Category Archives: Contemporary

Review: Nerds are from Mars by Vicki Lewis Thompson



Back in high school, nerdy Nolan Bradbury had a crush on popular girl Darcie Ingram who did not give him the time of day. Now years later Nolan is a successful astrophysicist who billionaire Fagan Harcourt has hired to lead his ten-year mission to colonize Mars.

At the top of his game, he is asked to be a guest of honor at the Science Expo in L.A. During his lecture, Darcie reenters his life and the awkward, self-conscious nerdy self is back.

Darcie is a professional astrologer with a psychic intuition. She’s searched out Nolan because she sensed that he was in danger and is pleased to see that Nolan has grown into a successful scientist with some serious sex appeal. With the man she’s destined—according to their star charts—to marry receiving death threats, Darcie must use her intuitive skills to keep them one step ahead of the villains.

The long-awaited eighth book in Thompson’s Nerd series, NERDS ARE FROM MARS does not live up to expectations. The story lacks the quirky charm of the previous novels and oversaturated with sex scenes.

While the buildup in the beginning of the book is well done and showed the growing bond between Nolan and Darcie, the book becomes derailed in the middle. The middle of the book is composed of sex scene after sex scene. They are well written, but they stop any forward momentum of the story. The amount of pages devoted to the sex also takes away from ending thus making the climax feel rushed.

Though disappointing, NERDS ARE FROM MARS shows some promise. If Vicki Lewis Thompson writes a ninth Nerd book, I will buy it and give it a chance in the hope that it might match the enjoyment I got from the first seven Nerd books.


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Filed under Contemporary, Review, Romance Novel, Self-Published

Review: Waking Up Pregnant by Mira Lyn Kelly



Last night in Las Vegas. One-night stand. Broken condom. Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas as Darcy Penn and Jake Norton discover in Mira Lyn Kelly’s new book WAKING UP PREGNANT.

After an incredible night, Darcy leaves Jeff’s suite before he can tell her about their contraception’s failure. Three months later, a pregnant Darcy shows up at his L.A. office to tell him the news… after she finishes throwing up in his wastepaper basket.

Kelly is able to infuse a lot of good-natured humor and caring in WAKING UP PREGNANT. Letting the readers sympathize with Darcy’s terrible morning sickness and Jake’s fears about his baby, its mama and their unsteady alliance with each other. Add in a current girlfriend, long distance and two fiercely independent people and the reader will get a fun story that shows us that sometimes we can fall in love with a stranger after one night. The happily ever after though, requires a little more work.

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Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, Kiss, Review, Romance Novel

Review: Romance for Cynics by Nicola Marsh



When financial whiz Cashel Burgess puts off a young starlet, she sets out to destroy his reputation by spreading rumors.  Knowing his business relies on his good name and image, Cash agrees to his friend’s suggestion to enter a Public Relations firm’s Valentine’s Day competition to find Australia’s Most Romantic Couple. All Cash needs is a fake girlfriend and who better than his no-nonsense gardener?

Lucy Grant hates Valentine’s Day thanks to a cheating ex-husband. So when her best client offers her money (and the chance to completely redesign his garden) to pretend to be his girlfriend for a week she says no. However, Lucy soon discovers that her grandmother is dire financial straits and Lucy must accept Cash’s offer in order to save her childhood home.

With each romantic event, the line between real and fake become blurred and two cynics learn that there might be something to all this romance stuff after all.

Sweet and entertaining with likable characters and fun dialogue, Romance for Cynics is a quick, satisfying Aussie romance.

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Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, Kiss, Review, Romance Novel

Review: Lantern Lake by Lily Everett



When they were in college, Vivian Banks left Cooper Haynes waiting at the courthouse on their wedding day, leaving him without a word. Nine years later, they are both standing in the same wedding and when Cooper sees Vivian walk down the aisle, he realizes that he is not over her betrayal and wants revenge. He will seduce her, make her care for him again and then leave her in the morning without a backwards glance.

However, when the morning comes, Cooper cannot seem to get Vivian out of his system. He buys the Lantern Lake cabin she is trying to flip so that he can spend more time with her. As the days become weeks Cooper realizes he may never get enough of his first love.

Lily Everett finishes off the third and final novella of her Billionaire Bachelor series with a simple, well-written tale of how love survives and blooms despite years and adversity.

Lantern Lake is simply good and inescapably enjoyable.

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Filed under Contemporary, Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review: Bonfire Beach by Lily Everett



The CEO of a successful entertainment company, Zane Bishop is tapped by his friend Miles Harrington (hero of ISLAND ROAD) to help plan his wedding reception. The only problem this handsome, fun-loving guy has is the very proper, uptight wedding planner Felicity Carson.

Felicity knows that too much fun can ruin dreams. Now she is a no-nonsense woman who likes everything exactly as she planned. When she meets Zane he upsets her perfectly ordered plans with helicopter rides and jaunts on his vintage motorcycle complete with a sidecar for her. Felicity starts to loosen up, but when things begin to become serious will carefree Zane be ready for more?

BONFIRE BEACH is the second novella in the Billionaire Bachelors series from Lily Everett (aka Louisa Edwards). Everett improves upon her earlier novella (THE FIRESIDE INN) with stronger characters and an overall better flow despite having very similar pacing.

Short, sweet and fun.

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Filed under Contemporary, Novella, Review, St. Martin's Press

Review: The Fireside Inn by Lily Everett



Gorgeous, rich and noble Lord Leo Strathairn seems to have it all. He is a charming man who is always ready with a quote, so it seems like a no-brainer for his friend Miles Harrington (hero of ISLAND ROAD) to ask Leo to select a reading for his wedding. The only problem is that Leo can’t.

Luckily for him, Sanctuary Island is the home of quirky head librarian Serena Lightfoot. She is unique, different from any other woman of this acquaintance. As she helps him find the perfect romantic piece to read at Miles’s wedding, their attraction grows, but Leo’s secret and fears may end their burgeoning romance before it begins.

The first in the Billionaire Bachelors trilogy, THE FIRESIDE INN is an emotional start to her second Sanctuary Island novella series.

Lily Everett is the new pseudonym for Louisa Edwards, an author whom I loved and glad to see back writing. Everett’s characters always feel real. Leo’s pain and embarrassment concerning his situation is stark contrasting with the happier emotions of new love thus making both the highs and lows much more memorable. There are times you just want to hug Leo and tell him everything will work out in the end.

Unfortunately, the novella does have its flaws. Primarily THE FIRESIDE INN’s problem concerns time. These two characters must fall in love in a few weeks. With such a short amount of pages, Everett starts the story off and then skips a couple of weeks in the relationship for the finale. This makes the usual buildup feel abridged rather than satisfying.

THE FIRESIDE INN is a standard introductory read, introducing the premise of the trilogy. With interesting characters, the novella does hold up despite its flaws. It is good to see Louisa Edwards writing again albeit with a different pen name, but it really just makes me miss her sexy chef books.

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Filed under Contemporary, Novella, Review, Romance Novel, St. Martin's Press

Review: Just a Hint–Clint by Lori Foster



The fourth book in Foster’s Visitation series, “Just a Hint – Clint” begins when plain schoolteacher, Julie Rose, is kidnapped and mercenary Clint Evans is hired to save her. They are different in many ways, but with her life in danger, Clint and Julie grow closer together and find that being different might not be so bad after all.

One of Lori Foster’s greatest strength is weaving humor into her romances.  There is a small bit of levity in the story even when the characters are a bit shell-shocked and on the run. It prevents the story from becoming too melodramatic. The characters of Visitation are only in a small portion of the story, but they still retain their charm and provide a much wanted update of past couples.

The relationship between Clint and Julie grows quickly, but it doesn’t seem improbable. It is instantly obvious that they both find each other appealing. As they learn more about themselves and each other, they realize that maybe what they have is more than just lust and adrenaline. Both the readers and Julie and Clint will feel like they belong with one another.

You do not need to have read the other books in Foster’s Visitation series to enjoy “Just a Hint—Clint.” Unlike the others in the series, this novel has the least to do with the other four books and is more of an aside than part of the overall series plot.

This is an oldie, but definitely still a worthwhile read.

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Filed under Contemporary, Review, Romance Novel, Zebra