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.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6)

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6)

by Elizabeth Hoyt 

Blurb:
A heartwarming stand-alone novella from New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Hoyt!
Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday - and Adam loves his grandmother, so he'll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they're forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met....
Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she'll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it's the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap.
Themes: Historical, Christmas, Novella
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Well I believe it has finally come to an end.  The Maiden Lane Series, which so many of us have enjoyed for years has ended, not with a bang, but with a sweet sigh of love and holiday cheer.   I knew going in that this was the last of the series, one that I personally have been enthralled by from the very beginning when I stumbled across the first book in a used bookstore and thought it looked promising.  Since then I have enjoyed the ups and downs of society maidens, street urchins, sexy gentlemen with secrets and secret societies in need of destroying, but always there was the undeniable passion and sensuality that were hidden but never forgotten in the population of Victorian England.  I love Elizabeth Hoyt’s writing and her characters are always so lifelike and full of intrigue that I have yet to read a single chapter that didn’t have me dreading having to put the book down to eat or  sleep before I could pick it back up again.  This story is one that was unexpected but no less connected to the series.  Sarah St. John is the sister of one of the previous heroes in another story and played her part in his story well, but now it is her chance.  When Adam Rutledge is traveling with his grandmother to their country home for the holidays and their carriage is damaged, he finds himself begging for refuge from the St. John family in their country home.  Sarah and Adam have always shot sparks when they are in the same room, their differences of opinion on so many subjects being the smallest issue, the biggest being that Adam lusts for her while she seems to disdain his very existence. The more time Adam and Sarah spend time together,  though, the more they are unable to deny the attraction between them and soon find themselves trying to come to terms with their connection.  Adam has obviously been free with his liaisons in the past, but he regrets it now that Sarah won’t give him the time of day because of his indiscretions.  He has his work cut out for him, but truly as Sarah gets to know him for herself she comes to know that he is so much more than just his reputation.  I liked the fact that Sarah is slowly able to see past the fact that Adam has a reputation with the ladies and gives him a chance to show his true nature.  Adam would be a man easily found even in this day, his reputation as a ladies man hiding the fact that he is just afraid to commit to a loving relationship, but once he finds a woman that challenges him he falls and falls hard for her.  I enjoyed seeing these two fall together and find a way to forgive one another’s pasts and form a strong relationship together.  The passion and lust between these two leads them into a rather quick physical relationship, but just as quickly the emotional longing between them comes to the forefront and their hearts connect on the deepest level possible.  I loved seeing this couple find love as the way to wrap up this series, a soft and sweet way to end a series that has been packed full of action, drama, and danger.  While I am sad to see the end come, I am looking forward to whatever comes next for Elizabeth and can guarantee that I will be one of the first in line begging to read whatever it happens to be. Thank you for the experience and the magic of this series, Ms. Hoyt.

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

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Review: The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas #1)

The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas #1)

by Donna Grant

Blurb:
’Tis the season for ex-Navy SEAL Clayton East to come home for the holidays―even if the mood at home is anything but festive. His father is ill. The East Ranch is in financial trouble. And now it’s on Clayton, the prodigal son, to make sure his family doesn’t lose everything.
Headstrong Abby Harper is like a mother to her younger brothers, who she’s helped raise since she was a teenager. Keeping them in line is no small task while she’s also working toward her college degree. And now that one of her brothers has been arrested for stealing cattle at the East Ranch, Abby is at her wit’s end. But there is a silver lining: Clayton East. He believes in second chances, and is willing to give one to her brother this Christmas. Letting beautiful Abby―and the inescapable longing in his heart―off the hook, however, is a whole ’nother story. Could it be that the woman of this local hero’s dreams has been back at home all along?
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
Donna Grant, one of my favorite paranormal authors, has taken another shot at a contemporary series, set in the steamy and sexy landscape of a Texas cattle ranch and this time she scores big.  Her last foray into contemporary was not my favorite series, but I really liked this book and can say for sure that I am removing her from the typecasting of “paranormal author”.  This series is set on the East Ranch and revolves around the East family, focusing on the sexy oldest son Clayton, a former Navy SEAL who has returned home to help his family when some strange goings on leave his family in dire straits.  Being home for only a short time Clayton soon uncovers a cattle rustling operation has been eating into his family profits and when he catches one of the rustlers red-handed is determined to see him brought to justice, despite him being just a kid.  But when the kid’s older sister and guardian comes to bail her brother out Clayton finds himself too intrigued to press charges, instead proposing an alternate solution for punishment.  Soon Abby and her brothers are both pulled into the Clayton family and becoming more and more integrated as members of the family, including the passion that is becoming more impossible to deny between Abby and Clayton.  Abby never imagined a man like Clayton would give her the time of day, so when he pursues her, convincing her to not only join the ranch but to give him a chance to steal her heart, how can she say no?  But then the awful truth comes out, putting all the East family including the newest additions of Abby and her brothers in serious danger.  This story grabbed my heart right away reminding me why I love Donna’s writing so much, pulling me into the story and making it hard to come out to live my life in the real world.  I loved seeing Clayton come to terms with his past with Abby’s help as well as accepting that having Abby in his life would make staying on the family ranch forever as easy as breathing.  His skills from the navy came in handy too,  which made the story that much more fun and interesting and his protective nature came out more than once with that sexy alpha behavior so many of us love.  Abby on the other hand was so sweetly in denial at times that I wondered if she would ever accept that she would be welcomed into the East family along with her brothers simply because of the woman she was, not just because of what she could do for them.  While it is definitely a departure from her paranormal writing, this book gives us the heat, imagination, and sense of familiarity in her heroes that makes Grant’s writing so enjoyable and I was thrilled to have that back even without the sexy dragon shifters.  I am looking forward to the next story in this series and truly cannot wait for who might find love next as well as hoping to see some of these characters again soon.   

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

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Review: Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf #23)

Dreaming of a White Wolf Christmas (Heart of the Wolf #23) 

by Terry Spear 

Blurb:
Tangling with a White Wolf--Best Christmas Ever, or Real Trouble?
Romance writer Candice Mayfair never missed a deadline in her life--until an accidental bite from a werewolf puppy turns her into an Arctic wolf shifter. She's forced to isolate herself in the wilderness to cope with her unpredictable shifting while she works on her deadlines. After all, for Candice, Christmas is just another day.
Enter private investigator Owen Nottingham, a wolf shifter hired to find Candice so she can collect her inheritance. They have a real problem: she must arrive home in human form, and that's not happening during the full moon. Besides, Owen has a new mission: to convince the pretty she-wolf her best move is to join his pack in time for Christmas...and to prove he's the only wolf for her.
Themes: Paranormal, Werewolves
Rating: 3.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 The long running Heart of the Wolf series continues with a fun and heartwarming love story between two lovers that find one another quite by accident after missing their chance many years before.  Fans of the series will recognize many of these characters and if you enjoy this author’s work in general you will realize right away that this is a more direct follow-up to the previous novel in her Heart of the Jaguar series where we finally got a cross-over between the two.  Now that the wolf and jaguar-shifters have learned of one another the world will never be the same, but I have to tell you I am thrilled by that and was a big proponent of that from the beginning.  Owen and Candice have a few challenges to face in their pursuit of happiness but they are by no means faced with enough to keep them apart as they slowly begin to come to love one another.  Owen arrives on Candice’s doorstep, sent by her uncle to get her to accept her inheritance or forfeit her claim on it once and for all, but he quickly discovers that she is the she-wolf of his dreams.  Candice has been living an isolated life, making money from her writing and learning as she goes how to be a wolf in a world where she never knew werewolves even existed until an unlucky encounter with a wolf pup many years earlier left her with an unfortunate side effect. Together they travel to Owen’s pack and Candice learn more about not only being a wolf, but also how nice it is to be part of a pack, how to trust in those around her, and ultimately how to love the mate of her heart now that she has found him.  I enjoyed this story, and LOVED the little twists and turns thrown in along the way, a few of which even surprised me, which is not so easy to do after having read all of the stories in this series.  Always fresh and fun, Terry manages to keep her writing interesting for readers and sweet while still throwing in enough drama and danger to give her couples a battle to work through together.  I am looking forward to seeing who falls in love next and hope we stay with this little white wolf pack for a little while before jumping to one of the other packs, but, if not,  I hold out hope we will come back to everyone so we can see more of Candice and Owen, and maybe see the pups as they grow.  Another magical read with heart, sweetness, and passion to keep the dark of winter at bay on a cold snowy night.

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

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane (Maiden Lane #12.5)

Once Upon a Maiden Lane (Maiden Lane #12.5)

by Elizabeth Hoyt 

Blurb:
Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancee, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna's long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth---to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself . . .
Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him---ladies simply don't dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can't help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry's world---or in his heart.
Themes: Historical, Novella
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
 The series is getting closer and closer to the end and while I am sadder than I can say to see it ending, I am enjoying these little stories wrapping up the series for the supporting characters that have grown up on the pages of the books from the first to this fourteenth story.  Hoyt manages to always entertain no matter the seriousness of the subject or the craziness of whatever is happening to her characters.  Mary Whitsun was an orphan we first met when she was a young girl helping out at the orphanage run by the heroine in the very first novel in the series, and we have watched her grow up through each story.  She is now the nanny for that woman, minding her two children and is perfectly happy with her position in life, until Henry Collins comes into her life and throws everything into chaos.  Henry never thought to come across the long lost woman he was once affianced to in a bookstore, living life as a servant, but when he finds himself craving her and longing to make her his, he is even more surprised the lengths he will go to in order to make her his in truth.  As he leads Mary into Society he slowly works to make her fall in love with him, like he has already fallen for her, but when an awful truth is revealed, will that love be strong enough to endure and keep them together or will the obligations that Henry has always bowed to keep him separated from the woman that has come to mean life or death to him?  I loved seeing Mary find love, even if she had to go through some serious changes in order to find it.  While she certainly had to jump through a few changes to become “acceptable” to society in order to marry Henry, the changes I mean are more internal in that she finally had to come to understand that a man’s station isn’t what makes him worthy of her or not and once she did she made him prove his worth to her.  She maintained her true nature despite the frivolousness of the society she was being thrust into, and in the end found happiness not because of money but because of the love of her family, friends, and her man.  Henry has his moments of true idiocy, but his moments of enlightenment luckily outweighed those allowing him to smarten up in time to keep from losing Mary for all time.  Mary and Henry had a lot of challenges personally, socially, and emotionally, but working together they were able to overcome all odds and find happiness which is the most important part of any life and what makes a life truly well-lived.  There is only one book left in the series and while I am dying to know what happens next I find myself reluctant to close the final page on the series that has become one of my favorite historicals in a long time. Luckily, I know Elizabeth will have something up her sleeve and coming to us very soon, so while I say goodnight to Maiden Lane, I will never say goodbye to Elizabeth Hoyt or her amazing imagination.

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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Mini Review: Maybe This Summer (Colorado Ice #2.5)

Maybe This Summer (Colorado Ice #2.5)

by Jennifer Snow 


Blurb:

Always a wingman . . .
Owen McConnell is used to being ignored. After all, it's only when he appears as the Colorado Avalanche's team mascot that he gets all the attention. When the costume is off, women tend to gravitate toward his famous hockey player friends. But after he meets lovely, damaged Paige Adams, he knows he can be the star player for her. She's raising funds for the hospital burn unit, and Owen's determined to help her out---and sweep her off her feet.
The burn unit has been near and dear to Paige's heart ever since the doctors helped her after a vicious attack. Yet the scars---both emotional and physical---haven't faded as much as she'd hoped. She's closed herself off from relationships, and the thought of opening up is terrifying. But Owen's sexy charm might be just the push Paige needs to start loving again.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 So this story had so many feels in it that I had to confine myself to my bathtub with my glass of wine and plate of chocolate covered strawberries to keep my family from thinking I was hormonal as I read the story.  One moment I was laughing the next I was crying and then I would be on fire from the heat of passion between these two.  I won’t deny that there are often many emotions in a romance novel that grab me by the heart strings but this story was exceptionally emotional and so well-written that I could not put it down. Owen and Paige have both been through so much in their lives and neither of them are the best at putting themselves out there for fear of getting hurt, but when push comes to shove they are so perfect for one another that I was thrilled to watch them fall in love.  This series has been one that I enjoyed form the very beginning after stumbling onto it as a netgalley first in a series read, a new to me author and one that I have added to my auto-read list.  Owen runs into Paige when he is playing backup, again, for his best friend and though she doesn’t seem to see him, he remains determined to get her attention and to show her that the connection he feels is reciprocated.  Paige feels that connection too, but it scares her; after a tragedy left her scarred she hasn’t been able to trust any man to love her for who she is now and hasn’t the courage to put herself out there for the rejection.  Owen slowly wears her down and soon she sees that the sweet and loving man he is will never let her down and that he just might be right that he is the man for her. The heat between these two when they quit fighting it was enough to keep my bath water from needing to be replaced (wink* wink*) and I was thrilled to see the way they handled one another’s perceived physical defects.  Ms. Snow obviously understands the human nature to take even the smallest physical flaw and amplify it in our own minds until it is entirely out of proportion until the right person reminds us just how beautiful we truly are. I enjoyed every second of this story, even though I was exhausted emotionally after reading it, feeling like I had lived every moment right along with the characters, and I cannot wait for the next in the series.  I can see that I will be keeping Jennifer on my shelves for a long time to come. Thanks for another great experience Ms. Snow, keep the masterpieces coming.   

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

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review:Mistletoe Me, Baby (O'Connor Family #4)

Mistletoe Me, Baby (O'Connor Family #4)

by Katie Reus 

Blurb:
She needs a fake fiancé…
With the holidays fast approaching, Miranda Flores makes up a fake fiancé so her well-meaning family will get off her back. She just never expected them to suddenly show up on her doorstep a couple weeks before Christmas, wanting to spend the holidays with her. So she turns to Nolan O’Connor, her sexy best friend, and asks him for the favor of a lifetime: she needs him to act the part of her fiancé until her parents leave town.
He wants forever…
Pretending to be engaged to the woman he’s already fallen for? No problem. Nolan agrees to Miranda’s fake engagement scheme because as far as he’s concerned, she’s the one. But he plays his role too well, because soon the entire town thinks they’re engaged and things get more complicated—especially since he can’t pretend with her anymore. Then tragedy strikes and Miranda tries to shut him out, but Nolan won’t let her. He’ll do whatever it takes to convince her that he wants to make her his forever.
Themes: Holiday, Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The series set in one of my favorite little holidays towns has come to an end and though I am sad about that I loved Miranda and Nolan’s love story.  This series is set in one of those magical towns that are perpetually a Christmas village, filed with decorations, carols, and all the cookies you can enjoy.   The stories of these individuals have been amazing and getting to know all the people in the town was a magical experience.  Nolan has been in love with Miranda for many years, even if he wasn’t able to make her see him as the man meant to be hers.  Miranda is in a bind, her parents are coming for the holidays and she has to produce a fiancée before they arrive or face her mother’s disappointment when she discovers the lie Miranda told.  Jumping at the chance to show Miranda how much she means to him, Nolan steps in the make sure that Miranda has everything she needs and soon the two of them are in a relationship that doesn’t seem quite so fake anymore.  Nolan was the best sexy alpha hero, stepping in to give Miranda his all and show her how much he loves her.  I loved getting to know him and watching as he found a way to make Miranda come around to the same feelings he has. Miranda is completely blind-sided when the sweet man she has been such good friends with for so long is suddenly the sexiest and most enchanting man she knows.  There is not denying the heat between these two was strong enough to melt every bit of snow in their small town, without a single doubt.  I enjoyed every bit of this friends-to-lovers story and was sad to see it end, even though I enjoyed the story itself. I always know I will have an amazing experience when I read anything by Katie, but I hold a special place in my heart for anything holiday related and Katie makes a sweet and sexy romance even better when she combines her skill, imagination, and the magic of the holiday season. Another great read for a cold winter’s night.

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

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Review:The Rebel of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #2)

The Rebel of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #2)

by Lily Blackwood

Blurb:
LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD
Since childhood, Magnus has been led to believe he is the Laird Alwyn’s bastard, and raised to hate the Clan Kincaid. But when he learns he is without a doubt the son of the murdered Laird Kincaid, his life as he has always known it is shattered. Now, hiding his knowledge and his fury, he returns to Burnbryde Castle, awaiting the chance to strike against the man whose treachery robbed him of his legacy. His first act of rebellion: to steal a kiss from the redheaded beauty who’s betrothed to the Alwyn’s eldest son and heir.
Since her arrival at Burnbryde, Tara Iverach has been confined to a tower to guard her virtue before she marries. But after a surprise embrace with a lean, bare-chested Highlander who claims to be the Alwyn’s oldest son, she can’t contain her excitement over her good fate. Unfortunately, he is the wrong eldest son, and she is set to marry his cruel and lecherous half brother, Hugh. Can Magnus conquer his rivals and claim his Kincaid destiny before the woman who’s captured his heart becomes his sworn enemy’s bride?
Themes: Historical, Scotland
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The Kincaid’s have finally come out of the shadows after a lifetime of hiding from their enemies and there is no way that this clan will ever again have to hide from the world. In the first story of this series the oldest Kincaid returned to his family home in order to take it back from the clan that helped to destroy his and killed his parents when he was a child.  The second oldest brother lived his life thinking he was the bastard son of his Clan’s enemy Laird and when the truth is uncovered Magnus’s life will never be the same.  He is biding his time in his enemies’ home in order to have his revenge, but when a sweet young lady is brought to the clan as a sacrifice for the clan chief’s son, he never imagined how much she would change him and his future.  Tara has been forced to follow her sister’s footsteps after her death to be married off to her late sister’s betrothed and she is determined to find out the truth of her sister’s death before she makes a run for it.  Meeting Magnus throws a wrench into her plan for sure, but as their feelings for one another grows, so too does their distrust in a chance at an HEA. When the tide turns against them, Tara and Magnus have to find a way to forgive and move on from their doubts if they will ever have a chance at a happy and fulfilling life together.  I loved meeting Tara and seeing her come out of her shell as a woman to be reckoned with, making her truly the perfect mate for Magnus.  She was spunky, sassy, strong, and sexy, not a combination that was all that popular in her time.  Her brains rivaled her beauty and the way she stood up for herself as much as safely possible shows her as the type of woman that would make a great leader on her own or with her husband at her side.  Magnus was a hard-headed Scot through and through; his plans for revenge have him seeing lies and liars around every corner, making him suspicious and angry most of the time.  He was also strong, sweet and had his own brand of brains to make him a leader of men and clan.  I liked watching him fall in love with Tara and show her just how much he deserves a happy life with him.  The passion between Magnus and Tara is overwhelming to them both, leaving them doubting their feelings and bumbling with mistakes as they handle their fears.  I look forward to seeing where this series goes next and hopefully getting to meet the third brother of the long hidden Clan Kincaid.  I was surprised how much I have enjoyed this series, because even though it is set in one of my favorite places, not all romances of these type strike a chord with me like this one did.  Lily has become an author I keep an eye on and I can’t wait for whatever she comes up with next.

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

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: Any Given Snow Day

Any Given Snow Day

by Marie Harte

Blurb:
Ex-NFL star + snarky single mom = a touchdown of a holiday romance
After two Super Bowl rings, MVP status, and retiring from the NFL while still on top, Mitch “Flash” Flashman’s millions should make life at the ripe old age of thirty-five a blessing. Yet he’s restless, rudderless, and can’t tell up from down. Roped into helping his brother coach a bunch of teenagers, Mitch finds himself playing defense against the many women in town wanting his attention. Except for one particular woman who doesn’t seem to like him much. Becca Bragg is mouthy, vulnerable, and sexy, and she captivates Mitch despite himself. But Mitch has no time for a sexy single mom when he’s still trying to figure out who he really is. With the playoffs, a boy’s future, and his own heart on the line, he’ll need to figure out how to pull the ultimate victory—winning Becca’s heart and keeping it. For good.
Themes: Holiday, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars                                                           
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Marie Harte is an author that has a special skill to slip her reader’s into just about any setting and make us feel like we are right their with her characters experiencing their dramas at their sides.  This holiday story revolves around a snarky and sassy single mom and a retired NFL star that has come to loose ends since his retirement.  Roped into helping his brother with the coaching of the local high-school football team, Mitch finds himself confronted with a smartass but also kickass young player that he sees himself at that age in.  When he tries to get Simon to step up and act like the mature and brilliant player he is, Mitch is confronted with his single mother who has her own brand of sarcasm, with a serious side of sexy.  Becca has been raising her son on her own for a long time now and when Mitch barges in trying to tell her how to parent, she is just a little bit pissed, until she sees the attitude her kid is throwing for herself.  Thrown together again and again, Mitch and Becca soon find the heat between them impossible to resist, pushing them into a hot and sexy affair.  Then it goes from being a hot sexy affair to becoming something so much deeper and neither of them realized just how much they would come to depend on one another.  Mitch is an interesting character and I enjoyed seeing him find his place in the new world he finds himself inhabiting where his daily agenda I pretty much empty. It was obvious that he loved coaching the kids and even more that he loved showing Becca just how much she means to him.  He was strong, sweet, loving, adventurous and HOT all mixed together into a potent and loving man.  Becca has a lot of issues to work through before she can devote herself to any man, but the more time she spends with Mitch the more she comes to understand that he could really come to be an important part of her life.  Seeing Becca come out of their shell and find a way to let go of past hurts and embrace the love of a good man was a great way to help us remember that even the deepest love, once lost, can make room for another love.  The potential for love never hits a maximum, always finding room for just that little bit more love.  I loved the sparks that flew between these two whether they are loving, laughing, or crying together.  It was also great to see their friends and family truly embraces them as a couple and show them how much they mean to one another.  Marie never lets me down when I want a good read and Any Given Snow Day was another masterpiece with a special bit of holiday magic mixed in to make the story all the more fantastic.  I look forward to possibly seeing these characters in a future story and would enjoy a new series based on these characters if she saw fit to make another new series.  Thanks for the holiday magic and sexiness of two amazing characters falling in love.

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

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Review: Fuel for Fire (Black Knights Inc. #10)

Blurb:
A brooding covert operative and a spunky CIA agent discover a burning passion in the next installment of Julie Ann Walker's red-hot BKI series
Dagan Zoelner has made three huge mistakes
The first two left blood on his hands.
The third left him wondering...what if? What if he had told the woman of his dreams how he felt before his world fell apart?
Spitfire CIA agent Chelsea Duvall has always had a thing for bossy, brooding Dagan. It's just as well that he's never given her a second look, since she carries a combustible secret about his past that threatens to torch their lives...
Themes: contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The Knights are back!  This series continues with the story of a sexy special operator and a sassy CIA agent coming together in the most unlikely of circumstances and finding love.  I have been a fan of this series since the very beginning and have enjoyed the changes and adjustments to the team and their lives as they each found love with their true mates.  Julie Ann Walker is the kind of amazing author that takes us deep into the lives of her characters and allowing readers to experience all new lifestyles, adventures, and dramas that 99% of us could never imagine truly experiencing in our real lives. Dagan has been a little bit obsessed with Chelsea since the first time he saw her years ago, but when his life blew up in his face, leading him to join BKI he never thought he’d see her again, much less have a chance to have her for himself. Chelsea wants so badly to prove to Dagan that she is the kind of woman that can handle herself, but he seems to see her as immature and unable to handle the tasks of her new job.  When they are forced to deal with one another again they both come to realize that what they thought they knew about the other is completely inaccurate.    The passion flares between them leaving them both burned and what rises from the ashes is truly the phoenix of myth.  Dagan has to come to terms with what he thought he needed to do to keep Chelsea safe and the fact that he was VERY wrong. He was sexy, bumbling, silly, and sensual all while making Chelsea fall deeper in love, but boy when he screws up he does it in a BIG way.  Chelsea has her own fears and worries about their shared past, but she is unwilling to risk the chance she has to be happy with Dagan by leaving him in the dark.  While Chelsea certainly has a few regrets about her decisions she knows that the only way to build a life with the man she loves is to come clean about her secrets, even if it means she loses him.  I cried a lot as Dagan and Chelsea dealt with their issues, but I was reaching for ice a few times to cool me down from the heat between these two as well.   Dagan and Chelsea found a way thankfully to embrace forgiveness and share their lives and love with one another.  I am reminded again and again that no matter what these couples might face, they always find a way to overcome and have their HEA in a big way.  Walker remains one of my favorite authors for intense romantic suspense and even though I know the series is ending, I know that whatever adventure she takes us on will keep me a happy reader. As always a magical experience to enjoy the reading about the lives and loves of these sexy and fascinating special operators.

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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Review: Santa Paws is Coming to Town (The Dogfather #3.5)

Santa Paws is Coming to Town (A Dogfather Short Tail) (The Dogfather #3.5)

by Roxanne St. Claire 

Blurb:
What could be more joyous than a Kilcannon Christmas? But for Daniel Kilcannon, the man they call “The Dogfather,” this holiday season is anything but happy. It’s been three years since he’s lost his wife and though his family is growing – thanks to his matchmaking efforts – he still dreads the day his dearly departed wife used to love so much. Determined to make Christmas Eve festive and fun, he puts his sadness aside for the family and pretends everything is normal…until it’s not.
When a recently rescued puppy goes missing on Waterford Farm, all celebrations come to a halt. The entire family, from Gramma Finnie down to the youngest Kilcannon and their cousins, is enlisted on the search. Before they can continue the old Irish tradition of putting a candle in the window to welcome strangers, they must find little Jack Frost…and nothing short of a Christmas miracle can make that happen.
Themes: Novella, Holiday
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
I have never read a single story by Rocki that I haven’t wanted to reread again and again and this story is no exception.  I was thrilled when I saw that she would be sending us a short holiday tail (sorry couldn’t resist) about my favorite new family.  The wait was going to be so long for the next story that this gave me just the fix I needed.   I was thrilled to get to meet some of the Dogfather’s extended family, which will hopefully mean there is the possibility for spinoff series later on when this one closes. There were lots of sad moments as Daniel thought back on his loses, but just as many sweet and loving moments as the new couples spent time together and as a family.  I LOVED the little plot twist at the end and most assuredly loved all the sweet animals in the story.  Rocki knows how important the love of family is and how it can keep sadness from overwhelming us when we think back on all we have lost.  But knowing that there is always more love out there reminds me why I love romance novels so much and that love truly does exist out there, if we are willing to wait and look for it. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and seeing Molly find her love again, but I know there is no way that I won’t love it every moment it’s in my hands. Thanks for the fun story Rocki; I enjoyed every second reading snuggled with my four sweet babies on a cold fall evening.  


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

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.