Sunday, November 19, 2017

Review: The Legend (Sons of Texas #3)

The Legend (Sons of Texas #3)

by Donna Grant 

Blurb:

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

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

Sunday, November 12, 2017

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

SEAL Wolf Undercover (Heart of the Wolf #22)

by Terry Spear 

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


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

Sunday, November 5, 2017

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

A Rancher's Heart (Heart Falls #1)

by Vivian Arend

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

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review: All I Want for Halloween

All I Want for Halloween

by Marie Harte 

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

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Review: Bring the Heat (Dragon Kin #9)

Bring the Heat (Dragon Kin #9)

by G.A. Aiken

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

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

Sunday, October 15, 2017

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

Caught by the Scot (Made to Marry #1)

by Karen Hawkins 

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

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review: Hunger (The Energy Vampires #2)

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


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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Review: Just the Thing (The Donnigans #2)

Just the Thing (The Donnigans #2)

by Marie Harte

Blurb:
A FLING MIGHT BE JUST THE THING...
Gavin Donnigan left the Marine Corps a shell of a man, hounded by guilt for deaths he couldn't prevent. But teaching a self-defense class at the local gym brings some stability to his life―along with a gorgeous leggy woman who won't give him the time of day.
Zoe York lost her twin sister to a freak car accident a few months ago. She's been struggling to bury her grief, but it isn't until she signs up for a self-defense class with its distractingly hot instructor that she begins to come out of her shell again. With the memory of her sister telling her to live a little, Zoe decides a fling with buns-of-steel Gavin Donnigan might be just the thing.
Soon they're sparring both in and out of the gym. And for the first time in a long time, each is looking forward to tomorrow.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating:  3.5 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
 Another series that I have found to enjoy by Marie Harte is underway with the story of the Donnigan family and the issues they have each had to face as they try to find love to last through their lives like their parents. While I can honestly say I enjoyed this story, the trauma both Gavin and Zoe were coming to terms with was heartbreaking enough that I kept disconnecting from their passionate love story to contemplate the pain they each must have continuously been dealing with.  Gavin has been having serious issues since his return from the war and his medical retirement from the Marine Corps.  It is obvious that Gavin knows he has a long way to go in order to be back to his full self but the pull toward Zoe is irresistible.  Zoe is working through her own PTSD issues, having just lost her twin sister, and is not interested in starting a love affair, but hey a girl does have needs.  Willing to jump right into bed with Gavin, Zoe soon finds out that keeping herself separate from the man in her bed is not as easy as she hoped it would be. Gavin on the other hand knows that Zoe is a special person and that he needs to make himself better to her earn her love.  Gavin was a man that I could relate to, someone that is a true hero, even as he feels he has let down those that counted on him.  He is sweet with his family and when he messes around with his brothers it is so easy to see that those guys are seriously connected through a family love that runs deep even as they trick and trap each other.  Zoe on the other hand is a woman that is hiding instead of healing after her loss; I can accept that it might be easier for her move on by denying the pain of the loss, but only when she sees Gavin struggling with his pain does she actually step up and decide to deal with her own issues so she can help the man she has come to love deal with his.  But Zoe is the type of woman that would be my best friend, even though she would drive me crazy, but her striving for perfection and her willingness to work for what she wants would make her a good bestie. The heat between Gavin and Zoe was sometimes off the charts, but the emotional trauma led to some moments that were less about passion and more about the emotional healing they both needed.  I am looking forward to the next story in the series which I assume with be their sister’s as Theo has some growing up to do before he is grown enough to find his true love.  That being said whenever the siblings have all found love, I know that this family will be truly complete and able to survive any challenge that is thrown at any of them.

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

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: Spellbinder (Moonshadow #2)

Spellbinder (Moonshadow #2)

by Thea Harrison 

Blurb:
Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.
When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.
One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.
Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.
But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…
Themes: Paranormal, Fae, and Magick
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating:  
Review:
The second story in the Moonshadow series, a spin-off of the Elder Races series by Ms. Harrison, takes us to a dark world and into the dark nature of a character that we took to be a villain but is truly just a man trapped as much as the woman he hopes to free from a prison she does not belong in.  Harrison has always had a  truly deft hand at taking the traditional myths we all know and twisting them just enough to make them her own, and this story set in the Avalon of myth and touching the characters we all know and love from stories of Camelot, is no exception to her skill.  When first we met this Morgan of the Fae, in the first story of this series, we see a villain out to destroy a race of fae that is opposing his mistress,  Isabeau of the light fae, and there is no way we will ever come to see him as the hero.  But as always Thea challenges us to look deeper and find the motivation and understanding of a character's actions. Morgan has found a way to escape Isabeau for a little while and he travels to the mortal realm, losing himself in the pleasures of our world which are more often than not denied him, and slowly we come to understand that he isn’t a villain so much as a weapon that has been forced into the service of a bigoted and sociopathic ruler.  When Morgan comes across the beautiful musician Sidonie on his short release, he is instantly drawn not just to her music but also to the light that shines through her very skin and warms him.  But as always the spies that surround him set out to destroy his chance at happiness and steal Sidonie from her world and attempt to smother that light for all time.  Sidonie has no map to navigating this new and terrifying world of magic and sadistic rulers, but she is on the very brink of losing her soul when a voice whispers to her and brings her back.  But can two prisoners find a way to escape a world full of political intrigue and sedition in order to be together?  Morgan turns out to be one of my favorite characters in this series once he finally comes to understand his true worth and purpose in the world.  The love he showers on Sidonie and the way he overcomes his own fears and trauma in order to keep her safe and sane shows him for the true hero that always was beneath the years of defeat and service to an evil and hateful bitch. Sidonie might not understand the world she finds herself in, but she understands the way her heart continuously reaches for that hand in the dark and the way her gut tells her that she can trust Morgan when she finally comes face to face with him.  I LOVED this story and might just reread it now that I am reliving everything writing this review.  Morgan and Sidonie were one of my favorite couples from Ms. Harrison’s stories, and I am looking forward to seeing more of them in the coming stories in this series.  The passion and draw that these two share is one for the history books and perfect for the legendary magician of a world long lost to the mists of time.  If you are looking for a light and fluffy love story, Spellbinder isn’t for you, but if you want a story about the true healing and freeing power of love between two individuals seemingly trapped forever in the dark and their emergence back into the light… you can’t go wrong with this book! Please hurry with the next story Thea!

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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: Physical Forces (K-9 Rescue #6)

Physical Forces (K-9 Rescue #6)

by D.D. Ayres 

Blurb:
Macayla Burkett is no ordinary private eye. She’s a pet detective, dedicated to tracking down missing dogs and cats. When two famous racing greyhounds disappear and turn up dead, Macayla finds herself in the midst of a much more serious case. And when the thieves target her and threaten her life, she realizes she’s in grave danger—until a ridiculously handsome stranger enters the picture …
Oliver Kelly may look like a male stripper, but his muscles aren’t just for show. The gorgeous Australian is co-owner of a K-9 Search and Rescue service dedicated to saving those in danger. When he and his K-9 partner, an Australian shepherd named Jackeroo, rescue the fiery detective from trouble, the sparks begin to fly. And when they join forces to stop a widespread case of animal theft, it unleashes a torrent of passion that’s impossible to tame…
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
So a series about one of my personal favorite combination—dogs and sexy heroes—could never be truly disappointing, but while I can say I liked this book and got a couple laughs out of these two’s antics, this story lacked a bit of the magic I got with the previous novels in the series. Set in an area I am more than a little familiar with and starring my kind of lady, I was happy to give Macayla and Oliver a chance, but there were just some moments that left me scratching my head and wondering what the hell was happening.  Macayla has run into some hard times professionally and personally, but being mistaken for a homeless person eating from the trash is not something she planned for her day, but when the sexy Aussie and his partner come across her in a compromising situation the day begins to devolve into even more problems, if you can imagine it actually getting worse from there.  Oliver is enjoying some downtime before he has to present to a group of his peers about the company he co-owns and certainly not looking for a distraction the size of Macayla and her troubles, but there is no denying she is interesting.  He is intrigued enough to offer his assistance and soon finds himself wrapped up in her investigations, but at the end of the day he knows he’s not going to find a way to make her trust him with her secrets so quickly.  But when she comes onto his turf and saves his ass in a big way, there is no way he’s going to let her get away from him. I liked Oliver, quite a bit, but there was not much of a personal connection for me;   I know he is much more mature and serious than his laid-back Aussie attitude portrays, but maybe I was just missing that little something that would make him into a true hero for me.  Macayla has a strong will and a certainty that her life will never be what it once was, which honestly made me a bit sad because she surely didn’t deserve the problems she was dealing with.  There was just enough heat between them that I was able to believe that their love developed naturally, so that was a good thing.  Overall this story, and the previous one, in this series was not up to the standards of the first few in the series, but hopefully soon we will get that magic back with whatever comes next.  An enjoyable evening read for a cold winter night while a sexy Australian dog lover enjoys his beach time and finds himself falling in love with a crazy sexy pet detective.

Also not to be neglected was the sweet and beautiful Australian shepherd that was partnered with Oliver.  Aptly named Jackeroo, this sweet and loving dog made the story even more memorable and lived up to his breed and his name. 

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

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Did-Not-Finish: Her Survivor (Black Eagle Ops #1)

Her Survivor (Black Eagle Ops #1)

by Vonnie Davis 

Blurb:
Vonnie Davis welcomes readers to Wounded Warrior Falls! In this sizzling contemporary series, broken heroes meet women worth fighting for—and discover the healing power of love.
Navy SEAL Dustin Frank can handle physical pain; it's his soul that needs mending. After losing part of his leg in an explosion, the panic triggered by his PTSD nearly drives him over the edge. So Dustin retreats to the Eagle Ridge Ranch, a charming hideaway tucked into the Hill Country of Texas. There he finds solace in the arms of a shy beauty who reawakens desires he thought he'd lost forever—and who makes him want to lose control, just when he needs it most.
Kelcee Todd sees beyond Dustin's scars to the real man beneath: fiercely protective, strong yet tender. She wants nothing more than to feel his battle-hardened hands on her body. However, Kelcee is not the ordinary small-town girl she appears to be. Her brother is a killer with ties to the Russian mob, and after her testimony put him in prison, he's out and eager for revenge. Now Dustin is her best defense, even if it could cost him everything. Kelcee could never ask him to make that sacrifice . . . but she can't stop him, either.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: .5  stars
Heat Rating:  n/a
Review:
While I really wanted to like this new series by an author I have enjoyed in the past, I was not able to finish the story.  There didn’t seem to be any chemistry between Dustin and Kelcee.  Also the story seemed to jump around entirely too much for my liking.  Possibly it just wasn’t the right time to read this one, so I might give it a shot again in the future.  But for now, I have to give this one a failing grade and mark it Did-Not-Finish after about 30% of the book.  I enjoyed the bear-shifter series by Ms. Davis in the past, and wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, but it just didn’t click for me.

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

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Review: Wicked Bite (Realm Enforcers #5)

Blurb:
As she hunts for a drug lord killing her fellow witches, all Nessa Lansa’s instincts point to the Grizzly motorcycle club. That might be because their leader, Bear, is the strong, silent shifter type: warm brown eyes and more muscle and alpha male than any woman can ignore. Which makes Nessa’s plan to seduce and betray him all the more dangerous . . .
 Bear doesn’t trust the curvy, blue-eyed witch. But Nessa can heal the injuries that sap his strength. And since he can’t stop thinking of her lush body and teasing smile, her plan to mate him to reclaim her own power is highly tempting. Just one problem. Once a desire this wild is loose, no one will ever control it . .
Themes:  Paranormal, Witches, Shifters, Demons, and Vampires (yup it’s all in this one)
Rating:  4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 This series has taken us through some interesting political intrigues, battles and family squabbles, but I am sad to say I think it might be coming to a conclusion.  That being said Wicked Bite is one of my favorite stories for sure, with a sassy and deadly witch finding her mate with a sexy and strong bear -(plus more) shifter.  The story begins with an offer that Bear is willing to refuse for a few reasons, mainly that the offer comes from a sneaky and too-sexy-for-his-own-good witch that he knows has some ulterior motives for her offer. But once they are thrown into a battle for their lives and the future of their world Bear and Nessa begin to understand that all of their knowledge of one another has been stretched from the beginning. Bear has been a favorite of mine for a couple books now, I mean who can beat a sexy-as-hell biker, who also happens to be able to shift into a bear—and a little something else that I won’t mention for spoiler purposes—that also happens to love his half-sister enough to risk his life in order to keep her safe and happy? Certainly not this Romance Witch. That being said getting to know him on a deeper level made me love him even more as a hero, especially when someone threatens the woman he has come to love. Nessa however is keeping a LOT of secrets.  She has determined that only she can crack the case of the assholes that are threatening the lives of all witches with their dangerous drug and she just knows that Bear’s biker gang is behind it all.  Willing to sacrifice anything for her people, Nessa determines that the only way to get to the truth is to investigate Bear herself, but soon her plan backfires and she finds herself falling in love with the beast.  Nessa was a conundrum to me until the full story of her past and position in the witch government comes to light, but then we could understand all the little things that made her not so lovable through the story.  Together they have to find a way to stop a war, save a race, and prevent their world from being exposed to the mortals, all while falling in love and finding a path to the future they both now desperately want together.  The heat between these two is off the charts, even for a Zanetti novel, but that made it an even more believable passion in my mind.  I will be sad to see this series end, but hope that if this is the final book, we will be getting something new in this world of crazy witches, deadly demons, sexy shifters, and fascinating vampires. Zanetti once again shows why she is one of the Queens of Romance and will forever leave her footprint on the world with her amazing work.  Thanks for the adventure Rebecca!

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Review: Tempting Fate (Colorado High Country #4)

Blurb:


A woman with no roots…
Naomi fled the cult-like nightmare of her childhood and learned to rely on one person—herself. Her resourcefulness keeps her alive during a catastrophe in the mountains, but it’s no help at all when it comes to Chaska Belcourt, the sexy EMT who saves her life. Raised to feel shame about her body and sex, she is putty in Chaska’s hands as he strips away her armor, exposing the vulnerable woman beneath, awakening desires in her that she’d been taught to ignore.
A kiss that changes everything…
Chaska Belcourt grew up on the reservation, the son of a hereditary Sun Dance chief. He left all of that behind for a new life in Colorado as an engineer with an aerospace firm and a member of the elite Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. He doesn’t share his sister’s belief that fate led him to find Naomi. But from the first moment their lips touch, he can’t get enough of her.
A love that transforms…
As the passion between them turns into something more, Chaska is forced to admit that his sister is right. There’s no other way to explain the depth of his feelings for Naomi—or the fact that he and his people might hold the key to unraveling the mysteries of her past. But she will have to learn to trust again before the two of them can find the answers she needs—and claim this once-in-a-lifetime love.
Themes: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
 Pamela Clare strikes again and reminds me why I love her writing so much.  When she began this new series about the sexy group of individuals dedicating their lives to rescuing those in need, while enjoying the rugged and adrenaline packed lifestyles of rock climbers, I was skeptical that she would make me love it.  Honestly I have a crazy fear of heights and would never go anywhere near a rock climbing gym much less actually climbing those freaking deadly mountains, but she has made me a believer once again.  I LOVE this series.  This fourth installment also hit close to home because I have always wanted a chance to learn more about my native American heritage, but with such a physical and emotional distance for me, I just have to enjoy that adventure through stories and author’s like Pamela, so obviously devoted to authenticity and research, remind me why I fight so hard to make people understand the greatness of this genre. Chaska and Naomi meet under interesting circumstances, but the connection between them is instant and deep, leaving them both floundering a bit at the intensity.  Soon though there is no denying that they are made for one another.  I loved seeing Chaska fall in love with Naomi, sacrificing for her happiness, while always keeping in mind his duty to his team and his people.  He is the perfect hero and I would love to have a chance to meet a man just like him… Hmmm maybe it’s time for a trip to Colorado, even though I am so not climbing anything… but I digress.  Naomi was the perfect match for Chaska.  While she has had a pretty shitty past, she maintains her fighting spirit, determined to make her own way in the world, but when she meets Chaska and his sister the draw is irresistible.  Once he finds a way to not only steal her heart but discover the truth of her heritage and give her back her true family, I thought for sure she would destroy him, but the love she has is just too big to leave him wanting.  Pamela as always finds a way to bring two people, that might never have found one another, together under amazing conditions, twining their pasts together and giving them a chance at a future that will give them true happiness and fulfillment.  There is also the outstanding level of heat and passion between Chaska and Naomi that is a trademark of any Clare novel, but in my opinion this story went even higher with the connection between the H/h.  I am dying for the next story in this amazing series and am definitely spreading the word that this series is one of the best romances out there and that if you’re not reading them then you’re not truly a Romance Junkie!

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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Review: Maybe This Love (Colorado Ice #2)

Maybe This Love (Colorado Ice #2)

by Jennifer Snow

Blurb:
 THE GAME OF HIS LIFE

Hockey player Ben Westmore has some serious skills---on and off the ice---and he's not above indulging in the many perks of NHL stardom. When a night in Vegas ends in disaster, he realizes two things: 1) it's time to lie low for a while, and 2) he needs a lawyer---fast. But the smoking-hot woman who walks into his office immediately tests all his good intentions.
Olivia Davis doesn't need anyone derailing her career---or her dreams of starting a family---least of all a skirt-chasing player like Ben. But soon he's unleashing a full-court press to convince her that he's the real deal. She's slowly falling for his sweet, rugged charm, but with so much on the line, Olivia has to decide whether Ben can truly change---or if he's just playing the game.
Themes:  Contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
I have slowly fallen in love with this series, revolving around about the only sport I enjoy watching, and I am enjoying getting to know each of these couples and their friends and family as well.  Set mostly in the small town of Glenwood Falls, Colorado, this town seems to be filled with hockey royalty, sexy as hell athletes and sensual and loving women that can steal their hearts. We watched Ben’s younger brother Jackson fall in love in the previous novel and now Ben finds himself in the most crucial time of his life and unprepared for the woman that comes into it.  I really enjoyed this story, even if I was a bit standoffish on the premise to begin with, mainly due to the way that Olivia comes to know Ben, but Jennifer handles it so smoothly and with enough honor that I don’t find myself having an issue with it after all.  Ben is a good guy that has had some shitty moments in his past which left him guarded and scared to fall in love.  The pull he feels to Olivia terrifies him, but it’s so strong and rare that he knows he can’t resist it, so when his divorce finally goes through there is nothing to stop him from going after the woman that has clouded his mind and intrigued his heart from the first time he laid eyes on her. Olivia knows what she wants out of life and will go for those things, even if she has to use an unusual method.  Just when she has given up hope of finding a man to truly love her, Ben crashes into her life and there is no way she can deny the pull she feels.  But he is just the type of egocentric player that she has always avoided…except he’s a lot more than just ego and flirt after all.  It was fascinating to see these two circling one another as adversaries and then when they are free finally giving in to the draw between them, making magic and showing one another the true measure of themselves. Ben was definitely an alpha male, but underneath he is everything we all look for in a man—sweet, loving to his family, honorable, strong, brave and willing to fight for what he wants.  I loved getting to see him courting Olivia and showing her that there was more to him than she originally thought.  Olivia is a woman that knows what she wants, and I respect that, even if I don’t truly get the baby craziness.  But, that said, I could see that Olivia was a woman I could be friends with quite easily.   Her intelligence, sass, sweetness, and vulnerability make her the perfect collection of opposites and give her the depth and range that all heroines a good romance should have.  I was thrilled that they finally found a way to overcome their pasts and hang-ups and share their love, but I was kind of disappointed by the ending.  Thankfully I know another book is already out and I look forward to seeing the relationship between Ben and Olivia bloom in the coming stories, as well as seeing Ash  find his love along with anyone else Jennifer throws into the mix.  A fun, sweet, and enjoyable read with the emotional traumas that make our everyday lives such a challenge, Maybe This Love is the type of story that everyone should read at least once so they can learn more about themselves in order to share their lives and love.

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mini Review: The Unyielding (Call of Crows #3)

Blurb:
Stieg Engstrom, Angriest Viking Ever, has got big problems. The human Viking Clans of earth are in danger of being obliterated—along with the rest of the world—and the only one who may be able to save them is a super pain-in-the-ass Crow. Most people annoy Stieg, but this is the one woman he really can’t stand…
Erin Amsel loves being a Crow! Why wouldn’t she when the other Viking Clans are so hilariously arrogant and humorless? She’s not about to let all that come to an end! She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle with Stieg. Then again, he’s so easy to torment—and also kind of cute.
With the future of the world riding on them, Stieg knows he’ll have to put aside his desperate need to kiss the smirk right off Erin’s face. Wait. What? He didn’t mean that—did he? No! They have one goal: To conquer the idiots. Because nothing bugs Stieg more than when idiots win. If only he can keep himself from suddenly acting like one…
Themes: Paranormal, Norse Mythology
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Review:
So, Laurenston fans have another amazingly crazy group of people to fall in love with in this newest series by Shelly, revolving around the Norse Gods and the modern warriors that are serving them.  While most stories of Vikings and Norse gods are set in the past, Shelly’s refreshing take on these warriors existing in secret in the modern world gives everything a bright shiny newness that makes the series even better.  Those of us that have read any Laurenston novel understand the craziness of her characters and love them just the way they are… whacked out and homicidal though they might be.  For readers of contemporary or even more mainstream paranormal works, Shelly’s writing style and characters might come as a bit of a shock, but the sass, sarcasm, and homicidal tendencies hide the true sweetness and strength of her heroes and heroines.  Erin is about as crazy as they come, bringing to mind that nutso friend in high school that was always the one asking “I wonder what will happen if we do this…” right before they get the whole group into trouble.  But let’s be honest without those fun troublemakers in our lives most of us would become staid and boring as hell.  So I can say that I LOVED Erin and her story of heroism and falling in love with Stieg was wonderfully zany and lighthearted enough to make my evenings after a long day of work enjoyable.  Stieg has his own speed and style for sure, but he handles Erin beautifully, when she’s not driving him to violence.  While their love might not be as obvious or soft as a lot of people like, sometimes that bizarre passion and wild enjoyment of life is enough to bring two people together that we might not think belong.  The story behind the romance led to some interesting battles and sneaking in lots more fun references to Norse mythology as the warriors of the Nine Clans worked together to defeat their enemy and prevent Ragnarök from being set in motion.  I LOVE everything Shelly writes, but being pagan myself and having lots of firsthand knowledge of these myths makes the stories even more fun.  I mean honestly who wouldn’t fall in love with a woman that could write about the Allfather in such an irreverent way?!?  Cannot wait to see what comes next after that ending, too, because no way does she leave us hanging on that craziness.  Keep the outrageous awesomeness coming, Shelly, and I will continue adding recruits to your fan clubs.

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