Archives for February 2018

* Review * OUT OF THE DARKNESS by Heather Graham

* Review * OUT OF THE DARKNESS by Heather GrahamOut of the Darkness by Heather Graham
Series: The Finnegan Connection
Published by Harlequin Intrigue on February 1, 2018
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four-stars

A love rekindled…or a deadly reunion?

Even after a decade, Sarah Hampton is haunted by the night that nearly ended in a bloody massacre and destroyed her high school romance with handsome Tyler Grant. Now the horror has returned. It’s a reckoning from the events of that terrifying night—and a love they never let go. Only this time Tyler must protect Sarah from the killer hiding in the darkness…or lose her forever.

 

One night of terror changed their lives forever … and with one new crime, it’s all chasing after them again! A decade after a tragic event sent them all into their own downward spiral, a group of friends are reunited and begin to put the pieces together of that night and figure out who is coming for them now. The characters and underlying plot are very intriguing and keep you reading to see what’s going to happen next. It was fairly loosely written and could have been tweaked into a tighter story, but overall an interesting read!

Writer Sarah Hampton feels the past is coming back to haunt her when memories of a long-ago night are dredged up and relived over and over again with the friends and family that were there with her when youthful innocence was stolen and dreams were shattered.

Private investigator Tyler Grant can’t deny the feelings he still has for Sarah as soon as he catches sight of her. His high school sweetheart, the one he thought he would share his future with until that night destroyed everything. Now the horror they lived is back and they’re all in danger!

four-stars

* Review * THE ART OF RUNNING IN HEELS by Rachel Gibson

* Review * THE ART OF RUNNING IN HEELS by Rachel GibsonThe Art of Running in Heels by Rachel Gibson
Published by Avon on December 26, 2017
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four-stars

Running in five-inch stilettos is an art form

Leaving your fiancé at the altar on live television is a disaster. Lexie Kowalsky thought she was ready to get married in front of millions of people, but at the last minute she fled the set of television’s hottest reality show, Gettin’ Hitched. Wearing a poofy white dress and a pair of five-inch sparkly shoes, Lexie hopped a float plane for Sandspit, Canada. She figured no one would find her there. But she was wrong.

Sharing her flight was the Seattle Chinooks biggest star, Sean Knox. Lexie wasn’t just a reality-show runaway, she was his pain in the butt coach’s daughter. She was chaos and temptation and definitely off limits, but getting her luscious body out of that wedding gown, he couldn’t resist getting her in his bed for one amazing night.

Then a photo of Sean and Lexi breaks the internet—and suddenly they’re both swept up in a crazy plan to spin the whole story. But you can’t run from love—

 

Sassy & fun! I could have done with a little more concentration of actual hockey, but the people were a treat regardless. It was easy to connect with Lexie & Sean and his mother, she was an unexpected delight! Lots of drama, laughter and some steamy chemistry to round it all out!

Leaving a groom standing at the alter seems to run in the family! Alexis Kowalsky can’t seem to get out of the mess she got herself into, so she feels like she has no other choice than to just run! In her wedding dress, in heels, in full tv makeup! This reality show idea of hers was quite the blunder!

Seattle Chinooks hockey player has no idea who Lexie is at first … and when he does figure it out, he doesn’t pony up their connection. She’s clueless to the fact that he’s on her father’s hockey team, so when things get heated between them while in Canada, she goes with the flow … but man does that come back to bite them when a picture hits the tabloids!

four-stars

* Review * FREE AGENT by Catherine Gayle

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * FREE AGENT by Catherine GayleFree Agent by Catherine Gayle
Series: Portland Storm
Published by Night Shift Publishing on February 8, 2018
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four-stars

Can you fall in love when you’ve never loved yourself?

Universally misjudged, Blake Kozlow doesn’t let society get under his skin. After all, those misunderstandings have never affected his career. As a center for the Portland Storm, he’s lived his life as a Free Agent—particularly with women. But when he meets a gorgeous, curvy special education teacher, Blake realizes he’s finally met the one person who truly understands him.

Beatriz Castillo knows exactly what she wants—to teach her students that nothing can hold them back. A few years ago, her health was spiraling out of control, but Bea took her life back. Now, she uses her vivacious personality to prove to everyone, especially her students, that anything is possible.

Perpetually impulsive and spontaneous, Blake turns on the charm. But Bea’s unprepared to be on the receiving end of such brazen attention. As they grow closer and their attraction intensifies, their inner demons threaten everything. They’ve both always lived on the fringes of life. But moving forward will require Bea and Blake to step into the spotlight—together.

 

They’re like oil and water … but they work! It’s always fun to return to the Portland Storm series. It’s filled with a rugged group of down-to-earth hockey players and the families that love them. In this book, we get hot shot, mouthy Blake Kozlow’s story. He’s notorious for shooting off his mouth and saying things that people just can’t believe he actually said … but beneath it all, he’s truly a good guy. The characters were both easy to get drawn into, and the plot was enjoyable.

Blake Kozlow has never met a woman he didn’t love, and Bea Castillo is no exception! He turns on all of his best moves to try to win her over, but whatever he did to make her mad previously seems to be sticking around because she’s not giving an inch!

Special education teacher Beatriz Castillo really liked Koz when she was first introduced to him … until he put his foot in his mouth and said something that pushed all of her internal buttons and sent her on the run. She has issues that she’s dealing with all on her own, so the last thing she needs is some hockey player that thinks he’s God’s gift pretending to like her!

four-stars

* Review * SHATTERED FEAR by Tara Thomas

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * SHATTERED FEAR by Tara ThomasShattered Fear by Tara Thomas
Series: Sons of Broad Novella
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on February 6, 2018
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four-stars

From romantic suspense author Tara Thomas comes the explosive first novella, Shattered Fear, in the brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series.

Welcome to the sultry streets of Charleston, where simmering desire and dark danger rule...

Forbidden love never felt so good...

She’s got a killer to catch.
He just might be it.
Undercover detective Janie Roberts needs to find out for sure if Brent Taylor is a murderer.
Handsome, wealthy, and sexy-as-sin Brent Taylor.
She’s got to get close enough to learn his secrets.

But getting this close is dangerous in more ways than one…

 

Danger lurks right behind her … but is it him?? With the suspenseful kick-off novella to her Sons of Broad series, Tara Thomas introduces us to an undercover cop, the criminals she is staking out, and the man who has caught her eye … but what we don’t know yet, is who the bad guys really are! It’s a short introduction, but it gives us a good footing into the mystery and danger that is yet to come in the series. A promising start!

Detective Janie Roberts maybe be undercover, but not many people know that. When a handsome stranger strikes up a conversation, she’s leery about his motive … but as time passes and conversation happens, she starts to believe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time … he couldn’t be wooing her, yet also be the bad guy … could he?

Brent Taylor is handsome, rich and the ultimate man about the town … but is he more than anyone ever suspected?

four-stars

* Release Blast * FOR THE SAKE OF HIS HEIR by Joanne Rock

 

For the Sake of His Heir
Billionaires and Babies
The McNeill Magnates #6

Harlequin Desire #2569
Mass Market Paperback & eBook
February 2018

 

 

When a marriage of convenience is the only answer…things get inconvenient.

Gabe McNeill is done being manipulated. By everyone from his ex-wife who abandoned him and their baby to the grandfather forcing him to remarry. Now the only way Gabe can ensure his son’s inheritance is if Brianne Hanson agrees to be his bride. They’ve always kept things strictly business and this is no different…until she falls into his bed and all bets are off!

GOODREADS  |  AMAZON  |  B&N  |  ITUNES  |  KOBO 

 

 

EXCERPT:

Brianne was busy scooping up another snowball, scraping red gloves through the foot of accumulation on the wooden deck. She’d traded her wool cape for a red down parka and boots. A gray knit cap was pulled low over her eyes, her ponytail covered with snow and hanging bedraggled over one shoulder.

His loafers would be ruined, but he had no intention of leaving the aggression unanswered, especially after he’d heard that laughter of hers. Had she moved on from their earlier disagreement? Or simply found an outlet for her frustration with him? He’d thought dinner would smooth things over between them, but if she preferred a snowy standoff, he was ready.

“I’d think carefully about your next move,” he warned her, taking in her pink cheeks and bright eyes as she stalked closer to him, the wind lifting her hair off her shoulder and whipping it across the front of her parka. “I can’t very well lob snow missiles at my new bride, but I can get even other ways.”

“You can’t play that card.” She wagged one gloved finger at him, her voice raised so he could hear her over the howl of the wind. “No veiled threats allowed, Mr. McNeill. I give you my permission to get into an old-fashioned snowball fight with me.”

He’d missed this part of their relationship. The teasing and one-upping. Only now, there was a new dimension to it thanks to their wedding vows. The possibility of things getting much more interesting.

“I’d hardly call it a veiled threat.” He kept one eye on the snowball in her hand as they squared off a few feet apart in the middle of the balcony. “You make it sound ominous.”

“Okay. No mystery threats, then. No suggestive innuendo allowed.”

“I draw the line there, Mrs. McNeill.” He liked her expression as he tested out the new name. Even in the reflected light from the house, he could see a flare of something that looked like pleasure in her eyes. “Half the reason I married you was for the suggestive innuendo.”

Her gaze narrowed as her fingers closed harder around the snowball. “Maybe I should have read that contract more carefully.”

They both knew she’d read it exhaustively, working on a tentative draft while her grandmother was in the emergency room. She’d changed wording in a handful of places and argued against several points of the settlement to try and decrease the amount she would receive after they’d been married for a year. He’d tweaked the wording as she wished, but he’d left the settlement terms as generous as originally written.

“You didn’t see the suggestive-language addendum?” He moved fractionally closer, ready to disarm her if the opportunity presented itself.

A light snow fell, or else the wind kicked up enough to make it feel like it was actively snowing. There was a swirl of white between them. Behind her, he could see the outline of the railing. Down on the far end of the balcony, he could see the shape of the hot tub he’d warmed up earlier. He shifted closer still.

“I know perfectly well there’s no such thing. We’re married for a handful of hours and we’re already at odds about the agreement.” She tsked and sighed dramatically.

“I’m the one who has come under attack, though.” He nodded meaningfully toward the hand that still held the snowball. “Maybe I’d be more amenable if you put down your arms.”

“And risk retribution?” She shook her head. “I’ll go on firing, thank you very much.”

“At such close range?” He put a hand to his chest. He only wore a sweater and a shirt in the chilly winter air, but the thought of touching Brianne heated him inside and out. “I don’t think you can pull the trigger on your new groom, Brianne. Not when you know how much I’m dying for payback.”

He closed the distance between them even more; they were so close his body blocked the snowflakes from landing on her. So close he could see her sway on her feet for a moment, as if she wanted to fall into his arms as much as he wanted her to.

Her eyelashes fluttered. She dragged in a slow breath.

And socked him square in the chest with the snowball.

 

 

ABOUT JOANNE ROCK:

Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.

 

Social Media links:

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* Review * FALLING FOR HIS CONVENIENT QUEEN by Therese Beharrie

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * FALLING FOR HIS CONVENIENT QUEEN by Therese BeharrieFalling for His Convenient Queen by Therese Beharrie
Series: Conveniently Wed, Royally Bound #2
Published by Harlequin Romance on February 1, 2018
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four-stars

Conveniently Wed, Royally Bound…

…until the queen melted the king’s heart

King Zacchaeus’s plan to marry Princess Nalini was purely to secure the alliance between their kingdoms—but his bride has ulterior motives! Nalini has no intention of settling for anything less than love, and she’ll enjoy every second of challenging the reluctant king to open his heart.

 

A royal match … whether she wants it or not! A quick and enjoyable read about a marriage of convenience that turns into a match made in heaven. The characters are easy to like, and I found myself pulled into their story fairly quickly. I would recommend reading the first book in this duet first before you read this one because there is a good bit of back story in the first that makes this one make more sense if you know it. A fitting ending!

When King Zacchaesus of Kirtida insists on the hand of Princess Nalini of Mattan in marriage in order for the alliance between their Isles to stay in tact, he doesn’t expect anything more than a marriage of convenience, but he gets more than he bargained for in his bride to be!

Princess Nalini volunteers to take one for the team and wed the King even thought her family is against the union. She can’t stand the thought of a cold and loveless marriage though, so she sets out to get to know King Zac … and winds up helping him more than he ever expected!

four-stars

* Review * REUNITED WITH HER PARISIAN SURGEON by Annie O’Neil

* Review * REUNITED WITH HER PARISIAN SURGEON by Annie O’NeilReunited with Her Parisian Surgeon by Annie O'Neil
Published by Harlequin Medical Romances on February 1, 2018
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four-stars

Raphael’s heart was lost…

Until he found Maggie again!

Brooding surgeon Dr. Raphael Boucher finds his way to Sydney and the one woman he could never forget. Working together it’s clear Maggie Louis is the only one who can make him feel alive again. But first Raphael must return to Paris and resolve his past before they can finally be together.

 

A man haunted by his demons has nothing to lose! With her latest, Annie O’Neil goes a little darker than we might be used to from her, but she makes it workl! From the beginning we’re faced with a man who it seems almost hates himself for his perceived failure in the past and is flitting from place to place trying to find salvation. Maggie comes in as a saving grace for him in that she shows him that he still has a place and that things can happen to anyone and we have to pick back up and go on. The beginning of the story was a little slow, and even a tad confusing, but once Maggie came into the picture and we got a good feel for what had happened, things began to move along more smoothly and it gave an enjoyable story. I enjoyed seeing them relive some of their happy times together and see not only their love develop, but also see her family reconnect in a positive way!

Surgeon Raphael Boucher can’t forget the one decision he made that has changed his life forever … nor can he forgive himself. He took leave from his successful career and has been traveling the world trying to find a purpose, but nothing seems to be able to overcome the despondency he feels. He finally decides to go to the one person that he has never been able to forget, no matter how many miles or years have been between them.

Paramedic Maggie Louis has thought of Raphael fondly throughout the years. One magical year in his company has been enough to fuel her memories in the less happy times that have followed. When she sees Raphael, she can’t believe it’s the same person … he’s obviously troubled by something, and she’s not going to take no for an answer in finding out what it is and getting him on the way towards overcoming it!

four-stars

* Review * STRANDED WITH HER GREEK TYCOON by Kandy Shepherd

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * STRANDED WITH HER GREEK TYCOON by Kandy ShepherdStranded with Her Greek Tycoon by Kandy Shepherd
Published by Harlequin Romance on February 1, 2018
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five-stars

One night to win back his wife!

Can Hayley resist Cristos’s seductive charms?

After the demise of her marriage, Hayley fled to nurse her broken heart. Now she’s back to ask her husband, Cristos Theofanis, for a divorce—but he has other ideas! When a storm hits and they’re stranded together, Cristos has one night to prove himself. Can Hayley resist the temptation of Cristos’s kiss or will she find herself back in his arms?

 

Quite a reunion story! I was instantly drawn into the drama of a wife arriving to ask for a divorce. You know from the start it’s bound to churn mixed emotions and bring up the past they have barely moved forward from back into the present. The characters were both flawed in their thinking and understanding of each other, but each still holding on to the whirlwind love that they had shared. The story is heartbreaking, yet endearing. Really enjoyed it!

Cristos Theofanis has spent the last couple of years pining for what might have been with his estranged wife and wishing he had handled things better with her. He searched high and low for her when she fled their home, but has never been able to find where she settled. Imagine his surprise when she unexpectedly turns up at a family event!

Hayley Clements has spent her time away from Cristos healing her heart and finding a way to pick up the pieces after the heartbreak she suffered. She’s only here to see him to ask him to sign divorce papers, and had no clue she was walking into the middle of a festivity! When poor weather leaves her stranded on an island in his company, they find the time to talk about what they went through and the misunderstandings they each took out of it all. Will they find a way to heal their rift or is this just a peaceful goodbye?

five-stars

* Review * RAGS TO RICHES BABY by Andrea Laurence

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * RAGS TO RICHES BABY by Andrea LaurenceRags to Riches Baby by Andrea Laurence
Series: Millionaires of Manhattan
Published by Harlequin Desire on February 1, 2018
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five-stars

The woman he can never trust is having his baby…

When Lucy Campbell inherits a multimillion-dollar Manhattan estate, her employer’s nephew sees only a gold-digging scammer. But even with battle lines drawn, CEO Oliver Drake can’t resist the temptation of bedding the very woman he’s trying to expose! Then Lucy delivers her shocking baby news. Does she genuinely desire a future together? Or is it another ploy that could destroy Oliver’s trust forever?

 

He can’t stand her … or can he?? A fast-paced story of misconceptions and broken dreams! Oliver and Lucy fall for each other in the most unusual of times in Andrea Laurence’s latest installment of her Millionaires of Manhattan series. She’s sweet and helpful, he’s jaded and wary … but together, they are a joy to read. It’s a super fast courtship, but it just works!

Lucy Campbell adored her elderly employer Alice and is sorry to lose her … and imagine her shock when she learns she’s left her virtually her entire estate! Never able to more than “get by”, Lucy can’t even imagine the amount of money that’s being talked about in the lawyer’s office … but one thing’s for sure, she can’t believe the things Alice’s nephew is implying about her!

CEO Oliver Drake knows that Lucy had to somehow scam his aunt into changing her will, and he’s not going to stand by and let her get away with pulling the wool over a delightful old lady’s eyes! Only problem is, the more time he spends with her to try to uncover her dirty deeds, the more he truly likes the person he sees. When they trade in their fighting gloves for a bed, it doesn’t take Lucy long to fall pregnant, and then Oliver knows for sure it’s all been one big scam!

five-stars

* Review * CREDIBLE THREAT by Heather Woodhaven

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * CREDIBLE THREAT by Heather WoodhavenCredible Threat by Heather Woodhaven
Published by Love Inspired Suspense on February 1, 2018
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four-half-stars

NO SAFE PLACE

Someone wants accountant Rebecca Linn—the granddaughter of a federal judge—dead, and it’s Deputy US Marshal Kurt Brock’s duty to figure out why and protect her. But her powerful family insists Kurt keep his relationship with Rebecca strictly professional…no matter how much he’s drawn to the feisty, fast-thinking beauty. Rebecca is sure the suspicious evidence she uncovered in her latest auditing case has put a target on her back. But staying ahead of those out to silence her is bringing her dangerously close to Kurt—and putting both their careers on the line. With the attacker closing in, can Rebecca and Kurt survive long enough to reveal the would-be killer’s secrets?

 

The stakes are high and danger is closing in! I was drawn in from the first couple of pages to this story and stayed glued to it throughout, The plot is intriguing, and the characters are really easy to fall for. There could have been slightly more depth put into the ending, but overall, a very solid read!

Rebecca Linn happens to be in Ohio on business, so she’s taking the opportunity to have a visit with her grandfather, a federal court judge. When danger comes knocking, at first it’s assumed it has something to do with one of her grandfather’s cases … but will the investigation prove to be more personal and aimed directly at her?

Deputy US Marshal Kurt Brock is diligent at his job and plans to keep everyone safe and get to the bottom of this mystery quickly, but roadblocks keep popping up in front of him as threat after threat comes at them. Who is after Rebecca … and why? Even though her grandfather has given him strict orders to stay neutral, Kurt can’t help getting closer to Rebecca as they share close quarters and experience such danger together. When all is said and done, can there be a future for them?

 

four-half-stars