Category Archives: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review: Collision Course by Marie Harte

Title: Collision Course by Marie Harte
Body Shop Bad Boys Series Book Four
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

He’s always had a way with the ladies
She won’t give him the time of day
Sparks fly when two hearts in motion collide.

Florist Joey Reeves is working overtime to stay away from Lou Cortez, the ace mechanic with a reputation for irresistible charm. She’s a single mom with enough on her plate—the last thing she needs is entanglement with the hottest guy in town…

“Well, hello there.”

Joey glanced up and froze. The man who’d been haunting her sleep looked even better in the hard light of day.
“H-hello.” She coughed. The guys who worked at Webster’s Garage all looked larger than life, covered in tattoos, muscles, and that indefinable sense of danger they wore like a second skin. But this guy, the tall, Latin lover with dark-brown eyes and lips made for kissing, who had snared her.

Review:

Collision Course is the fourth scorching hot installment in Marie Harte’s sinfully sexy Body Shop Bad Boys series. This latest  addition can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend the entire series.

Lou Cortez is an all around wonderful man who is well-liked by his friends, co-workers and bosses. Although he is quite charming and rather irresistible to women, he is not interested in a long-term relationship. Lou is dedicated to his family and he has a wonderful relationship with his mom, sisters and extended family. He is relatively grounded but his childhood definitely has an impact on his view of relationships and this affects his dating life since he steers clear of single mothers. Despite his ease with women, Lou has not had much success snagging the attention of his crush Josephine “Joey” Reeves.

Joey is in her early twenties, but due to her life experiences, she is an old soul. A single mom to an almost nine year old son, Brandon, she has finally been given a well deserved promotion at work. Joey and Brandon live with her parents who have never quite gotten over their disapproval or disappointment of their only child’s teen pregnancy. Joey has not dated much over the years and she is not looking for a relationship when she tentatively agrees to go out with Lou.

The relationship between Lou and Joey is sweet but there is plenty of heat between them. Joey’s past dates have been quite disappointing so her expectations are rather low when she starts going out with Lou. The attraction between them is explosive and Joey is more than happy to let Lou take charge of their sex life.  His dirty talking and dominance hits all of her hot spots and their encounters are sizzling hot.

Although Joey and Lou are very compatible in the bedroom, trouble is waiting around the corner for the couple. Joey is stunned to discover the Brandon’s father is back in town and she is very afraid of what threat this will pose. She is also struggling with her parents’ continued negative attitude towards her and the situation between them is quickly building to a confrontation. Lou is shocked by the realization his feelings for Joey are much deeper than just attraction. He is hoping for a more permanent relationship with Joey, but his vision for their future is in jeopardy once Lou uncovers the secret she has been keeping from him.

Collision Course is a blazing hot romance that stars two extremely likable protagonists. Lou is a swoonworthy hero with a heart of gold and a commanding presence in the bedroom. Joey is an endearing single mom who finally finds the gumption to stand up to her parents in a dramatic but applause worthy showdown.  The conflict that eventually arises between Lou and Joey is realistic and quickly resolved. A sweetly entertaining and delectably steamy installment that old and new fans of Marie Harte’s Body  Shop Bad Boys series are going to love.

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Filed under Body Shop Bad Boys Series, Collision Course, Contemporary, Marie Harte, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Title: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
The Ones Who Got Away Series Book One
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

Liv’s words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she’d known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.

The Ones Who Got Away series:
The Ones Who Got Away (Book 1)
The One You Can’t Forget (Book 2)
The One You Fight For (Book 3)

Review:

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren is a sweet yet steamy second chance at love romance that is both poignant and uplifting. This first installment in The Ones Who Got Away series features four friends twelve years after they survived a fictitious high school shooting that occurred during prom.

In high school, Olivia “Liv” Arias was a bit of a rebel with a quirky fashion sense. The daughter of a landscaper, her family expected her to follow a traditional path of attending college and earning a sensible degree. After surviving the horrific shooting at her high school, Liv went a bit off the rails afterwards, but since graduating college, she is focused on her career as a web designer. Returning to her hometown for an interview about the shooting, she reunites with the three friends who supported each other after the massacre and surprisingly, her secret high school boyfriend, Finn Dorsey. Meeting face to face for the first time since that ill-fated night that forever changed their lives, Liv and Finn discover their attraction still burns brighter than ever, but with their lives taking very different paths, is there any chance for a future together?

After opening the time capsule Liv, Rebecca Lindt, Kincaid Breslin and Taryn Landry buried after the mass shooting, all of the women realize how far their lives have diverged from their high school dreams. Liv gave up her dreams of becoming a photographer and while satisfied with her web design career, she quickly realizes how empty and sterile her life has become.  She has no close friendships and while she has enjoyed many casual flings, she has never had a serious relationship with any of the men she has dated.  These realizations lead to her to reassess her life and while initially uncertain about making any major changes, Liv finally decides it is time to step out of her comfort zone just a bit. Deciding to begin her photography hobby again, Liv accepts Finn’s (platonic) offer to spend weekends at the lake house he is renting for the summer.

Just like Liv and the other survivors, Finn also struggled to overcome the adverse effects of the shooting.  He chose to face his fears head on and he eventually entered into a career in law enforcement. After the end of a very long and difficult case, Finn has no choice but to take time off from work.  Spending time with Liv is no hardship but he does have to work hard to keep their interactions strictly platonic.  While he greatly enjoys Liv’s company, Finn unexpectedly has to wrestle with his burning desire for his former flame while also experiencing residual guilt from their teenage romance and the night of the shooting.

There are absolutely no expectations from either Liv or Finn about their renewed acquaintance.  They genuinely enjoy each other’s company and despite their mutual attraction, both agree friendship is the wisest course for them. However, they finally decide they can handle a no strings fling that will end when Finn departs at summer’s end. But with such a complicated history between them, will Liv and Finn be able to keep their hearts out of their fun, flirty and sizzling hot summer romance?

The Ones Who Got Away is a heartfelt and engaging romance.  Liv and Finn are endearing characters who have managed to thrive despite their traumatic past.  Roni Loren handles the details of the mass shooting and the aftereffects in the survivors in a forthright and sensitive manner. The obstacles that Liv and Finn must overcome on their way to happily ever after are realistic and the resolution of the conflict that threatens their future together is unexpectedly romantic. The novel’s conclusion is emotional but at the same time, immensely gratifying.  Rebecca’s cryptic comments regarding the shooting will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next installment in The Ones Who Got Away series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Roni Loren, Sourcebooks Casablanca, The Ones Who Got Away, The Ones Who Got Away Series

Review: A Piece of My Heart by Sharon Sala

Title: A Piece of My Heart by Sharon Sala
Blessings, Georgia Series Book Four
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

She’s never had a home
Growing up in a troubled foster home, Mercy Dane knew she could never rely on anyone but herself. She’s used to giving her all to people who don’t give her a second glance, so when she races to Blessings, Georgia, to save the life of an accident victim, she’s flabbergasted when the grateful town opens its arms to her. She never dreamed she’d ever find family or friends—or a man who looks at her as if she hung the stars.

Until she finds peace in his arms
Police Chief Lon Pittman is getting restless living in sleepy little Blessings. But the day Mercy Dane roars into his life on the back of a motorcycle, practically daring him to pull her over, he’s lost. There’s something about Mercy’s tough-yet-vulnerable spirit that calls to Lon, and he will do anything in his power to make her realize that home isn’t just where the heart is—home is where their heart is.

Review:

A Piece of My Heart is a cute addition to Sharon Sala’s small-town Blessings, Georgia series.  Although this latest release is the fourth installment in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone.

As someone who grew up in the foster care system, Mercy Dane is a self-reliant, tough as nails waitress who works in a biker bar.  When she gets an emergency phone call requesting a blood donation for a car accident victim, she immediately jumps on her Harley and rushes to Blessings.  Her good deed yields surprising benefits as Mercy is reunited with Lon Pittman, a man whom she shared one incredible night with several years earlier. But most shocking is the discovery that Mercy is the long lost sister of Hope Talbot, the accident victim to whom she donated blood. The sisters were separated as children after Hope was adopted out of foster care. Mercy does not hesitate to move to Blessings to become better acquainted with Hope, her brother-in-law Jack and his brother Duke. Despite the years that have passed since they last met, Lon would like nothing better than to date Mercy, but will she let down her guard enough to give their fledgling romance a chance?

Mercy is a refreshingly straight forward woman who does not play games nor does she hesitate to speak her mind. With no family of her own, she has forged close ties with the bar owner where she is employed but the chance to get to know Hope is too tempting to pass up. Although she is a little uncomfortable living with complete strangers, she is delighted for the opportunity to reconnect with her sister.  While Mercy is a bit wary, she also quickly agrees to renew her acquaintance with Lon in order to see if there is the potential for a relationship between them.

Lon never forgot the night he spent with Mercy and he is stunned when he recognizes her at the hospital.  Determined not to let the opportunity to date her slip through his fingers, Lon wastes no time letting her know he is still interested in her. Lon is a steady, reliable man who is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and he is quick to reassure Mercy he will give her all the time she needs to decide how she feels about him.

Despite Lon and Hope’s easy acceptance of Mercy, some of the townspeople are not as quick to welcome her to Blessings. Mercy’s reaction to an ill-spirited verbal attack is quite unexpected and exposes her well-hidden vulnerabilities. Hope’s brother-in-law Duke is quite judgmental but Mercy never hesitates to put him in his place.  Some of the residents are quick to stereotype Mercy based on her appearance and the fact she rides a Harley.

The relationship between Lon and Mercy is free from conflict but there is a bit of an insta-love quality to their romance. This is most likely due to the fact that although they have a few dates, their time together is short and often interrupted by a variety of dramatic events. It is also not much of a surprise when someone from Mercy’s past resurfaces although the ensuing situation is rather surprising.

With an eclectic cast of endearing characters and a sweet romance A Piece of My Heart is an engaging novel with a delightful small town atmosphere.  Longtime fans of the Blessings, Georgia series will enjoy catching up with their favorite characters from previous installments.  Sharon Sala provides enough background information on the various characters that new readers can easily begin the series with this latest installment.

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Filed under A Piece of My Heart, Blessings Georgia Series, Contemporary, Rated C+, Review, Romance, Sharon Sala, Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review: Zero to Sixty by Marie Harte

Title: Zero to Sixty by Marie Harte
Body Shop Bad Boys Series Book Three
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

BAD BOY SAM + GOOD GIRL IVY =
LEARNING TO LOVE AGAIN

After her last disaster of a relationship, Ivy Stephens is content being single. She has her job, her apartment-and the cute little puppy she’s seen hanging around. When he escapes, she finds her search efforts aided by a big, burly, devastatingly handsome man. One who claims a prior claim on her dog.

Sam Hamilton is at loose ends since his best friend fell in love. He finds a sense of purpose in rescuing strays. The puppy who’s stolen his heart just happens to run into blond, beautiful Ivy. And Sam can’t help hoping she’ll take in one more stray-him-for good.

Review:

Zero to Sixty is a super cute, sweet and delectably steamy addition to Marie Harte’s fabulous Body Shop Bad Boys series.  Although this is the third installment in the series, it can be read as a standalone, but I HIGHLY recommend the previous two books as well.

Hottie auto mechanic Sam Hamilton is feeling a little lonely and left out now his bestie Foley Sanders has fallen in love. Rough, tumble and prone to fighting when stressed, he has a very soft heart beneath his gruff exterior.  In recent months, Sam has been rescuing stray animals on the down low and he is very concerned over his latest find, an adorable puppy he calls Scruffy who has been taken in by a very attractive shop owner. Worried his appearance will frighten the lovely lady who has caught his eye, Sam takes great pains to make himself appear non-threatening when he stops by to check on the pup.  Although he is certain massage therapist Ivy Stephens won’t be interested in dating him, he proposes they share custody of the puppy she has dubbed Cookie.  A surprising friendship quickly springs up between them and both are quick to acknowledge their simmering attraction to each other, but will Sam and  Ivy be willing to take a chance on love?

Sam is extremely loyal to family and friends and he is completely devoted to Foley and his mom Eileen.  He is deeply scarred by his abusive and dysfunctional childhood and he is incredibly grateful to Eileen for the love she showed to him while he was growing up.  Sam cannot quite bring him to cut ties with his addicted mother, Linda, although he is always wrecked after giving in to her pleas for him to help.  His new relationship with Ivy is, hands down, the best thing that has ever happened to him, but will Sam let the baggage from his past ruin his chance at happiness?

While Ivy is mostly happy with how her life has turned out, she carries a few emotional wounds from her childhood. Although she has mostly made peace with the situation with her family, she is saddened by the distance between them.  After a failed engagement and a string of bad dates, Ivy has decided to focus on her career.  Initially a little wary of Sam, she quickly realizes there is a lot of tenderness beneath his tattoos and muscles.  She is a little taken aback by his somewhat rough life but Ivy cannot resist agreeing to share custody of Cookie.   

Despite a bit of a misunderstanding following a heated kiss and unexpected make-out session, Ivy is surprisingly eager to spend time with Sam.  While a little impatient to take their relationship to the next level, she is enjoying getting to know him and his friends.  When Sam shuts her out, will Ivy be content to let him work through things on his own?  Or will she risk her heart by admitting how much he means to her?

Zero to Sixty is an absolutely heartwarming romance that old and new fans of the Body Shop Bad Boys series are going to love.  Sam and Ivy are endearing characters with interesting backstories and easy to relate to issues and flaws.  Their easygoing friendship is a wonderful foundation for their transition to lovers and the chemistry between them is palpable. The banter between Sam and his friends is delightful and their support for him is unwavering. This latest release from Marie Harte is a joyful and entertaining read that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend.

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Filed under Body Shop Bad Boys Series, Contemporary, Marie Harte, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Zero to Sixty

Review: Tangled in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell

Title: Tangled in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell
Texas Rodeo Series Book Two
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

It took 32 seconds to end his career.
But it only took 1 to change his life.

Thirty-two seconds. That’s how long it took for Delon Sanchez’s life to end. One minute he was the best bronc rider in the Panhandle and the next he was nothing. Knee shattered, future in question, all he can do is pull together the pieces…and wonder what cruel trick of fate has thrown him into the path of his ex, the oh-so-perfect Tori Patterson.

Tori’s come home after her husband’s death, intent on escaping the public eye. It’s just her luck that Delon limps into her physical therapy office, desperate for help. All hard-packed muscle and dark-eyed temptation, he’s never been anything but a bad idea. And yet, seeing him again, Tori can’t remember what made her choose foolish pride over love…or why, with this second, final chance to right old wrongs, the smartest choice would be to run from this gorgeous rodeo boy as fast as her boots can take her.

Review:

Tangled in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell is a delightfully charming second chance at love romance between an injured bronc rider and a physical therapist. Although this latest release is the second installment in the Texas Rodeo series, it can be read as a standalone, but I HIGHLY recommend the previous novel as well.

With his rodeo career hanging in the balance, Delon Sanchez is determined to do whatever it takes to regain mobility in his injured kneee.  Stunned to discover that his new physical therapist is Tori Patterson, the woman he had a fling with seven years earlier, he tries to put aside his reservations in order to achieve his goals.  At the same time he is trying to rehabilitate his knee, Delon is trying to come to terms with the fact that Violet Jacobs, the mother of his son, Beni, is involved in a serious relationship with bullfighter Joe Cassidy.  Watching his dream of the three of them eventually becoming a family disappear, Delon is already angry and bitter as he tries to understand where he fits in his family-owned trucking business.  With so many difficult changes occuring his life, is Delon in any position to act on his still simmering attraction to Tori?

The daughter of a well-liked Texas Senator, Tori managed to escape the limelight when she married Wyoming roper, Willy Hancock.  A year and a half after Willy’s death, she moves back to the TX Panhandle in order to live a quiet life out of the public eye while she still continues grieving his loss.  In her years away from Texas, Tori has really come into her own and she is now a little outspoken and a whole lot more confident.  Still a little numb from the sudden death of her beloved husband, she is shocked out of her comfortable and rather sterile life when she becomes reacquainted with Delon. Tori is no longer content to sit back and quietly accept whatever he is willing to give but is Delon ready to stop playing it safe and risk his heart?

Although both Delon and Tori have moved on since their relationship abruptly ended years earlier, they are both quite stunned to discover their burning hot desire has not waned.  However, when they first meet again, neither of them is ready to do act on their passion. Tori is still picking up the pieces of her life, but emotionally, she is in a much better than Delon is at this point. He is not much for introspection so Delon ignores his feelings about the things that are bothering him.  However, with so many changes in his life out of his control, his anger is eating away at him.  Unwilling to concede that his expectation of becoming a “real” family with Violet and Beni has always been unreasonable, Delon is feeling displaced and out of sorts as Violet’s relationship with Joe continues.

Meanwhile, an unexpected situation with Tori’s family thrusts her back into the public eye just as she and Delon begin dating.  As they find themselves falling back into a familiar pattern, Tori continues to coast along without making too many changes to her life.  She is much more outspoken about what she wants but her inertia is doing just as much harm to their fledgling romance as Delon’s unconscious decision to play it safe is.  Their unresolved issues, individual insecurities and an unwillingness to honestly and openly discuss their needs and desires eventually becomes a huge obstacle.  Will Tori and Delon be able to repair the damage to their relationship before it is too late?  Or will their emotional baggage prevent them from making the changes they need to live happily ever after?

Tangled in Texas is another well-written and charming addition to the Texas Rodeo series.  Once again, Kari Lynn Dell pairs up  two emotionally wounded and somewhat vulnerable characters with realistic problems to overcome. Flawed yet immensely appealing, Delon and Tori are endearing protagonists that are easy to like and root for. Old and news fans are going to absolutely love this sweet yet very sensual contemporary Western romance.

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Filed under Contemporary, Kari Lynn Dell, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Casablanca, Tangled in Texas, Texas Rodeo Series

Review: Reckless Hearts by Heather Van Fleet

Title: Reckless Hearts by Heather Van Fleet
Reckless Hearts Series Book One
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Three alpha men and a baby.
What could possibly go wrong?

From boot camp to the Iraqi desert, best friends Collin, Max, and Gavin have been through hell and back. But these rugged Marines might need help facing their biggest challenge: raising Collin’s nine-month-old daughter, Chloe.

After the death of his girlfriend in an accident, Collin Montgomery has sworn off serious relationships. His buddies have his back-and convince him it’s okay to cut loose sometimes. Enter the hottest, smartest girl he’s ever met. But what he really needs is a nanny.

Addison Booker needs a job desperately-and fast. She shows up to interview for the nanny position only to find the sexy, cocky man she can’t get out of her head. Collin knows hiring her is a bad idea-they disagree about almost everything-but Addison is so good with little Chloe. And there’s no substitute for chemistry, right?

Review:

The first release in the Reckless Hearts series, Reckless Hearts by Heather Van Fleet is an enemies to lovers romance that is a little angst-ridden and full of conflict.

Single dad Collin Montgomery is raising his infant daughter Chloe with the help of his sister Lia and his two best Marine buddies Max Martinez and Gavin St. James. After Lia gets a new job, he finds himself needing a nanny and Lia is convinced she has found  THE perfect woman to take over Chloe’s care. The only problem? His prospective employee is the hot woman who unceremoniously shot him down recently when he was celebrating with his rugby team at a local bar.

Preschool teacher Addison Booker might be a bit worried about finding a new a job but there is NO way she is going to accept a position working as a nanny for the sexy man she recently crossed paths with.  Feeling a twinge of regret for refusing his job offer, she instead ends up working as a waitress in a local diner. When her witch of a boss fires her after an altercation between Collin and another rugby player one evening, Addison accepts the job as cute little Chloe’s nanny but she is certain she can ignore her attraction to Collin.  Getting to know Collin just makes him that much more desirable but Addison tries to keep their relationship strictly professional.

Although there is never any doubt that Collin and Addison are attracted to each other, Collin’s baggage turns him into a complete jerk when he is around Addison. Addison brings her own unresolved issues to the relationship and Collin’s insecurities and over protectiveness certainly do not help the situation between them. Their relationship is antagonistic and volatile right from their first meeting and halfway into the story, they are still at each other’s throats.  If there had been a little less animosity between them, their abrupt change from barely tolerating each other to lovers would have been much more believable.

While some conflict in a romance can be positive and help move the storyline forward, in Reckless Hearts, Collin and Addison clash so often it makes for a very irritating read.  Throw in misunderstandings, jealousy and drama, and it makes it difficult to become invested in Collin and Addison making a go of their relationship.

The banter between Collin, Max and Gavin is initially fun but it eventually becomes a little too over the top and disrespectful towards women.  Collin does try to dial it down once Addison is in the picture and Gavin is always sweet and respectful. Of the three men, Gavin appears to be the most troubled but he is genuinely a nice guy and readers will be eager to read his story. Max, on the other hand, is a player and his comments are extremely crude and derogatory. He is always upbeat and positive but it is going to take a lot to redeem him into a likable character.  It will be interesting to see what Heather Van Fleet has planned for both men in the next installments of the Reckless Hearts series.

Reckless Hearts is a somewhat drama-filled beginning to the Reckless Hearts series. A well-written novel with vibrantly developed characters, this entertaining story is sure to be hit with readers who like emotionally damaged Alpha men and the women who love them.

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Filed under Contemporary, Heather Van Fleet, Rated C+, Reckless Hearts, Reckless Hearts Series, Review, Romance, Sourcebooks Casablanca