Tag Archive | harlequin romance

Finding #Love during #MardiGras is a sure thing #harlequinromance


No Time Like Mardi Gras (One Night in New Orleans)
3heart

Synopsis

Jamie just moved to New Orleans and is experiencing her first Mardi Gras. Colin is a computer programmer who meets Jamie at a bar while helping out his friend the bar owner. After she accepts his offer to show her around Mardi Gras, passions were high fueled by their instant attraction. Plus Mardi Gras licentiousness stoked their simmering flame into a combustible event.

Alas, at the end of the night they get separated.

Knowing nothing more than first names, it was difficult for either party to follow up on the one night stand.

Colin’s ex-girlfriend helps him find Jamie. Meanwhile, Jamie, recently out of a very traumatic breakup with a sports celebrity, cannot decide if she wanted to be found or not.

They navigate their way through the relationship, dealing with ex’s and insecurities. In the end, they discover what is important while confessing their love for each other.

 

Opinion

This is one of those cotton-candy-types of romances. Sweet. Light. Fluffy.

The characters were amusing. I loved Colin. He was a cutie and a nurturer. Not my usual surly hero but a Prince Charming. At least he was a gamer computer programmer. I am more of a geek than jock girl.

However, I thought Jamie was overly neurotic. I know that she has reason considering she went from riches to rags plus no friends when she broke up with her sports celeb boyfriend. But get over it already! It was like she wanted to move on but could not.

Plus she had an annoying habit of micro-analyzing Colin as if he was just like her jerk ex. Since she was fresh out of a relationship, she should have taken it more slowly with Colin. Or at the very least, she should have been more open about (1) why she is relationship shy and (2) what drama she was still dealing with.  It is exasperating that she wanted a relationship with Colin but wanted to shut him out at the same time. No wonder, he did what he did (not excusing him but saying I understand his frustration).

I thought the book happened all in one night/weekend. I was prepared to scoff at the early protestation of love. That was not the case. A plus in my book.

Overall, this is light fantasy romance reading. Series of very fortunate coincidences and they end up with a HEA.

This book in real life: two people have a one night stand during Mardi Gras never to see each other again even though they live in the same city. THE END

Should you buy? Even as annoyed as I got with Jamie, I think there were enough good points about this story to recommend reading. For the most part it is a predictable Harlequin romance.

 

 

 

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J is for Just Joe #atozchallenge #ABCofRomance @AprilA2Z

Jisfor

Just Joe (Harlequin More Than Words) ♥♥♥

Synopsis

Stacy is the executive director of a charity called Bounties from the Garden. She is trying to keep her charity financially healthy to allow her to serve the community and grow the program. Times have been hard, so she is participating in a dance competition to try to win the top monetary prize.

Joe is a realtor and volunteer at Bounties from the Garden. Over time, he realizes that he is falling for Stacy.

The book is inspired by real life heroines.

Opinion

For most of the book, the romance is extremely one-sided in the sense that Joe is only one that is open to the idea of them being in a relationship.

I knew that kissing you would be magic.” Joe

Stacy, on the other hand, is very resistant. She does not have time for romance. She has decided, before she even knew Joe, that she does not want to be in a relationship with him. When he first asked her to dinner, she bluntly told him that she does not date.

I volunteer at a few non-profits in my area and know that it takes a special kind of person to be the executive director of a charitable organization. They have to be doing it for the love of serving others and they need to be passionate about the organization’s mission. For those reasons, I gave Stacy a lot of leeway in her behavior and attitude.

Stacy has had some bad relationship experiences in the past and this causes her to be prickly and bitter. She was not a man-hater, but lacked trust in any man’s ability to stay around. Fear of rejection causes Stacy to lash out repeatedly and in the end she almost ruined her chance at happiness.

Joe has had his share of tragedy in his life as well. In contrast to Stacy, he was more positive and learned that life is precious. He has adjusted his priorities and concentrates on what is most important in life. He sees past Stacy’s cantankerous behavior and focuses on her good qualities.

I like the way your hair sparkles in the sunshine.” Joe

Should you buy? Sure, especially if you want a clean romance. Once you get past being so snappy and irritable, the story is actually kind of heartwarming. I like the fact that the story is inspired by true life heroines. Bravo Harlequin!

Book details from Goodreads
Kindle Edition, 67 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Harlequin Special Releases
series Harlequin More Than Words
Available on Amazon

H is for Harlequin Holiday #a2zchallenge #ABCofRomance @AprilA2Z

Hisfor

Harlequin Holiday Collection: Four Classic Seasonal Novellas: And a Dead Guy in a Pear Tree\Seduced by the Season\Evidence of Desire\Season of Wonder ♥♥♥

Synopsis

Four seasonal novellas

And a Dead Guy in a Pear Tree- Holly owns a bed and breakfast. She finds a dead guy in the Christmas tree she bought. Zach is a reporter. She needs to keep him from finding out about the dead guy because that could mean bad publicity for her inn.

 

Seduced by the season – Sophie is a waitress in Dublin. Clint is a FBI agent investigating an international art theft ring.

 

Evidence of Desire – Olivia is a scientist working at a crime lab and unfortunately for her, she has a stalker. Jacob works at the same lab and is attracted to her but does not want to act on it because he thinks she is too young.

 

Season of Wonder – Allison is a divorcee with a daughter suffering from health problems. She is disillusioned when it comes to love because she had a nasty divorce. David is a childhood friend who is happy Allison is back in his life.

 

Opinion

As most novellas are, these were short on length and substance. Fluff romances. All but Season of Wonder had elements of suspense. I think that Season of Wonder seemed like a Christian romance and out of place after reading the first three.

 

In “And a Dead Guy in a Pear Tree”, Holly’s grandparents brought a lot of humor to the story which made it the most interesting of the lot.

“Seduced by the season” is an insta-romance story because they fell in love so quickly.

“Evidence of Desire” had the most suspense, but Jacob was too weird to me. I do not understand how Olivia was attracted to him.

Should you buy? I suggest buying if it is on sale. It is light romance. None of the stories are particularly outstanding. All are short stories to pass the time. The characters are not so annoying that I have any strong feelings one way or the other.

Book Details from Goodreads
Kindle Edition, 485 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
Available on Amazon

B is for Baby #AtoZChallenge #ABCofRomance

Bisfor

Baby Bonanza (Silhouette Desire) ♥♥

Synopsis

Nick, a cruise ship owner and playboy billionaire, cannot stand a liar. That is what he thinks Jenna did to him and he will not forgive her for it.

I’m not a lonely rich boy looking for love.”

 Jenna sees the circumstances differently. While heartbroken, she had cut her losses. Until she found herself taking care of the result of her lovefest with Nick: TWINS. She came to ask for child support, but as usual, Nick does things his way.

Opinion

This is the standard Harlequin romance: playboy, commitment phobia billionaire, unplanned pregnancy, reluctant dad. And a woman in love with a man who does not trust her.

I did not like Nick. He was a self-righteous jerk for most of the book. He has women throwing themselves at him and he pretends that the only reason he flirts back with all of them is to prevent embarrassing them. I do not buy it. He is setting up his booty call girl of the week.

Plus he was overbearing. When he decides he wants something, he will not stop until he gets it. Jenna is in his crosshairs and he wants her. Objectify much?

She was trouble. He knew it. Felt it. And couldn’t stop himself from wanting. From having.” – Nick

We both feel it. We both want this. Why deny ourselves?” – Nick

 When he decided that he wanted Jenna, she was caught up in the romance of it all that she decided to deal with the consequences later.

Bad idea Jenna. But sometimes a person gets steamrolled into poor decision making.

About half way through the book, she finally grew a backbone. You go girl!

… but that did not last long.

Why does it have to be you who touches my heart?” – Jenna

Yes it all works out in the end. In real life, he would have sent the child support checks and continued his playboy lifestyle. The END.

Should you buy? I am undecided. If you love Harlequin, then you will probably enjoy since the writing style is typical Harlequin. I think I got the book because the cover looked so comical. I did not even read the blurb. I knew there would be at least one billionaire and two babies.

 

Book details from Goodreads
Paperback, Silhouette Desire #1893, 184 pages
Published September 2008 by Silhouette (first published October 1st 2007)
Original title Baby Bonanza
Available on Amazon

 

 

Fake to Forever sounds good to me

From Fake to Forever (Newlywed Games) ♥♥♥

Synopsis

Two years ago, Meredith and Jason married in a Vegas wedding. They thought that they had destroyed all evidence and not filed the paperwork for it to be legal. So it was a surprise when Meredith shows up at Jason’s office asking for a divorce.

Jason’s mission in life is to become CEO of his family’s dysfunctional company. He sees the current situation as a way to leverage Meredith’s request with one of his own to achieve his goal. Moreover, Jason does not want to fall in love because he believes that love ruins everything.

Meredith does not want a man in her life because she has her own plans.

What is left? Steaming off-the-charts chemistry.

Trying to get me drunk so you can take advantage of me?
She snorted, “Honey I don’t need alcohol for that.” 

But is that enough for their relationship to go the distance?

Opinion

This is a book about a romance in the cutthroat industry of fashion.

It seemed at first that all Jason and Meredith had going in their relationship was the physical chemistry. It got to the point that I stopped counting the number of love scenes.

But do not misunderstand me. The story is more than one extended love scene.

Getting Jason to admit how he felt was the hard part. He has all his emotions bottled up so he can avoid rash decision-making like his father. His stubbornness almost got to the point where it was exasperating. He had poor Meredith on an emotional roller coaster ride, but I think he made up for it in the end.

Meredith concedes there is promise in their relationship, as in this sizzling description:

Begging for her fingers to slide through it [his hair] as she pulled him down for a scorching kiss

While Meredith is not trying to fight the attraction, she is still trying to prove to the world (but mostly herself) that she is more than a beauty queen pretty face. I understand that she feels people discount her opinions because of her looks. In the story, her character develops when she begins to own her worth, appreciating what she has to offer in the relationship. I love how vocal she became as well. Communication was not an issue for her.

Yes, there is a HEA. I am happy for that. Meredith was sweet and probably too forgiving (in my opinion) considering how Jason treated her most of the time.  I am not mad at him though, because Meredith had some evolving to do before everything was said and done. All that she experienced brought her closer to that point.

Should you buy? Yes I think you should, especially if you like all things Harlequin. For me, the trying-to-undo-Vegas-wedding trope was well done and added elements using the characters’ personalities heightened the modicum of conflict. The story is moderately paced with enough energy and witty banter to keep the reader engaged. I really liked Jason and Meredith so much as people I was cheering for them.

 

I received ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review