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Review: Royal Pain by Tracy Wolff

Royal Pain by Tracy Wolff

Series: His Royal Hotness #1

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 26, 2017

Format: eARC

Source: NetGalley/Loveswept Publishing

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

He’s a womanizer. He’s cocky. He’s not exactly a prince. Only technically he is. Meet your new royal obsession in this addictive novel from New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff.

Being rich opens a lot of doors. When you’re rich and royal, those doors lead to a new bedroom every night. I should know. The tabloids call me His Royal Hotness, Prince Kian of Wildemar. Women across the world see me as a naughty fairy tale, an image I’m happy to indulge. As the spare to the heir, I’m the prince with none of the power… and all of the perks. Then my twin brother is kidnapped and suddenly I’m the one who could be king. The crown chasers start circling – and yet it’s a luscious waitress who catches my eye. With a smart mouth and the curves to back it up, Savannah Breslin is as brazen as I’d expect an American commoner to be. But Savvy’s not interested in playing Cinderella. As sexy as she is, she’s no stranger to heartbreak. Besides, a nice guy wouldn’t drag her into all the drama that comes along with royalty. Lucky I’m not a nice guy. And, as it turns out, I might not even be her first prince…

Kian and Savvy meet at an event where all eyes are on him and she’s the waitress who rescues him from an awkward situation. Intrigued by a woman who isn’t a crown chaser, Kian finds out where she lives and works and begins to pursue her. As the relationship progresses, Kian finds himself developing stronger feelings for Savvy, but she has a secret that may change everything.

Royal Pain was an entertaining contemporary romance with likable characters and a fast-moving plot. Outwardly Kian revels in his playboy status and the fact that he’s royal without the responsibility. Privately, he struggles with his place in his family and his father’s cold demeanor. His brother’s kidnapping means he is now the crown prince and the new weight on his shoulders is almost more than he can bear. 

With a history of feeling second-best from both her parents and past affairs, Savannah (Savvy) has insecurities that run deep. Determined to save herself from more heartache, she tries to keep Kian at arm’s length but his persistence softens her defenses. But can a romance between a writer/waitress and a prince possibly have a future?

While Royal Pain provided fun escapism, it wasn’t without issues. Kian’s twin brother Garrett was kidnapped three months ago and yet for the first part of the novel Kian seems solidly focused on womanizing and romancing. The story felt off-kilter with so much attention given to the romance aspect in the midst of such a shocking event. It made it hard for the reader (well, me) to feel invested in Garret’s precarious situation when his own brother didn’t seem to be. Next, I don’t think I’ve ever complained about too many sex scenes, but there were so many that I actually found myself starting to skim them. And lastly, the ending was incredibly abrupt and left much unresolved. I understand this is the first in a series but there were just too many loose threads and open plot lines to provide a satisfying ending.

Readers who like their romance with a royal twist (and heavy on the sexy times) will likely enjoy this one.

Note: I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher. This in no way changes my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Have you read a book that features royalty?

Top 5 Wednesday: Nostalgic Book Boyfriends

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey.
Click HERE for a complete list of participants and future topics.

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic: 
Nostalgic Book Boyfriends
Let's travel back in time and visit a few of my favorite 
book boyfriends from years past. :)

Jamie Fraser | Outlander series

It's been more than 15 years since I read Outlander but I remember being instantly smitten with one James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. Tall, intelligent, charming, protective, and a natural-born leader, Jamie was easy to swoon over.

Marcus Flutie | Jessica Darling Series

Marcus was the quintessential (former) bad boy. Intelligent, critical of the world around him, Marcus was often a total enigma. But his charm and charisma made it impossible not to fall for him. 

Michael Skye | Sooner or Later

A gorgeous teenage singer/musician who was destined for the big time? What's not to love? Sooner or Later (and its two follow-up novels) were books that I read over and over (and over) in the early 80's. When the first book was adapted into a made-for-TV movie (starring Rex Smith - anyone remember him?) I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. :)

Edward Cullen | Twilight

Yep, I was all about Edward Cullen when I read Twilight a decade or so ago. And you won't find me bashing the books now. No, of course they're not perfect, but at the time I was totally entertained and Edward was a swoony character.

Jace | The Mortal Instruments series

I was always a fan of Jace. Cocky and witty and so full of himself, but inwardly struggling with his past - yeah, another textbook bad boy. I loved his snarky banter and he had some seriously swoony lines throughout the series. I just have to pretend the movie never happened since that came close to ruining everything I loved about the books. LOL

Who's your favorite nostalgic book boyfriend?

Review: Saving It by Monica Murphy

Saving It by Monica Murphy

Series: No

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: November 6, 2017

Format: eARC

Source: Entangled Publishing

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

Eden: Josh Evans and I have been best friends forever. He knows all my secrets, and I know all of his. So when he randomly asks me to help him lose his virginity, I sort of flip out. That’s a question that sends your mind to places you’ve seriously never considered before. Like, you know. Having sex. With your best friend. Except Josh doesn’t want to have sex with me—he wants me to help him find a girl. A nice girl who’s funny and smart and cute. Except he already knows a girl just like that…

Josh: Eden Sumner is my best friend. So of course she’d be the person to help me find my perfect match, so I can drop my V card before I head off to college. Except the more we search, the more I realize that maybe the right girl has been by my side all along. I don’t need Eden’s help in finding me a girl to love. I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with Eden. But now she thinks I’m only after one thing…with anyone but her.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book is what happens when American Pie meets Friends with Benefits. It contains two best friends, plenty of angst, and lots and lots of sex talk. Reading this might have you looking at your best friend in a different light! 

When Josh comes to Eden for help in losing his V card her first response is “No way!” But Josh is persistent and Eden loves a project, so… Eden finds herself making a list of possible girls for Josh to hook up with. She’s giving him advice on initiating contact with the girls, she’s taking him shopping for clothes, and acting as a sounding board as Josh shares his progress. They’ve been best friends for years so why is she suddenly bothered by Josh’s attention to other girls?

Josh is tired of dodging locker room talk with the guys when the subject turns to sex and is determined not to start college a virgin. He just needs to find a girl and get his first time over with. He and Eden talk about everything so what better person to help him, right? But he can’t talk to these girls like he talks to Eden and the closer he gets to what he thought he wanted… the more he can’t get Eden out of his head.

Saving It was all kinds of sweet and funny, filled with real talk and aww moments. Both Josh and Eden were just so incredibly likable. I loved the alternating points of view and getting both their voices was perfect for this story. And I appreciated the spotlight on a strong girl/boy friendship and their hesitancy to do anything that could damage it. Both Josh and Eden struggled with their feelings for each other, certain that it was one-sided, even as it was obvious to their friends that they belonged together.

Speaking of their friends, they play a big role and, while Eden’s friend Molly was underutilized, it was Josh’s friend Abraham that almost stole the show. I thought he was a bit obnoxious at first (the loud, jokey and crass best friend) but Abraham totally grew on me and proved himself to be a great friend to both Josh and Eden. Way to go, Abraham!

While there were times when I felt the guy’s dialogue didn’t ring 100% true (do teenage guys actually notice a girl’s “tiny waist” or ask a girl how she thinks her first time will make her feel?) it didn’t stop me from enjoying Josh and Eden slowly stumbling toward each other. These two just gave me the warm fuzzies – their constant phone calls and Snapchats, their inside jokes and their bickering, and their utter devotion to one another.

Readers who enjoy a friends-to-more story will fall in love with Eden and Josh.

Note: I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher. This in no way changes my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

3.5/5 STARS

The Sunday Post #81

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • Friday was the Marine Corps birthday and yesterday was Veterans Day. As a Navy Corpsman my husband served over 12 years of his career with the Marines and gave almost 21 years of service to this great country. If you are a veteran or have a family member who is - THANK YOU for your service.

  • I took Friday off and it's amazing what one extra day can do for your mental health! I spent most of the day with The Husband before he headed out of town for a car show and then I became a little hermit. It was fabulous. :) 

  • Finally enjoying some fall weather! Well, fall-ish. For Florida. I'll take what I can get.

Tuesday, November 7
Review: Haven by Mary Lindsey

Thursday, November 9
Series I've Quit | Part Two

Saving It - Monica Murphy      

Nothing. Not a single thing.

How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)

Series I've Quit | Part Two

Sometimes you know right away. Sometimes it takes a couple books. But we've all experienced it: cutting ties with a book series.

Maybe you were genuinely excited for the series and it just wasn't what you hoped for. Maybe you fell for the hype and it let you down. Or maybe you actually loved the first book (or three) but then it took a turn and went horribly wrong. Hey, it happens.

So here are just a few of the series I've quit. And don't go giving me your best pouty face if one of your favorites shows up in here. I'm not hating on the book (well, not always... *ahem*) it just wasn't my cup of tea. Different strokes and all that. ;)

You can see Series I Quit | Part One HERE.
# of Books in Series: 6
# of Books I Read: 2

Welcome to Melodrama Central! Juvenile delinquents? Check. Cheesy dialogue? Check. Over the top drama? Check check. Pair that with main characters who continually make the dumbest decisions ever and you’ve got a hot mess that that induced much eye rolling. The first book was… okay. Yeah the dialogue was a Velveeta cheese-fest (said by girl when guy rescued her from life-threatening situation: “Are you my knight in shining armor?” Yes, she seriously said that.) and main character Darcie made one idiotic decision after another, but there was just enough there to make me pick up the second book. Aaand, that’s where my patience ran out. Another main character that seemed determined to never do the right thing, and an ending that was so tragic that it seemed to be there only to twist the knife further. Yeah, I’m out.

# of Books in Series: 3
# of Books I Read: 1

I read quite a bit of Nora Roberts back in the day and I particularly liked the books/trilogies that had a paranormal vibe. So when I saw Dark Witch I was all over it and felt certain it’d be another winner. Magic, witchcraft, romance, Ireland… what’s not to like? Not. So. Fast. First of all, is was painfully obvious from early on which characters would be coupled up in the three books. The main character accepted everything that was happening (magic, prophecies, an evil entity that wanted to kill her and her cousins) without batting an eye. It was like, “Oh, okay! I’ll learn some neato spells and we’ll show Mr. Evil Demon who’s boss!” Um, no. Flat character, underwhelming plot and a truly underwhelming climax meant I was jumping the track of this crazy train.

# of Books in Series: 3
# of Books I Read: 1

Unpopular opinion time! People adore this trilogy. People love Lara Jean. People are Team Peter or Team Whoever-Else-It-Was. Except me. TATBILB was definitely on the sweet side of YA which is rarely my preference. But the main reason for this becoming a series I quit was Lara Jean herself. She came across as so young and na├»ve for a sixteen year old that it strained believability. For most of the book I felt as if I was reading from a 12 year old’s perspective and that coupled with the oh-so-sweet and cutesy feel just didn’t do it for me. Au revoir, Lara Jean.

Have you read any of these?
What series have you quit?