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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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No second chances for me

The Second Chance Hotel Book Cover The Second Chance Hotel
Rachel Dove
Fiction
HarperCollins UK
May 29, 2020
384

Welcome to Shady Pines, where the sun is shining, the sea is sparkling, and there’s a cosy chalet waiting to be your home away from home. But will April find the new start she’s looking for?

April Statham had it all – until her husband left her for a blonde ten years her junior. Now she’s thirty-five, single, and starting again. So she does what anyone in her position would do: she impulsively invests her life savings in the chalet park she used to visit as a child, on the beautiful Cornish Coast.

The Shady Pines Chalet Park is… ramshackle. But it has one big advantage – it is as far as physically possible from April’s ex, his new fiancée, and her old life. With gorgeous handyman Cillian O’Leary, April is looking forward to the challenge.

As visitors arrive, April realises that Shady Pines isn’t just a second chance for her, it gives Cillian another shot at happiness too.

But when he moves into the chalet next door, April’s painful past starts to catch up with her, and she struggles to reconcile her feelings for Cillian.

Is April’s new beginning destined to end in failure – or will she find new friends, a new life and new love at her second chance hotel?

I find myself in a quandary as I can't relate to the main character in this book. She is somehow vague. Just as I think I know her, she floats away.

I get the divorce and the running away. But for a person who keeps saying she is broke, she buys a lot of Stuff. 
And Cillian- well - the hot handyman is just too cliched and his temper is problematic. He is so reminiscent of the Gamekeeper that I can't see him any other way. Even his relationships with April and Madge slips away in my reader's mind.
And then 'Hotel'. This is a Chalet Park. No hotel in sight.
And just what hotel job did April do? Again hints but nothing clear.

And then adding... into the mix as an excuse for an inability to conceive, when most medical texts say that properly treated it isn't. Or if hers was so bad that it was, why not a hysterectomy and get rid of the symptoms?

So the storyline slips away from me too.

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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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Let’s go to the Beach!

Love on Beach Avenue Book Cover Love on Beach Avenue
Sunshine Sisters #1
Jennifer Probst
Fiction, Romantic Comedy
Montlake Romance
2020-05
316

True love is in the details for the Jersey shore's premier wedding planner in this heart-swooning series about big dreams and happy endings from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst. Avery Sunshine might not have a soul mate of her own, but she still believes in happily ever after--for her clients. Making dreams come true is her business at Sunshine Bridal, which she runs with her two sisters. When her best friend announces her engagement, Avery is thrilled to take charge of the giddy bride-to-be's big day. Less thrilling? Her best friend's arrogant and demanding brother, who just so happens to be the man of honor. Carter Ross's first instinct: call 911. He promised to always take care of his impulsive little sister, and he honors that vow. Even if it means taking over her wedding, where he is sure Avery will fail. At best, Avery is unpredictable. At worst, if she's anything like the spitfire of a college girl he remembers, the main event could run wild. With Avery and Carter wrestling for control, tempers heat up. So does the spark of attraction they're fighting with every kiss. As the wedding draws near, it's time to reconcile a rocky past and make a decision that could change everyone's lives. Because what they're rebelling against looks a lot like love.

Love on a beach

This is book 1 in a series about 3 sisters who are running, somewhat reluctantly by some, the wedding planning business, their parents retired from.

They are situated in a real town – Cape May – near to Atlantic City which is a summer resort town.

Cape May is a city and seaside resort at the tip of southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula. It’s known for its grand Victorian houses such as the Emlen Physick Estate, now a museum with a preserved interior from the era. Shops and restaurants line the Washington Street Mall, 3 pedestrianized blocks of Washington Street. The Cape May Lighthouse provides views across the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

It certainly sounds nice..

The sisters are very different and this is the story of the sister who is ‘in control’ of the business and her difficulty with romance and her OCD tendencies towards the business. And his reluctance towards romance stemming from family history.

PS I love Lucy but she is spoilt and needs to a. Get her diet sorted; and b. Get some exercise! It has some fun moments and the child is delightful, and you can see the ups and downs clearly. The style is right for the genre and needs little proof reading. And it leads nicely into the next two books in the series – one of which has yet to be published!

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Steele by name

Claimed By A Steele Book Cover Claimed By A Steele
(Forged of Steele, Book 13)
Brenda Jackson
Fiction
HarperCollins UK, (Mills & Boon Desire)
April 2, 2020
192

Is this playboy ready for the wildest ride of his life? A PR stunt would be good for business so trucking CEO Gannon Steele invites reporter Delphine Ryland to hitch a ride cross-country. But soon the trip turns from strictly business to strictly pleasure, and the consequences might be more than this rough-and-ready bachelor can handle….

Well I thought that these weren’t the first in the series about the Steele family, and checking on Amazon I find that they are books 12 and 13 in the series...
But that in the Kimani imprint (African American novels only) there is a number 89 in the series! So the story goes on...
These 2 novels take on the romances of the 2 youngest of the 6 sons of the family.
Whilst I thought these 2 books were reasonable for their genre, with gentle humour and nice story-telling, I found them rather short. But then if Brenda is turning out the numbers of books she is, she can’t write a longer length novel each time. And it may also be the norm for this imprint.
This left me wanting more depth from the characters and the stories.
Adequate but not exceptional.

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