J. Kenner’s Charmed By You returns us easily to Damien Stark’s Security series world. With cameos from Damien and Ryan, Charmed By Love marries the world of Hollywood with the world of the Stark Security series. As it follows Simon Barré protecting the starlet, Francesca Muratti, from a stalker, the sparks fly from their initial meeting. This chemistry makes the story intriguing: “will they/won’t they consummate their attraction.” Once the suspense portion of the story hits, it’s a quick downhill from there, devolving into a happy ending for Frannie and Simon.
Charmed By You has all the components of the other Stark Security series novellas: intrigue, insta-attraction, and the chemistry of opposites. I will say that I was hoping for a bit more story development, but alas, this is a novella. If you’re looking for a quick read in the world of Damien Stark, then you won’t want to miss Charmed By You.
In a perfect world, Staci Hart’s Bennet Family would have a massive soiree with her Blum Family, and the literary world would be “right as rain” (a saying I’d imagine one of the Blum sisters saying). In her newest offering and the last of her Blum’s Bees series, Run for Your Honey, Staci Hart brings an emotionally wrought, replete conclusion to a series that has stolen my heart. Rounding out this series is Jo’s story, a second chance, enemies-to-lovers romance. Duke, her former paramour, returns home to run against Jo for the town’s mayor position. Their chemistry is evident from the moment of their meeting, and their feelings from the past are undeniable. From its very first chapter, I fell in love with Duke and Jo’s journey, and Staci Hart made my heart hurt, butterflies swirl in my stomach at their trouble, and satiated my hunger for the conclusion of this beautiful series of strong women who stand against the injustices of their town.
If I have any criticism of Run for Your Honey, it would be its end. Staci Hart deftly writes the torture of Duke and Jo’s enemies-to-lovers journey. The push and pull of their attraction to each other requires time, and Hart ensures her readers’ emotional interest in their coupling by carefully taking us through their past and present complications. However, at the resolution of the falling action of their journey, the ending feels rushed, excised together like Frankenstein’s monster to present their happy ending. While Run for Your Honey satiates your hunger for the series, its ending was remiss in developing the fullness of Duke and Jo’s HEA. Does it hit wrong? No, it simply needed a bit more development. Even more, I’d love to see a bonus epilogue for the sisters because a curse has threatened their love lives, and we leave this book without knowing if it was finally set right. Even more, a novella for their mama would be a lovely little nibble. Asking these of any writer is obviously ridiculous, but these are the tethers of questions still left behind at the end of this heartfelt story.
Now is the time if you haven’t launched yourself into a Staci Hart romance, into the Blum’s Bees stories. Hart is a talented writer who continues to write deeper into the world of romance. Her ability to write intriguing characters who showcase the troubles of their worlds firmly makes her books feel like necessary reads in the world of romance.
He needs an image makeover; she needs a mojo upgrade.
A new lessons-in-seduction hockey romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Sarina Bowen.
After I’m arrested for throwing a raucous party, my hockey team says I have an image problem. And I need to fix it, stat.
Charity work? Check. Haircut? Sure. But I draw the line at hiring my neighbor to style me. In the first place “style” shouldn’t be a verb. And I’m tired of people who’d judge me on appearances.
Vera and I don’t see eye to eye on anything. She wants me to try on clothes, while I just want to remove hers. She’s distractingly pretty, with soulful eyes and a sinful mouth that likes to argue with me.
But when management threatens my summer vacation, I grudgingly agree to Vera’s unusual proposal: she’ll give me an image makeover. But in return, she wants lessons in the art of seduction.
It sounds a little nutty, but I know a good opening when I hear it. Besides, it’s not like I’ll ever fall for her…
Cover Design: Hang Le Cover Photo: Wander Aguiar Photography
Rebecca Jenshak has revealed the cover for Hating the Player!
Releasing: September 20, 2022
Cover Design: LJ Designs
Gavin Leonard is the worst. He lives in the best party house off campus at Valley U, overrun by jocks galore. I live next door, watching Jane Austen adaptations with my sketchbook in hand. He stays on his side of the fence. I stay on mine. Now we’re accidentally on a camping trip together, but there’s only one tent left.
Gavin Leonard is the worst. And he’s the last guy who broke my heart.
So now that we know the coronavirus is a thing, we’re finding ourselves worried, stressed, and feeling isolated. During times such as these when the NBA has canceled the rest of their season, schools are closing, stores are understocked with apocalypse-type goods, and the news brings us more numbers, books can be our saving grace, a respite from our worries. Yes, Netflix and Hulu still exist, but they too bring us the dark side of human nature. What we need is some funny in our lives. And Max Monroe are the purveyors of the funny. Their books bring us the laughs, the tears, and the happily-ever-afters. Their newest book, Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy, is no different. Unlike their billionaire men, this book finds us seated in the glitz, plastic world of Hollywood, and it’s everything we love about it plus a whole lot of great romance too.
The story follows Billie, a hard-working production assistant who just wants to be her boss’s right hand “woman” permanently. Billie lives life with songs in her head and a running movie script of a mind. She also has a tendency to misspeak, which creates a conundrum for her. How does she get Hollywood’s former Baddest Boy into her boss’s new movie after lying about knowing him? Well, she tracks him down to Alaska and engages in the adventure of her life.
Luca has left Hollywood behind. His past brings only bad memories, and he has no interest in returning to it. However, when a winsome, beautiful, persistent, stubborn production assistant comes calling, her guile begins to break down his fortified walls. As these two adventure through the Alaskan wilderness, they begin to catch feelings for each other and their chemistry grows fiery. Yet, will Billie persuade Luca to return to Hollywood to do the movie, or will Luca shut her down, causing her to lose her career and her connection to him?
In true Max Monroe form, this book has it all.
The romance between Billie and Luca is the best part of this book. This is enemies-to-lovers done well. Luca “hates” Billie at first glance. Their meet-cute is hilarious, and it’s clear from the beginning that Luca is a grumpleton who needs some redeeming. I love this type of conversion. There is nothing more funny and interesting than a shut-down, grump of a hero who becomes woo-d by the sunshiny, optimism of the heroine, in this case, Billie. He loves to hate her and hates to love her. Watching him struggle between his ardor and disdain for her is the main sail of this book. You can’t help but fall for Billie: she’s quirky, funny, awkward, a girl who is both parts city and country, and stubborn. All of these qualities conspire to win over Luca. When these two fall, it feels important. While they tussle with feelings and the tension of their enemies-to-lovers transition feels big, it really is the meat of this story. It’s what kept me gobbling Max Monroe’s romance.
This book, in true Max Monroe form, is funny. From the absurdity of Hollywood to the stark life in Alaska, there are so many moments where you find yourself chuckling. This is what Max Monroe does well, and Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy is a respite from the heaviness of our world.
The prospect of future books in this world is high. There is nothing more exciting than a new Max Monroe world. There are several ancillary characters in this story that read like burgeoning stories. From Billie’s sister, Birdie, to Luca’s sister, Rocky, there is more to be found here, which is a promise of more laughs in our future. As they do so well, you get a sense that Max Monroe are once again world-building. And that, my friends, is exciting stuff.
Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy came at just the right time. I had come off of a couple months of angsty, heavy romances. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE those romance stories. However, Max Monroe can be counted on to offer up a story that engages you, titillates you, and entertains you. Taming Hollywood’s Baddest Boy will make you laugh, and cry, and feel all the happy feelings at the end. They don’t make you work so hard for it too. In a world that seems overwhelming right now, Max Monroe are saving us a little bit from ourselves. Billie and Luca are the couple you need right. this. moment.