Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mine to Hold

In Mine to Hold, the third book in the Mine series, by Cynthia Eden, Claire has been looking over her shoulder, scared, and running from her past for years.  As a 16 year old, her obssessed, ex boyfriend killed her parents then tried to kill her.  Even though he's been in jail since, his father has never forgiven Claire, claiming the killings were actually her fault and she'd ruined his son's life.  No the father, a former senator, will stop at nothing to ruin Claire's life.

When Claire, who trusts no one, needs help and a job, she turns to Noah.  We met Noah in Mine to Keep...he is a powerful man with a lot of dark secrets he keeps well hidden.  As much as a times he makes Claire nervous, she is drawn to him and feeling things she hasn't felt in years.  Noah is not a man who keeps a woman.  But with Claire, even before they get very far, he knows she is different.  She is more.  He wants her like he's wanted nothing before.

Noah gives Claire a job, but he also gives Claire himself and the protection he can offer.  He will do anything to keep Claire safe.  Noah carries with him issues from his past...a trauma in his childhood has scarred him emotionally.  Claire is obviously still traumatized and running scared.  When she can no longer run, will Noah be enough to protect her?  Will Noah be enough for her?  Or will the darkness that they both feel inside themselves and each scare Claire more than the idea of being with Noah?

As the danger gets closer and the mystery is no closer to being solved, Claire is tempted to run again...but it might be too late.

I loved this third book in the series by Cynthia Eden!!  Mine To Hold gives us very fast paced, thrilling romantic suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Claire and Noah are both people that you can really feel for, hope for, and like.  They are both strong, Claire is much stronger than she even thinks sometimes.  As much as Noah is a protector, so in a way is Claire.  She feels badly that anyone might get hurt, or even killed, because of the people after her, that she wants to just leave Noah.  I admit to finding this a very annoying characteristic though, she is not the owner of the problems, it is the person creating the problems that owns them, and I really wanted her to see this.  But Claire has lived with this for so long now, it's second nature to her.

Cynthia gives us a perfect blend of suspense, romance, and lots of sizzle in Mine to Hold.  She gives us lots of plot twists, you think you know, then you don't, then wow, surprise!  I really like how Cynthia brings in the characters from the other Mine books, especially Trace, Skye, and Drake.  I would love to know a lot more about Drake, he is a very powerful presence in Mine to Hold.

I'd highly recommend this book and the series to any romantic suspense reader, Cynthia brings all the elements of a romantic suspense together in a story that you will love!

5/5 stars

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wilde For Her

In Wilde For Her by Tonya Burrows, Cam Wilde has loved Eva for years…even if she doesn’t know it. First she was his partner when he was a homicide detective. Now that Cam is working for he and his brother’s security firm Wilde Security, he and Eva are no longer partners, but he has no intention of jeopardizing their friendship with a declaration of love. Little does he know that Eva has secretly always wanted Cam as more than a friend too.Read More

5/5 stars!

Take Me, Cowboy

In Take Me, Cowboy by Jane Porter, when Jenny's fiance Charlie leaves her at the altar, she is humiliated and hurt.  She left Marietta to make something of herself, to get beyond her family's poor roots.  She loves her family but no longer wants to be "one of those Wright girls".  Now she is back and the wedding is off.

When Colton sees Jenny walking away in her wedding dress he is awestruck and drawn to her.  Jenny has always loved Colton, little did he know.  As a friend of his sister, Jenny spent a lot of time around him growing up.  Colton left Marietta too though, and they are both only back for a short time.  But they keep running into each other and end up spending some good times together.  Jenny's feelings for Colton never really went away and now she feels even more for him.  Colton is feeling a lot for Jenny too, but is she ready to move on from Charlie?  Can they trust their hearts and find a way to make a future together?  Or will they go their separate ways again?

Take Me, Cowboy is the 4th book in The Cooper Mountain Rodeo series and we've heard bits and pieces about Jenny in the other books, so it was great to read her story!  Jane will draw you into Jenny's life quickly, and her descriptions of small town Marietta and the people there will take you there.  I really liked Jenny...she's worked hard to be where she is, but at the same time she's lost part of herself.  Coming back to Marietta and seeing Colton again just might be what she needs.  Colton is a strong, really likeable guy!  Once he sees Jenny that's it for him, he's in love, but at the same time worried about being the rebound guy.

Jenny and Colton have a fast paced romance, but it works well because they are not complete strangers to each other.  I really liked how Jane brings in all the family dynamics, they really help us understand Jenny and Colton.

Take Me, Cowboy by Jane Porter is a fun, romantic novella with characters you can relate to.  Although it is part of The Cooper Mountain Rodeo series, it can definitely be read as a stand alone.  I recommend reading the whole series though because they are all fantastic!

Highly recommended to any romance reader.

5/5 stars

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Her Rocky Mountain Guardian

In Her Rocky Mountain Guardian by Margery Scott, Jennie wakes up in a hospital after a car accident in Eagle Ridge with complete amnesia.  She has no idea who she is, what she was doing, or who this handsome man is at her bedside.

Brae is the fiance Jennie left behind 4 years ago when she fled Eagle Ridge with no explanation.  Brae thought she loved him, and he was picking up the pieces for a long time after she left.  Now she is back, rescued by Brae from the icy confines of her car...but she doesn't know why she's back.  It soon becomes obvious that someone is after Jennie...and with no memory and no place to go, Brae offers to let her stay in the guest room at the ranch house he shares with his sister (who used to be Jennie's best friend before she ran off).  As the town sheriff, Brae is determined to protect her.  As her former fiance, he still has a lot of feelings for Jennie.  Jennie can't remember Brae, but her body seems to!

There are so many unanswered questions for both Brae and Jennie as they explore the feelings they have for each other.  There is also still danger...someone is determined to get what he thinks Jennie has at any cost.

Will the stalker be found before he gets to Jennie again?  Will she remember what she was running from in time?  

I never really did understand Jennie and why she left like she did.  Her explanation didn't really cut it for me, but Brae was ok with it and in the end that's what matters!  I would have liked more detail about what went on in her life after she left to lead her to what was happening today.  I felt like there were a lot of loose ends where Jennie was concerned.  Brae is a very forgiving man if he's willing to risk his heart on Jennie again!  Will Brae and Jennie pick up where they left off?  Can they?  When Jennie's memory eventually returns - what then?  Will she be ready to run away again, leaving Brae and Eagle Ridge yet again with no looking back?

I really liked the general plot of Her Rocky Mountain Guardian, from the setting to the characters.  Margery gives us a fast paced, fun to read romantic suspense.  It was easy to pick this book up and get lost in it...trying to figure everything out as Jennie tries to remember her life!  I would have been happy to have the story longer if we could have had more details and depth to the characters, especially Jennie.

I would recommend this to any romantic suspense reader.

To Love and Serve

To Love and Serve by Caridad Pineiro was an action packed suspense that will make you a bit scared to go outside when it's dark!!  Diana is a strong heroine, and as an FBI agent she just wants to do the right thing and protect others.  She has had a rough time since her father died in the line of duty when she was a teenager.  She's never felt the same about life...and she feels a darkness inside of her.  When a raid goes bad and Diana is contaminated with vampire blood from Ryder, the vampire trying to save her, her life can never be the same.  She's now on forced leave from the FBI, in a relationship with Ryder, and inside she's slowly dying.  For now she is surviving thanks to the treatments from Ryder's keeper.  But if Diana doesn't turn soon, she will die a very human death.

Ryder loves Diana more than he thought it was possible to.  Since he's been with Diana he's been more and more involved in the vampire community.  When a killer starts targeting vampires, Ryder is drawn into the investigation as part of the vampire council.  Wanting to protect Diana he does not tell her about it.  But soon she will be drawn in anyway.  As the humans, vampires, and slayers try to track down a killer, Diana is getting sicker and sicker...the treatments don't work for as long.  She doesn't want to be without Ryder, but she's scared of the darkness in her and what turning will bring out in her.  She's terrified of losing Ryder.

Ryder wants to spend forever with Diana, but it has to be her decision.

Caridad gives us another great paranormal romance with To Love and Serve.  She manages to blend well the paranormal aspect and vampires with everyday issues everyone faces...uncertainty, love, and family relationships.  Caridad draws the plot out well along with a few surprises so you're never bored!  Ryder and Diana are both very strong characters who work so well together.  The romance and mystery probably take up equal parts of the story because they are interwoven so well together, and Ryder and Diana are key players in both.

I was a little confused at times and would have liked a bit more background on certain events or people in To Love and Serve, but overall found it to be an intense, thrilling paranormal romance.  To Love and Serve has loose connections to the first book in this series, For Love or Vengeance (which I highly recommend!), but the characters are very different and To Love and Serve can definitely be read as a stand alone book.

4/5 stars

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I'll Be Home For Christmas

In I'll Be Home For Christmas by Jessica Scott,  Jessica gives us a peek at military life through the eyes of both the deployed soldier, and the family left at home.

Vic is being deployed to Iraq again, and this time he has a really bad feeling about it.  Vic is the joker, always making others laugh.  This time he doesn't really feel like laughing...but he does anyway.  Nicole is Vic's wife.  She knows what to expect, but she is still lonely for him, worrying about him, and hoping he'll be home for Christmas.  In Iraq, Vic is torn between wanting to be home with his wife and not wanting to leave his team.  Nicole is really feeling the separation this time...she has her phone with her everywhere, longing for the phone calls to hear Vic's voice and assurance he's ok.  Some things Vic just doesn't want to talk about, even if Nicole wants him to talk to her.  He is terrified of losing her and she is terrified he won't come back.

I'll Be Home For Christmas is a novella in a series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone.  Jessica brings to life the horrors of war...the sorrows, loneliness, and coping mechanisms (Vic learns to sew...).  Jessica also brings to life a wide range of emotions that will leave the reader really feeling like you know Vic and Nicole.  Not necessarily their experiences, but the feelings.  Vic and Nicole are both strong people who you can't help but admire and respect.  I really liked reading about Vic and Nicole also because they were already a well established couple.

I really, really love I'll Be Home For Christmas.  Jessica will make you feel a myriad of emotions from humor, to sadness, to love and hope.  This is one of those books that will make you stop and think about what's really important.  Jessica does this with her powerful, realistic, heart felt writing.

I'd highly recommend this to any romance lover, especially military romance readers.  You won't be disappointed!

5/5 stars

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wilde Nights in Paradise

In Wilde Nights in Paradise by Tonya Burrows you're in for a wild time!

Jude left behind Libby, the only woman he's really loved 8 years ago.  Now he is a former Marine, working with his brothers for their company Wilde Securities.  The last person he expects to come walking through the door for his help is Libby's father.

Libby is now an Assistant District Attorney.  She's good at her job and takes things seriously.  So when a stalker starts getting out of hand she talks to her father about it.  Little does Libby realize he decides to take matters into his own hands by hiring Jude and his brothers to find the stalker.  He wants Libby protected, and is sure that Jude is the only man who can do the job.

Libby is stunned when she realizes what her father has done and who he has hired to be her bodyguard.  She has no intention of letting that happen!  But things quickly take a turn for the worse and to stay safe, Libby allows Jude to take her to hide out in Key West.  In that tropical paradise, Libby realizes she is still not over Jude.  She thought she'd kept her heart well guarded, but being around Jude again soon puts that theory to rest!  Libby and Jude are as attracted to each other as ever, but Libby is determined not to fall for him again after the way things ended between them - no matter how much she wants him.

Jude has always felt he was not good enough for Libby.  That doesn't stop him from feeling the way he does about her though...and time hasn't changed that.  When Libby's request for just one night together turns into a tropical affair while they hide out from a stalker, can they leave it at that?  Not everyone gets a second chance at love...if they can stop the danger, can they keep each other?

I loved Wilde Nights in Paradise by Tonya Burrows!  Jude and Libby were fun to get to know, people you could really feel for when their story started to come out.  Jude has always been the carefree, trouble maker brother ... but in Wilde Nights in Paradise we come to see a deeper side of Jude he keeps well hidden.  We feel his sorrows and pain that he doesn't let everyone see.  Libby is a strong, independent woman who we can all admire.  It seems like she deals with whatever comes her way, doesn't dwell on the bad but moves on.  Or in the case of Jude, she thinks she's moved on, but has she really?

Tonya kept me really engaged in Wilde Nights in Paradise.  The second chance romance between Jude and Libby and their histories both as a couple and individually were a bigger focus of Wilde Nights in Paradise than the mystery/suspense, but the mystery is definitely there and I sure didn't guess the who of it!

I feel Wilde Nights in Paradise is a strong introduction to a series I will definitely be reading all the way through!  I love the setting Tonya used in Wilde Nights, I felt like I could have been lying there by the pool in paradise too!

I'd recommend this to any romance reader who likes some suspense in with all the other action!

Rodeo Sweethearts

Rodeo Sweethearts by Lilian Darcy gives us a quick glimpse into the lives of Rob and Melinda, Jamie's parents from Marry Me, Cowboy.  The story line occurs simultaneously with some of the events in Marry Me, Cowboy, and it's really neat to read it like that, from Melinda and Rob's point of view this time.

In Marry Me, Cowboy, also by Lilian Darcy, we see a bit of Jamie's parents.  We learn that his mother is a 'bit vague' as he explains to Tegan, and reading about her it is obvious...but we never find out why.  Rodeo Sweethearts gives us a much more detailed look at Melinda and Rob, who they are, what they've gone through and how they've coped.  They are keeping a big secret, one that's surprisingly never come to light in the small town of Marieta.  Rob is tired of keeping the secret, and Melinda is tired of the way she is seen by others and treated by Rob...but is it enough to make her reveal her secret?

Rodeo Sweethearts is a wonderful addition to Marry Me, Cowboy!  Lilian packs a lot of feeling into this very short story, and I came away with a much better understanding of both Rob and Marilyn.  I love them both!  It was a lot of fun to reminisce with them, and at the same time so heart warming to see how much they still love each other after all this time.

If you've read Marry Me, Cowboy you must read Rodeo Sweethearts by Lilian Darcy!

Sweet Expectations

In Sweet Expectations by Mary Ellen Taylor, after a fast paced, financially rewarding career in finance comes to an end, Daisy is back in her hometown, back at the family business.  The family bakery is suffering in the economy too, and Daisy is determined to help revive it.

Daisy is in for a lot of surprises in Sweet Expectations...between renovations of the bakery, finding a long lost recipe box and the meaning behind it, and trying to rebuild a relationship with her ex boyfriend Gordon, Daisy doesn't think much else could possibly happen!  But it does and Daisy is going to have to deal with not only the expected, but the unexpected.  With her entire future completely up in the air, Daisy is going to have to accept what's happening and be strong.

Daisy might come across as a bit rigid at times, but she's soon going to realize life doesn't always go as you planned, and Daisy turns out to be amazingly (although sometimes grudgingly!) flexible.

I loved the surprises and the relationships - both past and present - that Mary Ellen Taylor gives us in Sweet Expectations.  You see what you expect isn't always what you'll get...sometimes it's sweeter.  Daisy was a fun character who didn't always do what you thought she'd do, she was really fun to read about.  She has a lot of depth to her character...and we could really see how long past events affect who she is today.

I don't usually like reading books written in the first person POV, but I found it fascinating and so interesting how Mary Ellen Taylor manages to switch from Daisy's first person POV to her sister Rachel's third person POV so effortlessly!  I enjoyed reading Rachel's thoughts and loved following her story too.  There are a lot of interesting secondary characters in Sweet Expectations.  Jean Paul, the baker, really added a lot of spice to Sweet Expectations and if there is a follow up book I'd love to read more about him!  He sounds like someone I wouldn't mind spending more time with!!

After I read Sweet Expectations I found out it is the second book in The Union Street  Bakery series.  Sweet Expectations can definitely be read as a stand alone book...I'm just hoping there is another one!

I'd recommend Sweet Expectations to any romance's exciting, funny, romantic and hopeful.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Nice Girl to Love

Violet Dukes gives us 3 great stories to love in Nice Girl to Love: The Complete Collection!

In Resisting the Bad Boy, we meet funny, easy going Abby who has a heart of gold.  Sparks fly when she meets her best friend Brian's brother Connor, but Connor hides his good self, instead being the 'bad boy'.  He limits his relationships to one month - no matter what.  When Connor and Abby hook up, is she destined to have her heart broken?  Will one month be enough for either of them?  Connor thinks he needs to set Abby free, but Abby just might not want to be free of him.

In Falling For The Good Guy, Brian is finally seeing what has been in front of him the whole time.  Abby is his best friend and has been a continuous support for Brian and his daughter ever since his wife died.  Abby is still trying to get over Connor...but she'll only wait so long and Brian intends to be there when her self imposed time frame is up.  Can Brian convince Abby to give him a chance?  Does Abby want to risk their friendship for the possibility of something more?

In Choosing The Right Man, Abby is going to have to make a choice between the two brothers.  They both want her.  She loves them both, but who is she in love with?  Connor and Brian both want the chance to show Abby how each of them is the right one for her, and they come up with a unique solution so that they can each spend time with her.  It is an emotional, overwhelming time for Abby and no matter who she gives her heart to, someone will be hurt.  But Abby is going to have to decide with her heart what is best for her.

I love the Nice Girl to Love series!  Violet gives us characters and a plot line that will draw you in quickly and effortlessly.  Going from one brother to the next is not something I'm really into and was curious how Violet would play this out, and she does a remarkable job of it, writing so well that there is absolutely no 'ew' factor or comparisons.  All of the scenes from funny, sad, to sexy are written flawlessly and worked so well into the story.

The Nice Girl to Love series by Violet Duke is a fast paced, fun romantic read.  There are serious heart wrenching moments too and that just makes the plot line all the more fulfilling for any romance reader.  You'll have to read the series to see what happens with Abby and the brothers, but you will love it, regardless of who you are hoping Abby will have her happily ever after with.  You will be left sated but looking very much forward to Violet's next book.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Promise Me, Cowboy

In Promise Me, Cowboy by C. J. Carmichael, Sage has left the rodeo circuit behind and is happy with her chocolate making shop.  The last person she expects to walk through the doors of her shop is Dawson...the man she fell for 5 years ago, and the man who happened to not mention he was married at the time.

Neither of them have forgotten the other.  Sage still feels the horror, and as much as she doesn't want to, she still feels the attraction.  With Dawson in town for the rodeo, all she can do is hope to avoid him until he leaves again.  But Dawson has no intention of leaving this time...he has a daughter who needs a stable home and he's found a new career...right in Marietta, living in the house Sage has coveted.

Dawson is ready to settle down, and Sage is someone he's never quite gotten over.  Is there any chance for them this time around?  Can Sage trust Dawson with her heart again?

Promise Me, Cowboy is a quick, entertaining romance!  We get to know Sage quickly, and are privy to her inner thoughts and secrets.  I really liked Sage, she managed to move on from her time with Dawson, and  she didn't dwell on how things turned out.  Until she sees him again...

It would be so easy to judge Dawson on our initial introduction to him, but Promise Me, Cowboy reminds the reader that things aren't always what they appear on the surface, and it is worth the time and effort to dig a little deeper.  In her embarrassment over the situation, Sage was quick to judge and run from Dawson.  From my understanding of Sage in Promise Me, Cowboy, this is not how Sage usually reacts to things that happen!

Everyone does make mistakes, and what ever the reason for them, Promise Me, Cowboy gives us hope that depite this, there is hope for love.  C. J. not only takes us into Sage and Dawson's relationship, we get little glimpses of the relationship between Sage and her father, her parents' relationship, Dawson's relationship with his mother and others.  It was really great to be back in Marietta once again and get a look at what other characters from previous Cooper Mountain Rodeo books are up to well as hints of things to come.  C. J. gives us enough secrecy and intrigue that I really hope some of that is revisited in future books!

Promise Me, Cowboy is a sweet romance with some well developed characters that I'd recommend to any romance reader!

5/5 stars :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hot Mess

In Hot Mess by Lynn Raye Harris Georgie is no longer the teenager who threw herself at Sam. She is now an English professor working for the military, she’s been married and divorced, and lives far enough away from her family so that they can’t interfere with her life on a daily basis.

Sam has been Georgie’s brother’s best friend forever. He knew Georgie had a crush on him when she was younger, something that no matter what he felt he wasn’t going to act on since she was his best friend’s little sister. Read More

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Killing Game

The Killing Game by Toni Anderson will take you on a wild adventure from Afghanistan to England, thrill you and keep you guessing!

One of Dr. Axelle's big jobs as a wildlife biologist working for the Conservative Trust is studying the endangered Snow Leopards in Afghanistan.  When Axelle discovers something is going on with her Snow Leopards that she tagged and is tracking, she heads back to the wild mountains of Hindu Kush to find out exactly what.  Who she thinks is a poacher after her snow leopards soon turns into much more with the appearance of Ty Dempsey, one of Britain's SAS's troops, and his men.  Ty is hunting his own 'prey' - a former Russian special forces operative turned terrorist who is supposed to have died a decade ago.  In these frozen, deserted mountains, they soon discover the poacher and terrorist are one and the same...but what is he really after?  No one can know for sure...because soon Axelle is the one being hunted.  Before long, Ty finds himself not only hunting a terrorist, but fighting his attraction to the most stubborn woman he's known.  At the same time, he's fighting to save Axelle from the enemy, he's on the verge of risking everything for her.  Will he be successful in his pursuits?

The who, what and why of The Killing Game will take you to unexpected places, and Toni will mix the past and present smoothly from continent to continent.  I could tell that a lot of research must have gone into The Killing Game...Toni's descriptive of locations will take you there and have you breathing that cold air in the Hindu Kish then listening to the crowds in London.  Axelle and Ty are both very strong, independent people.  Although they are different, in so many ways they are alike also and it was fun being along with them as they got to know each other.  Axelle took a few more pages to grow on me, but she sure did and I admired her loyalty.  Both Ty and Axelle have had their difficult pasts, and they've both found a way that works for them to move on.  There are also some strong secondary characters who I won't give away, but give The Killing Game so much more strength because of them.  These people, thanks to Toni's writing, give us so much insight into past events that have shaped them, hence the story, and make us feel so much more for them.  They enhance the plot, making you look at things a little differently each time.

I love Toni's writing and The Killing Game was such a great thrill!  Toni draws The Killing Game out very well.  You'll never be bored, but will be taken to an unexpected, thought provoking conclusion because stuff like this could happen in real life!
Toni draws The Killing Game out very well, taking you to an unexpected, but no less thrilling conclusion.

I would say the suspense/mystery of The Killing Game far over powers the romance, but the romance is definitely there...just taking a bit of a back seat while Axelle and Ty sort things out.  I'd recommend this to any romantic suspense reader looking for a unique, intricately woven story that will really touch you.

5/5 stars :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fatal Strike

In Fatal Strike by Shannon McKenna, Miles Davenport has spent the last few months isolated, camping in the woods. Surviving a psychic attack that not only put Miles into a coma, but when he woke up he discovered his senses were so enhanced if he didn’t get away from civilization he would go crazy. To overcome sensory overload, Miles creates an almost impenetrable mind shield.Read More

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Haunted Chemistry

In Haunted Chemistry by Lindsey R. Loucks Alexis unexpectedly meets up with her old lab partner as she is going to do laundry in the basement of her building. The same lab partner who inexplicably stood her up then never contacted her again. Alexis still has feelings for him, but has no desire to have her heart broken.

When strange things suddenly begin to happen in the laundry room cupboards and then her apartment cupboards, her and Ian are suddenly together trying to figure out what is going on! Something hauntingly evil seems to be after them, something they can't explain, and they won't have long to figure it out and save each other from ??? As this is happening, through their fear, Alexis discovers why Ian stood her up...but will they have the chance to try again?

Haunted Chemistry was a really quick, somewhat confusing read. To be honest the plot was difficult to follow and figure out, and I found this to be very distracting from the characters. I felt the story jumped around a bit too much, leaving too many unanswered questions.

I do feel if Haunted Chemistry was longer and the whole concept and relationship expanded on, it might be more than a 2 star rating.

2/5 stars

The Bridesmaid

In The Bridesmaid by Julia London, Kate is trying desperately to get across the country for her cousins wedding without crushing her bridesmaid dress...Joe is also trying to get across the country to start another job in another city.  Thanks to mother nature, cancelled flights, and a strike, Kate and Joe end up travelling together to Seattle by car, train and plane!  They set off on a hilarious journey and quickly get to know and like each other.  With Kate only in Seattle for a wedding and Joe moving there, is there any chance for a future between them?
I loved this novella by Julia London!  She had me laughing on the first page!  The Bridesmaid is a fun, romantic adventure with two great characters who have great chemistry between them.  Julia writes a great, fast paced novella that won't let you put it down!
Highly recommend!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Christmas at Angel Lake

Christmas at Angel Lake by Edie Ramer not only has a gorgeous cover, but it is another great romance by Edie!

Maddie is broke, homeless, single and pregnant.  She is on her way to stay at her sister's while she regroups, but instead thanks to a little kitten that comes out of no where in the snow, her car ends up in the ditch.  Maddie's car has come to a halt at the end of a driveway of a house that hasn't been lived in for 4 years.  Coincidence or fate?  When Alma, one of the caretakers of the house happens by and assumes Maddie is there to live in the house, Maddie doesn't correct her.  For 5 years Maddie and her son live in the old, Christmasy house in the town she has come to love.  Through the years Maddie has put aside money to give to the owner, as well as helped others in need, to give back what she's taken.

When Logan, who inherited the house from his Grandma, shows up and finds this stranger living in his house, before he can get angry and kick Maddie out, or worse, call the police, he finds himself intrigued and entertained by her.  Logan is a screenwriter who is getting over the loss of his 'dark queen' who left him for another man.  His intention was to hole up and try to write - alone.  But he agrees to let Maddie and her son stay, on one condition.  Maddie has to tell Logan a story each night...and Logan thinks Maddie just might be his new muse.

Logan has lost part of himself, not to mention his writing over the last few years, something he comes to realize clearer and clearer as he spends more time with Maddie.  He also feels an undeniable attraction to Maddie, something that Logan knows is a bad idea...Maddie is attracted to Logan also, but with her son in the house she needs to keep things under control.  For the last 5 years though, no man has made her feel the way Logan does.  Through her stories she has told him more about herself than most people, and she also makes him see himself through her stories.  But will Logan ever really be over his "dark queen"?  Can Maddie compete with her?  Does she want to, when it's not only her heart at stake but her son's too?

Interwoven throughout Christmas at Angel Lake is the story of Dog, who is searching for his human.  Dog's story and his emotions are just as heart stopping, if not more so, as Logan and Maddie's story.  I loved Dog, and as much as I wanted Maddie and Logan to work out, I really wanted Dog to find his human!

Edie Ramer has done it again with Christmas at Angel Lake!  She weaves a magical love story with just enough mix of reality and fairy tale to make it believable.  But who knows, maybe we all do have a fairy godmother, and maybe Dog's do think like that! :)  Edie's plots are always unique, but adding in the animals just makes it more so.

I loved Logan and Maddie, they were both great characters and watching them come together was fascinating!  The way they poked at each other, yet deep down understood each other made them real people.  Their life realities may be different, but inside they are more similar than they think.  They are both strong characters, but I honestly feel like Maddie is the stronger one in Christmas at Angel Lake.  This might be because she couldn't run and hide when the going got tough, whereas Logan really did want to hide out - but Maddie didn't give him a chance to!

I also loved Maddie's stories to Logan each night...a fun mix of children's stories and reality.  Both hers and his!

I easily lost myself in Christmas at Angel Lake and admit to staying up way to late reading it!  It is a light hearted romance with just enough drama to keep things spicy!  Christmas at Angel Lake is a story of love, dreams, hope and lots of laughter!  I love it when a book can make me laugh...because laughing is part of loving and living, which is what Logan is learning to do again too.

I highly recommend this and all of Edie's books!  This is book #2 of Edie's Rescued Hearts books, but it is a definite stand alone (but I'd highly recommend reading the first one too because it's just as great!!).

Thursday, October 3, 2013


I went into Unbound by Cara McKenna totally blind, didn’t read the blurb or even see the cover, so I had no idea at all what to expect! I loved, loved it!! Cara managed to pull me in as soon as I met Merry, and she kept me there, immersed in a fantastic story!

unboundSince Merry’s mother died a year ago, Merry has made some big life changes. But she also feels like she doesn’t know who she is anymore. To take time for herself, to celebrate herself, and to see where her mother was from, Merry takes a 3 week solo hiking holiday in Scotland. Read More

Through the Smoke

In Through the Smoke by Brenda Novak, Truman Stanhope, the Earl of Druridge, is searching for answers about the fire that scorched his house and took the life of his wife and her unborn child (of another man!).  His search leads him to Rachel, who he is sure knows more than she's telling about the fire.

Rachel is very conscious of her place in society and how things are perceived.  She does not want to do anything to hurt her young brother or her mother.  But when Lord Stanhope offers a Doctor's services for her dying mother in return for the answers to a few of his questions, Rachel can not say no.  Unknown to her, with this action, Rachel sets in motion a chain of events that will have the community ostracizing her, her business failing, and Rachel desiring a man she has no business desiring.

Lord Stanhope is not easily put off, and he is determined in his pursuit of answers...even when it seems everyone already assumes he is the guilty party.  Despite the gossip, he and Rachel feel more and more for each other as they see more of each other.  Rachel is everything his late wife was not.  Lord Stanhope is a man Rachel thought she could only ever dream about.

As the search for answers becomes more dangerous for both of them, and Lord Stanhope may have to resort to outside help, is their growing love for each other destined to never be realized?

Brenda does a fabulous job of writing about life as a young woman in England in the 1840's.  The 2013 woman in me wants to scream at the injustice of life as a woman then, but another part of me is proud of the strong, independent woman that Rachel is for that era.  Through the Smoke will take you right to small town England where you can smell the coal dust.  Brenda brings the characters to life, especially Rachel.  Both Rachel and Lord Stanhope come across as very genuine people, and despite the centuries of difference between then and now, the feelings the characters experience are ones that are timeless.

Through the Smoke will have you wondering how things could possible end up.  Brenda describes the class differences and expectations vividly, sometimes you will feel like you are right there in the pages with Rachel, Lord Stanhope and the mysteries surrounding them.  You can actually feel the disdain that Lord Stanhope's head housekeeper feels for Rachel.

I really found myself hoping that there could be a way for the Earl and the commoner to be together!

I don't read many historical romances, but with Through the Smoke Brenda kept me enchanted (and through very good writing annoyed about the oppression of women), and wondering if Lord Stanhope would ever find out the truth before it was too late.  I am very happy I took the chance on this historical romance!  I would recommend Through the Smoke to anyone who enjoys historical romance with suspense, great characters, and just enough heat between them!

4/5 stars

Mine to Keep

Mine to Keep by Cynthia Eden is book 2 in the Mine series.  In Mine to Keep we continue with Skye and Trace's story.  Skye and Trace have found each other again after 10 years apart.  They have a stong, unique bond that started when they first met in foster care.  They have both always cared deeply for the other, despite the separation.

Trace has taken Skye to a private tropical island as she tries to recover from being stalked, atacked, and being taken captive.  Now that he has Skye with him again, Trace has no intention of letting her go.  He will do anything to protect her.  Back in their 'real' world, Skye is moving in with Trace, and is putting a ring on her finger.  But he is still keeping so much of himself and his past from her, something Skye is not happy about.  She wants to know all of him, to love all of him.  Trace worries his dark side will drive her away.

When happenings from Trace's past catch up to them both and the one person he loves more than anyone is threatened, Trace will use all his resources to find the who, what and why.  It will be a fine balance for him between protecting Skye and smothering her.  He's going to have to risk opening up and being as honest with Skye as she is with him.  Will it be enough to keep them safe and catch a killer bent on revenge?  Trace has promised Skye forever...but can they both keep that promise?

Cynthia gives us a fast paced, intense romantic suspense with Mine to Keep.  You will either love or hate the characters.  Trace seems so dark, secretive, and dangerous...we are left guessing for a long time about him.  His borderline obsessive possesion of Skye was a little over the top...but as long as he was honest with Skye she seemed ok with it (more so than me, lol!!).  Trace is a very strong character, one you want on your side for sure!  Skye is much stronger than I think even Trace gives her credit for.  She wants to be with him, but she wants to maintain some independence at the same time...and she wants to be trusted.

Cynthia brings the mystery to life and has your heart bounding ... sometimes in fear, sometimes in anticipation!  We learn more about Skye and Trace in Mine to Keep, and I think Cynthia does a really good job of portraying what some kids go through.  In Mine to Keep Cynthia will leave you guessing until the end, taking you where you don't want to go in real life, but with her writing a story you love reading about. 

It was great to see the characters from Mine to Take making a reappearance, such as Alex.  We also meet some new characters who I'm sure we'll see in the next Mine book (can't wait!).

I love Cynthia's writing and highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys some hot romantic suspense!