Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: It Started With a Kiss (Sequoia Lake #1) by Marina Adair

Book Blurb:

With a kidney transplant behind her, Avery Adams is determined to channel her inner adventurer and explore everything life has to offer. Only problem is, the closest she’s ever come to a real-life adventure was sixth-grade science camp. So to seize the summer in her rustic Sierra Nevada town, she takes a job as a guide at the local adventure lodge. But Avery doesn’t realize her biggest challenge will register at six-plus feet of rugged good looks and alpha-male charm.

As a member of the Sequoia Elite Mountain Rescue team, Tyson Donovan has made a life out of cheating death and rescuing weekend warriors from the treacherous terrain. “The world is my home” is more than just a motto; it’s what scares off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. When his dad’s health lands the family’s adventure lodge in serious danger of going up in flames, he moves home—and quickly remembers why he left. Until he meets Avery, the irresistible new guide who makes him want to stay.

Tyson gives the inexperienced Avery a lesson in romance that her books could never teach her. And with her undeniable spirit for life, Avery shows Tyson the healing power of love. But with one misstep, everything comes crashing down, and they’ll both have to take the biggest leap of all—into the kind of adventure that lasts a lifetime.

My Review:

In It Started With a Kiss by Marina Adair, after sickness and heartbreak, Avery is now living her life to the fullest - and part of that is her job at an adventure lodge.  Another big part of that is her 'bucket list', and I think this part of Avery is what warmed me the most.  She's living dreams for not only herself, but for others who can't.  When she meets Tyson, and checks off part of her list, she has no idea who he is or how much things are going to change.  Tyson is back in his home town at the lodge his parents own...a place he's never felt at home in since a tragedy that rocked his family.  That tragedy defined so many things in his family's life, and there is a lot of unresolved feelings...hurt, anger, sadness.  He's only back for a short time to help turn the business around, and he never expects to meet someone like Avery.  But he's not there to stay, she's not leaving, and neither of them are looking for romance.  Sometimes things happen when you least expect it though, and moving forward in what direction is now uncertain for both of them...

I really enjoyed It Started With a Kiss.  Marina Adair brings so much feeling and life into the plot, making it not only about Avery and Tyson, but those around them too.  I liked the family connections and how they are explored in this book.  There is no easy fix and Tyson in particular grows so much as the plot progresses.  I liked Avery and Tyson as main characters, they both have so much in their backgrounds that brought them to where they are today.  I felt like I got to know them, and I felt for them both so much.  I really hoped that if they didn't work out as a couple, other aspects of their lives would work out.

I had such a good feeling reading It Started With a Kiss.  It is filled with emotional highs and lows, it's believable, and all of the characters are very likeable, each one bringing something special to the plot.

It Started With a Kiss was easy to fall into, and the flowing words, the characters, and the situations kept me there.  I'd recommend It Started With a Kiss to any romance reader!

4/5 stars

Purchase from Amazon.com

Monday, January 30, 2017

BLOG tour! Call to Honor by Tawny Weber

Known for her distinctive ability to blend emotion, humor and suspense in tight gripping stories featuring irresistible alpha SEAL heroes, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Tawny Weber returns with her brand-new novel, CALL TO HONOR, the first book of three in her SEAL Brotherhood series.

Call to Honor:

The Poseidon team are hard-bodied, fiercely competitive navy SEALs. But when a sensitive mission goes disastrously wrong, three of the team’s finest will have to trust their hearts and instincts to uncover the truth…

“No man left behind” is inscribed in the DNA of every SEAL and Lieutenant Diego Torres is no exception. But with a team member killed—and the body missing—Diego's honor is sorely tested. Now his career and reputation are on the line, and a traitor is hiding among them. Diego wants answers…and only one woman has them.

Single mom Harper Maclean has two priorities—raising her son Nathan and starting a new life. Her mysterious new neighbor may be impossibly charming, but Diego asks too many questions about her past—and about the father of her child. Questions she fears will reveal her burning attraction for Diego, and ultimately put them all in danger’s path.

Title: Call to Honor
Author: Tawny Weber
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780373799282

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes


First Look:

“You’re the best, mister.” The kid had to get his smile from his mother, Diego decided. Because not once could Diego remember Ramsey’s smile making him want to offer one in return.
“Diego,” he said after a second, figuring talking was better than standing here on the sidewalk, grinning like an idiot. “You can call me Diego.”
“Cool. I’m Nathan. I’m seven. I’m gonna be a stunt­man when I grow up. Or a veterinarian. I’d rather be a Jedi warrior, but Mom says we’ll see about that one. She says that about a lot of stuff. We’ll see. What are you?”
Huh? Was that a question? The kid’s expression said it was, so Diego did a mental replay.
“I’m in security,” he said, using the cover Savino had decided on.
“Bet you’re good at it.” Grabbing the bike by the han­dles, the kid gave it a good shake, then grinned when the chain stayed in place. “You’re good at fixing things, too. Maybe you could teach me to fix some things?”
Diego didn’t have much experience with kids—hell, he didn’t have any experience. Despite that, he had to figure this one was something special.
Before he could answer him, a delivery truck rum­bled its way to a stop in front of the kid’s house. Some­thing he’d noticed was a regular occurrence. At least once, sometimes twice a day.
“You sure get a lot of deliveries,” he observed, watching a guy in shorts carry a stack of boxes toward the door.
“Yeah. Mom gets tons of stuff. She decorates for peo­ple’s houses. She orders pillows and bowls and things like that. Sometimes she gets material and things to help her decide colors.”
Convenient. Or it would be if Ramsey were run­ning drugs or stolen goods—that’d be a solid cover. But unless he’d shipped himself home in an ash can, it probably wasn’t pertinent. Lansky would claim oth­erwise, though, so Diego made a note to mention it in his next report.
He caught a flash of something out of the corner of his eye. All it took was a casual glance toward the house to send him rocking back on his heels.
Not even signing for a slew of packages and fend­ing off the flirtations of the delivery guy were enough to keep Harper Maclean from sending her son a pro­tective frown.
So far his glimpses of her had been at a longer dis­tance than the twenty feet currently separating them. Her photos didn’t do her justice. He’d known she was a looker, but no way he’d have thought fully dressed in person could trump that bikini shot, even if that bikini shot had been kind of blurry.
He’d have been wrong.
Copyright © 2017 by Tawny Weber

My Review:

Call to Honor is the first in a new series by Tawny Weber featuring the Poseidon Team...an elite division of navy SEALs. In Call to Honor Harper is a single mother with a hurtful history with an ex who has never been involved with their son. Threats he made have made her fearful, and she trusts few people. When her ex is missing and presumed KIA, some parts of the navy have questions, others place blame. Diego is part of Poseidon and due to these events and suspicion of his team, he is sent to investigate and survey Harper...just in case the ex shows up. Because no one on either side knows the full story.

Diego lives for his work and his team, and the attraction he feels for Harper is unexpected and strong. As they become closer, the sparks are flying. But secrets can't stay hidden, and as the plot thickens sooner or later they come out. Call to Honor has an intriguing plot filled with possibilities and strong characters. I don't know if it was always realistic, but it felt real as I read it. Harper is strong and very protective of her son. She doesn't talk about a lot of her past, and Diego wonders what she could be hiding. Harper has no idea what Diego is hiding, or that he is even hiding anything. Diego is all alpha with so many good qualities under his tough exterior, and I liked how he was with Harper and her son, even if I didn't like what he was hiding. I was very interested in how this relationship would play out, and I liked how Tawny Weber wrote it. Diego and Harper are different in many ways, but they really connected under that cloak of secrecy...could it last when the truth came out?

I liked the mystery and suspense of this plot as much as the romance, they really flowed and fit well together. Tawny Weber left enough threads dangling for the next story in this series, but not too many so I felt satisfied with the conclusion.

I will read the next book in this series and would recommend Call to Honor to any romantic suspense reader.

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About Tawny Weber:

The New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 40 books, Tawny Weber writes sassy, emotional romances with a dash of humor, featuring hot alpha heroes. The recipient of numerous awards, she has also hit number one on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists. Readers can visit Tawny’s website www.tawnyweber.com for free reads, first chapters, insider story info and much more. . You can also find her on Facebook (Facebook.com/tawnyweber.romanceauthor), Twitter (Twitter.com/tawnyweber) and Goodreads (Goodreads.com/author/show/513828.TawnyWeber. Tawny lives in Northern California with her family.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Review: Cut to the Chase: Sutton Capital Series Book Ten by Lori Ryan

Book Blurb:

When starting over just doesn’t seem possible 

Warrick Staunton’s lost it all, and this isn’t the first time. When Sara Blackburn tries to get him to start over, he isn’t sure he wants to. When a madman takes the choice out of his hands, he’ll find himself fighting for his life and Sara’s. 

NY Times Bestselling Author, Lori Ryan, brings readers all the heartwarming romance and heart stopping suspense they’re come to expect in the Sutton Capital Series.

My Review:

Cut to the Chase by Lori Ryan is a mesmerizing romantic suspense/mystery that I easily fell into.  The plot of a madman to ruin Warrick Sutton is a continuing thread from the previous two books in this series (Cutthroat and Cut and Run) that I would recommend reading first to have a good understanding).

Warrick's family pharmaceutical company is close to being in ruin after what has been done.  He is hurt, shocked and unsure of his future, but he is determined to save the company and the jobs of all the employees.  When he brings in Sutton Group as a shareholder in the company, he has some hope that they can help turn the negativity surrounding his company around.  Whether or not his company was involved in what brought things to this point is no longer relevant because it's all in the perception of others.  Sara is one of those others who doesn't like the company and doesn't want to like Warrick, but she is part of Sutton Group and helping turn things around might not only benefit Warrick's company, but also a project she is trying to bring to life.

Sara and Warrick both have heaviness from the past on their shoulders, and any kind of romantic relationship is not something either of them is looking for.  But despite the scars they both bear and the weight of the present, an attraction between them can't be denied.  I liked the connection I could feel between these two main characters.  I liked how they are together.  The pace of their relationship growth is slow and cautious and this really works with this plot.  Lori Ryan wrote these two characters very well.  As their characters grew and developed through Cut to the Chase I felt like I really got to know them and liked them.  I could feel for both of them and understand where they were coming from.  

As things slowly come together for them in many ways, the madness of his former father in law escalates with grim determination.  The POV's from this man's mind were a very fascinating part of the story, and knowing his thoughts and what he wanted to do put a very edgy spin on Cut to the Chase.  He is dangerous and unstable, and if he has his way there will be no future for Warrick and Sara.

Cut to the Chase was good!  It is interesting knowing the 'who', but still having that feeling of suspense and mystery of what will happen.  Lori Ryan managed to surprise me a few times!  I liked the main characters because they are mature, there are no relationship games but there is drama and ups and downs to get through.  I liked the carry over and introduction of new characters also, they all help give a lot of depth to the plot and make it real.

Cut to the Chase is well paced and suspenseful with hope woven in.  I'd recommend Cut to the Chase to any romantic suspense reader.

4/5 stars

Purchase from Amazon.com

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Review: Mountain Witness (Tennessee SWAT #2) by Lena Diaz

Book Blurb:

A woman in hiding and a man on a mission in the Smoky Mountains 

Detective Chris Downing doesn't know much about his neighbor. In the rural town of Destiny, Tennessee, Julie Webb lives a life of seclusion, rarely even offering a smile or wave. Only when Chris hears her frantic screams one night does he gain a glimpse into the life of a woman in hiding, and in saving her life, he is forced to kill her attacker. But Julie's troubles are only beginning to unravel. When Chris learns the identity of Julie's attacker, questions of trust are raised and suspicions run high. Together they will uncover the motives of a killer and the undeniable attraction between them.

My Review:

In Mountain Witness by Lena Diaz, Julie has moved to the town of Destiny to escape from someone who was supposed to love her.  She intends to keep her distance from everyone - including her sexy neighbour Chris.  But when her past catches up with her, Chris, who happens to be a Detective is the one who comes to her rescue...in more than one way.  Having had to take a life to save Julie, Chris is determined to get some answers.  Answers Julie doesn't have.  Chris isn't sure if he believes she's not holding back something, but as he helps her he finds himself not only trusting her more and more, but attracted to her as well.  Soon the two of them not only find unexpected answers to the past and the present, but a mutual attraction that might or might not have a chance to grow if they can escape a killer.

Mountain Witness is a fast paced, intricately plotted romantic suspense.  Lena Diaz kept the suspense high and the mystery intense.  Most of the plot was believable, some of it had me wondering if people would actually do that, and together this made Mountain Witness an exciting and intriguing read.

Julie was a difficult heroine to connect to for some reason.  In some ways she was the typical heroine in distress and frustrated me, but in other ways I felt for her and understood why she was acting how she was.  Finding herself in the situation she was in was terrifying for her and I could feel her fear, her distrust, and her heart break.  I really liked Chris!  He is a total alpha hero!  I liked how he was with Julie and that he wasn't convinced he needed to act alone, without his team.  It was a difficult situation to meet someone in, and I think as fast paced as it was it was written well and believable.   I liked the connection between Chris and Julie, even with the ups and downs and fear of trust, they kept on.

I loved the way Julie's family is drawn into this and how it all played out.  Although I would have liked more of that family story, it was a great sub plot in the book!

Fast paced and easy to fall into, I'd recommend Mountain Witness to any romantic suspense reader!

4/5 stars

Purchase from Amazon.com

Purchase from Indigo.ca

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Review: The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek

Book Blurb:

No more chocolate! No more meddling! No more men!

New Year’s resolutions are great. Announcing them in a crowded bar, with a chocolate martini in her hand? Not Maddie Cash’s finest moment. It’s time this new realtor got serious about her life and this time, she means it.

But when hospital volunteering lands her at the bedside of bruised and battered Mick Meyer, who has no knowledge of Maddie’s reputation – and no memory of the kiss he begged from her during that long, pain-filled night, her best-laid plans are put in jeopardy. It’s not just his sweet tooth that’s tempting her.

The hunky bush pilot with the concussion has an old family property to unload. Making this sale could be Maddie’s professional salvation. But when Mick turns on the charm, she’s in danger of forgetting all her best intentions… on chocolate… on meddling… and especially on men.

 My Review:

I loved being taken back to Marietta, Montana in The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek!  Maddie is still struggling into adulthood and independence, but she is determined to get there.  A bar, some drinks and a public declaration of her New Years resolutions brings her both embarrassment and motivation.  When her volunteer work at the hospital brings her to Mick, a bush pilot, despite his injuries, and attraction and connection is felt from the very start.  Unable to return to his work in the near future, Maddie sees more and more of Mick...  As she pushes him towards recovery, she is not only worried about her heart, but her job as a realtor.  Mick might be the answer to both, but he's not staying, is he?

I enjoyed the honest characters Roxanne Snopek gives us in The Chocolate Cure.  There are no hidden agendas, everything is out in the open.  Whether due to small town life or because that's how Mick and Maddie are, it made me really like their characters.  Maddie is a bit immature at times, but she loyal, honest, determined, and has a heart of gold which really shines through.  Mick is anxious to get back to flying and work, but this won't happen for a while.  As the attraction between them intensified I liked watching the bond between them grow.  Maybe Maddie can make it all work out this time, her life and her job...but will Mick still be around?  I couldn't wait to see how things ended up for them, because they both seemed set in where they are in life right now.

The Chocolate Cure is part of a series, but can be read as a stand alone.  I really liked how characters from previous books are drawn into the plot at various times, but it is done in a way that if you haven't read the other books you won't feel like you're missing anything.

The Chocolate Cure is well paced with a great flow to it that kept me interested.   I'd recommend The Chocolate Cure to any romance reader!

4/5 stars

Purchase from Amazon.com

Monday, January 16, 2017

Review: Midnight Obsession (Midnight #4) by Melinda Leigh

Book Blurb:

In Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s edgy new thriller, Louisa Hancock thought she was safe…but there’s a new killer in town.

When a mysterious package lands on Louisa Hancock’s doorstep, the Philadelphia museum curator can hardly anticipate the nightmare that’s about to envelop her. The package is addressed to her father—an expert in Viking culture—and inside is a ninth-century sword, a chilling thank-you note, and photos of two dead bodies in a tableau evoking a Nordic funeral. The gruesome images match a recent crime scene. But before the police can investigate the killer’s connection to Louisa’s father, Ward Hancock vanishes.

Sports bar owner Conor Sullivan wants nothing more than to spend his life with Louisa. Devoted and protective, he refuses to leave her side after her father’s disappearance. When a troubled young boxer he’s been coaching is suspected of the murders, Conor is pulled in even deeper. Desperate, Louisa and Conor take it upon themselves to find her father, but soon another ritualistic slaying makes it clear there’s a Viking-obsessed serial killer on the loose. And he has a new target: Louisa.

My Review:

In Midnight Obsession by Melinda Leigh, Louisa survived a horrific event at the hands of a madman and is still struggling to move forward with her life.  An obsessed killer soon pulls her into another nightmare when her father disappears after inexplicably receiving a frightening package.  That is not all that's going on though...a young man her boyfriend Conor has been working with becomes a suspect in murder.  From gang ties to Vikings, a swirling mix of suspense kept me wondering what the outcome could possibly be as Louisa and Conor work in their own way to find her father before it's too late.

Midnight Obsession has strong characters, and I loved the different POV's Melinda Leigh gives us throughout.  Seeing things through a killer's eyes and 'hearing' his irrational thoughts put a very interesting and frightening perspective on the plot!

I really enjoyed the main characters, Louisa and Conor.  Their relationship is well established, and the make a good fit together.  I liked how they were together...no angst, no secrets, and all love and caring.  They did what worked for them.  This part of Midnight Obsession is not about romance, but about a well established relationship that will still have trials to go through.  The big question was where their relationship would go from here.  Having Louisa and Conor's perspectives provided great insight into their characters!

The main part of the plot, the suspenseful part, was as creepy as it was catchy!  As things unravelled I thought I had a vague idea who might be the culprit, but Melinda Leigh kept me guessing right to the end.

Two police officers are strong secondary characters, and their involvement and side stories provided a lot of depth.

I liked how all the characters were connected and how the plot was drawn together with sub plots.  It all worked well, and like real life nothing always goes as planned, but some things do.

Midnight Secrets is part of a series, but can be read as a stand alone in my opinion as I read it.  Readers who like suspense and strong relationships will enjoy Midnight Obsession!

4/5 stars

Purchase from Amazon.com

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Review: Port of Paradise by Lisa Marie Rice

Book Blurb:

Hope Winston will do anything for a friend—even if it means travelling across the world to help run an English language school in Italy. When her good deed puts her life in danger, Hope is in need of protection, but she doesn’t want protection from a cop. She has good reason to distrust them--so how is it that she's ended up sleeping with one?

Head of the elite anti-mafia squad, Capitano Franco Rivera finds the gorgeous American delectable but dangerous. He feels compelled to protect her, even though she can't seem to stop stirring up trouble.

Hope needs a keeper and Franco is just the man to keep her…in his bed. 

Note: Port of Paradise was previously released by another publisher. This edition has been lightly edited and updated.

My Review:

When Hope heads to Italy for a few months to take her injured friend's place at an English language school in Italy, she soon finds herself in an unexpected, potentially dangerous and inexplicable situation.  Strange things are happening in the home of her friend she is staying in, scary things that are bad enough to have Hope reaching out for help from the last source of help she wants...the police.  Past circumstances have not inspired faith in police, but with her friend's urging and the situation she is in, Hope has no other option.

Franco Rivera is not at all what Hope expects from an Italian policeman.  He looks dangerous, but she doesn't feel she is in danger from him.  As Franco looks into the mysterious events surrounding Hope and the home she is in, things become more dangerous and heated in the suspenseful plot of Port of Paradise.  At the same time, the attraction between Hope and Franco is getting harder to ignore, and soon Hope finds herself in the arms of the last person she expected to be with.  In all aspects the plot is getting hotter...but can Franco keep Hope safe as he and his team work to solve the mystery?  And can Hope trust enough to put the past behind her and trust in the present?

Port of Paradise was a read that was easy for me to get into.  Lisa Marie Rice kept me there with a suspenseful plot I couldn't quite figure out right until the end, and two main characters who might or might not have a happily ever after together.  Lisa Marie Rice wove together very well a tale of suspense with different angles that all will make sense in the end, and a romance that might be fast for some, but is still filled with uncertainty and insecurity.  I liked the unknown and surprised of the suspense, and I liked the hero and heroine.  I really liked Franco...he is a strong hero who was immediately and intensely attracted to the heroine.  Through it all I could feel his interest, his patience, and his need to keep Hope safe.  Hope was not as strong a heroine as Franco was a hero, but together they just seemed to fit well and be what the other needed.  I found myself really hopeful for them.

I love the setting of Italy for Port of Paradise...it just really worked from the English language school to the well described scenery.

I'd recommend Port of Paradise to any romantic suspense reader who likes things hot!

4/5 stars

Purchase from Amazon.com