Molly Cooper's Dream Date by Barbara Hannay’s Diary April 10th

So, I’ve finally done it. I’ve house-swapped my little cottage in Australia for a snazzy bachelor pad in Chelsea. I can’t wait to explore London. Most of all I’m hoping to meet my dream man, my secret fantasy: a perfect English gentleman. Though I’m starting to wonder whether Patrick, my house-swapper, might actually be HIM! Is that ridiculous?

We’ve been e-mailing – and he sounds HOT! Oh, hang on, there’s another e-mail now – can’t wait to find out what Patrick’s been up to… What do you do when you realise the one you want is half a world away – living in your home, sleeping in your bed…?


Although this book was written in the form of emails, diary entries and some standard third person, I was actually intrigued despite this being a format that I've read in the past and felt it lacking. I got into it fairly quickly and was quite enjoying it... aaaaand then it got a little dull.

The email exchanges really showed off Molly's personality but the lack of actual interactions between the pair made it seem a little tedious for a while and made Molly's continued rambling on in her emails a little needy.

I actually stopped reading this book for a while and read another before finally picking this up again to finish it. I'm glad I persevered because as soon as Patrick and Molly actually met, things started to pick up again.

Overall, this isn't a book that I would rave about and it didn't display much depth or originality of plot but for a romance that will take your mind off things for a while with a slightly different format than usual then you could probably do worse than this book. It's also quite typical of the Riva line so if you like their storylines then I'm sure you'll like this one too.


272 pages

* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *

Terms of Surrender by Leslie Kelly Danny Wilkes, navy pilot.

Current status: On shore rotation. Very intrigued by a sassy visiting lecturer…

Mission: Enter the astronaut training program.

Obstacle: Marissa Marshall, Ph.D. She's keeping Danny preoccupied with earthly delights…

Danny Wilkes might have outgrown his risk-taking flyboy days, but he still loves a thrill now and then. And nobody's thrilled him lately like fiery Mari Marshall. Sex with her is a bigger turn-on than any of the air maneuvers Danny's ever pulled. He falls head over heels…hard.
But Mari has bitter memories of being a military brat. She'll never enter that life again–not even for the best sex she's ever had.

It's a hell of a choice. Does Danny give up his skyrocketing career? Or let go of the only woman who revs his engine into the stratosphere?


I am a huge fan of Leslie Kelly's and am always excited when she brings out a new book. Unfortunately, this one didn't really float my boat.

I think, for me, the main problem was with Mari. There was something ballsy and brash about her that meant I just couldn't like her much or root for her. I'm not against strong females in a romance but she seemed a strange mix of mouthy forcefulness and needy uncertainty that seemed at odds with one another.

Danny was a better character but again, I wouldn't call him a perfect leading male character. The chemistry between Mari and Danny was fairly hot but not scorching and there were plenty of sexy scenes between the pair.

The story ran along smoothly although I did find myself being interested in the beginning while Danny and Mari weren't together. Then, when they got together it got quite boring. And again, they weren't together and it started getting interesting again. It was strange that it was unable to hold my attention from beginning to end. The ending itself was what you would expect but it certainly didn't make me sigh or even really make me remember it after I'd put the book down.

Perhaps I'm being overly harsh with this book because I have adored some of Kelly's previous books and so probably set quite a high standard for this one. Having said that, this book was still fairly enjoyable and is an easy read for a quiet afternoon. 3 stars.


224 pages

Delicious Do-Over by Debbi Rawlins
On the cusp of a new business venture, überpractical accountant Lindsey Shaw has reluctantly let her friends talk her into a "second spring break" in Hawaii. Now she's in Waikiki…and even reuniting with her wickedly hot one-night fling from years ago! Only Lindsey is feeling a tingle of fear–or is that sweet, sweet anticipation?

Rick Granger has his own fear–that gorgeous, smart Lindsey might discover more about him than he's ready to reveal. She thinks he's just a surfer dude–fine with him, it keeps things uncomplicated. Only, complications whip up like waves once Lindsey dips a toe in his waters….


This is the second book in the Spring Break mini-series after Second Time Lucky. The books are interconnected but easily stand alone.

As soon as I picked up this book I was interested and my interest didn't wane right up to the last page. Having said that, there really isn't any conflict in the story and nothing really stopping the pair from being together.

Both characters were sympathetic although didn't really have any magical spark either individually or as a couple. I understand that Lindsay was a shy type but even I got annoyed with her meek behaviour at times and she didn't really grow as a character in the space of the book. Rick was also an okay character but his "uncharacteristic" outbursts were never really explained and he did seem to be a bit uncommitted. But the most annoying thing was that he, who had known a girl for 8 hours and proceeded to get a tattoo of her name on his arm, was panicking that Lindsay was getting in too fast and too deep. Bizarre!

Overall, this was a fairly enjoyable romance that wasn't spectacular but still passed the time. The writing was good, the descriptions of Hawaii made it come alive and if you've got a couple of hours to spare then it will certainly do the trick.


224 pages

Tangled Up in Love by Heidi Betts
Ever since Dylan Stone beat Veronica Chasen out of a prime position at the Cleveland Herald they've been bitter rivals, engaging in a very public war of words in their competing newspaper columns. They routinely challenge each other to go bungee jumping, white-water rafting, or into tattoo parlors to see who will wimp out first. But Veronica's latest taunt may be Dylan's toughest assignment yet: she dares him to learn to knit.

Dylan is not going to let something his grandmother can do scare him off. He's man enough to make a scarf - and attend Veronica's weekly knitting circle. But when the infuriatingly handsome Dylan shows up at the craft shop and charms all the ladies, Veronica starts to get all knotting up in something that feels a lot like love.


This is the first novel I've read by Heidi Betts but if all her books are like this one then I'm definitely going to buy up her back list!

I love a couple who start off at odds with each other and throughout the course of the novel turn all that passion into love. Ronnie and Dylan definitely fit that bill. From page one I was hooked and rooting for them and it was delicious to watch the pair dance around each other on their journey towards a happily ever after.

The story itself is sexy, funny and really entertaining - this was the kind of book you didn't want to put down and has characters that you'll still be thinking about long after the book is done. It's not heavy on the knitting so don't worry if, like me, you've never knitted before. But after reading this book I definitely want to try my hand at it! There are two more books in this series and I cannot wait to read Jenna and Grace's stories, Loves Me, Loves Me Knot and Knock Me for a Loop.

If you like fun and sexy romances with great characters then I'd really recommend this book to you. I really loved it from the first page to the last. 5 stars.


318 pages

Chicks with Sticks series:


Make Me A Match by Diana Holquist
Cecelia Burns finally has the life she's always wanted. She's a cardiologist in a thriving practice. She's engaged to a stable and reliable man. And she's completely abandoned her gypsy past of small-time cons and psychic powers. But at her engagement party, Cecelia's little sister bursts in and tips her perfectly organized world upside down.

Amy has one psychic power - the ability to read the name of a person's one true love. Even though Amy swore she'd never tell Cecelia her named, she reveals its Finn Franklin Concord. And that certainly isn't Cecelia's fiancee's name. But even worse, Amy swears Finn's name is fading which means he's dying. Cecelia couldn't care less about finding her true love, but she doesn't want a dead man on her conscience. So she sends a letter to every single Finn Concord...then runs into most gorgeous man she's ever seen. 

Finn Concord has his own problems. His daughter Maya has insisted they come to Baltimore so she can meet her adopt-a-grandmother and he just doesn't have the heart to say no. But when a beautiful cardiologist tells him to go to a doctor now, he's intrigued...and a bit smitten. As worlds collide and people are crossed and double-crossed, love blossoms and passion burns between Finn and Cecelia. But is this Finn her one true love?


It took me a while to get into this book and I suppose that should have been some indication of the story as a whole. It wasn't hard to finish but I felt little to no emotional connection with the stories or the characters.

I wanted to like Cecelia but she was a little uptight and mean, especially to her sister. I know she was supposed to be like that and loosen up as the novel progressed but she was just very hard to like at times. I also didn't think her reactions rang true and I wondered if Finn would be better off without her. Finn was a little more likeable as a rugged construction worker but I felt he wasn't strong enough to handle Cecelia and he was obviously so hung up on his first wife that I didn't think he was ready to move on.

The psychic stuff and the storyline overall was fine and handled well it was just that everything was too convenient and too bizarre to make it believable, even with the magic.

I finished this book and was rooting for the characters but in the end it just didn't do much for me. A good read if it's on your bookshelf but nothing I would run out and recommend. 3 stars.

This book is followed by Jasmine's story in Sexiest Man Alive and Amy's story in Hungry for More.


368 pages

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom, she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his next big legal drama, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.


Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match…


This is the first book by Julie James I've read and I was hooked from the first page.

Taylor was a sassy and no-nonsense kind of girl but with a soft side that made her realistic and definitely not a stereotypical ball-busting lawyer.

Jason, the world famous movie star, started off as arrogant and spoiled but as the book and his relationship with Taylor progressed you saw his attitude shift to become a man you couldn't help but want for yourself.

The pair had amazing chemistry and although there were no graphic sex scenes, there was more sexual tension and chemistry in this book an in many erotic novels I've read. The romance and the will-they, won't they storyline gave me butterflies in my stomach and the conclusion had me sighing in romantic delight!

Overall, I adored this novel and more especially the relationship between Jason and Taylor. I will definitely be looking out for Julie James' other novels and would recommend this to anyone who likes a fun, sweet and intelligent romance. 5 stars.


307 pages

Dreams of Desire by Cheryl Holt
Every instinct is telling Lily Lambert to run from Penworth Hall as fast as she can, but there is something about handsome, daunting John Middleton, Earl of Penworth, that keeps her in his employ. It certainly isn't his twin wards, evil little vixens who will do anything in their power to have Lily fired as their chaperone. 

And the love potion isn't helping.

Lily bought it in desperation, hoping to marry so she could escape her lot in life as governess and companion to the spoiled offspring of the nobility. On a voyage to John's Scottish estate, Lily sips the potion while gazing at the ship's captain, only to come face-to-face with John, who seems to be instantly smitten. Now, in the locked rooms and dark alcoves of his Scottish castle, John traps Lily in moment of impropriety, bringing a flush to her fair cheeks and igniting an indecent longing in her body. Only time will tell if the potion's impossible promise will ruin Lily — or set her free...


This is the final book in the Spinster's Cure trilogy (which I've only just realised is also nauseatingly called the Novels of Sensual Destiny series - *rolls eyes*) after Promise of Pleasure and Taste of Temptation but each stands completely alone so there's no need to read them in order.

Lily, like most of Holt's heroines, is described as an independent, spirited female and I was delighted to find she actually was written as such. She had spirit and wasn't afraid to stand up to John - and not just as a token gesture. Sure he was authoritative and demanding and she sometimes was led by him but on the whole she was feistier than most. John was Holt's usual alpha male and arrogant to boot but I liked his interactions with Lily and liked their story.

Unfortunately, Lily and John's story took up so little of the actual page count that it was hard to really get behind them or into their story. Other stories included step-mother Esther and half brother Edward and their desire to lay claim to the Earldom. There was John's fiancé, Violet and her secret love for Edward. Then there was John's mother, Barbara's return from the continent and her subsequent affair with Philip. And finally there were the pointless evil twins and first their desire to get rid of Lily and second their dominatrix and twisted sexual desires. I cared little for any of the supporting characters and felt they wasted time away from the main story.

There were, as always, the usual Americanisms, modern slang and talk and general research errors which not only galled but pull you away from the story.

I think I'm going to have to give Cheryl Holt a miss for a wee while from now on. This book was an improvement on the last of hers I read however I feel that they're all getting a bit similar and I'm now looking for something a little bit more special when I spend my money on a romance novel. This book wasn't terrible but if I'm honest, I feel that I can't recommend it. 3 stars.


352 pages

Spinster's Cure trilogy:


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