Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Review: Turbulent Desires by Melody Anne

Turbulent Desires by Melody Anne
Publication Date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Netgalley (in exchange for an honest review)


Summary (from Amazon):
ER nurse Lindsey Helm used to be strong. Then a late-night attack at the hospital nearly killed her and left two close colleagues dead. Now Lindsey has retreated from the world. She knows she needs to move on, but every hint of danger seems threatening—including a certain sexy flyboy who's determined to show Lindsey what she's missing. But falling for F-18 pilot Maverick Armstrong is a risk she can't afford...

Maverick knows that fear can eat away at the soul, and he won't leave Lindsey to that fate. She needs someone to reach her and to remind her of the exhilaration and unbelievable passion of being touched. He'll help her heal, and then he'll talk away. He has to walk away. Because Maverick swore he would never fall in love and never marry. But this is a rescue operation, and Maverick will stay the course—even if things get hazardous. Eve if saving Lindsey means surrendering his heart in the process...

Review:
After Lindsey gets attacked at the hospital where she works, she begins to realize how unsafe the world really is. Now she's petrified to even leave her house or talk to strangers. Maverick, a pilot, had a one night stand with Lindsey before her attack and it kills him to see Lindsey live in fear of something she can't control. So he tries his best to get under her skin and try to open her up to the wonderful possibilities that life can bring. And although Maverick has always declared he's never going to get married, the more time he spends around Lindsey, the more he aches to put his heart on the line. Will Lindsey be able to move on after her horrific attack and will Maverick be able to open his heart to a relationship he never expected?

This was the first book I read by Melody Anne and I was pleasantly surprised by the cute romance. At times the novel was dark, such as at the beginning of the story when Lindsey was attacked, but I never thought the story was too dark or unrelatable. I actually thought the author did a great job of handling the attack and showing how something so tragic can have a negative impact on someone's life. I thought Lindsey was fully justified in pulling away from everyone and everything and I liked that Maverick wanted to help her overcome her fears. They were perfect for each other, and I enjoyed the second chance romance story line, since they previously had a one night stand. And while I enjoyed reading this story it didn't completely pull me in or make me think about the story or characters days later, which is why I have to give it 4 stars instead of 5.

Overall, I recommend Turbulent Desires to anyone looking for a cute contemporary romance that features the heroine trying to overcome fears.

Rating: 



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review: What You Do to Me by Barbara Longley

What You Do to Me by Barbara Longley
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Netgalley (in exchange for an honest review)

Summary (from Amazon):
Whether it's repairing a home or taking care of clients' other needs, Twin Cities handyman Sam Haney is in demand from his mostly female clientele. Despite Sam's lothario reputation, love isn't part of him portfolio. He's built a lot of walls in his time, but the one that's surrounded his heart ever since the death of his parents is his most solid yet.

Haley Cooper has had enough heartache for a lifetime. Her high school sweetheart up and moved to Indonesia—alone—just two weeks before their wedding. Her mother thinks it's time for Haley to move on and contracts Sam to work on Haley's wreck of a house—and anything else, if he's got the notion. 

Sparks fly and passion ignites. But Haley isn't into Sam's love-em-and-leave-em act. She wants something more. Fixing a house is one thing, but for this handyman, building a relationship will need a whole different set of skills. 

Review:
After Haley's fiancee moves to Indonesia before their wedding, Haley's mother thinks she needs a pick-me-up. So she calls Sam Haney, a sexy handyman that also sleeps with his female clients. Haley has no idea who Sam is, so she's more than surprised when he makes a move. Sam is embarrassed that he mistook business for chemistry, and now that Haley questions his work ethic, he needs to show her that he really is one of the best handymen in the Twin Cities. But working with each other in a strictly platonic manner is hard, especially when sparks are flying.

I really liked the idea of this one. I knew from the summary that it wouldn't be an intense or even emotional romance, but a fun read. And although I didn't expect much, I was more than a little disappointed in this one. First of all, I felt the writing wasn't well edited and the writing didn't flow well, which constantly took me out of the story. It was also hard to like Sam as a character, since he was something of a man-whore, who didn't seem to take his job seriously. And although he tried to prove that he could do his job, it was hard to root for him because of his lack of morals, and I continued to question whether he could be faithful to Haley.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend What You Do To Me.

Rating: 



Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review: The Rogue's Wager by Christi Caldwell

The Rogue's Wager by Christi Caldwell
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Netgalley (in exchange for an honest review)


Summary (from Amazon):
Lord Robert Dennington, the Marquess of Westfield, has long reveled in the freedom afforded him as the ducal heir. He knows he must someday do right by the Somerset line, but he's in no hurry to give up his carefree existence.

Helena Banbury is a bookkeeper in a gentleman's gambling club, adept at analyzing numbers and accounts but helpless for lack of influence. She's never belonged among the nobility on the gaming hell floors, but neither does she feel completely herself among the men who run the Hell and Sin Club, despite the fact that they are family. The once-illiterate girl from the streets wants more than the gilded walls her protective cage can offer.

When Robert mistakenly enters her chambers one night, Helena is forced out of her predictable life and thrust into the glittering world of Society. Will the charms of the marquess prove more perilous than any danger she ever knew on the streets?

Review:
Robert's family is running out of money, so his father demands he marry an heiress. And while he's never had trouble falling for women, he wants to get married on his own time. A trip to a gentleman's gambling club turns into more than he bargained for when he ends up in Helena's bedroom passed out drunk. Helena's family owns the gaming hell and she's in charge of the accounts. One night she finds Robert stumbling around her hallway and before her protective brother finds out, she helps hide him. But by morning both are aching for each other and a kiss turns into something more. Will Robert lose his heart to yet another woman or will he be forced to marry another?

To be honest, The Rogue's Wager was very hard for me to get into. I started and stopped it twice before finally sitting down and forcing myself to read the first chapter. After the first few pages, I began to enjoy the story more, but I still wasn't fully on board, mainly because I didn't like or connect to Robert. He's loved many women before Helena, and I know it's a personal preference but I like to read about heroes that haven't found love before. With Robert it felt like he would fall in love with anyone, so Helena didn't seem special, which took away from their relationship. Helena, on the other hand, was a wonderful character. I loved that she was smart and stood up for herself. I also enjoyed reading about her working in a gaming hell, since the plot was unique and exciting.

Overal, The Rogue's Wager wasn't my favorite. The story didn't suck me in and I couldn't connect to the hero.

Rating: 



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Weekly Releases (10/24/16 - 10/30/16)

Here are this week's new releases:

HISTORICAL ROMANCE:
Tuesday - October 25, 2016
1.) The Rogue's Wager by Christi Caldwell
Summary (from Amazon):
Lord Robert Dennington, the Marquess of Westfield, has long reveled in the freedom afforded him as the ducal heir. He knows he must someday do right by the Somerset line, but he’s in no hurry to give up his carefree existence.
Helena Banbury is a bookkeeper in a gentleman’s gambling club, adept at analyzing numbers and accounts but helpless for lack of influence. She’s never belonged among the nobility on the gaming hell floors, but neither does she feel completely herself among the men who run the Hell and Sin Club, despite the fact that they are family. The once-illiterate girl from the streets wants more than the gilded walls her protective cage can offer.
When Robert mistakenly enters her chambers one night, Helena is forced out of her predictable life and thrust into the glittering world of Society. Will the charms of the marquess prove more perilous than any danger she ever knew on the streets?

2.) The Virtues of Christmas by Grace Burrowes
Summary (from Amazon):
A duet of Regency holiday novellas set at the time of year when toes might be cold, but hearts are warm, and true love earns a helping hand from some well-placed mistletoe. 

Respect for Christmas features Henrietta Whitlow, who’s leaving behind the life of a very successful courtesan in hopes of making peace with her family in the shires. Michael Brenner’s family all but ignore him, despite his shiny new baronial title, and his errand along the Oxford road isn’t half so benign as Henrietta’s. While trying to settle a debt of honor involving Henrietta, Michael instead loses his heart, gains a friend, and learns an important holiday lesson. 

Patience for Christmas is the story of advice columnist Patience Friendly, whose relationship with her stubborn, over-bearing, publisher, Dougal MacHugh, is anything but cordial. Dougal challenges Patience to take on a rival columnist in a holiday advice-a-thon, and sparks fly clear up to the mistletoe hanging from every rafter. Will Patience follow the practical guidance of her head, or the passionate advice of her heart?


3.) The Earl by Katharine Ashe
Summary (from Amazon):
How does a bookish lady bring an arrogant lord to his knees? Entice him to Scotland, strip him of titles and riches, and make him prove what sort of man he truly is.
Opposites…
Handsome, wealthy, and sublimely confident, Colin Gray, the new Earl of Egremoor, has vowed to unmask the rabble-rousing pamphleteer, Lady Justice, the thorn in England’s paw. And he’ll stop at nothing.
Attract.
Smart, big-hearted, and passionately dedicated to her work, Lady Justice longs to teach her nemesis a lesson in humility. But her sister is missing, and a perilous journey with her archrival into unknown territory just might turn fierce enemies into lovers.

4.) While the Duke Was Sleeping by Sophie Jordan
Summary (from Amazon):
Sometimes the man of your dreams . . .
Shop girl Poppy Fairchurch knows it’s pointless fantasizing about the Duke of Autenberry. Still, dreams can’t hurt anyone . . . unlike the carriage Poppy spies bearing down upon the unsuspecting duke. After she pulls him to safety, the duke lapses into a coma and Poppy is mistaken for his fiancĂ©e. But one person isn’t fooled: his arrogant and much too handsome half-brother, Struan Mackenzie. Soon Poppy isn’t sure what she wants more . . . the fantasy of her duke or the reality of one smoldering Scot who challenges her at every turn.
. . . is not who you think.
An illegitimate second son, Struan may have built an empire and established himself as one of the wealthiest men in Britain, but he knows he will always be an outsider among the ton. Just like he knows the infuriating Poppy is a liar. There’s no way the haughty Duke of Autenberry would deign to wed a working class girl. It doesn’t matter how charming she is. Or tempting. Or how much Struan wants her for himself.

5.) Baron by Joanna Shupe
Summary (from Amazon):
Born into one of New York's most respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city's highest echelons of society, he's now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract him from his next pursuit--except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never saw coming . . .
 
Ava Jones has eked out a living the only way she knows how. As "Madam Zolikoff," she hoodwinks gullible audiences into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life--and lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his campaign--unless he's the one who's already put a spell on her . . .


6.) A Date at the Altar by Cathy Maxwell
Summary (from Amazon):
Will the third time be the charm? A duke can’t marry just anyone. His wife must be of good family, be fertile, be young. Struggling playwright Sarah Pettijohn is absolutely the last woman Gavin Whitridge, Duke of Baynton, would ever fall in love with.
She is an actress, born on the wrong side of the blanket, and always challenges his ducal authority. She never hesitates to tell him what she thinks.
However, there is something about her that stirs his blood  . . . which makes her perfect for a bargain he has in mind: In exchange for backing her play, he wants Sarah to teach him about love.
And he, in turn, has a few things to teach her about men  . . .



CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE:
Tuesday - October 25, 2016
1.) Heated Pursuit by April Hunt
Summary (from Amazon):
Penny Kline didn't come to Honduras on a pleasure trip. She's here to rescue her kidnapped niece, the only family she's got left. What she didn't plan on was walking into a covert ops mission---or being wrapped up in the hard-muscled arms of Rafe Ortega. The cool-as-ice operative's touch may get her all hot and bothered, but no man can have a hold on her heart until her niece is home where she belongs.

Even in the tropics, Alpha Security operative Rafe can take down the bad guys without breaking a sweat. Hostage extractions. Clandestine missions. Those are the things he's been trained to handle. Relationships? Not so much. But one look at this strong, sexy redhead and he's seized by a fierce urge to protect her at all costs. Now Penny and Rafe will have to up their game because they're about to go into a master criminal's lair without backup, and the danger---and passion---is about to explode . . .


2.) Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie Mason
Summary (from Amazon):
Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she's forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter's blue eyes-and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.

Sophie's return is a shock for everyone . . . especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they've concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic...


3.) The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Lemmon
Summary (from Amazon):
It's Tag Crane's job to be the life of the party. Traveling from one exotic locale to another is just part of running the luxurious Crane Hotel empire. But even paradise isn't perfect. Devising a new business strategy is keeping Tag up at night-and so is the Great Dane barking at all hours in the apartment below his. To muzzle the problem, Tag charges downstairs . . . right into the most beautiful, blond distraction he's ever seen.

Dog-sitting by day, bartending by night. It's not exactly the life Rachel Foster dreamed of. But when Tag Crane rushes in, all mountain-man shoulders and obscenely sexy smile, needing her help for the Crane Hotels, it's a fantasy come true. What's the harm in a fun no-strings fling? Only a fool would give her heart to a billionaire player like Tag-until suddenly the one man who can't be caught is the one flirting with forever . . . 


4.) A Wedding for Christmas by Lori Wilde
Summary (from Amazon):
The whole town is ready for the holidays: The Cookie Club is baking, Main Street glitters with lights, the carolers sing . . .There’s even a Christmas wedding.
When bodyguard Ryder Southerland sees his best friend’s sister Katie at an L.A. Christmas party, he mistakes the slinky blonde for a celebrity stalker and tackles her. Then they tackle each other . . . at his place. The next morning, Katie’s gone, and Ryder tells himself it’s for the best. It isn’t. Now, one Christmas later, Ryder’s falling for the woman he’s been missing in the town he hasn’t missed at all . . . 
Katie Cheek’s outgrown the romantic fantasies she had about Ryder when she was fifteen. Katie’s packed their hot night away in a box labeled “fling”—or tried to. But Twilight’s bad boy is the best man in her brother’s wedding. And up-close and personal, Ryder’s impossible to ignore. So Katie can either go into hiding—or surrender to Christmas magic.

5.) Kept by Maya Banks
Summary (from Amazon):
A horrific childhood has made Silas the man he is today: dangerous, distrustful and demanding. He’s lived in self-imposed solitude, convinced that no woman could ever accept his need for absolute control—in business and pleasure. That is, until a young violinist walks into one of his buildings and into his life.
 
Hayley has been struggling to fulfill her father’s dying wish: for her to attend a prestigious music school in New York City. But even working multiple jobs, she can’t afford the tiniest of apartments. Seeing her hopeless and near tears, Silas vows to help and protect her, no matter the cost to himself. But when Hayley meets his every demand with unwavering acceptance and love, he is overwhelmed by her goodness and gentle spirit. He knows that the dark stain on his soul can never be erased—and rather than risk destroying the most beautiful person he's ever experienced, he'll have to do the hardest thing he's ever had to do. Let her go. But he's totally unprepared for the lengths to which Hayley will go to fight for his love and for a future brighter than the sun...


6.) Christmas in Destiny by Toni Blake
Summary (from Amazon):
Shane Dalton’s new life is waiting in Miami, complete with fast cars and faster women. But first, he’s heeding his father’s dying words and stopping off in Destiny, Ohio. The detour wasn’t supposed to include a busted pickup and a blizzard. But Candice Sheridan, the cute redhead who reluctantly offers shelter, could prove a pleasant diversion. Trouble is, she thinks Shane’s bad news. And he’s pretty sure she’s right . . . 
Candice had her trust broken once before. Yet something about Shane won’t let her stay away. By Christmas, he’ll be gone. Until then, she’s itching to stop playing nice and safe . . . and try being a little naughty for once. 
As their holiday romance heats up, Shane uncovers a shattering secret and Candice is preparing to face heartache once again. But there’s no better place than Destiny—especially at Christmastime—for two lost souls to find the gift of sweet, surprising love . . .
7.) The Most Wonderful Time by Fern Michaels, Stacy Finz, Sarah Title, and Shirlee McCoy
Summary (from Amazon):
“Christmas Passed” by Fern Michaels
Three years after her husband’s death, Brandy Heyers still finds that celebrating the holidays without him is anything but jolly. Then handsome widower Ryan Rogers shows her that moving on is possible, and her frozen heart begins to melt…  
 
“A Glory Junction Christmas” by Stacy Finz
When Hannah Baldwin hears her ex is getting remarried, she’s ready to give up on Christmas, not to mention love. But the best gifts come in unexpected packages, and old friend Josh Garner is just the man to convince her that the coming New Year is going to be the happiest yet…  
 
 “Moonshine and Mistletoe” by Sarah Title
A holiday fling is all Emma Fallader expects when she meets gorgeous fiddler Abe Tate at her friend’s wedding—but after just days together, it isn’t all she wants. Can the spirit of the season work its special magic for two people separated by more than miles?    
 
“An Apple Valley Christmas” by Shirlee McCoy
Now that her beloved dad is gone, Emma Baily is facing the holidays alone—until her ex, Jack McAllister, shows up to help her close her father’s estate. After four years apart, only the magic of Christmas will show Emma that joy is a gift meant to be shared…




PARANORMAL ROMANCE:
Monday - October 24, 2016
1.) The Hunt by Harper A. Brooks
Summary (from Amazon):
Prince Kael has just lost his father to an assassin, and he’s the next target. A murderer is on the loose, the kingdom is in disarray, and Kael is determined to make the person responsible for killing his father pay. But falling for the beautiful Cara, panther-shifter and main suspect in his father’s murder, wasn’t part of the plan. He’s not at all sure she did it, and he finds himself going against everything he’s ever known just to claim her. 
The ceremonial Hunt is approaching, and mates must be chosen to run together. The hatred between the tiger and panther species is all they know. If Kael and Cara follow their hearts, it could mean treason and death.


2.) Children of the Veil by Colleen Halverson

Summary (from Amazon):
Elizabeth Tanner has one goal: to find her mother in whatever dimension she’s imprisoned. But to do that, she has to face her estranged father, and to do that, she needs a shot of whiskey…or seven. But after an attempt on her life and the return of her lost love, she wakes up with one hell of a hangover and a whole barrage of questions. 
Finn O’Connell doesn’t know why the Fianna want him to aid Elizabeth in her search, but he’ll take any excuse to be near her again. Together, they dive headlong into the shadows of her mother’s secrets and find themselves embroiled in a Fae rebellion that will test Finn’s loyalties and their love. 
With the Faerie realm verging on chaos, Elizabeth and Finn will embark on a quest that will lead them from the streets of Chicago to London’s seedy Fae underground. But rescuing Elizabeth’s mother means journeying to a place Finn can’t follow, and Elizabeth is forced to make a choice between finding her at last or saving her own soul.


Review: Baron by Joanna Shupe

Baron by Joanna Shupe
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Zebra
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Author (in exchange for an honest review)


Summary (from Amazon):
New York City's Gilded Age shines as bright as the power-wielding men of the Knickerbocker Club. And one pragmatic industrialist is about to learn that a man may make his own destiny, but love is a matter of fortune...

Born into one of New York's most respected families, William Sloane is a railroad baron who has all the right friends in all the right places. But no matter how much success he achieves, he always wants more. Having secured his place atop the city's highest echelons of society, he's now setting his sights on a political run. Nothing can distract him from his next pursuit—except, perhaps, the enchanting con artist he never saw coming.

Ava Jones has eked out a living the only way she knows how. As "Madam Zolikoff," she hoodwinks gullible audiences into believing she can communicate with the spirit world. But her carefully crafted persona is nearly destroyed when Will Sloane walks into her life—and lays bare her latest scheme. The charlatan is certain she can seduce the handsome millionaire into keeping her secret and using her skills for his campaign—unless he's the one who's already put a spell on her...

Review:
Ava's responsible for taking care of her three siblings but even though all of them work they're barely able to make enough money to stay afloat. One of her brothers is sick while the other wants to join a gang and steal money to help support them, which adds even more stress. Ava just needs a few more months, though, until she can move them to the country, where she hopes to give them a better life. But Ava doesn't expect William Sloane to disrupt her plans. William will do whatever it takes to get rid of Ava so his political partner doesn't rely on her for answers. But Ava won't give up her job, even when Will threatens to discredit her as a medium. As they spend more time together, they realize they have a connection that neither one of them expected—when they're apart they can't stop thinking of each other and when they're together they can't keep their hands to themselves. Even though they're from two separate worlds, will they be able to make a relationship work?

I've read other novels by Joanna Shupe and Baron is by far my favorite because the writing is great and the characters are perfect together. I liked the class difference between Ava and Will, and I appreciated that Ava understood that they likely could never get married and she didn't try to convince Will otherwise. Ava was my favorite part of the story because she was real and gritty and most readers will be able to connect to her. It was fun reading about her medium career and how she performed for her audiences, and it was easy to root for her from the beginning of the story because she would do anything for her siblings. Will, on the other hand, was at times likable but there were times where he wasn't likable, specifically in the way he tried to ruin Ava's career and did whatever he could to have a sexual relationship with her. But even that didn't stop me from liking Will because those aspects made him realistic and swoon worthy. He has all the elements that make up a great hero in a historical romance novel, and although he was stuck in his ways, I liked watching him grow as a character.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Baron.

Rating: 



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Review: The Governess Was Wicked by Julia Kelly

The Governess Was Wicked by Julia Kelly
Publication Date: September 12, 2016
Publisher: Pocket Star
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Purchased


Summary (from Amazon):
This delightfully charming and saucy Regency era romance is first in the Governess series in which three best friends are employed as governesses for different families, and all find themselves wanting something they can't have.

Elizabeth Porter is quite happy with her position as the governess for two sneaky-yet-sweet girls when she notices that they have a penchant for falling ill and needing the doctor. As the visits from the dashing and handsome Doctor Edward Fellows become more frequent, Elizabeth quickly sees through the lovesick girls' ruse. Yet even Elizabeth can't help but notice Edward's bewitching bedside manner even as she tries to convince herself that someone of her station would not make a suitable wife for a doctor. But one little kiss won't hurt...

Review:
Elizabeth is a governess for two young girls and when they continually get sick, she begins to suspect they're pretending so they can see the handsome doctor. Elizabeth doesn't fault them, though, because she can't help but like being in his presence as well, especially because he makes her feel special. And even though Elizabeth is attracted to Edward, and vice versa, she knows their relationship can't go beyond a kiss because she can't risk her job and she knows she can never be the wife of a doctor. Will Elizabeth be able to give into her desires without risking her reputation or her heart?

There are many historical romance novels with governess heroines, but Julia Kelly managed to weave a unique story with a doctor hero, instead of the typical titled lord. Edward was also very kind and didn't believe that he was above Elizabeth, even though she was a governess, which is something I liked about him. I also liked Elizabeth and Edward together. Their romance was sweet and heartwarming, even if it was predictable. And Elizabeth was a great heroine because she was serious about her position and loved the children she took care of, but because of that, the story fell apart a little bit for me. I couldn't help becoming frustrated that Elizabeth risked her job to kiss Edward, especially because Elizabeth and Edward would kiss in hallways and open rooms where anyone could easily walk in on them. I also thought the plot was lacking since the author focused so much on the romance.

Overall, I enjoyed The Governess Was Wicked and recommend it to anyone looking for a historical romance novel featuring a sweet relationship between a governess and a doctor.

Rating: 



Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: On His Watch by Katie Ruggle

On His Watch by Katie Ruggle
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Purchased


Summary (from Amazon):
In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

Ice rescue diver Derek Warner never meant to be a hero. But when two little girls go missing, he's the first in line to bring them home—even if that means scouring the wilderness with the woman he once loved and lost, Artemis Rey.

Artemis has never stopped wanting Derek. Now, racing to find the girls before it's too late, minutes turn to hours. Night falls. Old flames rekindle. And a danger grows in the darkest wilderness that may be more than even the Search and Rescue brotherhood can hope to face...

Review:
When two girls run away after they dare a boy to jump in the freezing water, Artemis, the children's teacher, knows she has to find them before it's too late, even if it means working with Derek, her ex-boyfriend, who she still has feelings for. Artemis and Derek dated years earlier but they broke up because Derek didn't think he was good enough for Artemis, even though he never stopped loving her. While they work together to find the two missing girls, will they give into their desires or is it too late to pick up where they left off?

On His Watch is a novella that is part of Katie Ruggle's Search and Rescue series. The novella is only 100 pages long, but I thought the author did a good job of creating an interesting plot while also developing the relationship between Artemis and Derek. I usually don't like novellas because they usually seem too short and the story doesn't seem fleshed out enough, but I enjoyed On His Watch. I liked that the relationship between Derek and Artemis was a second-chance romance, because it helped to create a more realistic romance since the relationship progressed quickly in the story. But while I enjoyed the story and the romance, it wasn't one of my favorites and I don't think it's unique enough to stand out from other novellas or novels.

Overall, I recommend On His Watch to fans of Katie Ruggle or readers looking for a novella featuring a search and rescue team and a second-chance romance.

Rating: 




Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekly Releases (10/17/16 - 10/23/16)

Here are this week's new releases:

HISTORICAL ROMANCE:
Monday - October 17, 2016
1.) Seducing the Marquess by Callie Hutton
Summary (from Amazon):
Richard, Marquess of Devon is satisfied with his ton marriage. His wife of five months, Lady Eugenia Devon, thought she was, too, until she found the book. Their marriage is one of respect and affection, with no messy entanglements such as love. Devon’s upbringing impressed upon him that gentlemen slake their baser needs on a mistress, not their gently bred wives. However, once married, he was no longer comfortable bedding a woman other Eugenia. When she stumbles onto a naughty book, she begins a campaign to change the rules.
Lady Eugenia wants her very proper husband to fall in love with her. But her much changed and undeniably wicked behavior might inadvertently drive her confused husband to ponder the unthinkable—his perfect Lady has taken a lover. But the only man Eugenia only wants is her husband. The book can bring sizzling desire to the marriage or it might cause an explosion.

Tuesday - October 18, 2016
2.) A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
Summary (from Amazon):
With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London. 
 
When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.




CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE:
Tuesday - October 18, 2016
1.) Mistletoe Games by Jaci Burton
Summary (from Amazon):
No one brings the sexy out in sports like Jaci Burton, the author of the New York Times bestselling Play-by-Play novels. Now, she puts together a holiday hat trick with three novellas featuring the hottest sports around: baseball, hockey, and surfing—because hard bodies are always in season...
 
Holiday Games
For the high-achieving Elizabeth and her husband, baseball player Gavin Riley, failure is not an option. So when it comes to making a baby, they’re not about to let any holiday distractions get in the way of their necessary pleasures...
 
Holiday on Ice
It’s the season for giving and superstar hockey player Patrick “Trick” Niemeyer is ready to give dancer Stella Slovinski his heart wrapped up in bow. But he’ll have to melt the ice surrounding her heart to keep her from walking away...
 
Hot Holiday Nights
Christmas in Hawaii brings sports agent Tori Baldwin two presents: a young surfer at the top of his game and his business manager. But this hot threesome has to decide if the romantic wave they’ve caught is nothing more than a vacation fling, or the kind of love that could change their lives forever...


2.) To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Layne
Summary (from Amazon):
Alexis Morgan has spent the past eight years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable...until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever...


3.) Honor by Jay Crownover 
Summary (from Amazon):
Don’t be fooled. Don’t make excuses for me. I am not a good man.
I’ve seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I’ve fought and I’ve survived. I’ve had to.
The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.
I’m here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She's disappeared. But don’t worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.
Like I said, don’t be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise... I’m the one standing front and center. 
4.) Honor Bound by B.J. Daniels
Summary (from Amazon):
Ainsley Hamilton has always been the responsible one of the family. As the oldest daughter of presidential candidate Buckmaster Hamilton, she's also a potential target. For months she's sensed someone following her. When an expedition to scout locations for a commercial takes a terrifying turn, she's rescued by a natural-born cowboy who tempts the good girl to finally let loose. 
Sawyer Nash knows just how reckless it is to fall for someone he's gone undercover to protect. Yet masquerading as an extra on set, he starts to see beneath Ainsley's controlled facade. And with the election—and a killer—drawing closer, Sawyer stands to lose not just his job and his life but the woman for whom he'd gladly risk both.



PARANORMAL ROMANCE:
Tuesday - October 18, 2016
1.) Immortal Defender by Lisa Hendrix
Summary (from Amazon):
Part of a band of Viking warriors cursed by an evil sorceress, Torvald has searched for years for a magic that can free him from his fate—to live forever as a were-creature, a man by night, a stallion by day. While studying with the alchemist to Queen Elizabeth, Torvald meets the lovely widow Josian Delamere and hopes she might be the one woman who can save him. 

Unwilling to give up the independence of her widowhood, Josian expects to become merely lovers, but Torvald's tender seductions make her yearn for more. Just as she’s poised to surrender her heart, a hidden enemy reveals Torvald’s secret to her—and she flees the dark magic that surrounds him, in fear for her very soul. 

The proud warrior can win any battle, but he cannot surmount the pain of losing Josian. Yet when her life is threatened, he will risk it all to come to the defense of the one woman who means more to him than his own salvation… 




Saturday, October 15, 2016

Review: Alliance by K. de Long and Rebecca Hamilton

Alliance by K. de Long and Rebecca Hamilton
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Self Published
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Purchased


Summary (from Amazon):
With the prospect of war on the horizon, two rival packs must come together to solidify an uneasy truce. Tessa LaCroix, alpha mistress of the Kumori pack, is too fiery and competent to be passed around like some decoration. So when her father sends her to the Nefari pack to become their alpha leader's mate, she's furious. More aggravating, Marrock is the worst kind of alpha: proud and unmoving, more animal than man. But her own feelings betray her as she comes to know the man beneath the beast and realizes the animal in her wants the animal in him.

Liam Marrock was perfectly happy running his pack without a strong huntress defying him at every turn. However, the prospect of a ceasefire with the Kumori is too alluring to pass up. Unfortunately, it's not half as alluring as the headstrong spitfire now sharing his home, all the while cursing his name. But Tessa soon proves she's more trouble than she's worth, when her strong-willed attitude causes his pack mates to test his authority. As tensions escalate and the truth is tested, Tessa's quest for independence may cost him his life. 

Review:
Tessa, the alpha female of the Kumori pack, is pushed into a mating of convenience to Liam, alpha of a rival pack, in order to create a truce. Although neither wants the mating, they go along with it because it's what's best for their packs. Tessa doesn't go lightly, though, and puts up a fight at every turn. She doesn't want to be mated to Liam, and she hates that she has to uproot her life and move to a strange house. But as they spend more time together, it gets harder to not consummate their mating. Will they be able to turn a mating of convenience into something more or will their differences get in the way.

This was a typical paranormal romance where the hero and heroine were pushed to mate. There's nothing very unique about the story and at times the heroine and hero were unlikable, but it was still an enjoyable read. Tessa was the character I had the most problems with, mainly because she acted immature for being the supposed alpha female. She made bad decisions because she was bitter about being forced to mate with Liam, and it showed that she didn't really care about doing what was best for her or Liam's pack. She was also often cranky and bitchy to Liam. It also bothered me that most of the time Liam and Tessa found excuses to keep away from each other. They constantly used misunderstandings and their pack politics to prevent them from realizing their feelings for each other, which was frustrating.

Overall, Alliance was a fun paranormal romance but I won't be rereading it anytime soon.

Rating: 





Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: Only You by Denise Grover Swank

Only You by Denise Grover Swank
Publication Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Forever
Amazon Link: HERE
Received From: Goodreads Giveaway


Summary (from Amazon):
Romance isn't an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, and not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor...

Ex-Marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world's craziest women. At least that last one he can fix: he and his buddies have made a pact to swear off women, and this includes his sweetly sexy new neighbor.

After one hot night that looks a whole lot like a disaster in the light of day, Kevin and Holly are about to learn that true love doesn't play by the rules...

Review:
Holly's instantly attracted to Kevin, who moves into the run-down fixer upper next door. And even though she's awkward during their first meeting, Kevin seems to be interested. They end up having mind blowing sex, but the morning after Kevin runs because he's afraid Holly is like his previous crazy ex-girlfriends. When Holly discovers Kevin is her boss's son, she knows they can never have a relationship because it would jeopardize her job. Can Kevin put aside his fears and give Holly a chance, and can Holly forgive Kevin for running and put her job on the line for love?

This is one of those books that took me a little longer to get into. I'm not sure if it was because of the writing or the story started out slowly, but either way after the first few chapters I began to really enjoy it. Holly was endearingly clumsy and awkward, evident in Holly and Kevin's first meeting, and the love scenes were well written. The one problem I had with the story was Kevin because he made assumptions about Holly after they had sex and it bothered me that he wasn't able to think logically or give Holly the benefit of the doubt. Yes, Kevin dated many crazy women, but that doesn't give him the right to lump Holly into that group before getting to know her. I also thought the relationship progressed too quickly. Right after they sleep together, when they haven't even known each other for more than a few weeks, Kevin looks at Holly and thinks she's the person he wants to be with for the rest of his life, which I found unrealistic and hypocritical.

Overall, I enjoyed Only You but I had problems with the hero and the relationship progressing too fast.

Rating: 



Monday, October 10, 2016

Weekly Releases (10/10/16 - 10/16/16)

Here are this week's new releases:

HISTORICAL ROMANCE:
Monday - October 10, 2016
1.) The Governess Was Wanton by Julie Kelly
Summary (from Amazon):
Follow three best friends who navigate love and independence as governesses in Regency England in this delightfully charming installment in the Governesses series.

Mary Woodward, a young veteran governess, has one job: guiding a young debutante through her first season in high society. And up until now, keeping her fous and avoiding temptation has been easy. But never before has the father of her young charge been as devilishly handsome as the single, wealthy Earl of Asten.... Convinced to risk it all, Mary let's herself enjoy one night of magic at a masked ball in Asten's arms, but will they both regret everything when the Earl learns her true identity?


Tuesday - October 11, 2016
2.) My Seductive Highlander by Maeve Greyson
Summary (from Amazon):
Though part of a legacy of time-traveling sisters, Lilia Sinclair is planted firmly in twenty-first-century Edinburgh. Her granny’s matchmaking with thirteenth-century Highlanders isn’t about to lure her into the past, especially as ancient Scotland enters troubled times. After all, Lilia is blessed—or cursed—with dire prophetic visions. To protect herself, she’s put up an icy emotional wall no man could cross—until a pair of gorgeous, rippling arms breaks right through.

Graham MacTavish is pure trouble. Once the dragon bound to Loch Ness, he’s transformed into a philanderer of the first order. In fact, because of his dalliances with other men’s wives, a rival clan wants his head on a pike. Before he provokes an all-out war, Graham is banished to the twenty-first century, where he must win Lilia’s hand—or return to die. But after meeting a lass as fierce as any Highland warrior, Graham knows one thing: life with Lilia, in any century, is a fate to embrace.




CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE:
Monday - October 10, 2016
1.) Searching for Disaster by Jennifer Probst
Summary (from Amazon):
The next highly anticipated novella in the Searching For series, a romantic spin-off of the Marriage to a Billionaire series from New York Times bestselling sensation Jennifer Probst.

When Isabella MacKenzie tries to move on from her disastrous past, Officer William Devine is determined to show her that love is the only way to heal. This sexy enovella, the final installment in Jennifer Probst’s heartwarming Searching For series, follows the high-powered women of the popular matchmaking agency Kinnections, located in the small, picturesque town of Verily, NY.



Tuesday - October 11, 2016
2.) The Bookshop on Autumn Lane by Cynthia Tennent
Summary (from Amazon):
While some young women would jump through hoops to claim ownership of a bookshop, 
free-spirited Gertrude “Trudy” Brown wants nothing to do with the rundown store her late Aunt Gertrude left her.  Having suffered from dyslexia all her life, books aren’t exactly her friends. With not much more than a collie dog who’s scared of his own shadow, and a rusty but trusty ’74 Beetle, Trudy arrives in the tiny town of Truhart, determined to sell off her cumbersome inheritance as quickly as possible… 
 
But Trudy is not the only stranger in town. Christopher “Kit” Darlington, a professor of American Studies at Cambridge, is searching for an elusive manuscript—and he secretly thinks Trudy’s ramshackle bookshop might hold the key to its discovery. As these two opposites spend the autumn days together, cleaning out Trudy’s bookshop, they soon find that uncovering both literature and love can be equally mysterious… 
 
Trudy’s never been  the type to stay in one spot too long, but something about Kit makes her consider starting a new chapter—and maybe even finding there’s a happily-ever-after…


3.) Sugar Free by Sawyer Bennett
Summary (from Amazon):
For years Sela Halstead dreamed of revenge, but the quest for payback has been anything but sweet. Now, once again, she finds herself at the mercy of Jonathon Townsend, his hands crushing the very breath from her body. And even though she escapes with her life, Sela fears she may never recover. In desperate need of shelter and comfort, she runs to the one man she can trust. Beckett North has stood by Sela since the beginning. But can he handle the brutal truth?

Beck will do anything to protect what is his—and make no mistake, Sela belongs to him, heart and soul. The passion between them runs hot, even as their world begins to unravel. With the legacy of his ruthless business partner hanging in the balance, Beck stands to lose everything: his fortune, his family, his freedom. But each touch of Sela’s mouth on his skin, her nails down his back, makes it harder to let her go—and it might not even be his choice to make.


4.) Just Fine with Caroline by Annie England Noblin
Summary (from Amazon):
Caroline O’Connor never dreamed she’d be back home in Cold River, Missouri, the Ozark Mountain town where everyone is ‘up your business.’…they mean well as they drive you crazy. She thought she’d left town for good, but now she’s back, helping to care for her New York born mother—struck with Alzheimer’s, and prone to saying and doing anything—and her father, the beloved local doctor frustrated he can’t cure his own wife.
As for Caroline, she’s doing ‘just fine’ coping with her parents, her brazen cousin Ava Dawn’s marital disasters, her mostly-deaf dog…and with Noah Cranwell, far-flung relative of a local family mostly infamous for running moonshine, an ex-veteran who’s come to Cold River with troubles of his own. 
Caroline believes she knows everything about Cold River and the people who live in its hills and hollers … but sometimes life’s greatest surprises happen closest to home.



PARANORMAL ROMANCE:
Tuesday - October 11, 2016
1.) Alliance by K. de Long and Rebecca Hamilton
Summary (from Amazon):
Tessa LaCroix, alpha mistress of the Kumori pack, is too fiery and competent to be passed around like some decoration. So when her father sends her to the Nefari pack to become their alpha leader's mate, she's furious. More aggravating, Marrock is the worst kind of alpha: proud and unmoving, more animal than man. But her own feelings betray her as she comes to know the man beneath the beast and realizes the animal in her wants the animal in him.

Liam Marrock was perfectly happy running his pack without a strong huntress defying him at every turn. However, the prospect of a ceasefire with the Kumori is too alluring to pass up. Unfortunately, it's not half as alluring as the headstrong spitfire now sharing his home, all the while cursing his name. But Tessa soon proves she's more trouble than she's worth, when her strong-willed attitude causes his packmates to test his authority. 


2.) Blood Bound by Traci Douglass
Summary (from Amazon):
Anna Frost had a bad feeling when her twin sister, Liz, told her she’d run off with a member of the notorious Otherworld biker gang, the Blood Ravagers. And her unease skyrockets when her sister subsequently vanishes. The police have no authority and little interest, so Anna decides to take matters into her own hands by infiltrating the group to discover for herself what happened to Liz, where she meets….

Dante, half demon, half human. A mix of two worlds, accepted by neither, he’s had no choice but to learn the hard way how to play whatever side of the fence kept him alive during his nearly 500 years of existence. Now, as second-in-command of the Blood Ravagers biker gang, his survival depends on keeping his humanity a secret. Dante’s ultimate goal is to fulfill the vows he made over two centuries ago to create a world where half-breeds can live in safety and equality.

But when sheltered schoolteacher Anna finds unexpected, white-hot passion in the arms of Dante, will her quest for the truth cost him more than he ever bargained for? Or will they find a way to save Liz – and their love – together?



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