* Review * HOLDING OUT by Arell Rivers

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * HOLDING OUT by Arell RiversHOLD ME: A Rock Star Box Set by Arell Rivers
Series: The Hold Series #7
on February 25, 2021
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four-stars

Included in this box set is the unforgettable Hold Series trilogy plus 2 novellas:
* HOLD ON – series prequel novella
* NO ONE TO HOLD – rocker Cole Manchester’s first steps toward love
* HARD TO HOLD – publicist Rose Morgan struggles to keep both her career and the musician
* TO HAVE AND TO HOLD – in the gripping finale, they confront their deepest fears
* HOLDING OUT – bonus novella only available in this box set!

Get sucked into the world of Cole Manchester, from his days as a young rock star to today, when he’s on top of the charts. All along, publicist Rose Morgan has been at his side, either covering up his indiscretions or promoting his new songs and fake relationships. When Cole unexpectedly focuses his attention on his quiet publicist, neither can predict the dangerous events looming ahead.

 

Reviewing HOLDING OUT, the previously unpublished novella in this Box Set.

Grandma Gertie has been a fan fav throughout Cole and Rose’s love story, so to see her get her own happily ever after is quite the delight. You really won’t appreciate this novella much if you’re not already familiar with all of the characters, so I highly recommend you read the entire series first.

A cutesy nod to dating in the golden years, HOLDING OUT by Arell Rivers takes Gertie Johnson on an adventure of men when she is suddenly in high demand on the singles scene. She delights in new adventures and old friendships as she sets out to live life to it’s fullest.

I highly recommend this box set as a whole because Cole and Rose were EVERYTHING … this new novella was a cute addition, but obviously not a full fledged story.

four-stars

* Review * UNDERCOVER HEAT by Anna J. Stewart

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * UNDERCOVER HEAT by Anna J. StewartUndercover Heat by Anna J. Stewart
Series: Colton 911: Chicago #3
Published by Harlequin Romantic Suspense on March 1, 2021
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four-stars

When her life is upended

A detective goes undercover to save it…

After tragedy strikes, chef Tatum Colton buries herself in her job. Detective Cruz Medina soon rocks her world once again, claiming criminals are using her restaurant as a front for nefarious activities. Cruz needs Tatum’s help to go undercover as her sous-chef, putting them both in the line of fire. But when things get hot in and out of the kitchen, can Cruz protect Tatum and their growing bond?

 

An exhilarating continuation of the Colton 911: Chicago series! With book three, Anna J. Stewart picks up the Colton reins as the search for answers continues in UNDERCOVER HEAT. This story revolves around an undercover op at Tatum’s restaurant and has a solid, exciting story of it’s own outside of the family mystery. Unfortunately the continuity timeline doesn’t hold up in this book and a couple of glaring discrepancies had me distractedly flipping back to book one to prove to myself I wasn’t remembering incorrectly. In book one, Cruz is brought into the storyline at a family dinner with Tatum before the murders occur but in this book he isn’t even introduced to Tatum until weeks after the deaths. Also in the first book, Cruz is currently partnered with Sean’s former partner Harry but in this book he mentions Harry, but is most recently partnered with Johnny. The overall book was a solid storyline, but my enjoyment was definitely skewed following up the inaccurate match ups. Better as a stand alone than as part of the series for this reason.

Tatum is a sympathetic character. She’s struggling with the death of her family, yet not letting her restaurant suffer during her distraction. I liked her gumption and her good heart.

Cruz is an attention grabbing character. He’s determined to get to the bottom of this case he’s working on and is willing to put himself out on whatever limb he has to in order to bring the bad guys down.

I recommend this series to anyone who likes an intense storyline with solid family relationships and friendships being a core back bone of the series.

four-stars

* Review * SECOND CHANCE COWBOY by Claire McEwen

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * SECOND CHANCE COWBOY by Claire McEwenSecond Chance Cowboy by Claire McEwen
Series: Heroes of Shelter Creek #5
Published by Harlequin Heartwarming on March 1, 2021
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five-stars

He was her first love…

But some things she can’t forget

Busy small-town veterinarian Emily Fielding is finally ready to take on some help. The best man for the job, however, is Wes Marlow—who broke her heart in high school. Though Wes has a way with horses and a way of melting her resolve, Emily needs to keep things purely professional. Wes left her once—will he do it again? Because she can’t lose her heart a second time…

 

A highly emotional journey! With book five in her beloved Heroes of Shelter Creek series Claire McEwen wraps a pair of characters around our hearts like she does so well in SECOND CHANCE COWBOY. Former high school sweethearts are reunited when Wes comes back to Shelter Creek and sparks fly immediately, but years of pain are festering underneath the surface that has to be addressed. Great characters, spot on romance and the utmost of forgiveness.

Emily is rewarding character. She comes across as confident and well suited for her busy veterinarian life, but when confronted with the past, she lets her feelings show quickly and doesn’t hesitate to take care of her heart even when it’s trying to fall again.

Wes is easy to like and though he left a lot of upset in his wake when he walked away all of those years ago, his good heart and nature is clear to anyone who meets him.

I highly recommend this book and the entire series to anyone who enjoys an emotional, well written story in a small town that is wrapping itself around all of it’s inhabitants as they find their forevers one by one.

five-stars

* Review * UNLIKELY ALIBI by Lisa Childs

* Review * UNLIKELY ALIBI by Lisa ChildsUnlikely Alibi by Lisa Childs
Series: Colton 911: Chicago #2
Published by Harlequin Romantic Suspense on February 1, 2021
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five-stars

She’s his partner. She’s his friend.

And now she’s his alibi.

Heath Colton is on the verge of taking his company to the next level…but when a double homicide shatters his world, he doesn’t know where to turn. VP Kylie Givens’s desire to safeguard him leaves him with no choice; he agrees to go along with a faux romance. But Heath’s feelings for Kylie are more real than he’s ready to admit, and now they’re both in a killer’s crosshairs…

 

Attention grabbing danger! With the second book in the Colton 911: Chicago series Lisa Childs picks right up where book one left off and brings us Heath Colton’s story in UNLIKELY ALIBI. The main characters are key units of the Colton Connections family business and are thrust into the spotlight when the police come knocking after the double murder. Intrigue is high and friendly and romantic connections bring so many feels in this heartfelt story. I’m looking forward to more in the series!

Heath is a gentle soul. He’s hardworking and dedicated, but this emotional upheaval is taking it’s toll on his heart.

Kylie is a sweetheart. She’s highly dedicated to her job and her friend and isn’t about to let him get railroaded like she’s seen in the past.

I highly recommend this book and the entire series to anyone who loves a good who-dunnit mixed with family drama and heartwarmingly sexy romance!

five-stars

* Review * DEADLY RIVER PURSUIT by Heather Woodhaven

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * DEADLY RIVER PURSUIT by Heather WoodhavenDeadly River Pursuit by Heather Woodhaven
Published by Love Inspired Suspense on March 1, 2021
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four-half-stars

She knows she witnessed a murder…

But only one man believes her.

After rafting guide Nora Radley witnesses her staff member’s murder—and narrowly escapes being shot—the crime scene casts doubt on her story. With the evidence pointing to suicide, only her ex-fiancé, Ranger Henry McKnight, is on her side. Ten years ago, an eerily similar unsolved crime tore her engagement to Henry apart. But this case might just cost them their lives.

 

Non-stop intrigue! DEADLY RIVER PURSUIT by Heather Woodhaven grabs a reader’s attention from the first page and doesn’t let up. Danger is lurking around every corner and suspicion is high about everybody. There was a lot going on in this book, and it did sway your concentration here and there because of the multiple plot points, but overall it was a highly intense story that played out well.

Nora was believable from the very start and had me pulling for her throughout. She’s hard working and courageous enough to stick to her ground even when others are doubting her.

Henry was supportive, but easily swayed at times. I appreciated his loyalty to his friends and mentor but wanted him to step up for Nora a little more than he did at first.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a highly intense intrigue mixed with touches of romance and faith.

four-half-stars

* Review * CRAVING A REAL TEXAN by Charlene Sands

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * CRAVING A REAL TEXAN by Charlene SandsCraving a Real Texan by Charlene Sands
Series: The Texas Tremaines #1
Published by Harlequin Desire on March 1, 2021
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four-stars

For this personal chef,

things are about to get extremely personal…

Chef Harper Dawn flees to Texas in disguise after a reality dating show disaster. Hiding out at a luxury cabin means posing as personal chef to sexy-as-sin CEO Cade Tremaine. Cade should be off-limits—he doesn’t know who she really is. But they have serious sparks. Can Harper cook up a recipe for Texas-sized second chances…or will her secret stand in the way?

 

A scintillating delve into a new series! With the first book in The Texas Tremaines series Charlene Sands introduces us to the CEO of Tremaine Corporation and his family as he gets a second chance at love in a  sister’s best friend storyline. I’m looking forward to getting to know more of this family!

Cade is attention grabbing from the start. He’s high-powered and hard working, but seeing the softer side of him when he reminisces about the past brings him down to earth in an approachable way.

Harper is a sweetheart. She’s gone about life in a bit of a crazy way but her intentions were pure and she only wants to find that special someone that will make her life complete.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a hint of drama with close friends and family to fall back on as romance simmers.

four-stars

* Review * ONE NIGHT WITH THE REBEL by Kendall Ryan

* Review * ONE NIGHT WITH THE REBEL by Kendall RyanOne Night with the Rebel by Kendall Ryan
Series: Looking to Score #.5
on January 25, 2021
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five-stars

A brand new, FREE series starter from New York Times bestseller, Kendall Ryan.

She barged into my life and turned everything upside down.

We spent one scorching-hot night together, and then she disappeared into the sunset with the golden jock everyone adored. Which makes sense, right? A girl as beautiful and brilliant as Eden Wynn doesn’t end up with a rebel like me.

I expected them to live happily ever after, except that's not what happened.

She's back—and tempting me like no one else has. And while I'm certain I'll only tarnish her shine, I want her. Only her.

I'd heard the old notion that one night held the power to change everything. I just never believed it.

Until now.

 

I’m hooked! With a short but satisfying prequel to her upcoming Looking To Score series, Kendal Ryan grabs our attention quickly with ONE NIGHT WITH THE REBEL. The set up promises to be full of angst and the characters are going to bring all the feels, I can just tell it already. I can’t wait for the continuation!

Eden Wynn is gearing up to take the world of professional hockey by storm, but she’s got a couple of distractions standing in the way … her former long-term boyfriend and the man she spent one electrifying night with in college who just might end up being the one that got away!

I recommend this short prequel to anyone who wants to get the background of this series under their belt before the first full length book releases.

five-stars

* Review * SECRET BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP by Michelle Douglas

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * SECRET BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP by Michelle DouglasSecret Billionaire on Her Doorstep by Michelle Douglas
Published by Harlequin Romance on March 1, 2021
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five-stars

A shocking inheritance…

An emotional journey…

After a heartbreak in Sydney, Callie’s ready to start afresh in New York! But staying in an apartment she inherited from a grandmother she never knew leads to many unsolved family questions. Luckily, her intriguingly handsome new neighbor, Owen Perry, has agreed to help. Callie’s not ready to start dating…so why are the sparks of attraction igniting between her and Owen? Especially as there’s so much he’s not telling her!

 

An emotionally riveting journey of forgiveness! Michelle Douglas shines in SECRET BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP as Callie sets out to get to know the family member leaving her a vast inheritance and falling for her neighbor and friend along the way. The story is fast paced with many ups and downs and I found myself unable to put it down until I found out how it was going to end.

Callie is strong-willed and tenacious. She’s happy for the distraction of an inheritance to get her out of Sydney for awhile and sets out to enjoy New York while learning more about the woman who left her a fortune.

Owen is loyal and kind and seeing how much he wanted Callie to see Frances through his eyes was all I need to know what a good heart he had.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet connection between two unlikely souls as they travel through memories to reconcile a loved ones life and regrets.

five-stars

* Review * AT THE RANCHER’S PLEASURE by Joss Wood

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * AT THE RANCHER’S PLEASURE by Joss WoodAt the Rancher's Pleasure by Joss Wood
Series: Texas Cattleman's Club: Heir Apparent #2
Published by Harlequin Desire on March 1, 2021
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four-half-stars

He bailed on a wedding to the wrong woman,

only to fall right into temptation’s next trap

Runaway groom Brett Harston has long been the subject of town gossip—and so has Sarabeth Edmonds, who’s returned to Royal after leaving her hateful ex-husband. Soon an innocent kiss to rile the rumor mill unleashes a red-hot attraction they can’t resist. Will the wealthy rancher fall hard—or will she be the one to run this time?

 

Temptation at it’s best! Joss Wood is known for her delectable heroes and runaway groom Brett is another one to add to her list of winners in AT THE RANCHER’S PLEASURE. I loved the double whammy of his baggage mixing with Sarabeth’s in such a consuming way in their seemingly effortless relationship that the age difference between them was barely even notable. Loved them and can’t wait for more in the Texas Cattleman’s Club: Heir Apparent series!

Sarabeth was very much a flawed character who had to be redeemed in the reader’s eye for her past unreliability with her adult children. Ms. Wood paved the way for forgiveness by having her admit to fault in her own right before sharing the roadblocks she faced. I found her easy to like, and rooted for her from the start.

Brett is just pure yumminess. He gets let off fairly easily for his flaws because we aren’t faced with the jilted bride’s feelings directly in front of us, but watching him interact with Sarabeth and start to fall for her makes him easy to enjoy.

I highly recommend this book as well as the series as a whole to anyone who loves a good bit of drama and baggage with their romance. It’s always fun to unravel the past and forge through to the happily ever after in a Desire!

four-half-stars

* Review * OUR LITTLE SECRET by Rachael Stewart

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book.

* Review * OUR LITTLE SECRET by Rachael StewartOur Little Secret by Rachael Stewart
Published by Harlequin Dare on March 1, 2021
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five-stars

Tomorrow is the beginning of my best friend’s luxe Tuscan wedding week, and I plan on being The Perfect Maid of Honor. But tonight, there’s a gorgeous pool under the Tuscan moon calling my name. And I’m not the only one tempted by a decadent late-night skinny-dip!

He might as well be my sex-starved fantasy come to life. A delectable Italian god with a sculpted body that makes my mouth water with the anticipation of seconds, thirds and dessert.

Only it’s not quite that easy.

My hot Italian dish is none other than Rafael Perez. My best friend’s completely, utterly and absolutely off-limits older brother. But now it’s too late. The match is lit, and there’s a hungry fire burning in the depths of Rafael Perez’s dark gaze. For me.

Every secret sexy escapade we have is off-the-charts hot. But the most dangerous secrets aren’t the ones you hide from your friends and family.

They’re the ones with a reputation for swiftly stealing your heart…and breaking it.

 

A decadently forbidden romance! OUR LITTLE SECRET by Rachael Stewart is sure to please with a fast paced storyline filled with friendship, family and so much steamy goodness. I adored the characters and their story as a whole and could not put it down once I started!

Faye could have used a little bit more development on her life outside of her friendship with Dani, but she came across as self-assured and successful fairly easily.

Rafael wore his heart on his sleeve when it came to his love for his little sister, so it wasn’t surprising the lengths he went to in order for her to have a dream wedding. I loved the side of him that Faye brought to life.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a spicy hookup at the most inopportune of moments that leads to a gorgeous happily ever after.

five-stars