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Posts Tagged: Carina Press

Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon StaceySnowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press on 04 November 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 66
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Also by this author: All He Ever Needed, Heat Exchange

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, New Hampshire // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): If someone were to ask him while he was drunk enough to forget his PR bullet points what the secret to his success was, Adrian Blackstone would say he was a chameleon.

Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey is a short little Christmas novella that will really warm the heart. Its a friends to lovers story with the added complication that Adrian Blackstone is also Rachel Carter’s boss. Snowbound with the CEO is also a standalone book and so its a departure from Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series which is how I know her best. And, if I am honest, I kept hoping that somewhere, somehow a member of that loud and boisterous family would make some sort of appearance in this novella.

Snowbound with the CEO is a classic friends to lovers type story, Adrian and Rachel are co-workers but they have also forged a friendship. Both harbor an attraction for the other but don’t want to act on it for fear of destroying their working relationship as well as their friendship. When they get snowed in they decide to through caution to the wind and spend some time making reality out of all those what ifs they’ve thought about.

This was a quick read and one that I enjoyed. I loved the chemistry of Rachel and Adrian and really believed their story. The thing I didn’t like about Snowbound with the CEO is that it falls into the age old cliche of not communicating and letting thoughts fester with out proof of any misconduct. Oy with the poodles already!! I am never a fan when the climax of a plot hinges on the simple fact that if the characters just talked then there would be no issue. And while I get that people do this in real life all the time I get bothered when its the only thing in a book keeping people apart.

And then there is the other issue I have with novellas…the fact that they are just too darn short. Sometimes you get a complete and satisfactory story in a novella but all too often you get a story that feels rushed or incomplete. In Snowbound with the CEO, it suffers from being too short and the ending felt rushed. There just seemed like that a chunk was just ripped out of the story and things were missing.  I did like the story and enjoyed the overall story but I just wished it had been a little bit longer so that there could be just a little bit more. Despite my little quibbles though I don’t think that readers will be disappointed with this one. Even if there were no Kowalski’s.



Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Knowing the Score by Kat Latham

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review2 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Knowing the Score by Kat LathamKnowing the Score by Kat Latham
Series: London Legends,
Also in this series: Playing it Close
Published by Carina Press on 05 August 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 228
Format: eARC
Also by this author: Playing it Close


Place(s) Traveled to: London, England

First Line(s): Spencer Bailey was ready to light up the world – and any Aussies who crossed his path in the next eighty minutes.

London Legends Series Order
Book 1: Knowing the Score
Book 2: Playing it Close (20 April 2014)
Book 3: Untitled

I don’t know what it is about sports themed books but for whatever reason I am drawn to them like a moth to the flame. When I first saw the title, Knowing the Score by Kat Latham, I thought that it would be about soccer but I was wrong about that. Turns out this book was about rugby and it was set in one of my favorite cities in the world, London. This story was told from both Spencer and Caitlyn, both of whom are looking for a short term fling and nothing serious. So you just know that things are going to get all sorts of complicated.

They meet when Caitlyn helps Spencer’s dad who has a heart attack while walking around London one morning. There is an instant attraction but there is a catch, Spencer doesn’t do relationships of any kind during the rugby season and Caitlyn is a virgin who’d rather not be anymore on a short term work visa in London. Caitlyn has some serious hangups with men, and justifiably so, as well as a huge chip on her shoulder. I am amazed that Spencer didn’t chuck this girl to the curb a dozen times over as she always jumps to the worst case scenario.

When she ends up pregnant, things change dramatically and just as when you think these two might find their HEA, Caitlyn’s friend reveals something about Spencer’s past that has Caitlyn running. Again. Rather than look at the actions of the man she knows and all good heart he has. Rather than do something sensible like talk to him she flies off the handle believing all the worst based on the word of a tabloid report and an event that happened several years prior. I seriously just wanted to smack this girl on the head a dozen times over. Caitlyn just wasn’t very likable most of the time and as I said above I don’t see why Spencer stuck around.

This was a fast-paced story and while I liked the premise I just wasn’t head over heels in love with it. The ending was a little unrealistic and it can be hard to fully enjoy a story when one of the characters sets your teeth on edge. I do think that this is the start of a promising series and I look forward to reading more about these London Legends.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: His Roommate’s Pleasure by Lana McGregor

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: His Roommate’s Pleasure by Lana McGregorHis Roommate's Pleasure by Lana McGregor
Published by Carina Press on 01 Jul 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 84
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Place(s) Traveled to: Unnamed, USA

First Line(s): “Damn.” Adam glared at his battered, mostly broken laptop.

The publishing of novellas seems to be a growing trend these days and is almost as popular as the wave of new adult books coming out. His Roommate’s Pleasure by Lana McGregor can fill both of these categories. This little novella can also be described as BDSM-light as the two main characters each begin to experiment with kink. It all starts with a plausible scene where Adam is having issues with his computer and so borrows his roommate’s. Then through magic, as that’s the only explanation I can come up with, a folder on Josh’s computer accidentally opens and Adam learns a secret of his jock roommate. He likes gay porn.

Not just that but pictures and such involving bondage and submission. Adam is caught by his roommate and together they admit things that not many people know to each other. Adam is openly gay but Josh is not. So they start a secret relationship that is plausible and the pace of the books progresses at a steady pace. Where this one falters is towards the end when confessions are made and events just seem rushed. I think that His Roommate’s Pleasure could have been fleshed out a bit more with just a few more pages to make the ending a little more realistic.

This story also felt a bit vague to me as there was no mention of where it took place. Just a random college campus somewhere in the US. And the lack of secondary characters didn’t help this vagueness either. Yes, you see a few mentions of Adam’s friends but they never felt real. Just as it was hard to pin point Josh as this story was told entirely from Adam’s POV. Its not a bad story and definitely one that I think will be enjoyed by those who might want to dip their toes into BDSM stories. For me though this one was just so-so and while I might check out McGregor’s next story I am not going to rush out for it.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann KingWaiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King
Series: Lovers and Friends, Book 2
Published by Carina Press on 29 July 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, GLBT
Pages: 170
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Place(s) Traveled to: Austin, Texas // Houston, Texas // Stonemont, Texas

First Line(s): I don’t do men. Standing outside Landon’s second-floor apartment, Ty silently chanted the phrase.

I’ve been trying to branch out in my reading this year and so when I saw Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King on Netgalley I decided to take a chance on this GLBT romance. Waiting for Ty is a short book but it packs a whole lot of story within its few pages. This was a quick and well paced story about friends becoming lovers and lately I have been a real sucker for that kind of story. There is a different vibe to a story when there is a long history between the two main characters. While the reader may not be fully aware of their full history you do get that sense of a long term friendship and it helps to create a bond that is sometimes missing from stranger to lover stories.

I found Waiting for Ty to be a realistic journey and really enjoyed the interaction and doubts faced by both Langdon and Ty. I like how they both struggled with what they wanted. And in a sad state of our world how they each questioned, in their own ways, how their relationship might be viewed to others. These two main characters both live in Texas, which recent news has shown us isn’t the most liberal of states. While I can’t claim to be an expert on Texas but Ty’s ultra conservative family came across as very realistic and I felt for Ty in his dealings with them. Although I did think that the reaction of one of the secondary characters was a bit over the top and unrealistic. Especially considering the highly unconventional relationship that his sister was in.

Waiting for Ty is a quick read and once I started I stayed with it until the end. Its one of those stories that while I wish it was longer managed to complete a well thought out and heart achy story into a limited number of pages. Its amazing to me how some authors can do in such a short time. I’ve read several novella length stories that just feel incomplete but with Waiting for Ty I feel as though I received a full length book as there was so much depth to it. Its not a perfect book but for the life of me I can’t remember some of the issues that I had with the book from when I read it not long ago. I enjoyed this story and think that it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good friends to lovers story. I know I did.

Lovers and Friends Series Order
Book 1: Sharing Hailey
Book 2: Waiting for Ty