BLOG REVIEW: Catch Him by S. Doyle

****4.5-stars
SPOILER-y Plot:

28yo SF cop heroine(h) accepts date with dashing British stranger, 30s businessman Hero(H), who she met the night before as a suspect for breaking & entering at his friends' house due to house alarm going off for not having the passcode. She asked him why pick someone ordinary like her instead of a supermodel with his billionaire lifestyle. H thought her honesty & openness refreshing, with her informing him sex is off the table on their date since he ended up buying her expensive dress & shoes for their posh dining he insisted on & she didn't want to feel like she was paying him back with sex. She agreed to go to another date with him the next day, with him informing her that he's not buying her clothes & shoes coz he plans on getting her to have sex with him. He took her to a baseball game & she shared her issues with her father who lives with her & used to be a SFPD cop but started taking money from the mob to help pay for her mom's cancer txt & he was fired b/c of it & still lost her mom. He understood due to his alcoholic mom & him having to take care of her & his younger sis. He hugged her when she cried, which was unusual for her. So she tells him he's a good guy but he told her that he's not & warned her he's a ruthless guy. 

When she goes home with him, she knew it wasn't just for dinner & knew it was a temporary affair since she knows he's only visiting SF & she's not his usual woman but would take advantage of this Cinderella-type experience with someone so hot & cosmopolitan like him temporarily interested in someone ordinary like her. She didn't know what to do after dinner since H was just watching the news & not really engaging with her so she told him she's just gonna go home. He responded instead with asking her if she wanted to make love or be f**ed & proceeded to detail what he would do if she chose either. She chose the latter & then he had her strip & they hotly smexxed with a little spanking. She was about to leave to go back to work but he asked if he could sext her & she said ok. 

The next 3 weeks they continue their affair & their connection deepens as they go to fancy & casual restaurants & just hang out. But h finally asked the question about when he was leaving & H just said if they could just enjoy what they have like they were. She said that she knows that it's temporary but she didn't want to get into deep with him & he said he already was & that he was in love with her. She yelled at him that he can't do that coz he's leaving & realized she was already in love with him & didn't like to see him with the sad look he gets sometimes. She told him she needed some time to think about it all &, when she got home to her shared apt with her distant dad after 3 weeks of at H's, she realized that she was gonna ask H to take her with him. But when she got to his house, he was gone with no trace of him or the stuff she left with the whole house cleaned & the cops there with a very irate owner who had no clue who H was & had his safe cleaned out & wanted to press charges for dismantling his alarm 3 weeks ago. She was completely shattered that H lied to her & their 3-week affair was a charade. She got suspended from her job but she quit instead. 

With her dad's suggestion, she intended to hurt him like he hurt her & started tracking him down via the credit card used for the clothes he bought her & his leased office. She went to his office & was given a letter by a temp employee from H, apologizing for hurting her & that the house owner was not a nice guy & that if she didn't get her job back that he would make some financial reparations for her & that he deliberately left the receipt on the clothes back for her to track his office down but that was the end of his trail. She read it a few times & later got mad at his condescension & now more intent on finding him with the help of her dad. She barges in to the houseowner's house & demands some answers, making a deal for 25% for finding whoever stole the drugs from his safe. H couldn't believe his tracker lost her & that she found his sister at his well-secured farm & is now with her. He quickly went to his sister who h now knows is the reason why H stole what was in the safe—the only photo of him at his sister's wedding that terrorists & villains world-wide are vying for as their 1st sight of mysterious contract-agent H with his multiple aliases. And also to keep his sister safe from her abusive husband, the houseowner. He & h had it out with how H duped her & H welcomed her to have angry sex with him & repeatedly telling her he loved her. They hotly smexxed bareback with H hoping she'd get pregnant coz he never wants to let her go now that she knows all about him. He also told her that he realized that letting her go was a mistake & he already planned on getting her back once everything died down but she got to him 1st & he told her he'll never underestimate her again & knew he had to work to get her to trust him again. 

They setup H's sister's ex-husband & his villainy lawyer dad to go to prison but his sister's ex got shot for trying to attack his sister. She was there for it all & was not turned off by the dark side of H's world, which made H feel really loved. 2 weeks of hot smexxing & ILYs, H surprised h with a wedding at the farm with dress & shoes & with her dad there. HEA.

* 159 pgs 
* good tight writing & great pacing
* good emotionality & romance with some angst/poignancy 
* good action-suspense & likable characters
* really liked h's openness & plain-speaking & telling H she's not into games & even feeling awkward at knowing what to do next since she doesn't date very much & not used to someone of H's calibre
* likec that h is sure about who she is & ok with that & grateful for experiences outside of her norm without letting it fool her into thinking it's gonna change or chase her
* liked H's quiet suave mystery with his sometimes jovial & casual & underlying alpha demanding-ness
* good character development, especially h who became tough & determined with a no-nonsense approach to being intimidated or scammed (i.e. houseowner lowering her fee % from 25% to 20% for finding H) & used her dad's bad-cop rep & his mafia connections to threaten back with her mad but calm vengeful streak against H totally duping her & insulting her with his condescending letter
* loved how OTT devoted possessive claimy H was over h
* although it's good that H & his ex-lover are just now really good friends & business partners, I didn't like that H wanted more in their sex affair than ex-lover was willing to give so they had to end it but very minor point & ex-lover & h teamed up as badass fighters & to shut down H's arrogance

BLOG REVIEW: Her Bestie's Older Brother by Kate Gilead

****4-stars
SPOILER-y Plot:

21yo recent-college-dropout-due-to-finances heroine (h) planned on asking her best friend's (BFF's) 38yo brother, construction-owner Hero (H), for a job at his company but decided not to, after their hot 1st kiss at his parents' patio. She's had a long crush on him & even chose her ex-BF coz he looked like H

The last time she saw H was 3 years ago & thought the attraction was only 1-sided. But now he's clearly flirting back with her & kissed her but they were interrupted by the party people going outside too. She thought he left since his car was no longer at his parents' driveway by morning & tried to not be too disappointed at H's fleeting interest in her. But he was back in a few minutes & sweetly but hotly kissed her to continue where they left off last night. He told her how beautiful she's become & how strongly she impacts him. She awkwardly let him know that she's thought he was hot for years & they made out again with H touching her breasts but had to move away, when they heard his sister approaching. When her sister told him re: h's interest in getting a job at his company, she saw his eyes look hurt & harden & tried to explain that her interest in him had nothing to do with her getting a job with him but he became very distant & told her to send her resume to him & then just left. She couldn't call him to explain yet since she promised to go shopping with his sister. 

After he picks them up from their car accident & before h was about to leave his sister's house for her apt, she finally braved telling H in front of his sister that she didn't want him to think that she was only glad to see him last night coz she needed a better job & briefly told him about quitting school due to lack of finances. H was concerned about her quitting school & believed her story so told her to give him her phone # so they can talk more that week. Yet he still had a reserved look & didn't call or text her for days. By Friday night, h got depressed at his lack of contact & thought he must still think she's a gold-digger & has lost interest in her. On her way back home with wine she bought from nearby store, he came by to see her. He apologized for not calling her but that he wanted to talk to her in person, when she asked him why he didn't call. They talked about how long they've liked each other, with H confessing that he was glad she moved away when she was 18 coz she would've been too much of a temptation for him. They hotly smex bareback with no sexual-history/safety discussion. Then, H discussed why it took him awhile to contact h, needing the time to sort the change in their r/s from friends to lovers. She clarifies about her financial situation & changing her mind about working for H once they kissed. H offered her his asst job & that it'll be hard work. He also told her to shared their r/s news to their parents coz he didn't want to sneak around but h wanted to wait since it's new so H understood & said they'll keep it private for a month & her working with him will ease their romance news esp to her parents. They spend the night talking about their interests with H asking her about her beliefs about things & her thoughtful answers seem to please him. 

In next month, they get busy working together while practically living together. She's more exhausted & its her BFF that figured out she's likely pregnant. The pregnancy tests confirms it with h in shock since she was taking birth control but not during the 1st weekend they smexxed. H was quite when they told him &, at his sister's encouragement, told H that he's been in love with her for years but thought it could never be so never showed it or pursued her. She told him she loved him back with his sister very happy about their relationship, having known for years that both were in love with each other but didn't know it about the other. They told their shocked parents with H informing them that he loved h & was happy to have a family soon. Epilogue...8 months later, they're living together with their wedding 3 months after baby's born & h with 1 more semester of college left. H&h get it on constantly with always horny preggo h. 3 days later, she gives birth to a boy. HEA.

* 92 pgs
* good solid romance writing
* average emotionality
* average-good S chem & sorta explicit S scenes with romance
* good romance development with focus on how their romance stabilized their 1st few weeks of being together & working together
* likable characters with h portrayed as younger yet willing to learn & grow & be a partner to H
* liked responsible & honorable & mature H who was considerate with her feelings & introspective & open at discussing his feelings & opinions to h yet can be playful & sexy alpha too with his getting turned on when h called him “daddy” & some dirty talk
* liked H's sister/h's BFF too in her positive & encouraging peppy attitude & support of their romance
* liked how their parents were brought into the story w/o distracting from their romance
* sweet developing romance
* h had 1 lover/BF before H. H sexual history consisted of some casual dates & 1 single-mom GF, which didn't work out before his romance with h.

BLOG REVIEW: American Gangster by Tiffany Lordes (aka Jordan Silver)

 *1-star
SPOILER-y Plot:

22yo wanna-be artist heroine (h) gets abducted by the stepbrother she doesn't recognized (or seem to have any knowledge of), 25yo Alaskan drug-dealer Hero (H), after he shoots the gangster guy (OM) she was forced to sleep with the last 2 weeks due to her debt to him. H rapes h including anally & also with a gun and she seemed to get into it soon enough. He threatens to kill her if she tells. He takes her back with him to his remote house in Alaska. He smexxes her with a flashlight & anally and she verbalizes how much she wants him. He videotapes all of it with intent to send it to his rejecting dad who made him & his now-deceased mom leave their mansion when he was 10 due to replacing them with his new young wife & her 7yo daughter h. At the end of their bareback smexxing, he tells her that he's her stopbrother. The end.  

* 44 pages
* not romantic at all. No love or feel-good emotions. Too dark with no-HEA ending. 
* didn't like that h was a druggie & used to being a sex toy for men.
* overall good writing with some spelling mistakes
* H a usual dark villainy Jordan Silver hero but no redemption or love for h or character change at the end. H was merely obsessed with h in a cruel & cold & non-romantic way. He viewed her more as a convenient sex toy & revenge trophy against his rejecting dad & his stepmom (her mom).
* H had no compassion or sympathy for any pain & humiliation he put h through sexually & was actually cocky about h's sexual response to his rough ministrations. 
* lacked S chem coz only got H's POV 
* explicit Sex scenes in a rape-y, vengeful & degrading way...He used a flashlight & his pistol to vaginally make her orgasm. At his 1st time smexxing her, he penetrated her vaginally 1st, then anal, and then made her oral him to his orgasm. The only good thing I could say about it is that, at least, he douched her vaginally & anally before raping her to clean OM's stuff from her. He must be an expert doucher coz he's a big douche himself :( 
* I'm a Jordan Silver fan but I'm staying away from her "Tiffany Lordes" books 

BLOG REVIEW: Marry Me by Kira Ward

**2-stars

SPOILER-y Plot:

22yo unemployed grad student heroine (h) enters a bachelor-type TV show, when she finds out that the show's bachelor is her 4-year-crush, late-20s/early-30s billionaire software-creator Hero (H). He was a guest lecturer at her high-school senior class & made her feel special by his thoughtful reply to her class questions. She's a quiet wallflower who's used to being overlooked. She's also motivated to join the bachelor show coz she'll get paid for being a participant up to $300k if she's the final pick & get free housing the next 6 weeks while being on TV, after recently losing her apt & moving back in with her parents 2 months ago due to her low funds & being unemployed for the past 8 months. She excitedly signed all proper documents including the marriage certificate for the show's required ending in case she gets picked but believed she wouldn't be. H is doing the show primarily for fun & possibly finding someone he'll get along with well enough to marry & settled down to please his mom. What neither of them knew was that the TV-show's producer picked h as a surprise fluke to put some desired tv-tension among the group of 6 psychologist-approved participants who seemed to match H's tall-&-sexy-blonde type & his sophisticated wealthy lifestyle. 

When h found out on her 1st day at the bachelor house that she was handpicked to be the oddball of the group, she pushed through her insecurities & stayed for the money & adventure of being part of a reality-TV show. He wasn't that impressed with h's looks and bothered by her quiet & standoffish nature, when compared to the OW (other women) who were sexy & obviously into him. On the 1st night at the house, they had a nice moment alone together when they both happened to go to the kitchen to get something to eat. They discussed the book he was reading that was 1 of her faves & had a stimulating conversation. She realized he wasn't as shallow as he seemed to be earlier that day & thought ,at least, she'll get some intellectual conversation from him during their 2 weeks there. But it quickly deflated the next morning at finding H making out with a blonde OW1 he found the sexiest of the 7. It confirmed to her that it was likely all just a game for H & her presence was only as a sideline to make the OW look better on TV. H took OW1 to his bathroom where there were no cameras & smexxed her with a condom, although aware of her siliconed breasts & her bored-sex face that she masked later. But since she was hot to look at & he hadn't had sex in awhile, she turned him on to quickly O. OW1 was upset & then quickly masked it, when H told her that he hadn't decided to choose her as his wife yet since there were 6 OW to choose from since she insisted that H was for sure going to pick her. 

Seeing H ignore the OW1 he just had sex with that morning to flirt & makeout with 2-3 more OW the next 10 days made h feel disappointed with herself to expect H to be different than other guys & acted like a shallow womanizing jerk. She was also feeling a little bad for not returning her nice & considerate cameraman's attraction but appreciated his friendship. H was feeling bored with the ditzy women he'd been spending time with the last 2 weeks. He'd end up making out with them just to make them stop talking about nonsensical things. He was now longing for some intellectual challenge, which finally reminded him of quiet & "mousy" h who he'd forgotten about since their book discussion that 1st night. He was surprised at how good she looked after her makeover so he requested to go on the 1-on-1 date with her 1st. He was curious as to why she'd been so standoffish with him & kept to herself the last 2 weeks. She frankly told him that he disappointed her for acting like a shallow & cruel frat boy playing games with OW & she's not impressed with him any longer.
She told him about being impressive with him at her high school 4 years ago & their book discussion 2 weeks ago. She told him she'd rather go back to the house than continue spending anymore time with him & left their date, despite his protests of spending more time with her. H realized he liked her coz she's not ditzy & shallow like the others & he wanted to clear her misunderstanding of his character

Her accusations did make him start thinking about how he'd been acting the last 2 weeks. It made him wonder if it's her disinterest in him that's making her more appealing to him now than the 6 OW around him. And seeing her smile often with her touchy cameraman made him feel jealous. So, he stalked his claim on her 1 drunken party & carried her to his room & then kissed her. She asked to smex him & they hotly did bareback-due-to-forgetting. Kissing her made H feel things he's never felt before with any OW. But she snuck out of his room the next morning & was videotaped doing her walk of shame to her room with OW1 egging her on about how great of a lover H was. H kissed her at the pool & she tried to wall him off coz she was done with his game-playing since she knew he was going on planned dates with 3 more OW. H told her that he was serious about her & not gonna let her turn her back from what they did last night & he wanted to explore their new relationship. H felt that h was someone he really wanted his mom to meet & there's no OW he'd ever felt that way before. His dates with OW showed him how shallow they were & that he wanted love in his marriage & not just stability or companionship. He knew it was h he wanted more. 

They hotly smexxed the whole afternoon in his room, after she injured her knees from falling. But his producer knocked on his door & told him they're making h leave for breaking the rules when she got her makeover for making a phone call to her sister using her cameraman's phone. H demanded h not get kicked out or else he quits the show too. They agreed to get votes from the 6 OW & she was voted to stay. But when h told him again taht she didn't want to play the bachelor-game anymore since H was still to got on more dates, H told her that they should've just let her leave the show instead & then he left her room. H now vacillating re: if h was really the 1 for him since he was tempted by some feature of whichever OW he was dating. He kissed 3 more OW so he can seriously consider all of them & see if h is really the 1 for him. 

He took a day off the shoot & went to see his mom to ask her how she knew she was in love with him confessing that there's more than 1 woman he was considering. The day of choosing he picked h but the producer interrupted with her stolen pregnancy stick to announce that H will be the father. H punched him & then took off with her. Epilogue..H&h got married in Maldives with family & only 1 cameraman. Their daughter was born & H seemed happy with his choice of h as his wife. The end.

* good overall writing & pacing
* didn't like that H was unsure of h up til the end coz tempted by sexier OW
* hated that H had to make a choice to sacrifice sexiness & temptation with intellectual stimulation & non-money-focused character coz made h seem like the 2nd-best option at times
* hated that H forgot about h including her name on his 1st 2 weeks there while he was making out &/or flirting with the 6 OW & had sex with 1 of them on the 2nd day after his nice talk with h just the night before
* hated how shallow & easily-tempted H was 
* loved that she directly confronted H on his shallowness on their 1-on-1 date & left him despite his protests of wanting to get to know her, liked that H really cherished his immigrant-German mom who sacrificed & worked many jobs to help him have a good life & who wanted him to settle down with a wife & kids
* at first liked opinionated but shy & quiet h who had a positive attitude but yet realistic also but she regressed later
* hated that h regressed a bit from being this strong & quietly confrontive person to being weak with seductive H & a doormat who let H go on dates & kissed the OW while she moped around at the house passively about how they were on a dating show so ok for H to sample OW so he can be really sure who he wants...ugh!
* inconsistent S chem coz H flirted & kissed OW & forgot h but then would get all turned on by her WHEN he'd actually remembered her
* explicit Sex scenes
* h dumb for smexxing with H with no condom & no talk of sexual safety esp when she knew that he smexxed OW1 just 2 weeks earlier
* some angst from H forgetting about h the 1st 2 weeks to makeout with OW & only to remember her when he got bored with the shallowness of OW & then wanted to spend time getting to know her now so treating her like she's 2nd choice after he got bored with 1st choice 
* un-likely HEA coz he'll likely be tempted by some sexy blonde hottie years down the line when his marriage to h becomes stable/boring/predictable
*overall weak romance but somewhat good emo...I'm done with this author!...for now ;)

BLOG REVIEW: Getting Lucky by Sean Moriarty

****4-star
SPOILER-y Plot:

18yo sheltered virgin heroine (h) is relieved to be freed from the clutches of her controlling mob-stepfather & stepbro by 28yo hitman, ex-Army Ranger H, who shot them in their beds that night. He was shocked to be shot at by his slimy & sadistic mob cohort (OM) who turned on him when he was getting h out of the house. But her reaction to seeing OM aim his gun at him saved H. H takes her with him to his safe house while awaiting word & his getaway plans from his trusted connections while trying to figure out why his mob boss wanted to kill him & abduct h. H steels himself from h trying to get close to him & following him around constantly at his safe house for next few days while waiting for his contacts. He shows her how to shoot a gun coz by this time H accepts that h truly wants to be with him, including helping him get the bad guys. 

H shoots down some bad guys with his friend while h acted as  the alley-lookout who ended up shooting the sadistic guy who almost-raped her & who shot H. When they get back home, h knew that she wanted to be part of H's life long-term & that she was in love with him & they finally hotly smex with H confessing his ILY (I love you) to h after, which appalled him that he just blurted it out to her. When his mob boss wanted h in exchange for H's freedom, H said no. H later asked h to consider a future with him, knowing that they may always be on the run & the dark life he leads. She already wanted to answer him but he wanted her to take her time to think about. H almost dies at the shootout with the mob boss & his henchmen but h & H's friend able to get H medical help in time. Epilogue...4yrs later, they moved to the beach with their daughter & both happy & H more at peace & h with another baby on the way & still carrying a gun. HEA.

*166 pgs
*cute romance with some explicit Sex scenes
*average S chemisty, emotionality, & pacing
*overall good-enough writing that sometimes seemed simplistic & brought light-heartedness to the dark assassin-hitman-murder-in-cold-blood plot due to sometimes cute & playful bantering betweeen H&h as well as h's following H around everywhere due to feeling scared from murder & almost-rape trauma & partly from ensuring H doesn't leave her
*H&h's dialogue more like college-aged people
*liked non-squeamish & tough-inside but quite & patient & watchful h who's sneakily trying to seduce H by always sitting/sleeping closer to him,
*liked h's straightforwardness & non-game-playing in voluntarily confessing it to him to get his reaction
*liked hardened & jaded H who doesn't know what to do with unpredictable h & their unpredictable companionship
*liked that H has limits to who he kills (no kids, no raping) & tortures (not for pleasure but for info)
*funny moments like when H & the guy he was about to torture for info stared at h like she was crazy when she was asking how they were gonna torture the guy if like in the movies & made the guy fess up ASAP when she told him they could just whack off his balls
*liked how h quickly adapted from being sheltered & docile to being a gun-shooting hitman apprentice
*not dark & more action-filled with some funny moments due to quirky h & not-so-bad hitman H

BLOG REVIEW: Feral by Jenika Snow

***4-star
SPOILER-y Plot:

Loner (early 20s?) grocery-store clerk heroine (h) finally had the guts to say something to her crush, quietly brooding ex-Marine mountain-man recluse, mid-late 30s? Hero (H), at 1 of his monthly visits to the grocery store from his mountain cabin. She wanted him to know that there were people like her that didn't judge him like most people in town was, esp since she understood what it was like to be alone in the world. She had no clue that H's monthly visit to the grocery store was to surreptitiously see her since he'd been obsessed with her for years but thought her too young & him too messed up to be together. His seeing her 1x a month brought the only light in his cold lonely life the last few years & he's limiting himself to seeing her only 1x due to his growing obsession of claiming her as his. So, it was a shock to see find her injured from hitting her head from tripping over something near his cabin. She determined to go visit H to get to know him 1 week after seeing him at the grocery store, unwilling to wait weeks to see him again. 

Now that she's in his turf H is determined to keep her there with him. When she awoke, he asked her why she was up there & she honestly told him her reasons. He was upset that she went up there by herself coz he would've been devastated if she was attacked by predators if he had gone out hunting. So she felt really dumb but glad that nothing did happen to her. She fell asleep & H amazed at her courage to come to see him coz she wanted to be with him. He wanted to tell her who he was (i.e., he's killed people, blamed himself for not being there for his bro thru his drug use that eventually killed him) so she can make an informed choice whether she still wanted him after. When he did, she accepted him. He made it clear that he was not a light kind of person & wanted her with him forever. She was fine with it & told him that she was a virgin, which made him even more possessive & claimy with her. He let her know that he hadn't been with any OW for years since he 1st saw her & insta-wanted her. But now that he's going to have her to expect a pounding & relentless kind of smexxing with him. They hotly smexxed bareback. Epilogue1...1 yr later, they're married & h 5 mos preggo. H & h fine with their reclusive lifestyle in the mountains. Epilogue2...7-8mos later, they go into town with their 3mo baby son & people are staring at them, shocked that she's with H & with their baby. It let her know that she's become more like H, uncaring what others think & fine with their different lifestyle. H is building a cabin extension for their growing family. H&h still ravish each other with their hot pounding smexxing. HEA.

*71 pgs
*average S chem coz mostly hidden attraction
*good explicit Sex with emotions/romance with minor spanking
*not much info re: romance development—only that they've secretly wanted each other for years (no idea how many years coz not stated) since H 1st saw h in town after he came to settle there from the military & after his bro's death & not stated how many years h been attracted to H but she sounds much younger than H based on little info about her stats 
*loved that H celibate for years (10+ years) since he'd become a mountain hermit so part of celibacy due to his reclusive lifestyle & partly due to h since only wanting to be with her @ 1st sight
*loved H's OTT alpha-demanding possessive-protective claimy "mine" attitude towards h & his devotion to her
*their sexual & emotional tension & sex life obvious & strong but lacking in characterization
*wish we knew more about their individual lives like their hobbies & interests (we only know that H likes to hunt & likes to read & that h likes to read & both like to have sex with each other) & bit more background so their characters aren't so mysterious
*char development is hard to say due to lack of char info except that h gravitated towards H's reclusive & non-people-pleasing ways
*liked the uniqueness of their alternative off-the-grid reclusive non-materialistic mountain life that sustains them despite only getting money from H's monthly military disability check (no details re: what H's disability is coz he seemed fine physically)
*good writing overall but lacked character details/development

BLOG REVIEW: He's No Saint by A.J. Harmon

*1-star
SPOILER-y Plot:

24yo novice nun h (heroine) resisted her forbidden attraction to her new nunnery's priest, attractive early-30s H (Hero). H was captivated by her the 1st moment he saw her & heard her voice. He's obsessed with her & secretly watches her around the rectory. He's been struggling with celibacy since the 1st prostitute oraled him as payment for helping her with her problems 8 years ago. He finally cut ties with his 3rd regular prostitute a week or so ago at the insistence of his priest mentor. Saving h from being abducted by a vagrant created a primal need in H to protect her. And seeing his bruised & bloodied hands from hitting the vagrant who attacked her filled h with some strong feelings that made her touch them. It scared her to be so attracted to h & tried to hide it but her mentor nun normalized it & asked her to reconsider her motives for being a nun (i.e, escaping from grief of her dad dying at age 12 & her mom abandoning her for dating) & be open to other options. She purposedly said goodbye to her dad & forgave her mom & wrote her a letter to see each other & avoided H as much as she could. However, their hands accidentally touched when they were gardening together & they both froze with mutual desire, which was seen by the prostitute (OW) who H recently quit going to for a BJ. H&h continue working on the garden together daily, talking about various topics & both conscious about their unmentioned chemistry. 

H was shocked when h's mentor nun 1 day informed him that h had decided to no longer be a nun. He realized that he was in love with her & has had sexual dreams about her nightly, despite that he's only ever seen the skin of her face & hands. He's also continued to be tormented by the trauma of his deceased fiance who's killer was never caught. He was distressed when he found out h had already left. But her nun mentor recognized their mutual chemistry & H confessed his lvoe for her. She told him to give her time & space to adjust to her new life before she'll give him her address. He rescued OW from being injured by her rough customer, letting the nuns house her & give her a job as a housekeeper of sorts. Months later, H still misses h & not tempted to give in to constant sexual offer of OW. 11 months later, h still getting used to life as a single woman with her retail work & own apartment but still can't get over H. 

When H's priest mentor died, she goes back for his funeral. He asks her to go to coffee with him & he tells her he misses her but she tells him there's no point to any r/s between them since he's still a priest & she was about to go but he blurts his ILY & didn't want to let her go. They go to her apt & catch up on each other's lives the past year. He asked her why she left & it's because she had feelings for him & realized that she wanted more than a nun's life. She told him they can't be together though coz he's still priest. He told her that she's worth fighting for & will prove it to her. He sent her flowers & visited her the next week & kissed her. OW followed him to h's apt & asked him out but he told her there can be nothing between them anymore & blamed H for why they can't be together. H&h called each other during the next week & she invited him to dinner. They kissed but h said they can't continue coz he's still a priest while H tells her its ok coz they love each other. He leaves but considers leaving the priesthood. However, OW's seductions & the sudden reappearance of his ex-con friend who went to jail for stealing the car with him when they were 17 interferes with his plans to be with h. He beat up his friend & call the cops on him, when he found his dead fiance's necklace on him & his friend confessed to raping & killing her 10 years ago out of jealousy & revenge against H. He goes to h's apt & tells her everything in his grief. She comforts him & they kiss & he helps her O with their clothes on. As much as she loves him, she's decided to end their r/s due to his being a priest. H doesn't tell her yet but he call the church bishop to quit the priesthood that day. They go out to dinner that night with h intent to break it off with him but H announced his quitting the priest & his ILY. So, they ILYed & finally smexxed at her apt, not knowing that OW is enraged at h being with H. 

The next day OW abducts h & H frantic but later able to find h & cops got OW. She's hospitalized for her head injury & wants nothing to do with H, since OW told him about their past r/s. H is pleading with h to forgive him of his past but she wants nothing to do with him. He promised to never let give up & will prove his loyalty & trustworthiness with h their whole life together. For next month, he writes her a letter everyday, telling her he' sorry & loves her & won't ever give her up. During OW's trial, H got h alone in private & confessed all re: his 2x weekly paid Bjs from OW & she's hurt. She goes to her hotel room & starts reading all 90+ letters her sent her. She decides to forgive him coz he showed in his letter that he's changed from being a selfish man to 1 who's changing for her. They say their ILYs & hotly smex a couple times. After OW's guilty verdict, H&h relieved then H kneels in front of h & proposes marriage with a ring. OW enraged & grabs an officer's gun & shoots H to death. She was also shot. Epilogue...1 yr later, h visits H's grave with their baby boy with memories of their love. The end.

*190 pgs
*good writing/pacing
*good sexual & emotional tension with some angst-poignancy
*sweet romance development & liked how clear to both H&h that they loved each other early on & answer to being together was to quit their religious orders
*likable h for her quiet simplicity & ability to move on & survive despite the hurt
*H was a self-absorbed spoiled man who became a priest to escape hardship & not really b/c he wanted to serve God & help people
*his 8-years of secret 2x-weekly sexual rendezvous with prostitutes who go to his church show that he only viewed being a priest as a job instead of as a calling or vocation & showed his lack of self-control & using women as objects which is hypocritical of his job
*liked that H eventually changed due to h's disgust at his using women only for his sexual pleasure while he was a priest
*hated that gets H killed off when they were FINALLY on their road to their HEA(happily ever after)!
*h had sex 2x (1 @ 14 & 1 @ 16) but unimpressed by it so saw no problems with celibacy as nun since didn't see the need for a man in her life & she didn't want to move with her remarried mom & she had no other life goals & liked helping people
*H loved sex since 1st time he tried it in college & manwhored himself until his fiance's murder made him become a priest & sex abstinence has been very hard for him so contracted weekly blow jobs with prostitutes willing to be discreet
*liked that H celibate since 1 week before meeting h & rejected OW's sexual offers could only wanted h
*hot S scenes but not too detailed & consummation happened after 50%
*good overall writing & was a 4-star by 90% but then H dies at the end...grrrrrrrr. What use were the 2 epilogues with h with their baby son 1 year later & then 20+ years later with h dying & still in love with H if H is dead?!!!!!!! I need my HEA!!!!!  

BLOG REVIEW: Weighting for Christmas by A.J. Harmon

***3-stars
SPOILER-y Plot:

29yo plus-sized payroll accountant h (heroine) finds going to the gym weekly the last 2 months not such as hardship as expected due to her encouraging trainer, hot & fit 30s H (Hero). Her critical & fit mom & sister gave her a gym membership for Christmas as 1 of their many ways of trying to “help” h lose weight. She stuck with the program H put her in with stable results, trusting him more when she found out that he was a chubby 250+lbs teen. But he unusually became closed off, when she told him that she's actually gonna meet up with a guy she met on an online dating site her mom gave her a membership to. The guy ends up being a jerk about her weight so she leaves but H intercepts her at the restaurant & they end up having a good time together. But she can't believe he'd be interested in her so she lumps him as just a friend. Another 2 months pass & she buys herself new clothes & feels great that she can now wear an XL. H thinks she's looks amazing & has a hot moment with her at the gym, touching her body & cataloguing how much stronger & firmer she is now. But then he switches back to professional & gets her all confused. 

She got drunk on her bday dinner with H & her family so he took her back to her apt. She thought he'd already left so she tried on the lingerie set her sister got her only to have H admiring her from behind. They hotly kissed but she drifted off to a drunken stupor & woke up with him next to her in bed. She didn't know how to ask him if they had sex or not but he made her breakfast & sweetly kissed her before his work appt. When she saw him at her workout session later, she asked whether they had sex or not & he said “no” coz she was unconscious but wanted a do-over tonight with no alcohol involved. He catalogues her body parts when he gets her stripped down, telling her what strength & beauty each one has including her pouchy tummy & how she enjoys food & doesn't starve herself with weird food hang-ups & maybe later be big with a baby. He tells her how she's the most stunning & very sexy woman he's ever met then he hotly smexxes her & then tells her that she's the woman he's been waiting for & he'll never let her go. He told her he began falling in love with her during her 1st week with him at the gym. She wakes up with epiphany that she wants to the the woman he needs her to be, which means that she must choose to be a better person for herself & not for him or anyone else. They announce their r/s to her family & they establish a routine of work & spending time together the next 3 months. He tells her his ILY & vice versa & he suggests that she work with him to open his own gym. He also asks her to move in with him. They have to continue staying at their jobs until the business loan approval & h not happy that H has to go to a sexy client's movie shoot for 3 weeks but for a good chunk of money. She soon finds out she's pregnant & later flies to H's location to surprise & tell him she's pregnant. But she catches him kissing his client inside her trailer so she flies back to her parents' house ASAP & ignores H's texts. He goes to her parents house & told her he quit & regretted letting money blind him & that he missed her. She told him to go back to his client & told him to leave. She tells him she'll see him when she's ready so 2 days later she confronts him about what she saw. He told her his client forced the kiss & he rejected her & quit right away. It solidified his feelings that h is the 1 for him & proposed to h with a ring. She later tells him she's pregnant & he's happy. They later opened their gym & planned their wedding. HEA.

*146 pgs
*gradual, untroubled & straightforward romance centered around h's life so book has a chick-lit feel 
*average romance & sexual chemistry
*meh pacing
*hot but short sex scenes with few explicit words & with romance
*1st 50% was more about h's view re: her body issues & her family's attitude about her weight & getting used to working our as well as gradual progression from trainer to friendship with H
*last 50% contains more of their romance progression & it's overall effects of h's body issues
*likable chars with sweet but hot devoted H who was encouraging about h's weight & helping her see herself as beautiful & strong & not focused on the #s
*predictable with sweet H & 60% focused on h's weight struggles