Review: Did I Mention I Miss You? (The DIMILY Trilogy #3) by Estelle Maskame

Title: Did I Mention I Miss You?
Author: Estelle Maskame
Series: The DIMILY Trilogy #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

A year has passed since Eden last spoke to Tyler. She remains furious at him for his abrupt departure last summer but has done her best to move on with her life at college in Chicago. As school breaks up for the summer, she s heading back to Santa Monica, but she s not the only one who decides to come home…

Having been left behind to deal with the aftermath of their bombshell revelation and a family torn apart, Eden has no time for Tyler when he reappears. But where has Tyler been? And is she as over him as she likes to think? Or can Tyler and Eden finally work things out, despite their family and against all the odds?

The explosive finale to Estelle Maskame s international bestselling DIMILY trilogy, and the highly anticipated conclusion to Eden and Tyler s addictive love story.

My Review:
UPDATE: Per Estelle’s note below all comments regarding the blurb not matching the book are not relevant anymore. I just didn’t want to change my review after the fact.
The book I just read doesn’t match the description on Goodreads and I note there is a new publication date so I’m guessing the version that’s releasing in December is an updated version? I’ll definitely check it out to see what changes were made.

I did enjoy reading the final book in the series even if he did have a slightly different vibe to the first two books.

Tyler’s character development in this series is absolutely superb and I say bravo to Estelle for the expert way she crafted and nurtured his character. I’ve gone from despising him in book one to totally loving him in book three. Tyler is awesome and such a motivational character in how he has turned his life around.

Eden has grown up in this instalment too. Her reactions toward Tyler at the start of the book were bang-on. I was cheering her on because I felt her pain and her anger and she was totally justified in feeling that way, but I loved how she afforded him the opportunity to explain, and it was an explanation worth waiting for.

The rest of the book shows them developing more of a normal relationship and it was really sweet and so good to see these characters getting their HEA.

I also loved the two moms and it was great to see how supportive they were of their kids even if they didn’t fully agree with some of their decisions. I’m not sure how I feel about Tyler’s dad, and given the timeframe whether it was credible or not, but, hey, this isn’t real life so I just went with the flow. Eden’s dad continues to be the greatest jackass to walk the planet and I’m glad that she took the bull by the horns and tried to tackle him at the end.

My main complaint with this book is that there was no real conflict (beyond what we are used to in this series) and no climactic moment. I kept expecting some bombshell or obstacle to be thrown their way but nothing happened. The story seemed a little flat as a result. I still enjoyed it but I think it was lacking a little on the dramatic front. I also would have really loved an epilogue set in the future. Hopefully, both those points will be addressed in the new version and I look forward to checking it out.

Having read this complete series now, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was very addictive – I’ve read the three books pretty much non-stop, back to back, over the last few days, and I got totally immersed in the characters lives and the settings. I hugely enjoyed how each book had a different backdrop and that only added to the appeal. If you haven’t checked this series out and you enjoy teen drama and angst and/or step-sibling romance, then I highly recommend it.

Review: Did I Mention I Need You? (The DIMILY Trilogy #2) by Estelle Maskame

Title: Did I Mention I Need You?
Author: Estelle Maskame
Series: The DIMILY Trilogy #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

It’s been a year since eighteen-year-old Eden Munro last saw Tyler Bruce: her stepbrother…and her secret love. Although they called time on their forbidden relationship for the sake of their family, Eden can’t help but feel excited when Tyler invites her to join him in New York City for the summer.

Anyway, Eden is happy with her boyfriend Dean, and surely Tyler has moved on too. But as they spend a long, hot summer in the excitement of the city that never sleeps, it soon becomes obvious that they aren’t over each other. But can they resist temptation?

In Did I Mention I Need You?, the second volume of Estelle Maskame’s phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, Tyler and Eden must face up to their feelings and decide what to do next. Is their love strong enough to face the challenges that lie ahead?

My Review:
Fair warning – if you haven’t read book one this review contains minor spoilers.

It’s been two years since Tyler and Eden ended things romantically, and both are really looking forward to her spending six weeks with Tyler in New York. Tyler has been on an event tour talking about the abuse he suffered at his father’s hands. It’s been therapeutic for him and it’s helped him turn his life around. But, has he really dealt with his demons? Is everything a product of his past?

Eden has been dating Tyler’s best friend Dean and she loves him. He is head over heels for her and has no clue that she still loves Tyler and that they used to be more than just step-siblings. I was so surprised that Tiffani kept that secret but later on we understand why.

As soon as Eden steps foot in NY, she realizes she still loves him and begins to see that she made a mistake pushing him away. As Tyler gives her the guided tour of NY, she falls more deeply in love and soon they are acting on their joint feelings, despite their guilt over Dean.

Tyler won a lot of brownie points in this instalment (except for the end where he lost a few but more on that) but Eden lost a lot of ground with me. I found her character development to be a little lacking and she grated on my nerves a fair bit. She seemed to want to have her cake and eat it and her actions were unfair on both guys. I also don’t understand how she could date Tyler’s best friend knowing she still loved Tyler. I get that she was trying to move on, but, seriously, girl, pick an unknown boyfriend would ya? Her choices were extremely selfish when it came to the two guys. However, the biggest gripe I have about her is her reaction and action when Tiffani made an appearance. It was 2am in the morning and I had to swallow my screams of frustration. I slammed my Kindle down in disgust, inwardly yelling at Eden for her complete idiocy. I’m really glad Estelle didn’t drag that out because I might have just given up on this book if she had.

Eden’s dad is still being an ass -part of me can understand because he had to live with Tyler for years when he was in the height of his self-destructive mode and I get why he wouldn’t want his daughter to be with him – but it was his failure to address the shortcomings in his relationship with Eden that really angered me. He was a terrible father-figure.

I was happy with the decision they made at the end of the book and I felt their anguish when their news wasn’t well received. Maybe I’m very liberal, but if I was the parent in that situation I really wouldn’t give a monkeys about the step-sibling relationship. They are not blood relatives and they didn’t grow up as brother and sister so what’s the big deal? I want my kids to be happy and I will always support their choices once I know they have given them due consideration. They may not always make the choices I would, but they are their own person, and I’d like to think that when they come of age I will respect that fact.

I was totally shell-shocked at that ending, and felt let-down by Tyler. I couldn’t believe it and I had to immediately download the next book to find out what was going on. Having read the third book at this stage, I can say that all will become obvious and make total sense, so if you are frustrated at the ending of this book, don’t give up. The explanation is worth it.

In summary, this was another great read crammed with more angst and drama which I loved.

Review: Did I Mention I Love You? (The DIMILY Trilogy #1) by Estelle Maskame

Title: Did I Mention I Love You?
Author: Estelle Maskame
Series: The DIMILY Trilogy #1
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.

My Review:
Eden’s world turns upside down the minute she steps foot in the Santa Monica mansion where her father now lives with his new wife and her three sons. Estranged from her father for three years (since her parent’s divorce,) Eden is hoping the summer will give her a chance to reconnect with her errant dad. But he seems intent on keeping his distance and she questions why he even asked her to spend the summer with him. She warms to her new stepmother and her two younger stepbrothers but her eldest stepbrother, Tyler, is the biggest douche to walk the planet.

Tyler goes beyond mean and moody into a category all on his own. Clearly troubled, he is hooked on alcohol and drugs and he has a very unhealthy relationship with the uber-manipulative Tiffani.

Eden gets sucked into his group, hanging out with his friends, and gradually starts to peel back Tyler’s layers. As she does, she realizes the guy is hurting, and without conscious thought becomes the only one to give a damn about dragging him back from the brink.

I was very impressed with Estelle’s character development in this book. For a young, debut author she did a stellar job. I have a sixteen-year-old son with hormones running amok and a serious attitude problem, and I found myself chuckling at some of Tyler’s antics and barbed comments because it nails the misunderstood teen boy so well. I’d like to clarify that my son doesn’t have any addiction problems and he is in no way as obnoxious as Tyler, but there were glimpses that made me laugh. In a nutshell, it’s very authentic and I was seriously impressed at how well his character was crafted. I also loved how she didn’t glamorize his problems.

Eden is a nice, sweet girl who is genuinely horrified when she discovers what Tyler is doing and what he is dealing with. She tries to help him and she is one of a few who tells him it’s wrong and he has to stop. She is the only one who seems to be able to get through to him, and he starts listening to her.

I love the forbidden nature of their romance and I was totally shipping them. I hated Tiffani, and wasn’t mad about Rachel or Meghan either. Jake was an ass, Dean was a sweetheart. Chase and Jamie were adorable. A great well-developed cast of secondary characters.

This book was chock-full of teen drama, angst, secrets, lies, revelations and betrayals and I just lapped it up. The pacing was perfect and this book held my attention the entire time.

I had some issues with the plot and the writing was a little amateurish in parts, which is the only reason I knocked off some stars.

A highly addictive series that will appeal to fans of YA contemp romance with lashings of teen-soap-opera style drama.

This review will appear on my blog in due course:

Actual 3.75 stars.

Review: Fugly (Fugly #1) by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Title: Fugly
Author: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Series: Fugly #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

A Contemporary Romance from New York Times Bestselling Author Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

My name is Lily Snow. I am twenty-five years old, and despite being born with an unattractive face, I have never doubted who I am: smart, driven, and beautiful on the inside.

Until I met Maxwell Cole.

He’s handsome, excessively wealthy, and the owner of Cole Cosmetics. It’s been my dream to work for this man for as long as I can remember. The good news is he wants to hire me. The bad news is he wants me for all the wrong reasons. Ugly reasons.

In exchange, he’s offered me my dreams on a silver platter. The job. The title. A beautiful future. But this man is as messed up and ugly as they come on the inside. I’m not sure anyone can help him, and he just might take my heart down with him.

My Review:
Fugly is my first read by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff and I know it won’t be my last. This beautiful, sweet, sexy, sometimes heartwrenching story explores the concept of ugliness in all its guises, and I found it very thought-provoking and introspective. I would challenge anyone to read this book and not stop and think about society’s definition of beauty and how completely messed-up it is.

Lily has been raised in a loving, nurturing environment and always been made to feel important, valued and loved. This is despite the fact that her face isn’t conventionally pretty and it doesn’t match her hot bod. Lily is super smart and fiercely career-orientated with a definite life plan in mind. She has always considered herself to be above the derision and hostility she faces and feels happy in her own skin.

All that changes when she meets Maxwell Cole – hot, CEO of Cole Cosmetics and a bit of an evangelist when it comes to true beauty. His motto is real beauty is soul-deep rather than skin-deep, and he’s adored by women the world over for his refreshing views. However, that’s all a carefully controlled marketing image that feeds the brand – Or is it?

Lily and Max challenge each other in so many different ways and I adored their relationship progression. Their witty back and forth had me in stitches and when the sexy times arrive it was definitely worth the wait. I spent the first part of the book detesting Max and calling bs on his supposed cacophobia. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought it was a made-up condition and I was initially skeptical. However, I’ve since discovered that it is a real condition and I became more emphatic toward Max, especially as he was trying so hard to overcome it.

We have two contrasting parental set-ups here which is interesting. A lot of Max’s issue arise from his dysfunctional childhood and bitch of a mother. Lily’s parents are awesome if a little bit overbearing and too protective at times. Polar opposites.

I enjoyed the setting and that the corporate environment was realistically portrayed.

I greatly admired Lily and felt for her as everything she thought she knew about herself came crashing down around her. I could understand how she acted as she did toward the end even if I was screaming at her to cop the hell on!

I LOVE Mimi’s writing – it was wonderfully eloquent and oh so witty. I laughed my ass off reading this book. The pacing was spot-on.

The ending was a bit abrupt and if a second book hadn’t been written I would’ve been grossly unhappy with that epilogue. However, I knew there was a second book so it didn’t faze me.

All in all, this was an amazing read and a great introduction to this author.

Can be read as a standalone with a HEA and no cliffhanger.

Actual 4.5 Stars.

Review: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

My Review:
Initial Thoughts: This book almost destroyed me. Heartbreaking.

Full Review:
Forbidden was very thought-provoking and I found myself, at times, both disgusted and sympathetic in equal measure. Having reflected on it for a few days, it is hard to look at the love between Lochan and Maya as wrong even if that is how society categorizes it.

Their family situation is completely dysfunctional. They were quasi-parents to their younger siblings, and they never really had a traditional brother and sister relationship. I couldn’t help wondering if they’d had a normal upbringing would they have fallen in love or were they always destined for one another irrespective of their environment and their circumstances? It’s an interesting question and one that’s had me thinking about this book several days after I finished it.

Modern society has a genuine reason for saying no to incest – proven birth defects in any children born of incestuous relationships. And I get that, but my mind was contemplating all kinds of scenarios whereby it could be permitted – what if it was allowed and both parties agreed to sterilization, then the risk is eliminated. Of course, that wouldn’t solve the stigma or the myriad of other issues, and I’m not saying every government should rush out and change their laws because it’s a hugely sensitive complex issue, but I would genuinely feel for any couple like Lochie and Maya and believe it’s wrong that society says they can’t be together.

Characterization was superb in this book, with emotional depth and plenty of substance. I felt both of their pain as they struggled with their feelings for one another – as they tried valiantly to fight their attraction and burning need for one another. The irony is that the family unit was actually stronger when they were together – it made sense.

Their parents should be strung up for their neglect and I wanted to hurl my Kindle a few times, such was my loathing for both mum and dad.

I knew this wasn’t going to end well but that finale still KILLED me – I was sobbing my heart out for ages and I felt an actual pain in my heart. It was horrific but compelling.

I applaud the author for her ability to tackle such a complex subject with sensitivity and grit. It was never glorified or ridiculed.

The writing was breathtaking if a little over descriptive at times – I did skim a bit.

In summary, this book had a deep impact on me and I love books that challenge my thinking and challenge social norms. This one will definitely stay with me for a long time.

Review: Wrecked (Axle Alley Vipers #3) by Sherilee Gray

Title: Wrecked
Author: Sherilee Gray
Series: Axle Alley Vipers #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

He’s driving her crazy…

Piper West is finally on her own, and it’s time to get crazy. Except that her overprotective big bro has enlisted his ex-cop best friend to keep an eye on his baby sister. With every move monitored and reported back, Piper’s life has gone from “going crazy” to “being driven crazy.” But a searing-hot kiss with her sexy and scarred watchdog is just the game-changer she needs…

Cole Black owes Piper’s brother big-time, but there’s nothing easy about his new assignment. Piper is all feisty sexiness and curves meant to tempt a man beyond reason, and Cole can’t stop himself. Now he’s caught up in a hunger like nothing he’s ever known, and he can’t get enough…

Even if Piper’s the one girl he’s not allowed to have.

My Review:
A fantastic friends to lovers romance full to the brim with love, laughter, angst, pain, longing, and heartfelt emotions.

Cole has shut himself off to all those closest to him in the aftermath of a tragedy. Blaming himself for the death of his partner, he believes he deserves to suffer and disregards all the plans he had made for his future. His biggest goal had been to return to his hometown and win the hand of the girl he has always loved, but he accepts that that will never be, as he feels he isn’t good enough or worthy enough of her anymore.

Pipe West has always been in love with her big brothers bestie, Cole. They had an easy going relationship until she came of age and realized her feelings ran deep. But he had a job and a life far away so she has been pining in silence. When he returns, he is a shell of his former self, and she is determined to help him in any way she can.

Characterization was superb in this book and I felt all of Cole’s devastation and grief and all of Pipe’s soul-deep longing for the one guy who has always seemed out of her reach. This was an angst-filled read that also had it’s fair share of sweet and sexy times.

I did feel like the inner monologue was very repetitive at times (especially Cole’s) and I did skim over parts that I felt were redundant. Sometimes, the plot got lost in all the sex, and the stalker plot line was a bit weak and cliche. This is the main reason why this is a 4-star, not 5-star read.

It was well written, and I loved the family-n-friends dynamic, and I’m intrigued about the other couples and will definitely pick up their books at some point.

All in all, this was a really great read, and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Review: Chasing Truth (Eleanor Ames #1) by Julie Cross

Title: Chasing Truth
Author: Julie Cross
Series: Eleanor Ames #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense

At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden.

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions.

Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.

My Review:
Chasing Truth was an exhilarating read chock-full of action, suspense, intrigue, and a smattering of swoon-worthy romance. I loved every intense, pulse-pounding, heart-clenching second of it!

Jason Bourne has met his match in sharp, feisty Eleanor Ames. What a fantastic leading lady! Ellie is a superb heroine; struggling to be good, she really wants to do the right thing, to be a good person, even though it’s often hard to let go of her past. She isn’t opposed to cutting corners or breaking rules but it’s all in the interests of uncovering the truth and she would do everything and anything to protect those she loves. It has to be said, she isn’t always likeable – she is dishonest and she tells lies a lot, but her heart is in the right place so I was able to forgive her. I actually found her character to be refreshingly different from the norm.

Miles was an immediate addition to my very-very long book boyfriend list. I don’t want to say too much for fear of spoiling the story, but he had all the qualities I admire and covet in a man. He was the perfect match for our heroine.

Voice and characterization were superb in this book, and I also loved the witty banter between our couple. But what really stood out for me was the whole mystery and intrigue and it had a real “whodunnit” vibe. I constantly changed my mind over the guilty party and I ADORE when books have me second guessing myself. The plot was well thought out and executed.

The last quarter of the book had me on the edge of my chair, frantically biting my nails, and gasping for air (okay, I’m being overly dramatic but you get the gist) – it was intense with a capital I. I would have challenged anyone to pry my Kindle from me at that stage – there was no way I was parting with that sucker until I had devoured the rest of the book. It didn’t disappoint.

The romance, while well-written, was a little on the light side for my liking, but it isn’t a major complaint. The story was mainly resolved in this book but there are elements left hanging. I’m totally invested in this couple now, and I eagerly anticipate the next instalment.

In summary, this is a superb read and I highly recommend it.

Actual rating 4.5 stars. Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Release Day: Seducing Kaden

Seducing Kaden is the sixth book in the Kennedy Boys series, and it is now LIVE. I’m so excited for you to finally meet Kaden, the mysterious eldest Kennedy brother, and his love interest, Eva. This book is much darker and more intense that the other books in this series, and I can’t wait for you to read it! You can download a copy exclusively from Amazon and it’s free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

“The books in this series just suck me in! Kaden is one sexy beast … and definitely in the running now for my favorite Kennedy brother.” Meghann. Goodreads reviewer

Seducing KadenSeducing Kaden(The Kennedy Boys #6)
by Siobhan Davis

A new forbidden romance from USA Today bestseller Siobhan Davis. Standalone with an HEA and no cliffhanger.

The woman I love will never be mine because she already belongs to another.

I’ve tried everything to forget her, but it’s impossible when she occupies a starring role in my dreams. My eyes are glued to her shapely curves whenever I see her around campus, and it doesn’t help that she looks as miserable as I feel.

I wonder if she misses me as much as I miss her.

Short of putting a bullet through the skull of that gangster she’s married to, I’m stuck in a hellhole of my own making.

Until fate intervenes, setting us on a collision course we can’t avoid.

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of falling in love. The all-consuming sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of love I swooned over in movies.

It didn’t take long for that fairytale notion to come crashing down around me. Now I’m trapped in a marriage I despise with no way out.

The only light in the dark is Kaden Kennedy—the one true love of my life. He doesn’t know he is, because I’m forced to love him from afar, condemned to toss and turn at night, crying over everything I want and all I can never have.

Seeing him day in, day out, destroys me, but there’s no other choice; I had to push him away to keep him safe.

Because if my husband ever finds out I’m in love with another man, I won’t be the only one in danger.

While you don’t need to read the earlier books in this series to enjoy Seducing Kaden, it is highly recommended. This book is a contemporary new adult romance, and it is only suitable for readers aged eighteen and older due to mature content, sexual situations, and language.

This story includes details of an extramarital affair, so if you don’t like cheating or controversial storylines, then this book isn’t for you.

“Another phenomenal Kennedy Boys book. The story keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end!” Katie Jo. Goodreads reviewer


Main Links:

Kennedy Boys series Trailer

Seducing Kaden teaser

Review: Bossman by Vi Keeland

Title: Bossman
Author: Vi Keeland
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

The first time I met Chase Parker, I didn’t exactly make a good impression.

I was hiding in the bathroom hallway of a restaurant, leaving a message for my best friend to save me from my awful date.

He overheard and told me I was a bitch, then proceeded to offer me some dating advice.

So I told him to mind his own damn business—his own tall, gorgeous, full-of-himself damn business—and went back to my miserable date.

When he walked by my table, he smirked, and I watched his arrogant, sexy ass walk back to his date.

I couldn’t help but sneak hidden glances at the condescending jerk on the other side of the room. Of course, he caught me on more than one occasion, and winked.

When the gorgeous stranger and his equally hot date suddenly appeared at our table, I thought he was going to rat me out.

But instead, he pretended we knew each other and joined us—telling elaborate, embarrassing stories about our fake childhood.

My date suddenly went from boring to bizarrely exciting.

When it was over and we parted ways, I thought about him more than I would ever admit, even though I knew I’d never see him again.

I mean, what were the chances I’d run into him again in a city with eight million people?
Then again…

What were the chances a month later he’d wind up being my new sexy boss?

My Review:
Bossman is a stomping good read, and I can’t believe that I am only discovering the genius that is Vi Keeland now. Funny, Poignant, Heartwarming, Sexy and Sweet all in equal measure, Bossman will pluck your heartstrings until you feel like an invisible hand is squeezing your heart to bursting point. I had all the feels reading this one – ALL the feels. It was so so good.

Chase is a refreshingly different CEO than the typical dominant type you usually read about in these kind of books. He was happy to stand back and let his employees shine, and I loved that about him. He flirted outrageously with Reece, which could’ve earned him a lawsuit if she wasn’t as attracted to him too. Even though he’s a little bit naughty, he was still a real gent and he totally made my heart swoon. However, he’s hiding a tragedy from his past that has dictated how he’s lived his life up to this point. He’s now at a critical juncture – feeling more than just fleeting lust for a woman – and you know it’s all about to go pear-shaped.

I loved Reece – she really spoke to the career-driven part of my persona. She didn’t wanted to get involved with her boss because she wanted to earn the respect of her co-workers on her own merit, and not because she was sleeping with the bossman.

While she did her damnedest to resist Chase, the man is irresistible and soon they were indulging their sizzling hot chemistry. The sex scenes were brilliantly written and I loved these two together.

Of course, as soon as Reece entertains the possibility of them as a couple, his past comes back to haunt him. He falls apart and pushes her away and it was heartbreaking. I felt their mutual pain and I cried for our tortured hero.

Thankfully, we get our HEA in the end so I’m a happy camper.

I loved the writing and the witty banter between our loving pair. It also had the perfect amount of angst and drama. I can find nothing to fault because it was exemplary in my opinion.

Highly Recommended.

Review: His Fantasy Bride (Things to do Before You Die… #3) by Nina Croft

Title: His Fantasy Bride
Author: Nina Croft
Series: Things to do Before You Die… #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance

I can’t marry you. You don’t love me.

Two sentences, that’s all Gabrielle Harper left Vito D’Ascensio when she vanished the night before their wedding. If he wants his bride back, he’s going to have to hunt her down and prove his love. But when he searches for Gabrielle, he finds Gabby instead; it seems his perfect bride is nothing but a fantasy.

After six months, Gabby presumes it’s over, an episode in her life she’s totally ashamed of. But now Vito is back. He’s the one man she can never have, but as desire explodes between them, she has a tough time remembering why they shouldn’t be together. Oh, right, her family hates him, and he’s done terrible things. Or has he? But it doesn’t matter. When he finds out the truth about who she really is…he’ll never want to see her again.

My Review:
Nina Croft delivers a well-paced contemporary read with great dialogue and plenty of romantic moments.

I was intrigued by the premise of this book, and I loved the little note that the author inserted at the start of the book to put it into context.

This is a book about second chances and learning to open up before a relationship can really mature into something long lasting.

Gabby fled Vito’s arms on the eve of their wedding six months ago, but she can’t forget the sultry hottie who is supposed to be her arch-enemy.

On the eve of the six-month anniversary, Vito reappears in her life, determined to get answers, and to win back “his fantasy bride.”

What he discovers blows him away. Gabrielle is now Gabby and not entirely like he remembers her. With lies and deception still driving a wedge between them, can he tell who is the real Gabby and more importantly if she is the woman for him.

Vito was a great leading man and I thought he was very understanding, all things considered. I felt for Gabby even if her cowardice irritated me. She made a mistake, but she didn’t actually betray him other than keeping the real reason for their meeting a secret for so long. She should have grown a pair and told him the truth. But, if she had we wouldn’t have had any story.

The writing was great, the sex scenes were tastefully structured, and characterization was decent.

Overall, this was a great, quick read and one I recommend.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.