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-Letter X– Across the Tracks @AprilAtoZ #atozchallenge #IRromance #BWWM

X is for Xyla (Xyla Turner)

Across the Tracks

4heart

Synopsis
Lisa and Rich had a negative racial experience with each other as children. While Rich did not give it another thought, it helped to form Lisa into who she is and the career choices she decided to make as an adult.

When Lisa and Rich meet as adults, there is an intense attraction. They have to decide if they will act on it and how it will impact their lives.

Opinion
I loved this book like I have not loved another IRR (interracial romance)!!! This story was REAL and focused on how true love can conquer everything. I think a lot of IRR gloss over the negative aspects an interracial couple has to face. There are the sideways racist comments and people that will try to sabotage the relationship for no other reason than they do not want to see the mixed couple together.

Rich probably had the most development to make in the course of the book. He was a product of his environment because his father was so prejudiced. I know men like Rich that have racist families but they do not let that define who they decide to love.

Lisa might not have been overtly racists, but she had her own internal issues that she had to come to terms with and decide what was most important to her.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
I say BUY especially if you are a fan of IRR. This is a story like no other.

Book details
Print Length: 167 pages
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥
Series: None

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

W is for Winter (Winter Renshaw)

Never Kiss a Stranger (Never Say Never)


Synopsis
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.

Opinion
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: 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥

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-Letter V- Kiss of Fire #BBWromance #dragonshifterromance @AprilAtoZ #atozchallenge

V is for Vale (Catherine Vale)

Kiss Of Fire (BBW Dragon Shifter Paranormal Romance): Dragon Shifter Romance 

2heart


Synopsis
Ross Cameron was cursed to become a dragon by a witch because he refused her sexual advances. Years, later, he is able to have the witch killed but the magic that turned him into a dragon remained.

When Arianna comes to his castle to do research about the legend of a dragon in the area, he falls for her. However, he does not know if she will stay once she learns his secrets.

Opinion
I thought the story was a little sad because of all that Ross suffered. He was basically a slave for hundreds of year. Some of the things that Ross was forced to do while under the witch’s spell were depressing.
I felt like they jumped into bed with each other too quickly and the whole story seemed choppy.

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I was not sure how each detail flowed with the rest or if some of the characters mentioned were important to the plot.
Plus, I did not understand why the author had Arianna look so much like Ross’ dead girlfriend.

What was the point? 

As much as he protested (it was mentioned A LOT), I still think a part of him was attracted to her because she looked so much like his dead girlfriend.
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TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BORROW. After reading, I did not finish this book with a satisfied feeling of happy-ever-after. I felt sad in a hope-they-make-it kind of way. If you like dragon shifter romances, you might like this because the storyline was different than many other from the same genre.

Book details
Heat Level: Steamy 🔥 🔥 🔥
Print Length: 153 pages
Publisher: Growling Romance; 2 edition (October 5, 2016)
Publication Date: October 5, 2016

-Letter T- The Red Scot #swirlromance #IRromance @aprilAtoZ #atozchallenge

T is for Turner (Twyla Turner)

The Red Scot (A Curvy Girls Club Novel #1)

4heart

Synopsis
When Payton comes into Bradyn’s gym, she might not like all the fact that there are so many big muscular men there but she has been assured it is a safe space for her to work out. Payton has been dealing with the aftereffects to a trauma that happened in college. Years later, she still has panic attacks and is generally skittish and wary of men in general.

Bradyn is a heavyweight MMA fighter who owns a gym. While he might be a beast in the ring, he is tongue-tied when it comes to trying to speak to women. This is doubly true when the woman in question is the most beautiful woman he has seen. However, every time he tries to talk to Payton, it seems that he scares her.

Thankfully, Payton’s three best friends are there to help along the relationship and give Bradyn the encouragement he needs to break down Payton’s walls and win her heart.

Opinion
I bought this book based on the review from Coco of My Reading Nook 
I don’t think I have read another book where the heroine was so fearful of the hero because of his physique. Given what Payton experienced, I can understand. It was at a very impressionable time in her life that everything happened. Besides her issues with muscular men, Payton was strong, opinionated and usually told it like it was.

I LOVED LOVED Bradyn. When she first walked into his gym, it was a wrap. He was down for the count. LITERALLY. When he worked up the nerve to talk to Payton, he was too cute, stumbling over his words because he was too nervous when trying to speak to her. Never mind the fact that when he would frown at his internal dialogue, Payton was misinterpreting it.

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Because of their respective communication issues, I am glad that Payton’s friends were perceptive enough to help them along. It was not that Payton was giving him mixed signals. She was giving no signal at all. However, they could see that there was a lot of potential if she would open up and give him a chance.

I loved her friends so much, I had friend envy. I especially liked the fact that they could call each other out on whatever they had issues with because nothing was off limits. I wish I lived closer to my besties so that we could go to lunch every weekend and talk about everything under the sun.

When Bradyn and Payton finally come together, I was cheering for both of them. Oh yea, he knew what he was doing. What Payton did not have in experience, she made up for it in enthusiasm.

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I do agree with other reviews that the villain/conflict was predictable. That was fine with me because all I really cared about was Bradyn and Payton getting their HEA. And the epilogue…BE STILL MY BEATING HEART. Because I am geeky girl too, it touched a special place in my heart. I loved it that much.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
BUY. I believe this entire series will be a BUY for me and I am very excited.

Book details
Series: A Curvy Girls Club Novel
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 (it was slow getting started though)
Print Length: 269 pages
Publisher: Novels with Curves (November 18, 2016)
Publication Date: November 18, 2016

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-Letter O- Ready, Willing and Abel- @AprilAtoZ #atozchallenge #romance

O is for O’Rourke (Sarah O’Rourke)

Ready, Willing and Abel 
4heart

Synopsis
Patience had a one night stand with Abel a few years ago. Unfortunately for her, Abel did not perform at his best that night. Begging for a do-over, Abel is trying to convince Patience that he can be better than what she thinks she knows of him.

This time, while Patience is looking short term, Abel is playing for keeps.

Opinion
This is a LONG book. I saw how many pages it was and thought that there had to be a lot of extra stuff at the end. I have not read many books these days that fit into the “saga” category for me.

I read Cain’s Salvation which introduced the family to me. The McKinnon daughters are Harmony, Faith, Patience, and Honor. You do not have to read Faith (Cain’s Salvation) in order to understand this book. It helps for context, but not required. I skipped Harmony’s story, but I want to go back and read it when I have 5 hours to dedicate to it (no exaggeration).

On to the plot…

First of all, I loved Abel. For an alpha male, he had no problem apologizing and acknowledging when he was wrong. Plus, he had to have a lot of patience to deal with Patience.

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She wrecked my nerves a few times. Then, when I was almost at the point of being done with her, she explains why she is such a commitment phobe. I still was not ready to forgive her for constantly insulting Abel’s manhood though.

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There is so much detail to this story that I feel like I know these people. I am laughing with them and cheering when things go well.

As much as I complained to myself about the length of this book, I could understand why it was so packed with information necessary for the plot and ongoing story line of the series. I skipped the second book, but I am going back to read it so that I can get to Honor’s story. I have a feeling it is going to be the best of all of them.

TOW Final Word: Buy, Borrow, Pass?
I say BUY. I bought the whole series and I am not disappointed. It is worth it.

Book details
Print Length: 487 pages
Heat Level: 🔥 🔥 🔥
Series: Passion In Paradise – The Men Of The McKinnon Sisters (4 Book Series)

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