Series Review: The Christmas Angel

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In 1750, a master woodcarver poured all his unrequited love, passion, and longing into his masterpiece—a gorgeous Christmas angel for his beloved’s tree. When the man he loved tossed the angel away without a second thought, a miracle happened. The angel was found by another who brought the woodcarver True Love.

Since then, the angel has been passed down, sold, lost and found, but its magic remains. Read the romances inspired by (and perhaps nudged along by) the Christmas Angel through the years. Whether it’s the 1880’s New York (Kim Fielding), the turn-of-the-century (Jordan L. Hawk), post World War II (L.A. Witt), Vietnam-era (N.R. Walker), the 1990’s (Anyta Sunday), 2018 Europe (RJ Scott), the Christmas Angel has a way of landing on the trees of lonely men who need it’s blessing for a very Merry Christmas and forever HEA.

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Review: ‘The Husband Gambit’ by L. A. Witt

42610128Published November 16th 2018
302 pages

Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $1.2 million.

Hayden Somerset is convinced the ad is a joke, but he responds anyway because, hello, $1.2 million. He’s broke, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates, and exhausted from praying his ancient car survives just one more week. His skyrocketing rent and crushing student loans aren’t helping either. At this point, there isn’t much Hayden wouldn’t do for that kind of cash.

The ad isn’t a joke. Jesse Ambrose is absolutely serious. His father, the charismatic patriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty, has his eye on politics, and he’s counting on California’s liberals and progressives to elect him. But Jesse knows what his father believes when cameras and voters aren’t around. As the election looms, he’ll do anything to force the man’s hand and show the public who Isaac Ambrose really is.

Anything, including marrying a stranger so his father will make good on his promise to disown Jesse if he ever takes a husband.

Now he just has to wait for his father to take the bait… and try not to accidentally fall in love with his fake husband.

Fake-boyfriends/fake-husbands might just be one of my favourite tropes of all time. I can never resist it, especially when it’s written by an author who I love. This book takes things to a whole new level as the two MCs actually get married. Like, for real, legally married. Big fancy ceremony and everything. Jesse is trying to expose his father as the homophobic bigot he truly is, and the only way to get him to show his hand is by making his marriage as convincing as possible. And Hayden is desperate enough for the money that he barely thinks twice about doing it.

Of course they both just so happen to be beautiful men who find each other interesting and charming. Being married isn’t exactly a hardship for either of them. And of course they start falling for each other. Rather predictably there was plenty of self-doubt; both men thinking that their feelings are one-sided and that jazz. The emotional development wasn’t exactly ground-breaking, but the circumstances that set up the whole situation were so completely different to anything I’ve read before that I was hooked from start to finish.

This book managed to touch on a number of important subjects; homophobia, abusive parents, class divides, racism and sexism in Hollywood; but nothing ever got too heavy. There was drama and intensity, but everything flowed so well and Jesse and Hayden had truly excellent chemistry, in every department. The romantic aspect did sometimes have to take a backseat to allow the plot to keep moving forwards, but at its core the story is one of family and falling in love. I loved it.

4.5/5 stars

Best of 2017!

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I managed to hit the 300 book mark this year, which is a little bit crazy. A lengthy commute to and from work every day has helped me out in that regard. And reading that many romance novels has made it a struggle to narrow it down into a handy little list, so this isn’t all that short, but that can only be a good thing! This post will be about 2017 releases, I’ll try and get a post up about the pre-2017 releases that I read this year soon, because there’s some seriously incredible books that need a mention. So let’s get into it!

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Review: ‘Cover Up’ by L. A. Witt

35828316Published October 3rd 2017
251 pages

After ten years of blissful marriage, Navy Pilot Nate Chandler is divorcing his cheating husband. Single for the first time in years, Nate is numb to all emotion and kisses any chance of another relationship goodbye.

Not only is Nate struggling to get through this divorce, but his body is branded with a permanent reminder of his failed marriage: a matching tattoo with his ex. Searching for a place to cover up his old tattoo, Nate finds himself at the Skin Deep, Inc., where he meets the young and charming cover-up tattoo apprentice, Lucas Brandt.

From just flirty glances to steamy hot encounters, Nate and Lucas dive headfirst into a fling of hookups. But worried that he’ll forever be Nate’s “cover up” rebound relationship, Lucas fears that their love won’t be anything more than just skin deep. What was once just a casual attraction, Lucas now hopes to turn into a real relationship. But will he be able to convince the still tender-hearted Nate to fall in love again?

I really loved the first two books in this series. Tattoo artists and military men? Yes please. I’ve always loved L. A. Witt’s way of writing, I effortlessly fall right into the story every time. So I was very excited when this popped up on my Kindle.

This was one of those instant attractions where the MCs fall right into bed with each other, and there was some serious fireworks. For the first time in a decade, Nate is captivated by someone who isn’t his ex-husband, and what better way to cleanse his life of the cheating bastard then by falling into bed with gorgeous tattoo artist, Lucas. And it completely works for them. It’s totally just a friends with benefits thing, there’ll be no feelings or falling for each other or anything like that…ha! These boys have’t read enough romance novels, otherwise they’d know that never works out.

I did like this book, the characters are likeable and you root for them, the sex is hot, the romance is a slow build and the relationship is really genuine. I just kept waiting for a bit of drama to sneak in a shake things up, and it never came, so it ended up being a little predictable.

There were definitely moments I adored. Seeing Colin and Daniel from the first book in this series get their reunion moment was truly beautiful, and the resulting heartache it caused Nate was palpable. It was almost a relief to see him start to have that much-needed breakdown, to feel his pain, because he was finally starting to deal with things he’d obviously been avoiding.

Lucas makes the brave decision to walk away from Nate, being cruel to be kind, giving Nate the space to really face up to his divorce, and when one MC walks away from the other in books like these I’m usually tearing my hair out, willing them to come back to each other. But I wasn’t here. Not because I didn’t want them together, I really did, they have such chemistry and they care so much about each other, and you just knew they’d make it in the end. But Nate really did need to stand on his own two feet for a while and not lean on anybody else. So when less than 24 hours later they were back together and starting something for real, that’s when I got frustrated. I applauded Lucas making a tough but right call, and then watched him take it all back.

So basically, this story had a lot of potential and could have been a lot more powerful than it was, but I’d still recommend it. The concept and execution of the whole series was great, this book tied everything up and was a lovely end to it, and I’d read all three books again in a heartbeat.

3.5/5 stars