Tagged: Romance

Rigged

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Vanessa North’s Rigged

About the Book

Rigged; Vanessa North
Adult; Romance; 102 Pages

Independently published (April 30, 2018)

Kaitlyn He’s her best friend. Her business partner. The one person in her life she shouldn’t want to see naked. Until she sees him in bondage for a charity calendar photoshoot. That changes everything. Gordon He’s loved her for years. She’s the only person he trusts with his secret desires. But he doesn’t dare take their friendship to the next level until they meet Sean–who might be the missing factor in the equation. Sean He’s trusted others with his heart before, but always ends up on the outside looking in. Kaitlyn and Gordon need him in a way he can’t resist. Showing them the ropes–literally and figuratively–is temptation incarnate. He has to keep them at arms length, even if it’s the last thing he wants.

About the Author

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

Jenn’s Review

Best friends and dares go hand in hand in Vanessa North’s sexy threesome erotic romance novella, Rigged. DISCLAIMER: This book is 100% adult, containing graphic sexual scenes and bondage.

Kaitlyn loves her business partner, Gordon. They’ve been best friends for years, but she wouldn’t dare risk that for the deeper feelings she’s sure Gordon doesn’t share. On a whim, she enters Gordon’s name in a contest for a charity calendar photoshoot, completely convinced he wouldn’t actually get picked. 

Gordon adores Kaitlyn, and wouldn’t put their relationship – personal or professional – at risk by giving voice to the feelings he keeps locked away from her. Until Kaitlyn breaks the news that he’s won a page in a charity calendar. And he has to pose nude. It’s not the calendar that has him uncomfortable – it’s more the idea that he’s posing nude and in bondage. Gordon has no idea how to process his feelings as Sean, the shoot’s rigger, loops rope upon rope around Gordon’s naked body.

It’s been years since Sean’s enjoyed tying someone up this much. Gordon’s reactions to his first bondage scene trigger something in Sean, and the experienced bondage Dominant knows he’s going to have to protect his heart when Gordon and Kaitlyn invite him over to explore some more. But what’s a Dom to do when the two-some invites him to stick around?

Rigged is a quick read (less than 100 pages), erotic, fun, and sweet, all at the same time. Normally, I like my romance in a longer form, but I still found the characters well-built and engaging, with a satisfying ending. I’d love to see where this three-some could go in a longer story, but the HFN conclusion was perfectly fine for the length of this story. Two thumbs up for a run, erotic read.

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Jenn reviews Vanessa North’s Rigged

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback editions here.

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Madness Unhinged

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews ML Guida’s Madness Unhinged

About the Book

Madness Unhinged; M.L. Guida
Adult; Sci-Fi Romance; 240 Pages

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 12, 2018)

Detective Agnes Malloy is stunned… Jack the Ripper is back! Two women are found brutally murdered in modern-day Denver–their M.O. identical to the victims in 1888 London. But Agnes has no clues to the murderer. Women are terrified, and if Agnes doesn’t solve the case, the Denver police commissioner will have her handing out parking tickets. Her troubles increase when a mysterious man appears, claiming to be with the FBI. But no one called them. He insists that she needs his help–her life depends on it. It’s up to Anonghos, the chief security officer of the Orion, to stop a deadly alien from killing the Zalarian’s designated mates. He’s cut off from his ship, and to make matters worse, he doesn’t know who the alien is and must wait for him to strike. His only hope is to stay close to the curvy detective who just happens to be his mate, without her accusing him of being the murderer. The body count is about to skyrocket and only by working together can they defeat an enemy bent on destroying both their worlds.

About the Author

Award-Winning Author M.L. Guida loves science fiction and the paranormal. From Star Trek to Dark Shadows to Supernatural, she fell in love with things that go bump in the night. But it was the heroes, she loved the best. No matter what happened, those characters never gave up. Now, her heroes are following their footsteps. Whether it’s a shapeshifter from outer space or a vampire from the past, her wounded heroes always find a way to conquer battles and win the heart of the feisty heroine. Because even in a world of darkness, true love survives. Sign up for M.L. Guida’s Supernatural Scroll http://eepurl.com/6ICXv to learn about new releases and giveaways. She also has a readers’ Facebook Group called ML Guida’s Supernatural Lounge. She has giveaways, news, and ways for her to connect with you.

Jenn’s Review

I’ll admit it – I’m a girl that frequently picks her romance novels (and about 75 percent of my other reads) by their covers, and when I saw the cover for M.L. Guida’s Madness Unhinged at a writers conference, I wanted it. Bad. Top it off with sexy science fiction and dragons, and I was all in.

Anonghos has been handed the assignment of his life: Stop a deadly alien shape-shifting assassin from killing the human mate that the Fates have found for him. On a distant planet. Other human women are at risk, all of them fated for his kin, a quickly dying race of dragon shifters on Zalara.

Agnes is tired of living in her father and brother’s shadows. She’d very much like to be recognized for the good police detective she is, but her brother’s constant taunting and reminders of her psychic abilities keep getting in the way. Evey logical conclusion she draws is discounted, and women are dying. Jack the Ripper seems to be back, and he’s terrorizing the women of Denver, Colorado. When a stunningly handsome man keeps showing up at Agnes’ crime scenes, she finds it difficult to believe he isn’t the killer, much less that he’s there to help her solve the crimes, and keep her from becoming a victim herself.

As far as plots go, this one wasn’t bad. The characters are a bit stiff and won’t quite shine as they could. Sexual tension abounds and is well-worked, but the world-building could’ve taken a little more polish.

My single biggest annoyance was the heroine’s psychic abilities. She does her best to draw logical conclusions that are founded on actual evidence. If anything, she seems to try to ignore the ghosts that would otherwise direct her to clues and works to prove herself as a good detective (which, honestly, she seems to be). However, where this thread goes awry is how often it’s harped on by people that should know better. Her chief and partner automatically discount every good lead she has. Ad nauseum. Her brother, now an FBI agent, joins in and uses his own accomplishments to tear his sister’s reputation to shreds, over and over. About half-way through the story, the reader should have a pretty good grasp that the men in Agnes’ life are chauvinists, but the author continues pounding that thread until someone gets seriously hurt.

This is an adult romance, both because of the sexual content and because of the graphically depicted murder scenes. It’s a quick, steamy read, ideal for science fiction romance fans.

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Jenn reviews ML Guida’s Madness Unhinged

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, and paperback here.

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The Price

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Joan Johnston’s adult contemporary romance The Price

About the Book

The Price; Joan Johnston
Adult; Romance; 336 Pages

Atria; 1 edition (March 25, 2003)

Having forfeited his marriage and custody of his children in his ambition to achieve partner status, a Houston attorney works to defend a pharmaceutical company whose drug may have killed a young girl, and when the plaintiff’s counsel turns out to be his high-school sweetheart, an unexpected romance ensues.

About the Author

Joan Johnston, the top ten New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Bitter Creek (THE COWBOY, THE TEXAN and THE LONER plus 18 more including the Mail-Order Bride, Captive Hearts and Sisters of the Lone Star series) and Hawk’s Way (nine in all) novels, has written more than fifty-five award-winning historical and contemporary romance novels, thirty-eight of which are connected. She received an M.A. in theater from the University of Illinois and graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin. Joan Johnston lives in Colorado and South Florida.

Jenn’s Review

Lawyers, Juvenile Diabetes, and second chance romance, all bundled neatly into one steamy romance novel – The Price, by Joan Johnston, a Bitter Creek novel. I loved the story, except for one glaring omission.

Luke’s given everything he can to rise to the top at a prestigious law firm on his own merit. To wit, he’s lost his marriage, has little time to give to his young daughters, his relationship with his mother (though that might be more a case of bitterness towards his step-father and a long-standing rivalry between two families. He’s nearly made it to the recommendation board for partnership, and he counts his losses as worth striving towards his dream. Until it all falls apart in a move from one department to another, and a tort case against one of the firm’s largest clients – a pharmaceutical company manufacturing a “miracle drug” for Type 1 diabetics. Kids are dying, and Luke’s expected to close the cases quietly and settled out of court. Of course, the first client he meets with won’t go quietly, and as Luke investigates the drug, and finds out his own daughter is taking it, tensions rise.

When Amy arrives for her client’s meeting at Luke’s law firm, tension cranks up even more for the two attorneys. They were high school sweethearts, and despite their opposing sides on this case, the remaining heat between them sits unresolved. Amy’s determined to win justice for her client and for other patients at risk from the killer “miracle drug.” As the pair partner up to get to the bottom of what’s really going on behind the scenes, their relationship grows and develops, threatening their careers, their lives, and the life of Luke’s older daughter, a Type 1 diabetic taking the drug.

Despite the very technical aspects of some of the storyline (including how drug trials are run, and attorney ethics), I was gravely disappointed in one serious omission: The author sets up this fictional “miracle drug” as the only alternative for T1 Diabetics to reduce needle sticks. The Hero’s ex-wife has married a doctor, and this medication doesn’t require any blood sugar testing. As the wife of a T1 Diabetic, the step-mother of a T1 Diabetic, this raised a LOT of red flags for me. First, I may not be a doctor, but I’ve been in this game long enough to question any treatment for a T1 that doesn’t include finger sticks. The girls’ stepfather is a doctor – why would he support such a thing as safe? My second REALLY big red flag was that this drug was set up as the only alternative that allowed the patients to not use injections. Insulin pumps have been around for a good thirty years or more. One injection, every two or three days, instead of five or six needles a day, and they can be used in very young pediatric patients.

The Price is an otherwise well-developed story, with deep, multi-faceted characters and twisting plots. Several subplots are threaded through the story, pushing my limit of enjoyment due to multiple POV’s, but in the end, other than the research omission above, this was still a very good read. I’d love to give this book four stars, but with the neglect in researching Type 1 Diabetes, I have to lower it to a three (a key plot point incompletely researched).

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Jenn reviews Joan Johnston’s adult contemporary romance The Price

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, hardback, paperback, and mass market paperback here.

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The Last King

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn’s review of The Last King by Katee Robert

About the Book

The Last King; Katee Robert
Adult; Romance; 336 Pages

Forever (April 3, 2018)

Opposites attract in this sexy new contemporary romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage Contract.
The rebel. That’s how Samara Mallick has always thought of Beckett King. And he’s absolutely living up to his unpredictable ways when he strides into her office and asks for help after inheriting his father’s company. She can’t help wondering if it’s a legit request or just a ploy to get her into bed. Not that she’d mind either one. After all, she likes to live on the edge too.
But soon the threats to the Kings are mounting, and the two find family secrets darker than they ever imagined and dangerous enough to get them both killed.

About the Author

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. RT Book Reviews named her title, The Marriage Contract, “a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Jenn’s Review

Hunky billionaire and enemies-to-lovers romance crown The Last King by Katee Robert. Steamy balanced with sweet that gripped me on page one and continued to the very end.

Beckett has inherited…almost everything, after his father’s sudden death. But a family rift that goes back decades leaves him in a perilous position that could cost him what he has left. His rival, Samira, is on his heels, working hard to wipe him out on behalf of his embittered aunt, but with the history between these two, feelings are bound up, the heat is intense, and people are getting hurt.

Samara is game for taking down the playboy revel that’s been a thorn in her side for years. She has her reasons for playing hardball, and she swallows her pride in the office, putting up with her tyrant boss, to keep herself out of trouble, and to not repeat her mother’s mistakes. Unfortunately, her boss is Beckett’s embittered aunt, and the family secrets and corporate espionage are becoming complicated and downright dangerous for her. Her long-held and coveted position in the rival oil company loses its shine as her boss repeatedly pushes her to compromise her integrity to destroy a man that Samara is only just starting to understand.

The Last King is high-quality romantic suspense that I’d add to my top ten list (if such things were possible to keep track of!). Subplots abound, and things are twisty; and from the outset, it’s clear who’s doing wrong to whom, but getting to the outing of such secrets was so much fun! Sexy suspense that’ll keep you reading until you hit the back cover.

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Jenn’s review of The Last King by Katee Robert

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, and mass market paperback here.

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Swansong

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn’s Review of Allie McCormack’s Swansong

About the Book

Swansong; Allie McCormack
Adult; Romance; 261 Pages

Date published March 4, 2019

She’s everything he’s ever wanted…
Will she ever trust him with her secrets and let him in?

Swansong is a multi-cultural romance with a happy ever after.

Sarah Pendleton was born into a life of wealth and privilege, raised in the shadow of her famous soprano mother and her father, an equally famous composer. Shy and retiring, and treasuring her anonymity, Sarah left the world she grew up in to make her own life in the coastal town of Santa Barbara, California. 

A visiting University professor of Arabic literature from the small oil-rich country of Taqara, Khalid Al Mansour is the eldest son of a Taqaran diplomat and an independent American artist. He’s never settled down in one place, but that’s because he’s never found what he wanted… until one evening, he sees the lovely belly dancer at a small, smoky cafe downtown.

Khalid falls hard for Sarah… and she has feelings for him too…
But sometimes secrets have a way of tearing lovers apart.

Jenn’s Review

Allie McCormack comes through again with the premiere of her multicultural romance series, Sons of the Desert. Swansong is the story of Sarah and Khalid – a seemingly carefree dancer and the scholar-sheikh.

Sarah feels like an entirely different woman as she steps out onto the floor as Cassandra when she performs as a belly dancer for the first time. Cassandra is the antithesis to Sarah’s demure, shy personality, and the wild, sexy dancer has caught the eye of a wealthy Arab man.

Khalid knows, from the moment Cassandra catches his eye, that he must get to know the woman behind the veil, who captures the spirit of the music in her every move on the floor. But the woman eludes him, and when he finally manages to corner her and convince her to go to coffee with him, he discovers someone who can end his loneliness.

Sarah has secrets, though, and her upbringing has trained her well to play her cards close to the vest. Can they overcome her past to love all the way to forever?

Swansong is an adult, multicultural romance set in sunny Santa Barbara, California. Rich settings and beautifully rendered characters sit in a plot that will keep you turning page after page. This is book 1 in the series and a fantastic addition to Allie McCormack’s contemporary romance portfolio.

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Jenn’s Review of Allie McCormack’s Swansong– Multicultural Contemporary Romance

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback formats here.

Also by Allie McCormack

Truck Stop (Contemporary Romance)

Wishes in a Bottle (Paranormal Romance)

A Gift of Jacinth (Paranormal Romance) COMING SOON!

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Wishes in a Bottle

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Allie McCormack’s Wishes in a Bottle – Adult Paranormal Romance

About the Book

Wishes in a Bottle; Allie McCormack
Adult; Romance; 439 Pages

Date published January 15, 2019

After 600 years, Julian is beginning to wonder if he will be trapped as a Djinn forever.

Wishes in a Bottle is a dreamy paranormal romance novel with a happy ever after and no cliffhanger.

Long ago, Julian DiConti was caught in a powerful spell binding him to a Djinn bottle, forced to grant wishes to each new owner. 

Three wishes… of the right kind… could free Julian of his bonds. 

Enter Alessandra Taylor, good Samaritan extraordinaire. She’d gladly free Julian from the spell if she could, but he isn’t allowed to tell her how — and one by one she’s driven to use the precious wishes to help others. 

Where will that leave Julian and the growing love between them?

Jenn’s Review

After a long absence from the writing world, Allie McCormack is back with a new paranormal romance series, Wishes and Dreams. Wishes in a Bottle is book 1 (book 2 is on its way), with a sweet, selfless heroine and a hot Italian djinn (yup, there’s a story there, but… SPOILERS!).

Julian has been living a not-quite-charmed life for 600 years after a spell went wrong. His last master was a cruel, selfish woman, who could have given just one wish to save a sick little boy. But when she makes her last wish out of spite and Julian is free again to continue his life, he breaks the rules to return to the dying boy’s bedside. There, while offering what comfort he can to the boy and his mother, Julian meets Alessandra.

As the pair grows closer, drawn together by grief, they are pulled closer by common purposes. So when Julian is pulled back into his bottle and the rules that bound him for 600 are turned inside out, he’s stunned to discover that Alessandra is his new master.

Wishes in a Bottle is a beautiful love story with warm-hearted characters (no overpowering male leads here). Tension and humor both run thick in the pages of this romance, and there are more to come!

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Jenn reviews Allie McCormack’s new paranormal romance, Wishes in a Bottle

Related Reviews

Truck Stop (Contemporary Romance)

Swansong (Book 1 – Sons of the Desert)

A Gift of Jacinth (Book 2 – Wishes and Dreams)

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback formats here.

Also by Allie McCormack

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Le Remède

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Densie Webb's contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde - urban fantasy, contemporary romance, romance fiction
Jenn reviews Densie Webb’s contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde

About the Book

Le Remède; Densie Webb
Adult; Science Fiction Romance; 260 Pages

The Wild Rose Press, Inc (November 7, 2018)

Andie Rogé craves control like some people crave chocolate. But she can’t control her feelings when she encounters Vincent Dubois at Lizzie Borden’s Bar. 

Tortured by blood lust that has ruled him for almost two hundred years, Vincent is unprepared for the pull he feels toward Andie. He can only surrender to what he knows is fate. 

Offered a cure from a rare black orchid, he faces an agonizing choice—take the only dose and join Andie in the human life he so deeply desires or give the cure to his Kindred brother to stop his bloody rampage. Fate brought them together but will it destroy their chance at a future?

About the Author

Le Reméde author, Densie Webb

Densie Webb has spent a long career as a freelance nonfiction writer and editor, specializing in health and nutrition, and has published several books and tons of articles on the topic over the years. She is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association and SheWrites; a contributor to Women Writers, Women’s Books; and a daily “tweeter” for WriterUnboxed. Her latest novel, “Le Remède” was published by Wild Rose Press. Her debut novel, “You’ll Be Thinking of Me” was published by Soul Mate Publishing. She grew up in Louisiana, spent 13 years in New York, and settled in Austin, TX, where it’s summer nine months out of the year. She is an avid walker (not of the dead variety, though she loves anything to do with zombies, vampires or post-apocalyptic worlds), drinks too much coffee and has a small “devil dog” that keeps her on her toes. She has arrested development in musical tastes and her two children provide her with musical recommendations on a regular basis.

Jenn’s Review

Densie Webb’s paranormal romance, LE REMÉDE, is a walk on the spicy side of vampires. No sparkles here, though Ms. Webb does put her own spin on the supernatural in this charming love story.

Andie is at the end of a very long string of bad luck. She’s finally finding her feet in the Big Apple after having to lean heavily on her best friend, losing her parents, and her fiance. So when she finally meets the unbelievably beautiful mystery man from the bar, her world upends in confusion, insatiable need, and the most amazing peace she’s felt in a long time. It figures that something is wrong with him – she just didn’t guess that he was a cursed, immortal Kindred. Those only exist in the movies, right? Right?

Vincent has used his very long life learning to curb his deadly hunger and to teach his only friend how to do the same. So when an enemy from centuries past saunters into Vincent’s flower shop, offering a cure to the curse he never wanted, Vincent is doubtful, but hope springs eternal. Hope blossoms when an irresistible pull draws him toward Andie, and the only logical explanation for his attraction is a legend about fated mates – but he’s never heard of such a thing between human and Kindred.

As Andie learns to accept who and what Vincent is, Vincent’s friend loses control and spirals into a killing spree. The three must make decisions that no one should be forced to make – lover or friend? Family or the future?

This is a tastefully written, adult romance that edges towards the sweet side of the bedroom door. Le Reméde is contemporary urban fantasy, told in the first person present POV. The author’s world-building and character development are beautifully rendered, though the pacing was slow. While I enjoyed the story, I think Ms. Webb got bogged down from time to time with backstory. This is one of those authors I look forward to seeing more from in the future.

Jenn reviews Densie Webb's contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde - urban fantasy, contemporary romance, romance fiction
Jenn reviews Densie Webb’s contemporary vampire romance, Le Reméde

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.

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The Renaissance Club

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus' time travel romance, The Renaissance Club - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel, Renaissance Italy
Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus’ time travel romance, The Renaissance Club

About the Book

The Renaissance Club; Rachel Dacus
Adult; Fantasy Romance; 374 pages

Time Fold Books December 20, 2018

May Gold, an adjunct college teacher earning little more than a Starbucks barista, often dreams in her tiny, moldy office about the subject of her master’s thesis, 17th-century sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies, she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man who invented the Baroque. In reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and her suffocating boyfriend, Darren, who is paying her way. She feels like a precocious failure and longs for a passionate, creative life of beauty and poetry. When tour leader George St. James lends May his beautiful gold pen to take her notes, she finds herself in the year 1624, under the gilded dome of St. Peter’s, staring into Bernini’s eyes. But can she break free of her present-day life, the dead-end job, the stuffy boyfriend, and the boss who wants to thwart her rise in the Art Department? Only if she can give up everything and figure out the secret to falling through the folds of time, might she seize her unexpected chance for happiness and live in a magical future with her soul mate from another time.

A CAPTIVATING STORY illuminating love’s power over time. Perfect for fans of and Susanna Kearsley and Diana Gabaldon, for those who love Italy, art, and history.

About the Author

Rachel Dacus is a poet, essayist, and novelist who writes about love and history. In her novel, THE RENAISSANCE CLUB, a young art historian gets to meet her hero from the past, the fiery 17th century Italian sculptor Bernini. She then must choose whether she can give up everything — even the time in which she lives — to be with her soulmate. The book was praised as “enchanting, rich, and romantic”.

Dacus is at work on both a sequel and a prequel. She shows off her versatility as a writer in her four poetry collections, most recently ARABESQUE. 

She lives in Northern California with her husband and a tiny, mighty Silky Terrier. She’s a member of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association and Authors18. To learn more about her news and upcoming projects, sign up for her quarterly newsletter at http://racheldacus.net. A poem in every newsletter!

Jenn’s Review

A stellar story and subtle romance! Rachel Dacus’ story weaves the past and the present together in a seamless blend of prose and poetry, with subtle undertones reminiscent of a fine Italian culinary dish in The Renaissance Club.

This was not my first time-travel romance, but Ms. Dacus is easily on par with my literary heroine, Diana Gabaldon. While the heroine travels back and forth through time, she tries to keep her present-day, dead-on-arrival, relationship with Darren together; but each trip through the portal of Time, each liason with her artistic hero, Bernini, she finds herself comparing past and present in more ways than one.

The romance between May and Bernini sizzles, and the love scenes are subtle, but pack a punch and the author moves deftly through the full range of human emotions with style and sensitivity. All the while, Dacus is describing art and Italy with a deftness that leaves even the least-experienced art historian with a clear mental image of what the characters are seeing and studying.

Her characters step in and out of time seamlessly, and it would seem that all of our intrepid travelers on this particular three-week academic tour find themselves somehow changed by the magic of Italy; its pull an irresistible dare to be something more, fly higher, try something new, inspired by the innovation in artistic styles that Rome, Venice, Florence, and Assisi seethe with. And who wouldn’t find themselves forever altered by meeting Masters of their time such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini?

Even those who aren’t romance fans will find something in the pages of this book to pique their imagination. Aspiring authors, poets, painters and sculptors especially, should read at least the first three chapters, and pay special heed Bernini’s advice.

You won’t find steamy sex scenes in this book, but in this reviewer’s opinion, they would have most likely detracted from the overall impact of Rachel’s work. Readers will be left with a new appreciation of art, history, love and time itself. A must for every romance reader’s book list, especially fans of time-travel romance.

Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus' time travel romance, The Renaissance Club - Contemporary Romance, Time Travel, Renaissance Italy
Jenn reviews Rachel Dacus’ time travel romance, The Renaissance Club

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle and paperback here.

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

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Also by Rachel Dacus:

The Invisibles

Hot Lap (Arkadia Fast ) – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Leslie Scott's new action-adventure romance HOT LAP - adult romance, contemporary romance, race cars, street racing, single dad

Jenn reviews Hot Lap by Leslie Scott – Adult Contemporary Romance

About the Book


Hot Lap (Arkadia Fast ); Leslie Scott
Adult; Romance; 249 Pages

The Wild Rose Press, Inc (March 6, 2019)

Starting a new life isn’t easy when the skeletons locked in her closet are the notorious town drunk for a father and a haunted past. But, Hadley Morgan isn’t one to shy away from second chances or giving them either.

When a young, single father wrapped up in an octane fueled package takes particular interest in her, she begins to dream. But well-known drag racer Aiden Casey is also her boss, making her hesitate to grab at her chance at happiness. 

Will her secrets shatter their chance at love or will his past come back to destroy both of them?

About the Author

Leslie Scott has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Currently, she lives and writes amidst her own happily ever after with her soul mate, son, and domestic zoo. http://lesliescottromance.com/

Excerpt (With permission of the Author)

“Wow.” The word tumbled from my lips before my body had time to register how damn good he looked.

Aiden wore his dark hair tied at the base of his neck. His sharp cheekbones were model perfect. The dimple in his cheek when wide, sculpted lips curved in a smile, sent me into a spiral of va-va-voom.

I stood there, dumbstruck.

“I thought since I’d asked you to wear a dress, I should return the favor.” He wore a crisp white shirt, unbuttoned at the collar with the sleeves rolled up on his forearms, and clean, faded jeans with a pair of black Vans. So handsome, he took my breath away.

“I never pegged you for a skater.” I stepped out of the door, my strappy sandals clicking with each footfall.

His laugh came as easy as the fingers that wrapped around my hand. “A guy can’t give away all his secrets.”

“Really? You can skateboard?” I’d never seen him do anything other than drive.

“Yeah. Vic, too.” Pleasant surprise was becoming an old friend where Aiden was concerned. He fell with ease into the rhythm of conversation. With Aiden, things that should have been awkward—weren’t.

“We didn’t always drive. Except for maybe Jordan. Old Man always let him drive around in that old truck.”

They all referred to Jordan’s grandfather as “Old Man,” even Aiden’s sisters. Jordan had restored the old Chevy truck and made it like new again.

“You loved him.” The affection for Jordan’s grandfather written plainly on Aiden’s face.

“Jordan or his grandfather?” He lifted a shoulder. “Both, I guess. Jordan is my brother, from different parents. The Old Man was just…awesome.”

“I think it’s nice.” If I searched the recesses of my mind, I could almost grasp the familial bond. Then poof, another light in my life snuffed out far too soon. Each time I was with Aiden, I trudged up things long since buried.

Yet, being with him made me happier than I could ever remember.

“Now, close your eyes.” The rumbling timbre of his voice lulled me into doing just that.

Jenn’s Review

Leslie Scott is back with another sweet and spicy romance in her latest release, Hot Lap.

Hadley’s life is falling apart in a small town. She’s spent most of her life hiding who she is, but her drunken father has a knack for outing her in the worst ways. This time, she’s lost her apartment because of his antics, and she’s tired of cleaning up after him. Her best friends know she needs a place (though they don’t know why), and they throw her on the mercy of their brother, Aiden – who also happens to be Hadley’s boss at the auto shop.

Aiden’s moved back in with his folks since his divorce left him with two small children and his little trailer is available. He’s more than happy to rent it to Hadley, dirt cheap. Having a woman he’s attracted to, so close by, is a welcome distraction for one of the biggest names in street racing, and both have wounds that seem to close the closer they get.

Platonic friendship? It’s not on either of their minds as things heat up, but for wildly different reasons. But just when things seem to be going well, forces outside the pair crop up to tear them apart.

This is a fast-paced read, filled with fast cars, hunky drivers, and strong-willed women. I couldn’t put it down for long. Well-written, and I’m already looking forward to the next installment!

Jenn reviews Leslie Scott's new action-adventure romance HOT LAP - adult romance, contemporary romance, race cars, street racing, single dad
Jenn reviews Hot Lap by Leslie Scott – Adult Contemporary Romance

Buy the Book

This book is available on Amazon Kindle here.


Also by Leslie Scott:

The Finish Line (Book 1, Arkadia Fast)

Two Hearts, One Stone

Leslie Scott – Author Interview

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn interviews Leslie Scott, contemporary romance author and creator of the Arkadia Fast series
Jenn interviews Leslie Scott, contemporary romance author and creator of the Arkadia Fast series

Jenn sat down with Leslie Scott, an author we’ve featured before here on Thrice Read Books, to talk about life, romance, and her new release, Hot Lap. (You can find links to her reviews for Leslie’s books at the bottom of this post.)

Jenn: I’ve had the privilege of reading two of your books so far, and I’m in love with your style and characters, but before we get to them… Could you tell us a bit about you?

Leslie: Thank you, by the way. Especially the part about the characters. That always makes me smile.

I live in North Alabama. So think more rockets and engineers and fewer cotton fields and rednecks.

Jenn: Right on…

Leslie: I’ve been a stay at home, homeschool mom since this writing journey started. I have an eleven-year-old gifted son and a school setting was difficult for him. So if I’m not writing, often I’m teaching. It’s been a learning experience for both of us.

Or playing Mom-Taxi, there’s a lot of that.

Jenn: Homeschooling is a huge challenge that requires flexibility and constant adaptation. I remember those days well.

Leslie: It’s really a mess, a lot of times. My mom lives with us (and has for years), the other day she asked me if I was ever planning on cleaning the books off the kitchen table.

To which my son piped up “That’s the math lesson right now, we can’t.”

Jenn: Right! When Sam decided she wanted to do public school last year, I think I had a mini-celebration for all the new shelf space I’d acquired.

Leslie: Right? LoL. But we do that, we rescue and foster cats and dogs. I currently have eight (4 of each) right now and none are fosters. Well, one is a foster fail.

When this writing gig got busy, I had to enlist the aid of an online curriculum. So, while I supplement heavily, it’s not all on my shoulders anymore. And he’s doing well with that.

Jenn: So, you write romance, teach middle school, foster kitties and doggos…plus entertain rocket-men and engineers?

Leslie: LOL, mostly yeah. And Mr. Scott does cars. Always cars. Buying, selling, fixing, restoring, playing… cars. Which is where the idea for Arkadia Fast came from, lol.

Jenn: Hehe… I’ve known a few of those. I noticed a distinct flair for classic muscle in Hot Lap. If you ever get out to the West Coast in the Summer, we have a couple of fantastic little car shows.

So, how did this writing gig get started? Have you always wanted to be a writer? Or was it more of a hobby/idea that came from extra homeschooling time?

Leslie: I’ve always been a writer. Since I was a little girl, I’ve told and wrote stories. Won writing competitions. And for years I wrote on writing sites on the internet… for fun. (back when that was a thing)

I’m actually jumping into the Radish App this spring, which will be like going back to those days for me. The homeschooling thing just allowed me time to really pursue this as a career.

Jenn: That’s one I haven’t heard of… What’s Radish?

Leslie: Radish Fiction is a mobile app for serialized fiction.

Jenn: That sounds like fun.

Leslie: Basically, you read a few episodes for free, then pay a small amount to open the rest. Yeah, the likes of Bev Jenkins and Kelly Armstrong have stuff on there.

Jenn: Oh… that does sound interesting.

Leslie: It’s a cool way too, for me to explore new genres

Granted, the app is romance heavy, I’ll be writing an Urban Fantasy (with romantic elements).

Jenn: I’m always curious about this when I get the answer “I’ve always been a writer.” Did you pursue writing/creative writing in college?

Leslie: In high school, yes.

I went to a technical college first, and they didn’t have creative writing. But after the plan was to go for an English degree (still on the agenda, but haven’t got around to it) with a focus in creative writing.

My 8th grade English teacher goes to church with us.

She told me back then I should be a writer, she’s thrilled now.

Jenn: Hehe… That’s awesome!

So, as we transition over to talking about your books, let’s dive into the source – Where do you get your ideas for stories?

Leslie: lol, is “the voices in my head” a good answer for that?

Jenn: As a writer… it works for me!

Leslie: In truth, some just come to me. Others I get a spark of inspiration from everyday things.

Jenn: Right.

Leslie: The Arkadia Fast series came from watching drag racing/street racing videos on youtube with Mr. Scott. And going to a few street races (and the drag strip).

BUT Two Hearts, One Stone I wrote specifically for a publisher’s open call

Jenn: I figured there was a personal experience there. The descriptions were too precise.

So, let’s talk about Two Hearts first… That was my introduction to your work, and I fell in love with your style in that story.

Leslie: Awe, thanks! I love my little cowboy novella.

Jenn: It’s a really sweet story.

Leslie: Thank you.

Jenn: You wrote it for an open call. For those who aren’t sure what that means, could you explain it a little?

Leslie: An open call is when a publisher wants a certain type of story. So they put it out there (both to their authors and often to the public) that hey we’re looking for this type of story written to a certain type of parameter.

For Stone, it was a novella about a cowboy and a baby.

Jenn: That sounds challenging. Do you write the story on a deadline? Or write the proposal and then do the story while you’re waiting on the response to your proposal

Leslie: Different for each story, truly.

For Stone, I wrote it on my own and submitted it when I finished (no real deadline).

Jenn: Okay. That makes sense.

Now, Arcadia Fast… that’s an entirely different thing, and I haven’t read book 1 yet (book 2 was awesome, and I didn’t feel like I was really missing out on anything by having not read #1). is that your only other series on the shelves so far?

Leslie: Right now, yes. I hope that changes by the end of the year. There are quite a few other things in the works. But, this business moves so slow. LoL.

And there are still four more Arkadia Fast novels to go.

Jenn: It does! Between the creative work and the product development (pretty much everything not writing and editing), it’s not an exact science.

Leslie: Indeed not. There are lots of things happening behind the scenes, though, and I can’t wait until I can share them with everyone.

Jenn: Yay! I’ll be looking forward to those.

Leslie: Let’s just say, my first true love… is romantic suspense. And at some point, more cowboys.

Jenn: Hot Lap comes out in just a little over a week, so let’s talk books! For those who haven’t gotten around to the review yet, what’s Hot Lap about? (Because it’s not about lap dances!)

😉

Leslie: Well, let’s start with what it means, first.

Jenn: Indeed!

Leslie: Hot Lap is a racing term for the turn around at the end of a track and running the race again without a cool down period for the car.

It’s dangerous, exciting, and well… yeah.

Jenn: More danger, more excitement.

Leslie: So, in Hot Lap, our hero is stepping back into the world of romantic relationships. Hadley, the heroine, is his Hot Lap.

The novel is about a young woman trying to find a place to belong and a young man trying to hold his little family together.

Jenn: He’s also a single father, with complications.

Leslie: Yes, indeed.

A young, single father, which really ads in another layer of problems

Meanwhile, the heroine is trying to hide a very large secret about herself.

Jenn: This is book 2 in the series, but I didn’t feel totally lost in reading it. Can you back up just a bit, and introduce book 1?

Leslie: There is a very major plot point in book one.*

The entire series follows a group of friends in the small town of Arkadia, Texas.

The Finish Line (book 1) is about Raelynn Casey and what it’s like to come home when it’s the last place in the world you want to be and the only place you need to be… All at the same time.

First loves, tragedies, and all of those things.

Jenn: I think I know which group of friends…Is this the race track/street racing bunch?

Leslie: Yes, it is. Most of the town is drag and/or street races. The prominent family in the first three novels (hint to book 3) own a Performance Speed Shop in town.

Jenn: Exactly. I caught a heavy hint of that tragedy in book 2.

Leslie: That tragedy, the loss of someone you love, haunts the entire series in its own way.

Jenn: It’s not something to just “get over”. That’s for sure.

Leslie: Indeed not. I think a lot of books do that, just skim past it as back story.

In truth, when something colors every decision you make, it becomes its own character in a way.

BUT, the books aren’t depressing. They are about finding the light and love despite such a thing.

Jenn: It does. And honestly, the way that you’ve portrayed the ongoing effects of such a loss, makes your characters come to life in a different way, which I love.

Leslie: Thank you, very much.

Jenn: I can’t speak for The Finish Line, but Hot Lap was definitely not depressing.

Leslie: The Finish Line is not either, it’s exciting and fast-paced and sexy.

Jenn: Two Hearts was, as well, so I have no doubt!

Leslie: I wish Book 3 was about to come out, as we could expand on this much more. We should revisit the topic when it does come out. lol

Jenn: Perhaps!

Leslie: Especially if you like big scary guys who turn into teddy bears.

Jenn: Hehe…

What one tidbit would you dangle in front of a prospective reader? What would you most like for a reader to know before diving into your books, or if they were considering reading one of your books?

Leslie: Oh wow. I don’t know!

I guess, that they may be romance novels (and romance gets a bad rap) but the characters come to life. Their stories, what happens to them, is more than just a romance. I like to write characters that become your friends, your family in their own right.

That’s why I said it means a lot when someone mentions them as you did at the beginning.

Jenn: You do that superbly, by the way.

❤

Leslie: Thank you.

Jenn: I hate when I hit the end of one of your stories, and dang it! The page won’t turn, because that’s the end!

Leslie: LOL. That’s a pretty awesome compliment.

I’m blushing.

🙂

Jenn: Aww

As we start to wrap up, what’s the best way for readers to follow you?

We have links at the end of the article, of course, but where are you most likely to be hanging out?

Leslie: I’m a Twitter-aholic.

Jenn: The writing community on Twitter is amazing, isn’t it?

Leslie: Yes, it really is. That’s the best way to interact with me as I’m constantly there and have Tweetdeck open all the time.

And sign up for my Newsletter. I don’t spam, but any updates and the like I get (giveaways, contests, cover reveals) all go through my mailing list first.

Jenn: Sweet. We’ll be sure to link to that, too.

Leslie: And if you really love the stories, I have an ARC  group on Facebook. So, a chance to read my stuff before anyone else. And a glimpse into all the stuff I’m doing I “can’t talk about.”

Jenn: For a quick recap, The Finish Line is already out, Hot Lap comes out soon… and book 3 is waiting in the wings. Any chance we could get ball-park release time for book 3?

Leslie: I’m hoping Book 3 (Full Tilt Boogie) will be out this winter.

Jenn: Very good!

Leslie: But, my serial, Black Water Magic will be out early May on the Radish Fiction app.

Jenn: Alrighty! I definitely have to add that to my tool kit.

And there goes my TBR pile… Again.

Leslie: LOL. Mine is RIDICULOUS, btw. I have an ad running on Bookbub so I log in daily to check it, and the first thing it shows me are the sale ebooks in my favorite genres.

So… yeah. LoL

Jenn: Hehe. I came home from RWA-2018 with over 100 books… And that’s just from RWA.

Leslie: Oh yeah, we did a small conference (you’d love it) in Atlanta called Moonlight and Magnolias

Jenn: Aww!

Leslie: And my CP had to check her suitcase on the flight home because she brought home so many.

Jenn: Oh, no! I know we had about $150 in shipping to get the books home because I couldn’t even fit them in my bags.

Leslie: Yeah, I can see that.

Jenn: But the one thing Hubby never hears is “I have nothing to read.”

Leslie: I drove, thankfully, and brought mine with me.

Jenn: Exactly! I’d like to thank you again, Leslie, for joining me today, and having such a fabulous little chat.

Leslie: This was fun, Jenn. Thanks for having me.

Jenn: I’ve been looking forward to getting to sit down with you since I read Two Hearts, so this was a HUGE treat for me.

Leslie: oh yay!

*Jenn has The Finish Line in her reading cue, so keep an eye open for the review!

Jenn interviews Leslie Scott, contemporary romance author and creator of the Arkadia Fast series

Jenn interviews Leslie Scott, contemporary romance author and creator of the Arkadia Fast series

Find Leslie on the Web!

Website Newsletter BookBub Facebook

Twitter Pinterest Youtube Playlists

ARC Review Group

Our Reviews of Leslie’s books:

Two Hearts, One Stone Hot Lap

The Finish Line (review coming soon)

Buy Leslie’s books here:

Thrice Read Books will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at books@thricereadbooks.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.