Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review: One of These Nights (Harvest Cove #3) by Kendra Leigh Castle

Book Blurb:

Moving to Harvest Cove has been like a dream come true for Zoe Watson, providing her with a job she loves and close friends she considers practically family. The only problem: a certain prickly—albeit handsome—park ranger who can’t seem to help tracking mud into her art gallery…or showing up in her dreams.

Jason Evans swore off relationships the day his ex-wife walked out the door, and the local gallery owner is no exception. But when an accident forces him to accept the one thing he hates most in the world—help—he discovers that with Zoe in his life, there are more highs than lows. Despite their long-simmering attraction, neither Jason nor Zoe thinks that two people with so little in common could possibly have a future together. But one of these nights, they may just discover how alike they are.…

My Review:

Kendra Leigh Castle's Harvest Cove series just keeps getting better!  In One of These Nights, I was immersed in the lives of Zoe and Jason.  I had a great time there!  I really loved these two unique, intriguing, and very likable characters.  They think they have nothing in common, but opposites do attract!  They've had an interesting 'relationship' for the last two years, and suddenly it is evolving into more than either of them imagined.  The attraction that has simmered hidden under the surface is soon reaching boiling point.  I liked what Kendra did to get them there - it was an emotional and at times entertaining journey.  But with past issues unresolved and family dynamics, can it last?

I loved Zoe and Jason.  Zoe is strong, and is making a good life for herself in Harvest Cove, the place she now calls home.  I liked her honest, quirky personality.  She felt like someone I could easily be friends with!  Jason really pulled at my heart without even trying, and watching his character grow and become stronger felt great.  Watching Zoe and Jason come together and acknowledge their feelings was even better.  It is a rocky road for them though, and the bumps might prove too much.  One of These Nights is a book that really made me feel for the characters.  They are ones I'll remember!

There are a host of fantastic secondary characters in One of These Nights, some of them you want to hug, others not so much!  They all bring so much to the plot and really help with the growth of the story.  I liked seeing characters from previous books in this series, but they are written in in such a way that One of These Nights can easily be read as a stand alone.

One of These Nights pulled me right in from start to finish!  The writing is smooth, the plot flows fantastic, and the characters are true to life.  I'd recommend One of These Nights to any romance reader!

5/5 stars

Purchase from Amazon.com

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Review: Deadly Odds (Casino Fortuna) by Adrienne Giordano

Book Blurb:

At Casino Fortuna, stakes are high and the nights are hot…

FBI agent-turned-consultant Kate Daniels hit the jackpot with her new assignment. A cheat is cashing in on the Strip, and she’s hired by Vegas’ biggest name to ensure his glamorous casino isn’t a target. Fortuna is a high roller’s paradise, all gleaming marble and dollar signs. Even a single flaw in security could cost big bucks. Kate can’t afford distractions. Especially the tall, dark and perfectly chiseled kind. Business and pleasure don’t mix. And sleeping with the boss is a dangerous gamble.

Fortuna’s VP of casino operations, Ross Cooper, is gaming’s golden boy. He’s got a head for business, an eye for beautiful women, and a love for the Vegas lifestyle. When he spots a gorgeous redhead casing his blackjack tables, Ross is more than a little intrigued—he’s suspicious. But Kate is no thief…she’s working for him? Ross hates surprises almost as much as the idea of trouble in his casino.

Kate quickly proves she’s more than a pretty face. Her instincts and smarts are just as enticing. And when her investigation turns deadly, Ross will risk it all to keep her by his side.

My Review:

Deadly Odds by Adrienne Giordano is a well paced and intriguing romantic suspense.  Adrienne quickly pulled me in with the strong characters and the plot.  Kate is a former FBI agent, now a security consultant.  She's hired to do a review of security of the Fortuna casino in Vegas.  Ross is the VP of that casino, and soon, despite a rocky beginning, the two are drawn into a plot that is no game, and even more dangerous.  A cheat is closer than they can know...and soon he will up the ante...

I really enjoyed Deadly Odds.  I loved the setting, and at times felt like I could have been right there in the casino.  I liked Kate and Ross.  They both have their own agendas, and thrown together unexpectedly, they also have a mutual attraction.  The attraction builds and is impossible to ignore, but the job must come first.  I liked how they worked this and how they were together personally and professionally.  It wasn't always easy, but that made them real.  They just really worked for me, and I could feel them click, even before they'd admit it!  I was interested to see how things would work out between them, because they certainly do have their differences.  

The suspenseful plot of Deadly Odds had a lot going on, and with surprises in the plot and secondary characters, I was kept guessing.  I felt involved in the plot and could easily connect to Kate and Ross as they worked through the security issues, a cheat, and their growing feelings for each other.  Everything was woven together seamlessly and as the plot thickened, the story flowed very well.

Exciting and mesmerizing with characters who have great chemistry, I couldn't put Deadly Odds down!  I'd highly recommend it to any romantic suspense reader.

5/5 Super Stars!!

Purchase from Amazon.com

Review: Every Little Kiss by Kendra Leigh Castle

Book Blurb:

The second novel featuring small New England town of Harvest Cove, where the residents know that Emma Henry likes things nice and orderly—but everyone has to let loose sometimes…

Event planner Emma Henry is used to focusing all her attention on reaching her goals and letting romance fall by the wayside. But when her sister Sam’s bachelorette party prompts the most tightly-wound Henry to let her hair down, Emma’s night ends with the entire town linking her to a man who could lay waste to anyone’s best-laid plans.

Army vet Seth Andersen thought that joining the police department in sleepy Harvest Cove would offer a quiet, normal life. But when he finds himself responsible for uptight Emma Henry at the end of her wildest night ever, his world turns unexpectedly complicated—and he’s surprised to discover he doesn’t mind at all…

My Review:

I loved Every Little Kiss by Kendra Leigh Castle!  With a perfect mix of romance, humor and real life, I was quickly immersed in Emma and Seth's lives.  I loved these two characters.  Emma is unique, strong and determined.  She has her own way and view on life, her experiences making her who she is today.  She's cautious and difficult for most people to really know.  Seth is different though.  He is intrigued by her from the first time he sees her.  When they actually meet it is highly entertaining and sweet!  Emma is determined not to let him behind her brick walls, but Seth doesn't give up as easily as most people.  What follows is a well paced, emotional journey as Seth and Emma struggle to give up what they think they want versus what their hearts are telling them.

Seth and Emma are powerful and lovable main characters.  Kendra writes them so well I felt like I was right there with them.  They are believable, frustrating (Emma!), and complement each other so well it seems they are meant to be together.  But being together means taking risks, and the decision to do that is not an easy one, nor one that is automatic for either of them.  Their struggles, hurts, and hopes brought them to life.  I loved the maturity of their characters and that things are not easy for either of them for different reasons.

There are great secondary characters and a good look at small town life in Harvest Cove in Every Little Kiss.  All of that adds dimension and realism to the plot, strongly supporting the main characters.

Every Little Kiss was a book I was meant to read.  Well paced, easy to read and feel a  part of, Kendra took me away to another place for a great time.  I'd highly recommend Every Little Kiss to any romance reader!

5/5 stars!

Purchase from Amazon.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: Controlled Burn (Boston Fire #2) by Shannon Stacey

Book Blurb:

Rick Gullotti lives the good life. He fights fires, dates beautiful women—though none long enough so they cast wistful glances at jewelry stores—and has great friends. And thanks to helping out the elderly couple who own his building, his rent is low. But when concerns about their health lead him to contact their only son, his life starts getting away from him.

Jessica Broussard has no interest in leaving sunny San Diego or her cushy corner office for Boston, but her father—who happens to be her boss—dispatches her to deal with the grandparents she's never met. She's unprepared for the frigid winter, loving relatives who aren't the monsters she's been led to believe, and the hot, scruffy firefighter who lives upstairs.

At first, Jessica is determined to get back to her comfortable life as quickly as possible. All she has to do is talk her grandparents into selling their monstrosity of a house and moving to a retirement community. But she underestimates Rick's dedication—and his considerable charm. Nobody's taking advantage of his friends on his watch, even if that makes the tempting southern California girl with the long legs his adversary. Unfortunately for them both, the only thing more urgent than the matter at hand is their sizzling chemistry, and it's quickly becoming too strong to resist.

My Review:

Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey was just the romance I needed to read!  I loved Jessica and Rick.  They are strong, mature characters who drew me right into their lives.  For so long it has just been Jessica and her father.  An unexpected phone call takes her to San Diego to help the grandparents who never knew she existed.  In San Diego Jessica finds a lot more than she was expecting or looking for.  Not only does she find and unexpected sense of belonging and family, but she finds herself very attracted to her grandparents tenant Rick.  For Rick, Jessica's grandparents feel like his grandparents.  He's not too sure what to make of her surprise appearance...even if it's an appearance he's very attracted to.  Rick and Jessica embark on a relationship that grows and strengthens steadily during the time she is in San Diego, but when she's done what she came to do will a long distance relationship work?  Is it worth the try?

I enjoyed getting to know not only Rick and Jessica, but also Jessica's grandparents.  They are all powerful characters who give so much strength to the plot.  I like how Shannon explored and portrayed the family dynamics of Jessica's family, and the way the characters dealt with them.  For me this showed true strength in characters I really admired.  Even the portrayal of Jessica's father, who could have been made to be the bad guy, fit very well with the plot.

I liked seeing all of the characters not only get to know each other, but grow through Controlled Burn.  The struggles Jessica is facing felt real, and the relationship between her and Rick was believable.  I liked how they were towards each other from the start...cautious but open minded and protective of the grandparents...to the progression of their relationship to so much more.  The emotions they felt were real, and the loyalty and honesty these characters possessed was inspiring.

Controlled Burn is a book that completely worked for me!  I loved feeling like I was a part of Jessica's life, even with all the complexities woven in.  I felt good about her and Rick and really hoped they could find a way to make it work.  I felt happy for Jessica and her grand parents finally getting to know one another.  I felt hopeful for Jessica's father as well.

Well paced with great flow, Controlled Burn is a book I'd recommend to any romance reader!

5/5 stars!

Purchase from Amazon.com

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: Raining Love & Murder by Edie Ramer

Book Blurb:

An abandoned dog. A homeless veteran. A woman on the run. Her life in jeopardy. Sisters Dawn and Sunny stood together through the trauma of their childhoods and the fame they gained from Dawn's songwriting and Sunny's magical voice. But when Sunny marries the son of a cult leader, Dawn's life is in jeopardy. Taking on the identity of Raine, she goes to ground in a small Wisconsin town with a handsome innkeeper whose upbeat temperament is the antidote to her pain. Chuck's always been a good-time guy, and now that he's come up with a plan to help the town, no one in Trouble Bay thinks he's up to the hard work. Just as well that he has a new guest to deal with. A woman with secrets. A woman who who makes his heart beat faster. A woman in danger.

My Review:

In Raining Love & Murder, Edie Ramer drew me in quickly with a cast of dynamic characters and a plot that hooked me!  Dawn is the younger sister, but she's always been the stronger one.  When she finds out her life is in danger from the cult family her sister has married into, Dawn leaves on the run and finds herself in Trouble Bay.  She finds herself staying at the B & B run by Chuck.  Chuck is trying to change things and move forward in life and business, but small town memories make it difficult for him.  Surprisingly, his new guest has more faith in him than the townspeople.  The same guest who seems to be hiding something, and who he also finds himself very attracted to.  The attraction is mutual, but Dawn has too much going on to risk a relationship.  She has found and ally is Chuck though, and soon the small town of Trouble Bay starts to feel more and more like home.  As their attractions builds, slowly does the trust also, but can they help each other?

Todd is a homeless vet who slowly befriends a homeless dog.  That dog is one of the best things that's happened to Todd...and when they also find themselves in Trouble Bay with an unexpected inheritance, Todd just might be able to start healing.

Raining Love & Murder has a few strong plot lines, and Edie writes them seamlessly so that they blend together perfectly and converge in a realistic, heart aching way.  I loved this story.  I would say there are three main characters in Raining Love & Murder...Dawn, Chuck and Todd.  They all grow so much and I enjoyed being part of their journey.  They are all strong, flawed, powerful characters whose experiences and beings evoke a lot of feelings.  My absolute favorite was Todd.  Edie writes all of the characters with feeling and believability, but there was something about Todd that just pulled at every heart string I have.  I felt for him, hoped for him, ached for him and loved him!  He felt so real and Edie's portrayal of this vet felt believable.

There are also strong secondary characters who are integral parts of the story.  I liked them and what they brought to the plot.  Trouble Bay is not perfect either, and I liked how Edie showed the good and bad of small town living.

Raining Love & Murder has good and bad, and real life situations that few people will experience.   I liked how Edie brought these to life.  Raining Love & Murder is very well written and was easy to become absorbed in.  It was a roller coaster of emotions, dangers, love, and new beginnings.  I said it already but I'll say it again Raining Love & Murder was fantastic and I loved it!  I'd highly recommend Raining Love & Murder to any romance reader!

5/5 stars!

Purchase from Amazon.com

Friday, June 10, 2016

Review: Shadows of Jane (The Shadows Trilogy, #1) by Amy Hale

Book Blurb:

Colt Henderson is a man who lives for the moment. His past has taught him that life is unpredictable and often disappointing. A confirmed bachelor, he believes that love only exists in fairy tales.

She’s lost, scared, and can’t remember a thing about her past or her identity. She senses all is not as it should be, but without her memory, how does she know what to fear and what to trust? Because of her status as a Jane Doe, she names herself Jane and works to put her life back together. In the process she learns that she possesses unique abilities that certain people will kill for.

Fate throws Colt and Jane together, but they both have a lot to learn about forgiveness and acceptance. Colt’s determination and Jane’s remarkable gifts will send them on a journey they never expected. To survive they will need each other, but sometimes facts are scarier than fiction, and the truth is better left unknown.

My Review:

In Shadows of Jane by Amy Hale, Jane and Colt meet when Jane finds her way to his home and collapses.  Physically recovering in hospital, Jane has amnesia and has no clue who she is or where she came from.  As she recovers, she attempts to restart her life as Jane...but her past is not done with her.  Colt has been mesmerized by Jane from the moment he opened his door to her.  He doesn't believe in love, but he can't stay away from her.  As Jane heals, the become closer very quickly.  Even as Jane's hidden powers start to come to light, Colt and Jane become stronger.  But when Jane's past catches up with her, can they trust each other as danger closes in?  To be together they will both have to find acceptance and go all in if they can.

Shadows of Jane was an interesting read of fantasy/romance/amnesia trope.  I would have liked a lot more background on Jane to make it easier to connect with her and understand where she was coming from and what she faces moving forward.  I felt like being so unaware of who she was and where she came from made it difficult for me to feel fully involved in the plot.  Jane is a heroine who is very trusting, and at times so trusting of what people said that it was frustrating and dangerous for her.  I did like watching her become stronger as the plot progressed and found it unique that her 'powers' were essentially just accepted by people.  The quick connection between Jane and Colt is believable for me, because I really believe sometimes you just know right away!  I liked seeing how Colt was with Jane.

There are some great secondary characters in Shadows of Jane, from good to evil that spices things up a lot.

Shadows of Jane was a quick read and fairly well paced.  I'd recommend it to younger adult readers who like a fantasy/paranormal romance mix.

3/5 stars

Thursday, June 9, 2016

BLOG TOUR! Cold Hearted by Toni Anderson

ColdHearted_ToniAnderson_FINALAbout COLD HEARTED

Hunting For A Killer...Who Doesn't Play By The Rules.
Detective Erin Donovan expects life to quiet down after the arrest and conviction of a serial rapist who terrified her university town last summer. Then two young women are brutally slain and the murders bear all the hallmarks of the campus rapist. Did Erin arrest an innocent man? Now her job is at stake and tensions are high and just when it looks like things can't get worse, her department gets the help it needs to solve the double homicide--in the form of a man Erin has never been able to forget.

FBI Agent Darsh Singh has no interest in reliving the past. Three years ago, his feelings for Erin Donovan had him breaking all his rules about getting involved. Now his only interest in the former NYPD detective is figuring out if she screwed up a rape investigation and helped send an innocent man to prison. But being forced to work together rekindles their old attraction, and as Darsh and Erin fall for each other, the campus predator fixates on Erin. The race is on to identify the ruthless killer before he makes Erin his final victim.

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My 5/5 star Review:

In Cold Hearted by Toni Anderson, Detective Erin Donovan left her past behind her when she came to small town Forbes Pine.  She is dedicated to her job and works hard.  A recent case that put a popular university student in jail has now made her very unpopular and very unliked by many in the community.  Erin had all the evidence to support the case against him, and everyone seems to hold her responsible and accountable for what they perceive as a wrongful conviction.  When Erin is called to a disturbance at this student's girlfriends home, this time no one is crying wolf, and Erin walks into a very disturbing double homicide scene.  A scene so similar to the same past crimes, everything amps up even further.  Because of the similarities, the FBI is called in to assist.   When Agent Darsh Singh is the agent to show up, both of them are shocked to know they know each other from a one night stand 3 years ago.  He has never forgiven her after that night and neither of them have forgotten...but can they work together to find a killer before the killer finds his next victim?

Toni Anderson writes an intense, hold nothing back book in Cold Hearted.  Full of mystery and tension, she held my attention throughout.  Toni blends the romance and suspense very well so that they flow together seamlessly.  Both are integral parts of the plot.

The suspense is riveting as the killer ups his game and Erin is soon not only trying to solve a case, she is an unknown target.  I liked the way Toni gives us a look into this evil person through their POV.  The unknowns, twists, and surprises kept Cold Hearted enthralling!

I liked watching Erin and Darsh not only hunt for a killer but work through the shadows of their pasts and their present.  The attraction between them is palpable, even if they want to fight it.  I liked how Toni brings their pasts into Cold Hearted at the right times as the story progresses.  Their professional and personal worlds have collided, and this rocky road they are on is challenging and filled with not only tension and hurt but many other strong emotions.  I liked how they were able to work together despite it all.  I really liked Erin.  She is strong, stubborn, and she cares.  The recent deaths haunt her, even though she knows the previous investigation and evidence was solid.  I was amazed by her resilience and strength in the face of blatant hatred in a small town.  I liked Darsh too.  He has his own issues, and the anger he feels towards Erin about the past does not cancel out his attraction to her.  I could understand why he felt how he did.  I liked the communication Darsh and Erin did have and the slow build of trust.

Erin and Darsh are realistic, believable characters and I was very intrigued to see where they would end up.  That kept me guessing almost as much as who this killer would be and what the killer's motives were.  The suspenseful plot is written in a believable way, and Toni's research into the subject shows.  A common goal brings two people together, but will it last?  An escalating killer and a possible wrongful conviction made for a thought provoking, exciting read.  Part of Toni Anderson's Cold Justice series, Cold Hearted can easily be read as a stand alone.  I'd recommend Cold Hearted to any romantic suspense reader.

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About Toni Anderson

New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble's Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.

Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She's addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.

If you want to know when Toni's next book will be out, visit her website (http://www.toniandersonauthor.com) and sign up for her newsletter. If you want to read other fascinating stories about life in a city that, during winter, is sometimes colder than Mars, friend her on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson).

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Review: Smolder (Firefighters of Montana #1) by Tracy Solheim

Book Blurb:

Former Army Ranger, Sam Gaskill, is starting over in Glacier Creek, Montana - far away from the plains of Texas and the memories of his late wife. Taking charge as the new captain of a squad of smoke jumpers should provide him with enough adrenaline to chase away the ghosts from his past. Until a sexy, green-eyed temptress with a sassy mouth enters the picture…

Laurel Keenan, champion horsewoman, couldn’t wait to escape her hometown. But instead, an ailing mother and an unplanned pregnancy landed the impetuous dreamer right back on her father’s ranch. Laurel has managed to lead a quiet life with her young son—until she sets eyes on the tough guy with the sexy ass.

Sam already failed one woman; he won’t trust his heart with another. And Laurel is determined not to risk her heart—or her son’s—on another thrill-seeker. Can their slow burn lead to a love that lasts?

My Review:

In Smolder by Tracy Solheim Sam, a former Army Ranger has left most of his past behind to move to Glacier Creek Montana.  There he is the new captain of smoke jumpers.  Lauren's life changed with an unplanned pregnancy and her mother becoming ill.  Her dreams might have been a bit different than the life path she is on now, but she is back in Glacier Creek on the family ranch making the best of it.  Lauren and Sam are brought together by a horse, but neither is looking for another relationship.  Neither of them expected the sizzling attraction between them.  As life goes on in Glacier Creek, the slow burn between them heats up...but is love worth all the perceived risks?

I really enjoyed Smolder and Sam and Lauren's story.  I liked that neither of them were really bitter about their past relationships, they just weren't ready for another one.  I liked the way Tracy brings them together.  The ups and downs, the push and pull between them was believable and they felt like real people.  The dangers of Sam's job added a rush of adrenaline, then watching Lauren take back part of what she loves felt good to read about.  Sam and Lauren are strong main characters who develop well in Smolder, and grow so much.

Their backgrounds and present life are all well presented in Smolder and the flow is great!  Lauren's son is a sweet secondary character filled with dreams of his own...which include his father.  I liked how Lauren dealt with this, and even her live life on the edge ex was a well played character who I liked!

Smolder is a fast paced novella that fits a lot into it without being overwhelming.  It couldn't have been better!  I'd recommend Smolder to any romance reader looking for a great read with lots of heat to escape into!

5/5 smoldering stars!!

Purchase from Amazon.com