The Charming Rogue by Cinnamon Worth, The Crush by Allyson Kennedy & Kiss Me at Midnight by Lucinda Whitney (Review Briefs)

Review briefs are just like they sound, a briefer review (and usually for more
than one book) than my norm for books that I want or need to share about.
It's also a play off of legal briefs, which include just what you need to know... 

The Charming Rogue
(Pathways to Romance #3)
By Cinnamon Worth
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 132 Pages
September 27, 2019


She’s the woman of his dreams. If only she didn’t despise him…

Everything has always come easily to Caleb James. Everything, that is, but Mary Walker. Her stunning beauty and independent nature enticed him from the start—and yet every romantic overture he made went so horribly awry that she can now barely tolerate him. But that’s all about to change. He has the perfect plan to redeem himself. When she arrives at his family estate, he’ll finally be able to win her heart. Too bad he’s not the only one there with the very same idea…

The last thing Mary wants is time alone with the insufferable Caleb. But since he’s one of her twin’s best friends, declining his invitation is out of the question. She’ll just have to do her best to ignore the charismatic, overly confident rogue. Only…he’s not acting like a rogue this time. Surely the little glimpses she catches of his softer, kinder side are an act…right?

Can Caleb and Mary overcome years’ worth of misunderstandings and missteps—not to mention a persistent rival for Mary’s affections—to find their very own happily ever after? Or, when all is said and done, will The Charming Rogue be left alone once again?

This Regency Era romance is stand alone novel and is book #3 in The Pathways to Romance series. It is rated G and features an enemies to lovers storyline.

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My Review

THE CHARMING ROGUE is a story of misperceptions and misunderstandings while the hero tries to pursue the woman he loves and she tries to not have anything to do with him. There's humor, friendship, family, and sweet romance for an overall entertaining read.

I liked these characters and found the whole situation between Caleb and Mary quite hilarious. Caleb has been trying to woo Mary for years and feels he has done a decent job, while Mary feels every time she's around him it ends in catastrophe. Nether one understands the other's feelings and so things tend to get a bit out of hand. Mary definitely jumps to conclusions she shouldn't and poor Caleb has a lot of mending to do, but the journey was to their happily-ever-after was definitely a fun one!

There were a few issues with the story. For one, I felt Mary acted younger than I expected or wanted her to. For another, I felt like quite a few of the societal expectations and roles were missing. I just wanted more development overall.

A note in regards to the audio version... it was done really well. I would definitely listen to this narrator again.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an overall entertaining read! If you're looking for something quick, fun, and sweet then you might enjoy this story.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary audiobook from the author, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

The Crush
(The Ballad of Emery Brooks #1)
By Allyson Kennedy
Christian YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 280 Pages
October 24, 2020 by Allyson Kennedy


Never settle for anything less.

A combination hopeless romantic and old soul trapped in a teenager’s body, closet musician Emery Brooks wonders if she’ll ever find a love as timeless as her grandparents’. Fear of judgment and social alienation due to her older brother’s past mistakes render her incapable of writing a love song. Still, Emery holds fast to the ideals her Grandma Adeline instilled in her from a young age, vowing to allow God to handwrite her love story, to never settle for anything less.

That is, until love cynic Sawyer Alston enters her world. Broken by the wrath of his parents’ failed marriage, Sawyer has been uprooted from everything he’s ever known and now sees love as a void of empty promises. When Emery and Sawyer meet due to their mothers' rekindled friendship, Emery soon realizes she’s in over her head.

For, despite her resistance, her first crush, her first glimpse at love, involves a boy who doesn’t believe in love at all.

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My Review

THE CRUSH is a story of young love with all the hopes and dreams of a girl who wants the kind of romance she saw her grandparents had. As the story unfolds, the pieces of her grandparents love story also unfolds. There are lessons to learn and heartbreak to face. Fans of YA romance may enjoy this one.

This story spans quite a few years, from Emery's eight grade to her sophomore or junior year of high school. Oh the whole I really liked Emery and her family as well as the other characters. The Christian aspect of the story is subtle in some ways and really strong in others. The ending has quite a cliffhanger that I didn't see coming at all.

I honestly couldn't quite grasp a senior in high school being into a freshman. It just didn't work for me. The story felt a bit melodramatic and unrealistic. I think the span in years was really hard to make work and the differences in ages of the two love interests, among other issues, didn't work for me. It needed a lot more fine tuning. I do think the author has promise and I can see what she was trying to do. Plus the ending was really abrupt.

In the end, was it what I wished for? An overall sweet story, but one that didn't work for me.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the author, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Kiss Me at Midnight
(Romano Family #5)
By Lucinda Whitney
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 189 Pages
November 23rd 2018 by Lange House Press


She’s a single mom holding on to her job. He’s a career man focused on his business. Can they put the past behind them in order to build a future together?

When Filipe Romano arrives at the SoliMar beach resort, his newest acquisition, he plans to complete renovations quickly before moving on to his next property. But a stumbling block arises when he discovers Celeste, the sister of his deceased best friend, is an employee at the resort’s aquarium, which he intends to sell. To complicate matters more, he has unresolved feelings for Celeste and blames himself for the accident that killed her brother.

Celeste Ferreira, a stressed single mom, needs a miracle. Without any prospects or means to start over, she clings to the job she loves as aquarist at the SoliMar Aquarium. After she discovers the new owner is Filipe, an old family friend, their history makes it hard for Celeste to trust him, especially with her position in peril.

Though closing down the aquarium makes good financial sense, Filipe finds himself reluctant to disappoint Celeste and decides to help her with the repairs for the upcoming inspection. But is working side by side enough to forget the past and build a new future, or is the pain between them too deep to move on?

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My Review

KISS ME AT MIDNIGHT is a story of unexpected second chances between old love when they meet again by chance. It's the story of a single mom who is trying her best to provide and a man who has made his own way in life while trying to atone for his regrets. An overall sweet story.

I liked both of these characters, but especially Filipe. I've always liked characters who felt confident because of the hard work they've put in to be successful, but are still willing to put in a hard day's work. Filipe is this great mix of charming, gorgeous, and rich, and humble, reliable and caring. He's just the ideal, but also had his own vulnerabilities. Celeste is a single mom who loves her son dearly, but has had a rough road. She's making things work and loves what she does, but she isn't where she had hoped to be. They both have past regrets that are a bit like demons still chasing them that they have to work through. Throw in a vengeful staff member and a somewhat pretentious ex, and there's enough of a barrier to these two finding their happily-ever-after to make things interesting.

My biggest issue with the story would be the whole work situation and how easily Celeste's boss disrupts things. I couldn't understand the motive or the how in a way that worked for me in being beneficial for Celeste's boss. I also did want the dialogue to flow better and the chemistry wasn't always there for me.

A note on the audiobook version... I think I might have enjoyed reading this more than listening. Not really due to the narrator, but more that there was an accent with the narration and a tone that, while not bad, just rubbed me wrong for some reason.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was an overall entertaining sweet romance that needed a bit more polish.

Content: Clean
Source: I received a complimentary audiobook from the author, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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