Donna Reads: Bishop (Arizona Vengeance) by Sawyer Bennett

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B9B57EE1-7AD3-43AB-A5F3-91985EE2B93DBishop Scott, star hockey player, has joined his new team, the new expansion team in the league, the Arizona Vengeance. He meets a sexy, interesting girl at a bar, and they have an amazing one night stand. He forgets to get her last name or phone number, and he can’t stop thinking about her. 

When he arrives at his team’s brand new, state-of-the-art arena, he’s walking through the complex when he spots the same sexy girl in one of the executive offices. She’s just as glad to see him as he is to see her. They are passionately kissing when her father walks in. Brooke Perron is Bishop’s new coach’s daughter, and his new coach is furious at finding Bishop wrapped around his daughter. 

Thinking fast on her feet, Brooke blurts out that she and Bishop have been secretly dating when they both lived in New York and they are engaged. Bishop soon discovers that his coach is a recent widower who has been having a rough time adjusting to the loss of his wife. The coach has come to Arizona hoping to start over, and his daughter will do anything to keep her father happy. 

Bishop and Brooke’s fake relationship gets interesting when it starts to become very real to the two of them. 

I enjoyed this sports romance. I’ve read the first two books in the author’s Carolina Cold Fury hockey series, and I’m reading the third one there. I really liked both Bishop and Brooke in this book. Sawyer Bennett writes interesting characters in cute story lines with a lot of sex tossed in. There’s not a lot of angst, which I appreciate and like. I read through this book in one day. 

Sounds of Sunday

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I’m still practicing. Still playing. Still trying S-L-O-W-L-Y to get better. I’m making progress, but it’s slow coming along.

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My guitar collection has grown by two since my last update. Two more used, cheap Epiphone guitars have joined the family.

I found a lower end Epiphone SG. He was in Arvada, Colorado. I named him Orfeo which means darkness and night. I thought he had a cool, kind-of Batman like vibe going on.

A15E6102-84A2-4836-9566-7991108CC1376963F5F1-F62E-4FE9-851B-05956B269E4CFBEDE062-F1B8-439C-81E2-3C059B5DB51CThen I found this guy in Manhattan. He’s an Epiphone Les Paul SL. I bought him because he was funky and colorful. I thought the pick guard was unique. I posted pictures to a Facebook Epiphone owners group I belong to, and several obnoxious men on there told me he was “ugly”. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I named him Motley (not because of the Crue) but because he’s a motley collection of colors. He even has colored ball ends on his strings (research tells me these are D’Addario strings).

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All of my guitars save the Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro were less than $100. That’s okay. They all get played, and I love them all.

Meme courtesy of Pinterest

Donna Reads: Sweet as Sin (Bad Habit, #1) by J.T. Geissinger

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Sweet as Sin by J.T. GeissingerKatherine (Kat) Reid is a Hollywood makeup artist. She gets hired to work on the set of a famous rock band’s music video. When she arrives, she finds Avery Kane, the model girlfriend of Bad Habit’s lead singer, Nico Nyx passed out cold. Avery was to have starred in the video. When Kat meets Nico for the first time and stands up to him in defense of Avery, sparks fly. Nico decides he wants Kat to take Avery’s place. Thirty thousand dollars is a lot of money, and Kat agrees to do it. When world famous, gorgeous Nico outrageously pursues her afterwards, Kat doesn’t quite know what to do.

And I don’t quite know how to review this one. I really enjoy J.T. Geissinger’s writing. I loved Midnight Valentine, and I had high hopes for this book. I love rock star themed books. Frankly, this book was a bit of a mess for me, though. It was more of a melodrama than a quirky romance. I thought it was going in one direction, and then it veered off into another with tons of drama, shocking reveals about characters’ histories, and a bunch of angst. It was over the top and at times too much.

Nico had some deep, dark secrets in his past. He offered to tell her fairly quickly which was weird to me considering he didn’t know her well. She didn’t want to hear his story and instead got mad at him and walked away. That was silly and could’ve been avoided had she just let him talk. When she does hear what he’s hiding, she’s suddenly all in and part of his inner circle. It was all very cloak and dagger. That was silly, too. I would’ve preferred less drama and more time getting to know the characters better.

I had a hard time accepting the instant love he felt for her. Yes, she stood up to him. She also had a lot of baggage. Everyone in this book had buckets of baggage. Why did she fall for him? He could be sweet and romantic, but he also had this ugly, over the top, aggressive side that I hated. He was at times abusive. She never won any of their disagreements because he would overpower and physically subdue her. It felt wrong to me many times. That wasn’t love; it was aggressive domination.

There was also way too much ugliness in everyone’s pasts. Her friend Chloe appeared to be the only normal one. And what was up with her friend Grace? I couldn’t stand her bitter and nasty personality. When I finally reached the climactic scene with the villain, I skimmed it and couldn’t read it word for word. I’d reached saturation point with the drama. I don’t think it was necessary to have this much happening in one book.

Would I recommend it? Yes and no. I liked parts of it (the mariachi scene, the necklace, Kenji). I wish there had been less going on in it, though. It felt jumbled and too full.

Donna Reads: Midnight Valentine by J.T. Geissinger

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Midnight Valentine by J.T. GeissingerMegan Dunn is a widow who lost her husband five years in the past. Cass was the love of her life, and Megan is broken and lost without him. She and Cass had always planned to move from Phoenix, Arizona to Seaside, Oregon and buy and renovate the Buttercup Inn. When Megan decides to go through with their plans on her own, her doctor thinks she’s stuck in the past and unable to let go and move on. She herself wonders often if she’s crazy. Once she arrives in Seaside, she meets Theo Valentine, a scarred, mute man who survived a bad accident and is the contractor everyone in town recommends she use to work on the inn. Theo is moody and hostile, and even though she tries, Megan can’t seem to avoid him. For some reason, they are drawn to each other.

I loved this book. Megan and Theo had both been through terrible trauma. Both were damaged, lonely and depressed. I really liked Megan. In so many romance novels, the heroine disappoints me. Megan never disappointed. She was awesome. She was scared, she had doubts, and she went through a lot, but she stayed strong, resilient and true to character. I loved that she was sarcastic and snarky, and I loved her interactions with Theo. It didn’t matter that he didn’t speak. They communicated just fine. Their emails were especially cute and funny.

Poor Theo went through more than one man should have to endure in a lifetime (or two or three). He was tortured both mentally and physically. I felt bad for him at times. He was lucky to have Megan.

The underlying theme of this book was a love that was too strong to die or be denied.

This was my first read by J.T. Geissinger; it won’t be my last. In reading the author’s notes at the back of the book on what her original plans were for Theo, I am so glad she didn’t end the story the way she had intended. The happily ever after was much needed and appreciated.