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

when-it-hooks-you

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: The One Man by Andrew Gross

 

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I recommend this book highly for all lovers of historical fiction thrillers!

THE ONE MAN by Andrew Gross is one of my favorite books so far this year! I love stories set in the WWII era of history and then the author added twists and turns that have you constantly on the edge of your seat. I didn’t want to put this book down. I will warn you though, the last scene set in the past had me crying buckets.

This book has many threads of plot. You are shown the race to be the first to construct an atomic bomb, the ghettoes and transport of Jews to concentration camps, the horrors of Auschwitz and a daring mission by one man to break in to Auschwitz to rescue a scientist with the knowledge to help win the race to build the bomb for the United States.

The plot keeps you reading and completely engrossed in the story. The characters, good and bad, are all well written and believable. This book will immerse you in the past and set you on a fast paced thrill ride.

Thank you very much to St. Martin’s Press-Minotaur Books and Net Galley for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was great!

 

 

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.

Book Review: Things In Ditches by Jimmy Olsen

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

THINGS IN DITCHES by Jimmy Olsen is a murder mystery that had me savoring every quirky and eccentric small town character, feeling the cold of a Minnesota blizzard and sympathizing with the murder suspect. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Olsen’s writing style and the surprising twist at the end.

Philip “Dutch” Cleland is Willow River’s butcher and self-confessed murderer of the beautiful and naked corpse found in a ditch. Turn himself in, commit suicide or flee? I loved reading his decision making process and subsequent actions that follow.

Meanwhile, the very colorful cast of characters that are draw into the mystery had me turning the pages with a laugh or for worry about violence against them. You never knew what these characters had in store for them and it made reading this story so compelling. All of the characters are three dimensional and you could visualize them being truly alive and interacting in this small town.

This book has a plot that is full of twists and had me guessing throughout. The true ending in the epilogue was brilliant.

I highly recommend this book for anyone, not just mystery readers. I cannot thank Mr. Olsen enough for gifting me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review. It was truly a book that I enjoyed on so many levels.