This review recap is brought to you by Camille, a.k.a “The Angry Reader“.
I love her reviews and we seem to share a common taste for awesome books and blunt reviews. Check out her blog at The Angry Reader  where the motto is “Painfully Honest Book Reviews“!

Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

A woman who defies her time
Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.
A man who breaks every rule
As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett's skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he's ever known.


The Angry Reader's Review

All I want is to be near you. I’ve miss you so, darlin. I’m fair ravished in love for you.

Ethan is a smooth-talker, and I loved it. A spy (sort of – not really) Ethan met Dr Garrett Gibson in a previous book (one I hadn’t read). She’s the only female doctor in London – brave, smart and self-sufficient. Ethan has a big ole crush on her, but he thinks that his lifestyle would put her in danger. Eventually they get to the point where Ethan just can’t stay away – so they have to dodge some bad guys to make their unorthodox romance work.

Being inside you like this…I wouldn’t have thought I could feel so much without dying of it.

I liked Garrett because she was practical and strong as well as soft and worried. She handles the trials thrown at her in this book like a champ. Ethan is incredible. He had some wonderful lines, and his devotion to Garrett was my favorite part of the book.

The first moment I saw you, I knew you were my fair share of the world. I’ve always loved you. If I could choose my fate I’d never be parted from you.

About the Author

Lisa Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College with a political science degree. She is a RITA award winning author of both historical romance and contemporary women’s fiction. Her novels are published in fourteen different languages and are bestsellers all over the world. She lives in Washington State with her husband Gregory and their two children.

Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

You'd think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You'd be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don't know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It's what friends do. But what friends don't do is rip off each others' clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she's avoiding me. She says we're too different, and it can never happen again. So why can't we keep our hands off each other?


The Angry Reader's Review
Maybe he’s just a guy, standing in front of a girl, asking her to climb into a Jacuzzi tub with him.
Two normal (ok, one is a billionaire – but that hardly matters) fall in love, and The Angry Reader is smitten.
Back when Nate’s tech company was first getting off the ground he hired Becca to manage his office. An adorable friendship develops over 7 years – with inside jokes, and supporting one another, and becoming a team.  Nate has ended up a billionaire and the owner of a hockey team. And Becca went from managing his tech office to managing his hockey office.
Here sits a big cliche, ladies. I’m just another lonely nerd who’s hopelessly in lust with his assistant. Oldest story in the world.
Becca was hard-working and down-to-earth. Her concerns about falling for her boss – what it would look like, what it would mean, what it would do to her life – were valid. And Nate is an adorable genius accustomed to going for what he wants with a unique approach. Individually I liked them – as a couple they charmed me.
Whenever Nate decides he wants something – a Fortune 500 deal, a hockey win, a late-night pizza – he goes full steam ahead. And suddenly all of that attention is focused on me.
About the Author

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of New England. Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

Her Ivy Years and Brooklyn Bruisers books are hockey romance novels. These two connected series began breaking hearts in 2014 with The Year We Fell Down. Her book HIM co-written with Elle Kennedy won the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can't make a scene at your sister's wedding and break a relative's nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy. Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it's a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl--a subspecies of dragon--who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she's tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.


The Angry Reader's Review

I read part of Seraphina (and then the ending was spoiled for me so I didn’t finish it). But at around 80% of Tess I grabbed Seraphina to read it again. Rachel Hartman is that good.
So you can read this if you haven’t read Seraphina (or Shadow Scale). However, it helps to orientate yourself in Hartman’s world. Because – yes – there is serious, glorious world-building going on here, and you are going to want to revel in ever minute.

This is a book written with the art of the true story-teller. The beginning seems wandering, uncomfortable and unnecessary. Tess goes through a lot – at her own hand and at her family’s. But by the end of the book everything ties together – and you realize that your struggle was as necessary as Tess’s.

This is a young woman’s quest – the road is a metaphor for the distance Tess must travel to heal –  from her imposing mother, a man who took advantage and in the process took everything, and Tess’s blindingly perfect twin sister Jeanne. And the road is also the literal road beneath Tess’s feet – each step taking her away from her wreckage and toward…what? More wreckage? Salvation? Tess’s journey seemed like wandering until suddenly it didn’t.

We fulfill our parents’ direst prophecies, then curl around our own pain until we can’t see beyond ourselves. You want to walk on? Walk out of that shadow. Walk, girl.

Tess meets amazing people on her journey. Has big adventures. She’s Huck Finn with a lizard-person sidekick and a drinking problem. And the ending (not quite an ending – but I’m not complaining at all) brought everything full-circle in a way that was satisfying but left me desperate for more.

She still held sorrows, but she was not made of them. Her life was not a tragedy. It was history, and it was hers.

I am thrilled thrilled thrilled for the next book in this series and delighted that I got to experience this one. I cried a little. Highlighted a lot. And basked in Hartman’s excellent writing and dazzling imagination.

About the Author

Rachel Hartman’s first YA fantasy novel, SERAPHINA, will be published by Random House on July 10th, 2012.

Rachel was born in Kentucky, but has lived a variety of places including Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She has a BA in Comparative Literature, although she insists it should have been a BS because her undergraduate thesis was called “Paradox and Parody in Don Quixoteand the satires of Lucian.” She eschewed graduate school in favour of drawing comic books. She now lives in Vancouver, BC, with her family, their whippet, and a talking frog and salamander (who fight zombies)(really. There are a lot of zombies in the Pacific Northwest).

A Rogue of her Own by Grace Burrowes

For Miss Charlotte Windham, the best way to maintain her spinsterhood-and her independence-is a teeny, tiny brush with scandal. She chooses wealthy, handsome upstart Lucas Sherbourne as her unwitting accomplice. He's intelligent, logical, and ambitious. What Charlotte doesn't count on is that one kiss will lead them straight to the altar.
Sherbourne has no love for polite society, nor is he keen on being anybody's husband of last resort. He is attracted to Charlotte's boldness, though-and her family's influence. Without a title, he knows he'll never truly be part of their world, even as he and Charlotte inch closer to a marriage that means much more than convenience. But a scheming business partner is about to test that tenuous trust, forcing Sherbourne to make a drastic choice: his wealth or his wife.


The Angry Reader's Review

I like you,’ she said. ‘Somewhat. A little. I don’t dislike you.

Charlotte is the remaining single woman in her family -outspoken and mathematically-inclined. Charlotte doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Lucas is very wealthy, but not part of the upper-crust. Which has given him a chip on his shoulder. They decide getting married would be mutually beneficial – and then they have to figure out what marriage means to them.

Perhaps this was what her version of matrimony needed to look like – pragmatic, with an element of attraction, but no delusions, no flummery.

I haven’t read the other books in this series. While the earlier characters play a major role in this book I didn’t feel like I was missing anything not having read them. (However, I will be reading them as soon as I get time. Burrowes is an excellent writer).

Funny, smart, romantic – with a touch of practical. This was everything I could want in a book. Grace Burrowes is fast on her way to becoming a favorite.

About the Author

Grace Burrowes started writing as an antidote to empty nest and soon found it an antidote to life in general. She is the sixth out of seven children, raised in the rural surrounds of central Pennsylvania. Early in life she spent a lot of time reading romance novels and practicing the piano. Her first career was as a technical writer and editor in the Washington, DC, area, a busy job that nonetheless left enough time to read a lot of romance novels.
It also left enough time to grab a law degree through an evening program, produce Beloved Offspring (only one, but she is a lion), and eventually move to the lovely Maryland countryside.
While reading yet still more romance novels, Grace opened her own law practice, acquired a master’s degree in Conflict Transformation (she had a teenage daughter by then) and started thinking about writing…. romance novels.

Cinderella and the Geek by Christina Phillips

I'm not looking for love or a Happily-Ever-After because I know how that ends. I just need to concentrate on my degree and look after myself. But there's something about my boss, Harry, I can't resist. It's crazy since he's so hot and smart it should be illegal.

And then, just like Cinderella, I have my night at the ball and a midnight kiss, and for a week all my sexy daydreams come true. That fake date changes my life in a way I could never imagine. It turns out, Harry wants me too.

But I’m off to pursue my dreams, and he’s taking his business to the next level. There’s no way this fairytale has a happy ending, but that doesn’t keep me from wishing for it.


The Angry Reader's Review

An adorable, awkward, realistic about two socially-strained individuals falling in love.
(This was like an NA version of the Sarina Bowen I read earlier this week. Kinda weird coincidence.)

My social life’s always been pretty dire. When I was at school there was the never-ending struggle to maintain an A grade average, and I’m so used to having my nose in a book it feels weird when I don’t.

Alice, an assistant at Harry’s gaming company, is determined to make a move for Harry before she goes to college in 5 weeks. Harry is crushing on Alice – but worried about rocking the friendship boat. A catalyst brings them together – but their insecurities, issues with communication, lack of relationship experience and goofiness keep getting in their way.

I kneel before you, bereft of my Exitium shielding. And ask if you’ll consider pledging your life with mine for all eternity.

About the Author

Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing contemporary, historical and paranormal romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

She is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Hidden Seams by Allessandra Torre

A billion-dollar fashion empire, and it’s about to be mine…

I've worked a decade for this. I've sold my soul and my reputation. I've lived a lie, smiled for the cameras, and hated myself, all for this inheritance.

And then … she pops up. A mysterious heir with a rap sheet, combat boots, and a mouth that I want to pin shut with my—

It doesn’t matter. I’ve played this game for a decade. I can continue the charade a little longer, keep my hands to myself and her body out of my mind. I can keep my secret until the ink dries and everything is mine. 

Or not.


The Angry Reader's Review

This simply wasn’t a story with which I could fall in love.

I was pulled in from the beginning. Criminal (with a heart of gold) Avery – perkily flaunting the edges of organized crime. And Marco – spoiled, edgy and sad – with a secret that could blow up pop culture. Individually they were fascinating – together they made no sense.

I’ve got bulletproof windows on this baby. Steel reinforced doors. A front grill guard that a battering ram would have trouble working through. I look forward, at the three thugs standing in front of my car. I should just gas it.

So I swore that I wasn’t going to even attempt a plot synopsis for this one. I just typed one out – it was 7 sentences long and made no sense. As in – you wouldn’t have even believed it if you read it. Suffice it to say – Marco has a big secret that Avery accidentally uncovers. But he thinks she’s manipulating him. So they have sex. And hate. And bicker. I hated them as a couple. They were either screwing, having porny thoughts, or sniping at one another like children. I couldn’t feel their vibe.

An interesting notion, but I’ve done that. The experience wasn’t good enough for a repeat performance. I think I’ll just go back to men.

Summary – I enjoyed the story and didn’t like the couple. Plus the sex squicked me out. But I wouldn’t think you were crazy for reading this one, and I’d love to hear your thoughts when you were done.

About the Author

A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Alessandra Torre has written thirteen novels, three of which have become New York Times bestsellers.

Her first book, Blindfolded Innocence, was a breakout hit, rising to the top of the ebook charts on Amazon where it attracted the interest of major publishing houses and garnered Torre her first print deal with Harlequin HQN. Less than twelve months later, Torre signed a second print deal, this time with Redhook (Hachette) for the Deanna Madden series, an erotic suspense trilogy.

From her home on the Emerald Coast in Florida, she devotes several hours each day to various writing projects and interacting with her fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Happily married and with one son, she loves watching SEC football games, horseback riding, reading and watching movies.

More from Alleskelle

BOOK REVIEW⎜ Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Thought provoking is how I would best describe Without Merit. Coming close...
Read More

Your turn, say your piece :