RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
Once again I am in tears over the men of Lost N Found! In only one short novella and two very short stories I had to grab the tissues three times. Oh, and they were heartfelt, happy tears!
MISTLTOE MISCHIEF (Lost and Found, #5.5) by J.M. Madden is worth every minute. I rarely give a novella more than 4 stars because they are just too short to either satisfy you emotionally or have a strong enough story to tell to stand on its own. These stories are those rare exceptions and worth a full 5 stars. Ms. Madden knows how to bring these wounded warriors to life and to match them to their perfect mates.
Roger just cannot believe the vision of a woman that he is set up with as a blind-date for the LNF Christmas Eve party. She doesn’t seem to be bothered by his scars and prosthetic arm. Cassandra is a plus-sized woman, who has pulled herself out of poverty to become a graphic designer, but still has body image problems and no luck with good men. At first, she has a hard time believing the flattering things Roger says to her. Instantly though it becomes apparent that they both can be what the other wants and needs if they are willing to believe.
The next story revisits Gabe and Julie and the continuing struggle for Gabe to be more present in the now and remember, but let go of his time with his SEAL team. Time seems to be helping with them.
The last story revisits Zeke, Ember and little Drew. Their first Christmas together and everything is moving along, but Zeke is still hesitant about his scarred face until his run in with another student from Drew’s school.
I love all of the LNF guys so much and all I want is happiness for them all, but that J.M. has to put them through their paces to get it. This is one of my favorite series and group of true heroes. I highly recommend all of these books!
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
This is only the second book in this series and it is already one of my “must read” urban fantasy series! RETRIBUTION (Valentine Shepherd #2) by Shana Figueroa gave me complex characters, a plot that continues to surprise and kick-butt action. This second book, while still having smokin’ hot sex scenes, is more focused on the world-building and plot.
At the end of the first book, P.I. Valentine Shepherd walks away from her relationship with Max Carressa. Val can see the future, but it is usually only death and destruction outcomes that she sees. She has tried to change the future and has managed a very few times to accomplish it, but usually the worst outcome occurs. She has seen their future and rather than try to change it, she walks away.
Six months has passed. Val has a new case of a girl who has disappeared. As she follows leads on the girl, Val is abducted and remembers nothing that happened to her for 12 hours. When she tries to piece together what happened, she finds two uploads on the internet of the missing girl and herself, unconscious and being sexually abused. Now all Val wants is revenge and she needs Max’s connections and help.
Max has tried to move on and has become engaged and adopted a dog to try and get the normal life he has always craved, but he is hiding an Oxy addiction that he is using to bury his real feelings. When Val calls, he knows he will do anything to help her, no matter the cost.
The first third of the book, I was so involved with Val and Max’s pain and self-destruction. They were both hurting so desperately and wouldn’t admit it to each other. The main plot of the book, a mad scientist with psychic abilities who wants to experiment on Val and Max is resolved, but you still have the overarching series story of the cabal that wants Val and Max together to steal their future child.
The secondary characters are just as complex and you never know if they are helping or hurting Val and Max or strictly out for their own gain. The plot twists and weaves all of these characters into an intense story that moves at a fast pace throughout. I love this series and cannot wait for the next book!
Thanks very much to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and Net Galley for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Rachel Grant’s Evidence series is a must read for me; smart, intelligent and smokin’ hot romance. When I found out she is starting a new series, I did a happy dance and then was so excited to find out I would be getting an early copy. TINDERBOX (Flashpoint Series, #1) by Rachel Grant is everything I expect in a Romantic suspense and more!
Dr. Morgan Adler is an archeologist working under contract to the Djibouti government in the Horn of Africa. As she works to clear the way for a new railroad, she and her team uncover a fossil skeleton that could be the find of a lifetime. The problem is that a warlord wants it also, and Morgan. She makes a run from her site to the American military base, Camp Citron, for help.
Based on a tip, Master Sergeant Pax Blanchard, a Green Beret based out of Camp Citron is ordered to intercept Morgan and stop her from getting to the base. They find a bomb under her car about to blow and Pax saves her life as she fights to save some fossils in her car. This is the first of many combustible situations between Pax and Morgan.
Morgan is a kick-butt heroine with a body like a centerfold, a foul mouth, and a PhD. She has a huge chip on her shoulder growing up with a General for a father, who she feels, he thinks she has never be good enough. Pax is completely focused on his military career after being burned young in a short-lived marriage to another General’s daughter. He wants nothing to do with any relationship and especially not with this General’s daughter. They are too hot for each other and there is no keeping their sexual tension from catching fire.
The plot takes off like a shot right from the first chapter and never lets up. Ms. Grant always teaches me new and interesting information in her books without slowing the pace. This new book has a warlord who wants to be a king, sex slave trade, corrupt and loyal politicians, and the U.S. and China working behind the scenes for control of this tinderbox of a country.
The twists and turns of the plot had me continually surprised and I just could not put this book down. The romance is hot, hot, hot. I highly recommend this book!
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
I have been looking forward to reading and reviewing this second book in the Mended Souls series. THE BEAST WITHIN by Jacquie Biggar did not disappoint! These books are a great blend of contemporary romance with added suspense and the paranormal element of guardian angels that have ties to the main characters.
Julie Crenshaw has made the move to Vancouver from Chicago with her two boys to help move on after the deadly accident a year ago that killed her husband and unborn daughter. It has been a difficult adjustment for them all, but at times she feels Mike is there to help her get through her toughest days, and he is watching over them.
One morning as she is out jogging, she stumbles across a severed foot inside of a sneaker. She reports her find and meets Detective Connor O’ Rourke, who is working similar cases attributed to The ABC Killer. Julie cannot get the detective off her mind and is surprised that she is finally attracted sexually to a man besides her deceased husband, but that cannot interfere with her job as a reporter for the local news to look into the murders.
Detective Connor O’Rourke is struck by the strength and not just the beauty of Julie to survive her past trauma. He is also worried about her safety since her find on the beach and her continued investigation into the killings. Julie takes his advice and sends her boys to visit their grandparents in Chicago. The sexual tension comes to a head and both Julie and Connor have to decide if they can have more than just a sexual relationship and build a future together. What neither of them realize is that they both know the killer and he already has plans for Julie.
Interwoven between the main romance plot, guardian angels Lucas and Mike are still both working to watch over those they loved before they died. They also are still working towards the forgiveness necessary to move on instead of the hate, blame and suffering after the accident that killed them both.
I loved this book as much as the first in this series. Ms. Biggar’s characters come to life emotionally in scenes that move you in every way. The second chance at love, the letting go of previous love lost, forgiveness and understanding. Both plotlines intertwine into a moving read that has me anxiously awaiting the next book!
Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
I have just finished reading a beautifully written, plotted and emotionally charged contemporary romance that has given me a book hangover that I do not want to end! EVERYTHING I’VE DREAMED OF (Love In Lake Crossing, Book 2) by Norah Bennet is a romance that introduces two broken individuals that this author brings to life and shares their journey of realistic emotional growth and healing.
Kate Willowbrook has grown up experiencing physical and sexual abuse, hunger and fear. She runs away after witnessing a rape and murder in her high school and ends up on the streets. Kate is eventually taken in by an elderly, feisty woman in Texas and given love and stability for the first time and taught how to take care of herself. With the death of her mentor and the end of a bad relationship, it is time to find a place to call home.
Kate settles down when she finds her dream of an old bookstore for sale in Lakes Crossing, NJ. She turns it into a bookstore for children called “Dreamscapes” with her apartment above and her cockatoo, Shakespeare. After a year of living here and making only casual acquaintances, Noah Reed walks in to find books for his niece’s birthday and Kate can’t believe her reaction to him.
Noah Bennett grew up in Lakes Crossing, but lives and works in New York City. His wife was killed in a car accident while he was in London on business and he has never forgiven himself. He throws himself into work and occasionally dates, but is not interested in a relationship until he meets Kate. Kate makes him laugh again and every encounter makes him want her more and the more he wants her the more protective he becomes. This causes problems with Kate from her past and somehow they have to learn to balance both of their needs against their fears to have a chance at love.
I cannot recommend this book enough. Kate and Noah both have to learn to open up and share their past lives, learn to overcome their fears and learn to balance the needs of each other to make this relationship work. What makes this romance so special is that the H/h actually talk to each other and work through their problems. They do have an instant attraction, but after that the pacing of the romance is realistic. This book is part of a series, but can easily be read a standalone. Well written sex scenes and a few external problems make this book a wonderful contemporary romance read. I’ll be looking for more from this author.
Written for and posted first on The Romance Review.com.
RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
It has been quite a while since I have read a historical cowboy romance. I am very glad that I tried this first in a series by a new to me author, ETHAN’S HEART (The Blackwood Brothers, #1) by Vickie King. The Blackwood family, a runaway with a sick baby and secrets, posses, outlaws, and Missouri in 1855 all come together for a great read.
Ethan Blackwood is a widower with two little girls. His beloved wife, Elizabeth was killed during a bank robbery. Grief has turned into a powerful need for revenge instead of justice for this sheriff, but first he has to find someone to take care of his little girls so he can go on the hunt for her killers.
Annabelle “Annie” Holt is on the run from St. Louis with little baby Lily. She has to abandon the wagon train due to Lily’s health and is helped by the town’s doctor, Andrew Blackwood. Annie needs to stay in town for Lily, but she has no money and considers accepting the job as the laundress for the salon girls. Andrew believes he has the perfect solution for Annie. She needs a home and security and his brother, Ethan needs a new wife to care for his home and girls.
Ethan and Annie marry and when Ethan makes it clear it is not for love, Annie has some rules of her own. It isn’t until he comes in with his star on his vest that Annie realizes she has married the town’s sheriff. It is now more important than ever to keep her secrets.
I loved Annie! She was so strong and loving even with all that had happened to her and what could happen if the truth of her past became known. The love and care she showed for everyone was wonderful to read. Ethan was a good and honest man who was being eaten alive by his need for revenge and how Ms. King dealt with his change of heart was very well done. I really enjoyed reading this story, even though at times it was predictable, because the familiar and HEA is what I am looking for in a good romance genre book.
Thank you to Salt Run Publishing LLC and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the brothers’ stories!