Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: Hot Witness (Hostile Operations Team #9.5)

Hot Witness: A MacKenzie Family Novella(Hostile Operations Team #9.5)

by Lynn Raye Harris

Blurb:
New York Times bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris adds her unique twist to Liliana Hart’s MacKenzie family with HOT WITNESS…
Eva Gray has a secret. Eight years ago, her sister entered the Brothers of Sin Motorcycle Club and never came back. Seven years ago, she vowed revenge, even if she had to change everything about her life to do it—her look, her name, her face.
Now she’s stalking the Brothers and looking for weakness. She’s close to achieving her goal, so close she can taste it. But a prominent federal judge is now in ICU, and Eva’s the only one who can prove the club hired the hit.
Jake Ryan was once a Brother, but he got his life together when a judge gave him a choice: prison or the military. He took the military and he’s never looked back. Now, as a member of the lethal Hostile Operations Team, he’s accustomed to working on the side of justice.
So when Declan MacKenzie comes to Washington DC and asks him to infiltrate his old gang to protect a witness and get evidence, he doesn’t hesitate to do his duty. But little does he suspect that Eva Gray is a girl he once knew or that she’s on a mission of her own. A mission that could see them both dead before they’re through.
When the warrior meets the vengeful virgin, nothing and no one is safe…
Themes: novella, contemporary
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 


Review:
 So this was a very interesting short story, one that I would have loved to see be a more fully fleshed out novel, but I enjoyed having this to read on a cold night in a hot bath. This story serves as a cross-over between two well-developed series by two very accomplished authors. I have followed the HOT series from the very beginning and love every new installment no matter the length or the subject. I was a little lost in reference to the Mackenzie series portion of this tale, but I am very interested now and might just start a little research into getting this series for myself as well. This is the story of a former bad-boy returning to his hometown in an attempt to save the life of a woman that has decided she is willing to risk her life in order to see justice for the criminal death of her sister.  The bad-boy in this case is the sexy HOT operator Jake “Harley” Ryan and Ms. Eva Gray has captured his mind and heart in a very short time and is willing to put his life on the line in order to keep her safe. While the story moves quickly, Jake and Eva understand their connection from the very beginning and are willing to put their hearts out there and decide to embrace the chemistry and romance between them. I enjoyed reading this story and getting to know Eva and Jake in the little bit we got to read about them.  I am looking forward to seeing more of them in the future.  The HOT series continues to capture my attention and keep readers on their toes, and while I’m not familiar with the Mackenzie series, HOT Witness stands alone as a wonderful short read with heart, passion, sweetness, and action.  Keep the fun coming Lynn, this reader personally cannot WAIT for what is coming next for Colonel Mendez’s boys (and girls).
*eARC provided by author for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Review: Falling Hard (Colorado High Country #3)

Blurb:
A war widow alone…
Ellie Meeks promised her pilot husband that if anything happened to him, she would live her life to the fullest. Three years later, she is still alone, raising the twins he never met. She has no interest in dating or meeting men—until one snowy night when a stranger helps her get her sick kids safely home. That stranger turns out to be a former Army Ranger and a member of the elite Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. He’s also tall, rugged… and irresistibly sexy.
All it takes is one kiss…
Jesse Moretti came to Colorado to get Iraq out of his head, using the adrenaline of extreme sports and high-risk mountain rescues to keep his mind off the past. But getting involved with Ellie might be the riskiest thing he’s ever done. It’s not just their explosive chemistry. There’s something about Ellie that gets inside him, opening him to feelings he’s tried hard to ignore.
When passion ignites…
Ellie feels alive in Jesse’s arms and happier than she ever thought she’d feel again. But their relationship comes at a price for him, and soon Ellie sees that she must help Jesse fight the demons of his past to protect the love of a lifetime—and save the heart of a hero.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5  stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
Truly a story of two individuals, both dealing with loss and damaged hearts, Falling Hard is a story that will bring you to tears, break your heart, and then ultimately make you believe in the true healing power of love. For fans of Pamela Clare, these stories have just enough action and drama that we are tempted to categorize this new series as Romantic Suspense, but these stories truly are all about the two people falling in love and finding a way to live happily ever after.  This third story in the series is one that grabs and keeps attention from the very beginning and tugs our heartstrings as Jesse and Ellie come to terms with their relationship and the ramifications for their futures as they try to build a new life together.  I enjoyed very much reading Jesse’s story even though it broke my heart seeing him dealing with his fears and his memories.  Ellie was her own brand of crazy and damaged, but she managed to stay strong not only for herself but for her twins. If you haven’t read along and this is the first novel in the series you’ve read,  don’t feel like you’ll be left behind because Jesse’s story can stand all on its own and you even get filled in a little bit so you can catch glimpses of the romances in the previous stories.  I loved getting to see Jesse getting out of his comfort zone and offering his help and himself to Ellie and her boys, while Ellie was the kind of woman that I find inspiring even as I know she’s not really a role model for me.  Ellie is a great mom, even as her personal life has atrophied and she devotes herself to her children even though her heart is slowly coming back to life as Jesse offers her a glimpse of the life she deserves.  Ellie has a few moments where I wanted to look at her and ask WTF, but she slowly got over her issues and found a way to truly open her heart.  Jesse was a good guy all around, even as he tried his hardest to keep himself from falling for Ellie and her boys, which of course turned out to be a pointless task.  I LOVED this story and I am really looking forward to whatever comes next for the Colorado High Country series and this Search and Rescue team. Pamela has a way with damaged characters and bringing together two people that don’t seem to go together on paper (sorry for the bad pun), but in the end become the perfect marriage of hearts and lives.  If you love a good romance, with some laughs, tears, passion and adventure, then this series is definitely worth adding to your shelves.  Thanks for the memorable experience Pamela; I am impatiently awaiting your next work of art.

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: Tied to His Betrayal (Dirty Little Secrets #2)

Tied to His Betrayal (Dirty Little Secrets #2)

by Stacey Kennedy 

Blurb:
Darius Bennett can’t live without supreme control. A self-made billionaire, he’s rich enough to get anything—and any woman—he wants, yet he’s still haunted by a broken relationship. Five years ago, Darius let Taylor Erikson go because he knew he could never give her what she truly wanted: his heart. But the moment Taylor walks back into his life, bruised and beaten, Darius blames himself. To make good on his betrayal, he vows to help her heal—in and out of the sheets.
Once upon a time, Darius was Taylor’s world. Now his fierce embrace is exactly what she needs to get back on her feet. But Taylor pays a heavy price for her sizzling nights with Darius. As the emotional ties become stronger than ever and the paparazzi hunt her down for their next juicy story, Taylor must face some hard truths. They can’t go back. And to move forward, the key to loving Darius isn’t about keeping his secrets—it’s about exposing them.
Themes: Erotica, BDSM
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Ok once again I am struck with a dilemma; I enjoyed this story very much, despite the fact that I really HATE reading romance novels in first person when the story jumps back and forth from POV to POV.  This was a story of second-chance-love for sure, but there were a lot of tears, a lot of really scary truths and a woman that has loved a man for years even when he pushed her away and she tried to find a way to survive without him. Darius pushed away Taylor many years ago, hoping to allow her to grow and experience life, even though it broke his own heart just as much as hers.  He believed he knew what was best for her and his decision has led to some really serious consequences that are coming to light currently.  Taylor has tried hard to move on with her life, but once again she finds herself depending on Darius and falling back in love with him.  She wants to be able to trust him with her heart, but deep down she knows he can’t change and truly offer what she needs because he is too stubborn and determined that he knows what the best course of action for all is. I liked Taylor even in the few moments that she was completely a wimp, her inner strength came out when she really needed it, but overall she was a character that I liked reading about.  Darius was kind of an ass most of the time, even if he was a sexy-as-hell ass.  Truly there were issues the man needed to come to terms with, but in the end when he finally pulled himself together and found the love that was always within his reach, I found I was rooting for him to get his HEA.  The chemistry between these two was off the charts, even though it was obviously difficult for them admit their feelings even all these years later.  The passion that carried them quickly into deep waters was sensual and hot enough to keep me reading even when I felt like putting down the book.  Overall I am liking this series, by one of my favorite erotic authors, but once the series ends, I hope (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE) that Stacey returns to the standard third person POV which is where my heart and attention truly lies. Looking forward to the next two stories and finding out who seems to be after the DC men and the women that are grabbing their hearts.


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

Monday, March 6, 2017

Review: Kill Without Shame (ARES Security #2)

Kill Without Shame (ARES Security #2)

by Alexandra Ivy

Blurb:
Five brave military heroes have survived the hell of a Taliban prison to return home—and take on civilian missions no one else can. They’re the men of ARES Security. Highly skilled, intimidating, invincible, and one by one, tested again and again…
 Lucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.
 Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves…
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Wow I have read a lot of second chance for love stories, but this story has got to be one of the most interesting and well-written I have read in a LONG time. I have read everything ever written by Alexandra Ivy and, though they vary in theme, heat, and length, I have never read one that I didn’t love and Kill Without Shame did not let me down.  Ivy has a way with both her characters and her writing that brings readers to her and makes them into loyal fans with the first read.  While the first story in this series led me to think this series was going to have a bit of the paranormal mixed in with the contemporary aspect, this second novel is straight contemporary and more than awesome all on its own.  Lucas left his hometown in Louisiana a long time ago, leaving behind the girl he loved, trying to escape the influence and unhappiness of his family life. Now that he has found his place in the world, when a threat to the woman that still holds his heart is presented to him, there is no way he won’t protect her and work to earn her forgiveness and love back.  Mia on the other hand is in no mood to forgive, even after Lucas repeatedly saves her life; soon it becomes obvious that the danger to Mia is very real and it isn’t going away.  Mia and Lucas—along with his friends and fellow ARES members—work to uncover the mysteries of the past in order to unmask the individual that looks to see Mia dead.  Full of intrigue, twists and turns, Lucas and Mia’s story is one that reminds us all that while love may be pushed to the back of our minds, our hearts never truly stop loving, even when doing so hurts.  I enjoyed getting to know more about the slick and suave Lucas St. Claire, seeing him give his all to solve the mystery surrounding his woman, while at the same time working to convince her that she can’t live without him any longer.  He is that guy that on the outside looks like he has everything he’s ever wanted and nothing bad ever sticks to him, but on the inside he is slowly bleeding out without the heart that Mia stole from him a decade earlier.  Mia is a woman that has made the best of her humble beginnings, becoming a successful business owner and putting her mark on her hometown, but she has never forgotten the young man that shattered her heart and has never been able to find someone to put it back together for her.  When Lucas comes back into her life, sharing the bad news that one of their childhood friends has been murdered, her world shifts in more way than one.  Now Mia can no longer deny that though he broke her heart, he also kept it for himself and until she can come to terms with that loss she will never be able to move on with her life. The passion between these two was off the charts, whether they are arguing, fighting for their lives, or coming together in the heat of the moment, there is no way to deny the spark they set off whenever they are in the vicinity of one another.  I loved this story and cannot wait for more in this series.  The other men of ARES are going to be intriguing to watch as they fall under love’s spell and I am looking forward to being a fly on the wall when they do.  And of course, we are all dying to find out who is threatening Hauk and see him kick some bad-guy ass. Ivy strikes gold again with her new ARES Security series and as long as she keeps these amazing and interesting stories coming my way, she will always have a fan in me. Thanks for the awesome escape from my rather mundane reality as I enter the world of the amazing men that are ARES.

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

Friday, March 3, 2017

Mini-Review: Tease Me, Baby (O'Connor Family #2)

Tease Me, Baby (O'Connor Family #2)

by Katie Reus

Blurb:
She never wanted perfection, but that’s what she finds.
Pastry chef, Fallon O’Connor is torn between her dreams and her obligations. Right before she reluctantly sets off for a degree she doesn’t want, she’s reeling from a mind-blowing encounter with Mr. Perfect. But one sexy, toe-curling kiss isn’t nearly enough when a Boy Scout like Sheriff Fulton lights her fire.
After one delectable taste, he’s never letting her go.
Brad Fulton would do anything for more time with Fallon. After all, he’s wanted a chance with her ever since she moved back to town. And just when things start to heat up, Fallon starts packing her bags—for a future without him. Now, it’s up to Brad to show Fallon that everything she’s ever wanted is right in Holly, North Carolina. But can Fallon trust her heart enough to stay?
Themes: Contemporary, Novella
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 This story is the second in a series set in the year-round-Christmas town known as Holly, NC.  I didn’t realize when I read the first story that it would be turned into a series, but I’m thrilled to be able to see a return of these characters and this special town. The story kicks off with a serious bang, but then simmers nicely as Brad and Fallon get to know each other a little better. I enjoyed the story very much and can see that the H/H were meant to be and just need a little timeline to give them both a push towards their destinies and their new life together. Brad is an alpha male to the core, but even when he is being commanding and macho he is still sweet and considerate to his woman and what woman wouldn’t melt for that.  Fallon is at a crossroads in her life and can’t decide which direction to take in her life.  Starting a relationship with Brad is not making her decision any more clear, but thankfully she begins to believe in herself and her dreams in time for Brad to have a chance to steal her heart.  I loved seeing these two circling one another and losing their minds in the passionate chemistry they shared.  It is obvious that these two will be together for a long time to come and the passion won’t be dying anytime soon.  If you like a good steamy romance with a lot of sweetness and love thrown in, then Tease Me, Baby is just the story to read on a lonely evening. I am looking forward to the next story in the series and seeing more of Fallon’s family falling in love. This series is one that surprised me, but with the chemistry and strength of characters I have come to expect from Katie, this story is magic and I have no regrets about jumping into another series with both feet.

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: Wolf Unleashed (SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team #5)

Wolf Unleashed (SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team #5)

by Paige Tyler 

Blurb:
Wolf shifter Alex Trevino has fallen hard for veterinarian Lacey Barton. Getting her to agree to a date is a lot of work—and winning her heart proves even harder.
Lacey can’t deny her crazy attraction to Alex, but she has no intention of letting herself fall for him. In her less than stellar experience, men don’t stick around.
When Lacey’s sister is kidnapped, it’s up to Alex to crack the case—and prove to Lacey that he isn’t going anywhere.
Themes: paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 This interesting series about a group of alpha wolves, all coming together to serve and protect the humans of their town, in this case Dallas, just keeps amazing me and I find myself wondering where these crazy stories will lead next. The series has had some heartbreaking twists and turns, the previous book especially, but Alex and Lacey’s story was no slouch when it comes to emotion and drama.  Alex is the kind of male that every woman wants to find for herself; he’s sweet, kind, sexy, strong, loving, and protective, and of course he’s as alpha as it gets without being a jerk about it.  And the most important thing is that he’s absolutely nuts about Lacey and works his tail off to get her to agree to begin a relationship with him.  While he knows there are bound to be problems for them, mostly the fact that she has no idea he is a werewolf, but he’s determined that she give him a shot.  Lacey is so not interested in starting anything with Alex, but the harder he works the more she wonders if they might be able to at least have a fling.  But circumstances as always are against the couple, until tragedy strikes and Lacey has no choice but to trust Alex and his men with the most important person in her life.  I enjoyed seeing Alex and the guys in action and of course the sweetness of Alex’s chasing Lacey, but the best part of this story was when Alex could come clean with Lacey and show her the real him.  Lacey was a little bit hard-hearted, especially for an animal lover—which of course all vets are—and I was surprised that she made him work so hard for even a chance at a date.  The passion between them is obvious to everyone around them even as Lacey pushes him away, but when she finally gives into the heat there is no way that Alex won’t burn her up.  I enjoyed this story a lot and look forward to seeing where the series takes us next.  The characters and the amazing connections between these wolves and their “One” is something that I wish I could find myself and, of course, Paige’s skill at bringing together two so different individuals is her true skill.  I’m looking forward to the next story and wondering just where the next wolf with find his mate. Keep up the great work Ms. Tyler!

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

Friday, February 24, 2017

Review: Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers #1)

Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers #1)

by Rebecca Zanetti 

Blurb:
DON'T LOOK BACK

Under siege. That's how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can't outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he's been trying to keep at arm's length is in danger...and he'll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe.

Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She's making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There's a lot Ryker isn't telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn't catch up to them first...4

Themes:  paranormal
Rating:  4.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 The Blood Brothers series is a spinoff series of one of my favorite Rebecca Zanetti series, the Sin Brothers.  These men have been used and abused since they were children where they lived in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the mad scientist that kidnapped them and the dangerous military commander that used them to run missions.  This series is slightly different in that the brothers were kept separate from others of their kind and experimented on psychologically.  Now that they are grown and on their own they band together to find and protect those in need of their help, though of course getting paid for what they’re good at is also a plus.  Ryker met Zara when he took a few jobs with her law firm and seduced her into his arms.  Though she knows their relationship is purely physical she can’t help the pull she feels toward this amazing- though sometimes scary—man. When his past comes back to haunt him, Zara finds herself caught up in their deadly conflict, but Ryker isn’t going to let anything happen to her.  Ryker is the kind of alpha man that can become annoying quickly, but he has so many redeeming qualities—and is hot as hell—that we are willing to forgive his outrageous behavior.  I loved seeing Ryker find the softer side he has always kept hidden as his feelings for Zara made him truly vulnerable for the first time.  Zara was determined to help Ryker solve the crimes piling up around them and won’t let him push her to the sidelines as she demands her due as his lover.  Sadly, she has fallen in love with the bastard and she can’t find it in her to let him go, so when she meets his family and learns the truth of his past, she has to work through all the drama of their present in order to ensure they have a future together.  As with all of these amazing enhanced brothers, the passion between Ryker and the woman that has captured his heart is palpable no matter what is going on around them.  I loved seeing these two circling one another and trying to find a way to make their lives combine so they can be together.  I also adored getting to see the Sin Brothers make an appearance and seeing the way Rebecca was able to weave the two series together into one great experience.  For those that haven’t read the Sin Brothers series, I suggest you run out right now and do so, mainly because they are AWESOME, but also because you will have more of the backstory and Deadly Silence will be much more enjoyable that way. Another masterpiece of epic proportions for Rebecca and I cannot wait to see which brother falls in love next; and of course I cannot wait to see the evil bitch that destroyed their lives get her punishment. Keep up the sexy magic, Rebecca! 

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