Monday, August 31, 2015

Devious Minds by KF Germaine Review

Devious Minds by K.F. Germaine

When Sydney Porter transfers to Northern University, she’s ready to put her past behind her. Landing a job on campus as an irreverent radio personality, she uses the anonymity to air all the campus dirty laundry—earning the infamous Sunday Lane more than a few enemies. But her true passion is spinning records, even if Drunk Earl is her biggest fan.

Sydney’s junior year kicks off with the promise to be amazing. Or at least it does until Gray Peters, hotshot quarterback, unexpectedly reenters the scene. His presence threatens to destroy everything she has going, as well as resurrecting a night Sydney never wants to remember or repeat. She’d run away like a coward, but this time she's determined to stay and fight.

A twisted battle of wit and trickery ensues, with one common goal—vengeance. Sydney and Gray set out to make each other miserable. But misery loves company, and soon, walls are destroyed and truths are revealed that could change their future forever.

That moment when a friend recommends a book and after you've finished reading you think... "I could kiss her right now because that book was fantastic!"

That's how I feel right now... about this book.   A friend of mine recommended Devious Minds by K.F. Germaine a few weeks ago.  I was anxious to dive in because this friend doesn't recommend books that often but says "I'm only 25% in and there are some hilarious parts."  Then goes on to say the banter between the characters is so well done instead of trying to hard.... Well, that's an automatic one-click or in this case a Kindle Unlimited download. 

I don't even know what I can actually say without giving anything away... well I can say that the first 40% I was seriously dying... I couldn't stop laughing. It was exactly what my friend had said it would be... Very well done without being forced.

There's always something intriguing about enemies turned lovers... and this was pulled off quite perfectly.  These characters weren't so mean that redemption was impossible and while a few things were a little far fetched it was still believable.  But what made it so perfect was when they realized their revenge wasn't fueled from hate, but from hurt because their feelings for each other ran a lot deeper than either of them could have imagined.  These two still had some obstacles to overcome before finding their HEA.. it wasn't easy and there were a few cheesy moments... but in the end it was pretty perfect, at least in my opinion.

Needless to say... this book was exactly what I needed.  Everything about it was refreshing and when I say refreshing I should clarify to mean... the character development, the story line, the clever ways these two characters found to get their revenge, and the writing style in general.  It's no secret that I'm pretty picky about the books I recommend or even put up on my blog... hell, it's been almost a year since I've felt that driving itch to blog about anything.  But this book.... it's definitely one to check out.  Especially if you love spunky heroines who are not afraid to be themselves and an adorable hero who is a just a tad full of himself but has that protective instinct.... Then Devious Minds is for you!

Bravo K.F. Germaine!  I'm looking forward to reading more of your work! 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weekly Reads 11/10 - 11/16

Hi fellow book lovers!!!!  I hope y'all had a fabulous week.  Mine was... interesting... but interesting in a good way.... I'm so stinking proud over one moment that I plan to share... you know, later.  

I didn't have the best of luck with reading again this week... but instead of it being my head just wasn't in it.. it was more of the whole "I don't have time to read but I really want to finish this first"  thing.  I really could have had more time to read but I got it in my head that I wanted to be better prepared for Christmas this year and well... one thing led to another and by the end of the week I had an overloaded Pinterest Board, a binder full of new cookie recipes, and a load of gifts that desperately need a new hiding spot!  Plus a list that feels like it's a mile long of things I either still want to do, things I'd love to try, and gifts I'm thinking I should purchase.  

So, even though I did have a good read and a good reread this week... I also need some recommendations!  I'm needing something light yet engaging... something sweet but totally passionate.  Something that is totally and completely "Lori Safe"!

Here are last weeks reads and recommendations:

A Love of Vengeance (Wanted Men) by Nancy Halivand

So. Good.   Just sayin'
A Love of Vengeance had the perfect combination of bad boy alpha male, strong heroine, and smoking hot passion.  It held my interest to the very end and left me desperate for the next book in the series!

Last week I had mentioned I was in the middle of reading this one and put the seed out there to email me if you'd read it or started reading it.  Well... I head from someone and let me just tell you.. our non-stop email message was nothing but... 
"I want to hate her but I just can't."
Obviously... we both enjoyed this book and while I would love to tell you some of our other thoughts, she did ask to stay anonymous and since I don't post actual quotes without giving props to the person who said it... I unfortunately have to keep my lips sealed which totally  bums me out because this chick had some funny one liners.  *insert sad face*

Anyway, A Love of Vengeance is a definite recommend.  

Reed's Reckoning by Ahren Sanders 

Here is my reread from last week.  I first read Reed's Reckoning over the summer...after a long list of incredibly horrible books.... so of course I was like "Best. Book. Ever!"  at that particular time.  

So with my reread... I wasn't quite as impressed.  I mean, it was a reread so I can't look at it the same... right?  But I noticed the BETA reader in me surfacing (quite a bit) during my reread.  I kept wanting to your research!!!  and I did have a couple eye roll moments.  

HOWEVER, this book is still really good.  It's got more than just the bones and is still way better than a lot of other books I've read lately.  Not to mention, when I really thought about it... the few places my beta half seemed to twitch at... really didn't take away from the story itself. 

So again, this is another one I recommend! 

While these two are not the ONLY books I've read this week... they are the only ones I'll share and here's why: 

Last Wednesday my 8 year old (we'll call her G) came home from school and this was our conversation:

G: Mom!  Guess what?
Me:  What?
G:  I found the most engaging book in the library today!
Me: *trying to figure out how my 8 year old figured out how to use the word engaging correctly* Really? 
G:  YES!  I think we should read it together and discuss it during our breakfast chats.
Me:  *tearing up because I always thought she hated our breakfast chats*  That sounds fantastic G!
G: *jumps up and down clapping* YAY!  This could be our new morning tradition!  We talk about books!
Me: *more tearing up because how absolutely fabulous would that be?* 

So... of course, I couldn't tell her no... actually telling her no didn't even cross my mind.  So far... G and I have read and discussed almost 3 entire books since last Wednesday....which is pretty amazing considering she's only 8 and all 3 books have more than 130 pages each! 

I couldn't be more proud!  And I do hope this is a tradition her and I can keep... because seriously, how absolutely amazing would that be!

So.... unless you're looking for recommendations for your 8-12 year old or just happen to like to read books like Judy Moody (that kid cracks me up), Junie B Jones, or Monster High... I'll make sure to leave these reads off my weekly recommendations ;)  

 Happy Reading Friends!

Got recommendations?  Comment below and let me know!  I'm always looking for fantastic reads!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Weekly Reads 11/3 - 11/9

Have you ever felt like there was so much crazy going on around you that you just can't seem to function properly?  And it doesn't even really involve you?  Well maybe a little bit does but 99% of it is other people?  

This is apparently my life at the moment and since I'm in such an incredibly talkative mood... I figured I'd share it with y'all before moving into the disappointment that was my reading list last week.  (Don't mind the sarcasm... I've been very sassy lately, or so my husband tells me.)



The crap that I don't want to think about that's happening right here in St. Louis...


 dealing with family members issues.....


3rd grade homework (that right there is enough to drive anyone up the wall)....


and best of all.... getting blamed for another persons crazy!  

You'd think with all that crazy, I'd be able to easily get lost in a good book... apparently not because all that crazy just keeps cycling through my head... repeatedly.

On to the important stuff... My Reads for last week. 

I have to be honest and say... I was a bit disappointed by everything I seemed to pick up.  I know in my last post I mentioned that I was excited to read the next book in a few series... and I am... but, because I get burnt out so easily, I like to take breathers in between series (and by breathers I mean, I sometimes wait a whole month before moving onto the next book.).  I have a reason for this... it probably makes no sense to anyone but me so even though you're probably thinking "Well.... what is it?"  I'm not going to share... because if I did you'd probably think...

Anyway... I picked up so many different books that looked fantastic.  They got amazing reviews... and they were either free or super cheap.  So, I did a bunch of one-clicking.
 Well... needless to say... I just didn't enjoy any of it. I'm not saying there weren't some decent ones on that list... ones I even tried reading... I'm just saying my brain was so exhausted from everything else it only seemed to want off the wall fantasy or something that would grab me within the first 3 pages. 
Soooo.... here is what I managed to finish last week.  No laughing either because a little shifter love (okay so maybe 2 or 3 shifters at a time) could seriously do anyone some good.  Don't worry non-shifter lovers.. there may be 1 or 2 books listed below that are NOT paranormal and only focus on a traditional couple ;) 


Every Night Forever by R.E. Butler

I'll be honest... I wasn't too sure about the Hyena thing apparently being better than werewolves, but... it seemed to work okay.  As long as I pictured the Stone Brothers looking more like dogs or coyotes instead of actual hyenas... because hyenas just aren't cute, at least in my opinion. 

BUT... This really was a decent read.  As long as you like a little shifter love that has more than just 1 sexy shifter.  

Alyssa and all 3 Stone Brothers really did grab my attention.  Nothing too terribly drastic happened but I will say that this book was pretty hot.... and hot in a way where the heroes took their time with the heroine.

I'm not necessarily recommending this one... but I'm not saying pass on it either.  Just go in remembering that this book is a menage a tois.

Girl's Night Out (Bad Boys #4) by Susan Arden

I am questioning myself on why I'm putting this one on the list since I did start getting bored around the 60% mark... but then again what I did read (and actually pay attention to) is typically something I would thoroughly enjoy but my mind just wasn't in it... so we'll go with that.

The characters were extremely well built and enjoyable.  The romance aspect was a tad on the insta-love aspect... but then again that's something I don't typically mind.  But the best part of all was... even though this is the 4th book in the series, you really don't need to read the first 3. 

I'm going to go ahead and recommend this one... including recommend rereading it myself when my mind is back in the normal way of thinking. ;)  

Twin Alphas: Claimed by Georgette St. Clair

See?  I'm all about the complete fantasy right now:  hot shifters, another dimension, menage a tois.
I know a few of my friends who will read this and shake their heads while saying "Lori and her shifters".  

But.. I really liked this one... like really liked it.  It was a short read, with some smokin' hot twins that not only turn into protective wolves but... they are into women with curves.  I know the whole BBW isn't for everyone and it's not necessarily for me either unless it's written where the heroine is curvy and not "fat".  And that blurb had me second guessing the one-click button because the word chubby is used... but it was written exactly how I like my curvy heroines! 

I'd recommend this one to any of my fellow readers who like a good menage a tois with some hot shifters thrown in. 

That's all I actually read... start to finish... last week.  So sad too, because I normally read about a book a day.  *Here is to praying my reading focus will return soon*  

Well... Okay, those of you that I'm friends with on FB probably saw my post last week and are still wondering what book it was about.  And for those of you who I'm not friends with or who didn't see it....

 I did read this one other book that is absolutely fantastic.  BUT... I can't tell you what it was or even who it's by because it's not out yet... and I think she's hoping for a spring release (but I'm not quite sure). 
I will say this though... it was fantastic.  So fantastic when I read the last sentence and then saw The End.. I actually said (out loud, to my kindle, at 2am) That Bitch! 
Just wait... when the time comes (or I should say when the book releases) I'll make sure to tell y'all about it. 

So that really is it... Unless you want to know what I'm reading right now... at this very moment...
and even if you don't I'm going to share anyway... because I am really enjoying it so far and even though I'll tell you exactly how I felt about it next week... I'd still like to share a little bit now... because so far... it's that good. 

A Love of Vengeance (Wanted Men #1) by Nancy Haviland

I may only be 27% in... but Gabriel is so deliciously alpha.  

Check this one out and if you finish before next wednesday.. shoot me an email at and tell me what you thought and we'll talk... You may just end up featured on the review for this book next week ;) 

Happy Reading Friends!  I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

October Reads & Recommendations

Since I'm just starting this today and because I read some pretty amazing books in the month of October... instead of a weekly post, you're going to get my October Recommendations.

These recommendations were all 4 or 5 star reads for me and listed in the order I read them.

All Lined Up  by Cora Carmack

AWESOME book.  I get in these moods where I want a fabulous New Adult Novel... especially with an athlete.  Cora is a star when it comes to these and All Lined Up is definitely a game winning Touch Down worthy of a massive celebration.  

Perfect character building with just enough drama and angst to keep you on the edge of your seat.  

Dallas and Carson kept me engrossed in their beautiful love story.  I'm definitely looking forward to Silas in All Broke Down!

Definite Recommend!

Another AWESOME read!  This was my first read by Julie Cross and I have to say it definitely won't be my last.  Obviously I'm all over these sports reads but this one was a definite Home Run!

The characters were perfectly built, the chemistry was absolute perfection, and the relationships all around were realistic. 

Annie was amazing all on her own... her humor kept me in stitches!  Add in Brody and you have an absolute perfect YA/NA crossover!  Just keep in mind these characters are still pretty young and make some stupid decisions ;)

Definite Recommend! 

Stupid Girl  by Cindy Miles

I'm seriously a sucker for New Adult Sports Romances... and apparently I like Baseball players (although, I always thought it was Football players lol) because here is another Home Run for y'all! 

Stupid Girl was a sweet little read about two very broken characters who are able to find happiness in each other.  They were able to over come fears and move forward toward everlasting love.  

Cindy Miles takes you on a journey with Olivia and Brax that leaves you wishing for even more of their story.  I'm already looking forward to Kane and Harper in Stupid Boy!


 One Night Stand by Parker Kincade

Alpha Male Alert!!!!  
Joe Sterling... sigh... I really don't need to say anything else lol.  

I have to admit there really wasn't anything spectacular about One Night Stand other than it kept
me highly engrossed... it was more on the erotic side than contemporary.  But it did still have a decent little story line going on.  

Sometimes we just need that perfect Alpha Male with a touch of insta-love and this was definitely a great one for that! 

I'm already salivating for the men of The Martin Family....Amanda has some seriously hot brothers who all have their own books! 


Spring Training  by Parker Kincade

I may have developed a little crush on the writing style that is Parker Kincade... and I'm starting to question my obsession with ball players ;) 

Spring Training was another cute little read with a laid back alpha male (who is hotter than you know what).  Just like One Night Stand, it has it's little insta-love connection which seemed to work perfectly for these characters and this story.  

Garrett and Jess may not have the easiest road to an HEA but they definitely get there in ways that had me happy and frustrated all at the same time. 


Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin

Refreshing, refreshing, refreshing!!!!  

Have you ever wondered what happened to all the normal book boyfriends?  You know, the ones who haven't bedded every beautiful woman out there?  The ones who have been in relationships and know how to treat their woman without being too overbearing for the heroine who needs that extra space? 

Yeah?  Well... here is a book for you!  

Clementine has some obsticles to overcome and Gavin... well Gavin is just the perfect man to help her through it all.  

I couldn't seem to force myself to put this book down. 

Definite Recommend! 

Her Purrfect Match by Milly Taiden 

I can't have a month without one of my hot shifters! (And to my girls who know my dirty little secret, which isn't so secret... it's not a menage lol)

I LOVE Milly Taiden's books... they're short, they come packed full of hot Alpha Male, and her heroines are always beautiful in that normal curvy way with a sense of humor I can't resist!

Her Purrfect Match is the 3rd book in the Paranormal Dating Agency and I have to say it's even better than the first two... but then again there is something awfully intriguing about a man who can not only turn into a lion but who is this grumpy loner that begins to smile because of his absolutely adorable mate!

Definite Recommend (ONLY if you like Paranormal)

There are my 4 and 5 star reads for the Month of October!  Starting next week, I will be posting weekly reads... it will be all the books (available for purchase only) I read the week before and my thoughts on them!  

I hope you have a fantastic week!

Happy Reading!

I'm Back!

HI *waves*

I'd like to take the time to thank all of you who have continuously checked this blog for my return... I'd especially like to thank those of you who have messaged me asking if I planned to return and giving me sweet words of understanding (for my much needed time off) and beautiful words of encouragement.  I'm sorry it took so long, but that urge just wasn't there... not that I haven't read some AMAZING books, because I have... but that urge to sit down and write out my feelings was just... gone.  No matter how much I loved the book or how much I wanted to share it with you... I just couldn't find that urge... and I truly believe that if that desire to do it isn't there, it won't be well received.  So... even though it's been over a year.....Thank you for all of your understanding and support... I can't even begin to express how much it has meant to me! 

Obviously, it's been forever since I've had that driving urge to write a blog post with what I've read and what I recommend... BUT, I've got it back.  YAY!  I want to take things slow as far as reviews/blogging goes because it's been a while and I don't want to overwhelm myself and end up burned out again.  I also want to do things differently in hopes that I can emotionally get back to the basics - the reason WHY I wanted to even start a blog.  It's all about the books and recommending those books to my fellow book lovers.

So.... here's my plan.

Instead of daily posts with a review for only 1 book, I'm going to do weekly posts with all the books I read that week.  The reviews will be short... maybe a paragraph (or two depending how much I need to chat about it) and I will also say whether I recommend it or not.  I'll see how this works out for me for a few months and either continue on or reevaluate how I want to do things with Lori's Book Blog.  For now, Lori's Book Blog will be review only... and only reviews on books that I've purchased via Amazon, simply because it looked good and I wanted to read it.  There won't be any author spotlights,  release day blitz, cover reveals, blog tours, or anything like that (For now at least).... it will strictly be Reviews/Recommendations on books that I have found myself or have been recommended to me.

So let me know what you think too... whether or not you like the weekly posts with a few books and short reviews or if you'd rather see more... but keep in mind I want to keep this strictly review only for now!


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dear Author

It’s been a while since I’ve actively done anything with Lori’s Book Blog but I’ve decided to revisit because there are some things I need to express.  I’ve done a lot of thinking about the books that I have recently read, and I have to say that I feel like there are some things that I need to get off my chest.  So I felt the best way to do that would be to write a “Dear Author” letter to express my feelings on some of the latest trends in today’s books as well as give some basic advice I feel every author would benefit from receiving.  

I may catch a lot of backlash for this and that’s okay, but these are my opinions and my opinions alone.  I do feel like these are concerns a lot of the reading community has as well based on reviews I’ve read or discussions I’ve had with other readers. 

Dear Author,
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the work and effort you all put into your work.  It serves an amazing form of entertainment that helps me escape from everyday life as I get lost in your characters and your stories.  However, there seem to be a lot of “trends” lately that have become almost the norm.   I feel like it’s important to address these “trends” because quite frankly, they’re taking away from my reading experience.   There are 3 very important tools every author should use before publishing their books.  It’s beneficial to you as the author to publish your very best possible work because it will help further your writing career.  Readers will appreciate these things and will come back for more of your stories in the long run:
1)    Find a decent beta reader (or a few).  In case you don’t know what a beta reader is or does… it is someone who reads your story after your first draft.  They help you find plot holes or find things that may be necessary to add to the story so your readers will get a better grasp of not only the story itself, but of the characters.  They are specifically there to help you put out the best possible book you can.  If the beta reader is doing their job it can help make your 2 star read become a 4 star read.  My biggest advice when it comes to choosing your beta readers is to take your time to find those that not only work well with you, but who are not afraid to tell you when something doesn’t work.  I would caution against only using close friends and/or fans as they may not want to hurt your feelings or don’t want to see what others would see as potential problems.  Listen to their advice, you don’t have to do entire scene changes or anything drastic but maybe something as small as an extra line or even as small as one word, could make a huge difference. This may take a few books before you find your perfect team, but trust me… it will be more than worth it for you.  I have a lot of experience beta reading, I’m also a part of a great beta team so if you need good beta readers, I can recommend some or you can ask other authors who they use or recommend. You’ll know when you’ve found your team… you’ll see it, not only in your work, but also in how your fans respond to your work. 
2)   Editing your book is a MUST.  There are tons of great editors out there who will find your spelling, punctuation, and all other grammatical mistakes.  If you can’t afford to hire a reputable editor at least find someone who can go over your document and help out as best as they can.   Spell check is also a useful tool, don’t rely on it as it doesn’t always know the way you’re using a word… (ex ~ it could change “there” to “their” or “your” to “you’re”).  I am not entirely bothered by editing mistakes because of my experience with unedited manuscripts… so I’ve learned to over look a lot, but this is not the case for most readers.  Unfortunately, the past few months I’ve read quite a few books where the editing was completely nonexistent and I ended up spending more time trying to figure out what was supposed to be said than I did actually enjoying the story (commas can definitely change how a sentence reads).  Bad or no editing can ruin the experience for the reader which will only hurt you as the author.
3)   ALWAYS do your research and check for consistency.  Details are key, whether it’s writing about a specific place, life changing events, a medical condition, a career,  a specific dialect, or even a specific type of food… whatever it is… if it is not something you are intimately informed about make sure you not only do your research, but double and triple check it.  After you’ve triple checked, try and find an actual person to confirm your research with… whether it’s a fan of yours who is from the south and can translate how to say a certain phrase or you make contacts at the local police department where your story is taking place.   As much as we all depend on Google this day and age… it is not always correct.  This includes international authors who are writing about a specific country… make sure your facts about that country are correct.  Sometimes, something small as a way a phrase is used differently in different countries can take away from the story you’re telling.  (This also refers to beta readers and editors… if you are not from the U.S. but are writing about it… find an American beta reader and an editor that can Americanize your book for you.  Same goes for other countries.)

“Trends” that have become so normal lately, that readers feel they need to read reviews with spoilers in order to make sure it really is something they would enjoy:

1)    The Alpha Male.  (This is only regarding contemporary romance books.)  Now I will be the first to admit that I love a good alpha male.  I’m married to alpha male so I can compare and swoon all at the same time.  However, it seems that some authors are trying to “Out Alpha” other authors and I have to say that this is not working the way they want it to.  See, there is a fine line between an alpha male and abuse (in this case I am not expressing my opinion but speaking from experience).  A true alpha male loves his woman and would do his absolute best to never hurt her… this doesn’t mean that he won’t say something that comes off as cruel or hurt her feelings (Because believe me, you take the bad along with the good when it comes to alpha men), but his ultimate goal is to keep his woman happy.  This is why most of us readers find the alpha male so incredibly sexy in contemporary romance novels.  There are times when crossing that line works… by this I mean dark romance reads, captor/captive type romance reads, sometimes even sadism and masochism BDSM type reads.  There are many of them where the story line takes the characters to a place where that line is crossed… which, when done right works well for that particular story line.
2)    Cheating in books.   **Now before you continue let me be clear and say that I’m referring to a committed relationship between a hero and heroine where actual physical cheating occurs… let me also be clear and say this works differently (at least to me and most of my fellow reading friends) in standalone novels vs. a series that follows the same characters for more than one book.**  Okay this is not only a tough one but also a controversial one, because it realistically can come down to the readers personal preference.    Now, I’ll be the first to say that I HATE cheating in books but I’m not going to say that it can’t work in your story… and yes I mean, when done a certain way it can even work for me.  However… if you release a stand-alone novel that take us through a beautiful journey of the hero and heroine falling in love and in a committed relationship and then he or she cheats as the climax of the story... You’ve lost me… totally, 100% lost any interest.  When you use something like cheating in a book, it’s important to take the time to redeem the character.  It shouldn’t be… she took him back because she just didn’t want to be without him or he took her back because he’s always loved her and can forget this one mistake.  They should delve into the reason why it happened and how it’s being fixed.  You need to show us as readers that he or she will not cheat again which takes more than a few chapters at the end of the book.  I’m not saying it has to be so neatly wrapped up every little detail was hashed out, but at the same time if you’re cheated on… it’s a big deal and takes time and effort to move past it.  If you plan to write a few books revolving around the same characters and cheating is part of the story line… always take the time to end each book with a level of hope that things can be worked out (I’m not talking about cliffhangers here, what I’m referring to is if your heroine walks in on your hero in bed with another woman and you end the story there?  Chances are, you’re going to lose some readers… so add an extra chapter and it can be as long or as short as one paragraph but give us at least a tiny pinch of hope).  We want to believe they have an everlasting love when we read those last few words.  Depending on the number of books you write in the series revolving around those same characters try to have any and all cheating take place prior to the final book, you want that last book to show the reader how much the characters have grown and how they worked out their problems so we can see and feel that everlasting love.   (This is another place a good beta reader will be able to help you, if your story is taking you to the cheating road, find a reader that hates it and let them read it, see if it works for them or if there is something more you can add to make the actual cheating take a backseat to working the relationship out).
3)   Playboys/Bad boys… Here is one that has become extremely popular.  I don’t mind a playboy, bad boy, or even a man whore… because, let’s face it sometimes guys are just guys and do stuff for the sake of doing it. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s more than entertaining to watch a playboy trip over his feet trying to win the girl.    However, when you tell me that the Hero “Does NOT do love OR relationships” I need a reason.  It doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it has to be something I can figure out from his past.  Maybe he was raised in foster care, maybe he had a mom that took off on him, or an ex that totally shattered his heart.  If I read a book where the hero has a group of amazing friends, has never been in a relationship, and comes from a solid loving family but still says no to relationships and love, I don’t see him as a play boy, badboy, or man whore… I see him as a complete douchebag.  I’m not entirely sure when being a man whore just for the sake of being a man whore became sexy… now if he has a past and that past leads us to believe that he doesn’t understand love then it can turn it around… we’re more apt to say “aww, I want to fix him” if he has a reason for saying no to relationships.   If he is just a guy being a guy and hasn’t ever had a relationship… instead of saying he doesn’t do them, have him say he just hasn’t found the right girl yet or he’s sowing his wild oats until the woman destined for him comes along.  You want your readers to want to see him overcome his past and find that one special woman that he can love unconditionally.  You want them to root for him to find the beautiful happily ever after he deserves.
4)   Heroines…  We all love a good heroine, but lately some of our heroines have come off as either doormats, have no personality, are crazy to the point of being psychotic, or are just too perfect to be believable.  There are numerous ways to make your heroine one everyone can love… make her funny, make her kind, make her strong.  She can be almost perfect, but she needs a reason why she’s almost perfect. However, in all reality she needs a few flaws so we as readers can connect with her, but still love her.  She can be incredibly shy or timid, but we want to see her break out of her shell in a positive way (and I don’t mean sexually, which is fun but we need more.).  She can be incredibly broken, but again, she needs to come back to herself in a positive way.  Sometimes heroines are made out to be stalkerish or downright crazy and while that can be entertaining, it can also take away from the story.  You want your readers to love your heroine, you want them to connect with her, and you want them to root for her to get the happily ever after she deserves by being worthy of the hero.  Crazy, mousy, whiny, and stupid women don’t deserve the perfect hero you created.
5)   Cliffhangers… Now I’m actually laughing while I write this because y’all probably think I’m going to say don’t do them or I hate them… but I’m not and I don’t.  Cliffhangers can be almost fun… BUT, you also have to be careful how you use it.  Always leave your readers wanting more.  Have them read that last word and think “nooo” but in a good way.  You almost want them to be cursing you while saying “Oh, she/he is good!”  You want them feeling almost rabid for your next book.  But I will caution you and say… if you plan to write a series that contain cliffhanger endings – seriously think about making sure your readers are aware that your book is a part of a series. 

There are many tools out there to help you create an amazing story every reader can love.  Write your story with fresh ideas and memorable characters.  Depending on how you write your stories there is always someone out there willing to help and it is extremely beneficial for you to take advantage of any and all help.  The bottom line is… this is your story and the beauty in that is you can write whatever you want to write, but if your goal is to publish, you want it to be a story that people will not only talk about but love.  Use the tools you know about and ask other authors, bloggers, literary agents, publicists, or even readers for any recommendations regarding beta reading, editing, research, or even brainstorming.  Just remember, taking advantage of the help you can receive to help make your manuscript absolutely perfect… can put your name out there for not only readers and fans, but for traditional publishers as well!