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Holiday Romances?

My Greek Island Summer Book Cover My Greek Island Summer
Mandy Baggot
Fiction, Love, Sex Marriage, humour
Head of Zeus Ltd
April 2, 2020
528

Two weeks. One unforgettable trip to Corfu. A chance to change her life. Becky Rose has just landed her dream job house-sitting at a top-end villa on the island of Corfu. What could be better than two weeks laying by an infinity pool overlooking the gorgeous Ionian waters while mending her broken heart. Elias Mardas is travelling back to Corfu on business whilst dealing with his own personal demons. Late arriving in Athens, Becky and Elias have to spend a night in the Greek capital. When they have to emergency land in Kefalonia, Becky's got to decide whether to suck up the adventure and this gorgeous companion she seems to have been thrown together with or panic about when she's going to arrive at Corfu... Finally reaching the beautiful island, Becky is happy to put Elias behind her and get on with her adventure. Until he turns up at the villa...

At first, for me, this story seemed too slight and too much in line with the trope, but as I read further I came to feel for the characters and realised that there was more hidden in their depths that was slowly being drawn out by later chapters.

I did appreciate the taste and how dishes can be improved by something that is not the norm expected. Although I had to say the sandwiches did seem unappealing to me and I would try them. But I do experiment with my own cooking and yesterday I added a surprise ingredient to my pasta and crème fraiche plus dish. I make this a lot with different proteins, but often fish based and last night I combined smoked trout with salmon pate and then added the surprise – a dessert pear. Fried in butter and olive oil, first it added a lovely crunch and flavour, plus some paprika, crème fraiche and mascarpone with fresh pasta. The day before I made a chilli with sausages and ham hock and sweetcorn soup for the sauce, and beef stock. I confess, I make up dishes on the sly according to what I have in the kitchen and fridge.

I guess the story ending was expected and in line with a holiday romance that isn’t. It was the emotions and characterisation of the sisters that I most enjoyed.

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Rock on – and laugh with the Band!

Random Acts
Julia Kent
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance
Release date: December 25, 2013

It may have all started with a hitchhiker wearing a guitar - and only a guitar - but now the band’s on the rise, and every member - Trevor, Joe, Liam, Sam, and Frown - has a story.

A love story.

From working the “day job” in creative ways to pay bills to engagements gone awry to second chance romances and breakups that make Mavis the Chicken return along with the ever-assured Happily Ever After, this wild and crazy ride leaves you filled with HOPE, screaming YES, and so full of LOVE.

This boxed set contains Random Acts of Hope, Random Acts of Yes, and Random Acts of Love, books 4, 5 and 6 in the New York Times bestselling Random series by Julia Kent.

Note: Random Acts of Yes was previously published under the title Randomly Ever After: Sam and Amy.

I just had to read this one as the guys were mentioned in the Complicated series. And here we have a band. A rock band. And this one gets into some serious scrapes, especially as their intake of drink and drugs is fairly fluid – as are their sexual escapades.

But all the time, Julia Kent manages to make you laugh at their antics and the trouble they get into. And then the proposals.. they are quite sigh-worthy especially when they go wrong – as with so much of their life – and social media gets involved. The chicken called Mabel is a brilliant device for mayhem – and in my mind I link it to the stories from St Mary’s, where there is a chicken that is very prominent in a certain person’s life. Another giggle worthy book and again, my education gets expanded – thank goodness for the urban dictionary and the private search tab you can now have! Just what my husband would make of the things I’m checking up, I don’t know.

The Random Series Boxed Set (Books 4-6)

RANDOM ACTS OF HOPE Excerpt:

The last thing I expected to see when I walked into the kitchen of this Friday night gig was eight vibrators twitching furiously on the tile floor in various states of orgasm-inducing glory.

The giant black dildo with huge, egg-shaped, bulbous balls at the base was winning. A close second, the pink rabbit with the little clit extenders tried to catch up. Next came a two-inch silver bullet, flailing off to the right but occasionally making a giant leap forward. The other four, a ragtag assemblage of peach and brown flesh-colored rubbery plastic, seemed to cluster around the refrigerator as if stoned, lolling about aimlessly after getting their hands on a quarter bag and a limitless supply of nachos.

Ah, yes. The famous vibrator races at a sex toy party. I’d heard about this from one of the other bachelorette party strippers, but I’d never actually seen one.

Check that off my list.

I assumed that would be the biggest surprise tonight as I hovered behind the crowd in my police officer’s costume, ready to “arrest” the bride and handcuff her to my partner Jack, the other stripper, who would then undress and pretend to get teabagged by her.

Yeah—I know. It’s pretty programmed, right? But that’s what the maid of honor always asks for.

And the customer is always right.

Tonight, though, was full of unexpected curves (and I don’t just mean the women). Because when I looked at one of the chicks on all fours, cheering that big old black vibrator to victory, I realized that wasn’t just any woman.

That was Charlotte.

My ex-girlfriend.

RANDOM ACTS OF YES Excerpt: 

Sam

I couldn’t stop touching the ring in my front pocket.

That’s right—ring. The word sounded so heavy, so weighted with importance. Ring. Like the words wife and husband and wedding and marriage.

And I couldn’t stop touching the box that held my future.

Amy had caught it, the rift between my presence in that moment just before words didn’t matter. Words, though, were exactly what I needed today, because tonight I was going to sing a new song I’d written just for her—and propose.

Propose. That word feels like a fifty-pound lead ball that sits in your stomach.

And like the lightest, most beautiful bird gliding over the endless sea.

Both of us naked and a bit sticky, we pulled apart, the shower a strong need. “You go first,” I said, pointing. “You take longer.”

“Want to take one together?” she offered, eyes gleaming and cheeks pulled up with dimples.

I groaned, body half ready and part of me hardening at the thought. God, I was tempted. So tempted. But—

“No,” I groaned, clearly torn. She laughed.

“You’re getting old,” she teased.

I pulled back the covered and showed her exactly how not-old I was.

“Shame to waste that,” she said, shaking her head and licking her lips with exaggerated lusciousness, making me rock hard again, one-eye staring up at me from my groin with agonizing attention. Did I really have enough blood in my body to produce that?

Bzzzz.

Our heads swiveled in unison to my phone, which bleated strange humming noises on the nightstand.

Her laughter tinkled like chimes as she walked, bare naked, out the room to the bathroom. I grabbed the phone and—Trevor.

The text said:

You ready?

I looked down at my attached flesh joystick and snorted.

For what? I texted back.

WTF, dude? he answered.

Oh, yeah. The song. The proposal. The—all of it.

RANDOM ACTS OF LOVE Excerpt:

Bzzzz.

Joe’s hand froze, resting perfectly between my thighs, my clit a beacon beeping and beeping for him to come, come, come in to home port.

“Don’t answer it,” I whispered, the lead ball in my stomach growing suddenly, as if lead could be inflated. I knew exactly who—not what—the helium was.

“Dude, ignore it,” Trevor chimed in behind me, with his hand in a slick, hot place so full of want I couldn’t stand it.

Ignoring us, Joe stuck his arm out and fumbled blindly for his phone, ever-present on the nightstand.

“Let me guess,” I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm and everything that was dripping elsewhere dried up. “Mommy Dearest.” I knew I should keep my mouth shut. Trevor’s sigh was one of commiseration with just a hint of exasperation. Walking the line between the two was incredibly hard (as was Trev). Joe moved away, gently nudging me off him, the slide from heat to cold separation making my gut tighten, my throat thick with something dangerously close to shame.

Amazon/Kindle Unlimited Universal Buy Link: 

The Random Series Boxed Set (Books 4-6):  https://geni.us/RandomBS4-6_KU

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How to have love AND £

The HER BILLIONAIRE Series Book Cover The HER BILLIONAIRE Series
– Kindle Unlimited Launch
Author: Julia Kent
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Kindle

The New York Times bestselling Her Billionaires series combines the stories of Laura, Mike, Dylan (a committed threesome with a growing family by book 3) and Josie and Alex (a committed twosome) with strong cameos from Darla, Trevor, and Joe from the Random series (another permanent threesome) and Lydia, Jeremy and Mike from the Obedient series (yet another permanent threesome) for a madcap spectacle that yields one universal truth: love is a journey and not a destination, but people will drive you crazy along the way. Half a million words of hot, hilarious, heartwarming romantic comedy, all in Kindle Unlimited for you to read now!

The Her Billionaires Series includes:

Her Billionaires (Book 1)

It’s Complicated (Book 2)

Completely Complicated (Book 3)

It’s Always Complicated (Book 4)

Covid has meant that I have had a lot of time to read as I ‘shelter’ (from the storm?). Being unwell and only operating on a partial brain, I took a rest from my usual fare of thrillers, murders and suspense novels and went for novels and authors who could cheer me up. Julia Kent certainly does this. Reading her stories makes me giggle. I am also acquiring an education in linguistics and millennial language, and technically functional items that were unknown to me, and yet some can apparently be purchased on Amazon!

I really like her heroines. They are snarky, snippy, funny, and take no prisoners.

They come in all sizes from 6 foot to under 5 foot, with fuller Rubenesque figures, to Twiggy-alike.

The males, at least, tend towards the stereotypical alphas, with physiques of 6 – 8 packs. (I just had to look up what a man with an 8 pack looks like, and found that to my eyes at least, it looks really weird and unattractive).

But they are also human – they have emotions and often empathy – and as each of these series develops, they also grow up.

So I have worked my way through 3 of her series now. And working on the 4th.

This was the first of this set I have read this year (I’ve previously read the ‘Shopping’ series).

Some of Julia Kent’s books are very explicit, and this is one. They also often feature ménage a trios – 2 men, 1 woman. With variations on how this is managed.

Whilst not my own fantasy, I can see how it could be. So long as the men are ok with it – and she does get into the whole jealousy bit when men don’t ‘share’ equally for whatever reason.

For me, there was one thing missing in this series – when they all learnt that not only was Laura pregnant again, but it was twins! and how they got through the first months – this should prove totally chaotic and great fun to read about.

Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three children in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down

Tropes: Threesome/Ménage (in a committed relationship), Billionaires, BBW, Rock Star Romance, Wedding, Pregnancy, Medical Doctor

HER BILLIONAIRES EXCERPT:

“Luscious, curvy financial analyst seeks friendship and more. Financially independent and self-assured, I’m a fit woman who wants a man (or, more than one! YOLO!) for stimulating conversation…er, yeah. Conversation. Message me (or massage me!).”

Something fierce and hot inside him came to life. From that description it sounded like she…seriously? No way.

“Mike! Hey, Mike! Get in here!” If there were a chance— any chance at all, here, then he had to act fast. Someone this amazing was about to get inundated by messages from needy weirdos.

And he needed to be the first.

His roommate wandered in. Where Dylan was all muscle and brawn, Mike Pine was tall and sleek, a marathoner’s body of long, lean tissue. Dylan’s dark, thick, Italian, looks made him popular with women, but Mike was the golden boy, with blonde hair and blue eyes—the long-distance runner with a soft heart, the guy women turned to and poured their hearts out, Mr. Sensitive to Dylan’s Mr. Conquest.

Dylan tapped the screen. “Take a look at her.”

He smiled smugly as Mike’s eyes raced across the screen. They’d been waiting for a long time. Too long. His roommate’s expression told him everything he needed to know. Score! It might finally be time.

IT’S COMPLICATED EXCERPT: 

Either a fireball entered the elevator and exploded in her body or she had just met her equivalent of Laura’s two soulmates in a single man. With one touch, Alex—just another resident, just another doctor in a hospital working a twenty-four-hour or forty-eight-hour shift, the kind of guy she’d met hundreds of over the years—had transformed everything. Transformed the air in the elevator, transformed the entire experience of bringing Laura in to L & D into…transformed something about Josie herself.

His touch had seismically split her in two, tectonic plates altering her emotional landscape. How could one person do that? she wondered as their eyes locked and he shook her hand slowly, the tactile sensation of his palm pressed against hers like some sort of a battery recharging every cell in her body, warming her, making parts of her throb with a frequency that she hoped he could feel with his tongue someday.

Or now. Now would work.

Very, very naughty thoughts flashed through her mind as they locked eyes. And then a second series of thoughts berated her, guilted her over thinking about anything but her poor best friend, who was about to have her vagina split open by a speeding eight-pound flesh ball, all the nibbly parts on display for a crew of eight or nine people, not including the dads and Josie.

This was a teaching hospital, after all, and the only way the interns, residents and the nursing students going through clinicals could learn was to watch people like Laura, to make notes, to get the queasiness over with and to learn by doing.

Right now she’d like to learn some really nice hands-on sexual lessons, lessons involving his hands on her naked ass, his mouth on other parts, her body entwined with Mr. Alex Derjian here—Dr. Alex Derjian, she corrected herself. Ever since a very messy failed affair her first year of nursing—an entangled, sweeping disaster that involved two doctors at work—she’d had a pretty firm rule: no dating doctors. But rules were made to be broken, right?

COMPLETELY COMPLICATED EXCERPT:

“Are you a Sybian expert now?” Mike asked as he returned from the kitchen, chomping on an energy bar.

Dylan shifted himself in a way that made Mike laugh. “Oh, you laugh, but you know exactly how I feel right now.”

“Yup.”

“That Sybian…”

“Yup.”

“I’m thinking about ordering one.”

A cocked eyebrow was Mike’s calm response. “You are?”

“You in?”

“I say order one of everything from those books and see what happens.” The devilish gleam in Mike’s eyes was so different from his droll manner that even after ten years together, Dylan was amazed the man could surprise him.

“You realize you’re talking to a guy with nearly unlimited money and zero impulse control?”

“You realize you are talking to a guy who has had sex twice and exactly one blow job in six months?” Mike’s face was serious, eyes gone dark and smoky. Mischief was gone. This was a man determined.

Dylan’s jaw dropped. Thank God they were in agreement. Whatever it took to unlock the passionate woman they’d met fifteen months ago and to regain the intimacy they all seemed to crave—but couldn’t quite find their way to—was what they needed to do now. Something had to give.

“What are we wasting time talking for, then? Let’s start clicking.”

Crreak. The telltale sign of their bedroom door opening made them both freeze.

“Shit!” Dylan hissed. Mike put a finger to his lips and stopped chewing on the energy bar. Both stood there, ears cocked. The sound of footsteps, and then the baby began to babble.

Mike looked at the eReader. “It’s been nearly two hours!”

“No way!”

Mike tapped and slid his fingers wildly, getting the machine back to the Home screen. “You order whatever we need later on from your phone. You have carte blanche. Get whatever you want.”

An evil laugh bubbled up inside Dylan as he rubbed his hands together.

This was going to be fun.

IT’S ALWAYS COMPLICATED EXCERPT:

Laura

“My dress doesn’t fit!” Laura wailed to no one in particular. Then again, no one was actually listening to her, so even if she had chosen a target for her cries of anguish, it wouldn’t have mattered.

Managing twin one-year-olds who had recently learned to walk and stumble after their three-year-old sister meant that lately, conversations were nothing but fleeting cries of caution followed by mutters as Laura cleaned messes made by humans who didn’t know any better.

And sometimes that included Dylan and Mike.

“You look like a Disney Princess, Mama!” Jillian said, stopping in her tracks. Her wide, blue eyes met Laura’s and her red cheeks turned to apples. “Can I be Elsa for the wedding?”

Laura looked down at the white dress she wore. Half her abundant boobage poured out like a tasty cupcake. The bodice dug into her ribs and the skirts made the skin on her thighs itch.

And then little Aaron came bounding around Jillian, chocolate smeared all over his hands and face.

“How did he get chocolate?” Laura asked, the words filled with an edge she didn’t want to have.

“I made him a cake in my little oven!” Jillian cried out with pride. The oven used a lightbulb for heat to cook the little cakes, and Jillian had been long warned only to use it with adults, but apparently Laura couldn’t take ninety seconds to change into her own wedding dress two days before the big day without having Jillian get into mischief.

She grimaced. Of all the days for their nanny, Cyndi, to have food poisoning.

Aaron took one, two, three steps in slow motion toward Laura. Eyes alight with conquest at learning to walk, he pitched forward and began to fall.

Instinct overrode wedding dress and she bent down to catch him before his head met the corner of the coffee table and—

Now her skirts looked like a very fluffy group of Dalmatians cuddled up against her legs. Chocolate smears everywhere, even in the tulle.

Amazon/Kindle Unlimited Universal Buy Links:

Her Billionaires Series:  https://geni.us/HerBillionairesALL_KU

Her Billionaires (Book 1):  https://geni.us/HerBillionaires_KU

It’s Complicated (Book 2):  https://geni.us/ItsComplicated_KU

Completely Complicated (Book 3):  https://geni.us/CompltlyComplicated_KU

It’s Always Complicated (Book 4):  https://geni.us/IAComplicated_KU

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What happens when you don’t get married

Future Ex-husband Book Cover Future Ex-husband
Jillian Quinn
satire, humour, romance
Penn Publishing
(23 April 2020)

I, Harley McQueen, do not take Nathan King to be my husband…

I wish I could say no to this wedding. But to save our fathers’ company, my ex-best friend needs a fake bride to bail him out of his latest scandal.

Nate has a reputation with women.
I want the promotion my father has denied me for years.

Together, maybe we can make this fake marriage work.

As long as I don’t fall in love with him…

Again.

This was a fun book/story and I’ve learnt a lot of new vocabulary! [not being of the generation portrayed] Still the whole drink until you’re trashed scene did detract from the story as I thought it might encourage some more impressionable people to copy.  It happened too often in this story and gave the impression that it was a good thing to do.

I liked the setting in the Gamer world but thought that more could have been made of this. Overall, I am giving it a 4 star with some reservations.

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Stand up girl!

Daisy Does it Herself
Gracie Player
Romance
TRM Publishing, BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 28 Mar 2020

Sometimes, the last place you intended to go is exactly where you need to be.

When 26-year-old Daisy's life in London comes crashing down around her, the only thing she can think of is getting away - far away. That's how she found herself stumbling off a train in England's picturesque Peak District - 150 miles from home, with no idea why she'd gone there and even less idea how she intended to get home.

But as Daisy explores the gorgeous village of Upper Finlay, she glimpses the possibility of a different life. The Derbyshire Dales offer up new friends, new opportunities, and a distractingly dishy object of attraction in the form of local bookstore owner Alex (and his bumbling Great Dane.) When Daisy discovers Alex’s business is in trouble she steps in to save the day.

But London's Calling - literally. The life Daisy ran away from is calling her back. Why then, is she so reluctant to heed its call?

Daisy's got a decision to make: Will she play it safe, and return to what she knew? Or is she brave enough to take a leap of faith and create a bold, new life for herself in the last place she'd ever expected?

Daisy Does It Herself is a heartwarming, feel-good romantic comedy in the vein of Bridget Jones's Diary, Diary of a Shopaholic, and Big Sexy Love. Fans of warm and witty romantic comedies with a guaranteed happily-ever-after will be entranced.

So there is Daisy. Not well educated but eager and happy to learn after a series of temping positions. And then she finds programming and loves it and teaches herself lots of interesting stuff.
But she still doesn’t have any qualification and so when a promotion comes up at her current temping job, despite the fact that she has done brilliant work with their social media, the job is given to a new hire.
And then there is Daisy’s long term relationship with a rather controlling male. Who takes her lack of formal education and social nous and makes her feel small and encourages her to depend on his opinion about everything. Until.
And Daisy has to find her own way in the world - and finds a bookshop to hang out in - and romance blossoms.
So far, so genre.
What rescues this story is the writing style It was fun and amusing and empathetic. And thus enjoyable to read, without grammatical errors and not in need of either editing or proofreading.

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