Book Review: An Uncommon Honeymoon by Susan Mann

RATING: 5 out 5 Stars

Susan Mann had me once again turning pages well into the night in Quinn and James’ latest exploits. This is such a fun series with a couple that takes you on their CIA over-the-top missions. The plots have serious background premises, but are entertaining and balanced with a lighter side at the same time. James is your secret agent dream come true and Quinn is great as a covert research librarian.

AN UNCOMMON HONEYMOON (Librarian and the Spy Escapade #3) by Susan Mann has the big marriage scene between Quinn and James and it is everything I was hoping for, beautiful, fun and filled with love.

As they are on their honeymoon in the Turks and Caico’s, they are approached by Dave Flores, a former CIA operative now working for a group that rescues children caught in human trafficking. Quinn and James were invited to a party that Dave would like them to surveil, but Quinn meets two of the children being held at the compound and vows to help them get free. The plot has child slave trafficking, drug trafficking and a Russian crime lord. The child slave trafficking is handled seriously and with heart by Ms. Mann, while the Russian crime lord and his minions get the action packed, super spy treatment.

Quinn and James are just perfect together. Their love for each other is always present, Quinn is always James’ equal in any situation and they are seriously sexy and hot. I especially love the sometimes witty, sometimes steamy banter between these two. All of the secondary characters that I have come to care about in the two previous books make an appearance. This series does continually progress forward in Quinn and James’ relationship and abilities, so I really think it is more enjoyable to read in order.

I am waiting anxiously for the next installment!

Thanks very much to Kensington Books, Zebra Shout and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: It Happened at the Park by Ryan Jo Summers

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

IT HAPPENED AT THE PARK by Ryan Jo Summers is a contemporary romance that gives all your emotions a workout. The workaholic heroine inherits her deceased sister’s dogs. The hero prefers his dog and laidback lifestyle over women at this point in his life for a good reason. Adorable dogs, grief, secrets and a witty love story all come together in this realistic romance.

Cassidy Grant is always the consummate professional. A workaholic city planner who is structured, career-oriented and polished. When Cassidy’s sister dies, Cassidy inherits her two dogs, Tessa and Remi. Her world is thrown into turmoil, not just by the doggie invasion, but also the realization that her loving younger sister is gone and she feels guilty for not spending more time with her.

Ethan Sheppard and his best friend, Jake run in to Cassidy at the dog park. Cassidy realizes this easy-going, handsome guy knows how to handle dogs and makes an offer to Ethan for help learning about her new charges. Ethan is intrigued that this woman is the first to interest him since his ex and agrees to help.

Their feelings grow, but their careers may stop this romance before it begins. Cassidy is told by her boss in the city planners office that she has to uncover the secret identity of the newspaper cartoonist, The Salty Kid, who keeps lampooning the mayor and could jeopardize his reelection. The Salty Kid is closer than Cassidy can imagine and has to make a choice between the girl or his career.

The H/h are very realistic. Both have to go through some very tough soul searching. I had a little trouble with how Cassidy could lose her career over not finding out who The Salty Kid was and her devotion to a mayor who seemed very dictatorial, but the author made it work out in the end. The dogs were all great secondary characters that I loved. This is a sweet and smart contemporary romance with no sex scenes.

Reviewed for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.

Book Review: Strike Force by Beth Rhodes

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

STRIKE FORCE (Hawk Elite Security, #4) by Beth Rhodes is another great addition to this romantic suspense series. I have been waiting for Malcolm’s story and it is everything I was hoping for.

Malcolm Daniels dealt with a lying, cheating ex-wife. He was young, inexperienced in relationships and she took everything from him including his trust in all women. When Marie is taken in by Hawk and given a job at Hawk Elite, Malcolm knows she is hiding secrets and he vows to reveal them. What he does not expect is that he comes to admire Marie’s hard work, courage under fire and her ability to see outside of the box. Marie is also beautiful and Malcolm wants his “little thief” physically, but he refuses to trust her.

Marie Feur is from a long line of Romanian gypsies and is meant to inherit and wear the gold armband that is legendary in her family. When Marie was young, the armband was stolen by another family with a long standing feud with her family. Her chance to get close to the armband comes with her work for Hawk Security. She wants to please her only remaining family member, her Uncle Bert, by returning the armband to their family, but that means she will be betraying her friends at Hawk Security, betraying her growing feelings for Malcolm and proving him right in believing she is only a thief.

Malcolm is so rigid and by the book. He loves his computers and programs and no longer believes in love or relationships. Marie is fun, loving and good at what she does, which does not always follow what one might consider “right”. These two are so opposite and yet Ms. Rhodes makes them, over the pages of this story, so right for each other. There is plenty of action and suspense as Malcolm and Marie deal with not only the stolen armband, but drugs and international sex slaves with the help of the FBI and their friends at Hawk Security.

The sex is steamy and hot, hot, hot between these two. It also progresses from sex with no strings or attachments to much more. Both Malcolm and Marie are now two of my favorite characters in this series.  I especially love how Malcolm’s only response to good or bad situations, out loud or silently in his head is “Fuck”. A man of few words, well basically only one word, who left me laughing out loud!

I highly recommend the entire series and especially this book. It can be read as a standalone, but I bet you will go back for more.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.

Feature Post: Most Memorable and Recommended Book of 2017

As a book reviewer, I read soooo many books (NOT complaining, it is my JOY). I love all genres and am very lucky to have so many authors, publishers and friends who recommend and send me way too many books to read each year.

As this year winds down I have a lot of reviewer and book blogger friends choosing their favorites for the year in many different categories. I find that I am in agreement with the sentiment that invariably shows up on many sites stating that as a reader, I could never pick just ONE book as my favorite. This is truly how I feel, but I do usually have one that is just so memorable that I never forget the characters or plot and I always recommend it in the top spot to anyone who asks for a great read. Below is my choice for 2017 and a reprint of my review. I hope if you have not had a chance to read it this year, you will pick it up in 2018. You will NOT be sorry!

My 2017 Most Memorable and Recommended Book is:

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Paul Cleave is now on my MUST READ list and I feel he should be on every fan of thrillers book shelves, too!

I read “Trust No One” and loved it, so I was very happy to get this ARC of his new book. Now I can add A KILLER HARVEST to this year’s list of my favorite books. I am in love with this author’s writing, plotting and pacing. When you think you are at the climax or you have everything figured out Mr. Cleave continually throws another plot twist, big or small, into the mix which makes you even more anxious and desperate to continue reading.

Joshua Logan believes he is cursed. He was born blind and lost his biological parents at a young age. He was taken in by his uncle and aunt, who he now calls mom and dad, but he can never take his happiness for granted.

While investigating a suspect believed to be a serial killer, Joshua’s detective father is killed. His partner kills the killer, but the curse has struck again. Joshua’s dad left a specific request in his will. If he was ever killed, his eyes would go to Joshua for a transplant and a chance at sight. As the donated eyes are transported to Joshua’s operating room, there is a mishap and Joshua receives one of his father’s eyes and one of the serial killer’s eyes which were also taken for donation.

After the surgery, Joshua begins to have strange and disturbing dreams. Sometimes he feels like he is seeing his father’s death from his father’s perspective and sometimes from the killer’s. He is also able to identify people that he has never seen before. As Joshua tries to deal with all the changes in his life, the serial killer’s accomplice is out to avenge his friend’s death. Joshua and all those close to him are in danger.

You may believe that you know how this will end from the brief summary above and past thriller plots, but in the hands of this author, you are so wrong! I could not stop thinking about this book when I had to put it down and could not wait to get back to it. Mr. Cleave knows how to masterfully take the reader on a journey that makes the unbelievable possible. I definitely need to start working my way through this author’s past catalogue. I highly recommend this book to all and especially those who love older Dean Koontz and Stephen King works that take a normal situation and twist it.

Thank you so much to Atria Books and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. It was my pleasure!

 

 

 

Book Review: The Santa Bargain by Robin Michaela

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

If you want a quick to read, feel good, contemporary Christmas romance, then you have to read THE SANTA BARGAIN: A Small Town Christmas Romance by a new-to-me author Robin Michaela. It is festive, sweet, funny, sad and steamy all wrapped up to a HEA in just 257 pages.

Maria Thompson is starting over in a small Colorado town of Copper River. She is starting her own coffee shop, raising her 5 year old son, Zach and has sworn off all men after her son’s father walked out on them two years ago. Maria is talked into organizing the first Christmas festival to bring tourists to town after devastating wildfires nearly destroyed it. When the sexy carpenter working on the town’s shops runs into Maria, she may just have to rethink her no men policy.

Joe Sinclair was raised in the foster care system after the death of his parents. He learned never to get attached to anyone because they all just left you. There seems to be something different about the coffee shop owner though that attracts him against his better judgement. She is smart, curvy and loves Christmas. She has a small child. He should be running in the other direction, but he just cannot stay away.

Maria makes Joe a promise that if he will play Santa for the Christmas festival, she will be his naughty elf afterwards. Their pasts may get in the way of their new relationship unless Santa can bring them together for a Merry Christmas.

Maria, Joe and Zach are wonderfully real characters that worm their ways into your heart. The sex is hot and steamy, but never gratuitous. There is nothing new in this plot, but the characters and dialogue make it memorable. An enjoyable standalone read for the holiday romance lover.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.

Feature Blog: Merry Christmas 2017!

Yes, I know I am posting this on December 26th, but this is my day to celebrate!

My son received an ESA letter from the VA for our Athena and she will be returning home to live with us after 5 months in foster care.

Merry Christmas to all my many friends!

May you read and fall in love with many great books this year!