Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: The Arrow

The Arrow (Highland Guard #9)

by Monica McCarty 

Blurb:

As King Robert the Bruce of Scotland plots to retake his English occupied castles, he needs the stealth and skill of his elite soldiers, the Highland Guard. Fearless and indomitable, no men are more loyal to their king, or cherished by the women they love.
 The talents of legendary marksman Gregor “Arrow” MacGregor are crucial now, as Bruce moves to reclaim his Scottish holdings. Gregor is considered the most handsome man in Scotland, and his fame as an archer is rivaled only by his reputation with the lasses as a heartbreaker. But when his infamous face is exposed during a covert mission, Gregor is forced to lay low. He returns home only to find a new battle waiting: a daring game of seduction involving his now very grown up and very desirable ward, Cate of Lochmaben.
 A born fighter, Cate was clinging to life when Gregor rescued her after a vicious English raid on her village left her mother dead. But five years later, the once scrappy orphan Gregor took under his protection has become a woman. Brave, strong, and skilled in warfare, Cate is determined to lay claim to the warrior who refuses to be trapped. The heat in his eyes tells her she has his attention . . . and his desire. But will Gregor allow his heart to surrender before danger finds them, and the truth of Cate’s identity is revealed?
Themes: Historical, Highlanders
Rating: 5 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
Returning to the highlands for another adventure of the Highland Guard and Robert the Bruce, The Arrow takes us on a journey through young love, deceit, passion and ultimate forgiveness.  I was thrilled to have a chance to read Gregor and Cate’s story before publication and discovered it was one of my favorite stories in the series.  Though I have wondered often about the past that haunted Arrow and was curious about the “ward” who continuously caused him trouble, I never imagined the story would be so amazing.  Getting to see all the other Guard members and their relationships with their wives, and of course hearing about children born, along with learning more about Robert the Bruce and his amazing rise to power, was a major draw for reading this story. Monica has yet to ever disappointment when I read one of her stories, and I have read everything she’s published, but with each new Highland Guard novel I find myself more amazed by the richness, imagination, and the utter flexibility of her mind as she creates these characters and the stories of their lives.  I will be sad to see this series end, but I know when it happens there will be something even greater coming after to keep us all entertained and enthralled.
Gergor’s story begins with him getting word from his brother, the steward of his clan, that his ward, Cate, has gotten herself into trouble once again.  While he has been restless for some time, he isn’t willing to leave his king’s side, until Robert insists he take the trek home and deal with his issues so he can come back full prepared to kick butt. Reluctantly he returns home, only to find that the young hellion that has driven him mad for years has grown into a beautiful and desirable woman, one that flaunts and flirts in an attempt to bring him closer.  Cate has lived with Gregor’s clan for years, since he rescued her from a certain death, but she has always been in love with Gregor, waiting months for glimpses of him when he returns home.  When he returns this time she is determined to have him as her husband and goes out of her way to show him that she’s a woman that can be his equal.  But even as their passion ignites, Gregor fights the attraction and tries to deny that they are obviously meant to be together.  With enemies circling around Gregor, Cate is pulled into the drama, but she risks her life  to avenge her mother’s death since Gregor obviously regrets his decision to be her mate. When the truth of her past comes to light, can she and Gregor find forgiveness and the love they both always needed in each other’s arms? Or will they forever be kept apart by their circumstances and their own stubbornness?
Gregor has always let his own past and the animosity on his father affect his every decision, so when he starts to lose focus and is no longer a perfect warrior, it becomes apparent that he needs some time to gain back his focus.  Though it is obvious he is normally a man who plays the field—and really most men back then wereeven after marriage—when he arrives back home and finds himself faced with the very uncomfortable desire for Cate he does not handle it very well.  I loved that he tried so hard to be honorable, but really wish he’d opened his eyes earlier to the hurt he was causing Cate at every turn, because he is just not the type of man to hurt a woman intentionally.  I hated that he also couldn’t find it in his heart to trust Cate, letting his past with women color his chance at a future with her.  When he does finally come around, he moves heaven and earth to win back her love and trust, but if he had just seen the true love she had for him from the beginning, it would have been much less heartbreaking all around.   Regaining his focus and finding a way to accept that he will not always be a perfect warrior, but will always be a great one, gives him back the focus he needs to protect not only his king, but also the woman that has stolen him heart and soul.
Cate is a special type of woman, one standing alone in a category no one has even seen at this point in history—an independent, free-thinking, and battle ready warrioress.  The trauma of her mother’s death has driven her to find every way to protect herself in the future, determined that she will never again be helpless to protect herself or others she loves, and to find vengeance against her mother’s killer.  The only bright spot in her life has been Gregor and the deep love that has developed for him, even though she knows he doesn’t see her the way she wants.  She’s watched him through the years, giving himself to others, and never once seeing the love she has for him as anything but a silly crush of a little girl.   Now that Gregor is returning home, she is going to seize the chance to make him hers with all her passion and determination.  As he finally begins to return her desire, she sees a chance for them to have a life together, but quickly learns that sometimes the demons in a person’s past can destroy them faster than any weapon of man.  That heartbreaking truth leads Cate on a reckless mission, one that I understand fully, but one that places her life into deadly peril, especially once the truth of her parentage is revealed.  But honestly, who doesn’t love a woman that will not only forgive the discretions of others, but their betrayals as well, and can still rescue herself from a killer that has haunted her for a decade and in the process save a kingdom and avenge the murder of her mother?  I want to be Cate when I grow up please.
The great Highland Guards have once again captured our hearts and minds in a tale of passion, betrayal, love, and redemption, all while giving you a glimpse into a richly fascinating culture and time and the lives of the men and women that shaped a nation.  Gregor is a man that has always measured his worth in his abilities as a warrior, never understanding that his loyalty, kindness, and willingness to give his all are the qualities that really make him a good man and a better warrior.  But Cate sees those traits and the greatness of the man, thankfully and her love if the one thing that can force him to overcome his demons and embrace the love and friendship that surrounds him.  Cate on the other hand has always understood the power of love and the fine line between it and hate, her own past showing her that once a man loses her faith, there’s little chance of going back.  She is a skilled warrior, one that many would overlook simply because she is a woman, but she proves again and again that she is a force to be reckoned with and that the heart of a warrior is his—or her—greatest strength.  While I found myself laughing and crying equally, the greatest part of this story is the true love between Cate and Gregor and the understanding of the flaws each of them carried, an understanding that had to be earned through hardship and adversity.  I cannot wait to see where this amazing group of people goes next and learn more about this culture that I come from, but can never learn enough about.  Keep the hits coming Monica and I promise to keep spreading the word about your greatness!

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


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mini- Review: Dare to Submit

Dare to Submit (Dare to Love #4)

by Carly Phillips

Blurb:

Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?
Themes: contemporary, BDSM
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
While I can honestly say I enjoyed this story while I was reading it, it didn’t seem to leave a very lasting impression on me.  As I write this review only a week after finishing the book, I find myself unable to remember many of the details that normally stick in my brain with a truly memorable story.   The passion was there, but the story itself didn’t stick with me and at least the characters were a bit more lasting than the story itself. The previous stories seemed to have more connection for me, Decklan and Amanda’s story while passionate at the time was not the great story I was hoping for.  This is the first time that I can say I have almost no memory of the details of the story though I can recall it being enjoyable at the time.
So that being said I can only give my general feelings about the book and the series in general.  This story, centered on the Dare cousins in NY, involves a bit more sensuality and passionate exploration that we are used to in Carly Phillips novels generally. Decklan is a very sensual man, one that has his little quirks, and it is obvious that when he meets the woman meant to snare his heart, he will do all in his ability to keep her and keep her happy.  Amanda was the one character I didn’t connect with and honestly cannot remember that much about her.  I know she went through an exploration of her sexuality with Decklan leading her and teaching her about the importance of being open, but can't remember much more about her. 
While I usually find a wonderful connection to Carly’s novels, this one sadly let me down, though I shall certainly reread it and see if the experience improves any.  I’m looking forward to the return to the original Dare siblings and the connection I have with them.  I am looking forward to further chances to learn more about the Dare family as they find love.  Hopefully future novels will provide the intensity and memorable story this one lacked for me and take me back to the love of all books by Carly Phillips.

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


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Review: Dark Skye

Dark Skye (Immortals After Dark #14)

by Kresley Cole 

Blurb:

ETERNAL OBSESSION
As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.
ENDLESS YEARNING
Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.
CAN THE HEAT OF DESIRE BURN BRIGHTER THAN VENGEANCE?
With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?
Themes: paranormal, shifters, magick, mythology
Rating: 5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Wow I am once again completely surprised by the imagination, skill, and sheer balls of Kresley Cole in her writing.  She has taken us back into the twisted and often terrifying world of the Immortals and we never even see where the story might be heading next. The last book in the series was dark and certainly scary, but the story of Lanthe and Thronos is one that will have you laughing, weeping, and your heart pounding the entire time.  There is so much sadness in their past and present, but only as they come to learn the truth about each other and understand their true feelings for one another can they come to believe in their connection and find a way to live a long and happy life together.  While this world is certainly full of darkens and devastation, the love that is obvious between these couples when they finally come together and overcome all the obstacles put in their way is undeniable and perfect beyond words. 
The story begins with Thronos out for vengeance against the woman that has destroyed his life and made him into the monster he currently is, even if that woman happens to be his mate.  He has tracked her for centuries and never been as close to reaching his goal until now.  Though the connection and intense desire for her is always there, the hate and disgust they have both developed, through years of misinformation, false truths, and terrifying misunderstandings, leave Thronos fighting his own desire for his mate. Lanthe similarly has her own beliefs about their past that will never allow her to  embrace her one true mate, though the love they once shared is buried deeply in them both, the love still exists and it hasn’t been killed like they thought. When they finally uncover the truth of their pasts, the full truth, the passion between them and the love that lives still, give them the ultimate chance to have a relationship.  By being together there is every chance they will be able to bring peace into their world and they will be the bridge between two such disparate cultures. 
Thronos and Lanthe are both extremely volatile and often terrifying individuals with some serious hang-ups and false beliefs about their past. Thronos once found the love of his life, in a young girl who should have been his mortal enemy, and he risked it all to be with her.  But when their families get between them, changing their destiny for all time, there is very little of the children that fell into innocent love once upon a time. But even though he became a twisted and scary version of the man he should have grown into, Thronos remains in his own way a deeply sensual man, one that has remained true to the girl he once loved, and that faithfulness and inner beauty makes him an even better male than any other physical sexiness he should have had before his deformity. Lanthe is obviously her own brand of psycho, but the draw to her personality is unique and there is no denying the chance that once Lanthe mellows the world will be no challenge for the two of them against any other danger in the world. Individually I can say that Lanthe often scared me, but when the deep vulnerability she hides comes to the surface, I find myself liking her more, even while I’m amazed that she was so stubborn and careless with her powers as she interacted with Thronos in the past. 
I Loved, loved, loved this story.  One minute I was crying and my heart was breaking, and the next minute I was burning up with the desire between these two unlikely lovers.  While I have never had the imagination to personally pull off such a switch between love and hate, I admire the skill and flare that Kresley Cole has always shown.  It seems that in each new book, she is able to take two mortal enemies, enemies that should never work together, and make them into the ultimate lovers and the love between them is so deep and everlasting that there will never be any denying their destiny as mates.  Thronos is a truly damaged hero, one that has spent his entire life trying to overcome the flaws and fears in his past while maintaining his slippery control and fading sanity.  Lanthe has always regretted the decision she made as a frightened and angry young girl, but that regret has never stopped her from running and she knows in her heart that Thronos will kill her if he ever catches her.  Only when they discover the truth and find a way to overcome their past transgressions can they get beyond their hate to the love that has always fueled their battles deep down.  As the ultimate battle heats up, there is no denying that the hotbed of danger has become deadly for all and with Nix driving the powers that be, there is no way that the war will be won by the dark this time.  But the biggest question is who will find their mate next… and when will Nix get hers!!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Mini-review: Under His Protection

Under His Protection (Red Stone Security #9)

by Katie Reus


Blurb:

Julieta’s stalker doesn’t play by the rules
Lingerie shop owner Julieta Mederos has worked hard to get her business off the ground. Now she’s looking forward to some quality time with her friends and her big, boisterous family. But explicit texts from random phone numbers and vandalism at her shop makes it clear someone dangerous has fixated on her. Without any solid leads, the police can’t help her and she’s forced to turn to the last man she wants to depend on.
…but neither does Ivan.
Former Army Ranger and newest Red Stone Security employee Ivan Mitchell has gotten used to being alone in the world. He never even thinks about it anymore—until he meets sexy, independent Julieta. She’s everything he could ever want…but she seems determined to keep him at arm’s length. Until now. Maybe the cops can’t do anything to protect her, but he can. When things escalate faster than even he expected, he finds himself pulling out his most extreme combat skills to protect her. He’ll do what it takes to save her life—and prove to her she belongs in his.
Themes: contemporary, suspense
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
This series continues to be one of my favorites.  Full of heat and suspense there are always little plot twists and fun changes to the lives of these couples as they find love with one another.  The couples are different and all individually sensual and passionate, but blend beautifully into one awesome series.  I have not read any one story in this series that I disliked, and this one is definitely no exception.  The connection between Julieta and Ivan was instantaneous, even though Ivan fought it for a while and Julieta didn’t see the desire in Ivan’s eyes.  When danger threatens Julieta nothing will prevent Ivan from protecting her with his life, and being that close to her there is no longer any hiding the passion that he has for her.  Julieta was funny and sweet but obviously she didn’t understand just how desirous she was to Ivan. 
When the two of them are in the same room, the sparks that fly are intense and frequent, and by the time they both finally give into the desire raging through them, the fire between them threatens to burn them both to ashes.  The danger lurking in Julieta’s life is well written and thoroughly suspenseful, leaving me hanging right until the truth is fully uncovered.  Ivan was sexy as hell with an inner strength that makes him so alpha that just the sound of his voice can make a woman spontaneously orgasm. Julieta has the adventurous spirit and fun lifestyle that draws men and women alike, and I thoroughly wish I could be just like that.  As their love develops and their relationship becomes one that is unbreakable, we get a chance to see two people with very different issues find a way to be together in happiness.  I cannot wait for the next book in the series, and honestly anything else that might come down from this author in any series. 
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ARC Review: Burning Desire (Part 1 &2)

Burning Desire (Dark Kings #3)

by Donna Grant

Blurb:

The Dark Kings have fought for centuries to preserve their dragon magic. But can one warrior resist the greatest temptation of all?
A DESIRE THIS POWERFUL
In his quest to destroy the Dark Fae—his nemesis—the Dragon King known as Kiril goes to Ireland as a spy. When a gorgeous, mysterious woman tries to seduce him, Kiril instantly sees through her glamour to the Dark Fae beneath. Shara isn’t just any Dark; she’s from one of the most powerful bloodlines—and despite the dangers, Kiril can’t stay away from her. He’s enthralled by her smile, enslaved by the undeniable passion…
IS A WAR WORTH FIGHTING FOR
Shara has one chance to make things right with her family—and to prove her worth. It seemed like such an easy mission…until she actually meets Kiril. His charm, his sexual magnetism is too much for her to ignore. Shara knows that falling into Kiril’s arms can bring her nothing but trouble. Yet she discovers an inner strength she didn’t know she had…and an attraction that knows no bounds. But is her desire for Kiril worth the risk of eternal doom for them both?
Themes: paranormal, dragons, Fae
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Part 1 & 2:
While I can say for sure I will never be a fan of these types of serials when it comes to most books, Donna manages to break them up at just the right place to keep you interested without frustrating you or leaving you hanging on waiting for the cliffhanger or anything dramatic like that. So all that being said, I have once again ventured into the world of serials for Donna Grant to experience the greatness of the Dragon Kings.  The newest addition is the story of Kiril’s foray into the Dark side as he tried to discover more about the Kings’ new enemies and save an old friend as well.  Kiril has been in Ireland, earth-base for the Dark Fae, for a good while now, but has made little to no progress with finding any news. The Dark have stepped up their game and they are actively trying to capture Kiril and finally keep a captive Dragon King.  But their new lure is reluctant and one that is irresistible to Kiril but still won’t pull him into the trap.  Shara is a Dark, sort of, and she has been a mission that will redeem her in the eye of her family and her people. If only she can get over her feelings for Kiril and accomplish it.
The relationship between Kiril and Shara is intense from the beginning and develops rather quickly.  By the end of part 1 they have become lovers and both are beginning to develop feelings that go way beyond lust for the enemy.  Kiril knows he should resist the draw of Shara, knows that she is a trap sent to draw him into his enemies clutches, but he just doesn’t care.  Seeing him dealing with his desires as he tries to understand why Shara seems different is like watching puppy with a new unexplainable toy.  Shara on the other hand is determined to fulfill her mission and get over the disgrace of her strange compassionate nature.  She has always been a bit different from the others of her kind, but she is determined to not have her life taken over by her family or any other Dark Fae.  But can they trust one another enough to overcome their differences and have a shot at helping one another. 
While part 2 ends rather abruptly shortly after Kiril and Shara explore their passion, the story is developing nicely.  We’ve gotten glimpses of Rhi and have hope still that she can be saved.  The relationship between Kiril and Shara has developed, though strangely in a few ways, we are seeing that they are definitely feeling something deep for one another and just might have a chance to become more to one another.  The trust is not there yet, because of course it takes a long time to go from being enemies to love, but I see it happening easily.  The Kings and a few Warriors have crossed the pages as well and we even get to see more about Ulrik and his plans, though I still cannot decide if he’s a good guy or not.  I will say that I am becoming extremely frustrated and dying to know just which King was once Rhi’s lover, but I imagine this will be stretched to the end of the series, dammit!   I am looking forward to reading the rest of the story and seeing how Donna takes these two totally opposite in every way characters and allows them to find their happiness and join the other Kings in the war. 
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

ARC Review: Taste of Darkness

Taste of Darkness (Darkness #2)

by Katie Reus

Blurb:

He spent more than a thousand years imprisoned in hell…
Drake is an ancient dragon shifter, one of the most powerful beings in existence, but a millennium trapped in utter darkness has left him ill-equipped for modern society. If it wasn’t for Victoria, the sweet female brave enough to befriend him, he’d be lost. She’s smart and gorgeous and everything he never dared dream of during his years of agonizing loneliness. He may not have anything to offer her, but one thing he knows for sure: he’d die to keep her safe.
Only to fall into the heaven of her touch.
Victoria is a wolf shifter, healer of the Stavros pack. She’s seen a lot, but she’s never met anybody quite like Drake, the fiery, fascinating shifter who can blaze through the skies unseen by mere mortals. He’s lost, dangerous, and the last male she should fall in love with, but the more time she spends helping him navigate modern life, the deeper—and hotter—their connection becomes. She’s thrilled when they finally locate his family, but reuniting with his people plunges them both into unimaginable danger. It’s a race against the clock trying to figure out who wants them dead and who they can trust, especially when the threat is closer than they ever imagined.
Themes: paranormal, shifters, dragons
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Well that was a different take on the world of the noble and dangerous dragon shifter… guess even they can have the human faults of jealousy and self-entitlement. I have read all kinds of stories about dragon shifters, where they are villains, heroes, killers, and protectors, but this story is one that takes a unique spin on the myth and I just loved seeing how human these dragons really were.  While I continually try to categorize paranormals romance into being either a shifter, vampire, or magick user subgenre, Katie continues to challenge me, intermingling all the different types of magic and having worlds colliding in a beautifully well constructed way again and again.  I must say that while I liked book one in the series a lot, this story really grabbed my attention in a way a lot of books haven’t been able to do lately.  With a full host of emotional baggage, sexy men, great dialogue and the emotional connection that can only be found with your mate, Taste of Darkness is more a taste of greatness in my opinion.
Drake is finally accepting that he really has escaped from Hell and is determined to make himself worthy of the woman he knows is his mate, Victoria, the sexy as hell she-wolf healer that has captured him heart and soul.  Victoria thankfully is just as hooked by him, seeing that they could have a great relationship if only he would trust in them.  But when his past intrudes in their somewhat shaky courtship, Victoria is determined to give Drake the options he has been lacking in hell, the chance to reunite with his family, even if it means she loses him.  Drake has other plans for them, not really caring about this family who left him to rot in hell, though proving that to Victoria is difficult to say the least.  Is it possible for Drake to embrace his past and still have a chance for a future with Victoria or will he have to give up his mate for the vengeance his soul screams for?
I have been dying for a few months now to find out more about Drake, ever since he crawled out of the Hell Gate and immediately began protecting the wolf pack and others in book one.  I could tell immediately I would like his character because honestly how many others—man, woman, demon, witch, shifter, or other—would be able to survive fifteen hundred years in hell and come out swinging to protect others instead of lashing out and becoming evil? Drake is sexy as hell and very intense in his emotions, when he is with Victoria especially, but being around his mate we get to see the softer sweeter side of the dragon.   When he is faced with his family he lashes out at first, his pain leading him to reject their advances, but once he thinks things through better he knows he can’t ignore them completely, not if he wants to uncover the truth about his imprisonment.  Only when the truth comes out, the villain is someone that even I didn’t see coming, a particular skill of Katie’s and it rips through this dragon family, and Drake, like a tornado through a corn field. Drake’s inner strength and the love of his mate is only way he can maintain his sanity and defeat all foes, so he and Victoria have a chance at a long happy mating.
Victoria is a the kind of she-wolf that always seems to capture my attention and make me wish I could turn into a wolf myself; her skills as a healer make her a prized and coddled member of the pack, but in recent months she has started to chafe a bit at all the smothering, specifically ever since Drake appeared and she understood he was to play a major role in her future.  Falling in love with Drake is easily done, but keeping her heart from breaking as she tries to help him heal and recover from his centuries in hell is another story.  Victoria’s strong will and determination to give Drake the greatest chance at recovery shows the true depth of her feelings for him and reminds readers that while males are supposedly the stronger of the species, we women know that the emotional strength we provide is what really keeps the world functioning.
All in all this was a really great sequel to the original story in the series.  Continuing to introduce us to all new characters, Reus brings all different types of paranormals together to form strong and amazing mate bonds between completely unexpected matches. Victoria has a inner strength and deep beauty is the type of woman that every man wants for himself and every woman aspires to be. Drake is an uber-sexy and dangerous male that is in many ways as new to the world and vulnerable as a youth, but in others is as world weary and educated as the oldest veterans of war. Together they blend in a beautiful and heartwarming couple, determined to overcome all odds and find a way to be together. As they battle to find the truth of Drake’s past the darkness they uncover is more and more heartbreaking to see Drake discover.  I am thrilled and excited to learn where this series will take us next and cannot wait to find out who finds a connection in the future.  Dragons, wolves, and witches Oh My!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 


Friday, August 29, 2014

Mini-review: Necessary Force

Necessary Force (K-9 Rescue 0.5)

by D.D. Ayres 

Blurb:

It was supposed to be a sexy calendar shoot to raise money for K-9 service dogs. Photographer Georgie Flynn never expected to break all her personal rules and jump into bed with one of the hunky men posing. And after their steamy night together, she certainly never expected to see him again…despite their powerful connection.
When she's targeted by a stalker and possible bomber, Georgie finds that her gorgeous one-night stand is the only one who can help.
Brad Lawson, an FBI operative, and his K-9 bomb sniffing partner are assigned to protect the pretty photographer--and this time, he’s determined to keep things professional. He just didn't count on their explosive connection rekindling. But with a deadly threat on the horizon, will he be able to keep his body’s demands in check and complete his mission?
Themes: contemporary, suspense
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Dog lovers and lovers of sexy men in uniform will find their dreams melding in this new series by DD Ayres, with each hero being a K-9 handler for different military and police agencies.  So I can say for sure my dreams came true when I read this new first book.  The story is great in its simplicity and sexy in the ways these two individuals develop their relationship through adversity and danger.  I have never read anything by this author and was thrilled to stumble across it one day when cruising Netgalley.  I am really looking forward to where this series will venture in the future.
The story revolves around the one-night stand that should never have happened between FBI agent Brad Lawson and Photojournalist Georgie Flynn.  Though there is irresistible attraction between them Brad is determined to make sure that their rapidly developing feelings or one another don’t interfere with his investigation or protecting Georgie from the danger swirling around her.  But sometimes the chemistry is just too much to resist and when the truth of the danger Georgie is really in becomes clear, only that trust and connection between them and keep them safe, and prevent a disaster for an entire city.
I really loved both of these characters and found myself wishing their story wasn’t just a novella, but I can see how they were the perfect characters to pull you into a new series.  Georgie’s an investigative photographer, known for her dramatic capturing of danger, disaster, and tragedy, but she is also willing to use her skills doing a favor for a friend.  But when that favor pulls her into the sphere of sexy and dangerous to her heart Brad Lawson, she never imagined it would turn into anything more than one night of passion and she was fine with that.  She was a character that has led such an interesting life you are left wanting to know SO much more about her, while knowing that her strength and greatness comes not from her experience but her adventurous spirit and determination.   
Brad is an enigma in a lot of ways.  An operative who broke so many rules, falling into lust and bed with a target of his investigation, but though he hasn’t stopped thinking about her since, he never imagined he’d have to deal with her again.  When they are thrown together he tries valiantly to make sure that their past relationship doesn’t interfere with his job, trying to keep her at a distance, and though this is frustrating to both Georgie and the reader, you can see how his ethics and moral restraint make him a better man, but in the end his feelings for Georgie make his job easier instead of harder, with their trust bridging the gap between personal and professional to save the day.
Overall this seems like an extremely intriguing new series, one that will have drama, laughs, and sweetness, and of course we will get to see the connection that can develop between man and dog as they work together to overcome enormous odds.  The characters are vivid, the drama well thought out, and the additions of these animals can offer lightness in the most intense situations.  Georgie is a woman to envy, one who has obviously lived her life on her terms and to the fullest, even though she hasn’t yet found Mr. Right.  Likewise Brad has had some amazing experiences, but when he meets Georgie, even under extremely adverse circumstances he is unable to deny their connection.  I liked seeing them dancing around each other as they tried and failed to maintain a distance in their interactions, but was thrilled they finally gave into their feelings and found a way to be together.  The drama and bigger plot line was kind of sad and very much unexpected right up until the “villain” is uncovered.  I think I can say in all honesty this author has captivated me in a way that I haven’t been in a while; I am dying to know what the next story in the K-9 rescue series will hold for us.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.