Book Review: More Than A Lawman by Anna J. Stewart

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Even though I read everything, Romantic Suspense is my favorite genre and when I find a great book and/or author to follow in this genre I shout it from the rooftops for my fellow readers. Here is MORE THAN A LAWMAN! The first book in the Honor Bound trilogy by new to me author Anna J. Stewart from Harlequin. Shouting from the rooftops!!!

This first book focuses on Eden St. Claire, who is a crime writer and a blogger dedicated to catching all killers, but especially serial killers after the death of one of her best friends, Chloe at the age of nine. Her remaining friends, Simon, now a prosecutor and Allie, now a criminal psychologist have all dealt with the trauma in differing ways. Eden has never forgiven herself for something she didn’t do the night Chloe disappeared.

Cole Delaney is a detective and was best friends with Eden’s brother growing up and has always cared about Eden. He wants Eden, but she has never wanted to be anything but best friends. When Eden’s blog “Eden On Ice” once again focuses attention on the serial killer known as the Iceman, Eden barely survives an attack and it will take all of Cole’s understanding and love to protect her from herself.

This book starts off with an amazing first scene and just keeps getting more intense from there. The plot has an original premise and keeps the twists and turns coming. The main Iceman plot is resolved along with the romance between Cole and Eden, but there is the trilogy plot of Chloe’s killer resurfacing which is carried over into the next book.

Eden’s reasons for not becoming involved with anyone and why she seems to have a death wish are so well written. She is an extremely complex character that even as you become exasperated with her, you understand her. Cole and Eden’s romance is well integrated into the plot and I feel was handled in a very realistic way. This romantic suspense worked on every level.

I can’t wait to get Ms. Stewart’s next installment of this trilogy!

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.

Book Review: Crushing On Love by Melissa Foster

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

When it comes to contemporary romances with realistic characters, an emotional love story and smokin’ hot sex, author Melissa Foster always delivers!

CRUSHING ON LOVE is the fourth book in The Bradens of Peaceful Harbor series.  All can be read as standalone books, but you won’t want to stop at one.

Book four focuses on Shannon Braden who is always optimistic, sweet and fun. She has returned to Colorado to see if the sparks between her and Steve Johnson, who she met on her first fox research trip and at her cousin’s wedding can lead to more. She wants time away from her family, even though she loves them all dearly, to decide on her future career and life without her family hovering.

Steve Johnson loves his solitude living up in the Colorado mountains and working as a ranger and wildlife consultant. That solitude has been invaded once again by the beautiful and people loving Shannon. As much as he wants her, he doesn’t do casual relationships and she plans to return home in a few weeks.

Steve wants to conserve a large ranch next to the national park, but he doesn’t have the money. Shannon has the online crowd sourcing knowledge, but he feels it is begging. They need to work together to make Steve’s dream a reality and it just might lead to what Shannon desires both personally and professionally.

At first, I really wondered how these two were going to be able to come together, but leave it to Ms. Foster to make it all work out in the end. Mountain man Steve “Grizz” and Shannon “Butterfly” have very appropriate nicknames for each other and they both ended up convincing me they are perfect for each other and deserve their HEA. Other characters make guest appearances from Ms. Foster’s other series and it is easy to follow the connections. The sex in this book is extremely hot and well incorporated into the story. It does include oral and anal sex.

Take the time to read Steve and Shannon’s story and I know you will love it as much as I did!

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