Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Romance Book Review Round Up!

There are a lot of books that I read and somehow never manage to write a review for them at the time. This could be because I was busy, the book just didn't speak to me either way, or a handful of other reasons. Some of these books were really good and some not so much so just because these are shorter reviews doesn't automatically reflect how I felt about them.

So, I thought I would start doing occassional posts with short reviews of these books. Think of it like book review cliff notes. Most of these are not new books, but that's the beauty of finding a new book or author - who cares if it's a new release...It's new to you!

Coming Clean by Inez Kelley - 4 Heart Review
Coming clean never felt so good...
Grant and Vivi Michaelson share everything in their marriage: love, commitment--and their wildest sexual desires. But their relationship is tested when Vivi admits she wants a threesome with Grant's old friend Cade, proposing their annual trip to the lake as the perfect opportunity to fulfill her fantasy.

All three of them are aroused by the idea. Vivi and Cade have long felt a smoldering attraction to each other...and Grant and Cade have hidden an illicit desire for decades. Going through with the ménage will test their boundaries, reveal old secrets...and maybe tear them apart. After all, there might be room for Cade in bed, but is there room for a third in their marriage?

I had my doubts about this book because to be honest, I've never read a menage involving a married couple and the idea of it made me slightly uncomfortable with how I could enjoy this book. But wow. Inez Kelley can seriously write. This novella is insanely full of deep emotion and insight and so much of it just felt "right" for the characters. Which is really the difference between good and bad writing with any menege. These characters and their story just felt natural and because of how stellar this book is, Inez is on my auto-buy list.

The Scent of Jade by Dee DeTarsio - 2 Heart Review
Julie Fraser is the least adventurous person she knows…until she hops on a plane to surprise her husband who’s on a business trip in Costa Rica. Reeling from the discovery that her husband isn’t who she thought he was, she embarks on an unexpected rainforest adventure that leaves her not knowing where to turn, literally, or whom to trust. She knew she should have stayed home! Can a monkey, a Latin hunk, and a mysterious ‘love potion’ help Julie on her mission to find and forgive her husband?

Not a typical romance, this one kept me reading because I really wanted to figure out where it was going with it's plot, but in the end I wasn't happy with the outcome. I can't tell you the major reason I didn't enjoy the book without giving away a spoiler, but I can tell you that I was half way through the book and still wondering it is was really going to turn into a romance. The heroine had some good points in that I liked how she handled herself at first, but I felt like halfway through her actions and responses didn't fit with the character that has been introduced at first. I will give this story credit for being very creative and engaging since I never did put it down, but in the end, it really came down to not buying into the hero/heroine really belonging together.

Building Magic by Lilly Caine - 3 Heart Review
When architecture student and summertime welder Tina Moreland develops a reputation as a peeping Tom, it isn’t the first time she’s been teased for being different. Catching a glimpse of the man of her dreams is worth the aggravation. But when she witnesses him doing something stranger than stripping in his hightower office, it’s enough to make her forget that when working unharnessed on the fifth floor, the first step is a long way down.

Sent to Earth to find a power source strong enough to end the civil war at home, Devin Ken’Draga doesn’t have time to rescue a damsel in distress. But since she is literally falling at his feet, he can’t help but to save her. Bringing her home wasn’t part of the plan, but once they fall through the magical portal together, there is no going back. It is only when he spreads his wings in his true dragon form that Devin realizes something he hadn’t anticipated – the woman is a virgin, a temptation no dragon can resist. Together Devin and Tina create a sensual bond, gladly sacrificing virginity to find love and a solution to the bloody war.

I was plesantly surprised by this book and thought it was highly unique and I thoroughly enjoyed the heroine. If you are looking for more Dragon shifter romances I would suggest putting this one on your list. There were a few things about the writing that would occassionally pull me out of the story. Nothing big, or it wouldn't have still received 3 Hearts, but the occassional word choice here and there felt off to me. Again, this book suprised me with how creative the story was and I enjoyed the world-building very much.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Love In a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly - AudioBook Review

Audiobook Review: Love In a Nutshell
By: Janet Evanovich & Dorian Kelly
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Narrator: Loreli King
Contemporary Romance
3 Heart Review

Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her position as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. Kate’s plan is to turn The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory. 

Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town that she can insert herself into Culhane’s business and snoop around for him. If Kate finds the culprit, Matt will pay her a $20,000 bonus. Needless to say, Kate is highly motivated. But several problems present themselves. Kate despises beer. No one seems to trust her. And she is falling hard for her boss.

Can these two smoke out a saboteur, save Kate’s family home, and keep a killer from closing in…all while resisting their undeniable attraction to one another? Filled with humor, heart, and loveable characters, Love in a Nutshell is delicious fun.

Classic Evanovich, this story features a quirky heroine who's a little off balance and a left of fitting in with regular society slightly. Also per usual it was the characters themselves that made this story stay with me and kept me listening to the audio.

I thought the mystery plot of the book was well paced and as the reader I didn't figure it out until much later in the story, which was really nice since some romances tend to very thinly veil the villain. The balance between the mystery and the romance was well done and both unfolded together in the story.

All in all, this is a average fun and cute read. BUT. Evanovich definitely has character traits that seem to almost always be present in all her characters and that makes them all start to run together. This is made worse by the fact that ALL of her stories include the same narrator and it makes the similarities of the characters that much more noticeable. It feels like all her heroines are Stephanie Plum, just in a new situation.

I will say that narrator Loreli King is ALWAYS excellent. It's not her fault as she does a really great job, which I'm sure is how she keeps getting hired to narrate Evanovich's books. But the audio publisher should really take note that this may not be the smartest decision.

Yes, there are some fans who will love the amazing job that Loreli does and not give a care about all of the books sounding like they have the same exact characters, but there are those of us who do. There are those of us who want something different from Evanonich, yet still "her". But by having the same narrator you are not helping readers to make that distinction between books and characters.

Again, this is a really nice read and works on both the romance and mystery sides of the plot. I liked the characters, but kept being drawn out of the book every time I thought to myself, "That's something Stephanie would say."

If you haven't tried any of the Plum series on audio then you should really stay away from them and just listen to all the non-Plum stories on audio - then they'll be excellent and would deserve 4+ Hearts.

Click here to listen to the audio excerpt, watch the book trailer or read an excerpt.

Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl Sabrina

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Welcome Tom & Lexie From Ruthie Knox's New Release Ride With Me & Giveaway!

Cheeky Reads is super excited to welcome Tom and Lexie, the hero and heroine of Ruthie Knox's new contemporary romance to our site! I hope you enjoy meeting them as much as I did and don't forget to comment on their interview to enter to win a copy of their story!

How We Met: An Interview with Tom and Lexie

TOM: So what are we supposed to be talking about, again?

LEXIE: How we met, I think.

TOM [scowling]: I don’t want to talk about that.

LEXIE: Why not?

TOM: Because I was a jerk.

LEXIE: Actually, I wouldn’t say you were a jerk.

TOM [hopeful]: You wouldn’t?

LEXIE: No, I’d say you were a dick.

TOM: Oh, thanks, babe. That’s great.

LEXIE: Well, it wasn’t great at the time. It worked out okay.

TOM: I was trying to do the right thing.

LEXIE [smiling a little]: You were. You couldn’t bear to think of what might happen to me if I rode across the country by myself, so you let me ride with you. And then you wouldn’t talk to me.

TOM: You’re the one who gave me the silent treatment for three days.

LEXIE: Only because you deserved it.

TOM [reluctantly]: True. But in my defense, you’re kind of a lot to get used to. All that yammering. [smiles]

[Lexie punches Tom in the shoulder]

TOM: Plus, you were pretty awful to me, too. You told me you were married.

LEXIE: Only because you were so cocky. Like, [pitches voice low] I’m not going to sleep with you, sweetheart, so don’t even think about it.

TOM: So you were, like, Screw you, buddy, and the horse you rode in on.

LEXIE: Exactly. Except you rode in on a bike.

TOM: We both rode in on bikes.

LEXIE [smiling fondly]: Yeah. And you have such a nice ass. That was really my downfall—the view. That, and it turned out you have unforeseen charms.

TOM: I do?

LEXIE: Sure. I unearthed them. I had to dig around in your pants for a while, but—

[Tom covers Lexie’s mouth with his hand]

LEXIE: Mphm-bmbh mm hmubph mbuh.

TOM: We’re done here. They’ll have to read the book if they want to know the rest. [winks at CheekyReads] Thanks for having us.

CHEEKY [blushing]: You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by.

[Tom pushes Lexie out of the room, keeping one hand firmly over her mouth.]

Curtain falls.


Ride with Me, available from Loveswept on February 13, 2012!

In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!

When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger — a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.

Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.

Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?


Ruthie Knox figured out how to walk and read at the same time in the second grade, and she hasn’t looked up since. She spent her formative years hiding romance novels in her bedroom closet to avoid the merciless teasing of her brothers and imagining scenarios in which someone who looked remarkably like Daniel Day Lewis recognized her well-hidden sex appeal and rescued her from middle-class Midwestern obscurity. After graduating from Grinnell College with an English and history double major, she earned a Ph.D. in modern British history that she’s put to remarkably little use.

These days, she writes contemporary romance in which witty, down-to- earth characters find each other irresistible in their pajamas, though she freely admits this has yet to happen to her. Perhaps she needs more exciting pajamas. Ruthie abhors an epilogue and insists a decent romance requires at least three good sex scenes.

GIVEAWAY - One lucky commenter will be randomly chosen to win a digital copy of Ride with Me. Winners will pick up their copy through Net Galley. Good luck to all!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winner of The Valentine's Day Giveaway!

The winner of the Cheeky Reads Valentine's Day blog giveaway is...


I'll email you soon for your shipping details. Congrats and happy reading!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day Romance Lovers!

Cheeky Reads has multiple contests going on right now where you can win Romance books!

Check out this post here on the blog and comment with why you love to read romances and you'll be entered into the 1st contest.

Head over to my shiny new Facebook Page and enter to win 2 Free Books of your genre choice by commenting on my V-Day wall post.

Lastly, I'll be doing random Twitter Contests througout the day so follow me there!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Win Free Books In The Cheeky Reads Valentine's Day Giveaway!

The First giveaway is right here on the blog and will run until Feb. 14th. Comment below telling me why you love Romance Books and you'll be entered to win. Please include your email address so I can contact the winner.

I'll pick the top 2 comments to each win a book from my personal selection - the romance genre of your choice! If we managed to get over 50 entries, I'll pick the top 3 comments to win! Over 100 and I'll pick 5 winners and up the winnings to 2 books each.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for additional contests!

Contest open to US and Canada Addresses only. Blog winners will be announced Feb. 15th.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cheeky Reads Launches a Facebook Page - Hell Has Officially Frozen Over

I'm putting my toes in the water over on Facebook and trying it out - I hope you'll stop by and say hi and give me a little advice on what in the world to do! Here's a link to my page.

That Facebook page will feature various links and posts that seemed to fit that format better than here on the blog, so there'll be something different on each site.

And don't forget to chat me up on Twitter - I'm such a twitter fan girl!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kim Harrison's A Perfect Blood Arrives February 21st!

My countdown clock is tick tocking away as I wait for A Perfect Blood, the next book in the Rachel Morgan Series from Kim Harrison, to arrive. It releases on February 21st and I cannot wait!

I even went ahead and read chapters 1-5...and you can too! The publisher Harper Voyager has posted those first chapters on their website for fans to get a taste of A Perfect Blood a little early.

Head over to this link to read chapters 1-5 of A Perfect Blood.

Yes I know, my cheerful little blog doesn't scream out "HUGE fan of gritty Urban Fantasy" but I do adore Kim Harrison's writing and think the Rachel Morgan series is fantastic. Her world-building alone makes this a highly readable series, but she trumps that with insanely amazing characters and a pitch perfect balance between the dark stuff and lighter humor. Sigh - I'm such a fan girl!

If you haven't read this series I so highly recommend it. Even if you aren't normally a huge Urban Fantasy fan. This really is one of the best series of the genre and a great way to see if you would love Urban Fantasy. 

Have you read any books in this series? What did you think ? Tell us what you loved or didn't love (I can't imagine!) about them.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Congrats to Author Maureen O Betita on Her Latest Release The Pirate Circus!

Disclaimer: Author Maureen O. Betita is a very good friend of mine - I haven't read her latest release yet, but I have read her other books and greatly enjoyed them. I'm taking the liberty of congratulating Maureen today - she has no idea I'm doing this post - because if I can't congratulate an amazing friend and writer on a new release then how is this MY blog? :) I'm not giving my opinion on this book today - that will come later - I'm just sharing the new release news and hope you respect my disclosure of being Maureen's friend.

Without further ado, here's the rundown on Maureen's latest book that I'll be ordering today!

The Pirate Circus
By: Maureen O. Betita
The Kraken's Carribean Book #3
Decadent Publishing

Book Blurb:
Bosun Janey knows who and what she is. A pirate. And a damned good one at that. Living a life of excitement, adventure, and sailing the seas of the Kraken’s Caribbean is enough for her. But when the Quill is stuck in dry dock, Janey is left to search for distraction along Tortuga’s waterfront. How does a pirate occupy herself? Certainly not by making friends with a six-year-old boy or mooning after the boy’s father. That’s not how a pirate behaves!
Widower Benjamin Silvestri arrived in Tortuga seeking a fresh start. At first, the pirate haven doesn’t seem like a safe sanctuary for second chances, but life is full of surprises. The sun breathes life into his little boy, and new freedoms help his errant niece embrace her true nature. And then there's Janey. A pirate and most unconventional woman, she stirs feelings in Benjamin that are far from proper—but who’s to say what is proper in Tortuga?

However, before he and Janey can explore the possibilities, Benjamin's son and niece disappear onto the high seas. Together, the couple set out to rescue them—because only a loving father and a cutthroat pirate stand a chance against the dangerous Pirate Circus.

Genre: Paranormal romance, erotic romance, action/adventure
Heat level: 4
Word count – 70k

Read An Excerpt Here.

Check out the 1st 2 books in The Kraken's Carribean series on Maureen's author page by clicking here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Book Review: Wanna Get Lucky by Deborah Coonts

Book Review: Wanna Get Lucky by Deborah Coonts
Mystery/Contemporary Romance  
Published By: Forge Books
4 Heart Review 

A young woman plunges from a Las Vegas sightseeing helicopter, landing in the Pirate’s lagoon in front of the Treasure Island Hotel in the middle of the 8:30 Pirate Show.  Almost everyone writes her off as another Vegas victim.
But Lucky O’Toole smells a rat.  She’s head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, the newest, most opulent mega-casino and resort on the Strip, so she’s got a lot on her plate: the Adult Film industry’s annual awards banquet, a spouse-swapping convention, sex toy purveyors preying on the pocket-protector crowd attending ElectroniCon….  Still, Lucky can’t resist turning over a few stones. 

When a former flame is one of the snakes she uncovers, Lucky’s certain she’s no longer dealing with an anonymous Sin City suicide.  To top it all off, Lucky’s best friend Teddie—Las Vegas’ finest female impersonator—presses to take their relationship to the next level.  Leave it to Lucky to attract a man who looks better in a dress than she does.

Lucky must manage the Babylon’s onslaught of outrageous festivities, solve a murder, and struggle to keep her life and libido from spinning out of control… not to mention keep her balance in six inch heels.

Wanna Get Lucky is the first book in a new-to-me series that I wanted to catch up on before book #3 releases this February. After finishing this one, I'm itching to start on book #2.

I really enjoyed almost everything about this story. It takes off at a quick pace and doesn't slow down - which is fitting since that's exactly the way the main charcters life is like and I felt the story matched up to that perfectly.

One of my favorite new author blogs is called Wonk-O-Mance and this book is perfect for them!  Their blog focuses on Romances with wonky heroes and heroines - stories with characters and plots that just shouldn't work but totally do. Characters so over the top that instead of not believing in them, you heart them so hard.

That's exactly how I felt about this book. It's totally a wonky little mystery/romance and I heart  Wanna Get Lucky and it's heroine hard. Lucky is a force of nature bit with every action you can really envision her taking on all the crazy things that happen in her Vegas world. The crazy works.

Add in a cross-dressing hero who's also trying to make the move from best friend to lover and the crazy becomes amped up 10 more notches. But, and I was truly surprised at this one, it totally works. Yep - a cross-dressing hero worked for me. In this insane little story it all works and that is in large part to the author's ability to create characters of depth that I connected with instantly.

As I mentioned above this is also a fast-paced mystery that keeps you pushing forward as the pages fly by. That is yet another reason Wanna Get Lucky works. Everything about this book worked for me.

I did see the twist at the end coming but I think the reader was meant to - or at least the author meant to instill the hope in the reader that what is revealed is what they were hoping for all along. Sigh. I really loved that last twist and had hoped for it as I got further along in the story.

I'm off to read book #2 in this series - Lucky Stiff - this weekend so I'm ready for the newly released novella Lucky in Love and the 3rd full book in the series So Damn Lucky which releases on February 28th.

I'm so lucky to have found the Lucky O'Toole series! Yes, you can go ahead and groan. I did, but it was too good to pass up.

Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl Sabrina


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