Sunday, February 4, 2018

Review: Close to Heaven (Colorado High Country #5)

Close to Heaven (Colorado High Country #5)

by Pamela Clare

Blurb:
 A woman at a crossroads…
Rain Minear has fantasized about finding herself in Joe Moffat’s arms for years. It’s just her luck that the night it finally happens, he’s carrying her into the emergency room. It’s Joe who steps up to help her when a tragedy brings her life crashing down. He gives her a place to stay, helps her get back on her feet, and even tries to save her Christmas, though he’s never cared for the holiday. But he’s far too ethical to sleep with a member of his staff, holding her at arms length despite the long-simmering attraction between them.
A man haunted by the past…
Joe Moffat moved to Scarlet Springs to repay a debt. He’s struggled for years to keep his hands off Rain. She’s the general manager of his brewpub, and he is not that kind of boss. But, oh, she turns him on. More than that, she has the biggest heart of any woman he’s ever known. He’d do anything to see her smile again, even put up a Christmas tree and listen to carols.
A season that changes two lives forever…
When a Rocky Mountain blizzard leaves them snowbound, they can no longer ignore their feelings for one another. As their passion turns to something deeper, it becomes clear to them both that this will be the most important Christmas of their lives.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Okay wow, this series just gets better and better.  I was just the tiniest bit skeptical at the onset that Pamela would be able to pull off her usual greatness without all the added drama and danger of her I-Team series and still be able to keep her readers engrossed and craving more, but I know now I should never have doubted her mad skills. Once again Pamela proves that the skill of the author is the most important part of any story’s greatness.  This story has been a LONG time coming and I speak for all her fans when I say it’s about time.  Rain and Joe have become some of our favorite people in Scarlet Springs, truly being the glue that keeps the town together and makes everyone feel like a community. Rain with her innate sweetness and bubbly personality has made it her life’s work to always do whatever is needed to make her and her daughter’s life easier, giving up her dreams and returning home with an infant after the baby’s father turned out to be a bastard. Joe was the only person willing to give her a leg up and she never forgot that, but over the years those feelings have morphed into something deeper and undeniable, so when she is forced to take advantage of his hospitality she thinks it might finally be time to lay all her cards on the table.  But Joe is a stubborn man.  Joe would give anything to feel like he deserves a chance at happiness with Rain, but he has too much to atone for and the sins of his ancestors run long and deep, even if most of the current residents of Scarlet Springs don’t know it. Joe has wanted Rain for many years, but he won’t cross the line by sleeping with one of his employees so he has worked very hard to hide his desires and need from her, but when her world crumbles around her there is no way he won’t step in and offer her a safe haven.  Thrown together in the close quarters of Joe’s home and forced to come to terms with one another’s true feelings Joe and Rain must decide if they are willing to risk everything for a chance at the true happiness they both have searched for their entire lives.  I LOVED every second of this story and was thrilled I got the chance to read it (even mother nature helped ensure it got my full attention when snow swept into Florida closing the state down to give me the full  day to read:) ). Rain was the type of woman that I always wished I had the energy to be, sweet, fiery, giving and loving, despite circumstances that have made many a woman lose all confidence in themselves and certainly hardened their hearts.  She is not only the center of Joe’s world but the heart of  the small town of Scarlet Springs whether she realizes it or not, making her thoughts of possibly leaving town all that more terrifying.  Joe is a big sexy bear of a man, and to be honest in the previous stories I guess I missed the fact that he was so damn sexy… must not have been paying enough attention! But getting to see him through Rain’s eyes, especially as she falls even deeper in love with him showed me just how wonderful he truly was. The heat between Rain and Joe has certainly been building for twenty years so when they finally give into their passions and give themselves permission to fully embrace one another there is no way anyone in town can miss the sparks flying and melting the snow of the blizzard that put Rain in this predicament to begin with.  I am so glad that Pamela took a chance with this series and I cannot wait for whatever comes next because the characters in this town are so unique, interesting and full of life, I feel like I could drive into a small town in Colorado, walk into a local bar and find myself meeting each of these people as if they stepped right off the pages. If you are looking for a wonderful read for a long snowy day or a few nights by the fire cuddled with your honey,  this is the perfect read, but bring the tissues and the wine, trust me you will need them. Another stroke of genius,  Pamela!

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Review: Tangled in Time (The McCarthy Sisters #1)

Tangled in Time (The McCarthy Sisters #1)

by Barbara Longley 

Blurb:
To set him free from an ancient curse, she must travel to a time of myth and legend…
Regan MacCarthy’s ability to see ghosts is a gift inherited from her Irish ancestors, but it’s one she’d dearly like to give back. In an attempt to return her powers to their source, she travels to Ireland to harness the ancient magic that still permeates the mystical site of Newgrange. Instead, something far more unexpected awaits her: a strapping, gorgeous stranger who insists he’s a centuries-old Celtic warrior.
Fáelán was one of Fionn MacCumhaill’s elite soldiers before being cursed by a resentful fae princess. The only way to free himself is to fall so deeply in love that he’d sacrifice his life. Not an easy matter when he’s invisible to most. Yet Regan sees him—not just the proud, handsome warrior on the surface, but the complex man beneath. Only when it’s too late does Fáelán realize that drawing this beautiful mortal into his world has endangered them both, and may destroy the happiness he’s waited an eternity to claim…
Themes:  Paranormal, Magick, Time Travel
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Okay, so I have said this before and will again—I don’t generally enjoy time travel themed romances, mainly because they are generally not written very well.  But when I saw this one was written by a favorite author I figured I would give it a shot, then I realized it was much more than a simple time travel romance.  Ms. Longley begins her all new series with a serious new view of the world around us and I really liked getting to know these characters and learning about their lives. The themes shown here and there is the story instead of detracting from the romance only added to the heart, passion, and drama of the love story.  If you are a fan of any type of paranormal romance, enjoy a good ghost story, like a sexy smartass, or simply want to try something  just a little bit out there you will find something to enjoy in this story.  Regan has traveled to Ireland in the hopes of learning more about and hopefully getting rid of here “gift” of being able to see and communicate with ghosts.  Pulled to a mystical site of great power she stumbles across a ghost that like so many claims he isn’t a ghost, but this time he has an all new angle. Fáelán claims to be a cursed warrior that is centuries old, caught between worlds and only free to escape a few days each year, but according to him the fact that she can see him means she just might be the woman to free him.  No pressure, though.  As Fáelán appoints himself her tour guide, spending the time  he has on her plane each day to get to know her and woo her, Regan finds herself enjoying his company more and more and begins to question if he really is a ghost or might be telling the truth.  At least until he shows up on her doorstep,  sweeps her into his arms,  and shows her just how not dead he is.  But now they are faced with the even bigger challenge of breaking his curse and finding a way to be together, because not only has Regan accepted the truth of Fáelán’s existence, she’s fallen in love with him too.   This story was beyond interesting and I loved the world building, but the love between Fáelán and Regan truly was the focus as they learned about one another and fell in love despite everything and everyone conspiring against them.  Regan was the kind of woman I would want to be, selfless in her love and willing to sacrifice her own happiness for the man she loves, no matter the pain it leaves her in.  I also loved seeing her come to accept her gift the more she is able to use it to connect with Fáelán, showing that sometimes the hand of fate is not to be questioned, not matter how uncomfortable or annoying it can be to us.  Fáelán was a bit of an ass at times, but then again what alpha warrior from the past wasn’t, but his sweetness, intelligence and willingness to support Regan made up for his stubbornness.  His determination to find a way to defeat his captors and get back to his love, no matter how long it took showed that once he truly gave his heart away there was no taking it back.  I cannot wait for the next two stories in this series and look forward to seeing Fáelán and Regan in the next stories about her sisters as they too find their matches.  Another masterful series in the making, Ms. Longley!

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Review: Her Dark Half (X-Ops #7)

Her Dark Half (X-Ops #7)

by Paige Tyler 

Blurb:
Trevor Maxwell
Coyote shifter with an attitude
Covert operator
Trusts no one, especially his devastatingly beautiful new partner
Alina Bosch
Former CIA, newest operative on the covert team
Hired to spy on her partner
Motto: "Never be deceived again."
Coyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they're going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side...
Themes: Paranormal, Shifters
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:

 This series continues to go into an unexpected direction, more and more going into deep water that shows us that no matter who is in charge, ultimate power truly does ultimately corrupt.  I am looking forward to where all this is heading though and wondering if in the end good truly will overcome evil. Trevor has been one of those characters that you wonder about, his issues with controlling his shifting making him increasingly unstable and his inability to control his urges making him just that much more sinfully sexy.  When the other shifters in the organization were forced into hiding, he definitely stepped up and has taken on a dangerous mission, but he knows that trusting his new partner is not a good idea, even if she is too sexy for words and pulls on his instincts in ways he has never experienced. Alina left the CIA when she found herself being typecast on her missions, only to find herself placed right back into the same situation, except with one very big difference—the partner she is now spying on is not entirely human.  While they work together and slowly come to trust one another the passion and heat between them becomes stronger and just as undeniable as the fact that their lives as truly in danger unless they can root out the evil in the organization that they may just end up giving their lives to.  I really enjoyed seeing Trevor and Alina working together and they were a great couple once they began to trust one another, but I will say that if you haven’t been a follower of this series I don’t think you would have been able to jump right in at this point without being a bit lost, which takes away some of the greatness of the story. The romance between the H&H is worth every second of the angst and tension needed to bring them together and I LOVED the twists and turns the overall series arc took and can see this one lasting a long time to come.  I would like to see a few more of the SEALs come to find love as well, but my favorite part of this series was definitely seeing the growing family that has formed from the couples in the previous stories coming together.  Sometimes the family you build by choice truly is stronger than the one you are born into. I am looking forward to the next story in the series and seeing where Ms. Tyler takes the series now that more secrets have been uncovered and some characters have taken new directions. Keep up the good work.

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: HOT SEAL Bride (HOT SEAL Team #4)

HOT SEAL Bride (HOT SEAL Team #4)

by Lynn Raye Harris 

Blurb:
Sold to the highest bidder…
For the past fourteen years, Princess Antonella Rossi has been a virtual prisoner. She has no friends, no fun, and she’s not allowed to leave her aunt and uncle’s Virginia compound without an escort.
But today is her wedding day. A rich sheikh has bought her virginity, and with it her freedom. Any hope of independence Ella’s ever cherished will disappear the instant she faces him across the altar. With time running out and the wedding party gathering, Ella seizes the opportunity to run as far and fast as she can.
Navy SEAL Cash “Money” McQuaid isn’t looking for trouble, but trouble always seems to find him. This time trouble is five foot four and wearing a wedding dress. Rescuing a runaway princess has consequences though, and with his face plastered on the evening news and his career on the line, he realizes there’s only one way out of this mess—he has to marry her!
It’s a marriage in name only, just until he can clear his name and win Ella the freedom she seeks. But shacking up with a gorgeous virgin isn’t as easy as it seems, especially when the sparks snapping between them are hotter and more dangerous than anything Cash has ever experienced. By the time he realizes it’s too late to resist his virgin bride, an unseen enemy is intent on taking her away from him.
Cash is gonna need all his skills—and his friends on the Hostile Operations Team—in order to rescue his princess bride and give her the happily-ever-after she deserves.
Themes:  Contemporary, Military Suspense
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Another fun adventure ensues for the HOT team and it is finally time for Karma to kick Cash McQuiad in the ass for all the times he has laughed at his boys as they found the loves of their lives. I have enjoyed this series from the very beginning and the longer it runs the more I wonder how Ms. Harris finds the material for not only the plots of each unique story but the inspiration for the interesting and amazing characters she creates.  This series revolves around the rather interesting concept of a special and deep cover group of individuals working to keep the world safe from the worst of the worst that would seek to basically enslave everyone that doesn’t kiss their asses.  HOT has grown exponentially over the years as each new squad has been added and as the men of the squads have found their mates (or the women) and they have truly become a family.  Ms. Harris has the amazing ability to take us right into the heart of the most outrageous plots and let us live the action right alongside her operators, using weapons, exacting revenge and rescuing loved ones like the majority of us would never be able to do in our real lives.  While I will say that the majority of these novels move very quickly in real time, the emotional connections and physical heat between the characters is no less believable or in any way lacking for the speed in which they fall in love.  I am always looking forward to whatever comes next, but OMG after the Epilogue she slipped in on us this time I can honestly say I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for what comes next and will be stalking her social media accounts for every hint of when and what will happen next.  Damn Lynn you’ve ruined me for any other military suspense writer. ;)
Cash “Money” McQuiad is a ladies man to the core, not because he disrespects women, but because he learned from an early age not to believe that true love exists, even as he has watched all his friends and coworkers fall under its spell.  He wants nothing to do with commitment or love but he has never been one to turn down a sexy woman…unless she happens to be a virgin.  That’s a line he just won’t cross. When he takes a solo trip into the woods for some R & R he never imagines his world would forever change in a single instant.  Ella has finally decided that her life is her own and made a run for it, but her plan goes awry leaving her badly in need of a knight in shining armor… just in time for a badass special operator to rescue her instead.  Ella has lived her life in a gilded cage but now that she is free she will do whatever it takes to stay that way, including begging for Cash’s help. Soon Cash and his boys are on the job, but the more time he spends around the alluring Princess the more he begins to questions his hard and fast rules and soon there is no stopping him from taking her to his bed.  But when the op is over and she no longer needs his protection, can he convince her she needs him for an altogether different reason, or will it be too late for him to show his wife that he has lost everything to her—including his heart and soul?
Cash is the kind of brash and naughty little boy that hides in the sexy body of a lot of alpha guys, going through women as fast as he does underwear, but not willing to look deeper into why he feels the need to do so.  I enjoyed getting to see him stripped down to the soul and coming to terms with what he really needs in his life, even as I cried for him when he thought he’d truly lost Ella forever.  It was awesome to see him falling for Ella, helping her blossom and find her footing in a world she has been so isolated from.   There were so many moments where the two of them truly connected, even if he tried to deny it, and it was obvious to reader in those moments that they were made for one another.  Cash has so many issues to work through before he could give his heart away and while I knew it was going to be a rough journey for him it still hurt to watch him dealing with everything. Princess Antonella, Ella to those she loves, was a woman that had to find herself in a world that many of us still struggle in when we’ve been in the thick of it our whole lives.  She has no one she can lean on, except Cash and his friends, as she learns how to function for herself, doing the simplest of things like cooking for herself, shopping or even renting a home.  I liked seeing her when she was at her most comfortable, just her and Cash, and her calming nature was obviously just what was needed to balance Cash’s brash and outgoing personality.  The two of them certainly heated up at even the most innocent of looks or touches so there was never much doubt that Cash would claim his wife in truth, though I will say I was often surprised by the way Cash was so determined to keep a lid on the way his emotions leapt with Ella.  Just let it happen, man!
HOT SEAL Bride is the kind of story that most little girls wish was a variation of our own story; an exiled princess escapes a bad situation only to be rescued by a dashing alpha protector who ultimately falls madly in love with her.  But just like in real life there were several real challenges for Ella and Cash, beyond the internal struggles they both faced.  With enemies at every corner, Ella and Cash were on high alert too often, until they weren’t and then disaster strikes. Ella’s intelligence and spunk are undeniable especially once she discovers her confidence in herself and refuses to back down anymore, after all no queen will ever let anyone make her bow.  Cash is the type of guy destined to eat his words, and thankfully once he meets the woman that will hold his heart and soul, he is not above asking for forgiveness from those he slighted and begging their help.  Just like any family, when Cash and Ella need their friends’ support there is no question they will do whatever it takes.  The passion, laughs, sweetness, and heartbreak that are essential to a truly fantastic romantic novel are front and center in this novel along with the action and drama that Ms. Harris always supplies for us.  I will say that if you have issues with waiting for long periods of time between teasers and the next book, DO NOT READ THE EPILOGUE. I could not stop squealing after reading that one and like I said I will be stalking social media every second for news about that next novel.  You really know how to make a girl crave, Lynn.   No idea where she comes up with this stuff, but damn I wish I had that skill!

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

ARC Review: Devil in Tartan (Highland Grooms #4)

Devil in Tartan (Highland Grooms #4)

by Julia London

Blurb:
Peril and passion on enemy seas…
Lottie Livingstone bears the weight of an island on her shoulders. Under threat of losing their home, she and her clan take to the seas to sell a shipload of illegal whiskey. When an attack leaves them vulnerable, she transforms from a maiden daughter to a clever warrior. For survival, she orchestrates the siege of a rival’s ship and now holds the devilish Scottish captain Aulay Mackenzie under her command.
Tied, captive and forced to watch a stunning siren commandeer the Mackenzie ship, Aulay burns with the desire to seize control—of the ship and Lottie. He has resigned himself to a life of solitude on the open seas, but her beauty tantalizes him like nothing has before. As authorities and enemies close in, he is torn between surrendering her to justice and defending her from assailants. He’ll lose her forever, unless he’s willing to sacrifice the unimaginable…
Themes:  Historical, Scotland
Rating:  4.25 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
The family that never ceases to find a way out of any tight corner returns to find themselves in a truly impossible situation, this time with the middle son finding himself taken hostage and forced to face an untenable choice.  I have enjoyed getting to know these characters very much and the story, carried over two generations,  was certainly interesting.  I always love Julia’s writing, but find I have found a true connection to this series and these characters more than previous books, probably because of the way she seems to throw the most outrageous problems at them and always they overcome as a family. If you have missed the previous stories in the series you are missing a great experience and will miss some of the finer points mentioned here and there about those stories,  but Aulay and Lottie’s story definitely holds its own and by no means needs any supporting. I cannot wait to see if and when Catriona will find her own love and see just how long Julia will stretch this series, because there have been some very interesting side characters along the way that I would LOVE to see have their own stories in the series.
Aulay and Lottie begin their love story just like any other; Boy sees girl, wants her and then she hijacks his ship and holds him prisoner. Oh, ok so maybe not the most normal intro to love (wink!) but it works for them.  Lottie is at her wits’ end trying to find a way to keep her clan from destitution, her family from jail and her father alive, so she takes the chance when it comes to her.  She never imagined how much the man she kidnaps will come to mean to her or how much he will change her life or her.  Aulay is determined to make Lottie pay for her crime against him and his clan, but the more he sees her trying to bring her clan through this as unscathed as possible, the weight of the world on her shoulder, the more he comes to respect her.  The passion and heat between them is nowhere near as surprising as the emotional connection and longing that rises the more they spend time together in close quarters.  But soon Lottie’s worst fears are realized and she turns to Aulay in hopes of finding any hope or connection to keep her from floating adrift.  Then just when her those hopes are looking more and more possible disaster strikes for them all and there is no turning back for any of them.  Now Aulay and Lottie have to decide if their longing and passion are enough to build a life on despite the challenges they face and the people that will be set against them.
Aulay is the kind of hero that has always left me the saddest at the end of a story, because he is just the type of man I could see for myself.  While he is definitely not lacking in his alpha tendencies, being a captain among his men, his true calling is his art and the need to escape from the perceived inadequacies he feels around his family when on land.  I loved getting to know him more, even though there were DEFINITELY moments I wanted to knock him on his ass for the way he treated Lottie and the garbage he said to her.  Sometimes we all need to remember is that any animal, from the smallest mouse to the largest bear, the simplest blind mole to the most complex thinker—man, they all lash out when in true pain. Lottie was a woman that has her own fears of inadequacy, but she is never going to sit back and let the world go on around her when she can TRY to help; right or wrong she will give her all to help those she loves to succeed and to keep them safe.  I loved seeing her go head to head with Aulay, take command of the men around her, and even find a way to forgive the truly unforgivable way that Aulay treats her several times. She is not going to ever give up on someone she loves, even if they have given up on themselves, but there were moments she gave up on herself and let her own doubts crowd in, making her that much more relatable, because I’ve never believed or connected with a character that is like that, one that never doubts any choice they make—that’s just not realistic to me.
Devil in Tartan was truly an adventure to read.  With drama, battles, death, intrigue, lust, passion, and ultimately the healing power of true love, Julia London shows that the nature of man hasn’t changed through the years, leaving us still seeking those same needs today that have always made life worth living.  Aulay has always looked for his place in the world.  A middle son, one not known for his ferocity or any other particularly marketable skill, his ability to command the seas is what has always given him the feeling of acceptance from his father and Laird.  Now, faced with the chance to change that, to truly find out where he belongs Aulay might just find that a tiny angel-haired lass will be the one to lead him to that happiness and the missing piece of his life he has always sought on the open sees, but only if he will allow himself to seize the chance at her love. Lottie has no idea what she needs in her life, but she wants her freedom and to keep her clan from becoming destitute, so she is determined to follow through with her father’s foolhardy plan, even with disaster after disaster standing in their way, until suddenly there is just no point in continuing on that journey anymore. Now Aulay and Lottie both have to face the truth of their life and decide if that missing piece they both seek could be found in the other person’s arms.  I loved every moment of this story, even though I cried through a good last quarter of the story and I always enjoy seeing how Ms. London finds a way for her lovers to prevail over everything they are up against.  I am really looking forward to seeing what if anything will be coming next in this series and of course reading whatever series comes our way next.  If you are looking for a light and fluffy historical romance—this isn’t it folks, but if you want to read a story about the true and real love of two people that just happens to be set in the past and revolves around the historical Highland Clans so many of Scottish descent (myself included) find so fascinating, then you cannot go wrong with Devil in Tartan.

*ARC provided by author for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Review: Maybe This Christmas (Colorado Ice #3)

Maybe This Christmas (Colorado Ice #3)

by Jennifer Snow 

Blurb:
All wrapped up . . .

One more game. That's all that stands between NHL star Asher Westmore and a major career milestone. But then his brother bashes him against the hockey boards, sidelining him for months. Over Christmas holidays, no less. If staying off the ice doesn't drive him crazy, staying with his family will. The only bright spot amidst the mistletoe and twinkle lights: His best friend, Emma, is a physical therapist. And working out with her improves his body and his spirit.
One last time. Emma Callaway was in trouble the minute she and Asher added benefits to their friendship. How is she supposed to resist a funny, caring guy who makes her toes curl? Her heart was safe while he lived in a different state. Now that he's back home recuperating, though, it's only a matter of time before she blurts out her feelings. Emma's only hope is that with a little holiday magic, she'll get the best Christmas gift of all.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Long time friends with benefits to short term lovers… yeah that could never go wrong, right?
This story is further proof that men are not so bright when they lead with the wrong head, or at least when they try to convince themselves that is what they are doing.  This latest story about one of the Westmore brothers, hockey legends and men that have no problems finding women until the one woman they want for life finds them, was a challenge to read.  Mainly because it reminds me of the thick-headedness of so many men.  Jennifer Snow has a way of creating characters that are perfectly believable  in their behaviors and putting them into situations that challenge them to change their spots, or in this case prove that they have been hiding their true colors all along.  Emma has been in love with Asher for as long as she can remember but she refused to hold him back or give up her own dreams so he could live his, but when their friendship became something more they continued to hook up whenever the chance permitted.  But when a catastrophe leaves Asher sidelined in his hometown and in need of Emma’s skills as a healer he never imagined that his feelings for her would be impossible to hide, even from himself. I fully appreciated the predicament that Emma found herself in and wasn’t sure how I would have handled it myself, but I do know that she was a woman determined to do everything she could so that the love of her life never had to give up his dreams; that kind of sacrifice makes her a great woman in my book, much better than me for sure.  Some might say that she was silly to give up her own dreams for Asher’s but I have always believed that when you truly love someone you will give up any and everything to see them succeed and find their happiness, even  if it means it isn’t with you.  Asher was too much for me at times and I wanted to slap some sense into him, but his petulance was finally forgivable when he showed that he was really just terrified of losing Emma altogether.  Asher has loved her for so long, hiding that feeling until they both could meet their professional goals, keeping the hope and love buried until what his brain thought  was the right time to explore it fully.  Of course that was his real problem; the brain knows nothing about love and should never lead an emotional decision.  I enjoyed seeing Asher and Emma rubbing against one another, every now and then rubbing the wrong way and causing some friction, but mostly proving to one another they truly were meant to be.  The heat between them is unmistakable and I can honestly say that I don’t understand how they kept their friends and families from knowing about them for so long. There were also a lot of growing pains for these two in their own rights in this story and I loved the way they blossomed individually as well as a couple, finding their way in the world despite obstacles and drama.  Jennifer Snow makes the most mundane of topics and settings fascinating and I find myself really wanting to travel to Colorado to find myself a sexy hockey hottie.  Thanks for another round of fun Jennifer.

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Review: Storm Gathering (Scorpius Syndrome #4)

Storm Gathering (Scorpius Syndrome #4)

by Rebecca Zanetti 

Blurb:
Even before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Greyson Storm was a lone wolf navigating minefields. As a kid, he learned to take a hit and find safety. As an adult, he joined the military and quickly learned how to protect and defend. When the world ended, he created a mercenary camp with military precision, no entanglements, and a promise to avenge a fallen friend. As part of that vow, he kidnapped Maureen Shadow, but now that he has let her go, her blue eyes and intriguing mind keep haunting him…
As possibly the only Biotechnology Engineer still living, Maureen Shadow might be humanity’s one hope to survive the aftermath of Scorpius, making her frighteningly valuable to both allies and enemies. Even after sexual tension explodes between her and Greyson, she’s not sure which camp he belongs to—friend or foe? Worse yet, survival may mean thwarting his prime mission, putting her in even more peril. When danger and seduction collide, there is no safety in this new world.
Themes:  post-Apocalyptic
Rating:  4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
This series, set in post-Apocalyptic America, is not something I thought I would enjoy to be honest, but as time progresses I have found myself more and more drawn in to the stories and characters, most probably attesting to the skills of Ms. Zanetti. The characters are intriguing, the plot lines not really that different from everyday life once boiled down to the basics and the love stories truly the focus.  Maureen and Greyson’s story has been building for a while now and I enjoyed the way Zanetti backed up a bit to give readers the full experience in case they happened to have missed previous stories in the series.  Greyson has become a leader of a small group of men he has turned into soldiers, just trying to survive and working toward the goal of finding and stopping a sociopath bent of spreading the pathogen that already wiped out 95% of the world’s population even farther.  Maureen, a plant biotech engineer is just focused on what comes next and protecting the most important factor for a chance of human survival, the food source we need to survive.  When he kidnapped her, using her as leverage against her brother, he never imagined he would lose his heart to her and ultimately change the course of his life for her.  I was thrilled to get a chance to read this story and as strange as it sounds the story really is about just two things, finding love in a world spinning out of control and believing so much in that love that no obstacle is too big to keeping that love alive and strong.  Maureen was a kickass heroine and I loved watching her go head to head and toe to toe with not only Greyson but all the alpha men around her including psychopathic presidents and her extremely badass brother.  The love she feels for the men in her life won’t stop her from kicking some sense into their brains and it certainly won’t stop her from pointing out when they are making huge mistakes.  Her intelligence, spunk, and sass made her one of my favorites in this series to date, and I have no doubt that if she has anything to say about it, the human population will soon thrive again and have no problems rebuilding an even better and stronger civilization.  Greyson is the type of guy that keeps his word once he gives it, but he doesn’t let a promise made in the heat of the moment keep him from understanding that sometimes a promise needs to be broken if the greater good will benefit from it.   When he allows himself to show it, he can be so sweet and sensitive, but in the world they now inhabit, he doesn’t believe he can allow his guard down enough to show it, except when he is alone and safe with his woman.  Together they throw sparks at every turn, but there are also so many sweet and endearing moments of love and serenity that we wonder if the world around them has simply stopped, until it rudely intrudes of course.  I am looking forward to seeing who falls in love next in this series, though I have my suspicions and seeing where Zanetti takes everything with their future survival.  I can still say that I don’t love post-Apocalyptic series, but I always throw in the caveat “except for the Scorpius Syndrome series by Rebecca Zanetti” when I say it now. Keep the magic coming, Rebecca.

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.