My Perfect Stranger by Kat French

REVIEW

Honeysuckle Jones has a good job working in a charity shop, good friends and a nice flat. The only thing she doesn’t have is a man.

Honey’s new neighbour is less than charming.  He swears, he drinks, and he is just plain rude, but despite these faults Honey can’t help feeling a connection (attraction) to him.

Hal’s life has taken a downward spiral since his accident 18 months ago.  He used to be a famous chef living the high life. He owned his own restaurant, mingled with celebrities, and was set to marry his fiancée the following year. Now he hides himself away, consumed by the darkness that no light can penetrate… until he meets Honey.

With her job under threat, her friends interfering in her love life, and her obnoxious, good-looking neighbour being… well, obnoxious, Honey finds her cheerful demeanour wavering and takes her aggravation out on Hal.  When she realises the reason for his behaviour she wants to be the one to bring him into the light, but will he let her?

This is a great story with lovely characters.  Honeysuckle is a naturally light-hearted person who wants to see the good in everyone.  Hal is the bitter and twisted individual who has had a rough time. Honey’s friends, Tash and Nell, are as diverse as they can get and desperately trying to get her fixed up with a pianist in the hope that his good finger skills will work wonders.  While the octogenarians from the local retirement home show her that fun never gets old.

Perfect for reading on the beach in the Summer, or curled up in front of a fire in the winter.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

You: kind, piano-playing sex god
Me: hopelessly romantic charity shop manager

Honeysuckle Jones has a problem, and her best friends Nell and Tash are on a mission to help her solve it. She needs a man – a caring, intelligent, funny man. But most importantly, a man who’s good with his hands…

Luckily Honey’s new neighbour – moody, antisocial ex-chef Hal – fails on almost every count. Even though the chemistry between them is electric, he’s obviously wrong for her in every way.

But when Honey discovers the devastating reason for his moods she decides to give him another chance. And discovers that the best songs aren’t always in tune…

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36075382-my-perfect-stranger)

Fixed Forever – Fixed #6 by Laurelin Paige

REVIEW

A great continuation in the Fixed saga.

Hudson is keeping secrets from Alayna again but this time it is to keep her safe from an unknown threat.  Someone is sending letters and seems to know all about Hudson’s past.  Tracking down the culprit is harder than he thought, both physically and mentally.  After having three children Alayna is feeling the distance from her husband.  Believing his lack of interest is boredom in their relationship, Alayna’s possessive obsessiveness starts to make an appearance.

With the reemergence of ‘old friends’, can Hudson and Alayna work as the team they need to be to find out who is behind the threats before it goes too far.

I loved this story. Hudson is back in his over-protective, controlling role but he still hasn’t learnt to open up completely to Alayna, forgetting that she is stronger than she seems.  Alayna has had a tough time and, although I do not have the obsessive compulsions that she suffers from, as a mother I can certainly sympathise with her worries over baby care.  An exciting end to this story that I did not see coming.

Some lose ends were tied up but it was still left open enough to allow for further books.  There is a another spin-off which will focus how Celia met Edward which sounds really interesting.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Hudson Pierce-

You act so high and mighty, you and your perfect pregnant wife Alayna. With your perfect child and your perfect home.

You weren’t always perfect. Your past is filled with misdeeds.

Does your wife know all your secrets?

Would she stand behind you if she did?

You think because she’s on bedrest you can protect her? How sweet.

Sleep tight, you two.

-An Old Friend.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36042937-fixed-forever)

Chandler – Fixed #5 by Laurelin Paige

REVIEW

Taking a side-step from Hudson and Alayna, this book focuses on Hudson’s younger brother, Chandler Pierce.

Chandler is the opposite to Hudson in that when he finds a woman he falls in love fast, this would be ok if the women loved him in return, so over the years he set himself a plan – One-time only, no repeats.  This was working just fine until he met Genevieve Fasbender.  Now he wants the repeats but Genevieve is reluctant and pushes him away at every opportunity.  Little does she know that she has got under his skin and Chandler will stop at nothing to be with her again and again and again.

Chandler is such a sweet character.  His sense of humour is great, especially when he is winding Hudson up. As the youngest sibling, he was sheltered as much as he could be  from the family antics of Sophia’s drinking and Hudson’s scheming, but he was not completely oblivious.  Working at Pierce Industries he is finally coming out of himself and proving that he has what it takes to be a Pierce.

A great story that introduces new characters that will continue to appear in future books.  This book really needs to be read in order as the 5th book in the Fixed Series to fully understand all the characters and backstory.

Rating 4/5

Synopsis

I’m good in a boardroom, but I’m better in the bedroom. Much better. I can charm the skirt off any woman in one encounter. I’ll even give her an orgasm before I put her in a cab. Or three. No more or she’ll start making plans for the future and I’m not into that.

Or I wasn’t until Genevieve Fasbender. She’s the first woman in five years that I want to spend the whole night with. And she’s the first woman who’s told me I’m not what she wants in a lover, even after multiple O’s. She’s brash and bold and stubborn as hell, and she doesn’t believe it’s possible to satisfy her.

But I’m up for the challenge.

And after an incident in my brother’s office closet―a downright dirty incident―I think I’m just the guy to deliver.

Genevieve Fasbender will never know what’s coming.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25977796-chandler)

In the Swim of Things by Tracie Banister

REVIEW

Join Kyra as she navigates the slippery realms of romance in this watery tale of the mermaid who finds true love…

Kyra Goodwin works at the Cape Cod Aquarium as a mermaid, it is the perfect job for her as it encompasses her love for the oceans and all things aquatic.  After leaving college to look after her father and brother, Kyra gives up her hopes of being a marine biologist and travelling the seven seas.  Working at the aquarium is next best thing.  When Sea Star Beach comes under threat from a large corporate development, Kyra will stop at nothing to save her beach.

Finding love was not on Kyra’s horizon but just like buses, two potentials come along at once.  Kyra meets Cade Price, retired Champion Surf-boarder, unexpectedly and they hit it off.  Taking things slow seems the best option for Kyra, and while her budding relationship with Cade takes hold, Declan Burke, merwrangler and aquarist starts to show an interest.  Finding herself drawn to both men, Kyra has to trust in her emotions…

But is there something fishy going on? An can Kyra discover the hidden treasure that is true love?

I loved this story.  Kyra is such a nice, sweet girl who has had a tough time but always made the best of it.  Taking care of her loved ones is high on her priority list and it’s about time someone took care of her.  I desperately try not to give away any spoilers and therefore I will keep my opinions about certain characters to myself….I will just say there are times when violence would not be out of the question and quite how Kyra stayed as calm as she did I do not know.

There are characters that appear in books that you think….I don’t know about you, somethings not right, and then there are characters they you straight away like and are rooting for.  This book has both of these and I’m so happy with the outcome.  Go Kyra, enjoy the seas and sail into the sunset with the right man!

An emotion-filled story from start to finish that kept me awake until 2.30am as I just could not put it down.

Perfect to read whilst lounging on the beach watching the waves crash against the shore, or from the comfort of your favourite reading space!

Arc courtesy of Tracie Banister

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Ocean-loving Kyra Goodwin had to give up her dream of becoming the female Jacques Cousteau in order to take care of her father and brother, but being a mermaid at the Cape Cod Aquarium is pretty fintastic as far as alternative careers go. 

Of course, life as a half-fish/half-woman isn’t all sunken treasure and Ariel twirls. Kyra has to deal with perpetually pruney fingers, eyes irritated by saltwater, and bratty kids on the daily, plus her glam alter ego can make dating really weird. (So many men have pervy siren-of-the-sea fantasies!) When she meets hunky surfer Cade, and he’s into her without knowing what she does for a living, Kyra thinks she’s finally won the romance lottery. 

Unfortunately, Kyra’s plans for a carefree summer of catching waves with her new boyfriend run aground when Sea Star Beach, a place that holds great sentimental value for her, is taken over by a big-city developer who wants to build an exclusive resort. Kyra’s crusade to save her beloved beach threatens both her job and her relationship with Cade as does her growing closeness with her irresistibly broody merwrangler, Declan, whose precocious daughter is intent on playing matchmaker. 

When a new family drama arises just as Kyra receives an offer that would turn her greatest desire into reality, she’s torn. Will she do what’s expected of her, or dive in and follow her heart?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45446714-in-the-swim-of-things?ac=1&from_search=true)

Hudson – Fixed #4 by Laurelin Paige

REVIEW

Hudson is the Fixed Trilogy told from Hudson Pierce’s POV and must be read after the Fixed Trilogy (See below for reading order)

Hudson Pierce, business tycoon and game player of people’s emotions, has finally met his match, but is it with Alayna Withers, his new game piece and woman who will change his world, or is it Celia Werner, childhood friend and game partner.  Hudson has lived his life believing that he has no capability to love.  The emotion is out of his reach and so he spends his time watch and experimenting with other people’s emotions especially their desire to love.  Celia falls victim to one of his experiments and from that moment on Hudson’s life will spiral further into the darkness, that is until the light of Alayna shines on him and makes him hope for a better future.  But leaving the game is easier said than done.

I really enjoy this type of companion book to a series as it provides greater depth and meaning to the characters. It also helps explain some of the their actions and the thoughts behind their decisions, which is not easily established when a story is told from only one side.

A great addition to the Fixed Trilogy.

Rating 4/5

Synopsis

Hudson Pierce has led a life few others could even imagine. With money and power at his fingertips, he’s wanted for almost nothing. He’s never experienced love, however, and he’s seen few examples of it in his dysfunctional family. The ridiculous notion of romance has always intrigued him. He’s studied it, controlled it, manipulated it, and has yet to understand it.

Until he meets Alayna Withers.

Now, the games he’s played in his quest for comprehension can finally come to an end. Or are they just beginning?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21417430-hudson)

Fixed Series reading order

  • Fixed on You
  • Found in You
  • Forever with You
  • Hudson
  • Chandler
  • Fixed Forever

The Fixed Trilogy – Fixed #1-3 by Laurelin Paige

REVIEW

Alayna Withers has just graduated business school and is on her way to achieving her dream –  being manager at the nightclub, The Sky Launch.  She desperately keeps herself busy in an attempt to not fall into old, bad habits.  When he appears at her bar she knows that her resolution is close to breaking point.  But will he break her or can he fix her?

Hudson Pierce, renowned business tycoon, always gets what he wants.  For him life has been a game and people have been his pawns.  That was his past, now he wants Alayna in his future, but is she just a another pawn or could she be the one to finally bring the game to an end?

This series is a heart-breaking, heart-warming mix of emotions.  Trust, secrets, lies and deception intertwine until, as the reader, you don’t know who to trust or who to believe.  Hudson’s past exploits linger at every turn and with his childhood friend, Celia, constantly in the background it did make me wonder whether they were truly in the past, and with Alayna’s obsessive compulsions he does seem to play these to his advantage.

I’ll be honest, it took me a while to warm to Hudson. I wanted to believe that he felt something for Alayna but with his continued secrets and connection to Celia it made it very difficult.  Alayna didn’t help matters either.  She kept her own secrets, which at times I thought Hudson dealt with very well.  For all their talk of communication they seemed to be sadly lacking.

This is one of those series where you spend most of the book thinking ‘I don’t know if I like him’ but somehow he works his way into your affections and you don’t want the series to end.  Good News! There are several follow-on books and a spin-off series which I will be reading and reviewing over the next two months.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Fixed on You (Book 1): Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out–move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan. But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous–the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it. Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

Found in You (Book 2): Alayna Withers has only had one kind of relationship: the kind that makes her obsessive and stalker-crazy. Now that Hudson Pierce has let her into his heart, she’s determined to break down the remaining walls between them so they can build a foundation that’s based on more than just amazing sex. Except Hudson’s not the only one with secrets.
With their pasts pulling them into a web of unfounded mistrust, Alayna turns to the one person who knows Hudson the best–Celia, the woman he almost married. Hoping for insight from someone who understands all sides of the story, Alayna forms a bond with Celia that goes too far–revealing things about Hudson that could end their love for good.

This is the first relationship where Alayna hasn’t spiraled out of control. And she might lose Hudson anyway…

Forever with You (Book 3): Alayna Withers relationship with Hudson Pierce has tested both her and his ability to trust. They decide that the only way they can move forward together is with open doors and transparency. It won’t be easy for the scarred lovers, but they’re committed to each other more now than ever. Alayna, in particular, has grown through their trials, and has emerged more confident and faithful to the man she loves.

But while the pair is focused on the future, their past shows up again to threaten their fragile bond. Promises that were made are broken, and Alayna learns that Hudson still has very potent secrets–secrets that will tear them both apart. As much as she feels for him, her ability to forgive and forget is tested beyond her limits.

Even though she found the only man who could fix her, a forever with Hudson seems more and more out of reach. 

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21420473-the-fixed-trilogy)

His Personal Relationship Manager – Dating by Design #1 by Jennifer Peel

REVIEW

A light-hearted romance that had me ohhing and ahhing right to the end.

Kenadie has sworn off men, dating and everything associated with romantic relationships since she was left at the alter seven years ago, which is ironic considering she set up a dating site and has been successfully matching couples ever since.  Besides her best friend, Zander, Kenadie wants nothing to do with men, that is until she meets Zander’s old college friend, Jason.

Jason’s patience with Kenadie is amazing and poor deluded, blinkered Kenadie really can’t see what is right in front of her even when everyone else can.  I loved the character of Jason.  He goes to enormous lengths to achieve his goal and his frustration at times is evident, but bless him, his perseverance is amazing.  Kenadie has really met her match with this one.

Jennifer Peel is a new author to me.  I was not disappointed.  This first book in the series was a great opener to the rest of the series and I will definitely be reading the next.

If you enjoy a heart-warming romance with no sex but plenty of sizzle then this will be right up your street.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

Kenadie Marshall suffered the most public of humiliations, being left at the altar. Instead of wallowing in her misery, she makes it her mission to help others find true and lasting love, all while swearing off relationships for good. Between the software application she developed and a team of relationship managers, her brainchild, Binary Search, has an uncanny knack for choosing the perfect match almost every time.

Attractive and loveable Jason Hadley is taken with Kenadie Marshall from their first meeting. Determined to win her over, he does anything and everything he can think of, even if it means using her firm’s service and dating other women to stay close to her.

Will Kenadie realize she’s met her match before it’s too late? Or will Jason’s ploy go too far? Find out in His Personal Relationship Manager, a romantic comedy with an epic battle of wills. 

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28700600-his-personal-relationship-manager)