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Momma Says to Read

Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.

Lost potential

Hard Cover - Jamie K. Schmidt

This story had the potential to be so much more than what I found in its pages. While it did have some amusing dialogue at times, it fell short for me. From the blurb, I expected some drama surrounding a steamy video and maybe even some intrigue surrounding blackmail over that video. As it turned out, the video in question presents an issue for all of a hot minute and the story is more about Dawn hiding her less than prosperous circumstances from everyone, including Rory. In the end, Dawn is more tedious than quirky and Rory is an arrogant show-off. At one point, it appeared that there would be some intrigue surrounding Dawn and the people who wanted her out of business, but the book quickly becomes more about Rory and Dawn's sexcapades than anything else and considering that I never felt the connection between the two, much less found either of them particularly likable, the whole thing just missed the mark for me. I did keep reading to see if that initial intrigue would lead anywhere but was disappointed in the end. 

Charming and witty

Sweet Tea and Sympathy (A Southern Eclectic Novel Book 1) - Molly Harper

Molly Harper is a new to me author and after reading this one, I'm wondering how I've missed her. Sweet Tea and Sympathy is packed full of the charm and wit that is so often associated with small-town Southern life. Margot's journey from working with the Chicago elite to a job in the family business is a completely engaging tale that I found impossible to out down. With quirky characters, a rumor mill that spreads news faster than any media source, and small town politics, I found myself laughing out loud, oohing and ahhing, and genuinely rooting for this sweet Southern family - sometimes all at the same time. This is an absolutely charming tale of life, love, family, and finding happiness and contentment in the most unlikely of places. This author has quickly become one to watch for this reader and Sweet Tea and Sympathy is a book that I highly recommend. 

On a personal note, living in a small, Southern town (not quite as far South as Lake Sackett) and connecting with my own father late in life, I found so many things in Margot's journey that touched me in more ways than just an entertaining story. And I have to agree with Aunt Tootie - if you add sugar to cornbread, it's cake! (Just sayin')

Amusing and compelling

The Roommate 'dis'Agreement - Leddy Harper

This strangers to friends to lovers romance is a wonderfully written tale of two people with secrets and no one to depend on. The dialogue is good mix of silly and serious as Cash and Jade get to know each other and we also get an element of suspense surrounding Cash's job and Jade's past. I did figure out those secrets fairly easily, but that didn't take away from the story for me. The author does a fantastic job of pulling the reader into this compelling read that's packed full of witty dialogue, emotions, and a bit of intrigue. 

Wonderful Characters

A Beautiful Forgiveness (the NYC Series Book 3) - Alora Kate, Alora Kate, Silvia Curry

Alora Kate wraps up the NYC series with Lucas' story. I've loved Lucas since the beginning of this series and he's certainly pulled at the heartstrings with his unrequited love for Ki, but nothing comes close to the roller coaster ride that is his life in this third installment of the series. Just as he's determined to move on and get on with his life, he's hit with something that he doesn't know how to handle. London and Lucas have so many obstacles to overcome and more than once, I wasn't sure which way their romance would go. This book is certainly the most emotional of the series, but the author knows her stuff and wraps things up perfectly for this crazy and engaging group of characters. The book, as well as the whole series, is beautifully written and these characters are some that I won't soon forget. This is part of a continuing story and I highly recommend the whole series. More than just romance, we get some suspense, action, a bit of intrigue, and best of all, it's filled with friends and family that pull together and stand by each other, faults and all. 

Lots of Angst

Two-Man Advantage - Toni Aleo

Two-Man Advantage is an emotionally charged read. The book is well-written and the flow is good, but it's a bit more on the angsty side than I care for. Matty is young and in the closet while the older, more experienced, Wells is out and proud. That's where the problem starts for this pair and where it continues for most of the story. I did love the wedding scene and thought, but found it a bit hard to believe that no one present would out Matty. Matty's waffling, while understandable, made me want to both hug him and shake him, often at the same time! The book did hold my interest and is a solid first in the genre for the author, just a little too much angst for my tastes.

Second Chance Romance

He Loves Me...KNOT - RC Boldt

He Loves Me... Knot went a little differently than I expected, but that didn't turn out to be a bad thing. When the story got going, I thought there would be more of the love/hate thing between Knox and Emma with him determined to get revenge, but it didn't quite play out that way. The book is well-written and witty, and the characters are absolutely fabulous. It's not often that I like the secondary characters as much, or even better at times, than the main characters, but in this case, I most certainly did. Becket is absolutely charming and everyone needs a Granddad like Emma's. 

This is my first read by RC Boldt, but after reading this charming and witty romance, it won't be my last. In fact, I'll be anxiously awaiting Becket's story!

Romance and a bit of suspense

Seducing the Defendant (The Conflict of Interest Series) - Chantal Fernando

After reading the blurb on this one, I expected more on Scarlett's case and Jaxon fighting the attraction, but this one is more about the romance and Scarlett's transformation. This is an emotional read with both, Jaxon and Scarlett, having their own things to deal with. We also have the added suspense of who actually killed Scarlett's husband and the connections to the Wind Dragons MC. Having not read the Wind Dragons series, I'm not sure if the characters mentioned were an integral part of that series, but I had no problem following the story. 

Jaxon and Scarlett didn't have that same fiery chemistry as I found in Tristan and Kat's book, but their story is just as good. Jaxon is tender and patient with Scarlett as she finds herself again and they do have good chemistry. 

Overall, Jaxon and Scarlett's story is a well-written, emotional tale that kept me turning pages.

Lust, not love

Cuffed by His Charm: A Dirty Little Secrets Novel - Stacey Kennedy

Let me start by saying that I haven't read the other books in this series, but I didn't have too much difficulty figuring out the connections between this group of friends. That part of the story line was interesting and it was obvious that this group would do anything for each other. The romance between Gabe and McKenna was where I ran into problems. I was put off by Gabe's initial treatment of McKenna, but as the story progressed, he did redeem himself. McKenna, however, was the source of much eye-rolling and head shaking. From the star ratings that I've seen, I realize that I'm in the minority here, so I will try to explain without too many spoilers. McKenna loves her brother and would do anything for him, which I can understand. What I couldn't understand was her willingly participating in a "scene" with Gabe right after finding evidence that her brother could be in serious trouble. I completely understand two people with a strong attraction coming together in times of stress, but this situation seemed almost separate from any worries McKenna may have had. Gabe had no reason to care what happened to McKenna's brother, other than his feelings for her, but at times it felt like I was reading two separate stories - one that was an emotional hunt for Evan and another that was a steamy BDSM light romance. Again, toward the end, I was a bit confused about the money. I don't know if it was intentional, but it came across that McKenna didn't want Gabe when she though he'd paid one amount, but when the truth comes out, it's a different story. I'm still confused as to why it matters how much was paid as long as her knight came riding in to save her. The romance between this pair never felt like a romance to me. A strong physical attraction, yes, and Gabe does things that only a man who loves a woman would do, but I never felt like McKenna had anything more than lust for him. 

Slow pace

Darkness at the Edge of Town: An Iris Ballard Thriller - Jennifer Harlow

Darkness at the Edge of Town does have an interesting premise, but the story is a bit drawn out and slow at times. I haven't read the first Iris Ballard novel, and there were things mentioned in this one that were confusing. The author does eventually explain some things as the story progresses, but I spent most of the book feeling like I was behind on the characters and what led them to this point in their lives. The book is well-written and even with the slow pace, it was a compelling and suspenseful read. However, I wouldn't call this one a thriller by any means. It does pick up in the end, but while there is suspense surrounding the cult and its leader, and Iris' snark was entertaining, the book lacks that heart-pounding element that I look for in a thriller. I did find some things a little hard to swallow, especially when Iris attempts to infiltrate the cult to find her brother. From the beginning of the story, we know that Iris is quite well-known and her face has been splashed all over the media, plus being so close to her childhood home. Good or bad, publicity is talked about, especially in a small town. I find it hard to believe that it takes as long as it does for anyone to recognize this woman who is so prevalent in the news. As I said, I haven't read the first book, so maybe that would've put a different spin on this for me, but in the end, the stretch of imagination required combined with the slow pace made it just an okay read for me. 

Engaging, emotional, and scorching hot

The Nerds and the CEO: A #GeekLove Ménage Romance (The Nerd Love Equation) - Allyson Lindt

The Nerds and the CEO is a fun, fast-paced menage romance. I love that the author gives us a close-up view of the tech-y stuff without getting so technical that it loses those of us that are technologically challenged (raises hand). This trio is really good together and there is great chemistry between the three of them - both in and out of the bedroom. The story line is interesting with plenty of twists to keep the pages turning and the characters feel so real that they practically leap off the page. Once again, Allyson Lindt has given us a story that is engaging and emotional as well as scorching hot. 

Charming and witty romance

Perfect Match - Lila Monroe

This is my first read by Lila Monroe, but it won't be my last. Perfect Match is charming and witty, making for a fast-paced, lighthearted tale. McKenna is a great combination of sass and determination and Jack is such an endearing playboy. Their banter and the lengths that MaKenna goes to get Jack's backing for her business are amusing and fun. The chemistry between this pair is almost palpable and they are so good together, even when they won't admit it.

Perfect Match is part of the Lucky in Love series, but works well as a standalone. It's well-written with likable characters, some chuckle-worthy situations, and a fast-paced, sexy romance. 

Sweet, emotional story *Audiobook*

'Tis the Season - Alex Jane

'Tis the Season is an emotional tale and touches on some serious topics. That said, I was impressed with how the author handled those topics along with the touches of humor and wit to keep the story from being too heavy, yet still not taking anything away from the importance of subject matter. I also loved the references to a favorite holiday movie, which fit this sweet romance perfectly. Our main characters are endearing and while their losses are different, they're both grieving and find that healing can come in the most unlikely of places. The only drawback, for me, lay in the intimate scenes between the pair. Some of the vocabulary used, while a wonderful use of the language, didn't fit with the characters. When conversing, they often have a witty banter, but they are plain spoken, so some of the prose used during their steamy times felt more like telling the audience rather than showing and tended to pull me out of the story and those scenes felt a bit forced. That aside, this is a wonderful tale of love, loss, finding love again, and finding that person who compliments you rather than tearing you down. Michael Fell does a nice job on the narration with his smooth voice and inflections.

The Lone Wolf

An Education in Punishment: A Somerset Novel (Somerset Series Book 6) - Isadora  Brown

True to form, Isadora Brown has given us another well-written, fast-paced read in the Somerset Series. In this sixth book in the series, we find out who and what is behind the NDS. The Lone Wolf has been someone to fear for a while now, but as Aubrey delves into the story behind the wolf, it appears that there is a method to his madness. Maybe he isn't killing indiscriminately. Aubrey shows just how tough she can be as she gets the answers from the wolf himself. Shane and Aubrey may not seem like the ideal couple at first, but the chemistry is certainly there and the tension and heat builds between them even as the suspense and intrigue surrounding the NDS continues to build. In Shane, Brown has given us a character that we should hate, and in real life, we would, but as questions are answered and we get to know him, hate is not the emotion he stirs. 

If you aren't familiar with The Somerset series, each book focuses on a particular couple, but I would recommend reading from the beginning to get the full impact of the suspense surrounding them. This reader will be anxiously awaiting the next installment of this series and I have to say that I am dying to know all of Luke's story!

Sweet, sexy romance

The Royal Marine - Claire Smith, Hot Tree Editing, Dahlia Donovan

Akash's friends seem to all agree that he needs a date, but it's apparent that they didn't communicate when he shows up at the Sin Bin to find two blind dates - one with a chip on his shoulder and the other a stoic royal marine. It doesn't take long for the attraction to bloom between Akash and Hamish, but their romance is a slow burn with them taking the time to get to know each other. We also get the added element of suspense with a mysterious fire and Hamish's dangerous job. 

Dahlia Donovan is new to me, so I hadn't read the earlier books in this series, but other than so many names being mentioned at the very beginning, I had no problem following the story. There is plenty of interaction with secondary characters, but this one is primarily about Hamish and Akash. I have to say that I was quite impressed with the author's writing style. The book is wonderfully written, the characters are interesting, and the dialogue is witty and often funny. 

Compelling and violent

Bad - LP Lovell, Stevie J. Cole

While I wouldn't call this a romance, it is full of suspense and makes for quite a compelling and erotic read. The story is dark and twisted, going inside the minds of two people who understand what it means to do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. Ronan takes Camilla hostage and soon realizes that he may have found his match. She's just as ruthless and cold-blooded as he is and neither of them have any compunction about bloodshed - seeing it or causing it. Their story is packed full of explosive interactions, intrigue, betrayal, and mind games, all leading up to an absolutely mind-blowing cliffy that leaves the reader dying to know what's next. 


Sweet and sexy

Work Me Up: A Sexy Billionaire Single Dad Romance - Sasha Burke

Work Me Up is a fast-paced, wonderfully written romance. The book is novella length, but there is so much emotion and fun packed into those pages. Logan is such an endearing character with his complete devotion to his daughter that you can't help but fall for him, and Nicole has plenty of sass and a call it as she sees it attitude that keeps Logan on his toes. They are so good together and the author does a fantastic job of conveying the sexual tension between them, even when they are squaring off in disagreement. 

This second book by Burke is more on the sweeter side than the hilarity of her first book, but it is just as good and further shows her talent. Work Me Up is an engaging tale with the perfect mix of sweet and sexy, endearing characters, and witty dialogue. This author is fast becoming a favorite for this reader and I'll be anxiously awaiting whatever she has in store for us next.