Book Review: Silver Bells: A Holiday Romance by Jacquie Biggar

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

SILVER BELLS: A Holiday Romance by Jacquie Biggar is a holiday novella that was sweet and easily read in one sitting curled up on the couch while the weather outside is frightful.

Joel Campbell, award winning mystery writer, has moved from Scotland to Vancover Island. He wants to be closer to his grandmother and hopes the change will get him over his writers’ block. Hating his fame, he has walled off his heart, become gruff and hates anyone interrupting him and yet, he is lonely.

Christy Taylor is an artist who has started her own shop attached to her rented home. Her life cannot be more hectic. She is attempting to grow her clientele, while caring for her small daughter, Jill, who has been diagnosed with Type 1, Juvenile diabetes. Christy is a great mother, but her divorce and her ex’s attitude toward their daughter has made her distrustful of any help from any man.

These two need to open up their hearts and learn to trust again before it is too late.

This novella is an enjoyable and quick read. I loved the characters in this short read, but being short, I felt some of the character development was lost. Jill was adorable and her disease was handled extremely well. I also feel this novella was not really a Christmas or holiday story, just a winter setting.  That said, still a good heartfelt novella for a cold winter day.

Book Review: Snow & Secrets by Rozenn Scott

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

SNOW & SECRETS (Stanford Creek, #3) by R.J. Scott writing as Rozenn Scott is a fast to read, short, classic style contemporary romance, but with a hero and a hero. I love these two characters coming together for their HEA! This is the third book in this series, but it can be easily read as a standalone.

Tyler ‘Ty’ Hart, boy band star is all over the internet, but not for a good reason. Threatened with blackmail, chased by the paparazzi and having anxiety attacks he takes off for an isolated cabin in the snow in Stanford Creek, VT. Two of his former bandmates have settled and found happiness there, so he is hoping it will work for him.

Garrett Campbell is back in his hometown for Christmas to regroup and heal after an assignment goes FUBAR. The death of his friend, his own near death and the unknown source of the danger have him wanting to stay alone in his brother’s cabin, but be close for his sister’s delivery. His unexpected arrival means he has to share the cabin with Ty, who just happens to be a secret fantasy.

Isolated cabin, snow, hot tub and fantasies become reality. The romance is quick and yet it doesn’t feel rushed. Both men realize that they not only have each other, but a cast of secondary characters that all love and care about both of them very much. A little suspense is thrown in to the mix and you have a really entertaining read.

I recommend this book and author to any lovers of M/M romance. Ms. Scott also writes M/F romance, as in Books 1 and 2 of this series. The sex is very sweet and hot in this book. There are explicit scenes of M/M sex, but it is never gratuitous. Excellent romance read!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: A Matter of Trust by Jill Blake

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I was a little nervous going into this story because it is the third in The Silicon Beach Trilogy, but the blurb said it could be read as a standalone and it was correct.  WOW! A MATTER OF TRUST was a very well written contemporary romance from a new to me author Jill Blake. I will definitely be going back to get books one and two!

Klara Lazarev has a full plate and no time for romance. She is working on her senior thesis testing innovative educational software that she designed for preschoolers at a prestigious day care. She runs into Vlad accidentally as he is a business associate of her brother-in-law. She has always thought him gorgeous, but after his drunken behavior at a wedding two years previous and now not even remembering who she is, that is enough to make her want to avoid him.

Vlad Snezhinsky is a Russian born and Western educated venture capitalist. He excels at both his job and being a single dad to his daughter, Lora. He is still entangled in a messy divorce with a woman who lied about Lora’s parentage to escape Russia. The last thing he is looking for is a relationship, especially with a younger woman related to his business associate.

The budding romance between Vlad and Klara is suddenly put in jeopardy by the murder of Vlad’s soon to be ex-wife and her boyfriend. Vlad is afraid for his family and is also worried about the fallout for Klara, but Klara believes in him and his innocence. The romance moves forwards and grows as the two let the authorities work the case. No amateur sleuths here.

This romance flows and grows over time with the story. Vlad and Klara were perfect for each other and Lora. The sex scenes were hot! There are a lot of little background elements going on throughout this story and the author was adept at bring them all together for a very satisfactory conclusion. I am looking forward to reading more from Ms. Blake.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Dangerous In A Kilt by Anna Durand

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I FALL FOR A HOT SCOT IN A KILT EVERY TIME!!!

Dangerous In A Kilt by Anna Durand delivered! This is my favorite style of romance writing. A hot, but wounded hero, a heroine who is strong on her own, but also needs the hero and sex that will scorch the sheets without any kinks or fetishes.

Erica Teague was an accountant for a prestigious firm who always played it safe until the day she was arrested for embezzling from her firm’s elderly clients’ accounts. She has been set up by her ex-lover and boss, who also happens to be the son of one of the owners. She refuses to make any deals, so before she ends up in prison she sets up an internet date for one wild night of sex and fun.

Lachlan MacTaggart is taking an American vacation in the home of his friend who lives right next door to Erica. He shows up at the local hookup club and walks up to Erica, who believes he is her blind date and can’t believe her luck. A hot Highlander in a kilt. He won’t take advantage of a misunderstanding, but he does propose a one month fling with no attachments to this beautiful American.

Erica wants to experience everything Lachlan can give her before she is imprisoned without explanations and Lachlan wants no attachments and no questions. For two wounded people who discover they care more than they should, emotions just can’t be ignored.

This is a well written, classic but contemporary romance story. My emotions were up and down right along with Erica’s and Lachlan’s. I knew there would be a HEA, but it was the journey, characters and smoking hot sex scenes that kept me turning the pages. The characters were all realistic and I loved Erica’s dog, Casey. Lachlan has two brothers and three sisters, so I hope to be enjoying this family in many more stories to come.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: When It Holds You by Nicki Elson

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Nicki Elson has become my MUST read new contemporary romance author!

WHEN IT HOLDS YOU, just like her previous book When It Hooks You, has characters that are fully fleshed out and true to life in both dialogue and plot. I can relate to these characters on an emotional level that has me up and down and turning the pages as fast as I can waiting to see how Ms. Elson works out the HEA.

Cliff Walsh is back as the main rather than the secondary character in this story. After the emotional roller coaster in the previous book you would think he would be wiser in this story. He is, but not right away. He has a lot of emotional discovery to go through. As he is healing his broken heart, he becomes more involved in online gaming as his social outlet. In the game, he meets a female character that makes him want to try a relationship again and the surprise is that she has been right in front of him for years.

Joanne “Jojo” has always been the wild party girl since college. Cliff had used her and forgotten her, but she never forgot him. Jojo is an amazingly true to life character that you have to get under her outer shell to find the true vulnerability inside. I believe so many readers will be able to empathize with her.

The romance in this book comes together at a realistic pace and has a little surprise twist. I thought the author was going to choose a different heroine, but she took the more difficult path and it worked beautifully. I love that Cliff found what is truly important and Jojo was willing to take a chance. The sex is hot, but the emphasis is on emotions in this book. They really are made for each other.

This book can be read as a standalone, but the characters are carried over from the first book and their back stories do help you understand more of their emotional growth. Fall in love with the characters and the author’s writing and read them both!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com

Book Review: When It Hooks You by Nicki Elson

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Nicki Elson’s When It Hooks You is one of the best contemporary romances I have read in a long time!

This book gives you believable characters, a plot that flows over a well-paced time period and dialogue that is very realistic. It is so nice to read a contemporary romance that is so true to life AND gives me my HEA.

Trish Cerise is a receptionist at a prestigious law firm in Chicago. She thought her long term boyfriend was about to propose again, she turned him down last year, but she is ready now to accept. Instead of a proposal, she gets dumped. This brings about Trish’s new rules for dating: she will only go out with a guy for three dates because after three dates is when complications and heartache starts and no sex.

Adam Helms is a businessman, who has interests all over the world. When he overhears an embarrassing conversation between Trish and her friend in the law firm lobby, they strike up a conversation and mild flirtation. He is interested in Trish’s rules of dating and has a few of his own as they get to know each other on their dates. Trish and Adam both have trouble keeping to their own rules as their feelings grow. When Trish is ready to make an exception to her rules, huge plot twist surprise involving Adam’s past.

This story is so well written. I was especially happy that the author had Trish move forward with her life and career after the plot twist and not just continually mope around until Adam’s return. She also didn’t just jump back into his arms and give up everything she has changed and worked towards to be back with him.

 Trish and Adam are wonderful characters that I cheered for throughout the romance. Sexual heat is high, but it is not overly explicit. There are fun and strongly written secondary characters that will make for excellent follow-up stories. I highly recommend this book and author!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.