Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: THE RIGHT TEMPTATION by Diane Escalera

Summary: Can a childhood crush mature into the real thing? Kayla Martinez has recently landed an RN position at a prestigious hospital in her hometown. The new job is everything she's hoped for, especially when one hot specimen shows up in the ER. She hasn't seen her childhood crush in years, and considering how much hotter he's gotten over time, she almost ends up needing resuscitation. The last thing Nico LaCosta needs is a broken arm. Now his pal's kid sister wants to soothe his pain, but he'd rather keep his distance so her big brother doesn't break his other arm. Kayla's no child anymore, though. She's one hot-blooded woman, determined to remind him of a mind-blowing kiss back when they were teenagers. Leave it to Kayla to drop by his house unannounced and play Nurse Seductive. A guy has to follow the buddy code, or face the consequences. Still, sometimes giving in to temptation is worth it...

CONTENT WARNING: Racy Language, Hot Sex, Lusty Latin Lovers A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance.

Reviewed by: Celia
Rating: 3 stars

Review: Since the age of 13, no guy has ever measured up to Kayla’s idea of caliente like Nico La Costa. It’s hard to believe that she has held a candle for him practically her whole life. Well, who could blame her, right? Still, stalking the guy might be a little too extreme.

There was no denying the instant physical attraction between the two right from the start; however, Nico was not seeking the complication of a relationship. He had to “[think] with the right head.” (13) The best part was when he tried to distract himself with an Xbox game until she came out in her skimpy outfit. Suddenly, it became a question of: what game?

Told in the witty banter of Kayla and Nico, this story is a teeter-totter of lust and desire with very little resistance. There must something to the old adage: “Latin men had a reputation for being good lovers.” (23)  I definitely agreed with Kayla about tattoos: “She didn’t mind a well-placed tattoo, but some men took it to the extreme. Not Nico.” (50)

The whole thing seemed to take place in one sultry, provocative weekend as snippets of their shared history filtered through.  One thing was clear: Kayla was determined to hook him—hook him in the saddle, hook him for life. My goodness!

Of course, after their climactic evening, who ends up showing up? His mamá! Oh, snap!

The writing was decent, but the story did not go beyond the wild passion, which consumed the entire length of the novel. A quick read for romance lovers.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cover Reveal: TO CATCH A PRINCESS by Caridad Pineiro

Gambling at Love:  To win her heart he has to risk his secrets. . .

Romantic Times: 4 Stars – “From the first page, the pacing is strong, the action plentiful and the characters interesting enough to hook you in.”
Untold wealth, a loving family, a solid career in America: the only thing Princess Tatiana lacks is the one thing she really doesn't want--a husband. Unfortunately, her parents have just arranged her marriage to a royal from the old country. Are they kidding? It's the twenty-first century!
Police Detective Peter Roman is a royal living incognito...and escaping a secret that has haunted his family for years. He's been quietly in love with his best friend Price Alexander's sister for as long as he can remember. Little does she know that he is secretly the Grand Duke to whom she is unwillingly betrothed.
When a series of high-end jewelry heists threatens Tatiana's exclusive charity exhibition in glamorous Monaco, the two must trap the clever jewel thief before he strikes again. In a fight for their lives, Peter's secret identity is revealed. With danger and passion increasing to the break point, she must decide: catch a thief...or trust the heart of her true love.




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: FAITH IN YOU by Charity Pineiro

Summary: Paul Stone accepts Connie Gonzalez’s invitation to join her for a traditional and fun-filled Cuban Christmas Eve dinner. Paul is instantly captivated by her intriguing kid sister. Carmen Gonzalez is leery of the self-assured FBI agent whose upscale upbringing provided him with all he ever needed. . .except love. After a fast-paced courtship, Paul and Carmen are ready to walk down the aisle, blissfully unaware that fate – and their own secret fears – will test their fragile commitment long before they make it to the altar . . . .

Reviewed by: Celia
Rating: 3 stars

Review: The charming Gonzalez sisters—Carmen and Connie—from the last story, Now and Always, are back! But now that Connie and Victor were together, the focus was on her little sister, Carmen, and her FBI partner, Paul Stone.

Feeling sad over the lonely holidays, Paul reluctantly accepts Connie’s persistent invitation for dinner at her parents’ house. Of course, a white boy was going to feel out of place in a house full of Cubans. And, of course, as soon as he laid eyes on Carmen, there was an instant attraction, but Carmen wasn’t too keen on him, especially since this was the guy who broke her sister’s arm in the last book. And ever since the first meeting, Paul’s cockiness takes over. White boys.

Carmen sure is a spicy jalapeño—always cutting the poor guy off with her strident aggravation. However, the two do have one thing in common: they long for what Connie and her husband have. Still, they were completely different. Could they actually work? Could they both put the fun aside and just be serious—a behavior they both have yet to master?

The romance developed quickly—too quickly. Will their love be able to surpass their insecurities, the cultural barriers, and the judgments of their families? “Lord help the fools that think it’s about love and all that other crap.” (130) Although brash, Paul’s brother may have had a point about the union. Can faith actually trump anything?

I liked that this one had more Spanish, more controversy, and, best of all, a battle of trust. Still, the story had the same conventional plot, except there was no FBI case to deviate from the amorous pursuit. I guess they didn’t want a rehash of the exact same book, although it was pretty similar in a lot of ways.

All in all, this was all romance with no pause. All they cared about was to be together forever—an emblematic concept in every romance novel.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: NOW AND ALWAYS by Charity Pineiro

Summary: Connie Gonzalez is a driven, ambitious woman who is one of the FBI’s best agents and determined to prove herself in a man’s world. Assigned to the Miami Bureau, Connie soon finds herself going undercover in Miami's glamorous South Beach area. An injury throws her together with the very rich and tempting Dr. Victor Cienfuegos. Victor is everything Connie should avoid, but despite the risks of her work and allowing any distractions, Connie cannot deny the attraction between herself and the sexy physician. Will danger keep them apart or is their love strong enough to survive for now and always?

Reviewed by: Celia
Rating: 3 stars

Review: Two lovely girls. One hot doctor.

Dr. Victor Cienfuego has been looking for a new receptionist ever since his previous, incomparable one took maternity leave. So far, no one has been able to keep his office running in an orderly and productive fashion. But could young and inexperienced Carmen Gonzalez be exactly what he’s looking for—as a receptionist and as a lover? There was no denying the spark.

Carmen’s sister, Connie Gonzalez, is a smart, inquisitive FBI in-training agent. She kind of reminded me of Mary Gross from the movie, Feds—she was the brainy, nerdy chick who knew all of the police protocol but knew nothing about combat until she learned that a nice, swift quick to the groin would always bring the jerks down. And it seems that she might be just what the good doctor ordered.

Both raised as good, Catholic school girls, Carmen and Connie have very different views on love and relationships. I could relate to Connie the most especially since “she had always been so busy with her ambitions, that she had paid little heed to the woman buried inside of her.” (44) Always the shy spinster, she never paid the slightest bit of attention to men…until Victor stepped up the plate.

Could a cop and a doctor make it work? Possibly, especially since they both tend to live the same lifestyle—forever chained to a cell phone for any sudden call of duty that could whisk them away in a second’s notice.  Could they be any more perfect for each other?

Still, I could understand Connie’s uneasiness concerning his wealth and good looks. I couldn’t, however, understand why she needed to turn into this sex-starved vixen around him. Why can’t good girls stay good?

At first, I thought that this would involve some love triangle between the doctor and the two sisters, especially since they both invoked the same reaction from him. But it’s not the case at all. Perhaps it would’ve made things a little more interesting by adding this potential conflict in the story. But it’s your typically sweet, contemporary romance…except with a uniquely crafted twist of hunting down a serial killer; although the focus might’ve placed a little too heavily on the steamy, erotic romance than anything else.

A short-paced novel with likable characters but with a conventional plot.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: TREE OF SIGHS by Lucrecia Guerrero

Summary: After the sudden and tragic death of her parents, Altagracia faces an uncertain future with a bitter and secretive grandmother. When the two sink into poverty, the young girl ends up with a cruel woman who takes her to the United States, changes her name to Grace, and puts her to work as a full-time domestic servant. Tree of Sighs is the story of Grace's journey to uncover her past as she straddles two cultures in the search for her own identity. After escaping servitude and imprisonment, Grace endures life on the streets and a succession of jobs, and she eventually lands in a comfortable marriage. But a phone call from a person in her past sets her on a journey to the border, where she meets a man who holds the key to her past, learns the truth about her grandmother, and ultimately finds herself.

Reviewed by: Sandra L.
Rating: 3 stars

Review: “There was something soothing about words, how they could transverse into a solution to a problem.” (4) And Guerrero’s words are as soothing as they come—both lovely and poetic.

The writer gives us a story of a woman harboring a secret. Before she was Grace, she was Altagracia, born and raised in Mexico, who was suddenly uprooted to the Americas. She thought she would never have to think about the past again, but then a phone call takes her on a journey back to old memories. It is the story of a woman’s reminiscence of her buried past and physical return back home (Mexico.)

After becoming Grace, the reader learns what she had to go through to survive. She ran away from her host mom to escape the imprisoned life of a servant to hang out with a group of wretched kids from the streets, where she soon learns that “[Guys are] like cockroaches…Turn off the lights and in no time, the little bastards are crawling all over you.” (101) This then leads to her routine of binge-drinking and promiscuity in her early 20’s, sinking her further into the desolated misery of her life. 

Ultimately, this book was about a search for identity, a search for belonging, a search for a home and safety. She once said that “home is where the heart is. Where was her heart?” (120)

The best part was toward the end when she finally had to come clean with her husband of who she used to be. Could you really blame him for being upset? Even though you detest the lies of Grace, you can’t help but feel a fraction of sympathy and understanding for Altagracia. After all, it wasn’t her fault.

And as soon as Grace confronts her grandmother, more history unfolds and a buried past resurfaces. The overwhelming amount of details often made the finale insignificant and humdrum. 

Overall, it was a well-written story, but it was a tad long-winded at times. It was filled with a ton of  metaphors and descriptions of trees. What was the meaning of the title? Tree of Sighs?  Mmmm, that was something that just left me pondering along with the other unanswered questions.