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Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Reviews/ Sports 1st March 2017
Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance AnthologyHot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology by Avery Flynn, Robin Covington, Kimberly Kincaid, Nana Malone, Virginia Nelson, Xio Axelrod, Christi Barth, Andie J. Christopher, Kim Golden, Lena Hart, Desiree Holt, Robin Kaye, Katie Kenyhercz, Heather Long, Kate Meader, Angi Morgan, Susan Scott Shelley, Misty D. Waters
Series: Chicago Rebels #0.5
Published by Avery Flynn on March 21st 2017
Pages: 1800
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three-stars

Get ready to fall in love with the smokin’ hot hockey players of the New Orleans Cajun Rage. After this season’s Cinderella run all the way to the Finals, these heroes have won the Cup—and now your heart is the goal.

‘Hot on Ice’ follows every single team member of the fictional New Orleans Cajun Rage after they’ve won the coveted cup and how the cup, like some magical catalyst, helps bring them get to their HEA that some feel (rightly so, to be honest) they don’t deserve. By the end of the book, I found it somewhat amusing that entire hockey team has found love, as though the cup has helped guaranteed success in their love lives as well.

Like every anthology, the quality of writing varies quite significantly and it can be quite an experience sorting through all of them, like finding gems in a huge haystack. There were some stories that I enjoyed (and found believable) more than others because of the stylish and more sophisticated way of writing, as well as how well some authors handled the typical romance tropes in them. Some others, well…I did find them cringeworthy.

The ARC I received felt like it was in its ‘developmental’ stage though; the formatting didn’t always work in my laptop or my e-reader (I don’t use a Kindle, maybe that’s why) for several chapters and there is still some editing work (grammar/spelling, for instance) that needs to be done to make the final version a more polished one.

*ARC kindly given by the authors
(always grateful, mind)

three-stars

Southern Nights & Secrets by Robin Covington

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Chick Lit/ Contemporary Romance/ Netgalley/ Reviews 29th August 2016
Southern Nights & Secrets by Robin CovingtonSouthern Nights & Secrets by Robin Covington
Series: The Boys are Back in Town, #4
Published by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Indulgence) on September 19th 2016
Pages: 268
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one-star

Being a doctor is everything to me, but I’m not going to let bureaucrats tell me how to practice medicine. It’s about saving lives no matter what, screw them and their paperwork.

When the one woman I could never forget, Ginger Crawford, shows up as my boss all bets are off. The heat between us is tough to ignore but I have to if I want a future at this hospital. It isn’t easy. Every time we argue, I want her even more.

But I’ve got secrets she can never know, and she’s always going to be way too good for me. So it’s best if she hates me…at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

This was a hard book to read and harder to review, not least because I went in knowing exactly what to expect after realising what some readers had to say about the plot and its triggers. But reading it didn’t make it any easier when I could see were the author’s valiant attempts to make an unlikeable and unreliable – at least when it comes to matters of the heart – male protagonist worthy of a HEA with a woman who rightly shouldn’t want to have anything to do with him.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work too well at all for me.

But if I liked Ginger Crawford immensely for her independence and her strength (though she was a little too soft-hearted), I found Beckett a sorry excuse of a cocky womaniser who uses his debilitating, broken past as an excuse not to commit and to push Ginger away – by sleeping with her roommate. That he felt Ginger was too good for him is an overused cliché that I’d outgrown decades ago and seeing it again in action – and the kind of behaviour it elicits – nearly made me not finish the story at all.

9 years later, when this story takes place, I’m not entirely sure this attitude has changed.

There’s the admission that she was the girl he’d always loved, but broke it all up with her for her own good and for his own selfish reasons, then took up with a revolving door of women didn’t do anything to endear me to him at all. Suddenly wanting Ginger back after all this time because she shows up where he works felt more like him wanting to recapture what they had yet not showing any sort of remorse for his halfwit, inexcusable behaviour. That he chalked it up to the right timing when he and Ginger finally slept together incensed me further because all it highlighted was his cocky smugness when he finally put effort into getting her back. In fact, I found him irredeemable insofar as women were concerned, despite the good work he does with children and at the hospital and to term him as a romantic hero would be a misnomer.

I wasn’t entirely too sure what happened next apart from the sex happening despite all futile attempts at resistance because I finally skimmed, but there were parts that involved a fair bit of characters from the previous books which I didn’t read and an insertion of drug-related activities (with some mild suspense) that I felt compromised the plot’s already tenuous hold on my attention. In short, this is unfortunately not a book I can recommend at all, and that’s not because of Robin Covington’s very excellent writing but really because of a questionable male protagonist whom I can’t even call an antihero deserving of that happy ending.

one-star

Rush: A MacKenzie Family Novella by Robin Covington

Posted in Contemporary Romance/ Reviews/ Romantic Suspense 7th March 2016
Rush: A MacKenzie Family Novella by Robin CovingtonRush: A MacKenzie Family Novella by Robin Covington
Series: MacKenzie World #1
on February 15th 2016
Pages: 126
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four-stars

From Liliana Hart's New York Times bestselling MacKenzie family comes a new story by USA Today bestselling author Robin Covington... Atticus Rush doesn't really like people. Years in Special Ops and law enforcement showed him the worst of humanity, making his mountain hideaway the ideal place to live. But when his colleagues at MacKenzie Security need him to save the kidnapped young daughter of a U.S. Senator, he'll do it, even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart ...his ex-wife. Lady Olivia Rutledge-Cairn likes to steal things. Raised with a silver spoon and the glass slipper she spent years cultivating a cadre of acquaintances in the highest places. She parlayed her natural gift for theft into a career of locating and illegally retrieving hard-to-find items of value for the ridiculously wealthy. Rush was the one man who tempted her to change her ways...until he caught her and threatened to turn her in. MacKenzie Security has vowed to save the girl. Olivia can find anything or anyone. Rush can get anyone out. As the clock winds down on the girl's life, can they fight the past, a ruthless madman and their explosive passion to get the job done?

Would it even be proper of me to say that Robin Covington does way much more than that many of the other actual Mackenzie novels have failed to do: capture my attention with a kind of breezy, complex writing that the originals couldn’t?

‘Rush’ is brief but intriguing enough, a straight telling of a mission to rescue a senator’s daughter that proves to be the second-chance for a battle-hardened mercenary and a rich thief or sorts and a do-over that both so badly need. Atticus Rush and Olivia Rutledge-Cairn are standouts in their own right, and as I relished seeing Rush finally get on his knees, this odd couple somehow did it for me, despite their apparent incompatibility.

four-stars
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