Sunday, November 19, 2017

Review: The Legend (Sons of Texas #3)

The Legend (Sons of Texas #3)

by Donna Grant 

Blurb:

A LONE STAR LOVER
Callie Reed doesn’t need a man to protect her. An expert sharpshooter and renegade hacker, this Texas-born spitfire’s got the skills and the courage to stand up to any danger―no matter how deadly. But when she becomes the target of a shadowy organization known as the Saints, Callie is forced to team up with the one man she can’t outshoot: the gorgeous, and infuriating, Lone Star legend named Wyatt Loughman…
A Delta Force Colonel with a rock-hard body and stone-cold heart, Wyatt has been teasing and tormenting Callie since they were playmates on his family’s ranch. Of course, he’s wildly attracted to the fiery, strong-willed Callie. But he’s always hidden his feelings behind a wall of Texas tough and military cool, even as he’s burning up with desire. Can Wyatt save Callie’s life―without putting her love in the line of fire?
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 The final brother has found a way to open his heart to the woman that has always had a place in his life, even as he tried to push her away, and their father has returned to the fold, but I have to wonder—is the series truly over? This series was a surprising contemporary change by one of my very favorite paranormal authors, and while I was skeptical from the beginning, as the series progressed I found myself enjoying the stories more and more.  Wyatt and Callie have been forced to team up together in this battle for their family and friends including but not limited to Wyatt’s father who has been like a father to Callie for many years.  Wyatt once allowed Callie to breach his defenses, but felt he had to push her away to keep her safe and in the process broke more than simply her heart.  Now he is faced with the truth that he wants Callie back and he isn’t sure he can get her back.  Working together on their mission they get closer and closer until the passion between them finally explodes leaving them both a bit confused and unsure if they can find a way to save themselves, much less find a way to come back together in a meaningful way.  I liked seeing Callie stand up to Wyatt and make him understand that he has a lot to atone for in order to win her back.  She makes him work for it which I totally loved; at the same time she has to come to terms with some of the mistakes she has made both in regards to Wyatt and her own choices through her life.  Wyatt knows he was an asshole in his past, but now that he is faced with the results of his choices, the loss of Callie as even a friend, he begins to understand what he truly threw away.  I enjoyed seeing Wyatt grow and change his way of living as he begins to see what changes he needs to make in his life, but I never formed a connection with him as my hero like I have in previous novels by Ms. Grant.  The connection between Wyatt and Callie is explosive from the beginning, which makes perfect sense once we get to learn the truth of their shared past, but when they come together again in the present the passion between them is just as hot.  Overall the plot of this story was VERY complex and contained so many twists through the trilogy of books that I honestly wasn’t sure from chapter to chapter who would be an enemy to the brothers and who was an ally, but in the end I felt like there were still a few more plot lines that were not wrapped up, leaving me hoping for another story in the series in the future.  Ms. Grant’s paranormal novels will always be my favorite, but I can see how her branching into contemporary novels could lead to a whole new chance for Donna to spread her wings.  Keep it up Donna and I can promise you that I will keep reading.

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Review: SEAL Wolf Undercover (Heart of the Wolf #22)

SEAL Wolf Undercover (Heart of the Wolf #22)

by Terry Spear 

Blurb:
 No wolf is safe in USA Today bestseller Terry Spear's new installment of the SEAL Wolf series.
Never be so foolish as to fall for the enemy...
Special wolf agent Jillian Matthews has joined the jaguar-run United Shifter Force to track down a deadly criminal. She's even willing to work with PI Vaughn Greystroke―until the hot, growly SEAL wolf makes the mistake of getting in her way. Naturally, she shoots him. Who could blame her?
Vaughn Greystroke has always worked alone. But when a string of attempted murders puts him in the crosshairs, teaming up with the Shifter Force begins to sound like a good idea. Even if he has to work with alluring―and potentially treacherous―Jillian Matthews. Vaughn is a trained SEAL, after all. He can surely keep his distance from Jillian...no matter how much she's getting under his skin.
Themes: Paranormal, wolf-shifters
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 This long-running series about sexy wolf-shifters has veered into a new direction with the crossover from the Heart of the Jaguar series and all I can say is I LOVE that twist.   Terry has a great way with her characters whether they are Wolves or Jaguars and she has no problem making the dramas of their lives human problems just as often as shifter-only problems.  That being said this story was a little slow for me is some ways and not as memorable as some of the previous stories in the series. Jillian and Vaughn were the story of a couple that has a second chance after spotting one another in a club and not taking the chance to introduce themselves despite their connection from across the room. Jillian is on the trail of a criminal and finds Vaughn in her way, accidentally shooting him, and bringing them together in a way that will certainly be a story to tell their grandchildren one day.  I liked Jillian’s independence and determination to get her man, even as she works with anyone that is able to lend a hand; she will never allow ego to get in the way of protecting her people and accomplishing her mission.  I enjoyed seeing her stand up to Vaughn and she was certainly an interesting woman.  Vaughn was a sexy, brave, and deadly alpha male that was also sweet at times and certainly a match for Jillian.  I liked Vaughn ok in the beginning but as he worked beside Jillian and her team I started to like him even more, seeing that he was definitely a good man and one that Jillian would be able to count on for years to come.  I have followed this series since the very beginning, following Terry through the different packs along the west coast, and even to a pack in Scotland, and the series keeps taking new and interesting turns, but I am beginning to lose a bit of the connection with the couples themselves so hopefully future stories will bring back that magic.  And the crossover connection between this author’s two series are becoming more and more interesting and I am looking forward to seeing where this might go in the future, perhaps even a jaguar/wolf mating? Whatever happens I know I will enjoy this series for a long time to come. 


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

Sunday, November 5, 2017

ARC Review: A Rancher's Heart (Heart Falls #1)

A Rancher's Heart (Heart Falls #1)

by Vivian Arend

Blurb:
This cowboy has given up on love, but the new nanny might just make him change his mind. The first in a brand-new series from New York Times bestselling author Vivian Arend.
Caleb Stone is wearing too many hats and it’s making him crankier than usual. He’s a cowboy, a father, and the head of his large family—and has been since tragedy claimed his parents over ten years ago. The ranch is struggling, but it's the title of single dad that’s got him tangled up in knots. He needs a full-time, live-in nanny at the Silver Stone homestead in Heart Falls, Alberta, to help with his two little girls, but the woman about to arrive on his doorstep? Tantalizing, tempting, and trouble with capital T’s.
Tamara Coleman doesn’t regret the choices that led to losing her job, but she definitely needs a fresh start. When a friend recommends her for a nanny position in a new town, she swears this time it’ll be different. No more acting on impulse—except sexy, gruff Caleb is exactly the kind of man who pushes all her buttons. And what’s more, it’s so much fun to push his in return. Sparks fly between Tamara and her gorgeous boss, but she can’t risk her position, and he doesn’t dare risk his heart.
With two people fighting their true natures, something’s going to give. Luckily, there’s more than one way to capture a rancher’s heart.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 A new and sexy spin-off of the much beloved Coleman Clan series has arrived from Vivian Arend.  In the finale of the Rocky Mountain House series Jesse Coleman fell in love with the sweet and loving Dare and we got to meet her family, the Stone’s, and in this new series we will get to see the Stone men fall in love.  A Rancher’s Heart brings the Coleman and Stone families together once again with Tamara Coleman traveling to the Stone Ranch to serve as nanny for Caleb’s two little girls. Caleb is the kind of rancher that every man wants to be; he is the leader of his small family and worries constantly about keeping them healthy and happy.  Caleb is determined that Tamara be nothing but the nanny that he needs for his girls, but the longer she is in their lives, the more he begins to wonder if she might be needed even more in another role.  Tamara came to the Stone’s as a way to get away from the small-town gossips in Rocky Mountain House, even though she doesn’t really know if she can handle the job.  But the moment she meets Caleb and his two girls, Emma and Sasha, she begins to fall for them.  She is determined she won’t make another unforgivable mistake on the job, but giving and receiving love is so natural to her that soon she is trapped by her own wants and needs. I loved getting to know both Caleb and Tamara, but my favorite moments were when they were working together to improve the lives of the Stone family.  Tamara is the kind of woman that I strive to be, dedicated to both work and family, but unwilling to overlook injustice just because it’s a rule.  She is brave, sweet, and loving to all those she finds worthy of love, and it was obvious that she was just what Caleb and the girls needed to get over the trauma of the woman that broke all their hearts. It was also amazing to see her helping with the ranch and making Caleb accept that she will have to be his partner if they are going to have a future together.  Caleb was the kind of rugged and sexy rancher that every woman has imagined for herself as some point in her life, but he is even more than just that.  His heart is certainly broken, though he refuses to admit it, and his girls need him to truly find a way to heal his heart so he can be there fully for them.  He is resistant to giving into the emotions and lust that Tamara inspires, not just because of his fears about heartbreak, but mainly because she is his employee and living under his roof as such.  Afraid to take advantage, it is only after an eye-opening moment that he decides she is worth the risk, and Caleb jumps in with both feet. The passion between Caleb and Tamara was hot enough to melt all the snow in even the Canadian Rockies these ranchers call home, and there was no way they were going to be able to fight that heat for long—THANK GOODNESS! I enjoyed every second of this story and am looking forward to the next in the series for sure.  I am not sure if we will be seeing more of the Coleman clan, since of course there are a few single gals (Tamara’s sisters) that need to find love still, but I can only hope that we do get to see them.  If you need a sexy and fabulous read for a long cold winter day, I highly recommend A Rancher’s Heart along with a good cup of hot cocoa (whiskey optional of course).

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review: All I Want for Halloween

All I Want for Halloween

by Marie Harte 

Blurb:
When Sadie Liberato is cajoled by her brother to attend a costume party a month before Halloween, she had no idea she'd fall for a handsome devil in a mask. Or that she'd have one hellishly fine encounter in the dark. But when her masked devil turns out to be Gear Blackstone, fallen TV reality star of the super popular show, Motorcycle Madnezz, she wonders if this is a match made in heaven or hell...
Themes: Contemporary, Halloween
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Happy Halloween indeed!  
Marie Harte has given us a sexy stand-alone story, that nonetheless links to her two series currently ongoing (The Donnigans and Body Shop Bad Boys Series), but if you haven’t read those series don’t worry, this story is AWESOME all by itself.  Sadie is a fabulous cook/baker extraordinaire, but lately her personal life has been a little…flat.  So even though she is reluctant, she attends a costume party with her brother and soon finds that her entire life will never be the same.  Gear on the other hand has a plan, he is attending the costume party to not only put a permanent end to the media madness that has taken over his life, but to also find himself a sexy no-strings-attached lover for the night.  They both get something that neither expected and when Gear decides to track down Sadie she isn’t interested in a relationship with him, but he is just too sexy to turn down flat.  Beginning a sexy fling with Gear she quickly finds herself the center of attention of not just Gear himself, but the whole town and the media that is still encroaching on his life.  Gear was a fun guy to get to know and he is obviously a lot more than he has been forced to show the world in recent years. It is time for him to rebuild his life and thankfully he sees early on that Sadie needs to be a part of that rebuilding. He was hot, sweet, lovable and beyond a good influence in Sadie’s life.  Sadie obviously needed a kick in the ass and a reason to move forward in love and life, and Gear was that kick.  She is brilliant, sarcastic, funny, and amazing in the kitchen, so I of course felt an instant connection with her ;).  The two of them from the very first moment they meet are burning the world down around them and the longer they are together the hotter they get and there is no way that those around them would ever say they were a boring couple.  I loved getting to see these two and of course the previous characters from the other two series coming together to celebrate my favorite holiday of the year.  I am looking forward to seeing these characters in future novels, and I REALLY want Elliot to find love before the curtains close of this group of connected individuals. Marie Harte is a master of weaving together lives and loves and there is always the chance that you will find a new character to love, even if they aren’t the main folks in the story.  Keep the magic coming Marie… in case you forgot Christmas is coming and I bet Elliot could use an awesome Christmas present!

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Review: Bring the Heat (Dragon Kin #9)

Bring the Heat (Dragon Kin #9)

by G.A. Aiken

Blurb:
HE SAYS . . .
I, Aidan the Divine, am, well divine. My name was given to me by the Dragon Queen herself! I’m a delight! Cheerful. Charming. And a mighty warrior who is extremely handsome with a very large and well-hidden hoard of gold. I am also royal born, despite the fact that most in my family are horrendous beings that don’t deserve to live. And yet, Branwen the Awful—a low-born, no less—either tells me to shut up or, worse, ignores me completely.
SHE SAYS . . .
I’ll admit, I ignore Aidan the Divine because it annoys him. A lot. But, we have so much to do right now, I can’t worry about why he keeps staring at me, or why he always sits so close, or why he keeps looking at me like he’s thinking about kissing me. We have our nations to save and no time for such bloody foolishness . . . no matter how good Aidan looks or how long his spiked tail is. Because if we’re going to win this war before it destroys everything we love, we’ll have to face our enemies together, side by side and without distractions. But if we make it out alive, who knows what the future will hold . . .
Themes: Paranormal, Dragon Shifters
Rating:  4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Ok so as I always preface stories from this author, whether writing as G.A. Aiken or Shelly Laurenston, if you are looking for something serious, deep, or meaningful then this story is probably not for you.  Aiken/Laurenston always writes stories that are playful, irreverent, and sexy as hell, sometimes veering into the ridiculous, but her characters are certainly polarizing. So that being said, I LOVE this series and this story was actually a return to the greatness of some of the original stories in the series. Lately some of the books haven’t been quite as good as before, but this one brought back the love. I am a bit afraid that this story was set up as an ending, but I am HOPING that is not the case, because this series is great. Branwen, aka Brannie, has grown up during this series and we have seen her and Izzie become great warriors, but here she meets her match in a dragon that is reasonable, sweet and sexy all while managing to be a warrior in his own right and not drive her crazy too very often.  Aidan had no idea that he would fall in love with Brannie, even though he has lusted after her a while, but the moment they find themselves paired on a mission they are surely not going to survive, the two of them get close.  Aidan and Brannie were a great match and they are definitely balancing forces together.  It was interesting to see the lives of all the previous couples and their children and the war, of course, took some amazing turns in this story, though I won’t offer spoilers on that.  I am looking forward to future books in the series if more are heading our way, but the wrap-up of a few story-lines were done with aplomb and I was amazed with the skill that Aiken has in weaving together lives and stories.  If you are looking for a story that will have you laughing non-stop and enjoying the ridiculousness of dragons and the humans that call them friends and lovers, then I recommend this series and this story in particular quite highly.

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Review: Caught by the Scot (Made to Marry #1)

Caught by the Scot (Made to Marry #1)

by Karen Hawkins 

Blurb:
When the dark Duke of Hamilton loses his beloved wife, he heeds her dying wish that he make certain her three brothers marry well for she fears they are all headed to ruin. Heartsick, the Duke approaches the task with a heavy hand, ordering the three brothers to marry within three months or forego their inheritance.
The middle brother, the dashing Conner Douglas, is not about to give up his independence, but he knows marriage doesn't always mean one must change, does it? If anything, being married to a pliable sort of female would give him even more opportunity to seduce the married women of the ton. So he heads straight for the most pliable female he knows - a childhood acquaintance and now mousy spinster, the English born and bred Miss Theodora Cumberbatch-Snowe.
Conner is so certain Theodora will joyously agree to marry him, that he takes his time traveling to her house and has only one month to secure her hand and marry. Yet when he arrives at her parents' house he discovers that Theodora has just run away with a local landowner—a farmer, no less! Unknown to Conner, Theodora has been wildly, passionately in love with him for years. But she's accepted that he sees her only as a friend. Unable to sit forever in her parents' front parlor and wait for what will never happen, Theodora decided to marry someone comfortable in the hopes they might at least become good partners.
Unaware of Theodora's feelings, Conner isn't about to let 'the perfect wife' get away so easily. But as Conner seduces Theodora, his own feelings stir. And after surviving a trip of mishaps and traps, he discovers that he can't image her marrying anyone but him.
Themes:  Historical, Scottish
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Karen Hawkins has brought us a whole new family of Scottish Rogues to fall in love with and I am eager to get to see each of them fall in love. Karen’s skill with bringing to life the Scots of the past and making us appreciate the Scottish mentality of life and freedom… and of course whisky. I am thrilled to see a new series beginning and was surprised with the direction Karen took.  Beginning with the death of a beloved sister, these three brothers are left with a choice of changing their lives and becoming the good men she knew them to be or give up their inheritance to the hated Campbell clan. The middle brother Conner knows immediately the woman he thinks will be able to fill his requirements for a meek and docile wife to meet the requirements of Anna’s will without having to actually give up his freedom to sail the open seas. So taking his sweet time, he heads to the home of his best friend hoping to convince his friend's little sister, Theodora, to be his wife, but he arrives too late—she’s already run off to elope with a local landowner! Conner rides away in hopes of heading off the disaster of Theodora marrying another man.  Theodora has finally given up hope of ever having the man she loves so she agrees to elope with a man she thinks she can make a good life with.  When Conner crashes into her life again, telling her that she cannot elope because he wants her to marry him, the anger and disappointment is unbelievable.  Now set on the task of convincing Theodora she should marry him, Conner inserts himself on their trip and uses every little bit of trickery he knows to slow their progress.  In the end, only by admitting their true fears and emotions can Theodora and Conner come to find their chance for a fully happy future.  I really enjoyed seeing Theodora push Conner and force him to come to terms with what he really wants from life and the truth of his feeling for her.  Conner was like most men his age, unwilling to admit that his life is not full and that he needs to find a true mate to complete his life. In the end his trickery, sweetness, and passion are the only way he can truly bring Theodora around to giving Conner a chance to redeem himself and earn back her love.  Theodora was a woman well ahead of her time and definitely the perfect woman to make Conner grow up and see what he really wants out of life.  She was intelligent, brave, and independent enough to know what she deserves and what she will demand from her husband.  Once she comes to the understanding that she has made a bad decision, she determines that since she cannot have the man she truly loves in her future as her equal, she will devote herself to her intellectual pursuits instead of having a family of her own.  I enjoyed the back and forth between Conner and Theodora as they battled with their wits and emotions until they could both understand just how much they need to be together.  The love and sweetness countered the need for crazy hot passion, but the obvious chemistry between these two ensured that we readers would always know that there was passion and would be between them for a long time in the future.  I am looking forward to the other brothers falling in love and possibly getting a few other stories starring these characters. Ms. Hawkins never fails to make me laugh, cry and fall in love right along with her characters and I know that anything I read with her name on it will always be worth every moment of angst and worry for the happy ending we always want to see.  Another masterpiece Karen, keep the magic coming.

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review: Hunger (The Energy Vampires #2)

Blurb:
Two strangers—one warm and human, the other deadly and craving—become pawns in an all-out vampire war as this series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Nightwalkers saga heats up.
As an energy vampire, Halo enjoys the chase for human blood—if it’s pure and consensual. But Halo goes from hunter to hunted when he is knocked unconscious and taken hostage by vicious sycophants. As he comes to, he realizes that he’s naked, starving, and trapped in a sealed room. With him is a deliciously human female, tempting him to feed—except her blood is heady with the scent of poisonous drugs. Never has nourishment been so near, yet so far . . . and it’s all part of the sycophants’ sick game.
The last thing Felice Mendoza remembers is everything going black. She awakens stripped, drugged, exposed, and alone—with a vampire. Halo is at once savage and tender, terrifying and alluring. Felice senses that her only chance to escape depends upon his survival. Given the choice between Halo and his enemies, Felice surrenders to his ravenous hunger. It’s a calculated risk—and a delirious pleasure. As Felice is ushered into a world as dangerous as it is desirable, their fight for deliverance is only the beginning.
Themes: Paranormal
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Well this story just goes to show you that there are sociopaths in every race and nation, and that sometimes the best chance you have to survive is to throw your lot in with the most unexpected of individuals. This new series about a special type of vampire, Energy Vampires, is a twist on the classic story that is the trademark of Jacquelyn Frank’s writing that I have always enjoyed.  Ms. Frank has had hits and misses for me in the past, but this series is really interesting and the magic of her writing is back in a big way.  Halo was a character we met in the previous novel, and I can honestly say that I wanted to kick his irreverent and seemingly useless butt most of the time in that one.  But Halo wakes up after another night of debauchery to find himself stripped to the skin and left locked in a room with only a television and camera to give him clues to his fate.   When he finds that the TV shows him a woman in just the same situation, his anger is immediately shot through the roof, even as his protective instincts kick in big time. Felice wakes in a situation she has no idea how to even understand, naked and trapped in a room she is overwhelmed when she hears Halo through the TV. Thrown together they fight to resist their attraction, even as they work together to try to escape their captors; but when he is forced to explain the truth of his nature, Felice’s acceptance of his people amazes Halo.  Once they are free, Felice throws her lot in with Halo and his people in order to find the assholes that kidnapped them in the first place. But the more they are together the harder it is for either of them to deny the emotions that they inspire in one another.  I loved seeing Halo step up and be the hero he should have always been, even if he did have his asshole moments here and there,  in the end he becomes the type of man I would be more than happy to feed for the rest of my life.  He was sweet at the most unexpected moments and truly came to care for Felice, even as he tried to push her away for her own good.  Felice was definitely the kind of woman that I loved getting to know.  While she was definitely not educated to the world she was thrown into, she takes everything in stride and works with Halo to earn their freedom instead of simply falling apart.  And when she is faced with the leaders of Halo’s race she refuses to back down and demands her due and the chance to prove her worth to their culture. As always with a Frank novel, the passion that these two feel is surprisingly strong and amazingly hot, leaving the reader needing a cold shower just to continue to read.   I loved this story and am looking forward to the rest of this series which will hopefully be coming soon.  Once again you have struck gold Jackie and I can’t wait for the rest of the stories in this series to hit my bookshelves. Keep up the magic.


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