men in her life.

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TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BORROW. I think that if this is a Kindle Unlimited book, it is worth picking up for the afternoon. I think it was free on Amazon when I got it. If you decide to buy, I would not recommend paying more than $ .99 for it. The box set might be worth buying though.

Book details
Series: Shifters Forever
Heat Level: Steamy 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 186 pages
Publisher: Barbed Borders Press (January 24, 2015)
Publication Date: January 24, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

-Letter D- Seb by Cheryl Douglas #romance #review @aprilAtoZ #atozchallenge

D is for Douglas

Seb (Steele Brothers #3)


Seb restores old cars and has a reality show.
Skylar asked Seb to restore her uncle’s car because (1) he is a fan of the show and (2) he is seriously ill. She does not have the money to pay for the restoration but she offers to work for him to pay off the debt.

The story moves along well but Skylar makes some unwise decisions that negatively affect the relationship. As always, I try to give the girl the benefit of the doubt, but in this case I think Skylar made an idiotic move. She knows Seb is a hottie with a great personality, but she would make poor decisions to mess that up.

I think when there is instalove (as in the case in this story), neither party should be disappointed when there is a lack of trust.
They went from strangers to love in 0.2 seconds even though he is commitment shy. Now her feelings are hurt because he does not trust her.
It’s her OWN fault!

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I understand how it happened, because I have a friend who did something very similar. However, that does not excuse the fact that Skylar should have realized that withholding information could lead to loss of trust. I think that Seb had a good basis for falling in love with Skylar, but I understand how he had been hurt before would affect his view of her actions.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BUY. And I say that even though I know you are probably going to be rolling your eyes when you get to the bad decision making on Skylar’s part. Plus, there were a couple of surprises that will make you wonder where the story is going. This book is part of a series and I am ready to read more about the Steele brothers. They all seem very yummy!

Book details
Series: Steele Brothers
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 237 pages
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC