Author: Marie Harte

All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte

All I Want for Halloween by Marie HarteAll I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on September 26th 2017
Pages: 352
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When Sadie Liberato is cajoled by her brother to attend a costume party a month before Halloween, she had no idea she'd fall for a handsome devil in a mask. Or that she'd have one hellishly fine encounter in the dark. But when her masked devil turns out to be Gear Blackstone, fallen TV reality star of the super popular show, Motorcycle Madnezz, she wonders if this is a match made in heaven or hell...

‘All I want for Halloween’ starts out fun and gossipy in a way about celebrities that had me laughing at the parody, then made it work by introducing a female lead who seemed to know just what she was doing, and yet was funny and gutsy to boot. And I’d thought there and then, that we had a winner.

After all, who can say that they’ve looked with disdain from afar, then came face to face with the very person you’ve been seeing on screen and been judgemental about? As someone watching from the outside, Sadie Liberato’s own reaction to the whole mess of a cheating ex and Motorcycle Madnezz’s end of an era on tv closely mirrored mine…minus the incidental meeting and the sexy times.

But past Gear’s and Sadie’s first (rather acrobatic) public, masked-sex at the party, it was hard to sustain interest in a pairing because I couldn’t tell just what direction their relationship was going to take. Throw in the sudden influx of characters in the midway point and the copious number of sex scenes—I really did get the point early on that sex between them was hot and stratospheric and got bored when that just went on and on—, it started to fall flat at the quarter-mark of the story, when Gear and Sadie find themselves in a semblance of dating but are convinced that they’re nothing more than that while their actions prove otherwise. Adamant that their ‘relationship’ is casual, much of it felt like lust masquerading as love still, even as both eventually do come to the conclusion that they are already there with their emotions.

Overall, I feel as though I should have liked this better than I did, but throughout it all, I simply found myself impatiently wanting to see the story get somewhere and was disappointed when it didn’t quite. Instead it dragged on and I finally started to skim, almost relieved when Gear/Sadie got it into their heads that they were on the same emotional page because that was where the story also ended.


A Sure Thing by Marie Harte

A Sure Thing by Marie HarteA Sure Thing by Marie Harte
Series: The Donnigans #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on November 1st 2016
Pages: 352
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The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life...until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.

There were many times when I wondered if ‘A Sure Thing’ was an accidental porn movie set that I’d wandered into, where interactions and background information are meant as somewhat insignificant introductions to long and drawn-out sex scenes (with men and women who go on and on covered in all kinds of body fluids) which are the clear highlights of the whole show. With some humour and a HEA (as abrupt as it is), it might just make it out of San Fernando and into the mainstream.

Marie Harte certainly excels at getting a pairing down and dirty from the start, but that was for me, the book’s biggest weakness as well. The meandering plot lacked a clear direction and it was often when I wondered if it was simply too long to sustain, as the winding introductions of secondary characters felt like a set-up gig for the rest of the series to come.

As a result, I was bored limp with the story’s laser focus on sex and sexual attraction: it seems to be the sole currency of the story, dominating family conversations, dates and even comes to define Ava and Landon, which is primarily the reason I couldn’t buy into this pairing at all, especially not when the ability to give orgasms seems to be the best way of proving oneself a credible romantic partner.

Character-wise, I thought Landon smug, smarmy and a complete, controlling moron with Ava the saving grace of the story when she seems to be the only one who doesn’t come too easily for Landon when the rest of the many women do. With her, he’s suddenly coming with no end, permanently erect and a dominant alpha intent on claiming through multiple rounds of sex. The independent Ava, while giving as good as she gets, tolerates that behaviour, then finally submits to it because it well, grows on her.

The long and short of it is, I struggled hard to find depth in this this relationship that seemed more based on lust than love. With Landon’s siblings following the same character-mould that hints at what we might expect in the coming books, I’d do more than tread with caution.


Served Hot by Marie Harte

Served Hot by Marie HarteServed Hot by Marie Harte
Series: Best Revenge #2
Published by Samhain Publishing on December 30th 2014
Pages: 207
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Blackmailed into a prom date by the cute but geeky Dexter Black twelve years ago, Maya Werner shocked herself by having a good time. For a strong-willed, hot-tempered artist who s used to having the upper hand, that s never sat well with her.
At weekly wine night with her friends, Maya finds herself pledging to get revenge on the men who ve done her wrong starting with Dex. Except the Marine Corps transformed the nerd into a hot, sexy guy with the audacity to blackmail her "again." This time into a few dates.
Dex is back in town with one goal in mind: to win the girl of his dreams. But he knows how she operates. His strategy? Keep her off balance by running hot and cold until she melts into the passion between them.
When a misunderstanding stokes old hurts, Maya backs away when she should stand her ground. But Dex has a contingency plan: pour on the charm with both barrels, until he has his own form of revenge loving Maya, forever.

Didn’t quite live up to my expectations after reading the last chapter of the first installment, unfortunately. I was so looking forward to a chapter of their high school years and perhaps even a period where Maya found Dex completely changed and has to deal with that transformation, but there wasn’t anything like that in this book. I do like their chemistry though, and the sex tape idea is definitely quite a novel one.


Served Cold by Marie Harte

Served Cold by Marie HarteServed Cold by Marie Harte
Series: Best Revenge #1
Published by Samhain Publishing on September 16th 2014
Pages: 201
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Back in high school, Ann Weaver told herself getting ditched by Jack Bloom was for the best. At twenty-nine, she’s way over him. He was her first, but definitely not her last.
On weekly wine night with her friends, the talk turns to regrets—and Ann finds herself pledging to fix her past, starting with confronting those who treated her like dirt. Her first target: Jack, who’s recently moved back to town to stay.
But something’s different. He’s funny, kind, and amazing in bed. He acts like he really likes her, might even love her. Soon Ann is having a hard time remembering she’s only in it for revenge. Especially when she learns the real reason he dumped her.
Jack is older, wiser, and has a hell of a lot of experience behind him. For a chance at a future with this grown-up, gorgeous Ann, he’s ready to do whatever it takes. Until her true motive for rekindling their romance comes to light, and Jack must decide if forgiveness is enough to let love push through the lie.

When three women hatch a plot of revenge against unsuspecting men, the result is an explosive conflagration of hot sex, laugh-out-loud dialogue lines and many classic rom-com moments. I found myself grinning at a school teacher’s antics behind closed doors but I was especially taken with Maya, the loud and take-no-prisoners woman, whose story with Dex is already making me moist with anticipation.

As much as I loved Ann Weaver (wasn’t too sold on Jack and the typical playboy past that many readers seem to like), the last part of Served Cold left me breathless – and was perhaps the book’s biggest draw for me.

Damn you, Marie Harte, for making me wait for Maya and Dex.