Sunday, July 16, 2017

ARC Review: Leader of the Pack (The Dogfather #3)

Leader of the Pack (The Dogfather #3)

by Roxanne St. Claire

Blurb:
Very few things ruffle K-9 trainer Liam Kilcannon. Stoic and steady, he has the patience and skill to

transform a harmless puppy into a highly protective schutzhund, and the quiet strength to lead his five younger siblings through the storms of life. A former Marine who doesn’t waste words or squander emotions, Liam is also a man who very much wanted to spend his life with one special woman by his side. He found her… and lost her. And Liam won’t ever let himself slide down the Andi Rivers Slippery Slope to Misery again. But when his father tells him Andi’s house has been broken into, he doesn’t hesitate to offer her his beloved protection dog, a decision that will put them in close and constant contact.
Architect and single mom Andi Rivers knows nothing in life is certain, having first-hand experience with unexpected changes and tragedies that upended her world. Determined to protect her deeply shy little boy from another heartache, she’s vowed to stay single and unattached no matter how long and lonely her nights might be. Hesitant to take Liam’s dog at first, she soon changes her mind when an estranged relative launches a campaign to take custody of little Christian. A dog won’t be enough…Andi needs a family to protect her son. When the Kilcannon clan moves into action, the solution they offer is drastic but perfect. Liam and Jag are there to protect Andi’s home and child…but what will protect their hearts from the risk of falling in love – and failing – one last time?
Themes:  Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
The Dogfather has managed to bring another pup home to roost with his mate, and Daniel Kilcannon is not the type of guy to quit while he’s ahead. This series is one that holds a special place in my heart seeing as I’m all about the love of a good dog and the more I get to know this amazing family the more and more I wish the family truly existed out there in the world.  Roxanne’s unique ability to bring you fully into the lives of her characters and make you feel like you are right there living their lives with them, is even more pronounced in this series, which revolves around men and women that are down to earth and realistic, where her other series were more unrealistic as very few of us can relate to people that are special operators or first rate bodyguards. The previous two stories in this series were filled with their own troubles and issues to overcome in their relationship, But Andi and Liam truly had the world against them and I wondered if they would overcome all their challenges in order to find peace and love together. But as always Rocki finds a way and these two were able to come together and make a family when they both so badly needed to find that level of connection and love together.
Andi and Liam has a story that goes back many years, but we sadly don’t get to see that piece of their past except through their memories and conversations. Andi is in need of serious assistance and Liam and his family are there to rescue her and save the day for her little two person family.  Liam is reluctant to use the plan that his family seems to be fully behind but he will do anything for the only woman he ever loved or could love.  So while Liam is more than willing to do anything for her, he knows he has to keep a distance between them or she will break his heart into a million pieces...Again. Liam is willing to do anything to keep Andi and her little boy safe, including bringing his amazing dog Jag into their home to protect and love them as he does.  Andi will take any help she can to keep her little boy safe and with her, even follow the scary plan that the Kilcannons have put forth, but she is still determined to keep herself from falling for and depending on Liam.  But when the danger to her family escalates she turned to the man that has grabbed her heart in order to make sure that they all make it out safely and can find a way to their happily ever after. 
I loved this story of two people that have had serious ups and downs in their relationship including a two year separation right when their relationship was starting to truly blossom.  Liam is the kind of strong and staid man that would be the perfect man to have as a husband, but he would also be the kind of lover that takes over your heart and soul. I was sad to see the troubles Liam had to face and the trauma to his heart every time Andi pushed him away or put space between them, even as I understood her fears.  The best thing that Liam offers to Andi is the stability that has been sadly lacking in her life for the last seven or so years.  But the fear that Andi has allowed to color her choices in her relationship status and the way she treats Liam, and their relationship.  I was sad for Andi and understand the fears she carries, but I wished she could see the great guy that Liam was and how much she was tearing his heart out each time she kicked him away.  I was glad to see her finally open up her heart again, but in my opinion it took her way to long to see what was right in front of her.  I did enjoy seeing her interacting with her little man and Liam’s family, and I look forward to seeing them sharing their HEA in the coming novels in the series.
While Liam is definitely the leader of his little pack, even as his family and grandmother are still in charge, and seeing the heartbreak he is dealing with hurts his family enough that they banded together to get him what he needs to be happy in his life makes for a truly loving relationship.  Liam is a sweet, loving, and sexy guy with a heart as big as his family and the strength to lead his little world, whether that means dogs, little boys, and a woman that needs him whether she’s knows it or not. Andi is a woman that has been trying to keep from drowning as she ushers her shy and sweet little boy into the world, but she doesn’t see that adding Liam to that equation is the one piece needed to keep them moving forward.  I loved seeing these two come together, even though their sad moments brought tears to my eyes and made me wonder why Andi doesn’t understand that the best way to make her son happy is to truly be happy herself.  When Andi lets Liam into her life, and her son’s, the three of them can truly become a family and add to the Kilcannon clan and can find their forever happiness in one another. I might not fully understand how a mother’s love can drive a woman to make the types of decisions Andi did, I can understand how a woman might let her fear and past hurts drive her to make a choice that protects her heart. I definitely look forward to the rest of this series and seeing more of the Kilcannon clan as each of the other children finds their mates and Rocki sends them the challenges these brothers have faced. Another adventure in the lives and hearts of a couple that have to work hard to find their HEA and the family that circles them with love even as they have fight for each other.

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

P.s. as always in this series the love shared with the dogs by this family makes the family and the story all the more lovable to me.  I am dying to see what other dogs this family brings into the fold and makes fully accepted family members. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

ARC Review: HOT Valor (Hostile Operations Team #11)

HOT Valor (Hostile Operations Team #11)

by Lynn Raye Harris

 Blurb:
They told him she was dead. They lied...
Colonel John "Viper" Mendez is having the second-worst day of his life. Accused of using the Hostile Operations Team to assassinate a foreign official, he's gone from being a respected military black-ops commander to a fugitive in the space of an hour. On the run, hunted, and stripped of his honor, Mendez has nowhere to go--and few people he can trust.
Russian spy Ekaterina "Kat" Kasharin is a carbon copy of the woman Mendez once loved. Twenty-one years ago, Valentina vanished from his life. Kat claims to be her twin--but Kat's lying. Ordered by her superiors in Russian Intelligence to abandon the man she loved--or watch him die--Kat had no choice but to obey.
But twenty-one years is a long time to love a man from afar, and Kat won't stand by as a traitor plans his death--even if it means risking her heart and her life to save him. She can never reveal her true identity--or the secrets she keeps locked away. Secrets he would hate her for. Working with him is strictly business, and she won't let emotions get in the way. But the attraction between them is smoking hot--and it's not long before they're burning up the sheets.
When the truth comes out, the mission implodes. Everything Mendez thought he knew was a lie. He'll have to pull it together though before a deadly foe succeeds in taking away all he loves. By the time he realizes Kat might be most important of all? It could be too late to save her...
Themes:  Contemporary
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:

"And he wasn't going to let her make him come first. It wasn't how he was wired.  He was an alpha male, all decisive and macho, and his primary goal in any sexual encounter was to make her melt into a puddle of orgasmic bliss." (HOT Valor)--With that quote, I almost feel I don't need to bother with the review! OMG that man is so hot...I just need to run and grab ice before I share my review. 

The Colonel has finally gotten to share his story with the world and find a chance at the great love that all of his men have had.  Fans of this series have been waiting for a long time to find out who Mendez would end up with and what made him into the strong, brave, and sometimes just a little bit sad man he is.  And boy-oh-boy Mrs. Harris did NOT let us down with this one.  Exotic locations, sensual encounters, and the ultimate happiness of two people that should never have lost the chance to love. The HOT series is one where each story is a stand-alone, but the true greatness of story is only discovered when you experience the entire series.  So if you are just coming to this series, before you read HOT Valor, I highly recommend going back to the start and getting to know Mendez for the great leader he is.  If you are a fan of military Romantic suspense there is no way you will dislike Lynn's writing and this series is one that will keep you interested and you will most likely become an instant loyal fan, like all the others of us who stumbled upon this series.  I am really looking forward to wherever Lynn takes us and takes her HOT men and women, whether they are Army or Navy, all of the members of HOT are deserving of the love and devotion that Mendez and the other married guys have found in their mates.
This story kicks off with Mendez’s entire life being through into chaos when he is alerted to a plot to disgrace his team, remove him from command and ultimately have him arrested and killed.  Knowing there is always someone ready to take him down, Mendez has a backup plan, but he never imagined it would involve the woman he loved 20 years ago and lost to a tragic end.  Mendez runs in order to give himself time and when he arrives in New Orleans to meet this woman who calls herself Kat, but looks so much like the woman he loved, it is a kick in the balls.  He refuses to truly trust her, despite her claims of working to protect him. Kat is thrilled and terrified in equal portions to see Mendez, but she is determined to make sure that his life is not lost to a plot that has been in the making for 21 years.  She has lived through too much tragedy to see this brave and sexy man lose everything and die in disgrace.   Thrown together, though not to happy about it, Kat and Mendez have to get past their traumas and lies in order to trust one another, or their survival will be forfeit.  But when Kat and Mendez's pasts blows up in their faces, the desire and secrets between them, not to mention the passions and anger, have to be set aside in order to complete their mission.
Mendez has been a favorite of mine since the beginning of this series and I have been dying to know more about him--though to be fair any woman that has read this series probably has the same feeling.  He is the glue that keeps his teams together and is the man they all turn to for leadership and guidance, not only in their work but also with their personal lives.  In previous stories in the series Mendez was the one that made the love connections between the couples possible and kept them together. He is the type of alpha male that only gets better with age and it is obvious as he kicks ass and takes names that he has not lost a single bit of his skill or stamina with age.  I loved seeing him in action as an operator and though he fought hard, when he lost his heart, again, to Kat it made him even more sexy and the kind of man I would like to find to grow old with.  Kat is a woman of mystery to Mendez, but luckily Lynn doesn't keep the readers in the dark like she does Mendez, sharing Kat’s secrets and fears with us as Mendez tries to uncover them himself.  Kat has lived a nightmare for two decades, but she has tried to make the most of her circumstances and make a difference in the world and she refuses to allow anyone to take down John Mendez, knowing that a world without him is not the kind of world she wants to live in.  The more we learn about Kat, the sadder her life is but the more we see how much she needs Mendez in her life.  In the end she gets everything she has missed the past twenty years and gets a chance to start her life anew with the man she loves while allowing him to keep his place in the world to allow him to save those in need of his expertise.
HOT Valor is the story so many have been waiting for and with all the passion, suspense, and drama we have come to expect from a Harris novel, the core of this story is about two people that have been lonely and lost for two decades and finally find a way to share their hearts and lives fully.  The messy details of their pasts certainly will continue to affect them, but the love and light they bring to one another shows that Mendez and Kat will find a way to move forward in their lives despite their pasts. Mendez is a sexy, alpha operator to the core, though we have gotten used to seeing him in the role of leader and coordinator, and seeing him in the field as he works to clear his name shows that he hasn’t lost any of the skills that allowed him to be in command of such a volatile group of men and women. I enjoyed finally getting to know the story of Mendez’s past and the tragedies that shaped him into the man he is, but I also mourned with him as he relived those horrors and finally came to terms with everything.  Kat was almost as heartbreaking as she shared her past with Mendez and was forced to relive it all again and again.  Kat is the kind of woman that would not be wrongly described as a willow tree--she bends and bends, but nothing breaks her spirit as long as she knows her Johnny is out there somewhere in the world making it a better place.  While there was certainly the expected suspense and drama, the emotional roller-coasters these two find themselves leading us down will have you in tears, laughing, and wondering how they could ever get past the heartaches they carry.  Their strength and the love that brings them together in the end is undeniable and as bright as a solar flare, making it almost dangerous to look at.  I enjoyed every moment of this story and found myself unable to put it down if only to carry it with me just in case there was a minute to read a few more pages.  I feel like Mendez’s book was a turning point in the HOT world, not an ending just a new beginning, and I cannot wait to see where we go next and who will find their mate.  Lynn's writing, as always, keeps me on the edge of my seat and dying to know what happens next, but the true skill that makes Lynn Raye Harris an author to watch is the way she can lead her couples through some of the most dangerous situations while still building relationships that last forever and allowing her characters to grow and change.  Another masterpiece worthy of a place of honor on any bookshelf, be it digital or print.
*eARC provided by author for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

ARC Review: Rocky Mountain Home (Six Pack Ranch #11)

Rocky Mountain Home (Six Pack Ranch #11)

by Vivian Arend 

Blurb:
The FINAL NOVEL in the bestselling SIX PACK RANCH series by New York Times Bestselling Author Vivian Arend.
There’s no distance you can run to escape the past.
Too stubborn to face his sins, Jesse Coleman bolted from the Six Pack Ranch, only to fall straight into the arms of a beautiful stranger. Twelve hours later, the seductive firebrand is nothing but a whiskey-laced memory—but one powerful enough to convince Jesse tracking down his elusive lover is worth the effort.
Darilyn Hayes figured it was her lucky night when the sexiest cowboy in Alberta interrupted her annual drink-until-I-fall-over wake. At least until four weeks later when she discovers she’s pregnant and her one-night-stand is nowhere to be found. Still, as she’s shared with her devoted blog readers, Dare has dealt with life’s not-so-gentle surprises before. She’ll make it on her own.
When an internet picture gone viral leads to their reunion, Jesse’s floored by Dare’s news. She’s very clear she’s not looking for a commitment, but screw that. He’s going to do the right thing by her and his unborn kid. The fact they lit the sheets on fire is a bonus, but with a baby on the way, both their lives are gonna change.
Jesse’s got a ton of family to reconnect with, including his estranged twin. Dare holds family loosely—even though she loves them—because she knows too well how fragile life can be. Between her and Jesse, they’ve got enough baggage to open a store.
But they still have a shot at forever—if they’re willing to fight for it.
Themes:  Erotica
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
 The final Coleman has finally found his way home and his story brings us around full circle to this amazing family and the small town they have sort of overrun. Having been a fan of this series from the very beginning I was so sad to see the way Jesse began to struggle to find his happiness, pushing his family away, and leaving himself needing to leave them behind in order to find a way to become his own man and find his true place in the world. But it turns out that the love of a good woman is all that he really needed to set him on the straight and narrow, and maybe a little secret that would remind him how crucial having family support really is.  The plot for this story might seem a tried and true trope to some, man meets woman, has a crazy passionate night and then finds her missing the next morning only to find out many months later that she is carrying his child.  But thankfully the magic of Vivian Arend keeps the story from becoming staid and clichéd. I loved the story and was a bit sad to see the end of the Six-Pack Coleman’s stories, but there are a few singles left and I hope to continue to catch glimpses of them in those stories.  The most important thing about this story is that a woman and man have finally found their future together and given each other the love and stability they have been looking for during the many long and lonely nights.
Jess and Dare were especially exciting because they were both such story and passionate individuals and when they come together the sparks fly and are hot enough to cause a full-fledged forest fire.  Dare has been fighting loneliness and wondering where her place in the world really is and having Jesse show up in her life made her wonder if possibly she could have a mate in her life.  Being pregnant wasn’t on her list of things to do, but when she finds out she is carrying Jesse’s child she doesn’t for a single moment doubt that she will be a good mother to her baby.  Dare has the type of strong and dedicated personality that makes her independent streak less about ego and more about her own ability to care for herself.  I was thrilled to get to know her and see how she might be able to find her place in the Coleman Clan, even though watching her struggle with the traumas of her own past and Jesse’s as well was a truly heart wrenching experience.  Jesse himself was breaking my heart every moment of the story that he was revving my engine.  There are so many deep and varied sides to this cowboy that I never expected and when he finally had to share his failures with his family and dare, the only way he could truly heal from those past problems, I was in tears and wishing I was nearby to hug him close.  Though we had watched him grow through the entire series, seeing Jesse become a father and husband was a truly sweet experience. Jesse proved to be the strong and loving man that all his brothers and cousins were, though he of course has his own problems and quirks to get over before he truly became the man he was meant to be.
Rocky Mountain Home is truly a story of a man finding his way home and bringing with him the woman that has been in need of a true home and finally found it with the Colemans.  If you have been a fan of this series then you can understand why this story was so emotional for me, even though I knew his story would tear me up even before the first word was read.  I have loved the Colemans for many years now and watched each member of the family go through their growing pains and finally find their paths and their mates. The truth is that these strong and sweet men and women are what everyone wants to find in their mate, with the added something extra of being the totally sexy and out of this world cowboys and cowgirls. Dare was a woman that embraced her life fully, even as it threw changes at her again and again, showing the ingenuity and bravery that makes a woman willing to give up just about anything for the man she loves.  Jesse finally steps up and becomes the man he was always destined to become, showing us that while he has certainly made some questionable decisions in the recent past, he is a Coleman through and through and will always step up for those that depend on him. Dare and Jesse together made for a fiery and sensual story, even as they came to grips with her pregnancy and the looming truth of parenthood, slowly falling in love as they embrace the lust that brought them together in the first place. I was thrilled to read their story and see them find their place together and in the Coleman clan, though I was sad too that they has some much against them from the beginning, making their journey that much more difficult.  In the end this story might have been one that ripped out my heart, brought me to tears, and reminded me the true value and benefit of a mate in life, not just a hot man to warm my bed at night.  I am thrilled to see where this family might go next and what Vivi will have coming our way in the near future and highly recommend that if you haven’t found a place on your bookshelves for the Coleman family, you run out right now and grab the entire amazing series, because there truly is very little that is more magical than these stories of love, redemption, family, and the ultimate belonging in this world. I was blown away by the love and magic of this story and reminded of why I fell in love with romance novels over almost two decades ago.

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

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review: A Sure Thing (The Donnigans #1)

A Sure Thing (The Donnigans #1)

by Marie Harte

Blurb:
 Meet the Donnigans
With the eldest Donnigan brothers adjusting to civilian life, their younger sister constantly in trouble, and their little brother clueless about life in general, falling in love is the last thing on anyone's mind...
Can this Bossy Badass Marine...
The Marine Corps was everything Landon Donnigan ever wanted in life...until a bullet sent him home with a medical discharge. Teaching a self-defense class at the gym is old-hat for a marine, but when he meets sexy Ava Rosenthal, his combat skills are useless for protecting his heart.
Be her Mr. Right?
Ava can take care of herself and likes quiet, bookish men-not muscular warriors who think women need to be coddled. But Landon is more than he seems, and when they come together, the results are explosive.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating:
Review:

The time has come for the Donnigans to have their very own tales of love and woe.  This series spins off another  favorite Marie Harte series I’m caught up in, and I was sad to discover that the order of them is interwoven, so though they are certainly independent stories, reading them in the proper release order can make a difference to those of us that have a small OCD problem about reading series out of order (and of course assuming you are reading both series).  Landon and Ava spark off one another from the very beginning, their anger, sarcasm and passion are all interconnected and make them a truly fiery couple from the get-go. Ava is the kind of professional woman that thinks her intellect is where she needs the focus of her mate to come from, completely disregarding the role that chemistry plays in as well as the importance of the heart getting its way, but once she begins to understand the importance of that true connection she has to trust in the change that comes over her.  Desire drives Ava as much as anyone else when Landon is around and though she fights it, the draw to Landon is irresistible and will lead her down a crazy path.  Landon has always lived by his gut, which kept him alive in dangerous situations in the military, but he doesn't really understand his draw to the snippy, somewhat snotty and totally sexy Ava, but he’s not one to deny the draw she presents.  As they circle one another and come to terms with the attraction and emotions that develop, Ava and Landon are obviously made for one another and experiencing them learning the true value and purpose of love was fun and exciting.  While I am certainly a fan of any of Marie’s work I find myself becoming invested in the men and women of this small town and all the interlocking relationships and family connections. If you like sexy alpha men with hearts of gold and sassy and sexy women then you will enjoy this series, as well as the Bad Boy Mechanics series, and I can promise that you won’t regret a moment of getting to know this folks.  I am looking forward to the next story in this family and seeing Landon’s brothers find their mates and their very own HEAs.  


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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lethal Lies (Blood Brothers #2)

Blurb:
 A deadly secret can't stay buried forever . . .
Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.
Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.
Themes: Paranormal 
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Wow the depravity of the villains in this series continue to astound me and make me wonder how many people there might be out in the world like this. This story is the second story in a spinoff of the Sin Brothers series that equally amazed and terrified me and when I found out to series would be coming I was the first in line to beg for an ARC. Heather brother, Ryker, was the first to find love and pull his woman into their world, But Heather story is no less amazing and certainly led to some interesting discoveries and adventures. The story begins with the unfortunate murder of Anya’s sister, an FYI agent looking into the serial kidnapper and killer that seems to have latched onto Anya. Anya never imagined when she asked her sister for help that it would come at such a steep price, or drag her into the world of not only a despicable serial killer, but would land her right in the limelight of two life-long psychos that have been experimenting of kids and destroying lives for close to thirty years. Heath has made it his mission to catch this killer and bring him to justice, but when an impulsive announcement by Anya brings them into Very close quarters his ability to resist her is demolished. Heath and his brothers have always known that bringing a woman into their world, no matter how much they desire or even love them, would be putting them right in the way of a deadly snake and he’s always refused to let that happen.  Now he has no choice but to keep Anya close, in order to keep her alive, but resisting her is impossible and soon the sexy redhead steal his heart and captures his soul. Even though there were definitely moment that made me very angry at Heath, all-in-all he turns out to be just as enigmatic and sexy as his brothers , both by blood and through heart.  I loved seeing Heath having to come to terms with the fact that Anya wasn’t going to let him get away with any macho bullshit or get away from her.  She stood her groun, demanding her due as his lover, and ultimately that is what showed him that she was the woman for him.  Once he accepts that there is no way he will be able to resist her, he quickly begins to change, from a distant and deadly killer into the sensual, sweet and unexpectedly loving man that we always knew was buried deep beneath his fears.  I liked Anya, in the moments she was using her brain instead of simply reacting to circumstances , though there were certainly moments… Anya is the kind of woman that will never let anything keep her from her goals , even if it means resisting the psychos of a serial killer just to save herself.  The ending of this story was beyond imaginative and I loved seeing the brothers get a little bit of payback.  I am dying to find out what happens next and can only imagine just the kind of woman that will round out this trio of woman that have captured the hearts of these brothers that have never had a loving hand offered to them.  Like stray dogs, resisting the comfort and safety of a new home, these brothers retain their badass tendencies, but have certainly found a way to open their hearts and minds to the love and goodness that can be found in the world if they look for it.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

It's Me Again, Baby (O'Connor Family #3)

It's Me Again, Baby (O'Connor Family #3)

by Katie Reus

Blurb:
 She lost him once…
Years ago Samantha made a mistake and lost a chance at something real with Maguire O’Connor. Now that she’s living in Holly again, she knows seeing him is inevitable. But the last thing she ever expected was to take him on as a client.
Now they have a second chance…
Maguire never got over Sam. Thanks to a meddling family member, he mistakenly hires Sam as his real estate agent. With her in his sights again, he’s not letting her go. But someone from her past followed her back to Holly with a sinister intent. Now Maguire will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he intends to claim as his forever.
Themes:  Contemporary
Rating: 4  stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
One of my favorite authors has returned to the sweet and enchanting town of Holly, NC where the joy and emotion of Christmas is carried year round.  I thought for sure when I started reading these stories that I would get tired of this tourist trap town and it’s residents quickly, but in fact I find myself loving them more and more and the O’Connor family is beyond interesting. This newest story brings back together two lovers that had a chance at love stolen from them years earlier, and boy are these two hot whenever they are breathing the same air. Thankfully their story goes far beyond the physical though with emotional hang-ups and fears driving their interactions and affecting more than just their chemistry together. Samantha and Maguire  were both enjoyable characters to get to know and I loved seeing them get their second chance at a lasting relationship. While the length of their story is deceptively short, as always Katie manages to pack a lot of heart and heat into every moment between these two. There were some laughs, tears, and plenty of passion as Maguire and Sam found their way back into one another so arms, but much more importantly into one another’s hearts and lives. Maguire was a sweet, funny, and passionate man and I enjoyed seeing him share his life and dreams with Sam and find a way to forgive and forget past mistakes so quickly.  Samantha was the kind of independent, fiery, and sensual woman I wish I could be, even though she was a little bit naïve when it came to the danger stalking her. Once again proving her ability to capture her readers and keep us hooked, Katie takes us on a fast and furious trip through the courtship of two people that let their fears keep them apart before but are detained to overcome and find a way to get their HEA this time.  I loved returning to Holly and the O’Connell and look forward to continuing this series.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Thirst (The Energy Vampires #1)

Blurb:
A hidden society of vampires—and the humans they love—are at the heart of this opening novel in a biting, all-original series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Nightwalkers saga.
Rafe DaSilva is an energy vampire, soaking up nourishment from the sun—and, only when necessary, drawing sweet sustenance from humans who are pure in body and spirit. As the right-hand man to his queen, Rafe is a key player at a historic peace summit in New York City, which will unite the vampire nations against a common threat: the sycophants, who feed on humanity and kill indiscriminately. But Rafe’s fascination with a beautiful blond police detective may put everything at risk.
Detective Renee Holden has never worked a homicide quite like this. The victim has twin puncture wounds on his neck, and the only eyewitness swears she saw a vampire. Now’s definitely not the time to get distracted by a seductive stranger. But the suave, darkly austere, exotically handsome Rafe DaSilva is a hard man to deny, and as Renee falls under his spell, she also falls prey to his enemies. Desperate to protect her, Rafe lifts the veil on a shadow realm she can only visit—a world of intoxicating power, terrifying dangers, and forbidden pleasures.
Themes:  Paranormal
Rating:  4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Another all new world from the amazing imagination of Jackie Frank has arrived and taken me into an alternative view of the world around me and given me another way to escape. I have been a fan of Ms. Frank’s ever since either stumbled onto her Nightwalkers series and only very rarely have I even felt let down by one of her stories, and this was definitely not one of those times. While I am generally wary of beginning a new series (mainly since I already have so many going as is) I knew there was no way I’d miss anything Jackie released.  Rafe and his fellow enemy vamps are an all new take on the traditional view of the paranormal and I was fascinated as I learned more and more. That being said, while I certainly enjoyed the story, it is fair to say that like all first stories in a series like this, there were a few times that it seemed to drag just the slightest bit.  Once you overcome those parts though the story is wonderful.  Rafe was an odd duck to be sure but I enjoyed seeing him and Renee interact with one another.  He is obviously enamored with her, even though he initially resists the draw.  Renee is like an human suddenly pulled into a fantastical world with no compass for surviving that world. Renee clings to Rafe as much as an independent woman would, but she is also a strong female lead character and able to stand on her own.  Once things heat up between them it becomes obvious they are meant to be together, but Rafe knows there relationship is destined to have an end date…unless Renee turns out to be even more special than he originally thought. Renee and Rafe are certainly explosive and the heat between them is easily felt by anyone they cross paths with.  I enjoyed this story and can see my self really enjoying the series, as long as those lull times are few and far between –which is usually the case once the series gets fully underway. I am looking forward to the next in the series and whatever stories Ms. Frank might send our way.  
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Maybe This Time (Colorado Ice #1)

Maybe This Time (Colorado Ice #1)

by Jennifer Snow 

Blurb:
Starting over means a second chance . . .
Abigail Jansen is done with hockey . . . and hockey players. After leaving her two-timing NHL-star husband, Abby decides to start over in her hometown of Glenwood Falls, Colorado. There she doesn't have to deal with people gossiping behind her back or hear the word "hockey"---until her daughter tries out for the junior hockey team. Now Abby has to face her fears . . . and coach Jackson Westmore. He's tall, dark, handsome---and happens to hate her.
All through high school, talented hockey player Jackson Westmore had a crush on Abby, but he would never make a move on his best friend's girl. He gave her the cold shoulder out of self-preservation and worked out his frustrations on the ice. So when Abby returns, newly divorced and still sexy as hell, Jackson knows he's in trouble. Now even the best defensive skills might not keep him from losing his heart.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating:  3.75 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
 I was initially drawn to this series because of the lovely covers along with the interesting blurbs for the prequel novella and then this first full length novel.  I am always looking for fun new series and authors to read, mostly because I’m a little bit of an addiction (no 12-step programs for book addicts yet! ;) ).  This first novel in the series was an interesting one and I am looking forward to exploring more of this authors work for sure.  Abigail has returned to her hometown, young daughter in tow, after the abysmally trite ending of her marriage to the town superstar and hockey fanatic.  She has soon off the game and wants nothing to do with Hockey or hockey players, much less the childhood best friend of her soon-to-be ex-husband.  But when her daughter finally shows a spark in their new lives and decides to join the new gender-equal youth hockey team, there’s no way to avoid Jackson, seeing as he is the team’s coach. Jackson is beyond willing to put distance between them, out of loyalty to his friend, but he finds it more and more difficult as he is reminded why he always had a crush on Abigail as a young boy.  When circumstances continuously throw them together Abby and Jackson have to decide if the attraction they share is enough to overcome their rocking history, past relationships, and the truly terrifying chance of finding love after all these years.  I loved Jackson once I got to know him and understood his reasons for being a jerk to Abigail had everything to do with protecting his heart.  He is the kind of solid, cariing, and sexy guy that Abby should have been with all along, and he is also the perfect guy to step in and fill the void in her young daughter’s life left by her absentee father.  Abigail has had a lot of knocks lately, but she is working to overcome each of them, independently and find a path to a better life for her and her daughter.  This story came with a lot of laughter, some tears, and ultimately the understanding that sometimes to get what we really need we have to give up what we always thought we wanted.  The chemistry between Abby and Jackson was there from the first moment they laid eye on one another again, leaving the pages burning up when they finally give into that passion.  I throughly enjoyed getting to know both of these characters and seeing them fall in love, and cannot wait to see what’s in store next for these two and this town of hockey fanatics.  Keep up the great work Ms. Snow.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Her True Match (X-Ops #6)

Her True Match (X-Ops #6)

by Paige Tyler

Blurb:
 After a long game of cat-and-mouse
Feline shifter Dreya Clark picks the wrong penthouse to rob and ends up arrested by sexy detective Braden Hayes. But Braden isn’t the only one who’s been watching the cat burglar. Agents from the Department of Covert Operations swoop in to offer her a deal. If she wants to stay out of jail, she’ll have to work with them—and pair up with the hot cop. Great.
Danger throws this unlikely pair together
Braden isn’t thrilled about the DCO meddling in his investigation. He’s been chasing Dreya for years. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, fur flies and temperatures flare. But when danger closes in on them, their game of cat and mouse turns deadly-serious, and they’ll have to rely on each other to make it out alive.
Themes: Paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 This story marks a huge turning point in a series that has had its up and downs for me, but overall the Swiss just gets better, and Dreya’s story is one that will obviously be leading the way for a new direction for the DCO. Up to this point the series has generally been about one or the other of the main characters =, who is already a DCO operative, joining forces with a new member in order to form the perfect team.  Each of these couples has their own little quirks of course, but I did not see this direction coming until it was already too late.  Dreya and Braden have been circling one another for a long time, apparently their special form of foreplay, but when the shit hit the fan they were thrown together into a world that niether of them truly understood.  Braden had no idea just what Dreya was, though to be fair she didn’t know everything herself, but the draw between them has always been undeniable.  I enjoyed seeing them interacting both before and after they became teammates.  Ultimately it comes down to whether they made a good team, and I can honestly say they turned out to be truly meant to be.  I enjoyed getting to know Braden, who is obviously the kind of white Knight that never has trouble finding someone in need of rescue and certainly never turns their back when they find someone in need.  It was hilarious seeing him reacting to Dreyfus special skills and the side of her that he never imagined existed, but in the end it is the woman that draws his heart in and hooks him for life. Dreya on the other hand was a vulnerable woman that has had to harden her heart when it comes to most people simply because she was so different and didn’t know how to share her secret.  She has led an interesting life for sure, but even though you might think it a problem, her past shenanigans helped her immensely in her new job with the DCO.  I loved the way this story wrapped up a few of the previous stories in the series and even though there was a lot of sadness, the ending was well-written and certainly attention grabbing.   I am Dying to find out what happens next and see where Paige takes us on the journey of these amazing shifters. Combining romantic suspense and paranormal romances in the best of ways, the X-Ops series by Paige Tyler is certainly a favorite of mine and with all the world building and changes that have happened already in such a short time, I can see this series remaining in my TBR pile for many many years to come.  With passion, heart, action and a true flair, these characters leap to life of the pages and remind readers that just because you’ve never experienced something doesn’t mean it should be discounted or denied—after all just a couple decades ago it was considered science fiction to imagine traveling through space of living there for long periods of time. Open minds can lead us to the most amazing of experiences and discoveries!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Protector (Sons of Texas #2)

The Protector (Sons of Texas #2)

by Donna Grant 

Blurb: 

EVERYTHING’S HOTTER IN TEXAS
When Marine Force Recon captain Cullen Loughman learns that his father’s been kidnapped, he will do whatever it takes to find him. In order to achieve his mission, Cullen will need to team up with the best of the best—someone who just happens to be the most stunning woman he’s ever laid eyes on…
This isn’t the first rodeo for ex—Air Force pilot Mia Carter. Still, Cullen’s bad-boy good looks and charm are distracting her from duty. . .and it appears that the feeling is mutual. As Mia and Cullen make their descent into a dark, dangerous world, their attraction reaches the boiling point. But is their desire worth the risk when a ruthless enemy is waiting in the wings—or will their Lone Star love conquer all?
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 This new direction for one of my favorite paranormal authors has been a mixed bag of emotions for me.  In a lot of ways the story is really good, but there are just some elements I find missing, though it is tricky to pinpoint exactly what leaves me wanting.  Donna Grant has always been an amazing author, with sensual alpha male and sexy wild female leads, but the truth of the matter is that her voice and wiring style has always leaned more easily toward the paranormal sub-genre in my opinion.  While I enjoyed reading the story, I wish there was a bit more character development, because the fact it that this book wasn’t all that memorable, where I can remember almost everything from the very first Dark Warrior novel I read by Donna years ago.  Cullen is kind of an ass through most of the story while Mia seems to be trying good hard to prove her strength and skills, instead of just being content knowing that she can handle herself, even if Cullen doubts it.  Cullen obviously spent a good bit of his youth fighting his inner demons and trying to live up to the example set by his older brothers, but once he finally excepted that some things can’t be changed, they just ARE, he was a bit more able to grow up and leave the past wear to belongs in order to get his mission accomplished.  Mia on the other hand left me scratching my head a few times and wondering if I liked her or not, because why she had some redeeming qualities she rubbed me wrong through most of the story. The passion is certainly there, no denying that, but the emotions and depth of her characters doesn’t seem to be there in this novel like it is in her Dark World books.  I am looking forward to the final in the trilogy but I think after that I will stick with Donna’s fantastic imaginative Dark world stories for my entrainment.  That being said fans of strictly contemporary romance or even romantic suspense could definitely do worse than this amazing authors work and you should always read it for yourself to see if you might enjoy it, an honestly it could have just been a bad day that has this story grating on my nerves, so please keep an open mind and Read On!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Justice Ascending (The Scorpius Syndrome #3)

Justice Ascending (The Scorpius Syndrome #3)

by Rebecca Zanetti 

Blurb:
Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly... and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he's lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there's no turning back for either of them.
Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she's one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she's not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she'll face even that hell again to save him.
Themes: Post-apocalyptic, alternate reality 
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Scorpius strikes again… and the world will never be the same.  Everyone’s favorite Vanguard Combat Medic was infected in the previous novel in the series and we have all been watching and wondering just how he would come out on the other side of Scorpius.  Tace Justice has gone from being a sweet and funny good ole’ boy from Texas to becoming an intense and challenging opponent and he has decided to make his next battle with the sensual Sami Steel, and he is determined to break her down and discover all of her secrets.  Tace knew that if he survived his Scorpius infection he was going to be fundamentally changed, but since every survivor exhibits different symptoms he can’t discount any personality changes, and his former fear of becoming a sociopath is no longer a fear—though he’s not sure if that means he is already a sociopath or if he has escaped that fate. He has known from the beginning that Sami was hiding something from them, but when they are thrown into even closer confines then just sharing the vanguard territory, the attraction between them is no longer denials and it is definitely undefinable. Sami has been avoiding her feelings and increasing fears of Tace, knowing that If she ever gave in to him he would discover her every secret and out her to the entire world. But as their chemistry turns into something much deeper Sami is faced with a choice; She can either out herself, with the distinct possibility of losing her place in vanguard if not her life, and definitely her relationship with Tace, or watching him die in her arms.  For Sami there is no choice at that point.  Sharing her secret with her new team has some serious and long lasting consequences, but as long as Tace is able to be saved, Sami is willing to pay the price, proving that she is truly a woman with principles and the courage to stand up for them even at the expense of her own heart and soul. Tace is beyond pissed when she shares that she has been keeping the location of “The Bunker” they were all searching for a secret, but more than that he is angry that she didn’t trust him to know the truth of her past.  Together with their friends, Tace and Sami have to find a way to get the resources they need, keep their people safe, and hopefully find the forgiveness and bravery to give their hearts to one another in this terrifying and all to possible new world they live in.  I enjoyed getting to see how Tracers mind is working with these new changes and there were definitely some moments where the thoughts running through his mind were beyond hilarious.  Finally getting to know the real Sami was interesting too, seeing her passions and conviction and willingness to sacrifice for others shows me that she is truly a great character and a woman to be reckoned with.  The heat and passion between Tace and Sami sometimes has a darker shade than I prefer in my reading, but in the end the two of them were perfectly matched and I loved seeing them settle into their love and beginning their future together. While I am not generally a big fan of Post-apocalyptic stories, Rebecca manages to bring all the craziness and changes down to the level of basic human needs and how to survive in whatever world you find yourself thrown into.  Magic once again, Rebecca!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Zero to Sixty (Body Shop Bad Boys #3)

Zero to Sixty (Body Shop Bad Boys #3)

by Marie Harte 

Blurb:
Bad boy Sam + Good girl Ivy + Stray puppy = Damaged hearts learning to love again

After her last relationship bombed, Ivy Stephens is doing her best to put her life back together. She's enjoying her job, her apartment-and the cute little puppy she's seen hanging around. When she goes looking for him, she finds the stray in the arms of a big, burly, devastatingly handsome man.
Sam Hamilton is lonelier than he's ever been after his best friend's engagement. To give himself a sense of purpose, he takes in a puppy that keeps showing up around the garage where he works. The puppy has another suitor though-one who happens to be blond and beautiful.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 4.5
Review:
 Marie Harte takes us back to the world of bad-for-you mechanics and the sexy woman that manages to tame and claim them for their very own.  Fans of Marie, and these bad boys especially, will be overjoyed to see the gruff and sexy Sam finally falling under the spell of the sweet and sensual Ivy.  Sam has had a hard time recently as the people around him are all falling in love and he is beginning to wonder if he will ever find a woman that can put up with him and fill his life like the women that have come into his friends’ lives. Just when he finds a little companion that seem willing to offer that love, if in a different manner, the pup leads the pretty blonde Ivy into Sam’s world and he is immediately drawn to her.  It is obvious to just about anyone that Sam has some seriously deep-seated issues, but the more we learned about him and met people from his past, we come to see that it’s amazing how well adjust he is, all things considered.  He tries so hard to not that those he cares about into the dark parts of his heart, but once Ivy pushes her was in, there’s no way he can deny that she is the only woman for him. Ivy has her own issues, but when she is around Sam she finds a piece of herself that has been missing and is willing to Rick it all to keep it—and him—in her life for a long time to come. Ivy’s personality was certainly unforgettable and I was thrilled to see that Sam met his match in a woman like her. Being around Ivy brings out a softer side of Sam (and a harder one;) sometimes) but the deep-seated emotional connection they formed was my favorite part of the story. I am very much looking forward to seeing what comes next in this series and getting to see glimpses of Sam and Ivy as their relationship continues to grow.  As always Marie’s world and characters were interesting, fufilling, and captured a piece of my heart that will remain there forever.  Another masterpiece, though I don’t quite know how she can top Sam’s story!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.