Because you can't judge a book by its cover


Cara Michal does everything by the book in Filthy Rich by Virna DePaul. After a financial disaster left her family penniless, Cara has stepped up to take care of herself, her special needs brother, and her flighty mother, leaving little to no time for a social life or relationships of any kind.  When Cara hides away at a business party and finds herself woken by a sexy stranger she decides to take a risk and kisses him. Unfortunately the best kiss of her life was give by her new boss and everyone knows mixing business with pleasure can lead to problems.

Branden Duke is surprised to find a sleeping beauty in his private rooms at his mansion during a party to announce his buying a Wall Street company. Drawn to the mysterious beauty he kisses her before learning who she is and is unprepared for the kiss to be as explosive as it is. If Cara were just anyone else it wouldn’t be a problem to hook up with her, but with his real reason for buying the company a necessary secret and an old enemy appearing, pursuing Cara might put her in harms way but how can he stay away?!

I struggled a bit with Filthy Rich, the meeting between Cara and Branden with the explosive first kiss is not my favorite literary device. So the first meeting for me was meh, but I really liked the characters of both Cara and Branden. I loved their devotion to family (if you are a long time reader of Novel Reaction you will notice I really like the family connections) even when those connections weren’t easy for the characters. Cara is a hardworking, dedicated, intelligent woman who isn’t waiting around for Mr. Right to come save her, she is working hard to save herself and I loved that about her! Branden has worked his way up from nothing while taking care of his half-sisters and trying to do the right thing for everyone. Filthy Rich had a bit more sex than I really enjoy but the story was engaging and the characters compelling so I gave it a four star.

Read an excerpt here.

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Filthy Rich 

Author: Virna DePaul

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 356


Publisher: Penguin Random House

Release Date: October 27, 2015

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

dalmation puppySabina Grey was once the shallow head cheerleader but after her sister’s accident Sabina has tried hard to overcome her past and make sure her sister gets the best of everything, even if that means Lucy marries the man Sabina wants.

Lucy Grey was burned in a bad house fire in her teens, as a result of the surgeries and numerous medical procedures she had no control over, she now tries to plan everything in her life, down to when she will get married and what they will have as a couple. But sometimes life throws unexpected things into your life and Lucy has to decide if unplanned events can bring joy or just chaos.

In Last Chance Hero by Hope Ramsay, Ross Gardiner has returned to Last Chance to be the chief of the fire department, the only paid member of the volunteer force, and the only man on the force with professional firefighting experience. After striking out asking out the beautiful Sabina out, Ross has settled for the safe and stable relationship with her sister Lucy.

But when Miriam Randall visits Sabina with some love advice, the whole town gets buzzing with the news and Ross feels the need to move things up more quickly with Lucy. When Ross’s newly purchased home burns to the ground, along with several other homes, things start getting a little out of control in his life and he starts to wonder if he is with the correct sister after all.

Last Chance Hero is a great addition to the Last Chance Series. Ramsay took on a difficult story line when she wrote about a love triangle involving one guy and two sisters. It is a fine line you have to tread as an author between allowing the relationship to flourish with the sister to end up with the guy without making the reader hate the other sister, or hating the sister who ends up with the guy for being a man stealer. But Ramsay did this with southern charm and had me cheering for all three people to get their happily ever after by the end. Ramsay’s fictional town of Last Chance is a great place to visit (you can see by the number of reviews I have written for this series that I love to come back and visit) and, as always, she does as superb job with the fun secondary characters without them over shadowing the main characters (and a cute puppy named Sparky doesn’t hurt).

While Last Chance Hero is a stand alone novel, I don’t think new readers to the series will fully grasp the significance of Miriam Randall’s visit to Sabina and the town’s resulting fervor without having read some of the earlier novels where Miriam’s love predictions have played out. That being said, if Last Chance Hero is your first visit to Last Chance then it is a good one to start with by showing the town’s entertaining residents in a good light and by making you want to turn the pages quickly to figure out with Grey sister Ross ends up with.

You can read an excerpt here.

Last Chance Reading Order:

Welcome to Last Chance (you can read my review here)

Home at Last Chance

Small Town Christmas (anthology)

Last Chance Beauty Queen

Last Chance Bride (short story)

Last Chance Christmas (you can read my review here)

Last Chance Book Club

Last Chance Summer (short story)

Last Chance Knit & Stitch (you can read my review here)

Inn at Last Chance (you can read my review here)

A Christmas To Remember (you can read my review here)

Last Chance Family (you can read my review here)

Last Chance Hero

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Last Chance Hero

Author: Hope Ramsay

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 344


Publisher: Forever Romance

Release Date: June 30, 2015

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

After disastrously and publicly losing her job, Lily Danville has returned to Cedar Ridge while she tries to find a new job and finally come to grips with the death of her sister and father ten years ago. In Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis,  Lily isn’t back even one day before running into her past crush Aiden Kincaid and of course it would be when Lily isn’t looking her best, stocking up on junk food.

Aiden Kincaid never got over Lily leaving town so quickly after the death of her family members. Priding himself on his control either fighting fires, rescuing hikers, or with his heart, Aiden wonders if Lily’s return will destroy that control and calm one more time or if this time they have a chance at happily ever after.

Second Chance Summer is the beginning of a new series, Cedar Ridge, by Jill Shalvis and I loved it! Set in the mountains of Colorado, the beauty and harsh climate (think big thunder storms, swollen rivers, and potential blizzards) are an excellent counterpoint to the events unfolding in the character’s lives. But with a background this epic you need characters strong enough to stand out and Shalvis delivers that with the Kincaid family. Completely loyal to each other, the Kincaids fight, they are messy, and they eat each other’s food with great relish but at the end of the day they have each other’s backs.

Lily’s character is heartbreaking and lovable but it is Aiden and his siblings that really stole the show. While the strong characters are a draw, it is Shalvis’s humor that makes me love reading and rereading her books so much (which I have reread quite of few of her series numerous times) and Second Chance Summer had me giggling in several places. Any novel that starts off with a fire fighter having to rescue a nearly naked woman from her attempt to get on the front page of the newspaper by threatening to commit suicide and then yelling at the firefighters when she thinks they aren’t saving her fast enough, you know it is going to be a entertaining read. Shalvis’s description of the oldest Kincaid brother had me smiling, “Gray ran Cedar Ridge Resort and knew everything about everyone in town. he was an eighty-two-year-old lady hiding in a thirty-one-year-old man’s body.”

If you have enjoyed Shalvis’s previous novels you will like Second Chance Summer. If you haven’t read any of her books before Second Chance Summer is a great place to start.

You can read an excerpt here.

Cedar Ridge Reading Order:

Second Chance Summer

My Kind of Wonderful (December 2015)

Nobody But You (March 2016)

Rating: Star 5copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Second Chance Summer

Author: Jill Shalvis

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 369


Publisher: Hatchette Book Group

Release Date: June 30, 2015

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

paper craneCeony Twill has worked so hard to fulfill her dreams of becoming a Metal Magician but on the eve of her graduation she is asked to become one of the few Paper Magicians and once bonded to a specific type of material she will only be able to perform magic with that material. The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg begins with Ceony arriving at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane but not everything is as it seems when it comes to paper magic and sometimes we are lead to where we need to go even when it wasn’t part of our original plans.

When Magician Thane is attacked soon after Ceony’s arrival, it will take all her ingenuity, courage, and determination to save him from the practitioner’s of the forbidden dark arts.

I picked up The Paper Magician because it has been awhile since I read a true fantasy (as opposed to a paranormal/scifi/fantasy mix) and awhile since I read a Young Adult novel. The Paper Magician is an interesting fantasy novel, very different from most of the high fantasy I have previously read. In the world Holmberg has created, you only get a glimpse of the outside world as Ceony spends most of her time in the cottage or in a specific spot trying to save Thane (I’m not going to say too much because it will give away part of the novel) but the rules of magic are interesting and the few characters are well developed but it is Holmberg’s way with words that I really enjoyed. The images she weaves are, dare I say, magical.  Little pearls of wisdom are disbursed throughout the novel and are so spot on, “The ghostly images lasted only a moment longer before fading away, as all unread stories were wont to do.” But ultimately the great theme of the novel is summed up as this “Everyone has a dark side! But it’s their choice whether or not they cultivate it.” The Paper Magician is a fun fantasy novel that is well worth a read and I look forward to reading The Glass Magician. 

You can read an excerpt here.

The Paper Magician Series Reading Order

The Paper Magician

The Glass Magician

The Master Magician

paper magicianRating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon no background

Title: The Paper Magician

Author: Charlie N. Holmberg

Format: eBook

Page Nos.: 226


Publisher: 47North

Release Date: September 1, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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