bookbae96's review

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5.0

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What's better than one story by one author that you love? A whole bundle of them, together in one book. The 1001 Dark Nights series is a take on the Arabian Nights, where tales were told for 1,001 nights to keep the heroine from a horrible fate. Bundle 9 in this series is a compilation of some of my favorite authors, and a great way to find several really great stories bundled. Below are just a few of the stories you'll find in this bundle.

SEARCHING FOR MINE by Jennifer Probst:
Connor Dunkle wasn't looking for a lesson on women when he enrolled in teacher Ella Blake's English class. No, what Connor wanted was to ace the class so that he could graduate and get on with his life. But Ella isn't settling for anything but Connor's best, and she'll get it from him no matter what. And when the two find themselves far more involved in each other's live than they'd anticipated, both Connor and Ella find out things about themselves that they weren't expecting.

Author Jennifer Probst is a favorite of mine. Her stories are always so full of heart, of self-discovery, of learning to trust the safe place offered by someone completely unexpected. Written as part of the 1001 Dark Nights novella series, SEARCHING FOR MINE is a story in Jennifer's Searching For series, and is a sweet and sexy addition.

There were times that I just wanted to pinch Connor. He comes across as sort of superficial, especially where women and relationships are concerned, something that really drives Ella crazy. For her part, Ella has been disappointed by life and love, and doesn't do much to mask her disdain for Connor and the way that he's living his life. She refuses to let him skate by or take the easy way out, and ends up teaching him far more about life and himself than he ever expected when he signed up for her class.
I love the back and forth between Ella and Connor, and Ella's son, Luke, is both sweet and snarky, completing the circle of family that is built in this story. SEARCHING FOR MINE is an easy 4.5 stars for me, and I recommend it for fans of Jennifer's books.

MAGNIFICENT BASTARD by Lili Valente:
Got an ex that needs to be taught a lesson? Need a love connection intervention? Look no further: Sebastian 'Bash' Prince, head honcho and Magnificent Bastard extraordinaire, is your man. With the help of his Girl Friday, Penny, Bash will help you have the last laugh as you leave your former Prince Charming in your rear-view mirror. But what happens when the master of the art of magnificent bastardry falls hook, line, and sinker? Ah, the tangled web of love...

There isn't one book that Lili Valenti has written that I have not absolutely loved. Stories filled with intrigue, white-hot passion, and angsty characters never fail to satisfy my yen for a darker read. But, guess what? Lovely Lili has outdone herself with this one. MAGNIFICENT BASTARD is, and I do not say this lightly, probably one of my favorite of her books to date, hands down, and one of my favorites of this year.

While I love a darker angstier read, it's no secret that I am also a huge fan of the books that leave me with a light heart, where everything comes together just like I hoped that it would, where everyone ends up just where they should be, and all is right with the world, a feel-good book, if you will.

I was not prepared for how much I would adore Bash and Penny. These two, well, they are wonderful. The chemistry and connection, the humor, the passion, all come together to create a story that had me at the first paragraph. This story, like all of Lili's, is one that sucked me right in and kept me turning pages until the very end, completely captivating me along the way.

I really love that MB is written from Bash's point of view. It's always interesting to me to see how the man views things, especially in a romance, because, let's face it, we're like polar opposites when it comes to love so much of the time. Lili nailed it here, writing the unfolding of events completely engagingly, while managing to stay true to a male perspective.

And, Penny. It's impossible not to love Penny, in all of her madcap perfection. That she's able to maintain her sense of humor after having a mother like Anastasia, an ex like Phillip, and the childhood that she had, makes her all the more lovable, and strong as heck. She's just what Bash needs, even though he takes a while to realize it. There really ought to be more Pennys in the world.

Kudos to Lili for this gem of a book, with its lovable kookiness, its wonderful secondary characters (everyone needs a Francis and Eddie in their lives, for real, and, Aidan, yum!), and lots and lots of ice cream. 5+ stars for this one, lady. It's simply magnificent.

DANCE OF DESIRE by Christopher Rice:
Telling her how he really felt should have been the last option. The absolutely dead-last, nuclear apocalypse option. And touching her? Well, that was beyond the nuclear option. That was a "zombies are breaking down the front door and the only way out is through the nearest window" kind of option.

Amber and Caleb have known forever that their feelings for each other were something special. But just when they were beginning to let each other know, life events changed everything, making anything other than a platonic kind of love unacceptable. True love, though, cannot be denied, and sometimes the heavens smile down on lovers after all.

I was lucky to happen upon one of Christopher's earlier books in the 1001 Dark Nights series, and really enjoyed it, so when DANCE OF DESIRE came along, I put it right at the top of my TBR list. This little book was a true delight to read. Christopher's combination of humor, steamy sexiness, and heartfelt emotions, along with great characters and a realistic story line made this one of the most enjoyable, feel-good books I've had the opportunity to read lately. The relationship between Amber and her mother had me laughing out loud, and Belinda, Dora, Amanda, and all of the supporting characters are just great. I enjoyed every single bit of this book, and would be happy to see more of these folks in future. 4.5 stars for DANCE OF DESIRE; add this one to your reading list, because you will thoroughly enjoy it.

***ARC generously provided for an honest review.***

lauraanne9's review

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4.0

***ARC Provided by InkSlingerPR***

The Dark Nights series, for those who are not familiar, are a take off on the Arabian Nights tales and the idea that, each night for 1001 nights, Scheherazade had to weave a tale that her husband will want to hear the end of and that he will want to know how it ends badly enough that he decides not to execute her.

So, they need to be compelling, they need to be page turners and they need to weave a little of the mysticism of this idea within the tales.

That said, I have no idea how to review this, or how to rate it. There were books/novellas in this I loved and those that I was less fond of, but as a collection, it had a strong flow and was an interesting way to introduce new authors or to give them a place to share a different than normal voice. As this is a collection, as it is books that are both to stand alone as well as to work together, I am rating the overall books as a group. I don't know of another way to do it without confusing myself...or you. But especially myself. And, then I would have to execute myself for not holding your attention.

Anyway, read the collection and read the series...it is an interesting way to weave differing stories into one collection while tying them together.

nbiblioholic's review

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4.0

I've told y'all before that I love anthologies right? Because I do. I really do. I love getting a taste of what each other has to offer. I love the different voices we get to read/hear in one book. I love how diverse it shows that romance can be. So many people who don't read romance, or don't have a fine appreciation for it, view romance stories as pretty one-dimensional. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed people roll their eyes when they realize I'm reading yet another romance novel. For all those naysayers, READ A ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY!! Especially one of the 1001 Dark Nights bundles. Because they're amazing. Each and every single one of them.

My reviews of the stories included in Bundle Nine:

Hidden Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan
Blood on the Bayou by Heather Graham
Searching For Mine by Jennifer Probst
Dance of Desire by Christopher Rice
Some Sort of Happy by Melanie Harlow
Magnificent Bastard by Lili Valente

Release Date: January 31, 2017
Book Type: Romance Anthology

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