Book Review: Beloved Beast by Karyn Gerrard

beloved beast.jpg

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

WOW! My preconceived notions for this book where blown away. I went looking for a book with a different twist and this was definitely it. BELOVED BEAST (The Ravenswood Chronicles, #2) by Karyn Gerrard is a mix of gothic horror, historical WWII romantic suspense and historical WWII spy novel. Even though this is the second book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone with all the information the author has seamlessly peppered throughout this book.

The debauched Viscount Ravenswood Lucas Madden died from a carriage race accident in 1895 only to be revived in a Mary Shelley like experiment. Unlike Shelley’s beast, Lucas has become a man with heightened senses, strength and possible immortality, but he has also become outwardly disfigured, and cool to the touch with a strange gray cast to his skin. He hides his face as much as possible and explains away his strange coloring as ‘photophobia vitium’.

Working with his nephew in the emerging MI-6, with his new identity as Luke Newman, he helps relocate returning spies from the war zones in Europe. He is assigned the safety of Gillian Browning, who seduced a German business man for information on the Enigma machine, returned to England, and is suddenly in danger from a German spy.

As the two return to Luke’s former home in the country to wait for transport to Canada, Luke cannot believe that Gillian brings warmth back into is body and life. He never believed he would find love again after the death of his wife. Gillian wants the truth about Luke’s past and no longer wants her time with him to be limited, but the threat to their lives is catching up to them.

I could not put this book down. The concept made it unique and yet it also read as a traditional historical romantic suspense. There is explicit sex, because the beast has a heightened libido and yet it never felt gratuitous. The plot was well paced and the characters where all fully fleshed out and believable, well as far as you can believe in a reanimated man. I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be looking for the next in the series!

Thanks very much to Kensington Books and Net Galley for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Loved it!

Book Review: Mercer:The Montana McKennas by Jan Scarbrough

LRH mercer

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

MERCER: THE MONTANA McKENNAS (The Montana Ranchers, #5) by Jan Scarbrough is an overall enjoyable, short contemporary cowboy romance. Part of a series, each book is based on one of the blended family McKenna children, but they can also easily be read as a standalone without confusion.

Mercer McKenna is the youngest child and is always trying to be the peace maker in her blended family being the only child of both James and Liz McKenna. Everything in her world is changing. The death of her father has left everyone devastated, but has also brought everyone back home and face to face with their true loves. Mercer always had a childhood crush on her brother’s best friend, Drake and when he comes to the ranch to be Brody’s best man, Mercer is all grown up and feeling more than an adolescent crush. Mercer takes a chance on love, but Drake may not be ready.

Drake Hawkins is a professional bull rider on the downside of his career, but he doesn’t know anything else to do for the money he needs. He has a secret that could derail his chance for Mercer’s love and believes he is not ready for the responsibilities of a permanent home and relationship. Drake has some life changing decisions to make if he wants Mercer’s love.

Mercer’s story is another entertaining addition to this series. Even though each book is short, Ms. Scarbrough brings her characters and their emotions to life. The plot includes extended family dynamics, but the H/h are always the focus. The sex scenes are well written with mild heat. A solid contemporary cowboy family romance series. I’ll be looking forward to reading more in this series.

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

Book Review: Hidden In Laguna by Cheryl Phipps

hidden in laguna

RATING: 3 out 0f 5 Stars

LAGUNA BEACH: HIDDEN IN LAGUNA by Cheryl Phipps is an extremely short novella that is easily read in one sitting. It is part of the Laguna Kindle World.

Tania Patterson has settled in Laguna Beach to build a career as a wedding planner after an injury that destroyed her future as a professional ballerina. The injury was not an accident. She was betrayed and feels she will never be able to fully trust another man again. She has built a wall around her emotions, but she starts to feel again when she listens to Braden play the piano.

Braden Dorn is an extremely talented piano player, who gave up his career and shattered when he could no longer take his step-father’s abuse and exploitation. He is a serial dater and never believes he will find a woman to tell his secrets and love like his two older brothers. Something is different when Tania is around and he isn’t sure how to handle these new feelings.

This novella is only 98 pages long and is packed with Tania and Braden’s romance, both characters back stories, some emotional growth on both their parts, sex scenes and the emotional reconciliation between all of the brothers. I just feel it was way too short for all the subplot threads. Braden is more fully formed in my opinion than Tania, but the lack of a substantial emotional feeling for either left the story two dimensional for me.  I felt the sex scenes were well written, but overall, I was not emotionally invested in their romance.

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

 

Book Review: Belonging To A Highlander by K.M. Patterson

belonging to a highlander

RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

I so enjoy curling up on the couch on a cold winter day and disappearing into a well written romance. BELONGING TO A HIGHLANDER by K.M. Patterson turned out to be the perfect escape. An alpha Highland Scot and the young impetuous woman willing to stand up to him and lead him on a merry chase.

Hugh McCross has one more debt of honor to fulfill before he can fully leave his life as a mercenary and become the full time laird of his lands. He may not like it, but he feels he must fulfill his debt with anything asked of him by taking an innocent from the cloister to be delivered into the McAlison’s hands to settle a blood feud, but there are secrets being withheld.

Catriona McBruiey will do anything to help her friend escape her fate. She pretends to be Tamsin and is taken in her place. She believes it will be of no consequence as she is only a bastard and has no betrothed, even though she is the favorite niece of the king. When the deception is revealed, neither Cat nor Hugh realize the political and deadly ramifications set into motion surrounding both of their lives.

Ms. Patterson has delivered a historical romance with a plot that is very familiar and yet entertaining, scenery and atmosphere that make you feel you are back in historical Scotland, and an H/h that you cheer for to come together for their HEA. The secondary characters were as fully fleshed as Cat and Hugh, good and bad. There are a few steamy sex scenes, but placed where appropriate and not at all gratuitous. This is not a ground breaking new story, but a satisfying historical romance read well worth your time.

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

Book Review: Claiming Dane by Pauline Allan

claiming dane

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

CLAIMING DANE (A Hot Southern Nights Novel) by Pauline Allen is a well written romance that takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The hot Dom from Gilded Lily gets his story told as he fights for forgiveness and redemption in the arms of a big, powerful ex-Marine and his cute little daughter. The story can be read as a standalone even with the ties to Gilded Lily.

Tony Moretti is ready to stop running from his demons and face his family at his brother’s annual memorial. He gave up his destructive lifestyle, but he hasn’t found anything to fill up the emptiness inside his soul that he tries to fill with meaningless sex. When he stops at a hotel on his way home, he isn’t prepared for the gorgeous and shy owner. Something about this man, his love for his daughter and his family of friends pulls at Tony to stay, but his demons may be more than Dane can handle.

Dane McNeil has been to war, lost friends and come back to find his small daughter in a drug house, hungry and dirty. He will do anything to protect her now. He has built up his own security company and has rebuilt a historic hotel that he runs with the help of his best friends. When a dark, handsome doctor shows up and needs a room, he knows he will probably regret it, but he puts his heart on the line for a chance for more than a night of meaningless sex.

When Tony’s secret past becomes known, Dane feels as though he can no longer trust him and wants him to leave, but Tony has already left because he is afraid his darkness will destroy the first person he has ever loved.

This is a well written romance with a plot that pulls you into the story and developed characters that are realistic and make you want to keep reading. There is explicit M/M sex that is never gratuitous and is handled openly by the secondary characters. Dane’s daughter, Caroline is too cute and precious. She is a wonderful addition to the story. An enjoyable M/M romance read.

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

Book Review: Christmas Surprise on MacLean Mountain by Randi Alexander

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Not only is this the most emotional Christmas novella I have read this year, it is one of my favorite contemporary romance novellas of this year! CHRISTMAS SURPRISE ON MacLEAN MOUNTAIN by Randi Alexander is a lot of emotion packed into a very few pages.

Doctor Booker MacLean gets a call three days before Christmas from his estranged wife for a meeting. He hardens his heart for what he expects to come, but he is completely unprepared for he finds.

Sybil MacLean knows she made a horrible mistake in not trusting her husband over rumors and leaving seven months ago. She wants him back, but she wants his forgiveness and love, not just acceptance due to her secret.

This is a powerful story of a man raised to be logical and unemotional in his decisions. His pride could be the end of the happiness and love her truly wants. It is also a story of forgiveness and understanding of differences. Ms. Alexander’s usual stories are hot and steamy. This novella has no sex and yet is not really sweet because it is so emotionally charged with real feelings and emotions that make the H/h come to life. This HEA had me in tears, in a good way. A beautiful Christmas story good for the whole year!

Written for The Romance Reviews.com.